Haiku of the Day

this path a hundred times

the curve in the middle

always a mystery

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Of Cucumbers and Chia

On Monday I started a 3 day cleansing detox diet consisting almost entirely of vegetables and seeds. There’s a little fruit in there, but not much.

In my opinion, eating vegetables and seeds for three days straight counts as a kind of fast. Not a hardcore one, of course, but ‘no meat’ definitely qualifies as a partial fast, and an easy ‘no chocolate’ or ‘no obscure tropical fruits’ kind of partial fast.

And, I suppose, a fast is kind of what I was looking for. I’m a little scared by the idea of not eating at all for several days in a row. I get cranky when my blood sugar drops. Cranky and tired.

But over Christmas I very deliberately laid aside my ideas of what I should be eating and I feasted. To properly balance this requires some kind of a fast.

And that is how I ended up eating almost two cucumbers a day for the past three days. In my opinion, that more cucumber than could be considered reasonable for one person to eat.

I’ve actually enjoyed the ginger tea in the mornings (though I added a bit of honey to make it more palatable), and juice for breakfast is quite tasty and more filling than I would expect liquid to be. I get hungry in a couple of hours, but carrot sticks do okay at filling me up until lunch.

It’s at lunch when the problems start. My body does not want more vegetables at this point. The avocados in the salad are tasty, and the carrot and nori seaweed are entirely tolerable. But bite after bite after bite of cucumber with the above ingredients gets a bit old. I still eat two bowls because I’m hungry.

In the afternoon I get a couple handfuls of sunflower sprouts. I’ve read these are are amazingly good for you with high levels of vitamin E and selenium, and almost 25% protein. Protein is great, but they are still just seeds, and a couple handfuls is about all I want.

So far, I’m still doing okay. I’ve got just a bit of hungry feeling going on in the background for a good part of the day, but not enough to really distract me, and I know there’s plenty of food around if I get desperate… um, if I really want it.

Then we hit suppertime. Vegetable soup. Who ever thought that a soup made out of vegetables and water was a good idea. It’s not that it tastes bad. It’s actually pretty good. It’s just… thin. Two bowls do not fill me up, and I do not want any more, but neither do I want to go to bed hungry.

I think chia seed pudding is the only reason I made through this diet without breaking down into tears. Chia seeds, coconut milk, cinnamon and a touch of honey. Definitely the best thing I’ve eaten on this diet, and it makes me feel like I’ve eaten real food. Especially when I scarfed down three servings of it the first day trying to feel full… (This is okay because chia seeds are great at absorbing toxins from your system, so I’m pretty sure extra isn’t hurting the detox at all.)

This afternoon I mixed things up a little and put some sunflower seed sprouts in the chia pudding, which was also pretty good.

Over all though, my conclusions are thus:

I don’t want to see a cucumber again for at least four months.

I don’t ever, ever want to become a vegetarian or worse, vegan. I would starve while constantly eating.

I would totally eat chia seed pudding again.

I’d rather go back on gaps than do this detox again. At least then I got to eat meat and butter!

I’m glad I did this once, and despite my above comment, I might even repeat it sometime. It was a good ‘fasting while still being functional at normal life’ experience, and despite my complaints, it’s probably good for me to be hungry every once in a while.

I’m planning to finish out my third day with more vegetable soup and chia seed pudding, but I am going to add a little meat to my soup to celebrate making it through the detox, because I don’t think it will impede the cleanse much anyway at this point, and because I really do think my body does better with animal proteins and three days is stretching it a bit far on just vegetables.

Take Two Truffles…

I’ve been taking coconut oil every morning for my thyroid. It seems to be doing something, too, as I’m getting hungry a lot more often. Oh, yeah, and have more energy to go along with that. It’s been pretty cool to function like a normal person this week–not like an energetic person, mind you, but like a normal, work through the afternoon without feeling dead by evening kind of person.

I started out just taking a spoonful of coconut oil every morning. The taste doesn’t bother me and it’s a no fuss, no hassle way to get in my dose of coconut oil. I discovered, however, that while coconut oil in food is perfectly fine with my stomach, eating a spoonful of plain coconut oil, even right after breakfast, causes some odd reflux problems.

The first alternative method is coconut oil in coffee. The coconut oil seems to make it extra creamy, and even just coffee makes the coconut oil more digestible for my stomach. So sometimes I start my day with a mug of decaf coffee, with a big dollop of coconut oil, a squirt of homemade, honey sweetened chocolate syrup and plenty of raw milk.

