It’s a Lifestyle not a Diet

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When I decided to change my life, I started with what I thought would be a small change.  I went from eating a Vegetarian diet to eating a plant-based one.  I already “knew” the cruelty involved in eating dairy and meat, but the longer I’ve been Vegan (someone who tries to live as cruelty-free as is possible), I’ve found out more and more about the animal industry that I truly wish I didn’t know.  However, learning new recipes has actually taught me to be a better cook.  When you can’t just throw cheese on something to improve the taste, you’ve really got to know what you’re doing.  I use many more spices than I ever did before, and also spices from different parts of the world.  My cooking has most definitely improved, but most of my meals take longer to prepare.  So, there is the good along with the “bad”.

That being said, I’ve been on a journey that has stopped at more than a few rest areas along the way.  And, being stuck in too many rest areas, I’ve come to the realization that there is really only one way to look at the rather large goals that I have.  I’ve been changing my thoughts on these goals, and thinking of them as a lifestyle, not a diet, and not “just” goals and steps, but as a deliberate way to live my life.  So, every time the alarm goes off and I know that I’ve got to get up and work out, I tell myself it’s a lifestyle.  So far, this has worked, and I’ve gotten up and done what I’ve planned on.

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Part of what has helped me, and might help you too, is that I’ve been making goals for each week and working daily to achieve them.  Some of these goals deal with house-work, and some deal with my goal of finishing the book I’m working on.  I find that if I break them down into smaller steps, I’ve been hitting more goals than not.  This is helping with my confidence, since I’ve been tracking everything and seeing more successes than failures.

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So, how have you been doing with your goals for the year, and what has been helping you achieve them?  Let me know.  You may have great ideas for the rest of us.

Some Information on Ayurveda

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I’ve been thinking about health for a while now.  My Fibromyalgia has been gradually getting worse as I’ve been getting older.  I let myself stop working out and now that I’m back at it, it seems to be taking me a long time to get some flexibility back.  I don’t want to be a little old lady who can barely walk at the ripe old age of 60 (when I do get there).  One of my resolutions this year was to go to the Doctor for a physical, so I’ve got to do that.  I don’t think that other than my Fibromyalgia I’ve really got anything else going on, but since I haven’t been to the doctor for quite a few years, I think a physical could be a good idea.

Since I like to research things, I found myself looking up information on Ayurveda.  For those of you who don’t really understand what it is, here is an explanation, copied directly from the website.

“The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and 2) nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body.”  http://www.chopra.com/articles/what-is-ayurveda

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When I read that, I thought it was a great way to look at health.  Of course, everything is interrelated, and we really do need to learn how to meditate, slow down and care for ourselves.  This is such a problem for me.  I’m one of those people who, when told in an airplane that I would have to place the oxygen mask on myself before placing one on my child, recoils.  Intellectually I know it makes sense, but why would I put myself before my child?  See my problem?

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I’m determined to explore this “self-care” more this year, and encourage you to do so too.  Since I hate pharmaceuticals, I don’t want to be put on any.  I want my health to come from natural sources such as what I eat, how I think and how I take care of my body.  Let me know what things you do to stay health in mind and body.  I’m going to explore this Ayurveda path, and I’ll probably talk about it in some future posts.

 

Fighting for Positivity

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Sometimes it can feel like in order to survive I need to hide in my bed, under the covers.  I’m sure that I’m not the only person who sometimes feels like this.  I’ve said before that some of the people in my life are extremely negative.  They can also go out of their way to try to make me as negative as they are.  Since staying positive is not a default position for me, it can be a trial.  However, I’m trying my hardest to remain as positive as a can.  So, that being said, here are some of my favorite quotes I often read in order to remain as positive as I can.

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I Have Faith

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I have faith that light destroys the darkness.

I have faith that good overcomes evil.

I have faith that people want to be kind more than they want to be unkind.

I have faith that nothing lasts forever.

I have faith that we are all one.

I have faith that we are stronger united than we are divided.

I have faith we can all be our best selves.

I have faith that most of us love each other.

I have faith that love conquers hate.

