New image for theRIDEproject

DSC_4565

Clean Diet and theRIDEproject update

bancaToday marks the first day of yet another clean eating phase for me. While I usually put a time limit on it, I don’t often have a good follow up plan. This time, I am hoping a month of clean eating (no white stuff) will parlay into a mostly vegan diet. While it always amazes me to see how clean eating affects my weight and skin and energy, I am really curious to see how it will affect my creativity.

I know many creative  types turn to booze or hallucinogenics or cutting off ears, but for me it will have to be green tea, spinach, apples and white fish! TheRIDEproject is almost ready for take off and I have great ideas for more images. I just reviewed a first draft of the website and I think final revisions will be done by the end of next week.

In the meantime, you can see updates on theRIDEproject Facebook page by clicking Here or watch for information on Twitter Here.

Have a great weekend and guess what I am shooting this weekend.

Can a friend make you fat?

While we all have to assume personal responsibility for our health and well-being, I think it’s true that other people can affect our health. Think about the times you spend with negative thinking, complaining people. You might feel drained or negative yourself. Compare that to a great evening with positive, uplifting friends and you can really see how the people you surround yourself with impact your health.

Friends can also affect our health with their healthy habits (or not so healthy ones).

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a  study found that “obesity appears to spread through social ties,” suggesting that the condition, which afflicts over 30 percent of the U.S. population, moves in a manner not unlike an infectious disease.

But just how does this work? The authors speculate that having obese social contacts could increase a person’s “tolerance” for obesity (if everyone around you is big, it doesn’t seem abnormal), or might influence their adoption of certain behaviors (getting super nachos instead of a salad). Having an obese friend was found to increase a person’s risk of becoming obese by 50 percent; having an obese sibling increased the risk by 40 percent, and an obese spouse by 37 percent.

We have to make our own decisions about what we eat, how much we sleep or exercise and what medications we take. But we also need to seriously consider how our friends decisions affect our behavior or how we affect theirs, both physically and emotionally.

Cut the negative talk (and the super nachos) and enjoy great friends!

Tysabri and Distraction

After three hours at the infusion center for my 28th Tysabri infusion, and a really long nap, I am ready to think about anything besides MS.  If you need a  distraction from MS, a frustrating work day or anything else check out:

http://kwentzell.blogspot.com/

(beautiful paintings from a very talented artist and inspiring friend)

and

http://colormekatie.blogspot.com/

The Power of Less

I may have talked about The Power of Less before or at least mentioned the author, Leo Babauta and his blog. I really admire Leo and embrace the lessons in his book. He makes great recommendations for simplifying life (business and personal). All of his suggestions equal a happier, healthier life in my opinion, and who doesn’t want that.

My approach to incorporating new healthy habits has typically been trying to adapt to twenty new things at once because I often want it all (right now!). Leo suggests a new way of forming habits with rules like, Do only one habit at a time. Choose an easy Goal. Be consistent. By the end of thirty days you will have a new habit. Hmmm, that is 12 new habits per year. I will usually attempt 43 new habits and end up with 1 or 2 per year.

My first attempt at Leo’s habit forming rules was with flossing. I started flossing every night on July 6th and haven’t missed a night since. (Don’t worry, I flossed before then just not regularly).

My next new habit starts tomorrow. 10 minutes of daily yoga. Yes, only ten minutes. (per my new mentor’s recommendation).  By Sept. 24th, I will have established two new daily habits (flossing and 10 minutes of yoga) and will be ready for habit #3.

Another reason, I think this book could be life changing is that the author lives by his words.  With his own approach, Leo has become a vegetarian, taken up running, eliminated debt, lost more than 40 pounds and simplified his life.

I would not hire a personal trainer who was out of shape or a financial advisor who was broke. I welcome and trust the lessons in The Power of Less.

Cycling and Facebooking

I am getting ready to head out for a nice ride with the hubby before it gets to hot to do anything outside. We are expecting temps in the hundreds today! I have a new Facebook page to share and hope you will take a look. You can read more about theRIDEproject there and see some new images.

Just click here: theRIDEproject FB Page

PS…my best ideas come when I am riding my bike, so I will update later if I come up with something good this morning!

Word of the day

When you receive an MS diagnosis, your doctor should also give you a special MS dictionary. When I was diagnosed, and for weeks and months following, I heard words that had no meaning to me. Some of them, I couldn’t even spell. Words like Myelin, Sclerosis, Interferon, methylprednisolone and cerebrospinal. There are more, but now after three years, I have become very familiar with words that are big and hard to spell, hard to pronounce and often hard to swallow.

This week, I found a new word (to me)….Leukapheresis. Here is a quick definition: Leukapheresis is a laboratory procedure in which white blood cells are separated from a sample of blood. This may be done to decrease a very high white blood cell count in individuals with cancer (leukemia) or to remove white blood cells for transfusion. (read more HERE)

The interesting thing is not that I found the word but in what context I found the word. There is a study going on in Seattle where they are using Leukapheresis in a study to reset the immune system in MS patients. From what I can gather, this has been studied before even as far back as 1999 (and maybe earlier). http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00040482 details a study but no study results are listed. (not helpful).

What might be more helpful is to follow a patient who is currently taking part in the Leukapheresis study. You can do that here: http://mymsjournal.blogspot.com/