Tag Archives: health

what I’ve been into

TV that I’m into: “Playing House” on USA with Jessica St. Claire and Lennon Parham. I’ve been binge-watching this show, and I LOVE it. It’s exactly my sense of humor. It also has the added bonus of having Keegan-Michael Key in it.

TV that I’m looking forward to: “I’m Sorry” with Andrea Savage on TruTV

Books I’ve been reading: I’ve been reading A LOT lately, which is good. Just finished a historical novel called The Ghost of the Mary Celeste. It’s based on a real incident, and pulls a lot from history including the Spiritualism craze, Arthur Conan Doyle, and more. I just started my second Erik Larson book, In The Garden of Beasts. It’s about the American consulate in Germany during WWII and his family.

Work stuff: Just finished a book on Ethereum, which is Bitcoin’s competition. It’s unique in that you can create applications on its blockchain, it’s not just for currency. If that makes no sense to you, look it up, I’m not going to summarize the book again. I usually just get blank stares. Still working on the book for my Gildshire articles, too, just finished up editing and writing the intros.

What I’ve cooked/baked lately: Made no-bake brownies with black beans and dates. It’s more like fudge than brownies, but it’s delicious. Getting out a slice is kind of like digging for fossils, because they have to be frozen, but it’s worth it. I also made homemade tomato sauce the other day. It was a bit runny, but I can thicken it up by just reducing it some more. I didn’t make this, but we tried Ben and Jerry’s “One Love” ice cream flavor, which is banana ice cream, graham cracker, caramel, and chocolate peace signs. Chris says it might be his new favorite.

Fitness stuff: Still using the good ol’ mini trampoline and rowing machine most nights. I take just one day off a week. Also got myself a resistance band, which is very convenient. Looking forward to having the toned arms of my dreams. It’s been gross and hot lately, so haven’t been exercising outdoors as much as I (or Yoshi) would like, but what can ya do. I know weight isn’t the goal here, but I am happy that I’ve successfully went down to about 155 after plateauing at 160 for so long. Paying attention to macros and sugar has made the difference. It doesn’t matter if I’m eating just 1200 calories if way too many of them are coming from sugar.

Novel stuff: Still steadily working on my Harley Gray novel. I filled out one notebook, so I’m on to a new one. That feels like an accomplishment. Been focusing a lot on trying to actually picture my characters moving around in the world I’ve created, so I can convey that to the reader. That means writing a lot of stuff that won’t actually end up in the book. I’m still figuring out how to get that in the story without actually putting it in the story (like a character’s whole marriage, basically), but I enjoy the challenge.

So that’s pretty much it, that’s what I’ve been doing. Small group meets again soon. Chris’ parents will be visiting, which means beach day!

 

 

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Taking Medication On Vacation

We went to Hawaii for my grandma’s 90th birthday, which meant lots of plane rides and 3-hour time difference. It also meant plying myself with lots of pills in order to stay as functional as possible. What are some ways that I managed this?

Tip #1: Stick with number of hours between pills, and not actual time

I usually take my first pill between 10:30 – 11:30 am, but during travel, the time changes. Instead of focusing on the actual time of day, I just paid attention to how many hours had passed between pills. At night, it resets, so I started taking my pill about an hour after I woke up, around 10 am Hawaii time.

Tip #2: Dramamine is amazing

I was worried about feeling sick on the airplane and all the car rides, so I took the less-drowsy formula about two hours before getting on a plane or in a car. It completely reduced any nausea I might have felt. A few nights, I would start to feel nauseated randomly – probably because my body was adjusting to a different pill schedule – and Dramamine would help with that, too.

Tip #3: Always carry food and water

I never went anywhere without my water bottle. Staying hydrated is key to not feeling ill in heat, whether or not there’s medication involved. I always tried to carry food with me, like a protein bar, because my second pill of the day would fall around 2pm, which was after we had eaten lunch and before dinner. Depending on what we were doing, going to get food wasn’t an option, so I had to have something with me.

