Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hello to my little childhood friend

Woke up with part of a voice and decided I should be well enough to get back to exercising, After all, outside of the pain in my throat and some minor sniffles and being a little tired, I felt fine and sitting around is not the greatest thing ! So let's start the day with a good breakfast. Something a little different this morning came to mind. A few weeks back our market was out of steel cut oats , and I bought some multigrain cereal in it's place ( wheat, barley, rye,spelt,oats,rice,millet cracked like steel cut oats). I found steel cut oats at the next store as a temporary item and bought them as well. Sadly the multigrain cereal has sat, so I decided to include it in breakfast today

Oatie Grainy mix

2 apples, diced
2 cups water
1 T raisins
1/2 cup multi grain hot cereal
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats

Place apples, raisins, water and multigrain cereal in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a rolling boil.
Pour in the rolled oats and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.Place in bowls and top with 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries and 1 T goji berries

Goji berries get a lot of hype as a "miracle food"with more vitamin c than any other plant source and many other erroneous claims. Much of the hype is not based on any fact, but bad information passed from source to source. Goji berries have been used in eastern medicine for almost 2,000 years because they do have medicinal qualities- there they are known more commonly as wolf berries and often used to treat liver ailments and diseases that have a root cause in the liver.So what exactly is the truth about goji berries ?

They contain
* Selenium and Germanium: These are well-known anti-cancer agents.
*Beta Sitosterol: This anti-inflammatory agent has been found to lower cholesterol, and has been used to treat impotence and prostate enlargement. Some have considered them to be an aphrodesiac for this reason.
*Zeaxanthin and Lutine: Have been known to protect the eyes.
*Betaine: Produces Choline in the liver, which helps detoxification processes there. It is also known to protect DNA, enhance memory, encourage muscle growth and protect against fatty liver disease.
*Cyperone: Used in treatment of cervical cancer. Known to benefit blood pressure, heart and menstruation problems.
*Solavetivone: An anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent.
*Physalin: A compound known to boost the immune system. Also found effective in treating leukemia, cancer and hepatitis B.

5 tablespoons of dried berries contain 112 calories, 21 grams sugars, 170% daily value of Vitamin A, 20% vitamin c and 12% iron

Once breakfast was over we began school and after a few subjects we headed out for a walk.Sunny day, nice and warm, should be a great thing . As soon as we hit the outside my lungs started behaving oddly. The best I could describe it was an itchy swelling kind of feeling- much like you feel with a mosquito bite, but in my throat. The feeling spread to my bronchial passages, and suddenly I was finding it difficult to breathe. As a child I had bronchial asthma, and this was feeling like the start of an asthma attack. They are very frightening, and I no longer have any kind of an inhaler or medication to deal with these , so I had to force myself to calm down, move slowly but deliberately back into the house and deal with this as best as I could with what herbs I had on hand. It seems that what I am dealing with may not be a cold, but instead an allergic reaction to one of the pollens in our area at this time. We have an unusually high amount of water hemlock this year, and it has come up early.There are also numerous false honeysuckles in bloom, but it seems that those are not a known allergen. I think to be on the safe side, till my cold is completely gone or the water hemlock stops blooming, I best limit my workouts to indoors. We came back in, exercised with the Wii and continued with school till it was time for lunch- 15 bean soup and tabbouleh on a bed of baby spinach


1 cup bulgar ( cook according to package directions)
1/2 c lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil -- or more
2 bunches parsley -- chopped finely(must be fresh)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 bunches green onions -- sliced thinly
3 fresh tomatoes -- chopped
1 can garbanzo beans , drained and chopped

Place the bulgar , mint, parsley tomatoes and onions in a bowl and toss . Combine lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl, whisk and pour on salad mixture. Toss. Cover and refrigerate. Will keep in the refrigerator covered for a week.

