15 December 2011

my nemesis

i had actually been doing pretty well, walking to work most days, remembering my fish oil and vitamins every morning, bringing lunch and not swapping it out for purchased junk, etc. location location location: makes a big difference.

then i started to feel that tickle in the back of my throat that spells sick. so, i gargled, i took buckley's tablets which are usually awesome at warding off the sinus headache and everything else, drank fluids, ate oranges, the whole nine yards.

but these last couple of days have been killer! yesterday my sinuses were killing me at the end of the day, and the ttc cancelled my bus so i had to walk home in the rain, and we ordered thai because usually tom kha kai helps me get through the yuckiness of a cold but the place we usually go to is closed and the place we went to instead (simply called "thai" on st clair) was awful. i went to bed at 7 and woke up at 9:30. bleah.

this morning i felt a bit better, but just as i was on my way to lunch, something terrible happened. something came loose on my braces, and i felt as though i had a safety pin dangling from the roof of my mouth. ugh! and my ortho is away for the month. i imagined struggling through xmas dinner with this mess, and then choking to death in my sleep. thankfully i was able to get someone to see me. my lingual bar had come loose. "save it," said dr carcao, substitute ortho, "it looks like it was custom bent for you." here it is:

and now i have the additional sinus pain i always get after an adjustment. bleah.

still, it's interesting to see what was on the roof of my mouth these past however many months. i could never quite visualise it, but whenever i go to my regular dentist's office for a cleaning, the hygienists all ooh and aah over dr gold's fancy footwork.

01 December 2011

back on track?

well it has been a crazy month or so here.

long story short: i just started a new job! and, it is a reasonable
walking distance from home (about a mile and a half). i walk to work
in the morning - which is such a nice way to start the day - and take
the bus home in the evening. once i get a decent bike light, i'm going
to ride to and from work. no hills! really excited about that. it's
also nice to get that bonus time back - instead of rushing out in a
panic in the morning, i can take my time. in the new year once i'm
cycling, i'll likely work eight to four, so i can spend more time with
the kiddo (and supervise his snack, which is pretty random) and have
more time to prepare dinner in the evening.

what a great feeling to have a fresh start and finally start getting
some exercise!

25 October 2011

status update

well, i've been doing the supplement routine for a full week now, and so far the only difference to report is that i am super crabby! could be due to other things going on right now, actually. but boy have i been in a bad mood. ugh.

the thing that i am finding hardest is getting adequate sleep. there is always "one more thing" i need to do before i retire. or, i find myself "too tired" to get up off the sofa and go to bed properly. last night i made sure to get at least some of the things that delay bedtime (i.e. making coffee for the next morning) done before dinner, so i wouldn't get lured back downstairs after i put on my pyjamas. that helped. the more i can get done when i'm in kitchen-mode, the better.

my hands have been driving me crazy though.

that reminds me: i need to set up a reminder on my computer at work to think about my posture! all day every day!

17 October 2011

trying trying trying trying trying

ok after a horribly depleting saturday (10 phials of blood! 10! after fasting and sitting in a waiting room forever!) i've started the supplements. fish oil tastes nasty, no surprise. and right now i have a sinus headache. i'm trying to think where i can find time to practise some tai chi and other stretching/nerve-flossing/etc., but it's really difficult to squeeze any more minutes out of the day. maybe i'll head to the park at lunch and try not to be too embarrassed by the stares.

15 October 2011

oy, what a morning

i had a load of blood work to do this morning from the pain specialist! it hat to be done on day 19-20 of my cycle, and required 12-hours' fasting. so i was feeling pretty lousy when i got to the lab this morning, and then had to wait over an hour, and pay out of pocket for some of the tests - a hundred dollars! my insurance had better cover it. just had a late breakfast of a boiled egg and marmalade toast eaten with a knife and fork, since i'm still having trouble eating post-braces-adjustment. now that i've had all the tests done (ten vials of my blood! ten!!) i'm going to start all the supplements he recommended - fish oil, magnesium, more iron, etc. but right now i just want to have a nap!

oh also i can't remember if i posted that i broke down and asked my ortho how much longer - he guessed four to six months, which is not too bad! i just hope they're off before my birthday.

