pHinding a Balance.

Breaking news: I slept in today. Wahoo! I’m so glad, too; I really think I needed it. I woke up at my regular time, but willed myself back to sleep and slept right up until 8:00. A perfect, reasonable time!

And ohhh, today turned out to be a day and a half – it was perfect. Buckle up, here we go!

I was excited for breakfast this morning, too. I knew just what I wanted!

I decided on Peppy Kernels being my next Bob’s product (I’ll have to rank my favorite Bob’s products soon!! Granted – stuff like spelt flakes, rye flakes, etc. can be any brand, but we all know that Bob’s the man. No, I’m not being paid to say this. I probably should be, though. I’d rock a Bob’s shirt!) I also remembered the yellow mango I picked up last time I was in Hannafords.

Now, I really just had the intent of getting a normal mango, but the yellow mangoes were on sale. I’m not sure if it was just a marketing scheme to get rid of their normal mangoes that were ugly since there was not taste difference (it was just smaller) but if it was, I’m a fool for advertising. I will admit that any day.

It was smaller than a normal mango, small enough that I just used the whole thing. Well, that or I just got carried away cutting it since they look so cool when you cube them and turn them inside out. I think it was more the latter. But other than that, it had no noticeable taste difference.

Where was I? Oh, right. Breakfast. It just so happened to be 100% amazing. I think the fact that I woke up while the sun was coming out made me crave the more tropical-y flavors, whereas when I usually wake up it’s still a little dark and I crave the “warmer” flavors of figs, apples, pears, etc.

The Base:

The Toppings:

  • Chia-Flax Icing
  • Naturally Nutty White Choco Coconut PB
  • cashews
  • and a chutney of the rest of the mango, shredded coconut, and maple-sweetened cranberries simmered in almond milk and maple syrup.

I am not lying when I say this is the best bowl so far of the week. That’s really saying a lot considering my diehard love of figs. Maybe it was the new peppy kernels? Maybe it was those awesome chia seeds Rebekah sent me, giving them extra oomph? Maybe it was how long it’s been since I’ve had mango? Maybe it was the fact that the sun was shining and gorgeous? Maybe I should stop with all the maybes?

Enjoyed with a cup of Green Mountain Southern Pecan. In case you couldn’t tell, it’s all I’ve got left other than Wild Mountain Blueberry, and blueberry isn’t an every day sort of flavor.

I love the Peppy Kernels!! I will say, I initially thought I’d opened a bag of birdseed, and then checked the ingreds again and saw hulled millet. That’d explain it. Scent aside, it provides a lovely crunch from the millet and sesame seeds, but is balanced perfectly by the rolled oats, too. I love a mix of soft & chewy/crunchy. Hence why I tend to mix to begin with. Buh-duhm-chhh!

Initial plans for my day off (yes – completely, honestly, nothing to be strapped to) were to play/work at the barn, but there was an unfortunate change of plans and the barn chicka would have to run out mid-day. So, I set out on a mission.


Yep. I’ve been buying loaves long enough that I just want to make my own. I got the “bug” last night and tried finding a good seedy bread/dakota loaf-esque recipe but didn’t have much luck. This morning was similar. I thought maybe I could cheat and get a good mix, so ran to the grocery store. I needed fruit anyways.

I could have gotten close, but honestly, I just found it comical that we still have a snow shovel on our deck.

Well, they didn’t have any mixes worth trying, but I did successfully pick up these three random things.

My mom: “Why’d you get a blackberry tree?”

Me: “Why wouldn’t I get a blackberry tree?”

Actually, the blackbeary tree was pretty well received. Even moreso by the black bears that it will attract, I bet.

And red peppers.

And diced canned beets. I dunno. Just because. Give me something to do with them.

Of course, I also got what I actually went for – bananas, balsamic vinegar, beans, and vital wheat gluten. Not worth a shopping trip if the store wasn’t five minutes away and I had a free day, but hey. I also wanted to find a good nutrition magazine. I didn’t.

