Hello, folks! I like to write, and I like to cook and play with my camera, so here’s a blog for all of this. The intent here to write about anything that relates to food that interests me. There will be some recipes and some poking around the rest of the Web and riffing off of that, and there will be thoughts about food and diet and agriculture in general, too. Even as I started this blog, some of the nuances of how I usually choose to eat were changing. And I’m discovering more as time goes on, as I read and eat, and discover what works best for me, a “scientific” sample size of One. (These things have enabled me to lose weight and get healthier in other regards, too.)
As for the title: some day I want to raise goats and chickens. I also want to plant more veggies than I can in my current shade-strewn home. I’d like, actually, to raise nearly all my vegetables at home, some day. (With the exception of essentials such as lime, avocado and artichoke, not remotely hardy in New England, though I have seen small examples of the latter at one farmers’ market. “Small” in both senses of the word.)
Right now, we’ll say I’ve had issues with weight — 55-60 pounds over what the charts claim I should weigh. At that time I also had some issues with my heart — nothing definitive when checked medically, but I remain pretty certain. It was time to fine-tune what I generally eat.
I first tested out the induction phase of the “South Beach Diet”, which was good in that I did lose some weight. It came back because I hadn’t thought about any real plans for the future, and I still kept eating the cafeteria food at work. Yes, at home I cooked — and had been cooking — using fresh ingredients — but I probably brought my own lunch food to work maybe once a week. Yep, they had all those “heart healthy” food choices on the cafeteria line — laced with added sugars and starches and flavor extenders, and of course those fats that were indeed there were of the marginal variety — ever wonder why the word “margarine” seems to derive from the word “marginal”?
However. I finally got serious, and lost 35 pounds quickly, by removing most starches and those “added” sugars from over 95% of my diet, starting three years ago. Another 5 got shed more slowly. Potential heart events decreased to zero — we still haven’t a firm diagnosis, alas, but right now there are no symptoms to diagnose over. I bring my own lunch to work — I KNOW what is in it. I stopped eating potato chips – my true weakness. Very few added sugars. There is some more weight I should shed, and there is some fluctuation, but I no longer feel I have to keep aspirin for my heart to hand immediately.
As per eating “low gluten” — I do not have Celiacs, but I have read William Davies’ book, Wheat Belly. I work with someone who keeps testing non-Celiac, but who cannot digest wheat gluten, in any form. Based on both of these data sources, I figure the increased amount of gluten in today’s wheat is a signal to limit ingestion of it. For me, what this means is that at home, I am essentially gluten-free. When I am out, while I try to moderate my overall grain intake anyway, I’ll eat gluten-containing foods. While gluten per-se probably had no influence on my weight-y issues (it is a protein after all, not a carb), the rapid increase of this substance in the standard American diet is a cause to reflect on how much of it we may be eating, and what we might be consuming which perhaps we should not be. And of course I prefer to eat foods that someone’s great-grandparent, (not necessarily my own) would have heard of, somewhere on this planet.
For me, the ideal food plate when I eat at home, or bring meals to work, potlucks, etc., consists of mostly vegetables, a good amount of whole eggs, healthy seafoods: Healthy fats, good proteins, healthy carbs from real foods (minimal starches from grains and very little sugar from processed additives), limiting my dairy — although quality yogurt, and some cheese is fine; and a reasonable amount of fruit works well for me. Indeed, my triglyceride levels and my HDL to LDL levels improved greatly with this food plan. Increasing fermented foods and probiotics have also been health-inducing.