12 October 2011


what a week. i realise now just how much i rely on sleep to deal with pain. that is, how much i rely on sleeping ridiculous amounts, like 12 hours a night when i can usually once or twice a week, to ease my back pain. because the pain is kind of manageable if i can just sleep all the time! but, the past few nights, i haven't been able to sleep. i get to sleep ok, and then i wake up. this morning i got up before 2 o'clock and couldn't get back to sleep, in part due to tooth pain (got my braces adjusted again yesterday) and i think hunger (because i couldn't eat post-braces).so, tonight i napped for a couple of hours as soon as my husband got home, set the alarm to get up at 8:30 to eat (tinned salmon and mayo - not exactly gourmet! - but nutritious, lotsa calories, and chewing not required), and will be heading back to bed soon, after giving husband strict instructions that he is to sleep on the sofa and keep his snoring away from me!

07 October 2011


so i saw the pain doc last week! he asked some very interesting questions and did some very interesting tests, and really seemed to take my concerns seriously. he is also a big fan of my physiotherapist (angus) which was good to hear. he is sending me to a naturopath and to have a whack of bloodwork done, and also ultrasounds on my shoulder and arm, and testing for something called "thoracic outlet syndrome." of course i googled it and thought "whoa, this is so me!" all of my symptoms, even the vertigo and tinnitus and chest pain can be associated with it. and some of the work i did with angus - "nerve flossing" is what he called it, but now i've seen it called "nerve gliding" as well - is specifically recommended as a treatment for tos. so, you can bet i am going to be doing more of that on my own!

i'm really feeling positive that i can get "fixed." finally someone who listens instead of saying "maybe it's just stress" or "maybe you're just like this."

oh but one thing i forgot to mention to him, which comes and goes but was particularly awful yesterday, is pinna pain - specifically stabbing pains in the anti-helix. the pinna is the outer cartilage-y shell of the ear. it is very difficult to get people to understand when i say "my ear hurts" that looking inside is not going to help!

29 September 2011

sick again! and sick of it!

argh, i just cannot seem to keep from getting sick! if this is strep again, i don't know what i'll do. my doctor is too busy to see me (also the receptionist seemed to think strep could wait until next week - sure, i'll still be sick next week if i don't see a doc before then, but by that point my son will be sick again too) although the phone message says she is still accepting new patients. unbelievable!

anyway, today i finally finally have an appointment with the pain specialist. referral was sent in 11 months ago. last december i was told he'd see me in july, he has rescheduled twice since then. i guess they figure chronic issues aren't urgent? feh.

didn't i say i was going to stop complaining? looks like nothing changes...

oh, and i'm getting my braces adjusted today too. fun stuff.

04 September 2011

a new beginning

well i was looking through this blog the other day (to find "before" pictures of my teeth to show my husband, and i realised how it has devolved into complaining rather than any kind of progress. hmm. it has been a very difficult summer, because with three hours of commuting every day i really haven't had time to exercise or cook properly, especially with the added hurdle of finding most foods i like difficult to chew. and work has been idiotically stressful.

but now, everything is changing. work is still stressful (moreso, actually) but with the kiddo off to "big kid school" i won't be driving all over the city anymore - he'll be on a schoolbus! and instead of me dressing him while he's still asleep and both of us eating breakfast in the car, we'll be able to eat a proper breakfast at home. and the end of summer means the start of porridge. yum.

also, i'll be packing lunches for the kiddo, so that's making me think more about the kind of nutritious portable things we both can eat, although i probably be relying on the old "soup plus two kinds of fruit" formula since i have the chewing issue. but at least soup weather is here!

today i have much cleaning and organizing to do, and i hope to get a few make-ahead dinners into the freezer. but getting home from work earlier also means i'll have more time to cook a proper meal in the evening. yay!

and, i just picked up a bicycle - a better-size frame for me to ride than my old one. the short ride home wore me out a bit (i'm still panting, 10 minutes and a glass of water later), but it's pretty steamy out right now, so i'm hoping that with better weather and more regular riding i'll be back in form soon. and maybe i can get back to trying running again, too! but for now, baby steps. if i can just get back to eating healthy breakfasts & riding the bicycle to work, that will be two huge steps in the right direction.

16 August 2011

now i've gone and done it

stubbed my toe *again*! and it really hurts. not "broken" hurts, but
"you really shouldn't have done that" hurts. trying to find a way to sit
at my desk comfortably, and failing. i wonder if it's worth asking
security if they have a cooling pad/ice pack?


