Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I'm not big on quotes in general, but there are a few that I've heard here and there that strike a chord. Here's one of them, from the movie "Hello, Dolly":

"Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It isn't worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow."

Love that!! I wish the 1% elite in this country would follow that principle instead of hoarding all of the wealth to themselves. We'd all be a lot better off if that were the case!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Placebos Cured My Cold!!!

I caught a cold. I didn't want a cold, so I decided to fight it with everything I could possibly think of to fight it with, placebo or not. (DH has a tendency to sneer at anything not scientifically proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, but I have more of a "what the hell" attitude about these things.) Here's what I did:

1. Zinc lozenges
2. Vitamin C supplements
3. Time in the sun to soak up extra Vitamin D
4. Ginger shot at Whole Foods (takes some balls, let me tell you)
5. Visualizations, where I spent a few minutes imagining my immune system as full of cellular sized knights in shining armor KICKING some virus BUTT!!
6. Lots of OJ and water to stay hydrated (although all the running to the bathroom every time I got settled in for a good rest wasn't fun)
7. OTCs: Nyquil, Benadryl, Tylenol (not all at once, only as needed)

.... and it seemed to work! This was about the shortest cold I've ever had. I had a couple of days where I was flat out miserable and didn't want to get out of bed, but then everything started to clear up and I feel almost back to normal now. I had a few bouts of bad coughing but not days and days of it like I normally suffer with when I get a cold. It's just been better!

So there, anecdotal evidence that those crazy placebo cures might actually help, especially when you try ALL of them all at once!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Quinoa Bowl

I've been eating quinoa for a while now, but usually only in a quesadilla. I can recognize the potential, though- it's a great base for adding other flavors. I prepared some the other day for my usual quesadilla but then I didn't want it that way after all, so I made a quinoa bowl instead. I threw in a lot of the fixings I would have used on the quesadilla and a few others- here's the throw-it-all-together recipe for one serving:

Quinoa, cooked, about 1/2 a cup if you're going for portion control*
Organic canned corn, rinsed, about 1/4 cup
Canned black beans, rinsed, about 1/4 cup
Diced plum or Campari tomato (or about the same amount of a larger tomato, although you can add more if you have a really good tomato sitting around!!)
Small Hass avocado, diced
Diced sweet onion cooked with a little olive oil until translucent
Diced bell pepper (any color) cooked with the onion
Shredded cheese, about 1/8 cup

Extra virgin olive oil, maybe a couple of teaspoons to drizzle
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together up through the cheese, salt and pepper to taste, drizzle on the olive oil, then dig in!

I thought about adding a dressing of some sort, other than just the olive oil, but the avocado I had when I made this was so creamy it acted as a dressing. The drizzle of olive oil was all it needed. It kept well in the refrigerator over night so I also had it for dinner the next day when a take out meal from a new restaurant left a lot to be desired. This would make a great picnic or travel meal.

*How to cook quinoa: when I first posted the microwave recipe for quinoa (thank you Melissa D'Arabian) I tried to get all fancy and use vegetable broth as the liquid, but it never turns out when I do that for some reason. It always has crunchy bits when I use broth. Just use one cup quinoa to two cups water, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a little bit of olive oil, microwave in a glass bowl with a lid (and put the lid on it!) for 9 minutes on high. (Results may vary depending on your microwave.) Let it sit and finish absorbing the liquid for a few minutes then you're good to go!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Food Fight

I remember the days when buying food was an easy task. I had a list, I went to one store, I bought the items on the list, paid, and went home. No more. Now I shop at three different stores (a local grocery, Whole Foods, and a warehouse store) and get different items from each place. When the opportunity presents itself I also try to shop farmer's markets, but unfortunately those are few and far between in my neck of the woods.

Awareness of food issues makes for a slew of complications, too. In addition to trying to avoid GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, and anything packaged in BPA- (or is it BPH?) laced containers, I have to avoid soy. I'm also mostly vegetarian, but not a strict one, married to a strict vegetarian, with two mostly veg daughters and a full on carnivorous son. Then there's the dogs- they are totally spoiled with a home cooked meat "top dressing" for every meal. So I get meat for the dogs from the warehouse store but meat for my son from Whole Foods, where I look for a "4" animal cruelty rating so he won't get Mad Cow disease. I buy almost everything processed from Whole Foods because I am more likely to find organic and soy-free items there. (Not that we use a ton of processed food, but we do use some.) I can get certain organic items from the local grocery (thank heavens they are carrying organic now!!) like milk and some of my produce. I get my bottled sparkling water from the warehouse store because I can get it in glass containers instead of polluting plastic.

Sometimes I long for the days before "Food Inc." and everything I've learned about the negative health affects of food purchased from major suppliers. It was so much easier! Driving through McD's or Burger King when the kids were hungry for a quick and easy meal... sigh. I can't even remember the last time I went to a burger chain, but I can tell you this- although I've gained back part of the weight I lost in 2007, I am still beating the odds because I've only gained back half. Almost everyone else who loses weight regains it all and then some, so I think it's worth it. I'll keep reading those labels and avoiding the fast food joints, because I'm healthier and my husband is healthier and my kids are healthier, even if it is more work.