Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom. Have Some Curry.

A little chilly out there this morning. Snow up in Lake Louise. Not too often snow comes in September for my mothers big day. 66 I think today. Don't tell her I told you that. I may be excommunicated for communicating that.

A few years ago, my mom started to forget a few things she needed to remember. Some were important things which really threw a screw into a few peoples schedules if she didn't complete a task. As my step-dad, my Uncle G and I started to take note of this, we talked a little more about it. We conversed about my grandma and her mother and how they had come down with Dementia. I know they say there is a difference between this and Alzheimer's, but to me they are the same. No good outcome and a long, sad time ahead as things slowly break down. My mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. So add another reason for me to eat healthy as I take after my mothers side of the family with quite a few traits. I hope this doesn't mean I only have a few years left before I go Ronald Reagan on everybody. Makes me kind of sad to think I may not be able to see my little girl grow up to be a mature, young lady or see her raise my grandchildren. But, that's life and I have to deal with it. No sense in worrying about a possible gun pointed directly at my face until I can actually see it

I have read a lot about how and what to do in regards to avoiding the big A over the past couple of years. One of the things I read once in a while regarding the subject is how East Indian people don't have many issues with this. One of the main ingredients in any curry, Turmeric, is an anti-inflammatory among other things. Part of it is made up from Curcumin, something which has been studied quite a bit by various institutions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curcumin). This Wiki article may be a little advanced, so this one is shorter and is put in more layman terms (http://oss.mcgill.ca/everyday/curry.pdf). Either way, I will still keep on reading everything I can to learn as much as I can over time.

We have an abundance of Indian restaurants here in town. We have been to about many of them since we have been together, about 6 years. I wasn't used to eating that way, with all those spices. I'm used to them now, but my stomach and my brain had a few conversations after visiting a couple of places, none of them good with my brain dropping a few f-bombs trying to get my stomach to fall in line. A couple of times I ended up walking as if I had a mermaid suit on in the middle of the night racing to the en suite. You get the point. I'm a trooper though. I wasn't giving up as I knew it was for the long term betterment of my health. Today, I can handle the Lamb Vindaloo and similar dishes. Serious heat man! The servers just laugh and say "Haha, we just tone it down for you white people". I'm glad they see the humour in it. That's some hot stuff which requires some getting used to. Lots of flavor though and I enjoy eating almost everything on the menu. We usually add a Mango Lassi into the mix which adds another level of flavor and some relief from the heat.

There is an East Indian spice store just up the road from our house which I frequent. Get to know the people who run the shops you go to on a regular basis. They can help you out in many different ways. These guys know everything in every bag, know exactly where each one is and what's beside it. They can offer up a few good recipes as well. I'm all over that like white on rice. It's good for them as they sell everything which is obscure to us, but normal to them. It's also good for business if they continue to do this.

Feeding O curry isn't an option at this point, but sometime down the road she will be exposed to it. I look forward to her trying it. Can't wait to see the expressions on her face. They're pretty entertaining as it is right now, but with all those different flavors, even without the heat it will be interesting for sure.

Today she was pretty tired for breakfast, but she still was able to eat apricots with kiwi, yogurt and rice cereal. It knocked her out afterwards as it was a decent sized meal. Last night for dinner, she downed 3 ice cube-sized chunks of broccoli, carrots and zucchini along with some EVOO and the regular assortment of herds and spices. I think I will start adding some cumin into the mix now as well. Start her young on the small side of the curry trail.

If you know someone with Dementia or Alzheimer's, it is at times quite frustrating and sad. I find the best way to deal with it is to have a sense of humour about the whole thing. Some people have said to me "That's kind of cold, isn't it?" My response is "If you don't know anyone with it, don't put yourself in my shoes or anyones else's who are dealing with this. If you do know someone with it, then you are only kidding yourself and only have bad times, a negative attitude and a boat load of tears to look forward to". Cherish the times you have with them now and make the most of it. You don't know how much longer you will be able to walk in the front door of their house and get a "Hello!" or a "How are you?" from them. Have a sense of humour about it. Look on the bright side. My mom meets someone new everyday, she can hide her own Easter eggs and she eats foods now which she completely swore off of earlier in life. After hating it with a passion her whole life, she now eats curry. A little late, but that's fine. It's the thought that counts and anything helps at this point.

I'll leave you today with a quote, as I will now in every blog:

"It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician." Meryl Streep



Until next time, good eating everyone.

Mark

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