Monday, September 22, 2014

Sometimes Foods- How to Tweak Your Diet for Optimal Nutrition and Taste

When we think about diet, nutrition, and healthy eating habits most of us know that we should eat more natural foods, and less fried sugary types of foods. That is really basic knowledge that most of us know is factual. We're taught that from a young age. Then why is it that it seems so hard to put into place?

I do think part of this is due to misconception of what the diet industry has taught us about low fat, and fat free foods. I think people have been generally mislead to believe that unhealthy foods are healthy. I also think that we become accustomed to eating certain foods, and our bodies, and minds crave these foods.

I think the other major part is food availability. Being able to access quality produce that one can afford is also a major concern. When I see big name TV shows, and celebs give meal advice it may as well be in another language. I know for a fact that my family cannot afford to eat the way they are suggesting. It feels impossible to me even hearing it. It seems that no one ever considers that maybe not all of us can afford to buy that much produce, and other pricey items. It can be off putting for people living in poverty that need to eat better for their health.

I have heard from numerous sources that our bodies get accustomed to certain foods. Eating a lot of processed foods will dull our taste buds to anything that is not packed with preservatives, and sodium. Anything that has less salt than a Dorito chip may render not as tasty to our tongue as a result of eating too many similar items. This leads to most of us craving foods that we know aren't very healthy, because the rest taste so bland. It feels like a chore to choke down fruits, and vegetables.That is why many, many diets fail. The dieter feels like they're being punished by having to live in a world of bland food, and they decide that being overweight really isn't that bad compared to eating like that every day forever.

The good news is that you can reprogram your brain somewhat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Damage @TheDrPhilShow Has Done

I don't watch daytime TV, nor do I get involved in large social issues that typically involve choosing opposing sides, so I learned of the interview on Dr. Phil's show in the 11th hour yesterday.

I am still sitting here this morning in a shock, even though I did not watch it. I caught a few glimpses. I read things from others who saw it, and I followed the event a little on Twitter.

This shock is one that I find myself in when I can't understand a social way of doing things. It's one that I can't shake, because I can't make sense of it. Not only did that interview upset me,  (I am not even going to use her name here. She doesn't deserve to have her name in print giving it anymore attention.) but I saw a string of other articles yesterday (that I am also not gonna go search out, and share here) about abusive caretakers, and residential homes harming, abusing, and killing autistic residents.

My brain loops in confusion, and profound sadness.

I cannot make sense of why this is allowed to happen. Why is someone who tried to kill their child getting so much publicity? Why are they granted interviews with influential TV hosts before they are even sentenced? While she sits in jail accused of a heinous crime the spotlight shines on her struggles. This is not justice. This is not right. My mind trips on the fact that socially this is influencing people.

Then the fear sets in.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

6 Week Milestone!

Last Tuesday was my 6 week mark from when I had a hysterectomy. I thought that since I did a pre-surgery post, and a one week post op post I would do a 6 week milestone post.

The doctor gave me the all clear for exercise, and other activities. He said I healed up well. I have been taking my return to normal activities very, very slowly. As I said in my last update post, I definitely did not get much of a reprieve from my regular duties around the house. My usual routine was most of the way in full effect by week two. My exercise routine was not. Neither was my ability to lift heavy things like the trash, cases of water at the store, and jumping on the trampoline with Beans.

I was pretty nauseous up to week 4. That is when I finally got my appetite back fully. I still needed ibuprofen for pain, and occasionally pain meds, too. My stomach was still pretty swollen, and I really felt a bit deflated emotionally between weeks 3 and 4, too.

Week five is when I began to feel much better. My swelling went down to reveal a much flatter stomach then what I had before the surgery, so I was pretty happy about that. I had no pain, and was feeling fine. The doctor said that my uterus was twice the size it is supposed to be, so I think without that in the way everything was moving along pretty well.

Week five is also when I decided to start back up on my exercising. I began with this video, which I did daily:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How To Make 5 Meals Using Only 1 Chicken

When I am really needing to be frugal for a week's worth of groceries one of the items that lands in my cart is a whole chicken. It takes a lot of time spent in the kitchen, but you can make a chicken last for up to 5 (sometimes 6, but that isn't always possible) meals on the cheap. When I am less inclined to take all of the fun out of a succulent roasted chicken my family loves I can make it last 2, or maybe even three meals. Chicken is also a lean meat that is healthy. Most things you can do with a roasted chicken doesn't involve a lot of things like frying it, and whatnot, so you end up with a frugal meal that is good for you, too.

I know many of these steps are what many would consider common knowledge, but I am being very detailed for those reading that don't have a lot of kitchen experience, and especially not a lot of budgeting experience. I remember being 18 on my own, and not having a clue how to stretch my money to last. I wish someone would have laid it out for me step by step.

So, how do I do it?

Step One:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Building Positive Interactions in the Classroom- Bubby goes to middle school

Tomorrow will be the one week marker of the start of school. This year was a big deal, because Bubby moved to middle school. I really had anticipated the worst. I thought for sure the teachers would be less than inclined to indulge him with all of this idiosyncrasies. I had anxiety filled thoughts of him being bullied, and crying. I tried not to think too much of it, but truth be told I was about a third ready to homeschool him. I really thought it might be that much of an ordeal.

To my utter shock it has been the total opposite.

I wanted to share an exchange that he had (told to me by his para) with his science teacher. It was the first, or second day of school, and they were coloring something. The teacher asked the class something related to the material they were studying.

Bubby's hand shot up, and she called on him.

Bubby: Does anyone tease your dog? (This is one of his special interests.)

