Hello!!  How are you all enjoying the winter?  Did any of you see the winter solstice lunar eclipse last night?  It was cloudy here, so we didn't see it!  Bummer! 

The most recent news with me is... nothing yet!  I am waiting to get into my doctor on January 6th.  I will have news for you after that about what my triglycerides are doing.  I have been eating a bit more sloppily lately, I must confess!  I'm having a hard time with the holiday desserts, and am getting a little nervous about what my blood test is going to show.  I think it should still be ok, as I do eat better than I used to (before last April).  I guess I'll see then how "touchy" my triglyceride count is!  It dropped so incredibly fast, does it also increase that easily?  I hope not!  We'll see soon...

I wanted to tell you about a blog I heard about, it's called Lexie's Kitchen - http://www.lexieskitchen.com/.  There's some great looking recipes in there, which I really want to try! 

I am wishing you all some wonderful holidays these next 2 weeks!  I am off work, which is hard since I don't get vacation pay, but am happy to be home with my 4 teenagers, and one extra 17 year old who has flown here from MN to spend the break with my sons.  All is well when there's happy kids, so we look forward to good times!!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS and a successful NEW YEAR in 2011!! 


I'm back!

For you followers, I'm really sorry.  I've had a busy summer and fall!  I was gone for a month in the summer, and when I got back we were gone several weekends and I was working during the weeks.  So summer just flew by.  This fall I've decided to go back to college.  I have an AA degree, and checked into what it would take to be ready to transfer to a Univ. to finish up.  I only needed 4 classes.  So I'm working on them!  I hope to be done in a few years and on to TEACHING! :)  I'll try to update this blog more often. 

I have continued to eat much better!  My Dr. wanted another blood test in 6 months, so that will be Nov-Dec.  I'm anxious to see what my numbers are, but am confident that they will be good.  I have lost 15 pounds over the past 5 months - very slowly -  but I'm happy about that!!  I almost completely avoid grains now (except oatmeal most mornings), but do the whole grain thing as much as possible when I do eat them. I rarely eat white flour.  For me, I think that's more important than avoiding white sugar.  Bread isn't a part of my life very much anymore.  As far as sweetness, I opt for agave, honey or brown sugar instead of white sugar when possible.  I am pretty careful, but not super strict about it like I was when I was experimenting to see if the whiteless diet would work. I'm still thrilled it did! :)

The Importance of Exercise:
Since I work at the YMCA, I am much more aware of the importance of exercise.  I doubt I would be able to lose weight, even as careful as I am, unless I continued to exercise.  I proved that when I was gone for a month.  I didn't lose.  It's a combination that works, if I don't cheat on either too much.  I have set aside one day a week where I eat a normal/big meal.  Sunday is usually the day.  I've heard this is true, that our body will adjust to whatever we do.  So, I try to "trick" it into thinking that I am not "starving" myself, by having some days that are a little higher in calories.  We all know about that "starvation mode" thing where your body holds on to every little bit of fat because it thinks that it will need it because we're not eating enough.  So, that's why we should eat a little more normally one or two days a week.  By the way, I don't starve.  I just try to eat good things more and more often.  I stick to a lot of the same things that I like and are good for me.  Such as, I eat a banana almost every single day.  It's filling and healthy.  I make sure I have plenty of protein.  I eat nuts.  Salads with nuts, cheese, meat or egg.  Small amounts of lean meats.  Everyone needs to find their own way of eating that works for them.  The exercise is really important.  We only have to do a brisk 40 min. walk 3x a week to make an impact on our metabolism.  Keep that heart rate up for 30 min. at least.  Within a few weeks your metabolism starts to increase.  If we quit exercising, it also goes back down within a week or two.  Keeping that metabolism up is what helps us burn fat consistently faster.  The impacts of exercise go far, far beyond that.  It prevents disease, it improves our mental outlook, we sleep better, etc.  I always feel much better when I exercise.  I know how difficult it can be, so making a schedule or something helps me accomplish it!!  Taking an exercise class is the thing that's worked the best for me.  I love fun exercise, either in a class or walking/running/biking outside.  I can rarely keep up an exercise routine if it's on a treadmill or a stationary bike, but that's just me.  If that works for you, GO FOR IT! :)  Keep it fun, and if it means treating yourself (at least at the beginning until you start to crave exercise) to something really small afterward as an incentive, do so!  Don't let that get out of hand though.  I never used to exercise.  I was lazy I guess.  I didn't grow up doing sports, and really didn't enjoy P.E.  Working where exercise is a focus, has made me realize how good it is for us.  I see lots of older people who are trying to start exercising because their doctors told them to.  Well, that's where I'm at also.  Exercise impacts high triglyceride levels.  It's never too late to start!

