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Vesta
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I grew up as a vegetarian, though took steps in the other direction from where my family began. We grew up without ever eating onions, garlics or any other lethargy-inducing food groups in a religious household. Did not mean that the food was tasteless. On the contrary, my omnivore friends loved my mom's simple fresh vegetarian meals. Despite working full time, she never sent us siblings with bread-jam or any other shortcuts for lunchbox. We always saw fresh meals being made from scratch - 3 times a day, without fail. This obviously had a big impact on me, and I prefer home cooked meal to restaurant food to this day, valuing eating out for ambience and novelty only. 

Though, over the years, moving continents saw me adding loads of eggs to my diet to supplement my protein intake of legumes and dairy. I also became found of taste-makers, onion and garlic...loads of them. 🙂 Now, only my dad is a puritanical ass who insists that my mom make a separate version of 'pure' food for him. She complies to keep peace but enjoys a richer vegetarian diet, like us siblings. 

Over the years, I also added a wide variety of world cuisine to my repertoire, and one of my favourite activity during business or personal travel is to raid a supermarket and farmers' market. Its a mini-miracle that I have not been apprehended for bringing in foreign foods in all the countries I have lived in. 🤭

I can't do frozen food, I just can't. Okay, frozen peas are okay, but anything beyond that freaks me out. No matter how many guests are to turn up at my home, I can't abide by the western European practice of cooking for them over the weekend and freezing it. Most Christmas treats for Christmas eve dinners are made this way in my host country. 

I feel better when I exercise but never had a regular routine for it beyond a few weeks at a stretch. I feel best when I am well rested, doing something challenging and exciting, and I feel valued and loved. I suffer from IBS and most of my illnesses are psychosomatic. I am anxious by nature but am highly functioning. Nobody who looks at me without knowing me too well would ever know the depth of my turmoil. 

I prefer home-brewed tea with a dash of milk but since its not available outside, I get hooked to coffee when in office, only to regret later. In these Corona times, I drink 3 to 4 cups of brewed tea while working from home, with a teaspoon of white sugar each time. Its my goal to be able to let go of this dependence, eventually. 

I think, food is more than an energy source. Its the way we reward ourselves and give ourselves reasons to continue living. 

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CocoPeaches
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I was so surprised when I learned that Alliums are excluded from some religious diets, because I was only ever taught that they were healthy. I learned about it in a yoga book years ago, but I never gave it much credence because I don't think I know anybody who adheres to it. There's a great episode of Chef's Table with a Zen Buddhist nun who cooks that way and I find it very intriguing. She says onions gives people "monkey brain." I eat a ton of onions and garlic, and am most definitely prone to laziness, and possibly monkey brain!

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Vesta
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@cocopeaches Oh, there are plenty people who do. I think it does lead to a lot of mental discipline. Its almost Saturnian in nature. Its not blocking of pleasure, but of distraction. When my mother cooks without them, its still heaven. But, I think its far easier to pull it off in tropical climes than temperate or arctic ones. 

I think if I wished to, I could easily go back to not using onion and garlic in my foods and be totally okay with it. Come to think of it, both of my siblings' wedding repasts were made without it!! 

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strawb.
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@cocopeaches

I love to cook with onions & garlic, though not as much raw (esp the garlic). No way I would give it up. 

I love strong bold flavors, with Aries in the 6th. With Mars there now currently, I can't stop putting red chili flakes on everything 😱😬

@Vesta

I have eaten beans from a can but rinse them first. I worry about the BPA lining though and try to get the ones without. I prefer dried beans cos they're cheaper and  healthier but it is a bit of a hassle to soak and cook. 

Ive been meaning to get a slow cooker or instant pot... It would be great with winter coming up. I would love to make a nice chili soon. Mmm

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CocoPeaches
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@strawb I already planted 250 cloves of garlic which will be ready to harvest next July! I eat a ton of raw garlic in my salad dressing, and cooked in a lot of my regular dishes as well. Maybe I could go a month without it, but I don't see myself abandoning it completely anytime soon. 🙃

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Libra Noir
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@cocopeaches I cook basically everything with onions and garlic lol. Any soup/stew or concoction I make starts out with a mirepoix plus garlic. I had also never heard of that food restriction. Interesting.

