Middle-Age Memoirs : Cataracts and Fuch’s Corneal dystrophy

I have been told I may need a cornea transplant someday. Here’s my story, so far…

My vision took an extreme nose dive over the past 18 months. Since I got glasses at the age of 16, my vision has, more or less, been the same. (about -3.30 – 20/250 always correctable to 20/20) About 2 1/2 years ago, I noticed words and pictures just weren’t as clear as they should be. I went to my normal optometrist, who told me to get over it, I was just getting older and couldn’t expect to see clearly at my age (49 at the time). He actually said that and yelled at me, telling me I was middle age and couldn’t expect to see like I used to see. He was able to get me to 20/20, kind of, and I went on my way.

Throughout that next year, my vision deteriorated quite quickly. I could no longer drive at night, and watching television, specifically reading words on tv, was difficult. So, when it was time for my next eye exam, about 18 months ago, I went to a new optometrist. (I was obviously not going to see that other guy!) She explained that my vision had gone from -3.30 (about 20/250), and correctable to 20/20, to -5.70 (about 20/500) correctable only to 20/40, which is barely legal to drive. That’s also when I was first diagnosed with cataracts at the ripe old age of 50! She told me that when my vision couldn’t be corrected to 20/40, it would be time for surgery.

After my move to Colorado, I knew I would need a new prescription. My vision has deteriorated even further than 18 months ago and I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to pass the vision test to get a Colorado driver license. So, I found an ophthalmologist (eye doctor/surgeon) who told me my vision, WITH MY CURRENT PRESCRIPTION, was 20/100 in my left eye and 20/400 in my right eye and could only be corrected to 20/60. It is now time for cataract surgery, which is scheduled for December.

I saw 2 different eye doctors who both diagnosed me with Fuch’s Corneal Dystrophy. They explained that instead of being smooth, as it should be, my cornea looks like the surface of an orange peel. This isn’t something that can be corrected, at least not now. That’s what my doctors tell me anyway. On the bright side, this is a slow moving disease. They tell me in about 20 years, I may need a cornea transplant. In the meantime, my vision could slowly get worse. Many people are asymptomatic (no symptoms), Hopefully, that will be me. However, the last thing I want is a cornea transplant, even if it is 20 years away, so, I hope to change that through, you guessed it, nutrition.

Fuchs’  (fooks) corneal dystrophy is a hereditary eye disease with symptoms that often become noticeable after the age of 50. Ultimately, it causes loss in vision which can be treated with a cornea transplant.

http://www.cornea.org/Learning-Center/Conditions-Research-Areas/Fuchs-Dystrophy.aspx

“These two images show endothelial cells, the cells that make up the endothelium. The image on the left depicts a healthy endothelium where hexagonal cells are clearly outlined. The image on the right shows an eye with guttae, which would be diagnosed as Fuchs’ dystrophy.” ~ Cornea Research Foundation

I asked my doctors about nutrition, and, just like I expected, they say there’s nothing I can do. Nutrition can’t help. I beg to differ. All cells in the body are formed from the food we eat. I’m hoping my doctors are wrong and there is a cure through nutrition. Aside from getting my business up and running, researching Fuch’s Dystrophy and eye health is going to be my main focus. I began my research by purchasing several books on eye health and nutrition, along with cell apoptosis (cell death- death of cells on the cornea are the main cause of Fuch’s).

I will be keeping you up to date on my research and any eye health, healing or foods I come across. I will also make a Eye research reference page for anyone else who may be looking for information.

Closing thoughts

I knew I had bad eyes, but I had no idea just how bad. I look back on my bad diet and lifestyle when I was younger, such as my soda addiction, and wonder if I could have prevented it. My doctor assures me it was nothing I did…I am just unlucky. I do know that Fuch’s Dystrophy is genetic. With that said, I know, through my schooling, that just because you have a gene mutation for a specific disease doesn’t mean you are 100% guaranteed to get it. Gene mutations are usually triggered through lifestyle choices and my past lifestyle choices, weren’t always the best. I fear those choices, bad food and lack of exercise, may have caught up with me. If that’s the case, maybe good choices can cure it. We shall see.

