9 Belfast Bites


jmcbn

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Today did not go well. 

My first born doesn't like egg yolk, so when he's having eggs I'm left with an abundance of yolks to use up. Usually I stick an extra one in my mayo, and then add the remainder to my scramble or whatever. Yesterday however I read someone's post about making their mayo entirely from egg yolks and since I'd three in a little tupperware I thought I'd try it out. For breakfast. This morning. Before work.  :rolleyes: 

Mason jar - check

Egg yolks - check

Freshly ground black pepper - check

ACV - check
Walnut oil - check

Immersion blender - check

 

Dump, and grind - check, check, & check again. Hmmm. No emulsifying. Just a kind of yellowy milkshake like liquid that wasn't going to be good for anything.

Now, I hate wasting food of any description so I was NOT going to let this beat me, so instead I beat a whole egg in another mason jar, and poured a little of the 'milkshake mix' into the egg mix a little at a time - grinding that blender each time - and whaddya know I got me the richest, smoothest, creamiest mayo I have EVER EVER made  :wub: 

While all of the mayo making was going on I kept glancing at my crockpot where I'd been cooking some beef overnight & thinking 'I must switch that thing off...' But with all the mayo mayhem (& cleaning up) making me late I left the house in a mild panic and completely forgot. Fast forward ten hours later to when I get home from work and only vaguely register the smell of cooked beef whilst I have a quick catch up with the first born who's been at chess club. It's not until I go to prep his tea that I see the light on on the crock pot & the light in my head finally goes on too..... There's slow cooking and then there's cooking a chunk of meat for TWENTY TWO HOURS!!!  :o  :rolleyes:  :wacko:  :P  :ph34r: 

Thankfully it had been on low, and whilst the top of the beef that was visible through the lid looked a bit over done the juices from the huge chunks of carrot & onion I'd added along with the oil & juices from searing the beef seems to have kept the rest of the meat moist - and what wasn't moist was very easily made edible with that AMAZING mayo I made this morning  ;) 

So I'd added a quartered whole red onion to the crock pot and even though I ate the whole thing in one sitting with tonight's dinner I'd be very surprised if it causes me any grief since it was also cooked for TWENTY TWO HOURS (!). The onion I fried last night along side the liver did however cause me some amount of grief in the form of bloating - I woke in the early hours to use the bathroom and I felt it then - a good 7hrs after eating, right around the time I'd have been training had I have eaten the onions at lunch time. No bueno. Tomorrow will be a rest day, then on Thursday the plan is to add some raw onion to my salad at lunch....
 

If you didn't laugh you'd cry  :lol: 

 

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It's been one of those weeks.

I've had a number of work/study deadlines to meet pretty much every day this week, tomorrow included, and my head has been focused on getting things done, hence the mishap with the beef - at least that's the rumor I'm spreading!

Today I did something else I really hadn't planned to do, but so far I'm not suffering the consequences.

I had raw onion in my lunch today as planned, and it has to be said it didn't actually impress me that much. I used to LOVE raw onion in salads, but I'm thinking now that the greens from the scallions are more flavorsome. Either way my tummy did puff out a little bit, but it didn't feel bloated, so maybe I just ate too much <shrugs>.

When I got home from work I started functioning on autopilot - getting the school bags/uniforms/PE kits/gym bags ready for the morning, hanging laundry, emptying the dishwasher, slicing the liver, chopping onions to go along side it, heating oil in the pan, sauteing the onions.... wait, what? onions?? Again?!! Umm, so we're trying onions TWICE in one day then, huh? Looks like it I guess <shrugs again>

The liver was actually better than the first time - it was more evenly sliced & so each piece was cooked entirely to my liking, the onions were sweet & nicely softened, the potatoes delicious with the mayo, and I was very mindful of my portion size considering how I'd felt after lunch.

