Bitter Sweet: An Inconvenient Truth

May 2, 2011

*Current Obesity Stats may disagree.

I have been struggling for a week to write a post on why those pursuing fertility, who are pregnant, lactating or feeding a small child (and basically everyone else… so… everyone) should give up sugar. When I say sugar I am referring to the white stuff, the brown stuff and the High Fructose Corn Stuff. Because as best as I can research, they hit you about the same (anyone got anything different? Please share!).

How do they hit you? Well, not good. It just arguable the degree of not good. On one end of the spectrum you have “its just empty calories preventing you from taking in good nutrients, plus it damages your liver leading a large portion of this country into metabolic syndrome (syndrome X, a precursor to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a major cause of INFERTILITY). That’s the mild end of the scientific research. The other end of the spectrum involves sugar altering every single cell in your bodies function and being responsible for basically every modern disease we have: cancer, diabetes, ADHD, Autism, Irritable bowl syndrome, lack of gut flora, etc. AIDS has not been attributed to sugar, however the immunity hit from sugar would theoretically aggravate it.

So that’s the spectrum of nutritional science I have read. That should make it easy to post about sugar being bad right? But it’s not easy.

Perhaps because I feel like sugar is my heroin. My body CRAVES it and gets angry when I don’t give in. I LOVE all things sweet. I love to bake. I love to eat baked goods. I love candy and chocolate and soda. And Ezekiel bread with strawberry jelly. These are just the things that are obviously sweet. It excludes things like ketchup or barbeque sauce, both of which I am a big fan of.

Also, people get extremely defensive of sugar. I have shared with many people that I am a Christian and got tepid responses. The few people with whom I shared I had given up sugar in order to get pregnant reacted in such strong negative ways I actually stopped telling people for a while. Some of these people included members of the fertility group I went to where my chart read in bold all caps: SYNDROME X. I have a 3 hour glucose tolerance test that proves my blood sugar can’t get it together. Yet, I mentioned giving up sugar and even my dietician looked at me funny.

So I have started and stopped writing on this topic several times. I will try to formulate some real posts of this issue but here’s my bottom line:

If you’re trying to have a baby easy up on the sugar.

Sugar messes with your blood glucose levels, telling your reproductive system if it can or cannot support a pregnancy. Sugar needs to be filtered through the liver along with every other reproductive hormone. Give your liver a break. For now that may just mean passing on a second doughnut. For me it meant riding my shelves of ALL sugar and HFCS containing products (at Christmas people. I deserve a medal. Ok, this baby works too:). But please, have an open mind. Do your research. Don’t pretend the science isn’t out there. Heres some articles to get you started:

Is Sugar Toxic? A great article from the New York Times

Sugar: The Bitter Truth This is the lecture referenced in the NYT article. Long, but informative.

Too Much Sugar Affects Sex Hormones, Causes Health Problems  An interesting article on the sugar/hormone relationship.

Sugar is the New S Word A video by Donielle of Naturally Knocked Up who is basically my hero.

Basically this is me:

augustus-gloop.jpg



PEEPS stole my BRAIN.

April 29, 2011

This post is happening AFTER the Easter candy has been “thrown away” (in my BELLY).  No good.

They look so sweet and innocent in their festive artificial flavors and colors!

I want to write an actual post with my thoughts on sugar, especially how it relates to fertility. I am doing a ton of research right now in how it also relates to pregnancy and childhood nutrition (ADHD? Autism? There are some scary studies out there. Google GAPS diet. Read. Be concerned with me. Rethink those stale peeps.) This will all come in good time.

But for now…

I found this fabulous lady Nancy Appleton’s website and her list of 146 reasons sugar is BAD. This list made me shudder and laugh. I cannot verify everything she says, but hey, if its true, YIKES. I hope you enjoy it also:

146 Reasons Why Sugar is Ruining Your Health

Please check out #136. THAT’S ME! I have an excuse for getting dumber! DARN YOU PEEPS.

