Archives for: September 2005
I just made the best beef stew ever! I mentioned earlier that I was advancing my BTD level to mostly super-beneficial and beneficial foods. Things have been going very well in the food department the past 10 days. The stew was an experiment using the customary root vegetables (carrots, beets, turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, and onions) plus a variety of greens. Using greens was the experimental part.
I used my large crock pot to prepare dinner. After a spray of vegetable oil, I placed collards cut into 1 inch strips on the bottom of the crock-pot. Collards take quite a while to become tender, so I figured they’d get a faster start down on the bottom. Then I added the cut up root vegetables and celery. Next I added the beef chunks and topped that with a variety of greens (Swiss chard, kale, beet greens, and parsley). Two quarts of warm water was poured over the mixture with about one tablespoon of veggie-sal. As I got a later start than I wanted, I turned the crock-pot up to high and left it at that for 5 hours.
When it was finished, I filled our bowls with the most delectable and tasty stew/soup I’ve ever made. The greens added so much flavor that everyone ate their fill. Now, I know that this will be the recipe I’ll use in the future. Greens aren’t as scary to use as I thought they would be. Who knows what I’ll come up with next!
To tell you the truth, the entire weekend was fabulous! Very relaxing! I visited the Renaissance Festival on Friday since this was the last weekend of the season. I bought some beautiful yet practical pottery made by local artists and enjoyed all the usual festival delights: the turkey leg, the mead, and the fake british accents that seem to get worse every year.
Saturday was very nice! After spending the day tending to housework, Grubster came by and we planned to go to dinner and possibly a movie; somehow that never happened but we did get a nice night jog in around my neighborhood and drank some tea together!
The next morning we woke up, had some tea, eggs and ezekiel toast with honey that I bought at Ren Fest (collected by a local beekeeper who won the MN State Fair blue ribbon two years in a row. This is the best honey I've ever tasted!). This was followed by a quick trip to his apartment to pick a change of clothes, a cup of coffee and an apple for me! This O man's worst vice is coffee. He just can't shake the habit as hard as he tries!
We then headed downtown to a Vikings game (vs. New Orleans) at the Metrodome.
Whoa. What??? Me? At a Vike's game?
OK, let me explain. My realtor emailed me to ask if I could use two tickets to Sunday's game. While I'm not so much into sports, how can one turn down an opportunity to partake in one of Fall's most fun festivities? Strangely it seems as if the game goes by much more quickly when you watch it live. Last week when I told a co-worker that I'd be attending the game, she was quick to dismiss any trace of fun and spirit I'd experience with, "Oh, they suck this year."
Well, perhaps it was because they were playing a team who's home is no longer a home due to the chaos of Katrina but they played quite well and the Saints did put up a good fight during the second half of the game. Because of Katrina, while I enjoyed seeing all the spirit the locals have for their home team, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the Saints!
Strangely, I didn't expect to have as much fun as I did and brought the Sunday Strib along just in case I got bored but found that I really enjoyed being part of the crowd! I also enjoyed making a mess with peanut shells all over the bench. (Hey, they are good for As!). Grubster really enjoyed the game and said I'm driving if we ever go again because he wants to be able to drink more beer next time, haha.
Later that day, we visited the Mall of America and we bought absolutely nothing (OK, I bought a truffle at Godiva but that's it!). I tried on petites at Ann Taylor but the salespeople were way too pushy.
Here's some awesome news though....I fit into their size zero petite pants!
I figured that's good PR news considering this is supposed to be a blog to promote the diet, haha. I've come to realize that when you focus more on improving your health from the inside out, you look better from the outside in. I got into the BTD back in 2002 because cancer and heart disease run in my family. I stayed on it because the scientific concepts and theories made sense to me. I promote it because it works (for me, anyway!).
Well, we ended our night at French Meadow Bakery and Cafe uptown. We had a gastronomically adventurous flight of olive oil, butter, manchego cheese, and chicken liver followed by a pasta dish for Grubs and a miso salmon dish for me. I also sipped on a nice organic wine that went well with the flight but clashed horribly with the salty salmon. Oh well. Key lime pie to go...I was too stuffed to eat at the restaurant! (So much for those size zero pants, just kidding.)
It's so nice having Grubster in town! We had some major ups and downs when he first moved here but it seems that giving each other the space to breathe and live in separate homes is exactly what we both needed after being long-distance and living alone for so long. Being cramped together in a 650 square foot loft apartment in downtown Minneapolis this summer before I bought my house was quite a rough way to try to start a life together. I knew it wouldn't be easy but I didn't think it would make things so chaotic! Kids: don't try this at home! Literally!
Oh, yes, pop culture!
It had been so long since I hung out with Rachel Ray, Emeril, and the Iron Chefs with such brain-numbing bliss....no, I take that back. Watching the Food network has engaged my creativity and brought some unique ideas for meals into my brainstorms. Wait, don't forget Alton Brown. Oh, this is heaven!
When I moved into this house, I decided it was time to re-subscribe to Basic cable (versus the limited $12/month lineup I survived on for the last three years). Of course, the "sweet deal" I got will end in a few months and I may have to reconsider my current cable addiction but for now I feel like I'm getting back into this world I've ignored for too long. This, HGTV, Comedy Central, and TWC are being watched like no tomorrow in my spare time. I mean, I just wish I had two heads, one to watch the Food Network and one to watch HGTV because I just don't know which one to watch sometimes!! I thought putting the TV in the basement would perhaps deter me from becoming glued to the boob tube, but when you combine this with wireless internet it's amazing what you can accomplish from this angle, such as what I am doing right now.
