Tag Archive | health

Health Apps

Last year, I bought Zombies, Run!. Wait, two years ago? Whatever. I may have mentioned it before, because I am in love with and obsessed by it. It’s an app that tells a story interspersed with your music during your run (or walk). You can also turn on zombie attacks which forces you to “sprint” at various points or be eaten by zombies. And by sprint, I mean run for your life because the fake zombies are totally after you for realz! You also don’t need to run with it. Theoretically, you could walk with a fast walk or lame, limping jog during the zombie attacks and still have it work. There are two seasons and a Couch to 5K version. I’m towards the end of the first season (which is really sad if I really bought this 2 years ago), and as soon as winter is over, I can hopefully run outside again (or just run at all) and finish the story. I’m dying to know what will happen.

As I’ve mentioned, I can’t run right now with my knee. I did get to run a couple weeks ago in a special machine that supported 30% of my weight. It was awesome, but not something I can do again. I need to strengthen my knee a lot more before running is fully allowed. And the non-runner in me died when I realized how much I miss it. Fortunately, the makers of Zombies, Run! made a walking app that doesn’t require GPS! It’s called The Walk. Like Zombies, Run! it is based on a story. Unlike Zombies, the story is not playing as you walk, but rather you open up story items that you can listen to later (unless there is a setting I haven’t found that allows listening to the story as I go). Also, there is no sprinting portion where you have to go faster or be killed. It’s really a pedometer of sorts that tracks how long you are walking and updates the internal map. The Husband plays it while running and, according to the FAQs, you can use it on the elliptical or for any other repetitive exercise that it can track. The goal of each chapter is to unlock story pieces and win categories (found all items, within 24 hours, and no breaks over 3 hours). It makes me want to get out (or into the Y) to walk so I can know what is going on. I’ve walked 8 episodes (some twice to win each category) and 3 challenges after maybe three weeks of playing. And I may have been known to walk around the first floor of my house for 10 minutes just to finish a chapter, but don’t tell anyone. It’s truly addicting and there had better be a second season soon.


I’m sneezing

Happy New Year, um, 22 days ago! I spent the last 10 seconds of 2013 yelling that I had a knot in my yarn and I can’t start the new year with a knot! We’ll see if tangled yarn is an omen to how the year will go. I’ve only knit once since the new year. Hopefully, if it is an omen, it’s not knitting related. Really, I just need to get a simple project on the needles. Maybe tomorrow.

Classes started on Tuesday. The 8am class was cancelled due to the professor’s sickness (yay for me!). The second class and related lab were not (boo!). The second class was food science and it looks…daunting, but don’t they all?

We are all sick right now. I think it’s a cold, but there are a lot of sniffles and coughing over this way. Don’t come near us or you risk contamination. The down-side of being sick is that I couldn’t do my volunteer work today. For my degree, I need to volunteer 24 hours in some sort of nutrition/food area. I’ve been volunteering with a woman who teaches various nutrition classes, and it has been really fun. The last few classes were how to eat with diabetes. I was cooking for the classes, but couldn’t today because I am sick. I don’t want give someone norovirus, not that I have norovirus, but still.

I’ve been finding the class interesting for two reasons. First, I learned was that I love cooking for people and showing them how to eat healthy food that also tastes good. When I’m looking for experience and jobs, I need to keep that in mind.

The second thing I found interesting is how applicable one of the concepts was to life. Hold on, it’s going to get cheesy and preachy for a bit. One of the questions asked by the nutritionist is, “Can you drink OJ?” The attendees said, no. However, the reality is yes, you can drink OJ, but you need to keep it within limits and adjust other parts of your meal. Wait, let me stop a second. I am not yet a dietitian or even a nutritionist. I am a student. I am talking about what they said in a research-based class. I’m not going to argue what your doctor, mother, crunchy friend, etc. has told you. If you want more information about this topic, see a REGISTERED DIETITIAN or diabetes-certified dietition. I discovered in class that if you have diabetes, your insurance usually will cover a visit or two to a dietitian.

