Monday, December 30, 2013

It's Monday!

With Christmas holidays, each day seems to be blending into the next! I need to keep reminding myself today that it's Monday. While I'm definitely in vacation mode, I had all last week off and know that I need to work on some things this week so that next week goes smoothly.

But today is also day 2 of week 1 for me. (See yesterday's post!) I realized that 6 months is 26 weeks. I'm on week 1 of accomplishing some health and fitness (and financial) goals. Where am I going with all of this? How am I going to get there? Those are questions on my mind today.

I have started journalling what I'm eating so that I have an idea of my habits right now. I don't have a clear idea of where I'm headed food-wise, although do have a rough idea of where I'm going fitness-wise. My intention had been to get on the treadmill this morning, but I have a nasty sinus headache that I've been bowing down to. I think I might just get on it anyhow, even if I just walk for 15 minutes instead of my intention to mix in some running. It'll be a start.

Let me ramble about food, then:

*I have realized that I really need to have menu plans, especially since I'm trying to change what we eat. My daughter's stomach issues have resumed and while it may be a virus, too, she appears to have hit a time to go wheat-free. With the concerns about the arsenic in rice products, it's not as simple as just substituting gluten-free (usually rice-based) products for the usual wheat ones. In any case, to go wheat/gluten-free, I can't just wing it: I need a plan, specific recipes I know I will be making, etc. This will require some research, including going back in this blog to find recipes I've tried. lol.

*When I think of my ideal food consumption, it is highly raw, but not entirely. It is soy-free, gluten-free, meat-free, dairy-free, low-grain, white sugar-free, processed food-free, high variety of fruits and vegetables. Just writing this right now, though, I live in the (at-the-moment) frozen Canadian prairies. The selection of fruits this time of year is pretty poor. I suppose I need to get a list of seasonal fruit and focus mostly on that. Frozen fruits are great for smoothies and such, too.

*I have lots of cookbooks to help me out with all this and there is a wealth of info and ideas online. Because my family is not necessarily interested in becoming vegetarian, paleo menu ideas have caught my eye.

I'm going for health here, as you can see, rather than trying to plan a diet that will make sure I lose the weight I want to lose. Although, it would be good for me to still have some broken-down goals for that, wouldn't it? Of course it would. Okay, I'll pick a "middle" number, 12 lbs, as the goal weight loss. That is just 2 lbs per month. Frankly, I might lose 3 lbs the first week just by dropping wheat. (!) I guess if I'm on or ahead of target right from the get-go, there won't be a problem with that! (Omg, am I prepared to drop wheat right away? No. I need a menu plan!)

Enough of my rambling. I am going to change into some exercise clothes, drink a glass of water and get those 15 minutes of treadmill in. Goal this week is to be able to run 1/4 km straight (0.155 miles). I think I've done that in the past, but not entirely sure. And with my treadmill, I'm not sure it will tell me something that specific so just now, I worked out how long I would have to run: I think I comfortably run at a pace of 4.4 mph on the treadmill. 0.155 miles / 4.4 mph = 2.2 minutes (2 minutes 12 seconds). Hm. I don't think I have run that long before. But that's the goal for Saturday! I will have to figure out how long I need to run if I run slower than that. Yikes, I'd better get to that treadmill ASAP! lol

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Are You Waiting Until New Year's?

New Year's is just around the corner. In 3 days, actually. A typical time for people to make resolutions (that they usually don't keep; I'm not usually cynical, but this is reality!). Me, I'm taking a different tack and focusing on the next 6 months.

What can be accomplished in 6 months? In 6 months of focus?

These are the questions on my mind today. Actually, they started yesterday as I realized that yesterday marked exactly 6 months until my brother-in-law and his family head off to Hawaii for a week. My family is hoping to go, too, so we may very well be leaving in 6 months, minus a day, as well.

Kaanapali beach on Maui. Yes, this is where we are hopefully going!
 
6 months. Hawaii. Yes, this brings to mind definite physical and health goals! Financial goals, as well.

What would I like to be free of in those 6 months? Just off the top of my head:
*the extra 10-15 lbs I think I have
*body pain: knees, neck and shoulder area
*low fitness; weak muscles, especially in the derriere ;)
*glasses; I improved my eyesight a bit some years back by following natural vision improvement techniques, so I know I can improve it even more, perhaps even to the point of not needing my glasses at all
*fears of not having enough money to go; I would love be financially free!!!

So, what does that mean I would like to accomplish in the next 6 months?
*get down to what I perceive as my ideal weight (this will require a definite change in eating habits!)
*use yoga, Pain Free, massage, tackle trigger points, tapping, Healing Codes, exercise, etc. almost daily to have a happily functioning body.
*be able to run 5 km (that just seems like the number to achieve)
*use the natural vision improvement techniques faithfully!!!
*make more than enough extra money to pay for a nice trip (Air Miles are covering our flights at least). I'll need to set a $ amount for best results

I will need to sit down and do proper SMART goals (Specific Measurable Action-Oriented Reasonable Timely) for each of those desired accomplishments and start working out short-term goals to accomplish on the way to them. And perhaps create some trackers that I can post in my house (or on my computer screen? lol) that will be in my face and remind me! Regardless, I'm starting right away. I'm not waiting until January 1st to start resolutions. Today is as good of a day as any and if I wait, I'll have that much less time to achieve what I want.


What about you? Are you waiting until New Year's to work on some goal? Change a habit? Or will you begin now?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Recipe Time: Hash Browns

About a month or so ago, in my search for wheat-free breakfast ideas for my daughter, plus armed with the knowledge that potatoes have feel-good "stuff" in them, I decided to make hash browns. I had always used the frozen kind before, but we didn't have any, so I found a recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. (This links to a newer version; the recipe might not be entirely the same!)

It does require some preparation, but mmmmmmm, they are so good fresh, we've had them several times over the past couple of months! I used to go through maybe a bag of potatoes in an entire year, throwing many out because they had spoiled; I'm on our 2nd bag of potatoes in the past 3 months now. lol. Add to it they are vegan and gluten-free, which makes the recipe an ideal choice for this blog. :D

Hash Brown Potatoes, my way
3 medium potatoes (1 pound)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black better
3 tbsp butter or margarine (I use Becel's vegan margarine)

Their recipe calls for shredding the potatoes coarsely and making hash brown patties, essentially. What I do is dice the potatoes to have loose hash browns (I have not mastered cutting potatoes quickly, let me tell ya!). Melt the margarine in the pan, mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl, and cook on medium-low heat. It takes about 20 minutes or so once in the pan to cook. I actually make more than just 3 potatoes when I make them, so it does take a bit longer. But they come out delicious!!

After some have already been taken!

Now I'm off to see what sort of dairy-free, possibly even gluten-free, goodies I can make for Christmas. Only a week to go!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tapping on Procrastination

John Assaraf has been focusing a bit on self-discipline today in his Facebook posts. Today is one day where I really don't feel self-disciplined and really somewhat feel that, in general, I'm not a self-disciplined person. Not in areas where I would like to grow, like food choices, getting various goals done (other than simple things like the 12 Days of Fitness Challenge I previously posted about). I was sitting here at the computer, having made a list of things this morning that I've been procrastinating and would like to get done today, and instead of working on them, I was playing Facebook games. I hadn't forgotten--I was playing games all the while feeling the stress of knowing I was procrastinating.

I decided to look up something for tapping/EFT about procrastinating. I found one I'd like to share with you. :)



A reminder that The Tapping Solution movie is only available free to watch until December 20. You can view it here.

Posting in a blog was one of the things I put on my daily checklist, so at least that's something accomplished! :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dealing With Grumpy Days

I'm in a grumpy mood today. When I'm super focused on what I have to do, the grumpiness leaves. I taught my class without feeling grumpy at all. But driving around, I was grumpy. Dealing now with comments made by family members, I am grumpy. There are things I would like to say that I'm not; biting my tongue because I know I'm just grumpy and while they may be unreasonable with their comments, my reaction at the moment is really just my grumpiness.

What do you do on your grumpy days? Do you just live with it? Do you figure out ways to be less grumpy?

I'm being nattered at while I sit here and type and it is not helping my grumpy level. Time to go distract myself with a task of some sort! (Cleaning often helps me.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Will You Join the 12 Days of Fitness Challenge?

