Sunday, April 13, 2014


Dear Friends,

As my writing business kicks into gear, I have found that a new platform for my writing has become necessary, which is my way of introducing you to my new venture. My new blog, STANDING TALL, will explore the adventures and confidence we find in the journeys of our lives.
Sharing myself with you all in Out of the Fryingpan has given me immeasurable pleasure. To my faithful followers: I am inviting you to join me on this new, exciting adventure.

We all have within us the potential for tremendous strength through adversity, directing that strength is how we build confidence and a feeling of self-worth. 

Please join me at
and do sign up to receive my posts in your Inbox.  When you submit your email address you will receive a request to confirm that request.  It should be smooth and simple, and after that it will all happen automatically!

I look forward to your comments, suggestions, advice... and to sharing this next adventure with you!

Stay healthy and safe!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

Sandra’s beloved Kent Durling has died.  I am posting on Sandra's behalf, and I am sure she would be pleased to hear from any of you who would like to be in touch.  
I trust you all got through the storm without trauma...
"Stay healthy and safe"
Lisbie oxo

Born: August 30, 1952      Death: March 25, 2014
Durling, Kent Bradford of Lequille died peacefully March 25,2014 in the Annapolis Community Health Center at the age of 61 with his family at his side. Born August 30, 1952 in Middleton, N.S. He was the son of the late Ruth (Deal) and Carl Ritson Durling and will go on to join them and his eldest brother Noel and grandson Riley. His memory is cherished and shared by his best friend and life companion Sandra Meers and daughters Sarah Davies (Trevor) and Stephanie Durling (Jason) and his three grandsons Tanner, Aiden, and Denymn Davies. He is also survied by his brothers Barry (Carla) and Lorris (Kathy) and his sister in law Marilyn Durling. In his younger years he enjoyed his love of the sea by sailing in the Caribbean working as a chef and later moved to Fredericton where he lived for 22 years working in restaurant and equipment sales.
He will be missed and thought of often by close friends and former colleagues.
Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of Serenity Lindsay Annapolis Valley Funeral Homes, Berwick Chapel (902-538-9900) and a memorial service will take place Saturday March 29 at 1pm. It will be held in the Annapolis Royal Legion Branch 21. A private Interment Service will take place at a later date. On-line condolences may be sent by visiting:


"Free of earth, as free as air,
 Now you travel everywhere."
the story above was a favourite of Kent's brother, Noel, who went ahead of him a year to the date...  May they know peace.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Lately, I’ve been working on re-igniting my writing career… I’m trying to decide where I’d like to be with that career. I’m working daily at a freelance writing and would like to get into internet content writing. I’ve done so many, varied things during my ½ century. Writing seems to always be where I gravitate.

Someone told me recently, that I should write what I know. Okay, I’ll start with that. I know food and cooking…. Doesn’t seem there could be a writing career there. It appears foodie writers might already flood the market. Let’s get more basic. I know where I live. No, I’m not a blithering idiot!! Yes, I know I live in a nice, small “white house” (as my friend Ethelyn once called her own house outside Annapolis Royal).   You know, it’s odd, but some people don’t know where they physically live. I learned that as a Returning Officer – blew me away!  I live just outside the “historic, scenic, fun” town of Annapolis Royal… I dare someone to criticize those adjectives, as Judy G. AND Durline M. will remember folks did many years ago.  I live in and love my province of Nova Scotia . I also know I live in Canada. 

But, if we delve a bit deeper, I live in a 52-year-old body that I’m trying to treat like a temple (though it was once treated, as the song says, “like an old honky-tonk”!). I know, too, about heartache and heartbreak. I’ve been to Hell and back with this body, surviving and conquering a severe stroke that left me completely left-side paralyzed and seeming for a sort time to lose this body and part of my mind with it (I never really lost my mind, just kinda thought I did, when body parts refused to obey direct orders). I struggled through 8 weeks of re-hab, trying desperately to bring back body (and mind). I succeeded! Got ‘em both back, but not until after tremendous mental struggle, trying to remember the person I was, and figuring out the person I’d become. I’d retained enough intestinal fortitude to fight like crazy to get me back.  Yep, the latter, a few years older and what seemed like decades wiser, even though these days I still feel 25. 

