Getting a Life

I haven’t been posting much lately, because I’ve been getting out more.  Before going natural, and until my body really began to right itself, the summer heat would keep me comfortably indoors in front of my fan most of the time.  Now, it doesn’t stop me, but I have had to make some adjustments for sanity’s sake.

When you become more active, little injuries and issues that you didn’t have when you were sedentary start to become more intense.  My big two are knee injuries and chafing.

A few years ago, when the size was probably giving me balance problems, I used to fall down the stairs when it was wet outside.  I’ve fallen a few times, but twice I landed on my right knee.  I also used to trip and fall occasionally while walking down the street, and once I hit my knee so hard it was impossible for me to get up.

At the hospital, they did an x-ray and nothing was broken, and in time, the pain went away, though I had trouble with it.  Now that I’ve been walking more though, it hurts almost constantly, especially when I go down stairs.  So I have a doctor’s appointment next month.

…but I can’t stop walking.  I have too much energy, and as soon as the sun starts to go down, I feel like a nervous chihuahua who wants to go outside.

On the chafing, as a busty woman, it has always been an issue, but now, it’s horrible.  I need the breast support, so I have to wear a bra, but it is painful.  Still, my inner chihuahua wants to go-go-go!

Looking back, it’s no wonder I was depressed.  I understand now more than ever the importance of a natural diet, and the deep changes that simply getting enough nutrition makes to ones personality.  I’ve said often that even though I’m only halfway to where I’d like to be weight-wise, if I never lose another kilo, I’ll still feel okay.  I’ve gotten a good bit of my old energy level back.

I’ve also recruited a few offline friends too.  They see my progress, and want to stop struggling to lose or maintain their weight too.

This brings me to another topic, things that make it difficult for people to change.  One huge issue that I come across a lot is family history of poverty.  When people have lived through times of deprivation, they often want to give the kids all the things that they didn’t have growing up.  However, instead of getting them healthy food, they load the kitchen with convenience food and candy.

Occasional treats are fine, but things have to be kept under control.  Parents should be careful what they buy.  There are many things that are great snacks or easily prepared that kids will enjoy very much, but not end up with liver problems or type 2 diabetes.  By giving them too much sugar and processed food, they’re not really indulging their kids.  They’re killing them.

I get an eerie feeling as I walk around Haifa, which has only gotten very unnatural within the past 10 years or so.  I look around and see many young people getting fatter and fatter, and the ones who aren’t fat, looking anemic and smelling funny.

Those of you who’ve been natural for awhile understand what I mean by smelling funny.  It’s that weird fishy, sour, dank, with a hint of synthetic vanillin smell people who eat too much fake food have.  In the winter, it’s tolerable, but in the summer, it can be like a nauseating cloud of garbage odor if you’re in a crowded or enclosed place.

Even worse, the attitudes people have about weight here have gotten worse despite the injection of phood into the grocery stores.  Young people are getting fatter, but expressing more judgemental attitudes about fat.

I see a bad transition happening around me that I hope to curtail.  Since a few of my friends have gone natural, I hope that this is the beginning of the reversal.  Fortunately here, healthy food is still cheaper than the junk.  I hope it stays that way long enough for us to turn the tide.

Found Fat and Pupik Update

Joy of joys, today we found a shop that has and is willing to sell us their pork fat.  I was so happy.  It was very cheap, about $1.50 per kilo.  So now I will never have to worry about where to find fat for rendering, unless they go out of business.

They say they’re not the only ones.  You have to find a place that buys by the side and ask for the internal fat.  If you ask for the fat, they think you want what most other people want, which is the fat back, not the other subcutaneous and inner fat.  So you have to be specific.

The same place has “pupik” (gizzards) that looked very nice, so I thought today was as good a time as any to try them, since now I’ve got the grease to fry them in.  My daughter loved them, and is now devouring them with ketchup like chicken nuggets.  I would eat them on a salad, but much like other chicken nuggets, wouldn’t bother much about them otherwise.  Shai (my husband) said they were too chewy, and not like his mom used to do.

So now I have a quest, but one I don’t think I’m going to like.  I was instructed by every home cooking southern woman I know to always ALWAYS pre-boil gizzards.  Every eastern Asian cook I know says the same.  Apparently, non southern and non Asian folks don’t do that.   I don’t want to think about what it must taste like.  There has got to be some way to be sure to clean off all the gooey membrane and still come out with tender results.

I’m thinking that they must need to be slow cooked.  I hate to call other cooks wrong, but I just don’t see how they’ll get thoroughly clean without the pre boiling.  So with kilo #2 of the pupiks, I’m going to try preboiling, cleaning, and then slow cooking them.  We’ll see how it goes.

Small Apples

See, this is why one of my favorite fruit stands in the shouk is the one on the far left corner, right next to the Russian butcher and grocer.  They always have something special there because they don’t only buy from the usual importers and distributors.  They buy from local farms and gardeners as well.

Today, they had piles and piles of small sweet golden and red apples for 2 shekels (less than 75 cents) per kilo.  If only I had canning supplies here, I’d make preserves.  Since I can’t though, I’ll settle for a few weeks of joy while they’re still available.

As if shopping life couldn’t get any better for me today, my favorite dried foods stand now has crispy fire roasted oats.  They’re oats that have been smashed rather than rolled, and then roasted.  It’s the best cereal ever.  One thing I love about oats is that they are a comparitively balanced grain.  They’re 15-17% protein on their own, and this with the starch makes them sticky enough to replace wheat in just about anything that doesn’t need to rise.  They’re also a good thickener instead of straight corn or potato starch.

Crispy wheat in particular means that no sugar of any kind is needed for a trail mix.  Just throw them in with your nuts and dried fruit, and there’s your necessary carbs with no extras.  So I’ll be a happy camper.