Waiting to dig into my vegan cupcake. I LOVE cupcakes!!!!!!
The tables are shadow boxes and each one has a fun theme.
I am in vegan Heaven!
This is their breakfast burrito...served all day!
Todd and James
James and I had a full day of visiting with people I haven't seen in at least four years. We got hungry so we stopped in a local diner in Berkeley called The Saturn Cafe. They serve vegan/vegetarian food...yum! This is the first restaurant I have ever gone to that is strictly vegetarian/vegan so I was in for a treat! My appetizer was a lemon cupcake! Yum! When I get back home I will have to search out any vegan/vegetarian restaurants in my area. I know there are lots in L.A. but do I really want to sit in one hour traffic each way to go to one? No.
We are going to Bezerkley today...it will be an all day trip, so I am packing some food and a smoothie to take along. This is what I put in my smoothie today: 1 cup organic spinach, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1 cup orange juice, splash of soy milk. Yum! I also made a peanut butter sandwich and I am taking my raisins, and of course lots of bottled water.
I am in Modesto visiting my son for the next 3 days and since my diet is significantly different than his I brought most of my own food, except things that would not survive the 6 hour drive. I was in Raleys a local grocery store and snooped around their organic section, and I came across the power bars and there sat a box of White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cliff Bar. There was only one left...the r...est of the flavors in boxes were nearly full... so I thought to myself this flavor must be delicious...so I bought one. I have to say it was quite good, but a bit too sweet. Then I got to thinking...I wonder if there is a recipe on the web on how to make a homemade version of the Cliff bar...afterall they aren't cheap. And guess what! there is :)....so I copied the recipe and am sharing it here. I haven't tried it yet because I am not home, but I plan to in the near future.
Homemade Cliff Bars (no bake!) There is plenty of room for variation here, so let your mind and tastebuds run wild. I have a few variation ideas to get you started. And yes, you can definitely double this recipe and press into a 13x9-inch pan insteads of an 8-inch pan.
1 and 1/4 cups crisp rice cereal (e.g., I like Erwhon Crisp Brown, but Rice Krispies are fine)
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)1/4 cup finely chopped dried fruit (e.g., raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.)
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts or seeds (pepitas are great)
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup nut butter (preferably natural, well-stirred, but creamy is fine, too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine the rice cereal, oats, flaxseed meal, dried fruit, and nuts in a large bowl.
Combine the syrup and nut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted and well-blended (alternatively microwave in small microwave-safe bowl 30-60 seconds until melted). Stir in vanilla until blended.
Pour nut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated (use a wooden spoon at first, then get your hands in it. It will be sticky, but this way you can really coat everything. Just scrape off your hands when you're done). Press mixture firmly into an 8-inch square pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) using a large square of wax paper (really tamp it down). Cool in pan on a wire rack and chill at least 30 minutes to help it set. Cut into 12 bars. (Wrap bars tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator).
I went shopping for food today and raisins were on my list of things to buy. I have a sweeth tooth so instead of eating goodies like, candy, or cookies I decided raisins were a good alternative. They are on my alkaline list as well. In case you don't know I am also working to get gmos labeled on our food because 70% of foods in grocery stores are gentically modified...bad news...but I will post ab...out that another time.
Anyways, imagine my surprise when I was in Sprouts bulk food section (where I bought my raisins two weeks ago) and read the ingredients label above the raisin bin "Thompson raisins, canola oil". What???? Canola oil???? I found the clerk in charge of the bulk section and asked her if the canola oil in the raisins are non-gmo...she had no idea. Shame on you Sprouts! You claim to offer healthy food choices and you are no different than conventional markets!
I left Sprouts without raisins and went to Trader Joes. When I shop, I usually go to both stores so I didn't specifically go there just to find raisins, but they had exactly what I was looking for...organic Thompson raisins...no oil of any kind. I also found a bag of sweetened dried cranberries; sweetened with organic cane sugar and organic safflower oil.
Moral of this story? Read all labels! Buyer beware! Even in so-called healthfood stores!
