When I first started to smoke weed, I really had no idea what I was doing. I just loved being high. It wasn’t until I went to college that I started to question what I was actually doing to my body. Was weed healthy? Was I going to melt in the couch like those anti-weed ads and lose my passion for being active?
Hell no, and shame on the people that perpetuated that stigma! Cannabis is such a great addition to my daily cardio and workout routine. Notice I said addition to my workout—cannabis should not be the workout. I learned through a little bit of research (thanks to the renowned UC Santa Cruz library) that cannabis can help the cardiovascular system in many ways. Desirable effects don’t become noticeable until you’ve built up a cannabis tolerance, unfortunately, but once that tolerance is built up, the improvements are impressive! The ECS (endocannabinoid system) plays a very important role in the cardiovascular system, and although you run the same risks that everyone does for high-intensity workouts, cannabis helps you err on the safer side of that equation.
The importance of understanding your body is second to none. We only have one vessel to work with, and we should know how to take care of it. Our ECS is now known to be responsible for regulating many systems of the body which, when functioning properly, can help our bodies reach homeostasis and run more efficiently. The scientific community recently began researching the effects of low doses of cannabinoids to get your system on track, without the overwhelming psychoactivity of large THC doses. Once we as a community educate enough people on this matter, I believe our society will start to view cannabinoids as a supplement rather than a drug or psychedelic, and we’ll see it used more openly.
Here’s a recipe that fits perfectly in line with the upkeep of our endocannabinoid system. I like to make this when I’m craving something filling, yet still on the lighter side. Chickpeas are a staple in the Middle East, so I grew up eating some manipulation of them with almost every meal. I love me some chickpeas in just about anything, but in this recipe we make them the star ingredient!
Infused Summer Chickpea Salad
- 1pound chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 1 tablespoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 3 garlic cloves (smashed)
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 grapefruit (or orange), segmented
- 1.5 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- ½ a Lemon
- 5-6 sprigs of mint
- 1 cup cucumber (small diced)
- ½ cup parsley (chopped)
- 1 banana pepper (brunoise—cut into strips, then julienne)
- ¼ cup red onion (small diced)
Start by soaking the chickpeas overnight in water. Drain the chickpeas and put them in a pot with two inches more water than where the beans sit. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, garlic and thyme to the pot and cook the beans for about 30 min on medium-high heat, or until cooked through. Drain the chickpeas and save the liquid for a broth, or for soaking your next batch of beans. Let the chickpeas cool.
While the chickpeas are cooling, you can dice the cucumber (and optional banana pepper and red onion). Segment the grapefruit, chop the parsley, pick the mint. Now toss the chickpeas with olive oil and season with the fresh ground pepper and salt. Taste to make sure it is seasoned correctly. Add the cucumber (and banana pepper and red onion, if applicable), fold gently, then add the mixture to your serving dish. Drizzle on the aged balsamic and add the parsley, mint, segmented grapefruit, then squeeze the half lemon on the whole dish. Serve up and enjoy!
If you are looking for some healthy recipes to incorporate to your daily diet, check out theherbalchef.com/recipes for some delicious treats!