Watermelonade (Raw, Gluten Free, Soy Free)
You Are What You Eat. Such a simple statement and packed with so much Truth, as much as some of us try to deny. I have struggled with what to put in my body for several years now — Five years ago I was happily a pescatarian. I have always loved seafood, so between greens and fish, I didn’t see a reason to eat land animals. Then, the Fukushima nuclear spill caused by the Tohuku earthquake and tsunami happened in March of 2011. Last time I checked, 300 tons of nuclear waste is being poured into the Pacific Ocean on a daily basis. Just this past year, remnants of the spill washed up on North American shores, and even though oceanographers say ocean life is not carrying harmful amounts of radiation, no government body is monitoring this (!?), and I’m at the point where I don’t want to take my chances. In 2011 I started eating meat again, and I lessened my intake of seafood.
Fast-forward to where I am now on my food journey. Learning of GMOs and the practices of factory farming has put me on a path of really thinking hard about what to put in my body. I’m almost 35 and already have lost many friends, colleagues, and family members to cancer. With the many climate crises we face with the rest of our fellow Earthlings it seems it makes more sense to be less trusting as a consumer and be more of an active participant in the cultivation of our own food, water and energy.
A good friend (Hey Jasmine!!) of mine who is raw vegan taught me a few recipes last summer, and since then I have been dabbling into vegan recipes. She told me it took her a few years to transition to where she is now, and that it takes work, so I took her advice and have just been having fun in the kitchen. Eventually I would like to be completely plant-based, and I would also like to have complete control over my food source, water source and energy source — the kitchen seems to be a good starting point to achieve these goals.
Recently my community has requested recipes of my vegan dishes since I’ve been posting them on my IG account, so I decided to start blogging about my food journey. While the enjoyment of food/cooking is reason enough to post, I’m posting with the intention to skill share what I feel is really important for living in these times: access to whole and organic foods is particularly scarce in poor communities and communities of color, and so is education about food (and intentionally so). What kids eat in the cafeteria is practically garbage and the grocery stores in these communities are very limited. With sharing these recipes and my journey I hope folks can be encouraged to question what they’re putting on their plates and in their bodies, and see that it is possible to make healthier choices on a tight budget. Solidarite with All Living Things & Struggles.
Nissa, Solidarite Kitchen
I kickstarted my transition into a more plant-based diet by doing a 4-day cleanse from the Urban Remedy book. It was a really enjoyable cleanse — kind of the opposite of what a cleanse sounds like — and I recommend it to anyone who is on their journey to becoming more food conscious.
My first recipe post will be my Watermelonade because of its detoxifying and nutritrious properties. Watermelon has a plethora of health benefits — made up of 92% water, it keeps you hydrated while also packing you full of vitamins — vitamins A, C, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, choline, selenium, and more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable(watermelon or a ton of water and a multivitamin? You choose). Watermelon can help with asthma prevention, lower the risk of heart disease, clear skin and promote healthy hair, promote weight loss, decrease the risk of cancer, reduce blood pressure, regulate digestion, prevent muscle soreness, and bring down inflammation. This drink also has cayenne pepper and lemon juice, both popularly known for their detoxifying properties and health benefits. This is a tastier alternative to the Master Cleanse lemonade, in my opinion.
2/3 of a watermelon
2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of mint or peppermint extract (*an addition credited to omar_gaza on IG, thanks!)
Cut up the watermelon and blend.
Dilute it with 1/3 filtered water.
Juice the two lemons and add juice to the blender.
Add the cayenne pepper, and the mint leaves/peppermint extract.
Pour into glass, and enjoy :)
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