I received an email from the Colon Club regarding their 2013 calendar contest. Apparently, I am too sexy for their calendar so I was not chosen. I have decided that they are absolutely correct, so I will make my own calendar that will feature me for all 12 months!
The other day someone who have known since last year was wearing a different shirt and a hat...I didn't recognize him. Last week I tried to put a harness on the cat, thinking he was the dog. There are days I can't remember an everyday word like gas station. Now I am a pretty smart person and I am ablr to pay attention to detail but lately there are times I turn into Mrs. Magoo. I discussed this problem with the guy I didn't recognize who is also a cancer survivor...it's called chemo-brain and it has been scientifically documented. Chemo-brain...that's what I have and I'm sticking to that story!
What great day! I had a long conversation with my social worker this morning. It was more like a "girlfriends" conversation...not worker-client. I am so lucky to have her in my life and before we hung up, she said she will help me get my medical care. I am fortunate because I am in the "survellience" phase...no chemo...no radiation...but I still need to be scanned every 3 months; get my port flush...ed; get a bloodtest every 3 months, and a physical exam. Now it's up to me to do everything in my power to stay healthy by eating healthy, which for me means going vegan; to keep my stress to a minimum either by meditating, dancing, watching funny shows and staying positive.
Then when I got home a box was waiting for me that contained a one month supply of ostomy appliances. I am so stoked! If you read an earlier post you know there are major changes to my MediCal and I was worried that I couldn't get my medical treatment. After I got out of my funk (which lasted for one day) I pulled myself together and looked into my options. This arrival of ostomy supplies was a complete surprise and I believe a sign that all is good. That's what Abraham Hicks would say anyway.
I have alot to be grateful for and I will work hard to remember that!
I have been looking back on different "anniversaries" from last year and really thinking about where I was mentally at that time. Sometimes it's hard because I don't remember things as clearly as I would like because of the pain killers and treatments (chemo and radiation). I do remember though that I was adamant about not hearing or saying the cancer word and instead called it the c-word. I refused to let cancer define who I was. I also wanted to keep things as normal as possible. Someone recommended I go to a support group, but I was never a support group kinda gal, even when I was having trouble keeping -my-shit-together when my dad died over 20 years ago. I preferred talking with someone alone or just looking for self-help books and journaling my thoughts. I wanted to remain as positive as I could. Like I said before, I knew even when I got the news, I knew I would be ok. I have to be honest though, there were times I felt frustrated at my situation, but I still didn't let myself hang around that pity zone for long. Instead I focused on what I was grateful for.
John and I watched 50-50 last night. In case you never heard of it, it's about a 27 year old man who gets cancer. The official name is too long for me to remember but in my book cancer is cancer...they all suck! The movie was pretty good and was a good depiction of what someone goes through while in treatment. I recommend it. It is uplifting.
So I was @ Mother's Market today getting signatures for the "label gmos" inititative nd while I was there I decided to look for a non-gmo, vegan sour cream and I found one! It's made by WayFare. I'm b ack in business! Baked potato with faux sour cream, huge fabulous salad and steamed broccoli!
I almost forgot...I made a green smoothie to take to the market this morning and I added kale, chopped wheatgrass ( I couldn't juice that bugger so I chopped it up), frozen pineapple, orange juice, and water. It turned out quite good, but it did have a hint of "freshly cut lawn" after taste. It was also a bit thicker than I wanted, but all the same it was good and nutritious!
I did some gorilla food shopping today and loaded up on veggies. I have a 5 pound of organic spuds in the frig that I would like to eat this week so, I was thinking of making baked potatoes, salad and some fabulous veggie on the side... well, one of the things I loved putting on my potatoes before I was vegan was sour cream. A few months I ago I discovered fake sour cream, made from soybean, so ...I added that to my shopping list.
I was in Sprouts putting the fake sour cream (Tofutti brand) in my shopping cart when I thought to myself...fake sour cream made from soy beans...gmos or non-gmos? I read the label at least 5 times...hoping to find the words non-gmo or at least organic anywhere on that label...nothing...nada..zilch! Back on the shelf it went. I would have to wait until I researched it on the net.
