HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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My Quest for Flavor! a food on friday carnival post “)


 

Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker

My Quest for Flavor

 Psalm 22:26 “The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him— may your hearts live forever!”Since June 2, 2010, when doctors pronounced that there were dire heart issues to contend with I have been on a quest for Whole wellness. This quest has led to some severe dietary and lifestyle changes. As if that were not difficult and frustrating enough, I had to remove salt from my diet. That was the instruction from the first cardiologist at the first hospital.Since going to Deborah there has been a bit of improvement on the seasoning side of my diet! Dr. Ambrose, a fellow cardiologist at Deborah Heart and Lung Center, told me I could have 2,000 milligrams or 2 grams of sodium a day. Just under the RDA guidelines by 4,000 milligrams. This means about 3/4 of a teaspoon of table salt, a day, give or take a granule! S, I continue to not use the salt while cooking or added at meal times.This allows me two things, as I see them, and ALLOWED, is a great thing!1. It gives me a way to find healthier salt in natural foods, like parmesan cheese, and other cheeses to flavor my meals, (in moderation of course).  

2. When I eat out or at a friend’s home, they nor I must worry about how to season a meal.  

With that said, with the help of my Chef, Cook and Foodie friends, here and abroad, thanks to FaceBook, I have found some very interesting ways to take my meals from Beige to Bright!

  

The Flavor Beige

 Thanks to Laureen, Claudia, Dorothy, Valeen and Brenda…and all my other girls, who support and encourage me too! Ladies you are the bomb!     

…Much Love to you all!      

 I went shopping just yesterday, buying an array of different foods than has been the norm in the past. My youngest, adult son, came out from putting away the last of the food complaining in a 16-year-old fashion, “…there’s nothing to eat!”. As much as some things stay the same, you would hope that a young adult would be a little less childish in this area, by 23! :D…”all you bought was meat, fruit and 2% milk! What happened to the whole milk?” 

 
His complaint was really that everything had to be cooked. There was no processed foods or “microwavables” in the house! Oh well, he has a job!  
 
I have successfully found that seasoning foods to have a salt like bite is quite easy.See what rising above the frustration can do!
 Lemon is great for a salad, fish, chicken and even a new thing I found called Citrus Rice. I also, at a birthday party for a friend last weekend, got a quick recipe for Cold Corn Salad, apparently it’s great on hot dogs? I don’t know because I no longer eat hotdogs. Didn’t really eat them before, either, but for some reason I  began a new “wanting of things” that I  didn’t want even when there were no restrictions. Anyway,  made with sweet corn, sweet red bell peppers, white or vadalia onion and Hellman’s Mayonaise Lite, cold corn salad begs for  a bit of salty, to it. What to do? What to do?
LIME! The juice of one small lime gives this salad just enough bite and the latin feel this salad begs for! Delicious. Thanks for that recipe from Jen’s step-mom, Maria.
 
Then  there is my Greek Yogurt fetish! More protein than conventional American yogurt, less salt and full of flavor this treat is a filling and delicious breakfast choice. Having tried all the varieties, Oikos, Chobani and even Yoplait’s newest version. My grocer finally stocked Fage (FA-yea) Total. This is the greek style yogurt that the Greeks stock in their fridges!
 
With the texture of cheese cake and a good fruit compote greek yogurt is decadence without the dietary problems!  Better yet, I found quite on accident, that the plain with a table-spoon of Polaner All Fruit is even better than some of the flavors! Right there I control the fat, calories and sugar intake in my breakfast! And I actually like the sugar-free all fruit. 🙂
 
A small modicum of control over my diet at last! ((((Yay!!!)))) for me!
 
Then there is the first suggestion I received from my friend Dorothy, from Ireland, finely minced garlic! This gem of a trick (and why I didn’t know, this I don’t know) adds a nice salt like bite to eggs, sauces and soups! Having a family recipe for Spaghetti Sauce, or gravy if you prefer, I always followed the smidge here and 2 cloves there direction, which is now just a knowing. Well,  about 3 finely minced cloves gives the salty bite, while the 2 sliced, added as well, provides the proper balance of garlic flavor, basil and oregano and you are good to go. Italian style!
 
