Man, is this confusing.

I know I’ve posted before about possible problems with soy and thyroid implications.  I’ve also heard to stay away from gluten.  Now I’m hearing I should stay away from vegetables from the brassica family, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage in all forms, and brussel sprouts, asparagus, spinach, etc.  Other cyanogenic foods include peaches and pears, both of which I love.  Most of the sources I’ve read say it’s ok if they’re cooked, but not raw.   I do enjoy most of them cooked, though I love raw spinach.  This does not leave a lot for me to eat, especially if you throw in the things I’m trying to avoid to adjust pH.

The problem is that I don’t know what the basic problem is.  Thyroid?  Well, my levels are low normal, but they are NORMAL.  The symptoms I have are so non-specific and could be due to hypothyroidism, or to lupus, or to a bunch of other things.  So who knows?  Chinese medicine doesn’t care so much about labels, but about signs and symptoms, and they treat according to those.  So what do I do?

Well, the first thing to go is the pH thing.  I’m told it helps in metabolism and weight loss, but right now that’s all secondary; so I’m not even going to take it into consideration right now.  Getting rid of the pain and fatigue, is paramount, the mind fog and itch is next.  So I think I’m going to set a goal this week of not eating any soy products (though I think tofu is acceptable, since it’s cooked; but for right now I’m going to try anyway), work on getting all my protein from seitan, beans, and grains.  This requires some planning  ahead, which is not of course my strong suit.  But I’ll try.  I’ve already switched mostly to almond milk instead of soy, so that’s one hurdle.  My ice cream is coconut milk, thank goodness, as is my yogurt.  I’ll have to forgo the cheeze products, which won’t be hard since I’m really not wild about them anyway.  I’ll be fine, if my seitan comes out ok.

Now that I’ve purchased some, I have a better idea of what it’s supposed to come out like, so hopefully I’ll do okay.  I bought some at Lassen’s the other day; way expensive, of course; but it did go further than I thought. I used it in a General Tsao’s sauce, and didn’t think there was going to be enough for everyone, so I added some of the stuff I’d made.  Side by side the difference was amazing.  The purchased stuff was light, fluffy; and the texture was much closer to meat.  Mine was hard, rubbery and not really fun to eat.  I think I over cooked it for one thing; but I also didn’t realize how quickly the gluten would firm up when I added liquid, and I just let it sit while I got other ingredients. I hope that if I can correct those things, it will be more palatable.  Now I need to suck it up and go try, and then get ready to go see the Beloved play at Los Corporales tonight!  Whoo hoooooo!

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Juicing

I’ve been trying to make a green vegetable juice drink every day.  On our last trip to Costco, I bought an enormous bag of spinach.  You cannot imagine how large this bag was.  It took up an entire shelf in my refrigerator. I thought, no way am I going to use this all up before it goes bad.

Guess what?  I was wrong.

I  just juiced the last of it tonight.  Five days.  Three times juicing and two meals with cooked spinach as the vegetable.  It’s gone.  I can’t believe it!  The juice tonight was gorgeous in color; a  brilliant emerald green.  Four large handfuls of spinach, three large kale leaves, about six baby carrots, an inch of ginger, half a yellow pepper, and half a cucumber.  I’m not wild about the flavor of the pepper; I don’t think I’ll add that again.  I pour the juice into a larger container, and add an equal amount of pineapple juice; it’s delicious!

Part of the reason for juicing is to try and make my body more alkaline.  There’s a school of thought that believes that our body needs to have a slightly alkaline balance, and that when we eat too many acid forming foods, our bodies struggle to maintain the balance, making us tired, sluggish, overweight, and can even lead to cancer, as cancer cells thrive in an acid environment.  Now, do I believe this one hundred percent?  Probably not.  On the other hand, it isn’t difficult to do.  Foods that lead to alkalinity in the body are really healthy foods.  Green leafy vegetables, for the most part.  So I figure it can’t hurt.  Being a google freak, I googled and googled to find more information on which foods are alkaline and which aren’t.  I found a lot of very subjective charts that didn’t always seem to have the same food in the same category.  Finally, I came across this site.   There may be as much bs here as anywhere else, but I like that they quantified it, assigning a number value to each food, giving you some frame of reference.  Look carefully at that chart, and you may notice that most of the things I’ve given up (meat, dairy, coffee) are in the ACID group, along with sugar, alcohol, a lot of grains, and even beans!  I don’t believe I’ll be giving up sugar completely, or alcohol, for that matter (I do love my Sammies) but occasionally, they should be fine.

Tonight’s review is for Lucky Food Pot Stickers.  As the  beloved is out tonight, and I was too sore to spend a ton of time in the kitchen, I had frozen pot stickers for dinner, accompanied by a large glass of green juice. The package states it’s vegetarian, not vegan, but there’s nothing in the ingredients to indicate eggs or dairy.  It may be that the vitamins in the flour aren’t vegan, but quite honestly, I just can’t be that obsessed right now.  The pot stickers were pretty good; the sauce was very good.  Without the sauce, they were pretty humdrum.  But it was a fun, quick meal with enough nutrition for the night. Again, they were fairly pricey; around four and a half dollars, so they can’t be an every night thing.  I may or may not purchase these again; depends on my mood.

In the “I made it myself” category, I have a review for Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles courtesy of The Post Punk Kitchen blog.  They were… YUM.  Despite my problems with my oven, which are legion, these tasted fabulous.  I did overcook them a tad, especially as I really love cookies to be soft and chewy, but they were still awesome.  Chocolatey, sweet, but not too; and a nice kick of heat that really elevates the cookie to something special.  I will definitely be making these again.  Not for a while, however; I had the feeling I might like them, so I doubled the batch, and froze half.  Sometimes, I amaze myself…

I’m thinking tonight I might try a crockpot quinoa cereal for a quick breakfast in the morning.  Could be delish!