For the most part I can do without the little graphics that have become popular on facebook. I would rather read what my friends write in their own words than see a graphic designed by a marketer who is paid to influence my opinion.
However, the designers of Dr. D's newsletter have put up two graphics recently that have fascinated me. I saved them because they have valuable information in a quick to absorb format. Here they are. Does the same thing jump out at you that jumped out at me?
For Type O me, there are two foods that overlap - top 5 for both energy and brain. They are seaweed and blueberries.
For the Type As in my family, there are also two foods that overlap - kale and cherries.
I buy fresh cherries every time they are on sale. Competition from Chili for domestic cherry growers has caused cherry prices to drop at a time when the prices for most produce is going through the roof. When I can't find fresh cherries, I can always find frozen cherries at Sams Club. So my Honorable Husband gets cherries often.
He does not particularly like kale. If I cook it, I invariably wind up eating it all. However, I've seen baby kale in the organic salad section of the grocery store. I think I could sneak this raw, tender kale into his salads. I'm thinking that it will be pricy, but probably worth it for a food that will boost both his brain and his energy.
We both eat blueberries often. They are in my breakfast at least two days a week. Seaweed however I have neglected. I have sushi nori papers in my cabinet that I use to make wraps. They are great for a picnic, but if I'm at home I usually make a bowl with meat and several vegetables instead.
I also have some seaweed flakes that, after they are soaked in water, make a fair substitute for noodles. They don't have much taste by themselves, but if I mix them with a sauce or some spices, they are ok. However there are almost always several leftover vegetables in the refrigerator, so I forget about the seaweed in the pantry.
Knowing that seaweed is not just beneficial, but top 5 for two important aspects of my health motivates me to eat more wraps, and mix a few seaweed flakes in with the vegetables in my bowls.
So spare me from political graphics, but keep the nutritional graphics coming. They are a good way to remind me of super beneficials.
Summer fruit is in the produce department! I bought nectarines and they were sweet and delicious. I bought grapes and they are juicy. I saw watermelon and my mouth watered...but I walked on by.
I have learned that watermelons are tasteless until June. I have bought April watermelons and they are terrible. I have bought May watermelons and they are disappointing.
It’s better to wait, but it sure is hard. We love watermelon. There will be a watermelon in the refrigerator continuously from June until September, and I will serve it at least every other day. For one thing it is so refreshing on a hot day. Unless the drought breaks, there will be plenty of hot days this summer.
It is a great source of lycopene, a phytonutrient that all men, particularly senior men need. Tomatoes are avoid for my Type A husband, though he eats them occasionally. But watermelon is actually a better source of lycopene than tomatoes. I want to give HH’s body the opportunity to store as much lycopene as possible.
Our deer family loves eating watermelon rind. We have watched them fight over it; the nursing mothers kicking the yearlings away. We haven’t seen any fawns yet this year, but at least one of the does has a noticeable milk sack. So I know they are hiding in the bushes, wondering why they are eating carrot tops and apple cores instead of watermelon.
The deer, like the rest of us, will have to wait until June 1 for watermelon.
The Bible says To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1
As that applies to weeping, laughing, gaining, losing, loving, hating. It also applies to watermelon. Verse 2 says - A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;
It’s not time for watermelon yet, but I only have to wait two more weeks.
Mother’s Day weekend was wonderful. I got to spend two days with both of my children. It was DD’s first Mother’s Day. It was Baby Dedication at their church, where parents of 14 babies dedicated themselves to raise their children according to the Bible, teaching them about the love of Jesus.
In the course of the weekend, the family did a lot of BTD eating and BTD exercising. BC is not ready to go to a restaurant yet. While he is likely to fall asleep in the car, there are no guarantees that he will sleep in a noisy environment. If he wakes, ready to nurse, that ends DD’s enjoyment of her meal. So we looked up menus on the internet, and ordered takeout. Saturday night we had Mexican food and Sunday lunch we had fresh seafood. It is encouraging to me to see family members making conscious choices about what they eat.
DD is being careful, eating all beneficials and neutrals. Even some beneficials and neutrals aggravated BC’s colic when he was a newborn. Now that he is 2 months old, he is able to tolerate his mother eating a wider variety of foods than he could in the early weeks. Our Strong Son made good choices on Mexican food, but chose fried fish over grilled. He said with a smile, “My philosophy is be careful what I eat during the week, and splurge on the weekend.” I can’t argue with that for a healthy young person. Far better to have that attitude about the BTD than to say “This is too hard” and quit altogether.
