Archives for: October 2004
Finally! I've lost the 3 pounds I put on after vacation. Sleeping through meals with jetlag, then snacking when I was awake didn't equate to eating right, especially with the plethora of gluten-free (but not O-nonnie friendly) snacks I now keep around for my son. I think I've learned my lesson.
I've been using eDiets lately too, like Cheryl. It's not non-secretor friendly, as it's based on Eat Right and Cook Right, so I have to tweak the recipes a bit. I'm also not accustomed to cooking so much or buying so many groceries. It is nice to have the planning done for me, but follow-through is something I'm learning. It's also nice to be able to shop for a week's worth of groceries at once...well, in theory, in actuality, I have to go to 3 different stores to find everything. Next week should be better since I now know what is NOT available here, like many types of fish. Pity, the recipes sounded good. I'm stuck with frozen fish: wild salmon, wild cod, and the usual shrimp, scallops and halibut. That's pretty much it. Oh, if I look hard enough, I can find tuna steaks, catfish and red snapper. I'm reticent to try catfish, because I've only had it really fresh in New Orleans, and I think frozen will be a letdown (nonnies only, on the catfish there, check typebase). I'm reticent to try red snapper, because I didn't even like that in New Orleans. May just have not been cooked right, but it tasted kind of tinny. Speaking of tinny, I can get canned fish, and I do make good use of it. Today I had a salmon salad with canned salmon, olive oil, lemon juice, green onions, and watercress. I added grapes since the menu said to eat it with some sort of flatbread I can't have. It was quite tasty.
Another recipe I liked is Curried Ginger Carrot Soup. I think it's in cook right, though I'd never tried it before. Very smooth and creamy. Nonnies can add a little fresh nutmeg to top it off. Mmmmm. Sure has some fiber benefits too
One of you lucky visitors to this blog will be my 20,000th hit! Hooray! Thanks!
I love poached eggs, they're heavenly. Yet, I've never had any success at making them, and in restaurants they tend to leave them too underdone. The type made in a poacher or poaching cups are good, but not quite as good, as the real ones made in simmering water.
Well, today I took another stab at it. I had a mealplan from eDiets that told me to have a poached egg today. So, I put a pot of water on, got out the instructions and went for it. In the past I'd tried everything, even putting vinegar (avoid) in the water. They always flew apart or stuck to the bottom of the pan. They still did start to stick to the bottom, but after letting them set for a minute, I was able to gently loosen them with a spatula.
In saucepan or deep skillet, bring 2 to 3 inches of water to boil. Reduce heat, but keep water gently simmering. Break cold egg into a bowl. Holding egg dish close to water, slip egg into water. Cook until white is completely set and yolk begins to thicken, but is not hard, about 3 to 5 minutes. Lift out egg with slotted spoon.
I cooked mine for 5-6 minutes (at high altitude) and the yolks were still a tiny bit runny, but very good. I made and devoured two of them, serving them on sliced avocado (If I had toast I could eat, I would have used that, but for this nonnie, an avocado worked just fine). Grilled asparagus or collards would be good as well. Next time I'll try it with some organic nitrate-free turkey bacon I have thawing in the fridge.
Ha! As if I didn't love eggs too much already. But hey, since I'm planning a pregnancy soon maybe I can start using the chameleon food values from Eat Right 4 Your Baby, making eggs a beneficial... with organic DHA eggs, of course.
I knew I was getting a little off track. Vacation, visiting relatives, stress of settling back into routines, my son's new and tempting gluten-free snacks... it all added up. My scale and my cravings are telling me I was further off-track than I thought I was.
The last two days have been good though. I've avoided the gluten-free snacks, finally, with some creativity. (I now see how hard it must be sometimes to avoid wheat, for those of you who aren't made terribly and instantly ill by it) I've cut the sugar back out, that's been hard. My cocoa-raja tea with veg. glycerine in it helps quite a bit with the sugar cravings (1 tsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp raja's cup herbal coffee substitute, steeped in a tea ball or bag in hot water for 3 minutes, add about 3 tsp glycerine and a little rice milk...yumm). I also found a new treat that helps me with the avoid cravings for his snacks; it's not grain free, but certainly better than giving in. Unsalted rice crackers with a little almond butter, topped with a small bit of all fruit preserves. It's kind of my peanut butter and jelly, and very tasty...plus it's much more sophisticated than a PB&J if you ask me.
