Monday, February 27, 2017

Cabbage Rolls, Southwestern Style

It's been said that I do things a little bit differently. I suppose that's true. Smoked Salmon Tamales. Sushi Ravioli. Stuff that comes out delicious, just different from anything anyone else does. So, not surprising that I make that old European favorite, Cabbage Rolls, into something completely different.

Why not though? Southwestern food is so unique, so flavorful, it lends itself to making EVERYTHING a bit better.
 They might look a might odd, but that's because the sauce I used was my best selling 'Passion of the Garlic' salsa. I make it with tomatillos and lots of oven roasted garlic. A bit of spice and this stuff is the absolute bomb, as my old dear friend Key always told me about the foods I used to make for her. 

This time, I had some organic pork from my friend Kenny the 
Fishhugger. (Kenny) Nice stuff, I browned some and used half for some tacos for someone. The other half I put in a glass container in the freezer for a couple weeks. I bought a big head of Savoy Cabbage at the farmers market and said to myself, "Self, this is going to be spectacular" Saying stuff like that to yourself is okay, I never answer myself back so all's good. My shrink said it's okay. So, I took a half a red onion and a yellow bell and diced them up. a cup of cooked brown rice (I always have extra, I eat it nearly every day) And I diced up about 3 ounces each of Mozzarella  and Asiago cheeses. Cooked the onion and pepper in a bit of olive oil about 4 minutes, then took off the heat and added a big bunch of fresh basil, oregano and thyme leaves from my patio garden in pots. Chopped of course. Threw in the frozen already cooked pork and let sit until the pork was thawed. Added the rice and cheeses, tossed well and then set aside. I love Savoy as the leaves come off easily. I removed eight of them, very few tears, so cool. I brought an inch of water to a boil in a stock pot and put the leaves in a metal colander and put inside the pot. Steamed them about ten minutes. Savoy are pretty hardy.
Then proceeded to let cool and roll them up into these babies. Oops, I poured about a quarter of the jar into the rice mix and tossed that as well. Then the rest of the jar of salsa, I mixed with a half jar of water. Poured a bit on the bottoms of the pans and after put the stuffed rolls into the pans, I poured the rest of the sauce over the tops.I covered with parchment paper, then sealed with aluminum foil. NEVER LET ALUMINUM FOIL TOUCH ANY FOOD!!!! That's why the paper first. Protection. And salsa is acidic, it would eat holes in the foil and if you ate that residue, then it does horrible things to your brain. Anyway, bake at 350 for an hour and holy cow, these are incredible


Friday, February 17, 2017

Shake shake shake... Yeah, music, dancing, weight loss miracles. Magic and Money

It wasn't that long ago that I was in the hospital for a kidney stone. September 22 of 2015. My weight at that time, 320 pounds. I am six foot two or so, might of shrunk some, as happens as we age. Monday at the gym, I weighed myself on both of their scales, and the readings were within a half pound. I am now 234 pounds. It was hard to do, and yet, incredibly easy. And at no time during the nearly 17 months did I ever once, NOT ONCE, add any money to the already frightening amount of money spent on weight loss in these United States. 

Sixty Billion Dollars is spent annually on weight loss.

And it's all a waste of money.

Harsh, I know. But the reality is there for us to view. One out of three Americans are Obese. And still, 70% of adults are overweight. These numbers continue to climb, steadily. They have not once gone down since scientists started to look at this phenomena back in the fifties. 

Yeah, weight loss spending for individuals might, and here it's a stretch, MIGHT show improvement. For specific individuals over a specific time frame. It does happen. Generally though, the majority of Americans spend their money, adding to that sixty billion dollar total, yet it's for short term losses that return once the money is no longer spent. The weight loss industry is based entirely on lies. Everything about their advertising, their slick marketing driven packaging for convenience and their very basic concept, is all about driving home that basic falsehood. That spending money, utilizing products designed for convenience, will allow you to be slim, trim and healthy. 

It's all a lie. Yet humans are gullible. Always have been, pretty sure they always will be. Politicians that show themselves to be corrupt, get reelected. (Except Hillary, some out there saw through her rhetoric) Diet soda that has had independent studies showing it to cause weight gain as well as a large number of rather detrimental side effects, sell by the billions. And just as our ancestors spent their hard earned money on magic beans and snake oil, the weight loss industries of America keep raking in our money and giving dreams of Paradise, perhaps from a dashboard light. Which isn't far from the truth, advertising for all the crap out there comes from the hottest and best looking models available. 

A friend's wife has begun posting online about her newest mlm group that she is now affiliated with. Shakes that satisfy, provide nutrition and her pounds are melting away. Magic Beans. I have no idea what she pays for each one, but I'm sure they aren't cheap. And as so many of the ones available at the stores, when I look at the ingredients, there's stuff there I can't pronounce, as well as the things that are right from the start, detrimental to any sort of plan to lose weight; either some form of sugar, or high fructose corn syrup. Remember Metrecal? People my age do. The Metrecal for lunch bunch. A food replacement product with all the nutrition of real food, in a handy shake. Made with sugar. 

It's a popular ingredient, it makes humans addicted to that sweet sweet flavor. It isn't exactly nutritious. No matter how many artificial additives and processed vitamins and minerals are added to it. It's still just flavored sugar.

