Archive for the ‘Info’ Category

Organic Thanksgiving

While shopping at our local co-op grocer last week we decided to get a local organic turkey.

A 15 lb turkey for the 2 of us.

We rallied some family members and like that, it’s on!

What will it take to do a full organic meal for 5?  We headed to Whole Foods to find out.

We got all the ingredients to make the following dishes (from scratch!):

Turkey (not from Whole Foods but included in the grand total)

Roasted garlic and herb butter

Pecan butter

Gravy

Green bean casserole (doubled the recipe)

Stuffing (w. ground pork)

Garlic mashed potatoes

Mashed butternut squash (butternuts from the garden)

Sweet potatoes

Rolls

Cranberry sauce

Chocolate chip cookies

Eggnog

We braced for the bill… I mean, the amount of food we got is enough to feed way more than 5 people!
With the turkey and everything, our fully organic Thanksgiving meal cost us $150 … am I crazy to think that is a respectable number?
I’ll be sure to take some pix 🙂  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone – please try to buy local and keep it non-GMO!
Oh and… while I have your attention, please try to keep it simple on Friday; let’s not give those corporations (who are ruining our happiness) any more of our hard-earned money 🙂

OMG GMO?! NO DUH!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry I’ve been missing lately, I’ve been really busy but have been cooking new dishes and will be back to tell you all about the yummies… soon!

But I just read this and I had to share with you as I swore off Kashi as soon as I learned what a GMO is, even their organic stuff is off-limits to me because I felt they didn’t care for their customers health so I didn’t want to give them my money.  (I know they’re all the same but the disrespect for my health was obvious in Kashi’s case.)  I’m sure I’ve mentioned this to you in the past… Yes, of course!

PLEASE READ THIS!!!!!  And learn why “Natural” should mean nothing to you!!!
(Reminds me of the reoccurring conversation Tom and I have about meat and how he thinks (or hopefully, thought) that the black Angus burgers he was eating were something I would eat because it was premium beef LOL He’s so cute isn’t he?  But it made me realize this is probably common which makes me saaaaaaad!  I keep asking him “But where did the cow come from?  What did it eat?” – just so it’s clear; I won’t eat anything that didn’t eat grass like it was intended to!  Right? Because we remember that cows don’t eat corn, that it creates E. coli in their stomachs… right?  We all know this, right?  Is it time for a refresher?)

Information Overload!

It’s Spring!  Being my OCD little self, I LOVE SPRING CLEANING!  Today I am lazy so I am cleaning out my bookmarks… Here’s a bunch of misc. stuff I’ve hoarded over the years

Monsanto’s Micro-Monster Could Kill Us All

Dr. Terry Wahls – Minding Your Mitochondria
 
Food Cravings? Here Is What Your Body Really Wants

Home Composting

Easy Recipes for Natural Homemade Cleaners
Engineered Pest Problems

GMO Researchers Attacked, Evidence Denied, and a Population at Risk

Interview: Jeffrey Smith on Avoiding GMOs in Restaurants
 
Organic Herbs

 

We’ve Done It Again – Moroccan fish

I’ll admit, I am really bad at planning dinner!  Luckily Tom goes home for lunch and has been my saving grace to avoid coming home at 6 and not having anything thawed – however, I let the entire day go by Monday before I even considered dinner; must have still been high from the delicious leftovers I had for lunch!  Luckily, it was Monday which have been dubbed “Meatless Monday” so I went with it!  (I don’t know if I’ve mentioned Tom’s lack of vegetarianism lately.)  I’m sure I’ve shared the wonderful benefits of quinoa but what always stands out in my mind is its protein power!  Therefore, a salad with some quinoa would be a complete meal! Done and DONE!

I was sure to not slack on dinner Tuesday!  I asked Tom what he’d prefer while we were getting ready for work, we decided on Mahi Mahi (which I’ve determined is my favorite kind of fish!).  I had a recipe for Moroccan fish with couscous that I’ve been dying to try so I made the ingredients/shopping list and headed to Whole Foods before work.  I didn’t make the couscous but was craving the mango so I improvised a little.

Side note: Tom doesn’t like stuff.  He doesn’t like salmon, he doesn’t like quinoa, he doesn’t like kale, he doesn’t like couscous, he didn’t seem to enjoy the mango… He’s already changed his mind on most of those things after trying them once more with me; so I’ve been somewhat comfortable with making him revisit more old flavors, but I am still a little apprehensive as I don’t want to make something he clearly stated distaste for and have him end up not enjoying his dinner.  He wasn’t crazy about the couscous part of this dish, I was going to make it anyway (but make it delicious!) but settled on brown rice instead.  He also eats the same salad every day and he has declared that he likes more of a mix of greens rather than straight baby spinach like I eat.  Okay, back to the story now that you have some background…

My improvising to include the mango without the couscous was to use it in a salad.  I thought baby spinach would be the best greens to go with strawberries and mango and I thought I could add some fried bananas which got me off on a tangent as to what to use for a dressing (another thing Tom is pretty uniformed with, his favorite dressing).  When I got home I rubbed the fish with the spices (I made a mixture of cumin, coriander, chile, and then I have a grinder with a ‘Mediterranean mix’) and put it back in the fridge. 

