Just a quick blog to say that I LOVE THE KEG! Some coworkers and I went there for lunch yesterday and I had what I consider to be the best restaurant meal available for me – steak with sweet potato fries! Of course I love steak, but I also LOVE sweet potato fries and wish that they were available in more restaurants. Luckily I currently live around the corner from another place (Summit House Grill for anyone in Toronto) that serves them, but I am moving soon…
I also ordered their “frizzled” onions, which are thinly sliced, breaded, and fried. Wheat = not good for me, but onions are beneficial, right? I love the taste of onions, but it is hard for me to eat them because I don’t like the texture. The frizzled onions are perfect because they are crispy and very oniony. I don’t go to The Keg often, so when I do I indulge. I must have eaten too many yesterday because I am still feeling a touch tired and generally “weird” from the wheat.
I still have four goodbye lunches to eat with various people at work before I am finished on the 28th, and I’m hoping I can eat at least one more of them at The Keg.
Yes, I know it is already February (and not even the beginning of the month), but it has taken me until now to settle on my New Year’s resolutions. I have a poster on my wall full of advice and quotes, one of which says “Write down your short and long term goals four times a year. A class study at Harvard found only 3% of the students had written goals. 20 years later, the same 3% were wealthier than the other 97% combined.”
When I was in high school and university, I never felt motivated by writing goals, probably because they were already laid out for me and reinforced by everyone around me: get into university, finish university, get a job. But what comes after that? Living happily ever after? Now that I have checked some things off the list, figuring out what I should be doing and what constitutes success is much harder.
In 2004 I realized that I was on the wrong career path for me. I don’t believe there is one perfect career choice for everyone, but I do believe that whatever you work at should be a vehicle through which you express the best of yourself and use your core talents, whatever your “job” may be. Writing resolutions in 2005 was an important exercise, because I had a goal of moving to a career that suited me better. I had to set goals regarding money, personal development, research, etc. I also made resolutions about diet, exercise, and daily habits. Here are a few highlights from my 2005 resolutions:
I gave up potatoes, which I thought would be hard but wasn’t! Late in 2004 I realized I just didn’t want them anymore, so in 2005 I went with that feeling. Boy, it sounds like I’m talking about something much scarier than a small brown lump of food… Bonus benefit: I lost 7 pounds at the beginning of the year without trying. I do not need to lose weight, it just came off without making any other changes and it has stayed off.
I saved more money than I even aimed for! I was already saving, but I knew I could really maximize it and I finally had something worth sacrificing for. Retirement saving just isn’t that exciting when you are in your 20’s!
Finally, I worked all year long toward being accepted to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and I achieved my goal in late December. Without setting goals in my New Year’s resolutions, this would not have happened. I needed to prepare emotionally, intellectually, and financially.
So, without further ado, here are this year’s resolutions:
1) Follow BTD portion/frequency guidelines: I want to eat more vegetables and reduce my dependence on nuts and grains.
2) Follow the Leptin Way of Eating (LWOE): This means sticking to meals, without snacking in between, and stopping eating at least 2 hours before I go to bed. I experimented with this a bit last year and found it very beneficial to me both mentally and physically.
3) Complete the following protocols: Yeast Fungus Health Support, Liver Support, and Skin Support.
FITNESS & STRESS REDUCTION
4) Follow a consistent and challenging fitness regimen: In 2005 I struggled a bit with exercising consistently and I saw my stress level increase as a result.
5) Reduce stress through meditation and breathing: Last year I discovered that I benefit from meditation and breathing, particularly before bed. This has not only helped me sleep, but also helped me adopt a more patient, accepting attitude.
6) Create and abide by a simple, frugal budget: This is key to making ends meet for the next 4-5 years while I concentrate on my education. My biggest spending area (other than school and rent) is groceries. Food is very important to my health and happiness and I do not want to sacrifice quality, but there are many other areas that I can reduce my spending. I want to own less “stuff” and have more experiences.
7) Nurture my personal relationships: This means keeping up with email better, keeping in touch with people now that I won’t have a car, and being a caring friend and family member.
KNOWLEDGE & PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
8) Watch less TV: This is mainly a weekend problem, as I will sit and watch total junk on TV for hours to relax. I made progress here in 2005, but it makes the list again because it also ties into getting more sleep, spending time with people, etc.
9) Blog regularly: I am enjoying blogging a lot, so I want to make it a priority this year. I’m aiming for at least one blog per week.
10) Read the following books: Automatic Millionaire, Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia, and Meditation as Medicine. These are the same books as were on my list for 2005! I am almost done Meditation as Medicine and I am working on the Encyclopedia.
