Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Thirty-Three (Studies Recommend Spelt as Part of Healthy Diet)

Recently, an on-line customer informed me she eats Spelt Right products because diet change, which includes spelt, has helped her reduce the symptoms of metabolic syndrome which is related to insulin resistance.  She said that, on the recommendation of her endocrinologist, she went off of white starchy flours and on to ancient grains like spelt and quinoa.  As a result, she lost 30 pounds.

I have heard similar stories, but this piqued my curiosity. 

I started researching and found an interesting article in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science, entitled Adjuvant Diet to Improve Hormonal and Metabolic Factors Affecting Breast Cancer Prognosis.   This article contains some incredible information based upon various studies.

It a nutshell, it states what we many of us know, but hate to admit.  Americans (and others adopting the "Western Diet") eat a lot of junk, don't exercise much, and are getting sick as a result.  The good news is that there are ways to turn this around.  One is to eat better, and one of the recommendations is to eat spelt.

The abstract of this relatively lengthy article states that “western lifestyle, characterized by reduced physical activity and a diet rich in fat, refined carbohydrates, and animal protein is associated with high prevalence of overweight, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and high plasma levels of several growth factors and sex hormones….[T]hese factors are associated with breast cancer risk and, in breast cancer patients, with increased risk of recurrences.  Recent trials have proven that such metabolic and endocrine imbalance can be favorably modified through comprehensive dietary modification, shifting from Western to Mediterranean and macrobiotic diet.”  (emphasis added)

Among the other dietary recommendations, the article suggests that breast cancer patients “reduce high glycemic index and high insulinemic index foods, such as refined flours, potatoes, white rice, corn flakes, sugar, and milk, using instead whole grain cereals (unrefined rice, barley, millet, oat, spelt, quinoa)

So, yes, I can say with confidence (and based upon experience) spelt is good for you.

And, if you want some great tasting spelt, try Spelt Right.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Thirty-Two (Word of the Day: Anodyne)

Anodyne - one of the words introduced at a CLE - continuing legal education course I took this week.  (I still bounce between the dual worlds of lawyer and entrepreneur). 

Anodyne - n. a drug that relieves pain; analgesic; anything that alleviates mental distress; adj. capable of relieving pain or distress. 

Yes, I could use an anodyne.  

Being an entrepreneur is STRESSFUL.  My brain feels it; my neck feels it; my soul feels it.  But thankfully, there are some human anodynes in my life who make this peregrination (oooohhh, I love big words) more palatable.  

My anodynes are folks who say, "I might not get it, but I'm here for you" or "Yes, I get it.   I've been there.  It IS hard, but you can do it.  If it were easy, every one would do it."   But, they go one step further; they not only offer words of encouragement and inspiration, they act.  Not only do they say, "How can I help," they roll up their sleeves and get in the thick of it.  They brainstorm on ideas; they find suppliers; they find bakers; they find funders. They say, it is ok, because I believe in you.  

They are what differentiates well wishers from anchors.  They are the people I love.  And I hope that someday I can offer my personal anodynes ranging in age from 9 to 85, a little relief of their own.  I hope one day I can offer them the fruits of my labor - for the lack of a better word - a lasting legacy.

So, at the risk of being a little self serving, I offer this Spelt Right pizza recipe as an anodyne to the stresses of just being.   Whatta Pizza!   

Ingredients, one Spelt Right Pizza Dough, fully thawed and risen.  Sauce of your choice.  Shredded mozzarella and provolone, black olives, mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and garlic, onions, fresh tomatoes, and whatever else serves to ease your pain.   Work dough gently into a lightly oiled baking pan.  Assemble as you would any pizza.  Bake at 450 for 12-20 minutes..check the crust!    Let cool slightly.  Indulge.  Feel no pain. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles Day One Hundred Thirty-One (Blabbing vs. Blogging)

It was recently suggested that in order to promote marketing for Spelt Right and relay my passion behind this business, I should blog more.

I should do a lot of things sleep more, exercise more, clean more, do my books more, play with my kids more, listen to my husband more.

But, there are also things that I need to do less, and one, as mentioned by my business partner, I need to blab less and blog more.  Clever juxtaposition, but true.  Blog more, blab less.

I need to complain less too, and worry less, and work less, but what this simply reveals is that there is a lot less and a lot more to life.  Perhaps, I just need to count more - count my blessings, count my friends, count my family, and count the endless number of four leaf clovers that grow in our yard.

With all of the great people in my life, despite all of the mores and all of the lesses, there is one guess - and that is "I guess that I am lucky."

As Joan Armatrading sang "I am so lucky that I'm as lucky as me."  Just have to keep reminding myself of that....

Lunch Box Chronicles Day One Hundred Thirty (Lord of the Flies 14 Year Old Birthday Party)

Themed birthday parties are the craze - My Little Pony for pre-schoolers, Glee Sing-a-Longs for Middle School Girls, 80s Rock Oldies for High Schoolers, but for middle school boys - YOU DON'T NEED A THEME....Chaos simply prevails - Dare I say, "Lord of the Flies" absent cannibalism was our unplanned theme for Spencer's 14th birthday.

