Monday, February 2, 2009

Coping Mechanism One

Always. Be. Ready.

Part of today's American kitchen landscape involves insta-foods, like rice-a-roni, frozen veggie burgers, frozen burritos, etc. Hot Pockets, frozen pizzas, refrigerated dough. Frozen ravioli, jarred pasta sauce. You get the picture.

Next time you pop open a bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce, take a look at the ingredients. I can't pronounce several of the ingredients in Hunt's or Jack Daniels or... yeah. most of them.

given that I was the queen of quick and easy, eliminating these substances seriously cramped my cooking style. There was no more feeling virtuous as I whipped together a meal of steamed veggies, instant mashed potatoes and veggie burgers served on conventional bread.

Other than the steamed veggies, when we eliminated high fructose corn syrup and intensely processed soy, the entire rest of that menu was taken right off the list.

So, we cope. We adapt. We scream at each other when we're ravenous, there's nothing cooked and there's no chance of cheating, because we don't keep the crap in the house any more. (nothing makes us crazy like ravenous. really.)

One of our quickest, easiest tools is a Grain Pot. The recipe is loosely adapted from 101cookbooks, and has become a gem in my clean-cooking sceptor.

basically, we take 2 parts millet, 2 parts quinoa, 1 part wheat kernels, 1 part brown rice and 12 parts water (so, 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup and 3 cups) and microwave the whole thing in a covered casserole dish for 20 minutes. Viola. The base for any number of yummy dishes. And it keeps for the better part of a week.

The Challenge:

MSG and MSG mimics
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial Colors
Hydrogenated Oils

Why? Because the neurologist said to.
Well, ok, more specifically because in order to diagnose a processing weirdness, the neurologist said "cut this stuff out and we'll try a few other things to see if it gets better, but I need to know what I'm really seeing. Food sensitivities can sometimes act like real neurological barriers to normal function."

We gave it a shot and K's fibro symptoms... relinquished their vicious hold on our lives. She had stamina. She had a full range of motion. She could think clearly and remember things.

We were sold.

It is, however, hard work. No lie, in a world where most easy food comes from a chemistry lab, we've had to relearn a LOT about how we feed ourselves and our loved ones.

Mostly, I expect this blog to be our documentation of this process as we trudge along, figuring out what works and what doesn't.