Wellness Wednesday – Do Calories Mean Something Now?

A month ago, I increased the percentage of carbohydrates in my diet, and the results have been fantastic. And as I mentioned, I gained some glycogen weight because my body could finally replenish its stores. I also gained a pound from some overindulgence over the last month, as I got used to this new way of eating and began to experiment with different things. One of the big things I’ve learned is that I need to question every single thing my body has done for the last seven years. For example, in all these years, any alcohol consumption (even a single small glass of wine) would lead to a 3-4 pound increase on the scale that wouldn’t go away until I had no alcohol for several weeks. I would also become ravenously hungry for carbs. Not for junk food, just for carb-heavy foods like rice or pasta. Now, neither of those symptoms appear. No carb-cravings while I drink alcohol, no bump on the scale unless I also overeat (and those bumps don’t take weeks to disappear). In this situation – and others – it feels like my body is finally responding normally to food and drink. Which leads me to question my body’s non-response to the calories-in-vs-calories-out theory.

Back when I first started counting calories, after discovering Sparkpeople in February 2011, I lost weight evenly and according to my particular calorie deficit, set to lose a pound per week. I discovered quickly that my body won’t lose faster than that, and if I cut my calories further, I’d hold onto weight or even gain. But a pound per week is a very reasonable rate of weight loss, and I was fine with that. When my insomnia appeared nine months later, the rate of loss slowed, but I was still losing at about 75% of what my calorie tracker said I should be losing. Lack of sleep IS a contributing factor in not losing, so it made sense. The loss only dropped to ridiculous levels after the two months where I was lowering my carbs (March and April 2012). I was so close to my goal weight at that point – only 15-20 lbs off – that people said it was because I didn’t have much to lose. However, I was barely out of the obese range, so that definitely wasn’t the case. The scale crawled and crawled and crawled, and I finally hit my goal in Feb 2013, but then I came to a full stop. In May 2013, I spent four weeks religiously counting every single calorie (including weighing all my food to the gram) and tracked it all publicly each day, as an experiment. In those four weeks, I had a calorie deficit of 3000-4000 each week, and my weight stayed the same. As any of my longtime readers will know, that is a trend that has continued to this day.

But. What if it’s different now? What if the reason calories weren’t a factor before was that my body was clinging to every ounce of nutrients it could get? My doctor has suggested that the reason other people can do well on low-carb diets is that their bodies adapt to using other sources of energy, and mine doesn’t. (Probably because of the way I was fed growing up, and the way I ate while I was a competitive swimmer doing 12+ hours of exercise each week.) Maybe now that my body has a proper source of nutrition again, I can rely on calorie-counting to help me lose weight and get healthy. I mean, for the last month, I’ve been eating far more than I used to (not just more carbs, but more food generally), and I’ve been maintaining. If I’d eaten this quantity in January or February, I would have gained ten pounds!

Which means it’s experiment time! First, I have to let go of seven years’ worth of preconceptions and decide to trust both my calorie trackers and my body’s hunger cues. I need to start 100% from scratch. Second, I need to finish my current steroid treatment, since the steroid causes me to lose several pounds of water. When I took the same treatment in Feb, I gained the weight right back after it was done, and I don’t know what will happen this time. I’ll be done with the current treatment on Monday, and I’ll need the rest of that week to let my post-steroid weight stabilize. Then on Sunday – yes, Easter Sunday – I’ll start counting again. And we’ll see how my body reacts. Perhaps I can pick up where I left off so many years ago.

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Save the Date, by Morgan Matson

Charlie is the youngest of five siblings, and her life is in chaos. Her parents are selling the house she grew up in, she’s about to go to college, and all her siblings are coming home for her older sister’s wedding. Including one sibling that no one has seen for eighteen months. To cap it all off, Charlie’s mom is a renown comic strip artist, and her 25 years of writing about her family in the daily newspaper comic strip is coming to an end the same weekend as the wedding. And then the wedding planner disappears, leaving everything undone, mixed-up, and in chaos.