Anybody up for a fitness challenge? I'm slow on the ball to post about it--I've already started!--but this is making the rounds on Facebook:


http://tribesports.com/blog/the-12-days-of-fitness

Check out the link to see their full 12 Days of Fitness lyrics. :D

I'm on Day 3 today. I could not hold a 2-minute wall squat yesterday (managed a minute twenty) and  it's doubtful my knees would handle today's 3-minute bridge, but I will do what I can!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

FREE Viewing of "The Tapping Solution"


I am SO excited to be able to share this with you!!

From December 10 to the 20th, everybody is invited to watch "The Tapping Solution", the documentary that got me going with tapping/EFT, for FREE.

I love this film and I think you will, too. So informative and inspiring!

This is an amazing film where you get to meet 10 people from around the country with a variety of challenges, such as PTSD, chronic back pain, fear of public speaking, Fibromyalgia, abundance blocks, weight loss, smoking, grief and more and follow their journey as they learn EFT Tapping (and you do as well).

It's incredibly powerful to watch their journey and transformation and and then dive deeper into the keys to using EFT Tapping to change your own life.

In the film you’ll discover how to release physical pain, how our emotions affect our body, how to release trauma, how our childhood is affecting us today, how to clear limiting beliefs, and much more!

Along with the participants, you'll hear commentary from experts like Jack Canfield, Cheryl Richardson, Bruce Lipton, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Bob Proctor, Joe Vitale, Carol Look, Dawson Church and many others...

You can go here to see the film now:

Enjoy!  :)





Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day 4 of a Complaint-Free Life

Oops, I forgot to post yesterday! Regardless, today is day 4 and I've made the decision to not just have a 7-day complaint-free time but make it a lifelong habit. What use is there in complaining? I don't mean so much letting, say, a business know that they have done something incorrectly; that's providing useful information. But plain ol' complaining is just there to have you be unhappy and grumbly.

Things I've learned about myself the past few days trying not to complain:

*Games are difficult to not have the impulse to complain. Rolling the wrong thing on the die over and over, or playing Candy Crush Saga...

*Driving is a huge area I need to restrain myself with. Not my driving, but other drivers. "Why did you do that?" I'll complain to a driver in front of me who can't even hear me. Things like that.

*Computers in general. Maybe they're being slow or buggy or just not cooperating. I have a tendency to get frustrated and complainy. (Sure, it's a word.)

*People in my house. Yes, my family members. I have realized I think complaints about them more than I knew. It saddens me. But now I'm on a better, more positive path, so with awareness comes the possibility of something better.

Are you doing the "No Complaining" challenge? What have you realized? If you haven't started, why not join in now?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Day 2 of 7 - No Complaining Allowed!

From http://www.planetminecraft.com/blog/complaining---why-it-wont-get-you-anywhere/


I was just about to say that I'm doing pretty well today with my lack of complaining, but then before I even got to typing, I was said something by someone in the house and got grumbly. Bah.

In any case, are you joining me in going complaint-free? I'm throwing in criticizing, because I feel like criticizing is just like complaining. I caught myself a few times yesterday. I think I need to have something specific to do, like say 5 things I'm grateful for, every time I catch myself. This could end up being harder than I thought!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Take the 7-Day "No Complaining Allowed" Challenge!

I've been noticing lately that I criticize and complain quite a bit. Especially while driving. It's perhaps "normal" to do, but how does it help anything? It doesn't!

Recently, I started reading


I'm quite enjoying it so far and have uncovered things from my childhood that are related to my current financial status. If you find yourself constantly reverting back to a particular financial state, despite trying to move ahead, I would highly recommend you read this book! But back to the actual point of this post: In section two, Eker goes through Wealth Files. I'm only on the first one, but in it, he puts a challenge out to have 7 days without complaining. Why? Laregly because we tend to get more of what we focus on. If we keep focusing negatively, through complaining, on things, we're just going to keep having more things to complain about! (If you aren't into believing we attract more of what we focus on, then take this on a psychological level: if we keep a complaining mentality, our minds will keep searching for things to complain about. Complaining brings us down; it's not positive. Do yourself a favour and let go of the complaining!) And it's not just complaining out loud, but complaining in your head! Seven days, he challenges people, to not even complain in their heads. He says the results have changed some people's lives dramatically.

So, I'm doing it. I'm I have not complained yet today, I don't think ;), so today is my Day 1. Join me, won't you, and work toward a complaint-free life?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wonderful Quote (and Reminder)

Saw this in Facebook just now, from Jack Canfield (one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit authors) :

Major improvements take time. They don’t happen overnight. If you make a commitment to learning something new every day, getting just a little bit better every day, then eventually – over time – you will reach your goals.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Using EFT to Uncover Blocks

I've been trying to use EFT/tapping each day lately. I'm not sure if I'm remembering to, but I did today with some interesting results.

Before even getting up this morning, I asked myself: What's an issue that's bugging me right now? The first thing that came to mind was that I'm frustrated and confused about how to fit in time to make more money. I lost some of my income recently, I've been very busy with my kids and dealing with my daughter's overstressed/possibly depressed issues and then have all this stuff to do. I haven't been playing Facebook games like I was before the tapping sessions I last posted about though. (Oh, I've played Candy Crush saga twice I think, one of those when I was on the phone with my mother! :P)

So, while I can see that playing computer games was definitely taking away from my time to work on other income sources, I haven't been playing computer games and I'm still not spending time working on these things I know (ok, hope) will bring in more money.

In any case, I assessed my stress level about it as being around a 6--that I was frustrated and confused about how to fit in time to make more money. (Then the random thought came in: Attract it! Now that I think about it, was the thought about attracting more money or attracting more time? Hm...)

I went through a round of tapping. I wish I could remember more clearly what I thought/said at each point so I could share a script here, but I don't. Along the lines of:

The frustration and confusion in my body.
This frustration and confusion
About not knowing how or what to do...

After the first or second round, I questioned myself:

How do I let go of what I don't need to do and how do I know what to let go of? This was in relation to my getting caught up in researching what to do about teen depression, supplements, foods, etc., as well as other things. I assessed the tension level on this one as being a 5.

I got interrupted at this point and had to continue the session a couple of minutes later. When I tuned back in, I felt resistance in my stomach and chest rather than just stress. I forgot to assess the level of resistance. I tapped through this and realized behind the resistance was fear. On that round, I uncovered that the fear was my block, and it was blocking me to keep me safe.

Safe from what? I went through a whole round and didn't know. Then it came to me: success. I was afraid of success. I then thought of one of the videos I had seen with Nick Ortner (I don't remember now if it was through an email they sent or on the tapping site) where he had asked the lady to think back to her earliest memory related to it. Well, mine is from grade 4: I had just moved and while nobody made a big deal of my high marks before moving, all of a sudden, doing well, excelling above everybody else (which I had been doing before but it just really wasn't a big deal) was a bad thing: one boy in particular had an issue with my doing so well and he and his cohorts would harass me because of it. (I can feel the tension in my body now just bringing this memory up again!) I remember for a science test thinking I might have gotten 100%; I went back and deliberately changed one of my answers to the wrong answer. That was how badly the negative comments affected me.

This fear, this tension, it's still in me after all these years. Grade 4... That was 30 years ago.

When I remembered this and started tapping on it, I started crying. There I was, at that point in my ensuite in front of the mirror, tapping away and crying over this!

Does this mean that not finding time (or not making time or not using time) to work on these other things is directly related to this memory? Not necessarily. But it can be one block. A block I'm going to have to work on some more. While I knew I'd carried a bit of the belief that excelling brought negative attention, I did not realize it was in me to the point of causing me to cry!

I didn't do a final tension assessment, which you are absolutely supposed to do (I will get better at this, I hope!), but I felt much better. And since doing that, I've made a quiche for my daughter (with eggs with omega-3 and bacon--she loves bacon and it makes her feel great--and she needs an easy lunch for later and hates sandwiches and is just plain tired of everything else and can't decide anything easily lately), I've gotten the cat litter done, I've written out a list of things to do and gotten this post done. And it's only 9 am. Good start to the day. :)

Have you tried tapping? Care to share your story?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

If You Haven't Tried Tapping Yet...

I am amazed.

Truly!

I just can't believe how quickly tapping (EFT) has helped me. For weeks, I'd been unmotivated, not really getting much done. Resistant. Playing lots of computer games.

