This Food Practice is an excerpt from the list of practices shared in the book, Summer, Embrace Pleasure In Food, an installment in the Food Practice through The Seasons series. Each season contains a practice for each week of the seasons. 13 total. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Before the raw food movement boasted of food that was teeming with the Life force the sun gave to all vegetables and fruits, there were salads – the simple and sometimes not so simple salad.
Personally, I love salads, but some instantly sigh or have just the slightest hint of dejection at the mention of a salad because it conjures up notions of dieting.
I always wonder how it is that wholesome and healthy food has gotten such a bad wrap in this country. The only thing I can attribute it to is high level marketing that has brainwashed us into foregoing food that is good and flavorful and life sustaining for packaged substitutions filled with salt and MSG to help us forget it’s not actually food to begin with – oh… and to buy their products.
Simple Definition of salad:
a mixture of raw green vegetables (such as different types of lettuce) usually combined with other raw vegetables
a mixture of small pieces of raw or cooked food (such as pasta, meat, fruit, eggs, or vegetables) combined usually with a dressing and served cold
My relationship with salads have run the full spectrum, I think. First and foremost, I’ve always loved the crunchy wetness of lettuces and a lot of raw vegetables. And of course, I’ve dieted extensively in my life and for quite a few of those diets, I maintained a raw food or a minimum food/ minimum fat, processed food and carb intake regimen, which meant raw clean veggies in a salad. I also went through the Ranch Dressing phase where the salad was really there to just carry the copious amounts of dressing into my mouth.
Remember Ranch dressing?
I’ve always loved the taste, the eating experience, and over the years have gotten quite experimental with what I eat in my salads.
All that said, now, it’s not only what I would prefer to eat all the time, but it’s become so much more.
The Symbolic Celebration
Grocery shopping is always a fun errand for me. I love walking through farmer’s markets and health and planet conscious grocery stores with huge produce sections. It’s like a bejeweled candy store with so much to offer, colorful, fresh, ready to eat and a perfect expression of the bounty our planet has to offer.
It’s a reminder that life is beautiful and pulsing through everything that grows from the earth.
A salad is a celebration of that for me.
You can go to a farmer’s market right now, and throw together a spectacular salad from what you find there. No matter the season and no matter the location, there are several raw vegetables and fruits and nuts and leafy greens that can be thrown together to form a varied and deliciously flavored salad.
And this is the meaning behind The Salad for me:
Life is abundant, it’s beautiful and it’s available to me in this continuous feedback loop of thriving energy that nourishes all beings.
A salad, people.
Oh and did I mention it’s super good for your body? The fiber, the vitamins and minerals and the chlorophyll and countless other things that are there to feed your body’s health?
If you eat one everyday, the caliber of your health will skyrocket. Yes.
Summer is a time of bounty, of vibrancy, of blossoms and beauty that is impossible to ignore. Turn your salads into a symbol of this. Let the abundance of things out at farmer’s markets inspire you to create combinations and dishes that are a reflection of the bounty and beauty that the earth is offering up to you.
Create a salad or two or three this week. Play with the colors, the combinations, the textures. Let them be a love letter of health and love from this planet to your body.
Please remember that salad in this instance is all dishes that include greens of some sort as a base, with veggies, fruits, nuts and even some protein if you want to make it a full meal. Mac salad, egg salad, tuna salad and salads of that nature lack the juice of this Summer season.
You can really take in the colors and the variety, trying new things that you don’t normally turn to for a salad. Use different leafy greens. There are so many!
Combine fruits and greens with nuts and seeds in a salad. Experiment with making your own dressings using flavors like lemon, mustard, orange juice, etc to give it an extra zest and joy.
Take in the sun, take in real raw, naturally itself food. Let your salads this week be a prayer of gratitude for the bounty and beauty the earth is giving your body for it’s health, longevity and vibrancy.