Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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I’m a control freak when it comes to food.

So, I’m not on my restricted regime anymore. The demise started last weekend when I was feeling like absolute crap.

 

I was taking Panodol just to stay upright but still felt the effects of a mysterious internal infection. The day before, I made chocolate chip biscuits for Master 6 and the kids I was looking after for the weekend. Well, I decided that I wanted to try one…just one to perk myself up a bit. One wasn’t enough. However, I did stop at two. They were delicious.

 

The next morning, I made bacon and cheese tea biscuits (similar to scones) for the boys’ breakfast and lunch boxes. I had one. I could not resist it. Today, I made chocolate banana muffins. I thought about resisting but I choose not to and had 2 mini muffins ( baby size).

 

The chocolate banana muffin (regular size not the mini version).

It was the third time in 10 days that the word resist came to my present moment. When asked by my yoga teacher why I did not go to the doctor I said, “I resist western medicine.” As soon as I said it aloud, I knew I had to reflect upon it.

 

Then when I thought in my mind ‘I can’t resist that tea biscuit’, I knew it had to end; the controlling relationship I have with food. I remember what Eckhart Tolle said, “What you resist persists.”

 

It doesn’t mean I went on a binge and devoured all restricted items. I did not. But I’m over with being such a tight-ass. I don’t do this strictly because of my health condition, although that has always been the premise. I think I do it out of the need to control a situation that only I can. I know this sounds vaguely like the mind of someone with an eating disorder. I am now on a mission to change my thoughts about food. I know I have conditioned myself enough to moderate food now…in the name of my health.

 

That is why I made an amazing dinner tonight including one thing I normally would not eat and haven’t eaten in 8 months: Wheat Pasta. I normally insist on eating only gluten-free pasta.

 

The dish I wanted to create is nicer with a fresh egg fettuccine. The Garlic Lovers Pasta Sauce is a recipe handed down to me from my very good friend, Gillian McKenzie. She used to make this when we were flatmates in Vancouver, Canada. Now, it is a regular menu item at her restaurant,The Seaside Shanty in Chester, Nova Scotia. It is easy, fast and yummy!  Here’s how to make 2 servings (or 3 small).

 

 

  1. Mince 5 cloves of garlic. Add it to 2 TBSP of oil in a saucepan; sauté until soft, about 1 minute. Do not burn.

Step 1

2. Add 1tsp of dried basil or mixed Italian herbs (that’s what I use)

Step 2

3. Add 1/5 tsp of chilli flakes or cayenne pepper. ( I use a little less)

4. Add 1tsp each of salt and pepper.

5.Add 2 cans of chopped or crushed tomatoes. (I use chopped)

6. Simmer for 30 minutes. Take lid off pot half way through.

7. BBQ 2 free-range chicken breasts. I season with salt, pepper, and olive oil only before cooking. Cut into slices when cooked.

Step 7

8. Cook a package of fresh fettuccine pasta according to the package instructions. Or make your own if you’re real keen. Sometimes, I am that keen.
9. Twist pasta onto a large plate.
10. Top with 2 large spoonfuls of sauce.
11. Grate fresh parmesan cheese over the sauce.
12 Top with sliced chicken.

13. Serve.

Step 13….don’t serve with recipe card!!

14. Eat.
15. Enjoy.
16. Love

 

One item I am not ready to resume is alcohol. I love a cold beer on a hot summer day so I can wait until those days arrive. My goal is November. I will try the moderation thing with alcohol again. I used to do it so there is no reason I can’t again.

 

I know I have said all these things before and then I go and stick myself back on a restricted regime that I don’t really enjoy.

 

I love to cook. I love to bake. I love to eat the foods I make out of love and joy. How can that be wrong?

I do have a respiratory condition that I need to monitor but I am so grateful that I am not celiac or diabetic or have a condition that calls for me to never have the foods I love again. I think it’s time I let go of my control freak ways and just enjoy life. Isn’t that what we are all here for?

 

By the way, I finally gave in and saw a doctor on Friday, August 24th. I am now on 2 medications: prednisolone (which is great, I’ve been on it several times over the past 17 years) and clarithomycin tablets, which I believe is an anti-biotic*. The doctor said 17 days with a cold or flu is not the norm and he even took some swabs of my throat and nose for testing. Two days on and I am feeling much better although I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep. I’ve been awake since before 4am this morning and it’s now 9pm. My early morning coughing fit has not subsided yet. Maybe tonight’s the night.

 

If you are maintaining a new eating regime or trying out a restricted diet for weight or health reasons, I urge you to stick with it for a minimum of 3 weeks. Often new habits are formed around this time and you just may not even want the “bad for you” foods as much or again. If you fall off, get back up there the next day. I have been up and off that wagon so many times now that more often than not, I will choose gluten-free, dairy free, yeast free and alcohol free items first anyway. It’s about your conditioning and priorities. If your health is in question, then it’s a no-brainer. Yes, it’s damn hard especially when you’ve lived your entire life eating the foods that are making you ill.

 

The question is: Are you living to eat or eating to live?

 

 

*always take a probiotic supplement or have some live culture yoghurt daily while taking as away to maintain good bacteria in your tummy.

 

Inner Health for ummm inner health

 

I love this yoghurt.It may be dairy but it’s good for the tummy!

 

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What is restricted?

It’s day six and all is well. I skipped the past 2 days of “logging” for 2 reasons:

  1. On day 4, I simply forgot
  2. On day 5, I chose to watch a movie

So, it wasn’t at all because I ate something I shouldn’t have or anything like that!! Which reminds me, I didn’t even tell you what I am restricting!!! So here it is:

RESTRICTED FOODS/DRINKS

  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Yeast
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Red Meat
  • Pork
  • Sulphites

Along with this list, I am also “limiting” processed foods ( must read all labels) and sugar. People often ask me, “What DO you eat?”

