Category Archives: Food

The bread is a lie….

It’s been a tough month for us and finances are tighter then they’ve ever been at our house. So, when the wife told me she was bored last night, we decided to do something we’ve been talking about doing for a good while now.

Being the wild and crazy people that we are, we decided……..

 

…………..to make some bread.

 

Yes, seriously….and, no, that’s not a euphemism for anything else. We decided to bake some bread and see how it would turn out.

I bought my wife a bread machine for our first Christmas (back when she had to be gluten-free due to allergies), but one of the pieces got lost….in a botched loaf, we’re assuming….so it doesn’t work anymore. Of course, you don’t need a machine to make bread.

So, after we decided we were going to try to eat healthier, we decided to cut back on the breads and pasta and, since we weren’t eating that much bread anymore, we figured that making our own and freezing it could not only be a cost saver, but could also ensure we knew just what was going into our bread in the first place.  Have you ever read the label on a loaf of store bought bread??

1

“The slice is right”, my @$$!

The first thing we had to do was find a simple bread recipe. So, I went to my old pal Google and did a search for “simple bread recipe”. The third one down was a very simple recipe from a great site called “The Simple Homemaker“. Sounded legit to me.

It looked very simple and, best of all, used very few ingredients. It called for:

  • 2 cups warm water, not hot or you will kill your yeasty friends
  • 2 teaspoons yeast—a packet contains 2.25 teaspoons–close enough.
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5-ish cups flour, all-purpose is fine unless you wish to alter it for health reasons

The instructions were clear and, best of all, laced with humor that gave us a chuckle as we read them.

After the wife checked to see if we had the ingredients (I was convinced we didn’t have yeast…but we did…though short, a bit, on flour), we went to work.

Neither one of us have much experience in bread making so it was…..interesting…to say the least. I made the mistake of not flouring my hands before starting to knead the dough, with sticky results.  When we realized we were short on flour, we substituted a bit of corn starch into the mix, which I was convinced was going to be the death knell of the whole thing.

Now, the recipe calls for cutting the dough up and letting it rise separately….which we didn’t do. We left it in one lump and then cut it in half when we realized it was getting pretty big. Then, we remembered we didn’t have any bread pans, so we used a glass casserole dish sort of thing and a cookie sheet.

The whole time this thing was cooking, I was convinced (between the corn starch substitution and the haphazard rising of the dough), that it was going to be a bust

I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong.

We took it out and it not only smelled great, but tasted even better. We cut it up and I think I ate three slices then and there.

We bagged it up and put some in the freezer and the rest in the fridge. Now, I’ll admit, it might not look all that great (I’m blaming the corn starch!) but don’t let that fool you….it made up for it’s questionable looks with taste.

Yum!

Yum!

 

Something simple that tastes good….can’t beat that!

You know you’re old when someone asks how you spent your Saturday night, you tell them ‘by baking bread’, and you mean just that!

 

Until next time….

Advertisements

Sometimes, it’s the little things….

Listen to these cartoon fruits and veggies!

Listen to these cartoon fruits and veggies!

 

For many of us…at least I know it’s true in my case…it’s tough to gear our minds toward eating “healthy”. I used to be of the mindset that eating healthy meant paying more at the store and, actually, that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

Now, if you’re buying things like  “Smart Start” or “Healthy Choice” meals then, yes, it does start running into some money…because you’re paying for convenience. Usually, convenience always costs money. While those sort of meals are great for portion control and helping count calories the process of freezing them also cuts down on the nutrients you could be getting if the meals were freshly made.

We’ve been finding that a weekly trip down to your local produce place not only saves us a lot of money at the  grocery store, it also is giving us more health benefits via juicing and adding fresh vegetables to our meals. Fresh is always better than frozen…just ask any Eskimo.

Something else we’ve been pretty diligent at doing…..drinking water. I’m not a huge fan of tap water and I think it’s silly buying bottled water (for many reasons), so we invested in a Brita filtration pitcher. I’d much rather spend the money on replacement filters than bottled tap water.

Great idea!

Great idea!

 

The best part about this whole process, so far, is that I haven’t touched a coke or soft drink product in over a month. For me, that’s HUGE! I used to be, at least, a three Coke a day guy but, since we’ve been juicing it’s been nothing but water. O.k, I’ll admit…I did have a sweet tea when we went out to eat the other night, but things like that have been few and far between. I’m also attributing the lack of soft drinks to my losing and keeping off five pounds this past month.

That’s quite the motivator, I have to say.

 

Who ya gonna call?

Who ya gonna call?

 

If you’re looking for some motivation to quit drinking soda, here are a few “other” uses for Coke:

  • Washing your hair with Coke can help fade a dye that’s too dark.
  • Bug spray. It not only attracts bugs, but spraying them with the stuff kills them dead….like Raid.
  • A temporary fix for upset stomach and heartburn.
  • Added to a compost heap, it helps boost microorganisms.
  • Stain remover from clothes.
  • A cleaner for pots, pans, and toilets.
  • Coke can remove gum from hair…just pour it on and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Temporary relief for bee stings, mosquito bites, and jellyfish stings.
  • Window cleaner
  • Bolt loosener
  • Rust  eater

So, in case you’re not seeing the big picture here……Coke (and soft drinks in general) are highly acidic. Not something I want to be ingesting. I mean, I wouldn’t drink battery acid….would you?

Eating healthy, or at least paying more attention to what we’re putting into our bodies, drinking more water, juicing for micronutrients…things like these are small steps into a bigger world of getting healthy and into better shape.

The older I get, I guess the more cognizant I become of taking better care of myself. The next big hurdle to tackle, so to speak, is…

Exercise!

More on that as it develops, so…

 

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

Re-rebooting, again…

Makes sense to me...

Makes sense to me…

 

Last week, I was talking about our “juice fast’ and how I thought we were doing it wrong by not eating. Doing a bit more research, I’ve found that we were,  indeed, doing it correctly (as a commenter also mentioned) and that there are a few ‘reboots‘ that tell you to eat…but not the one we were trying.

Tomorrow, we’re giving it another go and starting another five day ‘juice fast’/detox. We took a trip down to our local produce place and stocked up….we’re ready to go.

Plenty of juicing and water as we try to give our systems another jump start on the road to getting healthy.

 

Challenge accepted!

Challenge accepted!

A to Z Blogging Challenge update:

Yesterday was “K” for Kid Flash and today was “L” for The Liberty Legion. Check ’em out! We take a break tomorrow and it should give me time to get a jump on next week’s posts.

 

Until next time…

 

This is why you’re supposed to read the directions….

Duh!

Duh!

So, for the past few weeks I’ve been talking about juicing and the “Reboot” thing from Joe Cross’ documentary, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”.

I also mentioned how the wife and I were giving the ‘juicing fast’ a shot and what our results would be as we tried to detox our bodies. Well…there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that we managed to make a five-day fast and have nothing but juiced fruits, veggies, and smoothies. We weren’t terribly hungry and our energy levels were pretty good.

Good stuff!

Good stuff!

We had some good results, as well. I lost five pounds and my wife lost ten. Now, granted, it was probably a lot of waste products and, not to get too graphic, but I was in the bathroom a lot during the first day. I think, though, that’s a part of the cleansing process.

At least, it was cleansing for me….. ahem

Anyway, a few times we’d get pretty hungry but, for the most part, we stayed strong. On the fifth day, I looked at Joe Cross’ “Reboot” website and they have the ‘juice fast’ plans spelled out for you….so I started reading…..

….and found out you could EAT fruits and vegetables as well as juice them!!

What??

Wait a second here….we could have been eating, as well?

You see, we took the ‘juice fast’ thing literally, from watching the documentary and they made no mention of being able to eat….or, if they did, neither one of us caught it. Boy, did we feel a bit stupid, but it was our own fault for just jumping in feet first with no prior prep.

