Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday and Tuesday

Good Morning!  I hope you are all having a great week and staying dry if you are the east coast. We are apparently in our rainy period at the moment.  The sun is shining as I type this but we are under a flood advisory later today.  I am sure the farmers would have preferred the rain earlier in the year, but better late than never I guess.  Sorry for my delay on posting about Monday and Tuesday.  Here is what I was up to:


I as mentioned in the prior post we had doctor appointments (physicals to be exact) scheduled for Tuesday this week. The looming doctor appointment had me being more cautious than usual about what I have been eating the last few weeks. Dan claims I was “studying for the test”. I tend to think of what I was doing as trying to nudge the scale in the right direction. I can’t name a single woman that goes to the doctor and enjoys getting on the scale in front of strangers. *cringe* The reason I mention this is to explain the particularly clean eating your have been seeing recently. I suspect things may ease up a bit now that the doctor visit is behind me. ;-)


For Lunch on Monday I made myself a simple salad of ½ head of romaine, ¼ of a thinly shaved cucumber, 3 diced Roma tomatoes, ¼ cup of marinated mushrooms and raw sesame seeds dressed with the Dijon, red wine vinegar and stevia dressing that I have been coveting lately.

To accompany the salad I have a big bunch of grapes. In case you hadn’t noticed I love grapes, either frozen or refrigerated. I try to buy the darkest skinned grapes possible because I have the feeling those are the highest in resveratrol, though that is only a guess on my part. If anyone knows for sure please share. Or if you have any other grape nutrition trivia that you want to share that would be great too.

After lunch I sat down with a pot of stinging nettle tea and a book for a little while. Somehow a rainy day just begs for a pot of tea and book curled up on the sofa.

Stinging Nettle Tea:

This was something that was new to me a year ago. I first bought it after reading about stinging nettle extract in “Life Over Cancer” for reducing inflammation. Controlling inflammation can reduce your risk of cancer and well as decreasing its aggressiveness once you have it. In order to keep inflammation down we try to:

• get enough sleep (this one needs more work)
• reduce our exposure to indoor air pollution
• practice moderate (not extreme) exercise
• keep a healthy ratio of omega 3 to 6 fatty acids (ideal is reported to be between 1:1 to 1:2 with the average American being 1:20+)
• avoid high glycemic foods (particularly refined carbs like bread)
• take anti inflammatory supplements (turmeric)
• eat salicylate-rich foods (turmeric and tomatoes)
• eat flavonoid rich fruits, veggies and spices (dark berries, onions, sweet spuds, tomatoes, cayenne, ginger, oregano, rosemary, turmeric)

By now you are probably wondering how stinging nettle tea comes into the picture. According to Dr. Block (the author of Life Over Cancer) stinging nettle extract reduces inflammation. In lieu of taking yet another supplement I have been trying to add stinging nettle tea to our regular beverage rotation. We drink so much green/white tea that getting in the stinging nettle tea hasn’t been easy. I have decided to try to add it to our morning smoothies to make sure we drink it on a somewhat regular basis. On days when we don’t have smoothies my plan is to make a pot of stinging nettle tea before bed.

What does it taste like? I brew ½ tablespoon in 2 ½ cups of hot water and the flavor is very mild. It reminded me somewhat of a very light licorice flavor. The taste is not assertive enough to be offensive, in my opinion.

I have not found any potential problems in the literature with consuming stinging nettle tea in moderation. If any of you drink stinging nettle tea or know of any other things it is good for please feel free to share.


Waiting to Dan to come home from work I got a little hungry and had a small bowl of garlic and herb marinated mushrooms to tide me over. Since I love acidic food anything marinated always works for me. It doesn’t hurt that mushrooms have been shown to have antiproliferative properties. The literature seems to be divided over whether the type of mushroom makes a difference or not. I try to make certain we get a mix to different mushrooms to cover all the possibilities.


Since Dan worked late Monday night I opted for a simple salad for dinner. This was similar to the lunch salad except it also contained the last few red lentil and millet bites from the freezer. As I am not out of bean balls (falafel and otherwise) in the freezer it is time for me to get busy and replenish my freezer inventory before we starve. ;-) As you probably noticed I rely on my freezer inventory to get quick healthy meals on the table.


Being a female, and not wanting the scale at the doctor’s to be any higher than absolutely necessary I decided to skip breakfast and take a snack with me to the doctor’s office. Does anyone else do this or I am I the only one that is this ridiculous? My husband just shakes his head when I do things like this.

Of course I did make Dan breakfast this morning. He had a big bowl of oatmeal with the no sugar apple butter and walnuts for his breakfast.

