Tag: healthy living

A Sick Winter

Hey you guys!  How are things going? I just wanted to give you a little update. I wish I could say things have been rosy and perfect but unfortunately I’ve been pretty sick recently. In fact, this entire winter I have had a cold in one form or another.  This is a problem for a person that does 5+ podcasts a week (this week I have 7!). Fortunately I have not lost my voice all together but it has been challenging. I was really bummed because this last weekend I was scheduled to go to the Tumbleweeds Film Festival but I was too sick. I managed to push through Sundance but since I had a cough this time I didn’t feel right about it. I think it is super rude to go to the movies if you know you will be hacking throughout it. Plus, I felt miserable so what’s the point?

It really has been a tough winter for me. I think part of it is the inversion has been very bad and that puts my sinuses at risk for infection and viruses.  The worst thing is when you are coughing so hard that your chest starts to hurt and it feels like you can’t breath. I am also very mucusy and going through a box of tissues a day. My nose is raw and chafed from blowing it so much. Fortunately, my job has been super understanding and kind with helping me get better, which I am beyond grateful for. Even so, I wish I could take a weeks off to 100% get better and finally lick this infection.

I am just glad I don’t have kids because that would be so stressful while being sick. Plus, I’m glad there is Jamba Juice just a hop away. Caribbean Passion is my fav with immunity whenever I get sick. I also watched Happy Feet which is my traditional sick day movie (it’s dancing penguins. How can you be uncheered by that?)

Even while sick we have been plugging away at the Hallmarkies podcast and I’m very proud of our efforts. It’s entertaining, fun and people seem to really like it. Please check it out even if you don’t like Hallmark movies! (We are very charming. You don’t want to miss it)

Conscious Box August 2013 Review

Another day in August, another box review.  Conscious box is a clean living box that tries to introduce consumers to products made in earth-friendly ways.  It has food, cleaning supplies, supplements etc.  All are natural, non GMO, BPA free and 1% of profits goes to help the planet.

The box is 19.95 but there are tons of discount codes out there.  I got this box for free using code FREEBIE.

I’m not the most greenie, hipster type but I like to help our environment when I can.  Who wouldn’t?  It’s just not my religion like it is for some but great when I can.  My only flaw with conscious box is some of the samples are on the small size but you get to try a little of something new.

There is also a points system on conscious box like birchbox which can help you save money on orders and make input on your future boxes.

The value of the box ends up being about the cost of the box but like I said there are lots of codes which can save you as much as 30% a month

Here is the items in the box an the value

0.6   Nordic Gellies  
0.5   postcard    
2.8   tot bars    
0.34   digest all    
0.38   Even the kitchen sink cleanser
2.78   country choice oatmeal
1.07   cereal    
2.08   sneakz nutritional drink
1.46   Allimax    
2   superfood  
2.86   sleep chocolate  
1.07   veggie protein  
0.22   tea    
0.6   Ancient Minerals magnesium     lotion
18.76      
1.30382   sales tax    
20.06   total replaceable value of box

conscious box

Unexpected 5K

So one of the hard things about changing to the family ward is the lack of activities.  We have not had a single ward activity and only 2 relief society activities.  In fact, the attitude seem to be against activities.  For instance, before one of the relief society activities the announcer reiterated several times ‘don’t feel any pressure to come. Only come if you want to come’.   This is a downer for me because I live alone and need activities to get to know anybody, especially now that they have me exiled to primary. Its not just activities but I’ve missed all the spiritual thoughts, FHE, firesides etc that you have in the singles ward.

Anyway, last week I decided to go ahead and attend activities in my singles ward again.  Why not?  Yesterday I checked my facebook and they announced a 5K in my ward.  They’ve done these 5K’s as a fitness challenge every once in a while and there probably was a lot of build up in the ward but this was the first time I heard about it.

Trying to be super intense this week in my exercise I decided to go for it.  I was a little nervous because the Turkey Trot in November had been so rough on my muscles.  I figured this would be a good test on my improvement and recovery since the thyroid diagnosis, so I decided to go for it.

Before the race

Fortunately I had friends to walk with and it went by much easier than the race in November. I felt energized and good.  (Of course, the race in November it was freeze raining and was exhausted from all the Thanksgiving prep).

At the end of the race. It was a great experience!

