Category Archives: Uncategorized

Video Resources For Homeschool

Recently we’ve been using some youtube and other video sources, to do our homeschool. And surprisingly enough there are some great resources for parents and kids alike out there. So I thought that today I would share some of our favorites. I would say most of them are Elementary age appropriate, but there’s a lot out there if you just go looking for it.

Videos as Learning

We use videos to supplement our learning. My daughter goes to work with me. Most days we manage to get in all our activities (2-3 reading, 1-2 math, and some other special interest). However, some days that just isn’t possible. I may be getting phone calls out the wazoo or have other tasks that I just cannot ignore.

My boss is great for letting me have her at work with me and I definitely appreciate it, but if we don’t do homeschool while we’re here….the evening is a mess. I end up behind with cooking, cleaning, bedtime, and my own self care. None of which is a good plan. So usually, once (sometimes twice) a week we use videos as a part of our curriculum.

Some are dvds like our language learning series. Most are YouTube or amazon prime videos however. While I mostly plan on covering YouTube content here, I will give an honorable mention to a few other sources and shows we commonly use.

HomeSchool Pop

Homeschool Pop is a great channel with a ton of content. The creator is constantly adding to what he has as well. He covers animals, history, geography, and much more. His channel has been my absolute favorite for working with her. They are animated, simple, factual, and fairly engaging.

Just the other day we watched a series on civil rights and a few months ago we started watching their 50 states series. The 50 states series features a video for each state sharing a variety of facts and information from state flag and flower to a bit of history behind it.

Alpha Blocks

Alphablocks is a great series for any kiddos trying to learn their phonics and letters. Each character has their letter above their head as a part of their block and when they come together to form a word they sound it out one by one.

It’s great for young learners because its set up like a story. It’s playful, bright, colorful, and full of fun. My 5 year old still enjoys it and we often use it in our language arts program when I’m having a rough day at work. Best of all, she doesn’t even feel like its a part of homeschool.

Number Blocks

Number Blocks is just like Alpha blocks but about numbers and basic math. The characters look like those tiny blocks we used to piece together in base ten math at school. I haven’t watched as many of these with her, but what I have seen I like. We have used it a lot to work on skip counting and we used it when she was just learning her base numbers. Just like alpha blocks it is bright and colorful while telling a story.

Cosmic Kids Yoga

Cosmic Kids Yoga is great for an at home PE routine. This wonderfully fun young lady with fanciful backgrounds tells an interactive story to your children. Each pose contributing to the story. It’s great for short attention spans (most of the videos) and for engagement.

Most of the videos are 5-10 minutes long, though she does have a few that are as long as 30 minutes. A good deal of the stories involve made up characters for her own little yoga world. However, occasionally she does specials with the trolls, frozen, and other popular kids media. She also does seasonal activities and some other content. It’s great and best of all its free and fun. I can do it with her and get my exercise on.

PBS Kids

PBS has a good deal of educational video content. We love the Wild Krats, Peg + Cat, Dinosaur Train, Word Girl, Daniel Tiger, to name a few. She loves a lot more of them than I do. I do find some of the programming to be not as great as others. For example, in my personal opinion, Sesame Street today, is rather boring. And I’m not a big fan of Nature Cat either. However, all of their shows are educational to some extent whether it is science, morality, math, or other topics. They do have an app for on the go learning as well as many games.

Amazon Prime

If you already have Amazon Prime, you also have Prime Video. Which contains a number of documentaries. These are probably better for older elementary kids. They are nearly all live action which can be good depending on your kiddo and how long they will sit still. We’ve been watching a number of documentaries about the ocean and dinosaurs the last few months.

Benefits

I love supplementing our education with videos. When possible we can watch them together and discuss. If not she often comes to me with questions sparking conversations. It also gives me a bit of time to get something else done when I need to and her still get something education out of her tablet time. I prefer that to a whole lot of what is available for childhood entertainment today.

But I do still do my best to limit our video time because the research out there is saying its just not good for their little brains. But I hope this post helps you realize how many free (mostly) video options for supplementing your own homeschool curriculum.

