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Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Politics Of Sustenance


"To say that obesity is caused by merely consuming too many calories is like saying that the only cause of the American Revolution was the Boston Tea Party."

-Adelle Davis

Watch out... another stupid republican is afoot... and he is trying to help us! I can't even believe it's true, but if Mississippi Rep. W.T. Mayhall, Jr. gets his way, a bill will be enacted in his state that will require restaurant patrons to be weighed before being allowed to order food at restaurants. According to Junkfood Science, "Mayhill authored the bill in all seriousness" but even he believes it won't pass. If it is passed, "the bill would require that people who are obese, as defined by the state, be banned from being served in restaurants." You can read the full text of the bill here.

I cannot understand why republican politicians continue to take the, most impractical, and irresponsible approaches to nearly every problem facing America today. There is an obesity epidemic in America, we have all known that for a long time, but real change comes when we raise awareness to such devastating afflictions, potentially caused by obesity, such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Real change comes from practical, proactive approaches like working with a physician and a nutritionist, to find out what each individual's physical and nutritional needs are. Diets don't work, because they try to tell everyone the same information, the truth is, each individual has individual needs according to their blood chemistry and hereditary makeup.Diets don't work, but eating healthy does.

Diets don't work, because more often then not, they are the short cut to a better physical appearance, rather then a healthy lifestyle that will last forever. I have learned so much about nutrition since I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and I haven't learned nearly enough, but what I do know is, in the case of Type 2 Diabetes, it doesn't just sit around waiting for an obese person to come along, it is a non-discriminate intruder. It's true, you are at a higher risk for diabetes is you are obese, but that isn't the only risk, there are other factors as well. That's why it's so important to try to lead a healthy lifestyle as early in life as possible.

I have been so impressed with my HMO and it's approach to wellness. I have Kaiser Permanente, and they have some very good resources available for not just taking care of the body but the mind as well. Natural approaches to pain management and real, easy to follow nutrition guides for healthy eating. They offer classes in nutrition, which are well run and sound in their advice. Coming up this spring, are a number of classes available in meditation and YOGA, because leading a healthy life isn't just about the outside, it's about being healthy on the inside too. I know of what I speak. I have completely changed my ideas about health and nutrition since I was diagnosed, and at my last visit, my doctor smiled, shook her head, and said, "Carly, your test results are terrific." And all it took was some dedication and effort on my part.

When Hillary Clinton tried to present a viable health plan to congress, back in the 1990's, Kaiser was one of the HMO's that she used, as an example of a well run system. It is my understanding that a lot of the principles in her health care initiative was based on Kaiser's system. Too bad it was shot down in the senate. Hopefully, if she is given the democratic nomination, we can finally see some real, practical changes in America. Healthy changes. I believe in her approach to bringing health care to all Americans. I believe she will encourage, not discourage. But even her help won't be enough, because the really hard work has to come from each of us, from within. Like with all other challenges, America's problem with obesity must be faced with truth, education, patience, and with a solid approach to a healthy lifestyle. Period. Humiliation simply doesn't have a place.

Read the entire Junkfood Science article here...

No Fat People Allowed: Only The Slim Will Be Allowed To Dine In Public!


NOTE: Earlier "Anonymous" left me the comment that Bill 282 was actually a bi-partisan bill, which is 100 percent correct. The three names on the bill include 2 republicans, W. T Mayhill, John Read, and democrat, Bobby Shows. So I suppose it is more accurate for me to say that "2 stupid republicans and one stupid democrat is afoot and they are trying to help us." Thank you Anonymous!

-OndineMonet
"Bread and Butter"
Santa Cruz, California
October 14th, 2005
Late Afternoon


Friday, February 01, 2008

National Wear Red Day

"Red is the ultimate cure for sadness."

