Monday, May 23, 2011

I won't be eating that

Headed to The East Coast for a week and will not be eating:

Soft pretzels

Wurder ice (That's Philly-talk for Water Ice, or Italian Ice)

or a Philly Cheesesteak


Sunday, May 22, 2011

More from Artichoke Fest

I wanted to eat all this so bad.

See Ma, food IS for playing with.

I was actually relieved.

Artichoke Fest

Today a couple friends and I took a road trip down to good ole Castroville for their annual Artichoke Fest. Artichokes were eaten, girl scout cookies were bought (definitely can't eat those), eating contests were watched, meat on a stick was ravaged, faces were painted, pictures were taken with a lifesize artichoke, and baby turtles were adopted. It was quite the day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Last Year

One year ago, I sat deer-in-the-headlights before a firing squad and endured a barrage of bullets that would leave my life riddled with holes: "mold" "infection" "fatal" "rare" "intravenous" "immediately" "neutropenic" "prognosis" "options" "anyone we could call?" "transfusions" "leak gut" "death" .....

I sat in that conference room with a team of doctors, in a daze, their hot words hitting my frozen, emaciated body and melting into a puddle beneath my chair- that I later slipped on as they helped me down the hall to the treatment room for more ivs.

It would take another week before I uttered a word to anyone. Another two weeks before I could stop eating the forbidden foods. Another month before I started this blog. Six months before I accepted any of it. A whole year before I really let myself feel emotions about it.

I started this blog because some things I couldn't say, but I could type. Because answering the same question over and over and over and over again was tiresome, overwhelming, scary and time consuming- whereas offering a link seemed better.

It's been hard: really, really hard. I've tried to be comical and upbeat about it; and I've fostered a lot of denial; and I didn't talk about a lot of things, but doing this blog has helped me find my voice.

It's been one hell of a year but I'm so glad to be here and for all I've learned about food and cooking and life! Thanks for being a part of that journey.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Regarding the previous post...

Those questions were prompted by some conversations I've had lately regarding my final will, my living will, and some confusion surrounding my illness and prognosis.

They are purely hypothetical, but also something I think every person should consider. As one of my favorites so eloquently stated: I may have a serious illness that may or may not kill me tomorrow, or next year, or twenty years from now...and you may step off the curb this afternoon and get mowed down by a bus. No, that's not morbid, it's realistic.

That being said, would you disappointed by how you lived your life? By the things you'd done, or better yet, hadn't done?

There is no designated amount of time any of us is promised.

There are so many songs, books, movies, poems, etc. out there about living like you're dying, but my question is this: why not live like we're ALIVE?

What do you want to do? Why aren't you doing it? Get out there and F-ing do it!

Don't wait until you're dying to start living, because by then it might be too late.

Don't wait until you're too sick to get that tattoo you always wanted; or too tired to travel with that passport you waited forever to get; or until you're too weak to climb to the top of that mountain you vowed to conquer; too "whatever" to do the things you always meant to do; or too dead to do anything.

Be here now. Live the life you always wanted.

"Get busy living, or get busy dying." -Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption

* For the record:
Aspergillosis is a very serious disease and many people inflicted do die within the first year, but those people also have other deadly illnesses (like cancer, pneumonia, and/or Aids, which I am blessed not to have).

I have already surpassed the one year mark and fully intend to make it to the second year mark, as well. Some people have managed to live with this for several years and I have many indications that I will be one such fortunate, too. Don't underestimate me!

I know I haven't been very good about keeping people informed for the past year, but I'm really trying to be better about it now. (It was scary and overwhelming and I didn't know what to say most of the time)

Please feel free to come to me with any questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Now I CAN Eat That

Recent additions to the YES list:
Roasted nuts

The rest of the list can be found here.

How would you spend your final days?

I have some bad news, you only have six months to a year to live (sorry to break it to you this way, but we have to be quick, you don't have much time).

Ok now that you've had a moment to process your imminent death, I have an important question for you: what are you going to do with the time you have left?

Where do you want to spend that precious time? Is there anywhere you've never been and want to go? Somewhere you want to go again? Where do you call home?

What have you always wanted to do, but never got around to?

Are there any fears you want to face?

What would you eat?!

Who would you want to spend time with? Who would you not mind ever seeing again?

Is there anything you need to tell someone? Or the world?

Anyone you need to forgive? Or apologize to?

Any projects you need to finish? Or start?

The time is yours, to do with as you please. So, what are you going to do with it, knowing it's all you have?

I want to hear your answers!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ferry Building Feast

Yesterday I went over to The San Francisco Ferry Building for their Thursday Farmer's Market. My cousin-in-law Ryan Farr (I've mentioned him here) owner of 4505 Meats has his stand there on Thursdays and Saturdays, so I like to stop by and say hi (and get free food, duh!) when I can. (4505 just won Best Burger in The SF Bay Area last month, btw.)

He was cooking cole slaw and lamb sausage, both with a bit of a kick, and topped with cilantro and aioli.

That slaw was seriously the best thing I've eaten in quite some time.

Then I headed into The Slanted Door for lunch with my faux boyfriend for lemongrass chicken with red onions, jalapeƱos, roasted chili paste, paired with star route farm baby spinach with caramelized shallots and massa organics' brown rice. Yum.

All in all, a happy day for my palate and ponch.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Job Perks

Meals such as this are made for me on the regular :)

Food can still bring me joy in moments like this

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bren-friendly BBQ

Last night I went to my friends' new place and they grilled a bunch of yummy veggies and diet-approved chicken. I ate about 5 lbs of asparagus and my pee has been radioative all week.

I was dreading bbq season, but maybe it won't be so bad after all.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Snack Attack

I am blessed to have some extremely awesome people in my life who keep an eye out for things I AM allowed to eat.

These two items were recently bestowed upon me by one of my favorite people:

Chocola Tree Cafe Nori Nachos

GoRaw Super Cookies

I'd never had nori before and tend to hate anything that comes from the sea, but the chips were surprisingly good. I went on their website and found a whole slew of other snacks I'm going to try, all of which are pretty reasonably priced.

The cookies were really great, but I'm not really supposed to have dates, so I'll have to hold off on buying more of those, seeing as how eating only a couple of them a day, over several days, was a true test of self-restraint. Their website also has a lot of fun looking treats.

Also, I've noticed that pre-packaged snacks regularly come in miniatures. Because I have nothing better to do and I think it's funny, I've been seeking out snack-sized foods like these baby bellpeppers: