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Help for Sciatica?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oops. Double post.

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CRAZYSTEPPER 3/31/2011 2:46PM

    Stretching helps me - I've had this and other back issues for years. Also, if you have ever done any physical therapy for your back, these will also help strengthen the pelvis and muscles surrounding them. This and those stretches have made a huge difference in the frequency of sciatica for me. Talk to your physical therapist or physician on what would be best for you!

Good luck!


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Help for Sciatica?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm on week 3 of this ongoing sciatica pain. Not sure what I did, or why the 3 chiropractic adjustments I've had aren't "Staying", but it's really starting to get me down. I'm fine as long as I am up and moving around. Waking up in the morning after a night of laying is the worst: It takes me an hour of hobbling around before I work the pain out. I've been doing some gentle yoga (not tracking it), but have foregone my interval workout up and down the big hill by my house. Laying over a stability ball in a semi-modified "traction" position does feel good, and seems to be providing some relief, even if temporary. Ice was recommended (not heat), along with ibuprofen.

Are there any other things I should try? I haven't gone the way of physical therapy yet, but maybe somebody out there who has undergone phys. therapy for Sciatica can recommend some exercises that they recalled were helpful. Now that the sun is out, I want to get back OUT there and move my body, without it resulting in PAIN!!


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FEED_ME_SHOES 3/31/2011 2:58PM

    Hi there. Dont really know anything about your background, so cant offer any specific advice. Have you had an MRI scan done? Do you know the cause of your sciatica? I think thats the most important step. In my case its due to a prolapsed disc. Knowing the cause will help your physical therapist tailor a plan that works for your body.

I know when you are in pain the last thing you want to do is move, but keep moving. The worst thing you can possibly do when you have sciatica is sitting and lying down, as this puts pressure on the nerve. Try to be as active as you possibly can and avoid sitting down for too long without taking regular breaks.

Take some anti-inflammatories before bed, try some simple stretches, sleep on opposite side of the pain with a pillow between your knees. This helps to keep the spine aligned, reducing the pressure placed on the sciatic nerve. Try not to sleep on your stomach as this puts unwanted pressure on your back.

Good luck. Sciatica is a real pain in the butt!

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Calling all vegans

Sunday, March 20, 2011

This is about the 5th week in which Santosh and I have tried to adhere to a largely vegan diet, with flexible inclusions of fish (and a rare appearance of chicken). We both feel so much better, are LESS hungry/more satisfied after and between meels, and.... "TA DAH"-- are losing weight!

Santosh's results have been MUCH more dramatic! 17 lbs lost in 5 weeks. For me, it's been 5 pounds. My ticker is elusive. I'm not 143 anymore, but I refuse to move it to 151 (where I actually am), until I get back to "Ticker weight". Seeing that ticker at a weight that I REALLY DID weigh on my wedding is motivation to get back down there.

So losing 5 pounds almost effortlessly has been extremely exciting! When Santosh found out in October (2010) that his cholesterol was dangerously high, he began reading voraciously about how to lower his cholesterol naturally (without statins), and subsequently decided he wanted to try vegan/plant-based eating. To support him (and so that I wasn't cooking 2 totally different things every night), I joined him.

Big surprises!
* we don't miss meat all that much
* the recipes we've tried have been very satisfying in a "meaty" kind of way
* the girls and their friends have LOVED the vegan dinners-- even picky Maddie!
* There are numerous sources of plant proteins we never knew about
* We are honestly always "full", in a satisfied (not stuffed) kind of way
* NO CRAVINGS! Weird, since a lot of my overeating has to do with cravings/appetitie, and not actual hunger

It's been a little more challenging for me, with my food allergies/sensitivities. For example, I'm allergic to baker's and brewer's yeasts, and almost all processed vegan foods (ie- boca burgers, soups, etc) are flavored and enhanced with "yeast extracts". I"m also allergic to starchy beans: pintos, kidney beans, black beans, canalinni, etc. Since beans are a HUGE protein source for vegans, this eliminates a major protein source for me. I can, however, have lentils, tofu, tempeh, and Seitan, and pea protein both from peas and concentrated in pea protein powder for shakes.

