Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘HEALTH’

AIR FRYER

I just have to share. I am having the BEST TIME! I have been cooking for more years than I care to count. I have developed many recipes that are staples in our house. Saying that, I must confess that I have gotten bored with many of the recipes I make. I have heard of two different cooking programs that two of our daughters are enrolled in. If I was working, IF I had more money, I might be tempted to enroll in one of the programs. They give you a list of meals that are available for the week. You pick out the meals that you want delivered, and the complete meal is delivered to your house. Most of the items needed are included with instructions for preparation.

So why am I writing such a glowing report on these programs? I looked at our daughter’s menu book and realized that although many of the meals looked DELICIOUS, my husband WOULD NOT want to eat any of them. Maybe it is a good thing that I don’t have extra money to spend.

On the other hand, I really like to cook. I just need inspiration. Enter a cookbook I found last summer for the slow cooker. Everything I made from the recipes was delicious. The slow cooker allows me to prepare the food in the morning when I have energy and finish it in the evening when the energy is gone.

Next appliance in our house was the instant pot — along with five (5) new cookbooks. Paging through the recipes, looking for ideas. MANY have been successful. The problems come when I don’t really read the ingredients or interpret the instructions. I have doubled ingredients or used apple cider vinegar instead of apple juice. I bought an Air Fryer in October. It sat in it’s box until March. I didn’t make anything in it until April. I made roasted chicken breast. It was fantastic! I was hooked. The appliance is easy to use and even easier to clean.

When we visited our daughter in Central Illinois, we visited Barnes and Noble. I came home with TWO (2) new cookbooks for the Instant Pot. One its the Healthy Air Fryer. It had a recipe for Blooming Onion. I remember having the onion when I was young at a joint that had peanut shells on the floor. It was delicious.

I made it last night. I had a couple of issues in the preparation but considering I was tired, I’m ready to make and eat it AGAIN. There are many more new recipes to try in my newer cook books. It is not one of the home chefs programs, doesn’t come delivered with ingredients ready to cook, but new ideas — hopefully ones my husband will enjoy. I promised I would only experiment with his tummy one night a week.

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HELPING HAND

I’ll admit that I was TIRED. VERY TIRED. We were watching our daughter’s dogs : Tessa, A King Charles Spaniel and Luna, a young black lab puppy while our daughter’s family took a much needed vacation. Luna was FULL of energy and wanted to go out about every two hours. Tessa LIKED to sleep with us. Her breed is a lap dog, very good for keeping bodies warm. Luna, on the other hand, is everything a puppy should be. Loving and full of mischief. We were able to convince her that she should sleep on a dog pillow in the room off our bedroom, NOT ON OUR BED! It worked out fine. She could find me in the wee hours of the morning when she needed to go out. The first day she was with us, we let her have access to too much water. The second day we started restricting it. By the time they went home, Luna only needed to go out once in the wee hours.

Thursday the day had begun challenging. I wanted to pay our electric bill. I didn’t remember receiving it and phoned. I had an old bill to get our account number and the phone number. When it came time to pay the bill, the old bill had disappeared. ?? I found an even older bill in the shredding bucket. Both my husband and I had doctor appointments later in the day. I had trouble paying for parking at the meter. I finally decided that walking a bit further was a good option. I was concerned that my blood pressure would be high. I knew I was already stressed. Before leaving home I had Tension Tamer Tea, then a cup of Chamomile Mint for good measure. I was concerned that my blood pressure would be HIGH! My children wanted me to ask our doctor about my knees. Confirmed — I have arthritis. I also asked about my stiff neck. He showed me an exercise to do to help loosen it and also prescribed a muscle relaxant. Thankfully my blood pressure wasn’t high. I received a few prescriptions that I needed to pick up on Friday. Since we had extra dogs, a young one that liked to get into trouble, I went by myself.

I must have looked extremely OLD and very tired. Before leaving home, I tried to boost my energy with coffee and tea. It didn’t really work. My plans called for two more stores besides Costco. At Aldi’s, I thought I picked a parking space that would allow enough room to open the door and exit. I had TROUBLE — my legs didn’t want to bend. They got stuck. The woman in the car next to me must have noticed my problems, she started her car, backed up enough for me to open the door completely, then moved back into her spot. Amazed, I was EXTREMELY GRATEFUL!

