Thursday, October 23, 2014


Hello! I may have forgotten that Tuesday and Wednesday were 12 hour workdays due to Parent/Teacher conferences.  Luckily, I did remember a few weeks ago to ask my neighbor (and Frankie) to hang out with Remy the last two days, so at least one of us didn't suffer.  With that said, TODAY was a my first no commitment day since the end of September.

Happily, I have been snapping pictures the last few days to show you what I've been eating on this whole food cleanse.
Everyday this week I have had the same lunch: collard greens, shallots, and marinated tempeh over TJ's Harvest Grain blend (Israeli couscous, garbanzo beans, red quinoa).

Monday I ate this deliciousness after my Vega (mixed only with water - I've been starting my day with that and a psyllium husk drink.)
 Dinners have been soup (my mother sent me home with a few servings of a vegetable and bean soup this weekend) and salad (usually cabbage), and twice now I've had this:
She would prefer that I don't eat russet potatoes, but I had a bag in my fridge, and wanted to not be wasteful.  After the one I have left - it'll be sweet potatoes. (Everyday Happy Herbivore Mushroom Gravy smothering the steamed spinach and carrots, baked potato.)

I'm also taking B Complex, and adding Bragg's Amino Acids to my savory meals.  I'm still trying to figure out my snacks, but she has been great checking in on me everyday.  

My grandfather has decided to have the surgery, to remove the brain tumor.

*I cried.  I'm happy. I'm relieved he's willing to not give up on this life.*

Sunday, October 19, 2014

And It Goes On

After three more doctors appointments, my grandparents returned home to Kansas on Thursday morning. They are there to consider his options: do nothing or risk surgery.  I think they'll make their decision soon.  My continued thanks for all of the love and encouragement during this tough time!

With that said, I've been able to re-claim my own life and have made big strides moving forward.  I've slept (a lot!), spent time with friends, and made new goals.

(This is the same park from my last post - the sunset angle is always beautiful, I couldn't resist another photo!)

So much time with family, and virtually no time at home has meant a lot of Chipotle, Whole Foods Prepared Food, Tokyo Joe's, Native Foods, and frozen pizza.  My digestive system hates me.  After yesterday's killer workout class (read: I can't walk, and typing hurts my triceps), I met with the instructor (the former owner of the studio I worked for) and am using her nutritional counseling services for a month long whole foods based cleanse and reboot.  No juices, no fasting.  She has written up workouts and suggested meals (I have to keep a food journal to show her), and checks in with me via text regularly.
 (My aunt invited me to see the musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown")
 Basically: no sugar, processed food, white carbs or fried food.  She's also looking into vegan multi-vitamins for me, especially ones with amino acids to help protect muscles as I try to get back into a regular workout routine.  Cardio 4-5 days a week (20 minutes at minimum each time), as much yoga as possible.
(I love clouds such as these!)

I went to a restorative yoga class this evening, and left feeling very zen.  I've missed having a yoga practice in my life.  Lucky (or unlucky! Ha ha!) for you, I'll share my journey with you and I will be back to regular posts as of now.  Time to dust off my real camera, and show you some (super healthy-cleanse friendly) food!

P.S. Embroidery activities are in the works, I will share progress (or lack thereof) soon!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Standing Still

The last week has been both difficult and comforting.  My grandparents arrived on Tuesday for the afternoon appointment with the cancer specialist.  For my part, I left work early that day and took Wednesday off to be with them.
(a stunning photo from Remy's walk last week)

In short, the doctor ordered a series of CT scans to determine whether or not is cancerous, and it appears to not be.  There is something in a lymphnode they are checking out tomorrow, but otherwise imagine it to be Meningioma.  He is not in any pain or discomfort, and is taking steroids to help with the swelling.

 (autumnal treat - great on toast)

Other than when I've been working, I am at my parents house, spending time with the whole family.  I've taken two evenings off, including tonight, to piece together my everyday life.  I'm so glad that I've spent all of that time with them, because we've talked genealogy, favorite memories, and I will learn embroidery from grandma (lesson #1 tomorrow night).

 (I've made Grandpa and myself some tea on several evenings)

The first few days were rough, because the swelling of the frontal lobe changed his personality.  Also, he is adamant about not having surgery - which is the only way to really deal with this large tumor.  I don't know what that means for his longevity, nor do I know how much longer he'll stay in Denver.  I know they'd like to go home.  In the meantime, I'm just loving on him. 
(Occasionally, it looks like he is smiling while watching tv!)

Thanks again for all of your continued support! No matter the length of the remaining time, I am at peace.  See you soon....

