Phytonutrients and Diabetes “M”

I love nutrition and the thought of nutritional healing for many ailments. I am currently listening to a college level course on nutrition for the 2nd time. Every chapter is beneficial but I'm specifically fascinated by phytonutrients – the benefits reaped from the color of the vegetable or fruit. For example, a dark red berry like acai would have the same nutrients as say, a cranberry or pomegranate. Each week I try choosing from the colors of the rainbow.

My salad toppings…red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers, fennel (from my garden this year) and carrots. I put a sprinkling of walnuts and cranberries on it as well and always look for the spring mix salad with its red and green salad leaves.

Earlier this year, my husband received the disappointing news that he can add diabetes to his hypertension and high cholesterol. At first he was depressed then angry. Now he has settled into acceptance but I have to say I still see resistance. He longs for "all the things he can never eat again" … pause to roll eyes. I have termed his diabetes type "M" for "man". Not unlike the "man" cold, everything is an ordeal. Having to check serving sizes and calories, sugars and fat, sodium and fiber. To counteract the drama, I spend one day every weekend preparing take and go containers of things he can eat.

Serving size nuts (low sodium) and cups of fresh fruit. Grab and go. I like doing this. He still whines. But at least I don't worry about him not eating at all.

Struggling

I'm struggling. I shouldn't be but I am. Is it possible that anxiety is a living organism? If this is my brain causing all this commotion, why can't it focus on solving world problems instead of traumatizing me?! I have been working on accepting and acknowledging with the help of a brilliant therapist (ok she's my daughter and not a therapist, but should be). But it's like the anxiety refuses to back down. It is like it is waiting for me to go to my doctor, meet with my care team for them to give me the lecture on accepting and acknowledging the anxiety. Everything is compounding. My body hurts, I have ringing in my ears 24/7 and nothing I do makes it better, my right eye won't focus, and I have headaches daily. I can't stay awake for more than a few hours and I have no bouncy morning energy as I have had in the past. Who am I kidding, I have no energy at all. I'm overly sensitive to everything anyone says and feel that good old out of control apple cart feeling. Everything is heightened. And not in a good way. I'm overwhelmed and I just want to crawl in my special corner of my closet, under my long dresses and sit in silence. Only there is no silence. Just non-stop ringing in my ears.

This is going to be fun…

Undeniably my husband is my soulmate.   He makes me whole.

                                    However

My husband and I turned the spare room into a library a year ago, which involved painting the small room.  We managed to make it 5 minutes working together before tensions ran high.

Well…we are now in the process of purchasing a lot and building a HOUSE, InshaAllah (God Willing).  Together. 

Stay tuned…this is going to be fun.

Wis-caaan-sin


We made it to only one ballpark this year.  In our defense, it is a busy year…baby off to college, new job, downsizing, medical procedures, but we managed to knock Miller Park off the list.

We drove to Illinois to see my dad and celebrate his birthday.  My dad, who adores my SOMH, made sure to choose his birthday meal at the Bass Pro Shop restaurant so SOMH could have his alligator.  Disgusting…but he liked it.


The next day we drove the 2 hours to Milwaukee to see the Brewers host the Orioles.  The Orioles lost the game 8-1, but the fans were great.

  

I could not pass up Cheese Curds, being in the cheese state.  Those were sinfully delicious.  Deep fried pieces of cheesy goodness.

  

Unbeknownst to us, Miller Park apparently has a reputation of being brutal to fans sitting on the third base side during the summer. Lesson learned.  I, of course, forgot sunscreen.  I have the “scarf tan”.  A seriously dark scarf tan.  (#hijabiissues). And burnt wrists.  And burnt thighs (through my jeans đŸ˜«).


We seem to have slowed down knocking ball parks off the list, but we will get through them…eventually, InshaAllah.

The quest for a “perfect” Suhoor 

Facing a day of fasting during Ramadan has never been difficult for me, but since “fasting” isn’t just abstaining from food and water the less distracted I can be by the growling belly or pasty mouth, I have always tried to perfect my morning meal.

