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You can take the girl out of California…

Posted Jan 30 2013 1:39pm

 

… but you should never, ever take California out of the girl. I’ll explain.

 

I’ve been living in student digs for the past two weeks, and suspiciously, I’ve noticed I’ve felt “off” for about the same amount of time. Off turned to weak, and then to a lovely combination of symptoms that I’ll spare you. I took myself to a doctor, who prescribed antibiotics for an ear infection {ugh}, and then asked me a very important question: had my diet changed, recently? 

 

Traditionally, I eat what I refer to as a California-infused Mediterranean diet. What I mean by that is mostly vegetarian: fresh fruits and vegetables, hearty grains & legumes, fats — especially from olive, coconut and avocado oils — with the occasional bit of seafood.

 

In downtown London, however, I’d become an active participant in the grab’n-go commuter culture. There are entire grocery stores that cater exclusively to the grab’n-go crowd, and as a result I’d had more prepared meals over the past two weeks than I’d eaten all year last year. “Healthy” meals, sure, if you read the labels, but my body wasn’t buying into the high-sodium, plastic-wrapped portions.

 

In an effort to get back to my roots, I threw together a salad that featured pretty much everything I could find at the campus grocery store: salad greens, cilantro, green beans, edamame, avocado and even a little bit of seaweed. I threw in some rice with pumpkin & sunflower seeds on the side, and with one bite (and a drizzle of sesame oil) I knew I was well on my way to recovery.

 

Detox Salad

 

Big salads with more legumes than leaves and nary an iceberg in sight are my favorite comfort food. You are what you eat, so it’s no surprise that indulging in something so verdant and fresh would make me feel better… just like it’s no surprise that turning primarily to pre-made foods made me feel exactly like what I was eating: mush. Lesson learned!!

 

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