So, here’s the deal …

I had a dear friend call me yesterday. She was looking for what is, in our society, an obscure ingredient for a new 30-day cleansing diet she was doing. OMG, it’s Thanksgiving – what a tough time to do something so drastic – kudos to her for doing what is right for her.

I, on the other hand, one who has also done what was considered drastic to some all in the interest of health, have found that I no longer want to be pinned down to someone else’s version of what is right for me. It’s an age thing, I’m sure. For years I have read about doing it this way or that. And, you know what? I usually failed. Oh, I lost a few pounds or tightened up a muscle here or there or I felt better for a while but I always – yes, always – ended up right back where I started.

So, how am I doing, I hear you ask. I am exactly where I should be at this moment in my life. I’m loving real food. Fresh fruits and vegetables. Whole grains. Good oils. I avoid those foods I have found to make me unhappy – high frutose corn syrup, processed foods, most anything labeled “natural” (‘cuz it probably isn’t). I like to know from where my food comes, though that is proving to be very difficult. I eat seasonal food, avoiding those foods that are grown and picked too early just to be forced to grow in a controlled environment for use eighteen months or longer and labeled ‘fresh.’ Even wonder why apples don’t taste the way they used to when we were kids … yeah, well … now you know.


Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Caleb's Banana BreadThis is a old favorite around my house. After years of cooking and baking for my very allergic son, Caleb, I still resurrect my old “Cooking for Caleb” collection of recipes for those friends of mine who are entering the world of gluten free foods.

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • nuts of choice, optional
  1. Sift dry ingredients together; set aside.
  2. Cream butter
  3. Add sugar
  4. Beat until well blended
  5. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating after each addition
  6. Add mashed banana
  7. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form
  8. Fold batter into egg whites
  9. Spoon into a greased loaf pan
  10. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 45 minutes

Cool before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.

Magic Pill

doctor with tabletIt still amazes me to see people with high cholesterol “doing all the right things” by taking niacin supplements to boost their HDL, taking fish oil, exercising and/or even taking statins and still maintain their “old” lifestyle BECAUSE they are taking those precautions! Everyday Health’s own Dr. Arthur Agatston was recently asked “I’m already taking a statin — shouldn’t this protect me from a heart attack?” His response in a nutshell? NO! Read his answer here.

What are people thinking? Statin drugs are not magic pills!! If you don’t take ownership for your own life, who will? I recently saw a rather large man at McDonald’s eating two quarter-pounders, a super-sized fry and milk shake. When he was finished he then lifted his shirt and gave himself an insulin shot. He then proceeded to eat four McDonald apple pies. He seemed quite pleased with himself that he ‘offset’ an episode by anticipating a rise in his blood sugar because of what he had just eaten. I overheard him tell another man that the doctor’s just can’t seem to figure out why his diabetes isn’t under control. Are you kidding me?

Is it just me or do some people really believe they can take a magic pill or injection and all will be better? Do they realize they may not have to take meds their whole life if they incorporate a lifestyle change? Granted, there are those who are genetically-challenged who may have to, but I don’t feel this is the norm.

According to Forbes … There are currently 1.6 billion overweight adults in the world, according to the World Health Organization. That number is projected to grow by 40% over the next 10 years. The United States ranks ninth on a list that reflects the percentage of overweight adults aged 15 and over. These are individuals who have individual body mass indexes, which measures weight relative to height, greater than or equal to 25. Obese is defined as having a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

Wonder what your BMI is? Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. Visit What’s My BMI? and find out!

Did you get your BMI? Is it below 30? Yes? Good for you? No? What’s are you going to do about it? Got a muffin top … beer belly … love handles … spare tire … can you pinch an inch? Here’s a way to take control of the battle of the bulge … and don’t despair … you will lose that spare tire, but there’s no secret formula … there is no magic bullet, diet plan, specific food, or type of exercise that specifically targets belly fat … and I don’t care what you find on the Internet or magazine that promises you otherwise. The truth is you need to reduce your calories and exercise. I found this little blog about losing belly fat … it worked for me.