I sometimes still mourn for that person former person, who still remains somewhere in my heart She makes brief appearances here and there, moving forward from the blackness of backstage. Those who knew her, see her still in certain conversations, certain movements of my hands, and certain expressions on my face. When they mention it, it makes me smile. She is the one who fought back against the demon stroke. She is the one who laughs at funny things in life. She is the one who loves with all her might, as if her life depended on it. She is the one who loves those people in her past as she does those in her present, because those in her past helped shape the person who knew to fight so hard to get back. But, I think this latter version has the benefit that comes only from the heartache of tapping on the bottom of the barrel and somehow getting your head back above water, gasping a couple of times before brain tells mouth to cooperate in taking a couple of deep breaths. So, here I am trying to carve out another career, but maybe not another me. This me may be a bit different than the former me, but the more I get to know her, I like this me.  I am proud of the successes of the earlier mebut the more I get to know this me, the more I’m proud of her; she may be just as indecisive as before, but I do like her!  But, I am still trying to find another career. The trouble is, I like doing so many things and I’ve been exposed to so many possibilities, What to do?!

Maybe here we’ll start talking whole foods for a bit. I’ve said it before. I’m a staunch whole foods advocate. I’ll take the real thing, thank you!  I credit meeting Judy Maher and her sisters, Connie d’Entremont and George-Ann Delaney many years ago with my full on appreciation of “the real thing”. Real foods, the “whole enchilada”, you might say, real homemade yogurt not packaged… real whole eggs, not the kind that come in milk-type containers. Or maybe worse, those vac-paced in 5 kg packages, yes, they really do come that way!!

I’m not sure Judy and Connie and Georgie are even aware today how much they influenced my thinking. I’m not really in touch with them anymore (which is an unfortunate thing, at least for me), Save for Facebook, and it just goes to show we never really know the true impact we have on those we meet and share brief friendships. Those ladies and their families struck me to the core!! Those of you who know my good friend “Anna”, who helps me with this blog teaches us everyday just why we should hold onto those friendships. She’s one we never want to lose. Not that I wanted to lose Judy, Connie and Georgie as close friends, but circumstances beyond all our control forced the issue … so, we all lost out!  So many special things are happening that we should all be sharing and rejoicing in them.
So, I think I’ll dedicate this, my initial post on whole foods and all of those to follow to Judy, Connie and Georgie. Three unbelievably special ladies in my life.  Hopefully their healthful living philosophies can impact others through this blog. (I might just have found my content writing Niche! Whadayaknow??)

Although I do have another couple of ideas! I’m sure at least one will work out.

Recent studies are proving this philosophy true and much more healthy, considering the GMO’s on so much of our packaged foods, and that’s not to mention the antibiotics, food dyes and preservatives added. As well, it would take a PhD in chemistry to try to figure out what we really do put in our mouths

For those who don’t know what I’ve done in the past: I’ve worked with mentally-challenged adults, helping develop self-sufficiency-type programs to take participants out of training and out on their own. I’ve studied piano and voice, taught piano.  Received a degree in Economics (but still can't keep Europe out of debt).  Sewed well enough, at one point to make all my own clothes.  Worked at a Natural Foods Store (something I really loved).  Was an editor, reporter and photographer for two local community newspapers. Learned newspaper composition (the old-school manual way). Sold advertising and written ad copy, for many clients and promotions.  Curled at provincial and national levels, coached junior curling.  Co-owned and operated a large seasonal family-style restaurant and three franchise-style operations, and did all sundry tasks associated with such enterprises.  Was Returning Officer, hired by the NS Legislative Committee to administer provincial elections in the Annapolis district and, for a time was Justice of the Peace. Well, That’s me in a rather large nutshell!! And writing is what I want to do., Specifically, content writing…. To that end, I’ve been studying everything I can find online I think, too, I’ve learned something valuable trough the stroke experience with which I could help others… so there it is, wonder where I take it from there?  But, back to knowing where I live, I could write loads of copy about Nova Scotia. Stuff that would make anyone want to visit or live here, and have photos to back it up!! 

What did I learn today in my internet searches for content writing? I learned there are more decisions than just that to be made thanks to
And even more info at
I’ve got lots of studying ahead of me! That’s what I think I’ll do - study and continue working on magazine freelancing and other “homier" projects. I want my grandsons to have the same appreciation of whole foods that I learned from Connie, Judy and Georgie. They’re already starting to “get it”!

