Friday, March 19, 2010

Eating After A Stroke

I started cooking a big pot of beef lentil soup this afternoon, shortly after today's bike ride. I soaked the lentils and grabbed some stew beef from the freezer earlier in the week so decided they better become soup or they would be pitched. Unfortunately I have never learned to cook soup for less than an army, so a lot gets pitched anyways. The way some things are packaged doesn't help.

Living in the land of Wegmans Food Markets, I could probably buy an easy serve microwavable container in a single serving size. Wegmans loves selling value added products. The latest campaign is Make it or Take it. I try to make it most of the time, saving some on the food and some on the packaging. Okay I have been known to get smaller portions of the seafood bisque and some times the quiche, partially because I cant store and use all the ingredients and use them in time. (Food Rules, #13, Eat only foods that will eventually rot.) Wegmans does not have an additive aisle yet. The pre-made foods found at a later date in the back of fridge seem to rot. Along with some of unused ingredients.

You try your best. I also claim one immunity idol, cooking for a teenager I have only started to feed recently, though we share a love of Pop-Tarts. And I regularly buy green grapes so Maria can make a grape salad we had at her Aunt's, but they don't last that long. I don't always fare so well.

My cholesterol levels were high at the time of the stroke but went right down with some minor medication and when I cut out going out for lunch every day. Lately I have noticed my diet creeping back to prepared foods and more junk food and less veggies. Some of this is seasonal, spring, summer and fall we enjoy a very good and well established farmers market. We come home with bags of fresh picked food and a lot of the excess goes in the freezer or is planned for the freezer. Okay, some things we miss on go in the compost. It starts soon, and I can't wait.

Year round I try to make soup. Most are good but some are pretty bad. Since quitting smoking I don't use as much seasoning (except in gumbo, which should burn you), but also don't use much salt, you can always add it, I won't get offended. I have also try to get a salad in every day and have a banana and apple juice with my morning pills. It is hard to know what to cook or eat when a lot of food at the grocery has visited more countries than you. And is packaged more stylishly.

It takes work and that bag of chedder Cheez Curls is awfully inviting along with a couple other processed food products. I don't really miss the Pop-Tarts. Having a stroke makes it easier to try. Not having another is enough reason to try.

The other part of the equation is exercise and I made some nice strides on the bike. Two things are driving me crazy: I can't turn and look behind me and I have a hard time figuring out where things are on my right. The first was a real pain trying to turn left in traffic. It is going to take some work. The second is more annoying and almost as dangerous. Curbs tend to be on your right and the canal is on your right traveling east on the canal trail. The canal was strangly unnerving.

Am I faced with always traveling west and sticking to curbless roads? I have heard of people who also drive avoiding left hand turns. If I stick to certain routes I could probably make it all work but I am not sure I could go any place. I might better get a stand for the bike, park it in front of the TV and place a remote in the bottle cage. On a positive note, my brother wants me to join him riding the canal trail this summer. He is planning on going west.

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