Monday, October 22, 2012

Political time of year...have we all gone crazy?

"I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!"

I can't think of an election year when I feel more and more compelled to say that.  I am not one to really talk politics with people just because they think that as a gay man I should be voting one way.  Well it ain't true.  I look at issues, I look at candidates and I look at the playing field.  This year there is a candidate who actually makes sense his policies are right out there in line with the "we the people" and "ALL men are created equal."  He speaks on issues that would affect a wide variety of people not just the upper class, the lower class, the middle class, the class-less.  He has a plan that I believe in and I believe it would actually bring REAL change to this country.  He speaks with facts and figures and not just rhetoric.  His policy would affect EVERYONE, and this is what needs to be done, affect EVERYONE not just some.  This candidate believe you should be able to marry WHO EVER you want.  He believes that marijuana should be declared legal and taxed and regulated like cigarettes and alcohol.  He would also pardon those "criminals" who have been detained for possession of this that same thing.  There is only one problem with this candidate.  He isn't part of the "two party" system.  He isn't mainsteam, although he was the governor of a state and not only turned the budget around but made a surplus, which has now been squandered.  His name is Gary Johnson and he makes sense.  He isn't pandering to corporations, he isn't a friend of Wall Street.  I've never met the guy but I read a heck of a lot about him and have heard some of his speeches he has given on the internet.  He just wants people to have the personal freedom they deserve and it makes sense.  It's about time someone stood up to these quacks in DC including the current president and said HELLO??? Who are you working for??? YOURSELF, CORPORATIONS OR AMERICA?  It's also time to stop mentioning the bible in every speech given.  This nation was founded on the principles of free speech, free religion, free press.  There should be NO mention of god anywhere because NOT EVERYONE BELIEVES IN a god, the god or multiple gods.  We are a civil society and I feel like the congress and senate have been acting more like a Kindergarten class gone out of control.  Get with the program people and get along, you make us look bad when you can't get simple things done.

Vote Gary won't take votes away from anyone since the people don't elect the president anyway, but it may send a message that we are sick of just a choice of two and the two are the same piles of crap.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Spaghetti Squash "Lasagna"

A meatless meal WHAT?!?!
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna...maybe

So I just want to say that I love meat and if you have read my blog and my brush with Veganism and being a Vegetarian you know how unsuccessful it was and how it just blew chunks.  So this is the first time in a LONG time that I have made a meat-less meal.  It all began with a spaghetti squash which I got in our CSA share.  I was not happy because every other time I have tried to make or eat this bland gross squash I have been disappointed and disappointed is putting it lightly.  I had tried everything from baking it with butter and salt and pepper. Roasting it with EVOO, microwaving it, putting maple syrup on it.  So I looked up some recipes and put a few things together from them and came up with this.  I only use a few ingredients so it pretty easy too!  As always you can substitute as you need! I was thinking about adding some sausage or pepperoni the next time I make it.
1 Spaghetti Squash 
1 Jar of sauce or 4 cups of homemade marinara sauce
2 cups of sliced portobello mushrooms
8 oz of fresh mozzarella (sliced)
1TBSP of dried oregano
 salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
9x11 rectangular pan (whatever size you have) 

1. Roast the Spaghetti Squash (Oven at 400, cut in half lengthwise pour about 2 TBSP of EVOO on the squash between the two halves, Salt and pepper to taste Roast for about an hour or until the edges are browned.
2. Scoop out the Spaghetti from the inside of the squash into a bowl, that is exactly what it looks like, noodles, so this is going to act as noodles.

3. Brown the mushrooms in a little butter
4. Start layering the lasagna

     Start with a little sauce on the bottom of the pan
     next add a layer of squash
     add a layer of sauce
     tear up the slices of mozzarella and put on the sauce
     sprinkle oregano on top of the cheese

5. Repeat and end with cheese or sauce (your choosing)


6. Bake covered for 30 min
7. Uncover and bake for 5-10 min depending on tenderness of squash.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Life changes in 10 years...and a moment.

