The essence of eating plants

Eating mostly plants for some may mean radical changes at meal time. For some ‘going’ vegan is almost a political statement. Yet vegetarianism which incorporates veganism has been around for a considerable time in history and the norm for some cultures entirely. We all have our own personal reasons as to why we might choose to increase the plant and decrease the animal in our diets today. I think eating less meat and dairy is indeed a brave and bold decision for anyone to make in our current era of food particularly for those of us conditioned to the western diet. In this context of industrial food it could be a difficult path to navigate. There are piles of entrenched habits we have cultivated over the generations that may be hard to wade through, and there is a vacuum where our instinctive knowledge and understanding of the food health link use to be. Where did it go? It must have existed once even if you just wonder how we as a species managed to survive. Eating our way to good health can most definitely be done with plants these days. One has only to look at other cultures, especially the Asian, to see that our dependence on meat and dairy has become quite obscene.

Gaining appreciation of why and how to eat more plants is not something we can necessarily learn from recipes alone, despite their brilliance. I would like to think that the more we understand the more we appreciate and the easier it is to act. But just throwing some veges into a pot once a week won’t cut it. Food has to interest us. ‘Diets’ are social constructs whereas eating is not. The problem is we have got ourselves all dependent upon the fast, cheap and as it turns out, unhealthy foods, and we have welcomed some bad habits into our overly busy lives. So making a transition to a plant based diet for some will be hard. It will be threatening and challenging for others. So I suggest we put something extra into our plant based lifestyle.

Say hello to Essence. You can’t buy it, nor can you copy it, brand it, or eat it. You can grow and cultivate it. Some of us know innately how to do this. It is the intrinsic nature of things; ‘that which gives something character’. It’s an abstract thing. The essence, like any meal is made up of many different parts and we too will all have different tastes and views. It provides us with a sound foundation to make good decisions that can become good long term habits. Like the plants themselves, our diets, our minds, everything that makes up our motives and lack of them is made up of and influenced by so many many things. Science has a hard time defining exactly how foods work on our bodies because of the same problem. Plants and their nutrients and humans are complicated beasts there are too many variables. But what we eat does matter. You have seen the health stats. So here is a sample of what the Essence could taste like if you chose to put 80% of plants in your daily life. It involves aiming for a balance as opposed to binges, going with the flux and wane of daily life that is the chaos and distraction, but riding the persistent ebb and flow of good and bad energy, seeing the cause and the effect, broaden the seeking you do when things go awry, making sense of the bombardment of information and the assumptions we hold dear, understanding the confusion we have over what is good for us to eat and the ignorance over what is harmful, challenging the indifference we feel to food when our health is just fine thank you, reevaluating the shock we feel when we or someone we know gets really sick, ending the continued abuse of our bodies with bad food when we know it can kill or harm us, opening our minds to the possibility that eating animals may be unnecessary in todays’ world, question the fear of change, challenge the era of industrial food, break the reliance on the processed and reverse the loss of food knowledge, question the loss of healthy environments, be open to ancient alternative views of Eastern medicine including the 3000 year old Aruyvedic food is medicine science, take seriously the link between digestion and optimum health and the role food plays in our everyday life, rejoice in the energy of food and how good food make us feel, be aware of your body and what foods suit specific conditions, be thankful for the Michael Pollen 80% plant ‘diet’,change the statistics on western dietary diseases, discover the Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamsic foods, share your love of food with others, or overcome your loathing of preparing meals, support your local food communities and the access to really good fresh clean food, know the diversity of the plant world, welcome seasonal foods, cook with delight and share the nourishment in vibrant, nourishing healing diets and be energised in the realisation that change starts with us in the kitchen. Breathe!

Maybe some of this resonates with you. Our relationship with food in integral to how we think about food. It says quite a lot about you and us. It says a lot about the industrial food era we are stuck in. If the ingredients are wonderful then why not make it enjoyable. Find them, forage. Cook them.

Don’t wait until things go awry as a result of long term eating habits. Healing is often possible. But prevention is everything.

Food is medicine is an old as the hills expression. Plants are wonderful and varied. Discover what foods suit you best, how to come off that highly processed refined diet, how to heal, what foods cool and heat you, what foods dry and moisten, what foods love you.

Eating is something we do every day. Eating mainly whole plants can be delicious. Eat seasonal foods, eat for the season. Warm in winter, cool in summer, the pungent and spicy, the salty and the sour. Find out what works best for you and your loved ones. Heal your family and nourish yourself.

Find good energy in plants. Fresh clean food is more nutritious - you can taste it. Food well grown by people you can trust makes you feel good!

Be self reliant. Grow your own, make your own. Grow a food garden.

Plants form the basis of a good plant based diet be it Vegetarian or Vegan. Fresh plants even more so. Real plants, not plant fragments or processed plant foods like the ones you find in the processed food aisles are integral to this way of eating. Without the fresh you don’t get the balance.

Hopefully there is something in all of this that resonates with you. Maybe you want a change, maybe you seek some enlightenment with your daily foods. Join me for the cooking classes and learn how to cook with the best of ingredients and how to foster an attitude that can set you up for life of healthy eating! Practical, easy, delicious recipes, come and find out more. Good eating wishes - Barb.