Caryn: Hello, everyone, we’re back! I’m Caryn Hartglass, and you’re listening to It’s All About Food: Part 2 today! Let’s continue a little bit on that topic of detoxing. You may remember, I think it was back in September, I did a discussion on detoxing, but I was talking about external detoxing of my apartment. It’s an ongoing project, just like we talked about a moment ago. Things happen best in small steps when they’re manageable. It’s hard to take on a giant project and accomplish it all in one weekend. I started in September, and I had this idea of finishing in one month. That didn’t happen and, as I said, the project is ongoing, but by the end of December, three months later, after tidying up the bedroom and using some of that Japanese folding strategies to neaten up drawers and shelves and getting rid of things and getting rid of some furniture – all kinds of things – and moving things around, putting some things on eBay, it was very time consuming. By the end of December, I was feeling very happy in my home. In September, or in the summertime, we weren’t home most of the summer, but when I was in the apartment, I saw all of this clutter. Some people are at peace in clutter. I am not one of them. I feel like when my exterior is cluttered, my mind is cluttered. I don’t like that feeling. I like to know where everything is. I like my space to be welcoming for others to come and enjoy some time with us, with a cup of tea or when we make a meal. I like to be able to do that sort of thing if I have people over on spontaneous thought. When everything is a mess and cluttered, it’s harder to do that.
By the end of December – consistent work, nothing overwhelming, just little projects here and there – the home just felt so much better. Unfortunately, fortunately, we left early in January for California. We are here for at least 9 weeks, and I miss my home now because it was so cozy and lovely when I left. But when we get back there, will be more things to do – more things to purge, more things to clear out, more things to set up and create a healthy system in my home environment. Stay tuned! If any of you have started on that kind of journey, let me know how it’s going for you. I love to share information like this. You can contact me – you know this – at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I mentioned, we are in California. This past week has been a wild, wet week. We’re here in the South Bay, and right down the road where we were staying, some trees fell over live wires. We had a power outage early on Wednesday. The power was down until sometime on Thursday. When you don’t have electricity and you’re not prepared not to have electricity, you really appreciate what electricity can do for you. We had our computers powered, so we could do some work, but we had no WiFi. Our cell phones had very limited cell signal because I’m sure that was all impacted due to the weather. It was fun here with traffic and trees falling and mud slides. The sun has been out a few days, and all of that seems to have been cleared out. But the rain is coming back. I’m not complaining about the rain, of course, because California has been in a drought for some time, and these rains are bringing necessary water to this area. Everything has consequences. Good things come with bad things, but right now things are good. During this time, we didn’t want to use the water because the water here is on a sub-pump, and we’re on a lower level, and we didn’t want the water to back up on us and flood things – so we didn’t want to do dishes. We could cook with gas, but we didn’t want to have the dishes.
That’s where my favorite real sesame corn thins came in handy. Have I praised them enough on this program? I’m just so glad that I have them, especially now, here where we are staying in this pool house. We had some wonderful, ripe avocados. I haven’t had avocados in a while because they hadn’t been in season where I’ve been, and now they are where we are. That quick little meal, some fresh tomatoes, ripe avocado, and sesame corn thins held me over for a few days, which was wonderful. Now the other thing I’m grateful for right now here in what is currently sunny California are fresh oranges.
