Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What's Wrong With This Town??

So I live in a really weird part of NY State that may actually be a parallel universe where the rules of real life and modern society don't actually apply. Don't get me wrong, this place is really pretty and full of talented, nice people who totally rock. But sometimes things happen here that would never fly anywhere near where norm people habitate.

For example there's this restaurant that just announced it is closing and everyone is all sad about it. The only problem is that this place is a total dive (and so not in the Guy Fieri Triple D way). It's like stale food on the floor, and greasy, stinking air, and why dear GOD is my chair sticky?? sort of way. I've been there twice in five years and both times swore I was coming home with a doggy bag and some home-cooked salmonella. I really don't understand why people are mourning the loss. Yes, this greasy spoon has been in business for a super long time, and yes, it will be the end of an era. But sometimes it's time to cut your losses and move along.

Maybe I am a cold-hearted person who doesn't understand local traditions...BUT since when did horrendous food in a sub-par setting ever resemble a useful local tradition?? I just don't get it.

The Baby Goat Waiting Game

Ugh... I hate/love this time of year. I hate it because it is days of endless waiting and I l love it because the end result is lots of cute baby goats. This year I tried to be smart and took the whole week off of work to be at home for the kiddings. Well, I *tried* but it isn't going so well because it is Tuesday already and none of the three goats are making any progress. I know they are all due soon because all three of them went to their respective boyfriends within the same week in November. They each only spent a few days with the bucks and then I tested them by blood for pregnancy. So I am certain they are actually due within the next few days. The sticky part is that goats have a ten day window from within which they can kid. Most goats kid on day 150, but they can go at any time from 145 - 155 days. So I wait. The only solace is knowing that thay can't hold on forever.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Fan of my Body

So as a result of my Whole30 experience, I am thinner than I have been in quite a while. Yay! I feel great and don't miss the food I have given up. I have always been a fan of my own body. I am super blessed with good weight distribution, even when I was way heavier. My fat tends to distribute all over my body and doesn't concentrate in one area, like my butt or belly. I am tall and large framed so a lot of weight doesn't look too bad on me, which has always given me some major body pride.

I am a fan of my body also because I have never been called fat or teased for being heavy. There were some little shits in grade school who called me "Ogre" but that was mostly because I was a head taller than all of them and I tended to stomp around the classroom (graceful, I was not!). I am super blessed with parents who never focus on my size. Sure, they notice when I lose weight but they never criticized when I was big. I know a lot of people who have parents who criticize their kids' bodies. To me, this is one of the meanest things you can do to a child. Kids have a hard enough time with creating their self identity that they don't need shitty adults making it worse. I see a lot of prepubescent, 10 - 12 year olds who get lot of flack for being fat. I have never seen an 11 year old who looked good, even if they are thin. This time of life is tough because kids are changing and growing. All parts of their bodies are growing at different rates and they are saving up body reserves for a huge puberty growth spurt. Most hefty 12 year olds turn into sleek 14 year olds as soon as the hormones kick in. I promise to never make my daughter's weight an issue for her.

I am a fan of my body because it works. I don't have any huge issues (okay, I do have a wacked out thyroid, but who doesn't?!). My body is strong and I can do a lot with it. I am not in shape but I am not out of shape. I am not fast but I have stamina once I get going. Most of my body systems seems to function well. I rarely need a doctor and feel pretty good each day.

There isn't anything I would change if someone gave me $100,000 and told me to pick out a surgery. I don't need bigger boobs or a nicer nose or thinner legs. Of course, I will continue to live the Whole30 and be ecstatic about any additional weight loss, but I don't have a particular part of my body that I don't like.

I figured out long ago that this body is all I have so I need to deal with it. I'll never be a super model but I can rock it, and that's all that counts to me. Let's all be fans of our bodies!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I don't think "free range" means what you think it means

So I was reading a Paleo blog post about how you should concentrate on buying organic, all natural, free range, grass-fed meat in order to be as healthy as possible. Of course, I glossed over the article and then carefully read the bazillions of idiotic comments that followed the post (because the idiot comments are the best part!). In the comments was a long conversation about which type of chicken is the best to buy from the store. Some people said organic was fine. Others recommended free range. While some said it has to be pastured/grass fed.

I kind of wanted to chime in and let all these people know that regardless of the labeling, pretty much all of the chicken you buy at a chain grocery store comes from Cornish hybrid chickens who don't really know how to survive in a free range or pastured situation. Also these chickens don't survive on a grass fed diet. Cornish hybrids have been genetically manipulated through intensive breeding systems to be a super fast growing but incredibly fragile meat chicken. These birds are capable of growing from a 1 oz chick to a 6 lb. oven roaster in 6 weeks or less. This is an incredible growth curve for an animal. Of course, this sort of intense growth requires a massive amount of calories and an infinitesimal amount of energy expended getting these calories. These chickens are programmed to eat all the time and not move at all.

