Friday, April 27, 2012

Wearing the Healthy Nutrtion Hat

My dad came home after "residing" in the hospital and rehab for the last 3 plus months swapping between the two three times.  Was he happy to hear he was finally going home!

I can't imagine the long lonely days and nights.  At times he was happy, he has a sense of humor when he remembers and a flirt.  I would visit and he wished I could've stayed longer sometimes.

I wore the meal planner hat to help him regain his strength and to encourage him to eat more again once he was back on solid food.  Makes me thankful to be able to eat and to eat what I want to eat even more.

Now home I was able to speak with the head of the dining room where he lives to plan healthy meals with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (salads), dark green vegetables and sweet potatos. We are better able to keep him off of the white foods, bread, pasta and sugar now.  The director was very agreeable to it all.  He knew what quinoa is and says they do serve it at times, as some of the residents like it. Many however are not familiar with it and therefore won't eat it.  He'll make sure my dad has some and buckwheat and tabouleh too when they are on the menu.

The point of my dad's tale?   It was not always easy to provide healthy meals for my dad in these two institutions. Trays came up wrong or the doctor made changes I did not agree with (Ensure instead of real protein, Colace instead of prunes.) I won the battle for each. The Colace didn't work, boy did the prunes!  As someones healthcare advocate this is an area to really focus on because if you do not stand up for your loved ones nutritional needs while receiving institutional care, they only go so far, and at times as in my dads case, they give the standard food tray filled with all my dad is not supposed to eat due to his unique health issues.  

On a wonderful note the hospital dining services had a survey which I filled out very honestly and in a long detailed manner. Suggestions flowed and I added them.  The second hospitalization the menu had changes WHOLE MULTI GRAIN bread was added, more salad choices and more drink choices. More heart healthy choices. My dad needed these.

It pays to speak up and to also fill out surveys and be heard.  They took mine to "heart" and I was pleasantly surprised.  Every baby step leads to change. The ripple has started at the hospital and the rehab facility.

It's amazing as life normalizes in someone elses' life how your own becomes more normal too.  While I did make some green juices and smoothies, I did not every day. My body was ready for good food.  So I whipped up a naturally sweet sundried tomato red pepper sauce.  Taking my vegetable peeler in hand I made large ribbons of zucchini fettucini noodles, cut up a whole creamy avocado and generously spooned on the sauce.  My taste buds rejoiced.  

Simple and Quick Organic/Raw Red Sundried Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce


1/4 C + 1TB warm water
6-8 sundried tomatoes (unsalted variety)
1/2 1 large red pepper
1/4 C pine nuts
1 large clove garlic (smaller's ok)
1/4 C olive oil (may drizzle in) 
 2 large zucchini


Pour the water into the blender and add the sundried tomatos.
Let them soak in the warm water for 10  minutes

Create the zucchini fettucini noodles over a big bowl
Add a 1/4  tsp salt (or less) to the noodles
After the noodles sweat, drain out the water

Wash, cut and de-seed the red pepper
Peel the garlic
Peel and cut up a ripe avocado

Pulse and then blend the tomatos and water
Add some of the olive oil, blend by drizzling it in
Add the red pepper, blend
Add the garlic, blend
Add more olive oil, blend
Add pinenuts, blend
Add in more olive oil if desired
Optional a pinch of salt after you taste it

This sauce makes a delicious spread. I used it on a hummus and sprout sandwich and a sprouted tofu vegetable burger with spinach and sprouts on top. Both on Ezekiel Sesame Bread.   

Let me know how the recipe turns out for you and other ways you use it in the comments below. 


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This post may be reprinted on your blog, website or in your e-zine with my blessing as long as you include the following:  Barbara Greenhouse shares her passions of Food, "Cooking", Cruelty-Free, and the Sharing of Unbiased Information for a healthy and informed world.  She teaches and supports  her clients through their journey to live their dreams easily and holistically, with compassion and by incorporating some delicious live raw whole foods.  She is currently authoring her first book, "Sacred You, The Delicious Journey"®    © copyright refreshyourlifenow, - 2012 Connecticut, USA

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