The Do It Sick Chef Makes 5 Part Vitamix Soup

You can’t beat a bowl or mug of a steamy, creamy, savory soup on a cool Fall day, right?  Oh yeah, and it can be an essential way to warm up in the Winter time too.  Well it ain’t getting any warmer here in the Midwest of the United States so get out that high-speed blender (the Vitamix is my favorite) and let’s get cranking!

Here you will find a video and recipe for my own 5 Part Vitamix Soup.  Feel free to substitute 1 or 2 other veggies, another crunchy element (such as corn chips, rice crisps, and the like), and your favorite high-fiber food for the pumpkin seeds used in this segment.  I am so grateful to be learning as I’m going in this Do It Sick Chef video series.  Hey, I even got sort of dressed up for this one!  Take care, JJ

5 Part Vitamix Soup Recipe as a pdf document.

5 Part Vitamix Soup Recipe as a Word document.

3 for 1 from the Do It Sick Chef

Finally the haze of a medical setback has lifted for me and I can make my food in regular clothing!  And that is a bonus for fans of the Do It Sick Chef!  Sweats have been replaced by a flannel shirt and jeans.  Woot!  Woot!

First and the best of the bunch are tips for making salad for one or more 1) meals or 2) people, conserving energy and resources as you go.

Next up are subjects important to those planning meals while restricted in dietary choices and dealing with a serious illness.  Not quite sure how I remained upright for the taping of this one!  (See the Six Deer and a Skunk post for the reason!)  Check out these simple tips for freezing food portions to help your meal planning when time and energy are lacking:

And third is a quick take on making your own ghee butter.  That’s butter without the milk solids for those who must be dairy free for health reasons.  It tastes very mild and tends not to burn when used for sautéing too.

To keep closer tabs on upcoming foodie tips from the Do It Sick Chef (yours truly!), “Like” the Facebook page Hope Beyond or Subscribe to my YouTube channel directly.  I will do summary blogs periodically here that will be filed under the “Do It Sick Chef” category at the end of this webpage.  Future topics will include fabulous 5-ingredient Vitamix soups, kitchen organization & simplification, and more.

Remember that food is fuel, food is medicine, and Lord willing we are going to get well!  I will be praying for you Gentle Reader.  Take care, JJ

From the Do It Sick Chef: Lettuce Roll Ups

No, this entire blog is not being overcome by a crazy foodie!  :J

We all gotta eat and preparing meals can be challenging when recovering from a serious illness.  Enter here another strategy to keep myself sane while the yada, yada, yada nightmare over here continues.  (Yes, made another visit to my fav Emergency Room last night!)  So let’s forget about all that and make some food, eh?

I’ll be adding a few more videos from Vimeo and You Tube to catch up the blog here so please bear with me!  You are invited to follow the Do It Sick Chef videos on Facebook at Hope Beyond too.

Or, by following this blog and clicking on the Do It Sick Chef category, you can also keep track of the latest meals, tips, and survival strategies.

In the meantime, my belly is now full and it’s time for a nap.  The IV fluids helped last night too, by the way.  More testing will be coming regarding the lower right belly ache.  Thankfully it’s not from the fabulous lettuce wraps created above . . .

Lord willing, we are going to get well!

Take care, JJ

From the Do It Sick Chef: Oatmeal!

Hey there Gentle Reader:  we all gotta eat right?  Well who likes a one-bowl meal that will satisfy your cravings for something sweet, savory, fatty/rich, and satisfying?  Me!

Check out this version of oatmeal that is good enough for a breakfast, lunch or dinner feast from the Do It Sick Chef (aka Just Julie).

To follow all of the Do It Self Chef videos and join in the chat, “Like” my Facebook page at Hope Beyond.  I’d love to hear from you and the strategies that are working for you while recovering from serious illness or just life in general, eh?

By following this blog and clicking on the Do It Sick Chef category, you can also keep track of the latest meals, tips, and survival strategies.

Lord willing, we are going to get well!

Take care, JJ

Bacon as a way of life

So my beloved says to me, “look at how far you have come,” related to my diet.  Indeed.  When we first met I was eating gluten-free, low sugar and fat, largely organic, and sweetener-free, and dairy-free foods.  I cooked a lot and was very particular what I ate at restaurants, often bringing my own nuts or dressings.  Supplements?  Yeah, in due time with my new doctor at the helm my pill box burgeoned to over 60 doses of something per day!  Then part of the story got crazier . . .

As severe illness set in, the supplements would change and almost disappear as time went on.  I could not tolerate any supplements at all after a brief hiatus required during overnight testing at the Epilepsy Center, University of Indianapolis Methodist Hospital.  By then I had added a low oxalate and Candida diet too.  After A YEAR on all of this with daily bone broth too, my brain fog cleared and my gut started to heal.  They say that 95% of your immune system is in your gut.  Perhaps part of your brain health is there as well?  (Now that last part could lend itself to some embarrassing teasing if I stay here too long.  Let’s move on!)

When dental pain increased, my nutritional sustenance all went into the VitaMix for about 6 weeks.  I became the master of the pureed diet and many soups, sauces, smoothies, etc.  My gut health slowed yet the convulsive episodes triggered by chewing diminished.   Gradually I got back to a chopped diet which is where I remain, 4 weeks post surgery for the extraction of two root-canaled teeth.  Healing continues.  It is wonderful to be able to chew better!

Then the convulsive episodes that had diminished some returned to their prior level:  2 to 5 hours per day.  So sad.  Over three years into this time of serious illness and still no one has figured out how to stop them.  I fasted for 24-hours, drinking only water and praying when my brain cells fired in the right direction.  The episodes stopped.  As intense hunger pangs overtook my weakness I decided to break the fast with an apple:  easy to digest and surely a boost to my low blood sugar.  I did not expect what followed.  One of the most violent types of convulsive episodes started my beloved hubby out of a sound sleep and sent me into an enlightened frenzy.  Enlightened?  Yes, this episode was triggered by glucose!

That night and the days thereafter I quickly ventured into a ketogenic diet.  I found a couple of Facebook Groups on the subject and the App they recommended to get me started.  A few days into the new direction a gal from one of the groups contacted me to clarify something:  was I using the diet for weight loss or medical reasons?  The grams of protein/carbohydrates/fats or “macros” are different with each type of ketogenic diet.  For both programs a person consumes very little carb grams yet for weight loss you eat more protein than fat; for medical ketosis to occur you must focus on more fats than proteins.  But it is in consuming very little carbs (I eventually got to 21 total grams) that the body is forced to utilize fats for energy instead of carbs.  The body then produces ketones that can often be picked up in a simple urine stick test or special blood glucose meter that includes ketones.  Ketones are hypothesized to stop or reduce seizures and may even help treat dementia in the elderly.

This week I reached ketosis.  My breath got bad and another tell-tale symptom appeared that is too much for even the transparency of this blog post!  It took me three weeks to get here and it could take a minimum of 2 months, usually 4-6 months, to see if the ketogenic diet will help me at all.  I am willing to try.  Heck, I already have a very restricted diet anyways.  And who doesn’t like (uncured, unsmoked) bacon?  The MyFitnessPal App is a gift from the Lord in managing this.  I would recommend it and their Facebook to everyone on a diet where a person must track macros.

So how about the blessings in all of this?  Surely there were some?  Indeed Gentle Reader.  You know me well!  You see I researched the ketogenic diet two years ago and periodically thereafter but could not find a local neurologist or dietician to guide me.  Close medical oversight including lab tests every three months are needed in addition to the periodic self-monitoring via urine or blood sticks.  Help has arrived just at the right time.  Briefly, check this out:

My first week venturing into the food plan, the gal who messaged me off Facebook just happened to be a retired nurse from the neurosurgery center at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.  She manages her own true epilepsy in part with this diet.  Did you know that the only medical center in the USA with a dietary research and treatment center for adults with epilepsy is at John Hopkins?  I knew that and was ecstatic to spend that first Saturday night receiving mentoring from my “guardian angel” named Vicki.  Thank you Lord!

Around this same time I researched a foundation known to assist children with true epilepsy.  Maybe they would have some new information?  Oh yeah, a medical center close to our home in a smaller town had just hired a dietician to work with children and adults in all aspects of the ketogenic diet.  She had recently attended a conference with the Charlie Foundation and was added to their list of practitioners the week before!  She manages all of the referrals, orders for lab tests, and consultations.  And Mary is very sweet to boot.  Wow, Lord.

In many ways, in many long and exhaustingly arduous ways, this new treatment direction could be one more  bunny trail in the quest to recover from this wretched illness.  O.k.  Poor me baby.  Well then again, maybe not.  Sometimes you have to do more than one task to completely recover from a serious illness.  Remember the phrase, “recovery is a jagged line?”  The Ann Landers column about life being about the journey and not the destination?  The gratitude I feel in my heart for having met you Gentle Reader?  All of the computer skills I have learned about everything from ecommerce to social media?  The deepening of my relationship with Christ?  The revelation of the Godly character of my beloved husband?  And the fact that I did not die in all of those near-death experiences?  On this day I must say that I have seen the faithfulness and blessing of the Lord at some level every single day of the past 3 1/2 years.  His promises have seen me through and rung true every single day.  I will leave you with my fav promise from another time in my life of refining fire (and a side of bacon too please, crispy as in nearly burnt.  I like it that way!)  Take care, JJ

Jeremiah 29 11, Jeremiah, hope and a future, hope, plans, trust in the Lord, Christian hope, encouragin scripture, faith, ketogenic diet, chronic ilness, Christain and disability, Hope Beyond, Julie Horney

Jeremiah 29:11