Friday, June 6, 2014

The Asthma Diet, The Endometriosis Diet, and the Anxiety Diet

I've been looking forward to this for so long! After a month of being away we will return to the house we closed on just before we set off on a month of gypsying. It will be nice to be home and establish a schedule to continue my quest for better health. And this is what I have been thinking of over this month. My book is about asthma, but more it's about how we approach our health as individuals with very individual bodies. My diet experiment was extremely successful -- I made a list of foods that supported my asthma health and an individual diet plan. Now that my husband and I are thinking about having children, I've decided it's time to start tackling my endometriosis as well. And there is an endometriosis diet! When my now husband and I were dating, I made a list of foods for his anxiety.

First task when we get home (after painting walls and tearing up carpet), I'm going to create a laminated copy of the lists of these foods, and we will buy groceries and plan meals based on what foods best support our individual nutrition/health needs.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Smoothie Cube Revolution

We are currently living in my parents' basement after our move from the SF Bay Area to Northern Utah. With two offers in, we are hoping one will pan out. Once in our new place, I'll be able to re-engage in one of my passions: smoothie cubing it.

I've been making smoothies recently from Costco frozen organic fruit and carrot juice, but my dad, who recently took up juicing, and my sister, who tried the smoothie cube trays I gave her for the first time, reminded me of how much fun it is to load up the refrigerator with freshly blended fruit.

I took the pictures featured here in my last smoothie cube session before leaving Redwood City.

The first thing you need to smoothie cube it are over-sized ice-cube trays. There are many silicon options available at places like Target, but I bought these ones at Daiso because the lids make them easy to stack. Besides, you can't beat the price of $1.50 a tray.

Next you need to buy a whole lot of fruit. Smoothie cubing is great because you can purchase fruit when it's in season or on sale and stock up your fridge. Costco is a great place to get organic apples, but you can only buy them in the dozen. Below I prepared a whole lot of lemons, which I may or may not do again as a result of the strong flavor (I only filled the cubes half way). Oranges, on the other hand, can be prepared the same way and are refreshing and delicious in smoothie cube form. Note: don't worry about the pith. It provides a stronger flavor, but the pectin contained therein is very beneficial for detox purposes.

I found that cutting off the ends of citris fruits, and then halfing them was a rapid way of preparing them. I ran my thumb against the edge of the fruit and the peel came right off. If you have a powerful blender, you don't have to cut anything much smaller than that. Once fruit is fully blended, pour it into the over-sized ice-cube trays and freeze. You can pre-mix your favorite recipes or simply blend one fruit or vegetable, so you can mix later. Below are pineapple, apple, and orange cubes - my favorite three so far. I also did cantaloup, peach, and lemon.

About a half an hour before you would like to drink your smoothie, place the cubes in your blender to soften. This will make the blending process much easier.

I buy organic spinach in bulk as well and freeze most of it to toss in -- it results in a slightly browned smoothie, but doesn't impact the flavor much.

Why smoothie cube? You can have your favorite fruit smoothie whenever you want! When I made fresh fruit smoothies it would take me a half an hour between prep and clean-up. Through smoothie cubes, I spend an hour or so one day preparing and then benefit for at least a month after. I can take advantage of sales to get cleanly grown produce in bulk - therefore affording my smoothie habit and taking in a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis in a pleasant, no fuss way.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Another Mountain to Climb

Avoidance is a common strategy for when you don’t know what to do or say, and avoidance is my explanation for such a lag in posts.

I don’t know how to start, only that I had a dream two nights ago, or shall I say, a series of dreams I remember nothing about, except that in every one of them the fact that I need to lose 30 pounds kept coming up. Consequently, my husband and I have been hiking a lot lately. He never liked hiking in California, but now that we are in Utah, he has found his inner mountain man. I realized when we were hiking this week that this was because all the places we went hiking around the Bay Area were kind of dull. The little streams, big rocks, meandering trails, and steep pitches have him ever entertained and delighted. I also realized when we were hiking this week that life is a series of uphill climbs.
We are both getting back in shape after my emergency room bout, our move, a couple weeks of the common cold, and then in my case, immediately after, pregnancy. I had to go off some of my asthma and allergy medications, had significant trouble pulling myself out of bed every day, and experienced minor asthma attacks just from walking outside in the cold weather. 

Running was out of the question.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Power of Self Talk

One valuable take away from the Body Code is importance of the messages we choose to believe about ourselves.

In her treatment, L claimed to be releasing balls of energy in the body caused by negative emotion, some of which was generated by accepting negative statements about the self as true.

In working with my husband on his anxiety, I’ve tried to help him overcome negative ideas he has come to accept about himself that are untrue. When we first met, I didn’t know exactly where these ideas originated, but I knew that they were limiting, and that in many ways my husband, then my friend, was more restricted by his concept of himself than his actual circumstances. As I got to know him, I realized that some of these came from his anxiety, some from feelings characteristic to those from minority, underprivileged backgrounds, and some from negative input from others.

