Tag: yoga

This week in food and fitness

I’ve cooked too much food over the course of the last two or three months. I blame my Instant Pot. Yes, it’s as wonderful as everyone says it is, but all of the recipes I tried were designed to feed the family. I am but one woman with a husband who refuses to eat the healthy meals I cook because he doesn’t want to take it away from me. My life is weird.

What went wrong

Cooking ahead and freezing seemed like a great idea, but it restricted me to eating the same things over and over. Plus, frozen food looses its appeal after a week or two.

The lentil soup I made was tasty, but it started to look like an unappetizing brown mush. I also discovered that I don’t like whole wheat pasta. It just didn’t work in the Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe I tried. My Instant Pot tortellini dish was good the first night, but it didn’t hold up well after being frozen. I’m ashamed to admit that I threw some food away.

A new approach

This week I’ll try cooking something every couple of evenings. My goal is to have food to take to work, and an option for dinner. I’ll aim to eat the recommended 5 servings of vegetables a day. Adding a serving to breakfast should help with that.

Check out the Nutrition Diva’s tips for getting more veggies in your diet.

Illustration of eggplant with human characteristics.
I’m good for you!

150 minutes a week

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. I’m aiming for at least 30 minutes each day. Strength training for all the major muscle groups is also a must. The government says to do it twice a week. Exercise is not a problem for me if MS fatigue doesn’t get in the way. If I happen to catch a cold, or the flu, exercise becomes difficult. Gentle stretching and some yoga poses are an option for me then.

I have chiropractor appointments three times a week for the next two weeks. I’ll try and make it to Planet Fitness on the evenings I’m not being adjusted. I’ve been having a lot of fun with Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii Fit. I want to get back to a more regular yoga practice. And there’s that Tai Chi app I downloaded.

Should I make a workout schedule? Maybe. I could be making better use of that Happy Planner of mine.

Figure exercising on mat.

Advertisements

Yoga and MS

I started doing yoga in the 80s when I bought the book, Raquel: The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program. I practiced on-and-off over the years and got a little bit serious about it when I lived in Champaign, Il and took an Iyengar class from Lois Steinberg.

I’ve taken classes on and off in Bloomington, but mostly practiced at home with my trusty Rodney Yee DVDs. I took a class for about three weeks at the YMCA a couple of years before I was diagnosed with MS. I had trouble keeping up because of what I now understand was MS-related fatigue. I found that my legs worked better after taking the class.

These days I find myself downloading yoga apps to my iPad. There are a few good ones, but sometimes the pace is too fast for me. I know enough to be able to practice without step-by-step instruction, but that keeps me in my comfort zone. I’m more likely to do the asanas that aren’t so easy if I have the guidance of a video.

In my quest for a way to make yoga work for me, I stumbled upon Adaptive Yoga Moves Any Body (Created for individuals with MS and neuromuscular conditions) by Mindy Eisenberg. I’m not sure if it’s exactly what I need, but it should be useful. I’ll post about the book sometime in the future.

Exercise is so important for people who have MS. Yoga can help build strength, flexibility, and peace of mind.

Looking to get started with yoga? Check out 5 Yoga Poses for People with Multiple Sclerosis (+ Easy-to-Hard Variations) from Yoga Journal.

Woman in vrikshasana (tree pose)
Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

Coffee curfews

The prompt from Putting My Feet in the Dirt is coffee curfews.

I confess. I do many of the things sleep experts warn you no against like having screen time right before bed and screen time while in bed. There was a time when I tried to stay off of the computer/phone/tablet after 8 pm. That rule lasted about two weeks.

Sleeping dog
Sadie sleeping

I sleep with a husband, a small dog, and a large dog. Sadie is the big one. She sleeps on my side of the bed so it’s always a struggle to find leg room. I don’t tell my doctor about my sleep problems because he would tell me not to sleep with dogs. I won’t give up my pooches!

A sleep hygiene guideline I do follow is the one that says not to drink coffee too late in the day. I’m proud to say I adhere to this rule on most days.

The sleep scientists say you should adopt a soothing pre-bedtime ritual. Sometimes I sit down and write in a real non-electronic journal. By sometimes I mean hardly ever. I’ve been known to have an easy yoga or stretch session before bed. These are things I should do more regularly.

I won’t get into a discussion about my problems with pillows. It’s not worth the trouble.

Meditation Dream 

I knew I wanted to write today, so I thought about it and then got nervous.  I got myself a little worked up about what to write. Now I seem to be writing about the process of thinking and worrying about writing. Is it supposed to work this way?

Dreams are the New Reality

In one of my dreams last night, I was in some unknown location when a guy (I think he was Asian) asked me to meditate with him. I agreed to do so, and we sat down on the floor holding hands with eyes closed. The session was successful. The guy acquired lots of good energy from me, and I felt as if I helped him. The dream tells me that I'm on the right track in my spiritual pursuits.  I am sure now that when I dream, I go to real places. I visit other planes of existence. I may have thousands of lives.

Food

I bought some baby spinach the other day. I think I'll do a salad with strawberries. I need some almond slivers and red onion to add to it. I can either make my own vinaigrette or buy some.

Another food thought is to prep an onion or two and freeze them for later use. I think you can do that. What about garlic? I'll have to look it up.

I have sweet potatoes to cook as well as frozen salmon.

Yoga

I've been doing yoga fairly regularly. I think it has improved my gait, but it could be that I'm just at a good walking time of my nutty hormonal cycle. It seems to work for me to do a session at 9 pm most weeknights.

Jewelry

I've been spending a lot of time practicing wrapped loops. I'm getting better at it. I made a necklace for Linda, one of the residents at my dad's assisted living facility.  It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it. I thought the pendant was an angel, but I realized it must be a fairy after looking more closely at it.

