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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Practicing What I Preach

Growing into the Truth We Speak

Can we only speak when we are fully living what we are saying?  If all our words
had to cover all our actions, we would be doomed to permanent silence!  Sometimes
we are called to proclaim God's love even when we are not yet fully able to live
it.  Does that mean we are hypocrites?  Only when our own words no longer call
us to conversion.  Nobody completely lives up to his or her own ideals and visions.
But by proclaiming our ideals and visions with great conviction and great humility,
we may gradually grow into the truth we speak.  As long as we know that our lives
always will speak louder than our words, we can trust that our words will remain

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Oh my! When I read these words from Dr. Nouwen this morning, I just said to myself -- "Thank God for God and for Godly men and women"! Henri was such a Godly man whose words have been such an inspiration for me (can you notice?!).  But Dr. Nouwen struggled with so many things in life. Nevertheless, he obeyed his call to God to write, to teach, and to share the good news of the truth about life, humanity, and, of course, God.  Henri's brilliance, vast knowledge, and stellar CV is not so much what draws me to his writings and preaching.  Rather, it is his deep search for God and how, despite and among his many many failures in life, he remained faithful and obedient to his call, bestowed upon him by God, and kept moving on his journey, overcoming as many obstacles as he could and/or learning and seeking through all his hurts and weaknesses, that which could still enable him to boldly proclaim Truth. It is very clear to me that the Voice of God is speaking through Henri's words.  Henri had no choice but to leave the legacy of all the books he's written, the tapes he's left behind, many manuscripts of his lectures, and of course, the hundreds of peoples' lives he has changed through his direct counselling and/or inspirational writings.   What a witness to love and redemption!

And yet, as I said -- he was so very very flawed and THAT'S what inspires me and keeps me going!

In obeying my own call to spread the good news about balanced diet, optimal nutrition, the importance of obtaining and maintaining a best body weight and fat:muscle ratio, and putting food and fitness in proper perspective -- I've had to struggle with my self-doubt and sometimes self-loathing during the times I wasn't fully living everything I was studying, discussing, teaching, counselling, writing about, and now blogging, tweeting, and rooting and tooting!

There were times in my life that I actually shut down to the world because I felt a fraud and hypocrite.  I had all this knowledge, all this expertise, a tremendous ability to make a difference to the lives of so many people who needed me and who had nowhere to go and no one to ask about these issues, and I did nothing.

For me, honestly, it has only been through the grace of God -- support from all the people in my life He has sent to me, situations I have been led to, and yes, even His words directly spoken to me -- that have made me realize that living and sharing the glory of God's Truth is not based on MY perfection! What a total fool and blowhard I've been to think that the truth about nutrition, fitness, balanced diet, and food/fitness egalitarianism was based on ME being the perfect example of all of these realities!

My life started to transform as soon as I recommitted myself to obedience to God's Truth. That transformation and truth includes me knowing that my imperfection is part of the plan to set me free -- to love, to serve, and to be fully 'me' -- the BEST 'me', the 'me' that God sees, through His Eyes!

Peace and Truth Be With You!

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

Sunday, 17 June 2012

EZPZ Pizza made w/Wholemeal Spelt Flour-- Nutrish & Delish

Pizza is a 'trigger' food for me -- ie -- it CAN set me off to start eating all the wrong foods for my body, which then starts the cascade of me putting fat/weight on, which, then results in contributing to make me feel like a dietitian failure. Eeeeekkk -- is that what I want?! Course not.

That's what this recipe is about. It''s a way for me, and hopefully, you, to feel okay about, EVERY NOW AND THEN, enjoying a couple slices of pizza -- THOROUGHLY -- not a lame imitation of pizza, like the  omelet-type or other meat bases or pita or flatbread versions, etc., but a good, satisfying crusty pizza!

Using wholemeal spelt flour in making this pizza base dough, creates a pizza that is higher in protein, lower in refined carbohydrate, MUCH higher in fiber, and higher in many helpful vitamins and minerals, than a pizza made with conventional white flour. So, the nutritional yield and quality of each slice is much better than regular pizza. Also, making pizza yourself enables you to regulate the toppings you put on, as well as the amount of fat you use to grease the pans.

Add more of toppings like fresh mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, eggplant and less of fatty meats, like pepperoni or salami. If you DO add the meats, dot much less than is normally found on pizzas -- you're making it yourself so you have more control. Anyway, these fatty meats are what make a pizza unappealingly too greasy.

