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Showing posts from December, 2015

Easier ways to save on coffee pods, minus DIY

The full title for this blog post should be, "Easier ways to save on coffee pods, without losing your mind and making an awful mess".

What I want from my coffee machine is ease of use and little mess.  Let's just say, I may have experimented with making my own pods, and also recycling the pods, and both proved to be high on the not-worth-it scale.  I was hardly saving the environment, or money, with all the water I used cleaning out the tiny pods, and it created enough mess to make me question my sanity.  Pods give a superior quality coffee, which is kind of the point of buying a Lavazza machine.

The way I see it, worse case scenario, pods will cost me a few hundred dollars a year.  Given that the same coffee consumption at a local coffee shop would cost $2400 plus petrol, that's not so bad.

If however, you want to reduce your cost of using your coffee machine, there are easier ways than DIY pods:

1) Buy generic compatible pods (may void warranty)

http://www.espressot…

Ms Name Brand

After a nourishing dinner, with a fancy dessert, I spent a scintillating New Years Eve...wait for it, resting and reading half of the internet.  Well, I wrote my pod post and did some research too.

While reading half the internet, I came across an old message board (about three years old), where the participants were in a frugal confab.  One had the tone of moral high ground and a touch of disgust, when they said,
"And, she wears name brand clothes!"
as if that was high treason against all frugal people.

I found the whole thing hilarious.  There I was on my name brand net-book, in Jag Jeans, wearing a watch that retails at $200, a sprained ankle that is worth more that the watch in medical expenses (!) and a lingerie brand t-shirt that is made from microfibre and looks classy while providing the comfort of pyjamas (heavenly).  Here's the kicker though, most of my wardrobe is full of name brand and designer clothes and I hardly spend any money on my wardrobe.


My $200 doll…

Make your own coffee pods?

I am thoroughly enjoying using the Lavazza Amodo Mio, Minu machine I bought from the supermarket.  Always enjoyed Lavazza coffee, and they make great ground coffee.  I have not so fond memories of drinking their coffee while going through a stressful period of my life.  The coffee helped and I've never forgotten that.

The pods make great coffee and it's an easy way to grab a drink and not risk scalding myself by tipping hot water on myself.  So wonderful to be able to do that with crutches.  I thoroughly recommend these machines to people who need things to be easy.  Beats a kettle and probably around the same price point.

I am a happy camper.  I just did the maths though.  Assuming I drink an average of two cups of coffee a day, the pods will work out costing me around $596 per year (AUD).  That's enough for registration for my car.  I'd rather spend the money on my car. 

Given that I was probably spending no more than $130 per year on ground coffee, that's quite…

Nurse, Nurse - Book Review

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I borrowed this book, Nurse, Nurse by Jimmy Frazier, from my local library, a week  before finding myself in emergency.  It's the story of Jimmy's experiences as a student nurse. Thoroughly enjoyable read, five stars.

Shoestring Chic - Book Review

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Thoroughly recommend the bookShoestring Chic by Carrie Hess. Some great tips to remind us all that looking good, and living a fabulous life can be done with a sprinkling of money, dash of effort and the right attitude.  Such a beautiful book, would make a thoughtful present for someone in need of inspiration. 5 stars.

Well, we don't do surgery on those anymore

Said the physio when he examined my ankle.  Not something you really want to hear! Medical speak for a proper injury.I had a particularly bad injury about fifteen years ago that should have been treated by physio but my MD at the time was incompetent and did not refer me to xray and other imaging. My ankle is firmly strapped which helps.I am glad it's not worse.  Very grateful.Today, I am grateful that I can now walk up and down the house stairs unassisted.  I managed to clean my room, and showered on my own with the help of a sturdy plastic chair. I can not imagine doing stairs without a rail.It's amazing how poorly designed most houses and public areas are for people who are struggling with mobility.  We really do need to do better.For a start all stairs inside and out should have guard rails, all toilets and public pathways that have gradient too, where reasonable. All I did was roll my ankle while going for a walk and now I have weeks to months of rehab to look forward to.…

Technology to make your life easier

Grateful for technology that makes my life easier.  I have injured my ankle, with torn ligaments, at a grade three. That's medical speak for about as bad as a ligament injury gets.
In short, I am on crutches with limited ability to do things.  Certainly, after the physio taught me how to use the crutches, I am getting much better.  Still need help.  I am finding that you can get awfully excited about doing the most basic things for yourself.

