Falling in Love Again - With Healthy Fats


Image Bride GroomDuring the 63rd meal of our 3-week marriage, I watched my husband poke and prod once-hot, now lukewarm food on his dinnerplate, using his fork like a miniature pitchfork.

With each sigh that escaped his lips, my appetite waned. Setting my fork aside, I lobbed a few questions across the dinner table.....

     How was he feeling? Fine? Good, good....

     Anything new at work? No?  Nothing?

     Was he fired?  Sorry, sorry...

    Had someone died?  

....did little to gain insight, although he did reward me with a chuckle at my dark-humor attempts to get his attention, if even for a moment.  Within seconds, he returned to the business of pondering, puncturing his dinner.

"How is your dinner, by the way?", I asked, having finally connected the pokes.

"Fine! Really!", he responded, a bit too enthusiastic, given the fact he'd not eaten a single bite.

Enough sitting and sighing!  Time for action!

With one smooth motion, I stood, swept the plates from the table, and headed for the kitchen, very nearly out-of-sight before my husband snapped out of his stupor.

"What? Wait!  Where are you going with our dinner," he called after me.

Image Sun Moon Stars

A split second before disappearing from view, I calmly offered, "Pizza? Chinese take-out? How about Taco Favorito?" He responded as if my alternative dinner ideas were outlandish, as if I'd suggested we should grab a pair of flashlights, and forage for our dinner at the local dump.

The busyness of feeding our dinner to the garbage disposal, gave him time to contemplate, putting thoughts into words.

"I love and appreciate the fact that you work so...hard....making all our meals", he explained.  "But...the plain, simple truth is...well....I had no idea that mayonnaise could be used in so many unique, different and unusal ways. In every meal.  Every dish. Even desserts!"

My brain registered his words as simple statements-of-fact, nothing more, nothing less than, "the sun rises and sets every day". 

"Well, yes thank you!", I smiled, relieved that he was getting back to normal, having computer-guy moments of stating-the-obvious. 

Cocking one eyebrow, he spoke plainly.  "Honey? The thing I just told you about the mayo?  That isn't a good thing....."

Image Mayo

Mayonnaise Was to Cooking, Like Duct Tape was to Home Repair

Mayonnaise was a staple "food" of my childhood. Starting at the age of 10, I faithfully copied family recipes collected from my mother, paternal grandmother and aunts. With every family get-together, baby shower, wedding or funeral, my mayo-based recipe collection grew. "She's going to be some cook, some day!", my proud grandfather often chortled.

The salad category was the largest in the collection - every imaginable dressing for lettuce salad, fruit salad, pasta salad, egg salad, tuna salad, and broccoli & bacon salad, all relied on mayo's tangy flavor and full-body texture.  There was plenty of mayo left to go around, though, when it came to other uses -  

Image Deviled EggsWhat was a sandwich or burger without mayo? Bare! Dry! 

Breading not sticking to the fish fillets?  First roll the fillets in mayo, then the bread crumbs! Voila!

Intimidated at the thought of making hollandaise?Never fear when there's  mayo-based mock-hollandaise to the rescue!

Out of eggs, and need to make that special chocolate cake?  Use mayo! 

Does your Jello-O salad need spiffing up? Add a side of mayonnaise for a flavor and texture contrast! 

Casseroles (hot dishes for those in Minnesota!) created with a 50/50 blend of sour cream and mayo were as useful for quick weeknight suppers as they were for baby and wedding showers - even a funeral or two!  Cream cheese cubes added to mayo gave that extra something for those special wedding dinners.

Relax! Need to condition your hair? Mayonnaise to the rescue!  And last, but never least, "natural" skin moisturizer? What else, but mayo!

Clearly, I was a woman in need of intervention. Mayonnaise Intervention!  

Out with the Bad, In With the....Not-So-Good! 

Image Nourishing Traditions

I took a good, long look at my recipes - dividing them into mayo and non-mayo piles - and discovered what my husband already knew.  Too many were too mayo-dependent! Out went the "bad" and in came the "good" - new recipes from Cooking Light.  

Talk about leaping out of the frying pan into the fire! 

Cooking Light recipes were (still are!) the modern notion of health-food, relying on no-fat or low-fat dairy, egg whites instead of egg yolks, no butter, low-fat cheese, and ground turkey or soy products replacing red meat.  

Not only had I culled processed mayo from our diet, but I threw out the nutrient-dense animal fats as well.

If I'd known then what I know now.....

Well-reasoned and well-researched articles of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) - The Skinny on FatsThe Oiling of America, and Know Your Fats - showed us that modern diets, rich in not-so-healthy vegetables oil, are a disease waiting to happen.  We learned about the time-honored benefits of whole-food nutrient-dense raw fat - cream, egg yolk, butter - and their protective, not destructive, role in a well-balanced diet.

For a review of traditional, healthy foods recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation and Nourishing Tradtiions, read their Dietary Guidelines.

Low-Fat, No-Fat or Low-Water Foods Create Lipase Deficiency

Image Duck Fat

Lipase - an important enzyme worth some study-time -  is made in the body and used to break down fat in food so nutrients can be absorbed in the intestines.  Reduce the lipase? Reduce your body's ability to absorb nutrients.

"Internal lipase deficiency may develop when more lipase is needed for fat digestion and absorption than can be produced in the pancreas." Lipase & Fat Metabolism 

Lipase from fat-rich lipids are available in all fatty foods and oils, but their quality and useability depends on a number of factors.

"All lipid-rich foods also are high in lipase. However, you need to be aware that lipase is water-soluble while at the same time being attracted to the lipid phase. Therefore, you cannot get much lipase by using only the lipid phase, such as vegetable oil."  Lipase & Fat Metabolism

Animal fat in dairy and eggs, raised-on-pasture, are rich in lipase, beneficial for protecting us from a wide-range of disorders.  Resesarch shows that lipase-deficiency may be one of the components of modern diseases including premature aging skin, Alzheimer's, arterioschlerosis, atheroschlerosis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, cystic fibrosis, dementia, depression, diabetes, eye diseases, fibromyalgia, gluten-intolerance, lateral schlerosis (A.L.S.), liver diseases including fatty-liver disorder, malabsorption, multiple schlerosis, muscular dystrophy, obesity, pancreatitis, Parkinson's disease, psoriasis, Raynaud's disease, stroke, vertigo and Meniere's Disease.

To learn more about importance of lipids and lipase, and how they work together, read Lipase & Lipids for Health.  

RECIPE:  Pickl-It Lipase-Rich Mayonnaise