Monday, April 27, 2009

Sun & Mon April 25th & 26th

A smoothie of some sort
a piece of cake at a birthday party
3/4 of a strawberry at same birthday party...
Village Inn blintzes with strawberry sauce, bacon, and eggs
I am very sure there was more but I can't remember

Kefir smoothie with mango, acai berries, peach, banana, egg, honey
quesadillas on corn Ezekiel tortillas
beef and spinach ravioli in spaghetti sauce with shredded zucchini
sauteed baby portobello mushrooms
organic white cheddar popcorn
leftover pancakes and eggs from VI

OK, this every other day posting is clearly not good because I can't remember what I ate yesterday! I have been doing halfway decent I think. I know the Village Inn food doesn't seem good, but the blintzes were really very little pancake and mostly cottage cheese. I probably could have found something better to eat for a snack than pancakes just now, not that I should be eating at 11:30 at night, but I was hungry... I am glad to now have a clean kitchen and a clean oven and a full meal plan with food in the fridge to cook. Eating should continue to be better this week...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fri April 24th & Sat April 25th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: smoothie - kefir, mango, raw egg, honey, acai berries, banana
Lunch: missed...
Dinner: baked salmon, steamed broccoli, brown basmati rice
Dessert: a very little bit of all-natural rocky road ice cream (the last of it)

Breakfast: leftover ham and pepper quiche, cinnamon toast
Lunch: leftover garlic pork roast
Dinner: greek salad, gyro meat, half a pita
Dessert: cinnamon toast, organic white cheddar cheese popcorn

Anaylsis: Well I clearly have a bit of a cinnamon toast obsession at the moment. I also need to work on getting more veggies, as usual! But I'm doing a bit better than I was a few days ago! I missed lunch yesterday - I was VERY close to going for fast food while running errands, but the "Baby Baby Baby" mantra actually worked! It was still not good to miss a meal, but I suppose better than eating garbage. Heaven knows I have enough reserve to go without for a while, but being so hungry just makes a person lose all self control and binge later...I did manage to avoid that this time around, but it was touch and go there for a minute with the fast food temptation...

Thanks everyone for the support! I am coordinating a booth at a huge festival this weekend, so the last few days have been really crazy. It opened today and went off without a hitch, so that really took a load off my shoulders! Another day of it tomorrow, and that will be that. I have had a lot of really wonderful volunteers helping with it, both staffing the booth and providing childcare. Hubby has a big exam this coming Friday and is using every moment to study...he'll be fired from his current job if he doesn't pass - no pressure.

I had written what's been going on with the potential move, but I am not 100% sure of who all exactly reads this blog, so its better safe than sorry - I'll send you the story individually, those who asked... :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weds & Thurs April 22nd & 23rd - What I'm Eating

Today a friend made the remark that since I hadn't been posting on here, she figured it was because I was not eating anything I'd want anyone to know about...or something to that effect...

That is the honest truth - all the rest of the excuses are true too, but they are really excuses. I have been eating so poorly for the most part, that I am humiliated to make a record of it. But that is the point of this blog, isn't it? I do have to thank my sister Hannah, who actually follows through and pesters me when I don't post! Its a bit of a social contract we have going on here - I agree to humiliate myself, and occasionally provide good recipes or other useful information, and you harass me if I avoid it!

OK, so I don't fully remember everything I ate yesterday and today because its been 48 hours of snacking sinfulness. Not to mention, I am sure most of the time I was in a sugar-induced stupor. I'll do my best to remember most of what I consumed, but I can't promise the order. I do promise not to leave out the bad things.

- 6 pieces of cinnamon toast (the kind with way more sugar than cinnamon), but at least it was on Ezekiel bread, with pasture butter (and no, I didn't eat them all at once - think Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack...)
- 2 more grocery store beef tamales
- orange juice (I really shouldn't drink it because I can actually feel my blood sugar go up)
- 3/4's of a Panchero's chicken quesadilla with black beans - a white flour tortilla of course
- Cold Stone Creamery Coffee Lover's Only ice cream - at least I went for the small size...

- kefir smoothie - peaches, banana, raw egg, honey
- potato salad - two helpings
- another salad containing tuna, white beans, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and I'm not sure what else
- bread with olive oil and tomato puree spread
- a few pieces of fruit, incl cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple and grapes
- a piece of carrot cake
- apple crisp with a bit of yogurt (plain)
- an entire bag of Werther's caramel candies
- an entire bag of Riesen chocolate candies
(just to confess some more, I ate a whole bag of Swedish Fish and a whole box of Mike and Ike's the other day on the way home from Iowa City - I think I mentioned it before but that is the full extent of it...)
- whole wheat crust quiche with green peppers, ham and cheese (at least it was homemade - yes, I got my oven cleaned...and the dishes too)
- a few carrot chips and some cheese curds

I know, I'm a sick puppy. I revert to eating candy when driving long distances (I drove to Lincoln and back today) when I'm sleep deprived. I'm sleep deprived because I don't go to bed until 1 or 2 am. I don't sleep well even when I do go to bed because of worrying and feeling guilty, and having colds. I'm sure I always have colds because of a lack of sleep and too much sugar... And I revert to eating lots of sugary stuff when I am stressed out... considering we may be facing an out of state move within a matter of a couple of weeks and we don't know for sure yet, among other things, I've been a little stressed.

OK, so I am starting over, no more excuses. What I need is focus! TMI ALERT: I talked before about thinking about trying for another baby - well, today is the start of a brand new cycle, therefore a brand new chance at that. I'm shifting my focus onto that. I'm going to start taking all my supplements again. And exercising. And going to bed earlier. And above all, swearing off sugar. And white flour. Baby. Baby. Baby. Whoever is out there, I need your support!!! Come pester me on Facebook if I show signs of weakness!!! Or call me - its lonely doing battle with the sugar monster... I want to write "CHARGE!" but I all can muster at the moment is ... here we go again ...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Sorry I've been a blog delinquent again! I have no real excuses...I've been sick, busy, and out of town again. The guilt has been mounding... I won't bore you with endless details, I'll just jump back into the swing of things.

Tues April 21st

Breakfast: nothing

Lunch: 2 grocery store beef tamales, raspberry green tea

Dinner: Paradise Bakery chicken artichoke panini, Caesar salad, and a chocolate chip cookie

Snack: a few leftover Mike and Ike candies from my drive back from Iowa City yesterday (yes, that means I ate the majority of the box yesterday...better than falling asleep behind the wheel and going into the opposing lane of traffic...)

Analysis: Clearly my good eating has fallen by the wayside. Last week was better because I actually cooked quite a bit. Until I spilled toffee in the bottom of my oven. (I was baking chocolate toffee matzoh in honor of its all Michal's fault for giving me the recipe 5 years ago!) I haven't had a chance to run the self-clean cycle yet, but its on the docket for tomorrow. I'm scared...

Here's another thought - maybe I wouldn't be getting sick every 3 weeks if I would just quit eating sugar and go to bed at a decent hour??? What a concept...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday April 3rd - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: another smoothie - mango today YUM!

Lunch: leftover rice and beans

Snack: a couple of girl scout cookies (brought home from work by hubby - thanks hubby!)

Dinner: Fish Fry - baked fish with tartar sauce, bread and butter, canned pears and peaches, salad with italian dressing, a few bites of mac and cheese, pineapple coconut cake and lime bar shared with family...

Analysis: not a lot of new things to say today - the fish fry desserts are always too tempting for me to resist. Thank goodness today was the last day of fish fry season...

I realized that I might be more successful if I focus my motivation on something more specific and powerful. When I did this before, as Michal pointed out, I did not have a kid yet - that made it easier to focus, and less stressed, but also that was my motivation! I wanted a baby! Well, the fact of the matter is, I want another baby now, but I have not been very focused on it. In part because I am distracted by the one I have, and also because I guess I am just not feeling too rushed about it at the moment. Still, the little guy is almost 2, but it does take about 10 months to grow another one, and I would rather have them a little closer rather than farther apart. Because of my PCOS, I can't really just leave it to chance - I have to take a very active part in encouraging my body to be fertile, and there are a lot of things I can do! Eating right is the first and most important, though! FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS! NEW BABY!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thurs April 2nd - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: smoothie with kefir, raw egg, banana, honey, and frozen mango

Lunch: leftover spaghetti sauce with ground beef and zucchini

Snack: orange

Dinner: adzuki bean soup with carrots, smoked ham, and brown rice

Dessert: Neapolitan cheesecake...shared with the little guy

Analysis: the dessert monster won again today... maybe if I would eat more food, like good healthy food, during the day, I wouldn't want to eat sweets after dinner... Its a little crazy, but I do not keep these sweets in the house, so that means I'm actually going out to get them - talk about an addiction! I remember the first time I did this good diet thing, I was eating so much food I was never hungry, and I had to really try to eat all the stuff on my menu for the day. Then I was planning every meal ahead of time, not just dinner, and it really made a difference in terms of the veggies that I was getting, esp. I am not sure I have the time or the drive to go that far right now, but I probably need to!

You know, my chiropractor offers an electro-acupuncture treatment to help people stop smoking - I wonder if it would work for sugar addiction too?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tues April 1st - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: Ezekiel bread toast with butter, cinnamon and sugar

Lunch: leftover lamb curry

Dinner: pot roast with carrots and celery, mashed potatoes and cauliflower

Analysis: breakfast was not so great with the sugar, but I am out of kefir for today - the next batch should be ready for tomorrow, so it'll be back to my wonderful smoothies. I am generally supposed to avoid white potatoes too, but the mash tonight was probably at least 60-70% cauliflower, which I usually dislike, but it was really really good this way!

Oh dear, yet more reasons to eat organic...

Avoid those genetically modified "foods." I got these tidbits from Midwifery Today's latest e-news issue:

Think About It

2008 was the first year of commercial planting of genetically modified (GM) sugar beets in the US, with that sugar expected to enter the nation's food supply this year. The Monsanto Roundup Ready sugar beet is genetically engineered to be resistant to Monsanto's herbicide glyphosate (marketed as Roundup). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently agreed to a Monsanto request to increase the allowable levels of glyphosate residue on sugar beet roots by 5000 percent.

A representative of Amalgamated Sugar estimated that 95 percent of the sugar beet crop in Idaho would be of the new GM variety in 2008. Sugar beets account for about half the sugar in processed foods.

