Happy New Year!

2014 has been a great year for me.  There have been lots of up’s and down’s and lots of changes, but I leave the year feeling very good about how things have gone.  I set several goals at the first of the year, and I don’t think I accomplished any of them.  I did, however, take action on more of them than I would have anticipated and I feel great about that.

Not the least of these actions was coming to True North.  I always have a goal to improve my health, weight, and physical abilities.  This year has seen me feeling better than many past years, but with some symptoms that were scarier to me–whether they were actually scarier or just my age and the reality of the disabilities that come with the ailments I had were more apparent, it was scary.

I feel fortunate to end my year and start my year in a place, both physically and mentally, where I am taking care of myself and looking forward to the future with hope and anticipation for a much better and longer life.

As for the past two days here, it has been eventful.  My BP numbers are awesome.  I’m regularly getting readings in the 90’s/60’s.  I am SO HAPPY!  My weight has only gone up about a pound and a half.  I’m still down 24.6, so wahoo for that.  I still anticipate that it may go up a bit more as my body gets used to eating and gets re-hydrated, before it starts going down.  Dr. Lorn said they came to my chart in Dr.’s meeting on Monday and everyone was really excited.  YAY!

On Tuesday I had some yummy steamed veggies for breakfast and a green salad and fruit.  They encourage us to eat as much as we want of the good stuff here, and I sure did.  Then we had another cooking demo by Cathy Fisher.  It was delicious.  She made an applesauce that was amazing.  I’m totally making that to have on my oatmeal.  It was a textural delight.  She taught us a vegan SOS free Caesar salad dressing that was tasty.  And my favorite???? Tu-No Casserole.  One of my favorite things from my childhood was tuna noodle casserole.  Even when I went to college, it was a staple in my diet.  It was quick.  It was tasty, and it was comforting to me.  This particular version, they use mashed(ish) chickpeas for the tuna texture, make a lovely, rich mushroom sauce, and then–if you like–kelp for the fishy flavor.  I like the kelp!  I was so happy to know that there is a way to make something that resembles one of my comfort foods so closely and follows my new guidelines.  She used a pasta that was made from quinoa and rice flours, so it was even gluten free.

Lunch was delicious.  I’m loving the salads here and the fruit.  Tuesday I was still staying away from grains, so I also had some steamed cauliflower and brussell sprouts.  MMMM…..  Lots of of food.

Then came he afternoon cooking demo from Chef AJ.  She gave us a load of samples.  The first was a plate that had some roasted brussell sprouts that had marinated in mustard and balsalmic vinegar.  They were roasted a bit longer than I like, but they were still very tasty.  These came along with a purple sweet potato from Hawaii.  MMMMM  very good.  Oh, and before that she gave us a cup with her granola in it and some almond or soy milk.  Oh My!  That granola could be my crack.  She taught us how to make it, but it is a good thing I don’t have a dehydrator.  She taught us how to make date paste, as she uses that is some of her dishes.  She cooked a red lentil chile in her pressure cooker.  This was my favorite.  I could see that being on my menu weekly.  It would be great over a potato or as a sauce for nachos.  it was delicious.  She also made us some Hasselback potatoes.  When that sample came around I still had some chile, so I dipped them.  OOOOOO so good.  Shayda was in the process of making Seminar Soup from the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook.  It looked great, but I was about to burst and it was getting hot in there, so I took a break and went for a walk.  To my room.  To my bed.  Or in other words, I took a nap.

Alas, when dinner time came I was anything but hungry, so I didn’t go to dinner.  That evening we had a presentation from Tom Howe.  He is a lawyer from Portland and he gave a really good lecture on Success in the New Year, talking about setting goals, managing priorities, etc.  I can see a lot of application from his presentation in both my home and work life.  He gave us some zip files with his notes and charts and forms, etc.  I haven’t looked at them yet, but I’m excited to!

Today I took it pretty easy.  I didn’t make it over to breakfast, but wasn’t very hungry anyway.  I wanted to make it to Becka’s lecture at 2:00 but slept through it.  I went for a short walk around the neighborhood and bought some very expensive toothpaste at the market next door.  I didn’t bring any with me because I knew I couldn’t use it while fasting and I didn’t want to be tempted.  I hate having yucky mouth.  I just couldn’t stand it any longer.  I’m hoping I have some time to wander the cemetery a bit tomorrow.

Lunch was great today!  Another giant salad, steamed asparagus, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, rice and beans, and a lovely bean soup with tofu.  I chewed for an hour straight.  I like that I can eat this kind of volume.

Tonight they had a lovely New Year’s Eve party for us.  Chef Bravo and his crew really out did themselves.  They passed appetizers for about an hour before dinner.  I wasn’t able to take pictures but I’m hoping to borrow some from one of the others.  There was a mock tuna salad in a cucumber round, a spring roll with hummus, avocado and lovely veggies, a kebob with potatoes, peppers, onions, etc. with a drizzle of a delicious apple-flavored sauce, lettuce wraps with a yummy carrot concoction on them, sweet potato balls with a spicy aoli, a sweet potato soup and a butternut squash soup, and some I’m sure I was missing.  Then they cleared things up and we were given a gorgeous dinner.  The regular salad fare was available, plus more of the sweet potato soup, a wrap (my favorite) with a mix of crunchy veggies, hummus, avocado and cashews wrapped in a collard green leaf.  I need to find out how to do this one.  It was delicious and the crunch from the cashew was such a fun surprise.  There was polenta with a delicious sauce and portabello mushrooms (very meaty) and a red potato that was stuffed with a tasty pepper  concoction. And, you would think that was it, but then they brought out some truffle like things.  I believe the center of one was a mango and something.  Another similar one had toasted coconut on the outside.  Dried apricot bars were delicious.  My favorite was a very festive looking bite that was lime and raspberry and rolled in chopped nuts with a dollop of raspberry stuff on the top.  It was so good.

Then we toasted in the new year early with sparkling cider and some funny stories–and of course a song or two from Chef AJ.  She is such a hoot.

Tomorrow I will meet with my Dr. for my exit appointment.  I can’t believe it will be time to go home again so soon, but I am ready.  Now the real work begins.

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. “Now the real work begins.” How exciting! I’m so glad you’ve been able to have this experience! I’m glad you are collecting these wonderful recipes and that you know how to cook. You are all set for the “real work”!! Love, Jane [discoveringthewordofwisdom@.com]

  2. I found your blog! Hooray! So excited for you to begin this next year. Don’t forget you can call or write any time.

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