breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Posts tagged ‘diet’

Cooking … and cooking …

Kitchens and I … definitely a love/hate thing. LOVE successful meals, hate the cleanup. HATE experiments that fail, hate the cleanup. LOVE that my husband cleans up as a thank you for all meals, successful or not … at least most of the time!

Full disclosure time: I’m getting a little tired of all the cooking that Paleo entails. I think I’ve hit a wall of sorts. I know I will pass through the wall and come out into the sunshine again, but let’s fact it. I’m heading into my least favorite months … winter … where lots of cooking is expected … and that doesn’t exactly excite me.

Except for soups. I LOVE soups. And I have a crock pot and a Vitamix. Haven’t made a Vitamix soup yet, but eager to give that a try. Should be quick, don’t you think?

But today, I found a recipe on the Everyday Paleo website I’m going to try. Crock pot, chicken, coconut milk and spices.

Everyday Paleo Chicken Tomato Soup

 

Another Foodie Success

I HATED Chemistry. Hated it in high school, barely squeaking by with a low C. Hated it when I tried it again in college. Dropped the course and never looked back.

Come to find out, cooking is basically chemistry. You have all these different elements with unique properties … you make mixtures out of them … you heat them up or cool them down … and hope they end up edible.

So, I have always pretty much hated cooking. Elements don’t mix quite right for me, or I put weird combinations together, or I heat too much or too long, or I don’t cool enough or at the right time, or I just end up with a big mess.

Thank goodness all my children are better cooks than I ever was. Probably figured with a little effort, they could surpass my efforts easily … and they were right!

HOWEVER … Thanks to my children and some wonderful Paleo cookbooks and blogs, I have been experimenting more and enjoying more success with chemistry … er, cooking.

So before I forget tonight’s success story, I need to record it!

Yam Hash Browns

Three C’s and a G Yam Browns
Makes 1 serving

1 T. coconut oil
1 T. grass-fed butter or ghee
1 small yam (the one with orange inside), grated
¼ tsp. coarse ground sea salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. coriander
¼ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. ginger
1 T. almond milk

Melt oils in a non-stick skillet. Add grated yam, salt and spices. Let brown on one side, then stir and flip to brown the other side. Add almond milk at the end and gently stir to blend.

Summer Paleo Cobbler

Farmer’s Markets are the BEST! I scoped out the Boise (Idaho) Saturday Market this week with my daughter and two of her daughters. Three-generational outings make my heart smile!

Boise has a strong population of refugees. Many hard-working men, women and children lovingly nurture mini-farms as part of the Global Gardens program. We stopped at one of their stands and bought green beans and one bunch of a leafy African green (I can’t remember their name, but it started with an “m”. Let me know if YOU know what they are called and I’ll update this post.)

It was Berry Day at the Market. I picked up blackberries and boysenberries to share with my 92-year-old berry-lovin’ mother-in-law. (She loved them!)

In the evening I used them to make my No-Bake Paleo “Cobbler”.

Berry Cobbler

Coconut Milk, Agave Nectar, Go Raw Ginger Cookies

Making this Cobbler involves placing berries, coconut milk, cinnamon, and a squirt of agave nectar (depending on sweetness of berries) in a bowl, and crumbling the cookies on top. That’s it.

Summer Yummer, for sure!

A Bite Will Do It

My wonderful dietician has given me lots of hints …. all of which have truly pleased MyBrattyTasteBuds. One that I’ve been experimenting with is something MBTBs and I are calling BiteSmall.

We just concocted and consumed this BiteSmall:

banana bread with cashew butter

It’s half a slice of Paleo Banana Bread with about a teaspoon of cashew butter, rolled in a bit of cinnamon/palm sugar.

I discovered if I ate a whole slice of the banana bread, I experienced heartburn. I stayed away from the bread for a few days, and the heartburn disappeared.

So far, no heartburn with this BiteSmall! TasteBuds smiling as I write!

Addiction and Why Paleo People Don’t Eat Wheat

Last year, I mentioned a fact about my appetite to several people I’ve known all my life. These people have never had a weight problem. One belongs to an older generation, so she grew up on real homemade foods, and is an excellent cook. She does not eliminate any foods from her diet, but eats responsibly. The other is my age and has been vegan for many years.

I mentioned that no matter how much I ate, I never felt full. And along with that, I never really felt hungry. My appetite-o-stat was non-functional. I thought they would nod and say, “Yeah, me too.” I thought it was normal.

Nope. They looked very puzzled. Neither had any idea what I was talking about.

Those two moments started me on my quest to understand what was going on with me. I knew my weight fluctuations weren’t good for me, but I had been around lots of people who were on the same roller coaster as I was … hence, the feeling that there was something normal about it.

After reading about Wheat Belly I am wondering if MyBrattyTasteBuds were victims of a wheat addiction.

