Tuesday, March 18, 2008

getting some cooking help

Ugh, I am going crazy with my food restrictions. It wouldn't be so bad if I had all the time in the world to look at recipe books and learn how to cook a completely new repetoire of dishes. But I have an incredibly busy job which doesn't leave a lot of time for leisure cooking. I used to get a lot of carry-out food but that's not so easy either with my new restrictions, and as a result I am bored with the few pre-made things from Whole Foods I can eat. And going to a restaurant (although I still do a lot with my boyfriend) is not so much fun when almost nothing on the menu fits your diet.

I did some research and found that there are three types of help one can get with cooking:

1. Personal chef who comes to your place and makes meals just for you, very personalized
2. Meal ordering service that offers a weekly menu that you choose the items you want from, according to the sites there is some personalization/taking into account dietary needs possible
3. Meal prep kitchens where you go and assemble the ingredients for a meal that is easy to make at home

These are in descending order price of course.

Some comments on each:

Personal chefs -- this is the best for finding someone who will cater to your exact dietary restrictions. But pricey!
Meal ordering service -- hard to find one that uses hormone-free meat and poultry, and in each week's menus it might be hard to find enough dishes that match the fibroid-shrinking diet
Meal prep kitches -- many of these focus on meat-and-potatoes kinds of meals and do not have hormone-free meat and poultry. But there is an organic -oriented one in Chicago that I have seen advertised, and some of the more gourmet ones may be ok. This website allows you to search in your area for all such meal prep places: http://www.easymealprep.com/main/zipcode1.php

I found a personal chef person who is a vegan (so presumably knows lots of vegetable recipes) and she doesn't have a website or even a company name, and as a result she is much less expensive than the standard services so I am going to give her a try, will have her make 5 meals for two -- some will eat with my boyfriend and some will be two meals for me.

I found her when a business associate posted something on a listserv for gourmets. It's the kind of thing where one has to ask around especially if you want a less costly person. Someone like a cooking school student might also be a good candidate.

Also I have a message in to one of the meal prep places near me to see if their stuff is hormone free. It sounds like it could be kind of fun to do the meal assembly.

Between the two of them that should help me get some variety in!

In working with the chef, I needed to give her a description of my diet. Since I'm writing it down, thought I'd share with you what I just sent to her. This is based on what my acupuncturist told me (cross-checked with what is recommended in the various books on fibroids -- he was consistent with them), combined with the diet for ABs in Eat Right for Your Typewhich my acupuncturist asked me to also follow. The parts that are only from my Eat Right for Your type I put in italics, and everything else is good general practice for fibroid shrinkers. In future posts I will write more detail on all of these.



Meat and poultry
Grains with gluten
Fried foods, anything oily
Tuna and other fish with high mercury levels
Farm-raised salmon and other farm-raised fish
Tofu, soy milk, soy protein products
Garbanzo beans and kidney beans
Shrimp and shellfish



coconut products


Lentils and other beans esp. navy, pinto and red lentil
Brown rice
Seaweeds /sea vegetables

(It’s ok for me to eat small quantities of hormone free beef and poultry, wild salmon and wild white fishes that don’t have high mercury, and 3-4 eggs a week. But I can make food with those myself, and would prefer your help to get some different dishes into my diet as I am currently dying of boredom in my food!)

As you can see it’s rather restrictive, which is why I am getting so frustrated with cooking and need some support in this area!
This is a specific diet designed by my acupuncturist, am trying to heal a health issue the natural way so am following the diet exactly (seems to be helping so want to keep it up!)
It’s similar to vegan except a lot of vegan food is heavy on tofu and nuts which is not good for me.
It’s also similar to macrobiotic but does not use as much tofu
For this reason it is not easily classified and thus I can’t buy just one cookbook, it’s a recipe here and there from each cookbook…
(probably the closest thing I have found that matches this is diet for Kaphas under Ayurvedic theory, I also can eat almost anything from Ethiopian food)


I will be very interested to see how this chef does! Will let you know how this experiment goes...

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