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Update 1/16/20

Welcome back to Wyrd Mama. I’ve been gone for a bit. Life got hectic. So I thought I would give the short run down.

Things got really bad with my caregiving duties last year. It nearly financially and romantically ruined me. I found out my mother was a narcissist or borderline (I can’t get a straight answer as to which it is).

I was attempting to move out and continue to be the caregiver to both parents when my mother started to loose her marbles. Putting herself in the psych ward over self harm attention seeking behaviors (with my Valkyrie in the other room).

We decided enough was enough and went through several living situations before putting her in a group home…where she promptly decided to move in with her even crazier sister. We are now no contact due to a series of toxic interactions that were damaging to not only myself and the little one, but to my dad who she is also targeting.

Its Not All Bad

For as bad as all that sounds it has been really good for myself and my family. As much as I hate to see my mother pushing herself downhill there comes a point where you can no longer harm yourself or the rest of your family to fulfill an obligation. It sucks to have to choose between two or more family members, but such is life.

What’s New

My little Valkyrie’s behaviors have gotten better (mostly fits) and we were finally able to get a consistent home schedule going with my mom out of the house. My dad is sleeping better and his health has improved dramatically since she left in August. I’m less stressed unless she (or worse her sister) calls.

So, with all that said, the plan is to be back with a new post at least biweekly. I plan on featuring a few new things such as how to tell when your care giving relationship has gone toxic and what to do about it. There’s just not enough information out there for us caregivers.

I also want to focus on fun homeschooling stuff to do with your kiddos. Maybe showcase some of my diy and family stuff. I’m not sure, but I want to start posting again now that my life is a bit more in order.

Let me know if there’s anything you want to see or any questions you’d like asked.

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Moral Relativism and Our Children

As parents, we all want to teach our kids about values, norms, morality, and ethics. We want our children to fundamentally be good people. However, our world tends to be torn between people who see morality as black and white or subjective to the individual or culture. Essentially moral realism vs. moral relativism.

If morals are important to us as parents then we have to consider where we stand on this point. If we don’t we are potentially leading our children down a dangerous path toward an ethical quagmire.

So today I wanted to attempt to briefly discuss both. Their points of view, their problems, their claims. And potentially show a middle ground, because you’ll soon find, the like most things today, they are extreme polar opposites.

I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, but philosophy and most of life is neither simple nor easy.  So please bear with me. 

What is Moral Relativism?

Moral relativism is the idea that all ethical standards are cultural and therefore subject to individual choice. We can all decide what is right and wrong for ourselves. You decide what’s right for you and I decide for me.

Scholars have argued that this implies that life is ultimately without meaning. It renders words like ought and should as meaningless and claims that morality is neutral.

Essentially, moral relativism says that anything goes, because life is ultimately without meaning. Words like “ought” and “should” are rendered meaningless. In this way, moral relativism makes the claim that it is morally neutral.

What’s Wrong With that?

While I love the idea of live and let live as a moral construct. It has a number of problems.

#1 Implies Neutrality

The question is whether or not morality can be neutral. Moral relativism implies that morals are dependent upon the viewpoint of the individual or culture. Which is true to an small extent. However, most cultures so have social norms against murder and stealing, which implies that some things are universally wrong.

 

#2 Infallibility

Moral relativists claim that morals are subject to the perceptions of individuals and their societal culture. However, that also leads to a problem.  It makes it exceedingly hard to come to any sort of societal agreement on moral actions. You can see this today in our polar politics with neither side being able to agree on the right course of action.

#3 Fact vs Opinion

Moral relativism is based more on feelings about an action than the facts.  We feel that a murder should go free because she killed an abusive husband. However, does that make what she did not wrong? Does it mean that she shouldn’t pay for her crime at all? And if you look at where that could lead, you quickly see that it’s a slippery slope.

From there we could justify that it’s legally justifiable to torrent something on the internet because we believe that Hollywood overcharges us. This may be true, but can we really say that makes it right to take something that people worked hard on for free because of our feelings and personal opinions?

