Category: Explorer Blogs
I've been hunting for a protein smoothie that works for explorer (and me). Whey protein is a good option, but I'm still skiddish about making any dairy a part of my daily diet, as well as any cross contamination issues for my milk-allergic son. Pea protein is another good option, but I have yet to find a truly pure source of it, without additives and ingredients I can't have. Rice protein is one I need to look into a bit more, it seems like an oxymoron, rice protein, but maybe I can find a good source of it. Chicken eggs are out for explorers, so my old standby protein is not an option (my son's also allergic to it, so there are those issues again).
The best I've found so far has been Peaceful Planet Supreme Meal. It has a few black dot toxins down the list, and mung bean sprouts. Mung beans are a toxin, but I'm not sure about the sprouts. For now though, it's what I'm using.
It's been good to have something like that this week, as I've been skipping meals. Having something that convenient helps to keep me out of toxin territory. It's been a crazy week, some parts fun and some parts very stressful. The stressful parts are that My father-in-law is having heart bypass surgery today, and my husband is out of the country, returning asap. So far the surgery has gone well.
The fun parts have to do with having fun with my kids. My oldest has just one more week of kindergarten, so school is a big deal right now, and I went with him on a field trip this morning. He had some days off during testing, so we got to have some fun on those days.
Then, sometimes the fun turns into stress, like when we climbed up into the top loft of a small lighthouse at Thanksgiving Point to be nearly attacked by a wasp, with the only exit being down a steep ladder with a very loose guard rail at the top. My son, who was attacked by hornets last summer, did not panic, he just did what I told him to, and we came out of the situation without any stings or injuries. I think it was actually a good experience for him, and he walked away feeling more confident rather than being terrified. I was proud of all of us, and took some time to unwind while watching a beautiful sunset by the ampitheater before returning home. Windmills, ducks flying over, boys safely playing on the grass...couldn't have been more perfect. I have to force myself to take moments like that, to breath.
(They've since fixed the rail and exterminated the nearby wasp nest, so it's much safer now).
Today I have to clean the house, plan some meals, and shop for groceries...better get off my computer.
This week I was surprised to learn, through a bit of a medical adventure, that a person can be regular and constipated at the same time. Meaning that things move along slowly, even though they generally keep moving. Without getting things in gear, I'm at risk for diverticulitis, colon cancer, and according to some sources, appendicitis. I was constipated most of my young life, thanks to celiac disease, and although it has improved significantly, I still consider it status quo and often think nothing of it.
I think this is a good turning point for me as far as my health goals go, and I've started to lose weight again, whereas I had stalled pretty well despite being quite compliant for a week or two. I'm now ingesting soluble fiber whenever possible (with lots of water). The doctor prescribed Miralax, but I prefer something natural, as opposed to eating some weird polymer. It takes a lot of natural soluble fiber to have the same effect, so I'm currently getting that from many sources.
The fiber section at the HFS is extensive...and few products say on the front what they actually are. So it took a while, but once I got past all the slightly scary products, I found some interesting things. (Don't forget NAP's arabinoglactan, which is probably the best of the best).
Fiber Xpress, inulin fiber, 2 grams of soluble fiber per packet. Derived from chicory root, with nothing added. There are other inulin fibers with artificial sweeteners and all kinds of additives, so I was happy to find this, and it's so convenient to use. It's taste/texture is quite undetectable in a liquid.
I also found soluble fiber from rice (which the label says usually gets rinsed away in the preparation of brown rice), that looked promising. There was also apple fiber powder, with pectin, although it was only 25% soluble fiber and 75% insoluble. I think soluble fiber is the best at first, at least initially.
Explorers can also have most glucomannan sources, including shirataki noodles (they say they're made from yams, but these are not the yams that are avoids, these are actually konjac, an explorer superfood). I didn't seen any glucomannan powder at the HFS, but have seen it online.
Chia seeds are also great. They can be ground or eaten whole, and used in a variety of different ways. Sprinkled on cereal or porridge is the way I usually eat it, but stay tuned to this blog for news on my first attempt at making chia crackers.
Of course nothing beats a bowl full of jerusalem artichokes, or some dandelion peasant soup!
Funny how just wishing something pushes you into the right place to make it happen. Just recognizing that something is attainable, makes it so.
My wish list number 2 was for soft hands and feet. They have definitely been trouble areas, often leading to cracks on my heels and the knuckles of my fingers. I can't wear nylons, or tights, because my dry skin wrecks them before I even get them on. I have trouble doing taekwondo because when I pivot on my heels sometimes the scales catch on the floor, causing the skin to crack further. I tried some martial arts shoes but my feet just aren't shaped right for shoes that aren't adjustable on the top. I've ordered some "fight socks" that look promising. Until they come, I just use a wrap tape to cover my heels in class.
Right now though, I'm happy to say that my hands and feet are soft! I've tried so many things to moisturize and/or exfoliate. Many hand lotions are too heavily scented for me to enjoy using often enough. Many foot lotions either don't penetrate well or don't last long enough. My TKD instructor recommended using coconut oil as a moisturizer, and I've been amazed that that stuff. It workes better than all the many specially formulated things I've tried. It soaks in as well a my grandma's turpentine-smelling lotion, but the softness lasts the whole day (the aformentioned lotion fades after a few hours seeming to leave my feet drier than they were to begin with). The exfoliating stuff (kerasal, callex, etc) do help a bit if I use them often enough, but exfoliation without intense moisturizing seems to leave my feet vulnerable to more cracks.