I've since changed some bed linen, dropped one son off to Chess, picked another up from Gymnastics, & put away the grocery delivery, and I feel pretty good all things considered. My stomach is a little puffed out just as it was after lunch, but it feels flat... and it felt flat after the whole [incredibly well cooked] onion I ate with the slooooooooow cooked beef... 

So going forward I think I'll stick to scallion/spring onion greens for salads and use some onion for cooking - every now & then. I've not missed it that much to be honest, so I'm not going to go back to starting every recipe with oil, onion, salt & pepper, but it's good to know that I can handle it.

Next up I will be mostly eating - Sprouts - roasted with spicy parnsips & bacon, (& maybe the odd fried egg)   :wub: 

600x400_ROASTED-SQUASH-AND-BRUSSELS-SPRO

 

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I'm pleased/impressed with my progress so far - it looks like my suspicion about the polyols being problematic could be right, which makes me a little sad because avocados, but hey.... I've survived this long without them, I think I'll live  B)

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So it's been a while.....

As I mentioned in an earlier post last week was jam packed with various work/study deadlines, and knowing in advance that that's how it was going to be I'd scheduled some 'downtime' with friends & family over the weekend to let off some steam.

On Friday once I was done with work I squeezed in a quick gym session before meeting my two longest standing friends and we then spent the evening putting the world to rights over good food & good wine.

It was a late night, but I had my usual early morning gym session on Saturday, collected the boys from their Dad's and went for a long walk, then dropped them at my mum's for a sleepover so that I could celebrate another friend's birthday - but not before doing my food prep for the week, because I knew I'd already plans in place for catching a movie with the boys on Sunday & then joining my parents for a family Sunday Carvery.

The food choices all weekend were all good - template meals are second nature to me now, and I've no problem navigating most menus so eating out was never going to be an issue. I can't highlight enough though that the template meals, for me personally, are key in avoiding poor food choices when alcohol is thrown into the mix. I know from experience that if I've had my fill of protein, fat & veggies I've absolutely no desire to snack on frankenfoods. I'm not easily derailed.

So after three days of eating, drinking & socialising I went to bed last night feeling relaxed, contented and ready for the week ahead.

" I believe that health is more than merely the absence of disease. It is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual & social well-being" ~ Dr Frank Lipman

So this week it's all about the sprouts - the first trial will take place this evening - sprouts, roasted with spicy parsnips & bacon, with a side of beef, and a dollop of mayo. I'm salivating as I type.....

 

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Sprouts.

Hated by many, loved by few.

Sprouts are well known for causing an unpleasant smell in those who don't digest them well, but they can also release a pungent smell of their own when over-cooked. This stems from the sulphur containing compound glucosinolate which has some pretty amazing health benefits, one of which is fighting cancer. So if you want to avoid the smell AND preserve those valuable nutrients be sure not to over-cook them. If they're dull in colour, mushy and/or smelly you need to cut back on your cook time.

Sprouts are packed with nutrients, such as potassium, manganese, choline and vitamins B & C, and they even contain some protein.

Sprouts help reduce oxidative stress, they activate enzymes that help detoxify the body, and they are a potent anti-inflammatory - and as such they protect the heart.

However, sprouts are a fructan, and as such I've been avoiding them for longer than I'd like - longer than most other FODMAPs because they weren't available locally throughout the summer.

But they're back.....................................

Monday was my first trial, and I thoroughly enjoyed the food I'd prepped for meal 3, felt little to no bloating, set about doing whatever chores I needed to do that evening and then went to bed. It wasn't really until wakening in the small hours for a bathroom visit that I noticed the smell. And let's just say it's maybe just as well I'm single....  :blink:  :ph34r: There was no associated pains though, or bloating, and so I went back to sleep without issue.

In the morning the gas was still evident and I counted my blessings that I work in an office of my own, and fortunately by mid morning, just around the time my Boss showed up, things had settled down  B) 

So on Tuesday I tried again. Again I left them until meal 3 (for reasons that should be obvious!), and again I woke in the small hours to the same smell, but this time with a little accompanying bloat. Both had subsided by the time I left for work.

