Day 123, Year 7: All About Food
Date: Saturday, March 10, 2012
Weather: Snow in the Morning, Partly Sunny Afternoon
Location: Brewer Fiddler’s Cove Marina, N Falmouth, MA

Today was all about food. We went food shopping in the snow in the morning,
and then I spent the afternoon washing, drying, and putting food away as
well as doing some ‘experimental’ cooking. I made a carrot pineapple cake
with no sugar, substituting agave which is a liquid. Agave is a plant-based
and is low on the glycemic index. When you eat refined sugar, your body
gets a sugar high, but agave and maple syrup don’t do the same thing. Of
course, sugar is also plant-based, but it is refined, and that is what
causes the problem. I’m wondering if pure cane syrup has the same
low-glycemic index properties as agave and maple syrup? But I am wondering
so many things about so many different foods right now that I don’t have the
time to find the answers. What I have learned is that when you are going
through chemo you lose muscle mass and that can lead to diabetes if you
don’t adjust your diet. In addition, when you’re given your chemo drugs you
are often given a steroid. That is the case with Mark. And that steroid
really increases the body’s response to sugars, so it is even more important
to avoid blood sugar spikes and insulin surges. Thus, the agave and maple
syrup. Most recipes are written for granulated sugar, so when you use a
liquid like honey, agave, or maple syrup, you get a different consistency.
So the carrot pineapple cake I made was yummy but very, very moist. I’ll
adjust the ingredients slightly the next time trying for a product not quite
so moist. My other food experiment was making quinoa pilaf. Quinoa
(pronounced KEEN-wa) looks like a grain (tiny little balls), but it is
actually more closely related to beets than any grain. It cooks like
couscous but is jam-packed with essential amino acids. And the pilaf recipe
called for a diced fennel bulb. Evidently fennel is soothing to the
stomach, and that makes it a good food to eat while undergoing chemo. Mark
is having no problem eating anything and everything, but he keeps saying his
stomach feels just a bit tenuous. So I’ll keep finding ways of
incorporating fennel into our meals.

And while on the topic of stomachs, I’ll mention that Heather has been
unable to eat anything since late last night and definitely needs something
to soothe her tummy. She has been nauseous and often sick to her stomach
throughout this pregnancy, but late last night she got really sick. She
thinks it is just another stage in this cold/flu that the two of us have,
but I surely hope not. My cold is much worse today, but my stomach is fine
and I hope to keep it that way. I talked to Heather this evening and she
sounded much better than earlier today, so hopefully she is on the road to
recovery. And hopefully Mark will be spared and won’t get nasty little bug.