Archives for: May 2005
I recently had my life insurance renewed. I consider life insurance a necessary evil at this point of
my life with one dependent and still some debt to my name. Like all policy renewals, this one involved
a nurse coming over to my house to draw blood and urine and take my blood pressure. I was also barraged with a series of questions regarding my general health and bad habits like smoking, drug
use and drinking (none of which I have ever had). It was a rather boring ordeal due to the fact I kept saying 'no' to about 80% of the questions.
Well today I got a package from the insurance coverage congratulating me for qualifying for
a 'Healthstyle 1' rating which is the best rating they apparently give meaning I'm going to get a
lower rate for my insurance coverage (an actual monthly bill that will be going down...how novel!). Attached with the congratulatory letter was an actual report on my test results, which I will
gladly share with you. Here goes...
Blood Pressure: 110/70...Expected results: Below 140/90
Fructosamine ...this is the level of sugar in your blood:My level was 1.8...Expected range 1.2 to 2.1
Creatinine ...waste product released from muscle tissue and excreted from the kidneys. This
test measures how your kidneys are functioning. Creatinine production and excretion are stable
and constant, as long as muscle disease is not present):My level was 97...Expected range: 44 to 132
Aspartate Aminotranferase (AST):my range was 25...Expected range: 0 to 41
Alanine Aminotranferase (ALT):my range was 27... Expected range: 0 to 45
Both of the above are liver function tests which don't measure how the liver is functioning (would be nice to know) but rather they screen for abnormalities. AST and ALT are proteins within the liver
cells that are released into the blood stream when the liver cells are injured or die. They indicate liver damage and the more the number exceeds normal levels, the greater the damage.
Gamma Glutamyl Traspeptidase (GGT): my score was 14...Expected range...2 to 65
The above looks for a protein manufactured by the liver of heavy alcohol consumers, those using over the counter and prescription medications or illicit drugs and those experiencing bile tract obstruction. Damaged liver cells release this protein into the blood, making it a sensitive but non specific test of liver status.
Cholesterol...a soft waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all
your body's cells. It's an important part of a healthy body because it's used to form cell membranes, some hormones and other needed tissues. No news to most but a high level of cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart decease and heart attack (especially if you're a type A blood). My total
cholesterol level:my level was 4.47...Expected range... 3.88 to 6.5.
HDL Cholesterol...or high-density lipoprotein which most medical experts think carries cholesterol
away from the arteries and back to the liver where it is passed from the body. HDL is known as
the good cholesterol because a high level of HDL seems to protect against heart attacks. My HDL: 1.57...Expected range...0.83 to 1.55
CHOL/HDL Cholesterol ratio...this ratio is one of the strongest predictors of coronary risk. The lower the value, the better, assuming a HDL value in the expected range. My ratio: 2.8...Expected results...below 5
On to my Urinalysis...
Glucose...this is a screening test for diabetes. Glucose is the main source of energy for living organisms. When blood glucose levels exceed the kidney's threshold for reabsorption, glucose
'spills' into the urine, which results in increased urine output. My results were negative.
Protein... a very small amount of protein is normally excreted in the urine each day. Excess protein in the urine may happen occasionally in people with congestive heart failure or an illness causing fever...or even after vigorous exercise. Persistent protein in the urine almost always indicates kidney disease. My result: 70...Expected result: 0 to 300
Red or white blood cells...don't usually appear in urine. If they are present it could indicate kidney decease, a urinary tract infection or inflammation. None present whatsoever.
Pretty cut and dry and the results speak generally of my health status. Along with my report, the insurance company included a tip sheet on reducing fat:
Spread less butter or margarine on bread, buns and bagels (should read...place less bread, buns and bagels under your butter especially if made from wheat)
Cut down on dressing on your salads or substitute a low fat dressing (should read...if it says salad dressing on the bottle, don't buy it)
Try skim, partly skim or reduced fat milk products in recipes ( should read...don't drink it unless you're a B type and it's organic)
Bake , broil or microwave your meat, poultry or fish (the insurance company should raise your rates if you use a microwave)
Substitute wholesome snacks like popcorn for chips and chocolate bars ( should read..substitute a few handfuls of beneficial nuts and dried fruit for chips and chocolate bars)
It would be neat say 20 years from now to see how these fat-reducing tips would look like especially if the BTD became mainstream. One could only hope and wish. In the meantime, if you have been on the diet for a while and are feeling really good, you might want to consider changing your insurance policy...you just might end up paying a lower rate and you can owe all to the BTD.
I had a lovely weekend with my dad's side of the family in Western Iowa! I don't know what it was exactly but we all connected so well at this reunion, especially the women. We all got talking about corporations which led to talk about food and eventually I let my true obsessive BTD theory colors shine. I brought the book and the Unibars in case anyone was interested in trying them, and one of my aunts actually took the book overnight and was reading it with her daughter (one of my cousins in high school).
Of course, as usual, like anyone else's family reunions there is always plenty of food that is not A friendly. There were meatballs (which I ate), there was nacho cheese sauce and chips (you guessed it), and there were many hard liquors to satisfy our Irish Catholic urge to drink, a lot. I personally had a lot of fun juicing an organic grapefruit that I brought from MPLS and then screwing up most of its BTD beneficial qualities by adding a hearty shot of gin.
This subsequently led to my walking around singing the Klus version of Snoop Dog's classic hit:
"Rollin' down the street
sippin on GIN AND JUICE!
(With my mind on my money and
my money on my mind)."
Ahem, how old are we?
This question I've posed to myself rhetorically numerous times in the course of this past two weeks, especially when watching for the first time the cult(?) classic Super Troopers with a co-worker.
The next day we had a picnic with many of the same foods, and again, Erika the space cadet had a lot of fun talking about her new age hippie dieting concepts which somehow I think were not completely discarded by all the listeners. After all 1)I'm at my ideal body weight so I must be doing SOMETHING right and 2)There is such a fine line between genius and insanity and I think sometimes people do see the genius, haha.
Brings me to Sunday evening....had a lovely meal, albeit alone, at the French Meadow Bakery and Cafe. Nummy!!!!
Started with a "flight" with breads dipped and spread in the assortments: chicken liver, artisan butter, sheep cheese (Manchego as I recall), chevre, and the freshest fruitiest olive oil you can imagine enjoying. I skipped the olive part of the flight since they are avoids and did I mention that I really don't like olives?
I also sipped on a red and now I don't remember which red it was. I think it might have been a rioja, but that doesn't seem right. It certainly was not my favorite red, but it went quite well with what I'm about to explain....
Next came the main course which I barely had room for after the flight but decided to take it on with gusto! Juicy moist cod in a buerre blanc sauce with chervil along with red barley risotto and brocollini (what the hell is that anyway?). Well, IT WAS FABULOUS!!!
Due to the Sunday evening special, I then took home a complimentary slice of the bakery's Key Lime Pie picked from the sweets case. Oh, I've died and gone to heaven! Lord have mercy! I'm in epicurean love!
