Spiderman, Vertigo, and Playlists- Viewing Suggestions, Please?

What’s the difference between a super hero and a balance disorder? With the former, he gets Spidy Senses a-tingling, with the latter one is smacked with Spin-y Senses attacking.

First time I had vertigo, it stunk. Second time was quite a violent attack. Third time was just a sensation of an odd disturbance in the force… and once again I sense something is not quite right in them ol’ vestibular canals.

I should have a TV, Netflix or movie viewing list lined up before I become fully incapacitated, miserable, and unwilling to come up with an idea. Or move, for that matter. Any suggestions? Downton Abby and Torchwood are at the top of my list so far. Any great You Tubers that I should binge watch? All I’m good for is sitting and staring. Reading, my favorite past time, is not an option due to the position of the head. Do Not get cute and suggest Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo… not funny.

If you know anyone who is bothered by BPPV, a somewhat treatable form of vertigo like mine, here is a great doctor’s recommendation of her own maintenance- click on the picture:

Vertigo treatment option from Dr. Carol Foster MD, University of Colorado Denver
Vertigo treatment option from Dr. Carol Foster MD, University of Colorado Denver

March Project: A 5K and The Only Two Reasons Why I Run

#1. I want to have seconds on taco night, and to be able to drink wine every night.
#2. My gramma and her husband taught me two keys to a healthy, long life: Moderation and Be Active.

The Great Gramma and The Girl
The Great Gramma and The Girl

Gramma is 98 this year, by the way. She also taught me to drink the good wine, and enjoy Happy Hour- not just on Fridays. My grandmother and her husband did things that I have sworn to do as I grow older: they are the poster children for caloric restriction and eating with moderation (everything they want, but in moderation), and they had always been active. Always. Dancing, walking, aerobics, swimming, traveling. ANYTHING.

Don't ANYONE show this picture to Betty Gene! I mean it, mom and Amie, DON'T!
Don’t ANYONE show this picture to Betty Gene! I mean it, mom and Amie, DON’T!
John, in all his magical glory.
John, in all his magical glory.

At 96 she was still driving, cooking for her husband, taking care of her home, and for anyone visiting. A couple of years ago I was visiting my gramma and honestly, there was nothing that she had lined up for me to help do for her. She made me salmon for dinner and the most I could do was clear the table and help put things away.

I started running recently and have gone from hating this form of exercise to… well, not hating it. I’m logging two miles about every other day and at the end of March I’m signed up to run a 5K. Whew. A big goal for me. This month I am adding on some hills and lengthening the run to three miles. But honestly? I run because my gramma taught me that I need to move it or lose it. And I will!

Don’t ANYBODY show these photos to Betty Gene, she will KILL me, do you hear me, mom?

Headline: “Old Dog Learns New Trick, Teens Unimpressed”

Check me out, I learned how to use Excel today. I haven’t used a spread sheet since I was a high school teacher, and that was on an Apple II e- yes, I am officially a dinosaur. There have been many, many times recently that I would have benefited from having this skill and it was curiosity that finally drove me to it. I wanted to know how many calories were in one of my Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Sticking to about 1200 calories/day? You're looking at more than a complete meal if you have that milk, too.
Sticking to about 1200 calories/day? You’re looking at more than a complete meal, over 500 calories, if you have that milk, too.

Fortunately for me, I converted my go-to recipes to grams instead of cups- try it, you can whack out a batch of sweets in no time flat when you aren’t fighting to cram shortening into a one cup measure. All I do now is place my mixing bowl on my handy-dandy digital scale, dump an ingredient into my work bowl and zero out the weight with each new ingredient.

All it took was double checking calories per gram of ingredients on a couple of web sites and voilà! When it came to finding all the calories per gram of ingredient, Google was great, so were company websites, like Nestle. All the info you didn’t want to know about home made cookies, now in one convenient spot.

To all my friends who have been eating these cookies over the years, don’t look…. Sorry.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
# of Cookies 144
Total Cal 13789
Total Cal/cookie 95.75
ingredient cal/gram # of grams total cal/cookie
flour 4 675 2700 18.75
white sugar 4 620 2480 17.222
brown sugar 4 445 1780 12.3611
shortening 9 330 2970 20.625
butter 7 110 770 5.3472
chips 5 545 2725 18.923
egg (per) 72 4 288 2
vanilla (T) 38 2 76 0.5277
not all ingredients are listed…

Kombucha Coming Atcha!