I can't believe I'm posting this.

In case you’re wondering if I bothered to go to the grocery store looking even remotely civilized, I didn’t.

ANYWAYS. I finally found a recipe to try. I’m not sure if it was a “I’m so sick of looking at recipes I’m just going to use this one,” effort, though. It’s really hard to find “seedy bread” recipes. Do you have a go-to? Anyways, I ended up using all whole wheat flour, added sunflower seeds, and some vital wheat gluten in hopes to make up for using all WW flour. Oh and I used 1 T. honey and 1 T. molasses. Rather than 2 T. honey. I’ve gotta thank Bonnie for this, though – couldn’t have been made without the local (from Texas) Honey and sunflower seeds she sent me!! Edit: it might help if I link to the recipe I used for those changes to Β make sense. Here ya go.

I could have cropped this so it wasn't questionable as to whether I have thumbs - but I found it more comical like this.

I sort of prayed to the bread machine gods (yes, I also wimped out and went the bread machine route) and happened to look at the clock when it was 11:11. Am I the only one who still thinks “quick make a wish!” when they see 11:11 on a clock? Anyways, I wished the bread would work.

While I figured out the programming modes on le bread machine and finally got it running, I nommed on a caramel Oikos with some dried cranberries using a crooked spoon.

A crooked spoon. Not to be confused with Crooked Teeth.

And did a video. Ee gads. I might be becoming an addict. Kaia wanted to join me, too.

What else I’m addicted to? Seeing how many different variations of el panino I can come up with. Take #95:

Locally made apple rum walnut conserve spread on my last two slices of dakota loaf (okay, so I actually cut them so they were like, 3/4s of a slice…two whole slices of this bread is always way too filling for me and latelyI don’t feel as bad wasting stuff that the horses will eat. They eat all of our banana peels, stems from greens, bread – pretty much everything but onions, apples, potatoes, and peppers.) and then some of the apple-maple tempeh I baked the other day, plus some baby spinach, gala apple slices, and red pepper. I wasn’t sure if the red pepper would be too out-there, even for me – but I ended up loving the contrast of flavors, and the nice crisp crunch it provided. I’ve been red-pepper obsessed lately.

How’d I make that apple-maple baked tempeh? Well, I did it the lazy way. I just mixed up some unsweetened applesauce, maple-dijon mustard, and a splash of maple syrup and then slathered it all over the tempeh before baking it, flipping halfway in between.At the time I only had one apple left, or else I would have just thrown chopped apples, maple syrup, and a splash of water in a baking dish and then tossed the tempeh in it & baked that way.

I enjoyed this all with a boatload of cottage cheese and plain greek yogs with some honey-roasted peanuts and more dried cranberries. (what is with me & the dried cranberries lately?) I forgot all about the rest of my apple until I was cleaning up and saw it sitting on the cutting board. I was perfectly content so I donated it to the “horse salad” bowl before just deciding to make a direct donation to the Jiggy Foundation.

Apple? Mom, Just give me the apple.

Thank you!

I cleaned my car. Kaia thought we were going for a ride.

Found loot hiding in there.

Hoodies, shoes, socks, mittens, and negatives. I made bank on that cleaning mission.

And my first camera.

Do the contents of your car describe you as well as mine do me? Empty nut jars...

(kidding about the first camera thing. I’m not that old.)

I must have gotten bit by the cleaning bug because then I decided to clean the kitchen…and then found a present at the front door!

I was surprised my coffee came already – it said delicery in 5-7 days. Then I said “Wow, Jess, you’re really dense. It’s Green Moountain coffee. Coming from the green mountain state. Why would it take the full five days if it’s coming from next door?” D’uh. I don’t really talk to myself, but sometimes I do wonder what on earth I’m thinking half the time.

