Tag: health (page 2 of 2)

Fewer Choices

Cardamom Orange Bread

I am quite thankful to the fact that my diet/lifestyle choices (or constraints, if you want to call them that) have eased my life a great deal.

I no longer have to pick a brand of cereal from the endless aisle. I don’t have to pore through a long list of restaurant dining options. Picking from a list of snacks, desserts, baked goodies, etc. is perfectly manageable. Choosing is infinitely simpler when you have restricted options. Cut out meat, dairy, eggs, alcohol, and sugar, then remove spicy chile peppers, vinegar, refined oil/flours, processed/fried foods, in addition to all Vata and Pitta aggravating elements… you end up with a short, sweet list. Easy to pick from.

I do like the occasional dessert/samosa, and I will indulge, guilt-free. However, it remains a rare indulgence.

I often end up in the middle of conversations about diet, health, exercise, etc., and it is slightly embarassing to admit to my various lifestyle choices. It makes me self-conscious, but the truth is that I owe a lot (possibly everything) to my discipline or lack of cravings, call it whatever. It is easier to own up to these choices than to hide behind an awkward explanation.

Health is a great blend of inheritance and smart choices. I think I got a good set of cards, but I am also learning to play them well.

Homestyle Bliss

Fennel Soup“We eat better at home than most people do in restaurants.”

I wish I could take credit for this one line, that I truly regard as a statement of truth. But it comes from Dr. Morris Wizenberg, father of Molly, the warm and friendly and spirited voice behind one of my favorite blogs, Orangette.

I have been reading Orangette for a long time now, and I also own copies of Molly’s books, Delancey and A Homemade Life, both of which are worthy of repeat readings. I must confess, I have not cooked much (or anything, probably) from Molly’s blog but her beautiful writing keeps bringing me back to it.

About eating better at home…. I couldn’t agree more. P and I have often felt the same. Digging into a steaming bowl of bajra-moong khichdi, nourishing and hearty and delicious in all the right ways, is a blissful experience. At work, lunch is often a mound of brown basmati rice with a generous serving of bright yellow kale moong dal, spiced with turmeric, lime juice, cumin and mustard seeds. The simple, clean flavors bowl me over every time. Or maybe it is the highly slurpable rice noodle soup with vegetables, seasoned with Bragg’s liquid aminos, fresh ginger and toasted sesame oil, that hits the spot on a blustery, windy Atlanta day. Sometimes, it is also P’s excellent Punjabi chhole that he makes sans onion and garlic, at my behest. Quite often, it is a simple slice of toasted multi-grain spelt bread with a generous slathering of Earth Balance buttery spread, layered with avocado slices, black salt and freshly ground pepper.

This happens a lot. And I am no accomplished cook. I just like to eat at home, mostly.

I stick to a simple routine. I use basic recipes. I don’t have an exhaustive spice “wardrobe.” (I just made up that term right now.)

It is probably a combination of the fact that I don’t snack much + I cook with fresh, organic produce (as much as I can) + the food is freshly cooked… that the most delicious, satisfying meals I have ever eaten have emerged out of the four gas burners in my kitchen.

A Box of Larabar Goodness

The good folks at Larabar came to know about my earlier post and asked me if I wanted to review any of the flavors. One thing led to another, and a box choc-a-full of Lara Bars landed at my doorstep last week. Many of these are flavors I have sampled and liked (Cashew Cookie, Ginger Snap, Pecan Pie) but there are some that I have never tried e.g. Blueberry Muffin, Peanut Butter Cookie.

Anyway, I will sample all the new ones faithfully and write up what I think! Thanks, Larabar!

A Box of Larabar Goodness

Lara Bars

A few years back, my dear friend V introduced me to Lara Bars. And I was officially hooked.

Dried fruit and nuts have to be hands down the most delicious combination ever. I chanced on a raw food site where I found this lovely recipe for raw fig and date squares. It is oh-so simple to make but it does get terribly sticky and messy what with blending dates and figs into a paste. But delicious? Oh yes, so tasty.

Back to Lara Bars… this is one delicious fruit-nut bar. It has zero additives of any kind, just plain old-fashioned dried fruit and nuts. Plus it costs only $1.25 a bar!

There are a bunch of delicious flavors to choose from. I have seen Ginger Snap, Carrot Cake, Lemon Bar, Coconut Cream Pie, Banana Bread and others at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. My favorite? It’s a toss-up between Ginger Snap and Cashew Cookie. Hmmm, add Pecan Pie to the mix.

Enjoy the Energy!