Tip #4: Don’t forget how many pills you’ve taken

This is a weird problem I have sometimes, where I will forget if I just took a pill or not. It’s become so automatic, when the alarm goes off, I act on reflex. Sometimes I eat before, and sometimes I eat after, so that doesn’t help me remember. One day, I forgot if I had taken the pill, and not wanting to risk the withdrawal from a missed dose, I took the pill. I’m pretty sure I ended up double-dosing myself, which resulted in a headache. Thankfully, taking two pills wasn’t nearly as bad as three (which would make me instantly sick), and I was able to walk it off and drink lots of water to feel better.


All in all, having to take three pills a day didn’t interfere with the vacation too much, and I was able to relax and enjoy everything that went on. There was only one major miscommunication with the family about it all, which reminded me that other people need to be privy to my schedule. That isn’t a problem I’ve encountered before, because usually I have an identical schedule and only take my last pill of the day with others around, and it’s usually just Chris and we’re at home.

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Since I started this round of therapy, goals have been very important. It’s a tangible way to measure progress and to keep tabs on how specific actions and environments are affecting me. It’s also a way to ensure that I don’t feel “stuck,” or trapped in a cycle with no way out.

I’ve always made resolutions every new year. In the past, they’ve included things like “get six-pack abs,” “read more books,” and so forth. I like to mix both fun and serious goals into my resolutions, otherwise the year can look overwhelming and exhausting.

2014 Resolutions:

Make a homemade pizza

Yoga 5-6 times a week

Ace my class

Perfect a a donut recipe

Read more

Drink more water

Watch one movie on Netflix a week

Try one new recipe a month

Take A Look At What I’m Reading: “Quiet” by Susan Cain

ImageIt took me a while to get into this book, but once I did, I found myself underlining a lot of statements and then whole paragraphs that perfectly described me.

I’ve always preferred to work alone and be left alone. All of my hobbies were solitary: puzzles, writing, and reading. Not much has changed since then. When I’m doing academic work, I need isolation; in high school, study hall was completely useless. When I had to write a long thesis-like paper, I got the paper done in half the assigned time because I worked alone during long periods of solitary time (to be fair, that was also the year I barely attended class, so while others sat in earth science, I was busy researching from the comfort of my couch).

The part that grabbed me was when Ms. Cain started discussing group dynamics and how introverts interact in them, and even how being in groups is considerably less efficient than working alone. It affirmed my dislike of working in groups. I had to do it all through high school, but my worst experience was in college, when we had to do a group presentation on a topic in my New Testament class. It’s always tricky to decide how to divide up group work; how can a presentation be coherent and streamlined with 3-4 different people each working at their own skill level and with their own unique style? It’s like asking a committee to design a horse; you always end up with a camel. We didn’t have much time for the presentation, so we each did our part without ever seeing the others. There was weird places where things overlapped, gaps, and one of the students in our group just decided it was the perfect time to go on a rant about an irrelevant topic he was passionate about. We got a low score and I remember thinking, “Duh. Group presentations just don’t work.”

In her book, Ms. Cain writes that studies keep coming up that show group brainstorming is not efficient, even though people who participate believe they performed better than they did in reality. Problems with group brainstorming are aplenty, including the tendency for extroverts to dominate the session while introverts withdraw and are less likely to bring forth their own ideas. I’ve worked with younger people and seen this in practice; extroverts will speak louder and quicker, which often means they haven’t thought about their ideas first. Introverts were quiet and needed more coaxing. Further in the book, Ms. Cain says a troubling fact is that even if an answer is wrong, mixed groups of both introverts and extroverts are more likely to believe it is right, even if individually they have decided upon the correct answer.

Luckily, in this age of the internet, online brainstorming in groups works really well, because people are basically still alone. There isn’t a fear of having to deal with people face-to-face or a sense of time running out. The internet is totally a good thing and I will challenge anyone who says otherwise.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

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I always go on these health sprints. They are short and overly ambitious, such as deciding I’m not going to eat any sugar. That’s not going to happen, especially since it directly contradicts one of my other goals, which is baking more.

I read somewhere that adding things is always easier than subtracting. It’s the same philosophy that states that repeating positive actions is more efficient than trying to stop negative ones. So, this time, instead of trying to cut things out of my diet, I’m adding.

1. Water

I’ve made it a goal to essentially be constantly drinking water. People are supposed to drink something like 8 glasses a day, which, after feeling like a camel preparing to enter the desert after only 3 large glasses, seems insane. However, it’s been about three days since I started my water regiment and I already feel a lot better. I have more energy, I feel lighter, and less hungry at mealtimes. When we feel hungry, especially between meals, it often means that we’re actually thirsty. So drink water.

