Barbara: Taking Care

I finally managed to log 10,000 steps today—the first time in almost a week.  It’s been frigidly cold and icy, which means two things: I have not been walking my IMG_5979darling dog at all. He’s had two major knee surgeries, and I can slip on stakes for my shoes, but he doesn’t understand that ice can make you fall down.

Plus, eh, it was windy. Bitter wind, down to 12 degrees….icy roads and walks. No.

I also haven’t been out much, since I chose to buy a Mini instead of something sensible last year.  How often do I need it? How often do I love my Mini? (All the freaking time, every minute I’m in it, and sometimes when I just catch a glimpse of somebody else’s Mini.)  We got out to tai chi Saturday (and yes, Mary Stella, it’s Taoist) which felt great, and I paddled around in the water while Christopher Robin swam laps the other day.

Here’s the thing: my knees were not hurting this morning. That’s quite a surprise. Have I had it wrong all this time? Is all the exercise hurting me, not helping?  After I walked, my hips and knees were both bugging me, but it was also a lot of snow, which is uneven, and the odd bit of ice, so I was careful and tense.

I don’t know. I’ve decided to go with super easy exercise, daily, for awhile and see how that feels. Still aiming for my 10K steps (I’ve been averaging about 4K) per day, but only swimming, walking, tai chi for maybe a month.  Just to see….

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  What are your plans for feasting, enjoying, but also taking care of yourself?  I give myself the pleasure of really feasting on the day, though it’s better than it used to be because I don’t eat any of the meat products and that means a lot less fat by the end of the day.  I do love pie, and asked my sister to bring pecan. But I’ll get a walk in early in the day, and on Friday, I’ll get to the gym for a swim or something.  We’ll eat oatmeal for breakfast every day to limit fats & sugars, and I’ll probably make of a pot lentil soup with veggies to have for lunches. Since I am vegetarian and my son (who is staying for 5 days) is a vegan, we don’t have the turkey leftovers, so I can get back to “normal” eating fairly quickly.  (I will say, however, that of all meat things, I miss roast turkey the most.  Both on the day and the turkey sandwiches the next couple of days.  My mouth is watering, just thinking of it….)

What’s up with you? What’s your plan for Thanksgiving?  I’m so grateful to know you all, to share this space with you….big hugs all around. 

29 thoughts on “Barbara: Taking Care

  1. I love turkey and especially the side dishes. We have a couple vegetarians in our Thanksgiving group, so there are always lots of wonderful sides that we make sure they can eat (two versions of the stuffing, one baked inside the bird and one not) and more than enough for a feasty meal.

    I have Thanksgiving with friends, who are excellent cooks, but you know how it is — the side dishes are never quite “right” unless you make them yourself (or whoever first introduced you to them is doing the cooking), so I’m planning to cook a hotel-cut turkey with all the sides on the day after Christmas (also spent with the same friends). That way,I’ll have left-overs the following week, and no cooking during my at-home mini-vacation between Christmas and New Year’s.

  2. We’re having Thanksgiving brunch at Mollie’s on Friday, so I get tomorrow to myself, which is fabulous because I won’t be fighting holiday traffic (not going near the malls so won’t be dealing with Black Friday traffic) and because I can keep making progress on all the stuff I have to do. I’m thankful that I love doing the work I have to do, I’m thankful my family are all happy and healthy, I’m thankful I have four dogs that like to snuggle on cold winter’s nights. And of course I’m thankful for ReFabbers and Argh People. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. You won’t catch me out walking in this icy mush! But I’m trying to be mindful of my health so I’ll ride the exercise bike while we watch movies.

    I find since breaking my leg last year that any kind of adverse weather/walking conditions make me very tense. Which would only make falling worse, I know. So I’m giving my self a break, riding the bike, making dairy free chocolate pie with tofu – It’s really, really good people so stop making those faces!

    I’ll do pumpkin too, because we really are pumpkin pie people and go easy on the potatos. Also I’ve gotten much better about not overeating even though there is so much food. I just remind myself that whatever I leave (and the kids don’t eat) will be around for leftover turkey sandwiches. Yum!

  4. Vicki V says:

    FWIW and YMMV caveats abound here. But I have bad knees with arthritis in both and an old partial ACL tear in one. Before the ACL injury from a fall I was walking three miles either four or five days a week.

    My physical therapist told me not to walk for exercise ever again. He recommended a bike or exercise bike instead. It’s essentially low impact exercise even when riding fast enough to raise heart rate significantly for extended periods, and it strengthens the muscles supporting my knee joints without stressing my knees.

    Vicki V.

    • ruthie says:

      Yes! After my second (third?) serious knee injury, ACL etc., I kept trying to “build my stamina back up.” Pre-injury, I had been walking three to five miles a day, every day, and walking fast — when I was on a tear, I’d pass the slow joggers. I finally complained to my ortho guy that every time I started to even begin to get some strength back, I’d overdo and be worse off. That’s when he gave me the welcom-to-your-world talk, and I had to accept that those long, fast walks were a thing of the past. But boy were they great stress busters.

