Healthy lifestyle

What Do I Eat – Lunch

I am eating mainly 3 times a day (sometimes 4 if I am hungry). My “carb” consumption is greatly reduced due to me being ” insulin resistant” (new term for me) and having a difficult time loosing weight. I think the insulin resistance has something to do with the over consumption of sugar and carbs to the point that my body does not know what to do with all of these low nutrient foods, so it stores as fat. Because the majority of my diet was sugar and carbs, my body did not have the opportunity to use up the stored stuff. Now, I am limiting my carb foods to once a day (and a limited amount).

Since my carb meal is usually in the morning, what’s for lunch!! Left overs are one of my “go to’s”. However, having other people in the house, I never know if I’m going to have left overs from the night before available for lunch the next day. Then there are days that I will have that left over for 5 days of lunches and dinners! Kinda crazy!

So, I am learning to always have soup in the fridge for my lunch. If it is around for a few days, I will put it in small portion size freezable containers, label them and freeze them for another time.

The soup today is Egg Drop soup (I’ll put the recipe at the end). I am learning that bone broth is great for my body especially my gut. Now, I think this is the new “hip” name for stock or broth. I have made my stock from the bones of chicken or turkey bones for many years.

This is what I did for bone broth:

I went to the food store and picked up 3 pounds of turkey necks and wings. Placed them in a huge stock pot with a lot of water added salt, bay leaf, pepper. Sometimes I add carrots, onions and celery as well. Put it on Medium heat and bring to almost a boil. Then lower and simmer for about 6-8 hours with the lid on.

Two things I have learned: 1) bringing the stock to a full boil will make it cloudy. Doesn’t change the taste just the appearance. 2) leaving the stock on the stove for hours and uncovered will result in very little if any stock left in the pot due to evaporation!

This can also be labeled and frozen for future use. (I have to say that I always have bone broth from a box in my pantry if needed.)

Soup of the day: Egg Drop

  • 6-8cups Bone Broth (flavor of your choice)
  • 6 Eggs
  • 4 cups Spinach

The portions can be adjusted to your liking.

Bring the bone broth to a slow boil. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and set aside. Put the spinach in the broth. When the spinach is wilted into the broth, slowly drizzle the egg into the broth. The eggs should look like ribbons or noodles.

The featured photo is a stock photo. My soup image is below. I don’t have the technique for this yet, but mine tends to look like clumps of eggs and spinach. Still tastes good!

Still Yummy! I have to call on Ann Burrell to help me with the presentation!!!!

Thank you for reading my blog! Tell me what you think of the soup!

Healthy lifestyle, Uncategorized

What Do I Eat?

Yesterday, I had one of my “sick” days. My body was aching every time I moved, totally body fatigue, big time brain fog, headache, no motivation. This usually lasts one day or half a day. I usually nap (yesterday for 4 hours) and be a couch potato (which I don’t want to do) and drink a ton of water to flush out my system.

My health coach, Sharron, suggested that I may have an overgrowth of Candida in my body. I’m going to give you my non-medical definition of Candida: It is a yeast or fungus that everyone has a small amount on and in their body. It’s one of those bad bacterias that gets balanced out by the good bacteria. Since Candida is a yeast, I think of making bread to compare. Any yeast needs three things to grow–moisture, sugar, and warmth. When the Candida is overgrown in my body, I am itchy in certain areas, tired, more headaches, more mucus production, and brain fog.

Since Sharron put me on some supplements to combat the candida, I have been feeling really good! Like almost back to normal energy good!

I still crave breads and thought if I eat a gluten free bread every now and again, I’d be ok. WRONG! The one slice ended up being 4 slices (because it tastes good!). That was on Tuesday. Yesterday I paid for it by feeling really sick.

I think I can call these accidental experiments. I get a craving, I feed that craving, I feel sick after, I learned not to eat that food or I’ll feel sick.

So, what to eat………This is breakfast time for me as I’m writing and I have a few “go to’s”:

  • Oatmeal bake/slow cooker (recipe in one of last week’s posts)
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Eggs (recipe at the end of this blog)
  • Apple and Peanut Butter (Just Peanuts for ingredients)
  • Chia Seed Pudding (in one of last week’s posts)

I choose from one of those for breakfast and usually have a couple of them ready in the fridge to eat when I need it. I also use the apple and Peanut Butter or Chia seed pudding for a snack if I need it.

