Random Rants and Musings from my Post W30 Life


1Maryann

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I've been meaning to start this blog for a while, because I can never find a suitable place for my observations and revelations.  So here goes:

 

This was my first ever completely free-range, grass-fed, organic Thanksgiving.  I even bought arrowroot to thicken the gravy instead of flour.  It worked great, the gravy was delicious, but it was much darker than usual and shiny like Chinese restaurant sauces.  It got a few crosswise glances, but once everyone tasted it, all was well. 

 

I made no mention of my W30 lifestyle, I just cooked.  I think dinner was half over before anyone realized there was no bread in the stuffing.  Desserts were no temptation, but I did decide to have cranberry sauce.  That was a deliberate choice, but I don't have a sugar dragon, and cranberries, like rhubarb, are far too tart to eat without sugar.

 

After a few days of leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (the stuffing makes a fine base for my sweet potato hash--just sausage, apple, celery, and onion) I can't wait to have a big old kale salad for lunch tomorrow.  Who ever thought I'd one day crave kale?

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 Desserts were no temptation, but I did decide to have cranberry sauce.  That was a deliberate choice, but I don't have a sugar dragon, and cranberries, like rhubarb, are far too tart to eat without sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FYI, I made the cranberry sauce from the Whole 9 Thanksgiving (with figs and apple juice) and it was really good! Not nearly as sweet as traditional, but I don't know if I'd like that anymore. The only problem was having the rest of the figs around -- they are so sweet and delicious!

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FYI, I made the cranberry sauce from the Whole 9 Thanksgiving (with figs and apple juice) and it was really good! Not nearly as sweet as traditional, but I don't know if I'd like that anymore. The only problem was having the rest of the figs around -- they are so sweet and delicious!

That would be hard.  I have played around with figs in a few recipes, but you can't just buy a couple.  Sugar has never been a craving for me, so it's easier to make traditional cranberry sauce and when it's gone, it's gone, instead of feeling like I have to keep find ways to use up the figs.  I'd wind up eating a lot more sweets that way.  Also, everything I made was delicious and enjoyed by the 'normal' people, but I might have had a mutiny on my hands if I messed with the cranberry.  LOL

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Observations at Walmart:  You are bombarded from the moment you enter the store with junk.  It is impossible to reach the pharmacy, the cleaning products, or most anything else without running the gauntlet of snack foods.  Everything is there--chips, candy, cookies, etc.  If you are entering the store hungry, it could be almost impossible for a 'normal' person to pass by all this crap without throwing something in the cart.

 

And what's with the weird flavors of potato chips?  I understand sour cream & onion, or barbeque.  Those are flavors you would normally find in dips.  But is there really a reason for "Parmesan Garlic Bread"?  Or "Chicken and Dumplings"?  Seriously?  If you have a hankering for chicken and dumplings, why not eat the real food?  It still isn't by any means 'healthy' what with all the processed flour, but at least it contains a protein and it certainly isn't a totally chemical concoction manufactured to taste like chicken and dumplings.  Have we gotten that far away from real food that we could down a bag of those things and be satisfied because we tricked our brains into thinking we ate an actual meal?  I can't think of any other purpose for them.

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An article I just ran across.  I thought it was interesting.  We've always been told you can't reverse tooth decay or gum disease, but my last few hygienist visits have gone swimmingly well.  I have not discussed diet with her, but she says I'm doing an excellent job taking care of my mouth.  This may be why.  The foods recommended are what we are already eating.  The foods to avoid or limit are items we already do.

 

"Over a period of time, if your diet lacks vitamins and minerals from a poor diet and/or contains high levels of phytates (from grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes), the blood chemistry and the ratio of calcium and phosphorous become out of balance, which results in minerals being pulled from bones, causing tooth and bone loss.

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I love your musings on potato chips! A friend of mind just posted today that she found hot dog flavored potato chips and was mixing them with ketchup flavored potato chips.  YUCK, just have a friggin hot dog and ketchup with chips on the side.  I simply cringed. 

