Archives for: September 2004
I didn't think I'd get around to making jerky, but once I put the roast in the fridge to defrost there was no turning back...can't let free-range beef go to waste! This was about the second time I've ever used my food processor, but oh so nice to make thin slices of partially frozen beef. I think it will turn out better than when I sliced it by hand. I just add salt and fresh pepper, red pepper and a bit of garlic and oregano, then put it in the dehydrator.
I also dried some fresh mango. I love it. All the brands I've tried taste icky, almost fishy, to me, but this is sweet and crispy, with bright orange color. I was afraid it would oxidize with nothing added to prevent it, but it looks beautiful!
Let's see, what else am I packing...some gluten free (but not sugar free) nut bars from the HFS. Some Caprylic acid (as I eat too much sugar on trips and get yeasty), deflect, vitamin C.
I concocted a good salad sprinkle with salt, vitamin C, oregano and garlic. It's good, but may look a little suspicious to the people who search the bags...so I'll just bring some little salt shakers and keep the vitamin C in it's bottle until I get there
There's my random travel preparation notes for ya!
I can hardly pull myself away from the new BTD Forum. I hope to see you all there!
We're getting ready for a long trip to an exotic locale. Well, not too long, but it may seem that way with a 2 year old. I need to purchase a few things for the trip...
Little purse-sized salt shakers, one for salt, one for vitamin C crystals, salt and mustard powder...a combination I hope will work as a salad dressing. Need to get the vitamin C crystals too.
Soy dream soymilk boxes for the baby.
Nuts and Dried Fruit
Gluten-free (and mostly avoid-free) snacks
Protein Powder: if all else fails, I can mix it in some juice.
I don't think I'll have time to make jerky, but maybe. It sure is a good fall-back.
The airline we're flying has gluten-free meals, we'll see how that works. It's probably just a fruit plate
I'm not going to worry too much about the avoids that don't make me sick, while travelling. The number of avoids that don't make me sick is shrinking every day, though. Now I notice after any type of soy that I get a pain in my stomach...bummer for where I'm going. I'll give you more details as the time approaches... or maybe I'll just make you guess where I am...where in the world is Blogger Melissa...
Is the end near for the Twinkie?
Click here for article
Why the government bails out companies that are poisoning us, I don't understand. Yes, I know it's to protect jobs, but that money could be better used to help bring about jobs without clogging the nation's arteries at the same time. There are plenty of small companies that are more friendly to the environment, trying to grow and supply jobs, but struggling under stifling corporate taxes.
I saw this over and over again with a steel plant nearby. They kept going bankrupt, getting bailed out, and going under again, until they finally went under for good. They didn't treat their employees well, it was an unsafe place to work, and they were polluting the air we all breath. With all the millions that the government poured into that place, they could have provided job training and placement for the employees in better, safer jobs, and cleaned up the air for the rest of us. Nobody likes to see that many people out of work, but from all reports I've read and heard, most of the employees did get further education and better jobs after the place went under.
Will a huge government grant really turn a company around, or just delay the inevitable? I guess they could come up with a low-carb twinkie...it would probably be more deadly than the real thing though.
If you haven't seen Affluenza on PBS, I highly recommend catching it if you get the chance. The GDP is not an accurate measurement of how well our economy is functioning, in many ways, the more problems we have as a society, the better the GDP is. Costs of medical care, costs of broken families, all equal a higher GDP.
Hah! Here I am a conservative who wants to change the whole system. I guess what makes me a conservative is the belief that we should be allowed to take care of ourselves and solve our own problems, that handouts aren't ultimately helpful or empowering.
I've now lost 36 pounds since January. That's more than I expected. I've heard you can compare body fat to the density of butter, so I like to visualize 36 boxes of butter as what I'm no longer carrying around with me.
I decided not to set a target weight, though I don't want to lose more than 10 more pounds. I'm just going to see where I level out, and I'll be happy wherever it is. Time to start eating a bit more though, as that is one of my new goals related to getting ready for pregnancy. I was surprised to still be losing weight, even though I am eating a little bit more. Looks like it's not levelling off yet! I'd be shocked if I got down to my high school weight though. I need to work on building some more muscle, too. Haven't got a clue where to start in that regard, other than on the phone to find a babysitter each day! I do benchpress the baby sometimes, he likes it, and I'm increasing my reps Those arms have always been my weak point.
