Drink Weird Things.

About two weeks ago I got myself some kefir grains, after being intimidated by the idea of ‘rotten milk drink’ for the past couple of years. I’d never tried kefir before, never had any fancy flavored store-bought kefir, just dove right in to the craziness of ‘home brew’ as my dad calls it. And let me tell you, so far I’m much happier with it than the sad results of trying to make kombucha a year and a half ago. It never ever got fizzy no matter how many tricks I tried, and un-fizzy kombucha just seemed wrong to me. I ended up dumping it and watching my scoby die a long drawn-out death. Kefir on the other hand, I can handle. Every night after dinner I simply strain it into a jar and set it out for an over-night second ferment which I pop in the fridge in the morning, and pour fresh raw milk over the grains for the next batch… so I basically have two jars going at the same time to keep myself and my family supplied. Right now I just use kefir in green/fruit smoothies which are DELICIOUS, and I honestly like it better than I ever liked yogurt in smothies. Someday I’ll be brave and try kefir straight, but for now I’m happy with what I’m doing.

 

THEN, we had a couple of really hot days, and while I was at work my kefir over-fermented and separated into basically a floating island of what looks like ricotta cheese, and perfectly pure whey.

IMG_2959

Another hot day, the separation begins. I have yet to find an area in our house with even temperatures.

 

I have the book ‘Cultured Food For Life‘ and I knew there were recipes for home-made sodas started with whey, and there are some great-looking recipes, but I didn’t have the right ingredients for any of them just now. (It’s still a great book, and she’s also got pretty much all of the information on her website, go look!) Then I remembered seeing ‘Lacto-Fermented lemonade’ on The Healthy Home Economist’s facebook – and when I first saw it, it sounded bizarre and actually slightly gross, as I associate lacto with milk, and milk and lemon anything means curdled lumpy mess. But here I was with a bunch of lemons and limes and a jar of whey, so what was I to do? So I did.

IMG_2961

And the results? YUM. So much yum. There’s nutmeg in there, I never would have thought to add nutmeg with lemon/lime, but it’s seriously delicious. Tangy. Zippy. I added just a couple of drops of stevia to replace the sugar that was eaten up in the fermentation process. I almost can’t wait for another scorching hot day just to see how refreshing this fermented lemonade will be then.

Advertisements

Hey, you. It’s YOU.

On a similar topic, but not exclusively Whole30, I have been toying with the idea (yet again) of getting trained as a health coach. I have helped a number of people to change their eating habits and loose weight (and quite frankly, they do a better job of keeping it off than I do… the curse of being a snacker who can’t figure out how to break the habit…) and I love being a part of that and seeing people’s lives changed for the better. There’s an online course that I would love to take, it looks marvelous and has a good reputation compared to other online schools I’ve looked at… but alas, the ever-present problem of I-don’t-have-money-right-now keeps me from even applying. Maybe in a could of years, after my car is paid off. We’ll see. In the meantime, I read books (a new one on balancing hormones is currently in the mail heading my way – so excited!) and blogs and try methods out on myself, and cringe and squirm when I read conventional health magazines. Uuuggghhh. I used to get a couple of health magazines when my interest was budding, but I ended up cancelling them, because they are seriously full of lies. I’m a first-hand witness to the effectiveness of many things they call quack solutions, and I’ve seen the damage done by the ‘healthy’ eating habits they promote. Continue reading

Whole30 FINISHED: recap, and sundry.

My Whole 30 was finished nearly a week ago. There was no huge burst of relief, because my eating habits haven’t changed much since then. I still haven’t touched a bit of dairy, and I don’t intend to for a long time. It’s just not worth it! I did, however, try a couple of different grain-based foods one two different occasions, just because they sounded good and I wanted to test my reaction, even though I had a preeeeetty good idea of what would happen. I was a little surprised.

Sunday, I went out to lunch with a friend, and we had ‘breakfast’ for lunch. I got eggs, ham, and two pancakes. Here I was imagining two moderate sized pancakes, but nooooo, they came on a separate platter, yes, PLATTER, and were each the size of a dinner plate and nearly and inch thick. I laughed outright and made exclamations that amused the waitress. I managed to eat one. Allllll the rest of the day, I felt like there was a weight in my brain, and I so desperately wanted to take a nap. At church that night I had small-group, and during the discussions I didn’t say a word. I just kept yawning and rubbing my eyes and really wishing I could go find  a place to lay down and sleep. Anywhere. Cement floors wouldn’t have bothered me too much.

Then, Tuesday my church streamed the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye (which you can still watch here, and I highly recommend that you do.) , and I chose to eat some of the whole grain tortilla chips that someone had brought. Yum. They were really good. And my stomach then felt like it was full of nails and sharp, pointy rocks for the rest of the night.

