Monday, December 8, 2014

Chocolate Denial

Many Paleo folks abstain from every form of seed, because of unfavorable omega 6/ omega 3 ratios, but yet they keep dark chocolate on the good list.  It just occured to me to realize that chocolate is a seed, and wonder how it's much better than other seeds...

USDA data on "Baking chocolate, unsweetened, squares"

Nutrient Unit Value per 100 g Fat Class
18:2 undifferentiated1 g 1.435 Omega 6
20:4 undifferentiated1 g 0 Omega 6
18:3 undifferentiated g 0.117 Omega 3
g 0 Omega 3
20:3 undifferentiated1 g 0 Omega 3
20:4 undifferentiated1 g 0 Omega 3
20:5 n-3 (EPA)1 g 0 Omega 3
22:5 n-3 (DPA) g 0 Omega 3
22:5 n-3 (DPA) g 0 Omega 3
22:6 n-3 (DHA)1 g 0 Omega 3

That's a pretty sad Omega 6/3 ratio for a "healthy" food.

I'm still slightly in denial, and many chocolate companies use cheaper fats in their products, so I looked up cocoa butter, the results were not much better:

Nutrient Unit Value per 100 g Fat class
18:3 undifferentiated g 0.1 Omega 3
18:04 g 0 Omega 3
20:5 n-3 (EPA) g 0 Omega 3
22:5 n-3 (DPA) g 0 Omega 3
22:6 n-3 (DHA) g 0 Omega 3
18:2 undifferentiated g 2.8 Omega 6
18:3 undifferentiated g 0.1 Omega 6
20:4 undifferentiated g 0 Omega 6
Dark chocolate may be a reasonable cheat food, low in sugar, rich in antioxidants, minimal processing agents, but it can hardly be considered a "good" food on the low omega 6 diet.

Sorry Paleo dieters!

Friday, December 5, 2014


Long ago, I used to get bronchitis every year.  I think I'm allergic to leaf mold, as the sinuses start in as the leaves fall, and I don't really stand a chance of recovery until hard frost.  Most years if I keep after the sinus symptoms and lay mouth downwards to keep post nasal drip out of my lungs, and take lots of hot showers and cubs of herbal tea as needed, I can ward it off with only a slight wheeze and no lost work time.

This year I ran into some issues.

  1. The boiler is half dead, so no hot showers, and I was breathing cold air even when inside.
  2. I ran out of cough syrup.
  3. I ran out of herbal tea.
  4. We started to freeze up, but then got another complete thaw resparking my symptoms just as I thought I was getting better and didn't need the syrup/tea.
  5. We have more animals now, and some of them like to hide eggs in very strange places, so barn chores in the cold air takes longer.  
Sunday evening we managed to kick the boiler enough to get a hot shower out of it, but I'd waited too long and before I could clear all the accumulated junk that cough turned into airway constriction.  I resolved to call my doctor Monday morning and get something to open my airways.  At 3 AM I woke up completely unable to breathe for a few seconds, and got too scared to wait until morning, and there were no immediate care places open at that hour, so we went to the ER.  My breathing was so restricted and my throat so sore I could barely talk, very glad I had hubby there to do much of the talking for me.  We both know a wee bit of sign, so that got practiced.  

Between the ER and the follow-up with the doc I now have a short and long term inhaler and an antibiotic.  I got my tea and syrup supply restocked and space heaters in critical rooms of the house.  I'm improving, the sinus infection part seems to have cleared up, but still under the weather and exhausted.  I'm out of sick time for the year, to get through working partial days this week I had to borrow against my vacation I'm accumulating the rest of the year.  Looking forward to the weekend and getting as much rest as a farmer can.

I'm a big fan of healing naturally whenever I can, and preventing more than fixing, but there are times to pull in the modern medicine big guns.

Tomato Quiche

Since we have chickens now, and they are producing a bit more than we need, quiche has started to take on a major role in our meal planning.  (If the egg rack is filling up I plan a quiche.)  This one I planned at home but cooked at work so I'm going to count it.

1/2 can tomatoes
2 Tablespoons frozen pepper and onion mix
Italian spice mix.
4 eggs
2 bowls

Microwave the veggies
Meanwhile, beat your eggs together with the spices
Scoop the hot veggies into the eggs and mix after each scoop
When the bowl gets full pour some egg back into the veggie bowl and fiddle things until both are about the same.
Microwave until egg is done in the center.

Manhattan Salmon Chowder

This one was whipped up of leftovers and things that had sat in my desk drawer too long so forgive it not being authentic.

1/2 can of diced tomatoes (partially drained)
1 jar of sweet roasted red peppers (drained)
1 can wild caught red salmon (drained)
leftover Italian spice mix from Tuesday's quiche.

You might do two half batches if your bowl is as small as mine.
Mix.  Microwave.

It is a bit zippier than I was expecting, probably due to the spice mix I carelessly threw in, which reacted with the vinegar bite of the peppers.  I think next time fewer peppers and a more mild spice.  The tomato and the fish do complement each other well.