Posts Tagged ‘healthy-living’

Simple Spinach Soup

November 19, 2015
Delicious Ripe Soursop

Delicious Ripe Soursop

Of course I ate the whole Soursop, 1000 calories, which is one of those perfectly delicious foods. Once I got started, I just couldn’t stop myself until there was nothing left. I never did have much will power which is why I eat and drink too much and remain overweight. However, this time I am not giving up until I reach 180 pounds when I will slowly return to my bad habits. Honestly, it’s easier for me to go on a diet every few years than it is to be temperate everyday of my life.pixel period
This is my first serious diet since 2012 where I was watching for the effect of what I ate on my chronic pain and the ability to control my ADHD. Of course, I lost interest in my experiments, stopped worrying about what I ate and gained weight reaching a maximum of 215 which is still more than 50 pounds lighter than my highest ever. I must admit it was nice starting my day with a bag of peanuts, a double order of crisp bacon and a Ting, grapefruit soda. Over 1000 calories before lunch, dinner and wine. The only reason I never went above 215 was my exercise. But those days are past, I hope.

 

Dinner, Spinach Meatball Soup

Dinner, Spinach Meatball Soup

I decided to have a very light dinner to offset my fruit consumption and I had spotted a recipe for Spinach Soup at I’ve Got Cake which focuses on Food, Fashion and Style for a young audience. Dana cooks full flavored foods so I carry her on my reader. It helps that she’s attractive, but don’t get her angry because she has a temper and will cuss you out.

Cleaned Fresh Spinach

Cleaned Fresh Spinach

Since I was a little bloated and also a little tired from the sedative effect of the soursop, I did not feel like a creative meal just a quick easy one. The creative part had already been done by Dana in her attractive presentation. I had some fresh spinach I wanted to use up so that part was easy.

Meatballs and Bullion Cubes in Coffeepot

Meatballs and Bullion Cubes in Coffeepot

I got really lazy and used frozen meatballs and bullion cubes. I also adapted it to my coffeepot so I didn’t have to pay attention. The spinach was fresh and I added it at the end when the meatballs were cooked. I ate all the spinach, six meatballs and half thee broth for about 300 calories. I was satisfied and that was it for the day except for my evening bottle of wine.pixel period
I actually made this about a week ago and am making it for the second time today. I went out to breakfast with a couple of friends and overate during this social gathering. Today I am making the soup easy by putting everything in the pot and letting it cook while I run errands.pixel period
Ingredients.
6 meatballs
1/2 package of frozen spinach
1/2 scotch bonnet hot pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 bullion cubes

Method
Place all in the pot and place on the coffeemaker
Add 16 oz bottle of water to the coffeemaker section
After the heated water is in the pot, let steep for 1 hour.

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Feather Meal Fed to Chickens Contains, Antibiotics, Prozac, Tylenol, and Benadryl

November 17, 2015

This is a guest commentary based on real science from two respected organizations testing all the feed that goes to chickens that they could find. This article starts as follows:

“Grilled chicken lightly seasoned with some of your favorite fresh vegetables sounds like a nice dinner, doesn’t it?  It may not sound so appealing once you find out  what the chicken’s diet consisted of. According to a recent study by John’s Hopkins  Bloomberg School of Public Health, feather meal that is fed to chickens (yes, feathers from other chickens fed to living chickens…gross) is contaminated with a  pharmaceutical soup that contains antibiotics known as  fluoroquinolones.” Read article here.

The original source article is easy to read and is available from Johns Hopkins website. Unfortunately, I found it even more negative.

The only problem I have with this research is it came out in 2012 and was passed along in the first link in 2013. My concern in passing it along is that Big Business feeding mommy’s chicken feathers to her baby chickens may have developed a conscience and stopped using the feathers and the illegal antibiotics they contain.

So don’t worry be happy! Eat chicken, it’s finger licking good.

I am planning a ten mile walk for tomorrow so I followed my own advice. I ate a  chicken leg (oops hind quarter) and potatoes for dinner tonight; Fried, Deep Fat Fried. I found out in searching my posts, I have never described frying chicken before but here is the Caribbean method of making deep fat fried pork and French fries.

