Archives for: December 2004
Friday, December 31, 2004
It simply amazes me that it has been 2weeks since my last blog. I apologize and hope to do better starting tomorrow. There are a lot of things that I figured would start next week, although I have to say that I believe that certain things will be starting sooner. Let me explain.
I have had years – many it seems – where I have started a diet in September and followed it carefully through the holidays. I have to say that it is always difficult, but it feels SO wonderful coming out of the holidays thinner than going in. Most of the time when I would do this, I was following Diet Center, which was very low starch, so that plan would work well for me.
This is not one of those years, however, and as I sit here typing, I feel awful. I either have a cold or my allergies are acting up – something I haven’t dealt with all year – I feel fat and bloated and not myself. I was originally going to start cleaning up my act this coming Sunday, but my health has dictated that I start now. I just can’t keep eating this way. I feel horrible: sick, out of energy, full of cravings, etc. It’s no longer a matter of giving into temptation. I simply can’t eat another cookie.
I realize that this year my body has become accustomed to following the BTD, and following it relatively carefully. It’s odd because I often feel that I am not following the program nearly carefully enough. I aim for 80% bennie/neutrals overall, and I have to say that I don’t really follow portions at all. I’ve realized this month that I have actually been following the diet much more closely than I thought. This past month I have eaten more of my two worst avoids, wheat and corn syrup, than I probably have in all the months previous combined. I didn’t realize it until I started really eating off program how closely I actually was following it.
OK – enough of that. I’ve already started to modify my eating and starting tomorrow I’m moving forward to clean up my act. The first thing that I need to do is to get the avoids out of my diet for a few days completely. I need to clean up. I will get cleaned up. I just can’t go on like this. This has been a problematic year for me in many ways, and I would like to start this coming year fresh. I’ve made amazing strides in my health and diet this past year, but I would like to move on from here.
A little bit more about T-tapping now. On January 4, 2005, Teresa Tapp is going to run a contest for her up and coming book. Here is some more information about the contest:
I am going to do this contest and see for myself. I’m going to get clean with my diet and do the contest, and I’ll let you know how things come along.
Well, I’m off for the moment. I intend to start blogging more often this coming year. Hopefully that will be one of several resolutions that sticks! Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve tonight. We have decided to pick up a steamed lobster and have some goat cheese, a nice salad, some fruit and maybe some yummy chocolate-dipped strawberries for desert. I’m going to keep it as beneficial as possible, and, although I might have a champagne toast at midnight (if I can stay up that late), I am going to stick to sparkling apple juice overall. I would like to wake up feeling good tomorrow and ready for the fresh start.
I wish for you all a wonderful 2005. I’ll post again next year!
Music: Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack ~ Nobuo Uematsu.
Mood: Lavender Harvest
'Hello Gang. I've been pretty busy, hence the sporadic bloggin'. My apologies. I just wanted to squawk about squash for a bit. Mmmm.... Good stuff. There are many kinds... Pumpkin, zucchini, yellow, acorn, heart of gold, butter nut, spaghetti, bitter gourd, etc. All delicious in their own right. My two faves are butter nut, and acorn. Why? Because they're fabulously easy to cook!
Here's the deal:
1) Go buy a squash. Preferably organic, and try and get one at a farmer's market if possible. Support small farms!
2) Throw some music on. Nothin' like a god 'ol squash bakin' diddy...
3) Pre-heat your oven to anywhere between 300 and 400 degrees F... Not A... Or B... or O... F!
4) Wash and bless said squash. A simple thank you will make it feel loved, and it will love you right back. There is empirical scientific proof that human emotion affects water molecules (along with the rest of reality) and blessing your food and drink will indeed change it's metaphysical structure to one more supportive of life. Go on and try it for a couple of weeks... See if your food tastes any different... See how you feel.
5) Put the squash directly on the oven rack. If you want a dryer, firmer squash, make several incisions with a knife. Otherwise, just let er' bake. If you're cooking a butter nut, I recommend using a cookie sheet. They drip and leak... Sometimes...
6) Check the squash after about a half hour. If you can EASILY pierce it with a fork, it's done. If it too hard, just let it go longer, up to an hour.
7) Eat it!
"But Jim," you might say, "HOW do I eat it?" Easy good folk! There are MANY ways to eat a squash. Hot, cold, or anywhere in between. Season it with anything you like! Bragg's Liquid Aminos, cayenne (type A avoid), cumin, dill, dulse flakes, garlic, Herbamare (or Trocomare - contains avoids for A's), mustard powder, nutritional yeast, paprika, parsley, saffron, tarragon, turmeric, etc.
Some people even enjoy it dessert style. Honey, maple syrup, cinnamon... Whatever suits your fancy! Eh?
I always slather mine with a good amount of ghee, olive oil, or sesame oil too... Good for digestion don't ya' know...
For a nice soup, mash the he$$ out of it and mix it with some rice or soy milk. Boo ya!
Well... I'm totally squashed. Mission accomplished. I just ate an entire acorn squash (a big one!) with every single condiment listed above... Sans the Trocomare. Scooped it up with some Ses-Mark Brown Rice Thins. Friggin' full... Gotta... Lay down... He he.
Have an excellent new year's dear friends. Peace and happiness to all of you (it's there in every moment if you look for it! Hint: It comes from within!) Later gang.