I'm a bit concerned about the next hurricane. Someone dear to me lives in New Iberia, and I hope he and his family stay safe during this rough upcoming weekend. Gosh, it's times like these I'm glad I live in Minnesota! Besides the tornadoes and crazy snowstorms, there just isn't as much to worry about.
Well, today at work I ordered the pizza of all Pizza from Pizza Luce. Brace yourself: This beauty packs broccoli, spinach, red onions, roasted garlic, basil, black beans, and feta cheese all on a bianca sauce with mozarella abound. I call this the Erika pizza. The best pizza you'll ever eat but the worst gas you'll ever get afterwards. Oh, but believe me, it tastes so good and with so many fresh A-friendly ingredients, it's worth every fart.
Anyone looking for a date? You bring the vino. I'll bring the Beano.
Yeah, well, OK, on that note I have a mega headache right now that's been building since early in the work day. I need to lie down and relax with some lavender. I'm almost to the middle of this Renew Life Cleanse and it's going so much better than I remember back four years ago when it seemed way too harsh. This time around it's so much better. My skin has never been clearer! I will definitely do this cleanse again perhaps next spring.
It seems like there was something else I was meaning to blog about but for now I must veg out with Iron Chef America. The secret ingredient is hamburger. Hmmm...is this some form of self-torture? I should really be going to bed.....
I really like Mexican food, but it can be hard to find any that is okay for AB’s since a large percentage of it has corn and peppers somewhere in it. However, today I found another dish to add to my list of Mexican food that is okay for AB’s. Chiles Rellenos!
Yes, I did just said we are not supposed to have peppers and then immediately suggested eating a dish made of chile peppers. Here’s my reasoning: we can have chili powder. Many of the chili powders are too spicy for me or otherwise bother me. I wondered why. I also wondered why AB’s could have any chili powder at all in the first place since peppers are avoids - seemed like a real contradiction to me.
After trying many different chili powders over the past two and a half years, I noticed a common denominator: the ones that I could have, with no negative side effects, were always made with ancho peppers and other assorted spices, but never ever with any other type(s) of peppers.
Now, our B nature can have peppers so it is my theory (which means this is NOT official blood type diet information) that while our A half is generally dominate regarding the status of peppers, that the B “peeks through” and allows me to have the anchos without any problem.
Chiles Rellenos are made with poblano peppers (what fresh ancho peppers are called) that are battered with frothy to-the-point-of-almost-being-meringue egg whites, pan-fried until golden, and then sauced with a tomato based sauce. Serve them with sides of Spanish rice (use vegetable broth to dilute plain tomato paste or some plain tomato sauce and then cook the rice in the mixture with a bit of oregano and/or chili powder - not chicken broth and forget the bits of diced bell pepper) and mashed, seasoned, pinto beans with a little oil, and heat it up to make re-fried beans for AB’s. Garnish with some shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream and enjoy with a fresh crisp green salad. Now you know what I had for lunch today!
Hint: make your own sauce for the chiles rellenos otherwise you will most likely end up in Avoid City.
Mail bag time: “G” would like to know how I make pie crust and says that a crust that is fine for B’s as well is needed, too.
When I make pie crust (as I will be later on this evening or sometime tomorrow if it gets too late tonight) I just use whatever pie crust recipe I used in the past and play the substitution game: spelt flour for wheat, cold clarified butter for butter and/or shortening, a bit of sea salt or kosher salt instead of iodized salt, and a bit of ice cold filtered water. This works well for all blood types IF they are secretors AND IF do not have any health issues such as being gluten intolerant.
Note #1: Since the clarified butter has no milk solids in it, I use about 2/3rds the amount of butter and/or shortening that the original recipe called for. All other ingredients that I substitute are the same quantities as the original ingredients.
Note #2: Clarified butter gets somewhat grainy when it’s chilled well enough to make a pie crust. This does not change the flavor any and to my family, it’s not noticeable in a crust, but it can be noticeable like if you use it in something that is supposed to be creamy. For this reason, I suggest that you only chill as much as you will need to make your crust(s).
There is no steam released as the butter heats up that normally would help to puff up the crust (because it evaporated when you clarified it), this means that the crust will be denser than “normal” crusts.
Note #3: Clarified butter that has been allowed to over cook just a tiny bit is what is called browned butter. It has a slightly sweeter and nutty flavor and more of a deep gold color when compared to the regular yellow clarified butter. Next time you make your clarified butter, make a second pot of it and brown it slightly for use in baking desserts. It is also very good with Indian foods, especially curried cauliflower.
What am I going to do with my piecrusts? The first one will be for a tomato tart. A friend of my husband had too many tomatoes for everyone to eat so I slow roasted mine. Roasted tomatoes (also called candied tomatoes) are an Italian tradition as far as I know and a very tasty way to use up lots of tomatoes in a hurry.
All you have to do is this: clean, core, and dry your tomatoes. Cut them in half across their equator and place them cut side up on a baking pan. You want a pan instead of a cookie sheet because you need the lip or rim around the outside to keep the juices and oil from running off and getting all over the bottom of your oven while they cook.
