Searching for a medical team: Asking for a friend

Medical professionals: HELP.

I am a 40-year old American woman of African descent. I am at my wits end to find a medical team willing and able to take on my care. I have several serious issues that are likely related and if treated holistically possible cured. Currently my issues are all being treated as separate issues and given separate medicines to address individual symptoms. I do not know what else to do to avoid becoming a statistic – older person of color, overweight (due to medications that cause weight gain), sick, and tired (due to adrenal issues from chronic stress, pain, and overmedication).

I have great insurance, before I medically retired I was a federal employee. Less than 3 years ago I had a 15-year career doing amazing things for an amazing agency. I have a graduate degree. Now, I am unable even to understand basic information in my insurance documents to determine what is covered and what isn’t, much less what do to when my Medicare kicks in as a secondary insurance to my Blue Cross Blue Shield.

I am tired all the time, even if I sleep for 10 hours. I cannot process information intellectually like I used to. I am in physical pain all the time, in my joints and across my body, especially when someone hugs me – yes, sharp pain to the touch. I have nightmares every night. I’m sure my cortisol and epinephrine are high and worry what adrenal fatigue might cause. I have an exaggerated startle response. I am hungry often, but get full fast. I dissociate. I become overwhelmed when in social settings. I have chest pains. I experience inflammation daily. I grind my teeth. I have IBS. I have been diagnosed with endometriosis. I experience reflux. I have been diagnosed with PCOS. I have been diagnosed with PTSD. I experience post-exertional malaise (PEM). I may have an auto-immune disease. I may have ME/CFS. My normally low (110/68) blood pressure is (as of last week) now 145/97. I eat well, low sodium, and mainly plants. I am not an expert, I am in search of one.

I could go on… but I need to find a medical team that will help me. Please, if you are a doctor or know doctors that do this kind of work please let me know.

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The Last Supper: What did they eat?

This year on Nisan 14 many will celebrate the Passover and begin the festival of unleavened bread. As a Christian, on that evening, after sundown, I will be commemorating the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ and meditating on the new covenant he established at his last meal with the disciples. Modern passover plates use modern tradition, so let’s dig a little to find what 1st-century Jewish passover meals were like.

 

Seder-Plate

Modern Passover Plate

 

Since the Gospels note that the meal included at least bread and wine, some hypothesize that the meal could have taken place at Passover. This is corroborated by the Gospel of Mark, which notes that the Last Supper took place during the “feast…of unleavened bread.” If so, they tell Rosella Lorenzi there would have been much more on the table:

According to Generoso Urciuoli and Marta Berogno, other food on the table would have included cholent, a stewed dish of beans cooked very low and slow, olives with hyssop, a herb with a mint-like taste, bitter herbs with pistachios and a date charoset, a chunky fruit and nut paste.

“Bitter herbs and charoset are typical of Passover, cholent is eaten during festivities, while hyssop was also consumed on a daily basis,” Urciuoli said.

 

 

cholent

Cholent, stewed beans

 

The roots of the festival of unleaved bread are found in Exodus 12, in which God instructs the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb at twilight on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, before the sun sets (Exodus 12:18). That night the Israelites are to eat the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The lamb’s blood should be swabbed on their doorposts as a sign. God, seeing the sign, will then “pass over” the houses of the Israelites (Exodus 12:13), while smiting the Egyptians with the tenth plague, the killing of the first-born sons.

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In researching what they may have eaten as Jewish men of the first century I found more interesting information published by two Italian scholars.

A study by two Italian archaeologists relied on Bible verses, Jewish writings, ancient Roman works and archaeological data to investigate the eating habits in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century A.D.

A bean stew, lamb, olives, bitter herbs, a fish sauce, unleavened bread, dates and aromatized wine likely were on the menu at the Last Supper, says recent research into Palestinian cuisine during Jesus’s time.

The food wasn’t eaten during a formal seated gathering at a rectangular table, as shown in many religious art paintings, but with Jesus and his apostles reclining on floor cushions, as the Romans did at that time.

“The Bible discusses what happened during that dinner, but it doesn’t detail what Jesus and his 12 dining companions ate,” Generoso Urciuoli, archaeologist at Italy’s Petrie center and author of the Archeoricette blog on ancient food, told Discovery News.

Urciuoli, who specializes on the history of early Christianity, and co-author Marta Berogno, archaeologist and Egyptologist at Turin Egypt’s museum, will publish their findings next month in the book “Gerusalemme: l’Ultima Cena” (Jerusalem: the Last Supper). “The starting point is the assumption that Jesus was a Jew. He and his disciples observed the traditions transmitted by the Torah and its food related bans,” Urciuoli said.

