California Lovin’: A Food & Zen Review

I was in the mood for breakfast. So, I took a ride over to Persy’s Place of Dartmouth for the afternoon.

Hungry for something simple, my eyes honed in to the California Scrambler. It consisted of three fluffy eggs scrambled with fresh avocado and cheddar cheese to top it off. For an extra charge with the egg whites, I placed my order including sides of home fries and a freshly made fruit cup.

In the short time I had to wait, I found the atmosphere mildly noisy, yet enjoyable.

The waitress was very accommodating from the time I sat until leaving. The temperature was comfortable on the lower humid side with all the air conditioners operational as it was still summer weather. As a result, fewer requests were made for hot coffee.

  

The meal arrived very hot from the first bite. Eggs were soft and fluffy mixing well with the large ripe pieces of avocado and cheddar cheese. The avocado enhanced the expected little to no flavor of the egg whites while the cheese added a layer of goodness to the dish. Additionally, the fruit cup made of grapes, honey dew melon, and cantaloupe including a side of well cooked crispy home fries were outstanding.

Wait time for the meal was pleasantly short as it was prepared and served in under 20 minutes after making the order.

I heartily recommend Persy’s Place of Dartmouth if you’re thinking breakfast for lunch or possibly earlier. They close for 3:00pm during the week if you’re having a bout of mid-day hunger. Bring a full wallet of cash. Your bill can add up quickly depending on your order.

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How Sharing A Meal Changed My Life: A Personal Note

Looking back on this period of my life, I am reminded how valuable sharing a meal with family can afford resolve, levity, and personal answers during a heavy situation. While I have long questioned why this period in my life was so disturbing and fraught with challenge, the answer I believe is learning. I did not truly understand who I was as a person and what interests I had in life at this time. As I continue looking into the past as the individual I am today, this particular moment serves as a means how I needed to improve my life and in doing so find my passion for moving forward. For the positive impact I have learned as a result of it, I am grateful for its experience.

         Thank you for reading Food & Zen,

                            Bobby Soufflé 


Click here for Part 1 to see how it all started.

Or try here for Part 2 and the finale with Part 3.  

How Sharing A Meal Changed My Life: Part 3

With my parents insistence, I ordered the Surf and Turf from the menu. Normally I would not order that expensive of a meal, but I was not in the mood to challenge. Fresh warm bread was served to our table as I sipped a mixed drink trying to relax. After some time, I experienced a calming moment while eating bread with my family. Possibly the result of alcohol, but personally, it felt more than a buzz. Gratefulness was the best way to put it. 

Cutting into each juicy bite of steak and buttered lobster was quite therapeutic. 

An awful day slowly morphed into resolve over the course of the meal. The more my parents talked while I ate and listened, the better the outlook was for tomorrow. It was in an instant like this the comfort of a meal surrounded by loved ones reminds me how much I value my parents and my life. There is some kind of magic sharing a meal with family to move beyond life’s extraordinary challenges. It is an honorable moment I will never forget. 

Leaving the restaurant as the sun settled, I felt better with myself and my future. I would not let this situation ruin me. Instead, I will focus on the positive impact of the surgery so I may regain balance and control to my health. 

Two months later, I did just that. 

It was a transitional period moving to a new home around the peak of the holiday season. The good news was my surgery was a success. Further assessment from my endocrinologist found I did not have a cancerous nodule as I was previously informed. I found this result disheartening having gone through this emotional drama ridden nightmare. At the heart of it all, I am thankful to be alive and continue to be in much better health. 

As always, never stop trying new things. Even if they are life changing.

Please see A Personal Note for more information. Thank you for reading Food & Zen.

How Sharing A Meal Changed My Life: Part 2

As the day arrived in September with my endocrinologist, I was terrified for its repercussions.  

I had never been required to have an ultrasound until this point, but I will never forget how life changing its results. Sitting arched on the exam table with gel pressed around my neck, it was genuinely awkward and slimy. Even more disturbing was learning I may have cancerous nodules growing around my thyroid. My endocrinologist told me it was imperative I have surgery to remove the entire thyroid gland. Questions flooded my mind. 

How could this happen to me? How can I function without my thyroid? Am I going to die from the cancer? 

Sitting on the exam table listening to the results, I was devastated. With my palms buried in my face, I never cried so hard in my life. Far worse, I had yet to inform my parents waiting outside the office. My mother cried as she and my father were as much at loss for words beyond the console of a hug. Truthfully, my words will never fully express the utter hell of this day. Only the depiction of a nightmare come to life comes close. 

As we drove away from the office, my parents did their best trying to soothe me. Looking at the floor mat, I heard none of it. Some time had passed as we pulled into the lot of an Italian restaurant. My mother ushered me out and walked beside me with my dad following. The hostess seated us near a large glass window overlooking the nearby road. I was so distraught and angered that I struggled to make conversation. My thoughts were bleak and hopeless.

Continue here for Part 3. Thank you for reading Food & Zen.

How Sharing A Meal Changed My Life: Part 1

I thought my life was finished in the fall of 2010. But it took a dinner with family to help make a life changing decision for my future. 

