Oct. 15th, 2014 02:12 pm
smittenbyu: (Sketch)
It's everywhere! My goodness, the panic it's creating. sigh. Talk of terrorism has also been mixed in somehow. Countries have been successful in driving Ebola away, Nigeria, Congo, and another country, I forget now. But that was because immediate action was taken and the countries were/are better equipped.

It's so sad what's happening in Liberia. They were just getting back on their feet. Their harvest was also wonderful this year apparently because of better weather. But they can't go out into the farms. Why is the world dragging its feet? Don't they see that if they don't cut it off right now, it will turn into something far bigger?

I watched CNN for half an hour the other day just for the heck of it! OMG! I nearly started panicking that I might catch ebola!! sigh... but then we need the media to keep this on front page, maybe it will get more donations. When it wasn't we were all busy dousing ourselves with buckets full of ice.  It seems for anything to happen these days we need to make some silly viral videos or scare the living daylights out of people!


Mar. 11th, 2014 09:42 am
smittenbyu: (Sketch)
Just a year ago, I was so much fitter. I keep wondering what changed. Two things.. A car and lack of an India trip in fall.

Up until we got a car, I walked everywhere, even in the cold. I pushed a stroller that was probably 25-30lbs and so my arms were also strong. I actually had biceps I could call biceps and not some flab pretending to be that is today. I would walk to the store to get small groceries - milk, eggs, fruit with the bob stroller and kid in tow. The store is a little less than a mile and half away. I would walk to the yoga class - which is also a mile away. We would go to DC a lot and that was always by metro and day at the museum - on the feet. So, that averaged 4 days of walking at least 2 miles.

India is a walking city, at least Mumbai is. My in-laws live on the 3rd floor without an elevator. So, just basic daily activity included at least a bit of movement.

Here, I used to climb up the 10 floors every now and then. Now I have gotten lazy.

I can't blame the car completely. After all the stroller is still around and the store hasn't moved. But what's changed is the child no longer sits in the stroller. So, a walk to the groceries is no longer a workout. I have to walk at D's pace. She loves to walk but her pace is obviously slow. And she likes to help push the stroller, which was ok. Now she wants to do it all by herself and with the bob revolution I am just afraid it will whisk her away!

So, today in a few minutes I am walking to yoga class after a long time! The weather is beautiful! Fine, it's very overcast and looks like it will rain. But heck it's 55F now and said to head up to 70F! Warmth…going to savor every moment of it! Thursday the temps are going to drop again and will enjoy the cold too. That's funny thing about spring I guess.
smittenbyu: (Sketch)
Some time last week, I watched this TED talk this one given by Sandra Aamodt on Why dieting doesn't usually work. Absolutely loved it! I always feel we are too focused on our weight than looking at the bigger picture of health - our lifestyle, eating mindfully, physical movement.

And there were a string of other articles on sugar in our daily lives and our addiction to it! As I look at what we eat at home, every meal has so much of added sugar. You really have to make things from scratch or fly to Europe to get stuff without so much sugar. grrr…

But this week has been good exercise wise. Weekly yoga class has been beautiful to the body (and mind). Went to the gym 3 times last weekend. Skipped the weekend. I should have gone at least one of those days. I want to make it that I get exercise in 5 days a week at least.

Monday, was a beautiful morning and so took a hike on the trail. This morning was the class. How inflexible my body has gotten and oh so stiff. But saw such a difference in just a week! Very nice! It really has made me more conscious of my posture on a daily basis.

Hubby also brought home a flourless chocolate cake! We have it hidden from D and eating a small slice a day… oh how delicious! But have cut out any other snacking to compensate.

Haven't had a cup of tea in a week too! It wasn't intentional except once, when I decided to go with a grapefruit! Grapefruit is such a filling fruit!! It's sad that I never grew up incorporating fruit with meals. It was always at snack time. So, that kind of stuck and since D was born, it has been replaced with a cup of tea and some biscuits, crackers, or rusk.
smittenbyu: (contemplation)
This trip is turning very sad. almost everyone we speak to has some parent in the hospital not doing well. sigh. So many relatives are going through so many complications. It makes my FIL's bypass surgery seem like a piece of cake.  


