Life in a Northern Town

2018 brings us to Trondheim, Norway! We’re here on a sabbatical for 6 months until July. For me, Christy, and Anders, this is a homecoming of sorts, as we lived here in 2004-2005.

Things are going well for our family. Nora continues to thrive and has integrated nicely into the local school. I’ve had some apprehension about living abroad with Nora: new foods, new routines, and away from our familiar foods and resources. And such a trip would have been unthinkable a few years ago. But we’ve adapted, and, so far, so good.

Disembarking the airplane with Nora in Trondheim, our new home for 6 months.

Trondheim in the evening light. It’s a beautiful city.

Snow! Still a novelty for Anders and Nora, as it rarely snows in Corvallis, and rarely enough for sledding.

First day of school. I was so impressed with Nora in her courage in starting school in a different country, away from her friends and her native language. The school was so kind about accommodating her.

We’ve also found the Norwegians to be very accommodating of Nora’s dietary restrictions. In general, they seem to very aware of gluten and peanut (and other allergy) concerns — we see it frequently on menus — so it’s been easy to extend that to Nora. We generally don’t explain the whole keto diet idea, but simply state that she must have reduced sugar.

At this point we’ve slightly liberalized Nora’s bread allowance, to the point where I feel comfortable with a limited amount of bread-heavy foods like pizza that come with a large dose of cheese or other fat/protein.

Nora prepares some hot chocolate: half cream, half whole milk, about a teaspoon or two of cocoa powder and a little bit of honey to taste.

Taking a break from skiing with a peanut butter and jam sandwich. We’ve found a great whole grain and seed bread at the local grocery storage with high fibre, high protein, and about equal amounts of net carbs and fat. With some peanut butter, butter and brown cheese, or with melted Jarlsberg cheese, it makes a good low-carb friendly snack.

Another day of skiing and a break at the ski cabin, which has a sitting/warming area and a cafe. We are enjoying waffles with jam and brown cheese. I can’t say this is terribly low-carb friendly. Well, let’s be honest, it’s not. But we try to load it up with as much fat and protein as we can. At this point for Nora I try to focus more on a healthy day-to-day routine, and trust that she has some ability to absorb the occasional sweet treat. Note, this is not acceptable when applying the diet strictly for seizure control. In that case, we feel strict consistency is extremely important; no cheating! However, with Nora now having almost 6 years of seizure freedom and several of those years off strict keto, hopefully we can trust she is solid.

Nora re-enacts a Say Yes to the Dress scene with Beanie-Boos.

Nora enjoys some fish soup way up north at the ice hotel in Alta, well north of the Arctic Circle. We took a trip up here to enjoy the arctic environment, visit friends, do some dogsledding, and stay in the Sorrisniva ice hotel.

Family portrait with the Northern Lights outside of the ice hotel in Alta, Norway. This was actually a pretty mild display. When Christy and I lived here in 2004, we were once treated to a phenomenal, otherworldly, indescribable display in Tromsø, Norway.

Some sort of winter Olympics-inspired event involving a duster. Nora has been happy and energetic.

She has adapted well to life here, as have we.  The plan for now is to continue with a processed-sugar-avoidance diet for Nora, and hopefully she will continue to thrive!