Thursday, 18 October 2012

So it Begins

written by Linda Gauthier

Be an appreciator of the seemingly small things in life; a smile, a kind word, a beautiful flower, a few hours of unstructured time, a laughing child, for it is the small things that become the warp and weft of the fabric of your life. Lucy MacDonald
Be an appreciator of the seemingly small things in life; a smile, a kind word, a beautiful flower, a few hours of unstructured time, a laughing child, for it is the small things that become the warp and weft of the fabric of your life. Lucy MacDonald

What is it about the change of seasons that makes us start organizing and cleaning?  Why was I not feeling like this a month ago?  I'll tell you why.  I was lazing around next to my beloved pond pretending I was a lady of leisure!  Enjoying the neverending summer.  See?  That's what happens on this coast (the left side of the country) when you give us sun.  We play hooky, same as when we get a smidgen of snow, the cry goes out and we declare it a "Snow Day".  We are notorious for it really, we are; same as when Ottawa, Halifax, or St. Johns is getting snow, we smugly say "oh, it's only 12 degrees here and I was golfing on the weekend".  Never mind we were golfing in rain gear and gumboots, we were golfing.

This weekend was spent organizing my pantry.  For a couple of reasons, the normal fall weather of rain, rain and more rain had returned and I was temporarily insane.  You see, I have a walk-in pantry, which I have a love-hate relationship with.  It's wonderful to have all that storage space, but for some reason, give me space and I turn into "Miss Haphazard Putter Away Person."  I think I know where everything is, and what I have in there, but that can't be true, because if it was, I wouldn't find 4 bags of corn meal in 4 different areas of the cupboard, and all but one open.  I wouldn't find 3 poultry spice of varying ages on 2 different shelves.  One trying to creep out of the bag using a cane.  Nope, that wouldn't happen now, would it?  So, with my new motto of downsize, downsize, downsize, I decided to tackle the monster within the confines of the area laughingly called the pantry, when in reality it should be called "close the door quick before it escapes place."

However, after this weekend, I can proudly say that I have conquered that monster and it can once again be called "The Pantry."  Jars labeled, items condensed or cleared away, old spices released and sent onto the old spice home. It's strange though, I find myself walking into my kitchen and just standing looking at my "Pantry".  I also have to get my ears checked, I keep hearing those angels singing again, only this time when the word pantry is said or thought, weird , really weird!!  Wonder if this is a symptom of retirement, blogging and hearing angels, what do you think?

So here we are at Thursday, somehow I lost a day or 2 in there and I'm only just getting my recipes up online, but since no one comments out there it may not even be noticed.  I know someone or something is reading my blog, the stats tell me so, but I'm not sure who or what or where.  So feel free to let me know you are out there and I have not gone totally insane and talking to myself, okay?, I'd appreciate it.

Cucumber slices in Greek Yogurt and Mint

I have found using Chick Pea flour to be very useful in making several dishes, this week, as you will see in later recipes.  It also is instrumental in helping me reduce the amount of gluten in my diet.  Many years ago, just before the birth of my children,  I was told I had an allergy or a sensitivity to wheat, and I poo-pooed the idea. However, I'm beginning to think they may have been right.  At that time, they told me I had sensitivities to 48 different foods, many of which I craved, and being a stubborn Taurus, I figured I knew better and they had to be wrong.  However, I have noticed since I have reduced my wheat or gluten intake that I am feeling a lot better.  The following information is from one of the nutrition blogs I follow, take a look see if you notice anything in there that might pertain to you.

Information on Chick Peas and Chick Pea Flour

The chickpea, or garbanzo bean, is a beige-colored legume commonly included in Middle Eastern and Indian food. The chickpea is the primary ingredient in hummus, a popular dip for pita chips and vegetables. The dense texture and nutty flavor of the chickpea provide a substance in food that often replaces meat and nuts in vegetarian meals. The dry chickpea is soaked prior to cooking, and rinsing the canned chickpea prior to using it, improves its digestibility. Including chickpeas in a dietary weight-loss plan provides several benefits.

