Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Furnace Filter

This is my medicine cabinet, straight from the Farmer's Market. It seems that some of my family and a lot of my Twitter friends have already been hit by the flu bug. This morning, Ron Burgundy woke up with a sore throat. I'm hoping that I can fight it off as I have for the past few decades, but you just never know. Stress, lack of sleep, and hanging around infected people can certainly knock you down. Perhaps I should check into a motel.

My friend Nick tweeted me a while back "Why don't you ever get sick?"

I guess I never expect to. Nor do I have the time. It's not on my calendar. Plus, I have a few years of immunity built up that Nick doesn't have. Like almost 30 more years, because he 's but a mere child.

I do believe in feeding my immune system. With functional food. And a yearly flu shot. I once had an elderly patient who was a dietitian, and she told me some fascinating stories about how they fought illness and treated infections before antibiotics.

Before all the flu shot haters come out and bash me, don't bother. If you say "I d
on't mind getting the flu" or "I'm going to get the flu anyway" you are also saying "I don't mind giving this nasty snot and pneumonia to all my coworkers and those I love the most."

Just sayin'. It probably wasn't nice to say "snot" in a post about food. Sorry/you're welcome (in the words of Katdish.

The vaccine will not give you the flu. However, you may incur a serious head injury if you're prone to passing out from needles. So lay down first. There's my disclaimer.

Since a few of you loyals think I should do food posts (rather that food Tweets, which are much easier), I thought I'd show you some of my fuel over the past few weeks. Not all of those Twitpics are food, of course. There's a mighty bloody finger in there, so beware. It was a "Hey look...Shiny" moment while chiffonading basil. I really shouldn't verb that elegant word chiffonade.

Here are my fueling staples. You'll notice I love color. Lots of color. And I don't like ingredients that I can't pronounce. Hence, I make most of my own salad dressings and try to use whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. That makes me sound like a hippie from 1969-1973. I guess that's where it all started. (But I wasn't). I even had a "Make love, not war" keychain back then. (Didn't do that, either).

I drink a Zola nearly every day. I loved açai juice long before Oprah even knew what it was. And only Zola - I've tried them all. Follow them here or on Twitter. It's a lot cheaper than going to Brazil and shakin' those berries down yourself. That would probably be my dream vacation - to shimmy up an açai tree in Brazil.

I love fiber and lots of texture. I'll spare you the details on the benefits of that. Things like wheat berries, nuts, and things that go "pOp" in your mouth like a plump grape or a pomegranate aril just make me giddy. Note to self: pomegranate season is only a month away!

I'm pretty much an herbivore but I love fish and seafood. I have nothing against meat. Lean meat is great healthy protein. I just have this little phobia about ruining my meal by coming into close proximity with a blood vessel. Or a stringy thing. Or gristle. Ewww.

I like tofu. I don't eat a lot of it - once or twice a week maybe. It's all in how you fix it. And I love the texture - you just have to cook it right. And you'll never run into a blood vessel. I can munch steamed edamame like popcorn. And yes, I do.
I dug through my pictures for some tasty treats that will antioxidize you to the max. Or at least it seems to work for me.

Breakfast: one of my favs - a chocolate breakfast oatmeal "cookie" with fresh fruit. Fruit can get pricey, so I use frozen if I don't find good deals.
Or perhaps you'd prefer a bowl of oatmeal with fresh peaches, blueberries, and toasted almonds?
Or oats with bananas, blueberries, walnuts and chia seeds? Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Your mother was right. My kids still don't believe anything I say, however. God bless 'em. I'm sure they'll inscribe "she always ate breakfast" on my tombstone.
I pack my lunch for work - either leftovers from the previous night's dinner, or a random salad. I throw just about anything I can think of in my salads. A Mexican theme here.
A sweet & savory theme there. Or just a vegetable bin clean-out. I fell in love with sunflower microgreens this summer. They have awesome flavor! I will definitely be growing these next year, not buying them!
For a pick-me up in the afternoon before exercise, I usually have yogurt with fresh or frozen berries, granola, and almonds, or an apple with almond butter, yogurt, and a sprinkle of flax,or a smoothie like this one with mango and banana.

Perhaps an almond yogurt smoothie (yes, I garnish with fresh mint - it has overtaken my pond and is really a weed) and pretend I'm eating at some fancy-schmancy diva spa instead of throwing on my old Nikes and trudging down the hall to my near-death in the gym.Or a Green Monster.
You will NOT (hear me out, here)
NOT taste the spinach in this. Just ask my friend Beth, a recent convert to Green Monsters and Banana Whip Heaven!
Sometimes I skip dinner, because if I get home late, I'm just not hungry and I hate to go to bed on a full stomach. I lay there like a beached whale and end up having weird dreams. About food. And it didn't hurt this guy any to skip a few dinners.

But when I do fix dinner, it's
something like this saa-weeet cajun shrimp with mango, avocado and black bean salsa (I ate cold leftovers the next day, it's that good),yummy spinach/mushroom/tofu lasagna that Ron Burgundy ate three helpings of and said he hated, throw together a copy-cat Chipotle burrito bowl, complete with cilantro rice (brown rice only, thankyouverymuch) or toss these veggies with some EVOO and balsamic or tamari and grill with a chicken breast. The leftovers make great wraps for lunch the next day. How about this gorgeous burger? Imagine the possibilities! And nope, not a smidgen of meat in it, yet it's a complete protein.I was so excited when Ron Burgundy agreed to try my pumpkin oats this morning. He actually liked them. Or lied. His comment? "It tasted like oatmeal. And pumpkin." He's such a food snob. Didn't even mention the sugary crunch of the walnuts or zing of the orange zest. I told him they would make his sore throat go away. The power of suggestion....
This food post has killed me. The real food bloggers must have some shortcuts because this took me forever. Perhaps my anticipated move to Wordpress will make things easier.