I have friends who have tried to pasture Cornish hybrids and the result was that they had to actually pick up each chicken and move it to a new spot in the pasture or else it would just lie in its own feces. No amount of free ranging space can convince a Cornish hybrid to get off of its butt and move around. While pasturing meat birds is a noble pursuit, it is probably not feasible with the most numerous type of meat bird -- the lazy Cornish hybrid.So don't waste your brain power trying to decide if the plastic-wrapped package of organic free-range chicken is better than the plastic-wrapped package of organic pasture-raised chicken. The health benefits are probably not different between the two because the chickens who went into the meat are the same.

There are some meat birds available to purchase who are more suited for a pasture situation. I prefer to raise "Freedom Rangers" which are a hybrid of three French breeds of meat chicken. They grow very quickly (8-10 weeks for maturity) and yet they move around a lot more than a Cornish hybrid. These meat birds actually act like real chickens. They will scratch and forage and eat a varied diet. A Cornish hybrid will not scratch or forage, and they prefer broiler feed to anything else.

The moral of this story is: If you want healthy, humanely-raised, organic, pastured, grass-fed, all natural chicken -- RAISE IT YOURSELF or hire a good friend to RAISE IT FOR YOU! And stay away from Cornish hybrids -- they are gross!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"The Gap" is a Very Accurate Name

I spent some time wandering around Lake Placid today. The weather was nice and I got out of work early enough that I had two hours to spend by myself before I had to pick up my kid from daycare. So I made my annual pilgrimage to LP. I needed some dress socks and the Bass store there has lots of cute ones. While there, I managed to find a smoking deal on a pair of leather boots that actually fit my man-feet. I feel very cosmopolitan now.

The next store I went to was The Gap to find some pants. I remember a long time ago I found some decent jeans there. Well, those days are over like me and pasta. Done! All the "pants" (I use this term loosely) were weird leggings/jeans/aviator/Idontknowwhat. They weren't leggings because they were made from stretchy jean material. But they weren't jeans because they were cut like leggings with very slim legs and super tight ankles. The tops poofed out like normal pants but then the legs quickly became pencil thin, hence the aviator look. I didn't even bother trying them on because I didn't want my good day ruined by having the fire department cut me out of a pair of pants in the dressing room. I can't imagine there was any way that anyone over a size 2 would have legs thin enough to fit. Also the pants were all short. I need a tall pant or else I look like I am avoiding a flood. These pants were very short and would require either an over the pant boot or sockless shoes. While I did just procure a rocking pair of those boots, I am not ready to be type casted into wearing them only with those pants. I wandered around very puzzled and then left empty handed.

I guess turning 33 makes you into an old fogey who doesn't get the fashion at The Gap. So be it

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Spring of Meh....

Normally this time of year, I would be going crazy prepping for baby goats. Normally I would be like that but this is far from a "normal" year. Winter hasn't ended yet. It's going to be 0F tonight and there is two feet of very frozen snow everywhere. Usually by this time there is some thawing and more mud than snow. I can work in mud, I can't work in frozen snow.

My wheel barrow is frozen to the side of the barn where I parked it earlier in the year. Even if I could get it out, I still couldn't get it to the manure pile on the snow filled path. And even if I could get it to the pile, I couldn't dump it because the few times I was able to clean the barn I had to dump the manure wherever I could which happened to be right in the way of future dumpings. I would like to clean the barn before kidding but I guess the  cleaning I did a month ago will have to be fine. Meh...

I should be getting the kidding pen ready but it's full of thirty bales of hay. I had left it empty and clean since the fall so I wouldn't have to fight it to get it ready in the spring. Well, we got to putting the hay in the conveniently empty pen rather than fight the snow to get the tractor to the barn to load it in the hayloft. We just got a new load of hay so the pen is really full. I don't want to fight it to empty the pen. Meh....

Since I have no empty pen for the kids to go into I am seriously considering leaving the kids with their moms. I have a general rule about hand raising kids to make them friendly. I do not dam raise my kids. But it might be easier than bottle feeding a bunch of kids and milking a lot. I have three goats kidding in a week, so I really would like to take the easy way out. Plus none of the kids will be keepers this year, so I don't care if they are friendly or not. The moms are all CAE negative as of September, so dam raising isn't an issue for that. Meh...

Maybe this summer will rock it (if it ever gets here). Meh....

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Really Paleo... Really???

