• 20Jul

    When it is made into a beverage that for every 12 fl oz is 270 calories (more than 10 % of a 2000 calories per day diet) and has 46 grams of sugar (3.25 Tablespoons). Top it with whipped cream and you’re looking at 360 calories, 3.4 Tablespoons of sugar and 12 grams of fat.  
    We know green tea is good for us – full of antioxidants and beneficial minerals but don’t let the marketers fool you. Our good foods have been hijacked – looks good on the surface but scratch below and it’s not quite what it seems.  

  • 18Jul

    Monday’s can be difficult to fit in breakfast but I eliminated a few unnecessary activities this morning (like surfing on the net) to carve out the time to make breakfast and eat it. 
    This morning I grabbed a corn tortilla – warmed it in a skillet topped with a few bits of cheddar, topped that with some leftover black beans, topped the beans with a fried egg and to be a bit decadent finished with a dollop of sour cream. This took less than 10 minutes. This take off on heuvos rancheros and a few pieces of fruit will get me through until well after noon.  

  • 17Jul

    I have a little more time on Sunday mornings so:  

    4 beef dumplings my sister-in-law made (these were frozen) with 1/2 c fresh egg noodles (from Ranch 99) and 3/4 c of brocolli in 1 c homemade chicken stock. I also ate 2 purple plums.  

    I cooked the dumplings & noodles in boiling salted water. Drained. Then heated up the chicken stock with a pinch of sea salt and dash of tamari to a boil – (chicken stock I make in big batches every few weeks and store in jars in the feezer.) I tossed in the brocolli and when that was tender threw in the noodles and dumplings. Took me about 15 minutes tops. This will keep me going until mid afternoon 😉

  • 16Jul

    Our modern diets these days leave most of us deficient in nutrients – most notably minerals. 
    What’s a modern diet you ask? Packaged and processed foods, foods that have been lying around for awhile (most any ‘fresh’ food at a grocer store), conventionally raised foods, foods that consist mostly of ‘empty’ calories (ex. baked goods from refined flour), foods that deplete the body of nutrients (ex. soft drinks) and foods that contain substances that disrupt important body functions (ex. trans fats, msg). 
    What’s so important about minerals? One that we all know is iron – we need iron to help transport oxygen to all the cells in our body. Then there is calcium which we need for our bones but calcium is also important for your muscles to work properly (along with magnesium) and in maintaining the proper pH in our blood – without the proper pH, we’ll see ya on the other side. Our skin needs selenium and zinc otherwise you might experience dryness and cracking – ouch. And copper isn’t just for pennies – we need it to build healthy collagen. In fact, just about every enzyme in our body needs one of dozens and dozens of minerals to function. 
    So what can we do? With a few adjustments we can put those handy minerals back into our lives. Here’s a few tips
    Replace as much soft drinks and coffee with mineral rich teas. Ideally we’d eliminate both but we have to have our treats. Pretty much any kind of tea is great – green, white, rooibos, mint, chamomile, Red Zinger, etc. Just don’t load them up with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Use honey, agave syrup, stevia, xylitol or even fruit juice instead. 
    Eat lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. There are numerous studies that show organic fruits and vegetables have up to 25% more nutrients. Green leafy vegetables are a good source for calcium and iron. I know organic can be expensive but do what you can afford. Remember though that local and fresh trumps organic. It’s much better to purchase a locally grown peach from 20 miles away than an organic one from 3000 miles away. 
    Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Eat whole foods. For example, instead of white rice enjoy brown rice. Instead of packaged cereal have a bowl of oatmeal (though not instant!). Instead of a cookie have some fresh or dried fruit. 
    Add nuts and seaweed to your diet. Nuts make a great snack – but in moderation. Say 10-12 pieces is a good serving. Seaweed is great sprinkled on salad, rice, soup – just about anything. I even posted a granola recipe a little while back that includes seaweed. 
    Enjoy mineral broths. What the heck is a mineral broth you ask? Basically it’s soup or broth made from either all veggies or veggies and chicken or beef or pork or lamb or fish bones. When you simmer all these goodies in a pot of water you extract the mineral from said ingredients. What a tasty and nourishing way to get your minerals. Limited on time? You can still get a dose of minerals from already prepared broths – organic of course and preferably low sodium. 
    And most of all – Variety! I figure variety is good not just so you don’t get bored of the same ol’ thing but this way you have a better chance of getting all your nutrients. 
    I’ll post recipes for broths in a few days. 
    Remember, food is our body’s fuel and building blocks. Good nutritive rich foods = a healthy strong body.

