06 April 2016

Starting Over

Now that I seem to have my histamine and allergy problems under control, I am starting over and making a commitment to get to healthy weight.  I recently started a PiYo class and in doing so made some new friends!  They also seem committed to living healthy but are doing so in a very balanced way from what I can tell.

I started using all of these products about 3 weeks ago and I have really noticed a difference in digestion and sinus and eye issues. I am still getting flushing but overall I am feeling really good. With no allergy symptoms even though I have heard other people complaining about them.  Spring is typically a VERY bad time for me but I have been doing great.
I just ordered some dried reishi pieces and am going to make my own tea and extract because it will be a lot cheaper. 

In addition to these,  I have been taking the following for a couple of years:

Vitamin D
Vitamin C

I also think that eating a lot of anti inflammatory foods is helping me regulate my system and stop the histamine reactions.  I am still taking Zyrtec and Singulair but when spring season is over, I am going to try to wean off those too.

So, my plan is:
1. To do PiYo twice a week and walk 5 times a week.
2. stay on a reduced carb diet.
3. Eat mainly whole fresh foods and low fat high quality meats and proteins.  
4. Lose at least 35 lbs. by the end of summer, that is about 2 lbs a week.  

And I am not going to get stressed about it because if I don't meet these goals, I can always start over!

17 November 2015

Homade made Raman

The first thing I had to do was make Dashi.  Just One Cookbook  has an easy recipe for two kids of Dashi and for Furikake with the leftovers from making Dashi.  For the Furikake I did pan dehydrate it but it starting to burn so I popped in in the oven on parchment  200 degrees for 20 min until it was dehydrated.
Kombu soaking
First batch of Dashi

Finished Furikake
While I was making the Dashi, I also pressed and dry fried some extra firm tofu and marinaded with a marinade for Chashu pork and also marinating soft boiled eggs for Ajitsuke Tamago

I used this Broth Recipe but adjusted it because I made the Dashi.   

Histamine Intolerance --food was making me sick

I have suffered with severe allergies all my life.  Not just seasonal allergies but weird rashes and reactions to things that I couldn't pin down.  I have undergone allergy testing and tried immunotherapy twice, but they were unable to get me up to a maintenance dose without me going into anaphylactic shock.  Allergy medications don't work well for my either.  I also have numerous organ systems diseases: endometriosis, adenomyosis, osteopenia, oesteoarthritis,  denegertive disc disease, migraine, IBS, chronic sinusitis/rhinitis to name a few.

About a year ago, I started suspecting that I had something like Fibromylasia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because I was extremely tired all the time and had wide spread pain.  I started following a group on Facebook for people with chronic diseases and in chatting with someone on there, Mast Cell Disorders where brought to my attention.  So about two months ago,  I meant with my allergist and started doing some testing, medication and diet trials.  We are pretty sure I have Histamine Intolerance or HIT but there are no definitive tests, it is all diet and medication, trial and error.  I started on Zantec twice a day, Zertec once a day, Xyzal once a day, and Singular once a day.  It helped immensely but the more research I did the more I decided to try diet, supplements, and meditation following The Low Histamine Chef .  Please check out her blog for more information about HIT, the bucket theory, and some great recipes and books.

So today I am starting: to ween off the antihistamines; continuing on a low histamine diet; taking supplements including Vitamin C, B Complex, DAO enzyme, Quercetin, Vitamin D, Calcium, and probiotics that are low histamine.

While I have been eating healthy for years, I was not eating foods that were healthy for me.  I read that fermented food were good for you.  Not if you have HIT.  Along with a whole bunch of others.  This is the part of the list of foods that I have cut out and am slowly adding back into my diet a little at a time as to not overflow my histamine bucket.

Fermented foods or any kind
Canned foods
Leftovers unless immediately frozen
Meat ( unless extremely fresh, organic, free range)
No cured meats at all
Nightshade veggies(tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant)
Most processed foods
Any ages or cultured cheese

I basically had to change the way I was cooking but it has been a delicious adventure.

So instead of meat I have been making a lot of other protein based means like this dish before.  I am not cutting meat out entirely, just limiting it.   In the back of the plate are Pakoras, which a garbanzo bean base fritter, this one with shredded zucchini in it.  The veggies are kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots with Za'atar spice, and those are not mashed potatoes but mashed rutabaga which is lower in carbs and calories but just a delicious.

