Health and Fitness

Hockey Dimentia and attracting weirdness

It’s 7 minutes, two seconds to go in the third quarter of the GSHL Sunday night game and I’ve just entered Dante’s seventh ring of hell. It was to be expected, for I was blatantly breaking the Sabbath, hustling home from church in time to drop my children off in order to watch my husband in the “warm” area of the hockey rink (note- extreme sarcasm). Up until this time, it had been a relatively quite, uneventful thirty minutes or so, Rog had only one showing in the penalty box, and were we up 3-2. Then came..a man with hockey dementia.

Hockey dementia, in my humble opinion, is a form of sickness that afflicts any person who has so long in the cold, watching a black puck skid around on the ice that they mistake plays for complex strategies, checks against the boards as an insult to generations of family members and those who don’t engage in talking about every bounce, quick stop or drop of the puck to be unworthy of taking up valuable rink-side seats (that would be me).

Circle 7 image
Ever wondered what went in Dante’s mind?
The man was one sick dude

Somehow, Mr. Crazy next to me, notices that I have visibly shrunk myself away from him, so he starts talking louder, and moves one seat closer. I’m not going to move, for he looks harmless enough. He’s at least seventy, but looks strange from the face down. At about his cheekbone, his skin color went from whiti-ish tan (for the man was Caucasian) to a strange, cadaver-grey, and it was covered with these sporadic patched of grey hair, like he’d applied facial-hair miracle grow in fits in starts. The center of his cheeks were lined like skids marks on pavement where skateboards do their flips, leaving groves in cross-patters. This was accented by some very unsightly divots near the corners of his lips that reminded me of the story of the woman (the Mexican mistress) of a white guy (a surgeon actually) who pissed her off, and she took her high heel to his head and killed the poor sap (and I’m not kidding you. Life is stranger than fiction). But I digress.

So this guy keeps talking away, giving me the play by play, asking me meaningless questions I barely understood about a game I don’t care about, and I’m staring at clock on the wall like a moose stares at a Vermont Maple Tree in the dead of winter.

“Will it ever end?” I ask myself, praying like Moses to the Almighty above, begging forgiveness for being out when I should have been in, making promises like Cat Stevens did as he was in the water, thinking he was going to drown and made the deal he’d get religion if he was saved (shout out to Moonshadow…moonshadow…).

Alas, I was rejected and the team lost, 4-3, and I listened to the man talk away in his half-jibberesh. I finally excuse myself and stay in the bathroom, washing my hands under the warm water until my top layer is gone. I come out, look around and he’s still there, and from the distance, I see his lips still moving. He’s talking to himself, and from the looks of it, having a good ol time. Rog and his friends come up and I mention the man.

“You always attracted the weird ones,” comments my husband.

An uncommon, common cold

Thousands of colds exist. The wet-eyed running kind with clear discharge from the nose cold I got as a kid (where the moisture went from one eye to the other, causing a niagra-falls-type event on the afflicted eye. Then there is the come-on-suddenly, wet-sounding runny nose with glassy eyes, such as my daughter just had a few days ago, and then there is a dry throat, compacted nose-cold that came on slowly, as I got last night.

Runny eyes? Good bet its
a Pulsatilla cold

For those three colds, three different natural remedies exist. Don’t bother with the doctor or spend lots of money on a homogenous fix-all. The results address the issue in 15 minutes when its the right one, and without the after effects of an over-the-counter nasal spray that includes the stuffed up, runny-nose coming right back as if nothing had ever happened.

Common Cold #1. The Pulsatilla cold. My favorite as a child (or rather, the bain of my existence).
Symptoms. Runny eyes, one at a time. Nose clogged, one at a time, clear discharge from nose.

Common Cold #2. The Aconitum. This is identified as comes-on-suddenly, out of nowhere, as in, one hour you are fine and the next you have a cold. Wet sounding nasal passages, clear color, glassy eyes.
Common Cold #3. The Kali Bic. This comes on slowly, over a period of hours, as I experienced yesterday. First I had a sniffle, but no discharge (I hate the word, don’t you?). I kept drinking more and more water, but nothing helped. My sniffles just sort-of dripped on my throat. I was fine when I went to bad, other than my throat had become more sore.