Drizzle the cut tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle them with a bit of salt. Next, you can either season them with some Italian seasoning or some herbes de Provence or whatever strikes you as sounding good or you can just put them in your oven. Cook them at anywhere from 250*F to 325*F for two or three hours, depending on the size of your tomatoes and the temperature of your oven. When they are done they will have shrunk to about half their original size, be shriveled, and still be very juicy inside.
Note: This process can be messy for the inside of your oven because the oil that you drizzled on the tomatoes likes to spatter as it and the tomato juices heat up. I suggest lining your baking pan(s) with something to make clean up easier. One more thing: do not stack the tomatoes on top of each other or to put it another way cook only one layer of tomatoes per pan at a time.
So why do some people call them candied tomatoes? What happens is the sugars that are naturally in the tomatoes caramelize or candy (hence the name) and the water in the tomato evaporates. This leaves you with very little compared to the original bulk of the cut tomatoes, but they have a super concentrated taste. The concentrated flavor is super sweet if compared to that of a regular tomato or that of a tomato that has been dried rather than slow roasted.
I had two full jelly roll pans worth of tomatoes before lunch. Now that they have been roasted, they only take up about half a loaf pan's worth of space. They are going to be the tart filling when I combine them with some odds ‘n’ ends of grated cheeses, caramelized onions, and an egg to help bind it all together.
The second pie crust will be for a pie. Honey-crisp apples (which happen to be my own personal favorite apple variety) were on sale this week so I’m making a Dutch apple pie. Yummm.
Fall is all in its golden beauty! The birch, cottonwoods, and willows are displaying their fall colors. Unfortunately, as soon as we get a fairly brisk wind, the leaves will come floating down. Then we’ll have barren trees until next May or June. The temperatures have been fairly mild, sometimes reaching sixty degrees daytime and in the thirties at night. A few weeks ago we did get below freezing, but we’ve not had another freeze since then. We’ve had lots of rain, but also several beautiful partly sunny days, too.
While going into town the other evening, I crossed the bridge during high tide. Our highest tides are around the full moons and new moons. April, May, September, October and November have the highest and lowest tides. This week, the high tides have flooded the river’s banks and flowed onto the flats (wetlands). During those times we may have a 28 foot water depth difference between the high and low tides. Anchorage has even a greater difference between their highs and lows (by almost 10 feet more). In April the high tides help melt any remaining snow so the snow geese will have food for their rest during migration to Siberia, and for the Canada geese, cranes, ducks and swans, too. I suppose the winter over-flow helps protect the vegetation during the winter.
With all the help from people on the BTD forum, I’ve learned a few things this week. Although I have followed the BTD for two years, there were many beneficial foods that I either didn’t eat or ate rarely. This week I learned that you can roast root vegetables much like you would potatoes and then freeze them for other meals. I’ve never seen frozen beets, turnips, parsnips, etc. in the grocer’s freezer, so I assumed they wouldn’t do well. I roasted lots of beets (my favorite), turnips, rutabagas, carrots, and parsnips. My freezer is too full of salmon to freeze them now. My refrigerator keeps food very well chilled, so we are eating from this prepared bounty at every meal!
Greens are another food category which has been under utilized. For the most part I would use the greens in fresh vegetable juices, but not much else. Well, some nice people on the forum gave me a couple recipes and I found more in some recipe books. Per a forum suggestion, I’ve reheated about a cup or so of braised kale or collards then used them as a ‘bed’ for some fried eggs. Wow! Although I am still getting used to eating greens for breakfast, I must admit that I am very pleased to report that they keep me full for hours! They really curb my appetite! What a surprise!
Also, my nighttime snack has been sliced and reheated beets in olive oil, sprinkled with nutritional yeast and kelp! Very tasty and satisfying! Another impressive discovery! If I have a late night snack, I find that I do sleep better. Breakfast occurs for me about three hours after I wake in the morning. Someone on the forum suggested that was a “Warrior’s” meal plan.
I looked around at all the health issues in my family and with my friends. I decided that I really don’t want to experience them. I truly believe that health is found in the foods we eat, therefore, I made the decision to strictly follow the O Blood Type Super-beneficial and beneficial food lists for the health risks to which I am inclined. That includes learning to enjoy foods that seem foreign. So, on to the next step!!!
One of my stores is having a ridiculous amount of turnover in the pharmacy. All of the technicians have found better paying tech jobs in the metro area (enough said). Today we had four new kids in the store, one who is just here for a week to help out as he is just an intern on rotations, but three who have all been working a year or less.
I didn't want to scare them away with the BTD because there just wasn't enough time to explain what it's all about but I wanted to order them a pizza to help boost morale. Pizza Luce is a local pizza parlor chain w/delivery here in MPLS (and Duluth) (www.pizzaluce.com for more details). I brought up this place as a possible lunch option and one of the techs was in accordance with me that their baked potato pizza is the absolute bomb. So I decided to get the veggie version for everyone. Of course there are also tomatoes on top as if the potatoes aren't harsh enough on my system without Deflect anywhere near here. But you see, potatoes are comfort food for me and the last two days I've only had eight hours total sleep. That's another story all together.
Well, the pizza and caesar salad were fabulous but I doubt it will help me with the Iyengar yoga class I've started and will be attending in the next half hour. I want my joints to be happy and that probably won't be happening tonight when the sleep deprivation is combined with the lectin activity. Ugh.