Well, that's about all for now. One other thing that perhaps sort of describes my state of mind right now given everything that has happened with Grubster and other anonymous third parties. Someone asked me if I attract drama. I wondered about this for so long, thinking oh my gosh I'm such a bad dysfunctional person if I do attract drama.
Then I realized that within the last three years my life has been a lot like a swamp. It seems very still and boring although the stagnant water seems to attract mosquitos and the mud settles at the bottom while the algae floats on the top. Suddenly, a speed boat, tornado or other disruption comes along and all the water turns cloudy and unstable. Chaos in its highest form takes over and there seems to be no way to stop the acceleration. Finally the source of the chaos withdraws and the false sense of peace comes over the swamp again.
Well, I think I'd like my life to be a little more like the Mediterranean sea which has its perils and lots of motion but generally doesn't make the most dangerous waves. Wish me luck on this one, hee hee.
I have received three sets of prolotherapy injections with three more to go. I do notice some improvements, too! Several days ago our van was being used by my husband and I needed a ride to the landing where some of my jewelry will be for sale. That did leave a couple vehicle options available. First option would have been my one son’s really nice 1992 Chevy pickup. I’ve never been able to climb inside that one, so I looked toward option number two. My other son has an 84 camaro. It’s not the standard of the day, either. Well, I successfully climbed inside and out again twice without struggle or pain!!! Wow!
Then, several days later, I climbed four steps onto the landing. Again, there was no pain or struggle! After walking energetically and enthusiastically because of the steps success, my ankle twisted on the uneven boards and I raced forward to keep from falling. I did wrench my back and my ankle hurt for the rest of the day. I’ve not tried any steps since then, so I’m not sure if I managed to regress or am continuing toward the rebuilding of the cartilage and surrounding tissue. I certainly hope that my weak ankle will strengthen again once I’m able to walk properly. Who knows, I might be able to go fishing this year!
The last of our tulips looks as though they will bloom within a day or so. We’ve got nice splotches of colors scattered around our yard. The trees are fully leafed out and the grass has needed mowing a couple times. Today’s high temperature was in the low 60’s. Sunrise was at 4:53 am and sunset will be at 11:12 pm for a total daylight of 18 hours 18 minutes and 59 seconds with a daylight gain of 3 minutes 46 seconds over yesterday. The sun is beginning to set on the left side of our north-facing window. It then rises on the far right side of that window. That distance will decrease until June 22. I really enjoy our long days.
This evening I made a special trip to the store to buy ‘juicing” veggies... carrots, beet, turnip, parsnip, green pepper and fresh ginger. I already had celery and onions. I’ve got a craving that must be fixed. The sweet red peppers were $2.79 each, not organic and looked puny, so I didn’t buy one. There is little that gets me up and going like a big glass of fresh vegetable juice with a juiced cube of ginger and a clove of garlic. WOW! Some day I’m going to buy a really good juicer and enjoy my juices even more.
Shortly I’m going to make a fruit/tofu smoothie using pineapple juice, fresh strawberries, a banana and tofu. I might throw in a few frozen blueberries, too. For some odd reason, I sleep better and have fewer stomach problems when I eat something before bed. It may defy nutritional logic but it works for me. Till next time…goodnight!
I apologize to all who have PM'd me and I didn't respond (I didn't scroll to the bottom of the messages!!!)
An update on my SIL, she had the second surgery but needed a bone graft from her hip to fuse her vertabrae. The surgery went well, but she is still experiencing a lot of nerve pain. My sister, an ICU nurse, said the pain could last for the better part of 6 months. She is at home with her kids and is resuming normal activities.
I will email all who emailed me this weekend. Again my apologies...
What an interesting time since the conference. I have been having problems with the photos I took, because I took the lazy way out and edited them in the software that came with the camera rather than my normal Photoshop. I didn't realize the pictures went into a totally different resolution when they were cropped, so I ended up with blobs of pixels rather than pictures.
Now that I am cleaning them up in Photoshop, I am a much happier camper.
I have spent the last month driving kids back and forth to Lacrosse games and practices. My husband is the coach for the little guy's team, so I get the "honour" of driving the 14 year old. We have had a few testosterone O type nights of fights (think hockey) and time in the penalty box. Older son is the captain and pretty quick but small. He inspires the wrath of the other teams many nights, but he does get the heart and hustle award quite often.
I have been having a heck of a time with allergies, muscle aches and trying to get my progesterone levels back up. I have been reading a number of books on tired adrenals and I think I have finally pieced everything together.
My big confession is that I am a perfectionist Type O who is pretty driven. I suspect for at least 20 years, my adrenals have been running at well below optimal levels. Evidently, when adrenals are tired, the first hormone they don't produce is progesterone. I have been on progesterone for 8 years and should have been on it for at least 20 years as I had all the signs of high estrogen and little or no progesterone.
I had surgery for a ruptured appendix in Feb 2004, but previous to that I had been having low grade infections from the appendix for 18 months. After my hospital stay, I felt incredible (a huge surge of adrenalin). At Christmas time I ended up hiking up from 7000 ft to 9000 feet in a heavy wind at -20 C with all my ski equipment (a huge rush of adrenalin required). Within 24 hours asthma kicked, awful allergies and all of my old injuries started aching and swelling. A day of skiing would cause my such pain, that I would need to put heat on my knees, ankles and back so I could walk the next day. I put on 10 lbs right around the middle that I can't lose and I have been experiending horrible fatigue.
Now that I have pieced everything together, sustained infection, invasive surgery, and an unusual physical strain can cause the adrenals a tremendous amount of stress. When they are really stressed, they will no longer produce enough cortisal which happens to control asthma, allergies and swelling. I have started taking more progesterone, but I am considering pregnenolone, which is the hormone that produces progesterone and cortisol (under the supervision of an ND).
I am also trying to sleep more and not let my O perfectionism get to me!!!!
Ahhhh....came home after a long day at work to find a two boxes of the Unibars (one box of Chocolate Cherry and one box of Blueberry Almond) in my apartment! I had the honor of sampling these babies at the IfHI conference in April. Now I've got some to eat and share with others here in Minneapolis!
First thing in the morning I had a Chocolate Cherry bar. And I mean first thing! Before I even hit the shower! Wow! It was so nice to break the fast at 7 a.m. after a brief night consisting of a glass of wine with a co-worker, his friend from home in town to visit, and two other classmate grads that work for the competition here in town, haha.
Later in the day, many many co-workers were conned into trying these bars along with my fat flush tortilla concoction I blogged about in the last entry. One tech (an O) was given the tortilla (all grains and legumes are sprouted) with red bell peppers I picked off a cajun tofu sandwich (since they are an avoid for A secretors!) from the Wedge along with the basil pesto and feta cheese! She adored it. How can one not adore pesto? Yum! Her biggest fear in trying to follow the diet is giving up the cheese! She loves cheese!!! I told her that at least sticking to the non-cow's milk cheeses is a good start. And giving up wheat! Not an easy task for any type O!
