Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

It has been a wonderful year, and there are lots of people worth thanking.  So, Thank You!

This week I've been busy getting ready for a houseful of company, with good friends, good food and family from near and far.  Do to all the abundance, things get pretty crazy in November.  I am trying to get the "bed-and-breakfast" place ready, while at the same time, finish the year's seed-saving operations, finish drying and processing the herbs, get the garlic beds ready and tend to all the peppers.

The peppers are all hung on the Christmas tree with care.  We are a little late in taking the tree down this year, and I ran out of room to hang all the peppers.  So....the Christmas tree is loaded with my best crop ever of giant cayenne, espanola and other numex-style pepper crosses.  All hung high enough not to tempt visiting dogs, hopefully.  Deck the halls with boughs of ..uh.. PEPPER?!

We're doing the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the usual fixin's.  I am not really in charge of the meal, but did provide input into the quantities.  We are having only one pie, only a few potatoes, half the amount of stuffing, and NO dinner rolls.  Half of us are on healthy lower carb, and one guest is on an Ornish-type diet.  For this evening, my guests are bringing "cowboy beans", which sound like a HFCS bomb.  I also cooked up four pounds of baby burgers for tonight's feast, featuring southwestern American food.  No bottled bbq sauce for me, cause I cooked up a  batch of habanero sauce so hot even I can't eat much of it.  Instead of baking the usual three batches of cornbread, I just bought a package of plain corn tortillas.  This afternoon, I'll be selecting the sweetest pumpkin out of the patch, and cooking it up for pies and breakfast smoothies.  I will also be cooking up a pound of pork sausage into old-fashioned country sausage for breakfasts.

Here's my hot sauce recipe this year:  8 orange habanero peppers, 1 red jalapeno pepper, 1 giant dried cayenne pepper (or use 6 smaller peppers), 1 large onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 carrot, dash of salt, vinegar.  Cut up the vegetables and cook mostly covered in vinegar until soft.  Cool.  Blend until smooth.  Return to pan and cook over low heat.  Pour into glass jars and chill in the fridge.  It keeps for a few weeks.

Usually I am farther ahead, but this year we both caught colds, and now my husband has pneumonia, so there are just some things that won't get done before the house gets full.  Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sorry, But I Just Couldn't Hold Back Anymore

Hyperlipid has been hyper-funny lately, but then again, maybe this new prehistoric diet is making me punch drunk with laughter.
Take a look at this!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Three days on the Prehistoric Diet

Day one went pretty well.  (Y'all can see what I ate here.)

Days 2 and 3?  Well...not to plan.  I went camping in the mountains.  Not real camping where you carry stuff on your back and set up a camp somewhere in the wilderness, but the kind of camping where you drive to the campground, complete with large heated lodge and mess hall, and then unload your machine-quilted comforter into little cabins retrofitted with modern (as in handicap-friendly) plumbing and access.

It was a weekend full of me not being in full control of my food choices, that is, if I didn't want to starve, but it was also only four meals (and dozens and dozens of snacks!!!) and lots of hopping over puddles during freezing downpours, so there wasn't an overall weight gain.

I knew I would be in trouble when I saw one of the women near the kitchen.  THE VEGAN ACTIVIST!!  She's very nice, but insists on vegan food at all gatherings because she is convinced that her husband's fatal heart attack was caused by the deadly saturated fat and the paleo people are mean to animals.

To placate all the people who don't like vegan diets, there were some small optional additives, so, yes, I was able to add some cheese and sour cream to my vegan gluten-free burrito.  And even with the cheese and sour cream, I was reminded why I always had trouble with a vegan diet.

Every meal and snack seemed stuffed to the gills with tomato products.  Tomato wasn't optional.  It was in the burrito for lunch, the cheese lasagna for dinner, the omlette for breakfast and the chili for lunch.  There was no way you could pick the stuff out.  It went through and through.  It reminded me of when I tried the MacDougall program.  I could only do it for a few days.  It is just that terrible combination of wheat, green peppers and tomatoes that showed up in practically 100% of Mary MacDougall's recipes that made the program so horrible for me. 

The other thing I was reminded of is the enormous amount of milk fat in a vegetarian diet.  We had sour cream, cream cheese on bagels, ice cream for two meals, lasagna stuffed with ricotta and loaded with melty cheese.  The vegans seemed to have no fat options except maybe a bit of coconut ice cream for some meals.  I was longing for some bacon just for balance.  Well-meaning friends suggested I go down the hill for a burger at the local McDonalds, but I had forgotten my wallet and money and also didn't want to be reminded that I was just down the street from Mickey D's and 20 million people, and I am not thrilled with their food either.