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Eleanor D
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I've always had a rather fast metabolism. As a kid I was skinny and always hungry - it's a family trait - we can eat loads and never gain weight. My husband is the same. Vegetarianism is something I've tried a couple of times, once for nine months, the second time for about three months. In spite of eating the most nutrition-rich foods I could find, low on carbs, I wound up exhausted and anaemic. Everyone is different - but I definitely seem to be one of those people who needs a bit of meat. For some years now, everything we eat is home-made, using lots of 'super food' ingredients, preferably organic. Currently, about a quarter of our veg and most of our herbs are home grown. I'm hoping to increase this percentage, and add some fruits. Home produced food, organically grown, picked and eaten straight away, seems to have a strong, pure energy which is highly beneficial for both body and mind. I get a lot of exercise, as I now do physical work for a living (which I enjoy), and walk the local hills in all weathers. My health has always been a bit fragile (6th H Chiron, 12th H Virgo Mars) but I've become adept at discovering home remedies that work, and also find Traditional Chinese Medicine very helpful. So far I've managed to stay one step ahead of my many and various ailments. I try to feed my mind in a similar fashion to my body, but I do have a number of bad habits in this respect! Currently, I'm trying to stay offline (and yet - here I am!). I've never partaken of any form of social networking, other than this forum and one other, and try to stay away from TV. Our evening entertainment is restricted to DVDs only, usually a short comedy followed by a single episode of some whodunnit. We listen to music all during the day (we have a vast collection), or talks which we've recorded. Then off to bed with a book fairly early. My friends are lively, intelligent, thoughtful and much more positive than I am right now. We meet in person when the vampires in charge allow - and sometimes when they don't. I enjoy having people over for informal meals, where we can have meaningful discussions with no limits on time. Breaking bread with others really reinforces the bonds of friendship. We talk for ages on the phone, or exchange the odd text or email. I don't do Zoom or anything similar - I refuse to become a glitchy, disembodied head on a screen. I have no apps and rarely use my phone. I'm hanging onto as much of my humanity as I can. Reality or nothing.

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Vesta
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@eleanor-d I would not have survived 2020 without video calls, but appreciate your POV.

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Opalina
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Uranus in taurus is transit to my 6th house, opposite to my sun ,mercury and saturn. I think I have finally got it in my head that I need to give up high carb foods. My blood sugars are not coming down even with weight loss. These last 18 moths i have not really cared if I lived or died but now I am realizing I could live and develop blindness or lose limbs because of my addiction to sugars, It is an addiction for me as I actually get the jitters when I dont have them. So I have had a wakeup call.

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Vesta
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@opalina I just remembered today something my dad used to do. He has been diabetic for over 2 decades. His minor wounds take months to heal. His eyes are almost entirely red all the time, and he looks much older than his age. Also, I suspect his personality changes have to do with almost constant perilously high blood sugar too. Initially, when he was diagnosed, all of us at home had to stop sugar because he used to creep up to the kitchen to steal it! He said he did not care if he lived or died too. Its truly a terrible addiction. You are very brave to admit to it, and then hopefully, taking the next steps to get rid of it.

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Libra Noir
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@opalina Have you ever read about candida? I did a cursory investigation and what I read tripped me out. Basically the bacteria in the gut that feeds on sugar, literally sends a signal to your brain- “eat sugar”. So I guess it takes a while for those bacteria to die and getting over that hump is the hardest (I’ve heard).

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Opalina
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@libra-noir Thank you I will read up on it. I take metformin and i just found out taking it can increase metabolic syndrome. WTH. So far I am doing much better with controlling the sugar in take

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CocoPeaches
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My 6th house is ruled by Sagittarius (with Saturn conjunct the cusp from the 5th house side, opposite Chiron). I’m a bit “all over the place” on a day to day basis, with an underhanded tendency to try to be rigid and structured. With Uranus and Neptune in my 6th house, it adds up to a lot of weirdness. Over the years I've found many things that work for me, but I inevitably drift to try something different anyway.

Sometimes I drive myself cuckoo crazy with my own habit of bucking habits (Uranus opposite Mars), but I’m beginning to accept that switching things up is essential to who I am (Uranus inconjunct Sun). I’m learning to work with that instead of against it.

Another way to look at it, is that I habitually try out new routines. The more things I learn in the realm of healthy habits, the larger buffet I have to choose from. Variety is the spice of life, but there’s also the paradox of choice to contend with… Saturn trine Jupiter.  I think I prefer seasonal rituals over daily rituals.

