Tag Archives: Food

Interesting News of the Day

Are stock analysts better or worse than weather forecasters? This New York Times article discusses the seeming herd mentality of those advising us on what to buy and what to sell in the stock market. As I read the article, I thought of snow predictions based on “science” and the predictive models. Are stock market analysts any more accurate or reliable?

Passing notes, digitally? App for messages that have a short-life span. Interesting concept.

Organization Apps. Sure I could probably some help with organization. Here’s an article from PBS reviewing apps on organization. Just need to find the time to read it.

Food Traditions of the Chinese New Year. Today is the eve of Chinese New Year for those who celebrate. NPR educates us about the foods of the Chinese New Year tradition.

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Edinburgh Larder

Some of my fellow travelers located the Edinburgh Larder prior to the arrival of the rest of the group. The Larder offered wonderful, wholesome foods along with gluten free options. The folks who operate the Larder were helpful and nice to the visiting Americans. Best find: gluten free brownies. Stop by for a coffee and dessert. You won’t regret it. Wish I had taken a photo.

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Day One: Rosemary Challenge

This rosemary plant hopes to be a rosemary bush one day. It suffered miserably in a pot on the front porch while I was out of town for two weeks. Since returning I’ve ignored it another two weeks or so, believing it on it’s last legs as it were. Tonight, in the beautiful Georgia daylight savings time evening, I transplanted it from the Trader Joe’s pot into the yard.

I hope that the organic soil and homemade compost added to the sticky Georgia red clay will support growth. Today is the first day of the challenge. The poor little plant was barely surviving in the pot without attention. Perhaps some positive attention and room to grow will provide me with free rosemary for years to come.

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Out of Sorts

Day four: John asked me what was wrong. Just up from a nap, I have no idea. No cravings for food I shouldn’t eat. No real physical pain at the moment. Tension in my head around the temples and a band following all the way around my head. Nothing is wrong. Everything is wrong. But it has no name, like trying to nail jello to a wall.

Honestly, I just feel out of sorts.

A friend suggested when I mentioned my extraordinary amount of sleep over the weekend that perhaps I am detoxing, shedding all the chemicals and sugars. I was concerned that perhaps I needed some carbohydrates to sustain some action.

It’s funny, I’m accustomed to having some insight. Today, I just don’t.  Perhaps this is why no one ever describes this feeling in the diet books. There’s nothing pithy to report, nothing splendidly insightful.

I’m not craving food that less than a week ago would have been a default meal. For lunch, I stood with refrigerator door open and found a meal of soup and salad with toast and oil and vinegar instead of opting for drive thru French fries. Pizza has some interest for me, but I’m not compelled to buy some. When I didn’t feel like cooking dinner, I’ve opted to roast potatoes and eat a salad. Add goat cheese for protein.

Nothing pithy or cute. Just plain blah!

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Assembly Required

This journey toward feeling better will no doubt present many new challenges. The one I’ve noticed over the last two days can be summed up in two words: assembly required. The Schwarzbein Principle II, the book and diet recommended by my doctor, is one of the most shocking diet books I’ve read.

The diet plan designed for everyone divides people four profiles and endorses natural foods and forbids processed foods. One portion of the diet, for folks who have mistreated their bodies with stress, processed foods with other poor eating habits and lack of exercise to the point that they are insulin resistant and have blown out adrenal glands, tells the reader: you will likely gain weight while learning to eat better and nourish your body. Shocking! No wonder I’ve this diet hasn’t become a fad. Again, as with my doctor’s prescription, this diet could take years.

While there are many other aspects of this diet or life change I could explore, natural, non-processed food presents today’s challenge. You think, “of course, that sounds great.” Putting that into practice creates a significant challenge for someone who is accustomed to eating some meals or parts of a meal from a plastic container, ready made. Even yogurt is forbidden because of the sugar content.

What does this mean to me? I must assemble each meal from ingredients into the healthy, life sustaining and restoring fuel. Three times a day. I’ve cut up vegetables for readily available snacks.

Cooking three meals a day is time consuming. Not only must the meal be assembled, not always requiring an oven or store, but then there’s the clean up which I dislike.