Wow, this has been a busy week with too much sugar! Hence the title of this blog...
On Tuesday I had a martini (first time I’ve had non-red-wine alcohol in months, possibly a year) at a work function. Not a huge deal, but really unnecessary for me to drink at all. I don’t drink much alcohol of any type anymore, only red wine, which I love. I really just had the drink because I was waiting for the event to start and I was bored! Plus the drinks were tied into the whole event theme and it was fun.
The following night, my team went to an event called “Chef Live” during which a gourmet chef teaches you how to cook your meal while you are eating it. There were two chefs there – one was working exclusively with sugar which he softened with a torch and used to make sculptures! First, we each had to go up and make a little pitcher to hold sauce for our dessert. Then he took requests for other sugar sculptures – he made a swan, hearts, a bear, a guitar, a rose, a dolphin, etc. He used the torch to soften different colours of sugar and a pump to inflate it and make the shapes – like blowing glass. Near the end someone called out “make an angel” and he did – it looked like a figurine! This guy was seriously talented, too bad his medium is an avoid for me…
At the same time, the main chef walked us through our dinner, showing us how to make tomato consommé (soup course), salmon bow (appetizer), veal rack with sweet potato risotto (main course), Stilton ice cream (cheese course), Tranquility (fountain of raspberry sauce over chocolate filled with orange mousse), and finally Friandise (strawberry with balsamic vinegar). I tried everything since this was a great opportunity to enjoy such gourmet cooking and techniques, but it wasn’t all good for me.
Wow, if there is one cheese I dislike, it is Stilton! I found it so easy to give up dairy when I started the BTD – I’m not a fan of cheese, dairy makes me feel awful, and it is pretty easy to recognize when it is in a dish. However, I did try the Stilton ice cream and found it totally disgusting! The chef even had a huge wheel of Stilton out was scooping chunks out of it for people to just eat – ew! I also dislike vinegar – the smell and taste repulse me. I can’t eat regular salad dressing, because the vinegar taste is so strong to me. I guess this is another blessing since I’m not supposed to eat any vinegar anyway!
The whole dinner took about 3.5 hours. It was interesting and the food was good, but WAY too much sugar involved (why is it necessary to add so much sugar to food that already tastes great?) and it was more a show than a satisfying meal for me.
This morning I made waffles for breakfast. I got a Belgian waffler for Christmas when I was in high school, and this is the first time I’ve used it in at least 5 years! This was a treat for my boyfriend (type A), since amaranth is beneficial for him, but I made sure there were no avoid ingredients for me too. This is not the ideal breakfast for an O-nonnie, but I had fun making up the recipe and the waffles were yummy with some ghee and a touch of maple syrup. The perfect meal to eat while watching the Olympics. Here is the recipe:
(Makes about 8 waffles)
(OK for all types except B secretors)
1 cup amaranth flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
1 Tbsp baking powder (homemade: 1 part baking soda, 2 parts cream of tartar, 2 parts arrowroot)
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup ghee
1½ cups milk (can substitute soy milk, rice milk, water)
1) Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2) Combine the wet ingredients separately in a small bowl.
3) Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until smooth.
4) It is best to let the mix sit overnight before use, but not necessary.
5) Brush oil or ghee onto the griddle plates and preheat.
6) Use a ladle to pour about ¾ cup of mix onto each side of the griddle (each waffle).
7) Close waffler and let cook for about 8-9 minutes, or until the waffles stop steaming.
Note: This recipe can also be used to make pancakes.
No major cooking today, just the usual blanching of kale (red kale this week) and drying a batch of beef jerky. When I move, my dehydrator will be stored at my dad’s house (surprise Dad!), so I am making jerky as often as possible until then! Homemade beef jerky is incredible - whenever I share it with people, they always want more! I also make turkey jerky, but I need to fine-tune that recipe before it is fit for public viewing. Here is the beef jerky recipe:
Beef Jerky (makes approximately 50-60 4-5 inch long pieces)
1 kg (2 lbs) ground beef
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1) Mix spices together.
2) Add to meat and mix thoroughly.
3) Load meat into jerky gun and extrude onto dehydrator trays in strips.
4) Dry at 155 degrees F for 1 or 2 hours, then blot with a paper towel to remove oil.
5) Turn strips over and continue drying for about 2-3 more hours, blotting as needed.
6) Strips are done when they splinter when bent, but don’t quite break.
7) Store in Ziploc bag in fridge for about 1 to 2 weeks.