I did love bread. Breads. All kinds. One piece easily led to another. Sandwiched between episodes of bread eating was dessert eating. Sweet breads were my special delight. I won’t list them here because that would be kind of like remembering them in a worshipful way, which takes me to a dark place.

So perhaps MyBrattyTasteBuds didn’t really have a chance. Or really a choice. Once the wheat hit the system, it was BingeTime.

Dr. William Davis, in “Wheat Belly”: “For some people, wheat is addictive. And, in some people, it is addictive to the point of obsession… Understanding that wheat, specifically exorphins from gluten, have the potential to generate euphoria, addictive behavior, and appetite stimulation means that we have a potential means of weight control: Lose the wheat, lose the weight.” (page. 44).

[There is a lot more information about properties of wheat that apparently wreak havoc on our bodies in Dr. Davis’ book. On his blog, he makes this disclaimer: “Nothing here should be construed as medical advice, but only topics for further discussion with your doctor.”]

I am not totally wheat free, but I have cut dramatically down on wheat products. Like last night when cooking spaghetti for the grandkids, I taste tested a strand for done-ness. And I used a corner of a piece of bread to soak up some of the Paleo spaghetti sauce. But neither of those activities triggered a binge or even the desire for one. I admit to one piece of Ezekiel bread a day, but no binge trigger there either.

One payoff of eating Paleo for me? For the first time in my life, my appetite-o-stat is working. It feels AMAZING to feel hunger, eat the right amount of the right foods, and feel satiated afterwards. Understand, this is a new feeling for me.

And I’m *almost* a Paleo person who doesn’t eat wheat. Now I have a better idea why Paleo people don’t eat wheat.

Not Food

Thanks to https://twitter.com/#!/balancedbites for the idea! Grocery shopping is so much easier on Paleo! All of the items listed in this ad are NOT FOOD in my world, and there is no need to think twice about any of them. All have been manufactured to one degree or another. Manufacturing might lower prices, but it also dramatically reduces health.

Grocery Ad

Weird Week

The Brain: Weird part: prepping for a colonoscopy, which meant seven days of no supplements, three days of low fiber eating (white bread! white potatoes! no raw veggies! no raw fruits!), and almost two days of liquid diet (slurpee! lemonade! popsicle! milkshake!).

Weirder part: MyBrattyTasteBuds were grossed out. At first, they did an embarrassing happy dance about the white bread. They had such fond memories of their time with that stuff. The only white bread around was hot dog buns (from the grandkid stash), so I slathered some smooth almond butter on those bad boys while MBTBs squealed in anticipation. We took a big bite … of … AIR. That’s what it tasted like. Air. With a slight aftertaste of cardboard. Couldn’t even register the almond butter. Here’s the KickInThePants part: the hot dog bun was 110 calories of cardboard air.

Taste Buds: How in God’s Green Earth can anyone down a slurpee? I’m not sure when slurpees were invented, but we did NOT grow up on those things. We’ve had a sip or two over the years, but never an entire SMALL slurpee. We were driving up the mountain to a friend’s house and needed a clear liquid to keep our strength up while prepping for the abovementioned procedure. I’ll walk you through this. First sip … somewhat refreshing, but very sweet and awfully blue. Tenth sip … very, very sweet and even bluer. Last sip … disGUSTing. We were forced to abort mission with about two inches of neon goo left in the cup.

The Brain: The last time I had a colonoscopy, a benign polyp was removed. The polyp part was scary, but the benign part erased that fear. So over the years, I relinquished eating control to the MBTBs, giving in to their tantrums and letting them thumb their little noses at my stern nutrition lectures. I would give half-hearted efforts to reform, but if anything in the job/social arena broke my concentration, MBTBs were there to dictate. When I scheduled this colonoscopy, scary thoughts returned. What had I let MBTBs do to me? Even though I had spent the last ten months gradually changing my diet for the better, would there be more polyps?

Taste Buds: They gave The Brain some nice medicine for the procedure, and we were very relaxed. But we have to admit, we were a little nervous, too. We have finally (almost) accepted what The Brain insists upon: we HAVE to do our part in this health thing or there won’t be any more US. So as much as The Eyes wanted to close, we forced them opened and watched the entire show on the monitor. We got to see the place that has to deal with the results of our tyranny. We got up close and personal with The Colon.

The Brain: As I came out of the fog of sedation, I waited for the doctor to discuss the results and the plan. Those were the nurse’s words. The Results. The Plan. Thank goodness anxiety and sedation can’t coexist or I would have been pacing.

Taste Buds: The Brain let me tell this part: The Results … no cancer, no polyps, a little diverticulosis. The Plan: a high fiber diet. HA! We’ve GOT THIS! Amazingly and astonishingly, four days of a low fiber diet about did us in. Bring on the veggies! Make us a Green Smoothie! Some seeds, please! Fruit for breakfast and dessert. Oh, and a bite or two of chocolate …

Shhh! We’ve Got A Secret!