Battling For my BRAIN.

Jerks.

(Not my picture.)

XOXO,

The Nutty Bee


Fertility Food Friday: Not-So-Scary Chili!

April 22, 2011

This is a continuation of my Step 1 in combating infertility with food: Goodbye Gluten! It will someday be a part of adding in good vitamins…

Part Two of G Free and Tasty is being hijacked by Fertility Food Friday. That guy….

AND… I am participating in Fight Back Friday on Food Renegade. Go see all the other fabulousness: http://www.foodrenegade.com/fight-back-friday-april-22nd/

Scary Chili is actually pretty normal chili with a bit of liver added to it. Liver is one of THE BEST fertility foods you can eat. I will be posting my Ode To Liver and all the fat soluble vitamins it possess, and how easily you can absorb them and how much you NEED THEM TO GET PREGNANT in a later post. For now, I just wanted to continue with the G Free and Tasty series. If the thought of liver sends you into the fetal position, by all means just skip it. I’ll work on convincing you later!

Chili is one of the most versatile, easy foods to make. It doesn’t hurt that most people enjoy it. This is my basic recipes (with some liver). I like to mix it up with lots of farm stand veggies in the summer or root veggies/ winter squashes in the winter.

Basic Chilli:

  • 1.5 Lb Grass Feed Ground Beef (or 1 lb plus 1/2 lb grass-fed beef liver, or 1.25 plus .25 which is probably the best if this is your first liver rodeo. For this particular batch I am using 1 LB GFB & 1/2 LB GFBL)
  • 1 Onion
  • 2-4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 16 Oz Red beans (best if you soak them, here I got lazy and used a can)
  • 1 32 Oz Can tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 TBS Chili powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 TBS Red Pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 TBS Cumin, or to taste
  • assorted veggies if you would like (summer i do yellow squash/zucchini/mushroom, winter maybe butternut squash) This time I don’t have any veggies. Which is kinda a bummer.

Process

Conquering Liver:

You will probably need to ask your butcher for this. I cannot say enough about Grass Feed Meat, so if at all possible try to get grass-fed liver. Good news in, it’s going to be pretty cheap. It looks something like this:

Hey...your not so scary!!

Go ahead and give it the stink eye. Tell it who’s the boss. Tell it you would like all the vitamins, right now. Tell it you know why your both here, and that’s to get pregnant. If I know liver, it will get on board.

The cube it up.

Show it whos the boss.

Toss those cubes into a food processor. A blender would work too, but a FB is easier.

Give it another stink eye. Youre in charge here!

Food process until smooth. Not unlike a meat smoothie.

Now for a confession I am not proud of. This is where I freaked out the first time. I walked away, I swore I would not do it, I swore all those “experts” who had smarty pants degrees where dumb. Then I remembered that I would in fact like a baby. For extra motivation I pulled out a Pottery Barn Kids catalog and checked out some nurseries (don’t lie, I know you have at least on PBK cat). Beatrix Potter Bumper Pads strengthened my resolve. With renewed determination I headed back to the kitchen to dominate this recipes.

Now it gets all “normal old chili”

Chop up your onion and garlic. I like 4 cloves of garlic, because I want some strong flavors covering the liver.

Not scary, but can make you cry.

Saute these bad boys in your choice of butter or coconut oil. I chose CO.

Add your GF Ground beef. Then add your liver puree. Let the two brown together until you can’t tell which is which. Feel powerful.

Heres the part I’m also not proud of, because they come in a CAN. Don’t be like me. Soak your beans. Use fresh Tomatoes.

2 Cans Red Beans, 1 Big can Tomatoes

Rinse your beans, then add them and the tomatoes to the beef & veggie mixture. You could also add whatever other veggies you would like.

