The other side of the scale

Weight fat loss tends to get its share of heated conversations on the net. People stand firm with their n=1s because their own experience is what worked for them, and well, sometimes everyone is right.

I’ve typed before about how (believe it or not) there is a such thing as too much fat on a LCHF lifestyle, but I don’t recall if we’ve discussed the other end of the LCHF spectrum too little fat.

If you are old enough to even contemplate changing your way of eating from the SAD (standard American diet), going against the grain {giggles}, thinking about cutting the sweet poison (to a large portion of us creatures known as humans), and opting for a more un-processed approach, you made it through the low fat craze that’s been going on since most of us were in diapers.

If you never fell for the whole “low fat, heart healthy approved” marketing ploys, good for you! You will breeze through LCHF 101 with flare! You’ve been eating butter and bacon your entire life, you, my friend have no need of BPC or fat bombs. Matter of fact if you’re one of those not losing, it’s not for lack of fat, but I digress, we’re discussing the other side today and I will get back to them presently.

What? You eat butter?

What? You eat butter?

The vast majority of us have been taught time and again that it is very very important to keep the fat off our plate. Fat was always at the top of the pyramid, use it sparingly, and when you do use it, only use these here vegetable oils and shortening. Even better is to have your toast dry, with a bit of jelly. (when did they start putting HFCS in jelly?) We cut our fat that was once on our plate, but we’ve increased the fat on our bodies. It would seem that if cutting the fat helped us to get fatter, then maybe, just maybe eating more fat would help us to not produce so much of our own.

Sometimes, the answer is “up the fat”. I know, it’s crazy. What works for Fred or Wilma doesn’t always work for Ben and Jerry, so one must remember that yes, sometimes everyone is right, but just not always at the same time.

Examples are easier, so I’ll just go with it.

We'll use Miss Piggy as the example. (no she's not still dressed up, it's an old pic)

We’ll use Miss Piggy as the example. (no she’s not still dressed up, it’s an old pic)

Miss Piggy started her LCHF way of eating some time ago. At first, she dropped a lot of weight. For the past month or so, she’s not really losing, she’s not really gaining either, she’s hit one of those dreaded things called a weight loss plateau.

Lucky for Miss Piggy, she has the most common problem in her weight loss journey that is easy to fix. See, for years Miss Piggy lived off of heart healthy whole grains for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She traded her mayo for mustard years ago and always cooks in a non stick pan to avoid fats at all cost. She’s meat free on Mondays because she’s going to save the planet and to her, red meat equals heart attacks.

The LCHF change has been a change most difficult, she’s tired of skinless salmon and salad, but what else can she eat*? She’s doing everything right, chia seed pudding or Faux oatmeal for breakfast, salad with boneless, skinless chicken or skinless salmon for lunch and dinner, sugar free jello as snacks. She’s hardly eating 800 calories a day, so it’s not like she can eat less, or can she?

“Give that girl a BPC STAT!” is giggle evoking, but not the answer, well, it could be the answer, but remember, Miss Piggy is having a hard time with fat as it is. A coconut/butter oil slick in her cup-o-joe might just have her running from LCHF like the freaking plague!

While we can all (most likely, maybe?) agree, Miss Piggy is definitely not eating enough fat or calories (can you even eat a calorie?) food for that matter. She has become one of those low-carbers that are not only skerd to death of carbs, but she is skerd of fat too.

Chocolate fat bombs might do the trick for upping her fat, but she was a big fan of candies way back when, so they might also be that slippery slope that derails her entire journey. (Do you see now how everyone’s situation is different, that we can all be right, we can all be wrong, and well, arguing about it is silly, agreeing to disagree works better, truce, maybe?)

*What else can I eat? she asked. How about just eating food? What if Miss Piggy stopped counting her calories and cut her stress by proxy? Instead of looking at any vegetable other than salad as carbs and just ate broccoli, sauteed in real butter (or any other of the many non-starchy vegetables) because it’s food. If nothing can convince Miss Piggy that bacon is ok as long as you stay away from the biscuits, maybe she can work her way up to chicken thighs at least, to up her fat.

It all boils down to this: There is a such thing as not enough fat, just like there is a such thing as too much fat when eating LCHF. One person’s not enough is another person’s too much. We can all be right and wrong at the same time, but it’s up to the person asking the questions to evaluate the answers and figure out what works best for themselves.

