Jen YihComment

Food is Art

Jen YihComment
Food is Art

I was a dancer most of my life, and if you've ever seen a professional ballerina they tend to be long and lanky, toned, and well, perfect. I started dancing when I was 3-years-old and stopped when I was about 19-years-old. So, my idea and expectations of a perfect body were twisted, almost unattainable. Like any girl, I went through years of ridiculing myself for not having the perfect body, counting calories, low-fat thing, blah blah blah. It was crazy!!! I read the book Skinny Bitch & there started my vegan-ism or maybe just an excuse to restrict a bunch of food groups. It was absolutely not a healthy approach to how I nourished my body. 

Then in 2012, I moved to Rome, Italy for school. This changed everything. The Italians see food as art, so I learned how to see food as art. When you hear about how good the food is in Italy, it is not necessarily because of the way they prepare the food but the freshness of the food. Nothing arriving frozen by plane or preservatives. They cooked and offered foods that were only in season. Every corner I walked there were fresh farmers markets with fresh sun-dried tomatoes from the countryside, crispy apples, freshly made pasta, arugula, herbs, wine, cheese, grapes still on the vine. For the first time, I tasted what a cucumber should taste like, and I understand why they call a tomato a fruit. My new found love and appreciation for GOOD, nutritious, fresh food started here and I forever said goodbye to the American way of fast, convenient food. 

I cook for myself 90% of the time. Going out to eat is something I only do with friends, typically. Living in Portland, people obsess & prioritize delicious, nutritious, organic, farm to table kind of dining. We're lucky, and I love that every barista & waiter/waitress will tell me the story & value behind my little 8 oz. cup of coffee or vegan aioli they made. 

But here's my Portland at-home staples.

Grocery List:

Bananas, Peanut Butter (Ingredients should read: peanuts or dry roasted peanuts, and nothing else), Sourdough Sliced Bread, Avocados, Roasted Almonds (unsalted), Meusli, Honey, Chia Seeds, Shredded Coconut Flakes (no sugar added), Organic Frozen Raspberries, Water Ave. Coffee, Arugula, Eggs, Everything Bagel Seasoning, Organic Tempeh, Soy Sauce, Olive Oil, Balsamic Glaze, Brussel Sprouts, Beets, Carrots, Garbanzo Beans, Red Potatoes, Jasmine Rice.

Breakfast for a Work Day:

Meaning, I don't plan on going skiing or surfing or something where I'm putting out a ton of energy. I'm probably working most of the day, going to yoga, or for a run. 

12 oz. cup of Water Ave Coffee 

Toasted Slice of Sourdough Bread with Mashed Avocado and drizzled with Balsamic Glaze & Olive Oil and sprinkled with Everything Bagel Seasoning, maybe garnished with Arugula. 

Small bowl of Frozen Red Raspberries (or Blueberries). 

Breakfast for an Action-Packed Day: 

This is breakfast for the kind of day I'm putting out tons of energy, skiing, surfing, hiking, and probably waking up at the crack of dawn.

12 oz. cup of Water Ave Coffee or tea. 

One Poached or Fried Egg on top of a slice of Sourdough Bread drizzled with Balsamic Glaze. 

Sliced Banana with a spoonful of Peanut Butter. 

Late Lunch:

Before lunch, I've probably snacked on 2 handfuls of Roasted Almonds. I usually eat lunch around 2PM or 3PM. 

Big Bowl of Arugula topped with a fried egg, shredded Beets, a handful of Almonds, covered in Olive Oil and a pinch of Sea Salt.  

Green tea with a Dried Lemon. 

Summer Dinner:

A bowl of Jasmine Rice (or Barley), topped with Arugula, cubed Tempeh cooked over a skillet seasoned with soy sauce, topped with Garbonzo beans and shredded Beets, Brussel Sprouts, and Carrots. 

Winter Dinner: 

Cut/Cubed potatoes, beets, carrots, (and onion), seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper - baked. Served in a bowl, topped with a poached egg and a side of Sourdough toast. 

with Red Wine, non-caffeinated tea, or water. 

Be good & kind to your body from the inside out. Nourish, hydrate. Don't starve, restrict, control and absolutely avoid foods that aren't real! ...in fact, in life, avoid anything that's not real. Anything preserved, full of chemicals, frozen, dyed... Food is art, food is life.