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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sum It Up Sunday-Fasting and Denial

There is no perfect way to eat for everyone. Our DNA makes every one of us unique. What works for one person may not work for another, even if they are related. DNA is amazing like that.


I have hazel eyes, my older sister has blue eyes. DNA. I'm 5'5, she's maybe 5'2. I won't even get into the weight discrepancy (let's just say that at the age of eleven I realized how much bigger than her I was and that was the end of her older sister supremacy?.



What I am saying is that what we eat for optimal health differs from person to person and will even differ for a person as they age. Not only is our DNA a big part of this, but so is how our needs change the older we get due to our evolutionary characteristics. From here on we're going to talk about the females of the species, as I am one and know some of what I speak.

When menopause hit I railed against it and for a time, denied that is was affecting me. What the hell was evolution trying to tell us women? When we get to a certain age we are useless? Here is a bunch of weight you don't need, depression, insomnia, and many other things. And even here it won't give the same shitty experience to each woman. They are all different symptoms. My mother barely had heat flashes. I got one while running. I mean come on!!!

Anywhooo, I decided that the usual wasn't going to work.

There was some enlightenment from this article in the Atlantic that show how humans and killer whales both go through menopause because of the "family pod". The older females are no longer reproducing so that they can stop competing and instead cooperate in helping the younger generations find food.







That just blew my mind. I don't have children. Mother's day has been very hard for me for years (doubly so these last two since losing our mother). The Atlantic article gave me some insight that I wasn't seeing before. I strive to be a positive female presence for my nephews, nieces, cousins, and the hundreds of children I have known in my fifty years.

Perhaps this podcast and blog are also a way for me to co-operate and show others food sources they might not already know about (I see you old orca ladies!).

The way I eat has changed many times over. I was an omnivore. Stopped eating red meat for a time. Went vegetarian, then hard on vegan, now mostly vegan. And now, in order to combat the menopausal disruption of my life, I am trying intermittent fasting.

Again, how I eat isn't for everyone. Find what works for you. I eat breakfast between 8 and 9am, an inventive and filling lunch (check out my Instagram as I post almost daily what I'm eating) then some snacks in the afternoon. I am usually finished eating around 4 or 5.

This seems to be working. It is hard to stick to this regimen when I am with family and friends as sharing food together is my thing. That is where instead of beating myself up, I factor in the social benefit for my mental health.

I'd love to hear what you have found that works for you. And how your eating has changed through the years. Comment here, on Facebook or email me at clarkesfoodpod@gmail.com and we'll commiserate and cheer one another on.

You know, like the ancient orca ladies.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Good Food News-Carbon Farming

A New York Times story highlights new studies and methods of farming that could increase the carbon offset in ranching grasslands.


Unlike trees, grasses don’t shed their leaves at the end of the growing season; they depend on animals for defoliation and the recycling of nutrients. If the ruminants move like wild buffalo, in dense herds, never staying in one place for too long, the land benefits from the momentary disturbance. Carbon, the building block of life, is constantly flowing from the atmosphere to plants into animals and then back into the atmosphere. Plants could be deliberately used to pull carbon out of the sky. They remove carbon from the atmosphere already, require no additional power and grow essentially free.

Compost mixed with manure could also build up the carbon in the soil. A relatively small annual increase in soil carbon could, on a large-enough scale, have a substantial impact.

Studies continue as there is no pat or easy answer. Ultimately, healthier farming methods make for healthier soil and a healthier planet.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Past Guest Shout Out-Akindele Bankole

Not only is Veg on the Edge a vegan restauraunt, but it's kosher, gluten-free and halal as well. And that is why we're giving them, and the owner Akindele Bankole a shout out this week.
Compassion is served up with Nigerian influenced wraps, bowls and more. Sweet Potato Peanut Soup, Yaji Jollof Rice & Moin Moin (Black-Eyed Pea Loaf) and of course Akindele's favorite, Plaintain Fries are just a few of the flavorful dishes to try. 

When podcasting, the sound is of paramount importance. I was worried when I interviewed Akindele in the food court of the restaurant. It was lunchtime, the place was just opening and folks were lining up to dig in. I needn't have worried.

