Liking helps my self-esteem!
I’m a big proponent of Raw Foods Fusion. What? You may ask is that??? Raw foods fusion is like my philosophy of life and food or rather what my philosophy has or is becoming in life and in food… Everything in moderation and never get too extreme.
This is actually a fairly funny philosophy for me to have, because my life has largely been one of extremes–extremes in love, politics, food and fun.
For a long time, politically I found myself as not just a leftist, not just as a radical, not even a green anarchist, but a primitivist anarchist. I wasn’t a feminist, I was an anarcho-feminist. When I started doing self-defense classes, I didn’t start slow, but instead did 3-5, 1 hr long classes per day, 6 days a week. I didn’t go camping, I lived out in the woods. When I researched for articles or presentations, I read every single book and article I could find on the topic, which usually meant 40+ books and many hundreds of articles in the span of about 1 week. I could write pages and pages of my life in extremes. Most of my life has been the absolute opposite of fusion–the antithesis of it.
And then it happened. Ten years or so ago it started, I exhausted my adrenals from pushing myself so hard. I found it hard to maintain friendships and I drove lovers away with my determination and extremes. I’d been living in tunnel vision in which I threw 500% into everything I did which means I could only do one thing at a time (if that) and I had no time, energy or concern for anything or anyone else–including myself. If I wanted to be healthy again, I had to force myself to change and open myself to living many different realities, possibilities, passions and hopes at once. I had to allow myself to not throw myself so hard into everything I did and give space to myself, different ideas and different aspects of my life. I had to stop living as though there were no other options than what I was doing. I had to embrace “fusion”.
Strangely, nutrition school actually helped me start to become a proponent of fusion living. Most nutritionists, dietitians and natural health practitioners come out of their training as zealots–believing what they learned is the way and nothing else will work as well and there can be only one solution and it is their solution. I experienced going through school with a wide variety of “health zealots” and nobody ate the same or had the same “nutrition rules”. Yet everyone was healthy–though everyone had a different definition of what “healthy” was. That opened my eyes to the recognition that everyone is different and needs different things. There is no one way that will work for everyone.
You may have noticed that I indicated that I have “started to” become a proponent of fusion living and not so extreme. I haven’t succeeded yet and there are some nutrition related things that I’m pretty much a “my way is the right way and I’m not budging on it thing”… If you have celiac or non-celiac gluten intolerance, you should never eat ANY gluten (well no more than 1 to 50 ppm depending on the person) forever and ever and ever… amen. Microwaves are the devil and should be destroyed (yes, I have dropped one out of the window of a house before–back in my extreme days). Protein and fat should be in every meal and snack (the type of healthy protein and healthy fat is individual though). Eat within 1 hour of waking (unless fasting). Oh and when I love… I love hard, blindly and trust completely and that has only gotten worse since my zealot days. And when my heart is broken and I come to my senses when I’ve been shit on repeatedly, I sever my love hard, blindly and distrust completely. Besides that, every day is a fight that sometimes I win and sometimes I lose, to allow myself to maintain diversity of thinking, feeling, eating and being. But mostly I win and it gets easier and easier, because it sucks to have only one passion at a time and to have no time for anything or anyone else. So fusion…
So what is raw foods fusion?
It’s me saying that it’s okay to not eat 100% raw–to not even track how much raw food you eat. Everyone’s body is different and needs different things in different amounts at different times. For those people (excepting those with extremely severely compromised digestion and then it’s only a matter of time), some amount of raw food is beneficial to have regularly. Heated fats, oxidize in the body (and in the pan) and can become carcinogenic and promote cancer. Overcooking foods causes them to lose their enzymes, making them more difficult to digest and making them less nutritionally dense. But during the cold winter months (especially here in Denver, Colorado), warm foods that give us strength and heat are necessary for many (definitely me). Some of us, year round and others seasonally, need the grounding benefits of meat. And some of us have too high of metabolism to not eat meat when living a very active lifestyle. And you get it, we are all different metabolically, but also our desires for food and life change constantly. Sometimes I want cooked foods and sometimes I might even want something fried (gasp!).
In these cold winter months, it can be more difficult to convince ourselves to eat raw foods (in the form of salads, raw veggies and raw fruits). Often what we crave is soup–dense, warming, and comforting. We want to hibernate and raw foods sometimes doesn’t feel so conducive. So how does one continue to eat some raw foods? Add some natural heat to it–ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, black pepper and other spices are naturally warming and adding spice adds heat without having to heat up the temperature. Here is a delicious raw foods soup that will keep you warm this winter:
Apple-Butternut Squash Soup
- 4 apples, peeled and cored
- 1 butternut squash, peeled
- Zest, juice and pulp of 1 lemon
- 1 small or medium red onion
- 3 C almond milk
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 inch ginger or more to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Process the apples, squash, onion and ginger until smooth. Add lemon and herbs and pulse in. Stir in almond milk.
If you have a Champion Juicer or a similar juicer in which you can insert a blank plate, use that instead of the food processor. This will give you a much smoother consistency. After juicing with a blank plate the apples, squash, onions and ginger, add the resulting mush to a blender and add in the lemon and almond milk. Blend and then add in parsley, salt and pepper and blend until the parsley is mixed through (not until the soup is green unless it is St. Patrick’s day). Eat at room temperature or gently heat until just luke-warm.
And if you are in Colorado and want to learn more about integrating raw foods into your diet. Come to one of my raw foods classes at Nourished Health Cooking School. Lots of fun and enjoyable for beginners and seasoned raw foodists alike!