They’re called premature ventricular contractions or “PVCs” and they’re fairly benign as far as cardiac events go, but I don’t know too much about them because I stopped listening to the doctor after he said “Your heart” and “isn’t beating properly” in the same sentence. I can’t do an internet search about them because I have learned to avoid Dr.Google like infectious mononucleosis. This realization came only after I concluded that my slight rash and mild headache were probably not the Bubonic plague, because from a statistical standpoint, how likely was it that I had the plague when I clearly already had Dengue Fever? And according to a prior self-diagnosis, my smallpox and leprosy was just clearing up.
I need a pop-up alert anytime I search for “symptoms of…” that reads “Really? You REALLY want to go there?”
Along with this I also have high blood pressure which requires me to take daily medication, something I’ve been doing since my 10 year-old son was born. I don’t think the correlation between his birth and my diagnosis is entirely coincidental – he walked at 8 months, and this year for Christmas he has already requested “a sharp stick suitable for poking things.” This summer he taught our hamster to read.
I’ve noticed that these skipped beats start and worsen under certain conditions: stress, lack of sleep, eating sugar/processed food, and excessive caffeine. There is no way I will ever eliminate stress from my life and I would drink coffee even if my heart fluttered like a chickadee in a chimney pipe. When I am eating properly the PVC’s don’t bother me, and have even disappeared for years at a time. Nothing is scarier than having your main engine component firing out of time, and because of this I am making concerted efforts to start eating with a “whole foods” mindset.
Also, being naked from the waist up on an examination table with electrodes strapped to your chest is something that will make you think about eating more vegetables.
(Aside: Please – PLEASE – no comments like “I know a guy who died from those things,” or “My cousin had those and had to get his chest cracked open like a walnut so he could get a pacemaker, but then he caught flesh-eating disease at the hospital and now he only has one finger left. He’d write you an email himself to tell you to be really scared, except what with only having one finger it’d take too long so I’m telling you instead.” I mean it. If you do, I will trace your IP and come to your house to feed your kids red food colour and corn syrup smoothies. Then I will siphon all the gas out of your car and use it to burn down your garden shed. I will also tell you how all the shows you are saving on your DVR end, and when I’m backing out of your driveway, I won’t even make a courtesy glance for your cat.
In fact- if you would – please leave a comment about how you heard from a reputable source that these things only happen to people who end up living long healthy lives or how statistics show that sufferers are more likely to have higher income earning potential. That would be great. (And hey; have fun with it – I’m fine with deception, just make it creative. We’re good then? Cool.)
So in my quest to be heart healthy and eat more vegetables, I made this carrot soup. Like, made it made it. Totally invented it using things I had on hand. It is fantastic, healthy and whole, and quite filling. The kids like it, although for transparency sake I should disclose that my son requests portobello mushrooms as “a treat,” and my daughter wants veggie pancakes weekly. My kids just love vegetables. Except okra. No one really likes that shit.
And since nothing says “Hey! I’d like to try a new soup recipe” like a talk of flesh-eating diseases and cat murder, here’s a nice “whole foods” soup my family has been enjoying lately.
(Note: My son will eat this soup until his skin turns orange. But it’s all good; it makes him easy to find in the dark.)
Roast Carrot Soup with Ginger and Orange
- 2 lb. peeled carrots
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil divided
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Juice of one large orange
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger grated
- 1/2 tsp. cardomom optional
- salt and pepper
- pinch fresh parsley
Toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons oil and roast at 400 degrees.This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 6 days, based on my culinary experience. Just keep checking until tender.
Meanwhile, sauté chopped onion in one tablespoon of the oil. I do this in the stockpot I will cook soup in, so I have less dirty pans. (Also because most of my frying pans are hibernating under in the sandbox.)
When onions have started to caramelize, add the fresh grated ginger to the pot. Quickly deglaze the mixture with the 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice. Stir in 1 tsp. orange zest, 1/2 tsp cardamom if desired, 1/2 salt tsp and a few cranks from the pepper grinder. Pour in 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
When the carrots are completely softened, remove them and all of the delicious little caramelized bits from roasting pan and add them to the soup pot. Simmer until carrots are completely soft and and then use a hand stick blender or some such blending device to puree the mixture. Then add up to an additional 4 cups broth to reach the desired consistency. Return to low simmer. Finish with 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley.
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