“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” ~ Jonathan Swift

Monday, December 31, 2012

...and a healthy New Year!

My family has an annual tradition of a New Year's Eve, potluck dinner.  This year, I am contributing these quinoa and kale "bites".  Knowing my family, I can count on a host of delicious--albeit rich and sometimes unhealthy--foods. It's always a good idea to whip up something anti-inflammatory so I can always have something wholesome to eat.  Plus, I have discovered that I can introduce others to healthy foods they might not have otherwise tried.

I created this recipe by melding a bunch of ideas together.  Serve warm as a tasty side dish.  I whipped up a yogurt dip as well.

Quinoa and Kale Bites

(makes approximately 28)

2 cups uncooked quinoa (I used red quinoa for extra nuttiness)
3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1 head of kale, shredded
1/2 cup of chives, minced
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheese
dashes of cumin, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil

To make the quinoa, pour the quinoa and broth in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil then simmer, covered until the little "piggy tails" sprout.  This should take approximately 15 minutes.  Allow the mixture to come to room temperature.

Mix the kale, chives, cumin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Then mix in the cheese and eggs along with the cooled quinoa.  Add a dash or two of olive oil to keep the mixture moist.  Then spoon the mixture into standard size muffin tins.  Use the back of your spoon to flatten the mixture.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Garam Masala Yogurt Dip

2 cups of lowfat or nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of garam masala (or curry powder)
1 tablespoon of lime juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients and serve with the quinoa bites!

Happy and Healthy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking back, looking ahead

Sorry that I haven't been posting as frequently.  Being a teacher isn't conducive to maintaining a blog, but I will try to be more on top of this!

I bring bittersweet news.  In September, I had a check-up and an unsettling discovery. After conducting an OCT scan, my doctor found some fluid (blood) in the back of my eye.  However, he was unsure if this was anything new.  The office recently acquired a newer, higher resolution camera so he was not sure if the activity had always been there and the old technology could not detect it.  The other option, however, was that this could be a new round of hemorrhaging.

So, he told me to come back in December to see how the situation progressed.  Between those two appointments, I definitely noticed a decline in my vision.  It was harder to read for long periods of time, and my stamina for grading also decreased.  I was worried...and I even started a blog post about it.  But then, I never finished that post because it was almost too scary to think about it.  After all, I had been injection free since 2009.  I suppose I got too comfortable.

Two weeks ago, I went in for another appointment and could not make out the eye chart at all.  Another scan revealed definite activity, and I walked out with my first Avastin injection in years.  I return in mid-January to see if the injection worked.

So, what does this mean?  I go back and forth. Sometimes, I blame myself for not maintaining my anti-inflammatory diet "better". Sometimes, I curse the diet and think that it must have been a sham.  Sometimes, I think that maybe the diet did work and I should be grateful for the three years that I had relative calm.

As 2013 approaches, I find myself in an ironically similar spot to the one I was in when I first began this blog.  I have been making more deliberate steps to adhering to the diet.  For me, this has meant eating mainly vegetarian meals and cutting out a great deal of sugar.  However, the evil holidays have meant nothing but sweet treats everywhere I turn!  I also love baking, so it's been quite hard to stick to anti-inflammatory eating.  Who can resist these peanut butter cookies?!

I am hopeful though, and I promise that 2013 will be focused on taking care of myself.

Happy New Year, everyone!