A Quick Update and a Cooking Tip

ONE MORE WEEK.

I wish I had something more interesting to say to start off this entry. But all I can think of is that I have one more week of summer camp, then I finally get a vacation. I went directly from the end of the school year right into a 6 week summer camp. While the kids are great and I love teaching, I really, really, REALLY can’t wait for this break.

And what’s the first thing I’m going to do next Monday morning?

Doctor’s appointment! Yay…

So, an update about me from last week: I got a probiotic that also includes some digestive enzymes, and I’ve been taking it for almost a week. I can tell it’s definitely doing something, as I’m more regular elimination-wise than I’ve been in a long time. I’m eating more vegetables, and eating more sauerkraut. But the sugar monster has a big hold on me right now, so today was my day 1 of the 21 Day Sugar Detox! (In case you’re not familiar with it, I wrote a review about it here.)

To be completely transparent, I completely forgot I was doing the detox during lunch time. I wasn’t even craving anything sweet. I just got my tuna salad, put it on lettuce, and grabbed a pear. It wasn’t that sweet of a pear, either…I didn’t remember that I needed to limit my fruit intake until after I ate it. Oh well. I have no green-tipped bananas here, so if that’s my only piece of fruit today, I’m okay with that.

I’m hoping that by doing the detox program again I’ll be able to clear up this lingering fatigue issue I have. That’s also kind of what the doctor’s appointment is for. I’m tired of being tired, and if there’s a medical reason for it, I’d like to know.


Today I just have a cooking tip to share. A common complaint I hear at the staff lunch table in regards to eating healthy foods is, “I just don’t have time to cook anything!” Good, healthy food does not need to take hours to make! When I’m in a time crunch (or, to be honest, just feeling lazy), this is what I do.

Ingredients:

♥ Cooking fat: butter, ghee, coconut oil, lard, tallow, duck fat (olive oil if cooking on low heat, but it will then take longer to cook)

♥ 6-8 oz meat per person – I cook a pound so I can have leftovers, and I always have something defrosting in the fridge at all times. It keeps me sane when I’m hungry. Ground beef is my choice of meat for this recipe, but do what works for you.

♥ Frozen bag of veggies – I like the mix of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots the best.

♥ Spices of choice

♥ Cheese of choice (if you can have dairy)

Directions:

1. Brown the meat in a pan over medium or medium-low heat. As it’s browning, add in some spices. Usually I’ll add a bit of onion, garlic, salt, and pepper to start with. Sometimes I’ll stop there, and sometimes I’ll add paprika, cinnamon, cumin, or a spice blend.

2. While the meat is browning, put the microwave bag of veggies in the microwave. Follow the bag’s directions for time (my bags always say 9 minutes, but I can get away with 7). The veggies can still be slightly under-cooked.

3. After the meat is finished browning, put the veggies in the pan with the meat. Add more spices to taste. Add cheese about a minute before eating to let it melt a bit, or top it immediately before serving. I’ve done it both ways.

There you have it! It should take you about 15 minutes to make if cooking 1 pound of ground beef (more than a pound might take longer to brown, depending on the size of your pan).

Readers, what do you do when you’ve only got 15 minutes to make dinner?

Real Food

What Is a “Real” Food?

When people ask me what I eat, I often reply with, “meats and veggies…real food.” But then someone asks, “But wait. I can eat ____, so why isn’t that a real food?” So, here’s my definition: A “real” food is a food that is packed full of nutrients naturally. These are the foods that often have no nutrition label, or have maybe 4 ingredients listed, and each ingredient is recognized as a “real” food in itself. The food came from the earth, or came from an animal that ate from the earth.

Examples: quality meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs, and spices.

Why eat only real foods?

When we eat real foods, we get many of the nutrients that are body needs. Our bodies were made to absorb macro-nutrients (fat, carbohydrates, and proteins) together with micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals). These foods will help to stabilize blood sugar and some of them are anti-inflammatory – all good things! When our bodies have stable blood sugar levels, our moods and energy levels also become more stable, and we have less cravings.

“But Janelle, grains come from the earth! Why don’t you consider grain products like bread and pasta real food?”

An excellent question! Short answer: while one of the earliest cultivated wheat grains, einkorn, was fine, today’s wheat grain been altered and processed so much that our bodies don’t recognize it as food and cannot digest it well anymore, and it causes more harm than good. Yes, even whole grains. There is growing evidence that wheat ingestion not only causes digestive inflammation, but inflammation throughout the whole body, and is the root cause of many autoimmune and neurological diseases. I’ll write a more science-y article about that later this week.

Also this week, I plan to post a few recipes. What kind of recipes would be helpful for you? Beginner recipes, 30-minutes or less recipes…what would you like to see?