Today has been a rest day, but tomorrow I'll try a double whammy - sprouts & kale - Cruciferous 2 FODMAPs 1.

When I did this with broccoli two weeks ago the combination of the two cruciferous veg was enough to push me over the edge and have me write broccoli off as a failure. I have a feeling that with the cumulative effect of the sprouts from Monday & Tuesday PLUS the kale that I might get the same result. Broccoli, however, was questionable right from the get go. With the sprouts I'd be happy enough to know that I could get away with eating a single serving - well, so long as I don't have guests!

 

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Sorry to hear of the poor result with brussels sprouts.  They are one of my favorite foods, though I know I'm in a tremendous minority there.  I'm willing to put up with a small amount of generally odorless gas in order to have them.

 

ThyPeace, with olive oil, salt, and nutmeg.  Yum.

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I'm a LITTLE bit excited.

I ordered a food processor and a Kombucha starter kit yesterday with the money I got for my Birthday and I got an email today to say that the food processor has been dispatched & should be delivered on Saturday. If I'm lucky they'll come when I'm back from the gym & before I pick up the boys, right after I pick up my preserving jars. If not I'll have it for Monday which means I can get started on making my own kraut very very soon! The booch kit will take a little longer, but I've got enough commercially bottled stuff to keep me going until my first batch is ready, I think.

The plan is for my Dad to put up a sturdy shelf (with a lip/edge) at shoulder height in some storage space I have under my stairs where it's dark and warm, and I'll do my brewing/fermenting in there.

In all the years I've been eating paleo/Whole30 and batch cooking on the weekends I've been doing so with two quality knives - a big one and a small one  :P - a selection of chopping boards, and some kitchen skills taught to me once upon a time in another life. My prep time has reduced drastically over the years as I've learned some shortcuts, but as a single mum with a busy life there are times when I look at the mounds of veg on my work top and wish I had a sous chef (& a chauffeur, a house-maid, a handy-man etc etc :rolleyes:).

I am SO looking forward to being able to make dishes like coleslaw at the push of a button, leaving more time for other things, like life  B) 

Today was day 3 of the sprout trial, and in a bid to really test the waters with the whole FODMAP/Cruciferous combo thing I had purple kale & courgettes sauteed in coconut oil, with chocolate chilli & olives at lunch, followed by roast chicken with sprouts only (I tried to dig them all out from the parsnips/bacon I'd prepped at the weekend so as to get a generous portion - I can freeze the remaining bacon/parsnip to eat another time), and a HUGE dollop of mayo.

The result? Mild bloating in the upper abdomen after meal three, no stomach cramps, no heartburn, and just a little wind. So far no smell - but then it's early days...

img_1587.jpg

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Thanks Carla.

It's a slow process, but I'm making progress nonetheless. Its very tempting to just keep a food item in my food rotation once I've had some success with it but I don't want to skew individual results and end up right back where I started - which was NOT a good place.

I'm not sure if the kombucha IS actually helping things all round, but it definitely makes me feel better so I'm reluctant to remove it now, and making my own feels much more in line with my way of thinking about food in general. I try not to buy anything pre-packaged if I can avoid it, so making my own will be one way around that for sure, although obviously I'll still have to buy the tea - I mean it's not like I can harvest that from my garden!  :P 

I remember when I was in Sri Lanka many years ago I was given a little wooden box of Sri Lankan Tea Leaves as a parting gift from a friend. I was young, and naive, and I couldn't fit it into my suit case/hand luggage and so I threw it away... What I wouldn't give for those wonderful tea leaves now.....!!  :o  :wacko:  :ph34r:

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Debating to start working with my Scoby again - I actually have to make sure she's not dead  :o - she's been sleeping for a very loooooong time.

