Fall (or winter.. or anytime!) hash

This might be my first recipe to post on my blog!! Or not… my memory is very bad these days. I’ve been wanting to share this idea for months but things have been hectic and I haven’t been able to blog much. So after much ado, here we go!!

I’ve been using this recipe (more of an idea, really) for months and I love it!! I always cook enough for 2 days of eating and my family doesn’t mind. Most of the time I just reheat the stuff from previous day (on the stove or in the toaster oven) but sometimes I like to do it just a bit differently. With always having leftovers on had, I usually have some form of cooked meat and veggies in the fridge. So I came up with this very simply idea for a hash.

Ingredients
Leftover cooked meat (boiled, roasted, poached, etc.)
Leftover cooked veggies, but into bite size pieces
Leftover sauce or cooking juices (optional)

That’s it!! So easy but soooo good. My favorite so far has been roasted butternut squash (I roast it in cubes with coconut oil and cinnamon), sausage (bratwurst or Italian) and brussel sprouts (roasted or grilled). I put about an equal amount of each of these in a pan with some ghee and heat up with hot. I also love my Italian beef: roasted or boiled beef, green beans and tomato sauce. Chinese also works: chicken (you could saute raw chicken first), then add some fresh garlic and ginger and cut up bok choy. Delicious! More than the ingredients, I love cutting up the food in bite size pieces and sauteeing them till golden brown in pan.

Speaking of pans, I’m going to review this one in my next post.

How time flies…

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in almost 5 months! Things have been hectic, to say the least. I won’t try to catch up on everything or I’d be writing for pages.. and pages. Let’s just start with today.

This is my first day of work this week. Reason? I had 4 patients at home: my boys A (8 years old) and G (almost 3), my hubby and my nephew L (25 years old) who is visiting from Europe for 3 months (he’s going back on 12/22). A is back at school today and L is back to normal, but DH is in bed and G started running a fever again last night so I kept him home today. This is some nasty stuff: fevers of 101 to over 102, tiredness, dizziness (in adults only, it seems), no appetite. G also had some very stinky poops (though fortunately only one a day). I’ve been able to avoid the doctor and use mostly homeopathic remedies though I resorted to PediaSure cold medicine for A (he only got 1/2 a dose – that stuff is VILE!!!) and G got some ibuprofen for kids today (just 2 doses). I feel this is better than antibiotics for 7-10 days!!

I’m still (mosty) on GAPS. My breakfasts and lunches have remained almost 100% GAPS legal but I am eating some starches and grains (mostly some potatoes, sweet potatoes and rice). I have also been eating some sugar (in very, very small amounts) like dark chocolate, bites of desserts here and there, etc. I have added some arrowroot to cooked items for thickening. I have been drinking one cup of coffee a day (split and watered down into 2 coffees, with regular cream – awesome local grassfed non-homogenized low-temp pasteurized stuff!) with no ill effects, it seems.

I’m going to leave the updates at that, for now. I’m hoping to get back to blogging soon, but cannot say when. I have a recipe I’ve been dying to post and a review on an item I’ve been using with great success. Be back soon..

Back on track…

… or as close as I can get for right now. I finished my gluten-free bread from the freezer. I must say I enjoyed it – especially slathered with butter and liverwurst – but I have no plans to go back to it. If the feeling strikes me, I may make a loaf of a good GAPS-legal bread (there is an almond flour/coconut flour recipe I’ve been wanting to try…). My local Whole Foods has been having cream on sale: local grassfed non-homogenized cream for 8.99 a half gallon. It is awesome in coffee (I’ve been adding a bit to see if I react – I’ve been having some pain-behind-the-eyes, around my sinuses, but that was there before I started the cream.. we’ll see if it continues) and makes amazing kefired cream. So thick you can turn the jar upside down!! Broth continues to be my nemesis – I really just need to get into a habit of having a cup every night when I get home from work. Period. No excuses. I’ll work on it… I have also gotten away from my probiotics and SK. I’m planning to get back on that wagon in the next week or two.

I bought some great produce at the local market last weekend: pak choy, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes (so yummy), peaches (local Georgia peaches – ’nuff said), etc… plus a gallon of local honey. I’ve been out for a while and buying small jars at the store is way expensive. I’ve gone back to enjoying simple meals of meat, veggie and sauce. Potatoes continue to be an indulgence but I have no ill effects and I keep the portions small. I’ve also used a bit of tapioca for frying up chicken cutlets and in sauces: again, no ill effects.

