This piece was written in late 2007. Way before any copycat authors pulled a Greek and stole the original article. Sunez Allah asked me to contribute a second part to his science-philosophy based protocol on Diet which he was giving out and teaching to students interested in this aspect of the self. I agreed to do the piece with a focus on the application aspect of it. It is meant to start discussing the question: How can one eat right and exact living in the hood? The piece has a urban-NYC focus, but the information can be adapted to any City and/or even suburban, rural areas that have markets, supermarkets, etc. I wanted to share this with some of you whom I know we have spoken about this at one point or the other. Peace!
Starting a Living Foods Diet:
For most of us, the idea of eating right is a goal that becomes out of reach and a concept that cannot be actualized. One of the reasons is having no understanding of how to eat right and what foods are healthy for the individual. Even when one understands what eating right is the resources to undertake the process of healthy living lacks. Part one of the health protocol details the idea of “becoming an educated consumer,” a process that entails studying the foods that we have been accustomed to see as good. It also consists of studying the variety of food stores within our neighborhood and the kind of non-perishable and perishable provisions they carry.
In becoming the educated consumer and engaging into the ideal diet, not only to prevent food-related diseases, such as diabetes, high-blood pressure, arthritis, to name a few, from manifesting within our bodies, but to develop the lifestyle that leads into living the right and exact culture (4), one must first study what is a diet, as detailed in part one. In carrying out the proper culture, the diet component in our lives is essential because it will be one of the factors that will propel drawing out the natural talents each individual has to contribute to the world. Thus, the ideal diet is one that aids in full enlightenment (9) of self. We seldom think of the idea that all original people are dealing with war in different manifestations. War is not just physical fighting with guns where one party seeks the oppression of the other through a masquerade that gives advantageous reasoning of democracy. War is experienced in many levels, whether it is through the products that women use, such as lye burning relaxers, aluminum ridden deodorants, swine made lipsticks, pore-clogging perfumes, and fluoride filled toothpastes, the clothes that we choose to wear, or the foods that we choose to eat. One hardly thinks that food has something to do with being revolutionary. It is actual fact that indeed applying the right and exact eating habits into ourselves changes not only the cipher, environment of the person doing so, but causes a change in the society itself. While so many others are blind, deaf, and dumb to what they are being told to eat by the American Food and Drug Administration, those who have realized the atrocities being committed by that entity, to the food that arrives and we then purchase at the Grocery Store or Supermarket, will stop supporting an industry that is overwhelming Meat and Dairy based. Understanding the socio-political, economic, and environmental aspects of this issue is the first way in which to make the first step in changing an aspect of one self. The other must be to investigate and research the science and philosophical ideas of diet. What is the mentality of a diet? Why does my body need certain foods? What are the components of different foods I eat and how does my body assimilate them? These are questions addressed in the first part, which will help in adapting a diet that will aid in elevating the self. If one has an understanding of how the world works, who he or she really is, then with that must come a change in the elements that fuel the energy within our bodies. How can an individual have a high awareness of self is it not being lived out through all components? This includes one’s diet. Through this piece, it is my purpose to provide a thorough description on how to apply the ideal diet discussed in part one into our lives.
“What we choose to eat makes a powerful statement about our ethics and our view of the world -- about our very humanity.”- from www.veganoutreach.com
Navigating the Neighborhood:
The process of eating right and exact entails that one thinks about the relation of one’s neighborhood to foods. What kind of food stores are in my neighborhood? Which ones should I avoid and why? How do I pick and choose products from the supermarket? What are some of the products that are of best quality that I can consume from the corner store bodega? What are the actual ingredients in each of the foods I want to purchase? These are the fundamental questions that will guide an individual to properly transition to a healthier diet. An exploration of the prototypical ghetto will shed light into many of the answers.
Bodegas. These small overcrowded corner stores have had a historical link to the development of our cultural urban identity. From growing up and watching the recently-arrived jibaro, campesino men engage in a game of dominos or playing beautiful reminiscent island music, to watching the business crumpled as the owner is discovered for using the bodega as a front to the real business: the distribution of narcotics in our neighborhoods, these have always been a part of city life. They are smaller versions of supermarket and are more readily available, being that so many are at close proximity of people’s homes.
All in all, when one receives knowledge of self and starts to change their diet the corner store bodega is definitely an option that one must continue to use in regards to the consumption of our foods. However, the options of consumption are very limited, as these stores are a direct contributor to the health detriment of many of our original 85 brothers and sisters, in the very same manner that local fried chicken spots, liquor stores, and the Chinese take-out also perpetuate many of the health oppression of our people. It is the social manifestation of our people’s marginalization. One that is rooted in the study of food and slavery. It was the slave that was fed the unwanted part of the cow, chicken, and pig. While the slave master ate the chicken breast, the steak, or the pork chops, the slave eat the chicken feet, cow’s tail, and the chitlins. While science will prove meat is not for the consumption of man, it was the legacy the European brought, based on his own history, and passed it on to our people who were enslaved and therefore kept in an 85 state of mind.