Until next time…Namaste my friends

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A guide to Daily Life Meditation

I’ll be back on October 1, 2020 from my “moving break”. In the mean time, here’s an article that will help you work meditation into your daily tasks and even help you set up a “meditation room” in your home.


It’s no secret to anyone, we are in uncertain and stressful times. We see this phrase everywhere, but, unfortunately, it is true. Many of us feel physically and emotionally exhausted after the covid-19 crisis, as well as the protests and civil unrest. Now more than ever, it’s important to take time to destress and meditate.

If you’re like me, you say “I don’t have time to meditate!” It always seems there are more important things to do. I always feel “guilty” when I take the time to meditate. It’s such a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing time, that it almost feels selfish. On the contrary, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it just could be the best thing you do for your loved ones. You’ll be happier, calmer and more productive in your life.

What if you could meditate while doing daily chores, exercising and walking? Would that help alleviate some of that guilt? The following article was posted 2 1/2 years ago as part of my “project stress relief” series. It discusses the concept of “daily life meditation”, in which you can meditate while doing chores, cleaning the house, exercising, walking and more.

Here’s the original article:

We are all under a tremendous amount of stress, whether it’s work, school, family, kids, blogs, etc. So, you may be asking why this is a big deal. After all, people have been under stress since time began, how is today any different? In our fast paced world, filled with social media, television. radio, and 7 billion other people, we are constantly bombarded with negative words, energy, commentary, and images.

Anytime we experience stress, our body goes into the “fight or flight” mode. This is the same instinct that kicked in when our ancestors were chased by lions or tigers. Our digestive system shuts down, our blood pressure increase, glucose is flooded into our system to give us energy. (to run from the tiger, remember!) No matter how little or big the stress is, your body will always react the same, as if you are running from danger and your life is at risk.

The below infographic, from the article 17 Reasons To Avoid Stress, by Fawne Hansen at Adrenal Fatigue Solution, gives you an idea as to just how bad all this stress is for us.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. So if we are under chronic stress, we are constantly in fight or flight mode. This is REALLY bad for you and won’t end well, if you don’t find a way to relax, and soon.

Now we know that all of that stimuli has a huge impact on our body, mind and soul. What’s a busy person to do? As much as we want to, we can’t just stop everything and run to the beach or mountains forever, we can’t, so, we must try other methods. Meditation, even just 10 minutes, can go a long way towards calming your mind and easing the symptoms of chronic stress. However, if you’re anything like me, sitting and meditating is a guilty pleasure, of which there isn’t a lot of time.

However, what if I told you that you could meditate while doing your daily activities, like folding laundry, doing dishes, sitting at your desk at work, walking, running or lifting weights? Would that interest you?

While doing housework, yard work or any other daily activity, there are only a few key points to remember. (These tips are from the House Cleaning video below):

  1. Pay attention to your breathing, and practice deep breathing.
  2. Create a mantra and repeat while cleaning
  3. Dedicate your work to someone else.

If you’d like to set up a meditation room in your home, here is a link to an article from porch.com entitled:

The Ultimate Meditation Room for your Home:

The link below is to an article I did a while ago on how to meditate while walking.

Walking Meditation

The remaining videos will either give you tips or guide you through a short meditation to be used while exercising, cleaning or sitting at your desk.

Enjoy, and try to relax!

How to Make Chores a Mindful Experience

Dishwashing meditation

4 minute at work guided meditation

Stress at work meditation

How to use mindfulness while exercising

Running Meditation: A Meditation for jogging, runners

Short Shower Meditation

8 Hours House Cleansing Frequency Music

Until next time,

wishing you

safety and good health…

Namaste my friends.

6 Super Healthy Diabetic Friendly Recipes

Here is the latest post from my little recipe blog: The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen

The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen

Earlier today, on my main site, Purple Almond Wellness, I featured an article about managing blood sugar for diabetes. Here is a list of 6 super healthy diabetes friendly recipes to help do just that! Each recipe uses at least one of the foods on THIS LIST of diabetes friendly foods. In some cases, more than one food is in the recipe. ENJOY!

