whole foods, whole-heartedly

craig and i watched the movie food inc. the other evening.  for those of you who haven’t seen it, the film highlights the substandard and health-compromising practices of the corporate food system in america.  the movie resounded with us.  though much of what i saw on screen i already knew existed (on some level), it struck a chord with us.  and though we’re fairly conscious consumers already – buying little to no processed foods, relying on veggies (not meat) as the star of our meals, purchasing organic whenever possible and diligently lugging our green bags to and from the store – we realized that we can, should and most importantly want to be doing more.  more for ourselves, and consequently, more for our environment.

i love to cook.  (you all know that by now.)  i relish in preparing creative & delicious meals.  it seems only valid to also care (or at least be curious) about who grows it, what methods are used, how it is transported and what overall impact it has on my body and the environment.  now, i’m not going to get all preachy about what you should or shouldn’t do, but for me, it just seems logical to seek out foods in their purest forms.  local, seasonal, whole foods have the greatest nutritive value and the least harmful impact on our bodies and our environment.  not to mention, they support your local community.  that math just makes sense.  simple, whole foods = a simplistic existence (i.e. less sickness, less stress, fewer imbalances)

for a while now, craig and i have been shifting in this direction, but i think seeing food inc. and having the blatant evidence of how toxic our food system is for both our health, our local communities and the environment, tipped the scales further.  now, don’t worry, i’m not going barefoot hippie on you.  but, for me, embracing a more “locavore” existence is the right choice – it actually feels like the only choice after doing some additional research.  a choice that i am ready, willing and eager to embrace to the best of my ability.  this new outlook will cultivate a connection to the food i so love cooking – selecting it with care and getting to know who produced it, preparing it simply and thoughtfully and savoring the natural, nourishing, delicious flavors.  (and fyi, this concept of eating doesn’t mandate that you have to be a vegetarian or vegan – so meat-eaters don’t flee!  it merely encourages reducing your meat consumption a bit because of the toll industrial meat processing takes on the environment and seeking out ethically-raised meat & dairy.  so, simply put, quality over quantity when it comes to enjoying a meaty steak.)

the money/time issue: i’m sure it will be more time consuming and cost a bit more money to eat this way, but those are investments i’m willing to make (finally).  i would rather pay a little extra for clean, cared-for foods than suffer with poor health and unending doctors’ bills & prescription-costs later.  in essence, i kind of feel like i can’t afford not to adopt a more natural & wholesome way of eating.  and lastly, though i whole-heartedly embrace the ideals behind this method of eating, i know it won’t be possible to honor it at all times.  and i’m ok with that.  i know any steps in the right direction are progress and both valid & valuable.  just like with yoga – it’s about practice, not perfection.

i’ll be blogging (obviously) throughout this shift into a more local, whole foods lifestyle – continuing to offer recipes, tips, techniques and recommendations for simply fabulous living.  hopefully, you’ll find yourself as inspired as i am to seek a simpler, more organic existence.  (like the “organic” pun?)

resources to learn more about a natural, whole foods lifestyle:
101 cookbooks blog (and heidi’s book super natural every day)
food rules by michael pollan
how to cook everything vegetarian by mark bittman    
food inc.
lucid food by louisa shafia

so, mavens, what do you think?.