Category Archives: Nutrition

And the Beet Goes On… and On… and On…

BEET it!
BEET it!

Beets are sneaky.

Oh, sure, they’re really good for you.  Beets are not only high in vitamins and minerals they are also a natural aphrodisiac.  Beets are high in boron, which is a mineral directly related to the production of sex hormones in your body.  In other words, beets turn you ON!  If you don’t believe the Old Lady, google it yourself (here’s a good start: http://www.fullcircle.com/goodfoodlife/2012/05/10/6-health-benefits-of-eating-beets/ )

Betalin, which gives beets their deep purple color, is a powerful antioxidant with many health benefits.

But that rich color can come back to haunt you.

The Old Lady was horrified when she realized her pee was PINK!  Since a friend of hers had recently suffered a painful episode of kidney stones which involved a lot of blood, the Old Lady was quite taken aback by her pink pee.

But it was the beets.

The phenomenon is called beeturia, and can be an indicator of low stomach acid.  You may also see pink, or even red, feces after eating beets.

The Old Lady is not advising you to avoid these sneaky beets.  Quite the contrary; she is telling you to enjoy this healthy veggie roasted with coconut oil or chopped raw into salads.  Don’t forget the greens; they are high in iron.

Just be aware that you may see their brightly colored traces later.

Eat beets!  Listen to the Old Lady!

 

 

Nuts to You

Pecans

During her first years in south Georgia when she could not get a job, the Old Lady made ends meet by gathering and selling pecans to a local pecan company which pays cash on the barrelhead for whatever you can haul to their plant.
Now the Old Lady has experience on the other end of the pecan business!
Friends Cindy and Jerry Quick run the Clover Pecan Company. They have a farm in a very remote area of south Georgia, far from any major highway or town. Their pecans grow in air as pure as it gets in this state, watered from their own spring-fed pond, and fertilized mainly by red clover planted between the trees, which fixes nitrogen in the soil. These pecans are as close to organic as you will find.
After harvesting, the pecans are cracked mechanically but cleaned by hand. Recently the Old Lady helped pack the pecans, also by hand, into plastic bags which are then encased in rustic burlap sacks onto which Cindy hand-screens the “Clover Pecan Company” logo.
Cindy is going to be selling these pecans at two upcoming local events, the 2014 Azalea Festival to be held March 8 and 9 in Drexel Park, 1401 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia (across from Valdosta State University at the corner of Brookwood and Patterson) and at the Calico Arts and Crafts Show to be held March 15 and 16 at Spence Field in Moultrie, Georgia, just 4 miles southeast of Highway 319 on Highway 133. Cindy will also be selling her handmade jewelry, bracelets and pendants with natural gemstones. Look for the Clover Pecan Company tent and say hello to Cindy and Jerry, and try some of the healthiest pecans you can buy!
Pecans, by the way, are one of the most beneficial nuts on the planet. Research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (June 2004) found that pecans rank highest among all nuts and are among the top category of foods to contain the highest antioxidant capacity, meaning pecans may decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease, and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
You can order these pecans online at http://cloverpecan.com/shop/
Eat more pecans! Listen to the Old Lady!

Getting Well

Help your body heal itself.
Help your body heal itself.

The Old Lady has been sick, really sick.
A lot of people around here have had this illness. It’s more than a cold, but a little different than the flu. It does involve a sore throat and sinus congestion, but not the trademark achiness of the flu. Some people have told the Old Lady that their doctors have prescribed round after round of antibiotics and prednisone… some people have taken four different antibiotics!… to no avail.
Now, different antibiotics do target different organisms. But isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over, expecting to see different results?
So the Old Lady took a radically different tack.
On the advice of a holistic health practitioner she turned to the health food store. Here is the list recommended by the wisdom healer:
Chlorella: a green single-celled microalgae that is rich in chlorophyll, beta-carotene, mixed carotenoids, vitamin C, iron, and protein.
Fenu-thyme: a combination of fenugreek seed and thyme. It thins nasal mucous so that the congestion can drain away more easily.
Olive leaf, colostrum, and astragalus: all immune-system boosters.
All of these substances were taken according to label directions, in the highest maximum dosages.
As mentioned before, some people have suffered this illness literally for months without much relief.
Forty-eight hours after the Old Lady started her regimen of naturally-derived, plant-based substances, she is remarkably better.
Listen to the Old Lady!