I always appreciate thoughts and imput, so feel free!  Whiteless recipes too!  I would love them!!  Remember:  Smiles are infectious and humor is healthy!!  :)


How to Personalize a Healthy Diet

Exerpt (see link)
It's easier than you think. Putting together a healthy diet with the right number of food group servings for your lifestyle will make a big difference in the way you feel, as well as your overall health.
  If you want to improve your overall health, one of the simplest, quickest, and most effective changes you can make is to improve the quality of your diet.  "Eating a healthful diet can help you feel energetic, lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, and boost your immune functioning — these effects are almost immediate," says Maria Adams, MS, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian in Marblehead, Mass. "Other long-term benefits include reducing your risk of certain cancers, avoiding obesity, and reducing your risk of diabetes.”

The Basics of a Healthy Diet
Improving the quality of your diet isn’t complicated. Take the needed steps to incorporate the following strategies. Of course, the sooner you start, the healthier you’ll feel, but you can go at your own pace:
  • Learn the basic principles of good nutrition. Adams says that people should first focus on consuming a diet that is based on whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. It is also important to include some low-fat dairy products, fish, lean meats, and healthful oils into your diet. Limit the amount of less-than-healthful foods you consume. "Try to keep foods that don't fit neatly into any these categories, such as processed snack foods and sweets, to a minimum," says Adams.
  • Make gradual changes. You don't have to overhaul your diet all at once. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, taking small, gradual steps over time to improve your diet and lifestyle can do wonders for your overall health.
  • Focus on variety. You should get a good mix of foods from the basic food groups — grains, vegetables, fruits, oils, milk, and meat and beans.
  • Eat the right number of servings for you. You can personalize the number of servings you need from each food group according to your age, gender, weight, height, and physical activity level with the USDA's MyPyramid Plan. This is an easy way to find out how much of each food group you should eat daily.
  • Think moderation. It is not necessary to deprive yourself of the foods you love, even if they aren't the most healthful. Instead, just limit foods that contain more added sugars and solid fats, and make sure the majority of the foods you eat are the healthful ones.
  • Limit processed foods.  "recommends staying away from foods that have lengthy ingredients labels, especially when you can't pronounce or have never heard of some of the ingredients."
  • Minimize white foods. Adams says that people should eat fewer "whites" — white bread, white pasta, and white rice — and instead select more whole-grain foods — whole wheat breads and pasta and brown rice, which are naturally more complete in nutrients and contain more fiber.
  • Load up on fruits and vegetables. "Try to include fruits and vegetables with every meal — yes, even breakfast," Adams says, but adds that because juice tends to be high in calories and less satisfying than whole fruit, you should limit juice drinking to eight ounces per day.
The general concepts of healthful eating are the same for everyone: Aim to consume a good mix of foods from each of the different food groups. You’ll feel great today and for many tomorrows to come.


Oh dear!  I accidentally deleted my LINKS section! >:-(  I will have to try to rebuild it as I can't seem to recover it.  So sorry everyone!


Book: Get Real. A Personal Guide to Real-life Weight Management

I picked up a book from the loan library at work and sat and read it during my lunch one day last week. I found it quite interesting.  It looks like a good book for most of us.  It has sections about stress and how it affects our weight and methods of relaxation; body image; exercising for fitness; and a sensible diet.  It was an easy-to-read book about being REAL about ourselves.  I really liked the book and would suggest it to anyone.  It is ISBN 1-887781-00-5.

