Friday, June 24, 2011

Udi's GF Crust is an Artist's Palette

Last night I was starving, alone for the night and had no plans for dinner. I decided to pull an Udi's pizza crust out of the freezer and whip up dinner. Thanks to the fresh (and yummy) organic spinach from Mile High Organics, I had at least one topping set. After finding some cocktail shrimp in the freezer and using an open bottle of BBQ sauce instead of pizza sauce, I had a great dinner on the way. Thank goodness I also had just enough shredded Italian cheese blend to cover my creation.

But as I was eating my delish dinner and reading a magazine about health, I started to think about all the yummy gluten free options now available in stores. We are supposed to avoid processed foods and eat whole foods instead. Certainly all of these breads, pizza crusts, bagels, cookies, cakes, etc. are not healthy.

Then I started thinking about fiber. The fiber count of gluten free breads is nothing compared to the 100% whole wheat bread I used to eat. I think my fiber consumption is probably half of what it was before I gave up wheat. Should I supplement with fiber? I am trying to eat my fruits and veggies. Will that make up the whole grain difference?

What is healthy anyway. Every day I hear a new story about nutrition. One day potatoes are good for you - full of fiber and minerals. The next day we are told that the more potatoes we eat (cooked in any way) the fatter we become. One day we are told that complex carbs should account for 40% (or more) of our diet. The next day we are told that a Paleo diet (most meat and veggies with no grains) is the healthiest for our bodies.

I am so confused I don't know what to eat anymore. so I guess I will head to the frig and heat up my left over Udi's pizza. At least it tastes good.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mile High Organics is Force Feeding Me!

My husband and I signed up for home delivery of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables offered by Mile High Organics ( a couple of weeks ago. We knew we needed to eat more fresh vegetables and wanted to eat organic, when we could. We decided that getting them delivered to the house every week was a great way to step it up.

We try not to waste food and so by having food delivered to our house we are kind of "forced" to eat it. So far, we are really liking it! Here's why:

1. We know the contents of our bin a week before it is delivered on Tuesday. So, we can customize our menu plan for the coming week by incorporating those items that will be arriving. We normally grocery shop on Sunday so this works out great.

2. We have been trying to stick with the items pre-selected in the bin (except when we have excess or really hate something) so that we are forced to try new things or eat things that we normally wouldn't purchase.

3. We are actually saving money in our grocery budget (even after calculating in the cost of Mile High Organics) because we are doing a better job of menu planning and not just going to the grocery store and buying random items that don't always work together.

4. We know we are eating organic, high quality produce that is sourced locally when possible, and are eating more of it.

5. It is fun to come home on Tuesday and find our bin of produce waiting for us on the front porch!

We are still new to this so perhaps once the novelty wears off we won't like it as much or revert back into old shopping habits. But for now, it is a fun and healthy option for our meals.

What's An Animal Lover to Do?

I have been waging a battle in my brain for months now. Both sides are not playing fair and I wonder if the war will ever be over. What's this all about? Eating animals.

I LOVE animals of all kinds. I have a catch and release program in my house for most bug removal. We foster kittens, getting them ready to be adopted. Most of my charitable donations (outside of disaster relief) go to animal organizations. I stopped eating air breathing animals about 22 years ago. I kept fish in my diet because it was hard to always find a vegetarian dish on restaurant and banquet menus (especially 20 years ago).

I flourished as a vegetarian, especially as new and yummy vegetarian items started hitting the market. I was a lover of everything Morningstar Farm, including veggie burgers and sausage patties. I am one of the rare few that actually enjoys tofu.

Then it happened about four years ago . . . I developed an intolerance to soy! Was it because I was eating too much of it? Maybe. But that didn't really matter. When I ate it, I got stomach aches. So, I stopped eating soy AND grieved the loss deeply. I felt better immediately and found a way to adjust by eating fish more than I normally did.

But that wasn't the end. About two years ago I started having similar stomach issues again. I wasn't eating soy so what was going on? Wheat. This time my body was rejecting wheat. I decided to test its elimination and sure enough I started feeling better. Yikes, what's a vegetarian to do when she can't eat soy or wheat? To add insult to injury, my doctor ran an IgG test recently and it shows I am also "allergic" to eggs, even though I notice nothing when I eat them.

That brings me to my dilemma. My life would be a lot easier if I ate meat. Eating in a restaurant (which we do regularly as part of our social life) is often a problem. Eating at home has become a creative nightmare. Being able to order a salad with a chicken breast or a bunless burger would be so easy, right?

Well, for me it isn't so easy because I am having a hard time wrapping my head around eating animals. Ethically. Add to that dilemma is the health issue side of it. Right now my cholesterol is more than perfect. If I started eating meat, would I also start having problems with that? Would my digestive system accept meat? Would I get colon cancer? The messages are so confusing.

So for now, I am hungry a lot, eating too many nuts and dairy and gluten free bread. I am praying that I don't develop an intolerance to those too. I suffer by eating beans (no digestive enzyme seems to help). And I wage a war in my head about what's best. This is my second post on this topic so obviously the war is raging on.