Jim4884

Psyching Up For a December Whole 30 Graduates

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Is it possible that the doctor can feel like a partner in your health goals? Maybe I'm naive (I know I can be) but that is my wish for you. No one responds well to feeling judged and scolded, and I know that's what the feeling of "lecture" is for my part. So I invite you to be kind to yourself. You are an amazing woman! And we've done it before, we can do it again! Meanwhile, I really relate to what you said about being discouraged with your weight. Last week I really wanted some new clothes to wear at MJF, so I bought some new pants, two pairs, and one of them is the next size up. Waaah. The other one is the same size I've been wearing, but I know it's cut generously. Still, it felt good to wear clothes that didn't feel tight. I did my best to walk in beauty and not be self conscious about my weight as I walked back and forth across the county fairgrounds ALL weekend, while psyching myself to turn over a new leave as soon as I got home. In the dressing room I caught a glimpse of back fat I didn't have months ago. Then I saw an amazing Carnival style dancer, and she had the same-looking kind of back I saw in the mirror, and that changed my self view. I realize that our self perception and self talk is really powerful. How can you activate a small change that sets up some momentum?

 We know our bodies respond to the energy we put in. I know you're overwhelmed at work and that sucks, and I don't know how you can work around that part. Still, today is the first of a new month, and I invite you to join me in having a good day- just for today. Then tomorrow we keep going. One day at a time.

This morning I got a 45 minute hike, and I pushed myself. I stretched (in the living room sans blue tarps) for 20 minutes and then had breakfast. I had made turkey hash with gingerbread spices and froze it before we left town. So I had that on artisan olive toast. (I snapped it off, frozen, as I learned from you!) So for now, bread, until I can get to the grocery store..and I'm okay with that. For now! I'm looking ahead at the three months that are left until the new year, and I am going to cruise into better health and a slimmer body, even if it is a slow process. I keep telling myself that i don't have to go crazy with movement or the food part, nothing radical, just doing what I know I have to do, with a sense of food freedom, and self trust. We can do this, Holly! I'm aiming for 5 days a week of hiking, even if it's a short one. I CAN now that it's gloriously cool and the air is clean. 

After posting last night I did a lot of reading online, and I'm thinking that it might be cruel to remove Patches from her community. Also, what if she tried to return, she would certainly be in danger along 5 miles of highway. I see that the shelters really encourage people to adopt working cats who would otherwise be hard to adopt, so that might be a better route. I will pursue that and see what else I learn.

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So far this month is off to a good start! Thanks for the encouragement. Since I'm taking the day off Friday, I came in for a while on Sunday to play catch-up and that gave me great energy going into the week. I've gotten a couple of projects completed and really feel like I'm rockin' n 'rollin'! I had to drop of the car for routine maintenance this morning so I got to walk the rest of the way in. It's all been on concrete but I've managed 4 miles today and that feels really good. One day at a time! Like you said, I need to refocus on the small changes. That's what works best for me and is sustainable.

Interesting about removing Patches from her community. You certainly wouldn't want to do anything to put her in harm's way. Would it make a difference if her babies were with her? When we first moved into our house we kept the cats indoors for a couple of weeks then only let them out for a little while at a time under supervision. Our thought was to let them learn that this was home an gradually get their scent and ours spread around.

I'm heading home to make a compliant dinner and get some meals together for tomorrow. I didn't cook-up this weekend but it's a short week and I can deal with it thanks to yummies in the freezer. I had a salmon cake for lunch and just broke off little bits of it and wrapped them in arugula leaves because I didn't feel like putting a real salad together last night. I thought I would be annoyed at myself for slacking but it was good enough that I'd do it again. I had a little beet salad and a little broccoli with ranch dressing to go with it. Not bad!

Thanks for the invitation to a good day; that made me smile! Off, off and away!

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I like your strategy of keeping the new cats inside first to establish home and sense of place, that makes a lot of sense. That must have been a really hard move for you all. By chance there are a lot of available cats in our town right now, and a staffer who's on FB keeps showing us - lots of options. I guess we'll know when we are ready....also, I have a lunch date with a friend today at the sub shop so maybe I'll get some contact with Patches. More will be revealed, right?

Congrats on getting caught up at work! A great feeling. Did the four mile walk spur you on to more movement? I got another hike in yesterday, and am about to go again now though with a slightly late start. I have compliant food prepared, and more ground chicken thawing. It occurs to me that the transition back to routine after the long weekend is going well - that's something! I am amazed to learn that it's not coffee that causes me problems (yep, must have been the eggs), so I am drinking a lot of coffee and enjoying the euphoria and speed quality. My plan is that once I have a solid exercise habit in place I will hold back, but for now, it's working for me, and fun...= ) I noticed that I've been out of mayo since we got home and I haven't made more or really missed it, so I might experiment with that, as I know that may be part of my problem...I'm trying to unlearn the W30 piece about not focusing on weight loss, since I'm not doing a W30, and exploring FF. I do need to lose weight, so while I'm not obsessing or self-hating, I have to be honest with myself. I feel like I'm in a place of mentally letting go of old ways of thinking (with food, and lots of other things, too), and making up something new for myself, though I don't know what it will be, exactly. Does that make sense? (maybe it's the coffee, I"m tripping after all, but something is happening)

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Well, I think my doctor appointment was a success. She was completely non-judgmental and really nice. I guess it says something about myself that I assumed I would be judged harshly, doesn't it? She was familiar with W30 so that helped when she questioned me about the quality of my diet. I was hoping NOT to have to explain that my diet is, generally, very good and why it does not include grains or soy. So, like you mentioned, she feels more like a partner in my health goals. She was impressed with how far I've come with my shoulder/hand situation and liked my movement plan. 

Walking the other day felt good and productive and, yes, motivating. I didn't do as well yesterday because I had so much running around to do but that's OK. I'm off tomorrow and we plan on heading out of town after lunch. It's only a two hour drive then we'll have lots of movement all weekend long. So far, LOTS of rain is predicted for Sunday so we'll probably be breaking camp in the rain and will get home with lots of soggy stuff. We haven't gotten any significant rain in over two months and less than a quarter of an inch last month. It figures that it's going to rain on our camp! I'm crossing my fingers that it will be dry when we wake up and we can get the tent packed up before the deluge.

