Archives for: November 2004
I've had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Miraculously my son and I both survived the gatherings without gluten accidents. He had a couple close calls, fallen cookies, or food left on the coffee table, but thanks to many eagle eyes, he didn't get any of it to his mouth. The risotto ended up being wonderful, and filled in well for both the stuffing and the mashed potatoes.
My pies turned out well, the crust I used ghee in was the best, and had the most compliant filling: blueberries, fruit-juice sweetened blueberry jam, and arrowroot. The pumpkin pie has soymilk in it (my rice milk didn't survive the trip), and real sugar, and oil in the crust according to the original recipe...it's not as good. Glycerine worked well for the cranberry sauce, just cranberries boiled in a little water, arrowroot, and glycerine. I added the glycerine later, since nobody trusted it as it's not labeled as a food, but it's great with cranberries.
Here's the pie crust recipe: http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipe/detail.php?rid=218 If you use ghee, just cut it in like you would butter.
And the risotto recipe (as found in RecipeBase):
Thanksgiving Risotto : Gluten Free stuffing
O, can be adapted to all
Creamy italian rice dish, adapted to fill the roll of Thanksgiving stuffing, and just as popular.
1/2 cup arborio rice (or short-medium grain rice)
1 or 2 cans of broth, I like chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil, or enough to cook the onion and celery, and coat the rice
4-8 stalks of celery
2 T. sage or poultry seasoning of choice
Salt to taste
pepper or spices to taste (preferably white pepper)
at least 1 tablespoon butter
Chop the onion and celery as you would for stuffing.
Saute the onion and celery in the olive oil until tender. Heat 1 part broth and 1 part water until hot but not boiling, in a separate pan, if you have a pan with a pour spout, that's good. Add the rice to the oil mixture, stir to coat and cook until it starts popping or becomes more opaque, but don't brown it.
Now, start slowly adding the broth to the rice, this process takes 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how fast you add the broth and how high the heat is. To speed it up, add more broth at a time and use a higher heat, to get it nice and smooth, take your time, put heat on medium, and add about 1/4 cup of broth at a time. Once mixture thickens, add more broth so that it doesn't burn, stir frequently. Keep an eye on it, as you don't want it to dry out. If you add more water at a time, it won't dry out as fast, but won't end up as smooth. Once you've used up one can of broth, or it starts to look good, test it. Keep adding more liquid and cooking until it's tastes done. The goal is Al Dente, like pasta, some like it softer than others, I usually overcook it a bit for the thanksgiving recipe, so it more resembles the softness of stuffing.
After it's done cooking, no sooner, add the butter. This gives it a nice appearance and creamier texture.
Once you get a feel for it, it's quite easy, and you can adapt the recipe in any direction. As long as you have the onions, oil, rice and broth, the rest is up to you. For types that can have dairy, sour cream or cheese is a nice addition.
For everyone who is celebrating Thanksgiving this week I wish you good health and good luck! If you choose to eat avoids, may they be worthwhile, if you choose to be good, I commend you!
I'm choosing to be pretty good. I have to be good, or I suffer the consequences. May have a bit of sugar here and there, but I'm really hoping I can keep my appetite in check.
My biggest effort will be to keep my son far separated from the many sources of gluten we will encounter. So far I'm not doing too great at that. He'll eat any morsel he finds, and I may have encountered a deceptive label on some gluten-free veggie burgers...he was screaming until late last night and has diarrhea this morning. I think he's over the worst of it, but I can't stand not knowing what he ate that triggered it. Over the last month I've messed up at least once a week on his diet, or on mine, or both. It's frustrating when I cook all week and I'm so careful, then one meal out, one lapse of assertiveness or foresight, and all that work I did doesn't matter anymore because he's sick now. I have hope that I'll learn how to keep things under control. I haven't even dared take him to nursery at church, they play with play-doh, they have gluten-filled snacks. Everyone knows he can't eat them, but he knows how to get his way when he wants them. I need a break, but can't afford to take one, I have to watch what he's putting into his mouth every second, especially outside our home.
I had an eye appointment yesterday. Come to find out, levoxyl or synthroid increases chances of glaucoma, so they ran all kinds of uncomfortable tests on me. They were fine so they won't have to do it again for a while. I had to get back on the levoxyl, at a much reduced dose, but I still want off of it. Too much and I get palpitations, too little and my hair falls out...right now it must be just right because I've got both problems at once. Next time I go in, I'll switch to the natural kind. I know it's dosage isn't as reliable, but it's gotta be better than this!
