Have you ever decided to do something you have never done before and then after the fact asked yourself the question why? That was me this morning. My buttock muscles and lower back are giving me such grief. The reason is that last night was ballet class, yes, you heard me right. I am attending an adult ballet class. We do a little modern dance with it, but it is mostly ballet. Last night was the fourth night and only 2 people were there. So it was a semi-private lesson and there was no place for me to hide at the back of the room, ha, ha! Where was everyone anyway? Consequently, as there was only one other person to watch besides me, I felt I needed to do everything correctly, give it everything I have. Yikes! As a result, the teacher noticed that I have very high arches and she said many ballet dancers would be most envious. Of course, that made me, in my mind, want to do more than my body really wanted to. Therefore, the pain this morning. I know it will pass. Would I recommend ballet class to someone my age who has never taken ballet before? No, run the other way! Just kidding! It is very good discipline for the body and mind.
I need to write more. But often times, I sit and think! What should I write about? Coming up empty-handed many a time, I decided that today I would write something about nothing. So here goes. How do you do that? Another dilema, but because it is about nothing, hey, I have nothing to lose.
Today it is hot; registering 31 degrees outside. That is almost unbelievable weather for September and in B.C. I remember when we came to Vancouver Island, approx. 8 yrs. ago; it took me 2 summers before I felt I could put on a pair of shorts. The weather was always a bit cool, it seemed. (even though some people wear shorts all year long out here). Such a contrast to this year; it has been the best summer for lovely, hot weather. That is, if you like it hot and I do.
However, I am often not sure of what to do on days like this. For one thing, I am not a gardener; I have tried and thought I would like it; but alas, I do not. I do like to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. I tried to take the dog for a walk; but she wouldn't go. Really, she planted her feet firm and was very happy when I turned around to come back home. Now what?
I decided to ride my bike. I could hear my dog voicing her disapproval at being left alone, as I pulled out. I rode down town Sidney. As long as I was moving, there was a bit of breeze. But when I stopped and waited for traffic, (there are a lot of 4 way stops in Sidney) it was very hot, especially with the helmet on my head. Perhaps, I should have headed down Lochside Trail. At any rate, I came back home, to the somewhat cooler temperature of my house. Thank goodness for insulation. I am enjoying a nice, cool glass of water and writing this post.
Now, I am going to read. No cooking, baking today. I think we shall have a nice, big salad. Perhaps, my favourite kale recipe!! Yum!
So what is your weather like, today? What do you do on a hot summer day?
Another dull and rainy day here in B.C. on Vancouver Island. What do you make of it? Well, you could stay in bed for the day, curl up and read a good book or bury your head in the sand. Seriously, though, if you let it, the weather or any unhappy circumstance in your life could get you down. You may begin to feel a "grump" coming on or at the very least want to complain. That's how I started to feel this morning. Fortunately, I caught myself right away and remembered that this is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it. Immediately, I began to smile and even sing. I had a great day, working a few hours at the preschool. Later in the day, I had my annual check-up at the cancer clinic and was declared "cured" by the oncologist, who said he doesn't need to see me anymore. I am overjoyed. And, yes, it is still a dull day and raining, but not on my parade.
I found the following article by Melissa Breyer, Care 2 to be most interesting!
Most of us know about the importance of iron and calcium for our bodies, but what about magnesium? It is the second most abundant element in human cells and the fourth most important positively charged ion in the body. It helps the body regulate over 325 enzymes and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions, like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins.
Most of us are deficient in magnesium, so I’m going to put on my wise-granny hat here and tell you this: soaking in a bath with Epsom salt, which is high in magnesium, is one of the easiest ways to get a boost.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, American’s magnesium deficiency helps to account for high rates of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive maladies, stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue and a number of other ailments. Who knew?!
Our magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last century due to changes in agriculture and diet. Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from soil and the typical American diet contains much less magnesium than that of our forefathers. And in fact, the modern American diet with its fat, sugar, salt and protein actually works to speed up the depletion of magnesium from our bodies.
Another factor in decreased magnesium levels has been our focus on getting enough calcium. It’s a delicate dance–calcium depletes magnesium yet calcium functions best when enough magnesium is present. Studies indicate that taking a calcium supplement without enough magnesium can increase the shortage of both nutrients. Researchers have found that many Americans have five times as much calcium as magnesium in their bodies, although the proper ratio for optimum absorption of both minerals is two to one.
