Eating to Protect Body, Mind and Biodiversity - Part 2
Hello again <3
In last week’s blog, we discussed two of the five guidelines to eating like you give a damn - increasing veggie and fruit intake, and reducing meat. In this blog, we will look at the next two:
1. Increasing good starch & grain intake
2. Reducing dairy
Let’s dive right in.
Increase good starch & grain intake
Okay, so what even are “good” starches and grains?
Good starches and grains come straight from the earth and have undergone minimal processing. Examples are a potato, a sweet potato, brown rice, yucca, legumes, and quinoa. Every living thing has a specific composition; we'll call it the "blueprint." And when you eat food, your body “reads” the blueprint to figure out how to use it in the body. When your food comes right from the earth, the cells of the body understand the blueprint and know exactly what to do with it. When your food has undergone multiple processes - gets changed from its original form - the blueprint gets changed. Whole foods from the earth have a complex blueprint, and the body loves this complexity. When foods get heavily processed, the blueprint gets very simplified, and the body does nottttt like this so much.
So, let’s think. Do noodles grow right from the earth? Pancakes? Bread? Crackers? Cookies? No. These things are called “refined carbohydrates.” Refined carbohydrates have the really simplified blueprint, which causes them to be too easily digested and absorbed right into the bloodstream. This can cause your blood sugar and insulin to spike, increasing your risk for diabetes, and can also be the culprit for bloating, acne and low energy.
As you increase your good starch/grains intake, your refined carbohydrate consumption will naturally decrease. A good question to ask yourself when trying to figure out if something is a “good” starch or grain: Does this food come from the earth, or has it gone through many processes to get to the final product?
But cheeeeeeeeese. I know. I know. *sigh*
Do you experience bloating, skin irritation, headaches, migraines, low energy, or tummy pains? Reducing or cutting out dairy might really help. Many of us humans are lactose intolerant. I rarely eat dairy at this point, and when I do, my acne comes back, I get bloated and I feel like shit. Lactose is hard for a lot of bodies to deal with. And so is the protein in dairy - casein. Dairy inflames the body, and diets high in dairy have shown to be correlated with cardiovascular disease and stroke.
And as for the earth and animals. Many farms have over 100 or even 1000 cows, and each cow produces up to six times more milk than a century ago. This means mama cow is being pumped... A LOT to keep up with our high dairy demands. Does that sound like a nice life? I hate how sore my boobs get before my period, I couldn’t imagine being constantly either pregnant or full of milk. Maybe TMI, but true.
Some really great dairy-free alternatives to common dairy products: Almond milk, cashew milk, coconut yogurt, ghee (butter), almond milk cheese, and many more. Explore your local health foods store and your mind will be blown with all of the options!
And lastly, here’s a little sneak peek of how many simple and amazing dairy-free recipes there are out there. This is my version of “Vegan Alfredo” I absolutely love. It’s high in vitamins, minerals, the good fats, dairy free, and rich in complex carbohydrates.
Feeds about two people
1 spaghetti squash
1 Cup of raw cashews. Soak over night, or in hot water for 1 hour. Otherwise, your sauce will be more gritty than creamy
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1/2 an onion
1 cup of HOT water or veggie broth
Optional 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast (this will increase the cheesy-ness factor)
Salt, pepper and Italian seasonings to taste
Heat oven to 400 F. Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out all of the goop and seeds. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil and season with salt. Place the squash face down on a baking sheet, and bake for about 45 minutes. Once slightly cooled, scrape out the spaghetti (you’ll see what I mean) with a fork.
And for the sauce:
Once the pasta is ready, put all sauce ingredients in a high speed blender for a few minutes. Boom. You're done.
Try adding some tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini to the pasta. You will not be disappointed.
Thanks again for reading! As always, feel free to comment below and questions or feedback.