Archive for November, 2008






Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information! (TM)

I’ve pretty much maxxed-out the time for research on a diabetic safe-menu for Thanksgiving. I’m disappointed in what I found from sites purporting to be diabetic experts. So, I decided to piggy-back my recipe gathering for my blog and my own table to see what I could find. I will give you a list of some of the best recipes I found and strategies that I think will work for diabetics, but as I still have to make up my own shopping list, get the groceries and cook a meal both Thursday and Friday, I will be as brief as possible. I apologize.

If you don’t get to this in time, then use these guidelines and options for entertaining in December.

General Guidelines:

1.   Start your holiday meal with a soup course and then a salad course! Doing this let’s you fill up on healthier foods first, and then  “graze” or “dabble” with smaller, portion-tastes of all but your absolute “favorites” (be sure to still use a moderate portion of those). The key here is not to overwork your pancreas in its efforts to provide alkaline buffers for your food, before food enters your body to nourish you.

2.   The more leafy veggies and non-root vegetables you eat, the less calorie “dense” the meal will be, and the more you will be helping to create an Alkaline Reserve for the meal; two root vegetables are excellent alkaline foods – organic potatoes (only if you include the skin) and organic sweet potatoes; use them in moderation. You can click the link below in Reference for my food charts to see the most alkaline foods. Alkaline foods need to be included to help to “balance” the pH of all the animal foods and sugars which are rife in these holiday meals, usually.

Include RAW fruits and vegetables as much as possible as their enzymes will also aid your digestion and help to increase the nutrition of all the cooked food. It is important to try to get organic vegetables and foods in their proper season, as much as your budget and local sources allow. Wash all produce well, even when it’s been pre-washed in a factory. Dry them well with a salad spinner or a clean kitchen towel. Eating foods in season will also help your food budget! When you are going to cook veggies anyway, consider buying them frozen, from the beginning; Frozen veggies are almost as nutritious and because they were always destined to be frozen, commercial farmers apply less pesticides on them as they don’t have to look perfect.

Try to feed children and pregnant women organic foods! Some foods NEED to be organic more than others do. The foods to try to buy organically-grown are:apples, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, carrots, celery, green leafy vegetables (especially spinach), peppers, potatoes and sweet potatoes, yams! The dirtiest, most pesticided food of all is peaches, regularly-farmed spinach is also a big problem. Organic dairy is also important, as are free-range meats and free-range, vegetarian-feed sourced eggs. The regular commercially grown bananas, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams have systemic pesticides applied to the soil which are drawn-up and permeate the whole fruit or vegetable; they can’t just be “washed-off”, and pesticides sprayed on spinach and peaches are impossible to wash off (and permeate the peach’s peel, too). Steaming spinach gets rid of a great many pesticides, and peeling carrots does the same; each of these techniques reduce the food’s nutrition, but if you can’t get these organically, that’s a good proven strategy for those 2 foods. Blueberries have the least problem in that fruit group. Choose local produce; and in America, buy American produce (You know what has been allowed to be done in farming and processing far more than for foreign produced goods — especially from China, Mexico and South America — which have lax rules or no rules).

You may now refer to the barcode, remember if the first 3 digits is:
00 ~ 09                                   USA & CANADA
30 ~ 37                                   FRANCE
40 ~ 44                                   GERMANY
49 –                                        JAPAN
50 –                                        UK / Great Britain
That however doesn’t mean that all of the contents were produced here.

3. Use LOTS of vegetables, especially in the stuffing (except mushrooms, as my loyal readers know) and MUCH less grain. DON’T use bread!

Just eat a few tablespoons of stuffing, if you must. You’d be amazed at how much it raises the carbohydrate content in a meal when it’s made the “usual” way. Carbs impact blood-sugar faster and more than any other nutrient group. Protein and fat content in a meal help to balance the effect of carbohydrates, which ARE needed for carbs provide the cleanest-burning cellular energy.

I am going to be mixing QUINOA into my organic whole-grain brown rice stuffing, along with nuts. The quinoa is a high-protein food; it is NOT a grain, but can be used like one. You will be able to find it in good health stores and in some natural food sections of major markets. Nuts will also raise the protein content of the stuffing.

4.   Don’t be afraid of the fats in the meal, as long as they are “healthy” monosaturated fats (like olive, macadamia nut oil, hemp and flax oils [not to be cooked at all] and non-GMO canola [as a last choice]). Choose the least fatty meats (i.e. white meat in poultry), if you’re having meat or poultry. And, if you are the chef, then limit the amount of these fats to reasonable levels in each dish.

Try to use water or low-fat stock to cook as much as possible, when you can steam, pressure cook, braise or poach — then do it. These are low-fat cooking techniques.

