Ok, if you haven't guessed by my location, the fact I know nothing about wine, my lack of whining about no coffee, and my quiet family life, I am LDS (Mormon). I try not to get too personal in my blogs, but I figure I ought to write about what I've been thinking about, and lately that's been relating my diet to my religion.
We have a dietary code called the Word of Wisdom, which I always find very interesting to read through. The scripture that it comes from was received in 1833 and pretty advanced for the time as tobacco wasn't yet known to have any ill effects.
I'm always most interested in the spirit of the law, and the spirit of this law is summarized by this line: "In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation" When I read that, I can't help but think of the big tobacco companies and others powerful industries that knowingly provide us with foods and products that are harmful to our health.
While I avoid those things that are proscribed by my religion, I also use the spirit of the law as a guide when confronted with many of the addictive frankenfoods that have been invented and become prevalent since 1833... sodas (with or without caffeine), food additives, overly processed foods... foods that were designed to increase the corporate bottom line with little or no thought to what it would do to consumers' health. Hey, they're just giving us what we want, right? They're also doing their best to shape what it is we want.
There are instances in our history where we have been warned against things "not of our own making" and there was, and still is to a certain extent, a strong sense of self-sufficiency which relates to making our own food. I think this idea to make our own food has been discombobulated into Cambell's condensed soup casseroles and jello salads a little too often, as the advertising agencies for large corporations know how to appeal to our desire for self-sufficiency and turn it into something that benefits them. But, it was nice to grow up with a garden, learning how to can foods, make jam, etc.
Anyone out there with a year's supply of BTD compliant food? That's another thing we do, we keep food storage just in case of emergencies. And, how do you store good proteins sources for Os? Buy a couple rabbits, I guess. Hey, they're beneficial for O non-secretors.
I just had one of the most satisfying breakfasts ever. I woke up actually craving collard greens. I've had them southern style, and I've had them brazilian style, I liked both (better than home-style because I never cooked them right). So I found a description of how to cook them brazilian style.
The most important part is to slice them very thin (after removing the middle vein), you roll them all up together into a cigar shape and slice them as thinly as possible, 1/8 inch is recommended, though mine were mostly 1/4 inch.
The next most important thing is to use butter or ghee. Many recipes call for lard (which is pork based, thus an avoid), and I think any fat that comes from an animal works better for the flavor than just oil.
Saute a small onion (diced) and 2 cloves of minced garlic in about 2 Tablespoons of butter, when they're starting to brown, add the shredded collards and cook on high (turn down heat if butter starts to smoke) until they start to wilt or to taste, and add salt if desired. I also used the same pan to scramble some eggs afterward. It gave the eggs a good rich flavor. I didn't expect the greens to have that rich flavor, as I always attributed that flavor to the pork or lard that restaurants usually prepare it with. I added a little red pepper flakes to mine, for even more flavor.
My husband liked it too (without the red pepper), which surprised me, he usually doesn't like new foods.
I'd choose this over hash browns with my breakfast any day (and I used to be quite the hash brown connoisseur)... wouldn't it be nice if that were an option at more restaurants!
My aunt and uncle raise goats and lambs, I'm going to be getting some lamb, mostly ground lamb. I love it with garlic and rosemary for breakfast... kind of a sausage substitute. I noticed that mutton is beneficial and lamb is only neutral for non-secretors. Anybody tried mutton? Sounds like grass fed mutton would have quite a strong flavor.
They recommended 'finishing' the lamb for a week on grain, but I opted to skip that step. Flavor may be a little stronger, but it will be healthier, higher in CLA's. It will be finished on grass and alfalfa, maybe some dandelions if I'm lucky. My mom's a B, so lamb and goat are beneficial for her, and she's getting one of each.
Now to order some grass fed beef... I got my freezer for a reason, might as well fill it up. I'll try to make sure they don't flash freeze it. The new health food store carried fresh, not frozen, beef for a while, but stopped as it didn't sell well enough. Check out www.eatwild.com for a listing of local ranchers who raise grass-fed meat. I wonder how it effects the meat, health-wise, to have it dry aged?
