New/Old Concepts Reunited

Eons ago, it feels like, I worked at a Fish restaurant called Fishland. In the kitchen, sometimes my duties were to prep before we opened. While the cooks prepped the chicken for landlubbers, I made homemade tarter sauce, which was simply equal amounts of relish and mayonnaise. We had two dishwashers from Jamaica. They exclaimed, when the cooks threw out the chicken bones, skin, fat, and innards, “Why are you throwing out half the chicken? That’s all good!” I thought, but its just the bones, icky innards and everyone knows that the skin and fat are bad for you. All these years later, here I am, learning that we were wrong and they were right.

Interesting to me, in the early 90’s I worked with a nurse who’s daughter was in the Peace Corp in Africa (I don’t remember where). Alice would go to Africa for a month every year to be with her daughter. She told us about an odd (to all of us) cultural situation her first time visiting this place in Africa. Out to the best restaurant in the area, Alice ordered Filet Mignon, which turned out to be the cheapest cut of meat on the menu, because, the more fat was in it, the more it was worth and the better it was, Filet Mignon is one of the leanest cuts.

My grandmother was from Calabria, Italy, she immigrated through Ellis Island around 1920 to Worcester, MA. This was her tomato sauce or as my father called it, gravy not sauce.

  • 2-28 oz can tomatoes, 4 cans tomato paste, 8 cans water
  • Chopped garlic and fresh parsley
  • Olive oil to lightly fry garlic before adding the other ingredients (fat)
  • Oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, and bay leaves, salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (preferably Reggiano)

Meatballs (she didn’t brown them, just dropped them in) (fat)

  • 1 lb ground pork (fat)
  • 1 lb fatty hamburger (fat)
  • 2 eggs (fat)
  • fresh parsley, garlic and Parmesan cheese (fat)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed
  • Bread crumbs or soaked and torn up stale bread, the same volume as the ground meat
  • salt and pepper

Italian sausage (these would’ve been handmade from D’errico’s Market) browned drain the fat. (fat)

Pig Skin Braciole: Stuffed with Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, rolled up and tied with string. We kids fought over this, much like the salt pork in homemade baked beans. (fat)

Simmer, uncovered four to six hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with fresh Italian bread and more Parmesan cheese.

My mother made this every Sunday for my father. My grandmother taught her, so she could cook it. My mother was Irish, she loved my father’s mother. I never got to know her, I have vague memories of her, she died when I was five years old. We called her Nonny. Note all the (fat) in this. My father showed me a slice of Capicola, he called it “Gabagool”, he pointed out the ribbed fat. This was from D’errico’s, so it had huge slabs of fat through it. He explained to me, that the more fat, the better it is.

That’s what my father taught me, that and that organ meat was everyone’s favorites in the family as children. Then society taught me this:

food-group-the-first-food-pyramid-was-published-in-sweden-in-1974-musngt-clipart

This is the Dr. Wahls pyramid that I am learning to follow:

unnamed

In her book she has three levels of diet. Wahls, Wahls Paleo and Wahls Paleo Plus. The last listed is a Nutritional Ketosis or Hunter Gatherer diet. Each one has its own pyramid. In each chapter is a wealth of research, and information about each food and its benefits along with the science of each level and why this heals more than that. Most important to note is that this in no way takes the place of the book. I wouldn’t be able to adequately follow this diet without the book, which is inexpensive to purchase on Amazon. It is a reference guide that I turn to over and over and have had to reread to completely understand all these new/old concepts, depending on how you want to look at it.

My Dad would’ve loved this diet, except for the no Italian bread, no cheese and no “macaroni” part. I get homesick sometimes, lately I’m talking a lot about Massachusetts and thinking about my family. Most are long gone. Ugh, a blue note. I don’t want to end in a downer. Whenever I share my grandmother’s sauce, I honor her memory and I relive half my life eating that sauce. I could have it on the Wahls Protocol. I have to omit the cheese and I would need to substitute the bread crumbs for maybe ground hemp hearts, or ground almonds, or ground flax seed. Something like that. On Wahls other two levels, gluten free bread is a suitable substitute. And on level’s I and II, gluten free pasta is okay, level III, no pasta. But, this sauce is so good, you don’t need it.

Mangia!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture of my father in the late 1930’s around four or five years old.

Wahls food pyramid taken from my copy of The Wahls Protocol “How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine by Terry Wahls, M.D.

A puzzle worth solving

It can be very complex being your own doctor. No longer do I blindly give over my life to the medical system while I take no part in learning how my body works.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been my own advocate since 2004 from the first time I fought that statement, “Its stress.” To the final time, this past winter, a MRI, once again, gave proof that it wasn’t just “stress”. Though I’ve said repeatedly how I wished it was just that. Of course, paradoxically, stress is a big contributor to disease. My worse physical attacks have been while under extreme duress. The difference I speak of here, is where my answers are coming from, namely other sciences and unconventional doctors. So, in a way, still from Doctors just not the normal route. These Doctors require, so that I can be most successful, that I know my body and the sciences that govern it of nutrition and environment.

