16 February 2009

Miscellany

I felt a faint stirring of interest in poking through some fabric last week and decided to make a little valentine quilt. Unfortunately it would seem my absence from the sewing room for so long resulted in some atrophying of brain cells in the quilting area of my brain :( I cut up some strips from my border fabric to use as the hearts, 'cause I had just enough to do that, and too late realized I had cut them 1/2" too small. If I can find more of the aqua and red one I will hopefully finish it next Valentine's Day. I've been wanting to make a Tessellation quilt for quite some time and finally decided to start one last Friday. Being the clever girl I am I decided to change the measurement from 2" to 2 1/2" in order to use up one of the many jelly rolls that have been multiplying like rabbits in my absence. Here is the result...Pretty clever huh? Duh, you'd think I would have realized my mistake when I had to cut my 5" inch strip down to 4 1/2"...I mean I've changed enough patterns around to know that changing one measurement means changing all the measurements... It doesn't end there, next I cut everything down to 2" and then feeling my confidence come back started sewing them on the diagonal without referring to the pattern as to the correct direction...arghhh. Not to mention how wonky those two end ones came out :( Now I'm sewing with the pattern on my sewing machine table at all times no matter how sure I am that I have it down. I finally got it right and here it is so far. That bottom square is not sewn yet that's just how I audition the next block before I commit.
Although I haven't been accomplishing anything crafty this month I did re-organize all my kitchen cupboards and pantry. I found a fun blog The Perfect Pantry and she used to do a thing where everyone would post pictures of their pantries which motivated me to get started on my overhaul. I didn't think of taking pictures until I was done--which makes me sad--I love before and after pictures. Anyway I did take after pictures and you can just trust me when I say they were really bad before.
I don't even drink tea so I'm not sure how I ended up with a whole shelf full....


O.k. I'll stop there, you get the idea :)
Now on to Loser Monday business. In addition to my cabinets I have also completely revamped my "diet". I'm no longer on a diet. Why? Because a couple of weeks into it I realized I was on the same road I've been on so many times before and I don't want to be on it again. I want to lose weight and not gain it back this time. So instead of focusing on calories I'm just changing what types of foods I eat. I have to actually like the food because this is how I'm going to eat from now on, making allowances for real life of course. Remember the first picture I showed of what my meals were going to be consisting of? Delete it and replace it with this one.
The book is Nourishing Traditions and is my main Food Bible right now. I really love this book because it's not just some guy theorizing on what he thinks is healthy, it's based on the study of various peoples and cultures known for their longevity. You can go here to read more. I've cut out all refined sugar and grains. I use Sucanat and Blue Agave syrup in my coffee....you didn't think I'd give up my a.m. cup of java did you? I've pulled out my grain mill and my wheat berries, my yogurt maker and strainer for making yogurt and kefir cheese, I keep the whey for soaking beans and grains. Organic eggs and sustainably raised meats, raw milk and lots of fruits and veggies and that's pretty much it in a nutshell. The only exception is Friday night pizza...I still use some white bread flour in the crust mixed in with the freshly ground stuff. I've been listening to Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle when I walk and aside from being just an all around great book it has the added benefit of making me actually crave vegetables!! (Check out the website here) The other day she was going on about rainbow chard so I went to Henry's and bought some and came home and cooked it up for dinner with some brown rice and it was yummy...chard is yummy, who woulda' thought? Since I have missed the dessert recipe (I eat fruit for dessert) and the salad recipe (I've actually never used a recipe for salad lol) I am going to post a recipe for rainbow chard. It's really good and so so easy. You'll need:
Rainbow Chard (preferably organic, there is a huge difference in taste, not to mention 60% more nutrients) Isn't it pretty?Olive oil, salt and red pepper flakesCook some brown rice and have it ready first, the chard cooks up really fast. I soak my rice all day in warm filtered water (2 cups to 1 cup rice) and 2 tablespoons plain kefir (or yogurt or whey) to make the nutrients more available. You just cook it the usual way in the filtered water.
Cut the stems off the chard cut up small and saute in olive oil
Meanwhile roll the chard leaves like soand chop up in 1" strips (hey kinda like quilting lol)when the stems brighten and soften add the leaves, salt and pepper flakes to taste and cook until bright and tender, don't overcook! It should look like this.Put it in a bowl with some buttered ( I use ghee, which is essentially clarified butter) brown rice and enjoy :) Now how simple is that?Have a great day! Oh yeah and I lost another pound, so that's 6 so far. Slow? Yes, but hopefully and most importantly permanent!!