Fast Results– 15 minutes is fast, and when the symptoms are gone in an hour, it’s divine. My daughters showed improvement (her eyes cleared up) in about 20 min, and her runny nose was gone in about 1.5 hours. For myself, this am, after I called my homeopathic swami, the Kali Bic worked so fast that within about 10 min the pain in my throat was gone and now, 2 hours later, my nose is 100% cleared up, so much so that I ate the left over chocolate pudding from last night!

The key: Just because the symptoms are gone doesn’t mean you can stop taking the remedy. You still have the badness inside you, and it has to get out. That’s why doctors prescribe taking antibiotics for a period of time. Homeopathy works the same way. This is the schedule:

Directions
Take one pill every 2 hours until the symptoms clear.
Once clear (usually that day) take 3x a day for 3 days
Then 2x a day for 2 days
Then 1x a day for 1 day

JeNu: 5 star review for Best non-invasive lip wrinkle remover

The outside packaging

It’s strange how things work out. Three weeks ago, before my life changed, I walked into the doctors office and noticed that the women’s faces looked…smoother. The 55-year old office manager no longer had deep lip creases and the bags under her eyes were gone- and to clarify, I’m not talking the black bags under her eyes, for she never had those. I’m speaking of the skin that rests upon the cheek bone and with age, sort of slides off to the outer cheek, like a soft-boiled egg slipping off a piece of toast (gross I know, but it’s what came to mind). Furthermore, Suzie, the gal behind the desk, also looked much improved, and she’s late thirties.

Botox? Restalyn? I ask, because you can get away with that kind of bluntness at the doctors office.

“It’s a new product! It’s called JeNu” Suzie responded gleefully, before I can repeat Je-what? On cue, the office manager (whom I’m always forgetting her name) comes out and together, we examine the facial goods and then the nurse come

Inside- left is where 2 vials of gels go, the right is the size of the
wand- it’s smaller than a toothbrush

s out and shows off her much-improved face.

Sure enough, the truth emerges about this new-fangled ‘wand,’ and as if I wasn’t impressed enough, Monica takes me to the back room and shows me for myself how good this $250US product is for skin of any type, and it’s the same price at stores like Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus.

What it is:
It’s designed for 2 areas and 2 areas only. The lips and under the eyes. Gels are provided for both (and they are area and skin specific, so one cannot confuse the two). The wand is recharged (using a convenient USB cord, because this is the computer age, after all), and the timer is set for a minute.

How to use it:

The tube lying down is for the lips, the stand
bottle is for the eyes-the “wand” is in my fingers
the hole is the part that is inserted in the
USB charger

Apply just a bit of get above and below the lip, like applying lip gloss except on the skin. The timer is set for 1 minute, but Suzie confided that it doesn’t do much for her. She needs 3 minutes on both the upper and lower lip. Monica only needs 2 minutes. Once I got mine, I found that 1 minute does the trick for me.

Pressing on the designated area of the wand, a soft pulsing can be felt as you move the wand on the skin just below the lower lip (not on the lip area itself-very bad!), and then it beeps and you can press it again, or move to the upper lip. Then, using the other gel for the area below the eye (which is really on the cheek bone) moving laterally, back and forth.

Truth be told, I don’t have sagging skin under my eye, so I don’t even use it there.

Why did I buy it?

The wand is attached to the charger

When Monica took me back to show it to me, I was completely dubious. She then informed me that Nordstrom is soon going to carry a cheaper, less effective version, but for the same price. They, as a professional center, are selling the professional device. So first, she does my lower lip, a before and after. 60 seconds was all it took for the lines to be gone, my lower lip area to be completely full–and let’s be really clear about one thing. It’s NOT the lift that’s puffed up line a silicone-implanted thing. It’s the area below, which is fuller, thereby lifting up the lip naturally.

“How long does it last?” I inquired, completely uninterested in purchasing a product that’s only going to work for an hour or something.

