Category: Helpful Ideas
When I think of grief, I think of sorrow, sadness, and regret. I was not consciously grieving in a traditional way, so I was caught off guard by my mood and my physical symptoms.
I can see how someone who has no assurance of a better life after death could be overwhelmed with grief after a parent dies, but I can back up my assurance for my Mom and Dad with many scriptures. I have grieved with friends who have faced the deaths of children and spouses. There is great sorrow, even when there is knowledge that they will meet again in heaven.
However after watching my Mom cope bravely with life for four months paralyzed and unable to speak, there was a lot of relief and solace mixed with the sadness when she passed away. I moved toward settling legal issues and resuming my life. Yet something was missing. It was hard to define. There was a spark, an enthusiasm, that just wasn’t there. I found myself skipping exercise and snacking at night. Healthy snacks, of course, I was smarter than to sink to eating avoids.
Most upsetting, I began to have indigestion – for the first time since starting the BTD 7 years ago.
A series of e-mails with my sister, led us both to realize that we were grieving. I described my mood as mentally active but emotionally lethargic. She said that we had been so focused on Mom, that we had never grieved for Dad. I said that I wasn’t sad, but there was a hole in my life.
Once I realized that I was experiencing grief in an unexpected way, I began to take action. I’m doing a better job of planning my exercise. I’m getting more sleep. I’m listening to less news and more music.
Nutritionally I bought some fresh ginger and juiced it. I also increased my ghee intake. I’m encouraged, just two days on ghee and ginger has almost totally eliminated the feelings of indigestion.
Now that I know I’m grieving, I understand that it will be a process. There won’t be any shortcuts. I am confident that faith will lead me through. And in the meantime, I’m glad that beneficial food will relieve the physical symptoms.
Two friends have had knee replacement surgery in the past month. One is a single woman (Type O) whose surgery was in Texas and whose rehab was at a live-in nursing facility. The other was a married man (Type A) whose surgery was in England and whose rehab was at home. Both of them agree that rehab from knee surgery is excruciatingly painful.
Both of their doctors were very honest before the surgery. They said rehab would be pain worse than childbirth. Pain that would daily bring them to tears. Both of my friends thought that the doctors were exaggerating to make sure that they took their therapy and exercises seriously. Wrong; the doctor was painting an accurate picture.
The man described his experience using words like “torture” and “the rack”. The woman said, “More than once I was reduced to quivering and blubbering.” I’m not sure either of them would have had the surgery if they had known how horrible the recovery would be. I will follow up in a year, after they have had a chance to use their new knees, and see how they feel about it then.
But for now, they had two bits of advice for me, which are worth passing on to you.
First – keep your leg muscles strong now. If you don’t have knee problems, be thankful and build up the muscles in your legs so that your knee joint is supported. If you are overweight, all those extra pounds are adding stress to your knees. Think preventive. Be proactive.
If you have knee pain now (as I do) obey your physical therapist. Exercise those quads. Stay active and flexible. A lot of knee surgery can be avoided. When you strengthen your leg muscles, you take pressure off of the joint and give it a chance to heal. My husband had a tear in his meniscus. Physical therapy for several months and continuing to do his exercises has him 100% pain free without surgery. My patella femoral pain is more difficult to treat, but I have improved so much. The minor twinges I still get are a warning to keep up the exercises. Women my age have trouble building muscle because of hormone changes. I really have to work at it.
Second – If your knee pain is debilitating, and you are headed for knee replacement surgery, my friends recommend 3 months of work with a physical therapist or a personal trainer before the surgery. They say that the stronger your muscles and the more flexible your ligaments before surgery, the better off you will be in rehab.
I got my seasonal flu shot about a week ago. I didn’t blog about it immediately because I wanted to see if there were any ill effects. There were not. My arm was not particularly sore. I didn’t run any fever, no aches or pains. I felt perfectly normal. I did have a headache three days later, but I think it would be a stretch to blame that on the shot.
I got the shot because of my Mom. The rehab facility has signs posted everywhere warning visitors to stay away if they or anyone in their household has any flu-like symptoms. I do not want to risk exposing my Mom or any of the residents with flu.