Also had my annual exam. Yesterday was not a good day. I barely made it in time, the nurse spilled the pap smear sample and they had to redo it, among other things going wrong. But the good thing was that I got to see the doctor who delivered my baby. He had been all booked when I made the appointment, so this was a nice surprise. It was a little sad to go back to that office though, after the loss of my primary physician last month in that plane crash. It was business as usual, but everyone seemed a little softer and a little sadder. I think the doctor who delivered my son will now be the primary physician for my family.
I should get my cholesterol results next week, that will be fun at least. Can you tell I'm SAD? Come December 21st I'll be dancing though. That's when, in my case, the SAD turns around. I'll probably have some sort of last-minute pagan sun worshipping ritual that day, dance around a fire or something, or at least get some decorations up at the last minute before Christmas day.
This fall has been difficult, as I've mentioned. An active toddler and demanding work has made it hard to stick to my normal self-treatment: sunny walks, cooking lots of good food, relaxing now and then with a cup of herbal tea or cocoa, or the ultimate catnap in a sunny patch. There have been some positives though, my eating habits that I've been developing over almost the last year have helped me keep my carb cravings mostly in the nibble mode, instead of the usual devour mode.
Memories of my holiday season before my first pregnancy kept replaying in my head. I gained ten pounds over the holidays that year, then promptly got pregnant and gained too much in my pregancy. I really don't want to do that in my next pregnancy, I want to start out at a low weight this next time. There are some big differences between this year and that one though, namely: corn and dairy and sugar. They didn't seem to make me feel bad at the time, but they really pack on the pounds for me. I'm way more compliant than I was then. My biggest cheat avoid now is a little maple syrup, and too big portions on acceptable grains. So, so far I haven't gained weight even with some lessened compliance, I was so sure that I had, I didn't want to step on the scale.
Another thing I now have going for me is a new treadmill! It's not a top rated brand or anything, but I should get some good use out of it. If I wear it out, then I'll know it's worth spending more next time. We set it up by some windows and a door, so I can have sunlight and fresh air. I only walked a mile on it yesterday, in bits and pieces, but it felt good.
I used up all my free time yesterday doing the shopping for a week. eDiets has taught me that it is somewhat possible, I always forget something, but it's been helpful for meal planning and time management. My husband thought I had gotten a little carried away with all the stuff I bought. Most of the extra was non-perishables, but my bags of groceries covered half the kitchen floor as I was putting them away. Tis the season, the old instinct to hoard and store had kicked in. I went to the HFS, the Asian market, and the grocery store.
At the HFS they finally had rice bran oil, I was about to order it, so I almost danced for joy when I saw it. My favorite packaged rice cracker is made with rice bran oil, so I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy the flavor, and it appears to have some beneficial properties. Though I don't think it has an official designation by Dr. D, Heidi recommended it in her column a few times. I need to find out if it's organic, but it's the only brand I've ever found, so it may be the best I can do.
At the asian store, I got a bunch of sweet rice flour (1/2 the price of the HFS bags), and found some "Glutinous Indian Millet." I was intrigued, but there were two brands, one looked like small grey millet, the other had much bigger grains and the ingredient translation in some other language was Sorgo or sorgu which made me wonder if it was actually sorgum, a nonnie avoid. I picked up the small one, that resembled millet, but I'm still not sure.
I've been having success with my rice milk maker. I use brown basmati rice, a little millet, and a tablespoon of flax. It comes out quite thick still, so I may need to use less flax. Maybe the millet gets thick too? Anyway, I really prefer the taste to storebought, it's a little more bland but has no aftertaste...I'm working out what flavors to add to brighten it up. So far I've only sweetened some with glycerine, but haven't really added flavor...almond extract, nutmeg or lemon juice should probably spruce it right up. Chocolate has been my standby so far, as I mainly use it in my cocoa. If any of you are thinking of buying a soymilk maker to make rice milk, make sure it's one that specifically states it can make rice milk and includes instructions for it. Rice milk is the hardest to clean out of a soymilk maker, so you want one that is easy to clean. I haven't had much trouble, but I haven't used the stickier types of rice, and I clean it right away and thoroughly each time. It only takes the machine 15 minutes to do it's work, then it takes me another 10 or so minutes to clean it. The payoff is good though, I am happy to actually be able to drink it straight...something I couldn't do with anything other than cow milk or silk nog.
That pretty much catches me up. On to the treadmill, work, and drying a bunch of mangoes (stocking up some of that sunshine for the winter).
I just got my son's test results from Enterolab, and he is off the chart on all counts. All the numbers are at least double the normal maximum, the antigliadin IgA is 185, with normal only going up to 10 !!!!!!!! The gene he has for it is HLA-DQ3, subtype 8 (HLA-DQ8), no doubt from me.
