What are Food Allergies — And What Can You Do About Them?

What are Food Allergies — And What Can You Do About Them? - Ocean Robbins

When I was a teenager, I spent some time backpacking in Malaysia. One night, I woke to the sound of chewing close to my ear. Instantly full of adrenaline, I leapt to my feet and, clad only in my underwear, did my best warrior impression. Brandishing a pocketknife and a flashlight, I attempted to intimidate what I thought was some sort of monster that had invaded my hut.

Continue reading
350 Hits

Plant-Based Families: How to Navigate Healthy Eating in a Household

oceancover10.8

Do you ever worry about the health of the people you love — and wish they ate healthier food? If you’ve tried to help others move in a positive direction, has it ever felt as if you were banging your head against a brick wall?

If you know my story, you might think I can’t relate. After all, I grew up eating a whole foods, plant-powered diet in the home of one of the world’s best-known proponents of healthy, plant-based eating (my dad is Food Revolution Network co-founder and president John Robbins, author of many books on health, nutrition, and social and environmental justice, including the 1987 bestseller Diet for a New America.) How could I possibly have any idea what family conflict around food is like?

Hear me out.

When I was a kid, we had our fair share of food conflicts in our extended family. My grandpa Irv, the co-founder of Baskin-Robbins, wanted nothing to do with our “hippie” eating style. He ate the standard American diet with gusto — including, of course, lots and lots of his favorite ice cream.

When my mom, dad, and I would visit my dad’s parents, we sometimes stayed in a rented condo because sharing meals could become such a point of friction. At one point, my grandma Irma famously declared, “You will NOT cook tofu in my kitchen!” She was clear who was in charge in her domain, adding: “When you’re in my house, you will eat what I serve.”

Since my grandma wasn’t exactly a black belt in flexibility, we did not try to convince her to let us cook our simple, plant-based meals in her kitchen. Instead, we prepared most of our meals separately in our condo kitchen.

We didn’t want differences over food to keep us from being a family. But because those differences were based in very different realities and values systems, we struggled with the conflicts and separations they caused.

Blood Can Be Thicker Than Ice Cream

Continue reading
474 Hits

Romance, Food & Your Appetite for Love & Life

Arielle-Ford-Food-Love--your-appetite-

Dating, whether you love it or loathe it, is an indispensable part of the soulmate manifestation process (and regular date nights are essential once you are a couple). Eventually, there will be a “first dinner date.” What you order will let him or her know if you have a healthy appetite for love and life.


On these early dates, we want to let our large appetite for life, our enthusiasm for life, really shine through as much as possible.


For those of you with gluten or other sensitivities (I fall into this category), it might be best just to order something you know is “safe” for you to eat rather than engage in a big conversation with the server, which will lead to a talk about your various ailments which might make you appear “high maintenance.”


If you are vegan or vegetarian, no problem, as long as you aren’t sitting in judgment if your date orders a steak. If you are a strident vegan, and you can’t watch anyone eat meat products, that is something to figure out BEFORE you go out on a dinner date.


For those of you “foodies” out there…be adventurous and let your date know that you love trying new things.  Foodies need to find each other!


One other thought:  Judging how someone else eats, even if you believe they are harming themselves, is toxic to you, not them.

Continue reading
1757 Hits

Eat What You Love and Love What You Eat

Eat What You Love and Love What You Eat

Many years ago, my boyfriend (at the time) and I were invited to dinner at the home of his friends. The conversation was good, but no matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t enjoy the food on my plate. What struck me about this meal was its emptiness. It was devoid of joy and bland in flavor and vitality.

 

The couple that had kindly asked us into their home was accustomed to an all-American diet, but a doctor had recently told the husband he needed to make a change. So, the cupboards were stripped of snack foods and the fridge was filled with “health foods,” such as turkey bacon, egg whites, and low-fat cream cheese.

 

This couple wanted to be healthy, but they didn’t know how to change their habits. So, they chose poor substitutes for the foods they were accustomed to eating, and they assumed that eating healthy foods meant that they would forever be relegated to dull meals. There was no joy in the food because they felt no joy in this new way of eating.

Continue reading
2740 Hits

Why Happiness Starts in the Stomach

Why Happiness Starts in the Stomach

In the 2004 documentary Super Size Me, a filmmaker decided to eat a steady diet of fast food for 30 days to see how it would affect his health. Although he and his doctors expected some changes, they were shocked by how quickly his skin turned sallow, his cholesterol levels and blood pressure skyrocketed and his weight shot up 27 pounds. Worse, his mood changed from one of vibrancy to depression.

According to Maharishi Ayurveda, there is not only a direct connection between the food you eat and your health, but food affects your happiness as well. You could even say that health and happiness have a common source in a single product of digestion — called ojas.

Ojas is the physical equivalent of both bliss and immunity. It is what causes the eyes to sparkle, the skin to look radiant and the immunity to be strong. And it's directly related to digestion.

"Ojas is the finest and most refined product of digestion and metabolism," explains Mark Toomey, Ph.D., the director of Maharishi Ayurveda programs and health practitioner at The Raj Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center and Spa. "It's very much related to how we digest and metabolize not just our food, but our very thoughts."

There is a lot written about ojas in the ayurvedic texts. Ojas is said to be slightly yellow in color, to reside in the heart and to also continually circulate throughout the body. It is cool, soft, sweet, stable, viscous, clear, and pure, and when lively in the body, these qualities can be felt in the pulse during an ayurvedic consultation.

Continue reading
2718 Hits