So there's this Paleo recipe where you take chocolate and mix it with avocado and then call it "pudding". To me it's too much like mixing apple pie with cow pie and expecting the cow pie to taste better. Really, you just make the apple pie taste much worse. I like avocados but I just can't wrap my brain around this. Yick!

On other news, I made some chcolate banana larabars that were fricking amazing. But I have now confirmed that any sort of cocoa/chocolate makes me grumpy after I eat it. It gives me rage issues and make me want to hurt things. So these chocolate grenades will be frozen and saved for PMS Land when I am already a grouchy bitch so no one will notice.

I ate a mountain of lasagna and dairy and cupcakes and margaritas tonight. This means tomorrow will be a total loss for productivity. I have been staying on the Whole30 not because I don't want to gain weight, but more because I don't want to be a sluggish lazy-butt slave to cravings.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Whole30 Results: With Pictures!

Here's me in October 2014. I was around 200 lbs.
Here's me in March 2015. I am around 185 lbs. Whoot!
The moral of this story is that this dress isn't very flattering. It looks like a maternity dress. Ugh.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Still rocking the Whole30/paleo life. I made mini "cheesecakes" today. And by "cheese" I mean cashew butter with maple syrup. And by "cake" I mean pecan crust with dates. It was meh... Definitely not cheesecake by any stretch of the imagination. More like a Larabar on crack. I think I will take them to work and pass them off on the starving post-docs. They will eat ANYTHING. Even if it is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, vegan, paleo nonsense.

Dinner was a hit except for the eleventy-bajillion hours it took to make it. I made curry coconut chicken fingers from Pasta to Paleo, warm Asian Brussels slaw from Nom Nom Paleo, and roasted sweet potatoes. It was so yummy that I couldn't stop stuffing it in my face! Now I am super full. Of course, not too full to not eat two more of the questionable "cheesecakes".

I think I hate making chicken fingers the most. I would rather go shoe shopping with my four year old than make chicken fingers. Not only do they require a ton of steps, but they require dirtying every dish in the house. Also fishing raw chicken out of raw eggs is just gross. I really don't like the gunky fingers you get from dredging the chicken. I have tried using kitchen forceps to pull the chicken out of the eggs and get it in and out of the breading but that doesn't always work. There's always that one piece of chicken that gets lost in the eggs and you are forced to go in by hand to get it out. Yuck. At least the darn things were tasty.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ode to a Blue Plastic Sled

Oh! Blue plastic sled you were so cheap
I didn't think you could handle snow so deep
Now you are my best winter friend
I will cry when your plastic life comes to an end
I can use you to haul feed to the barn
50 lbs, 100 lbs, 200 lbs! You don't give a darn!
I use you to haul manure when the snow is punky
So what if it makes you smell funky
I use you to pull my kid while on my skis
You make winter fun such a breeze
$300 for ski-joring gear?! That's crazy you see!
A $15 blue plastic sled and a dog leash works for me
You help me groom trails by smooshing snow flat
I love it and you can't beat that
Six years old and still going strong
Who knew your life would be so long?
So this, dear sled, I say to you
Please keep on doing the things you do

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Goat Herbal Deworming Results

Remember how this blog used to be about my life on my farm before I turned it into my personal food journal and diet diary? Well, today I actually have an update from the farm!!

Currently I have five goats. Three of them are pregnant. They are in their last month of pregnancy and will probably all kid on the same day since they were all bred within two days of each other. My other two goats are just hanging out this winter. One is my Angora wether and the other is my 8 year old Alpine herd queen. All of my goats have been on Molly's Herbals Dewormer blend since August. Molly's blend has two parts: one is a tonic that is given weekly, the other is a wormwood dewormer that is given every 6-8 weeks. For pregnant goats, it is not recommended to give them wormwood, so my pregos have only had the tonic for the last four months. My not pregnant goats are getting the wormwood as scheduled.

Today I did fecal samples to look for worms in all the goats. I was able to get some fresh samples and some pooled samples from the stalls. I had some pretty amazing results from this testing. The goats on the wormwood formula had NO worm eggs in their samples. I was shocked because these two goats are usually very prone to worms. On the other hand, my pregnant goats who are not getting wormwood, had TONS of worm eggs in their samples!! All these goats spend time together so transmission of worms from the infested to the not infested goats is totally possible. This is part of the reason I was shocked to see two/fifths of my herd completely clear and the rest very infested.

Obviously, the wormwood formula is incredibly important for keeping worms out of the goats. I will be dosing my pregnant goats with wormwood immediately to get rid of the worms they have before they kid. I am continuously impressed with the efficacy of herbal dewormers.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Whole30 Do-Over

Ugh. Tonight I binged on chocolate covered peanuts while my husband was in the shower. And I had a Shamrock Shake on the way home from work. These are both unhealthy food habits that are purely psychological. Binging in the car or late at night is a huge problem for me. I really need to stop these habits before they become normal again. Before the Whole30, I was regularly eating all sorts of junk when I thought no one was looking. Most of that problem went away after a few weeks on the Whole30 rules. Now I have slipped backwards into unhealthy eating land. I think the reasons for this are because I got too focused on the scale and not enough focused on the food.