Question of the Week

Q: I am writing from Indonesia, the country that got GMO soy first, to share what I am seeing, and to ask if you too are seeing the same. In 2008 Bumi Sehat Bali received 573 babies. We saw an increase in retained placentas. I also am seeing an increase in velamentous cord insertion. In 2008 and so far in 2009 we have seen [far] too many "sticky" placentas; two even had to be transported (we do manual removal on site when absolutely necessary), one for a hysterectomy and one with one liter of blood loss. In the last six weeks of 2008 I had to go after four placentas! It was not pretty, and I do not take it lightly (usually never more than one per year).

Also most shocking is the empirical experience (I have no research to prove it) of an increase of velamentous umbilical cord insertion and short cords. I also am seeing a decrease in Wharton's jelly among all our babies. Cords are also shorter. We don't cut them for a minimum of three hours at Bumi Sehat and many families choose lotus birth. Last week our midwife Ayu had to cut a cord after the birth of the head, as the body would not follow, it was that short a nuchal cord—she had never had to do this before in her life as a midwife.

What are you midwives seeing?

The study I read concerning M16 genetically modified corn showed that when fed to pregnant mice, ALL OF THE OFFSPRING, in one generation, had alterations of ALL the cells in ALL their organs! Can you see why I am worried about our precious placentas? I did not make this connection, until I began to see an increase in abnormalities and pathology due to placenta and cord troubles. The fact that so many Indonesian women depend upon genetically modified soy products (tempeh and tofu) for their day-to-day protein, and the early introduction of GMO soy here got me wondering.

— Ibu Robin Lim
Bali, Indonesia

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I've been away too long - Tues March 31st - What I'm Eating

So I was out of town in Chicago last week, also suffering from a death cold, which is finally resolving - I think I'm down to blowing my nose only about a dozen times a day, which is at least a 90% improvement, and my voice sounds *almost* normal. We have only gone through 3 full-sized boxes of tissues in the last ten it couldn't have been that bad!

Also a funny (not really) story about our trip - on the way home, we ran over a coyote, rest its soul. That is, a coyote threw itself in front of our van - it had a death wish, rest its soul! At first we thought it was ok for us, all bad for him, but then we began experiencing complications. Our van ended up with a busted front bumper, a trashed radiator, and heaven only knows what other internal damage. Of course all this was discovered in the middle of nowhere, Iowa, in the middle of the night. After a fun adventure involving two different tow-truck drivers, a random roadside motel, and a rental car, we finally made it home safely a full 24 hours later than planned, and our van is now still in Iowa City being repaired. Meanwhile hubby and I are sharing a car, since the bill on the rental was bad enough for just one day. In actuality, hubby ends up taking the car to work and I stay home all day. Its not so bad since we were gone all last week and I am feeling kind of homebody-ish, but I don't think this arrangement will be healthy for much longer. So that's the story...

OK, without further ado, the food info for today:

Breakfast: smoothie with kefir, frozen peaches, raw egg, half a banana, honey

Lunch: leftover lamb curry (with tomatoes, parsnips, peas, and quinoa)

Snack: most of a golden delicious apple

Dinner: Sizzler salad bar - clam chowder, romaine and spinach salad with beets, garbanzo beans, olives, and blue cheese dressing, far too much cheese toast, and soft serve vanilla ice cream with strawberry-banana sauce

Snack: organic hot chocolate made with raw milk

Analysis - all was going well until dinner... the clam chowder was chock full of potatoes, the toast was white bread, and then there was the ice cream...and the hot chocolate... then again, I had ice cream yesterday too, and cheesecake the day before that. I did not do so well on the diet while we were away - its pretty hard when you are out of town and you just don't feel like making a concerted effort, mostly because you are spending the majority of your energy wiping your snot and just trying to breathe. That being said, the sugar intake is probably one of the main reasons I got sick in the first place. Its true, sugar kills the immune system! Ah, its good to be back online spreading good cheer! :)

In all fairness, I have done a great job cooking this week up until today - on Saturday, I made whole wheat pasta with a ground beef and zucchini sauce, on Sunday I made the lamb curry, yesterday I made orange coconut chicken, and tomorrow I'm going to make either pot roast or adzuki bean soup. Little by little, day by day, I'm just trying to do better. Cooking at home is probably the biggest way to make sure I eat right, and its a lot easier to do when I am actually AT home! After that, I just have to resist the urges to go out and get dessert after dinner...that is my vulnerable time. Maybe I should be washing all those dishes and pots and pans during that time, instead of going out in search of sweets...??? :) But we all know that I have a pathological aversion to washing dishes...I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to it...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sat March 21st - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: leftover enchilada with sour cream

Lunch: smoothie with kefir, banana, raw egg, agave syrup, mixed berries

Snack: Snap Pea Crisps

Dinner: Bison Stroganoff with whole wheat linguini and steamed asparagus

All day: drinking Garlic Lemonade with honey, and 2 glasses of Emergen-C - I'm sick - waaaahhh!

Analysis: Well, I didn't eat sweets today so I feel pretty good about that. I do not feel good about this cold. I forgot to mention that yesterday I took a walk for an hour and a half. It was great to get out and get some exercise, but I'm pretty sore today! Out of shape!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fri March 20th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: smoothie - kefir, banana, frozen mixed berries, raw egg, agave syrup, coconut oil

Lunch: apple, orange, carrots, carrot chips - shared with a friend and/or the little guy

Dinner: Fish fry - fish, tartar sauce, french fries, cole slaw, iced tea, half a glass of beer, custard bar, lemon poppyseed cake

After dinner: hot chocolate made with water and cream (I'm out of milk)

Analysis: no protein at lunch, very naughty dinner...apparently I can't resist Lenten food...which is funny because I can never seem to really get into Lent. I am developing a sore throat tonight - after the little guy and hubby have been sick for two weeks and I've been fine, now I'm getting sick just as they're getting better!!! Off to swallow a garlic clove and gargle some Emergen-C before bed!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thurs March 19th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: smoothie with kefir, banana, frozen mango, raw egg and raw honey

Lunch: leftover Olive Garden breadsticks

Snack: a couple of cheddar sunflower seed crackers

Dinner: baked chicken breast with spinach, mushrooms, and brown rice, in cream sauce

Dessert: organic hot chocolate made with raw milk

Analysis: lunch was very bad - I had to work a bit this morning and it kind of threw my rhythm for the whole day off... I have been doing a lot of griping and venting, and I feel like I might be starting to get things off my chest and moving back towards a better place...starting... Next week we'll be in Chicago, and I think that will be good for me.

Weds March 18th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: smoothie with kefir, raw egg, raw honey, frozen cherries - forgot the banana today, definitely not as good without it...

Lunch: half a leftover enchilada with sour cream

Dinner: Olive Garden - salad, breadsticks with oil and vinegar, chicken and shrimp dish with parmesean cream sauce, red bell peppers, and pancetta.

Snack: Olive Garden leftovers

Analysis: Today was a pretty good day, but I shouldn't have had breadsticks at Olive Garden, and I should have asked for whole wheat pasta. The former I chose to eat on purpose, and the latter I forgot until it was too late. If you want to get technical, I should have had some veggies with lunch too, and snacked on something healthy at least once.

I had a good vent with a friend on the phone today, and I guess it just boils down to every time you go to put something in your mouth, you have a decision to make. You know if its right or wrong. You know if you choose right, you might feel sad or deprived now, but you know if you choose wrong, you'll feel guilty and depressed afterwards. When you are in a good mood and feeling strong, its really pretty easy to choose rightly, but if something has already thrown you into a funk, it becomes a vicious cycle: you don't care if its wrong because you want it, because you feel bad, but then you eat it and you continue to feel bad, which makes you care less and make more bad choices. Grrrrrrr. Of course, exercising makes you feel good, but when you feel grouchy, you don't feel like exercising either...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tues March 17th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: smoothie with kefir, frozen mango, banana, raw egg, raw honey

Lunch: carrot chips and a string cheese

Dinner: pork and vegetable stir fry with mushrooms, snow peas, orange bell pepper, jicama, scallions, and garlic. brown rice

Dessert: a few bites of oreo cheesecake

Snack: Ezekiel tortilla quesadillas with raw milk cheese

Analysis: I needed a better lunch, for sure! Dinner was great, if a little on the light side, so I've found myself hungry again before bed...

So I've been slacking on posting again over the weekend - sorry! I ate many bad things that I should not have eaten - too evil to repeat. I don't have any good excuses... wait, are there ever any good excuses? One thing this blog has definitely made me realize is how much of an emotional eater I am - I never really identified that way before. I knew I ate when I was bored, but clearly, I also eat, and make very bad food choices, when I am upset. I have been grouchy about hubby's job situation for a few weeks now, with another hiccup occurring late last week and fermenting over the weekend. Apparently grouchy = I just do not care what garbage I eat. Sweets make me feel better in the (very) short term, so I eat them. Then my blood sugar goes up and I feel gross, and then I feel guilty knowing that I have just hastened the onset of Type II Diabetes yet again. Wow - it sounds obvious, but this is actually somewhat of a revelation for me. I obviously need to find better ways of dealing with these emotions. I suppose identifying the real reasons that I feel like eating the bad stuff when I feel that way would be the place to start, and then trying to deal with that directly. I think one reason I have been eating instead of dealing is because there is not that much I can do to resolve the problem... I need to learn to resolve my feelings about the problem, even if I can't actually correct the issue. Easier said than done, huh?

A long time ago, I DVR'd a series from TV called "I Can Make You Thin." I only watched a little of it, but I still have it saved. I think the guy deals with some of these things, so maybe I should actually watch it and try it out.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fri March 13th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: donut and cappuccino from the gas station (they didn't have any fruit - or anything healthy, for that matter...)

Lunch: BK Big Fish sandwich

Dinner: fish fry - baked fish w/tartar sauce, lots of green beans, mac and cheese, lemon bar and poppy seed cake (both shared with hubby and the little guy)

Snack: organic goldfish crackers

Analysis: WOW, it must be the curse of Friday the 13th! I was unknowingly running late for work this morning and literally as I set the blender on the base this morning, my phone rang - it was my boss asking me where I was. So into the car we went immediately, instead of fixing my healthy breakfast and take-along lunch. It was all downhill from there. Dear God - I need to start over!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thurs March 12th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: leftover quiche and a smoothie with kefir, frozen cherries, banana, raw egg and raw honey

Lunch: Spaghetti Works whole wheat pasta with pomodoro sauce, mushrooms and shrimp. Spinach salad with beets, eggs, olives, and blue cheese dressing. chocolate pudding.