Spices (do what tastes right to you):

2 Tablespoons Chili Powder. I Like it hot.

1/2 Tablespoon Red Pepper. Fire Burnin, Fire Burnin

1/2 Tablespoon Cumin

Simmer this mixture for 30 minutes or so. The longer is sits the better it will taste. My man prefers it the next day. Than serve with cheese, sour cream, and a deep sense of satisfaction that you came, you saw, and you conquered. Scary Chili that it.

Bets Enjoyed with the Self Satisfied Smugness of a True Victor and a Pottery Barn Kids mag.

** This is a meaty chili. I have seen lots of great recipes, including the one in Nourishing Traditions that included Beef Stock and are a little more soupy. They taste good too, so experiment! Go Banana’s!**


G-Free & Tasty: A Snack

April 21, 2011

This is a continuation of my Step 1 in combating infertility with food: Goodbye Gluten!

Who says G Free food can’t be delish? Or that it has to be weird and complicated? I will be posting three of my favorite simple recipes that naturally have no gluten over the next few days, including my very first fertility food friday! Make sure to check back!

Jalapeno Poppers: Yum

Often people I talk to associate eliminating grains from their diet with removing everything fun. It just ain’t so friends. This poppers are my one of my favorite snacks/appetizers. In my humble opinion they beat the heck out of dry pretzels. But don’t take my word for it…. This is a half adaption from our awesome neighbors with a little bit of the Pioneer Woman mixed in. This is the basic recipes, but you can do all sorts of crazy things to suit your own taste!

Ingredients:

Some very yummy beginnings...

  • 8-10 jalapeno: depending on how large they are and how much cheese filling you like. Mine are big guys and I like lots of cheese.
  • 8 oz (1 package) of cream cheese.
  • 8-10 slices of bacon (one per whole jalapeno)
  • 1 Cup whole Milk + 1 Cup Water or 2 Cups Chalk Water Skim Milk

How to:

Slice all your jalapeno in half, length wise (you may want to wear gloves)

YeeHaw

Do all the lovely green peppers. Line them up on your cutting board and bask in the excitement of your adventure.

Purdy

Using a small spoon, Scrap the seeds out. Unless you like your food fire burning hot. Its your call.

Weak Sauce

Texas called. They want their residency back.

Now here is my super secret, that I can up with all by myself (shh, I don’t want to know your grandma does this. I want to feel smart!). Take your milk water mixture and SOAK THE JALAPENOS. Heres my gauge of hotness:

  • Fire breathing Texan skip this, plus leave some seeds.
  • Eats “Hot Salsa” with ease: Get rid of the seeds, skip this step, or perhaps give the peppers a good rinse with water.
  • Medium Salsa (Me): Soak Peppers in Milk Water for 5-10 Minutes
  • Mild Salsa: Soak Peppers for 10-15 Minutes.
  • Prefer Green Peppers to jalapeno: Soak for 20

Bath Time

Give them a good rinsing, and off we go.

Cut your bacon in half. Heres where we go so wrong its right from my neighbor & the Pioneer woman. Use half a strip of bacon, instead of 1/3. Its delish, plus you don’t have to worry as much about securing it with a toothpick come assembly.

More Bacon please!

If you want to stop reading right here because you think bacon is the root of all things health evil, please do not. A little bacon isn’t going to hurt you, and there is a lot of research that says that bag of pretzels will. I highly encourage you to get your hands of some Weston A Price & Paleo literature and read up on why our body NEEDS fat to function. No, vegetable oil/processed garbage/whatever’s not next to how God invented it does not count. I plan on writing about that here, but until then, please go read. We will wait…

Ok your back! Lets get to it!

Stuff each of your halved, rinsed, and somewhat dried (don’t be a perfectionist) peppers with cream cheese. Fill depending on how much cheese to pepper you think you may like. I like lots of cheese.

You may need to mash the cream cheese in with your fingers. Its ok. Get Messy!

Wrap each of these little amazing creatures in half a slice of bacon.

