I remember when I started junior high, my father put his hand on my shoulder and said in his best John Wayne voice, “Darlin’ are you going to run cross-country next year?” I nodded. “Good. From now on you’ll eat what I tell you to eat, you’ll sleep when I tell you to sleep, and you’ll run when I tell you to run.” And that day I went out and ran two miles with my sister, Marissa. We didn’t walk at all.
Daddy was a marathon runner. He always took home several trophies. One for his age group, one for first male finisher, one for first master to finish, and one for placing in the top overall. He had so many that during some races he secretly asked the race committee to award the second place finisher his first place trophy in a few of the categories. The only trophy I got was for “First Female Town Resident.” There was only one other female town resident running in the race that day. I displayed my trophy proudly for many years. At least I didn’t get “Second Female Town Resident.” Next to it sat a photo of Dad and me, arm in arm, trophies held proudly.
When I started running under my dad’s coaching, I joined both my sisters in their athletic training. Dad studied the Pritikin Diet, revolutionary at the time, and modeled after the Tarahumara Indians of Northwestern Mexico, apparently the greatest long-distance runners in the world. The entire family went on a high carbohydrate, low fat diet with lots of rice, beans, and veggies. Everything had to be “fat free.” As a family, we went out for pizza and ordered it cheese-less, we ate skinless chicken, and baked with applesauce instead of oil. On the refrigerator hung a magnet, a pig in an apron and the words “fat free fanatic” across the pig’s fat belly. We bought fat free chips, fat free butter, fat free cheese, all specially processed with strange ingredients I still can’t identify just to read “zero fat” on the label.
But it wasn’t just our family who had these strange eating habits. All the athletic magazines preached “high carbohydrate, low fat” diets. Our cross-country team sported shirts that said, “Run Fasta, Eat Pasta” on the back and every night before a meet one team member would host a spaghetti dinner. It seemed every year brought new headlines on fad diets such as the Atkins diet, the cabbage soup diet, the South Beach diet, the low carb diet. The list goes on and on. How can anyone choose which is the healthiest way to eat?
On my twenty-fifth birthday, Daddy said to me, “Ya know Darlin, you’re growing up until you turn 25 then you start dying.”
So I went out and bought Healthy at 100 by John Robbins hoping to find the secret fountain of youth. And perhaps I did. Read the book, you might too. One of the tenants of Voluntary Simplicity is adopting a lifestyle with a higher awareness and regard for the health, of our planet, soul, and body.
I am convinced that a vegetarian, raw food diet is the best way to eat, and I try to prepare those meals aboard Daphne. Perhaps I’ll talk more on why and how successful I’ve been with raw foods later. But this post it too long winded already, and all I really wanted to do was share an easy raw recipe with you that I prepared while sailing down the Chesapeake Bay the other day.
- garbanzo beans, soaked for three days and sprouted (sprouts are the only thing growing in the “garden” aboard Daphne)
- a lemon slice
- raw tahini (sesame seed puree)
- cold pressed olive oil
- Press the sprouted garbanzo beans in a garlic press, until you have two cups of mashed beans. Or, if you have a food processor, you could save some time by using that. I used a garlic press. Call it simple living, or call it….
- Add ¾ cup raw tahini.
- Add lemon juice, three cloves of pressed garlic, and ½ cup of cold pressed olive oil.
- Stir and taste. Add more ingredients to get the flavor you want.
- Spread on a cabbage leaf for a delicious treat!!