I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the definition of the word “normal.” Or lack thereof, rather. For what is “normal” but a relative term? Sure, we have cultural and social norms, but if there’s anything to the saying “we are what we repeatedly do,” then that what is necessarily our own normal, is it not? And if that is the case, I am a very healthy (and normal!) eater.
If we’re really honest where food is concerned, however, there is indeed such a thing as “normal food” in North America, and it even has a name: the Standard American Diet (or SAD). Last time I checked, though, the SAD wasn’t doing us many favors health-wise, so I am quite comfortable existing on the “alternative” side of standard American eats, as I know for a fact I’m better off that way.
That said, I also know for a fact that I have inadvertently made more than one person uncomfortable by performing my “admirable” health habits in their presence. Furthermore, I’m sure that more than one person crossing my path must have assumed that I’m trying to lose weight, obsessed with dieting, or whatever else might just be reflecting their own health insecurities.
But the truth is that I love to eat (and eat plenty) and I love what I eat. I wouldn’t have a food blog and spend all these hours playing with recipes otherwise. I could drive myself crazy trying not to give people the wrong impression, trying to seem normal, whatever that is, yet I know both intuitively and scientifically that I do nothing but good for my body by treating it the way I do. Conclusion? There’s nothing for it but to own it.
In fact, I can even show you what normal looks like (fancy that!). How about a salad?
A massaged kale salad topped with spiralized and baked sweet potato sounds just about right to me.
Even simpler? A PB & J sandwich.
Mine just happens to consist of tahini and fig spread.
And then there’s the great American classic: a burger and fries.
The fries may be made of carrots, and the bun may be made of lettuce, but you can see for yourself that my raw vegan veggie burger makes no apologies for not being made of beef.
…So much for not eating things with a face, eh? ;)
Oh, and let our memories not be so short as to forget the spaghetti and “meat”balls from just last night!
Then there’s ice cream. We all scream for it. Neither sleet nor snow nor bovine dairy can keep me from enjoying this treat of treats.
I just like to make my own these days, that’s all! Especially since I won this from Shannon’s giveaway:
Pretty much changed my life! If you’ve been following along here for a few months, you know I’ve been toying with homemade ice cream a bit, and with some moderate success. I gotta say, though, the ice cream maker really made the difference. For my first batch, I used the same recipe as for the Stoopid Easy Vegan Coconut Ice Cream, but with the addition of half a package of Newman-O’s to create a cookies ‘n’ creme version. The first ice cream picture above is the result of freezing it overnight to fully set, but FYI, this is what it looks like straight out of 30 minutes in the machine:
More like a Blizzard from Dairy Queen (I used to LOVE those!), and pretty much every bit as good, for that matter! Plus you’ve got the rockin’ coconut nutritionals workin’ for ya, which are not at all cancelled out by the crushed cookies. ;)
Anyway, here are the ingredients for simple coconut milk ice cream more time, for what it’s worth:
- 1 can regular coconut milk
- 1 can lite coconut milk
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 package Newman-O’s (or Oreos, or other sandwich cookie), crushed
Blend first 4 ingredients together and process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions. Add cookie pieces in the last 5 minutes of processing.
You could also do this sans ice cream maker (just blend, dump and freeze), but I will warn you from experience that it will come out fairly icy. Even the ice cream maker version was a little less than creamy. A vast improvement, nonetheless. Gotta give it up for Cuisinart!
But I digress. The point of that tongue-in-cheek series of food photos was to show that while I obviously know what’s considered “normal” food by Americans, those are foods that are in fact normal to me, meaning I would gladly eat them every day because I find them enjoyable, nourishing and satisfying. And that’s not to say I think others would necessarily do well to imitate me, as we’ve already established that “normal” is indeed a relative term and could mean something very different to my neighbor.
Scorpions? In America, not so much “normal,” and not so much nourishing and satisfying. To me. But then again, I’ve tried those too.
Do your healthy/vegan/raw/other/”different” eating habits catch the attention of “normal” people?