A friend told me that she's pays attention to what I eat when we're together and eating. She said it was an eye opener that there are so many healthy choices that taste good and that she's been shaking up her weekly menu at home in her weight loss journey.
She made me wonder about some of the other conversations I've had with friends about how we all have regular rotation menus during busy work weeks and I thought...hmmmmm...maybe that's it. Maybe people kinda get stuck with making what they make weekly and never change up.
During the week I go for quick dishes but still healthy and flavorful. You know...fast food at home. Everything in moderation.
So I'm going to make a quick video (shooting for under two minutes) of some of the foods we eat all week.
Do you find that YOU stick with the same menu during the week? Or do you mix it up too?
This is Chicken Piccata. It takes a full 20 minutes to make and it's delicious.
Any dishes you'd like to see made into a quick video?
I could probably eat kale every.single.day. I keep it in my fridge and it's always on my weekly grocery list. My favorite to eat it is as a warm kale salad.
I boil a pot of water and then turn off the heat. Next I dump the kale in and make sure all the kale is wet, pouring it immediately into a colander. Then I put it back in the pot and toss with a diced tomato, two cloves of garlic, pressed, fresh cracked pepper, coarse sea salt and a splash of red wine vinegar.
I could seriously eat this for every meal I love it so.
Yesterday we had a really big, late lunch around 3:30 or so. By dinner time, we weren't really that hungry so I made us a warm kale salad and we had the leftover gluten free jalapeno cornbread muffins from our lunch/dinner (linner). LOL! It was PERFECTION!
Well...the cat's outta the bag and my poor T-Rhonda knows she accidentally "glutened" me cuz Shelly told on me. LOL!
It's the first time it happened to me since being diagnosed and man I tell you...I felt it pretty much immediately. I got really tired but I initially thought it was because we've been traveling for two weeks straight without much down time. Then...I went to sleep and woke up with a rash and a swollen face. My stomach was in serious pain and I was bloated like crazy. I started drinking lots of hot water but I still couldn't figure out what got me.
T-Rhonda had painstakingly made me gluten free dishes and they were delicious! She kept saying, "No flour. I didn't use any flour!" She was SO proud and I felt SO LOVED!!!!!!!!!
One of the dishes was a crawfish and corn chowder. OH MY WORD it was delicious! I had some of the leftovers before bed THE NEXT NIGHT TOO!
And was still in pain.
Robby loved the chowder so much that I asked for the recipe and well...that's when I discovered that the chowder was the culprit. She used a Campbell's soup to make the base and well...yeah...that tanked me. They do have some gluten-free products but the one she used was not one: Campbell's Gluten Free
I was totally unprepared for being glutened as I'm so careful so I didn't know really what to do. I was sooooo tired and really...I still am. Like...EXTREME fatigue. My stomach is on hurt big time, I have a headache, diarrhea, I'm bloated and I generally feel like a Mack truck ran me down. I asked Mr. Google about it and well...
I've been drinking water in large amounts and eating lots of fruit. I'm totally scared to eat anything that isn't raw fruit or veggie right now. I had some fish yesterday but I made sure it was grilled simply.
The biggest thing affecting me right now is the fatigue. Last night I just felt like slumping to the dirty New Orleans ground and bawling toddler style I was so exhausted.
Whew...NOT.GOOD. Apparently I'll feel like this for 5 - 10 days after digesting the gluten.
T-Rhonda feels awful but this is a pretty common mistake. If you haven't read up on Celiac's disease...it's pretty difficult to actually know what's what. I know she loves me...so I know she wasn't trying to kill her girl off. ROFL!
I wanted to try something different for Christmas this year so I decided to do a raw, fresh, uncured ham. It seemed to be pretty daunting but honestly...it was the easiest thing in the world to do and sooooooooooo delicious!
I ordered a 10 - 12 pound ham with the bone-in shank up on an angle. (NOTE...mine was a little over 12 pounds.)
Cory Booker has been in the news attempting to bring awareness to the use of food stamps. I was pretty curious about it so I started reading up on his challenge and what he's learned as well.
The first thing I learned is that food stamps aren't meant to provide all the food for you and your family when things are hard. They are provided as a SUPPLEMENT to what you already have so they assume you have a minimum income.
Here's a basic snapshot of how much you'd get:
So...if Robby and I qualified for food stamps, we'd have to meet certain income requirements first. We have a two person household so we couldn't make more than in this chart for two people:
So...we couldn't have a gross monthly income of more than $1,640 which comes to $19,680 a year.
I'm not going to say too much about how having that as a maximum income wouldn't even cover our basic living expenses like our mortgage, electricity, water, etc. cuz really...that kinda depresses me with what you COULDN'T do on that MAXIMUM qualifying salary.
So...we would get $367 a month to feed ourselves with and that's the MAXIMUM amount we could get so we might not get that. That said, we'd have about $12 a day to feed ourselves all of our meals. Two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners...plus snacks.
And Jaru and Lucy wouldn't be covered.
When I sit down and think about what $12 buys...it makes my head hurt.
So...I told Robby how much we'd get and he did some quick head math and was like...so about $90 a week? I think we could do it. As the grocery shopper in our household who actually knows how much we spend on food...I know we couldn't without some SERIOUS, serious changes.
I started thinking like my mother, the queen of a big azz bag of rice in a fiberglass type bag, and I felt like we could probably eat but we'd be doing LOTS of dried beans and rice with chicken from the rooter to the tooter AND...I'd have to seriously grow stuff. Like...I use a LOT of fresh, organic basil. Yeah...I'd have to grow it. Shrimp? Um...yeah...no. Wild caught fish? We might get that for Christmas dinner. Dinner parties at 13700? No more. NO.MORE. It would seriously be potluck with us providing serving dishes and utensils ONLY looking forward to whatever yall bring.
