Dinner was a team effort last tonight. Basically, Dan did all the hard work, and I measured some stuff and turned the Crock Pot on low. (A word of advice: if you find someone willing to skin and de-bone chicken, keep him. Or her. Or whatever.)
We both decided that this recipe needed something. Bell peppers. Water chestnuts. A little more heat. But if you’d like to give it a go, you can start here.
- 5 - 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2-3 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup Bourbon
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
- Green onions to garnish
- Mix all sauce ingredients and pour over chicken thighs.
- Place chicken in slow cooker and pour sauce over top. Cook on low approximately 6 hours.
- Remove chicken and pull apart with fork.
- Strain sauce and pour into a small pan over medium heat.
- Combine 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch with an equal amount of water. Whisk slurry into sauce and stir until thickened.
- Pour back over chicken and stir.
- Serve with rice and garnish with green onion.
Yesterday was eventful for me, at least in terms of medical goings on. First, it appears that Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo finally has a generic available. Even though this is good news, I’m actively working at not being pissed off about how I found out.
That is, the price of an already expensive drug doubled for me from one refill to the next. And instead of being informed by my insurer why the brand name that was covered last month suddenly wasn’t covered this month, I had to go digging for answers.
In case I haven’t already established this, navigating the health insurance industry is not good for my health. So, I’m going to be voting for Bernie Sanders. And if you happen to be someone who thinks I want something for free because I want Medicare for All, fuck you.
- I pay my current insurer thousands annually; and if I don’t hit my ($7,500 PER PERSON!) deductible, my insurer contributes basically nothing to my care. Oh, sure they “negotiate better rates for me” and cover a few preventative expenses because the ACA forced them too, but… Tell me who’s getting something for nothing.
- I’m not asking for free shit. I’m asking for MY government to reprioritize how they spend the substantial amount of income they take (and have been taking from me since I started my first real job at the age of 18). I want health care for everyone in the US, especially for me, especially for my friends and family, especially for the poor. But even for all the capitalism-is-my-religion assholes out there.
Sorry for the political digression, but it’s been weighing heavily on my mind lately—particularly since the pursuit of health that has nearly bankrupted me is also the only thing preserving my ability to work.
The other notable event is that I heard back from my doctor’s office regarding my test results.
Not surprisingly, she commented on my slightly raised triglycerides and cholesterol. I’m being a good little patient and doubling down on my mission to eat better, but seriously? That blood was taken from me on December 30. I’m a Christmas-celebrating Midwesterner. I’d be shocked if my results weren’t a little worse than last time.
Second, as previously noted, my vitamin D is very low. She told me to take a supplement. Already on it.
Lastly, she has upped my dosage of replacement thyroid hormone, because the test results finally showed that I am out of range. I asked for an adjustment a while back based on my symptoms but was denied because the blood work didn’t corroborate my story. It sucks that as a patient with hypothyroidism you have to endure crappy symptoms until the labs come back with a magic number.
C’est la vie.
I understand that when some people look at our very modest house with outdated appliances and worn flooring, they don’t see much. But for me, it’s not a starter home. It’s not just “the best we can afford for right now.” I mean, yeah, there are things we plan to change eventually, but…it’s my dream home. I absolutely love it here.
So the other night when I had a crazy dream about us moving, it’s no wonder I woke up feeling distressed.
It wasn’t apparent why we were moving. It’s not like in an earlier part of my dream I had taken a new job or something. And neither of us really wanted to move. But as we were inspecting the new house (oddly covered in tiger lilies the way some houses are covered in ivy) we both tried to talk the place up, convince each other moving into it would be a good thing.
“Look, it has a second full bathroom.”
“Yeah, and this porch is nice.”
But before the dream ended, I was in tears. Dan asked me what was wrong, and I explained to him that the kitchen counter didn’t have a little sitting cubby cut out of it for me to watch him cook.
No word from the doc’s office so far regarding all of my annual blood test results, so I sent a message through the patient portal, specifically regarding my TSH results. I’m not really in a hurry for feedback, but I want to make sure I remain a blip on her radar.
Today I’ve been looking over the results of the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel she ordered. All but three of the items on the list are within range; they are BUN, AST, and ALB. They’re all below the lab’s reported range, but not low enough to scare me. In my digging, I’ve learned that low results for these tests can be caused by things like over-hydration and malnutrition.
Well, the doctor told me to drink a lot of water before the test (so I did), and I already know I’m vitamin D deficient again. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover other insufficiencies or deficiencies.
In getting a holistic picture of my health, I do wonder if I’m trending toward malnourished. I mean sometimes a vitamin D issue is just a vitamin D issue, and sometimes it’s an indicator that nothing’s being absorbed properly during digestion.
Truthfully, sometimes I have digestion problems so severe I live on Gatorade. All of that comes and goes, though, if you’ll pardon the pun. And I don’t know what to do with those on-again, off-again symptoms. I mean, are they really symptoms or just reactions? Does my body just really not want me to eat acorn squash again?
Also, there’s this whole food shaming thing going on everywhere I turn. When the doctor asks me if I’m eating a healthy range of foods and getting in exercise to the best of my ability, my first reaction is to feel ashamed because I should do better. But am I really doing that bad? When I look over my food diary on MyFitnessPal, I don’t think I deserve my maladies. But when I look at the onslaught of “guilt-free” recipes I’m supposed to be making and my social media streams are flooded with articles about the top 10 things I should never, ever eat again so help me God….
All I have left to say is that it’s not the gorram food that’s making me feel guilty.