See you all at the forum, it's quite an exciting place these days! (see my last blog below for the link)
I have a few questions from readers that I haven't replied to yet, so here goes:
Nori and other Seaweed
I buy the toasted nori sheets used for sushi. I have bought some (Eden brand, I think) that weren't toasted, but toasted is better as you don't have to toast them yourself to get something you can bite through. I haven't quite mastered the art of getting it to stick once it's rolled up, I use water to seal it pretty ok, but think that's part of the job of the rice in sushi, and I don't do rice with my rolls.
The crunchy little chopped and dried wakame is pretty good too. I can handle snacking on it when I want something salty & crunchy. It's been ages since I tried dulse, but at the time I thought was a little too chewy. Seaweed is a bit of an acquired taste, so maybe I'd love it now.
I used white vinegar for my son's athlete's food. I just rubbed it onto his feet. It worked well, and also seemed to dry out the skin a bit, which helps when fighting a fungus. I also used it as a rinse for laundry, as I was a bit itchy at the time too. Now I'm using it as a scalp rinse after shampooing as well...it helps get everything cleaner and rinses out detergent and shampoo better than water alone.
Thanks! to all for your nice and thought-inspiring comments! And I will get to how to make ghee as soon as I get some more organic butter (and get the glass bowls put away out of the baby's reach). For now, here's a link to instructions.
Ah, summer is over today. Time to relax. Type Os have a higher incidence of bipolar disorders, and I am all O. In my case it's Bipolar Seasonal Affective Disorder. My new internist is the first doctor I've been to who knows about that type of SAD, but I've known for three years now. I had to get the depressive side under control before I could swing the other way (I was 'stuck down' for a while). I'm never full manic, but enough in that direction to have a tough time some summers. The first was the worst because I didn't know what was going on, and it got a bit more momentum than I let it get now. Now I wear a wide brimmed hat in summertime, and find indoor activities whenever possible. This summer was a bit tough, with the baby I don't have as much control over my schedule, and the whole jogging thing helped for a while, but ultimately didn't work out for my back.
As of today, hat season is over. I can run errands during the day without having to sit in a dark room afterward to 'come back down'. I can go outside for walks during the day, and will be doing so at high noon every day come wintertime. Time to crawl out of my bat cave! While the instinct is to hibernate in winter, and go go go all summer long, I have to temper both of theses instincts...go against my inclinations to set myself free from them and all the junk that goes with them.
Last night was interesting...I had grand plans to make ghee and take digital photos to post to my blog, kind of a cooking school blog. Luckily the digital camera had a low battery, or I'd show you the disaster that ensued. I got started off just fine, had all my tools, unbleached cotton cheesecloth, and the nice organic butter... all off to a good start. Gurgle gurgle gurgle, it was making happy ghee noises when my son comes in, opens a cupboard, and throws a tempered glass bowl on the floor. Crash! He and I both had bare feet, but miraculously we didn't get cut. I scooped him up before he could put all his weight into his next step, brushed off his feet and mine and carted him into the next room, got my shoes, broom, dustpan, mop, and he watched through the glass door while I cleaned up the mess. He felt very left out from the clean up process...watched me sweep and mop while crying. He loves to sweep and mop. Then he was mad when I was finished and made him wear shoes. But he got to mop once after I was done. The disposable mop liners came in handy, I could just toss them and not worry about cleaning out the glass. The broom still sits outside until I can make sure all the shards are gone from it.
Needless to say, the ghee burned. It looks just awful, smoky brownish, not the nice golden color it should be. Rats. If I could find the plug in to my digital camera, I'd charge it up and get a picture for you all, but basically it looks like grease instead of oil; it didn't harden at all after sitting out. I'm not going to taste it, so I can't say how it tastes. What a waste of organic butter, but at least we don't have bandaids on our feet. I'm going to have to find a higher cupboard for those bowls.
A bit of Wasabi seasoning today's news:
Think Wasabi Clears Your Sinuses? Think Again
Still good stuff though... "While wasabi may not work as a decongestant, previous research has suggested that it is not without other health benefits. For instance, lab research shows that wasabi may inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test tubes, prevent platelets from forming blood clots, and may even fight asthma or cavities. And, appropriately for a condiment used to season raw fish, wasabi has antimicrobial properties."
I like it in turkey nori wraps, with a little salt, olive oil & sesame seeds on top. But I may cut back on wasabi during my next pregnancy, as typical type O that I am, I had lots of nosebleeds in my first pregnancy. Further increased blood flow to the nose surely wouldn't help that matter.
