What To Do When You Are Sick and Tired


William the Conqueror fell off his horse at Ma...

William the Conqueror fell off his horse at Mantes, suffering mortal injuries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 2:30am and I’m up. My body is aching all over and I feel total exhaustion. I feel sad because I want to fill the needs of my family and do my part and I just don’t have the strength or endurance to do that the way it should be done.

My grand-children are so precious to me and I feel like I fail them over and over. It makes me sad. You need energy for children and I just don’t have any.

I am sick and tired. I guess I’ve given in to a little pity party. I know there are plenty of you out there that are in the same boat and understand completely. I don’t have pity parties very often and I need to pick myself up, brush of the dust, and keep movin’! I have a friend who says, “You have to cowboy-up!”  That’s what I need to do, in a plan B kind of way.

The fact is that I am sick. With God‘s help, I’m still here long after everyone thought I would be gone. That’s good! With a focus on that’s good, I don’t feel equal to the tasks that have always been my responsibility. I wish it were different but it’s not. That doesn’t mean I give in or give up, but I have to allow myself to care for myself and do as much as I can and know when to stop. Have you heard that a good barber knows when to stop? It’s kinda like that at a much slower pace.

I always liked to hurdle myself into what lay in my path. It’s hard to slow down. I draw my strength from God everyday and He is faithful.

So. what do you do when you are sick and tired?

Female Horse Rider

Female Horse Rider by Mike Baird

  1. Thank God for every day and every breath you take.
  2. Keep you focus on what is good and positive.
  3. As much as is possible, give yourself the nutrition to keep your body as strong as possible.
  4. Listen to your body and rest as much as it tells you it needs.
  5. When you fall off the horse, pick yourself up and get back in the saddle. Even William the Conqueror fell off his horse.
  6. Love everyday you are given.
  7. Do the best you can and don’t berate yourself for what you can’t do.
  8. Live so you have no regrets.
  9. Count your blessings.
  10. Be thankful for God, your family and friends because without those three things, you would really have a bad day!

OK! I’m back in the saddle. I need to remind myself from time to time of what my attitude needs to be. Hope what I’m experiencing helps someone else out there. We have to encourage one another.

I feel strangely calm after writing this. I think I’m ready to try again. How about you?

I love it when you visit so come again,          Jan

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The Blood Sugar Solution and More


Here is an update about the book, “The Blood Sugar Solution” by Mark Hyman, MD.

The Blood Sugar Solution
http://www.amazon.com & search the name of the book

I’ve been reading and re-reading it for some time (about 40 days). It is what I believe medicine should be. It is called Functional Medicine. In almost every case, and in every area, any system must have balance to function correctly. If you were installing a pond in your yard as a landscape element, all the elements of the pond must fit together in such a way that the pond reaches homeostasis. Homeostasis is the property of a system that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, constant condition of properties such as temperature or pH for ponds.

That’s one example. A car engine is composed of many parts with different functions that must be within a certain range to work in balance with one another at which point you have a fine running car. In our bodies all the parts must work together for us to be healthy and stable. Just as we should run a certain octane gasoline in our car, we need certain elements in our body in certain quantities and we need to feed it a certain quality of food for energy and nourishment. This book is not just for Diabetics. This book explains the 7 areas that need to be in balance for you to be healthy. They are 1. Boosted Nutrition, 2 Regulated Hormones, 3. Reduced Inflammation, 4. Improved  Digestion, 5. Maximized Detoxification, 6. Enhanced Metabolism, 7. Soothed Mind. There are quizzes you can take in each of these areas that will show what areas are possibly in an unbalanced state.  The quizzes check Magnesium, Essential Fatty Acids, Thyroid, Sex Hormones, Inflammation, Digestion, Toxicity, Energy Metabolism, Oxidative Stress, Stress and Adrenal Fatigue, and Diabesity. Once you take the tests, you can take your score and rate what level of imbalance you are in and then follow the plan to put it into balance. As it is in anything worthwhile, nothing is simple. Why? Why? Why? I wish something could be simple!

As you start the plan, you will give yourself a starting point by measuring and weighing.

Journal what you are doing and what changes you notice. Find out what supplements will help in this challenge. You will have to eliminate certain foods and drinks from your diet to break addictions. It gives you guidance on exercise. If you follow the plan, you have the chance of eliminating medication, reversing disease processes, losing weight, and finding a balanced healthy way of living. It will help you know how to maintain this lifestyle choice. I know that if your health is better, then you will be happier. I don’t enjoy being sick. It is a total body adjustment. You will be tuned up and energized.  I know this is a good choice for me and it is my plan to follow the directions I can and continue on the road to making a different choice about my life and my body. Change does not come easy to me. I have already been working on certain changes for the past two years. Some days I do great and other days I fall flat on my face. I get up and start again. My plan is to succeed. I don’t beat myself up. I just pick myself up and dust myself off and continue on my way. I also give myself times when I’m free to do whatever I want without reprisal or guilt.

I hope you will be interested in this book. It is of benefit to everyone no mater what disease you have, whether you are skinny or fat, and no mater what age you are. Come join with me and find your healthy balance.

