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Posts Tagged ‘cooking

Same Song ~ Next Verse

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Today is Day 4 and it’s much the same. I’m thinking about smoking 24/7 and having a real hard time with it despite reminding myself of all the reasons I want to quit and the benefits of doing so. The good part about that is, I’m not thinking about the wine I’m not drinking. The food aspect is great, but it’s easy when you like what you eat and one dish lasts all week. Sleep is getting better but needs to be longer. Stress will be better once these damn nicotine cravings go away. This is all about the whole picture – not just nutrition, but I’m starting to feel like I may need 30 days just to get over the fucking cigarettes and another 30 to be able to deal with everything else.

This morning was more ugly egg muffins with the last of Greg and Dorothy’s smoked butt.  Lunch was another roast beast salad with the awesome pear infused vinegar, some black olives, grilled asparagus and a La Croix carbonated water. Dinner, finally, I seemed to be back to my normal lack of hunger in the evening. Since I wasn’t real hungry, I whipped up more of Melissa’s cumin/chili powder okra – this is definitely a keeper of a recipe!

I’ve got oxtails thawing in the fridge and look forward to making this recipe tomorrow night or Saturday. Doesn’t it look good?

I’m off to walk the kiddo and instead of listening to any of my favorite podcasts, I think I’m going to jam to some good tunes.  Music is healing and soothing to the soul.  It’s also conducive to the mind being mentally confused and prone to wandering. I probably wouldn’t remember or comprehend half of anything in a podcast tonight. Now to choose what I’m in the mood for… Broadway tunes, country, southern rock, folk, cajun, rock, classics, standards, smooth jazz….. We’ll see, I reckon. What do you listen to when you’re dispirited?


Written by Sonya

August 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Posted in Advice, Diet, Whole 9

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This. Is. Not. Hard.

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I keep repeating that mantra from the Whole 9 website in my head.

It is not hard.  Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Giving up heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard.  Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”.  YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.

And, since I’m not buying it right now, I’m also counting up how much money I’m going to save this month by not smoking or drinking my wine.  I’m imagining how nice my house and my car will smell. How delighted I’m going to be as these 30 days get me through the weight loss plateau I’ve been on.  It’s the smoking, not the nutrition aspect of this that’s really giving me a hard time right now.

Breakfast was three more of those ugly but yummy muffins.  Lunch ended up being a pleasant surprise.  My friend Dorothy brought in some smoked butt she and her husband prepared this weekend.  Those two can cook and the butt was absolutely freakishly good – so good, in fact, that Noralynn and I were accused of cheating because it smelled so good.  It tasted even better than it smelled!  Again, it doesn’t look so good but if we had Smell-O-Vision, you’d be crawling through the computer.

Being a true southern gal I’m a sucker for fried okra and it’s one of my “go to” dishes when I’m homesick. Uncle Jones BBQ is where I used to go to get my fix for that and lots of other good soul food. He’s back but out of his food truck so there’s no buffet anymore.  So, I was excited and intrigued when I found this recipe from Melissa.  I safe, Whole 9 compliant way to have my beloved okra. I’m not homesick but something comfort-ish wouldn’t hurt, right?  This was delicious!  I used the almond flour/meal I already have instead of grinding the almonds myself but it turned out wonderful.  Will definitely make this again!

So tonight was leftover beef curry and noodles from last night and Melissa’s okra. (If I can figure out how to flip the picture, I’ll edit the post.)

I didn’t get to go to the gym again tonight because of work.  That means I’ve missed my water aerobics and my water zumba classes which are the things I do at the gym because I enjoy doing them. The weight training and body weight exercises are for the health, weight loss and insulin sensitivity issues I need to fix. I’m pretty bummed but it’s okay. I’ll survive. Tonight will just be an extra long walk with the squirt to make up for it.  She’s not complaining.

Written by Sonya

August 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Posted in Diet, Whole 9

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I’m a quitter (so far)!  I’ve made it almost 24 hours without a cigarette.  It’s hard now that I’m at home where I smoke most but, according to experts my blood oxygen level will have increased to normal and carbon monoxide levels will have dropped to normal. However, tonight anxieties peak in intensity and within two weeks should return to near pre-cessation levels.

Are you looking forward to seeing me at work tomorrow? Here’s what you can look forward to: Damaged nerve endings have started to regrow and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Cessation anger and irritability peaks.

I don’t normally eat dinner but I was starving on the way home from work.  I whipped up some beef curry with snow peas, carrots and turnips.  It’s served over konjac noodles. It was quite good.

p.s. I had a pink lady apple and about 8-10 olives during the day today.

Written by Sonya

August 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Day 1

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We’re all off to a good start!