Oh boy…. It’s around these holiday times that the ERFYBT goes completely amok…avoids coming from everywhere and discipline is non-existent for myself. It all started last week at work where the company was bringing in free lunch for all the employees if we hit certain sales numbers for the day…we did it 4 days in a row and were rewarded with Pizza on two of the days, Subs on the second day and Pork Ribs with fries and Cole slaw on the last day…Type O nightmare to put it mildly. I have to confess that I ate all four lunches (how could Mike succumb to this?...easy…December is a busy month for me work wise and an expensive one). I’m too busy and need the extra money, hence when free food is offered and you do not have time, it becomes very convenient if not downright painful to eat avoids. I had all the classic symptoms of a type O avoid diet last week; brain fog an hour after lunch, a bit of constipation during the week, blowing a little more gas than usual due to the excess cheese and dairy, topping it off with too much chocolate and caffeine and you have one out of control O (bouts of grumpiness and anxiety thrown in). To think at one time I felt like this all the time. I’m on holiday till Jan3rd and after Christmas is over, it’s back to 90% compliancy for me.
Christmas is a good time for BTDer’s to reflect on how good it feels when one is compliant. Meanwhile, till the holiday season is over, I’m packing Deflect heavily, because at this time of year, love knows many Lectins.
Season’s greetings and good health to all
Today- December 21 - is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. I am glad we are on the verge of moving into a season in which each day grows longer than the last and the available light lasts longer, day by day.
We are also on the cusp of Christmas. Yesterday I felt a definite switch in energies – the sort of quiet that usually descends on Christmas eve and lasts a few days, though that could have simply been created by the fact that many people take holidays at this time of year, the schools close for the season, and there is less rushing about in the city in general.
This past Sunday afternoon I once again attended the sing-along performance of Handel’s Messiah, which has been a long-standing tradition here in Toronto. The theatre (Massey Hall) is filled to the brim with people clutching their music scores, sorted according to the musical parts they sing. As per usual, sopranos were there in overwhelming proportions. The production is part of the concert season of Tafelmusik, a baroque ensemble which is greatly appreciated here and elsewhere. They have a small orchestra with period instruments, a small choir and four greatly talented soloists. The conductor comes out dressed as Handel would have been dressed, in lace and blue velvet and long white wig, making genial jokes with a German accent, and setting the tone for the afternoon. The entire audience becomes the choir as each choral piece is sung, and it is quite an experience to be surrounded by 2700 people, most of whom are singing this very inspired – and inspiring - music. Being surrounded by the Hallellujah Chorus is an experience one can never forget, and this music is chosen as the encore after the first rounds of applause have died down at the end.
The warmth of the experience was perhaps even more emphasized by the fact that Toronto has been in the clutch of sudden extremely cold weather – more than -25C, with a windchill factor that made it much, much colder. It is the sort of weather that we normally associate with January, not December, so none of us were really prepared for the wintry blasts that greeted us when we left our homes a few days ago. Being a winter baby, I love the cold and snow, but even I was surprised when I went to the concert, and happy to get inside for any reason.
My Christmas celebrations are very non-traditional these days. I rise early to meditate for several hours on Christmas morning. I have done this for quite a few years, and I prefer this activity to the frantic opening of gifts indulged in by most of my neighbours and the merry-making that follows. Several years ago I attended a 10-day Buddhist retreat north of the city which encompassed both Christmas and New Year’s. The retreat was in total silence, and we meditated for 10 hours each day. I was amazed, as we were signing in, to find that many of my fellow retreatants also liked to be very quiet and meditate on Christmas morning. It’s good to know we’re not alone!
In preparation for Christmas, I bought treats to nibble on throughout the day (following the meditation) – some brazil nuts (hazel nuts for my A housemate), dried pineapple and ginger, Turkish figs, and some dark German chocolate that I particularly enjoy – in small quantities. I will have lamb that evening, with beneficial vegetables on the side. And after eating, I will walk throughout my neighbourhood, enjoying the air and the quiet and the decorations. All this I find infinitely more fulfilling than any number of expensive gifts could provide.
I wish all of you reading this a wonderful Christmas in whatever way you choose to celebrate it, and for those who are not following the Christian faith, a wonderful holiday season. Good cheer to all!
Once again, the annual Klus family Xmas weekend took place in Des Moines. Over the years, there have been many changes in this tradition, but the coolest thing is seeing my grandma as great-grandma. Three of my cousins have had babies and one made it to the reunion. It's a very cute kid and looks just like her daddy (my cousin).
This whole week, I have been eating the worst foods in an entire year. I even ate on Friday night with my family,
Oh, I wish I could say that's all, but it's far from it. Oh, I've had so many avoids this holiday season, it's shameful (to those that care, haha).
Definitely there have been adverse effects of this lack of compliance to my usual A lifestyle:
Slower muscle recovery. After a Bikram yoga session, I could barely walk on Friday. I felt like an old lady. Every step was painful.
Gut issues. Not that I don't have those anyway, but being off the diet, eating fast foods full of processed junk has taken a toll on my colon. Nuff said.
Slower immune recovery. This cold has lasted a week! Though it wasn't as severe as some in the past, it just seemed to drag on forever! Finally it seems to be going away, but all the dairy I've been eating has done nothing to decrease mucus levels. I am SO ready to get back to my near dairy-free routine.