On the day I got the shot I actually had an appointment for an annual physical. The day before there had been one news report after another about flu cases in our area. Doctors were interviewed on the radio who were seeing hundreds of flu patients a week. I woke up thinking, “Why am I going to sit in a waiting room with a bunch of flu germ carriers? Why put myself at that kind of risk?” I cancelled the doctor appointment and called a local pharmacy that gives flu shots. They said that they were almost out of seasonal vaccine and if I wanted a shot, I should come that very morning. So I switched my schedule and got the shot.
I am more wary about the H1N1 vaccine. The nasal spray is a live virus. I know I don’t want that. The shot is a dead (inactivated they call it) virus. Right now all H1N1 shots are reserved for high risk groups, so I couldn’t get one if I wanted it. I’ll wait and see what, if any, side effects turn up from the shot.
I heard one doctor interviewed on the news, who said that next year’s seasonal vaccine will include H1N1, but it will be a dead variety, and will be more thoroughly tested.
Whether you decide to get vaccinated for the flu or not, I strongly urge you to stay at home if you have any flu symptoms. There is nothing you have to do that is so important that it gives you the right to expose someone else. If people exercised common courtesy by keeping their germy hands off of shopping carts, and door knobs, it would go a long way toward slowing the progress of the disease. Stay home instead of going to a concert, movie, or even a church service. Get a friend to pick up children from school.
Sorry if I sound irritable, but I am tired of standing in line with people who are hacking and wheezing! I have hand sanitizer in my car, and my hands will probably be chapped all winter from the alcohol.
A few days of rest and self imposed isolation would not only protect others, but it would give the flu patient’s own body a chance to rest and recover more quickly.
Last week I carried beef jerky with me wherever I went. Sometimes just knowing I had a beneficial in my purse was enough to get me over the momentary stress. Other times chewing on the tough jerky worked the stress out of me.
This week I bought some sliced roast beef at the deli. I was late getting home to cook lunch. I ate a slice of roast beef in the car. It was just what I asked for: beneficial, fast and filling.
Both of these foods are probably too salty to be 100% good for me. But I’m not stressed every day, and I’m confident the beef is better for me than some of my other choices.
Tonight I had a good visit with my Mom at the rehab facility. She can hold her glass now and take a drink. I feed her the meat and vegetable part of her meal. She has to help with the spoon to get her dessert. She is learning to make use of her left hand. We had such a good time looking at family pictures on my computer. As I left my Mom said, “I love you, Suzanne.” My name has never sounded so beautiful.
It was late when I got home, and I walked in the kitchen feeling frantically hungry. I ate two pieces of beef jerky and settled down inside. After that I could wait for dinner.
Right now I’m comfortably full and very happy.
Everybody has heard prune jokes. People snicker at the mention of prune juice. Referring to a recipe like Prune Whip will draw gales of laughter. Even a nationally advertised soda once became suspect because of a rumor that prune juice was an ingredient. It astounds me that people who pride themselves on speaking of sexual activity in the most graphic terms without a blush, act like adolescent boys when it comes to elimination.
What a shame that such a nutrient-packed food is so maligned.
Plums (ie fresh prunes) are beneficial for every blood type. Prunes are beneficial (even super beneficial in some cases) for Type As and Type Os.
I like prunes. They naturally taste as sweet as a dessert without any of the disadvantages of refined sugar. They are delicious chopped up in my morning breakfast mix. They quickly restore my blood sugar if I’m late eating a meal. They are essential when traveling throws my normal body rhythm off.
I was happy to see that Reader’s Digest did an article in their health section on prunes, and I learned something new. Recent studies have shown that prunes are one of the best fruits for strengthening bones! They not only prevent bone loss, but animal studies indicate they may reverse it. Preliminary studies indicate that benefits come from as few as three prunes a day.
Not only do they contain bone building nutrients like boron, potassium, and vitamin K, but they are also high in disease-fighting antioxidants – a good thing to know when Swine Flu is daily in the news.
I had three prunes for breakfast this morning, and that’s not a joke.
If you are reading this hoping for a way to make the Blood Type Diet practical, I’m afraid you will be disappointed. The BTD is, in my opinion, the best diet out there. It is logical. It explains why people are different and why a diet that works for me doesn’t work for my best friend. It doesn’t require a lot of special purchases to make it work. A person can shop at their local grocery store and follow the BTD.
But practical – now that’s a different matter. Dealing with multiple blood types in one family is neither practical nor easy. It is, in my opinion, well worth the effort. None of that, however, is the subject of this blog.