Below is a list of the items that can be bought at the store. Careful analysis of their contents will show that these are the best and only product one should be buying from this type of food business.
What one can buy at the bodega?
• Canned goods, like Goya beans (of all kinds)
• Vegetable canned goods—like canned carrots, beats, and other vegetables.
• Canned tomato paste or tomato sauce
• Certain selection of juices, making sure that they do not contain high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, or dextrose, or natural caramel color.
• Natural plantain or yucca chips—the only healthy chips available at the store. The other chips contain hydrogenated oils, which cause high amounts of gas after consumption.
• Bottled Water, make sure it does not contain sodium, like Dasani.
Although, I include canned goods, it is preferable to buy beans in a bag, since in the cans omit its metal residue into the beans. However, if they don’t have bagged beans, the next best things are the cans. Bodegas also tend to carry very toxic foods, such as Twinkies, cakes, potato chips, and donuts. If you decide to consume these products, as stated by Sunez Allah in the first part of the protocol, study your body and the reaction it has to these foods. You will realize you were better off in the first place.
Neighborhood Supermarkets (C-Town, Fine Fare, Pathmark, Associated, etc):
Supermarkets have a much wider options of products that we can buy because they are bigger. However, this means that they carry more unhealthy ingredients. Study each lane and the products they carry and make the wisest choices. Below are some of the healthy options for each of the lanes within the supermarket:
• Produce Section: This should be the most visited section in the supermarket. Although not organic, one can purchase a wide variety of fruits (peaches, plums, pineapple, apples, pears, bananas, cantaloupes) and vegetables (like avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, red, green, yellow peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, etc) of the best quality. As well as root vegetables: plantains, yucca, yame, yautia, potatoes, garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, etc. These can be used for the many dishes prepared for dinner and lunch. The foods are high in chlorophyll (red and green) which rejuvenate and detoxify (8) your body. When preparing these one should purchase a fruit & vegetable wash from the health food store. Refer to Brief Notes on Preparation, 1st paragraph
• Frozen Foods Section: In this section of the supermarket, choose the frozen vegetables and frozen fruits. These are really good for you because they are not picked before they are ripe; rather, they are chosen at the right moment and frozen for longer-lasting use while preserving the phyto-nutrients of the fruit and/or vegetable. You can use the frozen vegetables for stir-fries, stews, soups, and other dishes. A plus is that the food already is pre-cut, which serves for faster cooking. Frozen fruits can be used for the preparation of desserts and fruit smoothies or shakes. This section of the supermarket contains high volumes of processed foods, where one can find the famous TV-Dinners harmful to oneself. Refer to Elimination for Detoxification, section 4, Processed
• Baked Goods Section: When exploring this section one should focus on certain breads. Virtually all bread contains high contents of sugar and salt combined with the artificial properties of the processing methods for these breads. If one looks closely, there are certain breads that can be purchased. Usually breads made out of unbleached wheat flour, and grain breads are really good. Some of these breads will contain a bit of sugar, but you are better off than buying wonder bread. Some breads contain enriched wheat flour, which means that the bread was initially rid of its nutrients and then weaker versions of them were added back into the bread. Regardless, they are of a higher health quality. Please do not buy breads that say “Wheat” on them. Just because they are labeled as wheat does not mean they are not made out of toxic ingredients.
In this section one can also study the cereals within the supermarket. Most cereals are GMO, meaning they are made from a genetically modified organism, in a lab! This on top of artificial sweeteners and milk added to the product. Not good and has no nutritional values. The best cereals to buy are those that say organic and ones you read the ingredients and contain organic cane sugar. The granola cereals that do not contain milk or toxic ingredients are good.
• Meat & Dairy Section: The least visited part of the supermarket; there are actually some products that can be purchased. As a result of gentrification (the movement of young professionals and college students of middle class background into low-income neighborhoods, resulting in the increase of rent and loss of culture) one can find products previously not available. In the dairy section, one can now find soy milk and yogurt. Most likely, the brand you will find is Silk strawberry, blueberry, raspberry yogurt and vanilla or very vanilla soy milk. The benefits of soy consumption are endless, especially for the reproductive system of the Earth. These include lowering risk of cancer, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases to easing the symptoms of menopause. In this section you will find butters that do not contain milk, but they still contain whey, which is the watery fluid found on the top of the milk. Others may contain casein, derivative of cow’s milk. Refer to Elimination for Detoxification, 2nd part
• Canned Goods and Condiments Section: One can extract many useful products from this area. All the canned beans and vegetables are good to use. However, preferably, one should deal with the bagged beans. These are found here. Look carefully through the condiments and try to find sea salt and organic ketchup. Most likely, you will not find it, but once in a while they do have it. Goya now produces brown rice. This is a good start, although it may not be of great quality, but it beats the bleached white rice.
