Update

The phone seems to bring more bad news than good news. As my mom dialed the doctor’s office to hear their “message” for me, I was prepared for the worst, but I tried to focus on how green the trees were. “Just be serene like Jesus was.”

I know that sounds really silly.

Finally, the suspense was over. “Her tests all came out fine,” the lady said, “we just wanted you to know that.”

I smiled, how could I not? I”m not diabetic! At least I think so- you’d think they would have told me, right?

Whatever, if fancy medical tests can’t find anything wrong with me, then I suppose it’s not my place to find out what’s wrong with me either.

What’s there left for me to do? How will I spend my time now that I no longer have much cause to worry about my health? I suppose there’s nothing left to do but praise God and pray for those who really are sick. You know, like I should have been doing all along. Life really is short- if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this, it’s that I must enjoy the moment- however imperfect, however dull, however fleeting- because I know that one day, I’ll remember fondly the flavor of this time in my life. You know, God willing.

I guess there’s not much time for me to worry about if I’ll be here tomorrow, or twenty years from now, or sixty years from now. Who can know for sure anyway? I’m here now- I guess that’s all that counts.

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Anxiously Chasing After Well-Being

It has happened. My mental health has caught up with my physical health.

It started a few weeks ago. If you read this blog, maybe you remember my crazy, frantic posts. That was precisely my state of mind. There was no peace, no rest in my mind. My heart was racing constantly, my brain was grinding its gears like a poorly oiled machine.

My appetite has been on the decline lately, which is weird for me. You see, I have always loved food. I was never a finicky eater. As a kid, I devoured the world. Five slices of pizza, three hotdogs, a half pound steak followed by an ice cream, nothing could faze me. A few episodes of acid relfux, however, served as a good wake-up call. When my growth spurt ended, this calmed down a little, but I was still capable of great fetes of feasting, and even took pride in this. No traumatizing event could keep me from eating for long. In fact, sometimes I would eat more in hard times to try to fill the void. 

For a while, I have had a concept of healthy eating, but didn’t follow through most of the time. I didn’t turn down the sweets, and I made no valiant effort to really change my lifestyle. 

I always thought that if I just ate real food, vegetables, and fruits (and some of the other stuff), then everything would be okay. 

So, anyway, now I’m eating about 1000 calories a day because I can’t eat any more, and even that seems like too much. Nothing seems to get along that well with my stomach. And this in it of itself may not be a problem. If I can get by on less, then why not? Many would probably love to have less appetite. Isn’t it just American culture that shuns any kind of minimalism?  

I am also experiencing diziness, lack of balance, fatigue, and some other symptoms as well that I would rather not go into.

What does it all mean? Are my efforts futile? Should I go on a cupcake diet and see if that does the trick? I do not deny that I am a little discouraged, but I wouldn’t say that it was all for nought. The reality is that I have been healthier relative to myself, but obviously I am not doing enough. I know I can do more. I know I can fight harder. Yesterday I went to Inn-n-Out (in my defense, I only had about 500 calories), and today I had a slice of homemade pizza even though I told myself I was only going to eat fruits and vegetables. So clearly I am not a total hippy-dippy, even though my body probably needs me to be. 

What I’ve learned from this is that sometimes being healthy isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sometimes you need to go to extremes, swallow your pride, and start eating tofu. I’ve learned that I need to stop being a crybaby- health problems are nothing new. I will accept this challenge from God. I will try to survive, I will try to stop worrying because anxiety is what triggered some of these problems in the first place. And I will see the doctor as soon as possible so I can stop wondering at least.

Why Sandwiches Are Evil

Okay, the title is kind of a joke to catch your attention… Did it work? But seriously, did you know that protein and starch is technically a bad food combination because one digests in an acid and one in alkaline? If you didn’t know, aren’t you really mad at me for telling you that? I found out the other day by doing a somewhat related Google search, and I know I was upset. I’d always believed the opposite- that protein and starch somehow balance each other out and go well together. I believed the food pyramid of lies. I’ll bet the pyramid builders didn’t want to rock the boat because they’re all in bed with the big food corporations. Okay, so I didn’t actually take it that far, but the resentment is real. 

There are actually many “bad food combinations.” You don’t usually hear about them in our if-it-tastes-good-eat-it society, but they are out there. In Asian cultures, these are more often heeded (but not necessarily the protein-starch one). You can dismiss them as old wives tales, and indeed, maybe some of the liver+x=death ones are exaggerations, but there might be something to it. I mean, don’t you sometimes get that less-than-awesome feeling after a meal for no apparent reason? 

These are some of the important ones, I think.

1. Egg + sweet potato- don’t do it!

2. Chicken + celery- contrary to everything we’ve believed in

3. Melons+anything

4. Acid+peanut butter (Actually, acid does not go well with protein in general, but this particular combo has ruined my day before. But it doesn’t affect some people)

5. Banana + milk- this one is for real

6. Spaghetti- I know, I want to cry 😦

7. Sugar and starch- still crying

 

The reality is that we will probably not follow the rules of food combining all the time because there are so many of them that I didn’t even mention here and life is very busy. But, I think awareness does help. If we know that protein+starch= :(, then we may do it less, throw in a legume (peanut, bean, pea) to help the process, or eat some veggies with it. Our bodies are forgiving, but we shouldn’t take advantage of this forgiveness all the time. 

 

Where I got this info:

No. 5 &6: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3615/10-Common-Food-Combinations-That-Wreak-Havoc-on-Your-Health.html

No. 1& 7 (Do check out this website): http://www.acidalkalinediet.net/correct-food-combining-principles.php

And the thing about the legumes: http://www.trustedhands.com/content/fcbeg.pdf

 

 

Eating through the Narrow Gate

My stomach growls in anticipation now as we get closer to lunch time. Which reminds me of something… Health. Let’s talk about that, Even though it’s hard. I certainly don’t always eat healthy. I go through periods where I take reasonably good care of myself… And then I just regress into indifference. It’s not that you want to deprive yourself of nutrients, no one does, but you just get busy. And it would help if french fries didn’t taste so good.

