Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Makin' Merry & Makin' Mayo!

Well, I have a big birthday coming up - 25! The clock rounds off a quarter of a century on the 28th of February (at 7:29pm EST, to be precise), the end of what promises to be a big weekend! I was told that hitting 25 would feel like a transition into 'oldness', but I dunno; I look at that number and still see spring chicken. Not that age has ever meant much to me. I wonder if I would feel older without my newly-acquired knowledge of how ageing works and why some individuals present superficially, in the physical sense at least, as much older/younger than they are. Attitude, it seems, is not everything after all. I think I have good genes though - Mum is nearing 60 and even though her face is starting to sag, the cheekbones we share hold her face's youthfulness where it shines beneath the surface. As for me, my face looks a bit younger than it used to in some ways (eg. my upper eyelids aren't saggy with chub anymore), but losing fat from ones face is always going to give an air of lost youth. Chubby cheeks are always going to signal childhood, and plumpness rules out most wrinkles. I'm still far from wrinkle territory though, and it excites me that minimising glucose consumption may help me stay that way, thanks to avoidance of glycation, etc.

I'm having a party on the Saturday (the 27th); a 1985 themed event, where dressing up is mandatory! We'll see how that goes... And I'm now a bit miffed by the fact that my chosen outfit doesn't fit nicely! With only ten days between now and costume-donning time, I doubt I'll be able to make that much of a change, especially since I'll still be on my drug, and upping the dose at that!

Speaking of the drug, it has been decisively proven that yes, this drug IS causing my increased appetite and is also accelerating fat accumulation. Yay! Full disclosure for the reference of others on the same thing - I'm on DepTran for the chronic pain caused by the damaged and hyper-sensitive nerve cluster. DepTran (Doxepin) is usually used as an anti-depressant, but as my boyfriend put it, apparently taking an anti-depressant when you're not depressed makes you depressed. Yup. The types my GP & I have tried in various rotations over the past few years haven't had any side-effects whatsoever, as far as I could notice, so he was hoping that I would not have an adverse reaction to this tougher one either. Frankly, it's a pretty bloody scary drug, and I'll be happier once I'm off it. If you have a look at the Wikipedia entry about its pharmacological relationships, you can see why and how it is messing with my energy levels, causing fatigue, and weight gain. Big bold letters, kids - weight gain. You can't miss it. Thanks doc, for the heads-up on that one... Oh, and if you look further down, into the Side Effects area, you'll see the frequent increased appetite info, and also breast enlargement! Yep, check that one off my list too - that happened first, before any other weight gain. I'm not small up top in any sense, but now even my looses blouses are pulling across the front! Oh gosh... So anyway, I have an appointment with my GP on Monday, and I'm expecting he'll tell me to stay on DepTran since it's pretty much our last resort short of amputation of the nerve cluster, and given the location of the cluster, that would NOT be fun nor easy, and potentially not even effective since pain may remain at the location of the scar! Gotta love medicine.

But anyway, with that reference there for anyone who is ever in the position of being prescribed DepTran, let's get back to the topic - makin' merry! I am merry, too - despite the fat 'n' fatigue, I've accepted that my drug-driven behaviour can be under my control if I work at it, and I shouldn't beat myself up if my resolve weakens against the forces of compulsion! Look on the bright side - when I over-eat, at least some metabolic healing might be taking place, and I can reap the rewards of a pumping metabolism for the following few days! I'm working hard to play all of my cards to combat my urge to eat, by getting back into the Drs. Eades' Six-Week Cure program (since it satisfies me and I'm also never tempted to eat after my belly is full of protein shake thanks to sheer volume!), reminding myself of the keys to balancing my hormones for fat burning (see this fantastic post on Animal Pharm about Blood Glucose, especially the last section on Entropy Production), and finishing my day's eating earlier than usual to extend the fasting period for as long as possible without risking hunger during times I have access to food. I pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow, thanks to my drug and the cycle of fatigue, and am dead to the world until morning, so at least I'm protected from the dangers of midnight snacking!

Oh, and for those readers who were interested in my Alternate Day Fasting experiment, I'm hoping to reincorporate that back into play soon - maybe not quite as frequently so as to lessen the stress (and therefore cortisol production) on my body, but hopefully some days will just be three small shakes and no meal... And in other experiment news, the beau and I are beginning the Hundred Pushups programme - the beau will try anything so long as there's an iPod app for it! It's just for fun, so we may only make it through the six-week course once and not make it to 100, but we'll see... I've never been good at proper push-ups - my toes don't seem to bend back far enough to support me comfortably, so I end up doing girly ones even when my arms can handle the full plank position... I'll see what I can do about that as well.

Yesterday I tested the shake waters by packing a shake made of Natural Factors Double Choc Whey Factors powder, pure cream, and water for lunch. With a moderately-sized breakfast of Jonathan's Pork & Fennel sausages in my belly for breakfast...

...the shake got me through my busy work day and through most of my late show rehearsal before the tummy rumbles started up and the limb energy started to dissipate... So when I finally trekked home, I replaced that rumble with tasty meats, pronto!

First up - a grilled pork forequarter chop, wrapped in bacon. Yes, damn it, wrapped in bacon!

And a bit later, since the hyperphagia hyena was chasing me down, I fried up slices of zucchini in a copious amount of macadamia nut oil, and grilled some pork & fennel sausage to serve on top. Perfection (although the appetite engine would not shut off - I fought the good fight!)