Trader Joe’s was my next stop. No problems finding a parking spot that allowed me to exit the car. Still room to get back in the driver’s seat when I returned from shopping. I decided to take the cart back. Returning to the car I realized I should have exited at the ramp, instead of the higher curb. Assessing the situation, I decided to move back to the ramp when TWO ASIAN woman came by and offered me a steadying arm to descend. Once again, I was EXTREMELY GRATEFUL. I LOVE it when I have help shopping. THANK YOU!

PUSHED

I have always LOVED to walk. As a teenager, it was nothing to walk over 5 miles in a day. I’ll attribute it to my maternal grandmother. She didn’t know how to drive, nor did she have a car. In Wisconsin, we walked everywhere unless we hitchhiked. I continued to walk a lot after we had children. I regularly walked three miles at the camper in the morning. That is until about three years ago when my knees became a problem. Since then I’m lucky if I get 5,000 steps a day. If I’m honest I’ll admit that mostly it is 3,000 or less.

Then I found a note book from 2017 in which I wrote details from our trip to Hawaii. We enjoyed walking from Waikiki beach down the ocean front, looking for turtles, back to our time share. It wasn’t unusual to log over 14,000 steps a day. We are going again this year. My son has reminded me that I won’t be happy if I have to sit on a chair and watch the world go by.

I have increased the number of steps from 3,000 — 4,000 January, February to 6,000 — 7,000 March. That is a LONG WAY from 14,000. Thankfully my knees aren’t the problem that they were. I wish I could say that my weight was down. That would be LOVELY. Because of the ice, I’ve been walking more in the house. I’ve have been trying to get at least 3,000 before going upstairs. Now that I’ve increased the total, 7,000 this week, I have had to increase the amount– trying for 4,000 before going upstairs. I was amazed when I easily reached 7,000 every night.

I try to walk at every commercial. Since most of the time I’m not watching a public channel, there are a lot of commercials. I also try to do stretches before going to bed. Once I reach 7,000, the rest of the night is mine and I don’t push. Will I get the number of steps up to 10,000 EVERY DAY? Good question — no answer. I’ll admit that 7,000 is easier than 5,000 was.

Losing weight? I wish! I write down the food I eat every day. Except for minor treats — wine, popcorn — I don’t eat junk. I don’t know if I get the recommended number of fruit and vegetables into my diet every day but I don’t fill the space with bread, or candy or pop. I read, with interest, the new recommended diet that will help you lose 40lbs in 30 days. I look at the food they recommend. For the most part, those foods are in my diet. I don’t have a lot of (junk food) to give up. Increasing my exercising hasn’t helped either.

On a different note: I am ALWAYS so HAPPY when I realize I have “friends from high places” helping me shop. Recently I was at Costco, searching for Mountain Dew. UNSUCCESSFULLY! I asked a uniform person working in the freezer but he wasn’t part of Costco’s staff. A shopper (Costco employee in disguise) heard my question and came to my aid. There was ONLY ONE CASE of Mountain Dew left, he knew where it was and retrieved it for me. THANK YOU!

SHOES

It’s not fair. Two pair of shoes, different styles, wore out at the same time. To be honest, they didn’t wear out, they just wore enough in the soles that wearing them was hazardous to my body. My knees and my hips, both were beginning to protest.

I didn’t worry to much. I thought I had extra pairs for a backup. Surprised, pulling out the new shoes I discovered that the new gym shoes were NOT the same as the pair I had been wearing that were SO comfortable. Instead there were TWO pairs of the same style that a note in the toe said were too tight.
Sadly they still are too tight in the toes.

Once upon a time that wouldn’t have been a problem. Now almost ALL of the shoes have a memory foam insole. The problem with the foam is since I wear out the outside edge of the shoe, the foam keeps that position and it affects my knees and hips. After one pair of memory foam shoes, I learned my lesson. If I was able to wear a pair of shoes for a couple of months, spending more money for a pair wouldn’t be to much of a problem. Since sometimes a pair of shoes doesn’t even last two weeks, we can’t afford to keep my feet in expensive shoes.