It's kind of fun too. We're flexible though: we do incorporate the occasional fish or chicken curry here and there. But for the most part, we just FEEL so much better, that I'm really getting hooked on this. I'm allergic to the protein in cow's milk, so that was another motivator for me to go vegan. I am so MISERABLE if I accidentally ingest any cow's milk/dairy ingredient. It almost seems like the more I avoid it, the more severe is my reaction. That's ok by me: If it takes getting physically sick to have me avoid foods that have historically made me fat, then that's not such a bad thing.

Off to make our "vegan lentil burgers". Found the recipe right here on SP. I'll blog on whether or not the recipe is a keeper.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALERIEMAHA 4/23/2011 4:52PM

    Interesting blog,


athlete or not.

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FLAMENM 3/21/2011 9:24PM

    I'm a recovering vegan. I was vegan or vegetarian throughout most of college. I've reverted back to omnivore these days, but Nikhil and I eat meat very rarely. Veggies are so yummy. I can't do tofu because of thyroid issues, but I swear by quinoa as a great protein source. And I love lentil/quinoa burgers.

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TINADOUS 3/21/2011 11:08AM

  I'd love to hear about the burgers too! I think the processed ones are vile but I have been expermenting for about a year since I have started to eat a vegan diet and I have yet to find a recipe that really works for me. Also a lentil lover!!!!

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VEGANJAZ 3/21/2011 10:46AM

    Yaaaaa lentils!

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GUAVAGIRL3 3/20/2011 10:11PM

    Hi there!! I am brand new to SP, but I am a vegan, so the title of your blog post caught my eye. Congratulations on trying out this wonderful lifestyle!! I have been a vegan for nearly 6 years and I wouldn't eat any other way. I am so sorry to hear about the yeast allergy - that really makes things difficult! Lentils are a favorite of mine, too, so I'd love to hear how the vegan lentil burgers come out!

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Any composters out there with tips??

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Santosh and I have gotten our little back-patio compost pile underway. We have NO idea what we are doing, and only started reading about how/what to do AFTER we began chucking our veggie scraps in the pile.

We have a very tiny, fenced in (rectangular) back patio space at our condominium. A magnolia and a Japanese Maple occupy the narrow border of soil along the long side of the fence. The Japanese Maple tree lives in the corner, and where it lives, there is already a fairly good sized, semi-composted "sink hole" of soil. The tree sheds leaves, and those leaves decompose. The result is a pile of soft dirt that is easy to turn over, about 3 x3 feet. Into that space, we have been pitching veggie and fruit scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds. I'm glad we haven't put any meat scraps or dairy, as I have since read these are not good compostable items, but then eating more vegan, we don't have a lot of meat or dairy scraps. Today's egg shells were the first I've added (made the girls a whole wheat carrot /pineapple bread this morning), and I removed the orange peel when I read that worms don't like citrus.

In the 3 weeks since we've started, I've only turned it over twice. There are still a lot of large, undecomposed scraps of food in there. I have left much of the scraps exposed though I've loosely covered with some fallen leaves in order to get some heat generated. I have NO idea if I should cover with a tarp.... with holes poked.... or not...... add more water.... (it's pretty moist right now, and not at all "soaking" wet with rain). The space get's about a half-day's sunlight, and the fence protects the area a bit from wind.

Any composters out there? I really want to make this work directly on the ground, without having to resort to a plastic bin or tumbler. When I was a kid, my family's compost pile was large, bordered by some lumber as a retaining wall of sorts, and we just were given junk from my mom to "go throw" on the compost pile. I don't recall we ever covered the space, but I was a kid, and didn't really participate in the composting or gardening, other than to throw scraps and help harvest vegetables once ripe. My other chore was to go gather eggs from the hen house nests.