Two years ago we moved to the country. For a year I commuted back to the city to teach journalism at the school where my daughter was a senior. When she graduated, I resigned my teaching job and began looking for a writing, photography, or graphic design job closer to home. My timing couldn’t have been worse. I started looking about the time the markets fell apart. During the year that I have been unemployed, friends and professional contacts have told me on multiple occasions that I should go into business for myself.
Neither my husband nor myself was enthusiastic at first about starting a business, but about a month ago I began floating some trial balloons. I got some contract work that has been fun and creative. While we were on vacation, we thought and prayed about the decision, and I have launched my own business.
It is called Practical Photography & Publishing. It reflects my core belief that if you want to stay within a budget for wedding photography, if you want to have a simple, user-friendly website for a small business, or if you want to preserve valuable family pictures and documents, it should be practical for you to do so. I am not in competition with high priced photographer/artists or big name advertising agencies. I want to serve ordinary folks and help them protect their memories and grow their businesses.
I have a web site. I hope Dr. D doesn’t mind my mentioning it.
Obviously I can’t come to Ohio or Florida to photograph your wedding. But many of my services can be handled through e-mail or UPS. If I can serve you in a practical way, let me know.
I can do a pushup. A real one…from my toes. I want to shout it from the housetops. Now, you have to know my history before you can understand my excitement.
When I was in elementary school, I was the classic bookish girl – the non-athlete who was always chosen last for the kickball team. Actually there was one other girl who was as bad an athlete as I was. She and I were in weekly competition, hoping we would be next-to-last and not last.
I did not like team sports, and in my school that’s all there was. Today’s kids can run track or swim or participate in any number of individual sports, but in elementary school kickball was king. In high school there was volleyball, which I hated even more than kickball.
This was during the Cold War era and the US was focused on the Space Race. There were government incentives to encourage school children to study science and get physically fit. Oh I hated those yearly fitness tests. Because I didn’t like sports, I was always below the acceptable level. I did tolerably well at sit ups, but my 100 yard dash was pathetic, and I could not do a push up. Not even one. Not if the teacher insisted on correct form.
I’ve blogged at other times about how as a newly wed, my husband introduced me to running, which showed me that I not only had athletic ability, but that I relished it. Running is one thing, but upper body strength is something else. I still couldn’t do a push up.
When I first started the BTD, I learned so much from Heidi’s column. She was recommending the Royal Canadian Air Force Fitness plan. I downloaded it and used it for about a year. That plan built up my arms to the point where I could do a knee push up with correct form. But any attempt to do a push up from my toes brought total collapse.
Last summer DD and I used the weights in our neighborhood fitness room a lot. She left for college, and I left off going to the fitness room. I forgot one of the key concepts for women over 50 who want to remain healthy. Because your hormone levels are dropping, you will lose muscle mass unless you make a daily commitment to build it. If you want to get a shock – Google “menopause ‘pound of muscle.’” Here is just one quote,
“You lose about half a pound of muscle every year after the age of 35. Because muscle is more metabolically active than fat, it requires eight times more calories to maintain, even at rest. Therefore, as you lose more muscle you burn fewer calories. If all other factors remain constant, this translates into about four pounds of muscle lost and 15 lbs of fat gained every decade!”
I believe this is the root of my knee pain. I was focused on cardio exercise because that’s what like the best. I wasn't gaining weight, but I let the muscles in my legs lose their tone and strength.
DD came home for the summer after spending a year lifting weights with the football and basketball boys. She is so petite, that it amused them to see her lifting weights. They taught her a lot of new exercises and muscle building techniques. I was convinced that I had to increase the muscles in my legs unless I wanted to live the rest of my life with knee pain. So she and I have spent the summer focused on building muscle.
Several weeks ago, we were doing an exercise tape that included knee pushups. I was doing 10 – 12 with out much effort. I decided to try a real pushup. I couldn’t do it, but I didn’t completely collapse. I felt the same way I had felt when I first started knee pushups on the Royal Canadian Plan. So several times a week, I’ve done five knee pushups to warm up, then worked at pushing up from my toes. Every day was a little better. Last night I did it. Two pushups from my toes with correct form.