So it has been a while since I have posted. Well a lot has happened in these last few months! It seems like a lifetime since I have eaten a good primal meal and it seems like a long time since I have done exercise. I am trying I am trying but it is hard when your life changes suddenly. It seems like one day you are taking a vacation and living it up with your good friends in Kentucky and the next min poof! You are holding a one month old baby. That is what happened to us! We have been planning adoption and waiting for the last few years and we were at the point of waiting and then we got the phone call! This post isn't about that though I have a blog devoted to the adoption here. This post is about how life changes and what to do when you don't have 9 months or even 1 month to prep for a baby. We are a gay couple, seriously, gay gay gay. You know what though we live our lives everyday we cook our meals, stimulate the economy, we bought a house, two cars, etc. We take exotic vacations to places like Owensboro, KY and eat the local cuisine (burgoo stew...and KY BBQ.). We hang with the locals and pay our taxes. The biggest difference between my relationship and one of what the government considers "real" are all the extra hoops I need to jump through. The thousand or so tax break that I don't get because my husband is a man and not a woman. The countless background checks we need to get to make sure we will be good parents and then someone tells me how many children I can have. Sounds good right? Not so much. Sometimes I feel normal, sometimes I feel second-class. I am a gay father now and when I walk around the mall with stroller I get some looks, but usually the old woman saying how cute my baby is. They look at him and wonder where is the mom, and why is this darker skinned child with this pasty white dude: assumption: mom is working, shopping, and darker skinned. One of those is correct, but I digress. About 20 years ago I imagined myself as a father at some point having a kid or three and giving them the things I had and giving them things I didn't have. I was 12 I imagined what life would be like and it involved a kid. About 15 years ago I was imagining the same thing except this time I was trying to imagine myself not in Maine, or at least living in a bigger city using public transport and shopping with my spouse and kids, going to events and what not. I had come to terms with the fact I was gay so I wasn't going to be able to get married and I would either have to convince a girl friend to have a baby for me or I would have had to adopt. Either way I wanted a kid. When I came out to myself it was hard and when I came out to my family it wasn't so hard. A few people in my life had paved the way so I knew it wouldn't be terrible, but how was I going to have a kid? As the years went on it became harder to see my future, I heard lots of negative talk about being gay and hated it. I never came out at my jobs because it didn't know how people would react. I would usually gauge the environment and then slowly drop hints and then come out. About 10 or so years ago I was participating in AmeriCorps, doing my civic duty and as part of the program our way cool program director decided to bring in a guy to do an excersise with us about our future. At this point I was screwed...I had been in the hospital a few times, transferred colleges a few times and was having a hard time in life. How was I to know what I wanted in 10 years? It was a tough excersise but I worked through it. The excersise was called Personal Catalyst or PCat. We basically had to list a few things we wanted to accomplish and then think about a time line within the next 10 years we wanted to accomplish them. Looking at the list we then had to rank from easiest to hardest. We also had to write a personal statement for our 10 year selves. Well I am glad to say with the exception of part of the last one, I have accomplished everything on my list!my personal statement went something like this (paraphrasing but I had it in my hands a year ago) I'm living in my 3 bedroom 2 bath house in a smallish city. I am legally married to my spouse and we have 2 dogs, a cat and 2.5 children. Our house has a white picked fence and walk in closets. I have an advanced degree and am working on the next step of my education. I am a teacher and have been for a few years. In our back yard we have a garden and I have learned how to pickle and preserve my own veggies. Looking at this statement I always thought it was the American dream, own a house, live in the suburbs, have some kids and some pets...walk in know the things we had as kids. How was I to know I would get everything I wanted...well almost everything. I mean I was 21, 22 years old! Well I made a plan and had 10 years to complete it. I took baby steps toward my end goal and saw them take shape. My smallest goal was to buy a farmers almanac to learn more about planting and the seasons. Since then I have planted three gardens and they have all thrived, they were small gardens but thrived none the less. Another goal was to learn to can my own veggies, check! The ultimate goal was to have the house and the kids. Which I am glad to say two years ago I bought a house and this year I adopted a child! I guess the whole point was even with all the hurdles and obstacles that I encountered in life I achieved the goals I wanted to and I am a better person for it. I received my advanced degree and hopefully in the next few years will be working toward my next phase of schooling and get a more advanced degree. I am legally married in CT, and we are working on getting that DOMA defeated so that Jeremy and I can take advantage of the thousands of tax breaks and what not that hetero married couples enjoy. Let's hope this happens in the next few years!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chicken Adobo and Almond crackers

