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The Countdown Has Commenced… Finally!

No, really! Check out my side bar! There’s a countdown timer thingy! Woohoo!

The doctor has released me with my solemn oath to wait a MONTH before I play match type doubles. I’ll need to arrowsplay dubs for awhile before I can get back into the singles matches. I’m really eager to play singles now that I’ve lost nearly 40 pounds! I’m curious to see what happens. Will I be super fast? Will I be uncoordinated until I learn to deal with less bulk? Inertia will be less of a problem, maybe? You know, the whole, once I get all this shiz moving, it’s hard to stop! I am not eager, however, to mess the knee up by hitting the courts too soon. Today, we pushed it at PT. More weight, faster movement and this glorious jumping drill on the sled. However, he said I had to monitor my next 24 hours and if I had pain and swelling, we needed to back off. Well, guess what? I have pain and swelling. Not major swelling, but enough pain to want me to resort to the ice pack. Blast!

So, I’m struggling with being super duper excited about my new countdown happening over on my sidebar, and disappointed that the little bit extra we did today caused pain (and swelling). Shittakes! Well, I can only keep working hard at the rehab and do what they tell me. I may just have arthritis issues from here out. Who knows, I’ll just plug along and take it as it comes.

I did also get permission to do a 15 mile mountain bike race up in the Texas Panhandle. The hubs is doing the really long, bad ass race, but they have a wee beginner one. Doc made me promise to get off and hike the bike back if there was pain. No ego, I pledged, I promise to swallow my competitive spirit and let my knee dictate the extent of my ride. Well, that was until I heard that the weather was going to be quite chilly. Okay that was a euphamism for Mother (*&^%$%ing FREEZING. I just looked at the forecast online because I couldn’t remember what the hubs said. Hmmm, he neglected to mention the part about “possible snow“. We’ll be camping. I really hate being cold. So, would I be a bad wife if I ditched him and left his stuff at the race transition area and high tailed it to the nearest town and/or heater and got some writing done for NaNoWriMo? Why are we such nut balls?

Freezing at Lost Maples State Park circa 2004, mummified
Freezing at Lost Maples State Park circa 2004, mummified

I just yelled to the other room, “I don’t think I can camp in snow, we’ve done the below freezing thing before. Do we even have a warm sleeping bag that I can sleep in? You know, square bottom (not mummy) for leg room?”

* This is because I’m a stomach sleeper and I have to have my leg cocked up, you know half on my side… mummy bags don’t accommodate and therefore I am claustrophobic because I can’t move! And because of that, I can’t sleep which turns me into a raving bitch… just sayin’

“Och,” says he with that damned charming Irish accent, “We’ve double bagged you before. Wouldn’t it be an adventure?” What woman could resist those last 5 words?

Not I.

Five Natural Inflammation Fighters

boxing glovesInflammation is the root of so many issues. Some experts believe that chronic inflammation in the body causes most diseases including cancer, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease and the list goes on. A few weeks ago I wrote a post talking about Dr. Dwight Lundell’s article stating as much, and admitting he, and most doctors are flat out wrong about what causes heart disease. Recently, there was a study on carbohydrates and Alzheimer’s disease. I found it interesting that Dr. Lundell also says that carbs are a big reason for inflammation and thus disease. So, what are we to do about it, besides cutting simple carbs? I did some research for myself and I’m sharing these 5 natural foods that fight inflammation.

1. Curcumin: The good news is that Curcumin is an herb. It’s been used for centuries in Chinese medicine and is a very strong anti-inflammatory found in tumeric. It’s the spice that makes curry yellow. In addition to its anti-inflammatory affects, here are a few of its reported other benefits: controls and modulates blood sugar, been shown to kill cancer cells, and boosts bodies levels of antioxidants. Because it would be nearly impossible to eat enough curry to get enough, there are supplements. You’ll need to take it with black pepper to help absorption. I read somewhere that you can swallow a few black peppercorns with your supplements, so that’s how I take it. Easy! Oh, and there are studies on the benefits of curcumin in relation to Alzheimer’s. It’s pretty powerful.

2. Oily Fish: Salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna are all high in Omega 3 fatty acids. You’d need to eat fish several times a week, and no fried fish and chips, that doesn’t count! If  you’re like me and not a fish fan, (well, I do like it fried from the Chippy), supplementing with fish oil is a great idea.

3. Dark Leafy Veggies: Kale, Spinach, Broccoli, Collard Greens… your mama was right! The darker the leaf, the more phytochemicals, and a higher concentration of vitamins. Eat your veggies.