My favourite technology:

coffee machine, pod for minimal fuss - this way I can get the hot drink myself and not risk scalding myself.  I also bought breakfast supplies so I don't have to wait and/or go upstairs for morning repast.smart phone - definitely handy when struggling with mobility.  Must remember to not sit on it, when it's in my pocket!medical imaging - gave me correct diagnosis, combined with medical staff's expertiseNetflix - movies straight to my computer in bed - find reading difficult when I am like thissmall notebook…

Last Holiday, movie pick

Just watched the movie Last Holiday about a woman confronted by a terminal illness.  If you are looking for something life affirming and inspiring, this is the movie for you.  5 stars from this movie fan.  Stars Queen Latifa and LJ Cool.

Merry Christmas

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Cope with Christmas Resentment

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The way I see it, those who work so hard to make Christmas special for those in their family, and sometime friends, can easily come down with a dose of Christmas Resentment.  Sometimes it's as simple as wishing that someone will turn up, sometimes it's the level of sheer exhaustion caused by all the work involved in organising Christmas lunch or dinner.  More often than not, it comes down to feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated. I hope that you feel loved and appreciated this Christmas.  If you do not, and I have had the odd miserable Christmas, then I hope you find a strategy to cheer yourself up and survive the festive season in tact. You might try: Treating yourself to a beach walk, or other scenic, cheerful place, when you can Borrowing, or downloading, a funny movie or ebook Bill Bryson and Deric Longden are writers that rarely fail to cheer me up. Have a cuddle with a special loved one, or if your loved ones are driving you around the bend, perhaps enjoy a quiet mo…

Stay safe at Christmas

My tips for staying safe at Christmas:

1)  Always wear comfortable shoes, to quote The Head Gardener, "that you can run in".  It's a good point and worth paying attention to.

2)  Make sure you take your mobile with you when you leave, particularly if driving.  Keep your phone charged.

3)  Take plenty of rest breaks if driving, a minimum every hour and a half is the standard the local transport authority expects of truck drivers, last I checked.  Minimum break time fifteen minutes, and they are expected to stretch their legs.  If it's good for professional drivers, it's probably good for us all.

4)  Drive with extra caution in an area you are not familiar with and give other drivers enough room on the roads.

5)  Try and keep a minimum of a half tank of petrol in your car during the busy holiday period.

6)  Do not drink and drive, it's not worth it.

7)  Ensure your children, or any under your care, wear helmets when using wheeled transport.  Their chance of inj…

A Ghost of Christmas Argument

Every year, The Head Gardener and I have the same Christmas Argument.  Every year, around the 22nd of December my mum tells me to find Christmas Music.  Every year, I tell her we do not have any. 

The last few years, our Christmas Music inventory is two modern Christmas music CDs my mum hates.  And, one Christmas carol tape that is stuck in the tape player, and another than does not play. 

Traditionally we bicker about it and resolve to use the music we have, or one of us might get to the library and find a lone Christmas CD somewhere between the 22nd to 23rd.  This happened this year, two CDs total.

Actually, Christmas Music argument resolved thanks to my new smartphone and Spotify.  And yes, I'm using it as a phone and the quality is much better than my last one.  I just hope I keep remembering to be careful!


Taroona

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A bit of pep in my step, tea

I've been helping manage my chronic fatigue/ SEID today by taking a combination tea of, quality green tea, about 1/2 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon of elderberries, steeped in a cup or two of water, in a pot.  I find it helps me manage the symptoms better. 

Theoretically, according to neuroscience research I read a while ago, green tea is one of the few things reputed to pass the blood brain barrier.  Combined with elderberries which are antiviral, they seem to help my viral triggered SEID.

Elderberries and green tea must be used with caution (check with your medical team).  I do not drink this every day.  Elderberries must be heated to be safe to consume, either in tea or cooked in syrup.  Green tea and elderberries are best not consumed before bed as they both have stimulating properties, and may be contraindicated for diabetics and pregnant women.  Like I said, check with your doctor.