 

And yes!  Teeth are so much healthier when we follow this kind of lifestyle.  I did my first W30 in June, shortly after my hygienist was taken aback by the change in my teeth.  I have been battling tooth decay and gum disease due to fear of dentists and not going for many years.  In the last 6 months the health of my mouth has improved dramatically.  Then with the addition of FCLO I have reversed cavities.  Congrats on your healthy check ups :)

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My eating has been very bad the last few days.  I am pretty sure I've given myself a hiatal hernia.  I have never been prone to acid reflux, and have only ever had heartburn a couple of times in my life.  So a few days ago, when it seemed every time I moved I was hit with burning pain, I got very concerned.

 

In researching the symptoms, that's the closest I could come, and since it can be the result of lifting heavy objects, and I routinely lug 50# feed sacks, I'm figuring I picked up one or more without using good technique and gave myself a tear.  And the symptoms started on a delivery day.

 

I spent one day just suffering through, figuring it would pass, but by the time I got off work the second day, I was in such agony that I headed for the store, grabbed a bottle of Tums off the shelf, and started eating them before I hit the check-out.  They only helped for a few minutes.  It seems if I stayed perfectly still, after a few minutes it would subside, but the minute I started doing anything physical, particularly if it involved bending or stooping of any kind, the symptoms came back with a vengeance.  And my esophagus started feeling so raw it was painful to eat.

 

I have been subsisting primarily on bone broth, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and ice cream.  I can only eat a small amount at a time.  If I take small bites and eat slowly, I'm okay, but if I try to eat a full meal, or eat at my usual pace, after a few bites I am in pain, as it feels like the food is 'stuck' and won't go down.  Then I give it a rest, it makes it past the stricture point, and I can eat a bit more.

 

A friend suggested I get some Zantac, and that has helped the pain substantially.  I still can't eat more than a few bites, and only want semi-soft, soothing foods, but I am no longer in agony.

 

The Mayo Clinic says diagnosis is by barium swallow, and treatment is usually with acid-reducers, many small meals a day, and avoidance of heavy lifting.  Not being in any hurry to subject myself to a barium test, I figure I'll follow the rest of the protocol for a few days and see if there's any improvement.  I can't see going through the testing just to have them tell me to do the things I'm already doing.

 

So keep your fingers crossed that if it is a small tear, a few days rest will help it heal.

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You are going to think I am crazy and this seems counter intuitive but I have read and have had really good results from taking a tbsp raw apple cider vinegar in a 1/4 cup of water.  I can't give you any science behind it and there really isn't much to be found but there are theories.  Here is some information about it :)  I hope you find some relief and it sounds like you are doing good things by drinking bone broth and keeping to a bland diet.  Take care of yourself and hopefully this will pass soon.

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You're right, Lizzard77, I did think you were crazy.  I was in so much agony, I couldn't even think about swallowing an acid voluntarily.  I didn't even touch a tomato product all week.  LOL

 

Feeling much better and ready to ditch the ice cream and get back to healthy eating.  I hit up Whole Foods today, got salad fixings for lunch for the week as well as a bunch of other stuff.  I took some beef stew out of the freezer to go with the salad, and a bunch of chicken breasts to make Chicken Perigord tomorrow.  There are two trays of carrots roasting as I type, and a tray of broccoli waiting to go in the oven.  There's ground venison defrosting for Chocolate Chili, and wild ground pork defrosting for breakfast sausage.  And the best part--a big stock pot of bone broth simmering on the stove.  I had some marrow bones in the freezer, and found beef necks at Publix today amazingly enough.  My stores never have cuts like that, so I bought a couple of packages and froze the rest.

 

I guess I'm pretty well set for the week.  No excuses!

