This past week I had the opportunity to visit La Cocina Que Canta-The Kitchen That Sings- the cooking school at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, located just a few miles away from the ranch. The farm is nestled in the flat lands at the base of a mountain in the most picture-perfect setting. The rustic, red brick Mexican style architecture set against the backdrop of lush gardens and cascading flowers is simply stunning.
Most impressive were the organic gardens, in bloom with broccoli, baby lettuces, cabbage, radishes, onions, a large variety of herbs and many other vegetables. Our group of 18 bloggers went into the gardens to harvest the herbs and veggies for our dinner that night.
Chef Michelle had the facility set up and waiting for us. We divided into groups of 2-3 per station and each group prepared a portion of the menu for our gourmet dinner. From miso soup to a fresh foccacia bread with a delicious crab salad, to lentil dal, wild brown rice and grilled salmon with mango/papaya salsa, to the crowning touch of chocolate cake (made with yams!) with butternut squash topping… the dinner was spectacular!
It was great fun to bond with the other women as we worked together as one big family and created a masterpiece for all of us to share together. We were even given copies of the recipes to bring home to re-create this yummy experience for our family and friends.
Not only is this food yummy but it is also very healthy too. This week at Rancho La Puerta I was once again reminded of the surprising and profound impact that my food choices have on my health and on the health of our planet.
What is the healthiest for me is also the healthiest for our planet. I realize we all have to create a balance in our own individual lives, and none of us are looking to make radical changes. However, being at the ranch reminded me of some powerful statistics from Earth Save International, which provides education on the impact of our food choices, for healthy people and a healthy planet. Consider this:
Nearly 70% of all disease in the US is diet related.
Nearly 30% of the adult population is obese.
Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women, yet physicians are able to reverse existing heart disease in more than 70% of patients by prescribing a low-fat vegetarian diet.
A total of 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of water can be saved for every pound of beef you avoid.
What you choose to put on your fork can have a greater positive impact than any other single recycling effort you do.
The diet at the ranch is Mediterranean, consisting primarily of veggies, fruits, grains and a bit of fish and seafood. The portions are all controlled to supply the nutrients that our bodies need, without the added fat, sugar, preservatives or artificial additives. The food feels light and alive and so do I.
Being at Rancho La Puerta was a great reminder to be more conscious of my choices daily- for me and for the planet. And the nice thing is, every choice matters. I don’t have to make drastic changes and completely change how I nourish my family. Making a small change here or there will add up to a profound impact for my health and for the health of the environment.
Tonight I’m going to make something wonderful…. perhaps a big, fresh salad with butternut squash gnocci, or maybe veggie lasagne….. Regardless of what we choose, we’ll make sure it’s not only yummy, but also healthy for people and healthy for the planet.
This Post Has 3 Comments
I really like how you included the stats from Earth Save International. Saving that much water by avoiding beef is unbelievable! Thanks for sharing and after a week of vegetarian eating, I can attest that I feel the best I have in a very long time. In fact, I’m still keeping it going and sticking with the Mediterranean meal plan they taught us on the ranch. Thank you Rancho La Puerta!
Jennifer, I’m glad you liked the stats. They really make you think, don’t they?
I agree- I feel great and can’t wait to return to Rancho La Puerta again. What an amazing week we had! Thank you for being a part of it.
Thanks as always! You inspire me.