As we're on the topic... I am losing weight pound by pound.  Not 5 or 10 at a time, of course.  It's very slowly, but I'm finding that my clothes are starting to fit better.  I am 5-10 pounds less than I was.  Good news, but some days I find it frustrating.  I wish it was coming off more quickly, but then I have to tell myself that I am making progress!!!  I am happy about it... it's great!!  So, I am getting somewhere slowly.  I remind myself that slowly is better.  It's safer and hopefully more permanent!  I think some of the weight loss is due to cutting out grains quite a bit.  Remember... grains are turned to sugar, and when we eat lots of it, it becomes fat.  I rarely eat bread now.  I eat oatmeal every morning and miss it when I don't.  (I feel better when I have my morning bowl of oatmeal!!)  The rest of the grains, I'm trying to avoid or at least have a very small amount.  It isn't always convenient to eat exactly what I feel I should.  But, as the cravings are minimal, I can usually make good choices!  Let me tell you... that IS an improvement!!  Cutting out sugar has greatly reduced my cravings.  I don't feel like I am on this crazy food roller-coaster where I have to have something, then feel sick because I ate it!!  So... I'm liking these benefits that come from keeping the sugar "locked-up!"   Good luck all of you trying to eat healthier!!  You CAN do it!!  


A White Bread World

Finding a Less-Harmful Bread
(exerpt from the New England Healthy Advisory, May 17 - link on the right)
      Today, we are going to begin another five-part series, looking at five food swaps you can make to take an unhealthy food choice and improve it, perhaps even turning it into a healthy choice. We’re going to start by looking at bread and learn why enriched flours are nutrient poor and how we can make better bread choices. To understand why most bread today wreaks havoc in our systems, we need to learn more about how wheat is turned into the flour that becomes our bread.
      We know that consuming too much white sugar can be hazardous to our health, but many people are unaware that white flour reacts the same way in the body. It doesn’t taste sweet, but it does break down into glucose and create the same problems with blood sugar spikes that can lead to metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. In addition, white flour is devoid of any real nutritional value, so the calories we consume are empty and stored as fat.  

A White Bread World
      Whole wheat contains many nutrients including vitamins (vitamin E, vitamin B6 and niacin) and minerals (selenium, magnesium and phosphorus), as well as fiber, protein and antioxidants. It’s made up of...   see more in link to the right "New England Health Advisory" under "May 17."  


Blood Test Results

Blood Test Results:  My triglyceride count dropped 117 points!!  It went from 307 to 190.  150 is the highest of the normal range.  So, another month and I should be in it!!  Wow!  I didn't expect such good news!! :)  My doctor said that she wants me to stay on the diet and will recheck my blood in 6 months.  Most of the other parts of my cholesterol dropped a little also.  I'm happy because 1. All my hard work paid off!!  2. I don't have to go on Tricor!  3. My family has started eating healthier 4. I haven't found it to be too difficult and I feel good!  Okay, there is a lazy part of me that say "Oh, bummer I can't eat just anything."  But, for me the pros far outweight the cons, and I'm going to stay on it and be healthier!  I LIKE feeling good!  All for now as life is hectic!


Blood test results on Monday...

I was able to get in this morning to a lab to have my fasting blood test done!  They said I should get the results on Monday.  I will be looking forward to them!!  This afternoon we went to a wedding.  I had done my one month (plus) almost white-free and had my blood test done, so I decided I would have some wedding cake!!  It... was... delicious!!  Mmmmm!!  A smallish piece of coconut cake and chocolate cake.  Wow!  OK, so I was paying attention to how I felt.  That was pretty revealing!  I felt sick right away, and it wasn't because of the cake... it was because of my reaction to white flour & white sugar.  Just kind of a blah feeling in my stomach.  Then, on the way home I was falling asleep.  I was tired anyway, so I can't say for sure that it was a definitive result from the sugar today, but I do know that I used feel really tired after a very high amount of sugar. I also felt grouchy for a few hours afterwards.  Very interesting.  I don't think I used to have that much of a reaction, but I've had very little in the past month.  It was a treat, for sure, but I found the reactions quite interesting!!  I will write as soon as I can when I get the results!