Now I'm starving. What would you like me to fix for you?

Oh, and if I get sick this winter, I'll be eating crow.

Tea today: green citrus


Beth E. said...

Oh, yummmm....I'm drooling all over the keyboard! I'd like for you to fix me your tofu, because I have never had any that I liked...hated the texture. But, it must not have been prepared correctly, because yours looks really good!

I'm not fond of cooked oatmeal (texture), but I'm blending it and mixing in things. Kinda like flax. I'm sprinkling that on almost everything! Shhhhh...don't tell my guys. They're all food snobs, too!

Actually, I think you should just come visit me over here in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, and give me some cooking lessons. You may have to bring some of your ingredients, though. Variety is limited around here!

You've inspired me to post a recipe. I made something special today. Check my blog later!


Annie K said...

I think crow is all dark that would really be a bummer for you. Just sayin'.

Alix said...

I'm so freaking in love with this post that I'm actually printing it out! Thanks for all the great tips. As you know, I am working on revamping my own diet and leaning toward more whole foods. I love them, but I live with a family that isn't all that impressed. Larry still brings home sweets and snacks and CHICKEN WINGS. It's a horrible battle, but to their credit, they also eat (and embrace) my Weight Watchers meals, so that's sumthin'. Right?

Let me know if you ever want to move to Florida and be my lifestyle coach/guru. I would pay you handsomely. In love. :)

Candace Jean July 16 said...

I'll shop on my way down to see you, Beth - hang out in your kitchen, cook up a storm, then head on down to see Alix and get those chicken wings away from poor Larry (ewww - running gears are as bad as blood vessels, Alix!). I think Larry's doing good as long as he doesn't make you eat those wings!

How 'bout the middle of our 30 below Iowa winter. That would be a blast!

Annie, shut up. Go walk Boz.

katdish said...

Dear Candy,

We heart you.


your intestines

Wendy said...

Isn't it still a little far away from Halloween to be putting up such scary pictures? :oÞ

Candace Jean July 16 said...

@Wendy, would you rather be frightened by a chunk of tofu or a DEAD ANIMAL??

@Katdish - oookaaaay then. *burp*

Anne Jackson said...

And your receipe book will be out when?

Candace Jean July 16 said...

FYI all - I have no "secret" recipes, and in the name of all things good, holy, and healthy, email me if you want one. Including the elusive ingredient in the banana whip (which would be the banana).

Chris Sullivan said...

I'm not going anywhere near that spinach smoothie but everything else makes me hungry.

Billy Coffey said...

Although healthy food generally scares me, all of this looks really, really good. You may have made a convert today, Candy.

Alix said...

Im back to visit your food pics. Did you really make all those wonderful dishes?

As you know... I'm newly converted to a healthy diet. Used to eat all the bad stuff and waaaay too much of it. Now I am delighting in the good stuff and almost feel excited to be trying new things and making them staples.

I have really been wanting to try tofu. Although I've had bits and pieces in other dishes (Miso soup anyone?), I really am clueless about how to prepare it. I've heard it assumes the flavors of the ingredients cooked with it. Is that correct? Your photo of the toasted/pan sauteed toufu looks amazing - but very much by itself. Some of my low fat cookbooks have tofu recipes in them, but I'm really not sure which is the right "first" tofu recipe to attempt. Float one by me that you trust? Remember... I live with Larry, king of if-it-has-a-funny-name-I-automatically-hate-it. But don't fault the poor guy... he was born and raised and is a lifetime resident of Good Old By-God Jackdonville, Florida. The WESTside of Jacksonville. Where the term redneck was first coined.

You are obviously a wonderful creative cook and have a great health/whole foods resource. Where do you shop? I will have to go out of my way to find a good health food place here (Native Sun? Whole Foods?) and any tips would be appreciated. And I totally envy your confidence in pairing and combining flavors. I need a book to tell me how to do that.

Finally - why are you going to Wordpress? One of the bloggers I follow made the same switch and I don't like her new blog nearly as well. Just sayin...

Thank you again, Candy, for all the joy you bring to my life. Your visits and comments at Casa Hice are always cherished.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Alix, yep, cooked them all. Where do I begin? First of all, you've done a fabulous job yourself - holy cow, the most difficult thing to tackle is the discipline of portion control and look at you, pretty lady! ☺ Folks, Alix is a shadow of her former self!

My cooking/eating is centered around "functional foods" - foods that actually do something good (antioxidants, fiber), as opposed to those that don't (white sugar, flour, rice) and thus get stored as fat, or make you feel cruddy. This comment got way too long, so I'm sending you an email.

Wordpress? Because I hate how Blogger handles photos. Takes forever to get them in the right place in my posts. But I'm a long way from there since I'm a techno-idiot. said...

I love to eat food I can recognize. Yours looks so healthy! And really delish!!!

We eat alot of fresh fruits and veggies. Brian's doc just recommended more antioxidents.
Your recipes look like they do just that.


Helen said...

Candy, I left you a comment about the lovely looking peppers a while back, but I don't see it? Was I edited? I promise that any phallic comparisons were completely unintentional..Those peppers aren't even the right shape for that.
Do you know how to tell if a pepper is a hot pepper while it is growing on the plant? Let me know if you want to know...

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