An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of April 26, 2009
Issued from the Siskiyou Mountains west of
Grants Pass, Oregon, USA

SELF DISCIPLINE &
SIMPLIFICATION --> ENRICHMENT

Maybe one reason Anita's Tofu Pudding {recipe below} is so good is because it's simple. Humanity evolved eating uncomplicated foods, so maybe we're predisposed to prefer them.

I can see why one might disagree with that assessment, for nowadays the foods most people crave are anything but simple. However, reasons beyond good taste exist for "craving" complicated modern foods.

First, I suspect that more of our processed foods and drinks are addictive than is recognized. Also, remembering how my own taste buds awakened when I became a vegetarian some 40 years ago, I'm convinced that processed foods containing industrial-strength flavors and animal flesh and juices desensitize our taste buds. Once we deaden our mouths and become accustomed to overbearing industrial flavors, natural flavors hardly make an impression.

People generally prefer high-calorie food, too, because during most of humanity's evolutionary history it made sense to focus on foods high in energy. Thus, if we allow our animal natures to dominate our senses of proper proportion and appreciation of subtle, elegant sensations, we'll naturally crave whatever high-calorie foods we come across -- foods high in fat and carbohydrates -- instead of, say, the amazing taste of a really fresh carrot.

These insights complement what I learned overcoming my own obesity (As a Freshman in college I weighed about 340 pounds {154 kg}). I am convinced of the beauty and correctness of the following simple formula:

SELF DISCIPLINE & SIMPLIFICATION --> ENRICHMENT

I wish I could say that I discovered the above formula because I'm so smart and wise, but that isn't so. As a young person I began exercising self discipline mostly because I was emotionally and spiritual mixed up and wanted to punish myself with self denial. My early dedication to simplification mostly arose from my miserliness and not having much money to begin with. I blundered into the above formula, and often even fought against it. I am so healthy and happy today purely by accident. I am very much like the reformed alcoholic now preaching sobriety.

But, the above formula is true, even if I am an unworthy bearer of it. Having come upon it so serendipitously myself, here I pass it along to you freely:

Restrain your appetites, rid your life of excesses, cultivate your sensitivities to what is near at hand and free (especially natural things), and your life will become enriched, and you will grow happier.

Simple as that.


ANITA'S TOFU PUDDING
Tofu, made from soybeans, is low calorie, contains no saturated fat, no cholesterol, no hormones, but has a good bit of necessary protein and iron. Unfortunately, it's a bit bland.  Here is a recipe for a tofu dish my friend Anita prepares, which I think is as good as ice cream.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 oz tofu (block of 4 x 3 x 2 inches)
  • ½ cup carob chips
  • 1 drop mint flavor

PREPARATION:

  • Blend until smooth and creamy.

It's delicious at room temperature, but if you're shooting for an ice cream substitute of course you need to refrigerate it.

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