Sunday, October 18, 2009

SECRET ENERGY DRINK #2: BLUEBERRY & STRAWBERRY GREEN TEA


This is a great recipe to make at the beginning of the week and enjoy all week long. I usually put this drink in my BPA free camelback water container and carry it with me where ever I go.  It is chock full of wonderful, healthy antioxidants.


    1 Gallon container
    12-15 organic green tea bags regular size
    1 Cup fresh or frozen organic blueberries
    1 Cup fresh or frozen organic strawberries
    1 organic lemon
Bring approx 1/2 pint of water in a sauce pan to a rolling boil. Remove from stove and add tea bags. Let steep for 7 to 12 minutes. While tea is steeping, add blueberries and strawberries to blender. Add just enough water and liquefy. Pour liquefied berries into a gallon container.  Strain tea bags and add tea to gallon container and fill with water. Stir. Cut 1 lemon in half  squeeze into tea and add whole lemon to container. Let set overnight to enhance the berry flavor.Drink all day and enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SETBACKS


It's a cool, gloomy, Sunday October morning. The house is quiet.  My husband is off to church and my boy's are at their dad's this weekend. I'm taking advantage of this rare and wonderful quiet time to write, rest, heal and fight discouragement.
Last Friday I had a minor surgery.  This surgery required IV sedation and a round of prophylactic antibiotics. I hate antibiotics - they absolutely deplete me.  I had to take one week off of marathon training (I can be quite anal about my running schedule and the marathon is only 3 weeks away). The surgery, antibiotics and coupled with the fact that I have been putting in 10 to 12 hour workdays 5 days a week have worn me out. So yesterday morning at 6:00am I eagerly joined my running group for our last long run before the marathon. We were to run 26 miles.  I was anxious to get back into the groove and on with life.
The morning started off a cold 32 degrees.  It took forever for my legs to warm up.  I knew I was in trouble when my fingers started swelling up like vienna sausages around mile 8. My legs felt tight and never loosened up. We had had flooding rains the last several days and the trails were flooded. We were constantly having to go around the flooded areas only to find ourselves ankle deep in mud. We finally gave up trying to avoid the water and just splashed right through the puddles and our soggy feet quickly started blistering. I mentally and physically fought the entire run.
I finally threw in the towel between mile 22 and mile 23.  Something in me said I was starting to push my body too far.  So I did something that I had always told myself that I would never do...I called my husband.  He met me at the Kansas Expressway crossover bridge.  I sadly waved goodbye to my running partners and climbed into the car. My husband, sensing my disapointment smiled and said, "I'm surprised you made it that far. You did the right thing." Then, trying to cheer me up he drove me to the book store and bought me a new book, and took me out to eat. He is so good to me.
That run made me feel like a failure.  I absolutely hate not finishing something that I've started.  My options were : #1. Push it now, possibly past my limit and take a chance on not being able to recover for my ultimate goal (Bass Pro Marathon) or #2. Stop now, let myself heal, rest and rejuvenate with the hopes of being strong for my marathon.  I opted for #2.
Today, I am tired.  My knees hurt.  I am discouraged.  I wanted my last long run before the marathon to be a strong one.  It's more psychological than physical. That run would have given me the confidence of knowing that  when I stand at 7:00am on November 1st in the midst of thousands of people, that I had just completed the run - no big deal, I could easily do it again.
Right now, I sit on the couch, nursing my wounded ego and sore knees.  I know that because I am tired, discouragement can descend upon me and blanket my mind, distorting my thoughts.  I have to keep in mind that setbacks are normal. More importantly, I have to keep in mind that setbacks are temporary.  I've come to understand that the mental part of running, (as well as the thought process in life itself,) has more power than the physical part.  To obtain my goals, in running or life, I must change my thoughts and predominant mindset. I  cannot dwell on the negative things... I will focus on my goal in a positive way. I will allow myself to go through this process with the hopes of emerging on the other side stronger and ready for the marathon physically and mentally.  I have done three marathons before. With proper preparation my next one will be the best one yet!

Namaste

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A FEW TIPS FOR AVOIDING COLD'S & FLU THIS WINTER

As an RN, I'm not an advocate of the 'flu shot'. In my profession, we, as health care professionals are strongly encouraged to get the flu shot so as not to infect our patients. I KNOW that I personally do not need it, but I do it out of obligation to my company and the health of my patients. But if you follow these simple suggestions you might be able to avoid any kind of nasty little mutating virus this winter. I have not had the flu in many, many years and my children have always remained healthy, rarely missing a day of school. So here are my tips to remain virus free this winter :
  1. Drink 8- 8ounce glasses of water every single day. I know that this is a no brainer, but it works...really! To help you get your 8 glasses in, start with 2 glasses first thing upon rising, 2 at lunch, 2 at dinner and 2 in the evening (try not to drink before bed, as this will keep you up at night going to the bathroom and defeat tip #4).
  2. With a Q-tip, swab your ears out w/ peroxide every morning.  The peroxide travels down the eustachian tubes and kills any harboring germs plus you get the added benefit of clearing out ear wax (which also can harbor germs).
  3. With a Q-tip, swab your nasal passages with warm water, then follow w/oil - olive or safflower every morning. The dry air causes small fissures in your nasal canal.   To a virus particle, these membrane fissures are like the Grand Canyon and causes an excellent entry into the blood stream.
  4. Make sure you are getting enough (unmedicated) sleep. This is your body's only defense to renew itself. (I know, another no brainer)- melatonin is a good natural relaxer to take before bedtime.
  5. Last but not least. EXERCISE.  Cannot stress enough on this one. I personally like exercise that exerts you physically - like running, then I like to compliment this the next day with one that stretches your mind and your body, like yoga. I find this to be a 'balance' for the body. For one extreme of exercise if not followed by another extreme of the opposite tends to lead to imbalance (like everything else in life).
 Remember : VIRUSES CANNOT REPLICATE IF THEY DO NOT FIRST MAKE ENTRY INTO THE BLOODSTREAM, INVADE OUR INDIVIDUAL CELLS, SET UP THE CELLULAR MANUFACTURING APPARATUS WITH THE VIRAL BLUEPRINT AND TURN THE PLACE INTO A VIRAL FACTORY.
In short, the whole point of these tips is to not let the little devils in your body in the first place. So follow these tips and this will help you and your family have a healthy and happy winter season.

Happy and Healthy Fall to Everyone,
Namaste