I wanted to talk about free food. I know some people that go nuts when they’re at a buffet, all-you-can-eat, and they get a deal or they’re at a place where samples are being offered free food. If that free food isn’t healthy – for example, if it’s highly processed, made with sugar, oil, and salt – personally, I don’t care if it’s free because it’s not free. It may not cost you anything to buy it or purchase it. If you’re at a buffet that has a very nominal charge, eating a lot of what’s offered may seem like a great deal. But what happens once it gets in your body? Serious costs. That’s why I don’t see that kind of free food as being beneficial. The kind of free food that really excites me – and it excites me down to my DNA, to my soul – is fresh fruit growing on trees that you can have access to when you want to eat these foods. Fortunately, we have friends and family that have citrus trees around here, and we’ve been enjoying the fresh oranges and fresh lemons. There’s something in there that not only excites me. I guess there’s something in me that is distrustful of our society on a whole, and I’m getting more distrustful especially with the administration that will be coming in on Friday. There’s no guarantee that those of us who can’t afford to eat healthy food – I’m not talking about people, unfortunately, who have food insecurity already, but those of us who are secure when it comes to food. I don’t feel that true security that the food will always be there, be provided. There’s a part of me that really wants to have the opportunity to grow my own food, so that I can have that security. When I see food that’s available on friends and family’s property that I have access to, that thrills me because it feels so much more nutritious from a soul point of view. I get really excited, and I’ve been eating a lot of these wonderful, fresh oranges.
We were talking about detox before, and like I said earlier in the program, it’s January and this is the time when people want to start over, develop new habits. Most people start a diet or some program in January, and it doesn’t take many weeks before they fall off the wagon. There’s plenty of data on this, and many of you I’m sure know and have seen this either with yourself or people you care about. I’ve seen many, many Facebook posts of promises for this year. For some people, making a commitment is not that difficult. I know when I want to do something, I get very digital about it. It’s all or nothing for me. I don’t do moderation at all. For example, for being a vegan, I just don’t see animal products as food. Period, over. There was a time when I was eating all raw and cooked food just wasn’t on the menu, done. That’s who I am – black, white, one, zero, off, on.
But for many people it’s hard to make change or to stick to a plan. Perhaps the Deanna Minich book, Whole Detox, might sound good to you to not just change your eating habits, but incorporate everything else that is involved because our emotions and our environment are connected to what we choose to eat everyday and how we feel. There are other plans out there. I just wanted to mention a couple because they keep coming up and there’s another round right now available.
They are not for everyone. I just want to say that, but I’ve mentioned Susan Thompson’s Bright Line Eating Program before. This is for people who really have an addiction to sugar, really have an addiction to sweet foods, unhealthy foods, and need a plan that is strict and rigid with regular videos and interaction that can keep you on your plan. This is not a plan that works for me. I’m not that kind of person, but for some of you that need this handholding, this might be good for you.
If you go to responsibleeatingandliving.com right now, the Food Freedom series is live, and it’s a reduced-cost program that’s available. If you’ve checked it out before, there’s a new program that costs less. That’s good news! Another one for those of you who are thinking about eliminating dairy, you may remember that I spoke with two people on this program who had created this dairy detox program. If you go to responsibleeatingandliving.com, of course, you can listen to the interview in our archives. They regularly launch their dairy detox program, and it is available now. You can go to responsibleeatingandliving.com and click on the link for that. That’s with Allison Rivers Samson and Michelle Cehn. It’s an easy program and just eases you into all the products and substitutions that are necessary to eliminate dairy from your life and do it in a way that’s delicious and satisfying. For those of you that have said, “I can’t give up cheese!” Yes, you can. The dairy detox will help you do it. We also have great recipes at responsibleeatingandliving.com that will help you do that as well.
I want to mention some product that I’ve really been enjoying. We’re on the road, I mentioned, we’re in California. We’re staying in a pool house. We have very limited kitchen facilities. You know me, my partner Gary – we love to cook. We love to get down and dirty, create things from scratch, and it’s hard to do that now. It’s a good opportunity to try some of the products that are out there, and we’ve been having some fun with some of them. Maybe you know some of them. We love big soups, and when we’re at home in New York, we have this one Asian restaurant we like to go to, Green Zenphony, that has their big soups. They’re like Vietnamese-style, big noodle soups. Some come with noodles, some without. Here in San Jose, we love going to the Vegetarian House. They have great, big soups. My favorite one is the Flying Buddha, which is not a noodle soup, but it has all kinds of interesting vegetables and chewy things that are very satisfying. But we thought we would try and make some of these soups here at “home” in our pool house where we’re staying.
