Monday, November 21, 2016

Amy's Sweet Potato & Apple Whipped Casserole

by Kris Pitcher

'Tis the season to publish my favorite Thanksgiving dish! This is sure to please this season. I recommend it be the topic of conversation around the table. The only, topic.

Amy's Sweet Potato & Apple Whipped Casserole
  • 4 sweet potatoes (equivalent 4 cups, cubed)
  • 3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 c freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated orange rind
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg (fresh is best, if you have it)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Roast sweet potatoes whole at 450 degrees until tender, about 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven and size of the potatoes. (Make sure you poke holes in them with a fork, first!)
  2. Bake apple pieces on a pan sprayed with non-stick for the last 20 minutes or so, until soft.
  3. Whip the egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Keep in the frig until ready to use
  4. Let sweet potatoes cool enough to scrape the pulp out of the skins, add to mixer with softened apples. Using the paddle attachment, blend until as smooth as possible, adding the single egg, OJ, orange rind, spices, and vanilla.
  5. When thoroughly mixed, slowly fold in the whipped egg whites to the sweet potatoes and apples, gently mixing by hand until a uniform, lighter color. (Nor egg white streaks)
  6. Spray 9x13 inch baking pan with non-stick, carefully pour mixture into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Serving Up Anger, A Chemical Warfare

by Kris Pitcher

My educational background is rooted in psychology with a sprinkling of anthropology and sociology. To say the last few days has been interesting to watch, is an understatement. What I'm most drawn to is the sense of loss and devastation, the bullying, the rise in unkind acts and the increase in anger.

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • sleeplessness
  • high blood pressure
  • skin problems like increased acne
  • digestive irregularities
These things are all caused by the chemical warfare of - anger. People are angry. What does being angry do to your body? Anger begins a domino effect of chemicals in our bodies. The adrenal glands push out adrenaline and cortisol.

These "fight or flight" stress hormones create a burst of energy so we can fight off a bear, or lift a car off a trapped child. They also cause a rise in blood pressure, body temperature, increase our pain threshold, and raise our respiration rate. 

These chemicals are fatty acids, and the continual release of and long term effect of them is build up in the arteries leading to an increased risk of coronary disease. Anger makes you sick. 

Stress, or anger, doesn't happen TO us, it happens within us based on our response to a situation. We choose to be angry. We are choosing to be depressed, anxious, and sleepless. We are choosing to have digestive problems and high blood pressure. Anger only affects us internally.

Each of us is entirely welcome to our feelings. I would never diminish how you feel about anything. That is a personal issue. What each of us has the power to control is our RESPONSE to our feelings. We own our response.

I am a proponent of controlling what I can control. There are a lot of things outside my control. There are also many things within my control. I focus on those things. I am also solution oriented.

What could I do differently? What could I work on? What do I have the power to change? What solutions do I bring to any situation? What can I learn? What can I contribute?

There is a lot happening "out there", things I may not have personal impact on. There is also a lot of  anger over "what if" situations that are not real. We can all settle the dust by controlling the things within our control.

Impact your circle, your community, your family. Make a difference. Being caught up in anger is only serving you, and not in a positive way. Choose your reactions, your feelings, and your emotions. Be aware of the chemical warfare you are engaging in. Ask yourself who that is serving.  

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Voting Sex and Macros

by Kris Pitcher

I voted. I've seen a lot of passion around what might be the most embarrassing, disappointing...fill in your adjective...election of all time. There just are not words.

People get worked up over lots of things and this is no exception. Whatever you subscribe to, you own it. Whether it's your politics, what kind of sex you have, or how you want to eat - your values, your choices.

Judgments, and passions, come over much less. I've never quite understood why people get so worked up over which "camp" they eat in. I am not in an eating cult. I can build an eating plan using any method of eating.

If you are passionate about HIIT cardio, or trail running, by all means be my guest. I'm not judging you. Why are people so mad about these issues?

People want to be right. Period. And as my mother used to say, "End of discussion." And that was the end of it, she had the LAST word.

But really? Are we paying attention to the right things? Have our passions for certain things outweighed their worth? Cant' we still be friends if you eat Keto, and I eat carbs?

I'm thinking these are not the values of importance - to other people. We can live in harmony and true to our values even if they are slightly different. And as I cast my vote, I hope this is the case for much more important issues.