The Way: Be Free

This is a blog I am writing to document my learning on the ways of fighting free radical damage specifically in the area of the mind. Having no formal medical training I am simply using information available to us all. In so doing I hope to further the advancement in the ways of prevention for free radical diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

A bit of my story. Memory science has always peaked my interest. Back in the eighties when very little was known about Alzheimer’s type dementia it was fascinating to me what Joan Minnenger had to say about the disease in her 1984 book Total Recall (one of the most popular books on memory of the time). She identified a loss of the substance choline from the brain in AD patients, many years before it was known for certain that the real effect of AD is to erode the very acetylcholine that is essential for neuron functioning.

In 2002 my father died with an acute form of AD, brought on by trauma to his brain.  The last time I saw him was 2001 at his care facility in San Bernadino, a long trip from my home in Northern Sonoma County. At this time my interest again was active in studying AD. Particularly because this acute form my dad suffered from is yet another realm of unknown within the AD spectrum. Still today there isn’t a clear understanding of how trauma affects the brain differently than non-trauma AD cases.

Now my mother is suffering from the Late Onset form of AD (LOAD) and I am her caretaker. My interest is reinvigorated to the max – so much so I need a place to write down what I’m learning – that’s where this blog comes in. With the hope that others may appreciate my task.

My mission is akin to many others certainly- although I do believe my task is limited by a force greater than Nature. Many people who encounter AD do so when their intellect has failed to the extent of eliminating their rational for understanding it. Perhaps this is by subconscious choice in some cases. My mom is a farm girl born and bred with a stubbornness that belongs in Ireland; though she’s not Irish she’s the most strong willed person I know.

What this means for her, taking pills, is so unreliable a way to medicate that it has to be basically ruled out. There’s no way to convince her that a daily regiment is necessary, nor will she take them on anybodies (including doctors) say so. She takes what she wants to take of normal good vitamins and supplements, I might get in one or two of what she really needs beyond that, but no more. Those are the parameters I have to work within. The ironic thing is that my mother has always had the ability to eat: anything. Raising five kids will do that to you apparently. So you will see on this blog how I have crafted food as her medication. It isn’t the most complete – but it is The Way – that makes it the best and it is effective.

I am a believer in Natural plant based medications only for this disease, all the best remedies for AD come from Nature. More than just a metaphor, on this blog you will find that flower power has a keen healing role against AD.

The pharmaceutical industry is so corrupt it cannot help many really. But in this case specifically you will see example of example of cases where drugs are being debunked (after billions in sales). Generic forms coming out at ten times the original strength to a massive protest from many consumer groups (because the side-effects from even the original dosage have not been completely identified). So if you feel like me that BigPharma can go take a flying leap and you want a totally alternative way to care for a person with AD, read on.

Most of you reading this know my mother Linda, you may know that her story has been fraught with loss, loss she’d just assume forget. There’s plenty of reasons in that loss, along with the technical reasons, for AD. She is not reading this beyond what I might show her of it.

I truly encourage people to add comments, if you do leave me a comment with a message to give to her I will, or if you want to make contact with her I will email you and try to arrange that as she doesn’t drive. I am a big believer in the concept in Zen Buddhism known as The Way, every post I put up here has some spiritual significances. You will get many opinions, many heartfelt pleas and a lot of Natural Medicine.

Please note as of March 2013 Linda’s phone has been disconnected. The number is now mine which is listed, otherwise just leave a comment below and I will email it to you.  Let me know ahead of time and I can likely make it happen.

The Way: Proof

They say progress never comes without a great price, even writing this line a week ago has ushered more price, than the few serious injuries I had to heal to get to writing this. Another flu bug, ear infection, beaten, for both Linda and I, quite something to get through it over the course of 5 days. This time I had the addition of juniper berries to battle the flu, added to my veggie bread, post coming soon. Along with the staple pomegranate vinegar, star anise, thyme, asafoetida, garlic, onions. It is truly amazing how effective these spices can be. I drink the pomegranate vinegar daily with water and lemon, in a very small concentration, increased in times when there’s crud around. Also adding a star anise pod to that mix makes a very potent medicine. I would bet that a straight marinade of star anise and pomegranate vinegar is more powerful than any commercial flu remedy. Go further with a little thyme, juniper berries, garlic, onions, in the vinegar to make a great flu preventive, and a delicious salad dressing.