Should I cover? Add worms? chop the scraps up into smaller pieces first, before adding to the pile? I hope some composting sparkers could guide me through this. My end-goal is to get some decent soil for a small, backyard "garden in pots".

emoticon emoticon

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CRAZYSTEPPER 3/31/2011 2:51PM

    Thanks for the tip on the citrus - I hadn't thought about that. Also, I had a friend who tried wet newspaper in layers like a huge lasagna. Not a good idea because of the news print? I have done yard waste and leaves, but I've been told that this encourages bugs to become a problem. Any ideas?


Comment edited on: 3/31/2011 2:52:08 PM

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LTAYLOR776 3/26/2011 8:00PM

    HI Lisa,
My daughter composts in our garden. She had some "starter" worms - just a handful - from the neighbors and they have multiplied all over the place. She just tosses everything out there and turns it once in awhile and it seems to work..Be careful, though. My little pug dog got out there and gorged on all the garbage and was very sick last summer. The wildlife doesn't seem bothered by it or want to bother it, though...Good luck. I hope you have some yummy veggies this summer!

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FLAMENM 3/14/2011 1:56PM

    It sounds like your compost pile isn't generating enough heat to fully compost. We do trench composting for this reason - we don't have enough waste to generate a huge pile and our yard is too small for a compost tumbler. I would bet your waste is just too small to generate the heat right now.

Trench composting is really easy - you just dig in a hole and bury teh materials. Give it a few montsh and you'll have nice compost. We do trench because we don't want to have to deal with neighborhood critters (cats, road runners, dogs, deer) and we can bury the material where we want to use it.

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My bucket list

Saturday, March 05, 2011

So many things, so little time:

learn to play the piano
live abroad, even if for a short time
learn a new language
read the classics
Visit BKS Iyengar's studio in Pune India
be in a movie (like, as an extra)
hold a tiger, lion, gorilla, etc. (fill in the blank with a beastie)
Take cooking classes
work in a winery/tasting room
Meet my husband's grandparents, aunts and uncles in Kerala
grow my own small garden vegetables and herbs
have my genome tested or take part in National Geographic's genographic project
travel everywhere!
skinnydip in a warm ocean
sleep in a tree house, a yurt, or outside under the stars
See a volcano erupt
witness or assist in a live human birth
undergo a past life regression session
publish a children's book
scuba dive (just once)
Visit a nudist destination

Not to worry. No bucket kicking is eminent. I just get overwhelmed sometimes with things I want to try/experience. And after making this list, I noticed "losing 20 pounds" isn't on the list.

Do I subconsciously not value losing weight (and am therefore not making progress currently?) Will I ironically find myself scrambling to check off bucket list things if I DON'T lose weight? Or am I coming to terms with the fact that my "range" is what it is, and that I'm healthy despite the fact I'm not a size 2?

Not sure. But when i list the experiences most valued by me, losing 20 pounds, "just to be thin" doesn't rank. My cholesterol, when last checked, was 140. with a high HDL ratio to LdL. What more do I need?

I'd really love to cuddle that baby tiger cub. ;)

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FITN49 8/29/2011 7:50AM

    Hey, we have so much in common. I made that list and got started. I learned how to play the piano (well sort of). I have skinny dipped in a warm ocean -- much to my husband's shock and delight when he joined me too!-- North Carolina in the summer -- I highly recommend it. I have decided that I will never read the classics ( forced to do so in school, you see) so I bought my first book on CD-- Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. I would love to go to Kerala too-- will probably visit Denmark where my husband's ancestors are from. emoticon

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RUFUSRIO 3/6/2011 11:07AM

  Thanks for sharing! I love bucket lists!

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PATTISWIMMER 3/5/2011 1:29AM

    kick that bucket and get moving on your list... not just a dream emoticon

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