11 August 2011

rough week

this has been a bit of a crap week, with lots of rain, braces disappointment, and general i-wish-i-was-still-at-the-cottage-ness. i felt so much better up there! combination i think of better air, more rest, more exercise, better food. in the city i find it so much harder to find the time for everything in a day, plus the humidity makes it difficult to cook & difficult to sleep.

made it to the farmers' market yesterday though for strawberries (i can't believe we are still getting local strawbs in august!), peaches, pears, cherries (harry's eaten almost all of them already), sweet onion, tomatoes, and garlic. last night had whole-wheat pasta with pesto made from farmers' market garlic and basil from the garden. and then ate a bunch of strawbs, feel a bit better today. although the kiddo's similar wish-i-was-still-at-the-cottage mood is expressing itself in the form of bedtime tantrums, which is wearing us all out.

it's a bit cooler today, so maybe i'll buy a whole bunch of tomatoes and roast them. roasted tomato sauce = yum.

i do need to get some exercise though. i really have to fetch that bicycle so i can ride between the kid's pre-school and subway, even if it's only for a couple of weeks (also because i hate driving in the city with a white-hot passion). at the cottage i was swimming, walking, or canoeing every day. here i do nothing but walk from the subway or parking lot to the office! and even that bothers my poor left toe.

09 August 2011

let down

so i spent over half an hour in the waiting room before seeing my ortho last night! by the time i finally got into a chair, it was too late for him to do anything with my uppers. grr. they'll be on in three weeks, which to me just feels like an additional three weeks added to a jail sentence. not happy.

07 August 2011

of course!

just came back from a great week at the cottage - canoeing, swimming, long walks, good farm-fresh food cooked from scratch - it was great! i felt great! and then, brushing my teeth after the endless drive home, i popped a bracket off my tooth. argh! it couldn't have happened at a better time really - i have an appointment with my ortho tomorrow (he's working on my uppers! eek!) and it would have been truly awful if it had happened while i was away. but still, i'd really rather it hadn't happened at all.

29 July 2011

away we go

off to the cottage for a week. i've been feeling quite awful the past week; spoke to my doctor yesterday and she was concerned but not worried so i guess that is good. i just don't want my health to interfere with my vacation! note to self: don't forget the inhaler! esp. since on my return i am getting braced up top. oh, the fear.

22 July 2011

feeling better

what a rough week! starting to feel better though. the kiddo has a
summer cold (or croup? it's a croupy sounding cough, only at night, and
a horrid wheeze) so i was off work yesterday, which was nice, then had
dinner at auberge du pommier with my lovely former co-worker, which was
also good. today tg is home with the kid, so i got to sleep in till
7:30. heavens! i think what i really need more than anything is more
sleep and possibly more red wine. last night was malivoire but i think
today is more of a beaujolais day. and now i'm off to the bottleshop.

19 July 2011


getting over my pity party a bit. went shopping for groceries (lots of lovely fresh veg) and had a nice dinner of salad with chicken. and, the "humourously" named "smooth move" tea, which i am hoping will alleviate my issues. also got tomorrow's breakfast and lunch ready (for both myself and the kiddo) so i can get back on track after the popcorn derailment.

it's going to be crazy hot for the next few days. wish me luck.


that is the only way to describe my mood today. i had a "procedure" (minor surgery - no incision) done on friday, since which time i have been "uncomfortable." i am trying to get loads of fibre and liquids into me to help, enough said.

also, i popped the wire off my braces on saturday, just got it fixed today. so, double-plus ungood.

next appointment with the ortho, he is going to start working on my uppers. "we can start anytime," he said. "how about after i come back from the cottage," i said. "oh, definitely after the cottage. you don't want to mess up your cottage week." which i guess is his way of saying this will mess me up for a week. boo.

people keep asking me how much longer i'll have the braces on, and i
keep saying "i don't know; i don't want to ask."

13 July 2011


went up to a cottage in the mountains for a few days of rest and relaxation... and now i can't breathe! i don't know if it was the altitude or the pollen or what, but i feel like i am wearing a scarlett o'hara-era corset or seomthing. ugh. and my back is killing me - i swear my breathing and back pain are connected - so i've been having trouble sleeping. boo. here's hoping it gets better now that i am back in the air-conditioned city... according to the weather network's "air quality report" and "pollen report" everything is fine.

and, once i can breathe again, i am going to pick up a "new to me" bicycle which is a better frame size for my long torso. the ride back and forth from my son's pre-school to work is impossible, but i think if i could ride from his pre-school to the subway i'd save myself a lot of time and frustration as well as getting a bit of exercise in.

