Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Not Eating Out in Portsmouth, Virginia

"Not Eating Out in New York" is a blog I truly love,written by a young woman with a background in Taiwanese cooking.  She has been publishing this thoughtful blog for 10 years.  

Listed in the blog are numerous reasons for "not eating out" ranging from saving money to cooking with friends to controlling what you ingest to the ability to eat fresher, more natural, and more local foods.  She spent an entire year at the beginning of the blog by never eating out even once.  I strive to emulate her by "not eating out in Portsmouth, VA."

Two weeks ago, I made a commitment to eating cleaner.  I started by ending my 42-year-old love affair with diet soda.  Six months ago, I got serious about recycling, deciding that I didn't want to leave all this garbage for my nieces' generation.  I was appalled by how much soda I was consuming and how many cans were left behind.

Researching "aspartame," (the sweetener in diet soda) which was originally invented to be a rat poison, I was appalled at all the damage that ingesting it does.  Aspartame is considered so harmful that it cannot be sold or added to food in Europe.  I am noticing a marked difference in how I feel, including more mental clarity, as well as not being hungry all the time.  

I've also gotten serious about ending fast food at lunch, Sometimes it is tricky to have home-cooked food in the middle of a work day, but not impossible.  I heated leftover roasted vegetables in red pepper sauce in which I poached a fresh egg from a chicken who lives a block away on Chesapeake Avenue.  I shredded a tiny amount of leftover cheese on it and enjoying eggy perfection.

Do you think you don't have the time to eat healthier?  You do.  Tonight's menu was prepared at oh dark thirty this morning.  I put lean pork chops in the crock pot with caraway seeds and two sliced up apples, along with sauerkraut.  It cooked on "low" all day.  

I shucked corn and quickly boiled it for two minutes with two bay leaves.  Finally, I broke off the tough ends of asparagus and par-boiled them in a scant amount of water for another two minutes. When I got home, all I had to do was reheat the vegetables.  Total initial prep time was under 7 minutes.  We all have 7 minutes.

I used to think that only tree huggers and extremists stressed out about food.  However, I understand now that we are losing our connection to food, to the growth around us, and to our families as we constantly eat out or bring home fast food. When we do, we often consume substandard food, preserved with chemicals, grown thousands of miles away, and then laced with fat, sugar, or salt (or all three) to make the food more palatable.

My roasted vegetables and poached egg from a chicken who lives in an adorable red chicken house down the street ground me a lot more effectively than chicken nuggets. Just sayin'.

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