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Posts posted by Sony

  1. The first thing I would say is to find a good registered dietitian (good = one that doesn't suck the joy out of eating by setting unrealistic expectations). *I will admit that I am probably biased* because this is my professional field, but a good one can take into account your lifestyle, what you are willing to change, compromise on, or absolutely CAN'T give up. S/he should serve as a coach to help you reach your goals in a managable way and take into account any other medications/supplements you are on and conditions you may have.

    Although it may seem expensive to start (especially if insurance does not cover it or you don't have insurance), meds aren't exactly cheap either (though they usually are covered by insurance). It's a personal decision...

    OK, so this is my 2 cents:

    1. Exercise (aerobic) will generally raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL). Even just being more active in general helps. If you're already really active, consider how you can bump it up in duration or intensity.

    (The extra activity, plus loss of some "excess" weight, is what I had to to do personally to lower my cholesterol into normal range after 6 years. I genetically have high cholesterol and found out at the age of 20. I have never been overweight, but losing 10 pounds that I didn't need by moving more most likely helped.)

    2. Avoid trans fat (which is thought to lower HDL and raise LDL) and saturated fat (which raises LDL). Trans fat is now on nutrition labels, but it's also really common in fried foods, baked goods (especially packaged ones)...anything made with partially hydrogenated vegetables oils. Research is pointing to trans fat as just as harmful,if not more so, than saturated. As far as saturated fat, this is where those red meats, cheeses, butter, high-fat dairy, etc. need to be carefully chosen/eaten in modest portions or avoided.

    3. Eat omega-3 fatty acids (which lower triglycerides and total cholesterol). Fish oils contain DHA and EPA (2 types of omega-3's), which lower triglycerides. Certain plant sources (flaxseeds, walnuts) contain a different type of omega-3 (ALA) that lowers total cholesterol and triglycerides.

    It's really individual how to get enough of these. Eating a lot of these may be a "healthier" way to gain weight, but typically people with high cholesterol are looking to maintain or lose weight. If you're a woman of child-bearing age, there may be limits on how much of certain fatty fish you want to eat to avoid mercury. Some people may want to take in fish oil supplements instead of eating the actual fish, but again, it's an individual situation. Some people have side effects from supplements (e.g. fishy burps)- but I suppose that can happen from eating the fish itself, right? :wink:

    4. Eat more soluble fiber, which can lower total cholesterol. Sources of these include oats, beans/legumes, and fruits/vegetables (certain ones higher than others, like apples). How much you should aim for is, again, individual.

    So figuring out what to eat (and how much to eat) and what to avoid...there's general advice that's good, and certain things that work better for some people than others. But in order how to make any eating changes work for your personal life, I still strongly recommend seeing a registered dietitian. If you PM me and would like to share where you are, I might be able to recommend a colleague. If you prefer to make your decisions without a dietitian, I genuinely wish you the best of luck!

    Edited because I misspelled "dietitian" :laugh:

  2. How will you be using these? That might help with getting an idea of what the final result might look like.

    Personally, if I was trying to caramelize oranges, I would probably line a pan with foil, place the rounds on in a single layer, sprinkle them with sugar, then put them under a broiler (at a distance,if you're able to adjust) so the juice of the orange and the sugar combined into caramel. But I've never done it- this is all conjecture.

    I guess my aim would be to get pieces that hold their shape, but have a slightly crisped golden layer on top, with some juices that will have escaped from the oranges slightly thickened.

  3. Anyone dined recently around Saranac Lake? I'll be there on business travel Sunday afternoon through Monday night and am hoping to eat 2 decent dinners while in town (hopefully within a 20 miles radius). Recommendations, please? In terms of preferences:

    -Not looking for expensive options unless it's REALLY worth it (expensive to me = more than $25 per entree)

    -Don't care if the environment is a dive bar or upscale, but don't enjoy food unless there's a non-smoking section

    -Don't eat pork, but will gladly eat other options at places known for their porky goodness as long as the alternatives are equally tasty :wink:

  4. Thanks, everybody, for the tips.

    Fortunately, I switched chemotherapy regimens, and the new medication "cocktail" does not cause nausea! Hooray! So I'm "over the hump" on things for now, and never really got around to exploring beyond Carnation Instant Breakfast in the meantime.

    Just echoing the "hooray"! I'm glad there's a better chemo regimen out there for you.

    As Jamie Lee mentioned, most people find the nutritional drinks better tasting when they're well-chilled. I think Carnation Instant Breakfast was a decent choice for you- it was kept with all the other supplements at the hospital where I interned, and it seemed to be the most palatable choice for the people totally turned off by supplemental drinks who had needs similar to yours.

    The other option that seemed most palatable is Resource Breeze (used to be Boost Breeze). To me, it was pretty close to simply tasting like fruit juice- didn't have the really viscous feel of many nutritional supplements. It doesn't have quite the same nutritional profile as the other "milkshake" type supplements, but people usually tolerated the Breeze pretty well. Link: Resource Breeze

    In any case, I'm glad you don't have the need for this advice any more :wink: .....happy that you're feeling better!

    ETA: Link to Breeze info.

