Steroids and shortcuts

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned having problems with what I thought were reflux issues — a feeling of a lump in my throat that wouldn’t go away.  I spent a week eating very small meals very slowly; avoiding chocolate, raw garlic, and wine; and recommitting to daily mindfulness practice to deal with All. The. Stress.

The mindfulness was nice, but the eating changes?  Not so much.  I was hungry and missing my chocolate, and the feeling in the back of my throat (which made the eating I was doing unpleasant) wasn’t going away, so I changed my self-diagnosis from reflux to allergies, and started treating it as such.

First, I bummed G’s Claritin and tried taking a stronger antihistamine before bed for a few days. It seemed to help a little, but the oral antihistamines alone weren’t doing the trick, so I sterilized G’s bottle of Flonase and started inhaling steriods.

Now, I was a Flonase junkie back in high school, taking it regularly for a couple of years to ward off sinus congestion and related headaches.  At some point in college, I realized I didn’t need it anymore, and it’s been over 14 years since I’ve used it.

Lo and behold, just as Flonase was the game changer for G’s never-ending cough, it also saved the day for me.  While I like to avoid taking drugs as a rule, I’m thankful to have found some relief.  It’s nice to be able to enjoy eating again!

Speaking of food, if you’ve been following my Instagram feed, you’ll know that despite the current roller coaster of life, we are still cooking.  Even in busy times, we have to eat, and cooking and eating more or less as normal provides some semblance of balance.

That said, I am making some allowances for this particularly busy time.  In past busy times, I’ve unsuccessfully tried to convince myself to indulge in some of Trader Joe’s prepared frozen food items.  But every time I go to the store and actually pick up the packages and read the labels, I can’t go through with it.  I feel like the options are either not all that healthy, or they’re decent, but half of what you’re paying for is the cooked, frozen grain, which I can make at home, thankyouverymuch.

A couple weeks ago, I made a TJ’s run, vowing to try at least a few things, but I came out with next to nothing in the way of processed foods.  After looking over the options, my compromise was buying lots of frozen vegetables to cut down on prep time.  (Their vegetable pakoras somehow passed my screening, and there are two boxes in my freezer, awaiting a trial.)

Anyhow, the compromise decision has worked well (though I need another TJ’s run to stock up again!).  I’m combining the frozen store-bought veggies with grains and beans cooked from scratch, often rounding things out with some fresh store-bought vegetables, fresh garden produce (asparagus!), and/or frozen home-grown veggies.


On the left, kale (ours from freezer), garden asparagus, and frozen artichoke hearts over whole wheat linguine.  On the right, frozen stir-fry veg medley plus onion and garden asparagus over black beans and rice.

We’re making other food compromises including buying bread, as my baker quite understandably has not had time.   I’m hoping there might be one last round of bread baking in this apartment — with 6 loaves per batch, it would likely see us through to the move!

With all the craziness at the house, it’s very nice to have an intact kitchen and [relatively] clean space to come home to at our apartment.  Taking the time to cook these days, even with some shortcuts, sometimes feels like an extravagance, but it’s worth it when we sit down and enjoy a tasty meal together.


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