Snack: organic goldfish crackers and raisins

Dinner: leftover chicken noodle soup

Analysis: I splurged on the chocolate pudding at lunch, even though I very much did not deserve a splurge, and now I am paying for it with, well, let's just call it lactose intolerance... I also got too much white flour again today - the crackers are just too yummy, and they're organic! I bring them with us for the little guy to snack on when we're out, but it ends up being one for him, one for me... I probably shouldn't be feeding them to him either, since they're white flour... If its going to be like that, I guess we better be on the hunt for a whole grain cracker that he likes...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weds March 11th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: smoothie with kefir, frozen peaches, banana, raw egg, raw honey

Lunch: leftover ham and cheese quiche, organic goldfish crackers

Dinner: homemade chicken noodle soup

Snack: more soup

Analysis: I staved off the sugar today...I still had some white flour with the crackers and the noodles in the soup... I would like to say I feel proud of myself for avoiding sugar today, but I am really just suffering with the cravings, and still feeling guilty from the donuts...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tues March 10th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: smoothie - kefir, frozen peaches, banana, raw egg, raw honey

Lunch: leftover bison roast, buttered peas

Dinner: ham and cheese quiche with whole wheat crust, braised vegetables - carrots, cabbage, and cauliflower

Sin: an entire bag of powdered donuts, snacked upon throughout the day...

Analysis: need I say more? I feel sick. You would think I would learn my lesson one of these days, but it was a rough day, and they were in the house...I couldn't stop myself. Now they're gone, and I'll be warning hubby to never ever bring those kind of things into the house again! Yes, its all his fault...

What's Wrong with "Politically Correct" Nutrition?

A new way of thinking about nutrition
(or should I say an old way)
from the Weston A. Price Foundation


Avoid saturated fats
Saturated fats play many important roles in the body. They provide integrity to the cell membrane, enhance the body's use of essential fatty acids, enhance the immune system, protect the liver and contribute to strong bones. Saturated fats do not cause heart disease. In fact, saturated fats are the preferred food for the heart. Your body makes saturated fats out of carbohydrates.

Limit cholesterol Dietary cholesterol contributes to the strength of the intestinal wall and helps babies and children develop a healthy brain and nervous system. Foods that contain cholesterol also provide many other important nutrients. Only oxidized cholesterol, found in powdered milk and eggs, contributes to heart disease. Powdered milk is added to 1% and 2% milk.

Use more polyunsaturated oils Polyunsaturates in more than small amounts contribute to cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, learning disabilities, intestinal problems and premature aging. Large amounts of polyunsaturated fats are new to the human diet, due to the modern use of commercial liquid vegetable oils.

Avoid red meat Red meat is a rich source of nutrients that protect the heart and nervous system including vitamins B12 and B6, zinc, phosphorus, carnitine and Coenzyme Q10.

Cut back on eggs Eggs are nature's perfect food, providing excellent protein, the gamut of nutrients and important fatty acids that contribute to the health of the brain and nervous system. Americans had less heart disease when they ate more eggs. Egg substitutes cause rapid death in test animals.

Eat lean meat and drink lowfat milk Lean meat and lowfat milk lack fat soluble vitamins needed to assimilate protein and minerals in meat and milk. Consumption of low-fat foods can lead to depletion of vitamin A and D reserves.

Limit fat consumption to 30% of calories 30% calories as fat is too low for most people, leading to low blood sugar and fatigue. Traditional diets contained 40% to 80% of calories as healthy fats, mostly of animal origin.

Eat 6-11 servings of grains per day Most grain products are made from white flour, which is devoid of nutrients. Additives in white flour can cause vitamin deficiencies. Whole grain products can cause mineral deficiencies and intestinal problems unless properly prepared.

Restrict salt Salt is crucial to digestion and assimilation. Salt is also necessary for the development and functioning of the nervous system.

At least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day Fruits and vegetables receive an average of 10 applications of pesticides, from seed to storage. Consumers should seek out organic produce. Quality counts!

Eat more soy foods Modern soy foods block mineral absorption, inhibit protein digestion, depress thyroid function and contain potent carcinogens.

thanks to my friend J for putting this up on her blog...there are so many great articles on the Weston A. Price site, I could post them all!

Mon March 9th - What I'm Eating

Sorry this is a little late...

Breakfast: smoothie with kefir, frozen mixed berries, banana, raw egg, raw honey

Lunch: leftover kale soup - its finally gone now!

Dinner: Roasted chicken and leftover vegetable trio - that is finally gone now too!

Snack: 4 fruit snacks made with 100% real fruit and no added sugar, small scoop of Mocha gelato from Whole Foods

Snack: 1 piece whole wheat crust hawaiian pizza

Analysis: I have to stop this late night eating! I am loving the breakfast smoothies, though - they hit my craving for sweet, but have plenty of protein, and I am so excited about all the extra vitamins and enzymes that I am getting from the kefir and the raw egg. I decided it didn't need the extra regular milk...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sun March 8th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: smoothie with homemade kefir, whole milk, frozen mixed berries, banana, raw egg, and agave syrup

Lunch: leftover kale soup

Snack: 1 cube of cheese, some ritz-type crackers with some unknown cream cheese-based dips, a couple of strawberries, and 3 bites of cake

Dinner: Famous Dave's chopped pork, green beans, apples, corn, cornbread

Beverage: Panera Chai Tea Latte - it said it was sweetened with honey...

Snack: leftover whole wheat crust hawaiian pizza

Analysis: Breakfast was SO AWESOME!!!! I was afraid with the egg in it, it would taste weird or have a gross texture, but it was actually one of the best smoothies I've ever had! I swear you could have gotten it at Orange Julius! We went to a baby shower after lunch, hence the strange snack and the cake. I was able to employ the 3 bite rule quite successfully, but I probably should have abstained from the ritz-type crackers...there weren't really any better options though, besides eating nothing, and what fun is that? At dinner I shouldn't have eaten the cornbread, and probably not the apples either, but... I still need to get more veggies in all around, and we have got to stop eating out so much! Its hard when company is in town. On the up-side, I did give away the gluten/soy/dairy (but not sugar) free cookies I had made for the girls night out on I'm not eating those! Honestly they weren't even that good - a little underdone - but I would have eaten them all anyway if they had been here! Tomorrow I'm roasting the chicken that had been meant for yesterday - its been in the fridge - hopefully it's thawed by then!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sat March 7th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: leftover kale soup

Lunch: McDonald's McChicken sandwich - and a cheeseburger

Dinner: Papa John's whole wheat crust pizza with ham and pineapple

Analysis: I am embarrassed by today's mother-in-law is in town, whom I adore, but we were out all day shopping. The place we went, I thought had a place to get deli sandwiches, but it was closed and the only other thing was McD's. I got the McChicken off the dollar menu, thinking it was grilled, but it was fried. At that point I was still hungry, and was disenchanted because I had already blown it so bad, so I got a cheeseburger too. Then we came home and I went to prepare the chicken I had taken out to thaw this morning that I was going to roast. It was still frozen solid. So we ordered pizza - at least the crust was 100% whole wheat. Ugh! So much for buckling down on my diet...

Part of this blog is to function as a deterrent to me, motivating me to make better choices, knowing that I'll have to fess up to them later. And of course, since I know I'll still end up making bad choices sometimes, its also to prove that its a process, not an easy one in this world, and to show whoever might be reading this that it is indeed very hard, and theoretically that you can't beat yourself up over every transgression. That being said, I still do! Well, tomorrow is another day...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday March 6th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: leftover kale soup

Lunch: Ezekiel corn tortilla quesadilla with raw milk cheese, leftover vegetable trio

Dinner: fish fry - baked fish, green & kidney bean salad, mac and cheese, bread and butter, jello, a couple bites of a really nasty cherry cream cheese pie...

Dessert: a gluten/soy/dairy free sugar cookie, a bite of brownie, a piece of sushi, an orange slice, a few chocolate covered almonds, iced tea

Analysis - tonight we had a girl's night out, so I enjoyed some of the delicious things that people had brought to share... I think I did better on veggies today, but still too much sugar and white flour...I should have skipped the mac and cheese and bread at the fish fry. If I am going to be off my medication, I really need to start being much more strict on my diet. No joke. Its just so hard when you are out and about, and when seasonal things come along like fish frys... Doesn't matter - must stay focused or will become diabetic in the near future!

I had another round of acupuncture today just to follow through with what we did on Tues, and I have to tell you, my lungs feel back to normal. I haven't used the inhaler at all today, or felt like I needed it! I guess we'll see how long that lasts... I still do not know if it was merely asthma, if it was related to the medication I was taking, or what. I guess in a couple weeks I will be retested to make sure I still really need the medication, and then I will decide whether to go back on it or not. I don't really want to be on a daily asthma treatment, esp not a steroid, so I am hoping that whatever the problem was, it doesn't come back! Hopefully it was the liver stagnation and the acupuncture just cleared that up - assuming that going back on the meds wouldn't aggravate that again, I think we'd be in the clear. Regardless, if my insulin is still too high, I will go back on it, and I guess I will just have to get acupuncture more regularly to keep myself in better balance. Like I said, I really need to buckle down on my diet. I am constantly faced with times where my willpower is tested, and I have been giving in every time lately! I've got to get it together!

By the way, I asked the acupuncturist again today about her education, and she actually did 4 years of undergrad plus 4 years of acupuncture school - that is as much as an MD! I am SO impressed and cannot understand why they have such restrictive practice laws - well actually, I can. Its the drs trying to protect their monopoly again - if people found out that acupuncture could help them without expensive drugs and surgery, they might do that instead!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thurs March 5th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: french toast with real maple syrup, blueberries

Lunch: Ezekiel corn tortilla quesadilla with raw milk cheese, banana

Dinner: Poached salmon with sun-dried tomato sauce, vegetable trio (zucchini, eggplant, tomato)

Dessert: a few bites of leftover Maggie Moo ice cream

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with raw milk cheese, apple

Lunch: grilled chicken breast, wild rice pilaf, cauliflower, broccoli, carrot veggie mix, and a dinner roll.

Dinner: Paradise Cafe meatball panini, ceasar salad, chocolate chip cookie

Analysis: Too much dessert, but otherwise not bad. I do justify french toast because its made with good bread and each piece includes basically a half an egg. If you go easy on the syrup, really, its no worse than any kind of egg and toast.

