Category Archives: spinal stenosis

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.

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?

Handmade beauty with Beauty by Shea

You know how people tell you that many commercial health and beauty products are bad for you and how we should go more natural?  What they don’t tell you is how expensive it is to go more natural.  Sticker shock is a killer!  But once you get over the shock you hit Google and Pinterest.  Once you hit Google and Pinterest, you find recipes for the health and beauty items you need.  And sometimes you realize that you have most of the ingredients on hand.  Then you go into the kitchen and blend, giggling all the while.   Sometimes you share these handmade products with friends and family.

That’s my story.  I drifted away from handmade a little, but learning more about Fibromyalgia and environmental sensitivities sent me back into the kitchen.  I make my own laundry detergent, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, and skin cream.  The family doesn’t always share my enthusiasm for my handmade concoctions, but the addition of Shea Butter to the skin cream recipes brings them around.

Beauty by Shea photo.
Beauty by Shea photo.

I regularly make my own foot cream and muscle rubs with essential and coconut oils, but the family wasn’t fond of the coconut oil base.  Adding Shea Butter seems to do the trick.  It thickens the base and the products leave no oily or sticky residue when applied.  I had the chance to try Beauty By Shea’s Pure Organic Unrefined Raw Shea Butter and jumped on it.  This was not my first purchase of raw Shea Butter so I knew what to expect.  My package arrived quickly (thanks to Amazon Prime) and I was impressed from the jump. Real, unrefined Shea Butter is firm-textured at room temperature, has a creamy ivory color, and a faint fragrance on its own that blends perfectly with any added fragrance.

I use it straight up on my elbows and knees to help soften the rough skin. Just a touch is all you need. For my hands, I use a 60/40 blend of Shea Butter and Coconut Oil without added fragrance as a nightly hand cream.  In cold weather when my hands are particularly dry and cracked, nothing beats a 90/10 Shea/Coconut blend, especially when its still warm and has a hint of added fragrance. I reach for essential oils because I’m cutting out as much junk such as artificial fragrance as possible.

This is the start of something wonderful.  Sherrie Thompson photo.
This is the start of something wonderful. Sherrie Thompson photo.

When I need to pick up more Shea Butter, Beauty By Shea is where I’ll shop.  The 1 pound bricks regularly sell for $19, but right now are on sale for $11!  That is an unreal deal!  I may order another bag now so I’ll have it on hand through cooler months and for holiday gifts.

Do you make your own household or beauty products?  What are your favorites?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review: Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection

I try to avoid the scale. I know, weight is a measure of health (so they say), and there’s a scale hop required at every doc’s visit and one at the physical therapist’s office.  We always had a scale growing up and for some reason were expected to have one.  I didn’t have one during my single days and didn’t care, but for some reason just had to have one once the life with hubs, kids, and dogs started.  For some reason I felt like we needed one.

I hate the scale in general.  It mocks me when I think I look smaller and feel lighter.  It jumps out from under the bed and kicks me in the toe.  It calls to me when I ignore it for too long, taunting me.  Yes, I’m aware it may not happen that way, but it feels like it.

I had the opportunity to move on up to a prettier, less bossy scale and jumped at the chance. The timing was perfect because physical therapy was in full swing and so was my tweaked eating plan.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add something else new
to the mix, even if it was as intimidating as a scale. The Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection has a long name, sleek look,  and nice features.

See, I told you it was attractive.
See, I told you it was attractive.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package is how attractive the scale is. This baby is a nice-looking slab of
tempered glass with non-slip pads that are gentle on my hardwood floor.  It came with batteries (nice) and clear instructions on
setting up separate profiles for multiple users.  The Weight Differential Detection tracks changes from your last weigh in,
and averages of the last three and seven weigh-ins.  How cool is that?  I like this feature because I can accurately track my
results alone.  Granted I had to teach the family to switch between profiles, but that was no biggie – when they paid attention.

The WeightMaster accepts weight up to 400 pounds.  I don’t want to need that weight limit, but it’s nice to have that option.  It also measures Body Mass Index (BMI), but honestly I try to ignore BMI measures myself because it doesn’t paint a clear picture of health.
I do love the Color Alert Technology which displays a green light for a loss and red light for gain.  If I wanted to gain weight, I might find this annoying.  But I’m all about gains in health and losses in fat and pants size.

