Thursday, May 29, 2014


The family is suffering -I'm relatively allergy free. a HUGE change for me.  Spring is usually miserable.  At least it has been since we moved to the midwest.  Not so many problems in Texas where we lived before here.

I don't know if that can attribute it to my raw milk consumption - but it's something to think about.  There is a lot of anecdotal 'evidence' that says drinking raw milk can help with allergies.  

All I know for sure is that I drink it two or three times a day and I am pretty sneeze free.  Eyes don't itch and I can breathe.  I'll take it - no matter what the cause!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A run

This image represents gout better than almost any I've seen.  Walking on a foot that's going through a flare up is a LOT like walking on cactus.  You know, only more painful.

I've held off on running since my last bout.  Wanted to feel 100% because as much as I love to run, I don't want to end up on the injured list for longer than I have to.

It went ok.  I walked the first mile to get good and warmed up and then did a walk/run for the second.  No tenderness really.  The biggest issue is that I have not run in months and need to get back on other fronts - not just the foot.  Slow and stead works for me though - so I'll give it another go and then again and then again...until I'm ready for my  next race.

Opinions Wanted

I have a friend who makes TuTus.  She's been working on some suited for runners who like to dress up for 5ks (and longer)

This is what she came up with for those night time neon/glow runs

It's a black TuTu with some neon panels.  The black makes the neon stand out and the the panels have pockets to hold glow sticks.  I loved the idea because I try to do the glow stick thing, but always end up losing them in the first mile.

Camera died right after snapping this - so another better picture shall be taken after it charges.

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Moving Moving Moving

Not running, but getting several miles a day in with walking.  Running starts next week on Tuesday at 5am.

In my next race I want to be the guy on the left in the second picture.  :-)

Because I never look prepared for it.  Now, usually I am the guy on the right, except, you know - I'm a woman.  I've been passed by senior citizens, pregnant women, people with one or fewer legs.... you name it - they've passed me.  Right now I just want to waddle past someone and have them say "Oh S**t!  How did she pass me???????"

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gout update

So far, mostly go good

the thophi have not gotten any smaller, nor have they grown.  I took a new photo, this one angled to emphasize the one on my thumb.  It's not quite as huge as the photo suggests, but it's the biggest of the two.  It bothers me the most.  Not because it hurts, but because I know it's there.

My pain and swelling are under control.  I'm back to walking and running like normal. I did have a twinge of pain like an attack was coming on the other day - a few hours after I cheated and gave into the temptation of a brat.  I took some extra cherry and drank a lot of water.  That seemed to help because it didn't turn into an attack.  

It might have been in my mind.  There are few things I fear more than a gout flare up.  Unless you've been there it's hard to describe the pain.  

I have been looking into wheat allergy and gout.  There is some anecdotal correlation, but no studies.  It came to mind because I am very young for a woman who has gout.  The obesity didn't help, but even most obese women don't' get it in their 40s.  Especially one who never drank more than once or twice a year and didn't live off of organ meats.  Not that I need a why, it is already here.  Curiosity mostly.  

I'm determined to stay off of medication for as long as possible.  Right now diet and exercise with some cherry extract daily seem to be working for me.  I was taking capsules, but lately I bought a bottle of liquid extract and have been making my kombucha with it.  And putting it my lemon water.  A tastier alternative to pills.

The joys of menopause

Actually I guess I should say the joys of perimenopause.  Last summer I had a few hot flashes, but none in awhile. I'm still always hot at night, but that's just how I've always been.  Same with moody.  I've heard other terms used - began with a b - but I'll go with moody.  It's not new and while I do blame it on menopause, that may not be the only reason.  Facial hair - don't love that part much, but it can be plucked.   All of those things I can and have dealt with.  It's my period that's killing me!   This thing is supposed to be ending, right?  So why does it have to go out with a bang???  Cramps, backache and flooding like I've never seen.  I'm supposed to go out for a run.  I want to go out for a run, but I also have to visit the bathroom every hour to change so that I don't suffer major tampon malfunction.

I've read up on the why.  Hormone this, estrogen that.  I understand why there is so much bleeding and clotting.  Don't even get me started on the clotting.   Knowing the why doesn't make it any easier or more fun.  I feel trapped by my body.  I'm not sad that my days of having children are over.  I had plenty of them (4) and I'm enjoying this time in my life.  I just don't like being held hostage to a reproductive system I'm not using anymore.

There is one tiny upside to this new way of menstruating...It doesn't last long.  How could it when all the blood is desperately rushing to escape my body all at once?  3 days and it will be pretty  much over instead of the 5 that used to be normal for me or the 7 that some people deal with.  Today will likely be the only change every hour day.  I'll be free to go for my run tomorrow.

Until next month.

Or maybe I'll get lucky and this will be the last one.

