Tuesday, December 2, 2014


These days I'm writing a novel. A professor friend from Holland suggested I write a book about the things I've discovered about food and health. I thought about that for a while and began writing a food/health memoir. I even joined a writer's group with three published authors. They were very supportive, but they were all novelists. After a couple of meetings, I decided my book should be a novel too. It's become quite fictional and a lot more fun to write. It does center around food and eating habits and illness but also allows me to take up some other issues I'm interested in like art and violence against women.

Meanwhile, I've regretted abandoning this blog. Since I wrote last I've had a number of issues worth writing about -- I got Lyme disease and did a lot of research on that; I had a granddaughter and did a lot of thinking about birthing and nursing; and I completed a Coursera course on the gut microbiome, a topic I'm wildly fascinated by. But I just can't steel myself to write about any of these things right now.

In an attempt to keep my blog alive, I'm going to keep a food/exercise diary here, at least for a while. My Eating for My Type A Blood in Mexico post got a lot of views. It's basically a food diary that I wrote every day for two weeks, so maybe people like reading that sort of thing. I know I enjoyed reading the food diaries of students in my microbiome class.

Note: I don't follow the Blood Type Diet anymore. Although I did feel great on it, I just can't live without potatoes and salsa so I decided not to believe in it.

After four plus years of experimenting, I know that the best diet for me is one that is mostly vegetables with a little meat, some fruit and some nuts.  I was interested to find out yesterday that this is also the diet Dr. Mark Hyman eats. I also enjoy a couple of cups of black coffee in the mornings, and some alcohol most evenings, and I eat an occasional dessert (like on a birthday or at the holidays) which may be wheat based, but otherwise I don't eat wheat, or sugar, and I also avoid dairy. I don't eat anything processed (lie! I occasionally eat chips). But, THE MOST IMPORTANT PART IS THE VEGETABLES.

Be they fermented, steamed, raw, or roasted, I love vegetables in all forms. They are the foundation of my diet and, I believe, of my health.  I'd say I'm healthy. I can go out and run a mile on a whim, or go on a day hike in the mountains without a problem, I sleep well, and most of the time I'm calm, collected, and happy. I have no idea what I weigh (somewhere between 135 and 150) -- it varies, and I could care less. My definition of healthy is that I feel well. When I feel well, I look just fine whether I'm thin or a bit chunky.

                                     DAILY FOOD LOG (most recent day on top)

Wed., Dec.3,2014
didn't sleep great (usually I do) Possibly that cappuccino at noon yesterday. 2 cups of coffee early in the morning is all I should ever have, and usually I stick to that.
Up at 7:10
Instant coffee
9:30 handful of walnuts
yoga - 12 sun salutes
10:40 oatmeal with blackberries, apple, chia seeds, and honey

12:20 the rest of that oatmeal
1:30 prunes
2:30 beef & bean chili, 1/2 a bolillo (roll) w/butter, mandarin orange
4-5:30 visited the sugar cane festival and sucked on chunks of sugar cane and ate roasted peanuts. Raw sugar cane chunks are not nearly as sweet as a lump of table sugar, the chunks are mostly fiber that you spit out.
6:30 ginger apple cinnamon tea
7:40 white wine
9:00 nopales salad and two quesadillas with ham and cheese and chipotle salsa

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014

Up at 7:10
Instant coffee x3
10:30 scrambled eggs with half slice of chopped bacon, onions, poblano pepper, tomato, and a nopal cactus salad on the side
12:00 cappuccino
2:00 handful of walnuts
3:30 3 beef tacos w/cilantro and onion and glass of horchata
5:00 apple
7:00 Oaxaca cheese
not a lot of exercise, some leisurely walking here and there around the city.
8:15 2 glasses white wine
9:00 veggie lentil soup, cheese, walnuts, and nopal salad

Monday, December 1, 2014

Up around 7:00 as usual
Instant coffee
9:30 handful of walnuts
Ran a mile in the park
10:45 avocado w/salt and lime, hard boiled egg, a mandarin orange
12 sun salutes
3:30 out for comida: thin piece of steak with strips of tomato and onion, beans and rice, mandarin agua (like watered-down orange juice), corn tortillas and salsa
4:30 polished off the rest of the chocolate icing from the freezer
7:30 Alice brings home some little sugar cookies and I eat some of those
8:00 meet hubby for wine - 2 glasses of white (and french fries)
9:00 a mug of the soup I made earlier in the day with chicken/vegetable stock, chicken breast meat, lentils, carrots and celery. At my market I ask for parts of chicken for soup plus livers. They give me necks and wings and somtimes feet. Sometimes I buy them. Then I get 1/2 a breast to add in after the stock is made. I use broccoli stems, celery, onions, garlic, and carrots when I make stock. All that gets thrown away except I chop the livers and stock meat up for my dog, LuLu. I make stock in my pressure cooker, and I usually have plenty for a soup plus enough to cook rice in.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Instant coffee
10:30 handful of walnuts
Bicycling for 40 minutes, leisurely
11:30 breakfast out: Mexican eggs (scrambled eggs with chilies, tomatoes, and onions), handmade corn tortillas (hot from the comal), fresh cheese, salsa, orange juice, coffee
Reading a great article in the New Yorker on line: The Excrement Experiment about fecal transplants. If you're not up to date on all the research findings about the gut microbiome, this is a must read!
Afternoon: Visited an International food fair. Didn't eat a ton, but sampled various things. Fish & chips, potato dishes, some meat on a little tortilla, cabbage with granola (that was interesting -- from the German table), a glass of chenin blanc, and a taste of mezcal w/membrillo (I want a bottle of that for Christmas! - YUM!).
Over the course of the day walked about three miles around and about the city and ate a chocolate cupcake and some bites of leftover chocolate icing from the freezer.
Late supper of roasted carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli with a little spinkling of parmesan cheese plus a little tequila.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Instant coffee
12 sun salutes
2 or 3 handfuls of walnuts
11:00 fresh-squeezed orange juice
short dog walk and a longer, leisurely dog walk in the afternoon
12:20, 3:30, 6:00 ate left-over dish made of veggies (onion, carrot, red bell pepper, cauliflower, and broccoli), left-over beans, and left-over rice, all mixed tegether with newly roasted fresh corn kernals and a tiny bit of left-over steak chopped fine.
Note: In the San Juan market there's a guy who just cuts kernals off corn all day. He bags one cob of kernals per baggie. Usually its white corn, and not very sweet. In the states everyone seems to think the sweeter the corn the better, but I'd say here people actually prefer it a little tough and not very sweet, because sometimes he has sweet yellow corn and a lot of customers pass it up for the white not-so-sweet.
Ate 2 chocolate cupcakes and begged Alice to bring the rest to her boyfriend's house, which she did.
Supper: quesadillas w/Oaxaca cheese and green salsa, tequila