Uranus is also trine my Venus in Aries, which can be very ambitious and forthright. Since my whole personality kind of teeters on this 6th house Uranus, like unpredictable weather, I’ve learned to live life like a surfer. Prepared at all times to catch the waves as they come, while making sure to relax during the lulls.

I think the upcoming Saturn-Jupiter conjunction is going to be a pinnacle point for me and my health. It will fall in my natal 7th house, and my progressed 6th house.

My 6th house Neptune aspects my moon in Sagittarius (chart ruler) and 4th house Pluto in Scorpio, so there's a bunch of familial stuff to unpack there too.

Since Pluto recently finished transiting my 6th house, I have much to reflect on, while I try to piece together some sort of framework - one that keeps me going in the right direction, and also provides enough flexibility so I don’t feel compelled to make destructive 180’s.

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Vesta
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@cocopeaches Seasonal rituals sound very healthy and very wise. We are not robots! I think we overvalue consistency (says the Capricorn stellium). We must listen to all parts of us - body, heart, soul and feed each. Its okay to have an icecream if the heart wants to relive childhood on a hot summer day. Its completely normal to abandon low carb low everything diet when we suffer heartbreak. We get to choose what we want, every single day, and thats beautiful.

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Vesta
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Who else never had beans out of a carton/tin while growing up? I now use them but suffer from massive guilt afterwards. Would they be considered processed as well? What about Tomato puree? Nordic tomatoes have less taste than dry grass. I often depend on imported puree of Italian brands to make even remotely decent arrabiata. 

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Vesta
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The laziest (and most convenient) form of fresh cooking is this new concept of food bags. You get a recipe and all measured fresh ingredients in a grocery bag. You just follow the instructions! I have occasionally enjoyed cooking with it. Pushes me past my comfort zone of cooking only things I know well, or have stuff in the pantry for.

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CocoPeaches
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Beans were not a major staple in my home growing up, but I use canned beans all the time when I make soup and chili for my husband's lunches. They're probably not as healthy as naturally soaked beans, but the ones I buy don't contain any extra ingredients other than water and salt. I rinse off that liquid, and I'm just accustomed to the convenience. It's cheap, nutritious food so I don't sweat the canned beans. There are much worse things in life! I realize that buying them dry is ideal, so I do want to get into the habit of soaking them myself. You have reminded me to pull my neglected bags of dry beans out of the cupboard for soaking... and sprout some mung beans while I'm at it. Smile

I also can't stand to buy tomatoes in the off-season because they just taste awful. I tried my best to can as many of my homegrown tomatoes as possible this summer - whole and as salsa. The ones I didn't have time to process went into my freezer, and those are just as good for soups and sauces. I've also found that if I dehydrate the skins after I peel the tomatoes for salsa, I can grind them into a powder that functions in recipes like tomato paste, but even more delicious. When buying canned, I agree Italian brands are the best.

@vesta What is going on with Taurus and Cancer in your chart!? I'm very much enjoying your commentary on wholesome foods! And how could your husband be so stupid to lose a woman who can cook like you? I am baffled. 

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Vesta
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@cocopeaches Seems like you own a bit of land to have access to fresh tomatoes that sound like heaven. 🙂 Thanks for your compliments. I don't have much in Taurus (except Chiron) and Cancer natally, but my progressed moon is currently in Taurus. I don't think I am that great a cook, tbh. I like feeding my family (Cap stellium) as a duty. Its truly a pleasure to do it for them. These days, when I cook for myself, I can hardly be bothered. In addition, the baking gods hate me. I can't bake if someone holds a pistol to my head. 😄 

Reg Husband, this morning, I realized he is truly unfortunate to lose me, and I am not saying this out of an ego trip or sour grapes. I give my all in relationships and few can match me in commitment to make even impossible situations work, if they involve family. Heck, you read my food history. I started cooking meats for the man despite my preferences!! I couldn't touch it, couldn't taste it to know if I had indeed put enough salt, but I learnt how to cook it, from scratch.

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CocoPeaches
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@vesta I guess it's my own Taurus and Cancer that is appreciating how rooted you are in food traditions. It certainly makes sense that your Cap stellium would be pleasing to other earth and water signs. I bet that Chiron is a potent actor in your chart as well. As soon as you're ready, I think you are going to attract a new mate with your cooking in a matter of minutes! It will be someone who appreciates your effort, and who will be overjoyed by what you want to make, with no need to involve rubber gloves.

