WEGO Health: Last Post of #HAWMC

>> Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 30: Create a word cloud (I used Wordle) with words I identify with in regards to my blog, interests, and/or health focus. Per my usual, I got wordy! I still could've narrowed this down but nah. :)

This was my last day participating in the Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge for 2012. A recap will follow, hopefully tomorrow.


WEGO Health: Six Sentence Story

>> Sunday, April 29, 2012

Today's challenge is micro-blogging. Write a story in six sentences. Here's mine.

My Health Focus: In a Nutshell

I started talking a lot about wanting to make changes in my health and diet but when faced with obvious opportunity and support, I sat on the couch and complained some more. But, then I agreed to make some small changes so I didn’t feel like I was getting jipped or feel like I was giving up my life for boringness. Changes are hard but many times necessary and worth it. Those little changes led to bigger changes and ones that I decided on without any encouragement because I was ready and wanting to make them. Little did I know at the time what favors I was doing my body; my body saying THANK YOU! I may still struggle with some changes nowadays but I know what the payoff is like and I am willing and ready to do what it takes to get there…for me.


WEGO Health: The First Time I...

>> Saturday, April 28, 2012

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Well, I mean during this challenge. Any normal month, skipping a few days+ is my norm. Anyway, back with a just-under-the-wire post.

I thought I’d make this post on something fun and non-health related; a flashback for you.

The first time I learned to drive a car. Well, I had a few “dry runs” with family members when I was 15-16 years old so I got the basics down but those times were usually in parking lots where no other cars were around. So it was fun but no real test. When it came down to getting serious about learning how to drive, well, that’s where it got interesting.

Driver’s Ed was part of my school’s curriculum, a semester’s worth. And depending on when your birthday fell, one quarter was on safety/drug and alcohol where you sat in a classroom and watched all the horror films and the other quarter was practicing all the necessary skills in the back parking lot before going out on the road.

Oh, and because this was part of the curriculum, the school had their own fleet of fancy cars. Ford LTDs. Ah yeah. Nothing like driving a big brown boat. Demolition derby is all I could think of.


Apparently lots of kids had fall birthdays so the school had to get creative with scheduling to fit everyone in. My birthday is in October, which meant I was one of the first.

So like I said, they had to get creative. Instead of learning/practicing in the back lot before going out on the road, I was put out on the road first. ::deer in headlights::


I think there were three times of going out on the road in the big boat. What I didn’t realize is the big ol’ cars were modified so that the driver’s ed teacher, who sat in the front passenger seat (there were other students in the back seat), had brake pedals. At least, not until I drove.

I knew the basics of driving but there were a couple of things I hadn’t mastered. One was using my right foot for both the gas and brake pedals. At home, our cars were stick, which I never mastered either, so there’s that dang left foot and the school’s cars were all automatic. And the other, was speed control. I drove either way too slow or way too fast. So we went out cruising around, er, I mean practicing. I was so nervous and paranoid about staying in my lane or not getting too close to the car in front of me that I rarely looked at my gauges. Yeah, I was speeding a lot!

I can’t remember if we were on the freeway or just about town but I was apparently speeding. I’m sure my teacher warned me verbally about slowing down but then would slow down too much. I do remember him telling me to stop using my left foot to brake (ugh! I never practiced with an automatic before). Anyway, I was speeding too often and then I began to notice the car doing “funny things.” Remember, he had pedals that I was unaware of.

We’re going around and I’d go to brake but the car would slow down before I even touched the pedal. This happened several times. The teach, finally noticing my perplexed face, said he’s been slowing me down with his brake pedal. Click. The light went on in my head.

Well, I finally “mastered” it, sorta, enough to pass the class and get my license anyway. But I still had issues with speed control for awhile. In fact, there’s another first time I got pulled over story but I’ll save that for another time.


Thoughtful Thursday

>> Thursday, April 26, 2012



WEGO Health: Day 24

>> Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hello! I missed participating in the writing challenge yesterday. I was just too busy to get something posted in time. Today’s topic is giving myself/condition/health focus a mascot. Hmm, well, all I can think of is a giant sneaker and that just doesn’t seem right or cool so…PASS! Yesterday’s topic was writer’s choice; I’m going to use that today instead.