Feb. 12th, 2011 09:15 am
smittenbyu: (distraught)
D is teething - her bottom two came out two weekends ago. The top to canine teeth came out during the week and I can see the whites of the top front two. So she is stuck to me. At least she is not cranky. A happy girl even at 3am. The modem lights in the living room got her to fall back asleep! And she caught a cold on Tuesday and then I did on Thursday. bleah. I could sleep for a few days.

so, just writing to say, yay Egypt!! My dad and some other family members were there on holiday just till a few days before the revolution began. So, dad take credit that they showed the country the way to democracy! ;) I hope for a peaceful future for the country!
smittenbyu: (B&W)
went to the gym again today while N came home for lunch. I just weighed myself after over a month - mostly to see D's weight. She is a healthy 15ish pounds (it doesn't show ounces). As for me, I am lighter than even my prepregnancy weight. But what is this pouch doing around my waistline? My hips feel like they are 1.5 times the size. I guess I should focus on toning exercises more as well. And also come to accept that my body will look different now.

I am not sure why i was thinking i put on weight... i sure feel like i did though...

anyhow, D loves when i do yoga poses with her and in front of her. She thinks it's hilarious!! before she starts crawling want to make it to a class just to see if i am doing things well. With one income, we really need to watch our spending. So, am splurging on an awesome haircut! I am planning to chop it all off. I am sick of the ponytail and half my hair has fallen out. looks sick really. sigh.
smittenbyu: (B&W)
Yesterday, N came home from work a little early. So, I took the opportunity (well, he pushed me out the door) to go to the gym. I got on the treadmill and did the interval training option it comes with. My "running" speed was of a very brisk walk and "jogging" speed was a slower brisk walk. After a while I got bored and so I started jogging.


It seems trivial but I didn't realise I could do it. I was feeling my weight but my heart rate was better than it was even before pregnancy and I could actually jog!!!

And I really need to jog much more frequently now as I have been putting on weight. bleah. All the ice creams and junk I have begun consuming the last month and half is definitely not helping! But need to figure out healthy snacks to take. Meals wise we are doing well. It's all the snacking. I look 6 months pregnant again!

One bad habit - well, it's not bad but it's a habit I never had before and that is tea drinking. After delivery, I would accompany mom (who is also not a regular drinker, will have a cup if there's company kind of drinker) with a cup of tea everyday!!! Our extended family surely should see this! We both were always at the butt of jokes as we don't take coffee nor tea and so most of the time we would be offered chocolate milk with a snicker...(that it's a kids' drink) and there are a few who share that it's a good habit. But now it seems I am addicted. I don't really enjoy it, it's just something to drink - something to fill time.

Of course, for whatever reason the moment I sit down with a cup of tea, D demands my attention, so until a few days ago, I have been drinking cold tea (Indian tea). ah well... maybe my daughter is trying to discourage me to making it a true habit!
smittenbyu: (Default)
It's been forever since I have posted non-baby related thoughts! But that's been my life so far!
  • So a question - lot of people say when baby reaches 6 weeks, some routine will be formed. So, does the baby magically wake up on the 6 week mark and say, "I am done with my vacation, better start a routine!"? If that is the case, then Hungry Lion has 1 week of vacation left! And I am counting down days! ;)
  • Yesterday N so sweetly offered a back massage. I immediately laid down on my side ready for back rub. After a while I realised I could sleep on my tummy. I so hesitatingly moved to my stomach and the world didn't crumbling down. It's been forever since I laid on my stomach! wow..what a feeling!
  • I went on a walk this morning after feeding baby. My first outing on my own! And my thoughts still stayed with HL. But oh dear how my body has become stiff! Need to do this more often. What would have taken me 15 minutes took me nearly half hour to walk! ooof...

Baby calls...my time is up!

Taken from [livejournal.com profile] tulipchica 

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie First Birthday tickers
smittenbyu: (contemplation)
And there are some people who have the nerve to say something to the form of that "they don't want their money to cover people who just eat all junk and get sick that continue to increase medical costs. If we do cover them then they'd better start to eat right." And they say this while they themselves are sipping away on coca-cola and pizza-hut pizza!

Do they realise that some if not many of these people are poor. They can't afford nice fancy organic vegetables/meats. And their access to produce and healthy food places is rather limited. When was the last time you went to an inner-city and found Whole Foods around? Forget Whole Foods, even a grocery store? 