And, in the instances where you must add fat, then make sure its organic and moderate as mostly monosaturated. If you want some butter richness, only use a little and only use organic butter! All the environmental toxins are harbored in animal fats (flesh, and other animal products, especially dairy). Do not use margaines; they are very acidifying and completely artificial, too.

5.   Try new ways of doing recipes for the most traditional foods e.g. substitute healthier options for the too-sugary yams / sweet potatoes and canned cranberry sauce routine. Also, if you must have potatoes or sweet potatoes, in what is already a huge calorie “hit” meal, then use different recipes – not mashed potatoes or sugar on already SWEET potatoes (amazing, how did that idiocy ever start!) — unless you are able to be really good to staying with about 1/8 – 1/4 cup serving and no seconds! Most people couldn’t do that. Better not to be tantalized.

6.   I found recipes where the veggies were in smaller “blocks” — shredded or partially sliced so you can have a taste of something flavorful, but keep portions moderate. And, it’s less of a temptation. Just take 1 unit, like in the Accordion Potatoes recipe or 2 tablespoons of the Shredded Sweet Potatoes. You’ll be satisfied with that if there are lots of things to try.

7.   I advise not having alcohol with the meal. It’s a useless extra burden. I’m going to try to make a quickly home-made Ginger Beer (which is NOT “beer”), but ginger is great for settling tummies. This is a Martha Stewart recipe and I’m going to add lemon and lime and make it more like an alkalizing, non-alcoholic Sangria!

I am also going to serve my Evamor water, as this highly alkaline water should help our pancreas by providing alkalinity to the stomach with every sip (and it tastes good too). If you can’t get Evamor, then Safeway stocks Essentia in its natural food section. Those are the only 2 waters I recommend. Put some lemon in regular water to help alkalinize it, as a last option.

8.   Desserts, well some people can take them or leave them. I’m one of those people, luckily. I may have trained myself into it, or just increased a natural disposition, but dessert is NOT the delight of my life.  So, I’m lucky (but potatoes ARE my downfall; everyone has those foods they must be watchful about).

You know that I usually try to use fruits only at the beginning of a meal, in order to help our digestion, but I’d rather us be very careful about using less sugary desserts, so I’ll include them in these Feast Menus at the end, as dessert replacements or stuffers, in the hopes of using less grains and sugars.

As far as pies and tarts, try to make them crustless (yes, even though I put up the empty pie-crust photo above!).  If someone else is doing the cooking, or you want to make a beautiful-looking conventional pie, then just leave the crust on your plate! It’s a big Carbohydrate debtor!!!!

Avoid cakes, too, unless you have a knife that will cut just a sliver or you leave 2/3 – 1/2 of a regular slice on your plate. These “foods” are SO carbohydrate and fat dense, they’ll just undermine everything.

In my opinion, it’s NOT OK to say, ‘Well, I’ll just take a blood sugar reading and up my meds if I need to’. That may happen anyway, and you have to do what’s needed. But, why act to MAKE that HAPPEN! Learn to be Moderate! That will help you be much healthier.

9.   You can still have a great time getting together with family and friends. Make them the center of your attention, and NOT the FOOD!

10.   Be prepared with a Balance Bar or scout out some nuts to help keep you OK if the dinner is late. Now, go have a good time!




Ginger Beer – Sangria, With Lemons and Limes (Click here)  My adjustment to the recipe is to use Agave Nectar to substitute for half to all of the sugar, and to add a couple of lemons, and limes sliced, so it looks festive and is more alkaline. Taste it until sweet enough to just balance the spiciness of the ginger; add agave or stevia as you need to.


Ginger – Pumpkin Soup (Click here) I usually try not to double-up on major foods or flavors in the meal. This soup also uses ginger, but I think you could leave it OR use less OR leave it out. Your choice. I’m leaving it in this time, and will probably just use half the amount as a start. It’s for (10) 1/2 cup portions (that seems really small — so I am saying it serves 5!), so I don’t think ginger was an overwhelming flavor in the soup. I think the cayenne will provide more kick, anyway. If most people are not set to drink the Ginger Sangria, then leave the ginger in the soup.


Here are the choices for the salad course. You can use several, if you want — side by side or as you wish. The first salad is Citrus Ambrosia Salad – Without the Marshmallows (Click Here) and the next is Beets with Feta and Pecans Salad (Click here) and lastly, one that will definitely help deal with the fattiness in these Feast Meals by having bitter greens to help your liver and gall-bladder which aid in fat digestionFuyu Persimmon, Pomegranate Seeds and Escarole or Frisee Endive Salad (Click here).


