(Massimo enjoying the fresh air)
Yesterday was one of those days that were generally chaotic and disorganized with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I had quite a few things on my to-do list that remain unfinished. The weather was fairly cool and we had the windows open again yesterday. The felines were loving being in the window sills with their fuzz blowing.
Review Food, Inc.:
One of my friends called and was telling me about Food, Inc. assuming I had seen it. Since this was the second of my omnivore friends to rave about the movie I thought it was time to watch it. I had been avoiding the movie assuming it would have graphic scenes that I didn’t want to see and wouldn’t provide much new information. I was right on both counts. However the movie did a good job of coalescing disparate but related information into an interesting cohesive film.
One fact that I had not heard before was the connection of GMO soy with the weed killer Round Up. According to the film soy was genetically modified so that the field could be sprayed with round up to kill the weeds but not affect the soy. If this is true that is why GMO soy should be avoided. According to Monsanto’s own website they call their soy “Round Up ready soybean technology”. Sounds like the film got it right. *sigh*
For those of you that buy meat analogs many of them contain GMO soy and worse yet GMO soy protein isolate. I would caution you to do your own research. I won’t eat any of those products anymore for health reasons. Now knowing they contain Round Up makes it even more unpalatable for me.
Overall it was a good film and one I would encourage everyone to watch. There are some scenes that caused me to turn away but I think the information was worth the discomfort. If you have Netflix streaming that is how I watched up. But I have also seen the movie at our local library branch.
Men should feel free to skip this section. Since I have been doing a bit of research on this recently (for obvious reasons) and wanted to share what I have learned.
I should start this by saying that for years I thought PMS was a vast female conspiracy to have an excuse for being moody. However I changed my mind on this in my late 30’s when I started to experience PMS. Perimenopause is a little like PMS, only much worse. From what I have read it starts sooner for women that eat a healthy vegan diet. Supposedly it is less intense for these women as well. If this is true change your diet now because it isn’t good at the level I am experiencing I can not imagine it being worse. Some of the things that I have happen so far are: insomnia, vast mood swings, forgetfulness, and abdominal bloating. I have missed the hot flashes and night sweats thus far thankfully. According to what I have been reading these symptoms could last anywhere from 2 to 10 years. Yay? Clearly I need to figure out how to deal with this since it will be with me for a while. *rolls eyes*
From what I have been reading the drop in estrogen is less dramatic for those women that abstain from meat and dairy making the symptoms less severe. Additionally entering perimenopause earlier is associated with a reduction in the overall risk of breast cancer for the same reason that having child has that association. The fewer monthly cycles you have the better.
I have also read that consuming soy helps to relieve the symptoms by adding the weaker phytoestrogens to your body which is producing less of its own estrogen. I have been adding a couple of tablespoons of dry roasted edamame each time I have my daily green tea (5 or 6 times per day). This is a bit of twofer since consuming soy (not soy milk with interferes) with green tea has a synergistic effect. I also plan to add more tempeh, tofu and fresh/frozen edamame for the same reason. My goal is to get two servings of soy per day with my preference being whole soy. I think it is too soon to say if the soy is helping or not. But I will keep you posted on how this goes for me.
I have also read that black cohosh and valerian can help with the symptoms. I have not tried either of those but if you are experiencing symptoms you may want to do a little research on them yourself. Prevention had this article on perimenopause on their daily email today. I thought some of you might want to check it out.
For now the worst part of this seems to be the trouble sleeping. I find it difficult to function when I am constantly tired. If any of you are going through this and have any suggestions I would love to hear them as I am sure others would as well. ;-) Please feel free to share what you have learned or experienced.
My food since the last post:
For breakfast yesterday I made Dan his usual oatmeal with mixed frozen berries, cinnamon, ginger, ground flaxseeds and walnuts. I cooked what was left in the oatmeal container which was a bit too much for his breakfast so I saved about 2/3 of cup of cooked oatmeal in the refrigerator for my smoothie. Once Dan was off to work and I had time to exercise I made myself a smoothie. It contained the cooked oats, 2 peaches, 1 cup frozen cherries, cinnamon, ground ginger, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon ground flax, 1 cup baby spinach, water and ice. This smoothie was really good. I don’t always have frozen cherries on hand but they are really good in a smoothie.
Lunch was a simple salad of shredded romaine, diced tomatoes, caponata and pine nuts. I have been enjoying caponata on salad these last few days but yesterday was the end of it. Now I need to come up with something else to use for salad dressing.
I have been craving bread or pasta for about a week. While I try to listen to my body when it wants something that is not optimally healthy I try to put that off as long as possible. Since my flour craving was not going away I decided to defrost a few mushroom ravioli I had stashed in the freezer in a food saver bag. These were made pre-blog which means I don’t have the specific recipe to post. If you want to make your own ravioli they are very easy. Here is my favorite pasta dough recipe. Also tofu ricotta and porcini mushroom or spinach makes a great filling.
Dinner last night was shredded romaine, diced tomatoes, mushroom ravioli and a creamy walnut sauce.
Breakfast this morning was a simple romaine salad topped with the eggplant and tomato salad, falafel from the freezer, Middle Eastern eggplant and cashew sesame sauce. I topped it with a few pine nuts for garnish. I had with a hot water with lemon. Since I wasn’t overly hungry this morning I wanted something on the light side but that was substantial enough to keep my fueled while I took care of my usual Friday errands.
As you may have noticed by now I use my freezer as part of my pantry. It plays a big part in my being able to get a varied meal on the table rapidly. This is why I also make extra food to stash in the freezer. Those frozen items are a big time saver later when I am short on time.
For now I need to do a few things here, check on my folks. I am planning on cooking something different tonight so I should be back with a recipe later today. I hope everyone is having a great Friday. Aren’t Friday’s just the best? They are my favorite day of the week. ;-) Talk to you all again soon.