I almost bought a different scale, but am glad the Ozeri WeightMaster fell into my lap.  Not only is it accurate (compared to the doc’s scale) and attractive, it’s engineered and manufactured in the USA.  More companies need to stay here instead of trying to move out of the country (I’m  looking at you, Burger King). Ozeri stands behind their products with a 100% Hassle-Free Satisfaction Guarantee. Pick up the WeightMaster in (black or white) or check out Ozeri’s other scales.  I won’t get on the scale more often, but when I do, it will be the WeightMaster.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

August is here!

Yes, it’s a new month complete with a new tropical storm (hi, Bertha).  Kids are heading back to school, tax-free shopping weekend sales are starting,  and the thought of a quiet house between 8 and 3 pm is making parents giddy.

Sorry, kids.  Well, no, not really.

To me, the start of a new month is time to reflect on the gains of the previous month and set new targets for the current month.  Notice I said gains?  It’s my way of focusing on the positive.  In July I increased resistance, speed, and strength.  I hit a smaller size.  I wanted to shop for clothing instead of just grabbing whatever I thought would fit.  It sunk in that I need to eat if I’m going to succeed.  No more drastic cuts to calorie intake.   For August I want to increase my aquatic therapy sessions.  I want to wear a certain top and have it look good.  I want to improve on July’s fitness targets.  See, all positive and also realistic and attainable.   It took years to fall apart and it takes time to fully recover, heal, and thrive.

What are your August targets?  You can reach them.  I’ll be right here, cheering you on.

What are you reading?

My name is Sherrie and I have a book problem.  Am I the only one?  I can’t be.

Worthy Evans is a College of Charleston alum and brilliant writer.
Worthy Evans is a College of Charleston alum and brilliant writer.

My problem started years ago and only became worse after a few months of library work followed by bookstore work.  I loved every second of shelving and discovering new titles and topics.  I love it when I get lost in a story or can almost taste the recipe by reading the ingredients.   When I drop by the library I can’t seem to help myself.  I walk in to return the stack I spent a month pouring through and leave with more.

Taking time for myself is a necessity.   Reading for pleasure reduces stress and helps me relax.  Even if the story has me wound up and jumping at the slightest sound, I’m more relaxed than if I’m working all day.  Do you take time to read?  What are you reading now?

Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules!
Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules!
This is perfect reading when I need a laugh.
This is perfect reading when I need a laugh.

I’ll catch you later.   It’s time to curl up with a good book.

Long time no update.

I don’t have much playtime these days, but that will change somewhat after finals next week.

We closed on the house & have started on the makeover. I’ll share pics soon. We’ve picked our paint colors, have kick butt hardwoods that need just a little love (30+ years under a carpet will keep ’em pretty). DD wants a black carpet and lavender walls – we can do that. DS wants royal blue & an area rug. Hubster & I are going with cafe a lait and a reddish accent wall.

We’re packing and cleaning, all excited and just plain happy. I’m fighting through a flareup from hell. ON Tuesday and Wednesday I repeatedly lost my balance while standing still. Joyous. It’s a sign that I need to go back in for another evaluation. Last time I was told that if things didn’t improve that surgery was my only option.

Oh f*ckity f*ck f*ck.

The family knows I’m having a flareup, but don’t know how bad it is yet. I know I should tell them, but summer is almost over, we’re starting a new chapter of our lives, and I don’t want to deal with the same questions and odd behavior thrown my way right after my diagnosis. What I really want is them happy until things slow down a bit.

If there was a time for comfort food, it’s now. I’ve been pretty good about that this past week. We had coconut cake and I didn’t have more the one slice a day and I didn’t have a slice every day. I made a wicked vegetable stew for dinner the other night and wallowed in it’s almost fat free, decadent, old school goodness. I followed the recipe from the winter 2007 issue of Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk and added celery and green peas. The dumplings I didn’t like much (never have) so I only had the one (about the size of a half dollar coin).

As much as food could be used to comfort me, I won’t use it that way. I’m going to be on crutches soon enough at this rate – I don’t need to use food as one. Or alcohol. I’m so tempted.

I’m probably going to disappear for a day or two while I complete assignments and get more moving stuff out of the way.

Until next time.