 

SOURCES

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/heres-what-apostles-ate-last-supper-180954838/

https://www.saporie.com/it-it/ultima-cena-urciuoli-e-berogno-ci-svelano-il-menu.aspx

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Marta+Berogno+Generoso+Urcioli&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Marta+Berogno+Generoso+Urcioli&sort=relevancerank

https://www.seeker.com/last-supper-menu-stew-lamb-winemore-1771096726.html

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/was-jesus-last-supper-a-seder/

http://faithandfabricdesign.com/2013/03/activity-preparing-last-supper.html

 

Iced Turmeric Latte

WRITTEN BY ROCHELLE BILOW

If you’re not seeing turmeric everywhere, you’re either living under a rock or are very good at getting out stains (seriously, that stuff makes everything yellow). We’re fans of the vibrant, healthful spice, and the evidence is in our newest recipe for an ice-cold, just-sweet-enough, non-dairy turmeric latte.

The latte calls for cashew milk, freshly grated turmeric, and palm sugar. The ingredients are worth searching for; they make it taste extra-special. But if you’re all, “Oh hell no, there is no way I’m finding fresh turmeric root at my supermarket” we’ve got you. Here are three ways to customize this *highly Instagrammable* drink.

Basic
Instead of palm sugar, use a liquid sweetener, like honey or maple syrup (granulated sugar won’t dissolve in cold liquid). Just mix the sweetener into a glass of milk (any dairy or alt-milk your heart desires) with a teaspoon each of ground ginger and ground turmeric. Stir it all together and pour over ice.

Better
Cashew milk has a luxurious, creamy texture thanks to its high fat content, which makes it an obvious choice for an upgrade. But it has another benefit: It plays well with a squeeze of lemon juice, which helps brighten the drink. If you can’t find cashew milk, you can use another milk, bearing in mind that citrus will make dairy milk curdle. Use your favorite liquid sweetener and the ground turmeric/ginger combo. Bonus points if you have ground cardamom—add a pinch of that in, too; it will add a subtle perfumey fragrance to the drink.

Baller
Digital associate food editor Rick Martinez developed our recipe with fresh turmeric and ginger, because just-ground spices (technically, they’re both roots) have a much more intense flavor. Use a microplane zester to grate them into store-bought or homemade cashew milk. Word to the wise: Wear latex gloves to guard your fingers against stains. Use 4 teaspoons of turmeric and 1 teaspoon ginger for 1 cup of cashew milk. Martinez loves the floral sweetness of palm sugar, which is sold in bricks or blocks, so he grates 2 teaspoons of that into the cashew milk. If you can’t find palm sugar, you can substitute raw sugar, as it will be strained, leaving behind any granules or grit. Stir it all together with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a pinch each of sea salt and cardamom. Let it steep for 5 minutes so the flavors infuse, then strain out the solids. Serve over ice with a lemon wedge.

Not for nothing, but this super-healthy latte is also delicious heated up.

Ingredients

SERVINGS: MAKES 1

  • 1 cup cashew milk
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated fresh turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated palm sugar or raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pinches of ground cardamom
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt
  • Lemon wedge (for serving)

Preparation

  • Whisk milk, turmeric, palm sugar, ginger, lemon juice, cardamom, and salt in a small bowl until sugar and salt have dissolved; let sit 5 minutes to let flavors meld. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract juices; discard solids.
  • Fill a glass with ice. Pour latte over and serve with lemon wedge.

 

 

Recipe by Rick Martinez

Photograph by Alex Lau

I. Have made. Butter! (and it was super easy)

I was thinking about what I could eliminate from my grocery list. I’ve been making breakfast and dinner recipes from 100 Days of Real Food and The Fresh 20 that are delicious as well as full of awesome micronutrients. The past month has been chock full of yummy, healthy meals and that has inspired me to take the next step.

My mother lives with us now and is a butter addict. Well, she’s actually a toast addict, who uses butter as lubricant. We had already switched from “spreads” like country crock to real butter, but I wondered if we couldn’t take it one step further and make my own. That way I know exactly how it was made and can choose cream from the local farmers market to make the butter. About two years ago I had insisted we stop using margarine because butter tastes much better, it’s a natural product that human beings have been eating and cooking with for centuries without ­damaging their health, and I trust cows more than food product scientists.

So why on earth did I ever use margarine, a highly synthetic and unpleasant-tasting concoction laced with additives and cheap, low-grade oils refined on an industrial scale? Propaganda. My parents had been fed “the propaganda” since the mid-80s, and I grew up on that funny Parkay commercial that made me trust the creamy yellow stuff that came in tubs. Plus it was easier to spread.

In February 2013 the unholy alliance of Government nutritionists and the food processing industry were exposed in a study of Australian men and subsequent meta-studies of the health consequences of consuming food products like margarine. If they hadn’t lied — and margarine really was better for you, as they’ve been claiming for decades — you’d expect the middle-aged Australian men who switched to safflower oil to live longer and have better health outcomes.