Now, enough about the misery. Let's go back to the trip to Des Moines. Got to hang out with my middle sister and her man. That was a lot of fun. I really wish we had more time to catch up.
Whole family went to Mass this morning (Sunday). Oh Lordy. There was an elderly man, most likely mentally ill, who sat in the pew ahead of me. He started to sing very loudly. He knew the melody to the song, but was making up his own (albeit appropriate) lyrics.
He then began to respond to every part of the Mass in song. When the priest said, "May the Lord be with you," he responded in one ghostly tone, "AND -ALSO -WITH - YOU." This, and the singing went on throughout the entire Mass. Uncle Tom kept shooting him semi-dirty looks FROM ACROSS THE ROOM, so my sister tells me later.
I chuckled a little at the beginning. But I really didn't mind. He simply seemed like a lonely guy who just took Mass very, very seriously. For all I know, he could be dying of cancer and this is where he finds grace. Perhaps he simply has nothing else and this is his hope.
While it was easy to shrug this guy off, it was not as easy to shrug guy #2 off. He also came in late. He then sat next to me about three feet away. Then, this past middle-aged unkempt man kept mumbling to himself. I got a tad bit worried that he was going to pull out a gun and start shooting. Seriously. He started to mumble random anti-church and anti-God things under his breath, most which I could not understand, even sitting that close. But most likely he is a schizophrenic looking for some shelter from the cold wind. A part of me, the part that thinks up random comedies in my mind, thought, gee, wouldn't that be funny if guy #1 turned around and started to yell at guy #2 for his lack of churchy groove?
Well, guy #2 made it through the first reading, the second reading, the Gospel, and from what I remember, the homily. Then he split when the ushers started to pass the offering basket around. Praise God! No really. I'm serious. I didn't know what that guy would do. Interesting thing about church however, about the energy in general generated within a holy place (even a yoga studio). Somehow, people like that just don't last long in a place filled with mainly positive energy. Violence finds difficulty gaining momentum when so many people are transcended toward peace and forgiveness, even if temporarily on the Sabbath. Guy #2, with all his grievances, left the building. Amen.
Guy #1 was still in his "zone" however. And when it came time to offer peace, as most parishoners express this to strangers and even family members with a simple handshake, guy #1 turned to the stranger next to him and said, "I'm going to give you a hug." Very loudly.
You know, I'm sure the lone man on the receiving end of the hug may have been a tad freaked out. But hey, I bet he could have used a good hug, as everyone could. Honestly, I thought I was on in the middle of a Seinfeld episode. Jerry!
Well, the Mass and now this blog have ended. May you go in peace.
WAIT! I forgot the most important part of the blog! Hu Hot! OK, after Mass, we went out to some random strip mall to eat Hu Hot: Mongolian Grill, a very interesting chain restaurant. Basically, you get a bowl and then choose your meats, noodles, vegetables, and oils/sauces. The cook takes your bowl and stir fries it. Then he (or she) puts it on a plate and you garnish it w/peanuts, almonds, coconut, etc. It was a nice meal. I paired it green tea for an almost authentic experience. I used BTD-friendly ingredients in the stir fry. It was wonderful.
OK, the girl who cried wolf will officially end this blog tonight and hit the hay. Goodnight.
How do, BTD's? You guys ever see the Director's Cut of a movie called, Wicker Man? Wow... So... How do? I have been researching quantum physics and energy to the best of my ability... I'm no genius... and have found that energized water is the goods... Many people have arguments, one way or another, about the best type of water to drink, how much, flouridated or not, etc.
I believe that fluoride is an awful poison... I don't use fluoridated toothpaste, and I don't drink fluoridated water... I get plenty of the stuff from green tea, sea vegetables, minerals, etc. Too much is not good for the body, or the brain, in my humble opinion...
Water: Cutting Through The Confusion!
Reverse osmosis water has been described by many, including myself, as
the best water for drinking purposes when revitalized and/or energized.
It has also been characterized by others as an acidic, aggressive,
hungry, mineral depleting water not to be consumed. But who is correct?
First, let us take the acidic nature of much reverse osmosis water. The
reason for this acidity is two fold. The addition of fluoride, most
often the hydrofluorosilicic acid form of toxic waste from the wash down
of smokestacks of the superphosphate fertilizer factories, I consider
primary. It is very difficult to remove, as only distillation and reverse
osmosis remove it efficiently in a practical way. Filtration alone, in
almost any form, will not and does not remove fluoride in its sodium
fluoride or fluorosilicic form. When removed by reverse osmosis, the very
small amount of fluoride left in the very pure water is still going to
register as acidic, though fortunately should have little effect on the
body's pH. Two drops of pH Plus Liquid Enhancer in eight ounces of 5.5
pH water will take it up to over 9 pH and improve its hydration
properties as well.
The second primary cause of acidity is acid rain. Unlike fluoride,
which we could stop adding at any time, acid rain is going to take time for
the continued reduction of our emissions that contribute to acid rain,
both domestically and abroad. When the acid water goes through reverse
osmosis, some of this acidic condition remains, though it is slight.
