Monday, July 25, 2016

My Favorite Knife

G purchased this for me one Christmas and it was backordered for months and months.  I think I actually got it last July.  And it's been the one I use everyday. I love the Wusthof classic knives and have used them since the early 1980's.  I add a new knife whenever I see one that looks "useful".

I have been this the knife quite a bit for this Elimination process.  Chopping pineapples, zucchini, carrots, onions & leeks, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, whole watermelons, and kale and more kale, etc each and every day it seems.  Most of July.  All of July.

This week's smoothie was strawberries, pineapple and kale with mint leaves.  Sweeter but still a dirty green in color.  Pond scum.  G tasted it and said it tasted much better than it looks.  High praise, indeed.  One taste was all he wanted. I have a large bag of mixed frozen fruit to add to the next smoothie. Cherries, peaches, strawberries etc.  I found it in the freezer section of my grocery.  I have a few frozen bananas still in the freezer to thicken a watery smoothie and avocados.  And all the kale in the garden. And a quarter of the pineapple still in the fridge.  The Vitamix has never been this busy.

The citrus test ends today and tomorrow I begin to test the nightshade family.  Nightshades are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes.  I plan to begin with a vegetable soup which will include tomato and perhaps some potato alongside the usual onion, carrot and kale.  But I could decide to use green beans instead of the potato for the first test meal.  I am really looking forward to soup with a tomato base.  But today I will be having a chopped salad for lunch (from the Plan) and sautéed kale with garlic and onion with a side of steamed broccoli with lemon oil for dinner (also from the Plan) and perhaps some grilled carrots.  

Right now I am going out to water the vegetable garden.  We are expecting rain later this evening, but it's hot and sunny right now (and it might not rain) and the garden is just starting to be productive so needs water.  I "harvested" five good sized zucchini yesterday and a basket full of blueberries (I think the birds are eating them also).  I have a great deal of kale ready also.  The beets are still too small.  The garlic may be ready to pull and dry.  I still have bean seeds to plant.  There are nice sized tomatoes (green) on the Early Girl plants.  I am optimistic.  A gardener has to be optimistic.  So many things can go wrong.

I have a recommended book to pick up at the library "It Starts With Food" and I am reading "Keep You Close" by Lucie Whitehouse.  Supposed to be as good a thriller as "Girl On The Train".  So far, it has me a bit nervous--a good sign.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Addition of Citrus To The Diet

I just deleted everything I just wrote.  Sigh.  I am in this rut.  I am also on this diet plan.  I am wanting to not be in either place. I am adding citrus to my food for the next three days.  Forcing a reaction if there is going to be one.

Brown rice is a "safe" food on both of the Elimination Diets I have been working my way through this past month.  All of July it seems.  I eat the brown rice and my body turns into a gas factory. The good thing is the manufacturing of gas has eliminated (such a joke) the constipation problems.  Do I write that up as a "reactive" food and eliminate it from my diet for the rest of time as we know it?

Also the eyebrow rash seems to not be influenced by food.  It seems to be directly influenced by my presence in the living room, on the couch watching television, or here at the desk (in the room with the couch) typing on the computer or reading things on the internet. Dust.

I can wash the walls and windows in this room, vacuum the area carpets daily, take down the curtains and wash them until they are rags (like my mother did when my brother was allergic to everything), and cover everything I can't wash with washable covers.  I can do that.  Just to rid myself of this rash. Because I am sensitive to DUST.  And this room is most likely full of dust.

And, thanks to the Elimination diet so far, I know nothing I eat causes the rash.

BUT.  To muddy the waters even more, I had a bowl of shredded wheat biscuits for breakfast with rice milk.  Wheat is the only ingredient listed on the box.  So, pretty quickly, I should know if it is reactive.  I need to eat cereal (a bulky cereal) in the morning to not be constipated.  But right now--I need to get out of this dusty room.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Zen Of The Garden

The garden is where I go to find comfort, quiet and a sort of Zen.  It is counter productive to try and find order there.  I try to plan straight lines.  I try for weed free.  I try for even numbers.  But the garden decides.  

