Yesterday was such a lazy day for me. I pretty much stayed in bed under the electric blanket and read. I still have no stamina. I wonder if I was on the antibiotics long enough?
It snowed yesterday and it is still around today, but it is not very much. Maybe 1/2 inch if that. I hope it goes away soon. The older I get, the more I hate snow. I mean, I appreciate its beauty, but nothing else about it. It just makes everything extra cold and the roads hard to drive on. I used to love it when I was a kid, but now when I see snow, I think "Get off my lawn!" as if it were a recalcitrant child and I an old fogey.
My Amazon order came yesterday, too. Well, part of it did. It is still weird having things delivered on Sunday. I got a bucket white rice flour, a bucket of tapioca flour, a bucket of potato starch, a 3 lb bag of sorghum flour, and a 3 lb bag of extra fine sweet rice flour (that's more for cakes and pastries). The latter two came in paper bags. The first four are for the master flour recipe. I already had xanthan gum.
So today I will make up the master flour recipe and put it in the stainless steel canister I also ordered for that purpose. It should hold two batches of the flour recipe based on volume. Then I will make up the master dough recipe and go from there.
I really like the little one gallon buckets some of the flours came in. They are light enough for me to manage and air tight. I think as I finish them off I will transfer the flours that don't come in buckets to those buckets and relabel them. They all stack, so they will take up less space that way, and I won't have to deal with all the plastic bags. I should go through the white rice flour fairly quickly as that is what is used in the greatest quantities.
I am still waiting on a couple of things from that order, including the bucket opener, but I can use a paint can opener on them as well. I also got some pure palm shortening for making biscuits and a stainless steel ice bin for the freezer that should come today. The bucket opener isn't slated to arrive until February 3rd! Ridiculous. Prime has spoiled me.
I spent about $202 on the entire order, but in the long run, buying in bulk is much cheaper. The ice bin was pricey and so was the canister, but you can't beat stainless steel for durability and longevity. We try to keep away from plastic (especially single use plastic) as much as we can. It is not always possible, but we do our best to use glass, ceramic, wood, and stainless steel when we can. It is definitely hard with these specialty flours, because most of them do come in plastic. And plastic does keep out bugs and larvae, generally, so it is a trade off.
I guess as long as I am mindful about is, that is the best I can do.
Viewing the 'Towards Healthier Living' Category
Yesterday was such a lazy day for me. I pretty much stayed in bed under the electric blanket and read. I still have no stamina. I wonder if I was on the antibiotics long enough?
I dragged myself to the doctor on Monday and after 4 days on antibiotics and prednisone, I am starting to see a minor improvement. I had some wheezing in my upper chest, that wasn't quite bronchitis and a massive sinus infection. I waited too long to go, but I always think it is just a cold that never leaves. I am sleeping a lot, but in fits and starts. That's the prednisone. It always messes up sleep. I am starting to get a little strength back though, and my desire for real food instead of take out has come roaring back.
I did manage to make dinner two nights in a row, beef stew with gluten free flour for the gravy, and herb baked chicken, herb roasted potatoes (different herbs), and broccoli last night. Tonight's dinner is loaded baked potato soup, although I might make steaks on the side. Usually I don't, but that can be a very carb heavy meal if I just go with the bacon as the only protein source. It depends on how much energy I have. This will be my first time making it using gluten free flour in the roux. The stew gravy went well, though, so I can't imagine the roux will be bad.
I baked my first loaf of gluten free bread last night. It turned out pretty well despite me leaving out the sugar. I was wondering why it took so long to rise, but the yeast didn't have any sugar to eat. Next time it should rise in the allotted time frame. I didn't realize until I tasted it that I had done that, but when I thought back to it, I didn't remember putting sugar in with the warm water and yeast to proof it. It still bubbled without the sugar, so I know the yeast was active, just it would have been more active with it.
It looks like bread and it tastes like bread and is nice and soft, but I can definitely taste the eggs in it. I don't usually make egg breads. There are other recipes I will be trying to, but I will do this one again properly first. The interesting thing about gluten free bread is that if you cool it upright on a rack the top will sink, but if you cool it on it's side, rotating it occasionally, the top doesn't sink. Also, you have to wait three hours for it to cool before slicing it. Slice it sooner and it will crumble, but that goes away completely with the cooling time. I did a lot of research before starting this journey.