I did a number of tapping sessions yesterday. As I tend to do when an interest gets sparked, I got a little obsessive. lol. I spent hours reading websites and watching videos and doing more tapping. I actually found one tapping script for clutter and tried it, but it didn't leave me with the positive feeling at the end that the author of the script had felt. If anything, I was more aggravated by the clutter and just the stuff that needs to be taken care of in the house (not necessarily clutter, but useful things that need proper "homes" within the home) so I went back to the format I learned from The Tapping Solution, which helped me feel much better. And then I finally reached a point where I decided it was late enough in the evening, time for a little treat while watching TV and/or playing a computer game on my laptop. This is when the effects of the tapping really started to show.

In the mood for popcorn, I headed to the kitchen and pulled out my air popper. While the margarine (Fleischmann's dairy-free non-hydrogenated!; not as good as the Becel Vegan, just fyi) was melting, I looked and saw the dishwasher light on, telling me it was ready to be emptied and saw the dirty dishes in the sink. Now, normally--and I mean pretty much every evening, not just Friday evening, in the past decade or two--I would have just left the kitchen as it was and tackled it in the morning. Or I would have begrudgingly made myself do it as part of some goal. This time, it was simply, "Hm, I want the kitchen clean." And I cleaned it. No resistance. I'm still amazed because I so often feel resistance to cleaning the kitchen (although, yes, I still do it regardless) and there was none. There was no temptation to leave the job incomplete. I even put away the popcorn popper.

Perhaps a bit of background information on me will help to get the full impact of this change:

When I was little, under the age of 9, I liked everything just so. I took great pleasure in arranging the jewellery on my dresser, keeping everything nice and tidy.

Then, we moved. In the middle of my grade 4 school year. I was torn from the only friends I ever remembered having and was very attached to. And knowing what I know now about childhood depression, it is pretty clear that I fell into mild depression as a result. How that played out was, in part, my lack of interest in having things nice and tidy. I just didn't care about it anymore. It was like night and day. My mother, naturally, didn't understand what had happened. How could I have gone from being super tidy before we moved to a complete slob (at least with my room) after we moved? I recall her getting frustrated to the point that, more than once, she took a big garbage bag, put everything laying around in it and said the bag was going to be thrown out on a certain day so if I wanted any of it, I'd have to put it away properly.

My room wasn't always a mess, though. I kept flitting between enjoying keeping it clean and just not caring. It really has continued bouncing back and forth that way ever since with my bedroom and many things, with my bedroom tending to be at least a little untidy more than not. Although not entirely: Now I do care again, the only moments I really don't care are when I'm absolutely exhausted, but I feel so overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff to do, or I have just blinders on that I don't really see the mess in between serious cleanings. (This makes it sound like my house is a pigsty; it isn't, but it's got its fair share of stuff not put away and just plain clutter.)

Our poor little apple tree

It's a blustery, blizzardy (sure, that's a word) day out there and I would normally be spending such a day playing on the computer the way my husband is playing on the PS3 while he waits for the snow to calm down before snowblowing. While I have been on the computer a lot, it hasn't been to play: caught up on some messages, took care of transferring funds from a prepaid phone to a monthly plan, and other useful things. Like working on this blog post. I've also done some non-computer things like driven my daughter to work in this nasty weather on the nasty roads, made my way to the grocery store and back, had lunch and, yes, kept the kitchen clean again. I haven't played a single Facebook game yet today. I don't even really have the inclination to, yet every other day this week I used up all of my lives in Candy Crush Saga and would play a bit from some other games first thing in the morning. Or even get (non-Facebook) The Sims 3 going.

But back to my point. I have, for the past 30 years, essentially, pretty much lost the joy of keeping things clean. Oh, sure I wanted everything clean, but I had mostly resistance to the idea of actually cleaning things. Or just feeling completely neutral and just doing it because it had to get done or should get done. If there has been a time even in the last 20 years where I approached my kitchen on a Friday evening (or any late evening) the way I did last night, I can't recall it. And it was effortlessly done. I hadn't set a goal or planned to do it, I just did it. And I liked the final product.

Do I dare add that this morning, before anybody else was up, I grabbed up the dishes that others had left after I'd cleaned last night and I put them in the dishwasher? No resentment, no resistance, just, a feeling of I want the kitchen clean. And, yes, it made me happy to make it clean. :)

Maybe you don't have a clutter problem. Maybe there is some other issue affecting you. Either way, if you haven't tried tapping yet, I highly recommend checking out The Tapping Solution site. Check out the articles and videos and start tapping. You could be amazed!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Becoming Procrastination-Free

This blog, as all of my blogs, has not turned out how I intended it. I come here to put my thoughts down on paper, to share things with others who are like-minded, but I set myself goals (like the 100-day challenge :( ) and don't see them through, including such goals as writing in my blogs daily (not EACH blog daily, but just each day on A blog). There are all kinds of things out there that help people and the recent one that has been an eye-opener is what I would like to share with you today. It has provided such a sense of peace and clarity that if I can make this a daily habit, I think it will do me wonders.

What is it?

Tapping!

Tapping is a term used for what you do during Emotional Freedom Technique (aka EFT) sequences. You are tapping your fingers on various meridian points. I was first introduced to this by a DVD I stumbled across at the library, The Tapping Solution (available at The Tapping Solution).

Just following along with them was amazing and every now and then since watching, I would think to do some but I felt like I didn't really know what I was doing and didn't remember to do it most of the time. The idea of doing it never completely left me and I ended up putting a hold at the library on the book by the same name. This page The Tapping Solution Book Page has all kinds of information on the book. Basically, it's a guide for everything you need to get started in tapping, as well as different situations where tapping can be useful. There are also things like identifying beliefs and blocks. It's so good!

I did not get a chance to finish going through it (well, is that true? I probably had plenty of time but used it elsewhere) before it had to go back to the library, but it just resonated with me. This is a book I have on my Christmas wish list now. Or I might not wait. ;)

A breakthrough today came from watching an interview with Nick Ortner on The Aware Show. Just tapping through with them, I, again, felt the relaxation and decided this is something that I need to add to my daily routines because I can instinctively feel how it will help me. I found Nick on Facebook and followed him and found a great post on things to make sure you are doing when tapping. One thing he said was to do it for 15 minutes at a time. Okay, so I set a timer and decided I wanted to address the feelings leading to procrastination lately. My procrastination level has been HUGE. Tapping through things and writing down each step of what I was addressing was just amazing.

I started off looking at my frustration with my procrastination, in terms of cleaning and writing and just not getting any work-related things done. This led to dealing with feelings of being overwhelmed with there being so much to do, which then led to the feelings of being confused about where to start, how to know what to work on. I then felt sadness because I felt like I wasn't living up to my potential and was being a bad role model for my kids (who would've thought addressing procrastination would get so deep??). I started asking myself why, why did I procrastinate like this? Why did I need an outside-imposed deadline? Why did I wait until it had to be done? Here I am, nearly 40, and I've only, today, identified at least part of where my procrastination comes from: it was a coping mechanism in my childhood, a way to avoid having to do things I didn't think I should have had to do (I was asked to do a LOT of things that, to this day, I still feel it was unfair to ask of me that much, but that's a whole other issue, one I may need to address in tapping!), to protect myself from demands and whims. I waited until the last minute for school things a lot of the time because I could say, "I have homework," and it would be true because it was there, waiting to be done, but not getting done. I developped a habit of waiting until the imposed deadline was upon me and still do this today with so many things. I still have work to do on this to deal with the feelings surrounding this all--even now, I feel stress in my stomach thinking about some of this--but it has, at least for today, helped me turn some things around. I've already made better food choices this morning than I have been this week and I'm sitting here writing a blog post! Do you know what I've been doing all week instead when I'm not busy with children or things that have deadlines (like making supper by a specific time)? Pretty much playing Facebook games. I even played Facebook games while making supper last night. I admit, I played a Facebook game this morning while listening to the parts of the interview where there wasn't any tapping going on, but I haven't touched the games since and just want to keep moving ahead with my different goals, which I feel I will have to tap on again as the stress rises into my chest with the thought of not knowing what to pick next to work on. I actually believe that feeling this stress is a good thing because I think I've been just burying it all week, hiding it behind Facebook games!