Anyway, so, per the research-based class, you can have OJ. How? Well, at meals a diabetic should get roughly 45-60 grams of carbs per meal (AGAIN, SEE A REGISTERED DIETITIAN FOR SOMETHING SPECIFIC TO YOU OR MORE SPECIFIC IN GENERAL). So a 1/2 cup of OJ is 15 g of carbs, if I remember correctly. That means, you can have a 1/2 cup OJ and still be within your limit. If you like a large glass of OJ and a big bowl of cereal and milk (milk has carbs), then, you need to figure out a compromise and adjust accordingly. Maybe cut down the size of your cereal so you are within limits, keep the OJ small, or replace the cereal with eggs or something less carb-laden. Simple, right? However, listening to the teacher talk about compromising on food, hit home for every day things. In life, you need to make compromises. If I want to exercise daily, I need to let go of getting a perfect grade on a project or stop worrying about cleaning everything. If I want to spend time with my family, then I need to pull back on work or extra-curricular activities. If you don’t want to kill yourself, you need to figure out what you can live with. It’s something I always knew, but when the teacher said it, I finally understood. Now, we’ll see if I can remember it.

Oy Part II

A couple days ago I regaled you with the latest illness. Did you think that was the end of it? That laryngitis was the last? In fact, it wasn’t. I know, right? I woke up a few times during Wednesday night with my right eye feeling very weird. That’s right, pink eye. I knew it as I tossed and turned and when I woke up, my eye was caked over.

At the doctor to confirm my goopy eye, the Doctor told me I also had a sinus infection. THEN, Friday morning I woke up with pink eye in my left eye. Oy, indeed.

I’d love to say that I knit like crazy while I was home sick, but I didn’t. I did home work and watched a ton of How I Met Your Mother. I am almost done with a pair of socks, though. Yay, me. I’m going stir crazy. I think a visit to a yarn shop is in order. Of course, I can’t buy any yarn, but I can smell and fondle it.


And we are sick again. Of course. Why would the universe want me to get in exercise for more than one week at a time? Or you know, clean?

It’s a weird cold or something, and we all have it in different stages. OP is pretty much done, I’m about half through (I think), and the Husband is starting. The last illness I had, like 2 weeks ago, turned into bronchitis. This one? Laryngitis. I’m afraid of what the next illness will bring. Alzheimer’s? Cancer? Explosive diarrhea? You know it’s a classy blog, when they reference explosive diarrhea.

Holy crap, laryngitis sucks, and I think it’s my fault.

I mean, yes, it’s my fault. I taught a training class which meant speaking for 1 1/2 hours with a mild cold and my larynx decided it was done. I get that, but that’s not why it’s my fault. It’s my fault because when I was a stupid kid (probably an angsty tween), I had a friend who had laryngitis. And I thought it would be so cool to have it. That’s right, I thought it would be cool to have laryngitis. I thought it would be cool to mime everything I need to say. I thought it would be cool to hiccup like a mouse on helium. I’m sure karma rubbed her palms together while laughing maniacally thinking “Oh you will, child. You will.”

Karma waited years and when my crime was so heinous, ZAP! I never realized how much I talk on a general basis. Yeah, all you people who know me in real life, stop shaking your heads and laughing. When I get my voice back, I’m talking 3 times more often. It is so frustrating to have to type out everything you want to say. The few signs I know help, and the Husband is very good at guessing my pantomime. It has definitely given me a even bigger respect for anyone who cannot communicate with people they are with. The patience it builds must be huge. I would not do well.

Right now I feel like Raj from the Big Bang Theory giving a lecture at an all girls college.

Experimental Craziness

It’s Foodie Friday!!!! I know, I know. I’ve officially hit kitschy. I will stop. Until next week when it’s Footsie Friday or something equally heinous.

Last week, I believe on a Tuesday, I had a doctor appointment. I bet you are so darn jealous. It was a little later than I normally schedule and in the opposite direction from work. One never knows quite how long a doctor’s appointment will take (no offense doctors), so I opted to not make lunch. I didn’t want it to sit in the car for hours. Plus, if I got out at lunch it was the perfect excuse to stop by Starbucks or, um, some other place. (Not addicted!). Sadly, the appointment went fast, so I swung by the house and threw together a lunch.

So now to back up a bit. I had seen a school lunch roundup at 100 Days of Real Food a few days before. Compared to what I ate for lunch growing up—soggy pb&j, water, and…something that must have been so heinous I can’t even remember—these meals were amazing. So different, creative, balanced, and healthy. No pb&j in site, although I think that gets you arrested and sent to Guantanamo these days. I was so taken by what I saw, that on Tuesday I decided to try one with our leftover Superbowl veggie tray.

I packed a metric ton of veggies (radishes, broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, and olives), with some nuts, a slice of “Daddy” cheese, and hummus. That’s it, and I was STUFFED!!! The afternoon at work always kills me and I need to find something to eat or I will be cranky (er, crankier), but that day I was full until dinner. Gotta love fiber!

