Monday, May 29, 2006

Two-Faced Herb

I believe most people are oxymorons … me being one of the biggests. At a recent event, I met a bunch of herb-peddling individuals who had some very interesting insights into herbology and man’s relation to that.

One of the comments was that all plants have an inbuilt balancing mechanism. Sounds really dull, eh? I was getting ready to switch on my snoozing-with-me-eyes-open-and-a-fixed-smile-on-me-face mode when the chap said that it basically meant that a plant may have poisonous traits but it would also have elements in it that can battle that toxicity.

Interesting. He used an example of how a particular herb may have the ability to prevent cancer but also by the same token if one of its components was isolated and taken in excess, it would be carcinogenic.

I rather like the concept of herbs bearing the yoke of a two-sided coin – one side may bring all the promises of paradise, and the other all the terrors of hell. These plant-huggers went into a discussion about how man used to consume herbs in their entirety and thus experienced their full benefits. Nowadays, many of the herbal concoctions or supplements are only a fraction or derivatives of these herbs. Sometimes, the isolation of properties in these herbs creates toxicity that will require other balancing agents, which they thought was terribly silly when you can just consume the herbs naturally and in their entirety.

They had a point, I thought, but I was also rather amused at their vehemence since they were peddling herbal supplements too. Black paint is popular in the DIY shops I reckon.

What was my point again? Oh yeah … that we, that is us humans, are much like vegetables. Er … like plants I mean. I think us food bloggers are even more plant-like. Let me explain.

Take me for example. I would like to pursue a healthy lifestyle of fresh foods, balanced meals, healthy diet and enormous wealth beyond what Bill Gates could ever aspire to, the power to cure all illnesses, the beauty of Angelina Jolie without the bad taste of hooking up with peeps like Billy Bob Thornton and Bad Pitt, and … sorry, got carried away. Yeah, healthy diet and all that.

However, being a food lover, I love rich, unctuous food that will clog up all my arteries including any aspiring offsprings’. I experiment with heavy creams and consume ridiculous amount of food in my bid to discover the tastiest, the most original, the richest or the most delightful concoctions. I've also tasted some really atrocious food in my culinary inquisitiveness.

Balancing the desire to be healthy and satisfying my cravings is really challenging. I admire and deeply respect those among us who stay true to their convictions and eat according to these. I have many vegetarians friends who either decided to change their lifestyles out of moral issues or just a desire to be healthy. I like me veggies but I also like the animals that eat those veggies. I’d stick to being an indiscriminate food devourer.

So there I am, feeling rather herb-like. I know I should be eating healthily especially in light of my new medication regime but I found myself having unreasonable cravings for curried foods and rich coconut creams. I was drinking lots of fruit juices and exercising as best as I could. Then I’d walk down to the nearest food court after exercising and buy the biggest, baddest coconut curry meal.

Can you spell oxymoron? I can … see?

It’s worse when I go out and buy a supposedly healthy yong tau foo meal. Yong Tau Foo is supposed to be healthy. With its tofu cubes and fish-stuffed vegetables, fresh vegetables and light broth, yong tau foo is the health food of choice among weight-conscious women in Singapore.

But what does yours truly do? I asked for a thick curry broth instead of the clear vegetable broth. A healthy dish mutated into a rich, spicy and heavy dish. It was fantastic! Let’s do that again! Burp!


Anonymous mae said...

I too love coconut cream based curries and that picture is making me drool heavily i'm going to turn away now.

12:12 am  
Blogger MM said...


4:52 am  

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