I also made an AB tech the same sandwich that I made myself (tortilla, pesto, lentil walnut pate, and feta cheese). He totally dug it.
The other O tech got a similar concoction today minus the lentil walnut pate. It was SO fun preparing these quick snacky meals for the techs!! I can't wait to do it again!
Well, I’m back from Turkey. I know I’m back, because I no longer hear the call to prayer from the many mosques at various times throughout the day, nor the roosters crowing near the home where I stayed, nor the continuous honking of traffic horns on the main streets. I’m suffering from culture shock, but surprisingly, it’s harder to be home in Canada than it was to be in Turkey.
I travelled with my Turkish friend, which made life very wonderful for me. He guided my steps around Istanbul with the surety of someone who had lived there, and was able to talk to everyone about various things on my behalf. We stayed in his parent’s home, in the outskirts of the European side of Istanbul.
I’m going to try to keep most of this blog confined to food issues, which is blocking out a lot of my trip, but I simply can’t tell you about a month in Turkey at one go. I will post at least one more blog about the trip, focusing on other aspects of my time there.
We arrived at the airport and were met by my friend’s brother and uncle, who drove us to the family home. We were not allowed to enter the house before a lamb was removed from a small shelter under the front porch. It was taken to the side of the house, we stood and sang a prayer and then the lamb, who had been held down on it’s side, had it’s throat slit with a sharp knife. The whole thing was quick and peaceful, though I turned my head at the crucial moment. After a short while we were looking at pieces of meat in the kitchen and deciding how much I might need to eat for the month in which I was visiting. The rest was cooked and used for various visiting relatives.
Eating was a challenge for me, but somehow I managed to stay on my feet in spite of every challenge. There was a lot of soup made with yogurt and rice, but they like to season almost everything with pepper, so often I had to stop after a few spoonfuls and say I couldn’t eat any more. Lamb in restaurants was particularly peppery, so it was a mixed blessing to eat out.
The Turkish breakfast is a lot of crusty white bread with olives, feta cheese, boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and various other spreads which could include sesame tahini halvah, etc. The family watched in amazement as my friend cooked my breakfast every morning – onion or leek, cabbage, eggplant or zucchini with feta cheese and sometimes a boiled egg, sometimes mushrooms added to the mix. This was cooked in a frying pan with olive oil. I think the amazement was mutual – me watching them eat their meal, and them watching me eat mine. When we travelled away from Istanbul for a week, I had to improvise on the standard breakfast, but did fine by eating an egg, feta cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers. Tomatoes in Turkey are delicious. They taste the way they used to taste in my childhood, before all this genetic engineering started to take over our food chain. I really enjoyed them, and was happy that my non-secretor status makes them a neutral food for me.
In Toronto, we have the dubious title of having the most coffee/donut shops in North America. In Istanbul, they must hold the world’s title for having the most simit shops – restaurants that serve freshly baked buns of various descriptions with various fillings and/or toppings, and black tea, the Turkish national drink. Simits are delicious in that they are so freshly baked, and often warm from the oven when you buy them. You can buy them all over Turkey, and simit vendors with the huge donut-shaped buns can be seen with amazing loads for sale in front of almost every public site and along the streets as well.
Often in the simit shop, especially if the weather was warm, I opted to have a glass of ayran, the national yogurt drink. It is delicious and available everywhere, not just in simit shops. I drank several glasses every day, and it is one of the things that contributes to my culture shock in being home – I can’t buy it here anywhere! There are two versions of ayran. The one in the restaurants and teashops and cheese stores is a plain variety consisting of yogurt and water. The one made in homes will often have an addition of fresh garlic to the mix.
One night, following a marathon of eating meals away from home four times in a row (not knowing what avoids were involved in each of them), I just got very, very tired, and lay down before supper was served. I was asked to get up (out of politeness) when visitors arrived later, and I drank several glasses of tea, hoping the stupour would leave, but it didn’t help (are you surprised, my ERFYT friends???). Finally, someone in the house made a glass of garlic ayran for me, and I perked up immediately. It was a wonderful antidote. After that I was given garlic ayran every day in the evenings.
The one treat I indulged in, on almost a daily basis, was a dessert called sutlach. It is basically a rice pudding made with milk, boiling both together until the rice breaks down and thickens the milk, with a little sugar added. It is delicious, and it was wonderful to have something slightly sweet that I could eat without repercussions.
Salads are served on a communal basis. Chopped lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers are mixed together on a large plate and put in the centre of the table. Everyone at the table reaches with their fork or spoon and eats from this plate. I found it shocking the day I arrived, but it was normal by the time I came home. I had to be careful with the salads, often a long, hot, green pepper would be chopped into the mix, and I had to pull these out to avoid more pepper discomfort.
People in Turkey are suffering on the health level, though surprisingly few of them are fat or obese, at least until later in life. Young people seem to be lithe and lean for the most part. So many people asked me what they could do for various health problems. Of course, the best thing they could do is to change their diets, but it is difficult to do that in Turkey. We here in North America are spoiled so much in the food department. We can buy an infinite variety of fruits and vegetables in our stores and markets, but the choice is very limited in Turkey. I could only see one beneficial bean for A blood type there, though lentils are also available, and used often in soups. Most menus do not include beans, but focus on meat combinations, deadly for A blood type people, which was most of my friend’s family’s category. There were a lot of blank faces when I talked about changing their diet and what they could or could not eat with benefit. I don’t think anyone I met will change their diet, no matter how much they suffer with various ailments.
Half way through the visit, after endless glasses of black tea being consumed, the family asked if I drink tea at home. I said I make a pot of green tea every morning, and produced my until-then unused stash of green tea. We made a pot of it, and it had some immediate results. One sister who had been bloated and uncomfortable found that it vanished after drinking one glass of green tea. My friend’s mother likes it so much she made a whole pot for herself every morning, and was feeling much better as a result. We even located a source of bulk green tea for her, at the Egyptian Market near the Bosphorus. Before we came home, I was noticing green tea ads on television programs in the form of a small icon that never left the screen, and on various billboards around town as well.
Other than restaurants, the biggest businesses seemed to be cell phone stores and drug stores. Probably this will tell you more about life in Turkey than anything I could say.
I became quite protective of my health while I was in Turkey, and simply refused to eat food that I knew was bad for me – chicken was everywhere, it seems – and stayed with a few simple foods that I knew worked for me. As a result, I did not get really sick – to my great surprise – although my friend suffered with flu-like symptoms for 10 days as an emotional reaction to being back in Turkey after almost 5 years away from his family.
The trip to Turkey was a blessing in every possible way. In my next post, I will tell you a little about some of the places we visited, some of our experiences.
The yards are looking green all over, the trees are almost fully leafed, and our tulips are beginning to flower. Daylight continues to lengthen and is nearly 18 hours a day now. FYI Barrow won't see the sun set again until August second. Within the next week we will see the sun set through the left side of our north-facing window and then rise again from the right side of the window just a couple hours later. Just one month from today, the daylight will begin decreasing daily until December 22. I do love the long daylight hours!