In any case, if you feel you have blocks, feel stressed, anxious, need to work on achieving better health, better financial state, anything, if you are looking to be blocks-free, stress-free, I highly recommend you look into EFT/tapping. Check out The Tapping Solution website and see all the stuff that's there, for free, to get you started: what it is, basic instructions on how to do it, videos, research information,  EFT articles and so much more. And anticipate I will post again about progress made with this technique. :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Women Don't Always Follow Directions Either

I am, once again, going to sing my praises of this book:



I have used it to deal with all kinds of different pains over the years. (If I used it perhaps more consistently, I wouldn't have to be dealing with so many pains!)

Recently, I started having neck pain. Not my usual neck pain: with this, I could not lift my head past a certain level. Try drinking from the bottom of a glass when you can't lift your head backwards! The pain got so bad earlier this week, I woke up in almost agony in the middle of the night just trying to shift positions, managed to get myself out of bed and find my Pain Free book. Found the section on necks and did the sequence. The pain was not completely gone, but it was so much better.

BUT he clearly says multiple times in the book that you do the sequence daily until your pain is gone, then follow it with the daily maintenance program at the end of the book. Did I follow instructions? No! I felt so much better the next morning, I just let it go. But I ended up being in some serious pain again last night. Did the sequence while we watched a movie (okay, I listened to the movie while doing this sequence) and much better. Woke up this morning with it barely noticeable. Did I follow instructions and do the program today as I'm supposed to since the pain is still somewhat there? No! But I hope I can remember to make myself later when I have some time. I don't want to start a vicious cycle!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Diary of Life Without an Upstairs Fridge

Day 1

Our fridge died today. Or rather, we discovered that the fridge had died within the past couple of days since everything in the freezer was completely thawed. In retrospect, we should have clued in earlier and have checked the temperature--the fridge had been making funny clicking sounds for a few days and I had noticed some things didn't seem as frozen hard as they usually are.

Most of the stuff from the freezer had to be thrown out. :( A creamsicle had melted and a hole in the wrapper let the melted liquid get onto various things. Thankfully we have a second fridge and a deep freezer in the basement. The fridge is older and smaller and we had to remove some things (like pop, juice cans...) from it to fit in what could be salvaged from the fridge upstairs. Unfortunately, we don't have time to go fridge shopping today.

Note to self: Clean out the fridge more often. Whatever that thing was in the little ziploc baggie was gross.

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Day 2

Because we don't have time to go shopping yet, we've been looking online at possibilities. Man oh man are new fridges expensive!!! :( Hubby is really wanting a French door-style with a freezer on the bottom; I'm fine with a single door and the freezer on the bottom. Our current (dead) fridge is a side-by-side. I don't like it.

Going downstairs for fridge items is a real pain in the neck. I hope we don't have to wait too long before we have our upstairs replacement, but I guess you can say we are getting more exercise because of it.

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Day 3

I'm really starting to be annoyed by having to go downstairs for so much. We still have the old fridge in its spot and all of us at some point have gone over, opened the doors and remembered, oh, yeah, there's no food in here.

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We went fridge shopping this evening. So many models with some great prices won't fit our space! Grrr. I hope we can hit the scratch-and-dent/refurbished places on the weekend; maybe we can get a fridge that fits for a better price than brand new and unscratched.

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Day 4

Ugh. How much more do we have to keep going downstairs for something???

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Day 5

Surprisingly, I'm not minding so much going down to the basement today for fridge items. Maybe it's becoming a habit.

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Day 6

I've really adjusted to the fridge being downstairs. I make sure I have everything together that needs to go back downstairs instead of making multiple unnecessary trips and have even started bringing my cereal bowl downstairs with me to fill with (almond) milk rather than going downstairs, bringing the milk upstairs, then heading back downstairs. I could live like this, I think.

Hubby has mentioned that he could go for a single door on top. That helps open up our options.

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Day 7

Hubby has complained about having to go downstairs for things. He's not home as much as we are so he's not as habituated. I've realized we aren't eating as many fruits as vegetables as we normally do. We (the kids and I) may be getting used to the fridge being downstairs, but I think in part it's because we are skimping on things. I've stopped using margarine on bread/toast, I know that. And the honey, which is kept upstairs, is almost gone because I didn't want to be bothered to go downstairs for the jam in the fridge.

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Hubby and I are out shopping. We have gone to so many places fridge shopping today without success, I feel like giving up.

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We found a fridge! Still expensive, but a clearance price, so at least we're saving money. Sort of. And from Sears, so we know that if we ever have an issue, we're well covered. I really like this fridge. We saw the same model at the 3rd place we visited this morning, a scratch-and-dent place. The Sears clearance price is barely more expensive than their price. One drawback: Because we want the white, and it's a discontinued model, it has to come in from another city (last one in the province!). We'll have to wait 7-9 days. I've been handling the downstairs fridge travels not too badly; it should be okay.

Day 8

I'm starting to resent, again, having to go downstairs for fridge items. I guess knowing that we do have a fridge, it's just not here yet, has changed my perspective.

Day 9

Really not liking having to go downstairs for fridge items. Waiting another 5-7 days for our new fridge feels like an eternity.

Day 10

*sigh* How long until we get the new fridge?

Day 11

I remembered about a plug-in cooler we have in our crawl space, which really is a crawl space. I ended up scraping my back--and mostly ripping off a mole on my back--trying to get it out. Got it upstairs, found a spot to put it in and... discovered that the plug is only for in a vehicle (where cigarette lighters used to go). After getting my daughter to put a band-aid on my back, I went to the basement, again, to put the cooler back.

Our new fridge can't come soon enough...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Care to Help?

I have two local fundraising situations I would like to share with you today:

The first, and the time is running out on this one, is an inner-city mom here died of AIDS recently, and her kids--a mix of adult and school-aged kids--are trying to provide a nice funeral. And I don't mean a ridiculously overpriced funeral. They have had some things donated and the person helping them out is only lookin for $1500. VERY reasonable. In any case, the kids are less than $300 away from the money they need for the funeral. And there are only 3 days left. If everyone reading could donate even just $10, it would mean so much!

Full details: http://igg.me/p/a-beautiful-goodbye/x/4965009


The other fundraising opportunity I want to tell you about is a little girl named Teagan. She suffered a severe seizure a couple of years ago that damaged her brain. There is a therapy available that can help her, but it is expensive and our Canadian healthcare does not cover it. You can read all about it and see their donations page here:

http://www.treatment4teagan.org/

If you are in Canada, I will be doing a fundraiser for them through Stampin' Up! and you can help out that way, too! I will post more information at a later date.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Back on the 100-Day Challenge "Wagon"

Oy, where is the time going??? This week ended up being a bit of a write-off due to physical/health issues Tuesday through yesterday. Part of it was messed-up sleep affecting my ability to concentrate and even make decisions. Now that I'm coming out of it, I'm feeling less guilty about not focusing on my goals because I can see just how affected I was!

But at the end of this second week, that leaves me with fewer days to accomplish some big goals I have for the rest of this year, which include:

*walk/run 5 km (I had gotten up to 1.3 miles/just over 2 km on the treadmill, but I haven't done anything on the treadmill in a week, I think)
*get the rough draft of my teen novel done
*get my dairy-free ebook done
*100 blog/website posts!

I had not connected with my goals really at all this week. My energy levels and mental stamina were poor enough that they didn't matter to me a bit. And yet, first thing this morning, my mind is back on the goals and I really want to accomplish them.

One of my smaller goals is to work toward having one to two weeks' worth of gluten-free (and naturally, dairy-free, since I can't have dairy) lunch and supper menus that have been tried and enjoyed. My daughter and I both really like the stuffed peppers recipe from Raw Food: A Complete Guide for Every Meal of the Day but I don't know it's the kind of thing my husband and son will like, so we make it now and then for lunch. I made some yesterday. It's a super quick recipe. (I do have to modify it slightly since the recipe calls for hazelnuts--hazelnuts make my mouth itch!)