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I was traveling overseas once and came across chicken potato chips.  They tasted just like salty crunchy chicken skin.  They were divine.  I wished that we sold them here in the states.  If they did show up at my store tomorrow, I might have to try them out to see if they were as glorious as I remember, but I don't think I could continue.  The amount of preservatives, fillers, and fake things really is a bit nauseating now that I see the world through Whole30 lenses. 

 

Glad you're feeling better.  The ACV recommendation made me smile because I'm now a big supporter of that crazy stuff.  It is counter intuitive, but it seems to work wonders in my body.  

 

I liked that article you posted on holistic healthy living.  I come from a family of weak bones and taking calcium pills always caused more distress than it was worth.  I feel like eating this way has been the missing link and it's nice to read things supporting that.

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EandK Family,

 

My reading has forced me to rethink calcium.  Everyone makes a big deal over milk because it *contains* a large amount of calcium.  However, the calcium in vegetables is much more bio-available.  You can drink milk by the gallon, but if your body doesn't readily absorb and utilize the calcium it contains, it isn't much use.  Leafy greens may have less calcium, gram for gram, but if it is in a form that is more readily utilized, you can be getting a lot more out of them than you would from milk.

 

I do love ACV, but with the acid contents of my stomach continually trying to make their way into my throat, the pain was too severe.  As it was, I could barely talk for a couple of days because my vocal chords felt 'burned'.

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I've heard that about the calcium in milk versus greens and am always amazed at the intensity with which people think babies, children and adults need milk.  I can't quite fathom taking ACV with a really acidic feeling system so I loved your response (and I loved the suggestion), but I am curious.  I wish I could convince one of my friend's with heartburn to take ACV in the interest of science :) but so far they don't seem too hip on the idea.  I also think they're not lovers of vinegar which is kinda a key ingredient.  And what an unpleasant injury you had to cause the entire vocal cord burning sensation.  I had heartburn in my pregnancy and remember it was quite unpleasant, but I think it was nothing compared to what you dealt with.

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This was not heartburn.  I think I put a tear in my hiatus lifting feed sacks improperly.  It came on almost instantly while lugging 50# bags and was unrelenting for several days.  I took it as easy as possible for a few, didn't lift anything over 5 #, and ate a bland, soothing diet.  Between the Prilosec getting the acid under control and the rest, giving the tear a chance to heal, I'm almost back to normal.  I even hoisted a few 25# bags today with no issues.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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I paid a price for all that off road eating.  I was starving all day yesterday, no matter how much I ate.  I have been fat-adapted for so long that the hunger was quite an unexpected experience.  I'd forgotten that I'd spent years of my life in a constant state of hunger.  I guess all that ice cream, etc. were enough to start me burning carbs and sugar instead of fat.  Well, it'll be over soon.  I'm back on track.

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Oh, I totally realized it wasn't heartburn and it was a tear of some sort.  It sounds kind of scary painful.  I probably would have self diagnosed as well because I get so annoyed going to a doctor to be told things I've already figured out.  I didn't mean to imply that what you had was anything like heartburn - I was just trying to say that the heartburn was a drag and so I imagine this must have been exponentially worse.  Glad you're back to lifting things.  It is kind of impressive how well our bodies heal.

 

Your comments about burning fat instead of carbs get me thinking about the whining coming from my kids as we slip around with foods this month.  They seem to be constantly hungry, but I think it's just a desire for more raisins and dates and things that are sweet.  It will be good to tighten up the reins again in January.

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I finally got my garden going.  Any Square Foot Gardeners around?  This was so simple to set up, takes no time to tend, and very little water.  I will probably bore everyone to death with my SFG pics.  Too bad!  It's my blog!   LOL

 

First bed 4x4, has 16 'crops'.  2 types of heirloom tomatoes, one type hybrid cherry tomato (only hybrid planted), zucchini, sugar snap peas (for my parrots), eggplant, broccoli, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, green Bibb lettuce, red Bibb lettuce, lacinato kale, swiss chard, carrots, beets, and cilantro (will be moving to herb garden once I get that set up, but needed to get in the ground now).