Don’t tell The Brains, but we, HerBrattyTasteBuds, hacked into her blog account and it’s OUR turn to post.

We’ve been biding our time to see how long this “diet” thing was going to last. While we relaxed, we did a little bit of poking around on the web. And we found this guy who seems to understand (and maybe even like?) us little sensory organs.

Listen to THIS! “Taste buds are malleable little fellas. When they can’t be with the foods they love, they learn to love the foods they’re with.”

What do you think of THAT? That enlightened piece of wisdom is straight from the mind of Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. (You can read the whole article containing that quote in the article Salt, Siblings and Shelf Life, April 23, 2010 here: http://www.davidkatzmd.com/articles.aspx)

Doesn’t Malleable Little Fellas sound so very much kinder than BrattyTasteBuds? And did you notice that Dr. Katz used the word “love” not once, but twice in the SAME sentence. He was talking about US, and what we are capable of!

So, The Brains made us something today that totally validates the wisdom of Dr. Katz. We are going to call it Taste Buddies Delight. What The Brains did was put all this stuff (and most of a banana) into her blender, whirred for about 40 seconds, and poured it all over us.

MAN! I want to keep it clean here, but we’re not called sensory organs for nothing! It was like bathing in the most beautiful sunrise you could imagine. It really woke us up and got us dancing!

So, maybe we will just re-direct any remaining brattiness we have left into hacking and blogging. Maybe we can convince The Brain that we want to be less bratty where food is concerned. Maybe we can even become her Taste Buddies!

Taste Buddies Delight

Ingredients for Smoothie

Blend all:
¾ banana
6 pineapple chunks
1 T pineapple juice
¾ c. coconut almond milk blend (unsweetened)
1 T almond butter
½ t. cinnamon honey
1 t. hemp protein
2 ice cubes

Resource for Stubborn Taste Buds

www.amazon.com

My daughter, who has been my role model for my journey this last year, recommended this book. So I just got the Kindle version, and now I can have everything at my fingertips.

This book has a great section on eating Paleo (which I’ve been *mostly* doing since January and dramatically reduced my LDL cholesterol) and a great section on the kinds of exercise I’ve been doing for 2 months (dramatically reducing the number of migraines I’ve had while increasing muscle tone, strength, flexibility). I don’t think the exercises are called Crossfit in the book, but the moves are the ones I do at my Crossfit gym.

It shows how to feed kids the Paleo way, and tells of how the author’s children benefitted (including some behavior improvements).

I am excited to try some new recipes!

The Weight Watchers Years

If you want to see how something can grow and change over time, study Weight Watchers.

My first introduction was via a work friend’s roly-poly aunt. I was 18 and thinking I was plump. I worked at a typesetting job (sitting) for eight hours a day, with breaks to amble next door to the Jack in the Box [the original building that was indeed a box with a Jack coming out of the top]. After I started the Weight Watcher’s plan, I ordered my hamburger with mustard only and choked it down with a diet soda. Oh, and there was tuna salad with mustard only on cold lunch days. And, I believe, lots of carrots, celery and meat with no condiments, perhaps half-slices of bread, and very, very little fruit. I could be wrong about what the actual plan was, but that’s what I remember eating. I did not go to any meetings, and I dropped the (maybe) 15 pounds I wanted to lose pretty quickly. Whew! That was easy!

Fast forward to birth of first daughter. NOW I am not just thinking I am plump, I AM plump. Very plump. And I’m here to tell you that breastfeeding had the opposite effect on me than it apparently had on every other nursing mother I knew, read about, or imagined. I stayed plump. So when the baby was 15 months old [and well-weaned] I ambled back to Weight Watchers … but the right way: meetings, booklets, weigh-ins, pep talks, hints, sharing, cheering, food plans, can’t eats, must eats, should eats, food logs …

And I lost weight. And kept it off. Until daughter #2, when the whole thing repeated. Back to Weight Watchers and now there were Points, and a different food plan, with more can eats and a few less can’t eats, the same should eats, and a better organized exercise component. And I lost weight. And I kept it off.

Until son #1. A big strapping ninepoundfiveounce chunka boy that made me a chunka mom. I gave it the usual 15 months to see if the breastfeeding myth would reverse itself for me, sighed and headed back to WW [by now we were on nickname basis]. I already knew the drill: there would be new booklets, a new food plan, I’d have to relearn Points [got a special WW Points calculator this time], learn the new can eats, get out the food scale, weigh and measure, get weighed, get cheered on … and exercise.

Which I did. And I lost weight. And I kept it off. Until my final “baby”. I became a teacher. With three children at home, 25 more at school … and no time to weigh and measure and exercise.

I put on about 5 pounds per year while teaching. I taught for 22 years. If you do the math, you will see how I got to the very precipice of 200 pounds. H…E…double you know what … I WAS the freakin’ precipice!

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