A dehydrator is a great tool for any type to make compliant, portable snacks. I have mostly used it for jerky, but I would like to dry more fruit or even make fruit rollups. I love dried mango, so I think that will be something to take a crack at. This could be dangerous, as I am not good at eating anything that I like that much in moderation…
I had some extra ground beef, so I formed it into a hamburger patty and will cook that up for dinner. I love burgers, but I don’t usually eat them on a bun. I have the occasional Ezekiel bun at my boyfriend’s house, but I can’t keep any in my house because I will end up eating them all! I don’t have a noticeably severe reaction, but I do feel sluggish (and my waistline suffers) if I eat them too often, and I am convinced that grains are not an optimal food for me.
Despite all the discussion about whether Ezekiel bread is OK for O-nons, I am still not entirely clear what the status is. The only questionable ingredient is malted barley, but I wonder if that is different from barley malt (avoid). According to Merriam-Webster Online (www.m-w.com), malt is “grain (as barley) softened by steeping in water, allowed to germinate, and used especially in brewing and distilling”. This provides a nice loophole for me to think that malt is similar to sprouted barley, which is neutral… OK, I know this is reaching! Does anyone (Dr. D?) want to chime in and give malted barley an iron-clad avoid label for me?
Anyway, on Friday I was browsing the Whole Foods bread section for the first time ever (on behalf of my type A boyfriend) and found some (almost) compliant kamut and flaxseed buns! I like kamut! I like flaxseed! The only avoid ingredients are honey and sunflower oil, both lower down on the ingredient list. So, I bought a package to try and had one yesterday. They are very yummy, but a little too soft and sweet for hamburger buns. I have no really yearning for actual bread (just something to put a burger on), so I am relieved, since if they were fantastic I would probably have an issue not eating them too much…
As you may be able to tell by now, I am an “all or nothing” person, so my success on the BTD depends on accepting that there are some foods that I simply cannot include in my life. Ever. This defies the claims of most mainstream health “experts”, who insist that one can eat anything (in moderation), even fast food, junk food, and non-food (ie: xanthan gum, Splenda, etc) and still be healthy, thin, and energetic. However, there is more than one type of person and that one-size-fits-all advice just doesn’t work for me. I admire those who can truly enjoy moderation – I think they are rarer than most of us believe. I am not one of them.
It was not until 2005 that I discovered that I love to run.
I was running regularly (indoors and out) and weight-training to build muscle when I started to have knee pain in the summer of 2004. I got a foot assessment and fancy new shoes – they didn’t help much. I enrolled in a Learn to Run clinic (through Running Room: www.runningroom.com), but I could barely complete the first session, which was 2 minutes walking/1 min running! So, I broke down and saw a sports medicine doctor, who recommended some physiotherapy and exercises. I was able to start Learn to Run again in January 2005.
To be honest, I was bored and frustrated for the first few weeks – my whole body was capable of moving faster and working harder, except for my knees. I had to force myself not to push too far, too fast. I resolved to follow the program to the letter, never moving beyond the week’s assigned program. For the first half of the clinic, I was consistently at the back of the pack with people that were much older than me and in much worse shape! However, working up from walking to running and diligently doing my stretches and exercises began to pay off, until I was at the front of the pack during the last month of the clinic! I ran my goal race (5K) in March and finished even faster than I expected.
I learned so many things from this experience. First, I learned to actually ENJOY running at 8am on Saturday morning in minus 30 degree celcius weather! This is a major plus when you live in Canada… I learned the importance of taking BREAKS. It is easy for me to forget this – I tend to rush myself faster and harder than is necessary or is healthy for me. I learned that I don’t need to be THE BEST at everything I do! Sometimes personal growth is more important than external competition. Finally, I learned to walk before I could run, literally!
I think running/walking is wonderful exercise for any type. Anyone can start walking or alternating 2 minutes walking/1 minute running. You can move as fast or slow as you are able, you don’t need much equipment (just quality shoes), and it gets you outside alone or with friends, enjoying fresh air, sunshine, and getting to know your neighbourhood. It is meditative - you are truly alone with yourself and away from the stresses of everyday life. Running is passion – it is what children do naturally, because they are free, excited, and full of joy. Don’t we all want to feel this way again?
I admire Cheryl’s determination in pursuing her walking program. Her passion for health inspires me. I enjoy Laura’s blogs, particularly “Extremists Never Win”. She writes exactly what I am thinking and clearly throws herself into everything she does, including running.
I am also a passionate person – sometimes I feel like I have so many thoughts and feelings inside me that I will burst! Exercise, particularly running, is truly an outlet for me. Passion is power, when it is harnessed and used positively. This year, I am working on harnessing my passion and directing it positively – more about this in another blog.