Now, onto the proof of symptom reversal. There’s one unanimous craving I’ve seen and read about with AD: sugar. It’s entirely logical that the missing ability to process glucose would make the body crave sugar, like the addict to the drug, it’s almost instinctual to know, to want that response from sugar. However, we also know that sugar does nothing but more damage as it just increases the addiction. I use the example of seeing my dad – fully debilitated – by the disease, when we brought him a birthday cake. Having never been one to like sugary foods, he devoured half of it just sitting there. If we had asked him what it was he wanted in that cake he wouldn’t have been able to even fathom the sugar.

Linda however has much more reticence of sugar, and we have a minuscule amount of sucrose sugar in our diet. If I give her something like a sweet date, or juice, she very much recognizes the sugar and will remark that it’s “very sweet.” That in itself is not remarkable, she’s not now and may never not be as bad as my dad was with his MTBI brain trauma, accelerated AD.

So the proof that her sugar craving is not absolute, in this case, is in the peanut butter. The price for peanut butter has limited my buying it for one thing, when I do it’s unsalted, only significant in that salt can be a craving as well obviously. So I did get the conventional TJ’s peanut butter again of late because it really does make a nice addition to things like yams, peanut butter and yam can be a meal. Now with this peanut butter in the fridge Linda was absolutely smitten with it. Extolling it with the highest praises, pulling it out herself to just eat it by the spoonful. Ironically PB is not bad at all in terms of carbs and sugars, the main problems with AD, obviously there’s reason to limit that intake somewhat for fats, so I do. The desire for this PB is so intense that she’s gone to the lengths of taking it out of the fridge and burying it elsewhere, where neither of us can find it (such is the case now but the PB was one a quite old one I found unopened). Before this jar I bought a tub of fresh grind mixed nut butter from Andy’s. Unlabeled on that tub was the presence of honey, in honey roasted peanuts. I noticed that extra sweetness right off, and as we went through the tub it became more obvious. To my taste it was delicious, I actually found it quite addicting, for the honey sweetness. I helped myself to it as I thought that Linda would find this mix so addicting as to crave it for the sugar.

What I found was quite the opposite, she liked the sweet mixed butter, but clearly not nearly as much as the unsweetened, unsalted. Clearly not as much as even I felt the craving. She wasn’t willing to pull it out of the fridge, didn’t covet it, didn’t laud it with nearly as many compliments. I was truly flabbergasted by this, tasting something addictively sweet to me, just about every example of such in cookies and candy that Linda has had, she’s been the same, but not this. She wants the raw protein rich peanut butter more. Noteworthy that although Linda does love these cookies, she won’t go so far as hunting them down and coveting them, so she doesn’t have the pure addiction.

Now the why, my theory on the coconut oil replacement, detailed previously on the blog, has been that if it supplants the glucose in the brain, then it should decrease the sugar, glucose craving, potentially in favor of the healthy protein want. Make no mistake that sugar craving is one of the worst facets of dealing with AD, it leads to mood instability, depression, lust, confusion, a lot of issues. The fact that Linda doesn’t have this craving for sugar over protein – now proven – is a huge piece of progress for us. It’s so palpable I would venture to say there was a time in the past where the sweeter nut butter mix would’ve been the preferred choice, now it’s not, because of the coconut oil.

One might even confer from this, that the craving for sugar, over protein, could be a major decline in the overall health and well being of the typical AD sufferer. If the person literally forgets about the need for protein in favor of the lust for sugar, it’s logical that could lead to major problems. Linda on the other hand eats very well, balanced meals, even getting a good amount of veggies in the bread, and that is where we leave off here, to be continued soon!

The Way: Rad Discovery

I am a fruit junkie, self confessed, through and through. I can eat myself way over what’s a good fructose limit of around 25g in a heartbeat if I don’t watch it. But here’s a very interesting factoid: coffee detoxes the liver of fructose, which is where the actual problem occurs, in the liver.

Ah, so it’s a little later in the evening, I’m still craving that sweet fruit, usually an apple. Tonight there was some spiced coffee (see the last post) left over. So I had my apple with the coffee and it was fantastic. Basically I drank the coffee first and then eat the apple.