I should have known that we were heading in that direction when Spencer mentioned that he simply wanted to invite friends to BURN their middle school homework.  And, Tim added fuel to the fire when he gifted Spencer a real CROSS BOW.   Mother Nature continued with the theme when she mysteriously planted a HORNETS NEST in a bush which the kids proceeded to trounce with pitch folks, hard rakes, and shovels.

It was chaos!

It was amazing to watch my young cake boss who expertly created his own spelt birthday cake earlier in the day transform into a member of a roaming gang within a few hours.  With flames rising, arrows careening, and angry wasps swarming, it was nothing short of miraculous that there were no major injuries.  At the conclusion of the chaos, there were only a few scrapes, loads of mosquito bites, and happy full bellies.

Luckily, these boys were not stranded on a deserted island with nothing to eat.  Instead, they had at their disposal endless amounts of Spelt Right pizza and the heavenly spelt chocolate cake made by a devilish kid.

It was a long three hours.  One that I do not wish to repeat, BUT....

as Shakespeare reminds us "All's well that ends well."
Spelt Right Pizza Dough - Perfect for Birthday Parties- Theme or No Theme

Heavenly Spelt Right Pizza for a Devilish Crowd
Someday we will convince Spencer to turn over the recipe for these divine cakes

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred and Twenty Nine (Happy Belated Birthday Emma)

It's been awhile since I have written as I have been working diligently to find the perfect partners to help Spelt Right grow while making our bagels and breads the best ever.   Life has been challenging - not challenging in a life or death sense - but challenging in a balancing the many pieces of a perpetually busy life sense.  Good thing I have good people in my life to reign me in at times.

My time this summer has been split between home and AWAY.  The kids' birthdays are one way to anchor me and those anchors have been one of my links to sanity.

Our cake boss days continue - Spencer has been on a cake making mission.   He made one in early June for his older sister's birthday - Emma - 19 years vibrant.

As always, the cake was quite amazing - soft, tasty, chocolatey - simply out of this world...On a recent business trip, I brought a piece of cake to my business associate from AWAY.   Perhaps not the best move.....We have created another addict to spelt chocolate cake - his simple request each time I return on a business trip - BRING A PIECE OF THE SPELT CHOCOLATE CAKE.

Enough on cakes and more on birthdays - I am very proud of my 19 year old.  She did a stellar job her first year in college, and now is doing a stellar job as an intern at the VIA advertising agency in Portland.  I like to take some credit that perhaps she learned some of her work ethic from her mom while making bagels at Spelt Right during the past three summers- but maybe I am taking a little too much credit.

Perhaps, this kid, now just stellar.   Happy Belated Birthday Emma.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred and Twenty-Eight (Kick-Ass Pizza)

OK, this might not be the proper vernacular for a mommy-type blog, but I just have to say it.  Spelt Right makes a kick ass pizza dough - and Whole Foods Portland makes a super kick ass - pesto pizza with Spelt Right dough known as the Penobscot.

This is so good it should be illegal!  

Having just delivered a boat load of spelt pizza dough to Whole Foods, I was inspired to order a pizza on the way home after running errands.

The picture Tim took is a little bizarre.  It makes the pizza look like it is glowing.  Could this pizza  possibly have a divine purpose?  Is radioactive?  Or is it simply just kick-ass?  In my humble opinion ----- a little of each.

Divine Kick Ass Spelt Pizza from Whole Foods - Portland

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles Day One Hundred Twenty-Seven (Country Inns, Bears, Dogs, and Really Nice People)

CALL and SPEAK to a REALLY NICE PERSON!   800-444-9245

You know a place has to be good,  really good when your nine year old remembers the favorite place she visited when she was a whopping 7.

Olivia told me exactly where she wanted to go on vacation.  “For a really special vacation,  I want to go back to that place where there are really nice people, a dog named Teddy Bear, a game room, a pool and Jacuzzi, a movie room, and a really great breakfast and it is right near Story Land.”

Now, this might sound like one of those all inclusive glitzy resorts, but really it is just home away from home – a great big house with everything you would want in your own house, and an extra set of parents to boot – Linnea and Rod are super hosts.  When you call, you will speak with one of them – some really nice people!!!

If you are looking for the perfect safe and comfortable place to bring your kids, I highly recommend the Old Field House Country Inn in Intervale, NH. One visit and you will be hooked.   The living room is a perfect place for the adults to relax and share stories, while the kids gallivant in the floor below between  the game and movie rooms.   Soon, all guests become friends, playing games together, eating together, sharing stories, playing with the resident dog – Teddy Bear,  and ooohing and awwwing the resident black bear – now duly named Teddy Dog.

Olivia and I love this place.   We visited 2 years ago,  brought some of our Spelt Right bagels to share, and enjoyed all that the Old Field House Inn had to offer.  We were surprised when we returned two years later that Rod and Linnea remembered Olivia (who could forget?), and our Spelt Right bagels and story, and asked us about our entrepreneurial adventures over the past two years.  It was like visiting old friends and catching up.   Pretty remarkable!

So, if you want to get away from the stresses of being home, but have the feeling like you are home AND you would like to meet a bear named DOG and a dog named BEAR, we highly recommend a trek to a place slightly off the beaten path.  As Longfellow recommended, take the road less traveled....