The trouble with food

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.

6 thoughts on “The trouble with food”

  1. Oh, yikes. This must be so hard, especially when you have enjoyed the creativity of cooking in the past. There is only so much chicken and fish you can eat, along with tofu (though it is mostly GMO and there are breast cancer risk factors, so I try not to eat too much of it). To me the hardest part–like being on any diet–is not having the luxury of choosing what you want to eat. It’s mostly about deprivation, and feeling miserable, as you note, does not contribute to good health.

  2. You know my crazy eating…similar to your current restrictions. I make a lot of salads (of course) with nuts my primary protein. But I have also found that casserole-type dishes are easy to make, have better stick to the ribs power, and can be made ahead and frozen. The same with vegetable-based soups. I also try not to eat too much soy. Spaghetti squash and other heartier veggies make a good base to replace rice and pasta. I’ll keep my eyes open for some actual recipes. :-*

  3. Lisa, try getting on listservs that will send recipes to you. We’re also low-carb / kinda paleo due to health issues (diabetes, HBP, etc). A few email services I’m on: The Gracious Pantry (aka Clean Eating / Tiffany McCaulley), Elana’s Pantry, My Natural Family (all paleo stuff), Kale & Chocolate (seriously this woman has recipes for chocolate dipped kale and chocolate brownies made with garbanzo beans – – the brownies were good but I haven’t tried the kale dish). Also, Thrive Market is an online, Costco-like food buying program for paleo, non-GMO, cruelty free, etc etc foods and home products. Savings are huge with Thrive and they often post recipes. Let me know if you’re so overwhelmed that you need the urls to go with these.

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