Normally I never have caffeine with food as it does degrade the value you get from it but I had the thought in this case that the fructose detox might actually add to the flavor of the apple and indeed it did. For that much flavor increase I can’t believe there’s harm in it.

The Way: Spiced Coffee

Just a quick note to say a ton has happened including perfecting the veggie breads… wait for it! But have been trying cardamom in my coffee and it’s amazing, like an orange liqueur. So this gets me thinking, Linda’s biggest problem with coffee these days is the lack of sugar, it’s just defeatist to put sugar in it, though chocolate I will. But with spices, I could grind fennel seeds, one of the best for AD, and they are a delicious sweetener, so tomorrow she’ll have cardamom, fennel, coconut oil coffee! Back soon with more on the veggie breads.

The Way: Drum Good Vibrations

There is breaking news today that a certain type of ultra sound device is capable of breaking up the amyloid beta plaques in the brain. This could be a huge breakthrough in technology as INH has reported. I for one am inclined to believe it based on the evidence of how therapeutic music is for a person with AD. I can now go further in that statement to say the reaction to good music live is even more palpable.

At the show I produced in Santa Rosa there was a very poignant moment when I clasped a hand with Linda, my mother, and we felt the power of the young lady who was singing on the stage. We hadn’t exchanged that much camaraderie simply for the love, music in this case, in some time.

So as my style is constantly evolving with instruments I’ve come to realize I can wield my dumbek drum and the tenor banjo and play them both at the same time, quite something, that will be a lot more focus on my playing this way in the next show. Perhaps the reason can be seen tonight as I decided to test the ultra sound theory by playing in the dining room with the drum and banjo, much louder than the attic studio.

A remarkable thing happened as she started into the wall banging (with a plastic mop handle) and delusional talking. At one point I came to her room and asked her if she wanted me to go up to the attic. Instead she wanted me to come closer into her room and play, to spook the demons as it were. My hands are pretty skilled at manipulating the drum heads for analgesic purpose, I am currently remedying a very sore back from riding my bike too hard and straining the muscle. Playing this way is amazingly rehabilitating and quite lovely musically too. I am able to keep a melody and the drums at the same time which puts music out into the etherial dimension where a lot of things can happen at the same time.

So for a good many minutes I played the drums while she lay in bed until there was a calm brought about – that is my skill with the drum – until the tension level came back, all the way down from her delusions and pretty soon she was up and talking about happy memories. I first learned the humility in drumming it takes to issue a calm while working with a young man, severely disabled, mentally and physically, Jon was his name.

At 18 it was my fortune to be commissioned to work with this young man at his home near mine, in his garage. I had a real Djembe from the King’s carvers in Ghana, bought from my teacher, Kwaku Daddy, I brought a conga drum on a stand. It would become Jon’s quest to stand on a little stool, pound on the skin of the drum without hurting his hands, and make the sound, bass and open. During the first sessions Jon would get so frustrated he’d run back and slam his body full force into the house door from the garage, it was then I learned how to play in a super calm tone. As we progressed Jon progressed as a drummer. The exuberance in the moment he first learned to make true tones, enlightenment, for him, without question. For me it was a lesson in hubris, humility, and issuing calm with drum strokes, that means each finger. Each finger carries a weight with a drum and every stroke can change a person’s mind. I’m proud and so happy to say Jon is still alive and drumming today. This is now my quest with Linda, it is akin.

It’s no surprise to me how powerful the deep resonance of my dumbek drum is, near deaf people have told me they can feel the vibrations from that drum and hear it that way. It’s a similar process with Linda, it’s like getting through the obstacle of the surface conscious perception into the deeper area that hears and appreciates the music, calming the brain, this is proven. I will continue this playing for awhile into the future and observe how these night terror delusions might be tamed this way.

The Way: Rev-a-fucking-lation

Sorry for the complete loss of all pretense, typing this offline helps with such, but the coolest fucking thing ever happened tonight that must be shared. Someone, brought a retched sickness, flu likely, into our house. Having the go-to pomegranate vinegar ready to spring into action it was immediately in my drinking glass straight, probably more than a quarter cup down the hatch. The vinegar also helps to ascertain whether it’s head sickness or below, the pomegranate aids with the flu, the vinegar with the head colds, it stops head colds, period. As there was no nasal congestion I ascertained this was flu.

