Friday, July 30, 2010

Nutritarian Nirvana

I'm not into Eastern religions (nor even some of the Western ones!), but this post title just works.

Emily Boller has posted a great glimpse at the food served at a recent Health Getaway with Dr. Fuhrman.

Click here to see the whole thing.  Amazing--makes me want to pull out that book of recipes!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Lecture that Might Change Your Life

I found this ninety minutes or so from Dr. Fuhrman very motivational:  2010 Health Getaway Presentation on Food Addictions.

If you have the time to spend on this video, you will learn . . .

  • Why a "beans and greens" diet is optimal
  • What "toxic hunger" is and how to beat it
  • How diabetes really CAN be reversed, and who doesn't want you to know that
  • Why those of us who naturally gain weight easily can have the MOST optimal mature years--can you believe we actually have an advantage somewhere?
(This is one of our basil plants -- wonderful addition to many nutritarian dishes!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why Drugs Won't Work in the Long Run

Thanks to Yoni Freedhoff of Weighty Matters (7-24-10), here is a sensible article about the drug approach to weight loss: "Weight Loss and Wonder Drugs: Something is Fishy."   Dr. David Katz says that when we gain weight on the diet and inactivity of our modern life our bodies are not betraying us but doing exactly what they were meant to do--storing up in time of abundance for a time of want.  The problem is that we never really come to that famine time so we just keep adding to our stores. It's a natural survival mechanism of the body, betrayed by our prosperity.

And when we turn to drugs--to raise our metabolism, to block our hunger, to control our insulin--of necessity we have to introduce powerful pharmaceutical changes to counteract the way our bodies are designed by God (or "Nature" or evolution) to function. And those drugs have potentially and have demonstrated repeatedly to cause very serious side effects. An excerpt:

When one considers that the problem we are asking weight control drugs to fix -- a body turning surplus calories into an energy reserve -- is normal human physiology, the conclusion that they may prove to be elusive not just now, but forever, is hard to avoid. . . .

None of this is to deny the important insights that will doubtless derive from the scrupulous pursuit of scientific details relating to weight control. Rather, it is to note we miss the forest- the fundamentals of human metabolism in native context -- for the densely clustered hormonal, neurochemical, and genetic trees- at our evident peril.

In a word, the ease with which many of us gain weight in our culture (I've noted a lot more heavy brides  lately than when I married 24 years ago, and though I was "overweight" at the time I was slimmer than most of the current chubby brides I'm thinking of.) has a lot to do with our individual responses to our culture. Advertising and abundance can suggest that we really do "deserve a break today" and need to "indulge" and luxuriate in the foods that only kings and queens could have had in years gone by--ice cream, for one! But I think our amazing prosperity can be used to benefit our health if we take advantage of the opportunity and learn to really value the rainbow of produce available at even a modest modern grocery store. I'm learning not to look at the prices of the upscale salads in fast food restaurants because I know that a couple of dollars more will get me a really healthy choice. I deserve THAT break today! And that is part of my survival strategy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Funky Thai Salad

I made something for lunch today that I feared would be just TOO fusion cuisine. But I made it anyway and then looked up some of the ingredients and, lo and behold, I made something akin to this recipe for Thai summer rolls!

I started with the inspiration of the  Thai basil  in our garden. This herb is much like regular basil but has smaller leaves, purple stems, and an anise-type flavor note.


3 cups tender salad greens (we have butter lettuce from the garden)
1/2 cup cooked beet chunks (julienned would have been more Thai-summer-roll)
1/2 cup blanched broccoli (we have baby broccoli sprouts from the garden)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
scattering of roasted edamame
(I also had a couple of tablespoons of green peas that escaped into the strainer in which I was blanching the broccoli, and they made a nice addition.)

THAI BASIL DRESSING (what I intended, anyway)

Tablespoon of tahini (peanut butter or crushed peanuts would be more authentic)
Tablespoon of fresh Thai basil, crushed or minced
Tablespoon of rice vinegar (either the sweetened kind or plain with a dash of sugar)

THAI BASIL DRESSING (what I made do with)

Tablespoon of tahini
Tablespoon of fresh Thai basil, crushed
Tablespoon of saki
Teaspoon of tarragon vinegar
Sprinkle of sugar

Verdict?  Very good.  I really like the way the beets, basil, and tahini meld together. It makes a beautiful salad, too, more composed and accented with the dressing than tossed and drenched.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Super Foods

How many Super Foods do you eat in a week's time?

Read more here, at Wise Bread

Wild Salmon
Tea (Green or Black)

This week I've had all the ones in bold. I usually have lots of dark leafy greens, but since we have so much fresh salad in the garden I haven't had spinach or kale or turnip/collard/mustard greens in the last couple of weeks. I've just finished a course of Cipro (antibiotic) and am having plain yogurt to try to build up my friendly organisms, but I don't usually have yogurt regularly.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sassy Salad

For lunch today I'm enjoying an intensely satisfying salad I want to share. It fills a small serving bowl and comes in under 350 calories.

3-4 cups tender butter lettuce and mesclun from the garden
1/2 cup carrot slices
half a can of beet chunks
half a package of Tasty Bite Chunky Chickpeas
2 teaspoons or so ranch dressing

This salad has a nice mix of earthy colors, sweetness, and spiciness.

I'll finish up with some watermelon, I think.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Zucchini Harvest Has Begun

Hubby brought in about 25 pounds of zucchini today from the garden, so I need to start using it creatively. I want to start with my new Excalibur Food Dehydrator, and this blog post from Walnut Spinney has some great ideas for that and for other uses.

Traditionally we use a recipe I once found in Farm Woman Magazine, which in the late 80s changed its name to Country Woman, and actually started out as Farm Wife! Here's where I figured that out.

These ladies knew what to do with a lot of extra zucchini. Though this recipe starts with sausage you could use something vegan if you wanted to, or otherwise add flavor as desired. The real bonus is that it uses up a LOT of zucchini:

In the biggest skillet you have, brown about one-half to one pound of sliced sausage (kielbasa, smoked sausage, Italian sausage, etc.) Add to the skillet a couple of chopped onions and a couple of cloves of garlic, smashed. When the onion has softened, add a huge pile of shredded zucchini and cook down until the zucchini has softened and some of the liquid has evaporated. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, or fresh, and just before serving add some oregano, basil, salt and pepper, and the secret ingredient, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You may add parmesan at the end if you like and eat like a stew in a bowl, with or without a side of crusty bread, or on top of pasta or our favorite, rice. Depending on how you steer the seasonings, you can go more Italian, Creole, Middle Eastern, Indian, or in another direction entirely.

Tonight I'm making a variation on this, starting with chunks from a giant zucchini, olive oil (not much), onion, garlic, a jarred roasted red pepper, a can of diced tomatoes, several marinated green olives, a dash of balsamic vinegar, fresh oregano and basil, and several turkey meatballs (the nutritarians can leave these behind in the skillet :-) ). I'm making whole-wheat spaghetti to serve it over.

And now to go start making some of those zucchini chips for the dehydrator!