Standing up for what you believe in can be hard. We all know this; some of us give up at the slightest criticism or setback, others experience compassion fatigue and still, others are unsure of what they even “stand up for,” if anything. This is all understandable, but today of course I’m addressing some of my favorite Tough Gals when it comes to shining the light on yucky food practices and the physical health effects of our industrialized food system. Call them food activists, call them bloggers, call them what you will; I’ve seen a lot of both positive and negative comments about them and their causes and I just think the negativity and backlash is a shame. The following should be an inspiration to us all to show how powerful your voice can be — and that it CAN be heard — in this niche or wherever you’re trying to fit in and make a statement.
While some of you may know that I am a fluent Spanish speaker (I often get mistaken for a native Argentinean), my interest in languages goes way past Castilian Spanish — I’ve also studied French quite extensively, dabbled in a little Portuguese, can throw out a few random words in German and once decided that Russian would be my next venture. With Spanish under my belt for years now, however, the French language has always sort of been that beautiful dress in the window for me, so delicate and stunning, yet where would I wear it? How can it be of use to me? Can I be the woman in that dress? I don’t have anyone with who I can practice my French; there are no French bakeries in my neighborhood (probably a good thing) and with all the other things going on in my life studying the philosophy that The French Do Everything Better isn’t always at the top of my priorities list.
In an increasingly food-obsessed culture, it’s easy to take sides — say, the embittered Mark Bittman/Michael Pollan side versus the I’ve-eaten-this-way-all-my-life-and-I’m-fine side — leading to rifts or, at the very least, bad feelings among friends, family members, and most certainly restaurant owners and manufacturers who stand astutely on one side of the line or the other. I have to admit, the inspiration for this post came from my shock at seeing a photo of Bittman in the latest issue of Everyday Food: he has his hands up in the air and is smiling, widely, which is not the usual image I conjure up of him in my head as I read his passionate articles and interviews. At least in terms of how he expresses his dissatisfaction with our nation’s current industrialized food system and garbage eating habits, he doesn’t exactly come across as a happy-go-lucky type…more like the lovechild of Anthony Bourdain and Marion Nestle — an all-black-wearing New Yorker who’s taken daddy’s bad attitude and softened it up with a bit of mommy’s extensive research, adding a dash of honest irony and patent disgust to the whole state of affairs.
Watermelon and Feta Salad with Oregano and Balsamic Vinaigrette
It is the pinnacle of summer and if you live in the Toronto area, the heat is REAL. So, it comes as no surprise that it feels great to sit down and eat a nice refreshing Watermelon Salad.
If you’ve never heard of Danielle LaPorte, you are missing out on some serious soulful empowerment tips, inspiration delivered right to your inbox, and daily encouragement should you so desire. She also engages readers and fellow bloggers in Burning Questions, which is what this is: How do you say what you do? As in, when someone asks you, what do you do for a living, how do you respond?
Politicians are an interesting breed. Pick a country, and they’re likely to fit a general mold, at least in one sense — they often move from position to position, laterally or climbing the ladder, making connections and using the relationships they build in order to strengthen ties and ensure a bigger paycheck. Sounds pretty smart, at least on the surface; but when it comes to how this plays out in the food industry it’s downright unappetizing.
One of my absolute favorite fruits is Pomegranate. I love delicately removing all the plump seeds, and then enjoying their crunchy juicy goodness on a hot summer day! Growing tired of the everyday salad, I thought to myself “These little guys would add such great flavor and texture to a salad!” And so, the Pomegranate Kiwi Salad was born. I just make up a big bowl of this nutritious salad and eat it throughout the week. It’s perfect for summer, just for yourself, or as an accent to that barbecue or garden party you’ve been meaning to host!
A recent review of an article from one of my favorite blogs (arguably my favorite) made me realize something I’d never quite put my finger on before: A lot of my decisions in life — heck, a lot of my thoughts — come from a place of fear. Are based on the premise of fear. Are constructed and formulated, to a large extent, on any number of fears:
It’s Saturday, today we have one of my son’s little buddy’s birthday parties, Sunday is Easter and a big family dinner also means leftovers. (Not to mention I’m pregnant, emotional, hormonal, and exhausted.)
I can’t even start writing this post without sighing in shame and discouragement.