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Tomatoes Are Evil

the tomato seductressI'm already fairly well practiced at avoiding refined carbs (white wheat flour, sugar, etc.) but I was looking at a lentil stew recipe and thought about how so many recipes call for nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc.), wondered about substituting different vegetables for such things, did a search and found this:
Hah! It has a few recipes, but they still contain things I avoid. I wonder if I could make alfredo sauce with goat cheese?
I wonder if goat or sheep cheese is healthier (less chemicals, less lactose) than an organic cow cheese like parmesan that's been aged a long time (aged cheese has less lactose)?
So I decided I should keep better records and begin creating recipes that only use ingredients in my diet and find the foods that really are good* for me.

It's not totally uncommon to avoid nightshades**, since it aggravates arthritis and gout, as well as the blood type thing, and the macrobiotic yin thing... so maybe there's a market for a recipe book!
I love looking at all the different theories of health and food and integrating them all with my own experience and self-knowledge, and I've been getting really into this recently thinking about creating the perfect diet for myself. If I was to write a recipe book I think it would be very integrated and talk about the reasons for my choices.

* By "good for me" I mean, more than just healthy, but also enjoyable, tasty, delicious to at least some degree, and feels good to my body without causing suffering in the short or long term. I think it's crucial that I find food that is good for me in all these ways, and stick to them at least 90% of the time... when I really think about it, I shouldn't need anything else.

** "Potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne, and Tabasco sauce are classified as nightshade foods. A particular group of substances in these foods, called alkaloids, can impact nerve-muscle function and digestive function in animals and humans, and may also be able to compromise joint function. Because the amount of alkaloids is very low in nightshade foods when compared with other nightshade plants, health problems from nightshade foods may only occur in individuals who are especially sensitive to these alkaloid substances. Since cooking only lowers alkaloid content of nightshade foods by about 40-50%, highly sensitive individuals may want to avoid this category of food altogether, while non-sensitive individuals may be able to eat these foods, especially in cooked form, without problem. Green and sprouted spots on potatoes usually reflect high alkaloid content, even though the green itself involves the presence of chlorophyll, not alkaloids. For this reason, sprouted areas should always be thoroughly removed before potato cooking, or the potatoes should be discarded altogether."

I also found this article interesting:
Especially the part about how potatoes and tomatoes balance yang (in macrobiotic theory) and help digest meat and dairy fats and proteins, and that's why people crave it and why it's such a big part of the American diet. So if those types of fats and proteins are used very sparingly, I don't think nightshades will be necessary, in fact, they might be too extreme for an otherwise balanced diet. "Extreme foods have extreme effects"!

I'm especially interested in this because of the bunions I just had removed and the new pain in my elbow... "If you are healing from disease or are in pain, especially in the bones and joints, such as wrists, hips, and knees, or back, teeth, or gums, avoid nightshades. If you wish to have the strongest body possible, then reduce, avoid, or eliminate nightshades."

Update 04/25/2011: I've been doing my best to avoid nightshades in my diet for the past couple years and have found direct connection between nightshade consumption (especially chilies and tomatoes) to a rash that I am prone to called perioral dermatitis.

food (11), nightshades (1), nutrition (4), opinion (1)

Nutrition (3)

Purple Shelf

purple shelf with mehndi style design purple shelf with mehndi style design purple shelf with mehndi style design

I made this little shelf from a piece of pine board, rounded the corners, stained it purple, and painted a Mehndi style design (inspired by the Yogi tea boxes) on it with bronze paint.

crafts (21), mehndi (1), painting (10), shelf (3), wood-working (4)

Crafts (21)

5x5 for 5

I've been feeling pretty healthy, considering all I've put my body through in the past 8 months, and it being flu season right now and I've managed to fight off everything that's come my way. Except, I've had a frustrating rash on my face for about 6 weeks now. A rash of unknown cause or cure.

I've created a simplified diet, based on the blood type diet (type A+), macrobiotic diet, and some other things. The simpler the better for me, which is why the Master Cleanse is so easy for me to stick to, there's only three things I can eat on that.

For 5 days I'm preparing for the Master Cleanse and only eating:

-- 5 whole grains: brown/wild rice, quinoa, oats, barley, rye (whole grain, un-risen bread is okay)
-- 5 proteins: beans (lentil, soy, pinto, black, anasazi), fish (cod, tuna, salmon, red snapper, sardine), nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, pine nuts), plain yogurt
-- 5 veggies: kale/chard, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, carrot (some other veggies are okay, salad greens, avocado*, and sea vegetables are good, but not peppers, tomatoes*, potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, eggplant, or cabbage)
-- 5 fruits: apple, pear, apricot, peach, blueberry (some other fruits are okay, but not orange, tangerine, banana, mango, papaya, or melon)
-- 5 condiments: olive oil, lemon, sesame (gomasio w/o MSG, & tahini), honey, blackstrap molasses

No eating out. No sugar, alcohol, coffee, or black tea. Green tea and mate are okay though I'm going to ween myself from those in the next few days. Herbal teas are okay if no flavors are added.

After that, I'm going to do the Master Cleanse for 7-10 days, maybe longer if the rash is improving but not totally better. Then I'll get back to the 5x5 for awhile, hopefully adding things very gradually to see how I react, and stick to the simple 5x5 until I feel back in balance.

*yes, I know avocado and tomato are fruits but since they are eaten like vegetables this is how I am categorizing them

cleansing (2), food (11), health (2), nutrition (4)

Nutrition (3)

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