Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Furnace Filter

This is my medicine cabinet, straight from the Farmer's Market. It seems that some of my family and a lot of my Twitter friends have already been hit by the flu bug. This morning, Ron Burgundy woke up with a sore throat. I'm hoping that I can fight it off as I have for the past few decades, but you just never know. Stress, lack of sleep, and hanging around infected people can certainly knock you down. Perhaps I should check into a motel.

My friend Nick tweeted me a while back "Why don't you ever get sick?"

I guess I never expect to. Nor do I have the time. It's not on my calendar. Plus, I have a few years of immunity built up that Nick doesn't have. Like almost 30 more years, because he 's but a mere child.

I do believe in feeding my immune system. With functional food. And a yearly flu shot. I once had an elderly patient who was a dietitian, and she told me some fascinating stories about how they fought illness and treated infections before antibiotics.

Before all the flu shot haters come out and bash me, don't bother. If you say "I d
on't mind getting the flu" or "I'm going to get the flu anyway" you are also saying "I don't mind giving this nasty snot and pneumonia to all my coworkers and those I love the most."

Just sayin'. It probably wasn't nice to say "snot" in a post about food. Sorry/you're welcome (in the words of Katdish.

The vaccine will not give you the flu. However, you may incur a serious head injury if you're prone to passing out from needles. So lay down first. There's my disclaimer.

Since a few of you loyals think I should do food posts (rather that food Tweets, which are much easier), I thought I'd show you some of my fuel over the past few weeks. Not all of those Twitpics are food, of course. There's a mighty bloody finger in there, so beware. It was a "Hey look...Shiny" moment while chiffonading basil. I really shouldn't verb that elegant word chiffonade.

Here are my fueling staples. You'll notice I love color. Lots of color. And I don't like ingredients that I can't pronounce. Hence, I make most of my own salad dressings and try to use whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. That makes me sound like a hippie from 1969-1973. I guess that's where it all started. (But I wasn't). I even had a "Make love, not war" keychain back then. (Didn't do that, either).

I drink a Zola nearly every day. I loved açai juice long before Oprah even knew what it was. And only Zola - I've tried them all. Follow them here or on Twitter. It's a lot cheaper than going to Brazil and shakin' those berries down yourself. That would probably be my dream vacation - to shimmy up an açai tree in Brazil.

I love fiber and lots of texture. I'll spare you the details on the benefits of that. Things like wheat berries, nuts, and things that go "pOp" in your mouth like a plump grape or a pomegranate aril just make me giddy. Note to self: pomegranate season is only a month away!

I'm pretty much an herbivore but I love fish and seafood. I have nothing against meat. Lean meat is great healthy protein. I just have this little phobia about ruining my meal by coming into close proximity with a blood vessel. Or a stringy thing. Or gristle. Ewww.

I like tofu. I don't eat a lot of it - once or twice a week maybe. It's all in how you fix it. And I love the texture - you just have to cook it right. And you'll never run into a blood vessel. I can munch steamed edamame like popcorn. And yes, I do.
I dug through my pictures for some tasty treats that will antioxidize you to the max. Or at least it seems to work for me.

Breakfast: one of my favs - a chocolate breakfast oatmeal "cookie" with fresh fruit. Fruit can get pricey, so I use frozen if I don't find good deals.
Or perhaps you'd prefer a bowl of oatmeal with fresh peaches, blueberries, and toasted almonds?
Or oats with bananas, blueberries, walnuts and chia seeds? Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Your mother was right. My kids still don't believe anything I say, however. God bless 'em. I'm sure they'll inscribe "she always ate breakfast" on my tombstone.
I pack my lunch for work - either leftovers from the previous night's dinner, or a random salad. I throw just about anything I can think of in my salads. A Mexican theme here.
A sweet & savory theme there. Or just a vegetable bin clean-out. I fell in love with sunflower microgreens this summer. They have awesome flavor! I will definitely be growing these next year, not buying them!
For a pick-me up in the afternoon before exercise, I usually have yogurt with fresh or frozen berries, granola, and almonds, or an apple with almond butter, yogurt, and a sprinkle of flax,or a smoothie like this one with mango and banana.

Perhaps an almond yogurt smoothie (yes, I garnish with fresh mint - it has overtaken my pond and is really a weed) and pretend I'm eating at some fancy-schmancy diva spa instead of throwing on my old Nikes and trudging down the hall to my near-death in the gym.Or a Green Monster.
You will NOT (hear me out, here)
NOT taste the spinach in this. Just ask my friend Beth, a recent convert to Green Monsters and Banana Whip Heaven!
Sometimes I skip dinner, because if I get home late, I'm just not hungry and I hate to go to bed on a full stomach. I lay there like a beached whale and end up having weird dreams. About food. And it didn't hurt this guy any to skip a few dinners.

But when I do fix dinner, it's
something like this saa-weeet cajun shrimp with mango, avocado and black bean salsa (I ate cold leftovers the next day, it's that good),yummy spinach/mushroom/tofu lasagna that Ron Burgundy ate three helpings of and said he hated, throw together a copy-cat Chipotle burrito bowl, complete with cilantro rice (brown rice only, thankyouverymuch) or toss these veggies with some EVOO and balsamic or tamari and grill with a chicken breast. The leftovers make great wraps for lunch the next day. How about this gorgeous burger? Imagine the possibilities! And nope, not a smidgen of meat in it, yet it's a complete protein.I was so excited when Ron Burgundy agreed to try my pumpkin oats this morning. He actually liked them. Or lied. His comment? "It tasted like oatmeal. And pumpkin." He's such a food snob. Didn't even mention the sugary crunch of the walnuts or zing of the orange zest. I told him they would make his sore throat go away. The power of suggestion....
This food post has killed me. The real food bloggers must have some shortcuts because this took me forever. Perhaps my anticipated move to Wordpress will make things easier.