Hence, this blog.

I want to show people that there are plenty of food choices available. Yes, you will have to work harder at making your meals and even pre-plan but the results are staggering. I already feel so much better. I have no feelings of deprivation or starvation. I even ate dinner at a restaurant tonight so let’s start with that and work backwards to breakfast.

Dinner

  • 3 chicken satay sticks (dairy-free)
  • White rice
  • Green salad
  • Water

This was a perfect wheat and dairy free meal. One you could make at home too.

Afternoon Snack

  • Banana and berry smoothie with LSA and rice milk
  • Decaf soy coffee

Lunch

  • Whole brown rice cakes with peanut butter
  • 8 fresh pea pods
  • 4 pieces of crystallised ginger
  • water

Morning Snack

  • 1 apricot
  • 1 nectarine
  • 1 plum
  • water

Breakfast

  • Plain Oatmeal with seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh boysenberries (YUM)
  • Decaf coffee with rice milk

Breakfast was on the run as I slept in today. I had to work too and had no issues with energy and this diet. As you can see, I am eating plenty.

Physically: I feel great!! No issues, but I need to keep up my water intake. I struggle with this but I know it’s important.

Now, I going to have a spiced Rooibos tea with rice milk before bed. Life is good.


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Flaxseed for Good Health

You don’t have to be in ill-health to enjoy flaxseed or oil.  Everyone can benefit from the nutritional and medicinal properties found in this humble seed.

The ancient flaxseed, or linseed, as it is also known, has been a favourite amongst farmers and veterinarians and is now touted as a modern-day super food for humans too.

Research has found flaxseed and oil to be extremely useful for:

  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Thinning the blood
  • Reducing acid reflux
  • Inhibiting cancer cells
  • Intestinal and digestive issues
  • Reducing/ridding constipation
  • Internal cleansing
  • General disease prevention

It is may also improve health and wellness for people suffering from:

  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Stress
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Obesity
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Diabetes

The flaxseed comes from the blue flowering plant, Linum usitatissimum. As well as being very useful to the farmers, the housewives also spun the plant fibre to make high quality beautiful linen, hence the name linseed.

Today, the linseed is popular with the health conscious for its high doses of Omega 3, fibre, lignans and micronutrients and is easily found on the shelves of most supermarkets. Look for linseed bread next time you’re doing the shopping!

LSA is a ground meal made from linseed, sunflower and almond (LSA) and is fantastic as a topping for oatmeal, cereal and muesli; sprinkled on stir-frys, soups, stews, salads or added to smoothies or milkshakes. LSA can also be added to baking: cakes, muffins and breads.  It is a valuable source of dietary fibre, protein and essential fatty acids.

TIP: When purchasing whole flaxseed, be sure to crush it to release the oils before consuming.

NOTEWORTHY: Flaxseed oil has a limited shelf life. Keep it in the fridge and be sure to use before the best by date.

CAUTION: Flaxseed contains high levels of lignans. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or being treated for a particular health issue, please consult a health professional before adding flaxseed to your regular eating regime.

FLAXSEED CRANBERRY MUFFINS

This recipe was published in the February 2003 edition of  Canadian Living (magazine). I am a keen collector of recipes and I am happy to share this one with you!!

1 cup flaxseed

1 cup each of: flour, wholemeal flour and bran

1 TBSP baking powder

1 tsp each of: baking soda(bi-carb) and cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 and half cups of buttermilk

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup+ dried cranberries

Method:

Set aside 2 TBSP of flaxseed. In a food processor, grind the remaining flaxseed to make a fine meal. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add all the dry ingredients except the sugar. Combine well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, sugar and oil; pour over the flour mixture.

Stir in the cranberries.

Spoon into lined or greased muffin tins; sprinkle with reserved flaxseed.

Bake at 375 F/190 C for 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Enjoy!


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Eat to live or live to eat?

Welcome to kai chronicles!!

Kai is a common word and its meaning varies depending on your culture. I have connections to New Zealand and Japan and that is why I have chosen to call this blog kai chronicles.

According to Wikipedia:

In Māori, Kai means “food” (this one is absolutely true and used by many kiwis).

In Japanese, Kai may mean “change” or “the action to correct” or “concerning oneself with” (I will check this with Japanese mates). Notice how Wikipedia uses the word “may”.

So now I ask the age old question: Do you live to eat or eat to live?

I seem to be living to eat lately but I go through stages.

I have been attempting to be dairy, gluten, red meat, alcohol, fruit, sugar, yeast, caffeine,  fermented food FREE off and on for nearly 18 months now. Actually since 2005, I have experimented with many forms of food restrictions due to health issues.

It’s extremely hard to do but I have been successful, for short periods of time.

AND, the thing is this: When on the ‘restricted’ diet, I feel better!!! But after 4-6 weeks, I crack and cannot cope unless I eat a whole cake and once I do that, it’s all off until I have the will power to start all over again.

This I  know for sure: I’m an emotional eater.

My latest attempt, which was successful for 2 weeks then I introduced apples, potatoes and some other ‘sweet’ vegetables and all was well for anther 2 weeks before I started to cave, was smack in the middle of some emotional turbulance so it was probably not the best time to give it a go.

I am now enjoying most of the restrictions except: alcohol, dairy(except pro-biotic yogurt which is good for tummy health), caffeine and mostly staying away from yeast. If I crave a peanut butter sandwich, I’ll eat it.

I’ve been practicing ‘presence’ for nearly four years now. I rationalise my food intake with the NOW.

If this moment is all we have, I say, “EAT CAKE AND LOVE IT”.