Food Cravings?

I found this info interesting and thought I’d share with all of you. For me, it kind of ties into the whole Stress Eating thing I wrote about a while back.

How to Handle Food Cravings

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Flood

A flood of memories awash in my soul,
          threatening to be my undoing.
My heart aches and bleeds from confusion.
I stand, still in the place he left me,
          gripped by indecision of direction.

He darkens the door to my heart and mind
          yet not in the flesh as he had before.
An ice storm blows through much like last winter.
We readily ignore one another
          unable to mend what’s broken between us.

How do I let go of my dream?
Must I relinquish my love?
Will there ever be a man certain to stay?

My Lord beckons me to come
          back to His loving embrace.
Either way it’s turned, this is how I feel:
Torn in two, disloyal, and unruly
          both to my Savior and to my love.

A flood of memories awash in my soul
          and I tuck them away one by one.
Remembering doesn’t change what is.
So I wish them away, to preserve
          this numbness that dulls the pain of my heart.

In my hurt, I pull away
          ever hopeful he’ll follow.
But he does not come to make amends.
Instead, I’m left to wonder and ponder
          over the bleak questions in his wake.

Does my retreat simply go unnoticed?
Am I not worth the fight or effort?
Have I been deemed unworthy of great love?

The walls I’ve built to protect myself
          became an impenetrable hindrance.
Imprisoned within my own construction.
I long for those walls to crumble away
          but I can’t seem to breach the barrier.

A flood of memories awash in my soul
          but now I have not fear of drowning.
Still my Savior beckons me to come.
And so, I will hide myself in Him
          as He gently breaks me from my prison.

Author’s Note: This poem is a remake of one I wrote back in February 2008. Originally it came in at 120 lines long, but for the poetry class I took at Drury in the Fall of 2010 I decided to make it more manageable. I decided to share it here today because I’ve had numerous people in the last five years encouraging me to share what I’ve written.

My life has been in a perpetual state of flux since graduating college and so it has been difficult to find the time and space to keep up with my blog. Which really saddens me because I have derived immense pleasure from having this space to put out my thoughts on a variety of subjects. I’m not going to make any promises that I will resume this with any clockwork sort of regularity, but I will when I can find the space to write post something here and there. So until next time, I do sincerely hope you enjoy. Feel free to share with me your thoughts on this poem, tell me who your favorite poet and/or poem is, or your thoughts on poetry in general.

Meals on the Go- Idea #2

Here’s another Quick and Nutritious Meals on the Go. I made it last weekend and had intended to post it on here, but I don’t have any idea where the weekend, let alone this week, has gone. I do apologize for the delay, though this will likely serve as this week’s post if my work schedule has anything to say about it.

This is a meal I made on the fly for the first time about a month ago and I think it’s a good one. Hopefully it will appeal to both adults and kids.

I call it Beef Stroganoff. Though, I must admit, it probably isn’t really technically Stroganoff. Lol. šŸ™‚

Now, you’ll want to gather your ingredients and your cooking tools. You’ll need to have a large skillet and whatever utensils you like to cook with ready and waiting.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Medium- Large Yellow Onion, diced

  • 1 Tsp- Tbsp Minced Garlic (or use Garlic Powder)

  • 1 Lb Ground Beef

  • 2 Cans Cream of Broccoli soup

  • Ā¾ Cup Milk

  • 1/2- 1 Lb Egg Noodles

To start, dice up the onion and throw it in the skillet along with the ground beef. Then sprinkle in the garlic. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until beef is cookedĀ through and onion is tender, then, as long as there isn’t an excessive amount of fat, add the cans of soup. Or drain off some of the fat, if necessary, then add the soup. Stir mixture together while adding one can of water, then add the milk. Bring to a boil, then reduceĀ to a simmer and add in the egg noodles. Be sure to only add as many noodles as can beĀ covered by the liquid, otherwise you’ll need to add more water or milk to submerge the noodle. Stir again, cover and stir every 2-3 mins. until the noddlesĀ are cookedĀ and some of the liquid is absorbed. Be careful to not let it stick on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and serve. A meal in 20 minutes or less (depending on your range top type).

This usually yields 7-9 servings. A serving being a cup to cup & a half. The two times I’ve made this, it took just under 20 minutes to make from beginning to end. Also, I like to have some sort of fruit and a slice of buttered bread or a roll with it.

Again, sorry for no pictures. Let me know if you try this meal. I’d like to hear from you!

Meals on the Go- Idea #1

I’d like to pick up a previous topic thread. Quick and Nutritious Meals on the Go.

Here’s a meal idea, which may appeal to adults and kids alike, that I love to make anytime of year. A bit of forewarning, some people do not like to eat soups or stews during the warmer months. I’m a bit odd that way, I can eat them any timeĀ throughout theĀ year though withĀ greater frequency in the winter time.

I call it Bean and Sausage Stew. My grandmother made it and she never really had a name for it.

