Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I may still be learning, but some things I already know

This quote has jumped out at me several times in the past few days. At the same time, I've had at least 2 conversations about a lifetime of learning, and what exactly that means. It's not just learning how to code or why pelicans stand on one leg. It's also making little tweaks in my daily life, and seeing what works.

Dietary tweaks this week include breakfast smoothies:
 4-5 ice cubes,
 ~2 cups water,
 ~4 cups of dark leafy greens,
 1 cup of frozen mixed berries,
 2 tbsp of THIS protein powder.

The protein powder by itself tastes pretty nasty, and a single serving is at least twice what I'm using. Mixed with the berries and greens though, it's good enough. It gets me hydrated first thing, and makes taking my supplements easier than with just water. I thought it would push my entire eating schedule back, but that hasn't been the case. I find I’m still hungry when I get to work, so that's when I have my hard boiled eggs. The biggest difference is in when I get hungry for lunch. That timeframe is now pushed back at least an hour, some days up to an hour and a half. Also, I find I don't get hungry until later in the afternoon and early evening. I'm not ready for dinner until at least 7.

I've gone back and forth about using the protein powder. The powders I can use are limited, because I can't use anything that adds iodine to my diet. It's not exactly Paleo or a whole food, but it is an easy way to get protein without too many calories. Not that I'm counting calories right now. I could add a raw egg to my smoothie, and have in the past. There is the whole salmonella issue with that, as well as the fact I'm already eating several eggs a day. I'm using the protein powder now, but am thinking about using just greens and berries and seeing how my eating schedule fares with that. I've also been digging around online for recipes, and may have to try some other variations as well:
Metabolism Boosting Smoothie: I'm trying to stay as close to Paleo as possible, in an attempt to heal my gut and possibly reduce the effects of my auto-immune disease. For this reason, I won't add yogurt or beans to my smoothies, though I’m sure they would taste wonderful. However, almonds and flaxmeal would give me some protein and keep me full for a time.  
Sweet Spinach Smoothie: You wouldn't know it by my diet this past week, but I’m trying to keep the carbs in check. For this reason, I won’t add both a pear and grapes to my smoothies. Avocado, however, would make them very smooth!  
Green Tea Smoothie: I would do this one with berries instead of grapes, and maybe try it without the honey first. 
 Introduction of the breakfast smoothie does not mean I've eaten entirely clean this week. Monday some 3rd party vendor showed up to thank our company for something or other, and brought 2 Costco shopping carts worth of candy. I didn't find it difficult at all to avoid the gluten and peanut options, but I've lost count of the Almond Joy and Peppermint Patties I've consumed in the past few days. I refuse to be upset at myself over this. I may still be learning, but some things I already know. First off, I know how I get around sugar, and I know how hard it is for me to resist when it's Sitting Right. There. This is who I am, and it doesn't make sense to get angry at myself for behaving the way I always behave. Second, because I don't keep it around, I rarely eat candy. This is not an every day occurrence. Third, I am not the only person eating the candy, and it will be gone from the office by the end of the week.
This is also the first week I've had a full batch of Kombucha brewed. The process (and my schedule) requires I bottle on Saturday, and the secondary fermenting isn't complete until at least Tuesday or Wednesday. This means I drank more sugar than I intended, early in the week. The yeast and bacteria consume the sugar, so more fermented tea has fewer carbs. Fermenting depends on sugar and acid content, time, and room temperature, which is why it can vary by a day or more. This batch came out to just over 4 gallons, which provides me with about 2 quarts/day. There should be some left over by the time I next bottle, so eventually I will have enough fully fermented tea to last until the next batch is fully fermented.

I learn more with every batch of tea. This week I tried using apple juice instead of the cranberry I used last week. I prefer the cranberry, and found it does not take as long to ferment as the apple. I also found, when using quart mason jars, the metal caps are not ideal. The fermentation caused the lids to bow, allowing some of the fizz to escape. Wal-Mart had plastic lids at one point, and I'm hoping I can find those again before next week's batch. I also need to leave more space at the top of the bottle or jar, so they don't overflow when I open them.
Because PRETTY!

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