  5. Growing up in the States, I remember reading about fairy bread! My sister and I were best friends with the girls next door who were the same age. In their garage, they had this Strawberry Shortcake cookbook that described how to make it.....

    Alas, we never concocted it. I think the only thing we ever made out of that cookbook were carrot and cucumber curls.

    I don't think fairy bread will taste quite right on whole wheat :raz: (that's all I buy these days). But it sure is purty.....

  6. It may be a little off, but my Mom makes these wonderful things she calls "shrimp cutlets". It starts with peeling raw shrimp until just the little tail tip is left on and deveining. Then you butterfly the shrimp and run your knife quickly over the shrimp in a crosshatch pattern, making something akin to cube steak (only it's shrimp :smile: ).

    The marinade for the "cube shrimp" (only 5-10 min necessary) is salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, grated fresh ginger, turmeric, minced onion and minced Thai bird chilies. To cook, heat a thin film of neutral oil in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Dip the individual shrimp (with chilies and onion still clinging to them) into egg, then breadcrumbs, and fry, flipping once. They should be crisp with bits of browned onions/chilies meshed as part of the coating.

    Shrimp cutlets are one of my favorite childhood foods. (They're still pretty tasty in adulthood too!) Every year, my family and I would vacation in the Outer Banks, and the cap at the end of the trip would be to go the the docks in Wanchese and pick up a HUGE cooler of shrimp as our one year supply. We would arrive home, get to work on separating the shrimp by size and cleaning them. After we took showers to get rid of the smell, dinner would include the cutlets using these incredibly sweet fresh shrimp.

  7. I picked up some durum flour and will try my hand at the pasta using part durum/part AP this weekend just for kicks. The durum flour feels quite fine in texture. If it doesn't work out, next round will be AP/cake flour and the durum flour can go towards bread making (worst case scenario, I blew a buck and a quarter!)

    Thanks for the advice! I'm already looking forward to my first pasta-making experiment.

  8. I'm sorry, I need to look again...

    What happened!?

    You all are hilarious- I have tears rolling down my face from laughing so hard!

    I suspect that I was whisking so much, I scraped up some of the metal? I've had the skillet for years and it's well-seasoned. (Still is- I just took a look at it.) Unfortunately, I was mindlessly whisking (because of phone call that allowed it to sit) and when I looked down, my sauce was the right texture- just the wrong color. (Of course, it only took 5 minutes for me to do in the texture.)

    No cat in the household.....Is that what cat puke looks like?

  9. gallery_19258_5313_310627.jpg

    I've never taken a picture of a meal I've made for myself, but this one was so utterly heinous that as soon as I plated it, I immediately grabbed my camera with the intention of posting on this thread. :biggrin:

    That gray goo was actually quite delicious....it's an avgolemono sauce (water + egg + lemon juice + hot sauce, whisked over low heat, and finished at the end with a wee bit o' butter) that went wrong in 2 ways:

    1. I decided to make in a cast iron skillet instead of enameled cast iron. (color)

    2. I let it sit for a few minutes while I took a phone call, and I should have remembered how well cast iron retains heat. (texture)

    Just wanted to provide sketchy details in case you too want to create your own horrific masterpiece!

  10. I'd like to make pasta totally by hand- I'll have a decent chunk of time for a weekend project. (I don't have a mixer or food processor.)

    Which flour do you think will be better as a novice with just hands, a rolling pin and a strong will :wink: ? Durum flour or semolina flour are the 2 options I'm thinking are best, though of course I have access to AP, whole wheat, pastry flours, etc.

    I'd like to pick up the flour from a great bulk foods store tomorrow on the way home from work, so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

  11. Thanks for updating Peter! Do you think that duck breasts could work this way? If so, what recommendations would you make for time/temp?

    Jozef- any duck fat/stock news?

  12. .... I just go to what my son lovingly refers to as the "Patchoulli StankOld  Hippy Store"  (brat what does he know????)


    So, here are some ideas, I've come up with:

    -"Grown-up" caramel corn (caramel is infused with a bruised rosemary stem and black pepper. Sometimes I throw nuts in the mix.)

    -Mini meatballs that use crushed cornflakes in place of breadcrumbs

    -Marinated mushrooms

    -Something really nice that I saw once....endive leaves what contained a nest of pickled daikon threads and a small plank of black sesame-crusted rare tuna

    -Chicken or beef satay with peanut sauce (using wheat-free tamari) or chimichurri sauce

    -Polenta cakes would make a good base for lots of different topping, sweet or savory...the polenta could be flavored in lots of different ways as well.

  13. This week, for the second time, I picked up a piece of fish (prepackaged on a styrofoam tray) from the grocery store and there was something that tasted oddly sweet about it. Both times, the fish smelled faintly sweet in the package, but I thought nothing of it the 1st time.

    It was catfish fillet the 1st time (I'd just dusted it with my usual cajun seasoning and cornmeal to bake) .

    This time, it was trout. I'd simply put salt and pepper on it and seared it in a pan. After cooking, I swear it tasted even sweeter than it smelled. Kind of like "krab"....