So, I’ve had enough of ‘reintroducing’ foods that make me less healthy. They might taste good, but not THAT good. And there are other foods that taste just as good that don’t harm me, so… it doesn’t make sense.

 

 

Whole30 week 3 check-in

whole30-plain-header

21 days in, no grains, no refined sugar/sweeteners, no dairy, no legumes.

It’s actually not hard. Easier than I was expecting. I thought for sure my cheese cravings would come crashing down and turn me into a crazy person, but I find most ‘cravings’ for anything pass in a matter of minutes and I’m fine.  The hardest part is STILL vegetables. I started out well, but I’m finding if I don’t take time to prepare a meal, I’ll just grab protein and fruit and skip the vegetables, which is a no-no.

What I miss the most, surprisingly, is Continue reading

In the heat of the morning…

It’s hot today, folks. I know, I know… those of you who live in the southern states are laughing a little hysterically at me, but trust me, it’s hot. It was 92* in the shade, and we live without air conditioning, so chew on that for a moment. 😉

This morning when I got up, it was already hot. And sticky. SO very sticky. My bed sheets feel damp and clingy because of the humidity. Blech. IMG_0005

For breakfast, I wanted a green smoothie. It’s what I have for breakfast most days lately, and I looooove them. I nearly always start with a heafty handful of baby spinach, one of chopped kale, half and avocado, a good long slosh of almond milk and… whatever frozen fruit I have that sounds good to me.

I’d forgotten that we didn’t buy spinach the other day because mom’s in coming on in the garden. I opened the fridge looking for it, and when I realized  there was none I kind of stared in glum denial…

Yes. I had to go outside in the blazing sun and PICK spinach for my breakfast smoothie. This isn’t a big deal unless you know me and getting up in the morning. It’s not a pretty thing. But actually, it was a nice stretch, bending and hunkering a good 15 minutes in the wet, steaming row of baby spinach.

And it’s sooooo much cheaper than the grocery store… currently organic baby spinach is running $6-7 a pound if you buy the big box of it. Several pounds costs us less than $2 for seed. Take THAT, world. 😉

It was worth it, the heat and bugs and grogginess and all. I had a scrumptious, nutrition dense and highly refreshing blackberry-strawberry ‘green’ smoothie, and even shared some with my dad, who said it looked disgusting and sucked it down in a flash.  IMG_0007

A Word on Fruit Juice

SUGARFRUIT

Image copyright Sparkpeople.com

While I’m on the topic of juicing, I just wanted to add a small caution: don’t use too much fruit. Food pyramids, posters in your doctor’s office, television, all over the place you will see people promoting anywhere from 5 to 9 servings of “fruits and vegetable” a day. Great. So I can eat 8 oranges and 1 cucumber every day and be healthy! Wrong. I’ve also read comments in health forums by confused people talking about how they feed their kids such healthy food, all they snack on is fruit all day and yet when they go to the dentist their teeth are full of holes.

Continue reading

Green Juice #1

green juice

 

My apologies for the horrible, horrible photo. It’s 11 pm and I just realized about 20 minutes ago that I wanted to have green juice ready for my breakfast in the morning, on the fly to work. So, I made a batch of what has become my personal favorite juice, bottled it, (dotcha like the bottle? Isn’t it adorable? T.J. Maxx. $4.) and wanted it share it with you. I just stuck a pad of newsprint paper behind it to block the other, more hideous clutter from view. I wanted to illustrate just how GREEN this stuff is. I love it! This is what The Jolly Green Giant drinks for breakfast, I’m pretty sure. He sits around with The Hulk, discussing how to get more kids to eat their vegetables.

Continue reading

They told me this would happen.

About two weeks ago, I started juicing. Mostly vegetables. Not major juicing, not the juice-fast thing by any means. Some mornings I have juice for my breakfast, some nights I have it with my supper. Still eating more than plenty of my regular food. I wanted to see how many veggies I could get in there after months of knowing that a small handful of spinach in my fruit smoothie wasn’t cutting it. The handful o0f spinach is great for what it’s worth, but when weight is a problem and sugar is killing several members of your family, having too much fruit is a very real problem. Likewise not enough vegetables.

green-juice

Continue reading

Lunch

 

Blue potatoes, Spanish Spice peppers and yellow summer squash, fresh from the garden. We still haven’t had a frost, which is very surprising, heading into the second week of October.  I obviously didn’t eat everything pictured here, but I did slice up half an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic with half a diced pepper and sauteed until the onion was soft. Then I pushed the onions to one side of the pan and put in a few slices of chicken breast, and after turning those I laid thinly sliced squash over everything, salt and pepper and put a lid on everything until the squash was tender and everything was ah-mazing. I’ve had good squash and I’ve had disgusting squash… this was probably the best yet.