The body can quickly make adjustments to the water, though it is better
to add a water catalyst or use an alkalizing restructuring machine like
the Vitalizer Plus. By hexagonally structuring the water, forty years
of research collected by Dr. Mu Shik Jhon has shown that acids are
neutralized, and the water provides a resource for the body that helps
reverse virtually any disease condition. In addition, a slight alkalizing of
the water improves its performance in the body considerably.
Energetically, distilled water, on the other hand, is very dead and
should be revitalized and slightly alkalized before consumption if
possible. It IS aggressive, or hungry, as described by Dr. M.T. Morter, III in
his excellent college textbook "Correlative Urinalysis." It is denser
than reverse osmosis, as he also points out. In other words, distilled
and reverse osmosis are not the same. The water you find in fruits and
vegetables is osmotic, not distilled. The water that falls to the earth
is evaporated, oxygenated water, not distilled water. Some think that
evaporation and distillation are one and the same. They are not.
Therefore, reverse osmosis water should not be given the same characteristics
attributed to dead distilled water.
Reverse osmosis water on the other hand, is going to have many of the
energetic and structural characteristics of the very water feeding the
RO system. Reverse osmosis removes the following dissolved solids that
filters fail to remove: Fluoride, sulfates, nitrates, arsenic, aluminum,
dead dirt minerals, heavy metals, radioactivity, salts, phosphates,
detergents, dissolved tissue paper, bacteria, and most viruses. Once these
are removed, the memory water retains of their frequency should be
erased by an effective water catalyst, a FlexoElectric E Mug or appliance,
or the Vitalizer Plus. If not removed, there can actually be a
physiologic response to these remaining imprints by a compromised individual,
as with my son when he was compromised with fluoride at birth through a
carbon block filter.
Reverse osmosis has very few dissolved solids left from the original
product water. For this reason, it has very low conductivity and cannot
be used in appliances such as ionizing foot bath machines unless a small
amount of salts or minerals are added. Likewise, in the body pure water
should not be considered a source of minerals. Plants are the example
of a source of body friendly minerals that are up to on million times
smaller than the metallic forms found in water. Metallic minerals can
actually interfere with cellular communication and function.
Finally, water was intended to flow down rivers, forming vortexes while
tumbling over stones and waterfalls, while breaking the earth's
magnetic field and interacting with the far infrared emissions from the
earth and the sun. This process naturally energizes the water, while
hexagonally structuring and oxygenating the water. This water brings life
to plants and animals, and this process has been observed to break down
many man made chemicals. This gives us hope for our environment if we
give it some relief.
Now... What are you gonna do? I suggest you pour yourself a nice, clean, fresh glass of water. Bless it. Appreciate it. Now... While you're enjoying it, I suggest you find ways to make certain that ALL of planet Earth will be able to enjoy water like that for generations to come... Seek out Earth friendly cleaning products (At your health food store, or on-line. They're out there and they work!). Support organic, and biodynamic agriculture. Reduce your usage... And... Spread the word! I hope that this influences some of you out there... Much love to all of you. ~
P.S. There's a LOT more to be said about the miracle of water... Research it... I've included only a fraction here...
Well, I'm back in my favorite place for less than 24 hours and then back on the road once again...
I woke up this morning to the most beautiful sunrise coming from the southeast. Living in an urban area, I see the sun, but not the true sunrise. Out in the country, this made my day. Grubster and I also saw the most beautiful sunset in rural Nebraska Saturday night. Oh, how peaceful and gorgeous nature is in its simplicity.
Fairmont was an interesting little town. I've never come to appreciate Minneapolis for all its conveniences and perks until spending a week on and off in Fairmont. Seriously. The first thing I did in coming home was go to my chiropractor (thanks Dr. Stussy!!!!!) then stopped by Calhoun Square to get a Xmas gift for a family member.
But the best part of the day, hands down, was a nice Bikram yoga session uptown. Oh, boy, did I need that! Oh, I love Bikram yoga. It makes me feel so alive!
Then, onto something not frequently built in smaller towns that you just can't help but appreciate when you've been without for so long: Indian Cuisine at the Taj. I ate Dal w/basmati rice and Ecco Domani Merlot. Really nice.
Now, I'm sipping a fragrant green tea at Zeno. Not quite sure all the botanicals, but there is some vanilla in there. It's quite nice....I wanted something completely caffeine-free but there weren't many options for that. That's OK. I am feeling wonderful right now.
I'm hoping to load up on some good co-op deli food on my way back to the smaller towns again tomorrow. But something tells me I might sleep in longer than anticipated. I'm batttling a cold. It's not a bad cold by any means, but it's a cold and now I need to baby myself to get the crud out of my respiratory tract. Earlier today, at the chiro adjustment, I was lying face down with the tissue paper under me that they always put down for sanitary reasons. Well, good thing they did because Dr. Stussy said, "OK, take a deep breath in. Now take a deep breath out."
Upon that last command a great colony of snot came flying out of my nose and onto the tissue paper on the adjustment bench as Dr. Stussy adjusted my upper back.
Now I know why that tissue paper is there. I mean now I REALLY know.
Thanks for reading.
Your favorite Blooger (that's booger and blogger all in one),
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
OK – I want to talk about T-Tapping because I will be incorporating it into my life and my blogs over the next year. This is my long-term goal: to get into the kind of shape that I desire by this time next year. For me, that would be fitting into a true size 10. I am currently a true size 16. At nearly 6 ft tall, I’m not fat, but more just a “big girl”. This goal challenges T-Tapp the t-tapp method, as my body tends to want to stay at either a size 16 or a size 12, and every time I’ve managed to get down to a 12, I have taken diet pills and exercised for several hours per day.