With such widespread magnesium deficiency one might think that magnesium supplements would be called upon, but studies show that magnesium is not easily absorbed through the digestive tract. The presence of specific foods or drugs, certain medical conditions, and the chemistry of a person’s stomach acid can render magnesium supplements ineffective.
This brings us to Epsom salt. Known scientifically as hydrated magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is rich in both magnesium and sulfate. While both magnesium and sulfate can be poorly absorbed through the stomach, studies show increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt! Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Sulfates play an important role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. They stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are thought to help detoxify the body of medicines and environmental contaminants.
Researchers and physicians suggest these health benefits from proper magnesium and sulfate levels, as listed on the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council:
- Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
- Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
- Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
- Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
- Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
- Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
- Improved oxygen use.
- Improved absorption of nutrients.
- Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
- Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.
All this from a bath? Hurray! While there are many different brands of Epsom salt, they are all the same product chemically, and can be found at most drug stores. Add two cups of Epsom salt and soak for at least 12 minutes. Do this three times weekly.
If you are pregnant or have any health concerns, please check with your doctor before using Epsom salts.
I know I have written about dancing before. But I am so excited that I must tell you what I am doing now. I just started tap dance lessons. That's right! I had my very first ever tap dance lesson on Friday night and I can't wait to go back this Friday. It was so much fun and low impact; so I don't have to worry about hurting myself. At least not yet, it is a beginner's class and I was able to keep up with the steps so far. I imagine that it can get a little trickier as we begin to put certain steps together to make a routine and I need to remember the order. However, that will be good for me, too. It will be another challenging exercise for my brain as well as sudoko that I enjoy. Last week, I wore running shoes to class; but I am going to look for a pair of tap shoes as soon as I get the chance. It will be a lot more fun, to actually hear a tap. Of course, if I don't tap at the same time as others, it may be a little too telling. Oh, dear!
It's been one of those days! where I didn't feel like doing anything. Have you ever had one? Well, fortunately, now that I am retired, I can do just that. But, how do you do nothing? I have to do something. I certainly didn't want to eat all day. I'm not into watching TV that much. I didn't want to sleep. I really don't like to exercise. I should walk the dog; but it's cold and rainy. What should I do? Maybe, I'll read.
So, I decided to get on the computer and get caught up on a lot of e-mail that I have just set aside, to read, someday. It is now 4 hours later and I don't seem to be making any headway. One thing leads to another and I have been all over the web. I decided that was enough.
Some of you may recall I began writing a book several years ago about my journey with cancer. I have been procrastinating lately and not written anything. So, today, I decided to take a look at it and get going again.
Wow! I know why I have been procrastinating. It's a lot of work. There is so much to tell; so much that happened in my journey. Everytime, I began to write I would think of something else that should have been included. So back I would go and add or edit what I had already said. It's also important to keep at this a little everyday so that I don't forget where I am going and what it is I want to say.
I have a new found admiration for people who can write and finish something. It is a mammoth job. The good news is I think I'm half way, unless I get more revelation.
Well, this was a nice little diversion. I'd better get back to writing, so I can tell myself that I did do something today.
Have a nice day!
Southern Ontario is such a lovely place to visit. The weather has been super this summer for riding motorcycles. This past weekend we were riding with some good friends from Bright, Ontario - Dunc & Diane. We were riding north and came through the little village of Wellsely when Wynn spied an adult sized tricycle. Now, this was something! You see, prior to this day, we had been searching everywhere, to no avail, to try and find one for my 83 year old mother. It was in pretty rough shape but when told it was only $10.00, Wynn said, "Sold!" Wynn is pretty good at fixing things up, so we made arrangements to pick it up the next day.
Continuing on, we rode to Mount Forest where they had a summer festival going on. There were lots of old cars to see and a display of motorcycles as well. I found some wonderful cream that is all natural called "Bee By the Sea" with Sea Buckthorn. It is supposedly good for radiation burn (& age spots.) I bought some for my brother Bill who is taking radiation treatment for rectal cancer. I'll have to get some when I get home and try it for my 'spots' later. I found it on the website and there is a distributor in Victoria.
There was also a fair as part of this festival, so we decided to check it out. The big drawing card was a square dance, and before you think I am square, it was with tractors. That's right! I said tractors! If you have never seen this, you really should check it out. There are 4 tractor pairs, (8 in total). One of the drivers in each pair is dressed like a girl and both are in regular square dancing attire. A lady is on stage calling out the moves and they drive around to the music. It is truly fun and something the whole family would enjoy. How they can move those tractors so quickly and turn so sharply is amazing.
