Category Archives: Healthy

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I really should of been a baker. Not a fancy sort with funky icing designs, or cake too pretty to eat sort of baker, but a practical, every day healthy food consumption kind of baker.  Stop at my little corner bakery on the way to work for your breakfast to-go.  I could do it.  Maybe I should do it…

Sixteen years ago when my son was diagnosed with life threatening food allergies (peanuts and tree nuts) I started paying attention to ingredients in food. Up until then I had the grab and shove in cart mentality.

That many years ago there wasn’t a large variety of peanut/nut free foods or even strict allergen listing requirements that is available today. So, if my child was to enjoy a cookie, or a muffin or at that point, bread, I had better get the baking ingredients out and get’er done.  Besides, I started to notice this food in EVERYTHING called ‘Soy’ and labeled in many different forms. Soy lecithin, soy flour, hydrolyzed soy, soy soy soy. After much research into the world of soy, we avoid all soy in this home and if you buy anything premade/boxed etc., you will more than likely find it in the ingredients list. Anyways, this post isn’t about the deteriorating ingredient list in foods, its about super refreshing delicious Lemon Blueberry Muffins.

When it comes to blueberries and baking, the type matters. The small wild blueberries, won’t give you the blue bleed. The taste of biting into a juicy blueberry isn’t as prominent in the small blueberries, so I recommend Blueberries. You can use wild blueberries, just not my fav when it comes to baking.

If you are lucky like us, you will have a Mennonite Blueberry Farm around the corner. I can pop in anytime of year and grab a bag of frozen big juicy blueberries.

Chances are you can buy blueberries in your local area in the late summer when it is in season. The good things about this farm is they don’t use pesticides or harmful treatments so you can just plop them in a freezer bag and have on hand all year around. No washing. (Fantastic for smoothies too).

I also got a wonderful gift recently from a friend who went to Mexico and brought back vanilla.  The good stuff!

Like most of my recipes they have happened by accident and the measurements are my critiquing over time. Ok, here we go.

Side Note: I never advocate for the use of margarine in my baking.  It has a different outcome and really, if you are using margarine, do yourself a favour and don’t.  Seriously, don’t believe all the crap the agencies tell you.  Hydrolyzed anything and soy is not for human consumption!

Ingredients

1/2 cup melted butter
2 large farm eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1 cup of organic cane sugar
2 cups of blueberries (frozen is best for the addition to baking)
Zest of 2 organic lemons (zest of anything should be organic to avoid crop sprays)
2 tsp of vanilla
2 cups of AP flour, plus more for blueberry dusting
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt

See that ingredient list?  Wonderful!  Okay, lets get ready to bake!

Preheat your oven to 375 – I use convention oven, but any oven will do.  Line your muffin tray with paper cups.

In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix.

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, add your melted butter (room temperature so you don’t scramble your eggs), vanilla, sugar, milk and mix until all incorporated.  Add in your lemon zest.jUNE 2017 058
(yup, those are pretty blue eggs from a friends farm)

Put the frozen blueberries into a bowl and cover them with flour and make sure they are all dusted.

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After your wet ingredients are all mixed well, add in your dry ingredients slowly with mixer on low.  Let it mix for 1 minute on medium speed.  If your batter looks too dry don’t be afraid to add a splash of milk to get the desired texture seen in the picture.  Some flours, especially depending on age, can be more dry than others.  A bit more milk never hurt anyone.

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Remove bowl from mixer stand.  Add your frozen flour dusted blueberries (not all the flour in the bottom of the bowl, just the blueberries) to your batter.  Fold the blueberries in gently.

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Once completely mixed, scoop into lined muffin tray.  Fill them up!

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Put the trays in your preheated oven.  Turn 1/2 way through cooking.  Watch your muffins as they can easily overcook in the matter of 2 mins.  Then you’ll have dry I need a drink of coffee kind of muffins.  Look for a bounce back when gently pushed in the middle to see if it is done.  Cook for 15-20 mins depending on your oven and elevation.

Remove from tray immediately and place on a bakers rack to cool.

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Bakers tip:  Baked foods always continue to cook for a few minutes while cooling.  So its OK to pull from the oven when JUST done, that extra minute you would wait in the oven, let it do it on the counter.

This is such a great ‘summer’ muffin that can be enjoyed at anytime of the year.  The lemon is fresh and the blueberries are juicy!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Be Good To The Senior In You ❤️

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

Ingredients
1 cup of 100% Wheat Bran
1 1/2 cup of 1% buttermilk
1/3 cup sunflower or safflower oil
1 large egg
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of AP Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (more or less) raisins

Directions:  Preheat over to 375 (convection bake). Line muffin tin with muffin paper or silicone inserts. My preference is non-bleached muffin paper that is biodegradable. Top that Starbucks & Tim Hortons!!

Bowl #1
Wheat bran and buttermilk. Mix and let it stand for 5-10 mins.

Bowl #2
Oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix with a blender on medium until creamy and smooth.

Mix bowl #2 into bowl #1. Make sure they are incorporated into each other fully.

Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into mixture and mix with spatula until smooth and mixed well.  Stir in raisins.

Scoop into prepared muffin pan. Fill to the top of the liner. Not halfway. All the way to the top (see picture).

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Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Easy right?v
Use the ‘spring back’ test to check for readiness.  Remove promptly from pan and place on cooling rack.

