Art, Thoughts, Words and Ramblings

Create the life you want to live.

The Key to Quinoa

One thing that happens to me once in a while is that I get BORED with what I eat day to day.  And when I get bored, I find that I tend to binge or eat things that I really shouldn’t be eating.    So, I’m making an effort to eat more ‘unique’ things to keep my interest and reduce the urge to binge.    At the WLSFA event earlier this month, I picked up a cook book from BariWare that has all kinds of great bariatric recipes in it.  I figured I’d work my way through it, and add to my repertoire or exclude those that don’t work for my tastes.

The first recipe I tried was the Hot and Cruncy Quinoa recipe.  I modified it a little bit to suit what I had in the pantry, and what I was hungry for.
My version of the recipe is here:
2 c cooked quinoa
4 oz crushed pecans
1 c diced strawberries
1/2 t ghee
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t coconut sugar
Pinch of Salt
While the quinoa was hot, I added the ghee (it melted into the quinoa and got nice and creamy).  I stirred in the cinnamon and coconut sugar and stirred until it melted.   To serve, (I’ll be eating this for the next 4 days) it’s 4oz (1/2 c) quinoa in a container, and top with 1oz pecans and 2oz diced berries.  Since I packed it for work, I put the quinoa and nuts and berries in separate containers.  This morning, I heated the quinoa for 45 seconds in the microwave and topped with the nuts and berries.
YUM – and it held me through until late afternoon when I felt ‘lunchy’ .  I will definitely be doing this again, and mixing in different berries and nuts.  (Raspberries and almonds?)  I’ll also be adding a little vanilla I think.

Product Review: Steve’s PaleoGoods – Paleo Krunch Cereal


When I was in California a few weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me a Paleo Kit to try.  (More on that one later).  I was reviewing the Steve’s Paleogoods website – and stumbled across their Paleo Krunch Cereal.  One thing that I really miss since I’m eliminating grains and gluten from my diet is a crunchy addition to my morning yogurt.  So, since Steve’s has a few different paleo options for cereal, I figured I’d pick some up and give them a try.

And boy am I glad that I did! The stats on it are pretty good:

Per each 1.5 ounce serving:

  • 200 Calories
  • Fat 13g (6g saturated)
  • Carbs 16g (7g fiber, 6g sugars)
  • Protein 7g

I’m also really happy with the ingredient list – very short – and all real food:  raw almonds, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, honey and vanilla.

I use this a few tablespoons at a time to add crunch to my morning yogurt.  It has a great flavor, and is softer than some of the commercial yogurts that I’ve had.  It doesn’t hit my blood sugar that badly – it’s just a wee bit of honey – but I don’t think I’d want to have a larger serving of it at one time.

I would most definitely recommend this to any of my bariatric friends who are looking for a bit of crunch in their yogurt that also packs some nutrition into it as well.  The price is fairly good as well – especially since I only eat it a few tablespoons at a time.   It’s 6.95 a container, and because I got about 10 servings out if it – it is about $.70 a serving.  Well worth it in my opinion!

If you try it – let me know!



Whole Food Living


You may have noticed a new blog category this week.  It’s been something that I’ve debated doing for a while, but a conversation that I had with a student in one of my classes last week sealed the deal for me.

For the past two years, Charles and I have been working to change how we live.  We started with our eating, and now we’re seeing that have a ripple effect through the rest of our lives.   I can’t say exactly what triggered the big change.  We’d both read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and from there, we branched into reading a number of other books, documentaries, and blog resources on the food industry in the United States.   When I came back from my first trip to India, Charles had pretty much weaned himself of off processed foods and sodas at the house, and was working on doing the same as part of his daily diet.  (This is something that I still struggle with – but I’m better than I had been in the past!)

We’ve developed an entire portfolio of resources, from farmer’s markets, to farmers, to local grain mills and butchers.  We rarely shop at the ‘big box’ grocery stores any longer, and are more often than not, planning our menus around what’s seasonal and what we can find at the farmer’s market.  When the Market doesn’t have much (and in the winter in North Carolina does slim down the market offerings drastically) we shop at our local Whole Foods, with the rule Local,Organic is the best, then Local Conventional, then non local organic, with non local conventional being the ‘last resort’.

There are a number of different reasons why we do this.  In our research, we’ve seen that the current model of food distribution in this country is simply not sustainable.  We burn so much oil in transferring processed foods from their factory to the store where they’re sold, often driving right past farms that produce healthier options.  As a nation we’re obsessed with ‘fast’ convenience foods, because of the type of lives that we live – that we need to have things we can eat ‘on the go’.  The era of the family dinner is unfortunately dying.  I don’t think that it’s dead – it’s just on life support.

It’s not hard to see that as a nation, we struggle with food.  The evening news reports that nearly 60 percent of ALL Americans have a BMI that would be considered overweight, with nearly 30 percent of the being considered obese or morbidly obese.  The weight loss industry has exploded with a number of different options to help people lose money faster (Because we all know they’re not losing weight), and the number of people who have opted for bariatric surgery has also exploded (And I participate in that community, no hiding it!)   We’re all looking for a quick fix, but we don’t often look at the source of what got us there.

That said, I think this is a good place and time to discuss what I’ve experienced as part of this journey – the things I see us doing in the future, and ways that I think we all could make some better choices to help ourselves out.