Stay healthy and safe!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Sorry everyone!  I forgot an important piece of information regarding The Plan.  As you have probably noticed, we’re ramping up on good-for-you fats – seeds, nuts and avocado.  We’re also using olive oil in a number of applications, such as what follows.
The benefits of citrus oils have long been recognized.  In fact, for generations Latin Americans have recommended squeezing the juice from citrus with your hands rather than using reams or other  mechanical devices, as they believe it allows more of the citrus zest oils to fall into the extracted juices and thus, into the foods to be consumed.  Some research has found that consuming just a tablespoon of citrus zest (which contains the all-important oils) can decrease the chance of getting skin cancer by 50%.  That is HUGE, in my opinion!!  So I’ve started adding zest of any sort to a good portion of my recipes.  It really enhances flavor, and by using a rasp zester, it’s easy to do.  So, as a flavor enhancer to the steamed broccoli and salads, drizzle on some citrus oil.  
Remove strips of zest from an orange or lemon and allow to soak in 1 cup of olive oil for a couple of days…  I just leave the zest in as I use the oil which gets the “best” of the zest into the olive oil while you’re using it.  Drizzle as needed.  I often squeeze in a bit of the corresponding juice for more flavor.  I should have included this bit of information in my last post to allow for its use on Day 1.  

Following is my diary of what I consume on The Plan.
Day 1 has been exceptional, where timing is concerned, since on many days I don’t get a chance to fit in Lunch, much less a snack. This day I managed to fit in lunch, but no snack.  The timing of my meals depends a great deal on the schedules of others…  I have care staff visiting me.  I do, however, encourage you to attempt to eat the menus as listed, so as to give yourself the best chance for success possible!
My Plan Diary, continued…
Day 1 – Start weight 178.0 lbs
Breakfast: 1 cup flax granola, Silk almond-flavored beverage over the granola, a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, ground flax seed, vanilla, sliced strawberries, small handful of raspberries. 2 large glasses lemon water
Lunch: 1 lg. Mug Carrot-ginger soup, sprinkled with small handful pumpkin seeds
2 Lg glasses water.  1 cup Dandelion Tea
Supper: Sautéed Kale with Vegetables, with a couple of tablespoons Spicy Coco sauce

Day 2 – 178.6 lbs
OK, day two, disaster strikes for me…  I’ve become ill and have no energy and no appetite.  So, I make do the best I can.  My analysis of my overnight weight gain is not enough water on day one.  Although 0,6 lbs is not huge, it's enough to signal something's not quite right, and if you compound that each day, suddenly you have weight gain that you don't notice so much and don't know where it came from, hence, the scale becomes your data-gathering tool.  I detest being sick, everything gets thrown off kilter.  I’m not able to eat breakfast or lunch (Ms Recitas stresses on this plan, it is absolutely necessary to eat according to the menu plan with little, or no variation.  But, I’ve decided to do my best with what I’ve learned from my first time on The Plan.
So, I have ½ an apple for an afternoon snack and Carrot-Ginger soup, sprinkled with sunflower seeds for supper and up my intake of water and dandelion Tea.
Darned if I’m not hungry in the evening!  I’m no longer accustomed to eating in the evening, I ditched that bad habit years ago.  I indulge in a toasted cheese sandwich with butter!!  That did the trick, but leaves me dreading the morning’s weigh-in, and vowing, if I feel better, to plug in Day 2 Menu and continue on.

Day 3 dawns with me feeling no better,
Weight --    176.6 lbs (surprise!!!)  Down two pounds!!
I skip breakfast, against my better judgment and plan to follow yesterday’s route, the best I can.  Having no appetite again, I load up on water and Dandelion Tea, but, eat no lunch and have ½ an apple and a small handful of almonds for an afternoon snack.  If I’m feeling better tomorrow I’ll plug in day 2’s menu.  But, here’s the Menus and recipes for Days 3 & 4.