Lots of animal activities surround us. The moose are beginning to calve. Most moose here deliver twins. The caribou should also start dropping their calves, too. The bears are out of hibernation. The birds are all nesting and soon chicks should be seen on the marshes, trees, and other nesting areas. The whales are in the inlet, so that means the fish are coming in now. We’ve already seen seals and otters in the river. A robin is hopping around in search of bug just outside my window. A squirrel feasted on spruce cones there last week. Spruce pollen in the air and on every leaf or surface is almost overwhelming. Life is bursting out all around us. The food necessary for each species' survival is abundant.
Tomorrow, one of my boys and I will be driving to Anchorage. It’ll be nice to drive through the mountain pass without the ice and darkness of winter. Winter driving is tension-filled and usually not so pleasant as we must keep ever vigilant about road conditions. We’ll make the 320+ mile round trip tomorrow. Summer or winter it is rare that we ever stay there very long. Drive up, do whatever, drive home. Go to bed. City busyness is more than we can handle.
Before we leave Anchorage and head back home, we will stop at our favorite restaurant and feast on mostly good for us foods. This restaurant has a good selection from which to choose.
Tonight’s dinner was really good in taste but not so much in beneficial nutrition as we usually have available. We had a slow-cooked pot roast, lots of vegetables, and kamut gravy poured over mashed potatoes. Well, we blew it with the potatoes. Potatoes are one of our favorite "avoid" foods and also one that we still eat about once a month or so. That’s a big decline for our entire family. Now, if only they could make even a neutral potato.
While enjoying a bowl of freshly made chicken, rice, and veggie soup for dinner we received a sharp but short-lived jolt from an earthquake centered about 60 miles away. It got those large spruce trees in our yard swaying for a bit. My first thought was that Mt. Spur had erupted again. A large lake on the mountain has all but disappeared. I don't know if it is from heat within the mountain causing it to evaporate or maybe a crack that is letting the lake seep inside. I didn't see any ash and Mt. Spur is probably about 70 miles north of this earthquake's epicenter.
I want to give you a bit more info about prolotherapy.
Prolo is short for proliferation (growth, formation) of new ligament tissue in areas that have become weak. Blood supply to ligaments and tendons is limited which is why they take so long to heal after an injury.
Prolotherapy uses a dextrose (sugar water) solution that is injected into the ligament, tendon, or cartilage. Increased blood supply occurs because of this localized irritation. A flow of nutrients (added to the dextrose solution) helps stimulate the area to repair itself. Some doctors use a "bandaid" approach with limited duration and others use a more theraputic approach for a more permanent solution.
This therapy is beneficial for many different types of musculoskeletal pain which includes arthritis, back and neck pain, whiplash, sports injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic tendonitis, degenerated or herniated discs, TMJ, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and partially torn ligaments, tendons and cartilage.
I’ve talked with people that have received this treatment and it seems to be very successful. I’m counting on that. Right now, I’m two down and four to go. My naturopath believes that six injections in each knee, one week apart, will get me up and running! Well, maybe I won’t run, but I am looking at adult tricycles.
Well, in life, balance is always an issue. I've had a few blogs running around in my head in the last few weeks, but none of them have come to full development in cyberspace quite obviously....
I suppose now would be a good time for a few little snippets of my life this past month.
First off, I have been enjoying my own "recipe" which consists of co-op deli ingredients thrown together in a wrap. Here is a delightful last minute wrap idea for anyone in the Twin Cities area:
Go to the wedge and pick up the basil walnut pesto and lentil walnut pate from the deli case. The only avoid for As is the black pepper used to flavor it. Spread these ingredients onto an Ezekiel or Fat Flush tortilla (made by French Meadow) and in between these two put some powdered garlic, ground mustard seed, and turmeric. Add some broccoli or alfalfa sprouts and wrap it up baby! Voila! I literally lived off this concoction for about three days in a row and enjoyed every minute of it!
Also another amazing health food, albeit processed, that many can enjoy from Whole Foods is the ShaSha Bread Company's spelt and flax flatbread. I'm madly impressed by this ShaSha guy, whoever he is! Way to go on some wheat-free alternatives!!! Keep'em coming!
Next place worth mentioning....Intelligent Nutrients (IN), the sister company of Aveda. They used to be located in Uptown Minneapolis on South Hennepin and Lake St, a few blocks from my pharmacy. They closed down in order to open this huge 15,000 sq. foot complex in NE MPLS, right off East Hennepin and the I-35 W exit. After they've been opened for the last few months, I finally got the urge to visit this amazing place two weeks ago!
There is this beautiful retail area full of foods, supplements, essential oils, upscale grade incense, and Horst-inspired things. Horst is really into Biblical oils and even has a spikenard oil named for retail as "Maria Magdalena" since she annointed Jesus' feet with Spikenard. I bought a tiny little 0.2 ounce of this stuff and brought it to work. It's quite strong and some techs/pharmacists were not very fond of it, mostly the guys, but Elana and I just loved it.
Speaking of Elana...she, Tara, and Paul (techs at the store) all got into pharmacy school at the U of M! They will all be in the same class next year so it will be interesting to hear what they are learning when they come to work on evenings and weekends.
Whoa, anyway, sorry for the tangeant. Back to IN. Next to the gorgeous, almost holy, retail space came the cafe. Lots of organic healthy options, so inspiring to me as a healthful food lover, but still, not quite BTD-friendly. Nevertheless, I had some kale soup (yum!) and some salad w/grapefruit and some other things that I cannot remember any longer because it was too long ago! Also had the most gorgeous cup of white peony tea! I just LOVE this place. The teas are so beautiful, not only to drink but to watch blossom as they are filled in a clear glass teacup with piping hot water! Oh my God, the thought of leaving Minneapolis is so scary to me!! This is Horst's ideal world and it is so beautiful!
The bummer is that the cafe is only opened for lunch at this point. However, there is a Wunderbar in the very back where they serve wines and other things in the eveings and also have speakers come in to discuss various alternative medicine concepts. I have not been there yet, but plan to go very soon!
Hmmm....what else? There is something very strange in the air this spring. I also get a little bi-polar/manic around this time of year. Not that I've ever been diagnosed with anything that would brand me with a big fat DSM-IVR scar for life, but still, I want to spend lots of money, party, and ahem...pretend I'm a little forest creature in mating season whenever April and May roll around. Spring is my favorite time of year, despite all the rain, I still just love the cleansing effect of it all. I really get a little crazy in the spring!
The best news of the entire season: Grubster is moving to Minneapolis in July! That's right! As he has always said to me for the last grueling year and a half we've been dating in this long-distance purgatory,
"The bear will go to Minneapolis! The bear will go to Minneapolis!"
I am excited that we may finally resemble a "normal" couple, haha. It's time. He needs to come mark his territory here or I might be swept away by another manimal here in my spring fever. He is definitely my alpha male however. There is no denying that this handsome Type O triggers a primal response in me to share the spread of genetic material with him. We are so totally going to have babies together someday when we get our finances, emotions, and geographical logistics straightened out! And yes, also before all that happens, as Walter Crinnion pointed out in the IfHI lectures, all women living in this toxic earth need to do some serious heavy metal and PCB detoxification before even considering getting pregnant if they want to have kids without ADD or with an IQ higher than 70, haha!