Smartphones tips for amateurs

If you buy your first smart phone, these tips might come in handy:

Tip 1)

Most next gen smart phones i.e. anything based on the iPhone, or a similar model, take a nanoSIM, which are smaller and much, much (I read about twelve times) thinner than the micro SIM. 
It is critical you find out whether or not they do, and buy a nanoSIM for using the phone.

Tip 2)

Correct installation of the SIM is important.  Persist and find instructions in English of your model, preferably by the manufacturer.

A skerrick of clear sticky tape proved helpful to keep the nano SIM in place while I slid it into the smart phone.  This is a tip I picked up online, but I can not advise you to use it, because the manufacturer did not specify doing this.  I personally found it impossible to do otherwise.  If you do so, make sure that the tape is all cut off, so that it does not stick to anything once it gets inside. 

Alternatively, if you know someone that's an experienced smartphone user, they may be worth g…

Smartphone amateur hour

Learning how to use the smart phone. It's proving to be more likely used as a media player/ phone/ Christmas carol player/ online radio/ blog writer.  Currently, I have the classical Christmas station playing via Spotify.  It certainly makes a great camera and gets rid of the faffing about I would normally do to place a picture on here.  Oh, the faffing. I've had some problems with the retailer, and after demanding reasonable action, under international consumer law, they have come to the party.  I do not like being treated like a shmuck.  After studying business, and more importantly, growing in confidence, I know how to make reasonable demands.  All I wanted was reasonable action and I got it, which is kind of lovely.  Everyone needs their hobbies.  What I lack in sewing finesse, I more than make up for in, consumer complaint resolution.  Oh, it's so sweet.  I was going to write about the retailer, but having escalated my complaint, and dealt with it in a reasonable …

Wishing you joy!

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Wishing you a joy filled festive holiday!

Innovation and frugal engineering in India

Fascinating article on how need, and lack of services, combined with population drives engineers to come up with creative solutions in India:
http://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/frugal-engineering-an-emerging-innovation-paradigm/

The Smartphone Chronicles

Far out, this smart phone had better be worth it.  It looks unlikely that I will receive a refund for my phone.  In part because the retailer, who will for the moment remain nameless, is being decidedly unhelpful.

The other part, is that my phone is now usable, if a little scarred.  It took a razor blade, wire and cunning for my IT Guru to fix it.  It also required a nano-sim which I will have to buy soon.  As a result, it's a little scarred where the SIM bit went in.  It's fine though and hopefully I will be enjoying using it soon.

Right now, I am questioning my sanity buying the phone.  Hopefully that will change.  I do like the camera and software, but I want it to function as a phone too!

If you are in the market for a phone and looking for a basic phone, Harvey Norman (for my Australian readers) were selling the LG L20 for $95 yesterday.  It looks to be a solid phone with reasonable smart phone functionality.  I've never used one, so I can not tell you how good, or no…

So much for a smart phone

Today, I was about to go for a walk when I put my head out the front window, heard thunder, and discovered my new fangled fancy phone.  Or so I thought.

I have spent most of this afternoon trying to get my phone to work.  In fact, I was able to get pretty much everything to work except the talking to, texting, and generally communicating with other people.  Needless to say, this involved a lot of shouting on my part when I discovered that it had effectively chewed up my SIM.

In the end, what I've got now, is a much slimmer bank balance and a tablet that I don't need.  I am applying for a refund, and hopeful that I will receive one.  Now, I am considering the purchase of a flip phone, or another basic phone.  We shall see.

I had to buy another SIM and switch my number onto it, as my other SIM is permanently wedged in my so called smart phone.  It did take good photos though, in between driving me nuts with touch screen technology.  Smart phone people make it look fun, it drove …

Save money on non-dairy cooking, and eating

Allergy cooking, and eating, is all about rethinking your entire pantry.  Not at all difficult, right?!
It's been a while since I've been off dairy, and now I am on a moo free diet again, I have to change my approach to food.

Thankfully, there are plenty of dairy free options at supermarkets these days and plenty of meals that can easily be made dairy free.  Dairy free milk pre-made options have never been so cheap either.

To add to my grocery/ allergy insanity I've also gone off soy.  Well, except, I will allow myself the odd bit of soy sauce and fried tofu when I occasionally have sushi.