Before this sickness has manifested itself in Linda as a strongly negative delusion with the focus of her derision on me. As in tonight, “you stole…” Recognizing the bug as the culprit this time, the trap was sprung. Linda did her customary catatonic plunge, as she most often does to defeat sickness, quite successfully in fact, similarly if she’s bent on a delusion against me.

It had been a very warm day so the fire was down to just coals, this is a good way to uninvite the pestilent virus, allowing the heat to diminish in the house to the point where it seems it will get cold. With Linda in bed I got it going again, before it was even in flames there was strong smelling, Palo Santo wood, and Sage with Juniper burning, Juniper being a flu fighter. Smudging with that smoke is truly cleansing. I also use a golden seal and myrrh salve around the mouth nose and eyes.

Then I began to think about the flu fighting food that might be made up, here’s where things get a bit cosmic. See there was an ancient (best by 2008) bottle of horseradish mustard in the fridge, horseradish another flu fighter, organic, nothing but good ingredients including turmeric, in the days before things with just good ingredients that have nothing to do with grain would even think to print a “gluten free” label on it. Of course it was fine, stirred up and the liquid mixed back in without separation, indicating it was okay, separation would mean a new liquid had formed with bacteria and that would not be okay.

Part of the revelations of today involve the food I made for breakfast, finally hitting on an idea to mince veggies in a processor and then work them into food that way. So this morning it was a massive minced kale, onion, and carrot, chopped spinach and tomato, sort of an egg frittata/quiche, the latter being more my goal as it was thickened with corn meal. With smoked salmon, and some cheese, turmeric, fennel, coriander, black cumin, and pepper. It baked on the woodstove quite well, I would’ve needed a lot more eggs to get it to set like quiche, but it’s a much heartier veggie dish and quite tasty. I will flesh this idea out in future meals and try to get a set quiche.

Fast forward to dinner hour tonight a little later 7 O’clock, a very light, sometimes nonexistent, meal for us. For Linda it had already been two meals of the breakfast, a better amount of green veggies overall than most days now.  But I needed some food quick as she bolted up from the bed – to my surprise completely oppositely pleasant in her demeanor toward me – seemingly hungry and I immediately got her juice (apple juice and water with Natures Answer resveratrol on the supplements list) and added pomegranate vinegar, as much as she’ll drink, which is a low concentration, but ever little bit helps. Reenter the horseradish mustard, plus fresh pomegranate seeds, the big time flu fighter star anise, added an egg and, magic! A flu fighting, healing dinner was served, she eat a good portion and drank the same.

My meal was different, a new idea, lentils in a sauce made with minced beat greens and chard, chopped tomato, prunes a lot of spinach… to which the same flu fighters were added, delicious is that dish, by the way, lentils floating in the sauce. Tonight I added a little mango. An entirely separate issue which everyone should be aware of is a fructose limit (scroll to the bottom of the page for a chart of common fruit sugar totals) on the day, this will get a separate blog post as counting sugars this way has become a daily observation for me for sometime now.

What I’ve figured out is that I can tell when my fruit eating is close to the ~25g limit, most days I get at least six servings, but it’s hard to get more that is very true. Dried prunes are ideal and very necessary, they have 1.2g of fructose each, about 8 makes a half cup, which doubled for the dry equals 2 servings of fruit. Any fruit that can give you 1 cup, 2 servings in 10g of sugar is worth it basically. Anyway, in the course of my meal tonight I came to the end and had a few pieces of cut up mango and two prunes left. I knew only one of those three fruit pieces could be eaten without going over my limit, so just one prune went down the hatch!

Now the fire’s a purring, and if Linda doesn’t get up until 2 O’clock tomorrow afternoon it’s okay. If she has an incontinent incident, it’s okay again, she needs a shower anyway and this is enough reason to make it happen, so c’est la vie. This is, The Way, I speak of in every one of these posts, it truly is as we are intended to be, living lives with the hands shaping the way we encounter what is given within our lives.

The Way: Superfood quick!

So I realize one thing that would be very useful to a lot of people is having a quick way to get turmeric and coconut oil in a tasty dish. For my purpose, tempeh has become this very dish.