I don’t like eating out all the time. I can’t control everything, can’t control the salt or anything, and it’s true when you buy processed foods as well. Some of these I’m going to be talking about next. There’s a limit to what you can control. I still want to mention some of the ones we found, and why I like them. Ancient Harvest has a corn quinoa spaghetti. It’s gluten free. It’s great. We just put it in our noodle soup recently and really enjoyed it, so there’s that – especially for those who are looking to eliminate gluten or keep it low. Another gluten-free product that I really love – not necessarily from a health standpoint, but from an environment and an animal standpoint – are the Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Seafood products. I spoke with the founder Eugene Wang earlier last year, and we talked about Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Seafood. He named it after his daughter Sophie. We found some in the freezer case at the grocery store, and I thought, “Oh, let’s buy some. We can put some in our big soups.” We got the Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Coconut Shrimp. I want to read to you the ingredients: water, konjac powder – We talked about konjac powder on the program when I interviewed Eugene Wang. It’s a starch from a vegetable. He was telling me it was difficult to get it here in the United States, and he imports it. I’m hoping that there’s some entrepreneurs out there that are thinking about growing konjac here in the United States. It’s a fascinating vegetable, and we can do a lot of things with it in the 21st century when we are disrupting the food system and taking foods that people are used to eating that come from animals and making them with plants. You can now make shrimp from plants, and that’s what we got. We got their Vegan Coconut Shrimp. It’s got the konjac powder, pea starch, potato starch, coconut powder, rice flakes, canola oil, paprika, fenugreek, organic agave nectar, sea salt, turmeric, white pepper, algae made from seaweed, and calcium hydroxide. It’s a processed food, no doubt. It’s high in starch, no doubt. But it’s a much better product than the high cholesterol shrimp that is grown in shrimp farms today that are devastating for people’s health and devastating for the environment. This stuff is good! It’s really good.
Another product that we are really kind of excited about to put in our soup is the Field Roast deli slices. They are tomato-based, made with water and wheat gluten. This is not a gluten-free product, but they have tomato paste, safflower oil, red wine, garlic, barley malt yeast, extracted paprika, sea salt, granulated garlic, lentils, organic wheat flakes, whole wheat powder, Irish moss (which is a sea vegetable), yellow pea flour, spices, natural liquid smoke, and mustard powder. This is a processed food, but it is not as highly processed as some of the other veggie deli slices out on the market. It’s much, much healthier than eating actual cold-cuts made from animal flesh. It’s better for the environment, and they’re fun! I’m not saying this is something that I want to eat on a regular basis, but we took just one slice and cut it up and put little bits in our big soup, and it was fun and tasty.
The other thing that we did was purchase some low-sodium vegetable broth, and I want to stop for a minute and talk for a minute about low sodium. You may know this rule of thumb, that when you’re looking for a low sodium product, you look at the number of calories on the label for the serving, and the number of milligrams in sodium should be the same or less. If there are more, you have a high-sodium product. I’m looking at this vegetable broth, which is a low sodium broth, and in a 1 cup serving, it has 10 calories (that’s like nothing), and 120 milligrams of sodium. Now that’s a lot, especially for my rule of thumb. But then I’m thinking it’s not so bad because we use that vegetable broth. We add a lot of vegetables to it, and the calories will go up. The sodium won’t go up by very much. Since I don’t salt my food normally, if I’m having 2 cups of this, 240 milligrams of sodium is not a lot. It doesn’t taste like a very salty broth, like a salty soup, so I’m not too worried about it. Keep in mind: a teaspoon of salt is 2,300 milligrams. The recommendation, depending on who you talk to, the more conservative. Those who don’t like salt recommend around 1,500 milligrams. Some go up to 2,300. 240 milligrams for a big pot of soup as a serving, I’m not too concerned about. It’s tasty and good for us here in our little pool house.
