Posts tagged ‘life’

June 17, 2011

Thoughts, Updates, and more!

Hello Friends,

I know it has been quiet some time since I have updated, and I apologize. Like many, corporate world life has taken me in and eaten my energy to work on my goals. I have been working at an immigration law firm the past few weeks, and have decided to leave the firm to live my life. I have decided  to begin graduate school next winter and pursue a degree in Nutrition or Public Health. I know that giving up my stable job in this economy is a risk, but it is one I am willing to take to pursue happiness and fulfillment. I am working on some long term plans, getting my seeds in order to bloom. I have been teetering on the idea of graduate school, and have decided to commit after reading “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan.

Pollan’s book discusses the transition from our ancestors diets to the so-called Western diet. He focuses on where food regulation has brought us, and the faults of marketing certain things to be “nutritious” (i.e. omega-6s, antioxidants, high fiber, low-fat, etc.), missing the importance of balance and getting  those nutrients from the source. In a sense, Pollan talks a lot about how our diets have been replaced by processed foods that have to be fortified with extra nutrients, which can be harmful to our bodies. Pollan emphasizes the importance of questioning what is food and defending those things that people have been surviving on for thousands of years. I know when I look at a can of Cheese-Wiz, a frozen dinner, or even a granola bar, I myself often question if this is food. It seems that the Western diet is completely missing something (which I have be thinking about for quiet some time), a connection to the earth, to nature, and to culture. The food that has become most accessible and standard in the U.S. is also the food that is simply A LOT of empty calories. What I mean by that is its not nutritious, nourishing, digestible, or absorbable (all of which is essential to how our bodies run). “In Defense of Food” was able to bring together so many ideas, thoughts, and frustrations I have had with the Western diet for years. This book brought to light the importance of knowing your food, and feeling that connection with the earth. When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that our earth nourishes our bodies. Towards the end of his book Pollan discusses a few rules he tries to live by, and I think they are some pretty important rules.

Eat food, Mostly Plants, Not too much!

  • Eat Food: as in, don’t eat anything your great grandma wouldn’t recognize, avoid products containing ingredients that are unfamiliar, you cant pronounce, have more than five ingredients or that include High-Fructose Corn Syrup. He also suggest to avoid foods that make health claims and to shop the peripheries of the supermarket and avoid the middle, (or stay out of the supermarket all together).
  • Mostly Plants: Eat plants, mostly leaves. Leaves are full of so much fiber, Omega-3s, water and nutrients. Eat well grown food from healthy soils, because the food is going to be directly impacted by what’s in its soil. Eat wild foods when possible. And lastly, eat more like the French, Italians, Japanese, Indians or the Greeks (basically people who eat to the rules of any traditional food culture are generally not consuming the same creepy stuff that our food does).
  • Not too much: Lastly, Pollan talks about portion and eating habits. He discusses the importance of eating with others, sharing a meal, eating at a table (not a desk!), and slowing down the meal. Enjoying every bite and enjoying the company your with. There is nothing better than knowing that YOU are powering yourself to exist.
This book was everything I needed and re-iterated the importance of my long-term goals, my health, and how to take back the power of feeding our bodies. So, get in your kitchen and start empowering your body!
Gnash On,
Michelle
April 26, 2011

A quick delish lunch!

Here’s a quick, healthy, balanced lunch idea for you.

Tuna couscous:

You’ll need
1 5oz. can tuna in water
1 cup cooked whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup cucumber (English work the best)
Large handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup fresh spinach chopped
2 tbsp. feta
Drizzle of vinegar dressing
Salt and pepper

Mix and enjoy! Couscous takes about 10 minutes to make total and can easily be cooked ahead. Hope this can make your lunch feel fulling and energizing.

Happy gnashing!
– Michelle

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April 6, 2011

Everything’s Bigger in Texas….including my stomach.

I haven’t posted in a few days because I’ve been in Texas. As I sit here, drinking my iced tea, I am reminded of everything Texas means to me. Friends, laughs, BBQ, Tex-Mex, Beer, and warmth. I am a northerner at heart,  but there is nothing more warming than some Texas love. Although I am a person that believes in balance, I also really live my life through my senses, and taste is my primary sense. No matter how committed I am to losing weight, and being healthy, this foodie just could not resist what Texas has to offer. (Sometimes living life means indulging).

Beef Ribs, Potato Salad, and Texas Caviar

I enjoyed some great BBQ. My first BBQ indulgence was at The Good Company. I ordered one of my faves, Beef Brisket with potato salad, slaw, beans, and pickles. The beef was so tender, flavorful and lovely.  My next BBQ indulgence was at the Antique show about an hour and half outside of Houston. There is something so very magnificent about miles and miles of antiques. I got Beef dry rub ribs (pictured above), potato salad, and Texas caviar (black-eyed peas, tabasco, and spices) at Zap Hall.  There’s not many things better in the world then some Texas cared for BBQ. Trust me.

My second over indulgence was Beer. I know there are a lot of people out there who have mixed feelings about beer, but I have a feeling you just haven’t had the right beer yet. I have a fondness for the process and am fascinated with the art of brewery. It is no surprise that Texas has some great beer. Refined, full-bodied, light and seasonal is how I would describe my Texas beer experience.

Life is about experiencing things, and there is no better way to experience then traveling. So, although I will always be the first person to promote a healthy lifestyle, part of being healthy is being happy. So overindulge, go against the grain, and experience everything life has to offer.

 

We’re all fed such false messages about success in life, made to believe it’s a point of arrival. So most of us spend our whole lives waiting to arrive. We expect that once we get there, the long story of the life we just lived will be infused with meaning. But while we’re waiting our voices dry up. They forget how to ask, they forget how to listen, they forget how to tell. -Off the Map

March 21, 2011

….All that matters is that we’re gnashing!

Hello World,

I woke up this morning and needed to get this up and running today. My life is food, I love to consume, observe, research, understand and be one with food. But I especially love gnashing  (I like a taste of everything, a girl can’t help it, trust). Food has been on my radar for 23 years now and it’s time to start discussing it. My hope is to bring some ideas, thoughts, alterations, creativity, and relationships to your gnashing. As I am pretty into nutrition, I will be talking a lot about other options, guidelines, and support to create some good refined gnashes. I will integrate a lot of the following topics as well: culture, health, holistic approaches, politics, access, community, fitness, do it your own ideas, visual art, music, and all things that involve life. My goals for this journey are beyond the web, with hopes of community building, and support. My favorite thing about food is the style, ritual, grove of the act of feeding your body, and my hope is to help everyone find this relationship to our bodies, the earth, and ourselves. Hope you can be part of the conversation.

Michelle

Here’s some China Gnashin for ya: