Category: Melissa's Earlier Blogs
I bought a Magic Bullet a couple weeks ago, because I just wasn't eager to use my blender to make smoothies. I've found it to be pretty cool for us, since we all can or should eat different things. It comes with 4 mugs you can fill up separately, the put the base/blade onto them and blend them up. I can put rice milk in the O's mugs, soymilk for the As, specific supplements as needed, different sweeteners, etc. My little O likes a blueberry and banana smoothie for breakfast, and doesn't mind if I put some calcium or protein powder in. My A likes just blueberries, and will go along with the calcium but won't touch it if I put a protein powder in it. I can make a nice green tea smoothie for myself with bancha powder, ice, rice milk and agave...it's better than all the juice bar's versions, and without any avoids! I also like a basic banana smoothie. There may be better blenders out there for smoothies, but I do love how easy it is to individualize our smoothies with this one. That has upped our fruit consumption quite nicely.
I also recently discovered Tulsi Ginger tea, it's holy basil, a great adaptogen especially for As if memory serves correctly, but this O loves it and with the anti-inflammatory ginger in it, it has great flavor. It's one of my all time favorite herbal teas.
I started up my rice milk maker again, inspired by the smoothie maker, so I could make compliant smoothies instead of using storebought avoid-filled rice milks or - even worse for me - soymilk.
I tried buying a mandoline slicer from Costco. It was too cheap, I should have known by the price, so it may do fine with potatoes and cucumbers, but it wasn't sharp enough for kohlrabi, and the teeth on the finger protector sliding thing chewed up zucchini faster than the blade sliced it...so I returned that one. I kind of enjoy slicing things manually anyway, and there's always the food processor to handle the jobs I don't like using a knife for.
Cooking, planning, and grocery shopping are going pretty well so far this week. I made a chicken and rice casserole on Sunday and even invited the in-laws over (that's a first for me in a long time!). My mother-in-law broke her elbow and had surgery last week, so I figured this was a good time to take the plunge and help out. It turned out great. I also sliced up a watermelon, and made a green salad with more than just lettuce in it. I have to admit that I do suffer somewhat from CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome*), and it's still an issue with the renovations and reorganizing we've done lately with our house. The evening worked out nicely though, with everyone's help. The renovations are mostly done, but everything got moved into the garage for the flooring adventure, and it has slowly been making its way back into the house, hopefully more organized this time around. Getting all your floors redone is almost harder than moving to a whole new house, because you have to move the furniture and most everything twice. I'm glad that one's behind me.
I must be doing better with my diet, because I've been very hungry, as I always am when I first start it. I need more beneficials, but have been focusing on dinner for As and Os both, and different tastes. Next week I'll do more for lunch than just leftovers, and should be able to fit in some nice beneficials in there.
Other than the casserole, I've made andouille smothered northern beans, with wellshire's turkey andouille. Tonight I'm going to attempt turning the leftovers from that into a gumbo-like stew. That may be interesting...hopefully not too interesting. It doesn't taste so great after being refrigerated, so I hope making it into a soup will wake it up a little. I've also gone back to cooking up a whole stockpot of steamed broccoli to use liberally in meals.
I wish I could say I am totally avoid-free, but stress comes along and I do still make poor decisions, though to a much smaller extent and much less often. I'm trying to incorporate the motto on Enjoy Life Food's products: "Eat Freely" My diet is free of quite a few things, but saying it that way makes it sound more positive. I eat freely of those foods that are right for me. It also speaks somewhat to how little counting calories or portions matters for my health, if I eat beneficials and avoid the avoids, then my weight goes down and my health improves, even if I eat quite a bit, because I am satisfied by what I eat.
I didn't get on the ball at new year's, so here I am. Actually a set a goal last December with the help of TUT's adventurer's club, to get an updated kitchen and perfect health. This year most of my energy and visualization has gone toward the kitchen, and quite a few other home renovations, which are nearly done. My kitchen is nearly done except for the tile backsplash. I have oak cabinets, which I debated changing, but I decided to buck trendiness and keep them, and designed around them for a kitchen that is really nice and not trendy. I love my new kitchen, and can't wait to get the backsplash done. Funny thing is, at the time I set the goal, it did not look financially possible in the slightest, things were actually quite bleak, it was amazing how fast things turned around!
Now for the goal of perfect health. I've been a bit more resilient and less reactive to avoids and stress, maybe as a result of the visualizations, but the goal of perfect health is going to take some work. I wasn't really thinking when I set the goal, or I wouldn't have used the word "perfect" but that's the word I used and I'm going to stick to it. That means I will heal everything from my scalp to my feet to my thyroid. I'm focusing first on digestive health, and BTD is the primary tool. Exercise will be vital too, if for no other reason than to feel upbeat and have the energy to follow through with the cooking and all that goes with it.
My secondary goal in all this is to start cooking more at home. I just returned from a week-long car trip and I never want to see another fast food joint or restaurant. I tried to keep a cooler and snacks, and cooked wherever possible, but I still got totally sick of convenience foods. (I never got glutened, but didn't eat right for sure.) The double benefit of cooking at home, is for my home-life. After reading The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands I cooked nightly for 3 months straight, and there were many amazing benefits. Lately I haven't been properly caring for or feeding anybody, and that's got to change. We're all getting too grumpy!
I enjoy change, so this should be fun.