Did you observe Earth Day this past Sunday? Hopefully, we all do something every day to help our beautiful earth and not just once a year. My daily contributions are going for walks, using public transportation, recycling, gardening, using eco-friendly or homemade household products, etc.

We did get out and enjoy the warm, beautiful weather this weekend, including walks/bike rides. However, on Sunday, we got stuck in traffic (appropriate for earth day dontcha think?) trying to go to the Tulip Festival. Everyone else seemed to have the same idea so we bagged it for another day (or year -- ends Monday).

Sam and I did some transplanting of the many pepper plants. Unfortunately, we didn’t go the eco-friendly route like we did with the tomatoes. I know, horrors. But the eco-pots he made turned into an interesting experiment that will require further tweaking. So the pepper plants were transferred to picnic party cups.

Here’s what we discovered:

The brown paper pots are very organic we learned. This is good! Unfortunately, due to lack of space and their need for breathing room all the way around (not just the exposed leaves), white powdery mildew developed. There was constant spraying of neem oil to combat that problem. There are other organic, homemade solutions, too. So unless you have lots of space indoors or a greenhouse, this may not be the best option to start seedlings.

The newspaper pots have toxic ink, however, since we already had some seedlings in some of them we left them there. Figured since it’s a temporary home it’d be okay this time but going forward we wouldn’t use them for edibles. They, too, were a bit crowded but they showed zero signs of white powdery mildew so maybe the toxic ink was enough to keep mold at bay?? Weird.

Like the newspaper pots, we had some plastic cups in use and wouldn’t you know? They did the best. These look like they’d be the least eco-friendly here but the thought is they might actually be better than the newspaper pots. Anyone’s guess really. Didn’t have to worry about crowding with the cups. The plants grew healthy and strong.

I still want to go more eco next year but we have to figure out space issues so enough air gets to all the plants/pots (we had a fan, which helped, but not enough) or find another alternative that’s not too expensive.

We had so many tomato plants that Sam took a lot of them to the garden to give away, which were gladly accepted. We’ll have a bunch of pepper plants to give away in due time.

Our spring weather has actually been awesome (for the most part) that we’re very hopeful for the summer. In fact, we’re more than a month ahead than last year. Our garden is just about ready for planting.

So that’s our garden update. We’re not as eco-friendly as we wanted but there’s still potential to work it all out.

And a side note or an update of the other 5K I wanted to enter. It was sold out but they were opening up registration again (marketing ploy?) on Monday at 9 AM! Well, at 9:24 when I went to register (I know, 24 mins late!) it was sold out again. Grr…so I give up. Yeah, I could wait for them to tease me again about spots opening up or show up day of the race but now the fee is up to $55 and for a 5K that’s ridickio.

Well, my friends. Thanks for reading.



WEGO Health: The Things We Forget

>> Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm sure I'm not alone in that there are some things we forget, either to do, to say, or to make, etc. It's easy to do when priorities shift minute to minute or we (I) get distracted by other trivial things.

So today's HAWMC topic is to create your own reminders and post them somewhere visible to read each day.

Thanks to Elizabeth at Allergy Free and Cheap Like Me for sharing a link to the Superstickies, where I was able to create my reminders below. Plus, the ones she shares are awesome. I second all of them!

I stay way up too late so this would be posted at my computer.

2012 is my year of transformation and self-improvement

reminder to keep walking or exercising
this would go right on my mirror!


WEGO Health: Day 20

>> Friday, April 20, 2012

Today’s WEGO Health writing challenge prompt is writing a news-style article on a miracle cure. I don’t think I’d be good at this one because I’d want a miracle cure for everything and everyone.  It’s hard to be selective with something like this, although, I do have some things in mind…

So I’m skipping today’s prompt (because I can) and doing a post that I’d like to share instead. A Heidi-style post to put it simply. A post where I ramble on about this and that from the week and pics I’d like to share (even if they’re not the best; some of you might’ve seen these via twitter or instagram). It’s how I roll.

So, here we go.