27 June 2011

long time no post

i guess that is indicative of where i'm at, though. it seems that the nicer the weather is, the worse i feel! i was doing ok last week when it was cool and cloudy and rained almost every day. yesterday i was fine in the cloudy moments, but whenever the sun popped out i wanted to nap. and today is glorious, and my back is telling me all about it. maybe it's because i try to move more on nice days? yesterday for example i walked the kiddo to karate and back, and my left foot - the one with the broken toe - and ankle were really bothering me by the end of it. still on the search for the perfect not-too-flat-not-too-high shoe for walking. i'm
also recovering from strep, which doesn't help.

24 May 2011


i am getting more and more concerned. i had a miniscrew anchorage implant put in last month (or was it march?) to pull my bad old teeth back down into place, but it seems like more teeth are shifting upward... it used to be only the teeth on the right side, but now my entire front row is tilting upwards. it's getting hard to chew and my teeth on the right are sore. i was going to stick it out until i see my ortho next week, and then i realised i am not seeing him for almost a month!

now, i am being a wimp and putting off making the call i need to make. wah. hate all of this.

10 May 2011


i have been superbusy at work lately with one thing and another, which
always leads to bad habits... miss eating anything at lunch let alone
getting out and getting moving, too tired to cook when i get home, don't
eat a proper dinner, fitful sleep, rushed morning, forget to pack

this summer i will probably have to take the car to work every day
because our schedules are changing (tg will have a new job, i'll have to
do preschool drop-offs in addition to pick-ups) so i want to get as many
walks to work in while i can. i walked yesterday - gorgeous morning! and
i felt so wonderful almost as though i had a restful sleep! but today i
am feeling the pain in my shins and feet. my left foot is sore
(especially the toe i broke), but my right foot it too, presumably from
compensating? also the shoes i wore yesterday - sneakerish ballet flats
are *quite* flat, something my feet aren't used to after a winter of low
heels and layers of insulation between me and the ground.

so, no walking today. but maybe tomorrow?

26 April 2011

is it just me?

or do other people get loose bristles from their toothbrushes stuck in
their braces and have to borrow a coworker's tweezers to get them out?

19 April 2011


ok, long time no post. because i've been tired and cranky! the implant is getting on my nerves, eating is hard, breathing is hard, my back hurts, and i'm stressed out!

to top it off, the weather has been awful so it's been hard to get any exercise in. i did manage to walk to work today though (via a visit to the endocrinologist's office, which was an utter waste of time).

04 April 2011


got my first implant today. yee-haw. it wasn't the planned upper-jaw one, but rather an unexpected delight for my lower jaw when one *&(^#@$ tooth started pulling others up, resulting in an upper tooth breaking. sigh. my ortho gave me his home & mobile numbers "just in case" which makes me wonder what i'm in for! in already starting to feel the usual agony that comes with an adjustment, and the freezing hasn't begun to wear off yet. i've got a bowl of ice cream (thank you husband), i'm taking that and a tylenol 3 and going to bed!

02 April 2011

hooray for spring!

the weather is finally cooperating! yesterday i walked to work (about 4 miles/6 km), and this morning the kiddo and i walked to his karate class. feels nice to move about and breathe fresh air and hear the birds and see actual flowers blooming!

30 March 2011


my braces did not get adjusted yesterday. i got a band around my broken tooth (whee, now my tongue is sore) and an x-ray done so i can get a temporary implant next monday. my understanding is that this is like a very wee screw that they drill into the bone so they can anchor the teeth to something solid. the turbos which were supposed to help the problem tooth on my lower right move down and into place were instead pulling the teeth on either side up and out of place. hence, my cracked, newly-banded, upper tooth.

not happy! not liking this! not not not going to google orthodontic implants! maybe!

also did i mention that whoever took the garbage out yesterday morning put the wheelie bin right in my blindspot so i knocked it over when i backed out, breaking my rear view mirror on that side and spilling garbage on the ground including broken glass which cut my hand when i picked it up which i did not notice until i used the hand santiser at the kiddo's school and it stung like crazy?

29 March 2011

tired, tired, tired. and cranky.

i am feeling so unmotivated lately it's crazy.

part of it is that my husband had a bad fall on the ice (thanks, church on our corner, for shovelling and salting your parking lot while leaving the sidewalk a mess - that's real community spirit!) and bruised his lung and surrounding tissue, so i am doing double duty on chores (leaving the house at 7 o'clock in the morning to take the kiddo to school, two days of solid cooking & cleaning prior to a family event, up till 1 o'clock in the morning doing laundry, yadda yadda), part of it is the ongoing difficulty breathing, part of it is the time change (they should not have made us "spring ahead" so early! waking up in the dark is torture), part of it is my sense of impending birthday.

all of it adds up to ugh!

and, today i am getting my braces adjusted. fun times. so i am spending the day pigging out in anticipation. i justify this by the fact that i won't be able to eat after, and considering that once i almost passed out after an adjustment when my blood pressure got really low, i think i need to eat. also, if i'm going to risk yoinking a wire on some popcorn, it had better be on a day they're getting played with in any case!