One Batch of Dish-Soap

Next Update: Homemade Dish-soap

Here is an update on the making of dish soap in the last post. Psychologically it was a little disconcerting because there wasn’t any suds. We are so programmed that it must have suds that when there isn’t any we feel like it isn’t cleaning. The new washers that require the HE brands of detergent, requires that because it is damaging to the washer and not only that. It is harmful to the environment. I finished and bottled the soap. It gave me approximately 5.5 cups of dish soap.  It filled the soap dispenser on the sink and a tall instant coffee jar. I looked up on the internet what ingredient in the formula for store-bought soap makes it suds. It was phosphates. According to many sites,  among other things, phosphates are notorious for promoting algae blooms and similar, aquatic life-snuffing stunts. However, the non-phosphate brands of dish-washing soap just don’t seem to be cutting it — neither grease nor grime.  (http://supermarketnews.com/blog/no-phosphate-rule-makes-suds-dud) So the problem, phosphates are bad for the environment but we want clean dishes.

I thought about the recipe I had mixed up and felt that it covered all the bases since the soap cleans and the vinegar cuts grease and is a rinsing agent. I got up the next morning and noticed a difference with the soap I’d made. My husband did a few dished in the night (He’s a night person.) so I ask him what he had done. He added the little bit of store-bought dish soap into the mix(1/4 cup) to make it at least suds a little. So if you can live with no suds then it works but if you can’t, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup to each container of dish soap so you can see a little bit of suds. It still reduces the footprint and puts less phosphates into the environment. I thought it was pretty cool.

This was a beneficial experiment that I would definitely do when necessary. For my husband, I would have to add a little store-bought soap so he felt they were getting clean. If we didn’t have any at all then he would adjust eventually. I am interested in making my footprint smaller so I can live with it. Hope this is helpful to someone out there. I love finding solutions to everyday problems.

Come visit again…              Jan

Tying Up Loose Ends


What a nice week……with varied temps and some rain. Today it was sunny and 70 degrees. The perfect day.

This was a week of tying up loose ends.

Pictures 1 & 2.

All the Red Clover Blossoms and leaves are dried and bagged.

I will harvest more soon.

1. Half-Filled Gallon Bag Red Clover Blossoms

2. Half -Filled Gallon Bag of Clover Leaves

Worked carefully to not waste anything in the leftovers in the frig.
Browsed through the corners of my mind for creative recipes.

Set up the payments for the June bills.

I Read over and over parts from the book: “The Blood Sugar Solution”.
Battled with myself over what I read.
Since the book isn’t mine; Typed the tests from the book, that help in making health decisions.
Made notes that will help me remember important information later from the book.

I am rather befuddled by some of the things in the book. As usual I will have to blaze my own trail and find my own ways to come as close as I can to do what they’ve described. I agree with so much in the book. In treating disease, they approach it in looking at the  whole body and finding the balance in 7 key areas as they relate and work together in the body. There is a correlation between all the preservatives, dye, pesticides, hormones and other polluting factors and how it affects our body. This isn’t just for diabetics though. I would recommend this to anyone who cares about their health.

I will find a way.

3. An End Stalk of Celery That I’m Re-growing

Picture 3

This picture shows the end of the celery stalk after we ate the stalks. I just put the stalk end in the container with a quarter-inch of water and basically forgot about it. One day it caught my eye and I saw it was growing. I will plant it in the dirt this week. I first told you about this in a post called, “Gratitude and Contentment and How Gardening Helps!”

I sat the container in the pot that contains a pickle especially made for pickling. The pickles will be smaller so I thought it might work in a hanging basket since the pickles are smaller.

4. Flower Bed with a Pink Rose

Picture 4 and 5

I wasn’t outside this week much.

When I went out I discovered that aphids had attacked all of the roses. I have a pink, a white, and a red rose. I had no way to treat the plants and couldn’t go get something ,  I was told by a friend that orange oil could be used to repel the aphids. I have some face cleanser that is all natural ingredients and has a major amount of orange oil  in it. It’s Burt’s Bee Orange Oil Facial Cleanser. I figured I would try it so I put a nickel size spot in a spray bottle and put just a little hot water in with it to dissolve it, then filled the bottle with cooler water. I shook it up really good and sprayed the roses all over. It seemed to work but I didn’t want to use all my face cleaner for that so when we went into town, I got some Whitney Farms 3-in-1 Rose and Flower Care.

5. Close-up of the Pink Rose

Picture 6. This flower bed is flanked on either side by half barrels. One has Lettuce planted in it. I made a salad this week with this lettuce and radishes from the garden, then added cucumber, tomatoes, celery, and onions.

6. Lettuce, One Marigold, One Nasturtium

The other barrel has a plant I don’t recognize that has purple flowers, zinnias that haven’t come up, and hen and chicks. I don’t have a picture of that one.

7. Daisies


Picture 7. This is a raised bed and I have one on either side of my back door.  This bed has Daisies, Snow on the Mountain, another ground cover that is silvery in two tones. There was a field down the street where they brought in fill-dirt. Evidently there were daisies planted in the place where the dirt was picked up because these are cultivated daisies. My husband pulled them up in that field and brought them to me and planted them in my garden. What a sweet guy, going to the free flower store to bring me flowers! You don’t need money to show someone you love them.

