Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Count Your Blessings

From Distant Relatives by Nas and Damian Marley.  Awesome album, by the way.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two Awesome Dishes brought to you by . . .

My Cuisinart 14-cup food processor!  

I've said before how much I love my food processor.  It makes short work of tons of tasks and next to a good knife, it is (for me) an essential kitchen tool.  Just today, thanks to this wonderful machine, I was able to crank out two wonderful dishes.  The first was 5-Minute Hummus which I found in the May 2010 issue of Real Simple magazine.  This hummus is similar in taste and texture to the hummus that we get at one of my favorite restaurants Ta'im.  Trader's Joe's organic hummus is good but this homemade hummus puts it to shame!  And with the food processor, it really does take only 5 minutes.

The second dish I made today is really a dessert:  Peanut Butter Cup Pie from Tofu 1-2-3 by Maribeth Abrams.  Another very simple recipe that with the food processor (and a store-bought graham cracker crust) literally took 10 minutes start to finish with decadent results. 

There's one more project I'd like to attempt with my food processor: sprouted wheat bread.  Since starting Weight Watchers, this is the bread I eat the majority of the time.  I'd love to be able to make it at home.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A complex, sad situation.

My cat Sophia is dying.  

She's been sick for months with what we thought was a terrible virus or allergies.  She had lots of mucus and was sneezing all the time.  We took her to the vet a number of times and after numerous go-rounds of antibiotics, she was still doing pretty badly.

We decided to take her to an animal hospital.  When they went in to do a biopsy of a lump she had, they discovered a much bigger lump.  In a day or two, we found out the lump was cancerous:  Sophia has lymphoma.  

The prognosis for cat lymphoma is not good.  We are going to give her steroids to make her time left easier.  Right now, she struggles to breathe and has absolutely no pep.  

It makes me so sad and I'm writing this with tears stinging my eyes.  I got her just two weeks before I found out I was pregnant with Zion.  She was a tiny kitten.  She's grown to be a part of this family and she will leave a void when she's gone.  

Sophia is the first being close to me that I have known I was going to lose.  I have been having a sickening premonition that I was going to lose something and I was preparing myself mentally/spiritually for it.  I didn't know who or what was going to happen.  I didn't even want to speak about the premonition fearing the worst.  So a part of me is a little relieved despite being sad.  Another part of me hopes this is really what the premonition was about--not the beginning or part of it. 

My poor Sophia.  I hope the steroids at least help her to not suffer.  They say she has about 3-6 months before she stops eating.  And at that time, it would be best to put her down.  The very idea of putting her down puts a pit in my stomach.  What are my feelings on euthanasia?  Does that extend to every species including humans?  I've always said that if I knew for certain I was going to die (like if I were on the sinking Titanic) I would have have opted for a bullet to the head.  I don't like suspense (couldn't even get through one episode of 24) and I despise useless suffering.  But am I taking euthanasia too lightly because she's not human?  I believe, like Buddhism teaches, that there is no hierarchy of life:  life is life and is equal, whether a bumble bee or a human.  Then there's the part of me that just doesn't want to wake up one morning and find her dead.  I certainly don't want the kids to find her.  And my husband was the one who found his father dead of a heart attack.  He's already said he doesn't want to handle anything like that again.  

It's such a complex, sad situation. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Little Tweaks

It's interesting being in maintenance mode on Weight Watchers.   I know it's kind of silly but I found security in my 26 point target and now that it's 29, I'm a little unsure.  I'm such a creature of habit that I really have to make sure that I eat all my daily points and weekly points or I will surely have some left over which means I find myself scheduling in things to eat even though I'm pretty sure I won't be hungry then.  Usually,  it turns out that, indeed, I'm not hungry then and don't eat what I scheduled and have points left over for the day.  So it's a re-learning process to figure out what I need to do to maintain my weight.  So far, though, for two weeks on maintenance, I've been successful.

Anyway, here's a little tweak to what I've been eating and I picked it up from an article in Runner's Magazine. Three or so days out of the week I have two whole boiled eggs (4 points), a slice of sprouted wheat toast  (1 point) with a teaspoon of Earth Balance (1 point), a yogurt smoothie (6 points) or oatmeal (5 points) with blueberries and a piece of fruit.  The tweak I've discovered is having the toast with two teaspoons of almond or peanut butter (which is 1.5 points and a good amount of protein and fat) not Earth Balance (which is 1 point and only fat).  I mean, it really holds me such that I don't need the smoothie/yogurt.  But that  makes my breakfast not as point heavy so I have to figure out how to make it up throughout the day.

I'm also realizing that while I am seeing a lot of more definition from weight lifting, I'd like to see more and I think the key is diet.  So I'm going to be doing some research to find out how to make other little tweaks that support muscle building.
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