Friday, October 21, 2011
Last week, I went vegan for 7 days. Wasn´t hard – I´ve done it before and knew what to expect. The most important thing was to have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand.
I did it for my health. I have been planning to do this elimination plan to see if I am allergic or intolerant of any of the foods I normally eat. Something is contributing to fatigue. I have been suspecting it is nutritional – an imbalance or a culprit food or additive. So I have been using fewer spices and checking labels carefully. No dairy, grains, or beans. Nothing containing gluten or MSG. Found out that the turkey breast I´d been enjoying previously is injected with MSG!
This past week, I began to add a protein for 3 days, then a new one. So far, eggs and salmon are fine. I tried chestnuts today and became nauseas and dizzy for a few hours. I will try that again in a week or so to see if I have a similar reaction.
This is a slow process, very slow. I will continue it.
Had blood work done in prep for bone implant surgery and found that I am Vitamin K deficient. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting. I am hoping it was just because I was not eating a balanced diet for those 7 days – happened to have the blood drawn during those days. Talked with the dentist today and once the surgery is scheduled, I will run to get another test done to make sure it´s okay. So those days before the test, I will concentrate on eating lots of green leaves and beef, which are high in K.
I will be careful with grains once I have gone through this process because I am also suspecting gluten intolerance. From what I have read, it can take as long as a year for the intestines to normalize to the point of absorbing all the intake of nutrients. For the time being, I´m not looking for a doctor to help me with this. Once we get the huge dental work bill paid up, I hope to consult a nutritionist. In the meantime, I will do what I understand.
And, get at least 10 min. a day of exercise, drink plenty of healthy liquids (mostly water), and get my work done (well, at least what I can do in my day). I have begun to consider getting back into the long-distance walking with a particular goal in mind that I will share at a later date. Anyway, I want to get started on that near the end of 2011. Hubby will probably join in. It was this time last year that I was coaching him, building up to his marathon last December. And I gained weight through that! Sad, but true! Thankfully, I have lost some since then and will be losing even more.
After all, This is MY Life!
Eating Healthy Foods Video
Beware: High Calorie - Avocado Butter Dip Spread : Trailer Park Cooking Show (funny)
Top 7 Manners Adults Should Learn From Children
Friday, October 14, 2011
I do most of my work at home in my home office. I cannot afford to go to a gym for exercise so walk or exercise at home. I am grateful for the internet because I can find many answers to my questions that way without spending money on transportation.
My husband and I are missionaries and our lifestyle is very much like a self-employed couple. That has challenges of its own in regard to boundaries and limits on our work. My husband and I are true opposites – he is spontaneous, I need time to adjust to changes; he is a joker about everything, life is serious business to me; he loves a noisy crowd and telling jokes and stories, I like small groups or one on one and quiet. He drives a pickup and makes the big money decisions; I get to choose the brand of rice and toilet paper. You get the picture, I´m sure.
So when I was coming up to middle age and wondering about my life and what I was doing with it, I was confused. Why had it not worked out for me to do the things that I had dreamed of doing? Why did all of my husband´s plans get financed and mine put on the back-burner? I was pleased that he let me go back to school to complete the degree he always said I would finish, but then what? I have other dreams and they are not happening.
That´s about the time I began to look for some help and found SparkPeople.com. That was 5+ years ago. It has been a long road and at first I really thought it was just about losing weight. It has turned out to be much more. I have found that I am competing more with myself than with any other person. I have made a lot of difficult choices and I am aware that I will need to continue making them in order to stay healthy.
I spent too many years of my adult life believing that those with strong wills and strong attitudes had the right to push me into accepting their plans for my life. I was told that I was being disrespectful or “rocking the boat” if I disagreed or tried to do what I felt was important. I am not saying that their plans and projects were less important or not worthy of coming to fruition. I am saying that I did not find a way to see my own dreams turn into reality. I was too busy caring for my children, home, and doing what others thought important for me to be doing, so that I could not find a way to do any of what was in my heart to do, let alone finance any of it.
So I faced a lot of changes as I began my SparkJourney. Today, I made a list of some of the hardest things I have had to do.
1. Giving myself permission to take care of my physical, mental, and spiritual health.
2. Doing it by myself without support.
3. Keeping going and keep on making healthy choices.
4. Saying NO to some good things so I can say YES to some better things.
5. Taking care of my health in spite of those who disagree with my choices.
6. Sticking to my decisions when those around me discourage and are insistent that I change my mind or go back to being the old Vicki.
7. Staying positive.
8. Staying motivated.
9. No longer buying things (food) that are not what I need in order to stay the course.
10.Not defending myself when those around me question my choices.
11.Firmly standing for what I have learned and believe makes the difference for me.
12.Staying away from the places that lead me to having to decide between doing what the crowd is doing or sticking to my plan.
13.Not buying snacks I really enjoy.
14.Not stuffing my sadness or frustration with food.