 

I will be adding a second bed this weekend.  I wanted my 'crops' to be staggered.  In the past, when I would row garden, everything would come in at once and I had to be a slave to harvesting, canning, and freezing.  Since I can grow stuff most of the year, I want to keep a couple or three beds going that can be harvested as I use them, then replanted with something else so there are always fresh vegetables available.

 

This is my first time using the square foot method, so it's a bit of an experiment to see what works.post-1853-0-17237400-1388079614_thumb.jp

 

1st pic, bed ready for planting.

2nd pic, transplants in, seeds planted

post-1853-0-56888500-1388080807_thumb.jp

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Ground too frozen here for gardening! Your start Looks great

Sheba-kitty, you get to garden all summer, while down here everything either bolts or fries.  Very little can be grown here in summer.  We wait for winter.  So far it has stayed in the high 70s, low--mid 80s.  So much for 'winter'.

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The first couple of garden pics were from a few weeks ago.  This one was taken this morning.

 

Front row:  L-R  carrots, cilantro, beets, broccoli

Second row:  Green Buttercrunch (Bibb) lettuce, swiss chard, lacinato kale, red Bibb lettuce

Third row:  Yellow bell pepper, gold hybrid cherry tomato, red bell pepper, eggplant

Back row:  Heirloom tomato (pink brandywine), zucchini, heirloom tomato (mortgage lifter), sugar snap peas.

 

 

This weekend I plan to build the second bed and raise the climbing frame for the tomatoes and zucchini to grow on.

post-1853-0-37166600-1388202013_thumb.jp

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Planning to do a Whole-whatever starting Jan 2 with the same group I did the W100 with last year, plus whoever wants to join us.  I wasn't doing so bad until I made that decision.  Now, I am completely off the rails.  It's like I'm trying to squeeze in every unhealthy food I can think of before then.  What is wrong with me?  You'd think I'd know better by now!

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The first couple of garden pics were from a few weeks ago.  This one was taken this morning.

 

Front row:  L-R  carrots, cilantro, beets, broccoli

Second row:  Green Buttercrunch (Bibb) lettuce, swiss chard, lacinato kale, red Bibb lettuce

Third row:  Yellow bell pepper, gold hybrid cherry tomato, red bell pepper, eggplant

Back row:  Heirloom tomato (pink brandywine), zucchini, heirloom tomato (mortgage lifter), sugar snap peas.

 

 

This weekend I plan to build the second bed and raise the climbing frame for the tomatoes and zucchini to grow on.

What is a Square Foot Garden? I'm intrigued and I love your pics :) I've been wanting to talk my grandfather-in-law into letting me use a small section to start my own garden, so maybe this is small enough.

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Hi, Trez!

 

SFG is raised bed gardening taken a step further.  I was looking for a small space/high yield form of gardening when I stumbled on this.  Essentially, you block out a raised bed 4'x4' and about 8" high.  As you can see from the pics, I used cinder block because they were cheap, readily available, and won't rot in the humidity.

You clear the vegetation from the area, and put down your bed.  If using wood, you can put a bottom on it, but I used 1" newspaper to keep the weeds from coming through.

The trick to growing so much in such a small space is not using soil.  Instead you use "Mel's Mix".  Mel was the inventor and he says use 1/3 sphagnum (peat) moss, 1/3 coarse vermiculite, and 1/3 organic compost with manure.  I found all three very cheap at local garden stores, or some places carry Mel's mix.  I just stirred it up in batches in my wheelbarrow and dumped it in the beds.  Then you make a grid so you have clearly defined one-foot squares.

Because it's all nutrients and no 'dirt', you can crowd a lot more in than conventional gardening.  Big plants like tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini are one per square, but I have 6 kale and 4 bibb lettuce in other squares and 25 sugar snap peas because they only require 2" spacing.  I planted the zuke in the back row with the tomatoes, as I plan to train it up the trellis with the tomatoes instead of letting it spread out.

