Friday, January 27, 2012
Being an on again off again meat eater
A while ago I was vegetarian, and after about a year I slowly started eating meat again. Then I felt bad about eating meat because I knew the meat I was eating was not the best quality. Now I can completely enjoy it because I know where it is coming from.
I have also found that I naturally want to eat more meat during the winter months. This seems like a natural thing. Up until very recently in the course of us (humans) fresh produce was not available all year round. 200 years ago where I live in New Jersey I could not get oranges and asparagus and lettuce in the middle of January. I would have had to live off the vegetables harvested in the fall (like root vegetables, winter squash, and onions), the fruits and vegetables I was able to can & jar from the summer months, the grains I had in stock, and whatever animals I could hunt or could afford to kill- like the family cow or pig :(
As some of you may know I started a garden last spring with my father. I noticed that I was more inclined to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables since we had them, and I grew them! Towards the end of last summer I had increased the amount of fruits and vegetables I was eating by a tremendous amount and I loved it. I felt great, and I was losing weight. And then it got cold, and so did I. I just couldn't eat raw fruits and vegetables all day. So I stopped. I switched to soups, stews & chili, a lot of cooked vegetables, and more meat.
Nature provides foods that are going to nourish you in that season. Spring is filled with berries, sprouts, lettuce and such which are all great to detoxify your body from all of the heavy foods that you eat in the winter. Summer foods are light and cooling- tomatoes, greens, cherries, watermelon, etc. Foods that are ready in the fall (winter squash, potatoes, onions, apples, cranberries) are able to be stored for several months to get you through the winter.
It makes sense that all I would want to eat right now are hot soups and oatmeal and meat and potatoes. Ask me if I want a big, hot, meaty meal in the middle of July when I'm a hot sweaty mess. No thank you! I want a salad and melon and fruit smoothies.
This is my goal, and the aim of the book that I am writing... to create a guide for all of us to easily eat in season. It is one thing to know what is in season, and it is a completely other thing to be able to actually come up with a month's worth of recipes involving mushrooms, cabbage, leeks, and cauliflower. I had originally wanted to just create a guide on how to de-junk your diet- some of which I will definitely be incorporating, but the more I learn in my classes, the more I realized that it is so important to eat with the season.
Mother Nature never steers you wrong- but she will school your ass if you don't listen to her.