In Which Joanna Burns the Meat

My kitchen was clean. Let me repeat. My kitchen was clean!! Olive was napping. I pulled a pound of ground turkey meat out of the freezer and set it in water in the sink to thaw. It was our last thing of meat and then we’d have to wait til payday for more. I didn’t know what to do for dinner because we ran out of rice last night. So, I put some frozen broccoli on the stove to boil, and grabbed the shredded mozzarella cheese, thinking I’d make some turkey bacon and mix all of these ingredients together. Making a random dinner with no name. Cheesy Turkey Bacon Broccoli Surprise? Sounds nice. And weird.

So then Olive wakes up crying. I go soothe her back to sleep, which takes about 15 minutes. When I get back to my kitchen, the nice, clean pan I’d placed on the stove was hot and ready for something to be cooked in it. So, I got a dollop of grass-fed Kerrygold butter and plopped it in the pan. It immediately started melting fast and turning brown, then quickly black. And smoking. Lots of smoking. So what would you do at this point? A normal person would probably have turned off the heat, cleaned the pan and started over.

Not me. I turned the heat down and proceeded to get the turkey meat out of the package it had been thawing in. It was half frozen still. This still didn’t stop me from proceeding. I was going to cook that meat and I was going to cook it then. So I plop it in the pan. Immediate loud sizzling ensues. And don’t forget the smoke. LOTS of smoke. So I turn the heat down even more and then finally remove the pan from that particular burner and decide maybe all I need is more butter. I get another dollop and try to plop it in the pan. It doesn’t plop in the pan. It plops onto the hot burner I had just removed the pan from!

So now I have melting butter on my burner, dripping down into the stove. Argh. And the meat? Half of it looks like angry black worms and the other half is a sickly, half-frozen pink. So, at this point Adam is home and is cozily in the office playing a video game. My thoughts went immediately to him, as I was stuck in this annoying predicament and he was happily playing a game. He needed to be in my annoying situation with me. So I go in there and say, calmly, “I have a situation.” He doesn’t look up. He keeps shooting his enemies and says, “What’s going on?”

“You have to come and see,”

“Just tell me.”CrepePan

“No, you have to come see.”

So I go back in the kitchen and forlornly stir the meat mess. He comes in the kitchen a few minutes later and I tell him the whole horrible story. Start to finish. His response? “Well, we still have that gift card to Chili’s. Why don’t we use it?”

Light came to my eyes. Hope came to my heart. Who cares about this meat mess?! Whatevs!!! We’re getting out-food and that is so freaking exciting that I feel like it’s my birthday or something. Yay! Adam’s almost home and I’m going to dig in and forget my fiasco. But since I have a blog and I thought it was kinda funny, just thought I’d share. Happy Tuesday Night Cooking!!


I Love Food

I love it. It doesn’t love me very much, but I still love food. I love cheese, cream cheese, chocolate, cakes, cookies…AHHH!! Oh, and casseroles. Oh, and rice! And POTATOES! And bread. I miss bread. I love fresh, warm bread with lots of butter. This time of year when the holidays roll around, I get into this baking mood. I love everything about Thanksgiving and Christmas and festivities and goodies! I even love to make cranberry sauce and gingerbread men from scratch!!

Whoever coined the term comfort food really knew what they were talking about! Who doesn’t love to throw their cares away and sit down to a nice big bowl of their favorite comfort food? I know I do. It’s comforting! However, given the fact that most of our typical comfort foods are damaging to us if not eaten in moderation, this practice can really hurt us. It completely sucks. Why can’t our bad foods be good for us?!?! One of the many unanswerable questions of the universe. It just might end up being one of the first things I ask God when I get to heaven.

So, if you know me, you know that I’m on this long, arduous, difficult, painstaking journey to eat only healthy food. I’ve made alot of strides that I can be proud of. We don’t eat out anymore, at least only rarely. So that means I cook at home, from scratch, for every meal. Nothing is really processed. Everything is fresh, pretty much. Now, I’m not saying that means I eat healthy. It definitely means that I’m doing much better than I ever used to. But I always eat too much rice. Or too much of something that I know will only spike my blood sugar…like, even though every treat I make is a Paleo or AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) recipe, it still does contain either maple syrup or honey or coconut sugar, which I’m sure still aren’t good for me in large quantities.

Does it sound like I’m being way too nit-picky about my food? Well…I guess it’s because I’ve read so much about food’s ability to heal us or harm us. With every bite we are either healing ourselves or choosing to harm ourselves. For some of us, food sensitivities can screw up almost every body system. It’s frustrating. I wish I could just eat. To be able to give no thought to what I’m eating sounds marvelous. However, I did that for several years. I didn’t know anything about gluten’s effect on the body, or that sugar was so extremely damaging of a thing, or that the low-fat, high-carb diet still recommended by conventional medicine was the worst advice of all!

I’ve been on quite the journey. I call it a journey because I’m always discovering new information, and my eyes have been opened to so much. All backed up by science, mind you! Who knew that our hormones play such a big role in digestion? Leptin is the “satiety hormone”, and if it’s out of whack, your body can be totally screwed up according to this article. Oh, and did you know that the bacteria in your gut can actually influence your cravings?? Read about that here! This is only a smidgen, a smidgen, I tell you! of the information I’ve been reading about.

It gets overwhelming. I just want to simply love food, and have it love me right back. I don’t want it to wreck havoc on my body, cause weight gain, bloating, digestive issues, skin issues…you name it. Oh, and NOT TO MENTION, the ominous gut-brain connection. When you begin to recognize the effect that every morsel of food you eat has on every aspect of your health, including mental health…you start to think, wow, I can’t eat anything!

You know why I’ve become so interested in this? Because I want healing. There is no real healing in pharmaceutical drugs, steroid creams and antibiotics. An old, wise doctor once said, “When the patient takes medicine, he has to heal once from the disease, and again from the medication.” So true. I have seen this in my own life.

So what does this mean to my everyday life? Well, I have been trying to eat along the lines of the Paleo/Primal diet. Paleo is basically no grains, no processed anything, and based on a hunter/gatherer concept. Primal allows dairy (Yum!). But what I really need to be doing in order to actually heal autoimmune disease (according to multiple sources, but The Paleo Mom is an awesome resource. She’s a former medical researcher, so she’s a scientist, and she knows alot! Read her blog, it’s awesome.) I really need to be doing the Autoimmune Protocol version of Paleo.

I’m failing miserably. I love rice. I love butter. I can eat so much in one sitting it’s actually a little scary. I don’t want to keep doing this, because I’m only putting off healing for longer. But I’m such an ‘in the moment’ person, that I just throw it all out the window and eat. So, because I keep going back and forth, I’m continually frustrated. And I end up writing about how much I love food!

I wish I didn’t love food. I’d be skinny. I wouldn’t have pounds to lose. But would I really enjoy life? What sucks is that I don’t know any interesting ways to cook veggies, and frankly, I don’t think there are any. The only interesting thing you can do with vegetables is put butter on them. And when you’re trying to do AIP, you can’t have butter. Blah!

Sorry for complaining. First-world problems, right?! But seriously, I’m super excited about making all kinds of Paleo-approved goodies for the holidays! I love it. I found this one Paleo Pumpkin Muffin recipe, and I’ve made it like four times. I modify it a little by doing a little less coconut flour and doing some arrowroot powder in place of some coconut flour. (Recipe calls for 3/4 cup coconut flour, so I do 1/2 coconut flour and 1/4 arrowroot powder, because arrowroot is much lighter and coconut flour is very heavy, so it makes it just right.)




What are your favorite comfort foods and how do you think you could modify them to be healthier? Share your thoughts!