I write a lot of science-heavy posts, and heavy posts in general. I thought I’d lighten things a bit… and answer some prompts I’ve read on a few other people’s blogs. Join in, in the comments, if you want to play! :)
Lately I’ve been making…
I’ve been really into a variation of this Triple Berry Cheesecake Soft Serve. I think the texture comes out more like a smoothie bowl–maybe because I add spinach to it. But it’s become a great evening snack when I want something sweet.
Lately I’ve been cooking…
Eh, not much of anything. We’ve had a heat wave, much like the rest of the country! Food has involved a lot of quick scrambled eggs with salsa (that’s one of my go-to’s) and hummus with spinach on a whole wheat wrap. No wonder I’m low on iron…
Lately I’ve been drinking…
Coffee and water. Kind of boring. Predictable, I guess. :)
Lately I’ve been reading…
Lots of travel blogs to prep for our trip to the Balkans in two weeks! TWO WEEKS??? So not ready. I’m also finishing reading the script for the play I’m producing with our local theater. Working my way, also, through a novel that… just not digging. I can’t even remember the author’s name, ha!
Lately I’ve been wanting…
Aside from better health (a given, eh?) I have to say… this is a hard one. I place little value in things. More time with the people I care about, who spend too much time working. (Oh, and more items donated for the MS fundraising auction. I guess that’s a “thing” I’d want.)
Lately I’ve been looking…
At travel photos. Already planning future trips! Wait, wasn’t I not ready for this one? I’m an incurable travel addict.
Lately I’ve been playing…
Yoga videos. Helps me focus, eases my symptoms. I also found a great local studio through the recommendation of a coworker! They do about 2/3 hot yoga classes (I avoid–heat being kryptonite for MS) but their yin yoga instructor is wonderful. I digress…
Lately I’ve been wasting…
Don’t all of us with chronic disease feel like we’re ticking timebombs? I mean, couldn’t the “other shoe drop” any time? Any “wasted” time feels… like a waste. I pack my days with meaning. Sometimes obsessively, unfortunately.
Lately I’ve been wishing…
There were an alternative universe where all illness had a cure. Can we all say AMEN to that?
Lately I’ve been enjoying…
Not having a 20-mile traffic-fest commute into work (yes, even at 6:15 am!) for the summer. Working from home, while solitary, has its benefits!
Lately I’ve been waiting…
Anticipating seeing a new region of the world!
Lately I’ve been liking…
Blueberries and cherries. Patriotic snacks! Locally grown here in Washington.
And, last week, I mixed frozen cherries and coconut whipped cream. YUM.
Lately I’ve been wondering…
Last year, we traveled through the US South and fell in love with the Outer Banks (NC) beaches. I’m wondering if they will ever be shark-free again. :(
Lately I’ve been loving…
What else can I say? The most supportive person in my life, no matter what happens… my husband, my best friend. :)
Lately I’ve been hoping…
That every aspect of this trip goes as planned! OK, that never happens… but that the glitches we encounter are minor ones. :)
Lately I’ve been needing…
More time for meditation that I haven’t allowed myself. More red meat (low iron) that I have not been craving.
Lately I’ve been wearing..
I’m mostly a convenience-type gal. Sad to say that this Pilates instructor wears flip-flops too often because they’re easy! (For lengthy walks, I have some nice Dansko sandals, and that’s what I wear when I teach class on warmer days.) Lots of shorts recently! When I volunteer at the theater, though, always a casual dress. I try to dress up a little when the opportunity arises!
Lately I’ve been noticing…
That I’m wearing makeup more often (just eye makeup) before I leave the house. I used to reserve that for special occasions… I’m feeling over 40? Oh, and I’ve noticed quite a few more gray hairs. But you know–I’ll take the grays over more health issues any day!
Lately I’ve been knowing…
That, unfortunately, even as an almost-41 year old with MS and a few other chronic issues, my physical endurance can still beat the pants off of many of my students half my age. (But I thought I was invincible when I was 20, right?)
Lately I’ve been thinking…
As always. What’s the next step? I always love to make progress in life. I’m teaching more of the e-learning classes on campus, so I’m “progressing” in that sense. I’ve been running more again, but I hate to set a running goal for myself, as that often leads to disappointment. I’m also thinking that holding auctions as a one-man show might not work in the future… so I’m trying to think of future alternatives.
Lately I’ve been feeling…
Overall happy, but uncertain. How will my body hold up for every goal I’d like to accomplish in the future? Maybe I need to think about this excellent post a little more often.
Lately I’ve been bookmarking…
I made these dairy-free Mexican Pots de Creme for a gathering last week. Whoa. Yes. Amazing. Friend minimizes sugar, I minimize dairy. Great stuff with coconut whipped cream.
And that’s it! Boy, that was long. But maybe you know a little more about me… anyone else? You don’t have to answer them all…
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Tags: balkans, cooking, dessert, MS fundraiser, ms heat sensitivity, outer banks, over-40, reading, recipe, theater, travel
Recently, it’s become clear to me that a few of my medical issues might be related to high cortisol levels.
If you aren’t familiar: cortisol is a hormone released by our adrenal glands under times of stress. It causes inflammation in the body (that nasty “chronic inflammation” that the media is all over these days) as well as a host of other issues: insomnia, autoimmune issues (hello?), gut/digestive problems (hello… again?), among other things. I feel more and more weak and tired despite sleep (hmmm… I think? Hard to know if I sleep fitfully), and despite a cleaner diet and better exercise, I have more fat around my midsection, which matches the high cortisol profile.
