ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
Based on an audience poll, this is the free epic for the April 2, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. It came out of the March 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ravan asking for a square from my 2-28-19 Situations card for the Meet Ugly Bingo fest: "You were shopping and mistook me for someone who works in this store. I decide to mess with you instead of telling the truth." This poem belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

Salt Intake

Apr. 8th, 2019 05:02 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... has a fairly narrow range, not greatly affected by diet.

I'd be happy if restaurants quit over-salting their food, because I've had some bad experiences with it.  I can't eat things that are too salty; it makes me desperately thirsty until the excess gets flushed out. >_<  Conversely, it takes very little to run down the supply.  When I work outside in warm weather, that little bit of sweating is enough to make me want salt.  I'll come indoors, eat 3 potato chips, and be fine.  Based on my observations of other people, I thought my range was much narrower, but maybe it's not that far off and other people are just less alert to their range.

Anyhow, efforts to minimize sodium in the body by manipulating diet are unlikely to work, as it is not controlled by diet but instead by biochemistry.  I would say, try to avoid excessive  salt, but don't try to force it down artificially low.  Even with excessive salt, it won't stay put -- the body flushes it out.  The documented range is really quite stable.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We finished the second one today, labeled Rainbow Fudge.  Soft and creamy and delicious, this one has much more of a spice flavor.  The cardamom predominates, varied with notes from other flavors.  It reminds me very much of spiced truffle filling.  It's an excellent dessert for people who like those, or cardamom in general, or East Indian sweets.  :D

Ingredients: cream, butter, sugar, cherry & blueberry powders, orange & pandan extracts, ginger, cardamom, food color, salt, edible glitter (gum Arabic). 

See pictures of both rainbow fudges.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
A friend sent me some rainbow fudge, which I have detailed on LJ so you can see pictures of it.  This is so awesome!  :D  Many many thanks.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the November 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "grief / grieving" square in my 11-5-19 card for the Family Ties Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: The poem itself is fluff, but the hurt/comfort background implies child and/or maternal death. If this is touchy territory for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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Ugly Food

Mar. 23rd, 2019 10:33 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A great deal of produce gets thrown out before consumers ever see it -- the "ugly" fruits and vegetables that don't conform to rigid standards.  Some people are pushing to make these available at a discount.

As long as they're cheaper than the ideal ones, I'm all for it.  You typically lose more to scraps from ugly good than ideal food, because you have to cut around seams and such, so without the discount you'd lose money.  But I buy "seconds" at the farmer's market precisely because they're cheaper and I'm just going to chop them up for spaghetti sauce or sloppy joe filling anyhow.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I have long been aware that much fish for sale is mislabeled.  This article points out that a large portion of the product comes from endangered fish.

But it gets worse.  The most appalling point is that some of it is NOT EVEN FISH MEAT.  One incident in California involved "tuna" that turned out to be WHALE MEAT.

I am now making the face that Puddleglum made after eating the Talking Stag.  O_O 
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
 Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] jeshyr, you can now read the end of "So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors."  Shiv tests the cookies! 

If anyone wants to open a new epic for microfunding, Shiv's thread is now an option.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
Thanks to an audience poll, there are now 48 new verses in "So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors."  Heron shows Shiv how to salvage the shortbread dough with tea leaves in it.
ysabetwordsmith: (Cheap Cookin)
I got curious and discovered that both flax meal and chia seeds are used in low-carb meatloaves. Also some of these sound damn good.


Ground beef and flax seeds.
http://www.kaylachandler.com/grain-free-meatloaf-recipe-gluten-free-paleo-friendly/

Ground beef, chia seeds, flax seeds, and summer squash or zucchini.
http://sweetbeetandgreenbean.net/2013/11/04/grassfed-meatloaf-with-summer-squash-eggs-flax-chia-seeds/

Ground beef with chia seeds and shredded veggies.
https://simplerootswellness.com/grain-free-meatloaf/

Ground beef, turkey Italian sausage, flax meal, roasted tomatoes, ground fennel seed.
https://kalynskitchen.com/south-beach-phase-one-meatloaf-with/

Ground beef and crushed pork rinds.
https://www.bunsinmyoven.com/low-carb-meatloaf/

Ground beef, crushed pork rinds, spinach, and mozzarella.
https://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/low-carb-cheesy-spinach-stuffed-meatloaf/

Ground beef, ground turkey, chia seeds, and flax meal.
http://tc-twistedfairytale.blogspot.com/2014/03/grain-free-meatloaf-with-chia-and-flax.html

Ground turkey, mashed lentils, and chia seed.
https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2390899

Some other recipes:
https://www.nutritionadvance.com/low-carb-meatloaf/
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We went up to visit my parents today.

We stopped at Common Ground for gluten-free muesli.  I forgot to look for the edible flowers, drat.

We went to a music store for Doug to pick up a music theory book with a jazz theme, which unlike the "theory" book I had growing up was actual theory instead of just technical stuff.  It took some shuffling around to get it, but we got it.