I've had a new gluten-free book for a little bit and had not yet tried anything from it. Part of it is that I can not for the life of me find the sorghum flour used in their flour blend. There's probably one store in particular I need to go to (Planet Organic), but I just haven't made my way there yet. In any case, the book is


They are conscious that many people eating gluten-free also have dairy issues, so many of the recipes specifically mention substituting a non-dairy product. I made the pizza for us yesterday, but just used the flour blend I had left over from a different book and used a reduced amount of soy parmesan (wasn't sure what it would do compared to regular parmesan) in the crust. It still worked out very well! And I had a happy teen when I picked her up from dance class and had a piece of pizza all ready in the vehicle for her to eat. She ate nearly the rest of her half (we split one pizza; I forgot to take a picture of the whole thing, but her side had "regular" cheese and mine had the Daiya) and had no feeling of unwellness afterward. She really wants to try the doughnuts; I will have to either find sorghum flour or make a new batch of the blend I use and try the recipe with that.

Before I head off to the treadmill, I may not have a picture of our whole pizza, but I do have a picture of some of my pieces:

A mix of mozza and cheddar Daiya, gluten- and dairy-free meat slices (no, didn't go veggie this time), gluten- and dairy-free crust. Italian seasoning sprinkled on top. Photo taken on a BlackBerry Torch; forgive me. ;)


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

92 Days Left in 2013!

I feel I am still going strong with my goals for the end of the year. My one goal of getting the rought draft of the teen novel I'm writing has had some progress made on it (although, I adimt it, I would love for it to be more). I'm getting more exercise in, challenging myself, eating better, and more. Having all of these different goals to work on, to strive to achieve, believing I can achieve them if I can keep going is actually working!

One thing is (almost) daily, I am checking in with the major and minor goals list, writing down what I've already accomplished (yes, I'm using the word accomplished when I write it down; sounds so much more motivating to me than done) and thinking of specific things I can do that day to work toward those goals. It's going pretty well!


Part of my staying motivated is reading from a motivational book. My choice at the moment is:




I have read this book before and liked it so much, I have decided to read it again. It's funny how the second time through a book, different things can hit you in a different way! I suppose it's a lot like watching a movie a second time and picking up on things you hadn't noticed the first time.

My little trick at the moment is to always have a book (either that one or another one) by my side when I'm doing things on my laptop. Why? Because when a website is slow to load or the computer's just being plain slow--or Microsoft Word is opening painfully slow--instead of just sitting there impatiently waiting, I open up my book and read. Sometimes, just opening the book up seems to make the computer behave; other times, I manage to fit in half or even a whole page. It's been great, especially on days where, by the time I actually have time to sit and read something I'm so tired I fall asleep, I don't get any reading in. It actually works better, I think, for some books because then I get a small amount read and have time for my brain to process it, thinking about it instead of just racing through a book, enjoying it but not really remembering and digesting it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Review of "The Heavy"

O.M.G. Look what I found! I started this months ago. Any time reference is from when I actually started writing this months ago. lol


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I managed to fit in some reading a few weeks back and read The Heavy by Dara-Lynn Weiss.




Having seen some interviews with her on YouTube and having read articles and parts of her original article in Vogue, I wasn't sure what I was going to be reading: Was she going to be honest? Was she going to tone things down about how she interacted with her daughter and I wouldn't get a real picture of what she did? Would I be appalled or even angry at her approach? Would I even be able to finish the book or would I be as bothered as other people were (other people who, in many cases, hadn't even read the book and were throwing out their judgement)?

These concerns came from, not comments people made about her, but her own contradictions between how she presented things in the article to how things came across in the snippets from the book. Truthfully, I can't say how much she toned things down for the book, but given how nuts people went after the article came out in Vogue, I can't blame her if she did. So many people seem to use the (semi-)anonymous internet as a means to act very hurtfully. (I hope nothing I wrote previously was hurtful!)

But I digress. Back to the book.

We see around us on a daily basis the struggle adults have with their own weight, of trying to lose even just 5 or 10 pounds. It is no easy feat for many and to maintain the weight loss is even harder. Some don't succeed at all, despite trying many different things.

So, what do you do if it is your young child with the weight problem and needs to lose closer to 20 pounds over the course of a year to be a healthy weight? Or rather, how easy is it going to be to make the weight loss happen?

And that is what The Heavy is all about.

Dara-Lynn Weiss shares in this book how she dealt with her young daughter's weight problem, but also to my surprise so much more: How inconsistent society can be with their expectations and judgements, how a woman (her) with her own body image issues (and some somewhat-admitted neuroticism) finds herself struggling with helping her daughter get to a healthier weight, how schools determine what should be in cafeteria lunches, how a family deals with the situation of one child having to watch what she eats while the other doesn't need such attention and more. It is not a book telling people how to help their overweight child lose weight; in fact, she is quite honest and open at times about how she wondered if what she was doing was the right thing and feels she's in no place to actually guide someone else through the process. She feels her approach worked in the end but does not in any way suggest that all parents with overweight children ought to do the same. At the heart of it is the story of a real mother dealing with the real struggles of helping her overweight child attain a healthy weight and all the ups and downs that came with it.

It is so easy for many of us, especially those of us with kids who don't have weight problems, to "know" how to fix Weiss's problem. "You just do this, or that and it will work." Well, she thought she knew, too, and it didn't work. Weiss found herself faced with a 7-year old, food-loving child with weight that kept going up. The turning point happened when her daughter's blood pressure was officially high. A 7-year old with high blood pressure? I think any parent reading could relate to the fear that that could instill. Children aren't supposed to have high blood pressure. It's "supposed" to be a worry for us adults, not our kids. And that is when Weiss's, and her daughter's, journey began.

One important truth Weiss brings up in her book over and over, because it kept happening to her over and over, is how judged parents can be and just stuck no matter what they do. What she found consistently is if someone's child is overweight and they allow them to eat certain foods, they are just as judged when they put their foot down and don't allow the child to have "just one more cupcake" at a birthday party or things like that. "You're damned if you do and damned if you don't" was very much her experience time and time again. I can only imagine how frustrating it was for her, trying to do her best to help her daughter get to a healthy weight while getting looks for giving her calorie-reduced items (like diet pop or 100-calorie snack packs--approved on the nutritionist-designed plan) and turning around and being berated for not letting her daughter have extra dessert with far more calories. What we let our children eat or not eat seems to be more emotionally charged than many other parenting issues. (Anybody catch the reaction people were having to Gwyneth Paltrow writing about what her children don't eat? Yikes.)

Did her approach really work toward healthy eating? No. Absolutely not. But that's not what the book is about, so as much as I urgh over her approach--which she didn't even design--I liked the rest of the book too much to not declare it a book worth reading. The program she followed is all about calorie restriction and learning to figure out what you will eat at any given moment based on what you've eaten during the day and what you anticipate eating, kind of Weight Watchers-like. Part of me wants to find fault with this, especially in having an 8/9-year old girl (as her daughter is by the end of the book) master this, and yet, is that not what I do on a daily basis with my fruits and vegetables consumption? Or when I'm trying to watch my intake of grains? Or when I find I'm going crazy with sweets? I can not find fault with her on this without my being a bit hypocritical. Her daughter was able to eat and eat and eat, regardless of whether it was healthy or not; she did need to learn to curb that tendency and focusing on the calories definitely helped that.

Did Weiss's daughter have to go on a serious calorie focus to learn to eat just one cupcake now and then rather than two at every chance? No, probably not. Did her daughter's weight qualify to treat it as though she were a diabetic or food-allergic? No, I don't think so, but that's where some of the neuroticism comes in a bit. Could her daughter have done better with something else that focused more on healthy eating and less on being concerned with trying to get the extra weight off by an arbitrarily decided deadline and trying to make the daughter feel "normal"? Perhaps. But, I'm not Dara-Lynn Weiss, I don't have children who have ever had the love of food her daughter does, and I'm not living in a situation with an overweight young child who likes to (over)eat and where there are birthday parties at school almost every week where the amount of food consumption goes unchecked and pizza Fridays and so forth for her to engage in.

Could Weiss have done things differently? Yes. Might they have been better? Who knows? In the end, none of us is perfect, we don't know for sure what would have worked for this family and we have, really, no right to expect a mom to do the perfect thing or even to know what "the right" thing to do is all the time. Should she have continued to not do anything because of her neuroticism and just let her daughter's weight get even more out of control? "No, but she should/could have...," I can hear someone saying. No, no, no! Of course she could have done this, that or the other but to pretend there is one single way to help a child in this situation that we all should know about and we ought to be judged for not living up to that standard is completely unfair to everybody. She did the best she could with the knowledge she had. We can come up with ideas of what we would do or suggest to someone in that situation, but we really need to learn to back off and stop thinking our ideas are what others should do in such situations.

