Tuesday, February 17, 2009

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Foods

We all have to eat to live- it is essential to our survival. When we are younger we rely on our parents to provide the ingredients to sustain our lives. It is usually at this time when we discover some of our most favorite foods- you know the ones that even to this day when you sense them- an instant memory of happiness blossoms and you just have to find it and eat it. What I also find interesting though is that heir are new tastes we develop as we get older too. My example of this is tomatoes. I could never understand how anyone could enjoy the taste of a juicy tomato unless it was in a spaghetti sauce, ketchup or salsa- but now- Ah yes- heaven has more recently become a vine ripened ruby red sphere, and I can’t believe I never appreciated a tomatoes delicious flavor until later in my life. 

So what I would love to know is what are your absolute favorite foods. If you could have any food in the world what would you choose? One benefit to being an adult is we have the ability to eat whatever we want- or make what we want- and savor it to our hearts content. I am a self-proclaimed, foodie, food-a-holic, food lover- and I don’t plan on changing this status anytime soon. As I learn and prepare myself to become a Registered Dietitian I am curious to learn what other people love and take pleasure in eating. 

So please share with me and post your top ten most favorite foods or drinks-(yes I’ll let coffee count as food I guess) There are no rules to this thing and if you even have time to tell me why I would love to know that too. At the end of the list I think it would be fun to name the single food or drink that you think is disgusting, or maybe you tried it and know you can live without it. When you are done- if you want to post the note to other friends and learn about their favorites too then go for it. I know not everyone is as passionate about food as I am but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have favorites- and maybe we will discover some new favorite cuisine as we read each others list. 

Eat well and prosper my friends!

Here is my top ten - which only will scratch the surface of my favorites:
1. Sweet potatoes. They can be in any form and I am in love. Baked, oven fries, in bread, in soup, even sweet potato burgers. As a treat sometimes I can hardly resist ordering sweet potato fries at Firefly Restaurant- sooo yummy!

2. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I am not aloud to make them anymore because I will consume more batter than should ever be allowed. This is the only food that can strip me of all my willpower. (Don’t worry I make then eggless and they are AWESOME!)

3. Blueberries. My mom used to call me the Blueberry kid since my birthday is in August when blueberries are ripe for picking. I love to freeze blueberries and then eat them like candy!  And the health properties are endless which makes them even more awesome!

4. Smoothies. Frozen Fruit, vegetable, soy milk, the icier the better. I love to concoct new and exciting flavor combinations all the time. My newest favorite is a strawberry banana carrot smoothie, or peach, flax, vanilla and cinnamon. I put things like bok choy and kale in there too, the kids never notice and it is another great way to get your greens!

5. Celery with Peanutbutter. I could seriously eat this every day and be happy. Apples with peanutbutter is a close second in this category for sure. This would be my go to snack everytime.

6. Avocados are amazing and I love them. I just love them.

7. Ginger. Used to not be so fond of this flavor- or maybe I just didn’t understand it- Now I wish I could put ginger in everything- As a treat I love Ginger spice cookies!

8. Rice Pilaf. This is a family tradition and no one makes it better than my Mom. I love the smell of it cooking- I love it reheated with a little pepper on top. I love that my kids love it just as much as I did when I was their age.

9. Ice Cream. I used to work at Wares Brothers for anyone that didn’t know and loved being able to create my own mixtures of sundaes and flurries.  I don’t eat dairy anymore- so I have started to make my own great alternative ice cream at home with the ice cream maker that Tod and the kids got me for Christmas. It is a ton of fun and our favorite so far was a chocolate rice ice cream that was out of this world! I always challenge myself to come up with healthier versions of everything we eat and this category has been the most fun to experiment with.

10. I am sorry but for me ten is not enough so for this last one I am going to say this: If it is a green and growing, a sun loving plant that is safe to eat then I am most likely in love- In its fresh unprocessed whole form though- this includes especially peppers, cucumbers, brussel sprouts, swiss chard, kale, bok choy, zucchini, raspberries, blackberries, pears, cherries and then list goes on into infinity…..  Oh and Quinoa!!!!  I can't leave that one out because I just think it is the coolest grain ever and so healthy as an added bonus! 

The Food I could live without:
The one food that I can live without most obviously for anyone that knows me is any animal/animal byproduct.  The more I learn about being a compassionate eater, it only makes sense to me. I have lived more happily and healthily this past year since I made the choice to eliminate this source of what I don't even consider food anymore.  While I understand that this choice might not seem to be for everyone, I challenge people to take a deeper look at what animal food sources really are and where most of them come from.  Having such a deep love for animals as I have had my entire life, and then stripping away the desensitization of many years of just eating what I was taught was OK- well it comes down once again to how I cannot ignore what I know.  What I know is that my new truth says it seems completely unfair that someone should suffer for my own eating pleasure.  Just watch any wildlife show or right out your back window if you have a yard and you will see that animals have the same capacity as we humans do with a will to want to live.  In nature they only take what they need to survive, and they only produce as much as is needed to nurture their own babies.  I don't believe that God put animals on this earth for our own pleasure, other than the happiness they bring when witnessing their own curiosities and silly frolicking. I mean isn't that why we have pets, the simple joy that they bring to our families and lives?  Farm animals only exist because humans chose to put them there, and I think if they had a choice most of them would not choose the type of service they have been forced into doing or dying for.  Please understand that I have been on the other side of the coin and that I didn't always think this way.  There was a point  in my life when I would have proudly called myself a "meatatarian."  The thought makes me shutter just a little now, but that is OK because it is a part of who I am and what helps me understand why people make the choices that they do.  I am in no way perfect either, but I only try my best to live my truth and share my truth with anyone who asks.  

A Stellar life includes standing up for what you believe in and not being afraid to be a shining beacon of love and compassion.  Be Bold, Be strong, and smile- and in the words of Ghandi: Be the change you want to see in the world.
xoxo- Stephie