Looks Can Be Deceiving…

pineapple_whole-5

OR, How to pick a proper pineapple, pleasing, pretty, perfectly prickly  per prudent people’s passion for produce. dancing_pineapple2

Firstly, I disregard looks. The above doesn’t look too yummy or eye-catching; however, other indications tell a different story.

Fragrance.

pineapple_whole_bottom-2

I always smell my fruit! Well, most fruit. Pineapple should smell so good you can taste it. If it has a musty smell or funny edge to the smell, it’s most likely fermenting already, having been picked too long ago. Take a whiff at the bottom of the pineapple; not the top or sides. It should smell fresh.

The bottom:

pineapple_bottom-5

The yellowing on the bottom sides is a good sign; the mold on the core is not! However, this is not a rotten pineapple! There is not a lot of mold. It has been sitting too long, sure; but the other signs are good, so it’s not enough to reject it.

The top:

pineapple_top-4

Again, not too attractive! The center leaves aren’t too bad. One test that hasn’t failed me yet is the pulling method: If you can very easily pull the very center leaves from the ‘napple, it’s bank. There should be little to no resistance. That’s an indication it was picked while ripe. The above is an older pineapple; but it may have been refrigerated and that’s why it’s still fresh inside. But being able to pull easily is not the sole indication of an optimal pineapple; so a rotten one can have easy to pull leaves, for example.

Weight: Most fruits are best picked with this in mind — melons and citrus, especially. If they are heavy, they contain lots of juice. So heavy = good.

Mold and Spotting: Obviously, mold is not good; however, the other signs on the above pineapple were. Had it soft spots, which is a deal breaker, or other signs of rotting, or mold on the body, I’d have rejected it. If it is soft and you can press into it with a little squeeze, it’s not good.

Color: Color is no indication of ripeness! It seems, looking at that pineapple, it was picked while not yet ripened, then started to rot –not true.  A pineapple can be utterly delicious and perfect and solid green! I’ve purchased gorgeous golden pineapples with fresh green leaves and they were so sour, they were inedible!
Hmph. And not a peppy pineapple picker was I, let me tell you …for the price of pineapples produces pernicious pickers prompt to purloin!

Size: Doesn’t matter. Big or small, they can vary in taste.

This pineapple needs to be refrigerated, ASAP. Pineapples do not ripen after being harvested; they should have been ripe when picked.  You can leave out a ripe one a few days and it will be fine; but use, fridge, or freeze it soon.

But, it’s all a mystery until you get it home…

Slice it and…

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Ahhhh………

pineapple_chunks-5*Perfect* Pineapple!

Lots of things don’t look so great on the outside…but isn’t it what’s inside that matters? 😉

Pineapple freezes very wellPhotobucket

Strix

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Live Long And Prosper…

… an ETL Friday! Extra 😉

Eating a huge, delicious salad is the secret to successful weight control and a long healthy life.
_Dr. Fuhrman from “Eat To Live

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I watched an Oprah episode on “extreme” life extension (note it’s 10 pages) — Watch this short excerpt. I don’t think a video of the entire show is available, watch for a rerun! It was a fantastic show! SO inspiring. I was so excited watching it! I tell ya what, ETL is *the* way to eat for longevity, as prescribed by Dr. Fuhrman in “Eat To Live.” It is as close to exact as you can get to the diet of the longest-lived people in the world. It is a calorie restricted diet, naturally. It also leads into other areas of your life, enhancing it the longer you follow it.

Personally, I really don’t care so much about the numbers — about the years, per se: for me, it’s about QUALITY. Quality of those years. Though extra years ain’t too shabby a perk, don’t you agree?! 😉
I want to be healthy when I die :D. Yes, yes, it’s possible. THAT’S what I want. I want lucidness, clarity, mental strength, as well as happiness and love when I pass. I want it to be a happy passing :D. I don’t want fear, regret, pain…

Many thanks to you, Dr. Fuhrman, for showing me the way. My thoughts on your work are of pure joy and gratitude.