15.Keeping my head held high when I don´t get approval for making the harder choice to pick the healthy alternative.
16.Not becoming sad (depressed) or obsessive over criticism or being left out or shunned because of my choices.
17.Choosing to stay home from gatherings because I know there will not be healthy eating options. And when I do go, I carry my water so I have something to drink, then hold food and drink even though I don´t partake so I won´t feel pushed into eating what I know I should not.
18.Removing stressful things and people from my life; and when I can´t do that, learning how to relieve the stress and self-soothe.
19.Maintaining a work schedule and limiting interruptions when I work at home.
20.Not being deterred from my focus when others intentionally or non-intentionally bring up non-issues.
So SparkPeople.com has helped me in many of these areas. No. 1 is that I receive lots of encouragment and it is vital.
After all, This is MY Life!
Rod Stewart Faith of the Heart
Saturday, October 08, 2011
I´ve had many "hobbies" over the years - mainly sedentary ones like sewing, crafting, and quilting. Now I have a new, active one that burns more calories!
Thought I would share my new hobby with you – My Garden! This first photo is in my garden of my old man cat, Mars 6/23/1996-07/10/2011; he lived to be 15, that´s 73 in cat years!
First, here are a few photos of my yard here in Brazil.
Recently, I´ve acquired a few orchids so made up a compost especially for them.
Hubby made me a shadehouse where I planted the terrestrial orchids and bromeliads –eventually I will have some hanging, too.
I am also starting some ferns for decorating the church auditorium.
After all, THIS is MY Life!
This is so beautiful (from http://jcmdi.com) - Aliens in my Orchids - Timelapse of opening and closing orchid blossoms!
"While making these time-lapsed image sequences of Phalenopsis Orchids (also called "Moth" Orchids), I was surprised to see what looked like a little face staring out at me from inside the blossom as it opened! It was an odd-shaped, almost bird-like face with two large alien-looking eyes. "Wow" I thought to myself, "there are aliens in my Orchids!"
Come To My Garden, from "The Secret Garden"
Come to my garden,
Nestled in the hills.
There I'll keep you safe beside me.
Come to my garden.
Rest there in my arms.
There I'll see you
Safely grown and on your way.
Stay there in the garden,
Where love grows free and wild.
Come to my garden.
Come, sweet child.
Lift me up and lead me to the garden,
Where life begins anew.
Where I'll find you,
And I'll find you love me too.
Lift me up and lead me to the garden Come to my garden,
Where life begins anew Rest there in my arms.
Where I'll tell you, There I'll
where I'll show you See you safely grown
A new life, I will live for you. And on your way.
I shall see you in the garden, I shall see you in my garden,
Where spring will come and stay. Where love grows free and wild.
Lift me up and lead me to the garden. Come to my garden,
Come, sweet day! Come, sweet day!
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
And what might a garden add to YOUR life? Think about it.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – so my page is now pinked for the cure! I wish all who have faced or will face this courage to fight!
I had no idea that 1 in 4,000 cats get “mammary cancer”! The risk is higher for cats ages 12-14. My remaining old cat lady is 15 – so I´m going to watch for it! Siamese (which mine is) are twice as likely to develop it compared to other breeds. It is even more common in unspayed cats so my lady has a lowered risk.
“The lifetime risk for breast cancer in the United States is usually given as about 1 in 8 (12%) of women by age 95…”
To learn about Risk Factors and Prevention, check this site:
Well this past week had a few challenges.
BIG Dog was cleared by the vet last week, but her ear began swelling again and she has a fever. Vet came by yesterday and took temp and blood sample, so we are waiting for diagnosis and next steps.
Visited dentist on Tuesday to get a few cavities filled or replaced. Thurs. we had a chat with her husband, the oral surgeon, about my deteriorating jaw. We are now making plans for surgery (fun! fun!!) – need to get several tests and an x-ray tomography. Then we will schedule the surgery for bone implant. Six months later for confirmation that all is healed and I will be having two teeth implants done.
It is a little frightening. I am most thankful to be where we are because dental surgery is not as costly here as in some other places (like U.S. and Canada). We have no insurance to help with costs, but my husband hopes to take on some extra work-for-pay, which he has already begun. The dentists reminded us that it is a good thing that we caught this at a point (as in my age) where this can be done. So, I see it as a gift from Providence that one of the teeth holding my bridge, disintegrated and the bridge fell out! Otherwise, we would not have gotten the x-ray that showed the deterioration.
On Monday, hubby took my computer to get the problem fixed. Things were going well and I´d gotten some work done until yesterday! So, today, once again, I am trying to find a solution to yet another problem. Hopefully, I can do this myself and be ready for a full week of work next week.
Some more positive things happened too.
I lost two more pounds.
Yesterday, I went shopping and had lunch with a close friend, SparkBud.
I´ve been able to participate in a few lives (long-distance) through prayer.
I gave blood and found that my blood pressure is on the low!
