I had some ground lamb in the refrigerator to thaw and make meatballs with. I also had some parsnips patiently awaiting their fate, and planned on making creamy parsnip soup to go with the meatballs. It's been a while since I really cooked though, and I didn't realize I had no onions. I couldn't make keema either, because I had no onions. I was at a loss, and running out of time.
So I pulled out a great cookbook (I have many, and rarely use them). This time it was the Cook's Illustrated Perfect Vegetable cookbook. Parsnips... they recommend steaming and pureeing (with a few other ingredients, including cream), or roasting them (with just olive oil, salt, and fresh parsley). I chose the easier recipe that would require no substitutions (other than having no fresh parsley on hand, so I substituted curry and ginger powder for that). Chop them a uniform size, somewhere between 1 and 2 cm, after removing the core from the large ones, toss it all together, spread on a cookie sheet, and cook for about 30 minutes at 425 (shake the pan or turn them a couple times to prevent too much browning).
Then I started the meatballs. I usually put onions in those, but the kids always complain, so oh well. I just added salt, puffed millet, a little sweet rice flour, and a bit of curry powder. I started these in a cast iron pan on the stove, then moved them to the hot oven to cook through once they were a bit browned.
The parsnips were almost done, and I still hadn't devised a carb. I pulled out another cookbook for instructions on how to cook quinoa, and that was done 20 minutes later. The whole thing only took me 40 minutes. Now for the taste test...two picky children.
My six year old hates parsnips, so I just told him it was roasted root vegetables. He loved them! Any vegetable is good if it's prepared right, and roasting them really takes out that bit of a flavor zap that they can have. This is good; a potato substitute for a kid who, despite my shielding attempts, always asks for potatoes.
The meatballs were great too, the best lamb meatballs I've made so far. I combined all three together, and it was much like a couscous meal I once had. This was followed by a basic salad with some pine nuts and radished tossed in. (The pine nuts would also be good in the couscous-like combination)
That should fuel my busy day tomorrow, Thursdays are always crazy for us.
I'm doing well, my immune system seems to be improving. I'm attacking the new year with a somewhat new plan, and think it will do well for me...
So I am now on the explorer diet along with being casein (dairy) free and gluten free. I've only had dairy once in the last month (mozzarella), and it made my nose run within 10 minutes, so fairwell dairy. I think this diet combination, with compliance, will make my white lines improve. Once they improve, showing that my intestines have healed, I may be able to have a little dairy again, but that will most likely be a long time in coming.
When I look back at my healthy, strong, times over the years, they are when I've been eating the least amount of dairy.
This month I've also been working on my spiritual strength. I often just go along, and float with the current, but it's very rewarding to actually put more effort into it, with personal study and family home evening (when we have a lesson, song, activity, and prayer together once a week). I've also begun attending the temple much more often than I previously had, and that is a great source of strength and direction. Looking back again, my life just goes better, including my health, when I put forth some effort in spiritual things.
Physical strength has also been improving with continued taekwondo, and a good bit of snow shovelling. My arms have been sore for about a week, thanks to working them two tkd classes in a row, and the heaviest snow I've ever shoveled coming down this weekend. That is a good thing, because my shoulders have been a point of weakness for me in the past. My kicks are all coming along well, but my side-kick still needs work (my body has never moved like that before, and is stubbornly resisting, it was a lucky day that I was able to break a board with that kick last month).
All in all, I'm feeling strong and hopeful, and have faith that this year will be a better one than the last.
One bit of good news: I hadn't measured myself in a while because I hadn't lost weight in a while, but I discovered today that I recently lost an inch off my hips.
