Mother’s Day weekend was wonderful. I got to spend two days with both of my children. It was DD’s first Mother’s Day. It was Baby Dedication at their church, where parents of 14 babies dedicated themselves to raise their children according to the Bible, teaching them about the love of Jesus.
In the course of the weekend, the family did a lot of BTD eating and BTD exercising. BC is not ready to go to a restaurant yet. While he is likely to fall asleep in the car, there are no guarantees that he will sleep in a noisy environment. If he wakes, ready to nurse, that ends DD’s enjoyment of her meal. So we looked up menus on the internet, and ordered takeout. Saturday night we had Mexican food and Sunday lunch we had fresh seafood. It is encouraging to me to see family members making conscious choices about what they eat.
DD is being careful, eating all beneficials and neutrals. Even some beneficials and neutrals aggravated BC’s colic when he was a newborn. Now that he is 2 months old, he is able to tolerate his mother eating a wider variety of foods than he could in the early weeks. Our Strong Son made good choices on Mexican food, but chose fried fish over grilled. He said with a smile, “My philosophy is be careful what I eat during the week, and splurge on the weekend.” I can’t argue with that for a healthy young person. Far better to have that attitude about the BTD than to say “This is too hard” and quit altogether.
SS decided to train last winter for a triathlon. He has now done two triathlons, and been very competitive. He went for a long run, while DD and I did an exercise video in the living room. There were lots of squats and lunges in the video, and I was modifying quite a bit because squats and lunges often make my knees hurt.
My body naturally wants to do squats and lunges wrong. Whether it is physiological or whether I learned incorrectly; I don’t know, but when I do either a squat or a lunge, my knees go in front of my toes. Since my husband’s back surgery almost 30 years ago, he constantly reminds me to keep my back straight. If I literally keep my back straight doing a squat, my knees extend over my toes.
After we exercised, I asked SS about squats and lunges from his Physical Therapy perspective. Using his hands he demonstrated the joint action of knees when doing a squat or lunge correctly (lower leg bone perpendicular to the ground and knee never extending over toes) and incorrectly (knees go over toes). He described an incorrect squat or lunge as putting sheer force on knee cartilage.
He encouraged me to develop the muscles in my legs and retrain myself to do squats and lunges correctly. DD added that she naturally did them incorrectly as well, but had retrained herself. Here is what they advised me to do.
• Keep my weight far back on my heels.
• Practice as if I am going to sit in a chair. Back straight, weight on heels, lower leg bone perpendicular to the floor.
• Do wall squats, increasing the time I can hold the correct stationary position.
• Do wall squats with an exercise ball behind my back. This will let me practice the motion with correct form.
• For lunges consciously keep the front knee stationary with the lower leg bone perpendicular to the floor. Move only the back leg.
I can see that retraining is going to take some serious effort. My range of motion is really small when I do them correctly. SS assures me that as I practice and strengthen my muscles, my range will increase. He also tells me that learning to do squats and lunges correctly will help my patella femoral condition.
I wondered aloud whether I caused the patella femoral by doing squats wrong. He didn’t want to speculate about that - he is more interested in my learning to do them right. Sheer force on my knee joints is graphic - and highly motivating - language.
When I go out for Asian food, my first choice is Beef and Broccoli. Both the beef and the broccoli are beneficial for me. I occasionally try Pepper Steak on a buffet line, but I have found that the peppers are usually almost raw. I just don’t care for raw peppers, so I eat the steak and leave most of the peppers behind.
I was reading something the other day about how packed with nutrients bell peppers, particularly red bell peppers are. It made me look at my food lists. Bell peppers are neutral and red bell peppers are beneficial.
That got me to thinking about pepper steak, so I bought one green and one red pepper at the grocery. My ideal pepper steak would have onions along with the peppers. The vegetables would be soft cooked, but not mushy.
Today I decided to see whether the pepper steak I had in my mind would taste as good in my kitchen. I had super lean ground beef left over from earlier in the week. I used that instead of steak. While the peppers and onions were cooking I remembered that I had Braggs Liquid Aminos in the pantry. I decided to use that as flavoring instead of soy sauce (avoid for me because of wheat) or tamari.
I mixed it all together in a bowl, and took a taste. Delicious. Even better than my imagination. It would be excellent served over brown rice or quinoa.
While this would probably not qualify as bonafide Asian fare, it is a tasty food combination and (with the exception of the neutral bell peppers) it is totally beneficial.
I went to our local Farmer’s Market over the weekend. I’ve been craving kohlrabi, and the Farmer’s Market is the only place I can buy it. I found purple kohlrabi, and have been enjoying Kohl slaw all week.
I also bought Swiss chard. One of the venders must have had a surplus because the price was competitive with grocery store prices. Hurrah for supply & demand!
Every time I read about organic produce, I want to go organic. Then I go to the store, look at the prices, and back off. I would gladly pay a little more for organic. But when the price is two or three times as much, I have to evaluate whether the benefit is worth it. Being on a fixed income, the answer is usually no.
I wanted to buy carrots, but the best price I could find at the Farmer’s Market was $3 a pound. I picked them up and put them down. I couldn’t pay that much. The same with lettuce - a tiny head of Romaine was double the cost my grocery store charges for a large head.