24 March 2011

uh oh

my husband slipped on the ice and fell last night, and might have cracked a rib! i hope not - he does the heavy lifting in our house. i had already shovelled our walk (since he was picking up the kiddo from pre-school) and in a bit of agony from that; i am not looking forward to having to do all the lifting and laundry and whatnot for a while as he recovers. phooey.

counting the days till my appointment with the pain specialist at the end of july!

21 March 2011

has anyone else had this happen?

am i the only lucky one? i broke a tooth because of my braces. it was a tooth that already had a deep filling, and it was under pressure because of my bite adjustment. my dentist said i would have needed to get a crown eventually anyway, but it just seems so unfair! one of my coworkers asked what i was eating when it happened - as if it was my fault. but i haven't eaten anything chewy or hard or sticky in six months now. i was brushing my teeth when it happened!

16 March 2011


the last couple have weeks have not been great at all! i can not get a lung full of air it seems, and i was apologising for the yawning/complaining to my co-workers that it must be a seasonal allergy thing, as it hit me last spring as well, but there is nothing alive yet! if i'm going to have allergies, there really ought to be flowers around or something. then, one of my coworkers pointed out that when the snow melts, last year's moldy leaves are exposed, and i could be allergic to the mold. hm, i can't think what else it might be, but leaf mold is not easy to avoid!

meanwhile, the warm weather has tempted me into getting more exercise, walking to work. it's really such a lovely time of the year, the sun sticking around for more of the day, green shoots starting to appear! i picked up a few trays for starting seeds on our windowsills. i can not wait to garden again, allergies or not!

07 March 2011

back on track

or trying to get there! had porridge for breakfast this morning, which
was great, and roast lamb and green beans for dinner last night,
delicious and nutritious! it's nice to be able to do more chewing again.

i have been horribly short of breath for the past few days though, which
is annoying. i'm off to pick up a fresh inhaler - maybe that will help?
i wonder if i should go back to allergy meds... it's snowy here though,
so i can't imagine what might trigger a reaction!

06 March 2011

bad breathing day today

do inhalers have less "oomph" when you get to the end? i'm on my last puffs of my current one, and i just can't get a lungful, it feels like. it's been like that for 3 or 4 days now. shovelling snow this morning didn't help! but, i definitely needed the exercise.

the only other changes lately is that i've been eating poorly, but taking my vitamins more diligently. hmmm. a tiny bit of good news is that the health food store finally restocked barley flakes, so the kiddo and i can get back to our regular breakfast porridge routine (my fallback breakfast - cinnamon toast - isn't particularly nutritious).

27 February 2011


my skin has been absolutely terrible lately, and it occurred to me that i ran out of vitamin e supplements a while ago (can't remember when - 2 weeks ago? 3?) and haven't been having sunflowers seeds in a while either. i bought some more on thursday but hadn't cracked the jar yet.

anyway it thought "just for fun, let's google vitamin e deficiency" and - this is the interesting part - symptoms include poor immune response (have i been fighting sickness for the past 3 weeks? yes), skeletal myopathy (could be?), and - this is the big one - peripheral neuropathy. i have had ongoing problems with peripheral neuropathy in a mild way all my life, and a major way for the past year-and-a-half, and the past weeks have been awful.

so i've looked at max intake levels and toxicity symptoms, and i'm going to start taking more. and i'm mainly posting this so i will have a definitive date to look back to to see if there's a difference.

26 February 2011


i feel like i've spent the past three weeks fighting the same bug! we were away in ottawa last week for winterlude and it was shockingly cold, but i did get a fair amount of walking in - to the museum, to the ice sculptures, to restaurants, and along the canal. all courtesy of buckley's tablets, my personal saviour in times of sickness.

we are so at the mercy of the weather in this country! over the next week it is going to be cold and warm and snowing and raining, so i don't expect to be able to walk much! here's hoping spring gets here soon.

17 February 2011

do braces cause the common cold?

i'm sure that sounds like a completely inane question, but i have to
wonder. only because when i get an adjustment done, i get a sinus
headache. and this week, that sinus headache morphed into sinus
congestion and all the woe that entails. could it be that the shifting
around that causes sinus pressure could trigger some kind of congestion
issue? or maybe it's just my own bad luck!

