Saturday, October 29, 2011


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley

I am finally watching the movie Invictus.  It is long overdue, but I rarely get opportunity for movies.  This movie was worth watching just to see this poem.

I wish I had heard it earlier in life, although this has been my mantra without ever having heard it.  Words are powerful, and I have been influenced by other words that have gotten me through difficult times.  

I am no Nelson Mandela, nor do I compare my life to his, but we each have our struggles, and words can lift us, or drown us.  Wherever we find them, how they touch us, may be different for everyone, but we are all influenced in some way by the words we hear.

I hope you find words that can lift you.  Words to live by.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011



Saturday, September 3, 2011

Food Allergies

In July, I did a cleanse.  It was a three-week program based on the book Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger.

It's a gentle cleanse, which is why it was three weeks instead of one.  It is designed to eliminate all allergen possible foods, and simplify the diet to give the body time to detox while still providing enough nutrients and sustenance to operate on a daily basis without feeling completely depleted.

I've tried other cleansing diets in the past, most with the intention of losing weight more than detox.  This was the first time I just wanted to feel good for a while.

It was enlightening.  Some of the other diets I've tried have shown me that I do have sensitivity to certain foods.  This one completely eliminated them all, and allowed me time to experience what my body feels and looks like when it is isn't reacting.

My problem is that there are some foods I have a stronger reaction to than others, and some that I can't really identify.  Most of the reactions are mild, generally bloating, mild discomfort, or gas.  Some come with a more intense pain, along with those other symptoms.

And that's the thing.  What the difference between an allergy and being sensitive or having reactions?  Is it just a milder allergy?  Or is it something less?  "Allergy" seems to be a wildly overused term.

The one thing I have identified for sure is that I am sensitive to gluten.  Gluten can cause intense pain now that I've been avoiding it for a while.  It can feel like I've eaten ground glass in some cases.  And I feel that pain through the entire passage through my body.

Sweets give me migraines, but since I don't have much of a sweet tooth, that is much easier to avoid.

I also seem to be sensitive to dairy.  At least, I get bloating, gas, mild discomfort from it.  I thought for a minute that I might be able to substitute goat's milk or sheep's milk cheese for the real thing, but I think that might not agree with me either.  There are some very tasty goat and sheep's milk alternatives.  And they are plentiful in my area.  I'll have to try this experiment again and see if the reaction is to one or the other or both.

And therein lies my problem.  If I eat "clean" for a few days, I feel amazing.  By clean, I mean fish or poultry, veggies, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fruit.  That's about the extent of it.  Then I add in something and see if I get a reaction.  If I do, it is almost immediate, so it's easy to tell.  The problem is it then takes at least two days of eating clean to get it out of my system and back to feeling right.  Therefore, the process of finding out these foods is tedious and long.

Besides the fact that I sometimes just eat whatever because I want to (like today).  Or when I am trying to eat well, and don't pay attention to ingredients.  This happens most often when eating out.  I order sautéed fish or chicken, and although it's described as not being "breaded" they do still coat it with flour before sautéing.  Those kinds of things slip me up.

I find it easier to eat well when I'm home and surrounded by good foods.  It is harder when out.   I love to eat.  I will gladly choose a healthier option when given the choice, but it gets tricky when everything on the menu has something in it that I know is going to bother me.  I'm much more inclined to just forget it and eat whatever.

I'm still in the learning process, and it is getting easier to recognize with practice, but this is difficult!  

Sunday, July 31, 2011

An assignment to write my eulogy...

Dear Friends, I want to tell you how I lived an extraordinary life, and became a person that could hold her head high.

You see, my story didn’t start strong, although I did have advantages.  I was born into a large family with an abusive parent.  Although she used whatever methods she could, her strongest was her wit.  She left no opportunity to cut and demoralize untouched.

However, I had her same wit, and decided early that I wouldn’t let her words touch me.  Yes, it was a journey, but anything worth doing is a process that takes time.

