Tag Archives: Health

Rollin’ on the River

 I got the new bike I was dreaming about that I shared with you in my post:  Let it Ride, and it’s like peddling on a cloud!  I can’t even tell you what a difference it makes on my knees, and it’s so unbelievably comfortable, I feel I could ride it across the entire country!  Well… as long as I didn’t have to go up any hills.  😉

I thought I loved riding a bicycle before, but this new bike has multiplied that love by ten thousand!  I’m so very thankful to my family for pulling the funds together as an early birthday gift and helping me get it!  ❤

I went online and printed up a few biking trail maps, in addition to reading tons of information on bicycling in Minneapolis.  Apparently, Minneapolis was ranked #2 as one of the best biking cities by Bicycling Magazine, and is 4th in the nation.  I’d say my odds are great for being able to get around in the city on my bicycle, and I’ve already been out exploring and having wonderful time!

I’m especially excited about finding a few paths along the Mississippi River where I don’t have to endure any significant hills or steep overpasses to go up to get to.  I mentioned before that I only live like 4 blocks from the  river, but that it’s a busy street that runs along on my side of it, well I found that with only spending just a short time riding on that busy street, I can get to some lovely trails along the river.

 

One area that is easy to get to is Boom Island Park, and on my very first day with my new bike I took a ride there with my daughter.  It was evening actually, when I snapped this photo of her with my cell phone as she was looking out at the river.  She loves the water as much as I do, and we have went to this same spot a number of times since that first day…

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I also found another bike path along the river that’s a bit further away, which is nice when we want a longer ride.  I thought this train bridge was kinda cool looking, so I stopped one day while we were riding past and snapped a photo of it…

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Much of the time it’s evening when we go out bike riding, it’s nice then because there’s less traffic and cooler temps.  Although this sunset isn’t anything extraordinary, it was a lovely ending to our ride before we headed home…

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Home…  a view across the river of downtown Minneapolis.  Not the best view of our city’s skyline, but it was fun to happen upon this little opening between the trees to sneak peek at the city, and I love the way the buildings reflect on the water…

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I also love the beauty of nature that is all around the city, especially along the river.  On the path that runs along that train bridge, I came across a little cluster of milkweed growing, it smelled amazing on the breeze as I rode by, and when I saw the monarchs fluttering around amidst it, I stopped and tried to take a photo, but it was too far away to get a decent shot.  Still pretty though.  🙂

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I’m so enjoying these bike rides rollin’ on the river, but I’ve also been rollin’ other places on my bike too.  Like running short errands to the Post Office and to the Co-op.   On Sunday when my sister was here, we all rode our bikes to the Open Streets event in the neighborhood, and that was a fun experience.  I think I’ll make the next errand on my bike to the library.  On our rides back and forth to Boom Island, I noticed there is a library located in the old Grain Belt Brewery building, it looks pretty cool and I’m excited to check it out!  😀

 

I hope there are exciting things in store for you too!  Happy Monday and may this week be a wonderful one!

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Let it Ride

Ah, how I love riding my bicycle, it’s my favorite form of exercise ~ pedaling, gliding along, free, the wind in my hair…

I’ve strayed quite a bit from riding it regularly though since moving back to the city.  Mostly because it’s not as relaxing to ride it amidst all the crazy traffic, but also because my knees have gotten so bad that they’re really pained afterward.  Not to mention I’ve been busy with other things and just haven’t made it a part of my regular routine.  But that’s all about to change…

I hope.

I did some riding last summer looking for a route on the city streets with less traffic where I could ride comfortably, and I did find some quiet side streets, but the scenery wasn’t all that great.  Where I really want to ride is by the water.  The Mississippi River is only 4 blocks from my house, but there is a busy street that runs along it, so even though it’s by the water, it’s anything but relaxing with all the traffic.  There’s a bike path on the other side of the river, but I’d have to go up a monstrous hill over a bridge that would kill my knees, and walking my bike up over it would be worse, as walking hurts my knees even more.  So I’d most likely need to put the bike rack on the back of my truck, throw my bike up on that, and then drive over it.  Bothers.  If I have to use my bike rack (which is a hassle all in itself) and drive someplace, I’d rather drive a bit farther and ride my bike around the Lake of the Isles.  It’s round, so there’s no backtracking (I hate backtracking, just ask my sister), it’s flat, so there’s no knee killing hills, there’s a designated bike path, so there’s no traffic to contend with (except to drive there), and it’s a lovely area.  I used to take my daughter there in her stroller when she was a baby and walk the dogs around it every day.  Ah, such precious memories.  ❤

But ideally, I’d really rather set out on my bike directly from the house, and not use the gas to drive somewhere to ride, so I’m going to keep looking for a bike path to hook up with that runs along the river ~ or maybe find a bridge to cross with less steep of a hill.  I’ve also been thinking more about riding my bike to run short errands instead of driving as well, and I bought a little basket to attach to my handle bars to use for carrying things picked up on small errands.  Of course, there I’d definitely have to contend with traffic in coming and going, but I wouldn’t be out riding for pleasure at those times anyways, so I’d just deal with it.