And where else could all of that lead from there? Slippery slope indeed. Moral relativism gives us the misconception that we can justify wrong actions based on our feelings leading up to them.

#4 Contradicts Itself

A third problem is that relativism claims facts but then contradicts them. Even in the most black & white situations. True facts have no contradictions. We know that a circle is a circle. We know that a square is a square. A fact can be perceived differently by different people, but ultimately is still a fact. The law of non-contradiction applies to all facts. Morality, no matter how inconvenient, is no exception.

While it is a fact that cultures have different values to some extent, all societies and religions tend to have at least some similar foundations, which theoretically invalidates the argument as nearly every culture holds disdain for murder and thieves. They also tend to advocate that you be kind to your neighbor. There are things that are theoretically right and wrong such as murder and thievery.

Moral Realism

Moral Realism, on the other hand, suggests that moral facts exist and that these are objective and independent of our perceptions. Our feelings, beliefs, and attitudes do not affect them. This method is more based in logic reasoning, which may be why it sits in conflict with moral relativism, which appears to be based more on our feelings.

Problems with Moral Realism

So, I did a lot of research for this post. I wanted to be able to share the views, pros, cons, of both.  However, I’ve had a lot of trouble finding information about the problems with moral relativism. So I’m working simply based on my own perceptions of it here.

#1 Life is not Black and White

While I do believe that there are things that are absolutely right and wrong, moral realism leaves little room for shades of gray.  This implies that a woman punished for murdering someone out of spite should be the same as someone who murdered to defend herself. This is simply not true.

#2 & 3 No feelings or Compassion

It leaves room for no feelings about morals. It is an entirely logic-based system.  And we are feeling creatures just as much as we try to be logical ones.  Without feelings, we would be no better at deciding just courses of action than the computer in War Games. It takes out the potential for compassion.

And while I know compassion is a feeling, I think feelings do count a lot of our human experience. So I’m going to say that’s a two for one.

But is there a middle ground?

The people on the news and in the media would have you believe that one or the other is right or wrong. However, that’s too simple. I think both have a place. Just as I believe that determinism (that there is a pattern to all order and chaos/fate) and free will.  Just as I believe that there is a middle ground where science and religion meet, maybe even crosses over (quantum physics).

Personally, I think that there is still a lot about our world that we don’t understand. That we can still view as magical in nature.  Hell, everything that is scientific is still magical to me. It’s amazing to me that the world can produce so many neat reactions even if we can explain them. I think that our very existence based on our knowledge of the solar system and the universe is extraordinary.  The fact that our bodies function on such individual levels, each one having its own quirks, pros, and cons.

The magic of our scientific world aside, there is a middle ground for nearly everything in this world.

What is it?

 

I think that all of us can agree that there are certain things that are right and wrong.

Right:

  • Respect
  • Perseverance against adversity.
  • Compassion
  • Love
  • Honesty

Wrong:

  • Murder
  • Thievery
  • Deception
  • Manipulation
  • Bullying (being mean, hurtful, etc)

And I am sure that there are others. Again just trying to keep things simple.  There are things that we universally value as right or wrong.

Also,  I believe that there are things subjective to our experience. To our own perception of these values. I can’t define these for you. This is why there are so many differing opinions. I can share a few of my own opinions as examples, but these are going to be a little different for each of us.

  • A woman who murders her abusive husband still needs to pay for her crime, but maybe not spend as much time in jail. Or maybe she needs to spend one year in jail and the rest of her sentence be mandated to work in a program (potentially at a lower wage as those things generally do not pay well) that helps pull women out of those situations. How better to give back and pay for her “crime” than to help others out of the same situation.
  • Abortion. I personally do not condone abortion. However, I do not believe that it is my right based on my religious views to take that right away from someone else. Streaming. I stream a lot of things online. But I realize its wrong. I don’t justify it. While I don’t.

And there are many more examples. Just remember these are examples. Ideas. There is room for shades of gray, but there will always be prue right and wrong.