10 February 2011

as usual

slacking off posting generally means i am slacking off in general.

in my defence, it has been supercold here again. and, the whole family
has been passing a nasty cough back and forth. i did however manage to
walk to work (4 miles) on monday! when i heard on the radio that the
high that day would be near zero and would be minus fifteen or worse for
the rest of the week, i decided i had to grab the opportunity. so that's
something, right?

31 January 2011

my perfect breakfast

i think i've found it!

barley porridge with a splash of milk, sunflower seeds and dried apricots (cooked in so i can eat them despite the braces), a half cup of rosehip juice, and a boiled egg. gives me all the iron and vitamin c i need, plus 55% of the rda of vitamin e (which i tend to be low on), 15 grams of protein, and almost 500 calories. healthy and yummy and easy!

porridge recipe - serves 2

1 1/2 cup water
2/3 cup barley flakes
1 tbs sunflower seeds
4 dried apricots

bring water to boil over med heat. add barley, allow to boil again, then reduce heat to simmer.

cut apricots into small pieces (i find scissors easier to use for this than a knife).

when it is simmering gently, sprinkle the sunflower seeds and apricots over top. leave to cook until tender - about 25 minutes start to finish.

27 January 2011

boo and yay

hm. my hamstrings are so bloody tight that when i checked the weather last night and saw the magic words ("wind chill") i decided to bus it this morning. but it is actually quite lovely for january! boo. i think i do need a wee break though; i had a terrible headache/burning sensation in my neck yesterday which i took to mean i was pushing it a little far. i am determined to bicycle tomorrow though. cross fingers for good weather.

in better news though, i am doing much better this week in getting nutrients from food - the only thing i am a little low on is vitamin e. i am definitely putting sunflower seeds on my shopping list for this week!

26 January 2011


walked to work this morning again! it's about 4 miles/6 km, and takes about an hour if i stride and don't stop.

and based on my thoughts this morning and yesterday, i present:

winter city-walking tips

1. pick a middle-sized street - too small and the sidewalks won't as likely be shoveled

2. big streets should be avoided - you are more likely to to get stuck at a red light or splashed by a passing car

3. avoid schools and retail areas - they are more likely to be surrounded by sidewalks bothers like groups of slow-moving kids, people suddenly appearing out of doorways, and sidewalk cyclists

4. plan your route to include crosswalks or streets with 4-way stop signs instead of traffic lights you have to wait for

5. if your route crosses a big street where lights are unavoidable, try to hit those corners at a point where you can cross in either direction, to minimise waiting

6. break into a run now and then - catching the walk light is a great excuse to move faster - make better time, and get your heart pumping

7. if you don't have a lot of time, work one-way walks into your day - for example, walking to the grocery store and returning by public transit

25 January 2011


i did it! i walked to the parent meeting this morning, and then to work - 12 km total, or 15,918 steps according to the pedometer on my mobile! i can definitely feel it in my glutes, too - there were some pretty good hills on the way.

24 January 2011


i'm having sweet potato-swiss chard-white bean soup for lunch and it is really yummy!

also, i just had a look at the "nutrient report" on fitday and i've done a lot better this past week - got enough of everything (including iron) from food sources, with the exception of vitamin e, which is still low. the best source seems to be nuts/seeds, which i find tricky due to my braces. maybe i'll bring an avocado for lunch tomorrow; it's lower on the e-list but nice and soft. or, maybe add sunflower seeds to porridge while it's cooking, to soften them up?

i picked up my newly-repaired practical winter boots this morning, and comfy boots + less bad weather means i should get some walks to work in this week. tomorrow will be tricky though as i have to attend a parent workshop for people with deaf/hard-of-hearing kids entering jk in the fall. so, either i will walk a lot or i just won't be able to fit in any walking, time-wise.

23 January 2011

the plan

in order to help with all of my resolutions, and post-holiday credit-card bill (those monthly orthodontist bills are not cheap!) i have made myself a budget to stick to - in addition to saving money, it's an inspiration to try new recipes instead of letting the strange-looking squash that came in the organic box go bad, and also an inspiration to walk to work in the mornings! tomorrow i am driving as i have to take the bambino to preschool (which means leaving home at 7, ugh) but i am also picking up my more-walk-worthy winter boots which needed a zipper replaced. and, i think that after this weekend is over, the constant extreme cold alerts are meant to ease off. the last few days, it has been 10 degrees colder than usual! yuck. the cold plus the ice (i had a wee tumble last week, actually) make it difficult to get outside. but this will change!

i've been cooking like a maniac this weekend, including what i hope will be a new favourite, sweet potato-white bean-chard soup (i was going to use spinach but then i diverted it to a different recipe). it seems like it should be the perfect food: a leafy green veg and a yellow veg (you're meant to have at least one of each of those every day), and loads of protein and fibre in the beans. plus potassium, vitamin e, iron, and i think magnesium - all of those nutrients i tend to by shy on day to day. i hope i like eating it as much as i want to!

