Happy Easter, my little bunnies (if you celebrate it, that is. If not, you can still be my little bunny ;) )!
After reading lots of blogs and hearing my mom's rave reviews, I decided to give reality TV a chance with Jamie Oliver. I TiVo'd one of the first episodes and just watched it, along with the new one that was aired Friday. My friends and I have talked about trying to change the way our school and the students within think of food before but haven't really known where to start. After seeing Food Revolution, I became even more inspired and now I believe that we can truly bring about change.
Jamie Oliver might be in Huntington, WV, but that doesn't mean Huntington is the only city affected by this epidemic (yes, it is an epidemic). Going to a private school, it would seem that the situation might be a bit different. My dear friends, I am sad to say that it is not so. Accordingly, I believe that the true problem behind our country's increasingly growing obesity rate is the general population's mentality of food. This includes the fact that the government has subsidized unhealthy foods, thus making them cheaper and more available to the masses. Not only that, but with that they are made easy to find and recognizable; familiarity and not necessarily rationality take hold of our decision making abilities. It's true that our taste responds well to fat and sugar. Is it a coincidence that most of the foods that people consider to taste good are high in both of these? Definitely not. Does that mean that healthier and more sustainable foods are not as delicious? No way!
...breakfast was really treated as the most important meal of day, with every bite and sip savored?
I present to you lemon poppy seed pancakes (recipe here) with sprinkles of cinnamon on applesauce and soygurt for dipping,
...instead of drippy french fries that soak everything they come in contact with in grease,
we enjoyed fries of a different variety, sweeter and simper, but still perfect for dipping?
I present to you butternut squash fries,
and a sweet potato (not in fry form, but I can assure you it is just as delicious). Would you like some vitamin A with that?
...instead of getting our daily dose of colors from a bag of Skittles or pops at the drive through,
we enjoyed food straight from the source? Simplicity never tasted so good.
I present to you a lovely meal with bak choy, kale, carrots, ezekial bread, and chickpeas with a lemon wedge for added flavor,
and zucchini "mozarella sticks" (recipe here) with a roasted red pepper sauce (my recipe)
...instead of slathering mayo on some bread and slapping on a shriveled piece of lettuce as a condiment, calling it a sandwich,
we enjoyed the delicate and diverse taste of hummus, and it's nutrient-rich friend, spinach? When these two come together, there's no missing the "filler.
I present to you TJ's hummus quartet and nature's bounty of spinach.
...vegetarians and those with special dietary needs could eat happily and safely, not feeling like they are missing out on anything or being confined to salads of iceberg lettuce and shreds of veggie remains?
I present to you a kale salad with broccoli and cauliflower, dressed with lemonini dressing (inspired by HEAB),
a salad inspired by Shelby with spinach, peas, blackened tofu (recipe adapted from ED&BV), carrots, a pear, and 2 kinds of hummus,
a quinoa salad with salsa and chili powder, served on a bed of green beans,
a spring-inspired risoto, featuring peas, carrots, fresh fava beans, celery, green cauliflower (yes, it exists), asparagus, millet (my new favorite grain), all creamed together in a lovely nooch sauce with sweet garlic, seasonsed with Parma (what a mouthful!),
a portobello pizza with humnut sauce, garlic, and ezekiel&Parma breadcrumbs,
and chickpea patties with apricots and pretzels (recipe here).
...treats and snacks could be enjoyed and savored, knowing that we can pronounce the ingredients and our bodies won't feel like a warzone after.
I present to you Hazlenut Dreamies (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar),
a cherry pomegranate cliff C bar,
a cinnamon-spiced Butternut squash, soyogurt, and millet parfait
and Mexican snickerdoodles (recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar).
...and that exercise would be enjoyed by all, giving them a desire to eat well to fuel their fun activities.
I present to you my passion of yoga.
I am by no means trying to say that the things I mentioned are unhealthy and should never be consumed. I am definitely not trying to sound "holier-than-thou" in my views. I would rather like to suggest that the general mindset of food be put in a healthier perspective. I also recognize the importance of satisfying cravings and treating oneself. There is no perfect way of eating but we can at least strive to live a lifestyle in which our bodies and minds are nourished properly in the way that suits us.
I realize that I am probably preaching to the choir since I know most of you have already put your eating and lifestyle in perspective, but I do see a need for change and hope that you will join me in my quest to bring it about. Sometimes all it takes it living a healthy lifestyle yourself so that others may see. Being a good influence is the first step, my friends! Congrats on that!
Have you watched Food Revolution? Do you have any ideas of how to bring about change in your own community?
I think America's ready for a change. Who's with me?
Have a lovely evening and start to your week!
***Please note: my links aren't working right now but I'll try to get them up in the next few hours. Please check back so that you can get these amazing recipes and check out the awesome products I used. Thanks for your patience!