Through the many dietary calisthenics from the seventies to the nineties, I have made discoveries about my will power and desire. These transcend physical reality. On the road to spiritual enlightenment we carry our soul’s home (‘yer body is yer tempul, yeh, yeh oy hoid dat befowa’). We are entrusted with the shell and must care for and feed it.
We are in a tug of war down on the earth plane. Inside each of our frail human sacks lies a desperate, seething beast. No joke! Well, maybe a small one. But really. This is the normal human condition. Desire struggles against heart and will power is the mediator.
Like it or not the beast of desire lives in there, demanding her pound of chocolate. What can a harried human do? My philosophy is "feed the beast 20% of what it craves."
Deprivation creates a powerful vortex of need. We enter into our new dietary regime with determination and resolve, but as time goes on the little voice of the beast grows stronger until it screams, "Feed me chocolate and fat or I will die and take you with me!" This threat seems very real to us. We understand that the power of nature is stronger than we, so our reaction is to give up our goals to our lower nature and to continue our fatness, unhealthiness, etc. What if we could approach the beast on a new level? Bargain with the beast.
"Okay, beast, you may always have chocolate for as long as you live, but only 20% of what you want. You can’t have it twice in one day. If you have it today you must skip three days until it comes around again, and you must eat mass quantities of fresh whole food in between."
If your beast is like mine, and the chances are good for that, gluttony is one of its endearing qualities. I just tempt mine with fullness. "Look here, you can eat this stuff for half an hour straight."
The beast is totally fooled by a huge bowl of salad. This column’s challenge is to provide recipes that fool the beast. Healthy food that tastes good to our over salted, over enhanced, jaded fast food palates. I am one. I was raised as one. I really like vegetables with flavors. But what I really like are the flavors. I love the crunch of Sugar Pops, my childhood mainstay, but snap peas come close. They are sweet and crunchy and when bathed in something saucy, quite divine.
Time is always a beastly factor in these days, so be sure to stock the freezer with green snap peas, green beans, cut sweet peppers, corn, broccoli, etc. Use the big bags of veggies from Price Club or Trader Joe’s, they are cheaper.
Cut open the top, dump a handful into your pan of scrambled eggs, fold the top and close it with a clothespin. No muss, no fuss. No beastly excuse to avoid your vegetables ( excuse # 211 , "I must be at work early, so I don’t have time for breakfast."). Scramble lightly. Cover and let it sit for 6.5 minutes (I added this for you detail freaks). I add salad on the side. Yes, salad for breakfast! Start your day right. Eat protein and green veggies and you will be fueled for the entire day. Save the carbos for nighttime. Carbohydrates are soul food for nurturing, good for sleep. Eat like a king in the morning, prince at noon and a pauper at night.
Eat eggs and fish and tofu for breakfast. Be sure to buy the fertile, cage free varieties, because they are much healthier for your body and soul (have you ever seen how they treat chickens in the corporate agri-biz world? Check it out).
Here is my breakfast protein soup. Use low heat.:
- 2-4 Cups filtered water.
- 2 TBS. light Miso (Soybean Paste)..stir it in thoroughly.
- 1 handful of your favorite veggie on hand (fresh or frozen).
- 1 small can of tuna, bonito, or salmon (the little flat one).
- Sprinkles of sea veggies-wakame or hijiki (stock up on that stuff!)
Do not boil this mixture. The miso contains valuable enzymes which do not survive boiling. Take 2 more minutes to chop a green onion and you’ll have gourmet. A dash of salt, a grind of black pepper from your pepper mill (fresh ground pepper creates the gourmet flavor you crave.)
A splash of soy sauce and a sprinkle of garlic powder will do nicely. That’s it, serve it or eat it out of the pot. The beast likes to hang her face over an open pot and eat with a serving spoon.
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