By the second day, my stomach was paying for the diet transgressions, and I was extremely grateful for modern plumbing!  When I got home, I sat down to a huge bowl of fatty pork shoulder before I even started unpacking the muddy camping gear.  Good food is THAT important.  And today is a new day, full of full food freedom, and freedom from beans, tomatoes and wheat!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Battle for the Fat Old Ladies - Part 1

Yes, there is another battle going on, the battle for the hearts and souls of all the fat old ladies.

The paleo tribe isn't all that friendly to the ladies, especially the older kind.  Makes me kind of want to pelt the next guy who says that evolutionarily, I'm history, with a barrage of left-over tampons I no longer need.  About the only thing worse for an older lady who is beyond reproductive age and therefore useless is for them, besides being a vegetarian, to be a Dr. Oz-watcher.

Dr. Oz had a big zinger on a recent show, his own prehistoric diet.  I read the three pages of diet advice, and then the hundreds of comments made mostly by very angry paleo's who were outraged that he would steal their lifestyle and turn it into an evil, sickly vegan diet scheme.

"Paleo!"  they drum.  "We thought of it first!"  Well, OK, good luck with that.

And I am thinking, if you want someone to join your tribe, make them feel welcome, make them feel at home.  That means if you want to reach the fat old ladies, you have to quit making fun of them, quit making condescending and sexist comments, quit calling them fat, lazy and stupid.  The cave needs to be decked out with sparkly pens and scrabble, just like the tent in the Dr. Oz reality zoo.  Strong, brave women rearranging words out on the veranda, in between the rain showers.  Just like Martha Stewart and Bethenny Frankel.  Yes, Freud, this is what women want.

Now, Dr. Oz is very popular and influential.  There may be some truth to the idea that he doesn't want to annoy his sponsors.  I get that.  So does Dr. Feinman.  You really have to watch your step when you enter the diet and nutrition field.  Lots of turds all around, left for lots of people for you to step on if you are not careful.

If you aren't careful, maybe the ADA experts will go after you.  Then just when you think you are into safe territory at Paleohacks, you get Patrik threatening to drop the hammer on you.  "I'm gonna brekka yo face!"  Ooooooo, no scrabble there.  Paleohacks must have been named that because they like to hack each other to pieces over there.  Take a look at this fine piece of, um, "work".  And this is just for members of the tribe, not even for someone as evil as Dr. Oz.

I commend Dr. Oz for at least calling it what it is, a zoo.  Ya, there is that call to "freeing the animal", but if your inner animal is just a big pig, well that is what pens and bars were invented for.  Just sayin', I can understand why Dr. Oz wants to distance himself.  So, in honor of Dr. Oz actually being NICE to fat old ladies, and inviting them to his show where it is clear they are the stars and also having lots of fun, I have decided to do his version of the prehistoric diet.  (Notice he didn't call it the caveMAN diet.)  In order to do it, I will have to customize it a bit for my own local condition and preferences.

1.  Protein.  Dr. Oz recommends a low protein diet, full of beans, greens and seaweed.  I can do the greens and seaweed just fine, but I don't eat all that many beans, so I will be substituting most of the beans for grass-fed meat and fish.

2.  Calcium.  Dr. Oz recommends tofu and boxed soy and nut milk.  I don't eat much soy because it doesn't do well with me and I don't do things in three-layer aseptic boxes, so I will be substituting with sardines and even more greens.

3.  Fat.  Dr. Oz recommends olives, avocado, flax, hemp, chia and walnuts.  No problem there except I don't want any hemp seeds just in case I have to take a drug test or something.

4.  Carbs.  Dr. Oz recommends eating the rainbow, with all sorts of colorful foods like fruits and vegetables.  Unfortunately, he let some of the colors run together too much and got brown in his rainbow.  So, to get brown, we are supposed to eat whole wheat bread and pasta and quinoa.  Quinoa is really white, so I don't get the brown category, but then again, I am a stupid Dr. Oz-watcher, so I think it was expected that I would overlook that one little point.  However, since wheat makes me sick and starving, and quinoa makes me gag, I am substituting these "brown" foods with real colors, like more yellow squash, purple cabbage, red snapper and orange roughy.  And of course, red Argentine malbec.

I'll be setting up yet another account at [redacted], for those who want to follow along.  I'll post a link once it gets going, just look at the birdie.  Here's the site I set up for tracking food nutrients.