Sorry, while I realize my human form takes on a slightly higher level of being than most creatures, I am an animal of this earth and cannot deny this part of myself, so I apologize if this primal mating talk offends you. Express, don't repress.
Music: Opeth - Blackwater Park
Mood: Super Hit
Greetings fellow stewards. It's been one heck of a week for yours truly, as the title of this blog suggests. My Grandfather (Papa) was in town from Dallas. You've read about him before if you've been reading my blogs for a while. It's been quite a treat to have him visit. I'll give you guys an outline of what the week's been like. I took the whole week off of work... You'd think I'd feel as if I'd had a break... Ha!
Picked up Papa from the airport in town here, Hector International... They have an arcade... A coffe shop/snack bar, and a gift shop...Oooohhhh..... So good to see him again. He's looking great. Healthy as ever at 59. Muscles are still 3X bigger than mine... One day... Perhaps... Mine will be bigger (doubtful). Funny thing about us... We are both Leos on the Zodiac, both Roosters on the Chinese astrological calendar... He's an O, I'm an A, both non secretors, both RH positive. We both have a crooked pinky on our right hands, we both have one leg longer than the other... We're both fanatical about nutrition, supplementation, politics, well being, alternative health modalities, energy healing... The list goes on and on. I truly feel a deep connection with him on a spiritual level... Crazy stuff. We get along quite well!
I don't know why, but when I was a kid, I always called him "Papa" (with elongated vowels, as in PAWW-PAWW) It just stuck! I call my Grandma "Nanny" too... WTH?!
Started off each day of the week juicing. Romaine, carrots, broccoli, celery, an apple here and there, green onion, whole lemons, all organic of course... Geez... I can't even remember what else... I kept things pretty simple though. Not too many ingredients for each "batch" of juice... I would make 32 oz every morning. I would drink 8 immediatley, put 8 in an air-tight Kerr jar for him, and the other 16 in another airtight jar for us to split before lunch or dinner. We also did around 4 oz of Noni juice (Tahiti Trader's) a day. It's been a toxifying and detoxifying week... I'll elaborate in a bit... He he... He was staying at my parents house, and I did all the juicing at mine. Hence the jars... Lots of Jars. I feel that this past week was near dictated by jars, jars, JARS!
Once I was done with my morning routine (juicing, having some ground flax, taking and sorting my supplements for the day, meditating with Holosync, making my kidney support tea, enjoying a nice castor oil pack over the abdomen, etc.) I would run over and force the juice down his throat, and make him breakfast. Usually free range/organic eggs, and Ezekiel bread... Seasoned with lots of paprika, cayenne, Herbamare and Trocomare by Vogel (AWESOME!), parsley, cumin, etc. Used mainly NOW extra virgin coconut oil, Purity Farms ghee, and Bertolli extra virgin Olive oil for the healthy fats. He likes his Food For Life Ezekiel bread smothered in it... And... So do I! Try it!
After breakfast, we would usually drink WAY too much green tea, white tea, or yerba mate... Caffiene buzz... Mess around with a couple of computers we were "tricking out" and upgrading for my dad and my sis, and play with all his healing devices that he brought along (Quantum coherence generators, quantum energy generators, a Scanar, a brain tuner, bio feedback devices, etc. Wow... Crazy cool stuff... I won't get too deep into it...
After messing around with toys and computers, I'd usually talk him into giving me an "adjustments" as I like to call it. He's what some call an "Alphabioticist..." He does Chiropracty, skeletal alignment, energy healing, deep tissue massage, facial alignments, Quantum Touch Therapy, etc. Not to mention those "toys" I mentioned earlier! It's a treat to have him do that kind of stuff for me when he has clients in Dallas paying big bucks to have it done. I figure the very LEAST I could do is juice every day and cook all his meals to our outrageous blood type diet/general nutrition/wisdom standards. Oh man... I'd be a slave for those "adjustments" every day... Sweet.
It's been a real treat cooking for him as well. I don't know why, but I've always felt at home cooking and cleaning in a kitchen. Haha. I'm damn good at it too... If I do say so myself. Being a bachelor type A vegan, I keep things pretty simple for myself. Him being a Carniverous type O with the appetite (and size!) of two men, makes the ol' kitchen routine a wildly different experience. Soft boiled eggs, grilled bison burgers, grilled porterhouse steaks, grilled chicken breasts, lots of salads (spinach and romaine based), lots of steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, etc.) lot's of healthy fats, organic lemons, delicious wines (cracked a couple of my better bottles that I had been saving) etc. Blah blah blah... It's been a hell of a week for gourmet cookin'.
I know hat you're thinkin'... What did I eat? Well... Ground flax, salads, steamed vegetables, lot's of Ezekiel bread (the 4:9 variety, as well as the Sesame), grape fruit, apricots, lemons, black mission and Calimyrna figs, cherries, green apples, cucumber, cauliflower, lots of walnuts, raw almonds, tamari almonds, a few pecans, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seeds (not rated, I suspect benneficial), all the juices I mentioned above... We even wen't to the Hu-Hot Mongolian Grill for dinner the first night. Fantastic. Black bean and vegetable stir fry with sesame oil, garlic and ginger, peanuts, etc., etc.. Wow... Ate a lot.
How many avoids did I consume? well... I had a few to be sure. Allow me to fill you in...
I quit eating Ezekiel bread as it is not naturally leavened, and contains yeast... Not an avoid for A's or anything... I just happen to believe that yeast does not "vibe" with me... Unless it's Red Star Nutritional Yeast... Anyway... I had lots of Ezekeil bread this week... Even tried the Ezekiel cinnamon raisin english muffins. I assure you... They are to DIE for.
I ate tons (literally) of the NOW coconut oil. Yum. This is one avoid (so long as it is organic and extra virgin, cold pressed, etc.,) that I will let by anytime. Come on guys... Even Dr. D (type A) eats ground beef stuffed cabbage rolls once a year... Ha ha.
Consumed quite a bit of cayenne... Another avoid I'll let slip by pretty often... Ate the Trocomare seasoning too... It contains chilli powder...
I drank quite a bit of red wine... Something I have been cutting back on HARD lately as I attempt to sort out the "gut" probs I've been dealing with for years. Just trying to do all I can to support the liver, and not feed the Candida... Even benneficials have thier "cons" in certain situations folks.
Drank quite a bit of Saki the past two weeks as well (Japanese rice wine - unrated) I believe it would be nuetral... But, I really don't know. Wonderful stuff though. Provided it's a good brand/variety and it's served properly...
Been eating the Hemp seeds I mentioned above... I really believe they are beneficial.
