Friday, March 28, 2008


Today's big topic for me is nutrition. Specifically, I've been wondering whether I'm getting enough stuff like protein. Yeah, I eat my share of meat, beans, dairy and all ... but am I getting enough protein? Or too much?

One website said that for my height and weight, I should be consuming 83 grams of protein a day, minimum. Another tells me to double my weight to find how much protein in grams ... but gosh, that seems awful high. (I can't see how 300+ grams of protein a day can be good for you.) Still another tells me to multiply my weight by .4 to reach the magic amount. And isn't the USRDA something like 65g? Or 50? Too much, and too little, can each be harmful.

I had a problem many years ago when I was vegan: I didn't know much about proper nutrition and I wasn't getting enough protein, and (among other things) my metabolism crashed and burned. So I'm a bit nervous about protein.

In the face of so much conflicting information, the one thing I can do is determine how much protein I'm getting right now. So I've decided to keep a food diary for the next week, and jot down what I'm eating and how much. Since I rarely prepare meals for which I don't have nutritional information (ie., I normally follow recipes that a serving size and its nutrients), I'm hoping this won't be dull or burdensome. In the meantime, I'll keep researching.

EDIT, 4/11/08: I've managed to take in a good 30-50g of protein a day, which really just isn't enough for someone my size. A friend called a little while ago to inform me that according to her Weight Watchers leader and to a book called The Fertility Diet, the way to calculate one's protein intake is to multiply your body weight by .7. Under that formula, I need to double my protein! Which I can believe, since lately the more I eat, the more weight that comes off. (She adds that the Fertility Diet promotes a greater amount of vegetable protein than animal protein. I'm not that familiar with the diet myself, but I'll check it out when I get a chance.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Photos and springtime thoughts

Just a quick post (as it's way past my bedtime) to remind myself: use that fancy camera you bought and take pictures! Pictures good!

In the meantime, here's a photo of what were probably the most delicious potatoes I've ever eaten. I can't wait to partake of the local produce again!

I know ... it's time to sign up for the CSA shares. Unfortunately, my pocketbook took a major hit last month, so no CSA for me. I hope to be able to do it next spring. Until then, I'll keep visiting the farmers market and work on building out the garden (we have two of the planned five raised beds built so far).

Somewhat unrelated thought: I wonder if the eat local supper club is still happening?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm back!

First of all, it's good to be back! "Real life" happened in a particularly nasty way toward the end of January and I haven't able to put my mind toward blogging much til now.

Things are better for me these days, and my attention is back where I enjoy it most: thinking about what's for dinner. Lately I'm finding the answer to that eternal dilemma in the pages of food magazines.

I recently splurged a bit and got myself a subscription to Vegetarian Times. I don't usually subscribe to publications, as I don't often have the time to read them through, but lately I've been leaning more toward vegetarian/vegan than carnivorous. I found a recipe for tempeh chili in the latest issue (April 2008) that really worked out very well and stifled my reservations about the fermented soybean cake. As soon as I see that it's on VT's website, I'll post a link.

I made a couple of substitutions. The recipe called for a dark beer but I don't drink the stuff, so instead I dry-roasted some buckwheat flour and stirred it into the chili and added the 12 ounces of water that the beer would've provided. Also - whoops! - two teaspoons of maple syrup were called for but I ended up adding probably two tablespoons when the syrup came out of the jug much faster than I'd anticipated. Didn't hurt the taste! Plus ... I added probably a tablespoon of coriander powder and cayenne pepper for some added zing.

There's something else I wanted to make, something involving sweet potatoes, but silly me ... I can't find the recipe anymore. What do I do with 24 ounces of sweet potatoes? (I'm sure I'll find an answer!)

I did another uncharacteristic thing yesterday: I brought home a copy of Clean Eating magazine from the store. I'd never heard of the phrase "clean eating." Apparently it means eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, which I think is generally a good idea: the minimally processed food is more likely to be the healthiest, most satisfying food.

I couldn't resist the cover photo of a slice of veggie pizza. The magazine itself seems chock-full of recipes and all sorts of nutrition and health tips - there's even a 30-day meal plan with simple, healthful foods and a shopping list - and I'm really looking forward to checking it out more closely.