In six 13 days (I am such a dork! I skipped a whole week that I thought Caleb's birthday was next week but it's the week after...my mind...where did it go?), my little munchkin will be THREE! I’m sitting here crying thinking about it. Where has the time gone?! Seriously. Sigh…I love him so much and it truly has been a dream every.single.day with him. But I want to tell him to stop growing so fast!

Look at those curls…can you believe we’re considering cutting them?! He’s never had a haircut except for a bang trim here and there (baby mullet in the works – tee hee) but we’ve purposely waited till now to get his first-official haircut. While we haven’t done it yet, we’re thinking it’s time and I’m nervous because I heart those curls so much.

And as you can see, YS2 and I are still walking in the ‘hood. Spotting lovely things here and there such as this trio of turtles. There were more swimming in the water or hanging out on other branches.

And I love magnolia trees. Dogwoods, too, but here’s a magnolia warming up.

I just learned yesterday that the other 5K I was interested in entering but was sold out has some spots opening up starting next week. As soon as registration opens again, I’m on it! I’ll keep you posted.

Eating has been good this week with yummy green superfood smoothies and delicious, yet simple lunches via my tiffin.

green and brown makes for an ugly-looking smoothie

I didn't have any clean mason jars so I drank this straight from the carafe. This smoothie gave me some much needed energy! It had fresh kale (just a few leaves w/stems), spirulina, cacao, my beloved peanut butter, coconut butter, maca, mesquite, coconut milk, ½ a vanilla bean, a few almonds and sacha inchi seeds and bananas. A mostly raw smoothie.

Lunches usually consist of salad and/or fresh fruit with a sandwich (typically peanut butter because I love pb and I’m still a kid sometimes) or salsa and beans and chips (I could eat that just about everyday). Yum!

That little jar with the white lid is my salad dressing. Don’t like soggy greens.

Now, mentally I’m feeling a little ambitious about making some raw food this weekend in the dehydrator. Something fun and tasty I hope. Need some new snacks and such for the week. Let's hope physically I will follow through.

Earth Day is Sunday and blogger isn't letting me preview this post. I'm about to hit publish so I hope it's okay.

Hope your weekend is off to a great start! We’ve had rain off and on all week but they’re saying nice weather this weekend. I’ll take that. I just hope they’re right!


WEGO Health: Dinner Guests

>> Thursday, April 19, 2012

I’m keeping this simple today so here’s my list:
  1. Sam, my husband. What can I say? He’s my best friend so of course I want him there!
  2. Caleb, my son. He’s great and fun company.
  3. Joel, my brother. I haven’t seen him in a while (he lives in another state) and I miss him. He laughs at everything!
  4. My great aunt Hulda. She died many years ago but she was a wonderful, thoughtful woman and was more like a grandma to me (I grew up without g’parents).
  5. Albert Einstein. I used to have his pic in my high school locker. Ha ha! Such a nerd.
I thought about splitting this out into various groups of people I’d love to dine with, such as loved ones (replace Albert on my list above), the famous or notables, the bloggers, and so on. But simplicity rules today.

The end. J


Thoughtful Thursday

Earth Day -- Sunday, April 22nd


WEGO Health: Open a Book...

>> Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 18: Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today.

From The Hunger Games:

I want to run away. Disappear into the woods like I did that day they brought the burn victim to our house. Go and hunt while my mother and Prim attend to what I have neither the skill nor the courage to face. But there’s no one here but me. I try to capture the calm demeanor my mother assumes when handling particularly bad cases.

Putting aside the actual story here (have you read it or the series, btw?), what I glean from this paragraph are the times we’re faced with something we don’t want to, especially when there’s no one else around to rely on.


Oh, how many times I’ve wanted to stick my head in the sand or run away too. Sometimes I do turn the other way and pretend to not notice and continue to live in my happy bubble. Other times, I’m a bull and those in my way had better watch out!

I wish I always had the courage and the know-how for each difficulty I’m faced with and not be an ostrich (I know, don’t we all??). I don’t like to disrupt my world and deal with the ____ (aftermath, consequences, embarrassment, questions, chaos, loss, etc.). But I know, even the “brave” people have their moments too.

