Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm Believe I Am Sick

Seriously, I do have a cold and feel kind of crappy...but that's not what I'm talking about here. I must have something far more serious because something happened to me Sunday that I thought would never happen. I have lost my desire to shop!

For those of you that don't know, I've had another blog for several years where I posted links to good deals on a variety of items. That blog has fallen by the wayside mostly due to my schedule. But, I have always loved a bargain. A clearance sale was like a little piece of heaven and I couldn't turn away from one. If you read this blog through my great purge, you saw all of the stockpiled things that I had from those sales. I was a bargain addict.

Sunday I was faced with the task of going shopping for something rather specific. That task let me into a store filled with clearance beauty products. Normally, I would have been all over that. I would have come home with a bag full and stashed it all away for future use. I picked up one bottle of perfume, put it back down and left the store. It wasn't even hard to do. I had no desire to have any of it. I didn't want to find a place for it, or try to remember to use it when I ran out of whatever I'm currently using. Truth is, I still have a small stash of lotions and sprays just so I don't have to buy more for a while and so I don't feel so guilty about how much I had at one time.

This wasn't the only store having a sale though! Nearly every store in the mall was having a massive clearance sale. I passed each store without even a passing desire to walk in. Admittedly the clothing stores were easy because I weigh more than I'm comfortable with right now and I didn't even want to think about buying clothes, but even if I was in a better place with my weight I still don't think I would have wanted to buy anything.

The only store that kept my attention long was the book store and honestly I don't think that will ever change. I also totally avoided shoe stores because I have a substance abuse problem where they are concerned.

So, either I've come down with a strange illness or I'm really at a place where the only things I want are for us to have just what we need and not much more. I'm good with it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Homemade Dusting Spray

Well I ran out of my generic dusting spray last week so this week I had to try something new. In talking to some of my friends I found that a lot of them don't even use a spray, but I always have and I just feel like it works better for me, so I needed a green alternative.  I found this recipe on Pinterest (seriously what did I do before this site) and decided to give it a try. I have to say that I love it! I did not have light olive oil, so I used only one teaspoon of extra virgin. You have to shake it frequently, but it worked better than what I had been using and probably cost me just a few cents as opposed to the three bucks the other stuff cost. Plus I have no fear of using it around my little pets or my kids. Win!

A Little Clarification

I was reflecting on my post about diet and disease and felt like it needed something more. I want to be clear that I don't believe that everyone knows just exactly what they should do to take better care of themselves and just won't do it. The truth is, I believe there are a whole lot of people out there who know that they need to eat better and exercise and just don't know where or how to begin. There are still tons of people in this county without internet access so it isn't always as easy as Googling something. Not to mention that even if you can look it up, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there and much of it is contradictory.

I am not a very good cook. I can look up how to make something and give it a whirl and it rarely turns out the way it should. I'm not someone you could hand a pile of ingredients to and expect a meal to appear out of them. I know I need to eat healthy, but sometimes I do get overwhelmed at the process and the lure of the drive-thru is a strong one. So while I was mostly ranting at those who know just exactly what they need to do and choose not to do it, I know there is a big camp out there that wants to do it but feels overwhelmed by the process. In those cases I wish we had more programs to help. I love the first lady's Let's Move campaign, and I love what Jamie Oliver tried to do in his Food Revolution program. In order to spend less on obesity we may have to spend more on education and I think that's a pretty good trade off.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Diet and Disease

This post is going to be a bit of a rant and it might make some people mad in the process, but it has been festering inside of me for days and I need to get it out. I want to start out by saying that I am by no means perfect. I do all sorts of unhealthy things all the time and this post isn't meant to be a judgment on others. All that being said, I am so freaking sick of hearing the words "personal responsibility" from a country that clearly has no idea what that means.

I got into a heated Facebook discussion about the various bans on large soft drinks that are popping up around the country. I was in the minority when I said I was in favor of the bans. Every single person against them kept saying how it was all about personal responsibility and how if they wanted the giant soda no one should be able to stop them. Well I was a huge soda addict, so I understand the desire for a vat of the stuff. But the fact of the matter is, that no one exercises responsibility when it comes to their diets anymore! Currently ten percent of healthcare spending goes to obesity related illness and that number is rising. One in three white children, and one in two minority children born after the year 2000 will develop diabetes and most of those before they leave high school, so clearly parents aren't being responsible either. That same group of children is not expected to live as long as their parents.  I'm in favor of universal healthcare, but if it is ever going to work, people do have to start taking care of themselves!

I was in a small group of people once and one of the members of the group was morbidly obese and had suffered from Type 2 diabetes (yes, Type 1 is a whole different thing I know) for most of her life. She told another member of the group that she'd heard they'd found a cure for Type 2. I couldn't help myself, I said there has always been a cure (or at least effective treatment) for it and that's diet and exercise. Yes, I know this is where the hate mail will come in. I was not trying to be a bitch. I know how hard she has struggled with her weight and I know that she has many obstacles that are not just food. But, the reality is, there is a cure out there for SO much of the illness out there today and it comes on a plate, not in a pill bottle. The science cannot be denied and it is seriously the cheapest cure there is! In the documentary Forks Over Knives one of the doctors is confronted with the statement that a whole foods, plant based diet is "extreme" when you are looking to cure heart disease. As a doctor who has performed many bypass operations he replied that he considered dividing your chest, stopping your heart and taking a part of your leg to bypass your arteries extreme. Now, looking at that written out, can you deny it?

