i am usually a pretty hearty eater, but lately i’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by food, and i’ve wanted to be more gentle with my body. my long hours at work suck away free time for surfing and swimming and yoga, and i have been feeling sluggish and, actually, a bit fluffy.
another consequence of my long hours is that i am rarely making good meals (and thus less good leftovers). even if i am able to make enough food to bring with me to work- or when the boyfriend cooks up good food- i often feel like a crazy grrl who wants to, ohmagawd, sit down and eat for a few minutes each shift. despite the fact that i work at a health food store, some of our staff has surprisingly unhealthy habits- and i am becoming one of them!
because there are not scheduled break periods (unless you are working a 14 hour double shift) we basically go eight hours without eating or simply eat on the run, both of which have negative consequences for one’s digestion. i simply cannot go more than a few hours without some food, so i try to bring healthy snacks like flax crackers, rice and veggies, or dried fruit. but often i forget, so i end up eating a bagel or a smoothie as i start crashing at about 9am. if i do have a chance to bring a good little meal, i usually eat it in just a few minutes, oftentimes while standing or squatting.
needless to say, my digestion is acting resentful. after spending a long time nurturing my tastebuds and digestive health, i feel like i am now sabotaging it. so after quick morning meals and big late lunches, i usually want something very simple for dinner. these are some of the healing soups that we have been eating, always served with brown rice, seaweeds, and steamed greens. eating these light dinners has made me feel, well… lighter in the morning, and less sluggish during my early morning shifts.
earth soup (recipe by the boyfriend)
this grounding soup uses fungus, sea vegetables and earthy root veggies to calm you down after a long day, especially one that includes too much coffee, too much sugar, or just too much running around around at work. this soup takes some time, but is very worth it! just a note: might get digestive things… ahem, moving along.
5 dried shitake mushrooms
4 cups purified water
1 inch square of thick, unwashed kombu
3 inch piece gobo (burdock) root, cut into thick chunks
1-2 tbsp barley miso
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1 tbsp nama shoyu (unpasturized soy sauce; regular soysauce will work too)
rinse and soak shitake mushrooms in warm (purified) water for about one hour. add 4 cups water and the kombu in a pot, and keep at a low boil for 20 minutes. add in the cut gobo and cook for 15 minutes, then add shoyu, mushrooms and soaking water. bring to low boil and simmer for 45 minutes. add in the onions, carrots, and miso, simmer on low for 15 minutes. do not let it boil after adding the miso; the beneficial microorganisms in miso will die if you boil it. let cool until serving temperature. keep leftovers in a sealed jar for a few days. reheat gently, and add more miso if desired.
easy miso soup
this is the quickest miso soup; not traditional for sure, but healing and yummy. these proportions make one serving, so adjust the amounts for number of eaters.
2 tbsp light miso (chickpea, white, or combination)
splash of lemon juice, spalsh of shoyu, and two drops of toasted sesame oil
crushed or shredded seaweed (i like this kind)
1 tbsp sesame seeds of hemp seeds
handful of finely chopped greens
boil some water in your teakettle or a pot. add a few tablespoons of water to the miso and mix until a paste is formed. add about one cup of hot water and all other ingredients to the bowl, and stir well. if you are using fresh greens, wash well and tear into small pieces. pour some of the boiling water over the greens to wilt, then remove and add to your soup. add ice or cool water to the soup to bring to edible temperature, or simply let the soup cool on its own.