Think of the Children

As parents, we have to determine which of these views or to what extent our children are exposed to these views. We have to share with them our own personal views and help show them the pros and cons of both.  Only by sharing both can we come to a realization of what each means and what the middle ground may be.

None of us can exist at either extreme. Despite what the media may imply to the contrary. Extremes don’t work. They don’t empower us, the inhibit us from our full potentials. As with all things we need to find a balance. A middle ground. I don’t care if its a middle ground in politics, religion vs. Science, determinism vs free will. There is a middle ground to nearly everything and finding them is the way we find balances in our lives.

 

When we push to either extreme we have problems. In moral realism, we have a problem of not adding feeling to the equation of not seeing the degree of a moral. In moral relativism, we have the problem of ignoring logic.  We have the potential to ignore facts, both moral and otherwise.

Finding the middle ground is the reasonable option to balance both our logic and our feelings.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Tips For A Well Oiled Home

We all know there is more than one way to skin a cat.  Not that we’d want to.  This is true of all things. I don’t care if you are just a caregiver, homeschooler, parent, or even working from home, there are a million ways or more to do just about anything you desire.

So today I want to share a few tips as well as show you an average day in my work at home experience.

#1: Priorities

It’s just a matter of finding what works for you.  What feeds your family and their needs. What makes life manageable. This is going to be different for everyone.  And a part of the process is realizing what you need to thrive.

The first thing you need to do is sit down and determine what those needs are.  Mine are as follows:

  • Freedom– Being able to do what I want to do (within reason). This is a big compent as to why I am pursuing financial independence.
  • Time for myself– Making sure that I take care of myself and my personal needs for space, time, and relaxation.
  • Family Time– Making sure to make connections with my little one and my parents. Family events and activities.
  • Spirituality– Ensuring that our family life is enriched. This includes getting my mother to bible study, exposing Freya to all sorts of religions as well as my own…and discussing questions we have in regards to spirituality.
  • Clearing of Old Projects– Over the years, we all end up with projects we haven’t finished. My big goal this year is to clear those projects off my list before starting any new ones. From sewing to woodworking, I have a number of projects to finish.  Getting those done will make my life easier.
  • Organization– I have been working hard since the end of last year to declutter and make sure that everything has a place. I would say that I’m about 60% of the way there. I would still like to get rid of some more stuff and refine where it is organized.
  • Cleanliness– I don’t expect to have a perfectly clean house. I gave up on that a long time ago, between all my other duties and the little one. However, I cannot tolerate a dirty kitchen and I hate it when coats get dropped on the floor.

#2: Savers

We all try to save time. I won’t try to put an exhaustive list here, but I will list a few things that help me save time and money.

  • Bulk cooking – When I make a meal I make enough to freeze for at least another if not two or three more meals. This way we can eat the same thing for dinner each week and I only have to cook it once or twice a month. I save so much time cooking and its especially great for busy weeks and weekends. It also leaves me time to make more fun treats throughout the week.
  • Life Skills – When I say this, I mean that I have miss Freya help me with everything I believe she can do. It does take a bit of time for a new task, but she loves helping and its teaching her valuable skills. It also gives me more time later as she can help take on those tasks. Currently, she gathers all the things I need for cooking and can grab her own plates, among other tasks.
  • Meal Planning – It takes the guesswork out of what we’re eating and it’s still adjustable. It also saves you on groceries.
  • Making my own cleaning supplies– Saves me both time and money. I can make one batch on laundry concentrate over the course of a day (there’s some waiting involved), with a hands-on time of about 30-60 minutes. For that time I have 5 gallons of concentrate that will last me at least six months if not longer. Other supplies are multi-purpose which allows me to take them from spot to spot and get my cleaning done more quickly.
  • Finding a flow to your schedule that works for you. -Probably the most important thing you can do.

#3 Be gentle with yourself

Some days you just aren’t going to get everything done. Things will go wrong. The important thing to remember is that you haven’t failed, you’ve just had a rough day. There’s no reason to be harsh with yourself. Or put yourself down.

