From cooking all of our own meals since we were freshmen, to reading nutrition books over novels and being the ones to eat salads out of mason jars, stick fruit in our BPA-free water bottles and ask for salt lamps and aloe plants for our birthdays, as holistic junkies, we all know a little something about independence!
American or not, independence is something we can all celebrate! And when adopting a unique lifestyle, there’s almost guaranteed to be encounters with some negative feedback from others now and again. HECK, that’s just fine! Anyone else’s opinion has nothing to do with you and whether they keep it to themselves or are overtly open in voicing their opinions, it is your right to choose the lifestyle that suits you! And for the record, I’m behind you 110% 🙂
But it’s also important to mention the other side of the coin. It can be all too easy when you are feeling amazing, to wish this lifestyle on others, but everyone’s path is theirs to follow and they have as much right to live their life as they choose, as we have the right to live ours. So while we wait for our friends and family to all hop aboard the holistic lifestyle with us (or they may never get there and that’s okay too!) celebrations can get tricky. What can we eat when navigating BBQ’s strewn with mayo potato salads, unknown sources of meat burning on the grill, beers over kombuchas and dairy desserts?!
Here are 3 hacks to holistic independence:
1. Bring your own holistic swaps that mimic the standard dishes
- Try to mimic dishes as much as possible which serves several purposes:
- It allows you to avoid feelings of deprivation. Ever been to a BBQ and watched everyone else savouring a juicy burger and felt the cravings sink in? Bringing your own allows you to feel included in what everyone else is eating while knowing that the quality of your beef is something you can feel good about.
- I also come with my own condiments such as mustard that are easy to stick in my purse and are free of sugars and food dyes.
- As for dessert? Dark chocholate is an easy treat to stick in your purse and enjoy later.
2. Know the secret phrase that works for every question
- This phrase is dynamite. You may have all of the scientific “facts” in the world backing you up but there will always be people who have other ideas. Afterall, nutrition in itself, is always changing and evolving and I’m sure you’ve been lead astray at some point too. But there is one thing that no-one can argue with and that’s how you feel.
- So when others question you, simply, happily and firmly state that you eat what you enjoy and what makes you feel good.
3. Share your food
- Of course, you can pack your own food that may be completely different from others, but I find that this can too often upset the host/hostess. They want everyone to enjoy the food, too! Though I pack my own mustard and bring my own beef, I do so discreetly, explaining ahead of time what I’m doing and quietly sneaking it to them in the kitchen so that it doesn’t draw much attention. Unless someone asks, I certainly don’t feel this the time to make a statement about nutrition. So while I do bring some of my own things, I also bring a large dish that everyone can enjoy! This is usually a salad, and lots of it, to fill up on.
- Holistic life hacks: worried that there won’t be enough for you to fill up on? Sneak your own serving into your bag. No one will notice but you won’t have to worry about everyone loving it so much that you have nothing to eat.
Now the question that arises! What does a holistic foodie bring that everyone can enjoy?
Always a go to, salads are bound to show up at any event, but creative salads are the ones that will be more than just a side dish and asked for time and time again.
Summer Asparagus Salad
Adventure level: 1/5
Serving size: 4 (multiply for the crowd)
Light and fresh with local, in season asparagus, oven roasted for big flavour (as opposed to grilling) and rich in nutrients, this salad was our Canada Day crowd pleaser!
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus (cut in half or 3/4s)
- 1 onion
- 2 TBSP coconut oil (or more olive oil)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
- Himalayan salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small garlic, minced
- 4 large roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1/3 cup organic olives (green or black), sliced and pitted
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Toss asparagus & onion in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (for higher heat stability) with salt and pepper to taste and roast for 6-8 minutes until they begin to go tender.
- Remove from oven adding the minced garlic, 2 TBSPs of the balsamic vinegar and return to the oven for 4 minutes or until the vinegar is no longer runny.
- Toss in a bowl with capers, olives, olive oil, and a little more balsamic if needed.
- Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Let it chill for 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.
Simple and delicious, this one is sure to go over well and is extremely versatile. You can add soon to be in season cherry tomatoes, quinoa for a more filling salad, mint leaves for additional flavour, chicken so that you can take a pass on the BBQ’d meat, you name it!
With a delicious and nutritious day to celebrate all the glory of your holistic independence,