NATIONAL MOTH WEEK

TL 7-23 thru 7-31 NATIONAL MOTH WEEKMost of the moths in our part of the country are not as pretty as the photo on today’s banner.  Ours tend to be fuzzy little dark brown critters and nothing as pretty as their cousins the butterflies.  insect-626199_1920

This week we pay homage to the humble little moth, a creature that God made and apparently wanted to save and saw to it that a couple made it to Noah’s ark.  What are the differences between butterflies and moths?  moth-butterfly-differences

http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-butterflies-and-moths/

http://nationalmothweek.org/

Moths make up the order Lepidoptera, one of the major groups of insects. There are over 150,000 species of moths!  They live around the world, inhabiting forests, meadows, fields and human houses.  Since they destroy certain fruit and crops, they are classified as pests.  Moths can range in size from smaller than a pencil tip to bigger than a songbird.

Moths are usually active at night and rest during the day in a preferred wooded habitat.

So they aren’t just the drab little brown creatures that hang around our porch light and cling to our screens at night in the summertime.  Who knew?  I didn’t know there were folks out there interested in raising them.

The beautiful Luna moth does not have a mouth — so cannot eat — and will live only for about one week, with the singular purpose of mating!  There’s a small group of moths called “bird dropping” moths.  Yep – it’s because that’s what they look like when they are at rest.

Here’s a resource for anyone who wants to know more about moths.  It was written with the beginner in mind and is easy to understand.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/peterson-field-guide-to-moths-of-northeastern-north-america-david-beadle/1104512944

Did you know that moths like beer?  The Nature Conservancy writes, “Nothing attracts these guys like beer.  A tip from our scientists:  Mix a paste of beer, brown sugar and banana.  Paint it on some trees, kick back and relax, then check back in the evening with your flashlight to see the multitude of moths you’re sure to attract.”

 The next time you are outside and see the moths gathered by your porch light or clinging to your screen door, think about some of the fun facts you’ve learned here.  🙂

 

 

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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (2)

Here’s John Coyote singing one of my favorite Elvis songs – “Don’t”. 

Let’s begin today’s post with a trivia question:  In which film did Elvis Presley wear a beard?

Yes…  I said a BEARD.  Do you know the answer?  Not to worry – I didn’t know which one it was either.

On this day in 1968, Elvis began filming the movie CHARRO!  It was a bust – Elvis had a beard and only one of his songs was used in the film.  It was an all-around bummer.

Of course to die-hard Elvis fans (like me), anything he did was quite alright.  Beard, no beard – whatever.  He had music in his voice and I could listen to him sing forever.  His presence on the big screen was mesmerizing.

Although 1968 seems like a very long time ago, sometimes it seems like yesterday.  I used to hear my grandparents talk about how when they were young those were simpler, more innocent days.  I didn’t know what they meant at the time they were telling me that, but now – well, I would say that 1968 was a simpler, more innocent time than 2016.

In 1968 I was 9 years old.  It was a pre-computer age and our telephones were all landlines.  There were not many “R” rated movies showing at the theater, and we had another Elvis movie to look forward to.

Elvis played Jess Wade, a man falsely accused of having stolen a cannon from the Mexican revolutionary forces.  He tries to find the real culprits, a gang of criminals.

There were no F bombs and no scenes that were uncomfortable to watch in mixed company.  I miss simplicity and innocence in films.  No, this wasn’t his best movie, but I’d still rather watch it than some of the junk that they try to pass off as entertainment these days.

By 1968, Elvis had made 28 movies – and they were all starting to run together and the plots were beginning to seem very familiar.  It seemed to be a matter of what environment they decided to put Elvis in.  By the time movie number 29 was being filmed, they apparently thought the only thing they could do to change the routine of the plot was have Elvis grow a five-day shadow.

Real fans didn’t mind the familiarity of the plot – but even we were predicting with a fair degree of accuracy the twists and turns of the movies once there were so many of them.  I head Elvis say in an interview that he wished he had spent less time working on movies and more time working on new music.  He was a great talent to be sure and could obviously do either one – and whether you think anything he did was cheesy or not, I think it’s great that he left these gifts for us to enjoy.  🙂

 

 

 

WHEAT MONTH

TL 7-21 JULY IS WHEAT MONTH

July’s Grain of the Month is Wheat. Worldwide, wheat is the third most-produced grain, trailing only corn (maize) and rice. In the United States, wheat accounts for about two-thirds of all grains consumed. However, much of the wheat we eat is refined (missing its nutritious bran and germ) or enriched (refined grain with just five of the dozens of missing or reduced nutrients added back in). If you eat wheat products, make sure they are whole wheat.WHEAT

