Monday, July 30, 2012

Recipes, Ramblings, and a Zest for Life

This is the life. At the pool, saving the mountain of laundry to fold after bed time (oh what a special treat), and watching the girls perfect their 'bobs'. Ah, to be 5 years old again! Nearly limitless energy to conquer the world. Anything that lay in your path can be knocked out of the way with sheer exuberance and your unique zest for life. Can you remember when that was you? Sure, our daily caffeine drip may throw us back in time for a short while, but that comes to an end all too quick and we are back here- in the now with the stress of the world and fatigue of a lifetime weighing on our backs.

Not so long ago, just over a year, I found myself thinking there was no way I would make it to 50 when I felt as bad as I did at 34. Despite having the absolute best family in existence (the kids, the husband, the dogs, the extended family...everything as perfect as it gets) there was always a woe. I couldn't get out of bed in the morning and couldn't fall asleep at night. It wasn't that I didn't want to, but that I really truly could not do it. Enter that amazing doc I mentioned in another post. It wasn't long before I was able to get out of bed without a daily struggle and life became brighter. Through a combination of daily supplements and dietary changes my life began to change and zest seemed to be waiting for me to pick it up and go.

So what did I do that really changed my life so much? I already mentioned not totally "getting" the science, but I live by a basic set of guidelines set up by Doc Fantastic, I mean Dr. Fabbi:

  1. Cow dairy causes crazy inflammation, which causes a whole host of other illnesses. Don't eat it. Don't drink it. Don't let it near my otherwise nutritious kale salad.
  2. I am prone to kidney stones comprised of calcium-oxalate, spinach is high in oxalate. (See where I'm going with this?). Don't make spinach for a salad, as a side, or in a dairy free dip; it will make more stones, which means time in the ER, time on traditional antibiotics, and time on pain killers. All that spells disaster for the vibrant glow my otherwise healthy liver was working on. (I never thought about my liver affecting my skin, but boy does it.)
  3. Glutens = trouble. Thyroids and glutens don't play nice together (not to mention the super high calorie count in all things wheat) and I have a thyroid 'thing'. Thyroid 'things' and glutens lead to weight gain, goiters, and other things that sound pretty unpleasant, so I order my burgers with a lettuce leaf bun.
That's my list. If I stay away from things on the list, I stay healthy. But what's a girl to do about, you know...eating something that tastes good? It's not as hard as everyone seems to think. Today I had pretty much the most amazing spring rolls of all time. And you will be the first to ever see the recipe! In years to come, this will be like the illusive cookie recipe everyone thinks was smuggled from the kitchen of some department store restaurant- highly saught after of course. It will be the most coveted recipe you will ever make. Lines will form around the block for the mere hope of a taste, of a bit, of a bite, of a spring roll. Either that, or you will make them once in a while, feel refreshed, and a little more like the five year old you again- world conquering zest and all.

Super Amazing - World Conquering Spring Rolls
1 rice paper spring roll skin
Pinch of shredded carrots
1/2 teaspoon green onions
Pinch basil or cilantro leaves (whichever is on hand)
1/4 ounce sea kelp noodles
1/4 ounce ground chicken *
Moisten the spring roll skin in a pan of warm water. Lay it on a plate, pile on the toppings, roll it up, eat it up. It's that simple. To make this dish all vegan, skip the chicken. Prepared as described, you are looking at about 50 calories each. If you love a little dip for your spring rolls try the one below.

Spicy Spring Roll Dip
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons Tamari
Use less of this gluten free soy sauce if you don't LOVE salt as much as I do. At 70 calories for the entire recipe, use the sauce sparingly.
Ground Chicken*
1-2 poached chicken breasts
Using a food processor, chop chicken until it is very fine. That's it. Two chicken breasts will keep you stocked for nearly 20 spring rolls or can be used in other dishes as well...homemade pad Thai, or some other rice noodle dish, for example. Be sure to store in an airtight glass container. (You don't want any plastics leeching into your otherwise healthy and delicious ground chicken!)
If you are tracking your caloric intake, please don't take my word for it. Use your own calorie counting app or device to double check my values. This is what I came up with using an app called LoseIt! You can use that app- for free online, on your iPhone, or in the Android market.
Oh, and next time I make them I will Instagram a photo. They went much too fast to photograph this time around!

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