Vitamin supplements

I’ve been taking omega 3s, vitamin D, and a calcium-vitamin D pill daily for a while. Why? Because I bought big bottles of them and I don’t want them to go to waste.

I’m not convinced I need the crutch. The only vitamin or mineral my doctor recommends is vitamin D. I’m fair skinned and spend enough time outside that I’m not convinced I need it in summer. In winter, I think I’ll start taking halibut or cod liver oil capsules because then I’ll get omega 3s packaged with my vitamin D.

The doctor has recommended iron in the past, but when I ran out I stopped taking it and my iron levels have been good when I’ve donated blood. (I normally go every 2 months but summer heat and allergies have delayed my June donation.)

I consume enough cheese that I’m not worried about calcium. And I consume a wide enough variety of foods that I don’t think I need the general coverage of a multivitamin. (Even though I’m a 35 year old woman, I don’t worry about folic acid because I’m not planning to have children and I’m on very reliable birth control.)

So, after I finish the pills I’ve already bought, my low cost low carb lifestyle will include no supplements in summer, cod liver or halibut liver oil capsules in winter.


Noodle soup

I do miss spicy ramen and pho a bit. I’ll have to try this recipe sometime. (Although I’m cracking a raw egg into the bowl like I’m used to – hard boiling it first seems a bit silly.)


Chile gravy

I followed this recipe, with these changes: I omitted the onion, used a mixture of tallow and schmaltz instead of lard, and used the chicken broth in which I’d simmered the beef heart instead of beef broth. I also omitted the tapioca flour. (The garlic was the first garlic of the year from my garden. The cloves are a good size, but there were only 4 on this bulb and the skin has not yet thinned to a papery texture.) Depending on how I decide to use the rest of the gravy, I might thicken it with some guar gum or arrowroot flour or I might leave it thinner.

I warmed some slices of the beef heart in the gravy then topped them with sour cream. Not particular spicy, but excellent flavour.

It was also good on fried eggs for breakfast – I just spooned some cold gravy over the eggs for the last couple minutes of cooking.


Slow cooker ricotta

I made ricotta in my slow cooker yesterday. I heated 2 1/2 litres of whole milk in the slow cooker for about 3 hours. I’d intended to heat it to 180, but my thermometer battery is dead so I heated it until a bunch of bubbles formed around the edges. (The internet suggests that slow cookers on high heat to about 215. I like using my slow cooker for heating milk because I’ve never had it burn or boil over as it can on the stove.) I mixed in 1/3 cup of lemon juice and turned off the slow cooker. I’d meant to leave it for 10 minutes but forgot about it for a half hour or so. The whey was nicely separated, so I spooned it into a fine mesh sieve set over an 8 cup measuring cup. (I saved the whey and added it to the dogs’ chicken carcasses instead of water to enrich the broth.) I’d normally use cheesecloth, but I’m out so I was curious if I could just skip it. Only a small amount of white appeared in the whey (I’d say less than a tablespoon), so I’d call it a success.


Low carb instead of weight loss surgery

This is such a great story to read. I’m amazed she lost so much weight so quickly, but not that she was able to lose the weight – it’s very clear to me these days that carbohydrates can cause extreme weight gain in some individuals. (Whether my top weight of almost 250 lbs is extreme is a matter of opinion. I know that people with a BMI similar to mine at that time and with similar health have had weight loss surgery. I never considered it – after failing at dozens of low-calorie diets between the ages of 13 and 23, I followed HAES and fat acceptance until I tried TOPS and then LCHF.)

I have an acquaintance who had weight-loss surgery – she’s about 5’6 and weighed over 500 lbs. She was a ‘success’ – she got down to 160 or so within the first couple years then had surgery to remove excess skin. (I helped her to dress one of the wounds that her surgery left her with. It took months to heal.) Eventually she started regaining the weight – certainly not all of it, but enough given her strict diet and exercise regime.

I am curious about whether someone who had weight loss surgery could tolerate LCHF eating without requiring surgery to revise the configuration of their stomachs. I expect it depends on the particular surgery they had. My friend gets quite ill when she eats fatty foods, but I’m not sure how much of that is because she’s not accustomed to eating them. When I started eating LCHF, it took my stomach a while to adjust – I had steatorrhea and took antacids more frequently during the first month or so. (The steatorrhea resolved itself without any intervention, other than taking some digestive enzymes until the one bottle I bought ran out.)


Beef heart

I picked up a 2 1/2 lb beef heart for $2/lb today. I’ve cooked beef heart but had never actually eaten it before – I cooked it for my ex-husband when I was vegetarian. At that price, I figured I’d slow-cook it and share it with my dogs. I simmered it on low in chicken broth for about 4 hours.

My first portion of it was thinly sliced and dipped in horseradish mayo. It reminds me of good roast beef cold cuts. (Not the rubbery ones.) I love that because there’s no grain to the meat it doesn’t get stuck in my teeth. It’s not marbled, of course, but I still found it moist. (I’m eating it at meals where I eat another source of fat.)

This post, which started with a question about the nutritional profile of the fat, has some interesting stuff about how different people like to eat the heart. I’d assumed that it was always slow cooked – I want to try grilling it next time. (This post is perhaps the most useful. It says to save the fat to make tallow and describes searing the meat like filet mignon and then serving it with a flavoured butter. Yum!)

(I didn’t trim the heart before cooking it as the first link describes. I didn’t notice a membrane on the outside of the heart – maybe it tenderized from the low cooking. There are some veins and stuff in the middle, but I’ll just favour that part for sharing with the dogs.)





Cold cuts

I don’t eat cold cuts often – they’re not typically very good value – but when I was at a small grocery store today, they had 1 kg packages of a mixture of pepperoni, capicollo, and Italian salami for $3.99. (They expire mid-July.) I just had slices of all 3 meats rolled up in romaine lettuce leaves with hot mustard and mayonnaise. Yum!

I’ve had good results freezing pepperoni and salami in the past, so I’ll freeze what I don’t eat within a few days.