-Bill Blass

Today is, National Wear Red Day, to bring awareness to the #1 cause of death among women, Heart Disease. I will be wearing red today, how about you? The entire month of February is about the heart, and how to live a healthy life. I celebrate every February by doing as many proactive things for my health as possible. I have already made appointments with my physician for my diabetes check, but also for my yearly mammogram. Alan is joining me in wearing red today, and for dinner tonight, he and I are having a yummy homemade Veggie Pizza, made with a Whole-Wheat Honey Crust. It feels good to take care of myself, and it feels really good when he and I take care of each other.

So tell me, have you been taking care of you lately? Do you need an appointment for your annual physical? Do you do any research into the health issues which most effect your gender and age group? Do you get regular exercise? Do you EAT YOUR VEGGIES? LOL. That last question applied to both this entry and our next Round Robin Challenge. If you would like to participate you are welcome to join in, and hey, look, it will not only be a fun way to share your photos, but it will also be a neat little way to show off how you are taking care of yourself!

Here is what I am wearing today...


Here is what I am having for lunch...


Will you consider joining me this month, in making February a more healthy month for us? Share with me a favorite website devoted to health matters, share a favorite healthy recipe or healthy eating tip. I am always looking for new great websites devoted to health matters. How about this... I am pledging to not eat out for the entire month of February, with the exception of the last day of the 25th, when I have a date with Alan. Will you join me in that pledge? Just see how much better you will feel, sleep, and function, after spending a whole month knowing exactly how many calories, sodium content and vitamins you are putting in your body. It's a little bit of work, but aren't you worth it?

Here are some websites to get you started...

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

Mayo Clinic Online

Cooking Light

Hungry Girl

Go Red With Campbell's

Calorie King


If you aren't ready to jump in full steam ahead, then take little steps, but move yourself forward. So many different diseases can be stopped in their tracks, if we just make the effort and comittment to lead healthier lives. I am living proof of that. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and with a few simple changes, I kicked it's ass and today, my blood sugar is well under control. But I would rather not see you have to be faced with diabetes. Start today. Let's get healthy, and stay healthy together. I am right here, if anyone wants to join me. :) And if not... just know, I will just keep asking, because you mean a lot to me.


-OndineMonet
"National Heart Awareness Month"
Berkeley, California
February 1st, 2008
Afternoon

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Get LOST With Me...

"How can you put on a meaningful drama, when every fifteen minutes, preceedings are interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits with toilet paper?"

-Rod Serling in Submitted For Your Approval, Public Broadcasting Stations, 1995



Tonight, the phone gets taken off the hook. Elvis gets feed and put to bed early, my cell phone is placed ever so gently under a stack of fluffy pillows, the computer is turned off, and everything else in our house goes as silent as we can get it, so that Alan and I can sit back and completely enjoy the season premier of the hit ABC drama, "LOST."

That's right, Carly does not live by politics alone! LOL. I do like a little pop culture thrown in for fun once in a while. While I wouldn't call myself a TV addict, there are a few TV shows I have found myself devoted to this year. I loved last season's FX original, The Riches, and I have been enjoying this season's Pushing Daisies, nothing much else has caught my eye. A favorite of mine for the last few seasons, Desperate Housewives, like most other network programs, has fallen to the on-going writer's strike, so there isn't much more to say unfortunately. For my humor and political fix, I have, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, to provide me with a little fun distraction 4 nights a week, and HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday's, but I have to say, I have missed the seeing new episodes of the network shows I had become fond of.

So, it will be nice to see LOST again, for however long it is around this time. I think I heard somewhere that only 8 episodes were taped before the beginning of the strike, so that might mean an even shorter season for the show. Sigh. But that's ok, it is always compelling, and always sexy and edgy, and doggonit... what the heck is the deal with that demon thingy anyway! LOL. Will Kate and Jack get together now that he has finally, FINALLY, admitted he is in love with her. And what about Sawyer? Damn... that man's got it going on! If I were Kate, who would I pick? Jack? Sawyer? Jack? Sawyer? Holy Toledo!! Can you imagine being stuck on a deserted island with those two? And that is only one of the storylines. LOL.There's also Hurley, and John, and, Ben and...

