Monday, March 18, 2013

Manic Monday

Image found via Pinterest

Here we are the week before Passover, and I'm having a Manic Monday. I had a look around my kitchen and apparently, being sick takes a whole new meaning to "let's not clean the kitchen this weekend". Ya'll, I don't know how to tell you this, but I generally will keep a kitchen floor you can eat off of. Honey, I don't think anyone's pet would eat off our floor at the moment. That's a scary thought.

I'm in the midst of finding the last of our leavened items in the house, and we have a bunch of dusting, deep cleaning, vacuuming and mopping to do. Thank G-d for steam mops!

We've used most everything up that we need to, I'm just ready for the rest of it to be over, as we're in the end stages of rearranging our house. Once I'm done in the kitchen and our new guest room / resting room, we will get started in our dining/living room, and then the bedrooms. We know for sure that there is no food in the kids' room, so we're down to the rooms that generally do have food in them, or did at one time.

I've been thinking about what I can blog about during passover, but truth be told - we will not be keeping a completely GAPS-y Passover. One of the commandments is that we eat unleavened bread during the week, so we will be having unleavened bread.  We will also be having angel food cake. So, here's me sticking out my tongue at that.

We did have a very interesting thing to pop up in reference to the Easter celebrations at kindergarten. The kids will need to have a bread bunny (something like this, this or this) brought for them that morning.  YIKES! It's during Passover. No yeast!! Not to mention I'm trying to keep their meals as GAPS as possible. How will I pull this off?

I know! The sweet potato rolls that I made before, I'll just modify them slightly to look like this. My mom had sent me the link on Pinterest. Problem solved. Bunny rolls that are not only unleavened, but GAPS friendly! What a load off my back.

Insanity of insanities, I've been sicker this last week than I had been before. The kids had fever, one had conjunctivitis, and the other had chest congestion. So, I've been on around the clock duty, which means I've had to knock back on any fancy baking or cooking - and I've gone back to the basics of GAPS: Bone and Meat Broth. Lots of it.

We've had lamb/beef bone broth, and we've had chicken bone broth. This is where I do break from approved GAPS foods, I have no issues with using rice. We typically will use Basmati or Jasmine, and I cook it in bone broth in our rice cooker, and will usually steam vegetables in the veggie basket at the same time, unless we're making a steamed fish dish. I also have no issues with potatoes, as we tend to use them in a similar fashion. If they aren't made with broth, we make a broth gravy or will bake them, fluff, stuff and top with other healthy items. I also am looking at introducing millet, amaranth and quinoa. Bad non-GAPS-y me.  However, these are gluten free seeds that are high in nutrition that is very difficult for me to get otherwise.

Why I depart from GAPS on this - well, I do not think that any one grain, root or other food item should be the sole focus of a meal. Variety is key.  And when there are issues of malabsorption, you don't get to be so picky when you do not react to those organic grains. I will not be using them as main features in our meals, but as something to highlight on special holidays and perhaps Shabbat.

Which is why I was so excited this weekend to see this news item:

Quinoa and Orthodox Judaism's relevancy problem

The question of long-term vitality of Judaism may ultimately come down to the question of relevance and whether Orthodox Jews are seen more as keepers of the faith or gatekeepers of the faith.

If you don't have a free account with Haaretz and are interested in news from Israel, you can register for 10 free news stories a month. That is just about the right amount for me, to be honest, as I scan many of their issues via Google News, and know exactly what I want to read.

So yay! It's not just Sephardim who are eating Quinoa this year after this ruling. I'm interested to see if this will also count in Millet and Amaranth or not in the coming years. This is a relevant and interesting subject to me as someone keeping gluten free, as keeping an Ashkenazi non-gebrokts and strict anti-kitinyot Passover is too strict for our dietary needs. But, we can easily keep up with a Sephardi Passover, and get everything we need that way. I've done it both ways, and there was just much more freedom with the Sephardi Passover for us, and it has been a much more enjoyable experience all around. You can read about those differences here and here and here.

Honestly, I think this is the first Passover season that I have not experienced panic-y feelings about. I'm not worried about my kombucha, milk kefir or the fact I have resting grains of tibicos in my fridge. We've scrubbed the fridge down and kashered it already, and we've done the same with our oven. All that is left, is our microwave oven and our toaster, once we get the other items cleaned up and out.