Even today I was a little sore but well enough to meet with my trainer!  I don’t think I had realized how much my pain level and recovery time has improved since I started on the thyroid treatment until yesterday.  It is so exciting!  It makes me all the more confident for my upcoming swim (which I am excited but freaked out for at the same time).

I feel like I have finally figured it out after all the junk I went through last year.  I am able to do something like a 5K without being near bedridden for the next 2 days.  I couldn’t say that in November.  Hurray!

Let’s just hope and pray that the progress continues and I am able to keep progressing, hopefully at an accelerated rate from last year. (Wouldn’t take much to make that happen!).

 

 

Back in the Pool

Today I am tired and sore but glad to be so.  As I was working on my diagnosis I didn’t want to muddle my chronic pain symptoms with exercise related pain so I held off of any hard training.  This means its been a few weeks since I did a serious swim- really since the QUAC swim.  QUAC was awesome but it was very tough to recover from.   I think because I was going through other stress and the gnawing pain in my ribcage (which in itself is a stressor) it made the recovery more difficult.

Anyway, I wanted to be able to tell my doctor for sure that the pain I was feeling was the chronic pain, not something from exercise.  Also with labs and doctors visits I had to be careful to get my work hours in and that left less time for exercising; however, after a promising week of results with  my thyroid medicine I felt like I was ready to get back to training. As much as I moan and groan about workouts I really do miss them when I can’t do them anymore.  Especially swimming.

Today I met with my swim coach for the first time in over a month (crazy how fast the time goes!).  He gave me a good workout- 1500 meters with intervals (250m fast, 250m slow, 200m fast, 200m slow…all the way down to 50m).  It was intense and my arms felt heavy but it was awesome!

Back in the pool! My face was so red after the workout. Something about these post-workout photos I love

There is something about diving into the water that I find so therapeutic.  There is a peace in the white noise of water that I love.  You can scream under water and nobody knows. I find the minute I dive in my mind becomes clear and the repetition of the strokes allows me to mull over the problems in my life.   Most importantly my body floats away, the pain with it.  I don’t feel like a heavy girl in the water.  I feel like I am flying!

It was great to get back in the water!  Tomorrow I meet with my trainer, thursday swim with my friends and Saturday I am taking boxing lessons!  I’m so excited about that!  Yes, I’ve always wanted to take boxing lessons!  There is a gym in Salt Lake that teaches boxing classes just for women.   http://www.boxingisforgirls.com. I think it will be awesome.  I took self defense at BYU and loved it. So, take notice and don’t tick me off in the future.  I will be trained! 🙂

I got my first bountiful basket this Saturday!  It was delicious! I’ve been enjoying the oranges this week and all the yummy vegetables.  I made corned beef and cabbage on Sunday and that was yummy (my fridge is now stuffed with crockpot meals I’ve made the last few weeks!).   Today I had a steak.  My mother can not make steak.  Cooks it to death.  Once I learned how to make it right I love it! Its expensive and high in calories but for an occasional indulgence Ok. Especially after my intense swim.  Don’t get too worried because with all my delicious veggies I made a massive salad to go with the steak!

There is something better about carefully selected produce.  You don’t really realize it until you try the good stuff and there is such a difference.  Yesterday I had dinner at Anna’s and she made ginger ice cream.  With the fresh grapefruit and orange sections the citrus and ginger combined well, creating a delicious dessert.

My friend Kate and I decided we will do the baskets every other week.  For $20 how can you go wrong?  (We split the box equaling $21.50 per person). This week they had special pineapples to order.  Hope they will have something like that next week.  Yum!

Whole Wheat Pancakes

So today I made the most delicious breakfast- whole wheat pancakes.  I LOVE pancakes but most whole wheat are thick and heavy.  These weren’t.  I must admit they tasted particularly good thins morning after having a rocky sleep last night (kept waking up with coughs, the cpap was bothering me etc).  The recipe is from my blogging friend White  Lilly with a few minor modifications from yours truly.

I've been working on learning how to use my pentax. I would like to have better photography for my blog including my food photos. What do you think?

 

WHOLE WHEAT BUTTERMILK PANCAKES

1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk so I made my own using 1 cup 2% milk with 1 T plain vinegar)
2 T oil (didn’t have oil used 2 T butter melted)
1 T honey (used 1 T light agave instead)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
fresh or frozen blueberries (optional)

I like to put peanut butter, and then maple flavored agave on the top to add some protein and a more low GI sugar.

