Since we’ve had close to two months of this, whatever this is, I’ve had time to burn.
GARBAGE TV – A whole lot of YouTube, some Netflix, currently Married at First Sight. Which, I have some thoughts.*
COOKING – A neverending pot of rice. Beans. And greens. Here’s my recent favorite repeat recipe (ingredients only since I don’t measure too much):
- Beans (red, black, cannellini, whatever you have) 1 lb dry (about) – cook it separately with a few bay leaves
- Carrots 3 or 4, grated
- Rough Blitzed together
- Jalapenos (leave the seeds)
- Nutritional yeast 1/2 cup
- Balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce/liquid aminos, tomato sauce
- Dry spices: Mustard powder, turmeric, oregano, basil, thyme, paprika, white and black pepper, salt
Add all the ingredients into the pot of cooked beans, including the bean water (but just make sure the bean liquid just covers the beans and it’s not soup. This is great over rice, toast, or just by itself.
SKIN CARE – Mostly, no skincare except lotion for my cryptkeeper hands. I haven’t been wearing daily sunscreen like I usually do on weekdays. I haven’t been leaving the house, what’s the point? BUT! I have been watching dermatology vids on YouTube and learning so much about skin care. Like apply moisturizer or really, a good occlusive (oils) right after a shower while wet. It will seal in the moisture in the skin, a little messily.
*MAFS Thoughts: Netflix only has Season 9 – North Carolina. The general premise is, three “experts” make four couple matches and they get married sight unseen. The first time they meet is at the alter. No name to Google, no photo, nada. If I had to give season 9’s four couples a TL;DR name, they would be: Virgin, WWJD, Drama, and Sport. I got sooo invested early on in Sport. They seemed so sweet, like they really wanted a home and family. So after the third episode, I looked up if they made it. And they didn’t! In fact, I think only WWJD and maybe Drama might still be together. I think what failed for Sport, that broke my heart a little, is one-sided candor. Honesty is so important in building trust.
Go see a doctor if your pee-hole burns. There. Now that that’s out of the way, on with the quack show!
Don’t get me wrong, I love antibiotics. I’d be dead by now without them more than likely. But they’re my solution of last resort because microbiome – good. Scorched earth on microbiome – not so good. It’s the body’s personal pharmacy. Unfortunately I get UTIs sometimes 2 or 3 times a year. For a few years, they went away and I thought I was so superstar! And while I still am so superstar, they’re back. In the past, I’ve always taken antibiotics to clear them up because I thought that was how it was done. And every doctor I’ve asked has told me antibiotics are the solution for UTIs. So that’s why I put that out there first. If you listen to a doctor, they will advise you not to listen to any of this horseshit I’m about to share. And that is fine. For me, this worked. I’m here to share my experiences. Learn from my n=1 experiment so to speak.
- Duration – 1 day.
- Symptoms – Interrupted sleep – woke early; mild discomfort (pressure) in the area; burning sensation when peeing.
- Solution –
- Drank a lot of garlic-ginger tea (hot water over smashed garlic cloves and ginger slices). Drink constantly.
- Rinse with warm salt water after every pee. Mix salt in warm/hot tap water in a big vessel and pour it over that area to clean it.
- Result – I felt better that day, and it was gone the next day.
- Duration – UTI discovered day 2. How do I know it was day 2? Well, I remembered which day sex happened – yes sex ->UTI. No secret there. Also I vaguely recalled the prior day having cloudy funky pee, and that can be an early sign as well – I just didn’t realize it at the time since I wasn’t uncomfortable.
- Symptoms – Since it was day 2, things were already feeling more burny. Also a little blood in the pee. It was Sunday though so the local urgent care center was closed and Monday was a holiday so I was just going to have to tough it out.
- Trial and Errors –
- Sunday (day 2): Garlic does not work. I repeat, garlic can ward off vampires only, not UTIs. I ate probably a bulb of raw garlic. Nothing.
- Monday (day 3): Still burning and pink pee. I kept downing garlic. Garlic and I had a bit of a falling out that day.
- Tuesday (day 4): I finally got antibiotics because the urgent care was opened. Yay! I didn’t take them though. I just wanted them in case I couldn’t shake it myself. Still bloody pee. I got a bag of frozen cranberries, and blended them with some hot water, a piece of ginger, and some apple cider vinegar. This stuff works.
- I drank it throughout the day (sometimes in super tart strong smoothies and sometimes super watered down to give my stomach a break. Do this for two weeks to make sure everything is truly cleared.