8. Echinacea and ONIONS!

Picture 8.

This is the bed on the other side of the back door. I have Echinacea and Onions

English: Echinacea purpurea blooms in a flower...

Echinacea Blooms   Wikipedia

will be hidden behind them. The picture from Wikipedia shows what the Echinacea will look like blooming. My youngest son and his girlfriend gave me the glass sculpture that you can see part of it. It’s made out of glass plates and green vases. I love it! This is just a little of our flower beds I don’t want to talk your arm off so I will say adieu for now. Hope you have a good week.Come and visit again.

Jan


Gathering Red Clover


Today, my husband and I walked near our house and harvested Red Clover.

English: Trifolium pratense, Fabaceae, Red Clo...

Trifolium Pratense (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

To identify it, look for leaves of 3 and occasionally 4 and have a lighter green chevron on each leaf as you can see in the picture. They grow anywhere from 2″ to 16″ tall so they are easy to pick out of the other weeds.The chevron shape on the leaf makes them easy to distinguish from other weeds  and of course, when they are blooming, they are crowned with a purplish globe-shaped blossom that is hard to miss. The blossom is purplish or pinkish so they call it red clover. That makes a lot of sense. Right?

What are they used for?

The red clover is from the pea family. It’s scientific name is Trifolium Pratense.  There are articles that claim it is a food. It can be used in salad preparation both the leaves and the blossoms. You can dry it and make a tea to drink. The reading I’ve done indicates it has medicinal properties. Last but not least you could till it under the soil and increase the nitrogen content.

To pick just the blossom, slip the stem between your first two fingers  so you are cupping the first set of leaves and the blossom. Hold on to it with your thumb and pull up and it pops off rather easily.They were pretty plentiful and in just a short while we had gathered a small bucket that measures almost a gallon.

First thing I did was wash them, drained them in a colander and laid them out in a single layer on a towel the dry off a bit. I separated the blossom and the leaves and put them on different cookie sheets and gave them more time to dry. Before I quit for the day, I cut a round piece of parchment paper and laid a single layer of greens on it. I set my microwave to 5 minutes @ 40 % power  and when I took them out they were dry. After the first plate, you can reduce the time to 4 minutes @ 40% power. I divided it into 6 load and the plate got rather hot.

Washing the Clover

 
 I swished the clover around in the water to get the dust to drop to the bottom of the sink

After Draining in the Colander, Drying on a Towel in the Sink

I had towels in both sinks and a large one on the counter to accommodate the amount of Red Clover we gathered.

Clover Blossoms

I had a more than enough to fill a full cookie sheet.

Leaves and Stems from the Red Clover

Ready to dry the leaves and stems.

One Load Ready to go into the Microwave on Parchment

Five minutes @ 40% power for the first load and Four minutes @ 40% for every load after that. Once I had them all dried, this is how they looked:

Dried Clover Leaves

I spread the Blossoms out on a cookie sheet and left them to dry over night.

I plan is to use them for tea, infusions, and grind up some of the leaves to make a flour. While I can’t eliminate White and Wheat Flours with Red Clover Flour, and can at least lower the amount I am using. Once I get the blossoms completely dried, I will be able to store them in a good sealing jar or container for my use when I need it.

I’m glad for the variety you can find in nature.

I will let you know if I do anything interesting with this foraged and stored item.

Come and visit again,

Jan

Let me know what you know about Red Clover. I would be very interested to hear from someone who has already experience using Red Clover.

Could you tell me any special concoctions you have made with it.

Love and Kale and My Battle


What are whole foods?

Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little

Whole Foods

My Husband’s Favorite Department(Photo: Sifu Renka) 

as possible, before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as salt, carbohydrates, or fat.[1] Examples of whole foods include unpolished grainsbeans, fruits, vegetables and nonhomogenized dairy products.[2] Although originally all human food was whole food,[2] one of the earliest uses of the term post-industrial age was in 1960 when the leading organic food organization called the Soil Association opened a shop in the name selling organic and whole grain products in London, UK.[3]

  • (It could make a difference between some people living and dying.)

The term is often confused with organic food, but whole foods are not necessarily organic, nor are organic foods necessarily whole.

The United States Food and Drug Administration defines whole grains as cereal grains containing thebranendosperm and germ of the original grain.[4] Federal Dietary Guidelines issued by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in 2005 recommended the consumption of at least three servings of whole grains each day, as there is evidence that they help cut risk of cancer and heart disease.[4]

Whole foods

My Favorite Department  (Photo: parislemon)

“Diets rich in whole and unrefined foods, like whole grains, dark green and yellow/orange-fleshed vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, contain high concentrations of antioxidant phenolics, fibers and numerous otherphytochemicals that may be protective against chronic diseases.”[1]

A focus on whole foods offers three main benefits over a reliance on dietary supplements: they provide greater nutrition for being a source of more complex micronutrients, they provide essential dietary fiber and they provide naturally occurring protective substances, such as phytochemicals.[5]    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_foods

  • I told you that I was trying to buy things at the grocery store with 5 or less ingredients but that is just a baby step to me eventually buying only whole foods. (For me and not my husband) It is amazing to me how hard that is when you have family members who only want refined foods. When you show my husband healthy foods, his reply is often ewww gross! It’s healthy! We have been together a long time… we give and take. He has made some amazing changes and I salute  his courage!

