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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Scripture Picture Sunday, 3 John 2

Prosper and be in health

  Last week, a blogging friend posted a response to a reader's concern about the change in direction her writing had taken. She had recently begun posting about her health and fitness...where in the past her posts were more focused on spiritual encouragement. In her video she explained why she felt that the two were not mutually exclusive, and that both spiritual and physical health were important. 

  I appreciated her response, because I'm in a similar place...not just with writing, but life in general, and realizing the need to make some changes to be the healthiest I can be. I know that there are many things in this life that we have no control over...the timing of the last breath we take being one of them, but until that day comes, I think God expects me to be the best that I can be, both spiritually AND physically....and just as with Kasey...what is happening in my life tends to spill over into my writing...whether it's here, on Lyric Devotions, or on my Face Book.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

As Good As Healthy Feels

There may be loys of things that taste as good as healthy feels, but hospital food isn't one of them.

There are a couple of memes I've seen that generally  elicit an argument from readers...One is "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" and the other is similar, "Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels." Invariably, someone will beg to differ, listing some of their favorite foods, often chocolate! So I decided to post my own version. Unfortunately, because I posted it as a status update, some people thought I was in the hospital! The point I was trying to make was that eating a lot of yummy junk food is eventually going to land some of us in the hospital! Better to give up the junk now, and avoid hospital food in the future.

The picture in this meme was taken four years ago at Spruce Woods Provincial Park on one of the hiking trails. Brian and I never even made it to the top...that should have been a hint right there that it was time to take a serious look at our health and fitness! Unfortunately, it took a trip to the doctor to get me thinking seriously about making some changes. You can read about the start of that Journey To Wellness here.

I'll be posting updates here periodically...I hope you'll follow along and share some of your own journey, and perhaps we can create our own support group!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Under Deck Storage

Building a gate for under deck

We built our house five years ago, but there are still many ongoing projects. The front deck is one of them....or at least UNDER the deck. Because we cantilevered part of the deck out three feet from the house, we have a small room under there. It's the perfect place to store bikes or seasonal items, but it was lacking a door or gate to close it up.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Journey To Wellness

This may be a little off topic from my regular posts, but it's where I am in life and I feel like it's a topic worth sharing. It's a journey I'm just beginning, and only time will tell where it will take me...and what better place to document my progress than on my blog, and maybe get some accountability to stay on track!? I hope you'll follow along and if you have any personal experiences, or advice to share, please do! Even better, why not join me, and we can help each other.

Making life changes that lead to health and wellness.

I have never been one to go to a doctor on regular basis, and very seldom go to a walk in clinic when I have a cold, sore throat or  other minor issue. I know that I am allergic to penicillin, amoxicillin, and sulphas, so it seems pointless to go to a doctor when I can't take most of what they will prescribe! However, about three years ago I had a complete physical, and found that I had some more serious health issues beginning...I had high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and low liver function. The doctor wanted me to go on medication, but also said some lifestyle changes would help each of these issues...losing some weight through a better diet, and being more active were at the top of the list. I didn't want medication, so I said I would make the necessary changes. I don't drink, smoke, or use any medications, so those are all a plus. I went home determined to do better, but life happened, I got busy, and all my good intentions went by the wayside.

Recently, I had a health issue that required a visit to the doctor. 
My mouth had been sore for a few weeks, and then I got sick with a terrible cold and irritating cough that lasted a couple of weeks. Before I even went to the doctor, I had figured out that I had Oral Lichen Planus (Yes, I know, it's never good to google your own symptoms!) I won't go into detail, but this link explains what OLP  is-
Oral Lichen PlanusIt's thought to be an autoimmune disease, and can be triggered or made worse by stress. I'll be seeing a skin specialist in November to confirm the diagnosis, which is done through a biopsy. 

Something else that showed up when I saw the doctor was high blood pressure...which may or may not have been caused by white coat syndrome! Whatever caused it, it got my attention....and reminded me that I can't just ignore health issues. 

And that is where this journey began.

The hardest part for me, always, is the physical activity. 
I am not an active person, and at this point, I haven't come up with a plan that I feel I can stick that may be addressed in a future post. I'd like to start walking more, but, my focus for now will be more on nutrition, and finding ways to help my body heal itself. 

Although I didn't keep up with my daily exercise routine from a few years ago, I did make some changes that I have continued, even if only sporadically....we bought a juicer, and I started making fresh fruit and veggie juices...and found some delicious combinations. Sometimes I just throw in whatever is on hand and come up with what we call caboodle juice! One benefit of having a sore mouth is it has helped me to get back to doing more juicing!

I also started having a smoothie for breakfast a couple of years ago...usually a banana, blueberries, and some milk...not completely healthy, but way better than corn flakes or toast and jam! I'm now switching to meal replacement shakes that are specifically formulated to support balanced glucose uptake, normal insulin activity, and slow the absorption of high glycemic foods.

Quitting also one of my goals. I had stopped drinking coffee for a time, but unfortunately started up again. At this point, I drink about two cups in the morning, but plan to switch to herbal teas.

Concerning the Oral Lichens Planus
The only treatment seems to be to manage symptoms. What I have been doing is making my own mouth rinse, using tea tree, lemon, and peppermint essential oils. I'm also applying Frankincense to the sides of my tongue and inside my cheeks...wherever there's discomfort! I don't know if these oils can help with OLP, but I do know there are many benefits of essential oils, so I think they are worth trying. I use other essential oils for various purposes, such as pain relief and help with sleep, and I may experiment with more for the lichen planus, but until I have time to do some research, these are the ones I'm using.

STEP 1 on this journey to wellness 
Start taking supplements....12 to be exact! Brian is joining me in this one. Our vitamin package arrived yesterday, and we started on them this morning. They are prepackaged, making it easy for Brian to take his to work with him, and there's no reading labels or counting to make sure we haven't missed any.

This is the list of what we are taking.

Intermittent fasting is something else I've been researching. Basically, I try to keep my meals within a 6 - 8 hour window, ...somewhere between 10 am and 6 pm. This allows my digestive system to rest for a longer period than a normal night's sleep. A 16 hour fast is not difficult, and from everything I've read, the health benefits definitely make it worth trying. I've fasted in the past, and always feel better for it, and I know that cutting out snacks in the evening is the best way to lose weight. Not that weight loss is my main goal, but it IS important to my overall health, so I'm recording my weight today at 155 lbs.

Of course there is one other aspect of my life that needs to be addressed, and that is reducing stress. 
I don't have a specific plan for that, since we can't afford to move to a quiet cottage on a deserted island, but finding some time for just Brian and I wouldn't hurt. Spending more time in prayer and Bible reading, I'm sure would benefit..... Maybe getting back to my songwriting would help's always been the best way for me to express my thoughts, feelings, and own form of therapy. I'll let you know how that goes!

That's all I have for now, but I hope to make a post in about a month to record any progress or changes I notice. In a few months, I'll go back to the doctor for another physical, to see if there's a change in my blood work.

Oh, and I just ordered this book that my sister in law recommended. Thanks Pauline!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

May Meanderings

Photo tour

May will soon be over, so I thought I better get my monthly photo tour posted. Brian took these while I was visiting Mom in Carberry, on the May long weekend.