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This is the account of the week before Christmas, so my goal was to hit my 40 plants but also to enjoy the treats we have that lead up to the holiday. So this week, I will be baking and prepping, making Buckeyes, fruitcake, cinnamon rolls, lime sherbet, dairy-free cheese balls and the like for the holiday weekend.
There was a lot of Asian food this week, as that tends to be Belle’s favorite (goes right along with her heart for missions and obsession with all things South Korea), so I allowed it with the understanding that as long as she was eating plenty and getting her veggies in, I was ok with it for one week. I planned the lunches and dinners, and you’ll see more variety there. Because I got sick and kept pulling things from the freezer instead of having to cook, some of the Asian meals got pushed back to be used after Christmas Day.
And then things dropped off the wagon when I hit the wall of insomnia and my histamine intolerance flared due to the inflammation brought on by a lack of sleep plus where I am in my cycle, as hormones influence histamine tolerance.
This week quickly became a good illustration as to why freezer meals are so important for anyone with a chronic illness, especially around the holidays as there is extra work to be done. It’s also a good illustration as to why I begin preparing for Christmas on November first and cook many of the holiday goodies ahead and freeze them.
Sunday is a day of rest at our house. We don’t do a lot of work, and we try to spend the day resting as much as possible. So I didn’t put much thought into what we ate and it’s the one day a week that I allow that. We finish off leftovers and if someone volunteers to cook, so be it. Today, hubby volunteered.
I woke up early, felt queasy and had a hot chocolate while nursing a bad headache. I’m still on the upswing from the virus I had the previous week.
For lunch, we got a knock-out deal on some grass-fed steaks, so hubby wanted to grill them. I put white and sweet potatoes into the oven to roast and the kids handled everything else. I had a small serving of steak, a sweet potato with butter and brown sugar, and a small serving of sweet corn.
I had planned on roasting some frozen veggies to try it out, but we mis-timed it and didn’t have the right pans (my other sheet pan was in the freezer) so we had to settle for corn instead. We’ll try the roasted veggies from frozen later in the week.
I ate all of the sweet potato, most of the corn and a little less than half of the steak.
For dinner, the kids were at a Christmas party so I was on my own. I had a small piece of roast turkey breast, sauteed kale and homemade cranberry sauce mixed with a smidge of mayo. I couldn’t find the sesame seeds to put on top of the kale. I had turmeric and ginger tea with almond milk.
For snacks, I had a handful of plantain chips mid-afternoon. This provides resistant starch. Once the kids got home from their party, we watched White Christmas and I had two handfuls of popcorn with unfortified nutritional yeast and a strawberry Smash bar.
Before bed I had one ounce of dark chocolate and 2 slices of ginger.
I drank iced red raspberry, nettle and peppermint tea sweetened with stevia.
I had sweet potato, corn, cocoa, coconut, kale, onion, garlic, plantain, cranberry, ginger, turmeric, nutritional yeast, white rice, red raspberry leaf, nettle and almond.
The night before, I combined 3/4 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup of rolled oats and 2 Tbs chia seeds in a mason jar and I let it sit in the fridge overnight. When eaten cold, this provides resistant starch to the good bacteria in the gut.
The next day, I combined a green apple, dried cherries, dates, frozen strawberries, frozen cranberries, a smattering of raisins, a dash of salt and a half-cup of water and I simmered it about 20 minutes, until tender. I mashed it with a fork, pulled it off of the heat and added a spoon of vanilla extract, and served half of it over the cold oats. I sprinkled it with slivered almonds.
I had this right after noon, for a very late breakfast. Next time, I will only use 1 Tbs chia seeds and use the white ones instead of the black.
The kids ate a Spanish omelette.
For an early dinner, I made a triple batch of Jeff’s favorite soup, tomato and fennel, to go with dairy-free grilled cheese. I added extra celery and carrot to the soup.
We have a local grocery salvage near-by, and they sometimes get bags of the dairy-free Daiya cheese and loaves of Udi’s bread for about 15-25% of what you would pay at the health food store. When we can get it at that price, which is rare, we pick some up and do grilled cheese. I’m not big on the texture of Udi’s bread, but when I can get one of their large loaves for 99 cents, I don’t complain and I make something with it.
This gave me tomato, fennel root, fennel frond, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, carrot, white rice, basil, sorghum and brown rice. Also a small amount of red and green bell pepper, as the cheese was pepper jack. I only ate one of the two sandwiches pictured.
Since dinner was at 4pm, I had a larger snack than normal around 7pm. I had the rest of the little box of raisins from breakfast, a slice of ginger and an ounce of dark chocolate. I also had a handful of the leftover graham crackers from making Jeff’s fruitcake. I continued to drink the red raspberry leaf and nettle iced tea all day. I also had a hot chocolate right after dinner.