As usual, Morgan Matson doesn’t pull any punches. There is a lot packed into this book, which takes place over a single weekend. Most of it is tied up in family relationships and the way those change over time. The rest involves a coming of age story of how we see our world and how it changes (and the people in it change) as we grow, whether or not we want it to. These things would be fairly ordinary, except that they occur over a backdrop of family (and neighbor) feuds, a live TV special coming to interview the family for the end of the comic strip, and the chaos caused by the wedding planner’s disappearance. If it could go wrong, it did. Weddings are already high-stress (ditto selling a house, seeing a family member for the first time in eighteen months, dealing with press, etc), so to put all these things alongside each other makes all the flaws and realities of family bonds come to light. And as I said, Matson didn’t pull punches. There is a lot of gut-wrench in this book.

I personally love books about big messy complicated families, especially when all the extended families get to come along for the ride. This was exactly the book I needed after a long reading slump. It’s my third experience with Matson and I will continue to read her books because she has yet to disappoint.

Posted in 2019, Prose, Visual, Young Adult | Leave a comment

Sunday Coffee – Downsizing

One of my current goals is to figure out how to take a firmer hand with our budget. We’re not big spenders and our budget is really, really streamlined, but due to circumstances last year, we find ourselves under massive debt and with our expenses outweighing our income. A year ago we were fine, but once you add two car payments and $20k of house repairs (which had to go on our credit cards, because our savings were drained the year before when Jason lost his job), you go from monthly “wiggle room” to monthly “further into the red.” There is literally nothing more we can cut from our budget, so this comes down to large-ticket items: cars and house. The cars are a no-go: one of them is the family car (the only one that fits us all) and the other one is upside-down on value. Which leaves the house.

I will admit straight out that we shouldn’t have bought this house. It flat-out cost too much, plus it had particular features that we knew would make it more expensive to care for. It was on a hill, meaning potential problems with structural elements, and it was two stories. Neither of these may mean problems in other parts of the world, but San Antonio has very peculiar weather patterns. We sometimes have years without rain, and sometimes years without the rain stopping, and due to this, the land is constantly shifting. Basements don’t work here. Doors have to be adjusted several times a year. Plus, San Antonio is just HOT, and that means the second floor will always take a lot more energy to cool (during the nine months we need a/c).

So why did we buy it, knowing the potential issues and the excess cost? Well, we were desperate, and we lived in a different state and couldn’t go look at houses in person, and we needed something immediately so we didn’t have the luxury of waiting until the right house came along. That summer of nightmares, anything and everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Additionally, the housing market had exploded in San Antonio. When we moved to Boston in 2014, our 1500-square-foot house had been worth $120k (only $25k more than when we bought it in 2006). The following summer, the same house was worth $140k, and the summer after that, $160k. By the time we were looking at this house, that old house of ours was worth $180k, and these days, it’s over $200k. Five years, and it’s almost doubled in value since we sold it. And the house we’re in today? It’s gone up at least $50k in selling value just in the last 18 months, especially after our improvements. Unfortunately, the increased sales value does nothing to help us with our insane mortgage payment, or our out-of-control electrical bill due to cooling two floors of this beast-house. We can’t afford this place, no matter how much we love it.

Downsizing is going to be our best option. Unfortunately, this will be tricky. Space-wise, we can certainly downsize. This house is about 2200 square feet, and we’re perfectly comfortable with something smaller, especially if it’s laid out well. (Actually, ironically, we preferred our 1500-square-foot house from pre-Boston, because while it had less overall square footage, it was laid out so much better than this current house!) But even the smaller houses are currently selling for the same price (or higher) than what we spent on our current house. You can’t get anything for an affordable price unless you go to high-crime areas (no!) or you buy a major fixer upper (NO!). If we sell and buy simultaneously, the proceeds from the sale should make a major down payment into a smaller, one-story house, but we’d have to be very sure those transactions, and the right house would have to be available. Plus there are a few things we’d have to fix up in this house first. Sucks, but it’s got to be done. Even if I did finish school and get a decent-paying job, we’d have years of major credit card debt and constant worry before we were comfortable again, and this house would always be too big and too expensive for us.

We’re not looking to do this immediately, of course. It’s likely we’re not looking to do this until our boys are all off to school in a few years, or at least not until one or two of them are. We’re not going to spend a lot more money and get further into debt fixing up the things that need to be fixed. We just can’t. Right now, we’re just going to focus on the things we can do cheaply (finish up the last bit of the front yard, wall repairs, paint touchups, door adjustments, etc), work on getting me into school (or other solution), and continue to economize. But probably, in the next three to four years, we’ll be looking to move somewhere smaller, single-story, with a smaller house payment. It’s long in the future, but I’ll ask anyway: wish us luck!!

