Monthly Archives: July 2015

Yoga classes for kids at Hazel Parker Playground

Yoga is my jam!  It helps me retain and increase flexibility in my stiff joints.  It helps me keep and regain my calm when things push my buttons.  It helps me relax my mind and body which helps reduce my pain.  It was an important part of my physical therapy regimen and equally important now.

I understand that yoga is not everyone’s cup of tea and have heard many spiritual arguments against it.  Yoga does not always lead to spiritual practice.  Fitness yoga is just that, another road to fitness.  In a class, students learn to breathe properly while moving through a sequence of poses.  Students learn to relax, focus, and improve coordination, balance, and flexibility.

Yoga for kids could be invaluable in teaching them how to deal with stressful situations in class, on the playground, and at home.  If you want to try yoga with your child, there are many videos available on Hulu and several yoga and Pilates channels available on Roku.  Charleston-area people have an option available through Charleston Parks and Recreation. Registration is open for a 12-week class for children ages 5-10.  The Thursday class runs from September 10 through November 10th and is $100.  The 3:30-4:40 pm time is perfect for an after-school activity!  Register online or in person at Hazel Parker Playground at 70 East Bay Street Downtown.

Have you tried yoga?  Your kids?   ‘m about to get my yoga on at 2 pm.  Maybe you can join me.

Until next time, peace and have a great weekend.

Make your own non-dairy milk

Note: I received the Victoos Nut Milk Bag free of charge in exchange for my honest review. Anything I say is not influenced by the product. My views are my own and I will not recommend anything I don’t believe in.

I used to just kind of like milk. I had it over cereal and used it in recipes, but as far as drinking it straight, I wasn’t a fan. I found out later in life that milk did not like me. At all. It smiled in my face and kicked me in the back. Hard. Milk gave me gas, made me bloated, and gave me headaches. Any milk or milk product had the safe effect. As much as I loved my yogurt, cheese, and ice cream, dairy had to go. While that made me a little sad, it sent me on a mission to find delicious non-dairy alternatives that like me as much as I like them.

Non-dairy milk was first on my list. While I can find soy, nut, rice, hemp, flax, and coconut milks on store shelves, my budget does not always appreciate the hit when they’re not on sale or when I go on a baking binge. Learning to make my own was not difficult at all. For quick soymilk or cream, I add water and to a package of silken tofu and whip it until I get the consistency I want. Sometimes I want to mix it up. When I want nut, seed, or grain-based milk, I blend the item with water and go. while I get a smooth consistency, the milk usually isn’t as smooth as a store-bought product. This is where a nut milk bag comes in.

The Victoos Nut Milk Bag is a lightweight nylon bag designed for straining.  Just blend your nut, seed, or grain milk, pour into the bag, and strain.  Squeezing the bag will strain out all of the liquid and leave pulp I use in smoothies, oats, or in baking.  I haven’t tried drying the pulp out to use as flour yet, but that’s on the list of things to try later.

Cleaning the bag is a breeze.  I give it a good rinse if I need it again right away and toss it in the wash with kitchen towels if I don’t.  By the way, a nut bag is excellent for people who want to juice but don’t have a juicer.  Just blend the juice ingredients and strain through the bag.  If you want a Victoos Nut Milk Bag, snag one on Amazon while it’s a great price – just $8.95.

What non-dairy milk will I make next?  I’m thinking a coconut-flax milk might be lovely.  Why that blend?  Because I’m obsessed with making tofu mousse and yogurt and saving my silken tofu for those uses.

This goodie is inspired by an older recipe from Happy Herbivore.  I added blueberries to the ‘yogurt’ recipe to snack on as-is or on top of fruit salad for breakfast.  Want some?

Which non-dairy goodies are your favorites?

Sunday Funday

Howdy, y’all.  It’s a little busier than my typical Sunday today and I thought I’d share a bit.

Of course, it started with coffee, water, and breakfast.  I went smoothie this morning, with frozen blueberries, water, Vitamineral Green, and Sun Warrior Classic Vanilla.  And extra ice because it’s freaking hot.  

I’m feeling extra stiff today, so I spent a little time with yoga.  I went from memory and combined poses from Ten Minute Trainer and 21-Day Fix.  Modified, of course.  No fitness program or training works if you hurt yourself.  Take your time and go at your own pace.  My usual day includes some kind of flexibility training as soon as my joints wake up.  If I didn’t, I don’t think I’d move as well as I do now.

I turned on a little tv while planning this week’s menu.  Yes, I drag out a few cookbooks for inspiration.  I keep the ingredients on hand in mind as I go to help keep the budget in check.

 

While planning was in full swing, hubs decided to fire up the grill.  I wasn’t sure he’s get to when darker clouds rolled in, but he went for it anyway.  He uses the carport as the back up plan on rainy days.  It gave us another chance to use the handy Veesap Lifestyle Grill Brush.  This baby did the job nicely and I know I don’t want to go back to a brick.  It came with a storage bag to keep it clean between uses and Veesap included a recipe e-book that hubs likes a lot,

 

We made a run to Harris Teeter for a quick trip and made it out without grabbing anything we didn’t go in for.  That is a big win!   I have potato salad, slaw, and cucumber salad on this week’s menu and need to get started as soon as hubs is finished with his grilling prep.

Once the grilling is over, I’ll get back to the usual Sunday evening stuff. Sundays usually end with a little tv or a movie.  In summer, Falling Skies is a must.  Don’t tell hubs, but I might make him some peanut butter cups.  If he behaves himself.  And doesn’t leave the post-grilling cleanup to me.

What does your Sunday usually look like?

Nuphorin for anxiety relief

Note: I am not a medical professional. Anything shared here is based on my personal experimentation and not meant as medical advice. Do not alter your protocol without discussing it with your doctor.

