The next 90 days

Howdy, y’all.  Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie has goals.

train shirt

Not resolutions, goals. And not just goals, but goals with solid planning behind them.  It’s easy to say “I’m going to do this in this amount of time, but without a plan, it may not happen.

I’m keeping it simple and straightforward, with nothing crazy added to the mix.  I’ve been eating off plan and struggling with eating my feelings lately (well, on and off since the election), so getting back on track and putting my goals front and center will help me focus.

Without further ado, here are my goals for the next 90 days:

  • Flexibility work daily – at least a good 5-minute stretch
    • I feel so much better when I stretch and have let that habit slide.  No more.  Get up and stretch, people!
  • Start walking regularly again, at least 3 days a week
    • The Shrimp & Grits 5K is tomorrow and I’m definitely in.  Packet pick-up is tonight and I am so excited.  And a little concerned because there is a pain flare in effect.
  • Lose 10-15 pounds
    • This is a doable goal for three months.  It breaks down to 1.25 pounds a week maximum, which is a healthy rate.  Meds and high pain days make it difficult, but sticking to my food plan will make the difference here.
  • Love myself no matter what
    • This is the big one.  There are days that I feel trapped in this body and I let fears of my potential state in my golden years take over. I love myself, but those days leave me a teary, self-destructive mess.  I eat things I don’t handle well (like peanut butter) and overeat in an attempt to ease the pain.  Neither help.

So, there are my goals. I’ll share often on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  You could join me, cheer me on, stare and shake your heads, or whatever.  I will get mine and I hope you get yours, too.  Feel free ask me anything about my journey and tell me what you want to see or not see.

And now it’s time for a cup of tea and a little reading.  It may or may not involve a cookbook or two.

issa and terry

 

VARIDESK Standing Desk review from Merilee Kern

Do you spend your workday at a desk?  I do.  I know I wanted to spend less time sitting during the day.  I work at a standard desk, so sitting is a major part of my day.  I occasionally move away from the desk and set up at the dining room table as a standing desk setup. In my dream office, my current desk and a separate standing desk would be set up in an L-shape and I’d include a sofa and coffee/drink station.  

Even though my private office is in the dream planning stage, I decided to look into standing desks and found  Merilee Kern’s review of the VARIDESK Pro Plus 36″.  My dream private office layout may change a bit.  I can see the Pro Plus  30″  next to my current desk.

If you haven’t looked into a standing desk for yourself, read on to learn about  Merilee’s experience.  

VARIDESK Standing Desk a Smart Wellness Solution

By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor

The pitfalls of sitting too much have been well-proven, with the gravely serious risks ranging from medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity to increased mortality rates.  Prolonged sedentary time is also associated with a host of other adverse issues, including weight gain, neck and back pain and even anxiety. It’s no wonder that standing desks have become an increasingly popular way to combat these concerns.  


Even beyond mitigating actual health problems that can manifest from too much seat time, yet more research reveals that standing desks can give workers—and companies at large—an advantage by boosting productivity. In fact, one recent study by Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center School of Public Health found that stand-capable workstations did substantially improve worker productivity. Over the study’s six-month period, average worker productivity increased a full 46% over those with traditional, seated desk configurations.

Given my penchant for physical fitness and maximized output during office hours, coupled with my own fair share of chronic back pain, I jumped at the chance to test out the “Pro Plus 36” standing desk from VARIDESK, which makes various active office products all designed to counter the sedentary lifestyle. I found this model of particular interest since its 36” width can accommodate dual-monitor setups or larger workspace needs thanks to a two-tiered design. The upper surface holds one or two displays, while a separate lower keyboard/mouse deck provides ample room for tech basics and accessories.

proplus36black_49900_environment01-copyright-varideskt

When my package arrived, I was thrilled to see that the unit came out of the box fully assembled, ready to be placed right on top of my existing desk. The engineering also proved to be marvelous, with the company’s patented, spring-assisted lift mechanism allowing the device to be easily and smoothly raised and lowered in mere seconds to the desired height amid the 11 settings that are available. Also notable is that you don’t need to move or rearrange any devices or components when raising or lowering the VARIDESK. It all just moves with the system.  Impressively sturdy, this apparatus can stably hold up to 35 pounds even when extended to its full height.

Within minutes my workspace was transformed, giving me the freedom to work either standing or sitting—and to alternate between these two options with abandon. While working while standing can admittedly take some getting used to, the allure of increased energy, focus and proficiency; more calories burned; fewer body aches and pains and even a longer life span make this standing desk innovation one well worth the nominal $395 investment.