I am still 202 pounds so I expect that after walking 10 miles tomorrow, all the toxins will work their way out of my system flushed out by a few beers before noon.

Is Broccoli Bad for Your Health and a Rant About Internet Research

November 17, 2015

As a writer who lives on St. Croix, I must use the Internet for the background research on the stories I write. On the negative side, much of what is published on the Internet is simply unsubstantiated personal opinions. Fortunately, I am living and working more than 300 years in the past and people have taken the trouble to electronically archive original documents and books on line.

When I find a page about pirate activity without a source for the information, I usually ignore it unless I can find a 300 year old source book with eyewitness accounts that substantiates the information. Where I find most of the worst information is when I am searching for new recipes or trying to find the nutritional value of what I eat.

 

Broccoli snack

Broccoli snack

For instance, another of my very low calorie snacks is steamed broccoli which can be done in a steamer or even a colander above a boiling pot of water. The water should not contact the broccoli, only the steam.

double boiler

double boiler

While seeking the nutritional data, I stumbled upon the paragraph I quote below.pixel period
You probably didn’t see what was so great about broccoli as a child, but the truth is that this vegetable is one of nature’s superfoods. From its stalk to its flowering head, broccoli is packed with nutrients and vitamins needed for your overall health and wellbeing. This vegetable has been around for centuries, and it has always been used and viewed as the perfect go-to food.”

pixel period
There are many superlatives in that paragraph even though it doesn’t give any really factual knowledge. For instance; Who has always used and viewed broccoli as the perfect go-to food? What is a go-to food? And how long is always? I like to give credit to the original author no matter how bad the work to confirm this was not a plagiarized post. I used two search engines (here and here) to check on the source of the sentence highlighted in bold. I found eight posted sources word for word on various health and fitness blogs all with a different authors so I have no idea who the original author was.pixel period
Interestingly enough, nobody bothered to leave a comment at any of the sites I visited so I assume that nobody really thought about what they were reading. I guess we will now have another generation of mindless mothers who will be feeding their kids broccoli because it is the go-to food full of the nutriments and vitamins needed for overall health and well being. Their kids would have been better off if Mom spent the same amount of time that she wasted surfing the Internet on taking her kids for a walk in the great outdoors or learning Arduino programming to teach to her kids.pixel period
On the other hand, Broccoli is bad for you, like, really toxic bad was written by Tim Crowe is an Associate Professor in Nutrition at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia and an accredited dietitian. He started off with a clear warning that “An alternative title I had for this blog post was: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet to do with nutrition”, but I wager this one was more effective in getting your attention.” He than published an over the top rant about the evils of broccoli before telling people that this was pseudo science, exaggerations and corruptions of scientific studies.

Professor Crowe received 158 comments many of them angry and negative because people missed or ignored the subtle warning not to believe everything you read on the net. Commenters feared that careless or unscrupulous readers might quote out of context and spread false informational about broccoli.pixel period
I decided to check and see if there was any other reuse of his article. Naturally I took one of his more outrageous sentences and searched, here and here to find other sites that contain the phrase, “And remember those thiocyanates I mentioned earlier? Well those too can cause bladder cancer in rats. We have graphic warning signs about cancer on cigarette packets, so why do health authorities continue to sit on their hands and take no action against broccoli?”pixel period
On the positive side, I found his complete article was reposted in full at FitnessReloaded.com by editor Maria Brilaki, a Stanford Engineering grad with an MBA. She helps over 100,000 monthly readers make better, healthier choices. She has a personal trainer certification and spends over 15 hours researching each article people read on her site. It’s all because she doesn’t want to fall for fads or hype anymore so searches for the truth like Tim Crowe.pixel period
Unfortunately, we are discussing Internet publishing so there is always an offsetting negative and the prize for that is Ben J. Johnson, Staff Writer for Natural Newd, a site that publishes pseudo science, deceptive science and science fiction. Of course young Ben only published the negative and avoided the part about how to tell real science from junk science as that would allow evaluation of everything published at his site.pixel period
As near as I can tell he even drops so low as to violate the terms of a free Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. He does lead with a link to the original article but lists his title as Staff Writer and notes at the end that the source is Broccoli is bad for you, like, really toxic bad by Tim Crowe.