Whiteless Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My daughter adapted this recipe from the March 2010 Cooking Light magazine.  Yum!!  I hope that any of your who are trying to eat "whiteless" has support.  Even if you don't have support at home, you do here, so feel free to comment or send me a message.  I am feeling very thankful as the daughter I just moved out of the dorm at college is home and loves to cook!  Not only that, but she is being so sweet by cooking "whiteless."  She likes eating healthy, so supports me in this way!  I really haven't suffered.  It's not as bad as it sounds!  You just get used to less sugar and don't crave it!  Cravings are the worst, aren't they?  That's what makes us go after the things we shouldn't have.  And, when I'm craving something I don't have much will-power.  So... I'm glad that I have very little craving!!  It makes all the difference for staying on the diet!!  Enjoy this recipe and take care of yourselves - all!!   Ciao!!   (See comment below!) 

Whiteless Sour Cream Coffee Cake
(adapted from 3/10 Cooking Light Magazine)
3/4 C old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
cooking spray
1-1/4 C whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder (BP)
1/2 tsp. baking soda (BS)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C packed brown sugar, divided
1/3 C butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (8-oz) carton light sour cream
2 tbsp. finely chopped pecans (or walnuts), toasted
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350o.
2. Spread oats in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for 6 min. or until oats are barely fragrant and light brown.
3. Coat a 9 in. springform pan with cooking spray; set aside.
4. Reserve 1/4 C oats; set aside.  Place remaining oats in a food processor (or blender), process 4 seconds or until finely ground. Combine processed oats, flour, BP, BS and salt. Stir with a whisk.   
5. Place 3/4 C brown sugar and and 1/3 C butter in a large bowl.  Beat with mixer at med. speed for 3 min. or until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each.  Beat in vanilla.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mix. (Batter will be slightly bumpy because of the oats.) Spoon batter into prepared pan; spread evenly.  
6. Combine remaining oats and brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon in a bowl.  Cut in 2 tbsp butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until well blended.  Sprinkle on top of batter evenly with nut mixture.  Bake at 350 for 38 min. or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, top is golden, and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan.  Cool cake in pan for 10 min. Remove from pan.  Yield: 10 servings.


Happy Mother's Day!!

Hello everyone!!  Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's out there!  I hope you had a wonderful day!  I had a nice, relaxing day with Trent's family... and ate virtually whiteless with accommodations to the dinner thanks to Trent's aunt and to my daughter!  That was so nice!  My daughter made the Cream Cheese Pie that is posted on this blog!  It's fabulous!  It's as good or better than any I've ever tasted!  We made one pie with an almond crust (as the recipe states) and one with a graham cracker crust!  I think the almond crust made it better than any I've ever had, as I think anything made with almonds is incredibly awesome!!  For dinner I had: ribs without bbq sauce (I could/should have made some for myself but didn't get it done - busy day yesterday!), basmati brown rice, green beans, caesar salad (I checked the dressing and there was only a tiny amount of sugar and pros would override the cons of eating it!), fresh fruit and cream cheese pie with fresh strawberries!  I also had coffee for the first time in a month, using nonfat milk and my own agave chocolate syrup (posted on this blog).  All is going well with the diet.  I look forward to the time that I can get my blood test done and find out the results!  I work M-F for the next month, so I'm not sure when I can get in for a fasting blood test.  I will let you know when that happens.  I hope you all have a good week, and if you're trying to cut down on white sugar & flour, keep up the good work!! 


Agave & HFCS info.

This link is really interesting!  The more I read of the link between refined sugars and triglycerides, the more I understand why my Dr. wanted me to go on this diet.  My triglycerides were high a month ago.  As soon as I can get into my doctor's office for a fasting blood test, I will know how much it helped my triglyceride level.  I am anxious to find out!  It will probably be a week after this Friday.  I work M-Th and I need to go in fasting, so Friday is the day, but not this coming Friday, as I will be out-of-town.  Wish me luck!!  


Chocolate Syrup!!