It's been a while since my last post to my love bacon.  As I have said on many occasions bacon has become one of my favorite foods.  I can use it for almost any meal and I can also use the remnants left in the pan.  This post is about that other meat that I eat so much of: Chicken.  The story is the same old same old, man get chicken, man cuts up chicken, man cooks chicken with veggies, man and man eat chicken.  This time though I had a breakthrough in the chicken department: a shiny new favor and recipe: Chicken Adobo.  It came in the knick of time because I was ready to not eat Bacon wrapped Chicken again so low and behold the higher power heard me and in the mail came the next issue of Cook's Illustrated, complete with Chicken Adobo recipe and also the background of how the perfect braise made the perfect meat and all the stuff they tried. So I haven't read the article just yet.  Jeremy did and told me to make it, so I did.  It is very Primal friendly.  The sauce is made of coconut milk and I subbed soy sauce for Tamari.  I don't have all the pictures from the process mostly because lately all the sauces I have been making seem to be the color of something that would come out of a 2 month old baby, not so appetizing to look at but VERY good to eat. so here is the recipe courtesy of Cook's Illustrated:
Chicken Adobo:
8 chicken thighs (bone in-skin on) trimmed
1/2 cup of Tamari
1 can coconut milk
3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
8 garlic cloves peeled
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of pepper
1 scallion sliced thin

1. toss the chicken with the Tamari in a bowl and let it soak for 30 min to 1 hour in the fridge
2.Remove the chicken from the Tamari allowing excess to drip into the bowl, transfer chicken skin side down to a HOT 12 inch skillet.
3. Cook chicken for 7-10 min, while chicken is cooking whisk together the Tamari, coconut milk, vinegar, garlic, and spices.

4. Transfer chicken to a plate and discard fat from the pan.  Return the chicken to the pan skin side down.  Add the Tamari mixture to the pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered for 20 min.  Flip chicken over and cook skin side up until the temp reaches 175.    Transfer chicken to a platter and top with a foil tent.
5. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce and skim any fat off the surface of the sauce.  return skillet to medium high heat and cook the sauce until thickened.  Pour sauce over chicken sprinkle with Scallions.

This is the finished product.  As you can see I added something else to the plate.  It's white but it isn't rice or mashed potatoes.  It's Cauliflower!  Steamed Riced Cauliflower!

1/2 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup of water
2 TBSP of butter

Steam the cauliflower in whatever kind of steamer you may have. I use this one from the pampered chef, i've used one forever and when I finally got my own place I decided I needed to have my own so I bought one, then I decided I needed a bigger one so I got the bigger one.  It's great for fresh steamed and for frozen veggies.  Anyways, steam the crap outta that cauliflower (I did something like 7 min) so it kind of falls apart with a fork.

I then blend it in the food processor until it resembles rice and add the butter and whatever spices you want. It does the trick!


Alright I admit I loves crackers, chips, pretzels, popcorn, and everything crunchy!!!  They are so hard to resist and yet over the past few months I have fought back the urges to eat all crackers in site.  I have occasionally have had a plain lays potato chip, and maybe one or two tortilla chips at a Mexican restaurant, but I think I would have gone crazy without the one little nibble.  Nothing happened but still.  I wanted a yummy little occasional snack that I could also make into an appetizer for a party or bring to a friends house or have at one of my parties. So I was reading Mark's Daily Apple and happened upon the recipe and idea for the occasional Almond Cracker.  I followed some of the recipe, made an oops but will try them again.

Here is what I did:
Preheat oven to 350

8 oz of raw almonds
2 TBSP sunflower seeds
1 TBSP of herbs (I used some fresh Rosemary and Oregano from the Garden)
2 TBSP of olive oil
1 egg
a little parm cheese

1. Mix the almonds and sunflower seeds and herbs in the food processor until it resembles flour.
2. Add the egg and parm cheese
3. Drizzle in the Olive Oil

I ended up just patting this mixture into a cookie sheet scored the dough into squares and baking them for about 15 min.

The other suggestion is to use to sheet of parchment paper, or make the dough into a roll and freeze for 10 min and cut and bake.  My way worked fine.  I may try the other ways when I get some of that Parchment paper.

I ended up breaking them up and putting them on a wire rack to cool.

I am thinking these would be good with a little Ikea Salmon paste!


Monday, March 19, 2012

An open letter to my love: Bacon

Dear Bacon,
  I just want to tell you how much I love and appreciate you.  Whenever I see you and include you in my meals you take that meal to the next level.  You always know how to make me feel better and perk up my day.  When I cook you and there is a little bit of fat left over I love nibbling on that little bit and it wakes up my senses and makes me so happy.  I do believe that a person has to smile when eating you.  Some people may give you a bad name and I say poo-poo to them.  Obviously they have not tried the many different varieties or they have not tasted the greatness of you in the uncured farm style.  Please tell the manufactures to stop masking your flavors with preservatives and yuckiness.  You need to stay in your true form lightly smoked and uncured.
I also wanted to thank those farmers who do keep you in real form so I may reserve all of that yummy rendered fat.  That fat just accelerates the taste of any veggie and also provides this body with that special taste and that certain something to make EVERYTHING you touch taste 100x better.

