Thai-Riffic Recipe

Healthy Bariatric Recipe

THAI-RIFFIC

 

I love to cook – this is no secret.  Since losing weight eight years ago, one of my favorite things to do to stay healthy and maintain my weight is to take my favorite foods and make them at home. Even though I like to think of myself as an adventurous eater, I’ve recently come to realize that I’m not nearly as fearless in the kitchen as I’d like to think when it comes to cooking. Considering that I didn’t really start cooking for myself until about eight years ago, I guess it’s pretty impressive that I have the repertoire that I do.  Still, I have moments when I realize that I really need to push myself to expand that and try new things all the time.

 

Last week I decided to just that, and I’m so glad I did.  Like a lot of people, I’m a huge fan of Thai food, but I’ve rarely experimented with cooking it because I’ve always thought that because of it’s depth of flavor it would be really difficult and time consuming(and I’d likely screw it up).  I was flipping through several of cooking and food-related magazines and there just happened to be several Thai soup recipes and I decided to just go for it.  I didn’t even bother to read the directions, I just went ahead about bought the ingredients I didn’t have and decided I’d set aside a night to try and make a lighter version of an already fairly healthy soup.

 

People:  I have no idea why I waited so long. To make a delicious curry based soup is super-easy. Crazy-easy. Delicious-easy.

 

Here’s my lightened curry based broth version for you.  This broth is crazy delicious on it’s own, but you can add anything you like to it.  Use shrimp or chicken to add extra protein, and  add rice noodles if you’d like to make it a noodle bowl.  This literally takes less than 30 minutes to make, but tastes like it took hours.  If you have leftover chicken or seafood, just toss it right in.  It’s delicious!

 

THAI COCONUT CURRY BROTH SOUP:

 

Ingredients:

 

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 shallots, sliced

1 lime  – zest the lime and keep the zest separate (you’ll be using both the zest and the lime juice)

3 cloves garlic (jarred minced garlic is also fine in a pinch!)

3-4 tsp fresh grated ginger – fresh is a must!

2 tbsp of red OR green curry paste – your choice!

4 cups reduced sodium chicken stock

2 cups of water

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 can unsweetened lite coconut milk

2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

2 tbsp fresh chopped green onion

 

Directions:

 

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a dutch oven or large pot
  2. Crisp up the shallots until golden brown.  Remove shallots and reserve for later. You will use these as a garnish.
  3. Now add the garlic, ginger, and the curry paste to the dutch oven and warm/cook for one minute.
  4. Add chicken broth, fish sauce, 2 cups of water, lime juice, and lime zest.  Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and add in the lite unsweetened coconut milk
  6. At this point – add in pre-cooked protein if you like!
  7. Bring back to a boil and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
  8.  (If adding rice noodles, add in now and let cook for another 2-3 minutes boiling until noodles get soft.)
  9. Spoon into bowls and top with cilantro, green onions, and crispy shallots.
  10. Enjoy!

 

You’ll feel like you’re eating take-out from a fancy Thai restaurant, but it’s SO easy to make at home.  Even better, reheating and re-serving tastes better every time.  This makes six yummy and healthy servings – so enjoy!  If you make this, please let me know if you liked it!

 

To see this picture on Taunia’s Instagram, click HERE.

 

Diva Taunia is a professional musician, foodie and wanna-be chef. She is a born and bred Boston-girl now living in Los Angeles with husband (also a professional musician) and dog Julip.  You can follow her antics on her Instagram account @divataunia or on her website at www.divataunia.com.




Understanding Migraines & Learning To Make It Through Them

Migraine Therapies Information

 

THE MADNESS OF MIGRAINES

 

A million years ago when I was in middle school, I began getting searing headaches that had me getting sent home and missing school.  My parents took me to the pediatrician who diagnosed me with migraines.  It was right around the same time that my hormones started changing, which is what he chalked it up to.  They gave me medication, and eventually they started going away.  After that brief episode, I only dealt with the occasional killer headache in my adult life – until recently.

 

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with epilepsy after suffering a major seizure followed by a few smaller ones.  Just before this happened, I had been dealing with some pretty serious migraine headaches and had been seeing a neurologist about them.  After the seizures, my neurologist and I had to work to find a balance of medications and homeopathic remedies to keep both at bay.  Up until recently, we had done that, but the migraines are back with a vengeance, and I’m on a quest to find a more natural remedy to fight back.

 

So the first thing I wanted to know is, what exactly IS a migraine?  I think we all know in general broad terms it is a whopper of a headache, but I wanted to dig a little deeper than that.  Here’s how the Mayo Clinic defines a migraine headache with more in-depth information:

 

Migraines may be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway. Imbalances in brain chemicals — including serotonin, which helps regulate pain in your nervous system — also may be involved. Researchers continue to study the role of serotonin in migraines. Serotonin(*) levels drop during migraine attacks. This may cause your trigeminal system to release substances called neuropeptides, which travel to your brain’s outer covering (meninges). The result is headache pain.

There’s also hormonal changes in women. Fluctuations in estrogen seem to trigger headaches in many women with known migraines. Women with a history of migraines often report headaches immediately before or during their periods, when they have a major drop in estrogen.Others have an increased tendency to develop migraines during pregnancy or menopause.

 

There were other triggers indicated as well:  foods, drinks, stress, sensory stimuli, physical factors, changes in the environment, and medications.