I had fun making these!!  And tasting them too, of course!  I found these recipes, but went ahead and experimented with them.  There is a vanilla ice cream we found on sale called Alden's Organic All-natural Ice Cream in Fred Meyer that is made with evaporated cane juice.  A lower glycemic sugar.  Very delicious ice cream!!  A small scoop... all in moderation, of course!!  I have heard that coconut oil is a good oil that has had a bad rap.  There's not much in here, but it does add some lovely taste!  Even the possibility of it being more effective than commonly used medical drugs for candida.  I suggest you do your own research on it.  I didn't try both coconut oil and cinnamon in the same batch of chocolate.  I put the coconut oil in the agave chocolate syrup, and cinnamon in the brown rice chocolate syrup.  Both were YUMMY!  Enjoy! 

Agave Chocolate Syrup

1/2 C cocoa powder
1 C agave nectar
1 C cold water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. corn starch (or guar gum)(opt. as thickener)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. coconut oil (opt.)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (opt. for taste) 

1. In a large saucepan, combine cocoa, agave, salt and the optional ingredients desired.  Stir in water.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until smooth - about 5 minutes.  2. Add thickener (opt.).  3. Place the pan in a sink of cold water and stir with the whisk until cool. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a covered container and refrigerate.  4. Shake before using.  Sauce will remain thin, like chocolate syrup.

Brown Rice Chocolate Syrup

1/2 C cocoa powder
1 C brown rice syrup
[or 3/4 brown rice syrup and 1/4 agave (to add sweetness)]
1/2 C cold water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. coconut oil (opt. for taste)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (opt. for taste)

1. In a large saucepan, combine cocoa, agave, salt and coconut oil (opt.).  Stir in water.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until smooth - about 5 minutes.  2. Add thickener (opt.).  3. Place the pan in a sink of cold water and stir with the whisk until cool. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a covered container and refrigerate.  4. Shake before using.  Sauce is pretty thick, like fudge topping.

Cheryl's Cream Cheese Pie

Cheryl’s Cream Cheese Pie
(for special diets)
Cheryl Eisenman 
1 - Healthy Crumb Crust (see recipe below) 
2 - 8oz packages cream cheese
Sweetened Condensed Milk (see recipe below)
1/3 Cup lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla 
Prepare crumb crust.  Prepare Sweetened Condensed Milk. 
Add Milk to cream cheese, blend until smooth.  Add lemon juice and vanilla, pour into prepared crust.  Chill 2-3 hours.  Garnish with fresh or frozen fruit sweetened with a little honey, agave, or sweetener of your choice.
Healthy Crumb Crust
(for special diets)
Cheryl Eisenman 
1 cup almond meal (almonds ground fine)
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey 
Mix together with a fork until well blended.  Pat into bottom and up sides of a pie plate.  Place in micro for 1 minute.  Let cool.  Use in place of any recipe calling for a graham cracker crumb crust, especially those recipes that aren’t baked very long as the honey and almonds tend to brown easier than graham crackers and sugar do.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
(for special diets)
Cheryl Eisenman 
2/3 cup honey, heated to not quite a simmer
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup powdered dry milk 
Pour hot honey into blender, add butter.  Gradually add powdered milk though hole in blender lid.  Process until smooth, a minute or two.  This makes equal to one can.  Use in any recipe that calls for sweetened condensed milk.  May make ahead and store in refrigerator if desired. 



I will be adding recipes as I have time.  They will be white free, wheat free, sugar free or a combination.  They may need to be tweaked to meet your needs.  But, they are recipes I thought would be helpful.  The Sweet Savvy website is a great one for alternative sugars!  She has tested recipes with different sugar types and it is really helpful!  Go to her site and enjoy it! 

Carob Benefits; Chocolate and Migraines

Carob Chips Benefits
Carob chips are a healthy replacement for the chocolate chips. Comparatively, carob chips have more dietary fibers than the chocolate chips. Also, carob chips are rich in protein and high in fiber. The calcium content of carob chips is higher than that of the chocolate chips. The absorption of calcium is blocked by oxalic acid present in chocolate and carob chips do not contain oxalic acid. This is another nutritional benefit of carob chips. Chocolate chips contain phenylethylamines which is many a times responsible for triggering migraines. Carob chips do not contain these small nitrogen containing molecules. Apart from these nutritional benefits, carob chips have some health benefits. Carob chips are used for treating diarrhea in children. Sometimes, carob chips are used to provide relief in traveler's diarrhea. Besides, carob chips are beneficial in GERD.