“All day. More than eight hours.” Again, I was skeptical. She repeated the exercise on my upper lip and told me to go off about my day and watch the results.

Guess what? She was right. I was nice and full throughout the day, and night until I went to bed. Even the next morning it was pretty good. Still, I forgot about it and the following week, decided I might give it a shot. I bought it, took it home and there it sat on the shelf for another week. It wasn’t until I returned from my travels a few days ago that I actually decided to try it out day after day on my lips and see what I got in value.

5-day results
I’m very pleased to say that I have used the lip gel/wand for 3 days, non-consecutive. I honestly don’t feel my lips need it because the lines are gone and it lasts a long time, and once I did it for 2 minutes upper and lower and another time I did it for 60 seconds. Either way does the job for me.

My rating:
Complete 5 stars out of 5. Wow. What a great product. I’ve recommended this to my sisters, my sister in law and my friends who have asked about it (because I don’t want to be rude enough to suggest they use it). But I’m telling all my closest blogging friends- get this. Oh! even my husband tried it for his eyes, and he thought it was great. However, he said this:

“I feel like a girl using it,” and said he doesn’t want to use it again. Boys and men reading this blog- get it and use it. If you shave your face and put on cologne, by all means, get rid of the wrinkles while your at it. Be wrinkle-free and be proud.

Outer thigh be gone

Lei, (the doctor/Maxim fitness model), my trainer (boy, I feel so chi-chi using that title, and that’s what she tells me she is, but really, she’ s an awesome person who kicks my fanny when I do see her, but because I’m not diligent about seeing her more than 2x a month, I really think she’s a motivational consultant who spends half the time just verbally whipping me into shape), got me on the treadmill, raised the inclined to 3% and the pace to 3MPH. Then she turned me sideways and had me vary my movement from a shuffle, wherein my knees were bent, to a more straight-legged approach. The former (bent knees), worked my calves and thighs, while the straighter-knee approach burned up my outer thighs and saddle-bag area. 1 minute, each side, then walk forward 2 minutes. Repeat this five times and you will be begging to stop. After a while though (and you should do this every day if you want fast results, every other day for maintenance), you can vary both incline (she has me up to 7% now) and speed (slower speed/higher incline and the reverse).
Strong leg muscles

Now, if you get bored with this, use the 7-day treadmill weight loss plan from Fitness Mag. It burns 2,000 calories a time (which is more than most of us should eat in a day, thereby almost guaranteeing success). And if you’re really feeling the need to push it for the last days of summer (well, we still have 2 more months), here is the mother-of-all leg exercises for sexy legs.

Gross Feet Prevention- Gout Causing Foods

Stricken with a bout of insomnia, it’s 3:33 in the morning and here I am, thinking about my recently deceased brother and how he had gout. Gross, I know, but it was a side-effect of lots of red meat (not, by the way, the cause of death) and he fought a loosing battle with this issue that eventually required him to set aside all his lovely, expensive shoes for the type worn by old men (you know, the wide, thick-soled kind).

prgrsvimghttp://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4817429716730741&w=207&h=207&c=8&pid=3.1&qlt=90
If you don’t want this….

Yet dear Grant wasn’t alone in this. Gout is most common in men, but for women, it usually occurs after menopause. I know four other men–my cousin’s husband being one, another is a good friend who is a VP of sales at Amazon (an incredibly handsome man I might add) and further still, a partner at a multi-million dollar consulting firm…all have this affliction that is waaayyyy more common that I used to think. Furthermore, each of these men were/are, very ashamed of it, and honestly, I couldn’t understand why until talking to a podiatrist  (I recently broke three toes, but that’ another blog).

When I asked about the revolting picture of gout that was plastered on the wall, about three inches from my head, he said:

“Gout can generally be avoided but men don’t want to do it,” he said in a clinical manner. Why’s that? I wondered, although I suspected it was because men view it like some sort of venereal disease– cover it up and pretend it doesn’t exist until you have to remove your sock.

