Friday, September 18, 2009

The Monster Kohlrabi!

I had a good time today after finding that in my town a guy was selling his extra garden produce on a you-pick-it bases. I went out there this morning around ten and found a very nice raised bed garden full of tomatoes, lots of peppers, kohlrabi, sorrel, grapes, cukes and lots of fruit trees. I did not think about taking my camera with me but I wish I would have. The tomatoes were just about gone and were getting sunscald pretty bad but I picked enough for a nice tomato based veggie soup that I was craving. I looked over to the edge and saw these huge kohlrabi plants. I am used to seeing regular sized kohlrabi but these things were the size of cabbage. The owner is from Bulgaria so Bulgarian veggies are what are there, and he was telling me how he cooked all this stuff and it sounded interesting but mostly was with added sour cream or chicken so I my wheels started turning about how I could use them in my Eat For Health program. I did purchase a huge one and he weighed it out but I did ask for the leaves which he said he threw away. I brought it all home and steamed the tomatoes and then put them in ice water, broke them up in the pot, added some of his peppers and an onion cut up along with the five of the kohlrabi leaves put through the high speed blender. I did pour that through a nut milk bag though but it was the brightest, greenest juice that I have ever seen. I set it to cooking, scorched the bottom (but that made it taste like fire roasted tomatoes) and added some cut up cabbage. Well, it was so salty tasting that I could not believe it was not salted. I did add a ton of herbs especially some frozen basil but wow, all I can figure is that my taste has finally totally changed. I loved it but my hubby did not care for it because he said it had too much flavor, go figure. I don’t think the huge greens I got with it are going to be good as cooked greens but I am going to blender-juice them and use them in smoothies and soup. I took the huge kohlrabi and carved off the outer skin (I saved it to liquefy in my next creamy soup) and cut it into slabs. Hubby tasted it raw and said he liked it and it reminded him of diakon so I bagged up some of those. I took the rest and cut in strips and baked with a few yams for an hour ten minutes with herbs and balsamic vinegar. I liked it but I noticed that it was hard to cook to soft stage so I will probably use those for soup too but I like the yams a lot. I think it may be good cooked some more on the stove and run through the HS blender for a mash. This is all very low calorie food that is loaded with phytochemicals. I am having fun just seeing how many ways I can make EFH program foods and eek out ever cent I can so I can continue to buy the best in nutrition. I see it as a fun challenge and try never to throw any food away. At the garden I also got some nice pears, figs, grapes and the sorrel that I have never used before. Next time I visit the garden I am going to get some pics for the blog so stay tuned.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Attack Of The Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy!

I have been on Eat For Health now exclusively, 100% now for over two months and this report will include my recent experience of a heart attack, yes that is what I said, “Heart attack!” It was a very painful scary ordeal that earned my four days in the hospital and a heart cath to boot. I learned through all this that my heart arteries were very clear and that was good to know after a year and a half on a vegan low fat diet but apparently I experienced a condition called Takotsbo’s cardiomyopathy that caused the heart attack but I also have something called Cardio Microvalve Disease. It is when the micro vessels in the heart constrict in theory because of something going on at the molecular level, but I guess they really don’t know what. I do believe after the experience of the nitroglycerin relieving my so called fibromyalgia pain, that they are connected. The cardiologist says he has never heard of that but that it could be possible. Right now I am home trying to take life a lot easier and get some of the stress managed a little bit in my life. I am very glad that I was eating the way I have been for awhile because, who knows, it could have been much worse. I believe that my body needs to work right now at its optimum level now more than ever. I am a little discouraged about taking 7 different medications now and not being able to fight this with just a lifestyle change. I am happy to have beat diabetes, high blood pressure and am working on obesity but I don’t know how to fight this one. If the Lord does not heal me I am afraid I am stuck.
My hospital eating experience was not bad though. I was at an Adventist hospital which means they at least know how to cook a vegetable. They were quite astounded though when I told them the amount of greens I wanted and salad and absolutely no salt, etc. I did end up eating a few pieces of bread while I was there but that was ok. I had a tomato based soup that had very little salt but they kept sending me a tiny little kid-size fruit smoothies! I lick that amount off the spoon at home. Also it was impossible to get them to give me more than a half cup of cooked greens . All in all they tried very hard to accommodate my needs and what they did do, they did very well. The platters even came with these beautiful, edible, orchid looking flowers. I just pulled them off and put them on the bed table so I could look at them all day.
As far as my EFH journey is going, all I can say is it is going fantastic. My greens are my favorite food followed by the huge 3 fruit ice cream I make myself at times. If people would only know how satisfying this is and how it makes you feel! I have other family members now taking this stuff much more seriously and I really hope they will enjoy the food and the feeling as much as I do. I am still dropping weight but I don’t like to weight a lot because my weight fluctuates like crazy so I just keep faith in what I am doing because I know it will come off and move right along forward.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The New Baby