Back home I looked up Tofutti sour cream and sure enough it could not be confirmed that it was definitely gmo free. Their website did say that some their products are mostly gmo free...they actually have a variety of vegan stuff, but since they are not gmo free, I will no longer buy their products. I am really bummed about that, now I have to find something else to make my potatoes fabulous.
I also learned something... I have to constantly be on my toes when I am shopping...just because it is vegan or says natural...doesn't mean its healthy.
My nurse gave me a great tip regarding my ostomy bag. I tuck it into my undies or pull-ups, depending how my day is going and the skin under the bag/pouch can turn red and looks like a rash. I am guessing it is from the bag sitting on my skin, and it gets hot in there (no comment) sooo instead of buying an ostomy bag cover which for me is just one extra thing to take off when I empty the pouch, I use a cloth baby bib. Newborn size works perfect. You can buy the ones that tie, but I prefer the ones that snap. No more pouch irritating my skin and it is small enough not to make a huge buldge.
I enjoy listening to Abraham-Hicks. I don't follow them per-se because I don't "follow" anyone. I don't remember how I heard about them but their teachings or advice resonate with me, so I listen to them alot. I definitely believe in the "law of attraction" which is one of the main things they talk about. I also believe in staying happy and that means according to them staying in the vortex. If you want to see what they are about you can find them on youtube...I suggest this video to start
I juiced some carrots, celery, cucumber and apples today, and I wondered if I can use this pulp for smoothies or something else. So I googled it and I found a website that lists all the things veggie/fruit pulp can be used in. Sweeeeet!!!
If you want to catch up on this conversation, go to my post from Feb. 7th...I was told about this low cost pre-existing health insurance plan that is for Californians, called PCIP. My monthly premium according to the graph is...$1189 a mth + co-pays + $1500 annual deductible. There is a one year wait list. This is what the State of California thinks is low cost??? Who determines what is a reasonable cost? I have several other places to check out for help and I will keep you posted. If you are having similar problems with your health insurance options let me know or keep reading my blog for updates. Whatever information I come up with I will pass along to help others. Remember, sometimes we have to fight the powers that be as well as cancer. Don't give up though, the main thing is we are beating cancer and that is a major victory!
I have been a bad girl lately. I have neglected my daily guided meditation practise. So today I am taking care of myself and listening to the guided meditation from Kelly Howell. You can find her on youtube. There are several good meditation videos from lots of different people to choose from on youtube so listen to different ones to find out which ones you resonate with. There are 2 quotes from Howell's tape that I like..."Remember anything is possible and miracles can happen at any moment" I am living proof of that! and here's the other one... "I intend to focus on that which is life giving and positive."
I have a sweet tooth. Chocolate is my biggest addiction...I am powerless over it and when there is chocolate around, especially dark chocolate I eat some. There are always goodies at the nurse's kitchen in the infusion center, brought in by thankful patients, so I try to stay out of there but it's also where the frig is and the drinks for the patients are kept there. The other day my sister-in-law told me about date coconut rolls with almonds...she said they taste like Almond Joy, but are healthier...so I found them at Sprouts in the bulk section. Dates are alkaline and anyone who knows me knows I am all about keeping my system alkaline. I think the coconut flakes are alkaline too because they aren't dried. Dried coconut is acid, fresh is alkaline. I keep mine in the frig so they stay fresh and when I get that urge to have a sweet I pop one in my mouth and my craving is satisfied.
I wanted to keep this website upbeat and cheerful, but sometimes things happen that changes things, so rather than keep quiet about it I will tell you what happened to me. I am absolutely sure others are having a similar experience and I always think it's better to talk about it and maybe find a solution. This is what happened to me Monday...
I went to see my doctor about scheduling surgery for my pelvis. The plan was to put in screws in the pelvic bone because I have what is called insufficiency fractures that was caused from radiation. The receptionist told me I had to pay $276 for the office visit. Apparently my MediCal coverage changed last month (no one told me) and my deductible is now $831 a month! I called the MediCal office and was told by a social worker that because my husband and I earn $2700 a month gross, we earn too much money. I explained that $500 a month comes out of my husband's check and I get social security because I am still disabled. If we are lucky we make $2200 a month. My colostomy supplies will cost at least $200 a month and they will no longer be covered by MediCal because they cost less than $831. I don't know what I am going to do. I can't afford to see any of my doctors so I am basically screwed.