Then I cut the mango into cubes, squeezed a lime over them and started shaking some cilantro on them – that’s when Tom came in.  “What’s that?”  “Cilantro.  Yum!  It’s my favorite!”  he looked at it questioningly and said he’d never seen spices put on fruit.  Fair enough.  I gave him a bite, “Tangy” (or something like that; something I took to mean, “Ew”) so I put the mango in the fridge and hoped for the best of this meal!  Now I was in a little panic, just a little; he didn’t like the mango and I was about to put it on top of an all-spinach salad and give him a home-made, never-been-tried-before, not-his-favorite dressing.  And it was almost 8:00 and I really didn’t want to make something he wasn’t going to enjoy.  I sent him out to the grill with the fish.

I ended up with a bed of baby spinach, added diced avocado (another thing Tom doesn’t really like!), strawberries, added the mango, and slivered almonds.  I put a container of strawberry pomegranate yogurt (oh yeah, he isn’t crazy about pom either!) in the Magic Bullet, added a little honey, a little raspberry preserves and the other half of the avocado to thicken it.  I thought that was pretty damn good!  But I still wasn’t sure how Tom was going to feel on all this.


I’m so bad at taking pictures of the finished dish (because I am am always anxious to dig in!) so I’m trying to take a picture whenever the thought crosses my mind.  This salad was much prettier all put together with the almonds and everything.

We had a little left over mango from the salad so we added it to the rice with the fish and it was SLAMMING!  Seriously!  The mango with the flavors of the fish – DAMN!  Then I put a little of the yogurt dressing on my rice and YUM!  The salad was delicious in its own right.  I had it all over again for lunch today and it was just as good!  Oh right, you want to know Tom’s take on it all?  Loved it!  Every last bite!  Didn’t even know there was avocado in the salad, definitely didn’t recognize it in the dressing!  And apparently liked the mango as he ate it all from his salad and rice.  🙂  Happy dinners

…oh no!  It’s almost 5pm and I’m just realizing I neglected tonight’s dinner!  Good thing Tom’s off helping a friend move where there will be pizza!

What a Whirlwind!

Phew!  2½ months since I last posted!  I don’t share too much of my personal life with you on this blog but I’m sure you could tell by my last posts (from fall thru early winter) that I was not in my normal state.  I started seeing someone who was a great person but had a lot of issues, and due to his instabilities and lack of discipline my lifestyle was hindered.   I was way out of whack, mentally and emotionally; I was eating horrendously, not getting enough sleep, being exposed to a great deal of second-hand smoke, add his unpredictability to that and I was struggling to keep my sanity.  Hence why I dubbed him “The Distraction” from the beginning.  (Of course there was plenty of goodness mixed in with that, or so I thought.)  I finally ended things for good a few weeks before Christmas and have been working on Me ever since.

With the Distraction gone, I was able to regain control of my life.  I was back to cooking on weekends, eating all organic again, I also started going back to the gym.  My sadness subsided and I was feeling even better than I had before he had come into my life.  Around the end of January I was invited by an old co-worker (whom I’d been out of touch with for about 6 years) to go to Mexico mid-February.  The people in my life questioned me about food in Mexico; to be honest, I wasn’t really worried about it.  I mean I didn’t want to eat GMO’s but I didn’t want to be a PIA to my travel companion (who didn’t seem to completely grasp the definition of organic although he is a vegetarian and super into yoga and somewhat practicing Buddhism) so I was just going to go with the flow.  I packed a lot of food for the plane (have I mentioned my new addiction to Kind Bars??) as to avoid the food at the airports.  I was doing well until our flights got a little mixed up and we spent 16 hours traveling.  I ate a turkey club at the airport and a tuna melt at the Crowne Plaza.  The next morning we ate at the airport, I had a yogurt with fruit and granola.  When we got to Mexico I felt much better about the food.  I don’t know for sure, but I assume the produce is much fresher and less likely to be from GMO seeds, I also suspect less pesticide usage or at least less dangerous chemicals, but I may be naive in this assumption.  I ate a lot of fresh fish and never have I enjoyed fish so much in my life!!  I ate bacon!  You would have never known that I hadn’t eaten bacon in over a year the way I was ordering up that fatty pig!  Oh, and french fries too!  Ha! I know, pretty relaxed huh?  😛  The bacon was so different from what we’re used to here in the States.  I can’t describe it but it seemed to be made better; I pictured healthy pigs rolling around in a muddy pen snouting for roots and flowers and such.  And I couldn’t resist the BLTA, a BLT with avocado and a special avocado mayo – OH IT WAS DELISH!!!!  The fries? Ok, admittedly I could have done without the fries. Our trip back was a little messed up too, leaving us to eat at yet another hotel restaurant where Iagain ordered fries… I was starting to become worried about this reunion of grease and good feelings.  I had been fighting a cold the whole week and it definitely caught up to me on the return; as soon as I got home  I passed out for 5 hours and when I woke up, I was hungry and realized how accustomed I had gotten to eating out.  I was in between week-long vacations so I hadn’t done any food shopping and it took everything I had to not go get something, anything!