News from Ingrid, thank you! Most wasabi preparations are actually just horseradish with green coloring added, not the true wasabi that this article and Jim have described. The kind I have in the cupboard is just that...horseradish. So, it looks like I won't have to cut back on it afterall, when that time comes. I wonder if I've ever had real wasabi... ah well, horseradish is beneficial, so it suits me fine. Another one of those "Cantaloupe is an avoid, but cantaloupe isn't cantaloupe" things.
Hey, come to think of it, wasabi is the only prepared horseradish I've found that doesn't have avoids in it...depending on what is used to color it green.
Goodnight & Be well!
As an O with some of the typical Type A Personality characteristics, I do have trouble 'stopping to smell the roses' especially when I'm as constantly busy as I have been. Even my down time has a goal or a to-do involved (sleep, read, etc.) I haven't stopped to think and realize that I am right in the middle of one of the most joyous parts of my life.
My son is as perfect as a 2 year old can be, so cute, smart and affectionate. All other aspects of my life are good too, and they keep getting even better. It's time to stop worrying about everything so much, time to take a minute to breathe and absorb some of the joy surrounding me. But no, I'm not putting that in my calendar...or should I?
eh, made millet rice waffles today, but not sure that counts for me
Eat More Healthy Foods...
Doing a little better with eating more vegetables. I've been having leafy greens once a day, and increasing other vegetables somewhat.
I didn't skip a meal today! Lunch was late and a bit scant, but I did pretty well. It was nice to avoid that shakey hungry feeling.
I hiked the day before yesterday, and took a brisk walk today, but still need to make it daily, not every other day.
Got a sitter and went on a date with my husband today. That's always nice. I'm not sure the food they assured me was gluten free actually was though, it's always a bit dangerous to eat out. The waiter was a bit overconfident, now that I think about it. My tummy is a bit gurgly, but it doesn't feel quite like gluten. It was good though, this Italian place has a better menu than it did a year ago, they now have more meat and more salads, I had a grilled shrimp salad with sun-dried tomatoes and garlic over a bed of greens. We used to eat Italian almost every time we went out, now it's a very rare occurence, I think I may keep it rare, even with the better menu. Cross-contamination is probably quite likely with pasta and pizza roaming all around the place. Grrrr. I wish I didn't have to worry when eating out. Last week, even at a trusted establishment, I noticed cruton crumbs on my salad, lucky I had good lighting and was able to avoid eating it entirely. It was take-out or I would have gotten a new salad, but they have a free entree for me next time I order. I'm becoming a little more assertive, if they don't know they did something wrong, they'll never be able to keep it from happening again. I'm not an assertive person, so it takes some work.
Today is waffle day. I good day to be an A in my house. I make millet, sweet rice flour waffles, and they taste great. Problem is, I have a hard time not eating more than one. Today I only had one and a half squares (my waffle maker does two squares, so I count each square as a waffle) and I had 2 eggs, so more eggs than waffles...barely. But, my As love that I make waffles again.
I finally found a brand of soy yogurt that my son loves. Stonyfield Farms O'Soy. It comes in 6 packs of the smaller 4 oz size, and he ate two of them yesterday! For him to eat two whole anythings is banner news. I usually taste things before feeding them to the baby, just a nibble. These taste almost like real yogurt, most soy yogurt tastes like mylanta jello, especially the kinds with gums and thickeners in them. O'Soy has inulin, a natural fiber that helps calcium absorption, according to the label. I've heard other good things about inulin. Then it has real fruit puree, and is colored with beet juice or pumpkin juice concentrates, in the flavors I've bought, and as an added bonus, it has five or six different culture critters. I used to buy that brand's cow milk yogurt at Costco for my husband, who is also very picky, but they seem to have stopped carrying it...drat. I don't know that he'll ever try soy yogurt.
I also orderd a soymilk maker, one that can also make rice milk and others (most brands don't really say you can make rice milk with them). Once I get it I'll blog about how it goes. Don't know if I'll be able to make soymilk that's up to snuff for my picky As, but for an O nonsecretor, homemade rice milk is pretty much all we can have. Millet milk sounds interesting. I probably won't use it for nut milks, with all the food allergies in my family, I tend to keep nuts separate from other foods and cooking equipment.
Today's blog is brought to you by the letter T.
Today I tried a taste of a treat with tapioca flour in it. It must be low on the mythical hierarchy of avoids, I told myself, 'tis true that secretors tolerate it, and the other ingredients are fine. I've tempted fate too many times before, I should have taught myself better by now. (Timidly adding that it was the tenth time this month that I've had this very tapioca-laden treat, with tepid results in my tender tummy each time).