So, there it is, my friends, it’s all up to us … but we’re not alone. Up for the challenge?

Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms

Aside from our house salad dressing, this is one the most requested recipes … so, here’s to my dear friend, Ruth … Bon Appétit …

Four large Portabello mushroom caps
1 tablespoons pure, cold-pressed coconut oil
Chopped fresh onion and mushrooms
1 package of Seeds of Change certified organic Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic package
1 tablespoon turmeric powder (or to taste)
2 teaspoons curry powder (or to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Wipe any dirt off mushroom caps and remove stem and gills and set on cookie sheet. I would suggest spraying or wiping down with coconut oil. Place caps upside down so you can fill them.

Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in saucepan and cook onions until translucent. Add chopped mushrooms and cook until cooked through. Add the rice packet and 2 tablespoons of water and heat through. And, you are certainly welcome to create your own concoction of grain mix. I use the package for a quick meal (and I love it).

Once the rice is heated through, add a bit more coconut oil, tumeric (if using) and curry powder.

Place on mushroom caps and bake until mushroom is cooked through, about 15 – 20 minutes.

Serves 4 … or two if you know my friend, Ruth. 🙂

No longer craving …

They said it would happen. I wondered when. Then it hit. Last night, while making spaghetti with marinara and rosemary/garlic bread, it hit. I wasn’t overly hungry. Usually after work, I plan out my meal in my head on the way home so anxious to eat that it consumes me! Not the case last night. I opted for a tall glass of ice water while I settled my grandson into homework. It was almost like I was in slow motion. I could ‘see’ every move I made. Normally, sadly, the whole event of dinner – from the planning to cleaning the kitchen – is blurry. Not so last night. As I put the water on to boil for the pasta and grabbed a jar of organic spaghetti sauce, I buttered the rosemary–garlic ciabatta roll and added a bit of garlic salt. Each fragrance was felt in such a pleasant way I was amazed. I noticed everything from the little bits of rosemary in the roll, to the blurp coming from the spaghetti sauce pan. I heard the pot of water edge toward a boil. Slow motion. Even my demeanor had slowed. It was quite an amazing feeling. Even my grandson noticed – or maybe he always does but I’m so busy rushing around that I hadn’t noticed. I found myself looking at him rather than answering him with my back turned rushing my food to an edible state. It was lovely. So much more relaxed.

Using an old trick of putting my fork down between bites seemed ‘normal’ … whatever that is. I left the table feeling comfortable instead of bloated and stuffed. There was plenty of time for conversation with my grandson – who has become quite a conversationalist – and given the opportunity he shared his whole day!

I realize now how much I have been missing by rushing around – completely centered on what morsel of yummy will pass my lips. Not so worried about that anymore.

So, here’s the question … will I be able to make it hold? I often found myself not even remembering what I had eater or when … rush, rush, rush … eating more slowing with calculation and intent may take me to the next level. Time will tell.

Back where I began …

There is nothing good about a yo-yo life style. Aside from the frustration it isn’t healthy. I read somewhere – and more than once –  it takes 21 days to establish a new habit, but I’m thinking it’s more like 21 months for me! It is so easy to backslide into old habits and before I know it … BOOM … right back where it all began. You’d think I’d learn, wouldn’t you?

Who shares my bad habits?

  1. Overeating even eating too much of a good thing
  2. Eating too much sugar
  3. Not drinking enough water
  4. Not moving enough

Today is Monday and I started … again … on Saturday. I did well until Saturday evening when I had a wee bit more than I intended. Sunday – it was a good day. So far, on this incredibly hot and humid Monday, I’m doing well.

You might picture me as obese and while I am not, I am well over where I feel my best.

Why reinvent the wheel?

In my corner of the world, each morning begins the same way … coffee, Internet. Slip in some quiet time on my deck – regardless of the weather and I’m good to go. Today, I happened on a website that is right up my alley … I love reading about how natural aka real food can help me. This site is very simple and easy to navigate. What I enjoy is reading about the health benefits of foods I don’t always purchase or have ever tried. I like this site. Maybe you will, too.