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Small Steps

As you can imagine, last week was tough.  There are times the reality of it all hits, and the intense feelings return. Spending time with family and close friends, and working, helps.  I'm also trying to get back in the habit of taking care of myself on a physical level - committing to yoga (at home or in a studio), and getting the right nutrition.  Last week, when I had an appetite - it was all carbs.  Here are a few images from the weekend:
 Saturday morning, I sipped on a Pumpkin Latte with Almond Milk from Steep whilst working on my next AP Lit unit: Beowulf.  A good friend joined me a little later, and we ended up taking a walk and talking for three hours!

On sale (30% off!), so I picked up a tub and am committing to drinking one (mixed with water or unsweetened almond milk) everyday.
 A colleague has a vegan girlfriend who makes homemade marmalade, and I was gifted Apple Pear Cider.  Very good!
 This afternoon I hung out with my parents and brother (they watched the Bronco game, I worked on my lesson calendar for October).  Remy obviously came along, as he is my favorite family member.  Kidding. Everyone is my favorite. ;)
Grandpa update: the "how long" appointment is on Tuesday (which is when they will also arrive from Kansas, via my uncle who will drive them out).  I am leaving work early to go to the appointment, and am strongly considering getting a substitute for Wednesday to spend time with him and process the appointment outcome.  The tumor has crossed over into the other hemisphere, and is continuing to grow rapidly.  He does not complain of pain, and is singing in his sleep, according to Grandma.  

I'll be sure to update after the Tuesday appointment, even if I can't post on the day.  Big love to all of you, and thank you for your encouragement! xo

Monday, September 29, 2014

For a Reason

I meant to post all of these photos yesterday, but a visit in the evening set my sails in a different direction.  More on that in a minute...

The day started with an Amazing Grass and water beverage, followed by the Larabar sample (eaten in the car) from last week's swag bag. Remy had an early grooming appointment.

Mission accomplished, and eyesight obstacles removed:
 Inspired by Shen's trip to Native Foods, I picked up a Reuben (and fries - didn't get the picture).  I ate the second half (pictured below) for dinner.
 I prepped a salad for school lunches this week, using these ingredients:
 My parents came by last night (my mother had been in Kansas all weekend, getting my grandparents all settled in their assisted living apartment), and shared some sad news: my grandfather has a rapidly growing tumor in his brain. It's the size of a baseball, and he is declining daily.  At 91 years old, his body couldn't handle surgery or chemo, so now we wait for option number three. He has an appointment next week, here in Denver, so at least I'll get to see him. I'm happy to know he's not in pain, but he is so confused and repeats himself over and over. My heart breaks for those of us left behind (especially my grandmother and mother).  All of the chaos of my job quickly melted away, and I'm reminded about what is important: people and those you love. Hug someone, tell them you love them - life is precious.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Three Mile Creek Trail

Disclaimer: this trail is not three miles, but my guess is that the creek is three miles in length.  If I had been up for it, I might have done the 13 mile round trip hike - but instead it was more like 2.5 miles.  A beautiful, moderate level hike (climb up and down boulders in areas, crossing the creek several times on a log, some points of serious incline, otherwise fairly flat or low grade), at the southern tip of Guanella Pass  (pronouced Wuh-nella, we started closer to Grant, not Georgetown, if you click on the link).

The road to this trail was about 10 minutes on dirt (by car) from the Highway...

Entrance to the trail: (Three Mile Creek is part of the Mount Evans Wilderness area, in Pike National Forest - no fee to enter!)

This one is my favorite:

Remy did really well, despite his severe need for a haircut (his appointment is tomorrow morning!).
My brother joined us on this hike, and it was really lovely all the way around.  Of course, we were not alone in our desire to see the fall folliage, and we spent two hours in the car just to arrive (should've been an hour and 20 minutes from Denver).  We ran into other people and dogs every 10 minutes or so while on the hike, many of them also carrying their camera!  

See you tomorrow! Happy Weekend and Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Sunday, I teased you with the enchiladas in the oven. Here's how they looked when I the time rang:

 A little spicy, but the heat isn't overwhelming. The filling (potato, kale, Daiya) is delicious! I've taken them to work for lunch, as the only way I know to reheat them is using a microwave (since April I've not had a microwave at home).

Also wonderful: the Amazing Grass selections I picked up.  The one below is the Tangerine Immunity, only mixed with water. Very pleasant, but I still chugged it to make sure I didn't change my mind and miss out on nutrients.
I've been a good girl, and held back on having pumpkin before the official start of autumn. Now that it's here, I'm plotting my first plunge into the (metaphorical) pumpkin patch.

(This week is equally as overwhelming as last week - will try my best to post on Thursday.)