I have been back from overseas for nearly two weeks. I think it’s time to stop kaloomphing around – yes, I made that word up, so what? If it was good enough for Lewis Carroll… I like to think of it as the sound a petulant elephant would make. Where was I? Ah yes, time to stop kaloomphing around, blaming my funk on jetlag and post-holiday blues. This funk ain’t going away, no matter how many funny words I make up for it.
Oh where, oh where has my raw mojo gone?
My dad is in hospital, and as awful as that always is, it’s not an unusual occurrence, so again, probably doesn’t fully explain the rising funk-o-meter (and I don’t mean in a ‘get down and boogie’ kind of way, oh but how I wish I did).
The holidays kilos aren’t going away either. That, unlike my mood, is no mystery. It’s entirely due to the mammoth amount of (raw) Neapolitan ice-cream and (raw) caramel sauce I have been consuming, you know, coz I feel blue.
I remember my ex-boyfriend used to marvel that I could gain weight on a vegan diet, he thought that should be impossible (any man who marvels at weight gain however, should be an ex!). I mean it’s so healthy without all that animal fat and dairy, right? There is somewhat of a myth that all vegans and raw foodies are lithe, string-bean types but I, for one, do not fit that mould!
If I had a superpower, it would be the rare ability to be on a very healthy, very restrictive diet and still find the fattiest, carb-iest (I know, not a real word, but I’m talking weight gain here, SO not the time to confront me on such things), comfort foods that just want to cling to my thighs. And raw is no exception. Yes, generally people lose weight or find it easy to maintain a healthy weight eating raw, but it is also entirely possible to eat too much fatty, sweet food and end up, well, kaloomphing around.
A friend and I were talking yesterday about how best to make healthy lifestyle changes. After pondering this, I think it’s about creating small changes, that are manageable and that you will actually stick with and then waiting for the critical mass to shift. Say what? You say.
Well, for example. Say I am sitting around writing, reading, working at a desk, not exercising much and overeating fatty foods (er, not hypothetical by the way), what changes do I need to make to get healthy? I need to eat less fat and exercise more.
Now I don’t know about you, but the thought of a diet makes me crave chocolate, stat! So I need to proceed gently. First I add exercise, a short jog around the park each morning. Then I add a green smoothie for breakfast, to ensure I have a vitamin, energy filled start to the day. After that, I tell myself, I can eat whatever I want (and boy do I!)
What happens is my lethargic little brain starts to notice how amazing I feel after the jog and the green smoothie and how cruddy I feel after 3 bowls of ice-cream. Almost in spite of myself, I eat fruit instead, add a salad for lunch and slowly my habits start to change.
What has happened is a growing ‘mass’ of healthy behaviours that accumulate and reach a tipping point (critical mass) to tip me over into health.
I know it sounds simplistic, but I have found it to be effective for me.
So far I haven’t lost weight, but my exercise is improving and so is my eating and overall mood, so it should only be a matter of time before I feel trim and fabulous again. In the meantime I hope you understand if I steer away from desserts for a little while!
So you may have noticed the tres healthy and delicious looking salad above? This was based on Bill Granger’s Moroccan Salad Platter in The Age Sunday Life (Sept 1, 2013). I replaced the quinoa with sprouted beans and used dried cranberries instead of sultanas. It was absolutely delicious (and I shared it with my mum so I didn’t eat the whole platter – I can hear you wondering after my divulging my recent penchant for excess!) But really this is kind of food you can go to town on, it’s just super healthy.
For the sprouted bean salad:
1 /2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 orange
1 garlic clove crushed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
handful of dried cranberries
handful chopped mint leaves
Combine olive oil, orange juice, garlic, cinnamon and cranberries in a small bowl, toss in sprouted beans and put aside.
For the carrot and beetroot salad:
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 carrots, grated
1 beetroot, grated
1 tsp agave syrup
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tbsp olive oil
Mix carrot and beetroot together in a bowl. Mix lemon juice, agave and oil in a small cup and pour over carrot and beetroot. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and cumin seeds on top.
Serve on a large platter or flat bowl with spring onions, pistachio nuts (about 1/2 cup) and lemon wedges, mint, coriander and parsley on the side.
Enjoy with the ones you love. I don’t know if salads can make you happy (although I’m pretty sure they do) but making and sharing salads with the people you love is surely the key to happiness and wellbeing. Bring on the mojo!