And finally. Dark chocolate! I found a Dagobah (Sanskrit for "Temple of the Gods") dark chocolate bar by the name of Eclipse. It's 87% cocoa content makes for an extremley low sugar content (only 8g per 2oz bar!!!). It's organic, fair trade, full of love, and freakin' delicious. I eat it with a drizzle of vanilla spiked vegetable glycerin. Try it. Immediatley... Haha. Listen to me... Condoning the consumption of evaporated cane juice... It's the Apocolypse!
Wow... This got really long... We did a ton of other stuff too... Got colonics, did some shopping, traded massages, used a car buffer to work on peoples backs, did quantum touch on family and friends... All kinds of crazy business. Blah, blah, blah... I don't wanna eat your whole day (been eating all week!)... so... I'll just say, Namaste! Do forgive the spelling errors (two finger typed this at the speed of light)...
Oh yeah! Here's hoping Star Wars Episode III doesn't suck as bad as Episode II. I've got VIP tickets to the midnight showing at midnight on the 19th... So, technically... It'd be midnight after the night of the 18th... Or 0:00 hours on the 19th... So complicated...... Later friends. I'll let you know what I thought of the capper on this quintisential sextilogy of intergalactic space opera insanity. Gotta love it!
My oldest daughter, kids, and fiancé have made the trip down from Anchorage twice this month. It’s rare that she is able to do that more than once a year, but now that her fiancé is in the picture her life is more active. They had fun fishing and boating, camping and visiting. Next week he’ll leave to commercial fish in Bristol Bay for two or three months. While the girls were here, I had them choose different colors of glass rods and I made focal beads that I later put on chains for them. They enjoyed watching grandma using fire to make beads.
I had to dodge a caribou a couple days ago. It nearly got hit by an oncoming car, turned and darted back off the road only to turn around to try it again. Fortunately, the other cars all stopped so he was able to run across the highway and down the embankment. Dodging moose is fairly common, but caribou aren’t usually crossing the roads as they are summer visitors usually found in isolated areas.
The weather has been fairly pleasant with most days in the 50s or 60s. We’ve not had enough rain so the wildfire danger is still high. The trees are really beginning to green up and our tulips are in bud. My husband had to put wire cages over them because one bed has already been eaten by a moose.
Tomorrow morning I will get the second set of shots in my knees (one in each knee). My naturopath is using prolotherapy so within just a few weeks the cartilage should regenerate and I should be able to climb stairs, walk without my knees swelling and painful, and possibly ride a bike. My knees should do okay, it is just that I’ve not ridden a bike in over 40 years. I’ve never used handbrakes and I don’t want to fly over the handlebars.
We had a good dinner of roasted chicken, rice, and mixed vegetables. There was nothing left over. We’ve eaten a lot of chicken the past couple weeks. I’m trying to keep my A husband away from red meat. I guess that is working, but I really NEED some red meat and soon.
Hello.....no, I have not fallen off the face of the earth......sorry for the extremely delayed entry. Life has been VERY busy as I'm sure it is for most of us.
1st off, I can no longer stay at home this summer since we are now buying our own apartment. Actually owning a place means a monthly mortage payment & the board of the co-op looking into our finances greatly. So no slacking off for me this summer! :-( It's worth the sacrifice to be a home-owner though :-D
I've also been cast in a play!!! Nassau Community College production of "The Long Weekend" very funny & I have one of the leads. I haven't acted in 3 years & it feels great. That goes up at the end of June.
3rdly - we have a cat that my husband is very allergic to. We had to save him & we've spent too much money on vet bills (he was run over by a car) to ever get rid of him. So, I have to clean like a mad woman to keep his itching & allergies down. Small price to pay for the fuzzy one.
So between all these things plus being a stressed out teacher, I've had little time to blog. My sincerest apologies. That doesn't mean I've forgotten about BTD. It's a big part of my day, EVERY DAY.
FOOD NEWS*FOOD NEWSFOOD NEWS*FOOD NEWS***
Yes, the whole reason I get to write on here in the first place, lets talk about food. I've had very little time for cooking. Good Puerto Rican husband has been doing most of that. For the most part, my diet's consisted of deli turkey on ezekial bread with yogurt cheese or cheddar. Lettuce would be good on that too if it wasn't always going bad in the fridge. (Carlos calls it our graveyard for vegetables....) Mustard is always yummy but stay away unless it's vinegar free. After being away from vinegar & going back to it one day.....my intestines & stomach we're in knots. & no one wanted to be around me......:-)
Tuna fish sandwiches are also great or sometimes I just make the tuna fish with canola mayo (you can find it at whole foods) & an organic turmaric/salt mix. It's very tastey.
Celery & carrots are my new favorite snack. So easy to just wash, break in half, throw in a baggie & you're off! A natural peanut butter or apricot spread is delicious as well. Just make sure there's no CORN SYRUP. I swear, it is the bane of my existance as an AB.
Carlos was inclined the other day to make a homemade spagetti sauce & turkey meatballs. So good. I don't know what he does to it but it's very good. I will try to post it sometime this month.
Oh & let us not forget soy milk. It's so yummy & so healthy for us AB's. If you've never had it before, as an AB please try to incorporate some into your diet.
Eating out is always a problem with me. It seems that all the places I run into are all or nothing for AB's. I try to eat at home before we go out so in case I really can't find anything I'm not that hungry. Gotta go - play practice in half an hour!!!
We enjoyed an unusual smell this afternoon while in the produce section of the supermarket. It was the smell of ripe tomatoes. It is an odor that is rarely smelled here way up north except late summer in a greenhouse and rarely at the grocers. Yes, that fresh and fragrant odor of vine ripened tomatoes.
Who would think people would get so excited over tomatoes? You’d have thought that the group of middle-aged people making comments about that smell while standing around that bin had discovered a rare gem.
“Wow! Can you smell these tomatoes?”
“Yeah, boy they look good.”
“I haven’t smelled any so fresh in a long time.”
“I’m going to buy a few bunches of these.”
“Yeah, I think I’ll just eat one all by itself.”
“I’m going to make a fresh tomato sandwich.”
Everybody was claiming small vines of 4 to 7 tomatoes each. We lamented to the fact that we couldn’t buy too many because they won’t last long enough to finish.
Once home and dinner served, we each had a medium sized tomato to go with the rest of our meal tonight. Mine tasted as good as it smelled.
Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love.
- Mildred B. Vermont
When love is gone, there's always justice. And when justice is gone, there's always force. And when force is gone, there's always Mom. Hi, Mom!
- Laurie Anderson
Look in those eyes... Listen to that dear voice... Notice the feeling of even a single touch that is bestowed upon you by that gentle hand ! Make much of it while yet you have that most precious of all gifts. Read the unfathomable love of those eyes; the anxiety of that tone and look, however slight is your pain. In after life you may have friends, fonds, dears, but never you will have again the inexpressible love & gentleness levished upon you which none but a mother bestows.
I hope they're still making women like my momma. She always told me to do the right thing. She always told me to have pride in myself; she said a good name is better than money.
- Joe Louis
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
- Tenneva Jordan
The best medicine in the world is a mother's kiss.