I have given frugality a lot of thought this week after my great quest to obtain my new vintage Singer 500A Rocketeer sewing machine. I started out just checking out the machine on Google to find out how to use the one I have better and then ran into all of them on Ebay. Then the wheels started turning in my head that maybe I should just get another one to have the carrying case that I did really need. The next few days were spent off and on doing Google searches and by “accident” I ran into a local add from a town 80 miles away, for a 500A with portable case and home cabinet for $60.00. I really could not pass that up easily so after approaching my husband and being that the next day was his day off, we took the long trip to pick it up. It was in pristine shape except for the carrying case that was slightly warped and to my surprised it came with a Professional Singer Buttonholer and a box of special cams, both of which can cost a lot to obtain. Ever sense I have just been dancing a jig. I can’t wait to get my old one all cleaned up, lubed and oiled and have them both set up for some marathon sewing with my friends and family. How does this tie in with frugality? Well, I believe that true frugality for me does not mean just cheap. A cheap sewing machine can be a real pain to deal with and just not make you want to sew anymore. New is not necessarily better by any means. This machine just happens to be touted by many home sewers as being the best sewing machine ever made. Do most people know this? No, of course not. It would not even be considered because all of us are brainwashed by the hard charging advertizing campaigns that force us to go into the wilderness to get away from it all. Why do we succumb and cave? I say we can fight back! We can look for true value and be truly happy with our decisions. All we have to do is just take a breath, think about it and consider all the options. Maybe sometimes new is better, sometimes vintage, and sometimes just do without it as it may complicate our lives, but at least THINK about it first.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This is part of last week Farmer's Market haul. Lots of yummy Swill chard! This stuff is so good and full of nutrition. Steamed just 3-4 minutes with a cashew cream sauce or just a tad of vinegar and you have mega nutrition. My grower uses a lot of compost to get this mega-sized result. The apples just hit the market this week. I really am looking forward next month to the Fuji persimmons. Those are my favorite fruit and I know I will be tempted to overeat on them.

No Salt for Life!

I can now say after my two week no salt journey that I feel I have arrived. It was not easy because at first my food tasted very bland even though I used a generous amount of herbs to the dishes. Until Eat To Live I did not know how dangerous salt is. I think maybe that doctors don’t even approach people to take it out of their diet because if you eat processed food ninety percent of it is already in there. There are very few people in this country that do not eat food with labels so I am sure they have given up. I do think that I do feel better now. If I can do it anybody can do it because I was in love with my salt. Even now when I eat cold firm tofu I will dip it in a vinegar based sauce and it is just fine. Give up the salt to save your blood vessels and extend your quality of life!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Everybody Needs Breakfast

Morning Breakfast Tonic
1 recorder or pennywhistle
1 cup of hot tea
1 attitude of gratitude for what the Lord has made.
1 song in your heart (Morning Has Broken)
Mix it all up well as you look out and see the birds and the trees. Savor it slowly with the Lord as your guest.
This tonic is good for downcast spirits, lost hopes and dreams.

Come And Dine

This little tidbit was given to me in the middle of the night by the Lord. I got up and wrote it down.