For estimating serving portions, the amount of turkey to buy per person equates to:

6 pounds: serves 4-6 people
8 pounds:            6-8 people
12 pounds:          8-10 people
15 pounds:        10-12 people
18 pounds:        12-15 people
22 pounds:        15+ people

(Be sure to use the carcass to make soup stock!)

If you like the dark meat, which although it is fattier, also has its own healthy-aspects if the animal was fed their natural diet and was free to roam, then you might want to buy just turkey parts to make this dish. If everyone in your family only like white meat, then consider just buying a turkey breast (on the bone or off). Don’t be confined to having a whole bird, most of which no-one wants to eat, and you have to hide the left-over, non-wanted parts as mush as possible in other meals. If you don’t care about the photo-op of a big bronzed bird, maybe for practicality and for frugality, think about using parts.

(If you are serving beef, lamb, bison, goat or lamb or farmed venison, then free-range, grass-fed, no corn fed at the feed-lot to “finish”,  meats contain a healthier fat profile that actually helps your lipid profile [cholesterol and triglycerides], if these meats are eaten moderately.)

These two turkey recipes are quite different. For those wanting dark meat, it’s best to cook it low and slow, as a braising technique. This way, the dark meat will be tender and succulent. I’m leaving out the mushrooms and pork products in this recipe and will make substitutions, but you do as you need to. Braised Turkey – Dark Meat Recipe  www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/dining/121mrex.html?_r=1&ref=dining&oref=slogin

As I said, a whole bird is rarely cooked perfectly; it’s almost impossible to accomplish this because the 2 kinds of musculature need different techniques. If you make sure the white meat on a whole bird is not over-done, then the dark-meat will be tough.

Here are the instructions for the white-meat portions, using a whole, fresh turkey breast, with bones. If you have the butcher bone it, then it will be even faster and you will have to watch it carefully! Be sure to watch the video he does not segregate the dark meat as I am suggesting and then using the recipe above for just the dark, and making the next recipe for just the white meat.

VIDEO for 45 minute technique (Click here). 

Recipe for Turkey White Meat (Click here).

Pierre Franey’s Quick Version Another Quick Turkey Recipe (Click here).

Vegetable Side-dishes

Now for the side veggies, to serve with the Turkey. Accordion Potatoes  www.delish.com/recipefinder/accordion-potatoes-ghk1207?src=syn&mag=ghk&dom=delish&link=emb This looks like it may become a new favorite for me!

And, personally, I can’t stand the more-usual green bean recipe (but we’ve made accomodations to improve it, over the years). However, starting fresh, I like the look of this recipe, which we can do this year at our house. Green Beans With Lemon (Click here) and the same page will give you options for a Sweet Potato Home Fries recipe if you would prefer sweet potatoes rather than the red potatoes used in Accordion Potatoes, as well as an unusual frozen Pumpkin Parfait, to substitute for Pumpkin Pie.

Another sweet potato recipe for small portions is Shredded Sweet Potato Stir-Fry (Click here). 

I may not even make these following recipes, but for those who expect stuffing, then here are my suggestions for the stuffing substitutes. Tomato-Quinoa Risotto (Click here) OR  Brown Basmati Rice, Pine Nut and Raisin Stuffing (Click here). Use a cup of well-rinsed quinoa in this and add water or stock according to the quinoa package. Adjust to add a bit more of each seasoning. The quinoa will raise the protein content of this dish without changing the flavor.


As I said, use small portions — just a delightful gem of a taste. Try these small-unit recipes. Just use a small portion for yourself. Let the non-diabetics eat most of them! Or, save them for another day. Just don’t over-indulge. Obviously, be sensible about how much sugar to use, and better still use Agave Nectar as a low-glycemic substitute. I will NEVER recommend that you use an artificial sweetener. They are deadly, in my opinion. Use real foods. Both Stevia and Agave are real foods.

Cranberry Clafouti – A Freshly-Made Protein Dessert (Click here) and another with oats. The oat’s fiber will help cut-down the sugar surge. Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies (Click here). I would reduce the sugar as most recipes have too much anyway. Try cutting out 1/3 of it and use Succanat, an organic whole sugar that still has minerals.

You could do quite well using just a few of these recipes, especially if you are not feeding a crowd. And, they will work as ideas for any entertaining that you are doing in December, if you already have your Thanksgiving menu in place.

In any eventuality, enjoy the Holidays, and that includes if you are by yourself. You ARE your own best company. Learn to become comfortable with just your own self. It’s an important step.

Best to all — Em

Look in the Title Archive on the Upper Navigation Bar on this page for the link to the Alkaline Food Charts. I’ll post it here when I can.