Eating out is continuing to pose an issue though in most places I stick very, very close to GAPS. I’ve had some sugar here and there: bits of dessert, some sweet tea (my 8 year old has been ordering half sweet/half unsweet tea and I have some of his) and a few tortilla chips in Mexican places. I’m going to get even more strict while eating out – the tortilla chips are nice but I’d rather buy some organic non-GMO non-fried-in-soy-oil kind, if you know what I mean… I can indulge at home.

My older son is turning 8 in a couple of weeks and I’m going to give this cake a try – looks amazing, right?
http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2012/03/strawberry-chocolate-layer-cake-gaps.html

All of Sarah’s recipes look great and the few I’ve tried turned out great (try the clafoutis!). Can’t wait!!

I’ve noticed lately that I can’t seem to be getting enough sleep. Even though I sleep 8-9 hours a night I wake up tired and keep yawning throughout the day… effect of the grains I’ve been eating? Possibly… the next few weeks will tell.  I may have to go back to GAPS 100%. We’ll see… I’ll try to keep everyone posted!

So many changes!

And yet so many things remain the same… There is so much to write about!! I guess I’ll tackle one topic at a time!

We were all in sad shape about 3 weeks ago, just before we went on vacation. G (my 2.5 year old) was having diarrhea a week after finishing up antibiotics (which might or might have not helped heal his ear infection and did not do anything for his cough) which led to diaper rash (only second time in his life – he hasn’t had diaper rash since he was like 6 months old!!). A (my almost 8 year old) was having anxiety which leads to sore tummy and throwing up (or attempting to). DH and I both woke up early in the morning (think 3am) on the day of our trip with the big D. DH was also having chest and shoulder pains, numbness in arm and leg and trouble breathing. After a brief visit to the doctor (heart, lungs and BP all good) he wound up with a prescription that he took for only 2 days. He was down and out, barely able to move.

We got to the airport just fine. DH was feeling better. A threw up on the curb just outside the airport but since he didn’t eat anything it was only bile. I kept checking on G to make sure to catch his D and change him ASAP. We got to the gate early and I left the guys there in search of food. I wound up getting some sandwiches at Atlanta Bread Company and ate the eggs/ham/bacon off one. Everyone seemed to be doing well and was in good spirits. The flight went well and we got to Aruba early Saturday afternoon.

Ahhhhh… Aruba. The pictures say it all:

We spent a week there. We had a small apartment-like hotel room so full size fridge, cook top and convection oven. We cooked breakfasts at home and took snacks to the beach (I loaded up on Lara bars in the States before going). Then we went out for dinner in the afternoons. Seafood is great here and there are plenty of groceries for us GAPS folks. I even splurged on French and New Zealand butter – yum!! I must say I did cheat, having small amounts of sugar here and there and eating lightly breaded fish in a Thai restaurant. No ill effects. We soaked in the ocean – G’s diaper rash cleaned up in a matter of one day… Everyone felt great.
We’re back from vacation now – 2 weeks or so – and things are not looking so great. We’re all coughing and have runny noses. I’m sure AC has something to do with – we’ve been enduring 100+ degree temperatures for almost a week. Hopefully it will clear up soon. G is having a bit of the big D again. A is becoming pickier and pickier. I’ve been experimenting with nonGAPS foods again and having mixed results. A and I got food poisoning a few days ago and were miserable for 2 days. We’ve eaten out quite a few times since we’ve been back and I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things with cooking. Some of my digestive issues came back after I let go with having some sugar so I’m back to honey only. Basically some rice pasta or potatoes are fine once in a while and I’ve even had some GF bread but I won’t be buying any more. I really need to stick to meat and veggies for a while and definitely need more broth. It’s so tough to have it during the summer….
I hope to get back to regular posts soon… It’s been a bit hectic at work and with the kids being in summer camp. Work should be back to normal in a few weeks..

I hate it!!!