 

I got frustrated as the last 2 times I made kombucha both batches got ruined as the fruit flies got into it.   :angry: So I swore it off for a while.  Apparently the while is 1.5 years  :ph34r: .

 

I feel better drinking booch too.  It was off the menu for a bit there - but I do better when I do drink it.

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Just a quick note. If you are going to ferment various different items, they should not be in the same vicinity of each other. Each fermented thing gives off its own spores and you don't want the spores of, say, sauerkraut, getting into your kombucha mixtures. We currently ferment regular kombucha, coffee kombucha and sauerkraut from time to time and each item gets put in its own cupboard/area of the house to avoid cross contamination.

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Oh, thanks for that ladyshanny - I guess 'll have to make some room for the veg elsewhere then.... <ponders>

My shiny new Kenwood food processor was delivered today while I was out, but the delivery guy (who comes here often!) very kindly left it in my recycling bin which meant I didn't have to phone to re-schedule the delivery.

I picked up the preserving/pickling jars as planned, and took a trip to IKEA to buy a shelf unit, and some of those nice re-usable bottles with the spring loaded lids, ANOTHER recycling bin for glass- also for the storage area under the stairs, a new plant for the first born's bedroom to replace the one I should have re-potted some months ago but didn't, and some candles (of course!)...

I'll get my Dad to hopefully put up the shelf sometime this week & then I'll be all set for when my starter kit arrives.

So day 3 of the sprout trial ended better than expected. There was gas for sure, but actually nowhere nearly as bad as on the first day, and when I replicated the trial on day 4 (yesterday), with kale AND sprouts, once again the results were very similar.

So, I think if sprouts are to appear on the menu going forward they need to be eaten at meal three when I have time to fully digest them overnight without subjecting, friends, romans & countrymen to the possible side effects.

I've been thinking lately that I haven't been eating anywhere near the amount of fish that I used to, so next week I'll be trialling leeks and as such I'll be making an old 'go to' recipe with steamed salmon & leeks in coconut milk.

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There's a whole lotta talk about the elusive Tiger Blood on the forums, and some debate as to whether or not it really exists - well I'm here to tell you that it does.

It's not been a permanent thing, but I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I've had my fair share of Tiger Blood episodes over the course of the last year - the latest one being right here, right now. I noticed it first at my morning training session yesterday - I was so energised, and motivated, and so psyched to reach new targets. It continued throughout the day as I worked my way through my 'To Do' list, and even as I sat to watch some TV with the boys yesterday evening my mind was racing, mentally listing all the things I could achieve today.

I slept soundly and got up before the alarm this morning; the sun was shining and I had a good solid breakfast before making a start on spring cleaning the house from top to bottom - windows, window frames, skirting boards, every surface cleaned, floorswashed, bathrooms disinfected, carpets vacuumed, bed lined changed, washing hung out to dry, understair storage area rearranged for better access to recycling etc - and all in between doing this week's food prep.

And where I might sometimes feel exhausted or at least a little worn out having crammed so much into the weekend I'm STILL thinking about things that I can do and I'm NOT thinking of them with dread - it's a kind of elevated level of thinking; like I'm looking at things in a new light.

What do I think brought it on?

Mackerel.

No, seriously.

I've been thinking over the past few weeks that I've not been eating nearly as much fish as I used to so I've been making a conscious effort to include it again - hence my reasoning for making the Salmon & Leek dish this week - which smells awesome by the way. Looking back, each of my spells of Tiger Blood have coincided with periods of eating oily fish daily, and I've eaten mackerel once a day for the last four days. That and the fact that I continue to follow the template, I don't snack, I don't eat nuts/nut butters, I rarely eat fruit except maybe as a garnish in a salad, and I get a wide variety of nutrients from the mix of veg that I eat. I have a feeling the kombucha is working some magic too.

Oily fish makes you happy. Fact.