In our trip to Detroit last year, we ventured into the city to look at some popular murals. One time we were in an area that didn't look too "safe" (we were later chastised for going there as that area has a bad rep). The only stores we found on that street were a gun shop, a pawn shop, some fast-food place (not a national chain) and some clothing stores. There wasn't even a 7-Eleven in sight. The only equivalent was the store at the gas station. So, where exactly do these people get to buy their veggies and meats I don't know.

This topic was also on the news yesterday morning. These places are known as "food deserts". And "healthy" foods are more expensive and when you are on a tight budget, working minimum wage with many mouths to feed you go for the cheap stuff. Not to nitpick but we allow the very government passing the healthcare bill to continue to run high subsidies and provide unconditional support to the corn industry - the main ingredient in the junk-food many consume. It's such a vicious cycle. And with people's busy schedules, many of us have given up cooking at home and go for convenience. And that has become the norm.

It's such a complex web of mess we have woven. I am not saying give up junk food. I remember my doc in high school who used to say. Eat your chips, but eat the healthy stuff first and if you have room go for the junk. It's okay to enjoy it once in a while. But not when it becomes the number one source of food and nutrition! 

For this, I am in full support of Jamie Oliver's wish:

“I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.” source

Two years ago I watched him "re-educate and retrain" the school cooks in the UK. Now he is in America trying to do the same.

It's definitely an idea worth spreading! And isn't he just too charming not to listen to?! :D
smittenbyu: (Default)
Last night hubby and I stopped and watched Fox News for a bit... we were watching the beautiful documentary show "Life" on Discovery and during ad breaks we were channel surfing and we found a former presidential candidate doing his own show. For the life of me I am drawing a complete blank on his name!! 

Anyhow, he was so sweetly explaining one of the problems that could crop up with the healthcare bill in place. He believes that the bill would end up creating two classes of people. One who don't want to wait in long lines for government sponsored care and will pay for private care and the other class who have no choice but to wait in long lines for care. It made sense. I could see his point.

But what I couldn't understand was, isn't this how it is now as well? Do these rich folks ever step out of their comfortable bubble and see how it is for the poor who DO stand in long lines to get some medical attention, who then end up with huge bills that they can't pay, which ends up being paid by you and I anyhow. Really....
smittenbyu: (distraught)
Recently, I have been very embarrassed and disgusted to say I live in Washington DC. Some of the things that have been going on at and around the US Capitol and White House are just beyond comprehension. One has the right to their opinions and am glad this is a free country, but some of the racial slurs overheard, the threats made over people's lives, the pure hatred in people's eyes and hearts is just saddening. Usually at this time of the year we see happy tourists enjoying the blossoms. But I haven't seen much of that just yet. Well, the rains also hasn't helped any.

I also have to say that both Republicans and Democrats have been playing a horrible political game with an issue that is so important. I have seen not one but quite a few of friends and hubby's colleagues who have gone bankrupt because of medical bills, etc. Whenever parents or anyone comes here to visit our advice is, "Don't fall sick! It will cost you your arm and leg!" And their response usually (usually the older generation, who grew up in schools with visions of America being this heavenly place where it was number one in everything) is of surprise, "how can that be? This is USA?"

It's sad that a country that claims the best healthcare system in the world, one thing they seem to hide under the rug is that one has to be rich to access it and survive through. And one must also recognise that every system has its flaws. We should work together to fix those flaws. Not name call and threaten people's lives. And actually read the darned proposal at hand instead of listening to some third party who might have their own self-interest in twisting the facts to get your support! 
smittenbyu: (Default)
I have been having sinus headaches the last few weeks. I had seen the doc and he suspected that it might be a leftover of a flu. It seemed to have been subsiding at the time of visit and so recommended to take rest and sent me home. There was a possibility that it might be due to my allergies. Anyhow, nothing was inflamed and too bad to need medications. I like this doctor. He listened. He made me feel comfortable. He laughed along. He gave good advice. Anyhow, the symptoms never went away and I have started to get some more sneezing in the books of symptoms. I headed to the doc yesterday to talk to him about allergy medication/history.