G is on antibiotics for the first time. He’s almost 2.5 and I hate it!! This is a culmination of him being sick for over 2 weeks, ending with an ear infection and nasty stuff in the throat. His symptoms were unusual so I didn’t recognize an ear infection or I would have treated it differently (garlic oil in ears and more chiro adjustments – he normally gets them weekly, if needed). Lesson learned, definitely. A only had one ear infection around the age of 2. My hope is that by using antibiotics we will get rid of the coughing, sneezing, runny nose and the ear infection and then work on rebuilding and strengthening his immune system. Being in daycare is sure taking a toll and, to add insult to injury, he’s becoming more and more picky so getting good stuff into him is a struggle. Everything is a struggle!! sigh…

I’ve been trying some non-GAPS items with success. I had some lentil soup over the weekend and I did fine. I have not tried rice but had some potatoes and that was okay, too. Small amounts of sugar (less than 10 g) seem to be okay as well. I bought some coconut milk green tea ice cream on Sunday that is heavenly!! I’ve also indulged in some dark chocolate probiotic bars that are amazingly good….

Kids are doing good, overall. A is finishing school this week and has been eating pretty well. G is doing fine, under the circumstances. I’m hoping once he recovers I can load him up with fresh fruit and veggies, kefir, probiotics and SK. I have a half-gallon jar of red SK that should be ready shortly.. can’t wait!! Red SK has definitely become a favorite ferment of mine lately.

Update 5/22 around 11am
Went to the chiro yesterday and sure enough G’s atlas was out to the right (the ear infection is in the right ear). How I hate that he got it on the weekend!! I sent some yogurt to school today mixed with probiotics. Because of the timing of the antibiotics, I can’t give G any good bugs at home (too close to the medicine time). So I’ll have to wait until the medicine is done with (sigh)… His nose is still running pretty badly and he coughs up a storm in the morning. I just found out another kid has a sinus infection and is on antibiotics as well…. man, do they hand it out like candy!! I hate it!!! I wish I could stay home for a week and make G all better without this stuff but I can’t… I just hope I can rebuild his immune system so he can keep healthy around all these runny noses.

Food diaries – 5/21
B: scrambled eggs with ghee, strip of bacon, pancakes with butter
L: borscht with pate, 1/2 avocado, kefired cream, SK, peach, probiotic chocolate bar, coffee with creamer
D: picnic: cold fried chicken, broccoli and green beans with  homemade ranch dressing, peach, few pretzels, kefir smoothie

Food diaries – 5/22
B: eggs over ham with cheese
L: meatballs with spicy tomato sauce, sauteed peppers in lard, 1/2 avocado, kefired cream, red SK, probiotic chocolate bar, coffee with creamer, water
D: baked chicken legs, veggies (peppers? zucchini? green beans?)

The last week

I wanted to summarize the last 2 weeks for those of you that might send your children to school. As I have mentioned before, last week was G’s first week at daycare. Overall he did remarkably well!! He ate pretty much everything, didn’t cry (much) and seemed excited and happy to be there. So here we go:

The good
It’s nice to have both kids in school and not have to worry about someone being late, not showing up, sick, going on vacation, etc. They are both within a mile of home and in places that, while not being home, are giving them good care. G did great and is slowly coming out of his shell, being and interacting with other kids, playing with new toys, not following the teacher all the time, etc.

The bad
G got sick towards the end of his first week. Not surprising when almost all kids in the class are running around with runny noses. He’s stuffed up and has a nasty cough (fortunately it’s wet now and clearing up). He won’t take medicine so I’ve been putting a cough syrup and Umcka drops in his tea. He has been steadily improving and what’s important his behavior remains upbeat. I do have to get up earlier and basically fix breakfast and lunch for 3 plus 2 snacks for G. I do as much as I can the night before and so far have managed okay.

There really is not an ‘ugly’ here. G has been eating most of what I have been sending but I have to wait until he’s healthy again before making judgement. I bought some new snack-sized containers since I was sending snacks that were too big and he was not eating his lunch. I have sent a fresh snack (strawberries, blueberries, banana) and dry snacks (Annie’s bunnies, GF pretzels, raisins, butter cookies, cereal – so far nothing homemade but I’ll get there). For lunches I have done pizza, meatballs in tomato sauce with veggies and a bit of noodles, roasted chicken with veggies and rice, turkey sandwich, quesadillas… These are not all GAPS legal, of course, but he’s been eating. I think he still has to adapt to eating quickly and not looking so much as other kids. We’ll all get there!!

