Peore es Nada

That’s a Spanish phrase that has two translations: “anything is better” or “nothing is worse.” I don’t know if I spelled it correctly and apologies if I didn’t. 

In this case, let us contemplate the implications pertaining to low carb/low glycemic diets and gluten free products. Perhaps in those cases, the question is one of “better than nothing.” There is a lot of “nothing is worse.” 

I’ve tried several breads that were dry and crumbly. Right now, I’m avoiding desserts just to remove the stress of living with temptation. The rice pastas have been pretty good, but one fell apart when I cooked it according to the package directions. The good news is that a Parmesan covers a lot of errors. 

One gluten-free bread that I found at Costco was pretty good. It has sunflower seeds on top, toasts pretty well, and doesn’t crumble if you look at it sideways. I also made almond bread from nut butter.( only subbing almond butter for the cashew butter.)  The recipe sounded as if there was no way in this world or the next that it was going to work, but I thought, “what the heck?” and tried it.  It was a wee bit on the dry side, but fine for sweet or savory applications.

Pizza I can’t live without. Many of the low carb and or gluten free crusts are impossible to handle, taste like cardboard, or both. I found a good one here: It tastes nothing like cauliflower. I promise. I throw in some chopped garlic cloves with the cauliflower while cooking and mix the whole schmeer in the food processor. It is good. I could see making this as smaller flatbreads and using for wraps, even. 

The other issue with gluten free food is cost. The rice pasta isn’t bad, but some of the others such as an almond-flour one that I saw the other day are through the roof ($9 for nine ounces; REALLY?). I’d rather do a plate of wheat pasta once a week or so than pay that kind of money. 

Experiment; use coupons; ask. It’s the only way that you’ll find out if nothing is worse of if anything is better.



Bringing Out the Low-Glycemic/Gluten Free Heavy Artillery

This morning’s walk was one of the most gawd-awful ones taken in my dog ownership career. Oakley and I went to the forest preserve located on the major east-west road by the house. Not such a good idea when one wonders if the neighbors’ cows will fly through the yard. 

In advance of an approaching system, the wind had kicked up to an alleged 22 miles per hour with gusts up to 35. More like sustained 35 and gusts of Katrina level. The road runs through several open fields, and snow had blown over it, made it look and feel like a blizzard. Still, I thought, we both need to walk, so off we went.

I didn’t know which circle of hell awaited us until we arrived in the parking lot. The trail was half-snowed in, and tricky to walk on in cross trainers, especially when Oakley kept trying to protect me from the wind by sitting and planting himself or cutting in front of me to stop us from walking into it. For a few moments, I wondered how I’d ended up on the beach near campus in Marquette, Michigan. The 50 mph headwinds that blast from Canada and gather steam over Lake Superior feel very much like the ones that numbed me into survival mode today, the ones that I deliberately ran into screaming my head off when the stress of school weighed me down and I wanted to shut down my mind for a few moments for the sake of clarity. 

After reassuring Oaks that I had it and that I knew what we were doing, sort of, in a gooey tone, my survival instincts took us back to the car and picked our way home with out incident. Hubby was on a break, and made me tea to help me thaw out. The smokiness of lapsang souchong makes everything seem warmer. I made soup for him after my brain’s higher functions melted.

This weather calls for some serious comfort food. I went shopping yesterday, so save for a couple of incidentals, we are set for this round of growth experiences. I found a recipe for shepherd’s pie with cauliflower standing in for the potatoes. That will be for dinner tonight. 

This is a good time to experiment with low glycemic variations on dishes that ward off the cold. I’ve seen ones that use sweet potato as a substitute for higher glycemic ingredients (sweet potato lasagne fascinates and repels me simultaneously), but the ones  starring cauliflower resonate with me in a more positive way. Likely because of the color and texture, and they lack the note of desperation sung by sweet potatoes in savory applications. They go well with Indian and Thai curries as a stand in for rice, but I can’t imagine it as a substitute for pasta. 

Pasta or no, we need comfort on days like this. So alternative comforts, combined with good music and something on Netflix tonight we shall have.


Change as the Constant

So I go for my third acupuncture treatment this afternoon. If anyone had ever told me that sitting for up to 45 minutes with needles inserted in my wrists, ankles, knees, ears, and the top of my head was one of the most relaxing things I’d ever do, I would have wondered about them. 

So far, I’m feeling a lot more pulled together. The brain fog has dissipated, finally. The only disappointment was that the needle at the crown of my head didn’t pull in any signals from Mars. 

The other recommendation: relegate grain and dairy to occasional treat status. When the acupuncturist recommended that, I had the urge to roll into a ball. The needles in my feet and ankles precluded that. 

So I quietly dealt with it. 

Me: OMGOMGOMG I have to give up grains and dairy!! 

Inner wisdom: You can still have them as treats.

Me: I can’t have cheese! What about milk in my tea?

Inner wisdom: You can still have nuts, avocado, and olives in your salads. There are a lot of milk alternatives that will be pretty tasty. You can find treats that fit your needs on the web.

Me: BUT–

Inner wisdom: Think about your friends who have a lot of restrictions. They’ve found yummy stuff. So will you.

Me: BUT–


Sometimes, you just need to grab your own shoulders and get back to reality.

In this case, I found some teas that pair well with almond and coconut milk. I fudged on the grain-free recommendations with some gluten-free crackers. And I found some macaroons without flour in them. Yum. 

I also fudged with a small amount of feta in a salad. Not to be done every day, but there were no adverse consequences. 

In addition to the brain fog finally dissipating, I haven’t had the bloating that was sometimes so bad that I was relegated to my yoga pants for comfort. 

Sometimes, change isn’t such a bad thing after all.