Oily fish is rich in both selenium and omega-3. 

Omega-3 has been shown to relieve low moods and regulate cell function by improving brain cell connections. The more omega-3 in your blood, the more seratonin you will make and the happier you will be. Studies have found it has a significant antidepressant affect, boosting energy levels and restoring feelings of calm and balance.

Selenium is an anti-oxidant, provides protection against oxidative stress and is important for cognitive functions, as well as supporting normal thyroid function in conjunction with iodine. Selenium is also found to boost brain activity and help improve your mood.

So maybe, just maybe when people think about Tiger Blood and they visualise that powerful predator & they hear it's mighty  'Roaaaarrrrr' they should actually be visualising a Tiger Prawn  ;)  :P 

 

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Fish.  It's what's for breakfast, lunch and dinner.   You're preaching to the choir.  I've experienced it and it had nothing to do with a dialed down Whole 30.   It's real whole foods.  I've eaten fruit for almost two years at the end of meal.  I use nuts as a condiment.   I eat fish and lots of it and have starchy vege to boot. 

 

You have some of the best fish I've ever had in my life.  It's the top of the heap, cream of the crop. Fish does a body good.

 

Tiger Blood.  It's real.  If it wasn't the authors wouldn't have explained it in ISWF.  It has nothing to do with working up your mood or emotions, jacking yourself up into the state of Tiger Blood.

You can't make it happen with your mind.  Psychosomatic.

 

It's real. It's physical.  If you build it, it will come with real whole top quality foods.

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I absolutely LOVE oily fish but it repeats on me something dreadful. Sardines and mackerel are the worst but I'm not even getting on with salmon anymore. It's very disappointing.

That's a shame.... :( 

I grew up eating sardines out of the tin with my Dad as a kid. Mackerel is probably my favourite now, but I got a side of Salmon on sale this week so that was a bonus!

Have you tried different ways of cooking/prepping them? Or considered maybe it's what you're eating them with?

It's funny how what we can tolerate well one day we then can't the next...  :unsure: 

 

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Ok, so I feel like I have to apologise here - well, to myself at least...

This was to be my week for trialling leeks, but with all the bouts of productivity that have been going on of late I appear to have gone a little over board with the food prep at the weekend, and it would appear to be the second week in a row that I've done so because I appear to have SO MUCH FOOD in my fridge that I'm not entirely sure what to do with it. And since throwing away food is one of my biggest bug bears, and since I've little to no room in my freezer, I've been trying to work my way through what I could of the old stuff before digging in to the new...

Today I ate food that most people would probably have binned already, but I have the proverbial stomach of steel, and when I smelled it this morning it all seemed *okay*, but on re-heating I got the impression (& maybe the odd 'whiff' :o ) that maybe I was pushing the boundaries a little  :wacko:  Still, I'm here and I'm still standing - well, for the time being at least  :ph34r: 

So whilst I DID eat salmon & leeks yesterday evening (& boy did it taste good!), and whilst I WILL eat some more again tomorrow I'm postponing their official trial until NEXT week when the potential side effects of food poisoning should be long out of my system & won't skew the results  :P 

In other news this week has been pretty full on so far with me cramming for my exam on Diet & Weightloss Management on Friday, as well as finally starting the course which will see me take the change in career I've been working towards for some time. And in addition to all that the feral child reached double digits, my Dad got my shelf put up, and my Kombucha starter kit & Scoby have been dispatched. Woohoo....!!!  :D 

This weekend I plan on doing a clear out of the boy's bedrooms and then re-organizing the hot-press, hopefully adding in another low shelf or two in there once some of the items I've been hoarding for no reason are gone. With that & the under stairs storage area all nicely sorted that'll be me officially in Booch & Kraut making business - although I'm still trying to convince my suspicious (& self-appointed Health & Safety Executive) first born that it's all entirely legal, and that I'm not planning on opening a Shebeen   :lol: 

 

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