  • 16Jul

    Finally got to sleep in this morning. Hurray.  

    Today’s breakfast: 2 plums, 2 cream crackers, a small portion of vegetable enchilada pie leftover from last night.

  • 15Jul

    My Mom always bugs me about eating breakfast…or more accurately not. So, after more than a few decades of my own life experience I have to admit she is right. 
    Ok, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration – I’ve know breakfast was important for a long time but just never got around to it. I typically didn’t feel hungry in the morning and was busy coifing and getting ready to start my day so never had time. But, boy did I feel it mid-morning when my blood sugar plummeted and I became a cranky spaced out monster. I would start stuffing down anything in sight and end up with a tummy full of junk. 
    Now I advise folks on proper eating habits so of course I have to practice what I preach! I declared, “I will now start eating breakfast!” 
    I’d wake up, run around getting ready for my day and oops forgot again or ran out of time or there’s nothing good to eat… Hmm, this is not working so I realized, “Gee, I must plan ahead…” or I can wake up earlier…nope, not gonna happen. 
    Planning a few days out is good. So now I put together something the evening before or make sure I have something I can assemble quickly in the morning such as fruit already washed and cut up or soft boiled eggs. Since I’m not typically hungry until 9 or 10am I eat something light like fruit before I leave the house and pack something for later. 
    Some people like smoothies (I’m not fond of them – the smoothies not the people who like them . Line up all your ingredients so they are easy to toss into your waiting blender in the morning. Should take 5 minutes or less and viola a nice nutritious breakfast. 
    Most people I talk to have a hard time figuring out what to have for breakfast so I thought I’d report in every now and then on what I’m having. You’ll see that for me – any food is ‘breakfast” food. 
    Today’s breakfast: 1 banana, 1/3 c blueberries, and 3/4 c watermelon. Later (around 10am, I will have a turkey meatball sandwich (2 oz) with cheddar cheese (1 1/2 oz) on a sprouted wheat bun with a little dijon.  