A 1 cup serving of chickpeas provides 10.6 g of fiber, or 42 percent of the 25 g recommended by Food and Drug Administration daily value.  Including fiber, a component in plant-based foods, in a diet plan for weight loss is important. The body does not digest fiber. Fiber provides volume in foods that satisfies hunger and it regulates the digestion of carbohydrates, preventing the blood glucose level from rising abnormally and causing hyperglycemia, a precursor to diabetes.

Chickpeas contain a low concentration of fat compared with other protein-based foods, such as meat. One cup of chickpeas provides 2.74 g of total fat, or 4 percent of the FDA recommended 65-g daily value, and 11.9 g of protein, or 24 percent of the 50-g daily value. A serving of chicken that provides an equivalent amount of protein contains 13.3 g of fat, more than four times the amount of fat chickpeas provide.

A 2006 Arizona State University study found that if you have a healthy blood level of vitamin C, the rate you lose fat from exercise increases. A 1-cup serving of chickpeas provides 9 mg vitamin C, or 15 percent of the FDA daily value. Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient and you need to include foods that contain at least the daily requirement each day to maintain a healthy supply of the nutrient.


Chickpeas do not cause your blood glucose level to rise abnormally after eating them. This improves the efficiency of energy metabolism. Each calorie consumed is utilized. Whereas, high-glycemic foods increase the blood glucose level abnormally, which causes the body to store carbohydrates as fat and makes you feel hungry again. This cycle leads to weight gain. Including low-glycemic foods in a weight-loss dietary plan is essential for losing weight.

Living with less Gluten in your diet:

Wheat intolerance is one of three conditions that afflict those who have adverse reactions to wheat and wheat products. Gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease, causes inflammation of the digestive tract. Gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, barley and oats, damages the inner lining of the small intestine, reducing the ability of the gut to absorb nutrients from food. Wheat allergies are allergic reactions that occur when the immune system misidentifies wheat and wheat products as toxic invaders. The immune system unleashes a counter attack, but this immune system counter offensive causes more problems that the wheat products do, per se. Wheat intolerance, unlike wheat allergies, does not involve the immune system. The precise causes are not known, but it is believed that those with wheat intolerance lack a certain enzyme necessary to digest wheat, which causes fermentation of bacteria in undigested food in the colon, according to Merk.
Wheat intolerance can be difficult to identify because symptoms might appear within a couple of hours or may take as long as a couple of days before they appear, according to Common symptoms of wheat intolerance include bloating, gastrointestinal distress, headaches, muscle and joint pains and headaches. A slew of additional symptoms and conditions associated with wheat intolerance include arthritis, depression, mood swings, diarrhea, eczema, skin rashes, psoriasis, swollen throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, palpitations, tiredness and watery or itchy eyes, according to

Impact on Weight

In gluten-intolerant people, eliminating gluten may help reduce bloating and water retention, which may be reflected as a drop in weight on the scale. Cutting out gluten may result in weight loss for those on a detox-style diet because it eliminates calorie-dense foods such as pizza, beer, cookies, cakes and wheat bread. Consequently, the diet focuses on more healthy options such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and gluten-free whole grains such as quinoa and amaranth. Because gluten is often present in high-calorie processed foods such as salad dressings, meal kits and sauces, these foods are also off-limits on a gluten-free diet --- further reducing calorie intake.

So now that I have bored you with a bunch a facts and you are probably ready to pull you hair out, I'll say goodbye and I talk to you soon.  Have a great day or evening, whichever it may be.  Enjoy the small things in life; the taste of a sweet frozen grape, the way a leaf floats down the drive in rivulets of water as it heads for the street, the sun peeking through the clouds at the end of a day, the smell of vanilla being mixed into cookie dough, whatever it is, enjoy and be glad for the little things in life that make it complete. 

Bye for now
I love pandas!

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