I'm so glad he is feeling better after going gluten free. No more tantrums every 10 minutes, no more unexplained vomiting or strange pimples, and his diapers are slowly becoming more normal. His distended tummy got flat again and is now developing the more normal baby fat softness with tiny little love handles. I anticipate his anemia is improving. His face and skin around his eyes look better. He defend himself better and plays more around other kids. He's speaking a lot more, with sentences and tons of new words. He wasn't at all behind mentally, but is only in the 5th percentile on height and weight.
Without the BTD I never would have questioned what I was eating or gotten my own diagnosis of celiac disease, and it may have been a few more years before we got the baby tested. Some children (and adults) end up in the hospital undergoing all kinds of tests and procedures before getting a diagnosis. I'm very thankful to know, and to be aware that not all food acts just as food...some is medicine, some is poison.
Now...how do I keep myself away from his treats? I made him 28 millet/sweet rice waffles this morning, 25 of them are in the fridge and freezer now. He ate one...it's not hard to guess where the other two went! It's harder when I know the treats won't make me terribly sick. It will be a miracle if I can maintain my weight through the holidays. I'll probably buy a treadmill tomorrow though, that will help.
I got my own scale, finally, and have noticed some interesting trends. When I do eat too many carbs, even neutral ones, my weight can go up pretty fast. I've been taken out to eat twice this week, We went to PF Chang's both times, because I trust them with gluten free food more than most restaurants. I ordered rice noodles for my son, but I ended up eating too much of them, of course. He still doesn't eat much of anything. They probably had some wheat free tamari sauce in them. Soy may have a worse effect on me than I had assumed previously.
Well, the scale has let me know I can't do that anymore. As fast as my weight can go down, it can go up even faster. I'm a little constipated, to boot, and that doesn't help on the scale. I'm sure the noodles and soy contributed to that problem as well.
I'm starting to reevaluate my holiday strategy. I was thinking of making some gluten-free pie crusts, all compliant, but still I wonder if that's a bad idea anyway. Perhaps I will make this a lower carb thanksgiving. Let's see, turkey, salad, sweet potatoes or turnips, collards...what is realistic, I wonder. I just don't want to gain 10 pounds over the holidays. Of course, if I could be good all the rest of the time I'd be fine. I'll see how I do between now and then...then I'll decide how many treats I can allow myself.
Why do holidays have to be in the fall and winter? I tell you, I really love to stuff my face this time of year, and the holidays make that worse. That is one benefit to all the salads I've been eating...I can really stuff it in, a whole big plateful, and still be fine. I better make more of an effort to stay away from platefuls of noodles and such! I don't even miss grains when they aren't in front of me, so I'll keep them away from me.
I must be at some milestone in my diet. I've started to crave salad like I used to crave chocolate and carbs. I buy a large package of Earthbound Farms Organic Spring Mix from Costco, it lasts a week in the fridge, but takes some doing for one person to eat it all that fast. It's become my default meal. I just add whatever protein I feel like, and some avocado (secretors can add a compliant cheese instead). Then drizzle the whole thing with olive oil/lemon/trocomare mixture. Very satisfying.
So, for brunch I had salad & ... poached eggs
For dinner I had salad & ... shredded buffalo roast
Hey, it's better than Cookies & ...
I just finished a salad of sardines on organic lettuce greens. Pretty strange breakfast I would've thought a year ago. The stranger thing is that it was what I actually wanted to eat for breakfast.
For salad dressing now I use liberal amounts of olive oil, lemon juice and trocomare. I mix them up and pour them over the top. It's quite tasty.
Yesterday my breakfast ended up being a bit more strange. I love ground lamb patties with rosemary, and found ground lamb at my supermarket, which was the first ground lamb I've seen around here for a couple years. I don't eat lamb very often, as it is hard to find here. Well, not long after this breakfast, my skin above my elbows got warm and itchy. Before long my arms were red, bumpy, warm and itchy, my knees also joined in the fun. I felt fine otherwise, so didn't take any benadryl. I slathered on some olive oil, and took a warm bath with olive oil in it. It cleared up pretty fast.