      I have an exercise bike, but I also got myself a little frame thing with pedals on it, don’t recall what the brand name was, that you put under your desk/table, or just in front of your chair and pedal while you read, write, knit, whatever. I find I use that more than the bike because it’s always under my desk, and I don’t have to go to another room or stop what I’m doing. If you see one somewhere, give it a try. Very inexpensive.

      I had a quiet T-day, not a big family do, and it was just what I needed to decompress and, yet, turkey leftovers! Score!

      I’ve been enjoying the company of you guys for so long, even if i don’t comment regularly. I am thankful to have a place like Refab to come visit and to have my nice little home and occasional peace of mind. 😉

  5. Barbara,

    I am so excited that you’re studying Taoist Tai Chi because I know the set and I know how it has helped me in so many ways over the last year and a half. Hint for Fit Bit – when I do Tai Chi, I hook the fit bit on the leg of my shorts or pants rather than somewhere on my trunk. It still doesn’t accurately log all of the steps during Tai Chi but it gets more of them.

    Tai Chi is one way that I take care of myself. The physical benefits alone are wonderful with the stretching, balance work, and increased leg strength and flexibility. It’s also so good for relaxation, stress reduction, etc. I’m convinced that Tai Chi is the reason why I no longer have carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms in my right hand/arm.

    For me, it’s been an excellent week and a half. I’ve set my alarm earlier than usual so that I could get exercise in before work — bike rides when it isn’t too windy, in-home walking program DVD if it is. I practice Tai Chi every day and also walk the dogs. Plus, FitBit motivates me to move make that extra effort if I haven’t quite hit my 10,000 step mark.

    I’m not feasting tomorrow. That actually is also good self-care. I am really working hard to lose the final 40 pounds. However, I’m not depriving myself of tasty foods that I love. Instead, I’ve spread them out. For example, I had mashed rutabaga and baked white sweet potato over a couple of meals this week. I’m going to roast some chestnuts, which were my favorite part of the stuffing my mother always made inside the turkey.

    I hope we’ll have nice weather tomorrow and through the weekend so that I can ride my bike, walk, and enjoy some much needed time off.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    • I so loved Taoist Tai Chi when I took it while living on the Oregon Coast! There is a big center for it in Portland, OR. The weird thing is that there is no center in Seattle, and apparently no instructors, either. This makes me sad because I don’t want to learn another form, I want to return to the one that was so helpful for my health (I think that it helped me overcome plantar fasciitis, which is back of course). I’m so glad you, Mary and Barbara, have found it and enjoy it!

      • Skye, since Tai Chi helped your health, I encourage you to seek out lessons, even if the Taoist Tai Chi Society doesn’t have a branch in Seattle. When I lived in New Jersey, I studied the Wu style long form and achieved many healthy benefits from that too. I know that Taoist is familiar to you, but even an unfamiliar form is better than not doing it at all. Besides, the new form won’t be unfamiliar forever. 🙂

        • Kieran says:

          Mary, is there a video you’d recommend? I went searching and couldn’t find anything that looked like it was for beginners. I wish Taoist Tai Chi were taught near me, but it isn’t.

          • Kieran, unfortunately, I don’t know of any DVDs to recommend. I think it’s very hard to learn by watching a DVD so I never investigated. If you’re already learning with an instructor, then watching a DVD might be able to help you practice.

            If there are no Taoist Tai Chi branches near you, check around for other forms. There are many — Wu style, Yang style, etc. Senior centers, recreation centers, etc., often offer them and even if you aren’t a senior, this can help you make contact with an instructor.

      • Skye, CR has plantar fasciitis right now, and I hope it will help him as much as it has helped you.

        Mary, that’s wonderful to hear. Our teacher gives DVDs of all the forms to students, and one new thing I will start doing next week is practicing each day. It really does feel right just now.

        • Barbara, that’s great. I know that the main website has a video of Master Moy doing the set but in the early days it only confused me if I went beyond the moves we’d learned in class.

          Tai Chi has also been great at helping me learn patience and focus. It forces me to calm down “chattering monkeys” in my head — as in potentially stressful situations or other things that are affecting my emotions or serenity. If I don’t tune out those things, I’ll lose my place in the set.

          When I’m set leading, I don’t even look at the people around me because it takes me out of the flow and that’s when I more likely to forget where I am and what move comes next. I just sneak looks at the set leader in the opposite corner so that we stay in synch.

          Practicing even a little each day brings greater benefits. Good for you!