Wire wrapped loop necklace with fairy pendant.

Anxiety

I’ve got a lot of crap going on in my life just now, but, in reality, everything is okay. There are some things that I’m worried about, but everything is okay. Right now everything is okay.

I wake up in the morning and forget to be anxious for a while but it creeps back in. I’ve found that messing around on my phone makes it worse. Thinking about this ridiculous presidential election makes me anxious. Thinking about food makes me anxious.

I’ve had enough!

I think the thing I have to do is ask the doctor to increase my anti-depressant dosage since I know it helps with anxiety. Maybe I need a new drug. I’ve been on this one for 15 years after all. I’ve got to do something because living like this is not living. Living like this could cause an MS relapse. I can’t have that!

And why am I not doing yoga? Why am not meditating?

I know that everything is okay and that things will work out fine.  Right now everything is okay. It really is.

Coloring helps a bit.

Coloring page and colored pencil.

 

 

 

 

Making it personal

Zero to Hero day 7 assignment: Create and upload your own header.

I didn’t think my chosen theme would take a header, but upon checking this page, I found that it would support a 220×220 pixel image.

I decided to make some kind of image collage of my face. Luckily I have plenty of pictures of myself. Call me a selfie-aholic.

I decided on these shots:

The four images I used for the collage
The four images I used for the collage

The first three versions I made were too dark for the title text to be visible. I worked in Photoshop CS6, by the way.

Too dark for title text to show.
First version

2nd version of header image.
2nd version of header image still too dark

I finally decided to put a white stroke of paint in the middle so the text would have a nice contrasting background. I don’t totally love it, but it’s good enough for now.

Final version with stroke of white paint
Final version with stroke of white paint

And here’s what it looks like:

The header as it looks on the page
The header as it looks on the page

In other news, I did the forward bend segment of Rodney Yee’s A.M. Yoga for Your Week DVD this morning. I had a little bit of an emotional breakthrough after the session.  I have to get serious about my yoga practice! It might be the key to everything, or at least to a lot of things.

Goings on

Today I made an appointment with a chiropractor, Dr. Jordan. A friend, who has had back problems in the past, recommended her. Something is going on with my lower back that causes muscle spasms in my legs. Those spasms result in impaired walking function, as well as impaired dancing. I want to be normal again. I want my body to work the way it did before my hysterectomy. I think that surgery had something to do with my troubles. My path to wellness begins with Dr. Jordan on Thursday.

I got up this morning and did something resembling yoga. I’ve found that it’s difficult to do any type of exercise if I’m in the same room with Sadie. It’s easier if Ernie is home, but if Ernie’s home, the tv is on. We have a baby gate in the hallway that keeps the dogs out of the part of the house where the kitty litter boxes are. The dogs will eat cat poop. That ain’t cool.

So, this morning I decided I could do yoga in the hallway, behind the baby gate. It kind of worked. Sadie wasn’t able to grab my hands and chew on them while I was trying to do Janu Sirsasana, that was a plus. Unfortunately, the hallway is fairly narrow so I didn’t have a lot of room to maneuver. Plus, the cats tend to walk under me while I’m doing downward facing dog, and the smell of the litter boxes was wafting into my nose–breathing deeply was not so pleasant. Not a perfect solution, but not a terrible one either. I feel guilty leaving Sadie all alone (except for Cammie the chihuahua) in the living room. She chose to sit by the gate and watch me, sometimes barking at the cats. I still felt guilty because I was behind the gate. My body felt good today thanks to the yoga.

~~~~~~~

It’s hard to get in the work groove after a three-day-weekend. I accomplished some things today, but my workload is piling up. I need to sit down and make a to-do list. I also want to see if I can upgrade my iPhone for cheap. I have a 4 now, maybe I’ll just go to the 4S. I think it has a few bells and whistles that the four doesn’t.

I saw this leaf on the ground by my car this morning. PIctures had to be taken. I wish I could find the right words to describe this leaf upon which raindrops were resting. Were they resting or were they clinging? Or did the leaf simply catch them? Mental note: read more poetry.

20130528-182829.jpg

My Hip Flexors

I keep thinking about posting an entry. I keep thinking about it but when it comes time to do it, well…

So. Here I go!

My lower back is bothering me and I think my mattress is partially to blame. It’s the left side of my back mostly. It’s tight, there’s a knot and it’s making life unpleasant. My husband and I were at the Cincinnati Zoo this past weekend and there was so much standing and walking my back started to get to me and I got much more tired over the course of the zoo visit than I should have.

I believe that some muscles are in constant spasm because of weakness and inflexibility in my leg muscles and I think it’s rooted  in the fact that I was carrying around a large fibroid tumor on the left side of my uterus until Dec. 2009. And my abdominal muscles are still adjusting and recovering from the surgery to remove said tumor and uterus.

So I feel like a mess.

I stretch a lot and I’ve been going to the gym to do strength training and that has made me realized how weak my hip flexors and abductors are. Here’s a look at the hip flexors. I think my Psoas Major on the left side is particularly troublesome.

Hip Flexors provided by Beth ohara

When I Googled hip flexors I found a recommendation on laurensfitness.com to do overhead lunges. I found this type of lunge referenced for flexibility at this site as well. I’m going to try these asap.

They look like this.

Over head lunges on Stronglifts.com.

The other thing I need to do is get back into doing a regular yoga practice.  The Warrior I and II poses provide a good hip flexor stretch (Warrior I especially).

Warrior I from Yogajournal.com.

That’s one of the things that’s  been on my mind lately.

I’ll talk about the massage I got in the next post.