Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Salmon Mousse Recipe

Here's an easy recipe for summertime--no cooking, and you can make several servings at once. This is based on a recipe in Freakin' Fabulous by Clinton Kelly.

1 can salmon
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 T cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 T lemon juice
1 T finely grated onion
2 dashes hot sauce
1 t salt
2 T finely chopped dill
1 cucumber, sliced

In a large mixing bowl, add the gelatin and the cold water. Stir to combine. Add the boiling water and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Let cool.

Add the salmon, mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, salt, dill and hot sauce. Stir well.

Spoon into a decorative mold and chill for four hours. When ready to serve, immerse the mold in hot water (without letting water into the mold) for 10 seconds. Put a plate upside-down on top of the mold and flip them over in one quick motion. The salmon mousse should come out of the mold; repeat immersion if needed.

Serve on cucumber slices.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Packing and Losing

My year-and-a-half-long love affair with take-out is over. It started when I was selling my house in Colorado: take-out kept the kitchen clean. After I got to Indiana, I started out working part-time and didn't have much human contact at work. Getting take-out brought me some human contact. I was tired of cooking, too.

My weight crept up to the point on the scale where I don't let it go any higher. Even though I ordered food that sounded low-carb, the restaurant information showed 20, 30, or 40 grams of carbohydrate per dish. One Sunday night recently, I made too much chef's salad and took the rest to work the next day. I kept going--I brought my lunch to work every day for a week. Five pounds fell off.

Packing my lunch hasn't been that hard--I was just tired of doing it and then fell into another habit. Now, I usually make a big dinner and take the leftovers to work, along with a low-carb dessert.

What if I don't feel like packing a lunch (or making dinner)?

  • Atkins dinners are available close to home and work.
  • Hardee's makes a good lettuce-wrapped burger.
  • CVS has macadamia nuts (but they're expensive).
  • A roasted chicken is an easy dinner and allows for leftovers.

What hasn't or wouldn't work?

  • Take-out from most restaurants. It's either too carby or too small.
  • Meal delivery services. They're expensive AND you still have to cook and clean up. It's the worst of both worlds. Besides, what happens to them if you're not home when they're delivered? 
  • Atkins bars--they give me gas.

The appeal of the "meal delivery service" eludes me. They're not actually meals, just ingredients in a box with a recipe. The ingredients still have to be chopped and cooked and the dishes done. It doesn't save you a trip to the grocery store since you still have to go there for coffee, bacon, and dish soap.
Restaurant meals tend to be full of sugar and starch. When you pass up the bread, rice and potatoes, you see how little there is to the meals. Indy's fabulous food scene is mostly a wasteland for me. However, the climate here makes it a great place to garden and there's plenty of traditionally raised pork--including bacon, lard and several kinds of sausage--near my home. I bought some the other day and made green chile with pork: I had a cold, and I couldn't find green chile here for love nor money. It's made some great lunches, and despite my being sick, it wasn't that hard to make.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

High Carb Moderation Results

I'd been a die-hard fan of low carb for years when, two years ago, I had complications from an infected tooth and a lot of stress. I had no more appetite for fatty food than someone with seasickness.   For that reason, I started eating higher-carb, lower calorie.

Results? I re-developed acid reflux (though not as severe as before) and got a cavity--my first one since starting low-carb. I also had sugar crashes where I could hardly stay awake.

There seemed to be a feedback loop where stress caused me to eat badly, which worsened my stress, which caused me to eat badly. I took probiotics, since strong antibiotics for my infected tooth made me queasy in the first place, and gradually ate less and less carb and more fat. It's only been in the past few weeks that I've been able to eat sardines again.

Results from lower carb and higher fat? More energy--I mowed my whole lawn in one day last weekend, and yesterday, mowed it all without a break after doing a lot of other yard work. Last year, I had to mow it a little bit at a time. Some weight gain (just a few pounds), but I'm weaning myself off of excess carbohydrate.

If you're in the middle of a feedback loop of eating badly and getting stressed, it's not necessarily enough to just say to yourself, "eat better." 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Climate Change is Causing Diabetes?

The British Medical Journal (not The Onion) reports that global warming is linked to type 2 diabetes, speculating that the mechanism is brown adipose fat, based on a few small association studies that sound like they didn't have a control group. The media are repeating the story without a hint a skepticism. What could possibly be wrong with a hypothesis that an imperceptible change in the climate could be causing high blood sugar levels?

  • Human evolution began in equatorial Africa--a warm climate. According to migration maps, all of our ancestors were in warm climates until around 40,000 years ago.
  • Comparing diabetes maps of the US and the world with average temperatures, diabetes doesn't look like it relates to hot regions.
  • Most people are indoors most of the time--and almost all of us have air conditioning. In fact, the number of households with air conditioning has gone up in line with diabetes. Maybe that's the cause (not really).

Stumped? Consider what diabetes use to be called: "sugar diabetes." To avoid diabetes, avoid sugar (and starch, which quickly turns into sugar in your body). Eat adequate protein and enough fat to feel full instead. Track your blood sugar after meals.