Snagged a few spoonfuls of this

This ice cream (er - frozen dessert) is really sweet and really chocolatey - but for some reason, I still really like it.

before deciding I wanted this

April’s protein cake – made with 1 T. Tera’s Whey bourbon vanilla, 1 T. oat bran, baking powder, applesauce, and egg whites. Smeared with Crofters. And a side of Snyders with Sunbutter. This is actually a snack I have commonly at night, but since I was home I wanted it now. Same goes for the So Delicious.

And eventually, my bread was done.

Have cutting board, will travel.

I split the end slice with my mom fresh out of the “oven.” Verdict? It’s okay. It’s definitely edible, and I think I’ll like it for paninis (it’s got a nice thick crust) but it’s not quite a bread that I would love just as much simply toasting and smearing with a dab of butter, you know? So the hunt is still on for the perfect seedy bread recipe. Preferably a mock Dakota bread recipe – never would have thought it’d be so difficult to find one. I will say, there’s nothing wrong with it – it cooked up quite nice and is a nice, moist loaf – just not what I was aiming for, nah’mean? It was a confidence booster, if you will – I think I’ll go back to baking my own now πŸ™‚

Then we went for a short horseback ride before dinner. I used one of her western saddles rather than my english – and felt so weird! I think western saddles make me nervous because I can’t feel the horse. Sounds backwards, but oh well. Eventually I learned to just relax and enjoy it for its’ comfort – because it was comfortable!

My mom and I spied a white eggplant last time we went grocery shopping together, and luckily she is as much of an eggplant lover as I and was pretty intrigued by it, too. I’ve held off on using it because I wanted to wait for a day we were both home to try it for dinner. Tonight was the night! I thought I’d just go for an eggplant parm (I’m running out of eggplant recipes — what’s your fav?!) but then was greeted by Nicole’s eggplant pizza in my google reader. I love how when I’m searching for a recipe, I can never chose one…yet when I’m not, one will immediately jump out on me and I’ll say “I’m making this.” Note that that was actually sarcasm. I hate how that happens.

Anyways – after coming in from riding to make dinner, I almost opted to make a stuffed eggplant similar to my stuffed pepper – but wasn’t sure if my mom would be a fan of quinoa (even though she loved my red pepper, haha) so I played it safe, and just made quinoa for the side. Ironically, she raved about the quinoa. Yay! It was mighty good – and so was the eggplant! I loved this dinner. Simple, too.

For the eggplant, I did basically the same as Nicole – but used kale to line it, fire roasted diced tomatoes, and canned mushrooms. Added some roasted red peppers and in the final minutes of baking topped with some feta.

For the quinoa, I just prepared two servings and added the eggplant innards that I had cubed. Also added in some balsamic and the rest of the canned mushrooms and tomatoes, as well as some feta. It was great!! Love the idea, too πŸ™‚


pHinding a Balance

I know what your thinking, and yes – I intended to spell “finding” with a ph. Aren’t I clever? You’ve probably heard random bits about finding the perfect balance of body pH. If you’re like me, you also didn’t quite understand all of it. I am no science junkie. As soon as you start getting all “alkaline-vs-acid-pH-balance” on me, I’m bound to just squint my eyes and look at you like you’re speakingΒ Tibetan. Because to me, you are. But, since I’ve seen talk of body pH becoming more and more prevalent, I decided to see what I can make out if it, and try to understand the role of pH when it comes to your body.

Recap of chem: pH=potential of hydrogen. <7= acidic, >7=alkaline. That means water is neutral, a car battery = 1, and bleach=12.5.

An ideal body pH is 7 or slightly alkaline. When your diet becomes out of balance and the majority of your food starts to fall to the side of being acid-yielding, low-grade metabolic acidosis has the tendency to develop. Say whaa? Basically, it contributes to the decline of bone and muscle mass, typically in aging adults. Why? Since your body’s pH has lowered from all of the acid-yileding foods (for instance, a diet comprising primarily of refined grains, meats, dairy, eggs, and seafood)your body tries to out-smart you, having your kidneys coordinate activities (sounds like a military in there – the kidneys are sending out troops to battle acid!) involving your bones releasing calcium and magnesium, and your muscles breaking down to produce ammonia. Sounds scary, right? Ammonia is strongly alkaline, hence being released in efforts to reverse your body’s acidity. While it may “work,” it leaves the integrity of your bones and muscle lacking.

