Last post, Nat talked about how she’s been learning to cook. Once we learn to cook, the next question is “what to cook.” How do we choose new recipes, ingredients, spices, flavors?
For us, it’s been a journey. Over the years, we’ve tried eating vegan, dairy-free, paleo, gluten-free, macrobiotic, soy-free, corn-free, nightshade-free, and the plain old Standard American Diet (SAD). We’ve experimented with food to answer these questions: what makes us feel the best? What gives us energy? Keeps us from getting sick? Keeps us fit?
“Nine cups of fruit and vegetables everyday,” she said.
“Nine?” I confirmed.
“Three cups leafy greens, three cups deeply colored vegetables and fruits, and three cups sulfur-rich vegetables.”
Nine fruits and veggies is a lot, but the author’s story inspired us to try it out.
Wahls has a good TED Talk that describes her journey, but here are the basics: Wahls, a medical doctor, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her health declined. After eating a bunch of fruits and veggies targeted for her cell and nervous system health, her symptoms dramatically improved.
While her story sounds miraculous, it also makes a lot of sense. She tried fueling her cells and absorbing nutrients and minerals from food, which helped her recover. It’s a recent incarnation of Hippocrates’
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
While we aren't following all her recommendations, we are inspired to add more and varied vegetables everyday. At the end of the day, sometimes we tally how many cups we've eaten. Often we make it up to 4 or 6, but getting up to 9 takes some effort. It doesn't leave much room for anything else, which is sort of the point - no room for junk.
The salad below is an easy way to get a lot of vegetables. Plus, it’s pretty easy to prep, and is great for summer.
This recipe is pretty open to interpretation. Feel free to add whatever you like. We usually store the firmer vegetables in glass jars in the fridge. When we're ready for lunch, it's quick to wash and slice just what we need. Also, we store our greens ready-to-eat in our salad spinner in the fridge, which seems to extend how long they keep, and makes it easy to grab a few handfuls.
- 4 large handfuls of mixed greens, chopped (we used butter lettuce, baby lettuce, mizuna and radicchio. A big head of romaine works well, too.)
- 2 belgian endive, chopped
- 2 Japanese cucumbers, halved then sliced (any cucumber will work)
- 2-3 carrots, halved then sliced
- 4-6 radishes, halved then sliced
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup dill, chopped
- 2-3 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about half of a lemon)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Combine all the salad ingredients, except hemp seeds, in a large bowl and mix well
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid, and shake
- Serve, and top with dressing and hemp seeds
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