To start, I take a whole yellow onion and dice it up. I throw that in a pot with some minced garlic, then add the sausage. You can use smoked sausage, if you like, as my grandmother did and cut it into bite size bits. Or you can use ground sausage, like I do. Either way, toss it in to the pot with the onion and garlic. Cook until sausage is cooked through and onion is tender, then add white northern beans to the mix. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. And viola! Remove from heat and serve. A meal in 20 minutes or less (depending on your range top type).

Ingredients:

1 Medium- Large Yellow Onion, diced
1 Tsp- Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Lb Smoked Sausage or Ground Sausage
2 Cans White Northern Beans

This usually yields 6-8 servings. A serving being a cup to cup & a half. It typically only takes me 20 minutes to make this meal from beginning to end. I like to have a side salad or some fruit, and a slice of buttered bread with it.

I just made this meal last week and wish I had thought to take some pictures, but, sadly, I did not. šŸ˜¦

Let me know if you try this meal. I’d like to hear from you!

*Honestly, I find this meal so delicious, a total comfort food, that I’ve never figured out all the nutrition elements to the meal. I will try to find time this week to figure up the breakdown of nutrition content per serving.*

The Joys and Surprises of Research

Introduction to My Research on Hair Loss and its winding path.

Have you ever started researching a topic only to find startling information that leads you down a whole other path of investigation? Well, that was me this week. Two summers ago, I had a severe allergic episode that led to me scratching out almost half of my hair. The whole thing was terribly distressing as I’ve always had lustrous, thick hair. It took more than six months to bring my allergies under control and, therefore, the interminable itching of my scalp and face. In the last two years, I have had to change allergy pills three times and have had six more allergic episodes which lasted anywhere from an hour to two days in the last year and a half. Thankfully, I have not had a repeat of the six month ordeal from two years ago, I’d likely be bald if I had. šŸ˜¦

The Beginning (for me)

Now you may be wondering, if it’s been going on this long, why haven’t I gone to the doctor or done the research necessary to come to a solution to my problem. The way I figured it, my doctor was only going to do what I was already doing and that was changing my allergy pill until we found one that took care of or eliminated my allergy symptoms. I figured I’d save myself the added cost of exam/ visit fees and I eventually found a pill that worked for me. Fexofenadine Hydrocloride (Allergra). It stopped my itchiness like an electrical circuit being cut. Also, I did constant research on allergies and hair loss, but I’m sure you know how research can sometimes go. If you aren’t asking the right questions phrased in just the correct manner, you are likely to hit many ā€œbrick wallsā€ in your hunt for answers. Until last week, I hit a LOT of walls, but I did find some halfway helpful information, too. All this last week, I’ve hit link after link of information that I hadn’t even considered and all because I changed my approach in phrasing my search key.

A New Thought Occurs

Many menopausal women are given Biotin (also known as Vitamin H or coenzyme R, but classified like many vitamin-like substances as a B-vitamin) from their doctors to treat their sudden hair loss. I know a lady whose doctor has been steadily increasing her Biotin uptake over the last six months and she’s been satisfied with the results. Even though, I am nowhere menopause, I thought maybe Biotin was the key for anyone suffering sudden, unexplained hair loss. And that is where my research began; Biotin and hair loss.

One article talked about dietary sources of Biotin and its absorption in the intestine. Furthermore, the article talked about how the good bacteria in our guts produced Biotin as well for our benefit. All this made me wonder, what processes or factors could exist that might inhibit the absorption of Biotin? So I did more research and discovered articles that pointed to intestinal parasites and worms as possible preventors of proper nutrient absorption. Another surprising discovery through this avenue of thought was another article which saw a link between hypoglycemia (which I have) and the inefficient uptake of biotin. That same article referred to the imbalance of intestinal flora as Intestinal Dysbiosis and linked a number of conditions in addition to hypoglycemia as being impacted or even developed due to the Dysbiosis.

A Surprising Link Discovered

After that, I researched the impact of supplementing Biotin and what role Magnesium plays in the conditions mentioned in the Dysbiosis article. First, I read that supplemental Biotin taken for long stretches and in high doses can cause liver damage… unless taken in conjunction with Inositol, a vitamin-like substance sometimes called Vitamin B8. This substance acts as a coenzyme to Biotin, buffering it so the liver won’t be taxed by Biotin supplementation. Secondly, I read that Magnesium deficiency can contribute to conditions such as hypoglycemia, fibromyalgia, migraines, insomnia, and many others.

An investigatory paper written by an MIT student in 2007, had a ton of information on Magnesium and Fibromyalgia that I found interesting because my mother was diagnosed with FM almost a decade ago.

A Simple Solution?

Now, I’m going to make a statement that is taking hold in my mind. And you are free to agree or disagree with me. Is it possible that all of these conditions which are plaguing first-world nations, primarily, are a side effect of lifestyles and diets? Most of us lead a sedentary lifestyle and prefer to have fast or convenient foods. So we aren’t moving our bodies as much and eating highly processed foods devoid of real nutrition. Nor are we getting proper rest because of stress, poor diet, too much TV/ computer time. It’s becoming a real problem of epidemic proportions.