When reposting. you must give appropriate credit to the original author of the material and indicate if changes were made. Well guess Ben is one of those people who never follows the rules.pixel period
I like broccoli, it is low in calories and I am not dead yet. I am also down to 202. Guess I’ll just keep snacking on Rabbit food and eat portion controlled meals. I would drop weight much faster if I quit drinking, I am just not ready yet.

 

Summer Squash Pasta Substitute

November 10, 2015
Squash slices in Tomato Sauce

Squash slices in Tomato Sauce

I woke up Sunday at 203 pounds, only 23 pounds more to lose in 52 days. Should be OK, if I don’t have too many failures. Todays meal takes the carbohydrates out of Italian food by substituting thin sliced zucchini or summer squash for pasta in tomato sauce.

This recipe is more visual than wordy. I always have tomato sauce in my refrigerator so it is easy to put the sauce on early in the day and let it heat up in my coffeepot.

Prepping the Squash

Prepping the Squash

The squash is pealed and both ends cut off. Then thin slices are cut from the squash.Notice the seed core is not used in this recipe. There is nothing wrong with the core. The resulting meal is just prettier if you ship it.

Summer Squash Slices

Summer Squash Slices

I use a cheese slicer but there are other tools that can do the same.  I love both Summer Squash and Zucchini and previously made this meal out of the latter. The meal is Vegan before the cheese is added and vegetarian after.

Served with Parmesan Cheese

Served with Parmesan Cheese

BTW, the two soursop’s I bought are not ripe but a friend of mine gave me a fully ripe one today and if your not familiar with the fruit, you might think it looks rotten. That is when they are at their sweetest best.

Soursop, Ripe and Green

Soursop, Ripe and Green

Notice the ripe one is bigger than both of the one pound fruits. Therefore, I am looking at a 1000 calories. When I start to eat it, I will have to program myself to make a very light dinner or soup to offset it. Of course it is a sedative so maybe I will offset some of the calories by cutting back on wine. What ever happens, will happen and I will track it.

Refrigerator Pickles

November 9, 2015
Refrigerator Pickles

Refrigerator Pickles

I am inspired!! I am down to 204 which is my lowest weight for 2015 and with very little effort. I am still eating well and drinking my evening wine but avoiding the soda, peanuts and coffee with cream in the morning. On Saturday morning, I usually take a trip to the Vegetable Market at Le Reine for my week’s supply of fresh Vegetable. Today there was an abundance of cucumbers and a couple of nice young eggplants. I always have sauce in my refrigerator so am planning on Eggplant Parmesan later in the week.

I keep saying that I nibble on rabbit food during the day but that is not exactly true. When I got home today, I turned my cucumbers into Refrigerator Pickles. Since there is no sugar in the brine, the calories are about the same and I like the texture and flavor of pickles better.

Cucumbers are mentioned at least twice in the Bible (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8) and history records their usage over 4,000 years ago in Western Asia when cucumbers migrated from their native India to be pickled in the Tigris Valley.

As far back as 850 B.C., Aristotle extolled the healing effects of “cured” cucumbers and Julius Caesar thought pickles had an invigorating effect and supplied his army with them.

Aside from the Bible, Shakespeare specifically mentioned pickled as in drunk and in the The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1660), the word is used to describe a mess “as the house is in a pickle”. He also used pickled as a substitute for drunk.

While the English never solved the problem with scurvy until about 1850 when they all became limeys, The Dutch Navy and others fought the disease with pickles and sauerkraut. Columbus’ ships were supplied with vitamin C-rich pickles, allowing sailors to make the long trip without being debilitated by scurvy.