Enjoy warm and cooled.

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Simply The Best BBQ Zucchini

There are some foods that I just never seem to get tired of. I eat them often and never bore of them. Sweet potato, zucchini, squash and popcorn.

Today is all about zucchini on the bbq. I eat this zucchini, in this exact format at least 3 times a week. Here goes!

This time of year it’s easy to find fat zucchini … I prefer organic but of course either works. In a month or so, I will have zucchini from the garden and oooooooo boy I will be eating grilled zucchini almost every day. I can’t wait!!!  I often get comments like, wow, that’s a lot of zucchini, do you give it to friends and family?.  No to family, they don’t live close by, and no to friends just because I eat it all.  I also bake with it, zucchini carrot muffins, zuchini raisin bread.  Yum!! What a wonderful gift from our soils.  Zucchini.

Side note: I know a lot of people like the yellow zucchini for colour variety in their meals. Know it is a GMO product. To my knowledge all yellow zucchini, known as yellow summer squash has been GMO’d as it is not naturally produced in nature.
http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/database/plants/74.zucchini.html

Recipe

2 large zucchini ( or however many you’d like)
1/3 cup of EV Olive oil
Spices and herbs. This is usually a personal preference.
In my olive oil blend I used dried herbs of oregano, rosemary and basil, garlic, salt and pepper and a bit of Montreal steak spice.

Combine your olive oil herbs/spices.

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Cut zucchini into thick-ish strips.

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Lay flat on a plate or cutting board. Brush your olive oil mixture liberally onto both sides of your zucchini. Let sit while the bbq heat up.

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Cook on med/high and grill marks are nicely imprinted and zucchini has a well done texture.

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Enjoy! I have a hard time sharing these hahah! Thankfully the teenager doesn’t like zucchini and it’s just Einstein I have to tackle for the last one.

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I do a lot of veggies this way; eggplant, peppers, portobello mushrooms. These veggies can be diced up once grilled and added to your homemade pizza … Now that’s some good stuff!! Or thrown in a bun with a sausage … Diverse recipe waiting for your twist!

Homemade Organic Mint Green Tea Lemonade

Well, it’s been a while since I have posted. I’m so busy it’s really hard to find the spare time.  I have plenty blogs started with good intentions but time really isn’t on my side to get them finished and posted.

As I write this In my screened in room, I can hear the chickens clucking with pleasure as they nibble on their watermelon and the ducklings are splashing like teenagers in the kiddie pool.  The ducklings aren’t even 3 weeks old yet and they’ve been free ranging for a few days already.  You can’t keep them in the pen and feel good about it that’s for sure!! They find mud puddles, get filthy and hit the pool and swim and play.  I’m not sure you can ever have too many ducklings.  Anyways, on to my post topic.  The teas of summer…

I love fresh brewed iced teas. Passion and green teas chilled are my favourite. To makes our own really is a money saver and definitely a healthier option than most premade versions you’ll buy in the stores.  Often one of the first ingredients is fructose glucose.  By making your own, you can control the sugar, no fructose glucose, no colours, no *natural flavours added, and you can tweak it for your personal preference.

Summer is a great time to take advantage of the herbs in your garden and your infuser. If you don’t have an infuser I’m sure floating the ingredients will result in the same great taste. Infusers are great for keeping the solids out of your drink once you pour into a chilled ice filled glass, although some people don’t mind the chunks.  I don’t like mint. Typically. I love it in this tea though.

Recipe:

3 jars approx 1L each (mine are 946 ml. Glass jars. Close enough eh?!)
3 tea bags of organic green tea
1/2 cup of raw organic cane sugar
1 organic lemon cut into cubes (see pictures)
Mint leaves cut up (it’s a personal

imagePut water on to boil in kettle. Split the 1/2 cup of cane sugar between all 3 jugs.
When water has boiled, add to top of each jug. Once filled, add tea bags and set aside to brew.

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Cut up lemon and mint.

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Put lemon and mint into infuser.

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Let the tea brew and cool for approx. an hour. After an hour it will still be warm, likely, which is how I prefer it. When the warm tea is added to the jug with the infuser I find the flavours are steeped more into the tea for a more robust taste.

Chill and enjoy.

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*natural flavours added to foods, are really just a synthetic group of ingredients added to the food to enhance flavours.  The FDA has allowed these synthetics (chemicals) to be grouped under this one bullshit manipulative title … Really, true natural flavours aren’t an ingredient list.  That’s all I’m saying before I head off on a rant!

Lemon Blueberry Cranberry Muffins, Oh My!!

These muffins are a huge hit at home and everywhere I have taken them.  It’s a recipe I created from scratch and have critiqued over time.  I have a friend who just bought and moved into his new house and I’ll be visiting soon with these beauties as a house warming gift. Nothing like edible gifts!!

Some of the measurements like milk are easily added to, to make the muffin batter the right texture.  I usually just pour and mix and call it done when it looks right.  Today I measured (sort of) while I was making them so I could share this recipe.

As always, my recipes call for butter.  Don’t talk to me if you use margarine in my recipes and it tastes like shit.

Ingredients
3/4 cup of melted salted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of milk (I use skim)
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 cup of cane sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt

Rind of 2 lemons
Large fresh organic blueberries dusted with flour
Organic Cranberries

I didn’t give a quantity of cranberries or blueberries as I find it is usually a personal preference.  I used about 3/4 cup of large blueberries and a little bit less of cranberries.  Einstein doesn’t like it to be a berry explosion, he likes it all in moderation.