Here is the address of the site where whole foods are listed. It is titled: The World’s Healthiest Foods.  http://whfoods.org/foodstoc.php

You can click on any of 127 foods listed as the world’s most healthy and find out what their

A bundle of kale from an organic food co-op.

A bundle of kale (Photo: Wikipedia)

benefits are, how to prepare it so you lose less of the nutrients and last but not least, what nutrients are contained in them. Please go there and check it out. This site is awesome!  Here is a sample. Probably one of the most nutritious vegetables, I believe is Kale. There are a wealth of incredible nutrients in it. For instance, Kale has 1327% of the required daily requirement of Vitamin K. That is only one nutrient. Kale has 21 other nutrients in it. The top three are K, A and C. in one cup cooked Kale that only has 36 calories. That is a super-food undoubtedly. This is only one example. I hope I’ve convinced you to go check it out. Besides the nutrient information you will find recipes after they convince you that it is a good thing!

  • At the same time I’m telling you all this, I will show you my humanity! I live with a junk-food junkie. I can’t tell you how  hard it is to eat healthy with his influences around. For me to live, I need to eat right and he just doesn’t get it.
  • The way we are raised to eat is so ingrained. I don’t expect him to change but I need me

to be strong and I’m having such a hard time with being strong.  I’m having such a pity party! Those sweet potato fries are calling and I’m such a wimp.

I’m glad we love each other, my husband and me, and …like I said…my battles with food are one day at a time….

It’s onward and upward…… Come again,    Jan

The info from the site: http://www.whfoods.com, check it out and let me know if it helps you make decisions about the whole food you want to put in your life. It certainly did me. Inch by inch, life is a cinch….just keep going onward and upward.  Bye.

Vinegar~The Cheapest Wonder Substance on Earth


A couple of years ago we ran into a problem at our house. Darnell told

One of Many Brands of Vinegar

me that his toe nail was thickening and discolored. This was about the time I had a cyst on my toe that was pretty painful so I decided to have it removed. I went to a foot doctor and had that done and then ask her what she does for the fungus that had developed on Darnell’s toe. She gave us a prescription and we went on our way. Nothing like hanging out your laundry in front of God and everybody!!! For the last year Darnell has used that and it ran out recently. He said he didn’t see any difference in his toe except that it seemed to not get any worse.  When we went to our primary Doctor in January, Darnell ask him about it and he said He could prescribe a medication that is very expensive and would be hard on the liver. That was definitely out.

My usual reaction when there is a problem is to dive into the computer and find suggestions for an answer. Everything I read is taken with a grain of salt. I’m not the person that jumps off a cliff or to try anything without it being a reasonable sense to what is said. It has to be safe. I went to several sites and started reading:

http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/article_377.shtml

http://www.grandmas-wisdom.com/toenail-fungus.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Cure-Toenail-Fungus-With-Vinegar

I got the following paragraph from this site:  http://www.myhomeremedies.com/topic.cgi?topicid=266&page=2

Easy cure: Get some cotton balls, apple cider vinegar, athletic tape. Tear off enough cotton ball to cover the nail you want cured. Dip the cotton ball into the apple cider vinegar until it’s saturated. Place the saturated cotton ball over the area you need fixed and tape it in place with the athletic tape. Your nail will get soft after the application so use a nail file to scrape off soft nail. Do this in the morning and before bed for as long as you need. Be vigilant and the infection will go away soon. Just make sure you file off the dead nail as you go and you’ll be clear in no time depending on the infection.

This is what Darnell did only He used gauze pads and taped it on his toe at night before going to bed. We knew it was working after one night. It is amazing. When we tried it …I wasn’t really expecting it to work but knew it couldn’t hurt anything.

As I was searching for the toe nail cure. I found lists everywhere that proclaimed the virtues of vinegar as the answer for “everything from soup to nuts”. it will clean everything. It has all kinds of medicinal properties as well.

I looked on Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar).

Here is a link to Reader’s Digest who has been gathering information for years.  http://www.rd.com/home/150-household-uses-for-vinegar/ They listed 150 uses for vinegar.

I am trying one of the uses I discovered. Having to do with diabetes, they said  that it could help in regulating blood sugars. One of the sites was Wiki that talked about that. The following two paragraphs are from Wiki:

Blood glucose control and diabetic management

Prior to hypoglycemic agents, diabetics used vinegar teas to control their symptoms.[22] Small amounts of vinegar (approximately 25 g of domestic vinegar) added to food, or taken along with a meal, have been shown by a number of medical trials to reduce the glycemic index of carbohydrate food for people with and without diabetes.[24][25][26] This also has been expressed as lower glycemic index ratings in the region of 30%.[27][28]

Diet control

Multiple trials indicate that taking vinegar with food increases satiety (the feeling of fullness) and, so, reduces the amount of food consumed.[29][30] Daily intake of 15 ml of vinegar (750 mg AcOH) might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.[31]   

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar#Blood_glucose_control_and_diabetic_management)

Here is a site that I found many interesting things:

http://www.apple-cider-vinegar-benefits.com/home-remedies.html

From what we have read repeatedly on the internet, scientists have measured ninety different substances in apple cider vinegar such as thirteen types of carbolic acids, four aldehydes, twenty ketones, eighteen types of alcohols, eight ethyl acetates etc. It also contains important minerals, trace elements and vitamins as well acetic acid, propionic acid, lactic acid, enzymes, amino acids as well as roughage in the form of potash and apple pectin.