If you’ve never met the longest-lived people on the planet, take a looksee:

If video doesn’t play, GO HERE

They even mention Hara Hachi Bu, which I’ve been practicing for a couple years now…AWESOME! I feel younger already :D. It absolutely becomes normal to eat that way, if you stick to it (just like Eating to live, just like any thing worth doing in life).
What strikes me most — and what I am THOROUGHLY convinced, more and more every single day of its essentialness — is the happiness. Can’t you just see it? See how peaceful they are — from within — it totally exudes from them, even detectable through a video. Amazing. Utterly amazing. I believe this is just as important as nutrition for health. And I believe, even if adopting their diet, but exacting a miserable life of negativity and pettiness and anger and vengeance and jealousy and self-hatred and resentment and on and on, the benefits are diminished, if not moot.

I know, as life is today, we cannot completely avoid negativity and negative people, but we can adopt the “Be the change we want to see” type of outlook, and draw to ourselves positivity. You attract what you give out. So happiness is also a verb 🙂 You have to do it to get it. It doesn’t come to you automatically. Just like love love_hearts🙂

I’m happy when I have the company and support of positive people! I find this happening more and more :D. It feels sooooooo great to attract those kind of people — the kind you respect. Who wants petty gossiping, toxic, etc. people around?! What’s more, who wants to be a petty, gossiping toxic person?!!!

I want to smile every day like the folks in that video; I want people I love around me; I want to die smiling 😀

Think I can do it? 😉 How about you? 🙂

Poxacuatl

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Lip Whip and Tip…

A cooking Tip, that is! 😀

 

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*

 

 

roses-31-copyThis is a soft lip cream. I like the consistency of castor oil in some of my  lip care products; you can use a different one (tamanu is exceptional). As well, the mango butter is one of the softer, creamier butters; if you use a firmer butter, it will make a firmer product, which is perfectly fine :). (Coconut oil, though solid, would be too greasy here, and not a butter, anyway)

You can vary the essential oils, if you wish, or use none; I love vanilla and rose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lip Whip

1/4-ounce Carnauba Wax, or  Candelilla Wax
1 TB Castor Oil
1/2 TB Mango Butter
1 tsp Aloe Vera Gel, pure (and not the drink!)
3-4d Essential Oil Vanilla, or Vanilla Absolute
1d Essential Oil of Rose

Heat the wax and oil in a small measuring cup or bowl over steaming water (make-shift double boiler).
As it begins to melt, add the oil and heat just until wax is completely melted.
Add mango butter and stir till melted; remove from heat.
Quickly add the aloe and whip in till thoroughly combined.
Add the essential oils.
Whip vigorously till fluffy, light and creamy.

Store in a cosmetic tin; or small jar.

Makes about 2 TB

This has a slightly firmer consistency than refrigerated, whipped butter, so it is best not to leave this in the heat. Do not take this in your purse or pocket, for example, in hot weather unless in a secure container; it will melt at high temperatures. The tin shown here would not be considered a secure container. A tightly lidded jar would work.

Note: The “d” after the amount for essential oils stands for “drop(s).”

Melt wax in a double boiler.*

Add oil and mango butter to melt

Remove from heat and add aloe vera.

Whip in till creamy and mixed throughout.

Add oils and beat in till thoroughly combined and whip is light, and fluffy.

Place in lip tin and allow to cool before covering.

~ *roses-23-copy* ~

 

Ingredients:

 

Carnauba Wax

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Castor Oil

 

castor-oil_bottle-2-copy

 

Mango Butter

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Aloe Vera

 

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Essential Oils, preferably organic, Optional

 

 

 

 

Make a makeshift 🙂 For a small amount a measuring cup works great (the Pyrex are perfect, too.)