Navigating Outside our Neighborhoods:
As one progresses in their knowledge of the consumption and purchase of living foods, one must explore outside of their territory. Unfortunately, most health food stores and health based restaurants are in predominantly white-middle class neighborhoods. The saying of “history repeats itself” is very relevant, especially when we are in tune with the mathematical patterns that expresses how oppression is exerted upon original populations. Healthy lifestyles and health movements tend to be associated with the colored man. Just as in the case of ancient Egyptian philosophy, close study of history shows that original people have been eating right and exact from as far back as it’s know in ancient history. This is an aspect of our lifestyle that was appropriated by the colored man. Thus, why the association between whiteness and health is made. What has kept our knowledge of this lifestyle and knowledge alive is the Rasta. Those who embrace (1, 2) aspects of the Rasta everyday life will realize (3) the right and exactness of their diet. Parts of certain Asian diets serve as a great reference as well. This is why one can find 1 or 2 restaurants in heavily original populated areas, as in the case of Harlem, Washington Heights, China Town, and Brooklyn. Below is a list of health food stores and health based restaurants that will sustain the living foods diet of God and Earth.
(54th Street & 8th Avenue)
It’s a health food store/supermarket, containing very expensive, but organic produce. There are many other products, such as healthy cereals, brown-rice pastas, soy or rice based ice-cream, organic frozen fruit and vegetables, organic frozen pre-made food, soy, rice, or almond based milk, soy butter and cheese, tofu, and some fake meats: like Tofurky sausages (very yummy). You can also find vegan mayonnaise and organic ketchup of great tasting quality. Ezekiel bread is a great bread to purchase as well because it is the only bread which contains live nutrients. Of major importance is that here you can purchase the antioxidants documented in Part 1.
(Various locations throughout New York City: 59th Street & Central Park West, 24th & 7th Avenue, 14th Street & Union Square),
This enterprise is masked by its association to health food; however, it’s really just a boughsie supermarket, which happens to contain health products. All supermarkets for the upper middle class will always contain health food. Regardless, there are some products that are really good and can only be found here (i.e. vegan French bread rolls- yummy )
Gary Null’s Whole Foods:
(89th Street & Broadway)
Gary Null is the creator of the most potent and effective green and red chlorophyll (Green Stuff & Red Stuff) with a number of additional health products that work wonders on the conditioning of the human body. He has his own health food store, which contains high quality, but expensive, organic produce. It is similar to Westerly in the products it carries. Their food bar is extremely delicious, but again, expensive. This store features delicious Gary Null chocolate (no milk) and products. This store contains all the antioxidants documented in Part 1.
For more information go to: www.garynull.com
(99th Street & Broadway)
Health Nuts is the only supermarket with vegan cheesecakes and soy whipped cream. Most of the products here are the same as Westerly and Gary Null’s whole foods.
(Located on 72nd Street & Broadway)
This store contains great cheaper produce and similar products as previously listed stores.
(175 Remsen Street, in Downtown Brooklyn)
This store contains many similar items as other health food stores and it features great products for cooking vegan Mexican food.
(213 Hester Street, Chinatown)
Wholesale and retail store where one can become a member to buy products at reduced prices. This store features textured soy-protein “meats” for those in transitioning who still need to feel as if they are eating meats. The store has frozen tofu, which are great for stir-fries. In addition, there are veggie steak, fish, chicken, salami, ham, duck, shrimp, meatballs and others. These are all made out of soy. However, some contain milk or milk derivatives.
(135 E Broadway, Chinatown)
This supermarket is a great resource to find big bags of healthy rice, like Brown or Jasmine rice. One can also find non GMO tofu, and other healthy products.
Small Hidden Health Food Stores:
(All over the hoods)
Explore your neighborhoods; they contain small unseen health products, but sometimes at much more expensive rates than downtown stores. There’s one really good store in the corner of Hillside Ave & Broadway in Washington Heights, right by the post office.
* Note: Just because it’s a health food store, this does not mean that every product they carry is healthy. The consumer needs to be wise and continue to study the labels, ingredients even at this stage of their diet. Health food stories still contain products with massive amounts of sugar (even if it’s healthy sugar) or milk and its derivatives. There are many soy cheeses that have casein. Also, many potato chips have cheese or whey in them.
A list of restaurants to come later….
For those interested in Part One, notify Sunez Allah.