Apple Cider Vinegar contains minerals and trace elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon, fluorine. An alternative to drinking apple cider vinegar may be to take potassium supplements, as potassium is known to absorb excess fluids (ie, mucous) in the body. Drink lots of water if you take potassium supplements so you don’t get dehydrated! Potassium, by the way, lowers high blood pressure.

Apple Cider Vinegar’s vitamin content includes Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Provitamin beta-carotene, Vitamin P (bioflavonoids).

AMAZING!

Well I know for sure that a mixture of vinegar is good for cleaning windows, helping your dog stop itching, taking the sting out of sunburns, cleaning soap residue out of your washer or your hair, alleviates flatulence or reflux, makes buttermilk by adding to milk, and many more things than I have room to name. All the claims I can’t guarantee but it seems to be a very valuable resource for under 2 Dollars for 1 gallon. Buy a gallon and do some reading and put it to your own test. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I knew it was a good thing but I didn’t know to what extent. Thanks for visiting me as I journey along my garden path. Come again soon,

                  Jan

Hindsight and Forward Thinking


Hindsight is 20/20 is it not?

About 11 years ago my life changed drastically. I went through a horrendous corporate downsizing event. I lost the job that I truly loved. No I wasn’t a Brain Surgeon! It did not require that level of intelligence but I loved providing a service. To do that in a way that brings pleasure and enjoyment to others and are treated with respect, brought me joy. I did my job well and I found the chance connections in life are meant to produce something of value in each exchange. It wasn’t just a job to me. I believe  that the experiences we have. good and bad. are there for a reason  and that is as others pass that way, that you may somehow help them find their way and bring them comfort. If we all live our life that way then none of us are alone. Because of the value I put on this resource of connection, I felt great sorrow when I lost my job especially when I had trouble finding another job. I loved working.

Have you heard the statement that 90% of all illness is stress related? In looking back at this time, I came to believe it is true. The two to three years of downsizing process is very stressful, humiliating, and you are in anxious limbo. I was eliminated on in the last sweep on my birthday…isn’t that funny? I didn’t think so …I thought it was cruel and thoughtless.

I began not feeling so well. I started feeling tired beyond the normal and felt weak. I had several episodes where it was like my one leg didn’t get the message from the brain about what it was to do. Not realizing at the time that what was happening. I was having mini strokes. I was telling my Dr. what was going on and he said it wasn’t anything to worry about. I believed him at least for a while.

I did finally get a job in a factory. It was a little out of my realm of experiences but it was good.  I was so glad. I continued to not feel well and it progressed. I rode my bike to work and one day I rode in and when I was to stop my legs wouldn’t come off the peddles to the ground so I could stop. I ran into the wall and crashed. That was a bit unsettling but I picked myself up and brushed myself off and kept going. The days that followed, I picked a softer landing spot. 🙂 I lost the job though which had never happened in this way. I was fired. I put something into a mold backwards and it cracked the mold. I felt bad but I went and found another job. I went back to my comfort zone working in medical records in a large Doctor’s Office. I had never gotten a bad review in my life up to the point when I got fired but after trying for 3 months, I didn’t pass the probationary period and I was let go. I’m a persistent little cuss so I went to another hospital and got a job as a registration specialist. The same thing happened and they let me go. Now I was crushed. I could see that there was something terribly wrong. I still tried again. I worked as a cashier in a gas station . I tackled that with the same gusto as always and  I enjoyed it.  I was taking things in stride but things were catching up with me.

Right Carotid Artery

I could see I was not my normal self. My brain just was not functioning like it had in the past. I went back to the Doctor and he

still said it was nothing. I was just aging. I was mad now so I  went and found another Doctor. I had been documenting things for a long time and showed him the same list I had shown the other Doctor and he right away sent me for certain tests. He thought I might have MS.  It ended up my carotid arteries were blocked on one side and all but 1% on the other. Making a long story short, after seeing a specialist, I was told there was nothing they could do. By this time I was having trouble climbing stairs My exhaustion level was extreme. The very tactless Doctor said I could drop over at any time. I don’t mind truth but it didn’t need to be so graphic. I worked at the gas station till I couldn’t anymore.

This Doctor  had my whole family in an uproar when he worded it that was, that I could drop over any time. I didn’t have the strength to deal with it. My family started hovering and figuring out what I should and shouldn’t do. I had to tell them to back off and that I was not going to crawl into a hole and get ready to die but was planning to live life in a good  way till it was time to go.  Here I am 11 years later …still weak and exhausted but living life in a way that is productive and satisfying. God has shored me up and I’m still paddling. (I know, the West Virginia dialect in me just has to come out from time to time. ) May of last year I saw signs that the disease was progressing as my eyes  developed hemorrhages caused by pressure as the blockage moved  north toward the brain. I can still see some of out of the left eye…so I’m still paddling!!  I’m thankful for what I have.