Many of us spend so much of our lives being aghast at the imperfection of people's emotions and choices and forget to look in the mirror sometime. Her story was a good one to remind me to not get on my high horse and look down upon her. Because, after all, she is just another mom like me: imperfect and doing the best she can with what she knows and can do with her kids. Really, can we ask more of her?

Could I write a post about all of my disagreements with her thinking and approach, with my concerns about how her daughter will turn out? Absolutely. But I can appreciate her story all the while disagreeing with her.

Read the book. You don't need to agree with her approach nor be unconcerned about her views at times. But the book is not about the approach. Read it because she's an imperfect parent daring to be open and imperfect in a time where we are so easily critical of imperfect parents (and people) and it's actually refreshing to see that someone else is imperfect, too.


Friday, September 27, 2013

96 Days Left in 2013!

This week has been so busy, it's hard to understand how there are still 96 days left to the year!

I am still plugging away at this. A couple of busy, and exhausting, days meant less done than I had hoped, but my mind is still really focused on accomplishing what I can, so I have definitely been getting things done--and avoiding such things as playing round after round of Candy Crush Saga.

If you are doing a challenge, or just want to hop on board, let me know! :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

98 Days Left!

There are 98 days left now--what are you doing with your time?

I watched a couple of motivational little blurb vidoes which has helped keep my motivation high, even though crazy busy days. One comment I saw by someone had something about achieving his five major goals. I created my own list of five major goals and then a list of "other goals" (the name "minor goals" made them feel insignificant, which they're not, so I changed the name). The one thing that makes this challenge different for me is that I might not work on every goal each day, but I'm refreshing my memory about the goal each day and am making progress on things. If I can keep this up, I will reach January 1st and be amazed, I know it!

One of my goals is to have a complete set of gluten-free supper menus in place so my daughter can maintain even better her desire to stay wheat/gluten-free. I managed to make a gluten-free meatless supper Monday night (a vegan stir fry) and last night, as well, substituting a gluten-free flour mix for the flour called for in the vegan scalloped potatoes recipe I have previously shared. I am determined to have a good variety of gluten-free supper menus that my family will at least somewhat enjoy!

Another goal of mine is to write an e-book. It's kind of funny because I was thinking about it before I saw Jenae over at Bring Joy is also working on an e-book--gluten-free vegan family-friendly eating. ("Yesss!" shouts my gluten-free menu-searching mind!) Knowing she's doing one is somehow a push for me to move forward on my idea. (On switching to dairy-free living, for those curious. Things like the different whys of going dairy-free, the things to be careful of and look out for, my favourite products and some recipes.)

I have a bunch of other goals, which I should probably start attending to now--although, writing regularly in my blogs is one of them. :)

What goals have you set yourself to work on/achieve by the end of this year?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

99 Days Left!

Are you joining me on the 100-Day Challenge? Perhaps you've only heard about it today and need to start the 99-Day Challenge. :) Either way, there are 99 days left of the year. That's a lot of days to allow us to work toward significant goals so that we move into 2014 with a bang, proud of our accomplishments--rather than hitting January 1st and going, "Ugh, I didn't do anything I wanted last year! Here's my New Year's resolution... This challenge is, in a way, a pre-2014 resolution, an End-of-Year resolution.

I encourage you to pick something! Pick a goal. Something truly meaningful to you, not just, "Oh, I should really do this, that or the other." You know what happens to smoker who quit because they should quit? The usually end up back smoking. When they really want to quit and that's it, they're going to be done with it, the success rate is much higher.

What's your goal? Maybe you are afraid to think big. Think small then. Maybe you can't do push-ups and would like to be able to. Do a push-up a day. "What? That's hardly enough!" Oh? Well, if you do a push-up a day for 99 days, you will have done 99 push-ups before the year is out. That sounds pretty good to me! And if you can do 2 push-ups each day, or maybe 5, think of how many push-ups that adds up to in a short time!

I have read many times that accomplishing something is often about doing small things consistently, not doing an amazing thing once and then nothing for a long time. This challenge is about figuring out those daily, significant things that will make a difference in the long run. What is the one thing that, if you did it each day, would make a real difference in your life over the course of the next 99 days?

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits one-self, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.


― William Hutchison Murray (often misattributed to Goethe)

Monday, September 23, 2013

100-Day Challenge!

There are 100 days left in the year, including today. Anybody up for a 100-day challenge? :D

I wish I'd known about the 100 days yesterday; I would have sat down and worked out some goals and such. I will have to do some thinking today, when I get the chance. (Busy, busy day!) Right now, my thoughts are along the lines of:

*health/food/fitness
*writing goals
*financial goals
*getting my kids involved in some way


I read a document about a paid program you can participate in. I won't be signing up for it ($147; hm) BUT one thing that stuck with me is it seemed to be tied with really setting hard goals, but also taking 10 minutes a day. I'm assuming 10 minutes a day to set the goals?

What would I like to accomplish by the end of the year? What would you like to accomplish by the end of the year?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Does This Discourage You from Eating Chicken?

I came across this article:

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/16/chicken_is_killing_the_planet/

American-killed chickens can now be sent to China for processing to then be sent back to the US for people to eat.

Because that makes sense, right? Kill the chicken here, send it all the way over there (taking how many days, I wonder, but unless they are flash frozen, greater chance of developping bacteria), get it processed there so that it can be sent back to where it started from.

Um... My brain is really from the "logic." I have no more to say about that part!

That's just about the processed chicken. Which we all should know we shouldn't be eating anyhow. But if you read about the living conditions of chickens in general in the US (and while I've seen things from here in Canada that don't paint such a bleak picture, it's still not a pretty one), does it make you wince? It makes me wince. It makes me want to try to plan the menus for the week without any chicken--or any meat--at all. That won't go over so well for the other members of my family, but surely I can figure out meals that will allow me to eat chicken-free while they can eat the chicken as they wish? (Oooh, this gives me an idea for a recipe book--recipes or meal ideas where you can easily have both vegetarians and omnivores happy!)


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Books for those of you also wanting to go vegetarian or vegan in a healthy way:


Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Joys of Laryngitis

Are there joys in having laryngitis? Maybe not directly, but I am a firm believer that good can come out of any situation!

With the start of the school year, I and several others I know have been hit by various viruses. Today is my 16th day sick. My daughter has been sick even longer (started with one thing, didn't get over it before getting whatever it is that I have). This virus is one my body has been having a very hard time dealing with. My mind turns to, "Should I get to a doctor?" because it's lasting so long, and yet the symptoms are constantly mutating, signs of improvement are there and no evidence of bacterial infection. I am loathe to end up at some mediclinic with a doctor I don't know who could end up being a big antibiotic pusher and my own doctor isn't, but with my schedule lately and her hours...

I ended up having full-out laryngitis last week. Started losing my voice (while teaching a class!) Monday afternoon, completely lost my voice by that evening and spent the next two days voiceless. Completely voiceless. I've never lost my voice like that before. It didn't hurt, there wasn't any gross mucous blocking anything, I simply couldn't talk. I started getting it back a bit last Thursday, but here I am, more than a week later, my voice is still not completely back. Or I hope not--I would not want this to be my permanent voice!

Like I said above, there is good to come out of this situation: I'm spending more time on myself, on relaxing during this hectic month, doing things I enjoy. I'm refocusing, however slowly, on how I eat. (I feel like an alcoholic who has fallen off the wagon; I suppose I'm an notveryhealthyfood-aholic?) On how my kids eat.

And that's what illness is for sometimes, I think: to get us to set things straight, to remind us that we have strayed from the direction that will serve us best. While the illness itself should not be seen as a blessing, in my opinion, there are blessings that can come out of it, if we are willing to be open to whatever it is we need to "hear."

This being ill did lead me to discover a lovely drink that I find very soothing on a sore throat (or one unable to speak!):


  • warm water (almost to the point of hot) in a coffee mug
  • honey (1/2-1 Tbs.); if your farmer's market has honey and you have always had store-bought honey, consider trying the farmer's market honey. My farmer's market honey is more expensive but it tastes so extraordinary compared to store-bought, I will never buy store-bought again!
  • squeeze of a lemon wedge
Stir the honey until it dissolves in the warm water (I admit, I tend to start with hot water, let the honey dissolve faster and the water cool down to quite warm before drinking) and then squeeze a lemon wedge into it. Stir and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Finding *Your* "Thing"

I suppose this post isn't really about helping you to find your "thing" as it is about me finding, reconnecting, with mine, but I write it in hopes that it will help you, too, find or reconnect with your "thing."