Directions
Prepare baking pan with muffin liners and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 (convect bake). Dust blueberries with flour and set aside. Cut cranberries in half and set aside. Grate off lemon rind from both lemons and set aside.

In medium bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a big bowl add eggs, milk, vanilla and sugar. Mix on medium for about 2 minutes. (I use a stand mixer, but hand held will be fine as well). Add melted butter slowly while mixer is continuing to mix. Put 1/2 cup of flour mixture at a time into your egg mixture, ensuring it is fully incorporated before adding the next 1/2 cup. When all the flour mixture is added, continue on medium speed mixing for one more minute.

Add in rind of the lemons and mix for another minute.

Remove bowl from stand mixer and drop in blueberries (minus left over flour) and cranberries and still just until incorporated. Careful to not over do it, or the berries could break and smear, however it’s not the end of the world if they do.

Scoop into lined muffin tray and place in oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes and remove from oven when done. Each oven is different so keep a watchful eye on them. See bakers tip for best results.

Bakers Tip: don’t cook muffins all the way until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Once muffins or any bread based baking (exemption: true bread) is removed from the oven it will continue to cook, especially when left in the pan. It’s easy to over cook muffins making them dry and crumbly when waiting until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Instead when a little bit of muffin batt er is sticky on your toothpick, remove from oven and leave in pan for 10 minutes. I use muffin liners so the muffins don’t stick to the pan. If you don’t use muffin liners they will still continue to cook once out of the pan while cooling.

This batter is versitile and always willing to please. You can mix it up, by adding lemon rinds and fresh raspberries, orange rind with cranberry, or simply just add berries without a fruit rind.  Chunked apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, I try it a lot in this batter and it hasn’t failed me yet.  We are a nut free, peanut free home but I’m sure this recipe could definitely tolerate some nuts as well.

The lemon rind makes these muffins a step above the rest and when you bite into a blueberries or cranberry it’s just a little bit of simple heaven. Enjoy!

The Juice Reviewer Is Fired

Yup, that’s right, I’m fired. I fired myself from being the juicing reviewer I wanted to be. Let me explain why I have decided I am not a good candidate to promote or demote juicing as a whole.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that juicing can be an integral part of ones healthy diet. It doesn’t need to be the only type of meal you have, but it definitely can be supplementary and increase your nutrition intake.

The hardest part of juicing is the lack of convenience. I respect that not all of all life’s good choices can be about convenience, but there has to be a way that it can be somewhat attainable for the average person. I am fortunate that I work from home, but I am not home a lot. I’m often doing errands for work, volunteering or just running like a chicken with my head cut off. I do not have a refrigerator in my car to hold the large amount of produce required to juice. Nor do I carry a generator in my car to operate my juicer. I also don’t have a kitchen sink in my back seat to clean it all up afterwards. How would you juice when you’re gone from home, for your job let’s say, for 8-10 hours a day?? I’m sure there are alternatives such as one day I put my juice in a thermos for consumption later, but if you read like I did everywhere about the nutrients leaving very shortly after the produce is juiced, and if you believe all that hype why bother drinking it 6 hours later at work? It’s lacking a level of convenience to help make it a successful journey.

If you worked in an office, I hardly think it would be acceptable or tolerated if you took over the top 2 shelves in the kitchen fridge for your produce for the day, and hogged the counter for your monster juicer that you lug back and forth each day to work. I really do wonder how one would and could do an only juice regime in an office/work environment, or a construction job site etc.

Juicing would absolutely be tolerable for a weekend or a weekend detox. Beyond that for the average person it would be hard to accommodate long term, like let’s say for those 60 days in the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. If you watch the documentary, they didn’t work during the 60 day juicing fast and I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t have 60 days to take off work and excuse myself from my family and all responsibilities. Unless I get Cancer and need chemo and/or radiation. See how that works? Ugh!

Prepping the produce for juicing, in my opinion, is a lot of work, mostly because it’s 5-10 times more produce than you normally would consume in one meal and you’re likely doing this 3-4 times a day. The time it takes to clean the produce, juice it and then clean up after would break my 30 minute lunch break in an office environment. Sure you could prep it at home and lug it all to work, but some produce won’t tolerate pre-prep, like apples, pears etc. Prepping isn’t time friendly but most could and would tolerate that portion of juicing.

It’s also hard to prepare meals for the family and walk away with only a juice in your hand. If you are the meal preparer in your home, it is likely best if you have someone take over this while you do your juice program, if possible. You might even want to excuse yourself from the dinner table during meals, it helps to reduce the cravings and enticement around whole foods. For me it was extra hard to make it work. I make most of our own bread and buns for lunches, bake often and prepare our foods box free, a lot of the reason why is Flyp has food allergies and I prefer to make most of our breads and snack items from scratch. Health wise. While I juiced and removed myself from the responsibility of most meals, it ultimately meant Flyp and Einstein ate less healthy. Let’s face it, not cooking out of a box is more time consuming and when they get home at 7pm at night, the last thing they felt like was starting to cook. They ate way too much pizza during that period.