I hear so many women, no people who are harsh to themselves.  We should never call ourselves failures and we should recognize that even we need days to recharge.  So next time a day doesn’t go as planned remember that you’re only human.

#4: Task Master vs Servant De List

It’s great to have a plan and a to-do list, but remember that you cannot be a slave to it. Again things can go wrong.  It is fine to have a plan, but if you don’t get everything done you need to take a look. You may have planned more than you could get done or unforeseen events could have prevented you from reaching your goals.

Again be gentle with yourself.  These things happen and its okay.  Being harsh with yourself is not going to make it any better. And stressing yourself out with more than you can manage in a day will only leave you more frazzled, less focused, and unable to accomplish more.

#5: What you do matters

It’s great to want to do everything but remember your priorities. What use is it to clean or work all day, if you don’t make time to enjoy your family or even yourself.  I often find on busier days that I’ll drop homeschool for the day or cut out something that needed to be done so that I can spend time with my family.

I know its tempting to just keep trucking along, but it will only lead to burn out and an unhealthy lifestyle.  It will leave your children, spouse, and other family members missing something they need as well. Your attention.

#6: Have a Schedule

Even if you work at home have a schedule. Having a schedule gives you and everyone in the house a framework for what should happen over the course of a day. Whether you have little ones or family members with dementia/memory issues, having a framework will help them function within your home.

I’ve also found that having a schedule keeps me grounded and reminds me of my priorities throughout the day.

My Day

The Daily To Do List

Every day I have a to-do list.  Here’s what it looks like. I prioritized the list by what I tend to do first, however, I always remain flexible and move things about as I need to.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner Prep
  • Chores (3-5 cleaning items aside from daily maintenance)
  • Dishes
  • Homeschool

Then I have a list of things I try to do for myself each day

  • Read
  • Reiki/Meditate
  • Some work on one of my unfinished projects
  • Udemy class

Schedule

  • 9 AM- Wake up, reiki, meditation, organize for the day, get dressed, etc.
  • 10 AM- Breakfast and Dinner prep. Valkyrie Cartoons
  • 11 AM- Cleaning and Chores, Family Showers.  Valkyrie plays time.
  • 1 PM- Homeschool
  • 3 PM- Play with the Valkyrie
  • 4 PM -Udemy Class for me, Tablet time for the Valkyrie
  • 5 PM- Dinner at the table
  • 7 PM Project Time
  • 9 PM The Valkyrie and I do something together (Usually a show and read)
  • 10 PM Finish getting ready for bed and put the Valkyrie to sleep.
  • 11 PM My time to unwind.
  • 12 AM My bedtime (not always great at following this).

#7: Be Flexible

This is what works for us. No one in my house is an early riser, my parents, even less so than I. I get most of my work done in the morning and the Valkyrie helps a bit between playing her own games and depending on her mood.  Once my parents are up things tend to be more unpredictable in terms of what I might get interrupted with.

Some days they wake up early and I have to put off my chores until they are otherwise preoccupied. It can make for an unpredictable day sometimes, but for the most part, we all know what should happen and when.

#8: Relax your parenting

Everyone is terrified that they will not do good enough for their child. We rush everyone to everywhere and over schedule ourselves. We helicopter parent not even letting them play outside by themselves. Our world isn’t so scary that our children can’t play without our constant watchful eyes.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, I suggest two books I recently finished.

#9: Find Joy In Everything You Do

If you can find joy in any task you will enjoy doing it. While I know this is far more complicated than easy, it is true. And its something that I often have to work on.

It also calls us to bring balance into our lives. If you hate cleaning, then maybe you don’t need to focus on cleaning quite as much. Maybe it’s okay for you to have a messier house. I gave up on keeping the sink clear at all times because my parents simply are not capable of it and I can’t seem to manage it on my own.  It still bothers me some days, but I’m less stressed by not trying to focus on it all the time.

#10 Find Magic In Everything You Do

In addition to balance, there is magic all around us. Our very breaths are magical. So don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy things. You don’t have to rush about. You can take your time and do it near perfect and find joy in that as well.

