Saturday, February 28, 2015

Food: I eat it. Do you?

I had a friend suggest that I should write about food. I didn't immediately disagree with the suggestion, so I'm going to give it a try.

There will be no guarantee of pictures, because an extra step when I'm not feeling well or my camera is being difficult might mean I post nothing at all, and formatting posts makes my head hurt, so more than likely I'll just describe what I ate and how I made it.

Starting with today.

I had a burrito stuffed with pinto beans and brown rice for breakfast! Exciting! but really, this is one of my staples, with a million variations. The flavors are easy to change, it can be a burrito or a bowl, and most importantly, it's easy. Reheating and assembly can be done in five minutes with the microwave, and if I have more energy to invest, it can be quite the flavorful meal. Today's burrito was simple, but tasty. I started with about half a cup each of (all pre-cooked) pinto beans, brown rice, and a small handful of red bell pepper. I added just a few tablespoons of broth (or water) and seasoned with salt, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and a little oregano. I let that simmer for a few minutes, stirring frequently until it smelled enticing and the broth was cooked off. No one likes a soggy burrito. Once the filling was ready, I wrapped it all up in a standard flour tortilla and enjoyed.

I was craving sugar for lunch, so I went for another tortilla-based meal, a peanut butter and jelly 'dilla! Not a quesadilla, but a pb&j 'dilla! I swear I feel ridiculous every time I explain that to someone, but I continue to use it, so. The only jam flavor sanctioned by the world of Interstitial Cystitis is blueberry, so that's what we have, despite my forever being much more of a strawberry or raspberry kind of girl. Ideally organic, no sugar, preservative free, and seedless, if we're shooting for the moon, but IC. Actually this is an experiment; since my urethra has been pain-free for about a month, I've begun very slowly introducing foods that have caused me pain in the past, starting with ones I wasn't sure about. This jam is the first one that I was fairly certain caused me pain (citric acid is the culprit) so I'm really hoping the good streak continues. What if my flare is over?! Dare to dream, kids.) So, I smeared my plain peanut butter and my risky blueberry jam on a tortilla and dry fried it for a few minutes on each side. Do be modest with the jelly or it'll ooze out the sides as it cooks. Unless you're into that sort of thing, I don't know your life.

I snacked on Miyoko's cultured cashew cheese, that stuff is so good. The only varieties they had at our local whole foods were the smoked farmhouse, which tastes like smoked gouda heaven, and the herbs de provence which is a smooth, tangy, cultured farmer's cheese covered in herbs.

For dinner I'm going to eat split-pea and lentil soup, and I'll make some fries. For the soup, I cooked a whole bag of dried split peas with a cup of lentils, a few bay leaves, oregano, parsley, a little liquid smoke, salt, garlic powder, and the teeniest touch of onion powder. That's another dangerous ingredient, the onion, but I wanted to see if I could tolerate trace amounts, and so far so good. I also add coconut milk to taste at each serving. Sometimes I want it creamy and sometimes I don't, it's good both ways.

For the fries, I chop a potato of any variety into sticks, place them on a greased cookie sheet, salt, and bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Flip them over and bake for another ten or until delightfully crispy, turning them every ten if necessary. They take longer the thicker you make the sticks, at 1/4-1/2" they're usually done in 30.

Today's diet was distinctly lacking in green vegetables, because we don't have much in the house right now. I'm taking my multi-vitamin every day, a habit I've maintained for several weeks now, and that will compensate for any gaps until we can go shopping again.

Some days I eat healthier than others; a lot depends on how I'm feeling, what I've got pre-prepped in the fridge, and if we've been able to get to the store, but my goal is a plant-based, IC-friendly, vegan diet, and I absolutely want everything I eat to be delicious.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Anger and My Head

I can let my anger get the best of me, and boy howdy does it.

This morning started slowly. I've been feeling tired due to iron and vitamin D deficiency (again!), but am slowly seeing improvements since beginning supplements. Despite these improvements, mornings have been awful. I wake after a full night's sleep feeling like lead, like I could sleep another day or so, like movement is not something my body naturally does. I wrestle myself up and it's easier once I'm already moving, but I feel like I'm carrying an extra person on my back, and my migraine is more sensitive too.

So, this morning, when my head was starting to needle me and my nausea was starting and my limbs felt like they were trying to become one with the chair, I flipped my everloving shit when I couldn't find my lighter to medicate because my boyfriend had borrowed it without returning it.

This is one of our things, too. He's messier than me, careless with his possessions, and tends to lose everything. I'm not a neat-freak, but I know where all my stuff is at all times, put things back when I'm done with them, and was raised an only child, so sharing is really not my forte.

I can't change him, though I am trying to guide him towards better habits when he expresses interest. I do try to be patient if something of mine goes missing because 1, he's not doing it on purpose, and 2, it's not as big a deal as my only-child brain tells me. However, when his carelessness interferes with my ability to care for myself, it becomes a problem.

This morning, I let that problem send me into an all-caps rage of throwing clothes and yelling at air. Which of course made my head hurt worse. I found a lighter, eventually, and am now recuperating and writing this post in reflection. Looking through his mess would have triggered me on its own, which is why I got so pissed off, but my anger definitely amped up the pain, so now it's my own fault again. I am a passionate person, I feel things deeply and express myself enthusiastically, but I sometimes wish I was one of those placid, ever-calm people who never seems to get ruffled or excited over anything. It would be so much less painful.


Monday, February 16, 2015

A Cookie for Court

My little brother had a birthday. I was almost normal.

He participates in a mock trial club and had a competition on his 18th birthday, which was perfect, because I'd been wanting to see him in action, and I definitely wanted to wish him a happy birthday on the actual day, if I could.

So, we made the (nauseating) drive and I medicated with half a large cookie, even though I had no idea what I was getting into. I was anxious, but it was important to me to try.

There was a huge line outside the building and through the glass windows I could see metal detectors and security checking people and their belongings for dangerous items. We funneled slowly inside and I was horrified to find a huge crowd waiting for the elevators. They were packing us in like sardines and it was not ideal. We looked for stairs, but they were inaccessible (which seems really unsafe, doesn't it?), so we found our way to the end of the line and waited to be mashed in.

I really hope I never have to be in a full elevator again.

We made it to the courtroom and found it packed, but there were two chairs available in the back, which we took gladly. My brother took his turn on the stand early and played his part well, and I was a proud big sister. Those several minutes were glorious as I sat in rapt adoration of the impossibly grown baby I'd seen born 18 years ago. He's such a blessing to me.

The small room became stuffy with the heat of a hundred bodies rather quickly and I wished they would have left the door open. But that's not the way of the courts system, even the mock courts.

Perfume is a steady smack in the face, even when it's subtle, and when there are fifty different combinations of scent in one room, it is not usually a good place for me to be. The uncomfortable chairs, the bright overhead lighting, the shrill edge to some of the more radically pubescent students' voices; I was under assault the entire two hours. But I'd taken that marijuana cookie, so I wasn't nearly as reactive as usual. I was uncomfortable, definitely, but when the usual response to that kind of situation is sobbing pain, I can't complain.

I stuck it out for over two hours, because I'm a saint obviously, and because I needed to be there for my brother, at least once. Even if he didn't need me, it felt really good to be a family member in the audience, to be supportive. It's been so long since I've been able to be there for someone else.

Happy birthday, Bub.