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Feb. 24th, 2008

Things are good!

I haven't posted for a while!  
Things are good here.  Maybe kind of boring to read.  I'm making a lot of positive changes and feeling really good about things.  I have been taking a class on The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes through my church--and I really, really love it.  It's all about creating good things in your life and spirituality and creative visualization and the power of prayer.  I'm really enjoying it and I am really liking all the people in my class, too.
I've really been able to reduce my stress level and have a more positive attitude and set up some goals that I want to work towards.  One of which is being healthy & pregnant within two years.  
I've decided to make a major diet change.  These are some of the things I'm doing:
Here's the no's:
-No more fast food and only eat out 1-2 times per month
-No more pre-packaged foods
-No refined sugar
-No Trans Fats
-No White Flour

Here's the yes's:
-Following some guidelines in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
-Only these fats: organic coconut oil, organic butter, EVOO, or grapeseed oil
-Having organic produce delivered each week and eating much more produce
-as soon as we're done with the meat in the freezer, sticking with organic meat as much as possible
-organic eggs & dairy
-whole grains & beans
-only bread that I make, and I'm going to be making sourdough from scratch
-only raw honey as a sweetener, and very limited

Yeah, I'm becoming a big hippie.

But, I have lost 4 pounds this week!  
Right now I have homemade chicken stock in the crockpot and homemade whole-wheat bread in the oven.  I'm making chicken stew for dinner.  Here's the recipe:

(Chicken Stock then Chicken Stew)

Take a whole chicken and put it into a large crockpot filled with water, 2 tb apple cider vinegar (this helps to bring the minerals from the bones into the stock), two cut-up carrots and 3 cut-up celery stalks.  

Simmer on low for five hours until the chicken is well cooked.  Pull the chicken out, pull the meat and skin from the bones, and put the bones and skin back into the stockpot and keep simmering all day long. (when it's been at least 12 hour since you started, strain the stock into a large container and refrigerate.  If you have a dog, pick the bones out of the stuff you strained from the stock and chop what's left all up and mix it in with their food.  They will flip out from joy and gratitude.   
When chilled, pull off the fat layer off the stock and save for cooking or discard.  When chilled the stock may be gelled from the gelatin in the bones.  This is good for you!) 

Chop up some of the chicken meat. 

Dice 3 potatoes, 2 carrots, and 3 celery stalks and boil in water on the stove until soft.  Drain.  

Sautee one diced onion in butter or olive oil.  put with other veggies. In the same pan, melt 3 tb butter and mix in 1/4 cup of flour to make a roux.  whisk in a couple of cups of the stock you still have simmering.  For flavor, add 1 tsp salt, 2 tb nutritional yeast (optional), maybe 1/2 tsp sage.  When gravy has thickened, add veggies and chicken meat and simmer until well combined.  

Yum, yum!

Feb. 3rd, 2008

Shepherd's pie recipe

 1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 onion, diced
1 can or 1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables (thaw frozen in microwave)
3 tb butter (optional)
1/4 cup WW flour
1/2 tsp sage
1 cup broth or water & bouillon or water & 1 tb soy sauce
2 tb nutritional yeast (optional)
leftover mashed potatoes OR instant mashed potatoes, thinned with 1/4 cup milk and 1 egg

Brown ground beef or turkey with onion in skillet. remove to casserole dish.  Melt butter in same pan (leave brown yummies from the meat in the pan) and sprinkle flour over, scrape up bits with a whisk and combine butter & flour.  Whisk in broth, sage & nutritional yeast (if you have some--gives the gravy a richer flavor).  Simmer until thickened.  Add meat, onions, and mixed vegetables and stir until combined, pour back into casserole dish, spread mashed potatoes over top & bake at 375 about 45 min or until browned.

new music I love, and an old one

This is a local Denver band I like, I heard them on NPR: http://www.myspace.com/belakaroli

This woman was on Prairie Home Companion last week, I like her a lot too: http://nelliemckay.com/

And an oldie but a goodie, about lifelong girlfriends (reminds me of Mei): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XtqmCAdVFg

Feb. 1st, 2008

This is hilarious


Jan. 27th, 2008

hilarious joke by my neice

Jillian: Knock knock
Auntie: who's there?
Jillian: It's me!

baaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahah!  I love that kid.

