Thursday, July 25, 2013

#2 Breakfast

First - Eat Breakfast
     "Them most important meal of the day."  My favorite meal of the day.   I have also started to hear that breakfast should be the largest meal of the day.  "OK." (with a big smile).   I actually cook breakfast and will make anything.  Pancakes, french toast, omelets, toad in a hole, bacon, sausage, pork roll and scrapple, you name it, I'll cook it up.   If you know me, I don't really like to cook.  Most of the time I view food as the enemy, but not breakfast.   Eat breakfast, CHECK.

Second - Eat a Healthy Breakfast
     I love eggs.  I would have to say most days of my life have started with eggs, especially an egg sandwich.  (There is the evil bread.)  I fry them with a little olive oil; we have the Misto Olive Oil Sprayer and use the oil we like.  In an effort to keep the bread factor down, I usually have a 100 Cal Thomas's English Muffin.  It has less calories, sodium and sugar than whole gain white bread, but the same Carbs.  

     To lessen the carbs, I try to have what I call, Veggie Eggs.  I will sauté onion, carrots, peppers and/or zucchini and then scramble eggs with it.  Then I might put tomatoes on top.  Sometimes I use leftover veggies from dinner, like Frosted Broccoli.  I do like meat with my eggs but I limit that as well.  Once in a while we will have Turkey Bacon or Chicken Sausage.
 My second favorite breakfast is oatmeal.  I grew up on Quaker Instant but now we buy Quick Oats and make our own.  Apple Cinnamon/Apple Pie, Maple and Brown Sugar and Peanut Butter and Jelly.  But there are other recipes I want to try too, like Bananas and Strawberries.  I also would like to try oatmeal and yogurt.

     I make 1/2 a cup of oats, but I can only eat half of that at breakfast.  So, I either split it with my guy or I will save the other have for a mid-morning snack.  Did I mention I eat breakfast at 6am.  Noon is a long time to try to hold off on lunch.
     I also make oatmeal with an egg.  This was the recipe that started me making my own oatmeal.   They call it Savory Oatmeal, makes it creamier, heartier. Whatever quick oat recipe I use, I add an egg.  The trick is to mix the egg up really good the other indigents before cooking, that way you do not end up with actual bits of egg.

Third - Make it Natural
      How to make breakfast more natural?  Well, that is a challenge.  I feel using the Misto helps to limit that oil (fat) content and saves money, instead of buying cooking sprays at the supermarket.  The Misto is reusable, we've had ours for about two years.

     The tomatoes I use are from our garden right now.  Soon we'll have peppers too.  That makes part of my veggie eggs home grown.  I want to start making more bread as well.  I recently made French Bread and had it for breakfast with eggs and it was very good.  

    Making our own oatmeal makes me feel pretty savvy.  And we make that as healthy as we can, because we control the ingredients.  For example, using honey or agave instead of sugar.  We use natural peanut butter and never add salt. 

     What I would really love is to use farm fresh eggs, and we have.  We were give some chicken and duck eggs from chickens and ducks right here in our town.  As excited as I was to use them, I hesitated and researched and finally ate them.  I made breakfast with the chicken eggs and Tony used the duck eggs for baking and to bread meats.  Duck eggs will help your cake rise higher and they have more protein. And the chicken eggs were great.  I have joked about raising chickens because I eat so many eggs, but if I can get them fresh from the farm, that'll do.

     We also like to buy Honey from a local bee farm - Herbertsville Honey.  We started buying products from them a few years ago at Cattus Island Day.  They are also at several farmers markets during the week.  We have tried - of course their honey, creamed honey, hot honey, lip balm, face cream and the honey sticks.  Remember, local bee pollen can help with allergies.

Lastly - Coffee
     Last week I mentioned, I love Coffee.  But I didn't always.  I was a tea drinker.  In college, when out with friends, I would have half a cup of coffee with the other half milk and sugar.   Then in 1998, I was introduced to French Vanilla Creamer.  OMG! Talk about the evil things.  I now had a sweet appreciation for coffee.  Since I drank tea all the time, anytime, I was able to drink coffee all the time.  And then I started working in a coffee shop.  Overnight.  With all the coffee I wanted.  Yes, they had French Vanilla Creamer.  My life became coffee.  BUT I have recovered!  I am drinking one cup, in the morning, after breakfast.  I use 1% milk and as little sugar as I can.  I am at two teaspoons.  I gave up the half watered down second cup, as mentioned last week.