The problem with that is, unlike the average american, having coffee every single day doesn’t fit into my routine that well. Especially when I’m also trying to start drinking a blend of teas for my thryroid and apple cider vinegar every morning. (The apple cider vinegar started when I was trying to avoid getting sick, and it worked so well I didn’t want to stop, especially since it also gave me more energy.)

So, what, you may ask, is the ideal way to take coconut oil every morning?

Truffles.

Really, what could be better than improving your health by eating a truffles every morning? Other than maybe improving your health by eating two truffles every morning…

I roughly followed this recipe, but simplified it and increased the ratio of coconut oil to other ingredients by just using 1 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup honey.

The bowl of truffle mixture sat in my fridge for several days before I got around to rolling them into truffles. Until then, I just took a big spoonful every morning and whenever I needed an energy boosting snack. They were very messy when I actually went to roll them, but I have to say, even more convenient to eat once they were trufflized.

I may want to try cinnamon truffles next (using coconut oil), or even combine the two recipes.

This morning I’ve been trying all the home remedies I can think of to try to continue warding off the sicknesses that are going around. Last night I started to come down with a sore throat, and Colton sent me to bed and made up some sore throat spray for me. This morning the sore throat is gone but I’m really tired, like my body is fighting something off. After vitamin C, cod liver oil, and apple cider vinegar I started going through the rest of my normal list of home remedies. And then I thought: truffles.

Coconut oil and honey are both antibacterial and antifungal, right? And while the cocoa isn’t as amazing as amazing as raw cacoa would be, it seems to still be generally pretty good for you.

So this morning I’m taking it easy and nibbling on truffles to keep from getting sick. (But I draw the line at watching soap operas…)

Christmas Recipes

I came up with some really good recipes over Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m posting them here mostly so I don’t forget them entirely before next year. (It’s already a bit of guess work to remember exactly what amounts I used.) Don’t you feel¬†privileged that you get to use my new and exciting recipes too?

 

Christmas Fruit Salad

1 pound kiwis, peeled and sliced

seeds of one pomegranate

3-4 oranges, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup yogurt

1/2 cup sour cream

2 TBSP triple sec (orange liqueur)

Mix all ingredients

 

Garlic Green Beans

6 pounds green beans

1 pound butter

1 head of garlic, peeled and minced

salt to taste

In batches, add ingredients to a cast iron skillet and sautee until green beans are beginning to brown. Transfer to crockpot to keep warm.

 

Coffee Glaze for Ham

1 1/2 cups strong coffee

3/4 cup cream

1/2 cup maple syrup

Mix all ingredients  and pour over fully cooked ham in crockpot. Cook on high for about 4 hours.

Twenty-Thirteen: A Duct Tape Odyssey

I don’t make new year’s resolutions. It smacks too much of setting yourself up to fail and feeding lame jokes. I really don’t want any part of the mass sales of low fat cheese or spandex and lycra.

On the other hand, a new year does make me pause and look at my life. In retrospect 2012 was a year of waiting. There were a lot of big plans that were going to kick into gear after a low key first year of marriage. We were going to move toward buying a house and having children, have people over for dinner more often and spend more time practicing for the rifle match. Instead, the biggest thing that happened all year is I got diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have diagnosis and therefore a treatment plan and be moving toward functioning like a normal human being. But getting diagnosed with Lyme wasn’t exactly on my bucket list, you know?

God looked at all our big plans and said ‘not yet’. I’m used to that, but I’m still not good at figuring out what I’m supposed to be doing while I wait.

Since January first I’ve made several lists of things I want to get done this year, tried to narrow them down to a small focus that can actually be accomplished, and gotten distracted by how many cool ideas I’d like to follow up on. I’ve started reading books on productivity and gotten stumped on what my area of impact actually is.

And suddenly I decided I want to be a writer.

I’ve known this since I was twelve, but I’ve never really followed up on it. I had the lightbulb explosion many years ago of being told that I am already a writer, and I’ve written enough haiku to fill a small book (if I’d ever actually collected all the good ones and published it…) , but I’ve never stuck with one project for more than a few weeks.

I’m not entirely sure what this looks like now, or where exactly it falls on that priority list I’ve constructed, but I know it’s gotten bumped up a few notches. We’ll see what happens with that…

And I still don’t know what my area of impact is.