  6. Kelly S says:

    I’m the only person I know that doesn’t get excited about the traditional Thanksgiving meal. I’m not a fan of turkey, stuffing, cranberries or pie. Since I was made aware of my allergy to pork, ham is also out. So, not over doing isn’t a problem but finding enough healthy and tasty food to eat is. Finally, knowing that I’ll be with 24-28 people all day tomorrow, my introverted self may also drink more calories than is wise.

  7. We don’t have a thanks giving date, but we are thankful
    for all the folks out there in the social media who fight the good fight against so many, horrifying and alarming injustices.

    I’m thankful for my family’s health. Thankful for their encouragement and help. Thankful we can take our dog for walks every morning, without a worry. Thankful to see and hear the birds along the way. Watch newborn calves gambol through the sweet grass.

    Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving 🙂

  8. I’m spending T-day with one of my families, the friends who decided I would spend Christmases with them after Mom died. Their teens love their “Auntie” and I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world. I’ve been trying to find a recipe for green jello salad like my Gram used to make (because I can’t find her recipe box so it must be packed) to take tomorrow.

    I am thankful I have close friends, all over the country and perhaps the world. I am thankful to have a fake niece and nephew who love to spend time with me. I am thankful for my housemates who make it so that I don’t run out of money and yet can still have new warm clothes and yarn and do fun things. I, too, am very thankful for all the ReFabbers and Arghers.

      • LOL! Green Hello would be interesting!

        Gram’s version is lime jello, cottage cheese, pineapple tidbits, and cool whip (originally dream whip). Had a rather interesting disagreement with female housemate because her family made a green jello salad, too, with almost the exact same ingredients. Except that my Gram’s version actually made the jello into jello first, and the housemate’s version just mixes the dry jello into the cottage cheese. She gets kinda persistent about her way when there is a conflict or disagreement. I am, of course, going with what I know and like. 🙂

    • German Chocolate Betty says:

      My grandmother used to make a green jello salad (lime?) with shredded carrots and pineapple pieces. Boy, how 50s, eh??

      Sounds nasty, but actually wasn’t all that bad. Rather refreshing really, as I recall. Not that I have any motivation to resuscitate it….

      • Yes! I remember the shredded carrots and pineapple version too! It wasn’t at all nasty — at least not to my child palate at the time. I wonder how I’d feel about it now.

      • Micki says:

        I wish jello salads would come back! I don’t have access to boxed Jello now, so I make do with regular gelatin, sugar (sometimes brown sugar) and lime juice. Skip the food coloring. One of my favorite “salads” was pear halves in lime jello. Mmmm. But Thanksgiving was either carrots in lemon jello, or apples, walnuts and celery in “red” flavored jello. I remember one year when my aunt outraged the family by using one box of cherry and one box of strawberry. (-: It was still “red” flavored. If she hadn’t admitted her mistake, nobody would have noticed.

        One year, I made the jello with kanten (agar agar), lemon juice, sugar and julienned carrots. It was really good, but nobody touched it because I put “vegan carrot kanten.” I think. The vegans don’t trust food made by others, and the other people were, “ewwww, vegan. Mmmmm, pumpkin pie.” (I may be fooling myself, and everyone else thought it was awful and fifties and icky. But I don’t care. Man, I wish Jello salads would become trendy again (-:.)

        Happy Thanksgiving, Barbara and everyone!

        • German Chocolate Betty says:

          Oh! I remember the pear halves in jello too!

          And there was some kind of red jello salad with mini-marshmallows as well….

  9. Diane Russom Harrison says:

    Our family celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday since my sister and her hubs were flying to their home in Mexico on Thanksgiving morning.
    Everyone liked doing it that way so much that they have asked if that could become our new tradition. Sounds good to me.
    I love every food connected to Thanksgiving but somehow I never really “pig” out. I wish I had taken a picture of my plate before I ate. I had spaces between the various foods I ate. I got smart and started with just one serving spoon of each food and about 4 ounces of Turkey and I was satisfied. No seconds and I skipped the sweet potatoes, rolls, and didn’t have dessert.
    It was only in the teens here so it was too cold for a walk but we all stayed at the table telling stories for quite a long time. A good time was had by all.

    • ruthie says:

      I stopped pigging out on Thanksgiving when I was about 16-years old. The whole big family group was sprawled around the living room, moaning about how full they were, including me, when I had an epiphany. To whit, the only reason I, at least, pigged out at Thanksgiving was because it was the only time all year that I could get turkey and gravy etc., all of which i loved. But, hey, I knew how to cook. I could stick a darn turkey in the oven as well as the next guy.

      The next trip to the grocery store, I badgered my mom into buying a small turkey for the freezer. Come March when the craving was upon me, I made a turkey dinner. We all ate and enjoyed, in moderation, because this proved we could have turkey whenever we wanted it. Assuming turkeys are available in your area mostly year round/you have a freezer.

      I still enjoy the heck out of the T-day meal, but now I can eat like a sane person instead of a starving wolverine. Small steps to healthy eating. 😉

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