It drives me crazy, because it seems to ask more questions, then it answers. And because it is not on for a full season each year, I tend to get a little lost in the details, but every season premier night, like tonight, I pop the popcorn, grab the 4 chocolate dipped strawberries, and the diet soda, turn all the noise off, and let myself get lost right along with everyone else, because despite the irritations, and frustrations the show leaves me with, it is one of the best written shows to come along in a long, long time. When I watch shows like this one, and The Riches and Pushing Daisies, I just want to send out a big shout... "Come on people, pay the writers what they deserve, and get on with it!"

Hurley is my favorite character. He usually provides the comic relief, but his drama is fabulous as well!


Jack and Kate?

Or Sawyer and Kate?


"Libby" played by Cynthia Watros, was my favorite character from past seasons. I read over the summer that Watros will be reprising the role either later this season or early next. She is a great actress no matter what she is in. I have been watching her since her days as the wacky nutcase, Annie Dutton, on Guiding Light, back in the mid 90's.

Are you going to be watching LOST tonight along with me? :) Who is your favorite character? Which character would you like to see comeback? Jack and Kate or Sawyer and Kate? Which character do you find most compelling?

-OndineMonet
NOTE: Please forgive my spelling errors, my spell check seems to be on the fritz. Sheesh!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Goodbye John Edwards

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.

-Plato

This saddens me. John Edwards, will make it official today, in New Orleans, that he is dropping his bid for the Democratic nomination. While I have to admit that in recent days he had lost me, I still believed in him. He is a good man, he would have been good for America. So why did I turn to another candidate in the last week? Well, thank you for asking.

It came down to hearing, and seeing, in another candidate the right answers to my questions. Not just the questions I write about here sometimes, but those quiet questions we all carry around. It's about all the work we are in for, when the new president takes office. It's about practicality verses high hopes, and ultimately, it's about experience. Hillary Clinton has been dealt more then one blow in her life, and not only did she survive, she prospered. In the public eye, she has been called everything in the book, and yet she moves on with humor and strength.

One of the things that initially excited me about John Edwards, was how he and his wife handled Elizabeth Edward's cancer. They had an up close and personal view of the strain of catastrophic illness. I believed that he had a real and strong desire to not just be president, but to NOT LET US DOWN. He spoke in practical terms. He spoke to the middle class. He spoke about a better life in America, not the dream of a better life. He made me feel like America could once again be that great country we all like to think it is, but in reality is far from it.

We don't lead the world in economics. We don't lead the world in education. We don't lead the world in democracy, as long as our own government is spying on us. We don't lead the world in health care. We don't lead the world in...

The list is a long one. We need someone who can help bring us back to what we once were. I think Edwards could have been that man, which is why he was on my sidebar for months. Then, one day, I began to hear more of the right answers coming from Hillary Clinton. I believe she is the right person for the White House. And in a perfect world, John Edwards would be her running mate. That would be a ticket I could believe in. Can you see it?



Goodbye John Edwards, for now. Hope to see you soon!

-OndineMonet

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hair... Like A Virgin... Combed For The Very First Time

"Long hair minimizes the need for barbers; socks can be done without; one leather jacket solves the coat problem for many years; suspenders are superfluous."

-Albert Einstein

Ok, what the heck is going on? For the last month or so, I have been seeing BIG 80's hair everywhere I have been. Not on everybody of course, but here and there for sure. Enough so I have noticed. It's so weird. It's like I died, and suddenly I am existing in an alternate New Wave higher, or maybe lower, existence. LOL. Or could it be... fret... that I am finally old enough, that the New Wave style has finally come back into vogue? In either case, this 40-something lady will have no part of it. Nope. I did the Madonna hair, the Stevie Nicks hair. In the 90's I had "The Rachel" look, but now, in 2008, I have "The Carly"... and it just feels nice to have my own style. :)

So tell me, what of this phenomenon? Have you been seeing big hair everywhere also? Is it coming back into style? Inquiring minds want to know!

