Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Death and health...

Sorry I've been away so long. My mom was dying and that took up all of my time for a while. She was a wonderful woman, a really good mom, she was my friend, and she died of Alzheimers. That's relevant to this blog for a number of reasons that I'll twist and twiggle my verbal way to.

My mom did all the things you are supposed to do to avoid the awful A. She always ate well = healthy food, little sugar or fat, no drugs, very little alcohol (maybe 4 ounces of wine a year), no cigarettes, kept her mind stimulated and challenged, no weight problem, daily exercise (still walking 5 fast miles a day at age 80), no family history of it. But it got her and it wrecked her last years of life and left her in pain and agony in her last few weeks. I hate hate hate hate  it, but I digress.

The thing is, she did it all right and still suffered, so what does that mean to me? Does it mean its okay if I stay fat and sedentary? I sure would rather die early of a heart attack than linger a few years with the awful A. And, I don't want my family to watch me suffer as they had to watch her.

No, I guess that if good health can't prevent disease, then poor health isn't going to either.

I put back the little bit of weight I had lost - sitting for days & nights in a 10 by 10 hospital room and indulging in carbs isn't in anyone's diet plan. I had healthier food choices, but truly I couldn't manage to do so - I needed all the seratonin I could get. Oh well, I can get back to swimming now, and back to more structured and intentional eating. I'm really happy to get back to swimming - it's the only exercise I can stand and I love it.

My kids were great while I was doing bedside duty. My grown up kids, all seriously acting out teens just a few short years ago, were supportive and caring and did their best to be kind to me and to their grandmother. This event gave me the opportunity to see how well they have turned out and how committed they are to our family. My mom would have loved it too. They younger five did well - they cleaned the kitchen from time to time and did their best not to create more drama.  I can't ask for more.

So, now it's back to real life. I miss my mom so much. I want her back now. Guess it won't happen.

Take care of yourself, and hug your mom if you are lucky enough to have a good one. 

Remember,  you are entitled to a better day.

Recipe - here's a really tasty sandwich for days when you have time to fuss and when you are willing to spend a few extra calories on lunch.

CRISPY TOFU SANDWICH  - by the way - I just buy the peanut sauce - I never have time to make my own.

Crispy Tofu Sandwiches with Ginger Peanut Sauce
  • 1-14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable or peanut oil
  • Ginger Peanut Sauce
  • 6 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2-3 tsp. light brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. ginger juice (see note)
  • cayenne to taste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. lite coconut milk or water
  • Sandwiches
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 c. sliced green onion
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 4 sandwich wraps, pitas, tortillas, or naan (if you don't eat dairy, make sure the naan is vegan if you use it!)
  • lime wedges (optional)
instructions
    Crispy Tofu
  1. Cut tofu crosswise into 8 slices; cut each slice into two triangles. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high eat. Carefully place tofu in skillet (the oil may spatter a little!); cook about 5 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Transfer tofu to plate lined with paper towels to absorb any extra oil.
  2. Ginger Peanut Sauce
  3. Whisk together all ingredients. Add additional coconut milk or water, one tablespoon at a time, to thin sauce if necessary. (Some peanut butters are thicker than others, so the amount you need depends on the type of peanut butter you use.)
  4. Sandwiches
  5. Heat sandwich wraps, tortillas, pitas, or naan according to package instructions--you want them to be pliable so they can be folded over without breaking. Top each with 4 pieces of tofu, shredded carrot, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, and peanut sauce and fold. Serve with lime wedges, if using.