Memorial Day Week end: First thing, Thank you to our vets

This week end I am especially thankful to our vets.  Our daughter, Emily, is dating a wonderful man, Joe, who will be going on his 8th tour of duty this fall.  He was in college during the time when 9/11 occurred.  Like so many brave young people, he enlisted within a couple of years of graduation.  He now serves as an Army Ranger.  We think the world of him.  I can’t imagine how his parents have endured these many deployments.  I pray that all of the troops come home soon and that we, as a country, stand by our vets and make sure they get all of the services they need.  

Yesterday I listened to Vice President Biden’s courageous words to our Gold Star Families.  He spoke from the heart to these families, first  recounting his despair after his wife and brother were killed in an automobile accident.  Vice President Biden was a young man, newly elected to the senate.  He had young children.  As you can imagine, he was devastated.  He told the families that he knew what it was like to want to commit suicide.  He acknowledged that some in the audience may struggle daily with such feelings.  He talked about the black hole of pain.  And he promised that if they were able to endure, that one day, when these families thought of their loved one, they would smile at a memory before the tears came.  And that would be a beginning.  Vice President Biden may well have saved some lives with this “straight talk.”  I am so proud of him.  The last thing these families need is platitudes.  They are in the trenches of grief and loss.  Vice President Biden essentially lit a lamp, held it high, and perhaps offered a path through the darkness for these families.  I will be praying hard for our vets and for the families of our vets this week end.  

Lighter matters:

Today I went to the Kennebunk plant and pie sale at the local hardware store.  I came home with some lemon basil and some chives.  I learned that the chive flowers (supposedly) can be used as an edible garnish to add taste and color.  I will be adding both the chive and the lemon basil to this week’s rice salad.  So, the base will be brown rice and lemon juice.  Add-ins are fresh herbs, red sweet peppers, aduki beans, scallions, corn, sweet peas, zest of lemon and orange.  I will put the rice dish on a bed of Arugula or I will sprinkle watercress on top.  Both of these greens are loaded with vitamins A and C.  Watercress has as much vitamin C as an apple.  In fact, it  has so many nutrients that it is known as nature’s multi-vitamin.  Check these greens out if you like the bitter greens of the early growing season.

Late night snack.  Oh, I have missed having milk and cereal before bed.  At last I have found low salt replacements.  Try Mom’s Best Sweetened Wheat-fuls.  An entire cup has only 10 mg sodium.  Wow!  And they taste great.  Really.  For a milk-like substitute, I am using Westsoy’s organic unsweetened soy milk that has only 30 mg sodium per cup.  It  isn’t quite as tasty as milk or other milk subs, but the salt content is far less.  Oh, both of these products pack a great protein punch.  5 and 9 grams, respectively.  I actually fell asleep before the sun rose this morning and I think this snack helped.  In addition, I tried some melatonin.  That seemed to help as well.  i’m hoping I can get my sleep cycle back in order.  I had forgotten how beautiful the morning is!!!  Ah, but I have already gone through a lot of my water supply for the day.  It is amazing how fast that 2 liters can go.

That’s all for now.  Gus is asleep on the couch.  Marc and his Dad are out having coffee.  Phyllis is relaxing and enjoying the day.  I hope you all have a great week end.


Heart and Soul

Welcome to my new world of learning to take care (and share) ways of keeping my heart and soul healthy.  I thank every reader for taking the time to read about my journey and, hopefully, to share some of yours.  Today I am celebrating the lovely flowers my husband sent to me for our tenth anniversary, which is tomorrow.  I’m hoping to share a picture of those flowers, just as soon as I figure out how:)  Also, here is a simple recipe for you.  I will be cooking this tonight.  Recipes will always be:

tasty, simple and extremely low salt.

This is to accommodate my tastebuds, my reduced energy level (due to dilated cardiomyopathy), and my salt retraction (500 mg/day).  Also, I am on fluid restriction (32 ounces/day) and that includes everything, even things like ice cream ( if it melts, it’s fluid), yogurt and even the water i use to swallow pills.  If you or anyone you know is on a similar diet, perhaps these recipes will help  Oh, and thanks to Anya for the great tip about freezing beverages.  I make my fluids “count.”  This means I freeze apricot juice, which is high in vitamin A and C, and pomegranate juice, which is high in iron.

Baked Salmon

4 ounces fresh salmon

1 t olive oil

1 T lemon juice

fresh basil, 3 leaves, chopped

Take a sheet of aluminum foil and bend edges up.  Put olive oil into foil.  Place salmon in olive oil, then turn salmon over so that both sides are coated.   Tear or chop basil leaves and set on basil.  Fold foil up and seal around the fish.  Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until cooked.  You can make as many packets as you need servings and there is no mess to clean up.


Happy eating, and I will talk to you tomorrow:)