Three years ago today, my family lost one of the most beautiful souls this planet will ever know. Grandma Frances meant so much to all of us. She was the “family doctor”, that never followed her own advice. She always had her cup of tea, crackers with butter, something sweet now and then [wink, wink], and most of all, she had time for you. You, the daughter. You, the niece. You, the son-in-law . You, the granddaughter. And me, the grandson. She had time for everyone.
More than ever, I find myself reflecting on the day she passed away because now, more than ever, I need her. Like the saying goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” I knew my Grandma was special to me but never did I realize how vital she was to easing my troubles in this world. Not only was she the family doctor, she was the family therapist too. You could talk to Grandma about what bothered you, even if she had no clue at all what you were talking about, she’d listen. Talking to her about the same problem over and over again, she’d listen. Complaining about how life was hard and not going how you planned, she’d listen.
To this very day I believe she is still listening.
Although I cannot hear her voice anymore, or hug her frail tiny body, I talk to her. When I decide to have a cup of tea instead of a cup of coffee, I remember the first cup she made for me. When I butter a piece of bread, I think of her and her saltine crackers. When I talk with my kids, I think of her, and remember, I just need to listen. To you, my mom. To you, my dad. To you, my sisters. To you, my wife. To you, my daughter. And to you, my two sons.
Living in Ohio, I get to enjoy the glorious changes of the seasons! Even though that may seem like I’m being sarcastic, I’m not. I really do like the change of season. Don’t get me wrong, living in a nice warm climate all the time would be nice, but in my opinion, it could be boring too. I always tell people that living in Ohio makes me appreciate those other places so much more. If I had the warmth all the time, I wouldn’t know what I was missing. Aside from that, being surrounded by boring, flat land, it makes me appreciate the gorgeous mountain ranges out west when I get to visit them. See, there’s an upside!
During my early years as a child growing up in Ohio, I suffered a lot from migraine headaches. I never did find the root cause and mysteriously enough, as I reached my late teens, they seemed to just vanish. So not real sure if living in Ohio is connected to them or not. However, with the resolution of one problem, something else inevitably needs to take its place. This is where my body decided to now bless me with sinus issues. Now, having suffered through many migraine headaches as an adolescent, I felt like moving to sinus issues was an upgrade of sorts. With migraines, I typically wanted a dark room, minimal sounds, a pillow, and a bed. Sleeping them off was the best way I knew how to cope. The down side to this is that it prevented me from going places and I was usually confined to my bedroom until the migraine wore off. With sinus issues, although I might feel miserable, I could still function and go places.
As a kid, I never really had any interest in figuring out what caused my migraine’s. As an adult, I’ve had more interest in knowing what causes my sinus issues. I did the allergy tests, taken my fair share of z-packs, and came to a determination with my doctor that my sinus issues are related to barometric pressure changes in the atmosphere. Initially, when the doctor came to this conclusion and there didn’t seem to really be any solution, I threw my hands up and figured I’d just have to live with it. Over the years as I have read more and more articles, I’m starting to think I might be able to find a balance between my sinus cavities and mother nature.
One thing I’m starting to realize is that my sinuses may not be the only issue. Over the last six months or so I’ve come across something known as silent reflux. It’s basically acid reflux without the heartburn but the one characteristic that has me interested is the chronic cough symptom. I always assumed it was post nasal drip from my sinuses but now I think both could be at play here. The problem is figuring out if they’re in play at the same time or not.
The quest to figure this out has introduced me to some new food items or concoctions. For instance, I had never heard of apple cider vinegar before but as I read more and more about silent reflux I kept coming across this item. It seems to work all kind of wonders and seems to be a magic food, but where it relates to silent reflux is balancing pH levels. Odd that vinegar, which is an acid, would balance pH levels. The best way I can explain it is similar to ingesting a lemon. Again, being a citrus fruit, acid is present, but when it metabolizes with the body, it becomes alkaline. You might also think that oranges would be good too. This is not the case. Because oranges contain more sugar, the sugar causes a different reaction causing it not to have the same alkaline properties. This knowledge led me on the quest to find more alkaline foods and how could I start introducing them into my diet.