Not that it was a totally terrible situation…it wasn’t and, if anything, it was good for us. We look at it as just another good step in a direction we need to go to get healthy and start eating right.

So, now were a bit wiser and we’re going to try the ‘juice fast’ thing the RIGHT way in about another week.

That, folks, is why you always do your research and/or read the directions!!

Challenge accepted!

Challenge accepted!

Oh, almost forgot my A to Z Challenge update:

“E” was for the Stretchable Sleuth,  Elongated Man and “F” was for the high flyin’ Falcon.

Check ’em out!

Until next time….

Newsflash!

"This just in..."

“This just in…”

O.k, not really a flash…just a bit of news.

I mentioned, in my last post, about giving the “juice fast” thing a try. Four days in and we’re still doing pretty good. We went to a local produce place and bought tons of fresh fruits and vegetables. They were pretty inexpensive, too…..something else I’m loving about this.

A bit blurry...but you get the idea.

A bit blurry…but you get the idea.

We’ve been juicing fruits and veggies as well as making smoothies along with a lot of water. We’ve also been drinking decaf tea and coffee and ‘treating’ ourselves to one cup of caffeinated coffee per day….but no more than one. I haven’t had a Coke in over a week and haven’t felt any ill effects.

My wife even started her own blog, talking about our adventures in juicing….Juicing with Jackie.

As of this morning, I’ve lost five pounds. Now, granted, it’s probably just waste material (I was in the “can” a lot during day one), but that’s fine…just another sign that the process is cleaning me out.

We’ve also been going for walks everyday….which I’m not so sure is the greatest idea…but I haven’t felt any ill effects from that and I seem to have a lot more energy then I did just a few days ago.

We’re going to keep at it and see how it goes. Tomorrow is the ‘official’ last day of the fast but, if we’re feeling o.k, we may try to go the whole ten days and see how we do.

If you’re interested in the whole “Body Reboot” process, you can check out Joe’s site HERE.

 

Challenge accepted!

Challenge accepted!

 

The A to Z Blogging Challenge is still going full steam and it’s been a lot of work, actually. The blogging every day thing is not that big of a deal…I’ve been doing that since January. The tough thing is keeping up on trying to comment on my favorite blogs as well as those stopping by mine. I’m also helping one of the co-hosts by checking the sign ups to see who’s still participating, etc.

Whew!

Still, though, it’s been great fun and I’ve found a bunch of cool, new blogs to follow…which is the main idea of the challenge, anyway.

My entry for yesterday was Chlorophyll Kid and today was Doctor Occult. If you haven’t already….check ’em out!

 

Until next time…

What’s goin’ on?

It’s a timeless question…there was even a song about it by the late, great, Marvin Gaye. The overall answer is ‘not a lot’, but we have been doing a few cool things around the Means Ranch.

On Saturday we went and saw G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

Yo Joe!

Yo Joe!

I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, but I found it to be a very entertaining movie and keeping kind of/sort of true to the original source material. That’s always a sticking point for me. It had some semi-heavyweight starts in it. Channing Tatum (who I’m not a fan of…by any stretch) reprised his role as Duke, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson came on board as Roadblock, and Bruce Willis played Joe Colton……the ‘original’ G.I. Joe.

Willis’ role left me a bit confused though as he didn’t have fuzzy hair or a fuzzy beard…or the scar down his cheek.

The Original Joe

The Original Joe

Meh…what do I know, anyway?

Later that night, we watched a movie on Netflix called Fat,Sick, and Nearly DeadA documentary about Australian, Joe Cross who wanted a healthy change in his life and decided that juicing fruits and vegetables was the way to go. He had a medical condition that caused skin eruptions…sort of like mosquito bites…to form on his skin. The problem being that he didn’t need to be bit by a mosquito to have the lesions appear. The film documents Joe’s journey across the country as he meets different people, inspiring them with his story.

Inspiring!

Inspiring!

