Monday, October 7, 2013

Ah HA!

I had a wonderful “ah ha!” moment  a few days ago at the store.  I had been browsing the section where they have spray oils for pans and dishes.  Of course, most of them are unhealthy oils like canola (baaaad).  There are a few that are supposedly made with olive oil, but in reality, many them contained a blend of oils that just happened to include olive oil.  Or if they were truly made of olive oil, they had other ingredients like Soy Lecithin, Dimethyl Silicone, and some mystery ingredient referred to as propellant.  These may not be the worst things to add, but why use what we don’t need?

And yes, the obvious answer to this is, “Get your fingers messy and spread out some darn butter” or “drizzle your own olive oil”.  True.  But sometimes you just want to spray and GO.  I have two children, so yes, I approve of shortcuts when I can find them.  Besides that, butter-laden fingers aren’t always the best option when the Toddler Tornado is trying to swing on the living room curtains.  But I digress.

There were a couple of sprays that were about as pure olive oil as you could get, but the price!  Five dollars for a can of spray!  Do you know how much oil is actually in there?  It’s pressurized to make it shoot out but there is a very small amount of oil contained in those cans.  And $5 is a dozen pastured eggs… or a latte.

Then came my “ah ha” moment.  Being an herbalist-in-training, I have dozens of lovely little bottles with droppers and droppers, sprays and pour-ers (?).  Why not just fill a small spray bottle up with regular olive oil and leave it out on the counter for times needed.  Voila!

Simple.  Inexpensive.  Refillable.

To save a little more money, you could always fill this with “light” deflowered (non-virgin) olive oil.  I always keep some cheap olive oil on hand for when my hubby makes pancakes and waffles or other manly mystery projects; because getting the man to take a moment to melt down coconut oil is an impossibility and I don’t let him near my good olive oil.

So there you go!  Budget AND health tip all in one.  Just for you dear readers.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Brain Cloud & Olives

I really wanted to write something profound tonight.

Both children are asleep at the same time.

I'm caught up in my school work (for now).

The hubby is working on his own computer.

The house is quiet.

PERFECT time to write.  And I've had all sorts of things I want to write about in my head the last few days without having the time and space to do so...but now... when it is still and peaceful... I have brain cloud. 

BUT... we always have time for a pretty food picture!  ;-)

I had to use some fresh olives for a recipe the other day and had a few leftover.  Now, leftover olives last about as along as leftover wine at this house (I hear rumors of this existing in some households).  So while cleaning up the kitchen I decided to place a little pinch of feta cheese into each olive half and nibble away between dishes and suds.  YUM!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Can We Talk? Real Food / Real LIFE and Economics

Warning:  Rated R for Rant

Years ago, the pastor of my church used to have this catchphrase that he would incorporate into his sermons, “Can we talk?”   He would inevitably use this whenever he had something deep and meaningful to say.  He would lean forward slightly into the pulpit, drop his voice and almost whisper, “Can we talk?”  It was a bit of a performance shtick to be sure, but it was effective.  Like Pavlov’s dogs we would lean forward as well, waiting to hear something profound and meaningful.

Can we talk?  Eating healthy is expensive.

No matter how you define “healthy” for yourself, it’s almost always going to be more expensive than what you were doing before.

One exception… sort of… I remember watching the fantastic documentary Food, Inc as they interviewed this Latino family in California.  After showing this family chowing down on a massive dinner of fast food, the doc then showed them perusing the produces aisles of a store.  They complained that vegetables and fruits were too expensive to eat.  I say poppycock to that.  For the amount they spent on their rather disgusting looking fast food dinner, I could cook a healthy meal for them with vegetables and even a little side meat.

Now I’m not blaming them.  These are hard lessons to learn.  At one point they are pointing out how expensive a vegetable is and how little they could purchase.  They don’t understand that a little bit of this and that puts together a great dish.  They don’t understand that a little healthy goes a long way, this is a concept that takes time to learn.

So no, I think when we really analyze costs, we can all agree it is cheaper to cook than to purchase fast food or dine out.  But that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about canned soup, ramen noodles, mystery helper, etc.  As I shop the store, I have come to the realization that there is no question – it is cheaper to buy and “cook” with junk than it is to cook absolutely from scratch from fresher, healthier options.  And this should come as no surprise – the premade stuff is loaded with cheap fillers that lower the cost of this phood (phony food – phood).

And, just to be perfectly clear, I’m not even talking about the next level up – organic, pasture-raised, antibiotic/hormone free, etc.  I’m just talking real food as opposed to phood.  Phood is cheaper.

Why am I ranting about this?  I think I’ve read one too many blog posts, articles, and Facebook comments blithely chanting, “Eating healthy now is cheaper than medical bills later.”

Well.  Yes.  I suppose this is true but to say this is the height of pompous arrogance, said by people who CAN AFFORD TO SAY IT.  The fact is, most of us have budgets, and most of us have to draw the line somewhere.  And if you are really trying to detoxify your life, it doesn’t just end/begin with food – the elimination of household toxins is a vital component to health as well, one that I would put on par with the food.  Yes but we ingest food?  What about the air we breathe, do you think that doesn’t count?  It does my friend, it does.  But wait…let’s get back to the food.  We have budgets of varying degrees, so it REALLY irks me when someone points out that the healthier we eat, the healthier our bodies will be.

No friggin’ duh.

But that flippant little fact doesn’t add money to my wallet.

And while we are on the topic, another rudeness I encounter frequently on the health-o-sphere… “We can ALL afford healthy food if you would just give up that latte/ice cream/soda/whatever-food-sin-you-are-currently-committing”.  Yes, my maybe-weekly latte would buy me another dozen pastured eggs, but you know what, I WANT THAT LATTE.  Color me selfish that since I can’t go out and buy new clothes, jewelry, perfume, or a friggin’ bottle of fancy bubblebath (that is probably toxic anyway) that I go and buy a latte for ME.   And the cost of that one latte isn’t the problem when I go grocery shopping.

Ok, I apologize how this has gone off into a rant.  Obviously I have some things I need to get off my mind  ;-)

Can we talk?  I think it’s time we all admit these things, instead of ingratiating ourselves to the health crowd, crowing about our healthy food, our homes, our lives.

Can we talk?  Living healthy is a not a “right”.  It is a luxury.  It’s a luxury not all of us can afford, at least not immediately.  It takes planning.  It takes learning.  It takes sacrifice.  Of course those are the easy things to do.  Unfortunately, it also takes money.

More on this to come…