urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Getting ready to put something in there, I discovered that I forgot to wash out the slow cooker crock after the last use, so it got a hot Oxi stuff soak a little while ago. Ick.

Yesterday I picked up a nice-looking pork shoulder roast from the reduced section, since Ingvar isn't here. (He really dislikes cuts with lots of muscle bundle divisions like the shoulder.) It's now in the crock, so I don't have to turn the oven on with the muggy, hot-for-this-climate weather. Later, I'll chuck some celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and fresh rosemary in there, and maybe a potato or two.

That was 1.5 kg of meat for £3. Rather a lot for one person, but I'm planning to mix up some Carolina barbecue sauce (a lot like peri-peri with slightly different ingredient availability that side of the Atlantic) and turn the leftovers into pulled pork. Actually, I've been craving the barbecue flavor, but we do have an open bottle of really yummy peri-peri sauce in the fridge. Max might get some of the leftovers, as well. :)

The potato is in question, since I'm strongly considering going lower carb--especially starch, since I'm particularly sensitive to it--again. Even before meds set off the insulin resistance, I don't think my body was set up to handle much starch happily. That dietary change helped with managing my blood sugar before, but I got kinda turned off it through its being absolutely necessary for the almost-year I was taking metformin, which causes malabsorption. (Scarily, this has been suggested as a very bulimia-like weight loss treatment.) I still stayed sick and semi-dehydrated, but less so. My glucose control was worse on it, probably from staying sick and dehydrated. *headdesk* When I finally stopped taking that, it was such a relief to be able to eat a lot of foods without being really sorry afterward. Our old friend demand resistance probably had something to do with it, as well.

Still, I felt much better when I was eating a lot less starch than I have been lately, even with a lot of care devoted to balancing. I shouldn't have to think about what I'm eating and when as much, going back to a lower carb diet. Not to mention making avoiding gluten much simpler. ;)

After we move and get settled into a house, I am sooo going to plant some Jerusalem artichokes. (I can't even find the Tsalagi name for them, which is particularly annoying in context.) We just haven't had room for a good stand of them here, and they're not wild for the digging.

The past few months, I've had to go back on meat, with my ridiculously high energy and protein needs right now. I was eating enough beans, nuts, cheese (already a compromise), etc.--and eventually sustainable wild fish, as a compromise I was vaguely ethically happy with--that I didn't have room left for a variety of fruit and veg, and it still wasn't enough. Now I'm not ravenously hungry all the time, and don't think I've lost further muscle mass. Which was getting to be a bit of a problem.

The thing is, medically necessary as this shift back to eating rather a lot of meat seems to be for now, I'm not ethically happy with the idea. At all. Even the RSPCA monitored "Freedom Food"-labelled stuff available here does not meet my standards; the animals are still too tightly confined and commodified. Most lamb and properly grazed beef are just about OK, if still raised specifically for sale as food.

If I were back home, I'd probably be doing an awful lot of shopping at Brush Creek Buffalo Store, and finding meat and eggs from other farmers I know to raise their animals decently. (That was admittedly easier with my non-autistic, extroverted mother around. Not only did she tend to work with/otherwise know people who would sell surplus animal products, she had the gift of gab and could easily find other sources.) Living in an urban area now, I can't investigate this in person. Much less have access to wild animals, which would be closest to ideal.

Then there's the cost. We are thankfully not poor, even with my being unable to work now. The cost of more meat is more of an annoyance. But, I have held onto enough poverty mentality in some ways that I'm already uncomfortable with spending about £2 more a day on food, now that I'm back on some meat. I learned well, and have to fight urges to be just plain cheap with food (and just about everything else). Going lower carb, that £2 will at least double, even if I compromise even more on the ethical considerations. Meat is really, really expensive in the UK. (Yes, I am used to--if not fond of the idea of--US meat subsidies. The difference is amazing.) The stuff from the Buffalo Store--direct from the owners' herd--is barely more expensive than lowest common denominator beef here. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but not by as much as I'd like.

And yeah, I also continue with the disability shame, feeling bad about needing to spend that much extra just for me even if it's directly health-related. Especially since I'm not doing paid work.

But, that's looking like my best option at the moment. While I could eat what I wanted to, within reason, during my brief Januvia jaunt, the medical PTSD is continuing to get in the way. And I need to do something to get my blood sugar under control. The situation is untenable. Needs must, and all that. :-|


Mar. 4th, 2009 04:29 pm
urocyon: (water)
We hadn't been planning on getting a dog, but I ran across a 10-year-old Staffie who needs a new home, and am sorely tempted to try to give him one.

This isn't just because I'm a chump when it comes to animals, though I'll freely admit that I can be. There aren't nearly as many people wanting to adopt older animals. Trying to find other arrangements for 15-year-old B.B. made me even more aware of this. It also isn't just because I love dogs, and miss B.B.--who made me realize just how much I like Staffies.

Spending time with B.B. again helped me realize just how much she was helping me day to day. I was aware that there are helper dogs for auties, but had taken for granted all the ways in which B.B. taught herself to help, beyond the basic emotional support. This was probably also a good bit of the reason my Nana made sure I always had at least one dog with me as a kid, without even thinking about disability! That wasn't just for snake protection. Having spent most of my life in mutually beneficial relationships with dogs, I'm really missing not having that.

Dogs and support )

Most of this help just falls under the category of "being a good dog friend," and reciprocity. I was mainly interested in the companionship and emotional support, but have gained a better appreciation for the practical side of things. Living with B.B., I just took that for granted. I don't expect a new dog to do all the same things, but with a little encouragement and training, s/he could provide a lot of support which the cats cannot. Not too surprisingly, it's easier for me to request and accept help from an animal, without feeling ickily vulnerable, as just part of the relationship.

My main concern here is, indeed, the cats. ([livejournal.com profile] vatine is a bit of a concern, too; even though he liked spending time with B.B., he's just not used to being around dogs.) This dog is supposed to be good with cats--again, can't expect him to love cats like B.B.--but I'm not sure how the kitties would react. I was not as concerned about B.B., when we were still hoping she'd travel OK at her age, since she puts out such a strong "ooh, I adore cats" vibe that she doesn't scare most of them. I would take great care with the introduction, of course, and sure do hope that's enough. At least none of these cats has had reason to develop a serious fear of dogs, unlike a couple of rescue kitties who have lived with me in past.** I've considered trying to find a small dog, preferably as a puppy, which they might find less intimidating. (But, that might remind Feist of a fox, and bring out aggression!) Max is an adult, but Staffies aren't very big, and he's old enough to have calmed down.

Decisions, decisions! I couldn't resist sending Max's human a message--before consulting anyone else :/--and should try to get back to her today.
* Pretty good description of the fun of a supermarket, even for an adult
** One was terrified of a tiny 8-week-old rescue B.B., to the point of leaving. He would periodically check back in, to see if she was still there! He and his littermates had spent at least a couple of days abandoned in a neighborhood with roaming dogs, at less than six weeks old. :/

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