Wheat fields are so graceful and agile just before harvest.  They wave in the Kansas wind and are probably the most friendly welcoming committee our state has!  Our crops were good this year – yay!  Most of the state got to harvest before all the really heavy rains hit, so that translates into profits.CHILDHOOD PLAYGROUND

I think it’s funny that I live in Kansas – the bread basket of America – and don’t eat wheat products.  Weird, huh?  Well, I’d support the wheat farmers if I could.  I have a disease that won’t let me eat products made with wheat – so I have to make adjustments.  Even though I can’t eat wheat myself, I can still celebrate wheat month!

Here is a low carb bread recipe.  I say low carb, but it’s more than I usually have.  I suppose on a day when I’m just craving bread so much I would make this, but I’d really have to be desperate.

LOW CARB WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

Makes 16 slices

19g carbs per slice / 9g protein per slice

INGREDIENTS:

1 C. water

1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 C. medium rye flour

1 Tbs. honey

1 Tbs. molasses

2 Tbs. Vital Wheat Gluten

1 tsp. salt

3 tsp. yeast

1 Tbs. olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put all ingredients in bread machine on dough cycle.  When that’s complete, shape dough into a log and let rise for one hour.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

It is my goal to have single digit carb count per serving of any food, so 19g carbs for one slice of bread is a bit much for me.  Besides, I haven’t owned a bread maker since 1999.  😉

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)There are times in life when you have to eat cake – one of those times is your birthday, right?  Does that mean your blood glucose has to get out of whack?  Not long ago I would have said, “Yes – yes it does.”  Now I’ve found a great recipe for chocolate cake that serves two people – and takes just three minutes to whip up!  Perfect for a couple like my husband and myself.sacher-cake-1194524_1920

THREE MINUTE CHOCOLATE CAKE

Makes 2 servings – 9 carbs – 4 net carbs

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C. almond flour

1 Tbs. cocoa

1/4 tsp. baking powder

3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. Splenda

2 Tbs. butter, melted

1 Tbs. water

1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder and Splenda in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Stir in butter, water and egg.  Mix well.  Scrape batter down evenly with a rubber spatula.  Cover with plastic wrap and vent by cutting a small slit in the center.  Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute until set but still a little moist on top.  Cool slightly and serve warm with Reddi Whip.

If you are used to eating wedding cake with butter cream frosting, this will probably not taste wonderful to you, but if you’re like most of us and haven’t eaten wedding cake for years – and you avoid sweets as a general rule – you will notice that almond flour has a sort of “mealy” consistency, but if you can get past that, and appreciate that this cake will not cause your blood glucose to spike, you may find yourself yelling YEE-HAW because hey – this is the closest thing to chocolate cake you’ve eaten in a long time!

Almond flour is also much more expensive than all-purpose flour.  I rationalize spending the extra money by thinking of how much it cost to buy insulin every month.  My Levemir was costing about $400 a month.  A small sack of almond flour costs about $7.  I won’t eat too many things with it – but once in a while I want some pancakes or waffles – or some chocolate cake for a birthday celebration.

Isn’t it fantastic that we can eat a low carb diet that sometimes includes cocoa – and more to the point, know that our blood glucose will be happy?  I’m just so tickled with this discovery!

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)Would you think that most Asian food would be “legal” on a low carb diet?  Well, some of course is – the obvious choices are broccoli and beef or broccoli and chicken.  Pass on the rice, opting for more broccoli instead.  Once in a while it would be nice to indulge in some sweet and sour, wouldn’t it?  Oh – but that would give you a blood glucose spike like no other!  We’ve been so good so far – and we don’t want to blow it now.

Take heart – thanks to substitutions and some smart people who know how to create healthy alternative recipes, here is a recipe that will let you enjoy sweet and sour once again.sweet-and-sour-pork-1264563_1920

LOW CARB SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN OR PORK

Makes 4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Meat:

5-6 small boneless chicken breasts or equivalent amount of boneless pork loin, cut into bite-size pieces

2 large eggs, beaten

1 C. crushed pork rinds

1/2 C. almond flour

1/3 C. parmesan cheese

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. coconut oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:

1/2 C. Erythritol (I usually use Splenda – but it doesn’t work well in this recipe)

1/2 C. rice vinegar

4 Tbs. reduced sugar ketchup

1 Tbs. soy sauce

1 tsp. garlic powder

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put pork rinds, parmesan cheese ad almond flour in food processor.  Grind until it’s a meal like consistency.  Dip chicken or pork in egg then coat in the pork rind mixture.  Set on a plate.

