The "Whiz-ard" That Is Dr. Oz

Following Dr. Oz's Advice For A Year


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I’m a Ponderer…

I was thinking about stress – one of the nasty health saboteurs that Dr. Oz constantly warns us about.  Managing stress is a very complicated matter and we all deal with it differently.  Some of us disengage, and I’ve done this.  Some of us vent and get matters out in the open and I’ve done this.  Some lose sleep as they let things run through their minds and I’ve done this.  Some of us read self-help books to cope and I’ve done this.  Some of us make healthy lifestyle decisions like exercising and I’ve done this (not as often as I should).  Lastly, some just have that annoyingly positive attitude that makes you want to lose your cookies – I’ve NOT done this.

Even though I’ve written about stress (and it’s contribution to inflammation), I’ve been thinking and pondering that perhaps my November theme should be stress management.  Dr. Oz seems to have some valuable tools to help with it, and I’ve been dealing with a bit of stress and I’d like to get the “Whiz-ard’s” advice on how to reduce this happiness killer.  I know that there is no magical formula, but who doesn’t want to lead a healthier, happier life?  Well, maybe the odd Debbie Downer and Petey Pessimist…

I do always remind myself of all that I have to be grateful for, and today is no exception.  I’m truly grateful to live in a country as great as Canada.  It was a trying week last week, with a shooting and at our National War Memorial (resulting in the death of a soldier) and our Parliament, but watching our party leaders embrace each other the day after it happened as they returned to work was such a lovely and humane moment.  It reminded me that no matter how much we may disagree with someone, at the end of the day, when times are tough, we can still embrace each other and move forward.


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Decluttering, Whole Foods Redux and Hooray for Mindy!

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Another productive day in the quest to declutter my house and mind providing a feeling of wellness – at least that’s the plan.  Today, I relieved myself of two pairs of shoes, 1 sweater, 1 sweatshirt, 1 exercise top, 1 old calendar, 1 disc man (and it’s not even throw back Thursday), 3 magazines, a book and a few miscellaneous items that had their day.  I’m so close to finishing the first half of this project – I’m giving myself two more weeks before moving on to phase 2.  I’m also at the point where I’ve collected a whole bunch of items that need to go on Craigslist or Kijiji and it’s the perfect time of year to start thinking about that.  Today, I finished all of my shoes (I have a closet with quite a few pairs that needed to be organized.  I realized something very important – I really don’t need any more shoes.  I have plenty that I haven’t even slipped onto my feet yet.  I’ll covet some for sure, and it will be hard to not buy any, but I think I have to put myself on a one year shoe moratorium.  The only thing that I’m allowing myself, if they are on sale, is one more pair of winter boots.  Other than that, I’m Shoeless Jill until  January 2, 2016.  The sacrifices I make in the interests of simplifying my life are astounding and as painful as it will be, I will stay strong #firstworldproblems.

The next topic for the day is my trip to a brand new Whole Foods that opened a month ago in my area.  I laugh and scoff at the people that shop (and work) at Whole Foods – my niece is the exception (mostly because she doesn’t work there anymore), but I decided to give it another chance since it’s so close by.  For more of my thoughts on Whole Foods, please check out this entry from my blog’s infancy http://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/50-weeks-to-go/ – they haven’t changed at all.  I was pleasantly surprised though, by how nice the customers and the staff were at this location.  Gone was the pretentiousness that I had experienced at the other location that shall not be named (Hazelton Lanes).  It  was replaced with random acts of kindness and a nice little location.  I also liked that some of the foods were clearly labelled as being GMO free which is something that at this point is important to me – who wants genetically modified produce?  It wasn’t all perfect though – it was a bit expensive (expected), the produce wasn’t as beautiful as I would have liked, and there wasn’t enough grown on location in Canada for my liking.  There was also a HUGE end of coconut oil, that artery clogging oil!  Not only was it on sale, so you can save money while taking your life in your hands, but they also had a coconut oil cooking spray.  Just in case you do want to buy some, it was a great price, but so are Cheetos, and I’m hoping you won’t be buying those anytime soon.