*If you don’t have a tiny pot like this one, use a regular pot with a makeshift rack insert. I’ve done this for years with cooking! See “Below”):

melt_wax

 

 

 

 

Melt wax…

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Add the oil and butter…

melt_wax_add_butter

Remove from heat and add aloe…

add_aloe_

Quickly stir…

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…vigorously…

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*Add your oils, and whip it good 🙂

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Spoon (or plop) it into your tin or other receptacle…

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Voila! Easy, handmade lip butter 😀

lip-whip_used

 

 

 

 

~ *** ~

 

Below😉

Okay, here’s what I do/have done when I have/had no double boiler or no appropriately sized double boiler (This is the cooking tip, by the way 😛 ):

 

 

Use the ring from a mason jar as a rack at the bottom of your smallest pot, and place your (non-breakable!) cup or receptacle on top and fill with water to desired height….

double-boiler_steamer_lid

 

*

Here is a pic where I used the mason jar ring to hold a small, 4-inch Pyrex dish:

 

carnauba-wax_melt-copy

Works great! So small portions can easily be done.  You can this sort of thing with any foods, too, of course. You wouldn’t want to place  so small amounts in a big ol’ insert pot, haha. And this works with any-sized insert pot, not just small bowls :). The rings can hold a lot of weight.

*

OR, if you don’t have a ring, I’ve used tin foil…

 

 

 

A-hem, sorry, old pic 😀

 

makeshift-trivet_steamer1

 

 

I just rolled up a lot of foil into a firm circle, steadying it to be even in density to hold securely whatever receptacle I was placing on top of it. Works well, and can be reused (foil not the most enviro-friendly thing, but an option in a pinch).

*

melt_wax_makeshift_double-boiler

*

 

Also, if you have a metal trivet, for hot plates and pots; a steamer insert‘ll work;  a piece of old tile (you may have stuff in your awning house or garage! 🙂 ) works; as well, chopsticks, old cutlery, etc., can be placed at the bottom of a pan and your receptacle on top — as long as it’s steady, and the items used not meltable, burnable or anything dangerous! — it’ll work. If you used to can, you can use the water bath rack. Use your imagination 🙂 I’ve done some crazy stuff, myself! “Necessity,” as they say 😉

 

Strix

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ETL Friday! “A Life Changed”

Hi, Everyone 🙂 Welcome back. Another fantastic entry. Yurtdwellingmama ‘s gracious contribution is pure ETL inspiration. Get ready to be motivated 😀 Take it away, Debbie:

A Life Changed

by Debbie Warne-Jacobsen (Yurtdwellingmama)

When I started my ETL journey over two years ago I had some pretty clear ideas of how my life would change if I was successful. Primary in my mind was that I would be a better role model for my then three year old daughter. I wanted to lose weight and model a healthful weight and a healthy way of eating. Even though we were already vegetarian, and she had been vegan since birth, I knew we were not eating healthfully. There was French toast made from whole grain bread, soy cheese pizza, tofu fried in oil. Even fast food . . . BK Veggies with French fries (fries are vegan after all), Taco Bell bean burritos. You get the picture.

I hoped I would feel better. I had been experiencing episodes of tachycardia for several months. I had one terrifying episode where my heart was beating so fast, and I was so short of breath, I had to call my mother-in-law home from work, on a day that my husband was out of town, because I feared I would pass out while caring for my daughter.

I also hoped my blood pressure would lower. I had difficulty with my blood pressure throughout the third trimester of my pregnancy, and although it had stabilized to just below borderline since my daughter’s birth, it was for sure too high and out of the optimum range.

Those were my hopes, and that led to an assessment of my reality. I knew I needed to lose 50 lbs. (a difficult thing to admit to myself). I needed to improve my health. I needed to set a better example for my daughter so she would not struggle with her weight and later her health like I had.

As soon as I found Dr. Fuhrman’s plan, I was certain it was the plan for me. I already believed in the fundamentals of the diet, having followed something similar years before (Fit for Life by Harvey Diamond). When I started reading the comprehensive nutritional information that was backed up by study after study in his book Eat to Live, I was sold. I was eager and wanted to lose weight as quickly as I could, so I opted for the most aggressive form of the diet. I decided to follow the vegan program and in addition completely eliminate grains or starchy vegetables from my diet. I would eat nothing but whole foods: fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts.