Well, one of the reasons I didn't get a whole lot of sleep started on Friday evening. I had so much to do and was stressed out just running through the to-do list in my head. Nevertheless I tried to go to bed by 11 pm. Not happening. My next door neighbor had a party and it was getting louder by the minute. I figured, well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I was upstairs and yelled down at them, "hey, y'all having a party?" And they were like, "come on down!" It was some guy's birthday and they had all these kickball and softball team people there. A girl who used to live in my apt complex downtown who has the exact same birthday as me was there. She was exactly the same as I'd remembered her back then.
Well, then the next night, the neighbor one house down from the next door neighbor was having some band play in the garage and holding an alley party. I missed this as I had to work late, but joined up for the jam session from about 11 pm to 2:30 am and still had to work at 8 am the next morning! It was worth every minute of sleep I lost, however. I brought my guitar and drum (the same one I brought to the drum circle at IfHI!). It was such a blast! I found that I really love drumming when these baby boomer hippie guys are playing all their folksy 60s and 70s music when I don't know words or chords. Just providing the percussion is part of the fun. The neighbors next to this couple were also having a party which was even louder than us. I didn't realize I lived on such a happening block! I thought it was all families w/kids or elderly. With all this in mind, boy I love owning a house versus renting an apartment! The garden alone makes it all worthwhile!
The next night (last night) was very healing. I can't really get into it but a nice lite veggie side dish dinner on a patio at a Cuban restaurant Mojito, massages using the Young Living products while listening to baroque, and many hugs were the order of the evening. It ain't over till it's over. It's one of those moments when you realize that we all have immense power. We can either use it to love ourselves and each other or to destroy ourselves and each other through harsh thoughts, words, or actions. Embracing love seems to make more sense. It feels a hell of a lot better, too. Life's too short to be upset.
I just read Suzanne Graham’s blog about the cravings that are easily kicked off in O’s by eating wheat. It’s got me wondering how I’m going to do this afternoon at a bridal shower. The fact that it has a luncheon as part of it is bad enough, but I also know that almost everyone that will be in attendence other than myself is on the South Beach diet. I hope I can find something. I really DO NOT need another bout with the “sugar monster” either.
Because of my recent lack of time due to my temporary work schedule changes my husband has been taking me out recently. That gives us time to catch up with one another before he has to go to work (we are working opposite shifts now, too - grrrrr). There was a salad that I came across that was really nice and would be super easy to duplicate at home that I want to tell you about.
The base is a standard spinach salad (spinach, hard-boiled eggs, a bit of red onion, grated swiss cheese, lots of sliced mushrooms) plus a few cherry tomatoes. The difference was that instead of bacon (an avoid for everyone) or turkey bacon they used smoked salmon and sliced toasted almonds. Also, instead of the usual vinaigrette dressing they used a honey mustard one. The combination was really nice.
I have found a new show on TV that I have been taping so that I will have something to watch while on my Nordic Track when it starts raining again on a regular basis instead of just off ‘n’ on like it currently is. That is so good. I had been starting to really wonder if I was ever going to find anything new before October when Fall starts in ernest around here.
As Fall is fast approaching now, I have started thinking about pumpkin carving. No, I’m not talking about Halloween. I’m talking about carving pumpkins. A carved pumpkin means several things in addition to the arrival of fall. One - it’s just plain fun to carve ‘em. Two, easy one dish pumpkin skillet suppers and pumpkin pies. And, three, the aroma! My mom told me about this idea:
After you are done carving your pumpkin and are about to light it for the very first time turn the lid upside down (or in my case the whole thing since I cut out the base and sit the pumpkin on top of it so it’s easier to light) and sprinkle it with pumpkin pie spices. When they heat up from the burning candle the house smells like you just made a pie!
Well, I gotta end this blog now, I have a shower gift to go wrap and a VCR to program with taping instructions for the weekend since I’ve ended up having to work part of it.
As you can see from my photo, I am a follicly challenged. It’s been close to ten years since it all fell out. Since then I have tried every concoction and remedy and diet. Currently about 30% have grown back and I’m not counting on any more to (probably because I have no desire to). I have tried to use my misfortune as an opportunity to poke fun at myself and make others laugh.
For example if people ask me how I lost my hair, I’ll say ‘I didn’t lose my hair - I’m a hair donor. I give my hair away to people who are less fortunate than myself ’. – and I’ll point to someone who has lots of hair. I will than add, ‘the Hair Club for Men refused to let me join. They said you have to have some to get in’
Or I’ll say ‘ I wear great ties because I know no one is ever going to come up to me and say…Mike – great hair!’ The hair thing has been beneficial financially…for example… I use no shampoo or conditioner. It takes very little time to shave my head, giving me lots of time to work on other beauty areas.
Last week someone wanted me to describe myself over the phone so I could be met at a coffee shop. I said…I’m six feet tall, about 170lbs, my hair is very, very short and practically all of it’s missing.
My favorite is walking into a salon in an indoor shopping mall and asking the receptionist (with a straight face) if she can fit me in for a quick cut…the look I get is priceless.
For men out there who are loosing it, there are two ways of looking at it.
1. Oh my gosh, I’m loosing my hair, woe is me
2. There’s not much more to loose
Hopefully I have made it easier for you to see it go.
As you all know, I love trying new weird foods. Well, to be more accurate, this is a food that has been around for thousands of years but I had yet to try these intriguing Muscadine grapes.
Well, here's my verdict on them: they may be best kept on the vineyard to make wine. Too acidic (the corners of my mouth burned as soon as the juice hit them!) and a hassle to chew. They taste like Sangria though which I found semi-appealing.