Again thank you for making me feel good, tasting great, and being a great food for ANY meal!

Stay true, no preservatives and you will ALWAYS have a place in my tummy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

IF...Intermittent Fasting...and no one got hurt.

So a few posts back I had mentioned I was going to start incorporating something into my diet called IF (Intermittent Fasting) into my diet just to help out my metabolism.  IF is part of the Primal Blueprint which I have been following since Jan 1.  Basically it is a fast, it is suppose to be unscheduled, but some people schedule them either throughout the week or during the day or even eat one meal a day.  I spoke about doing this during my vacation in Key West, and I didn't even realize I was.  This was because we got up late, met new friends, laid in the sun (and shade) (all in the name of getting adequate Vitamin D,) and just didn't do anything during the day.
So the way that this IF is laid out seems similar to when I had to fast for my colonoscopy except I don't have to drink the laxative.  Also like the many times I have fasted for blood tests the next day.  During the vacation it turned into a fast during the day.  We ate dinner the night before around 7 or 8 and then had a few (or more then a few) drinks, fell asleep, and woke up the next day at 9 or 10.  Got outside sometime maybe around 11 and stayed between the sun, shade and pool for the better part of a day.  Until we ate dinner.  So my vacation fast was really without thinking about and I was limiting my eating to the back end of my day.  So now I have decided to make a conscious choice to not eat for one whole day (more like 36 hours.)  So last Wednesday evening I ate my dinner, and decided to start fasting, and continue not only the next day, but to break my fast on Friday morning. Here is the tale of that day Thursday:
I woke up feeling normal since I had eaten the day before.  This day I had to leave fairly early for a few appointments with a few people who actually did get on my nerves, BUT I wasn't going to let them best me, and I wasn't going to let me hunger take over.  I decided if I was going to do this I was only going to sip some tea and water throughout the day, at least I would be hydrated.  So I got my tea and off I went.  The first appointment was not terrible, but around 12 I was starting to feel a little loopy, I shook it off and had some more tea.  I was definitely feeling hungry, but I was going to keep going.  I had a little break between appointments and had landed myself in NYC a little early so I took a seat at a Starbucks and had some tea.  I texted with my friend Josh and Nicole just to keep sane, as I could feel the hunger take over, but I pulled through, no one was hurt yet.  I had my second appointment and started talking to the two lovely SLP's.  I started hearing myself and I thought, am I talking or are words just coming out of my mouth.  I stopped, apologized if I was talking nonsense because I was fasting and kept going, clearing my head and pushed through.  The appt was one was hurt YAY!  I grabbed a bottle of water for the ride home and headed home, singing showtunes and what not on my way up the New England Thruway.  I got home and felt really energized and thought it was such a nice day out and Ivy needed a walk so I took her to the park for a walk, then decided no, a RUN would be better.  So we loaded up and went for a trail run, after that I felt even better!  I got home and still felt good, I felt loopy as hell, but GREAT!
Eventually that night I fell asleep and the next morning I felt really clear headed and great, I had my normal breakfast of eggs, fruit and yogurt and went on with my day.  I highly recommend trying it, if you dare.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pulled Chicken...easy...good...yum

 In my quest to come up with new easy meals that I can cook in my slow cooker or don't need much prep time or I want to try something new I found this. Pulled Chicken!  Thanks to my cousin Brian and his girlfriend Claire and their culinary adventures (or the Slow Cooker Revolution cook book) they told me about the Pulled Chicken recipe.  I love anything with BBQ sauce and really I love chicken, and my slow cooker, and food.  So I searched for the recipe since I never got it from them but I couldn't find it, what I remember is boneless skinless chicken thighs and BBQ sauce, but I don't remember the order or the measurements or whatnot.  So I said F IT! and I used my Iron Chef cooking skills (maybe I think they are great, but probably not IRON CHEF quality, but I digress.)  I knew what I had to do and I had the ingredients, so I did what I could and came out with a lovely and tasty meal.  I have also been much more aggressive about reading labels since my stomach issues and eating bread (I knew I had them and now I KNOW they are real!) So I have been making sure if I get sauces that I am not making that they are Gluten-free or what not.  So here it is.  My take on Pulled Chicken, also with a help from a Kentucky friend who mentioned they cook their BBQ in Vinegar and then add the sauce after.

2-3 lbs Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs (organic, cage free...local, you know the drill)
2 TBSP of water
2 TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar

2 bottles of BBQ sauce (I used Lip Lickin' Sauce Sweet and Smoky AND Bold and Spicy)

Add the first three ingredients to the crock pot, turn it on low...forget it all day...

