*note: my diet has evolved greatly since the writing of this post, as I’ve learned more about healing my iatrogenically damaged body. I no longer currently eat either grains or dairy. The journey to understand the dietary needs of my body continues to evolve. The body’s needs, too, change over time and as it heals.
Some of you may know because I’ve made vague reference of it from time to time that I love to cook. The only thing that I still am able to do from time to time on a regular basis from my old life is cook. I don’t always have the energy and Daniel has picked up the slack but I still sometimes take on cooking projects even if I have to lay down several times during the preparation. I will tell of a few of my latest exploits saving the best for last.
I cook purely from a place of creativity and spontaneity. It is the one and only thing I can be proud of picking up from my dad. He was and is an awesome cook and I used to hang around the kitchen while he cooked. I’ve often joked that I picked up cooking through osmosis as I never had a lesson from him, I just watched and tasted!
So now with the skill I seem to have magically picked up from my father I rarely plan anything in advance but instead come up with what I want to on whims that come from somewhere deep inside me.
Sometimes the ideas do take shape over time. Like in the instance of the lasagna I will tell you about. I no longer eat wheat, refined or whole. So one day when I saw brown rice lasagna noodles at my local health food store my mind started spinning. I hadn’t had lasagna in years!! I bought the noodles and they stayed on my shelf for a couple of months.
Then I decided I wanted to make lasagna one day. It’s a big and time consuming job and I knew it would have to be on a day in which I had a bit more energy than usual. I waited for that day, opened my refrigerator and studied it. I had a large roll of organic goat cheese. Ah! I’ll make goat cheese lasagna—I’ve never done that before! I used a small pan—one of those little square baking dishes, and the whole roll of goat cheese along with a killer red sauce with ground turkey. It came out pretty wonderful.
Another time somewhat recently my husband said something about making a Thai coconut soup. I jumped on it. I would go to an Asian market and buy coconut milk (you need to read the ingredients carefully—a lot of it has bad crap added to it). I also discovered all the pre-made soup mixes were loaded with MSG. So I bought the ingredients from scratch. Lots of fresh lemon grass, basil from my garden, red chiles, ginger, shitake mushrooms and chicken and of course plenty of coconut milk. Mmmm…delectable and delicious if not quite the real thing. I can’t say it was as good as in a Thai restaurant…but now I frankly wonder if they don’t use MSG.
Two nights ago I bought a whole fresh trout and broiled it. Very simple. No spices or flavoring…just the fresh natural yumminess of the fish. I accompanied the fish with red swiss chard tossed with dried cranberries and pine nuts and olive oil. I once read a recipe in the newspaper using raisins which I tried. I remembered this and had the dried cranberries on the shelf and so improvised. I liked it better than the raisins. This was a very simple, yet elegant dinner which only took less than half an hour to prepare.
Much of the time I’m struggling to eat at all. I’m frequently nauseous and often even when not nauseous I simply don’t have an appetite. And so I make a lot of cream and pureed soups. Those go down easy and you can put in all sort of healthy veggies and other items. I use cheese and yogurt to make them full of protein and the other day by accident I made a delightful fish chowder. I was cooking a box of organic chicken broth with a can of diced tomatoes, cheese, onion and zucchini when I noticed that Daniel had taken some fish out of the freezer for dinner. I threw it into the soup. It was a surprise chowder as good as any I’ve ever had in a fish restaurant. That was lunch and dinner for us that day along with some fresh veggies which I am always sure to eat in addition to any soup I make.
And for the last story:
About two weeks ago I had a thought that I have from time to time. “I want ice-cream!” I don’t have this thought very often but when I do it’s really the only time I miss desert or sugar. I thought though, “I really don’t like sugar that much, I like the creaminess of the ice cream.” So the idea to buy an ice cream maker was born. I went straight to Amazon and bought a nice little 2 pint Cuisanart ice cream maker. And the fruits of that labor just got put into the freezer right before I thought of writing this post. I haven’t had ice cream in several years either. Unfortunately I’m not feeling hungry at the moment, but eventually I will enjoy it. I tasted it and it’s pretty scrumptious.
I thought a lot about how to make a delicious, healthy, (except for the fat, but when you use organic, grass fed cream, well the fat becomes much less of an issue!! google that if you’re interested—saturated fat is not all created equal! My ultra-low cholesterol, which used to be high before I started eating this way is an indication that what I say is true) ah…back to the topic at hand….delicious, healthy, essentially sugar free ice cream. My final recipe:
1 very ripe banana
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 pint low fat milk
1 egg and 2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
2 tsp Stevia (a natural sugar-free herb that tastes sweet)
1 tbsp Agave Nectar (the same plant that produces tequila, produces this low glycemic natural sugar which actually has some additional nutritional value unlike processed sugar)
All of the ingredients are cooked into a very light custard and refrigerated overnight.
The recipe that I sorta used as inspiration called for a cup of sugar which I was of course avoiding.
3/4 cup of agave nectar is equivalent to a cup of sugar and 1/4 tsp of Stevia is equivalent to 1 tsp sugar. So do the math. This is very lightly sweetened. Of course the very ripe banana helps with the sweetening too. In any case it’s awesomely delicious and very low in sugar!!!
I eat dairy products very infrequently and in general I eat goat milk products because cow’s milk, even organic can cause lots of problems for many many people with sensitive systems. I’ve not noticed, in general, that it bothers me though when I eat it infrequently so I’m quite pleased with myself and looking forward to indulging as my appetite allows.
I did just think about making goats milk ice cream. That would take care of my bit of squeamishness about eating cow’s milk. It would not be quite as rich but I don’t think that would matter much.
And oh, a final note: The best part of my oh so terribly restricted diet? I never feel like I’m deprived!! The only time it’s awkward is when I’m in someone else’s home.
Because I’m so creative and I have a blast making healthy, wholesome food I always feel satisfied!! Eating healthy and wholesome has nothing to do with deprivation. Also no one has ever left this house feeling like they were on a diet after a meal here and I only serve that which I can eat!! Of course my diet has nothing to do with losing weight or counting calories, though many people do lose weight if they choose to eat like I do. And that’s because while it may not be totally apparent here I eat a ton of veggies and very little grain. Fat doesn’t really seem to matter in the large picture, as long as you’re not drinking vats of lard. For more on my dietary tips to support good mental health visit here.
I’ve also discovered that variations of this diet is generally recommended for lots of health issues including my endometriosis and high cholesterol as I mentioned. As I’ve said before it’s basically just a healthy diet! Good whole food. Unprocessed as nature made it.With very little carbohydrates of any kind.