So I have decided to try to get my blog going again, mainly as a place to keep my recipes.  You welcome to come along on my journey to feeling better, I am already halfway there.  Enjoy!

17 March 2015

Flexatarian Cooking

As most of you know, I have been a Flexatarian for a long time.  I finally talked my husband into reducing the amount of meat we eat to once or twice a week.  We still will eat fish, eggs, and cheese.  Over the past 6 months I have been trying out a lot of new meat replacements and even some cheese replacements and am quite happy with the things I have made.

Here are a few of my favorites:

This Chicken Stylee Seitan recipe from Post Punk Kitchen (This is where I found the Seitan O' Greatness that I use to make sausages.).  I love this blog, she has so many recipes.

These are some of the things I made with it.
Chicken Stylee Cutlets
Chix nuggets

 These were easy, just cut the cutlets to bite size, bread with dry tempura mix, and pan fry until golden.
Plain Chix wings on bottom, Buffalo style in dish.

Again, just cut the cutlets into the shape of wings.  These I dredged in corn starch mixed with: garlic powder, onion powder, and a little salt,;then in egg,; then in panko.  I deep fried them in my deep fryer.  For the Buffalo, just mix melted butter and Franks and drench the wings.  So yummy!

I have also been making fermented nut cheeses which I totally love.  These were made with blanched soaked almonds and I used red miso as the probiotic agent, which you need for the fermentation process. It made a semi-soft, spreadable cheese. 
 I am going to try cashews this week.  
This one has green onions in it and a walnut crust.

This one is flavored with garlic and crusted with thyme.

This is the thyme crusted served with lemon zest.

I stumbled on Neat meat replacements a couple of weeks ago. I went grocery shopping yesterday and they had them on sale at Meijer 2/$6 and they are normally $4.99 each so I stocked up!  There are about 4 servings per package,  so compared to meat, even at full price, it will save you money.  They are really good, GMO and gluten free, and have no chemicals, preservatives, or artificial colors.  So much better for you then frozen veggie burgers.  Very simple to make, just add 2 eggs or egg replacement and little bit of water.  

 I haven't made burgers with them yet but I plan to soon.  

 I tried the original first and made Chicken Soup For the Soul Sloppy Joes with them.  I love the CSFTS because there is no HFCS in the sauce.  They turned out great and the family loved them.  
.So then I tried the Italian Neat ball mix and made penne.  So yummy. 

This morning I made these egg cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
6 eggs
1 package of Neat breakfast + 2 more eggs 2 tbsp of water
mix ins I used mushrooms and green onions other ideas would be spinach, bell peppers, cheese, etc.
I made these three ways.
Start by mixing Neat with 2 eggs and 2 tbsp of water. Grease a muffin pan (I used coconut oil) Then divided neat into 6 of the muffin cups and press it up the sides
ways to use eggs
1. just crack an egg in each cup
2. add mix-ins into cup and then crack egg on top
3. beat eggs and add mix ins and then pour into cups.
bake from 15-20 min depending on how firm you like your eggs.
Garnish with fresh cut chives or tarragon

Neat also has a Mexican mix, which they didn't have at Meijer.  I will have to try, but I did find this other one from Fantastic Foods which is also pretty good.  

Finding these options makes it so much easier to cut down on the amount of meat we are consuming and reducing our carbon footprint.   What are your favorite meat replacements? 
 Happy Meat Free Monday!

PS  I have not been paid for this review.  

09 October 2014

I'm A Prepper: Surviving an Adult Tonsillectomy

I have been a life-long sufferer of alllergies, sinus problems, and cryptic tonsils.  This year my allergies have been especially bad, causing me to have even more sinus and tonsil problems.  I won't go into all those details as this post is more about what I am doing to survive the tonsillectomy.

After doing a shit ton of research, and finding some horrific recovery stories and some great tips,  I have purchased supplies that I am hoping will make my recovery much easier.