Cucumbers were brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus, who is known to have grown them on the island of Haiti. Cucumbers adapted quickly to the new world and by 1535 Cartier found cucumbers growing in Canada, and they were known to the colonists of Virginia as early as 1609.

Somewhere along the line, someone figured out that instead of a fermented pickle like a kosher dill, people could make a pretty good imitation without the long and sometimes uncontrolled fermentation process. Refrigerator pickles have a nice texture and flavor and there is minimal risk of making a bad batch.

You need to make enough liquid to cover the cucumbers and onions. I reuse the liquid so I just add enough cucumbers and onions until the Jar is full but the following is a good place to start. There are hundreds ,perhaps even thousand, of truly different pickling recipes on the Internet. Some include dry powered mustered or Turmeric which I like but they turn the brine yellow which I don’t find appealing. Others add sugar and cutback on the water to make a sweet and sour syrup. That’s the last thing I need when dieting although my recipe for pickled beet eggs has sugar, but not enough to make a syrup.

Cut up cucumbers and other ingredients

Cut up cucumbers and other ingredients

Ingredients:

4 to 6 cucumbers cut into spears.
1 onion cut into rings

Brine Ingredients.

4 cups of water
2 cups of vinegar
2 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons crushed garlic
1 Tablespoon dried dill or a few sprigs of fresh dill
1/2 Tablespoon mustard seeds
1/2 Tablespoon of Coriander seeds
1/2 hot pepper scotch bonnet or teaspoon of whole peppercorns

Directions: Slice onions and cucumbers and add to an appropriately sized container with a sound lid. I used one gallon sized. Mix water, vinegar and salt in a pot and make sure salt is all dissolved. Toss the spices into the container, don’t worry about mixing them. Add enough brine to over the raw vegetables. Cover and swirl around to distribute the spices. Stick container in Refrigerator. Since cucumbers are one of my goto snacks when dieting, I might start eating them right away. The do improve with age although, I have never had a batch last more than ten days.

My biggest diet problem started today. I went to the vegetable market and many merchants had out of season Julie mangoes. Also, soursop is in season, these are two of my favorite fruits. For a dollar a fruit, one pound, I brought two of each. Guess we get a chance to see how poor my will power is. Mangoes have about 210 calories with 200 from sugars and a soursop has over 400 calories with about 375 from sugars. However, I cant resist the flavor of fresh ripe locally grown fruit. I will attempt daily progress reports as I beat myself down to 180 pounds to start the new year.

Coffeepot Beef Liver

February 14, 2014

 

Liver and onions. Garlic Mashed potatoes and brown Gravy

Liver and onions. Garlic Mashed potatoes and brown Gravy

When it comes to liver, I prefer calves liver to beef liver. However, most people in St. Croix don’t like any liver at all and there are very few calves around so no calves liver in stores. Now calves liver properly done is a very tender richly flavored piece of meat whereas beef liver is much tougher and has a coarser heavier flavor which is hard to overcome.

All this changed when I stumbled upon a recipe for Serena’s “Lazy Liver” cooked in a crockpot. This recipe was simplicity in itself which is always a good way to start when using a new cooking method and slow cooking was definitely a new concept because with calves liver it is quickly fried and served slightly pink. Slow cooking calves liver on a stove destroys it and makes it tough. I tried Serena’s recipe a couple of times when liver was on sale and it was a lot better that beef liver cooked on a stove but not quite equal to the best of calves liver which is generally unavailable.

When I decided to return to coffeepot cooking, I found beef liver on sale for $1.25 a pound and purchased .84 pounds which I cut in half. This gave me a 7 oz portion size which is a lot better than cooking and eating a whole pound. I left the other half frozen and returned it to the freezer in a Ziploc bag for another day. The following is a simple recipe with simple directions. It is also the best beef liver I have ever cooked or eaten. While I still prefer calves liver, I will cook and eat this again because I cant always find calves liver when I am in the mood for liver.

Ingredients:

½ stick butter

1 medium onion

1 bullion cube

1 oz Cruzan white rum

5-7 oz liver

1 T room temperature soft butter

1½ T white flower

1 to 1½ cup water

Method:

Place butter and onion in coffeepot with bullion cube.