I like the idea of not focusing on weight loss but I'm thinking that it needs to get moved up my priority list. I was self-hating but have progressed to a more positive attitude right now. What you said totally makes sense and I think that's where I'm heading, too. I've been doing pretty well making small changes and making them stick but I need to up my game. I know I'll be off-roading this weekend but with delicious, biodynamically grown food, homemade yogurt and sourdough breads so I'm going to make the best choices I can but enjoy the bread/dairy/grainy offerings. Even though I know not to try to offset food with exercise, I also know I'll be going up and down a steep hill a jillion times and walking around the farm a lot. I'm looking forward to a relaxing, educational weekend and someone else is doing the cooking! Yaaay! I help with the dishes. 

Enjoy your hike, your lunch and, perhaps, a visit with Patches.

 

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I'm so glad your appointment went well, and that she is savvy about our W30 ways, that's a boon! This is just a quick one to say bon voyage, and enjoy your conference! I didn't realize it was also a camping adventure, but that makes it even better...hope you don't get rain, but it won't be the hardest thing you've ever done, right?

Happy Trails to you both!

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Rain didn't hit until after we got home and unpacked! It's still raining and that's awesome AND the temperature has dropped dramatically so maybe (??) fall is here?

The biodynamic conference was amazing. Love, fellowship, learning. The keynote speaker really kicked off the weekend talking about cosmic nutrition, essentially everything that we're exposed to besides food. She started by reading a poem by Hafiz, Cast All Your Votes For Dancing. I'm guessing that you are probably familiar with Hafiz? It's hard to come back to screen time but I remain inspired. The food was much more carb-heavy than I remembered from past conferences but was mostly delicious (the two meat offerings were awful- globs of fat with a little pork attached to it and beef that was so tough it was almost inedible) so I've had lots of beans, potatoes and a little rice. Also wonderful salads, roasted winter squash of some kind and lots of greens. No ill effects, no cravings and no desserts either. :D Lots of dishes all done with love; it definitely took a village to get it all done.

I got up this morning and did my mobility/yoga thing and was very grateful that I had put my breakfast and lunch together for today before we left Friday. Actually, I was just plain grateful then I saw this quote of Erwan Le Corre's (Movnat):

“Transformation doesn’t happen with a single event; it requires a succession of efforts and constant attention that rewards the dedicated. It’s a process that involves countless micro-progressions, micro-gains, and even micro-epiphanies.”

This weekend was filled with epiphanies, both micro and macro. It's good to hear it from someone else and so beautifully worded, but micro-progressions and gains are exactly what we've been talking about so I feel like I'm on a good path. 

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I'm so glad that your conference was so enjoyable, and that you escaped rain! Thank you for the Hafiz and also the Movnat wisdom. I love Hafiz but I have never seen that poem. They are both keepers!! It's been a rough few days and I am home sick today, but wanted to check in and welcome you back to routine. Re-entry can be hard, I understand. Wishing you centeredness and nourishment. I know that when I am sick it seems like I will never feel better again, but I'll pipe up again soon and get back to routine. Happy autumn! 

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Oh no, how are you feeling @LadyLisbette? I'm not sure why I didn't get an email notification of your post but I just saw this. It's been a bit of a hectic week. Our group of friends from Hoedown will be coming to our house Saturday so we've been trying to do some extra tidying up. We get together a few time a year for a potluck dinner/wine tasting and we've never hosted it. It will be Italian-themed so that will be fun. I have some homemade Italian sausage and I'm going to make ravioli nudi which are essentially ricotta spinach balls. I'm trying to keep it simple and not do my usual over ambitious thing. I was hoping to keep everything outside so we could enjoy the deck and a fire but, now that the 100 degree days are over, the temp is supposed to get down in the 30's Saturday night. We didn't have much of a spring this year and now it looks like we might not have much of a fall. poo!

In the "keeping it simple" vein, I've been wanting to get rid of STUFF and declutter. We did a bunch before my brother in law's visit and it felt so good but I didn't keep it up. Now, all of a sudden, I keep running across minimalist blogs, articles, podcasts and IG so I think the universe is giving me a nudge. My husband is a terrible pack rat so I wasn't sure he would want to participate. He's also really bad about not putting things where they belong (if they even have a home) so the end result is that he usually can't find whatever it is that he's looking for and it seems like he's over it! Starting Nov 1, we're each going to get rid of 1 thing. On the 2nd, two things all the way to 30 things on Nov 30. Less stuff, yay! 

My choices of food has been all over the place lately and I need to get back to template meals and meal planning. Boiled peanuts and popcorn isn't actually a meal but that's what I had for dinner last night. Does it count that I popped the popcorn in ghee?:D Not getting a cook-up last weekend AND failing to plan has definitely contributed to my slide down this slippery slope I find myself on. I had cafeteria crap for breakfast today but I have a good lunch and some chicken defrosting for dinner. I'll detour tomorrow night with the wine tasting but, other than that, I plan to get back on plan.

I hope you feel better. Oh! Were y'all affected by the power shutdowns? The only thing worse than being sick is sick and no power.

 

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Hi there, I'm back! Yikes, that was a trip I don't care to repeat. I picked up a stomach bug, not sure what kind. I managed to stay hydrated, though, and Sunday was the first day it felt safe to eat solid food, so I was back to work today. The lasting bummer, though, is that on day 3 or 4 my tinnitus spiked up real bad, so badly that my hearing is impaired and muffled. I think it was from acetaminophen that i took twice on Wed, and twice again on Thursday to treat headache. Puking your brains out does cause a headache. Now tinnitus. WOE. I saw the doctor about it today, and she finds my theory plausible. Woe. Woe. I didn't know, and now I will NOT be using acetaminophen or NSAIDS unless it's awfully severe, because this tinnitus really sucks. The doc said it can be very slow to go down. So again, I am calling on myself for patience and self care. Oh, no, we didn't lose power, and the only fires have been prescribed burns in the Park so that is something! 

How was your Italian themed party on Saturday? Sounds fun! I like what you all are doing in November to scale down! I think learning to lighten the load is a great skill, and an especially helpful one as we get older - let it Go, let it Go, right? I'll take notes from here and follow suit! ...books are a big one for us...hubs does not want to part with books, and I get it, but I could see doing a big purge. It's the family stuff that always gets me - what to do with all of that?