SparkGuy Chris Downie commented on my previous blog!
I had a wonderfully l-o-n-g-ish phone conversation with our daughter who is facing some new challenges with courage and gusto.
I taught my helper to make a Brazilian recipe – beiju! It is so funny to both of us that I, a North American, taught her, a South American, to make a national dish!!!
I had a couple of epiphanies that helped me face-the-day!
And now, I have blogged!
After all, This is MY Life!
An 8-Minute Yoga Workout to Fall Asleep Faster
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” -Jim Ryan
Courage Is - The Strange Familiar [with lyrics]
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I joined SP 3/23/2006 – that´s a l-o-n-g time ago! Today I´m going to consider ways that SP has helped me to change for the better, making me a healthy version of me! Don´t get me wrong here; I still have learning and growing to do – I am not a perfect me, but as long as I keep right on making healthy, positive choices, I get better and better! So here´s the list:
1. I meditate more. Not empty-headedness, rather I sit still doing nothing, to rest, breathe deeply several times, listen to the “quiet”.
2. I exercise almost daily. Now, mind you, the more intense exercising that I did for long spurts, I am not after right now. I do engage in activity for at least 10 min. daily. Because my activity increased for several years, I am more active than ever in my life. I cannot sit still for the hours and hours that I did in my before SP years.
3. I make SparkRecipes!
4. I spend less time watching TV and read more.
5. I take better care of myself – occasional salon visits.
6. I smile at myself more often in the mirror.
7. I look forward to encouragement (support) for my healthy ways from my SparkFriends.
8. I spend on-purpose time with my pets.
9. I eat carefully, weighing, measuring, and tracking my food.
10. I alter recipes to make them fit my plan perfectly.
11. I have learned to say NO to some things so I can say YES to some better things that will lead me to my goals.
12. I know more about my health than my doctor. I also know that just because someone says they are THE expert doesn´t mean they actually are.
13. When I have a decision to make, I look at it from the perspective of the goals I have in mind. Sometimes, I do not take what looks like an opportunity because I know that it will lead me in a direction I do not want to go.
14. I spend too much time online! Some is research; the rest has everything to do with connections to people and encouraging them to take steps to healthier living.
15. Grocery shopping is simpler and I spend less without buying all that junk food of the past!
16. I rarely eat out and when I do, I am careful to choose lower calorie, better-for-me foods.
17. I rarely drink soda pop.
18. I rarely eat or drink at a party.
19. I nearly always carry water with me.
20. I drink a lot of water!
21. I look for affirmative quotes and share them.
22. I belong to the Thanksgiving Team and share my grats at least once a week. If I can´t share with the team, I write down 3 every single day in my agenda.
23. I used to be a night-person. Although I still tend to do better work in the evening hours, I rarely stay up past 11. I am sleeping better with more 8 hour nights than not.
24. I am getting sick less often.
25. I am learning to self-soothe thus rarely turning to food for that.
26. I get up with the sun most mornings.
27. I have been researching food and personal product additives and am trying to replace my preferences with healthier ones.
28. I practice living in the moment rather than dwelling on past pain that still hurts or fearing future heartache. I figure this will take a lifetime to perfect!
29. I quit trying to nurture unhealthy relationships.
30. I keep trying to simplify my life – cleaning out junk and toxins including those bad relationships that were not helpful.
31. When I am upset, I breathe deeply for several minutes, and then go on.
32. I now trust my intuition because I have proven that it can be trusted. The challenge is that others do not trust me so I have no ultimate use for it at the moment.
33. I am more honest with myself.
34. Even though it is challenging, I keep learning new things.
35. I reward myself for being consistent and persistent.
36. I no longer have one-person-invited cookie parties.
37. I play a few computer games during the week for brainy activation and fun!
38. I blog.
39. I use reusable cloth totes for groceries and rarely bring home a plastic grocery bag.
40. I am more aware of my carbon imprint on my environment.
41. I use more spices and less salt.
42. I smile at people I don´t even know.
43. I shop less.
44. My flowers and plants are a blessing to me and I spend a little time with them every day.
45. I have exercise stuff all over the house! In my office: dumbbells, elliptical, boxing bag; bedroom: mat, more dumbbells, exercise sheets, swiss ball, bands; in family room: rebounder.
46. I own more than one pair of tennies – good ones!
47. I own and sometimes wear my sport´s clothes!
48. I own and use a Camelbak for water on long-distance walks!
49. I am a walker, although not walking much these days.
50. I have begun to dream again.
Success is achieved by development of our strengths, not by elimination of our weaknesses. –Marilyn vos Savant
Strive for progress, not perfection. –Unknown
Robert Krulwich: Why Can't We Walk Straight?
"Try as you might, you can't walk in a straight line without a visible guide point, like the Sun or a star. You might think you're walking straight, but as NPR's Robert Krulwich reports, a map of your route would reveal you are doomed to walk in circles."
Watch this interesting clip!
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