Wealth of food makes it easy to forget how rich we are

Every time I open the freezer, a rack of ribs taunts me.

Normally, I’m your typical omnivore: Blazing Onion Burgers, Silvana Meats, a nice plank of salmon from Arnies Restaurant — yum, yum!

Right now, however, I’m finishing a 21-day vegan challenge called the Daniel Fast. Dinner for me is beans a la Bourguignon and salad.

I first heard about the Daniel Fast in 2013 when Zondervan Publishing sent me a free copy of “The Daniel Cure, the Daniel Fast Way to Vibrant Health” by Susan Gregory and Richard Bloomer to review for my blog.

Their concept is to spend three weeks following a vegan diet and to forgo caffeine, sugar, processed food and any beverage besides water.

The Daniel Fast also involves a spiritual component. During the 21 days, you pick something close to your heart to pray about. In my case I’ve chosen finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

What really captured my attention about the Daniel Fast is that Susan Gregory is from Ellensburg. This food challenge comes from our own state! Yet, nobody in our area I’ve talked to has ever heard of it, even though it is wildly popular online.

I’m always up for an unusual food experiment, so I decided to give the Daniel Fast a try. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to soy and gluten intolerant. That makes things tricky. Basically, I can’t eat squat.

“Excuse me, do you have anything gluten-free, soy-free and vegan on the menu?”

My husband claims I’ve turned into a character from “Portlandia.”

I prefer to think of myself as just another satisfied patron of Grilla Bites in Snohomish. (Their Three Sisters stew is especially delicious.)

In a matter of days, my culinary journey will be over. Perhaps I will lose a few pounds. Maybe I’ll learn some new recipes that will become part of my family’s permanent repertoire. But definitely I’ll have a new appreciation for food.

I really miss simple things like coffee and tea. Drinking nothing but water seems oppressive, which is a ridiculous, first-world thing to say.

According to Water 1st International, 200 million women across the world walk for miles through dangerous terrain to bring well water back to their family. Here in America, we just turn on the tap. How often do I take that luxury for granted?

It’s not just water. In America, the feast is constantly before us. Smith Brothers milk shows up at our door. We dump out vegetables kids won’t eat. We drive home from the supermarket past five fast-food joints. Open the freezer, and frozen berries from Biringer Farms fall on our head.

For those of us lucky enough to be able to afford food, it is easy to forget. Nourishment is a wonderful word, hydration is a privilege and Washington state farmers keep us beautifully fed.

Jennifer Bardsley blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.

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