I’ll keep you up on my journey with my blogging here.
After January 1, 2005, I will take my measurements, get on a scale, and start getting more committed about following my routine. A few weeks ago, I made a commitment to get serious, but the holidays have thrown a cog into the whole works. There have been years when I have remained focused over the holidays, and it always feels good to come out of the holidays thinner than going in, but I was also taking diet pills then, and I am not going down that road again.
So let me tell you a little bit of what I know about T-Tapping, and what I have found out for myself. As I said in my last blog, I believe that T-Tapping is to exercise what ER4YT is to dieting: It is a life changing program that celebrates and takes into account our differences rather than taking the cookie-cutter approach. Teresa Tapp has a varied and interesting background that has allowed her to develop this program. Rather than get into it here, you can check it out on her site:
One of the first things that you will notice when you go to her site are some pictures on the right hand side of people who participated in a 60 day t-tapp challenge. One of the problem areas that women, in particular, complain about is the “back fat”. Take a look at the winner of the challenge! I know of no other workout that can do what t-tapp has done for that woman, and I have tried them all. In particular, I have lifted weights since I was 13. I got into Universal weight lifting equipment in Jr. High and did that through HS. After HS, I was on a varsity team and Cornell University, and we had access to professional trainers. That’s when I started doing Nautilus and free weights. I needed to be very strong for my sport, but, unfortunately, the strength training that I did also bulked my up considerably. After college, I got involved with aerobics and using the newer types of weight equipment. Then I got into running, Pilates and step aerobics. Finally, I tried yoga and kickboxing and did those for several years. The problem with all of this was that, after leaving college, my body looked basically the same. It didn’t matter if I ran 6 miles or did step aerobics on 3 or 4 platforms (yup, I’m one of THOSE people) or did yoga or kick-boxed. My problem areas remained the same throughout. I had back fat, my stomach was never truly flat and my inner thighs always rubbed together. I would wonder how it was that a woman who ran half-marathons while still riding 6-8 horses per day could have thighs that chafed each other.
What I have found out from t-tapping is that the exercises that I was doing were not targeting my problem areas, but were, in fact, making them worse. No matter how many dead lifts, sit-ups or stretches I did, they were not doing what was needed for MY body.
T-Tapping, like the BTD, addresses different people differently. We are not all the same, and not all of us have the same needs. The NICE thing about T-Tapping that I have discovered, is that, after the initial learning of the program, it can be done far less than other exercise programs, and in a far shorter time, and you can still get great results.
OK – I’m going to run right now, but I’ll talk more about it tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
I cannot believe that it has been 2 weeks since my last blog. I apologize for that. Life has been typically “holiday” chaotic, and I am tired a lot. Much of my state of fatigue has been related to eating poorly. I can honestly say that one of the other reasons that I took a blogging hiatus was that I felt that people would be more interested in reading from bloggers who were more compliant than I find myself. It has been just over a year since I started the BTD, and I have really covered the gamut when it comes to my commitment to it. There have been times where I have been completely compliant (and these were the times where I have felt the best, physically), and there have been times where I haven’t eaten on program much at all, and these are the times when I have been dragged down by fatigue and have had to worry about my weight. It is obvious which choice is better, isn’t it? Of course, anyone with food issues knows that making the correct choices isn’t always easy or even do-able. This is one of the reasons that I decided to begin blogging again. I am sure that there are people like me everywhere. I know there are, but the posts on the forum and by the e.mails and comments I receive.
OK – I want to move from that. I haven’t been very compliant the past few weeks. Sometimes I’m able to stick to an eating plan over the holidays and sometimes I’m not able. This is one of the latter years. The biggest part is that I now accept this. I know that, when circumstances change, I will become more compliant at that time. I do the best that I can, and I disregard the falls. There is no other way for me to do it, save being overburdened by guilt and making myself miserable. I have found in nearly all circumstances in life that life is a pendulum. It swings one way, and then swings back the other. Currently I am on the “not taking my food too seriously” side of the swing. At some point, probably soon after the holidays, when junky food isn’t around incessantly, I will swing back the other way. It always happens, so there really is no reason to fret it. The one thing that I know from experience is that I don’t do the non-compliant route for very long or very hard. It’s best to just go with the flow.
I’m going to try to write again in the next day or two about T-Tapping, the great workout that I have “discovered”. I have T-Tapped for the past 3 weeks, and can now fit into jeans that I couldn’t squeeze on a month ago. T-Tapping is to exercise what the BTD is to food.
Well, here I am in Southwest Minnesota, filling in for some pharmacist shifts in a store that has not found a staffer yet. This is exactly what the doctor ordered: peace and quiet during a usually busy holiday season in the chaotic world of healthcare. When stores open in new locations, it takes quite a while to build the clientele. This has been nothing but good karma for the 60+ hours/week I put in last year around this time at my home store. Not to mention, being able to catch up on continuing education, time to educate the very new and inexperienced staff, and MUCH more time to spend with each patient. If only all pharmacists were this lucky right now.....this is heaven, especially for a type A with frayed nerves like me!
