Not physically, of course, but virtually. My interests have gone beyond the topic of this blog, and while I would love to be able to keep up with all my blogs, I simply cannot. Therefore, I am moving my future posts to my new blog, “The Meaning of Life, Love and Everything“, which is a hail to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. This new blog will feature all my thoughts about the weird, the insane and the ridiculous that life has to offer, and it will contain all my rantings. Who I am is someone who cannot be contained with one topic for a blog, so therefore, I am consolidating all my rants and raves into one blog. This way, you get to see more of who I am, why I am, and maybe find something else out about yourself in the process. Don’t worry–all my dietary journey postings in the future will be there as well.

These posts already on this blog will remain, but I will not be updating this one anymore.

See you there!

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I am not going to go much into detail here, as there are already several well-written articles about how we as a nation have a lot of anger at the overweight and obese population. These articles are available below, and illustrate my point of my previous article, Fat Phobia, very well. Perhaps I did not illustrate my point very well in the last article, as many people got hung up on the airline issue more than the bigger issue of how our nation views obesity and being overweight. On that note, there is one person who had this to say about airlines singling out larger passengers for more money:

” “I don’t want to be pushed up against a thin passenger sitting next to me any more than they wants to be pushed up against me,” she said. “But the seats keep getting smaller. I don’t need all of the chairs in coach to be available to fatties in a comfortable way but I do think fat people have the right to interstate and international transportation just like everyone else.” ” (emphasis added) ¬†http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/2391531/WALL-Es-fattist-satire-angers-fat-pride-groups.html

America’s War on the Overweight

Glamour’s Plus Size Model

Who Says America is Too Fat?

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate our attitudes towards anyone on the “outside of society”, including the overweight and obese. Maybe tolerance should be shoved out the door in favor of warm and welcoming acceptance…?

Almond Bread

July 17, 2010

Here is a great flat bread that you can serve with beef and a salad. It uses almond flour as the main base, with a bit of coconut and tapioca flour to bind it together. It’s a bit sweet, but mostly savory. If, for some reason, you can’t have almond flour, cashew flour would also work well for this bread.

Ingredients

1 2/3 cup almond flour

1 heaping tbsp. coconut flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1 tbsp. succanat

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup heavy cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Blend well and get rid of any lumps with the spoon. Make a hole in the center of the ingredients and add in the wet ingredients. Blend well until it forms a ball.

Grease a small loaf pan with coconut oil or butter. Spread dough into pan and push to edges of pan.

Bake for 30 minutes and cool.

Variations

These could also be used as dinner rolls. Just form small balls and place on a cookie sheet.

A pizza crust could also be made using this recipe. Just use 1/2-3/4 cup tapioca flour, reduce sweetener to 1 tsp, and add Italian herbs. Then roll out thin on a pizza pan.

If you want sweet rolls, use 1 cup tapioca flour and 1/2 cup sweetener. Then make as directed in your sweet roll recipe.

The ideas can be endless with just a few ingredients…try this recipe and then experiment. Let me know what you come up with, as I would be interested to know!

Mock Meatballs

July 16, 2010

In preparation for a vegetarian gathering I will be going to in a couple of days, I came up with a vegetarian meatball recipe. Now, it tastes nothing like real meatballs, but for die-hard vegetarians, this fact may suit them just fine. These “meat”balls use nuts and tapioca flour for the base, with some nutritional yeast added for nutrition purposes. They are not vegan, as I used eggs and dairy for the liquids, but for anyone who uses dairy and eggs on a daily basis, these are pretty good. Add some marinara sauce or cream of mushroom soup, and these can go from boring to gourmet in minutes.

Ingredients

1 cup cashew flour

1 cup ground hazelnuts

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, crushed and minced

1 1/2 tsp basil

1 egg

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup cottage cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place dry ingredients in large bowl and blend well. Add onions and garlic…stir well.

Make a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients. Add egg, sour cream, cottage cheese and shredded cheese. Blend until mixture is a sticky, yet dough-like consistency.

Using a tablespoon, take out a small amount at a time, smooth to a ball shape and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all is used up, or you run out of room on the sheet.

Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool, then place into a deep baking dish, and add the sauce of your choice. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.

Variations

You can also use this recipe to make a “meat”loaf or burgers. If you have tried “Special K” loaf or have had oatmeal patties, this is a very similar recipe, and can fill in nicely for those dishes while still being grain free. Being a vegetarian on a grain free diet may be a bit harder than eating meat, but it can still work if you use your imagination.

Weekly Weigh in #3

July 10, 2010

Posting weigh ins have not happened for a couple weeks, only because I didn’t have anything to report. In the midst of all my experimenting and baking, I went overboard a bit with my eating. And it’s a bad habit to get into–thinking that if it is grain free, there is a license to eat all of it you want. This is dangerous thinking, because even though it may be grain free, it is still food that can contribute to weight gain. So…I was not losing weight that fast. (Or at all…) When I realized what I was doing, though I still kept experimenting, I ate less of my grain free experiments and more of the protein foods that helped me lose weight in the first place.

This Week’s Number

In two weeks, I have lost 9 pounds and now weigh¬†240 pounds. Most of that came off in the past week and a half, after I realized what I had been doing to myself. In one and a half months, I have lost a total of 30 pounds! This is really amazing, considering that the only exercise I really get is walking around my property, going to mailbox and back, and doing my regular in-house duties, such as cooking. There may be some people that will claim that just doing that is what helped me, while others will claim it’s just a fluke. However, there have been some medical studies that have shown that exercise for weight loss just does not work, and that if you are eating properly, less exercise will help you lose more weight. The theory behind this is that when you exercise, your body is getting the signal to need to feed itself soon. It’s why you get ravenously hungry after exercising, and then when you reach for something to eat, it will more than likely be something high in carbohydrates. Read more about it here.

Evaluation

What made me lose 9 pounds in two weeks? The only thing I can think of is that I just kept to this plan, ate moderately until I was satisfied (not full) and rested more than usual. Interesting…when I watch the Biggest Loser, and watch those people kill themselves just to lose the most amount of weight, I have to shake my head. They are doing all the things that are hard and making it harder on themselves to lose the weight. I think that they would do anything they could to see numbers that I am seeing naturally, as a result of eating the right type of diet. 9 pounds in two weeks? That’s about 4 1/2 pounds per week.

My Goals

Now that I have lost 30 pounds, my body is starting to be in a pattern of losing consistent weight. I would still like to lose 5 pounds per week, but I’ll be realistic about it. Whatever my body wants to lose, it will lose it. At one point in the future, I will stop losing weight when I get to the right weight for me. I am guessing that may be around 180 or 170. I just want to have energy to live and not let my body get in the way. And really…isn’t that what we all want?

I just love reading old cooking books, as it really tells of the formalities of the times. For example, the book Mrs. Goodfellow’s Cookery, published in 1865, described how things should be in the kitchen, right down the meat carving. One of the descriptions for carving fowl really could be made into a slapstick movie scene. Check it out:

ON CARVING. It must not be supposed that the necessity for this acquirement is confined to the heads of families alone, it is as important for the bachelor visitor to be familiar with the art, as it is for the host himself; indeed he is singled out usually for the task of carving a side dish, which happening to be poultry of some kind, becomes a task most embarrassing to him, if he should happen to be ignorant of the modus operandi of skilfully dissecting a fowl. He may happen to be on the right hand of the lady of the house, and at her request, very politely conveyed, he cannot refuse: he rises, therefore, to his task as though one of the labors of Hercules had been suddenly imposed on him; he first casts around him a nervous glance to ascertain whether any onie else is carving a fowl, in order to see where they insert their fork, at what part they commence, and how they go on; but it generally happens that he is not so fortunate as he desires, and therefore he is left to get through the operation as well as he can. He takes up his knife and fork desperately, he knows that a wing is good, a slice of the breast is a dainty, and that a leg is a gentleman’s portion, so he sticks his fork in at random, and slashes at the wing, miisses the joilnt, and endeavours to cut through the bone; it is not an easy task, he mutters something about his knife not being sharp, essays a grin and a faint jeu de nwt at the expense of the fowl’s age, and finding the bone will not sunder by fair means, he puts out his strength, gets off the wing with a sudden dash which propels the mangled member off the dish upon the cloth, sends the body of the fowl quite to the edge of the dish, and with the jerk splashes a quantity of gravy over the rich dinner dress of the lady seated next to him, much to her chagrin at the injury to her robe, and her contempt fer tile barbarous ignorance he had displayed. He has to make a thousand apolo(gies f,or his stupidity, which only serve to niake his deficiency more apparent, ec becomes heated, suffused with blushes and perspiration, continues hacking and mangling the fowl uintil he has dis jointed the wings and legs, and then, alas! the b,ody p’icstnts 2* 17

