Sunday, September 19, 2010
It's the first day of the week, I haven't cooked for a long time, I'm going to create, get back on, and try to stick to an intentional menu plan.
If good food is already ready in the fridge, it is so easy to eat healthy, 6 veggies a day, and so easy to stick to plan! Just takes some prep.
Last night I picked over dried white beans I had in the pantry. Put two washed cups in the crockpot overnight to soak. Will drain, rinse, and cook those today and tonight make ham & bean soup, and another crockpot of split pea soup (those don't have to soak), the white bean soup will be ready for Monday.
Last night got some wonderful buys at the grocery store:
*16oz plastic tubs of organic Spring Mix Lettuce & Baby Spinach that are normally $6 ea, for an entire pound (a pound is the BIG pkgs, even larger than the large clamshells), only $3
*Lopes on sale for $2.50, and with in-store coupon reduced the price to 99 cents each.
*Split chicken breast, 99 cents a pound.
*Reduced bag of bananas that are very nice (usually they are spotty or not the best, but, these are great), 39 cents a pound
*Redeemed a raincheck for organic peaches 99 cents a pound
Before I went I was so sad I missed the sale - there were 16oz plastic tubs of organic Spring Mix Lettuce & Baby Spinach that are normally $6 ea, on sale for $4, and I was out. I thought the sale was thru Sat but when I re-checked the ad before going last night, the special was gone so it must have ended Tues and I missed it.
When I got there, they had an unadvertised sale of 16oz plastic tubs of organic Spring Mix Lettuce & Baby Spinach for $3. I could NOT believe it. Good dates!! And even cheaper than the sale I missed!!!!
I was sure they'd ring up higher at checkout because of some fine print or gotcha I'd missed, so I told the cashier I wanted to watch and check them - wow $3. So I got 2 Spring Mix and 1 Baby Spinach - I am going to have a large salad with meat on top everyday for fast & easy lunch, this week and next, and I'm going to have a side salad with dinner every night, this week and next, and I'm making a couple spinach dishes (one will be lasagne) and a spinach sauté dish.
I have some black bananas to bake with today, too (no room in the freezer), and some defrosted beef in the fridge I want to make into veggie beef soup.
It's been a long time since I had 3 crockpots going but looks like I'm making 3 soups today, white bean, split pea, and veggie beef, and will re-use one crockpot tomorrow, or maybe wait to make the split pea tomorrow.
Because If I process and batch cook the chicken today, after I debone the chicken breasts I'll throw the bones into the third crockpot with water and make "free" homemade chicken broth.
I am going to have a large salad with meat on top everyday for fast & easy lunch, this week and next, and I'm going to have a side salad with dinner every night, this week and next, and I'm making a couple spinach dishes (one will be lasagne) and a spinach sauté dish.
I already plan on one of the lunch salads this week being taco salad made with chicken chunks - yum yum yum. I'll post my menu tomorrow.
I am very much looking forward to FPU class, Financial Peace University, tonight at 6pm. Last Sunday night was my first FPU class. I'm already an FPU grad, and I'm already debt-free in fact FPU is how I became debt-free! But once you take the class you're a lifetime member and can take the class again for free, as often as you like. Dave is soooooooo VERY encouraging, and I really *need* that encouragement right now; so I went. If you want to go, and/or find out more about the class, here's the link:
Wow am I ever glad I went!!!!!!!! It was such a wonderful class, and the people there were all fantastic. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to be around like-minded people again. I smiled through the whole class while watching Dave (I really needed that) and it was great, terrific to see Dave "live" again. So all week I've been looking forward to the 2nd class tonight. Will eat an early salad at 4:30 before I go.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
The Dark Side of UNFERMENTED Soy
(FERMENTED soy products, if they are organic, like natto, tempeh, and soy sauce are good.)
Here is just a sampling of the health effects that have been linked to soy consumption:
•Immune system impairment
•Severe, potentially fatal food allergies
•Danger during pregnancy and nursing
The vast majority of soy at your local market is not a health food. The exception is fermented soy, which I’ll explain more about later and even worse GMO soy that is contaminated with large pesticide residues as the reason it is GMO is so they can spray the potent toxic herbicide Roundup on them to improve crop production by killing the weeds.