If you, or someone you love is suffering from not losing weight while trying to keep the carbs and the fat low at the same time, here are a few examples that may or may not help you figure out that 1. Fat is not bad, except rancid vegetable oils  and 2. You don’t have to add obscene amounts of coconut oil to your coffee or your cocoa powder.

  • cook whole chickens, eat some of that skin. (hell no, it’s not the chicken skin that makes KFC un-healthy, it’s the crap attached to the skin and having macaroni and cheese as a vegetable option…)
  • Toss out your teflon. Invest in an iron skillet or stainless steel. Why? Because stuff sticks without a little butter or bacon lube. You will be forced to saute your veggies in some yummy butter or bacon grease.
  • Bypass the skinless salmon, opt for wild caught, skin on. Melt some butter in that new iron skillet and sear that skin like a boss. There is seriously nothing better than a nice fat piece of salmon that has been cooked til the skin is crispy.
  • Eat a ribeye. Seriously. Sirloin is ok for Stroganoff over shirataki noodles, but if you’re going to have a steak, you might as well enjoy it, and how could you not enjoy the marbled juicy goodness that is ribeye?
  • Plant your chia seeds. (I’m still puzzled as to why folks started eating them in the first place) Ok, that one is up to you. If you like them, keep them, just not for breakfast. Eggs were made for breakfast, end of story.

 

 

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When less really is more, steak tacos

We were some of the lucky ones during ice-aggedon. Our driveway isn’t a 90° drop off, like many of our neighbors drives. (well, it’s pretty flat out front, past the house it’s like an asphalt slide)

While I didn’t drive the first 13 days, my hot husband was able to get me to the store for emergencies, you know like chocolate. (kidding, maybe) Anyways, maybe it was day 12 when I went with His Hotness to Nashville to see how the roads were coming along, to know if he’d be able to take out the big work truck.

The roads were much better than the roads up these parts, but the work site was a no-go. Anyways, I’ll just claim my 5th amendment rights and not tell you about the amazing authentic Mexican tacos we got just off Charlotte Pike in West Nashville.

Most of my adult life, tacos have been more like the supreme version of Taco Bell, the crunchy, soft is fajitas daggumit (giggle). In those tacos that I will not talk about, I found that really truly, less is more.

Something odd happened that day, he told me he could eat those tacos seven days a week. I was going to hold him to it, they were so freaking easy, but by day three, he was all taco-ed out.

Less is more, gosh I love them, steak tacos, LCHF style

Filling:

  • 1 pound thinly sliced beef steak, round, flank, square (haha), what ever kind, just not the green kind.
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: pink salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano.
  • coarse black pepper

Cut steak into strips, against the grain. Heat a skillet (I like stainless, use what you like) over medium high heat, add bacon grease. Add steak. When it is no longer pink, add seasonings. For some odd reason, steak in this day and age loses a lot of water, if it gets watery, heat up the griddle and griddle it dry, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.

Sorry, this is chicken. With ceviche and steak tacos, do you blame me for not having a chance to get the steak griddle pic? Use your imagination, thanks :)

Sorry, this is chicken. With ceviche and steak tacos, do you blame me for not having a chance to get the steak griddle pic? Use your imagination, thanks 🙂

Topping: 

  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • coarse pink salt and coarse black pepper as you like it
  • 1/2 lime

Put the onion and cilantro in a glass bowl. Toss it around with the salt and pepper, squeeze the lime over the top and mix once more for good measure. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge until your tacos are ready. (I don’t always use a glass bowl for cooking, but when I use lime or lemon juice, I always use a glass bowl. You’re welcome)

Because you’ve already made a large batch of the broccoli cheese waffles, tortilla style, pull a few of those bad boys out and heat them up on the griddle.

Did I mention they freeze well? In freezer bags, make sure to put parchment paper squares between each.

Did I mention they freeze well? In freezer bags, make sure to put parchment paper squares between each. (and OMG if the bacon chicken were really #37, does that make these #38? Gonna have to work hard to fill in the blanks, but at least it has me out of my “writer’s block” good deal, really.

Once your waffle tortillas are heated up, top with filling, top with topping. That’s it. You don’t need no cheese (it’s in the tortilla anyways), no sour cream, just a wedge of lime to squeeze on top before that first bite…

Yummy, yummy

Yummy, yummy

Ok, so this is like the third bite out of my second taco... So freaking good.