Swoon!

Look Ma, no annoying toothpick!

Line them up on your pre created jalapeno Popper 2000.

Oh, you don’t have one?

Ok, here’s how to make one:

Jellyroll Pan from Goodwill, Foil, Cookie Cooling Rack

You could also just put these on the grill. But sometimes I want them at, say 10 am on Tuesday and I don’t want to fire up yee olde grill.

Layer a piece of foil on the jelly roll pan (cookie tray would work)

Top with the Rack.

The end.

Line your little delicious friends up on the rack.

Popper 2000

Now here comes the controversy. The Pioneer Woman slathers on some BBQ sauce. I am not a fan. Husband is a HUGE fan. Compromises must be made.

This is the High Fructose Corn Junk Free, Hailing from Austin Texas (Heart!) BBQ Sauce I Use:

Yum

Brush your BBQ sauce on as many Poppers as you feel compelled to. In my house that’s half of them.

JUST HALF. You can do what you want...

Bake these bad boys for 25-30 Minutes at 325. At the end I like to do 2-5 Minutes under the broiler (on High) to crisp up the bacon. Again, these work well on the grill. But, please don’t take my word for it:)

Finished Product

 Even though my picture taking is not great, you will want to shove one of these bad boys in your mouth immediately. Be warned! They are HOT on the inside. Let them cool for 5 or so minutes.

Say Hello to my little friend.

These keep well in the fridge for maybe a week, but they won’t last that long. My husband came home from work and shoved 4 in his mouth. REALLY. Maybe you should think about hiding them. The when someone is like, oh yum I’m eating a crusty dried pretzel, you can be all like, I gonna go eat some Amazing-ness. You could be nice and share then. That would be the right thing to do.

So to vary this lovely recipes you could:

  • Add shredded cheeses to the cream cheese, mix together than stuff. Sonic Cheddar Peppers have nothing on yours!
  • Add a piece of pineapple to the pepper before you wrap it. Mmm Spicy Sweet.
  • Add a piece of chopped shrimp before you wrap it.

You do what you want, its your popper!


Tasty Tuesday, March 29, 2011- Breakfast in a Crock pot

March 29, 2011

What's wrong with a hug?

Breakfast is a big deal in our house. When I first met my husband, that meant almost an entire box of cereal possibly with a protein shake on the weekdays and pancakes with half a bottle of syrup of the weekends. Yikes. I gave up cereal a long time ago, and although he still likes a bowl of cereal, we both love something hot and nourishing in the morning. I have had lots of success with two crock pot breakfasts set them up the night before, stumble down the stairs in the morning and feast. Couldn’t be easier.

* There is some discussion about leaving a crock pot on for extended periods of time (greater than 12 hours) leading to leaching of such lovely things as lead into food. My thoughts are to invest in a timer or program the pot to switch to “warm” after 8 hours.*

Breakfast 1: Egg Casserole

Yes, your Christmas favorite is back in honor of… Tuesday. This recipe is really a guideline, you can throw in whatever suits your fancy. Makes a great, frugal way to use extra veggies and meat. This will serve 6 Large appetites or maybe 8-9 small ones. Make the leftovers into breakfast tacos by warming them and rolling in a sprouted grain tortilla.

Ingredients:

Butter for the crock pot

potatoes: 1-2 pounds, diced or shredded. Sometimes you can buy these frozen, but check the ingredient label carefully!

1 1/2 cup cheese jack/cheddar works great, but be creative!

1 Green pepper + 1 Onion: or mushrooms, chillies, jalapeno, etc.

Meat: Ham works great, as does sausage.

12 Eggs (Cage-free if you can)

1 Cup of whole milk

Salt & Pepper

Process:

Rub butter/Coconut oil around the bottom and sides of your crock pot. Layer in thirds:

Potatoes, Veggies, Meat, Cheese, Potatoes, Meat, Veggies, Cheese, Potatoes, Meat, Veggies, Cheese.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, milk, S&P together until smooth. Slowly pour over top the PVMC in the crock pot.