My "thing" for a long time has been writing. I have known--okay, sort of seen and suspected it--since I was in elementary school (some of you might call that grade school). I didn't do much writing in jr. high and high school, but since university, I have dabbled on and off. In recent years, I have felt very strongly that writing is what I really want to do, what I'm called to do, that I ought to be spending more time on it, and yet... I don't. Or I do, but sporadically.

Today, after some thinking and praying and meditating lately, I determinedly got back into my "thing." It wasn't without some difficulties, trying to find a novel I had started working on last November during NaNoWriMo, not finding my zip drive, lamenting the knowledge there's a copy on an out-of-commission laptop, unable to remember the online site I was originally using (turned out to be Yarny.me) and then unable to remember my password... My intention to spend from 6:15-7 this morning writing turned out to be much less than that. ;) But what little I did... I knew I was in my element. I knew it was my "thing." How did I know? I felt blissful and energized. Just writing a single paragraph. I loved what I was doing and had I not had to get myself moving and actually get dressed, I could have spent a long time just sitting there, writing. I see this same bliss and energy in my 15-year old daughter when she is creating art, clothing, stories or poems (she seems to have more than just one "thing"!)

Quote by Joseph Campbell; image by 8WomenDream.com


I've had the same feeling before when working on blog or website posts, sometimes during the writing phase and other times during the research. The feeling is so... right. Like I've truly connected with some truth about myself. The trick now is to learn to manage my time so I can indulge in my "thing" every day! :)

Have you found your thing? What is it? Or maybe you have more than one? What led you to finding it or realizing that it was the one?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wheat and Blood Pressure

I have, thus far, not done truly anything food-wise or exercise-wise to deal with my increase in blood pressure. I do check here and there when I'm at a pharmacy and it's still like it was before I met the last time with my doctor. I have been thinking a lot about how I've been eating, if I'm eating differently than I had been up until the past year or so (I had BP readings of 110/70-120/80 for as long as I can remember). It's possible I'm consuming more salt and junk the past while than I previously did. Something to tackle.

But a thought hit me the other day when I could tell my body was reacting to having more wheat than usual and then this morning, when I had my first nosebleed in sometime (I was getting them fairly often for a while): could wheat be affecting my blood pressure?

A quick research online reveals the answer to be: YES. And it could be more than that and full out gluten, not just wheat.

It makes sense as my mind rests on the idea. Any kind of food sensitivity creates inflammation in the body. While my inflammation has typically been in my gut, who says that wheat isn't now affecting my blood pressure?

My daughter has been complaining of her wheat belly lately; she's back to full out wheat, too, since she's not having the bad symptoms she had been having for a while. Before she left for a teen camp this week, I told her my plan was to get back into wheat-free next week. I shake my head how each time, it feels like such a daunting task, but once we've been in it for a week or two, it's not that big of a deal anymore.

And me, I'll be checking my blood pressure regularly while wheat-free to see if just that change makes a difference.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wacky Dream

I will at some point get back into writing about food and health topics, but today's post isn't about either one, unless it was something I ate? lol

I just woke up from the most bizarre dream. My 15-year old daughter is supposed to be going on a day trip with a church youth group today and in my dream, it's the morning of, like it is in realy life, we are outside and she tells me her friend isn't going after all because of something I can't remember. She forwards me the text she got, but more than just that message gets sent. I don't get a chance to see it all when we have to go in for some reason, but my curiosity is piqued because it seems from other messages that ended up getting sent in the forward that the girl wasn't going due to being punished for something. But a discussion starts about my daughter not wanting to go now that her friend wasn't going.

"What? We won't get the $40 registration fee back." More about the only reason she was going was because this other friend was going. All of a sudden, a young woman we know shows up. We start all eating at the table and I decide I should get her opinion while I wait for my husband to get up so I can ask him his. There's mention of it just being boys she knows in the group and no girls and it would be awkward. The young woman takes Emilie's side. I say something about the other friends she had said were going, too. She looks down as she responds something and I tell her I know she was lying about something or had lied about something. I then say rather tensely, "You are going to have to pay me back the $40," knowing that my daughter doesn't have a job and no money left in her wallet. (Why is the $40 so important? lol) I go back outside to pick things up we had left and to try to see the rest of the text, and I see the girl she was supposed to be going on this day trip with is sitting beside her on the sofa. (Where did she come from all of a sudden? No clue. But the other young lady is miraculously gone!) I come back in within a minute to ask what the friend is doing at our place if she can't go on the trip and what are we supposed to do with her and don't get a chance: there are 3 older teen boys I don't know in my house (which isn't actually our real house; it was like a little apartment in a single-level house or something), two are laying on some sort of a futon watching TV and my daughter's on the futon with them! They're even holding beers that they've already mostly drunk. My daughter sits up when I ask, "What is going on here?", but she is holding a tall glass of milk, at least, and not a beer. (lol)

I get angry and start getting these guys--all truly young men, not short, skinny teens or anything--to get to the door, grabbing the beers out of their hands and just get really angry at them. "This is illegal! What gave you the right to go and grab beers?" is one thing I remember saying. One guy answers back in a matching tone about how you just go grab something from the fridge when you're at someone's place. I yell back, no, you don't and we start arguing and I end up pointing my finger at him, saying something about I"m teaching him proper manners here and you need to always ask (and he was actually kind of calming down and accepting that I was right) but I couldn't continue as my mouth was drying up and I was finding it hard to talk. I was suddenly awake, my mouth open and dry. And I felt a bit of a shake as though I might actually have been moving my arm in my sleep. I realized it was just a dream--and was very thankful for it!

So, was it something I ate? lol. We did have company last night and all kinds of food... ;)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Let's Talk--Letter Says to Euthanize Autistic Boy

This post is not quite "on-topic" to this blog, if you will, but at the same time, it does have to do with health and, indirectly, having a -free life--a life free of a particular "kind" of people who can not be helped and can fill your life with negative stress. And I'm not talking about autistic people here.

You have perhaps read or heard about the letter that was sent to an Ontario family about their autistic boy. I only read little snippets that were shared and just they were heart-breaking. I saw more of the letter on the news and it is just sickening. Here is the letter:

Text typed out at the bottom of the post in case this picture isn't readable

Let's add to this that the boy's baseball--which had his name and address put on it because he kept accidentally throwing it into other people's backyards--was returned once completely shredded (can anybody say, "Anger!"?). Having become rather well versed in the more problematic personality disorders, namely Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), these two incidents--which I think it's reasonable to believe they are from the same person--show some serious red flags. Very heavily narcissistic, for one. The idea that they aren't good enough for "this type of neighbourhood" shows a sense of superiority, as do the accusations of "special treatment" (this is called projection--this person is wanting special treatment to not have a handicapped child like him in the neighbourhood, yet the grandmother isn't asking for special treatment; I've lived through this type of projection with an ex-friend I eventually extricated from my life). Over and over, this narcissistic language is there (I can run through it line by line if anybody is interested! :) ). To be that hateful and antagonistic, to suggest that he should be euthanized and body parts donated to science shows an element of ASPD, although not necessarily full out. To react so outrageously is the hallmark of BPD. To be honest, this letter, the way it's written, reminds me very much of my ex-friend who, although not diagnosed, I can say does very clearly fit the diagnostic criteria for BPD and possibly NPD. This letter shows even more NPD than my ex-friend. This is different from some of the stupid things people write online (although people should start paying more attention to how others are behaving online) because this mother went to the lengths of typing it up, printing it off and having it delivered. This is planned and has follow through, not just babbling in the moment.