Not the best photo I’ve taken! Sweet Potato and fried egg (over easy) breakfast. Yummy!!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

  • Diced Sweet Potatoes
  • 1-2 T. Olive oil or Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 t. salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil. I dice the sweet potatoes into about 1/2″ pieces and put them right on the lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle the oil and salt over the potatoes and toss until all is coated evenly with the oil and salt.

Place in oven for about 60 min or until to desired doneness.

My daughter and I like them when they are a bit caramelized and slightly brown on the bottom. This brings out the sweetness more.

The bigger the dice, the longer it will take to cook them. My daughter and I love to watch WORST COOKS IN AMERICA and Ann Burrell. She would not like the inconsistent knife cuts!!! My knife skills are a work in progress!

If you try any of my recipes, please tell me how they turn out!

Have a wonderful day and thank you for reading my blog!

Healthy lifestyle, Uncategorized

Sugar, Sugar……

Oh My! What do I know about sugar……a lot! It’s a big topic. I will share with you as much as I know to help you make better choices.

The little wonderful sweet white granules we know as sugar is in many processed foods we consume every day. Salad dressings, tomato sauce, cereals, muffins, breads, and mayonnaise to list a few items. I have learned to read not only the nutrition facts, but the ingredients as well.

Sugar is also disguised under many different names and forms. I don’t know all of them, but here’s a few: dextrose, fructose, lactose, glucose, cane sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, honey, corn syrup, turbinado, agave, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, molasses……….and many many more! Plus there are the replacement natural and artificial sweeteners (like stevia, splenda, etc.)

Most of these have an effect of spiking the blood sugar in our body and then crashing. If the sugar energy is not used up right away, it gets stored as fat on the body. Some of the sugars are better like coconut sugar. It does not spike that sugar level as much. The artificial sweeteners come with some side effects for me like headaches or I just don’t like them.

That’s the stuff I have read and been told. Now, let me tell you about my relationship with sugar.

Sugar and I have had a love, hate relationship. It comforts me when I am stressed; keeps me company when I am bored; and help me brighten my day when I’m sad or angry. Yes, that through all of the cookies, muffins, cupcakes, puddings, etc. that I consumed during these emotional times. It also continued to give me more and more cravings for it( like a drug ), that I needed a “sugar fix”. I remember a time that I was trying very hard to eliminate the sugar from my diet and it was a stressful time in my life, I was feeling shaky (like a withdrawal). As soon as I gave in and ate a cookie, my shaking subsided and I was much more calm. Weird, I know!!!! This leads me to believe some of the talk about sugar being addictive.

I want to mention that I have an A1C of 6.1, which is close to being a type 2 diabetic. That disease runs very strong in my family and comes with many other serious complications. I won’t get into talking about diabetes, because I’m not a medical person. I worked at American Diabetes association for 3 years and have witnessed my family members with diabetes and know a lot about it to be able to tell you that it is one nasty disease that you cannot see.

Many years ago, I gave up all of the artificial sweeteners. More recently, I limited my sweeteners to coconut sugar and stevia. These I’ve been told will keep my blood sugar steady. Keeping my blood sugar steady will also keep my energy steady without causing tiredness.

I did that for about 8 weeks and I have narrowed down that my stomach pain/reflux is still being effected by the coconut sugar. So, most of my “sugar” sources have been eliminated at least for now. If I want to bake and cook, and that is the only way that I can control what I’m consuming……what kind of sugar/sweetener can I add to my foods?

With all of the “out of the normal” cooking I have done in the past decades, I have discovered that my sweeteners come from bananas, prunes, dates, raisins. Here’s the basic way I use them:

  • Bananas – Mash or put them in a blender to mash them and make them smooth. When substituting them for a gradual sugar, remember that this is a “liquid” form now and the other liquid has to be reduced.
  • Dates, Raisins, Prunes -They are dried and most of the moisture is gone from them. I would put a bunch in hot water to steep for a bit (like I would tea) until they are plump and soft. Then blend them til smooth by using a blender.

I am not sure of the specifics yet. I am still in the playing with recipes stage to see what works and what doesn’t.