Whole Foods, how about having an entire end of the oil that is scientifically proven to help you live a healthier life – Olive Oil? It was far more expensive than coconut oil, but it’s what’s going into my grocery cart.  I know that I will have to listen to people extolling the virtues of coconut oil, but other than the fact that it tastes great and you can cook it at a higher temperature, there is no reason to eat it.  I know I’m competing with homeopaths and even Dr. Oz on this, but it’s a fact – I did my research (hours of it) check it out https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/cuckoo-for-coconut-oil-no-way/

Last, but not least, on my list today, is something to be grateful for.  One of my sisters FINALLY watched “The Mindy Project” – my top favourite show ever.  She said it was hilarious, which means that I was right – and who doesn’t like to be right?  It also means that the show has one more fan.  All I want in life is to make sure that this very funny show doesn’t get cancelled, so if you have a sense of humour, try it!  It’s hilarity is something to be grateful for.


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A Small Smattering of Things

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Did you really think I wouldn’t declutter this weekend?  My project for the week was two shelves with boxes of memories – cards, maps, programs letters, etc.  I went through them and while I didn’t toss everything I did get rid of 82 cards (you heard me), 8 theatre programs, one menu and assorted other things that I had no clue why I was keeping.  Was it hard to ditch these precious memories?  Um..no – especially the thank you card from my grade 6 teacher Mrs. Melanson.  She was a real 5 letter word that rhymes with hitch.  Never liked her, and frankly, I don’t think she liked me either.  Good thing I don’t hold a grudge huh?  I realized as I was going through these items that there wasn’t one thing in that whole pile that I had an attachment to.  I still have a huge amount of cards that people have given to me – they are the things that I’m sentimental about and I’m ok with that but if I can’t remember who the person is why hang on to it?

In other news, I took Dr. Oz’s Breast Cancer Awareness Quiz – try it for yourself http://www.doctoroz.com/quiz/breast-cancer-awareness-quiz  I’m humiliated to say I only got 70% on the quiz.  You know which question stumped me?

How many minutes should you spend on each breast in order to correctly perform a breast self-exam?  I won’t ruin it by telling you the answer, but it’s WAAAYYYY longer than I ever assumed or could imagine myself examining one of the girls.  I know that it’s a serious matter, but I don’t know how you spend that much time on just one boob.  I’m glad I took the test, because it reminded me that I have to schedule my second annual trip to the doctor and to schedule my mammogram.

Last, but not least, on my list, it’s time for my moment of gratitude.  Today, I’m grateful that I had an ok day.  It was nothing special, but it was just fine and sometimes, that’s absolutely enough to make me happy.


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Embracing Emotion

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My grandmother at 18.

In “You Being Beautiful”, Drs. Oz and Roizen write the following: “Our goal here shouldn’t be to ignore emotions when they come up – whether we are reacting painfully to the loss of a loved one…Our goal should be to observe emotions – and learn to think with these emotions to help give our lives even deeper meaning.” (page 321).  Today is the anniversary of my grandmother’s death and it seemed an appropriate time to finally write something all about her so that I’m not ignoring the emotions that I feel.  My eldest sister has asked me for a long time why I don’t write about her.  I think she knows…she is intuitive in a way that very few people are, even if she doesn’t know it herself.  I haven’t written a full entry on my grandmother, because it’s so painful for me to write about her in the past tense that I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