Em’s Alkaline foods Charts:


and Part 1 of this series:


(c)2008 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com[/bold]

Please respect my copyright. If you want to quote from or use my article, please include the copyright and website location in your footnotes or reference section. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information”

This week and next, we’ll help you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday and include a couple of recipes which will help diabetics enjoy the festivities, as long as they eat reasonably. I also want to discuss some of what Thanksgiving may mean to us in 2008, and also acknowledge that yesterday would have been the 94th birthday of my father, Arthur. This blog has always been dedicated to my Dad, who was an inspiration to everyone he met, long before he became a Type-2 diabetic, and definitely after that, too. I am Thankful to have had such a wonderful father. I miss you so much.

And, for more ponderings of the Past – Europe was a Mess when the Pilgrims and others left it, first chance they could. I’ve always wondered how these good Christians could come to the “New” World and wreke so much damage and carnage to the Native peoples whom they found here. Their actions mystify me, especially as they had been persecuted themselves in Europe.

There were a few newcomers who made friends and acted well, when the local people offered welcome, but most Europeans automatically set themselves apart, and / or thought themselves superior. At least, the English Pilgrims did better than the Spanish Conquistadors, whose only view was subjugation, but in the end, the results were not much different for the Native Peoples (First Nations), especially as more militant English and other Europeans arrived later.

The legacy of all this is often lost or at least glossed-over in the “Anglo” world and in Spanish echelons of the countries in Latin America, but the memory of the American Native Peoples is long, and they have not forgotten. Today’s world is still not treating them well.

Yet, we have made progress in this current world which we should be Thankful for, and our awakening, increased Awareness is mostly positive. We still have huge new problems to deal with, globally, nationally, locally and personally, but that should never deter us from finding the Positive in Life, in fact, doing so is even more necessary.

So, as you gather with your family to shop and cook and eat and talk, please spend some time reflecting on today’s world: what are you grateful for; what are you worried about; what should you be doing to help yourselves and others in need; how can others help you; what are the things we need to Change most in the way our world is run; can you help make that good Change happen?

Each person is responsible for how they live each moment of their Life. Never forget that.

Don’t let your Life be a mindless succession of unthinking moments. Instead, let each moment have Purpose. Promise that to yourself.

My family wishes your family Joyous times.  Even if far away from each other, you can still share your Love.

artists-collective-logo www.walkaboutjones.com

And, a positive note – for diabetics in California – who are dealing with chronic nerve pain and other issues which require them to have a medical prescription for Medicinal Marijuana,

AND, also for ARTISTS of all kinds, anywhere, who would like to vye for Financial Grants, please read about the new, socially-conscious, socially-active non-profit, the Artists Collective.

Learn more at http://www.walkaboutjones.com/announcements/artists-collective-now-open/ and Walkabout Jones is a savvy, fun, edgy and enlightening community of friendly people and Dann and the other writers and artists help to bring quality-time to your day. Come visit at www.walkaboutjones.com and register for the community forum www.walkaboutjones.com/forum .


Now, for an interesting first recipe. Before you start the holidays, use the following for at least 4 days before your Big Meals. It will help cleanse your system, get rid of bloat and concurrently use meals that have more fresh, raw, simple choices, with smaller portions, about 6 times a day. Sassy Water was originally a recipe from Prevention Magazine’s resident dietician, Ms. Sass. I have merged that recipe with aspects of the Master Cleanser recipe, and my own suggestions.

Em’s Sassy Water

8. 5 cups spring water ( 2 liters)   (filtered tap water, only as a last resort) OR
6.5 cups of spring water AND 2 cups Amy and Brian’s clear Coconut Water, canned or clear coconut water from fresh, young green coconut (NB: this is NOT coconut “milk”!) *

1 t fresh grated ginger (put a 1/2″ piece in the freezer; it grates easier) **
1 med. English cucumber – skin on, halve longitudinally, slice extremely thin ***
1 medium organic lemon – squeeze juice in and cut the lemon in thin slices ****
12 fresh spearmint or mint leaves – crush gently *****
1/16t or tiny sprinkle cayenne pepper ******
pinch – 1/8t  Celtic Sea Salt *******

OPTIONAL: You can add 1t -3t of Grade B Organic Maple Syrup (no other kind!), only if you need to “balance” the flavor from the sea salt. Or, for less glycemic implications, try the same amount of agave nectar.

Combine everything and let it stand in refrigerator overnight. Let the vegetables, herbs and spices infuse the water, then remove the solids. Prepare another 2 liters (approx 64 oz.) on the day you drink the first bottles, so you always have some being processed. Drink the 64 oz. of Em’s Sassy Water throughout next day, after the overnight infusion process.

You can try to reuse the solids once, but I think you always must add some fresh material.

Drink for 4 days straight and then drink as a portion of your daily 2 liters / 8 cups of fluids, or if you feel bloated. Use no tea or coffee, period.


