Saturday, June 30, 2012

#122 - An Update and a Nice Summer Wine

I've been thinking for several days now that I needed to write another post, though I wasn't quite sure what I would write about. Tonight, I decided to visit the site and realized it has been nearly two months since my last entry. I'm still not sure what to write about, but perhaps if I hit enough keys for long enough something of meaning will come out. Then again perhaps not.

First, an update on the new lifestyle. It has been 12 weeks since we began working toward eating more of a plant-based, whole foods diet. With a few small transgressions (such as using some of the mayonnaise we still had in the refrigerator when we made this change), we have been completely meat and dairy-free for the entire time.

Over the 12 weeks, we have managed to drastically reduce the amount of added oils and sugars in our diets and have substantially cut back on our intake of processed foods while increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables we eat. We are also becoming more active. As a result, we have collectively shed nearly 40 pounds. Teresa has dropped 12 and I've lost 25 pounds.

In addition, we are becoming more adventurous in what we eat. Tomorrow night for instance, I am going to try my hand at making falafel. Traditionally, this tasty treat is deep-fried, but I've found some recipes for baking them, which is what I intend to do.

Beyond that, though, I am also becoming reacquainted with a food I had sworn off as a child because of its association with various bad experiences from that stage of my life. For the first time in more than 40 years, I am able to eat tomato (not simply tomato products like ketchup) without grimacing or gagging. I won't say we're good friends again, but I am becoming more comfortable having a bite of tomato in my mouth.

One of the rituals or habits we've begun to develop since changing our eating lifestyle is that we occasionally enjoy fresh-made hummus on the patio with a glass of wine (or two) and perhaps some fruit. Recently, we came across a fairly inexpensive wine that pairs well with either one or even with both, which is how we enjoyed it.

Turning Leaf Vineyards Refresh Crisp White 2011The wine in question is Turning Leaf Crisp White, and it is certainly that. It has a light lemon scent and a slight hint of carbonation. That latter fact makes it a possible alternative to New Age White wine, with which it shares a number of characteristics but at a lower cost.

The wine makes a wonderful summer accompaniment to fresh fruit, hummus, salad (perhaps with a nice vinaigrette). It manages to work with a wide variety of foods because the lemony hint helps to balance again sweeter food such as fruit while there is also just a hint of sweetness which help to balance against slightly more tart foods.

Refresh Crisp White by Turning Leaf is also a real bargain, usually running between $6 and $8 a bottle. If you want a nice balance between cost, taste, and refreshment, this wine is a good choice.

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