Science Teacher: Well, we're talking about _________ right now, but I'd be happy to talk about my dog after class.

Immediately, Bubby starts to cry, and get worked up. Meltdown is pending. The para decided to let him be for a second, which I would agree with at that time. He needs some space to work through his upset at feeling criticized, and probably embarrassed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's Not a Choice #depression

There is this graphic that I see passed around the internet from Facebook to Twitter, and undoubtedly other areas of the net that I don't frequent. I can't find it at the moment, but it features a man on what looks like a bus with two opposing views. On the right side the man has a view of a gray, gloomy terrain. He is leaning against the window sullen, and despondent. On the left side the view is bright, cheerful, and sunny. The man looking out this side of the bus wears a happy disposition. The graphic states that we choose the view.

Every time I see this graphic I want to scream.

Being Me

One major change that I have been working on in my life is not caring what others think of me. It is not true that people on the spectrum don't care what other people think about us. I do care, and I know others that do, too. What I don't care about is impressing people with status symbols, like clothes, cars, and a big nice house, ect..

However, I very much care if someone thinks I am annoying, stupid, ugly, a bad mom, or a host of other negative personal attributes. Not knowing always how to read people, and how to gauge situations I have learned to cope by playing it safe, and not saying, or doing anything until I am 100% certain it is appropriate to the situation.

I have stopped doing that. Now, if I feel like saying or doing something I do it. I worry that others' will think less of me for doing so, but the truth is I have to be me. I am tired of painting myself in the corner just to blend in. I'm going to do what I want for a change.

Sure, maybe not everyone will like what I do, or say, but that's fine. One of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn (and to be honest I am still learning it) is that not everyone is going to like me, and I am not always going to like everyone else. It's the way it is. We're not all always going to get along.


What I have found so far is that the less I consume my mind with wondering what others are thinking of me the less I think negative things about others. I simply notice the differences between us, and that's all. I am taking things much less personal these days. It's true that people are still doing the same things that always have gotten under my skin, but it affects me less.

This new outlook has improved my life

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Recovering from a Hysterectomy in an Autistic Household

In my last post I talked about preparing for an upcoming hysterectomy.  It now has been a week, so I thought I'd do a little update. When I was recovering what I appreciated most was knowing what to expect in my recovery period. Especially the first week. I knew the vague details I had been told by the hospital, and read online, but I wanted to know a more day by day play of what others experiences were. I thought that I could write about mine so that other women might be able to learn something from it. Especially, those of us on the spectrum who need a lot of preparation ahead of time for things. Also, this might be helpful in terms of what to expect if you're a mother of children with special needs. This post is bound to be long-winded, and maybe boring to many. You've been warned!

Day 1- The Day of surgery.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Anxiety and Routine Change- preparing for surgery

About four months ago I posted an entry titled 'Could it Be Irritable Bowel Syndrome?' I have a major update to that post.

I did follow those steps for awhile, and my stomach did not feel better. As a matter of fact, some of my issues got even worse. Thankfully, I have obtained insurance (Thanks Obama!) to actually see a doctor about what to do next.

It took me several visits to finally get my regular doc to hear what I was saying. I think this is not due to her inadequacy, but more leaning towards my failure to communicate in ways people understand. I am still trying to work out why I am not able to typically get people to listen, and respond to me when I need something. In this instance, I finally wrote down all of my symptoms, and brought them with me to the office for my appointment. That got immediate results. Upon hearing all of my symptoms my doctor said it sounds like I have endomentriosis. She scheduled me for a appointment with an OBGYN.

At that appointment he concurred that it sounded like endo, and he quickly got me scheduled for a surgical  procedure called laproscopy that would take pictures of my reproductive organs to see if endometriosis, or anything else was present.

The results were that I did indeed have a fair amount of endo. scarring, and a condition known as adenomyosis, or enlarged uterus. These were definitely the cause of so much of my stomach distress, which has worsened considerably the last few months. The doctors all assured me the only cure is a hysterectomy. Without one, the problem would likely continue to worsen until menopause. I am several years away from that, so I have opted to get the hysterectomy.

Friday, July 25, 2014

What If He Isn't Ready for Potty Training?

A couple weeks ago I decided to delve into the whole potty training thing again with Beans. We've been trying for awhile, but I decided to really dedicate myself to the endeavor, and try a new technique.

It didn't go well.

All the usual familiar thoughts started going through my head. I worried that I had not tried hard enough, or that others would think that I hadn't. All those sorts of anxiety laced imaginings that catch up to me while I am laying in bed trying to sleep.

But, then I remembered that I am trying to be a better mom by being kind to myself. The happier I am with my decisions the happier of a mom I can be. If I am always looking to others to define my worth I can never be sure of how I feel, or who I am. I'll forever trying to reach an imaginary, unattainable standard. I stood up to those negative thoughts.

I began to ask myself some tough questions about whether I really thought that I did give it a good effort, and if my instinct was that he wasn't ready. I felt that my answers were genuine. Giving up the potty training for now is what is best for him. There has been so many other times where I listened to other people's ideas on what was best for my kids, and in the instance of developmental types of things I was rarely wrong. My instincts (much like most parent's) were almost always correct. There have been times where I deeply regret not listening to my instincts, and letting other's dictate the situation. Some of those times have greatly added to my children's anxiety, because I know the situation was too overwhelming for them at that time, or just the wrong fit.

I did begin to reassure myself about all the cool new leaps he's made lately. In the last year Beans has been able to do so many new things. His developmental progress is nothing to be upset about.

Let's have a look at all new skills Beans has acquired recently.