I do yoga almost every night in my apartment. Yoga is wonderful exercise and has kept me fit when I couldn’t do much in the way of an aerobic workout. But there’s nothing like taking a brisk walk out on a beautiful summer morning. I love to walk at my local Sonoma County park around lovely Spring Lake. There are plenty of people taking the same walk as I am, so whether I’m with friends or going it alone there are always folks to return my smile. Today I saw a black-headed grosbeak (one of my favorite birds) scratching up the dirt. I took a break and watched him with my compact binoculars, his antics making my smile even larger. There were also Swallowtail butterflies, dragonflies, Mallards, and Canadian Geese. The air was warm and full of bird song.
When exercise and joy meet, a wonderful kind of healing can happen in our bodies. I encourage you to get outside as often as you can and enjoy your local parks. It will lift your spirit and feed your soul as well as keeping your body fit.
I don’t know why I never tried Greek yogurt before now. I’d seen it in the shops but didn’t ever have the desire to try it. I thought maybe it was just a new fad, a new way to sell yogurt. But last month while on vacation the “cleanest” yogurt I could find at the local Winn Dixie was a Greek style yogurt. Wow, what a revelation! I was so amazed at how creamy it was and how satisfied I felt after eating it. When I came back from my trip to Florida I did a little research and here’s what I found out.
Greek yogurt has more protein, thus explaining the satisfying feeling after eating. It is strained three times removing more of the whey, which gives it the creamy texture that knocked my socks off. Regular yogurt is usually strained twice. It has fewer carbohydrates, about half the sodium, but higher fat content so you’ll want to purchase the low fat versions. But what I like the best of all is that you can cook with it, so far I’ve made a creamy spelt pasta dish, a grilled veggie dip, and a lovely sweet potato salad using Greek yogurt. I’ve tried using regular yogurt in these types of dishes in the past and I never liked how they turned out. The Greek style has really changed my mind on what I can do with yogurt. For those of you that bake, I’ve read that it’s also great in baked goods.
So if your blood type or Swami list allows you to eat yogurt I highly recommend you give it a try. You just might love it. It’s always nice to find a new way to make your food more interesting and varied. And Greek yogurt has really made my summer. And I owe it all to a chance trip to the grocery store far from home.
As some of you know I’ve been in a battle against Lyme disease for the past four years. Lately, I’ve been starting to feel like I’m winning. My health has improved so much this last year that I’m actually hopeful of a full recovery. Our health can be such a fragile thing, I’m really glad that while I had good health I thoroughly enjoyed my body. I took it hiking, kayaking, water skiing, and cycling to name a few of my favorite sports. Recently I’ve been able to start swimming again and last week I went on a 2.3 mile walk. Small things compared to what I used to be able to do. But to someone like me who enjoys the outdoors so much, it’s huge.
I’m going through a divorce. For those of you who have experienced this I don’t need to say anything more but for those of you that haven’t I’ll explain a little further. I had been living with the same person for 25 years. We were domestic partners for eight years and married for five (because it was finally legal for us to do so). I’ve been sick for over 10 years with Lyme disease, but I was only diagnosed about 3 ½ years ago. Needless to say it’s been difficult for my partner. I was no longer the vital active person she married. I had dementia for a time and I have continued to have physical limitations due to my illness. It was like suddenly living with a very old person. So even though my spouse said my illness was not the reason she wanted to divorce. I’m sure it played a major part of the decision.
Divorce is difficult no matter when or how it happens, but since I still need physical and financial help I’m finding this new challenge in my life a bit overwhelming. I am finding my way through this, but I believe it’s the most stressful thing I’ve ever experienced. I’m asking for alimony from my spouse. I know I won’t get much but I’m trying to help myself in every way I possibly can. Unfortunately my spouse says this is an attack on her and that I’ve lost her as a friend and now we are at war.
This brings me to the title of my article, “why do I want to eat fast food?” I started the Blood type diet in 1999. I have never had very much trouble “eating clean” and staying away from junk because I found I felt so much better if I did. But now every time I pass a Jack in the Box or a Taco Bell it’s all I can do not to pull in. What is it about junk food? Why do I crave it now when I really need to eat as good as I can? Would it help to make me numb? Is it just a way to punish myself? Comfort myself? I’m not sure what the answer is and I know I’m not alone in this. I am managing to stay away from it most of the time because the consequences on my health as so drastic that is incentive enough.
This experience has given me some much needed empathy for others in a similar plight. I’ve often said to people “you just don’t eat it”. But faced with these kinds of emotions I can understand why it can sometimes feel impossible. I want to thank the kind people who suggested that I try some Bach Flower Remedies to help get me through this divorce. They have been a great help to calm my emotions and get me back to my center. And keep me from turning into the drive through window on my way home from work.