If anyone from my elementary school is reading this blog, they have now fainted. I have proved to myself that I can – even at 55 years old – defy my hormones and build muscles. If you are a woman over 40, I urge you to get some kind of a weight or muscle building program. The only alternative is pain.
Now I have a new goal. I want to do a pull up.
I am by no means an expert on knee pain, though I am hopeful that I am now on a strategy that will end my knee pain permanently. I jumped into a Forum discussion last week on knee pain, and promised to write more detail about my personal experience. It would make me happy if my failures could prevent someone else from wasting their time, or if my successes could bring someone else relief more quickly.
When my Strong Son was almost two years old, I developed pain in my right knee and hip. The only thing I knew that caused joint pain was arthritis, and I was very distressed to think that at 33 years old I was developing symptoms of a debilitating disease. Being into Health Food at that time of my life, I first tried a ton of vitamins and supplements, none of which helped. I went to a chiropractor who did not help my hip or knee at all, but did give me neck and shoulder pain.
Eventually on the recommendation of a friend, I went to see Fred – an elderly shoe salesman at a local store. Fred had sold shoes his whole life. He had gone to shoe factories to see how shoes were made. In his desire not only to sell shoes, but to help people feel better, he learned to make custom arches for his customers. He had me walk up and down the store, and told me that carrying a big active baby on my left hip for two years, was causing the pains in my right hip and knee.
He built arches for a new pair of athletic shoes. There was immediate relief, and over a period of 4-6 months all of my symptoms disappeared. Needless to say I went back to Fred for all of my shoe purchases. Because he used soft material, his arches had to be replaced a couple of times a year. He didn’t charge for the arches if you bought shoes from him. After he retired, I continued to drive to his house to get my shoes fixed. He would go to other shoe stores and pick out shoes for me that he knew would work with my feet.
Oh how I wish I had asked him to show me what he did and how he did it. I guess I was reluctant to ask him to reveal the secrets of his trade. Or I assumed that he would always help me with my shoes. One day in about 10 years ago, my right knee was starting to get a little sensitive, and I called for an appointment. Fred’s wife told me he had died suddenly. As far as she knew there was no one else who provided his kind of service.
Now what was I going to do??
I am NOT jumping on the fear filled bandwagon about a pandemic. I laughed yesterday when the US Stock Market was down because of swine flu. I was nonchalant over the weekend when people where DD works were concerned because there have been 3 documented cases at high schools within a 50 mile radius.
However, I did read with interest this morning a thread on the Forum in which Dr. D participated. Here are his recommendations:
Protect the gut and respiratory passages.
Elderberry should be used only by people under 15 or over 35 during active infection. It can be used by others as a preventive. It has to do with it having the potential to ramp up cytokines, which increased the inflammatory reaction. This is more of a problem with people in that age group (older and younger people have a more moderated immune response)
Masks not only keep droplets out, they keep your droplets in.
Zero-lectin diet would be best.
Be wary of immune stimulants.
Lomatia might have possibilities.
He also recommended this link.
I went to the For Your Type store site, and saw that Dr. D’s ProBerry capsules are on sale. I thought perhaps it would be prudent to have a couple of bottles on hand, just in case.
This was my first order from the store. I will hasten to add that this is not a commercial and Dr. D did not ask me to blog about this. In my usual way I’m just passing on to you what I’m thinking about my family on the BTD. I’m more afraid of endless media hype than I am of getting sick. However, it does not hurt to be prepared.
This started out to be a blog about flavored green tea, but as I wrote, it took on a life of its own. Last year when I read an article about BPA plastics and possible links to cancer, I checked out the water bottles I buy and the Rubbermaid bottle that I carry in my car. Both of them were Category 1 plastics. But a nagging doubt had been placed in my mind. One day I was in Target looking for something, and I saw stainless steel water bottles on sale. I picked up one for me and one for DD.
I used mine some of the time, but mostly I defaulted back to old habits and refilled plastic water bottles. DD on the other hand learned to love her stainless steel bottle. She is home this week on Spring Break. She brought with her three flavored green teas. She makes tea for herself every night in the dorm, and she began making it for me this week. I’m hooked.
She’s a college girl – so she doesn’t have a fully equipped kitchen. She fills her stainless steel bottle with the hottest tap water she can find, and pops in a tea bag. It sits around until she is ready to drink it, usually when it’s about room temperature. I’ve read that connoisseurs watch a timer and brew green tea for a certain number of seconds. That’s great if you have the time to watch tea brew, but DD’s method sure is convenient.