I will be attempting gluten free pizza dough tomorrow. I may do one with gluten free flour instead of two and do the second one with cauliflower crust. The second I know is good. On the agenda for when I feel a lot better will be learning how to make gluten free cookies, brownies, and cakes. Not often, though. Just on occasion. There is a birthday in February (mine) and March (DS's) that I want to make gluten free cakes for and I want to make sure they taste good first so I will have to experiment a bit.
DH and I need to start looking for a place to go to for our little holiday getaway for our 25th wedding anniversary in March. We don't want to go too far away, within a couple hours driving distance, but I am not sure if we want to go back to the place we were at before in March. It has quite a steep hill down to it and there is often snow on the ground still in March in that area so it might make it hard to get back up out of there and we don't have chains for the van. I do want to be by the water, though. It really recharges my batteries.
I am pretty tired out, but I am trying to post more often. While I'd like to post daily again, it seems to be more than I can do, but five days a week seems like a good goal to aim for.
Today DS and I worked in the garden We cleared one bed that is 24 feet by 2 feet and my mom had cleared the twin of this bed for about 8 feet this morning. I want to try to get the second one done tomorrow. I hope those two beds are enough for all the onions, but I may need to clear another bed for them.
My knees and ankles are pretty sore from being on them so much today, but my bank isn't too bad. I mean, I feel it, but it isn't tweaked out. Maybe because I only worked for an hour and paused often to stretch and do waist twists.
Yesterday we signed up for the gym membership. I think I'll go to family swim tomorrow and just do some pool walking and maybe a couple laps. I need to build up some strength. I will start off pretty easy. I don't want to overdo things. It will be nice to be in the water for a while and then use the hot tub. I think I miss the hot tub most of all. Maybe I'll use the sauna, too. It might just bake the last of this cold out of me.
Have any of you tried those cheese wraps from Costco? It's a tortilla-shaped wrap that is just made from cheese. I bought some a couple weeks ago and forgot about them. I am going to do some turkey and bell pepper roll ups for lunch tomorrow, and cut them into pinwheels, because I like my food to be fun sometimes. I had planned to do a stir-fry, but I think I will be too tired tomorrow.
I hope it is good, because then I could have a "tortilla" at a meal besides dinner. I only eat high carbs once a day. I don't know if these would warm up, though. I think they are meant to be eaten cold. But I could put fajitas in them and taco meat. And my chorizo con heuvoes.
Well, I best toddle off to bed before I turn into a pumpkin.
I was just given several t-shirts, tank tops, and one long-sleeved shirt by someone who has gotten too heavy for them. They are younger than me, so I call them hand me ups instead of hand me downs. I was just saying I needed to buy a couple of t-shirts to get me through until I am in the next size down, but now I don't have to. They are all in great condition, too. I like it when life works out like that.
The only one that might not work for me is a yellow tank top. I don't wear yellow well. But I guess I can use it around the house or in the garden where I won't be out in public. Now all I need to buy for myself is a cardigan and some socks.
So far I have kept the weight off that I lost while super sick. I am still sick, can't seem to shake the runny nose and throat cough from post nasal drip, but I am pretty functional. I am going to go ahead and go to the doctor this week, though. I think my flu may have turned into a sinus infection and that is why I can't seem to beat it.
My legs swelled up after my second day of grocery shopping, but what is really great is that they did not swell like they used to when I was eating the food with the nitrites and nitrates. Of course I have also lost nearly 18 pounds, so maybe it was all in my calves? No, most of it is in my stomach that I have lost, but maybe it still helps me to swell up less. I never felt like my skin was going to burst like a sausage. My ankle and knee joints hurt all day yesterday, but are somewhat better today.
I get my first enbrel delivery on Tuesday. I am hoping that will make a big improvement in my RA symptoms. It takes about a month of use to see a difference, though, they say. I'll be taking it in addition to my hydroxychloroquine. I'm not thrilled about the long term possible side effects of enbrel, but if it does help with the pain and inflammation, then I guess I can worry about those later. I'm 49. It's not like I'm going to live forever anyway.
Well, I've successfully made it 2/3 of the way through the food holiday gamut. I did not indulge in Halloween at all and I had a very balanced plate of food on Thanksgiving (no desserts, my carbs went to stuffing and potatoes, which I'd always rather eat).
However my day to day choices have sucked this year, I'm eating poorly and I'm back on Pepsi (sugar kind, not corn syrup kind), and all my clothes are tight. The store where I usually clothes shop is going out of business soon so I wouldn't even be able to buy new clothes. And I shouldn't. I have plenty of clothes one size down, so I signed up for a $30 Dietbet.
