SSR BYE: Hello energy 

Energy, it’s been awhile. I’d toootally forgotten what you look like.

I’ve finally adjusted to Wellbutrin after an initial 14 days of extreme ups and downs.

The vain me is relieved that a non-weight gaining stimulant appears to jive with my brain chemistry.

I’m way less hungry, which is different, because one of my nicknames is Snacks.

I usually gain five pounds after even looking at a damn piece of chocolate cake. Thus, I’ve been a serial MyFitnessPal user for years. I quit during my mini-meltdown /med transition phase these last few weeks. Now I’m back at it and get this – making sure I eat enough. WHO AM I?

I weaned totally off of the 25 mg of Zoloft I’d been taking to kill the Wellbutrin edge. The obnoxious SSRI withdrawl brain zaps are much less extreme and infrequent, almost gone. I’m not taking BuSpar, the anti -nxiety drug my doctor gave me, either, because the tight feeling I had in my chest disappeared. Since I have a new friend called energy, I began my exercise regimen this week after almost a month of not doing jack squat. I even, like, baked. I baked muffins for my kids. Then I baked a frittata. WHO AM I?

It’s alarming how good I feel. Not manic or invincible. Not robotic or snappish. I am calm and yet still able to feel a range of feels without any one getting out of hand. Yes, I felt annoyed at my children for moving like slugs when we were already late for school this morning. I deposited them, hussled a scoop, pulled an assist and scribbled a ‘splainer online on account of a disaster that is pulling resources from this region of the land and thus increasing the workload of those who write about what’s going on. And I felt glad to do it, because it’s nice to be even a little useful in the middle of a national disaster.  I felt gratitude that a friend gave Laila school dresses and that we got to chat for a few moments after school. I felt sad a few moments ago when I did a little meditative breathing exercise with Eli, who told me it feels bad for him to breathe. We kept breathing. He held my hand here in the dark. And he drifted off to sleep.  I felt so happy that I am his mommy, and with Mark and a very capable team of doctors who care for him, we will together get to the bottom of what hurts his lungs, and help him feel better. It is an honor, little one, to care for you.

And after I plunk these words out on my mobile whilst lying in the dark next to Eli, I’ll have to go pack some lunches, and de-gross the kitchen. A few weeks I’d have given up and gone to sleep, because a few weeks ago I was so tired I could hardly function. By evening? Fughettaboutit. Done. My body sent me some alarming signals and I finally listened. I decided to start tending to my mind in the way I tend to the needs of others. I don’t feel crushed by life today. Tired? Check. But I am also invigorated by the prospect of tomorrow.


Good night.

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Mental: The manifesto

I’ve written here for a long time, and for a long time, I’ve been lying. I’ve been lying to myself. I’ve been lying to every reader.

Continue reading Mental: The manifesto

Immunity and the gut: Will shoring up buddy’s “good bacteria” keep him well?

The gut is the largest immune organ in the body, with more immune cells than the blood, bone marrow or spleen.

Get a grip
Get a grip

My stomach flu episode, and Eli’s start at a new preschool, has led me to focus on building up gut immunity.

At the advice of my doc, I started giving Eli and Laila Culturelle Kids, a probiotic that comes in either chewable or powder form. I’ve been popping a Culturelle a day, too.

And I wonder, because I question everything I’m told: Am I wasting money on “good bacteria” products, or is this a legit way to stay healthy?

An article published at Harvard Health Publication addressed the same question..

There are lots of ongoing studies on the benefits between taking a probiotic and boosting the gut’s immune function-yet nothing is yet definitive.

Ugh science. Why you gotta be like that?

No guts, no glory

From the article:

“As more and more intriguing evidence comes in to support the link that intestinal bacteria bolster the immune system, it’s tempting to think that more good bacteria would be better. At least, this is what many marketers would like you to believe as they tout their probiotic products…

…You’ll now find probiotics listed on the labels of dairy products, drinks, cereals, energy bars, and other foods. Ingredients touted as “prebiotics,” which claim to be nutrients that feed the good bacteria, are also cropping up in commercially marketed foods. Unfortunately, the direct connection between taking these products and improving immune function has not yet been made. Nor has science shown whether taking probiotics will replenish the good bacteria that get knocked out together with “bad” bacteria when you take antibiotics….

The article cautions that the quality of probiotics available to consumers is unreliable, citing a 2006 report by the American Academy of Microbiology.