Then there’s a need for creativity. Eating the same foods repeatedly will cause boredom and create a situation where I will stray from my path. Today, I plan to grill squash on the Foreman grill. For me, that’s innovative.

Although I must say, the time spent cooking is time on my feet moving around the kitchen. Also, the continuous planning and researching what to eat and how to be creative with the foods available to me provides further brain reprogramming. Sneaky how changing my eating habits, making me plan and assemble meals, may be changing more than my food intake.

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What’s the Alternative?

More than three years ago, I embarked on a search to resolve chronic pain. I should not feel this way, be in so much pain. Stomach pain and right side abdominal pain persisted to spite the expensive and invasive medical tests. My back pain will just be part of life no use in complaining. The pain weighed on and wore on my mind. With no respite in sight, I quit my job.

Since that time I used acupuncture, massage, yoga and mindful meditation to address what traditional medicine said was a problem in my head. The pain continued. I discovered that some of the pains responded to yoga and stretching. Though, once the exercise stopped, the pain returned. By happenstance, a dietary experiment to exclude gluten from my diet produced results-no stomach pain. Eureka!

The pain in my right side and back continued. On the recommendation of a trusted advisor, I sought an alternative. I met with a psychiatrist who specializes in mind and body treatment. And I am inspired.

We talked about not only my pains but my work, my life, food intake, exercise. The whole person. He prescribed exercise, meditation, a low glycemic diet, some supplements and a smoothie.

When we talked about breakfast, I mentioned the cumin I began adding to my coffee grind each morning. I added that the residue from curry seemed to improve my morning and prompted me to throw a few grains of cumin into the grinder with the coffee beans. He told me that cumin is an activator and the ancients used it in that way. Ha! The cumin did improve my day and awareness.

Today, I begin my journey toward improved life. The program prescribed, and he wrote a prescription, will take about five years. Yes, thats right five years. I am making a commitment to myself to feel better. As my journey through modern medicine taught, there is no magic pill to fix these pains.

A five year commitment is intimidating. What choice do I have? Remain in pain and continue to suffer or choose to try ancient medicine in a modern age.

The ancients did not have clocks synchronized to the second and an instant gratification society. The wisdom of tried and true methods will guide me, one day at the time. Perhaps one meal at the time. Five years will pass in small bits of time, discrete experiences.

This morning I made the smoothie-licorice tea & tuslie tea with spinach, fruit and some supplements. Not horrible. Not a bacon biscuit, though. If it meets the needs of my body for fuel and nutrients, then I will not complain.

Before meeting with this doctor I could tell that a couple of grains of cumin in my coffee can change and improve how I see each day. At this point,  I am willing to experiment with more ancient and modern wisdom to improve my quality of life. Because really, what’s the alternative?

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Patience, Food Patience That Is

Last night, I enjoyed a very ripe, very delectable plum for dessert. The juicy plum required some effort. I needed to wash it off. I chose to cut it so that I could see and eat around the pit.

As I savored the flavor, my thoughts ran to the other foods I might have been eating as “dessert” chocolate or ice cream or popcorn. Foods that I tend to wolf down in a great hurry. The plum would not be rushed. The fibrous meat of the plum required attention and work. The outer covering actually required chewing. No, this plum did not disintegrate immediately upon encountering the mouth.

On some level, my brain wanted to be done eating. The thought occurred that this was taking too long. Are we conditioned to the devouring of food? Is that the problem? Do we avoid natural foods because they require us to spend more time eating, savoring and enjoying out meals? Or is it that we just don’t contemplate what we are eating?

Kiwis served as my breakfast this week. They appeared in our produce bin last week and I’ve only just eaten them not in any other preparation. But not without careful consideration and a conscious decision. This food requires peeling and then cutting. Not nearly as easy as opening a yogurt cup or dumping cereal and milk into a bowl.

After the first morning, I looked up the nutrient information for the kiwi. Natural fat, protein, dietary fiber, calories and vitamin C: why would I eat something out of a box when nature provides all the necessary elements for good start for the day?

Perhaps a change in perspective would improve our eating habits. Compare the nutrients in your average morning breakfast with say an apple or a banana or some other natural breakfast. How would that change your day?

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