    Seeing as how fish is sometimes a quick go-to dinner item for me when I'm stopping at the grocery store late after work, this is a little perturbing. Is it just me? :unsure:

  14. For some reason, I find I do my best cooking when I plan around the vegetables I've got at the market, rather than planning around an animal protein. Who knows why?...

    I second this, Jensen and eskay. I somehow get more inspired by the produce section/farmers' market. My freezer stock is almost all protein (there's a few bags of frozen vegetables/fruit, and of course, leftovers frozen into individual meals for lunch or uninspired nights...)

    So yes, I tend to meal shop after grocery shopping. Generally, I'll pick up fresh produce, whatever looks good, and thaw protein (Or soak beans. Or marinate tofu.) to combine, if necessary.

    This week, I went shopping yesterday and a fresh bunch of kholrabi looked good. So I thawed a pack of chuck that I'd trimmed and cut into cubes. Part of that meat went into a curry with the kholrabi. But I also decided to make a little bit of chili, so I soaked some beans, ground some chilies and both are simmering on the stove right now. The kholrabi greens- I bet I'll just saute those up and mix it with pasta, and put an over-easy egg on top for a night when I'm coming back from being on the road.

    Did I have any of these intentions when I bought the kholrabi. Nope. I guess the only danger is the weeks when I get inspired at the market and then my inspiration peters out during the week....It rarely happens, though, because cooking is usually how I unwind during the work week.

  15. This is my tried and true for almost any diet except low sodium ..everyone loves it ..interactive appetizer

    I dont know what it is called but my friend who is from Korea introduced me to these as her version of California rolls

    very easy ...very good goes great with ice cold sake and beer or whatever

    take nori wraps  rub them with some toasted sesame oil and then toast over a burner for a few seconds..sprinkle with a combo of sesame seeds smashed with sea salt and cut them into squares pile on a platter and set aside (Make way more of these than you think you will need trust me they go fast!!!)

    on another platter arrange piles of julienned carrots, pickled diakon, green onions, egg pancake, crab meat or thin strips of marinated grilled meat of some kind chilled  heap the piles in a nice pattern on a beautiful platter

    then in a bowl mix together your favorite soy sauce with wasabi, fresh grated ginger and rice wine vinegar ..to taste

    put a spoon in the bowl

    each person takes a square of the seaweed and piles (I put chopsticks out) a tiny bit of each thing they like in the nori square a tiny bit of the sauce wrap it up and one big bite

    at every party I have put this out ..it got the most attention for the shear fun of the gathering around and bulding your own part of it ...(I keep back up piles of veggies and stuff in the kitcen in baggies so I can keep refreshing the platter)

    Hummmingbirdkiss (or anyone)....what brand of wheat-free tamari do you use? San-J? Are there any other good ones out there?

    To me, one of the hardest allergy/sensitivity combinations to accommodate is gluten and soy. I don't mind, it sometimes just takes a little more creativity. But I digress....

  16. Oh my...that picture. The craving that hit elicited a physiological reaction in me....my stomach literally started growling. :laugh:

    Congratulations Magus- I wish you continued success, and hope to make it someday to experience that burger in person!

    Edited 'cause my submission finger was trigger happy.

  17. Hi Everyone!

    I've been meaning to supply an update for some time- I'm home from work (cold) and think this is the perfect time :smile: .

    I appreciate your ideas SO much- people have really noticed the change in offerings, and it's nice to hear people making positive comments without having to take obvious credit/responsibility.....

    The fall bounty has made many weeks very easy......varietal grapes, pears and apples have added to the cheese board spreads. Olives and good jarred giardiniera have filled in for homemade marinated vegetables. Homemade cheese spreads (not more Kaukauna for this bunch :wink: ) and dips have often been part of the offerings, and ideas were definitely coming from this thread (for example, one week, instead of stuffed dates, we mixed cream cheese, blue cheese, walnuts and dates to make things less labor-intensive).

    Apparently, there are a lot of folks who don't eat meat (not vegan, just ovo-lacto vegetarians) in this crowd. Some some of the ideas are on the back burner for personal use when I'm time- and cash-strapped!

    Thanks again!

  18. However i've never come across duck stock, what would I put in and what would I use it for? I imagine it would be quite rich when reduced.

    Glad you came out of the woodwork, Jozef! Duck stock is great for soups, especially Asian-style soups. I've made wonton soup (filled with vegetables and scraps of duck meat) and the duck broth gave an incredible flavor to the dish. I made the stock the same way I make chicken stock- bones leftover from cooked pieces, covered with cold water, brought to a gentle boil, skimmed, add aromatics, and simmer till the bones are falling apart and the stock tastes rich. (4 hours should be good)

    I bet the stock would be fantastic in a reduced sauce or other soups. I've been thinking about making garlic soup- maybe I'll use duck stock as the base.....

    Peter, please report back on the outcome of your duck legs!

  19. Spectacular for breakfast, too!  :biggrin:

    I LOVE soup for breakfast! At home or at work. When it's snowy outside and I'm waiting for the bus to my office, there's something so comforting about a Thermos of soup in my bag that I will enjoy shortly.

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