I made it through that week and found myself in a Friday’s at yet another airport (with my Mexico travel buddy).  I wasn’t too hungry and really didn’t want to restart this nightmare of conventional crap so I didn’t order anything.  Too bad that didn’t stop me from eating the sesame jack chicken strips and one or two of the potstickers that was ordered 😦  I vowed to be more mindful and unwavering while I was at my parents’ in Florida!  Remember last year’s visit?  Well, it almost brings a tear to my eye to admit that on our way from the airport at 1opm I was so hungry I asked for anything.  Anything!  My parents listed some choices and all I could think about was how I’d give anything to be back in Mexico, I longed for their fresh food!  After reneging on my original request, rejecting McDonald’s and Burger King I was left with one option, Wendy’s.  Wendy’s.  I’m shaking my head as I write that.  I ended up with a jr. bacon cheese burger, a jr. chicken sandwich and split a small fry!  WHAT!?  I know.  I can barely stand to type that.  Might as well get used to it as I have a whole shitload more of this to tell you about.  Chick-filet is on the list.  So are a number of other sit-down restaurants, at least 3.  I lost track of the crap, it was easier to count my organic meals; on average it was one a day.  😦 And that doesn’t even touch on the rum drinks and beer!  Well, at least in Florida my rum drinks were made with organic juice 😛

With that aside, there was some great things happening in SWFL since my last visit.  Remember the co-op I had found for my mother?  She has been using it all year and is really happy with it.  I was able to join her to pick up her meat order and was happy to see the project in action.  They also built a Trader Joe’s in Naples so my mother is very happy about the savings she finds there.  I wasn’t able to make it out there again this year, there’s just so much more to do than groceries!  I did get to visit Publix in Cape Coral though and found that they had a section of natural and organic foods at the front of the store.  Prices were still high and the selection left a lot to be desired, but it’s better than nothing!  As a side-note, last year at this time, Girl Scout Cookie time, I had ordered a couple of boxes from my niece to be shipped to my Grandmother via my Mom.  The shipment happened to arrive while I was there and I ended up eating 2 or 3 cookies that week.  This year when my niece came calling, I ordered a box for support but told her to donate them herself.  No temptation for me!  Despite all the other crap I’ve included in my diet over the last few months, I cleared GSC season without eating one!

I also never updated you on my caffeine detox.  Sun Roasters sent me 2 lbs of flavored beans about a week after I requested them ($20!).  I’ve been cutting the decaf with caffeinated Sun and have been loving it.  I’ve been meaning to cut down more, I’m still at 50/50% but I feel good and don’t see any reason to cut it out completely.  Thanks to Charlie at Sun Roasters for all his help!  (No, I don’t know what I am going to do when I am out of the beans!)

I think that pretty much brings you up to date on where I’m at now.  Except for one thing, and even though I don’t keep you up to date with my personal life, I have to share this with you for I can’t keep it to myself and take every opportunity to tell anyone who’ll listen; I’m in love!  After being single for close to 6 years, briefly dating only a couple of people in that period, I have finally found where I belong!  My travel buddy and I fell in love in Mexico, maybe unbeknownst to us, but we quickly became conscious of what was going on during our visit to my parents’.  It’s just so wonderful and perfect!  People used to give me a hard time about being too picky or afraid of commitment but I knew even though I had met a lot of great guys over the years, none of them were for me.  I always said I was perfectly happy by myself, that anyone who came into my life would make it brighter, not complicate it.  When I was with Tom in Mexico everything was … pfft like there are words in the dictionary to describe it!  It’s the stuff you see in movies, what girls dream of.  He’s an extension of me, makes me feel like I’m walking on air; my heart is full and though I’ve been in love before, never anything like this, ever!  Everything about us amazes me!  He is just the perfect person for me in every way!  We even compliment each other in our differences, it’s like we were truly meant to be!