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Sardine and Lemongrass Salad

From: Saveur.com

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Spinach, Beef and Egg Hash

From: Saveur.com

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LIGHT BERRY FROZEN YOGURT

From: Sugar Free Mom

Broccoli with Parmesan and Walnuts

From: Martha Stewart

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Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Soup

From: The Hungry Hounds

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Raw Zucchini and Flaxseed Wraps

From: The Full Helping

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it’s all in a state of mind

I had planned on sharing a “memoir” since it’s the first blog post of the month, filled with stories of my vegetable fermenting and kefir making adventures. However, instead, I feel inspired to share a poem with all of you. It’s quite popular and you’ve probably heard it before. However, I feel it’s relevant and timely. I’ve always tried to go with my gut when posting on this site, something from which I’ve strayed lately. But, with the current state of affairs in the world, I felt the need to inspire all of you with a poem my eldest son received from a teacher in 2009.

The poem touches on the state of mind needed to be happy and successful versus the state of mind a person has when failing. Quite often, what we believe to occur, will occur. If we think we’ll fail, more than likely, we’ll find a way to fail. If we believe we’ll succeed, we’ll find a way. If we insist we are trapped, angry and lonely, due to the covid-19 lockdowns, we’ll find a way to be miserable. On the other hand, we could see this as a time to treasure family, expand our minds and fill our souls with love, information and triumph of the human spirit…

IT’S ALL IN A STATE OF MIND!

A poem by Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think that you dare not, you don’t,
If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,
It’s almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out in the world you’ll find
Success begins with a fellow’s will—
It’s all in the state of mind.

For many a race is lost
ere even a step is run,
And many a coward falls
ere even his work’s begun,
Think big, and your deeds will grow;
Think small, and you’ll fall behind;
Think that you can, and you will—
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are out-classed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise;
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You ever can win a prize,
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

PRINT THIS POEM HERE

Closing thoughts

We’re all growing tired of the lockdown. As things begin to open up around the world, I’d like to think we can look back at this as a time we treasured with the ones we love. How rare is it that we can spend so much time with our family? This has indeed been a difficult couple of months. However, let us be thankful we have a roof for shelter, clothes for warmth, a bed to lie our weary heads and food to fill our rumbling bellies. Let us pray for those who are not as fortunate.

Until next time…Namaste my friends

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Middle-Age Memoirs: How to make a face mask in 30 seconds or less (with a filter)

Well what a month it’s been! Spending unending time with my better half and youngest son over the past couple of weeks has been fun. However, I think the phrase “be careful what you wish for” may be applicable here.

I’m the type of person who loves alone time. Normally, I’m alone all day (except for my dog Max of course). I write my blog alone….I do housework alone….I cook alone. I really enjoy being alone. I find it peaceful. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my sons like crazy, now that they are out of the house. I absolutely love spending time with my better half. Since the pandemic began, however, they are rarely out of sight or earshot. I find my precious alone time has completely disappeared and, quite frankly, I miss it. I’m sure most of you can relate. I find myself digging into my old habit of staying up late at night, just to find some peace, and revive some precious alone time.

Anyway…last week, the Governor of Virginia, issued a “stay-at-home” order, which ended up being an extension of the “suggestions” for staying home previously issued. He kept everything else the same. Thankfully, he didn’t take it to extremes, such as arresting people for leaving home, like states surrounding us have done.

On Friday of last week, the CDC issued new guidelines for wearing face masks in public. Here is a link to the CDC face mask FAQ for your information. So, I took to the internet to find the easiest way to make a face mask with little or no sewing required. I tried several before settling on my favorite. AND…once you have all the materials, it can be put together in under 30 seconds. My son timed me and it took me 24 seconds. I got the idea from the video below:

The video above used electrostatic hepa filter material for the face mask filter. I looked for this online. You can find it on Amazon, but don’t expect delivery until June. So I did a bit of research for alternatives. I found an article on smartfilters.com, called “What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?” The following list of material was tested by researchers at Cambridge University. Researchers tested each material against “0.02 micron Bacteriophage MS2 particles (5 times smaller than the coronavirus)” As you can see, vacuum cleaner bags were found to be effective 86% of the time. So we will be using this as our filter, in place of the hepa filter in the video. If you don’t have vacuum cleaner bags, my research indicates any “non-woven” fabric will help, but not as effectively.