The Cane Grinding

The Old Lady shops for local products whenever possible, but not just to keep the money in her community. She believes that consuming food produced in your local environment actually helps strengthen your body’s spiritual connection to that environment.
So imagine her delight at being invited to a cane grinding!
Living in the far southern end of Georgia, the Old Lady has developed a taste for cane syrup in her coffee. Only the pure stuff will do, not the chain store version which is cut with high fructose corn syrup.
The Zipperers are an old Lowndes County family who have grown their own sugar cane for generations. Every year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the entire family gathers at the ancestral farm on the dirt road that bears their name. Like an agricultural liturgy, they perform the ritual of the cane grinding.
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The stalks of freshly cut sugar cane come in on a trailer, beautiful shiny green stalks striped with purple. These stalks have been cut by hand, with machetes.
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They are then fed by hand into the cane grinder, which is powered by a tractor. All the men working the machine kept reminiscing about the old mule which used to power the grinder, and how they used to take a break in the middle of the day for the mule to eat.
Pure cane juice pours from the grinder. This is powerful stuff, cool and sweet and slightly pulpy with green cane bits. It streams into a barrel through a cloth to filter out the bits, but one old man was filling jugs of the unfiltered liquid and claimed that it had miraculous health benefits. “Pretty much cures everything but death,” he joked as he toted another jug to his pickup truck. The Old Lady just thought it tasted mighty good, better than the canned soda offered to wash down the deer sausage on the grill tended by one young camouflage-clad cousin.
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The filtered cane juice is poured into a large shallow cast-iron kettle, where it boils down for hours until just the right thickness for bottling. The Old Lady stood in the sweet steam, breathing in its earthy fragrance as she watched four generations of Zipperers laugh and talk and work together.
A newborn baby sat in its mother’s lap in the open hatch of an SUV and was greeted with appropriate oohs and aahs. The older ladies passed the child around, each claiming her moment with the brand new Zipperer.
A cup of coffee sits on the Old Lady’s desk right now, rich with the Zipperers’ syrup and with the love of a family that reconnects with its ancestral heritage every year in the ritual of the cane grinding.
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Eat Better for Less

Pre Frittata

The Old Lady cooked today, and ended up with four days worth of food for less than $10.
Here is how she did it:
A trip to our local farmer’s market, which puts about-to-go-bad produce in bags which sell for a dollar, resulted in: one bag with apples and red potatoes, one bag with a HUGE rutabaga and yellow onions, and a third bag with a yellow straight-neck squash, a green bell pepper, and some tomatoes. Total bill at the farmer’s market: $3. The key to buying produce from the dollar bin is to use it right away.
First job: brunch. Chopped onion, tomato, and bell pepper were sautéed in coconut oil. Scramble in some eggs, and voila! A colorful, healthy frittata to kickstart the Old Lady’s engine (see photo, taken just before adding the eggs).
Yesterday, after cooking some chicken with fresh lemon and garlic, the casserole dish with the leftover garlic and lemon juice and olive oil had gone into the fridge to be reused. Why waste it? A second use of the sauce means this time it’s free, and the dish will only have to be washed once.
The Old Lady watches for BOGO free deals, which recently netted two 16-ounce packages of frozen tilapia filets. The bill was $8.99 for 32 ounces of fish, which comes to about 75 cents per filet. Four filets = about $3.
Thawed the fish, put it in the dish with the leftover sauce, and chopped onion and tomato on the top. Cooked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cut the rest of the onion, red potatoes, and squash, coated with olive oil, and roasted in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Cut up the rutabaga and apples, layered with butter and brown sugar and cinnamon, and cooked in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
This chopfest resulted in lunch, dinner, and two meals packed in containers to take to work in the little cooler.
It takes some effort… but you can EAT BETTER FOR LESS.