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My last post was very serious… and I realize that we need that seriousness at times in order to counter balance our often too casual relationship to life.

I was watching a movie called “The Beautiful Country” the other night. It was beautifully done and what was striking to me was the truthful depiction of what people in many other countries experience as a way of life… things that we are so far removed from. The main character, a Vietnamese young man, went through an extraordinary journey in order to come to “the beautiful country” of America. I was watching this and reflecting on how many patients I see every week who are horribly unhappy with their incredibly plush life. Reflecting on our obsession with being thin when people in many parts of the world would die to have some food and clean water. The disparity is simply incredible.

So when I say that we often have  a “too casual relationship to life,” this is what I am referring to. We have it good, really good and, in general, we do not take this seriously. I am bringing this up because we need to wake up. I’m not suggesting that we wallow in guilt or engage in idealist thoughts of returning to the “good old days,” when we lived on the land. It would be fantastic if we started by taking responsibility, right now, for where we are at and where we want to go. I see our relationship to food as a fantastic place to start.

What to do?

Start with giving thanks. This has nothing to with religion and everything to do with what is right. So much went into what is on your plate in any given moment. Before you dive in, take a moment and feel the gratitude in your Being for the gift that is in front of you.

Pay attention to what is in season in your area, and eat those foods. This establishes a fundamental, biologic and energetic connection between that which renews your very being, and the Earth system from which that springs. If we are really going to create a movement that leads to a sustainable future, we are going to have to experience this connection (between Earth and Man) at a cellular level. There is no better way to do this than to eat what the local earth brings forth in season.

Right now it is Spring in the lush Northwest. Spring is the time of renewal and regrowth. This renewal happens in nature, and man/woman is not separate from that. When we eat foods in season we cultivate what I like to call “the spring within.”

I will post more on Spring Eating Tips in a couple of days. But for now I wanted to share with you one of my favorite spring recipes.

Sour Plum-marinated Asparagus

Vinegar from the Asian ume plum makes this marinate delightfully sour. The sour flavor can help to decongest the liver and gall bladder, which in turn supports the “spring within.” The juice from a ripe minneola, tangelo or orange rounds out the flavors and creates an inspiring movement of flavors in your mouth!

Serves: 4                                                       Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 to 10 minutes            Marinate: 1 to 3 hourIMG_4389

1 large bunch of asparagus

Marinade
⅓ cup unrefined, extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup ume plum vinegar
Juice from one medium-size orange or tangelo
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons orange or tangelo zest

Wash and trim asparagus. Place in boiling, salted water for 3 to 5 minutes (less time for thinner asparagus). Rinse in cold water and place in 9- by 13-inch baking dish.

Mix all marinade ingredients together and pour over asparagus. Let marinate for up to 3 hours.

Pour extra marinade over steamed brown rice and lay asparagus over the top…hot or cold.

Save these juices to marinade other veggies, fresh free range chicken, or you can make a tasty dressing out of it!

Tiffany

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