Feed Yourself Well – Food as a Form of Self Love

Feed Yourself Well – Food as a Form of Self Love

 

Confessions of a whole food nutritionist.  Many nights I have left work and come home to an empty refrigerator.  The bleakest, wilted parsley bunch and a two month old head of cabbage do little for my dinner making aspirations.  Stone ground mustard, cod liver oil, and hot sauce – nothing doing.

But, I have vowed to try, for the love of my belly and my body, to change my empty fridge habit.  I will, gently and slowly, begin to fill my shelves with fresh pumpkin seeds and hemp hearts, homemade mayo and fermented ketchup (a la Monica Corrado), crispy nuts, fresh pressed juices, pastured eggs, hard salami, drumsticks, goat cheese, fresh mizuna, and multicolored carrots.

I’m proposing food as a form of self love.  I will feed myself well.  

nuts

We are not a culture that endorses self love, be it related to food or forgiveness, relationship or even shopping.  We have done a wonderful job of creating a guilty group of self-loathers, on the whole, and usually the only ways that we engage in anything close to self love is by punishing our bodies into smaller shapes or collapsing into a hot bath at the end of an incredibly long day.

What if, for just a few hours a week, we rolled up our sleeves and took real care?  What if we cooked with abandon – delicious, nourishing dishes that we taste with zealot pleasure and forget, for a few glorious hours, about calories and counting and lists, and simply cook and eat for the love of ourselves and our families……what if?

I’m beginning my well fed journey with some basic recipes, focusing on warm, savory dishes.  The vegetable soup recipe below is a deeply healing, warm, savory dish, perfect for a chilly spring night.

Seaweed Vegetable Soup

My first recipe illustrates what we call, in the nutrition world, the cephalic phase response.  This is a fancy way of describing the make- your-mouth-water delicious smells that exude from your stove when a hearty soup is on.  That mouth watering action is your body getting turned on and ready for the soup you’ve made to be eaten.  When we smell good foods our digestive system responds and readies itself for the meal.  Our olfactory sense is one of our greatest digestive aids.

For this recipe you will need

-6-8 cups fresh water
-1 large handful of kombu, dulse, or kelp (or a combination of many types) seaweed
-1 bulb fresh fennel
-1 medium size winter squash
or, in summer, 4 large zucchini
-1 red onion
-10 Shitake mushrooms, chopped
-1 cup sun dried tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes if in season
-2 heaping tablespoons of coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter)
-add any other vegetables you have on hand – broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and carrots all regularly find their way into my vegetable soups

Bring the seaweed to boil in the water and let simmer for about 15 minutes.  This is creating a seaweed stock!
Chop the vegetables into spoon sized pieces and lightly saute in coconut oil or butter, with pink or gray sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Combine the ingredients and set to simmer on medium for approximately 30 minutes.

The smell will let you know when your soup is ready –  it will be irresistible both to you and your family.  You can also add some bite size shrimp at the end if you’d like, and I also like to add a heaping tablespoon of chickpea miso after the soup has cooled a bit.  Enjoy!