In all, VARIDESK is a sound all-in-one way to work smarter, be healthier and perform at peak levels.


~~~

“The Luxe List” Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at www.TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter here: www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.

MAIN RT HI Tight 2
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25599350

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22890825

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16005804

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23057991

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24297826

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26088005

http://today.tamu.edu/2016/05/25/boosting-productivity-at-work-may-be-simple-stand-up/

 

How are you?

Hi.

The post-election night feels are real and all over the place.  Trump supporters may not understand why people are upset.  They may not see the fears as legitimate.  If Trump goes forward with all of his promises made during his campaign, people are facing loss of insurance, invalidated marriages, families torn apart by deportation, and the increase of bills that come with all these things.

Please be kind and think of how it would feel for you if you were one of the groups affected.  Also remember that his hateful remarks earned respect and admiration from hate groups.   That is terrifying in itself.

Still swimming

It’s been a  while since I’ve posted here, but I’m still around.  I’m on Facebook and Instagram everyday, learning from and sharing with the plant-based and spoonie folks.

I will share more here about events and services in town and elsewhere that may help you along your healing path.  I’ll also share more about my meal plan (Hello, Meal Mentor) and share some quick cooking tricks for the low spoon days.

If there’s anything else you’d like to see, give me a shout.  Or a whisper. I’m listening.

Chronic pain killed Prince?

I loved Prince.  I loved him since 1979 when “I Wanna Be Your Lover” hit the airwaves.  I loved how he was different.  He cared not for haters and did his own thing.  He inspired me.

I read an article a few minutes ago that made his death even sadder.  Lorraine Berry’s Raw Story post states the Prince died from chronic pain.   There is speculation that he has a cocaine habit.  He could have tried self-medicating, something I’ve done from time to time. I don’t know what happened with him, and will not speculate any further on what happened to him . I do know what chronic pain does to me.

Some days it’s like I can feel the life draining out of me. When meds stop working, I get desperate to find anything that helps.  Sleeping all the time does not work because I have things to do and people to care for.  Self-medication becomes a necessity at times, and that is not how things should be. I’m  not just looking to score drugs. I want relief; to feel close to the old normal again.

And now this post is coming to an end.  You know,  because things to do and people to care for.  Taking a few deep breaths, pasting on a less grouchy face, and going for it.

Costochondritis

I’ve been feeling like crud lately and thought this would be a good time to discuss various side issues that go along with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis.  I am not a  medical professional and don’t claim to be.  Don’t assume that my experiences are the same as yours.  If something is happening that you don’t recognize, go get checked out. 

Costochondritis is literally a pain in the chest.  It’s terrifying to anyone, especially one with a family history of cardiovascular issues.  My first experience with it came in the early 90s.  I was in the middle of an argument with my then boyfriend and started feeling bad.  I put the argument aside and went to bed, hoping rest would make me feel better.  It didn’t.  I awakened with strong chest pains and trouble breathing. The trip to the ER cost a pretty penny to the uninsured food service employee. but it was worth it to know that I wasn’t having a heart attack.

Many years and a few similar episodes later and it still results in a similar fear.  I know now what symptoms to look for and know the attack will pass.  Costochondritis is a regular part of my life now and just part of a severe Fibro flare.

Costochondritis, or inflamed breast bone,  is painful inflammation of the breast bone and rib cage.  Like me, if may make you think you’re having a heart attack.  The pain may come out of nowhere like mine did, or it may be the result of overtraining, an injury, or extended coughing fits that accompany a cold or flu bug.  Treatment is easy – just over the counter anti-inflammatory solutions like tylenol or Advil should do the trick. When Fibromyalgia is involved, the pain is intensified and does not always fade as quickly as one would hope.  Extended pain saps energy, and when the chest pain combines with the spine pain, makes Sherrie tired and angry rather than friendly.

Do you have Costochrondritis?  How do you deal with it?

Review: Orgalif Bento Lunch Box Containers

I received these containers at a discount from Tomoson.com in exchange for my honest review.  My opinions are mine and I would not recommend anything I did not believe in.

bentos

It doesn’t matter how on point your fitness game is if your fueling game is off.  Yes, your calories might be in check, but your optimal balance of protein, carbs, and fat may not be.  I log every meal, whether on plan or not.   Why?  It helps me see why I don’t make progress.  When there are more good days than bad, I either lose or maintain.  Before I started my current food plan, I noticed I reached for fat and carbs more than protein.  A lot more fat than anything else, really.  Yes, almond and sunflower butter are good, but not at the amounts I’d reach for on a daily basis. Oy!