Short and sweet, eh? I'm doing well otherwise, life is good.
Thanks to an interesting year, a soul-touching fall, and Kristin's Blog about SAD and the creative challenge, I've decided to embark on a new journey.
I've realized, with the death of my Grandmother who I loved, and of my doctor who I admired, that I would like to enrich myself and my life a bit more with creativity and things of the heart and spirit. When I was young, I was very religious, spiritual and creative. I loved to write and sing. My personality type was InfJ, I was visionary, I was a poet. I think I started stifling all those things when I stopped singing. It just became too much for me to let my whole soul hang out there in a song, I didn't like to be judged, even though very few people judged me. When my voice lost some of it's quality due to being hypothyroid, I felt more judged, and I quit (I have to also mention that I was battling with depression at the same time).
I went from a poet to a scientist. I do love both, but I think poet suits me better. They actually aren't that different, once you really get down to it. You can find as much beauty in a cell as you can in a symphony, but I wasn't looking at it both ways...I was worried about passing the next exam.
Why did I change? What was I avoiding? Well, I'm not going to dwell on that anymore, I'll find out as I go. I'm just going to relax and go with it. Now, where to find the time...
I have started walking again. My son fights the stroller, but settles down once he's stuck there. I push him up the steepest hills I can find, and they are steep...I've seen athletic and toned mountain bikers who had to get off and push their bike up some of these hills. He only can stand about 20-30 minutes of it, but I'm getting faster, so I usually go a little further each day. My legs are sore, so it must be working. It gets my heart rate up, without the impact of jogging. Some days are too cold for the baby, and it's only going to get colder, but I'll find some way to work it in. Maybe I'll get a treadmill afterall; I can put it at an incline and get my workout while he naps, if we don't make it out.
I have to also admit that my vacations have put a couple pounds back on. So today I've been compliant again. My son's gluten-free snacks are his alone, from now on, and no more candy!
I found out yesterday that my family doctor, Dr. Clark Ator, was killed in a plane crash Tuesday night. His loss is being felt on many levels in the community. I knew him as a kind, upbeat and intelligent doctor. He was also a bishop (Mormon equivalent of a minister) and a devoted father of seven. I've been a patient of his for five years, and my immediate family, as well as some of my extended family, also became patients, and fans, of his.
I regret not being able to get to know him better, and mostly I regret not being able to thank him for his service. He helped me get off the antibiotic bandwagon I was on, and was always willing to listen to my health concerns and look into them. He was also a gifted osteopath, who made his patients feel better walking out of the office than they did walking in.
Thank you, Dr. Ator, you will be missed; the good and inspirational life you lived will not be forgotten.
I encourage all of you to take some time this week to thank somebody you respect and admire for their help, and for being who they are.
It sure takes a while to get over jetlag with a child. I simply can't convince him that day is day and night is night. At least he was awake for dinner last night, I thought he might sleep a little later this morning, but nope, up at 3:00 AM again.
It's been a busy week, and I didn't make it to the grocery store until yesterday. Before that I was living off some frozen noncompliant turkey burgers, after I finished off the last frozen buffalo burger. Protein smoothies have saved me a few times as well.
I'm totally jetlagged and my son will not sleep, but I want to blog a bit more about my trip while it's still on my mind. So I've thrown together a few lists and observations for ya'
What I did in Tokyo
Watched it rain
Discovered the bunless Mos Burger
Discovered many good uses of Sesame Oil
Became addicted to Green Tea and Green Tea Ice Cream
Ate a few avoids, but survived
Felt an Earthquake
Escaped a Typhoon
Enjoyed the hospitality of fellow BTD-er Sarah
Discovered Wolfberries, thanks to Sarah, and that they make a nice tea
Learned how to write soymilk in kanji
Often had no idea what I was eating, but successfully avoided gluten and soy sauce
What I liked best...
The helpfulness of everyone I met
My son's dance at the zoo after holding a big white rat
Walking in rain or shine
Getting sore muscles from the walking
Biggest differences from America
Virtually no weight problems
Everyone walks on average of 4 miles a day, in fashionable/uncomfortable shoes to boot.
Portions are smaller, but I still ate more than I do at home
Wheat isn't in everything or every kitchen
They have cool rice cookers and water warmers for tea
TV shows there are silly, but my son loves them
They live in very small apartments
I hope to expound on it a bit more in the next few days as I get back into the swing of things.
