Saturday, January 12, 2013

Let Your Food Be Medicine and Your Medicine Be Food: Master Tonic

I will steer clear of controversy and not offer my opinion on whether you should receive an immunization for the flu!  But I will say that yesterday I spent much of my day procuring the ingredients for and then preparing my first ever batch of Master Tonic for my family.  This will steep for 2 weeks:

After I strain it, the resulting liquid will be the only flu shots this family will take this year!

That jar includes equal parts of fresh chopped garlic, white onions, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers, covered in raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar, including the living "mother."

This Master Tonic recipe was designed by a doctor as a fresh herb, living alternative to Dr. Christopher's plague formula, and according to the doctor, it "can't go bad, because vinegar already is, and will last almost forever."

Dr. Schulz wrote further that,

"This tonic is extremely powerful, because all the ingredients are fresh. Its power should not be underestimated. This formula is a modern day plague tonic. It is said that when added to an incurable routine it could cure the most chronic conditions and stubborn diseases. It stimulates maximum blood circulation, while putting the best detoxifying herbs into the blood. This formula is not just for the sniffles, it has helped to turn around the deadliest diseases."

You can find the complete instructions and many more notes about making Master Tonic, including testimonials at Pat Robinson's blog at Heal Thyself. I pulled the above quote from her post, and the source for that quote can be found over there.  I have already thanked her once for sharing this with me and I am thanking her again now!  I am so excited to taste this strong and spicy tonic!  I used a whole lot of fresh frozen peppers from our garden this year for mine, including habanero, jalapeno, cayenne, and tabasco peppers.  The finished brew can be added to everything, including stocks, soups, and I am looking forward to trying it as a marinade for meats, too.

One note that I want to include here is that, for maximum strength, Master Tonic should be prepared at the new moon and steeped until full moon before straining.  This way the gravitational force of the moon (the same one responsible for the tides) will be working to extract maximum goodness from the ingredients.  It is generally outside the topic of this blog, but using the moons cycles is extremely helpful in life by teaching right timing.  If this is something that interests you, watch my new astrology blog, Astral Logic, for upcoming  posts exploring this and other subjects.
(In the meantime, here is a great book that introduced me to the concept many many moons ago, and another, older book, which I have read more recently, by my favorite astrologer):

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lower Your Weight Loss Goal and Lose 10% for Maximum Weight Loss Success!

Losing just 10% of your body weight should be your (first) weight-loss goal.  A loss of just 10% is associated with positive benefits including lowering blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reducing sleep apnea, even prevent or reverse diabetes by increasing glucose tolerance.  You will also lower your chance for cardiovascular diseases, not to mention looking and feeling much better, too.

David Katz, MD, MPH, director of the Yale Preventive Medicine Center and Yale University's Prevention Research Center, and author of the best-selling book The Way to Eat: A Six-Step Path to Lifelong Weight Control says that these changes have shown phenomenal health benefits that can be more effective than medications.

Apparently, making a 10% weight loss is particularly important and advisable if you are, like me, apple-shaped, tending to accumulate fat around your middle.  This is because fat stored around the waist is particularly active metabolically, and a waist circumference of over 34 inches for women or 40 inches for men, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.  We all want to avoid this, and losing weight reverses this risk!

But it is more than just the health benefits that suggest losing ten percent is an appropriate weight loss goal. Another book, Break Through Your Set Point: How to Finally Lose the Weight You Want and Keep It Off, written by Dr. George Blackburn, M.D., states that losing just 10% your body weight, and keeping it off for six months to a year, helps your body reset your set point. This new-to-me concept explains many questions I have long had about how the body maintains its weight.

Your body's "set point" is the weight that your body maintains as its normal weight, and it is more of a narrow range than being technically one specific set point. You have probably noticed this yourself, that your body tries to maintain itself around one average weight. It's maintained through hormones, chemicals, and hunger signals,  and it can be changed.  Overeating causes it to raise (which is why the more you eat, the hungrier you can get), and diet and exercise can lower it, too.  Dr. Blackburn's book explains how losing just 10% of your weight and then simply maintaining that new weight for a few months will help you to lower set point so that your body more easily maintains a lower weight.

So you might not need to lose as much weight as you think!  I said on this blog that I need to lose 50, but since I don't weigh 500 lbs, I can significantly lower my first target weight. Anything to make dieting easier is a big weight loss help in my book!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Helpful Diet Tip #1

I am adopting this as my Dieter's Rule #1, but I won't dictate rules to you, so I offer it as a helpful tip!

1. Only eat seated at the table, using a plate (or bowl).
    (also, try using a smaller plate!)

This tip is going to be helpful in making me more conscious of my eating.  Grazing and eating throughout the day, instead of having mealtimes, is helpful and good if you are PREGNANT.  I am no longer pregnant, so having to sit down to eat and having limited meal times is going to help me to eat less, for sure!  Are you as guilty as me of grabbing snacks at any hour of the day?

And, to be clear:  this rule or tip means no eating in the car. Or in bed or on the couch, either; the coffee table doesn't count by my rules.  I do think bananas may be an exception, though!

I became fat from eating too much and too often.  I used to smoke and once I stopped, I started stuffing myself with food instead.  A lot of people never smoked and so have been stuffing themselves with food for a lot longer than I have!  But if I could quit smoking (it took me so long to finally do that because I didn't think I could), you and me both can stop our compulsive overeating or emotional overeating, for sure!  Because I am pretty sure that is just as bad for us as smoking and can kill us just as fast!  And I KNOW that, like me, you are ready to stop killing yourself and enjoy living the rest of your life as much and as well as you can!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Publisher's Note and Happy New Year!

Welcome! This cooking blog was set up on a spontaneous whim in gluttonous December but posting starts with this new year ON A DIET!
I have never had to do this -lose weight- in my life until now, so this will be a learning journey!

I thought I was naturally thin, but when I finally managed to quit smoking cigarettes (YAY for stopping smoking! Kids: DON'T START!) I got FAT eating eating and now I need to lose 50 lbs!  I feel a need to focus more on losing inches (or centimetres!), personally, rather than pounds, hence the photo above.

So these blog posts will start with focusing on how to lose weight; cooking diet dinners from whole foods; learning and sharing nutrition information; and becoming healthier while cooking.

Great Gravy is a brand new blog and I want to build content here, so I may occasionally throw in more general and less weight loss based cooking posts, too (how to make great gravy,for one)...but no fattening posts before we have lost some weight!

Because I have no experience losing weight, I will be doing research about various approaches to "dieting" and plan to pass along what I learn and I hope you will let us know what works for you and what you know too!  And I hope we (ME and readers of this blog) will lose LOTS!  Here is to a lighter 2013!

I need to start with a diet whole food cornbread recipe for my new year dinner tonight and so I hope that lovely post will be coming up here soon ;) (edit to add: there will be no diet corn bread, which is an oxymoron! We'll eat extra greens instead.)   Ya'll have a beautiful new year!   Here is a link to Bob Dylan reading a list of the Top 10 most popular new year resolutions (on YouTube).   I will be posting here about a few of these, including Quit Smoking here soon.