Heat the oils in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add meat in small batches and cook.

Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan.  Whisk while it boils down.  If you want to add extra veggies like bell pepper, green beans, celery or a bit of pineapple, now’s the time to let it marinate with the sauce.

Once the meat is cooked, remove from skillet and continue cooking the rest of the batches.

Mix meat with sauce to coat.

I’m big on adding vegetables – so I add a bit of sliced red and green bell pepper and a few fresh green beans.  I’m not opposed to putting a chunk or two of pineapple with the sweet and sour pork.  I’m already living without the rice, I don’t want to do without just a bit of pineapple too.  😉

Enjoy!

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (14)The high protein low carbohydrate diet is going well, and I’m seeing results!  I’ve lost 13 pounds so far and I’m not finished yet.  Most importantly, my blood glucose has been very happy – ranging from 110-120 on average.

I knew I’d experience some cravings – I just didn’t know it would happen so quickly.  This week I have wanted PIZZA so much!  I started bargaining – saying if I had a small or personal size pizza, I could just eat everything off the crust and leave the crust.  I’m not sure I really would have done that (I want to think I would have).  As fate and God’s perfect timing would have it, my friend Deanna happened to post a recipe for a low carb pizza.  I was quick to snag it – and I think if I’m having pizza cravings, chances are others are having them too.  So I’m going to share this recipe with you today – you’re welcome!13592757_10207789953284942_1587270977619589536_n (2)Photo courtesy of Deanna Stalnaker

Low Carbohydrate Pizza

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 eggs

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp. chives

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. wet garlic, minced

2 C. mozzarella cheese

Toppings:

1/2 c. low-carb pizza sauce

1 C. mozzarella cheese

Pizza toppings of choice

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat together cream cheese and eggs until smooth.  Add cream, parmesan, chives, Italian seasoning and garlic.  Spray 9×13 pan with PAM.  Put 2 C. of mozzarella cheese in bottom of pan.  Pour egg mixture over cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread sauce over baked mixture.  Add toppings.  Cover with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Bake until bubbly and brown.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

A low carb diet is not difficult, but it does require some creativity at times.  Thankfully, there is positive support all over the internet, and I’m especially thankful for my friends who are there to help me every day with ideas, recipes and inspiration.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)I’m so thankful to God for guiding me in the right direction so I can manage my type 2 diabetes.  I’ve been committed to exercising 3 days a week and have embraced a low-carbohydrate, high protein diet.  I’ve lost 13 pounds so far and have not needed to take a shot of Levemir at night – for the most part.  My blood glucose has been consistently from 82-110 throughout the day.  I’m also thankful for the prayer support from friends on facebook and in the DOC.  Our facebook group, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor and a Pinch of Faith, has been so wonderful and supportive – thank you!

I want to share some of the recipes that have made my blood glucose happy.  I wanted to wait until I knew for sure that this would work before sharing.  I’ve seen positive results, so I’m going to post them here for you.

I love Mexican food!  I was so happy to find this recipe because even though it’s a salad, it is a taco salad – and I’ll be honest – I like that “taco” part!

LOW CARBOHYDRATE TACO SALAD

Makes 4 servings, (approx. 2 cups ea)

9g carbohydrates / 31g protein per serving

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1 pkg. low-sodium taco seasoning

3/4 C. water

2 Tbs. olive oil

4 C. shredded lettuce

1/2 C. chopped tomatoes (omit if you want to lower the carbs even more)

8 Tbs. sour cream

1 C. shredded cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

With olive oil, brown ground beef in skillet.  Add taco seasoning mix with water.  Simmer until reduced.

Mix with remaining ingredients.  You can layer them in a big clear bowl – but I’m not fancy – I just mix it all up and serve.

Sometimes I pick up a little bag of Nacho flavored Doritos from the checkout line at Walmart to crush up and put on top.  Yeah, it adds a little carb, but you can add just a few for flavor.  It’s a small bag and there’s 4 servings – don’t sweat it.  I also add about 1/2 Tbs. of Catalina salad dressing sometimes.  Yes – I know…  I know.  Shh…  don’t tell.

I did say LOW carb – not NO carb, right?  😉