A Million Thanks Again

Hi everyone,

I want to thank all the readers of this blog for tuning in to hear my positive message of hope and healing.

I’ve reached a milestone: 1,000 views of my Flourish blog since I started writing here twice a week in August. That’s just over seven months of blogging so it’s an incredible feat to me to have so many listeners and readers in the audience.

Grazie. Infiniti grazie. Thanks. Endless thanks.

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Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month as well as Women’s History Month.

I have an ongoing interest in clean living and will offer some information I’ve read in at least two places.

Divide your weight in half to arrive at the number of ounces of water you should drink each day.

Divide your weight in half to arrive at the grams of protein you should eat each day.

I’ll keep this blog entry short with a recommendation that Tera’s Whey Protein organic whey protein bourbon vanilla version tastes okay and has 20 grams or so of protein in a scoop.

Pour a cup of skim milk into a blender and add a scoop of the bourbon vanilla whey protein. “Blend” for about 30 seconds or so.

Voila: a cheaper post-workout shake you can make on your own in your apartment instead of paying $3.50/per pop for a shake at the gym.

Have Faith And Carry On

I firmly believe God doesn’t make junk and he doesn’t make mistakes.

Having faith in YOURSELF as well as in a higher power is the goal when you’re going through a hard time.

I didn’t ever ask: “Why me?” I thought: “OK so this happened. What am I supposed to do now?”

Find your purpose and go do that. Seek to be your own version of well. Embrace the struggle and remember that today is what it is and tomorrow can be different.

The most beautiful thing is for all of us to be alive in the world. To live in synch with our personalities and as Oprah Winfrey wrote in her magazine: “to use your personality to do your soul’s work.”

Life can get better. It can truly get better as you get older.

You don’t have to go to church by the way if that doesn’t suit you. You can go out and be in nature. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen.

Having faith can be as original as you are.

I turned away from organized religion after the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11. I chose to have a Christian life in word and deed. Not by warming a chair in a pew and pretending I agreed with the Catholic church’s views on women and LGBT members.

If going to church is your thing, more power to you.

Having faith can make the difference between achieving goals and remaining on the sidelines in your own life.

The Zen quote tells us:

Leap, and the net will appear.

Accommodations On The Job: Yes Or No?

A woman on Twitter tweeted that she regrets that people diagnosed with mental illnesses are told not to disclose to their employer and not to seek reasonable accommodations.

I, for one, see things differently. I obtained the job I liked and would be good at precisely so that the illness would not be an issue on the job.

A therapist boldly told me once: “Everyone knows anyway. Who are you kidding?” A dessert plate with a fortune cookie design that I own has this fortune: You Think It’s A Secret But It’s Not.

Thus it’s possible people will know you have something going on even if you don’t tell them.

I get it. I understand that individuals who have a harder time of it with their mental illness would like to have the equal opportunity to succeed in the workplace alongside others who do not have a diagnosis.

This is where you have the right to request a reasonable accommodation. Yet I still think that if you don’t need an accommodation it’s risky to disclose indiscriminately.

Yet another truth exists that makes asking for accommodations possible:

Normal people get to break the rules by extending their lunch hour to shop for cute shoes in a nearby store. The Brazen Careerist suggests talking longer breaks as a valid get-ahead strategy.

And other people enter therapy for non-mental illness reasons: like the ending of a marriage or a loved one’s illness. They have to leave work early or come in late for various kinds of doctor’s appointments. And people call in sick because the have to stay home to care for a sick kid who is home from school. Or they call in to say they have an emergency at home.

Really then: what’s the big deal about the reason for the accommodation requested when all things being equal everyone needs some kind of accommodation at some point?

Top 20 Food Choices

Dr. Phil has published another weight loss book. I checked it out of the library only to read the section on the Top 20 Food Choices to eat.

1. Coconut oil (virgin) is a fit fat.
2. Green Tea
3. Mustard (yellow or Dijon)
4. Walnuts
5. Olive oil (extra virgin) is a fit fat.
6. Almonds, unsalted raw or dry roasted
7. Apples
8. Chickpeas / garbanzo beans
9. Dried plums / prunes
10. Greens – any kind of leafy green -e.g. arugula, baby mixed greens, bok choy, collard greens, endive, field greens, kale, radicchio, red leaf lettuce, romaine, baby spinach, watercress, etc.
11. Lentils
12. Peanut butter (natural) – get the kind with no added sugar.
13. Pistachios (roasted, unsalted)
14. Raisins
15. Yogurt (nonfat, nothing added)
16. Eggs
17. Cod
18. Rye
19. Tofu
20. Whey protein, unsweetened.