21 January 2011


stumbled across this handy page listing food sources of various nutrients - including those i tend to be low on (iron, calcium, vitamin e, potassium). it appears white beans and sardines are my ideal foods to get those - thankfully they are both things i like! i wonder if i could make a tasty soup of white beans, sweet potatoes (good source of potassium among others), and maybe some kale or spinach? sounds tasty to me! maybe i'll add that to my weekend cooking list!

resolution check

so let's see...

1. waking up same time every day - yes! today i could have slept in a bit, but i resisted the urge and got up at 6:30 just the same.

2. tai chi every day - yes! last night i was looking up "grasp the swallow's tail" though and i still can't quite figure out how to get there from "repulse the monkey"

3. get more nutrients from food sources - yes! i've been eating bigger breakfasts (added a bowl of porridge - made from organic wholegrain barley - to my usual boiled egg) since i'm getting up early every day, and i think it makes a big difference in my whole day. this morning i had rosehip juice instead of my usual "monster juice" (apple juice with spirulina and stuff added) because i noticed it contains lots of iron (which i am usually low on, even with supplements). also making a point to bring two pieces of fruit to work every day along with lunch - yay organic box. and today will be big cooking weekend!

4. get off the ttc - fail. i have big ideas but it has been so cold lately! and icy! -7 feels like -15 due to windchill is too cold for me. i can handle a low as -10, but less than that is too cold i find. i am debating though - today is h's slp appointment in the morning - maybe i can walk or ride my bicycle to the appointment, and then ttc from there? just to get a bit of movement in?

19 January 2011

falling off, climbing back on

i keep falling off the good-health wagon on the weekends. first it was
the holiday season, then my son's fourth birthday. i tend to undereat on
those days and then eat junk at night when i am dropping from
exhaustion. must stop! but all of the holidays (aka excuses) are done
now, so i've no reason to slip for a while.

i got a copy of the canada food guide at a workshop in helping children
manage stress, so i read it over with my son this morning. now i'm
trying to come up with a list of fruit that is still eatable with
braces, and planning ahead so i can cook up a storm on the weekend, with
more variety for dinners (fish twice a week for example). it's so hard
in the winter when there isn't a lot of lovely fresh produce around, and
so many things are difficult to chew.

exercise is not too easy either - i broke the zipper on my "sensible"
boots, and it is so icy i don't know if i could manage walking/biking
anyway - today i could barely shuffle to the bus stop without falling

tomorrow morning it will be -13 and feel like -20 - i don't think i can
walk in that. maybe i'll walk part way and see if i can manage with the
cold and the slipperiness.

14 January 2011

things are happening

ok i still have a looong way to go, but there has actually been progress! here we have a "before" pic of my teeth from my first trip to the ortho, and a not-quite-after-but-getting-there pic from this week. see the difference? i see it! i need to remember the good times here...

meanwhile, i notice that when my teeth are in agony my toe hurts. actually my everything hurts. i think what happens is that the arthrotec/tylenol combination can't handle chronic pain and orthodontic agony and residual broken foot pain, so i start feeling it again. all of it. but the real lesson is that i need to remember to be gentle with my foot. maybe i think it's all good now, but maybe that is just because i have been taking NSAIDs for over a year, and don't feel the pain that others would.

in other words, i need to be careful.

11 January 2011


i had a bracket come off this morning! i wasn't even doing anything,
just lying in bed wondering how much longer i could pretend to sleep
before having to get up, and then blammo. it's the bracket i just got
put on my bicuspid - the ortho wanted to give me a mouthguard because of
my crossbite, but couldn't because of the turbos. i had hoped to get it
fixed before coming to work, but they couldn't fit me in before 3
o'clock. os now i'm suffering the agony of adjustment. it amazes me how
much it affects my entire body - i can feel it in my back, my neck, my
chest, and of course my head. all that *after* two tylenol and the usual

say it with me now: waaah!

10 January 2011


just ate a yummy pear, and i have to say - why haven't i been eating
pears every day since i got braces? it never occurred to me, but they
are right up there with bananas in terms of eatability and taste.