Kombucha.

God bless you.

No no no. You aren’t supposed to say ‘bless you’ after hearing someone say ‘kombucha.’ My spell checker sure doesn’t recognize it as a word. The Crunchy People have brought us another good-for-you product, that’s all. It’s a drink, kind of like a fizzy, fermented soft-drinky tea-ish sort of thing. Sweeter than plain tea, not as yeasty as beer, practically no alcohol and can be sold to and drunk by anyone. Especially by people who are trying to do new things. The best thing about kombucha is that it is yet another one of the foods you can eat that is really good for you- it is in the same category as yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut- it’s all in the probiotics, baby, and although kombucha supposedly has a lot, it is also killed off in the pasteurization process.

Here’s a link to a good article on the subject:  Kombucha- Is It Really Good For You? 

The kombucha craze is just beginning to rev up. It is in more stores and you may be hearing of it or reading about this lightly fermented drink with more frequency.

The Husband and I tried three flavors of kombucha being sold at North of the Border Bike Shop on Sorrento Valley Blvd. Doug, one of the owners, was game to selling the stuff, setting up the taps and voilà, kombucha on tap for you to imbibe. And you know what? I liked it. The orange kombucha was my favorite, The Husband preferred the cherry. I’d drink this stuff fresh on tap as is, I’d like to bring some home, and I would pick up a bottle from a store, now that I know I like it.  Doug and Mike are even selling small take-home kegs for your drinking pleasure after hours.

*UPDATE* Doug has since said “Please do note, ‘Kombucha Gardens,’ the brand we sell is NOT pasteurized. A benefit of selling on tap. So, you do get the good stuff… probiotics.”

Go for it. Try something new. God bless you.

You know, I like this stuff! Kombucha on tap at North of the Border Bikes
Tasting, testing… aaaannnd… you know, I like this stuff!
Kombucha on tap at North of the Border Bikes

The Two Mile Monkey is Off My Back

I did it. I finally did it.

I ran two miles. Straight. No stopping! Well, we aren’t going to count stopping at the water fountains at either end of the neighborhood park are we? No, we are not. This is my blog about my new things. I get to make the rules, so, shaddap. And yes, I want a medal.

At one point this summer, this guy was faster than me.
At one point last summer, this guy was faster than me.

The Kinesthetically Omniscient Husband commented on my morning run yesterday. It has taken me over a year of off and on practice- mostly on, thankyouverymuch, but I’m overjoyed to say that most mornings I run two miles. The problem is, after around the first mile I slow to a walk at a water fountain, stop for a good ten minutes of yoga(ish) stretching and deep breathing, then continue with the second mile. The Husband, a life-long active type, reminded me to be careful that I wasn’t just training myself to take a break at one mile… he also knows that I have the goal to run a 5K this year. Dammit. Should have kept my goals to myself.

All I can say is, it was still a beautiful and perfect day to step it up. The wind was blowing just right and instead of the aroma of my and every neighbor’s stale refuse (PSA- Don’t run on a trash day), the run was filled with the smell of sweet grasses and roses. Seriously, roses. Everyone’s roses are blooming profusely right now (sorry, Midwest and Northeast friends. Just stop reading now!).

Roses. In February.
Roses. In February.
So. Cal. is awash in chaparral of sages and indigenous oaks. The vegetation smells wonderful as you hike through it.
So. Cal. is awash in chaparral of sages and indigenous oaks. The vegetation smells wonderful as you hike through it.

All of the earlier winter rains we received in the Southwest have contributed to the most wonderful flowers and grasses in our canyons and natural areas. One good onshore breeze and you are in heaven, believe me. The chaparral here is full of different kinds of sage and herbs- The Husband has a friend who puts the local sage in his home-brewed beer. One fellow cyclist commented “Hey! It tastes like a bike ride!”

I’m just happy I finally broke that straight through the two miles barrier. Next goal: add in the hills. Am I going to regret sharing this? I hope not.