In February, I wrote about my grandfather, http://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/a-true-gift/ and it was so much easier talking about him, maybe because I lost him at such a young age.  My Bobbi (that’s how she spelled it – some spell it Bubbie – either way, it’s Yiddish for grandmother) was my perfect person, the one that I related to and adored the most.  I can tell you a million reasons why, but probably the biggest reason is that what I got from her was unconditional love.  It was demonstrated in the small things that she did that seemed huge at the time.  It was when my sisters and I would visit her (she lived in Ottawa, we lived in Nova Scotia) and she would light up when she saw us come in the door.  It was the fact that she always made the same welcome lunch when we’d visit – baked macaroni and cheese, just slightly overdone exactly like we liked it, with a pitcher of chocolate milk in the refrigerator and her amazing home made chocolate cake for dessert.  It was knowing that she’d have our favourite cereal that we couldn’t get at home in her cupboard.  It was the way every day that we were there, she had something else baked for us.  You can have your grandparents that spoil you with diamonds, my grandmother spoiled us with love and that was her answer for everything.  I would ask her why everything that she made tasted so good and her answer was always the same, “Because I made it with love.”  And I knew that she did.

When my sisters would go to sleep away camp, I’d get my grandmother all to myself for 7 weeks (well, my mother was there too, but I was #1).  These were some of the best times of my life.  We’d go for walks every day – mostly so that my grandmother could take me for a treat – she was worried that I was too skinny.  Thanks Bobbi – you’ve more than taken care of that childhood problem.  As we would walk by, I’d see her greet her neighbours.  They looked so much older than she did – my Bobbi looked young with hardly any grey in her hair, even though she never dyed it.  I finally had to ask her why all of her friends were senior citizens.  I had never seen her laugh so hard or be so flattered.  She loved telling people that story, because even if I didn’t know it,  she was part of that club.  She was the grandmother who found us all so charming that we could do no wrong in her eyes and in return, in my eyes at least, she was and still is perfect.

Leaving her was so painful for me, or having her leave when she would come for a visit.  I’d sit in her lap, crying inconsolably.  When I got too big for her to hold, she’d give me a big hug and tell me that she had to go because she loved her home.  She would recite a little poem from a ceramic iron that she bought in Bermuda to help me understand “My house is small, no mansion for a millionaire.  But there is room for love and there is room for friends.  That’s all I care.”  I have that iron sitting next to me as I write this entry.  She loved her house, I think, because that was where she spent her married life with my grandfather and she adored him.  She never stopped missing him and her house was where her memories of him were the strongest.  I shouldn’t call it a house though, it was home for all of us.

I could spend all day listing all of the things that she did with me like taking me to the very fancy (at least in my eyes) Green Valley with my great aunt for lunch or playing games with me or just reading to me.  I could tell you how she watched the best TV shows – Wonder Woman, Matt Houston, Charlie’s Angel’s or best of all – The Golden Girls!  We would watch that show and laugh together every single time.  She thought Sophia was a hoot.  I could tell you how she was a lady, and carried herself like royalty.  Even when people see her picture, they think she looks like a queen.  I could tell you that she never had an unkind word for anyone, although I’m sure she felt hurt at times, she never showed it.  I could tell you that her house could pass a white glove test.  I could tell you that even though she was ill at ease around dogs, she would always give my dog a careful little pat of the head – and he was very gentle with her because he could tell how nervous she was.  I could tell you that whenever we’d get up after reading together that she would always give me a hug that my mother would always walk in on and spout “Oh – the pals”.  In her defence, when I was growing up, I had a duo photo frame filled my two favourite people – my Bobbi and my dog.  Stiff competition and I’m sure that must have hurt her feelings.  Sorry Mummy.

I could tell you a million little things about my grandmother but it would never explain how much I miss her every single day.  It would never explain how I would give anything to spend just a little bit of time with her.  It would never explain how even today, so many years after she has gone, I still wish I could hear her say “Jilly, come to Bobbi” when I was crying and how it would make everything better.  It would never explain how much I wish I was more like her but she was in a class by herself.

Today, I am grateful that my Bobbi never had to leave the home that she loved and that she was never so sick that she had to change her life.  The day she died, she went for tea with her friends, visited with her beloved nephew, watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and then felt sick and had to go to the hospital.  She never suffered.  I can’t tell you how grateful that I am that I had her for 17 years of my life.  It was a gift.