For now I can stand by my motto "Surgery, never had it, never will" (Unless you count my wisdom tooth extraction, that is, since I opted to get put under for that.) I saw a very good ENT today and he didn't see any need for surgery. I have rhinitis, and basically all the similar mucous membranes are inflammed, as you'd see with allergies, though my allergy tests were somewhat inconclusive...I don't find it too much a stretch to think that the membranes could be more reactive than my skin, and could react to things (like dairy or corn) that my skin barely reacts to if at all. Before I thought I measured out as gatherer, I was sure I had to be one of the reactive types (hunter or explorer) because inflammation is always a part of how my body operates.
So my plan of attack goes back to higher compliance, nutrient-dense foods, better sleep, regular exercise, and address my high oxi-stress readings. There is a natural treatment I'm planning to try, a nasal spray for allergies by Thorne Research called QC Nasal Spray. They're a good company and I'm far more comfortable with that than with nasal steroids, though those are safer than oral or inhaled steroids.
I'm relieved that I don't need that surgery, because it's a very difficult one for adults. There are no quick fixes here, just do the work.
Happy New Year! Here's to one that's better than the last.
I've realized that I'm probably deficient in zinc. I did a taste test (Zinc Status), and could hardly taste it after 10 seconds. If you taste it strongly, then you're not deficient, if it just tastes like water then you're deficient, and to me it started to taste like mineral water after 10 seconds. It would explain a lot of things, and I'm hopeful that turning around the deficiency will make this a better year than last, illness-wise. I have a lot of the lists of symptoms, so things are now looking up.
I'm happy to be off the large doses of vitamin D (and I'm still happy to have that one figured out 3 years ago), but whenever you take a lot of one thing, other things often get out of balance.
I've been sick twice since I last blogged, and have gotten quite fed up with the whole matter. We never even got our family picture done for Christmas cards, despite trying 6 times, because I kept getting too sick to do it (or worried I'd be contagious to the photographer). It was kind of a big deal this year, and just one of many things that I never got done.
Such is life, being a celiac explorer. I thought I'd ruled out all deficiencies, but bingo, now one makes itself known. Sometimes you have to get pretty low before you see the way up.
I'll still get my tonsils checked next week, since I've waited 3 months to get into the ENT, but I won't be in a big hurry for surgical options if things improve without them. I also plan on strictly avoiding all dairy except ghee, until further notice.
I noticed my first ever reaction to eggs when I cheated over Christmas. Perhaps they've been causing absorption problems ... the white lines may tell over time.
I'm sick again, after feeling awesome for more than a few weeks and getting into a pretty good exercise routine, it's a bit of a setback. I can't help but think that if I'd refrained myself a bit more for Thanksgiving, I wouldn't have gotten as sick as I did. I did pretty well on choices, other than some cream in a couple spots, but just ate too much and went into a stupor afterwards. That night my nose started running and within a day or two had a full fledged sinusitis, pink eye, ear congestion, and laryngitis.
Other than a slight residual cough and sinus headache, I'm feeling pretty ok today. Tomorrow I might start getting back into the swing of things. I have gotten back into cooking and eating, trying to eat more frequent small meals as my blood sugar seems to swing a bit when I'm sick.
It's that lovely sniffly time of year, but this was the last straw for me and my tonsils. I'm going to see an ENT about them and if he strongly recomends removal, I'll go for it. It was also the last straw for me and any dairy. It's only ghee for me from here on out. I'm also doubting my affections for many sweet things, and pulling out the vegetable glycerine as my primary sweetener. Basically, I'm way into vegetables. I've been eating a lot of them. Tonight I made peasant soup (swiss chard, dandelion, broth, simmered 30 minutes, and dressed with garlic, nice olive oil, and sea salt to taste). Today I haven't had any grains, sugars, or dairy. Some grains will come back, in modest amounts, but veggies and a few fruits are my first priority, followed by some lean protein.
I tried a prickly pear for the first time today, I blended it up, strained it (ate most of the pulp), then put the rest into some v.glycerine sweetened lemonade. It's got a very mild, refreshing, flavor. Star fruit (carambola) is pretty popular around here lately too. It's surprisingly crisp and not too sweet but sweet enough.