Place pot on coffee warmer and cook until glazed. About 1 hour.

Add partially frozen liver to coffeepot. (cut into chunks if desired)

Add rum, cover pot with foil and return to the coffeepot warmer.

Remove foil covering top and add the water. Recover with the foil when done.

Mix room temperature butter and flour to a smooth paste (rue) and let set.

After a couple of hours the liver will be completely cooked.

Add the rue to the pot, mix well and cook a couple more hours until a smooth gravy forms when stirred.

Serve with garlic mashed potatoes.

Notes: The meal was quite good and easy to make. All the times are flexible as long as the total is about four hours. Pretty sure that you can add the flower when the onions are glazed and make a paste, then ad the frozen liver and rum and water right away, cover with foil and leave for 4 to 6 hours and it will be fine.

Overall, portion controlled meals are starting to work, I am down to 205 today and that is slightly better than 208 where I started. I will feel better when below 200 and ecstatic for each 10 pounds dropped down to 175 where I will probably stay for a year or so before human nature kicks in and my weight starts creeping up. The biggest reasons for me to lose weight are not health or appearance. I just have more energy the lighter I am down to 175. Below that, I start feeling weak and tired. Of course all that excess energy can be put to bad use like enjoying parties and staying up too late partying and drinking.

Oh well, it’s the cycle of my life.

Pot Roasted Chicken

February 9, 2014
Coffeepot Chicken

Coffeepot Chicken; A Portion Controlled Meal

Cooking in my coffeepot is both amusing and it facilitates portion controlled meals. Sometime the amusing factor overrides the portion control especially when I pot roasted a whole chicken in my coffeepot in expectations of doing it for my granddaughters.

Well, it is definitely weird stuffing a chicken into a coffeepot and the girls and I had fun doing dinner for three in my 12 cup coffeemaker. Truth be told, it was a Cornish Hen, but the girls never noticed that it was a rather skinny chicken. The reason I violated the portion control rule the first time I did it was I had to make sure that it cooked all the way through in a reasonable amount of time. Check the link here and you will see that the chicken is falling off the bone.

Now that I have minimized my writing projects to spare the time to totally immerse myself into portion controlled meals, I decided to do a pot roasted thigh in my coffeepot using the method described in the pot roasted chicken link. Of course, none of the great cooks in my immediate family ever look at a recipe and usually never make a meal exactly the same. True to the tradition, I made the meal from memory and found I had substituted chicken bullion for the adobo I used the first time. It was great and I am using the leftover broth as part of my soup stock.

As an aside, the week before, I grilled three of the thighs with a big baked sweet potato and ate everything. My current Manta is: “If you don’t cook it, you cant eat it so start with the proper portion.”

Recipe:

Ingredients

1 potato

1 carrot cut to length that will fit in pot and quartered long ways

1 celery stalk diced

1 medium onion coarse chopped

3 garlic clove sliced or minced

1 bay leaf

Optional, piece of fresh scotch bonnet hot pepper. Size depends on your taste.

Chicken Bullion Cube

1 chicken thigh, about 5-6 oz.

1 oz Crucian Rum

12 oz water

Method:

Precook the carrots and potatoes and set aside.

Put chopped celery, garlic and onion in pot, cook with oil and cook until onion is glazed (about 1 hour).

Add half scotch bonnet and bay leaf so it can be retrieved when sufficient flavor is infused into the cooked veggies.

Wash one thigh with lime juice after skin is removed. Place in pot on top of bullion cube. Add rum to the coffeepot. Cover the pot and let chicken cook until chicken loses the pink color (about 2 hours.)

Add precooked potatoes and carrots and sufficient water through coffee maker to cover everything.

Let cook another two hours.

Serve with flowers and wine. If you are starving to death, you better make what little you eat an elegant experience.

Well, day one is a resounding success. I am down to 206 which is two pounds lighter than I was the day before and on my birthday on January 23. Guess it’s time for a glass of water and a three mile walk. The coffeepot is cooking my liver and onions, but that’s another story. 

