Finally, I abstained from alcohol through the entire work week, aside from Mr Boss and his Montepulciano on Monday. That may sound like a pitiful thing to be proud of, but sometimes a girl copes with negative feelings in negative ways. I felt like I could "cheat" a bit by Thursday, having been so "good" all week, so I had coffee (which I have recently come to take black) in the morning and was amazed. Something I noticed almost immediately on Monday was how much lighter, more energetic, and more laid back I felt. I started to wonder if coffee was having an affect on me that I hadn't thought of before - I wondered if it increased my aggravation as well as my alertness. For lack of a better word, I was completely agro on Thursday, so I decided to see what exactly made my Detox Tea detoxy - in addition to a host of other benefits, there is something in matcha that actually makes a person feel happier and more peaceful. I need to buy this stuff in bulk. By the way, that is a very expensive undertaking.
In my curiosity, I found this great website about Matcha and its various health benefits. I wanted to make sure I wasn't just swallowing a big green, lemony sugar pill and believing until I was happy. That wouldn't be a bad thing by itself, but my morning matcha is not cheap, so if I can fool myself into thinking a less expensive tea would make me feel the way I described above, I was happy to let that happen.
Anyway, according to matchasource.com, matcha tea can benefit the body and mind in more ways than one; the website also allows you to link to information on these things:
- antioxidant protection
- weight loss
- cancer-fighting EGCg
- disease prevention
- mood enhancement
So, in addition to feeling lighter of body and soul, my mind has been freer to wander. That could also be the effect of a liberating four-day weekend (that I really really really don't want to end), but either way, I feel like I'm paying better attention and thinking more critically, but with less criticism (only slightly less, but it's progress). That leads to the dichotomy.
I am more disgusted than ever about the state of nutrition in this country: two-thirds of the adult population in this country is overweight or obese. Our standards for seeing someone as "fat" have become so screwed up that a person has to be well over 50lbs above their ideal body weight for anyone to feel comfortable admitting they are overweight, but by now, they're actually entering obesity! I am appalled (thanks, Rory and Kim) that people eat gobs of meat, packing their guts with unnecessary calories, protein*, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and that this is considered acceptable behavior. It is so "acceptable" that people like me look like freaks when we pass on 12 different kinds of meat.
*according to the American Dietetic Association, eating a vegetarian diet will provide a person with twice as much protein as a person needs in a day. "Where do you get your protein?" blinkblink.
My newly wide-open eyes observed two things within minutes of each other - one inspiring, the other horrifying:
- A woman at SuperFresh, pushing a double stroller (don't get me started on how bad an idea that is in tiny urban supermarkets), stopped near me to pick up some of the perfectly ripe stone fruits for her little family. Her children couldn't have been more excited - every time she picked up a fruit to sniff it or examine it for flaws, her little ones reached toward her and asked, "bite? bite?" That woman is raising her children right.
- Walking home, I passed a horrific scene - there were so many things wrong with it, I can barely figure out where to start. On the side of the street, just behind a parked vehicle, there was a "styrofoam" carry-out container, open, with its leftover contents spilling out on the ground. Because ghetto-trash is classy like that (I'm sure you can imagine the residents of my neighborhood would not throw litter on the road), it was a bunch of half-eaten chicken wings, sauce, bones, and all. Here is the really gross part. You may need to read it twice to understand the full extent to which this is wrong: a pigeon was pecking up the remains and eating them.
My review of Skinny Bitch will be along shortly, along with yet another exhortation to buy or borrow a copy and read the heck out of it. You need to know what you're eating. Speaking of eating, here's my new menu!
1. Penne with Cannellini Beans and Escarole from Vegan Italiano. Turns out neither Whole Foods nor SuperFresh felt inclined to stock fresh escarole, so it will actually be an odd mix of greens, but close enough.
2. Italian-Style Rice Casserole also from Vegan Italiano. It's been a while since I've made this, due to my lack of confidence in my ability to cook rice in an oven, but the flavors came together in my mind and formed a mutiny, so I was really quite powerless to prevent this from being scribbled on my menu.
3. Braised Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Kidney Beans also from Vegan Italiano.
4. Gourmet Greek Salad from How It All Vegan. Ssshhhhh! Don't tell Mister, I have some [more] tricks up my sleeve.
5. Cousin Natasha's Rice and Bean Salad also from HIAV. Something quirky and charming about Sarah Kramer is her bizarre way of crediting people who helped her with recipes. I don't know this Cousin Natasha, and I would bet most people who have this cookbook also don't know her, but you just can't call it "Rice and Bean Salad."