Set crock pot to low for 8 hours, switching to warm after the time has elapsed. Wake up to awesome. This is this mornings (after man had helped himself to a generous portion). It was shredded potatoes, green pepper, onion, leftover chorizo sausage, leftover ham, Monterey jack and cheddar cheese. I served it with a big fruit plate. Please excuse the picture quality.

Yum

Some variations that would be delish:

Chorizo sausage, potatoes, jalenpano’s, onions, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese. In the morning you could serve with sliced avocados and sour cream.

Ham, Spinach, shredded taters, and Swiss cheese fancy fancy.

Breakfast 2: Steel Cut Oatmeal

Steal cut (or irish oats) are so much better than that chopped up stuff Quaker tries to pass off as “instant”. I am very new to soaking my grains, but I am pretty sure the oats (grout) would benefit from soaking. More on that later. Steel cut oats can be bought from places like Whole Food in bulk which is a cost effective route. So is Trader Joes.

Basic Recipe:

1 Cup of steel cut oats

4-5 Cups of water (err on the high side, dry oatmeal is….well dry oatmeal)

– Set the crock pot of low, wake up to delicious, slightly nutty oatmeal. Top with what tickles your fancy. Yum.

Get Crazy:

Please mess with this recipe! You will be happy you did. Be aware when you add something watery (apples) you may need to slightly decrease the cooking liquid. Add dried fruit, you’ll need more. Our favorite way to add chopped unpeeled apples and flaxseed in the evening. The apples essentially dissolve overnight. A dash of cinnamon and a sprinkle of walnuts makes its perfect. Other ideas: dried figs, cranberries, or raisins. Or, add everything! No ones judging go nuts! We also like to make it plain and in the morning top it with blueberries, cinnamon and whole milk.

Never let breakfast be boring again!


Infertility is a jerk; so I kicked it in the face.

March 16, 2011

My Story

Hi! I am the NuttyBee. I am a SAHM to Sweet Pea, who’s arrival we are eagerly anticipating. Sweet Pea is how I got started in this nurtrative-holistic-food thing. Or, as I like to call it- Nutty Bananas. Nutty because it seems a little (lot) crazy. Banana’s because it works so well (as in “this food is banana’s, b-a-n-a-n-a-s.” it old, I don’t care, don’t judge me).

Sweet Pea took his/her sweet time coming into our lives. I was given plenty of diagnoses: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Endometriosis, Hyperinsulema, Poor Egg quality, and finally “Unexplained Infertility”. (If I had the previous list, I don’t think its that unexplained sweet Doctor. But I digress). Couple of failed rounds of fertility, Sweet Doctor told me I need to begin seriously considering In-Vitro. Because my eggs wimpy and sad (and unexplained!).

I am very, very good at following directions. I went home and ignored everything Sweet Doctor had said. I googled every holistic, homeopathic alternative I could find. Low and behold I found a slew of people who cured their infertility with diet. And a whole host of other diseases. Always methodical and precise, I decided to try ALL the methods. AT THE SAME TIME. I gave up sugar, caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, alcohol, gluten, took some herbs, did shots of wheat grass, practiced “fertility yoga” (and  as dirty as it sounds..). And prayed. A lot.

Four weeks later my husband, PateintJay and I were staring at a positive pregnancy test. Take that Unexplained Host of Diseases! Sweet Doctor didn’t know what to do. Ultrasound Tech demanded, How are YOU better?? I was humble. HAHA, I was really smug. Then morning sickness hit.

I will try and keep up to date on all sorts of research here. By no means am I a doctor or qualified medical professions. Use good judgement when trying anything. Find a doctor or naturopath willing to listen to you and talk to them. But don’t negate what the hippies say, because my friend, the Hippies are always right.