Fingers crossed

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I'm either going to die in the next 5 seconds or live forever.

I'm a vegetarian who drinks raw milk and home brewed kombucha.   Depending on who you ask - government or over zealous health food advocate I'm done for...or I will live forever.  I suspect neither is terribly accurate.

I was looking up something on Kombucha.  According to WebMd (the webs leading source on why you are about to die)

Did some research (I googled stuff) and while anthrax does live in the wild you are more likely to catch it FROM ANY INTERACTION WITH COWS AND OTHER FARM TYPE CRITTERS.  The spores can come inside on shoes/feet and they can get into your kombucha, or fridge, or plate of food on the counter.  So should farmers quit farming because of the high risk of anthrax??  Or is the risk simply not that high and people only use it to illustrate why you should buy into big business?  Guess where my money is.

But obviously it's poison!  People have died from it.  In the case cited most often two women were made very sick - 19 years ago.  One died. One didn't.  Both had been drinking stuff made with the same scoby.  In the ensuing 19 years lots and lots and lots of people have died from big pharma or "food" that the government is all for us consuming.  We can eat the heck out of twinkies and guzzle gallons of corn syrup goodness in the form of soda, but this drink that's been around thousands of years is probably unsafe for most adults.  I know WebMd isn't officially the government, but I have long suspected a relationship between them, the fda & big pharma.  Too much pushing of too many chemicals and all the natural stuff is called suspect.

No, drinking kombucha hasn't fixed any and all of my medical issues.  I still struggle with my weight, I still have gout, I still need reading glasses.  But I enjoy drinking it and making it, so I do.

Then there is raw milk.  I choose to spend a bit more on milk so that I can

1)buy from a small family who is trying to make a living by doing things the right way without hormones, chemicals of gmo feed

2)drink milk from cows that ate GRASS.  Not corn, not anything unnatural for a cow to eat.

3)have no growth hormones in my milk

4) drink milk I can actually enjoy.  Until raw milk I had not had a glass since I was 5.  I detest the stuff sold at grocery stores.  This tastes different.

Again, I should be dead according to the fda.  But I can math.  The risk is low.  Chris maths better than I do and he did all the numbers.  Check out his article here.

My reasons for starting to use raw milk were a bit different from most.  I did because they said I shouldn't.  I'm just a rebel that way. I found that I really enjoy the taste and I have continued to buy it.

I do find that having a glass of milk before my workout really gives me extra energy.  Might work with conventional milk too, but I hate the stuff so I'll never test it to find out.

The whole vegetarian thing was in response to gout.  There are few things I fear more than another gout flare up, so I am trying this whole eat super healthy thing.  I apparently don't fear being obese and unhealthy as much as I fear gout, since in the past staying on the clean eating path has been hard.  Intense pain is a great motivator so I eat much better these days.  I've not had a flare up since - but it's only been a couple of months, so time will tell if I can avoid medication with diet.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Training for the day - work

I make balloon animals for a living.  It's a fun job, but it's harder than it looks, but if I'm doing it right then it looks easy.  It's a lot of  standing and moving.  I generally equate this to fishing while standing when figuring calories.  My gig today should burn about 700 calories.  It's not very cardio intensive, so I'll still have to get some of that in.  Sometimes it amazes me just how many calories I burn with the balloons.  It helps that I often do a lot of long jobs.  Anything you do for 3+ hours will burn calories, especially if you do it with a 10lb weight strapped to your waist.  If I do my job right, it's a lot of fun and I'm exhausted afterwards.  Plus people spend a lot of time telling me how wonderful I am.  It's a pretty good way to workout!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bowling for Soup on Pledge Music

I just love them.  Their music makes me happy!

I also love the concept behind Pledge Music.  It's very cool.  Watch the video to see what they're up to.

Where the diet is

It's been a little while since I went vegetarian and it's not always easy.  I do still have the occasional craving for meat and at first I was eating too much cheese.

Actually at first I was just plain eating too much.  As the weeks have progressed I have noticed that I need to cut back on the amount of produce I am buying.  We simply are not eating it all.  I'm spending less and we're wanting to eat less.  This is NOT true if we've had junk food or eaten out.  Then cravings start and the overall food consumption goes up.

I'm sure my family missed the meat and I do cook them some - just not a lot.  I'm not a fan of cooking two meals for the same dinner.  They don't cook - therefore we eat vegetarian.  If one of them wants to learn, then I'll have to find a way to make do with what they cook.  (never ever going to happen - not in a million years )

I've started making/growing my own

ice cream
beet greens

Next up is tofu and as soon as i get a crock - sauerkraut  mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

raw milk in my fridge

I've been drinking raw milk (what the butter was made with but not the yogurt)  which comes from grass fed cows and eggs from truly free range chickens.  Saw them all over the farm, no cages for these girls.  Overall I feel pretty good.  The changes have been very positive for me.