Unlike the Asian culture, where people eat small amounts of whole non-GMO soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities—protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about these products.
Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story, points out thousands of studies linking soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.
I used to think I was being so wise, so healthy, yes I have to admit I was a little sanctimonius, about eating tofu and taking lecithin -- until I learned better. This is why I don't eat soy ANYTHING, unless it's fermented and organic.
To - Fu = No - Thank - You
"Western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities—protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about these products." Soy bean oil and soy protein products (shakes, bars, smoothie protein, vegetarian patties with hexane) are detrimental to your health and thyroid, according to the experts and doctors quoted above.
Is it any wonder that thyroid disease is rampant in North America?
Still not convinced? Here are some more articles, the full length of each is available by clicking on the link at the end:
Soy Protein Used in "Natural" Foods Bathed in Toxic Solvent HexaneMay 20, 2009 ... But there's a dirty little secret the soy product industry doesn't want you to know: Much of the "natural" soy protein used in foods today ...
When It Comes To Soy, Don't Blame The Bean; Blame The Processing Jan 6, 2010 ... One of the strangest behaviors I've ever seen in the natural health crowd is something I call "Soy Rage. ...
Silk, SoyDream, Pacific Natural Foods and Vitasoy all Rebuked in ...May 18, 2009 ... The truth is that there's good soy and there's bad soy. ... The Truth About Unfermented Soy and Its Harmful Effects ...
Soy Milk News and Articles
It's an angry reaction that wells up in some people every time they hear me recommend natural, non-GMO, home-made soy milk. People. ...
What's Best? Soy Milk, Cow's Milk, Raw Milk and Fermented Milk (kefir) Aug 21, 2007 ... On top of this, most popular soy milk brands (I won't name names, ... Check the ingredients on "plain" soy milk the next time you're at the ...
The Truth About Unfermented Soy and Its Harmful EffectsFeb 12, 2008 ... This excess soy production and its protein residue was the motivation for the ... Let's examine why soy products are far from healthy: ...
Soy Cheese Products Deceive Consumers, Violate Vegans Jan 12, 2005 ... If you visit any natural grocery or health food store these days, you'll notice there are a lot of soy cheese products available. ...
Sunflower Lecithin, the New Alternative to Soy Lecithin Jun 16, 2010 ... Since the only source of lecithin available in the U.S. up until this point has been from soy, it has been difficult to determine whether or ...
Soy News and Articles
Because soy was deemed healthy and it's inexpensive to process, soy has enjoyed enormous commercial success. You can find some variation of soy in almost ...
Fermented Soy is Only Soy Food Fit for Human Consumption Feb 3, 2009 ... During the Ming dynasty, fermented soy appeared in the Chinese .... In China and Japan, about an ounce of fermented soy food is eaten on a ...
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Challenge: Name five things you are thankful for.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
"Blessings crown the head of the righteous.” Proverbs 10:6
Need some help getting started with counting yours? Here's some help, 3+ mins:
I am thankful for:
1. Healthy and able to job hunt, not bedfast, not in hospice, not on disability.
2. Laughter was restored this week.
3. Friends and cyber friends.
4. FlyLady and FlyLady Routines.
5. I have shelter, food, clothes, and transportation. I have change in a jar which means I'm in the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
How is everyone on this Wonderful Woo Hoo Wednesday?
Happy Hump Day!
It's core ST and walking today. And time for me to clean out the fridge and take out trash tonight after work (after job hunting).
Menu Planning. First you have to want to. You have to REALLY want this, as a new skill you don't currently have. It's not hard, but any new skill takes a certain dedication and consistent application of effort before it becomes a habit. So if you don't really, REALLY, R-E-A-L-L-Y want this, then forget it. Go do something else and read another blog. This is one of those things like doing laundry or keeping the toilet clean that's EXPECTED of the adult, day in, day out, with very little to no praise. So you have to WANT it, for yourself, to make your life more organized and better, to be nicer to YOURSELF instead of miserable, and to be motivated to do it FOR YOURSELF, without expecting thanks or notice or gratitude or praise. As FlyLady would say, no martyrs or whining, PLEASE.
