Monday, January 30, 2012

"Cage-free" eggs.

We like to buy our eggs from a local farm, where the chickens have free run of a field and a nice big (red) chicken coop.  They can come and go from the coop as often as their little chicken hearts desire.  Their eggs are pricey, but oh so wonderful.  We can tell the difference in taste, texture, and color of the egg yolks from the farm compared to typical eggs in the grocery store.

The disadvantage to buying eggs from the local farm is the lack of convenience.  The "store" where they sell their eggs, milk, and meat, has limited hours.  We recently ran out of eggs, but could not get to the farm during their "open" hours, so we settled for cage-free eggs from the market.  The term "cage-free" can be misleading.  The chickens might not be kept in so-called "cages" but might still have very crowded, small areas, to live (exist) in, with cement under them rather than dirt or even grass.

Still, in a pinch, we reach for the cage-free eggs and hope for the best.  In the meantime, I calendared an outing this week to the farm where I can see with my own eyes the chickens roaming the field and celebrating their chickenhood.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Interesting interview.

I watched an episode of The Story Trek where the host, Todd, interviewed a woman who told how she used to be severely depressed, unmotivated, in her sweats all day.  Then she started to exercise, plus eliminated sugar and white bread from her diet.  She lost 50 pounds and feels fantastic...energetic and happy.

She's a stay-at-home mom, but has a home-based business on the side (get this!) baking unique cookies!  She said she bakes by "smell"and "texture" and has friends and neighbors sample the recipes to make sure they taste good.

Wow.  I know that I, personally, would not risk baking cookies (or any other sweets), especially on a regular basis.  It's such a habit for me to taste what I'm preparing that it would totally stress me out to bake cookies...being on guard every moment against absent-minded sampling.  When asked to provide cookies or dessert for a party or function, I respond with, "I will gladly purchase something from the store or bakery!"

I'm amazed she is able to refrain from sampling her cookie creations, and hope she has continued success both in her business and in her abstinence from sugar.  I wish I could meet her... a kindred sugarholic in recovery.

Here is a link to watch the inteview:  The Story Trek.  The title of the episode is "Yesterday I was in jail"... which is the first story told in this particular episode.  To view her story, go to about 17:30 minutes into the show (you can move the time bar to that point).

I enjoy The Story Trek.  The concept is that everyone has a story.  They go to random areas around the country, to random homes, and knock on doors.  The first person who answers and agrees to be on television, gets interviewed.  Such interesting stories emerge, such as the woman who recovered from depression by giving up sugar...but bakes cookies on the side!  :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Do we have large waists and small minds?

My husband needed slacks so we went to a department store.  As we shopped, we bumped into a couple we know.  They were amazed at Kurt's thinness.

The guy asked Kurt, "What size waist do you wear now?"
Kurt: "38."
Guy: "Be sure to call me when you start wearing a 36."
Kurt: "Why?"
Guy: "So I can shoot myself."
ME: "Why on earth would you shoot yourself if Kurt starts wearing a 36?"
Guy: "Because then he would be smaller than I am... I wear a 38."

I had to bite my tongue at that point because I wanted so badly to point out that if his pants were a size 38, then that was his hip size, not his waist, since his pants were worn way down low, with his bulging belly hanging over the "waist" of his slacks.  

The encounter made me think about a previous post (see: The Fat Standard).  Why do we do that?  Why do we fall into comparing ourselves to others, and perhaps thinking as long as we are smaller than so-and-so, then we are okay?  I admit... I've caught myself in that mindset on occasion.

Let's celebrate the success of others, and only compare ourselves to ourselves.  How am I doing now compared to a month ago...a year ago...yesterday? 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Homemade Tomato Soup

I haven't found a canned tomato soup without added sweetener. Even the canned organic soups have organic sugar or syrups added.  Organic or not, I don't want the added sugar!!

So... I finally decided to just make my own.  Not sure why it took me so long to reach that conclusion... perhaps I fell for the myth that tomato soup required sweetener, since I could not find any without.

I pulled out my trusty cookbook and laughed out loud when the recipe for tomato soup called for (get this) canned tomato soup.  Uhhh...what't the point of homemade soup using the canned stuff?  I shook my head and shut the book.

I got on-line and checked several recipes, but I lacked some of the ingredients for them.

I decided to just 'wing it' and use a combination of ideas from the recipes I browsed.  Here's what I did:

I chopped up some onion and a clove of garlic, then sauteed them in olive oil.  Next I added 1 can of organic diced tomato and 1 cup of chicken bouillon.  Then some salt, pepper, and a dash of dried thyme. (I did not want to make a large batch since I wasn't sure if it would taste good... so I measured by guess and by golly to make enough for two servings.) 

I let those ingredients simmer for about 20 minutes, then pureed it in the blender.  Just for kicks and giggles, I added a spoonful of sour cream while it blended (next time, though, I will use some regular cream).

It turned out delicious!  Now I hope I can duplicate it the next time I'm hankering for tomato soup!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Over the New Year holiday, we traveled to Idaho to see some friends.  Wanting something healthy for lunch while on the road, we figured our best choice would be a Subway sandwich, so we waited until we were hungry and started watching the signs indicating the fast food choices at each exit.  We passed exit after exit without a sign for Subway, getting hungrier by the minute.  Finally we decided we would take the next exit and just do the best we could with whatever food choices were available.

Well, amid the few fast food establishments, I saw a Good Earth health food store and suggested they might have a deli, so we stopped there.  We didn't find a deli inside, but they had some pre-made wraps in their refrigerator section.  We each chose a spinach wrap with turkey and cranberry, which we ate in the car before continuing our drive.  Maybe it's a good thing we were isolated in the car, because it sounded like a scene from What About Bob as we moaned in pleasure over our food.  Mmmm mmm mmm.  Mmm.  Mmm.

The wrap tasted far better than any Subway sandwich, and the bonus:  it was made with free-range turkey, and organic veggies.  It opened our eyes to the option of "fast food" at health food stores, so the last couple weeks while out running errands we've headed to Whole Foods for healthy, made to order, sandwiches at their deli.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm back!

After nearly 2 weeks of not posting, I'm finally back.  Did you read all the posts I wrote in my head during that time?  No?  :)  

I needed a little break after posting nearly daily for a year, and although I hope to post regularly, I don't plan on daily entries.

So what's on my mind today?  Whippersnapper trash.  Yep.  Whippersnapper trash.  We live in a condo complex, and I noticed there seems to be a trend, lately, of overflowing trash in the two cans provided for our building.  When we first moved in, there didn't seem to be as much trash as is generated now, in fact sometimes one of the cans would be nearly empty when trash day rolled around.

I pointed this out to my husband and wondered why the cans seem overly full now, and we decided it's the whippersnappers in the building that eat junk food.  It creates more waste (and waist, I might add).

That was one of the things I noticed early last year when we started eating healthier... we didn't need to empty our kitchen trash as often.

Hmmm... maybe it's not just whippersnappers that generate trash, since plenty of adults eat junk food too... maybe I need to call it Junk Eater's Junk.