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A Summing Up of March Titles

I did a lot of skim-reading in March. I don’t usually write reviews of skim-read books, and I don’t include them as part of my year’s reading list. However, because I haven’t finished a non-skim-read book since February, I decided to do a list of mini-reviews for some titles that I looked through in March. This may not be comprehensive. I don’t remember everything I skim-read, and my library just changed their catalog system, so my years of check-outs (dating back to 2012!) no longer exists. This is what I can remember, however. Links go out to Goodreads for book descriptions.

The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic: Psychological thriller with flashbacks to build in the reasons the narrator left her old life and identity behind. The good: It dealt candidly with a parent’s difficulty in coping when their child does something reprehensible. The bad: Predictable, characters not very fleshed out. TW: Rape.

The Suspect by Fiona Barton: Having not particularly liked The Widow, I was hesitant to try this one. However, it was well-written, and the characters have to deal with real consequences of poor choices that they had no control over, and the ending is only slightly ambiguous (no major thriller-twists). I was more engaged with this book than most from March.

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper (audio): This was a free paranormal romance download from Audible. It was silly and predictable but also very fun. A few too many cliches and stereotypes, but I still enjoyed it (haunted houses make for awesome settings!). Audio was read by Amanda Ronconi.

The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn: The premise of this one is so similar to a thriller I’ve skimmed through in the past that I wondered if it was the same, but it wasn’t – plus it was better written, and I was surprised many times by where the story went, even when I guessed some of the twists. It was also a very good exploration of agoraphobia, with a narrator who was both pitiable and creepy (making it difficult to fully like or dislike her!). This is the other book I was more engaged with in March.

Bring Me Back by BA Paris: This was by far the most predictable thriller I read this month (I knew the twist after reading the back cover). It also had one of those toxic abusive male narrators, as well as a movie-style version of a particular mental health disorder, both of which left a really bad taste in my mouth. I’m not sure why I kept reading, to be honest. TW: physical abuse.

The Stranger Game by Peter Gadol: The premise of this was really interesting, to explore how social media can turn into real-life stalking, and how modern culture would realistically adapt – almost like reading social media reality TV dystopia. However, there were a lot of plot elements that were never explained, side stories that just disappeared, facts that didn’t add up, etc. I wanted to enjoy the book but in the end felt like I’d missed giant swaths of information.

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Wellness Wednesday – Carb Diaries, part 1

A month ago, I discussed the changes I made to my diet in 2012 that led to eating yogurt for breakfast daily instead of cereal. This was part of an ongoing effort toward eating more whole/real foods, less processed food. In that post, I discussed a lot of the symptoms I’ve had since that time. However, I’m thorough, and I knew that the change from cereal to yogurt (and other food changes made at the same time) didn’t just affect my histamine/microbiome. There was another big result that I’ve thought about a lot in the years since making the change: my carbohydrate consumption.

Prior to 2012, carbs made up on average 60% (or more) of my diet. That was comfortable for my body, and I hadn’t really thought about changing it. But then at my annual exam in March 2012, my doctor (who had only seen me like twice ever) wanted to address my weight. At that time, I’d lost 75 lbs, but for months I’d been grinding out these smaller numbers, and I explained this to her. She told me that because once, years back, I’d been borderline pre-diabetic, I was probably more carb-sensitive, and I should cut my carbs back to around 40% of my diet.

(2011, photo taken with 50 lbs of food to represent weight lost, and a good sampling of my diet before cutting carbs)

Because she was a doctor, I thought she must know what she’s talking about. Never mind that I was doing 5-6 hours of exercise each week, including lots of high intensity exercise. Never mind that I’d lost a lot of weight already. Never mind that my blood work showed no signs of insulin resistance. Never mind that she tried to sell me weight loss shakes and bars while giving me this advice. This doctor didn’t know me, and from later interactions with her, I discovered that she didn’t really listen to me, either. She believed that I was exaggerating my exercise habits and weight loss, and that I was either lying or ignorant about my eating habits. She didn’t give me enough credit, and I didn’t give myself enough credit. I simply followed her advice, blindly, because it dovetailed so nicely with all the food trends that were exploding onto the scene everywhere, and didn’t that mean it must be right?