“One of the primary causes is red meat, and the next reason is wine.” Huh. Didn’t know that, but of the four men I mentioned, two are serious wine drinkers and all four (and now three) are addicted red meat-eaters. And only 1 of these men is what I would consider relatively in shape. The other 3 are…well…dare I say, are bordering on, or are obese (not my departed brother, thankfully).

And with that, the physician reiterated what all 4 men told me– a) it’s really hard to get rid of, b) hard to control and never really leaves and c) they aren’t going to stop eating red meat or drinking wine.

prgrsvimghttp://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4968865949287109&w=103&h=103&c=8&pid=3.1&qlt=90
Have a bit more of this….

OK then. Since resolution is clearly not the answer, what about “management?” (and as an aside, have you noticed that it’s becoming the new normal to talk about weight “management” or relationship “management” or (add-your-own-issue-here “management?” I miss the days or ‘yor that included definitive, resolution-type words like ‘success’ or ‘completion,’ but I digress.

 Health.com has a great article on 8 foods to avoid for gout, and it includes avoiding fish including scallops, herring because of the acid-content, but “On the other hand, shrimp, lobster, eel, and crab are relatively safe, says Scott Zashin, MD, a rheumatologist and clinical professor of medicine at UT Southwestern” so said the article.  Other no-no’s are beer, redmeat, asparagus, liver, turkey and sugary drinks.

What to eat instead? Low-fat dairy, fruits, particularly citrus fruits and 12-16 glasses of liquid (preferably water but tea is ok) per day. Last of all- and perhaps most importantly, watch the weight. Following the basic diet of moderation in all things is common sense, but being overweight exacerbates/accelerates gout.

With that, I feel so much better. it’s 3:56 am and perhaps I can sleep now that I’ve gotten this off my chest and out of my mind.

 

Loving what I Hate for the sake of health

blueberries

Like the illustrious She, I hate blueberries, strawberries, most berries in general, and frankly, most of the fruits grown on this planet. I came out a vegie girl, and truly, I’m a meat-eating-dairy person if I must be honest.

Yet, with the nutritional plan that I’ve been following as a show of solidarity for my daughter who has been going through some rough times, the last two weeks have cleaned me out and cleaned me up, and I don’t mean this in the traditional, happy-for-me way. I’m talking, I’ve been sitting on the toilet so much I have callouses on the back of my thighs and I think the toilet bowl seat has worn down on the edges. The price of toilet paper has increased due to the demand and lack of supply here in the northwest, and this cleaning me out has led me to clean up my act in all things nutritional. Can anyone out there make the call on the fat woman saying “twooo weeks,” as she passes through the airport terminal at some undetermined time in the future?
But I digress. This is about learning to love what you hate, and by that, I mean blueberries.

“Nasty, disturbing things,” to quote the famous hobbit when declining taking on an adventure. Blueberries are mushy, tart and all around symbolic of all colored fruit, and it doesn’t matter how much great press blueberries get for being detoxifying.. Yet, they detoxify, so eat them I did, every day for two weeks. By day 7, I didn’t want to vomit, and by day 10 I could eat without cringing. I still don’t like the texture (today is day14) but I love how I feel after I have my morning bowl (I graduated from a quarter cup to an actual full cup. Baby steps….baby steps…).
prgrsvimghttp://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4921814567092989&w=207&h=207&c=8&pid=3.1&qlt=90
So it can be done, as I told She, who confided that she too, detests fruits.

“Just do it. You’ll learn to love what you hate,” I told her, eventhough I have to agree wit Bilbo. They really are nasty, disturbing things.

Rapid weight loss meets healthy living

Glancing through my past blogs (when I’m on the couch, supposed to cranking out my latest novel whilst Rog has taken the girls to the zoo), I smirk when I read a few of the latest. ‘The last 10 pounds,’ and one prior, about ‘Appreciating the Bad times.” Are you kidding me? I’m thinking to myself. Let’s just have life throw a curve ball and both will happen at once.

