Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Slow Road

For someone as naturally impatient as I am by nature, perhaps it's a great cosmic joke that the one lesson I seem to be repeating is...learning patience.  I trust God with the results...isn't it funny that Practicing Patience is one lesson where I'd most like to be a fast learner??  ha!

We're all a work in progress.  Because in many ways Jack and I still have one foot in the "standard American Way-o-Doin' Things" (meaning  not yet out of debt, long commute blah blah blah) and the other foot squarely on our ideal path, progress has been slow and steady.  I'd much prefer it to be fast and permanent!

Chronic health problems seem to dog me.  I've made a lot of "gentle changes" and others that were more abrupt, have had setbacks, have had victories.  Looking back on the past couple years, we've made significant changes to nearly every area of our lives, Jack and I.  We're eating much more consciously, sensibly, healthfully. 

Still, I have constant allergies/sinus problems, ear infections, and occasionally bronchitis and walking pneumonia.  One bout of pneumonia as a teenager nearly took my life, and ever since then have had a somewhat wimpy bounce-back response internally.  I've been to the specialists, and I know there's a time and place for pharmaceuticals and antibiotics...and I also know the cost of having been so reliant on them over the longterm.  I'm TRYING to embrace a more sustainable answer for both Jack and myself...he's on board.  The difficulty is in the Phasing-Out process while improvements are underway but not fully achieved yet.

There are areas in which we still have to make a lot of headway...or rather, regain a LOT of lost ground.  We didn't get "here" overnight...it took years to learn that we NEEDED to undo and change things, or else.  We're in that middleground of progress that takes ever-more-diligent efforts and goal-setting to keep the momentum and see improvements through till they're fully achieved.

I've had a long bout of illness the last couple months and have been very determined not to use my normal fallback of "doc visit and antibiotics/get better/relapse/doc visit and more antibiotics" namely for the reason that over the course of many years the result has been nearly NO immune system left to wallop infections with.  

For a period of time last year, I focused on eating raw foods.  I then continued incorporating them into our daily eating on a lesser scale than originally attempted.   My conclusion at this point is that ideally, Jack and I NEED raw and cooked organic greens and vegetables, nuts, fruits/berries of every kind as the bulk of our eating...no more processed foods and chemicals, and fewer heavy foods and meats. 

The smackdown of reality is that until we are growing our own (and right now we're returning the yard back to Curb Appeal Minus Garden in order to sell our house), we can't afford much in the way of REAL FOOD.  So yes, we do have green smoothies and I try for half our dinner plate to be raw food or very dark braised/stirfried greens, etc.  I hate to think what our health would be like if we were still heavily bogged down in the Standard American Diet any longer.  In fact, in eating better, I can almost not tolerate storebought meats now...I literally can taste the nastiness...bleach or poop or something, but the taste is unmistakeable after a while.  Not that we don't eat meat, just significanly less till we can raise our own clean meat or barter for quality in some way.

But I digress...

I need to get better, lose a lot of weight, keep on keeping on, not lose momentum.  I feel terrible overall right now.  If I can stick to much tighter goals, especially in the area of weight loss and exercise this year, (and Jack, too, we're a team) MANY of these health issues will reverse and disappear.  Ever tried to exercise when you have a double ear infection and it hurts to breathe?   I know...wahhhh wahhhh....Robbyn needs to go all Nike and Just Do It.  (true!)  Robbyn is also used to popping a Z pak and Bam! being somewhat functional in less than five days...and this time I'm TRYING to be more natural.   Tick tock, tick tock...I'm learning patience...

No Antibiotics = Very Slow Recovery for me right now. 

,,...and more patience.   (I must say, convalescing and reading good spy novels are mutually compatible...though it doesn't exactly get the dishes magically done)

Now for the good news...they say Necessity is the Mother of Invention.   )  Well, in learning more about some supportive herbs, of course Moringa came up (since we are experimenting with growing it).   Ours will be dormant till the late spring, and we weren't sure of how to harvest it except for the fresh leaves.  We've eaten up our reserves of frozen moringa, so I ordered some moringa powder made of the dried, ground up leaves.  With the tremendous nutritional support and immune-boosting qualities and actual nutrients, I wanted to begin experimenting with the ground up moringa powder as a tea and in things like soups.

It's potent stuff!

So far, I've used it in tea, and so far it's most enjoyable in hot tea rather than cold, since the powder does not stir in well in cold liquids unless you beat it in well (think a fine powder like corn starch).  In soups, I use my stick blender.

With moringa, a little goes a long way...it has a very green somewhat peppery taste with a ginger-type warming sensation.  Soon, I'll purchase empty caplets to make my own capsules so I can take some of it with my other supplements on the occasions I want a larger dose than my tastebuds decide they can handle in a tea or soup.

Tonight's meal was simple toasted black bean "patties" with a dab of plain yogurt and some salsa, and a bowl of  red lentil/moringa/chicken broth/garlic soup.

I'm having to learn a different time frame of healing minus the quickie pharmaceuticals I've used over the years.  There's a lot my body will have to clean out.  I'm not new to herbs and supplements but the slowing down...the reprogramming my mind from a "pop the pill and hurry and get well" mentality...to a "build a strong core immune system over time" is something that doesn't come easily to me.  Because it requires....PATIENCE...arrrggghhhhh!! 


And perhaps this is how mellow, gracious, naturally-paced living is embraced??  (I embrace, I embrace!)

I hope I learn my lesson.



Donna said...

Remember to drink lots of water. Just my 2 cents worth.

The Professor's Wife said...

Sorry you are feeling so awful! I've been there - have a chronic illness which causes low immunity which means I don't have the energy to make the changes I want as fast as I want, like growing my own veggies and exercising every day ...... But with perseverence and God's help, you will get there, so can I! (I think God is trying to teach me patience, but I want Him to do it QUICKLY!)

Irma said...

I too am "slow" to take antibiotics or other drugs, I'm a big believer in letting my body do what it's supposed to do, and I always give my body the chance to fix the problem without intervention. And, because I have been doing that for so many years, I can now tell the exact moment when I start getting better....or the exact moment I need a prescription. Funny how my body manages to take care of itself without intervention 90% of the time.

Robbyn said...

Donna, will do!! :)

Prof's Wife, yep, we'll get there! hang in there, it's truly worth it to make all the changes, even if slowly :)

Irma, that's great!


For bronchitus bouts, make up a pot of water which has had 1"-2" chunk of ginger root smashed with a hammer and then boiled up 30-40 minutes until golden.
Then take pot into bathroom, run the hot water from the shower head until the mirror is all steamed up (~ 5 minutes). Then put large towel over head to inhale ginger fumes, until mirror clears up.
I also add 1/2 cup - 1 cup of the ginger extract to the nightly humidifier water...
Ginger is an old Asian home remedy for lung troubles that my mother and grandfather picked up from their neighbors in the Great Depression, before the antibiotics era.
It smelt a lot better than the camphor for colds that Westerners tended to use!!

Robbyn said...

Carey, thank you for the recommendation...the ginger sounds wonderful and I just happen to have a jar of some gingerroots I can try. I don't have the bronchitis now, but I'll sure try it if I feel my lungs could use a good boost that way!