For the love of BACON!!!!

Who doesn’t love bacon?! (okay, vegans, but if you are one then you may not be reading anyway)

It makes everything taste better…hell bacon can down right make you happy!  Have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Chop bacon in your favorite dish, mix in salads, make bacon-wrapped asparagus, top your burger or just pre-cook some slices for a snack with an avocado.  I’m even going to try a recipe for bacon brownies (gluten/grain free of course).  Really, bacon has endless possibilities.

Bacon is not the food enemy it was made out to be.  Dietary saturated fat and cholesterol are good for us and not just in moderation.  It’s important to keep in mind that fat is a great source of fuel and bacon’s excess fat should not be feared. Of course, when it comes to fat, some choices are better than others. Pork’s fat, or lard, is approximately 40% saturated, 45% monounsaturated and 12% polyunsaturated. Saturated and monounsaturated fats are the ones that should be consumed liberally, while polyunsaturated fats should be kept to a minimum. The only bad thing about bacon and/or pork is that it is higher in Omega 6 than our wanted Omega 3.  So what?  have more fish and grass-fed beef that week then your “Omega’s” will be in-tune.  Another concern is the levels of nitrates in bacon. It’s true that most bacon, other than the nitrate-free versions, will contain varying amounts of nitrate, but this is often an unfounded concern and should not hinder your consumption.  So what? There is nitrate-free bacon available everywhere these days.  High sodium? choose lower sodium.

I made this last week: Bacon-wrapped Meatloaf, aka: Bacon Bomb or Touchdown Bacon or Bacon is F-ing Awesome Wrapped Around 2 Pounds of Ground Beef…that’s what I’m talking about.  Serve with some sautéed vegetables and a sweet potato topped with a little coconut oil, cinnamon and chili powder for a nice well-rounded meal.

BACON-WRAPPED MEATLOAF

1 medium onion chopped

4-6 garlic cloves chopped

1/2 red bell pepper chopped

6-8 fresh mushrooms chopped

2-3 Tbsp coconut oil (unrefined) or bacon grease

2 lbs grass-fed ground beef

1 lb fresh pork sausage (I used butcher made green onion pork sausage or use any)

1/4 lb ground grass-fed calf liver (I had my butcher ground it in the ground beef and used it for this, chili, burgers, etc…) – optional

2 eggs

Seasonings: Cayenne, sea salt, black pepper

12oz package of bacon (nitrate free and low sodium if possible)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Saute onions, garlic, peppers and mushrooms.  Mix meat ingredients together (except bacon) and eggs.  Then mix in sautéed vegetables and add into meat mixture.

Form the meat mixture into a loaf in a pan larger than the loaf so you can form the bacon around it.

Next separate the bacon slices and place over the loaf in a basket weave or slightly overlapping diagonally.  Whichever way you choose leave at least 1/2 inch overhang on the sides to accommodate shrinkage.

Bake for 50-60 minutes then put under broil for 5 minutes to crisp up the bacon.

The loaf will be sitting in bacon grease but that adds to the flavor.

Cut into slices.  Will make 6-8 servings.

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Darkness, Sweat and Fears

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting,
dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
~ Edgar Allan Poe

My only light during the hurricane.

The past week has been long. Too long for a supposed minor hurricane. With all the preparing we do it still turns our lives upside down.

4 full days without power in the Louisiana heat. To me this is living primal…I got to live like a cavewoman for 4 days. Even though I had a few modern necessities like texting (although I had to charge the phone in the car) and a flushing toilet, I took my Paleo lifestyle to a new level.

I prepared my Paleo survival food and cooked like mad before the storm came…it was coming a half day earlier than expected. Burgers, beef jerky, cut up vegetables, bacon, Paleo pancakes  sweet potatoes, pork roast and lots of water. Got the food cold knowing power would go off. I guess our hunter gatherer ancestors would have prepared what they could or consumed what food they could knowing they would be without for a few days.

Survival mode sets in. The hurricane came by overnight. Howling winds shaking the house. Up all night I tried to see the rain and watch the streets. Watching for flood…calling our tugboats on the Mississippi River to see how much it’s rising. It’s a little unnerving. Katrina didn’t hit us direct so what would Isaac do? He stalled and moved North. Thankfully.  On Tuesday evening, when the wind barely started, the power went out. Flashlight broke so I lit a few candles. Total darkness and I mean the scary boogeyman type of darkness. Alone with the dogs and cats in the dark.  One time at night I sat in the car charging the phone and getting some air with the dogs and a knock at the window by a neighbor, drunk and scaring the shit out of me.  I felt very alone.  Note for next time: Get a gun.

Rain and wind continued until the next day then it stopped. Then no breeze and the sun came out. Then the heat set in. Topping 100 degrees and extreme humidity. It was too hot to even go upstairs in the house.  I can barley function. I tried to exercise in the house but too hot. Walking the dogs was all I could do other than picking up debris and tree branches outside.  This is just what you do.  Ice was melting quick; so I stand in long lines to get ice. Throw out food going back and eat what I could. I still had to work…Grace had power, she took us in to her nice cool home to work for a few hours, then Ken did the same. I worried about the dogs and cats in the heat, and I would rush back to my hot home.  It’s still home so I don’t want to be away long.

And sleep, boy did I sleep. I slept as soon as the sun went down. Too dark and hot to stay awake. It was a little scary. I wait for a comforting voice to call. And after I would sleep more.

By Saturday with the sun and heat, although unbearable, it almost seemed normal and hoping this new “normal” would end.  Sweat is just pouring down me; standing under a cool shower feels wonderful.

And just as the sun is setting and the Michigan football game begins, the power comes on!  Glorious air conditioning…close the windows and make it cold!  Sprawl out on the couch and celebrate.  Just in time.

Out of cavewoman mode to recovery mode.  Work, clean, work.  The stress experienced after almost makes you want a little of that primal life…just without the scary parts.

Crescent City Connections

“Cords are made of astral and etheric energy and connect two people’s subtle bodies. They stretch between two people very much like an umbilical cord and transfer emotional energy and chi between the two. It does not matter how far away the other person is, as the cord is not a physical substance and distance is irrelevant, so it is still effective from the other side of the planet.” ~Alchemy Realm

There are connections between two people, who have shared a special bond that they, themselves, cannot describe.  Complete and natural energy within draws them together.  An instant and very strong bond of friendship and/or love.  It is a spiritual, almost psychic connection with this person, that so often words are not even needed because the connection is so strong.  It can happen miles away.  We look at this person or think of them and smile and feel happy.

It instantly forms a telepathic-like bond that when there is the touch of a hand or hug, it can feel like coming home.

I believe it is possible with everyone, but rare if the feelings are fought or the chance is not taken.  This connection forms a relationship that helps you grow and learn together and within oneself.  You get that feeling of connection when you find your best friend.  It can be a connection between two strangers.  It can be the family members or friends you are drawn to the most…who you can’t wait to see and spend time with and laugh with.  It is the connection you feel with a place you visit or live that draws you to the heart of it.  It can mean a soulmate or true love; the person with whom you feel true happiness and joy and which brings a feeling of having waited for this person your whole life…primal attraction.

Your heart and soul is called to them at the moment your eyes meet.  You just know.