Dorothy and Laureen also gave me the Hot Sauce suggestion, and at about the same time I was considering it. On eggs and in rice or soups just a few drops will do you! Add while cooking is the trick to avoiding the really hot sensation of using hot sause as a topical seasoning;  your eggs and soup will have the flavor you desire without the excess sodium. Finding the balance, may be a bit tricky if you don’t like spicy hot. FYI: some believe that hot sauce and hot peppers kick start one’s metabolism! Good to know if you like spicy foods.
 
  

Vibrant Flavor

 
There it is. My diet rescue! All it took was putting an end to my pity party and some experimentation in the kitchen, which I enjoy, because I like to cook. Here I thought my Joy of Cooking was over. Not so.
Brown rice and grains are my next venture.
 
Wild Rice is what I am in search of. I should say, inexpensive wild rice. At my local grocer (Shop Rite) a box, for a single meal is $8.95! Out of my range, for sure. My husband’s  response when I teared up at the grocery store was, “Wow! That wild rice must be really hard to catch!” Poor guy! At the time the humor didn’t work, but it’s funny now. 🙂  All of the processed rice that contain wild rice are incredibly high in sodium, too.
 
I really wish we had a Whole Foods store here in Central New Jersey!
 
A new friend, Brenda, brought me a grain called Teff, from Ethiopia, the tiniest grain on earth. The word “teff” is derived from the *Amharic “teffa” which translates as lost. Due to its tiny size, teff can easily be lost if dropped!
*Semitic language spoken in North Central Ethiopia.
 
One of my dearest friends, Valeen, a former vegetarian who still strives for healthy eating, suggested Barley as a change-up for cereal and side dishes that were healthier. Made with sauted garden tomatoes, garlic, onions and mushrooms cooked into a rice or couscous consistency, topped with good shaved parmesan cheese, the barley was a hit. Next I am going to add it to fresh made soup tomorrow.

Whole Grain Goodness

 
So lunch today, I now eat 4 to six smaller meals a day, was European style. Now these Europeans are lean and healthy, at least on tv, right. 3 Wasa crackers (low cal. and low sodium), with cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, peach all fruit and a medium bunch of grapes, and a half cup of coffee. Delicioso!
 
You would be surprised at the satisfaction of flavor in this small meal. As well as how surprisingly good cheddar and peach preserves taste together, another wonderful accident!
 
So far I’ve lost 48 pounds in 4 months and still losing. I hit a  plateau, at 46 pounds, about two weeks ago, so I removed another white food from my diet; white potatoes. Dorothy says they are poison! 😀 I don’t know about that, but removing them from my diet jump started my weight loss again. I lose, on average, 1.6 pound a week now and my goal is 2 pounds a week.
 
At this rate of loss I can lose 100 pounds or more by the start of next summer, Praise God! Really, Praise God, because obedience and the Word of God have made much of this much easier to accomplish. All of my success has come from God honoring my obedience and faith in Him to finish what He began in me!
 
My next venture is the health food stores! On goes my quest!
 
Stick with me girls (and guys) we gonna be getting healthy!
 
Blessings Loves!…
 
 
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How Quickly A Life Changes~♥ † ♥~


Change Unfolding

Search me O LORD! was my prayer. He did and I entered into another level of transition! I have come to understand that change and transition are a daily thing. From moment to moment, or better, Glory to Glory, we are not the person we were a moment ago…

UNLESS…we refuse to move.

Like many I dreaded, hated, loathed change…which in simple terms means I was deathly afraid of change!! Seriously, that is what it is for most of us. We profess loathing while within we croach in fear of an unknown future…not realizing that each second that ticks away is eating that future away.

So in my quest for health, and the resulting diagnosis of serious and possibly very dangerous heart and lung issues, I have been being taught how to change my mind, alter my perception…become who God made me to be.

For my loyal readers, if I should be so blessed as to have a readership, you know that I have been on my second tier of personal transition. God and I have dealt with the mental and emotional things and have moved on to the physical and health issues. Funny how God works, all the teachings, devotionals, motivationals and preachers are on Change Your Mind and Change Your Life.

So this whole CHS and high blood pressure stuff has me on a diligent schedule. Up to now I did what I wanted. When I decided to begin a more healthy lifestyle I implemented all the things that we’ve heard for years!