This is where hindsight comes into the picture. If I could rewind time, I would have listened to my gut feelings. Doctors are not infallible and they can have an off day as well just like you or me. I had too much confidence in them and thought they were always right. It is only by a blessing from God that I haven’t lost my life way too young. I was not used to bucking the system or trusting my own intuition. Who knows what’s normal in your body better than you? If you feel like something is wrong then you need to persist and search for an answer until you are satisfied and at peace that you have found the right answer about what you are experiencing.

God was a part of my life long before all of this happened. He is my mainstay and gives me strength, encouragement, and comfort through it all. He is constant and unchanging. It makes it all a little easier.

Remember, you can tell if something is not normal so trust your instinct and act sooner than later so that things can be taken care of in a timely manner. Send me your comments or questions anytime and come walk with me down my garden path.

Thanks for Stopping by,

Jan

Modus Vivindi…a practical compromise


Image representing SparkPeople as depicted in ...

Free Site for Life-Changing Help

I heard once that if you have something about yourself that you want to change,you must do that thing the new way 7 times for every time you have done it the old way. That is staggering! When I thought about how many times I chose to disregard good common sense about food, it’s a bit overwhelming. I’m telling you this so you understand where I was 17 months ago. At that time I was searching for information for my friend about carbohydrates. I knew very little about carbs. 29 years ago when I became a diabetic you avoided “sugar” and counted calories. As I found sites with good directions about eating carbs, I was learning as I passed it on to her. Site after site, I gathered and one of the sites caught my eye. The site was Spark People (www.sparkpeople.com). When I was done, I went back to check it out. It’s free so I started the registration process. I put in all the normal info you give out to register and then the medical and physical questions started. It was a little intimidating. It was taking me places I didn’t even want to think about. They ask for my weight and height and they ask me to take my measurements. This was definitely not a place I wanted to go.

Weight has always been something I struggled with… or not. By that I mean that there were times I didn’t care what size I was. I just wanted to be happy and have fun. After trying every diet known to man or woman, beating myself up mentally, and dealing with depression for longer than is good for anyone, I had decided I wasn’t beating myself up anymore because I liked myself except for my weight. The debate had to end. And I was in that state till I started with Spark People.

My background  is southern barely. I am from West Virginia and my family excelled at cooking and every event in our lives was punctuated with food. I don’t think any of it was ever low-fat, low carb, or low anything else. I didn’t hear anyone discussing health in connection with nutrition. If you liked it and it made you feel good, you ate it.

My Dad loved to eat. In my family eating was an event, a celebration, the fun you looked forward to. Now I know this is strange but then I thought it was normal. In the summer, my dad would get a cantaloupe, cut it in half, take the seeds out and fill the hole in the middle with ice cream. He would eat the ice cream and the cantaloupe bowl it is in. I’m sure I was trying to keep up with him. Anything to do with a special meal was enormous. There was lots of food around. As I grew up I was always plump but close to somewhat reasonable.  There was a 15 year period that would expose my modus vivendi though. The family teaching and experiences growing up, along with my lack of enough knowledge or discipline, caught up with me when I got married and started my own family.

Not long after I married, I became diabetic.  I was immature and unprepared for everything that I faced. As the onslaught of battles came my way, all the internal demons involving diabetes and my weight raised “its ugly head”. My depression increased and five years into this struggle I decided I would be happy with myself no matter what size I was..

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator, December 2...

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator

After Spark People gathered the basic information, they told me how to use the site to track all that would help me to change my life. They set my calorie amount based on my current weight not based on what a women of my age and height should be. They didn’t want me to jump off a cliff but to just start developing some healthy habits. After a time you can alter the amount of calories, etc. You list everything you eat and it tells you what it provides for you nutritionally and tells you the calories, carbs, fats, and proteins. But the focus isn’t on the calories or the carbs, They just want you to be honest with yourself. Put down everything you eat, good and bad. Then they start sending the information that is needed for you to decide you want to have a life-style change.  They don’t want you on a diet. They want you to change you life in the easiest way possible with all the support they can give. The site sends you informative and encouraging articles constantly. Today they sent me one called,

“9 Simple Tricks to Eat Less.

1. Enjoy every bite!   “mmmm~ummm” my quote not theirs

2. Use smaller plates, cups and bowls.

4. Know your pitfalls.

3. Pre-portion your food.

5. Keep a food journal.

6. Use the proper plate method

7. Pack in the protein

8. Doggie bag it

9. Eat Breakfast

I must have been using my brain for a hat rack, since these are basically common sense. What was I thinking. These tools are so excellent in helping you fight the things that stand between you and success. Just 2 things from the list will guarantee some weight loss. Use a smaller plate and use the proper plate method. Go and read the whole thing though because the list isn’t good till you read it all. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id1386

Exercise is required to see a change. I believe that but I am physically not able to exercise like a normal person. When I went to the section they had to help you set up a schedule of chosen exercises, I figured I was tough out of luck, In the search line, I typed seated exercises and it pulled up a full section with things I could do. They showed me after I viewed a normal week of eating, how to set my intake amount so that even without activity, I could lose weight. I was reassured that what I was committing myself to was actually possible.

