Tag Archives: healthy eating

Wrestling a 24-pound Turkey

“Ask and it will be given to you…”

Matthew 7:7, Christian Bible

I have come to believe when we put forth effort in certain directions (though not always), and ask for assistance, the Divine tends to step in and support us. It’s sort of a “God (sometimes) helps those who help themselves” perception.

I’m in my mid-50s and had never, before this year, cooked a whole turkey on my own. Recently my friend Cynthia Wells sold me her freezer so I knew I would have space this Thanksgiving to store leftovers.

I drove to Red Sun Farm in Loveland, Ohio. There, I could see white heirloom turkeys roaming a field of sunshine, and I signed up for a whole gobbler.

Shortly after making my deposit, I got a postcard from La-Z-Boy offering me a free carving set because I had purchased a replacement chair from them. I wasn’t expecting much, but my beautiful new large knife and fork have ceramic handles. I was all set to slice meat with my new poker and sabre.

Or so I thought.

Right before Thanksgiving I drove to the farm to pick up my poultry.
Kind of.
The bird weighed more than 24 pounds. 
Mind you, I had two broken fingers from falling off a galloping horse a few weeks earlier. (With two fingers taped together, I am in training to “Live long and prosper.”) And I’m also not supposed to carry heavy loads because of all my abdominal surgeries, including for uterine sarcoma.

I barely managed to pick up the box anyway and lug it to my Prius trunk.

Thanksgiving morning, I got out the roasting bag and read that it was only for meat up to 24 pounds. My turkey was bigger than that. Still, I managed to clean up and wrestle that weighty gobbler into its bag. And close the tie.

Once in the bag, I had a new problem. My pan was not big enough for a 24+-pound fowl. What to do?

I asked in prayer: Any ideas? You got me this far, please keep it coming.

Ten minutes later the answer popped into my brain. Use aluminum foil to form a basin.

I made the foil fowl bowl and managed to plop my big-bird-in-a-bag onto it. Into the oven it went. Whew.

After it finished baking, my son and I agreed it was too heavy to pull out, so we cut open the bag and left it in the oven. My nice new carving set made slicing so easy.

I felt so supported making this turkey. My freezer now contains bags of organic, free-range meat and multiple jars of deeply nourishing turkey bone broth.

The broth is perfect for making my hearty “thriver soup” with local organic Napa cabbage and onions from Earth-shares CSA in Loveland, fresh local potatoes from Harvest Market in Milford, and Shiloh Farms organic lentils I am sprouting (available through Jungle Jim’s in Eastgate), all in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

It would have been easy for me to assume the idea to put the turkey in an aluminum foil bowl was my idea. I think, however, because so many details had lined up before this request, I was being supported by an idea from the Divine. I gave thanks.

If you ask for information, pay attention to your thoughts. An idea might suddenly arise. It probably will be easy to miss, or dismiss, but if you are paying attention, you might recognize it as a gift and give thanks.

How Nutritious are Your Eggs?

  1. You should not wantonly climb in trees to look for nests and destroy eggs. 98. You should not use cages to trap birds and [other] animals.

One Hundred and Eighty Precepts

These Daoist sayings are hard. I can understand not wantonly destroying eggs, but not using cages to trap birds and other animals? We wouldn’t have farms without them. Some would argue that would be a good practice, but for people who believe they need eggs and meat, the way to follow this with limited land resources would be to pasture-raise our farm animals. This is expensive and uses a lot of land, raising the price of eggs and meat.

I used to buy my eggs from a discount store at a discount price. The poor hens, most likely trapped in battery cages, probably never saw sunlight or moved outside of their tiny cells. (In a 2014 report, 95% of U.S. eggs came from hens trapped in battery cages.) What a miserable existence. I found the shells overly easy to crack open. They reminded me of the egg breakage I’d read about among wild birds. These fowl are experiencing losses in breeding success due to contamination by post-1945 “residues of synthetic organic chemicals used as pesticides and in industry.”

As I learned, I moved to slightly costlier eggs.

One day my son cut his finger and bled profusely. I remembered reading that eggshell membranes can be used to temporarily stop excessive bleeding. I grabbed an egg and struggled to get a little bit of the membrane out of the bottom of the shell. I got only a small crumpled piece out, and put it on his little cut.

The cut immediately stopped bleeding. We were both stunned.

I then looked up more information on those membranes. They can be used to

  • treat wounds to prevent scar tissue;
  • reduce the effects of osteoarthritis;
  • improve health of skin, hair, and nails.

