Update on Life

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It’s getting nice out, I feel like I’ve emerged from a long and snowy winter, and I wanted to give a few updates on the changes that I’ve made to my life.  So, I’ve gotten the children’s book that I was writing pretty much done – the writing part anyway.  This weekend I want to start in on the illustrations, and have someone other than myself read it so I get some feedback on any changes that need to happen.  I’m so glad that I’ve finally finally gotten to this point!  Because I’m trying to write fairly consistently, I’m feeling much more creative, and I absolutely love the feeling!

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My quest to get rid of junk around the house unfortunately has not yet turned into an actual plan.  I got a good start on Spring Cleaning last week, but this week has been pretty much taken up with wood stacking for the winter.  We’re almost done with that, well, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so we’re more than halfway to the end.  This weekend I hope to get a workable plan in place for that.  And, to try and get the Spring Cleaning done, once and for all.  (At least for this Spring!)

My eating plan has been having some pretty good results.  I’ve lost fourteen pounds (maybe more, I haven’t yet weighed myself this week).  I’m eating all that I want, I’ve just changed what it is that I eat.  Oranges, bananas and grapes are some of my latest favorites.  I’m looking forward to the strawberries, blueberries, plums and peaches that the summer will bring.

Here are a few of my recent photos of flowers and trees in all their Spring beauty!

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Food and Exercise

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I’ve been on the Engine 2 Rescue Diet now for almost three weeks.  This diet is a no oil, no preservatives plant -based one.  How is it going?  Well, at times all I really want to do is to eat all the chips in the bag!  However, I haven’t done that, and it’s going pretty good.  I haven’t fallen “off the wagon” at all, and when I do get chip cravings, I tend to eat either some grapes – which are totally delicious, by the way, or an orange.

Learning how to make stir-fry without oil was a little hard to get used to, but I’ve got that down, now.  Tonight, is Chinese night, so I’m really looking forward to the steamed veggies with white rice.  A meal that I don’t have to cook is always a source of excitement.

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I’ve been having Quaker Quick Oats for breakfast with some maple syrup, cinnamon, banana and blueberries.  At first I thought yuck! I hate oatmeal, but when I have it like this, it’s really good!  If I get hungry later in the morning (sometimes I’ve already eaten by 6:30, I’ll have an orange.

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Here’s a lunch that I love.  I just cut-up some onion, mushroom, squash and peppers, then I stir-fried them in a little water.  I put them on a Sandwich Thin (again, no oil), added a little no-oil homemade hummus and dug in.  I also ate the leftovers.  Good lunch!  Next week I’ll give you some dinner recipes.  I have to take pictures, since I haven’t gotten around to that, yet.

I’ll also eat a salad with extra veggies and chickpeas. If I still feel hungry I’ll throw a small red potato in the microwave and cook it up.  I’ll then eat it with some garlic powder.  No vegan butter for me.  This was actually a little strange at first, but I’ve gotten used to it, and now like the potato with only some herbs on it.

I’ve added some more exercise to my routine also.  I now work-out in the morning, then go for a walk with my dog around eleven, then come home and work-out some more.  In the afternoon, I’ll do so again.  So, this is what I do:  Monday, Wednesday and Friday I’ll do my Soloflex machine (yes, I’ve had one for more years than I want to admit), then a Denise Austin DVD with weights in the morning.  In the afternoon, I’ll do a Denise Austin Pilates DVD.  I hate Pilates!  Tuesday and Thursday, I’ll do a Fitness Blender video in the morning.  In the afternoon, I’ll do a bunch of Sun Salutations very slowly.  On the weekend, I usually mix it up with some Denise Austin workouts and different Fitness Blender videos.

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The whole process has been a major time-commitment, what with the meal planning, making things that I usually don’t from scratch and working out.  However, I’ve finally seen a positive change in my body.  Have you changed anything about your diet or exercise routine?  Let me know how that’s going for you.

 

Rising Rates of Colorectal Cancer in Younger People

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It’s no secret that there is a weight problem in the U.S.  Too many people eat fast food, and prepared food.  These foods have been shown to have an adverse effect on the health of the people who consume them.  The troubling thing is that these foods are addictive, they taste great, and they also cause health problems.

While I was unable to find any information on the exact diet that contributes to colorectal cancer on the AMA website, I was rather interested to see that they did advise the following:  physical exercise, and eating a diet that is high in vegetables, fruits and whole grains.  They also advised against a diet that is high in meats and alcohol.  The main thing that they were concerned about was a high fiber intake.  Just a little fact that may (or may not) have to do with colorectal cancer, is that the average piece of red meat stays in the colon for 24 to 72 hours.