I have decided to get into the Young Living Essential Oils. It's taken me a long time to finally purchase these oils but it was time to make the move and give them a whirl. Now, I realize that Gary Young is blacklisted all over Quackbusters or whatever that website is, and the dirt is quite extensive, but hey, you know what? I really like the oils.
Oh, and, don't forget, the BTD is all part of quackbusters as well. Though not really with dirt but more with your typical, "there is no evidence" or "there is no scientific proof"... blah blah blah. You know what? I AM the scientific proof. How's that for evidence?
A very good friend who has decided to go back to school has made the move to supplement her income by becoming a Melaleuca salesperson. In general, I like the company because it's heading people in the right direction. The company is trying to convert Tide and Cascade users to more natural means of housekeeping and keep our earth healthier than what is currently being done.
However, some of their products are not as natural as I'd get at the co-op (e.g. triclosan-based hand soap, corn syrup-based energy bars, etc.). And any multi-level marketing always seems a bit tedious to me. I like to feel free and not bound to anyone or anything as much as possible (especially now that I have a mortgage, haha). Becoming a "preferred customer" is one of those jedi mind tricks that we love to hate and can't help getting sucked into sometimes, but hey, the products are fun and useful and I feel good buying them. I mean, hey, my poor starving grad student friend is profiting off my purchases so that she can take her background in exercise science and dig deeper into the world of nutrition. How can that not feel good?
Well, I've decided to do a month-long Advanced Cleanse by the Renew Life company. While I realize there are some A avoids lurking in the mix (Rhubarb, red clover leaf, etc.) I felt it was definitely time to do this as I don't think I've done a thorough liver cleanse/detox in a long time.
It was ESPECIALLY important to do this after all that state fair food. Ugh.
Man, there is definitely something not right about fast food. One day last month I stopped by Burger King on my way to pick up my family from the airport, I ate their "buffalo sticks" and their hershey pie. I swear within the next few hours, one hour went by where I felt practically suicidal. No idea why. Just this overwhelming depression.
Fast forward to today. I'm coming down with a cold, I'm in the beginning stages of a cleanse, and I only got about an hour of sleep last night if even (tossed and turned! not usual for me at all, but given life circumstances, not unsurprising). Well, despite all that, I really made it through the day with very little cognitive or emotional instability. I had mixed baby greens for lunch. I had a protein bar later on, an egg for breakfast, oh, and some nasty junk (cinnamon roll) at an annual work meeting mid-morning, but somehow I still did OK. Now I'm about delirious though and very ready for bed.
Question of faith: it seems when life is getting us the most down, we turn to God for answers, for hope, for comfort. Coming from a psychological standpoint, is this nothing but a primitive defense mechanism fine tuned by spiritual leaders to keep people of society from shooting one another or is there really a God? It seems like faith is one of those things you certainly are not born with, but is an acquired trait. It's not something you can just come up with. It's work. And it's work I need to do, not from some crazy evangelical standpoint, but from the inside out. Hmmm, but in some sense, don't we all?
A couple weeks ago my husband and I bought a Memory Foam mattress for our bed. For the past couple years we’d been sleeping on air, but that was no longer very comfortable. So, we shopped around and found this one on sale. What a difference! Most of the morning aches and pains have gone.
Because this mattress is stable, I am able to do low back stretching exercises just before I get out of bed. That has made quite a difference in keeping my back and neck in place and makes walking much easier, too. Then, once I am up and the tea water is heating, I do a few more stretching exercises. Now, that isn’t aerobic, but it is helping with my back problem and I am finding more energy! That is good. I may still get out and do some walking before winter hits.
Less back pain equals more baking and cooking. In turn, the guys are all pleased with meals and desserts that actually require recipe books! Last night I used the recipe in Cook Right 4 Your Type for Curried Lamb. It was fantastic! We put it over brown rice. Even Muppet went wild over that when he was given a little for himself.
Tonight we had meat loaf made with buffalo and applesauce, sautéed yellow summer squash and more rice. That was also a hit, especially with Muppet.
Muppet is nearing 15 years and in the past couple months has become rather brazen. He is no longer willing to sit idly by and wait for any leftovers to be delivered to him. He actually sits beside me on the couch as I eat. We use our dining room table, but not for every meal. Anyway, tonight as I was eating he reached over and onto my plate where he removed a piece of buffalo meatloaf! He had no intention of waiting because I assume he thought I might eat it all and leave him out. He wasn’t taking chances. Now, he would never have gotten away with that in his younger years. I suppose I’ll just have to eat at the table more often. That way, he’ll still be on the floor and just begging relentlessly.
This incident reminded me of our cat of years ago. One night I fixed liver for dinner. While we were at the table, Cinderella leaped upon the table, grabbed the entire piece of liver off my plate and was gone! All in one smooth move. She had never done anything like that before and never did so again. No, we didn’t end her life over that! I just figured that there was something in that liver that was necessary for her health and she knew it. We didn’t take it from her or scold her. Maybe it was that way for Muppet and the buffalo meatloaf tonight.