Our doctor appointments were 11:40 and noon on Tuesday. As expected the doctor was running behind schedule. Why does this always happen? At one point there were four of us in the waiting room (for one doctor). The sad part was that four people were all playing with their smart phones and no one was talking to anyone else. What will society look like in another 10 years? *shakes head*

We finally were taken back to the exam room at 12:30 almost an hour after our scheduled first appointment. *rolls eyes* On the way to the exam room we made a stop at the dreaded scale. How is that I had no breakfast, no beverage and still managed to weigh 6 pounds more at the doctor’s office than I did at home 5 hours earlier? That is just not right! *stomps foot* ;-) I know, quit whining it wasn’t the end of the world, but it was annoying, at least to me.

When we got to the exam room I grabbed the snack from my purse because by then I was really hungry. I had packed 12 walnut halves and 2 dried pear halves to hold me over until I got home. Surprisingly that was enough to take the edge off my hunger. I was glad I had filled my travel coffee mug with iced water to wash it down though.

All went well with the physical. My heart sounded good and the EKG was excellent, both great to hear. My blood pressure was a bit high for me 108/78, but considering the frustrating drive on the expressway to the doctor I didn’t think it was bad. Since the doctor was pleased with the BP reading I guess I should be too.

We spent some time talking diet/nutrition and discussing blood work results and deciding what tests to run next time. While I don’t like the long wait at the doctor’s office I do like that our internist is very open to our diet and seems to stay current on the impact of nutrition on health. For us that makes the inconvenience of waiting acceptable. Everything in life is a trade-off right?

While I don’t like to get a flu shot I did it this year since my parents are in their 80’s and I don’t want to catch anything and pass it to them or Dan. When I worked in hospitals it was mandated that all the employees get vaccinated so that we didn’t transmit the flu to the patients whose immunity was certainly compromised if only from the stress of being in the hospital or from surgery itself. I mention this so that you can consider it when your doctor asks you if you want the flu shot this year. I got mine for those I love.

After the doctor appointment I decided some retail therapy was in order to take my mind off the fact that my left upper arm was a sore from the flu shot. I really hate needles and I think this causes me to tense up before shots making the after effects worse than they would normally be. Sometimes I am seriously a big baby.


I picked up some great stuff shopping. I stopped at the Marshall’s close to the doctor to see if I could find more things from Talbot’s. As luck would have it I found a pair of chinos, a nice pair of off white fully lined dress pants and black pencil skirt, all from Talbot’s and all $16.99 each. Score! I was practically doing the happy dance again. I also found a pair of organic cotton yoga pants on clearance for $10.

A flowing black tunic with white scroll work that was only $24.99 was my wild purchase for the day. Most of my clothing choices are best described as classic in nature, think solid colors and an lot of black and beige, but I also like an occasional funky piece like this tunic. However this top is a bit bold so I will only wear it with slim black pants and simple jewelry so my overall look doesn’t get too “loud” if you know what I mean. ;-)

You already know that found a 10 pound kettle bell for $9.99. At that price I couldn’t resist picking it up to add to my home gym. It is always nice to have something new to play around with. It also came with a print out of exercise you can do with the kettle ball. However there weren’t many ideas so I will be looking for a video at the library or on Netflix to get more use from this.  Do you have a favorite kettle bell DVD?

I also bought a few pieces of Murano glass low flat bowls and at ridiculously cheap prices, $12.99, $9.99 and $7.99. Since I love Murano glass those had to come home with me to add to my other Italian pieces.

While I enjoy shopping my favorite part is getting good deals. I am not fond of paying full price unless it is absolutely necessary. The three pieces of clothing I bought today with Talbots labels were collectively marked original at $258.50 and I paid $50.97. At full price they were nice pieces (well made) and worth the price but at less than 20% of original price they are a bargain. But why pay full price when you don’t have to, that is my shopping theory.

Late Lunch:

When I got home from the doctor’s office it was late which meant I was hungry. But I knew we were having dinner with friends so I also didn’t want to ruin my appetite. I had a half a baked sweet potato in the refrigerator and topped that with leftover mushroom dahl.

To go with the dahl I had another bunch of grapes.


Tuesday night we had dinner with our friends Walid, Jackie and Walid’s mom Nadia. Walid’s mom is still here from Cairo and she is such a nice lady it is always great to see her. Thankfully we have Walid to translate since we speak no Arabic and Nadia only speaks a little English. It is funny how you can read so much about a person from their face and body language. Nadia is always smiling and laughing and just a pleasure to be around. The first thing she did was to give both me and Dan and hug and tell us how happy she was to see us.

I wore my new black top with the white scroll work and got quite a few compliments tonight. Apparently it was a good purchase, LOL. Walid told me it reminded him of Morocco. Jackie liked it so much she, Nadia and I are going to a different Marshall’s on Thursday to see what we can find there. Jackie and Nadia both like to shop so it should be a lot of fun and possibly a little dangerous unless tropical depression 16 washes our shopping plans down the drain that is.