Oh, I think popcorn popped in ghee is a fine treat! What else have you been cooking? Are your freezer goodies holding out?

Holly, in a way getting a stomach bug and that radical 6 days of nothing but diluted Gatorade was kind of a re-set for me. I had hit a new all time low. Even though it is NOT fun to be sick, I let myself enjoy the feeling of lightness in my gut (even though it was also inflamed at the same time) and believe me, I have been searching my soul for what to do now. I'm thinking: smaller portions and keep the body moving! So because I had been too sick to cook or plan for what's next, I went right back into the frying pan of work with no idea what I would eat, and after my 9am doc appointment I picked up at the store salami, Ak Maks, micro greens (oh, craving something green) and a little tub of more-or-less decent guacamole. It held me for breakfast and lunch. At dinner I ate a salmon burger with a little homemade mayo and a pile of olives. I will be limping along like this tomorrow, too, and then shopping on Wednesday, and a cook up that night. Back in a W30 direction!

Onward!!

 

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I'm so glad you're back and better! I haven't been sick like that in a long time but it took me a long time to recover afterwards. My stomach stayed queasy and just felt really delicate for a couple of months. That sucks about your tinnitus flare; hopefully it will fade quickly. After being sick for so long, it sounds like you did a pretty good job of getting yourself fed. Some good bone broth might be a kind thing to do to your inflammed gut. Don't you do Kettle and Fire? I've never tried them but they sound delicious. 

The party was fun and the food was delicious. We set up the fire pit near one of the doors to the house and just kept the door open for everyone to wander in and out. It made the deck seem like an extension of the house and it worked really well. We didn't get to bed until after midnight and managed to sleep in a little but not enough so Sunday was a little rough. I was so, so tired but I managed to finish cooking the last of the bell peppers from the garden and dried some more poblano peppers- I guess now they're technically ancho chiles. It's fun to make a big batch of chili in the middle of the winter and use our chile powder. I've been brining a brisket for the last week and got it seasoned up so it becomes pastrami instead of corned beef. This afternoon it will go in the smoker then it gets steamed to finish the cooking process. It will make lots of leftovers so that will be nice to have in the freezer. The freezer has been saving my butt the last few days but I'm running low on vegetable-y things. I roasted two sheet pans of sweet potato, peppers, onions and broccoli last night to go with the chicken that I finally got cooked so that will hold me for a couple of days but I definitely need to restock. 

Since I haven't done much cooking the last week or two, my fridge is looking pretty good and cleaned out/up. I need to do the same thing with my pantry. It's not very big and it's stuffed full. I love being able to use the last little bit of something up and get it out so I need to apply that to my pantry. Most of my problem is bulk bags of herbs & spices and containers of spice blends. It's a work in progress!

Take it easy and definitely indulge in some self care; you deserve it!

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Yes, I've been enjoying bone broth, and have lots on hand - I don't know about Kettle and Fire, but I picked up some organic chicken bone broth from Costco some time back, and am glad to have it! Thank you for the suggestion - I may not be out of the woods as I thought, or I'm back to my not-normal normal, so I'm being very careful.

Your party sounds lovely! I was wondering where you were at with the peppers...I love that you are going to be able to enjoy the chile powder. I have a super fire-y Kashmiri chili powder that I just love, but I should switch it up and try some other varieties. Chili sounds good right now! So does soup, come to think of it, it's that time of year.

I'm wanting to clean and organize my spice pantry, too, and the entire pantry and mud room area needs some energy. The whole house indoors and outdoors needs some energy, actually but I did get outside to do a lot of sweeping this morning, and to survey the areas I've been avoiding.

Lots of errands, here goes....have a good day!

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How did your cook up go? Anything new or did you stick to tried and true?

My pastrami is being an exercise in patience. I was going to smoke it Tuesday but had to get some numbers put together for one of the research labs and worked way too late to be able to start the smoking process. I finally managed to get it smoked yesterday but the second step, steaming it, had to get put off until tonight. This is the second time I've tried this and I wasn't crazy about it the first time- waaay too much black pepper in the spice rub and I was lazy and didn't do the steaming step. So this time, half the black pepper (mixed w coriander, garlic & onion powder and paprika) and follow all of the instructions! My husband is looking forward to pastrami and swiss on marble rye, though, so we'll see. 

I'm flip-flopping between really good template meals and way off plan stuff. When it became obvious that the pastrami wasn't going to be dinner last night, we made...fettuccine alfredo. It was dee-licious but, wow, can't get much more off plan than that unless it's a meal of boiled peanuts and popcorn:blink:. Lebanese-spiced ground turkey and vegetables with a couple of eggs this morning and buffalo chicken (compliant!) and leftover roasted vegetables for lunch. My husband won't be home for dinner tonight and I usually use that as a welcome excuse not to cook but I really don't need another meal comprised of snacky food. Maybe the pastrami will be ready in time!

We had a couple of good soups at the biodynamic conference and that made me want to get a big pot of something simmering. Maybe this weekend? All of theirs had beans in them and I really enjoyed them. I don't do well with pureed soups; it's just like a smoothie and just doesn't hold me so I want some chunks in there. My face broke out after the conference and I didn't think much of it until I read a forum post that someone had a breakout when they reintro-ed beans. After my skins clears up, I'll do a mini reintro with beans to see if they were the culprit but I think they probably aren't because I made a pot of red beans a few months ago and ate them a few times with no ill effects. 

To myself: The important thing isn't that you quit; it's that you started again. And again. And again.