Someone told me I was being insensitive to Paula Deen when she came out with her diagnosis of diabetes and that I don't know what I would do if I were in her shoes. The answer to that was, "Oh yes I do!" Modern medicine is a fabulous thing. Children no longer have to suffer from Polio the way my ex-mother-in-law did. Women rarely die in childbirth. We can replace insulin in people who cannot produce it. I love medicine! But I guarantee you that if my doctor gives me a diagnosis of any illness the first thing I will do is examine my diet! Why? The real question should be why not? If my doctor tells me I have cancer tomorrow I will take the conventional treatments, but I will also change anything about my diet that may contribute to that cancer. When you suggest radical changes to a diet people always come back with "Oh something is going to kill me, I might as well die happy". Well something is going to kill us and we should enjoy life. But I like to think about what I would do if it were one of my children that was diagnosed with something. Would I say "oh something's going to kill him, so he might as well die happy" or would I look into every option out there to save his life? Prostate cancer has plagued the males in my ex husbands family. Do you think I'm going to just look at my boys and say "well it's got to be something". Hell no! I'm going to do everything I can now, to see to it they never face that. If they still do, then I hope medicine saves them, but at least I will be able to say I tried. So why, if we would do that for our children, would we not do it for ourselves?

When I weighed over 200 pounds I was sick a lot. I developed a chronic cough and became worried that I had something serious. The doctor told me that he believed my heartburn caused the cough and that the cough had become its own irritant. He gave me a prescription for heartburn medication and told me that he thought my weight was a contributing factor. I thanked him, walked out the door and threw the prescription in the trash. The next day I drove myself to Weight Watchers. I was not going to spend my money on a pill for something that was within my control to change. I lost weight, the heartburn went away and so did the cough. I have seen countless people walk through the doors of WW with all sorts of medical ailments and have also watched those ailments disappear or lessen as their weight has left them.

There are all sorts of things in this world that we cannot control. Their are illnesses that are preventable and some that don't appear to be. But the one thing we can control is what we put in our bodies and how much we feed into the illness or fight with modern medicine to cure ourselves.

The father of modern medicine Hippocrates himself said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Clearly he knew something that we have forgotten. Let's remember, let's try that personal responsibility thing on for size. Myself included.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Something to think about

Again, I have failed to post like I should. I'm not feeling much tonight, but I saw this and thought it was too good not to share.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Time to Catch Up

Once again I've fallen off the wagon with my daily postings so I figured I'd do a little catch up here and then try to get back on track. My kids go to camp next week so I'll have a bit more free time.

Last week was my first week back at my old job and it was great. I'm still getting back into the swing of things and some things have changed, but it feels fantastic to be back (even if I did get to start on the worst project ever). It was a slightly short week because my oldest son graduated elementary school. That was wonderful and sad at the same time. I'm so proud of both of my boys but I'm not ready for them to grow up.

I'm still trying the no shampoo thing and I really believe the condition of my hair is improving. I'm getting a hair cut this week so we'll see what my hairdresser thinks and how she feels when I ask her not to use shampoo.

My experiment in homemade dish soap did not go well. I think I did something wrong though, so I'm going to try again before I give a final verdict.

Finally, I pretty much finished my second round of clutter purging. I still need to do my storage closet again, but the house is done. I initially thought I would have a yard sale, but with my new schedule I didn't feel like spending a Saturday sitting around. So, I collected it all and took it to our local thrift store. Here's the pile I took this time. I was shocked to see how much more I was able to get rid of after all that went out last time.

Hopefully I'll do a better job of posting here in the future.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Busy Day!

Wow today was a busy day! I think I'm having a slight panic attack about having a regular daytime job and feel the need to get everything done at once for fear I might miss something. This is probably due to the fact that my first week is going to be a little weird because of my oldest son's graduation from elementary school and all of the things that go along with the last week of school.

Today I managed to finish cleaning the house, did laundry, went to the store, cut up a ton of fruits and veggies, made a batch of dish soap and a batch of laundry detergent.

First up was the laundry detergent. Here are the ingredients you need.

I used the following amounts...
  • 2 Cups Super Washing Soda
  • 2 Cups Borax
  • 2 Bars Ivory Soap Shredded
Just use a cheese grater to grate up your bars of soap and then mix all ingredients together. Put into a container and use about 1 tablespoon per load. I've made this before and was very satisfied with the results, I just got lazy and went back to my old detergent. But, this time I'm committed (or should be committed who knows)

Next up was the dish soap. I used the recipe found at Frugally Sustainable . I'm not sure I did it right, but it is still processing so I'll report back on how it does once I've used it. Here are the ingredients. Not pictured is water and a few teaspoons of the shredded Ivory soap. I picked lavender scented Castile soap so my finished product would smell good.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Joy of No Makeup and Boring Hair

I still don't think I'm doing the no shampoo thing right. I don't think I have the "natural" stuff that our hair produces like I should or have been through the transition period. If anyone has done this before and could give me any insight as to what I'm doing wrong that would be so great!

But, I love not fixing my hair every day. It makes a huge difference in the amount of time it takes me to get ready in the morning. It does feel better too. I need a haircut right now and once I get that I think I'll like it even better. It just feels great not to be damaging it with chemicals and heat anymore. Do I look better? I suspect I look worse, but it isn't really about that.

As for the makeup, I hardly even remember what it was like to put it on every day and my skin is really thanking me. A few breakouts around that time of the month (or when it should be in my case) but that's about it. Feels healthier and cleaner all the time.

The added benefit to this is when you're caught in a massive thunderstorm like I was today you aren't at all concerned about the condition of your hair or if your makeup is running down your face. You can run and laugh with your kids and not check the mirror even once!