Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Taster's Delight...

Hubby and I took advantage of a professional conference in Napa
to get away and spend a great weekend being foodies
for our 6th Anniversary.


I, of course, took pictures and am sharing all of
the wines that we enjoyed...
Not just to share with you... because they were YUMMY
and I highly recommend them,
but also so that next time we are in Napa, 
we can stop and visit the wineries,
and I'll already have a list... 
and, now, so will you...

To begin:
We celebrated our anniversary dinner at
From the minute we walked in, we were treated like family.

We toasted with a Domaine Carneros Brut to start
which paired well with the 
Bosc Pear and Brie Cheese Flatbread we were served.

We both opted for the specials, and I took advantage
of the special occasion and ordered the ribeye...


Moist, tender, covered in mushrooms, a luscious deglaze sauce
and these blue cheese layered potatoes (mandolin cut a la Lutece) which were
so good... 

I paired my steak with a Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon,
and hubby paired his seafood delight with a Meiomi Pinot Noir.

The dessert wine was a Merryvale Antigua Muscat which I enjoyed
with a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream.

On our way home, we stopped at


Hubby had the Chicken Mattone which 
he paired with a Director's Cut Pinot Noir...


And, I had the Gateau de Pommes which
I paired with a Reserve Viogner...

Of course, I didn't mention breakfast...


This delicious chicken and waffles from
can only be paired with their
Death-by-Chocolate milk served in a Mason Jar...
OMG...!
There went all my allowed cheating for the month...!

Bon Appetit!



Saturday, February 22, 2014

What Does Your Fridge Say About You...?


I'd like to think that mine says:
world traveler
art lover
likes cows
currently working on home remodel
somewhat organized
inspired
and health care professional (pharm rep magnate)

And, this is only a quarter of my fridge...
What does yours say about you?


Monday, February 10, 2014

A Healthier Lifestyle: Just My Opinion

 As an Emergency Medicine physician, patients frequently ask me what to eat when I am in the process of giving them instructions for discharge.  Especially when I tell them to "lose weight, " stop smoking," and get maintenance check ups from their primary care provider.  It's funny how often it seems I am the first person to address their health and eating habits.  
They are surprised when I tell them to stop smoking because it cuts oxygen supply to their blood vessels by about 50% every time they light up.   They seem sincerely amazed that I recommend exercising in a pool when they tell me that because of their chronic back/knee/hip pain they can't follow the simple walking plan I lay out for them. (And, it is very simple:  15 minutes three times a week, then increase to 30 after several weeks, then add a hill, then try to go farther faster, then the possibilities are endless.)   As for seeing their primary MD;  well, isn't it easier just to come into the ED when I need something?  I'll save my answer as fodder for another post.
But, let's get on to  the, ahem, meat of this.  To eat right you just need to follow three simple rules:  nothing in a bag, nothing in a box, nothing in a can.
Nothing in a bag:
Bags include fast food, snack foods, any prepackaged food.   Top Ramen anyone?  This goes to the ideals also set out in Michael Pollan's "Food Rules:  An Eater's Manual."  You should only eat things you can pronounce.  Lower ingredients = healthier eating with a goal of 1 for everything.  The more the food is in its natural state the better.  I follow a mostly raw food diet and have never felt healthier and with more energy.  On one of my allowed "cheat days"  I was craving McDonald's french fries.  I honestly tasted every molecule of rancid oil along with several flavors I couldn't quite identify.  After about 2 or 3 fries, I threw the rest of the pack away and went to the grocery store for some kale and jicama to make into an awesome salad later that night for dinner.
Nothing in a box:
Again, think prefab foods.  Now, I know it's so much easier to get a Lean Cuisine and throw it into the microwave than to take 20 or 30 minutes to prepare something healthier (one of my mixed salads can take almost an hour to prepare.)  Not to mention, I had to run to grocery store about 2 - 3 times a week, because when you eat healthier, you need to maintain a large stash of fresh ingredients rather than a collection of boxes in the freezer.  Also, boxes generally mean breakfast cereals.   Even Special K cereal contains rice, whole grain wheat, sugar, almonds, wheat bran, then "2%  or less" of other ingredients including maltodextrin and BHT "for freshness."  I don't know about you, but I've never seen a maltodextrin tree, and what is BHT? 
On the other hand, meusli contains a mix of rolled oats (uncooked), wheat, rye, triticale, barley, and usually nuts like almonds, sunflower seeds and walnuts.  Some include some fruit like dates or raisins to add a little touch of sweetness.  Add some coconut or rice milk and have a healthier, low glycemic index breakfast.  I usually cut up a banana for added fiber and potassium.
Nothing in a can:
Before you start jumping all over me about things like tomato paste or canned vegetables, this is a place to read the label and remember my argument about the fresher the better.  How much healthier for you are green beans that come off the plant and to your grocer's display than a can of green beans that is packaged in some kind of liquid, usually with some kind of salt preservative;  that have lost their crispness, broken down their fiber, and taste like the can?  And, at the risk of sounding too "green," think about trash and recycling.  Fresh vegetables come in their own packaging.
Cans also include sodas.  Other than tasting good, sodas have no nutritional value.  And, you have to think about the sugars, phosphates and caffeine that they contain.  Caffeine is a diuretic (it makes you pee more.)  As it is, most people don't drink the recommended gallon of water a day they should be drinking.  (Eight glasses of water = 8 x 8 oz = 64oz = 1 gallon or four 16 oz bottles.)  Add a diuretic and now you're at a water deficit.  Your body needs water to perform many vital functions especially digestion.  And, we're seeing changes in patient profiles because of it.  Whereas diverticulitis used to be a disease of the elderly, I'm now seeing diverticulitis in 30 year olds.  The disease comes from not having a high fiber diet and increased pressure on the colon to expel the digested food stuffs.  Lots of water helps.  And exercise... just saying.
So, there you have it.  I can usually give this talk to my patients in about 5 minutes, answer all their questions and send them off to, hopefully, lead healthier, happier, and more flavor-filled lives.  Yes, I know it costs more.  Yes, I know it takes longer to do.  But then, isn't anything that's worthwhile worth doing right?
**I have no financial ties to any of the companies I've mentioned.  One of the best books I read on the raw food movement is "Raw Food/Real World" by Kenny and Melngailis

Sunday, February 2, 2014

One Month Down...

How are your New Year's resolutions coming along?
We recently traveled up to Yosemite for a conference,
and while I was there I made several life decisions for myself.

One was to get into better shape...
which I discovered I was sorely lacking after 
trying to make this hike while in Yosemite.


While I did get to see some beautiful vistas,
I know I could have had a much better experience if
I lost some of the extra weight I put on this year
and really got into a better exercise plan.


Then, while sitting and catching my breath
while taking in the amazing scenery, I realized I really
missed writing poetry and doing more creative work
in photography and painting.

I did start going to some art classes put on by a
local artist, and have been having fun paining again.
So one of my other goals is to get my "craft room" finished
and set up, so I can get back to this relaxing part of my life...







Not bad for a first time... n'est pas?
Well, it's a start anyway....


Cheers to following that unknown trail
and seeing what the rest of the year will bring...!
Hopefully, next time without all the
huffing and puffing...