To wit. My daughter’s condition has graduated from hair loss (which is now a symptom, not the cause) to a full-blown auto-immune issue. A week ago, we were told to strip the metals from her body, which means forgoing food with animal-product anything. Think no eggs/dairy or meat, but also, starches, rice and potatoes, which also absorb metals. All the other doctors (and we are talking the variety, a homeopath, the MD/acupuncturist, the dermatologist, the Mayo-trained, lead doctor) agreed.

So off she and I went, a week ago yesterday, to Jennifer Aniston’s oft-quoted “clean diet,” (without the cigarettes and the salmon of course).

Lo, day one, we weren’t so good. I thought we were going to starve. Day two, mother and daughter were the dawn of the dead, walking and talking, but lifeless corpses that had no energy. Day three however, was a different story. We regained our energy, the food started tasting good and I made batch after batch of lentil soup, then vegie, then pistachio (which is a Persian recipe that’s divine). Thursday, day four, we were eating ourselves silly, and re-discovered all sorts of great things, like celery and hummus (although Porsche prefers apples in hummus), and peanut butter. I’d heard tale, but never believed, food could taste so good once I gave up all the other stuff.

This leads me to the being more appreciative for the bad times. Through all the on-going tears of the situation (my beautiful almost 8-yr old will be completely bald in the fall), the shots (she had 53 in her scalp last Tues), the regime that I won’t detail just now…I AM appreciative for the bad times. She’s not dying. She has her energy. She laughs and plays with exuberance. And although the doctors can tell us why this is happening, and instead, apologetically offer suggestions they admit they have no idea will work or not, we have it pretty good. We are making it through. Oh, and very selfishly speaking, I’ve finally lost those last ten pounds. As I think to myself (and would never utter out loud), only this situation would have given me the discipline to eat healthy, and isn’t that the way? I’d do things for my daughter that I never would do for myself.

Dropping that last 10 lbs

Sooo many strategies are available to drop that last ten pounds, I’m going to list a few that have worked (and if you are wondering why I need more than one, it’s because I am always re-gaining that “last ten pounds,” over time, and then forget how I’ve lost it in the first place).

  1. Replace processed sugar with beet sugar. A good friend reminded me of this the other day, after I’d successfully gone 4 days without regular sugar. She kindly told me that one “must not live without sugar.” Use this instead. It will help you drop about 1.5-2 pounds per week.
  2. Add arm and leg weights to your daily activities, or exercise efforts. This is a no brainer. The material is soft and the weight manageable at 2 lbs for the wrists (one for each) and then 5 lb for the ankles. Sometimes I’ll use this on the treadmill for at least 40 min to an hour. Alternatively, if I’m not hitting the cardio, I make a point to put them on for an hour while I’m moving around the house. It’s burning extra calories and I don’t have to think about it. The bonus is my arms and legs feel weightless when they are removed.
  3. We call them “Scooby naps” in our house
    1. **note on these–I’ve purchased and given away many types that DON’T work. The wrist ones that go around the thumbs are irritating because I want to be able to move my wrists and thumbs, wash my hands, or whatever. ignore those. Further, I don’t like having the ones that go up to my elbows. They make me sweat. yuck. Last, the round bands that lack the adjustable Velcro means I can’t adjust for a thick or thin wrist–the same goes for ankles. The link I put in was for ankles, but they are all the same– and the selection ranges from 1- 10 depending on the brand.
  4. Drink more water. About 4 wks ago, I plateaued. My trainer upped my water from 1 gallon to 1.5 gallons. No, it didn’t make me crave salt. It just made me go to the bathroom more, but it also helped me shed another 2 pounds.
  5. Add 1 lemon to the water, and 2 tablespoons of cranberry juice (natural and not from concentrate. Both are natural diuretics. Get the cranberry in the natural section, and make sure it’s not from concentrate, no sugar added.
  6. Get 8 hours of sleep. This is the final frontier, and very hard, but worth it. The body can’t process and rejunivate. When I couldn’t kick the last 10 pounds, it was because I was getting about 6 hours. When I was able to up it, all was well.

Model Skin- get to the vitamins

“What have you done to your skin?” my friend Melanie, the hair and makeup artist for the studio asks me. I’m not sure what to say, as I’m trying to gauge if her question is of the good, it-looks-great-type, or if its the ‘girl, you need a lot of sleep,’ nature.

