My Comfort Food
There is no doubt that my comfort foods have changed since eating a primarily plant-based diet. The variety of foods in my diet increased dramatically as I discovered different vegetables, grains, beans, seeds and nuts. I also began to feel the profound effects of food on my body. I clearly noticed how they tasted, but I also noticed how they made me feel overall. Did they make me feel energized, calm, sleepy, fatigued, irritated, grounded or ungrounded? Did they satisfy my hunger and desire for food, or did they leave me with cravings?
As we eat unprocessed whole foods, devoid of stimulants, pesticides, chemicals and artificial colorings and seasonings, we begin to clean and detox on a cellular level. Our bodies become more sensitive to the food we eat. Our minds become clearer and more focused, and our moods stabilize. And as we consume primarily plant foods, including plenty of vegetables, we are supplied with nutrients that support our organ systems, alkalinize our bodies and support true health.
Over the past few months, I have been traveling the country in search of a place to open my Integrative Medicine practice. I have explored both coasts, the Midwest, the South, and I vacationed in the US Virgin Islands. I’ve always had a desire to travel–it drew me to Nepal for the Peace Corps and has motivated me to explore many other countries. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed my travels, I realize how weakening they can be to my body, and I have come to recognize and appreciate the need to constantly balance and counteract the effects of being on the go.
Airplane travel is the most challenging for me. It’s not just the coldness of the airports and planes but also the accumulation of radiation exposures, electromagnetic frequencies, germs, chemicals, fumes and the physical contraction that occurs from sitting in a cramped seat. Not to mention the stress that occurs from getting to the airport on time, checking in, going through security lines (more radiation!), making connections and then making sure luggage is there when you land. It’s enough for me to make the decision to drive whenever possible.
So after all of that, it’s no wonder that I crave comfort food! One of my favorite comfort foods is Creamy Rice Miso Porridge. I love this porridge because it is nourishing, satisfying and especially grounding. It’s also really easy to prepare! I can feel the relaxing effects it has on my body when I take the first bite, and I know that I am nourishing myself both energetically and nutritionally. Properly made miso soup with both sea and land vegetables is loaded with vitamins and minerals, alkalizes the body, helps detoxify chemicals and radiation and is an excellent probiotic to keep our guts healthy. When adding a whole grain like brown rice to the miso, a hearty soup or porridge is created that is perfect for any meal. Whenever I begin to feel a little under the weather or the need to balance, I turn to this soup. Try it and see how you feel!
Creamy Rice Miso Porridge
1 cup leftover rice*
2-3 cups spring water
⅛ t wakame flakes
¼– ½ small onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
½ cup cauliflower, cut in small pieces
1 t brown rice or barley miso
2 t sweet white miso
Sliced scallions for garnish
- Place the vegetables, rice and water in a saucepan.
- Cover and bring to a boil over a medium flame.
- Reduce flame to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Remove a small amount of water from the porridge and mix the miso in it until dissolved.
- Turn the flame to low, add the dissolved miso and stir gently. Do not bring to a boil, as it will destroy the beneficial bacteria and enzymes in the miso.
- Gently simmer uncovered for 3 minutes.
- Serve garnished with sliced scallions.
For a quick breakfast: place vegetables, rice, and water in a saucepan, and while they are simmering, get ready for your day. When you are ready, add the diluted miso and enjoy!
*Any leftover grain can be used.