One of My Favorite Podcasts

I love listening to podcasts. I listen to them while I walk and while I sew. One of my favorite podcasts is The Model Health Show – hosted by Shawn Stevenson and Jade Harrell.

Today, I listened to an interview all about energy, healing, and meditation. Shawn Stevenson hosted Tristan Truscott- a dude who practices martial arts and Qigong (you can find the episode here.

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Saw this little dude looking at me today.

Anyway – this episode resonated with me. I still am having major problems with eczema. I’m not sure what else I can do. I’ve tried so much. I don’t eat any of the aggravating foods, but it still feels aggravated. In fact, when I’m not trying to eat well, when I’m not conscientious, my skin gets better!

I have a feeling it is because I’m not stressing about it. Every once in a while, I figure, “forget it! – nothing I’m doing is working anyways, so why not eat hoagies and cookies.

But I’m not happy with that because I know that the hoagies and cookies are adding to my problem. Sure some of the acute signs go away, but I don’t think that they are healing my skin. I think that I’m just not stressing so much.

So – right now, I’m really doing well with eating and with exercise, and I feel really happy about that. Meanwhile, my skin is just exploding. I figure I need to keep addressing stress. In case you’re wondering – yes, I’ve seen a dermatologist. I’ve seen three doctors. None of them have addressed stress or diet. They just put me on prednisone. I also got a prescription for a very strong steroid-cream (Clobetasol). It kills my skin. It’s a band-aid. It gets better for a day, then I stop, and it all comes back with a vengeance.

I’ve stopped eating nightshades, eggs, and nuts. I gave up dairy for a while, and when I added it back in, I didn’t notice it giving me much of a problem. I don’t eat much dairy, but I do eat it from time to time. I’ve noticed, though, that nuts and nightshades absolutely make my skin crazy. I’m experimenting with eggs still.

This whole thing has been going on for over two years now, and I may be going a bit insane.

Today’s podcast really resonated with me. I need to focus on my energy and meditation. That’s really all that I have left to do. I have been doing yoga for some time now. I love it. I’ve also been meditating, but I’m going to try to really focus on medical meditation and perhaps check out qigong.

Crossing my fingers

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Have you tried Qigong? Has meditation helped any of your medical problems? How did you learn to heal yourself this way?

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For fun?…for the Brain

One of the Primal Blueprint laws is to Have fun. I feel like I’m a fun-loving person. I love to laugh. But as I’ve grown older, as the time has passed, I find that I’m doing fewer “fun” things. I’m a mother of four. My life is busy. I homeschool. I don’t have much “free time” and when I do, I want to do something that seems productive.

Thankfully, another primal law is to Use Your Mind. I really like this primal law. I feel like this one comes easiest to me. I like to read. I like to think. I like to write. Yeah. I’m not saying that I’m sitting around solving formulas or coming up with theorems. But I really do like it use my brain.

In fact, sometimes this makes another primal law – play really difficult for me.

Today, I thought that I’d play by sewing…here’s what I’m working on.

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Fun? Brain? Not sure…But I know it’s pretty. 🙂

One of the things I like to do in my spare time is quilt. I’m currently working on a quilt that will be black, and it will have white text that reads, “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” I’m super excited about it.

I love quilting because it is something I can do during the day with the kids around, I love working with fabric, I can make something useful, and I can listen to podcasts as I quilt. At first, I thought, “for fun today, I’ll quilt.”

After a few minutes, I realized that this may be more brainwork than fun. So – it’s good for me to do because it is using my brain. However, I really need to figure out a way to incorporate more fun into my life. I’m thinking dance parties? Swinging? Not sure yet. Maybe just lying on the ground with the kids watching the clouds.

I think that having more fun in my life is a really good idea. I have a real skin problem these days. It is driving me nuts. I have eczema all over my body, and I hate it. I’ve had it treated a few times in the last two years (with Prednisone). That always works for a while, then the skin issue comes back again.

Of course my diet will help, but I think that stress is a big part of this problem, too. Sleep is a crucial part of de-stressing, but maybe play will also help with stress. What do you do to play??? How do you make sure not to have play accidentally cross over into some kind of work?

Sick Days…

My family was sick all week last week. Coughing, congestion, etc. I was hoping that I wouldn’t get it. Actually, I was sleeping, taking Vitamin C, taking Vitamin D – all in hopes I wouldn’t get it.

I got it…not too bad, though! In fact, I haven’t had a cough at all. I have felt a little congested and very achy, so I took it easy on Saturday and Sunday.

Feeling good this morning, I decided to go for a run – of course, using the Primal Endurance/Maffetone method. I strapped on the hr monitor, called my mom (usually I listen to podcasts, but it is also a good time to talk on the phone), and set off. My hr started beeping pretty quickly into it. I was surprised because I didn’t feel like I was putting out much effort.