Unlike tofu, tempeh is fermented and has a sticky exterior, perfect for coating with turmeric. You can slab it or break it up into bits. Then you want to flour the tempeh with turmeric. You can use a dish for this flouring over again so if you have a cover for it then you can just reuse the excess turmeric.

Now there’s really two ways I do it. Sometimes it’s starts with stir-frying veggies like chard and kale, onions, carrots, then the tempeh comes last, usually I break it up into little bits this way and it stir fries easily. You can also stir-fry quicker cook veggies in with the tempeh like dandelion greens, spinach, tomato.

Alternatively you can use it in slabs and stack things on top of it, chard, dandelions are very good. The slabs coat just as easily as the bits and you can get a fair amount of turmeric to stick to it.

Then it’s into the pan with coconut oil and plenty of it, basically you can go by adding enough oil to soak the tempeh – that will take a lot – and then a bit more oil to keep the pan greased. Even a quarter cup of turmeric will take close to a cup of coconut oil.

Last night I made just such a quick meal, without even any other vegetables. Just broken up bits of tempeh with turmeric and coconut oil, a little tomato added at the end, about 5 mins total cook time. A couple tortillas, little cheese, then the tempeh and finally some fresh lettuce and avocado.

With the slabs of tempeh you can really get them crispy and they’ll take a lot of heat, either way you can do this with the heat on high as it’s very tough to burn.

Something interesting aside I’ve found of late, chopping lettuce fine and stuffing it into the taco makes Linda enjoy eating it just fine, and I can get a fair bit into a taco this way.

The Way: A Day

Worthy to talk some about just what a day is normally like with Linda. The morning is truly nice almost every day now. This is better than even times recently when a “bad day” would start in the morning. Coconut oil — the real miracle food — is abundant in the morning. Breakfast is full of it, coffee is full of it, the coffee lasts all day so that’s reinforcement. Normally her breakfast is between 10-11 so it adjusts the food schedule to put lunch from 2-4, sometimes that morphs into dinner, a two meal day is fine as long as there’s enough veggies, a constant issue.

The issue of veggies has caused me to change my staple breakfast food to carrot, the pulp from juice in this case, often incorporating veggie greens of sort, along with some oats and millet. All in all it’s a lot less carbs to use the carrot, and obviously, more vegetable matter.  Just imagine a carrot loaf of sort thickened with cornmeal, cooked in the dutch oven in coconut oil, over the woodstove.

Ah the music, we’ve settled on the XM channel we really like, it’s all 40’s big band and jazz. Seeing Alive Inside just confirms what I’ve been seeing with that music. Here’s one way it’s just incredible, miraculous, really, she believes the music entire system was given to her by her mother. She had them stashed in the attic, according to her story many have now heard, it was just “magic, a miracle, that she found them again.” Now here’s the ironic truth, the music, did come from her mother, in the same intrinsic way we learn to appreciate music in the formation of the brain stem in the womb, as Alive Inside points out. So in the way that the music is truth to her, so true is it that the music came from her mother.

That blows my mind every day. As did the Giants winning the world series, her faith in them, unfathomable how deep that went.

Now, onto mid-day, this is the tough part, delusions begin to manifest, her mood gets more surly. There’s no sugar coating, or real food remedy I’ve found yet, although I have an idea with popcorn, seasoned with turmeric and coconut oil, perhaps a little saffron… Nevertheless her delusions often keep her roaming, rather than sedentary, she moves enough to get a fair amount of exercise which is so critical. That is what keeps me from using the TV to distract, where I will in the evening. There are visitors in the mid-day often enough to keep her seeing some friends. More would be ideal, it could make things a lot better, if she were to have a steady discourse with friends. She is still quite gregarious and upbeat in general, especially if people aren’t put off by her delusions. The best philosophy with those delusions are to try to divert her train of thought to something more immediate, like the dog (soon to be another cat), food, anything can distract her from such delusions.

Dinner is so different for her by day it’s rarely the same. We’ve gotten down to making dinner a small meal by comparison to breakfast and lunch. I’m often content with salad after for instance an oat bread and lentil taco. For her salad is a no go basically. Part of it is her dislike of the cold veggies. As in tonight she had kelp in the chicken soup and scarfed it down, interestingly, won’t drink the liquid, but a bit of cut up apple in the juice with chicken, done. However she might eat the veggies they have to be warmed, even lettuce on top of a hot lentil taco.