Today was mostly sunny. The high was in the low 60’s and currently it is 49 degrees. We had 12 hours 59 minutes, 48 seconds of daylight. That was a loss of 5 minutes 30 seconds over yesterday. Sunrise was at 7:29 a.m. and sunset was at 8:29 p.m. (almost half an hour ago). At 1:04 a.m. we had a high tide of 17.8 feet. A low tide was at 9:07 a.m. at 1.1 feet. Another high tide was at 2:52 p.m. at 17.6 feet. The second low tide will be at 9:23 p.m. tonight at 5.4 feet. We live where the tides are the second highest/lowest in the world. It is interesting to see the extremes as we drive across the river near the mouth of the inlet.
The state's extremes yesterday were 67 degrees at Seward and 34 degrees at Ugnu-Kuparuk and Prudhoe Bay (where the gas pipeline begins).
Until next time…take care and thanks for reading my blog.
“P” has asked for the recipe for the spice cake I mentioned in my blog back on April 18th.
The cake layers:
3 cups white unbleached spelt flour
1 Tab (15ml) aluminum free baking powder
½ tsp (2.5ml) kosher salt
2 tsp (10ml) Korintje cassia cinnamon (any cinnamon you like will work fine)
1½ tsp (7.5ml) nutmeg
½ tsp (2.5ml) each: cloves and ginger
2/3 - ¾ cup clarified butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 whole large chicken eggs, beaten
1¼ cups (300ml) fresh goat milk
2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract
I cannot type out the icing recipe that I used because it was from a copywritten cookbook. I can tell you though that any cream cheese icing will work and that I used sour cream instead of milk. I used twice the amount of sour cream as milk was called for.
For the cake: Measure out your spelt flour and sift it or pass it through a strainer into a medium bowl to be sure there aren’t any lumps. Add the baking powder, salt, and spices to the flour. Mix them all together with a whisk.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the clarified butter and sugar. Then, add the eggs to the butter and sugar and mix it up again.
In another bowl combine the goat milk and vanilla.
Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/eggs. Mix it up. Add about 1/2 of the milk/vanilla. Mix it up. Keep doing this until all of the ingredients for the cake are in one bowl and well combined.
Divide the batter between two 9” cake pans whose bottoms have been lined with parchment or waxed paper.
Pick up a filled cake pan and drop it about 3” from the top of your work table so that it hits hard enough to force any trapped air bubbles to the surface, but not so hard that it spills or slops the batter out of the pan. You do not have to do this part, but if you don’t, you may have a holey cake - tasty, but possibly holey.
Bake the cakes at 350*F for about 45 minutes. When they are finished baking, the cakes will pull away from the sides of the pans and be springy when you touch them.
Cool the cakes in the pans on a rack for about 10 minutes. Then, loosen the edges, and turn them out of their pans onto a rack. Peel the paper off, gently flip them right side up, and cool them completely. While the cakes are cooling, make your frosting.
After the cake is frosted and decorated to your liking, cover it loosely with plastic wrap and store it in the refridgerator.
NOTE: If you feel that an entire 9” two-layer cake is more than you need, you can halve the ingredients and make a single layer cake. I’m not sure I would bother to make the frosting if you decide to go this route because the sugars caramelize nicely on the top of the cake anyway.
I have not been answering any of my blog comments/questions recently because I have been gone on vacation. This week, I will be answering everyone as best I can through my blogs because most of the questions I received seem to be of general interest as I have received them several times since I have been blogging.
The first questions I will address are about the spelt products I have mentioned in my previous blogs. Because these questions related to specific brands I would first like to be very clear that these items are not the only brands you can buy. They are not the only stores that you can shop at nor am I associated with any of these companies in any way. These just happen to be the ones that are available reasonably close to me and that my own family likes. They may or may not be available to you where you live.
Breads: I generally purchase them at Whole Foods, Wild Oats (formerly Nature's Northwest), and New Season’s Markets. The brand that my own family personally uses the most is Nature Bake.
Tortillas: These are generally purchased at either Whole Foods or Wild Oats and are made by a company called La Rosa.
Phyllo/Filo Dough: Generally, I can get one made by The Filo Factory. It is packaged in a predominately green and white box and is found in the freezer section. Sometimes, I have to special order this item. This product does have a little bit of cornstarch in it. I do not think it would be possible for a company to make and package this type of dough without it getting all stuck together without the cornstarch. It is certainly more compliant than the other types I can find that are made with wheat, cornstarch, and assorted fillers.
Pastas: The only avoid free spelt pasta that I can get is called VitaSpelt and is made by Purity Foods. Some of the shapes I can get are in the same stores as the previously mentioned spelt items are while some shapes I have to order directly from the manufacturer. Their web address is: www.purityfoods.com. The website has all of their products, ordering, and contact information on it.
Ready made desserts that don’t have to be special ordered: Joseph’s Bakery items are available to me at Wild Oats. The premade spelt cookies that I purchase are also from Wild Oats, but Joseph’s Bakery does not make them. I have not been to the grocery yet since we returned from vacation and I am drawing a blank now as to their brand. I will try to remember to answer this in another blog later this week. I would like to mention though that the cookies are not AB compliant. We get them for my husband who is an O secretor.
Later this week (hopefully, tomorrow) I'll answer more questions that I have received.
I hope everyone's week is off to a good start.
As I write this, there is a lovely silver salmon with a medley of herbs, wrapped in foil and baking in the oven. The herbs are all organic and most are grown hydroponically in a local greenhouse. Their fish medley pack contains parsley, lemon balm, mint, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, and lemon basil. I also squeezed a fresh lemon over the fish before wrapping tightly. It will be accompanied with steamed rice and sautéed fresh zucchini slices.