What is hard to deal with though is my painful knees.  I had to bring my bike into the bike shop last week to have my back tire fixed, and I got to talking to one of the guys there about my knees, he suggested a different style of bike that might be easier on them ~  Fuji’s Barnebey 7 LS.  It’s not the most attractive looking bike, but I took one for a test ride and it rode like a dream, and didn’t pain my knees at all.  But whoa was it ever expensive ~ over $400!  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $400 just laying around to spend on a bicycle, and it would be difficult to justify, especially when I already have a bike.   But I really want to incorporate riding my bike more often into my life, and with these knees… I need one more suitable.  So I am contemplating trying to rearrange my funds a bit to see if I could come up with the money.  My birthday is only a month away, so maybe I could hint around to a few family members to help.  😉

Regardless, I’m going to keep trying to get out there on my bike, even if I have to overly pace myself as to not injure my knees.

“Try, try, try.  Let it ride.”  

 

I snapped this photo of my bike in front of a cool mural that’s painted on the side of a building down the street from our house while out riding with my daughter the other day…

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Looks like a nice flat riding surface with no traffic.  If only there was a lake or a river painted next to it…  😉

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Herbal Adventures

For many years I have believed in the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of herbs, and I rather like/prefer the idea of using natural remedies as a way to promote health and wellness.

One herb in particular that I know I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions how much I love is lavender.  Although it is said to have oodles of healing benefits, I just love it for the scent and the color of it, and for the way it makes me feel.  ♥   Yeah, no scientific studies or research by “experts” needs to be done on lavender to prove to me that it helps calm and soothe the senses.  Mmm…

But aside from lavender there are many other herbs that provide equally beneficial healing properties for a wide range of ailments, not to mention culinary pleasures as well.  I know I’m a bit of a nature freak, but seriously how cool is it that everything we could possibly need for health and wellness in life can be found somewhere on this beautiful earth of ours?

Unfortunately, a lot of the age-old knowledge for natural remedies has gotten a bit lost in this era of “modern” medicine.  But herbal medicine is making a comeback, albeit as an “alternative” type of therapy.  The thing with herbalism is that it  works best when practiced holistically, meaning with the intent to bring healing to the entire body to get at the source of physical and emotional imbalance, rather than just treating the symptoms.  So it often requires one to examine other areas such as diet, lifestyle, and mental attitude, taking into consideration the role that these factors also play in keeping you healthy or contributing to disease.  Plus, it’s a process, in many cases the healing actions of herbs take place over a period of time, so one doesn’t get immediate results like those that can be found in taking a pill.  But the long-term results of herbal medicine is often a much deeper healing, and for many people it’s well worth the wait.

Anyway, the reason I bring all of this up is because I’ve been playing “mad-scientist” here concocting some herbal remedies, and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.  There is some degree of caution to take when working with herbs and one cannot go about things completely blind.  There is a science within herbalism just as with anything else, so I’ve been reading up on it quite a bit.  It all started with bringing my herbs inside to try and winter them over, and morphed from there because of my recent health concerns.

I was at the second-hand store last week with my family, and as per usual I ended up in the used books section.  I have a tendency to get lost and completely absorbed amidst the books, so I try to resist wandering over to that part of the store.  😉

I hadn’t been specifically looking for any, but I found a few herb books…

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When I got home I went in search of other herb books that I knew I had packed away somewhere.  Some of which included a huge Atlas of Herbal Medicine, dozens of Herbal Companion Magazines that I had a subscription to years ago, as well as a couple of aromatherapy books.

I’ve been scouring over them all ever since and needless to say, my interest in herbalism has been renewed.  I’m thinking that I might have to force encourage my sister to get back to working on the Master of Herbalism Program that she began a few years ago at the Midwest School of Herbal Studies, so that I can pick her brain, she can be my Obi-Wan Kenobi of all things herbal.   😉

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Peace & love…

Grounded

I just finished watching this interesting documentary and had to share it.  It is well worth the watch.  I happened upon it through a daily email newsletter I subscribe to from Mercola.com, a natural health information website.

The title of the email caught my attention because it said “How to have thinner blood and lower inflammation,” and if you read my post from yesterday you know I’m having a few health concerns about some heart palpitations I’ve been experiencing over the past week.

But once I clicked the link and started reading I got much more than I bargained for!  Click <here> to read this interesting article by Dr. Mercola where he writes about a few of the health benefits of “Grounding” or “Earthing,” including helping to relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, thin your blood, and enhance well-being.

And definitely take the time to watch this documentary…

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Being such a nature freak, all of this was right “up my alley” and I fully intend on going outside as soon as I click “Publish” to go and walk barefoot in my garden ~ even though it’s only 40 degrees out today!  😀

Here’s to good health!  Peace and love…

In Health News Today…

I’m on my way to the doctor this morning.  Apparently I’ve worked myself into a bit of a health issue here by not managing my stress well enough, in addition to not taking care of myself by eating well.  At least this is my diagnoses.  I’ve been experiencing heart palpitations for the past week.  I blame that blasted garage sale that I’ve been gearing up for and which finally came to a head last weekend.  That thing had been hanging over me like a dark cloud for the past year.  I should be awash with relief right now instead of sitting here with heart palpitations.  Ugh.

