Friday, February 22, 2013

Ignorance can be bliss...

Good Afternoon,

So blogging is sharing what is on your mind right?  Well for the past few days I have been feeling like ignorance was some what of a bliss for me before I learned so much about this healthy way of eating.  I read labels but I only looked at calories and fat because in my ignorance I always believed the "calories in, calories out" concept for dieting.  I very seldom read ingredients, maybe the first couple but then got lost with the big words.  I feel like such an idiot for that now and have had to forgive myself for buying the crap anyway and feeding it to myself and family.  This past week I have read up on High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Ewww!  Do some reading of your own and I bet you will avoid it like the plague.  It's unnecessarily put in so many products just like our nemesis wheat.
I've been researching ways to eat healthy and stay within budget and I am flat out frustrated that this country makes eating real food so expensive.  I wish I could afford organic everything.  The more I research nutrition and learn about the crap that gets put in/on our food the more disgusted I get.  Some of you saw on Facebook that I am trying to convince my husband to let me raise chickens.  I use a ton of eggs and would love to be able to just head to my back yard to get them.  We will see if I can continue this sales pitch and close the deal.  Stay tuned.  With all of that being said, summer will be here soon and so will the Farmer's Market and gardens.  I'm going to look into one of those co-op things where you commit to getting so much produce a week.  I may opt a garden of my own but need a commitment of help from the hubby. After getting my hands on the goods I'm going to hit up my Bestie for some help with canning. I think I can save some money this way.
 I want to stress to you that although organic is always best I realize that it's not in everyone's budget.  I believe that making the changes in your diet should come first and foremost.  As you educate yourself you may choose to go down the road of organic and grass fed etc. but if you can't afford it, don't stress yourself out.  I believe the health you are giving yourself with this new lifestyle outweighs the rest.  Let's face it, you probably have never eaten this much raw, clean food in your life.  Or you did, but like me, always added a box of stove top to your dinner, or some augratin potatoes or dinner rolls etc.  I find myself still searching for sides at dinner time when really meat and veggies should be good enough.  If you have been following, you know that that is enough to satisfy your appetite.  I am still amazed at how little amount of food satisfies me.  I love just listening to my body and hunger. Some days I am truly hungry though and therefore I EAT, and eat a lot!!  No deprivation! But, I eat only when I am hungry and always stop when satisfied and not stuffed.  I love that my night time snackies have gone away.  I seldom have snacks at night unless it's homemade ice cream night.  Who would have thought cutting out that addictive opiate in wheat would be such a simple solution to this snacking epidemic?!
So back to my ignorance is bliss...I sometimes miss just being able to grab a box of something and opening it up and feeding it to my family.  There is no doubt about it, that this way of life is more work in the kitchen.  But through education, I am glad I can now see that stuff for what it was...poison.  Sounds harsh I know, but it's true. Think of your great grand parents they didn't open boxes of convenience crap, they made their food.  This is simple, we are just going back to the basics.  Do you also know that you are burning calories standing in your kitchen cooking, it's two-fold :-)  This leads me to my next point....BE GLUTEN FREE BUT DON'T EAT GLUTEN FREE!!! Many people head to the nearest grocery store searching for Gluten Free products.  Friends, that stuff is just filled with other junk.  Tapioca starch, potato starch, rice flour etc.  It's gonna raise your insulin levels as high as wheat does.  It's not healthy.  If you want to be just a gluten free dieter, good for you, but you aren't going to reap all of the health benefits.  Some symptoms might go away but you are still doing a number on your body consuming those foods.  They are high carb foods.  True, our kids don't need to be on a low carb diet so the best choices for them are brown rice, quinoa and fruits.  But my adult friends, stay away, or LIMIT your consumption.  For weight loss you want to keep your net carbs to about 15 grams per meal.  Some of you know this, but some don't.  You ask what are "net" carbs.  Well they are the carbs your body process after subtracting the fiber.  So when you are reading a nutrition label and you see 15 grams of carbs, look below that at dietary fiber.  If it says 6 grams you will subtract 6 from 15 leaving you with 9 grams of net carbs.  That is the number you use to figure out your intake.

