The Food Preacher

biochemical individuality

seasonal eating -- good way to eat

we are the dust of the earth, can be broken down into minerals

the closer a food is to the earth, the more life it has to give to your body

farmer's market - support local farmers

NEED TO BALANCE the shortcake

rancid oil is very dangerous

pressure cooker -- good

egg -- perfect food has all elements of life, high in cholesterol and lecithin which balance each other, when you cook lecithin is killed, best to eat when yellow runny -- soft boil

The above nuggets of wisdom are a few of the highlights from a nutrition class I took in November of 2000... nine years ago when I still owned the hiking boots I wore when I walked off the plane into the urban wilds of NYC... nine years ago when my afternoon snack of choice was a can of Coke and a bag of pretzels, and my favorite dessert was the chocolate mousse cake (with the mouse on top) from one of the many Greek bakeries in my neighborhood.

I had signed up for a five-week course on basic nutrition at the yoga institute where I was taking classes. The teacher was a practicing nutritionist who was trying a food combining diet to see if it fit his biochemical individuality. He was as passionate about food and how it affected one's well being as a baptist preacher is about gospel.

In one class, the Food Preacher proclaimed, 'Buffets are killing America! All that food! The complete lack of portion control! The eating of fruit with other food!' He nearly shouted, 'Rise up and go forth young sheep! Never eat fruit with other food, and NEVER EVER eat cantaloupe with anything else, even other fruit.'

I remember it this way, although my notes, only say, '*usually better to eat fruit alone and esp. melon -- very difficult to digest.' Eating fruits alone is one of the 'rules' involved in a food combining diet which tries to make the most out of the body's digestive processes. Fruits are digested differently and more quickly than other foods, and when they are dumped in the stomach with, oh let's say a sandwich, they have to wait their turn and they begin to ferment in the meantime, causing discomfort and stressing out the system.

At the time, I wasn't much of a fruit eater. Truth be told, I didn't really care much for it. Fruit only became a regular part of my diet when I was forced to give up refined sugars.

So, what was I doing there fully enraptured by the Food Preacher and all his knowledge? What inspired someone happily content with her Coke and pretzels to learn about carbs and proteins and sugars and minerals and the biochemical nature of our bodies? Well, I thought that I might want to become a vegetarian, and I didn't know enough about food to take on a new culinary lifestyle. It wasn't just the yoga classes; it was my health. I was at the beginning a very long road that would be plagued by a nasty proliferative micro-beast known as candida (yes, the one that causes yeast infections, sorry for the TMI).

At the time, I knew very little, but I understood the simple mechanism of antibiotics upsetting the natural balance of micro-organisms living in our body. When I learned that hormones and antibiotics were in the meat I ate everyday, I decided to stop eating meat. Sure, I could have tried to commit to eating only organic meat, but it would have been too expensive and difficult for me at the time.

I've been thinking quite a bit about this lately because I have many friends who are just now trying to teach themselves to eat better... from Weight Watchers to South Beach. I don't envy them the learning curve. As much as I admired the Food Preacher and wanted to know everything he could teach me, it was overwhelming. It was only because I believed it could help me feel better that I decided the work was worth it.

What I discovered was that this change, seemingly monumental, was only the beginning because I didn't feel better for many years. And I sought the help of many people, all with tailored ideas about how and what I should eat to help resolve this medical problem. And trust me, when you are miserable enough you will follow any kind of regimen that someone with a degree or two after their name suggests might be good for you.

There you have it, ladies and g's! If you are now thinking, 'What about cocktails?' I am sorry. Even a lushtastic urban gastronomer has an occasional week lacking cocktails. The closest I came to an evening of libations was a mediocre date in Tribeca on Friday night. Not bad enough for a digital-girl write up and not good enough for a second.

Stay tuned!


  1. Oh blimy! Wish you had been with us on Friday. Come next week, if you can.


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