Day 3 is the last on the detox portion of The Plan, and Day 4 we will test cheese, chocolate and wine.  Since you’ve cleansed your body of unwanted toxins, your system will more readily “sensitize” to unfriendly foods.  If chocolate and wine were part of your everyday life before this test and you were suspicious of them causing weight gain and feelings of unwellness, this test will “tell the tale”.  But, remember, you won’t have to cut them out of your life completely!
Breakfast: 1 cup flax granola topped with Silk or other acceptable beverage, 1 cup blueberries and other suggested toppings. You can also replace the blueberries with1/2 diced pear (men can use a full pear)
Lunch: chopped baby Romaine (often referred to as Little Gem) topped with pumpkin seeds, ¼ avocado and shredded or jullienned carrots. Drizzle with citrus oil
Snack: (for women) 10-12 raw almonds (only if you weren’t reactive to them in Day 2) OR use ½ pear or apple

Day 4
Continue your morning routine as on the cleanse, so you can be alerted to changes in your body.
Breakfast: Same as previous day
Lunch:  leftover Roasted Italian winter vegetables
Snack: carrot sticks with up to 6 Tablespoons made Hummus

1 orange
dried Italian herbs
2 portions boneless, skinless chicken breast (one portion is 4-6 oz for women and 6-8 oz for men)
          Wash the orange thoroughly and zest, try not to get any of the white pith, as it is quite bitter. You should have about 2 Tablespoons. Sprinkle chicken breasts liberally with Italian herb seasoning and then orange zest. Bake in350 F oven 20 to 30 minutes, depending of thickness of the breasts.
Makes 2 servings

If you’ve never roasted veggies before, I’m sure you’re going to appreciate the flavor and simplicity. This recipe is similar to one I make regularly, that I’ve credited to Pete Luckett, from his first cookbook.  So, you see, this Plan isn’t so far removed from the everyday!!  You can introduce this recipe to your family feeling like a chef, and add another yummy side dish to your repertoire. These veggies are a perfect complement to any roast meat dinner. Try to cut the vegetables into similar-sized pieces so they cook evenly. According to Ms Recitas, “there is something about the combination of these vegetables that offsets the potential problems (weight gain) and Brussels sprouts (higher reactivity and gas).”  The roasting concentrates the natural sugars in the vegetables, resulting in an incomparable sweetness!
3 lg. Carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
1 lg. (but, not over-sized) zucchini
1 med. Onion
4-5 fresh garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
Italian herbs (I use the same dried Italian herb Seasoning used in the above chicken recipe).
While oven preheats to 375F, toss with herbs and olive oil and let stand 30 minutes.  Roast for 30 minutes.  I let them stand a bit and serve while still warm. You’ll need to save some for Day 4 lunch (Good Luck with that!).
Makes 4 yummy servings

2 cups drained, well-cooked or low sodium or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, peeled
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin, or to taste, plus more for garnish
juice of 1 lemon
chopped fresh parsley, plus a sprinkling for garnish
Put everything, except parsley in a food processor and begin to process, adding chickpea liquid as needed to produce a smooth purée.
Taste and adjust seasonings (you may want to add more lemon juice).  Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with more cumin and some chopped parsley.
Makes 8 to 10 servings

Stay healthy and safe!

Saturday, October 26, 2013


          Before we start I would like to correct Ms Recitas’s name. It is Lyn-Genet Recitas. I apologize to you and Ms Recitas for my error.
          This would be a good time to tell you that Ms Recitas recommends you suspend ANY exercise routine you’re on, at least until after the 3-day detox. It is her belief that while you’re ridding your body of all the unwanted toxins from your body (all that “stuff” from processed foods you’ve been consuming) that you allow your liver and entire body sufficient time to heal. This you can achieve by totally resting your body. Through testing her patients, she has determined that most people will reap minimal benefits from exercising while on the detox portion of this eating plan. For some, it may seem next to impossible to give up exercising while “dieting”. Just keep in mind that this isn’t a diet in the same terms you’ve come to define that word. Just go with it, you’ll see the benefits without the “huffing and puffing”!
Here we go, on what might just be the most exciting re-vamped eating adventure of your life, and what could be the eating plan you’ve been looking for your entire life to help you lose weight and feel great!. I can tell you, it’s made a tremendous change in my life. Finally, I have a true list of foods I can indulge in, knowing they won’t sabotage any of my previous efforts, but will in fact, cause weight loss as soon as I start eating them. If, all of this sounds impossible, it would be using traditional weight-loss methods. It really isn’t! I’ve lost weight, especially around my middle, which is a most dangerous place, health-wise, to be carrying extra pounds. My constant headaches are somewhat under control. If this were my only side effect from The Plan, it would be more than enough!
          It’s time we get down to the heart of The Plan. Along with our other duties on The Plan, we will each keep a food diary of what we consume daily. Yes, I will be giving you your daily menu, but it’s much better if each of us has a separate log of what we’re eating. You’ll have a better idea of what foods are involved specifically with you, if you show reactivity. First, I will give you the menu and recipes for Day 1, the first day of the detox section of your new way of eating. I will keep you at least one day ahead to allow you to check your pantry stores, and to cook what’s needed. You can move along at your own pace after that. If you choose to go more slowly, okay, you’ll have the tools you need to follow along. Remember to drink the recommended amount of water each day that will have a marked effect on your progress, or lack thereof.
          You also need to remember to be satisfied with the quantity of food you’re eating at each sitting We will be eating enough of the given menu foods to feel full, but still comfortable. We will NOT be over-stuffing ourselves! For me, at least some meals felt like I was stuffed to the brim… the difference, I guess, between eating the right and wrong foods for our individual chemistries. You will soon get into the swing of things on The Plan.

