Sunday, April 17, 2016

Turkey Salad

I live on a very restricted diet, mostly because after a lifetime of antibiotics which started at age 3 for Rheutmatic Fever, my digestive system is effectively shot, meaning it's overly sensitive to food, various abnormal bacteria, viruses, flu/colds, OTC and prescription drugs, etc.

It also adversely reacts to prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes and naturapathic supplements. Over the years I've tried 4 diferent probiotics, from single or two types to complete types. I've tried two types of digestive enzymes. Both the probiotics and enzymes make things worse.

It's the mythy gastroenterologist and may digestives specialist make, "Just take probiotics, they replace all the bad bacteria.", which is not true. None of them will replace any bad bacteria you have in your digestive tract and only add more bacteria the system doesn't need or want.

The second myth is prebiotics. The same folks argue it feeds the good bacteria, which is true, but it also feeds the bad bacteria, which, if you notice their statements, they don't mention. You can actually excerbatte a digestive problem with prebiotics, especially if it can't tolerate starch and fiber.

Backto the story. Over the last 5 years, with suggestions from a gastroenterologist, and research published in 2012 about FODMAPS, we started with a very basic diet by eliminating major foods, starting with wheat and grains. The list expanded as I tried foods and added them to the no-eat list.

When all was said and done, I was down to a list you can write on a 4x6 postit note with room for doodles. But it has all the major food groups, covers the range to provide a more or less balanced diet, minus things like starch, fiber, fat, etc.

The list has only two meats, turkey and ham, not pork or bacon, and only organic meat without additional chemicals, especially things like nitrates and nitrites, meaning not the major brands. It used to include some fish and seafood, but were removed after several adverse reactions.

About once a week I have a food experiment meal where I prepare and cook something I haven't tried or something I have tried but had adverse reactions. I give foods three strikes. The first strike puts a waiting period between samples. The second puts it on a longer period. And the third scratches it from the list.

That said, the local Metropolitan Market (Proctor District in Tacoma) sells a locally raised turkeys. I can't recommend local, organic raised poultry enough over all the national brands. If you've tried them you know national brand turkeys are bland, almost tasteless, but local turkeys have a very distinct, tasty flavor, great for anything turkey.

It's a big difference you'll notice and won't buy national brands again. I go through a half breast in about a weke or so depending on the size, but usually stay with the medium ones to ensure it won't spoil before it's fully eaten.

I've also learned how to remove the entire breast in one piece in about five minutes. It's not hard, and only takes one very sharp knife and your fingers, so you have to make sure you wash your hands before starting this job.

The key is to do remove the breast from the bone while it is still slight warm and the meat is a little pliable, which allows it to be removed from the bone with just the ends of your fingers slowly peeling it from the bone and the knife to cut some parts loose, usually around the ends.

It's cool when you see the whole breast in one piece which makes it easy to cut or slice for any need. Ok, the salad. Sometimes I cut about half the breast into small chunks. I add a little salt to taste (you can always add more later), sliced almonds, coconut and mayonaise.

Mix it all together using only enough mayonaise to hold it together. Let it chill for a couple of hours and it's one very tasty salad for anything. You can vary the ingredients, add spices if you want (I can only have salt, not even pepper) or chopped pecans or walnuts if you prefer them.

It's good for about a week if it lasts that long. It's good in wraps, with fresh vegetables, whatever you like. I like to wrap it in slices of sandwich ham or in a corn tortilla. It makes a balanced, nutritious meal for me, using the few foods I can eat.

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