1 year ago
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The Texas Health Fort Worth family is a melting pot of the world’s culture. I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to many of the places from where Texas Health Fort Worth employees originate. Before I pack my bags I research the culture, which includes the food; it’s actually the impetus for my chosen destination.
For five days the Cramer Café will feature dishes inspired by street foods and world comfort food, from a host of Mediterranean, Asian and Latin food cultures, and across the Caribbean. Highlighted regions and food cultures include Korea, India, England, Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The phenomena of world street food and world comfort food each imply a broad range of food traditions—some of which overlap—but together represent flavors, dishes and culinary ideas that often fall outside of the realm of fine dining menus. In recent years though, American chefs, even those with the most upscale menus and operations, have found new inspiration from these “fast casual” and slow cooking world traditions.
Well-traveled chefs and their savvy, foodie customers have long known that in many cultures, “street food” and other non-restaurant foods (including bar foods, snacks, and the prepared foods of open-air and wet markets) represent the best, most delicious cooking in a given country. From Singapore’s famed hawker chefs and the street food vendors of Delhi, Luck now and Mexico City to the market stalls of Saigon, Bangkok, Penang and Marrakech (a personal favorite) to the tapas bars of Spain and meze hot spots of Greece and Turkey, these are food experiences packed with vibrant flavors; hand-held, in a bowl, or otherwise easy to eat; and inexpensive. A world-class bowl of noodle soup can still be savored “on the go” in much of Asia for a couple of dollars—or less! Street food is especially ubiquitous in tropical cultures where much of life is lived outside, and the perfect evening meal is a string of small bites from street vendors who are typically famous for one or two dishes, having perfected them for 20 or 30 years.
Hand-Held & Full of Flavor
These foods utilize all methods of preparation and cooking, from the steaming of tamales in Cuba and Mexico to the very hot, wood-fired oven baking of pizzas in Naples, and from the olive oil-frying of Andalusia and deep-frying of Indian pakoras and Brazilian salt cod and potato fritters to the charcoal grilling of skewered meats in Istanbul, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Tokyo. In many cultures, bread creates the wraps for handheld street foods. Consider the tortas in Mexico City, the pressed Cuban sandwiches of Havana and Miami, the delicious harissa-spiked, grilled pepper and tuna sandwiches of Tunis, the porchetta sandwiches of Italy, and the falafels of the Middle East. In Southeast Asia, rice paper (think salad rolls) and greens (think Vietnamese sizzling crepes) are the wraps of choice, with a singular starring role for baguettes in Vietnamese banh mi. In Peru, crispy dough encases the savory fillings of empanadas.
And at Japanese train stations, nori wraps up inexpensive grab-and-go sushi
Join us as we plunge into a five-day, sauce-slopping, noodle-slurping, tandori-sampling, jerk-nibbling, tortas-savoring, bulgogi-grazing epic tour of the best of world street food and world comfort food!
- Chef Hugh Gittens
Posted by Whitney Jodry at 8:10 AM
Friday, April 23, 2010
As we enter spring, we enjoy all the new life sprouting up, the beautiful spring flowers, the blossoming trees and the baby animals. We are surrounded by the gift of life in many shapes and forms. One of the most meaningful ways to share the gift of life and leave behind a true living legacy is through organ, tissue and eye donation.
Currently 107,015 men, women and children are in need of a lifesaving organ transplant and numerous others need tissue and eye grafts. Every 12 minutes, a name is added to this national list. Sadly, an average of 17 people die every day waiting for a lifesaving transplant.
As the sister of one of the 107,015 potential recipients, I understand the day-to-day waiting, as well as the ups and downs of living life on “the list.” We prayed not for the death of someone, but for a family to have a heart big enough to say yes to organ, tissue and eye donation in their time of grief and let their loved one’s legacy live on by giving the gift of life. We prayed for peace for the families that consented to donation and that their loved ones would be blessed and honored. Sadly, my sister died last month – one of the 17 – still waiting for that precious gift.
The topic of organ, tissue and eye donation is not a typical conversation that one has around the dinner table. But, I challenge everyone to change that. We need to create a culture where everyone says yes to organ, tissue and eye donation.