(It also matches pre-menopausal symptoms, so… I don’t necessarily want to rush into blaming cortisol for everything. But considering my work hard-play hard personality, I’m assuming my cortisol is out of balance.)
I just found this article which talks about fun ways to reduce cortisol levels. If you’re like me, you know that your cortisol is (probably) out of control, but taking care of it is another thing on the to-do list. My diet is pretty good, I exercise regularly, but taking time to relax? Hah! (Ask my husband. I barely stop. I’ll relax when I’m dead! There’s too much of life to enjoy, right?) ;)
Anyway, this is just a reminder to me (and all of us, maybe?) to get back into the meditation routine… I need to find some more short relaxing meditations and do a few per week. I promise!
But one more thing that stood out in the article was the last point that was made. It tells us to take radical action to reduce our stress responses. Are you in a bad relationship that stresses you out? Get out of it! Are you in a soul-sucking job? Quit! (Easier said than done for both of these, I know… but we only have one life. And it’s up to us to create choices that provide the most satisfaction and the least stress!) So… go and find things that make your life the best it can possibly be! :) (with lower cortisol.)
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Tags: autoimmune disease, cortisol, cortisol reduction, stress, stress reduction
Is something I embrace. I look forward to being sore the day after a workout.
In fact… as an MS person… I’m nervous when I’m not.
You see, DOMS occurs because when we work out (or even just move your body in ways it’s not used to), our muscles develop really miniscule tears. It’s in the healing of these really tiny tears that muscle building and strengthening occurs.
So… as someone who has trouble building muscle because of MS, I am beyond thrilled when I’m sore–that means that my body is able to go through the rebuilding process. And I am especially mindful of my diet during those times.
Now, am I sore the day after lifting weights? Honestly, less than half the time. It could be because I’m not lifting heavy enough, but that could be from general fatigue during my workout. I’m not slacking off; there’s no room for error in life anymore! When I work out, I do it for real.
So the next time you’re sore from a workout… think differently! Your body is repairing and getting stronger. But feed it carefully so that you actually do generate muscle tissue!
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Tags: DOMS, exercise, loss of strength, ms, multiple sclerosis, strength training, workout
What is the American dream?
What is your dream? Career? Lifestyle?
Think about it… What do you really want out of life?
I’m being a bit abstract… but watch this space. :)
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Tags: career, change the world, reflections on life, work
Not to insult those who are truly vegans out there, and actually stick to the regimen. But until recently, I’ve been heading that direction.
Going between campus, my online job (butt plopped on couch with laptop), band rehearsal, working at the theater, working at the gym… I do try to stay healthy while I quickly grab food. More recently, that’s ended up being… handful of peanuts and an apple. Or something similar. Over and over. Limiting the processing in my food.
But just over a week ago, when the life was totally drained out of me (mind you, I had a half-week left of school, so that was also a contributing factor), I was telling my husband that I just needed red meat. I hoped that would be the solution.
(See? Nutrition teacher logic. Most people, when they lack energy, turn to coffee and sugar. Not that I don’t love my coffee, but at least I picked something that would give me some iron.)
So I got me some red meat. And I was able to stay upright through the band show that night, which I otherwise didn’t think I would.
Since then, I’ve been focusing more on animal protein… given that I’m more reactive to dairy these days, and I can’t always quick-cook up eggs, I’ve been leaning toward the plant foods. Yes, they are healthy for us! But with my body, I need to find a balance… moreso than I have been. I get caught up in work and I forget that I haven’t eaten any animal protein for… oh, over a week… oops.
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Tags: food for energy, nutrition
Maybe even… stop the presses! (the virtual presses?)
Today is Father’s Day. (We kinda knew that, right?) Anyway, giving a shout-out to my dad. He writes a lot of comments on here–really supportive ones–so I thought I’d give him his own post. :)
Happy Father’s Day to Steve Yool!
(and happy father’s day to the rest of you, as well! Enjoy!)
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Tags: father's day, Happy Father's Day, holiday
Spring quarter has ended at my college! WOOHOO! And I don’t teach there in the summer… that means I get a break from that job!
I remember when I was in college, I thought that the teachers has the cushy, easy job. And some of them do, no doubt, if they teach the same way over and over. I’m lucky to work in a dynamic department, where we’re constantly changing things up and revisiting methods ( = more work, but great people).
I digress. I am quick to respond to students that this means I am taking a break from one of my many responsibilities. I do work online, 15-20 (sometimes more) hours a week for “the other school”, and that continues 24/7. Also, as people have been going on vacation and dealing with family graduations, I have been teaching/filling in on gym classes (5 last week between Pilates and spin–and while I get most of my workout while doing it, it still involves transportation time).
But now that I’ve submitted grades for spring quarter (yesterday… hooray!) and the band doesn’t play again for another few weeks (we’ve also had two shows in the past two weeks… why does it all come at once??) maybe my kitchen won’t be a biohazard zone anymore! :) And I can write regularly here… and think about what worked, and didn’t work, in my part-online course. That was quite the experiment…
Anyway, hi! Nice to see you again! (waving)
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Tags: science teaching, teaching