I have to admit that I have been searching for shoes for a couple of months. I’ve been wearing slippers at home to try to stretch the wear on my shoes. Except somehow I injured my right ankle and need more support than slippers give me. To make matters more interesting, I’m trying to walk more than 5,000 steps each day.

It is still winter — wearing sandals doesn’t work. I NEED GYM SHOES! At the store, a quick scan of woman’s shoes revealed many different types — ALL WITH MEMORY FOAM! Except for heels which I haven’t worn in a LONG TIME. Scanning men’s shoes sadly revealed more of the same. UNTIL I found two different styles that DID NOT have memory foam. I have to admit, both came home with me.

Next time we go to the store, I will have to buy another pair or two before they switch to memory foam. Over 5,000 steps in the first pair, my knees and hips didn’t protest. Neither did my feet. It would be VERY HELPFUL if my weight would decrease enough that my shoes would NOT wear on the edges. It would also be helpful if my feet would shrink so the new shoes I have would fit.

Our son’s birthday is on the horizon, he was named after my father and St. Joseph. At Aldi’s, I found Hershey cheesecake mini bites that we both enjoyed. Every time I go to the store I search without success. They must have been a Valentines Day special. On Ash Wednesday, my father must have been shopping with me. I looked for the Hershey bites unsuccessfully. Then I remembered an item I had forgotten. Reversing, I proceeded back down the aisle. Face to face with the refrigerated case, I saw the Hershey bites I had been searching for. In the store for Mardi Gras, they were on close out. Two containers came home with me. Thanks DAD!

WARRIOR

When my granddaughter was at St. Joseph hospital because of her headaches, I told her we should compose a story about an Amazon Warrior who used her strength to battle the headaches and thunder boomers. I don’t know if that idea ever really became a story. While she was in the hospital I gave her the puppets I had acquired for her birthday — a Unicorn and a Pegasus. Unable to visit on her birthday because of her headaches, the idea for a story became a painting.

I will be the first to admit that I do not have the ability to draw. I needed a female warrior, a stick figure would not work. I tried to draw the image, it turned out better than I expected. Now I will admit that I petitioned everyone on my “spirit team” for help. I tried to draw a unicorn — the image had no relationship to the being I was trying to draw. I tried to draw a shield with limited success.

I hoped that paint would improve my drawing ability and drew a new image on a canvas board. I decided to put in a mountain with storm clouds leaving followed by blue skies with wispy white clouds. The sky, the clouds, the mountain became the image that I wanted. The female on the other hand, became a challenge. First I decided that she needed to move back on the canvas. She was too close to the front. I finally was able to improve on the image so that I had a female warrior, standing tall, ready to take on the world. The shield was another matter. I realized I had no idea what a shield looked like, let alone where to place it or paint it.

The unicorn was another matter. Poor unicorn, ears aren’t too bad, body is pudgy, eye and nose are okay.
The best I can say is that I tried. I decided not to clutter the background up with rocks or trees. After I fussed with the sky and the clouds and the grassy terrain, I knew that I had to take a photo and send it to her. It might have been possible to improve on the unicorn, it might have been possible to make it even more of a mess. I might have hidden it behind a tree. The photo gave her a smile.

I learned that I had trouble with the brushes. I learned that I had trouble with the paint. I learned that if I wanted to join the artists painting on location in the country I had to practice. I had planned to start painting when we first came home from the country. I didn’t! Hopefully — winter is almost over. Spring will soon be here. I have an easel and chair for wandering, I just need to PRACTICE so that I’m more comfortable using my materials.

REWIND

I can’t count the number of times that I have started over . Weight up — new diet. Some with success for a short time but the weight came back — again and again. The problem is that for the most part I eat a healthy diet. Because of sodium restrictions I don’t eat a lot of processed foods. I don’t drink pop — regular or diet. I don’t eat a lot of bread or cookies or candy. In other words I don’t have a lot of food to give up in order to quickly lose weight. I learned that limiting meat doesn’t work for my body so vegetarian isn’t an option. I’ve been reading that some people have been successful by increasing their vegetable intake and decreasing the amount of protein. Still open to new ideas but treading cautiously. I prefer chicken thighs to chicken breasts. A recent article mentioned that chicken drumsticks and thighs were packed with vitamin K-2, a tough to find nutrient that blocks plaque buildup inside arteries.

