For the past several years, I’ve been juggling the nutritional needs of 4 different people. Since both my oldest daughter and I have a SWAMI, and my younger daughter and son are two different blood types, I’ve had to co-ordinate 4 different food lists for nearly a year. Yes, there’s a lot of overlap between our food lists, but there are still subtle differences between each of our ideal diets, not to mention individual preferences. Hannah really enjoys vegetable soups, in all weather, and it’s just about the only way I can make sure she eats enough veggies. The only fruit she’ll eat plain is granny smith apples, and I’m not supposed to eat apples at all. Leah’s SWAMI gives her 6 times the amount of fruit that I get.
Now both of my daughters are in sleep-away camp for a month, and there are only two of us in the house. Things were very hectic this week, with packing and running around buying last-minute items. I tried to buy “just enough” of the foods that they eat that we won’t, but I didn’t work it out perfectly. I have a nearly-full jar of homemade tomato sauce that I put in the freezer. There’s one small granny smith apple that Hannah didn’t finish. We have two over-ripe bananas and a whole pineapple that I’d better find something to do with quickly.
I’ll probably freeze the bananas for smoothies for Jack, and dig up the juicer for the pineapple. I simply can’t finish up all this fruit before it spoils! If I juice the pineapple, I can freeze it in small portions, and use an ounce or two a day in green tea. I need to encourage Jack to eat more fruits and vegetables, but it’s doubtful he’ll eat slightly over-ripe bananas or pineapple by itself.
I’m glad I didn’t have to make a vegetable soup this morning, when it’s hot enough that I’d rather eat a salad for lunch. Later today, I plan to go food shopping with Jack. I’m looking forward to buying the foods we’ll both enjoy, without cluttering up the kitchen with foods we won’t eat.
Yogurt was always something that I would eat if it was there. Not something I would go out of my way for. Not something that I would avoid.
Since starting first the BTD, then the GTD and finally on SWAMI, yogurt has never been a choice. Not an option in the classical sense of a bacteria-infested clump of semi-solid dairy milk.
Times have changed and it wasn’t SWAMI that did the changing. Over the past few years I had considered making a non-dairy yogurt. For one thing, it looked interesting. The frugal part of me considered it a less costly supply of probiotic supplement. The inner chef wanted an option for replacing sour cream from time to time. So be it. After doing some reading on the site and elsewhere around the internet an inexpensive yogurt maker was acquired and the festivities commenced, resulting in repeated batches of tasty, bacteria laden stuff.
After having made a fresh batch every week for a couple months I am pretty confident about a few things. First, having a bit of cultured goodness on a regular basis has had a more noticeable positive effect than the amount of probiotic supplement I had been using. Second, the stuff is neither difficult nor time consuming to prepare. Third, one can forget about having something thick enough to spread over culinary delicacies unless one is willing to add lots of stuff that I am not willing to add.
My current recipe uses a bit of ghee and larch arabinogalactin. Both were added for thickness, the larch to provide extra food for the bacteria as well. There is a lot I still don’t know about yogurt and yogurt making. Experiments with the recipe over the coming months might be educational. The most important thing is that I’m enjoying yogurt as a snack about five times a week and it seems to be helping.
Baked Crispy Chicken and Eggplant Romano
Cod, Asparagus and Sweet Potato
Most people know that a lack of sleep causes cognitive impairment but not that your digestive tract gets out of whack and you eat more.
I was listening to the radio the other day and a study had been done and it was discovered that people who work into the early morning hours or start their day in the early morning eat much more food and gain more weight.
It made sense to me but in s slightly different way. I have noticed over the years that if I am put into a situation where I have to get up very early in the morning (4 or 5 am), I do eat more but my digestive tract gets disrupted and gives me that “uneasy” feeling for the rest of the day.
Since I started using Dr. Dadamo’s blood type specific probiotics many years ago, this problem is minimized and I am able to get my gut ecosystem back on track much quicker.