I have to mention I have eaten some clearly non GAPS things the past week and got a crampy stomachache afterwards. I’m not certain if it was the Rapadura in a smoothie or bits of rice mixed into my veggies. Eating out has been fine – the only illegals I’ve done are a few tortilla chips. I also do bits of sugar here and there, like a square of dark chocolate, but generally keep to honey only. I’m about to buy some dried stevia and see how that can be used (the liquid I have leaves a bit of an aftertaste so I use it sparingly).

I also have to mention that in addition to G starting school last week, DH has been working long days, not getting home till 8 or 8:30 at night. That means all cooking/reheating, feeding, cleaning up and washing has been left up to me. I also had several appointments: looking into summer camps for A, lunch at A’s school, chess trophy day at A’s school, picnic at A’s school, etc. I have tried not to stress about these things (and been mostly successful). I have one event today and one more next Friday and then we’re done. Last day of school is May 24. I’ll be making final decisions about summer camps this weekend.

Food diary
B: scrambled eggs with cheese, almond flour pancakes with butter
L: meatballs in spicy tomato sauce with broccoli rabe, green beans and zucchini/squash, SK, watered down coffee with plain creamer

I need to make more pumpkin/squash pancakes. They seem to fill me up better than the almond flour ones. I wonder if I can bake up a whole pan like I do with the almond flour pancakes…. I also need to make more red SK. I ran out and I’m eating my ‘cole slaw’ SK: cabbage, carrots, radish greens. Not bad, but not as tasty as my red SK!!! My tax refunds have come in so I’m about to order some BioKult and a reverse osmosis filter. There are also a few odds and ends I’ve been meaning to order but these two will be the priciest (I want to get 10 bottles of BioKult to get the price break).

Changes

Time for another post! We’ve had some changes around here…

My younger son (turned 2 in January) is going through his first week at daycare. Our nanny had to leave for health reasons. Of course I’m packing G’s lunch and both snacks (right now he eats half his breakfast at home and leftovers at the school). Have you seen some school menus lately? Processed food galore… no, thanks. Honestly, I don’t think G would even eat it – he’s used to homecooked meals and fresh fruit. Even when we go out to eat, he likes simple things (grilled chicken or steak) or more homey foods (like an Italian place we go to that has awesome fresh food). So my mornings now start earlier and are a bit busier. I heat up our lunches and prep breakfast for 3 (including my almost 8 year old). I’m keeping things simple (of course). For example, today’s food went like this:
B: French toast with just a smidge of maple syrup (organic challah bread made with butter, whole milk and cream, eggs; cooked in coconut oil); bacon, strawberries
morning snack: blueberries (how much simpler can you get, right?)
L: chicken cutlet (breaded in mix of organic bread crumbs and Parmesan, cooked in coconut oil), carrots cooked in broth, peas with butter – both veggies reheated in butter
afternoon snack: Annie’s organic chocolate chip bunnies

So far G has done great!! Some whimpering when I leave which stops before I even get back to my car. He’s been taking naps and eating pretty much all of his food, too. He slept through the night last night!! This really puts my mind at ease…

I might have commented how my tummy seemed more bloated lately… it seems to have gone back to normal. I wonder if it had to do with the starches I was eating (rice, rice pasta, potatoes). I have nixed these for now. I may try some potatoes only and see, but rice is out for now.

Update 2:30pm
I wound up not eating the avocado – I’ll save it for tonight. G was eating very well at school, at least morning snack and lunch. He actually didn’t eat that much for lunch yesterday so he finished his dinner, then proceeded to eat a whole apple, several pistachios, slice of cake.. forget what else. He really filled up!

Food diary
B: 2 scrambled eggs in bacon fat, almond flour pancake with butter, 2 slices of bacon, green tea with honey
L: borscht, 1/2 avocado, red SK, few strawberries, 1/2 small apple, diluted coffee with honey and Primal creamer

Update 10:50am next day
Dinner was ground pork patties (ground pork, marjoram, salt, pepper, egg, fresh parsley, Parmesan) breaded in egg and coconut/almond flour mix. I ate it with creamed spinach and a bit of mashed potato. Both G and A ate very well. G did great for the rest of the day yesterday but this morning he cried when I left… fortunately the teacher is able to soothe him very quickly. His meals today:
B: eggs over ham, pancakes with butter/maple syrup
morning snack: strawberries
L: pizza with squash, zucchini, ham and pineapple, green beans in butter
afternoon snack: trail mix: organic O’s cereal, pistachios, dried pineapple, papaya and raisins