It will hopefully give me motivation to get back on track every day of the week. It starts on the 25th. I wavered a bit on choosing the one I did and one that starts on the 26th. The one I chose has less players and a smaller pot, but that always feels more intimate than being lost in a horde.
Mine's called The End of Year Showdown with Cristinadown100 and is a 4 week Kickstarter. I need to lose 13.5 pounds in that amount of time. I should be able to do that because I'll be getting back off the soda and that is usually ten pounds of retained water right there.
Normally I don't like to do Kickstarters, I like to do the Transformers which last six months, but I don't have that amount of money in my blow money envelope. I always like to prepay the entire six months because then you get one month's discount. So the plan is to do the Kickstarters. leave the money in, and hopefully earn enough to pay for a Transformer.
Thanksgiving was okay this year. MIL bailed the night before, which was disapointing, because I'd bought a ham specifically for her. She decided to spend the evening with her daughter instead, even though they are doing a Thanksgiving for that side on Saturday and SIL will be there. I don't know. It was very hurtful. The kids and DH were not happy.
It's the same kind of favoritism she often shows towards her daughter over her son and her children over ours. I should be used to it by now, but I'm not, because it hurts my family. I am choosing to not make a fuss, though. MIL has been very generous to us financially this year. I guess it is okay if she just wants to throw money at us and not see us. I'm not sure what that means for Christmas, but I'm bracing for a repeat.
I did find MIL a lovely gift for Christmas, though. It is a beautiful blanket with a carousel horse on it. She collects carousel horses and music boxes and it has gotten harder and harder to find her one she doesn't have or that plays something other than the carousel waltz, which she has come to loathe. DS ordered the camera he wants with his Christmas money so that should be here soon. I have purchased part of my own gift which is a queen size electric blanket. The other part of my gift is season 11 of The Big Bang Theory.
DD wants to get an electric blanket like the one I got for me and a really good heating pad. DH is narrowing down what he wants and then he'll order that and Christmas shopping will be done for the year. We don't exchange gifts with my side of the family. We quit years ago. I will likely make some fudge for my mother, though. We are on budget, so I am thrilled. We might even have $50 left.
I don't think I am going to make a turkey with all the trimmings for Christmas this year. Tearing up the bread for the stuffing and doing all the stirring for the gravy did a number on my wrists and I'm not sure I want to repeat that any time soon. Even with DH and DS peeling and chopping the potatoes, it was just too much.
I think things are just going to be very low key. We'll go out and look at lights this year, though. We skipped that the last two years and I miss doing it. Although it'll probably be a few days before Christmas. So many people go away for the holidays that you can miss some really good displays if you wait until the day of or the night before. I just want to keep it all simple. I'm tired of putting out effort, to be honest.
I cancelled my subscription to the eye supplement I have been taking since the retinal tear. It was for floaters and it did seem to work for the first few months, but after my other eye developed a boat load of floaters last month, I have concluded that it no longer has any value.
Instead I am trying a vitamin regimen of selenium, lutein, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, and gingko biloba. I've been doing that for a week and the floaters seem lighter. I have also started doing some eye circulation exercises that are supposed to help with eye tiredness. I am also trying to eat more foods with beta carotene.
So that means I will try to focus a little more on orange sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and other dark leafies, butternut squash and other orange-fleshed squashes, cantaloupe, lettuce, red and orange bell peppers, apricots, peaches, nectarines, broccoli, and pea pods. I will be canning a case of nectarines this year and I already have a lot of apricot preserves.
Hopefully I will see some improvement. Squash is cheap and I like it and sweet potatoes are cheap here, too, even the organic ones, and of course, so are carrots, so I will likely lean towards them the most. It will add some nice variety to the diet as well. I tend to lean too heavily on regular potatoes, pasta, and rice for the carbs in our diet. These will be better for us. I think my goal will be too have something orange on my plate at least once a day.
CreditCardFree asked me to talk about Thrive Life freeze-dried foods, what I like, what I don't, what I use, and whether or not it really saves money.
I think it would be easier for me to say what products I don't like than what I do like, since I have liked almost everything I have tried. I dislike their instant potatoes. I find the texture to be a little rubbery and unless you season the heck out of them they have no flavor. I don't like the asparagus, it reconstitutes to be very mushy. I don't like the Passionfruit yogurt bites. I don't care for the larger chicken slices and the larger beef slices, as I think it takes far too long for them to reconstitute, longer than claimed.