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

April 25, 2013
Stuffed Peppers and Broccoli Side

Stuffed Peppers and Broccoli Side

In January last year, I published two posts about stuffed peppers on my blog as this is one of the foods from my youth that I really liked. I am glad that I was publishing recipes while I dropped my 100 pounds, because it allows me to see how much my tastes have changed over time. In the post fifteen months ago, I was still favoring ground beef and in transition over white rice.

When I decided to make the stuffed peppers in my new Crockpot, there were several changes. First, it is much easier to get the stuffed pepper out of a Crockpot rather than a coffeepot because of the wider lid. But the really big change has been my evolution of ingredients. I no longer cook with salt. Yes, I have it on hand and use it occasionally but it is no longer a mindlessly included ingredient. I make up the lack of salt by using more spices.

I now use ground turkey instead of ground beef. Also, I no longer have any white rice in the house but favor brown rice or barley. Except for the cutting back on salt, the rest were not really conscious decisions and I don’t make a big deal out of them when my family is doing the cooking. I pretty much eat what is served and enjoy it. Without salt, I prefer the richer flavors of brown rice and barley over white rice. The original recipe which used ground beef, white rice and salt is here and my latest effort is below:

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
Stuffing Ingredients:
5 oz. (1/3 pound) ground turkey
1 small onion diced
½ cup cooked barley or brown rice
4 oz. Tomato sauce (canned or Italian)
1 tsp garlic
¼ tsp pepper
1 egg

Additional Ingredients:
2 medium bell peppers (Red or Green Look Best when cooked)
4-8 oz. Tomato sauce

Directions:
1.Combine all the stuffing ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until uniform.
2.Cut tops off of peppers, remove seeds and stuff with mixture.
3.Place in Crockpot
4.Add additional sauce until just completely covered.


Stuffed Pepper in Crockpot

Stuffed Peppers in the Crockpot

5.Cook covered 4-6 hours.
6.Serve with coleslaw or Broccoli

Best part no leftovers to tempt me!

Is Over Eating a Cure for Chronic Pain?

July 2, 2012

Subjective Pain Measurement Scale

For the past 16 days, I monitored everything I ate with regards to my pain level. Anyone suffering from either chronic pain, back pain or specific joint pain has been introduced to the concept of the happy face pain scale and the one I am most familiar with was the scale that runs from one to ten. Of course this is a very subjective measurement but then pain is a subjective concept. What bothers you, may not bother me at all.

I started exploring the concept of the Inflammation Factor Diet when my pain level was consistently an eight last winter and it was starting to damage my sense of humor. The first thing I found when trying to work with Inflammation Factors was that some of the food ratings were counter intuitive with tomato products bouncing all over the place between good and bad and Turkey and chicken legs being inflammatory but chicken breast being good. All this was just too much for me to remember until I discovered my list of five spices that fight inflammation. Using the five spices in combination and at normal amounts, almost guarantees that your Inflammation factor will be positive by over 1000. Of course, I took some days and nights off from spicy food to grill outside so my daily Inflammation Factor from Nutritiondata.self.com wandered between negative 246 and a positive 2327 when I totaled all the foods I ate for the day.

Except for a few foods like beer and candy, most foods seem to have a greater impact on the following day’s pain levels especially since I ate my primary meal at night and this had my higher spice loading. As a scientist, I am familiar with multiple linear regression and so I checked the values of pain for both the current day and the following day with calories, protein, Inflammation Factor and Carbohydrates as the dependent variables.

The results were incredible but not what I expected. First these variables correlated much better for the following day’s pain so there is a delay factor for eating and adsorbing all of the food value. The effect of protein and carbohydrates were minuscule and ignoring them did not change the correlation coefficient significantly. This was actually surprising because there is an awful lot published about high protein diets being important in fighting chronic pain. Over my 16 day period, I ate a fairly decent low calorie diet which was well balanced and averaged about 95 grams of protein per day (range, 54 to131) and about double that for carbohydrates, 187 grams (range, 133 to 307). The highest carbohydrate day came from a modest sugar candy binge.