Certainly, there is not a single condition cropping up and plaguing us. Perhaps, that is why doctors continue to treat the symptoms associated with these conditions and not getting to the root cause of the condition itself. They don’t realize that all these things are from the same source. Am I simplifying things too much? Making connections where there shouldn’t be?

Hippocrates said, ā€œLet your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.ā€ Perhaps, we would do well to live by that adage?

 

I‘ll cover this topic in greater detail in the weeks to come after I’ve done some more research and have collected my thoughts on the subject matter better. Plus, I’m putting into practice some of the advice given to see if it’ll bring my body back into balance. Have a fantastic week all!

Quick, Nutritious Meals on The Go~ Intro

Eating on the Run

I had a request a while back when I thought I was going to start blogging regularly again. The request was for a post on snacks and meals for busy families that would be healthy instead of the usual grab-n-go fare.

There are several keys to maintaining nutrition while eating on the run.

  • First, preparation is important. Actually, I’d say, paramount. Without preparation, junk food and fast food will reign supremeĀ and keep you from being as healthy as you want to be.Food Prep on Cutting Board

But you ask, ā€œWait, if I’m on the go, I have to grab what’s handy in the cupboard or at the drive-through.ā€ Not if you prepare. If you know that you are generally on the go, then create snack bags for yourself and your family. When I say snack bags, I’m not talking about candy, cookies, or chips. I’m talking fresh fruit and veggies that you have already portioned out that you can take or baggies of dried fruit and nut mixes, cheese sticks,Ā or crackers and peanut butter.

Then you say, ā€œNot just snacks. What about meals? They require more time and prep.ā€

  • This leads me to the second key: have the tools on hand to help cut down your prep time and work. To which there are several tools and tricks that will help.

Crock Pot

Owning a slow cooker or crock pot is one helpful tool to get a healthy meal on the table without too much fuss. The food goes in before you leave for work and is ready to serve when you get home, so you can feed yourself and your family then get to any extracurricular activity on time. And slow cooker meals can beĀ portioned out in freezer bags so that all you have to do in the morning is dump it into the crock pot, but again this takes forethought and preparation. So take a day to experiment. Get the ingredients for the meals you want to make, portionĀ into freezer bags enough for at least 4 servings, and freeze them. All the chopping, peeling, and cutting is done, then all you have to do is pull them out when you need them. Follow this link to get started experimenting with your crock pot.

Rice Cooker

Another handy tool is a rice cooker. Most only take about 10-15 minutes to cook rice or other grains, such as quinoa, so you can heat up some soup, beans, lentils, or meat of some kind to complement the rice and have a meal that way. And remember to get your greens, heat up some fresh, frozen, or canned veggie to go along with the meal.

As far as tricks, this plays into preparation. Store cut lettuce in a gallon sized storage back and then your toppings in plastic containers, so you can grab and build a salad in a minute or two. Also, if you like canned fruits and veggies, this cuts down on prep time and can still be nutritious. I, personally, prefer frozen or fresh produce to canned. Though, canned beans, tomatoes, and soups can still be found in my grocery cart.

  • The third key is to buy produce in-season (this will help those hereĀ in the USA: http://www.eatwellguide.org/i.php?id=Seasonalfoodguides)Ā . This will save you money and adds to the level of nutrients that you’re actually getting. (Also, consider supporting your local farmers market as an option for getting your in-season produce.)

In Season Produce

You say, ā€œBut fresh stuff is more expensive than the packaged stuff.ā€ Generally, this is true, but when an item is in season it becomes much more economical to purchase. Take for example, citrus fruit. By mid-summer prices have gone so low that most stores offer multiples for a price (i.e. 10 for $1 on limes or 5 for $1 on lemons or 3 for $1 on oranges-Ā all really good buys). Now, a word of caution, only buy what you will actually consume, so you aren’t wasting food or your money. Again, this takes some forethought. Plan your meals based on what you’d like to buy that’s in season.

Honestly, there’s no sure-fire way to make meals any quicker than 20-30 minutes and still keep them fresh and nutritious. But these are the things that I do when I know I’m gonna be on the go. Actually, I do the second and third regularly, not just when I’m in a rush. And there are plenty of books out there ofĀ people who haveĀ figured outĀ their own tricks and solutions, like this one on Amazon.com.

Now, I realize I’ve been pretty general in this posting, but I did so with the intent of doing follow up articles with specific meal suggestions that are healthy and filling to get you where you need to go. Until next week, experiment with the preparation process and see what you can come up with that works for you and your family. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have a great week!

I’m back…. I hope

When I finally got back on the internet and started working on my next blog I got blue screened on my computer. šŸ˜¦ But I FINALLY have my computer back and it seems to be in working order. I am hoping to get back into the swing of posting again in the near future. My apologies.

Recently, though I’ve been unable to beĀ online, I’ve been staying busy crocheting and creating my own crochet pattern. Plus, I’ve been writing some… working on some poems and scenes for a fiction story I have in the works. So, it hasn’t been all bad. šŸ˜€

See you next weekend with a craft or food story. Not sure which yet. Lol. Have a great week! šŸ˜€15Jun13- Vespers 4