Friday, March 30, 2018

Kefir

I really didn't like kefir the first time I tried it, so I didn't give it another chance until years later I out of the blue got a hankering for it.  I generally trust my subconscious to know a few things about micronutrients that my conscious mind doesn't know, so I pay attention to these sorts of things and try to satiate benign cravings, and find substitutes for naughtier cravings.

Nearly complete review of what we know about kefir:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3833126/

Key point:
Historically, kefir has been recommended for the treatment of several clinical conditions such as gastrointestinal problems, hypertension, allergies, and ischemic heart disease (). However, the variability inherent in kefir production conditions in different assays makes it difficult to conduct comparisons between reported scientific results ().
The above review didn't address the nutritional content of kefir besides B-12.  It's rumored to be high in calcium, magnesium and K-2, but as noted above, the variability in production methods makes it hard to guess at the actual nutritional content of a particular culture.

I've had this craving for kefir again a few times since, and a friend provided me with some grains and talked me into attempting it myself.  The results are mixed.  My cultured milk was drinkable, but quite tart and needed significant sugar and fruit boost.  It also takes dedication to keep the culture going, you can't just not buy milk and stop feeding it this week, if you refrigerate or freeze the culture to prolong time between feedings, you have to plan around warming it and reviving it before you can start a fresh batch.  So I've pretty much given up on culturing it myself.

Every now and then I get a craving, and I go ahead and buy some.  I usually get Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Kefir, Wildberries and Cream flavor.  I'm not normally a fan of organic, but this product is whole milk, from cows on pasture (organic cows must have some pasture, although they might not be entirely grass fed) and it tastes great. 

This is not a ketogenic food, but approaches the "40/30/30 balance" that some folks on moderate carb diets aspire to:

Total Calories768
% carb calories42%
% protein calories21%
% fat Calories38%
Ketogenic ratio44%

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Returning to Full Time

Returning to full time work on Monday.  I've got my special desk and bench in the garage for now, it's unfortunately supposed to rain my first couple days at work, so I'm not anxious to transport my electrically powered desk in the back of an open truck.  The bench though I think I can sneak into the back seat, and won't be damaged much by water if I do have to haul it in the truck.

I would have rathered continue to work part time, and have more time to take care of myself, but after months of looking, full time is all that is available, and the bills need paying, and the hay in the loft won't last all winter, so I'll take what is available.  The work itself sounds very interesting and right in line with my expertise.  The commute is not so great, nowhere near my former carpool, I'll have to drive myself to work for the first time in years, and I will rarely get to go to lunch with hubby.  But overall it's a good tradeoff I think.  I'll have a lot more financial freedom and grow professionally.  Worst case, if I can't handle everything, we scale back or even close down the farm.  Keeping this property without me working doesn't really seem to be an option.  We can get by on hubby's income, but we need mine to cover niceties and emergencies, and some overdue home maintenance.

I'll need to be more careful about planning my paleolunch, as there's not going to be a grocery store right next door any more.  Going out for lunch will mean taking my full hour and working a bit later.

Autonomous SmartDesk 2 Review

I purchased the Autonomous SmartDesk 2.  I got the ergonomic cutout top, and the heavier duty (and longer travel) motors.  Assembly was fairly straightforward, there were a couple minor machining tolerances issues, but nothing that required extra hammering or drilling to get around.  I did run into a problem when I misplaced the manual and the manual available online didn't actually match my desk, so the electronic functions seemed to be broken, but it all worked fine when I got a hold of the correct set of directions. 

I've used it professionally for awhile now.  It's noticeable to my co-workers when the motors run, but I get more comments about lording my station over everyone than about making noise.  After initial set-up I've not had any problems with the electronics at all.  It's sturdy enough that I have no problems putting some weight on the desk when I need extra support or need to reach behind my monitor. 

I use the standing function more some days than others, depending on my health that day.  In combination with my bench I have a large array of sitting, standing, and kneeling positions to rotate between depending on my current needs, although the only two settings I've put into the memory are normal sitting and normal standing.

I do wish I'd made the bench after getting the desk, I could benefit from sitting a bit lower, which the desk would allow.  The bench was made for proper arm height relative to my prior desk.

The attachment of the control panel to the desk may have suffered in it's recent move, but electrically everything still works, once I set it up again I might unscrew the panel and see if it needs a bit of glue or wood putty somewhere.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Status Report, January 2018

Long time, no update.

I'm very slowly gaining strength.  I can now balance on one leg for 30 seconds without holding onto the wall.

I tried an online yoga class that runs for this month, but the sessions were too long for my current fitness level, and trying too many new exercises in one day was bound to frequently find exercises that tweak my hip.  I am trying to use this class showing up in my feed as a trigger to do other exercises.

I did find this "pelvic reset" exercise that seems useful.  The first time I did it there was a significant klunk and improvement.  It's not a reliable fix, but it is strength building and doesn't tweak anything, so I'm including it regularly.



If I rotate that soccer ball a little bit so that my bad leg is lower than the good leg, I can find a weak muscle that doesn't tweak anything to work on.  The push/pull part can hurt pretty badly when pushing down on the bad leg, but it doesn't seem to have negative lingering after effects, so we can categorize it as the kind of pain that is chasing out weakness.

The same trainer had some good insights on exercise for the hypermobile:


(TL;DW: motor control and massage is good, range of motion and stretching is bad.)

An important discovery is that I can work on adduction as long as I don't move internal of the neutral position.  The isometric work with the soccer ball between the knees is one example.  I can also fasten a stretch band to the leg of the bed, side step away, and work on moving the leg from external to neutral position.  When I've had a bit of consistent sucess with my current routine, I may try something similar with internal rotation, rotating from an external to neutral position.

My daily checklist which I've been sloppy about following for awhile now, includes ankle rotations, one leg balancing, and calf raises.  Working hard on my ankles gives more general stability to my system, so the hip doesn't have to work as hard.  The hip does do some work in balancing during these exercises, but isn't the main focus.  Working primarily on the ankles means I'm not likely to tweak the hip with PT.  The newer stuff referenced above addresses the hip more directly.

On the ergonomics front, I'm about to start a new job.  I'm a little nervous about going back to full time, but I think I'll be fine if I get my desk and my bench in on day one.  I have done plenty of long days on part time work, and even the occasional 40 hour week.