I learned, over time, to listen to my own inner voice to decide what was truth.

With age came conviction, and values, and even a little wisdom.  I wasted a lot of time in depression, but with each recovery I was stronger.

I have learned that I am strong, and that strength is not common.  I have learned to lend my strength to protect and nurture those I love in whatever ways necessary.

I have learned that loyalty and friendship was a skill that must be learned.  These were traits that were important to me, and I can say with conviction that I am a loyal friend, loyal to a fault at times.  Those that I love can count on me for anything.  I would gladly risk my very self for the ones that have earned my loyalty.

I have learned that love is a decision.  Emotions come and go, and are as fleeting as the breeze.  But once a decision is made it can withstand a hurricane if conviction lies behind the decision.

I have learned that decisions are hard, but that I can make sound decisions with knowledge, information, and logic.  If my information is faulty when the decision was made, then I cannot regret the decision because it was made with the best information I had at the time.  In this way I can stand strong in my decisions, but be flexible enough to change them, if new information convinces me otherwise.

I have learned that all that I have is my word, and to treat it as an unbreakable bond.  If my word cannot be trusted, I have nothing.

I have learned that money is power, and with money come options.  Money in and of itself is merely a tool and not inherently evil.  The choices made in the pursuit of money and power may be evil, however, the pursuit itself is not.  I have learned that I do have a line I am not willing to cross, and I have learned that I am content with my ambition.

I have learned that I can get by with nothing, but I prefer not to.

I have learned that I am happiest when I feel worthwhile, and that I feel worthwhile when I am using my skills and my brain to their fullest capacity.

I have learned that I do not want to go through life carefully, saving up for later.  I would rather come to the end of my life fully used up and without regret.  I have learned that living for the future or dwelling in the past means only that I’m missing the present, and the present is all I really have.

I have tried everything at least once.  I have loved and lost.  I have friends that would do more for me than I could ever ask, and more of them than I ever thought possible for someone like me.  I have lived honestly and without regret. 

I have achieved more than I thought possible and less than I could have, which only serves to keep me striving and to not fall into complacency.

I have nothing outwardly to show for my life, but I have grown into a strong, ambitious, confident woman who can enjoy the moment.  

I am proud of my strength.  I am proud of my honesty, although it is not always perfect.  I am proud of my self-sufficiency, although I am learning to allow help when it is needed.  I am proud of the ambition that keeps me pushing myself to learn new skills and find ways to use them.  I am proud of the fact that I would willingly lay down my life for a friend, and thus I have learned love.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Recovering Malcontent

I visited my poor lonely blog tonight, considered writing about my trip to New York, and ended up reading the caption under the title.

"My blog started as a means to vent about all the things that annoy me, or about which I was "malcontent".  However, sometime during the process, I decided that I would be better served by taking a more positive outlook, and looking for ways I could make change to create positive results.  Thus, I am in recovery."

I guess the recovery worked, and I find myself content.  Unfortunately, content means fewer circumstances that rile me, and thus fewer rants, which leads to less writing.  So much for blogging.

I could turn my blog into a journal, but I was never fond of journalling.   There is too much pressure in it.  I know that a journal, faithfully kept, gives a clarifying depiction of events when reviewed through the lens of time.  However, the commitment of time required to actively journal makes me tired before I even begin.

I do try to write about notable events.  And my trip to New York does bear chronicling.  Hopefully I'll get to it soon, before I forget all of the details.  It was a wonderfully fabulous trip, that was a gift from my husband for my 40th birthday.  It was definitely a birthday to remember.

It would be cool to write about my transition to healthy eating.  It has been a long journey, and I haven't yet reached my goal, but it is shocking to see how far I've come.  I never thought I'd ever be anything but a meat & potatoes kind of eater.  It's crazy what a little education will do for a person.

I can't quite say goodbye to my blog, although it is looking a little lonely.   I will come back to it....when the time is right.  Wait for me.