Having listened to a podcast by Lewis Howes, called The School of Greatness, I referred back to episode #250. Lewis interviewed the ladies who started simplegreensmoothies.com and I was curious about whether or not their smoothie recipes tasted as good as they claimed. I also figured this would be a good way to introduce alkaline foods more easily. Looking at their recipes, I narrowed the list by filtering the results by ones kids would like using their “KID-FRIENDLY” option so my kids could try them as well. Having a reduced list, I started with one titled “Strawberry, Banana, Blueberry, Spinach Smoothie“. The recipe is very simple and my wife, kids, and I have been drinking one every morning for roughly the last two weeks. Depending on the ripeness of the fruit, the kids really like the mixture on some days versus others. We also substituted real oranges with orange juice.
Aside from the orange juice it has some very good alkaline foods in it. Strawberries, blueberries, and banana’s all seem to be on most alkaline lists. But the super alkaline food in this recipe smoothie is the spinach. It seems that most green foods have a decent alkaline content. The extra bonus here is that even though I like spinach in its raw form, my kids don’t. The beauty of the smoothie is that they can’t even taste the spinach and they know it’s in there! They help me make the smoothie!
Having success with the first smoothie, I decided it was time to venture on to the next one. I went back to the site, selected the “KID-FRIENDLY” filter, and choose the “Berry Protein Bash“. This one involved the use of unsweetened almond milk, as well as real almonds. In theory, this one sounded great to me but my wife had her doubts. I should have listened to her. I hyped the kids up by asking them, “who wants a smoothie?” Typically, from the success of the first smoothie recipe, this gets a great reaction! Anticipating another great tasting treat, I blending the ingredients, poured it into cups, plopped in some straws and waited for the results. Unfortunately for me, the feedback came quicker than I anticipated. Everyone’s face showed an expression of disgust! It wasn’t that it tasted bad but most people don’t expect to chew anything in their drink! Maybe it’s that our blender can’t shred almonds like the one the ladies from simplegreensmoothies.com have, but I know now, not to make that one again!
Navigating through all the various recipes, I came across one that I thought had potential to help both my sinuses and silent reflux. So this next recipe I felt might provide comfort for both problems. They call it the “Lemon, Ginger and Honey : All-natural Remedy“.
Although it’s not a smoothie, I’ve only been trying this recipe for the last few days and I’m not sure my mixture is right. The recipe indicates that after putting it into the refrigerator, it should begin to form a jelly like texture. Mine is not. I’m not giving up yet! With fresh lemons, I hope it will balance my pH levels, with the honey, it satisfies my sugar craving, and the ginger is good for the digestive track, which by improving digestion, I’m hoping it improves my sinuses and my overall health.
I plan to continue introducing more natural and fresh options to my diet like these. Although it’s to early to tell if any of these options have a positive effect, I feel like my body is probably benefiting from them regardless. More and more, I feel like you are your own best doctor. I’m not saying to disregard doctors all together, but when the doctor tells you there isn’t anything you can really do to combat something, then why not explore yourself. Watch for the patterns, listen to your body, and watch how your body reacts to what you try.
So although I may be still on my quest to combat the barometric seasonal sinus problem and the silent reflux that could be hiding in my belly, I do believe what’s in my gut could change things. I’m learning new healthy options to introduce into my diet that are not only benefiting me, their benefiting my family! Raise your (smoothie) glasses to that!
Have you been on a quest to change your diet to resolve some ailments? If so, let me know, I’d love to hear about them and what you’ve found!
Hello world! (For the fellow programmers out there, my opening statement is not to test my first blog post!)
Welcome to my blog! As you’ve probably already noticed, not much to see here… yet! The reason for that, is because I’m just starting my journey as a blogger! For years I felt like I have had nothing to share or that hasn’t already been written on another blog! What I have learned over my aging years is that sometimes information can be repeated but from a different perspective and experience, it can offer a slightly different angle.
So without boring you to much, I hope to fill my site with content on all the different interests and experiences I have throughout my journey in life. So if your willing to stick around and see what unfolds, thank you, and I hope I can enlighten you with my views or learn from any comments you might have, good or bad!