That this is even in a cookery book reminds me of just how informal we have become today! Look at the quaint writing, as well as the expectations from that era. Though we do not need to be as formal, maybe there is something to be said for learning the art of fine food presentation. If we took the time to cook food properly, and present it neatly, there may be less of a rush to hurry through meals. And this could just take off some stress from our lives. It’s worth thinking about, don’t you think?

Once Upon a Time…

July 5, 2010

…in a land not so far away and a time not so long ago, meat was considered healthy, vegetables were dietary supplements, and fruits were considered desserts. Grains were used very sparingly in a way to “round out” a meal. Sugar was not available as it is today, and was limited to the higher class, as they were the only people to be able to afford it in any quantity. Artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup and other preservatives were not even thought of, let alone used, in any manufacturing of food-like products. And obesity was limited to a select few who truly had “inherited” this condition.

The Shift

Then something happened that made everything turn upside down. A few misguided “doctors” mistakenly theorized that cholesterol is responsible for heart disease, as it clogs up the arteries, etc, etc. So then everyone jumped on this mistake bandwagon, making everyone think grains were healthier than meat…which made butchers trim off most of the healthy fats off of meat. Before this, meat had at least 50% fat…not anymore. Today, it’s lucky if a person can find 20% fat on meat. Society says that if we eat less fats and more whole grains, we will lose weight. However, the more people try to do this, the bigger they get.

Today’s Obesity “Epidemic”

Before the government completely messed with the food recommendations in 1992, Americans were less fat and healthier. As a kid, I never heard of kids becoming Type II diabetics…nor did I see so many people so overweight as I do today. I was an average sized child and adolescent, but after following the recommendations of the government when they revamped it to make grains the bottom level on the pyramid, I became overweight in a hurry. (Well that, and the rest of my story here.) The so-called obesity epidemic of today is because of the pyramid scam implemented in the early 90’s. Before this, there were 4 food groups–meat and eggs; dairy; fruits and vegetables; legumes, nuts and seeds. And the recommendations were to get close to an equal amount from each food group. There was not the epidemic of obesity that there is today…hmmm, makes one wonder, doesn’t it?

Get Back to Basics

I am told that not everyone is the same in how they process food, and how they react to certain food items. Yes, people do react differently to food and other substances…it’s what makes us unique. And I have also been told that we need some grains in our diet to be healthy. I am not so sure this is true, entirely. If grains did not exist for human consumption, (only for animal consumption) and we were living mostly on meat, with a few fruits and vegetables thrown in, would we still be healthy? Not everyone thinks so, which tells the level of brainwashing the government has performed on society. (Follow the money on this one, folks.) No one NEEDS grains to live on…before agriculture really took off and grains formed the basis of our diets instead of meat, how did people survive and thrive then? Why were there less food-related diseases back then? And why were there less obesity back in those days?

To be healthy, grains need to be put on the back burner (so to speak) in favor of more meat and other non-grain foods. Sugars and other sweeteners should be used sparingly, or none at all really…but a little in moderation should be okay. Get back to the basics that created vibrant health and vitality in our species in the first place. Do your research to “justify” eating this way…don’t rely on just my experiences and words. Many medical studies, not reported by the media mind you, have shown that the basic way of eating is the healthiest. In weight loss, and in health, saturated animal fats have beaten the low fat, grain based diets hands down–every single time! This cannot be just a coincidence. It must be that what people instinctively knew about health so many years ago was actually true, and that our “supposed” healthy foods today are just junk foods in disguise.