She likes peppermint green tea, which had been my favorite. She also brought blueberry green tea, and chamomile/honey green tea. Both are delicious, but the blueberry is outstanding. She tells me she finds them in the regular grocery store. I really enjoy sipping tea out of the stainless steel cup when we’re watching a movie. Who needs raisinettes?
In the course of looking up background links about BPA, I saw that 5 gallon water bottles are often 7s. I don’t have 5 gallon bottles, but I do have 2 and 3 gallon bottles. I went to the garage and the three older bottles all have 7s on the bottom. The newest bottle is a 3. This frustrates me so much. The community where I live adds fluoride to the water so that kiddies who eat a high sugar diet won’t get cavities. They never consider that fluoride contributes to osteoporosis. At my age that is a big concern to me. So I have gone to the extra expense of buying bottled water, only to find that the bottles contain a cancer causing chemical. It’s enough to make you crazy.
If you are not up to date on BPA, here is a link that quickly gives the basics.
Both Tupperware and Pampered Chef have some products with BPA. Here are their websites.
I enjoy grilled onions. I serve them often, mixed with cooked greens or on top of beef. However, grilled onions seem to have lost popularity and are being replaced in restaurants with the more stylish “roasted onions”. The big difference seems to be that, in a restaurant, grilled onions often arrive swimming in fat, where roasted onions do not.
When I fix grilled onions at home, I cook them in just a little bit of ghee, so my onions aren’t “swimming” and ghee is a good fat. Grilled onions are also fast, and I am usually fixing my lunch at the last minute, when I am already hungry. But Tuesday, I got an early start decided to try roasting an onion at home.
As long as I was planning ahead, I decided to bake a sweet potato as well. When we moved to our new house, I blogged that my husband wanted a microwave oven, and that while I didn’t plan to use it often, it was sure nice to have a sweet potato on short notice. In that blog, I compared sweet potatoes cooked in the oven with microwaved sweet potatoes and noted that I liked oven baked sweet potatoes better. However, more often than not, in the past year, time has triumphed over taste, and I have microwaved my sweet potatoes.
So into the 400 degree oven went a sweet potato wrapped in foil, and an onion, cut in half in a covered mini casserole dish. I went back to work on the computer. Soon the house was filled with delicious smells.
The roasted onion was very good and full of flavor. Mine was juicier than restaurant roasted onions. Perhaps they don’t cover theirs, so they don’t steam as much in their natural juices. The sweet potato was delicious. I really must take the time to bake them in the oven more often. They are much better.
One more note about onions. Before the BTD the only onions I liked were fried onion rings. Because onions are super beneficial, I resolved to eat more of them, and eat them in a healthy way (rather than coated in wheat flour and deep fried). I was a little scared, so I began with sweet onions. The more I ate, the more I liked onions, and they became a regular part of my diet. As food prices have gone up, I have been forced to notice that sweet onions are consistently twice the price of yellow onions. With fear and trembling, I switched to yellow onions about a month ago. They burn my eyes a little more when I slice them, but they taste every bit as good – and frankly every bit as sweet – as the more expensive varieties.
When I look at what Dr. D says about Type Os and Vitamin E, I see the explanation of the near disaster in both of my pregnancies. I am very much aware that anecdotal evidence is not proof in science or medicine. I can't prove my theory. I can only speculate what might have happened if the BTD had been written 25 years ago.
When I found out that I was pregnant with my first child I was thrilled and delighted. I was following the best Health Food plan that I knew of at the time, and I was committed to sticking to it without compromise for 9 months. Fortunately, I had come across a pregnancy diet that stressed high protein as a way to avoid for pre eclampsia. It would have been a disastrous diet for a Type A, but it was really good for me. Unfortunately I had read that Vitamin E was important for pregnant mothers. I bought 400 iu capsules, and was taking two a day.
When I was about 8 weeks along, HH and I went to see his parents. They were as thrilled about this pregnancy as we were. HH has two sisters, but he is their only son. The day after we arrived I began spotting. They took me to the doctor, and after an examination, he told me that I was having a miscarriage, and that all I could do was go home and wait. I lay in bed all weekend, committing myself and the life of that precious baby to God. I continued spotting and we drove back home. The spotting continued for a week or so and stopped. I went back to my own doctor and he could hear the baby's heart beat. The rest of the pregnancy was trouble-free, and SS had an easy and natural birth.