“You aren’t so pasty and it looks– fresh!.”

Ahh. It’s the vitamins, I tell her.

My model friend, who recently landed the contract for Coke in Asia, and regularly appears in fitness magazine, has great skin, and not just on her face- her whole body. She looks polished, even on her arms, which is not an easy thing to pull off. About 6 wks ago, I bit the bullet and started training with her (she’s a nutritionist and has a lot of degrees- modeling paid her way through college), she revealed to me what I will now reveal to you—for free. Love that!

When I convey my newfound wisdom to Rog, he walks me to our pill shelf in the kitchen, opens it up, and shows me every. single. item. GRR.

“Been doing this for years for hockey,” he says, and pulls them out in the proper order. What the..?? I seethe of course, but am inwardly thankful I don’t have to spend the money out of my grocery budget. No wonder Rog has the gluteous maximus fanny (here, the whole time, I thought it was the workout).

Pre-workout: (1 hour, ideally)

  • BCAA (pills, not the powder)
  • Vit D and A

Post workout: (within 30 min, you must eat and take the following)-

  • Glutamine (1 tsp)
  • Glucosamine (1 tsp)

*why within 30 minutes? Because the muscles need to repair themselves and this requires a little help. The food if for fuel and metabolism.

Evening

  • Zinc
  • Magnesium

A few tips:

  • Don’t take all at once. It defeats the purpose. you need pre and post workout, then recuperation at night when you are done exercising. the other reason is that it’s an overload on your stomach and it might come right back up.
  • Don’t take combination vitamins. Many grocery stores sell vitamins, but they are combo. You don’t want that (and for D and A, its impossible anyway).
  • The Glutamine and Glucosamine powders are absorbed faster. I tend to put both in a protein smoothie for post workout.

 

Stop the vomiting and pooping: homemade pedialyte

There I was, crouched in the shower, suffering from vomiting seizures the likes that had not been seen in…well…since my last dog died, all due to the fact that my 8-month old puppy Daisy had to be put down, and Rog dares peek his head around the corner.

“You need anything?” He’s in more misery than I am, because you see, men hate to be helpless. I’ve come to believe that a man would rather lose his hee-haw truck or get a medication-free root canal than watch his wife be in pain.

“Yes,” I croaked. “Pedialyte.”

This is my magic recovery drink, the only thing my stomach will retain after a spout of vomiting. In this case, it was about 6 hours on an off, through to dry-heaves and blood. Not good. When Rog tells me we are out, I block out his words and they become one with the falling water.

Sometime later, he comes back in (I hadn’t noticed he’d left) and asks me to look up. I see a gallon jug full of water that looks yellowish-orange.

“I made my homebrew pedialyte,” he proudly announces, with the hope-infused voice that expresses his sincere desire that all my grief over losing the second dog in less than a year will dissipate when I drink his concoction. “I got it off the World Health Organization site,” he continued.

Later, when I have a glass of ice (I must have ice to crunch on this stuff) I take a sip. It wasn’t bad. In fact, it lacked the “syrupy” nature of the real thing, and I got it down a lot easier because it wasn’t so sweet. When I tell Rog this, he is clearly pleased with his efforts (the survivalist-in-training that he thinks he is), and he tells me that another recipe exists that is even more bare bones “for people who really are in the desert).

Ok then. For all you folks who will get sick, are sick or just believe in experimenting, here’s the recipe. I couldn’t actually find it off the WHO site, but Rog told me what was in it, so I went to several recipe sites. Rog said he substituted the packet of Cool-aid with 1/4 cup orange juice. walla! If only the grief could go away as easy as the vomiting.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 packet Sugar-Free Kool-Aid (optional)- sub with 1/4 cup orange juice

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all until disolved.

Store in the refrigerator. Throw away any remaining after 1 week. You can also freeze some in ice cubes to use later, or keep drinks cold.

Use instead of juice or milk for diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Children under 3 months old should go directly to the doctor if they have any of these symptoms.

 

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