One other thing I discovered…most videos recommended using hair bands. I DO NOT agree. I tried using these and found they didn’t stay on my ears. I prefer rubber bands. I found them to stay better and they were more comfortable.

Materials needed

  • 15 inch x 15 inch piece of cloth (really any size will work see video)
  • 8 inch x 4.5 inch rectangle cut from a vacuum bag (for the filter)
  • 2 rubber bands or hair bands

Steps

  • gather materials
  • lay filter (vacuum bag rectangle) in the middle of the 15 x 15 square fabric. NOTE: the filter IS NOT reusable. You’ll need a new filter with each use.
  • fold fabric in thirds. Start by folding the top down. Then fold the bottom up
  • put one band around each end
  • fold the ends toward the middle
  • tuck extra from one side into the folds from the other side. (see video)

Closing thoughts

Keep in mind, I am not a medical professional, nor an expert on medical face masks. Also, this isn’t a “form fitting” mask. It is, by no means, a replacement for a surgical mask or N95 mask. With that said, the CDC is suggesting the use of face masks and many states are beginning to require them in public. This mask is better than nothing, VERY easy to put together and more form fitting than simply a scarf. Plus it has a filter of sorts, so should provide a bit more protection.

As I said, I tried at least 4 different types, some with material, some with paper towels. There are many how-to videos on youtube. If you sew, THIS ONE would be great, as it has a pocket for a filter and is reusable. Anyway, I’m not much for sewing, so this was my solution.

I hope all of you are safe and healthy. GOD BLESS!

Until next time…Namaste my friends

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2020’s Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 Lists Are Out…Here’s What You Should Know— Mind Body Green

Have you ever wondered if you should buy organic produce? You wonder if it’s worth the extra expense. Well, the Environmental Working Group has you covered. Every year the EWG publishes 2 lists. The clean 15 is a list of produce with the lowest pesticide residue, while the dirty dozen is a list of produce with the highest amount of pesticide residue. When purchasing produce from the dirty dozen list, it’s best to buy organic.

The Clean 15 

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Cantaloupes
  11. Broccoli
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbage
  14. Honeydew melon
  15. Kiwi

The Dirty Dozen 

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

For more information, see this article from Mind Body Green at the linnk below.

www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/ewg-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-lists

STAYING INDOORS INCREASES CORONAVIRUS RISK!

Now, I’m starting by saying this isn’t my headline. It’s a bit of a shock headline designed as clickbait, written by the author of the article below. It’s a bit deceptive, but there is a kernel of truth to it.

This is an interesting article. There is something to this, in that the body needs vitamin D to boost immunity. Your body makes vitamin D from sunlight. So, spending time in the sun, outdoors is the best way to boost vitamin D intake. Have a look at the article below to see why this Doctor makes this claim!

Vitamin D Sun Quotes. QuotesGram

STAYING INDOORS INCREASES CORONAVIRUS RISK!
— Read on doctordavidfriedman.com/blog/staying-indoors-increases-coronavirus-risk

Middle-Age Wisdom: Healthy snacking habits while working from home – Fox News

Hello all! Forgive me as I write this on my phone. My better half is telecommuting and has my computer at the moment.

Before I share the article, I wanted to give a quick update on some scheduling changes during this covid-19 crisis. I’ve decided to cut back to blogging to just one day per week, for the foreseeable future, until things get back to normal. This is a significant cut back from my current schedule of 4 days per week.

Each Monday, I’ll post 2 articles, one from this blog and one from my recipe blog, The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen. Since my better half and youngest son are both home everyday, I find myself in a unique opportunity to spend quality time with my family, thus the reason for the cut back. Once things are back to normal, I’m hoping to go full time on both blogs.

Onto the main article:

Many of you find yourselves in a unique situation of working from home. This poses many different challenges, one of which is access to more food than normal. Trust me, as someone who works from home all the time, I understand this challenge all too well….the penchant to snack, mindlessly, all day. How do you stop this? The following article from Fox News gives a few tips on how to resist snacking and eat healthy when working from home.