That is how I felt yesterday and I was awake most of the night trying to figure out what to do. I am the type of person who gets upset when I first hear this type of news but not for long. My pain turns into anger and when I'm pissed, watch out! I am definitely no victim and when I fall down for a minute I get up swinging.
I was on the phone early this morning calling anyone who would listen and who might have suggestions. I came up with a few...first thing is to get a copy of that letter that was supposedly sent to me December 29th and appeal the decision. I will also be going to my state senators office this week to get some help, so I will keep you posted how that visit turns out. But for now I will not get upset about things I have no control over and use the energy I have to come up with a plan...even a plan B and C. I have come a long way since last year at this time. I beat cancer for crying out loud! This will be a piece of cake compared to that.
I spent most of my day writing letters to my doctors and making phone calls. I plan to spend my evening relaxing, watching some funny shows and drinking a fabulous green smoothie!
I saw the neurologist today and that only thing that an be confirmed is that my left leg is definitely screwed. I had a nerve test done back in September 2011; doc read me the results...finally. This my 3rd visit to see a neurologist and each time I see a different doc. I don't know what's going on in that department but hopefully the doc I saw today will be my permanent one...at least until she ...graduates. The Neurology Dept. is made up of mainly residents who report to one main doc, and there have been major changes going on with the staff so it has been inconsitent and frustrating for me to find out what's going on with my legs and feet...mainly my balance issues. I would LOVE to walk without a walker but for now I will need it for awhile longer.
They are pretty certain that my problems are a result of the chemo...thank the goddess I only had 2 cycles. I can't imagine what my legs would be like if I had more. For now I will get a referral to go back for physical therapy and see the neurologist in 3 months. Oh well...there are people who have it worse than me so I won't complain.
OC Family also has a recipe that i haven't tried yet, but sounds yummy... Chocolate hemp cookies:
3 cups walnuts or coconut flour 1 cup hemp seeds 1/2 cup raw cacao 1/3 cup agave nectar or raw honey 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tbsp. greens powder
In a food processer with the s-blade attached, process all ingredients, except the sweetener, until well combined. Add the sweetener while processing until a dough ball forms. Scoop out the dough 1 tblsp. at a time, and roll into hemp seeds. Place in small paper cups. It will last a week unlees you eat them all first!
I was looking through OC Family magazine today and found an article about kids and a vegan diet. It states that a plant based diet is a nutritious/ healthy way to feed kids. Here is a copy of the quick reference guide : Vegan sources of nutrition:
Protein: Toddlers ages 2-5 need 16 grams a day; options include: quinoa (1 cup=5grams); buckwheat (1cup=5grams); hemp seeds (2tsps=14grams); walnuts... (1oz.=4grams); spinach or othere dark greens (1cup=5grams)
Iron: broccoli,brown rice, millet, figs, greens
Calcium: broccoli, brown rice, yams, beans, sesame
Essential fatty acids: flax seeds (in oil or seed form), walnuts, hemp seeds, olives, avocado, coconut
The other day I had a major cramp in the area of my stoma. Now, I have had leg cramps before but never in my abdomen. It happened when I was doing a modified version of downward dog yoga pose. The the next day my bag broke in a new area :( This morning my bag broke again and the skin around my stoma is fire red and stings. My stoma seems to have shrunk again and it is barely sticking out...not g...ood because the wafer isn't very secure (that's the piece that sticks to my skin and the pouch attachs to it) If it isn't a snug fit the bag will continue to break. Now I don't know why the stoma shrank but I have been eating fresh oranges this week and my stool isn't as firm as I would like. I don't know if there is a connection but I will stop eating the oranges to see if that helps. Meanwhile I have an appointment to see my stoma nurse tomorrow to take care of the flareup on my skin.