Another thing we’ve been enjoying, and I have a confession because this is kind of a little treat. There’s a candy that I actually like. I’m not promoting candy. I don’t like to eat a lot of candy. Occasionally. we have little squares of dark chocolate. for example, which is with a high percentage of cocoa and very little sugar. But there’s a candy we discovered by Ginger People called ginger chews. It’s made with sugar, ginger, and tapioca. When you chew it, it gets hot from the ginger. Spectacular! I have been indulging a little bit with an occasional ginger chew. That’s my confession for the day, and those are some of the products that we’ve been enjoying while on the road.
I have to say, I am not ready for Friday. I’m not ready for Friday. I’m not ready for the “transition.” I am not ready for that guy who is going to become President of the United States. It’s adding to my fear. It’s adding to my stress. There’s all this talk about repealing the Affordable Health Care Act. I never said the Affordable Health Care Act was perfect, and it definitely needs improvement, but it is a very good step in the right direction. I personally would love a single-payer healthcare system, where everyone in the United States has health care. But we have a long way to go, and it seems like we will be going backwards. This is all the more reason, my friends, to stay healthy, to eat well. There’s a lot of stress going on in our lives, in my life, and I’m allowing more in, caring about what’s happening with our country and the world. I feel like we’re being played in a way – where the media, in some ways I think they’re doing a better job than they were doing, in some ways not. I wish the corruption could be uncovered, and then things could be done. We read things, and we wonder why aren’t people being arrested or being tried for things that are being uncovered. What’s happening? It feels like our foundation is going out from under us. It’s a scary time. I’m getting all choked up just talking about it. That’s all the more reason to stay healthy. I do recommend a dose of regular meditation to keep all of the little soldiers in your body, those 50-100 trillion cells that are part of your personal life system, give them the good message that it’s important to stay strong, stay well, take the nutrition from the good food you’re sending it and let the stress go. It’s not a good time to indulge in fear. We all need to stay strong in order to move in a forward direction.
I acknowledge that there’s been exploitation and violence and inequality probably ever since time began. I’m not saying that it hasn’t existed here in this country. It absolutely has. I’m an activist! I’ve been supporting the voiceless, the non-human animals who are exploited in the millions everyday for food and for other things. We can only do so many things in our own personal lives and thinking of something that we want to work and fight for. I just feel like we’re going to go backwards, and that’s what feels so destabilizing, at least for me. In the last few decades, we’ve made progress with civil rights, we’ve made progress with women’s rights, and I don’t want to go backwards.
Now there are little bits of good news. You’ve probably heard them. For example, Ringling Brothers, the circus, says they’re done as of the middle of this year, the end of their season. The animal rights activists have been working hard at this for decades. I’ve participated in numerous protests and finally their sales are down. People are getting the message that the animals they’ve been using have been exploited, and they don’t want to support it. Interesting. If you read the history of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus, Barnum himself was one of the early promoters of fake news! All those stories that they used to show at the circus, these exploited people that they used with these incredible stories around. People would like to come and gape and wide-eyed listen to these stories and look at these people. I don’t think they have a very good history, and I’m glad they’re coming to an end. Another great little tidbit of news – It’s just the beginning, a move in the right direction, and that’s thanks to animal rights activists all over the world. This is in France, actually. The French assembly voted to require cameras in slaughterhouses in 2018. When I lived in France from 1992-1996, I never met another vegan. I rarely met another vegetarian, so this is huge news to me, and I’m grateful for that.
It looks like I have chatted my way through another hour. I wanted you to remember to visit my blog What Vegans Eat. I’ve got some fun conversations and pictures and delicious things that I’ve been involved with all during the week. I hope you check that out. Next week, we’ve got a great show. I hope you will join me then. We’ll be talking about figs and the Trump Survival Guide, so join me next week. In the meantime, have a delicious week!
Transcribed by Adella Finnan, 2/13/2017