Ah, the world is truly black and white when you're a non-secretor, and now the tapioca is tap-dancing on my tender tummy, and my tummy is telling me to put a stop to these cheating tendencies.
Heidi's update today regarding the "New Freedom Initiative" made me take action, though more action is necessary. My first step was to visit the whitehouse's email form at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/interactive/interact_1.html where I left the following message:
"How can you guarantee that my rights as a parent will not be taken away by the proposed mandatory mental health screening of children? As an individual who has had affective disorders that were best treated through exercise, light therapy, and dietary changes, I would hate to have a child forced to take psychotropic medications which can mask the symptoms instead of leading to a solid diagnosis and treatment or cure. I mean, what if we had screened children for obesity and forced them to take phen-fen? It's just too risky and doesn't address the real problem.
Mental health screening, as proposed, seems to be only in the pharmaceutical industry's favor, and threatens the most basic unit of this nation, the family."
My next step is to contact my congressman, since this is coming before the house of representatives. I have not been vocal about my political views on my blog, as some have. I am a republican, though never straight-ticket. I even listen to Rush on occasion... that should get me some comments! Although I have helped a democrat campaign for congress when the republican was too ingrained with big business at the expense of the citizens. I wouldn't say that I sit on both sides of the fence, but my views on the issues are my own and don't always fit into one party. The "New Freedom Initiative" is another example of how the government needs to be kept in check, and I'm going to do my part to check it. Politicians from both main parties will grab for power when given the opportunity, it's a sad fact, and human nature, but it's up to the people to make sure they don't succeed in such power grabs. Here's my message to all politicians: Keep your bread and circus, I'll take care of myself and my family, thank you.
It took a couple days after he got back on gluten, but it does seem that it's affecting his digestion. He doesn't get terrible diarrhea, but definitely the pale foul type that I'm reading is common for celiacs. It comes and goes, but didn't seem directly related to gluten, until I realized how delayed his reaction is.
I've also realized he has another possible symptom of celiac disease, the enamel on his teeth is a bit defective. I don't know if that symptom shows up early enough to show in baby teeth, but it is useful for screening older children with adult teeth. His skin is also showing some mild symptoms lately. Coupled to his small size, milk sensitivity, slight anemia, and recent bouts of diarrhea...it's all starting to add up.
His chances of inheriting my celiac disease are somewhere between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20. Rats. This isn't a gene I wanted to pass on, and I often get similar pity/misunderstanding as if I had a visible health problem. Maybe as I teach him a positive attitude about it I might teach myself one!
At least he doesn't show symptoms of autism or autoimmune conditions, and getting a diagnosis now is better than later. I'll have to discuss how best to diagnose it with his doctor; I hate to get any blood drawn, but it would eliminate any cheat-inducing doubt.
All I had left in the house to cook today was cod, and I wanted to cook it in a way that my husband would like it. He'll eat fish, but he doesn't always like it. So I decided to oven fry it, below is the recipe I adapted. It was quick, and incredibly good. I wish I'd made more! I think I'm getting back into the cooking swing of things again, after the tragic loss of my stuffed peppers...
Gluten-Free Oven-Fried Cod (I believe it's suitable for all blood types with compliant seasonings)
1/3 cup Hol-Grain gluten free bread crumbs, or your favorite compliant breadcrumb substitute
1/3 cup millet flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or other seasonings as desired
2 (6-oz) pieces center-cut cod, 3/4 inch thick, fresh or thawed
1 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Combine bread crumbs, millet flour, salt, and cayenne in a large sealable plastic bag and shake to mix.
Season fish with salt and pepper on both sides and, working with 1 piece at a time, put fish in bag and shake to coat well with crumbs. Dip fish in eggs, then shake in crumbs again to coat. Transfer fish to a plate.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry fish until undersides are golden brown, about 1 minute. Add more oil if needed, turn over, and cook 1 minute more. Put skillet in upper third of oven and bake until fish is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Serve with brazilian or southern collards, followed by fresh berries (to neutralize the polyamines if you had frozen cod)
One problem with having my son eat a gluten-free diet this week was that I bought him lots of gluten-free snacks and goodies. They had avoids in them, especially for me, but were tempting as they wouldn't make me terribly sick like gluten does. So, I ate some. The downfall was some cinnamon rolls I discovered. It had been so long since I had a cinnamon roll, so I helped him eat one. Well, more than one. It still wasn't worth it, and I still got a little sick from it. If I'm going to eat carbs, I'll make sure they are neutral ingredients. I'd never be tempted to eat them, if I could just get more organized to shop and cook foods that are good for me. Sometimes I still skip meals, and it's not good. Either I end up weak and dizzy, or I end up eating carbs, or both. I've got to make nourishment a higher priority.