Today was Day 1 of 6WC #2, so I supped on chocolate protein shake for breakfast, and packed one for work as well. The beau & I headed up the street after work to pick up our weekly veggie box and get wild-caught salmon from the organic butcher - they only get salmon on Wednesdays, and I usually miss out, but today there were five fillets left, and I snagged the lot! I also picked up some smoked salmon and some cooked prawns to serve as a light entree for dinner:

I grilled pork chops for the beau, and he graciously left the thick & gorgeous fatty rinds on the grill for me, so I cooked them a bit longer and then had a good ol' chew!

For my actual dinner, I was left with minimal appetite, so I grilled up a bunch of Jonathan's Chipollatas and washed them down with another protein shake - Natural Factors French Vanilla this time.

My eating for the day was done, but not my cooking...

I've been wanting to try to make mayonnaise for a while now, especially since Every. Single. Product. in the supermarket is based on soybean oil or undisclosed vegetable oils. I wanted to have a tasty salad dressing (or component of salad dressing) for the beau and I to dip into should we desire it, and the fact that it would be one filled with healthful fats would be a wonderful bonus! Tonight's experiment was a texture & flavour, if not photographic, success. I will add visual stimulation when we use the mayo on top of salads or as a component of deviled eggs, etc.

Recipe: Lemon & Macadamia Mayonnaise


3 pastured egg yolks (save the whites for making Grain-Free Granola)
1T lemon juice (about half a lemon's worth)
1 cup of healthful oils - I used 150ml macadamia nut oil & 50ml extra virgin olive oil, but coconut oil would be a great one to add to the mix too.
Ground seas salt & black pepper to taste.
Optional dried herbs (lemon thyme works really well) or spices


1. Place egg yolks and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor, or a small mixing bowl if using an electric whisk like I did.

2. Start mixing, and drizzle the oil slowly into the bowl as you mix, allowing the mixture to gradually emulsify and thicken.

3. Once the mixture is thick and creamy, add salt & pepper and optional extras, and beat a couple of times to combine.

4. Pour or spoon mayo into an air-tight container and refrigerate. I'm not sure of the fridge life of this one - I'll update this when I know more!

My batch has a distinctively nutty flavour, which I LOVE but the beau responded to with the comment, "It tastes kinda like paint". We ask no questions regarding his frame of reference... So. This is one to adapt to your own tastes - personally, I wouldn't like a detectable coconut oil taste, and I imagine EVOO alone would be quite bland... So play with your oil mix and your herbs & spices to find something perfect for your uses. I certainly look forward to working on this one some more as well - it's a safer way to get your fat intake up without creeping into sweet treat territory...

So after I packed my little tub of mayo away in the fridge, I still had some exposed egg whites waiting for me... So, I risked tempting my appetite, cracked open a kilo of nuts, and made the boy a new batch of Grain-Free Granola! It's about time I updated my recipe, so I might make a new post about it tomorrow. In the meantime, here's how this batch looked straight out of the oven...

There will be lots of culinary experimentation in the next week, as I trial ideas of '80s-esque party food! Colourful fun! ;)


Anonymous said...

Definitely going to try the mayo recipe!

Oh, and you won't feel old at is 35 that will get to you! ;)

Happy Birthday and I hope you feel better soon!

Flowerdew Onehundred said...

I have to say that EVOO in mayonnaise tastes like paint to me too.

I use light olive oil for mayonnaise. I've mixed that with bacon fat, but that just does not work as well as I expected.

I'll probably try coconut oil and light olive oil next.

Jezwyn said...

Thanks, FM! The friend that told me to watch out for 25-itis is currently pushing 35, so maybe he's just trying to make me feel bad so he won't! ;) Good luck with adapting the recipe for your own tastes - I had some mayo with my sashimi tonight, and it's perfect with fish :)

Thanks for the third opinion, Flowerdew! I'm nto a salad-dressing type of girl, so I don't know what EVOO even tastes like alone! Good to know it's the paint-esque ingredient then :)

Sandy said...

I've made homemade mayo before, with EVOO as the oil. Meh. Can't say it went over at all with hubby as a sandwich spread -- he refused to go near the stuff. Personally, I used it for making curry chicken salad or tuna salad, but feared using it in any situation where I might actually need to taste it!

Cheryl said...

TASTE the olive oil you're using first. they're not all alike! The fruitier the olive oil, the tastier. Second, think about adding a few dried red pepper flakes for a kick.

If you add a clove of fresh minced garlic, you've made an aioli, but still - that's tasty too.

Also, homemade mayo only lasts about a week in the fridge; I think it tastes better the 2nd day.

Jezwyn said...

Hey Sandy - yeah, can't imagine the beau going for it when he can just use his old Paul Newman salad dressings... So this one's for me, and apparently my raw fish :)

Cheryl - I used the organic EVOO that you guys all used and I've used in Caesar dressings repeatedly. I don't eat it by itself, but I know it tastes fine in other recipes. With the tiny amount used in this mayo, I'm amazed it changed the total taste at all. I'm aware of possible taste improvers, but then you'd taste them (chili flakes etc), not the mayo itself. Gotta start with the plain version to understand what's going to be changed.

Aioli has to use just olive oil (otherwise it's not aioli and you risk getting on the bad side of the Italian Mafia! - and sometimes they won't even allow you to use egg!), whereas I'm looking for a primal option (olive oil isn't really primal, and has a pretty bad EFA ration) so I'm more interested in coconut & macadamia nut oil.

Thanks for the heads-up re: fridge life - I'm no good with dairy that's been opened beyond a day or so, so after today it'll be gone ;)