The rest of the day was spent with school and other mundane things till it was time for dinner. I decided to try something a little different- a variation on the ole campfire packet dinner. In campfire packets the food is placed in a foil packet, and the moisture from the food itself creates steam in the high heat and the result is a very moist and flavorful meal with minimal clean up. It can be done at home in an oven set to a high heat as well. I served these with Ronzoni pasta flavored with mushrooms and garlic sauteed in a wipe of walnut oil and water (stir steam if you will) , and a salad of romaine, watercress, dandelion greens and navel oranges with sunflower seeds.

Breast of chicken with asparagus and carrots serves 4

1/8 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp parsley
2 tsp lemon juice
1 leek -- thinly sliced
1 carrot -- cut into sticks
4 boneless -- skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into .25 in. strips
1lb asparagus -- trimmed and cut into 1 in. lengths
heavy duty aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 450°F. Tear off 1 large piece of foil for each serving. Arrange sliced chicken
in center of lower half of each length of foil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with equal
amounts of asparagus, carrot, and onion. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl.
Pour equal amounts of mixture over each. Fold two ends of foil together and tightly fold
3 or 4 times. Repeat process with ends to seal packet tightly. Arrange foil packets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes and serve.

Last night I was kept awake with a lot of coughing and sneezing in an attempt to dispense about 50 pounds of crud in my lungs that had been building all day. I think this means that this cold/allergy thing is not done with me yet, and I will have to baby myself for a little while still. I don't like it. Being sick is very uninteresting and a hassle that keeps me from doing what I wish to do. Oh well- best see what I can learn from this experience !


Diane Fit to the Finish said...

It does sound like allergies, especially since it got markedly worse when you went outside. Have you tried any of the over-the-counter allergy meds? My hubby swears by Claritin. He suffers horribly and is allergic to dust of all things! Every time he'd clean out the garage he'd end up with a sinus infection, but the Claritin helped immensely.

Thanks for the info on the Goji. I had heard of them but didn't know any of that info!!

Hope you have a day of easy breathing.

spunkysuzi said...

I have to agree with Diane. Last year i was being treated for bronchitis by my dr and the pharmacist asked if i had allergies she suggested i try one and voila everything cleared up :)
And they were ready to put me on super antibiotics!!

Leslie said...

I knew exactly the feeling you described with the "itchy" lungs...I have asthma and use Advair daily. My chest feels itchy and twitchy at times! The pollen really kicks my lungs' asses (if they had them!) during spring! I take generic OTC Zyrtec, as Claritin has never touched my allergies.

All your food sounds so good. Thanks for the Goji berry lesson - I knew they were one of the new big things, but didn't know any facts.

Your post reminded me that I have a bag of a 15 bean mix for soup. I'll have to make some - even in warm warm weather it's good and filling with huge hits of protein and fiber.

The Incredible Shrinking Family said...

Diane and suzi- Thanks for the tip! I keep Benadryl in the house because I have an allergy to fish and shellfish , but I really hesitate taking it. One Benadryl and I sleep for hours ! I have not tried Claritin, but I believe it would be a good idea to do so - I have not tried it because respiratory allergies have not been an issue in the past.Fish and seafood were never an issue till my body got closer to menopause and I suddenly could not eat it or touch it without breaking out in hives. This year the water hemlock is so bad here that it forms a carpet and chokes out even the dandelions !
Leslie- you can make a big batch and freeze it in individual portions. Having a freeze full of soup or cooked beans or grains or so forth is a kind of wealth that few people think much about !

Kim said...

Ok, gonna try to leave a comment...I hope it works. I tried commenting on your most recent post but it wouldn't let me. I agree with you about it being such an awesome thing when our kids catch on to a concept. It is truly rewarding. Also, you can take the actual bee pollen mixing it in applesauce. I live here in farm town and have some friends that raise bees. Their family always crumbles the pollen into food. It really helps them. Local honey is great too, but the pollen is even more potent. :) Again, I LOVE all the nurtrient info you put out here in your posts. It's awesome. :) Now, hoping this will go through.

Kim said...

Yay! It went through. lol