Playing with my food

I haven’t felt like writing much these days, so I just haven’t done so. Instead, I’ve spent my spare time doing things with food.

With all of my hobbies, it seems I get into these phases where I want to spend more time on just that one thing and barely spend time on anything else. I’ve gone through such phases with knitting, gardening, reading, writing, and even exercising. (Oh boy, I could sure use a bit of extra energy around that last one right about now, too!) I’m a firm believer that food is important in one’s overall health and have been dealing with some health issues in the past few months, therefore much of my food experimentation has involved making dietary changes that will hopefully lead to better health outcomes.

Since I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis several months ago, I’ve been trying all sorts of things to fully recover. Not doing much exercise has led to me putting back on some weight that I really, really don’t want, so it’s important that I get my foot (thankfully, only one foot is still achy) completely better. So, in the interest of helping myself loose weight and decrease inflammation, I’ve started a no-grain diet.

That’s right, I’m trying very hard to make sure that no grains at all pass my lips: no wheat, no rice, no oats, no rye, and no corn. Having a pantry well-stocked with various noodles/pasta, flours, and crackers has made it a bit tough at times, but I’m doing fairly well. I’m also trying not to eat potatoes in an effort to keep my glycemic load at optimal levels.

In general, this means that I consume lots of vegetables, fruits, and animal protein. (I can’t even imagine trying to eat this way as a vegan, although a vegetarian who is OK with consuming dairy and eggs would be able to follow this approach). For cooking inspiration, I’ve been consulting various books and websites that have recipes geared towards paleo dieting and low glycemic index eating (such as South Beach dieting sites), but I haven’t been sticking entirely within the parameters of those diets. I’m trying to come up with something that works for me and my body, and what works for others may not work for me. To make things just a bit more interesting, I’m also trying really hard to stay away from cow dairy, to which I’ve scored pretty high on food sensitivity tests.

Unlike traditional weight loss diets, I’m not counting calories or points nor am I consuming low or non-fat products. Some of the yummy meals I’ve eaten over the last week are:

  • Veggie “hash” of sauteed yellow peppers, onions, and black beans mixed with salsa and topped with a medium-cooked egg.
  • Grilled skirt steak with grilled zucchini and green onions.
  • Baked lamb shoulder chop with ginger-garlic roasted broccoli.
  • Chicken salad with dried cranberries, walnuts, mayo, and chopped apple over romaine lettuce.
  • Chicken “Marsala” (no marsala wine on hand, so I substituted sweet vermouth; also no flour or breading on the chicken) served over finely chopped, steamed cauliflower.

My snacks have been veggies with hummus or fruit mixed with dairy:

  • Watermelon with mint and sheep’s milk feta cheese;
  • Goat’s milk brie wedges with apple slices;
  • Goat’s milk yogurt with diced apricot or banana.

(Note: I am absolutely *in love* with a type of small banana called apple bananas. The only place I ever see them is an international market a short drive from home. These are not just “baby bananas” that can be found at the big chain grocery stores; they have a unique taste and texture that I find superior. The peel on the apple bananas has to be more brown than a standard banana in order for it to taste best, though, so if you are lucky enough to find them keep that in mind.)

I’ve been really enjoying my meals and the cooking challenges posed by the elimination of staples like pasta, rice, and bread. I’ve even been inspired to try some pickling, but I’ll save that experience for its own post.

Now to get an exercise regime started up again!


5 thoughts on “Playing with my food

  1. OH, my friend has the same foot problem and it’s really got her down. To top it off she has diabetes and quit smoking, so she too has gained weight from it all. I’m hoping for a speedy recovery.

    I love grains and dairy. I really can’t picture life without them.

    I’m finally starting to get some exercise again thanks to a regular babysitter. I don’t know what I’m going to do once she goes back to school in the fall.


    • Yeah, giving up freshly baked bread and cake has led to some times of great temptation, but I’m sticking to my plan. And I haven’t given up all dairy, just dairy products from cow milk. Although I did have a slice of Gouda cheese yesterday, and I’m pretty sure that’s made with cow milk. I just returned from the doctor’s office to discuss the fact that fasting blood sugar was elevated a couple weeks ago. I really, really need to get back into exercising; since diabetes runs in my family it’s important that I eat well and get good exercise.


  2. Hi Linda,

    I’m a reporter with Medill News Service here in Chicago, and I want shoot a photo essay profile of someone who raises chickens in the city environment. I came across your blog, and you seem like a fascinating person who’d be perfect for this project.

    Would you have any interest in doing this?


    Austin Smith


  3. Plantar Fascitis is supposed to be incredibly painful. Whenever I have an injury, all I want to do is exercise, even if I haven’t done anything in 6 months, did you find that too?

    Those meals sound great, much better than drinking a shake!


  4. Pingback: Eat your (wild) greens! « a windycitygal's Weblog

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