I don't think I've ever been this tired in my life, well maybe once. It's good to be home after almost 24 hours of travel and skipping a night of sleep.
I felt my first earthquake in Tokyo in the middle of the night. I dreamed I was back on the plane and going through some turbulence, then woke up and felt the room shaking some more. It didn't frighten me at all, though maybe it should have, I just felt a little disoriented. I did fell dizzy the next day, though some dairy could be the culprit there. One tip...when in Tokyo, don't go to an Italian restaurant. The food was good, but nearly impossible to be compliant.
I was surprised with how little I could communicate and how often I ate out (and how much I ate!) that I didn't once get any gluten. If I were in America and couldn't speak English, I'd hardly have survived a week of eating out. The main thing to look out for was the soy sauce, as wheat flour still isn't that common there, unless you order special dishes like fried foods, breads, noodles.
We made it out just an hour before Tokyo got hit by a large Typhoon. The air was very turbulent for the first hour, I had to clutch the little bag just in case, but didn't have to use it.
More later! I really liked Tokyo, but did start to miss home and the open spaces of the Western US. It was rainy most of the time, so I also missed blue skies. It's good to be back!
Wow. We made it. The flight here was tough, but not as hard as it could have been. The baby travels really well, for a 2 year old. The flight home will be easier as it is a night flight and the baby will sleep more. I ended up having to take some tylenol for a migraine on the plane. I hadn't taken tylenol for years, but it helped.
We got here at 7 pm, but for our body clocks it was 4 am. We all fell asleep on the airport shuttle. I tried to keep my eyes open, and saw lots of cars, bigger models than I expected after travelling to Europe, lots of luxury cars. It's very crowded here, but not too much of a shock even though I'm from the Western US where we have soooo much space.
I was a bit nervous about finding food at restaurants, though soysauce is really the main thing I have to look out for. My first meal by myself was spent at Mos Burgers. I wandered up a busy street until I saw something that didn't look like it had wheat or soysauce in it, a lettuce-wrapped Mos Burger. They had it on the photo menu, so no language skills were required. It was a winner. I got it to go so the sauces were on the side. I'd have to say it was the best burger I've ever had. My friends have since told me that Freshness Burgers are better, so maybe I'll try that next time.
My first Kanji was soymilk. I had to pick some up for my son the first day. It took a while for the symbols to stand out.
Some rules of traveling with children: they will drink and pee more than you can imagine on the trip. Bring lots of extra diapers and clothes. Love that beverage service!
The food on the plane was good too. They offered gluten-free meals, and these were fairly decent. They still added the cookies and rolls, which created a bit of a fuss since the baby wanted these and we had to quickly hide them. The GF omelette came with vegetables instead of bacon and sausage...that was nice. The plane was nice too, a new airbus. Coach class was more like business class, and the back of each seat had a TV screen where you could pick movies or games, etc. They didn't have any kid shows, but he liked Around the World in 80 Days. I was hoping for Shrek 2, maybe on the way back.
I got to meet Sarah today, she's on the yahoo board and helped me with my questions before the trip. It was so nice to meet her. She brought me some food for my fridge, all very good, and some wolfberries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame oil.
It was rainy, so we just went down the street to a Chinese restaurant. She just had tea, and I ordered some soysauce-free chicken fried rice that my son just loved. I had to have some of the soft tofu dessert they brought out, I used to love that in my tofu eating days. I'm not sure what it's thickened with, but it's good. My son even tried a bite or two, but still hasn't warmed up to tofu. So far, I have still managed to avoid dairy, and of course gluten, but everything else has been fair game.
Then we went to an organic market nearby that my husband had taken me walking past that morning. It was quite a find for Tokyo, and we were both happy to go there and stock up on a few things. You can buy sprouted brown rice there...I couldn't think of what to do with it, but it sounded like a good idea.
I have to say that sesame oil with garlic or just salt is a great substitute for soysauce, and a great salad dressing. A couple restaurants have brought it out to me when they understood I couldn't have soysauce. I can't believe how much food I can eat when I know it's gluten free and it tastes so good. I've eaten a lot of food here.
That's all I have time for now...I'll blog again soon! So much to take in here. This morning we slept until 7:30, so the jetlag is finally wearing off. Oh, I have tried a little sashimi. Tuna and salmon are as far as I ventured, but it was good. Not quite the same without soysauce (or saki!), I'm sure.