My grocery store carries large beets - 4 inches or more in diameter. They take 45 minutes to cook in the pressure cooker. Then they have to cool down enough for me to peel them without burning my fingers. I can’t spontaneously decide to serve beets, I have to plan ahead and cook them early in the day.
The Farmer’s Market had a bin of organic beets that were about two inches in diameter. The price was reasonable, so I bought them. Oh they were wonderful. They cooked fast. They peeled easily. They were tender and delicious served with ghee and ginger.
I’m not sure whether they were exceptionally good because they were small or because they were organic, but I think it’s worth paying a little more for organic beets at the Farmer’s Market.
A friend got me to thinking about Easter traditions. From my childhood I have two memories. My grandmother who lived on the ranch did an Easter egg hunt for my cousins, my sister, and me whenever we were at her house for Easter. She had a big yard that was fenced in both front and back, to keep the cows away from her plants. There were lots of creative places to hide eggs - unless the farm cats found them first.
My father, who loved classical music, would search the newspaper for an announcement from a church that was going to perform Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ. Our family spent many a Palm Sunday or Good Friday surrounded by this majestic music. I haven’t heard it in years, so yesterday I looked it up on YouTube. As soon as the overture started, I could picture myself sitting beside my father in a dimly lit sanctuary.
When I had children of my own, I wanted to do healthy Easter Baskets. No marshmallow eggs with sugar and artificial coloring for this health nut Mom! I bought plastic eggs and filled them with raisins, little crackers, or peanuts. I also bought little windup toys and stuffed bunnies in place of sugary treats. We never encouraged our children to believe that the Easter bunny brought those baskets. The focus of Easter was the death and resurrection of Christ. The baskets were a gift from Mom and Dad.
One year the kids got up on Easter morning and ran into the kitchen to find their baskets beside their breakfast plates. There was so much excitement that we were almost late to church. I did not want treats and gifts to distract us from the greater importance of worship. So the next year I announced a change. Easter baskets would be on the table on Saturday morning. In our family Friday became a day of solemn recognition of the death of Christ on the cross for our sins. Saturday was a fun day for baskets of surprises. Sunday was a joyful day celebrating that Jesus has risen!
As the children grew up, the contents of the baskets changed. My son developed a chocolate allergy, and he was thrilled one year when I found a carob bunny for his basket. Toys were replaced by books or plaques.
This year I started a new tradition. I had a coupon from an online health food store for 15% off of my entire purchase. After I ordered the vitamins I needed, I looked through the grocery items. I found several things DD could eat that would be good for her and for her breast milk. BC had a bad reaction to a soy protein powder, but I wondered how he would do with soy nut butter and toasted soy nuts. I also found some alternate grains that would add calories in a healthy way. I went to Sams and got a package of walnuts - a beneficial food, but expensive for her budget. Instead of a basket, I put all of my “treats” in a box and delivered them when we went to their house for BC’s 1 month birthday.
Our son has inherited the family high blood pressure gene. Like his father and grandfather, he is very tall and very thin, but still his blood pressure was creeping up. This past year he went on a low sodium diet, which lowered his blood pressure, but not enough to keep him off of a low dose of blood pressure medication.
I began shopping for low sodium, Type O foods that would fit with his active outdoor lifestyle. I found individual packets of unsalted nuts. I found Bear Naked Granola with almost zero sodium and zero wheat. SS came to spend yesterday afternoon with us. I gave him his Easter gifts in plastic bags instead of baskets, but he enjoyed opening them just as much.
Today is Saturday before Easter. Our niece and great nieces are here. It will be a fun day taking pictures of the bluebonnets. Tomorrow we will worship. Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!
We had dinner at Bangkok 54, a Thai restaurant in San Antonio. It is near the home of some wonderful friends, and is one of their favorite places to eat. We’ve been there several times. The food is very good and everything is prepared fresh. It’s worth it just to read the seasoning guide in the menu which begins with, “0: No hot pepper added during preparation” and ends with “911 Hot: No explanation necessary.” I am cautious, and I always choose 1.
I have always eaten their beef and broccoli, but yesterday I had beef for lunch, so I decided to try something new. I chose Chicken with Ginger, and it was outstanding.
At the end of the meal one of our friends said, “Would anyone like to share a dessert?” Both of the men declined, so she looked at me. She knows I am gluten free and rarely eat desserts. “She said, “You should try this Suzanne. You will be surprised. It is made with brown rice and fresh fruit.” I was curious, so I said yes.
Our server brought an oblong plate. On one end was a scoop of rice. On the other end was a freshly sliced mango. My friend, who had obviously shared this dessert before, cut down the middle of both pushing both the rice and the mango towards the two sides of the plate. I watched as she speared a piece of mango with her fork, then scooped up a bit of brown rice. I followed her example it was an incredibly delicious combination.
I think the rice was prepared with coconut milk (which would be avoid for me), but it would be easy to substitute almond milk or some other neutral. I don’t know what kind of sweetener they used, but again, I could use agave or stevia.
It was such a treat to have a dessert. I’ll admit, I have almost completely stopped making desserts, even BTD compliant desserts. The children are grown. Plus I don’t want to sabotage HH’s success at lowering his blood sugar and keeping it low.
I’m thinking this kind of “good for you” dessert might be something to look forward to at the end of a meal once in a while.