Beans

I don’t make New Year resolutions anymore. I have given up losing and gaining the same ten pounds over and over my whole adult life. However, I do want to eat more healthy: less red meat, more veggies, omit sugar, and reduce my reliance on processed food.

In an effort to meet my goals, I am expanding my cooking repertoire. Melissa Clark who writes for the New York Times has tips for eating less meat. Her first suggestion is to eat more beans and the second is to use high protein grains, and, she adds that pasta counts. Who doesn’t love giving pasta a thumbs up!

I made her Indian Butter Chickpea recipe the other day. If you’re interested, try making it. It’s easy and the ingredients are not exotic. See below.

 

Note: Melissa Clark writes beautifully about her interface with food. I always enjoy her columns in the NYTs.

 

Happy New Year and healthy eating!

 

David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

EASY

Indian Butter Chickpeas

MELISSA CLARK

  • YIELD 4 to 6 servings
  • TIME 1 hour 10 minutes

 

A vegetarian riff on Indian butter chicken, this fragrant stew is spiced with cinnamon, garam masala and fresh ginger, and is rich and creamy from the coconut milk. You could add cubed tofu here for a soft textural contrast, or cubed seitan for a chewy one. Or serve it as it is, over rice to catch every last drop of the glorious sauce. You won’t want to leave any behind.

Featured in: The Meat Lover’s Guide To Eating Less Meat.
Indian
BeansCurriesButterChickpeaCoconut MilkGaram MasalaGarlicGingerTomatoEasyWeekdayMain CourseVegetarian

INGREDIENTS

  • 4tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1large onion, minced
  • 1 ½teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 4garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • 1tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2teaspoons garam masala
  • 1small cinnamon stick
  • 1(28-ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1(15-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2(15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
  • Ground cayenne (optional)
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
  • ½cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, for serving

PREPARATION

  1. Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until golden and browned around the edges, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up to medium-high; keeping the heat on medium ensures even browning without burning the butter.)

  2. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook another 1 minute. Stir in cumin, paprika, garam masala and cinnamon stick, and cook another 30 seconds.

  3. Add tomatoes with their juices. Using a large spoon or flat spatula, break up and smash the tomatoes in the pot (or you can use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the tomatoes while they are still in the can). Stir in coconut milk and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and continuing to mash up the tomatoes if necessary, to help them break down.

  4. Stir in chickpeas and a pinch of cayenne if you like. Bring the pot back up to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

  5. Serve spooned over white rice and topped with cilantro.

Happy New Year 2020

Frieda Paton, RN, a writer for Nurseslabs, an education and nursing lifestyle website geared towards helping student nurses and registered nurses with information for the betterment of their nursing careers, wrote the following in June, 2019:

WHO Confirms 2020 as International Year of Nurse and Midwife

Governments from around the world endorsed 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife during the World Health Assembly. The global celebration is in recognition of the indispensable role of nurses and midwives in bringing health care to people everywhere.

Spotlight on the role of nurses and midwives

In January this year, the Executive Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed that 2020 be designated as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife because of the vital contribution of nurses and midwives towards achieving universal health coverage. 2020 is also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

Member states endorsed the proposal during the 72nd World Health Assembly on May 24. This is the world’s most crucial decision making a body for health policy.

‘WHO is proud to nominate 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. These two health professions are invaluable to the health of people everywhere.” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO. ‘While WHO recognizes their crucial role on a daily basis, 2020 will be dedicated to highlighting the enormous sacrifices and contributions of nurses and midwives, and to ensuring that we address the shortage of these vital professions.”

Nursing Organization’s reaction

The idea of 2020 as Year of the Nurse and Midwife was initially suggested by the global, three-year Nursing Now campaign, which runs until 2020 in collaboration with the ICN and WHO. Lord Nigel Crisp, Co-Chair of the campaign, emphasized that rapid and cost-effective improvement in universal health care could be achieved by investing in nursing and midwifery.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity for governments to really show nurses and midwives how much they are valued,” commented Crisp. “Not by empty words, but by effective, decisive action to give us the human and physical resources needed to get the job done.”

Annette Kennedy, President of the International Council of Nurses, commended Ghebreyesus for supporting the idea of highlighting nurses’ contribution to healthcare and thanked the members of the WHA for endorsing this vision.

Florence Nightingale used her lamp to illuminate the places where nurses worked,” said Kennedy. “I hope the designation of 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife will provide us with a new, 20-20 vision of what nursing is in the modern era, and how nurses can light the way to universal health coverage and healthcare for all.”

Every nurse can play their part

Within their individual circle of influence every nurse, across the world, can help to place the spotlight on their profession.

We will need to seize the opportunity of the Year of the Nurse and Midwife to communicate to decision-makers and the public alike who exactly we are and the vital contribution we make to society in the modern world.

 

72-World-Health-Assembly
World Health Assembly

 

Now it is up to us nurses to make the most of The Year of the Nurse and Midwife. From the American Nurses Association: “Nurses are encouraged to use #yearofthenurse and follow us on social media as we celebrate nurses in 2020. To stay connected throughout the year and join the celebration, click here.”

 

 

 

Write What You Are Afraid Of

How serendipitous is this? I wrote this post back on April 15, 2012 about how I hesitated to include into my memoir, Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers, a story of three men who had cancer and lived near each other.
Their stories didn’t make the cut, after all, because I had narrowed down the scope of the book to include just the time I spent at the clinic. I put their stories on the shelf and, now, I want to write about them in my new book, which is going to be about making home visits.
Truth be told, I have been successfully avoiding writing the manuscript. I’m not sure why.
I plan to meet with my mentor and good friend after the holidays to help me explore what I’m afraid of.

Nursing Stories

I didn’t attend the 2011 Fall Conference in Asheville sponsored by the North Carolina Writers Network but I kept this description of one of the master classes: “If You’re Afraid to Write About It, You Probably Should Write About It”   

Often a writer’s breakthrough comes when he finally faces up to material he’s been avoiding. Maybe it’s too personal or too painful or maybe he assumes it just wouldn’t interest anyone else. Whatever the reason, we writers often overlook our own obvious strengths, dismissing the very things that are central to us. Consequently, we write around the edges of our lives or our characters’ lives, so that our stories are pale imitations of what they could be. They may be well-written, they may even be entertaining, but they lack heart. As a writing teacher, I spend a good bit of time helping students recognize and appreciate their own writerly…

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The Tale of Two Clinics

Reflections in the December issue of the American Journal of Nursing had an essay by Mark Darby RN, ARNP: The Way of Johnson Tower. Johnson Tower, a public housing building, sounded very much like the Senior Clinic I worked in and wrote about in my book: Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers. Seems that the only difference between the residents of the buildings was that Mark’s building housed adults, mine was limited to residents over 60. Otherwise, both sets of folks who sought care from either of us  nurse practitioners were mostly marginalized, underserviced, and poor—and gutsy.

Mark didn’t identify the location of his public housing building but I can surmise that it was in an unsafe part of town, on the first floor and, like my clinic, had been a converted one-bedroom apartment. He says the clinic has . . . “one exam room” and is “below the building laundry. If more than four people use the washing machine, water will drip into the centrifuge.”

Mark describes four of his patients, each with their own challenges but each reaching out to help others. Getting to know patients as intimately as Mark does is facilitated by caring for the patients on their own turf. Mark and I get to know first-hand what challenges our patients face and we know the strengths they gather up to face them.

I bet Mark’s clinic, like the Senior Clinic, promoted low tech/high touch. Here is a copy of the brochure from the Senior Clinic that a friend who had worked with me sent recently. He had been sorting through “memorabilia” from over 30 years ago!

 

Senior Clinic Brochure
Circa 1987

 

A murder due to a drug deal gone bad occurred just outside Mark’s clinic. Those who planned my Senior Clinic decided to place the clinic on the tenth floor to avoid any drug seekers trashing our clinic looking for narcotics. Neither clinic would attract patients with medical insurance who had a choice of health care facilities.

I especially liked Mark’s answer when asked how he could work in such a setting. He said, “One thing I learned in NP school is that I am a nurse first and an advanced practitioner second. Nurses are supposed to look at the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—as well as the environment. I have found that the residents of Johnson Tower teach me more about being a nurse and a human being than you would imagine.” Amen I say to that.

I’m not exactly sure when my clinic closed. When I went back to Chicago in 2007 the building was no longer a public housing building but was run by the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation. It looked well cared for. I called their office soon after that visit and was told there was no longer a clinic there.

Sad.

 

Top Nurse Blogs 2019

 

 

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I am grateful to Joost van Beek from NurseRecruiter.com for selecting my blog, NursingStories.org, to be included in the Top Nurse Blogs for 2019, and for including a reference to my memoir: Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers.

I am so impressed with how many of my fellow nurses author a blog and the wealth and scope of information contained in these blogs for nurses, other health care providers, caregivers and patients.

NurseRecruiter has grouped the blogs into eight categories:

Thank you to Joost van Beek from NurseRecruiter.com for tackling the monumental task of identifying, categorizing, and summarizing the top nurse blogs.

To connect to NurseRecruiter.com, click here.

 

 

 

Happy Lasagna Day

For the past three years our daughter, her husband and our three grandsons spent Thanksgiving with my son’s-in-law family who live out of state. This year we will share a traditional Thanksgiving Day spread at their home. My husband and I have assigned dishes to bring.
I am thankful to spend Thanksgiving with my daughter, my son-in-law and the grandkids, and while I love turkey and all the trimmings, and especially enjoy the leftovers, I turn nostalgic for the Italian version of the Thanksgiving Day meals I had when I was a young girl in Jersey City.

Happy Lasagna Day is reblogged from November 24, 2016.

Nursing Stories

happy-thanksgiving-images

My husband and I are spending Thanksgiving alone—by choice. We had been invited out but graciously declined.

After having three sets of houseguests in six weeks, we are happy to be alone. By the way, the house has never been cleaner.

And we broke from the traditional Thanksgiving dinner—we are having lasagna.

lasagna

I love leftover lasagna as much or more than leftover turkey, stuffing and gravy.

Over the years lasagna has become the ubiquitous casserole. You can find it premade in deli departments and frozen food cases in grocery stores. It’s the go-to meal neighbors bring over to neighbors on happy occasions (childbirth) and solemn occasions (sickness or death in the family).

My love of lasagna goes back to my childhood when we visited Grandma in Jersey City. She lived in a second floor walk-up two blocks from my house. Who remembers what time she got up in the morning…

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Letting It Go

I connected with Antoinette Truglio Martin over a year ago when I sent her a text to learn about her experience with She Writes Press and finding a publicist. She was so helpful. And I have since spotlighted her book: Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer.
I enjoy her Sunday posts: Weekend Coffee Share. I join her at her kitchen table while she shares her feelings and life events of the past week. She seems like a friend whom I have known for years.
Her most recent post spoke of her decision to let her hair go natural. Since I am a strong believer that women of a certain age shouldn’t try to emulate youth but serve as role models showing that aging is not a negative life stage, I am reblogging her post.
I hope you enjoy her post, Letting It Go, as much as I did.

Stories Served Around the Table

Frozen | Let It Go Sing-along | Official Disney UK

Dark and generously thick hair is a dominant family trait for the women on both sides of my DNA tree. But as years tumble forward, our heads fade to gray well before the mindset of middle age. Each generation of women had their method to combat and come to terms with the inevitable. My maternal grandmother enjoyed regular salon visits when she retired. Her hair looked like a blue helmet. The steeliness of her hair color was evident even when she twirled and set pin curls in a net for the night. My mom fought the gray with home dye colors. Her choice was a flat black, very close to her natural color but without the light brown tints. She spent the evening with her head covered in a plastic bag and scrubbing the drips of excess black streams off…

View original post 630 more words

NCWN Fall Conference

I attended the North Carolina Writers Network Fall Conference in Asheville this past weekend.

The Keynote Speaker was Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain)

Q & A with Charles Frazier

Frazier spoke of how he came to be published. His wife’s good friend was an agent. How lucky can you get?

 

Sessions I attended:

I.  Screenplay: Fake vs Fiction with Maryedith Burrell

Me & Maryedith Burrell

To Do: Adapt my book to a screenplay-optional.

2.  Power Up the Truth You Tell with Christine Hale

Make situation significant for the reader

To Do: Create a compelling protagonist for my next book.

 

3.  The Limits of Perception with Tessa Fontaine

Writing Practice

To Do: Try this prompt at home– and others.

4.  The Ins & Outs of Small Press Publishing with Luke Hankins

To Do: Appreciate the fact I worked with She Writes Press.

5.  Creative Ways to Promote Your Book (& Yourself) with Anne Fitten Glenn

To Do:  Pat myself on the back for doing lots that Anne suggested. Plus look into Audio Books and begin to use Instagram.

 

*   *   *

 

vets reading
Luncheon with Joseph Bathanti and Brother Like These.

 

Brothers Like These is a program at the local VA hospital to help veterans from the Vietnam War who suffer with PTSD heal through writing. Moving. Good thing I had tissues in my tote.

 

cover w:awards
My book with award stickers on the cover

 

I sold 4 out of the 5 books we authors were allowed to place on the conference sales table. Last year I sold only one book. Did the award stickers make a difference or the discussions of my book with other attendees?

 

I bought a fellow author’s, Charley Pearson, medical thriller at the NCWN Fall Conference. 

To Do: Read. Enjoy. Write a comment on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Unethical Question

You May Be Only as Old as You Feel was a thought-provoking read in the New York Times on Tuesday October 22nd by Emily Laber-Warren.

Warren noted that studies show “(W)hen scientists ask, ‘How old do you feel, most of the time?’ the answer tends to reflect the state of people’s physical and mental health.”

Therefore, folks who feel younger are usually healthier than those who feel their age or older. Not surprising. On a lark, I asked Helen, whom I wrote about in my last blog, how old she feels. She just turned 80 and looks much younger, is exercising, and now doesn’t need her blood pressure medication anymore. She said she feels 50! Again, not surprising.

Then I felt guilty asking Helen that question because Tracey Gendron, a gerontologist, questions subjective age research. She thinks that asking the question is perpetuating our cultural bias that aging is fundamentally negative.

The essay stated that in some “cultures where elders are respected for their wisdom and experience, people don’t even understand the concept of subjective age.”

Furthermore, Dr. Gendron suggests that “the study of subjective age may be inherently unethical.”  She goes on to say, “I think we have to ask ourselves the question, are we feeding the larger narrative of aging as decline by asking that question? Older age is a time that we can actually look forward to. People really just enjoy who they are. I would love for everyone to say their age at every year and  celebrate it”

I agree with Dr. Gendron. There are so many subtle “beliefs” in our society that undermine positive aging. I revisited a past post of mine Rethinking How to Handle this Age Issue. I wrote that post not only to promote being proud of our age—at whatever age we are, and as a reminder not to support the premise that old age means decline.

I listed on the Rethinking post a wonderful resource that I will again cite: Old School: An Anti-Aging Clearing House that educates about ageism so we know ageism when we see it.

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