I acquired an Instant Pot in the Fall. My plans to use it more often hasn’t worked out as I had planned. I have enough cookbooks. I just haven’t taken the time to develop enough recipes. I also have an older pressure cooker. I have used it for years when I’m cooking dried beans. Recently I used it to make turkey bone broth. A recipe in a new instant pot cookbook suggested it cook for an hour and a half. One and one made two. I realized I could use my older pressure cooker for the purpose. I was comfortable using it, and an hour and a half on the stove — adding heat to the house, seemed worthwhile. The result was fantastic. I’ve also learned that chicken feet are available for purchase at Wal-Mart, an ingredient mentioned for bone broth.

Because of the weather — January, February — I have limited my walking outside. We have a treadmill but I don’t like to use it. When we had our daughter’s dogs as guests, I stopped exercising. All three wanted to help me and I must admit, their help wasn’t needed. When the dogs left, I continued to be lazy. Any benefit I had gotten from exercise was soon lost. My neck became more stiff, hurt to turn when driving. Although I had continued with bone broth, my knees were rebelling. Lack of exercise, weight or weather — it is hard to tell.

I decided that I was going to increase the number of steps I walked each day. I wasn’t going to settle with 2,000. I aimed for 5,000. It is easy to get that number of steps when I’m shopping or walking outside. It is harder to get them when I’m restricted inside. Still stretching– I’m trying to increase the number of steps to 6,000.

Weight is down slightly, not enough to jump up and down and rave about, but my wrist is smaller. I’ve had to tighten the band on my watch. I’m hoping that reduced weight and increased steps will improve not only my weight but my walking ability. `

THWARTED

This word WAS NOT part of my vocabulary. It wandered into my mind. After checking to confirm that is was a word, I decided it was an excellent title for a thought ramble. Especially after the happenings in my life in January and February. Thwarted: “Block or Hinder. To keep from doing.”

Perhaps I should explain. In January I received an invitation to join Deepak Chopra for a 4 week meditation. I have tried to do his three week meditations in the past and although I still have trouble meditating, I thought I should keep trying. My schedule was clear — I thought I would be able to do it for four weeks. The first day, I connected to the meditation. That was the end of my success. Communication with the HELP desk didn’t help. From experience I knew I was being BLOCKED. WHY? No answer.

At the end of January the reason became apparent. Our 9 year old granddaughter’s migraines and thunder boomers had increased to such an extent that her mother took her to Diamond Clinic at St. Joseph hospital in Chicago. Her brother and their two dogs, one a black lab 4 month old puppy, stayed with us. When her father and brother returned home, I suggested the dogs stay with us. The puppy was excellent, just a puppy, forever hungry and wanting to play. All of Robin’s toys, in various states of togetherness, occupied the whole house. I quickly decided that exercise was NOT an option.

I was surprised at the number of states that the patients at St. Joseph came from. Diamond clinic must be very well known and we are blessed to have it in Chicago. Patients came from as far away as California and Georgia. Tennessee, Ohio and Missouri were also represented. Sadly the treatment didn’t get rid of my granddaughters headaches, although they might be better. I must admit that the house was quiet when the dogs left.

Our life returned to normal, right? WRONG! I’m still trying to catch up on sleep. Our winter weather mix is still continuing. Last Sunday was the first Sunday I attended Mass since Christmas. I don’t wander out when it is icy, nor do I drive. Watching the weather systems and shopping between them describes both January and February.

Shopping has presented its own challenges. I recently returned from Wal-Mart without half of my groceries. One bag was missing. Checking my receipt to get the phone number, I noticed that the items missing were not charged. ?? If there is an explanation, I don’t know what it is.

Sadly, I don’t keep good notes. I don’t write down the number of frustrations that are in each day. I read recently that I should note the co-incidences that occur in my life. I laughed. Co-incidences — DAILY? I don’t write down the number of times my brain doesn’t remember stuff. In other words, I don’t remember all of the times that thwarted fit the day. I’m sure it was a lot!

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