Breakfast: 1 cup flax granola, topped with 1CUP blueberries (and as I said before, I use sliced strawberries, as well as blueberries, a generous shake of cinnamon and a tsp, or so, of vanilla, as well as 2 small soup spoons of ground flax, almond- or vanilla-flavored Silk beverage, more than the coconut flavor. Obviously, if you already suffer from a soy or dairy allergy, you need to find a more suitable beverage. You could use Rice Dream beverage. Due to sporadic availability, locally, of the Silk beverage, I’ve started using Blue Diamond almond milk, which is, for me, a friendly food. Ms Recitas’s research has found both white rice and almond milk as 50% reactive, so, they’re good for most people.
Lunch: Carrot-Ginger Soup, sprinkled with chia   or sunflower seeds
Sautéed or steamed broccoli (you can cook enough to have some for tomorrow’s lunch) I cook what I need, when I need it, as I prefer veggies to be freshly prepared.
Snack:1 med-sized apple
Dinner: 1 recipe Sautéed kale with, with Vegetables topped with Spicy Coco Sauce (Ms Recitas makes great flavor claims about this sauce in her book, and believe me, they’re all absolutely true. Once you taste it, you’ll find yourself looking for other ways to use it. You can make enough sautéed kale and vegetables to have enough for tomorrow’s dinner. Again, I do only what I need, if your schedule is time-crunched, you’ll prefer cooking ahead. Except that which I need for my writing projects, Time is all I have!
If the spicy Coco Sauce initially sounds unappetizing, you’ll discover otherwise!

Remember, this is a detox period, so, if you find yourself getting unusually tired, it is perfectly normal. It’s simply your body’s way of telling you it is downloading the chemicals, sodium and other unhealthy things you’ve been putting in your body until now. You’ll find your energy picking up in a few days, so, give your body the rest it is screaming it needs! I’ve noted my changes to this recipe, by stating what I use/do, or with (*)
You might be tempted to add soy sauce or some other condiment while cooking this, but, you won’t need it, when you top it with the Coco Sauce. The parsley and cilantro will give great flavor.

Cilantro is the most used herb in the world, loved by many global cuisines. It is definitely one you either love or hate. I happen to love it. And I also use chopped curly parsley and cilantro in the salads used in The Plan. Nothing like a little cilantro to give Romaine lettuce a kick!
5 TO 6 cups chopped kale
4 shitake mushrooms, chopped (I use button or Cremini, ripped apart (about an 8-ounce package)
¼ med yellow onion, sliced
2 tsp. olive oil
Herbs of your choice (I use about ½ a bunch each of curly parsley and cilantro)
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced*
Heat oil in large frying pan or Wok, Add garlic, mushrooms and onions, stirring until onions are opaque. Toss in kale and herbs Sautee until greens are wilted.