IMPORTANT: ask your physician if you have good enough kidney function that you could take a magnesium supplement along with this. Magnesium helps your body in many ways, but in this case, it increases bowel motility. As written, without using the magnesium pills, this drink will still help you “eliminate” the stagnant stuff already in your intestinal system, just more slowly. Once you have cleared things, and become more alkaline, you’ll be able to cope with a “bigger” meal, better.  You will also be hydrating yourself with an alkaline drink. That’s significant progress.

* The coconut water is clear, not coconut “milk”. It comes from the liquids that flow from the cavity of young coconuts (the dehusked ones look white and are wrapped in plastic and refrigerated; find them in good health stores) or still husked green ones or in cans. It is in the recipe to insure you have the same electrolytes as your blood needs and that helps you have proper minerals. Coconut is also very alkalinizing, which will help take pressure of your pancreas to produce the alkaline buffers you need to “combat” metabolic and dietary acids.

You could also substitute some highly alkaline spring water like Evamor or Essentia for some of the regular spring water. Do not use Trinity alkaline water.

** The ginger is there to help “settle” your digestion.

*** The cucumber is there to soothe and alkalinize. If you use a regular cucumber, make sure you remove the applied vegetable wax with a veggie wash product, and then keep the skin on. I would only use regular cucumbers if the English cucumbers are too expensive, as regular cucumbers upset some people’s stomachs.

**** The lemon is a potent alkalinizer in your body even though it is a citric “acid” fruit, it’s metabolic “ash” is alkaline (and that’s the definition of an alkaline food). If you cannot afford fresh lemons, then use Minute Maid’s yellow bottle of just-juice; it’s in the freezer case. This is NOT the same as “lemonade”, and it contains NO sweetening. 

***** Mint is an herb which soothes and settles your gastro-intestinal tract and which provides a spark of fresh flavor.

****** The cayenne pepper should not be overused. It is a balancing act between its benefits of providing a metabolic revving-up and irritation of tissues that you may have already caused, if your tract has not been working optimally. If you cannot use the cayenne, use some pureed red bell pepper to provide some vitamin C and leave it at that, even though it doesn’t do the same thing. As you heal your G-I tract, you may want to incorporate a little cayenne then.

******* The Celtic sea salt will help you start this “elimination” bowel process, and you can add more, as long as you are near a bathroom, and that you also don’t mind the drink being a bit more salty (up to 1/2t) (although 1t will cause “fast results!”). Go slow.

DO NOT USE REGULAR TABLE “SALT”. Do NOT use an iodized salt. If you can’t find the unrefined Celtic Sea salt in a good health store or at Trader Joe’s, then get it online from The Grain and Salt Society.

This is a very alkalizing drink, that will speed-up transit, and help detox your system somewhat. You could also have a thicker drink, by using a blender to thoroughly incorporate the cucumber, mint and flesh of the lemon (after you manually remove the rinds). Your choice.

But in any case, as this is a slightly detoxifying process, take it easy on yourself and start the process well ahead of Thanksgiving. You may find you get some headaches in the beginning, if you have lots to detoxify, or you may get some skin flare-ups, if you are extra toxic, but it all will settle down in a few days (that’s another reason to start ahead of time like maybe Thursday or Friday this week or begin on the week-end and into Tuesday). Be sure to keep up fresh, small meals with lots of raw veggies and some healthy oils. By Thanksgiving, you may find you have lots of extra energy and a brighter outlook, and that will be another reason to give Thanks!


I’ll add more recipes for meal suggestions for the Holiday, as I can. Now, go check out the Artists Collective and the contest, too!


Best to all — Em

Please make sure to use the Titles Tab on the upper Navigation Bar to read more articles in the several pages of Archives. Enjoy!


Grain and Salt Society(Click here)

Amy and Brian’s Natural Coconut Water(Click here)

Information about cayenne and Master Cleanser(Click here)


(c)2008 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to quote from my article or use my article, please respect my copyright and include it and my website address in your footnotes or reference section. Thanks!

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food-banks  Rebecca Muscarello, Arabi, LA saves food-stamps for fresh-food  www.nyt.com 11-11-08

“Everyone  Knows Someone Who Needs This Information” (TM)

Over the week-end, I learned how one healthy vegan couple “fed” themselves on $1 a day per adult person! It was an eye-opener. In past years, when things were tough, periodically I’ve had to feed two adults for about $30+ a week, total, and that was hard enough. Experts on low budget sites currently say a bottom-rung reasonable budget in America is a minimum of $100 per person per month for food. I think Food Stamps probably equates to less than that.