And, to just add to the allergy jumping, I'm a Coeliac, so no gluten for me.

Here's my current, fairly frugal approach to things:
black tea and coffee.  Mainly I drink black coffee though, because I am not a huge fan of black tea.  In my previous dairy free days, I'd have grocery brand soy milk in my tea and coffee.coconut yogurt, made by me.  Just need canned coconut milk, wa…

Weekend Reading Picks: Santa workout and military philososphy

Grab yourself a glass of something bubbly and festive (soda water with a slice of lime and a splash of raspberry cordial counts) or caffeinated, and enjoy my weekend reading picks.

Fascinating article in the NY Times about ways to rebuild the eroding middle class.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/20/magazine/rebuilding-the-middle-class-the-army-way.html?contentCollection=weekendreads&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=c-column-middle-span-region&region=c-column-middle-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-middle-span-region&_r=0

Going off grid?  Energy companies=not happy
http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/offgrid-suburb-a-perfect-storm-for-energy-giants-20151207-glh7l5.html

Santa's workout mantra:
http://www.msn.com/en-au/health/fitness/ho-ho-whoa-santa%e2%80%99s-transformation-from-jolly-to-jacked/ar-BBnG0SK#page=1

Help to drink responsibly and learn what a standard drink is:
http://www.purewow.com/food/How-Much-Wine-Should-I-Actually…

Things to have nearby when unwell

It helps to be reasonably organised if you are chronically ill.  I try and organise myself so that on a bad day, racked with pain, my systems are pretty fool proof.  My must-take medicines are all in one spot, my take-every-now and then are organised.

When I go to bed, I usually have my phone switched off in reach and a light in reach.  I try and keep at least one litre of water handy and a glass for drinking and taking dissolvable asprin when I need it, my main painkiller.  Today I needed it, and I am glad I was organised.  Talk about a nasty amount of pain, who knew one eye could cause so much pain.

I try and keep my room clean and tidy because it makes life easier and I prefer to do small cleans regularly, rather than big cleans less frequently.  This way, I can have a bad day or two, if I keep on top of things on my better days.  Today, is a bit of a bad day.

What you keep nearby and handy will depend on your health.  I try and keep a stash of painkillers around, a reasonable stas…

Frugal ways to deal with the winter blues

3Some people experience severe cases of winter blues.  I know for some people it's hormonal imbalance, particularly lack of vitamin D and thyroid hormones.  For other people, they just need to come up with strategies that work for them. 

For my northern hemisphere readers (most of my readers) I hope that you are coping well in winter.  Here's some frugal ideas you might like to add to your winter tool kit:

1) COSY UP
Make sure your real fireplace is clean and safe, and light it when nights are cold.  Enjoy an evening with a hot drink, friend, significant other, or a quiet night contemplating your navel and soaking in the ambience.  Download a virtual fireplace on your computer, or buy a DVD for cosy evenings if you are without a real fire place. (I just did this for next winter, so cool!)Buy or create a warm throw rug to snuggle under.You could add ambience also with fairy lights.Light a candle or two.Have a selection of favourite hot non-alcoholic drinks to keep you warm. 2) …

Begone biofilm

I've found since I've been taking Curcumin it has helped to keep my appetite at a healthy level, it's reduced my arthritis symptoms dramatically and apparently it may help with my chronic fatigue.

Biofilm is considered by some medical researchers to be a big part of why most people with chronic fatigue never recover.  You can read about it here:
http://bodyecology.com/articles/biofilm-how-this-slimy-coating-is-causing-chronic-fatigue-fibromyalgia-irritable-bowel-and-more

Curcumin is reputed to help kill off dangerous biofilm in the body:
http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/9789814354868_0017

If we kill of biofilm, it seems to me, we have a good chance of eradicating SEID/Chronic Fatigue.  How good would that be?

Caution should be taken if you want to supplement with curcumin.  It's not recommended for those with gall bladder or liver disorders, anyone on blood thinners, prior to surgery and pregnant women.  Talk to a doctor/ pharmacist about whether it's g…

When I get my fancy phone

When I get my fancy phone, and I've been waiting a while now, I shall be taking some fabulous photos of the beautiful beach that I am so blessed to live beside.  If this is my first blog post you've ever read, do not despair, I keep it real and have a dissatisfied moment, every now and then.  It's just that the weather today is magnificent.