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Happy Friday! We are taking today and tomorrow off - hubs will have Sunday off, too, but I'll work a half day. Aahh. Nice to get some down time. I finally got my cook up today! I just sat down to rest after working on basics and old favorites for several hours....I have chicken thighs marinating in gyros spices to skewer and BBQ later on. I made coleslaw, prepped vegetables for steaming, roasted a tray of brussels and carrots, then spice blends:  a fresh batch of Lebanese 7-Spice blend, and a new one I've never tried before - also from Mel J - Sunrise Spice. Have you ever tried it? (Also have you seen their announcement of the new project? Exciting!) She had me at Catherine the Great http://meljoulwan.com/2014/08/05/sunrise-spice/ ... then it was time for a double batch of my favorite chicken apple sliders, and so I used the Sunrise blend in place of the usual cinnamon. It's pretty tasty, but I still think that the simplicity of cinnamon can't be beat -next time I might try half cinnamon, half Sunrise. And finally, a batch of mayo. So, this is not the most elaborate cook up I've ever done, but I realized while working at my cutting board that it's been a long time since I devoted such time to my health.  I am recovering from Spooky care, and then the stomach thing on top of it. I think I'm getting my MOJO back. And so, directly to your brilliant words, 

On 10/17/2019 at 6:58 AM, hollysmokes said:

To myself: The important thing isn't that you quit; it's that you started again. And again. And again.

Yes!

I'm doing pretty well with my focus on smaller portions. My breakfasts of late have been a bit off-road like your fettucini alfredo! -- a slice (or 2) of organic, super seedy bread, toasted, with a schmear of cream cheese, a half avocado, thinly sliced cucumber (micro greens when I can get them), and some nitrate free lunch meat, with loads of s/p and that has been pretty delicious. Since recovering from the bug I'm continuing to avoid coffee and eggs.  My belly weebled and wobbled during this week a little bit, but the last 48 hours have been good. And with all the cooking, I am hopeful again, and even tackling the yard a little bit, with plans to execute my big plans...sooooon. Progress slow and sure. Once I feel the belly is solidly recovered I might try coffee again as that seemed to be okay. Making the Lebanese blend made me pine for scrambled eggs as I always put those two together, with a dollop of mayo. YUM. I might challenge myself with eggs again at some point, but my body-brain doesn't like the idea for now.

How did your pastrami turn out? Are you happy with the spices? Also, is your face healing? If it wasn't the beans, any other suspects? I still haven't made soup yet, but last night we ate out and I had lentil soup with sausage and bacon that gave me some ideas. I always liked lentils, but I haven't cooked any since pre W30. Like you I would like to add that back in. At dinner I enjoyed a glass of red zine, slowly, that opened up so nicely, half a roll, half the baked potato with butter and a little sour cream, and some delicious pork tenderloin with a tomato/onion/mango? relish and all the vegetables on my plate. Pretty tasty. But now that I've cooked, it's back on the path! Hubs is exercising now to work off all he ate, and all that I offered him from my plate!

Did you get your spices organized? I thought of you today when I dove in to my deep-storage of extra spices from bulk to refill the frequent flyers. BTW I had to look up boiled peanuts. I see it's a delicious southern snack! My mother was from the mid south, and I never heard of this. The photo I saw of the finished product reminded me of Boston Baked Beans because, of course, I'm a recovering candy junky. I think I will have to try boiled peanuts one day. = )

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And Happy Monday to you! It's good to hear some pep in your step again. You rocked your cook-up! I haven't tried MJ's Sunrise Spice but it looks really good; I sent it to my home email so I won't forget about it. I love that it includes marjoram. I had never used it very much until recently and really like it. I have a couple of other spice/herb blends that I need to replenish so I'll add that one to the list and do them all at once as part of my reorganizing effort. I didn't work on my pantry or spices this weekend but I had a good cook-up and, I guess you could call it, a ferment-up. The pastrami came out great! I'm so excited about it AND bonus points for getting my husband to eat sauerkraut and he decided it was delicious! Unfortunately I'm almost out of it and it takes three months so I got a 1/2 gallon jar of plain kraut going, another one of hot & smokey using smoked salt and a couple of hot peppers to jazz it up, another one of curried cauliflower and I still have two more to put together: one is an Indian-spiced kraut and the other is red kraut with ginger. The smoked version and the red one are both experiments with new flavors so we'll see how they turn out.

Soup! 'tis the season, right? I just saw NomNom's mushroom soup and I think I'm going to make some. I made it once before and it was deliciously creamy and mushroom-y. I love lentil soup; it's one of the soups my mom always had on the menu at her restaurant and it's super easy but I haven't had any in years. Yesterday I made a big pot of bean soup with Rancho Gordo's Christmas lima beans. Are you familiar with Rancho Gordo? They're bringing back lots of heirloom varieties and are pretty amazing. Anyway, I want to incorporate some beans from time to time but wanted to dilute them out with lots of vegetables and some meat so I used chicken stock as the liquid, lots of onion, garlic and poblano pepper strips (still trying to use the last of them from the garden) then added a bunch of chopped kale, a little bit of carrot and some smoked sausage and diced chicken breast, thyme, marjoram and a little rosemary. So good! 

Your off road breakfast sounds seriously delicious. We wound up eating late (compliant) breakfast Saturday and Sunday so then we didn't eat lunch until mid-afternoon and weren't hungry for dinner. Once again, snacks instead of dinner. Saturday was popcorn again. I guess I need to buy much smaller amounts so I have some portion control but right now I'm out of ghee so that's my portion control for the moment. Last night was a bit better and we had a small serving of bean soup. I got a hash made for my breakfasts this week so I'm in good shape there. I'm going to focus on template this week so my bike will stop wobbling^_^so much. No more boiled peanuts in the house either. My husband turned me on to those years ago. In Florida, they sell them on the side of the road so I'd put a towel in my lap (they're drippy) and peel peanuts for us while he drove. People say they're a lot like grits and if you didn't grow up eating them, they're an acquired taste. They're soft and squishy and peanut-y and yummy but they take forever to cook if you do it yourself. I remember Boston Baked Beans! Those were a favorite of mine, too.

The guys I mentioned that were doing their first W30 are starting a second round today. They liked it so much that they kept eating W30 but added in a few non-complaint things. Now they decided they want to keep reaping the benefits so they're re-starting. Talking to them yesterday afternoon got me motivated to clean up my act so here we go!

