Thanks but no thanks for the steering wheel recipe – I’m sure I’ll use it eventually, but for now I’m sticking to the cleanse. Plus, steering wheels are my cousins’ favorites, not mine. It’s a delicious cookie – our family’s most popular – and it does make me nostalgic for dessert time with the cousins. But my body and spirit feel transformed, and I want to adhere to the cleanse as best I can.
Your PS was a little mushy gushy for me. Our letters don’t need to be professions of love… they’re just a sharing of experiences, thoughts and food innovations. Right? I don’t know. I wish I could take a class in letter-writing. I’m so used to sending quick texts and emails that when I sit down to write an actual letter, I feel pressure to compose something insightful.
But right now I don’t have much. I am writing to you both energized and exhausted. I spent last weekend co(wo)managing (managing is too gender biased, so we say womanaging) my org’s booth at our big festival. It was fun to be busy and in-demand, running around all day answering questions and telling people about our crucial mission. I was on my feet for what felt like days… my shins still feel sore from standing on concrete.
But you’ll be proud to hear I represented two of my strongest familial traits at the festival: hustling and hoarding (thanks, genetics).
One of the goals at the festival was to sell as much merchandise as possible… and I have no shame when it comes to hustling.
I lock eyes with strangers headed away from the booth, smile and tell them that I love their shoes. I ask them what they’ve enjoyed about the festival, talk to them about climate change or fair trade or GMOs in our food… and then… then I tell them about the 16 oz insulated, BPA -free water bottle that changed my life… I make smoothies at 8 am and have them as an afternoon snack and they’re still smoothies! And the 100% organic cotton (made in America!) produce bags that keep my greens from turning into mush – a LIFE ALTERING must-have for everyone.
The festival was downtown in the convention center, jam-packed with green businesses and endless samples for people and the planet. You know how I get around samples…
I couldn’t control myself. I even kept a zip-lock baggy with me at all times in order to collect samples for later instead of shoving them in my mouth on the spot. But I still ate my weight in cliff bars, flavored kale chips and fair trade chocolate.
The zip-lock strategy (the baggy is currently in my freezer holding bits of random granola bars, raw crackers, chocolate pieces, hemp seeds, etc) was just the start of it. Again, I have no shame. At the festival, there were areas designated for staff and volunteers to grab an apple, orange or bagel throughout the weekend. Every time I went to fill up my water bottle, I grabbed an apple. Every time I passed the booth, I grabbed an apple. Every time I was bored, I grabbed an apple. They were beautiful and free and abundant and before I knew it my backpack wouldn’t zip all the way.
What is that about? I’ve certainly never experienced starvation or lack of food. But time and again, I find myself collecting food in baggies and jars and tupperware, saving even the smallest scraps for later. A few days ago I put on a sweater I hadn’t worn since last winter and there were cashew pieces in the pockets. I’m blaming Bubbe.
I sorely missed the cleanse throughout the weekend. It’s funny how all the foods at the festival were marketed as healthy while they’re all just processed mush with tons of sugar. How can we even call that stuff food? The cleanse made me hyper aware of how foods react with my body. I feel sugars enter into and fizzle from my bloodstream – eating a piece of cake gives me a powerful rush of energy that I hadn’t been conscious of before. I’m so glad to hear that you and dad enjoyed our little experiment. My favorite quote from the experience was dad’s:
The cleanse has helped me with my music. Chewing more slowly helps me to hold the keys down longer on each note; savoring the sound, like savoring each bite of food longer. Keeping each bite of food in your mouth longer to savor the taste is like keeping each note in your ear longer without changing the tempo. Really tasting and really listening, being more sensual, enhances both experiences for oneself and the people around you. In my case it makes being around me when I’m eating or playing simply more tolerable.
After filling myself with quick, processed sugars throughout the festival, I felt an urgency to go back on the cleanse. In order to re-balance and take a breather from the busy weekend, I prepped loads of fruits and veggies for the week. My time standing over the cutting board was hypnotic. I cut up the pounds of collected apples and roasted them with cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. After they were browned, I baked them in a crisp underneath pumpkin seeds, flax, oats and a bit of coconut oil. This time, hoarding was a good decision.
It feels so much better to eat cleanly.
This recipe is adapted from eatwritethink.com. I was so excited to see this healthy, protein-rich twist on the classic Indian breakfast of chapati. The pancakes were too dense the first time I made them, so I made a few alterations to make them lighter. If you prepare the batter in advance, this a quick, rich and healthy way to start the day! In Gujarat, where most people stick to a strict vegetarian diet, everyone raved about the health benefits of mung beans – fiber, protein, minerals – it’s like steak for vegetarians. I had neighbors who brought me big bowls of kichdi (mung beans and rice) every night around 11pm for dessert, claiming that it would help with digestion and overall health.
And, of course, this meal is on the cleanse!
- 1 C green mung beans
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 onion, chopped
- cayenne pepper or fresh chili
- 3 or 4 curry leaves
- half cup water
- 1 carrot
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- handful (about 8) walnuts (you can substitute any nuts.. I used cashews the first time and it turned out delicious!)
- chili flakes
- small onion
- cilantro for garnish
Soak the mung beans for 3-4 hours or overnight. Blend them with all ingredients until runny green paste coagulates (I used frozen curry leaves, and before I added them to the mixture I heated them in oil to bring out the flavor). The paste should be blended well, but will still be a bit gritty.
Add all chutney ingredients into food processor and puree. Then, garnish with cilantro for freshness.
Pour mixture onto pan and smooth into a thin layer depending on desired crispness (the thinner, the crispier). Like making crepes, this may take a few tries before you get it just right.
Serve with chutney and eat with your fingers – right hand only, India style!
- A lot of apples, throw in pears if you have them
- zest and juice of two lemons
- zest and juice of one orange
- 1 tsp fresh cardamom
- 1 tsp clove powder
- 2 tbs cinnamon
- 2 tbs vanilla
- 1/3 c pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 c oats
- 1/4 c flax meal
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- sprinkle of sea salt
Cut apples into small chunks. I used a variety of apples (I’d been collecting them from several sources :)) so that I’d have different flavors and textures. I also threw soem pears in the mix with also added taste and texture variety. Mix apples with spices, 1 lemon and orange, and spread evenly onto cookie sheet or oven tray. Roast on 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned and crispy on the edges (but still mushy in the middle).
Once roasted, put apples into baking dish and add additional juice of one lemon. Combine “topping” ingredients and cover apples with mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes.
Serve with greek yogurt for a rich desert… or with yogurt and oats for a filling breakfast.