My herb garden has been allowed to grow in the most haphazard ways.  Right now two very tall mallow plants are blooming.  I didn't plant them.  The garden did.  But I appreciate the lavender pink flowers against a background of fennel fronds, dill seed heads and the blue borage flowers. the parsley this year is lovely.  The spearmint is abundant.  The tarragon is enormous.  The sage (started in January in the milk jug experiment) is sturdy and very healthy.  I have transplanted (purchased) sage starter plants into this bed many many times.  They all died.  So, this is quite a pleasant surprise.

I am vacuuming the floors, washing dog towels and bed covers, mopping the floors today.  Riley has been getting into mud holes on the daily walk with G--looking for a drink of water.  G washes him off with the hose before bringing the dog inside--but he still manages to make quite a mess of the floors.
And dogs smell.  And they shed.  And it all makes Joanne a very sneezy, teary eyed girl.

So--another huge, day long clean up and spray everything I can't wash with Febreze.

The Elimination Diet continues to............well, in truth there is no elimination no matter how many Senokote I take before bedtime or how much water I drink (100 ounces).  I am eating fruits and vegetables.  Brown rice in very small amounts.  Everything going in and nothing coming out.  I don't know what to do.  Today is sort of a "time out" as I finish all the soups and smoothies in the fridge. Eat the chicken.  Have a salad.  Drink water.  Eat my watermelon chunks.

What is that saying?  Do everything the same and hope for a different outcome.  Insanity?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Elimination Diet- Day Six

Well, the adventure continues.  Daily smoothies (is this really MY life?).  Daily soup--but not completely pureed.  Vegetables.  Vegetables.  Vegetables.  I am rotating my way through the zucchini, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, beets, carrots, cabbage, lettuce.  I just discovered I can have PEAS.

It will be 2 weeks before I test nightshades--my favorite vegetable group (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers) and add things to soup that I actually love eating.  Like my tomato escarole soup. Corn is one of the last things to test--very reactive. It just doesn't seem like summer without it.

My meals have been interesting and tasty.  My rash came back last night but I can't pin point a food as the source (dates?).  It could have been dirt. Dust.  I was reading and tearing out interesting pages from a stack of very old magazines.  And I could (did ) rub my eyes.

My new recipe yesterday was a "truffle" made of well ground sunflower seeds, Medjool dates, some EVOO and a few teaspoons of maple syrup (pure) to bind everything into a sticky mass.  (or mess).  Roll into 24 equal sized balls and roll in fine shredded coconut.  I have them in the fridge.  This was something new I ate yesterday and then the rash.  So, no "truffles" today and we'll see if it stays or goes. When things get added, we get to eat them three days in a row to be sure.  So, I may have to eat those delicious things--in the name of science.

I ordered the new Martha Stewart book from the library and will be picking it up after our meeting at the bank.  Clean Slate with the lovely Shira Bocar as the author of the recipes.  I love her videos on the Martha Stewart site.  She also made a date and coconut "candy" in a video but she added walnuts to hers.  When the walnut/pecan test time arrives I will try her recipe.  Her recipe for the baked sweet potato was on a post (2 back).  That was delicious.  Her recipes dovetail with the Elimination Plan perfectly.

Watered the garden late yesterday afternoon (and will water again this afternoon).  The summer squash plants are getting very big.  That raised bed looks very rambunctious as do the cucumber plants.  The herb bed also looks wonderful and I plan on cutting some herbs to make a Green Goddess salad dressing.  My first homegrown zucchini is about 4 inches right now.  Can't wait for the cucumbers.  I have a grape vine now and can add grape leaves to my pickles like my grandmother and my mother did with theirs.  So excited.

Today, I watered the front porch plants  and got myself dirty repotting the small fig "bush" (it doesn't look like a tree) which is going crazy and needed a bigger pot.  I had to water it twice or three times  a day.  When you have to water a lot to keep the plant from wilting--it needs a larger pot and more soil.  The plants in containers are also getting a little "something" added to their water every three or four days.  Blue stuff.  Microbe stuff. Fish fertilizer.  They seem to enjoy the blue stuff as much as they enjoy the fish emulsion.

I can't find rhubarb on any of the approved food lists.  It would be nice to have some for snack.