Jan. 18th, 2008

silly little song

last night i was singing to my babies (neice & nephew) and I made up song lyrics to the song "the way I am" by Ingrid Michaelson 

if you are jilly

you are so sassy

and so contrary

but then so happy!

and I... love the way you giggle when you're hiding

and you... are my precious girl

if you are finley

you are so snuggly

you dance so lovely

you bring me joy

and I.... love the way you mutter at your monkey

and you... are my precious boy

Jan. 11th, 2008

fun meme

1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

2. www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

3. www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Here's mine:


Some Reason In Madness (good title!)

Jan. 10th, 2008

so proud!!

I got the best compliment yesterday.  One of my girlfriends asked me if I'd be interested in teaching her how to cook.  She would buy all the stuff and we would cook a dinner twice a month.  
How fun!  Of course I'm interested!!
She said that she wants to learn skills and not just recipes.  For example, she said that she has not mastered the art of sauteeing/caramelizing onions.  I am trying to come up with some things to cook that are skill-heavy and good learning material.  
Any ideas?

Jan. 8th, 2008

hing and durian: stinky!

OK so even though I love Indian food and I love to cook it, I had avoided using hing for a long time, because the first time I smelled it in the asian market I thought I would throw up.  
Hing (the indian name--it's also called asafoetida) is a spice they use in indian cooking in place of garlic and onions.  
More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hing
So, about a year ago I finally got up the courage to buy a little jar of hing and use it.  I have to say, now I find it delicious.  Once you fry it up in ghee and mix it into a curry or dal, it gives the most amazing and authentic flavor.  It DOES stink though.  I have it in a plastic jar, double-bagged in two ziploc baggies, and even so, as soon as you open the drawer it is in (or the cupboard below it) Peee--yoo!  Hing!!  
It is also funny to note that the word hing was used in an episode of Mad About You.
Jamie: Hing? Use it in a sentence.
Paul: "He won the game of scrabble using the word 'hing'."


Here's a great recipe for dal using hing, that I adapted from the Hare Krishna Vegetarian Cookbook

delicious dal recipeCollapse )
durian: durian is a stinky, stinky fruit that is supposed to be a delicacy in south asia.  it is so stinky that there are laws against eating it in public.
more info from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durian

my mom has wanted to try a durian for a long time.  they carry them at the asian supermarket I go to.  every time we go, my mom keeps saying she wants to buy a durian, and i say, not in my house!  (my mom stays with us 2-3 nights a week).  

some fuel to my argument is when I saw bizarre foods with andrew zimmer and he was going to eat a durian.  I have seen this man eat worms, goose intestines, fermented raw pork, bugs, and many other things that I, adventurous as I am, would never try.

The durian made him throw up.

For christmas as a joke, we bought my mom some durian hard candy from the asian supermarket. 

She tried a piece and so did hubby.  I would not try it.
Hubby said it was okay but wierd and kind of like stinky garbage.
mom pretended to like it okay but told me later it made her sick, she didn't want to say anything so as not to hurt hubby's feelings. 
I told her it was a joke!  It was okay if she didn't like it!

I thought this would end her durian obsession but it has started up again.  She still wants to try one.

Last night when I made the dal, I was thinking that maybe durian is like hing, horrible at first but then you like it! Probably so.

Jan. 7th, 2008

healthy healthy

 so one of my new year's resolutions was to change my diet & get healthy.  One of my major reasons for this goal (besides avoiding early death, of course) is because I really want a baby as I'm sure you all know.  At the weight I am at there is no way I can have a healthy pregnancy even if I got pregnant.  I want to lose at least 100 pounds before trying.  
my mom cut this article out of the paper having to do with the book "The Fertility Diet' and the studies it was based on.  it had some diet recommendations that i'm including as well.
-one full-fat serving of dairy per day (it said the studies showed that low-fat dairy has an adverse affect on fertility but full-fat dairy had a positive effect-as long as it was included in a healthy diet that helped with weight loss)
-avoiding trans fats altogether
-more non-meat sources of protein (although I will for the most part avoid soy.)
-whole rather than refined grains
-multi-vitamin containing folic acid
-plenty of iron (but not from red meat)
-avoiding sugared pop

There are a couple more but I can't remember now.  

So, I am going to add these guidelines to my weight watchers plan.  

The full fat dairy I am adding is Greek Gods Yogurt.  OMG it is the best stuff I ever ate in my life. 
I get it at Vitamin Cottage.  If you have the means, I highly recommend it. 

I am also going to really start trying to reduce my stress level, start doing yoga, and do creative visualization every day.


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