For supper we went to the Olive Garden.  They have a couple of viewscreens in the lobby showing, not commercials, but scenes from Italy.  <3  A little slice of Terramagne!  I got mushroom ravioli, quite excellent.  Doug's salmon came with slabs of baked zucchini, which was definitely some of the best zucchini-as-vegetable I've had.

Then we went to Krannert for Dorrance Dance, a tap and modern dance troop.  The first act had kind of a retro approach and a lot of different things going on.  The second was a lot less interesting.  The third was a much longer collage of smaller pieces.  My favorite was one where everyone was in office dress, but some of the others were good too.  I especially applaud the combination of breakdance and tap.  One guy in particular could ambulate across the stage in almost any configuration -- bipedal, quadrupedal, butt-shuffling, hand-walking, you name it.  I wouldn't be surprised if he can brachiate. 

Intermezzo was out of cakes.  >_<  But the afterparty had a very nice spread including cheese and fruit.  I was very surprised to find that the raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries were all perfectly ripe at this time of year.  The cheese was good too, and I snagged a hazelnut truffle for dessert.  Okay, problem solved.  :)

We went to Harvest Market, but they were out of the cape gooseberries.  :,,,(  We did find some raspberries, a yellow dragonfruit, and some beef steaklets though.  I have a Moroccan dry rub that I want to mix up for the meat tomorrow.

All in all, a pretty good day.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We discovered a new fruit today at Harvest Market: Cape Gooseberries.  These are small yellow berries about the size of a cherry, with a sweet-tart tropical flavor and a floral aroma.  They taste kind of like a mango or apricot with notes of orange and persimmon.  Apparently they have health benefits.  I had no idea; I bought some because they smelled good.  This page has some recipe links.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... as well or better than  medication.  Granted, not everyone wants to solve their health problems with lifestyle changes, but for those who do, this looks like a very strong result.

Flip it around, and other dietary patterns contribute to or even cause that problem.  :/


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article talks about weeds and the failure of herbicides.  Well, duh.  That's basic biology.  For any stressor, surviving individuals will breed together and pass their resistance to offspring.  Spray herbicides and you are literally breeding for superweeds.

Thing is, we didn't always have herbicides and farmers managed to raise food just fine.  When I was little, the most common summer job for older kids and teens was weeding.  You went out in teams of several dozen, each person armed with a hoe or a hook, and you cut the weeds out of the corn and bean fields.  Those jobs are gone now.  But if herbicides stop working, all we have to do revive those jobs.  The farm bills  might need to be adjusted, but before you assume that, compare the cost of spraying multiple herbicides over and over through the season.  Food has to stay affordable or the country will come apart at the seams; if that means a bigger boost from taxes, that's doable.  Don't panic over the loss of herbicides; we still have hoes.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Fresh fruits and vegetables are better for your mental health than canned or frozen ones.  One fairly obvious reason mentioned in the article is that preserving foods tends to reduce their nutrients.  However, a few methods such as fermenting can increase the nutrients.

One reason not mentioned, and not tracked on labels, is life energy.  This is accounted for in some systems that recommend eating fresh, raw, wholesome ingredients.  In general, eating foods which are alive (like yogurt or fresh-picked berries) or very recently alive (fresh potatoes that are boiled, or a lobster taken from a tank and slain just before it it hits your plate) give you more life energy than things which have been dead a long time.  The less messed-with, the more life energy; the more processed, the less life energy.  Also foods raised with joy and verve have much more life energy than those raised in desolate conditions.  So organic, pastured, wildcrafted, etc. tends to be more nourishing than factory-farmed stuff.

Going a step further, you can capitalize on the benefits of growing or at least picking some of your own food.  This can be a challenge for people with mental illness.  However, depression and activity don't like to live together!  Getting outside in the sunshine and fresh air is good for mental health; so are walking around and doing practical tasks.  Even if all you do is pick enough apples for the next few days, you're ahead of the game compared to buying a jar of applesauce at the store.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Current food production is drastically out of step with nutritional guidelines, which means that even if everyone wanted to eat a healthy diet, there would not be enough food for them to do so. 

However, when you look at crop rotation plans, you can see many variations that would support a healthier balance of food production.  Grain (wheat, barley, etc.) > pulse (peas, beans, etc.) > pasture (red clover, alfalfa, etc. plus animal products) is one good option.  It's easy to add vegetables to that because most of those are annuals.  Perennial fruits and vegetables are more challenging because they require dedicated land.  One solution is to plant cover crops in an orchard, which can then serve as foraging space for small livestock, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's another piece of evidence that even a bad family tends to be better than none at all: eating together improves diet regardless of the family's level of functionality
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Orchards do better with more diverse bee populations.  Bees are more diverse in orchards surrounded by wilderness than by farms.

I am reminded of elven farming, which isn't done in vast tracts, but rather in little meadows and orchards whittled out of the surrounding wilderness.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Food shocks -- sudden drops in food production due to disasters or conflicts -- are becoming more frequent.

You ain't seen nothin' yet.

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