Again, the doc is awesome and the staff are amazing. I really regained faith in the healthcare system as the other experiences I had weren't so nice. Anyhow, I was also impressed that the doc prescribed the medicine using his laptop and it was directly sent to the closest CVS that I go to! This was a first! Amazing! Well, I walk on over to the CVS in the heat to get it. The pharmacist took in the order and asked me to wait a bit. So I did. Well, I later find out that the particular medicine prescribed to me is not covered by my insurance. The pharamacist asked me to call up my insurance to see if there are other medicines that are covered and get the prescription changed.

This is when it got a bit annoying. I asked him if he can see what medicines are covered. I asked because the last three times i have been to CVS (twice at the same location) the pharmacist was the one who took the initiative to find out the alternatives and asked if they could call my doc. Of course, I seem to go after office hours and never experienced what would happen. I was wondering why the pharmacist was giving me this story then? Maybe this is a change in the new system?

Anyhow, so I, a non-medical person was supposed to call the insurance agent who is also probably a non-medical person to see what medicine I can take before I talk to the doctor. Or just spend a $100 bucks out my whole pocket.

And the ironic thing is that CVS has now a notice a the counter saying that to help reduce healthcare costs will dispose generics first unless otherwise stated by the doctor or the patient. right.

Anyhow, a friend said I should just go back another time and try again. So, planning to go tomorrow morning. Hopefully the same guy is not there. hrrmmphh... At least to get the alternative covered medicines.
smittenbyu: (Default)
  • We sanitize our homes with the help of many chemicals - that might possibly be more dangerous than the few germs that might have snuck into our homes.

  • We fight off any ounce of indoor-air odour with air fresheners or scented candles. God forbid if our cooking smells; and our bodies with deodorants & perfumes - further adding chemicals around.

  • We over-medicate ourselves at a sign of a sneeze or a tummy ache - coming from chemicals majority of us cannot pronounce.

  • We have gotten rid of every possible piece of sand/soil from our kids playground and build everything out of plastic to avoid harm and germs that might be lying about.

  • and the list goes on.

We do much of the above out of concern for our children and our health. And yet we have no qualms about ingesting a tonne of junk food filled with sugar, fats that we don't need, and meats that come from animals that are eating food they don't naturally eat, plants that are grown in soils that are sprayed with pesticides, causing health problems that killing us slowly.

And I write all this as I am sipping away caffeinated high-fructose-syrup drink (you figure it out :P). sigh. There is no hope for humankind. ;)


Jul. 28th, 2009 11:00 am
smittenbyu: (Default)
As many in my family suffer from high Blood Pressure, I have been "blessed" with low blood pressure. Probably inherited from mom or dad as paternal grandma also had low BP. But I have had bouts where my BP fell below what is considered good and go through periods of light-headeness. Fortunately it's not a frequent occurence. My last drop was back in 2006. And I have been suffering from it these past few days and it's annoying and frustrating.

In 2006, it was I think from a panic/fear/anxiety thing and this time I think it was triggered from too much "bed-rest" with too little activity. I had a bad sinus headache and body aches - what could possibly have been a virus as none of the over-the-counter medicines helped.

I saw the doc yesterday, whom by the way I really liked, as a doctor! I felt listened to and he didn't rush through with me to get to the next patient and didn't send me off with a ton of medications. Although, one doesn't need medication for low BP, except in some severe cases. ah well, I had also gone because of the sinus thing. And as my previous doc in Malaysia, prescribed me to take more salt and drink coffee, lay your head between your knees while seated (get the head below heart level) or put your legs up to get the blood flow going and sent me on my way. As for the sinus thing, since it's going away and he didn't see any inflamation, etc. it's hard to really diagnose if it's a virus or possibly an allergy. I hope it was a virus and goes away. I put up with my nasal allergies and don't need to add headaches to the list. bleah.

Since Friday I have kept my exercise moderate. Taken long walks and jogged a little bit, kept hydrated, and doing yoga poses while in the laying down position and stuff.