No matter how much we understand about a whole food, the whole is still so much greater than the sum of its parts. We can take it apart and study each component, isolate the most favorable ones, and study them some more, but still cannot synthesize all the benefits. Sure, there are some great components in foods that can be isolated and taken alone, like Bromelain, but we still benefit from eating the whole food. I tend to focus too much on the suppments, when following the BTD with a variety of beneficial foods does more for me than a cupboard full of supplements, high quality and beneficial as they are.
A food may have something considered bad in its own right, like sugar or fat, but when kept intact with the whole food, as God and nature intended, it can work together in the type of synergy that can have miraculous healing properties. Sugar can be bound to antioxidants that target the areas that get damaged by isolated sugar alone. Caffeine can be bound to polyphenols to target the liver cells that need the polyphenols most. More connections will be discovered, but why wait for science? Eat the whole beneficials today! Many are in season right now, and many others soon will be. Organic produce is getting easier to find, and fresher looking on the shelves. Fresh Wild Salmon can now be found in many grocery stores...sure it costs more, but the prices are coming down, and the flavor is incredible. It's getting easier to eat right.
Sure, it's getting easier to eat wrong as well, but we know how to navigate that. Shop around the perimeter of the store for the most whole foods...it's good for your shopping bill and your health, to buy it whole and prepare it at home. It also doesn't take much more time to cook a simple healthy meal than it takes to pick a restaurant and pick up some take-out.
Whereas processed foods are a conglomeration, a miscellaneous collection of unrelated parts, parts isolated from their sources and jumbled together; whole foods are a symphony and a composition, where the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. In your kitchen you can arrange different parts from different symphonies together to make a nice meal, but in a food scientist's lab you often get discord punctuated by monotony, with a little extra additive thrown in to make it appealing.
The more we learn about processed foods, the worse it looks. All these foods touted as wholesome come out of the final review with troubling results.
We got rid of evil saturated fat and tropical oils by creating hydrogenated oils and trans fats, which are more evil than anything mother nature provided. Not only do they have all the drawbacks of sat fat, they go above and beyond it by interfering with detoxification pathways. Bad stuff indeed. Bring back the butter. Reformulations are underway, labels are being updated, damage has been done.
Take a fairly innocent potato, or other starchy food, and fry it or cook it at a high temperature, and you get a probable carcinogen, acrylamide.
Carmelize an onion, or anything with sugar in it, and you get advanced glycation end products...something you don't want running loose in your blood stream. Your body can produce these as well, just add high blood sugar with oxygen, and carmelize yourself on the insides.
That brings me to high fructose corn syrup. The marvel of food science that allowed manufacturers to cheaply sweeten everything under the sun, but contributes to the epidemic of diabetes and more of that aforementioned carmelization reaction, among other things.
Shock a protein with flash freezing or rapid heating and you form polyamines. A growth factor that can also lead to cancer.
Add ascorbic acid to benzoate preservatives, and you create benzene. Another carcinogen that has been lurking in many soft drinks and drink mixes until recent reformulations. News link
Boost a foods' protein content by adding gluten, or engineer wheat to contain more protein (gluten), and get an upsurge in celiac disease and related problems.
Then get that gluten from China, where they boosted the nitrogen content (a way of measuring protein content/gluten quality) and you get melamine poisoned pets.
Leach out every useful thing from corn, and find a place for every byproduct, and you get me...somebody who reacts to most every processed food under the sun. (citric acid, corn-alcohol based natural flavorings, xanthan gum, glucona delta lactone, ascorbic acid, etc. etc.) Am I alone? Not exactly, there are others. Am I a canary in a coal mine, signalling trouble ahead, or just an anomaly? In the future will corn even be fit for human consumption? It's certainly hard to contain GMO genes in a corn field, I know that much, so what's next? Will we undo the so-called progress of the green revolution by going so far as to render those foods inedible that we once manipulated into feeding the world's growing human population? I hope not, but progress marches forward, and doesn't seem to remember where the brake pedal is.
Yesterday on the radio I heard a mock ad for some get rich quick scheme, their catch phrase at the end of it was "We make products for people who will buy anything" I laughed and thought of food manufacturers saying the same thing "We make food for people who will eat anything."
Looking at it that way, it's nice to be one of those who won't eat just anything.
Driving through Salt Lake City, we passed a large grain silo, with a pretty picture of wheat on the outside of it. My four year old celiac son who loves factories immediately put it together, and exclaimed with great excitement, "Look! It's a gluten factory!" It took about five minutes for me to stop laughing and marvelling over his way of seeing things.
At IfHI they gave us a little information on maternal/fetal incompatibility. I didn't realize that in a type O mother carrying an A, B or AB child, it is only the secretor children that are negatively affected by it. So my type A son is more likely to be a non-secretor. Though it's still probably close to 50/50, so I won't know until I somehow convince him to spit into the little tube.
I also learned more about the metabolic types, and my 4 year old is such an ectomorph! He's tall enough, but quite skinny and has trouble gaining weight. Ectomorph's developmental focus is on the nervous system and skin, they are thin and have more surface area compared to internal muscle and fat. He is all about experiencing the environment in any way possible. I wonder how pediatric growth charts would differ if they could tell between metabolic types. If it is possible to tell in small children, I don't know, but he's probably about 50% for ectomorphs his age. It's hard to keep up with the endomorphs and mesomorphs though! I also wonder if it's possible to tell in the womb what type they are, he has always loved to move just for the sake of moving and has been dancing from the time he could move. My younger son has always liked comfort a bit more, and would move enough to be comfortable, in contrast he likes to be strong, is a bit more muscular, and likes to exert power on his environment (I would think this is more endomorphic). I suppose pediatric growth charts, being based on averages and statistics, are far from individualized.