Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Recipe for Life

On May 12, 2011, I went to the gym for my normal noon workout.  I completed my warm up, got ready for the prescribed workout of the day (WOD) and at 3, 2, 1, Go! I started into 20 seconds of pull ups.  At the end of the 20 seconds, I had 10 seconds to rest and write down my completed reps before I would start into the next 20 seconds.  As I bent over to write my number down, I became dizzy.  I stood up to say something and that is all I remember.

For the next four or so minutes, a group of my closest friends worked together and saved my life.  I experienced sudden cardiac arrest due to a congenital heart defect called Long QT Syndrome.  I knew nothing of it prior to that day, and since have learned that my mom and both of my children have the same condition.

 The good news is, there is more to my story...it doesn't end there. I was blessed to be surrounded by the right people when my event occurred.  Among my group of friends were a physician’s assistant and a veterinarian.  Without their quick response, I may not be here to tell my story.  That said, it does not require an advanced medical degree to respond quickly and calmly in this kind of a situation.  Since my event, I have become aware of the lack of knowledge and training the general public has in regard to CPR or Automatic External Defibrillators (AED).  These are two incredibly effective, life-saving tools, simple enough for children to use.

Even more than my cardiac event, the diagnosis of both my children has prompted me to become an advocate of CPR awareness.  I am volunteering with the American Heart Association, speaking at events and helping lobby for CPR initiatives.  I am also in the process of working with various organizations dedicated to screening young athletes for heart conditions in hopes to bring these programs to Colorado schools.  Did you know, “On average, a seemingly healthy young person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest every three days in the US and it’s the leading cause of death in exercising young athletes” (nickoftimefoundation.org)?  Many of these cases could have been prevented with a quick, non-invasive heart screen (ECG) or saved by someone trained to perform CPR or use an AED.

Did you know your children’s coaches and teachers are not required to know CPR?  Do you know CPR?  Would you want to stand by helpless if someone were to collapse in your presence?  There are free or inexpensive CPR events in nearly every locality every weekend.   You don’t have to be certified to save someone’s life.  Get out there and do it!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chicken in White Wine Shitake Cream Sauce

Ok, confession:  this meal is not completely Paleo.  It could be made that way, but I cannot bring myself to do it.  This recipe is so amazing with a couple tablespoons of heavy whipping cream that I cannot justify changing it to coconut milk.  If you dare ruin a good thing, please do so and let me know how it turns out.

Chicken in White Wine Shitake Cream Sauce


2 Chicken Breasts (fileted)
1 cup Shitake Mushroom heads, sliced
3 green onion, finely chopped and greens separated.
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1/4 cup Dry White Wine or Vermouth
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
2-TBSP Heavy Whipping Cream (or try full-fat coconut milk at your own risk)
Sea Salt and Pepper


Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Salt and pepper chicken breast filets and place in skillet to pan fry.  Do not crowd the chicken; heat two skillets if need be for this step.  Cook until lightly browned (about 6-8 minutes each side, depending on your stove/skillet. A meat thermometer should read 160 F when inserted into thickest portion of meat).  Remove chicken from skillet(s), plate and cover with foil tent.

Add bulbs of green onions to skillet and saute for about a minute, or until fragrant.  Add in mushrooms and saute until soft, about another minute.  Pour in white wine and stir with wooden spoon until all brown crusties have come up from the bottom of the skillet and liquid evaporates.  Add in chicken broth until about half evaporated (another couple of minutes).

Turn stove to simmer and add in cream and onion greens.  Stir until well mixed, then reintroduce chicken breasts.  Stir until well-coated and serve!

This goes great with sauteed spinach and garlic.