    But this brings me to - how to make coffee a better, more natural thing.  Well, coffee grinds are great for composting and this year we got a composter.  Not only that, but the egg shells and veggie ends can go in the composter too.  Now I can also lessen our carbon footprint with breakfast and make mulch or "black gold" for our garden, to grow more vegetables, for my veggie eggs.  Anyone else hear "The Circle of Life" playing?

~ Deb

Thursday, July 18, 2013

#1 Getting more Water into my life.

           I live in New Jersey.  I live at the Jersey Shore.  But thankfully my life is nothing like the TV show of the same name.

           I have been trying to live better in many aspects of my life.  Most of us are.  I get frustrated because there is so much I want to do and change, but it can't be done at once and most things take time.  I think my biggest challenge will be losing my need for "Instant Gratification" that the technological advances of our society offer.  So, let’s start small, simple, back to basics.

          We all need water. Our bodies are more than half water.  The Earth is about 3/4 water.  Water is H2O.  It can be a liquid, a solid or a gas.  Water carved out the Grand Canyon.  Last October water devastated the Jersey Shore, New York, Connecticut; overall - a portion of the East Coast.  Water is beautiful and strong.

         Water is Vital to Life. 

        Water is said to be the most important thing for our bodies, a necessity.  It replenishes, curbs appetite, detoxifies, is good for your skin and so much more.  Why is it so hard to drink something so naturally perfect for us?

           I like coffee. Coffee with sugar and French Vanilla creamer.  It is my worst enemy. (along with bread)  I have already made great progress on the coffee front.  I use less sugar and 1% milk instead of creamer.  But I also have a water rule that I am not fully following yet, which is in part what gave me the idea for this blog.  For a few years now I have told myself, if I am going to drink coffee, I need to drink water.  That is, drink 8oz of water before my coffee.  But when I drank coffee all day - that was a lot of liquid to consume.  

          I have 1 cup a day right now, in the morning.  Sometimes if there is a little left in the pot, I will have a watered down second cup.  Not always worth it.  What I do, is while I am making/eating breakfast, I have 8oz of water.  Then I can enjoy my coffee.  I have followed this rule most days this month.  My problem is, we humans are supposed to drink about 8 - 8oz glasses of water, per day, every day.  I have good days where I will have up to 3 glasses.  Good day, but sad effort.  I have found my niche for the first glass, I just need 7 more.

* niche - ok, maybe I should have said trick or device but I like this definition of the word - the ecological role of an organism in a community especially in regard to food consumption. Not completely fitting, but I worked it out in my head. 

          Of course having a glass with lunch and dinner takes care of two more, which I usually have a low sweetened tea (1/3c sugar to a gal.)   When I exercise, also not doing regularly yet, topic for another day, I will drink about 2 more glasses.  Doing the math, if I exercise and have water instead of tea at meals, I am up to 5 glasses a day, WooHoo!  If I add a mid-morning and mid-afternoon and before bed glass, I would have 8.  Still seems easier said than done.

          I am sure you can tell I am the type of person who likes her water one glass at a time.  A lot of people prefer to have a large cup, like a 32oz travel cup.  I understand the reasoning and have tried it before.  32oz is half you water for the day and if the cup is transparent, you can see your progress easily.  You would just need to finish the first 32oz in during the first half of the day and refill it for the second half of the day, drinking it by the time you go to bed.   Doesn't sound bad.  But it is too much for me.  I will calculate how much I need to drink an hour and break that into 15 min increments.  I will make mental lines on the cup of where I should be at different times of the day.  It will consume my thoughts and stress me out when something comes up and I fall behind.  Besides an 8oz cup is less intimidating than 32oz.

         Having the positive push of what I have just written, I am on a second glass right now.  I am going to see how far I can get today, tomorrow - the next week.  Who will join me in an effort to do what should be effortless?  Give our bodies the one thing it needs most - WATER.

Bonus - while fact checking, I came across an interesting question about water.  Does pure water exist naturally?

~ Deb