Tag Archives: balance

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.

Bread.

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 ┬ámake 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 YogaDownload.com 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 ­čÖé

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 ­čÖé

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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 speaking┬áTibetan. 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 ­čśë

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

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