Do I have to?

I am having a real hard time these days with cooking supper. Our lives have gotten quite busy these last few months and I am needing to cook quick meals. While cooking from scratch to meet the dietary needs of my family is so much better, it does take a bit more time. And sometimes I do not have the time. There are some meals that I am able to put together in less than 1/2 an hour, but most can’t be. So with the crazy few months we have been having, I am getting tired of cooking the same things and my family is getting a little tired of having the same kinds of food every week. And truthfully, there are some days when I am so tired, I really do not feel like cooking. Maybe it is harder because in the last few years, I have had to cook almost two or sometimes three different items in order for everyone to eat a meal. Sometimes I manage to put a meal together for everyone else and then remember that I can’t eat any of it and have to quickly find something that I can eat, (a real chore if there are not left overs in the freezer). Maybe it is hard because I have had to totally revamp the way I have been cooking for years, and it is so easy to slip back into the old way of cooking, and/or get stuck in a rut with the new recipes that have been hits (only to make them too much that no one wants to eat them anymore). Yet, as hard as it is, supper time rolls around every day and I still need to cook so everyone can eat, so I keep at it and hopefully things will slow down a bit more in the next month or so and then I can start to use the oodles of recipes (all without the usual allergens and a few others) that need a bit more time and TLC to prepare. One day it should be much easier. Until then, I would love to hear from you in how you handle cooking meals when dietary and medical reasons need to be considered.

Christmas Baking

I don’t know if those reading this have done all their Christmas baking already yet or not, but mine has taken a bit longer year.  I am still in the midst of it.  The usual recipes that I have made in the past that the family has enjoyed are no longer options. I have made the traditional ones for the family while I have been wheat-free, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, sugar-free for about 5 years.  I  have made a few items that I am able to eat and then the rest for them using the usual ingredients.  Then in October this year two of my children have had to adopt my way of eating also.  This changes things.  Now what do I bake that they will like and eat?  I can’t continue to bake those goodies that they have loved and let them watch the rest eat them.    So what recipes do I have that can be used for Christmas?  So in looking at the recipes that I have collected in the past 5 years, I actually found some that could be perfect for Christmas.  Gingersnaps for one, delicious,  Snowballs and also rice crispies using more natural marshmallows.   I also did try to make Bird Nests (a.k.a. Thumbprints) using a fairly neutral recipe that I use with carob chips, but that needs to be looked at a bit more,  not exactly the taste I was hoping for.   But a tradition with my children has been to make gingerbread men.  We have done this every year for the last 18 years, and used the same recipe up until last year.  Last year I used a recipe that was gluten-free, but not dairy free.  This year we found one from Living Without.  The jury is still out on that one.

But maybe instead of focusing on the more traditional baking side of things, I thought maybe I should start to focus on the more snack type items instead.  Foods that are a bit more on the healthier side. Antipasto and rice crackers,  hummus and veggies, homemade seasoned nuts and seeds, veggie sushi, and fruit on sticks, and of course mandarin oranges, can’t forget those.  There are a few other recipes that I wanted to possibly make, but they most likely will have to wait until next year.  There are other things that need to take priority.  Like family and friends.  And being with them and not in the kitchen.    So whip up a few healthy snacks and enjoy your time with family and friends celebrating Christmas.

So ….. I am off to bake gingerbread men with my children!

From our family to yours,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wonderful recipes!!

I just finished putting in the oven a wonderful loaf of bread using the recipe ‘Blender Bread’  that I got from “Everyday Gluten-free.”  It is a cookbook written by Kim Wilson.  All her recipes are Wheat Free, Egg free, Soy free, Sugar free and Dairy free.  (A wonderful book for someone with multiple food sensitivities and allergies).   With just me having to deal with food sensitivities and allergies not eating things like bread was no big deal, I could do without or bake something when I had a bit more energy.  But now with my daughters having the similar issues, it is different with children not being able to eat things.  I have had to find recipes that they could eat.   Enter the books written by Kim Wilson.  They are easy and not complicated at all.  Some you can make in one bowl or the blender and they do not have the typical gluten-free ingredients of white substances that I have found to be in a lot of  gluten-free recipes.   The recipes use whole grains and soaked grains, and ingredients that are not hard to find at all.

If you are interested in some of her recipes check out her website at  http://simplynaturalhealth.com/recipeblog/.  You can also purchase her recipe books through Amazon or her site at http://simplynaturalhealth.com/.  (There is much health related information on this site as well).   She also offers an ebook, “Good and  Easy Eats” at a extremely cheap price of $4.99.  It has over 70 recipes that your whole family can enjoy.

I am so excited to have these recipes at my fingertips that my daughters and I can eat that  had to share them with you.  “Bon Appetit!”

Sleep!

Sleep, what a wonderful word.  Especially when one is tired or exhausted and needs to recharge after a very full day.  Sleep even is so very good for us when we are ill or sick or even when our immune systems are compromised.  It helps our bodies to regenerate.  Gives our minds the clarity we need.  Helps keep us calm and collected.  Helps heal the sore muscles.  But what if you just can’t get the amount of sleep that you need.  Studies show that adults need 8 hours (children need more) for the full benefit gives us.  I can fall asleep fine, but it is the waking up early, some days way too early.  This morning was one of those days.  So I woke up and wrote this poem.

SLEEP!

Oh sleep, why do you elude me so?

I can sleep longer, I have no place to go.

Outside it is dark, damp, dismal and bleek,

A few more hours to slumber is all I seek.

 

Oh sleep, why do you leave me so soon?