I want to share with you a breakfast recipe that I have been using and love:

Baked or Slow Cooker Oatmeal

  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups Almond Milk (unsweetened)
  • 1-2 T. Cinnamon
  • 1 T. Vanilla
  • 2 T. Butter (I like Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Sugar (next time I’m gonna try 2 Bananas or 1/4 cup of date puree)
  • 3-4 cups Fruit diced (apples, peaches, berries)

Put all of the ingredients into a large corning ware dish or the slow cooker and give it a stir to mix together.

To bake: Place corning ware dish in oven at 350 degrees for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. I make this early in the morning when I wake and it’s ready when everyone is ready for breakfast.

For the Slow Cooker: Set slow cooker on low for about 6-8 hours. This is great to make before I go to bed and I wake up to the house smelling wonderful and have a nice hot breakfast all ready for me! It’s like having elves in my kitchen!!

This is uncooked. It’s a highly requested breakfast in my house!

Tell me how you like this recipe! Have a wonderful day!

Featured, Healthy lifestyle

Dairy

In my late teens, I started with not being able to tolerate dairy and my stomach started to hurt and show signs of reflux or gurd (I always get them confused). I was told I was lactose intolerant by a doctor and to take the enzyme pills that aid in digesting dairy. They never seemed to work. So, many years ago, I gave up all dairy like cheese, yogurts, milk. I would eat them occasionally and just deal with the issues like stomach pain (and another issue that I don’t want to want to mention because it is just embarrassing and gross).

So, I am totally eliminating dairy from my diet! But, it’s in many processed foods like salad dressings, butter, desserts! Now what do I eat!!!! Instead of getting frustrated, I turned to one of the tools that my mother taught me and I really enjoy doing (and it’s not sewing this time). COOKING!

I had to change many of the recipes that I have been cooking and find alternatives to the wheat and dairy in my recipes. It was harder many years ago when I first started feeling sick because eliminating these foods from my diet was unheard of and not readily accepted.

So, here’s some of the substitutes for dairy that I am using:

  • Almond milk Unsweetened – can use in cooking or drink straight or in a smoothie
  • Coconut milk in a can – can also be used in cooking
  • Dairy free Cheese – American, cheddar, Ricotta, Cream Cheese, Parmesan Cheese…..so many choices!
  • Coconut Cream – (be careful that there’s no added sugar) I’m seeing that this can be used like whipped cream (yummy!).
  • Dairy Free yogurts – Kite Hill is a brand I like even though I cannot eat them any more due to the sugar (which I will talk about next time).

Back to cooking…….I love to cook and altering recipes to see what I can make. Today, I made Chia Pudding. I learned that Chia Seeds are really good for gut health, and the “pudding” made with it is easy to make and yummy! I have made it before and it reminds me of a tapioca pudding.

The recipe I followed had honey or maple syrup in it (which I cannot tolerate), so I altered it and here’s the recipe:

CHIA SEED PUDDING 2 servings

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 banana mashed
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all together in a pint size canning jar or other container. Place in refrigerator and let the chia seeds absorb the flavors overnight (or 6-8 hours). Enjoy!

As I’m typing this, there are so many other variations that I can think of and I’m going to try! Like Pumpkin spice chia pudding, lemon pudding, chocolate pudding! This is going to be fun! You’ll see the variations soon!

This is the Chia Seed Pudding I just made! I’ll tell you later how it is!!
This is the brand of dairy free cheese I like. It does not melt like normal cheese, but it tastes good to me.

Featured, Uncategorized

Gluten Free

I have learned that Gluten, Sugar, and Dairy are in many of the processed foods we eat. I have to be a detective because these foods come in all types of forms!

When I was growing up, my mother taught me how to make bread. One of the tasks is to “knead” the dough. This process encourages the gluten to develop and make it stretch. Gluten I found out later is a protein in wheat flour (all purpose flour as well) that I cannot tolerate. Gluten can be found in Rye, Barley, Wheat.

Wheat is in a lot of processed foods and can be hidden with the term “Modified Starch” for one example.

Which leads me to another topic: Modified Starch can be many things like wheat, corn, tapioca, etc. My definition of starch is that all the nutrients have been stripped away and only the part that turns into sugar in my body remains. I have learned that sugar/carbs will give me a short burst of energy and then I crash and feel tired. If I don’t use those sugar/carbs, they will be stored as fat on my body. I need that like I need a hole in my head! So, any of those “Gluten Free” processed foods are mainly made of starch and not good for my body.

I eliminated all starches and glutens, and feeling a little better. Next step…..