Friday, November 28, 2014

A little hungover so started the day with hot water and a squeeze of lime instead of coffee.
Dog for a walk (maybe a mile)
12 sun salutes
Instant coffee
BREAKFAST scrambled egg with potato and 1/2 an avocado
handful of walnuts
12:00 SNACK one of Alice's killer chocolate cupcakes
2:30 LUNCH left-over mashed potatoes, diced turkey meat, and steamed vegetables I brought to Thanksgiving yesterday (see below). I mixed it all together in one pot with a little water and about 2 T. of butter. Made enough for two of us. Leftover piece of pumpkin pie for dessert.
8:00 SUPPER More leftover mixed veggies (turkey all gone) and some leftover mashed sweet potatoes. Cupcake for dessert (Seriously, I'm only eating this many desserts because it's a holiday.)
9:30  A bit of brandy

Thursday, November 27, 2014 (THANKSGIVING)

Instant coffee
Ran a mile
Handful of walnuts
BREAKFAST scrambled eggs with serrano peppers and onions
THANKSGIVING DINNER with a bunch of gringos (10 altogether) at a friend's house a few blocks away.

I brought the vegetables: a mix of onion, carrot, red bell pepper, cauliflower, and broccoli which I steamed starting with the onion and adding each veggie in the order I have them written. I salted the water quite a bit and added some tumeric at the end, but that was the only seasoning.

I also made greenbeans which I parboiled at home, then sauteed in butter and garlic at the host's house just before serving.

Also volunteered to bring mashed potatoes, but because I ran to the market at the last minute to get the greenbeans, I was behind on cooking the potatoes so I stuck them in the pressure cooker, brought them up to pressure and then shut them off. Just before leaving the house, I let the steam out, but left the cooker sealed. They turned out perfectly without any more heating, just sitting in the sealed pot for 30 minutes. I threw in a bunch of chopped parsley and a stick of butter before mashing by hand.

I ate ham, turkey, veggies, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, but I didn't eat stuffing or rolls. Last year I ate all the wheat items and it was days before my joints felt well again. I did eat a cupcake and a piece of pumpkin pie for dessert.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Instant coffee

smoothie (pineapple juice, nopal cactus, parsley, and celery) -- I can buy this when I walk the dog in the morning around 7:30, and I usually share it with my husband. A young couple makes about 10 different kinds of smoothies in a store front and then load them in a truck and deliver them somewhere.... I get them right after they're made. Delicious!

a boiled potato (boiled a couple of days ago) diced large, a handful of chopped parsley, and 2 eggs, all scrambled together in butter

a handful of walnuts

a small dish of sauerkraut

ginger apple cinnamon tea

a few thin strips of steak leftover from yesterday

an apple

COMIDA (eaten at 3:00 at a little mom & pop joint near our house --  The menu of the day comes with soup and the agua of the day and a main course with rice and beans all for less than $5)

vegetable soup w/ chicken broth base

spinach sauteed with tomato and onion, rice, and beans

cantaloupe agua (like juice, but watered down, and often sweetened w/ a lot of sugar)

more walnuts

2 glasses of white wine at the park called Las Rosas where wine and beer is two for one until 8 or 9:00.

at 8:30 got home and tried one of the chocolate cupcakes daughter Alice is making for Thanksgiving. She used a Martha Stewart recipe. OMG! need I say more? and this is where I should have ended the day, but I asked my husband if I could have one of the quesadillas he was making and he gave me one. Forgot that he's been experimenting with a shredded pork concoction that comes in a plastic envelope called Cochinita. NOT something I would've eaten, but being polite, and since I'd asked... It was a small quesadilla and also had Oaxaca cheese and refried beans.

A small portion of beans I cooked yesterday. There are so many beans for sale here, but these are a beige bean that when I soak them they start to sprout in an hour or so, so quite fresh. I cook them with a little bit of lard, onions, and serrano pepper.

walked dog and did 12 sun salutes in morning, ran a mile (not very well) at noon, walked around the city doing various errands -- probably a couple of miles total.

SUMMARY: Was that interesting to anyone but me? It wasn't even that interesting to me by the last day, and it actually took more time than I expected. I did learn that I do a lot of eating, but I don't start until late in the morning. Also, once the sweets are out of the house, I don't really think about them or crave them.

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