4. Olive Oil: From what I’ve read, extra virgin olive oil, (from the first pressing of olives, I didn’t know that) contains a compound that suppresses the chemicals that cause inflammation in your body. (sort of like Iburprofin does, evidently). Cut out the vegetable oil. Stop it. It sounds like it’s good for you because it has the word “vegetable.” It is NOT good.

5. Cherries: Studies have shown that when healthy men and women added cherries to their diets that their blood markers for inflammation went down. Scientists say that the compounds that create the cherries rich red color are the anti-inflammatory agents. Now, if I could only learn how to tie those stems!!

There are many sources out there with many, many ideas to naturally reduce your body’s inflammation. Because I’m no doctor, and am not an expert in any way, shape of form, I’ve simply found these foods/supplements out on the web. I’d suggest you go out and search anti-inflammatory foods and see what you think will work for you. My main point is that I think that inflammation is something we need to think about and try to control as best we can. I’m not a fan of pharmaceuticals, unless there’s a dire and acute need and I do believe that we can heal our bodies with what we eat. It seems to make sense that food is medicine, doesn’t it?

How do you fight inflammation?

Inflammation: The Root of All Evil

Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D
Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D

A naturopath once said to me, “Inflammation is the cause of most known diseases and ailments. We could prevent almost all of them.” I really wanted to believe her. Who doesn’t want to believe that cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s are easily prevented? Well, it’s hung about in my brain for quite some time now. When I read this article by Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D. a western medicine heart surgeon, I suddenly felt compelled, and a wee bit embarrassed that I didn’t take the information and run prior to this article, to share.

If you do one thing for yourself today, please read this. If you won’t do it for yourself, please think about someone you know who you couldn’t bear to lose. PLEASE! Share it on Facebook, Tweet, Blog about it. When I started this low carb diet, I noticed HUGE changes almost immediately. My hands weren’t swollen, my face didn’t look puffy, my joints didn’t ache, I have fewer migraines and my blood pressure went down. My blood pressure wasn’t even considered high, though I knew 125/80 was high for my body. I’m at 110/70 now, just about all the time, sometimes less.

My body is ahead of schedule healing from my surgery and I honestly believe my diet changes have made a huge difference. The PT guy was a bit flustered that I could bend my leg equal to my right, and straighten within two degrees of my other. “You don’t really need me,” he said. “Come in once a week for the next two weeks, then we’ll see where we are.”

Here’s the full link to the article, and I’m asking you to read it. Please. Read More At http://www.getholistichealth.com/40505/world-renown-heart-surgeon-speaks-out-on-what-really-causes-heart-disease/

Here’s to our health!!

Day 84: Do These Crutches Make My Butt Look…

crutchWe had a field trip out to dinner last night. I somehow hobbled in through two swinging doors (you’ve got to stick that crutch in quick and stop the door) and into the ladies room to wash my hands. As I was hopping on one foot, I glanced to the right and there I was in full side view, crutch balanced gracefully under my right pit, and I had to look twice. Was it me, or did the crutches make me seem slimmer? Was it the long clean line of the crappy, well-worn, hand-me-down beauties that seemed to make my profile more narrow, less bumpy, less belly-centric? No, I don’t think so. I’m running with it, well, going anyway. I think it’s definitely 84 days of this magical Ideal Protein ride. It’s 84 days of plodding along. It’s 84-freaking long and tedious days of stick-with-it-and-be-a-badass-ness that made me look twice. Do I feel great about it? Hell, yes! Am I done? Uh… no. (sobbing…)

I’m just about a half pound from half way. The last two weeks have brought crazy change, stress, and surgery into my world. Just two weeks ago, I left pieces of my heart in Colorado with my oldest son, I got a year older, a college friend died suddenly,  and my knee was scoped. Hella few weeks, huh? Did I tell you that the doc used the word “arthritis” in the same sentence as MY knee? Did I mention he said it was a 3 on a scale to 4? It was really irritated by the tear in the miniscus that rubbed the stuffing out of the inside of my knee, but seriously? Old people get arthritis, not I, not wee little me who’s still in my fabulous forties. The last two weeks my scale has been hovering in the same spot and not giving me a moment’s peace. In truth, why can’t I just see that the scale is just showing me a number? Health, family, gratitude, and love, that’s what’s important. Having the will to plod forward toward my goal, stoking the fires of the stick-with-it-and-be-a-badass mentadditude, that, that’s coming from inside. That second glance at a smaller me, and the ability to let the inner critic acknowledge progress, that was a sweet bonus.

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