Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What kind of lover are you?

Have you ever thought about it? 

Asked yourself – ‘what kind of lover am I?”?

How you would define yourself?  How do others define you? 

As I have begun exploring my habits and emotions and lifestyle, I’ve been thinking about this. And then, when over the course of a two day period, I repeatedly heard the terms ’veggie lover’ and ‘meat lover’ – it really got me thinking. (yes, hello Pizza commercials……………..)

I eat a lot of veggies, I do.

But I’m NOT a veggie lover.

Not really.

 I enjoy my veggies (now), don’t get me wrong. But it’s been an acquired thing. I didn’t hardly touch a veggie until, I dunno, maybe 10 years ago. And then it was just a few kinds and sporadic at best. 

so it's kind of funny, in an 'odd-funny' sort of way to think about how some other people might view me. . . . especially if they don't KNOW me or my history. Popping into this blog for the first time, one might think I'm a natural raging veggie lover! 

But I'm not. 

At my core – I’m a dairy lover.

Cheese of just about any kind – cream, cheddar, bleu, muenster, swiss, asiago, yellow, white…new, aged. YUM. (but you can keep the goat cheese! Never was a fan of that).

Ice cream.....eggnog....mmm. I doubt I will ever lose my love or taste for those things. (but who knows, I suppose stranger things have happened).

I’m also a bit of a meat lover. Truly. Again, just about any kind and cooked in many different ways.

Sometimes I REALLY crave cheese and/or meat.
The things is, just because I love cheese and meat, doesn’t mean they love me back. Or that they are good for me.

I've made a choice. And it’s not always easy. 

But I’m worth it.

I made a choice to fuel my body in a way that support is - so it can better function – it can work better, heal itself better, and I can feel better. 

Along the way I have begun to REALLY enjoy veggies – of many different kinds. And yes, cooked (and raw) in many different ways. I enjoy feeling better and KNOWING that I am helping my body instead of hurting it (and make no mistake, we do hurt our bodies with what we ingest sometimes).

I don’t make perfect choices, I’m not a perfect person.  

But I want to be better.  To do better. 

To live better (and longer) and feel  better along the way. And I love that veggies help me in that quest. :)

Maybe I’m a "better" lover. :-)  A growth lover – a health lover. 

What kind of lover are you?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spinach Flatbread & TWO ingredient spread

Yes, I really am on a flatbread kick. I sort of warned about that here.

I'm also on a spinach kick. But I think I'm always on a spinach kick. ;-)

I decided to combine the two.

Spinach, veggie, and feta flatbread
 It was a meeting made in heaven.


Doesn't that look positively YUMMY!?

spinach and veggie flatbread (straight out of the over, before pine nuts and other goodness)

On the flatbead is a tiny schmear of cream cheese, then onion (sliced so thin you could see through it) and spinach and pattypan squash sliced OHHHHH so thin.

Crumbled feta. Fresh cracked black pepper and into a 450 degree overn just long enough to wilt the top veggies and crisp up the edges of the flatbread.

Once out of the oven I hit it with a touch of salt, raw pine nuts, and hemp seed.

The spead?

Strained yogurt - see how thick it is now?? Mixed with chili garlic sauce.

The flatbread was crunchy on the edges and so completely creamy and sweet in the middle. Something delightful happens to that squash when it wilts, it gets creamy with a touch of sweetness and contrasts with the onion and the slightly bolder spinach. 

Sadly, that was the last of my 6 flatbreads.

It was a great ride. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Veggie Wrap and 3 ingedient spread

I may have mentioned that I recently purchased some whole grain flatbreads, well I have been using them daily. I've made wraps several times and I've used them twice as a sort of crust.

First I want to share this beautiful veggie wrap that I had for lunch the other day.(and the day before that as well)

This is, obviously, not raw. The flatbread isn't raw and I used a small amount of yogurt that I had been straining for a few days.

 Look at the color in that!

I julienned carrots, yellow squash, and cucumbers...chopped a small amount of red onion, added a few large leaves of romaine lettuce and a tiny bit of crumbled feta.

Rolled it up and there you have it.


I made a spicey spread to go on it - strained yogurt, garlic chili sauce, and a tiny dash of peanut butter (raw almond butter would have been better, but I'm fresh out).

This wrap is so simple yet so delicious. And it can be prepared with whatever veggies are in the pantry at the time.

These wraps are quite filling yet very light. I never feel weighed down after eating them because they are mostly live foods. Full of nutrients, easily digested, and moves through the GI tract quickly (which is a good thing to help prevent colon cancer and other illnesses)

What's not to like about that?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hemp, it's what's for dinner and lunch and breakfast

and snack!

I was dragged kicking and screaming lucky to go to Costco last week and I'm actually happy I did because while there I spotted a mammoth bag of hemp seeds AND a huge bag of RAW pine nuts!

YAY! Happy dance!