One thing is for sure…it sure inspired us. We’ve already been watching what we’re eating and have been doing a bit of juicing, but this…this challenges you to try a ten day ‘reboot‘ of your system. Basically a juice fast…which we’ve already been doing for one day a week….now, though, we’re being challenged to stretch it out to ten.

So, yesterday, we started our juicing fast. Nothing but juiced fruits, veggies, water, and some decaf tea. We’re going to try for five days first and, if we’re doing o.k, we’ll go for ten. I’ll be keeping you all updated on how we do and I know I’ll struggle with one part, for sure…

….not having coffee!!

Challenge accepted!

Challenge accepted!

Yesterday also started the A to Z Blogging Challenge with my theme “Obscure Superheroes”. My entry for “A” was Adam Strange.

Today was “B” and my entry for that is Black Goliath.

Until next time…

The Case of the Partial Post…

No food or drink

“Who ya gonna call?

 

I just wanted to do a quick follow-up to Tuesday’s post….

The wife and I had a pretty decent detox/fast day…..well, o.k, it wasn’t a total “fast”. We had some gluten-free cheese, a salad, and lots of fruits and vegetables.

I think, all in all, it was an extremely positive experience for us and we plan to do it again next week. I think we’ll be a little more prepared with some pre-juiced stuff as well as some different fruits. Maybe some fruit smoothies to go along with the water?

I know it was just for a day, but I do feel a bit better…not as tired and achy…and, the most important thing, it’s helping to get my mind right.

For me, at least, that’s where it all begins.

Once I have the right mindset, I think the rest will fall into place and make the transition from just “eater” to “healthy eater” all the easier.

 

Until next time….

The Case of the Challenging Change…

 

So, it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m not in the best shape of my life.

I used to be in pretty decent shape, but I also had a younger man’s metabolism to help me out…..not so much anymore.

These days, it’s a struggle to get up and exercise. I mean, it’s been tough to get in that mindset where I really want to do it and, for me, that’s a huge part of it….getting in the right frame of mind.

My wife, who also used to be big into fitness, is always looking for new ways for us to lose weight and get our minds right to get healthy. She turned me onto a website that just might help.

Hungry For Change

tumblr_static_hungry-for-change-dvd

Aren’t we all?

She found the documentary on Netflix Streaming so, this past Sunday we gave it a watch. All I can say is that, after you watch this, you won’t look at processed foods the same way again.

If you have Netflix Streaming, you can check it out HERE.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to turn into a hippie overnight…but a lot of what they talk about makes some good sense. So much sense, in fact, that we went out and bought a juicer and have been experimenting with a bit of “detoxing” and cleansing.

In fact, tomorrow we’re going to try a ‘juice fast’. That’s where we’re going to try to not eat anything and only drink juiced fruits and veggies.

Wish us luck 🙂

We know it’s not something that we’re going to get a handle on overnight, but it’s a good step in the right direction.

If you’re looking to shed a few pounds or are curious as to why you always seem like you’re low on energy, cranky, or whatever….give the website a look.

Even better, watch the documentary (which I think they’re also showing for free tomorrow) on Netflix and let me know what you think.

 

Until next time….

The Case of the Tasty Traveler…..

My niece….o.k, she’s really not my niece…she’s my best friend’s wife’s daughter (if you can wrap your head around that), but I’ve pretty much known her all her life and her mom and dad are like family to me, so I think I can consider her my niece.

She asked if she could come down for a visit, to which the wife and I said “Of course!”. She then went on to ask if I wanted her to bring a couple of delicacies from Kentucky, that we just can’t get down here in sunny Florida.

Some Skyline Chili and Frisch’s tartar sauce….because, all the best tasting hamburgers have tartar sauce on them, ya know. Both places are institutions in Northern Kentucky, but none conveniently located down here.

I told her that’d be great and expected her to bring a small jar of the tartar sauce and a couple, maybe three, cans of chili.

This is what the kid brought with her…..

Mmm...mmm....good!

