My favorite folks ! :)

20 September 2010

Busy, busy

 Murphy's Law abounds.  Sigh.  Yesterday i got to the Copper Q (recipes here) more than an hour before the cooking demo was due to start.  I bought a gluten-free (made in store) granola bar and some hot tea.  I brought knitting and staked out 3 chairs for myself and the two ladies coming to meet me.  I've been told that there are often as many as 35 people there (with 12 places to sit) and folks come an hour in advance.  I didn't want to stand this time and one of the ladies coming is elderly, she wouldn't want to stand, either. 

We had a total of six of us.  Yup, i arrived an hour early to stake out a chair no one wanted!  It wasn't bad, and i got 7 rows done on the blanket (which is looking lovely and is so very soft!)

Carla, the person who does these demos, did Cream of Mushroom Soup.  With a roux, which is made with flour (Roux happens to be my middle name).  So, i was prepared not to be able to taste it.  But she took some of the soup out before adding the roux, and made a small amount with cornstarch so i could try it.  (She was curious, too, to know how it would taste compared to the one made with flour.)  I "cheated" on being vegetarian/pescatarian because she made it with a "chicken base" - but after she went to the trouble to make this just for me, i didn't want to refuse it.  It was simply wonderful.  When i make it in the future, however, i'll make it with a vegetable broth/base.  She said the flavor isn't much different with cornstarch over flour and the difference might be that she didn't add butter to what she made for me.  

Anyway, i much appreciated the substitution and being able to taste the soup.  I recommend making it yourself!

Which is another issue on which i've been thinking for a while.

I eat gluten free.   There are a lot of GF sites and  blogs nowdays.  I appreciate them very much.  But much is being done to try to "recreate" the current diet of most Americans (SAD = Standard American Diet, which frankly IS sad).  There are lots of recipes which are for breads, pancakes, waffles, etc.  The problem, as i see it, however, is that grains just aren't that healthy for us.  I know the current (and many past) "food pyramids" have grains - pastas, breads, etc. - as the primary source of calories.  Many folks seem to think that substituting "whole wheat" for a more processed flour makes things healthier.

But in all of my research, and it is extensive at this point, everything points toward eating grain but especially wheat products - even whole wheat - as a very poor choice for health.  

Look at the history.  Processed foods began to be introduced in the early 1900s.  By 1950 there was much focus on "convenience foods" which made the life of the housewife easier.  By the 70s these were pretty much staples in everyone's kitchens.  In the 70s and 80s, however, much was said against cholesterol containing butter, whole milk, and other healthy fats.  Grain products began to be pushed as a mainstay of our diets.  (We were encouraged to stay out of the sun, too.  The #1 health problem in the country now?  Vitamin D deficiency.)

What has happened in the intervening 30+ years?  Heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, and obesity are rampant and increasing in a manner that has many concerned.  Many people are on daily medication for chronic health issues.  As a nation, following these guidelines, we have become very unhealthy.  Yet, little has been said about this.  It seems to be part of our collective consciousness that soy = good (not true), grains = good, whole-fat milk, butter, etc = bad.  I don't believe these lies and yet i still struggle with the idea that the Alfredo sauce we make with organic cheese, milk, and butter is "naughty."  

So, i really struggle with making (or buying) GF cookies, pasta, bread, etc. because i have come to believe that grains should be a very small part of our diet.  I don't deny them altogether, but i believe they should take the part of the "pyramid" currently assigned to fats.  

I also believe the vegetable oils - long promoted as "healthy eating" - are NOT healthy.  I believe that there is no room in our diets for soy, corn, canola, or the other oils that are promoted.  If nothing else, these are highly processed not natural.  They also come from products that are largely genetically modified.  (According to Wikipedia, 93% of the soybeans in the US are GM, 86% of field corn, 93% of cotton, and 93% of canola.)  This is a problem much larger than i can begin to touch here, but none of these products are safe.  

Ok, enough of my rant.  I just am struggling with the idea of not replacing the foods i used to eat with a GF product (except on occasion), but largely foregoing grains.  If you want to know the sources for my coming to think this way, email me and i'll provide the info.  Part of my problem, however, not being much of a cook and certainly not a creative one, and also being very much a product of our culture, i struggle with knowing WHAT to eat if i take out sandwiches, rolls/bread, and pasta.  Also, frankly, my digestive system seems to work better with some grains.  Veggies alone seem to cause issues.  