Today was an insanely busy moment in my life - I was at the Capitol most of the day for our committee hearing for our bills, which was exciting and scary, and I wasn't even testifying! Everyone who did was fantastic though! So its back to the business of lobbying now, trying to pressure them to pass our bills out of committee to the floor. However, this is a pretty routine type of process, so as I ease out of work mode and back into domestic mode, my house is already getting cleaner and I am increasingly able to cook. It doesn't help anything that I nearly cut off two of my fingers on my left hand the other day (when preparing the squash, did I mention that?) But they are on the mend so I should be able to do the dishes again soon. Don't tell hubby, but I probably could just get some rubber gloves in the meantime. I really hate dishes, so I'm content to let him at least wash the things that don't go in the dishwasher for now! He's such a great hubby! ;)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tues March 3rd - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, Ezekiel toast with cultured pasture butter and cherry preserves, a little bit of leftover bison roast

Lunch: leftover Portuguese Kale Soup

Snack: banana and some raw milk cheese

Dinner: leftover kale soup and more bison roast, with a little A-1 sauce

Dessert: Maggie Moo's ice cream - single scoop

Analysis: I was doing so well until the evening, then the sugar craving hit and the willpower caved to the ice cream... Ice cream is actually not the worst cheat in the world (in great moderation) because at least it has some fat and protein with it to slow down the sugar a little. But if I am going to have it, I really should be having the all-natural stuff, not a brand of which I do not know the ingredients, because more likely than not, it probably contains the dreaded high fructose corn syrup.

I got acupuncture today for the second time ever, and it was lovely. The acupuncturist said that according to chinese medicine, when you are stressed, even just normal life stress, it can be tough on your liver, and that in combination with my medication, might have caused my liver to attack my lungs of sorts. I am not very well-versed in chinese medicine, so I can't explain it any better than that, but when I told her the story, that is what immediately came to her mind. I do think there is a lot of wisdom in that healing modality - it is a system that has existed for over 3000 years, so there must be something to it! I asked her how long acupuncturists go to school and she said 4 years - I was actually surprised it was that long - it must be a very extensive training! Anyway, she did overall energy balancing, lung support, relaxation, and also a little help for my reproductive system... Just like the first time I tried it, I have been feeling better and better as the day went on. I am excited for tomorrow because I suspect I will be feeling quite great. Tonight I already did a lot of cleaning that I hadn't been able to keep up with before.

Some people will want to say that its all psychosomatic, and for one thing, in my experience, I really do not think it is because I experienced benefits I never anticipated, and for another thing, so what if it is? If it makes people better, it has achieved its purpose, right? That's what MDs do when they hand out antibiotics for viral infections, which they do all the time... The ER doctors wanted to give me Ativan or thanks - I'd rather have needles stuck in me all day than take drugs with potentially toxic side effects, when I do not even feel that I have an anxiety issue! I am sure those medications truly help a lot of people who really do need them, but I know I do not fall in that category - at least not right now! And even if I did, I certainly would want to try more wholistic (read: non-pharmaceutical) forms of treatment first... Acupuncture not only helps relieve stress, it also helps balance energy and can support your body in healing itself! Why just mask the symptoms when I can do something to potentially actually heal the deeper problem, whatever that may be? Anyway, I've gotten into a rant here, and I know when you start talking about anti-depressants some people get a little ruffled. So please understand that I am simply talking about my personal experience with this situation at the moment, and that I would never hold anything against someone who used those medications when they felt they needed it. That being said, I am exploring alternative therapies to those, and want to share the knowledge that I am gaining about it so that maybe others will think of trying it for themselves if they are looking for some sort of solutions... I will update as to the further developments!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mon March 2nd - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with raw milk cheese

Lunch: the rest of the scrambled eggs with raw milk cheese, and blueberries

Dinner: Portuguese Kale Soup - onions, carrots, garlic, parsnips, white beans, tomatoes, italian sausage, kale

Analysis: The soup was SO good! And the recipe made a huge amount, so we will be eating it for a while... I should have had some kind of carbs for breakfast. The raw cheese on the eggs was great, though - I will have to get used to going without my usual colby jack and cheddar, but I know its the best thing to do. That being said, there is still some of that in the fridge I will need to use up - no reason to waste it!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sun March 1st - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: yogurt with frozen berries and agave syrup

Lunch: Burger King Crispy Chicken Sandwich, one or two onion rings

Dinner: Bison roast, asparagus, acorn squash with cultured pasture butter and raw honey. dried cranberries

Snack: dark chocolate raisins, and a little cherry chip gelato...shared with the little guy...

Analysis: so today was up and down. Or should I say down and up? Lunch was embarrassing. We were waiting for something and Burger King was the only thing around, but still, I should have chosen better. But dinner was ecstasy! The bison roast came out perfect - like prime rib! (I put it in a roasting bag with some chicken broth at 250-275ish degrees for 2 hours...) The squash was great - the little guy was begging for more! And I always like asparagus... The best part is that there is plenty of roast left over to eat later!

At the grocery store I looked around for raw cheeses - they had a bunch! I got two to try - they are expensive, but that will just mean that we will have to eat less of it, and/or learn to make our own. I wonder how hard that is???

I am excited about our meal plan this week - I'll be roasting a chicken again, and also cooking with fish stock for the first time. I'm not making it myself - the store didn't have any fish bones, but they did carry the fish stock already frozen. I thought, hey, for $3.99, its not worth the trouble to make my own! That is, of course, assuming they have not somehow screwed it up by, for example, pasteurizing it...I didn't check. I'm ordering my kefir grains and I can't wait to go to the farm and get some raw milk!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Without Futher Ado - The Dairy Post!!!

OK, a tiny bit more ado - thank you everyone for all your well-wishes! I have been using the inhaler regularly today and I am feeling quite a lot better. So I guess it was probably the asthma after all, though I guess we will never be able to rule out anxiety...or medication issues either since I did stop taking it. We'll see what to do about that later I guess...all the more reason I need to stick to my good diet. That being said, I'm not even going to post my food intake today, but suffice to say, it involved Wendy's for lunch, and Boston Market for dinner. <<>>

OK, so here it is - I hope you learn a lot, and I welcome questions! I can definitely point you to more resources, if desired. :)

The Dairy Post

OK folks, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time! And I also went to an amazing seminar about dairy today, hosted by our local Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter, which reconfirmed everything I’ve been thinking about milk.

The bottom line: pasteurized dairy products are all really bad for you. Raw milk from pasture-fed cows is much better. Cultured dairy products made from raw milk from pasture-fed cows is the best.

I know, its blasphemy to some of you, I’m sure. Give me a chance to explain…

So here’s a little background on pasteurization that will tell you a) why virtually everyone in America thinks it’s a lifesaving miracle, and b) why its not.

Before the Industrial Revolution, most people either lived in the country and had their own milk cows, or had a dairyman deliver farm fresh milk to their doorstep every day. These people were very healthy and heart disease and cancer were virtually unheard of. Once people started moving into the cities to work in factories and such, it was no longer possible for the dairy farmers to produce enough milk for everyone in the city with the traditional methods of letting their cattle graze the pasture, etc. To solve this problem, they began to create mass-dairying farms where the cows were kept indoors in tiny stalls with concrete floors, fed grain instead of fresh grass, and milked very aggressively and continuously. Cows were bred to make more and more milk, which occurs because of an overactive pituitary gland that secretes extra growth hormone. So basically they were breeding a pituitary disease into the cows on purpose. Well, as you can imagine, the cows didn’t do so well being constantly confined, overmilked, fed poor quality, unnatural-for-them food, and having severe hormone imbalances. They got sick…among other things, they got tuberculosis and mastitis. Their milk would have infectious bacteria and pus and TB in it…and obviously it made people sick! Then people discovered that if you pasteurize the milk (heat it up really hot) you killed the bacteria and people could drink it and not get sick. TA-DA! "Raw milk can kill you, and pasteurization is a life-saving miracle!" (P.S. Louis Pasteur actually invented this process for preserving beer and wine, not milk!)

Today’s modern commercial Holstein cow is a daughter of these lines – she makes up to three times as much milk as the “old-fashioned” cows, and she depends on doctored feed and daily antibiotics to keep her alive because her immune system is genetically shot. Her pituitary is so whacked out that her milk contains high levels of growth hormone even if she isn’t injected with additional synthetic Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). She lives on average only 42 months, compared to 12-15 years for a pastured cow. You do not even want to know what they feed these cows – I am so serious! But if you really really do, you can look here.

You would think by now the dairy industry would have figured out that this is not good for cows. Well, they haven’t changed a darn thing since the Industrial Revolution, except make bigger, more crowded factory farms, and use every fabulous new antibiotic and synthetic hormone treatment that has been invented, to make those cows produce more and more milk! And they have continued to pasteurize, because hey, it covers up all their sins. In fact, now they even ULTRA-pasteurize, hotter and longer, because the bacteria have become resistant to the regular methods! That and it makes the shelf-life of the milk longer…

OK, so dairy cows lead a miserable existence and their milk is full of hormones, but why is pasteurization so bad? Heating the milk kills off the bad bacteria, to be sure, but it also kills off all the good bacteria! Did you know you have about 90 trillion bacteria in your intestinal tract, all working hard to help you digest your food, absorb nutrients, and fight off pathogens? We get that good bacteria from the food we eat – well, we’re supposed to, anyway… Pasteurization also denatures almost all the enzymes found in milk, like lipase, which breaks down fat and helps us absorb vitamin A and D. Lastly, it destroys most, if not all, of the vitamins and minerals found in fresh milk: A, D, E, C, B6 and B12. But milk still has all that good calcium in it right? Pasteurization not only destroys the vitamin D you need to absorb it, it also destroys the phosphatase enzyme, which is essential to the absorption of calcium. Have you ever wondered by the U.S. has one of the worst osteoporosis rates in the world, when we drink the most milk of any country in the world? Its true… What about homogenization? It speeds spoilage and has been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease.

OH NO! We should all stop drinking milk and eating pasteurized dairy products right now! No, there is a better answer. Raw milk from pasture-fed healthy cows (ideally from older genetic lines) is truly a life-sustaining food, full of valuable nutrients, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria. Guess what, in places where they still eat only unpasteurized dairy products, the people actually are still free of heart disease - that is, until they begin to Westernize their diet – look it up in the anthropology journals. In our country, refrigeration, stainless steel, and an excellent understanding of hygiene ensures that today’s raw milk from farmers who treat their cows right will not be contaminated or make you sick.