If you live in Hobart and you have not been to the beach today, you're missing out!  Just beautiful.  And, if you can't get there, I'd like to take the beach to you, but my fancy phone, complete with decent camera is still winging its way here.  Times like these I wonder why I did not just wing my way to the local shops...well, it would be an extra $180, so I guess I can wait.  Such beautiful weather.

I managed to walk at a snails pace to the beach, along the beach, exfoliated in the sand and soaked my feet in the sea.  I welcomed some, I'm guessing Chinese, tourists, who were lovely and found the free wheeling women wit…

Geek out: Chronic Fatigue (SEID) & POTS Research

I've just been reading the transcript of an interview between The Low Histamine Chef, Yasmina Ykelenstam, and Harvard Nueroscientist Dr Michael Van Elzakker.  Link to video and transcript here:
http://thelowhistaminechef.com/harvard-neuroscientist-dr-michael-van-elzakker-chronic-fatigue-vagus-nerve-link/

For me, the highlights were:

The firm belief that Chronic Fatigue, and likely POTS as well, are definitely physical and that patients fed the line that it's psychological, should fire their doctor.Hope that this research will help find an approach that is targeted and works.Support for patients to take control of their health and manage it using trial and error approaches, each patient is different.Encouraging people living with these conditions to exercise and prevent deconditioning (muscle loss) as best they can.  Strategies for people in the midst of a severe crash include lying on a tilted surface and sitting up where possible.  Finding a good balance between rest and exerc…

Non-dairy calcium sources

If your body does not do well on dairy then these articles might help keep you on track.  There is an understandable perception that dairy is the best source of dairy for us all.  I think if your health and energy are good on it, there's evidence to suggest that dairy may well be the best thing for you.  Not for this thyroid patient, it seems.  So, there's figs, and all sorts to keep us going.  I enjoy figs, so that's no tragedy!

Non dairy sources of calcium include:

green vegetablesfigsalmondsbeanscanned fish with bones e.g. canned salmon and sardines
I guess this woman needs more fish and figs for dessert!

References:
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/dairy-calcium-sources

http://wellnessmama.com/18369/calcium-without-dairy/

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/non-dairy-sources-calcium

May the pharmaceuticals be with you (edited)

I've spent most of the day in agony.  By this afternoon, thanks to the power of antihistamine drugs, I was feeling a lot more human and could actually do more than lie in bed and say "ouch".  I tried all the non-drug interventions and then it was out with the chamomile and in with the pharmaceuticals.  Which, by the way, I did a proper search for, to make sure they would not interact with other things I was taking.

Turns out, this little woman, who came from a family who loved renovating, is highly allergic to household paint.  It might be better for the environment but not for my immune system/ eye/ body in general.  I was in SO MUCH PAIN.

When my pain was at ten, and by ten I mean, could-be-bad-for-my-blood-pressure-should-I-go-to-hospital?  I decided to hit ze asprin.  I decided it was pointless not taking painkillers at the point last night where I could not sleep and hospital doctors seemed called for.  I did not want to go to see a doctor, complain of pain, and be …

Sew not my thing 2

Sew, I mean...So, I've finished off my jeans.  They might still need a touch up or two.  One of the seams looks a bit shabby.  My hems are lovely,  I can hem things by hand well when I take the time and distract my brain with a television something.  I'd over think it all if I was in monk like silence and stuff it up.

Anyway, here's some good beginner resources if you have a sudden need to fix your clothes yourself, and you are lacking in skill:

How to thread Janome sewing machines:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsAKxI79BS0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUsT0plWt6Y

I did not look at this website, but I probably should have!

Sewing tips and patterns for beginners
http://howtosew.com/

I probably need How to Sew for Dummies!  Ahhh...I managed.  I can get better with practice, Youtube and help.


Sew not my thing

I spent an indeterminate amount of time today altering a pair of jeans.  A job which should have taken around ten to thirty minutes, for someone competent at using a sewing machine and the basics of making jeans fit better, took me hours. 

On a positive note, thanks to the brilliance that is You tube I was able to rethread the machine, re spool the machine and fix problems as I went along.  AND give mum back her sewing machine in one piece!  I am also tellingly rather efficient at un-picking stitches!