What is really amazing about this article is that 17 months ago, I didn’t knew a lot about what to eat.  I thought I knew but it was a scattered cosmic clutter in my brain. Now when I read an article all of the pieces are in place. The knowledge is there, the desire is there, and the encouragement is there. In 14 months I lost 60 pounds and have kept them off. In the last 8 months I have had 3 eye surgeries. I can see out of one eye not bad and at this time I’m blind in the other eye, only seeing light and contrast. There is the possibility I can have surgery this summer and improve that some. I am looking forward to many things and one of them is to be able to walk some so I can start taking off more weight. It is … I can’t even tell you how wonderful it feels to succeed after 30 years..  I feel like a different person

The reason I’m encouraged, is that I have changed my life-style and my whole thought process and in so doing, even though I’m a foodie,  I know that this can be a permanent change. That seems diametrically opposed! But it’s not. The YoYo scenario from the past that was so dangerous physically and mentally, is not the established norm now. I feel in my heart that I will, in a very slow, healthy way, take the amount of weight off that is needed. In the end, I may not weigh 100 pounds because I will continue on this exploration till I find the spot where I am contented, healthy  and happy. I don’t have a modus vivendi because the opposing things that pulled me in two different direction have now made peace. I can lose weight, be healthy and still love food. If this describes you, then come with me down my garden path. If you every have a question or you have information you want to share, please feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you. I know we can learn from one another.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan

Yogurt, Ice cream, and a Busy Weekend


This was such and exciting project! I was so happy with how it turned out. It is very creamy and I added a teaspoon of raspberry preserves to it.What an Awesome Breakfast!!.  

Here is the recipe:

8 cups Milk – any form 

Milk Warming in the Crock Pot

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder

1/2 cup store-bought yogurt (it must say “with live active cultures”)

2 Tablespoons Honey or sugar to feed the culture 

 Tools Needed

A Crock Pot that holds a little over 8 cups or more.

A Candy Thermometer

Colander and Bowl to catch liquids

Piece of cotton cloth that will fit down into the colander and hang over the sides enough so you can strain the yogurt

Towels or smaller blanket

Directions:

1.Take the 1/2 cup yogurt and put in a 2 cup container. Leave set out on the counter so that it is room temperature.

2. Place 6 cups milk in the crock pot and turn it on to low setting. Take 1 cup of dry milk powder and add gradually as you actively whisk the remaining 2 cups of milk in a bowl. Mix till smooth.Add Honey or sugar of choice. Add back to the milk in the crock pot. With the lid on, heat this way for 3 hours.  Check the temperature midway through and toward the end of the time. The range you are aiming for is 150 to 180 degrees. I sometimes start mine of high and lower it  after an hour.

Keeping The Yogurt Warm

3. When you reach the target temperature, turn it off. Check every hour.Note your temperature and watch for it to drop to between 110 – 115 degrees.When it reaches that temp, do the next step.

4. Take out 1 cup of hot milk (110 degree). and drizzle it into the yogurt slowly using a whisk. Once it’s mixed, add the mixture to the crock pot. Put the lid back on and cover the crock pot with several towels. (to keep it warm and draft free.Check the temperature every hour for  a few hours keeping it at the 110 temperature. If it drops below that  temp, turn on the crock pot to warm for about 5 minutes then turn it off.Continue keeping it covered and warm. do this till you go to bed for the night

 The Towel Wrapped Crock Pot will just sit until you get up in the morning.On Sunday morning when I got up, I was happy to see a                                                                                                           good batch of Yogurt waiting for me

5. The Whey is the liquid you see in the pot with the yogurt.

Looks Like Yogurt

This has to be drained off so that you have a thicker yogurt.

Take a colander and set it in a bowl that will keep the bottom of the

colander up out of the liquid. The liquid will drain quickly at first.so

drain off and empty the whey into a storage jar and refrigerate.

  

Draining the Whey

Put the Colander in the refrigerator with a bowl under it to finish

draining. I left it in there about 6 hours and the product that emerged

is the consistency of Greek Yogurt.

.

            

 

 

Isn’t this super looking Greek Yogurt? Believe me, it tastes

Great Results!

really good and you can use it to eat like Greek Yogurt and as

sour  cream, where ever you use it, for cooking, and making

awesome smoothies.It takes a day more or less. If you are busy that

will be hard..

If you are busy but at home … it can be done. I make cottage

cheese by the same method using rennet instead of yogurt starter.

I hope you will try this and get to enjoy the spoils of your labor.

Now you say, weren’t you telling us about an ice cream project? What happened to that? The base Chocolate Ice Cream ~ done without an ice cream maker ~ Recipe, is unbelievable! So far our sugar-free trials have failed but we aren’t giving up yet. I think soon I will go ahead and give you the ice cream recipe that takes regular sugar and when I have news about the sugar-free project, I will let you know.

I hope you enjoy the Yogurt recipe as much as I have. As a diabetic, this is a great tool. The nutritional information for 6 oz. of the Greek style yogurt is approximately:  Calories – 80    Carbohydrates – 6   Protein – 15. If you take 6 oz yogurt and 1/2 c. frozen strawberries, unsweetened combined in a blender with a little splenda. Like the snap of your fingers.. dessert around 119 calories and 16 carbs. Such a treat. These kinds of food tools are helpful to help control your blood sugar and also to give you variety in the diet.