  • 06Jul

    Who would have known that on that fateful day four years ago throwing down a few cape gooseberry seeds would mean a battle of epic weedy proportions. Yes, that first year a plant or two came up. I thought it would be oh so novel to be the first on my block to have a cape gooseberry plant. Cape Gooseberries seemed so rare (not to be confused with just plain ol’gooseberries) – especially when as the forager for a restaurant in San Francisco I was given the task to come up with pounds of it each week for a very delicious dessert the chef came up with. I scoured every farmer’s market until I finally found the one farmer in Northern California who had them. Victory. Never mind that this was years ago and I no longer worked at said restaurant. Somehow, like a poor easily imprintable pup or I suppose more like a brainwashed glassy eyed Stepford wife I had to have them. Hey, it was a stressful job!
    So in other words, I didn’t have a plan for all the cape gooseberries that would soon grow into my possession.
    Well, that first year I had bags upon bags of gooseberries… stored in my freezer. I even tracked down the chef and gave her bags of frozen gooseberries for which she didn’t really have a use for anymore. I finally found a use for them and incorporated them into 12 quarts of gooseberry barbeque sauce which I gave away as holiday gifts. To which I got a curious “What kind of Barbeque Sauce?”
    Ok, so I was over it – it was cheap therapy! I realized I was a victim of my own eccentricity and maybe a bit of post traumatic stress. I got it out of my system. I didn’t need to have these obscure berries that no one knows what to do with anymore. I happily ripped out the gi-normous plant. However, no one told me that within each berry there were thousands of tiny seeds.
    The next spring there were millions of cape gooseberry seedlings popping up all over the garden. In hindsight it wasn’t such a good idea to play fetch with the dog whilst tossing the gooseberries all about. Anyway, I resigned to my fate and pulled them out handfuls at a time. Finally after a few years I figured I had a handle on the seedlings and slowed down on my vigilance .
    2004. Tomatillos – now that was a nice crop to have for chile verde sauce and green salsa. I didn’t bother to pull it out last fall and it seemed to do fine through the winter. More salsa this year.
    This Spring I was walking through the garden and noticed the distinct aroma of Cape Gooseberries! Agh! I looked carefully at the tomatillo plant and it had morphed into a Cape Gooseberry plant. They happen to be in the same plant family and look identical. Ugh, outsmarted by a damn berry! Well, too busy to do anything about it – the plant grew and grew and gooseberry after gooseberry was produced.
    One day a month or so ago my brother’s visiting Korean in law was out in the garden picking the gooseberries. Wow, maybe there is some wonderful Korean recipe! Excitedly, I asked her what she did with them and she said “Oh, I don’t know but as kids we would make whistles out of the husks.  Bummer.
    Then last weekend, the SO decided to pick a grocery bag of them. The aroma filled the kitchen. SO said, “What’s good to do with them?” I said “Uh, I don’t know. They’re high in pectin and vitamin C, how about putting them in your smoothies?”
    I’d been feeling adventurous lately so decided to surf the web for Cape Gooseberry recipes and turned up with only two! only two in the whole wide world! Well, besides my famous Gooseberry Barbecue Sauce.
    So tonight I made Almond and Cape Gooseberry Torte. The batter was very stiff and I had my doubts but SO declared “I like it” and proceeded to have another slice. Now my brain is working overtime…hmmm, how about Cape Gooseberry Scones? or Cape Gooseberry Pancakes? Or Pan Roasted Duck with Cape Gooseberry and Orange Sauce? Strawberry Shortcake with Cape Gooseberry Sauce…I could go on and on but will spare you the Forest Gump.
    Anyway, that’s how I became the Gooseberry Fool…

  • 05Jul

    …Granola that is…  

    Yipee! I finished the first half of the nutrition program at Bauman College and am now a Certified Nutrition Educator – well certified in a few weeks. Next stop is Certified Nutrition Consultant which will happen same time next year after another 350 hours of classroom time.  

    In celebration, here is a recipe for an unusual granola that I developed…  

    * Exported from MasterCook *  

    Granola – Nutty Tamari Seaweed  

    Serving Size : 12  

    Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
    ——– ———— ——————————–
    3 cups oats — old fashion, raw
    3 tablespoons sesame seeds — whole raw
    1/4 cup sunflower seeds — raw
    1/4 cup pumpkin kernels — raw
    3 tablespoons seaweed — flakes
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    3/8 cup honey
    2 tablespoons oil
    2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce  

    Preheat oven to 300F.  

    Put dry stuff in a bowl and toss to mix  

    Heat honey, tamari and oil over low heat until thin enough to pour.  

    Pour honey mixture on to oat mixture and stir to evenly coat.  

    Spread on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  

    Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown. About 30 minutes total. Granola will still be a bit soft but will become crispy after cooling.  

    Cool and store in airtight containers.  

    ***Notes: I try to use as many organic ingredients as possible. The seaweed is called ‘Dried Seaweed Powder’ or ‘Mikawawan San Aonoriko’. It’s not really a powder but more like flakes – green. I found this at Berkeley Bowl in the Japanese ingredient aisle right next to the sheets of Nori. It comes in a 20 gram bag. ***  

    Yield: “1 1/2 quarts”
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 254 Calories; 9g Fat (30.7% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 37g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 103mg Sodium.  

    It’s a tasty snack all by itself. I like to take a little baggie of it with me while out and about in case I get hungry. Prevents me from eating junk out of desperation. I haven’t tried it on top of my favorite yogurt (Pavel’s Whole Milk Russian Style – we’ve got to bug the owners to make an organic version of this) yet but I imagine it would be quite tasty.