That was the end of cheap eggs for me. I began buying my eggs from local farmers, and when they weren’t available, got organic eggs from the supermarket. I immediately noticed a difference when cracking the eggs—the shells were tougher to break open.

But how to separate the membrane from the shell? I tried a few methods, none of which worked very well. The membranes were slick, tore easily, and took forever to separate from the shells.

Okay, so maybe the problem, again, was with the eggs themselves. So I moved to the most expensive eggs—organic, free-range, certified humane (raised and handled), and no synthetic pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics.

Viola! The membrane, tough and gauzy, pulled right off in large pieces. So easy! And to me it meant the membrane must be full of nutrients, especially collagen. I wanted those nutrients.

 

[Watch the 1-minute video here.]

I clean the membranes and drop them into my Vitamix to blend with greens for my smoothies.

To me, it’s worth the extra expense to get high-quality eggs, not only because I am prone to osteoarthritis, but also because as a survivor of highly aggressive end-stage sarcoma, nutrition is extremely important to me. I want to maintain my cancer remission! Healthy eating can only help, in my opinion.

Plus I’d rather get the membrane from eggs I cracked, so I know the source, than something that has been put through a chemical or other process, and then who knows the quality of the membrane anyway. Probably not from the healthiest eggs.

And another benefit. I clean and dehydrate the shells, crush them with a mortar and pestle, then add lemon or lime juice and have my own calcium supplement.

I am happy to follow the Daoist precept to avoid at least the battery cages and go with free-range, organically fed, humanely treated hens. Happy hens make good eggs, which please me.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

For the healthiest eggs, look for free-range or pasture-raised organic eggs that are not treated with hormones or antibiotics.

Sources:

One Hundred and Eighty Precepts, http://fore.yale.edu/religion/daoism/texts/

“An estimated 95% of all eggs in the United States are produced in conventional cage systems, sometimes called battery cages.… According to UEP, conventional cage systems typically provide each laying hen an average of 67 square inches of floor space. In some egg operations, hens have less space.” https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/47ce/d140eac346b2b8d59781291411dd60148bfe.pdf

Contamination, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273074182_Changes_Attributable_to_Pesticides_in_Egg_Breakage_Frequency_and_Eggshell_Thickness_in_Some_British_Birds

What’s in eggshell membrane: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggshell_membrane, http://eggmem.org/en/about/

Treating wounds: http://eggmem.org/en/about/page1.php

Treating arthritis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697588/

Improving health of skin, hair, and nails: http://eggmem.org/en/about/page3.php

Readers Respond: Dairy in Europe vs US

The light circled his head and shot into the sky, rising toward the fat full moon that hung over the chimney of Caspar’s little house. The light rose higher, and the voice called, “Come with us … there’s plenty of cheese.”

Caspar’s mouth began to water. “What have I to lose?” he asked, so he began to follow that light…

“The Boy Who Loved Cheese,” as told by Amy Friedman

 

In this Dutch folktale, a boy can’t stop eating cheese… until fairies force him to eat more than he can stomach.

I understand his love for cheese. I indulged in dairy for a month in Europe without any of my usual digestive issues. Last week’s Thriver Soup blog about dairy evoked several thoughtful responses, which I would like to share.

One reader in Norway wrote, “I don’t know why you can eat European dairy products, but not American ones.

“But I know that Norwegian cows are not ‘happier’ than American ones. Norwegian cows get power fodder, they rarely leave their stable, they are bred to give as much milk as possible. They would die without their special fodder, because so many nutrients go into the milk that the cow would be depleted and even die without it.

“I am quite sure that the same is the case for most European cows, except the few that are explicitly kept organically.

“Sheep and goats get to run around more freely in Norway because they are not milked. The downside: they are in danger for being eaten by wolves. And many of them are slaughtered in fall.

“So, sorry, but Europe is not quite as romantic as your blog suggests…”

So what is different about European dairy and United States dairy that enables me to eat it?

A reader from Ecuador offered some ideas about the differences. “The dairy thing in the U.S. is really toxic, I think. As you know, growth hormones, antibiotics, bleaching agents…who the heck knows? Here in Ecuador we buy milk and creme which are an ivory color. No stuffy noses anymore! All of the agricultural products are grown on small family farms. I feel so nutriented! We can even buy some organic products!”

Whatever the difference is, for cancer patients, dairy is still a product perhaps best limited or even eliminated from the diet. Robert Cohen, the NotMilkMan, writes, “Eighty percent of milk protein is casein and most people react negatively to casein, but there is a type of casein some cows produce which does not cause the traditional problem. Those other 20% of milk proteins include a protein hormone (insulin-like growth factor-1) which has been identified as the KEY factor in the growth and proliferation of every type of human cancer. As a human cancer begins its growth it is silent and painless. When the tumor becomes large enough, it becomes its own endocrine gland, secreting internally an abundance of IGF-1 which promotes its growth as it metastasizes.”