If lack of sleep is your kryptonite like me, be sure to keep your digestive system working properly with Dr. Dadamo’s Blood type specific Probiotics.
I had mentioned that compliance was a bit harder for a couple days, but I've done pretty well anyway. Part of the problem is that apparently I have a rice allergy. I rarely eat rice lately (this week), but I did once and got a little sick the next day. Then I had a UNI bar, which are lovely, if you're not allergic to rice...a great meal replacement for those times when you forget to eat a meal... but they have rice protein in them, and I got sick. Something about getting sick, is it really weakens me and my resolve, so I did have a square of ghiradelli to "rebuild my strength" LOL. That doesn't work, but I did manage to not have any more. White rice doesn't bother me as much as brown, but I've sworn off refined carbs, so quinoa is it now.
After that, I have felt a need a few times for a "treat" but I have realized and kept telling myself that it's not a "treat" if it's not healthy. So last night I made pizza, and for my crust I went the grain free route. It did have a little sheep milk dairy, which seems to agree with my hunter-ish body. So it was 1/2 cup pecorino romano, 2 eggs, and 1 cup flax meal, a little garlic salt, oregano and basil. Pre-cook in 350 degrees for 8 minutes, top and cook another 15 minutes. It did the job. I topped it with mostly vegetables, some pecorino romano and sheepsmilk feta, and some fresh slices of tomato. It was filling and good, and didn't make me sick (even with all that fiber).
So that was a lovely treat. Another treat was homemade gingerale. So I bought one of those sodastream machines, so I don't have to keep lugging cases of pellegrino. With it, I carbonate filtered water to drink plain or mix with whatever. I've blogged before about making gingerale, but basically I grate up fresh ginger and boil it in water, then filter the ginger out, add honey or agave, and add to sparkling water to taste. That has been a good occasional treat. I try to keep the sweeteners very occasional, but when it helps me avoid worse stuff, it's worth it. I still keep my green tea unsweetened, especially early in the day as anything sweet early in the day starts my cravings swinging.
Breakfast is my favorite meal, and the easiest for an O like myself to make compliant and grain free.
Basically it is different variations on spinach and eggs. Usually I have some onions and sweet peppers on hand, so I saute those first in some olive oil, throw in any other vegetable that needs softened up, then add some fresh spinach leaves. Then add eggs, salt, red pepper flakes if desired, and stir until done. Throw in leftover meat from dinner too! If you want more flavor, try a tiny sprinkle of toasted sesame oil and umi plum vinegar.
If eggs aren't an option, or if you are out of eggs, instead add broth and turn it into a soup. A bit of seaweed is a nice addition, as soups like this are a standard breakfast in Japan.
Yesterday was a harder day to be compliant, not sure exactly why other than busyness and a few small things not going as planned. I remained determined and kept up 95% compliance. That was hard, but not as hard as getting back on track later.
A facebook friend posted that she had a soup recipe that called for kale and she was looking for a substitution since she couldn’t find kale at the grocery store in our Hill Country town. I commented that I had never had any trouble finding kale locally. As far as substitutions, I said that any other green should work in a soup recipe, but that kale was worth looking for since it was a beneficial food for everyone.
By then I was hungry for kale. The next day I was in Wal-Mart, and there in the produce department were beautiful bunches of kale. Of course I bought one.
I soaked a pound of black eyed peas overnight, and yesterday morning I started them cooking on low heat in the crock pot with one chopped up onion and two minced cloves of garlic.
When the black eyed peas were just barely done - about midafternoon - I removed half of them from the crock pot. I tore the leafy part of the kale into bite sized pieces and put them in the crock pot. After turning the heat to high, I let them cook for another hour.
The first thing I noticed was that the house didn’t smell like kale. While I think kale tastes good, it has a bad smell when I cook it by itself. Whether it was the crock pot or cooking it in the black eyed pea broth, I don’t know, but there was no smell.