Image found here on Pinterest.
I found myself an interesting unleavened bread idea that I will be testing out today.  It was shared on Google Plus (I can't remember who shared it originally) and was listed as a possible item to try for Saint Patrick's Day. I figured save it for Passover, so we'll be making it up to test tonight. I'm praying it works. You know how it is sometimes with gluten-free recipes!

While I have not been feeling particularly chatty this past week, I did see some interesting things come across the blogs I follow for discounted and free kindle books, and it looks like a couple came in that would be interesting for those following a GAPS-y or Paleo/Primal lifestyle. They are not all free, but they are at a pretty good price to learn more about things without breaking your bank. Trust me, I know all about that last $3 being "too much", so if you can't afford it on your version of Amazon, just put it on your wish list and get it when you can. Choose your hard, and don't push yourself where you do not have to. OK?

If you click the images, you will be taken to the Amazon page for these kindle books. Please do note, I have NOT been paid for the reviews of these books, I simply found them interesting and I only get a very small kickback on people purchasing these books. If they are free, I don't get anything.  The reason I am sharing these books is because I found them helpful and they are not break-your-bank expensive.

"This brief guide will give you everything you'll need to know to begin incorporating this healthy and natural elixir into your life.

Discover the origins of the fermented Kombucha tea.
Find out the many health benefits you can enjoy.
Find out the best places to buy Kombucha
Classic Recipes to make at home
Other fermented foods and much more."

"Making kefir in your home kitchen is easy and inexpensive.  In How to Make Kefir - A Beginners Guide you will learn:
  • How to make a delicious, healthful beverage bursting with probiotic power
  • How to make dairy, water, coconut and nut milk kefir
  • How to store your kefir
  • How to care for your kefir "grains"
  • How to troubleshoot kefir gone wrong"

"You are about to embark on a culinary journey with quinoa (keen-wa), the new miracle seed that will add a boost to any healthy diet, or change those diets that aren’t so healthy. This report not only teaches you how to cook quinoa, it also provides thirty of the best recipes one can find to showcase this delicious seed. "

"In this concise and detailed manual to the Paleo diet, you will learn exactly what you need to eat while utilizing the Paleo diet, what type of activity you should engage in, and exactly what to expect while on the diet. "

"30 Days Of Amazing Paleolithic Lunches hands you paleo recipes that are super easy to prepare yet very delicious.  It shows you that preparing healthy meals does not have to be boring and time consuming."

"This guide teaches you how easy it is to add nutritious whole foods to your lifestyle through a simple juice.

Juicing Recipes for Beginners - Delicious Juice Recipes for Losing Weight Feeling Great and Improving Your Health is the latest from the Best Selling author of Raw Food Diet for Beginners, Susan Ellerbeck."

"99 Delicious Paleo Recipes offers great recipes for those who are on the Paleo diet or just wants a healthy way to eat. The Paleo diet is the diet of our ancestors. The Paleo diet is a simple and healthy way to lose weight by eating foods we have been designed to eat. Who thought that eating like the cavemen would taste so great!"

"If you want to avoid gluten, this book will help you to cook the best meals for your grain free diet. Our grain free gourmet cookbook will give you dozens of the best grain free recipes for your grain free cooking. You can find delicious lunch and dinner recipes, recipes that will help you to fill up on healthy food that just so happens to be grain free!"
<-- This one does not seem to be Paleo or GAPS, so you'll need to modify some of the recipes.

I hope and pray that these are helpful to someone, even if they are no longer free by the time you see this post.

Another interesting thing I've been up to this weekend was watching a documentary called "Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives". If you have not seen it already, please do watch it!! It has a lot of helpful information. The only inaccuracy I found in it was the chef that mentions that x years ago there was no Celiac Disease aka wheat allergy. A) Celiac is not Wheat allergy and B) It has been around for over 2,000 years. . . so take that end with a grain of salt. Otherwise, this documentary was one of the best I've seen on the issue in a long while.

What all have you guys been up to out there in GAPS-y land?

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