Cut the Grains!

No, we don’t need grains to live on, or even thrive on. Grains have a highly addictive quality to them, and when people say they “feel” better on them, it says to me that it is providing the high that other people get from drugs. But the thing is, people do not think this way. In fact, they think that they feel good because the grains are healthy, not addictive. And trying to get off of grains is just as bad as trying to stop any other addictive substance. However, it becomes twice as hard as it needs to be, because everyone in society says that it’s okay to eat grains. That it is healthy for you, and that you’re not wrong for eating grains. Just because everyone says it’s okay, does it make it so?

Do an experiment–cut out the grains from your diet for just one week. Note how you feel, how clear your mind is or is not, and what your digestive tract does. Then once the week is up, have a little bit of grains…and then note how you feel. Then, based on your findings, choose to either include or exclude grains from your diet.

Angry Yet?

I know a lot of people who read this post will become upset with me for saying this. And that they will think I am spouting foolishness and nonsense…that I have been brainwashed by the meat industry, etc. Well, they have that right to their own opinions. Unfortunately, this is the way 99% of the population will treat this post…as utter nonsense. It doesn’t matter that the majority of the medical studies un-publicized back me up on this post. What matters is public opinion, apparently, when it comes to health ideas…and what matters is that, because I have no degree that says I am an authority on this topic, I am just an uniformed idiot. It doesn’t matter that I have spent many years in the pursuit of true health and informal research. It doesn’t matter that our ancestors thrived on saturated animal fats and very little, if any, grains. It doesn’t even matter that people have increased in size, on average, over the past 20-30 years on implementing the government’s dietary recommendations to eat more grains.

What matters for most people is their long held opinions, and that those who have a piece of paper stating they are an authority on nutrition state the opposite of what I am saying here. (Again, follow the money…) And the only thing that matters for most people is that if the government tells us to eat more whole grains for heart health, they will eat a lot more whole grains. Then they will wonder why they are ballooning up in size…they will even blame everything else but the grains for their size change.

I AM!

I am angry…angry that so many people are following the recommendations of the government without even thinking for themselves! Angry that grains are clouding up the minds of so many intelligent people…and creating an entire society where we become complacent enough to follow any ridiculous suggestion. You think that just because the government says something is healthy, that it is? Just look at so many recalled drugs in the past ten years. Or look at the many retractions about so called healthy foods in the past 20 years. Then…when you can get your brain un-fogged, look into how much money really is changing hands between the food industry and government officials. It’s not just the grains, but industrialized foods in general that are becoming unhealthier on a daily basis. The government does not care about your health anymore than your dog cares about learning how to read. It just won’t happen anytime soon, right? So, live if you want to, in the idea that grains are healthy. I, for one, will not and cannot live in that world anymore.

Today, when you are celebrating the country’s most patriotic holiday, there are going to be many opportunities to eat what you know may not be the best things for you. How are you going to deal with these situations? If you are like me, and find that all grains create an allergic reaction, it may be best to avoid all grain based dishes and go straight to the meat and veggies. (Without the buns, thank you.) But that doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it? It’s a social occasion, is it not? The beauty of this plan is that you can have things not necessarily good for you once in a while without the need to feel guilty. Keep the indulgences to one or two servings only, and you will still be on track. Better yet, bring a few dishes you can have on this plan to share with your family and friends. Here are a few ideas:

Peach Cobbler (grain free)

Ingredients

2 packages frozen sliced peaches

1 cup sugar, divided

8 tbsp butter

3/4 cup cashews, ground finely

3/4 cup tapioca flour

1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in baking pan, and melt in oven. Take out when melted but not brown.

Set peaches and 1/2 cup sugar in medium saucepan. Mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.

Meanwhile, ground cashews in coffee grinder until fine, and pour into large mixing bowl. Add in tapioca flour, 1/2 cup sugar and milk. Because the grain based recipe calls for self rising flour, you will need to add about 1 1/2 tbsps of baking powder to help it rise. To prevent clumping, use a hand mixer and mix well.