Trey got up and made biscuits before everyone else was up. He occasionally gets in the mood to make them, so who am I to say no? I ate them with a little grape jelly. I will need to make more jelly this Summer.
For lunch, I had a steak salad. It included butter lettuce, carrot, craisins (dried cranberries), broccoli and cucumber. He also included a smattering of the pepper jack dairy-free cheese and a maple vinaigrette.
I drank red raspberry leaf and nettle iced tea. I had ginger and two ounces of dark chocolate for a snack.
For dinner, I made a Chinese chicken dish. It’s a new recipe for me, but the kids requested we find a recipe that was little bits of fried chicken with an Asian sauce after seeing one made on a cooking show on TV. I served roasted broccoli, cauliflower and carrots on the side. We put it over brown rice.
Nothing for this meal went right. The sauce was far too salty, the brown rice was under-done and my following instructions on a website about how to roast veggies from frozen resulted in burned veggies. That’s why you see mostly chicken on the plate, the rest of the veggies were burnt and inedible.
At least the chicken turned out ok. I used it as an opportunity to teach Belle how to fry. And I did eat the veggies that were edible, even if they were too browned in spots.
Wednesday fell off the rails thanks to insomnia. I have it cyclically, and it’s all hormonal. I can count on having it around ovulation and again around my period starting. I can also count on dealing with it anytime I get woken up in the middle of the night, whether that is by a pet, a human, the weather, the neighbor’s dogs or because I need to pee. It takes me around three hours to be able to fall back asleep if I get woken up. Even if I get a good amount of sleep after that three hours awake, I feel like I haven’t rested and have a lot of brain fog.
I can normally do ok for a day or two and still function. But eventually I quit functioning. Wednesday was when I quit functioning.
Wednesday morning I had leftover Tomato Fennel soup for brunch.
Wednesday evening we had chicken and dumplings from the freezer. I was too tired to do anything else and I forgot to thaw meat for dinner.
I also ate a lot of ginger, as insomnia sets off inflammation for me and ginger seems to be one of my best weapons to fight inflammation. With inflammation comes histamine issues if I am not able to get it under control quickly.
Thursday was another day off of the rails thanks to insomnia, which led to worsening inflammation. I couldn’t stand up straight, had severe brain fog and I hurt all over. Histamine symptoms kicked in.
I had scrambled eggs for breakfast. Then the kids left for my mom’s house, which meant I had two options. I could eat leftovers or I could eat food that had been previously frozen, as I was not safe to prepare and cook with that level of sleep deprivation. So I pulled out a package of two servings of potato soup from the freezer and let it thaw. I had frozen potato soup for both lunch and dinner, as Jeff had something else going on and wasn’t home for dinner. I spent the evening holding down a recliner, watching TV, after a friend dropped by.
I finally got some sleep! Eleven hours of uninterrupted sleep and I woke up feeling human and with no brain fog and a far lower pain level! So the plan was to eat breakfast, get a shower and spend the day painting. I am working on a commissioned piece for a friend.
For breakfast, I had the leftover fruit compote over rice, sprinkled with slivered almonds.
For lunch I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and inhaled it as fast as I could to get back to painting. Not ideal, but the kids still weren’t home from my mom’s house yet, so it was what it was.
For dinner, we had spaghetti. Quick, easy and a welcome, fast meal after standing for several hours while painting. Trey made the spaghetti.
Another night of insomnia, which brought back the inflammation and brain fog and another worsening of the histamine intolerance symptoms.
Saturday morning breakfast was ginger and turmeric tea and I finally went onto my histamine reaction supplements.
Lunch was chicken and dumplings pulled out of the freezer. It contained green beans and English peas, carrots, potato, and celery.
Dinner was Peanut Sheet Pan Chicken. I used gluten-free soy sauce, and I added several carrots, cauliflower, and water chestnuts to the pan. After dinner, I drank yet more ginger and turmeric tea.
I also dipped the Buckeyes into chocolate. I made the centers a few weeks ago, omitted the chocolate chips and froze them for the holidays. I dipped them into melted chocolate today for Christmas treats, so I had a couple of those.
Final tally for this week:
- Sweet potato
- Sweet corn
- White rice
- Red raspberry leaf
- Chia seed
- Green apple
- Red grapes (raisins)
- Brown rice
- Fennel root
- Butter lettuce
- White cauliflower
- Water chestnuts
- Green onion
- Green beans
- English peas
I also had a partial serving of:
- Nutritional yeast
- Fennel frond
- Red bell pepper
- Green bell pepper