Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Day Four of the Plan (goat cheese)

Yesterday wasn't such a good day.  Too much water?  Not enough protein? Too much sunshine?

I went to work with my container of carrot/ginger soup mixed with the half cup of chickpeas (my test food for the day) and a container (usual size) of romaine and carrots but with a dressing of olive oil and cider vinegar (Balsamic is not okay yet).  

I lost 1.5 pounds the morning after day one.  One half a pound the morning after day two (almonds). And 1.5 pounds after day three (chickpeas).  I finally had some protein (chicken) at dinner after work alongside a large roasted beet topped with the most amazing orange zest olive oil.

Today, day four, I am finding it difficult to FOCUS.  I wrote checks for bills this morning and wrote July 28 instead of June 28.  Nearly closed the car trunk door on G's head.  Forgot to feed the dog his lunch.  And I went out grocery shopping without washing my face, brushing my teeth or combing my hair.

Today's menu includes my (surprise) favorite flax granola.  I am picking out the peanuts and almonds. I know a half pound is an okay reaction to the almonds but I prefer to stay with the 1.5 pound loss until after the weigh-in with my nasty doctor.  I would recommend eating the granola dry (flax gets gluey when wet).  And I am mixing mine with ¼ cup of the Granola #5 from Orangette's blog.  Because I made a huge batch and it's delicious and hasn't caused any reaction. The entire ½ cup of granola (mixed) is too much for me to finish. Really!! And I had a cup of Coffee.

I'm supposed to be having leftover steamed veggies and goat cheese for lunch.  There are no leftover steamed veggies.  And I did, actually, buy some Goat Cheddar to try.  Because, I am willing to experience new things.  (ROFLOL)

I have made three or four things---because I am so very frustrated by the weight---that I would NEVER in a million years eat.  And. I. Have. Liked. Them.  So, I will try Goat Cheese.

My snack later today is carrots with homemade hummus.  I had to really look to find the low sodium chickpeas for this recipe.  I do prefer my own, homemade, hummus to store bought.  We'll see if the recipe in the book is a good one.

Tonight I get to eat my chicken with a mango cucumber salsa.  I also get a salad and some steamed broccoli.  Good thing I love broccoli. And, drum roll, one ounce of dark chocolate (less than 65%).

I found a site with reviews of this book and the diet.  There were so many negative comments (even though the diet had WORKED for these people) who complained the food was too expensive.  We are talking about broccoli, lettuce, carrots, kale, zucchini, onions, garlic, ginger, beets, apples, pears, cucumbers, lemons and oranges.  I don't understand.  Do any of you understand?

I am hoping that I feel more energized in the next few hours.  I have gardening to do.  It's cloudy and overcast--PERFECT weather for transplanting my seedlings into the garden.

I am afraid I will test "reactive" for tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant (already in the garden).  The nightshade family.  My favorite family.

Monday, June 27, 2016

"The Plan" or a new way to find out what I am allergic to.

Today is day three of "the Plan" a book by Lyn-Genet Recitas.  I discovered the book while trolling the internet looking for information on my "sudden weight gain" after the tick bite last summer.

Day one was spent at the grocery looking for the supplements and the food.  Of course, once I got home and was trying the new recipes, I found I had not purchased the right things.  So, the second day was back to the grocery for more kale, more broccoli, more onions and more zucchini.

How is it going?  The morning weigh-in the second day was fantastic.  I lost 1.5 pounds.  I am finding it easier and easier to drink my 100 ounces of water a day.  I managed 72 yesterday and I am already working on 54 ounces at 10:30 am on day three so it looks good.

I have lots of energy (and G reported this morning the the past two nights have been the quietest he can recall as I must be quite a noisy sleeper usually) and am actually enjoying the recipes (which, otherwise, I would NEVER have tried).  The spicy coconut sauce is something I will make frequently and G likes it as well ( OMG--he doesn't like anything healthy).  I had leftover sauce on my sautéed kale and brown rice last night for dinner alongside steamed broccoli with orange oil and grilled carrots and I nearly swooned and I sort of forced myself to finish--which I shouldn't have  done. That's a lesson learned.  I  can save the remainder for the next meal.

Now the book interested me (in the first place) as it is an elimination diet.  The first three days are pretty much just vegetables which are on the lowest scale of reactivity -10%--- inflammation and allergy.  From day four onward--every other day is a "test" day for a new food.  If there is a reaction (usually weight gain) then that food is removed from the diet (to be tested again later) and two rest days follow to allow the body to recover.

There is a list of foods that are reactive for 85 to 90% of the clients who use "the Plan".  Guess what? Well, you already guessed didn't you?  I have been eating most of those two lists pretty much all the time.  In fact, my top 5 foods are on those lists.  Like Greek yogurt.  Like Balsamic vinegar.  Like soy milk.  That's my breakfast and lunch--like every single day for the past year.

I haven't had a test day as yet--so will be interested in seeing which of those foods is the "trigger" food that is causing the inflammation and weight gain.  Today is my first day with a salad and no Balsamic vinegar.  I subbed apple cider vinegar.  But perhaps I will sub again and make it with lemon juice instead.  Better safe than sorry.