Even though my effort is not perfect, it will do the job when I rehem it by hand.  Even with my sub par sewing talent I am much further along than high-school me, that never finished her pencil case!  I did make a grocery bag bag but I've a feeling that took me the whole year!  All in all, I'm doing much better!

I also indulged in a little nail art but it's already looking worse for wear.  Silver tips on clear nails, very Christmassy. 

I've been making myself at home in …

Nail Art Appreciation 101

You know how sophisticated types, and tourists of all types, go to galleries to soak up culture and alleviate the boredom of being away from their normal routine?  Also, you know how looking at a Renoir, or Monet, and soaking up the vibrancy, while contemplating whether to have a ham or cheese sandwich for lunch, does not an impressionist painter make? Well, I've got something similar going on with nail art.

I've got a few nail-art-tourist confessions to make.  Firstly, I own exactly two nail polishes, in the sixty seconds to dry range, in clear and magenta.

Secondly, I am sure that they are both considered cancer causing by more strenuous make-up campaigners than me.  The only thing that's clear to me, is to prevent it, do all nails outside in a well ventilated area.  I tried the healthy, clean, vegan, non-toxic nail polish a few times, and found it took about ten years to dry and chipped even faster than normal nail polish, which takes me on average twenty-four hours on…

When basic budgeting is done

This post is worth reading and thinking about if you are looking to save more and maximise your frugal budget:

http://www.littlehouseliving.com/frugal-tips-for-saving-money.html

Little House Living blog looks worth having a look at too.

Sensible ways to lose a pound, or two.

I'm not obsessive about weight loss but I know that I need to lose a bit to feel my best.   I've found these three sensible articles to help you, if you need to lose weight to better manage your health.  I am being disciplined because it's the only strategy that works for me, but I always give myself a little wriggle room for a treat now, and then.  Thinking about it, I need new sneakers soon!  My runners are nearly worn out, again.  

Sensible advice from The Mayo Clinic, on how to approach weight loss, where you are advised by medical professionals of the need to better manage weight:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20047752?pg=1

Weight management tools at www.nutrition.gov (US Government resources)
http://www.nutrition.gov/weight-management/strategies-success

Strategies to deal with stress, so that you do not overeat.
http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/how-not-overeat-when-youre-stressed

Disclaimer: for…

Or you could use ginger

Ginger also seems to have immune modulator effects that may help manage arthritis and reduce pain.

I'll let you be the judge what is best for you.  It might even be a combination of approaches.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4106649/

http://restorativemedicine.org/tag/ginger-zingiber-officinale/

This link to the book 'Nutritional Sciences: From Fundamentals to Food' by Michelle McGuire and Kathy Beerman lists several food based immune modulators.  My guess is that it's different for everyone.  Foods listed include: honey; chilli peppers; tumeric; ginger; green tea; grapes

Link to the book:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=VL7gj_blbRoC&pg=PA524&lpg=PA524&dq=ginger+immune+modulator&source=bl&ots=8GD_5nZSR7&sig=uSzoWAhFQfWsdH2HKzj9S_nMtLw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiktOrT9s3JAhWJFZQKHThBAx4Q6AEIITAB#v=onepage&q=ginger%20immune%20modulator&f=false

Anti-oxidative anti-inflammatory effect of ginger, current research:

ht…

Handle temptation

The title of this short blog entry sounds far more exciting than it actually is.  A medical doctors opinion on strategies that help people who are working to lose weight to help their health under medical supervision.

Definitely worth reading if you are working to gradually lose weight under the guidance of a doctor.  I do think it's important to check in with a doctor and nutritionist if you have complex medical issues.  I am basing my current approach on advice received by medical professionals.  It will likely be different for everyone.

https://www.sharecare.com/health/weight-loss/how-handle-temptation-lose-weight

Make do herbal

I am still in pain, but a strong cup of elderberry and powdered ginger tea is helping with my arthritis pain.  I will get some curcumin but in the meantime this really does help.  Certainly calming my iritis due to AS right down!  That's a start, isn't it?  I forgot about ginger until after I wrote the previous blog entry on arthritis.