You can get some good info online, although the original website is down for 'improvements', or you can probably find the book on Amazon.

So far it is easy as pie.  The other thing is it uses much less water.  You only water the roots, like you would potted plants, so I do the whole bed with less than 1 gal/day.  And no further fertilizing is needed.  When something is finished, you can just plant something different (not the same) in that square.  Next year, just top dress with more compost and perhaps a different type of manure.

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Decided to do another W30 reset with my W100 crowd from last year.  Once I made that decision, all bets were off!  I am eating more crap this week than I have in the past year.  Now I really NEED that reset.

 

Things to work on this coming year:

1.  better sleep habits.  I have gotten into a rut where I am so exhausted when I get home that I wind up dozing off in front of the tv for half the evening, then I'm up until well after midnight and 6 am is very hard.  Then because I didn't get enough sleep, I'm dozing the next night.  Vicious circle.

 

2.  More overall discipline.  In addition to food, I need to put some limits on other parts of my life.  I need to get back on a written budget instead of winging it.  I need to get back in a routine of house and yard work instead of putting out the worst fires and calling it good enough.  I need to go make friends with Flylady again.

 

3.  Exercise.  I need to dust off the gym membership and just do it!  But first I need to get other pieces in place.  If I don't get the sleep habits under control, getting up an hour early to hit the gym will be counterproductive.

 

4.  Add another item or two to my "never again" list.  January 1st, it will be one full year since I've touched alcohol, diet soda, or corn.  At this point I don't see ever adding them back.  Soy has only snuck in when I was too lazy to bring coconut aminos for sushi or Chinese food.  That one can go, easily enough.  I figure if I add a couple of things to the list each year, eventually I will be totally compliant without too much trouble.  In some ways it is easier to eliminate foods completely than to flirt with 'just a little'.

 

5.  Organic/grass-fed eating.  I've got my organic veggie garden started, so eventually should be able to grow most of my own for a good portion of the year.  Planting avocado trees, so that should help, too.  The goal is to go totally clean, but grass-fed meats are so expensive!  Hopefully, the $60-70 a week I'm saving on produce will go a long way towards paying for meat.  And hunting.  Have to get out and get me a pig or deer for the freezer.

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Grossed myself out so badly with my poor food choices on New Year's Eve that I decided to start my W30 a day early.  The Gnocchi Alfredo was the last straw.  Edible drywall mud.  Why did I ever think foods like this were enjoyable?  Desirable even.  Go figure.  I'm just glad that, even though it is taking me a few years, my palate is changing so I'm eating good food because I want it, not because it's good for me.

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I haven't been on this thread much because I'm doing a group W30 and we are all posting on the Awesome 2014 thread.

 

I was reflecting while making lunch how much my approach to food has evolved.  I used to be on the quest for the ultimate recipe, whatever it was.  Now that I eat for nourishment, I am not anywhere near as rigid about what can be paired with what.  For instance, I had left over zoodles with meat sauce for lunch.  While there was sufficient meat sauce, there weren't many zoodles left.  The old Maryann would either have scrapped that idea altogether, or made a second, complimentary dish to round out the meal.  Now that I eat for my health, I just decided more veggies were needed, and added some roasted broccoli to the bowl. 

 

While I still appreciate a fine meal, I am no longer perpetually dissatisfied in my pursuit of the perfect menu.  My combinations have far more to do with getting sufficient amounts of healthy foods.  Who would ever have thought I would eat - and enjoy - ground beef and sauteed cabbage with a fried egg on top for breakfast? 

 

Yes, I have a 'food snob' friend who refers to much of what I eat as "slop in a bowl", but I'm finding enjoyment and amazing flavor in the most mundane places.  Probably because it is all whole food, not processed or slathered in unhealthy breading or gravies.

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