Good morning to you, kind blog patronizers! I apologize for my absence yesterday—the busy Monday simply slipped away from me. A quick recap: the traditional bowl of granola, fruit, and soy milk satisfied my morning hunger effectively; a giant salad and tofu burger topped with avocado and sauerkraut made a delicious lunch; while rice left over from my sushi-making extravaganza, steamed broccoli (yup, it’s succulent again), and a lemony medley of fresh farmers market beans served as a lovely summer dinner.
Goodness gracious, just look at those beautiful beans! The pink are bortolotti, purple are dragon tongue, and green are romano. All very popular in Italy, they can require some hunting around if your local farmers market vendors dont’ carry them, or worse—if your city doesn’t have a farmers market at all! In which case, I’d move right away. Luckily, Madison lives at the heart of America’s growing organic, local food movement and Jones Valley Farm, specializing in Tuscan produce, offers up some delectable fresh bean varieties. I followed a recipe for Romano Bean Salad from JenEhr Family Farm, expecting that those who grow the produce would know how to cook it the best. A simple recipe, it called for boiling the beans for about 6-8 minutes, shocking them in a ice-water bath, then tossing them with garlic, parsley, capers, lemon zest, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil (I also added a handful of garbanzo beans, just for good protein measure). Unadulterated, light, and effectively highlighting the beans.
After my fairly dainty dinner, I woke up ravenous and eager to whip up a new breakfast concoction. Feeling adventurous, I decided to re-experiment with a morning dose of avocado and followed Choosing Raw’s Green Banana Breakfast Smoothie recipe, subbing soy milk for the almond and upping the dose to 1/2 cup (my blender complained without the additional liquid), opting for kale instead of romaine, replacing the vegan protein powder with chia seeds, and omitting the ice cubes. Needless to say, I also stirred my go-to Ezekiel granola and a handful of farmers market raspberries into the thick, creamy green pudding.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein–soy milk, chia seeds. Whole Grain–granola. Fruit–banana, avocado, raspberries. Added Leafy Green Plus!–kale.
A couple of days ago, I recieved my first issue of VegNews Magazine in the mail. I had followed their website since the beginning of summer and enthusiastically awaited a tangible copy of their work. The October issue, chock full of vegan-friendly international cities, mouthwatering recipes, restaurant and food truck reviews, and tips for prospective vegan restauranteurs. Amidst the bounty of witty articles, the piece on food addictions by acclaimed holistic health counselor Victoria Moran hands-down the most fascinating. The article sheds light on how the corrupt food industry carefully manufactures processed products to appeal to the pleasure center in the human brain by scientifically combining fat, sugar, and salt in perfect (and dangerous) combination. In addition to the obvious food addiction culprits of alcohol and caffeine, Moran also introduces sweeteners (both natural and artificial), bread and other wheat products, chocolate, dairy products, dried fruit, oils, and salt as potential craving-inducers.
In the case of dairy products, all milk contains casien which transforms into casomorphin—a morphine-like substance supposedly present to encourage young animals to nurse—after crossing the blood-brain. Thus, milk can produce a drug fix resembling that of opium? Whoa.
Bread and dried fruits surprised me the most, but after consideration, I fully understood the danger of the two from personal experience. Back in my frighteningly skinny days, I binged on whole-grain bread, brown rice, dried apricots, dates, and banana chips as my common glutton foods. After packing on the pounds and reaching a healthy weight, the addictions (which I didn’t label as such previously) ebbed, though any cooked whole grain sitting left over in the refrigerator poses a potential threat to my current sensible, normal eating patterns as I could easily eat the entire container without restraint.
Moran also points out that unlike drug or alchohol addicts, those hooked on food venture onto the “battlefield” every day as they must fulfill the necessity of eating. With drugs and alcohol, you don’t need to keep them in the house or require them to sustain yourself, as is the case with food.
The eye-opening article enraged the anti-chemical foodie in me, further turning me against the high-processed “food” (can we even call it that anymore?) industry and their selfish, miserly ideals.
Learn more about food addictions here or pick up the October issue of VegNews magazine and turn to page 44 for an enlightening read. I’d love to hear what you think of the article.
Until next time, Ali.