-OndineMonet

Monday, January 28, 2008

And Now A Word From The Resident Of The United States


"This morning I was with the vice president. I was asking him what costume he was planning. And he said, 'I'm already wearing it.' The he mumbled something about 'the dark side of the force."

-George W. Bush, October 31st 2007

Tonight is President Bush's last State of the Union address. WOOHOO! I can't tell you how absolutely thrilled I am to have that little piece of knowledge. SIGH OF RELIEF. Honestly, aren't you just thrilled about the invention of the term limits? Well, on the other hand, maybe you believe George Bush is the best thing since term limits, and if so, ok. Personally, I don't understand your devotion, but I will agree it's your right to feel that way. But I have to ask... why? What do you feel his strongest points have been during his time in office, and what, if any were his weaknesses? I am not sure I will hear very many opinions in favor of Bush, not because there is no one out there who still believes in him, but rather because I don't think I have any conservative readers. It's ok, but if you feel like playing "Devil's Advocate" go for it!

I am looking into my hippie, gypsy crystal ball and what do I see. I see Dubya walking up to the microphone in the senate chamber and now he is speaking. (Hold on while I plug the earphones into the crystal ball). I hear him saying that the surge has worked in Iraq, that things are safer then ever. The Iraqi people are beginning to prosper, and things are going well. We can't leave however because it was just reported we lost 5 more American military lives to roadside bombings, so the winning surge must continue. I guess the mission still hasn't been accomplished.

Now he is asking that his education program, No Child Left Behind" be extended. I have to wonder where he gets the nerve on that one. It's a fact Bush himself has failed the program on funding. According to Wikipedia, "President Bush's 2008 budget allots $61 billion for the Education Department, cutting funding by $1.4 billion from last year. 44 of 50 states will receive a reduction in funding if the budget passes as is." The program has received widespread criticism from teachers, parents, and administrators regarding it's fairness in standardised testing. This program needs to be retired, it hasn't and isn't working. Can't we learn that lesson and move on to an education program that does?

I think I am going to turn away. I'm already sad. I thought his last, State of the Union, address would have made me more happy then this. Whoever our new president will be, one things for sure, they will certainly have their hands full. If a Democrat wins, we must be patient. Change will come, but it won't be overnight. Not at all. Especially if we don't unseat a few more republican senators next November. We will have to do our part. If a republican wins, well I don't believe much will change, it will be the same boat, with a different captain in appearance, but with the same narrow minded agenda. War is good, education and health care reform can wait, and who cares what the world thinks of us. Sigh.

And now a poem, comprised entirely of George Bush Quotes...



Make The Pie Higher
By George W. Bush

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen
And Uncertainty
And potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet
Become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimated me.
I am a Pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.

Families is where our nation finds hope.
Where our wings take dream.
Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher!
Make the pie higher!

You can read an interesting article about this poem at Snopes.com.

NOTE: If you are a fan of Comedy Central's "Lil Bush" there is some good news! It will be returning with all new episodes, March 13th.


357 Days, 6 hours 16 minutes... and counting!

-OndineMonet


Sunday, January 27, 2008

My New Pink Glow

"Just because you are not sick, doesn't mean you are healthy."

-Unknown


I am a member of the OneTouch Gold community, and recently I decided to see if I qualified for a free upgrade of my diabetes monitor. I do. The upgrade they are currently offering is the OneTouch UltraMini, which now comes in colors. So, I chose, Pink Glow, for my new meter. It's a pretty color, very pink, which will be nice for spring, and it is a lot smaller then the one in the photo above, the OneTouch Ultra 2. It will be less to carry around with me. I like that because I like to have my meter with me when I go out with the camera. Every once in a while we grab a bite out, and I try to be good about checking my blood reading before and after each meal.