The Third Week

Time to tell you about the third week, but there's not that much to tell.  Pretty much status quo!  Which, is good!  I am falling into a pretty good routine now with this diet, and that's a good thing because the more research I do the more I realize that I should stay on this diet.  Not to mention feeling much better overall.  Diet.  No, I don't think that's a good word for it.  "Diet" usually means an attempt to lose weight, and that would be great but that's not the real reason for it in my case.  I wish I was losing more weight - I have lost a few pounds - but it is more about health. A good reason, for sure!  So, I will attempt to find a new word for it, this healthy fare I am eating.  I will welcome any thoughts about that, so feel free to comment. 

So, the eating is going fine.  I took frozen leftover rice noodles and sugar-less spaghetti sauce to work for lunch today.  It was really good, even the second time!  Tonight for dinner, we had fried pork chops (salt, pepper & italian seasoning), cooked cauliflower with melted cheddar cheese, a green salad and sourdough bread.  I could eat all but the bread (white flour but no white sugar).  No big deal, I was stuffed and we don't often eat bread with dinner anyway.  There would be a touch of sugar in the amount of homemade ranch dressing I had, but I decided it would probably be such a small amount (from the mix) that it wasn't going to be a big deal.  I look at the nutrition facts on the packages, and the grams of sugar, and try to figure out if there's enough to be concerned with.  There are some things that have sugar under a "less than 2%" list of ingredients.  Pretty much I am eating probably about 98% white sugar and white flour free.  I do like the Newman's Own Light Italian dressing I bought, but it's a little strong with a vinegar taste, and I don't prefer strong dressings.  It was nice to have ranch dressing after 3 weeks!  

Ah, chocolate!  I am still missing it at times!  We bought carob chips, and it's just not quite the same.  But, I will make cookies with them and we'll see how they are.  Stay tuned for that.  I have not yet had time to make my own chocolate with agave and cocoa.  I'll try that and let you know what I found.  Life is very busy right now, and even though I am still keeping up with eating the right things, I haven't tried new recipes this week.  I hope to do more experimenting this weekend. At the end of next week I will be driving east to move my daughter out of her dorm room, and bring her home for the summer!  We are very happy that it's almost time for her to be home for some months before moving out again!  She loves to experiment in the kitchen, so her and I will have fun trying things.  I'm thinking she will enjoy using agave in some recipes!  I'm excited she'll be home to help me!  All for now... good luck with your "healthy fare" this week!!


List of some items I eat now

These are some things I get, and hopefully they will be helpful to you.  Some things might have a touch of sugar or flour, but often they were the best I could find and usually in their basic form (unrefined & unbleached).  This is by no means complete.  I will add to this list over time. 
Adams Peanut Butter
Whole Wheat Spaghetti Noodles
La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Tortillas
Basmati Brown Rice
Canned Pineapple
Canned Olives
Treetop Applesauce Cups (organic)
Organic Instant Oatmeal
Kirkland Sig. Plain Almonds 
Rolled Oats
Archer Farms Roasted Almonds w/ salt
Archer Farms Strawberry Mango (real fruit twists)
Archer Farms water w/ touch of mango (unsweetened)
Other stores
Newman's Own Light Italian Dressing
Annie's Naturals Balsamic Vinaigrette
Organic Hummus
Mtn. High Yoghurt - plain & add fruit, etc. 
    or Vanilla (has crystalline fructose)
Organic white corn chips
Classico Spaghetti Sauce


Vicki's Pineapple Agave Teriyaki Sauce

Vicki's Pineapple Agave Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 C soy sauce
1/2 C unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 C water
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. agave syrup
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. onion salt
1 1/2 tsp. minced/pressed garlic
1 1/2 tsp. minced ginger (powdered ok)
1 3/4 tbsp. corn starch (mixed with 1 tbsp. water)

Combine all ingredients (except corn starch) in a blender. Pour blended ingredients into a pan and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to simmer. Mix corn starch and water and add to the sauce, stirring constantly until thickened (about 1 min.).