As Dr. Fuhrman says in his book, I did not try to follow the program. I did follow the program, 100%. I’d never done that before and that in itself was exciting. Why, was I able to stay on this diet when I had been unable to stay committed to other plans? The answer is simple: Results. Not only was the weight falling off (I lost 6 lbs the first week) I was starting to feel good. I mean really good. After a few days initially of feeling headachy and generally poor (detoxing), I started to have more energy, my bouts of tachycardia were fewer and fewer, I no longer woke feeling groggy and unable to face the day.

I was also motivated in a new way to exercise. I started walking. It was the middle of winter, and I live in the northern Midwest, so it was cold. No matter what the weather, I walked. Snowing, I walked. Twenty-five degrees below zero, I walked. I started out walking for about 20 minutes, then leading up to about an hour per day.

After the initial six weeks of the program was complete, I’d lost 23 lbs. It had been a few weeks since I had an episode of tachycardia, and other things started happening in my life too.  Things I didn’t anticipate when I had been imagining what it would be like if I was successful.

I was joyful.  I’ve always been pretty happy in my life. I have a wonderful husband and a daughter, both of whom bring me a great deal of joy. This was different however, this was an inner joy that I was feeling all the time. I was joyful when I was shopping for my food at our local food co-op. I was joyful preparing the beautiful food that I was now eating and serving to my family, and most of all I felt overwhelming joy and satisfaction while eating! Not only was the food healthful, it was fantastic! I didn’t have to give up my love of food! I was enjoying it more than ever.

My journey began to touch the lives of the people I care about. My family was doing the program too. My husband was pretty much 100% also, and even though before being on the program I would have said he did not need to lose any weight, he lost 20 lbs. One day he just looked at me and said, “Thank you, thank you for getting us eating like this.” I nearly cried.

It wasn’t just my own family who was affected. By the time I had lost 30 lbs, people starting asking me about it. By the time I hit 40 lbs, I couldn’t go anywhere without running into someone and having an in depth conversation about my weight loss and how I’d done it. The local co-op starting carrying “Eat to Live,” and they were selling. I was asked to make smoothies at the co-op and give out samples. I later learned that a woman who had a sampled one of my green smoothies was drinking them daily herself, and feeding them to her two year old son!

My mother-in-law, whom we eat dinner with many nights per week, was eating the same dinners we were, and she started noticing a difference with just eating one ETL meal per day. She started telling people about it and several people she knows started following the program.

Even my 80 year old Aunt who lives 2,000 miles away was so excited by my success that she bought the book and started following the plan.

It doesn’t stop there. All kinds of amazing things were happening in my life. I was asked by the Food Co-op to run for their board of directors. I did and I was elected. Of course I was unopposed for my seat :).  My professional life exploded. I’m a freelance graphic and web designer, and I have had about a three month back-log of work for the past two years. How do I attribute that to Eat to Live, you might ask? Well, I think it is several fold. I have more energy. I have more self confidence. I feel empowered. If I could succeed at transforming my diet, my health and ultimately my life, I can succeed at anything. I think people could sense that. Beyond, just commenting that I looked great, people often mentioned how happy I seemed. One person noted that I had so much energy I glowed.

It took me about six months to lose 51 lbs, and what a thrilling ride those six months were. There was not one aspect of my life that was not touched in some way by my transformation. More recently, I’ve been thrilled to learn that my best friend in all the world, and her family have been following the plan. My last update was that they’d lost over 40 lbs between them.

Things now have quieted down, and this now is just my life. I’ve kept the weight off. My blood pressure is well within the optimum range. I have not had a tachycardia episode in nearly two years. I feel good every day. That is worth repeating. It is always the answer I give when people ask me about Eat to Live. I feel good every day.  I feel good EVERY day.

What more can you want than that?

What an awesome testimony!