Find joy in having your little on help where they can. It’s magical to see them acomplish and learn right before your eyes.

Find magic in how much simpler your life is. When you look at a loaf of bread you find joy and magic in the fact that you don’t have to bake it in a kiln over a fire. Or that you have a mixer when three generations or so ago that would have been a novelty.  You can slow cook things without constantly tending a fire. We have heaters and water at our fingertips.

All of these things should make us feel blessed. They should help us to realize that we have far more time to do things than our forebearers did in the past.

 

 

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Announcement: Delays

No article this week.

I wanted to start my study on teeth, but I’ve been delayed. I’m waiting on a few books from the library. In addition, the little one is struggling with my boyfriend moving out. No worries we are still together, he just couldn’t handle living with my parents.

This is not to mention the cpap issues as well as the plumbing issues. Between dealing with all these things I just can’t seem to get enough time to sit down and do more than this little announcement. I hope everyone has a great week and I’ll be back next week with more info….if not about teeth then about something else on my ever-growing list of topics to cover.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Project Tooth Part 1

Introducing my latest idea: Project Tooth.

Over the course of the next several weeks, I’m going to test a theory. I found this book claiming that you can heal your cavities and tooth decay.  I’m going to keep this short and sweet so I can get to really planning the best way to test this.

What I want to know

  • Does it work?
  • Is it just another fad?
  • Is it economical?
  • How much work is it?
  • How much time is it?
  • What are the pros?
  • What are the cons?

And I aim to find out.

The Research

I keep finding research indicating that this is possible. Instead of detailing it here, I’m going to leave the sciency terms to those who can best describe them. Or at least to those who can describe them better than I can.

The simplistic explanation is that by remineralizing your teeth, eating correctly, avoiding sugars, and killing germs, you can heal your teeth.

After enough sites like those listed below, I’m starting to wonder how effective these treatments are. I want so badly for it to work. I would much rather diy my dentistry than overpay in the current healthcare market.

Check out a few of the proponents

  1. Wellness Mama’s post on the real causes of tooth decay.
  2. http://judenedds.com/   a dentist herself claiming you can reverse tooth decay
  3. Ayurveda channels talking about oil pulling, tongue scraping, etc.

The Plan

I’m going to take some time after Christmas to find a friend. I just want them to take some pictures of my current dental situation.  Once I have that documented  I want to post it with a discussion of tooth decay, its causes, symptoms, as well as myths associated with tooth decay.

Once I have my baseline and our general discussion, I’m going to do a weekly or bi-weekly update including the things that I’m learning and trying.

I know this was short and sweet, but with the holidays and everything else, I don’t want to take up too much of your time today. So go home, enjoy some hot cocoa with the kids, and I’ll be back with my usual posts each week as well as an update no later than two weeks from now.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Back from Nano

Hello everyone. I’m back from my journey into NaNo. This year I used my time to work on both a story and a whole bunch of new posts for you folks. I’m still in the process of editing, but I’m looking forward to sharing with you what I know and learning from your comments.

Be on the lookout for posts to resume in a few days.

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Announcement

This month will probably be pretty sparce as far posts this month. Between the holiday season, the content I write for two other sites for cash, getting up my sales site, and NaNoWriMo, I will not likely have a lot of time for anything else.

But I will be back.  And if I have some spare time I’ll finish a few of the posts I’ve been working on for all of you lovely folks out there.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Sugar: Toxic or Sweet?

 

Before anyone gets upset, I’m not asking you to give up sugar. That is a personal choice. However, I do want to make you aware of what science is finding.  Hell, what regular people are finding.

I know I’ve shared my personal health story before, but I want to focus on the parts particularly affected by sugar.

Sweetness

I’ve eaten sugar all my life. My mom has always been really sick so I didn’t always have a lot of supervision over what I ate as a child. If there was something sweet in the house it was often gone within a few days. If not by my hand then by another.  None of us had a good relationship with food. Neither from a psychological or a neurochemical perspective.

