December 16, 2011

An Excess of Holiday Ham?

Yesterday my day started as usual, with 2 mugs of coffee, each with a little heavy cream and about 1tsp of honey. At mid-day, I had my usual dish of 2/3 c. home-made yogurt with a banana and a fermented fig (more on the fig later.)

So, in late afternoon, I decided to have some ham. This is not a strict "ancestral" ham because it's not from a pastured hog and I'm sure it was sugar cured. You know the type I mean, a ready-to-eat shoulder with the bone still in. I have plans for that bone, but for now I'm just going to freeze it.

Now about my meal--normally, I make a leafy green salad that marinates for a bit in vinegar and olive oil. And I usually have raw and/or cooked vegetables, and maybe a piece of whole fruit for dessert.

But not yesterday. No, I carved myself a huge slice of ham from around that bone, browned the slice of ham in a skillet and made a feast of it. It was about the regular thickness for a ham steak, but I would normally eat about half of a round with the salad and veggies.

That slice filled my dinner plate! And nothing ever tasted better. Ham has never been my favorite meat, so I only have it once or twice per year, but I am a woman who hasn't had refined sugar in 8 months (well, except for that binge in August) and my taste buds actually work now. The sweet, delicate flavor of the ham inspired me to eat that whole slice with gusto.

How, you ask, was I punished for eating a large meal of nothing but ham?

Umm . . . well . . . I WASN'T! When I woke up this morning, alert and well-rested, I had that tell-tale feeling when you know you've lost a little fat overnight. When I walked my dogs I was light on my feet and I had tons of energy; my waist was the same size as it was on Nov. 15th when I went on my holiday rules.

So, the moral of the story is that if you really feel like a big meal go for nothing but meat. It's not the ham that'll make you fat, it's the bread and mashed potatoes and pie. There's no such thing as an excess of holiday ham!

P.S. The fig I mentioned above is a dehydrated (unsweetened, unsulphured) fig I put in the pitcher when I brewed the previous day's water kefir. It soaks up the brew and becomes the juiciest, most delicious fig you ever had. I change out the other fruit every second or third day, but I have to put in a new fig every day because I just can't resist them.


  1. That sounds so good Nance!
    We're picking up our ham on Monday (it will be gluten-free because I have celiac disease [which is what led me to ancestral eating], but it won't be organic etc - just too expensive for us). I'm really looking forward to it. :-)

    Thanks for posting about the water kefir - I've read about it but never had it. Do you take a probiotic too - or does the kefir do that job for you?
    Janet NZ

  2. I don't take probiotics. Between the water kefir and the home-made yogurt I'm getting plenty! Of those 2, the water kefir is more powerful. You have to start with very small daily amounts and build up gradually or you could suffer symptoms of bad-bug die off.