The only downfall, of course, is the lack of BTD-friendly food choices in these rural areas. Luckily I brought with me the Fab 4 (Polyvite, Polyflora, Phytocal, and Deflect). Yes, I'm actually TAKING them after months of sitting on my shelves at home!
Besides the peace and reflection I've gained from getting to work at these brand new stores, I also volunteered to work at these new stores in order to be closer to Nebraska for the big holiday trip to finally meet Grubster's family (it split up the drive better!). This weekend was a fun, heart-warming weekend filled with places and faces that I will never forget.
Grubster wanted to take me to the Henkel farm throughout the last year and he was happy to see the smile on my face when I met this wonderful couple who left the healthcare business and gradually built a free-range chicken and 100% grassfed lamb farm in rural Nebraska! This was so inspiring to me because they have consciously chosen to live off the land with self-sustaining methods. At the end of the "tour" Grubster bought me a frozen chicken (and a dozen VERY LARGE BROWN EGGS for his mom). Those eggs, by the way, are delicious!
Chuck Henkel also poured Grubster and me a small glass of HOMEMADE KEFIR! Wow! It tastes just like rejuvelac! Could there be anything better for the gut flora??? Impressive!
I decided that this winter activity to the organic farm must lead to writing a good country song:
My man can't afford to buy me much
But I love him just the same
'Cause he bought me a chicken
Yes, a free range chicken
Or something like that.
Well, being that I don't have to work like a maniac here in the middle of nowhere, I also have been able to take a much-needed break from my coffee consumption. Tea has been the beverage of choice. Lots and lots of tea. And just when I thought I was going to drink water or coffee again, tea in Nebraska. Grubster's mom is a very cool lady. I could have drunk tea and chatted with her in the kitchen all day (wait, I already did!). Grubster's dad is funny and stubborn and now I know where Grubster gets most aspects of his personality.
Well, I must be getting to work again soon. You'll have to excuse the lack of blogs. I have to use the public library since the hotel doesn't have internet access. More to come, promise!
Music: The Fluke - Devin Townsend.
Mood: Tea tree oil and snow.
What's up fellow Eat Right For Your Typers? I have been eating since thanksgiving. Trying to lay of the carbohydrates and starches... Just doin' some Lundberg Farm's Rice cakes, and Ezekiel sprouted Grain Tortillas now and then. The staple of my diet has been exactly what it should be. Steamed vegetables. Yum. It's a torrid love affair. Broccoli, leeks, purple kale, carrots, celery, green-red-white-red-yellow onions, you name it, I'll steam it and eat it... So long as it isn't an avoid... I've been baking a lot of squash lately as well. Butternut, acorn, and Heart of Gold, being my favorites... I tried a spaghetti squash recently... It was ok, but I prefer others.... Steam up some veggies, and drizzle some beneficial oil over them to improve digestibility, assimilation, and taste! Olive, sesame, cod liver, whatever suits yer fancy.... Same goes with the squash. A little oil and your favorite compliant seasonings go a long way. Try wrapping the vegetables or squash in one of the tortillas mentioned above. Some ghee, sea salt, garlic, and cumin make a delicious burrito.
Something I have to rant about... Holiday lights. I encourage you to check out the holiday lights on store shelves this year... Look at the back of the box. You're bound to see a big ol' warning, informing you that handling the lights exposes you to LEAD! WTF!!?? Lead? Holiday lights? What's next? Mercury chews for Halloween? How many years have all of us been stringing these up on our houses and trees? How many years have we been doing it, never even knowing the carcinogenic toxin that we were inhaling and coating our hands with? I encourgae all of you that handle holiday lights to wear gloves when doing so, and wear a breathing mask if you can. Make SURE you wash the hell out of your hands afterward as well. Leave them alone when they're up, and follow the aforementioned precautions when taking them down. I have yet to find a brand that does not expose you to an undisclosed amount of lead. Hence, you can be 99% sure it's on yours. Stay cool this holiday season gang... Err... Stay warm, that is....
That said, all we have to do now is drill Alaska, allow corporations to regulate their own emissions standards, exponentially increase logging while ignoring quickly growing, renewable sources, like hemp and kenaf, continue to drug our children and ourselves, outlaw nuetraceuticals, and, we can watch the whole thing go down on television while we eat genetically modified food that isn't required to be labeled as such. What the Hell, while were at it, pass me a cigarette... Pathetic. What's more?? After everything has gone to Hell in a hand basket, we'll just re-write history, amend the textbooks, and revamp the constitution. There. See! All better! Now our children won't even be able to read about/remember what things were like before we screwed it all up! Cuz, it was always like this, right? RIGHT!?
I don't mean to depress or be cynical. This is just a wake up call. If you're too lazy to make your voice heard by making a phone call, writing a letter, sending an e-mail, boycotting brands/companies/corporations that are "evil", protesting what you believe to be wrong, and keep yourself informed... Well... Then... You essentially asked for all of this. Best wishes to you all. Keep your collective heads held high.