My son has been eating well though, at dinner he begged for avocados, and ate lots of watermelon, strawberries, artichokes, lots of good things for A's. He also had some bread with gluten, and that was a few hours ago. So far, no reaction. That would be a relief. He's eaten a more varied and healthy diet without the bread though, I think there's something to that. I don't want bread to be part of his routine, even if he is a secretor and doesn't have celiac disease. It replaces too many fresh, healthy foods.
Hi, my lab tests came back already and they look good, my thyroid is no longer being weird. I'll get the details on my other tests shortly...cholesterol and the like. Should be fun to review.
I'm making progress on eating more vegetables, and after reading a plethora of calcium discussions on the yahoo board, I'm monitoring how much calcium I eat. I'm wondering how many greens I can eat in one day to improve my calcium numbers. A few nuts, some molasses... I'll let you know what I figure out. I figure the more varied the healthy sources, the better, including foods and supplements.
I'm also starting to work on relaxing. The last couple months have been good, but stressful with all the demands on my time. I must confess that I haven't been exercising like I should, and my son and I both miss our hikes. So, time to get back on that bandwagon.
Thanks for the tips on white vinegar, it seems to be working faster than the other stuff on my son's feet. I also remembered my sister's tip to rinse laundry with some vinegar. I just put it in the liquid fabric softener dispenser, so it will go in during the rinse, then I run an extra rinse to get the vinegar smell out. The clothes come out nicely, it's good to get rid of fungus/yeast/mildew, and it also helps rinse the residual detergent out.
I figure if I can overeat carbs, I should be able to overeat veggies to make up for my often low green intake. I don't prepare and eat them often enough, so now I'm eating more when I do. I like them, so this isn't hard to do. Yesterday I ate a whole large bunch of collards with breakfast, today I ate half a plateful of broccoli (stacked high). And a bowl of berries each night. I share it all with my son, but he doesn't usually eat much...except of the berries.
We've done well with his gluten free diet this week. He's been filling in with fruit and beans, a healthier diet. I almost forgot today at Costco, they were giving out bread samples and I almost got him one, then I remembered not to. When I say we're doing well, I have some mixed feelings...so far it points to gluten being the cause of some of his problems. It's not near confirmed, but I'd be a bit sad if he had to grow up gluten free, and he got that gene from me. It's better to know, though, to keep him healthy.
I went to a new doctor today, as I no longer felt my doctor was taking me seriously. For some reason, I felt disloyal, and regretted that it was necessary as I've always been happy with my doctor and felt that the communication was good. Unfortunately, there are no BTD or IfHI doctors anywhere near me, so I went to an internist that I'd heard good things about. I was very impressed, he spent a lot of time and was very thorough going through all my medical records, medical history, and lab results. I already knew a lot of the things he explained to me, though not all of them, and it was nice to see a doctor who I could tell knows more than I do I'm sure they all do, but I don't always get the impression that they do or that they keep current on new research. I'm an interesting case, a strange combination of genes, and I was just worried we were overlooking something, some link, within it all. He did see some things he wanted to look into further, and ordered some more tests. I know many people who try to avoid going to doctors, and I can understand their reasoning. I'm sure sometimes I err on the side of too much medical care, but I take care of myself at the same time, and most of my medical care has been helpful... although this isn't the first time I've had to switch doctors.
After going to a new doctor, I recommend it. A new set of eyes and a new opinion is always a good thing. Maybe once doctors get to know you, they pay less attention to some things.
This just in: Millet Waffle overdose induces drunken stupor in O non-secretor
It's amazing, I can go without hardly any grains for days at a time, but then have more than my weekly allowance within one day. That's what I just did. Found a recipe for Millet/Sweet Rice Flour waffles in Living Without, and had to try it, as my son is gluten free this week and I wanted to make him a treat. He loved them, but so did I, BIG TIME. First waffles I've had in years- I never could get them to turn out since I stopped eating wheat and spelt (and buttermilk).
They made me very tired, but that was fine because I needed to get some sleep, and I actually had the opportunity to do so. So I slept them off.
I'm wondering if I should just plan for moments like that, by cutting out my grains all but one day a week. It seems it would work phychologically, but feels like it may not be the healthiest way to plan my meals...to shock my metabolism once a week like that. Who knows though, maybe it would be like carb-loading, and help me build more muscle; of course, I think Dr. D. stated that carb loading doesn't work for Os.