Before starting the following recipe, I open the can of coconut milk. Taking care not to shake the can, and then separate the cream that has risen to the top from the milk. (I can see my Caribbean friends cringing at this!!). I prefer sautéing the veggies in this cream, instead of oil, then mixing the milk in afterwards.
1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp each ground cinnamon, ground black pepper, turmeric, and cumin
1generous pinch ground cayenne
1 can coconut milk
Use the Coconut cream separated from the milk earlier, Use it to sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat. Once the onions are opaque, add in all the spices. Stirring constantly, taking care not to burn the garlic or cream. Stir in the milk. Cook for a few minutes. You will start to smell the spices giving off their curry-like aroma. Remove to a blender or use your immersion blender to blend to your desired sauce-like consistency. You can refrigerate in an airtight container or use right away* Makes about 4 ¼ cup servings.

This cereal may just become your everyday cereal. It also makes a great take-along snack The healthy fats it contains are touted to improve brain health… it’s a little messy for kids in the car, but nothing a vacuum cleaner can’t fix!!
Soak 1 CUP WHOLE FLAX SEEDS in ½ cup water. Stir in a shake or two of cinnamon and a few grates of whole nutmeg along with a little vanilla. The mixture will become very gummy. It is here you will think you’ve made some horrendous error. But, you haven’t. This is perfectly normal. Now spread in a thin layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated 275F oven for 50 minutes, turning and breaking up frequently. At end of 50 minutes, sprinkle with dried fruit, nuts and seeds (small handful of each). Bake 10 minutes longer. Cool, breaking up any large pieces. Transfer to airtight container until needed. Your granola is now ready to enjoy!

Breakfast: 1 cup flax granola with toppings as in Day 1.
Lunch: ginger-carrot soup topped with chia or sunflower seeds
Mixed greens with ½ diced apple and ¼ avocado; leftover broccoli from Day 1
Snack: (for women) ½ pear with small handful almonds (Being in the middle of “apple country”, I’ve made my daily snack ½ apple with almonds).
          (For men) 1 pear and small handful almonds
Dinner :( for women) leftover sautéed Kale with vegetables with 1cup brown rice and a sprinkle of sunflower or pumpkin seeds
          (For men) leftover sautéed Kale with Vegetables and 1 ½ cups brown rice and a sprinkle of sunflower or pumpkin seeds

Stay healthy and safe!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

THE PLAN, FOLLOW-ALONG...The beginning of your weight loss and health renewal experience