I ran some errands in town after the cooking demo.  Then i came home and rested.  In the evening i watched TV and made more cards.  Also envelopes to go with them (matching the paper i use on the card).  The cards i bought (at 8 for $1) are very nice, but the envelopes that came with them are not so good.  I had a mess in the living room as i brought down all the projects on which i'm working.  I have:  bibs for the coming babies, the blanket for my niece (Ellen's) child, Christmas crafts, and the cards.  Also the sewing machine is set up on the table.  And all my scissors, and office supplies, pens of all sorts, and other useful gadgets.  A right mess.

I went to the Methodist church today.  Enjoyed it.  (It does feel weird to attend a church without Duane.)  

After church i stopped by N's house.  Her phone has been out of order.  I ended up taking her son Kip to lunch with me.  He is 12 and a really, really nice kid.  Then i stopped by and traded kids and took her daughter Sierra home to do some projects with me.  Sierra will be 9 this winter, but she is a tiny thing.  We (she) painted 3 wooden stars and 3 wooden snowflakes and then used glitter glue to decorate them.  Then she used some of the pens i had to draw while i hemmed something for Kip.  I then took her home.  She wasn't ready to go.  I had maybe 10 seconds of whining, but i told her that i just get too tired to have her for very long.  She'll have to come visit me for shorter visits.  She took it well and didn't say any more.  I think she had fun, and i did too, although i was very, very tired afterward.   I also enjoyed my lunch with Kip very much.    The only problem i can see in doing this is that N's youngest, Joshua, is 3.  I just don't think i've got the energy to handle him much, but want to be fair with them.  (He very much wanted to come visit with me, too.)

I enjoy N's family.  Her kids are very nice.  I'm thrilled that i can have children in my life (who want to be with me!) and with whom i can spend time.  But i also struggle with the idea of not - oh, i don't know - doing something that will make me a "benefactor" and therefore "above" them somehow.  I'm NOT "above" them.  I was in very similar circumstances 10 years ago.  I know i can't swoop in and "fix" everything.  I need to be careful that i don't do something that removes the dignity from their lives and the choices they make.  Does that make any sense at all?

Last week, quite by accident, i stumbled across the new blog of a former reader of mine.  I know a lot of folks who show up as my followers don't actually come and read any more.  But i do have a large enough list that when she took herself off, i didn't recognize who had left.  And i kind of shrugged, thinking that i must not fit for someone.  That happens.

But i was shocked to find at her new blog that she'd talked about not following me anymore.  She essentially said my life is lame and all i did was complain about folks in my life and that my blog is filled with self-pity.  I was really hurt by this (although, i felt even then it was an unfair assessment).  

Time is kind, however.  It doesn't hurt like that any more.  To her credit, she didn't say those things at MY blog; she probably didn't think i'd find that post.  On the other hand, i don't think she's a person who would be concerned if she knew i did read it.  I know there are some folks who would easily shrug it off, but i'm not one of those, and it has taken some time to recover my balance.  I have to accept that if i choose to allow my blog to be public, then things like this happen.  Over all, compared to some of the things i know friends have experienced, i've been very fortunate.  But i do have to wonder at the people who would choose to post such a thing.  Doesn't fit?  Fine, leave.  But say unkind things about the folks who don't fit?  Um, not cool.

I've found blogs that i follow for a while, and then, for whatever reason they don't "fit" me anymore.  That is part of the reason i tend to be an anonymous follower, at least at first.  I'm "public" on less than half the bogs i follow.  If i feel i need to move on, my absence isn't much noted that way.  But i have never - never will - post about the "sad (lame) life" of someone else and why i felt the need to leave.  

God loves us all.  And i need to love more thoroughly.  



Rosemary said...

Oh, so much I want to say. Okay, I think it is marvelous to have play dates with the children and if you want something easy and fun to do with the 3 year old then how about making play clay with cornstarch and stuff? He'd probably LOVE that a lot.

Your former reader must have the hide of a rhino, I don't get some people, I really don't - I would take the nastiness to heart (despite my best efforts) and yet there is a part of me that wants to say - CONSIDER THE SOURCE. A person who is so negative and mean about others, well, that says more about THEM than it does you. You put yourself out here on your blog as a form of expression and you note the good and the bad and I applaud you for that bravery.

last thing, I think you were smart to stake out the seat - the one time you don't will be the super crowded time!

Sending you lots of hugs and good thoughts!

Kathryn said...

Oh Rosemary - what a wonderful idea! Playdough. :) Although, i admit, i probably would just buy the commercial stuff. I know that the homemade version doesn't last very long, even refrigerated. It would be just my luck to make it, & then have him over, & discover that it had molded in the intervening time. :p

Exactly what you said. I don't get some folks. ??? And yes, i did take the nastiness to heart. If for no other reason than i do believe that i shouldn't just brush off criticism, but look at it to see if it is valid. (Most of what she said was not. She did say i'm super sensitive - which is not untrue! But i can't change that.)