I'm doing better as far as stress and sleep and eating schedules go. It was a nippy fall morning, I actually woke up early, made breakfast and showered before the baby woke, and he woke a hour earlier than yesterday (3 hours earlier than the day before). I don't know if we'll ever get him to bed by 8 pm, but we're improving, he went to bed 90 minutes earlier last night than the night before.
I've got to do something with the collard greens in my fridge, I've had mixed luck cooking them in the past but I'm trying again. Spinach is the main green I have a taste for, but it's so hard to clean. Kale, beet greens and chard are also good, but collards are so healthy that I want to figure them out.
This is funny, but I'm still not ready to laugh about it...
Yesterday I went shopping with a list of ingredients for stuffed peppers. So far so good. While my son napped I started to assemble them, sliced the onion, cooked it with ground beef, cooked the rice, etc. I got them all assembled, a few meals worth in one pan. Then as I reached for the pan to put it in the oven I accidentally knocked it off the counter and it flew to land face down on the floor, splattering across the kitchen. I contemplated it for a bit, and decided the floor wasn't clean enough to eat from, so I cleaned it up and tossed it out. I'll blame my clumsiness on PMS, that gets me everytime.
I then glanced at the fridge and saw the Outback takout menu I'd posted there a couple months ago. I looked up their gluten free menu from Living Without magazine, and called them right up! I was even ready to indulge on the Chocolate Thunder, but fortunately for my diet, when I verified it, it's not totally gluten-free at this location, so I abstained. I ordered a steak griller for me and a salmon griller for my A. We shared, and they were both very good, and seemed O compliant. The grilled pineapple is always a hit with me. I like the curbside-to-go service with a little one in his carseat. It ended up being a nice enough experience to make up for my culinary mishap, even without the dessert.
I will cook again...I'm just not sure when
I decided long ago to not care how much I spend on groceries. Anything that keeps me home instead of eating out so much is a good thing. Of course, buying whole foods instead of prepared meals offsets some of the costs. When I started the diet, I was a poor student, but it was just that one thing that I didn't really budget.
You also have to consider how any costs associated with the BTD offsets medical costs. I was reviewing my medical records last night. In 1997 I had 14 visits to the doctor (not counting physicals or preventative care visits). Infection here, infection there, epstein barr rechecks, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, change antidepressants, check for lupus, etc. etc. Fortunately I survived all that medical care, though I wish I'd discovered BTD when it was first published! When you consider my antidepressants were costing me more than $100 a month, and each visit was at least $20...the BTD would have saved me money. I liked Cheryl's blog a while back...Pay me now or pay me later, I think it was titled, about medical costs.
I recommend everyone keeps a copy of their medical records. I just went in to my old clinic to sign a release form and pay for the copies of my records from their storage facility, as I realized I had a two year gap in my records. The gap covers from about the time I injured my back through my first year on BTD. I'll have to fill you in when I get those and can really analyze them. I can already see that my triglycerides dropped significantly when I started the diet, thanks to some insurance blood work I got copies of. The triglyceride level went from 198 to 107! (They didn't have me fast for either reading, and I know the 107 was within an hour after eating a steak lunch.)
Back to groceries, my goal for this week is to start cooking again, and more importantly, to start planning meals ahead of time. This is all toward the ultimate goal of being able to take care of myself enough to start reaching out to friends and relatives with health problems and start helping them more with meals and such. Here I am, I'm terrible at planning meals, and often skip them, my kitchen is a constant mess from the last time a cooked, which was a while ago. Expensive flour goes bad in my pantry, fruit and veggies go bad in my fridge...I'm not the best example. I skip meals. Got to change these things, and hurry it up, for my own sake and others'.
Next week I'm also going to put my son on a gluten free diet, and see how it goes. He doesn't seem to have celiac disease, but he's at risk of it genetically, small for his age, sometimes gets diarrhea, and has borderline low iron. I have to check, though I'm afraid to find out if he may have it. I've been observant, and haven't noticed a real pattern, but the only way to really know is to take him of gluten entirely for a while. There are blood tests, but it's easier on him to just change his diet for a time. He eats pretty healthily, loves fruit and tries his veggies, it should go pretty smoothly. Wish us luck!