          As promised on my Facebook page, I am resuming my most recent eating plan adventure, on which I’ve lost over 25 pounds and from which I’m feeling healthy and vibrant.  This time, I’m going to blog it in “follow-along” style. So, I’ll provide all the info and list the food supplies you’ll need to follow along with me each day.
          The main premise of The Plan, by Lyn-Genet Recitas, a more than 30-year veteran of Holistic Medicine, is that every food reacts specifically with the chemistry of every individual, therefore, what is “healthy” and weight-loss-friendly for me, might not be for each and every one of you. “The Plan” sets you up to find those foods “friendly to your individual chemistry”, which can be counted upon to assist in weight loss and general well-being. Another point Ms Recitas makes quite clear is that several of the foods we’ve been conditioned to think of as “healthy foods”, including salmon, Greek yogurt and oatmeal, have been found, in her many tests, to react poorly with many individuals.
          All recipes I will give you are credited to Ms Recitas and the quotes and information come directly from her book “The Plan”. There are only a very few minor tweaks I made as I went along, mainly associated with what’s available here in my local area.
          Good Luck and better health to all of you and as my dear friend, Helen, always said to me: ‘stick with me kid”.
          OK! Let’s get started!
          As a bit of background, we’ll detox our bodies during the first three days…Ms Recitas stresses that the detox brings your body to neutral position, where you can determine your body’s reaction to individual foods, thus singling out your “friendly” foods as separate from your “unfriendly” foods – the ones that will work with your body from the ones that won’t. Having already been on The Plan, I have found two unfriendly items. The first is salt, as much for its water-retention evils as poor chemistry with my body, Then, here’s acetaminophen, which I had been consuming in relatively large quantities for my constant headaches, both before and after the stroke.
Ms Recitas’ contention is that since many of the foods we consume on a daily basis are filled with salt and sodium derivatives, along with many other chemicals, our bodies tend to be in a constant state of inflammation, hence a platform for the myriad of diseases our current society is experiencing.
          To follow along, you will weigh each morning, using the scale simply as a statistical interpreter – a gain of 0.2 pounds is considered “reactivity” to a given food item.  For me, getting into the mindset of the scale being “just” a data-gathering machine was particularly difficult. Although I knew she was right, it was still hard for me to own. I did, though.
          Reactivity, contends Ms Recitas, is tied closely to an internal inflammatory state, which in turn sets the stage for various unhealthy conditions, such as excess weight gain and diseases, including cancer and diabetes. My take on this theory is that it makes sense, so is worth a try.
          It is worth noting here, that just because you find out particular foods are “unfriendly”, are inflammatory to your system and could be responsible for your weight gain and unhealthy feeling, you don’t have to give them up entirely. Once your “unfriendly” foods are found, you can then weave the “unfriendly” ones back into your diet, knowing all the while, you can go back to your “friendly” foods to start the weight loss again (and start feeling better too)!!
          During the 3-day detox, you will also start taking care of your liver. Ms Recitas encourages taking a liver Detox Supplement OR indulging in Dandelion Tea. As I already take too many pills, prescribed after my stroke, I chose the tea, and it’s become a regular part of my everyday diet.  Those of you who know me will undoubtedly roll your eyes and nod knowingly, “yeah, she likes all that weird stuff”… and I do! I’m drawn to the unconventional like moths to a flame. I’ve tried all manner of foods unfamiliar to our North American culture. Pip’s tail is, in fact, delicious (cue rolling eyes!)
          So, to start off… Each morning, upon awakening, you’re to weigh, drink two glasses of as pure water as you can get with lemon (I use pure lemon juice from the bottle, as fresh lemons can be costly), then take your liver detox supplement or dandelion tea.  Then it’s breakfast, which, I’ll deal with in a moment. Ms Recitas also delves into Thyroid function by asking that we take our temperature with a Basal body temperature thermometer immediately upon awakening. You’re looking for 36 degrees Celsius. According to Ms Recitas, that is the awakening body temp of a properly working Thyroid.
          One of the first things you will notice is that The Plan cuts your sodium intake back quite substantially, and this, according to Ms Recitas, will substantially lower your cravings for sugar. So, are the two partners in crime? Well, I guess so… who knew ? Now we know why either is so difficult to quit on its own. Such secrets being withheld from us for so very long. Conspiracy! I say.  But not from where we think. Hmmmm. So many things make more sense.  Now, think about it for a minute, Why do chocolate bars and potato chips taste so good when consumed together. My early life in two words. Salt and sugar. We will now start to taste the real food… for good or bad!
          From the very beginning, you will do your very best to cut coffee out of your diet completely.  I know! I can hear you all now!!  To take your mind off it breakfast is relatively simple. You’ll make flax seed granola ahead of time and dish it out a cup at a time, add some Silk brand beverage (those of you in the Annapolis Royal area can get it at Save-Easy), a sprinkle of cinnamon, some ground flax, since to be totally effective flax seeds need to be ground .  Cinnamon and ground flax are my additions  A $30 coffee/spice grinder does the job quite nicely and you’ll find lots of other uses for it, too! Using the ground flax seed means you’re getting maximum benefit from the seed.  Cinnamon is really good for you. It helps keep blood sugar regulated and it tastes great, too!  
The Plan calls for just blueberries on your granola, but, I use sliced strawberries, as well. Ms Recitas rates blueberries as 90% or less reactive and strawberries 30 % reactive. Numbers she’s derived from her many years of experience and testing with her patients. I have determined both to be “friendly” foods for myself. If they prove not to be for you, you can sub in raspberries (90% or less reactive). As an integral part of The Plan, we will be drinking lots of water… about the equivalent in ounces of one-half your body weight, for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll aim for 75 ounces of water.  If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is.  Oh! And we’ll be drinking it before 7:30 pm, so, we’re not  up all night. Sound impossible?  I assure you it isn’t!  Tough, maybe, but, not impossible. To paraphrase Brittany Hamilton, during her rehabilitation after losing an arm to a shark, I didn’t ask for easy, I want possible!  (I used that phrase throughout my entire recovery… still do, for that matter!!)
          While I do profess to have wide knowledge of nutrition and food, I AM NOT a doctor or health care professional, so for more information about this aspect of The Plan and Ms Recitas’s Thyroid findings, please refer to her book , "The Plan”.
          To wrap up what we’re doing so far:
*Try to take your temperature immediately upon awakening. If you wait too long before doing it, your body will warm up, thus affecting your results.
*Then, weigh.  A gain of 0.2 pounds or more indicates reactivity to a given food.            
         After the detox, your body will be at neutral position with regard to internal inflammation, so, each new food you introduce will “react” strong enough for you to have no doubt. We also will have an inflammation-reducing carrot ginger soup to help keep things “neutral”.
          I should tell you, at this point, that the entire plan takes 21 days to complete. The first time I did it, was several days following the detox, enough time to generate a good, rounded list of  “friendly foods”, enough to keep me on an even keel, so to speak.
          So, you’ve got the basics – start with the 3-day detox. Day 5 starts the testing phase, where we will begin introducing foods individually. This is where you’ll really start building your list of “friendly” foods.  I will be doing it right along with you, as if I'd never been on it.  It won't take long before you start knowing there is hope that this might be the one plan that has finally worked to shed those unwanted pounds and start really feeling better!!
          To be ready for my next post – recipes to get us started and Day 1 of The Plan (Detox Day 1), you’ll need:
3 cups whole flax seeds - stored in the refrigerator or freezer as the oils they contain can go rancid
about 2 cups dried cranberries or other dried fruit
2 or so cups each of sliced almonds; chopped walnuts; raw, unseasoned pumpkin seeds; raw, shelled unseasoned sunflower seeds -  stored in the refrigerator or freezer 
apples for snacking - I like firmer, less-sweet apples, and Cortlands are good this year
A few shakes of ground nutmeg
Fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries
2 fresh limes or lemons
1 cup or more of olive oil 
4 large (not Spanish ) onions
1 small zucchini
1 bag romaine hearts
assorted salad ingredients
1 bulb fresh garlic
1” fresh ginger
1 teaspoon each ground cumin, turmeric
1 heaping Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp smoked chipotle powder
½ cup apricot jam
1 can coconut milk (please don’t use low fat)
           Don’t worry, these ingredients are not all for one recipe!  We’ll make a few of the basics first, to get started with The Plan.  And there will be time enough to acquire any other ingredients.  You might find yourself, as I have, using the granola for your "everyday" breakfast cereal, and for snacking.  The seeds also make for great snacking. Until next week...