The excessive obnoxious waste. I blogged about the excessive waste from juicing and how much it bothers me. It’s amazing to me how much produce you need to make a ‘meal’ in a cup or two, but the pulp (left over produce sucked dry) that is left is very disappointing and frustrating. There really isn’t a solid way around this waste. There are some ideas online on how to use the pulp into meals, but really, if you’re juicing and only juicing there isn’t a ‘meal’ in your schedule. The point of juicing is the machine sucks or wind whips the nutrients out of the produce, so isn’t this pulp basically a dead nutrient at this point? And putting it into another meal, essentially nutrient free and feeding to your family should be questioned. If you have backyard chickens they could eat it all up for you, but if you don’t, your composter will definitely be full!! I find juicing an excessive waste program and for that reason, it is not an attainable in my books.

Financially it would be hard to tolerate juicing for a long period of time. It is very expensive to juice. We all know produce costs more than nutrient deprived convenience in a box and when you are juicing only produce you will need to purchase a substantial amount of produce to fulfill ‘meal’ requirements. I juiced primarily organic and my costs were through the roof!! It was on average, $30/day, making it approx. $900 month, for one person. I’m sure you could drop that cost by almost half if you purchased non-organic produce, but you will find most of the produce ingredients you juice on the dirty dozen list. If you’re not going to buy organic, you should definitely avoid the items on the dirty dozen. Most of us juice for the health benefits and/or a detox, both which are very hard to obtain when the produce is ladened with pesticides and herbicides. Financially speaking, organic juicing is not attainable by the average person/income long term.

Health wise, make sure you have your ducks in a row. On the documentary, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, he did say to consult your doctor prior if you have ANY health issues. The average person who tries juicing does it because they have health concerns and/or issues. My experience with juicing says, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE YOU START!!

I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 pre-diabetes. I didn’t and still don’t have a good solid understanding of how it all works. I was struggling each day to keep my blood sugar down while juicing, and also having some of my highest readings during juicing. It was those damn dessert juices I would make with pineapple, mango and strawberries oh my!! This is all likely due to the fact that I don’t have a good understanding of the glycemic index and wasn’t even aware of the index until a few days ago. All this produce, that all has an index number associated with it, will ultimately effect your glucose levels. Just because it is fruit and vegetables doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be indexed. Who would of known right? You’d think unlimited fruits and vegetables should be a wonderful thing. It is definitely good have a lot of vegetable produce and some fruit, but quantity should be monitored in some cases. (Like diabetes) Lesson learned!!

I can’t give an honest review for the energy and feeling great while juicing. Within a few days of juicing I got a sink-my-battleship cold that Flyp brought home, unfortunately over a week later I’m still battling this beast. As soon as I started juicing the cold was introduced into our home and within a few days my insides were invaded!! So I didn’t feel the benefits of extra energy and feeling great as I was busy fighting off a nasty virus. This is not the juicing programs fault obviously, just makes any input I might have in this area null and void.

I also had what we are assuming was a gallbladder attack during juicing. This has lead to an ultrasound and blood work for the pancreas, liver, kidneys and gallbladder. I have had issues in the past with the gallbladder, where I thought I was having a heart attack and rushed myself to the hospital, thankfully to find out it was my gallbladder. If you’ve ever had you gallbladder bite back, you’ll know it is an experience you’d rather not blog about. It’s painful and until you know what it is, it’s scary!!

There are many reasons a gallbladder attack could have happened, but a sudden drastic change in your diet is usually the culprit to an already temperamental gallbladder. With an extreme change 2 things could of  likely happened. My liver may have dumped all kinds of bile into the gallbladder and without (good) fatty foods to release the bile, it builds up, causes inflammation and can cause stones, infection and better yet, death if ignored. Nice right? Alternatively my liver, when a drastic change in diet is introduced, could of dumped a shit load of cholesterol into the gallbladder causing inflammation and the possibility of stones. When the results from the ultra sound and blood work return I will have a better understanding of what happened.

My recommendations: if you’re going to make a change in your diet that you want to be beneficial and healthy do all your homework first. Make sure you have a full understanding of the pros and cons. It will help you be successful and complete your personal goals. If you have ever had any issues with your organs, talk to your doctor prior to juicing. Don’t be the wild rodeo cowboy with your health like I was. If you have any health issues or concerns, consult your doctor BEFORE juicing, I’m sure it will increase your success rate two-fold.

I am still making a juice in the mornings.  Cucumber, green apple, celery and spinach or romaine lettuce.  It’s nutritious and delicious and a great way to boost me for the day. I’m still getting my walks in, even dragging Einstein to the lake last night with me.

With all that has gone on, it would be very hard for me to preach the positive of long term juicing.  Although I’m not sure I would or could recommend it to the average person beyond a weekend due For many reasons like the inconvenient, high waste and cost factors, I still think juicing is a great addition to any diet for any period of time.  A lot of people make smoothies with fruit, this would be along the same lines.

Most of the positive for my juicing was absorbed with a cold and gall bladder issues.  Better luck (for me) next time!!

Glycemic Index

I had a great chat with my sister the other day. Actually we always have good chats but this one she was a fountain of information. We talked a bit about T2D and how I am so frustrated trying to figure this shit out. Eat this, but not that healthy item and all of a sudden fruit isn’t my friend. She is such a good solid person to bounce things off of and very knowledgable on many accounts, so much so that I always seem to be walking away with the long end of the stick.