Cheap foods do not usually end up being healthy for diabetics. so, we have to craft this carefully for Type 1 diabetics and sensibily show Type 2 diabetics how this nutrition-focused budget-plan can help them become healthy again. But, after this autumn’s huge jump in food prices, in today’s even more challenging economic environment, can this severe cut-back in food even be accomplished without compromising health? And, if its a balancing act between diabetes medicine, other medications and food in your household, then this discussion is critical for you.

I think the young couple I first mentioned, Kerrie and Christopher, did have health consequences that may not “last” from only a one month “experiment”, but which in the real world would not bode well, longer-term, for anyone on their regimen. I am going to begin to figure this out, off and on, over the coming weeks and months. Just how do we eat well on the least money? And, how much is that likely to be, as prices continue to rise? Join me on the Journey.

Below, I am also posting an original, diabetic recipe and a health explanation of the ingredients used. 

Meanwhile, it’s Veteran’s Day. My father’s grave will have a little American flag on it today, placed there by Boy Scouts, as usual. Maybe one day, there won’t be any more wars to send Girl and Boy Scouts to. And, today, those who served and those who serve, are in our hearts. We send you our eternal Gratitude. And, meanwhile, the citizen-politicians need to steer the Country you fight and die for, into better waters, so your families survive and thrive.

Yes, things are really tough now.

My husband, also a Veteran, has been unemployed for 3 of the last 4 years, and that’s with 3 Ivy-league university degrees, but corporations don’t want to pay for “experience” anymore and don’t want to hire people who would usually be “retirement” age (even though that’s illegal, it’s happening). We’re on the most stressful roller-coaster, but it’s been a longer Journey than 4 years, so we’re pretty experienced, unfortunately. And, the fact that he worked closely and personally with some of the nation’s wealthiest families, for the first 25 years of his career, makes our situation even more bizarre.

Now that the rest of American society is joining us, you’ll likely have many questions. This series will try to give you the benefit of what we’ve learned.

We’ll lose my health insurance, again, in the Spring, (if we can still pay the C.O.B.R.A. out-of-pocket for it until then). I’ll also be OK if another job materializes, or a national health plan is fielded and passed by Congress, (but I doubt that will happen quickly). My husband has Veteran’s benefits, so he’ll mostly be OK. I’ve had to learn a great deal about how to keep my family healthy, even when under the most traumatic stress; so far, I have done very well at it, especially during the 3 years (2003 – 2006) when I had no health insurance at all, and never could go to my doctors, as they were part of an HMO, rather than private-practice physicians.

The crisis is likely to get much worse, and I don’t think ANY Administration will have an easy time or even have a chance to be successful. So, my advice to all of you is that you need to be proactive.

In a New York Times article printed today, they report:

First American CoreLogic, a real estate data company, has calculated that 7.6 million properties in the country were underwater as of Sept. 30, while another 2.1 million were in striking distance. That is nearly a quarter of all homes with mortgages. The 20 hardest-hit ZIP codes are all in four states: California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona.

Read that again — “that’s nearly a quarter of all homes with mortgages! That group also states that only 10% of Americans have succeeded in completely owning their homes. The other 65% are at risk, too. And, it’s not a matter of people being “irresponsible”. There are huge societal and global aspects in play. 

And the magnitude of the current declines has little precedent. In the article, the question is asked, “When (my)(a) house is valued at 50 percent less than it was, does this begin to challenge the way I’m going to behave?” That’s the real central issue.

Rebecca Muscarello, pictured above, is a newly-divorced, single-Mom in the post-Katrina havoc. Until recently, she was married, with a job, but Katrina’s aftermath blew all that away, so now she and her two children are on Food Stamps and are using one of the few remaining food-banks in Louisiana. (Others existed but where never replaced post-Katrina, even though the needs were greater.) Rebecca says she uses her Food Stamps to buy as much fresh food as possible, and gets the shelf-stable items from the food-bank. That seems a good strategy. I can’t speak to using Food Stamps; we never could qualify, even though we felt we needed to. You literally must almost have nothing, so please remember that.

Please give generously to food banks, as they try to collect food for the Holiday Season.  Even the least of us can find something to share.

In the four months since June, demand for food aid has risen 20 percent in areas of the country with the healthiest economies and more than 40 percent in areas with the weakest, leaders of nonprofit food-distribution organizations say. And they predict that the need will keep growing in 2009 if the job market continues to contract, as expected.

The statement in red shows how “private” this issue was and is. One of the first lessons is, don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t suffer in silence. Start with a list of people you feel comfortable sharing this with and go from there. The second lesson is how to do everything you can to help yourself, first. That’s what we’ll try to help with here.  Remember, ask for other help, after you have done everything you can.