Being interested in all things natural, I planned to breast feed for a year. One of the vitamins recommended was Vitamin E. Everything was going well, except that I never stopped bleeding after childbirth. Vitamin E was again the recommended treatment, so I increased my dosage, I think I was taking two or three 800 iu capsules a day. Eventually I had to have a D&C to stop the bleeding.
When HH and I began to think about another baby, I reread all of the best material I could get my hands on. Nothing I read cast aspersions on Vitamin E. When I became pregnant, I increased my Vitamin E. I didn't want spotting like I had had before. I was careful about everything - I knew I was at risk because I was now 36 years old. I well remember the sinking feeling I had when the spotting started again. It lasted a couple of weeks. I lay on the sofa all day, trying to take care of a toddler, and trying to trust that God knew what he was doing. The spotting stopped, we celebrated hearing the baby's heartbeat, and the rest of the pregnancy was a joy.
I bled a lot during childbirth. Vitamin E was universally recommended, and I took it. My doctor was perturbed that I continued to bleed, but he was more patient this time. We waited 3 months, but eventually I had another D&C. I continued to have very heavy periods, and I continued to take Vitamin E. I never made a connection between the two.
SS was 18 when I first read the BTD. I immediately recognized the connection between my chronic stomach inflammation and the "natural" wheat and dairy products I poured into my Type O body. It has taken me much longer to realize that the BTD is also right about Vitamin E and Type Os. When he was in his 80s my Type O father began to bruise easily. A little bump would leave him with a huge red and purple mark on his arms and legs. He was taking Vitamin E to protect his heart. Because of Dr. D's recommendations, I convinced him to stop the Vitamin E and take bioflavonoids instead. The bruising went away within weeks, and he never had that problem again.
I am past the age where I can experiment with Vitamin E for pregnancy or periods. However, I do not knowingly take any supplemental Vitamin E. What I get from beneficial oils and nuts will have to be enough.
I see that this blog has been linked to a pregnancy website. Because of that I need to add that while Vitamin E is avoid for those with Blood Type O, it is beneficial for Blood Type A.
This is one of those cases where someone does a study and finds out that a food or a nutrient is helpful for a high percentage of people. They don't stop to think why their technique helps some and harms others. The answer often turns out to be related to Blood Type.
Type Os with their already thin blood are harmed by substances like Vitamin E that further thin blood. Type As with their thick blood are helped by it. While I do not take Vitamin E, I do give it to my Type A husband and daughter. DD tells me that Vitamin E lotion really helps her skin. Someday when DD marries and is pregnant, I will encourage her to take Vitamine E.
SS went to spend the New Year’s holiday with his girlfriend. DD spent the New Year’s holiday working nine hour shifts. HH planned to spend the holiday watching football. I saw an opportunity to go check on my Mom. It was a good thing I did.
She is really doing well. She is lonely, but that is understandable after 57 years of marriage. She is eating pretty well. There were plenty of fresh fruits and salads in her refrigerator. There were comfort foods too – crackers and ice cream – but I’m not going to pass judgment about that. The problem came when we began to go through her mail.
My Dad had been very carefully arranged to have all the utility bills paid automatically through his checking account. He did not want basic services to be in jeopardy if he were ill or incapacitated. He also had my Mom’s name and my name added to his checking account several years ago. I knew all of that, and the system worked well last summer when he was sick and confused.
What I didn’t know was that there are laws that when someone dies, the funeral home has to report the death to Social Security. In turn Social Security reports the death to financial institutions using that Social Security Number. The banks then freeze the accounts. The purpose is to keep angry ex-wives, unscrupulous children, or mercenary cousins from pilfering the assets before the will is executed.
My Dad’s account should not have been frozen because of the multiple signatures, but the bank made a mistake. They bounced all of the utility payments for December. Not only that, they refused to deposit a dividend check. As Mom and I opened the mail, we found a letter threatening to cut off the electricity. This was a stress I did not need!
It took more than two hours on the phone to trace the problem. We raced a check to the post office. A very apologetic bank manager promised to call the other utilities involved and attempt to resolve the issue before gas, water and phone are disconnected.