Ok, so this is like the third bite out of my second taco… So freaking good.

They were really nice with the ceviche and chips last night. So good, that I heated up a couple for a breakfast sammich…

This pic is from the first batch. Bacon, egg, cheese, and mayo. Do I miss my fork lately? Oh hell no!!!

This pic is from the first batch. Bacon, egg, cheese, and mayo. Do I miss my fork lately? Oh hell no!!!

 

Instant gratification

Here it is, January 9, 2015 (yeah, I backspaced the 4, the 5 is so new and all), five days into getting my head on straight and I’ll be damned if my size eights still do not fit! {pouty sniffles}

Granted I have lost three whole pounds and lord knows I’ll surely find them, but it hasn’t really been all bad. I actually misplaced a couple of pounds Monday morning, which reminds me of finding them Tuesday morning. I don’t even want to talk about Wednesday and Thursday because I didn’t even check in with that old hag the scale.

It’s got to be that I’m not doing it right, I picked the wrong diet, which isn’t really a diet anyways, I call it meleo (combo of primal, paleo, without carb loading and crossfit (giggles) what works for my diabetes and me). It didn’t even make the cut, but it’s great uncle “Paleo” did and came in dead last. {Don’t wag that finger at me, I know, I know, I shoulda done #13, Slimfast (howling laughter at this point, seriously, bottle of chems or whole foods, yep, chems it shoulda been)}

Maybe I should have re-started Atkins, you know, hit the new and exciting Atkins 40, for when you just want to lose a little, but if you checked out the linky-do, Atkins is on the last page too, #32 to Paleo’s #34.

To be completely honest, I’m not even doing anything aside from what I was doing prior to hunting season and really, really, losing three pounds in five days of doing absolutely nothing is pretty spectacular, maybe downright scandalous. What exactly is that absolutely nothing? No sugar, no starches, simple. Leafy greens, meat, cheese, eggs, fish, even slightly higher carb veggies like Brussels sprouts.

Since I proved to myself what I already knew (you just can’t out exercise a bad diet), I’m not even counting my general goofiness like toting firewood as exercise, so without my general goofiness, I’m pretty much sloth-like. (general goofiness takes up most of my time, so I’m not sloth-like often)

I’m not doing anything silly like putting an entire stick of butter into my 32oz coffee, or just eating sticks of butter talking about my deep ketosis. Ketosis-smosis and all that, you won’t see any snap chats or instagrams of my pissedonketostix for a few reasons, #1 I don’t pee on sticks, that’s what potties are made for. #2 I don’t have snapchat which leads to #3 nor do I have instagram.

I am doing what I found to be most helpful when I lost the weight in the first place, right prior to thinking I was ten foot tall and bullet proof…

Dr. Jack Kruse’s Leptin Rx combined with Mark Sisson’s When Hunger Ensues Naturally. Anyways, both of these were big helps back in 2011 and 2012 when I was discovering my path to controlling my diabetes and losing weight. As far as combining them goes, on the days I wake up hungry, I eat within 30 minutes of rising, high protein breakfast, (I never stopped following the sleep well part), wait 4-5 hours (or longer) between meals. The couple days I’ve awoken without a thought of food, I’m IFing and eating when hunger ensues naturally.

Anyways, I was just thinking that with all the technology, things should be going quicker. My eights pert near falling off me by day five, but no, I’m human just like everyone else. Sometimes we just have to think “yeah, I want it now, but it’s going to take time.” Maybe I’m trying to tell any of you sweet folks out there in Readerville that no matter which diet you chose, what eating plan you adapt, that no big change after 5 days is no big deal. Weight loss is not a transporter from fat to flat in an instant, it’s a series of fits and starts, ups and downs that ultimately lead to getting into shape. The key though is not a “diet”, a “pill”, or a “superfood”, the key is to find what works for each of us as individuals and sticking to it.

Gyro Jerky is amazing…

I told you back in the spring how I was inspired to try something new. I’ve not made a gyro kebab since then, but I have been quite busy turning ground venison into jerky.

The great thing about making your own jerky is that the flavors are endless. So far this jerky season, I’ve got seven flavors in the freezer BBQ, Fajita, Flaming Fajita, General Tso, Szechuan, Teriyaki, and Gyro.