Mmm…mmm….good!

I knew she was one of my favorites for a reason…thanks Heather 🙂

Bon apetit’

The Case of the Up and Coming Old Codger….

200

Kal El has seen better days…

 

It’s tough when you, one day, wake up and realize that you’re on your way to becoming “old”. You may, or (hopefully) may not, know what I’m talking about. It’s a slow transition. First, at least in my case, it was the hair.

My hairline began to recede, just a bit, starting in my 30s. Then a bit more. Then the dreaded ‘male pattern baldness’ set in and I was fighting the battle on two fronts….front and back. O.k, I wasn’t really fighting a battle….more like just spectating. Still though, it’s something that’s had my attention for a while.  When I was younger, I had a lot of hair. It was fairly fine (in consistency, not looks), but I still had quite a bit of it.

I constantly had a comb in my pocket.

back pocket combs

Come on, admit it, you had one too….

I haven’t carried a comb in over five years.

After that, the metabolism began to slow and I started gaining weight. The good (I guess you could call it that) thing was that it settled for just going for my middle so, if I suck it in, I can pass for thinner….provided I can hold my breath long enough.  It used to be that I could shovel just about anything into my body, and at any quantity, and as long as I stayed fairly active or worked out, I’d be o.k. These days, it’s an uphill and often frustrating battle of ‘the bulge’. Just recently, I’ve started really trying to watch what I’ve been eating and, to a smaller extent, exercising when I feel guilty.

The newest thing on the horizon is my vision. I’ve had glasses since I was eleven, just for distance, because I was near-sighted. Now my glasses prescription has changed so drastically that I have to look over or under my glasses to see the fine print on labels and such. My wife mentioned getting progressive lenses, which I’m still mulling over, but I don’t want to be there yet. I never want to be there…..but, unfortunately, there is where my body seems to be taking me.

I know it seems like I’m doing a lot of complaining over small stuff….and, I’ll admit, I am a bit. I mean, honestly, I could have it a lot worse. I’m in pretty good health for the most part. I have the use of all my limbs and facilities. I have no problem getting around, seeing (besides the glasses) or hearing. I’m sure a lot of people would love to be where I’m at, health-wise, so I always try to remember to count my blessings.

On a brighter note, though….

In the grand scheme of things, my hair isn’t important at all. When I noticed that I was starting to lose it, I began cutting it short….buzz cut short. A couple of years ago,I bought a clipper set and now cut it myself. Saving me time and money. The plus side is that, now, I don’t have to worry about combing it and I was never really all that vain, anyway.

Picking up some weight isn’t so bad and it gives me the opportunity to learn more about eating healthy and exercise. Something I’ve always been interested in, but never took seriously. Now that I have to, it’s becoming a challenge and an interesting one, at that. I’ve been looking, more and more, into the Paleo lifestyle which, mainly, consists of ‘eat lots of meat, fruits, vegetable, drink water, walk a lot, and lift heavy stuff’. It’s an interesting diet lifestyle change and something I’ve been looking into for a while.

And, just in case you might be interested in the Paleo thing, here are a few places to start….

  • Mark Sisson a Mark’s Daily Apple has all sorts of tips and recipes as well as a free e-book for signing up for his mailing list.
  • Another good primer over at Paleo Diet Lifestyle.
  • One I just discovered, today, via a pal over on Google Plus. PaleOMG looks like it has a lot of recipes as well as great advice on ‘going Paleo’. I still need to dig through it, more, but it looks pretty cool.

As far as my vision goes, I see perfectly (distance wise) with glasses and having to look over them to read small print is a pretty minuscule complaint. At least I still have my vision, corrected or not. That’s something to be thankful for.

When I look around and see the blind, the deaf, people confined to wheelchairs or even to bed, I just have to give thanks to the Lord above. I could be much worse, that’s for sure. As the saying goes, “There but for the grace of God, go I”.

Besides, when it comes to my choices…..I’ll gladly take getting ‘old’.