Monday, October 22, 2012

Reading in October

I'm torn in my reading habits in Octobers during presidential election years. On the one hand, I do read everything about candidates, primarily local candidates who I feel are the most important in that they directly represent us and are responsible for money matters and legislative matters. I also like to read history and current political books around the time of year.

On the other hand, I want to run and hide for cover. I want to read something totally unrelated to the general muck of politics (not to be confused with governing and statesmanship). My latest joy is vegan cooking and I've discovered the most fun vegan site (and recipes and cookbooks): The Post Punk Kitchen ( Check out not only the website but the cookbooks Veganomicon and Appetite for Reduction. Both fantastic. And last night I made a batch of Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles (great chocolate-y taste with a kick of cayenne at the end). Amazing...and vegan! My 13-year-old son turned up his nose until he tasted them ("You can't make good cookies without butter and eggs." And after a bite, "Wow, that's fantastic!")

I'm about to check out an ebook from the library, Vegan For Life. It looks like a really good book too. And there is a cookbook that goes with the movie, Forks Over Knives, that also looks interesting.

What are you reading this October? What do you turn to? Politics? Or do you turn away to hide from what goes on? Share your books here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Arthritis updated

I haven't updated the arthritis situation for awhile. Had a lot of tests but they all turned up negative for rheumatoid arthritis. It seems I'm just falling apart and have osteoarthritis. A little early for it to be as painful and aggressive as it is but just good old degenerative osteoarthritis all the same. My right thumb cracks and hurts every day (makes it hard to be someone who works all day long on the computer). My knees are quite creaky and the one ankle (the right one) that I had surgery on, with the long Frankenstein scar on it, is quite the weather barometer. (Yes, I can tell when the pressure is shifting!)

It's all a part of this body getting old. It's not terrible. It could be far worse. I can still type and I can still dance and I can still walk my dogs. And how bad can life be, even if the body parts are a bit creaky?!!!

Let me hear from you. How do you cope with arthritis or with other aches and pains?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Big changes in life

I've made a big change in my life--I've decided not only to eat gluten-free (my daughter has celiac disease so we've been pretty much gluten-free around here for the past 10 years but now my stomach seems to be reacting in not-so-nice ways to gluten so I've decided it certainly doesn't hurt me to stay away from it), but also to go vegan. It isn't much of a stretch; I already don't drink milk and while I like eggs and cheese and butter, I don't really feel like I can't live without them. And I'm already vegetarian. It just seems healthier. And I feel more full from eating plants and beans and fruit and some grains than from cheese or other dairy or certainly meat.

The only thing I wish is that I had a garden and lots of my own home-grown veggies. Of course, this being Arizona, I don't know how much I could grow here other than chiles and some beans. I grew some nice cherry tomatoes this spring and some really nice English peas in the winter. But it's really difficult, especially since I'm just renting and I have to grow in pots. 

So I am finding some of the greatest recipes and falling in love with vegan cooking and baking. Some of my favorites Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero's Veganomicon and Moskowitz's Appetite for Reduction, which has low fat vegan recipes, a lot of which are gluten free. There is also Moskowitz's online site, The Post Punk Kitchen.

Then there's Oh She Glows, a fantastic vegan blog. Lots of gluten free stuff there too. And Karina Bland's The Gluten-Free Goddess, one of my favorite go-to blogs. She's got lots of wonderful recipes and a ton of vegan ones too. 

Well, if you have experiences being vegan and gluten-free, please comment here. I'd love to hear from folks, trade recipes, etc. Also, are you vegan for ethical reasons? (That's part of it for me too. I love animals, and I love this planet and frankly, treating animals horribly for food is not only cruel but a waste of space and food that could feed the world.)

More as I discover good tasting ways to bake and eat. I'll post recipes and review books as I come upon them.