My biggest struggle these days is something I used to love as a creative act: cooking.
I make three meals a day, on as much of a schedule as we can manage in between medical appointments and trying to have a life, because it’s important in keeping Tom’s blood sugar regulated. But the restrictions mean there are fewer choices in the ingredients that I can improvise with.
We had cut out almost all sugar even before the stroke, but now it has to be low-carb for diabetes. That means rice, potatoes, grits, corn, beans, bread, pasta, fruit, can only be eaten in small portions.
Because of high cholesterol, we are supposed to eliminate red meat, pork, shellfish, butter, mayo, eggs, anything fried, and most oils.
The medical folks understand that being miserable doesn’t help your health, either, but allowing “once a week” consumption of these taboo foods still leaves me with a lot of blank spaces on a 21-meal menu.
And then, dairy has been off Tom’s list for awhile because of his sinus issues. He can eat a little bit of cheese or yogurt or cream but not anything that is really heavy on it.
Bottom line: We can eat lots of vegetables, and for protein egg whites, nuts, tofu, chicken, and fish.
That probably sounds laughably easy to a vegetarian, but it’s harder when you drop those carb staples I listed above, which are fairly central to vegetarian cooking.
I would normally take all this on as a creative culinary challenge. The problem is, I’m brain-dead. Just plain tired.
I have a heap of cookbooks, but it takes time finding recipes that either meet the criteria or can be adapted, then making grocery lists and buying the groceries and carting them home. Then cooking, serving, cleaning up – three times a day.
This isn’t so much a complaint as a disappointment – that I haven’t been able to rise to this improvisational challenge. (The featured image is broiled veggies, scrambled tofu, and greens. It tasted OK, but….)
I’d welcome any recipes that meet all those criteria and don’t take two hours to prepare.
Meanwhile, I’m going to try and get more sleep.
Today’s penny is a 2013, the year we dropped wheat and started eating more and more whole foods.