The first step to achieving this culture is to talk to your family about your wishes in regards to donation. Second, sign up as a donor on Texas’s state registry at www.donatelifetexas.org. Finally, be an advocate for donation. Slowly we will change the culture and see the waiting list getting smaller. One day in the future, we may even eliminate the list altogether. What a day that would be!
So as we close out National Donate Life Month in April and we continue to enjoy all the new life that we are blessed with, think of the ultimate gift that you may one day pass on through organ, tissue and eye donation.
- Amanda Williams
Donation Clinical Specialist
Posted by Whitney Jodry at 1:27 PM
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Have you checked the serving size?
The Serving Size Dilemma
In February 2010 the New York Post published an article discussing the challenges with the serving size on food labels. Many “individual” food items have more than one serving per container such as a can of soup, a pint of ice cream and even a bag of animal crackers. You think you are eating 120 calories, but wait! If you look closer there are actually three servings in the container so you just ate 360 calories! The question becomes, “Do you really know how much you are eating?” Unless you are examining the food label and using a calculator, you may not!
A New Trend in Food Labeling
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to simplify grocery shopping and label reading for the consumer. They are considering two things that might help you grocery shop smarter. First, the FDA is considering putting food labels on the front of the package. This way the calorie and serving size information will be starring at you on the shelf. Second, they are re-evaluating serving size and making the serving match how much is in the actual package for applicable items. For example, a muffin’s food label would provide the nutrition information of the whole muffin, not just half of it.
With 64 percent of America overweight, we have to wonder if making the food label more visible will help people be aware of calories and thus eat less. After all, that is the goal. So many Americans snack mindlessly. It is not uncommon for people to come home from work, grab a bag of chips and munch until dinner. They likely have no idea that every 6 chips they eat can be 150 calories.
Putting the food label on the front of the package might jolt reality and hopefully help them think twice about grabbing another handful.
The key to eating wisely is paying attention. In order to know how many calories you are consuming, you have to flip the package over and scan the food label, specifically the serving size. Then you can evaluate if you are getting the best caloric bang for your grocery buck!
If you are a person who does not like to think about nutrition or calculate calories, it is likely best for you to buy foods that have one serving per container. This should keep you from over-eating this particular item. It is impossible to avoid foods that have multiple servings per package, but buying less of them should help you on your nutrition journey. However, if you don’t mind a little calculating, there are some creative things you can do to avoid eating an extra serving at a snack or meal:
When you get home empty the package and divide it into individual servings. Then put those in snack baggies.
Separate loaves of bread, packs of bagels and containers of tortillas in half and put half in your refrigerator to freeze for next week.
Write a list of what snacks you will have for the week, gather those foods and group them together in the appropriate serving sizes.
When you cook a bag of rice or pasta, immediately refrigerate half of it.
Locate your measuring cups and spoons and have them handy for measuring things like cereal, grains and peanut butter.
If you have a question for the dietitian, visit www.texashealth.org/askamy
Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
Ben Hogan Sports Therapy Institute
Executive Health Program
Posted by Whitney Jodry at 2:00 PM
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Vincent Van Gogh said, "Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling."
This passion, intensity, and spirituality are what we experience each day in the Palliative Care Unit. We opened our unit for patients July 15, 2009, and as we approach the end of our first year, I gain a new respect for the people that work on this unit. If you were to visit us on any given day, you would see the staff busy caring for their patients. They are eager to meet the needs of each patient and their family members. Additionally, the nurses and techs work to educate their peers throughout the hospital on the amazing service we can provide patients with progressive diseases. During the past 9 months, we have transitioned from what Van Gogh calls individuals coming to work for a paycheck, to a team; you might even say a family.
Our staff family works hard to ease the pain and burden of their patients. During this year, we have helped a patient achieve his last wish by working with the ICU in allowing him to spend his last few moments outside in the Meditation Garden. We have seen patients come and go that were not expected to live. We have helped a couple renew their wedding vows. We have watched wives curl up in bed beside their husbands, for one last hug. And we have held each other during difficult times.