And yes, I do live on some land. It was part of the package deal with the husband – lol, he already owned a house when I met him. I left behind a lot of opportunity and status to shack up in the woods with my man, and I couldn't be happier with my decision. Having my own garden has been life-changing.

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Vesta
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@cocopeaches 'Package deal with husband' 😄 I know that families come with our associated karma that we needed to live. Shacking up in the woods with a good man sounds exactly as lovely as it should. 🙂

About my situation, without hogging the thread, I will concentrate on conceiving with a donor before I start asking men to be the father of my quadruplets on the first date. 😄 I logically know that people recover from divorces and are happy with other partners later, but it seems difficult to imagine for now. So, my visible (5 degrees from MC) Taurus Chiron says, I would cook for my visiting parents, siblings and their families, when I am ready to give birth in my host country. It will be a riot! 😄

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Elsa
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You don't need to soak beans if you use a pressure cooker. Instant pot is ideal because you don't have to watch it.

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CocoPeaches
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@elsa Thanks - I've got one of those! shiny chicken

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Elsa
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@cocopeaches I know!  Beans is one of the foolproof ip things to make. I'm thinking about this because I want to try something new - charro beans? Recipes I've seen call for tomato bouillon. I thought of this because of your dried tomato skins.

Anyway, it's cool today. It would be a good dinner.

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Occhineri
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@elsa Since March, I’ve been making a big pot of beans about three times a week. We have a vegetarian household (because of me, lol), and beans are my bf’s preferred source of protein. Saying that I’m sick of them, would be an understatement, but they’re cheap and easy to make. I usually roast vegetables & steam kale or collard greens to go with them.

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Libra Noir
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@occhineri Lol, same here after I stopped eating meat. I’m actually making some pinto beans tonight. I don’t mind soaking them for some reason. I will saute a mirepoix and a sweet potato (which adds a wonderful texture and hint of sweetness), cumin, a pinch of cinnamon. I use an old dutch oven of my stepdads with awesome results.

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CocoPeaches
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@elsa Charro beans look really good - I'm definitely going to make that! I think dehydrated tomato skins would be very similar to tomato bouillon. I have a pot of pinto beans on the stove already. I soaked them overnight. I also dusted off my instant pot (which I hardly ever use because I’m so attached to my Dutch oven, like @libra noir), and I'm probably going to use it to sanitize some jars (I don't have a dishwasher) and make yogurt.

Something was definitely in the air last night. Maybe it's just Sagittarius season - I don't know, but I was making meatballs, when my husband called after his trip, and I could tell he wanted to invite his clients over for dinner. We assessed the covid risk (low), and the fact that I had plenty of food ready to go, so I told him to bring them over. They were both enormous men! One of them was the epitome of Jupiter jolliness. The other was more of a world traveler type. Both family guys. 99% of my husband's clients are men, and of those, they generally come in two kinds: the one's that love their wives, and the ones that don't. They always end up sharing this truth with my husband, one way or another. These guys were the former. Huge sweethearts! The world traveler guy met his wife at a wedding in Mexico, and learned Spanish to start a life with her, and he wants to give me a tortilla press. The jolly giant guy couldn't say enough nice things about his wife and his daughters. It was a very pleasant impromptu evening, made possible by comfort food. It got me in the holiday spirit, big time.

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Occhineri
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@cocopeaches That sounds like a lovely night!

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Libra Noir
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@elsa Does it call for Caldo de Tomat? If so, it’s kind of a specific flavor. I use it in my Mexican rice. It’s used widely in Mexican restaurants here and it tastes really good, but does contain msg, at least the most popular brand Knorr does.

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Elsa
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@libra-noir Yes, some recipes did. I didn't have that on hand so I used what I did have on hand - cilantro and chipotle in bouillon form, onions, garlic, etc. I don't think you can really go wrong on the spice but I can tell you this - 45 min IP is not enough.  The beans were flavorful but undercooked. We ate them and they were fine, but if you wanted to mash them (refried), then under-cooked.

Black beans (unsoaked) do cook, perfectly, in 45 min. That's what I unusually cook. Once cooked, I sauté them... Cuban style.

I would probably estimate time by bean size.  I will cook pinto beans again because they are delicious but I would add at least 5 min to the time, maybe 10. I also used natural release.

PS - when I make black beans, I just cook them in the IP and finish - add spice, onions, garlic, peppers, when I fry them. They break down in this process (with some lumps). This is my husband's home food.

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