More fruits and vegetables…more water…more protein than fat…the gammut. For me, who was unaware of the level of ill health I was in, the water, especially, was the wrong choice…some of the more water based fruits and veggies didn’t help either. Yet I looked forward to just feeling better soon, when these changes had time to have an effect on my body and health.

Of course I coupled these natural changes with prayer and time with God. “Search me, O Lord!”. I prayed for my body to line up with what the Word of God said…

~ no weapon formed against me can prosper.

~ God sent His Word and I WAS healed.

~ By Christ’s stripes I was healed.

I know I WAS healed, even before I was born. These trasitional things are simply the removal of worldly beliefs and teachings and familial training.

Well the increased water intake and the prayers did their job…I filled up with fluid and stepped into the enemy’s trap of the family curse! I had developed Congestive Heart Failure! I was admitted to the hospital on June 2, 2010 and my life began another change. I was being forced to change how I dealt with my diet and my body. My eyes were opened to what the obesity, my sedentary nature and my indulgent diet had wrought in my body.

Yet there was no fear. Only a peaceful understanding that what God reveals He removes. The bad stuff anyway! I had asked and had finally gotten to a place where God knew I was going to be faithfully obedient. I was ready and had truly set a goal in my spirit to heal for the Kingdom of God. I had sought God and He had faithfully answered my prayer.

So, how quickly does a life change? As quickly as we permit it to.

I have become accustomed in 4 weeks time to get up at 6am and check my weight, take my medicine and then spend my morning with God! While I nourish my body with a healthy breakfast, I nourish my body with the Word and Visitation of God. I am healing…with a purpose! I pay attention to what my body tells me. When I feel up to it I do chores around the house, and I went back to work this week. Being the church secretary isn’t all that strenuous, however going to work and being productive can be mentally tiring, especially in a church. When I am tired I rest. If I ache or have pain I stop and assess the situation. Honestly these are things I just plowed through in my life…right up to June 2, 2010! Like I said I am healing with purpose…

To be fruitful in the Kingdom of God and here in the earth.

Another Word of God is that we have been given Dominion. Yet many, like me, don’t walk in that dominion because we don’t realize we even have dominion over ourselves…our lives, bodies and spirits. We just believe, like an atheist somehow, that things just happen randomly to us and we must tolerate and muddle through! How do people, even Chrisitians, come to a place where they are inadvertantly and literally taking the stance of atheistic thoughts and perceptions?

I don’t have the answer to that, but I am blessed that my eyes have been opened.

I visited my beloved 87 year old grandmother on Father’s Day, because I was in her neck of the pines. My aunt and a neighbor were over and everyone was glad to see me. During our conversation about how good I looked it came up that I developed this condition at the same age as my grandmother did. For her she ended up at 45 in a wheelchair battling heart issues for the next 42 years and counting.

Ironically, as I told them that no I was not going to keep the family inheritance of CHF because my inheritance was God’s Family Inheritance, I remembered, again, that I had told a very dear friend the opposite of what the martyred women of my family adhere to.

I said to my friend that I would not, that I adamantly refused to sit down in a chair, at 45, and stop living my life!

I stand firm on that declaration today! 

So there you have it. Our lives change from moment to moment, and if we do it correctly it changes from Glory to Glory.

God meant for us to live a Life More Abundant, and that is my intent, my goal. I know that I know that this time next year I will be healthy and at the beach with that friend who I made my declaration to, taking pictures of her surfing at 43 years of age!

My friend told me once of an incredibly spiritual experience God had gifted her with as she sat floating on her surf board on the Atlantic Ocean. She said it had begun to rain and the rain drops hitting the placid glass surface of the ocean was music and her heart just began to sing out in Praise!

I believe those special times with God, where He gives us a glimpse of His heaven, come when we are being diligent in our obedience to Him and seeking His face and His Kingdom. I look forward to those moments with God. The ones that are just for me, the ones that when explained lack that majesty that exsisted in that moment!

I would like to encourage those of you who want to change your mind and life to get ahold of the book Working with The Law~11 Truth Principles for Successful Living by Raymond Holliwell. It will change your way of thinking and change your life..all pun intended! I got my at a very affordable price and in excellent condition by purchasing it used from www.amazon.com. Gotta love Amazon.com, they have everything!

Blessings and Be Well my Loves!   †