Thursday, August 26, 2010

Can Good Habits Be Habit Forming?

What a crazy week this has been with school starting back up. Our grandchildren talked us into taking the summer off from their studies (against our better judgement), and let's just say we won't be doing that again. Which speaks to habits and how they are formed and how hard they are to break.

It's interesting how good habits seem harder to form than bad habits. I'm sure that's not true. It's just that we prefer the bad habits over the good ones. It might be a lazier way to do something in some cases. I am trying to teach my grandson to make his bed every day. He was having such a time of it that I just let him throw the sheet over the top and then the bedspread on top of that the first time. Now he thinks that is the definition of a made bed, and there doesn't appear to be anything I can do to convince him otherwise. Lesson learned: do it right the first time no matter how hard it is because they'll never let you back up and do it the right way. There are no do-overs in their world! Of course, I could decide I well-made bed is not that important and not worry about it. The lesson there is to pick my battles...

I'm convinced that many of the problems we face in our daily eating choices are the results of bad habits formed. I met a young lady once who was reared as a vegan. She had never eaten at a fast food restaurant, had never had white flour or sugar, and she was a most beautiful creature, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I marveled at that and wondered how many others there were in the world like that. Then I started thinking about the rest of us. All of us come from varying levels on the healthful eating scale. To me, this young lady was a 9 1/2 (with 10 being a perfect diet), while many of us have had some pretty gross stuff in our bodies. Like the un-made bed, what difference does it make? How do we decide if this battle is worth fighting?

For me, the way I feel makes the battle worth fighting. When I don't eat the food upon which my body was created to thrive, I don't feel well, and I don't think as clearly. That is the bottom line. As an overweight person, I tried every diet out there I think, but there was never a diet that I couldn't wait to get back to because of how it made me feel until I went raw vegan. I did not start eating like that for weight loss or to feel better; I did it because we were hoping it would help Darius fight cancer. Feeling terrific, having more energy than I knew what to do with, and weight loss were just fantastic side benefits.

When I have slips, I suffer physically and mentally. I do not enjoy feeling badly anymore especially when I know I don't have to. When I know there is a way to feel great, why would I purposely endure suffering? If all I have to do is wash in the river to rid myself of leprosy, why wouldn't I do it? (See 2 Kings 5: 1 - 14 in the Old Testament of the Bible for the whole story.)

The fact is, most of us want a fancy solution. I saw advertisements on the TV yesterday for some kind of probiotic pill people can take to restore their intestinal balance of good bacteria and yeast. Why do we need a pill for that when there are wonderful probiotic foods we should be eating every day? We seem more comfortable when there is an 800 number attached to what's good for us, or if a doctor will write us a prescription for it. We think, "How in the world can the food I eat make a difference in how I feel?" Really, are you kidding me? How can it not?

At least once a week, someone calls us who has heard Darius' cancer story telling us someone in their family is dying from cancer, and can we help them? This week it was a little 8 year old girl in Texas. I do not know why people get cancer or if eating only the foods upon which we were intended to thrive can heal us. I am not a doctor or medical professional. I do know our bodies are created as perfect "machines" with self-healing mechanisms. If we overload them in anyway (food and otherwise), they must divert their energy to waste removal instead of other functions. Eventually the body will fail when the other functions are ignored long enough.

Those bad habits are killing all of us at an alarming rate. We must face the addictions to which the habits have led us to fall victim and overcome them if we are to have a decent quality of life. Like Kris Carr said when asked by Dr. Oz how she would feel if she ended up dying anyway, she answered that her quality of life was so much better since having cancer and making changes in her lifestyle that she would not regret making the changes. There's something wrong when our bad habits blind us to reality! We've got to get honest with ourselves. For me, it takes doing the AA 12 steps to do this, but it doesn't matter HOW we do it, just that we do do it!

I've been thinking about putting a box together each week for those who would like to try to add more plant-based foods into their lives. I think a lot of people are over-whelmed when they try to do this, and maybe this would help them. There's a restaurant in Los Angeles called Rawvolution that has been doing this for quite a while, so it is helping people in these highly populated areas.

We have no idea how much to charge for this and are not inclined to sit down to do the math with everything else that's going on. We are not so much interested in doing it for profit as we are trying to get people to get turned on to how good some of these foods can be. If we can come up with a price that can cover our expenses and be affordable, than that would be a win-win. We're going to start with $40 which will include the following (each week will be different) (each is a single serving size) (menu suggestions will be included):

4 main dish starters (pasta, main dish salads, terrines, pizza, burritos, sandwiches, etc.)
1 sauce
1 pate or dip
1 cheese
1 salad topper

4 soups/sides
1 fermented or marinated vegetable
1 shredded salad
1 soup
1 VV salad

2 breads
2 snacks
2 desserts

We could also offer a discount on any produce ordered to round it out like lettuce, zucchini for pasta, veggies for dip platter, tomatoes, fruit for breakfast or smoothies, etc.

What goes into the box each week would depend on what our regular customers order for the week. This week's box includes the following:

1 peanut sauce
1 no bean pate
1 cheddar cheese
1 sweet potato souffle

1 cucumber salad
1 Mexican rice
1 broccoli soup
1 ¡ Viva La Verde ! Salad

1 each: everyday bread, mexi-cali wraps
1 each: honey almond butter, crunch meister
1 each: skinny mints, pumpkin pie

Well, that's our menu for the week as well. Good stuff.

How about a nice tahini dressing this week? This one's from the Raw Food Bible. Good as a dip too.

Tahini Dressing

Yields one pint
½ cup raw sesame tahini
½ cup cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
freshly-squeezed juice of 4 limes or 3 lemons
1 tsp mustard powder
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp Celtic Sea salt
3/4 cup water

To make:

In a blender, process until desired consistency is reached. Add more water if necessary and always add more garlic and salt till you love it and want to eat it on everything. Sesame seeds are a great source of Calcium.

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