"Raw Paws" - or the Society for Mutts that Don't Do Meat or Cooked Veggies. The group is only a fictional one--for Mr Smokey R. Dokey (pictured) won't be giving up his viande vittles any time soon. But, being the gentle cohabitant that he is, he respects certain members of his family that are experimenting with a new way of eating... read on.
cru (kroo) adjective
There are a few other definitions for "cru", most of which are not in theme with today's story. Help define the additional meanings, here in the comments box.
Manger cru, c'est manger un aliment vivant. To eat raw is to eat a living food.
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
My teenagers and I stand transfixed before the food processor. Smokey and Braise join our huddle which forms a demi-circle around the encased liquid: a mysterious green-flecked food source. Max's eyebrows lift in amusement, while his sister, Jackie, backs cautiously away from the counter. As for the dogs, they're just giddily grateful to be included in a food-related activity. But was this food? After all, it sort of looked like swamp matter, which, arguably, is food to some... slimy creatures and mythic beings, for example.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est exactement?" Max questions.
"What is it? Why, it's a lettuce-banana smoothie!" I dare say.
"Un smoo-sie laitue-banane?" Jackie wants to be sure she has heard correctly.
"Un milkshake... avec de la salade?" Max repeats, unbelievingly.
"Yes, it's 'un smoothie vert'... and there is no milk in here!" I correct my son. "...and you won't even taste the greens--that's the magic of it!" (I had read that one way to get your kids interested in 'drinking green' was to get them to participate in such an experiment as this, after all, what kid isn't fascinated with weird science?
I searched the kitchen armoire for three of our most attractive glasses (having read that presentation was key) and filled three tumblers--the only glasses that were uniform in size... and not chipped... or misted with calcaire. Pouring out the smoothie, we watched, eyes agog, as the pulpy liquid slid out (our food processor did not succeed in rendering the vegetables and ice in a velvety "smoothie" state - as I had seen on Youtube, where I'd gotten the inspiration for this raw food breakfast for amphibians, or, rather, champions).
As the glasses filled, large blobs of thick green runoff slid menacingly down the side of the glass, to the horror of the voluntary tasting crew. It was all the kids could do to not pinch their noses as they took up the goblets and tilted them at the edge of their mouths....
"Et alors?" It is good?"
Max licked his green lips and Jackie wiped her own lèvres vertes with the back of her hand....
"C'est pas mal," came the non-damning consensus.
"Vraiment?! Really?!" with that I upended my own goblet in time to feel the fragments of lettuce streaming between my teeth. Surprisingly, and, as promised, the vitamin-rich greens were tasteless, and only the sweet flavor of banana prevailed. I crunched down on the unprocessed ice. "Next time I'll freeze the bananas," I promised, "...and we'll forego the ice!"
The kids set down their goblets and ran back upstairs to carry on with more conventional activities, such as playing with new hairstyles (Jackie) or resuming un jeux d'ordi (Max), activities that were sacrificed for The Green Smoothie Experiment.
Meantime, I sat down at the kitchen table and sipped the rest of my "live" drink. The watery bits (melting ice) were a little disappointing, but I reminded myself of all the vitamins that I was drinking in!
While a daily green smoothie may not cure my skin problem, it is a step in a positive direction. And it is empowering to know that, while some things are out of our bodies' control, we still have a big say in what we "feed" our living cellules.
Le Coin Commentaires
Has anyone here tried to incorporate more raw foods into their diet? What about juicing? Can you recommend a good green juicer? What equipment to you have in your healthy kitchen? Do you turn to medication--or to mangoes--at the first sign of illness? Any warnings you might like to add? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, here in the comments box.
Two books I plan on buying (add your recommendations to the comments box):
Raw Food Made Easy, by Jennifer Cornbleet
Live Raw: Raw food recipes for Good Health... by Mimi Kirk
Selected French Vocabulary
la viande = meat
calcaire = chalky
et alors? = well then?
c'est pas mal = it's not bad
vraiment = really?
un jeu d'ordi (ordinateur) = a computer game
The classic Bescherelle, the complete guide to French verb conjugation. Read the five-star reviews, and order, here.
Exercise, or healthy Alpine living, near the town of Serre Chevalier.
One final health tip for you--not that I am in a position to hand out health tips!--but the French words on this sign seem a good remedy for many of the body's ills; the sign reads: Ce qui compte... c'est l'amour. ("What counts... is love"). Photo taken last month, in the town of Monetier (near Briançon).
Speaking of love, do you have a minute to read a story about my French mother-in-law? Click here to read "Elvis in Ancient France"
A Message from Kristi: For twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.
Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety