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December 2, 2017

Elderly Mothers and Food

It seems that going Herbal also means going Vegan. (Oh, by the way, it is Herbalist not Herbologist).

My sister is a great believer in the vegan lifestyle. She has recommended it to me on many occasions and I keep meaning to try it. I’m certain that I could benefit from eating all those good-for-you veggies and fruits. Lord knows I need it. But somehow I just can’t quite get the same flavor and taste as “real” food.

I know. I know. That comment is going to cause a huge revolt among my sister and her vegan friends. Vegetables ARE real food, they argue. They CAN be made to taste as good as a drool-inducing steak or a lovely Chicken Marsala or that delicious, artery clogging Chicken Fried Steak or almost anything you can get at a restaurant. Why is it that all those tasty things aren’t good for you? It’s not fair! I know. I know. Life’s not fair either.

So, I look in the refrigerator. Holy Mackerel! It is stuffed so full I can scarcely see the little light burning in the back.  Bags of spinach, Almond Milk, bottles of carrot juice, containers of Aloe Vera Mango and Pineapple juice, apple juice, okra, prunes, papaya, squash, pineapple, bananas, grapefruit, vegetables and more vegetables.

Yesterday, when Veronica arrived, we gave Mom her beloved grits for breakfast. Then we started to fix her the usual breakfast that I had been sharing with her, scrambled eggs with Mexican refried beans, salsa, grated Mexican cheese, tortillas and a small bowl of fruit. Nope. Not happening.

Traitorous Veronica was induced to make a “licuado,” a smoothie, for Mom’s breakfast instead. The vile-looking deep green drink looked nothing but awful to me. Almond milk, spinach, flax seeds, natural peanut butter, black strap molasses (had to use honey since we can’t find black strap around here), frozen banana and some green unknown powder (Jurassic greens – barley, wheat and alfalfa).

My sister makes the same kind of smoothie for her husband of a morning. My husband maintains that when she comes to visit all she has to do is go graze out in the back pasture. And even she will admit that she ruined one batch by putting some noxious, acidy weed in it that she had found in the yard. I guess you do have to be a little circumspect about not throwing everything and anything that is green into the juicer.

I, too, was given some of the concoction to drink. Okay, I will be honest enough to admit that it did taste pretty good. The peanut butter made it taste a little unusual but the honey made it sweet. On the whole, it was not half bad. And supposedly it is getting the toxins out of Mom’s (and my?) system.

Now, I did look absolutely horrified by the recommendation that Mom go on a week-long, carrot only, liquid diet. It would de-tox her and purify her system I was told. How can there be any proteins in carrots? I thought they were just good for your eyes or something.

Obedient, but cringing at the thought of such “food,” I started off to buy a juicer. Sister caught me before I had gone into Target to buy the latest juicer off the shelf. She nixed that idea. She said that you can only get a really good juicer from a health food store or on-line and it will cost in excess of several hundred dollars. I blanched at that. I would also have to buy carrots by the fifty-pound bag. So I went to our new HEB and bought a couple of bottles of carrot juice. That, I hear, will be mixed with apple juice or thinned with water.

Veronica is good about cooking vegetables. She is very much into home-made soups and will make an excellent fresh vegetable medley soup with chicken. I don’t know if the chicken is permitted on a vegan diet (sister says nothing with eyes!?) but since she is cooking, and not me, that’s what Mom gets. Plus the mashed up four garlic cloves three times a day. Or is it three cloves four times a day? I’m getting confused.

Plus we have pills to take now. Eight pills with each meal except supper, then only 6. These are supplements, mind you, for infection, memory, anti-toxins, and bowel movements. And Mom does seem to be talking more and her foot seems to be pinker, slightly less purple although the toes are still black. The sores are beginning to “granulate” which is good, I hear.

So, perhaps we are going to live until we are Methuselah’s age. And I will get to spend lots of time getting Mom up in the middle of the night. Some foreseeable future!

Elderly Mothers , , ,
About Caroline Castillo Crimm
Retired Professor Emeritus from Sam Houston State University, interested in writing novels and speaking about topics such as the history of Latin American. Would like to share the AMAZING world of the 18th century in Northern New Spain, that's Spanish Texas and Mexico!
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