My weight loss has been based on an actual change in my attitude toward food itself. I used to eat meat, processed foods, breads, ice cream, packaged this and that. I stopped all that. I have been a vegetarian for about eight years now, just not a very strict one. That's all changed. I am very strict now. No meat, no processed foods, no sugar, no chemicals and lots and lots of fruit and vegetables. Organic when possible. Which is primarily most of the time as I get my food at the farmers markets and only buy organic at the stores. And never Chinese or Mexican organic. 

It's pretty hard to do. 

My weight has gone up and down during this time. Personal reasons, my inability to deal with relationship issues (always been a problem ** Three Divorces)((Insight into me)) thus giving me an excuse to sit and drink beer to excess. (Yes it's true what she told me, I do so very much enjoy playing the role of victim) (( Although it's not true, I do not feel superior to everyone, only those that I am superior too)) And of course the long term effects from before (black mold) and exacerbation of asthma, causing steroid use which makes you put on weight. However, for the most part, it has been a total commitment to be a smaller man and altering the lifestyle that I have led most of my life. 

One thing that is consistent with me in my food routine, is most mornings I make a shake. Ta Da? No, not one in a can. Mine is simple. And has other health benefits designed right into it. Start with juice of a lemon and a quarter cup of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Add a half teaspoon of cinnamon, black cohosh root, gingko biloba, mullein and turmeric. Then a heaping teaspoon each of hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds and nutritional yeast. Also called spent brewers yeast. Add a bit of water and mix a bit. then add an organic banana, a tablespoon of local raw honey from a local bee keeper, NEVER stuff from a grocery store. Add some fruit in season or a couple dates. Then top blender jar with organic plain yogurt. Blend, and it has more protein and all the right balance of everything you need to exist in about a couple hundred or so calories that will fill you up and keep you going for five or more hours. For about forty cents. Cheaper if you don't use organic stuff. But why? Be safe, organic is the only real option in today's weird world of toxin usage in agriculture.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

This is what you NEED to understand before allowing ANY doctor to prescribe Testosterone Creams

I think that anyone that has watched a television show in past twenty years has seen the ads for the miracle cure that science has found for a condition that the medical profession has hyped into another one of the popular health conditions that they have appropriately named as 'Low T'. This condition has been touted as the reason for everything wrong in a man's life. Everything. Below is a list of a few of the symptoms from the Google search for Low T.

Physical Signs and Symptoms
  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence: inability to develop or maintain an erection)
  • Fatigue (lack of energy)
  • Muscle mass and strength (reduced)
  • Body fat (increased)
  • Back pain.
  • Osteoporosis development (reduced bone mass/density and increased risk of fracture)
The diagnosis for Low T is simple, the doctor takes some blood, and they measure your Testosterone level. If it's below standardized norms by even a small amount, then you get a prescription for Testosterone Cream. One manufactured by any number of pharmaceutical companies and generally from the one that has offered the greatest incentives to your doctor for writing that prescription.

Except, wait a second. Isn't every one of those symptoms also related to the simple basics of good health, poor diet, no exercise and excess consumption of alcohol?

Well, yeah, they are. The difference being in that doctors can't get those wonderful incentives from the drug manufacturers if they have you do a little self discipline and lose weight, exercise and stop drinking alcohol. 

And the pharmaceutical companies can't make billions in profits if we as consumers don't want to take the easy way out and instead of practicing that self discipline, opt for the easy cream, patch, pill, or liquid instead of attempting to better ourselves with lifestyle changes. 

So here's the thing, doctors prescribe testosterone creams based on what the lab result is for your individual level of free testosterone in your blood work. And that's the problem. Free testosterone and bioavailable testosterone both vary dramatically in EVERY individual on a daily basis. T levels follow the same basic circadian rhythms that control so many of our bodily functions. Our natural levels rise and fall dramatically, by up to 43%, DAILY. Lowest in the early afternoon, highest at night and early morning after and during sleep. Getting a single blood test to acquire a definitive level of testosterone for any individual is not best medical practises.

Then there are the simple effects that the body has in response to other stimuli. Our testosterone levels vary depending on whether or not we've had vigorous exercise within a 24 hour period. Whether or not we've been sexually active, or whether or not there was a lot of alcohol ingested. Yeah, it's true, alcohol suppresses the production of testosterone. Especially distilled alcohols. 

All of these factors need to be considered and multiple blood tests done to get an accurate picture of what's happening with your individual body's ability to manufacture the testosterone you need to exist. A diagnosis from one single blood test taken in the afternoon on a day in which you haven't done any physical activity for several days is going to be misleading and may result in a prescription that may do more harm, than any good possible.

Again, if you ever watch any television at all, you've seen the commercials from lawyers that are trying to drum up business by letting you know that if you ever took any testosterone cream and had any of a large number of deleterious events happen to you, then you can sue everybody and get compensated. This is of course a product of our litigious society. But with a good reason. The fact is that excess testosterone does cause horrific problems with our bodies. Chief amongst them,blood clots in the lungs. This is a very serious and often fatal consequence of taking a medication to increase the available free testosterone in your body when in fact your natural ability to produce testosterone is working fine and it was environmental factors that led your doctor to diagnose you as having low T. 

Be careful. Doctors are not the end all be all pearls of wisdom and they don't know every single thing about you as a patient unless you tell them and question every thing that they tell you. All doctors want to get through as many patients in a day as possible and to prescribe as many medications as possible. Those are their goals. If you want the best care possible, question them, make them think about what it is they are doing, let them know that you are not patient XYZ, you are YOU and you think!


Google search for low t
Peak and low values for testosterone