Monday, September 14, 2009

he's like the wind

There is no logical reason that I should be sad about Patrick Swayze's passing. I didn't know him personally and his death will have pretty much no effect on my life going forward. And yet, I feel very sad that he is gone. I guess he just seemed like a good person...I mean, really, think about it - have you ever heard someone say something bad about him?

Moving on to happier things before I jump into the pit of depression that has been singing its siren song lately... It turns out my cupcake-muffins have healing abilities! I have received a report of using the ginger-coconut-carrot muffins to cure (or at least distract from) a headache. I know ginger is used for detox and other holistic healing, so I decided to check my brand spankin' new Vegetarian Bible and surely enough, in addition to thinning the blood and stimulating circulation, or perhaps because of it, ginger can relieve headaches! Here are some more fun facts about ginger that may come in handy someday:

1. Ground ginger can calm morning and motion sickness, prevent nausea following chemotherapy, and prevent vomiting. I guess that's why my mom always fed me flat ginger ale when I was sick to my stomach as a kid.

2. Because it stimulates blood flow to the digestive system, ginger enhances the body's ability to absorb nutrients from food/fuel, meanwhile removing toxins to protect the liver and prevent ulcers.

3. Cook with fresh or ground ginger to take advantage of its preventative AND therapeutic qualities in warding off colds and flu. It can also provide relief for those suffering migraines, rheumatoid arthritis and joint stiffness, or if you want to lose weight.

I swear by Yogi Detox Tea throughout cold & flu season. It may be my own little sugar pill, but I have beaten 102 degree fever flus in only three days with its help, and I have managed to build a collaborative fan base. My husband introduced it to me, after his former roommates introduced it to him, and I've passed the love and lore along to colleagues and friends alike. No one has disagreed yet! Warning: the taste is REALLY strong until you get used to it and it'll probably make your tongue numb, too. It's totally worth it, though.

Tonight I made Tuscan Vegetable Ragout for dinner (and had a magical, cure-all cupcake for dessert!). As I mentioned before, this is such a great go-to recipe. Tonight I added smoked tofu (because I love it!) for the first time and I think the next time I make it, I will toss in a couple of cups (cooked) of pasta shells, just for fun and texture. The recipe is great on its own, but invites variation, so I'll be happy to oblige. I've made it a dozen times before so I can't think of anything terribly interesting to say about it, so I'll just show you a picture and move on to my finale:
mmm...big sauteed pile of tomatoes, zucchini, cannellini beans, artichoke hearts, and tofu...mmm...

Before I went to sleep last night, I read through the [very well-written and conversational] introduction to The Accidental Vegan. For reasons I don't think I completely understand, a lot of people seem to be offended by vegetarians/vegans. I can understand the wariness that I might try to preach the Evangelical Gospel of Herbivorism, but since I don't tell other people what to eat, I can't understand why they feel the need to tell me what to eat. At any rate, I have had people demand that I explain to them exactly why I would make such a radical choice regarding my diet, and in moments that confrontational, I tend to freeze up and forget everything I know and everything that helped me make my decision.

In a moment of voluntary self-expression, then, I would like to leave you with the author's summary of some of the things I learned 7 years ago that helped me make the choice I did:
Rising food costs all over the globe can be traced in part to rising standards of living in formerly poor countries, increasing the demand for meat, which exacts a heavy toll on the planet's resources in comparison to plant-based foods. Too much land is being used to grow feed for livestock rather than food for humans, and as a result, there isn't enough food to go around.

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