The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
I think the trick to New Year's resolutions is to pick things that actually mean something to me, that I WANT to do, that fit into who I am as a person and also aren’t so huge that they are difficult to follow through on. Like the year I decided to only buy meat that wasn’t factory farmed. That I could do. I WANTED to do it. In fact, that resolution lead to my decision not to eat meat altogether, buy only free range eggs, and dairy that was from humanely and grass fed animals. One small step, one decision, created a domino effect and today, I am a making decisions about how I eat that coincide with my ethics.
So that leads me to this year’s resolutions. I have made a couple so far: do yoga at least twice a week (I hope to do it more but I don’t want to overwhelm myself) and take a class in something related to my work. So far so good. I have been to yoga twice this week and I signed up today for a jazz piano class (I am a musical theater composer).
Yesterday, while reading a book called The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer and Jim Mason (I HIGHLY recommend this book…it’s kind of life changing), I was struck by the chapter on coffee and chocolate. I am a big fan of both coffee and chocolate and I am familiar with “Fair Trade” products and have bought them from time to time. But I guess I had never thought about what was happening on the farms that aren’t Fair Trade. Let me tell you….there are some bad things happening. Fair Trade products assure not only sustainability but also a fair wage, no forced labor (child or adult) and safe working conditions.
So, my first food New Years resolution is to buy Fair Trade chocolate and coffee (as well as rice, quinoa and tropical fruits). The few pennies more that I will spend is worth it to know that I am supporting ethical practices and encouraging more Fair Trade farming.
My last resolution, and this finally brings us to this week's post, is to incorporate more sea vegetables into our diet. I recently started taking vegetable based calcium instead of calcium citrate for my calcium supplement. From everything I have read our bodies absorb plant based calcium much easier than either calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. (It makes complete sense that we would know how to metabolize a plant better than a rock). Also, many studies have shown that eating lots of dairy products does not increase the calcium in our bones. In fact, it can actually PULL the calcium out of our bones. This is supported by the fact that Asians have virtually no osteoporosis and eat very few dairy products. What they DO eat is lots and lots of leafy greens and especially, sea vegetables.
The sea veggies with the highest calcium content are Hijiki and Arame. Arame is a lot cheaper and has a milder flavor than Hijiki so I have been adding it to my stir fried vegetables and it is delicious.
Just soak it in water for about 5 minutes, rinse, and then add a handful to your other vegetables. Here are a couple of ways we ate Arame this week.
Arame Stir fry #1
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger (optional)
½ cabbage, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
½ cup dry Arame (soaked in water for 5 minutes and rinsed)
1 T sesame oil
Ponzu (soy and citrus sauce. If you don’t have Ponzu, add lemon to soy sauce or tamari)
2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup washed quinoa cooked in two cups of water for 15 minutes)
Salt and pepper
Saute chopped onion in olive oil on medium high, stirring until soft and brown around the edges. Add garlic, ginger, carrots and cabbage and saute, stirring frequently, until cabbage is soft. Add sesame oil and arame and stir for a few more minutes. Generously sprinkle wtih Ponzu. Salt and pepper to taste. Combine with quinoa and serve with toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top:
Arame Stir Fry #2
Take out the ginger and substitute edible pea pods for the cabbage.
Also sub ½ of the quinoa with cooked Israeli couscous.
Arame Stir Fry #3: Calcium ExplosionStir fry garlic and a mixture of fresh greens in olive oil and sesame oil (I put in whatever I had in the garden…broccoli leaves, broccoli, broccoli rabe, cilantro, and mizuna). Add arame and season with ponzu. You can sprinkle with sesame seeds if you want.
(Serve over rice. You can also add tofu or tempeh.)
Care to share any of your
New Year’s Good Food resolutions?
*Speaking of calcium explosions, (omg) tomorrow is WWW's 55th birthday! Which means? Let's all shower her with love! Thank you, mom for all that you do here and everywhere else. Best mom ever dot com.