Research, so you don't have to (arthritis)

My arthritis, known as Ankylosing Spondylitis is flaring up.  I'm currently using prescribed steroid drops for the flare up in my eye (need to see an eye surgeon) and considering pain killers for my spine.  I've been for a walk today which helped a little and have a hot water bottle on my back to help with pain.  I even did some stretches.  Most of the time, all I need for my back is heat and exercise.  I also have other injuries in my back, so sometimes it's hard to know what's causing what.

As my Ankylosing Spondylitis, which according to RACGP affects around 1 in 200 people in the population, is being particularly nasty, I'm looking for other things I can do to help with pain and mobility.  Ironically, it seems to flare up whenever I go on a health kick.  I do not know why.  It also affects mainly young men, I just lucked out and joined them.  My first attack of AS in the eye landed me in emergency,  I discovered that prescription pain killers, including injecte…

An amazing legacy

Sad this evening.  Found out about the passing of a wonderful Christian woman.  I have no doubt that she is busy, as I type, welcoming people into heaven.

She left such a wonderful legacy of kindness, encouragement and always saw the best in people.  Someone that I came to appreciate more as I got older, and let's hope wiser! 

Always took the time and energy to serve, always looking to see how she could help those around her.  Her spirit was ever strong.  Her legacy will live on.

Miss milky coffee and tea!

Missing milk in coffee and tea.  I'm not going back to soy milk in any hurry either, because that's meant to be as good for my thyroid as normal milk.  I just tried coconut milk in my coffee and tipped it out after two sips.  I read the other day that a little gelatine in black tea will antagonise the tannins and eliminate nausea due to tea drinking.  I've tried it on a full stomach with a quarter tea spoon to one cup of fairly weak tea, and found it effective.

Frustratingly, my low carb, high fibre, no dairy/ soy, portion control approach is working, and I'm fitting into my jeans better than I was before!  So I will have to keep up the discipline, like it or not.  Not so bad at the moment, my sugar cravings are largely under control this way and my thyroid hormones are helping with that.  A bit of patience and discipline is called for.

I'm using other ways to reward myself other than food, not that I was that bad to start off with, normal food does not seem to wor…

When smiling is difficult

I had a crash this morning and a little sudden thyroid related depression.  Fast and nasty, is the best way to describe an episode.

I am glad the thyroid depression was relatively minor.  Incredibly glad.  To help myself get through it:
I took a bit more thyroid medication and went for a walk in the afternoon sunshinechewed some sugar free xylitol gumdrank some coffee when I got back from my walkate healthy food all daypainted my nails magentaquickly tidied my roommade an effort with my jeans and casual top ensemble at homewore dingle-dangle earrings There, pretty good strategies.

And, to help my mum, gave her a back massage.  Like massaging concrete but worth it for her to visibly cheer up.

A follow up note

I've quickly edited my blog post on home made vanilla bean tea, coffee and sugar.  It has not given me the vanilla hit I wanted.  Some things are best bought from the professionals, and this is one of those things!

Here are some commercial alternatives that might interest you!~

http://teas.com.au/buy-herbal-infusions-tisane/flavoured.html

https://www.gloriajeans.com/coffee/vanilla-flavored-coffee

https://www.gloriajeans.com/coffee/flavored/chocolate-and-vanilla-lovers

http://www.lupicia.com.au/c6/flavoured-herbal-tea

http://www.t2tea.com/



No-drill dentistry

This article on reducing fillings by using preventative techniques, even where small fillings would normally be indicated is worth reading:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/health/nodrill-dentistry-stops-decay-reducing-fillings-says-sydney-uni-study-20151204-glfkpn.html

I found out that when I last went, and did get a filling due to a big hole and nerve pain, that I had other cavities.  I decided to look into what I can do.  I've since been taking iodine and selenium which should make my body less acidic.  Many of my teeth problems stem from coeliac causing acidity and washing the enamel away. 

I looked into toothpaste to prevent and reverse damage, and bought Novamin based toothpaste.  I also use xylitol based chewing gum to help remineralize my teeth.  I'm currently waiting on a bulk order because it's significantly cheaper than buying it at the shop.

