Eating Better and the American Diet

This week I want to propose that the Farm Store help you with your menu planning. I have devised a five-day menu with lots of what you need for sale in our store. I'm hoping you'll have fun learning a few new tricks, indulge in some very flavorful concoctions and maybe even jump-start to weight loss if you need. If nothing else, I hope to encourage LOTS of salad and veggie eating.


The 2020 SUNFLOWERS said goodbye with one last hurrah. They will spend their next few weeks finishing seed production, protecting themselves from birds and drying for the harvest in late October or early November. We will definitely plant them next year so you can bring your fabulous eye for another round of photos. Thanks Isabel Subtil for the lovely images!


THE SHORT VERSION OF THIS WEEK'S BLOG:


I'm really concerned about the American diet, like that some countries are promoting weight loss to help fight the ravages of COVID, so have put together a Ketoish, low-carb kick start diet menu with items from the LAKE VIEW Organic FARM STORE.


THIS WEEK'S MENU - Scroll down to find.


THE LONG VERSION OF THIS WEEK'S BLOG:


Not sure if you follow much international news, but there have been some interesting developments in nutrition lately that have caught my eye. The first is the fact that most of the news coming out of the UK the last few weeks is about weight loss as it relates to surviving COVID-19. Boris Johnson, the UK's Prime Minister has started a major weight loss campaign to help save Brits from the ravages of this durned virus. The virus seems to be more destructive for people who are obese and suffer illnesses related to obesity.


In Mexico where obesity has also become a major public health concern, their president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador signed a bill allowing for Front of Package (FOP) labeling that functions to warn consumers of foods that are unhealthy and why. Chile adopted a similar FOP warning system in 2016 and have seen changes in consumer choice. And, of course, the Keto diet splashes daily across most nutrition headlines.


Some of you may already know this about me, but I have been accused of being health conscious, perhaps even a health nut or freak, but not to the point that I have some sort of food disorder...I don't think. I suppose it may be considered unhealthy that I think about health and nutrition, read new studies when I can, and get a little edgy if the scale inches upward too much, but when we live in a society where food is abundant, life and portions are large and fast, and magazine images remind us of what we are "supposed" to look like, it's hard to keep a sane outlook under all the pressure.


The fact that my mom is diabetic brought nutrition education into our home when I was little. Growing up in the 70s it was NOT common to eat a whole food diet. There were lots of modern culinary inventions convincing people that industrial food was a far classier way to go. In the school lunchroom, instead of bologna and American Cheese Slices on Wonder Bread, I had peanut butter and banana sandwiches on mom's homemade whole wheat. I was not allowed to eat sugar, so a side of Pop Tarts or a Twinkie was out of the question. At home we ate things like Zucchini Bake, Lentil Soup with Chapati or some other concoction of vegetables and whole grains. My dad once tried to get me to eat a salad and I probably sat at the table for an hour or more refusing. Now, try to get me away from salad!


This idea that processed packaged food is classy let alone healthy enough makes perfect sense through my child's eye. The packaging and advertising are always fun, happy and enticing. In television ads, the people indulging on the food item always look healthy and happy, and the jingles to accompany are catchy and invigorating. The folks who come along and poo-poo these fun foods are easy to dismiss as party-poopers who just want to take away life's pleasures. From the kid's view, if it tastes good and people don't die, it's fine! Many people aren't exposed to the type of nutrition counseling one gets growing up with a diabetic or to any sort of nutrition education at all, so easily think that if food is for sale in a grocery, it must be fine to eat.


A few years back, I noticed a little extra padding show up around my middle, but had no idea how to actually lose weight. I had "dieted" unsuccessfully (usually for no more than a day at a time! - fasting is actually what I must have been doing) a few times in my life, ate a mostly plant based diet and walked for exercise. I began to read everything I could about health and nutrition because I wanted to learn how to take the weight off without suffering through a starvation diet. The idea of vegetable juicing as a way to "detox" caught my eye as did the idea of eating raw. But more important for me in this early learning was understanding about inflammation. As I have grown older, I can feel the after effects of inflammatory foods in my joints. A raw food diet with a good dose of veggie juice seemed a good way to clean the slate, get in tuned with my body and not have to starve in the process. Through this process I also began to understand the idea of "fasting" and when I listened to my body, I realized I am usually only hungry enough to eat two meals a day. I also found out that my body is really happy when the last of the calories come in by 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon. Totally antisocial!