I'm thankful it doesn't sting anymore. Now - more than a week later - i can look at the source. Thanks for your support & love! :)

Meadowlark said...

I grew up on a wheat ranch and wouldn't live without grain. However, I also believe (not necessarily FOLLOW, but believe) that a diet of as close to unprocessed as you can get is healthy for most, even if it includes grains. I love Michael Pollan and the Omnivore's Dilemma as well as In Defense of Food. Good advice.

Being "unable" to eat wheat, well that's a whole 'nother issue and I think it would be BEYOND DIFFICULT to figure the ins and outs. So wishing you luck.

As far as mean people go, consider the source is exactly the right attitude. But I know the hurt, I've felt it forever. Hang in there... those who like you, like you, those who do not don't matter much. And I'm very hit and miss in my following. Sometimes I'm around and comment and sometimes I disappear for several months. It's just wherever the wind blows me.

Peace to you, my friend.


Kathryn, I have people come and go all the time on my blog. That never bothers me. But I must agree with you that a blogger writing a negative post about you on another blog is a cheap shot. It sounds like you've taken the high road by choosing not to respond back.

God bless you and have a great week


Kathryn said...

Meadowlark, agree on the unprocessed things. On wheat, well, what we grow now is high gluten as opposed to older stuff (before recent hybrids) that were higher protein. Not sure why, but the higher gluten seems to cause a lot of problems.

Thanks for the well wishes. Over all i usually do pretty well.

I appreciate whenever you come around & certainly understand when you don't. Have a lovely day. :)

Hi Ron! :) I do expect folks to come & go. That seems to be the nature of the blog life. I just was taken aback when she had to write negatively about me. I found it weird. I didn't respond on that post, but on another one i just wished her a happy life - big changes coming to her life. I never thought of it as taking a high road. Sometimes i think i wasn't much of a Christian witness to her in my blog, given her response, but i can't control how other folks see me.

Thanks for stopping by! Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Amrita said...

Glad you reserved a chair to sit. I would do th e same, as I get tired standing.
Thos e kids had a good time with you. I like having children come over, specially th e well behaved ones.

I volunteer to teach English to my Pastor 's daughter, sh e comes to watch TV also at times.

I am sure Nina an d her kids will appreciate your reaching out and extending a kind hand to them.

I really feel blessed if anyone becomes my benefacttor (LOL)

I would be very hurt too if something post negative stuff about me on their blog. Tha t wa s very mean and nasty. If you don 't like someone 's blog, stop visiting , what 's the point of maligning them.

Just ignore this woman, she doesn 't deserve any readers at all.

Many times I feel ignored or snubbed by bloggers and I stop visiting them and following them too. I don 't wan t to waste my time. There are plenty more fish in the sea.

Amrita said...

Is couscous gluten free?

Lynnette Kraft said...

You are one smart lady when it comes to nutrition. I agree on the grain thing. We ate gluten free for a couple of years and desperately tried to replace the grain rather than just leave it out. I believe the less grain the better.

The oils we use (almost all of the time) are Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil and Organic Extra Virgin Coconut oil.

My health is quirky. I have very strange problems that come and go. God keeps showing me more and more. I love learning about health and nutrition.

Hope you're off to a good start this week.

Jo said...

Oh, Kathryn, that was very unkind of someone to write a negative post about you. You are not an offensive person by any means...! I think you are rather nice and very sweet. AND you have the cutest avatar in the blogosphere. I have people remove themselves all the time, and then other folks add themselves to my following. I am always puzzled, but I try not to think about it too much.

And yes, I totally agree about the grains. I eat only whole foods -- fish, chicken, vegs, fruit -- and I totally avoid bread and pasta, etc. I always feel sluggish whenever I eat grains.

Kathryn said...

Amrita, i was glad we got chairs, too! :) I looked it up, couscous is usually made of wheat, so it is not gluten free. I guess there are some other types of it that are not made with wheat, but unless it is specified, couscous has gluten.

Hi Lynnette - thank you. I've spent a lot of the past 5 years researching this, & so have come to these conclusions after much thought. I use the two oils you listed, and grapeseed oil, too, on occasion. Oh, and i love butter! :)

Thank you for your kind words, Jo. There are all sorts in the world, & we don't always get along. I'm puzzled, too, but like you, i try not to focus on it.

We are still eating some pastas made with quinoa, but i'm cutting back more all the time.

Thank you all for visiting & leaving me with kind words. :)