Sunday, January 11, 2009

Magnificent mangoes

A batch of pink mangoes, fresh from a friend's yard.

Yes, the title sounds corny but I couldn't help it. It is mango season now and over the past few months I have been in awe of all the huge, flowering mango trees all around city and country.

Once I heard that mango trees have a special sort of energy that can even replenish and cure a dying person if you hug them a certain way. I don't know whether it is true or not, but they are certainly have a particular kind of presence I can't exactly put into words. For those of you who never saw one face to face, they are huge (up to 40 m high and about 10 m wide). I wish I could insert a photo here that would give an idea of their stature, but I still haven't been able to capture that in picture. When I look at them and stop to seriously think about how they are live beings just myself and probably have a certain level of awareness of my presence (as in The Secret Life of Plants) it just blows my mind.

I confess that mangoes were never amongst my most apreciated fruit, but when I was a child there was a mango tree that shaded my house and I loved to climb on the roof to play and pick my own mangoes to eat right there. Although mangoes are not native to Brazil, they are everywhere here in the northeastern region, and a decade or so ago people would laugh if they saw mangoes for sale - if you didn't have one in your own yard, a neighbor or friend surely would.

Mangoes are tropical trees originally from southern and southeastern Asia. According to the website Fresh, more mangoes are eaten fresh than any other fruit in the world. They are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, beta carotene, anti-oxidants, and fiber, besides being simply delicious!

This won't interest all raw foodists, but here in Brazil some people enjoy eating unripe mangoes with salt! I used to eat that as a child too, but I just can't imagine myself doing that today! It has an extremely acidic taste that brings a shiver to the spine.

A tastier recipe :) for those of you that are into nut mylk is simply to grab a few mangoes, peel them and squeeze the juice to be mixed with your favorite mylk. It is very tasty and is also great exercise for people who spend a lot of time on the computer. Another recipe that is ready in just a few minutes is the following:

Summer mango smoothie

(Yes, it is summer down here!!)

- Flesh of one mango
- Juice from one tangerine
- One pear
- Cold water and/or ice


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My true, raw self

Being my true, raw self is beautiful and vibrant like these pitangas.

Every month I go through a roller coaster that I believe is quite common among women. For roughly the first two weeks I am good humored, eating healthy, and overall "fine". The other half of the month I am cranky, impatient, and going through cycles of binging and guilt. In other words, I am not myself.

Or so I thought.

Today I had a very interesting "aha moment", which made me realize that maybe it's the opposite. Maybe, just maybe, my true self only comes through during the infamous PMS. Let me explain.

I have had bad PMS for as long as I can remember, and for the last two years with raw food I have become more and more aware of it and what happens to my emotions during that portion of the month. In fact, for a while I realized that my PMS was getting much worse the more days I managed to stay raw each month: inevitably, everything would end in a huge chain of binges that only stopped when I got my period again (phew!).

What I believed was that the more I became raw the more I got closer to really living out my true self, doing what I want to do, being in the now, etc. However, I thought that was the "nice" side of myself, the one that showed up after PMS was over, the patient, good humored one who hardly raises her voice when someone purposedly steps on her callouses.
So what happened in practice was that I was raw the first part of the month and when PMS settled in I either "fought" it daily going through cycles of raw-binge-raw or "accepted" the whole situation and let myself eat whatever and how much I needed to forget what was going on.

This time, because of a big personal crisis, I started paying attention to the "good" part of the month and realized maybe that's not the true me after all. Maybe that's all the ego, going "look at how nice I am" or "look how people like me". Maybe my "bad side" is not really bad. After all, it.s during that phase when I can tell people what I think without fear of disapproval. In other words, each month my true self tries everything to assert itself and come out, but I just keep trying to shut it up everytime. With food.

This really brought about a shift within me and I think I will be finally able to go through an entire month - PMS and all - living my true, raw self. I can't wait to see what more I will find out about myself!