Super Market for Super Christianity

I walked into the discount supermarket to get my weekly sustenance, as I grabbed the cart that of course was fighting me all the way hanging tenaciously to its friends I thought, “Well, here we go again”.
Greeting me as I swung down the first aisles was rows of on sale items, processed, canned, and artfully packaged done in a intensely psychological studied way to grab the “marketing vulnerability” of my soul.
Throwing each item that appealed to me I moved on down to the end and was greeted at the end by the produce section. Well I swung in there for a token grab of anemic lettuce, celery and maybe a banana or two because after all, we must all eat our veggies right? That is what we have been told anyway and I do want to eat a healthy diet.
Then, aisle after aisle I roam, throwing packaged cereal, pasta sauce, boxed cake mixes with frosting, chips and canned soup on in the growing mixture in my cart. A little high fructose corn syrup here, MSG (to enhance the taste) there, with a dose of preservatives laced throughout the mix, because after all, I would not want to risk being poisoned or getting something “less than fresh tasting”. I made sure I kept an eye at for the newest and greatest advertised item because, after “all new” means best, right?
Oh yah, I quickly stop by the meat counter but mostly I just want some lunch meat because after all, it is no trouble to put together a sandwich as I am running through life at super speed. I don’t think I will buy a roast or something I have to actually prepare and cook properly because that is just way too much trouble and I have much more important things to do, like save the world and do ministry and all.
Well, almost done now, just the dairy section to throw in some margarine, which must be better than the old butter because it is free of that dangerous cholesterol and this is the good, modern formulated fat with no consequences, just a chemical or two. Oh, and right next to that aisle is all the frozen food that is much more convenient, no worry about spoilage there as the life is gone in it and it is always solid and unchanging, safe and predictable like good TV dinners are expected to be.
Whew, I am almost done now. I have to just get some of those fancy scented detergents to wash my dirty laundry, whiteners and brighteners so I will look clean and my very best as I present myself to the world as the perfect put together person.
Wow I feel good now. I am certainly a savvy shopper, walking through life in the most efficient clean way and spending my resources wisely. How lucky I am to live in a place of bounty and convenience. I notice though that although colorful and full of variety the cart is extremely heavy and as I check out the bill seems awfully high. It seems that just in a few days I end up with nothing to eat and am back here doing it all over again.

A Second Shopping Choice
I enter the store and walk fight with that cart and walk through to that produce aisle. Picking through the offerings I chose unadulterated food as made by the Lord with all its color, taste but vulnerability to spoilage if I am not careful to eat it up in a timely fashion. Ok, maybe a little trouble to deal with because it has to be stored properly, watched closely, and planned to be eaten regularly. Oh but it tastes so good and has all the vitamins and minerals my body needs to be healthy.
As I move on to past the bulk section I see beans and rice, flour, spices and baking powder and such and those get thrown in the cart, mmmmm, very economical and I can eat all week on this stuff. I have to do the work, package them up but I know exactly what is in there. Maybe these don’t look very pretty or trendy but they are extremely practical and economical. It will take a little work to create a tasty dish out of these but I will know what is in it and it will be “straight up food”.
On to the meat counter. I think I will pick up a roast and a chicken too. There is the cheese too, that will be good and also a corned beef brisket to go with all that fresh cabbage. Oh, there is some stew meat to cook those potatoes and carrots with, wow sounds like this is going to taste just like home.
Next is a quick stop at the dairy aisle for some real milk and butter and then to the soap aisle. Fragrance free for me because I don’t like all those strange smells and then over to the bakery for some nice whole wheat bread.
Ok, I am done now and ready to check out. I can eat a whole two weeks on this. It will take some thought, care, research or a dig for a few recipes and some love but I feel good about this shopping trip, not ripped off and controlled by the world of marketing hype.
Would you like to come for dinner sometime?

Keeping This Shopping Experience in Mind
Is this how we now approach the Word of God? As I walked into a Christian bookstore a thought occurred to me. The same super market scenario was in play. The middle aisles were filled with the latest marketed answers to you spiritual health. Programs, plans with the 7 steps to health, wealth, fitness and any other desire we may be lacking thrown in there. Here lie all the answers to our problems for only $14.95 plus tax. Maybe I should shop the perimeter of that store too, where they keep the Bibles.
I may have to read it for the recipe of my life, pouring over it diligently and trying new approaches as the Lord walks with me while eating some of those meals that didn’t quite turn out quite so perfectly. Maybe let Him guide me as He leads me on learning how to work with realities instead of hype and additives like soulish ideas with a dose of the “pride of life” thrown in. I may learn that He always shows up for dinner though and is willing to eat my mistakes with me while we laugh, cry and become true family. I have a strong feeling He wants that just like I do.
Come and Dine (a 1907 Hymn)
Jesus has a table spread, where the saints of God are fed: He invites His chosen people, “Come and dine.”
With His manna He doth feed and supplies our every need: Oh ‘tis sweet to sup with Jesus all the time.
“Come and dine,” the Master calleth, “Come and dine;” You may feast at Jesus table all the time; He who fed the multitude. Turned the water into wine. To the hungry calleth now, “Come and dine.”