 

(*)As a gastric bypass post-op, there’s always a malabsorption concern, particularly with seratonin, and in my case I happen to also be an insomniac, so that makes things even trickier.  Add to that I am 44 and in perimenopause, and I’m like a walking petri-dish for a migraine, the perfect storm just waiting to be unleashed – and in fact, it has!

 

The past two weeks have been almost unbearable, keeping me from rehearsals and needing to stay in my room with the door closed, lights off, and battling tears.  I went to Facebook and the internet to ask for suggestions.  I got many suggestions for medications, but also some more homeopathic and – interesting – ones that I thought I would share:

 

Acupuncture:

I know in this day and age it’s silly to be weirded out by the thought of the little needles, but I am.  Still, this was by far one of the MOST suggested relief tactics.  Even a quick search on Google shows the NY Times and Huffington Post listing it as a tried and true migraine relief answer.

 

Chiropractor:

Some people believe that migraine pain originates in the spine, and that getting a proper alignment can help.  There are days that I will try ANYTHING that will help.  If you tell me lining up my spine will do the trick, fine, let’s do it.

 

Daith Piercing:

This one was new to me.  I’ll be honest:  I’m not so sure about this one, but I heard about it, so I’m putting it out there for you to decide on your own. The folks who told me about it SWEAR BY IT, and there were quite a few of them.  Essentially it works a bit like acupuncture:  it’s a small ear piercing in the innermost cartilage fold of the ear.  Apparently it helps with migraines by targeting pressure points on the body’s surface to ease discomfort.  And if it doesn’t?  You can just take the piercing out and let the hole close up, just like any other ear piercing.  Still, I checked snopes.com and found it’s not confirmed either way, so I’d suggest doing some reading first.

 

Feverfew:

This is a supplement that’s a medicinal herb that’s used to treat migraines and digestive problems (but it should not be taken by pregnant women). Some people take it as a preventative treatment as well.

 

Magnesium:

The first thing my neurologist recommended and the go-to on the internet.  Most people who suffer from migraines and constant headaches are magnesium deficient and it’s generally recommended to boost your intake by 200 mg per day.

 

Peppermint:

Many people wrote in and talked about the benefits of peppermint tea, peppermint essential oils, and peppermint candies.  I haven’t personally tried this, but it was suggested so often that it definitely needed to make the list.

 

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2):

Another one my neurologist suggested.  I saw no difference once adding this, but it’s often suggested as some people are deficient.

 

The older I get, the less medication I want to put in my body and the more “real” alternative I want.  If you’re like me and you’re also dealing with migraines, hopefully you’ve found something in this list that you can talk to your doctor about and work with.  Here’s to a pain-free head for us both!

 

Taunia Soderquist is a professional musician, music educator, and radio host located in the Greater Los Angeles area.  She’s also a seven and a half year gastric bypass post-op living a healthy lifestyle after losing and maintaining 150 lbs.  Now a passionate cook, but not-so-passionate about exercise (eh, she’s trying). Check her website for live shows and more info:  www.divataunia.com.

 




Cold….All The TIme

Cold Feet - Circulation

 

If you’re a weight loss surgery pre-op, be prepared:  you’re going to be freezing like you never thought possible.  I promise you this.  Sooner or later, when the weight comes off, your body will start torturing you with coldness.  You will begin investing in sweaters and sweatshirts and you will feel a chilled to your bones.  It is one of the “cons” that comes with losing weight, and I assure you, it WILL happen.  If you’re a weight loss surgery post-op (or anyone who has lost a lot of weight, really), you already feel my pain on this one.

 

I’m writing this from Boston, and while I love my friends and family, I HATE this cold.  I’m spoiled:  I admit it.  I have become very  much accustomed to my Southern California weather (and I even complain about the chill there, truth be told), and this 14 degrees outside?  NO, just NO.

 

But I realized that there has GOT to be more to it.  I mean, I’ll fully admit that I’m a big ol’ wimp, but there have certainly got to be some physical reasons for being so chilly all the time too.  To Google, I go!

 

Turns out, a few of them were what I expected:

 

  • Poor circulation
  • Low iron (I’m anemic)
  • Sleep deprivation (I’m also an insomniac – lucky me!)
  • Low B12 (makes the red blood cells that carries oxygen through your system, hence getting the blood circulating)
  • You’re too thin (clearly not my problem), lack body fat for warmth

 

Then a few that I didn’t know about as well:

 

  • Dehydration
  • Thyroid problems, one of the first signs of hyperthyroidism is constant coldness
  • Fungal infections – disrupt the hypothalamus, the body’s master gland and temperature control
  • Raynaud’s disease – the blood vessels and smaller arteries that supply blood to the skin constrict and limit circulation (can be controlled with medication)
  • Diabetes not kept in check can lead to peripheral neuropathy, which attacks the nerves in your hands and feet and can send the brain numbness/cold messages

 

My likely causes are that I’m anemic and an insomniac.  Well that, and it’s 14 degrees out right now.  But it was interesting to read that not being hydrated enough could affect temperature as well, who knew?  Of course, I was a bit amused to read numerous times in my searches that one of the reasons was “because you’re a woman.”  Notice I didn’t include that in my list.  My husband gets just as cold as me, thank you very much.  AND he’s skinny – so there!

 

Here’s wishing you warm blankets and great circulation!

 

Taunia Soderquist is a professional musician, music educator, and radio host located in the Greater Los Angeles area.  She’s also a seven and a half year gastric bypass post-op living a healthy lifestyle after losing and maintaining 150 lbs.  Now a passionate cook, but not-so-passionate about exercise (eh, she’s trying). Check her website for live shows and more info:  www.divataunia.com.