When you get back you will see that there is a whole lotta liquid in the pot.  It is a gorgeous smelling, yummy tasting liquid that you should NOT throw away but instead use as a base for a soup, which I did, which didn't come out the best, but that is my fault.

So don't throw the liquid out, save it, its stock, but drain it. Turn the dial down to warm setting or if you have a digital crock pot you are too fancy for me, so figure it out.  I only have High, Low, Warm and Off.
Shred that chicken with two forks and start adding the sauce.

This is post-shredding and with a little BBQ sauce added.
Keep adding sauce until it reaches the desired sauciness.
Here is the finished product, yum-yummy-yummers!  It was so good, I put a little cole-slaw on top of it yum!
By the way if you think you can eat a heaping helping, it is WAY more filling then you think. I took WAY too much and couldn't finish my little bowl.


Monday, February 27, 2012

A break while on vacation...or not

So as I said when I started this Primal Journey at the beginning of this year I was going to do this until my birthday with a short break while on vacation in Key West.  Well funny thing about breaks, they don't work or they don't do a body good.  While in Key West I was going to treat myself to some bread and butter, potatoes, some rice, maybe even a beer or 10.  So here is what happened when I ate that piece of bread for breakfast - it did my body bad, all day I was in a crappy mood, my stomach hurt and well I will leave it at that. I didn't even feel like having a few drinks at night.  I really just wanted to go back to the room and fall asleep and wish the pain away.  So I said okay, no bread.  I did have potatoes and some fried Conch fritters too so maybe it could have been that as well.  Anyways, the rest of the trip I stuck with salads or some kind of grilled protein (or raw protein - yummy fresh Oysters) and the veggies.  A few nights I had some rice, that was okay, one place had rice I couldn't taste because it was so salty, so I didn't eat it.  By the end of the week we had made friends with another couple who was staying at our guest house, and I think it was a combination of being lazy and not doing my usual body weight exercises and also the price of meals, but by wednesday we were only eating one meal a day and it happened to be at night.  I know that I was staying up late, partying the night away falling asleep sometime around 3am but still, one meal a week.  As I have been reading Mark Sisson's book The Primal Blueprint I read about the Intermittent Fasting and adding it a few days here and there.  I think it is time I try it a little more then just the one day.  Maybe I will do one full day, and maybe add from there see how I do.  I did come back from vacation a little lighter and a little more tan so all is not lost!  I also came back with possible Achilles Tendinitis as well, from what I don't quite know, but if I need more testing I soon will find out!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Salad, Salad, and more Salad

I love salad or should I say I love making and eating salad.  I love taking random veggies, fruit, protein and making a yummy creation.  Today was no exception to my salad meal.  Today I craved something a little different then the usual savory salad.  So this is what I did. I had a little salad left over from earlier in the week and I bought a container of berries and kiwi. I also added two hard boiled eggs and some left over raw goat's milk cheddar cheese.  I poured a little EVOO and some Sherry Vinegar and BAM, pretty good sweeter salad. I had a wondering Fage whole milk yogurt and now feel awesome!  I love food especially whole food put together and savored!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Primal Jambalaya

I got a little lazy this week, basically I did not stray from this recipe. It was a really good recipe. I just happen to have about a pound and a quarter of Maine Gulf Shrimp from Whole Foods (they were on sale) and I picked up some yummy Lamb Sausage from Sherwood Farms. So I found this recipe and YUMMERS! The Cauliflower surprised me but it was delish!  Even after a few days it is still good,  I didn't post a picture of it because again, it looked like baby poop, but was extremely tasty.  I served it with a side of sauteed kale SO GOOD!  Also this recipe is from the website here, but originally it was from Mark's Daily Apple a site I frequent very often. If you have a chance look it up, his books are good too!

Primal Jambalaya Recipe
2 c Chicken, breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced crushed
14 1/2 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried leaf thyme
1 tbsp parsley (fresh is preferable, but dried will do in a pinch!)
1 tsp chili powder
1 head, large cauliflower
8 oz shrimp (2 cups), shelled, deveined and cleaned
1 Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and lightly cook the sausage and chicken over medium heat.
2. Once golden, add onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until onion becomes translucent.
3. Transfer items from the frying pan into a large pot.
4. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, parsley and chili powder and bring to a simmer.
5. While the mixture is simmering (you’ll want to let it go for about 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally), place the cauliflower in a food processor and shred until it becomes the consistency of rice.
6. Add the cauliflower “rice” to the mixture and simmer for another 15 minutes until tender.
7. Add shrimp and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust other spices as needed. Serve piping hot. Serves 6.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eating with restrictions, while away for work...or modern day gathering