Speaking of, I stepped up my food prep game a few weeks ago and am seeing results.

Note:  Results include increases in energy level, change in how my clothes fit, training gains, and changes on the scale.  No one result trumps or minimizes another.

I’m following the macros from Flexible Dining for Vegans and don’t feel deprived, disappointed, or hungry. One issue I do have, though, is sticking on plan when I oversleep, have back-to-back shifts, or am running around.  One thing that does help is having meals and snacks ready to go.  Instead of relying on shakes or bars for most of it (or trying to rush and fix a plate or bowl), I try to pack individual meals.  I received the opportunity to review a set of Orgalif Bento Boxes and put them right to the test.

The boxes are a good size, dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe, and the different colored lids were a plus for me. I could reach for the meal I wanted just by spotting the lid.  You know how it is when you live with other people, the fridge gets rearranged whether you want it to or not.  Knowing that these containers are full of ‘that crazy vegan food’ tends to keep the family away.   They don’t know good eating!  I took a couple from the freezer straight to the microwave with no issues.   They washed up nicely in the dishwasher, too.  They’re about perfect.  I fill them on meal prep days and am ready to go for a few meals.  The containers are not leak proof, so I use them at home exclusively.  They do fit nicely in lunch bags, so just skip sauces and gravies and things should be golden.

Orgalif offers a five year, 100% satisfaction guarantee.  Five years!  That says a lot in this disposable world.   Go get yours, risk free, and get to prepping!

Forced time out

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie’s been sick, y’all. It’s been unpleasant and completely threw me off my game. I didn’t want to cook, eat, or do anything involving being awake. It’s better, but it’s still harshing my mellow.  I’m eating again, but still mostly mouth breathing and looking at the world through one eye.

Be prepared for the onslaught of posts to come.  I have a few things to tell you about and just want to chat in general.

Until then, peace!

Review – BarnDad’s FiberDX

I received samples of BarnDad’s Fiber DX in exchange for my honest review from Tomoson.com.  I would not recommend anything I did not care for. 

I have a love-hate relationship with fiber supplements.  I know I could use more fiber some days, but every experiment I’ve had with psyllium husk has failed.  Big time failed. Painful bloating no matter how much water I drink afterward failed. I’m not a quitter, but I think six failed attempts with different products should be a message.  But because of the family history of cardiovascular issues, I keep trying.  Experts recommend a healthy diet include a minimum of 25 and up to 50 grams of fiber per day.  Do you get enough?

barn dadI usually get my fiber boost from ground flaxseeds these days, but an opportunity arose to try something new. I’ve seen ads for BarnDad’s Fiber DX around for years, but hadn’t taken the plunge because bloating.  I read the label and saw that that BarnDad’s products use a multi-layer fiber mix, so I accepted to offer to try the supplements.  I was not disappointed.  Not really. There was slight disappointment for the dairy-free person (me), but not for the omnivore (hubby).

BarnDad suggests you have one 15 minutes or so before a meal to help keep you from overeating.  The fiber and protein also aid in keeping cholesterol down, helps regulate blood glucose and A1C levels, and speeds muscle recovery.  Because we’re rebels, we had them either in place of regular snacks or after dinner to reduce late night snacking.

Hubby had his choice between the flavored versions, new Cinnamon Bun, German Chocolate, and new Strawberry Cream.  They each have whey protein and just 80-90 calories per serving.  Yes, I was kinda jealous.  First up was the Cinnamon Bun flavor.  It has whey protein, so I could not give it a try.  Hubby was happy to give it a shot because cinnamon bun.  He stirred it the first time he tried it and thought it was okay texture-wise.  (Note:  It was smoother and creamier when blended in the Ninja the second time he had it.)  He said it tasted just like a cinnamon bun, which surprised him.  The Strawberry Cream was okay, but then again, he isn’t the biggest fan of strawberry shakes.  He thought the German Chocolate was too sweet, but he isn’t as much of a fan of German Chocolate as I am.  He just doesn’t get it.  Am I right? bard dad german choc

The only dairy-free option at this time is the Original Unflavored.  It has 11 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein in each 50 calorie serving.  I decided that plain would not do, so I added it to two of my usual shakes.  The addition did not affect the flavor or texture of my usual protein/fruit shake and was undetectable in my protein latte.  The extra fiber and protein did not bother me at all.

barn dad cinnamon

I cannot believe that any product with psyllium husk did not leave me bloated, but BarnDad’s did not. I still can’t believe it. The multi-layer fiber matrix is magical.

The verdict?  BarnDad’s FiberDX would work nicely in the daily (or almost daily) routine.  It adds a big dose of fiber and shot of protein in a yummy little package. I do wish the flavored varieties were also non-dairy so I could mix things up, but that’s not a deal breaker when it’s  so easy to use.

Give it a try for yourself.  Go to BarnDad’s website for free sample pack (shipping required), recipes, and more.  If you see it on your local store shelves, just pick up a tub and go from there.

Do you take a fiber supplement?