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Wow, all those krauts sound so impressive! Curried cauliflower, mmm. Curry is just what I'm craving now. We went up to the park for some day hiking on Saturday and caught some dinner afterwards and the soup was another lentil soup, this one with coconut curry. The curry was subtle but really nice with the lentils...so all indications are pointing to curry right now, and I can't wait to get cooking (hello Wednesday, I'll be ready). I really like marjoram, too! The other herb I'm liking in recent years that is kind of new for me is tarragon. Do you use that much? It has a bright, mild sweetness to it. I like to use it in MJ's shrimp patties recipe, along with the dried chives. That's on the menu soon, too. I am not familiar with Rancho Gordo, but I will look out for it. I like your approach a lot, adding lots of veg to the bean soup, and a little meat, too...what kind of beans did you use in your soup? I'm going to have to take another stab at making sauerkraut soon! I tried it once and it was just meh. I think it didn't ferment enough, does that sound right? Now, I love to prep and chop plant matter, but I've noticed that cabbage brings out a little OCD in me. For my coleslaw I've been using store bought pre-chopped/sliced cabbage...can I use that stuff for sauerkraut? Is this a disgrace? Do you chop it or slice it? How thick or thin? Does it really matter? So many questions. Mysterious ferments...

Are you making Nom Nom's instapot cream of mushroom soup? I have yet to make her magic mushroom powder....maybe next time I'm in a civilized urban area I'll go to Whole Paycheck and buy some LOL I don't have an Instapot, but that soup sounds really good, so I'm going to make my own version of that soon! Yum. So savory. Did you get an Instapot? I remember at one point you decided against it. If you have a non-Instapot shroom soup from Nom Nom, please share. (drool)

Yay for getting motivated to clean up one's act! Me, too! I'm in solidarity with you. When I went in to clean the store yesterday I promised myself solemnly "no treats, not even an Rx Bar" and I prevailed!  My tummy is wobbling again today pretty seriously (even with no eggs, no coffee...and what a waste of all that beautiful compliant cooking)...A nurse friend suggested today that I eliminate my supplements that have magnesium, so we'll see.

Do you make your own ghee? I got our local grocer to carry it, so now I always buy it there to support her! Tonight's dinner was a tri-tip roast from Costco with a delicious non-compliant marinade...but it inspired me to get a plain tri-tip and give it a go - believe it or not, I've never cooked a tri tip before. I liked it, and it will make amazing leftovers for my salads. Next up lentil soup recipe hunting online, then bed. Good night!

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I love tarragon. It sounds a little weird but it pairs really well with brussels sprouts. I usually cheat by steaming them a little then put them in a skillet with browned butter ghee and add either tarragon or herbs de provence  to them. I bet it would be good in those shrimp patties; I'll have to do that. I do make my own ghee. I can get Kerrygold butter at Costco so I try to keep ghee, browned butter ghee and MJ's better butter stocked up all the time. Those are items like roasted garlic or roasted bell peppers. If I have to cook something  before I can cook something, I won't do it so I try to keep a stash of pain-in-the-butt ingredients ready to go. I have never cooked a tri-tip either and I don't know if I've ever eaten one. I think they're much like brisket in that you have to braise them low and slow and I think they're cheaper, too.

I used Christmas lima beans for my soup. They're big limas and are mottled red and white and are very pretty. Yep, NomNom's Instapot mushroom soup is the one but I don't have an Instapot. I just adapt it to cooking on the stove top. I've only made it once but it was really good. Do you have access to an Asian grocery store? I got a big bag of dried shiitake mushrooms for a decent price (not Whole Paycheck kind of price) so I can make NomNom's magic mushroom powder. Of course, I've had the mushrooms for about a year and still haven't gotten around to it...

I get a little OCD about cabbage, too. I pick out the thicker pieces and re-slice them so everything is about the same size. For kraut and slaw, I cut it by hand if I just need a little or I whip out my mandolin if I need a lot. I do like it pretty thin, kind of in strings. I got an inexpensive Benriner mandolin (and Kevlar gloves!) a few years ago and it does a great job. My only complaint about it is that the thickness of the slices is set with two tiny screws and there are no measurements so it's trial and error to get it the way you want. For really big jobs like slaw for Hoedown when I have to shred several heads, I have a ridiculously gigantic mandolin- about three feet long- and will break out that big daddy. I would think that pre-shredded cabbage would be fine as long as it didn't any kind of sneaky preservative on it. The only problem that you might run into is that it will be drier than freshly shredded so you might have to add a little brine to make enough to keep it all covered. Of course, that can happen with fresh cabbage, too. Some of the storage cabbages do not have a lot of moisture to them. The thinner the cabbage is sliced, the quicker it's ready. I like mine fermented about three months. At that point, it has softened but still has texture but there is no right or wrong. It's ready when you like the texture and sourness of it.

No snacks yesterday. I could probably have included some more vegetables but it was a good day. I slept pretty well and I got some movement in this morning so I feel good.

Here's to your stomach wobbling less! 

 

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I'm going to try the tarragon on the brussels, that sounds good. Today I did all the food shopping (and a kind of stressful and urgent hunt for a new water heatert) and I'm excited to make the cream of mushroom soup tomorrow, and also a lentil soup. Oh yes, fortunately my regular grocer carries dried shitakes, but there is also a good Asian market where I live, and I am so grateful. While I was at it I stocked up on dried legumes. I absolute love lima beans. I don't use them because hubs doesn't like them, but I'm going to look out for your Christmas limas for something I can bogart. I'm going to try out more vegetarian cooking and see if I might work towards cutting my animal protein by a third or even half. I guess I'll find out how that feels. I used to make a delicious sunflower seed burger, so I'll be looking for that recipe, too, though at this point I'm sure I could wing it from memory and it would be very forgiving. I also happened upon a restaurant supply I didn't know about, and I have my eye on a new soup pot. I have a heavy bottomed stainless 6 qt pot, and an enameled cast iron 8 qt pot too that is very beat up. I learned on that pot that you can't bang your wooden spoon on the side of the pot or it gets chipped. Also hubs insists on a chore boy when I'm not looking, and it's just terribly scratched up, and though I know it's not unsafe to use it: I want a new pot!! I'm not sure what to do with the old one, but recycle it to the garden. Any ideas?

Thanks for all the pro tips on the cabbage and the fermenting. My store bought stuff surprisingly has nothing added, though it is a little dry. Maybe I'll try the fermenting again this winter. I'll have to go through my pantry to find the jars, and the Kraut Source gear I bought at one point and only used once.