With a tiny bit of extra effort (I mean really tiny, like pouring-milk-in-a-jar tiny), you can also make your own yogurt (kefir), sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, butter, whey, and even ice cream, from your raw milk. This is what I learned to do today in the seminar. Apparently with a bit more effort you can even make your own cheeses, though I do not know how (yet!), but you can buy some cheeses made from raw milk from better cheese counters. Culturing your dairy products actually increases the nutritional value two to three fold – enzymes, vitamins, and beneficial bacteria! Not to mention, with raw dairy, you absorb the good stuff, like calcium, much better as well. Apparently almost all people who cannot tolerate conventional milk can drink fresh raw milk without difficulty, or at least can handle the cultured raw dairy products.

So, how do I find raw milk? You will want to make sure that you are buying raw milk that is being produced with the intention of drinking it raw. Don't just go get raw regular dairy milk that the farmer usually sells to the conventional dairy. If you are in CA, CT, or NM, you can buy it at Whole Foods Market or another natural foods store, but you still want to check out the source to make sure it’s the good quality stuff (see what to look for). Otherwise, check out this site to find local producers, or local groups that can help you find local producers. You can also check out your local farmer’s market and see if anyone there knows anything – sometimes these farmers will have their produce, eggs, or cheeses at the market, but you usually will have to go out to their farm to get their milk. Laws in different states may vary. There are also co-ops and cow-share programs. There are options if you are willing to look for them.

On a personal note, if you read my blog, you know that I love my cheese and other dairy. I don’t drink much milk because I usually have lactose intolerance problems. I have bought raw milk a couple of times in the past, but I haven’t fully committed, though you can bet I will now! I have been buying organic, unhomogenized whole milk. I don’t usually go through it all, though, because it still bothers my stomach a bit. I buy yogurt that is pasteurized but at least it is from a biodynamic dairy, and because its cultured, it does have some of its enzyme content restored. That never gives my stomach any issues. I buy organic cheese, but its definitely not raw… I buy organic butter and sour cream, but again, not raw. But since I went to this seminar today and saw how easy (and how much cheaper and more nutritious) it would be to get the raw milk and make all these other products myself, I am a changed woman. I’ll be darned if I ever buy pasteurized milk or dairy again. Except maybe some cheese – it might be a while before I figure out how to replace that, but until then, I’m going to be cutting back! I am really looking forward to the increased health my new raw milk habit is going to bring!

And if you are one of my dear loved ones, family, or friends, I am really begging you…please stop eating all the fake food I know you eat – the margarine, the skim milk, the fat-free stuff, the fake-sugar stuff, the Eggbeaters… It is killing you. I don’t care if your doctor said you have to eat that because of your cholesterol. I swear, it is making your problems worse. You need to quit all that fake stuff and eat real, undamaged food. I’m only saying this because I love you and I want to you live a long, healthy life! If I could, I would come and live with you for a month or two and cook for you and clean out your pantries and fridges! Unfortunately, I can't really do that for everyone, so I want you to go and find a smart doctor, chiropractor, naturopath, or nutritionist, who is well-versed in traditional diets, to help you change how you eat. Even if your insurance doesn't cover it. Go buy a copy of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I will be writing more about heart disease and things stay tuned!

Just when I was starting to get back on track...

Well I decided to go to the dr yesterday, being that it was Friday and I was still feeling weird, you know, just to check it out. Well the dr sent me to the emergency room. After 10 hours in there, they still aren't sure what the problem is! The ER docs thought it was a metabolic reaction to a medication I take that was making my blood pH too low, therefore I was needing to breathe like that to try to compensate. The family practice docs who came to admit me thought it wasn't that, it was just hyperventilation from anxiety. Kind of a post-stress delayed reaction (oh-kaayyy....)
I think it was mainly asthma. So after 10 hours, about 40 ounces of blood drawn, a bag of IV fluids, and finally a nebulizer treatment, they let me come home - at midnight, in a snowstorm! LOL! I did feel a fair bit better after the nebulizer, but not 100%. Today I'm about the same as last night, which is a slight improvement over the last 4 days... So who knows? I am using an inhaler, and I'm going to call around and see if I can get in with an acupuncturist soon. I guess I'll follow up with my regular dr on Monday...

And you don't even want to know what I ate yesterday! :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Uh-Oh! Thurs Feb 26th!!

Well I have slipped for almost 2 weeks on this blog now. That doesn't mean I've been completely slipping on my diet, though! I have been sticking to the main themes, but I will admit I have cheated a bit here and there. Sometimes grievously! But being that it is now Lent, I suppose I am feeling guilty enough to pick it up again. Not to mention, tonight was my last class of the quarter. Now to just get the exams graded by Monday, and I will be completely free of all that! So that means I will be having a lot more time to not only keep up with my food journal, but actually finish some of the special posts I want to do... and read books and things...

So today I ate:

Breakfast: a handful of blueberries, half a banana, and some leftover tuna noodle casserole (with whole wheat macaroni).

Lunch: Blue Planet Grill BLT with all natural bacon, spring greens, real mayo, organic tomato, on a whole wheat bun, with baked onion rings, and one or two small pieces of pineapple.

Dinner: a bowl of Ezekiel cereal with raisins, almonds, honey and whole milk.

Snack: Stretch Island Fruit Snacks - like fruit leather, 100% fruit, no added sugar, but I ate 5 of them <<>>

Analysis: no wonder I binged on sweets tonight! I barely ate any dinner! That was poor planning and a big lack of self control! I wasn't really very hungry at dinner, didn't have a lot of time, hubby and the little guy were eating leftovers and nothing looked appealing, so cereal it was.

I also have not been feeling very well since Tues evening - it seems I can't breathe! Its not like I feel like I am suffocating immediately, its more like just a lot of pressure in my chest so that I feel I need to take a very deep breath to get enough air, and even that is sometimes not quite enough to make me feel well-oxygenated. It is a rather disconcerting and distracting feeling. I had a cold a couple weeks ago but I was feeling better for quite a while from that before this started... Yesterday I went to the urgent care clinic and they found nothing wrong with me, and suggested it might be anxiety. First, I am not a typically anxious person - probably about the opposite. Second, though my life has been pretty demanding lately, one of the biggest things that has been stressing me out just got finished, so it doesn't really add up. Lastly, if it were a panic attack of sorts, would it really go on for over 2 days with no other symptoms other than shortness of breath? I am going to call my regular doctor tomorrow and see if they will write me a prescription for acupuncture (so insurance will cover)...if it really is stress, that should help a lot! I really hate not feeling right and not knowing what it is! Anyone out there have any better ideas?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sun Feb 15th - What I'm Eating

Brunch: yogurt with raisins, almonds & honey

Dinner: Ezekiel tortillas with black beans and cheese

Snack: all natural strawberry popsicle

Analysis: I know I said I learned my lesson, but the popsicles are not the same as ice cream - they're not near as rich and they are a lot smaller quantity. That being said, I'm not going to be making them a habit either. My eating today has definitely stunk, though! No proper veggies... This weekend has really been kicking my booty - between being sick and having to overhaul a couple of lectures at the last minute, I have been staying up too late and feeling bad all the time. When I am exhausted, I don't have the energy or motivation to take decent care of myself and it becomes a vicious cycle. Only one more week, then I'll be done with a lot of my work commitments and should be able to get a grip again...I just need to try to be focused and keep my head above water until then - and snacking on sugary snacks is probably not the best way to do that!

Sat Feb 14th - What I'm Eating

I know this one is a bit late - but I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day! Gosh its hard to remember what I ate yesterday - won't be making the mistake of putting it off again...

Brunch: (I slept in) mushroom and black olive pizza on cornmeal crust, made by my hubby (the pizza, not the crust...)

Dinner: Grilled salmon on a bed of jeweled pearled barley, with grilled asparagus and steamed carrots and parsnips.

Dessert: Maggie Moo's ice cream...

Analysis: It was Valentine's...we splurged and used a coupon that came in the mail for Maggie Moo's - and guess what - it was a big mistake! I felt really gross the rest of the night...which I guess is a good thing, because I learned my lesson and it will be a very long time before I do something like that again! Dinner was great - we went to a place called McFoster's Natural Kind Cafe - which is one of the only organic/vegetarian/natural food friendly restaurants in town. The jeweled pearled barley was interesting - not what I expected, but it was infused with ginger and delicious with the fish.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fri Feb 13th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: leftover quiche

Lunch: didn't really happen

Snack: apple and cheese

Dinner: leftover whole wheat pasta with ratatouille

Snack: banana

Snack: sprouted corn tortillas with cheese and black beans

Analysis: when you stay up until 3 AM you end up eating a lot of snacks at night... its 3 AM, I am not much more coherent than that at the moment! I want my life back (read: I'm working way too much and I can't wait for it to be over...)!!!!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thurs Feb 12th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: egg scrambled in coconut oil with black beans (yes, the soaked ones...) and cheese

Lunch: orange, Ezekiel corn tortillas with above-mentioned beans and cheese

Dinner: Quiche with ham, asparagus, mushrooms and cheese in a whole wheat crust

Snack: leftover quinoa with feta and spinach stuff...mmm...

Analysis: I definitely could have done better on the veggies again today, but it was hard enough to just think of something I felt like eating in the first place. When I am sick, I get very picky... I was also downing Echinacea tea with honey all day today, and I drank a 27 oz Klean Kanteen's worth of water with 2 packets of EmergenC during class... I have had to pee literally all day long!

To answer a question that was asked regarding how I soaked my beans and quinoa the other day, I did just soak them in water, in separate glass containers out on the counter. I probably should have changed out the water every 12 hours but I didn't... I think they soaked for a bit over 24... The beans took on a lot of water and the quinoa did a bit too but not as much as I might have thought - it still swelled up a little more when I cooked it. Apparently you can also soak grains and things in whey if you make it from raw milk or yogurt but I haven't gotten that far yet. I am signed up for a seminar to learn how on the 28th weekend though...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weds Feb 11th - What I'm Eating

Its official - I'm hoo! I have a sore throat...its been a long time since I've had a sore throat! I think its morphing into a post-nasal thing... ok, too much information...

But all that being said, I didn't have much appetite today...though I did sip Garlic Lemonade all day, which is a ridiculous amount of minced garlic steeped in water, then adding lemon juice and raw honey to taste. So yummy, but really only when you're sick. I drank a quart of it, plus some echinacea tea and a glass of Emergen-C too...

Breakfast: yogurt with raisins, almonds, honey and an orange

Lunch: half a banana

Dinner: whole wheat ziti with ratatouille - eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic, red & yellow bell peppers, parsley, basil - also added a little grilled chicken in for protein.