Ground meat jerky is really easy to make. It takes a fairly inexpensive initial investment, a dehydrator and a jerky press, time, and patience. The hard part is really clean up/washing your equipment.

Since I’ve upped my jerky game this season, Big Sexy got me a new dehydrator, a Presto Dehydro®. The new dehydrator holds three pounds of pressed meat as does my old faithful Nesco/American Harvest dehydrator. The cool thing is that I can now process six pounds a day instead of three, on the down side, that’s only three pounds of finished jerky, but let me tell you, Gyro jerky is worth it!

I’ve been on the fence about sharing this recipe. It’s one of those recipes I really want to keep secret, but then again, when I’m gone it would go with me, and then the world would be gyro jerky-less lol.

  • 2 T salt (I use Himalayan, you can use that too, or seasoned salt)
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 2 t oregano
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t corriander
  • 1 t parsley
  • 1 t cardamom
  • 1 t celery seed
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • 1 ½ t Lem cure (sodium nitrite) (if you opt for no cure, make sure to keep finished product refrigerated)
  • 6 pounds ground venison

Combine first twelve ingredients in a jar or small bowl. Mix well. Add Lem cure if using, mix well. Place ground venison in a very large bowl. Add seasoning mix and mix well by hand or use your kitchen aid or like stand mixer (for six pounds, my kitchen aid is an arm saver).

Load your jerky press according to the directions and shoot it out onto the drying racks.

 

shooting out slim jims

shooting out slim jims

yeah,  jerky pressing and taking ones own pics is not an easy task.

yeah, jerky pressing and taking ones own pics is not an easy task.

You want to keep them close, but not touching for good circulation.

You want to keep them close, but not touching for good circulation.

If your dehydrator has a temperature gauge, set to 165°, if not, follow the “jerky” instructions from your manual. I like to check the meat after a couple hours, flipping it if it is dry to the touch (gloves, gloves, gloves people). Depending on how well drained your meat was to begin with the drying time is 4 – 8 hours. (placing your meat in a colander, set into a larger bowl, covered over night will shorten your drying time and will also help get rid of any gamy taste that sometimes comes with wild game)

Once your jerky is dried, unplug your dehydrator. Remove jerky to a sheet pan for cooling. Wait until it completely cooled for bagging, so that there is no condensation in the bags.

Cooling it off is really important. Placing hot jerky in bags makes for gross slimy not jerky stuff.

Cooling it off is really important. Placing hot jerky in bags makes for gross slimy not jerky stuff.

For long term storing, place bags of jerky in the deep freeze.

In case anyone is wondering “Can I use this recipe on flank steak or venison steak for strip jerky?” the answer is no. This recipe is best used with ground meat, mixed well. The seasonings applied to steak strips even with using soy sauce instead of salt, makes for parsley and oregano on the outside of the meat, which in the mouth was like eating something that had been dropped in a pile of leaves, not good. On the other hand, using this recipe with soy sauce instead of salt, as a marinade for grilled ribeyes or venison steaks was pretty amazing…

 

 

 

Sushi and Nori, with Ham, oh my!

If you are of the belief that it still isn’t sushi without the nori, well then, call it by another name. The nori could care less what you call it as long as you’re not just letting it sit in the pantry.

The last time I typed about sushi, I think it was the freaking amazing blt sushi. Lately though, May has been on a ham and cheese kick. Her bento box normally contains a couple sliced rolls, a cheese stick, strawberries, and a bottle of water.

Let's call this one Sammich Sushi lol

Let’s call this one Sammich Sushi lol

If you’ve never rolled sushi (with or without rice), hit up youtube for some videos or just check out the directions on the back of the nori pack. Sushi mats are fairly inexpensive at ethnic stores.

Sammich Sushi

  • 1 sheet nori
  • 2 slices sandwich type, deli style, what have you ham (turkey, chicken, and roast beef also taste quite nice)
  • 1 t mayo
  • 1 slice American cheese (or Swiss, pepper jack, you get my drift)
  • 2 leaves Romaine lettuce
  • a little thinly sliced red onion

Place nori shiny side down onto your sushi mat. Spread mayo from 1/4″ up from the bottom to 1″ down from the top (the area you would normally use rice). If you are using pre-packaged sliced baked ham, place slices vertically side by side on nori, over the area you spread the mayo. If you are using circular or whatevs shaped slices, just cover the mayo with it. Fold cheese in half and place half on each slice of ham, towards the bottom, just above the bare area of nori. Next place lettuce on cheese and onion slices onto lettuce. Roll it up.