The exact opposite turned out to be true. Those men who ate more of the safflower-derived products were almost twice as likely to die from all causes, including heart disease.

So, butter is better! Plus it’s easy to make:

1. Take a pint of cream and pour it into a mixing bowl.
2. Use a handheld mixer and whip the cream on high until the creamy yellow soft butter separates from the buttermilk. Takes about 5 minutes.
3. Pour 1 cup of ice cold water and pour it over the butter and buttermilk. Mix it for about 1 minute.
4. Spoon it all into a fine strainer or cheesecloth and press or squeeze out the water and buttermilk.
5. Spoon the resulting butter into a butter-keeper or bowl.
6. Savor your 1/2 pound of butter.

That’s it. Super simple and tasty. Enjoy.

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Urban Farmers are my Heroes

Luke Keegan started with eight raised beds (6′x4′) with reclaimed redwood from a barn. The Dervaes family started much the same way.

For over a decade, the Dervaes family have proved that growing your own food can be sustainable, practical, successful and beautiful even in an urban area. they harvest 3 tons of organic food annually from their 1/10 acre garden while incorporating many back-to-basics (permaculture) practices, solar energy, and biodiesel in order to reduce their footprint on the earth’s resources.

Read about them here: http://urbanhomestead.org/

Keegan started his very own garden of Eden on his small front lawn in the busy port city of Oakland, California. He has given me the inspiration I’ve been looking for. Keegan posted what he calls Operation “ the Lawn” to the photo sharing network Imgur, sharing the story of how he replaced his drab lawn with a flourishing edible garden!

Read his story here: http://imgur.com/a/JihrB?gallery

 

If they can do it, I can do it 🙂

Glam Girl Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Med u saću

Ingredients:

1 tsp ground spices (her grinder contained: sea salt, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, coriander, onion, garlic, paprika, and chilli pepper)

1 tblsp apple cider vinegar

1 tblsp water

2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp honey

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp yogurt

(yields aprx 6 tablespoons of dressing)

Method:

Combine all ingredients and shake/stir. After chilling for 30 mins its ready. Pour it onto a mason jar salad 🙂

From: http://purposefulbeauty.blogspot.com/2013/01/mustard-vinagarette.html

Glam Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Close-up of fruit salad

Close-up of fruit salad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I found this healthy recipe in a copy of Heart Insight Magazine. Enjoy!
      Salad Dressing Ingredients:
      3/4 cup 100% cranberry juice
      1 teaspoon cornstarch
      1 tablespoon sugar
      1 teaspoon grated peeled gingerroot
      1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)
      1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
      Salad Ingredients:
      2 cups cubed watermelon
      1 cup whole strawberries, quartered
      1/2 cup green grapes, halved
      1/2 cup blueberries

DIRECTIONS: In a small saucepan, stir together the juice and cornstarch until the cornstarch dissolves.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour into a shallow bowl and refrigerate until completely cooled, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining dressing ingredients. Meanwhile, arrange the salad ingredients on salad plates. Spoon the dressing on top.

Serves 6; heaping 3/4 cup fruit and 2 tablespoons dressing per serving

Minutes to Prepare: 15 – Minutes to Cook: 10

 

Pasta and Tennessee

My SweetHusband is having problems digesting meat. He has noticed a big change in stomach pains since he had his gallbladder removed. As much as he is a middle Tennessee ridge-runner-meat-and-potatoes guy, he came up with the idea of cutting out all meat for a month and then slowly adding it back in to see what the culprit really is.

So, we’ve been doing plant-based meals with seafood thrown in here and there and sure enough, he hasn’t had any problems. Except, of course, on “cheat days” when he has steak, or a burger. Ahem.

I wanted to post the bestpastaever that I whipped up last night and this is exactly the right post to do so.

There were no measurements, just adding the ingredients and tasting until it was right. SweetHubby loved it. I figure the more interesting the meals are, the less he’ll even want to have a “cheat day” and suffer the consequences. The saga continues.

Pasta, sundried tomatoes, fresh organic vine-ripened tomatoes, greek EV olive oil, feta cheese, basil, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper. Delish!

Pasta, sundried tomatoes, fresh organic vine-ripened tomatoes, greek EV olive oil, feta cheese, basil, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper. Delish!

Fruity Immunity Boosting Smoothie

This rosy pink smoothie is deceptively yummy, from the taste alone you might underestimate the powerful dose of vitamins and antioxidants contained within. The vitamin A from the carrots and vitamin C from the oranges and strawberries support your immune system, boost eye health, increases your body’s ability to absorb iron, and helps resist infection.

Ingredients: 2 cups raw spinach, 3/4 cup orange juice, 3/4 cup water, 1 banana, 1/4 cup carrots, 2 cups strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries

Method: Blend spinach, orange juice, and water together first. After that is blended and creamy, add the rest of the ingredients and blend for 1 minute.

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 (via Simple Green Smoothies)