Having had parents who had to survive the Great Depression or generalized, periodic poverty in the generation before theirs (the newly-arrived immigrants), our family still remembers the struggle. Little did we know that our hard-won 5 university degrees would not protect us. I thank our parents and grand-parents for passing along their basic-survival knowledge and skills; I never thought I’d “need” it, and my use of their knowledge had always been skewed towards being a better steward of the Planet, and not wasting resources etc. etc. Now I NEED these skills.

Even when much of America is prospering, hunger is a significant problem, according to annual reports issued by the United States Department of Agriculture.

One American household in nine was “food insecure” (the government avoids the word “hungry”) for part of 2006, and more than a third of these households “had very low food security — meaning that the food intake of one or more adults was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food,” according to a recent department report.

The federal study estimated that 35.5 million people — nearly as many as live in California — sometimes lack enough to eat and that 10.1 million adults and children, roughly the population of Michigan, often go hungry in America.

And the article continues:

At the core of the problem is the lack of job growth. The number of Americans earning any wage grew by two million a year in the 1990s, but at only half that rate in the first seven years of this decade. In recent months the economy has been shedding jobs at a quickening pace, especially in construction and manufacturing.

At the same time, tax data show that 55 percent of Americans have no interest-bearing savings accounts to draw on during hard times. Among the bottom half of taxpayers, who make less than $30,000, two-thirds have no interest income.

And just as more people need help, less is available at food-banks, so that’s even more reason to learn all you can to help yourself, even if it will not be completely in place before winter.

Food manufacturers, restaurants and grocers are giving less to food-banks, or even not at all. Part of this is lack of Government foresight. When the laws make it easier for manufacturers to sell old or over-stocked inventory overseas, rather than get an “equal return” as a “charitable contribution”, something is wrong with the Tax Code. Restauranteurs and grocers seem to still be giving, but less, as they hone their skills to have less inventory waste.

One somewhat dubious silver-lining is “The Bush administration has also started shifting the federal government’s support of food banks toward more vegetables and fruits, and away from surplus agricultural commodities like nonfat dry milk, butter, peanut butter and lard.” But, this is more expensive for the food-banks, as they now require refrigerators and have higher utility bills, and less protein foods are available. Over all, I think Rebecca’s strategy of using Food Stamps for fresh food is good, but, remember, many people going to food-banks don’t get Food Stamps, so having SOME fresh foods there IS essential.

I think food-banks need both types of food and less packaged food. The Lesson: that means the best “donation” to a food-bank is money, so they can buy what their people need most, and to volunteer your time, if you can. Do what you can as hungry people are already being turned away, in many parts of the country.

Now, I want to share an inexpensive meal. I spend all my discretionary money on food, so that’s why I still can buy the most important items as “organic”, but I’ve cut back to only those items necessary as “organic”, too. More on that another time.

Buy Omega-3 eggs (free-range, organic too, if you can — use a co-op grocery or Trader Joe’s as less expensive sources). Eggs are one of the best protein sources, as 100% of the protein in eggs IS bio-available, unlike other protein sources. So, with Omega-3 eggs you get the most protein for your money, and these types of eggs provide Omega-3 essential fatty acids for people who eat little or no cold-water fish. Omega-3s are needed for brain development and for heart health.

Along with a green salad (with dark lettuces, not iceberg) and as many other veggies as you can, and a slice or two of sprouted grain bread or sourdough bread *, try the following recipe.


Em’s Harvest Scramble

1   medium-large yellow onion, very tiny dice ** 

2 organic Gala apples in tiny, 1/16″ slices, then diced; leave peel on ***

6   Omega-3, free-range eggs

~ 1/8t Celtic sea salt

tiny pinch of cayenne pepper

~ 1/4 t organic, dried oregano 

~2T extra-virgin organic coconut oil and organic butter mix

___   Have your salad already made and serve it in a separate bowl, as a second course. Toast some sourdough bread OR sprouted wheat bread, buttered and sliced before you start the eggs. Keep the toast warm. And, especially in winter, warm the plates too, in a lowest temperature oven.

___  Mix the eggs and the spices together well. Set aside.

___ Using a deep stockpot saucepan instead of a frypan, and using medium temperature, add the coconut oil-butter mix and saute the onion and the apple together. When just beginning to soften, add the egg-spices mix. Using a wooden spatula, keep moving the whole mixture quickly so it does not stick or carmelize. Do not overcook the eggs; they should be moist. (The high sides let you move the food around quickly without it flying out of the pot!)

___   pile the eggs in the middle of the plate with toast triangles on the sides. Have salad on the side with olive oil or hemp oil or flax oil dressing, each with lemon squeeze.