I'd probably have to only buy 7 apples a week and cut them in half so we each had a half of an apple a day. That good locally roasted coffee we buy from Mayorga at a little over $20 a pound? Um...yeah...no. And whatever coffee we could afford...we'd be reusing those grounds for that second pot we put on daily.
Gosh...and I probably couldn't have any more creamer.
No more wine. No more organic, free range eggs since they cost $4.00 a dozen and we eat 28 eggs per week. Grain fed beef? HA! Thing of the past and honestly...I'd probably choose to NOT have beef if I couldn't buy grain fed beef.
My gluten free bread? Probably never again cuz that's $5 per loaf.
And the list goes on.
So yeah...we're food spoiled.
I think we could do it because we're hustlers and survivors but it wouldn't be without SERIOUS challenges.
Robby asked me if I wanted to try to do it and I asked him when? He said we'd should start this week...Monday.
Me: I just spent $153 on groceries for the week on Saturday and I have a freezer full of meat and seafood.
Robby: Oh...well, let's try it after we eat all of that.
Me: I still have a cabinet filled with stuff I could do stuff with. I'm sure that when your finances have dipped to the point of qualifying...you've emptied your cabinets.
And now we feel all first world and ish and then the doorbell rang and it was a delivery from Amazon with a Christmas gift for someone who lives here and we're all weird feeling now knowing that 46 million Americans are on food stamps.
So yeah...if we're to judge...Cory Booker's experiment is a success. It made us think about this and empathize with the millions of Americans who need the supplemental assistance. It was a good household exercise for us because we talked about it and it led to an excellent conversation for us regarding waste and what we could do to help others. If that wasn't the focus of Mr. Booker's experiment...it should have been because that was pretty powerful.
Have YOU thought about it since he started? Do you think YOU could do it? Would you have to change drastically? Do you think you'd start having unhealthy habits or would this force you to be even healthier in your choices since you wouldn't have many options to choose from?
I made this soup this evening after the game and we LOVE IT!
1 cup brown rice
1 cup dried lentils
1 cup dried split peas
1 cup pasta (I use gluten free pasta.)
20 cups chicken broth (or vegetable)
1 smoked turkey wing (or other smoked meat)
2 cloves of garlic minced
Black pepper, red pepper flakes
Put everything in the pot, bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. TASTE. Add salt according to taste. (You should never add salt before this when using smoked meat because you don't know how much salt has been used in the smoked meat.) Simmer for 20 more minutes stirring occasionally. Dice the meat off the bone and put everything back in the pot.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is really easy to make smaller or larger pots of it. This made a big pot so, if you'd like to make it for one or two people with a bit left over, just do simple arithmetic and you're good.
The math is simple, 1 part (same amount) of 4 dried goods then multiply the total amount of dried goods by 5 to get how much broth you'll need.
So...if you only use 1/4 cup of each ingredient that equals 1 cup of dried goods so you'll need 5 cups of broth.
You can make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth and not using the smoked turkey and it doesn't have to be gluten free if you don't need it to be.
If you've been reading this blog you know I had a rough patch health wise for a minute until my doctors determined that it was the Gluten and wheat that was poisoning my body something rough.
So I had to go gluten free.
When I was told I was skeptical and went into it side-eyeing the prognosis something fierce. Then...a week in, I realized just how AWESOME I felt all over. No more daily stomach pain, major source of energy, less dry skin, etc.
I started REALLY stepping it up and learning more about my options and...I'm happy to say that it's been much easier than I thought it would be and I feel SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better.
And now I'm noticing other things that are really making me go HMMMMMMMMM...
The Robinator is pretty serious about this beer. As supportive as he normally is...it was determined that he could NOT go Gluten-free with me early on because of his love of drinking beer while watching a game.
Oh...and dude is a SERIOUS beer snob. None of that beer commercial stuff for him. He's all bourgie with his beer choices. So when we found out about Omission beer...he decided to try it out. Omission Beer
Here is what the company says about their beer:
According to federal guidelines, we aren’t legally allowed to claim that Omission beer is gluten-free outside of Oregon because the beer is brewed with malted barley. While the FDA proposed to define the term “gluten-free,” that definition has not been formally adopted by the organization.
Part of the definition proposed in 2007, and again in 2011, states that a product may not be labeled as gluten-free if it contains “an ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain that has been processed to remove gluten, if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food.”
While Omission beer does contain barley, one of the “prohibited grains” in this definition, all batches are tested by an independent lab using the R5 Competitive ELISA to ensure that gluten levels meet our standards. Although scientific evidence supports the testing, the evidence is not conclusive. All Omission beer test results can be viewed at: www.omissiontests.com
We kept adding flour until it was the consistency that a good roux should be, but it was WAY darker than I like. I used it anyway knowing I'd have to add more chicken broth to the base to thin out the pungent taste of the dark roux.
It was the most hands-on pot of gumbo I've made in a while. I had to keep adjusting it until it was good. A couple of friends and The Robinator gave it a thumbs up but I'm sitting here now thinking of ways I could make it better.
Cuz that's how I obsess. LOL!
After I had my dinner, I was sitting there talking and within twenty minutes my stomach revolted and it was BAD! None of my ingredients had gluten or wheat in it so we determined that it had to be the vegetable oil that got me. Many people who have to be gluten free have an intolerance to soybean oil it seems and that's what the vegetable oil is made of. So, now I'm researching how to make the roux right without using oil.
The Robinator says that he's sorry I can't have anymore REAL gumbo and it must be hard on me knowing this. He said this as he was eating a second big bowl.