The small beef and small chicken I like a lot, as well as the ground beef crumbles and the sausage crumbles. I have not tried any of the vegetarian meat products.
What I use most are the onions, the bell peppers, the chili peppers, the potato dices, the celery, the carrots, the green onions and the sweet corn. The sweet corn tastes like candy and we often eat it right from the can like popcorn.
I use the sour cream powder a lot. I have wasted so much sour cream over the years, so to be able to make out the exact amount per recipe with none leftover to mold in the fridge has saved us quite a bit. I also like their instant milk, for those days when we run out and I need a cup for making potatoes or something. I love the butter powder, too, because we have also run out of butter on occasion. I can just make up as much as we need or put some in a recipe.
I also use their seasoning blends, sauce mixes, bouillons, and tomato powder (which is in place of using tomato paste). They have no MSG or other suspect ingredients in these, which is amazing for bouillon. Less occasionally I use the kale and spinach in soups. We love the yogurt bites in vanilla, cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, and blueberry. That's one of my favorite things, actually, as I hate the texture of regular yogurt and I can just eat these straight without adding water and the texture issue isn't there.
I do use the freeze-dried fruit, but I haven't quit buying regular fruit. My kids like the fruit a lot and eat it as is. I think it is great for putting into cereal or muffins, but I don't care to just snack on it.
Most of the veggies are good. I like the broccoli, green beans (though I prefer my home canned), zucchini, and cauliflower. My husband likes the mushrooms (I can't eat mushrooms). The sweet potatoes and butternut squash are pretty good. Nothing is going to be crisp with freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, so I usually use fresh veggies for stir-fries, and these go into casseroles and egg bakes. My MIL likes eating the cauliflower straight out of the can.
Their instant brown rice and instant white rice we use on occasion. They are good, but I'm not sure they are any better than minute rice. I do like the fact that they have some instant beans. My son raves about the multi-grain pancake mix.
I do see some money saving. Because I am not having to peel anything, I am not paying for the weight of the part of the food that gets peeled off and thrown away. It is already cut up into the right size, so I am not having to spend time cutting up onions or other veggies, which saves my hands. With the RA, my hands often hurt too much to peel and chop, so that is a meal saver on those days. It doesn't have the chance to rot in the fridge before I can use it, so I'm not then having to pay to throw it away.
I tend to buy the products that are more pricey when they go on sale. They have different products on sale each month and then they do two semi-annual sales a year that have almost everything discounted. They have one day flash sales once in a while as well. The meat and the yogurt are most expensive so I only buy those when they are on sale and the same with the more expensive fruits (raspberries, grapes, cherries, pears). The rest is pretty well-priced and if you buy more than $100 on the monthly delivery program the shipping is free.
I don't buy the Simple Plates, which are the pre-made meal kits. I think they are expensive for what they are. They are meant to compete with things like Blue Apron and Freshly. While I got several when I got my consultant starter kit, most of them have mushrooms mixed in with the rest of the veggies, so I can't eat them. The family has liked what they have tried, but I wouldn't purchase them myself.
They do have some starter packs called Chef Kits that come in a set for $105 and come with recipes and you can make several recipes from each kit. They have a Southwest Chicken Kit, a Ground Beef Kit, and a Pulled Pork Kit. A lot of people like to start off with those so they can make a few meals and see if they like them. Or they have variety packs of vegetables, fruits, yogurts, and cheese which brings the price down a bit.
I seldom buy their cheese, but when their Parmesan or Monteray Jack goes on sale I will get some if I am out. Those we use so little of that it is not worth buying from the store because it'll go bad before we can use it all. But cheddar and mozzarella I still buy fresh as it is cheaper.
What it is great for is the shelf-life. Most products are one year after being opened, with three exceptions, the ham, the turkey, and the pulled pork. The ham is awful anyway. I forgot to say that I didn't like the ham. It didn't taste like ham to me, just pork and not well flavored. Unopened products have a shelf-life of 25 years, so there is that.
So like all things, you have to comparison shop and get some items on sale. But it has been worth it for me to save my hands a lot of work.
For everything you buy, you get points and after you get enough points you can cash them in for free product. As a consultant I also get a commission off of anyone's purchase from my website:
Anyway, I hope that answered all of your questions and if not, let me know and I will try to answer any more you have.