Smile, breathe and laugh a little

Finally I am ready and able to return to my blog.  What are the expressions?  The best laid plans of mice and women….. or God is laughing at our plans.  Yup, how true!!  I just could not find that energy to write about myself during the massacre on Gaza this summer although my intention had been to write every week.

Sandra and fellow activist Nadine
World Pride 2014, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid

The healing journey is just that – a journey with all the ups and downs of climbing a mountain, swimming across an ocean or that journey of love.  Wow!!!  My practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the wonderful Emily Babaris, told me it would be hard. I scoffed.  Ha!!  Joke was on me.  It is hard and it is a lot of work and it is so darn worth it!!!

I have to say that I am discovering a side of my personality I wasn’t really aware of.  At my last treatment, Emily mentioned that my tongue was a bit swollen indicating that I am over –thinking.  Oh yeah, my name is Sandra and I am an over-thinker!!!  I have definitely been more than a bit obsessive/compulsive.  I take my blood pressure over and over, I test my blood sugar way toooooo much and I weigh myself ten times more than I promised myself.    Need a sign to carry…BEWARE – OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE OVER-THINKER.  Actually if you know me, you probably know I don’t need the sign.  Yikes!!

Now let me tell me you a little bit about the work.  I am no longer taking any medications.  I have stopped all four – nothing for blood pressure and nothing for my type 2 Diabetes.  I am taking Chinese herbs that have been prescribed and drinking a special tea every day. I am eating healthier and less food.  I am exercising at least 30 minutes every day and I am trying to meditate regularly as well.  I see my TCM practitioner at least once a month for acupuncture and this month I went to a registered massage therapist for a full body massage.

How do I feel?  I feel amazing!!!  On average I am losing a half pound to a pound every week.  My skin is clear, my eyes are bright and my energy level is beyond anything I have experienced in the past several years.  I feel younger and lighter and healthy and happy.  It is the best feeling ever.  For the past 3 years I have been plagued with body pain – hip, knees, joints – stiffness and creakiness.  It’s gone!!!  Gone!!  I am walking up and down stairs now without leaning on the handrails and without taking one step and bringing the other foot up but walking up and down stairs like a normal healthy person.  I am walking faster and further and I don’t arrive so stiff and sore and exhausted.  I feel myself breathing deeply and easily.

Well that is the physical side to it.  The struggle of the journey is not giving up desserts especially ice-cream or cutting up piles of vegetables for every meal and not eating after dinner or 7:30pm.  The struggle is the ongoing conversation inside my head.  I worry about what I am eating, I worry that the numbers are not as low as they should be and I worry that it is not possible to meet my goals and be healthy.  I write to Emily at least once a week.  Today she reminded me that healing is a journery and healing takes time and that for now I am fairly stable.  For me I hear her saying calm down….you are on the right path.

This is the right path for me.  I spent my life since I was 30 talking about alternative healing and avoiding western style medicine.  I then jumped right in with both feet and followed the plan of my general practitioner – every few months increasing the medicines and feeling sicker and sicker – truly becoming a patient.  I hurt all over, my stomach burned, reoccurring diarrhea, lack of energy and every time I took my pills I felt like I was poisoning myself.   I tried smudging my pill bottles and blessing them…..nothing really worked.

So what is it I am eating? Typical breakfast these days is a bowl of steel cut oatmeal with almond milk, some berries, and a generous sprinkling  of cinnamon.  Lunch is a big salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, peppers, onions, avocado, olives and feta.  Dinner varies but I try to have a few vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, brussel sprouts, zucchini), brown rice and some type of protein.  I am limiting my meat and fish to 3 to 4 times a week.  I love chicken – broiled, baked or grilled.  Sometimes I sprinkle  Panko crumbs over them (lowest sodium of all crumbs).  I actually made my sausage using ground lean turkey.  I mixed it with ground fennel seeds, cumin, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, and then rolled each into a little weiner shape and wrapped individually in tin foil.  Omgawsh, they are delicious without added sodium or nitrates.  Guilt free eating!

 

Brown rice noodles with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped vegetables
Photo
Brown rice with zucchini, yellow peppers, onions, garlic, spinach and more

I am most proud of my exercise routines.  I am the one who hates exercise the most, fears the gym and just hates to sweat.  I know that I have always loved dancing and that there are certain songs that made me start moving even in my chair….soooooooooooooooo…..I made a playlist of workout songs on youtube.  I have songs from the 50’s to today.  Kt Tunstall and Chubby Checker and everything in between.  Remember YMCA, Pop Goes the World, the Macarena, the Chicken Dance???

 

I have several hours of music and don’t have to play the same ones over and over which keeps my routine fresh and interesting. Here is my playlist.  It includes a few yoga workouts that I really like as well.

At home I  lay out my yoga mat, put on the tunes and dance.  I stretch, do some yoga moves and work up a sweat for a half hour.  Most important – I smile, I breathe and I laugh a little.

I invite everyone do just that – smile, breathe and laugh a little

 

Peace and love

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Denise says:

    You’re an inspiration, Sandra!! Great to hear you’re doing so well! 🙂

  2. Alice Lukings says:

    Thanks for sharing Sandra – I really enjoyed this and you have set things in motion for me for the alternative medicines and more dancing! Lots of hugs and love to continue the journey

  3. Emily says:

    Go, Sandra!!! I wrote a more comprehensive reply on Facebook, but I saw that you like dance, so have you ever tried Zumba? I do it all the time, at L.A. Fitness where I teach yoga, and it’s incredibly fun.

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