Officially, it isn’t winter quite yet. That seems difficult to believe in view of the fact that a light snow is falling as I write. Normally, falling snow quiets the landscape considerably, and that has been one of the reasons I like winter - and snow - so much. However, this morning, the snow has brought a most irritating sound to my ears – tires squealing against the slippery surface of the road. I moved in July to a location in central Toronto. My new home is located on a major artery of the city. During the summer months, I was treated to the sounds of traffic whizzing past my windows, so much so that when I answered the telephone shortly after moving in, the caller inquired if I was using a cell phone while driving! I did not expect to hear this new sound in winter. Duh! Welcome to the real world, Janet! As well as the squealing of tires against the slippery road, I’ve been treated to several sirens early in the morning as there was an accident a block away, shortly after the snow started falling. Traffic has slowed to a snail’s pace, making me wonder anew why people think they need to travel in cars in a large city with a good public transportation system, and especially one person to a car, in adverse weather conditions.
Ah well, I must have known that winter was just around the corner, for yesterday I made a big pot of borshcht, which warms the cockles of my heart. My Ukrainian peasant parents made borshcht very, very regularly when I was young. I used to hate it, waiting for the too-large pot to finally be empty, relieved when it was, and then watching my father with a sinking feeling in my stomach as he made another pot of it. I probably could have enjoyed it as a child if I wasn’t such a poor eater, which made life at mealtimes miserable for all concerned. I was hungry, and I ate, but I just didn’t eat enough to satisfy my parents, whose standard for healthy children was slightly on the plump side. I wasn’t healthy, particularly (now I know it was probably because of my non-secretor status), and I was scrawny. So there was a good-sized portion on my plate at every meal which I was expected to consume, and it was just too much for me to eat. We won’t go into the tug-of-war games that went on endlessly about eating and appetites.
A few years ago, I mentioned to my brother that I had a big problem when I made borshcht. What was it, he wanted to know. The problem is that whenever I make borshcht, the pot is too small, no matter the size I start out with. He grinned as he said that he had the exact same problem. Yesterday’s batch was no exception. The borshcht had to be transferred into a bigger pot in order to finish adding all the vegetables.
I will try to tell you here how to make borshcht. I don’t measure anything, so it’s difficult to describe it, but here’s what I did:
Sauté a large onion in a little olive oil, adding thinly sliced celery to the mix. I usually buy the leafiest celery I can find in the store (a challenge, to be sure!) because the leaves give a huge amount of flavour to any soup. Chop them small if you can get them.
In the meantime, pick over a goodly amount of white beans, culling the broken and discoloured ones (and any little stones or clumps of dirt) and wash them well. Remember to stir the onion/celery mix from time to time while you do this. Add these to the cooked onion/celery mix, and cover with water.
Now the work begins! Borshcht is a vegetable soup, mostly the hardy type of root vegetables. I cannot make it without using rutabaga and carrot. I have an A blood type housemate, so I can’t use the traditional tomatoes and cabbage, even though, as a B non-secretor, I can eat borshcht with these ingredients. It tastes just fine without them. If you can use them safely for your blood type, throw them in. The cabbage should be sautéed with the onion and celery, if you use it.
The borshcht I made yesterday included the lovely sweet white and purple turnip, parsnip, collard greens (with stems) chopped very fine, parsley, garlic, a couple of bay leaves, rutabaga and carrot. At the end, I peeled and chopped 3 large beets. This is the main and most important ingredient for borshcht. The water must be a deep red when you finish putting the vegetables into the pot. Keep adding water as you add vegetables, and make sure it is an inch or two above the top of the vegetables in the end. If it’s not already boiling, bring it to a boil, cover the pot and keep it on a low simmer for the rest of the day – partly to make sure the beans are cooked well, and partly to bring the flavours of all the vegetables into one homogenous delicious mass.
When you are ready to serve the borshcht, it should be a dark pinkish colour, red if you’ve added enough beets. The mixture I made yesterday tasted quite sweet, so it needed a fair amount of salt, which I usually add just before serving, tasting to make sure it’s right.
The two main ingredients that make vegetable soup into Ukrainian borshcht are a lot of beets, and dill weed. It is not borshcht if it doesn’t have dill weed in it, and if it isn’t red in colour. The dill weed will lose flavour if you add it too early, so I usually throw it in at the end, before serving. I added two handfuls of it, dry, grinding it between my hands to create more flavour. The last thing to add as you serve your borshcht is a dollop of sour cream, which really adds a lot. Yogurt can also be used, but it’s not as nice a flavour (says she who grew up eating sour cream on almost everything from the kitchen). If sour cream is really not to your taste, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice will add a bit of zing and is an acceptable substitute.
It is very nice if you have fresh dill growing in your garden, to snip some of the weed into the pot at the last minute, or if you remember to buy it when out shopping if it’s not garden season. I always keep a jar of dry dill weed in my kitchen in case I don’t have either of the above options. You can also use other beans or barley, another specifically Ukrainian ingredient, and my parents would use a large soup bone with shreds of meat clinging to it. If I’d had a bunch of beets with greens on top, I would have used the beet greens and stems as well, instead of the collard greens.
While borshcht is a vegetable soup of the clean-out-the-refrigerator type, not all vegetables are good for it. Avoid soft types of vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli. Peppers are also a no-no. I have never used squash – winter or summer varieties - for the same reason.