My doctor didn’t expect my discipline and tenacity. I cut my carbs back ruthlessly to 40% of my diet that March. My body dropped about 3 lbs, and I was ecstatic – it was working! Only then, it just stopped working, and I had my first sign that something was wrong – a menstrual cycle that lasted only 12 days. It was a fluke, I reasoned, and didn’t connect it to the change in my diet. The following month, I did my week-of-whole-foods experiment (when I switched to eating yogurt), and that cut my carbs further, to around 35%. Again, I lost about 3 lbs, only to gain them back immediately the first time I consumed a minuscule amount of “off-plan” food. Once again, evidence was staring me in the face that this kind of eating was not sustainable or healthy for me, but I ignored it and stubbornly stuck to what I believed I was supposed to do. For the next seven years. The only time in the last seven years that I haven’t been eating around 35% carbs was when I did Whole30 in the fall of 2014, when that percentage dropped to around 25%. And hey, that dropped me a whole 12 lbs! Never mind that after I was done, I couldn’t stop regaining weight until I’d regained 80 lbs. What a tradeoff.

(before and after cutting back to 25% carbs)

Again, I’ve thought a lot about this change in diet since making it seven years ago. I’ve often wondered if the choice was a mistake, and if I should increase my carbs. Fear kept me compliant. While my blood work looked excellent seven years ago, I’m now on the higher end of normal in terms of glucose and A1C measurements – seriously, eating fewer carbs made me more insulin resistant – and I worried about insulin resistance getting worse if I ate more carbs. Additionally, I abandoned my few attempts to experiment with higher carbs because each time I’d start gaining weight. Clearly, it wasn’t working, right? Except…here’s a key piece of chemistry that I didn’t know until recently: When you decrease carbs, you’re going to immediately lose a flush of weight, but it’s not fat. It’s a combination of water and glycogen, the latter being key. Your muscles store glycogen for ready energy usage, and it’s the first thing to go when you decrease carbs. And as one might expect, you’ll replenish glycogen stores when you increase carbs, which will cause a bump on the scale even though your size doesn’t change even the tiniest bit! And glycogen? That stuff is important.

A month ago, I took a deep breath and increased my carbs to over 50% again. I expected weight gain and problems with hypoglycemia due to insulin spikes/drops. Weight gain: three pounds, no change in inches. Hypoglycemia: None whatsoever – in fact, my blood sugar has been more stable. Beyond that, I had a lot of positive results from the increase, as well as a couple mixed results. Notably, I’ve had absolutely no negative changes from the new diet.

Mixed Results:

  • My hormone profile completely changed, most notably affecting my facial skin. On the good side, I lost all the rash and redness related to inflammation and my skin began to look healthy again. On the negative side, the healthy skin came as a result of increased oil production, so I’ve dealt with a lot more acne. This seems to be leveling out after a few weeks, however.
  • My depression was both positively and negatively affected. Carbs are needed for serotonin production in your body. Makes sense, then, that I would develop depression mere months after I cut back on carbs in 2012! On increasing them, I immediately had a mental health boost. Yay! However, the depression returned quickly, for three reasons: hive-related inflammation (inflammation also causes depression), antihistamine side effects (Xyzal is the worst!), and an increase in my sugar consumption (another cause of depression). This balance – increasing carbs without increasing sugar – is one I’m learning, and I’m working on the inflammation/histamine issues. My hope is that this will eventually be a 100% positive change.

Positive Results:

  • I no longer get bone/organ/joint pain after high intensity exercise or strength training. Just a little muscle soreness as you’d expect. Clearly my body requires glycogen for these things!!
  • I also no longer experience ravenous hunger after moderate to heavy exercise. Before, if I did any exercise more taxing than a walk on hills, or any kind of strength training besides yoga, I’d experience this gnawing, insatiable hunger for about 24 hours (or longer if I didn’t give in and eat more than normal). This no longer happens. I can exercise at any intensity and my hunger levels correspond appropriately.
  • I had increased energy and less fatigue. This was later countered by hive attacks, but I’m sure the energy will return once I can figure out the underlying medical issues and get rid of the massive inflammation my body is currently dealing with.
  • My body temperature stabilized, no longer swinging wildly from being very hot to freezing cold. I didn’t even know that was related.
  • I stopped peeing 30+ times a day (that’s not an exaggeration). I thought I just had an overactive bladder, but it turns out that my body wasn’t getting properly hydrated when I wasn’t eating enough carbs. Considering that my post-Whole30 attempts to eat paleo always fell apart within days due to extreme thirst that could only be satisfied by eating rice or beans, this shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did!
  • Better sleep! The insomnia hasn’t gone away completely, but most days I sleep deeper and more restfully, even on days when I don’t get enough sleep.
  • I had none of my normal menstrual-cycle related symptoms during my last cycle: no bloating, increased hunger, weird cravings, drops in blood pressure, weight gain, or digestive system problems. It was the first normal cycle I’ve had since that “fluke” in 2012.
  • My body reacts differently to alcohol. I still get a bump on the scale after drinking it, but it drops after a day or two rather than my body holding onto the weight for weeks. I also don’t get insane carb cravings when I drink alcohol.
  • While I’m not 100% there yet, I’m starting to realize that I can trust my intuitive eating cues and physical hunger symptoms again. This was something I’d lost and thought the loss was related to emotional/stress eating, but even once I got back onto a relatively level emotional field, I couldn’t rely on hunger cues. I’m starting to be able to tune into them again.