Then for my hands I tried some DHC CoQ10 hand cream. I've long been a fan of DHC, with my sensitive skin (and nose) their products are often the only way to go, gentle but also highly effective. The hand cream is unscented, it penetrates well and is long lasting, rather than just slathering on top and soon disappearing. It worked so well that I've begun to think that CoQ10 is some missing link for my skin. All the fat soluble vitamins are so important to skin, and with my celiac problems and digestive trouble they are still hard for me to absorb. I've ruled out or successfully treated deficiencies in the major ones (ADEK), but there are others to consider, like CoQ10. So, I've begun cutting open a CoQ10 capsule and stirring it into the coconut oil that I put on my feet. It seems to have really kicked it up a notch, as far as effectiveness goes. (it's a bit orange, so if you try this at home, put socks on after, which is a good idea anyway)
My feet are now a normal pink color and seem to be gradually exfoliating themselves. My hands feel soft and normal again as well. I can feel the texture of what I step on, which is interesting after so many calloused years.
In some of Dr. D'Adamo's writings, explorers sound pretty awesome. Our adaptability and healing ability can sound almost legendary. The flip-side of that coin is equally weighted, however (I suppose that's true for all the types), and sometimes it gets a little disheartening. We're the canary in the coal mine type, and the air isn't good here, today. I look at my happy, healthy, childhood and feel great nostalgia for everything that made it possible. The air was cleaner (except in public places that still allowed smoking), the water purer, the pharmaceuticals less numerous...the next generation of explorers isn't so blessed.
Yet, explorers aren't the only ones suffering from the environment. We just feel it more immediately. We feel the pain, while others develop the tumors. We avoid many foods out of necessity, while others develop heart disease. We walk forward with blisters on our feet, and notice over time that fewer and fewer loved ones are walking with us. We bear children and pass our genetic burdens on to them, into a world that burdens them further, and hope that they will walk on after we can no longer. We hope that the knowledge we pass to them will balance out the genes we pass to them.
We hope that our vitality and vigilance will move forward, and allow us to move forward without being held back by some new chronic syndrome. We hope that we have some purpose in life other than lying down in the bottom of a birdcage and hoping somebody notices in time to get fresh air.
Use the recipe below with discretion, but if you crave an onion ring once a year, here's your chance. I'll try to justify creating the recipe in this blog, but can't fully since we all know fried foods are bad for more than a couple reasons. However, since they taste good, and some readers out there may be underweight like my sons, and some others may indulge in avoids unnecessarily in seeking out fried foods, I feel I must share my recipe.
Some updates first though. Things are still going well for me. My weight fluctuates a bit as a lose fat and gain muscle, but I'm heading in the right direction. I love being able to do more and gain new abilities with training and taekwondo. My double kicks are getting pretty sweet, and when I started I could hardly jump and rotate my hips for a double, much less stick my feet out at the end. I'm just now starting to get some power into those feet for the kicks.
I finally got a secretor test sent in for my six year old. I've been exploring the thought that maybe he could also be an explorer. However, the test came back and he is a secretor, and as an A+ secretor, he can't be an explorer. I was hoping for some way to explain or address his allergies to dairy and eggs, which should both be good for teachers. The good news is that we don't have to take away his favorite staple foods, like soy and peanuts. Teacher children can have some trouble growing, as he has had, but he's been making good progress the last few months.
One way to get more calories in him is the Southern practice of frying just about anything. Today I even fried his sandwich... he wanted something new and his dad was worrying about him not eating enough, so I went a little crazy, in a good way. He ate it all; he was happy, I was happy, and his dad was happy...nothing resolves confict like fried food
I know, fried food is terrible, but it's so tasty and if there's a healthier version of it then it's a good recipe to put some weight on underweight kids. I buy Rice Bran Oil from Azure Standard, and a gallon isn't too bad... not near as cheap as ol' Wesson oil or whatever, but when you consider the difference in health-effect, it's very worth it. Rice Bran Oil ranks up with Olive oil for health benefits, but withstands much higher temperatures.
So...enough attempted justification, here's the recipe for the batter. It's milk free, egg free, and explorer friendly. The tapioca isn't so good for teachers, but to replace the egg that my son is severely allergic to, it's the best solution I've found thus far. For those who can have eggs, one of those should do the job instead of the tapioca, for those who can have milk or buttermilk, you can use that for the liquid.
1/2 cup Yellow Split Pea Flour*
1/2 cup quinoa flour (millet flour may work)
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 tsp baking powder**
1/2 cup or more of rice milk or liquid of choice, to bring it to a batter consistency that will easily coat whatever you desire.
spices of choice, a bit of lemon juice if you're frying fish.
*available from Azure standard and other places, or make your own from yellow split peas, garbanzo bean flour would work for those types that can have that, other bean flours would be fine too, but the yellow color is nice and the hearty-sweet flavor it provides is essential, IMO.
**see recipebase for corn-free baking powder recipes, it causes the batter to puff up nicely.
This makes amazing onion rings, chicken fingers, catfish, cod, fried mushrooms, veggies, whatever your tastebuds desire (personally, I can't wait for okra season). I usually do a bit of this and a bit of that to see what they'll eat. Just dip/dredge it in the batter to coat it and fry in pre-heated (medium or medium-high on the stove) rice bran oil. I, of course, have to limit how much of it I eat, and I've gotten better at that, I'm just happy to have just a little when I've gone so many years without any at all. I eat plenty of salad and fresh raw veggies or fruit before and after, to try and find some sort of dietary balance in the meal.