My weight has gone up slightly since I stopped being strictly Whole30. This is discouraging and has allowed all my old bad thoughts of "food deprivation for no pay off" work their way back into my brain. It's easy to convince me to quit when I don't get instant gratification. I was doing so well at not feeling pressured to snack at night and not feeling cravings for sweets. Now those feelings have crept back in as I get discouraged.

I know I haven't been focusing on the food enough lately. I haven't been prepping or planning my meals consistently. I also haven't been packing or picking Whole30 alternatives when I find myself in a sticky situation. I have given in to tacos and pizza and wings and cake because that was what was available. I have let myself slip because I wasn't prepared to follow the rules or figured a little bending of them wouldn't hurt.

Well, I know better than that. I don't want to go back to that unhealthy place I was. I saw the light of the Whole30 and I want to stay there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Rational Parenting

I read an article today about how if you want to make your kids eat healthy food, all you have to do is discuss with them how nutritious food makes them feel good and how not nutritious food makes them feel bad. You should talk about autoimmune inflammation and food sensitivities that cause behavioral issues.

I read that and then laughed so hard I cried!

This article was written by someone who believes in "rational parenting". This is the concept that if you treat your children like the rational mini-adults they are, then they will certainly understand and respect the things you are telling them. Usually those who believe in rational parenting are people with only one child to deal with and no other life obligations other than making sure that little Jackson eats his quinoa. They only have a sample size of one with limited experimental variables. I have a hard time believing their hypothesis based on those statistics. Try convincing a daycare full of random three year olds to eat their greens and then come back and talk to me about how rational parenting stands up against that.

I have never met a little kid that can be rationally talked out of eating a bowl of Fruit Loops. I have never met a kid that grasped the concept of food sensitivities or autoimmunity. The whole article was so silly because kids aren't rational. My kid once puked on herself because she was so mad that I gave her a blue cup instead of a pink one. That is hardly a rational reaction.

I am not going to pretend that I have some magical parenting advice to bestow. I know better than to think that because my one kid isn't a total basket-case, that I have somehow figured out this whole "parenting" thing out. My only advice is to caution others on handing out advice as if they got it all figured out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Food Guilt

Why is there so much guilt involved with food? People will apologize before eating a cupcake, "Oh, I am sorry, I shouldn't be eating this!". People will apologize before requesting food that doesn't make them throw up, "I am sorry but I am allergic to strawberries". Why do we put so much pressure on the food?

There's a conversation on my Facebook wall this week about being fat and happy. I fully agree that finding a weight and body shape that feels good and doesn't make you nuts is completely independent of a number on a scale or in a waistband. Your happy weight is just that, YOUR happy weight. It belongs to you, not to other people. What works for one person could result in a completely unhappy and psychologically unhealthy situation for another. Some people just can't be thin and happy. Their bodies won't let them. Being thin may mean 20 hours a week in a gym and eating only 1000 calories a day and instead of enjoying your family, being trapped in a tiny world of your own obsession. For some people, being thin is easy. But for some, being fat is easy. Easy without the trauma of hating yourself. Easy without the self-inflicted diet and exercise obsessions. Easy compared to being thin.

So now that we have decided to stop feeling guilty about how we look, let's stop feeling guilty for what we eat. Whether it's dessert, or gluten free, or a salad at a pizza party, let's not aplologize for it. Let's eat what we want, when we want. If a brownie makes you happy, eat it! If a brownie makes you sad (I have a lot of issues with eating chocolate - it makes me crazy when I eat it), don't eat the brownie. You don't have to feel guilty that people are judging you. Eat what you want, when you want.

This includes eating on a special diet. I am a much, much happier person when I avoid sugar and grains ( and don't get me started about chocolate). Those things make me feel sick to my stomach and very tired when I eat them. So I know they are best avoided. I shouldn't feel obligated to eat cake just because it is a birthday party. I shouldn't feel guilty that I am not eating it, either. My food is my food, so who the heck should I apologize to? Why should I feel guilty?

The same goes for if I decide to eat the cake, or pizza, or chocolate. I shouldn't feel guilty (regret, yes, especially when I am curled into a ball from carb-induced tremors). I shouldn't apologize either. No one forced my hand. No one made me put it in my mouth. I did that and it's okay.

P.S. The food doesn't care if you eat it or not, so don't you dare apologize to it or feel guilty because of it!