Contributing Monkie Aria Alpert
Published on June 23, 2010
Photographer: Joan Allen
I love to cook. Am obsessed with food. I really am. I admit it. Always have been. Enthusiastically tried every healthy diet there is, fervently read cookbooks, food magazines, researching recipes online, love watching cooking shows, could spend all day in a supermarket, only purchase organic produce, religiously shop at the local farmers market, only like to support restaurants/chefs that use seasonal, local, organic food and will travel to an obscure gourmet food shop to purchase one ingredient. Some would say I’m a bit of a food snob. Well, I am. An organic food snob.
Choosing what to make is the hardest thing. Makes me crazy. My OCD perfectionism comes out in full swing. But once I do, in the kitchen I am in heaven. At peace. Happy. Creative. Expressive. I love it. I only cook healthy stuff. I forgot to mention that. Been into the healthy side of food for the past 10 years. Before that I was a whisky drinking, pill popping, baguette and Brie eating depressed young girl writing poetry and living in a warped dreamland of Hollywood thinking I was Dorothy Parker. You get the picture. It all came crashing down when I found out I was hypoglycemic. Oh yes and I had Candida. SO I did like any obsessive foodie does, I became fascinated with what I could and could not eat and got healthy. Through experimenting with different foods I began to make the connection between what I was eating and how it directly affected how I was feeling. I became a crazy food detective. The food and mood connection rocked my world. Yes I got a wee bit neurotic but you kinda have to in order to figure out what foods work with your body and what foods don’t. Through the process of elimination I slowly started to rebuild my body. My gut. My digestion. Myself. I started cookin’ my way into health! And if I was eating with some one and they got tired or their nose immediately became stuffed or they broke out in hives I knew it had to be from what they just put in their mouth.
Shortly thereafter I meet a raw food vegan who introduced me to his lifestyle. Juicing. Soaking nuts and seeds, avocados, fruits, coconuts – the complete opposite to what I was eating. So again I do like all good foodies do and I became completely obsessed. I got to a point where I almost threw out my stove and I even vowed never to eat cooked food again. I was a raw fool. Making pies, pates, everything raw. I felt high on life. (Or high on all the sugar from the fruit and dried fruit and maple syrup!). Oh yes and one more thing. Well two. I looked like shit. My skin was horrible — covered with red little irritated bumps — I had a grayish hue to my skin and I lost my sex drive and my period for 1 ½ years. Nobody openly talks about this and the raw and/or reformed raw women that I have talked to share the same imbalance. The hard core raw community told me it meant that I was clean and pure if I didn’t menstruate anymore – I’m sorry but that is insane. I later understood it’s a loud wake up call to eat a little meat. Some blood. Not regularly. Just when the need arises. My naturopathic doctor and gynecologist were begging me to eat some meat. I refused, then tried, then cried. I just couldn’t bring myself to cook it, let alone eat it. Then one night, a full moon I believe, I was out to dinner with my family and I order the organic lamb. Everyone almost fell out of their chairs in shock. My lamb dish arrived. I had a little moment before honoring the lamb and then took a bite. I immediately felt the blood rush to my cheeks and my uterus. I’m not kidding. And, I must admit, it was delicious. I ate the whole thing and enjoyed every last bite. And finally, in conjunction with other natural remedies, I got my period. Now I eat organic meat when I crave it. About once a month. I view it as a medicine.
So now, many many many moons and diets later, I consider myself an organic, farmers market, local, seasonal Flexitarian. I eat everything (in moderation). Except pork and shellfish. Not because I am kosher or anything, just don’t like ‘em and I think shellfish is probably the direst thing to consume. Especially right now. Oh and not a fan of butter and white flour and sugar BUT will not turn it away. I am all about enjoying each meal. Enjoying life. Living a balanced obsessive organic ‘foodie’ lifestyle. So here I am in the land of the blog documenting my simple, seasonal, organic, local, rustic, dairy-free, mostly vegan, gluten free, sometimes even haute cuisine creations. According to my family and friends I ‘cook real good’. Hope you enjoy!