Friday, August 10, 2012

Yummy, yummy food, plus an Amazon shopping spree.

I have been slogging away in the kitchen a bit this week. Getting the house under control finally seems like a realistic goal, which is helpful: it's much nicer to cook in a clean and somewhat orderly kitchen, and I am much more likely to take pictures of my culinary masterpieces if I don't have to clear up a bunch of clutter to do it!

Can I get a witness?!

From L-R: Zucchini Bolognese, lox, eggs, &avocado breakfast, grilled lamb steak with salad & fresh fruit!

Things are going well. I finally got back on the Wii bandwagon this week, and am happily Walking It Out, again, which is something I miss when I don't do it. I have been pretty active with all the running around and cleaning I have been doing, but I still like having that routine.

I think my hormones are continuing to straighten themselves out: I tried on a jacket that was tight last week. Now it fits comfortably. I still haven't gotten on the scale, as I don't want to fall into the "dieting mindset" trap, but I am really encouraged. 

And now, it's time for: RETAIL THERAPY!

I made a few purchases that I am really happy with this week, and I wanted to share (saving the best for last, of course!)

We go through a ton of iced tea in the summertime:  I typically make a lot of iced chai or mint tea, partially because those are easy to find organic versions of, and partially be cause- well, they taste amazing. But last week, we went out to dinner and I ordered this: The Republic of Tea's Blackberry Sage Iced Tea. And it was amazing, and I really wanted to be able to make this on my own. They do sell tea bags, but of course, those aren't organic. So I dug around and found Deckan Tea's Blackberry Organic Blend.

So far so good, right? Except: this is loose-leaf tea. I need enough to make a pitcher of iced tea. My tiny little tea ball is not going to cut it. So I bought Gigantor from

Now: this is an enormous freaking tea ball. I will say that it does a wonderful job of brewing.  It fits perfectly in my pitcher too! My favorite benefit is being able to use the hook to hang Gigantor from the handles on my kitchen cabinets and drain the dregs into the batch.

Picky people, take note: I do wish the mesh was a bit finer, as there's a fine silt of tea particles at the bottom of the pitcher. I can avoid these, but can see how they might get annoying.  The other concern is, it says "stainless steel" on the purchase page, but the box and materials say NOTHING about it. (But they do say "Made in China".  I may end up testing the metal to be safe.)

My acupuncturist keeps going on about meditation. Now- I am not a good meditator. I tend to get distracted easily by noises or shiny objects or my To-Do list, and any attempt as sitting quietly is promptly shot to hell. Which is why- well, when I ran across Leela, I was immediately intrigued. I played for awhile last night, and I think I will make it a part of my evening exercise routine- a nice little interlude before I wind down for the night. Game play was relaxing, somewhat challenging but not stressful, and I definitely felt more centered afterwards. I also had crazy, amazing dreams- which may have absolutely nothing to do with Leela, but I don't remember my dreams often, so I think it may have contributed to deeper and more restful sleep.

And of course: (last, but not least) Practical Paleo. Where do I start? I guess I can start where Diane Sanfilippo starts, which is right at the beginning.

There are some people who are great at explaining complex processes in layman's terms, without coming across as preachy or insufferable, or like they are talking down to you. Diane, thankfully, is one of those people. This is good, because food choices are intensely personal, and if you read this book, you will change the way you eat. Not because of guilt, not because of a misguided sense that "it's the right thing to do", but because there's just no other logical choice.

This covers pretty much everything: cooking techniques and recipes, but also what to avoid, and exactly why, and what you can use as a replacement for the things you miss. I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Paleo: and I know the general tenets, but I didn't break it down to the point that Practical Paleo does. I learned a bunch of new stuff. For example: I knew that cutting out gluten lessened SG's horrible seasonal allergies, but couldn't explain how or why it worked. Now I know, and can explain it! Awesome.

This is also one of those wonderful cookbooks that makes you want to go out and cook. I know that part of that is due to Bill (Of Food Lover's Kitchen fame) Staley's fantastic photography, but a lot of it is due to the imagination and ease of the recipes in here. Lots of great Mediterranean options, and some original stuff that I doubt most people could come up with on their own. I stopped flagging recipes after about 10- the whole thing is great. There's a crustless quiche recipe that looks divine: like Van Gogh's "Starry Night" in quiche form, if you can believe that. I know I will be making that this week!

So in closing: if you are going to get one of the many Primal/Paleo books on the market, but haven't pulled the trigger yet: get this one. It's compulsively readable, and I hope it does for Paleo what "Stitch 'N Bitch" did for knitting. In fact, that's what it reminds me of: a fun, usefully illustrated, and compelling "how-to" book. Except instead of "how-to" knit a sweater, it's "how-to" change your life and health.  It's the most comprehensive, approachable, and yes, practical book  that I have in my sizable Paleo library, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.    

No comments:

Post a Comment