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A Bit of Background Before We Begin | The Whole Woman Village Library

A Bit of Background Before We Begin

by admin on December 22, 2011

I have spoken to many of you on the phone, and I know that we may have chatted a bit. It’s no secret that I am a talker, and it’s no secret that I don’t really have secrets either. Diet for the Whole Woman is meant to be a transition cookbook full of shopping lists, a month’s worth of meals, and “un-recipes.” Well, thank God for that. I am awful at actually following recipes; I am more of a “look at the texture and smell to see if that spice will fit” kinda gal. It is going to be hard for me to stick to Christine’s exact measurements, but that is going to be the starting point for a lot of women, and I will do my best to honor that. How will I know if the dish is good if I spin it completely?

Christine also states that the book is meant to get you to your local co-op or health foods store, and then let your instincts go. That is what an un-recipe is. So, each time I cook a dish from the text, I will also cook something in the Whole Woman Way.

store_valley1.jpg This is my local Co-op

Look at me- even in something as creative as cooking for my job I still can’t exist fully within the boundaries.


Why Me?:


I mentioned that the book is a transitional text. One of the chapters deals with great foods to give your kids, another talks about how to get away your entire family from junk food. I don’t have kids, but I have a fiancee and he looooves his late night Taco Bell. Between my two jobs (Whole Woman and Pier 1) I work about 60-70 hours a week. It’s the week before Christmas I’ll let you guess where in the range that is 😉 I guess what I am saying is although I am not a soccer mom, I get what it is like to be busy. I get what is like to have a fiance that eats like crap and still loses weight anyway. I’m not bitter, really.

One of the very first objections people have about the Whole Woman diet (other than that their man is a “meat and potatoes guy”) is that they feel they don’t have time to cook fresh foods everyday. I am going to talk a little about that, too.

Another thing you might be thinking is: What does this girl know about all natural food? Well, not very much. I believe in local and I believe in hospitality. I love cooking and I am a little Hestia in my house, but when it comes to cooking like Christine, I am a novice. However, if I had to take a guess, that is where many of you are too. I thought that we could learn together.



This is a life change; if left to my own unhealthy devices, my usual daily pattern would be some sort of sugary yet soy coffee on the way to work, lunch at a local cafe, and then there is either the 50% off Pizza Hut next to my Pier 1 as I run from job to job or the sushi place across the plaza. I figured that I was spending 30 dollars a day on food that filled me, but was not nurishing me. I am stressed, so I slam it down. I’ve gained some weight recently, and I’m sure my cruise-cruise lifestyle has everything to do with it.


Animal products:


When this book was originally written, Lanny and Christine were adamant vegans. As Christine (whom I will abbreviate as CK from here on out) hit menopause, she found that she just couldn’t do it. Her body needed the protein and energy from cheese and eggs, so they made the switch. This makes sense to me given the fact that in order to menstruate our bodies need at least 12% body fat. This 12% is a magical social number as well; Medically, anorexia starts at 12% body fat, and it is also the average percentage of fat carried by women shown on commercials on TV. The other thing that makes sense to me is, well, cheese is awesome. I know that my love for cheese stems from the bonding hormones still present in the cow’s milk that were meant for her calf, but I always feel that a meal is incomplete without it. Cheese has a from of morphine in it, so no wonder its so addicting. I’ve learned how to make it, and braiding still hot motzarella is my favorite stress reliever.

So, when experimenting with these once vegan recipes I will be adding cheese. CK on high wants to buy a cow for fresh, raw milk so I am in the clear. I would urge you to buy milk from local, organic, grass fed cows. Did you know that real milk from wandering bovines is almost yellow? It’s because grass has a protein that they can’t break down, and it comes out in their milk. Organic soy milk is also great, and when it comes to drinking that’s my choice. I had severe milk allergies as a child, and as an adult too much dairy leaves me with an earache. It starts to sound like I am listening to the inside of a conch shell, but it’s my ear draining.

 Fun side note: my parents thought that I was crazy as a small child because I would hit my head on the floor and on the kitchen cabinets. It turns out that my milk allergy was filling my ears with mucus and when you hit your head it makes your ear drums bounce, alleviating the pressure for a second. They put tubes in my ears, took away the milk, and wha-la no more self-harming toddler. My forehead is still rather flat, though…. 😉


Let’s talk about meat. The thing that your husband can’t live without. The easy hotdogs that you can pop in the mircowave for 30 seconds in the summer to feed 10 screaming kids at a pool party. Let’s talk about the fact that the average American dies with 10 pounds of undigested beef in their large intestine.

I grew up in Chicago. I know beef, I know steak. My fiancee, Ben, works at a steakhouse. Thanksgiving and Christmas with my Dad’s Polish mother was polish sausage with sourkraut, ham, AND then the turkey. Last year, my aunt served a surf and turf. Like a lot of people, sometimes a burger just looks good to me. For the longest time, I have had a menstruation ritual, where the first day of my period I allow myself a burger and a beer. But then I eat it, and I feel like I a swallowed a baseball and it is sitting in my stomach.

Even before Whole Woman, I was a vegetarian from age 13 to 18. I started because my parents took us to some off the beaten path animal rescue place where I saw a half butchered cow that they had “rescued” and kept alive. It was missing half a ribcage on one side or something horrific. I stopped being veggie when I went to live with Italian relatives in Rome. I would wake up, and they would ask what I wanted for dinner that night. Uncultured me said, “uhhhh, pasta?” It was a massive ordeal, and one day mia zia spent 9 hours in the kitchen with their maid cooking this meal of meat for me(with a personal side of pasta), and well, I broke. My momma raised me to appreciate such things.

I think that our bodies will always bring us back to what feels chemically right to us, and for my body it is a life without meat. I’ve done fish for a while as my only meat, but now I live in the desert and I just don’t see that happening. The cookbook gives a bunch of facts about the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle, and it just reinforces what I feel instinctively. Some more good reading on this is  “The Kind Diet.”


I feel that since the cookbook is so adamant about a meat-free life that I am breaking some WW rules here, but I wanted to be honest with you. I bet that you probably like a chicken breast every once in a while, and I wanted to tell you that you are not alone. You are not alone with your prolapse and you are not alone in struggling with breaking your western diet. That’s why I am doing this edit, and not CK or her DH, Lanny. They are pros. I once had a joking conversation with Lanny about I hope no one aggravates their prolapse over Thanksgiving by lifting a 30 pound turkey, and his response was, “Well, just don’t have the turkey.” Oh, Lanny’s humor. Another reason to love my job.


Time to post and go on to my other job, but more background tomorrow. I promise I will get to the actual food soon.



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