This is going to be tooting my own horn however I can vouch for eating these Top 20 Food Choices. Along with my strength training routine for the last four years I have adhered to an eating plan that is comprised of a lot of these food choices.

It can’t be a coincidence that I’m in peak condition and fitness at the same time I’ve been eating these food choices.

If you think you can be helped by following Dr. Phil’s diet plan to the letter, by all means buy his book or check it out of the library.

In my estimation simply eating healthful food 80 percent of the time and incorporating these food choices will be sufficient to see long-term benefits.

Super Foods

Years ago at HealthCentral I wrote about promoting health and wellness by eating certain foods. Now Dr. Phil has come out with a list of 20 kinds of food to eat to promote weight loss.

Our daily needs according to the workshop I attended years ago are comprised of: whole grains, Omega 3 essential fatty acids, low fat dairy, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, beans and protein.

According to research at Penn State, dieters who ate lots of whole grains lost more belly fat and improved their levels of an inflammatory marker that is linked to diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

In my estimation getting 20 to 35 gm fiber per day is beneficial. Two servings of whole grains a day before the afternoon is what Pamela Peeke, MD recommends.

Benefits of Omega 3 are improved lipid profile reducing cardiovascular risk, improved diabetes outcome,improved neurotransmission stimulation improving depression, reducing suicide and hostility and improved memory function. The American Heart Association recommends that all adults eat fish at least two times per week.

No-fat dairy is better than low-fat dairy in my estimation. Research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital of 30,000 women in the Women’s Health Study found that an increased intake of low fat dairy products reduced women’s risk of developing hypertension. Some research points to a weight reduction benefit of dairy calcium showing it to trigger the body to burn more fat, particularly around the waistline.

Benefits of eating vegetables include reduced cance3r risk, reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, diabetes prevention, and help with weight control. Benefits of fruits are similar to vegetables.

The recommend serving of nuts and seeds per day is 1/4 cup no more. Walnuts are the most nutrient packed of the nuts and seeds, and contain plant Omega 3-fatty acids, vitamins E and B6, magnesium, protein, fiber, potassium and polyphenols.

Beans contain low fat protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, potassium, magnesium, and phytonutrients.

Protein comes from meat,beans, seeds, nuts and fish. I’ve heard that you should divide your weight in half to get the number of milligrams of protein you should have per day. I would clock in at 61 gm.

In the next blog entry I will list Dr. Phil’s Top 20 Foods.

Hope Heals

I’m tired of alleged “international experts” talking smack about people living with schizophrenia.

As early as 2007 when I first started to be employed at HealthCentral (nine years ago): I wanted to cheer people on and offer positive solutions for the challenges of living with this illness.

What good comes of a person talking smack about himself or others with schizophrenia?

I want to be given hope that I can live a happy life even with ongoing challenges. I want to read about people and hear from people who show us a better way: that we can transmute our pain by doing some good in the world to help ourselves and others.

I always sought to turn my pain into a thing of beauty for other people. To show that there’s a light on the road ahead. To extend a lantern of hope along the sometimes-dark road.

My point is: every human being needs light and love and laughter. Not to constantly be reminded of how hard life is. I make the case for attending a comedy club. Or watching a marathon of the old Looney Tunes Warner Brothers cartoons.

Life can be hard living with schizophrenia. Yet it can also bring us joy when we actively look for the silver lining. A silver lining does exist: we get to choose how we want to live our lives.

I wrote in my memoir that being diagnosed with schizophrenia gave me the opportunity to find out what was important to me and to discard the rest. That’s something beautiful: limiting the extraneous: what’s not necessary for us to do we should discard.

We don’t have to chase after another person’s dreams for what we should do. We can follow our own path. That was the whole ethic of left of the dial: that I chose a different path, later in life, after the narrowly-defined path I was on failed me.

Remember: a lot of times you didn’t fail; the job or lifestyle or activity failed you because it was at odds with what you needed to do to be truly happy.

Hope Heals. The road of recovery is a journey not a destination. The older I get, the less impressed I am with coveting achievements. We should each of us like ourselves for who we are not what we’ve accomplished.

I think I’ve written this somewhere before.

Light love and laughter can be as potent as any medication we take. Laughter truly is the best medicine in addition to our SZ meds.

Hope does heal.