The main thing I learned from my research are:


My plan to help with this is to drink as much water as possible. In addition to that,  I am going to drink Vita Coconut Water instead. I do not like sports drinks because of all of the artificial dyes and sugar.   This is one of the only brands I could find that does not add some sort of citrus to it, which is a big NONO after a tonsillectomy.   I got two case at Costco for less than $2/liter. 

Other items I have purchased to help sooth and keep my throat moist (I hate this word but it applies here) are:

1. Coconut Oil:  this will help coat my throat and it has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/13-evidence-based-medicinal-properties-coconut-oil?page=2#_edn3

2.  Raw honey and Manuka Honey:  There were a couple of studies that I found where children that were given honey after tonsillectomy healed faster and had less pain.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3821146/ I also found that Manuka Honey from New Zeeland has many healing properties. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/manuka-honey-medicinal-uses

3. Chamomile tea and marshmallow:  Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties  Make sure it is pure chamomile to get the maximum benefits. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/chamomile-topic-overview  Marshmallow is great for coating raw, sore throats.  http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/marshmallow Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat and Yogi Throat Comfort are great teas that I have used in the past for sore throats.  

4.  Aloe Vera Juice:  The use for this is two fold.  Aloe has been use as a burn treatment and because I am having Coblation Tonsillectomy, which is essentially burning the tissue, I am hoping this will help.  It is also a natural laxative which will help with the constipation from the pain killers. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-aloe-vera

The other really important thing that my nurse told me is to make sure I get get enough nutrition.  She said they want me back on normal food as soon as possible.  The problem I am expecting with that is it is obviously going to be very difficult to swallow.   I complied this list from foods that other people listed that were easy to eat after surgery.  To ensure I get enough nutrients I picked up these food items:

1.  Garden of Life RAW meal replacement smoothies  I plan on blending these with almond milk and lots of ice.

2. Applesauce

3. Instant mashed potatoes

4. Jello

5. Mashed avocados

6. Scrambled eggs.

7. Over-cooked egg noodles with coconut oil (apparently these will "slide right down".

8. Chicken and veggies broths.

9. Oatmeal.

10. Almond Milk ( I don't drink cow milk and dairy products, including ice cream, are actually not good after tonsillectomy because they increase mucus production which is supposed to be awful).

11.  Non acidic juices, i.e. peach.  

12.  Lots of ice!

I will post when I feel up to it after surgery next week and let you know what worked for me.  

03 May 2014

Upcycling: Glass Birdbaths

Last year I was at The Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids, MI and saw some of these for sale.  I didn't want to pay what the lady was asking so I decided to make one for myself.  I had found the pieces for the green one last year but never got around to making it.  I just found them while spring cleaning, and since my craft room was clean, decided to make it.  My mother commented on how beautiful it was so I decided to make her one for Mother's Day.  While shopping at Sand Lake Thirty Treasures, a really cool store in Sand Lake, I found these beautiful blue pieces.  I was talking to the owner of the store and she also has another store that sells furniture and asked me to put some in on consignment. I will be making more in the future!

This one is for my mother.
This is the original one I make for myself.

This one might be for sale!

15 January 2014

Chicken meatball wrap

Chicken meatball recipe: 2 boneless skinless breast (app 1lb)5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and all moisture squeezed out
6 tbsp egg whites
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 teaspoon of salt

preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cut up chicken into 2 inches pieces, put in food processor.  Put everything else BUT egg whites in food  processor and pulse until able to grind meat then process until almost all blended then add egg whites.

I used a ice cream scoop to make the balls and ended up with 18.  bake on a parchment lines baking sheet for 20, turn over and bake another 10 and they should be done.  serving size for the wraps are 3 meatballs (102 calories) and total calories for the wrap is 319 using Flatout bread light, spinach, Kraft Parmesan, and Fat Free mozzarella.  I used Meijer naturals crushed tomatoes and added spices and some stevia.

26 November 2013

Reuse: chair cover

My daughter has High School Musical fold up chair that we decided to reuse when we redid her room.  I completed the slip cover today and am really happy with how it turned out.  I didn't even use a pattern.

This is before.

Back:  I used an loop and eye hook to secure the corner under the bow.
 Sewed the back and front of the back of the chair together so it will slip over the back and then just finished the seams.  It was a very easy project.

 Footstool is an extra pillow case over an IKEA stool with a ribbon to secure it. Reading area is complete!