"A Compassionate Edge" was the result. You can not only hear us clearly, but you can also feel how much this man loves what he does, spreading compassion and humanity through everything he does. A restaurant owner, opera singer, and composer, German Born-Nigerian-Jewish American Akindele was and is, one of my new favorite people. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Good Food News-Pop Up Social Experiment

In this eye-opening story from The Kitchn, Chef Tunde Wey had a clever, surprising social experiment plan for his New Orleans pop-up restaurant.



After each customer placed their order at the counter, Wey gave them statistics about the city's racial income disparity and then told them what their lunch would cost. What they paid was based on their race in order to start an important dialogue, both at the lunch counter and within the community. It's hard to put a price on that.


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Past Guest Shout Out-Judaline Cassidy

The mission of our food-loving pal Judaline Cassidy's foundation, Tools and Tiaras Inc, is a commitment to advancing the interest of young girls and women who want to pursue non-traditional careers. They motivate young girls and women who dream of having a career in the male-dominated construction industry. They also encourage young girls and women already in the field to expand their horizon and set them on a path to the peak of their careers.


Throughout the year they host events and programs so that young girls and women can feel empowered and see a future for themselves in the trade industries.


We wholeheartedly support Judaline and her crew as they show a new generation of females that opportunity awaits them.

I found out about Judaline when she was highlighted on Amy Poehler's Smart Girls for being the first female plumber to be accepted into the Staten Island Plumbers Union 371. I knew I wanted to chat with her. Once we got going, I discovered that she loves food almost more than I do!


Bake and Shark, cake for dinner and empowering young women to be strong and self-sufficient are just some of the topics of conversation in "Food, Happiness and Dancing", Episode 22 of Something About Food?


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sum It Up Sunday-The Neverending Binge

I tend to think of my life like an old stereo equalizer. All of the sliders at 0 make for a horrible sound. By pushing them up or down, bringing up the bass, lowering the treble, you make a sound that works for you.


There has never been a time in my life where all the bands are even. There was a time when I was in great physical shape, training for 24hr runs and eating right. I met a guy who I thought I could start an adult romantic relationship with. Ultimately my emotional slide wasn't in the right spot for that. And my financial slide wasn't anywhere that would allow me less stress about paying my bills.

No matter what the stress, as I've discussed in earlier posts, my binge reflex can be triggered. Good or bad. This brings me to let you in on what  I'm working on right now. Formatting my travel/cookbook about my around the world journey.

The core of the book is written, which for me was the easy part. Concentrating on the design side of things isn't my forte. I mean I know what I like, but how do I make that appear on the page? It's a learning curve. One that requires me to really make my focus singular. I'm a plate spinner, so one plate makes me nervous.




I love how the book is turning out. I really do. Here is a snippet to catch your interest.



Yet I'm starting to get anxious about who will buy the damn thing. I believe that some family and friends will want one. But will the folks who don't know what a food nut I am, with my awkward, crass, obnoxious, yet truly loving sense of humor, want one? Time will tell. When I headed out three years ago on my trip I did it knowing that I didn't know where I would end up. I still don't know. 

The hope is that the book and the podcast will start to generate enough of an income that I'll be able to support myself and hopefully write more books to continue developing the literary side of myself.

This seemingly innocuous stress has triggered some recent binges. Hello, Ben & Jerry's Non-Dairy pints, you bastards. Oh yeah and you too leftover Halloween Kit Kats. Sometimes I think I need a handler to follow me around, smack my hand and say "You don't need that!"


Talking about it, here in the open like this, on the blog, is new for me. I don't know if it will help. What I do know is that soon I'll have a book published and a new plateau in my life will be reached. The equalizer will continue to fluctuate according to where I am, what I'm doing, who I'm with, and I hope to learn to really listen to that tune.






Thursday, May 3, 2018

Good Food News-It's Possible!

A wonderful story from Live Kindly about Vegan Burger company Impossible Foods. They have launched a new food bank program in Northern California aimed at offering high-protein, nutritious foods to food insecure communities.


The program is a working collaboration between Impossible Foods, the Alameda County Community Food Bank, and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

The Alameda County Community Food Bank serves approximately 1 in 5 of county residents through a network of more than 200 food pantries, soup kitchens, and the like. Making the end to food insecurity a little less impossible.