I know this is going to sound silly, but it is a nice little lift to my spirits to have something a little more feminine to check my blood with. The OneTouch Ultra 2 meter is wonderful, I am so glad that is the one my HMO gave me, but this new one almost feels more like a fashion accessory, then a blood glucose meter. There are some pluses to the new meter, such as it's pretty color and it's slender design, but a definite minus is the fact that it only saves 50 results as opposed to the OneTouch Ultra 2 which holds 500. Still, if all goes well at my upcoming appointment, I will get the all clear for testing less often. That's the goal anyway.

My next A1C test is coming up in a month. A month from today to be exact. And I think everything has been going really well. I am sure my test result will reflect how serious I have taken things, but still there is that dread of the unknown, random thing that could muck it all up. LOL. Actually, except for the occasional weird moments when my blood starts to drop for some unknown reason, I have been recording fairly consistent numbers. Here are what my current readings are...

All Results Average: 119 mg/dl

Before Meal Average: 97 (for the last 7 days)

Last 14 Days: 102

Last 30 Days: 104

After Meal Average: 135 (for the last 7 days)

Last 14 Days: 134

Last 30 Days: 130

Not bad. I have managed to keep it within 5 points up or down, but I keep working toward the lowest possible reading. It's work, especially when I am less active in the wintertime. Sigh. I am keeping my weight within boundaries, and I am always experimenting with new recipes. Alan gave me a nifty new cookbook for Christmas, that I highly recommend to all diabetics, Better Homes and Gardens,Simple Everyday Diabetic Meals. The recipes are easy, and a lot of fun, not to forget delicious. Tonight, for example, I am making "Egg and Potato Casserole", for dinner, and "Maple-Nut Baked Apples" for dessert. Yum. And don't forget the Fat-Free whipped topping on top. :) Perfect for a cold winter night. It's little things, like a guilt-free dessert, that makes a diabetics day a happy one! Especially if you have a sweet tooth like I do.

I have to send a BIG raspberry sound out to Starbuck's this week, for discontinuing their Light Blended Cream Base. What were they thinking? I was just telling you a couple weeks ago, about how delicious the Starbuck's Green Tea Light Blended Frappuccino was, and within a week I found out I can't get it any longer in it's light form. BOOOO! HISSSSS. Hopefully they will bring it back by this summer. I can order the regular version, but it wouldn't be the healthiest of choices. Sigh. Man, I really loved that drink... a lot! I wrote the company an email, telling them of my dissatisfaction, I will keep you updated if they respond.

While Starbuck's might have let me down, my new favorite website, Hungry Girl, hasn't. I look forward to my daily newsletter email from there. This is a great website with tons of resources and product updates. I tried the recipe for Pumpkin Pie made with a lighter crust option, and it was FABULOUS!! You don't have to be a diabetic to get a lot from this website, even if you are just working toward managing your current weight, it is a terrific place to get current, relevant information. Be sure to check it out.

February 29th is when I see my physician, both for my 4-month diabetes check, and for my annual breast exam and mammogram. Yes, I will be having my date with Mr. Squishy that day as well. I sure wish they had a different way to check my girls for aliens. LOL. (Rolling my eyes). I am thinking about calling Dr. "E" a week or so before my appointment and requesting she order my A1C prior to my visit, so we can discuss the results during my visit with her. It's a fasting test, and I would rather have it early in the day, rather then waiting all day to eat. I don't know about you, but I get downright weird when I don't eat. Yes... LOL... weirder then usual! LOL.




So tell me, if you are living with diabetes, which meter do you use? Are you happy with it, and what do you feel are it's pluses and minuses?

-OndineMonet
"My OneTouch Ultra2 Kit"
Berkeley, California
January 27th, 2008
Evening