Sounds like you had a good day - morning movement, good sleep, no snacking, yay! Today my tummy was just fine even though I had coffee. I remembered seeing that Chipotle was a good place to get compliant meals, and I remembered that I enjoyed going there once years before W30, so I popped in for lunch today during my errands. I had a delicious salad with black beans, grilled chicken, grilled onions and peppers (made me think of you!), mild salsa, guacamole, a sprinkling of queso, and the house dressing. I can guess that the oil is probably canola, but otherwise it was very delicious and satisfying, and gave me a boost to have a new place to eat out when I'm in town. I may have mentioned it's slim pickings. I'm hoping that it was the magnesium, and now that I've eliminated that I might be free and in the clear. We'll see.

Roasted garlic sounds so good - I haven't made that in an age. I used to spread it on artisan bread like creamy butter. What do you do with it?

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Uh oh! I hope the need for a new water heater didn't involve lots of water on the floor.  We used the first excuse ours gave us to replace it with a tankless version. It's in the garage and, even though it doesn't freeze in there, it gets pretty cold in the winter so it was just sucking up electricity. We've had it over 12 years now and it's never given us any trouble. My only regret is that it's still in the garage so it takes forever to get hot water up to our bathroom two floors away. The joys of home ownership! We had the A/C ducts in the basement rerun on Monday and found where that snake got in. The snake removal company was going to use the snake equivalent of a roach motel. Sorry that's just cruel and disgusting no matter what kind of critter it is; nothing deserves to die that way. I was just appalled!

I have no idea how to recycle pots and pans. I have an old abused All-Clad non-stick skillet that needs to be recycled so I just emailed them to find out how to do it. It's been sitting in the garage for a couple of years and I can't donate it in good conscience knowing that awful non-stick stuff is coming off. I also have an inexpensive ceramic skillet that is ready to be retired so I'm hoping All-Clad has some information. I think the dump that we use has a separate pile for scrap metal so the skillets may qualify. The restaurant supply store we used closed but they're supposed to reopen after their building is remodeled. I hope they do; it was so convenient and their prices were good.

I'm probably the only person that has never eaten at Chipotle! I've seen where they have two W30 approved dishes but you have to order them on-line and I think one of them is a temporary special. I don't remember what the compliant ingredients were but you can a la carte it, too. We have lots of dining out options but it seems like most of them aren't very good or, if they are, they're really pricey. I'm having beans today, too. I have a little succotash to go with my last container of braised oxtails and vegetables- eating totally out of the freezer for lunch today! Roasted garlic is one of my freezer staples and I use it whenever I want that nice mellow garlic flavor in something. After our last garlic harvest, I had so much that I was looking for ways to preserve it and I confit-ed it. Is that a word? Win! Win! The olive oil is in the fridge and is so delicious and the garlic came out like roasted garlic so I mushed it up and put it in the freezer so I can carve a chunk off whenever I want it.

All of my ferments are doing their thing. They're so pretty and colorful; I'll have to take a pic. The Indian-spiced one (my mom and I named it Kashmir Kraut) smells amazing. I've made it before but I tweaked it a bit this time and added more spices and turmeric. I'm going to try to get some lotions made this weekend now that my fermenting to-do list is under control. It's supposed to storm (2-4 inches!) all weekend so I need inside projects. 

I've moved my morning movement into the basement and I've been trying to increase the amount of time- 25 minutes yesterday and today. There are some dumbbells and my stability ball down there already so it gives me more variety. Now if I can convince my husband to stay out until I'm finished, it would help. :angry:

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A little water on the floor, but nothing disastrous. I had never heard of a tankless water heater so I am looking into it. I haven't actually bought a new unit yet because the plumber wanted to take one more look at the space, so that's handy timing for me/us to research tankless. Looks really smart, energy efficient/not so wasteful. I see your point about waiting for water to heat up from a great distance, and to the upstairs...that does waste some water, I guess, unless you have a gray water set up to collect the unused. Replacing your A/C ducts sounds like a much more intelligent way to prevent snakes getting in....how did you actually get the snake out?

Ah! Thank you, framing it as scrap metal turned the lightbulb over my head to the on position. A metal-worker friend just mentioned recently that my styrofoam recycling joint is right near the scrap metal place he uses, and he told me that they pay for the metals brought in. Bingo! Why didn't I think of that before? LOL Now I can retire my old iron pot in peace, and maybe recoup the driving expense, too.

Are the ferments burbling and burping? That part seems amusing. It's alive! Kashmir Kraut, very good! You are about to get 2-4 inches of actual rain? Oh, good for you! I wish I could say the same. The temps are comfy though. My friends on the Monterey Peninsula, where I used to live,  where it is usually cool enough to wear a sweater, are sweltering right now. It's very weird and not right.

You are inspiring me with your morning movement routine. I am going to go hiking with a friend tomorrow morning and get with the program! On keeping your husband out, I have had that problem, too. When the door is shut and I am meditating, he becomes very curious and needy it seems. So I use the door sign from my massage professional organization that says, "Quiet, massage in progress" and that is my communication to leave me along.

I'm going to a book group tonight - I don't usually join book groups, but I'm making an exception for this. It's on leadership, and organized by two friends of mine in their Unitarian Universalist program on creating meaning. One of them is a gem of a friend whom I really trust, respect, and admire (interesting guy, a Stanford PhD in particle physics, and an atheist who joined UU because his mother wanted to go when he was her caregiver-she's dead now, but he's still going!), so I'll be in good company at the very least.

My house smells like lentil soup - still too soon to eat it but I am hopeful. Been a long time since I made soup, and feels very homey and comforting just to smell it.

Happy Friday/Happy rainy days and happy weekend!

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The snake got himself out. Apparently he didn't want to be in our bathroom any more than we wanted him there. The vents are in the floor so we closed the vent after he went back down it and, thankfully, never saw him again. The water heater we got was a Rinnai and it's gas which is much more efficient than the electric ones. I wish we had a grey water collection system! I struck out trying get help from All-Clad. Even though I acknowledged in my email that the pan had been abused, all they sent me was warranty information. Scrap metal it is, then!

Yep, actual rain. Starting any moment now and lasting until Sunday morning. It's been really cool here; low 40's in the mornings and upper 60's/low 70's in the afternoon. The nice thing is that our A/C has been turned off for over two weeks now. I always look forward to sleeping with the windows open but it's been a bit chilly for that.

