I rather like cooking. I make no claims to being a great cook, but I can enjoy throwing together something tasty, and I can appreciate a good recipe and fresh ingredients and all that basic stuff. I do not like fad cookbooks, which are usually about some agenda other than enjoying good food, and are often coupled to some weird new pop mania that will change next year. Give me healthy and flavorful food first — telling me that it’s diet food to make you lose weight is like telling me that here’s a recipe for food you’ll want to eat in very small portions and that you probably won’t want to eat at all, which is contrary to the spirit of good cooking. Portion control and variety and exercise are fine ideas for losing weight, but don’t try to live on a diet of cardboard.
I have found a kindred spirit in The Angry Chef, who reviews a recent set of cook books.
All I want to see is a book about eating well, getting some variety, and making food that warms the soul. Where nothing is demonised, there are no strict rules, and there is no need for guilt and shame. I would love to see simple accessible recipes that appreciate how not everyone can afford three avocados a day, or grass-fed organic beef each evening. Something that considers how damaging the demonisation of foods can be for people’s mental health, and understands that telling people they can lose weight if they just try harder, actually does more harm than good.
Most of all, next January, I would like to see a book on the shelves that cares only about how healthy we are, instead of how much we weigh.
That’s what I want, too!
Unfortunately, at the same time I found my guiding angel, I also found his antithesis. It’s Amanda Chantal Bacon, “founder and owner of Moon Juice—the Los Angeles destination that serves beautifying herbal powder blends, tonics, and treats to A-list fans like Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley”. You will be disappointed to learn that in spite of her name, she doesn’t start her day with a side of bacon. No, she has listed her eating habits for a typical day, and it sounds…unpleasant.
At 8am, I had a warm, morning chi drink on my way to the school drop off, drunk in the car! It contains more than 25 grams of plant protein, thanks to vanilla mushroom protein and stone ground almond butter, and also has the super endocrine, brain, immunity, and libido- boosting powers of Brain Dust, cordyceps, reishi, maca, and Shilajit resin. I throw ho shou wu and pearl in as part of my beauty regime. I chase it with three quinton shots for mineralization and two lipospheric vitamin B-complex packets for energy.
At 9:30am, I drink 16 ounces of unsweetened, strong green juice, which is my alkalizer, hydrator, energizer, source of protein and calcium, and overall mood balancer. It’s also my easy, ‘lazy,’ and delicious skin regime. I also take three tablespoons of bee pollen. I love Moon Juice’s soft and chewy bee pollen—it’s a creamy, candy-like treat that gives me my daily B-vitamin blast, and also helps feed my skin and aids hormone production. I’ll also grab a handful of activated cashews. I try to get these in every day for their brain chemistry magic. I chase this with a shot of pressed turmeric root in freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
Maybe that snootful of dried fungus is utterly delicious — I don’t know. But she’s not saying she’s eating it because it tastes good, but because it has “super endocrine, brain, immunity, and libido- boosting powers”, which is bullshit. You don’t need “alkalizers”. Everything does “brain chemistry magic” — a cup of coffee does things to your brain and energy and doesn’t cost $60 for a four ounce jar. Everything she’s nibbling on sounds awful, and like she’s just eating it because of bizarre notions about its medicinal virtues.
No thank you. Moderation and simple local foods, fresh and well-prepared with an eye towards good flavor, would be my ideal. Exotic ingredients selected for imaginary magical effects is precisely the opposite of what I want.