When my doctor first told me type 2 pre-diabetes I didn’t hear much after that. He offered me vouchers, websites and ask if I had any questions, but my response was ‘I’ll figure it out on my own.’
As I exited the medical building I dumped everything he had given me. As soon as I saw grains etc., as part of my recommended eating for diabetes I threw it out. The whole reason I knew something was going on, is because when I eat grains I feel like I’m approaching a coma state. Fast. I really don’t know why I get solitaire as I prepare to fight my battles, but it almost insults me to take help of any kind. That is, until I’m ready to ask and accept help.

I don’t have much faith in most (if any) ‘corporate organizations’ such as The Canadian Diabetes Association, as I’m sure they are funded and backed by someone they shouldn’t be; Kind of like David Suzuki owning property/land with an oil giant (which he does by the way) or like The Non-GMO Project could be in bed with Monsanto (I can’t confirm what happens when the lights go out, but it wouldn’t shock me).

At the end of the day, illnesses are big business!! Any large scale illness, in my opinion, would be similar to, what I like to call, The Cancer Corporation. The business of Cancer is astronomical money!! More people, of varying professions, make a living off Cancer than those that die of it. It’s a fact. Don’t hate me for stating the truth; Cancer is a hugely profitable ‘corporation’. I’m going to assume diabetes, to some degree is also similar in its structure.

Although I am always grateful for the research and the availability of resources, I can’t help but wonder, way to often actually, why we don’t look at preventative measures instead of treatments and cures. I have to stop myself right here because I will lose my mind if I indulge in this topic.

Onwards…
I did take the time to read some of the information provided on the Canadian Diabetes website and a few other websites, but I’m not ready to declare myself a member. I wanted to learn how to avoid being welcomed aboard, to not accept the badge of sick honour and I don’t want to learn how to be a good role model for other diabetics. I decided to change how I was searching in Google. Instead of ‘understanding type 2 diabetes’ as my google search, I changed it to ‘how to beat type 2 diabetes’. Granted there isn’t as much information on not becoming a diabetic, but there is enough to get me going in the right direction.

I didn’t tell any of my family or even Einstein for almost a month when I first heard I was pre-diabetic. At this point there wasn’t any blood glucose measuring going on as I was waiting for a metre and the welcome to diabetes package to arrive in the mail. It is free if you want to wait 4-6 weeks. Free? Of course I’ll wait. This waiting period for a glucose meter gave me plenty of time to research and attempt to figure things out. Or so I thought.

Since my research started sometime in February, I haven’t had any of my searches with understanding diabetes and the food I consume bring up any resulting in a glycemic index. Now, admittedly I’m not an Internet guru, but something so important as this glycemic index should be in BOLD on the front page of the Canadian Diabetes Association. If you type glycemic index into the search bar on their page, you can find information, but you have to know about the index to put it in the search bar. Duh!

When talking with my sister, after she listened to me complain and whine for a while, she mentioned the glycemic index. This glycemic index thing, it’s a distant foggy memory, I know I’ve heard it somewhere before, but I’m not exactly sure where or why. She went on to explain how it works and I was listening, all 3 ears wide open. As soon as I got off the phone with her, I googled. Wow. Very enlightening. Although what I have looked at so far is limiting to understanding the whole index and even the foods listed seem to be limited, but it’s a great start to a better understanding. To get a better grasp and obtain my own comprehensive list, a trip to Chapters sounds good to me (there just seems to always be people there every time I go 😞).

Since juicing I have struggled with my blood sugar, more so than before I started this whole juicing. I also pissed off my liver or gall bladder (heading to doctor today to see what’s going on there) but my sister suggested that maybe juicing isn’t the right approach. There are so many behind the scene reasons to Type 2 Diabetes that it isn’t just black or white. I won’t get into that whole portion of the conversation, but I focus a lot on what I’m eating and expecting big changes, when I could and should also be focusing on some other factors.  (I am already a good eater, so expecting huge changes isn’t necessary appropriate when small changes have been made to my diet.  There needs to have change come from another shift in lifestyle – with still some changes to my diet of course). Also, a good point made was, the amount of produce that is required for juicing, which all has a glycemic level so I’m learning, and if I’m using a high quantity of produce to make juice this could have adverse affects?? I decided to test her theory.

For 2 days I left the juicing alone and ate responsibility and added some form of exercise to my day; walk with my best man drake, or raking the lawn till the blisters make me stop. Both mornings I have been below 90mg/dL- one morning being 85 and this morning being 88. Those are numbers I have been working so hard to reach with juicing. Go figure haha!! Oh and get this!! Yesterday was a very busy day and while out doing groceries I picked up quinoa pasta to make for dinner (fast and easy), because the glycemic index says it’s good stuff, so I had quinoa pasta and salad for dinner. The real test was my BG this morning at 88mg/dL. Impressive I must say. That would never happen with regular pasta. Never.

I am currently researching chromium as it is recommended in small doses. Recommended by my Chinese medicine/acupuncture dude but I’m not convinced a ‘metal’ is something I need to add to my intake, so I’m digging deep in. Where? Google where else!!

I also started a vitamin B100 complex. Warning: your pee becomes sunshine yellow when you take Vit B… B3 or B2 Riboflavin I think? I can’t remember. One of the B’s make you want to rush to the doctor if you didn’t now how it would affect your urine.