I wasn’t sure if it was a fluke or was the food, so I decided to experiment. I packed a similar lunch all week, and into this week. And yes, not all were unprocessed food and I didn’t make the hummus and peanut butter from scratch. I’m amazing, but I’m also busy.


I did not think to photograph the first lunch. You’ll notice that the veggies are the same, although I did have broccoli on other days not photographed. You will also notice that hummus and peanut butter look like something from a diaper.

I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I didn’t always get through the afternoon without a snack, but it was so minor and a Clementine was enough to sate the appetite. I felt most full with the one with peas, but there were also too many nuts in that one.

I’m still fiddling with amounts (you’ll notice that there seem to be more veggies in the bottom, more filling, boxes) and I’ve been swapping out the side boxes (one box not pictured had peanut soba noodles), but overall, it’s AWESOME! Not only am I less snacky in the afternoon, but I found that I had more energy at Zumba this week. I just need to come up with a few more variations (lentils, sweet potatoes, spinach, etc.). I do believe I have a new standard lunch.

Oh, and I did go to Starbucks anyway after that appointment. (Not addicted)

Covering my mouth

I think there’s been a 3 week quarantine sign on our door. OP was sick with a cold, cough, snot, and general ickiness. Then I got sick with flu-like symptoms (NOT THE FLU) which developed into bronchitis. I got the flu-like symptoms[1] from her, or so I thought until she got sick again with very similar symptoms to me. She didn’t mind the second disease round as much because she got to go to work with Mommy one morning. Apparently going to work with Mommy is the bees knees. Keep thinking that, kid, in 20 years you’ll change your mind.

I think we are all over the sickly shenanigans. Of course, the Husband never really got sick. Oh, he felt crappy for a couple days but no snot, no cough, no sneezing, no flu-like symptoms, no fair.

Building a snowman

It’s okay, Mommy. I’ve build a wall to keep the germs out.

Unfortunately, I single-handedly ruined his birthday by being sick. Don’t think it was just me being sick that ruined his birthday. (I keep wanting to write brithday which makes me think of bris-day, which no one ever wants to celebrate. I would imagine.) Because I was sick, a day with friends was canceled and he ended up picking up the surprise birthday cheesecake I had ordered. I also had to bail on the birthday family dinner, although he did still get to go so that was nice. Adding insult to injury, I had left his birthday present at work the week before to set it up. Guess where it still was on his birthday because I hadn’t been at work before then? Yeah. Birthday fail.

That’s okay. I made it up to him by not coughing on him.

Sadly, I didn’t get much knitting done while I was sick. Instead I did homework for a class I’m not taking for a grade!!!! Yes, you read it right. I’m taking a chemistry class this semester and doing all the homework, but not being graded (except I am getting a grade on the homework assignments to check my knowledge). And, instead of using my sick time to knit and bond with my yarn. I. Did. Homework.

Don’t worry, I’m disappointed in myself too.

[1] If you are ever asked if you want a flu test, say no and then run away screaming. There is nothing more horrific than having a swab stuck up your nose until it touches your brain and then pushed into your brain so it comes out of the back of your head. I would rather have a shot.

Safe and Sound

How do you anorexics do it? I flew home Friday and while I made it home safe and sound, I made myself sick in the process. It started on Thursday. I had hoped to be in bed, asleep by 9:00 on Thursday. I had to wake up at 3am for a 6:25 flight, and I thought getting 6 hours of sleep would mean I wouldn’t feel as exhausted when I got home. Unfortunately, the best laid plans go up in smoke, get kicked in the crotch, and run through the wood chipper. I made it to bed around 10:00 (not bad) but then my brain kicked in because I WAS GOING HOME and I couldn’t sleep. I finally fell asleep at midnight.

So I went into the flight exhausted. Then, I was so nervous that I couldn’t eat. Every time I did, I’d feel better for a second and then want to vomit. Of course, not eating made the feeling worse. I’ve been sick all weekend and am only starting to feel better today. Adding insult to injury, I couldn’t sleep last night so I’m exhausted. At least I got some sleep on the flight and I did some knitting. Oh, and got to hug the Husband and OP right on time. That was worth every second. Well, almost.

The rest of the weekend was interspersed with feeling sick and a lot of sleeping. I did try going out to a local outdoor sports convention. I bet you are so jealous. It was actually a lot of fun. There were a ton of running, biking, and tri groups interspersed with stores, food items, and other wacky stuff. OP LOVED the protein bars. I was pinning future happiness on winning a massage. It didn’t happen. It’s rigged! Rigged, I tell you! I guess I’ll just have to get a massage the old-fashioned way, by laying on my stomach and letting OP climb all over my back.


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