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This Day

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Like probably many people, today is going to be a difficult day.  Yes, I am talking about the Inauguration.   When I was in high school, I volunteered at a program that was run out of my high school called Instructors of the Handicapped (IOH).  We taught mostly children who were either mentally impaired, physically impaired, or both, to swim.  The program ran from 1 to 5 every Sunday of the year, and was seldom cancelled.   There were 5 classes, the first 3 were for the children who lived at home with a care-giver.  These children were well taken care of, and lived with loving families who tried to enrich their lives.  The last 2 classes were for the children who lived in an institution.  These children suffered neglect.  The institutions have since been closed down in my state, and the remaining people now live in group homes.  I understand that they are much better cared for.  IOH was a huge part of my life, and the most fulfilling.  I had one child who was in the process of dying, and in my senior year she died. She added much more to my life than I ever did to hers.  Another of my kids was boy with Epilepsy.  We never knew when he’d have a seizure, but he was one of the best swimmers, and had the most positive outlook on life I have ever seen.  But the kids who stole my heart, were the ones from the institution.  Unfortunately, most of the other instructors would skate out around the same time the bus arrived, leaving us short on instructors – these could be difficult kids who acted out in inappropriate ways.  They were hard to handle, could be frustrating, and not everyone could deal with them.  I loved them.  Over the years, I got to know them really well.  They were mostly sweet and gentle.  They wanted to be loved and to make us happy.  I will always have a special spot in my heart for those of us who aren’t average.

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The day that Donald Trump made fun of Serge Kovaleski who has arthrogryposis, I was transported in time.  All I could think of were the bullies who have always, and always will, make fun of anyone who is not perceived as “normal”.  In my opinion, we were all treated to a show of who Donald Trump is.  He’s the bully in the class.  And the rest of us had just better watch out.  So, what to do?  Keep being the loving people you are.  Stand up for those of us who are not “normal”, stay true to your hearts.   I know it sounds like a cliché, but be the change you want to see in the world.  Be a shining star of love, acceptance and understanding.  Be love.

 

The Best Sleeping Position

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One of my goals this year was to get more sleep.  I’ve recently come across some information regarding the “best” position to sleep in.  It seems that some scientific evidence points to the fact that sleeping on your left side is the best for your body.  Apparently, the theory that sleeping on your left side is best for your health and sleep stems from the ancient mind/health/body belief called Ayurveda.  Ayurveda originated in India, and is the belief that the mind and body are connected, and the mind has the ability to heal and transform the body.  As I’m sure you know, this belief system has been scientifically studied, and is thought to be true.  All the different body systems are connected, including the mind.

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So, sleeping on our left sides seems to have a variety of benefits.  First of all, it benefits the lymphatic system by helping to filter out waste and fluid through the lymph nodes.  Also, this sleep position helps to drain waste material from the brain. Science has found that sleeping on your right-side can decrease the lymphatic system’s ability to filter waste and fluid.  Sleeping on your left side also helps with digestion by helping food waste move through the large intestine and into the colon more easily, keeping you from having bowel problems.

Some other benefits of sleeping on your left side include keeping your heart healthy by again helping the lymphatic system drain.  Pregnant women are encouraged to sleep on their left side in order to improve blood circulation to the heart, relieve pressure on their backs and increase blood flow to their livers, uterus, kidneys and fetus.  If you suffer from acid reflux, sleeping on your left side can reduce these symptoms because the stomach is on the left side.  This position keeps the acid in the stomach.

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I’ve been trying to sleep on my left side more often.  My husband snores exceedingly loudly, and since he sleeps to the left of me, often on his right side, this usually ends up with him snoring in my ear.  I’ve been trying to get him to sleep on his left side also.  What side do you sleep on?  Have you noticed any difference in quality of sleep when you sleep on your left side?  Let me know in the comments below.

http://www.lifehack.org/356391/this-why-you-should-sleep-your-left-side-backed-science

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. – A Hero for All

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Today is the day that we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I’m ancient enough to remember Dr. King from the news, and the one thing about him that I’ll never forget is his “I’ve got a dream” speech.  At some point around the same time, I watched the movie Don Quixote de la Mancha”, with Peter O’Toole in the main role. The song “The Impossible Dream” also lives in my head, and I often think about it.  The two are inextricably linked in my mind, and whenever I think of Dr. King, I also picture Don Quixote tilting at his windmills.  Is not the search for equality, justice, compassion and understanding also tilting at windmills in our society?

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So, it’s been forty-eight long years since this great man was assassinated.  I remember when it happened, and I can recall thinking, as only a very young child can, what was wrong with the person who killed him, and what was wrong with the people who celebrated it.  To me, he was a hero.  A person who wanted only equality, justice, compassion and understanding.  I still wonder how some people can be against that.  What is wrong with equality, justice, compassion and understanding.  Does equality take away?  Of course not, it makes life better for all.  What is done to one, can be done to all.  I’ll take equality, justice, compassion and understanding over anything else that is out there.  Wouldn’t you?

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