I have returned from another awesome trip visiting my sister and her family in Mexico. As always, the trip was much too short. I miss them already and saying good-bye at the airport on Thursday was one of the toughest things that I have had to do in a while, especially when my four year old niece started to cry. Since half of my suitcase was filled with gifts for them coming down, I was able to bring back a bunch of my favourite things including tequila (always!), mole, jamaica flowers and chilaquiles.
I have been thinking about food a lot lately. One day when I was in Mexico, we watched Food Inc. If you haven’t seen this documentary, I urge you to. There is some pretty scary stuff in it. I also recently watched a show on CBC about sugar and how it’s basically in every processed food and how much damage that is doing to our health. Years ago I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma which reinforced in me to continue to not eat meat. I became a vegetarian at the classic age of sixteen and haven’t looked back. I recently realised that I haven’t had meat now for more than half of my life. That is pretty significant. Six years ago I started eating fish because I found that sometimes when I traveled, it was difficult to get proper meals. I really like the idea of being vegan but I know I could never do it. Man alive, a life without cheese?! I do not think that I could survive.
So I have been thinking a lot about food lately. We eat pretty healthy at home but I know that there are ways that we can improve. Looking at Instagram is a pretty inspiring way to eat healthy (check out Kim D’Eon’s!). There are always gorgeous images there.Very rarely do we buy processed foods. I would rather consume real ingredients in meals that I have prepared entirely by myself. I’m going to make more of an effort to avoid sugar and to eat less soy. Yesterday I stocked our fridge with fresh vegetables and I am feeling pretty darn inspired.
One of my favourite things in Mexico is flavoured water. It’s generally available at every restaurant. My favourite kind is jamaica water. Jamaica is hibiscus flowers and you can purchase them dried. I made a pitcher of jamaica water by pouring four cups of boiling water over a half cup of jamaica and letting it steep for ten minutes. I did not add any sweetener because I prefer it to be bitter. I just love the gorgeous colour.
This morning I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a photo that one of my studio-mates had posted from a bakery. Immediately I decided that I was going to bake muffins. I searched “easy healthy muffins” on Pinterest and found this recipe dubbed Skinny Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. I love that there is just a hint of chocolate in them. When we were kids, my Moms used to make muffins every weekend. I loved waking up on Saturday mornings to the smell of them baking and it was always a surprise as to what kind she had made.
While I was in Mexico, Josh was living it up in Barbados on a trip that he had won in a Mount Gay Rum competition. He flew home last night and I thought that I would make up a healthy snack for him to eat when I picked him up. I really love beets but often avoid them because I think of them as being so messy. I have decided that I need to get over that thinking. So last night, I started boiling some beets to go into a kale salad. I made a dressing with white balsamic vinegar and oil (I wish that we had some garlic in the house!). While I was waiting on the beets to soften, I decided that I ought to check on Josh’s flight to make sure that it was on time. Nope, it wasn’t. It was actually set to arrive forty minutes EARLY. With that, I had to turn off the stove and bust my way on up to the airport. So much for that nice snack. I finished making it this morning and added some mixed nuts plus a little cheese on top. Cheese. Always.
So I am back and am in full food force. If there is anything at all that we can learn from all of the Rob Ford fiasco, it is that health is number one. What we consume directly affects that and I am really going to work at being more aware of that. Plus, healthy food just makes you feel good.
P.S. Man alive, do I ever miss those niños.