I've also discovered foods I didn't know I liked.  I didn't know I liked milk until I drank raw milk.  Tried a new way to cook beet greens and I am in love.  I am now attempting to grow some more from the tops of beets.  Sprouts really fill out a salad.  I already made my own tortillas (corn) but have found new and wonderful ways to fill them with tarziki sauce and veggies, or peppers and spices.  The change has made me very creative
Beet greens in the making - I hope

The gout flare up that triggered this diet change has never 100% gone away, it's not painful, just twingy and it does get much worse after I cheat or eat processed food.  It's under control enough that I don't want to cut my own foot off.  I don't need pain meds and I can wear actual shoes.  Most of the time I just feel a twinge and think "Oh yeah, I have gout in that joint"

freshly made butter

Hopefully diet changes will help, so will exercise and weight loss.  My goal is to control this without taking medications.  pain or otherwise.

I miss meat, but I don't regret giving it up.  I like where I am headed.

alfalfa sprouts

Kombucha scoby

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My experiments with raw milk

By experiment - I mean drinking it.

Let me back up a bit.  Raw milk?  Huh?  I am referring to milk that has not been pasteurized.  I already bought milk that was vat pasteurized because of the taste and still buy that for my yogurt making.  One day I saw a documentary on raw milk.  (I watch a LOT of documentaries)  Seems that un-processed milk is something the government doesn't like us to drink.  There are a lot of good reasons for that, but some of them have to do with conditions at factory farms not small farms.  More importantly you can't take it across state lines, even for personal use.  (the FDA has backed down on this a bit and won't go after individuals)  The government was going whole hog after some Amish farmers and really screwing them over.  Of all the groups of people they probably deserve that the least.  Not that anyone does, but these people have a history of just being plain nice.  They forgive.  I mean they really forgive.  Most people don't do that even in words, much less in spirit.  Anyway - I get sidetracked.... Obviously the Amish drink raw milk.  Their way of life would not include factory farming.  They remain a pretty darn healthy bunch of people and don't seem to die from it.  They sold to their neighbors and then the FDA had a conniption fit and swooped in disrupting everyone's lives.

There are supposedly a LOT of reasons to drink raw milk.  Lots of websites will give you the good and bad.  I wanted to drink it because the FDA says i shouldn't and in many states it's flat out illegal.  I was always that kid who did the opposite of what I was told for not other reason than someone told me not to.  And some government organization telling me that I can't make my own mind up irked me.  This is from the FDA in a response document

"There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds." [p. 26]

"Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish." [p.26]

Learn more:

follow the link.  Natural News may be biased but they didn't force the FDA to put stuff in writing.

AND WTF???  I don't have a fundamental right to obtain any food I wish?  Oh yes I do

So I bought some.

Having to sign a release to buy food made my rebellious spirit kind of happy.

Here's what I didn't expect.

I like it.  I mean I really really like it.  I don't drink milk.  The stuff in cartons from the store is NASTY and I have not ever been willing to drink it.  I have always hated it.  Figured I would use this for cooking but had to try at least one glass.  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM  I've had several glasses since then.  It's so yummy.

It hasn't made me drop 30lbs over night or have endless energy.  There are a lot of claims, but then they say the same for kombucha, vitamin c, raw food, tumeric, green coffee extract...and so on and so on.

It's only been a few days but I have noticed some positive changes.   I sleep better.  I can be a restless sleeper, so this is wonderful.  My allergies are getting better.  Rapidly.  With me spring allergies almost always progress into a difficult to treat sinus infection.  Today I noticed that I was doing activities without needing a rag shoved in my face.  It's much easier to exercise with two hands!

It's early in the "experiment" far too early to say that this is going to make a lasting change.  I'll keep drinking it and see what happens.

I also bought cream.

Put it in the blender and now I have butter!

I cant' say that raw milk is for everyone and there are risks, especially if you buy from a farmer who is less than careful.   I like it so far (only 1 gallon in) and I enjoy drinking it enough to take those risks.  Food borne illness happens with lots of things, bagged greens and badly treated meat come to mind.  I don't see this risk as any greater.  Based on the math of how many people get sick from dairy in general and raw dairy in particular the risk is small.  After all a study from the USDA in 1996 showed that 80% of ground meat contained some bad pathogens.  Cooking kills them, but every so often you hear about people who get sick or die from some hamburger joint not cooking the meat all the way.  In one outbreak alone (1993) 4 children died, 176 were left with permanent kidney problems and over 735 were actually infected.  Since then there have been 22 documented outbreaks (of ecoli in restaurants, not overall in all foods that number is through the roof) and 35 deaths.  Since the 80s there has only been one death from consuming raw dairy.  I'm not so worried.