One time though, I did go through a dark period in my life -- darkest days experienced. Thankfully, I had one special person holding my hand through it all but aside from that person, I had NO ONE. I couldn’t run away even if I tried, let alone bury my head in the sand. It was tough asking for help from others only to get a kick in the ass instead. A kick-you-when-you’re-down sort of thing. To this day, I still don’t understand why things happened the way they did but I learned so much from it all and realized I’m strong enough to rise above and be happier and more solid than before.


I think one of the reasons we tend to run away from things (besides not wanting to deal with it) is we just need some extra moments to gather the courage or have a game plan to tackle our challenges. Life is a learn-as-you-go, gaining experience, skills and courage, for that matter.

Even when it comes to changing your eating habits or adopting a healthier regime can take courage and definitely needs some pre-planning in order to do it right, safely, and successfully.

For many in the raw food community (and vegan/vegetarian), they’ve had to have the courage or the confidence to deal with those who think they’re being weird (beyond health reasons). The questions, the looks, the “tsk tsks” or whatever. Why is that anyway? It goes for both sides, though. I think everyone should be understanding and respectful of each other’s choices and if you don’t like it, move on; it’s not your life to judge.

But anyway, it takes courage to be different, to keep doing what is best for you and to face challenges head on. It’s funny how we’re encouraged to be different but knocked down when we are. I respect those who do in spite of that. I applaud those who take their health (and their children’s) seriously, follow their intuition, and do what is best by doing the research and asking questions and keep at it.


We all have reasons to run away from things or to pass it off to someone else but when we buck up (or as others say, put your big girl panties on) and deal with it we realize how strong and knowledgeable we really are. We fumble still but there’s nothing like taking charge of ____ (your life, situation, challenge, health, etc.) and seeing the results or making things happen.


WEGO Health: I Learned the Hard Way

>> Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Prior to exploring a healthy journey, I was overweight (big surprise! /sarcasm). Not obese but definitely way out of shape. Huff n’ puff.

I didn’t suffer from many health problems as a result. I was lucky. However, I did have one ailment:  plantar fasciitis.


I’d wake up each morning with one and eventually, both feet, aching until I was able to stretch them for awhile or put pressure on them, but even then they’d still be tender. I’d feel it in my heels all the time. I couldn’t figure it out until I mentioned it to my doctor. She thought plantar fasciitis but referred me to a specialist. The foot doctor confirmed her thought.

Now, a perfectly fit person, most often a runner, can develop plantar fasciitis because of the abuse their feet take. Well, we all know I was in no way running (ha!) or exercising much so that wasn’t the reason I was experiencing it. It was all due to weight and probably cheap flip flops. My poor aching feet!

It was worse in my right foot and less so with the left but it was well on its way to catching up. The foot doc worked with me and gave me a list of stretches and other suggestions for relieving pain. But I also had to be fitted for orthotics and a BOOT!

Ugh, how embarrassing. Not that anyone would know I had orthotics unless I told them and the boot was to be worn at home or in bed (how romantic). I was embarrassed because I came face to face with my problem and had to admit it.

So I slept with the boot nightly. It did help alleviate the pain keeping my foot flexed and the orthotics took time to get used to but they helped as well. I had to wear my tennies a lot.

Sometime after though, we began eating raw foods and eliminating processed and inflammatory foods. Eventually, the pain lessened and I didn’t need the boot or orthotics anymore. I didn’t make the association right away but later it dawned on me that eating healthy, losing weight and being more active (so much easier to do when not overweight, huffin’ n’ puffin’) all helped in fully recovering from plantar fasciitis. Yippee!

That was a lesson learned the hard way that everything we do to our bodies, inside and out, can greatly affect how it performs. And the choices I made prior affected me in a painful way. I’m fortunate that this was the worst of my issues for being overweight. Some aren’t so lucky.

Since the birth of YS2, I have gained weight but I’m hopeful that with my knowledge, past experience, and motivating factors I will get back to where I need/want to be and stay there. I don’t want a repeat performance of plantar fasciitis or worse. I keep reminding myself of this so I keep going and it’s one of the reasons why I’m back to exercising and eating whole foods. I’m not there yet but I am moving forward and less backwards. I’m also pain-free so I have no excuse to not keep moving.