When you get to the end, dampen the bare nori with a little water. Finish rolling and wrap in plastic wrap. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to overnight (I do overnight for the lunch box, easier to slice when it’s soft).

025

I cannot tell a lie. The other night whilst making May’s sushi, I made myself a little snack, YUM!

 

 

 

 

From garden to ranchero

One of my favorite lunches out is huevos rancheros con chorizo from Jose’s here in Greenbrier. The staff is always great, and if there isn’t a drama club field trip scheduled to do lunch for 25 at the same time you arrive, the service is spot on and the food never disappoints.

It had been a while since my hot husband and I had had a lunch date at Jose’s when I decided on Tuesday that it was too cruel for my taste buds, having kept them from that which they desired for so long. I decided “breakfast for dinner it is” and hit up google on the hunt of the next best thing, a recipe for ranchero sauce.

When you hit up google for a good rachero recipe, you quickly find that there are a gazillion of them, fresh tomato, canned tomato, vinegar, no vinegar, heck even Emeril Lagasse has a friggin’ ranchero sauce recipe.

Preferring to be a fly by the seat of my pants/what’s the worst that could happen kinda girl, I decided to just read a few recipes and then just freaking do it. I read Emeril’s, all recipes’, chow hound (maybe?), don’t remember all the ones I read, but my friend google always turns those linkydos purple, so I’ll know them when I see them again.

Started with 15 pounds of home grown tomatoes. Ended with 3 quarts crushed, 2 pints and a quart of juice, and 1 very messy kitchen.

Started with 15 pounds of home grown tomatoes. Ended with 3 quarts crushed, 2 pints and a quart of juice, and 1 very messy kitchen.

The recipes with fresh tomatoes were out of the question. I already had three quarts of beautiful crushed tomatoes needing to take a taste test, so I set a jar aside.

Some recipes called for bell peppers, most for jalepeños and lucky for my taste buds the plants out back were ripe for the pickin’. I picked one large green bell pepper and a couple of fat jalepeños. I then proceeded to gather my ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 fat jalepeños, seeded and chopped (this was quite mild, use more if you’d like)
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 T oregano
  • 2 T cooking oil, I cook with bacon oil, feel free to use olive oil if you so desire.
  • 16 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 t ground chipotle red pepper
  • salt to taste

Heat skillet over medium and add cooking oil. Saute onions, peppers, and garlic until veggies are softish and onions are translucent. Add oregano, crushed tomatoes, ground red pepper, and salt. Simmer for 30 – 45 minutes until sauce is thickened.

SC20140812-172332

The ranchero sauce was quite nice with some chrorizo and eggs. So nice, that last night I used it to make football shaped mini meatloaves for dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

How does if I never see another mason jar again turn to a glutton for punishment?

I did it. Sunday. Finished the mountain of cucumbers, a batch of bread and butter, a batch of cinnamon pickles. Sunday was going to be a new beginning to a week of no more canning, until…

Monday came along and we received a mountain of banana peppers. Turns out the things we do for love, like the never ending quest for crispy banana peppers worked out pretty good. We opened a jar the other day, they were crispy. They were crispy a couple days later and a couple days after that when I tasted them again this morning.

The plan for this morning was to check our banana and jalepeño plants and I ended up with quite a few peppers. There were so many peppers I ended up spending a couple hours in the kitchen with Justin Timberlake.

I guess I neglected to mention that I got a couple new cds for my birthday, and they are both pretty good. So good that Sir Hotsalot has pondered asking me to put Maroon 5 back in the player. I did tell him to not worry his fine self over it, he’d be tired of them as soon as V comes out… I digress, this is a story of my love/hate relationship with canning vegetables and I’ve wandered away from the subject.

After all the canning (seriously. it’s easy peasy, but it takes freaking all day long, washing, rinsing, sterilizing, chopping, slicing, measuring, weighing, pouring, straining, draining, peeling, etfreakingcetera. It’s a lot of lifting too. I would seriously rather be making jam like in the old days.

A strange thing happened when I sat down to enjoy a cup of coffee with an episode of a Netflix original. I felt a surge of guilt wash through me. There were green tomatoes on my withering plants, three-quarters of a large head of cabbage and fresh red and green peppers on our bell pepper plant. I figured the peppers need another eighteen hours in the crock, there are a couple empty crocks, I could hit up google for a chow chow recipe. (yep, for the love of chow chow.)

