On this Summer Solstice…do you want to dance?

Mmmmm, that type of morning where you wake up refreshed after a great night’s sleep (7-8 hours) excited to start your day with anticipation.  I had a delicious breakfast of steel cut oatmeal made with lavender flowers and cinnamon and topped with fresh blueberries and strawberries with almond milk.  I had my one cup of coffee (cutting back from 2) and then danced for 30 minutes.

oatmeal and coffee
Steel cut oatmeal and coffee. Wow!!

 

 

Today is the Summer Solstice and it is my favorite day of the year.  A day I always celebrate with family and friends.  Today is extra special because my darling grandson Oscar is coming to visit and we are having our first sleepover!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yowza!!!!

I love to celebrate the summer solstice beside the water
I love to celebrate the summer solstice beside the water

Just as I suspected, this healing journey I began, is not going to be an easy one.  I remain committed to it.  I have stopped taking my diabetic medication but I am still taking the ones for high blood pressure.  I am going to concentrate on one problem at a time.  My blood sugar remained stable for the first 2 weeks but has crept up a bit for the past 4 days.  We have added a tea to drink daily along with my Chinese herbs and monthly acupuncture treatment. I don’t love exercise.  I would much rather read a book or even watch a marathon on Netflix –Orange is the New Black, anyone? I know that I have to get moving, keep moving, move faster and make it a life habit.  I am totally committed to this.

Emily Babaris, my Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner recommends that I exercise in some way every day for at least 30 minutes.  She said walking, swimming, dancing, yoga – something every day.  These are my choices but you might enjoy something else and that is good too.  I do walk everyday for at least a few kilometres – just part of not having a car and using public transit.  I really love not having a car (healthy, carefree choice for me and environmentally friendly) and using the Toronto transit system (TTC).  I have a monthly pass that is delivered to my home by Canada Post.  My payment is withdrawn monthly from my bank account.  Easy, unlimited travel in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)…..perfect!

Emily Babaris, R.TCMP, R.Ac, BES, received her Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) certificate in Victoria, BC.

Ok back to exercise (see how easily I get off topic on that one– I knew I wouldn’t stay committed to a class or even going to a gym or a pool.  Pooh! I am just lazy and hate to leave home soooooooooooo…….I know that I love music and that there have been many songs over the years that made me smile and made me just want to dance.  I decided to make a workout playlist on Youtube.  I added songs that inspire me to move.  I am sure everyone has songs like this.  My latest is Happy by Pharrell Williams – it makes me smile, makes me happy and inspires me to dance.  I love Cyndi Lauper, The Divinyls, KT Tunstall, Men Without Hats, The Beach Boys and on and on.  I add music to my list all the time. I always do lots of sun salutations and smile on each one.  This is the way to start to the day.  When I was in Provence last month, I found myself outside dancing and kept going for an hour!!!  I also have a couple of yoga workouts that I have been using (also on youtube).  I discovered “Yoga with Adrienne”.  I like her routines especially the one for beginners and another one for weight loss.  I also intend to add swimming this summer (once it really warms up) at the outdoor pool on the Beach near Woodbine.  I am told these pools are free….what a bonus that is and I am excited to get started a few days a week. The pool opened last weekend.  Check out a pool near you on the Toronto Parks and Recreation website or call 311 for information.

 

I love swimming in the lake near Leuty Lighthouse on a very hot summer day
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My Healing Journey

This is my healing story.  For many, many years I have been uncomfortable with the model of Western medicine.  Each year for the past five years, my doctor has added another medication and increased the doses as well.  I am now stiff in all my joints, my knees hurt, and my digestive system is often upset.  I have high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.  Since the diagnosis of diabetes last August, I have lost over 20 pounds.  For the past few months I have been exercising regularly.  I walk a few kilometres each day because I do not have car.  I have just returned from a 22 vacation which was key in reducing stress.  I arrived in Greece on Day 10 almost completely pain free.  Was it the hot and sunny weather or the pleasant and relaxing days in France? I am going to explore it all in my journey for health.

best of chinese medicine

A few months ago I started seeing Emily Babaris, a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine.   She is located on the Danforth near Chester Subway Station in Toronto.  For the first 6 weeks I had an acupuncture treatment every week and I have been taking herbs twice a day as well.  My intention is to stop taking the medications prescribed by my doctor and rely solely on the Chinese medicine.  This will mean continuing to lose weight through health eating, exercising at least a half hour every day, and reducing my caffeine intact to one cup of coffee from the two I have been enjoying each morning.

I love the Weight Watcher model for weight loss.  It has always been successful for me.  In 2003, I lost 35 pounds following their plan.  I have to admit I have never attended a meeting or paid a cent in fees.  I obtained their books and calculators from friends and family.  The point is I ate a healthy well balanced diet and I counted my points.  I maintained that lower weight until now.  Once in a while, I find that eating out a lot will cause a weight gain of as much as 10 pounds but returning to my own cooking and reduction of salt will reduce that within 14 days.  My goal is to lose another 50 pounds.

On Tuesday next week, I will meet with my family doctor to ask for her support in reducing my medications.  I hope she will agree and continue to monitor my health through regular blood tests.

I have read about the side effects of the medications I am taking – one is said to cause diabetes and another leads to high cholesterol.  That is the next medication she is expecting to add to my arsenal very soon.  All of them cause joint and body stiffness.

I became a Reflexologist in 1995 when I was in my thirties.  I became a Doula assisting women while birthing.   I was committed to alternative medicine and had my own practise in London, Ontario.  I worked in many modalities with Reflexology including flower essence remedies such as Bach Flower, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Touch for Health, Healing Touch and Reiki.

I started on this path when my oldest daughter was 12 years old in 1993.  She was catching one virus after another and missing 5 to 10 days of school each month.  It was a stressful year for her with her Bat Mitzfah scheduled in the spring and her personal commitment to school work, family and friends.  Every time she was sick, I called the doctor who prescribed cough syrups and decongestants, Tylenol and often antibiotics.  One day I just said this is enough!  I took a course in healing foods.  The next time she was ill I made a healing broth and had her drink it.  NO medications.  She got well and was not sick the next month.  From then on, she and her sister caught a cold once year at the most.  The cycle was broken. I shared this recipe with many others and always had very positive feedback from those who took it for colds and viruses, digestive problems and other mild illnesses.

Healing Broth Recipe

 

 

3 cloves of garlic

1 medium onion

Half a head of broccoli

½ medium size cabbage

2 carrots

1 potato

4 stalks of celery

Season with a little soy or tamari sauce

Ground black pepper

12 cups of water

 

  1. Bring the water and all the ingredients to a boil and simmer for 90 -120 minutes.  During simmering check the water level and add more if it looks low.

 

  1.  Drain the broth and keep the vegetables for adding to stews, soups or casseroles.  I often puree them and add a little broth for a yummy cream of vegetable soup.

 

  1. Serve immediately.  Drink a cup of broth 3 -4 times a day for healing and cleansing.

 

I don’t believe the broth is the answer to my current health issues but I am committed to a new regiment of healthy eating, exercise, and Traditional Chinese medicine.  I invite you to follow my journey.