Dana's blog

Another "Health Nut" Dies Young

The death of Monkee Davy Jones is a melancholy thing for this Baby Boomer. Davy was my first celebrity crush; I was mad for him. I plastered my room with pin-ups from Sixteen and Tiger Beat magazines. My sister and I watched every episode of The Monkees, played their albums endlessly while singing along, pretending to be onstage. For me, before there was Bobby Sherman, there was Davy Jones. (All the dinosaurs are nodding their heads re Bobby. All of the youngsters are thinking "Who?")

You Don't Have To Buy Cookies To Support The Girl Scouts

I admit this is kinda late; the Girl Scouts have been hanging out in the front of my local grocery stores for the past week or two. Still, it bears repeating, since this happens every year:

I'm a big fan of the Girl Scouts. I was a Scout from Brownies through Cadets. My mom was my leader for the vast majority of that time. Have a thousand good memories from Scouting.

So Far, So Good

So I've been working since November on a paleo diet cookbook. It's the hardest book I've done so far, because of the additional restrictions on ingredients, especially no dairy, and no artificial sweeteners. Too, it's just a LOT of recipes in a very short time; I confess I'm not at all sure I'll make it by deadline.

This is not "food safety."

Like the dinosaur I am, I have a seven-day subscription to the dead-tree edition of the local paper. Yes, it's available online, but the paper version has stuff the e-version does not, including the funnies. I mean, what's the point of a morning paper without the funnies?

Another thing the dead-tree edition has is inserts. Since Wednesday is the day the food section of the paper comes out, we also get, once a month, a free magazine called "Dash," claiming to give us "Simple, Fast, Delicious" recipes. Whatever, I like recipes, so I flip through it.

Go Like The TV Show!

Here's the Facebook page for the low carb cooking and health advice show that Dana and Dr. Jim Carlson hope will find a network home. Please, go like it! Share it, too. The more people like it, the better our chances of getting picked up, and there being a low carb show on your television!

Paleo Hot Chocolate Recipe!

Hot Chocolate

This is very rich and thick. You could add another 1/2 cup of water and still have a creamy consistency. We just like it this way. This would make a great fat fast food, by the way.

13 1/2 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
8 drops chocolate liquid stevia
8 drops vanilla liquid stevia
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Simply combine everything in a heavy bottomed saucepan, over low heat, and stir well. Heat through, and serve.

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Hmmm. New Year's Resolutions. I feel like I should write about them, since it is, after all, the 2nd of January. (I confess to slarging about all day on New Years Day.) So here goes:

The Annual Alcohol Article

As I write this, it is December 30th, 2011, and tomorrow is the biggest party night of the year. If I don't write my annual article about alcohol today, I'll just have to skip it till next year -- and think up something else to write about. So here goes:

Dana Watches TV Again

Have you noticed the new ads for Activia? I've written about this stuff before , pointing out that their claims about "bifidus regularis" in no way mean that theirs is the only yogurt that has a beneficial effect on digestion, or even that theirs is the only yogurt that contains that particular strain of bifidobacteria.

Just In Time for Christmas: Gingersnaps!

Crisp and gingery-cinnamony, these cookies are nothing short of extraordinary.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup Splenda
1/4 cup sugar alcohol (I'd use erythritol now, but I originally used maltitol)
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (or dark molasses)
1 egg
1 cup almond meal
1 cup vanilla whey protein powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

What I've Eaten Way Too Much of Today

Utterly Addictive Pumpkin Seeds

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or other Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
2/3 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 cups squash kernels (shelled pumpkin seeds are, indeed, squash kernels.)

Set oven to 250. Put the coconut oil in a roasting pan, and put it in the oven to melt as the oven heats.

A Thanksgiving Weekend Observation

It occurred to me, as I was stashing away the various leftovers last night, that there's a really cool thing about Thanksgiving dinner traditions, one that I really think is special to Thanksgiving: So much of what makes Thanksgiving dinner special is the vegetables. Sweet potatoes and green beans seem to be the most canonical, but in general it seems that people prepare more vegetable side dishes, and take more care with them, for Thanksgiving than for any other meal of the year.

At 9:30 The Night Before Thanksgiving

I thought I'd post my menu for tomorrow -- and I'm having 5-count-'em-5 last minute guests! (FUN!)

Roast turkey with giblet gravy, thickened with xanthan
Apple-Walnut Dressing (see my most recent podcast transcript at Dana's Low Carb For Life.com)
Green Beans Almandine
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Mashed Rutabaga (in the slow cooker as I keyboard this -- rutabaga takes a heap of cooking to get soft.)
Pumpkin Pie with a Pecan Praline Crust
Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving Planning

The hardest thing about writing -- well, the hardest thing about writing is getting one's act together to sit down and do it. Or, as the old joke goes, the hardest part of writing is application -- applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. And now that we all write on internet-connected computers instead of typewriters (Children, a typewriter was an abysmally stupid word processor with no cut-and-paste, no "undo," no delete, and no multiple copy capability.

Despicable. Diabolical. Beyond Homicidal.

My head is about to explode. Today, at the American Heart Association conference, a panel from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute will be recommending cholesterol testing for children as young as 9. The reason? Screening more than 20,000 fifth graders turned up a bunch of undiagnosed cases of high cholesterol. Since high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease -- more on this in a moment -- obviously we have to catch this early! We have to intervene! We have to do it for the chiiiilllldreeeen!

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