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Maybe getting this information out there will help people to change their diets for the better, I would think that eating more vegetables and fruits would be a happy change for most people.   There are many reasons to get healthier, and hopefully the realization that your cancer risk will decrease would be a hopeful one to start with.  Let me know if you feel that you’re eating a diet that’s high in fiber intake.

 

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-02/acs-sfc022317.php

http://www.alternet.org/food/are-bad-diets-causing-bowel-cancer-crisis-among-millennials?akid=15289.302291.Nls-6K&rd=1&src=newsletter1073670&t=14

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20050111/red-meat-eaters-risk-colon-cancer#1

https://www.reference.com/health/long-beef-digest-within-human-body-833d192464409d6c

 

 

Is Motivation Garbage?

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Mel Robbins has a video out about how motivation is garbage, which I’ve linked below.  My initial reaction was wait, what!!  It’s a fifty-minute interview so it is a little long, but I highly recommend watching it, as she has a lot of good information to give.  In fact, I hope that people watch her videos since she’s really well informed, and is one the most engaging speakers I’ve seen.

Of course, the whole premise is that motivation doesn’t work, because motivation isn’t what gets you off your butt, action is.  Which is the truth.  We can all read motivational quotes until the sun goes down, but if we don’t actually do something the quotes will never help you.  Personally, I find that the best way to motivate myself is to think of all the times I’ve done something that I really don’t want to do, and to think about how not doing it will wreck my number of days that I’ve already done it.  This works really well with exercise and diet related goals.

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Motivating oneself is difficult, since action is the crux of the problem.  So, get off your butt and do whatever it is.  Make that goals list, break it down into steps, and just start.  Don’t wait until you feel like it – that, I’ve got to tell you, is never going to happen.  You’re never going to feel like change because change is hard, it hurts and it’s difficult.  Just do it!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCHPSo79rB4

 

Rebooting my Diet

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I’ve been Vegan for a few years now, and while I feel really good on this lifestyle, as a fifty-something woman dealing with chronic pain from Fibromyalgia and the other aches and pains that come from (those dreaded words) growing older, I felt that I really needed to make a change with my diet.  No, I’m not talking about beginning to eat meat and dairy again.  Instead I mean that I want to start eating the way Dr. Michael Greger promotes in his book How not to Die.  So, luckily, I was able to go and see Rip Esselstyn on his book tour promoting his new book, The Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Diet: Eat Plants, Lose Weight, Save Your Health.

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While my diet is mostly healthy, I haven’t been eating the way that I should.  As you probably know, there are a lot of prepared food products out there for Vegans.  While these foods make life easy, they’re not exactly healthy.  I’ve been eating half-a-bagel at breakfast with vegan butter, and then there is the wonderfully delicious mandarin orange chicken (I prefer the Gardein brand).  However, since these are prepared foods, they of course, are not really good for you.

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Due to the increase of pain related to my Fibromyalgia, I decided that I really had to change my food consumption to only whole plant-based foods.  Lucky for me, along came the Rip Esselstyn book tour.  I’m so glad that I went to see him.  A lot of the recipes for vegans require that you are able to both afford and go to a store such as Whole Foods.  While Whole Foods is a wonderful experience, I absolutely cannot afford to buy much there.  That’s what’s so good about the recipes in the Engine 2 book.  I will be able to buy everything I need at my local grocery store.  So, I originally thought that I would start this on Tuesday, however, I just realized that I should probably read the book and then start – know, what a novel idea!  I’ll let you know when I start, and how it goes.  Wish me luck!

 

Stress, What is it Good For?

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We’ve all been told that stress is extremely bad for us, especially long-term stress.  The high blood pressure, the rapid breathing, the clammy hands, the shot of adrenaline that can leave us shaking in its wake.  All these things are really really bad for us, or so we’ve been told.  I recently watched Kelly McGonigal’s Ted Talk, and she made me rethink what I thought I knew about stress.

https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend?language=en#t-123462

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In the studies that McGonigal talks about, subjects were simply informed that stress was actually good for them.  That’s all.  They believed that contrary to what they thought they knew, stress was good for them.  The blood pumping through their veins was so they could think better; the adrenaline was getting them ready to respond to what was going on around them.  Once these subjects really believed this, their bodies reactions to stress changed.  So, if we believe that stress is bad for us, we can die from it.  If we believe that it’s not bad for our health, we don’t die from it.  Our beliefs can change our bodies reactions, making me think of the Buddhist teaching that we are what we think. Our body is a system, so if we can change our thinking about stress, we can change our reactions to it.  This actually gives me a great deal of hope.  I really can control my reactions, and so can you.  Make sure you watch the video, since McGonigal has fantastic things to say, and then work on changing your thinking.  You may just save your own life.

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