Haha, your husband sounds like Squeaky! He can sense a disruption in the force if a door is closed! Since I just moved my morning routine downstairs, I'm still working the logistics out but I like the idea of a little sign. Maybe I could stick it to the wall at the top of the stairs so he doesn't even come down (my husband, not Squeaky- he's hopeless!). I woke up a little early this morning so I managed 30 minutes and added in some weights and stability ball! There's a very good chance I might be a little sore tomorrow! A hike sounds lovely. Even though the weather will keep me indoors this weekend, I have more than enough projects to keep me occupied. I'm really looking forward to reorganizing my pantry. After I quit grains, I never did reorganize. I had LOTS of baking ingredients and pans and such that I either don't have any more or don't use. 

Your friend sounds interesting. How was the book group? 

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The book group was worthwhile. I like this community and have grown acquainted with them over time as my friend has done other interesting workshops over the years that I have attended, so they seem familiar to me, and as usual, I am the interloper. It was a tough call because there was another event last night, too, and I had to choose. I may have mentioned I'm reading In Search of the Canary Tree by Lauren Oakes, and she came to speak at our local library branch, a collaboration between the local Friends of the Library (I just resigned last year after 4 years of service) and Sequoia National Park. I decided to go to the leadership thing because it is ongoing for 7 more meetings...one of the takeaways is that I really don't like to stay up late! When I'm under-rested in the morning I am more likely to make not-good food choices and of course it's just not fun to be tired. I'm getting old? Or am I getting smarter? or C all of the above?

The soup is good -- I finished it with a glug of truffle oil and balsamic - the truffle oil is a bit odd, not sure I would do that again, but one has to try new things, right? I forgot to check in with my hiking partner about this morning, so I ended up letting myself sleep in a tad since I was tired, so I'm needing to get some movement! You're inspiring me - Go Holly, Go! Keep up the good work, I'll catch up with you eventually. = )

Oh, I totally relate to your being so glad to have the A/C off for weeks! I have been noticing that we're in a nice long stretch of needing neither the A/C nor the heat, although we have turned the heat on briefly a couple of times. There are fires raging to the north and south of us, but so far we are good here...my heart goes out to those impacted by the fires, and all the animals, it is just heart breaking. I hope we continue to be boring and uneventful here re fire....keep your fingers crossed!

I should also let go of my baking pans, except for the muffin tins, right? But the bundt and round cake pans can go, for sure. When we moved I gave away my ex-husband's mother's tart pan - they are Parisian (he was my college sweetheart, it didn't last long), and I always coveted that tart pan even though I never used it. It was partly sentimental, and partly that I admired it for the sculptural object that it is, and partly that I wanted to one day make one of those gorgeous tarts, pear or apricot...but at this point, clearly if I want to splurge I'll go to a patisserie. Time to let it go - thanks for the nudge!

"In loss, grace is found in choosing what to bring along with you and what to leave behind."

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My vote is smarter! I used to be such a night owl but, over the years, my work schedule has gradually drifted earlier and earlier. My husband is a major early bird, too, so I've adapted and really struggle to stay up late nowadays. As much as I love going to see live music, I really have to push myself to go to a show that starts after I'm typically in bed. I'm such a party animal! I partied this weekend, though- with my spice cabinet! Woo-hoo, rock-n-roll!! It's crazy how pumped I am about cleaning out my spice drawer, restocking about 6 different blends, including some Sunrise Spice AND got a running start on cleaning out the pantry. I tossed a couple of things that I brought with us from NO (!!) - yeah, I think it was time- 15 year old spice blends that smelled like sawdust and I sent their yucky plastic containers to recycling. I am officially out of marjoram now so I inventoried everything and ordered from Spice House. I was out of tarragon, too and almost out of herbs de provence and bay leaves. I use bay leaves a lot so that would have been a crisis.

I did a small-ish cookup and got some leftovers stashed in the freezer. I didn't get to make lotion or start a new (to me) ferment but I am, at the very least, going to make some lotion this evening. I like the Sunrise spice and put it in some ground lamb for my breakfast. I really enjoyed it this morning: a little lamb patty, a couple of scrambled eggs and a Swiss chard/delicata squash saute. Then I had a major brain fart and will probably have a supply of cream of mushroom soup until the end of time. I had looked at Nomnom's magic mushroom seasoning and was thinking about making it. It called for 3 ounces of dried mushroom and the soup called for 1/2 ounce of dried mushrooms. Wellll, I put 3 ounces of dried 'shrooms in the soup and made mud. It was so thick I had a hard time blending it in my Vitamix and, of course, it's a lovely poopy, brown color:lol:. I wound up putting it back in the pot, adding more liquid and seasoning and I think I salvaged it but now I have a whole lot of mushroom soup! I reserved half of the fresh mushrooms to add at the end for texture and I'm glad I did but now I have to figure out how I'm going to freeze it all. My husband was cracking up!

The rain wasn't as severe as predicted but we still got almost 2 inches. It made for a nice day to stay home and work on spices but now we're looking at a light freeze this coming weekend; it might be time for that pot of chili. Some nearby areas had 70 mph straight-line winds so I'm very thankful we escaped that. Glad to hear that the fires aren't threatening you but it's so awful and the big news is that LeBron James had to evacuate. Really? What about all of the animals and the people that don't have his resources??! Gah! News makes my head want to explode! Please keep being boring and uneventful!

I've found that being tired leads to unwise food choices as well. I didn't sleep very well last night and when I was walking down the hall to my lab this morning, I saw a donut box in the trash. The first thing that came to mind was that I wanted one! I reeled that idea back and ate my delicious breakfast that didn't involve sugar, wheat and crappy oil! I'm over it now. 

Tomorrow is the 3rd birthday of my shoulder injury so I bought it a present- a 10 lb medicine ball:rolleyes: I'm still finding ways to improve my strength and mobility in my shoulder and I thought a ball would be a fun way to work it a little differently. My husband and I threw it around a little yesterday evening. Fun! And very different. I think I'm inspiring him to move more, too. He's thinking about moving the futon out of the basement so we have more room to workout and move. He also mentioned that he should join me in the mornings so I guess I need to adjust my expectation of privacy! Not sure if that's a good thing or not but I'm trying to convince myself it is. 