Thank you so much Debbie. I can only imagine how many more people you will positively affect with your life. I so admire and respect your steely resolve.

Eat To Live For Life and feel good every day! 😀

Strix

Feel free to contact me if you wish to contribute :)

sm row smiles

Sweet Cherry Essene…

sweet-cherry-walnut_essene-10

May as well start writing these down :D.  I made a few types of Essenes last week (see Monukka Essene Bread; here’s another one.

~ * ~

Whenever I make things, I rarely to never use a recipe; AND I’m so bad at writing stuff down. Okay, the following is an example of a recipe I’ve made and previously not written out; yet I managed to do it ;).

This is whipped up, using a blender in minutes (you can use a juicer; I don’t bother). Just pop into the dehydrator (I like to crank it to highest temp) and let ‘er go — “set it and forget it,” haha 😀 The little loaf took several, no-hassle hours.

Essene is not for everyone; it is a sprouted (therefore, healthful 🙂 ), sometimes “raw” bread; but as with any recipe, you can tweak, add, modify to suit your tastes.

~ *** ~

This is a sweeter bread.  Make sure to blend till smooth!

cherry-walnut_essene_fini

Sweet Cherry Essene

For more thorough, step by step instructions (including sprouting your own grain) with pictures, click HERE.

1 C Sprouted Organic Kamut

1/2 C Dried Organic ~sweet~ Cherries

1/4 C Nut or Seed Milk (or water) to soak fruit*

2 tsp Vanilla

1/4 C or more Walnuts, finely chopped

Few scrapes of freshly grated Nutmeg

Optionals:

Zest of one Orange

Topping

(This is sweet and doesn’t need a sweet, date sugar topping, however, a ground nuts/coconut/seeds + spices would work, if you’d like)

~

Blend all in a blender till smooth and creamy. It takes some doing with Essene; use a tamper or shut off your blender and scrape sides. It will turn over and begin to emulsify and smooth.

Spread onto a parchment-lined dehydrator tray or cookie sheet. Dehydrate a until done, from 2 1/2 -6 hours (depending on method of baking and at what temperature).

*Notes: If I don’t have time to soak, just adding the 1/4 C liquid works. It’s just that some dried fruit is really stubborn and it may take a bit longer to  blend. It’s best to soak the dried fruit, and really doesn’t take much time. You can use hot water while you are getting everything together, and that’s usually enough too. If you soak, omit the 1/4 C liquid, but drain the fruit!

You can use just water or other nut or seed milk; I like sesame. Milks help a bit with the “raw” flavor.

This was blended very well, and this makes Essene miles better. The chunkiness is from the walnuts…

*

cherry-walnut_essene_fini-2

*

This dough is a bit looser, so it takes longer to finish dehydrate/bake (you choose). You can still get a little loaf out of it. Just use a spatula to shape it.I didn’t want it too thick, though…

*

cherry-walnut_essene-2

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There is enough to make a faster-baking flat one too…(or you can make a baby loaf 🙂 )

*

cherry-walnut_essene-4

Cut these up and you have better-than-any-ol’-storebought (stale!) “raw” bar 😀

img_0010_10

I mentioned athletes in my last post; these are good for  hardcore workout freaks 🙂 or youngsters who play hard. Preteens in my family love these sweeter ones.(Dr. Fuhrman has okayed these for children ages 1 and up!)

Sweet Cherry Walnut Essene Bread…

cherry-walnut_essene_fini-4

Enjoy

my_sweet-cherry_essene-17

Strix

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By the sound of Train Tracks…

What a beautiful sound

Postcard of the Waterloo Station on the Sussex Railroad with the John Blair engine, WikiMedia Commons

Postcard of the Waterloo Station on the Sussex Railroad with the John Blair engine, WikiMedia Commons

a sound can bring back a flood of memories.