Now I'm starving. What would you like me to fix for you?

Oh, and if I get sick this winter, I'll be eating crow.

Tea today: green citrus

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Giving credit where credit is due

This is an apology of sorts. Or not.

I've been praying for something for several months now. Lots of things, actually, but also for, shall we say, a "situation." Praying for something not to happen that I didn't want to happen because I didn't feel it was in the best interest of the parties involved. "Please Lord, don't let..."

My prayer was answered - this time the answer was Yes. This "situation" went away. Apparently God felt the same way I did.

But in the process of my prayer being answered, a heart was broken. Or at the least, bruised. How could I humbly thank Him for answering my prayer when I was listening to someone tell me about their grief, their heartbreak, their lost hope? I really struggled with this one. Relieved, yet guilty.

Exchanging my relief and gratitude for the another's heartbreak is not exactly fair trade.

At church last week Pastor talked about forgiveness. That's it! God will forgive me that I had caused someone heartbreak. Whew. I knew there was some sort of biblical step I could take that could absolve me of my guilt. My confession commenced.

Then the booming voice from heaven said...ok, really, it was a whisper of the Holy Spirit..."Just who do you think you are that you were in control of this situation? I knew what you wanted. I knew what needed to happen for the good of all involved. It just so happens, young lady (yes, I do believe He called me that) that we were on the same page this time."

Who am I to take credit for something that I never had control over in the first place?

God wants us to grow and become more like Him, and after my decades of experience, I know that this process most likely involves some pain, perhaps suffering, or at the very least an uncomfortable, restless heart. All of which are necessary for us to once again realize how much we really need Him to help us heal from the sometimes inevitable collateral damage.

And He gives us more resilient hearts for the next time.

Tea tonight: Tazo Zen

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You 9/11/01?

I will forever remember the entwining of heart, mind, and body that day.
I was at work, and we had a whole room full of patients exercising, and the TVs were on as usual. T
hen the announcement came of the initial plane crashing into the World Trade Center.

The patient's blood pressures and heart rates shot up to levels that made it unsafe to exercise. It was a powerful display of the physical manifestations of the stress response that all too often our heart patients ignore, but were literally recorded on paper that day. After all, that stress response is partly what brought many of them to us in the first place.

Never doubt the body's physical ability to respond to the feelings in your heart and the thoughts in your head. You can read about it in self-help, peruse research, and study the chemistry. But when you actually see it happening, see it in their eyes, and palpate it in their hearts, you understand how real it is.

Praying for peace today.

Tea today: Citrus green

Monday, September 7, 2009

Seeing Random Red

Ron Burgundy and I went to a football game this weekend at the college where our "baby" is the head athletic trainer. The game wasn't pretty (as in, they lost badly) but it's always fun to see your kid work. To see those hard-earned college dollars that put you in the red, actually come to fruition, like wearing a red shirt and mopping up red blood.

How appropriate.

I came to the conclusion that this kid excelled in the course "1001 Ways to Be an Athletic Trainer Using your Mouth and Teeth." Apparently he forgot about our sizable investment in orthodontia back in high school. (Sorry for the ultra-grainy zoomed video)

1. You fill a bag with ice and suck the air out so it's easier to mold around a traumatized joint
2. You rip open a gauze pack with your teeth because your gloved hand is contaminated and who can rip paper with one hand?
3. You talk a lot, drink a lot of water, and carry a ginormous man bag (fortunately, not in your teeth).
4. You have never been able to kick that jock habit of chewing and spitting sunflower seeds.
(I'm sparing you the video - the spit was gross)

5. You show your pearly whites to the camera, while hugging your maw (who needs a haircut).
(And new tennis shoes).
To cap off the Labor Day weekend, I rode through the formerly verdant trails this beautiful fall afternoon and saw more red than I've ever seen before.
Except for this guy, who would have terrified me if he let go of his dinner long enough to fly my way.
Our Lord paints with a brilliant brush, doesn't He?

Tea tonight: White cantaloupe

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Helen!

Today is my friend Helen's birthday. My very good friend.

However, I've never met Helen.

At least in person.

We've emailed, exchanged tweets, and have prayed for a lot of the same things: Big Al, ill parents, struggling children, safe travels.

Ron Burgundy frequently makes fun of my "imaginary friends" as if they were all of the Snuffleupagus variety. But this Big Bird knows Helen is real, and someday soon I hope to meet her IRL. I know she really exists. Who would pretend to be a hilarious Hungarian Catholic bookworm?

We share the love of laughter, good food, and snarky friends. We differ in the fact that she cooks Hungarian foods. I have Hungarian paprika in my spice drawer, but I have no idea how to use it.

Once again she has been caught salsa dancing in the grocery aisles. Stop over at Random Musings and wish her a happy birthday!

Happy Birthday, Helen!

Tea tonight: Genmaicha