Friday, August 28, 2009

Small Changes...

I don't know if I've said this already, but one reason I think I decided to eat better is because due to my health issues right now and the ensuing inability to "do" much of anything for myself or others, choosing better foods is one thing I can (or thought I could) aim at.

I'm thinking aloud here...what changes can I make/have I made?

1. Enjoy what is left of the summer's gorgeous harvest. Here in Idaho that is Corn, Beans, Organic Strawberries, peaches etc.

2. When possible, buy organic butter, Milk and dairy without hormones and anti-biotics, and eggs from happy chickens.

3. I've long since sworn off anything that says partially hydrogenated anything. I've also long since avoided bleached white flour, unbleached only. I don't know who out there is still buying bleached.

4. Now swearing off as many things as possible that have high fructose corn syrup in them.

5. Though it is no healthier per say, I'm trying to prefer the taste of natural sugars, honey, molasses, maple syrup, and raw sugar, though I still use white in baking, and to use a little less of them.

6. It's a little thing but I don't prefer to use bleached filters for coffee.

7. Another small thing, is learning to prefer high percent cacao dark chocolate. I'm trying to stay about 70%. My thinking on this is, in part that I'm finding dark high cacao chocolate (esp if mixed with some type of dried fruits) does a fine job to take away sweet cravings and does it in smaller doses. It could be just me. Also high percentage dark is known for some added health benefits, such as being possibly a good cough suppressant, having some anti-oxidants etc. As well as organic I'm glad some of the brands I like claim to be from places that are not involved in human abuses in getting said chocolate. The leading manufacturing countries for chocolate are places of great human suffering. Now that said, I'm willing to consider some good eating "meat offered to idols" i.e it is not always possible to know the source nor the conditions one's food is grown in unless one grows it oneself (an excellent plan where doable) and I think it would be too easy to forgo good eats in search of "perfect" eats. As it is said, the perfect is often the enemy of the good.

8. I want to explore ethnic cooking that depends on my variety in each dish, is veggies and meats and grains and is high taste via spices. I'm thinking boredom is also the enemy of good real eating.

9. Even my "evil" snacks, I want to be the best they can be, ie, meeting above criteria. If it means paying more for good snacks and eating less snacks, then that sounds like a good idea to me. I know everyone says it is expensive to eat well but it is also expensive to eat badly. Have you priced Potato chips lately? Or store bought cookies? I'm sure my blondies cost less than any store bought cookie.

10. A little more whole grain, a little more fiber. I've got IBS and as such have a hard time with a lot of fibers, but I can at least be doing more of the soluble fibers such as steel cut oatmeal. If you only eat rolled oats, or quick oats, you don't know what you are missing. Steel cut is fabu and good for you. I'm also going to try adding just a tiny bit of whole grain flours to my cooking, be they wheat or not. Wheat isn't the only game in town.

11. Avoid feedlot beef as much as possible. Buy Grain fed beef w/o hormones and anti-biotics.

12. Prefer Local and Seasonal eating. Choosing minimal packaging.

13. It's going to take a heap of experimenting to get where I'm going...Does this sound like a lot at once for you? If so, just pick one that this month. Maybe next month, you'll try another substitute, change, replacement.

Passionate about Life 'n Spice...: Aloo Lobia & A Quick Note on RCI

Ok, I may have to find a good online Indian Ingredient market and I might just have to buy a pressure cooker!

Passionate about Life 'n Spice...: Aloo Lobia & A Quick Note on RCI

Carroty sunshine

Carroty sunshine


In my current state of unwellness (bleeding) I can't shop for ingredients, nor cook, but I can dream. Is the fact that I am dreaming of cooking a good sign for my journey? I hope so. I've been down a blog hole the last hour, which started with vegan/vegetarian sites, which led to vegetarian Indian food sites, and that is where I am happily hanging for now. I found two recipe's at this one ladies site that I want to try, this one and another I'll link in a minute for carrots.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Still out of sorts but...

Well, somehow I have managed to not do too much damage to my healthy eating efforts in my poor mood. Some of that success may come from the fact that I don't have much by way of damaging food choices around. I think I could happily have crunched my way through a bag of my favorite new chips had I had a whole bag around, but alas and alack, I only had about 150 calories worth in the house, and I did nosh on those (trying to focus on enjoying each bite as I went.) In the time it took to devour those, I thought through what I was really "feeling like" food wise and decided 1) hungry 2) wanting physical comfort. I decided that perhaps I might have Glenn make his wonderful baked potatoes today. They are nothing magical, just some olive oil rubbed on their skins and course kosher salted, but there's something about them coming out so pretty. I don't even eat the skins but it brings them to a whole new level of classiness. Hopefully, there's some comfort in that. Dear man brought me home some chocolate as that and periods go together like love and marriage, but oddly, I just don't desire it, it's not what I'm looking for. I think I'm looking for real food or maybe just health, but I figure the real food can't hurt.

On another totally crazy note, something I may be the only one to think, but having had rice cakes years ago, of the run of the mill variety from say, Quaker or some such, and having today broken out my "Lundberg Brown Rice cakes" which are not particularly "real" or healthy in that I think it's just empty calories (70 per) but which I bought as a crunchy vehicle for other good eats, like my almond butter or anything else I can use it to carry (idea's anyone?) I must say WOW, those are a far far cry from the nasty one's that taste like packing peanuts. These Lundberg thingy's, (and I don't know if it's just their brown rice one's or not) are terrific. Each bit of a kernel kind of falls into your mouth, not needing to be wrestled off like the one's of my memory, and has lots of personality and pop to it. I'm serious, if you've not tried the Lundberg, get them! Not much in flavor mind you but the texture is FABU! Let me know what you think if you compare them to your experiences. I wouldn't have thought any difference in rice cakes was to be had. That said, I love the Lundberg company, their brown and wild rices are wonderful.

