I’m in the check out line at the grocery store, and notice the woman ahead of me eyeballing my cart. I looked down, and realized everything in it was super healthy, with maybe the exception of a box of Kashi. This will probably sound silly, but in that moment of realization I felt like a proud peacock. I chose food that will contribute to my health and vigor, rather than damage it. Food that I am quite happily retraining my taste buds to enjoy! Realigning my palate as nature intended it to be. Food that will love me back.

Jewels and old choices

In the spirit of full disclosure, I did momentarily grab the bottle of marshmallow fluff, but when I read all the chemicals in it, I quickly returned it to the shelf, and reached for melons to satisfy my sweet tooth instead. My stomach literally churned at the thought of putting those ominous ingredients I couldn’t pronounce into it.

This information is not just for people doing A Course in Weight Loss, it is important to anyone who cares about their health, the health of their loved ones, and the environment.

Scare tactics in news reports, and the knowledge I gained as a founding member of Parents for Safe Foods back in the early nineties yielded meager changes in the way I ate, but reading books like In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, and the intense pleasure of eating Chef Tal’s vegan food started really swaying me. The chapter in Marianne‘s book that she talks about a love affair with food sealed the deal for me. The retreat even more so. If you can make the next one do! There are some scholarships available for those that can not afford it.

Marianne always making time to care

“Does that hot fudge sundae love you? No, hot fudge sundaes do not love me and they do not love you. They are full of sugar and processed chemicals that bring us anything but love.”

This cupcake junkie managed to find some that look like hot fudge sundaes!

“Those things feed cancer, increase cholesterol, decrease growth hormones, weaken eyesight, interfere with protein absorption, cause food allergies, contribute to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, impair the structure of DNA, create difficulty concentrating, reduce defenses against infectious diseases, lead to osteoporosis, and more. I wouldn’t call any of those things love.” Me neither Marianne!

Natures sweet tooth satisfier

I’m consciously trying to eliminate processed, highly refined foods filled with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners, hydrogenated fats, and high fructose corn syrup, because they offer no nutritional value, and appear to cause serious health conditions in the long run – they do not belong in our food supply, nor do radiated or genetically modified foods – we don’t even know all the long term effects associated with them yet, but I can assure you they are not natural, and I want natural, whole foods in my body that resemble the foods my grandparents and great grandparents ate.

Notes on how to eat consciously

Tal spoke last week about the west being the only culture to consume so much meat that it takes three entire football fields of cattle to feed the typical American meat eater per year. Our rates of heart disease, diabetes, and other problems have skyrocketed compared to places like India where they live off mostly plant based proteins. I’m not saying I’ll ever be completely vegetarian or vegan, but I did joke with Tal that I started with meatless Mondays, and now I eat meatless most days. It’s fun to discover plant based proteins you like, and experiment with them.

Jewels and Chef Tal Ronnen

One of the hardest shifts people are asked to make when adopting a conscious lifestyle is giving up convenience. We as a society have grown so accustomed to convenience food, and don’t have time to cook long involved meals every night. Even Tal, a classically trained super chef, admitted to using the principles of the personal chef approach to make it all happen smoothly at home. I loved when he told everyone he cooks large batches of the quinoa in advance, then will mix some with banana, agave, and peanut butter for breakfast, then a little more heated through to serve with white bean and mushroom ragu for dinner – it is the secret to making this lifestyle doable. I’ll be sharing more tips and tricks of the personal chef approach with you in the coming months to help you streamline eating consciously at home too.

Are you following the news on what is happening to our food supply? Does it concern you? What changes have you made to your diet as a result and why?

Simple Marinated Grilled Tuna

I do not eat fish as often as I used to due to high mercury levels, but I still believe everything is okay in moderation. When I do, I make sure the fish is wild and line caught. Did you know you are entitled to sniff the fish for freshness before buying it? It should smell like the sea, not strong and fishy, if it is really fresh. While the color of raw Ahi tuna is red, it actually has a very mild flavor.

Servings: 4


24 ounces of fresh Ahi tuna (or salmon)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of honey
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


1). Mix lemon zest, garlic, honey, lemon juice, and olive oil in a large bowl. Add tuna, turn a couple times to coat well, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2). Prepare a hot grill pan.

3). Remove tuna from the marinade, season with salt and pepper to taste, and grill 2-3 minutes on each side, or until you there is good color from the grill marks, but still rare in center.

Serving Suggestions: I served it here with sauteed zucchini and grape tomatoes, but it is great with any vegetable of your choice, or on top of salad greens with a little dressing.

Variation: For an Asian twist add 1 tablespoon soy sauce (omit salt), 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced, and substitute olive oil for dark sesame oil.
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