Ah, the joys of being an O non-secretor. I've gotten over some intolerances to chicken and converted rice, but now it would seem I may have a new allergy to lamb. I'll test it in a few weeks when I can get some grassfed lamb...since I'm not sure the source of the lamb I ate. I think lamb is more likely to be grassfed than beef is, but I'll be more careful next time, as this was most likely grain fattened. It certainly left a lot of saturated fat in the pan. I'm expecting a freezerful of grassfed lamb soon...so I hope it agrees with me! If not, at least it's only neutral for nonnies. Most of my allergies are to avoids, but not all. I'm sure it doesn't help that I used to eat lamb gyro meat regularly, and I think it had some gluten in it because it didn't really agree with me. For celiacs, gluten makes it much more likely that you'll develop allergies, because it causes a leaky gut (increased intestinal permeability).
Ah well. I have a buffalo to roast, so I'm off to the kitchen.
The last few days I've been contemplating my mental health. It just hasn't seemed great this week, I've been in a rotten mood, had a touch of insomnia, prone to crying...that whole bit. Of course I blame part of it on lack of exercise. It takes a lot of extra emotional energy to exercise with a toddler, who fights the stroller and tends to not want to stay out as long as I do, and lately, I just haven't gone to the effort.
There's something more though. I've been on eDiets, and while I love the meal planning, I just realized that I'm eating a lot less beef than I usually have. There's one or two beef meals in the selection, a couple veal, couple liver, a couple lamb, a bunch of poultry, and a whole lot of fish. Here I'm used to eating beef at least once a day. I think all this white meat is not doing the work beef did for my moods. So I've decided to take their suggestions on what goes with the meat, but stick with more beef. I tried liver last night, but didn't enjoy the experience of cooking it, and couldn't quite eat more than a couple ounces. I could only find regular beef liver, not free range, and that doesn't cut it for me anymore. Free range beef seems to have more energy and vitality to it...for some reason. It's just a happier food, and I like happy food.
And... I got some exercise today. I cleaned off the deck outside. It was very overgrown with a virginia creeper. I had no idea what a mess it was. I took out a lot of frustration on that vine, and I think it took a little out on me too, but I won! I can now see the whole deck again. I still need to cut back that vine some more, to control it. It's so beautiful in the fall, but I'm beginning to wonder if I really like it as much as I thought I did. It's nice when you have something to show for your exercise, and I did get my heart rate up well enough for it to be called exercise.
Tomorrow is another day, tonight I eat steak.
So what is a conservative doing the day after the election with a title like that? We had an amazing turnout at the ballots. Now today the tendency is for one side to despair and the other side to celebrate. Neither reaction is the right one, however. The right reaction is to take action. Commit yourself to fight for what you believe in.
As for myself, I didn't feel that either side fully represented me and my values. I am a woman without a political party. Both parties need to realign themselves, and we dearly need campaign financing reform. Whoever had won would be beholding to big business, because of how the system is setup. Yet, those candidates who want reform can't get the backing to run.
Who do you want to see running in 2008?
If there were a party that really fit you, what would it's platform be?
Hop over to the forum, let's discuss it. Little Fishies
Get out to vote! But if you want a little election day entertainment, click below...
Click on This Land or if you're brave Click on Good To Be in DC, Parental guidance suggested
Fellowship 911: This movie is a bit cleaner, and hilarious.
Enjoy! I think you know how I'm voting, but I won't say more, this country is polarized enough as it is. We're all in this together, if we work together and keep on top of our elected officials, whomever they are, we may be able to keep them in line! So vote, and keep writing those letters to your congressmen, senators, president, mayor, school board, etc.
Today I was featured on the eDiets.com newsletter. Here's the link:
My Story on eDiets
That was fun! Kim Droze was really nice to talk to, and did a good job with the story. Hopefully it will help more people discover the Blood Type Diet. eDiet's program certainly would make the diet easier to start, you don't have to think about what you can't eat, because they just give you menus, recipes and shopping lists for what you can eat. I have to say I'm quite full even after cutting out the nonnie-avoids and foods with gluten from the meal plans. I just can't cook and eat fast enough to keep up with the plan! You can customize it as well, or use your own meal ideas, but I like not having to think about it so much.
According to their site, I only have 6 more pounds to lose. Of course, with fall here and the holidays approaching, it will still be a feat. I don't crave carbs so much in the summer, it isn't quite as hard, but in the fall, it's much more difficult. Even when I'm full, I want to nibble on something carby.
I'd like to lose a little more than 6 pounds though...to be the weight I was in high school would be awesome, but I'm only 10 pounds from there! (I wasn't too thin, like some teenagers are, but I was at a healthy weight) I've started using my hand weights again, to strengthen my arms and shoulders. I need to really start focusing on fitness and exercise. I am getting closer to being able to get a treadmill, as the days get colder. I used to walk in any weather, but my son doesn't like the nippy air too well, especially when confined to his stroller.