WEGO Health: My Health Focus Pinboard

>> Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 16 of HAWMC/WEGO Health. Today’s exercise or challenge is to create a pinboard for my health focus and pin three things. Easy! Except, I pinned four things because I’m a rebel that way.

The first image I think is self-explanatory. I was blessed with a healthy body. It’s not perfect and it never will be but I have a responsibility to myself and my family to take care of it best I can. I don’t want to wake up one day and say, “I wish I did…”

Walking: this is my current form of exercise. Not bad at all I say! I don’t have to be a marathon runner or be able to lift 350 pounds to be considered healthy and/or fit. Walking is enjoyable and something I don’t have to think about as exercise. Plus, it's free and eco-friendly. Going to a gym to workout isn’t my idea of a good time -- not to say I wouldn’t ever go or it doesn’t have its many benefits, it’s just not as fun to me as going for a walk in the great outdoors, granted the weather cooperates. Ha! Anyway, seeing this graphic reminds me I’m doing something good for my body.

This pic reminds me that a scale is just a number. We are bombarded by what the media deems as normal and attractive, fit and healthy. But, we know better right? Or need reminders every so often. Muscle weighs more than fat so in my quest to get healthy I do not need to concern myself what the scale says so much.

Now, I’m not a runner and tend to have a strong dislike for it. But there is a part of me that wants to like it. So, for my first 5K I don’t plan on running as this will be a family-affair. My goal, based on this helpful plan, is to work up to running in a 5K someday and see if I will like it. I’m all about baby steps and this seems like something I could handle.

So there you go…my health focus pinboard. I’m working at doing my best each day and so far, I’ve been doing great and feeling good. Walking wasn’t difficult to start but I can really tell I’ve improved which is motivating me to keep going.

maybe this should read: keep GOING!


WEGO Health: Writing with Style

>> Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wow, I made it to day 15 of my writing challenge! And it's tax day! Well, technically, this year it's April 17th. We finally did our taxes this week. Not sure what took us so long but whatever, they're done. Always glad when we get some money back.

Anyway, today's topic: my writing style. An interesting topic and not one I've ever thought much of until now.

I think of my style as pretty casual, easy going and happy. I don't like to be negative so I try to be more upbeat and positive with my content. Also, I try to follow the proper grammar and punctuation rules but I'm not strict about them either, in case that wasn't obvious. I know I've had my fair share of sloppy writing but I try to proof before publishing. The exception was my ramble post (thanks for your support on that, btw). Grammar and punctuation aren't as important to me as spelling. When it comes to texting and comments though, not so much but in my posts I want to have correct spelling. Not perfect there either but definitely try harder over any other rules.

For the most part, words flow. Since I typically don't blog everyday it's easy for me to sit down when I want and write what's on my mind or I have topics already in mind. Sometimes I'll have lots of topics in mind that I need to write them down in a list. I carry a little notebook with me for such cases or use a note app on my phone. Thankfully, for this challenge I was provided with prompts (which we don't have to use) otherwise, I would be stuck thinking of something everyday.

Most of the time, I type my posts out in Word. I'll get most of it written out how I like it then copy and paste it into blogger. Then I add in the various links and pics. Of course, this is where a lot more editing happens. On occasion, like right now, I'll just jump right into blogger and start typing. It's rare I'd ever handwrite a blog post beforehand. Not sure that's ever happened.

I sometimes plan posts but my more normal style is to write in the moment. If I have a lot of topics in mind I'll get a jump on them and plan them out. I started this challenge writing posts in advance but then they caught up and now I'm in the moment.

As for title first or last...well, that depends. Sometimes, I just need to start writing before thinking about the title and then other times, I try to get creative with the title and go from there. It's happened many times before where I have completely forgotten the title altogether or add it after I've hit publish.

Where do I write best? Well, I guess right here at my desk. I tend to stay more focused. Or I just feel most comfortable.

Well, there you go. The behind the scenes look at how I write posts. It was interesting to think about it, anyway.

Enjoy your Sunday!


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