Here’s the thing: long-term effects for low-ish carb diets haven’t been studied, especially in women. No one expects you to stick to this way of eating for seven years straight, and of course every body is different and reacts differently. Clearly low-carb (even low-ish carb) doesn’t work for me, despite what I’ve thought and said and done for seven years. So I’m making these adjustments, relearning how to eat, and figuring out where to go and what to do next. I really do hope that after my doctor can address the root cause of hives/inflammation, I’ll be in a good place to address the rest of my health, since I seem to have removed a major factor in the troubles I’ve had for years now!

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March 2019 in Review

I really struggled this March. The beginning of the month was great, but around mid-month, my health problems reached a crisis point and my mental health took a nosedive. It’s difficult to keep your spirits up when you’re practically on bedrest and you never know when the next mast cell attack will come, or when you see doctors that tell you that your problems aren’t really problems and you should just learn to live with them, or when you have to take a dozen medications each day. Thankfully, I did manage to find some decent care in the long run, but that’s still ongoing, and I’m not out of the woods mentally or physically yet.

Books
I basically stopped reading in mid-February. For a time, I enjoyed half-listening to some old favorite rereads, then even that lost its charm. I haven’t really wanted to read anything for quite some time. It’s the biggest slump I remember being in since spring 2011! I might do a little post of mini-reviews for books I sort-of read (ie skim-read) in March. We’ll see. But I haven’t fully read a book since Feb, so my March total is zero.

Movies
I’ve now finished everything on my movie backlist. Watched at home this month: The Hate U Give, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ralph Breaks the Internet. The Hate U Give was amazing and by far my favorite. I also got a free movie ticket to Alamo Drafthouse for my birthday, which had to be used this month, and my original plan was to see a movie that was coming out on the 22nd…only then it’s been delayed until August, so I took Laurence to see Captain Marvel. I’m not really a superhero person, so I was surprised at how much I liked the movie. Had to be the cat and 90s nostalgia.

Health
Sigh. So here’s a recap of an insane month, in bullets:

  • Hives went away early in March since I’d cut out both probiotics and yogurt. After two weeks, I tried adding back yogurt, but had another massive attack after a few days. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to fully get the hives under control again since then. My current allergist gave me an emergency kit that includes a couple steroid pills as a defense against the major hive outbreaks (mast cell activation) because apparently those don’t fully go away without intervention for about 120 days. However, I’m still on a pharmacy’s worth of various antihistamines and anti-inflammatories, plus their side effects. Ugh.
  • Early in the month, I increased my carbs to over 50% of my diet for the first time in seven years. I’m going to talk about this in more detail in a post of its own. For now, let’s just say that 95% of the results of the increase have been good, and I’m still getting used to eating this way after keeping them low for so long.
  • Again early in the month, after increasing carbs, I started doing high intensity exercise and major strength training again. I felt great, but all that had to stop after the mid-month massive hive outbreak. In fact, I basically wasn’t supposed to exercise at all for the rest of March, to keep the body-wide inflammation from worsening. Altogether, I only exercised on 17 days for a total of 13 hours (12 yoga, 26 miles), which is really low for me, especially since almost all of that was in the first half of the month.
  • On the 21st, I finally found a decent allergist who spent a long time with me, asking questions about my whole history of allergy symptoms, hives, inflammation, eczema, etc. She set up my emergency kit discussed above, and ordered a ton of blood tests (28 tests! Nine vials of blood!!). If this is related to an allergy or disease or histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome, she’ll find it. And I can’t say how good it felt to finally have someone LISTEN to me.
  • I gained weight this month – 4 lbs. I’m not too fussed with it, to be honest. Most of that (3 lbs) was a result of increased carbs, as my muscles replenished much-needed glycogen stores. (Did you know that when you decrease your carbs and lose a rush of weight, it’s glycogen that you’re losing? I didn’t.) The rest was because I was basically on semi-bedrest for the second half of March. Can’t do much about that. And since my inches stayed the same (glycogen doesn’t take up any space!), I’m good.