The only reason I can claim this recipe, is I really did combine several different recipes and then added things I thought would taste good.  Necessity really is the mother of invention!


Some meal ideas...

These are the types of things I eat.  I'll try to add to this list as I come up with more items. Obviously someone else would choose other things.  It's just for ideas.

Breakfast:  Whole grain bread made with honey; butter, peanut butter, honey on it.  Eggs; cheese, veges, meat.  Oatmeal; but watch out for sugar products in the packaged ones. Whole grain cereals.  Organic cereals made w/ honey.

Lunch:  Left-over meat (hot or cold, on bread or not), pb & h sandwich on bread, tacos (corn tortillas), burritos, pasta (sauce w/o sugar), cheese sticks, fresh veges, fruit, applesauce cups.

Dinner:  Most meats, with sauces that have no sugar, or just with herbs.  Brown rice, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables, raw or cooked (I love zucchini, green beans or asparagus sauteed with italian herbs & olive oil (& a little butter)).  Fruit.  Rice or wh wheat pasta and sugar-less sauce (Classico or homemade). Salad with Newman's Own Italian dressing or other w/o sugar.  Lasagne made "whiteless."  Most mexican food is fine without flour tortillas. 

Desserts:  My opinion is... by all means, eat some in moderation.  This is a hard enough diet, that we need some dessert!!  Chocolate Coconut Bliss "Ice Cream" (non-dairy, made w/ coconut & agave), homemade desserts (take a look at the link for the "Sweet Savvy" website.  She has lots of recipes without sugar).

The Second Week

I got through the first week, and by the end of it I was feeling pretty good!  I also felt like I COULD do this!  That first week I survived with eating enough (of what I could eat) to prevent hunger, and made sweets that I could have to deal with my sweet tooth.  I didn't worry about how much I was eating, but what I was eating.  It was my way of making sure I stayed on it.  There's not much more likely to sabotage a new way of eating than hunger and a sweet tooth, right?  But, as I ate right, I started feeling less hungry and I was needing less of the sweet stuff.  I did work very hard to eliminate every bit of the white stuff ~ because if I'm going to go to all this effort I might as well do it right!  What good is it to cheat if it means that we really won't know if it worked?  So, I've been determined to make this happen!  If I can do this... anyone can!!  

As I worked through the second week, I was finding that I was adjusting to these new eating habits.  I felt better, and knew that it felt good to eat good.  There's something about eating really healthy foods that promotes eating healthy foods!!!  Maybe that doesn't seem to make sense, but it was true for me.  I like knowing that what I eat is good for me.  There's NO GUILT!! :)  Hmmm... there must be something to that!  I've always felt that if I was going to eat it, then why feel guilty about it!  But, is that reality?  Now, the other thing is that I was learning what really was good for me and what I thought was good for me and found out it wasn't.  For example, granola bars.  Find a packaged granola bar, and you likely will find High Fructose Corn Syrup in it.  Yes, there's lots of good stuff in a granola bar, but it's cancelled out by the HFCS.  Not that it's a terrible choice compared to many other things... but it's that poison in it!!  Researchers are started to find out that many medical problems are related to HFCS.  I will post a link to how HFCS is made.  It is used commercially as it is cheaper than sugar and honey.  HFCS has been used to stretch honey, illegally, in products.  I have a friend who's son is so allergic to it that he has to completely eliminate it from his diet.  If he has a soda, he is miserable for hours.  Someone said that "if your grandmother doesn't recognize it, it's probably not good for you."  I think there's something to that.  If we eat naturally and eliminate all processed foods, then we are much better off.  Those chemicals affect us physically, mentally and emotionally.  Many chemicals make us want more... yes, addict us!  The amazing thing is that when you eliminate white sugar and white flour, that removes almost all processed foods.  So, in effect, you are eliminating a lot of other chemicals.  Nitrates, food coloring, preservatives, etc. 

