Eat local

There are a few things I’d like to write about, and hopefully they won’t be too disjointed.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t really have a lot of extra time right now. I don’t have time to sit and really research what I feel I need to in terms of my diet and the amount of exercise I get. Hell, I’m not sure I have a ton of time to really get the exercise I likely need. But what I do have time for is time to make small easy changes. Such as always taking the stairs at work, no elevator. Or riding my bike to campus. Tonight, I had a few handfuls of grapes *before* I had ice cream. I can also stop buying certain junk, like ice cream (even if the ice cream I buy is ‘better’). Individually these ideas aren’t likely to make any real impact, but together they can likely take care of that 400-ish calorie surplus I’ve been running that has been adding more girth to my frame.

The other novel concept I’m grappling with is the idea that it is ok to be hungry. With blood sugar issues, I sometimes confuse the times when I truly need to eat with times when I just want food (for whatever reason). Just because I’m hungry doesn’t mean I need to eat. Add in some subtle food changes and I’ll likely deal with some of the blood sugar issues I’m blessed with.

I just finished finally watching Food Inc. I’m usually slow to jump on these bandwagons. I waited until ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ was in paperback. I still haven’t read ‘In Defense of Food’ despite it being $5 on campus because it was the chosen book this year. So it’s taken me a while to watch Food Inc. I know our food system is fucked to put it mildly. The vast majority of food in the US these days is not sustainably raised. This I knew. But to see some of the pictures and have some numbers put to it has really rattled me. I have contemplated giving up soy for quite some time, and I now think NOW is a good time. This one mostly because of Monsanto’s business practices, which I don’t agree with. I’ve also contemplated giving up high fructose corn syrup. There is clear evidence now that shows that high fructose corn syrup is not processed the same way in our bodies as glucose or sucrose. So it needs to go. These things will likely be easy for me to do.
I’d also like to start asking the butcher I shop at where my meat comes from and who actually butchers it. I’d like to know how it’s handled.
And I’ll be back at the Farmer’s Market this weekend voting with my dollars. The Farmer’s Market that I like here is producer only, so I can actually ask someone from the farm questions (if I so desire).
It really saddens me to know what my dollars have supported.

Along these lines, I’d like to start writing my representatives, whether they be my senators or people in the local government, to let them know what ideals I support. As a voter, if I don’t tell them, they’ll never know (and I watched a short TED video last week that suggested that it is hand written letters that make the most impact, not emails, not phone calls). I figure a letter every month or so to various people and I’ll have my bases covered as best I can with the time I have (which as I said above, isn’t much right now).

Apparently I don’t know how to use tags on here. On other sites I’ve used, when you tag something with lets say, carrots, and you hit the carrots tag, you find all your posts about carrots. Apparently that isn’t how this site works. So I may need to go back to each post and redo some tagging/categorizing.

Speaking of carrots, a recipe finally. I have no clue where this recipe came from, but it used to be commonly made in my family.

Carrots (in the oven)
You can cook this two ways, in foil packets or in a dish. I’ve done both, they work fabulously. Depends on how much clean up you want to do and how disposable you’re feeling.

Cut up a few carrots into thick-ish slices (like you would for dipping them in dip). I love carrots, so I cut up 5.
If you’re using a baking spread them in the dish in a thick-ish layer. If you’re using foil packets, divvy the carrots up enough so that they aren’t thin, but not all your carrots are in one packet.
Top with a few pats of butter. More or less to taste.
Sprinkle with salt, ground mustard, ground ginger, and brown sugar.
If you’re using a baking dish, cover it somehow (aluminum foil). Packets – just fold them closed.
Bake.

How long you bake and what temperature is really flexible. If you’re baking other things (say baked chicken), put the carrots in the oven with 20-30 min left. More if you like them soft, less if you like them crisper. Somewhere in the 300-low 400F should be fine for a temperature.
If baking on their own, I’d suggest 350 for 30 min.
The batch I made tonight to go with baked chicken went in for 30 min at 375F. They were slightly crispy.

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