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
- Mark Twain
Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.
- Stevie Wonder
You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool Mom.
You couldn't fool your mother on the foolingest day of your life if you had an electrified fooling machine.
- Homer Simpson
All I am I owe to my mother.
- George Washington
The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.
- W.R. Wallace
God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers.
- Jewish Proverb
To a child's ear, 'mother' is magic in any language.
- Arlene Benedict, For Mother with Love
God sees us through our Mothers' eyes and rewards us for our virtues.
- Ganeshan Venkatarman, Indian philosopher
Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face.
- George Eliot, English novelist
Mother is the name of God in the lips and hearts of children.
- William Makepeace Thackeray, English novelist
A mother is she who can take the place of all others.
- Cardinal Mermillod
Mother is the bank where we deposit all our hurts and worries.
My mother's love for me was so great I have worked hard to justify it.
- Marc Chagall
No influence is so powerful as that of the mother.
- Sarah Josepha Hale
The strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.
- Barbara Kingsolver
Mothers are instinctive philosophers.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe
A good mother is worth hundreds of schoolmasters.
- George Herbert
The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom.
- Henry Ward Beecher
Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.
A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.
- Irish proverb
A mother loves her children even when they least deserve to be loved.
- Kate Samperi
Mother is the one we count on for the things that matter most of all.
- Katherine Butler Hathaway
For all the ways you've helped me grow I want to say I love you so.
Who ran to help me when I fell, Or kissed the place to make it well? ....My mother.
- Ann Taylor
A mother understands what a child does not say.
- Jewish proverb
Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.
- Erich Fromm, psychologist
Mother is the home we come from. She is nature, soil, ocean.
- Erich Fromm, psychologist
My mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the pope.' Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.
- Pablo Picasso
One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night.
- Margaret Mead
My mother loved children - she would have given anything if I had been one.
- Groucho Marx
Mother is the word for God in the eyes of children everywhere...
- Eric Draven, "The Crow"
A mother takes twenty years to make a man of her boy, and another woman makes a fool of him in twenty minutes.
- Robert Frost
When it comes to love, Mom's the word.
Happy Mother's Day
Music: Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth
OK... So I was sitting down to a nice leisurly lunch of steamed carrots and broccoli, with olive oil, miso, Herbamare seasoning, and sesame seeds with some tamari almonds afterwards yesterday, reading the paper as I often do, when I came across an article in the paper, buried on page six I believe, entitled, "Japanese Claim Blood Type Bias." It's written by the assosiated press, and I read it in the May 6th edition of the Fargo Forum... I'll reprint it here:
TOKYO- To many Japanese, the key to their personality lies bnot in their stars, but in their blood type. Type A's, they believe, are perfectionists and make good accountants; Type B's are sociable but selfish.
Now one of Japan's favorite pop beliefs is running into accusations of abuse and discrimination, with critics saying it is being used to assign jobs, match couples, even pigeonhole schoolchildren.
Irate scientists are attacking the theory in books and webpages. The debunkers point out that blood type is determined by protiens in the blood - hardly a determinant of character.
"It's mere superstition," says Tatsuya Sato, associate professor of psychology at Ritsumeikan University. "Linking blood type and personality is not only unscientific, it's wrong."
RyochiKikuchi, of the Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization says his watchdog group has fielded hundreds of complaints.
"Viewers are now complaining about their children being bullied at school, couples breaking up, and bosses treating underlings unfairly - all because of blood type predjudice," he said.
Newspaper polls show that only 20% of Japanese say they're convinced that blood type influences personality. But the theory, imported by it's Nazi supporters and adopted by Tokyo's militarist government in the 1930's, is wildly popular, nonetheless. It is also widespread in South Korea.
Blood type personality analysis appears regularily in Japanese women's magazines. Last year alone more than 50 television shows dwelled on the subject. Dating agencies offer blood type compatibility tests.
It is considered perfectly acceptable to ask a person's blood type and make it public. Blood types are listed in Japan's, "Who's who in politics and government." Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is an A, though his permed hair, in-your-face political style, and his fondness for pop music hardly fit the accountant sterotype.
Japanese television recently showed children at the Oi Nursery School in Saitama, just outside Tokyo, being divided into four groups according to blood type to compare how they eat snacks, clean garbage, or take off their shoes at the door. The school declined arequest for comment.
About 40 percent of Japanese are type A, 30 percent are O, 20 percent are B, and 10 percent are AB. O's are said to be decisive and curious, while AB's are supposedly complex, and suited for research and art. End of Article.
Oh man.... When I read this I just about threw up. Clearly the AP reporter had never heard of something called the HUMAN GENOME! Obviously never been to the house located at Q934!! And most certainly had never delved into the genius compiled in LIVE RIGHT 4 YOUR TYPE, by our friend , Dr. Peter D'Adamo.
Had he ANY knowledge of the fact that the gene that determines your blood type is closley situated next to the gene that regulates the endocrine system and hormone production in the brain, he would realize that the levels of seratonin, melatonin, adrenaline, etc., PROFOUNDLY affect brainwave patterns, stress response, nitrous oxide uptake, cortisol release, sleep cycles, etc., etc., etc., ALL of wich have a MASSIVE impact on the way we behave, respoond to stress, respond to odors, tastes, other people, moods, and YES, PERSONALITY! I could go on and on!
Although I believe that the Japanese do take the concept a bit far at times, I believe that this article was done on the fly with very little research, a complete lack of support form anyone in the scientific community that supports the theory, an unforgiveable ammount of ignorance, and terrible bias. It's tunnel vision reporting like this that makes me dread picking up a paper many days... Well... That, and all the CORRUPTION! Anyway... Have a beautiful day my friends. Any Q's lemme know. I'll answer them asap. Peace and be well~ James
Not spell checkin this! I'm in a hurry... And Happy Mother's Day to all you Mom's out there! The omniverse loves you! Ha ha...
It pretty much goes without saying that the BTD was a new way of eating for just about all of us. With that new way of eating comes new flavors - and sometimes they’re not bad, but they’re not exactly what you had in mind either. For instance, I don’t like the “bite” of raw mustard greens. When I cook ‘em, they aren’t appealing to me at all. At a blog reader’s suggestion, I tried hiding ‘em in soup. That was a big improvement.
With the coming of warmer weather though, I am not as inclined to eat soup. I realize there is a variety of cool and cold soups that can be made. However, they don’t seem to be good matches for hiding mustard greens in. This week, I made the resolution to find a way to eat ‘em and I am happy to announce that I have found my solution.
Yesterday, I was in a hurry and just had time to make a simple salad. I put fresh mustard greens in a bowl, tossed in some plain, cold, baked, cod chunks and stood there and stared at the combo. It stared back at me. I stared at it some more hoping for inspiration. Then, it hit me!
I had flavored oils available to me. Specifically, I used a drizzle of lemon flavored extra virgin olive oil and a bit of sea salt. That was it. The oil was enough to hide the “bite” of the greens and had enough additional flavor from the lemon. The salad was so simple it seemed silly and it really tasted good. Then, I started thinking some more about flavored oils.
