Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sun or more storms ahead?

Dear Readers,

I have had a kind of busy couple of days. On Thursday I rode the clinic’s van out to an appointment to get my bone density measured. While I am not all that much in favor of western medicine or ex-rays – in this case I recommend it. Something like three out of five women, get osteoporosis in their life times. This painful, debilitating, and crippling disease can be prevented for the most part.

A diet low in sugar, protein, saturated and trans fat is a good place to start. Adequate protein is necessary for health – but many of us eat way too much. The next dietary considerations that are helpful – high fiber, lots of dark green leafy vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. (Which brings us back to the garden!)

Also important are regular rhythmic exercise – weight bearing if possible. Walking is the best, but swimming or cycling will help if you are unable to walk. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, even if you have to work up slowly.

Supplementation with calcium, vitamins A & D, as well as folic acid, magnesium, and trace minerals is also helpful. Some people think the supplements are necessary, as we know longer grind out food in limestone mortars or grind up bones to add to our food. We are also unlikely to boil bones for broth – all this added calcium and minerals to the traditional diet. Modern diets are impoverished of minerals. I certainly take supplements and urge you to talk to your doctor or nutritionist about preventing osteoporosis.

Young people and men can get this disease. It is recommended to get your bone density measured once between 35 and 45, again 6 months to a year after menopause, and third test 1 – 2 years after that. This is just if none of these tests find anything. After the third test – if there are no signs of bone loss testing is done once every five years.

Now should they find that your bones are not as dense as they should be, I recommend starting off with all the natural remedies listed above. If you are all ready using them, try switching your calcium supplement to another form of calcium. The medication they prescribe can be problematic – it comes with side effects. Be sure to research side effects, contra-indications, and interactions before beginning any medications. Another woman in to have her bone density measured had depressed kidney function - down to 20% as a result of the medication. However she was not able to stand erect and had trouble walking. Osteoporosis is not something you want to get.

Anyway, I didn’t get back up the mountain till after five - and went straight to my friends house in Willow Creek – remember the Angel that did some of my shopping? That’s where I went. I got out of my jeans and into a my red skirt, a multi-colored knit blouse (black, red, etc – chevron stripes), a black and red sweater, and a black and red shawl, and we headed over to the poetry performance. We had quite a number of readers – I was one of them – and it was fun. The food was pretty dang good too.

I had trouble sleeping that night, because of muscle spasms, but I am some better now.

Lets see . . .

I got one of my other day lilies in the ground. I did nothing to protect them from gophers – so we shall see. I have some day lilies starting from seed too. I might tuck them into a raised bed when they are ready. I just don’t have a place in a bed big enough for the larger plants right at the moment.

I have more tomatoes seedlings coming up, and the snake gourd is out on the back porch – outside for the first time. I have it tucked up against the house where it can get some sun, but where it is protected from the wind. This is its first time outside. I have been checking on it every little while.

The flat of seedlings I carry in at night is having a kind of mixed time. Some are doing very well, some are suffering from lack of sun – today is the first sun we have seen in weeks, and some are being bullied by some sort of hitchhiker. Probably a tiny slug that I have been unable to find. So I doused the afflicted cells and quite a few of the other cells with some tobacco tea. I would have doused them all – but I ran out. So I now have more tobacco tea brewing on the porch.

Lets, see, the Agapanthus are doing great. One croaked – but I have 29 more . . .

It is mostly sunny today, here – but breezy and cool. Almost spring, and almost spring weather.

Hope you all are having fun in your gardens!


No comments: