Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Different View

It has been awhile since my first hospice patient has passed. I had several other patients assigned to me since then, all of them deciding it was best to go see their heavenly Father right before I had the chance to visit them. I guess I can't take that too personally when I think about it. I mean, "Get a visit from me, a hospice volunteer, or go to heaven and live in eternity with God." It's a no-brainer really. However, I was glad to finally meet my second patient yesterday. A sweet young man that a progressive brain disorder has left him unable to speak with limited mobility. How different from my first patient, who with Alzheimer's, loved to tell me stories about the fish he caught and was getting ready to clean and cook up (in the nursing home) or all about the warm socks he was wearing because New York is cold in the winter, although he lived in Virginia at the time. :)
This new patient was far different. Only able to give me a thumbs up or down for yes and no (and sometimes getting those mixed up) he moved about with his walker ever-so-slowly, walking circles around the few rooms he visited each day, almost as if he were searching for something. After watching TV and walking circles for about an hour, I decided to fire up my iPad and call up a few games. Encouraging this patient to have a seat at the table, I placed the iPad in front of him. Looking down at a Bowling game I called up, he immediately gave me a "thumbs down"; but after seeing him eat a wonderful lunch and doing a fantastic job at feeding himself, I decided his limited mobility didn't include not being able to use his finger to push a virtual bowling ball down a lane. After taking his finger and demonstrating how to play... several times.... he got it! STRIKE -- at one of his first attempts! Although he made no expression at his champion bowling skills, the cheering section clapped and hollered, "YOU DID IT! GOOD JOB!" With still no expression on his face, I can only assume his glance at me was either to say, "Thank you" or "Keep it down, "cheering section!" Regardless, we celebrated by mastering Angry Birds as well. Now I'm on a mission to find games he can play with just the touch of his finger. Being a hospice volunteer has made me not only reflect more deeply on what's really important in life, it's given me a whole new respect and admiration for these patients' true caretakers; their spouse, sibling, relative, or friend. It's almost embarrassing to be thanked over and over for taking a few hours out of my day that provides these caretakers a much needed breath of fresh air and a little time to regroup.

"One person caring about another represents life's greatest value." 
- Jim Rohn

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Low-Point Sautéed Sausage and Grapes with Kale

Sweet, spicy, and packed full of flavor; this sautéed sausage and grapes with seasoned kale is a fantastic recipe that you'll definitely want to make again and again!

Low-Point Sautéed Sausage and Grapes with Kale
- 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 3, 4 oz. sweet or spicy sausage links, casings removed
- 3 cups green seedless grapes, halved
- 1/4 tsp. kosher or sea salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 Tbs garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 8 cups kale, chopped
- shaved parmesan, optional
In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and saute' until thoroughly cooked (breaking apart with a wooden spatula or spoon as you stir). Remove sausage to a plate when cooked and add remaining olive oil, grapes, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic to same skillet. Saute' for several minutes, stirring constantly. Add white wine and red wine vinegar, stir and let liquid reduce by half. Throw in kale and saute' until kale is slightly wilted. Add fresh grapes (if desired) to each serving and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 7; Serving size with 2 Tbs shaved parmesan - 8)

"If I could give you one thing in life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes; only then would you realize how special you are to me." - Anonymous 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Low-Point Seasoned Pork Tenderloin

This perfectly seasoned pork tenderloin is very savory and satisfying! No sauce or condiments needed! Enjoy!

Low-Point Seasoned Pork Tenderloin
- 1 lb. boneless pork tenderloin, cut into 10 thin slices
- 1 Tbs olive oil (plus Pam cooking spray with olive oil, only if needed)
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/8 tsp. cumin
- 1 Tbs ground coffee
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
Mix the salt, pepper, cumin, coffee, and onion powder in a bowl. Press seasoning mixture on slices of pork tenderloin, both sides. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Place seasoned pork tenderloin slices in skillet and sear on both sides. Turn heat down to medium and continue cooking pork until desired doneness, turning over several times to cook evenly. Remove and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 10
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 2

"The quickest way to change your attitude toward pain is to accept the fact that everything that happens to us has been designed for our spiritual growth." - M. Scott Peck

Monday, April 2, 2012

Low-Point Avocado Chicken Salad


Yum! Great for an appetizer, lunch, or dinner -- this Avocado Chicken Salad tastes amazing on a bed of lettuce or with Tostitos tortilla chips! Ideal for a delicious and healthy lunch to take to work as well!

Low-Point Avocado Chicken Salad
- 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded or cubed skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3/4 cup salsa (I used Tostitos Mild Chunky)
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
- lettuce and/or 12 fun scoops Tostitos Scoops tortilla chips
Combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken and cilantro and combine well. Stir in salsa and avocado. Garnish with two tablespoons of chopped basil. Serve on lettuce or tortilla chips. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3 (for 1 cup chicken mixture on a bed of lettuce); 6 (for 1 cup chicken mixture with 12 fun scoop tortilla chips), 4.5 (for 1 cup chicken mixture with 6 fun scoop tortilla chips)

"Almost any difficulty will move in the face of honesty. When I am honest, I never feel stupid. And when I am honest, I am automatically humble." 
- Hugh Prather