This is likely to be the only silver salmon for the year. My husband and a group of buddies spent many hours of “torture” fishing a couple days ago and they only brought in 5 silvers. There will be enough left-overs for at least another meal. The silver season hasn’t been very good and is practically over now. Oh well, we still have been blessed with a king salmon and 40 some reds. We aren’t lacking for salmon this year.
A friend brought us some moose sausage today, too. That package lasted almost 10 minutes! Oh, was that good. Sure hope to be the beneficiary of a few packages of moose and caribou this year. So far the hunting seems to have been good for those that hunted.
This afternoon I made my spelt-kamut bread and an applesauce cake. Now that it has become cooler during most days, it is easier to do the baking again. For the past couple weeks, the high temperatures have been in the mid-fifties to the low-sixties. Nights are usually in the mid-to-high thirties. We have had one night with a temperature down to 25 degrees. The trees are beginning to change color, the fireweed is gone, the snow is fresh atop the three volcanoes we can see from here, and we are down to 13 hours of daylight! We may well have snow within a month and almost always before Halloween.
Today I worked on our emergency provisions. Although I usually have more than a month’s supply of food in the pantry, I realized I still didn’t have enough water put aside and things were somewhat scattered. So, I have begun again getting emergency supplies to a central locations and making sure of adequate water for an extended time. Our biggest concerns are earthquakes and either windstorms or avalanches taking out the electricity. Volcanic ash usually keeps us housebound for a just few days.
A few years ago the peninsula was accessible only by plane (weather permitting) because there were over 20 avalanches blocking the highway between here and Anchorage. There is ONLY one road (about 150 miles) that goes there and no detours available. Food was flown in to be delivered to the grocery stores.
Well, it’s about time for me to finish preparing dinner. Till next time…
I believe William Blake said once that every time you make a higher awareness it is proceeded by a fall. I fell several weeks ago. The organization that I had worked hard for 7 years terminated my employment without cause. Just like that…no warning or justification…just ‘thanks very much’…’here’s your severance package’. I know many people have gone through this same scenario some time in their life. When it happened I started to recollect my next door neighbor (love you Mrs. Koffler wherever you are) as a kid saying to me in a thick Jewish accent…’Michael…be a doctor or a lawyer when you grow up…they’re always working’. I can’t disagree with her advice but I recall seeing a study that these two professions actually have lower life expectancies when compared to most professions. These few weeks off so far will probably add a few years to my life expectancy (people have commented how much more relaxed I look lately…no argument there). I have been eating so O compliantly since being home which has contributed to my good demeanor even though out of work
I can honestly say that looking for a job today is a lot easier with the internet and all than it was 7 years ago. There are hundreds of Sales Manager positions to choose from. With the severance I got, I can afford to be selective and not take the first thing that comes across my desk. Even though out of work, I have kept to my routine of waking up at the same time every morning as I would if going to work. I sit at my desk in my home office the same time as if I am at work. I get up to make my green tea at 10:30 etc, etc. My job now is to find work but in my early 40’s I am torn at times as to what I want to do next career wise. They say it takes twice as long to find work if you are thinking of changing careers (more like recreating oneself)…usually 6 months. Side note here…If you’re trying to recreate yourself by being on the BTD diet don’t stop if you don’t see immediate results…give it time.
You usually get so much advice from friends and family that is becomes a little overwhelming at times. At the same time you’re caught in a struggle between your ego and you heart as to what you should or really want to do. Your ego on the one hand usually believes your are something you are not and usually promotes a lot of turmoil. Your heart, which is the source of your passion, is trying to push your ego aside trying to contribute some wisdom to get through all the noise that’s happening in your brain. I’m experiencing a bit of a battle of wills right now but the messages are coming in loud and clear.
It’s times like these we should all consider ‘sharpening the saw’ and presently I am sharpening two skills. One is typing…yes I am typing this the conventional way (with all my fingers, not just two) at a whopping 15 words a minute which is not bad after a week of daily typing exercises. I might want to write a book some day and my eyes are tired of looking up and down all the time. Seeing what you type as it appears on your screen in real time is quite liberating. The second skill I am brushing up on is my public speaking skills. I joined a local chapter of Toastmasters. Who knows, you might see me on the speaking circuit talking about the BTD to mass audiences some day.
If I were still eating like I was before the BTD, I would probably be really depressed at this point in my life. I would be swimming in a continuous brain fog of not knowing what to do (eating wheat will do that to you if you are an O)
Remember…when you experience any falls (eating too many avoids etc) while being on the diet…you will most likely be rewarded with a higher awareness as to what is going on inside you after you eat them…honor them…they are divine.
Well, I spent all day Sunday eating really, really bad stuff for me at the MN State Fair. Among the technician, Elana, her significant other, and his folks and their friends, we gouged on things that we didn't know existed.
Then, as I walked into the Health Fair booth to have my cholesterol checked (a non-fasting test quite obviously...), I decided to see if this type A secretor diet was really working for me since the last time I tested it last year as a non-secretor. Sure enough, things were very good for me!
(Of course as this was a non-fasting, LDL and triglycerides were unavailable.)
Knowing how well things are working for me made it easy not to go back to the fair for a second time on Labor Day.
That is good news.