With pandora in my pocket, proceeded to gather, wash, chop, process, salt, and squish it all together. The mixture has to chill out in the crock overnight. Tomorrow, in between the three hours of a rinse/soak relationship with the peppers, I’ll be draining and rinsing the potential chow chow.

While putting things in place, I found a few limes. Decided on bacon wrapped shrimp and ceviche for dinner. Pandora was doing a good job music-wise, so I got the fish and shrimp prepped. I decided that peeling shrimp is definitely more a punishment than pickle making, maybe lol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Damned Shame…

Once upon a time in this land of the free, home of the brave, there was food. Real food, cooked from ingredients. Things like chips were for parties or picnics, not an everyday thing, they were truly “junk food”, not “sides” or “vegetable choices”.

Let’s not dwell on the past though, the present (back then’s future) is now a technological wonderland. We do everything online, we order dinner (pizza), we submit job applications, we pay our bills. (well, I use “we” loosely, not everyone is internet dependent) Maybe it’s not the internet’s fault that we’ve become lazy, we don’t cook, we don’t go outside and play “kick the can” because it’s so much more fun to sit in an air conditioned room playing “candy crush”.

Someone I love very much was hospitalized last week, spent 18 hours in the ER at a prestigious hospital in Nashville. One would think that a hospital would no doubt have the most healthy of choices when it comes to feeding patients. I would like to say I was shocked at the lunch served to this pre-diabetic patient, but not much shocks me anymore.

Turkey on whole grain bread, fruit cup of peaches, and a bag of “baked” chips. I must tell you that my blood sugar really wanted to get all jacked up just seeing the meal, but my focus at the time was on my loved one. Postprandial blood glucose reading for her was 162. Let me remind you she is “pre-diabetic”, not full blown Type 2, when they offered her a shot of insulin that she promptly refused.

When did “a shot of insulin” become the first choice in treatment of a pre-diabetic or even a type 2? From reading about my own type 2 diabetes, it’s not so much a lack of insulin, rather a “resistance”, it doesn’t make sense to me to shoot insulin when I’ve got plenty, my body just wasn’t using it right, but then again there are many things in this world that no longer make sense to me.

Five hours after this meal of whole grain turkey sandwich, fruit cup of peaches, and baked chips, her blood glucose reading was 81. The nurse said “It’s dropped an awful lot, you might want to eat something to bring it back up.”.

REALLY???? As a type 2, I pointed out to the nurse that 81 is really a good number, asked my loved one “Are you hungry?” she said “no”, and I was promptly asked if I worked in the medical field. I told him “no, I don’t work in the medical field, but I’m a type 2 diabetic, diagnosed in 2007”. “What’s your A1c?” he asked “5.4” I replied. “Well, you’re not diabetic, 7.0 is good diabetic control.”

I wanted to tell him that I’ve been through all the hoopla of higher A1c (s), lived with my prescriptions and often still elevated blood sugars while following dietary advice to eat whole grains instead of white, but he didn’t have time to listen, brushed me off because I must be some sort of loon who knows nothing (Jon Snow) because I do not work in the medical field…

It’s been close to 14 years since I’ve been hospitalized, the birth of our youngest, and as recent as back then, chips were not on the menu. What has happened that made “chips” a healthy alternative to say a salad, a serving of green beans, or even broccoli for goodness sake? Has hospital food service gotten so lazy that they seriously order chips and fruit cups to be part of the regular menu, even for pre- or full blown diabetics?

Don’t get me wrong, people can eat what they want to eat. If you want to eat a bag of chips with a bag of cookies and a 44 ounce soda, call it a meal, that’s your business. In a hospital though, the patient really has no choice in the matter.

It’s a damned shame that places like hospitals serve patients “junk food” and call it the “heart healthy meal”. Is it not bad enough that the “sack lunch” alternative in school is an “uncrustable” pb&j with chips, an apple, and no fat sugar enriched chocolate milk? (Don’t get me wrong, the apple is fine, it’s the rest of the crap that makes me bat poo crazy…)

One more thought before I get dressed and head to Nashville on this beautiful sunny day to sit in a waiting room… Low fat, no fat, hearthealthy labels, think about them and ask yourself as a whole, are we more healthy now than we were back in the day when we just threw together some ingredients and cooked real whole food? Are the minutes here and there saved by choosing a bag of this or can of that, really worth the time we can potentially lose in the end?