While the jury’s still out, taking a probiotic in moderation probably won’t hurt, and when science catches up, there could very well be a benefit, the article notes.

My takeaway is that the immune system is complicated and not completely understood. Giving it a boost from multiple angles, not just one, like the gut/probiotic angle, is your best bet.

I’m going to keep up the Culturelle, but not worship at the probiotic altar.

Here’s what the Harvard brains recommended to boost immunity overall:

-Don’t smoke.

-Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.

-Exercise regularly.

-Maintain a healthy weight.

-Control your blood pressure.

-If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.

-Get adequate sleep.

-Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.

-Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.

We will continue to put effort in all of these areas.

No more vodka tonics for you, Eli! Drink mommy’s green smoothies! Go to bed!

Mark and I struggle to get adequate sleep, especially with a crazy new morning commute that has come along with Eli’s new care arrangement. We’ve got one car that works as a kid taxi. And so, we are going to have to bite the bullet and take out a loan and get a car that’s not a tin can on wheels, because otherwise, one of us is driving two hours per day. Getting to preschool/kindergarten/work each day with only one reliable vehicle, *plus* doing buddy’s care in the early a.m. has been an adjustment, to say the least. We’re tired! And I’m going to do the American thing and go into debt rather than face months of inconvenience. @$%#

ah crumbs
ah crumbs

OK, this post has served as an excuse for a buddy belly slideshow. Wooo! Baby tums! I’ll throw in a few baby face throwbacks, because, I like staring at my kid’s face.

Have a wonderful work day!

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0 to crud in 60 seconds

I put a note on my Facebook page for Eli that buddy improved and was no longer coughing.

Shouldn’t have done that.

Continue reading 0 to crud in 60 seconds

Laila uses threat of force in chocolate milk request, and a question for readers

Hey there, hiya.

So it’s 7 a.m. and I sit down to have my coffee and this is what my daughter says:

Laila: Mommy, if you pour me chocolate milk I’ll be very excited.

If you don’t I’ll shoot you in the face with this poison air.

She is pointing the end of a kid rocket launcher at my face. To her credit, it wasn’t loaded with any foam rocket ammo…just the poison air. Her brother has destroyed with his teeth three/four foam rockets.

It’s not the same as being there, but I made her repeat it for Audioboo right after. She changed poison air to “spicy air.”

After the jump, hear this strange exchange and pretty please answer my question!

Continue reading Laila uses threat of force in chocolate milk request, and a question for readers

#healthy65 Day 2: Bowls, the assembled meal

I never claimed to be a maven of the domestic sphere- but I can assemble a bowl, darnit!

My lunch bowls include:

1 cup grain
1 cup or so veggie
Protein source like chicken, egg or tofu
1-2 tbs of sauce – I like ethnic food sauces and usually theme a bowl around some other country’s food traditions.

Today I used:
Quinoa –
Spinach
Steamed broccoli and carrots- ala Target bagged, washed n pre-cut (roasted would have been better!)
About 1/4 cup cubed, steamed
butternut squash (ala magic of Target frozen food section).
1 tbs blue cheese crumbles
1-2 tbs Annie Chung hot n sweet sauce.

Eli, on the other hand, got a taco dish, with xtra salt, butter, sour cream and cheese. That’s healthy for him! Little man needs 1900 calories per day compared to mommy’s My Fitness Pal 1200/day plan!

What will your ‘healthy thing’ be for Day 3?

Inspired by other posters on Twitter, I’m tempted to put in extra snuggle time with my littles. And I’m overdue for a Baby Ben Skype!

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Day 1: Healthy 65 Holiday Challenge! #healthy65

Today is the first day of the #healthy65 holiday challenge! Nov. 10- Jan. 13, do one healthy thing per day of your choosing to participate. It only needs to be related to wellness – the mental or physical. You can join at any time! Here I am drinking my fruits & veggies this morning via a green smoothie.

Healthy65-Day1

Sixty five has a tie to the cystic fibrosis community (kids sometimes call it 65 roses)- also, 65 days will get us through the holidays and give us power in the face of sweets and holiday parties and various obligations and stressors. This is not a weight loss challenge (though you are free to use it as such — and dropping some poundage is one of my goals). It’s all about creating healthy habits and breaking the bad ones. It is def open to the inspiring cystic fibrosis community, too! Sticking to treatments is a great goal! Coffee with a pal, a brisk walk – anything wellness- oriented goes. Thx for following along. Feel free to make posts on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram about what you are up to! Use hash tag #healthy65 to share.