I know I promised recipes and the milk post, but I was not feeling up to it today - you know I am not feeling well when I am not even on the computer all day. Maybe if I didn't stay up til all hours every night I wouldn't get sick...

Tues Feb 10th - What I'm Eating

Maybe I should not wait until so late at night to do this - I am having a hard time remembering this morning!

Breakfast: leftover enchiladas with sour cream

Lunch: Ezekiel toast with butter and strawberry preserves, cheddar cheese, and broccoli slaw

Dinner: Blue Planet Natural Grill turkey burger on whole wheat bun with mayo, organic baby spinach, tomato, all natural bacon, avocado, with steamed broccoli and one baked onion ring (stolen from my hubby)

Snack: banana and almonds

Analysis: a strange day of eating - no cooking, but I had to work all afternoon and evening... I am coming down with something - I have a sore throat... I hope it doesn't turn into what my little guy has - he is a coughing little snot-spewing mess! Off to take more echinacea and go to bed... I have tomorrow off so maybe I will finally get that milk post finished and put on here!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mon Feb 9th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: parts of a banana, an orange, a string cheese, and some yogurt with raisins, honey, and almonds...all shared with my little guy

Lunch: Ezekiel corn tortilla quesadillas with black beans (which had been soaked...)

Snack: about half an apple with some cheddar cheese

Dinner: Salmon baked with olive oil and seasoning, Quinoa (soaked) with Spinach and Feta, and a big baby greens salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Snack: dried cranberries and pistachios

Analysis: not a bad day - dinner was delicious, the quinoa dish was awesome! I soaked the quinoa and the black beans for over 24 hours, then transferred them to the fridge until time to use them. I didn't notice any differences in taste or texture, so that was a good thing, I think! I would definitely be less to do it if I not only had to plan a day or two in advance, but then my food didn't taste right afterwards... So there you go, my first foray into soaking beans and grains, aside from buying Ezekiel stuff...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sun Feb 8th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: a banana

Lunch: cornmeal crust pizza with tomato sauce, mushrooms, grilled chicken and black olives...eaten only maybe 1 hour after my "breakfast"... (I slept in!)

Snack: dried apricots

Dinner: enchiladas with ground beef and black beans, leftover broccoli slaw

Analysis: well once again I have had a major lack of veggies today - also my breakfast and snack were only fruit, which was a bit of a no-no...especially being a banana and dried fruit, both higher in sugar on the fruit continuum...I really should be eating apples or something with more fiber, and combining with nuts or something...

Becca asked me in a comment on my last post, if it was getting any easier, if I was feeling better, etc. Well, I do feel some subtle improvements if I stop and think about it. I haven't gotten sick, which is I think the best benefit so far, because my little guy has had a couple of viruses that I usually always catch too. I have lost a little weight I think, my clothes feel slightly looser, at any rate...I'm not weighing myself. My digestion has for the most part been significantly improved. And I had a normal length cycle, which I must at least in part attribute to better nutrition. On the down side, I am still feeling major sugar cravings and at least the last few days have allowed myself to bend the rules a little with pudding and fruit...which means I am getting complacent. Once an addict always an addict I guess...I hope I am not forever doomed to be a "dry drunk" when it comes to sugar. I still need to make exercise more of a routine - I would say I get it in maybe 1-3 times a week, but I would really like to aim for 5 times a week or ideally every day. I also want to continue to improve what I'm eating and get more fresh foods and more variety, and minimize the times that I am so hungry I just eat whatever because I didn't plan ahead well enough. I will say that I am proud of myself for the changes I have made, and once I am done with this infernal work schedule I have going on right now, life will be a lot better too!

Sat Feb 7th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast - Ezekiel cereal, the usual; a few dried apricots

Lunch: leftover ham and pepper quiche

Dinner: grilled cheeseburger with ketchup, no bun; broccoli slaw with mayo, white wine vinegar, raisins, sunflower seeds; baked beans

Analysis: I was so busy today and barely home, so it seems I didn't each much. We were at a friend's for dinner and I forgot to bring my own burger bun - I was definitely forgoing the grocery store brand white buns, so went breadless...that's ok, I'm sure I got my grains at breakfast... In three weeks I will not be so busy, so I am looking forward to redoubling my efforts then...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fri Feb 6th - What I'm Eating

Posting a little earlier than usual tonight - feeling quite exhausted and going to bed early.

Breakfast: Ezekiel cereal, what else? I was in a hurry, had to work early...

Lunch: Potluck at a friend's house so I will try to remember what I ate: whole wheat pasta salad with onions, black olives and I think some olive oil & other seasonings... quinoa pasta salad with chicken, broccoli, bell peppers, not sure what else... strawberries, blueberries, pineapple... chicken tortilla soup with sour cream - I didn't notice any tortilla in it though, mainly just tomatoes and chicken! red rooibos tea...

Dinner: Jason's Deli - half a wrap in a whole wheat tortilla with ham, cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato... salad bar big baby greens salad with bean salad & mushrooms and blue cheese dressing. grapes and strawberries in yogurt. banana pudding.

Analysis: a rather odd day of eating. I did avoid the muffins and scones at the potluck... Banana pudding at Jason's I've decided is a splurge I am allowed. We go there probably not even once a month, so that is a treat for me. How bad can it be? Milk, bananas, gelatin, a little sugar? Hopefully its not full of fake stuff and preservatives and I guess I could find out, but I tend to give Jason's a fair bit of credit. If you are not familiar with this chain, they really have a lot of organic items on the salad bar, they are fully trans-fat free, they seem to have a good conscience when it comes to food quality. Maybe its just marketing and I shouldn't make assumptions and actually ask to see the ingredient list... I swear if I found out there was something worse than a bit of sugar in that pudding, I would never eat it again...hence the reason I've chosen ignorance up to this point. Ok, ok, next time I go there I will check the ingredients first!

I fully intend to do the milk and dairy post this weekend, so keep your eyes peeled!

Thurs Feb 5th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: Ezekiel cereal the usual way...raisins, almonds, honey, whole milk

Lunch: Ezekiel corn tortilla quesadillas with the leftover breaded chicken

Dinner: Quiche with orange bell pepper, ham, and cheese, in a whole wheat crust; Mixed baby greens salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette, pine nuts and dried cranberries; a few dried apricots

Analysis: I am getting tired of the same old breakfast but I seriously lack inspiration first thing in the morning. Same actually goes for lunch - I would prefer to have leftovers to eat but I definitely need to get better at whipping up veggie things during the day too. Dinner included some nice things though. I have had a lifelong dislike of bell peppers. I have tried to make myself learn to like them on several occasions, without success. Lo and behold, I love them in quiche! They become so sweet! Why is it that I can't stand them in anything else? I'll just keep trying because they are really really healthy... The baby green salad this time I noticed had baby chard in it, so I thought that was makes me feel like eating salad is worth more than just for roughage... And the dried fruits, that was a little treat I picked up at the store last time...its a close approximation to dessert...

So anyone have any brilliant ideas for how to improve my breakfast fare??

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Weds Feb 4th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: sunny side up egg cooked with coconut oil, Ezekiel toast with butter and strawberry preserves, most of an apple (the little guy had some too...)

Lunch: tuna salad (with onion and celery) sandwich on "wheat bread" with lettuce, tomato, olives, pickles and about half a bowl of chicken broccoli noodle soup, which also had a little corn in it

Dinner: breaded chicken, gravy, tons of broccoli

Snack: plain organic whole milk yogurt with blueberries and agave syrup

Analysis: Today seemed to be a broccoli kind of day! We did eat lunch at the Capitol, hence the "wheat bread," at which you had to look really hard to tell if there was any whole wheat in it - I probably should have skipped it entirely... Otherwise, I did the best I could. The breaded chicken recipe was from one of my favorite books, Nourishing Traditions, and is a great alternative to fried chicken. I used fresh bread crumbs made in the food processor from Ezekiel bread and sauteed at quite a low heat with butter and olive oil...then I made a quick gravy from the drippings, but my gravy never turns out very good... The chicken didn't really need it though, it was tender and moist anyway! Oh well, the little guy had fun dipping in it - ah toddlers and their dipping... I wish I would have done something better for a starch/grain, but considering what I ate earlier in the day, I probably didn't need it. I could also have stood more variety in my veggies today and contemplated serving salad with dinner as well, but then I just didn't - I'm not sure why not...

In case you're curious, I have also been drinking water and taking my pills, it just seemed a bit silly to be writing it in every time... I had stopped the pills for a little while after I had the stomach flu, because the Metformin upsets my stomach a little and I was not brave enough to try it. I have been back on that for a while now though, so its all good. I think my pants seem to be getting slightly less tight, so I am relieved and I think all this is beginning to do its job...hopefully my metabolism is starting to heal slowly but surely. Sorry if this is too much information, but it is PCOS-related. I am happy to report that I experienced a normal length menstrual cycle for the first time in years, which is incredible! It was the first one since my son was born (18.5 months - yay breastfeeding!), but before that, I was totally irregular (therefore infertile) thanks to PCOS. Hopefully all this will help keep that regulated as well - a welcome improvement!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tues Feb 3rd - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: leftover spinach pizza and Ezekiel cereal with raisins, almonds, honey & whole milk

Lunch: did I eat lunch today?

Dinner: carrots & celery and a couple of bites of bison roast, Ezekiel corn tortilla quesadillas with chicken

Snack: orange and macadamia nuts

Analysis: what a bad day of eating. Virtually no vegetables - not good. I might have eaten something else in the middle of the day but at this point I am so tired I can't honestly remember - I stayed up way too late last night (as usual) and it finally caught up with me. Dinner was a total bust - I am usually a half decent cook, I mean I don't ruin much, anyway. Well this bison roast I put in the crock pot was basically inedible, even for my hubby, who will eat anything. I am not sure what went wrong. Hubby thinks it was just overdone, but I think it was fouled by some red wine I splashed in - the moment I smelled it, I knew it was a mistake. Well, it was a little tough, too...I read about 8 different recipes online, and half said to cook it on very low temperature, and not for too long, and the other half said high temperature, and some of them said to just make it the same as beef when using the crock pot. So I seared it and put it in the crock pot on the lowest setting, for about half the usual time. I checked it and it was still bloody. So I turned it up to the second lowest setting for about the final hour of cooking. The carrots were barely softened at all and the roast was apparently overdone... I have no idea what to do with the other bison roast sitting in my freezer now! The only consolation was that it was not too expensive - we got a great deal. I am thinking of maybe trying to boil the leftovers for a few hours and see if it softens up at all, then shredding it and using it in enchiladas. I don't know, but maybe the nasty wine flavor would be covered up by all the seasonings??