It’s been nearly three years since I first found out I had Lyme disease (and other Tick borne infections). I’ve come a long way in those three years and I’m still hopeful that I’ll improve enough to have a somewhat normal life again. But it takes a really long time to get well depending on how long you’ve been sick, (at least 15 years for me) how old you are, (I’m 54) and how many different kinds of infections you have (I have at least four). I hear numbers like 3 to 5 years, but there just aren’t that many accurate statistics out there. This disease, like most I’m sure, affects your emotions as well as your physical health. And right now I’m very depressed. I had been doing really well (relatively speaking) in the late summer and early fall. But I’ve been going downhill lately and I’m not exactly sure of the cause as there are a few different factors to choose from.
1 – This healing process has always been two steps forward and one step back. So maybe this is just my one step back.
2 – My Dad was injured last October. He had been living in Washington with no one living close enough to care for him. So my family had to figure out what to do so he could get the care he needed. This was very stressful as I don’t get along well with a couple of my family members and I’ve been so worried for my Dad. We ended up moving him, last December, into an Assisted Living apartment about three hours from me, which means he’s finally close enough to visit. The drive and staying overnight is still incredible hard on me, but I haven’t seen much of my Dad in the last 30 years so I’m going to take advantage of this as often as possible. Which was twice in December, not a smart thing for me to do, but after all he is my Dad and I've been missing him so much.
3 – My expenses increase by $400 a month last October, so I had to cut way back on my supplements, medicine, treatments, and Doctor visits. My Dad was helping me financially, but now that his circumstances have changed that’s not really an option anymore.
4 – I had just gone through a really tough six months at work. My boss retired (in March) and I took on some of his tasks as they didn’t replace him, which at the time was easy and fun to do. Then the upper level manager got cancer and was gone a lot, so it was chaotic at best at work. Late in October that manager died, it was a great loss, and I miss him so very much. But we finally replaced the boss that retired and some of the stress was removed from me. But like a good little B blood type, did I just collapse because the “emergency” (of the last six months) was finally over for me?
5 - I got a bad case of the flu in early January. It's the one that starts out like a cold and in my case very quickly moved into a sinus infection. Believe it or not, it's actually good news when a Lyme patient gets a cold or flu. I haven't had a cold in many years! Usually our immune systems are so low our body doesn't even try to fight the new virus at all. But I'm in that in between stage, where my immune system has started working again but not quite well enough to take care of the job. I had to use some sinus sprays and other medication to clear up this new infection.
It’s so discouraging to have these nights again where I’m up all night long with pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. I’ve started to have trouble concentrating again and having memory lapses. The depression of course doesn’t help matters, but it’s actually one of the symptoms, so it’s not so easily overcome. Only time will tell what the cause of this set back is. My guess is it’s a combination of all five of the factors above. Here’s hoping last Friday night is as bad as it gets and I start moving back in the “right” direction soon.
I just talked to my Dad and he told me about his latest Doctor’s visit. My Dad is 83 years old and is in relatively good health for his age. He lives alone in Washington state and has a part time job at his church. My Mom died almost two years ago and had been disabled due to a stroke the two years prior to her death. My Mom had always taken care of the bills, the meals, and the cleaning. So after her first stroke my Dad had a lot to learn. He taught himself how to cook and pay the bills (the cleaning he’s never gotten very good at, but neither was my Mom ).
After my Mom passed, my Dad got more interested in his health. Like me he’s always leaned towards alternative healing, like vitamins, herbs, and foods that help the body. I haven’t been able to get him interested in the blood type diet, but I try to make suggestions when the topic of food comes up. Now back to his recent Doctor’s visit.
He was put on blood thinners a while back to help with his heart. I have my own opinion about that prescription, but we’ll let that go. He’s been on them for at least a year and they test his blood regularly to make sure his dose is correct. This week they found out that his blood had thinned too much and so this is what they told him to do.
• Stop taking the medicine for one week
• Start eating dark green vegetables to help thicken the blood (these had been removed from his diet when he started the blood thinners)
• Stop eating berries (that help thin the blood)
• Next week once his blood has thickened back up, start taking the medicine again
Am I the only person that thinks this is ridiculous? I mean if your blood thinned because you were eating well and taking helpful supplements, as he’s been trying to do. Why not just stop taking the medicine altogether? Why thicken the blood to only thin it again with medicine? I can’t help but wonder what his Doctor’s thought process was.
I wish I could interfere, but I know my Dad will do what his Doctor asks of him. And it’s not my life or my decision. So I just listen and hope that he continues to eat well. Thanks goodness they didn’t ask him to stop his supplements, which were probably helping.
An update on my health: I have really turned a corner the last four months. There seems to be a big change in my health (I’m being treated for Chronic Lyme disease). My pain has decreased greatly and I’m able to work and think better than I have in years. My strength is good but my stamina is still lacking (due to the trouble with my heart) although it has also improved. I can walk farther than I use to and I can garden longer. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about getting well! But who knows, this disease is very tricky and takes a long time to recover from. And some of us have permanent damage, but I’m better than I was a year ago and so much better than I was two years ago. I owe much of my healing to the Geno Type diet (I have a personalized Swami) and the help I’ve received from others on this wonderful site. Thanks again to Dr. D and all the wonderful posters on the forum.