So what now? Should we just give up? Let the food corporations win? Turn a blind eye to the genetic-modifying, supersizing, preservative-lacing?

I think not.

I am fortunate enough to have fruit trees in my yard. Not everyone does, and for many eating healthy is simply too expensive.
Also, it seems like at a certain point you should just give up if you haven’t been doing it.

I don’t believe in that. So what you had a half a pizza and a cinnamon twist? A salad couldn’t hurt, and an orange late in the day might be beneficial. Let’s face it, most of us are going to eat trash. But that doesn’t mean that we can’s still be healthy, to some extent. We can burn it off (I don’t know if I’m willing to take this advice). We can supplement our diets with healthy food, and maybe eventually make some better choices in general. I’m talking about real food. Fresh vegetables, organic fruits, oils, nuts, protein, fish, aloe vera, even wild dandelions and milkthistle from the backyard (just make sure you don’t eat any raw snails, and that you are actually eating an edible plant. Seriously, you probably want to cook the stuff, don’t eat raw snails!). Dip an apple slice into some runny peanut butter if you feel inclined. You don’t need to be perfect. I like donuts as much as the next person. But make sure that everything is going well inside… You know what I’m talking about. Because you’re worth it. You’re worth the extra money, if you can spare it. God gave us food, so let’s try to use it better.

If Every Day Was Thanksgiving

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This was the first year that my family didn’t have an actual turkey, which kind of threw us off, but you know, what does it really matter, we had other good food. And I still gained a bit of weight. I suppose I didn’t spend a whole lot of time being thankful today. I found myself sulking at one point in the day, which was kind of ironic. But then I thought… Why is that a bad thing just today? Shouldn’t every day be like Thanksgiving? Even without the gravy, the extended family, the parade, the shopping? Shouldn’t every day be spent giving thank to God for life, health (if applicable), family, friends, resources, work (again, if applicable). And yet, our society tells us that we should make thankfulness a temporary thing, and the rest of the time should be spent climbing up ladders and gawking over things that we don’t have. As if that’s any way to live.

photo credit

Musings of a Hypochondriac

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Yesterday, Day 3 of the apple detox, I was watching the film “Send Me No Flowers (warning-mini spoiler ahead). The best part of the apple detox for me was having a very good excuse to sit around. After all, when you literally have no energy, who’s going to make you do anything? The movie was very funny, by the way, I thought the absolute best part was the cemetery plot scene. Now that’s satire for you.

Anyway, if you’ve seen the movie, you know that Rock Hudson’s character thinks he’s going to die of hypochondria. Well, while I was watching, I was naively thinking, “How awful it must be to have hypochondria.” And then I remembered- hypochondria means the absence of disease! It means that your worst ailment is thinking you have a disease. I’m sorry if I’ve just ruined the movie a little for you, but you were warned.

Anyway, as I was finishing up the apple detox, I was thrilled to finally be taking the olive oil. Seriously, I was giddy. I’m thinking “Now it’s over, now I’m going to be cleansed!” and so on. Rarely do I find myself that excited about a bowel movement.

I had done the detox by the book. I even made a trip to this apple orchard to get the right variety. So I had a lot of hope going into this thing, and I talked about it with my family a lot, maybe partially to brag. But I did it for my health, because I felt that slipping away from me a little. And if you read the Bible, it says that your body is your temple. I would like a clean temple, thank you very much! And as recommended by Cayce, I took almost half a cup of olive oil (which believe me, is disgusting). In hindsight, this amount might have been the thing that messed it up. But I am inclined to believe it simply wasn’t meant to go as planned.

So, post olive oil, initially I felt good. I did feel the churning I can tell you that. But then I started hiccuping a lot, and feeling nauseous and extremely full and like I NEVER wanted to eat olive oil ever again. Well, fast forward to the present time. Still no bowel movement.

I woke up early in the morning, not feeling so inclined to go to the bathroom but to pee. And I started imagining that I had all kinds of diseases. There was something wrong with my colon, my liver, heck, I was probably suffering from a mild form of mercury poisoning (thanks to leaking button cell batteries in my house, not a good thing for a neurotic person).

But then I went back to sleep after reminding myself of the joys of salvation and changing the song that was playing in my head. Why was I worrying so much about my health? Like Jesus said, that which you should really watch out for is that which can corrupt the eternal soul, not the body. The body is here today, gone tomorrow. I’m not saying you should neglect your health- take up smoking, eat whatever, and drink yourself into oblivion. NO, okay that’s not what I’m saying! I’m saying that you should do whatever is in your control, I suppose like I did with the apple detox and some of my dietary changes. But clearly, some things are out of our control, and that’s okay. So, maybe I do have some kind of disease of the liver. Maybe my intestines are unhappy (isn’t that a pleasant mental image?) But you know what, it’s okay. I tried, that is true, but clearly I had too much faith in my own ability to improve my health and not enough faith in God.

None of us are immune from disease, no matter how many broccolis we eat, miles we jog, vaccines we get. None of us are safe from disaster, no matter how good our alarm system is, where we reside, or what our homes are made of. What is steel construction to God? And none of us are guaranteed the rest of today.

If God wants to take away my health, my passion, my wealth, my family, my cherished acquaintances, my very life- then I pray that I will have the strength to endure it all with joy in my heart, as long as my spiritual house is built on a big, solid rock. And if that’s the case, I know that everything will truly be okay.

 

 

Photo: healthcareresorts.wordpress.com