Not giving up, but a bit dull...

Well, I'm not giving up by any stretch, but I feel rather limbo-ish. I'm having "female woes" again and I'm getting tired of this whole unpredictability business. I feel like I need to have a good sulk, or a party, or something!!!

I made a good stab at dejunking yesterday (before waking up with the "woes") and true to Suze Orman's belief that one finds money when one organises, I did manage to collect some change (a few dollars worth) and also found a utilities refund check we never cashed that has expired. Glenn had said long ago if I found it and got the money I could keep it. I've got it packed up and ready to mail so we'll see if that happens.

So in my limbo state, I told Glenn I wouldn't be upset if he went to the chocolate bar in downtown boise and got me some chocolate and caramel covered pretzel rods. I guess that isn't so bad if I manage to have some real food otherwise. I'm getting a bit out of sorts because it turns out I planned a couple meals and Glenn had already without telling me laid in some ground beef to make meatloaf with so we are over meated and neither of us wants to freeze what we bought. (I bought steak to make marianted kebabs) Meanwhile with my women's woes I'm not feeling able to run around and buy fresh veg.

What will become of the cold turkey? Hopefully still in search of real food, just a tad apathetically today. Pray I am able to rebound and if you think of me, pray for my weariness with the whole peri-menopausal thing. TTFN, sorry for the whinging post, and yes I'd like crackers with that.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Ingredient based Recipe Search Engine - Recipe Puppy

An Ingredient based Recipe Search Engine - Recipe Puppy

Shared via AddThis

This could be a very handy tool. Also might be helpful when you have ingredients on hand but aren't sure what to do with them.

Doing well-ish

Just a quick hello to say I've not fallen off the wagon. I did however go to sleep around 2am Friday night and slept through till 10pm Saturday night. I know those of you with young children are probably thinking "must be nice" and it was, but it's hard on my family and it does somewhat make me feel like something isn't right that I can do that, or do do that. When I did wake I had quite the headache and didn't want to move much, so that could have been what was in part gluing me to my spot all those hours. I will say that I feel refreshed finally after a week of poor sleep, and when one hasn't been feeling like oneself for a long time, it's hard to knock sleep.

The organic strawberries are still in the fridge untouched, looking only slightly worse for wear, a few will need tossing. They are good enough to eat just as they are, without even any sugar, but I would like to get those scones made just for the glory of the combination. I don't think I'll do them like shortcake but rather like Scottish tea scones done with some butter and or whipped cream and berries in between. I wonder if you can make yourself sick on strawberries, cause I think I might need to eat like a pint of them today.

I opened my bag of "dirty chips" (brand name, not moral judgement) without having a bad day but to enjoy rather with a favorite show "Lark Rise to Candleford." I am pleased to report that while they were nice and tasted good, they didn't grab me like they have in the past. I felt even somewhat pressed to eat the whole small bowl I had poured. This is good news to me, they were nice, but not glorious. What has happened to me I know not and I am starting to think it must have been the prayer after all, that the desire for these things has just abated, either that or I am seriously unwell (-:

When I was talking to my friend Erin, it occurred to me that I probably need some kind of plan as to what I am going to do about this anemia or feeling poorly. I'm thinking after a good month or 6 weeks of taking my liquid iron faithfully, I should have my blood tested again, and see where my numbers are, and I may also insist he check my vitamin b12 to see if I have a deficiency that can exacerbate iron deficiency anemia as well as be it's own form of anemia. If I am still poorly numerically, I think it is time to press onward, either to see an internist who might try harder to get at the bottom of this, or a hematoligist. I'm rather hoping of course that the iron taking and the good eating will be enough.

For my young friends, know that I got discouraged in all my years of being "in the way of women" from taking vitamin supplements WITH iron by all these news stories and reports of how you "could" have trouble processing iron and as such you should NEVER take it without a physicians recommendation. Well, while there are a rare few who do have hemochromatosis (more men than women) there are far more women who are anemic, especially those who bleed heavily AND in fact, bleeding heavily can be an egg and a chicken, both a cause and a symptom of iron deficiency.

SO, if you are a woman and bleed, please be sure your vitamin has iron in it...just be exceedingly careful to keep these away from children as Iron is very very dangerous for the little ones and is a leading cause of child poisoning. Because of this fact, in part, I half wonder if we are serving our children poorly by giving them vitamins that are "fun shaped" and tasty, I think perhaps vitamins should be more of a neutral chore, not something to tempt them like candy. They must have kids chewable vitamins that aren't so great or awful out there, or liquid you could dose their drinks with. I'm thinking medicine should be medicine, not candy. Just one concerned gramma's opinion.

Sarah, thanks for reading and commenting. I am encouraged by your desires to take baby steps too, and that I'm not the only one who needs to make small changes at a time. In my youth I was more all or nothing, and I don't know that that has been the best path for me, because then when one has seeming setbacks it is too easy to get discouraged and just give up a better way of living and eating all together. At least it has been for me.