Highlights of March
I always find it more important to note highlights during sad months. Here’s what I’ve got for March:

    • my birthday celebrations generally: a lunch date with friends/family, a girls’ day out, my buzzard party, and dinner out with the family
    • starting to run again!
    • Laurence’s birthday, plus his Buccaneers party
    • Morrigan’s Summa Cum Laude ceremony, where each of the Summa students got to honor a teacher or person who has helped them reach this point (Morrigan with his honoree –> )
    • checking out a new-in-town coffeehouse with Stephanie, and meeting another writer in the process
    • helping my friend Natalie’s family move
    • our orchid fully bloomed! We managed to keep it alive for over a year, yay!
    • evenings outside sitting around our firepit
    • Siclovia! (Despite the stress of forgetting my phone, and Jason’s phone being dead, so we couldn’t use his app to get a Lyft back home, and had to talk to a park ranger, who let us charge J’s phone in his SUV until we had enough charge to order a ride…)
    • I finally got to see the KonMari tidying show!! Loved it!!

Quarterly Goals Wrap-up
I’ve actually decided to scrap my original goals for this year, as they were more like a to-do list than goals. I’ve posted my revised 2019 goals on a dedicated page. Since I only created these new goals in the last week, I don’t currently have a progress update.

Coming up in April
Hopefully progress in my health, real answers, and a lot less helplessness. Our family has gotten past all the main birthday/gift-giving parts of the year until July, so also hopefully a better outlook on our budget! In a wider view, April always marks a new season for San Antonio. It will be a month of Easter, Fiesta, Battle of the Flowers, and a transition to summer heat (which honestly seems to have come early this year, as we’ve already been hitting the 80s since early March).

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Sunday Coffee – Slump

I really didn’t plan to disappear from the blog this month. I hit the 14th – the day after my youngest’s birthday – and had another massive hive attack, even worse than in February. From there, my health just deteriorated. I’d already stopped reading in mid-February, beyond some rereads and skim-reads, and my desire to read or listen to books in any capacity fell away completely. It’s been since April 2011 that I last had a full-on slump like this, where it’s not just “I can’t find anything I want to read” and instead it’s “I don’t want to read, period.” This wouldn’t have been so much of a problem except that it dovetailed with an “I don’t want to write at all either” slump. (Partly the fault of a strange medicine-induced aphasia from one of the antihistamines I was taking – Xyzal. The two halves of my brain didn’t seem to communicate with each other, and random words would take the place of what I was thinking when they came out of my mouth or through my fingers.)

The last few weeks have been difficult, and all non-essentials (like reading or blogging) fell by the wayside. I’ve tentatively begun to draft blog posts again and have a few lined up for the week, but I can’t guarantee I won’t have another physical attack that waylays me. I might be touch and go until my doctors can figure out what’s wrong and get me treated. At least I finally found a wonderful allergist who has a lot of theories and is running a lot of tests, and is willing to provide immediate relief (aka an emergency steroid pack) if I have another mast cell attack. And in the meantime, I’ve made some good discoveries this month that will help me with the rest of my health once the immediate problems are dealt with.

Jason and I are off to Siclovia today, San Antonio’s twice-yearly festival that exhorts us to “go play in the streets.” Several miles of downtown San Antonio are turned into pedestrian streets and all non-motorized forms of transportation are encouraged. Walking, biking, skateboard, pogo stick, whatever you want – just not segways or electric scooters or cars. J and I used to go for every event since it opened in fall 2011, but we haven’t made it since fall 2015 and it’s definitely time to remedy that!  A lovely cold front came through so it’s a good day to play outside!

Posted in Book Talk, Wellness | Tagged , | 2 Comments