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I Have A Pulse and I’m Proud!

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Image courtesy of Google Images.

I was scanning doctoroz.com for something new and fresh to blog about when I came across “Dr. Oz’s New Health Rules” – check it out to try some of the tests on yourself http://www.doctoroz.com/gallery/dr-ozs-new-health-rules.  They are three simple things to try to help you gauge how healthy you are and to prevent dehydration.  Here is a quick snap shot:

  • Take your pulse daily to check for irregularity.  If you have any irregularities, then see your doctor right away.  I checked mine and it was boringly steady but maybe just a tad fast.  If you have never taken your pulse before, or just don’t think you have one (believe me, I’ve questioned whether some people were truly alive before, they were just so sedate) it’s easy!  I usually check my wrist (your radial artery if you are a fancy pants).  It’s on the thumb side just at the base where the wrist meets the base of your hitchhiker digit (sorry, I just didn’t want to repeat thumb twice in the same sentence).  Use the pads of two fingers and you should find it quickly.  If you can’t find it, keep trying by moving your fingers slightly up or down.  There is a slight hollow where I find mine.  If you still can’t find it, you are hopeless and should be ashamed.  Or you can just Google how to take it.
  • Throw out BMI and try Dr. Oz’s Body Quotient.  Dr. Oz’s equation takes things like your age and weight distribution into account in his equation.  This includes waist circumference because we all know that belly fat is bad fat.  Of course, that’s where I gain my weight lucky me!  Your number should be 0 but if it’s not (and mine isn’t) – all hope is not lost, you just have try Dr. Oz’s belly melt which I’ll blog about another day.
  • Drink when you are thirsty.  This is a simple little trick, but it makes perfect sense instead of following the 8 glasses of water a day.  That old tip doesn’t take into account things like heat, exercise and I’m sure that a bigger person may need more water than a smaller person – it can’t be one size fits all.  By drinking when you are thirsty, you are letting your body dictate when it’s the right time to take a drink, not trying to use some arbitrary number.  This makes perfect sense to me – thanks Dr. Oz!

I am in so much pain today – my massage therapist told me that my back is a bit of a mess, but I can still find things to be grateful for.  Today, I’m grateful that I was able to book a getaway to visit friends in North Carolina.  I’ve never been there, so I’m really excited, but even more excited about seeing people that I only get to see once a year.


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Organized Hair-iness

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Today is one of those days where I feel like covering two topics.  One is another episode in “Reformed Hoarders” and the next is something a little hairier.  Having gotten rid of reams of paper in my big office move inspired me to tackle some papers stored neatly in my room.  That was the job for today, along with my jewellery box and my hair doodle drawer.  I’m one of those sentimental people that likes to hold on to every card, note, and even test that I’ve ever gotten and today was about getting rid of some of those memories plus tossing a few other goodies here and there.

As I reviewed tests and essays from high school and university, I was struck by one thing – what was the purpose in holding on to these memories?  Was it so I could look back and feel smart – because I didn’t feel any smarter looking at them today.  Was it the fear that someone may ask me to trace the flow of blood through a frog’s circulatory system, because I haven’t been asked this question since Grade 12 Biology and somehow, I don’t think it’s going to be coming up again.  I’m probably not going to get many questions about my paper on the Political Economy of Canada either.  Like many other things, these all got tossed along with various versions of my resume (many that I was hanging on to were hopelessly out of date).  The picture just don’t do it justice – I easily got rid of about 500 sheets of paper (or more).  I did keep a few cherished assignments, but most didn’t make the cut.  Here is a quick list of a few other things that were tossed today:

  • 1 pair of pants
  • 2 bracelets (ugly and I’ve never worn them)
  • 1 watch – it was falling apart and there was no point in trying to donate it
  • 6 pairs of earrings – I never wear them or I get ear infections from them
  • 5 orphan earrings – much like my orphaned socks, their mates were never coming back and it was time to accept that
  • 1 box of candles – a thoughtful, yet really ugly gift that it was time to get rid of
  • hair elastics, clips and other hair accessories too numerous to count
  • 1 mirror
  • 1 bottle of dried up shoe polish

Again, it was all very cleansing and the extra room in my cupboard is also very nice.