Through all of this blood sugar drama; it really is drama. What else can you call this? It’s like a bunch of high school girl cells and insulin got together and were fighting over the boy they should never want. Ugh. Anyways, through all this drama, Google as been at my finger tips. I Google and Google and Google. Get this! I even Google past the 2nd and 3rd pages. I’m astounded at how much my independence, decision making and research depends on my Google searches. I’m amazed and appreciative of the availability and the amount of information that is at the tip of our fingertips.

Juicing. Day ?

Blood Glucose: 85 mg/dL

You know what is great? I don’t even know what day of juicing I’m on unless I physically look at a calendar. What I love even more is that it doesn’t even matter anymore.

I’m not on a strick juicing, no food on a plate all day anymore.  For a strick painful 3 days it was juicing only.  If I want to eat, I’ll eat, balanced meals.  I’m making a lifestyle changes and taking better care of myself.

I actually enjoy this juicing regime and last night I had a juice in place of food for dinner; As a preference. I ate a small lunch (celery and ham) but I don’t really feel ‘starving’ anymore. There might actually be some truth to the 3 day hump rule; once you get over the first 3 days it gets easier. I’m definitely not feeling as deprived as in those first 2-3 days and my cravings are lessening and that says a lot considering I am PMS’ing. I still end up looking to nibble if I get bored, or I’m reading my book, but that’s habitual not a necessity. Today when I was hell bent on munching, I grabbed some celery arms and a few pieces of ham to give me that filler I was looking for. Celery has a great crunch and allows me that juicy crispy chomping I desire.  I’m sure this terrible cold flu is helping in the hunger suppression.

I’ve found a good combination of produce and I manage to make one that is similar to V8. Although it is not nearly as thick, it still has the taste of V8 without the salt and additives etc. My favourite combination is: celery, spinach, romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, sweet onion, ginger, lime and green apples. Trust me on the lime addition, it seals the package.

I’m not into juicing herbs or at least I haven’t found any I enjoy yet. Parsley is nasty. Who eats that willingly? Gross!! I really liked the apple and cucumber one I had yesterday morning before Drake and I went for a long walk, it was very refreshing and went down smooth.

I am still in a personal struggle with the excessive waste produced. If you’ve ever juiced, you know what I’m referring too. So much pulp ends up going in the garbage. It’s also very expensive to juice and when I see all that food go to waste it really does make me hesitant about the whole process. Maybe I have a heightened awareness as I volunteer at a food bank and see the many faces to the real struggles with hunger and I am always trying to remain aware. I don’t like to waste, or have in excess of anything and try to live simple etc., I am pretty diligent with our food in our home and to have this quantity of waste does make me want to figure out some sort of solution.

Since April 6th (10 days ago) when I started the juicing as a daily routine, I have spent over $300 on produce alone. (Not to mention the cost of the juicer which was $300 CDN) That’s a $30+ a day habit. When I watched the movie, fat, sick and nearly dead, it said something like $450 U.S. a MONTH for produce to juice. Well what’s that?? $5,000 Canadian? Haha!! The $300 so far does not include the food costs for the rest of the family. It would be hard to maintain this juicing cost for a long period of time that is 100% for sure.

If the past 10 days is an indicator of the actual cost of juicing, I’m looking at approximately $1000 a month in produce for myself only. I do buy primarily organic and know I am obviously paying more for the produce, but I can’t justify juicing pesticides and other toxins into myself. Hey self, ignore that bitter taste, the one that Monsanto tries to say isn’t cancerous. Ya that one.

We always say loud and proud you can’t put a price tag on your health, but I think I’m a little more realistic about that saying. Yes, you have too. Since money doesn’t grow on trees, last time I checked anyways, you absolutely have to live within your means. There are ways to be healthier without spending $1000 on groceries for one person. Exercise can be free, walking, running, I’ll even let you do spring clean up in my yard for free! I’m super nice they way. In the summer it will definitely be cheaper as the cost of produce drops nicely and I’m motivated to find a balance to keep juicing daily. Eventually I won’t be juicing 2-3 meals a day so I do expect the cost to drop at least in half.

In the mean time I’m looking forward to more juicing and my healthier approach to life. I haven’t had a chance to get out and look at bikes yet as I’m so bogged down with this cold virus, my main focus is to get through each day with something accomplished.

Off to the lake with my best man, Drake.

Chinese Medicine On Speed Dial

Blood glucose 96mg/dL. I’ve seen better and need better.

It’s been a rough few days. Yesterday I worked at the food bank for the day and it’s always emotionally draining and physically challenging. I like to think I’m a work horse, but when I leave barely able to walk, with a 2 day recovery ahead of me, it’s not respecting my arthritis or my back and no one wins. That’s how I previously worked. I’m doing better at respecting my boundaries in that manner, yet I still put in a solid day yesterday and not at the expense for the 2 days ahead of me.

The food bank is always full of junk food amongst the volunteers. Donuts from Tim Hortons, which I never eat anyways, cookies, and a slew of other crap everyone wants to munch on. I stuck it out and I feel really good about it. I felt like shit with this cold and gall bladder issue yesterday so it wasn’t as challenging as I’d like to take credit for. I had juice for lunch at the food bank yesterday, I packed it in a big thermos and took it with me. Having this cold virus, I knew my appetite wasn’t going to be a challenge. I never thought having a cold would work in my favour. Who knew!!