Why am I blogging about this? Two reasons. First – remember that comfort food I mentioned. When at last I got off the phone, and we sat down to a very late dinner, I ate a big slice of pound cake. There are stressful moments when comfort food is very difficult to resist. This, I regret to admit, was one of them for me.
Second – My mom is fortunate that she has her own checking account with enough money to buy groceries. I am horrified at the thought of couples whose only account is frozen when one of them dies. I can easily imagine a scenario where the widow or widower would have to borrow money from family or friends to pay for basic necessities during the 2-3 months it takes to probate a will. Don’t think you could depend on credit cards! One of my Dad’s cards was cancelled out right. The other card was frozen until my Mom could reapply.
I know that no one wants to think about death. but I strongly suggest that you ask your banker what would happen if someone in your family died. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to unneeded stress.
The kids and I went shopping this afternoon. SS got a pair of khakis for his January internship, but DD and I escaped the stores with all of our money still in hand. As we drove home I realized it was late, and I had no plan at all for dinner. It had been a cold day, so chili sounded like a good idea. But as we talked, I realized it wasn’t going to be easy to please everyone.
DD didn’t want beef. She didn’t want chili powder or salt. She said that she would eat any kind of beans, but HH doesn’t like black beans. Pinto beans are avoid for me. SS said turkey chili would be acceptable, but he definitely wanted chili powder. I decided that in a two Blood Type family, you need two pots of chili.
I cooked one onion just until it was transparent and put half in one pan and half in another. In one pan I browned a pound of beef; in the other a pound of turkey. In the beef pan I put a can of black beans, two teaspoons of chili powder, and a Mexican seasoned salt that has cumin and red pepper. In the turkey pan I put a can of pinto beans, 1 ½ teaspoons of cumin, and a generous shake of garlic.
Both pans simmered while I made corn bread and salad.
I’ll admit that the chili I cook all day in the crock pot is more traditional. But for a fast meal on a cold day, this worked out fine. The As were happy. The Os were happy. Both pots of chili turned out good.
I picked up a great idea at the hardware store. It doesn’t have anything to do with food, but it has a great deal to do with health.
Monday and Tuesday were freezing cold. We have a propane heater that looks like a fireplace in our living room. We kept that going non-stop because DD was so cold from the ice packs she had to keep on her face. While the heater kept the living room and kitchen delightfully warm, it also tricked the thermostat into thinking that the whole house was warm. The office where the computer is was chilly.
I had a lot of computer work to do, and I suddenly realized I was chilled – not quite teeth chattering chilled, but shaking arm chilled. Since I was already fighting a cold, I was worried that I was coming down with a fever. Fortunately, I got back to the warm part of the house, and I was fine.
This made me decide to buy a little heater for the office. I talked to a guy at the hardware store about electric, oil, and kerosene heaters. He gave me pros and cons to each one. Then he said, “What you really need is what my wife bought in Arkansas. It is an electric pad you put on the floor under your desk. You put your feet on it. As it warms your feet, it makes your whole body feel warm and comfortable.”
I may shop on the internet for one of those pads. Or I may just use the heating pad I already have. Working at the computer on a cold day with toasty feet sounds wonderful to me; certainly a lot better than shaking inside a sweater and a jacket.
I am happy to report that on this 1-week anniversary of my cold, I am symptom free! I am unhappy to report that DD has had a very difficult time recovering from having her wisdom teeth removed. She is still on soft food and pain pills. Her face is noticeably swollen. The surgeon told her she can’t exercise and can’t go back to work. I can’t help wondering if her low body weight may have had something to do with her slow recovery. She didn’t have any reserve to draw from. That’s not the kind of thing girls or women think of when they desire to be unnaturally thin.
My Dad passed away early in the morning. The infection had caused so many problems with his internal organs that his heart just gave out. My feelings are going every which way. I will miss him so much. But if he could not recover, I'm glad that he didn't linger. My Mom, sister and I had a great time tonight telling stories about him and laughing. But when someone tells me how much he meant to them, I start to cry. We have so much to do and so many decisions to make. But nothing is really as important as spending time with each other.
In talking with the urologist last week, he said that women get UTIs easier than men, but they also get over them easier. He said that when a man gets a UTI, particularly when it is reoccurring, there is almost always a physical cause - a stone, a blockage, or problem with surrounding organs. Remember this if you are a man! The urologist thought that Dad's infections were caused by a stone near his kidney
A few random thoughts:
Take time to love your friends and your family - you don't know how long you will have them.