Feb 2nd - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: plain organic whole milk yogurt with raisins, almonds & honey

Lunch: homemade pizza with tomato sauce, tons of spinach, a little grilled chicken and mozzarella on a store-bought organic cornmeal crust (so maybe home-cooked is the better word...home-topped?)

Snack: banana and macadamia nuts

Dinner: Boston Market dark meat rotisserie chicken with veggies (carrots, green beans, zucchini & yellow squash) and corn

Analysis: Yes, we went out again tonight, but we were on a date - dinner and a movie! I was good and didn't eat the cornbread... I still need to work on improving my breakfasts, though, and my snacks for that matter - must eat more veggies! I also did pilates today during the little guy's nap, after we had gone to the baby gym playtime, where I spent a lot of the time bouncing with him on the trampoline - my quads hurt! Sorry I haven't been able to complete the dairy post yet, I have had a lot of grading to do for work - I should definitely be able to do it this week though! Hopefully the HFCS post was enough for you to work on for a little while!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sun Feb 1st - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: Ezekiel cereal with raisins, almonds, honey and whole milk

Lunch: 2 Ezekiel corn tortilla quesadillas with cheese & chicken

Dinner: deviled eggs, artichoke dip, sourdough bread, a couple of macadamia nuts (not chocolate-covered...), one bite of homemade apple tart (only a tiny bit of the crust, mostly apples)

Analysis: I really didn't get any proper veggies today at all. Now I'm thinking of making a salad before bed! I have to get better about incorporating some at breakfast, then at least I'll be starting the day out right. I did the best I could at the Super Bowl party tonight - we brought both the eggs and the dip and bread, so I knew those were safe to eat. I could not resist a bite of the apple tart, but it was the least of the evils. There were chocolate-covered almonds on the coffee table all night, brownies, marshmallow-creme-filled chocolate cupcakes, jello jigglers, and ice cream, all of which I managed to avoid, through no small effort. I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but I technically do have a 3-bite exception for special occasion no-no items. I didn't even go that far tonight, I kept it to one bite! I am pretty proud of myself, but kind of sad at the same time, because it was an in-your-face reminder of what I'm missing out on, even though I know I'm better off without it all...

Sat Jan 31st - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: Ezekiel cereal with raisins, almonds, honey & whole milk

Lunch: most of a ham and cheese sandwich with mayo on Ezekiel bread

Snack: baby carrots

Dinner: cheeseburger with mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato on a whole wheat bun. broccoli slaw with mayo, apple cider vinegar, and agave syrup. baked sweet potato fries

Analysis: wow, I very nearly forgot to do this blog tonight! I have decided to fight my night-time cravings and say no to them for once, so no snack tonight. I can't decide if I feel hungry or just empty inside...I think its the latter, which will probably not really be solved with eating! I think its mostly just the remnant of the physical addiction to sugar.

Also I noticed I really had a lot of mayo today. Granted, its organic, expeller-pressed safflower mayo, but still... Well its to be expected - there really was very little food in the house until we went to the store this evening. We're all stocked up now though and set for a better week of eating, so I'm glad about that. On the other hand, hubby actually made the meal plan this week - I just have not had time. I did look over it before we shopped, so I guess we'll see...I'm sure it will be fine. We bought a lot of veggies...

Today was a beautiful, relatively warm day, so I took the little guy on a walk through the neighborhood for my exercise. He had a great time seeing the birds and squirrels and an ambulance driving by. He absolutely did not want to come in the house when we got home - he usually throws a fit going into the stroller - this was definitely the first time he complained about getting out! I promised him more walks on future nice days, so I guess I'll have to keep that word!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fri Jan 30th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: oatmeal with cream, raisins, almonds, flax seeds, a little maple syrup.

Lunch: Arby's Market Fresh Roast Turkey Ranch sandwich with no onions - I think this had (obviously) turkey and ranch dressing, also bacon, tomato, lettuce, American cheese, mayo, on whole wheat bread. I think the bread was not 100% whole wheat though. Also I am sure the mayo and ranch were full of preservatives and maybe even HFCS...and the meat was probably full of nitrates...and the cheese was definitely not real... I was out and this was the best I could do given the circumstances...but next time I think I'd just rather be hungry and wait until I got home...or pack something...when am I going to get a clue about this?

Dinner: Applebee's 4 oz sirloin with portobello mushrooms, grilled shrimp & parmesean sauce, a double serving of steamed veggies including broccoli, carrots and yellow squash - it was by far mostly broccoli though.

Snack: Archer Farm's Organic Cranberry Nut trail mix bar - only natural sweeteners, no preservatives. Not bad for Target...

Analysis: Wow, quite possibly the worst day of my whole diet, except maybe the Honey Bunches of Oats day... I ate out twice! Lunch was actually a huge mistake because while I thought I was getting the healthiest thing on the menu, I think the bread turned into glue in my stomach and I have been feeling kinda sick the rest of the day. I should have not eaten that bread! I did pretty darn well at Applebee's though, I thought! I even avoided dessert, which was not easy! mmm...Triple Chocolate Meltdown... The trail mix bar is only so so - on the one hand, its organic and doesn't have any nasty HFCS or preservatives, but on the other hand, it has "crisp rice" which is code for "brutally mutilated processed rice product," not exactly whole grain...

The whole problem is that we actually didn't do a meal plan this week, hubby just went to the store and bought a bunch of meat. So that meant that by today, we didn't have anything to put together a proper meal, and I was gone all day. Case in point, more planning ahead required...I'm off to make a proper meal plan, which will be procured at the store tomorrow.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thurs Jan 29th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: egg & cheese burrito w/whole wheat tortilla

Lunch: leftover bacon kielbasa, a few spoons of applesauce

Snack: most of an Ezekiel English muffin with butter & boysenberry preserves - the dog ate some when I had to leave the room for a minute...I was ticked...

Dinner: pork chop, big salad with homemade vinaigrette, broccoli & green beans.

Snack: chicken & mozzarella quesadilla - the last whole wheat tortilla...

Analysis: kind of a funky day - a lot of cravings and feeling negative about food today. :( I have to drive past a Little Ceasar's pizza place on the way home from work, and tonight I was dreaming about garlic cheesy breadsticks, and also those cinnamon glazed breadsticks... waaaahhhh!!!!

I didn't get any exercise done today, but I did take the little guy to a toddler playtime at a local community center gym, where I chased him around for an hour and a half...does that count? I would do some pilates now, but frankly, I'm exhausted...

I also wanted to tell you about how I make pork chops... I don't bread and fry them, surprise, surprise! I usually toss a little seasoning on them and then I cook them in my electric oil-core stainless steel skillet. Its not frying because there is no oil...its not exactly baking either, though I guess that would be a little closer. Anyway, they turn out nice and brown and very moist. If I didn't have this special skillet, I suppose I would broil or bake them... frying definitely falls into the category of "damaged fats."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weds Jan 28th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: Ezekiel bread toast with butter and all-natural boysenberry preserves, organic whole milk plain yogurt with raisins, almonds, & honey.

Lunch: leftover chicken fricassee

Snack: half a banana and half an orange

Dinner: leftover BBQ pork, leftover mushroom rice, broccoli, big green salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Snack: the same yogurt as above, with raisins, almonds, Ezekiel cereal, honey and vanilla...

Analysis: today was a pretty lazy day, cooking wise... I needed a protein with my afternoon snack... got some good veggies at dinner, though. Did you read my blog about High Fructose Corn Syrup yet???

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I have been back to doing pilates the last few days - my abs huuuuurrrrrttttt... that's good, right? :) DS and our dog act really funny when I am doing it though! The little guy tries to climb on me and hug me and give me kisses, which is funny because usually if I ask him for a hug or kiss he shakes his head no and runs the other way! He also tries to lift up my shirt and get "milkies!" The dog stands right over me wanting me to pet her - if I ignore her, she butts her head into me, and then flops down practically on top of me...she paws at me unless I pet her or make her go away! I guess there are 2 people who don't want to me get in shape...go figure!

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Well I am still working on the milk and dairy post but I just saw this info and felt compelled to post about it.

You know the recent series of commercials that make claims that High Fructose Corn Syrup is "all-natural, made from corn, has the same calories as sugar, and is fine in moderation"? Well I was shocked to see those commercials putting bald-faced lies out there and making fun of parents who try to avoid giving that stuff to their kids... but now recent reports are revealing the ugly secret that HFCS is often contaminated with mercury! Yes, the same mercury that can cause autism, the same mercury that is in the fish they tell pregnant and nursing women to avoid eating, yes, the same mercury they swear is not in our vaccines anymore (that's a story for another day)!

There are two reports I am linking to, but I'll give you the juicy bits:

First, a research article published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health, "Mercury from chlor-alkali plants : measured concentrations in food product sugar" by Dufault, et. al. Article URL

This study tested HFCS from three different manufacturers, and found detectable mercury levels in 9 out of 20 samples. Most of the samples testing positive came from only two of the three manufacturers. Based on their findings, they made this analysis: "With the reported average daily consumption of 49.8 g HFCS per person, however, and our finding of mercury in the range of 0.00 to 0.570 µg mercury/g HFCS, we can estimate that the potential average daily total mercury exposure from HFCS could range from zero to 28.4 µg mercury." Since "prenatal exposure as low as 10 mg/kg methylmercury, as measured in maternal hair growing during pregnancy, may adversely affect the development of the fetal brain," it is clear that HFCS may be a very serious source of potential mercury exposure.

The second article is from The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, also published this month: "Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup" By Wallinga, et. al.

This group gives further background information on the problem, and undertook their own independent testing of 55 brand name food products that list HFCS as the first or second ingredient. They found detectable mercury in about 31% of products tested. They measured total mercury in Parts Per Trillion (ppt) which does not directly compare to the other study, but it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no safe exposure amount for pregnant women or for children. Here are the results for some of the products that were found to have the most mercury:
From Recently Updated

This study is just meant to illuminate the issue, and bring attention to the need for the FDA to regulate the levels of mercury and other toxins in all food. So many Americans, especially children, consume very high levels of HFCS, and advertising such as the recent campaign only serves to potentially increase exposure to this problem-ridden additive.

