Like many of you, I'm on a New Year Health and Wellness refresher course. I've stumbled across a few wonderful tidbits of information that make taking care of myself and eating well so much easier. I'm all about taking care of my liver, ramping up my fiber intake, using intermittent fasting to boost immunity, recording the 30 or more unprocessed plant foods that I eat each week, dabbling in a bit of strength training (a la pilates and yoga) and EATING GELATO! Yes, you read that right!
I've segued out of reading memoir and am now enmeshed in other forms of non-fiction including self help books mostly about nutrition and business. I love reading books that teach me something new!
I've always been interested in nutrition so jumped at the opportunity to read Metabolical by Robert Lustig who argues that common diseases aren't "druggable" but they are "foodable!" You know I love that message! His basic premise is that processed foods are making us sick so we need to eat to heal our livers and increase a healthy gut biome. The easiest way to do this, besides saying no to processed packaged food, is to say yes to veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, berries, herbs, etc. I've found this way of eating to be very satisfying because there's no need to cut back, skimp or go hungry. It doesn't feel like dieting, but sure makes me feel better!
I stumbled across Dr. Mindy Pelz after watching an interview with Robert Lustig on YouTube, and boy oh boy did she save my life! I'm a big believer that late night eating isn't good for the body, so absolutely loved hearing her affirm my ideas about intermittent fasting. She's got two books out that are SO ENLIGHTENING - Fast Like a Girl and The Menopause Reset. Her premise is that the foods we eat impact our hormones and hormones impact EVERYTHING! She lays it on the line about the importance of healthy fats in addition to eating an abundance of vegetables, nuts and seeds for optimal health.
You're probably wondering what I've been eating on this diet - not - diet... well... here's the list of 30 plants I've enjoyed this week for starters. (Idea borrowed from Dr. Megan Rossi, author of How To Eat More Plants and Love Your Gut.)
Kale & Beet Greens
I'm a big fan of salads, and this time of year I like a mixture of warm and cold. I'll zap a small bowl of Brussels Sprouts for 2 minutes in the micro and eat them with greens or arugula, sliced pear and a handful of walnuts. I also love to zap a sweet potato (5 minutes in the microwave), slice it in half and top with salad greens, pears, sunflower seeds and Maple Mustard Vinaigrette. My third warm salad option includes a cup of lentils under the salad fixins. This week I made some basil sauce to dab on steamed or quick-zapped veggies - total flavor woot woot!
Want your veggies cooked and less salady? You can get mountains of veggies in one meal if you make a 1) Stir fry, 2) Soup or 3) Indian Curry. Just google those ideas and you'll find a million wonderful recipes.
Since I have been intermittent fasting a few days a week (consuming all of my calories between 11AM and 4PM), I've been trying to be mindful of breaking the fast with a good portion of healthy fat. Avocado, coconut oil, or whole milk yogurt make their way into my breakfast bowl or smoothie.
In general, I've been trying to stay away from processed sugars, but for some reason, the idea to make gelato has sprung from my imagination in the midst of all this healthy eating!
Italian gelato is similar to ice cream, but despite less fat, is more dense, more creamy and brighter in flavor. I like the idea of pairing our Wisconsin dairy products with some of the wonderful fruits of the farm for a sweet treat. Needless to say, I'm back in the test kitchen and so far very pleased with my first four gelato trials: 1) Sicilian Vanilla, 2) Maple, 3) Farm Tea Infusion and 4) Chocolate Espresso Amaretto. This treat falls into the "processed" food category, but I am comforted to know exactly what goes into each batch: Milk, cream, sugar, and eggs plus whatever flavoring or fruit I choose. The thing I love about this gelato is that it freezes so solid that unless I let it sit out on the counter, it's a lot of work to scoop! This is a great treat for someone trying to take care of themselves. One hard earned scoop is all you need.
What's in the STORE?
If you guessed GELATO, you're right! Also new this week is a Cheesy Potato Cauliflower Soup and Purple Cabbage Ferment. Yum. Sunflower oil is back on the shelves and if you need a salad fix, there is Maple Mustard Vinaigrette. Eat your veggies!
What's William up to these days?
He's been repairing equipment, cleaning out sheds, organizing and rearranging. But, what that really means is that he's been finding bits and pieces of lumber to UPCYCLE into a CHICKEN COOP. This little beauty will be for sale in a couple of weeks providing the farmer doesn't get entirely distracted. His final plan is for an insulated, wired for light, metal clad coop with nesting boxes and roost. It'll be perfect for 10-20 birds. If you want to introduce chickens into your life, reach out to Sweet William and inquire. $2500. These things make great VALENTINE'S GIFTS hint hint!
Well, that's all for now, Folks! Hope you get out and about for a few walks before the big chill arrives later this week. We'll stay open through the weekend (through 1/14 for sure) and see how the store building handles the cold before we decide if we need to close for a time. Again, I'll keep you posted.