Now, don’t get all worried and start thinking if you go a couple days, weeks, months even – living off of those primarily acidic foods. These effects won’t be noticed for decades – so basically, you’d have to be eating like this for years. This is why often times, metabolic acidosis is simply confused with old age. Makes sense, right? As people age, their bones may have a tendency to decrease in integrity, so for a while – this was an honest mistake by doctors, and also the reason why body pH has been overlooked. And like anything in the world, there are advocates saying body pH is the most important thing to maintain, and just as many dieticians saying it’s all flak.

So, if it takes so long to see the adverse effects of an acidic body pH, why even bother? Well, why not? It’s not like it’s difficult – all fresh fruits and veggies are alkaline yielding (even if it may be an acidic food, like oranges and apples) Eating enough of them – and surely we all do – helps the body to stay neutral. (think: 35% of your daily calories)

Other acid-yielding foods? as mentioned, dairy – but in addition, fowl, grains, legumes, meat, nuts, rice, and sugars.

Seems scary at first glance, right? I live on legumes. And grains. And nuts. But that’s where balance comes in – I also live on fresh fruits and veggies!

How about you – what do you know about body pH? More than me, I bet – but I hope I explained it okay! It’s one thing I find quite interesting, though can’t necessarily say I put 100% of my faith in, you know? I think I’d get a kick out of taking a body pH test, won’t lie, haha. At first I thought “oh, good – look at all these acid-yielding foods I eat. I’m going to have kidney failure and frail bones and die in a year!” But – I don’t think any of us have anything to worry about, because there is that balance we find, looking to fresh fruits and veggies for a better part of our meals.

My fault? I am a little addicted to sodium – and I think that will prove to be a perfect future post in itself πŸ˜‰

Have a great night lovemuffins! (aha…I’m laughing re-reading this. dang, I eat a lot. )


Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe, Uncategorized

28 responses to “pHinding a Balance.

  1. Oh that PH stuff…that’s so over my head πŸ˜› anything to do with science…I’d be interested to know my PH balance though!
    Your horse pics – BAH, you totally put mine to shame – they’re so sharp and clear and gorgeous! And your DOG!! What breed is he? I would LOVE a dog like that πŸ™‚
    And if I pay you big $$$, will you send me a carton of all these amazig peanut butter flavours you have!? I’m seriously not joking, what I would do for them…maybe you’d like my right arm, or a leg instead?
    And finaalllyy, you have beautiful eyes πŸ™‚ I mean that in a nice friendly way, not a pervy stalker way too!! Have a good evening πŸ™‚

  2. the pretzels and sunbutter are calling me!!! snyder’s used to be my drug of choice in high school.

    and guess what? i’m ATTEMPTING to recreate that energy bar you sent me tomorrow! i’m kinda just winging it from a “brain” recipe… eek! wish me luck.

  3. Those peppy kernels look delicious! That is great about your bread making..I wish I was better at baking ahaha…But I have found a few recipees like “dakota” bread no that I have ever had dakota bread but love seedy whole-grainy bread, I can email you them.

  4. I love you! I would love to walk around with you all day! I am a salty girl…I can’t help it. I have actually started cutting back on it. It is an addiction. I have no idea what my ph is. I would be afraid to find out specifics. I think I eat well balanced, but who knows??? I saw the eggplant on Nicole’s site too and I hate to make it! Great use of the innards. I was thinking about that myself! Your bread looks beautiful. Bread is so tricky. You have to suffer through a lot of not so good to get to the good! I hope what’s in my car does not describe me…there is a ton of stinky boy stuff in there! I would guess you had a camera like that though. Tony (my husband) and I are always looking at those cameras when we go to the antique marts. Love those places! Your animals are too cute too. I am sure Jiggy appreciated the apple! Have a great night!