2. Replacing sugar

I’ve tried this a couple times already, and it doesn’t mean “less” calories necessarily, but better ones than white sugar. I’ve used honey and applesauce in a few recipes. I’m also looking up desserts based on avocados, dates, bananas, so I’m still getting to eat all the desserts I love, but they’re better for me, like instead of buying ice cream, blending frozen bananas into a creamy cold mixture and adding flavorings like peanut butter or Nutella. It’s also cheaper that way.

3. Exercise

This is probably the hardest thing to add, because I’m wimpy about being sore and such. I’m getting back into some yoga, working with my exercise ball and kettle bell, and squats. I also do a lot of push-ups, which I HATE, but I’m still just so happy I can actually do them now after not being able to, oh, I don’t know, my entire life.

Linked In #2

Here is part two of Linked In Thursdays!

ImageI love the idea of this blog. I used his hiking guide to prepare for our first attempt at real walking in Gooseberry Falls. Hint: Bring almonds and raisins. I get tired easily and a handful of nuts/dried fruit actually gives me a really nice energy boost.

http://www.nerdfitness.com/

ImageI love Jonathon Merritt. He wrote “A Faith of Our Own Following: Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars” and he frequently writes about pastors who say controversial things and responds with grace, but never stops being assertive and firm. This particular article is about a joke Mark Driscoll made about climate change and how he intends to keep driving his SUV because “God isn’t going to burn up the earth anyway.” Driscoll responded to criticism by saying it was just a joke and everyone should relax. This excuse is all too common, most notably in cases where people make rape jokes. As Jonathon Merrit says, “Some things just aren’t funny.”

http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2013/05/15/some-things-just-arent-funny-a-response-to-mark-driscoll/

ImageThis is super random, but super beautiful. I especially love the excerpt at the very beginning.

http://ruhlman.com/2012/09/the-magic-of-making-salt/

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Lots of citations, direct quotes. I’ve always thought the weakest part of the Republican message in terms of relating to the message of Jesus was conservative economics, and this article shows some examples of how. It troubles me how these politicians blatantly misuse Scripture and either don’t know or don’t care.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/09/25/2677421/how-house-republicans-are-preaching-a-false-gospel-about-food-stamps/

 

 

Linked In

It’s pretty exhausting to think of profound things to say some days, so I thought I’d follow in the footsteps of one of my favorite bloggers (Sarah Bessey, author of the upcoming Jesus Feminist) and share some links of some cool things I’ve been into lately. I’m always surfin’ the web, so let’s hang five (or four, to be specific).

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How To Substitute Sugar

This is a super handy page, it gives you the ratios for different kind of sweeteners, like honey and agave nectar.

http://www.myrealfoodlife.com/part-3-how-to-substitute-sugar/

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The “Good Guy” Myth

This little essay challenges the popular “friendzone” term and the belief that girls always pick a-holes, leaving the “good guys” on the sidelines. Just how “good” are these “good guys” if they get so upset that a girl doesn’t want more than friendship from them?

http://sites.duke.edu/develledish/2012/01/30/the-good-guy-myth/

ImageTeen Creates Bio-Plastic From Banana Peels

A young scientist from Turkey finds a way to replace the petroleum-based plastic lining in electrical cables with banana peels. Whaaaaaat?

http://www.freshfruitportal.com/2013/07/02/teen-creates-bio-plastic-from-banana-peels/?country=united%20states

Image“God Bless America” and Republicans: How The Song Became An Anthem of Conservatives and the Christian Right

This one’s a bit controversial (I’m a political person, I often fuel controversy), so feel free to discuss. This essay is taken from a full book on the subject, and examines how and why this song has become more closely associated with Republicans than Democrats. I would go further and say that patriotism is very often claimed by conservatives as being “a conservative value” and it can be isolating to those who don’t agree with them, as if not being a Republican means you “hate America.” On Facebook, a huge number of patriotic fan pages are dominated by conservatives; it’s pretty difficult to find a page that isn’t so clearly biased.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/culturebox/2013/07/_god_bless_america_and_republicans_how_the_song_became_an_anthem_of_conservatives.html