This is the third attempt to try and put down words about tripping it while on a diet.  Each time I have tried the editing software didn't save (I clearly pressed the save button,) I had some muddled thinking going on, or adult ADD kicked in a I would write a sentence and then find something more interesting like pictures of baby otters or kittens and puppies to look at, it happens.
Anyway lets start with my past post of packing for a weekend.  That was easy since I was driving and could easily pack whatever I need, I had access to a car, so I could drive to a store, or I didn't need to refrigerate anything.  So this is a little different, I am flying. Flying proves a little more difficult since well you have limited space, you can't bring your own liquids, and there is no refrigeration.  Also when driving I have a fairly quick trip so whatever I have goes right into a fridge if need be.  Also when driving I know where I am going, can easily go to a grocery store to pick up anything additional needed.  This time I was going to Ohio.  While I go to this location a few times a year and know where some things are it is still difficult when it comes to meals, esp meals provided by my company.  In the past they have consisted of a lot of bread, carbs, fried, and very few veggies.  This was snacks as well as meals.  Even if we went out for a meal it was very limited to pasta, fried meat of some sort or a veggie option which was usually pasta with veggie sauce.  So this time I made sure I was heard in terms of meals.  I was going to make a fuss and I was determined to eat well.  I am pleased to announce while the meals lacked flavor and protein, they were a good effort!  I told our coordinator what I could eat, and I got just that.  Salad and meat, salad and meat, steamed veggies and chicken.  I am so glad she works as hard as she does, she is a saint, it sometimes is like coordinating a meal for 30 kids and you know what I am the kid that "won't eat that."  At this point it't not "I won't eat that" but more in the realm of "I can't eat that." It worked I got what I needed and realized how much I miss protein and how much my body missed the satiety of the meat I usually eat in the morning, or the salad I make up for breakfast.
When eating away from home for a week I get creative and I start hunting and gathering.  I have read it on so many blogs,  you need to flexible and creative with your eating, but when the restaurant is also flexible it is so much the more better.  When they will willingly substitute the yummy brussels sprouts for the potato gratin, I VERY pleased (esp when they have Hendriks Gin as a bar choice).  When they will let me order the steak special with asparagus off the Pub menu because everything on the menu they provided is full bread bread and more bread, I am happy.  That is how you keep customers.  They way you don't keep customers is to whisper under your breathe about a person diet, or just flat out say "NO - can NOT do that."  Really, as a non-business person, that is not a way to run a business, but having worked in a restaurant, (fast-food Italian, but we cooked everything to order) I will say be flexible, cater to the customer because that customer is almost guaranteed not only to come back (if the food was good,)  but also tell a few people, or even will tell a few people either via the internet (blogs, like this one or other social media) or word of mouth.  So I want to do a shout out to two restaurants in Wooster, OH who were very accommodating as well and yummy.
First the Wooster Inn, which let me order the Steak pub special and let me have some veggie instead of the potato (thanks!)  The other actually had a pleasing Gluten-Free Menu and on there website they list the farms where their food comes from!  So good and local, my favorite! So South Market Bistro you get 5 thumbs up for being yummy, creative, flexible, accommodating, friendly, and well priced!  I will be looking forward to coming back this summer for some more delicious food (did I mention the Brussels Sprouts were my favorite!!!)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pickles...take two

Alright here it is, my second attempt at making pickles.  The first was a disaster and I won't be the only one to tell you that.  The first also involved a whole bunch of farm fresh cukes.  I would say a bushel, or maybe half of one.  Anyway.  I tried the "recipe on the box" for the first time, and guess what, they sucked, they were mushy and gross, so I am trying a new recipe. This recipe is for naturally fermented pickles, so I don't have to cook them.  I am also not sure what is going on in this natural state! I didn't exactly follow the recipe since I did not have any dill weed, I used dill seed, so we shall see.  I will post again in a few days to see how they turned out.  I love taking something and making it into something new!  I like cukes, but I LOVE Pickles, so if I can make it right then rock on, it didn't seem as daunting as the other process where you pour the vinegar and the boiling water and blah blah blah.  Check in later to see how they have come out.  