But even if all the mercury is taken out of HFCS for good, its still bad for us! For those of you who are unfamiliar, below is a quick run-down of the other known evils of HFCS:

1) Fructose inhibits the absorption of copper. "Lysl oxidase is a copper-dependent enzyme that participates in the formation of collagen and elastin. Fructose seems to interfere with copper metabolism to such an extent that collagen and elastin cannot form in growing animals." "A deficiency in copper leads to bone fragility, anemia, defects of the connective tissue, arteries, and bone, infertility, heart arrhythmias, high cholesterol levels, heart attacks, and an inability to control blood sugar levels."

2) Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver, so high exposure overworks it, causing Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Syndrome, similar to the cirrhosis seen in alcoholics.

3) "Free fructose interferes with the heart’s use of key minerals like magnesium, copper and chromium. Among other consequences, HFCS has been implicated in elevated blood cholesterol levels and the creation of blood clots. It has been found to inhibit the action of white blood cells so that they are unable to defend the body against harmful foreign invaders."

4) Fructose worsens Insulin Resistance by further reducing the affinity of insulin for its receptors. Furthermore, "fructose interacts with oral contraceptives and elevates insulin levels in women on 'the pill.'"

5)Fructose gets converted into fat more than any other sugar, contributing to obesity.

6)Fructose leads to imbalances of the minerals iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.

These and a full list of dangers and references can be found in the article "The Double Danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup" by Bill Sanda.

So please please please STOP using HFCS!!! Go through your cupboards and fridge and just throw it all away! Read labels and do not buy another thing with it! Your health depends on it! If you want to sweeten something, use honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, even regular sugar is better than HFCS! There are also a lot of natural calorie-free sweeteners out there, usually made from a plant leaf called Stevia. Don't even think about using artificial sweeteners like Equal or NutraSweet - cancer in a little packet - but that is another post!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tues Jan 27th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: the rest of yesterday's scrambled eggs with spinach & tomatoes

Lunch: leftover chicken fricassee with whole wheat shells

Dinner: teriyaki chicken legs, steamed asparagus, brown basmati rice cooked in chicken broth with mushrooms

Snack: whole wheat quesadilla with colby jack cheese

Analysis: we like to marinate some chicken legs in some nice organic teriyaki sauce every now and then - they bake up really nicely in the oven and have a nice glaze on them - very flavorful and juicy! its a nice meal to prepare without a lot of extensive preparations! NICE! that being said, I really want to start figuring out ways to start incorporating more vegetables into my snacks, especially.

I really didn't realize how much grain I was eating until I learned more about them the other night and now I am noticing all of it! I can't wait to get the stuff I have out of my house and get started learning how to soak and sprout. I have also started doing some research on milk and dairy, which is interesting too! I'm not quite ready to write yet, but maybe in a day or two...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mon Jan 26th - What I'm Eating

Breakfast: eggs scrambled with cream in a little coconut oil, with spinach and tomatoes

Lunch: the last of the lamb curry, sauce and cous cous...

Snack: half a banana and a piece of ham

Dinner: baked bacon-wrapped kielbasa drizzled with maple syrup, peas, big mixed greens salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette

Snack: whole wheat tortilla quesadilla with cheese & grilled chicken

Analysis: I didn't do too terribly today, I guess. The dinner entree looks pretty bad, but in fact, it was an improvement over the old way I used to make it, crusted in brown sugar! The little drizzle of maple syrup gave it just enough sweetness, but I will admit I did miss the crusty, caramelized brown sugar a little... You do have to be careful of sausages and hot dogs and the like because they can really contain a lot of bad stuff. We buy the Wellshire Farms brand, which "are made of All Natural pork that is raised free of drugs, chemicals, and growth stimulants. There are no added artificial flavors, colors, food starches, or fillers." They are also nitrate and nitrite free, and have 65% less fat than conventional kielbasa. We get this brand for our bacon also, which comes uncured and preservative free... In fact, we only buy meat products that we feel confident have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, and that have not been treated with preservatives or other additives...there are a lot of brands popping up now, even in the regular grocery store...there is a demand for it, and rightly so!

I have a few grainy things left to finish off and then I am going to go to a majority soaked/sprouted/fermented grain plan, after all that research last night. It might be a little tough to get the hang of planning everything, but once I am done with teaching after Feb, it will be easier because I will have more time...I guess I'll ramp up my efforts slowly until then. I will definitely keep you posted (haha) on recipes and stuff I'm trying with that.

I have a couple more topics in mind for additional posts, so I'll put them out here, and maybe you can comment and tell me what you'd like to hear about first:
book review
milk and dairy
other - you tell me!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to Eat Grains (and beans, seeds, and nuts)

Well we know we are supposed to eat "whole grains" and avoid white flour and other highly processed carbs, like commercial cereal and instant oatmeal, for example... A nutritionist who gave me dietary advice right after I got diagnosed with PCOS and IR recommended that I avoid all bread except "Ezekiel" bread and occasionally, sourdough. She said something about it being "sprouted" so it was easier to digest. OK, I like whole wheat bread anyway, and turns out, this Ezekiel stuff is basically just like a heavy whole grain bread. So I have stuck to her advice (when I have stuck to good eating habits) and have even discovered a whole line of baked Ezekiel products, like tortillas, cinnamon raisin bread, and even English muffins. Lately I have been wanting to know more about the theory of sprouted grains that is behind this Ezekiel thing. The following is what I have been able to surmise in a brief review of a couple of excellent sources, Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon, and The Weston A. Price Foundation,

Refined grain products = BAD

Today’s modern white flour has a horror story to tell. The wheat is abused with chemicals from seed to harvest, then stored in warehouses where is it regularly fumigated with poison to kill insects. The germ and bran, which contain the fiber and essential fatty acids, are discarded before milling. High-speed mills reach over 400 degrees destroying any remaining nutrients. Commercially made whole wheat flour retains the germ and bran, but the high temperatures cause the oils to become rancid. This says nothing of the preservatives and conditioners that are added when making commercial baked goods, let alone the toxifying processing that gives us breakfast cereals. White flour is not only nutritionally void, it is actually toxic!

Whole grains = a little better
Organic or biodynamically grown grains will be free of the chemicals of standard processing. You can also buy 100% stone ground whole grain flour, which has not been exposed to the high temperatures – but because of the fatty acid content, it will go rancid. In fact, flour spoils in about the same time as milk, and should also be kept in the refrigerator or freezer. I have actually bought (on 2 different occasions)100% stone-ground whole wheat flour from the health food store before, and found it to be already rancid when I opened it at home. Good thing I don’t bake much! The bad thing about regular whole grains, though, is that they contain phytic acid, which binds with various minerals in the digestive tract and inhibits their absorption. This can lead to mineral deficiencies and even bone loss. Whole grains also have enzyme inhibitors, which keep the seed in a dormant state until germination, but also inhibit many of our enzymes, reducing digestion. Lastly, our guts just are not anatomically designed to be able to fully break down whole grains…animals that eat them have four stomachs and we only have one!

You have to watch out when buying “whole grain” baked goods because many of them will have white flour but call it “wheat flour,” which should not be confused for whole wheat flour. Also the flours are usually made with the traditional chemicals and high temperature milling practices, and contain hydrogenated oils, soy flour (which is loaded with antinutrients), and bad sugars like high fructose corn syrup.

Soaked and sprouted grains = the way to go
Studies of traditional societies who had good physical health showed that they ate all their grains after soaking, sprouting, and/or fermenting them with lactobacilli or other friendly microbes. These processes break down the phytic acid and neutralize the enzyme inhibitors. This also activates some enzymes in the grains, which increases the amounts of many vitamins, making them even more nutritious. Fermentation allows friendly microbes to help break down some of the difficult to digest parts, similar to the processes that occur in the first couple of stomachs of ruminant animals, making our job easier, as well. This is why old-fashioned, slow-rise breads from fermented starters, like organic sourdough, are also ok to eat. Likewise, the Ezekiel breads are actually a brand from a company called Food for Life, which makes all sprouted grain baked goods that are free of bad additives and chemicals as well.

Sprouting is the main thing that can increase the nutrient value in grains (and beans and seeds and nuts) – for example, Chinese sailors traditionally avoided scurvy by sprouting mung beans on their voyages, which produces vitamin C (and many other nutrients.) Many of the complex sugars that contribute to gas formation when eating beans and grains are broken down, and additional enzymes are produced in sprouting as well. Sprouting also inactivates aflotoxins, which are carcinogens found in grains.

Sprouted grains are best eaten cooked because when raw they do contain some irritating substances (which are intended to prevent animals from eating the young shoots). They can be ground and made into breads. Of course they can be steamed or put into soups, stews and casseroles as well. There are many different kinds of grains that can be nutritious when soaked, sprouted, and/or fermented, including wheat, oats, rye, barley, corn, rice, buckwheat, millet, spelt, kamut, teff, amaranth, and quinoa. Grains should be cooked slowly and for a long time, at relatively lower temperatures, to maintain nutrient content. Soaking can usually be completed overnight, sprouting can take 1 to 4 days, and fermenting can be achieved by soaking grains with fermented dairy products, or by creating starter dough, taking anywhere from a day to a week. Clearly, this kind of preparation takes a little planning ahead!

A last little note about sprouts, though, alfalfa sprouts are actually not good for you! I know, I know, you thought it was the ultimate health food! They actually contain canavanine, which is a toxic amino acid that can inhibit the immune system and contribute to the inflammation of arthritis and lupus, when eaten in don't go chowing down on the alfalfa sprouts!

A word about soy

(It falls into this category because is it a bean, in other words, a seed, and much more like a grain than anything else…and should be treated as such.)

The nutritionist told me to avoid soy products because of the estrogen-like compounds they contain, since one of the problems in PCOS is an excess amount of estrogen. I don’t need any more from my food! However, I have uncovered a few other disturbing things about this food that has been marketed as a health food for as long as I can remember.

Soybeans are very high in phytic acid and contain potent enzyme inhibitors, neither of which are neutralized by standard cooking. Remember, these things cause mineral malabsorption and reduce digestive efficiency. These are actually concentrated in commercial soy milk, which also contains carcinogens that are formed during processing. (not to mention, it usually has added sugar too) Soy is totally evil for anyone who has thyroid issues – it can severely aggravate them, creating a debilitating condition. Giving babies soy artificial infant milk can cause changes in pubertal timing as well as thyroid problems and immune system dysfunction.

But what about the claim that soy is healthy because asian peoples have eaten them for centuries and have notorious longevity? They actually only eat relatively small portions of fermented soy products, such as miso, natto, and tempeh… Have a look here for a good article about soy.