I gave my Honorable Husband the plain black-eyed peas. He does not like cooked greens. I ate the black eyed peas and kale together and thought it was delicious. I probably should have added a little sauce, but in my opinion this was a good combination. Our Darling Daughter was home for the weekend. She, like her father, prefers raw to cooked greens. But she ate the combination and declared it to be good.
The moral of the story is - there is no end to the ways you can cook beneficial vegetables - and - never underestimate what you might find at Wal-Mart!
Is this too easy? I expected it to be harder. I guess previous experience/success, optimism about life, and a stubborn determination are working well for me.
3 days of 99% compliance: lots of veggies and beneficials, as much meat as I like (which isn't too much, probably the minimum for an O) and no big bad avoids. I was planning to have some grains, but haven't felt the need. If I ever feel like it, I'll make some rice pudding with brown rice and almond milk. After a meal full of veggies, sweet potato, and beef, I'm not craving anything. Wow. I love breakthroughs like that...sometimes things just come together.
I've lost one pound, many to go, but I'm thrilled to see progress in the right direction. I still need to get some superfoods from my favorite health food store, but the fresh veggie snacks I've cut up and put in the fridge have been a useful tool on busy days.
Ok, I do have one craving... seaweed! I think I have some, so I'll go "indulge".
Today I lit a fire inside myself. It all started with reading a blog of a local health guru about BTD. It was all the usual criticisms about BTD. For some reason, this time those criticisms made me mad. For other reasons I was just plain fed up and mad at myself because sure I can defend it online, but currently I can't stand up in person and say "this diet works, just look at me". Sure I'm pretty healthy, way healthier than I was in my 20s when I found BTD and changed my life by following it... back when I left behind my healthy granola with a side of S.A.D. diet. But that is not what the first impression would be for somebody looking at me. I know how to lose weight with BTD, I know how to follow it, I have lost 40 pounds on two occasions with it (followed by two healthy pregnancies). But I haven't lost the weight from my second pregnancy, I've actually gained. So, I could stand up and say, "look at me, I haven't been following the BTD and look at the results of not following it"... for some reason that isn't too helpful. I've been gluten free, of course, but taking out gluten is not the only reason that BTD works.
That's the truth, the cold hard truth. My excuses have won: it's hard to cook and eat healthy meals when my children outnumber me, my body doesn't react negatively to the wrong foods like it did in the early days, we've had a period of a very very limited food budget and numerous financial stresses, (while I do think it is possible to eat healthy on a tiny budget, I do know it's not easy). I'm a stress eater who has been stressed to the max.
That's all over now though, the stresses that were out of my control are not gone. The children are older. We can afford to buy free range and organic whole foods. We had to move in with relatives, but will be moving back out on our own. In general, things are looking up in every way. While my kids are still higher maintenance than many kids, things are looking up. We all have appointments with occupational therapists for sensory integration problems that have plagued all of us for our whole lives (and play a big part in my stress eating), and I am hopeful it will make everything more manageable.
The best thing that happened to me today though was that I got miffed about that blog. Then I got fed up with my excuses and anxious to get to the point where I can convincingly help people who need the BTD to find and follow it . I weigh more than I ever have, but in one year I will have some awesome before and after pictures and an inspiring story to tell so that I can start helping others again.
I went through the fridge and threw out all the unhealthy foods that I was eating, and cordoned off the ones that other people in the house eat so that I won't even have to look at them. I put no feta cheese in my spinach and eggs this morning, I put no agave or anything in my green tea. No more sugar, very limited agave or honey, no more dairy of any kind, no refined carbs... more veggies, fruit, clean meats, and a few whole grains like quinoa and brown rice (about 1/2 cup per day). Snacks will include fresh veggies, nuts, cocoa beans, unsweetened dried fruit.
Time to get serious. In one year you can expect before and after pictures. June 13, 2013, it's in my calendar, come what may, the truth will continue to be told. I am stronger than my excuses.
Here's my new T-Shirt: Determination, the snack of champions.