Whisk wet ingredients together, taking care to sufficiently beat the egg. Then add dry ingredients, mixing well. For smoother batter, use electric beaters (I’m usually too lazy to get them out and just mix it by hand). I like to use fresh ground flour, and I prefer to use soft white wheat (aka, whole wheat pastry flour). Hard white wheat will work as well, but if you go to red wheat you will be exchanging a mild flavor for a stronger one. If desired, add three to five blueberries (depending on the size of your pancakes) to each pancake immediately after dropping the batter onto the grill. Do not mix the blueberries all at once directly into the batter; it will just turn the batter blue! Coat a grill with nonstick cooking spray and preheat to 300-325 degrees. You may want to fiddle with the temperature a bit to find out where it’s optimal. If it’s too hot the pancakes will be dark brown. When the batter starts to bubble, gently lift an edge with a spatula; if it’s a light brown/golden color and seems like it will stay intact, then it’s ready to be flipped. Cook on second side for a minute of two, peaking under the edge frequently to make sure it doesn’t get too dark. Sometimes I flip them back over the the first side for several seconds just to make sure that the pancakes are cooked all the way through.

A Cough and Sore Throat

“Alas, the frailty is to blame, not we
For such as we are made of, such we be”

William Shakespeare Twelfth Night

So all week I’ve felt a cold coming on.  I’ve had so much to do that I tried to ignore it.  Getting back from a trip is stressful and there is still a great deal of work, cleaning and laundry to do.  I haven’t even been up to the houses since I got back I’ve been so busy.

In an attempt to ward off illness I got a flu shot on Monday but sadly it was not the all-encompassing vaccination one hopes for because on Thursday I started to feel unwell.  At first I thought it was just fatigue from all the training I’ve been doing.  This Saturday (the 24th) I am swimming in my first swim meet in 13 years!  I can’t wait!  I am going to swim the 400, 200, and 50 free!

Unfortunately as Thursday went into Friday my sore throat got worse and my chest felt more congested.  Nevertheless, I plowed through and did another swim Friday night.  However, it was clear something was wrong because I could barely do a 200 m.  My chest felt constricted and tight, like I couldn’t breath correctly.  By the time I got home I felt the shivers and downright sick.

Yesterday I spent the entire day sleeping and resting and with some dayquil/nyquil got through the day.  Luckily my sister Anna was already planning on using my apartment to cook her anniversary dinner with her boyfriend so she took care of me as well!  She did my shopping and made me sushi. I tried to stay out of their hair but it was still nice to have the company.

Now today is Sunday and I am resting once again.  I debated about going to the Urgent Care but I think I will wait and go to my regular doctor tomorrow if I am still not feeling well.  I’m pretty sure it is just a lovely virus but its always worth checking if it goes on for multiple days.  I just hope that it doesn’t keep me from training next week because I want to be ready for my swim meet.  I also have limited time to prepare for my next open water swim Slam the Dam in Vegas on October 1st.

It’s a longer race (1.2 miles so longer by just a hair) so I need to train!  Let’s just hope my body let’s me!

Sometimes I wish I had a stronger constitution- a body that withstood the virus’ and bacteria of the world.  Sadly, it is not the case. If there is something going around I get it- and usually the more virulent strain of it.   My entire family has somewhat weak constitutions, especially my brother who seems to always get unusual variations of an infection.

My cousin Julia never missed a single day of high school.  Me on the other hand I was gone 1/3rd of the time.  I just got sick more and my mother believed in keeping us home if we are sick.   On a side note there is increasing evidence that we should all stay home when we are sick:

1. We are not productive employees when we are working sick.  A recent study by the Harvard Business School shows that “Employers worry a lot about absenteeism, but new research suggests a bigger threat to productivity is “presenteeism”: sick workers who show up at work but are not fully functioning. U.S. companies may lose $150 billion (yes, that’s billion) annually because of presenteeism, according to some estimates.”

2. You are more likely to get sick from a co-worker/student that  goes to work sick than most any other interaction.  Think about it- you spend 8 hours a day in sometimes very close quarters with these people.

The New York Times says, “In a telephone survey of nearly 1,000 adults conducted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, more than one-third of workers said they felt pressured to go to work when sick. About the same number reported that they had picked up the flu from a colleague in the workplace.”