I’ve followed the Wahls Protocol as closely as I can for it is very precise and extremely detailed. There is volumes to learn. I don’t want that to sound discouraging, it required that I put the same amount of energy that I had put into living disabled into a changed mindset of getting well. I just needed a route that could be effective. And this was it. No longer hopeless, I had hope. No longer did I have to sit idly by and be a victim. I could actually do something about this and not wait for the day I would be bedridden. As I follow this, there is always something else to work on. For example, I’m still largely adjusting to living on a Nutritious Ketosis diet. The most recent issue, which I’ve blogged about as it was ongoing, was feelings of depression and overwhelming sleepiness. After a couple weeks of this, I finally found an article which I gave a link to on that particular day on my blog. The answer was that I wasn’t eating enough fat for my body’s energy needs on the Ketosis diet and I wasn’t eating enough protein, the bare minimum was all I was having. Since increasing both, my energy is increasing, my depression has dissipated and the sleepiness has completely lifted. So, that was it. It required me to do research, find what I was missing nutritionally, thanks to Dr. Wahls and my willingness to learn forming a base knowledge of Ketosis from which to start from, having read Wahls book several times, articles on the net, other’s experiences on the Wahls Facebook group, I found my answer.

At present, I am working on figuring out why I am losing so much hair. I have thick hair and woe to the person who lives with me, they gotta deal with that too. I’ve always lost a lot of hair and incredibly, my hair remains thick. But, this, is too much and unusual, and coming right from the roots. My intuition says it is the Ketosis diet, I am lax on a few things as I had mentioned in a previous blog, one of which is bone broth, another seaweed and still another organ meat. I feel the answer probably lies with one of these, or a supplement I need to take, like Q10. I will research what could cause hair loss nutritionally, then go from there. No longer is it a call to the Doctor, or just do nothing at all. I am my own Doctor and I am responsible to find the answers. The good news? The answers are out there! If its there, being the tenacious sort that I am, I’ll find it.

I do crosswords daily. Its one of my cognitive exercises and something I enjoy doing. I was intimidated by crosswords for years, I’d try one every now and then, and unless it was super easy, I’d give up after a minute or two. See, on a harder puzzle, I would suspect the answer, but have no confidence in my choice, then give up. Until I lived with a friend for two years who is an avid crossword enthusiast. You know the type, does the Sunday New York Times puzzle, one of the those. I started doing some of the medium puzzles lying around the house in books that had the answers in the back, and I began to realize that those answers I suspected, were nine out of ten times correct, but weren’t proven yet by the “crossword”. I changed my attitude. I filled in the word with what I felt was probably it even if I couldn’t prove it yet, and I began solving crossword puzzles. I’m still not great, but I do the medium ones with ease now and can do half of some hard ones.

This is like that, trust your intelligence, trust your intuition, do the foot work and you’ll reap the rewards. You just have to want it bad enough.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/frame-less-eyeglasses-on-newspaper-53209/

Strange foods can make good bedfellows

Yesterday, I assessed my progress on the Protocol using a grading system. Today, I need to adjust my grade from a B to a B- because I forgot about Bone broth. Which I should be making from scratch using bones from pastured, free range, no hormones, no antibiotics animals to make this weekly and freeze in jars, to be consumed a cup a day, at least. Suffice it say that I have not done this, yet. I don’t own a crock pot, bone broth slow cooks for hours and hours. I need to get one. I did do one thing, I have powdered bone broth. It might not be ideal, but better than what I am doing, which is nothing. So, this will be added to my “get on it!” list. I have tried the powder in stir fry’s several times, very tasty, but have not tried it as a broth to drink yet. The powdered broth:

bone broth frontbroth

And, I went out and sought answers to the seaweed dilemma. I was going to buy capsules, but I just can’t afford them. 160 Hawaiian Spiralina capsules for $44, at four capsules a day, that’s only 40 days worth. I am trying these Kelp noodles, $8.00:

kelp noodleskelp back

And these snacks, $2.50:

onion kelponion kelp back

I bought one package, it says a package is one serving, but I think I can eat less than that to have my daily serving, maybe even four servings. I’ll let you know how these seaweed products go. I’ll be honest, the noodles scare me. I’m going to try the chicken stir fry this weekend and the seasnax tomorrow.

I received a wonderful affirmation to what I am doing on the Wahls Protocol this morning. I renewed my gym membership. I have a low income pass called Fair Entry that is automatically renewed annually because I am on disability. I learned today that it needed to be renewed. I explained, I’m on AISH, it should be automatic, which it was. The woman asked, “But your so fit? You look better than some born in 1975.” In between those two statements, I explained what I’m doing and where I started. I was born in November, 1962. What a nice thing to hear, six months ago no one batted an eye at my age and the “fit” comment, I’ve been getting a lot lately.

I’ve had lots of unusual visits with friends. Two of them, one from yesterday and one from today are healthy people who have been living and eating this way for years, and it shows. The other has just begun to learn four months ago. The conversations were having are so inspiring, learning from them, sharing what I’m learning. Two of these people haven’t seen me since before I started the Protocol. Both, last saw me with a walker. Gratitude, doesn’t begin to cover how I feel about all this. So, I gotta slurp down some seaweed noodles, I’ll experience a new food. Adventure, gotta keep my mind open.

 

Bonne Sante