Perhaps it’s a good thing Caspar decided to limit his cheese intake.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

If you want to limit or eliminate dairy, there are lots of great substitutes on the market. My current favorite is organic coconut butter diluted with water when I want something with a milky or creamy consistency. What is your favorite non-dairy substitute?

Source:

http://www.uexpress.com/tell-me-a-story/2009/4/26/the-boy-who-loved-cheese-a

Dairy in Europe vs US

“Straightway after the rime dripped, there sprang from it the cow called Auðumla; four streams of milk ran from her udders, and she nourished Ymir.”

The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson

 

The giant Ymir, the first creature to come into being according to Norse creation mythology, was nourished by milk from the primeval cow called Auðumbla.

A dozen years ago I stopped receiving nourishment from milk, cheese, cream, and yogurt. When I tried them, I was rewarded with a belly ache, hot flashes, and constipation.

I had heard that people who experienced difficulty with dairy in the United States didn’t have issues in Europe.

When I went to Norway recently, I decided to give dairy another try.

No issues. No belly ache, no hot flashes, no constipation.

So I gorged on dairy for weeks—cheese, yogurt, cream, skyr… but I easily resisted the codfish-flavored ice cream.

I asked around. How come I can digest dairy in northern Europe but can’t in the United States?

Some people said the livestock graze on the mountainsides, eating the herbs and flowers while basking in sunlight.

I did see goats traipsing on mountains and sheep dashing across roads.

My son is sure it’s all in my head. Maybe so. But if I were a cow given the choice of being locked up all my life in a tiny space indoors, or being allowed to roam the countryside, I’d be far happier roaming. Which would make my body chemistry healthier, and my milk sweeter and more nourishing.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

If you have trouble digesting dairy in the United States, perhaps seek out dairy imported from Europe. There also might be something to the idea that dairy with the A2 protein works for some people who have a history of difficulty digesting dairy.

http://www.nbcnews.com/better/diet-fitness/can-new-milk-brand-buoy-dairy-industry-n339586

Sources

Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist (tr.) (1916). The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson. New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation.

Misleading Labels—The Skinny on Sugar

Note: I am largely off the internet at the moment. Guests have graciously offered blog posts that I believe will be of interest. Today’s post is by Chef Lori Pierce (Lula) of Cincinnati, OH. Sugar causes inflammation, so reducing sugar intake can potentially reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been directly linked to several types of cancer. Here Lula helps with understanding sugar on food labels. Lula has contributed to recipe development for companies such as Kraft, Nestle, Unilever and McCormick. Check out her blog here: http://lulasforlunch.com/blog/

By Chef Lori Pierce (Lula)

Reduced Sugar, Low Sugar, No Sugar Added … Which of these terms is regulated by the FDA? Only “Reduced Sugar.” This means the product has to contain 25% less sugar than its original form.

The other two are basically meaningless. For example, “no sugar added” could be on a honey label and be legal. What’s important to know is how many grams of sugar (which comes in these myriad names: anything ending in “ose” such as sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, as well as honey, syrup, molasses, evaporated cane juice, nectar, corn sweetener, etc.) are in a portion. Recommended daily intake of added sugar runs around 6 teaspoons, or 24 grams. So… 4 grams = 1 teaspoon.

Sugar in all its forms will be on the food label in grams. So now that you know the math, look for those grams and calculate just how sweet you’re gonna be.

Image source: https://tinyurl.com/yca2oo8f

July 4 Picnic Tips from Chef Lula

Note: I am largely off the internet at the moment. Guests have graciously offered blog posts that I believe will be of interest. Today’s post is by Chef Lori Pierce (Lula) of Cincinnati, OH. With July 4 gatherings on the horizon, she offers these tips for enhancing your picnics. Lula has contributed to recipe development for companies such as Kraft, Nestle, Unilever and McCormick. Check out her blog here: http://lulasforlunch.com/blog/

By Chef Lori Pierce (Lula)

How to Pick a Pineapple

How do you pick a pineapple in a store? I always pluck out a center leaf – if it comes out quite easily the pineapple is ripe. Now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, though, I guess everyone else will do the same and when I get there, maybe that’s not such a good test anymore. So, I’ll smell it at the stem end. The stronger and sweeter it smells (it should reek of pineapple), the riper it is. If you need a pineapple and they are all giving off only faint smells, buy one and let it sit on the counter for a couple of days ‘till the aroma develops. Then slice into that juicy bad boy.