Pour mixture over melted butter, but do not stir. Spoon peaches on top, and then add the syrup from the fruit. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

Cheese Stuffed BBQ Meatballs

Ingredients

2 pounds hamburger

2 eggs

1 onion, diced

4-5 tsp garlic pieces

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup barbecue sauce (try to get one without high fructose corn syrup)

1/2 block of cheese, cubed

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, place all ingredients, except the cheese. Mix well.

Take a small amount of meat mixture, make a small patty out of it, and place a cube of cheese in the center. Fold meat around the cheese and make a ball around it. Place on baking sheet and continue with the rest of the meat. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool slightly, and then move meatballs to a slow cooker (crock pot). Cover with the rest of the bottle of barbecue sauce, and turn on crock pot to low. Let cook for about 30 minutes, and then serve.

Healthy Eating on Holidays

The mainstream idea of eating lean meats, etc is still very prevalent today, but there really is nothing wrong with eating saturated fats. To see the research on this, just click on one of the links to the right of this post.

It is entirely possible to eat healthy all year ’round, if you think of your recipes in a different light. Take the above dishes to your function today, and see how well they are received. You can still eat healthy, even on holidays, and turn your friends on to this way of eating as well. While you are living it up today, just remember to stay safe, healthy and happy!

According to the Guardian in the UK, obsessing about healthy food is a sickness. This is not to say that if you are looking to make healthy changes to your eating plan, you are diseased. Rather, this article is saying that if you obsess about eating only “pure” food, and it takes up your entire life, it can become a sickness. If you are making your menu more important than your life, you may have what psychologists have termed, “Orthorexia Nervosa”–very similar to Anorexia Nervosa. In fact, if a person who obsesses so much about pure and healthy food, the argument is made that they will get to the point of being anorexic, because of limiting themselves to just one or two foods.

Social Lives Suffer

Someone who is obsessing about food may be be missing out on connecting with family and friends. I have heard of some people who would rather avoid all social situations rather than be faced with being around food that does not “fit” their ideas of healthy food. People with this mindset also will view someone with less pure eating standards as less moral than themselves. Of course this can contribute to a less than satisfying social life, because not many people want to be judged about their own eating habits.

Is it a Disease?

We all want to be healthy, have enough energy to get through the day, and be able to live a little. Eating food that is nutrient rich and free from chemicals can help you find better health. And eating foods that work for your body can help you achieve your results that much faster. However, when you obsess about the minute details of that food, it can be considered a sickness. When your eating plan consumes your entire life, and you become a walking menu, it’s time to back up just a little and re-focus your energy. It’s okay to focus on your eating plan when you are first getting started on a new path, because learning a new style of eating requires practice and work just like any other new skill. But once you have your eating plan learned, there is an entire world out there for you to experience. Eat to live, but don’t live to eat.

Sunflower Seed Crackers

June 28, 2010

Crackers and me sometimes get along…at least in the old days before I realized that it was the grains that made me sick and overweight. Yesterday, I had a huge craving for some crackers, and my normal mix for baking may have been too sweet. After searching online for some decent no-grain cracker recipes, the best I could come up with was to use almond meal…but I don’t have that around right now. I did remember that sunflower seeds, when ground, have the consistency of almond meal, and close to the same taste. Because of that, I came up with this recipe:

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups ground sunflower seeds

1/2 tsp. salt

seasonings

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grind sunflower seeds in coffee grinder until you have the right amount of flour. Add in your seasonings and salt and blend together. In measuring cup, add water and oil, then pour into dry ingredients. Mix well…the mix will be a bit runny, but this is okay because it will make it easier to spread out on your baking sheet.

Lightly oil your baking sheet. Then pour the mix on the baking sheet and spread out evenly to be a thin layer. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Check the crackers after 15 minutes, and turn the pan around the other direction. Bake for another 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees. Pull out crackers and cut into squares. Bake at the lower temperature for another 5-10 minutes. Let cool before taking crackers off the baking sheet.

Results

These crackers turned out okay. They have the consistency of granola and not crackers, but they work for the cracker craving I had. They could also use a bit of sugar in them to heighten the flavor. But they work as is too…

The next time I make these, I will be altering the recipe a bit to reflect this observation. When I do, I will update this post with a variation on this recipe.