Thanks for stopping by my garden path, Like we say in West Virginia, ya’ll come back, hear?!!!

Jan

About the Web Links on my Site:


About the Web Links on my Site:

7 – an experimental mutiny against excess

This was an experience, just thinking about this. I’m hoping for myself that it changes my perspective and keeps me balanced. Go to this site and check and see if this is a book you would like to read. Look at the responses of those who reviewed it. It’s good for me to shake up my thinking, chew on it a few days and look for where I might make changes. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12171769-7 The site I have on the lower left is the blog of the author, Jen Hatmaker.

http://www.Medify.com

This site blew my socks off! For the last 10 years since I found out I was ill, I have tried to search for infomation left and right. I have found it so hard to find anything of substance. The site starts out with this statement: Medical Research is complex, the search for it shouldn’t have to be. I agree. They have enlisted a large number of medical research facilities and schools and testing facilities. On Medify, in one place you can look at everything that is happening with many conditions and diseases. As a disclaimer, I will say that I can’t vouch for them and I can’t say that they have all the information because I don’t have the resources to check everything out but enter and weigh for yourself and see what your opinion is of the site. I have to say even though it’s just my opinion, I am very excited to find such a place that I can go and look for information. I hope it is of help to some of you.

What does Spock say? Live well and Prosper!

Jan

Image

Finding Our Way Through the Maze


Medication Box

Medication Box

Hi there,

Today is going to be a serious blog. It’s about finding the right way to make good decisions and what you may need to know to do that. The decision I’m talking about is picking your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan. Hindsight always makes things clearer so I wanted to tell my story. What things did I needed to know to make it turn out much better.The last couple months we have had a few challenges. My husband and I are on Social Security early because of disability. We have Medicare and every fall all seniors on Medicare sign up for the medical prescription program and it has progressed and now it extends to cover Dr. and Hospital bills which is called Medicare Advantage. We were very resourceful and gathered information on the two plans available to us in our area and made a decision. We felt good! We had a nightmare of a year in 2011. The first of December we signed up for our plan. The plan included a mail order medication program. That sounded like a good decision because:

  • Mailed right to your door
  • $0 Co-pays on generic medications
  • Reminders when to refill

We pay less money because of lower copays and less gas money. We input all our medications into the system to make sure they were on their formulary. We were delighted to find they covered all but 1 medication. We sailed through Christmas feeling pretty good and relaxing a bit since our experience in 2011 was almost more than we could take. We had a very rough year.

January 1, 2012 our plan took effect. They told us to make an appointment with our Dr. Have him send all our prescriptions to the mail order program. Step one right? We waited for everything to fall into place. My husband’s medications came back pretty quickly. Mine was a different matter. He has normal aging conditions for the most part. My dosages are irregular and not in the normal range because I am seriously ill. As soon as they received my list, all kinds of warning signals went off. They started calling the Dr. office and telling him they needed clarification. What puzzled me was that they didn’t phone him once with a complete list of questions that needed their clarification but there was repeated calls in a three-week period.Every time that happened it put the order on hold and it was as though it went back to step one  They said once it was clarified , it would be a week to ten days before it would be sent. It was a worrisome time as I was nearing being out of my medications.

The persons who answered the calls had no idea about medical things, couldn’t spell the medications, and had trouble finding anything on the computer. This definitely made the whole process painfully slow. I started on the 5th of January and it took till February 16th for me to get all the medications. I had been out of almost all of my medications two weeks by the time they arrived. Here are a list of question you should have your Doctor answer and choices you should make:

  • Get the physical prescription and send it to them yourself
  • Have your Doctor send a statement that you have not had any drug interactions with the current prescriptions
  • Ask the Doctor if the doses are within the normal prescribing guidelines
  • Don’t give them a payment method but have them invoice you for the purchases.

Mail Order Prescription Plans can be very beneficial.  If you are fairly healthy then you it should be fairly simple. If you are seriously ill the list above should help.

Because of the extreme cost of my medication I have to calculate the cost of my medications to the Insurance Company. I never could get a price quote. Since I am seriously ill and on many medications, I have to know when I’m going into the donut  hole. Just in case you don’t know what that is, here is a quick overview of the Donut Hole or Coverage Gap.

Last year basically I was in the donut hole by the middle of the year and at that time you pay the full price for some and a percentage on others. Needless to say we struggled most of the year.I know, this is a long, drawn out donut hole saga. How things proceed this year had to be very important and so I ask them about the cost to the Insurance Company.

Once I had the invoice, I was able to see and be able to calculate when I would reach the dreaded donut hole.

I don’t know about you but the whole situation made me nervous and a little bit crazy!

I am back on the medications for a week now and slowly getting back to normal. I haven’t been feeling very well but things are looking up. In a couple of months I will figure out the next step in this crazy challenge.

I’m thankful for my insurance and  This year is going to be better. Keep in mind what I said about how they look at your prescriptions and what questions to have answered so that it goes much smoother. Hope this problem never crosses your path but if it does then I hope some of my tips will be of help to you. Thanks for coming to visit. Hope your path is wide and clear of big rocks!  🙂

Journey Along the Garden Path

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