It seems that my approach, which I think is helping, isn't that far off new methods.  I certainly would recommend tha…

Milky thyroid

I've pretty well reduced my dairy consumption to zero as it seems to badly effect my thyroid function.  I thought it was only relevant when taking medication.  I guess I might eat it occasionally for a treat as supplementing iodine seems to have prevented my allergic response.  Bear in mind, that I have coeliac disease and likely have not been absorbing iodine for years.  I am careful and take it with selenium and other companion nutrients.  It takes twelve months of supplementing for the body to get the full benefit of the supplementary iodine that I am using to rid my body, hopefully, of EBV.

From what I have read recently, iodine will not fix my metabolism.  It may help but it's likely not enough if my thyroid is scarred and stopped working. 

Do I think a deficiency in iodine caused Hashimoto's thyroiditis?  Probably not, it's impossible to say.  The evidence suggests that I just won the genetic lottery on that.

The evidence is conflicting with the dairy thing.  I…

Been out and about

Very refreshing to be out and about and doing things.  I've been doing quite a few walks, eating well, drinking exceptional quality coffee.  I even managed to bump up with someone I had not seen for years.  I must have met her at church, I had a long meaningful conversation.  In many ways this lady was having a much worse day than I was.  If I think about it, I will look her up, and catch up for coffee.  I enjoy being challenged respectfully.

Caught up with family and still learning a game based on luck and strategy.  It's much harder when I'm out of practice.  And, I am out of practice!  Still, persistence and more persistence.  People going through a tough time using it as a distraction.  

I've been rewarding my strict diet by buying some new lacy under things.  I've visited a couple of charity shops and slowly updating my wardrobe to slim and healthy jeans.  Keeping up with the weights to help tone down, help my back heal and strengthen my back.   

Met someone…

All kinds of people, all kinds of diets?

I try to be as unfussy an eater as possible.  This approach has not been helping my waistline and I can not afford to get diabetes on top of everything else I've got going on. 

A bit more fussiness and personalised approach to food, with a genuine desire to try and be accommodating, is likely the only approach that will work for me.  I'm not happy about it, but if it helps me feel, and look better, that will be enough for me.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/opinion/sunday/could-your-healthy-diet-make-me-fat.html?emc=eta1&_r=1

Today, I aim to be healthier

Today, I am doing the disciplined diet thing.  Diet in the sense of trying to manage my thyroid condition so that I am healthy and happy.  Not particularly obsessive, but definitely disciplined.  I've just got to accept that this condition takes work.

Today,

I've been drinking quality coffee, sans milk.

Made myself a boiled egg and salad

Will drink plenty of water and have some roast vegetables, meat and likely a small portion of brown rice for dinner.

Herbal tea later in the day.

I can do this!

Text apologies

I know there is a blog entry or two with tiny text, which makes your reading experience less than fabulous.  Be reassured that I've tried to fix it, but I'm finding it impossible to fix.  My apologies.  I will always endeavour to make this blog reader friendly.

Concerned about antibiotic resistance

http://www.naturalnews.com/022800_antibiotic_antibiotics_infection.html

Nothing tastes as good as...

...skinny feels.  At least that's what I am trying to convince myself of.

So, as well as taking hormones and waiting for them to work slowly, I'm trying as much regular exercise as I can, and rest when I need it (stupid chronic fatigue/SEID),

It's back to a slimming diet.
For me, with my slow metabolism, a skinny diet means:

milk free coffee, and probably no tea (black tea makes me queasy without milk).
Minimal, or no, dairy.  Fewer carbs.

Lots of soup, fish, good quality coffee, meat and salad and herbal teas.  The occasional glass of wine for a treat.

I went to the doctor yesterday, and he told me to focus on diet, consistently.  He also told me I will likely struggle to lose the weight, and that thyroid disease is tricky to manage.  At the very least, I will have to work at it, and it will take time.  He also told me that my weight gain was normal for someone with thyroid disease that's been playing around with the dose and stopped it for a while.

Oh, and low suga…

When feeling low

Today, I was feeling low:

Fixed up some insurance paper workFixed up some online ordersTidied my roomWent to the doctor about something unrelated but asked him about a few concerns.  His compassion did help.Went to spot by the sea I find soothing and went for strollRang a friend, spoke to familyCried my eyes out in the carHad a soak in the bathAte good food and nice coffee Now, I am drinking herbal tea and I feel a little better.