BLOG: Health Tips, Recipes/Old & New, Politics and Personal Comment
When I was married in 1972 at the age of 17, I knew how to make tuna sandwiches and macaroni and cheese with tomato sauce and tuna. That's about it. My father instilled a love of reading in me by taking his children to public libraries. I grew up believing that if I could read, the world was mine to learn from. For some reason, I've always been interested in cooking great food, and so I combined my love of reading with my fascination for the endless ways to enjoy food.
I gathered recipes, used my old standby Betty Crocker Cookbook that my mother used, and when I went to church gatherings in those days, I would find a great dish and get the recipe. I smile when I find a recipe collection from a particular group of women, but now when I realize all the MSG in those Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken soups, for instance, I shy away and change out the recipe if I can. I haven't used Jello pudding or Jello for a while, because instant or sugar-free processed food or red dyes aren't part of my health lexicon any longer. I remember that green Pistachio pudding salad, with that artificial Cool Whip, etc. but after reading about Propylene Glycol, etc., I choose a bit more wisely. Lately I was very disappointed to read the label on Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and see it now contains High Fructose Corn Syrup. I wrote the company and let them know they have now desecrated one of the most dear family products I loved to use in marinades and salad dressings, etc. I asked if they still have the original recipe that we can buy vs. the glyphosate that causes cancer and obesity. (The third generation of mice fed Monsanto's GMO's were sterile.)
These days I can go to my favorite sites like 101cookbooks.com or Allrecipes.com via the computer, and find lots of recipes I'd like to try. The comments beneath the recipes are just as valuable as the original instructions, for ideas and using alternate ingredients one has in the cupboards and fridge at home.
Raising my children, I baked a lot of bread, even grinding the wheat, learned about sprouting, made my own yogurt, canned multiple bushels of peaches, pears, applesauce and apple butter, tomatoes, grape juice, jams, and even tried making pickles. I remember my Mom making watermelon pickles, and sweet gherkins, and homemade root beer and ice cream. Now we turn to Greek Yogurt and small ice cream freezers for frozen yogurt, and organic milk without the added antibiotics and growth hormones, and our breads are leaning to low or no gluten varieties, with different flours to try. I want to make oat flour, for instance, and a goal is to get a Vita Mix or Blendtech Blender to make rice flour, etc.
Making my own rice or almond milk, learning that wheat grass is a great detoxifier, incorporating more protein into my diet to sustain energy, reduce sugar spikes, and reduce carb cravings are some of the changes for me. Juicing and green smoothies, fermented foods and a greater interest in growing my own greens, etc. is part of my nutrition focus.
I also take food supplements, mainly Shaklee's, as their method of using natural low heat processing that preserves the enzymes and cofactors of food for bio-availability or absorption, without the additives and preservatives is what I've personally found by trial and error, to work best for my body. I have used different vitamins in my 61 years, etc., but as I've researched, this 50+ yr. old company with their ethics and tested products not only appeal to my intellect, but my own health has proven that they work.
I'll share a story in my blog soon about the difference in taking a synthetic prenatal vs. Shaklee's multi-vitamin/mineral called Vita Lea. Phenomenal difference. Sometimes we just forget what works for us, and why we feel good. I've learned the hard way that taking care of self is a priority. There is a saying: "If you don't take care of yourself, where will you live?"
Even though I worked hard as a single mom of 7, I really didn't know much about nutrition, the importance of balancing carbs and proteins, acid vs. alkaline results, why probiotics are critical, etc. It was only after I had raised my kids, and was caring for my father that I was diagnosed with cancer, and had to research nutrition and healing at a whole new level to survive.
I've outlived my Oncologist, who used to pass out Twinkies to his patients. When I asked him if it was true medical doctors only had about an hour of nutritional training, he said yes, and he wasn't interested. He said he didn't listen. Well, sugar can make cancer grow rapidly. Cancer cells have a lot more insulin receptors than normal cells. Just the chemicals in processed foods like Twinkies require energy to sort, isolate and delete for an often overburdened immune system. 90% of all diseases start in the colon. Good elimination, detoxing and nutrition, sufficient water and exercise are key to health and energy. But I digress... I will share more of my research and personal experiences with health, later.
I have a love for baking. Bread sticks w/ poppy seeds or parmesan or chunky garlic salt or all 3 on top, soft pretzels w/ coarse sea salt, gingerbread cake or cookies, scones made with homemade bread dough slathered with honeybutter, chewy butterscotch brownies , sticky buns with rich caramelized brown sugar and corn syrup and nuts, quiches, and fruit pies of all kinds, and cream pies. I used to buy cream in a gallon jar from the dairy, and split it up with other moms. With a homemade pudding mix, the cream pies were on some out of this world scale. I also love to make good soups like Mattie's Bean soup, Tortilla Soup, Pea Soup, Chicken Noodle or Dumplings, Chile, Senagalese Peanut Chicken Soup, casseroles, and salads. For as small as I am, you'd never know how much I love....to eat good food. It is one of those pleasures in life that I enjoy. Sharing my cooking brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction, also.
I watched my mother make whole wheat bread, Shooflie pies made of molasses and a crumb topping, and gingerbread houses. One year she made gingerbread houses to sell for money to buy her ten children Christmas gifts. Baking and cooking is part of my life as a woman and mother, and I loved spoiling my father when he lived with me in his late seventies and early eighties. I had to watch my Dad, as his short term memory loss allowed him to forget he had already eaten a banana, for instance, and he would down a couple more just because he loved to eat. When I made waffles one day, and a friend came over, I went outside to talk for a minute till my friend left, while my dad got into the powdered sugar and the pint jar of strawberry freezer jam. Almost half of the jar was gone when I got up the stairs, which was alarming. I worried that the blood sugar could increase his blood pressure. My dad just had a contented smile on his face. He recognized good home cooking, and was always expressing gratitude for my care, and his ability to live with the only person in the world that he trusted.
My attention has turned more to using grains, seeds and veggies vs. meat and baked goods, but I still believe in balance. Perhaps that is part of being a Libra, born on the 20th of October, but balancing my blood chemistry, making note that it's tipped to alkaline is key to my health. So, my eye for cooking is much more natural and simple these days, occasionally mixed in with the flavors and smells reminiscent of younger days....
One of my favorite food/cooking blogs is 101cookbooks.com Heidi has been blogging for a long time, and she uses whole foods, grains, seeds, fresh fruits and veggies in her recipes. She takes wonderful photographs of her process and end result, and also shares photos from her travels. Recipes and culture from many different countries and her health conscious, simple way of cooking makes her an inspiration and a welcome contributor to my own cooking world. I made her ginger cookie recipe more than once with the fresh grated ginger in them, and can't think about those morsels without wanting to make them in a hot second. Another favorite was her broccoli and quinoa dish. I think you'll enjoy her blog, also.
Since I am still trying to figure out the software on my webpage Sitebuilder, after this initial blog entry below, perhaps the best way to keep current with the latest blogs, is to go to my original blog:
I posted a page last week on some Greens recipes here, and promptly lost it. I'll have to repeat that effort. So for now, I'll dovetail my Cafe for the Soul/CounselingwithPamela site with my Lean Green Cafe blog, above. It's a way to get familiar with me as a person, to discover your comfort in working with me as a professional.
On my Lean Green Cafe blog, I speak openly and frankly about my life, including my family of origin, my children, some of my experiences with sexual abuse, relationships, etc.
I share poetry I've written, national and world health issues and politics, and share the 50+ year old Natural food supplement company I use and love to give others the opportunity to build their immune systems, overcome cancer and heal many other health concerns. Comments and questions are welcome...