Vitavana offered me a bottle of Nuphorin free of charge for my review.  My views on this and any product I review are my own. 

I am not a fan of pharmaceuticals, but I know when to stop experimenting When no other options work, I take my meds. If the side effects nullify any of the medication’s benefits, I discuss the options with my doc and we’ll work together to find an alternative solution.

Before I found a drug and supplement protocol that worked for me, my doc suggested I try an anti-anxiety medication for help with pain and stress relief.  Fibromyalgia and chronic pain patients sometimes also deal with depression and anxiety, so sometimes the addition of anxiety medication may reduce those issues and help take the edge off of pain.  With daily pain hovering in the 6-7 of 10 range with flares and spikes in the 9-10 range, I figured I should try.  I was willing to try anything.

After three months of Cymbalta and her side effects, it was time to try a natural option.  I’ve heard that GABA, 5-HTP, magnesium, and vitamin B all have positive benefits for some anxiety symptoms, so the search for a supplement was on.  I didn’t want to add many more pills to my protocol, so I focused on combination supps.  Vitavana offered me a sample of Turmerex and I noticed the company also had an anxiety relief supplement available.  They offered a sample of Nuphorin and asked that I give it a try and share an honest review.

Nuphorin Anxiety Relief may be a good alternative for those using alternative options for anxiety or stress management. Each vegetarian capsule contains Ashwagandha extract, GABA, Chamomile, 5-HTP, DMAE Bitartrate, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-2, Niacinamide, Vitamin B-6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, and Magnesium.  The ingredient list did not worry me, so I stuck to the recommended dose of 1-2 capsules a day (one with breakfast and one with dinner) and wished for good results. I did not feel the blah haze the came with the Cymbalta and I didn’t feel the need to binge eat.  My heart hate went back to regular, my eyes stopped throbbing, and that, uh, loving feeling came back.  Hubby was happy about that.

If you’re currently using supplements for anxiety relief, Nuphorin Anxiety Relief is worth a try.  Each 60 capsule bottle is $39.95 with free shipping for Amazon Prime Members.  Vitavana offers a 60 day money back guarantee, so trying Nuphorin is risk-free.

I’ll share more about my protocol in other posts.  Finding the right mix of pharmaceuticals and supplements was just one part of the process.

Need turmeric? Try Turmerex.


I know my post yesterday focused on how my current protocol has little to no effect on my pain flares.  But before and after flares, I’m relatively pain-free. I’ve found the combination of prescription meds and nutritional supplements that work for me. Vegetarian-friendly formulas for Glucosamine and MSM, Magnesium, Calcium, and Zinc, protein and superfood blends, and turmeric work wonders.

Because I’ve shared far and wise about my love of turmeric and its benefits, Vitavana approached me and offered a free bottle of its professional-grade supplement.  I gave it a try and definitely feel the difference between it and a lesser-quality supplement.

 

Turmerex Turmeric 95% Extract comes in a easy-to-swallow vegetarian capsule.  Each capsule contains 712.5mg of curcumin and 5 mg of BioPerine.  Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric that’s reported to help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.  BioPerine is a patented form of black pepper that boosts the body’s ability to absorb the curcumin.  It does not upset my stomach, even when the recommended daily dose is doubled. I take mine in the morning with breakfast because when I don’t, I feel it. Unlike some supplements, Turmerex has no real flavor and I can easily swallow it without water.  I also add turmeric to my food daily.  It’s included in at least one meal every day when I’m at home or have a prepared dish with me.

Life before turmeric and life with turmeric are totally different.  I do not ache as much with it in my protocol. I could not tell you how much the inflammation is reduced, but it is.  I am not as still or creaky first thing in the morning of after a longer session working at my desk.

Remember, I am not a health professional.  Anything I share here has been tried by me, and sometimes the experiments are unsuccessful.  I recommend you discuss any changes in your protocol with your doctor. 

If you make turmeric supplementation a part of your protocol, give Turmerex a try.  Each 60-capsule bottle is $39.95 with free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.  Vitavana offers a 60-day money back guarantee, so you could try the bottle and risk-free.  Turmerex is made in the US in an NSF-certified, FDA-compliant facility.

I’ll share more about what I take and why in other posts.  What works for me may not work for you.

Do you take turmeric?

Flare week two

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie isn’t feeling very friendly.   The frustration,  anger, sadness, and grump are strong in this one.

Frustration stems from an inability to control pain when it’s in an uncontrollable state.  My daily routine, relaxation,  and even meds only aggravate the pain sensors and make me stabby.

Anger comes from the same place as frustration,  but is magnified by the limited mobility, lack of meaningful exercise,  and fear of the flare continuing past week two.

Cue the sadness.  Once fear comes around,  the tears are sure to follow.  I’m only 46.  If this is what 46 feels like, what will 56 bring?   If I need assistance to stand now, I might need more assistance later.  And what if the degeneration speed increases with time?  How am I supposed to train when I can barely stand?  

Yes, it gets that bad sometimes.  It’s hard to tell when people see me smiling and pushing through.

Once anger passes, the general grump sets in.  Why are people calling me?  Why do I need to cook?  These dogs need to feed themselves.   Bah, humbug.

The longer the flare, the longer this cycle lasts.  I know flares are temporary,  but while living through one, logical thinking flies out the window.  And laughs at me.

Why do I share?  Because it helps keep me sane.  And to let anyone reading this know that the feelings are real and you’re not crazy.  Or alone.  Chronic conditions can do a number on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you need me, give me an hour or so.  I’m riding out the flare from my bedside workstation.   Thank you, flexible scheduling!

Peace.