~ * ~
One of the benefits of Eating to live is the ENORMOUS emotional lift one gets from sheer nutrients repairing one’s organs — especially the brain — and having them operating properly. Do not underestimate the power of nutrition to drastically increase one’s mental and emotional state, if not completely heal whatever ails it. This one area of healing branches into so many areas, it’s remarkable — whether it’s just moodiness, or real happiness being realized when the food addictions are no longer there to bury and back-burner your anxieties —  It all comes forth, ready or not: You are going to deal with your “stuff.”

I mention this because the memories of and dealing with the passing of a dear loved one prompted the following to occur to me:
For those — for some — struggling with nutritious eating, it can be analogous to — but obviously not the same — the Five Stages of Grief:

1. Denial/Isolation

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression

5. Acceptance.

Of course, as Kübler-Ross reminded, these are not stages that necessarily apply to everyone or to every situation; it’s sort of a framework. One may or may not experience any of these. No response — or non-response — is “typical”; like our selves, our responses are all different. I see this as applicable to eating healthfully — or not — too.

DENIAL: Living in denial — “I’m not THAT unhealthy.” “I don’t have to be so “extreme”; “This is so ‘strict'”;etc. Or, “This whole thing is damaging because it leads into this whole ‘perfectionism’ thing which is really mentally unhealthful” and other similar justifications  (looking for and embracing ideas that confirm what one wants to believe — looking for reasons not to do it —  seeking out people  with whom to bond and commiserate and cement this faulty thinking. Misery loves company). ISOLATION: Feeling alone on this quest; no support; no one with whom to bond,  share food/eating/socializing. Disliking standing out; being critiqued, “different”; etc.

ANGER: Ooh, lotsa this one, right? Angry about this new information that they cannot now forget. Angry at whomever brought them the message; Angry that they now “have to” do this — this awful, bland eating…can’t go out, can’t enjoy “X,” can’t-can’t-can’t, etc. OR anger turned inwards — “why did I do this to myself” (make self so unhealthy, etc.); Guilt (Ugh! that one needs a whole volume!)  Just… anger.

BARGAINING: “If I eat well 6 days, then I can binge on the seventh.”  Oh, heck, I can have a “treat” every now and then. It’s not going to hurt me…”  “I will do this 80% of the time because that 20% won’t hurt” “…it’s better than most people eat..”; etc. “I’ll just do an extra set at the gym…”

DEPRESSION:  This one can be split many ways. There’s sadness at the “loss” of your old self; of the “good times” with friends, family; of comfort food; of memories tied to those foods; of socializing… this, then, of course causing and adding stress…And, depression over other life struggles, that one has been stuffing down with food, maximizing because they are being brought to the fore….Blame, blaming…

ACCEPTANCE: well, hopefully this stage. I guess, acceptance of self? of the reality of one’s situation/health? of what needs to be done? This is how I would relate it to Eating healthfully, I reckon — more at “realization,” I guess.

GRIEF — The grieving of the loss of your old friend, who was always there for you. There to spend time with you, keep you occupied instead of leaving you all alone…to think. There to pass the time, when you’d otherwise be…engaged. Say farewell to your old “friend,” food, ie, distraction.

Just some thoughts, by gentle stroke of memory at the humming of a distant railroad…

Poxacuatl


Time For Another Round of “What Is It?”…

Okay, so there wasn’t an official other “round,” but it was sorta.

So here’s another alien-like thing-a-ma-bob….

pea-root-7

Okay, now don’t be frightened.

Her profile is quite snazzy….

pea-root-11

Booty shot, Mm Hm…

pea-root-12

Mr. DeMille…she’s quite ready….

pea-root-10

Okay, now the clues are appearing …

pea-root-6

Yes, yes, but what kind?

Hmmmm…..

pea-root-2

Any idears yet?

pea-root-8

C’mon, you know your veggies!

Okay, okay, I know you’re just DYing to know…

From that little alien, births….

pea_sprout-3

You got it now 😀

Ahhh…behold the beauty of….

peat-sprouts_fresh-22

Pea Sprouts 😀 Power-PACKED Nutrition — wow, 25% protein, too!

Get some today!

Poxacuatl
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