Welcome! My health problems add craziness to my life. Here I post ideas I've tried, also questions I'm still asking. I have an electrolyte disorder. So I have crazy neuro stuff like complicated migraines, alkalosis, loosing my speech and paralysis. (including legs and hands) Little by little, foods had to go, they affected my brain and immune system. So I avoid like the plague: soy, dairy, gluten, nightshades, and try to avoid refined sugar. My body requires pink salt and electrolytes. I now use a speedy red wheelchair that I love. I've craved a simpler life, but how do you do that with crazy health stuff? I've already had a fire and flood, so I really don't value possessions. I value people and experiences. I am not compensated for any posts, just my opinions.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Finally! An effecient way to think about food

Food is supposed to be my friend. Yet, I despise it by 5PM when I'm exhausted and really truly don't want to think abt it. I'm frustrated daily, that it's almost time for dinner, I have to decide what to eat (while my brain is going into shut down mode), then see if we have ingredients for it. Fast food or take out isn't an option. I'd rather skip a meal then face all the allergic reactions for several days. But I know the rest of the family needs to eat, and I know I need to be consistent with food too. Really, whether I can walk or speak or not depends on foods and electrolyte supplements. By evening it's just all way too overwhelming to think about. Daily I think about how much easier my life would be if I could meal plan. I had the goal to just plan 2 days. That worked for awhile. But then I had days where I went to make the meal and found I was missing ingredients. Or I just couldn't stand up (or even think sitting -from bad episodes) or think of what to tell the kids to make. My brain could only sometimes plot out dinner, then fend for yourself the other two meals. But then its easy to miss multiple meals without a plan. Even a really simple plan would help, I just couldn't do it. Too many vicious cycles, for too long! My husband is amazing with food. He can think about food effortlessly, and it always tastes good. When I just feel like I'm going to cry about food, he can think up a plan and cook it. But he commutes a rather horrendously long, exhausting commute. In my opinion, food is my biggest obstacle of all my health stuff. Planning it and following through with meals. My children are great helpers. But to have a plan...

Then this epiphany moment came while reading Tsh Oxenreider's post about "3 things I'm not doing..." http://theartofsimple.net/to-not-do-2016/   I thought, "This is EXACTLY what I need!!!!"   I loved the overall idea of not making more resolutions, but rather instead rethinking your life, then simplifying. She mentioned she is using Plan To Eat (PTE), and included a picture. I immediately checked out the site. It's really truly free to test out for a month. I was an instant fan! I just gave an email address and created a password. https://www.plantoeat.com/   There's lots of great video tutorial clips.

I really can't use cookbooks. If I'm lucky, I might have one or two recipes in a book that meet all my needs. So we had a big stack of papers I kept in the kitchen cupboard. I love being paper free, but hadn't got to that point yet with food. I added the little "PTE button" to my toolbar. I found recipes, clicked the button, and immediately I had the recipe ready to save. It includes a link to where I saved it from. I also thought up recipes that we just do, without paper, so that ingredients could get on the grocery list. (Like polenta and roasted veges) We love carbonara. We make a version GF and dairy free. Corn pasta seems to work best for us. And we use Ramono or other sheep and goat cheeses. I was thrilled to see Jamie Oliver had a GF recipe like ours, except we often add fresh parsley. So I saved Jamie's recipe, (Jamie's site) added a parsley note, no need to type, yeah! Notes like "soak beans" automatically show up on the calendar the day before. I always forget that stuff. I found that on some sites with a lot of adds, it didn't copy over well, but a warning showed it didn't copy. If that happens, you just copy and paste. (There's a video abt that) I was also feeling more confident seeing several new food sites with lots of food allergy safe recipes. When I first started gluten free, I had to do a lot more mixing. Better mixes have simplified things a lot. It was great to find recipes that reflected that. I thought it was funny that my daughter explained "pizza, all mom's allergies in a box!". I actually found a pizza recipe I can make, while the rest of the family can eat regular pizza. http://minimalistbaker.com/goat-cheese-caramelized-onion-pizza/ I also found a Chinese dumpling recipe, gluten free. So excited to try that. I miss dumplings of all kids more than anything since going gluten free. So I'm really starting to feel optimistic and happy about food now!

I spent a few days doing "start up" stuff of finding recipes, basically going digital. I love efficiency. In two minutes I planned two weeks of meals, paper free. I just dragged and dropped on the calendar. Click on carbonara picture, drop it to Thursday night dinner slot. So easy! I also found I could copy a link, into my family Google calendar, and now there's a feed going straight from PTE to my calendar! I use Android. So I logged in through the browser, and there it is on the site. Planner, ingredients list, including a staples list. So if my husband is on his way home from work and stops at the grocery store, he can look at his phone and see what food is needed today, or 7 days, or two weeks, etc. Multiple options. I think the mobile version is good visually and with efficiency. The subscription is very nominal. There's no ads on the site, which I also like. I find all this totally worth that cost to have all my crazy food needs addressed. It's easier to plan healthy meals. And I only need to get what's on the list, instead of a cartfull because I hadn't decided on food yet. Hooray!! I'm am really excited about this better solution to my challenges.

(PS. I get no compensation for this. This is just a really nerdy happy customer.)

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