The evening, interestingly, is dominated by sports. That the Giants won the World Series is such a boon for the games we have recorded as to keep them on an endless loop essentially. Tonight we watched the Lincecum no-no from June, the start that ultimately started the Giants back on the road to being champions. Otherwise the Warriors provide a nice bridge to next baseball season, and of course Sunday football.

The later evening gets rougher however, delusions get rampant. One mitigation has been me turning the attic into a studio, playing often late into the night. Some nights there’s no solution, she roams, presumably all night.

All, in, all, is really is better now. Looking back, contrary to even years ago, now months ago, now just about every day starts well, and most are positive by the end. It’s a gravely serious task, maintaining the food and the coconut oil is life force for her, literally, as I detailed in the previous posts. Making every day better is a certainty, but making it good is sometimes more than I can do.

The Way: Meat Better Than Carbs

Long day cooking and cleaning yesterday – gave me a chance to think about the food dishes going forward – also listened to a show on KPFA. This ND doctor Fife has some interesting ideas and a big, 500+ page book too. Figured out for bigger health related books it’s very helpful to be able to read them on the computer, fortunately Kindle is compatible with retina display Macs now and you can read them with the app. This meant staying up late – to gain freedom from the satellite usage limits – downloaded the app and bought the book.

So this doctor is right up my alley in that he recommends lessening the carbs, increasing the coconut oil, veggies and meats. Linda often exclaims with the want for meat, in the kind of irrational manner which suggests she needs it more than wants it. We have increased the overall meat in the diet, though I still shy away from red meats for the most part, as they come with their own problems. The real enlightenment is on the carbs though.

A real miracle that’s happened of late is Oat Bread, creation borne from the oats themselves detailed a post back. This flat pan bread is actually less carbs than the oats plain, with the addition of plantains and carrot pulp (from juice), sometimes zucchini squash as well. A little bit more grains ground, oats and corn meal. These breads make up breakfast for about 5 days after the oats themselves for about that many days. What’s happened with this is a strict lessening in Linda’s want for carbs in general, and it ushers in an opportunity to get more veggies into her diet. In other words she’s eating a lesser amount of the oats or bread in the morning for breakfast, and then able to switch throughout the day to other more vegetable based dishes. The oats have a certain vegetable component as well with beets, carrots and often beet greens too, so she’s already had some.

Linda’s intake of fresh lettuce type salads is really too small to be impactful, even when it’s smoked salmon and salad there’s still a small limit to what she’ll eat of the salad. She will call for more salmon and it’s clear that she only feels the critical need for that fish. However, with stir fry there’s a way, cooking the veggies in general she will eat. Dr. Fife recommends doing what I often do, add bacon, but he doesn’t even know about Willie Bird turkey bacon, far healthier and better than any pork! Kale stir fried with squash and chard, perfectly complimented with the bacon.

Lentils are really the miracle here because they are low carb foods as compared to traditional beans in particular (amazing how quickly google will find that 2/3 less). I do use a lot of veggies in the lentils so that makes them even more valuable and lessened in carbs.

So all in all it’s been my notion to lessen the amount of carbs, in as much as breads, starchy foods, but this will mark an even bigger change. There’s an element of just giving Linda what she wants with meats that’s so easily applicable it’s clearly right. Similarly she really doesn’t like pasta, not even the brown rice and quinoa kind, so that will get cut out completely. I’ll find an alternative like chicken to put the tomato sauce on, because it is excellent for health.

The challenge of getting enough vegetables is something we all face. Fife repeats the call for far more than the 5 half cups RDA, 10 should be a standard and more a goal. He puts down fruit juices for the sugar content, without enough fiber to justify. While we still have some pure unfiltered apple juice, I’m pushing now for more carrot mixed juices, carrot and beet greens for instance.

It’s a good thing I’m a night owl because, like most all creative endeavors, the inspiration is often buried deep in the midnight hour.

The Way: Oats!

OK so we begin with the first meal of the day most days here, the frittata fills the gaps, between oats, and banana/oat bread that ultimately comes from the oats. Here I am going to show how the base of spices originate in the pot, with pictures. Let me first tell you some of all the spices that go into this dish.