The flax seed granola is terrible.  I can never finish the serving even with additions of dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds.  But it aids in elimination if you know what I mean and this is an elimination diet.

My eyes itch less, the eczema around my eyebrows is gone, I am sleeping soundly, wake up ready to take my supplements, drink that first 18 ounces of water and get busy with my day.  Day Three is a Good Day all around.  And it's the second to last day for me to go to work.  Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Best Lobster Rolls In Maine

Red's in Wiscasset.

But, any lobster roll is better than no lobster roll.  Last summer G and I didn't have a single one. We don't know how that happened but both of us have sworn to not repeat that sorry experience.

Yes, that's a buttered and grilled New England hot dog bun.  No, there is nothing on the lobster.  No mayo, no lettuce.  The side of melted butter can be added or the sandwich can be dipped.

I am always still hungry after eating one.  Right now lots of restaurants have the "two steamed lobster" specials for $19.99.  Buying the two lobsters for "take out" and then chilling them---I could make a couple lobster rolls for the price of one.  I'll be sure to let you know what I decide to do.

The clouds are piling up outside.  And the AC unit is on.  Sultry.  I should be out in the garden watering and weeding.  (G said it's finally looking like a garden)  The work takes a good bit of time and there isn't a lot to show for it somedays.

I had to go into Town to pick up some repaired shoes for my daughter.  So, I stopped at the Farmer's Market and purchased a large Tarragon plant (French) for a customer's order at work.  We didn't have any. It was fun to look at the stands and see what "real" professional gardeners have managed to grow already.  Lovely heads of lettuces.  Turnips.  Garlic scapes.  And of course the herb plants at the Kennebec Flower Co.  Lovely Tarragon and some very nice Rosemary.  Other stands even had duck eggs.  And Goat cheese.  One of the larger farms had big bundles of kale, baskets of lovely zucchini and tables full of strawberries.  Only one stand had rhubarb.  No one had yogurt.  One stand had dry beans.  I was tempted as I have always wanted to make a pot of beans using fresh dry beans from a farmer.

But it's only June.  I have weeks and weeks to visit and see what's growing.

But now---I must water and weed.  And if there is time, plant my eggplants in a nice row.  And stand and think and decide where the cucumbers, zucchini and potatoes are going.

Last year, at this time, I was still taking meds for my tick bite.  And the house was being painted.  The garden was the furthest thing from my mind. The potatoes never got planted and the zucchini went in late. Oh, and last year, we were one week away from the fridge dying.  And all the frozen berries being turned into compost.  Knock wood we don't have to live thru that a third year in a row.
For most of the past year, I have written "fridge still working" on the calendar-- each week.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Working In The Garden

Taking time off from WORK to work in the garden.  The major crop here at Chez Joanne is the weeds.  I covered one raised bed (5 by 8 feet) with black landscape fabric and cut little squares and planted 20 pepper plants.  Ace and New Ace.  They are your basic green peppers that mature into a nice red pepper.  Like the ones in the center segment of today's picture. I initially bought New Ace but later saw the regular Ace seedlings and got them.  That's why there are 20. I think I like regular old Ace.

I add about a Tablespoon of sulfur, some Epsom salts, some quick to dissolve lime, and Osmocote 6 month granules to each plant.  I also go back and water the transplants with Plant Starter which helps new transplants settle in and make new roots.  I like to transplant at about 4 pm so the new plants don't have to deal with the hot sun until the next day.  Saves them from serious wilting which can be fatal. Plant Starter smells like B vitamins.

My seedlings (I started them myself from seeds) are growing nicely.  Outside under a row cover on nice days and under lights in the house on dark, wet or cold days.  Since we are starved for rain here in Maine--it's usually cold days.

G and I dug around in the garage and found some nice large pieces of black landscape cloth.  I'll be using those pieces when I plant my squashes and cucumber seedlings.  I also want to plant potatoes and green beans.  Then I will be nearly finished.  Still have to replant carrots. I also got about 15 leek seedlings planted in the onion and garlic bed and it looks like a few scallion seedlings are coming up.  My arugula has gone to seed but that's okay with me as I like it sautéed with onion in a frittata-- so old and really strong tasting is okay.

I made a batch of Orangette's Granola #5 this morning.  Do use the entire cup of maple syrup called for in the recipe.  I had a few spoonfuls before heading out to the garden.  It's very good.  I also baked a Rhubarb Custard Pie.  Old fashioned and tart.  But delicious.  I now have three large bags of frozen rhubarb in the freezer and we saw the roadside table set up---I have my cash money and I'll be buying Maine strawberries in the next few days---- to make jam.  Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.  I also need to buy the gigantic bag of sugar for all the jam making in the next month or 2.  Blueberries.  And if there are "too many" blackberries--I'll make jam out of them as well.  But I love blackberries with my yogurt. Too many blackberries is impossible to imagine.

I have only two boxes of TJ's Bran Flakes left.  Which means by the end of June I need to have another breakfast cereal to eat.  Or, since it's summer I could go over to the dark side and have Smoothies.  Easy enough to do since I won't be working in July and August.  Not working at the greenhouse job.  Trial Retirement.  Seeing if I can stay at home and be happy.  Wish me luck.  I think I'm going to like it.........