After the 'square dancing', we took in a beef barbecue and decided to head on home. It was a good idea, too, as there were lots of detours along the way. All in all, it was a very fun and profitable day.
Well, today May 31st, 2011, I retired again. It was bittersweet. I really liked my job; but at the same time I would like to be able to pick up and go. Wynn is retired and restless, especially during the warmer months, when we can ride the motorcycle. He has been wanting to travel more with it. I would also like to finish my book that I have been working on for sometime, now.
Today was a fun day at work! I pretty much did what I wanted to. We had a birthday cake in the morning for Natalie, who owns and operates the preschool. Then, in the afternoon, we had an icecream cake for my farewell. I was also absolutely astounded as I was given a beautiful Pandora bracelet, complete with 6 charms representing different aspects of my life.
Now, it's time to change gears as I fly out to Ontario to see my grandchildren, mom, other family members and friends. Wynn is travelling out with the motorcycle and we will come back together and do some sightseeing along the way. With no time restraints, it should be a good trip.
Last night was the big night with David Wolfe and he did not disappoint. It was well worth the admission price, and even the parking fee. However, It was a little stressful when I and a few others came out at 11:30 p.m. to find our cars were locked in the parking garage. Who knew it closed at 10:00 p.m? As the event was to be over at 9:00 p.m., none of us thought to check what time the garage closed. We could not find any way in or any one to phone. Fortunately, for us, someone came out with his car and as he did, we rushed in under the iron gate to get ours. At home later, one paid the parking fee on line.
Back to the event. David's presentation, although very long, was so informative. After listening to him speak, I came away convinced that I have to change a few things. No.1 is the water that I am drinking. B.C. and the island have several places where you can get natural spring water and I think that is what I am going to do. Not sure how Wynn will feel about that! It probably means buying a big jug and then we/I am going to have to lug it to the car and back home. Where will I keep it? How long will it last? But I am convinced from this presentation that if I can only do one thing right now for my health and longevity, it would be to drink fresh spring water that I collect myself. No.2. I need to get out in nature, in the wild, more often, or at least the many natural parks around here. I also need to expose my skin to more sunlight and according to David walk in my bare feet more. Really? Yes, it apparently grounds us, literally, and of course we need the vitamin D. Now, I'm not really an outdoors type person; I don't really enjoy gardening. I don't even sit outside, often, because I always have something to do. Perhaps, this next time I retire, that will change. Well, at the very least, I have Chloe who begs me to take her for a walk.
David spoke at length about the importance of eating living whole foods, not foods, cooked, steamed, boiled, baked, radiated and then irradiated. He showed slides of the energy found in many whole foods raw and then the same food cooked. The difference was remarkable. The theory is that you could eat less food and still have the same amount of energy, not to mention more vitamins and minerals. I'm totally convinced and yet I know how much work it would be for me, especially in the beginning, to eat only raw food. Admittedly, David cautioned us that there are imbalances eating only raw food. For a short time, possibly 3-6 months, it's great for detoxifying your body. I submit that is why he recommends that one include superfoods into your diet regularly. As I have been doing some of that and have been feeling very good about it, I shall continue to do so. Superfoods like chia seeds, maca, hemp seeds, cacao, honey and its products, spirulina, deep green algae, etc. can easily be included into your diet.
David also praised the value of herbs for their medicinal properties. He gave many examples of herbs that can be used to better our health, such as ashwaganda, red clover, astragulus root, chammomile, sheep sorrel, etc. and especially horsetail and nettle. Thankfully, the last two teas are in my group of herbal teas! I was surprised to learn that echinacea should only be used when we are treating some illness and not regularly. As an avid herbal tea drinker, himself, he advised us to steep the teas and not boil them. Many of these herbs you can grow or find in nature or at the very least your local health stores. (Yup, that's where I find them.)
There is a lot more that I could say and perhaps I will in another post. But for now, I will just add how very impressed I was with his energy. He has a great sense of humour and his delivery of the topic was very entertaining. Despite being a little stiff from sitting (4 hrs.) I could have listened to him even more. He's like a walking encyclopedia on the topic of good food nutrition. I found his talk to be very truthful and straightforward. He seemed very approachable and willing to answer all questions. His responses were remarkably candid, as well.
I would like to announce a brand new blog that is all about words, acronyms. This blog has some very insightful thoughts. Check it out! It is still in its beginning stages; but keep your eye on it, there will be lots more to come.