Well, as I have not blogged lately, I've been quite busy with house stuff, relationship stuff (for what it was worth as I'm pretty sure it's over now), and joining a gym. It really feels good to join a gym! I really missed lifting weights like I used to in college. I'm not so hot on all the cardio, but in small doses it relaxes me at the end of the day. I'm starting up pilates next week and am super-excited about it! This particular health club has a salon which offered a lymphatic drainage massage. I received this and first a facial from an aesthetician who also practices the BTD! Not only that, I found out her MD, Michael Dole, puts all his patients on it and that's how she found out about it in the first place! Crazier yet, his office is in my neighborhood! Is that strange fate or what? I have to meet this guy!
Well, besides not having internet in my house yet (I put this off till the last minute and you know how backed up those companies are when in comes to installation), so I'm doing this in a coffee shop. Nicely, they offer FTO (Fair Trade Organic) coffee. Can't beat that!
Till next time....
Well, It has definately been too long.........
Summer was great, but I was a very bad blogger. :-(
Now that I've been on the Blood Type Diet for over a year now, people are starting to take me more seriously. :-) Just yesterday, I was having a great diet discussion with some new friends at a Labor Day party. When they asked me what I did to stay in good shape, they seemed generally interested in ERFYT. TRULY AMAZING since most people I run into I end up explaining myself when they really don't want to hear this information or care to believe it & then have to defend myself the entire evening. Or like how my father in-law still offers me pork chops & shrimp even though we see them once a week.....
But instead I was talking to a group of peers that were health concious as well. One had heard of BTD, another was on South Beach, and the 3rd was a vegetarian who happens to be an A so she was very interested since BTD of course fits & confirms her agenda.
It was a potluck BBQ. I brought an eggplant to grill & added slices of part-skim mozzerella cheese on top....so yummy & fixed an asparagus casserole. I couldn't find my mom's famous recipe so I found this one online. It came out pretty good, a definate easy meal/side dish if you have AB & B kids. Here it is:
MARIANN ASPARAGUS CASSEROLE
1 can asparagus, drained but keep juices
2 boiled eggs, sliced
Put asparagus into casserole dish and cover with sliced eggs on top. Cover with white sauce. Grate cheese over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
WHITE SAUCE (TOPS ASPARAGUS CASSEROLE)
2 tbsp. non gmo Earth Balance spread (available at TJ's & WF)
1/2 c. asparagus juice
2 tbsp. flour (I used brown rice flour & soy flour)
1/2 c. milk (goat)
Mix ingredients. Stir constantly over medium heat. Pour over asparagus and top with cheese.
The original recipe online didn't say what kind of cheese so I used CHEDDAR as it's a neutral for AB's and B secretors & is the cheese used in my mom's MIA asapargus recipe. GOAT MILK was used as opposed to moo juice as well. Goat milk is great for lactose intolerant people and is neutral for A secretors & beneficial for us AB's & B's. I also found that it came out a little too goey for my taste. If you like things firmer, cut the asparagus juice to 1/4 of a can - that's what I'm going to do next time. :-)
Although I love Whole Foods, sometimes I just get a craving for regular cereal, like the kind I grew up on. The "store" version of RICE CHEX from Pathmark is great with only one avoid ingredient "Malted Barley Flour" Barley's fine for us but once they malt it, no good. Since it's like the 5th ingredient & I often wonder how much malt they really use, I consume rice chex with organic soy milk at least a few times a week. Note, when I actually read the trademark Rice Chex box, they have MORE avoid's listed in theirs! Be sure to compare your local store's brand with the actual Rice Chex for the most benefical option. And for those of you who miss the taste of cow's milk, I've found combining the goat & soy milk together tastes incredibly similar. Give it a whirl!!!!
This year, at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, several new records were earned for produce. Although our summer season is very short, the sunlight and warmer temperatures made for wonderful growing conditions. The highlight was the 942 pound pumpkin grown on the Kenai Peninsula. Other state records were: watermelon 168.6 pounds; Marrow (zucchini-like squash) 90.05 pounds; winter squash 569 pounds; parsnip 4.25 pounds, corn height 13’3”; table beet 32.45 pounds; white radish 13.15 pounds; and yellow zucchini 14.25 pounds. Last year’s state records and world records were a cantaloupe, turnip and kohlrabi. The paper didn’t list the weights for those. This year’s largest cabbage was 85 pounds.
The 11 year old girl that babied that large cabbage to full size said, “We had to make sure the moose didn’t get it.” Moose seem to have their sonar out for cabbage, broccoli, and other crops and visit the gardens the night before you plan to harvest.
Much of the produce entered into the fair is donated to a homeless center in Anchorage to help with their feeding program. They also benefit from some of the roadkill moose.
I baked up a couple really good cakes this week. One was a Maple (syrup) and Walnut coffee cake using spelt, kamut and oat flours. The other was a large Carrot, Pineapple and Walnut cake. I used spelt and kamut flours with that one. When I went to bed last night there were still 8 squares of cake on the plate. When I went into the kitchen this morning there was nothing left! I’m betting that the twins snacked before they went to bed. Either that or a burglar broke in and decided the cake was too tempting to bypass.
Wheat flour is easy to replace and baked goods taste even more delicious when I use a combination of spelt and kamut flours. Sometimes adding oat flour seems to give a heartier consistency. Next, I want to try adding in some amaranth flour (about 15%) to see how that holds up and tastes. I’m almost to the point of blending large and proportionate amounts of the flours into a big container for less hassle when the baking urge hits. Then I’ll only need to scoop flour from one container instead of three or four.
Till next time…