I do not request that you stay ‘til noon.

Just a little longer, is all I ask,

Is this request too hard a task?

 

Oh sleep, why do you not longer stay?

I do not expect you to be here all day.

An eight hour time slot would be great,

Or is that for you a bit too late?

 

Oh sleep, please sleep, stay a bit more.

Could it be really that much of a chore?

I only ask for an hour more or two,

Is this something that is possible to do?

 

Sleep oh sleep, where are you now?

Please come give me and please allow

A full restful eight hours, somehow!

 

By Monica Schmidt – Copyright 2013

 

 

Thought!!

I have read that our bodies are like fine tuned motors that given the right kinds of fuel, they should be running smoothly    So why are lots of people bodies not running so smoothly.  Are we not eating the right kind of fuel (foods and nutrients)?   We are told what we should be eating fruits and vegetables, grains, meat and meat alternatives, dairy, good oils and not many sweets.  But that is not reality.

How many times do we say,  “I really shouldn’t be eating this” and still do.  Or “this is really not healthy but a little bit won’t hurt”.

If we feed our vehicle engines like we feed our bodies would we not be better off.   We do not put milk, sugar or unhealthy oils in our engines saying, “a little won’t hurt”,  because it won’t be long before we will be replacing our engine.

But I came across a phrase in a cookbook I was reading the other day called The Complete Idiots Guide to Plant Based Nutrition (Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT).  It says in regards to dairy on page 93 “If you feel you can’t give up dairy (especially the cheese), blame the casein; this protein causes the production of the same feel-good effects as opiate drugs.”

That made so much sense to me as I read it.  No wonder, years ago, I could not choose to forgo dairy when told that it might help my symptoms. When a few years ago I had no choice but to get off dairy but had a momentary relapse during my son’s birthday party and ate ice cream cake and a piece of pizza smothered in cheese, and paid for it royally the next day with absolutely no energy.    And now when my daughters are having to stay off dairy products, are having a heck of a time with it, especially missing the cheese oh so much.

This is just one example of a food.  What else are we eating that may be having the same effects on us?

I wonder if we treat ourselves more like we treat our vehicle engines, would we be in better health?

What to Eat??

With the health issues that I have been dealing with the last few years, I have had to take out of my diet a lot of foods due to allergies, sensitivities and leaky gut.  As I started to pull those foods out of my diet, it started to become harder and harder to find recipes that I could make with that amount of restrictions.

I replaced most of my recipe books with allergy friendly ones, but I still had to make revisions.  Some recipes I totally revamped to suit my dietary needs. At times they would work and at times they were flops, and some were just were not as healthy as I would have liked.

Also most of the time I had to make two meals for dinner – one for the family and one for myself.  That took a lot of energy and since my energy wasn’t that great, it took a lot of effort to cook two meals every dinner every day of the week.  I could not keep this up indefinitely.

That is when I stumbled upon  http://simplynaturalhealth.com quite by accident, and just in time.  And I am so glad that I found it.   I still have to account for certain items that I cannot use, but mostly they are in the spice category, or they are very simple to substitute for.  Most recipes use whole foods and whole grains whenever possible and there are recipes that the whole family can eat.  “Yippee.”   The recipes are healthy, and they are easy to put together.  They are great for vegetarians as well as vegans.   There are still those recipes that the family likes and I cook for them, but it is not as much a chore because I do not have to cook two meals at supper everyday anymore.

On the recipe blog, our family favorite is Gluten-free and Soy-Free Bean Burger.  I found that substituting sunflower seeds for the nuts works just great, if nuts are an issue.

Gelatin Capsules!

Since my health issues, I have been taking numerous supplements and some have been contained in hypromellose capsules or gelatin capsules.  While having to be careful of the types of supplements and the ingredients used in them (those that have shown up as having sensitivities to), I had no  adverse reactions to those that I had been taking, and never even thought to check into what the capsules were made of.

I developed an extremely bad case of eczema mid April.  Started on the legs and moved up the torso towards the neck.   So I started to try to figure out what it was that caused it.  It seemed the more I took away from my diet and surroundings, the worse the eczema got.   I continued to take the supplements hoping that they would help with calming the inflammation of the eczema.  Went through tons of natural creams with Calendula and Heem oil, still not much helped.

I was at an osteopath appointment beginning of June and on a passing remark, she mentioned that some of her clients were showing signs of sensitivities to gelatin capsules.

Then with a move in mid June, I got so busy with packing, etc. that I kept forgetting to take my supplements.  But strangely I started to feel better.  My eczema was not so itchy, and the very light and latest eczema areas started to disappear.  I thought this very strange.  But was so very thankful for the reprieve from the consistent itch.

I continued to not take the supplements and still I had more energy than I had in a few months, and the itch was getting less and less.  I remembered the comment made by my Osteopath and started to investigate gelatin a bit more.   I looked into which of the supplements I took that used gelatin capsules.  There were only three of them.  I then looked into what exactly was the gelatin made from.  I found out from that most gelatin capsules were made from the bones of cattle.  Then things started to make sense.  With allergy testing  by a Naturopath, it was discovered that I was sensitive to dairy, beef and also to the cow itself.  This made sense that I would be sensitive to the capsules made of cattle gelatin.

So after conferring with my Naturopath, she was more than willing to find an alternative supplement to replace those that had gelatin capsules.   The original spots on my legs are still there, but slowly they are disappearing.   A major relief.

My hope is that if any one reading this blog are experiencing something similar and unexplained, please check your supplements and/your drugs.  There may be a connection.