Health is not static; it is normal to lose it periodically in order to come back to it in a better way.
I feel lucky. Very very lucky.
-The passenger in the car that was maneuvered to the side of the road by my heart-attacked Lutheran ministering maternal grandfather who never permitted his children to use the word 'lucky'.
They also couldn't dance. Bummer.
There were two books I wanted to read. I put them into the amazon cart and it popped up with the news that if I spent only two more book pennies I would qualify for free shipping. Hmm, I thought. What do I really really really want in the department of forever? (I just re-read Harold and the Purple Crayon at work yesterday. The new book would have to be really really really good.)
Went to work, and for some reason, I popped the title of book number one into the library search. It was there. I could not believe it.
Book two. ON SHELF.
Good Lawd have mercy, ya know? If they were any closer they might have bit me.
Check your local listings.
The Gilda's Club class is called Optimum Health-Preventing Cancer Recurrence and Having Optimum Health. It's three Wednesdays in a row. It used to be eight. It's run by a former orthopedic surgeon and a nutritionist except the nutritionist hasn't shown up yet. That bothers me not. I've never found a nutritionist who came close to visiting my reality. There's a pack of volunteers and they gather an hour and a half early to prepare the meal. I know. There's a meal.
The first night was hummus and Roundy's variation of Triscuits which seemed strange because don't-when they talk about optimum health, don't they tell you you should only shop the edges of the grocery store? But we found later that these crackers were acceptable because they only had three ingredients.
Next we had this carrot soup.
Creamy Gingered Carrot Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion sliced
3 tablespoons fresh ginger root-finely chopped
1 pound organic carrots roughly chopped
2 celery ribs-roughly chopped
2 large potatoes(yukon Gold) chopped
6 cups organic vegetable stock
Salt, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning to taste
2 cups Milk Alternative(Rice or Soy-We used almond)
Dash of Nutmeg-(Didn't have)
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped(optional)
1. Place large stockpot over low heat. Add oil, onions, ginger root and sauce until the onions are translucent. Add carrots celery and potatoes and cool for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add vegetable stock and seasonings. Bring to a boil, Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until the vegetables are tender-about 30 minutes.
3. Transfer 3/4 of the soup into a blender(remember it's HOT so take the stopper thing out of the top of the blender and BE CAREFUL.) Mix that back into the pot. Add milk alternative and nutmeg if you have it. Taste and adjust seasonings. Heat through over low heat.
Serve plain or garnished with fresh parsley.
And that was followed by this glorious salad. The reason we know it was glorious is that it was served on a paper plate? Still tasted really good.
1 bag large mixed greens
1 bag spinach
1 bag carrots shredded
2 cans garbanzo beans
Chopped up broccoli (2 heads or 2 packs)
small tomatoes((2 boxes)
Zucchini 2 medium
Chia seeds and walnuts for omega 3
Spectrum Salad Dressing Lemon Vinaigrette
And then dessert was cut up apples and pears.
And filtered water to drink.(At the end-we were asked if we were hungry. Nobody was.)
All the while-the retired doctor talks to us. He's friendly but he's kind of commander-ish. The purpose-fresh out of the power point notes-says they want to demonstrate that there are things you can do in addition to chemo and surgery and radiation.
(Kind of contrary to what I was told on the exit of my first cancer surgery-if you recall-it was Go home and eat a normal diet. Right?)
The side effects to the Gilda's Club program are as follows:
You will feel better.
have more energy
adjust your weight
and your other health problems will improve.
There's a ton of talking about toxins. How can I sum this up for you. 1.Toxins are everywhere. 2.Stay away from them. 3.Get a spider plant for your bedroom.
There. That's pretty much it. You're welcome.
We did some meditations and some standing in place exercises and that was that.
The second week, we walked into a warm room with some nice music on and the meal was humming along and it smelled so good. We were served some fantabulous spinach dip with gluten-free pita chips. The dip was SO good that the woman seated straight across from me took the entire bowl and dumped it on her plate. Oh yes she did. (I'll have these recipes for you soon if you want 'em.)
Then we had oven-baked sweet potato fries, an asian spiced sort of slaw and a handmade salmon cake. It was delicious. Really. I wouldn't lie to you.
We looked at Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory food pyramid. We learned a strategy for being hungry. Drink a glass of water and do a meditation. Huh.
One of the interesting things he said was about motorized wheelchairs and how they do more harm because they remove the struggle of walking which is necessary to keep the body functioning properly.
There's a guy involved in this who is a retired physical therapist and he presented the idea that exercise is necessary during the whole cancer ride which-in retrospect- makes absolute sense to me now. There's another guy who used to be an army cook. He plunked the spinach dip in front of me(before the lady across from me snagged the whole bowl) and said: EAT.
I think I'm in love.
And Wednesday is the last episode.
Been trying to branch out food-wise and one week we picked up a pack of jicama. I've had it before and I know it's hard to cut and I have exceptionally shitty knives which never really mattered to be before except now I take this blood thinner stuff and every once in a while I think-hey dumbass, you gotta stop taking chances-like the last time when I dropped the giant knife straight down in the direction of my foot and you had to see me hopping.
I didn't know what you're supposed to do with it except maybe dip it into something? So I scored some guacamole and I was chatting with the lovely hispanic child/checker at Super Tony's he didn't know what ginger was and I didn't know what to do with this jicama so he kinda nearly laughed at me and said, no. Guacamole is not for jicama. Jicama needs lime juice and chili powder.
You don't know about my handcrafted gummy bears do ya? Yeah well. Gelatin is supposed to heal the gut. Or so I'm instructed so, instead of eating a bowl of gello-which I don't think I'd ever do, in this odd twist of events I thought it'd be fun to make my own Gummies.
The first ones? I used a juice called Red from Trader Joes. It tasted exactly like shoes. I permitted myself to dump them out because scientists are allowed to make mistakes. Really. Red was disgusting.
This next batch is made of fresh blueberries and lemon juice and honey.
They taste better. Not great but way better. We've agreed to eat at least three a day until I try the next ones. I'd like to make a sort of a ginger/tumeric/coconut milk one next. I've made friends with coconut milk.
There were people at one of my jobs and they were acting exceptionally squirrely until a woman I work with informed me that Mercury is in retrograde until May 4th. Well, This made the day so incredibly entertaining because we anticipated that people were going to be out of their minds-what with the planets playing pool with their realities-so, we were all ready for them with our gracious hilarity knowing they were off their rockers through no fault of their own and I dunno. Maybe that information might help you too.
If not? Make Natalie's cookies.
I performed mine completely in a ziplock bag.