After the first smoothie, the relief was immediately noticeable. That kind of instant “feel better” felt almost antibiotic-like.
- The immediate relief can be misleading. I thought I cleared the infection. But turns out I hadn’t fully cleared it. (I actually switched to bear berry after a day of cranberry smoothie and my UTI returned after a week. Bloody pee. I then did this cranberry smoothie for two weeks and it finally cleared.)
TL;DR – Try drinking blended up whole cranberries with some ACV throughout the day for two weeks. I added ginger but I don’t think the ginger is the magic. It’s the whole blended cranberries.
I cleared this UTI without antibiotics.
Also something I learned from my coworker: after sex, pee, then drink, then pee again. I think for those of us prone to it, it’s important to do that because by my experience, peeing just the once clearly doesn’t work!!
Also I plan to have frozen cranberries in my freezer at all times. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to periodically have a cranberry smoothie.
Things I’ve tried that did not work:
- Parsley tea (boil a bunch of parsley and drink it down. (I ate all the boiled parsley too.)
- Baking soda water – I drank a lot. It did nothing and tasted not so good.
- Cranberry juice – This did not work for me. Blended whole fresh or frozen cranberries worked for me.
- Garlic/Ginger – Make great stir-fry! Nothing for UTIs.
- Uvi Ursa (Bear Berry) – I drank lots of it for three days. Maybe I didn’t take it long enough. At any rate, it didn’t clear up bloody pee right away like the cranberry smoothie does.
Just about the weirdest allergy I have is rice. I’ve eaten it all my life and will continue to eat it. Even though it’s like giving milk to a lactose intolerant. I call it jet fuel. Not sure about the people around me, but mostly I don’t mind it. I’m so used to it because I’ve been eating it all my life and dealing with the consequences. In fact, I thought everyone bloated after eating. But now that I know the cause I do try to limit it. Granted when I’m traveling and Chinese is the only option I have, well, let’s just say I could start a forest fire with my ass.
That’s the long way of saying this is how I came up with my new “rice” which is quinoa, cauliflower, lentils, and oatmeal. It cooks up like a gloopy blob of “rice” and I can have it with just about anything I would have with rice.
I have been making this regularly for the past few months. It makes an easy vegetable side dish that goes with everything savory. Noodles, rice, tofu, avocado toast.
Chop up a bag of red onions.
Boil salt, sugar and water. Let it cool. Add apple cider vinegar to the brine. Pour it over the sliced onions. Refrigerate for a couple of days and it’s ready to eat. I keep two jars going all the time. The brine is re-useable, but I top off with more brine each time because I use the brine in salad dressings and for avocado toast.
If I had to guess amounts, maybe 2 tablespoons of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 3 cups of water. And a half cup of ACV. I could be totally off here. Just experiment.
My neighbors moved away. I miss them. During our last get together, they brought over a breakfast ring filled with a veggie tofu scramble. We had it with some coffee. The breakfast ring was so yumm-o! And a fine reminder of the neighbors. Sigh.
Anyway, on with the food.
Any vegetables will do. Just dice them and stir fry them.
I added carrots, celery, onions(mirepoix!), mushrooms, zucchini, jalapeno, garlic, and frozen corn.
Crumble the tofu over the stir-fried vegetables.
Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and nutritional yeast.
This would be the filling for the breakfast ring if I got pastry in a can, but the filling alone is delicious.
I’ve been making this for a few weeks now and we still haven’t tired of it. I love the crunchiness of the walnuts and the rich flavor.
- Broccoli (two or three heads of it)
- Hot sauce
- Soy sauce
- Walnuts – raw, unroasted
- cooking oil (optional)
By the way, tempeh is a block of fermented beans and/or grains.
It’s firm and mostly flavorless so it can take on whatever flavor you put in your dish. I like to cut it up smaller to increase the surface area to suck up the flavor. It will mostly keep its shape because it’s firmer than tofu. Tempeh is optional. The first time I made this, I just had a bunch of broccoli that didn’t fit into the lentil stew I was making. The broccoli was chopped and I didn’t know what to do with it so I stir fried it with walnuts. That’s how I stumbled on this dish. I only started adding tempeh because the next time I was making it, I had a package of tempeh I didn’t know what to do with. This is the unplanned kind of cooking I do. It’s very willy nilly.
Chop up the broccoli and let it cook for a bit first.
