Food is such a persnickety thing lately. It used to be, in the bad old days, that the question was whether or not there was food. And it still is the main question for far, far too many.
But here, now, the question is what food is good enough? Sugar-free, gluten-free, fermented, organic, low-fat, whole grain, good carbs, bad carbs, low-carb, raw, lacto-ova vegetarian, vegan, paleo, everyone's got a thing they're doing. Eating is all plans with checks and balances, being good or cheating. It's all so very complicated. (In addition to these confusions, I hang out with atheletes who have all sorts of rigid schedules of when to eat and how much and talk about hydration as if they held stock in toilet paper.)
I an offender, I know it. I know my dirty dozen and always buy them organic. I'm vegan. I no longer fry things and try to minimize the heat applied to my food. I avoid wheat and sugar. I drink big glasses of green stuff. I am not really someone you want to invite for dinner. My children have never been to McDonalds.
Despite these rules, food restrictions in actuality, I do very much love what I eat. I may not be able to walk into a 7-11 and find something to fill my tummy, but my family and I eat an amazing variety of food prepared in many different ways. In some ways, by saying no to the food most commonly eaten, I've opened up my mind and palate to all the possibilities that I might have ignored or not even been aware of otherwise.
In a simple, toss it on the table and see what happens kind of lunch, we eat hummus on rice cake, topped with delicious fermented salsa and pine nuts, garlic stuffed olives, sliced cantalope and raw kale chips. Healthy, easy and yummy.
Salsa, hummus and rice cakes is actually my go to comfort food now, in the same way that it used to be pasta and sauce and, in my pre-vegan days, mac and cheese.
On days that I'm not just tossing things from the fridge onto the table and putting some thought into our meals, I choose foods by colour and flavour. Purple potatoes, green leaves, orange and red fruits. Especially during the winter, I am searching out bright colours, mixing together sweet and green. Sharp with creamy.
So, my semi-raw, wheat and sugar restricted vegan-hood works very well for me and my family. I got a girl who asks for green leafy salads to take in her school lunch and a boy who eats broccoli. Both yum up foods that children aren't supposed to like, like tofu, kale and garlic.
But I try not to get too wrapped up in my thing, our vegan-ness. Generally, I'm just so very grateful to have the choice and to exercise that choice in such a satisfying and belly pleasing manner. Food is love. Putting that love into form, making decisions about what to serve, caring enough to try to make it as soul pleasing as possible, this is love.