Sunday, December 27, 2009

Movies, Books, and Food and Food

This will be the first time since I moved to Kauai in 1978 that we haven't gone to Honolulu for either Christmas or New Year's. Blame the economy which caused the car rental companies to reduce their fleet of cars and my refusal to pay $100/day for a car. We did manage to go for Thanksgiving, though, so as not to totally neglect our families. Ok truthfully we also didn't want to neglect our need for the amenities of Honolulu (restaurants, stadium-seating movie theaters, Krazy Karaoke, Ross, Rumors, etc.).

Thanks to Wes and Trinette Kaui again for their fabulous annual Christmas Eve party! Unfortunately it rained this year, but that did not prevent everyone from having a good time and it certainly did not detract from the huge ono buffet or fun entertainment.

Then on Christmas morning Cousin Rose called to ask us to an early dinner. Rose is incredible at preparing a fabulous and healthy spread in record time. She can prepare 4-5 dishes to my 2 in less time. Imagine we decided at 9 a.m. to have this get together at 4 p.m. and we managed to prepare: grilled pork with tomatoes and onions (ok we have to credit Errol for that!), prime rib roast, baked potato seafood salad, black cod with cabbage, mussels fettucine, Kauai greens salad (There were probably 10 fresh ingredients in it, from spinach to avocado to fennel!) and lau lau. Everything was made fresh except for the lau lau.

We had been planning on going to a hotel buffet, but no problem, we had a dessert buffet that was just as delicious. Just nine of us and yet with Aunties Helen and Lucy contributing, we prepared six different desserts: Apple Crisp, Lemon Pound Cake, Cancanin (I see it spelled "kakanin" online) coconut mochi rice, Haupia Cake (ok, this was from Safeway), Double Chocolate Cookies, and Peach Pie. I still feel guilty 3 days later...not to mention I'm still eating the leftovers we brought home.

To make things worse, a kind soul gave Leonard a whole box of Omaha Steak's Apple Tartlettes. We haven't tried them yet, but they look irresistible! The Breyer's Vanilla Ice Cream is waiting patiently to accompany them. And then that darned Costco just had to put Haagen Daz vanilla/almond bars on sale. I mean come on, you can't pass up a sale like that. (I just had this vision of Richard Simmons looking into our freezer--yikes!)

Omigod, I've been eating too much these past few weeks and put back the few pounds I lost since October. Ugh! I have something interesting to share that I read: When you don't get enough sleep, you feel hungrier and eat more.

I seem to be proving this true because I've been getting less sleep the past few weeks and do notice that I'm constantly hungry. For instance, last night we went to see "Sherlock Holmes" and got home late. I got to bed at 12:30 a.m. and for some reason (the Pepsi I drank?) I took a long time to fall asleep and woke up groggy at 6 a.m. I was hungry all day today and I'm still hungry now at 10:30 p.m. so I'm eating Doritos. This isn't something I normally do.

By the way, "Sherlock Holmes" was great except I had a hard time understanding what they were saying at times for the first half of the movie. Either it was the English accents or my hearing is bad, or both. By the second half, however, I didn't have as much of a problem.

One reason I'm getting less sleep these days is I'm reading more books. My current read is "Harvest" by Tess Gerritsen. I love medical thrillers and I'm loving this one! I'm thrilled to have "found" Dr. Gerritsen because I ran out of Robin Cook and Michael Palmer books.

And lastly, another "health alert"--the first being get enough sleep to decrease food cravings--comes from the latest Dr. Mercola newsletter. To read the details, click here. This is a summary of "Avoid These 7 Foods and You're Off to a Healthier New Year":

1) Canned tomatoes--the acidity of the tomatoes causes the BPA's in the can's lining to leach into the tomatoes. Canned foods as a whole should be avoided when possible for this reason. I'm bummed because we like to make our own salsa with canned diced tomatoes.

2) Corn-fed beef--Grass-fed beef is much healthier.

3) Microwave Popcorn--again, you're ingesting the toxic BPA's from the plastic-lined bags. An Air Popper is very inexpensive, by the way!

4) Non-organic Potatoes--oh my goodness, not only do potatoes absorb all the toxins from pesticides already in the soil, but the vines are sprayed again before harvest and the potatoes are sprayed AGAIN to prevent sprouting. Chew on THAT when you're eating your McFries (my favorite...Leonard prefers BK's fries).

5) Farm-raised salmon--I did NOT want to know that farmed salmon are fed soy, poultry litter and CHICKEN FEATHERS. Whaaat?!!? Consequently they're full of contaminants and carcinogens. Dr. Mercola adds that most fish, even "wild" are full of mercury or contaminants, so he doesn't recommend a fish-heavy diet.

6) Milk produced with artificial hormones--which can cause breast, prostate, and colon cancer.

7) Non-organic apples---apples win the "most-doused with pesticides" award and are linked to Parkinson's Disease.

This list was prepared by various food experts and appeared in the "mass media" and Dr. Mercola agrees with it. He does recommend adding the following:

8) Unfermented soy--Americans are under the impression that soy is good, but on the contrary, it's considered an "anti-nutrient"!

If like me you're unable or unwilling to buy everything organic, Dr. Mercola prioritizes them for us. He recommends "...looking for organic meats, eggs and dairy products before anything else."

Ok, I've done my good deed for the day...except that I apologize for listing the desserts, that can't be helpful!! *LOL*

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