Now on to a little fun Dr. Oz Test I tried.  It was to see how healthy my hair was.  It’s a simple test – you just pull about enough hair that would fit in a straw.  Start at the base and gently pull up and see what’s in your hand.  I had no hair come out and this is a good thing.  As we age, our bodies don’t produce hair as often, so you lose strands more often.  If you happen to do the test and say get three or more hairs, you are aging a little faster than you may want to.  Check out the video from doctoroz.com for more information – http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/could-antibiotics-meat-be-making-you-sick?video_id=3819362833001.  Being a bit obsessive about my hair, I did this test over and over again, and not one piece came out.  My next goal is to stop myself from repeating this test every single day.

This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada and as always, I do have a lot to be grateful for.  Mostly I’m grateful for my family and friends.  I am also grateful to be learning a couple of important life lessons through this blog.  That memories can be captured in ways that don’t require physical proof and that throwing away a few papers isn’t going to diminish my good (or bad) memories.  It’s just going to create more space which will ultimately relieve stress and allow me to focus on the here and now.  If you aren’t living in the past, which I never do anyway, stop hanging onto things that aren’t even important reminders of it…those little words of wisdom exhausted me, so until tomorrow, I remain…

Gratefully yours,

Jill


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Movin’ On Up

I’m relocating desks this week – from the 7th floor to the 11th floor.  I’m happy that it’s 7/11 – just like the store…only different.  Like most people, moving desks can be a bit of a trial, especially when it’s ridiculously busy at work.  As mentioned, it’s back to living to work, instead of working to live.  I realized this week that part of the problem is really the number of meetings that I go to each and every day.  Tomorrow, I have 8 starting at 9am.  Yes, 8 and I have to try to get some work done in between.  Not that I’m complaining.  Ok – I am a little.

So what’s the upside of the busy week (weeks really) that I’ve been having?  I’ve taken my decluttering project on the road and as I’ve been packing boxes, I’ve been streamlining my work belongings, much like I’ve done with my closets at home.  So far, I’ve ridded myself of:

  • one pair of shoes that I leave at the office – it was time
  • 5 small recycling bins filled with files
  • Several magazines
  • Unlimited amounts of paper
  • Several posters (we give them out to agencies)
  • 3 notebooks filled with scribbles that I no longer refer to
  • Extreme Makeover Home Edition Keychains (again, agency giveaways).  The show has been off the air for years – what was I keeping them for?
  • An outdated free face cream that I never got around to taking home
  • A really ugly lunch bag that feels like diapers

I still have a two small drawers and one big box left, but it has been very cleansing.  I even threw out a few more things as I unpacked my boxes.  It’s really hard to count out the number of items, but lets just say, it would fill a big blue box of recycling.  It may have taken a forced move, but another area of my life is getting organized.  This is one of the best of my little Oz projects.  It’s really helped me evaluate and let go of things that once seemed important.

I won’t miss anything that I just threw out, but I will miss my little desk – I spent countless hours there.  As I packed today, I pondered the important questions that have been plaguing me – who am I?  Well, it’s on my name plate – Jill Schneiderman.  Where am I going in life?  I guess to my new floor.  Where do I belong?  See previous answer.  How did I get here?  On the subway – with the annoying humming passenger in the morning and the annoyingly loud women on the way back.    And here is the BIGGIE – why in the heck do I have 9 pairs of shoes at work?  SERIOUSLY –  I hardly put them on.  What a waste of space – they are staying there, but still…Tune in tomorrow for more of my deep thoughts…and I’ll still be…

Gratefully yours (especially since my eye didn’t twitch once today),

Jill

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