         Stay healthy and safe!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sharing Lessons from Our Past

While we’re on the subject of healthy, happy living, why not take some time to think back through our lives about things we learned in the past… Not ALL information we are currently being exposed to is absolute. There are bits and bobs of  stuff we learned or experienced as children, or young adults that can certainly help us now.
        I will give you as an example I have been staying with my sister for a little while and she recently bought a small pack of red raspberries… We’ve all been told berries are a key to health and that, so far, is still correct, however, my point is: in tasting one it took me straight back to our childhood,  picking wild raspberries on the road to our summer cottage.  We didn’t know, then all the relatively new-fangled “stuff” about antioxidants being vital to our well-being… All we knew then was that they tasted great and tasted like more, So off we’d go looking for more of the wild stuff and we found them, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. We’d pick and devour as fast as we could. We were given good knowledge early on, about these little wild gems of all description and many other tidbits of wisdom, as we’d learned from our father, whom I’ve introduced in other posts.. He was brought up at a British –sponsored Boys’ Farm School in a once-relatively remote area of Vancouver island, and had the chance to forage wilderness and experience first-hand the joys of discovering many of these wild gems, and he passed these experiences on to us. So, we weren’t filling our faces with them because some doctor or scientist hammered us with the “good” these treasures contain. We knew about them simply from our father’s experience AND because we seemed to know instinctively that since they tasted so darned good, they MUST be good for us!
        While I certainly don’t discount the findings of some of our scientific geniuses, and I do research and apply many of their findings, I also scan back to some of what I’ve learned as a child.
        AND I encourage everyone else to hearken back to things from days past and how those memories could be applied today. Did we learn more than we thought? I don’t mind saying that my childhood and teen years were spent in the 60’s &70’s (since I shared my 50th birthday thoughts in an earlier  post, I guess you all can do the math, so it’s no great secret). My point being that some of the information being researched in those decades has been found to be a bit dodgy, at the very least, likely what we learned from our parents’ experiences may not have had scientific backing, at least not then.
Stay healthy and safe!