And to be honest sometimes we just want to gripe, moan, vent, and spew, but not really DO anything constructive about whatever it is we're bellyaching about at the moment. Like the cost of groceries (helped by meal planning). Or our weight (helped by meal planning). Or meeting our goals of 5 a day or 10 a day (helped by meal planning). Or that dreaded question, "What's for dinner?" (helped by meal planning). Or our health or immune systems by eliminating subclinical nutritional deficiencies (helped by healthy meal planning).
So you have to be READY, you have to WANT it, you have to really REALLY want it, and you have to be willing to invest your time and effort and attention to be INTENTIONAL and proactive about it, and you have to be willing to apply dedication over the long term, and learn and practice - otherwise just skip this blog.
I'm not associated directly or indirectly with any of these people.
I love Mimi Wilson's book, Once a Month Cooking, no it's not free, it's a classic and saves so much time and money, the latest edition is listed below, and YOU NEVER HAVE TO ASK OR WONDER "What's for dinner?".
If batch cooking and freezer meal kits are not for you, get a weekly plan (learned that from FlyLady). One day a week make it a habit to menu plan for the upcoming week. It only takes 10-15 mins. Look in your pantry and freezer first, and jot down meals and sides; then fill in the blanks.
Then print or save the recipes and make a grocery list. (Actually I fill in the blanks and complete the weekly menu based off of perusing grocery stores' online ads.)
I love my crockpot. I'm usually using it for something once a week, and also making one meal in it (at a minimum) once a week. Example: cooking dried beans in it, or batchcooking Italian sauce in it one day, and making soup or a meal in it on a different day.
I like the following recipes better than SparkRecipe crockpot recipes, they are more organized here and user friendly here (tho SPRecipes are importable into Nutrition Tracker):
A Year of Slow Cooking - Stephanie the crock pot lady - free
Click on Index, or search by ingredient.
That covers OAMC and CP recipe / menu ideas. Now for the actual menu planning exercise, and how to. There are plenty of people already doing weekly menu planning that will teach you how to do it for free, all you have to do is take the time to sign up and to read from your own IN Box. So sign up and read for a week, gather information, get grounded, find out what you like & don't like. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Here are free, downloadable, printable weekly menu sheets you can hang on your fridge and so on. Wherever you wish. Keep blanks folded up in purse for times when you are waiting, or to do during lunch breaks. There are many different formats, styles, and applications. The first one is prettier, in color, you can choose from 4 dif colors, and it even looks cute when printed on a black & white printer:
Pack of 7:
Pack of 4 Weekly and Monthly, Excel versions also avail:
When you find one you like, some people laminate them and keep them on the fridge, using a wipe-off marker to re-do every week. Do what works for you. I'm not a wiper myself.
And there are also two-week and monthly ones.
Where I live, Michael's (a craft store) has pads of tear-off sheets, 52 sheets, of 8x5 meal planners with a magnet on the back, for a dollar.
Here are a couple of my favorite, free sites you can sign up to receive email from:
Meal Planning Magic
At I'm An Organizing Junkie, orgjunkie.com/ , Laura has a regular feature called "Menu Plan Monday". Examples:
Weekly menu 9/6
Weekly menu 9/13
At I'm An Organizing Junkie, click on "MPM", then navigate to "Menu Planning Resources". Scroll down and just look at all the links . . . TONS of stuff there to help you out.
Even better in my opinion is Erin at $5 Dinners
she cooks from scratch and has great ideas, recipes, tips, and how-tos, she'll make and link You Tube vids to her site that you'll receive in email, not to mention an excellent excellent garden planning site, schedule and resources. I listed Laura first because of her meal planning Mondays, but I love Erin's site, if you need a fast idea her recipes and photos of her cooking dinner are great. Erin also has a meal planning tab:
Good Cheap Eats also has a menu planning functionality:
She, also, has downloadable free checklists and planners, including a monthly menu planner; you could look up several of Laura's and Erin's weeks they've already posted, taking the ones just you and your family like, and fill in this monthly one, check it out:
These are just a handful of hundreds of blogs and free sites who want to help you, who want to share their expertise and knowledge in this area. Isn't the world a wonderful place?!
Good luck, let me know how it works out for you. Like anything else in life, being intentional, and proactive, and dedicated, and doing it for yourself, are the keys.
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