I knew that to succeed, he would need to be released from these negative perceptions. I began to reason with him and try to convince him otherwise. In the year and a half of our acquaintance, this has had a dramatic impact on his success and concept of himself.

After L’s sessions with the Body Code, I started to make a list of the lies he had internalized. Then I flipped those lies into very specific, individual truth statements.

A Panacea

I’ve been in processing mode lately, as my husband and I have dealt with our bodies in a multitude of ways. I came to a conclusion about the Body Code. I can accept it as being a supplemental treatment and useful source of insight – a panacea to all disease and everybody’s disease always is a concept I have a difficult time swallowing from anybody.

I can’t dismiss that L was right about many things. I texted her when I had the stomach flu to see if she could meet with me briefly. Instead of responding, L completed an evaluation remotely before I had described my symptoms. She pointed out that I had a stomach bacteria and recommended olive leaf, which ended up being spot on.

As mentioned in a previous post, she correctly designated my dehydration before I had described my symptoms.

In one treatment, she told me that I needed nature therapy. “What’s nature therapy?” She exclaimed confused.

I was not confused at all. I’d been cooped up in the house working and packing for hours on end. I knew exactly what nature therapy meant, and I needed it dearly.

In another treatment, she told me I was allergic to good health.
That idea is worth pondering – especially since Utah welcomed me back with a particularly brutal cold after a business trip last week to San Francisco.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Here's to Breathing in 2014

We moved over the holidays, and once I get my act together, I’ll post all the half-written pieces I’ve been working on in between all the craziness. I have some new conclusions about the Body Code, but today, appropriate to the New Year, I’ll assess my progress.

Even though every trial has not gone exactly according to plan, I feel like I have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t. After a month of bad health, and then a month of moving, I’m out of shape and have to start up running again. Now that we live in the winter wonderland of Northern Utah, I will have to try indoor running. Over the next several months, I plan to maintain my aerobic health by running as far as I can on a treadmill at a certain rate. I think I’ll start at 10:30 minutes and then move to 10:00 once I reach 5 miles. This time, I’d like to work on my distance. During this time, I’m going to work on incorporating asthma healthy practices into my day to day life, to try to test out what seems reasonable and practical. It’s one thing to do something for a month, and another to make it into something you can live with.

Once we have our living situation more determined (we moved in with my parents until we get things figured out), I’ll design a terraced approach where I add my top treatments one by one perhaps in preparation for a 10 K.
Until then, I’m going to move into the “research” part of my study, and I’ll let you know what I discover.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Real Problem with Western Medicine Today

Imagine this scenario . . .

You go in to get a haircut. You just want a trim. Once you get in the chair, you can tell your hairdresser has something else in mind, so you try to leave, but she won’t let you. She cuts your hair the way she wants it, which is an entirely different style than you requested. Moreover she plucks your eyebrows, she gives you a deep conditioning shampoo, and paints your nails. When all is said and done, you owe her $600 dollars when you anticipated a $30 dollar haircut. None of the prices are posted. In fact, you are not sure even of what services are being rendered before they begin, and you are not asked if you are interested in receiving them. When you protest, she asserts that she is an expert, and you need to trust her. Apparently, you have given up your rights to your appearance once you walked through the door.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Secret to our Power

Our shortcomings do not allow us to be complacent, hence it is our weakness that propels us towards strength - it is our fallibility that demands self mastery. It is then, paradoxically, in our mortality that we find the secret to our power.
It was the answer to the question I’d posed the night before to God: “What do we learn from this? What’s the take away?”

My husband has a significant case of generalized anxiety that makes taking tests no short of nightmarish. From an immigrant background, my husband has been untreated for this condition his entire life short of ten months. The result has been a cycle of effort that never quite manifested fruit, the internalization of defeat, discouragement, and sense of feeling lost and powerless.

This semester in addition to his job, he’s been taking a stats class, and has generally aced his quizzes. His progress as a student is nothing short than remarkable over the past year, and I’ve been grateful to see him accept as true something I’ve known all along: he’s intelligent and capable.

I hoped last night he would see the fruit of a week and a half of studying. Instead, a panic attack came destroying his calm, blurring his vision, and dulling his understanding.

I’d prayed. We’d given charitable donations to our church. His mother prayed. My mother prayed. “God,” I said last night, “I guess it was not enough. What is enough?”

And then this thought occurred to me today while I was making a smoothie, and continued to take shape: Our shortcomings do not allow us to be complacent.

Every time I go running, I am beat by people who live off hamburgers and potato chips and people who never go running. I’m beat by people with far less muscle than I have. Moreover, people have trained for far less time than I have, run marathons. I’ve been running consistently for over a year and a half. Last time I went running, I didn’t even make it a mile without almost fainting because of the cold and a month of crazy health—and yeah, that after a year and half of consistent running. I’ll own the fact that after this experience, I’m terrified to go out and run a mile. I realize that until I get a treadmill, I might need to take up walking.