Of course, one can not make a diagnosis based on a single letter; I will say that there are some serious red flags there, though, and yes, this mother might not have any diagnosable disorder, but it would be good for somebody to look into it! It's time for society to become more aware of these disorders and start really paying attention to things like this. There is so much hiding, out of trying to be understanding or just dismissing someone as being "a jerk". But these disorders go deeper. There is a private side that can behave absolutely horribly and a public side that may seem perfectly normal or just a little odd, "nothing to be concerned about." If people were more aware, they would see these disorders more clearly when they show up in loved ones (or even friendships, as in my case!). So much damage comes from being in relationship with them and, at least in the case of BPD a lot of the time, it is in their best interests to be left to their own devices; like an alcoholic, they need to hit rock bottom before they ever consider seeking help. There isn't a drug that fixes anything, it's part of who they are, part of who they developped into, and really, essentially requires not only many years of therapy (which most don't seek or don't stick with, if they do seek therapy) but retraining to rewire the brain. (NPD and ASPD are, to be honest, pretty much impossible to fix. It is in people's best interests to figure out a safe way to end any relationship they have with an ASPD, for sure.) It's one thing to have certain emotional reactions as a result of past abuse or something; it's quite another to actually believe it's okay to behave in many of the problematic ways they do behave and try to keep such behaviour hidden from the public eye. If this mother is behaving this way with a complete stranger, we need to be asking ourselves: How is she behaving toward her husband or children? To be fair, in some families with a personality disordered parent, only one person gets targetted with the bad behaviour. But the others are still witnesses to it. What do you think this does to kids growing up in such an environment? It qualifies as an abusive environment and where I live, can result in the removal of the children. But they are so good at hiding things in public, the family situation is never properly examined. Although, even there, they can be good enough at faking and have enough control over the rest of the family that a cursory look won't reveal a problem. That's why education is so important so family members themselves can identify and start taking the necessary steps so that they, at least, can have a happier, healthier life.

If this letter reminds you of your mother or a friend or someone you know, or perhaps you are the husband or child of this woman who has managed to find your way here, I would recommend you read this book:



Although I don't have a borderline mother, I read this book to understand the disorder more, especially since I believe my ex-friend to be a borderline mother. Lawson doesn't say it, but her different categories of BPD mothers basically break it down into mothers who are BPD and have narcissistic traits, who are BPD and have ASPD traits, and a couple other personality disorders that are not as "bad" on their own, but provide a whole twist to BPD. Some can have more than one personality disorder or can have a single personality disorder with some strong traits of other personality disorders. In any case, if the letter makes you think of someone you know, I highly recommend the book. And if you are simply interested in psychological/psychiatric matters as I am, I still highly recommend the book. It is an eye opener.

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Full text of the letter in case there is an issue with the image:

To the lady living at this address:
I also live in this neighborhood and have a problem!!!! You have a kid that is mentally handicapped and you consciously decided that it would be a good idea to live in a close proximity neighborhood like this???? You selfishly put your kid outside everyday and let him be a nothing but a nuisance and a problem to everyone else with that noise polluting whaling he constantly makes!!! That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!! It scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!!!!! When you feel your idiot kid needs fresh air, take him to our park you dope!!! We have a nature trail!! Let him run around those places and make noise!!!!!! Crying babies, music and even barking dogs are normal sounds in a residential neighborhood!!!!! He is NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He is a hindrance to everyone and will always be that way!!!!! Who the hell is going to care for him?????? No employer will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever!! Personally, they should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science. What the hell else good is he to anyone!!!  You had a retarded kid, deal with it… properly!!!!! What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!!!! I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!!! GOD!!!!!!!

Do everyone in our community huge a favor and MOVE!!!! VAMOSE!!! SCRAM!!!! Move away and get out of this type of neighborhood setting!!! Go live in a trailer in the woods or something with your wild animal kid!!! Nobody wants you living here and they don’t have the guts to tell you!!!!!

Do the right thing and and move or euthanize him!!! Either way, we are ALL better off!!!

Sincerely,

One pissed off mother!!!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Update

Where do I begin? So much to share and all interconnected and I'm probably not going to let it all out in a coherent manner, and might have to do this in a series of posts, but here goes.

Last time I wrote, I was talking about long-term goals, my goal for better health. My mind has since kind of changed this idea into ultimate health and a doctor's appointment has reminded me about this focus and even my desire to live to at least 100--and not just live, but still be active and in great health.

This bring's me to my doctor's appointment. It was supposed to be very quick. They didn't even weigh me when they called me in, so I figured they weren't going to check blood pressure. But as I was sitting, reading, in the room, a nurse comes in and says she wants to check my blood pressure. My insides went, "What?!" I normally get nervous  when my blood pressure is taken, for whatever reason, and I spend the minutes waiting for it by relaxing and preparing myself for it. I didn't get that this time. First reading: 143/something. "WHAT?!" My BP in the past has typically been 110/70-120/80. Anything over 139/89 is seen as a problem here. (I did some looking online; it seems different countries and places have different standards). Last year, when it was sweltering hot and I could actually feel my BP was high, my upper number (systolic) was 135, but they weren't concerned.

The nurse said she would let the machine run through all its cycles. Well, at that point, I was worrying, kind of freaking out. Second reading: 175/something over 110. Yeah, great! (sic) Final average was something like 153/something above 90. ACH! (German pronunciation here.;) ) I explained my nervousness during it all and how I was panicking about the first reading being high and asked if I should do it again later or what and try to calm myself down a bit. She decided to have me take my reading 4 separate times at a drug store over the next week and see her again. Well, we were leaving camping the next day; that was going to be a problem. I ended up getting an appointment 11 days after the original appointment, which gave me time to go camping and do the readings.

But the precedent had been set. She told me to wait 5 minutes when I got to the machine, so that I could relax, and then take the reading. Waiting didn't help. I had had the initial high reading and was nervous. And I hate those machines--when your arm is feeling painfully squeezed, how can your pressure not go up? In any case, I went the very next morning before we left for our camping trip. 140-something over I don't remember what (I have it written down). Those 5 minutes didn't make me feel calm. Mypulse was 107, I remember that. My usual resting rate is about 75, just to give an idea of my state at the time I was taking my blood pressure.

We went camping and although we were in town once, I didn't go into a drug store so I didn't check my blood pressure. The day after we got back, I went again and was very nervous and anxious. Still a bit high and I did more than one reading. Diastolic over 90 each time. Well, then I started getting nervous about how my anxiety was affecting my blood pressure reading. Which didn't help any, as you can imagine. Every time I even thought about having to take my blood pressure, I got anxious. The next day, this past Sunday, I dropped my son off at his cousins' and stopped at a grocery store with a pharmacy section. I walked around until I felt calm, but as soon as I sat down, the calm was gone. Tried to take some readings there, but they had the darn thing set up so that your back was to the pharmacy and everything (nothing like hearing people and noises behind you to help you relax,eh?). First reading was 140-something/something (I should grab my notes, shouldn't I? lol), second reading--when somebody had come up to the pharmacy behind me and was talking and things were falling in the pharmacy--was 175/something. Bah. Took a 3rd reading but it was so clear I was the furthest thing from relaxed, it was high, I left there and decided I would go to the drug store after getting my small amount of groceries.

Got to the drug store and the readings were lower, but still above 139/89. This actually triggered anxiety that would hit without me even thinking about taking my blood pressure! I tried all kinds of things to make it go away but to no avail. Finally, Monday, I just took a position of ignoring it. Was at a different grocery store with a pharmacy and sat down. Could feel the tightness in my chest from the anxiety, but I was otherwise feeling calm. It was strange. But it gave me a reading under 139/89. And by evening, I realized the anxiety had left completely. Took some more readings yesterday, but I was feeling rushed. Not anxious, though, so my pulse was high from feeling rushed, but the BP readings were all under 139/89.

That said...

These "normal" readings are too high. Optimal is nothing over 120/80, which is where I was for years and years. This all has helped my focus on making health improvements in my life. I'm not sure how much improving my diet would help with the BP, since my diet isn't horrendous and hasn't changed for the worse over the past few years, but my exercise levels... That's another matter. I've said in the past here how I've noticed I'm weak cardiovascularly. I get winded too easily. This, I believe, is tied with this increased blood pressure. My heart/cardiovascular system just isn't as strong as it used to be and I need to help it.

Now, all of this has managed to filter into my thoughts about my long-term health. How do I expect to live to at least 100 and still be healthy at that point if, now, my blood pressure is higher and I'm getting winded and my knees/IT band problems aren't taken care of and I'm not eating anywhere near as well as I could and... This "bad" event of high blood pressure has been a good kick in the butt to get myself more motivated and focused.

I've gotten on the treadmill once this week so far. Meant to this morning and forgot (not habit yet!). It's not too late. Off I go!