How to Keep Your Guacamole Green 

I hate it when my beautiful avocado stuff starts to turn dull and brown. Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering has to make a pretty large volume upon occasion and sometimes it has to sit in the fridge for a couple of days – and there’s just not enough acid in the recipe to keep it in the “Kermit” family, so… I cover the surface with a thin film of water. The guac is dense enough (and fatty enough) that it won’t absorb the water – so when I’m ready to use it I just tilt the container and pour the water off and voila! it’s just as vibrant as when I made it.

Sugarplums Dancing in my Bowl

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, / While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads

“A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by either Henry Livingston Jr. or Clement Moore

 

The children in this poem dreamed of sugarplums. What are sugarplums? I was amazed to learn in May that they were growing in my front yard.

In June 2016, I watched each morning as a robin picked all the little fruit from my serviceberry tree. During this past May, I read about these edible, nutritious delicacies. They have many names, including June, Saskatoon, prairie, shadbush, and pigeon berries, along with wild plum and chuckley pear.

And sugarplum.

This summer birds squawked nearby each morning as I picked the berries while red, because the fruit would not last long enough on the shrub to turn a darker shade.

They are shaped like small blueberries yet are more related to the apple family. Their mildly sweet, almondish flavor contribute plenty of fiber, protein, antioxidants, and nutrients to my breakfast.

They go great with diluted coconut butter, chia seeds, and soaked/dehydrated raw pecans. Maybe this coming Christmas, long after these berries are consumed, I’ll be dreaming of sugarplums dancing in my breakfast bowl.

Thriver Soup Ingredient

More than 50,000 plants species—and possibly more than 80,000–on our planet are edible. Only about 3,000 of these species are regularly used as food. 103 species make up 90 percent of our plant food supply.

That’s paltry.

By expanding the types of foods we eat, we can expand the nutrients available to us. Perhaps check out #WholeFoods, #JungleJim’s, and some farmers’ markets this summer to discover some new tastes and textures.

Sources:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/26719/mystery-behind-worlds-most-famous-christmas-poem

Nutritional resource: http://saskatoonberryinstitute.org/saskatoons/

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=101333

https://www.quora.com/How-many-different-plants-do-humans-eat

The ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing

Please join me

Sunday, May 7, 1-3 pm
250 East Main Street, Batavia, OH  45103

Your Take-aways

+ Consider how to transform attitudes to support healing
+ Learn how to reconstruct behaviors and make better choices to support your body’s efforts to create health
+ Gain your own insights through a guided visualization that will involve exploring any dis-eased part of the body

Feedback:

Thanks for a most thought-provoking talk. I’ve done little else but think since we were together. Who am I? What matters most to me? What do I hope to be when I grow up? How big is my part in the scheme of things?… The talk was a wonderful thing for me.

The ABCs of healing was eye-opening and can help with my health issues.

Beautiful, heartfelt, easy. I gained an understanding of the power of healing through all modalities.

How to Make Smart Choices in a World of Dumb Nutrition Fads

Remember hearing that to lose weight you need to eat a low-fat diet? Or that it was fine to eat a fake sweetener?

Did you try doing the right thing by eating lots of salads, only find out later that your favorite dressing consisted of unhealthy soybean oil and high-fructose corn syrup?

Now you can make smart choices in a world of dumb nutrition fads.

Please join me Saturday from 1:30-4pm to hear top nutrition hacks from local experts. Find out

  • How to determine your current nutritional status;
  • How to feel better now by reducing inflammation; and
  • How to select nutritious, whole foods.

When: Saturday from 1:30-4pm

Where: Grace Tree Yoga & Growth Studio, 8933 Cincinnati Dayton Rd, West Chester Township, Butler County, Ohio 45069.

Tickets Available
you_are_what_you_eat_registration.eventbrite.com

Also, Cancer Treatment SOS is live TODAY at 2pm EST. Learn how to thrive beyond end-stage cancer! Author and speaker Joni Aldrich will be in conversation with #ThriverSoup. Please join me.

7 Tips for Reducing Pain Perception

CureToday magazine posted this article as my story. Note that it is best to talk to a health care provider before making changes based on these 7 tips.
If you click on the link and look at the article, that will help prompt CureToday to invite me to write more articles. It also will be helpful for getting the word out. Even better if you share the link. Thank you!
http://www.curetoday.com/share-your-story/7-tips-for-reducing-pain-perception