I shared a great article from my mentor Maria Emmerich this week on FB but I'm posting it here for you as well.  I also want to encourage you to pick up her book Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism.  It's an easier read than Wheat Belly.  I wish I could afford to buy it for every one of my friends that have struggled with weight.  It's liberating!!!  It tells us why we don't keep our weight of with Weight Watchers, etc. Why killing ourselves at the gym still doesn't get us where we want to be.  It's a great read.  You can get it on Amazon.  I wish that I would have picked it up years ago, but let's face it, until we are ready to make a change in our lives, it isn't going to happen. Nutrition is a learning process and I am sucking as much of the education up that my brain can handle.  Then I am doing what I believe God wants me to do and that is sharing it with you!  I have been so blessed by so many of you that have called, texted, emailed, Facebooked me asking me for info.  I love to share and encourage you!! I was at a Christian conference this weekend and was once again had affirmation that this is something God wants me to share.  I won't lie, I struggle with talking to people about this way of life.  I'm really passionate and I don't want to offend anyone.  So to those of you that are supporting me, thank you!!!  I hope to continue sharing with you as I learn.  I don't believe any of you following this way of life stumbled on it by accident.  There is a reason. 
Please email me, subscribe to this blog, and share your success stories!!!  I am compiling a list for a really awesome blog post of testimonies!!! 

P.S. of course I have some recipes below.

A great bread recipe but not cheap to make unless I get those chickens in my backyard! :-)

Zuchini Lasagna, soo good you should make 2 and freeze one. Doubling and freezing your recipes is where convenience comes into play.  Frozen pizzas to throw in on a Sunday afternoon rocks.  You are putting in the work, you might as well make two.  We make the investment of a Food Saver and I highly recommend it.  I am slowly but surely filling my freezer with meals, desserts and muffins.  Oh and if you want store bought pasta sauce Prego Veggie Smart doesn't have sugar :-)

Last recipe is one I made up but Tom really liked: trail mix bar

Zucchini Lasagna
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 lb ground beef (or buffalo, elk, deer…)
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
1 – 14 oz can of tomato sauce
1 – 14 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes (partially drained)
4-6 medium mushrooms sliced (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Spices (choose your own preferred flavors):
-2 tablespoons fresh Italian Parsley finely chopped
-1 tablespoons fresh oregano chopped (or 1.5 tsp dried)
-2 teaspoons fresh basil chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
-1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
-1/2 teaspoon dried fennel seed (optional, my Italian sausage usually has plenty)
1.5 – 2 lbs of zucchini squash (sliced and peeled nets about 1-1.5 lbs total)
2 eggs
1/4 cup of grated parmesan (romano or parmigiana reggiano)
16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
16 ounces low moisture mozzarella grated
Brown Italian sausage and ground meat on medium to medium high heat. Drain if needed. To the meat mixture add diced onions and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Add in garlic, stir for 30 seconds. Incorporate tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, salt, and Italian seasonings with meat. Reduce heat and allow to simmer stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes.
Slice zucchini into thin horizontal sheets similar to lasagna pasta. Lay out and pat dry on paper towels. Set aside.
Combine ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan and eggs in a bowl until mixed well. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Check meat sauce for flavoring, adjust if necessary (adding sugar to reduce acidity per taste preference). Once the meat sauce liquid has reduced remove from heat and line up all ingredients to assemble the lasagna.
In a 13×9 glass baking dish combine a third of each ingredient in layers as follows:
Zucchini slices
Ricotta mixture
Meat sauce
Repeat two more times.
Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly throughout and cheese is dark golden brown. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Updated 8/12/12 – I have now successfully frozen this lasagna, both whole and in single servings. I cook it about 80% through, cool completely, and then cover in plastic wrap, foil and freeze. I thaw in fridge and reheat either in oven or microwave. Degorged and cooked zucchini seems to hold up fine. It puts off a small amount of moisture, but otherwise the lasagna holds together well with no change in flavor or texture!

Trail Mix Bars ( I don't have nutrition calculated on this but they are a little higher in carb, would be good for my exercising friends or if you will be away from kitchen for awhile and need something to stick with you) Omit any of the following or add your own concoction of nuts and seeds.

Combine in food processor
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 almonds
4 pitted dates
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

After processing add about 1/4 cup heavy cream (or you could use coconut milk) and 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter.  Coat the mixture with cream and peanut butter and press into a bread pan.  Bake at 250 for about 40 minutes, I had to keep checking mine, you want them to get hard.  After cooling, cut into bars. 


  1. Hi Joy!

    I am so glad you are writing a blog! I'm so excited to start reading the book (when I find time!) and start eating this way! I can't believe all the success you've had and my mom just raves about it! Please keep writing so I can get the inspiration to follow through in my life!!!

    Love you!

  2. I am getting 10 dozen eggs from a local farmer on Monday. They are cage free back yard, retired farmer owned. Not 100% sure I have asked all the right questions,but will be a vast improvement from grocers store eggs and will let you know how it good. Way more economical then organic eggs.