Snacks Quotes. QuotesGram

Here are a few tips from the article:

  • plan ahead- make snacks ahead of time and place them in clear containers
  • make unique snacks – like fruit skewers with pineapple cubes, orange slices, strawberries, etc
  • Use low-fat, plain yogurt or cottage cheese for dips or breakfast.
  • change work locations if you’re prone to stress eating
  • take a 15 minute break- get some fresh air, chat with friends or play a game on your computer/phone
  • got cravings? Figure out possible reasons and look for solutions

If you fall off track don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. Just hop back on the healthy eating bandwagon. At the end of the day, it’s overall healthy eating that matters, not one little bad snack.

Until next time, Namaste 🙏 my friends.

For more details, here is the link to the main article: Coronavirus outbreak: How to maintain healthy snacking habits while working from home

Middle-Age Memoirs : Beautiful things happen…

Back when I first started this blog, roughly 3 years ago, I spent a good portion of my time posting inspirational articles. In fact, I had a “daily inspiration” post that was quite popular. I have gotten away from that. After my graduation, I’ve spent most of my time posting about brain health, stress, and areas of middle-age wellness, such as heart disease and menopause. I seem to have forgotten that inspiration is a huge aspect of social, spiritual and emotional wellness.

Don't let someone dim your light... | Whisper words of ...

So, today, I decided to post an inspirational video about keeping a distance from negative situations and people. This is a question that has become a huge aspect of my life recently. I won’t divulge specific details of this very personal part of my life. Needless to say, I recently made a decision that affected me in a very drastic and unexpected way.

Lessons Learned in LifeDon't let anyone dim your light ...

There has been some unspoken animosity between myself and certain people in my life. For many years we all pretended things were fine. But they weren’t fine. We all walked on egg shells around each other. This tension and negative energy caused me to devolve into a version of myself I didn’t know and hated. These anxious moments made me uncomfortable in my own skin and it had to stop.

Negative Energy Quotes. QuotesGram

I explained my thoughts and feelings to them through 2 different letters and left the door open for them. I am still hoping we can work things out. Currently, I am waiting for them to reply to my last letter I sent 6 months ago. So far they haven’t replied to me. Honestly, this was completely unexpected. I really thought we could work things out. Maybe we still can. I can only hope. So, only time will tell.

SILENCE is as good of an answer as words - Picture Quotes

This is my personal story and the reason I chose today’s video. The video below is an inspirational speech about releasing people from your life. It touches on “toxic people”. I don’t like that phrase at all. I don’t believe any person is “toxic”. Situations are toxic, NOT people. That is how this current situation is for me. In order to raise myself up, that toxic environment needs to change. That means fixing the relationship, which takes work from everyone involved. Everyone has to want it.

Despite the use of the phrase “toxic people”, this video is great. The video inspires you to take your focus off negative people or situations and focus on positive, life changing dreams and goals. Sometimes, to focus on the positive situations, you need to distance yourself from negative situations.

Here is the video:

“Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity.”

Closing thoughts

It is my hope that I can turn my negative situation into a positive situation. I’m hoping they can BECOME part of my dreams and goals, instead of watching from a distance.

I hope they know how much I love and miss having them in my life. I think of them everyday. I hope they know that my door is always open to them.

Until next time…Namaste my friends

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It turns out smart phone addiction is very real!

As I was reading news this morning, I came across this video. A new study reveals that smart phones do some serious damage to the brain.

Smart phones affect your brain the same way drugs do and causes an actual addiction. Here are some details from the video. Smartphones addiction does the following:

  • Physically changes the size and shape of the brain
  • Gray matter diminished in key regions
  • Significant decrease in brain activity
  • Similar brain activity to drug addicts

According to the video, the average age of smart phone use is 10.3 years old! When you think of the damage to the brain, that’s scary, especially since their brains are still developing.

Here are some tips from Dr. Thomas Kersting, from the video:

  • Limit children’s TOTAL screen time to 2 hours per day as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Delay the issuance of an actual smartphone. If parents want children to have a phone, get a “dumb phone” . This type of phone only makes calls and sends texts.

See this video link below for details.

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6134554238001/