Anyhow, the high point of this whole thing, funnily to get my BP higher: as not being a coffee fan, it's a great excuse for salted-pop-corn! :D Life's good!

sugar free

Jul. 13th, 2009 10:23 am
smittenbyu: (Default)
I just realised that it's been ten days since I have had sugar products. The only sugars I have had are that in fruits and Amul's Nutramul (for chocolate drink). Not bad. Not that I was stuffing myself with sugars before that or anything but I would have ice cream, candy, occasional soda. Am trying to make it for a month at least.... lets see how that goes.

Exercise, I have been bad. Have had some health stuff that has affected my regularity but I have been going at least on walks for minimum of half hour everyday. I started doing weights again just a few days ago and a bit sore now. I watched the TLC's 650 lb virgin (a young man who lost 400 pounds with nutrition change and exercise!!!) and got motivated! Really we have no excuse - especially me! The yoga center down the road is closing end of this month not just because of the poor economy but also because of new regulations coming into place.... yoga regulated.

Speaking of health and food, this week am going to go watch Food, Inc.. Chipotle is sponsoring free screenings on certain dates nationwide... so going to give it a try as it's here in town this week! I have read Pollan's excerpts. And now am craving for some Chipotle.... mmmm
smittenbyu: (distraught)
"These pharmacists!" I exclaimed to my sick husband as I came back from the freezing cold outside. He sat there looking perplexed and amused (hubby is a non-practicing pharmacist). "they are so bad!" I continued.

"What happened?" he asked, looking sick and sipping on hot tea and awaiting to give me a surprise.

As I removed my boots and coats, I continued, "You know I went to pick up the magic wash, I had to sign off that I picked up the prescription. On the log book there were a few columns and I was trying to read it. There were two main columns; one was if I wanted to talk to the pharmacist about the prescription and the second was if I decided not to talk about the prescription with the pharmacist. Well, I was going to sign under wanting to talk to the pharmacist about the prescription, because I couldn't read the directions written by the doctor. The pharmacist had the nerve to point me to sign under the other column! I let her know that I still had a question about the prescription, I couldn't read it. She just opened the bottle that had the printed instructions attached to it and wished me goodbye!"

I continued in all my excitement, "I thought pharmacists are supposed to tell you more about what to do and how to do, and also what not to do!! Especially when the patient wants to find out!"

We then opened the paper attached to the bottle and saw that there was no details about the "ingredients" that made the magic wash. Even my hubby was a bit surprised. It printed, "monograph* not available at this time". I guess what they say is true, the magician doesn't give the secret away! Yes, the medicine prescribed was really called magic wash!

But I can see why there are more possibilities of mixing medicines and causing in fatal mistakes. Each player in the equation has a part to play in the health of the patient. The patients themselves - sharing openly all medications they are on with the doctor (I take the medicine boxes with me, as I have no clue what the chemicals are); the doctor - listening to the patient and explaining what to do; and the pharmacist - explaining the goods and the bads of the prescription filled and make sure that the patient understands. N says the pharmacist is supposed to make the patient repeat what was said to him/her! At the end of the day listen to the patient and make sure he/she is reassured that they would get better!!

And our doctor's visit experience wasn't too reassuring either.

Yesterday morning we got ready and headed to the Doctor's as N was sick with a flu and it didn't seem to be getting better. We drove to this urgent care close by. It was a place we were trying for the first time. And of course, the first things we heard, "your insurance card & ID" and a 3 page form was given to be filled. The first two pages were the usual, names & places and insurance info. The third page was the symptoms list and then medical history that asked any medical history, what medications the patient is on. The forms were filled and submitted and we waited. and waited. An hour and half later we were called by a nurse and took us to the doctor's room, where she did the preliminary questioning. She had in hand another form filling up the same information that we had spent filling an hour earlier. N was sick and annoyed by this time. He asked her politely still why they were making him repeat the same questions, when he came in with a sore throat and had a tough time talking. The nurse, it was her first day, casually remarked that was for the medical records and this form will be looked at by the doctor. hmmm.. how many trees do we chop off for this silly procedure?!

And then we waited.

The doc came in and sped through the whole consultation. We were out of there in less than five minutes. She looked and prodded but N felt he wasn't listened to. I also concurred with him. With a prescription for some magic wash (yes, it's called that) and some suggestion for over the counter medicine, we were out in the cold weather.

At the end of it all, my hubby thought I looked cute when I was venting. sigh.

* monograph - gives details about the medication given


smittenbyu: (Default)

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