Written by Rosemary Bridges

A New Step Toward Commitment

I just completed week one of being on Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat To Live program 100%. I am going for the level with hardly any added grains, just fruit, veggies and beans. I was already eating a vegan diet that was low fat so this has not been a big stretch. I just wish I would have read his book over a year ago. I have no doubt that I would be at my ideal weight by now but better now than never. I have joined his site after getting a great deal on July’s special so now I have access to his library, forums and over 700 recipes and that has helped a lot.
I am eating greens even more now than ever and have really grown attached to cooked swiss chard. The chard is very good piled in a bowl with a yummy thick bean based soup on top, yuuuuum. Trying to eat a whole pound of raw veggies, a pound of cooked veggies and four fruits has been challenging though. I can always get the fruit in by making the World’s Greatest Pure Fruit Ice Cream in my high speed blender but it is difficult because I am so full. I have been able however to get in at least two fruits a day.
Something has been on my mind recently about the cost of veggies. I hear things like, “Grains are so much cheaper per calorie than fresh veggies so I am eating more grains”, and “I just can’t believe the cost of eating this way”. It does make me wonder about the value that people put on health and living when we focus on the negative and forget the huge 500 lb gorilla in the room. People are overweight, tired, depressed, some face total bankruptcies from just one hospital stay, and people are so sick they don’t even want to participate in life anymore. What is life worth? If we insist on cutting things down to the bare minimum why can’t we give up meals out (eat at home), gyms (walk or bike), and expensive entertainment (pick a cheap hobby or more family time), stop buying things we don’t need, and also use the library and other community resources when available? Why is it that diet seems to be the target of the cuts? Could it be that we just are just lacking the will? If you are not willing then the battle is already lost. You just as well sign over your estate to the health-care industry; throw up your hands and say, “I surrender”! It’s ok if that is what you want to do, that is your right, but for me I want to live. I have already saved over 100 dollars a month on my diabetes of the past and that is not even counting all the over the counter stuff connected with eating the Western diet. It is not really so daunting, you can do it if you are WILLING.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The sausage making technique.

This is a video of youtube, please notice the

site address at the end and support her site.

This is not me but I wish I was at that weight

now! Ha Ha

Intro and favorite sausage in the whole world.

While searching the internet to see if there were any more vegans out there who were both Christians and conservatives I was surprise that there were not any real representations. This surprised me because sense when can you “Google” something and not pull up tons of stuff? So with that said, here I am blogging about it.
Surely there will be tons of stuff to talk about in this area. The loss of our food supply, politics and personal rights, cultural attitudes, related theology, local support for those who choose the “slow food” path, medical freedoms, and I am sure many more topics that will come up. Why do we care about what we eat and our health? What makes it hard and what makes it easy? How do you handle the tricky social situations that you find yourself in? I am sure I don’t have all the right answers but it will be useful and fun to meet people and talk about the issues that we face every day. I hope you join me for the journey and find just a little camaraderie in this treacherous world in which we live.
I am going to start this blog with an imbedded video showing the making of Seitan Sausage. I don’t use the exact recipe she uses as I have changed it some to cut down on the oil and it has also been doubled because this stuff freezes so well. I don’t like to spend every day cooking up something like this so doubling the recipe just makes it more doable for me. I like things pretty spicy so you may need to lower the pepper flakes a tad, depending on the brand you use. As far as the garbanzo flour goes, any bean flour would work well. Ask at your local health food store. I make my own with my Blendtec blender by just running raw beans in it till flour is formed. Very cheap and handy and, bean flours are wonderful for making cream soups and all kinds of goodies. I should add that I follow a modified Eat To Live Program (Dr. Fuhrman) that emphasizes no added fat and grains are limited. I do say modified because I do probably usually eat more than a cup of grains each day but I try to keep it to a low roar. Also he emphasizes lots and lots of fresh veggies and fruits, both raw and cooked. I am very happy and blessed to say that I am an ex-diabetic because of how I have learned to eat. Once you get away from the processed junk, oil, dairy, and meat most people really don’t fight food cravings. I know I don’t crave food anymore. I love and appreciate the foods that I eat and now would not have it any other way.
Enough of the chatter, here is the recipe.

Spicy Sausage
Mix all these dry ingredients together well:
4 ½ cup vital wheat gluten (make sure it is vital)
1 cup nutritional yeast
½ cup garbanzo flour
¼ cup chicknish seasoning (I just use more nutritional yeast if I am out)
2 T powdered onion
2 t garlic powder
2 T fennel seed (crush with fingers as you add)
1 T +1t black pepper
2T + 2t paprika
1 ½ t chili flakes
1 t thyme
2 t sage
1 t oregano
2 t salt
¼ t allspice
WET Ingredients
4 ½ cups water
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
2 t liquid smoke seasoning
Mix up all the dry ing and mixing well. Mix up the wet ing in separate bowl and mix into the dry ing as carefully and lightly as possible just until all wet. Shape as in video and steam for 30 min.
These freeze very well and are excellent on veggie no cheese pizza or used in many dishes. YUMMMM, let me know what you think.