Wheat Belly Diet Update

Well, it’s been 2 months since I started living wheat free following the advice of Wheat Belly author Dr. William Davis. I am amazed at how easy it has been for me. I anticipated huge regrets when I saw wheat laden goodies, but that has not happened. I even spent 2 weeks away from the safety of home, on vacation one week at the Clearing in Door County where delicious home made bread is de rigeur, and another week with friends at a vacation home where each night different cooks showcased their specialties. Fortunately for me, I am retired and was able to cook and bake what I could eat — using special wheat-free breads, muffins, pizza dough, and quiches to occasionally supplement  my new diet of healthy foods.

The result thus far. I was able to literally cut my insulin by half, and have lost 16 lbs.  My endocrinologist was amazed and pleased. In addition, I am feeling much better generally. To me this has been a win-win, and I am committed to at least another 6 weeks.

As you can imagine, the Grain Foundation is not happy with Dr. Davis’ book. I am much more aware of the number of other obese people I see, and their proclivity to eat carb filled and wheat laden foods. And the government and health care professionals continue to push eating “whole wheat” everywhere you look. But contemporary wheat is NOT the wheat in the bible, is not the wheat our ancestors ate and it is NOT good for us.

For me I’ll take the Shrimp and Scallop Scampi I am fixing this evening with a side of lucious veggies and perhaps some spaghetti squash linguine.

Friends

Pajama Breakfasts

Friends are the Glue of Life…people who knew you when, who share your values, and though they may roll their eyes, love you all the same.

This week saw my husband and I traveling to the Whitehall/Montague, Michigan area to the vacation home of friends. In all, there were 6 couples in the house which overlooks an inland lake with an outlet to Lake Michigan.

We have been friends for nearly 45 years.  The husbands were all aircraft mechanics for United Airlines. I’m sure that fact is responsible for the steadfastness of our friendships. Working for a 7 day/24 hour operation, we spent our lives with husbands working through weekends and on holidays. My husband was on the midnight shift for over 20 years.  We needed friends who led similar lives, people who wouldn’t blink at the idea of a party on a Tuesday night, people who weren’t judgmental that you couldn’t make a family event. In that sense the women worked for United as much as the men…keeping children quiet when Daddy was asleep during the day, foregoing  normal weekends, enduring strikes together, joyously traveling on passes, but living through the bankruptcy of the company, loss of big parts of pensions, the horror of 9/11 (no one mourned more than the mechanics who had spent their entire adult lives keeping the aircrafts safe only to see them used as weapons)  and ultimately the merger with another airline.

Above all we’ve had years of laughter, and none more than the last few days.  There we were, generous and giving hosts, men who can fix anything and enjoy a little Jack, women who can cook anything and shop, laughing, playing games, eating, pontooning, watching  for satellites, deer and eagles, eating, and sharing lots and lots of stories and memories.

Things are different now. We’re no longer running after each other’s children or starting careers. All of us are retired. We  walk a little slower, we tend to have to help each other out of situations or sofas, and remind everyone to take their pills. But the concern and love and teasing is there as always.

Now let me tell you about my library friends…!  I am so blessed!

Day of Destruction, Decade of War

On this weekend when we are all remembering 9/11, I am recommending an excellent film.

Richard Engel, an extraordinary war correspondent for NBC and Rachel Maddow, commentator on MSNBC  have put together a thoughtful and dramatic documentary of the events of 9/11 and the impact on the U.S.  To sum things up..”It took 19 men armed with box cutters, sent by a vicious terrorist to change our world. It ultimately took 24 Navy Seals to track down and kill Bin Laden. In between those events we spent 1.3 trillion dollars, saw the deaths of over 6,000 soldiers, the wounding of thousands more, and unfortunately, embittered the entire muslim world.”

Engel is seen in firefights with our soldiers, interviewing Al Quaida fighters, swimming underwater with NY city police to protect bridges and giving an inside look at the protections, cameras and technology which hopefully will protect the city. They have cameras on helicopters which can track a squirrel in Central Park !)

Rachel reports the detailed  events of 9/11, interviews families of 9/11 victims, soldiers and politicians. She traces the money spent on the war, investigates the enormous use of contractors and sums up how this decade has changed our habits and fears, our economy, and our standing in the world.

It is an excellent film in that it provides a cogent and organized overview of  the events of 9/11 and the resulting years. It is in two parts, an hour each, and well worth the viewing here

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44292512/

A Foursome of Seagulls

As I watched a flock of ducks heading out from the shore of the pond in the park behind our home to feed and float at dawn , four white seagulls gracefully soared overhead, darting here and there behind the trees, rising up and around each other. It was such a sight of beauty and calm that it made me pause at the window.

Where did they come from? We live almost 40 miles west of Chicago’s lakefront which is full of seagulls who have made their way down the St. Lawrence Seaway and pose picturesquely on the beaches. But those seagulls are raucous and bothersome, swooping down on picnickers and small children to pluck at food and wrappers.  This foursome is silent and almost ephemeral as they rise and turn at sunrise. Almost ghostly or even angelically.

We spent the weekend in the town my husband was raised, attending an annual Labor Day Picnic at his old parish. vsiting relatives and neighbors, driving along back roads, visiting graves.

I wonder.  The four seagulls are gone now, but I remember.

Alley Oop Zucchini Redux

You may remember my recent dilemma with the gigantic zucchini I called the Alley Oop Zucchini.  Since I had no takers for it ( despite the fact my daughter expressed an interest in it), I tried sneaking it to my neighbor.  Strategy : call her up and offer a couple of summer squash for her.  Then as she opens the door, try to sneak Alley Oop past her foot. Result: Open-mouthed consternation then total rejection. The twins were literally screaming as I started back home with Alley Oop in my arms.  Alternative strategy : Offer it to the new mailman  coming down our block.  Result: Head shaking rejection.

So what did I do?  Got out the cuisinart and Alley Oop is now :

2 loaves of Zucchini Bread

24 no-wheat Zucchini Muffins

2 containers of frozen grated zucchini for future baking.

I kind of miss seeing him leaning against the wall as he was wont to do.

Extreme Athletes

Anyone that knows me knows that I am the last person who could be referred to as an athlete, but that doesn’t mean I can’t admire or wonder at those who achieve great things through their own tenacity and training.

This weekend was Chicago’s triathalon and one of the participants rising from Lake Michigan in a lovely pink bathing hat was Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. Granted he did not participate in the full triathalon, but did a lot more than former Mayor Daley could ever contemplate.

But last week a feat was accomplished that amazed me, and I have not heard of it in the U.S. press. Six British adventurers (I love that word, adventurers…conjurs up mountain climbers, doesn’t it) rowed to the North Pole. I want to know just how one says to one’s wife, “I’m just going to pop off with the lads and row to the North Pole?” Had they practiced on the Thames, or by crossing the English Channel?

Imagine spending 28 days in this open boat rowing to the North Pole. Was there a chaser boat, a local ice cutter on standby? By the looks of the photo, they seemed on a weekend jaunt. One is simply wearing an aran sweater. This was made possible due to global warming. The ice around the North Pole has melted enough this summer to allow a small boat and 6 intrepid athletes to row within three miles of it and finish the distace by pulling the craft over the remaining ice floes. They assume that in the next few years, continue warming will most likely make the trip easier.

My question, in 2020 will we be taking cruises to the North Pole during the summer? If so, don’t ask me to help row.

For more information see the article from The Independent here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rowers-reach-impossible-north-pole-thanks-to-global-warming-2344689.html

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