Fresh ground: orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, coriander. Ashwagandah, milk thistle, turmeric, chocolate, maca, all preground. Fennel seeds. Here’s what it looks like mixed together with the cup of steel cut oats.

Oats1

 

Ok so now we move on to roasting this mixture in coconut oil before the actual cooking begins, here the mix has roasted until it just begins to smoke. You can see the saffron soaking in liquid beside,  and the mixture does taste quite good at this point.

Oats3

 

Now we add the liquid with the saffron, and just because it’s best to soak the saffron in liquid first is why this liquid. You can see how thoroughly the mixture combines, and I can tell you this is a much better mix than were I to add the total 7 cups of water straight to the roasted oil mix. It’s a subtle differenc, but it’s a revolution of taste, and I have to believe of healing power as well, because of all it highlights in the spice taste.

Oats2

 

Lastly we have to add that total of now 6 cups water, minus the one that went in with the saffron, on the spatula you can see the remnants of the mixture with the liquid, plus a good measure of chopped beats that give great sweetness, added. These oats are quite something, mainly due to an abundance of orange peel, see the link for the awesome properties recently discovered in citrus peels. Also the chocolate, cinnamon (fresh ground is key) and coconut oil make these oats stupendous!

Oats4

The Way: Evolution of Superfood Revolution in the Kitchen

I created this blog with the intention of documenting my progress in gaining natural remedies for dementia based on common, or uncommon, available food and spices. Now we have come full circle to a point where – in the simple act of making a frittata – the revolutionary methodology struck me emphatically. Not to mention the frittata was the best one I’ve ever made.

There’s no progress greater than the addition of coconut oil. I have posted about this in the past but simply put, it’s a godsend. There’s no doubt in my mind the supplementing it gives as fuel for the brain is on the whole round better. My comment on this post, of an artist’s self-portraits through the course of having AD, reflects the kind of progress I can attest to. Several years ago it’s quite probable Linda could not have done many of the things she does now on a daily basis. Additionally her overall eating habits are significantly better.

So as for the revolution in the kitchen. For some time now I’ve been using the Indian method of roasting spices in oil, coconut of course, producing a wonderful base for most all my dishes. With the frittata this is my basic starting point, coconut oil, spices, often corn meal for a crust. This all blends together in the pan and roasts well, when it’s roasted then I spread it flat and build on that. This time however, before the oil mix was done roasting I threw in a juicy tomato, diced. The mix in the pan now had some liquid added, thus it was sautéing, and right there was the epiphany. Getting the spice mixture to combine with the liquid of the dish is essential. Oil and water won’t mix so you need to catalyze the process, the tomato filled the role excellently in this case. However, it wasn’t the tomato that shined the light, it was the liquid, for the liquid can be anything really. Saffron soaked in warm water will often be that liquid, and just the notion of sautéing the spices into the dish is true progress in my process of cooking.

Now lentils return to the large cast iron frying pan – just as I learned to make them in high school – where the slow integration of liquid creates a sautéd mixture out of the whole dish, and it becomes a truly different dish than one made in a large pot as I have been doing. This way there’s also far more control over the distribution of spices throughout so they don’t all end up at the bottom of the pot. This works well also because half the lentils are divided now. All have the base ingredients but Linda’s portion doesn’t get as many hot chilies as mine. This is another resolve for her, she’ll have a greater volume of mild chilies, instead of the hot ones, in her dishes.

This may not sound like a big deal, but it is, it’s one thing to have and use spices, it’s another to fully ingrain them into your dishes. Simply roasting them in oil is a start but it’s a somewhat commercialized idea. What started in the frying pan in India, undoubtedly had other veggies, garlic, fresh turmeric, in it, enough to provide some liquid. Now, at restaurants it’s undoubtedly big vats of oil and spices that get added in mass quantities to the various Dal and other lentil dishes in Indian restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, many are delicious and wonderfully spicy hot, (Lotus is one I can highly recommend).

I’ve been feeling of late that one of my greatest contributions to this world will be in the food, and I’m reasonably certain now this is what it is in The Way. So in the coming posts I will show this method in pictures as well as words. That will start with a pot of steel cut oats and millet, right now.

 

 

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