Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quick! Get Outta' Here!

It takes a lot of determination to eat like a mentsch. That is to eat real, good, healthy food.
On days where there's a lot of time, I can pre-plan meals. I'll have time to cook rice, legumes or make salads, steam vegetables, etc. and even save for the week. But on hectic days, all the pre-planning and cooking flies right out the window. But, oddly enough, the hunger remains.

So, what to do?

Go for the junk food.

There's no planning involved. There's no cooking to do. AND, it's cheaper than if I went to buy a meal in a restaurant, let's say. And best of all, it's FAST. I don't even need to sit down while eating. I can actually multitask-eat and run. Quite literally.

Oy vey.

And yet, as brilliant and convenient as the fast, junk food is, why is that in half hour or less even, the hunger pangs come back.

Ok, so just buy more fast, junk food. Stave off the hunger and save money.

Well, if I do it one/ two days, or here and there, that's one thing, but for weeks? Bit by bit, my energy level drops; my irritability increases; and, basically, it's not a pretty sight. Not to mention the effects we don't see inside the body...or the soul?

Sometimes, life has a way of pushing you forward. And it takes a lot of effort to STOP and say, "hey, that is NOT where I want to be going," or, "this is NOT what I want to be eating!"

One has to be cunning. Rebellious, even. Faster than the fast food? Or slower? Bringing reinforcements. Sounding the alarms. Making a fuss! Crying out to G-d! PRE-PRE Planing for those difficult days. And finding things that are ENJOYABLE to eat, ie. not stuff that tastes like tree bark!

And if there's no time to cook, than opting to buy a healthy meal, ie. a wrap or a chicken salad, etc. Which of course WILL cost more than the fast, junk food (which percentage-wise of actual nourishment is low anyways!)
And, I, too, fall into the trap of thinking that buying cheaper means I'm being smart w/ my money. But I think it's quite the opposite. My money IS to buy me the better food/the better anything when I can, otherwise what's the WHOLE POINT?!! All w/in reason... :)

Hunger compels us to eat, which gives us life. So, why am I spending money to make myself weak?

But y'know, it's not just the day and week that's hectic. It seems society is hectic. I step out and everyone is rushing off here and rushing off there. There just isn't any time! Quick, go to the mall! Quick, catch the bus! Quick, catch that light! Quick, answer the phone! Quick, just.. just get going! Quick, eat fast and go! Or don't eat, just get outta' here!

"Yes, but where are we going exactly?" That thought may flash briefly as we're "herded" to....not quite sure yet. But if you dare to stop, you'll hear the question again and will want an answer. Be careful b/c someone may ask you why you're not moving with the herd.
"What's wrong w/ this pretty packaged, preservative-full, MSG ridden yum yum? Everything has been arranged for you!" Then like a scene from a movie, the smiles disappear as they hiss, "Conform!"


So, like I said, it takes a lot of determination to eat like a mentsch. That is, to eat real, good, healthy food.
I'm still figuring it out...

G-d bless!

Monday, May 4, 2009


I'm thrilled to to have added a new veggie to my lunchbox. It's the beautiful, pale green fennel. She hails from the Umbellifereae family and is related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.

What's so great about fennel?

Well, first it's got this wonderfully light scent. Think of the anise spice, but not as strong.

I once visited a family for Shabbath, and they served a fennel salad. Raw fennel cut up in pieces sitting in a bowl of lemon juice. No salt added. Nothing. And it was... Heavenly!! Crunchy, refreshing, and slightly sweet. What a joy to the palatte! I know had seconds...probably thirds.

G-d was definitely in a playful mood when He created the fennel.

Aside from being a delight to eat, fennel has great medicinal and nutritional properties.

Apparently, way back fennel was used to cure stomach ailments and freshen breath. Even to fight against weight gain..And an infusion of fennel seeds can help with menstrual pains.

It has phytonutrients-including the flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides-that give it strong antioxidant activity. Also, it has Vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant. It has fiber, folate, and potassium which assist in colon health.

Next time, you're in the supermarket, I dare you to pick up a bulb of fennel and try it out. Pick one that's free of bruises, and it should be white, pale green in color. And you should smell that sweet anise/liquorice-ish scent. It should last around 4 days. I like the inner part of the bulb b/c it's not fibrous.

You can eat it raw or cooked.
According to Howard Yoon on NPR's Kitchen Window, "fennel's strength may be its power to blend and enhance other flavors. Tuna tastes more tuna-like when cooked with fennel. A simple salad of oranges, red onion and lemon vinaigrette has more zing with the addition of crunchy, raw fennel."

Yeah, I'm likin' the fennel. It's just a light, happy, and easygoing veggie!

G-d bless!

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