  5. I laughed when you said blueberry isn’t an everyday kind of coffee because my father in law loves that flavor (also from Green Mountain) and mixes it into his coffee everyday. Personally I don’t like it. Good job on the bread!! I always cheat and use the bread machine, hey why not right?? Hopefully next time it will come out more how you want it. and your eggplant pizza looks so good, I had the other half tonight and added goat cheese, it was even better. And i’m going to the store tocheck out some Bob’s products tomorrow, I’ll let you know what I end up with!

    As for ph I have heard of it, but I have no clue what mine is!

  6. and I’m SO glad you’re loving yogadownload!

  7. Dee

    That bread looks amazing! Wow!

    I make wishes on 11:11 and all the good stuff! πŸ˜‰

    LOL! You’re post made me crack up today. Just what I needed!

    And a total OMG to your dinner! Eggplant Pizza looks amazing!

    I have no idea what my body’s pH is. I learn so much from your blog! Seriously. πŸ™‚

  8. It’s funny that you mentioned the western saddle and not being able to feel the horse. I rode for two years in a western saddle before going bareback one time and felt so strange—like I would fall off at any given moment. Then my instructor told me just to relax and feel Hoosier (that was his name.) And everything kind of melded together. I still felt more comfortable on the western after being used to it, but english riding is something I could really fall in love with I think. πŸ˜€

    Gorgeous pictures as always! πŸ˜€

  9. I’m addicted to sodium too, it’s all good πŸ™‚
    Go YOU with the bread! I am incredibly impressed, bread machine or no. Maybe I should invest in one of those…?
    I’m not very wordy tonight (which may be a good thing for you?) but everything looks delicious, per usual.
    And that picture of you.. love you girl! You are still gorgeous!

  10. I love that 8 a.m. is sleeping in for you! I’m the same way! Great horse pics, girl! Those are hilarious.

  11. First, thank you for all the camera info! I seriously wish I went into photography sometimes but I was trying to rebel I guess since my father is a director, I don’t know…I love styling too. Food photography, food styling…just food! Second- you ARE fancy with your compotes. I think I may even try making one before my road trip tomorrow. Your mango oats look amazing…I haven’t seen that Bob’s anywhere. I might have to do a little searching. Third- I definitely still wish on 11:11, maybe too much. Fourth (god, these are still going…) – I have been secretly scared to make bread myself but really want to try soon! I am just not going to write anymore because this is getting ridiculous but I love love the photo you posted of yourself. Now can you make me some dinner? Anything with eggplant, kale, tomatoes, quinoa is right up my alley. Night lady.

  12. LOCAL HONEY IS THE BEST!! ❀ and girl, love that face, don't ever change! hehe

  13. Ok, I had more. My pup always is up for the yoga thing too…or maybe she just wants to lie on the mat, I think that may be it. Lastly, you definitely helped clarify all the pH info….I definitely eat similar eats to you but I think we are safe. My mother and I are both salt addicts. It is not like adding salt to every meal is along the lines of eating fast food meals a few days a week.

  14. I think you got it right when you say it’s all about balance. I was just reading about how preparing foods can alter their end pH too (such as soaking grains/legumes, etc.) which is pretty cool.

  15. I’ve just recently heard about the whole PH thing…and I’m really interested to learn more. Thank you for writing about it…I’m going to have to explore! What a delightful day you had! I love that you are so close to your mom. I’m sure she is just as beautiful and creative as you are. Your breakfast bowl and your sandwich looked scrumptious, and I’m glad you had a good experience baking bread. It is by far one of my favorite things to do. I just made a loaf of whole wheat bread with quinoa this afternoon…and I’ll be blogging about it soon. Thank you for your sweet comments, by the way, they make my day!