“We work in a Dilbert environment these days,” said Brett Gorovsky, an analyst at Wolters Kluwer. “We’re in closed office spaces, where germs are a bigger concern. And there’s downsizing. There are fewer people to backfill now, so workers more often feel they have to show up.”

Recently in Utah there was a measles scare and the CDC had to remind everyone that if your child is sick keep them home. We are losing our herd immunity as a society because of those that chose to not vaccinate their children (that’s a topic for another entry. A topic I feel quite strongly about- immunize your kids!).  This means we are all more susceptible to serious infections and can transport those infections to others.  Even conditions like measles, whooping cough, and mumps that were at one time thought eradicated are springing up all over the place.   If we ever get a truly deadly pandemic we will need to have developed the habit of isolating the sick or the effects will be terrible.

This movie looks really good but kind of freaks me out.

Again from New York Times, “In one case, more than 1,000 people were sickened with a gastrointestinal virus at a casino in Reno, Nev., in an outbreak that began with a few sick employees who said their supervisors had pressured them to go to work. The employees, mostly low wage earners, had little or no paid sick leave.”

3.  Disease transmission aside, with rest you are more likely to recover quickly.  I personally would rather have 1 or 2 days in bed than have 2 weeks of a lingering illness.

Anyway, if you are sick STAY HOME!

Today I will be following my own good advice and am sticking to my apartment.  Here’s to hoping I feel better tomorrow!

Btw, the only time I wish I didn’t live alone is when I am sick but I think that is mostly because I wish for someone to complain to and someone to do my shopping.  One time I told my sister “I wish I was married and could have someone to take care of me when I am sick”.  She said “Well, that really doesn’t happen when you are married.  What you want is a mother”.  It’s true.

I guess that’s proof that no matter how independent we feel, each of us at one point or another yearns for our mothers…

Deer Creek Clinic

Yesterday was the best day of my life!  As you all know I have been working to complete my first mile open water swim.  The actual race is next Saturday but yesterday was the official clinic, and my first open water swim.  I think my facebook post says it all:

I did it! I did it! I did it! I swam in open water for a mile and held my own with people who had all done it before without a wetsuit. This is the best day of my life!

If you read my last post you know that I was very worried about not fitting into a wetsuit but it turned out my worries were ill founded.  There was no problem.  In fact, the water felt good.  The hardest part was keeping in a straight line (or they call it citing).  You have to hold your head slightly out of the water to see the spot in front of you and stay straight. This takes more energy and will take some getting used to but I think I had a pretty good start yesterday.   I was slower than everyone else but like I said in my status they all had more experience than me. For me it was just awesome to participate and finish.

Its hard to explain what swimming in this race means to me.  I don’t know if I can put it into words.  Its part dream of the last 18 months and dream of a high school swimmer who tried so hard to be good at something athletic.  I remember the day I got my lifeguarding certification in high school.  That was a big accomplishment for a fat girl.  I felt a similar serge of emotions yesterday.  I did it!  I did something really hard and I know next week will be even more amazing.  They said that each participant will get a medal and normally I think participatory medals are lame but this is one case where coming in last deserves a medal.  It is a lifetime of work, a lifetime of struggles, a lifetime of loving the water all rolled up into a mile of Deer Creek Reservoir.  I am more grateful than I can say to have found this opportunity and that I started this journey.  Wow its been tough but moments like yesterday make it all worth it. Its so worth it!

By the way, you can still register if you want to participate.  Its too late to get a t-shirt but you still can.  Go to http://www.deercreekopenwater.com/.

If you have any tips for racing- what to eat, how to train this week before, how to pace myself etc I would really appreciate it.  I need all the help I can get.

Is this not a happy face?:


The other exciting thing about yesterday is everyone was so nice.  I am very grateful to have stumbled upon this open water swim if anything for the contacts it will give me of other intense swimmers.  Everyone has been so accommodating including giving me a ride, coordinating a paddler and kayak and giving me advice for the race . Thank you so much!   I am so excited for the race.  If anybody is available I would love to have a friend at the race next week.  I found I was so tired yesterday that not having to drive was a welcome relief.  Plus, it would be nice to have someone to cheer me on.  It starts early (we have to be there by 7) so I understand if no one is interested.

Here’s a video of us swimming:

I can’t wait for next week!  It will be super hard but I know I can do it.