Okay, I’ll stop myself – I could go on for paaages!  But I do have to tell you all about how we eat now that we’re back home… oh yeah, I forgot to mention, due to future plans we have, I’ve moved in with him 🙂  So for the last week we’ve eaten wonderful meals with barely any effort at all!  It’s crazy!  You know how much I hate preparing dinner after work; well Tom is so fantastic and such a great cook and we work so well together that it’s like we question what’s for dinner and before we know it there is a delicious complete meal on the table!  BAM!  He’s got me eating all sorts of fish and I’ve introduced kale and quinoa into his life, funny that I don’t even like quinoa but now that he does we’ve eaten it just about every night.  I like that he doesn’t like kale but when I cooked it (once steamed with salmon, which he ‘doesn’t like’ either, and once steamed in tamari), he liked it 🙂  I love that he likes my cooking and I love that he jumps in without hesitation or question and starts a dish or finishes something I’ve got going on.  He’s just so terrific!  Oops, here I go again!  I just can’t help it!  ❤

Can’t Always Get What You Want

But if you try sometimes…. 😉

I told you about my coffee woes last week; it’s been 5 days and I am so happy I did it!  As you know, I am at 50/50 right now, I think my next decrease will be in a couple of days when my crock is empty, I still have about a half lb of each.  The only thing is my coffee is lacking flavor now and if I’m not drinking coffee for the caffeine or the flavor, what the hell is the point?  So I looked up Sun Roasters today (as that is my most favorite coffee) to see what they had to offer and I found that they made an organic flavored decaf!  I had to call and find out more!  I spoke with Charlie who told me they do make it but don’t sell it in stores and only fill orders for vendors… but that if I didn’t mind grinding my own beans he may be able to do something for me!  He asked that I send him an email and he’d get back to me.  Of course I sent him an email praising the quality of Sun Roasters coffee (which is not just propaganda!), what I was looking for and how great my life would be if I could get it.  I’m not sure what Charlie has in mind, or how much it will cost but I am anxious to find out and am not really so concerned with the cost (I say that now because I can’t fathom it being too crazy, but who knows!).

I’ve noticed my excessive sweating in the mornings has subsided considerably since I cut down on the caffeine (I have crazy sweating issues, being blamed on the thyroid and testosterone levels being in abnormal ranges.  I have combated the underarm sweat with Drysol so really only the morning sweats are still present).  I’m usually wicked energetic naturally and caffeine enhances this and tends to make me jittery and shaky, I also feel an OD effect by early afternoons, I can’t describe this feeling but I contributed it to the caffeine – now that it is gone I know I was right.  🙂

Good-Bye Gluten

I didn’t bother with any gluten eliminating over the holiday, it was overwhelming enough just being GMO-free.  But yesterday I accompanied my sister while she did her groceries (I didn’t need anything!!) so I was able to do some in-store research to get a feel for what is and isn’t ok and created other questions I have to look into.

After leaving Whole Foods it was decided that this wasn’t going to be easy.  Sure there are plenty of gluten-free foods and plenty of organic or GMO-free foods, but I noticed a lack of products touting both.  I left there with a very wish-washy idea of moving forward with this plan.  (I think that means, I like the idea but am not liking what it entails and am not 100% sure I am willing and/or able to do this.)  Next we went to Job Lot and I loaded up on everything I found to be free of GMOs and gluten, which surprisingly was a nice assortment of things!  I got two boxes of granola, one is chocolate the other is honey nut; a box of chocolate cookies; and a bag of cheddar tortilla chips.  I felt a little better after that as I love cookies, crackers, cakes, and cereals so to find alternatives helped me relax a little.  My sister and I discussed a time line for this all to happen, I personally didn’t land on anything conclusive.  I needed more information.

This morning I started a food journal – my favorite! LOL  I figured if I could record what I eat I could go back and research each item to see if it is permitted, giving me an idea of what I already eat can stay and if not, what it can be replaced with.  I found a good search source today and what I couldn’t find there I just typed into Yahoo “is _____ gluten free?”  and I got pretty much everything I was looking for.  The only exceptions were half and half (it’s TJ’s brand and they say all their dairy is gluten free, this is also backed up by the fact that milk and cream are both gluten-free so …), craisins (these are organic, WF’s brand.  I just looove how WFs hardly lists any product information on their site!  I will check the ingredients and look them up individually), WF’s Thai-ginger sauce on their salmon.

So my intent this morning was to go along, business as usual, and just journal everything and research it later.  However, I am encouraged at what I have found so far and will actively start avoiding gluten!  Yes, I will share my journal with you, of course!

Until then, I will leave you with this: Out of yesterday’s food, I only ate 3 things containing gluten (not including the 3 items I listed as “unsure of” above), 2 Clif Mojo bars and Italian salad dressing.  So far today, I have not eaten any gluten!  I am feeling pretty good today, which makes me wonder if it’s gluten; luckily I have old food journals that I can look at and see just how much gluten I was consuming in those weeks!