The entire exercise was really helpful, though. Yes, I knew that I was still getting over my sickness, but I didn’t feel like I should take another day off. I felt really upbeat and better than I have for the last few days. If I was dragging at all, I wouldn’t have gone out.

Even though I’m feeling better, my body is still recovering. I think that what I did today was fine – especially since I stayed in my heart rate. I guess that’s what I find interesting. I’m guessing that it was a lot easier to get to my max heart rate because my body is still under a little bit more stress. I’m really happy about having this heart rate monitor. And instead of getting upset, I just slowed down.

After my run/walk, I came home and felt super refreshed. All good signs. I hope that soon I’ll be able to go faster, but I’m willing to keep having faith about the Primal Endurance/Maffetone method.

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Views – one of my favorite thing about running/walking

I want Candy

I’m addicted to sweets. I know, who isn’t.

I did really well the first three days, but today, my sweets cravings are going to drive me crazy.

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mmmmm….chocolate…

I am trying to think of some kind of way to trick myself. I know that I don’t really need sugar. I know that I’m just addicted to it. I know that if I give it enough time, the cravings will disappear.

I also know that I’ve cut down my carbs a lot, so the sweets cravings may actually be me crying out for glucose in any form. I am trying to become “fat adapted,” but this doesn’t mean I want to be ketogenic. It’s okay for me to burn some glucose.

So – I might be craving cookies or brownies or something horrible, but that’s not what I actually need.

Some ideas:

  1. I can try to simply eat more fat. I’ve been pretty conscientious of this, actually. Of course, today I didn’t have any eggs at all (that’s for another blog post). I also usually have some coconut milk with a shot of coconut oil, and I just wasn’t feeling it this morning. So, maybe I just need more fat.
  2. I’ve been tired today. I woke up tired. I got plenty of sleep, and felt like I should wake up, so I woke up. However, I think that I might have needed a little bit more sleep. I took a nap and am feeling a little bit better. Feeling tired always seems to make me crave not-good-for-me-foods.
  3. I might be starving myself of glucose. As in, I might be going too low-carb. Not sure. I haven’t tracked any of my macronutrients. I’m not sure how I feel about being too low carb. I’ve done it in the past, but then it always leads to the same thing – an eventual gorge-fest of carby foods. I really like Mark Sisson’s approach – being both a glucose burner and a fat burning “beast.” And being able to transition between the two easily.
    If this is the case – then I need to be sure I’m having some kind of starchy vegetable (which I haven’t had any of yet), or maybe fruit every once in a while. Obviously, I don’t want to overdo it on the fruit if I want to lose weight, but a little bit – some berries or a very small serving of some other fruit – probably won’t hurt me. And maybe that’s just what I need.

 

Well, I think that I did the best thing I could possibly do for now. Instead of eating anything, I sat down and typed up this blog post. Even though I want candy, treats, cookies, whatever, I know that I don’t! I don’t want to sacrifice my long-term health for this short term craving.

Maybe in the future, when I’m craving sweets, I’ll sit down and write a few hundred words about this – and then discover what I actually want and what I should do about it. Perhaps just taking a few moments to diffuse those thoughts will help me from mindlessly reaching for treats whenever the craving strikes.

What do you do when you crave sweets? What do you do to stave off sweets cravings? What do you think that your body is trying to tell you when you have these cravings?

My Primal Goals

So, I guess I should try to be a little more official. Enter Goals.

I have a bit of a “challenge” going on with a few of my friends. I’m not really one for “weight-loss challenges” because I don’t believe that weight loss should be the goal. Often times, excess weight is the corollary of an unhealthy lifestyle. It is not the cause! You don’t get unhealthy because you are overweight, you get unhealthy because of the life decisions you are making (nutrition, exercise, sleep).

So, I’m not interested in weight-loss challenges because weight loss is also a corollary. You won’t get healthy because you lose weight. There are a million ways to lose weight, but 99% of those won’t get you healthy. In fact, 99% of them won’t work for the long term at all. You’ll lose 20 lbs, and then you’ll gain it all back.

So – when my friend suggested we do a health challenge, I was excited. I was talking to her. She felt like she needed a push to help her make better eating choices and lifestyle choices. I needed the exact same push.

I wish I could say that I’m really pure or mature. But I’m not. I get stuck in my habits and tend to cling to my bad ones. I know better. Boy do I know better. But somewhere I’ve had trouble making the rubber hit the road. So, this challenge idea came at the perfect time.

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A few weeks ago, I sat on a hill and pondered about my goals…okay, I actually fell asleep…

The Challenge

The beauty of the this challenge is that it is personalized. We each make up our own goals. I’ll list my goals later in this post. The challenge is to complete our goals. If we don’t, then we have to donate money – $500 – to either Hillary Clinton’s or Donald Trump’s presidential campaign!