Steve rendered our beef tallow from Deep Roots Meat this weekend so I have nice buttery looking jars of goodness to cook with. Thanks, Steve!






Breakfast tasted better than it looks. I made Sarah Fragoso’s egg muffins with a slight twist since I’m not eating bacon during the Whole 9. I’m afraid I haven’t quite gotten down the difference between “chop” and “puree” with the food processor.

Please don’t let this picture discourage you from trying the egg muffins.  They are delicious, incredibly portable and I won’t have to cook breakfast for the rest of the week. How cool is that?

I’m not hungry when I get up, so I eat breakfast at work when I do get hungry.  You’ll be seeing those plates a lot over the next 30 days.

Lunch is leftover roast beast on a bed of lettuce and carrots with some grilled asparagus (yum!). I made a vinaigrette with olive oil and pear-infused vinegar I found at the store. That’s it – I didn’t add any seasonings and it was so flavorful and light.


Written by Sonya

August 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Twas the Night Before Whole 9

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Twas the night before the Whole 9 Challenge
And all through the kitchen
My hands they were grillin’
Egg muffins, roast beast and asparagus were chillin’

Awww, hell, I’m not a poet….let’s just say that the haul from the grunchy store to be certain I have plenty of Whole 9 approved goodies on hand was large. You’d have thought I had 10 kids at home with all the stuff I bought (I do NOT like having no options on what to eat when the mood strikes). I even bought some pear infused vinegar which is actually pretty darn good!  I discovered my beloved Paul Newman’s Oil & Vinegar salad dressing has – gasp! – vegetable oil in it. I may or may not finish the three bottles I have once the challenge is over – I will cross that bridge when I come to it but for now it’s off limits because I am doing this thing all-the-way – no exceptions.

I wanted to take a picture of my fridge like Mark Menjivar has done with people but I couldn’t get the lighting right and, since I live alone, it’s really not all that exciting. Rest assured, though, there is no snake in my freezer.  It’s mostly batteries (Floridian hurricane paranoia) and some goat meat I haven’t had the courage to actually cook yet.

I made Sarah Fragoso’s egg muffins to have my breakfasts taken care of this week. I am going to avoid processed meats, and that includes bacon and sausage so I used left over roast beast in the recipe. I have always been fond of Kalyn’s egg muffins but Sarah’s are different in some ways and that’s what I’m needing for this challenge to avoid “paleo-izing” favorites. When I make Kalyn’s I always, always use cheese, Sarah’s don’t.

In the strictest sense of Whole 9, I’m also giving up nightshades which has proven to be difficult for me because in my preparations I realize how much I must love tomatoes and peppers since they seem to be in every single thing I eat. If they are the cause of these horrific acne outbreaks and hormonal imbalances I have, I want to know. I’m just torn, now, trying to decide whether to add back dairy or nightshades first when the challenge is over. I love both so much! Those are the two things I think I’m going to miss most – believe it or not, over nicotine and wine. I plan to quit the nicotine for good and the wine… well, we’ll see. *smile* I am open to all possibilities.

“When the challenge is over….” Is that healthy or not? To already be thinking about when the challenge is over.  I dunno. It’s not supposed to be a forever thing – it’s a “resetting” thing – it’s a “getting a great base line” thing – it’s the mentality that I’m going to do this Whole 9 Whole Hog (Mississippi thang) – I expect great things to come out of this experience. Thanks, Steve, for challenging all of us to do this with you!

Steve, Jason, John, Noralynn, Arlene and I embark on this great adventure together starting tomorrow. I’m ready.

Written by Sonya

August 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm

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Lapham’s Quarterly is a new find for me and I’m very interested in some of the articles there.  I was reading Death in the Pot by Deborah Blum which is a very interesting article on the prevalence of poisoning in the past and, more importantly, the history of food safety laws (or the lack thereof). This article lead me to an article regarding Upton Sinclair’s novel “about the Chicago meat-packing industry, The Jungle. (Sinclair had meant the book to incite reaction toward improving worker rights. He famously later complained that, “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”)”

This article had a picture from a meat packing plant by the US National Archives Photostream on Flickr (don’t you love getting lost in links?).  I don’t see any pictures with copyrights so far. There are over 7,000 pictures and I’m certain I could waste a whole day looking at all of them, but this one in particular caught my eye. I think we should bring it back! I hope the mindset is coming back as it appears to be! Other favorites are the “Sugar, Save it” campaign poster and the “Victory Garden” poster.

I’m not planning any Victory Garden just yet but I am looking around for ideas to include in my menus during the Whole 9 challenge.  Being prepared, having necessary groceries on hand and planning time to cook meals is going to be critical to the success. 7 more days till we embark on our own n=1 experiments in figuring out which nutritional elements provide optimal health for us…I’m excited!

Written by Sonya

August 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm