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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Coconut chicken lemongrass soup

Intuitive eating led me through a spice filled counter, where I found a few attractive stalks of lemon grass. Then I thought how wonderful, there are no lime-leaves in Bulgaria to make Thai coconut chicken soup, but I can modify and see what happens. An hour later, we ate an absolutely mouth watering-second-helping-for-everyone soup, the recipe follows:

1 lb. raw chicken breast, diced
3 tbsp butter
2 cans coconut milk
2 fresh lemon grass stalks, white part only, chopped
1.5 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
1 tbsp lemon pepper
1 cup hot water
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
sweet salt to taste (I used Himalayan pink salt)
fresh cilantro

Melt the butter and cook the chicken in it. Add all the spices and the lime zest. Stir. Add the coconut milk and water, cover and boil at medium heat for 20 minutes. Serve with cilantro on top.

I love coconut and coconut milk, because the fats are very nutritious, while the chicken is too lean, so these two complement each other wonderfully. Medium chain fatty acidsfgive me a lot of sustained energy, lemon grass is antibacterial and antifungal and chicken is very calming. I claim this the perfect anti-stress food.

Friday, February 15, 2008

It's not what Stevia can do for your sweet tooth...'s what it can do for your blood sugar!
When a 200-some lb. guy says half a packet of Stevia gave him low blood sugar after a meal high in protein and fat you can't but think twice about all the research you've read. I truly like to sum it up like this:

- Stevia is sweet. Sweeter than sugar.
- Stevia is safe compared to other sweeteners like aspartame.
- Stevia has an effect on pancreatic beta cells, thus lowering blood sugar (both acute and in long term studies)
- Stevia can lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure
- It has a mild diuretic effect

Any or all of the effects could have caused him to feel hypoglycemic, he could have been had low blood pressure, but never checked.

In addition, Stevia is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, to kill fungi, bacteria and viruses. It's also known to help ward off caries. Coming from a cavity-prone genetic tree, and a culture where Calcium was not added to anything in my young years, I find this pretty cool.

I have used Stevia many times, in food preparation (it's heat stable), and in drinks (lemonade, shakes). I have never ever experienced any acute blood glucose lowering effects.

If you are suffering from treated diabetes whether it's type 1 or 2 I would suggest you measure your blood glucose after ingesting Stevia, and check with your endocrinologist about the dosage of your medication. If you are healthy, see if having a non caffeinated drink with Stevia causes you to feel sleepy, lethargic, or weak, nauseated and shaky. If it does, check if drinking it on a full stomach makes a difference. I think feeling low after Stevia would be a concern for people following either a low carb or a lower carb low calorie diet, as it naturally causes them to have lower blood glucose. Then again, I have been following a lower carb plan for over 4 years and have never been hypoglycemic because of Stevia.

I believe that if used in moderation, Stevia extract is a great alternative to sweeteners and sugar, but like everything else, bear in mind that individual reactions may vary.

To read more about Stevia and check out a list of studies, follow this source!

The Stevia product I enjoy most for taste and convenience is made by Now Foods.
The box has little packets you can take anywhere, they are flavor free, which makes them great for cooking purposes too. I am not a fan of the liquid versions as I like containers I can transport safely and easily.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The imdb wants me - part II

Another day of filming. My scene was rushing into a room, finding a girl, covered in blood and a guy with his guts out. I scream, then collapse in a corner. Police rushes in.

I was very nervous about this scene. I had to do a lot of visual facial acting, not so much doing acting. I had to scream, I had no idea how.

When it came right down to it, I produced a series of very loud scary screams, ones I had no idea I could do. What really amazed me is that waiting between cuts, I was shivering and scared. Screaming made my hair stand on end, I was defensive and felt a bit like an animal being chased.
That reminded me that I had another lesson today.

It's what you perceive as real, not what is real, that shapes your present.

Your body reacts to everything you think and do as if were the actual truth.

You don't have to prepare for situations you've never been in. If it's about staying alive in any sense of the word, you already know what to do.

All the more reason to get real in life, my friends :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The imdb wants me

I got a role in a movie. A two day part, playing a girl named Katie. She works at a college, and in the scene we shot today, she is picking up the clothes of a recently killed girl. The movie is a horror sequel to Boogyman 2 and is the number 3 in a series I will never watch. 5 hours of shooting. My first movie, ever. Looking back, I see my paycheck and my name on imdb is not all I am walking away with. It's all about experience in this level of existence, or we would be better born as seaweed.

Never be afraid of doing something for the first time
Whether it's talking up the guy next door, learning how to perform a task, studying a line, going for a job interview, pulling a heavy weight, it's all about doing it. If you are afraid, chances are you'll fail. There is nothing to be afraid of, when you are performing at your best.

Pay attention to detail
Because if you don't someone else will and eventually you'll have to do the same thing over and over and over again until you get it right. You get that special chance on camera, but in life it's rare, so keep your eyes open.

Look at things from all angles
See the big picture first, then try to see it from the point of view of each participant. Empathize, merge, relive. When you have it all covered, you'll make the best decisions. If you are stuck in a situation, always, always look at it from every point of view.

Know your whys
Whenever you do or say something, whenever you look at someone, smile, cry, touch or attack, always as yourself "why am I doing this?". And you better have a good reason, because how healthy , happy and successful you are largely depends on being you, a justified you, in every minute.

Look for the good in people and tell them about it
If someone just did something for you, don't just say thank you. Say why you appreciate it. Have you done that, today?

Have patience
A great moment might be in store for you, but if you don't have the patience to wait for it, you might never enjoy it. Know that good energy put to work, combined with patience, will always get you more than just hard work. You'll have times when you're fed up with waiting, but do know that those times will end.

Rest like a king
When hard work is over, rest. Put your feet up, have a drink and look forward to another day of lessons.