I have this absolutely terrible cold Flyp brought home last week. My lungs are burning and I’m very congested. I’m thinking this cold could of been a solid reason why I didn’t feel the ‘energy’ burst most people feel from juicing as I’ve been fighting a losing battle in the background. I normally dose up on oregano and probiotics when sickness is around me but I thought juicing would help me and hold its own. BAM! Sick as of Tuesday.

An update on the liver or gall bladder that I’ve been writing about with something going on. Yesterday afternoon was my breaking point. It was either text my Chinese medicine/acupuncture practitioner or go to the hospital. The pain was starting to scare me and become intolerable. The area was swollen, swollen so it stuck out from under my rib cage and so tender that I couldn’t put any pressure in the area. It hurt to sit and my rib cage felt like it was being stretched and I was getting alarmed. I texted my Acupuncture dude (who is also Chinese medicine) and asked his opinion. He suggested I eat dinner and use something ‘fatty’ like olive oil or avocado.

For dinner I made a few items, but for me I had a big spinach salad with olive oil and avocado oil on it and a small Organic chicken breast. Within a few hours I felt some relief, but thankfully most of the relief is here this morning. He said bile can sometimes get stored up and cause inflammation in the gall bladder aggravating it and essentially causing inflammation. You can also get infections in up your gall bladder apparently. With only juicing I wasn’t using enough ‘fats’ to release the bile or some thing along those lines. I’m not fully understanding (or believing) this whole juicing and gall bladder issue, as I tend to think juicing is better for the gall bladder than eating shit. If you ask me, things aren’t adding up and something else is going on. Just so you understand how the brain works, I’m convinced I have Pancreatic Cancer.  Extreme or what?  I’m still sore to the touch today but not in excessive pain. I’ve got to figure it out. If it doesn’t settle by Monday I’ll make a doctors appointment, or if it gets worse, I’ll have to deal with it earlier.

So I’m being told, it all depends on the condition of the gall bladder and liver previously. I’ve had some real fights with my gall bladder previously, and this is why if you’re going to juice with any medical history, especially with your organs it is suggested you do it under a doctors supervision. I don’t listen to the rules typically, and sometimes, like this time, it didn’t work in my favour. Absolutely no doubt juicing is good for these organs but a balance in my diet must also be found.

The week prior to ceasing food entirely, I was juicing and having a balanced dinner. I didn’t have any issues with my gall bladder or liver and figured all was good to go. I don’t always think things through entirely and just figured since all was good, just make the change to 100% juicing and it would be fine. Not always the case, as I have learnt.

Apples. Apparently apples and their pectin content are very good for your gall bladder and livers bile factory. I will incorporate more apples into my juicing. I’ve been on the low or zero apple intake trying to keep the sugars in check. But today I will change that. It’s also suggested that just apples juiced is very beneficial for the gall bladder and liver. Drake (my golden retriever) and I will be going for an hour long walk this morning, so I’m going to juice up a few apples with cucumbers prior to when we head out. It’s cooler in the morning for our walk, plus we have rain in our forecast this afternoon and I want to make sure exercise is in my day. (Unfortunately my german shepherd has to stay home until her orthotic brace is ready next week 😒)

I surprisingly resisted homemade garlic bread with cheese at dinner, baked pasta with gooey cheese and I’m still not having a latte for breakfast. It’s actually much easier than I thought. I’ve been working on avoiding breads and pastas for a while since the whole connection to carbs and sugars came along. But the milk admittedly is hard. I’m going to continue to avoid milk. The more I read about milk and its contribution to inflammation the more I feel it’s in my best interest to drastically reduce or eliminate milk and its products. Fibromyalgia is all about inflammation and it’s definitely not a fun consequence to live with, but like many things, I don’t let it define me however, if there is a way to lighten its impact I’m always willing to look into it.

Today is my first day since Saturday for having any caffeine. I’m having a tea. Just tea and caffeine. No honey or milk. I’m going to allow myself 1 tea bag a day. I’m going to stretch it into 2 different cups this way it’s double my pleasure 😉. I’ve always got my thinking cap on.

Juicing also given me the realization of how we really are a junk food nation. This juicing process and my own weight awareness has made me hyper aware of everyone else around me as well. Even habits like smoking and drinking and basically just life styles in general. While working yesterday, I thought of everyone I know. Weight is an issue for a lot of people. Most of the ones I know really well, don’t get the recommended daily intake of veggies and fruits … And the recommended in my opinion is the bare minimum of what we should consume. I hear a lot about this paleo lifestyle and I think eventually I will revisit it and tweak it to suit me better; Less meat and more vegetables.

I’ve always been super good with fruit. Fruit is delicious!!! Vegetables aren’t as much previously. Vegetables have been a ‘side’ portion or a snack before dinner – I alway cut up a veggie and put on table so Flyp and Einstein nibble on that instead of in my way during the making of dinner. Vegetables are always there, even if it’s in the form of a salad. I ate a lot of pastas with them previously because that’s what Italians like. Pasta pasta. I’ve learned I am not Italian and don’t need pastas every day lol. I actually almost despise pasta now because it’s been consumed so much in our home, which is a good thing because it isn’t a healthy choice for type 2 diabetes. These roommates of mine will eat pasta every day with pizza at least once a week and never complain. Gross eh?

