Friday, February 2, 2018

TGIF (and what a week it was)

So many shit shows airing concurrently.  Friends very ill, or in dire straights, family crises, or the SOTU address (which, NO, I did not watch).  Yesterday I was completely devoid of energy and slept most of the day (after my workout).  I remembered only this morning that I hadn't had coffee yesterday, as I was in a rush to get to the gym.  So, if I ever wondered (and I did) if my one cup of coffee each day had a effect on me, well, it does.

We also received the terrible news that one of our travel companions in Morocco passed away only three days after her return.  On the way home she felt she was coming down with something.  She went to urgent care upon returning home, was diagnosed with influenza.  Three days later she was gone, found by her daughter in law at home.

Gail was a kick in the pants.  Colorful, smart, funny and enthusiastic about everything.  We felt a special bond over photography and I helped her learn some editing programs.  She had a good eye, really, and so was off to a great start.  She had been a nurse, was a no-nonsense Boston gal, a widow for 8 years who was still intimately connected with her soul mate.  She loved good food and wine.  Our kind of person.

Her friend Ann, also on the trip, knew that we had all hit it off, so she left a voice mail at the end of December.  Which we never got.  So when we finally heard, via our tour director, this week, we contacted Ann, knowing what good friends they were.  Dear Ann helped Gail's kids via Face Time go through the suitcases full of gifts Gail brought home for the kids and the grands.  Ann was with her when all these purchases were made, so she guided the kids through the unpacking.  Quite a mixture of happiness and sadness.

Carpe Diem, boys and girls.  And that's what Gail did. A real shame to lose such a good woman.

You can (and should) plan for the future, but know that nothing is guaranteed.  I trust you know this by now.

My future planning includes getting my blood sugars down in order to live longer and avoid diabetic complications.  I have a mild case of damage in my right eye -- my first complication after 25 years.  I've been advised that getting my sugars down with help slow the progression.  So, I am working in earnest and eating a whole foods plant based diet which doesn't allow for plant based processed oils either.  Forks Over Knives convinced us to try this way of eating.  It hasn't been exactly easy, but we're soldering on and have been doing this for a month now.  I've just started branching out to other WFPB websites, as the hubs and I are not really pleased with most of the recipes coming from FOK site.  Chuck over at Brand New Vegan has more family friendly and straightforward recipes.  We're hoping this is more to our liking.

Switching up our food this way has involved a lot of research, reading, planning and food prep.  A lot easier to throw a slab of meat on the grill and grab some french bread for a meal.  And cheese.  I was a cheese freak.  I could still be.  However, last night I was eating out and had one slice of a pizza with cheese, meat and veg on it.  I suffered from severe heartburn the rest of the night.  I had often heard that diary was contraindicated for GERD and heartburn (which I've suffered from for decades) but never cut it out of my diet because I loved it so much.  Within a few days of cutting it out my GERD went away and I was off my meds for it.  My blood sugars are also closer to normal than they have been for years.  I've reduced the amount of insulin I take because I don't need as much eating this way.  I'm looking forward to my first round of blood work to see how triglycerides and cholesterol are doing as well.

So, that's the good, bad and ugly of it all for the week.  I may have lost you by now with all my babble, but there it is.  Feel free to babble back.  I'm up for it.


  1. Gail appears to be the picture of health and vitality in that photo. Sad to hear of her death from influenza.

    As you are finding, I have found that what I eat really does affect my health in a dramatic way. Once the difficult transition period was over, I could enjoy the new delicious and satisfying food along with good health.

    1. It is amazing how cutting out meat and dairy (and oil) has calmed my digestive system down. I've been having problems for years. Glad I found a different way.

      Gail really was the picture of health and vitality, all through our trip. Makes it very hard to believe she was felled by influenza. Especially since she sought medical help right away.

  2. That is such a sad story about Gail. I can't imagine going on such a trip of pleasure only to contract the flu and die three days after coming home. Yikes. Bummer in every way. We try to eat a pretty healthy diet, but we do include dairy. Most of our meals are stir-fry veggie dishes with tofu and various spices for different flavoring experiences.

    1. yes, sad and shocking. At least she had 3 great weeks of life before her untimely death.

      Are you still making your great chicken and veg pizza? I always like that one, though these days I would skip the chicken.