Before the BTD, I often used flavored vinegars, but vinegars are avoids for AB’s. Now, I use flavored oils and nut oils, but until yesterday, I had always assumed that they would be too heavy unless cut with an acid of some sort. So, what else can you do with flavored oils?
There is someone over on the bulletin boards part of this site that is partial to walnut oil. That particular type of oil I like to use warm. My favorite way is to drizzle it over a fruit salad made of grapes, apples, pears, and toasted pecans. If the salad isn’t going to be eaten immediately, I’ll add a bit of lemon juice to the fruit to keep it from discoloring. Later, I add the warm oil just before it is served.
Tarragon and thyme are two herb flavors that I really enjoy. When you work with herbs, the finished product is usually better tasting when you use fresh ones. When the fresh aren’t available, then the flavored oils can be nice instead of or in addition to the dried herbs. Garlic flavored oil is another one of my favorites to work with. Flavored oils are also nice as dips.
A really good quality extra virgin olive oil just by itself can be good, too. Do not cook with it. Why? When you heat olive oil, it loses a lot of its flavor. The high quality ones will have their flavor ruined if you cook with them.
They don’t have to be the really expensive ones imported from Italy. There are nice ones that are considerably cheaper than the Italian ones. One in particular that I am thinking of is from Spain. If you get lucky, your WFS may have a weekend where they will let you sample the various brands that they carry.
A word of warning now: If you chose to make your own flavored oils it is wise to only make as much as you will use immediately. If you make extra, it needs to be refrigerated and used within just a few days. This is especially true when you use raw garlic or shallots. Why?
Several forms of food poisoning (at least one of that can be deadly) can result if these two simple rules are not followed. As long as you follow the rules, then there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
If this puts you off making your own, commercially infused oils are shelf stable. However, some of them are so delicate that they also need to be refrigerated after they have been opened to keep them from going rancid quickly.
One last bit that I can't figure a way to work into the rest of the text of this blog: my mother introduced me to a new green tea. It's called Monkey King and is done by Numi Tea. It's flavored with jasmine. Another one that I found is from The Tao of Tea and is called Jade Flower. I find it fun to watch the flower "bloom" in your cup or teapot.
Happy weekend everyone!
You may be throwing money down the drain, but not much else.
In fact, homeowners who do not perform the requisite fall maintenance on their eavestrough system are asking for a future headache(migraine maybe) — not to mention a hit in the pocketbook.
“The biggest mistake in terms of eavestroughs that people make is not cleaning them in the late fall,” says Laurier Belanger, owner of Gutter Express.
“There’s no point in doing it in the summer.
“The leaves fall in large quantities in the late fall, so that’s the time to take care of the situation.”
The ramifications of not doing so can be many and costly.
Leaves and other organic matter gather and clog the homes external drainage system.
Then when the cold temperatures of winter hit, problems happen.
“The whole inside of the eavestrough will become, in essence, a block of ice,” Belanger says.
“The end result in the spring, when temperatures rise, is that the roof, fascia board and the corners of the eavestrough system can be damaged.”
With proper maintenance, an eavestrough system should last homeowners anywhere from 25 to 30 years.
Aside from late fall, homeowners should endeavor to clean their gutters every spring, as well.
“The worst (debris) is in fall, but when spring seedlings split, if you have enough trees on your property, problems could also happen.”
All this good advice on eavestrough maintenance led me to have a colonic last week and I’ll just say that it was a very positive experience
Remember “Without annual cleaning (and good food choices), the longevity of the gutters is compromised.”
Well, we are back to “normal” spring weather. There’s already been a 5000+ acre forest fire about 70 miles south of us. Fortunately it head upward into the hills where there is still snow. The area also got a light rainfall which helped.
We are beginning to see a bit of green. Most trees now have buds and some have begun to leaf out. My hyacinths have blossomed and the tulips have leafed out. The grass (weeds) has begun to turn green, too. The swallows and robins are back. Within a couple weeks the trees will be filled out and the peninsula will be very lush. It is always amazing to me just how green and beautiful it is during our short summer. Yup. It is definitely spring!
Bears have been in trouble, too. This morning a momma grizzly and her three cubs made short work of a chicken coop a few miles away. Reports were that eight grizzlies were in that area snooping around and looking for easy meals. The jogger that was attacked a couple weeks ago is expected to mostly recover. I know we have a couple grizzlies and several black bears in our area (within a mile), but so far they have stayed out of too much trouble. The guns are loaded just in case they decide to visit our chicken coop. Things will ease off once the salmon come into the river and the moose and caribou have calved.
Tonight’s dinner was good and mostly compliant. I mixed ground turkey with ground buffalo to make a meaty tasting meal that had far less meat. My “A” husband has been doing quite well with avoiding red meat, so this was his special treat, yet still better than what he used to eat. Ground buffalo with ground turkey, onions, crimini mushrooms in a sauce made with soy milk, arrowroot powder and kamut flour and then served over brown rice. We also had a large platter of steamed carrots and broccoli. The vegetable crisper in my refrigerator has decided to freeze any veggies we put in there, so the salad greens were overly frozen and unedible. No salad tonight.
Well, I just got off a very busy day in rx land. Sometimes, on days like today, in order to decompress, I find myself driving the opposite direction from home. I headed down Lake St. to St. Paul and stopped into Legacy Chocolates. An adventure within itself. Please, please check out this website and indulge in your ultimate chocolate fantasies:
If chocolate is a drug (I think it is), especially at the concentrations of 70-85% cocoa that I buy these truffles, then Sonja, the salesperson, is my pimp. She knows just what I need to re-charge me simply by offering samples of the goods. Here in St. Paul this is a mini-center of the universe. Sonja was sampling some coffee that the owner of the chocolate shop picks specifically to sell. This is the smoothest cup of coffee I have ever had in my life! No milk of any kind was necessary to enjoy this bitter-free blend of percolated beans that are never burnt. It was so darn good, in fact, I found myself buying a bag of Fair Trade Organic Mexican Aultura that was just roasted today. I haven't actually tried this particular blend, but if it's anything like the other stuff I just had, I'm in for a treat when I bust out the French-press tomorrow am.
This is a very simple chocolate shop. But anyone who enters the gates will be sucked into buying the finest chocolate crack available in the Twin Cities. There is no turning back once Sonja has you in her sight; you are hers for the entire "drug-deal." Wow, I'm so glad I found this place! Now if only my pocketbook agreed....
So presently, I'm sitting in a coffee shop two doors down sipping some wonderful honeybush tea by Numi. After all that caffeine at Legacy, I figured that I should probably go for a decaf beverage just so that I can use the computer. I left the charger for my laptop at my uncle's house in Cedar Rapids on my way to Chicago last week. That trip whole other story, but for now, I must go. I must inseminate everyone I know (and maybe a few random strangers, too) with these chocolate truffles.
Happy reading and happy eating. Wow, is it really May already? It's so darn cold up here in the cities. Longing to Tempe warmth once again...