Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Episode 62: Low Carb

AM has been talking to me a lot about this new book that he is reading called Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes.  In this book it talks about good foods and bad foods, and apparently most of the foods that are "bad" for you are full of carbs, full of sugar.  I haven't read the whole book, but I probably will, and it got me thinking about my favorite foods.  I adore chocolate, and ice cream and caramel sauce.  I adore bread and pasta, and cupcakes and little tiny apple pies.  Apparently, I need to learn to give these up. Ugh.

My doctor, on the other hand, tells me that I should only eat meat once a month.  "Once a month!" I bellow.  "That will never happen!"  I eat eggs for breakfast every morning. I eat bacon, and I love steak.  The blood bank keeps telling me that I am slightly anemic and I often get turned down because of a low iron count.

So, if I take both Taubes's advice and my doctor's advice, all I can really eat is vegetables.  Lots and lots of vegetables.  Not to make fun of vegetables or anything, but.. um.. no.  I am not going to eat nothing but vegetables.  If I wanted to be thought of as really strange, I could one of those "take my energy from the sun" sort of people who refuse to do anything but drink water.  But I'm not that strange.

I will continue to eat carbs, though I will limit them.  I will continue to eat meat, though maybe I could buy some more white meat and perhaps some leaner cuts of beef.  I will continue to eat my 2 eggs a day and my yogurt with honey in the morning.  I will eat what I like, but I will not over indulge. If I am full, I will stop eating. I will eat what I like, but I will be moderate, temperate and happy.  I don't like the idea of denying myself, but I can limit myself and I can learn to enjoy the foods that I eat.

I hope you all find the finer things in your life to enjoy.

Love and lollipops,


Monday, May 28, 2012

Episode 61: Experimentation

Yesterday I posted about how I'm cooking from scratch and how I'm learning to cook with fresh ingredients and whole foods.  Here is an example of what I made!  

A while ago, for Christmas, AM got me a great little book called Cutie Pies.  My cousin, John, decided to make an apple pie this week, and it sounded so good (and I am too far away from Arizona to go and try his), I decided to make my own.

Rather than go with the traditional apple pie and crust, since I don't even think I am capable of latticing a crust as well as John, I chose to make a Sour Cream Apple Pie.  The recipe can be found here Sour Cream Apple Pie Deluxe, with a few minor tweaks.  Rather than use sour cream, which I don't actually have any of, I used plain full fat yogurt.  This added a bit of a tang that was really taken care of by the sugar in the mix. A pretty good addition, I think.  Instead of using white sugar in the topping, I used brown sugar, which is my favorite sugar. 

The pie crust I got from the Cutie Pies book and used a 6 inch pie shape to cut the pie crusts, which I pushed into buttered muffin tins.  Added the filling and the topping, and put in a 375 degree oven.  I checked on the pies every 5 minutes or so, and it took about 25 minutes for the crust to get golden brown and the topping to set just right.

AM says they're wonderful, and went back for seconds (which he split with me), and we have 9 little pies left over in the fridge for a future dessert craving.  

Yay for little pies!

May you find your own world to experiment with this week. Let me know what you've done to free some creativity!

Love and Lollipops,


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Episode 60: Nature

I was up at 6am going to the grocery store to buy milk.  As I walked back to my apartment in the cool morning air, my bag laden with milk, butter, brown sugar, bread and apples, I stopped for a moment and looked around me.  The air was crisp and there was dew hanging from a spider's web on a nearby rose bush.   The grass was lush and green and sparkling.  The sky was blue, as it is often here in California, and everything seemed to be at peace.  Even the birds seemed happier.  And I've noticed... I've been having more and more of these moments.  I will stop and think and wonder at the beauty of nature, the brilliance of everything around me, and I will be happy.

Lately, AM and I have been eating healthier.  Less processed foods, less junk.  We watch the sugars on foods that we buy like yogurt, and we don't buy diet foods (except Lo-Carb Monsters... because caffeine is essential).  More often than not, we will make things at home, using natural and fresher ingredients, and I am finally finally learning to cook in a way that is healthy.  I'm not losing weight, but I am not gaining weight either and my body feels a lot healthier and trimmer.  We use whole milk, full fat yogurts, real butter, real eggs, lean cuts of meat and vegetables. Every meal must have some sort of vegetables or fruit... or at least we try to make that happen.

Yesterday's lunch was tortillas with tomato basil hummus and feta cheese.  Very yummy.  This morning we are going German with some German puffed pancakes and apple slices.  I haven't made German pancakes in ages, and they used to be my sister and my favorite food when we were kids.  I'm using the half recipe here German Pancakes, and slicing up some apples and mixing them with brown sugar and baking them down a little bit until they are tender.  Should be great! I'll let you know how they turn out.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday morning and stay happy and healthy!

Love and lollipops,


Friday, May 4, 2012

Episode 59: Cloud Bank

There are clouds over Stockton today.  As the criminologist would say, they are heavy, black... but maybe not so pendulous.  But I can see the edges of the clouds, and I can see the blue sky just beyond that rim of moisture.  The edges of the clouds are white, and if I look up with an anchoring point, like a telephone pole or a tree, I can see this cloud bank that hangs heavily over my life beginning to shift and move away.

That is how I feel lately, like I am under a huge black cloud that threatens rain. A storm cloud seems to be hanging over me constantly.  I feel like this cloud bank has been there for years.  Rain has been coming on and off in my life, and it feels like the bleakest hour, and I have been just waiting around for the sky to open up and rain to fall on my head.  I kept myself protected, I kept myself safe, and got used to this little black storm for years.  I even felt that it was what I needed, what I deserved and eventually came to the conclusion that it was what I wanted, what was right for me.

But now, I am seeing the edge of my own little black cloud bank.  I can see the sunlight, just beyond that white line.  I don't know what waits for me beyond, in the sunlight, but I can see real true happiness coming for me in the promise of no more rain.  Not saying that there won't be the occasional storm, because everybody needs a little rain from time to time to clean out the system, but I think that my life is going to get a lot sunnier soon.

To get ready for this new, sunshine filled life I am beginning to blossom, or as one of my long distance friends says, I am beginning to make my way out of my chrysalis.  I am signing up for classes, going out of my way to meet people and sometimes talk to them.  I smile more at people, and find that if you smile at someone and give them a cheery "Good day!", they will often smile back and respond in kind.  I really really like people, and I don't feel as scared anymore.

I live in one of the most crime filled places in the United States.  We recently had, in my city, our twenty first and twenty second homicides, one where a man was gunned down in the streets.  We have a horrible reputation, and cities that surround us often try to avoid us.  But I don't see that violence, I don't see that crime. I look in people's faces and often see potential for some sort of good in the world, some sort of happiness.  I hope I never have to lose that outlook.  Our news programs and media often highlight the violence, the terror, the fear and the hate that goes on around us, because fear is a real emotion that we all can experience.  By bringing these awful horrible things to the front of everybody's mind, they create fear and the masses don't realize that they are being emotionally manipulated to stay inside, lock up their children, keep them indoors watching more media, more fear, more hate.  It is very rare to see the sunlight in the news anymore, in the world anymore because all we see is the dark storm clouds overhead, and don't look for the edge where everything is going to be better, if we just look up and see that the storm clouds are moving away from us.

Smile at someone today, and say "Good Day" to them. See if they don't smile back.  It makes a world of difference to someone, sometimes.

Love and lollipops,


Weighing in on: Division in our country

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