I began experiencing serious health issues around late 2004 into early 2005. The most noticeable was losing an unusual amount of weight in a short period of time. My heart pounded as I would profusely sweat from everyday activity like walking a short distance. Trying to control my weight lose and then gain was an incredible struggle. It felt like a matter of days I could go up or down as much as five pounds that easy. My endocrinologist described my symptoms as Graves Disease. What triggered the disease is unknown but it made my thyroid work over time giving me rapid heart beat including many sleepless nights with little energy to make it through the day. 

I fought with my body for years trying to balance my thyroid as my body randomly flipped an internal switch forcing me to reset its functions and start all over, again and again.

By the summer of 2010, I was a mess. With an appointment scheduled for early September to see my endocrinologist, it felt so far away. I had a very poor outlook on life. Struggling to control my weight, anxiety, and temperament was a losing battle. My relationship with family and friends was coming unraveled as I made stupid arguments and unnecessary drama out of anger and frustration.

A trip to Canada that summer was pure hell. My thyroid and anxiety were ruining me. Arguing over leaving the bus for site seeing or a photo-op with amazing monuments and landscapes were senseless. Trying to leave the hotel, I found issue for argument over nothing more than movement. It was beyond embarrassing and one of the lowest points in my life. 

Continue here for Part 2. Thank you for reading Food & Zen.

Family Food & Questionable Death

This is a true story about how I thought I was going to die in 2010. And how food and family helped a life changing decision.

I began experiencing serious health issues during the mid 2000‘s in which I was losing an unusual amount of weight. Struggling to control the weight lose and weight gain up to five or more pounds in a matter of days.

My endocrinologist described my symptoms as Graves Disease. Now grave as it may sound, it wasn’t that bad, yet. The medication I was provided helped to an extent balance my thyroid levels. What triggered the Graves Disease is unknown but it made my thyroid work over time giving me rapid heart beat including many sleepless nights with little energy to make it through the day.

I fought with my body for years trying to balance my thyroid as my body randomly flipped an internal switch forcing me to review the change and go back to the beginning, again.

As the summer approached in 2010, I was a mess. With an appointment scheduled in early September to see my endocrinologist, I made the best of my summer fighting to get it past me. I did not have the best outlook on life as my weight, anxiety, and temper were a train wreck in motion and not helping. This created a challenging environment in my relationship towards family and friends as I made regrettable foolish one sided arguments with them purely from anger and frustration.
During a trip to Canada that summer, my thyroid did a job on me. I felt like the biggest fool arguing over leaving the bus for site seeing and photos with amazing monuments. Even leaving the hotel I found something to complain over. It was awful and deeply embarassing looking back. My attitude reflected the abomination of my personal being.
On the ride home, I knew I messed up big time over the trip. 

As the day arrived for my appointment, I was terrified of its impact. 

I never had an ultrasound until this point in my life, but I will never forget how life changing its results. Sitting arched on the exam table with gel pressed around my neck was awkward and slimy. Worse was learning my results that I may have cancerous nodules growing around my thyroid. My endocrinologist told me it was imperative I have surgery to remove the entire thyroid gland. I was devastated by the news. How could this happen to me? Will I die from the cancer? 

Walking out the office, I couldn’t help but tear up as I informed my parents waiting outside. They were as much loss for words.
I tried to understand how a surgeon could remove the piece of my body that controls my heart and expect me to live the rest of my life on a pill. I stared feeling lost into the floor mat below beneath my feet thinking about my future as we drove away. My parents did their best consoling me with encouragement, but nothing compelled me. 

Time had passed until I looked up seeing we had pulled into the lot of a restaurant. My mother ushered me out and walked beside me inside with my dad following. We were seated near a glass window overlooking the car lot and nearby road. I struggled to find conversation apart from my frustration over the looming surgery. 

Fresh warm bread was served to our table as I sipped on a Mohito trying to relax. While you may think its the alcohol, I can tell you there was something truly calming eating bread with my family at a dinner table looking at the day’s big event. Dinner was served some time later having ordered the Surf and Turf with my parents insistence. 

Cutting into each juicy bite of steak and buttered lobster was some kind of therapy.

 What started as doom and gloom slowly became a better outlook for tomorrow and the day after. There is some kind of magic in food that comforts the soul. It opens topics of discussion with interesting results. Thankfully, in my situation, it helped me find peaceful resolve.

Leaving the restaurant as the sun began to settle, I was confident that I could overcome my situation and continue forward as I have before. This was a great feeling as I looked forward to having the surgery and taking back the control of my health.

Two months later, I did just that. It was a transitional period moving to a new home around the peak of the holiday season. As I am write this entry in 2016, my surgery was a success. Further assessment from my endocrinologist found I did not have a cancerous nodule as I was previously informed. It was comforting but also disheartening having gone through this emotional process to learn the real truth. I am just thankful to be alive and in better health. 

In the end, did my family dinner motivate me into having surgery to remove my thyroid gland?

Or was it the comfort of sitting down to share a meal with my parents and letting everything happen as it did? My parents could have taken me anywhere, even home to have that meal. It was during those moments of talk and eating where I found peace within myself to open discussion of something that I was comfortable to address. My parents did not push me into having the surgery. I found the answer within myself to move forward and make the decision I saw best for me. Thank you friends for your time. 

And remember, never stop trying new things.