*    sprouted grains help you by decreasing the amount of nutrition-robbing phytates found in wheat; sourdough accomplishes this another way, by using friendly bacteria to pre-process the grain for you
** (onion is a natural sodium source)(also filled with anti-oxidants — especially quercetin)
*** leave the peel on organic apples, as they are not sprayed and just in the skin is where the chromium is located, which helps all diabetics and everyone else. That’s why apples “keep the doctor away”. 
Serves 3 adults, generously.
Yes, there’s lots of healthy fat in this meal. Daily, 35% – 40% of your diet needs to be healthy fats, especially organic medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) from organic, extra-virgin coconut oil and monosaturated, unstaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) from organic extra-virgin olive oil and extra-virgin organic hemp or flax oils (NEVER HEAT THESE LAST TWO OILS!!!! ); avocado on your salad adds more MUFA.

And use the Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (O3-EFAs) daily; from the Omega eggs, hemp or flax oils or cold-water fishes, especially salmon (wild-caught, canned, Alaska salmon counts). Yes, they ARE  “essential”.

Fats don’t raise blood sugar, and they are needed in winter even more. MUFAs like the ones mentioned target deep, visceral fat, the loss of which will help diabetics greatly and also helps those with Syndrome X (Metabolic Syndrome Disease), so don’t be afraid to use these healthy oils in moderate amounts.

Organic butter has counter-balance substances in it, too, so it is naturally a food, not a demon (don’t use regular butter!).

And, by the way, it is possible to be thin-looking and still have killer visceral fat, that hides deeply inside and strangles your organs, so thin people need these healthy fats, too.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS WEEK: inventory your pantry. Get the oldest items to the front — oh, you don’t label them by date — start. I use removable labels rather than using a permanet marker pen. You choose how to do it on any item that doesn’t have a legible use-by date when you purchase it. Anything you make and freeze should also be labeled. All left-overs should be labeled for date and content and preferably packaged in a way to use them for lunch the next day.

Americans waste as much as 40% of their food; this has to stop.

And, to prevent the flu and stay healthy this winter, so you can work on this budget-food project with me, you need to up your intake of Vitamin D. It’s a fat soluble vitamin that most of us are deficient in. The flu map shows that even families in Texas have shown to be lacking in this sunshine vitamin because most of us don’t spend enough time outdoors and then we use sunblock. To help prevent all those nasty flu symptoms, at least for winter time, up your intake to at least 1,000 units a day, according to Dr. Mercola, and even more is needed if you actually get the flu. I am using this as my strategy to prevent the flu. See Dr. Mercola’s reference below and sign-up for his newsletter; you’ll learn a lot and he doesn’t overwhelm your mailbox.

Check out the specialized recipe search-engine in the Reference section to see if you can start to brainstorm how to use your oldest food. More later.

Best to all — Em


Help prevent the flu: Simple way to help prevent getting the flu.(Click here.)

Learning more about the housing crisis. Homes – New York Times(Click here)

The New York Times Giving Index(Click here)

When the cupboard is bare. New York Times(Click here)

Visceral Belly Fat and Heart Disease – with MRI photo: Science Daily(Click here)

There are important differences among body fats. Science Daily(Click here)

Root-cellaring and food storage. New York Times(Click here)



US Department of Agriculture Gleaning(Click here)

How To glean. Gardeners.com(Click here)

Feeding America.org(Click here)

Learn gleaning basics. Oregon foodbank.org(Click here)

End Hunger.org(Click here)

Tips for gleaners. Fields to Families.org(Click here)

Gleaning. Slow Movement info(Click here)

Year of the Potato potato2008.org(Click here)

Feed the Hungry, Save the Earth. Southern Cuisine at Suite 101(Click here)

Foodshare(Click here)

Real Food – Gleaning at the supermarket, too. Mother Earth News(Click here)

Read the first two parts of this series at:



And, to read more articles, click on the Titles Archive on the upper Navigation Bar.

(2008) Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to quote from or use my article, please respect my copyright by including it and my website’s address in a footnote or reference section for your article. Thanks.

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Congratulations Senator Obama and Senator Biden.

Now is the time to Heal the Nation.

We thank all of the candidates, from all of the Parties,

who reached out to all of us.

Now, the hard work begins. All of us have to pitch in.

Barack, you promised to listen to us.

We’ll speak up.

Act with fairness, in peace.



Stay involved! Make a difference. Come together.

Best to all — Em

P.S. It has taken me a long time to find a complete roster of election results. Here it is. Those who voted Independent are in very rarified company, moreso than I expected. We need to expand opportunity to get their Independent message heard. Dignified discourse can only strengthen our country and challenge us to work beyond labeling one another. There are issues the major parties don’t address or don’t have good solutions for. And, if a 3rd or even 4th party are viable, then The People see that coalitions need to be built. It’s a good example for the rest of life – inclusion not side-lining. 

Final Results  http-election.cbsnews.com Nov, 4, 2008



(c)2008 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

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