I know. I feel like I should be “good” enough to make some kind of positive-reward goal. But the truth of the matter is, I’ve had a lot of positive incentives to change, and none of them seem to outweigh the cycle of sugar addiction I’ve been in. I believe that incentives can really work, so I needed to figure out the right one.

I’m not a fan of Donald Trump, nor am I a fan of Hillary Clinton. I will probably end up voting for my dog. And the idea of donating even a dime to either campaign – that’s enough to help me say no to a cookie.

Just to be sure that this incentive works, I also knew that I needed the dollar amount to be high enough to really hurt. I’m not rich, but $50…that might be worth cheating on my goals a little bit. I really like pizza. I needed the penalty to be more than $50 or even $100. So – $500? I can’t spare that kind of cash for a cookie.

And the idea of giving the Donald $500 makes me want to barf in my own mouth. The idea of giving $500 to Hillary makes me want to double barf in my own mouth. This is the perfect incentive.

The Goals

    • 175 Consecutive Days of Yoga*
    • 175 Consecutive Days of Meditation*
    • 175 Consecutive Days of Being in Bed by 10PM*
    • 175 Consecutive Days of 90/10 Primal Diet*
    • Run the Park City Trail Series 1/2 Marathon – implementing the Maffetone/Primal Endurance method
    • Submit my “success story” to Mark’s Daily Apple
    • Size 4

Those are the goals. They are really hard.

* There are 10 “free days” in each of the 175-consecutive day goals. The 175 day goals are important to keep, and I wanted to write them in there because I feel like they will cause a domino effect. If I’m going these things, then the other things I want to have happen in my life (size four, Mark’s Daily Apple Success Story) will happen.

Okay. That’s it for now. Those are the goals. That’s what I’m working for.

Moving Sloooooooow

I started the Maffetone/Primal Endurance method of aerobic training today. I’ll probably write about that more later and link up to some really helpful sites.

For now, I’ll just say that I was running walking slow. Much slower than I’d like to. So, I’m hoping that this works out.

I was tempted to add 5 more to my aerobic heart rate (as outlined: 180-Age). According to my age, I should be at 143. Of course, I have subtracted 5 because I’ve been dealing with an issue with my skin – inflammation. I know that I need to keep the lower heartrate of 138. It’s so slow, though.

Like I said, I was tempted to go up to 143, but I had the thought – instead of pushing up, I need to work on my problems with stress and inflammation. This will be handled with my diet and sleep. So, I’ve got renewed effort. Sleep! Paleo! Yay!

Ceasar (ish) Salad Dressing Recipe

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The Goods

Salad…I will admit, I love a good salad. It’s not because I’m some kind of health nut and am superior to others. Nope, it’s all about taste. Which means, I like a salad that tastes good.

I don’t understand the people who claim, “I prefer salad without dressing.” blech. First of all, I’m pretty sure that they are lying. Second of all, I wonder what is motivating this senselessness – is it because they think that salad without dressing is healthier?

If you think that a salad without dressing is healthier, then you may be mistaken. Many of the vitamins and minerals that are found in veggies (especially Vitamins A and K) are fat soluble. If you want the benefit of these vitamins, then you need to eat them with fat! So, put on some salad dressing.

Of course, I don’t mean that you should use a salad dressing made with PUFAs and loaded with sugar. CRAP! Instead, use a good monounsaturated oil (or you can put some fat in your salad using saturated fat like cheese, avocado) to make your salad dressing.

Since I’m an Italian-American, and I’m pretty much obsessed with my food tasting good, you’ll want to use a good quality oil – like Olive Oil, paired with a some type of acid. In this recipe, we’ll use Lemon juice. Good, good, good.

So, here’s the recipe:

Ceasar’s Salad Dressing

    • Lemon Juice – 1 to 1 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
    • Olive Oil – I don’t know. A few ounces. I usually add as much oil as lemon juice. Do according to your taste. You might want just a little bit more oil than lemon juice, but not much.
    • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce – I use this instead of anchovies. I think that anchovies might be healthier, and I will probably be experimenting with this in the future. I just didn’t have any on hand.
    • 1 heaping tbsp Dijon Mustard
    • 2-3 Cloves fresh minced or crushed garlic
    • 1/3 – 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese – seriously. Get good stuff. I buy my Parm. cheese at Costco. It’s worth using the good stuff. I promise.
    • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
    • Sea Salt (the good stuff – with real trace minerals), to taste

It’s pretty simple. Combine these ingredients, and then pour on some roughly chopped Romaine lettuce.

I love the light and fresh taste of this salad dressing.