Friday, January 27, 2012

Snack packing for a weekend

So we go away to Mass and Maine every once in a while and I haven't been while I have been on a dietish program. I have been to Maine where I just got some veggies and a chicken and I was good to go, since I didn't have to worry about anyone else wanting some. So I started thinking about snacks and realized veggies are easiest, but when I packed everything I felt like I was taking a trip with a kiddo. Notice the large juice box in that picture. It's adult juice, delish organic red wine called Our Daily Red, so good and cheap! Well primal has been good and finding good snacks is easy!  I am glad I love veggies and I love food because if not I would be starvin!  Don't get me wrong I would love some of those crackers, chips and cookies I am sure I will see on my trip, but you know I think I am over them, they don't do anything good for me, or for you!  I am happy with my veggies, fruit, meat and nuts! Now get your own snacks, these are mine!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Turkey in a Crockpot? Why Not!

I am trying to challenge myself in the kitchen this time around while being Primal. I am trying to challenge myself by eating different things with the same ingredients. I often refer to shows like Chopped and Iron Chef while I am cooking or after I have cooked. I love being in the kitchen and have always loved cooking. I think it started when I was a little kid at home by myself and my mom allowed me to experiment in the kitchen, luckily, no disasters (except breaking the oven that one time.) I think I was 10 when I baked my first loaf of bread and then I ate it all. So from then on I would ask my mom to buy me new things to cook with and I would try new things and always eat them. I am surprised I didn't go into culinary arts, but that's another story. Anyways, back to my point. I am trying to diversify my meals while using the same ingredients. According to the Primal laws you eat what is local and in season, which is great! Except for the fact that I am in the Northeast where it is winter (even though today is 45 and rainy) and according to my Locavore app the following are in season: Leeks, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Turnip Greens, Kale, Mushrooms, Sprouts, and Collard Greens. While that is good and all, my little garden is brown, my gnome is face down and the ground is well, frozenish. SO I become and hunter/gatherer of the super market and make the best of what is there, which is a lot, although I tend towards the easy and familiar, and my grocery lists have tended to look like this: mushrooms, peppers, onions, kale, spinach, bag o salad greens, cukes, tomatoes (I know, winter tomatoes suck and I buy them even after reading Tomatoland), broccoli, cauliflower, and then whatever meat I am buying, usually some free range organic chicken or whatever we have for grass fed beef in the freezer (it's dwindling now.) So I keep reading about turkey and how I need to eat it because of the protein and blah blah blah, but I did not want to roast it, geez that can be an all day event. I knew there was another way. Microwave? HELL NO! Cut it up into pieces? Nah, pan fry? Nah, Grill? Maybe, but no. Then an idea came to me. I have been cooking so much in my crock pot. WHY NOT! So I looked up to see if it was even possible. Low and behold I found some recipes for bone in Turkey Breast AND they were on sale at Big Y! SO I bought myself and Big old Turkey Breast (it looked like a good old Thanksgiving Gobbler minus the legs) and I let it thaw in the fridge (bought it on Sunday, it was already partially thawed) and cooked it on Wednesday. I got up and set thing in my crock pot, put some butter over it, crushed up some dried sage from the garden, salt and pepper and a tiny but of water and set it at high while I got ready for the day. Before I left I was going to put it down to low (next time I will) but I left it at high, returned about 6 hours later and it was done! I put it down to warm setting the rest of the day. Wouldn't you know it was moist, the right temp, and we had meals for the next few days!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Being primal day 21

So this is it day 21 of my 21 day transformation! Nothing significant to report except my skin is wicked smooth, I don't have stomach pain as much, I don't feel bloated like before and I don't get easily run down! It's amazing what three weeks can do. Do you think I will go back to eating whatever I want to? Probably not. Will I crave a delicious 5 guys burger all the way with an order of fries and a birch beer...yes, will I eat it probably not. I think going back primal for the second time has helped me realize I don't need to live with the stomach pain or eat the crappy food out there, or even listen to the government telling me what I need to eat and what's good for me. I wish some of my friends who struggle with weight and pain would give it a try just to see if those problems would go away. Soon enough maybe.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

not boring chicken recipe of the day...

Eating a lot of chicken (at least twice a week) you get bored of grilling it or mixing it with veggies, so I figured I would look up a recipe having to do with bacon, which is slowly edging out sausage as my favorite meat. I had some bacon left from yesterday so I googled some recipes to see what I could find. I found one but I didn't have all ingredients so I took what I had and iron cheffed it. In sticking with my Paleo ways it was pretty easy! Also only a ingredients so its pretty cheap. Chicken, Bacon and tomato paste, the veggies could be whatever you have but I had tri-colored peppers from earlier in the week, onion, mushrooms, and broccoli.

So here is how I made it.