Two variables were able to explain about 75% of the reduction on low pain days. It appears that in my body pain is a continuous state of affairs and that increasing my Inflammation Factor in a positive way is accompanied by a slight decrease in pain. Since I already like, cook and eat spicy foods, it would seem that my primordial instinct was already at work protecting me. The totally unexpected and even dangerous result is that there is a five times greater impact from the calories I consume. So eating more has a therapeutic effect on reducing pain.

Since I had my disc replacement surgery, I have been cussing my doctors for messing up my back and causing me a severe increase in pain which occurred the winter after my operation. It would now appear that I caused my own increase in pain by greatly reducing the calories I consumed each day to lose weight.

What had not occurred to me, was the pain got more sever as I ate fewer calories and dropped from obese to overweight to near normal in weight. It got so bad I complained to my daughter and her only comment was does it hurt when I walked? Yes! Does it hurt when I don’t walk? Yes!. Then stick to the diet, stop complaining and keep walking. Her logic was that being lighter and physically fit had to be a lot easier on my joints, than than being obese.

It seems the opposite is true: overeating helps mitigate chronic pain.

Go figure, another counter intuitive result but this one could have dangerous consequences if I give up on a pain free diet and revert to overeating as I had in the past.

Everything from Soup to Nuts – Spicy Foods in the Old World and Asia

June 22, 2012

Italian Pumpkin Soup

When I used to visit Aunt Adel, she used to prepare a six course Italian meal described by her as “Everything from Soup to Nuts.” Now any one of the courses could have been a meal unto itself but if you were really Italian, which I was not, you learned to pace yourself, which I did not. 

I never much thought about the purpose of each course and why some foods were alleged to go together until I first started thinking about the Inflammation Factor and healthy anti-inflammatory spices. Now as I mentioned before on the post on pumpkin soup, the addition of a chicken breast and some carrots makes this a hearty meal and since pumpkin is still on sale, I decided to check it out and find out how healthy it was.

I went to the Nutritionaldata site to check for the calories, protein, carbohydrates and Inflammation Factor for each ingredient including a chicken breast and carrots. I added up the totals for everything in the pot and was amazed at how healthy this soup really is and how high the anti -inflammatory qualities are. The results have been divided in two to reflect that the pot holds enough food for two people or two meals.

Calories 319
Protein 46
Carbohydrates 30
Inflammation Factor 709

Now this is a very impressive balanced low calorie anti-inflammatory meal, just the type I wanted to experiment with on my detox. Since I never do anything half way, I added fresh grated ginger, hot pepper and celery and more than doubled the anti-inflammatory properties without altering the other values by much.

I begin to see the concept of “Soup to Nuts” when I checked the anti-inflammatory properties of Almonds which Aunt Adel traditionally served at the end of the meal and found out they also had a positive influence. The concept would appear to be that if the meal started with and ended with foods high in anti-inflammatory properties, you could indulge in whatever you liked in the middle courses.

Pinto bean Curry

This new knowledge got me to thinking about other old world foods so I checked on some Indian Recipes while searching for a vegan recipe. The pinto bean recipe was also an original Indian recipe and unmodified by me as I don’t know enough about Indian Foods to alter the spice blends, but “I know what I like.” Once again I was utterly amazed at how high the anti-inflammatory properties are.

Calories 586
Protein 19
Carbohydrates 82
Inflammation Factor 1141

I guess in the old days, the people of the world did not have the luxury of picking and choosing what they were going to eat and just ate whatever was available to survive. To compensate for what might be the ill effects of refined flour and white rice, they just added spices and balance to the meals and got on with their lives. In many of these cultures, people live longer than Americans despite drinking too much wine and eating refined grains and starches so, I guess spices could be important.

In my mind, the jury on anti-inflammatory foods is still out but I intend to monitor what I naturally eat for the next year and make my decision after I go through a winter where my level of aches and pains traditionally increases.