Making all kinds of messes

Archive for the tag “Health”

8 Steps to a Pain Free Back – Step 1 is Excitement

A few years ago I hurt my neck in one of the stupidest ways imaginable – reading too long in the bathtub.  It was months before my neck successfully moved somewhat normally.  Since I wasn’t working at the time, seeing a doctor was not a priority, and the condition did slowly improve.

Since then, I have woken up with a sore, stiff neck and upper body more often than not.  The entire day is spent trying to work the kinks out, usually unsuccessfully.  Between that and the other back soreness that appears after walking, action needed to be taken while I’m still young and able bodied.

I just got the book “8 Steps to a Pain Free Back” by Esther Gokhale, and am very excited to begin working through it.  She is someone who started suffering from chronic back pain and spent years in intense study around the world, specifically of native world cultures.

In the first chapter alone, she builds a very compelling case that there is a natural, common posture and way of movement that is common throughout the world in non-industrialized areas.  In the US and other “first world” areas where chronic back pain is a serious problem, there is a photographic progression from the early 1900’s with “correct” posture to current day problematic posture.

I will be trying everything she suggests, and hopefully reporting success. If this is as miraculous as some of the referrals for the book suggest, there should be some spectacular results.  Here’s hoping!

Have you ever tried an “alternative” treatment method for treating ailments?  Did it work?


Cook’s Illustrated- Puritans and Science vs Joy

Have you read this article about the editor of Cook’s Illustrated?  It’s a really interesting piece about the rigor of their process, who the editor is, and how his outlook has shaped the magazine.

The funniest quote from the piece is Kimball (the editor) saying:

Chris Kimball Quote

True feelings revealed.

Considering he looks like the dour farmer in the American Gothic painting, it tickles me that he would say something so somehow expected.

The quote that is getting the biggest reaction is:

What cooking is not

Cooking is nothing fun. Stop trying.


I agree that in itself, there’s not much glamorous about cooking.  You make a mess, you hope that the recipe turns out correctly and that it tastes good.  To mitigate risk, you use recipes from trusted sources for “higher stakes” meals, such as steak dinners.  Or free-range organic chicken.

Basically, anything I buy in my twice a month trip to here:

Rancher owned store o meat

Free range everything and local food mecca.

Excuse the extreme reflection, I was trying to record their hours, not be artistic.

Something I have been shocked to find out is that I do, in fact enjoy cooking (for now.  Get back to me when I’ve been doing it 30+ years night after night).  I enjoy the creative process, I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what to make and how it can be used the next night. I’m not someone who plans ahead, yet.  I just buy protein ahead of time and then figure out how to use it.

For instance, yesterday, I had a free range organic whole chicken in the crockpot all day. We ate the thighs and drumsticks, I pulled the rest of the meat off and threw the bones and skin back in the crockpot.  I checked for preferences on Chicken Tortilla Soup vs Chicken and Peaches Salad, got an answer, and BAM, today’s dinner is almost done in my mind.

Crockpot was turned back on this morning, and fresh chicken stock will be waiting for me at home tonight.  It makes me feel extremely competent and happy to have a) made food that tasted good b) planned for the next day  c) know what I’m doing tonight and d) made healthy food from scratch.

I think Kimball is underestimating the satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from that.  Cooking every night is work, no doubt, but I have done harder things with my time.  I’ve also done much less rewarding things with my time.

How do you feel about cooking?  Is Kimball a kill-joy or the only one who has the guts to speak Truth with a capital T?



Trying to Love – Salads

Part of my becoming a grown-up criteria includes eating salads.
I didn’t grow up eating fresh vegetables, mostly because my dad didn’t like them and my mom grew up thinking they were dirty and that canned veggies were more sanitary.  FYI, that is not a good way to raise children who eat veggies.

So I’ve been working on it.  And salads aren’t that bad.  They just don’t taste as awesome as, say, chips and salsa.

Enter Lettuce in Your Kitchen : Flavorful and Unexpected Main-Dish Salads and Dressings.  I picked it up by chance at Half Price Books, and have loved it ever since.

They have salads with meat, salads without meat, and I haven’t had one yet that I didn’t like.  Some I liked better than others, but that’s true of everything.  One of my favorites involved chicken and peaches with a mustardy-vinaigrette dressing.  I never ever would have put any of those things together on my own.

What’s your favorite random salad pairing?

Sugar Free Day 4 – Revenge

Sugar has gone out of it’s way to emphasize that it is the devil.  I woke up with a pounding headache this morning, which sometimes happens (sinus headaches uhhhhh), but the pounding was in a different location than the sinus ones.  And my neck hurt.  And light hurt.

I lay there and slowly tried to figure out if I should panic about a possible migraine, or whether I had contracted West Nile and was going to spend the next two weeks in the hospital isolation unit.

Then I remembered, this is day 4 of being sugar free.  The day when most people on “cleanses” or diet changes experience the greatest kickback from their bodies.

I’m suffering from sugar withdrawal.  Boo on you sugar, boo on you.

Excedrin is a healing gift from God, because I’m almost functional after being awake for 4 hours and medicated for 3.

Beware of sugar!

Sugar Free Day 1 y Mas

This will be my second serious attempt at being sugar-free.  I was last year for about six weeks, and then Halloween happened.  Candy Corn is my crack.  And chocolate.  And caramel.  And ice cream.  And pretty much anything sweet.

I’m trying this in a “oh look, I’m not trying super hard” kind of way because I want to have this be a lifestyle thing, not a crazy goal that I achieve once and then talk about the rest of my life.  I have to re-set my tastebuds for my health’s sake.

Today of sugar free has gone ok, except for I’m either hungry or my stomach is upset, it’s hard to tell right now which it is.  Going to have to wait and see what the answer is there.

I fasted last Monday, in an attempt to focus my prayers about some specific things.  I’m considering making that a weekly practice, I need clarity and answers to some big questions in my life.  I’m meditating on Matthew 7:7 right now.

“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”

It’s in a passage where Christ is telling us to trust Him (initial typo said Jim) for provision and that He wants good things for us.

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11)

This is one of the most comforting passages for me when I’m having anxiety about where my life is.  When I was single, it gave me peace about my dating (non) situation.  When I was burned out on my job, it gave me peace about that.  When I was unemployed for forever, it gave peace. My earthly Father is awesome, and to think that my heavenly Father wanted more for me than he does overwhelms me.

After this reassurance, Christ closes with

“Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them- this is the Law and the Prophets.”

So pass on the kindness you want from others.  Pass on the wealth you want to acquire.  Share the love you want.  Share the acceptance you want.  Share the understanding you want.  Share the listening ear you want.  This is the summary of all of the Law and all of the Prophets.

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