So now I have to go to the doctor.  I don’t really care for most doctors, it seems all they want to do is cut you open or medicate you, and I’m not so keen on either.  Not to mention I don’t have any health insurance at the moment so I’m sure it’s going to cost me a pretty penny, and my pennies are ever so dwindling over here.  I’m angry with myself for not taking better care of my health.  I know all the proper ways of doing so, and I do make an effort, but I think my brain gets in the way sometimes, darn thing is always thinking an’ stuff.  😉  But my brain can’t take all the blame, I have had quite a number of external circumstances going on here that have been very difficult to deal with.

I’m just hoping they don’t find anything seriously wrong with me today.  I reeeally don’t need to add health problems to my plate.   I’m sure they’ll want to put me on some sort of blood pressure meds as it’s been quite high whenever I’ve checked it.  Twice now I’ve avoided having to go on medications for blood pressure by simply modifying my lifestyle a bit, and I hope that will be the case again, but I’m feeling tempted to take the meds in the meantime while I work on making things more manageable, because these darn palpitations are freaking scary.  It happens mostly at night when I’m going to bed, making it difficult to sleep, and oh how I do love my sleep.  I try deep breathing and douse myself in lavender oils, and that helps a little, but not enough.

Well I better get a move on here and try to fix up this drowsy-looking face of mine, don’t want the doc to think I’m worse off than I really am by showing up with my “just crawled out of bed look.”  😉  Wish me luck and please do send some healing thoughts and prayers my way.

And while you do, here’s a pretty butterfly to look at…

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I snapped this the other day and was so pleased to finally see a Monarch in my garden.  ♥

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Peace and love…

A Fixation With Food

I have one.  Do you?

Omygosh I love food!  “Food glorious food.”

I have homemade baked mac and cheese in the oven right this moment ~ and the mouth watering aroma is almost too much to bear!  Pasta… cheese… absolutely amazing stuff right there!

Gosh it’s just so wonderful isn’t it?!   ♥ Food ♥

I thought this would be a good topic for me to write about today as I begin yet another attempt to try and eat healthier.  Mac and cheese = a great way to start if I do say so myself!  😉

The problem with starting any new diet or eating plan is that we have to concentrate on it so much.  It’s all we can think about because we have to plan ahead and spend so much time and energy on thinking about it.  It takes over our lives.

Over the years I have went on various diets here and there and have lost 40 pounds like 6 times.  I should be as thin as a skeleton by now.  But for some reason I always stop there, at the 40 pound mark, and then gain it all back again.

Here’s a bit of dieting wisdom for ya… all diets work.  Yep, pretty much every single one of them.  If you stick with it…

They may not all be healthy though.  Each diet plan has their own slant on what they think is the culprit or reason that people are overweight and certainly there are many, many different variables, but I’m here to say that it’s really quite simple ~ all you have to do is… eat less and move more.  That’s all there is to it!

Oh but sometimes doing that is anything but simple

A few years ago I was at a point where my “numbers” according to the medical professionals were getting into a higher range.  Not quite at the needing a prescription point just yet, but starting to be of some concern.  When I questioned them as to what I could do to avoid having to take medications they said “Nothing, you’re 40, you have a family medical history of this and that, blah blah blah, and it’s inevitable that you will have to be on medications.”  What?!  Um… no, I’m not just accepting that…

So I went out and did a little bit of investigative research for myself and after scouring through vast amounts of information, I found several natural things I could do to improve my health.  Because ya know… it’s not just all about the weight ~ you may be a normal weight, but have some seriously scary malfunctions going on inside your body that you’re not even aware of.

So I began practicing a few of these natural things and after a year or so, guess what happened?  Not only did I lose about 25 pounds (without being on a diet), but all of those “numbers” went back into the normal range.

What did I do?  Well I changed a lot of little things, and along with adding a few more supplements to my regimen, mostly I cut way back on the amount of processed foods I was eating (things in a box or a can, frozen etc.), and started eating more raw/whole foods.  Organic when I could.  And I found that I wasn’t as hungry, which is probably why the weight loss happened ~ eating less.  😉  I lived that way for a couple of years and I did not sacrifice one ounce of the tasteful pleasure of eating yummy delicious food!

Well if it was all so great then why am I back here at square one again?  Probably due to the fact that I had a major life change and an upheaval of the entire world as I knew it, wanted comfort food (which for me was stuff out of a box), had financial restraints (healthy ‘real food’ is more expensive), and basically just got off track and fell back into some old bad eating habits.  In general, I’m not a very disciplined person so it wasn’t hard to do.

So now the weight has crept back up and I can tell my body isn’t feeling as healthy anymore, so onward I go to try once again.

Because my lifestyle has changed so much from what is was before, it feels like I’m entering a foreign unknown territory and starting completely from scratch.  Hope I’m up to it!  Wish me luck!

Ding!  Perfect timing!  The timer has sounded and my mac & cheese in the oven is done!  I can’t wait to taste some of it’s cheesy deliciousness!

In a reasonable portion of course!  😉

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…and just because this song has been in my head the entire time I’ve been writing this…