For those new to hash tags, by typing pound and then a word ie #healthy65, your thoughts are grouped on Twitter or Instagram with everyone else doing the same thing. So in those social communities, searching #healthy65 will turn up everyone posting about the #healthy65. It’s a way to create an online wellness tribe and get inspired by the ideas swirling around us in cyberspace.

You can post about your effort where you like — your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. You can share every day, every other day, on occasion, whatever you wish. You are free to do the #healthy65 in total secrecy or as noted below “semi-secrecy,” if that’s how you roll. The purpose of it all is to get a wellness movement going. Let’s see how big we can get it.

Get ya background info here.

View my smoothie recipe from today below:

I drank my fruits and veggies first thing this morning. Here’s what I made

Pump it up with Pumpkin Smoothie!

1/2 can pumpkin
2 cups spinach
1 cup frozen fruit blend (mine had peaches, pineapple, grape and strawberries).
2 cups water
Dash of cinnamon
Drop ‘o vanilla

I blended the greens first, with most of the water, until pureed.

I set this aside in a two cups. Next, I blended the pumpkin, fruit, cinnamon and vanilla with the spinach mixture in two batches. I still use our Baby Bullet for blending. One of these days I’ll get a powerful blender. Baby bullet is getting tired and grumpy from all this blending, but she does the trick.

I also added about a cup of 0 percent Vanilla Greek yogurt.

To fatten Eli’s smoothie up, I would add some heavy whipping creek and whole milk Greek yogurt.

Happy Day 1. Do you want to join in? What are your goals?

A birthday wish from Eli

Eli is 1 year old today!

He has a special birthday wish. In baby memes, of course!

Hi. I'm Eli.

Continue reading A birthday wish from Eli

My slow road to health

I’m probably going to regret this.

Each time I mention Weight Watchers, or a pledge to exercise, I immediately fail.

It’s like when I lived in Ann Arbor, and my friend Liz and I would, each month, attempt to do the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. But on day 3 we’d be like: “Did you shred?”

“Ugh, no.”

“Did you?”

“No.”

“Ya wanna grab a Blue Tractor Burger?”

“Oh yeah!”

That’s kind of what I’m like with fitness. And eating right.

I’d *like* to change, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, either.

I’m really busy. I’m getting less tired because my baby is sleeping through the night these days! I swear just being a parent makes you tired. You could sleep for 9 or 10 a night and still be tired!

Despite my doubts, I think I might write about health a little here.

Yes, I do want to lose baby weight. Not just because Kate Middleton just had George, either. She’s one of those lucky ladies who will drop the teensy 25 pounds she put on her teensy frame in about 2 weeks. For me, two years in I was still about 10 pounds away.

Again, stressful two years. Need to go easy on self.

Any how, I’m wearing my hippie shirt today, which is probably why I went a little nuts-o at Sprouts (our local Trader Joe’s-esque place).

Lots of veggies and fruits and easy and convenient healthy things for me.

It’s funny because as I try to mix in more grains, fruits and veggies and fewer platters of brownies, I’m trying to fatten my son up as much as I can.

Another CF mom I met on Facebook posted a recipe for chocolate chip cookies with bacon in them she makes for her son, who is 10!

I bet one cookie is like 20 Weight Watchers points!

Points…points. Track those points.

That does actually work.

Until I get stressed out and attack plates of baked goods.

Now that I’m writing this down…maybe this attempt will stick?

I called this post a bandwagon because I keep falling off the Weight Watchers/exercise bandwagon.

I keep getting back on, or at least, thinking about it.

My wagon is slow. I think the horse Charlie is pulling it, his patched up bum knee and all!

Slow is OK. Life’s too fast.

Easy, boy, easy!

 

The word bandwagon might be my problem.

Health shouldn’t be a craze, something to join because it’s popular. It shouldn’t be an afterthought, but it is, often times. I’m full of excuses like “I’m really busy” and “I’m really tired.”

But I am!

Still, I want to know how I can somehow, amid the craziness of my life, fit in good habits that actually stick around.

And I’d like to be kind to myself. It’s OK to be on the slow road.

I’d like to explore the reasons I’d like to get healthier in a later post.

Here’s a good one: my mom had cancer twice before her 60th birthday. She died at 59.

I have a lot of issues to explore and things to consider.

Before I jump onto any goal of any kind, I’ll spend some time thinking instead.

And maybe getting a little rest. It’s critical to good health!