Dinner was a simple salad of mixed baby greens with granny smith apple, roasted beet, and chopped walnut with raspberry vinaigrette. I was so busy talking I forgot to photograph it. How long have I been doing this? Don’t answer that, LOL.

Then we ordered the Szechuan Tofu for others to try. Walid doesn’t like tofu but liked this. Nadia tried the tofu (her first) and said it was good. I know it is silly but I like to show my omni friends that tofu is nothing to be avoided. In my mind every meatless meal anyone eats is a good thing.

Of course our main dish was a whole wheat pizza this time topped with hummus, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, roasted beets, thinly sliced red onion, olives and fresh dill. It was delicious but by the time we got to the pizza we were getting full.

The only sad note to dinner was it was Ian’s night off so I had to have my dinner without my customary hug from the chef. Dinner without a hug from the chef is just not the same. ;-)

Signing out:

That catches you up on Monday and Tuesday. I hope to have a little time to spend in the kitchen today (Wednesday). I do have a few errands to run today but hope to knock those out quickly so I can make some progress on my at home to-do list. Talk to you later.


  1. Glad you have a good doctor's visit! Great shopping finds. Though all of your food looks delicious the pita dish is making me particularly hungry right now!

  2. JL,

    Thanks I thought it went well. The older I get the more I worry about trips to the doctor and the news that something is starting to break down. ;-)

    Shopping always takes the sting out of doctor visits for me.

    When it is cool I seem to crave carby things too. I wonder if we are programmed for that? Hmmm....

    hope you are having a good Wednesday,

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I'd say check out tracy reifkind's old blog (her current blog is She does have a dvd, but it's more of a "train the trainer" type thing. But she has a lot of youtube videos as well as routines on her blog. Both she & her husband are RKC certified kettlebell instructors, so the form & workouts are top notch.

    I recommend this because frankly most of the kettlebell dvds I've found are crap. Even the ones from 'experts' haven't impressed me much.

  5. Neca,

    Thanks so much for the information. Since I have never picked up a kettle bell before I can use all the info I can get. It seems as though form would be critical using these so you don't get hurt.

    Hope all is well with you,

  6. I love the red lentil-millet bites. I will note these for later. Happy to hear all is well for you:)

  7. Aimee,

    The red lentil and millet bites are a little tender so they can't be flipped during cooking. I have only used them on salads so far because I have been in a salad rut lately. ;-)

    Thanks, I was happy the visit went well too. At my age you never know what may turn up.

    hope you are having a good Wednesday,

  8. That hummus pizza looks fantastic! And I, too, love marinated mushrooms. Glad the dr. appt. went well. I really should start doing check-ups. I only really go to the lady doctor once a year for my annual. But never to a regular dr. for check-ups. Wouldn't be a bad idea.

  9. Bianca,

    The hummus pizza was good. I think the touch of sweetness from the roasted beets was my favorite part. ;-)

    I used to do the same thing you do and only go to the GYN. However it makes sense to see an internist too once you hit 40 since they tend to be more thorough. Your GYN can probably recommend a few GP's she likes. We got lucky and found ours when I worked for a hospital he was affiliated with. We both like that he appreciates how we eat since not everyone in health care does.

    Hope you are having a good Wednesday,

  10. I keep meaning to ask when I see them appear, do you make your own marinated mushrooms? They look like something I would really enjoy. I tried to find my own answer by doing a search back, but all I see is them looking delicious atop salads.

    It's great your doctor supports your dietary choices. I hope to find someone like that when I get settled; right now I have seen different docs as I move around. And thankfully, being healthy, there's not too much discussion.

  11. mmmmmmm...the pizza looks delicious! And I have been wanting a kettle ball forever now, I think its about time I get myself one! You inspired me!!

  12. Can you please re-post your marinated mushroom recipe. I've looked through the archives and can't find the darn thing. I, too, LOVE mushrooms!

  13. Jessica,

    I will post the marinated mushrooms the next time I make them. You are right I have not posted that recipe yet. I will measure the next time I make them (which will be soon I am running low) so that I can share the recipe. It is very easy. ;-)

    We did get lucky to find a doctor that supports our lifestyle since not all of them do. Seeing Dan's cholesterol go from 280 to 155 sold him on the healthy vegan concept. He has told us more than once he wished he could get other patients to do what we do. :-)

    I hope you are having a good Thursday,

  14. LittleHouseofVeggies,

    Great name!

    We enjoyed the pizza I think the roasted beets pushed it over the top for us.

    I have been wanting a kettle bell for a while too. Now I need to get one of the DVD's Neca recommended. Glad I could inspire you to pick one up too. Check Marshall's if you have one near you.


  15. Neca,

    You can't find the marinated mushrooms because I haven't posted it yet. I always just throw them together. I will measure next time so I can post it.

    I hope you are staying dry in the downpour we are having,


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