I'm fully committed to preventive medicine, but there are things that beneficial food, vitamin C, and herbs won't cure. I regret not taking him to a urologist in September.
In times of stress, don't skimp on meals or exercise. I've tried to stay focused on beneficial foods. This afternoon I walked for 45 minutes while I talked to family on the phone. It helps a lot with the stress levels.
Plan ahead to take the stress off your family. I'm so glad Dad had talked with us about his wishes for funeral and burial. It has made the decisions much easier. My husband and I had never made plans. Tonight we started planning to make plans.
Make sure your relationship with God is secure. The biggest comfort we have is knowing that Dad can hear music again, that he can walk again, that he is reunited with his parents and his brother, and that he is in the presence of God.
A radio reporter took to the streets this week asking people about their shopping plans for the Christmas season. One question he asked was whether they planned any Internet purchases. I was surprised at how many people have never bought anything over the Internet.
When we lived in the city, I just bought a few things on line. There is a brand of nickel free earrings that I can’t buy in stores. I’ve bought lots of my camera equipment from the New York camera stores. We can almost always get a better deal on college textbooks on line than in the campus stores.
But it wasn’t until I moved to the country that I really started shopping on line. I can buy all the basic necessities in the town that is six miles from our home. But, it is a 60 – 80 mile round trip to a city shopping mall. So now I do a lot of Internet shopping. I expect the UPS man to ring the doorbell a couple of times a week.
Whenever I placed an order, I would bristle when I got to the question, “Do you have a coupon code?” No I didn’t, and I wondered where other people got them. Once I called customer service and asked. I got a vague answer like, “Um, well, sometimes we put them in our online newsletters.”
A few weeks ago I stumbled across the source for the coupon codes. There are four websites that have them, and you can get them for free. The first time I tried one, I wasn’t sure it would work. But it did – 10% off my entire purchase, just like that. I don’t think I have paid full price for anything since I found out about the websites. Here they are. The first one is my favorite, but sometimes I have to check all four until I find a code for the store where I’m placing an order.
In this economy, I’m watching my budget pretty carefully. There isn’t as much “disposable” income as there used to be. This is just one way I can make the dollars go a little farther. That leaves me more to spend on higher quality beneficial food.
This is not a commercial. I blog about how my family and I go about trying to live the BTD lifestyle. Last time I mentioned that while I wanted to support my local health food stores, I could save half or more if I ordered supplements on the internet. Randee asked how I did this, so I thought I’d share the answer with all of you. I’m not endorsing any particular brands or any particular site.
It started with a comment from one of my readers. She gave me a web address where she ordered her supplements at a discount. At the time I lived in a city and did my vitamin shopping at two health food stores, both of which had frequent sales. I didn’t even look at the website. But after we moved to the country, there were fewer choices and fewer sales. I got curious and opened the link. I was shocked at how much lower the prices were. I spent a couple of hours Googling and comparing.
Not all websites have the same brands – so if you have favorite brands, you may have to check several sites. Not all websites have the same shipping policies – some have free shipping with a minimum purchase, some have a flat shipping fee no matter how much you order, some charge shipping by weight.
I’ve bought from vitacost.com, myvitanet.com, vitaminshoppe.com, and naturamart.com. I usually open several websites and compare. Most of the time I order at Vitacost.
I have never had a problem. All of the products are fresh, so they are not offering me savings by selling bottles that are near the expiration date. It takes 7-10 days for standard shipping to arrive, so I have to plan my purchases ahead.
There are some things that never go on sale. My favorite brand of egg white protein costs the same whether I buy it at a store or order it on the internet. But the savings on Spiruteen, a soy shake mix that DD likes, is significant.
I write this blog with an element of reluctance. Buying supplements on the internet is like shopping at Wal-Mart. I like Wal-Mart savings. I’m in Wal-Mart for something 2-3 times a week. But there are times I regret all of the cute little shops that went out of business because they couldn’t compete. In the same way, I like the money I save when I order supplements on the Internet. However I also like having a local health food store where I can buy manna bread, spelt flour, and nitrite-free beef jerky. I recognize that there is a danger in pulling part of my shopping dollars out of my local community.