Take care and have a marvelous week!

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I'm laughing about the mushroom soup - and by that I mean laughing with you - because I had the same experience, in a way! You didn't mention if you liked the soup? I'm guessing you didn't have enough dried mushrooms to make the magic powder, is that right? I made soup, too, with recipes as a starting point, but I just kind of made it up. Last night I ate a cup of my cream of mushroom soup and it was not quite mud, but definitely a gravy. It had a super-intense mushroom flavor! I'm going to have it again for lunch, but thinned out with chicken broth, it is very good! I used 2 lbs. of white mushrooms, a 1 oz pkg of dried shitakes, and I reserved the soaking water, and a .75 oz. package of dried porcinis, 1 tsp of dried thyme leaves, 1.5 tsp. salt. I hadn't rehydrated the porcinis first, so I added them to the sautee once the mushrooms cooked down. Then I added the shitake soaking water to let the flavor infuse back into the mushrooms, and I took Michelle Tam's note about letting the mushrooms sautee until the liquid is gone (even though I didn't use her recipe). Once it reduced I added about 24 oz of broth (winging it) and let it simmer for 45 min because of those dry porcinis. I added a can of coconut milk and blended it in the vitamix. The gravy version was almost too much, but thinned out, it's quite delicious, and with a swirl of truffle oil. I made a note that such an intense mushroom gravy might be good on lentil loaf in the future, or, or...

I'm glad you like the Sunrise Spice - I haven't tried it yet in a beef or lamb patty but that sounds divine. Yay for getting your spices organized! You party down, girl. LOL. I so get it. I've never heard of straight line winds, is that what it sounds like? We are all jittery about wind because you've seen what happens during fire season. There but for the grace of God goes my community. Oh, and the LeBron James, yeah, I share your disgust on that one. Yesterday our little valley FILLED up with smoke from nearby So Cal, hiding all the mountains in our view shed, very creepy and sad. You almost feel guilty to feel glad that you are safe knowing how much Dante-esque terror and destruction is going on. I have friends who are being evacuated in the SF Bay Area and others who are in power outages. Sigh. Come on, rain, bring it!

Congrats on getting yourself a medicine ball, and awesome that your hubs is getting an appetite for more movement! I guess you will find a way to adapt to get your needs met..your needs count, though, so I encourage you to finesse it so you get what you need as a priority. That is not a selfish act.

The plumber is here putting in the water heater, and we may need an electrician, too, so I will close...rock on Holly! Mushroom soup for as far as the eye can see...a nice fungal problem to have, eh? And...did you ever read or see Hotel New Hampshire. If so, remember "keep passing the open windows"? I thought of that when I read your post, "Keep passing the donut boxes..." = )

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Our mushroom soups sound very similar except for that extra 2 ounces of dried mushrooms! I used chicken stock to start but thinned it out with water because I thought the chicken stock would get lost in the strong mushroom flavor. Maybe I need to thin it out some more and use chicken stock. It's pretty tasty but I'll give it a real road test for lunch tomorrow. I think a salad would nice with it to cut some of the umami richness and I happen to have a little piece of leftover sirloin that I can put in my salad so I have a plan.

I've been listening to a three-part podcast series with Matthew Walker hosted by Peter Attia about sleep and the effects of sleep deprivation. It's really interesting and terrifying all at the same time- much higher risk for alzheimer's, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Rats that are completely sleep deprived die in the same amount of time as if they were food starved. The WHO has actually classified sleep deprivation as a cancer risk-factor because the evidence is so strong! I feel like I've been slowly chipping away at my sleep issues but now don't think I've been doing enough. I have more more podcast left in the series and I'm hoping for more motivation and less terror. 

Do you have hot water? Home projects are never simple, are they? There were so many cut-rate things done in our house that we have come to expect "unforeseen" problems in any project. Sad but true! 

We have more rain on the way. I wish I could "think" it in your direction (without the wind). 

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Your podcast sounds very illuminating. I've read a lot about the link between sleep and brain health. I know that even one night of poor sleep can elevate the levels of amyloid in the cerebral spinal fluid - and it gets swept out during the deepest sleep (delta sleep?) starting when we are as young as in our 30s and 40s...prevention, prevention, prevention, right? I don't know that much about the cancer connection, but I'm glad you are sharing about this. I know you are prone to worrying, so I just want to lift up how responsive the body is to our efforts...and on that note, I will be interested in whatever you learn about the recommendations for encouraging sleep. And what is working for you as you move forward. As for W30, it was hit and miss for me with that legendary deep sleep. I had it during my 1st and 2nd rounds, but not the last round. I guess the stress of moving over-rode matters, which makes sense....the last few nights have been good, even without herbal remedies. Maybe because it has been colder and more snugly under the weight of an extra blanket. 

Yes, hot water! Oh, we are finding cut rate things, too, in our house. I still have repairs to tackle before winter comes, and finding it difficult to find reliable, skilled helpers. The search goes on. i took some time after the plumber left to do a slightly deep clean of the downstairs that was very satisfying. I'm still cleaning up after sweet Spooky and putting away some of her things.

Oh! On Sunday I made a Turkish inspired marinade for chicken kebabs, and wanted to share about it because it was the most tender I've made so far. I can't find the recipe right now, but it called for Greek yogurt and lemon juice to tenderize, plus loads of minced garlic, and paprika. S&P. I think that was it. I let it marinate for over 24 hours, and grilled last night. It was heavenly. Tender and creamy. The only thing I would do differently is not bbq in the dark. I had a flash light, but still, not ideal! Did I mention that one of the sub-optimal things about our house is that there is no hood over the stove? What was he thinking? The small particulates from my cooking have clogged up our smoke detectors and the carbon monoxide detector, too, which are all beeping away in the freezer until I can get to the e-waste place. Argh. That is my theory, because they were all brand new just 4 months ago. If it clogged up those detectors, it can't be good for us to breathe it, right? Hence my motivation to cook in the dark outside LOL Next up, Navy bean and vegetable soup in the slow cooker. 

Now, I am called to jury duty. Hope it's just one day and not a trial! Thanks for your well wishes re rain! Enjoy your rainy days!

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