SS decided to train last winter for a triathlon. He has now done two triathlons, and been very competitive. He went for a long run, while DD and I did an exercise video in the living room. There were lots of squats and lunges in the video, and I was modifying quite a bit because squats and lunges often make my knees hurt.
My body naturally wants to do squats and lunges wrong. Whether it is physiological or whether I learned incorrectly; I don’t know, but when I do either a squat or a lunge, my knees go in front of my toes. Since my husband’s back surgery almost 30 years ago, he constantly reminds me to keep my back straight. If I literally keep my back straight doing a squat, my knees extend over my toes.
After we exercised, I asked SS about squats and lunges from his Physical Therapy perspective. Using his hands he demonstrated the joint action of knees when doing a squat or lunge correctly (lower leg bone perpendicular to the ground and knee never extending over toes) and incorrectly (knees go over toes). He described an incorrect squat or lunge as putting sheer force on knee cartilage.
He encouraged me to develop the muscles in my legs and retrain myself to do squats and lunges correctly. DD added that she naturally did them incorrectly as well, but had retrained herself. Here is what they advised me to do.
• Keep my weight far back on my heels.
• Practice as if I am going to sit in a chair. Back straight, weight on heels, lower leg bone perpendicular to the floor.
• Do wall squats, increasing the time I can hold the correct stationary position.
• Do wall squats with an exercise ball behind my back. This will let me practice the motion with correct form.
• For lunges consciously keep the front knee stationary with the lower leg bone perpendicular to the floor. Move only the back leg.
I can see that retraining is going to take some serious effort. My range of motion is really small when I do them correctly. SS assures me that as I practice and strengthen my muscles, my range will increase. He also tells me that learning to do squats and lunges correctly will help my patella femoral condition.
I wondered aloud whether I caused the patella femoral by doing squats wrong. He didn’t want to speculate about that - he is more interested in my learning to do them right. Sheer force on my knee joints is graphic - and highly motivating - language.
When I go out for Asian food, my first choice is Beef and Broccoli. Both the beef and the broccoli are beneficial for me. I occasionally try Pepper Steak on a buffet line, but I have found that the peppers are usually almost raw. I just don’t care for raw peppers, so I eat the steak and leave most of the peppers behind.
I was reading something the other day about how packed with nutrients bell peppers, particularly red bell peppers are. It made me look at my food lists. Bell peppers are neutral and red bell peppers are beneficial.
That got me to thinking about pepper steak, so I bought one green and one red pepper at the grocery. My ideal pepper steak would have onions along with the peppers. The vegetables would be soft cooked, but not mushy.
Today I decided to see whether the pepper steak I had in my mind would taste as good in my kitchen. I had super lean ground beef left over from earlier in the week. I used that instead of steak. While the peppers and onions were cooking I remembered that I had Braggs Liquid Aminos in the pantry. I decided to use that as flavoring instead of soy sauce (avoid for me because of wheat) or tamari.
I mixed it all together in a bowl, and took a taste. Delicious. Even better than my imagination. It would be excellent served over brown rice or quinoa.
While this would probably not qualify as bonafide Asian fare, it is a tasty food combination and (with the exception of the neutral bell peppers) it is totally beneficial.
I went to our local Farmer’s Market over the weekend. I’ve been craving kohlrabi, and the Farmer’s Market is the only place I can buy it. I found purple kohlrabi, and have been enjoying Kohl slaw all week.
I also bought Swiss chard. One of the venders must have had a surplus because the price was competitive with grocery store prices. Hurrah for supply & demand!
Every time I read about organic produce, I want to go organic. Then I go to the store, look at the prices, and back off. I would gladly pay a little more for organic. But when the price is two or three times as much, I have to evaluate whether the benefit is worth it. Being on a fixed income, the answer is usually no.
I wanted to buy carrots, but the best price I could find at the Farmer’s Market was $3 a pound. I picked them up and put them down. I couldn’t pay that much. The same with lettuce - a tiny head of Romaine was double the cost my grocery store charges for a large head.
My grocery store carries large beets - 4 inches or more in diameter. They take 45 minutes to cook in the pressure cooker. Then they have to cool down enough for me to peel them without burning my fingers. I can’t spontaneously decide to serve beets, I have to plan ahead and cook them early in the day.
The Farmer’s Market had a bin of organic beets that were about two inches in diameter. The price was reasonable, so I bought them. Oh they were wonderful. They cooked fast. They peeled easily. They were tender and delicious served with ghee and ginger.
I’m not sure whether they were exceptionally good because they were small or because they were organic, but I think it’s worth paying a little more for organic beets at the Farmer’s Market.