Use light mozzarella and other light cheeses. Using a mix of light mozzarella and light sharp cheeses, like aged cheddar, actually yields a tastier pizza. Aged cheeses don't melt as well as mild cheeses, but they melt enough to give a lovely texture to your bite. And, of course -- again -- because you're making the pizza yourself, you have control to add much less cheese than you normally find on pizza -- you can have as much taste and satisfaction without the 'over-cheesing' factor! Even if you use some normal fat cheeses, using light cheese, to any degree, reduces the fat content of your pizza considerably!

Making the tomato sauce yourself -- just from either a can or carton of plain crushed tomatoes or passata, with a bit of olive oil, and seasonings is MUCH BETTER than the too-oily processed tomato sauces often used in making regular pizzas. Your simpler version actually results in a fresher, more robust, 'tomato-y' taste.

This pizza has all the taste and gusto plus the great feeling that you've eaten healthy.  You DO have to control HOW MUCH you eat, as you would do with anything.

More good news about this recipe. The cost of the 4 pizza (maybe 5, depending on how thick or thin you roll out the dough!)yield you get from this recipe -- is much cheaper , probably a third of the price you would pay if you would order a similar amount of pizzas.

It's also a recipe that is so easy to make and lends itself to getting everyone on board to help out -- making a real party out of just the preparation and cooking phase.

Pizza made with Wholemeal Spelt Flour

Preheat oven to highest temperature --

Dough for crust:

3 x 7g sachets dry yeast

2 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose flour, but will get softer crust) -- about 230 gms

4 cups wholemeal spelt bread flour -- about 500 gms

1 Tablespoon rock salt

tepid water

olive oil

In a large bowl mix both your bread flour and wholemeal spelt flour together with the salt.
In very large bowl, add all sachets of dry yeast.  Add enough tepid water and stir into the dry yeast granules so as to make the yeast into a thick liquid. Tip in a bit of the flour/salt dry mixture and start incorporating into the yeast/water mixture until all the dry ingredients become wet and  keep adding the flour mixture whilst adding more tepid water until all the dry mixture has been completely incorporated into a moistened mixture making a large dough ball. You will keep having to scrape the bowl as you form your dough. When you have a moistened dough ball -- add a bit of extra flour -- either normal or spelt flour right into the bottom of your bowl as you kneed the dough, just a few more minutes, making it assuredly a formed ball, with a bit of elasticity.  Now set it in middle of bowl. Cover the dough ball right in the bowl with a piece of cling film that you have oiled with olive oil on the inner side. This enables small droplets of oil to drip evenly over the dough as it's rising.  Cover the bowl with a dark tea towel and place the bowl in a dark place to rise for at least 2 hours, better 4 or more. (You can even put the dough in the refrigerator to rise overnight, but always make it rise at room temperature for at least a couple hours before you refrigerate).

Once dough is risen, take it out of the bowl onto a floured large cutting board or work surface. Kneed the dough ball for a few minutes.  Now you are ready to cut pieces off this large dough ball to make your pizzas. Start with cutting about a fourth of the dough ball. With a floured rolling pin, roll this smaller piece out to a round and then carefully place onto an oiled round pizza tin.  Stretch out the dough to fit up to the rim of the tin.  You can, of course, use a rectangular cookie tin, but the round pizza tin makes the base easier to manage at this stage, fyi!

Add some tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice. Always sprinkle some parmesan cheese, drizzle a bit of olive oil, and a dash of oregano over the whole pizza, no matter what toppings you have added.

Place in the hot oven for at least 12 minutes -- when toppings are bubbling and cooked -- take spatula and check that under crust is done and crisp. You may need a few more minutes. What you want is a crispy, well-done crust, not burnt or raw inside. (So, baking the pizza should take no longer than 15-- perhaps 18 minutes.  The quality of your crust depends alot on how thin you've rolled it out before you placed on the pizza tin.  Try to make it as thin as you can without it stretching out too much which could result in making holes -- this you DON'T want! The good thing about making your own dough is that you have 3, maybe 4 more attempts to get it perfect! Your first attempts will still be delicious and edible, but your last pizza -- of course, when everyone is already full, may well be your best :). Don't fret -- pizza  freezes very well -- so, by all means, freeze uneaten pizzas for an easy meal at another time!)

Take pizza out and let rest before transferring to a large cutting board to slice up and enjoy!