Hey, it’s been such a long time since I’ve posted a lunch! I just had to take a picture of mine this afternoon -- isn’t it beautiful? This is pretty much what I eat every afternoon: some kind of salad and steamed veggies or soup. This salad is topped with Blood Orange Vinegar, sliced oranges, and cold cooked beets. I just love all the color and freshness.
The cooked vegetables are asparagus and yellow squash. This is such a treat, the first asparagus I’ve had in months – so good! I can’t wait for May, when half my refrigerator will be devoted to our local asparagus.
Well, a lot has been happening here, some of it good, some of it bad. In the GOOD NEWS, I’ve finished writing a new cookbook! Vegan Lunch Box Around the World features menus from, well, around the world, with emphasis on nutrient-dense recipes and the healthy vegetables, salads, and fruits I like to feature in my meals (don’t worry – there are more than a few special treats thrown in as well!) Visit my flickr album to get a glimpse at the great pictures my friend Michelle took for the book (the veggie burger is my favorite). It will be available in September, so stay tuned!
In BAD NEWS, my son’s health has been failing this fall and winter. Bit of background: as I’ve mentioned before, shmoo lives in a mixed “mom loves veggies/dad loves steak” household, and although I try to present him with healthy plant-based options at all times, I’ve never dictated what the shmoo was “allowed” to eat. Although he consistently prefers veggie meats over the real thing, he’s never gotten over his passion for junk food, soda pop, and cheese. I battle with sugar addiction myself, and I know I haven’t helped at all with all the times I’ve broken down and brought home bags of cookies, taken him to Baskin-Robbins with me, or shrugged my shoulders when he wanted soda pop. Even worse, he continues to dislike a lot of the vegetables I offer, and his resistance to them seems to be getting more intense as he gets older. Many of the healthy foods he used to eat he now refuses to touch (he even turned down broccoli the last time I made it!)
Then a few months ago my husband decided to start buying raw, unpasteurized whole milk. This thick milk comes in glass jars with enormous globs of cream rising to the surface. Shmoo has been sucking this stuff down in huge glassfuls and loving it…it’s like drinking half-and-half.
This summer I was alarmed watching his weight go up, and then listening to the doctor prescribe him allergy pills. But I continued to maintain that my son was his own person and could make his own choices. I provided all the educational material I could without sounding too “geez, mom” lectury, but in my mixed household (i.e. without the agreement and support of his father) I feel like I’m only listened to so much, and that my hands are somewhat tied (i.e. I can suggest he lay off the crap, but I can’t remove it from my house).
Then in December, shmoo started coughing continuously, day and night, and was finally diagnosed with asthma. Now he carries an inhaler wherever he goes. Since then he’s also suffered two long-lasting colds that never seem to go away.
Is it the milk? I hate to talk trash about something certain people near-and-dear to me see as an ideal food, but I honestly think so. Of course, it could also be the junk food we’ve allowed (even vegan food can be unhealthy garbage!!), or the soda pop he always drinks when he’s away from home, or something else entirely.
Anyway, after nagging his wheezy little head off, I finally convinced him to lay off milk for the last three weeks or so. It’s impossible to say anything for sure just yet, but he tells me he feels a difference, and he has only needed the inhaler twice in the last week, versus several times a day before. Now if only the cold would go away…
What’s the moral, peoples? If I had to go back and do it again, you bet I would be laying down the law a heck of a lot more, enforcing instead of suggesting healthier eating, and hopefully would manage to be a better, more consistent role model for my son.