06 January 2011

another day, another appointment

yesterday i saw an endocrinologist about my weight loss. i've been doing a better job since i started this blog about eating well etc., but after i got my braces and broke my foot there was a solid month of cake/ice cream/poutine diet, with zero exercise, during which i lost weight. almost every day someone will comment on how much weight i've lost. it's making me uncomfortable. but because i gained weight last year, it doesn't seem to count to the endocrinologist because it's not sufficiently far off my "baseline" weight. nevermind that all kinds of family who've known me for years see a huge difference, it's the standard doctor response, "doesn't match anything in my book, therefore you're fine."


on top of that, i seem to be coming down with something. i've got the tickle in the back of the throat, the hacking cough, the trouble swallowing that usually means swollen glands. waah. poor, poor me.

05 January 2011

happy new year?

lessons learned from yesterday...

my big BIG breakfast (800 calories!) yesterday morning was definitely a good idea. considering i couldn't bring myself to eat after getting my braces adjusted, eating a day's worth of food before 9 o'clock was very smart! i was in a fair amount of agony after, but didn't totally crash the way i did at my last adjustment. for dinner we had take-out rotisserie chicken and potatoes, nice and soft and no real chewing required. i managed 1646 calories for the day, including 96.3 grams protein - not bad! although i did burn 2356, so still way behind there.

also interesting to note: even though i had almost no fruit and veg yesterday (just one glass of orange juice and some potatoes, which almost don't count) i still managed to hit my rdas on almost all nutrients (only low on vitamin e, manganese, and iron), just from a variety of tasty, tasty animals. thank you meat! maybe i should have a big meaty breakfast more often! if i took yesterday's intake and just added a salad for lunch (teeth permitting) i would have been perfect.

04 January 2011


at this morning's appointment i had some ipr done (where they shave the sides of your teeth to make a bit of space) and also got the final bottom bracket! my right ... bicuspid? whatever it is that was so far in is finally braced because there is enough room for it to move into position. however, because i have a slight crossbite, it can't just move straight out to where it is supposed to be, it has to go a bit down and then out and then up to get by the upper tooth (does that make sense?), so there there are some crazy loops in the wire, a much fancier version of the loop i have on the left to close my gap at the back (these loops - are they called turbos? i have turbos, whatever that means). (eta: i figured out what turbos really are a year later)

all of which is highly inarticulate, but that is because i am in pain. my sinuses are killing me. others on the metal mouth forum have had issues with sinus pressure too, and apparently a heating pad can help. here's hoping i can find something to use here at work... meantime i just called the office to change my next appointment from 9 o'clock in the morning to 4 o'clock in the afternoon. i'm hoping that will give me enough time to pick up my son and husband after school and work and get home before the pain hits hard - it seems to be 2 or 2 1/2 hours before the agony strikes.

adjustment day

today is the day for my second adjustment! i'm nervous. the last time i went to the orthodontist's office, i ended the day with my blood pressure in the basement (97/57 i think?) and i almost passed out. i have not taken codeine since!

anyway today i am trying to make sure that doesn't happen - starting with a big breakfast with a lot of protein so that i will be well-nourished at least before the agomy starts.

is there a trick to this? is there a secret to making your adjustment day at least somewhat manageable?

02 January 2011


so i finally got a moment to sit down with my sewing machine to put together a dress that i'd basted together and guess what? it looks like a potato sack! i've taken it in 2 inches, and i'll have to take it in 2 more, and probably have to do some more intensive alterations. phooey. also, at lunch today someone who saw me 3 weeks ago commented on my weight loss. i didn't think i had lost much since then. anyway i'm eating leftover chocolate cake, maybe that will help me fill out a bit. i feel very self-conscious about my weight loss.

01 January 2011

happy new year!

well i did not fufill all my resolutions today (waking up on time? ha) but i did do really well on the eating front: 2068 calories, 90.7 grams protein, met almost all my rdas nutrition-wise. having family over for lunch helped! i still burned 2292 calories (base metabolic rate) despite doing nothing, but that's still better than i had been doing (yesterday: 2340 burned, 1470 consumed - whoops). i did get the concerned "you've lost weight" comment which was somewhat bothersome only because this was from someone i saw at thanksgiving when i'd already lost weight, and i didn't think i had lost that much since then. but maybe she had been concerned at the time but didn't say anything because there were so many people around? i wonder...

now i am off to do a spot of tai chi so i can cross one more resolution off the list!