I was asked a question by this loved one over the weekend, “Aren’t you glad you lost all that weight and got healthy? You don’t have to worry about strokes and such.” My reply was “I’ve learned that the number one cause of death is just being born. Losing weight and fighting my diabetes does not make me immortal, it just makes me feel better. One day, I will die, until then though, I’m going to live as much as I can and just not worry about death.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shrimp Scampi-esque

Shrimp Scampi yummy yummy, butter, shrimp, garlic, what’s not to love? What could be better than a nice dish of the warm and cozy to fill one’s belly with?

avocado bacon scampi 1

Adding bacon and serving it in a halved avocado of course!

Shrimp Scampi-esque

  • 3 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 pound of medium peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon dry Vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ripe avocado

I use a stainless steel skillet. I heat it over medium high heat for a few minutes, until I can feel the heat on my hand from a couple inches away from the bottom. Once it’s hot, I reduce the heat to medium and add in the chopped bacon. I like to stir the bacon around with a stainless steel spatula, breathing in the aromas, and making sure that the nuggets of goodness do not stick…..

avocado bacon scampi 2

Shrimp cooks quickly, so don’t leave it un-attended.

Once the bacon is cooked soft add the thawed shrimp. It is important to not drain the bacon, the bacon juice is used in place of the butter normally found in shrimp scampi. Stir it around and add the pressed garlic. Cook a few minutes until the shrimp turns pink and is no longer translucent.

Add the Vermouth and parmesan, reducing the heat to low while you halve and remove the pit from a ripe avocado. Plate the avocado cut side up on two plates. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over each half. Top with the shrimp and bacon scampi, add salt and pepper to taste, top with a bit more lemon juice if so desired.

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Like with all new to you recipes, if you are Type 2 Diabetic like I am, test prior to, one and two hours after consuming any “new to you” foods.

 

So, I didn’t, but I did, and some fun along the way…

I told you last week about the fabulousness going on so far in 2014, and about how Saturday was going to be the big day. In case you’re new, Saturday was opening day for the spring turkey season.

You may be wondering “how does that tie in with diabetes?” Well, it’s like this… my diabetes totally took a back seat a couple years ago when I decided to be the boss, the alpha, the controller. This time 4 years ago I didn’t even think about walking around the yard, much less hiking through the woods and trying my hand at turkey hunting. 80-some odd pounds later, and stellar blood sugar control (for the most part), I’m a different person. I’m pretty active now and have decided to step out of my “comfort zone” more often. If you are a Type 2 Diabetic like me and are getting tired of being sick and tired, maybe you too could try giving up the things that spike you and taking hold of the reins also, but I digress, this post is about how I didn’t get a turkey, but then again I was gifted one…

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Bright and early Saturday morning. Ready to get my nature on.

We woke up at the butt crack of dawn, ok, it was 5:30 am, the sun had not yet risen, so I fixed bacon and eggs for me and a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit for my honey. Yeah, he said “we can get something on the way” and I was like, “yeah, but”….

While he checked the weather and called his buddy, I ate my breakfast of champions. After that, we got dressed, me in his old camouflage overalls, an old beat up pair of sneaks and one of his hats. Since it was cold, I got a pair of camo coveralls too.

Since Hot Stuff is a gun man, he brought his big gun, and me being a girly girl who thinks guns are wayyy too loud, loaded up my crossbow into the back of the car. By the time we pulled out of the drive, the sun was up and we were on our way to the adventure awaiting us.

Silly, silly girl, me, thought it was a good sign when we saw a couple of handsome turkeys foraging on the side of the highway “I love you turkeys!! It’s a sign, I just know it.”. Now, if you’re a seasoned hunter like His Hotness, you may be thinking “yeah, a sign that you’re not going to see a gosh darned thing in the woods…” (but, he loves me and didn’t want to burst my bubble. He kept that thought to himself.)

We arrived at Leon and Tina’s house and started our hunt for “gear”. Leon and Michael have been friends forever and Leon is a super avid hunter, fisher, electrician even. When Michael told him that “Shannon got her hunting license” he told Michael that he had all kinds of goodies to help in my endeavor.