I emptied the refrigerator and pantry of all processed and distracting foods and loaded up on veggies and fruit. I juiced for a few days as much as I wanted, then added salads to the mix. While I was being very antisocial in my new menu selection, the weight started to shed and I felt incredible. I walked three miles nearly every day, had incredible energy and only suffered the occasional "hunger day" where I needed to add more food to get through. On those days a sweet potato or extra almonds on my salad usually did the trick. On the weekends I would splurge with dinner out, pizza or a big home-cooked meal. I called mine the 5-2 plan: Five days of low-inflammatory foods mostly raw and two free days. I lost 20 pounds and was able to keep it off for four years.


Now I live on the farm and am married to Mr. Meat and Potatoes! My preferred way to eat is IMPOSSIBLE here. I thought it was anti-social in the city, but out here, really tough. So, instead of nothing but veggie juice and salads, I have adopted a sort of Keto diet to satisfy the husband as well. Last summer I shed the few pounds I needed to get into the wedding dress, and now that COVID-19 stay-home pounds are inching up, it's time to cut back, eat better and get more walking in.


Speaking of eating better...one of William's favorite jokes goes like this:


WM: I think we should name this pizza.

Me: What would you name it?

WM: Better. So I can say, when you're worried about my diet and I am eating pizza, that I am eating better!

Me: Ha (and shake the head!)


Pizza is not on the menu, but I've devised a LOW-CARB kick-start-to-weight-loss menu for this week, and many of the items needed to pull it off are in the Farm Store! I've made lots of the seasonings so your work to put the meal together is minimal. There is no bread or grains, but a potato on Friday to celebrate.


What should you eat when you are hungry for your other meal of the day? My GO-TO salad includes a big handful of baby greens, spinach or arugula topped with a small amount of fresh fruit like pear, plum, blueberries or strawberries, topped with a handful of raw sunflower seeds or almonds and a big splash of my Maple Mustard Vinaigrette. Of course, you could haul out the Breville juicer and enjoy all those extra cucumbers and carrots with some added ginger and lemon!


TRICKS


If I'm still hungry, but know I really don't need more food, I will drink a cup of coffee, tea or warm water with lemon. Reading about weight loss keeps me on track as does getting out of the kitchen to work in the garden or go for a walk.


Tomato Basil Soup is in the Farm Store Fridge but can easily be frozen for later.


THIS WEEK'S MENU


1) Meatless Monday: Tomato Basil Soup with Desperation Dairy "Curdettes" and "Wisca'atar" Spice Blend for extra zip and crunch. Serve a heaping side of kale sauteed in sunflower oil to enjoy with the soup.


2) Shredded Chicken Enchilada Bowls (We have the enchilada sauce) with Riced Cauliflower topped with Pickle Peppers, Avocado and Cilantro.


3) Meatballs over Zucchini Bake and Green Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette


4) Grilled Fish with a Barnes Mountain Yellow Caprese Salad topped with Basil Chimichurri.


5) Friday Night Fork and Knife Burger open-faced on tomato slices for bread with Bread and Butter Pickles, a baked potato with Basil Chimichurri.


FARM STORE SHOPPING LIST:


Tomato Basil Soup

Enchilada Sauce

Pickled Peppers

Salsa

Basil Chimichurri

Desperation Dairy Curdettes

Grass-fed Burger

Bread and Butter Pickles

Barnes Mountain Yellow Tomato

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Sunflower Oil for cooking


WHAT YOU NEED FROM ANOTHER GROCERY


Chicken breasts for enchiladas

Fish to grill

Avocado for enchiladas

Cilantro for enchiladas

Salad Mix for side salads

Berries, Plums or Pears

Zucchini

Kale

Fresh Mozzarella

Stinky Cheeses for Zucchini Bake


RECIPE LINKS


Keto Chicken Enchilada Bowl with Cauliflower Rice

Low-Carb Meatballs (I use only our grass-fed beef - no pork)

Zucchini Gratin

Caprese Salad


FUN GUEST PHOTOS LAST WEEK


This is Diego, saved from the streets of Mexico City, here to explore the farm and make friends with the Donkey. (Photo courtesy of Isabel Subtil)

While Foxglove is the spurge of the farm, its graceful arc over a distant barn is beautiful! (Photo Isabel Subtil)

These three delightful kiddos made me almost miss teaching! Their mom scored a dozen eggs from Lake View Farm and sent me these lovely photos of the kiddos enjoying their made-to-order-eggs the next morning!



Ok, folks. Time to get up off the chair and get moving! If you're using my menu plan, you'll need to come back to this page and these links as the week goes on, so make sure you know where to find it. If you lose the link, you can always Google www.lakevieworganicfarm.com. Look in the "Farm News" section for my blog posts. Easy peasy.


We're open Thursday-Sunday 9-5.


Warm regards to you all!


Sarah Brenner

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