Preheat the oven for 400 and grease baking sheet with butter or coconut oil

2 boneless skinless chicken breast pounded thin and cut into 3 strips each
1/2 can of tomato paste
6 strips of bacon (mine was nitrites/nitrates)
6 grape tomatoes
pepper/oregano to taste

lay each chicken strip out on cutting board
spread a little tomato paste on each strip and place one grape tomato on each strip
put a little pepper and a little oregano on each strip
roll each chicken strip up
wrap each chicken piece with a strip of bacon
place each chicken piece on the baking sheet and place in oven
bake for 15 min
place under the broiler for a few min to let the bacon crisp

Here are the veggies:
Red, Orange, Yellow peppers roughly chopped
1 onion chopped
1 Cup or so sliced mushroom
1 small head of broccoli cut into florets
1 tbsp butter
chili powder

heat butter in the pan and add onion and chili powder, cook for a few min
add in the broccoli and peppers cook a little longer
add a TBSP of water and cover for a few min
add mushrooms and cook until tender adding a little more chili powder if you would like.

When the chicken was done I nestled the chicken with the veggies and covered just to let some flavors meld. YUM!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

day 14 Paleo again

So as my diet and eating and food consumption is evolving with this new found enthusiasm for being as healthy as I can be. I am starting to eat a few foods that are either foreign (or only ate them a few times) or I was always told to avoid. These of course being the artery clogging coconut oil, shredded, milk (really, can something in nature REALLY clog your arteries,)fattening macadamia nuts (again, bad argument) and Jicama (didn't know what it was until a few years ago.) SO I being of sound mind and feel AWESOME internally will focus my efforts to try new foods like these and incorporate them into my rotating meal schedule. Since one of my favorite shows on TV is Chopped I feel I have learned about new foods and these chefs incredible skills in turning something unfamiliar into something good. Well at least I hope I can accomplish this. I cooked with the Coconut oil last week and even made some macaroons (which I was told were delish.) I have been adding Macadamias as a little snack and well will try some Jicama in my salad or on its own, maybe I will use it as my "potato alternative."
Anyways I have been reading different Paleo-peoples blog and telling my friends and some others about it and even stumbled upon one gal whom I see every once in a while while working at her school who loves the paleo and actually may get a different teacher at this particular school who has Celiac to look into giving it a try. I would love to have a lot of friends and friends who are paleo, but alas it's not happening. I get it from all angles and I am supported by many (except that Lemon pie that has been staring at me in the face everytime I open the fridge, Thanks Randy.) I am glad I have the support I have and I am glad this time the diet is making me feel better and I know it is the diet that is making my body happy. I have to check out an upcoming winter farmer's market and see what kind of delicious local meat I can find, maybe even some tasty lamb (my next "new food.) All I know is spring greens and summer garden harvests can not come soon enough.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back to being 8

Hey fellow Internet web blog readers. Haven't written a post in a while and thought I would update how my little part of the world is going in this the year 2012! Well I didn't run the NYC marathon as I thought...again...and I think I am giving up hopes of doing it. I think I would like to focus on some shorter running races and maybe a tough guy challenge. As far as the paleo thing goes I was eating rather "loosely" over the summer avoiding as much pasta as I could, unfortunately my laziness got to me and I ate one too many sausage egg and cheese mcmuffins :(. So I gave myself from thanksgiving until new years day to eat basically whatever I felt I needed in order to get it out of my system. I ate anything the hell I wanted, but of course since learning that food is good when I cook it, or when a really great restaurant cooks it I know it's good, so all in all not a terrible stint, but I digress.

As of new years day I have been following Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint 21 day total body transformation, and so far so good. I have been following the diet part the most diligently and have been going for walks every day with Ivy sometime throwing in a sprint or going to the park where there are wooded trails so Ivy can go off leash and I can walk up some hills. Today I tried yoga, for the first time in a while. Now I like yoga, have been attempting it off and on for the better of 10 years or so,maybe even before whenever I started I had a tape of it. So the yoga class today had me attempting handstands and headstands...not quite my level and I didn't feel relaxed after, gotta find a new instructor.

Alright so you may ask why I went back paleo/primal and why wasn't I happy eating what I wanted to. Well I will tell you this. I was feeling like crap. I was eating crap, felt like crap, and my clothes were starting to shrink...JK, I was getting fat. So I figured most of it was the gluten in my diet. So far my gut feels a lot better and my waste has been a lot better! So I am going to stick with it.

Well my plan is to stick with it until my birthday so that is two months, but I am taking one week off while we are in key west, but as much as possible I will stick with the bread/pasta anyways. Sugar on the other hand...that's another story. So we shall see, I just want my shirts to feel comfortable again.