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Look Mom, my first turkey of the season!

Now, I’ve got to tell you that there had been a swift change of plans. We were originally scheduled to hunt at his friend Jeremy’s house, but with the weather change and conversation with Leon, we went to Leon’s instead for opening day. In addition to the perdy girl I’m holding in the picture, he also let us use his Tom decoy, a pop up blind, chair, back pack cushion, and a big ole turkey gun. (I stuck with my crossbow though)

After getting all the gear together, Leon took us back to “turkey heaven” and yea, if I was a turkey, I would live there. We popped up the blind, set out the decoys, and the rain came down. It was freezing. Our feet were wet, because it had rained all night previously. Not wanting to burst my opening day bubble, he also didn’t tell me that turkeys are a lot like our chickens, they don’t like to get their feet wet. Still though, he sat out with me for hours while I played turkey tunes on my Tom Coffin. Lookie there, what’s that over in the field?

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Taken through the mesh window of the blind, the only turkeys out and about were our decoys, only the wind kept messing with them lol

We didn’t get a turkey on Saturday, but we enjoyed the sounds and smells of nature at it’s finest. Yeah, it would have been finer warm and dry, but I was just thankful that my health is good enough these days to even sit in the woods for hours. win-win. On the way home, he told me about how “my sign” had been a bad sign, and that we could go again Sunday.

It was not a complete loss though, Leon sent us home with the gear, a few pounds of venison (they love my jerky), and some smoked sausage a friend of their’s had made (and yes, it’s so good, it’s pert near gone).

Sunday Morning we awoke not so early, around 6:00 am. We ate some vittles, loaded up the car and headed to Jeremy’s house. We quietly followed the trail to and through the woods when we happened upon a posse of turkeys who flew up into the trees when they saw us. Not another bad sign I hoped, when Sir Hotsalot got the home-made blind made of forest parts (I couldn’t take a picture, had to be quiet) and I got the pop up blind. He sat out the decoys and told me I had to call those turkeys back. I got busy talking turkey with my Tom Coffin.

It was so cool just sitting out in the woods. I saw some hawks and crows. There was a lady bird talking to me, so I talked back to her. I heard a strange noise, past the blind he was in, but couldn’t see what it was. Then there was a clanking noise like someone was banging sticks around and a whoooooosh! “did you see that?” he asked. “See what?” I said. “It was two Toms, a big one came out of nowhere, then a little one came over to him and they were fighting”. (They were fighting over me of course, thinking I was a perdy girly bird…)

We waited a while longer, those two were out of range (about 75 yards, Leon had told him the furthermost distant for that gun was 60 yards, so he didn’t take a shot and they flew off anyways). On the way back to the car he told me about how pretty they were and he wished I could have seen them. I told him it was ok, yeah, I was heartbroken, but at least I saw the decoys lol.

Since I was down in the dumps, he decided to take me back to the woods that afternoon. We didn’t take the pop up blind, both of us used the diy one. Talking turkey, I managed to get some gobbles. “Do you see that?” he asked “Is it a stick?” I said as it turned it’s head, it was watching us at 65 yards away. “Cover your ears” he said, but I didn’t, BOOM!

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So, I didn’t get a turkey, but I did get a turkey. I got my picture made with his turkey, and that was good enough for then. I’ve got until May 11 to get one of my own.

I got to tote the turkey part way out of the woods. I petted his soft feathers and thanked him for the nourishment he would be providing our family.

It was a lot different than heading to the market to buy a frozen turkey. Some folks tend to think hunting is a bad thing, and well, I don’t think hunting is bad, but there are bad hunters. Folks who look for a “trophy” rather than “food”. Thinking back years ago when the deer population was so dense that they were dying of starvation, not a humane way to go btw, hunters are needed so that things like that don’t happen often. Plus with hunting food, you know that they had a “normal” life, free of cages, antibiotics and other unsavory things you can read about mass produced livestock.

I learned in my first time being a huntress that this is something I want to one day teach my grandchildren. I don’t want them growing up on genetically engineered foods, I want them to know where food comes from and not be afraid to step out of their own comfort zones. I want them to see the world with their own eyes rather than surf the net or play video games. I want them to enjoy nature at its finest. Because of that, we picked them up a couple of bows (plastic, no points) to start practicing with. I’m picking them up this afternoon for an extended weekend of general goofiness.