Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Thing About Regrets

Fictioneer Friday
Dawn Q. Landau photo credit

Flash Fiction for Friday Fictioneers
100 words
Narrative Medicine

The Thing About Regrets

I have kicked many a stone down the tracks but that mutt still follows me.

My best friend in medical school, older and wiser, had protested and stormed out of the canine lab that day. She would have rescued that mutt if the white coated professor hadn’t stopped her. Continue reading

Swallowing Glass

Join me for Flash Fiction with Rochelle Wisoff-Fields at Friday Fictioneers.
Follow the link to read what others are writing today.

I realize that my narrative medicine posts have been morose but the stories have been writing themselves. My career has been mostly joyous but these stories of suffering, my own and my patients’ need to be told.

Friday Fictioneers
Photo copyright @Marie Gail Stratford

Swallowing Glass
By Tracey Delaplain, MD

Like swallowing shards of glass, that’s what it feels like. Continue reading

The Main Attraction: Flavor Packed Superfood Salads

Roasted Pear and Pistachio Salad

Im taking my nutrient packed salad to Fiesta Friday where you too can find amazing recipes and inspiration
You can easily make a main dish salad using any fruits and greens that are fresh. When I shop for produce, I always have salad in mind. We eat some raw and some cooked vegetables every day for lunch and dinner. I buy the freshest super greens that I can find; arugula, kale, spinach, mesclun mix, mustard greens, or cabbage. The deeper the green, the better. These types of greens are an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants and other essential nutrients. Iceberg lettuce on the other hand has very little nutritional value so pass it by and explore the green options. Most greens are on the dirty dozen list so buy organic whenever possible. Combine your greens with apples, pears, oranges, berries or any fruit that is in season. Roasting the apples and pears takes any salad over the top but you can use raw fruit as well. If your salad is the main attraction then add a nutritious source of protein with toasted nuts, legumes and/or small amounts of flavorful cheese like feta, blue or parmesan. You could add a small amount of cooked whole grains like barley or wheat berries. Skip the processed meats and go light on the cheese if you are watching your calories and saturated fats. Use a light hand when dressing these flavor packed salads. A light drizzle of olive oil or nut oils and a squeeze of lemon or orange juice is all that’s needed. Heavy mayo dressings are high in calories and will bury the delicate flavors of your fresh vegetables and fruit.
There are endless possibilities when building a main dish salad.

Roasted Pear and Pistachio Salad

Here are a few of my favorites

Spinach, oranges and walnuts
Kale, apple and feta
Mesclun, berries and pecans
Arugula, watermelon and feta
Kale, butternut squash and pine nuts

Roasted Pear and Pistachio Salad

Roasted Pear and Pistachio Salad
Servings 2-4


2 Fresh Pears
1 Lemon, juiced
6 cups arugula
1/8 cup finely chopped red onion or shallot
1/2 cup roasted pistachio nuts toasted
1/4 cup pistachio oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 ounces feta cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice pears into 1/2 inch slices and arrange in a single layer on parchment paper over a baking sheet. Roast until soft and golden about 20 minutes. Lightly toast nuts on a separate baking sheet approximately 5 minutes. Watch closely because nuts will burn easily. When cool, roughly chop nuts and set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together oil, juice of one lemon, onion, honey, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of pepper until combined.

Arrange arugula on salad plates, top with pears, nuts and feta. Drizzle with salad dressing.

Friday Fictioneers: The Last Porch


Photo credit: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Last Porch
By Tracey Delaplain
It wasn’t just a locked porch that separated her from the big house. It was her locked memories. “I can sing a show tune,” she muttered to her attendant. Never alone. Yet, always alone.

“Well Hello Dolly, It’s so nice to be to be, hmhmhm.” Today was a good day. She remembered when she had lived in the big house. They said that singing would bring back the memories she’d misplaced, so she had sung, “Somewhere over the the the hmhmhm”, the words eluding her.

Had she been the only resident humming the words? Perhaps, but why was the punishment so harsh? She’d been banished to the little house where they no longer helped her sing.


For more Friday Fictioneers 100 word flash fiction visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields blog here

Friday Fictioneers challenges writers to create fiction with a beginning, middle and an end using only 100 words. My inspiration came from watching my dear Mother and my Mother-in-law decline until their memories were locked and all but a few loved ones gave up on them.

Sing as if no one is listening. It’s good for your brain.

I read an interesting research study that documented an increase in cognitive function and brain activity in dementia patients who sang show tunes for therapy. (Presented at The Society of Neuroscience meeting, San Diego, 2013)

Why show tunes? I think it is because we all recognize a few popular show tunes and can recite at least a few lines. I’m sure when you read my flash fiction that you recognized the tunes and could finish the verses. Popular, catchy songs are stored in our long term memory and long term memory is initially protected in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It makes sense that singing would be a low frustration activity but it also stimulates cognition. We should never give up on dementia patients because group activities and sing alongs improve mood, social interaction and happiness.

Friday Fictioneers

Tangling Roots
Photo credit: Melanie Greenwood

Tangling Roots

She heard the seductive call drift in on the soft breeze that brushed her ear, “Come and dance”. Was it the tumor speaking or did the maze actually beckon her? The hopeless grinding assault on her breast had left her drained and devoid of her own voice. She had been whole once and the maze would not have frightened her then. She hesitated, unsure of her path. Another heartbeat and she lifted her face to the sun and took the first step. The maze like her cancer journey was fraught with blind curves, endless swatches of darkness, tangling roots, and a dead end.




Friday Fictioneers