My first “ah-ha” was a few years ago when I learned protein, Protein, PROTEIN.  I added a protein drink to a breakfast of two eggs and 1 slice of wheat toast.  Of course, finishing my meal with a full bottle of water.  I actually maintained my weight when I started and ended my fast with protein heavy meals.  

30 days of the same meal is not easy to do (for me) so this year, I added in some variety.   My favorite roasted red pepper chicken sausage.  Good protein, but way too much sodium.  I am thirsty before I even finish suhoor.  I also try not to have the whole wheat toast every day.   I know I need some carbs but I get that in my coffee.  

Tomorrow I am going to try my carefully calculated new meal plan:   Lemon blueberry overnight oats (with pecans and chia seeds) and two eggs scrambled and my protein drink.

I’m not looking to stay full all day…I actually like the hungry feeling.  It is very humbling.  I have worked very hard to lose weight this year facing several medical challenges making weight loss even more difficult, not to mention the age issue. I just want to maintain through Ramadan.  I met with my doctor before Ramadan and he was quick to point out I should not expect to lose much.   He even gave me a month post-Ramadan before he sees me again to judge my progress.

I’d love to hear recommendations for what has worked for others.  I’m a pretty picky breakfast eater though.  I’m not one to be able to eat as soon as I wake up, so suhoor, being at 3:45 a.m. is a challenge.  I can only eat breakfast type foods, not leftover dinner and no, I never had pizza for breakfast.  

To those observing their fasts, I pray Allah accepts it from us.  To those struggling to observe, I pray Allah rewards your intentions and makes it easier for you.  To those who have no idea what I am talking about, feel free to ask questions and God bless!

Post-Anxiety Musings

So I had an anxiety attack on Monday.  Such is the case with me, there was really no trigger that I am aware of.  Sure a few things could have aided in pushing me to the ledge, but no ONE thing I can put my finger on.  

I spent the morning struggling to keep myself from falling off the ledge and in retrospect I seriously wonder if the struggle was worth it.   I reached out to one of my pillars (my eldest daughter who has the unfortunate inherited gene of anxiety disorder but the wherewithal to understand the disorder far better than I do). By midday, I felt I was under control again, although I was exhausted.  I finished my day at work, and went home.

The next morning I continued listening to my lectures on mindfulness and understanding how to have compassion for one’s self and the egocentric effects of perfectionism.   (Both hitting home as I am overflowing with compassion for others and next to none for myself while all the time beating myself up for never being good enough).  I turned it off as I began to feel weepy.  It was shortly after that that I first heard of the senseless terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in the U.K.  That was it…  I was overwhelmed with sadness and darkness.  How can anyone want to live in his hate-filled world.   This was not an anxiety attack anymore, it was the deep dark pit of depression hell.  The post-anxiety reality.

For days, I couldn’t muster enthusiasm.  I wanted to sleep all the time and as a matter of fact, I would become so overwhelmed with exhaustion, my eyes would not stay open.   My brain felt like it was scrambled.  The sensation was something like I have never experienced.  It was like my head was a watermelon and the pulp, my brain, had been scooped out, purĂ©ed and poured back in.  If I sneezed or coughed, it literally felt sloshy.  Oh and the inability to form sentences.  Well I could form them in my head, but the words got caught in my teeth.  Simple everyday functions like remembering to turn off the water or how to use my computer mouse were difficult.  Colors were dulled.  Tastes were bland.  I had tightness in my chest and arm.

Why do I feel the need to blog about this…well, now that I know what I have I am forever on a quest to understand it.  I took “mindful” notice of the after-effects of the anxiety.   To quote the lecturer, I allowed the feelings to “arise and fall away” – although that didn’t happen in a matter of seconds, minutes or even hours.  This feelings hung around until Friday.   First my power to speak returned, then my focus and concentration (I regained the power to move my mouse), and then finally the exhaustion faded.  

Recognizing these post-anxiety musings does not make the fear of future anxiety attacks any less, nor does it make me feel like the next one will be any easier.  I still find it hard to find brightness or goodness in this world.  I know it is there and I know I will find it again.