Food on my mind

Jersey (little red cow) and German Holstein at the dairy farm.

Jersey (little red cow) and German Holstein at the dairy farm.

Granddaughter Joy changed jobs this summer, leaving the “green” farm that raises meat cattle and joining a dairy farm.  I don’t know if the idea of raising a calf to become a meat animal finally got to her, or the attraction of working with dairy cattle drew her to the latter, but I asked her once if it was hard to care for and raise an animal knowing it would be slaughtered for food.  I told her I didn’t think I could do it.

Joy intends to major in Dairy Science at Tech, but following graduation, she is thinking about attending veterinary school and becoming  large animal vet.  She joined the “cattle club” at her school and in midwinter she says they will travel to the Czech Republic to visit dairy farms.  Apparently, the Czechs have many heirloom cattle. (Kathy chimes in…so does Ireland!)


My family had chickens and I remember Daddy killing them when they no longer laid eggs.  I ate a lot of chicken as a child.  I eat much chicken and fish today, and very seldom eat beef.

Mostly I eschew beef because its bad for my digestive system.  I’m not virtuous, I just have a malfunctioning pyloric canal valve in my stomach which causes bile reflux issues (different from acid reflux associated with the pyloric antrum which also plagues me).  When we eat beef, I have less than 3 ounces and make sure it’s grass-fed and free range.

I never eat baby anything….no lamb, no veal, etc. I’ve caught, killed and cooked fish.  I’m careful about the kind of fish I eat, however,  I avoid those that are very bony, overfished or farm-raised (if possible).  Mostly we eat salmon or tilapia.

 In the 70s, I read Diet for a Small Planet and began feeding my kids and I various whole protein meals that included nuts, grains and seeds, plus lots of yogurt. They can probably remember some of the dishes I made with barley and yogurt. Did you know that a potato with milk gives you your 8 basic amino acids? Ditto a PBJ sandwich with milk.  European peasants survived on potatoes and milk for years.

I feel better when I stick to a healthy grain-based diet.  I got fat eating in too many fancy restaurants over the years when I traveled extensively.


When she remeasured my “knee bend” yesterday, and found a 115 degree angle, (smaller than it was last week), Nicole the PT told me my hamstring tendons and the ligaments around my knee were too tight. She then massaged them until I almost screamed…very painful.  Then she manipulated my patella (knee cap) and found it nice and loose. You heal quickly she said.  The lesson for me in this is to use the exercises VJ showed me which had loosened my knee nicely.

I was miserable all day yesterday, probably from consuming too much sugar the day before.  I have a terrible sweet tooth I fear.  When I bake I mostly use Splenda, honey, Stevia, Muscovado, molasses, agave syrup, or some other plant-based sweetener and never feel the dreadful after effects of pure refined cane sugar.  But as you may recall, I visited a patisserie on Wednesday.

Lately, I haven’t done much in the kitchen.  This morning, I took a box of gluten-free graham cracker crumbs from the pantry and set it on the kitchen counter.  This is to remind me a make a great low-fat cheesecake. The box is the first step.

18 thoughts on “Food on my mind

  1. I’m so glad you’re healing well, but sorry for the pain you have to endure. I hope you are pain free very, very soon.
    Whenever I consume meat, I do think about the animal that died so I could eat. We tend to eat more fish and mom uses a little hamburger in her cooking. She makes it stretch so we’re not eating too much.


  2. I do that same thing when I know I need to cook — put the box or flour or whatever out on the counter in the morning so it stares at me until I do something with it. Cooking doesn’t come as natural any more as it did when we had that houseful of kids … didn’t have time to think about it then, just did it. I did the Small Planet thing too and some of the stuff my kids remember about that stage is not flattering to my abilities with plant-based cooking.

    I never cook beef any more. He will order it in a restaurant once in a while, but I just don’t eat it. We (Bill and I now) do eat lean pork occasionally but mostly Fish and chicken and eggs and (probably too much) cheese. And I am trying to do a vegan meal once a week. I’m getting better at it. .. even in our camping kitchen.

    Oooh, thinking about that massage makes my knee hurt for you in sympathy … and I’ve never even had that surgery. Ouch. I’m so sorry. But I bet it works. When Bill smashed his foot to pieces (well, afterwards, when he was recovering) he said his PT was the sweetest-looking sadist he’d ever met. (But he did what she told him to do like a good boy).


  3. We found a nice breakfast place you can comfortably eat at. Nope, I was fed all those whole grains, lived in an oat field, and mother bought mutton. Did I ever tell you I was allergic to all of the above. LOL


  4. Sounds like good progress with your knee even with the stiffness, that’s good news.

    I still have my 70’s copy of “Diet for a Small Planet.” I’m a slow learner I fear; I don’t eat beef anymore, I can’t digest it anymore either. A little chicken and a little fish. I am learning how to cook and get protein from nuts and beans and such and work my way out of the meat business entirely.


  5. I wish your granddaughter well, whatever she decides to do! Sorry for the painful knee massage. It’ll keep getting better. Refined sugar is about the worst thing introduced to our diet. It does indeed cause cravings and is addictive. I wage this battle all the time with my sweet tooth!


  6. It always amazes me how certain foods wreak havoc on my stomach and yet I don’t stop eating them !!! Sounds like your granddaughter will have an interesting future…good luck to her.


  7. Your granddaughter sounds like she is in for a very interesting career. I also hope the pain goes away soon but I think your attitude is wonderful. My niece’s husband has the same kind of problem when eating meat so is a vegetarian. He is very health conscious. We used to eat out a lot also and my weight ran away with me. Now we are not eating out as much and it has helped me immensely with my diet. I am also trying to get us both into a better and healthier eating regime. We have been heading in the right direction for some time now and it is an ongoing journey. It is hot out but I found a great mushroom soup recipe without cream and we just had it for lunch. It was wonderful, very tasty but more importantly very healthy. I will be posting it sometime in the future.


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