I like to add water to help cook and soften the broccoli because I like my broccoli cooked soft. Oil is optional. Add the hot sauce and soy sauce after the broccoli’s halfway done.
Now add the tempeh to start sucking up the flavor.
Walnuts need very little cooking time. I add them in, stir it around a bit then turn the heat off to let the residual heat finish it.
The walnuts really make this dish. They add a rich layer of flavor and crunchy texture. Yum. I like to have this over quinoa or rice or it’s good just by itself too.
Here’s how good this stuff is. I don’t clean my shower for months. MONTHS!! Maybe 6 months? Yeah. I told you I took a hiatus from cleaning. You think I’m kidding? I don’t kid when I’m having important TV time. Anyway, this stuff made cleaning the shower a breeze.
I learned it from Pinterest.
- Dawn dish soap (the original blue stuff, but I got Target generic version which seemed to work fine)
- Cleaning vinegar (Not white eating vinegar; this stuff, while still safe to handle, has higher acidity than eating vinegar. I found it in the cleaning products aisle at Home Depot.)
Two ingredients. That’s it. Mix it in a spray bottle. The Pinterest instructions said to use warm vinegar so I microwaved it for a few seconds first. I’m not sure if that makes a difference. Anyway, spray it all over the shower, leave it on for an hour or so. Come back and scrub. Rinse. Re-scrub any remaining scum that you missed. It pretty much comes right off. I used to exert a lot of energy cleaning the shower. That’s why I dragged my feet about it, because it was so strenuous and tiring. But this stuff really made the job super duper easy and the shower sparkles like new. And mostly not too toxic as cleaning products go.
I found a bunch of recipes for vegan alfredo online and mixed them up for this:
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1.5 cups of raw cashews, soaked in water for a few hours
- 1 onion
- 6 cloves of garlic
- lemon juice (1 lemon) – I didn’t have this so I substituted with apple cider vinegar, and it was fine.
- Nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper. One can never have too much pepper in alfredo sauce.
I don’t remember where I got the idea or learned that alfredo requires mucho pepper. The first time I had it was from a local Kentuckian chain Italian restaurant and a strong pepper flavor stuck out to me. I know. Kentucky, Italian. This was a memorably good alfredo pasta though. I think I ate an entire family sized bucket of it in a couple of days. And it was over a decade ago and I still have fond memories of that bucket of pasta. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice bucket of pasta?
- Stir fry the garlic and onions with a bit of salt and oil.
- Cut up the cauliflower into big chunks and poach it in maybe an inch of water with some seasoning. I used a vegetable broth powder, but regular salt and pepper is fine.
- In a blender, blend the ingredients together.
- I added more nutritional yeast at the end to have a richer flavor. I also added about a tablespoon of cracked black pepper. I would have added more but my wrists were tired from the grinding.
- Simmer the sauce over low heat for about 30 minutes. Stir the entire time and cover it with a lid. Keep the lid over the pot as you move a spoon around in there because this thick sauce tends to spurt bubbles all over the place.
I like to serve it over pasta with green peas. It’s rich and creamy without the after effects of eating rich and creamy. I could eat a bucket of this sauce.
Picked up this neat trick on YouTube.
Prepare rice like you normally would (in a rice cooker).
I like to add red lentils in my rice.
Add one whole tomato in the middle.
Add a drizzle of oil.
Once cooked, break up the tomato and stir it in the rice. It’s easy and delicious!
I’ve known about using frozen bananas to make (n)ice cream for a long long time, even before I stopped eating dairy. The first time I heard about it was on a TV show where Jerry Seinfeld’s wife said this is how she makes healthy treats for their kids. I filed it away in my brain but never made it because I’m not a big fan of ice cream anyway. And why have frozen bananas when I could just get store bought?
People, this is not your average ice cream. It’s better.
First, I recommend using organic bananas.
Let them ripen until they have spots.
Freeze the bananas: Wash and remove the stem and end, leaving the rest of the banana peel on.
Cut into quarters, then freeze them.
In a blender, add almond or some other dairy-free milk, the frozen bananas, and an avocado if you want it extra creamy and rich.
For flavoring, I’ve had good luck with cocoa powder (use a lot! Then add more), cinnamon (a little), and liqueur (optional) and peanut butter.
The cocoa powder and peanut butter are essential in my opinion.
Blend it up then put it in a bowl and freeze it again.
Now you have nice cream. It reminds me of Chunky Monkey.