  16. Nic

    I just love reading your posts!!!! So glad I discovered your blog!!!
    And I’m curious if the fact that I found not ONE but THREE blogs
    involving horses might wanna say something?! Alas, I enjoy
    reading about horses and food and your witty writing is combining
    the two = LOVE!! πŸ˜‰
    Oh and as soon as you found the perfect bread recipe! Tell me!!
    Even though I’m not a big bread fan (I know, who am I?!) I’d love
    to find a great recipe to make in case I crave some bread (which
    might be rarly but it occures!!)!

  17. So many things I love about this post. First off, congrats on sleeping in! (Clearly I did not accomplish that today as it is currently 6am).
    All of your food looks AMAZING as per usual. I love those Blue Diamond nuts- the honey are so tasty! I love all the dog and horse pics. Oh and I definitely wish at 11:11! πŸ™‚

  18. Interesting stuff about the body PH! I have to admit, I’ve never even heard of it before, but as with all things touting a plant-based diet, I can definitely see how it’s true.

    Cleaning out my car is always interesting. My dad always yells at me for throwing so much trash in the side of my door…but yes, it says a lot about me. Mostly that I’m a gum addict and love Larabars!

  19. Susan

    I’ve really liked reading your little “articles” at the ends of each post. You put so much time and thought into them and I can really tell! I also like how you said that we don’t have to worry about acidosis unless we consume a highly acidic diet for decades – so many people read that something is not the best for them in excess and then they cut it out completely not realizing. We smarty pants know it’s all about balance, right? Although, even if someone told me farmer’s market eggs would kill me in ten years, I’d probably still eat them ; )

    Okay you know how you’ve written about how you aren’t quite sure what you want to do in the future. Well, I’ve figured it out for you sister. You should open a breakfast cafe with amazing oatmeal combos and do freelance writing on the side. Some editor will stop you place for a bowl, read your stuff, and offer you a book deal! That’s my little dream por vous.

  20. I’m so jealous you slept in today! I was up at 5:30 am again today. Pass on your sleeping in wisdom to me haha!

    That’s awesome that you tried to make bread! Even if it didn’t turn out exactly how you’d hoped, it still looks delicious. Hopefully you’ll have even better luck next time. πŸ™‚

  21. I still make a wish at 11:11! I swear they come true πŸ™‚

  22. i don’t know how on earth you cut that mango in bits like that. my mangoes just shred all over the place. i’ve read so many “instructions” on how to cut the damn fruit, but i can never do it!!! yours looks pretty! mine looks like trash. haha

  23. A few things…

    1. LOVE that photo of you!!! πŸ™‚

    2. I’d love if you ranked your favorite Bob’s products! I think that would be really helpful information.

    3. That apple-maple tempeh sounds delicious!

  24. I am either addicted to salt too or my body just needs a lot because it is one of the things that I will actually crave.

  25. I love salt and cannot live without it. Good thing I have super low blood pressure, right?

    I really like that picture of you. You look so real, which I love.

    I wish I could sleep in. I was up at 5:30 this morning as usual. Really ridiculous!!

  26. AH! I’ve been away from blog life for a few days and I MISS YOUR FOOD!!! Peppy Kernals? Love the name and now HAVE to try that!!! The eggplant looks awesome!

  27. wow I am loving your end of post great info…
    i love when you add extra pics..of course love the doggie pics, ha.. my honey and cup in the same post..too coll and wow girl love the pic of you!! YOUR goregous…love the nose bling..and your first camera woow…

  28. Michelle

    I really want a black berry tree like right now. That would be so cool to have in my back yard.

    I find it so hard to memorize exactly what foods are alkalizing and what foods are acidifying. I just try to eat balanced foods with proteins, sugars, carbohydrates and whatnot. But I agree with you that I would love to get a test and see what my level is.

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