I 'knew' hemp seeds were a good food, but I think I had forgotten WHY.

Did you know that just 3 tablespoons of hemp seed (or about 1oz/28gm) have 10gm of protein!? Seriously, that's more than a quarter of the USDA recommended allowance (and I believe their figures are inflated).

And hemp is SO easy to add to your diet. At least it is for me. I sprinkle it on salads and desserts as well as putting it in shakes/smoothies.

So while I'm not totally opposed to meat at this point in my journey, I have cut WAY back and hemp is a fantastic way to know I'm getting some protein every day.

Oh, and about the fermented carrots. I tasted them at 4 days and they were ummm..'fine'. Nothing special. I let them go another day or two and then put them in the fridge. They aren't anything to write home about. I don't dislike them, but I'm not craving them or anything!

They are very garlicky. and sort of vinegary....and definitely dilly. I may chop some up tonight and add them to a salad or plate of veggies for dinner. My next experiment is going to be pickles. I printed a simple recipe for 'refrigerator pickles' from the wondernet and someone at work brought in cukes from their garden - so I'm about good to go!

Will keep you posted on that. :-)

Oh, and I'm going to try fermenting some ginger to make home 'brewed' ginger-ale.

Will hopefully have process photos for all of that. (I hate blog posts with no photos!)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What's new this week?

In an effort to be somewhat organized, I'm going to try to post #1 regularly and #2 categorically.

In an effort to try new things each week, that seems like a good category --'what's new this week?' - or some other name that might be catchier and more creative. And if I'm lacking in actual new recipes or whatever, I can always default to simply what's new with me - an update on life in general (yea, exciting, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight? lol)

So, what's new this week is fermenting.

I've never fermented anything before. Not intentionally anyway.

The other day I ran across a recipe somewhere for fermented carrots and I thought it sounded interesting.

Fermented foods are supposed to be GREAT for our digestive tract because of the good bacteria. And apparently fermenting can actually increase the bio-availability of nutrients in the food (looking for a citation on that one).

So I now have sitting on my counter at home, a jar of carrots. . . presumably fermenting. One mildly disturbing finding today though is that there has been a rise in reported cases of botulism in Alaska which is linked to their practice of fermenting raw meats (not something I am looking to do). They believe the rise is due to a move from traditional methods of fermenting to using plastic containers which in turn apparently promote botulism. So guess what kind of lid I used on my canning jar? Why one of my new plastic ones of course! lol

I think I'll be removing that tonight.

The other mild concern is that after reading more today about fermenting itself (not just running home and following a recipe) is that it's considered an anaerobic process. I'm pretty sure my jar is NOT anaerobic. hmmmmmmmmm. The recipe said nothing about filling to brim or about processing to remove air or create a vacuum seal.

Rather than waiting the 4-7 days, I'm going to let the carrots ferment for a couple of days, checking for mold (ewwwww) and then taste them.  If they seem ok I'll let them go another 2-3 days and then pop them in the fridge.

So that is what's new this week for me - what's new with you?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More than just a name change

It's time for an update. :)

It's been over a year since I posted.

I mentioned on my other blog that I've renewed my efforts to educate myself more on nutrition and my health. I briefly mentioned that I went pretty much ALL raw in 2009 for a good year or so and then have been up and down with my eating habits ever since.

I've gone back to eating a high percentage of raw but am also eating cooked foods though not a lot of meat and cut WAY back on processed foods. I don't have a particular goal right now to be 'this' or 'that' ("raw" or whatever) - I just want to be, feel, look - 'healthy'.

I think that's a pretty good goal. :)

I changed the name of the blog:

Food to live for (and MORE)

a play on the expression people use when something is SO tasty they say it's "to DIE for" - - and really, much of what we eat - we're killing ourselves slowly by eating it.

It's the craziest damn thing. How we put stuff into our bodies that is SO horribly bad for us. And not just sugar and fat -- but weirdly concocted chemical compounds that are supposed to be food.

Anyway, I've never been a conspiracy theorist or anything like that, but the more I read about our food industry and the involvement of government and advocacy groups and large corporations -- the more weirded out I get.

It's scary stuff. lol

Anyway, I plan to share my journey - food finds (and fails), recipes, exercise, resources and other 'stuff' that has to do with a healthy life. I also hope to hear YOUR ideas and recipes and experiences too!

I will probably post 2-3 times a week. Maybe more. And I will try to post questions and topics for discussion that come up in the comments or are emailed to me,. :)

DISCLAIMER: I am by NO means an expert. I am not a nurse or a nutritionist. I am not here to push my ideas or thoughts or lifestyle on anyone. I'm just a girl who wants to live a long and healthy life. I welcome comments and discussion, pro and/or con, as long as it is civil and meant for growth or . . . food for thought. ;-) I hope that we all journey towards a more healthy life, in whatever increments and ways it works for each of us.