I found that by the end of the second week, I was eating mostly vegetables and meat for supper.  I felt like I could reduce the amount of carbs (potatoes, rice, etc.) I was eating, as I really wasn't very hungry any more.  I was happy with meat and vegetables.  Breakfast usually consisted of oatmeal, of a variety of flavors, or toast on whole grain bread made with honey, and butter and honey on it.  Some sort of fruit accompanied each meal.  That was plenty.  By-the-way, watch out for some of the packaged oatmeal.  The best packaged oatmeal I found was in the organic section, of course.  Costco has a big box of it, called organic, and I could eat some of those.  Lunch was a variety of things for me.  I can access a kitchen at work, so I could heat up leftovers from dinner the night before.  Or, if I didn't feel like that, I took a PB & honey sandwich on whole grain bread (made w/ honey).  One day I had a wonderful sandwich with leftover chicken.  At some point I will try to list things that I bought that were OK, and recipes I found that I enjoyed and would make again.  Since I'm going through this process, I might as well share, right?!! 


The First Week

I am going to try to get up to date.  My thoughts the first day were "OK, here we go!"  I was determined, so I made it my priority.  I am keeping a diary of my diet, to help me remember what I ate.  The first few days were not rough, not even really difficult, but there were a few times I needed to leave the kitchen.  I hadn't yet found enough sweet things to satisfy, and I was coming down off a normal amount of sugar in my diet.  White sugar, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), white flour... all things that are SOOO tasty but not good for us.  In the process of refining foods, much is lost.  Most of the good stuff is stripped out of the product, and it is no longer beneficial.  I think of white flour as paste.  Actually you can make a paste out of white flour.  I love the way white flour tastes, of course!  But, I'm learning what's better for me.  I did a lot of internet searching to find recipes I could use.  I posted a link to one that I found very helpful.  This website lists several types of healthy sweeteners, and recipes for them.  I discovered AGAVE!!  This is an amazing sweetener.  All natural.  Made from the Agave plant, which is primarily grown in Mexico.  It's glycemic index number is 15-30... depending on the type of Agave.  Refined white table sugar is 80 and HFCS is 87!  Pure Glucose is 100.  The higher the rating, the faster the sugar hits your blood.  We hear of blood sugar highs and lows.  Well, the high glycemic sweeteners are what causes those.  I am not a doctor or nurse, so I may miss some of what this all means.  If I am not correct, I hope someone will come to my rescue!

I found that by the end of the first week, I was not very often hungry.  I could go longer before eating, though I was eating less.  I was eating things that were so much more healthy that it stayed with me longer.  I no longer craved the sugars like I did.  I was feeling better and sleeping better.  I felt more alert.  I had gone off coffee, but didn't miss it.  I'll try to do a post on coffee some other time.  Every once in awhile I found that I missed chocolate.  That was my one true love in food.  So, I will continue to search for ways I can eat chocolate in a healthier way.  I am also continuing to search for recipes to feed my family that are healthier. 

The Week Before

The week before I started this diet, I knew I needed to figure out what I could eat. It was quite a process to go from not worrying too much about what I ate, to scrutinizing everything. There is white flour and white sugar in most of the common food products we eat. Eating like this pretty much eliminates everything processed, which isn't a bad thing... just a different, more difficult (in our case) way of eating! I started cutting back that week and began to try new recipes and buy products that I could eat. In came the 100% whole wheat (more anyway), brown rice, brown pasta, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, etc. I already used honey a lot, so that wasn't anything new. In fact, I rarely had jam on anything. I prefer honey. I started exploring what the different sugars and natural sugar substitutes were all about. I found a website that had a list of them with their glycemic index, which shows how quickly or how slowly the sugar is absorbed. I found out how bad HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is for you! It's in almost everything! I was determined but feeling a bit overwhelmed. I knew I would have turn my kitchen into a test kitchen. I don't really enjoy cooking, and I tend to stick to the same "tried-and-true" recipes we know & love. So... some big changes.


I decided to start a blog about this diet I'm on. My doctor asked if I would try it for a month to see how it helps me and my bloodwork. I have really high triglycerides, but the rest of my cholesterol is ok. That generally runs in families. My father passed away of a stroke at the age of 60. I don't know yet if he had high triglycerides. Maybe back then they only showed high cholesterol. There is also diabetes in my family background. I started the diet on April 4th. We will do bloodwork the first or second week of May. This may become a lifestyle... we'll see.