Our family is not unlike your family. We have our struggles, our hopes for the Palliative Care Unit and each other, and we come to work each day hoping to provide the best possible care for our patients and their families.
- Ashley Hodo
Palliative Care Nurse Manager
Posted by Whitney Jodry at 4:05 PM
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I was completely devastated when I first received the news, on June 25, 2009, that I had an aggressive cancer. It was as if I had been punched in the gut by a two ton gorilla. I felt complete despair. To my surprise, the entire staff at Texas Health Fort Worth came to my rescue. Not only did they restore my sense of hope, but my sense of humor as well. Each day I was lifted up by their enthusiastic spirit, their absolute professionalism and their deep concern for my well being. They took what could have been a hellish experience and made it a heavenly one. They restored my sense of self worth and my hope for the future. This was done as a matter of course. Not rehearsed, not falsely, but truly from their hearts. I don't have the words to adequately express my sense of gratitude to this organization during my time of trouble. The doctors, the nurses, the technicians, even the clean up crew, were there to help me every step of the way on my journey with cancer. I will forever sing their praises. May God richly bless each and every one of you. May you continue to be a beacon of light in the darkness that is the despair of cancer. Thank you all.
With deep gratitude,
Perry William Allen III
With deep gratitude,
Perry William Allen III
Posted by Whitney Jodry at 7:17 AM
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
April! Newness bursting forth everywhere. The new leaves on the tree at “my” parking spot in Klabzuba now block the view of JPS. I went to the Botanic Gardens one morning recently and the profusion of daffodils and some small wild lilies that grow close the ground and azaleas, etc., etc. was impressive. As I drive between here and Granbury, the plum and red bud trees are marvelous, as are the large clumps of bluebonnets and verbena. I’m looking forward to the progression of black-eyed susans, Indian paintbrushes, fiery pokers, Queen Anne’s lace, wine cups and many other wildflowers whose names my grandparents taught me and I have now forgotten. All of this natural beauty brings me great joy.
Reflecting on this beauty and joy, I’m reminded of some lessons from childhood. Every summer my family went to a cabin in the mountains. My brother and sister and I liked to play on what remained of a huge fallen pine tree. We dubbed it “Tree-mendous”. We clambered over the rough bark, which as years went by crumbled at our touch. We explored the crevices where the standing tree trunk had been invaded by the beaks of red-headed woodpeckers, squirrels needing nesting places, and branches too heavy with ice or over-growth had broken off and exposed the tender, bright wood (softer than the protective bark. In these crevices now, soft mosses grew and doodle bugs and beetles found nourishment and made homes (We often took the doodlebugs from these metropolises and raced them on tracks we made of sticks and rocks. I hope that we returned them to these former abodes, but I don’t really remember.). Other places where the original tree was deteriorating we found lovely flowers—some of which, I confess, went home in our hot little hands to be presented with great love and admiration to our mother or grandmother. These flowers were put on the kitchen table where we ate and reminded us of the bounty and gifts of nature that almost matched the profusion of love shared in that home in the woods. In still other spots weakened by time and the elements, shoots of new trees were taking root: natural reforestation.
I could go on and on, but I think I’ve said enough for you to notice what all the present newness of spring has reminded me: new life and growth springs from disaster if we allow it to do so. Often human nature wants to bulldoze away the great falls, the results of the lightning bolts, the tremendous tragedies that befall us in life. Modernity wants to clear out all the deadwood of difficult or broken relationships, flawed or shattered dreams, overgrown or unrealistic expectations, losses from separation and death. Yet, even if what has befallen us is moved out of the way, for healthy new growth to occur, compost and fertilizer (manure) must be applied and allowed to nourish and strengthen.
As you enjoy the beauty of spring and the profusion of newness this April, I urge you to be reminded of the bleakness, rain and darkness that has made this newness possible and I encourage you to engage in prayer about them and to find friends, family, a support group, a chaplain or some other individual or group with whom you can share the tragedies of your life so that with time they can nourish newness of your life in all its profusion. And when the new growth begins to sprout, celebrate it and share it also. Life is good, and when you think life might be over, know that new life can be even better!
- Candace Stroup, chaplain
Posted by Whitney Jodry at 8:11 AM