Most recently, I’d say the last month or so, vegetables have become the main portion of my dinner. It’s a healthier choice that is easily made. I love spinach salads and find so many different versions to make of it. I’m looking forward to summer when fruits and vegetables taste true and you just make vegetable salads, like cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, olives with oregano and olive oil. So delicious!! During the winter it all tastes off, although still consumed, I do adjust what I eat/prepare according to the seasons.

I’d like to tell you, and myself, that I’ve lost a shit load of weight. I haven’t been on the scale to look, mostly because I have PMS and I’m lethal if it tells me something I don’t want to see. But also because the scale is a piece of shit and I don’t think it is working right. Einstein looked at it for me last night and it won’t stay calibrated, so how can I get an accurate weight? Ugh!! I ordered one from Amazon, but it’s not in a hurry to get here. Oh well. This adventure is more about getting and staying healthy than a particular number on a scale. Weight loss will come with the health conversion.

I’m off for a walk with my sweet boy, Drake. Enjoy your day.

(picture, my drake chasing icebergs in Lake Erie)

Day 4. Juicing. Kind of.

Shit. Shit. Shit. Blood glucose is back up to 112mg/dL.

I had a rough day yesterday so I made a ‘dessert’ juice; Pineapple, green apple and orange with cucumber at about 7:00pm. It was that or cheat on the program.

As you can see either way I cheated myself. It’s amazing to me how I manage to make juicing unhealthy. I’m talented in many ways. I’m very new to this type 2 diabetes and I’m learning as I go. I obviously have to stay away from fruit, especially pineapple and oranges after my glucose reading this morning.

Before juicing I never drank fruit juice. I’d rather eat my fruit, and fruit juice always bothered the inside of my mouth and stomach. Apple juice never tastes as good as that bite into a crispy ripe gala apple. Pear juice can’t even come close to a pear in its original form. Juicing fruit shouldn’t be an issue to pass up, since fruit juice hasn’t really been a part of my life.

I wanted to complete the 3 day detox 100% free of food. I managed other than 2 celery arms in my nervous breakdown mode yesterday. I juice celery so I’m going to consider it a crunchy version of my juice. 😁

I will continue to juice likely forever as there isn’t any doubt about the incredible micro-nutrient intake, but I also will start to incorporate raw meals, perhaps even as soon as today.

My original goal was 10 days, which I thought was the detox period. I read on Saturday and have read of other bloggers whom I’m following that they are doing a 3 day detox. 3 days is much more appealing to me and much more realistic. I have a long shift at the food bank tomorrow and will work hard as always. This will undoubtedly bring on some serious hunger. I’ll pack a spinach lunch and a juice for breakfast. I’ll juice dinner tomorrow. Sound like a plan to me.

I’m going to incorporate some raw food in my day, every day and it hopefully will help to keep me away from the juicing of sugary fruits. I will only eat the raw foods I am juicing until the 10th day. After the 10th day I will revisit the whole regime.

I’m going to hustle and get my work done today so I can get in the yard and rake rake rake the lawn late this afternoon and get that blood pumping.

There will be no fruit in my day today, not even green apples. I want the blood sugar way down ASAP.

How I’m feeling: Frankly, I don’t feel any different. Physically. I don’t feel like I have lost weight (scale is an asshole and says I’ve lost 2lbs only as of this morning) I don’t feel ‘better’ than before, energy wise, clarity etc. Although, I am sleeping better for sure. I was juicing for a week prior with a balanced dinner for my one meal a day, before the complete cease on food on a plate method. Saturday was major doom day with detox full blown, but I turned it back around between Sunday and Monday was ready to go. Maybe due to the week of juicing prior I don’t notice such major changes in those who do it cold turkey. Bam! No food!!

My gall bladder and/or the liver was feeling the brunt of juicing (detoxing) but the whole area is feeling good today.

I’m still light headed often during the day.  It’s a bit disturbing carrying laundry etc up or down the stairs and I’m not sure what it’s all about, but I’m hoping it will sort itself out sooner than later.

I still haven’t introduced caffeine back into my diet. I think I’ll lay low on that one for a while. See how long I can go. I just need something in the morning that is a bit more pleasing than a lemon slice in a cup of boiling water. I’ve given up milk, probably forever to a degree. Not sure what this will mean for pizza..wait I shouldn’t eat pizza. Ugh!! Even my acupuncture dude says milk contributes to inflammation and lymphatic blockage or something along those lines, so maybe strick avoidance is in my best interest.

On a very positive note. I’m PMS’ing and the cravings aren’t nearly as critical. I don’t feel the extreme need for salt or greasy foods. Actually something greasy would probably sink my battleship. I’m Trying the day with no stomach pill and a greasy input could ruin the progress I’ve made. While I am drinking my juice, I have a little bit of a burn in the area, but nothing that needs to be treated with meds so far. It has been 15 years I have been on that pill. I’ve tried to get esophageal hernia surgery, but it is botched more often than not, so their remedy is to medicate the acid in the stomach to prevent the burning reflux and throwing up, which sometimes would happen during my sleep. Nothing like waking to choking on stomach acid vomit and good luck getting that taste out of your mouth. Bleach probably wouldn’t even do the trick.

In my juice today I have a lot of tomatoes. I love tomatoes but I worry about their acidic levels. I’m pushing my boundaries to see how much my stomach can take before it needs to be shut down with a pill. Maybe caffeine was a major contributor. I should google that actually.

Anyways, on lunch break having a juice and have to get back to work. A wonderful day to everyone!