In the end yesterday, I fed my housemate and his friend with my borshcht, the main item on the menu. Traditionally, borshcht is eaten with heavy dark rye bread, generously spread with soft butter. Instead, we had rice pilaf, because my housemate is Turkish, and he likes rice. I’ll give the recipe in another blog. The others ate two large bowls of borshcht, and I ate one. The servings were probably at least 2 cups in capacity each, maybe a little more. This decimated only half of what was in my pot! The rest is in my refrigerator, waiting for another mealtime to roll around. My housemate promised that it would not last very long. I believe him.
On the good advice of a close friend (and you know who you are if you read this), I picked up a very definitive (in my opinion) book on personality types...Discovering your Personality Type…The Essential Introduction to the Enneagram (pronounced Any-O-gram). For those of you not familiar with enneagram , it is a geometric figure that differentiates the nine basic personality types (not going to list them all…read the book), with it’s nine different points of view, nine distinct sets of values, communication styles, etc., all having many subtypes (much like our blood) and subtle distinctions. It doesn’t ‘put you in a box (like most diets do), but it shows you the box you are already in (your dominant type or born temperament) and how to get out of it’.
Our personalities limit ourselves everyday and it’s main goal is to keep us from being in the here and now. If we become conscious of how our personality operates, we can than become free of it. We can draw an analogy to the BTD…if we become aware of how our blood specific body operates, we can become free of it’s limitations and gain it’s strengths and be very present when it comes to eating and taking better care of ourselves.
In the book, there is a test to most accurately (56-82%) predict your dominant personality…it’s called RHETI for Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator. It’s a series of 141 pairs of statements for you to consider which response is more true to you. I took the test and my score put me as the Type One: The Reformer
Generally Type One Reformers are conscientious, sensible, responsible, idealistic, ethical, serious, self-disciplined, and orderly and feel personally obligated to improve themselves and the world.
We tend to get into conflicts by being opinionated (who me?), impatient, irritable (especially when I don’t exercise), perfectionist, critical (and self critical), sarcastic (who me?) and judgmental (my ‘wheat’ or ‘avoid’ personality trait).
At their best, ones are tolerant, accepting, discerning, wise, humane, principled, fair and able to delay rewards for a higher good.
Here’s the line in the book that really got me, when it described my dominant type…also takes an active interest in preventative health matters; vitamins, cleansing diets and fasts, exercise routines, alternative medicine and cutting edge medical knowledge (go figure).
Now how do reformers grow? They do so by playing – by finding areas of their lives that are lighter (lost 20lbs first 6 months on the diet), freer and that offer opportunities for spontaneous creativity (like bloggiing for one). Most Ones have a great sense of humor (I get a great sense of pleasure in trying to make people laugh), and the more they allow themselves to entertain and enjoy others, the better for everyone involved.
Since being on the diet, I have woken up to many things; how my body and mind feels when I eat the right foods and wrong ones. Staying awake to my inner state, even when I’m suffering, has made my life shift from internal turmoil and conflicts to more creative pursuits. It’s drawn me to healthier ways of living and relating and also to the truth of what my personality is up to. The enneagram like the BTD has helped to make my path of self-knowledge surer because spending life in 'one box' can sure get boring fast
Thanks for the overwhelming support I received from fellow bloggers as well as casual readers after writing my latest blog. It really means a lot to me.
In giving back praise and good local PR karma, which I love doing in my blogs, I have to send a shout out to a really cool writer and professor from the general MPLS neighborhood who reads my blogs. Thanks so much for your support, Neal!
Check out his work at www.nealkarlen.com<br />
Well, I've had a lot of ups and downs in my personal life and have neglected blogging, not to mention I've neglected eating good solid BTD foods. I think the absolute worst came Tuesday evening. Gas station food. Yes. Frozen microwavable combination pizza bites (read: greasy processed wheat filled with pork and all sorts of synthetic ingredients that a 6 year old can't pronounce!). Grubster could not believe his eyes. I was eating CRAP! I think the crap-eating truly began around Thanksgiving as it does for many people around the holidays. But I'm back on the right track again with Green Goodness juice, and apricot lentil soup. I also had a pretty darn good omelette at Key's cafe downtown after my dental appt. It was filled with feta, spinach, and garlic. Truly good for the soul!
So, dental appt. I LOVE going to the dentist. Does that sound freaky or what? Well, I don't love it as much as I used to because I got my first and only cavity at age 25 (followed by 8 sealants on naughy teeth to prevent further dental caries....) But really, I LOVE getting my teeth cleaned! It is like the best feeling in the world. OK, wait, that's not true. There are plenty of things in life that make me feel better. Anyway...
Teeth were cleaned, scraped, polished, etc. The dentist checked out the teeth. Everything looked fine. I then HAD to ask him: did I get an analgam (mercury) filling two years ago? Nope, it was a composite. He then explained some weird technical dentist jargon as to when he actually uses mercury vs. silver. I just wanted to make sure I didn't have mercury in my mouth in case it leaks into my body someday...
The point is, after hearing the unfortunate circumstances that would lead to analgam necessity, I, Erika Klus, the avid flosser told Dr. Upgaard, "Well, I guess I'll just have to keep taking care of my teeth!"
You have to imagine this in a way that I suppose doesn't quite sound as funny on paper as it does when I say it with the vocal inflections I get from my dad when he's telling a joke in a semi-dry tone. OK, I guess you had to be there.
Please excuse me. I am very sleep-deprived right now.