We were using it to cope. Sugar was a part of our bonding experience. However, sugar was hurting each of us and we didn’t even know it till much later.

Alzheimer’s and Sugar

I’ll start with my dad. We didn’t learn that sugar was hurting him until a few years ago when he had the stroke.  The more research we did we learned that there is currently a debate over what may be coming first in Alzheimer’s and it’s sibling disease, dementia.

Some scientist a say that insulin resistance in the brain leads to Alzheimers claim that insulin resistance tends to affects the areas of the brain that are most susceptible leading to less energy for the brain to carry out functions in those areas.  When you have less fuel your brain can’t function as efficently. This includes memory.  This is important with Alzheimer’s disease because over the course of the disease there is a progressive decrease in the amount of blood sugar used in certain brain regions. Those regions end up using less and less.

Others argue that the Alzheimers leads to insulin resistance in the brain. I’m personally more inclined to believe the first option, but the link provided does share the research on that as well.

Now, what does that mean?

Insulin acts as a key to let sugar into your cells. When your body doesn’t respond to insulin correctly it can let too little in.  If you are eating a diet high in carbs and sugars, that means that your cells aren’t getting the fuel that you are sending to them.  When that fuel isn’t absorbed in the cells, it gets turned into fat.

Even worse, if the cells are not obtaining the sugar as a fuel, it could mean that the cells in his brain are cannibalizing the fatty materials in his brain….which is one theory on how plaque may be developing in this disease.

Heart Health and Sugar

New studies are showing that sugar should be considered more dangerous to your heart than fat.  We are now learning that sugar lowers good cholesterol and damages arteries.  Even WebMD is recognizing this new information.  This leads to your body producing more cholesterol to try to heal the lesions.  Too much of that and you end up with blockages.

This video from Dr. Berg on youtube explains its all. His videos are great if you are looking for holistic information on healing yourself and your family.

 

Sugar and Neuropathy

The most common cause of neuropathy is sugar.  People with diabetes or some sort of sugar regulatory problem are at a much greater risk for neuropathy than anyone else.  Studies have shown that as your sugar levels rise your neuropathy can increase.

When you intake too many carbs, it creates too much sugar in the system.  This rushes into the bloodstream and then to your nerves. Sugar causes your nerves to swell and as they swell, it eventually cuts off the blood supply to the nerve causing damage.  This damage manifests as feelings of burning, tingling, or numbness in the hands and feet. In addition to this damage, nerve damage can lead to migraine headaches, restless leg syndrome, carpal tunnel and Alzheimer’s disease.

Every day I hear people say, well I don’t eat that much sugar. Well, let’s take a look at one breakfast: Raisin Bran cereal, skim milk, apple. Simple. To the average American, it sounds healthy right? All I see is sugar.  I got this breakfast from an article about neuropathy and sugar.  According to their calculations, this breakfast breaks down to roughly 32 teaspoons of sugar or nearly 3/4 a cup.  And the average American is estimated to consume around 53 teaspoons of sugar per day.

Just compare that to the early 1900’s when American’s only consumed 2 teaspoons on average.

We are doing a lot of damage to our body.

And Everything Else?

Keep in mind, I haven’t even mentioned the obvious problems of diabetes and obesity themselves. We all know about those risks. What we don’t realize is that it is in everything you buy at the store. It is naturally occurring even in fresh fruits and some veggies. Processed and frozen foods all contain added sugars or toxins that break down into sugar. Manufacturers hide sugars in everything. And they are doing damage to our body.

Nor does it begin to touch upon all the other problems Dr. Berg and others have linked to this sweet substance.

What can I do?

The simple answer is to find out your carb tolerance. Which means you may have to make the decision to go off sugar and carbs long enough to get them out of your system.  Then you can start reintroducing them so many grams at a time.  I hated counting, but since doing an elimination diet, I have learned that my carb limit is somewhere around 40-60 carbs per day.  My boyfriend can’t handle more than 20. We’re still learning what my parent’s carb intake is.

If you want to get really serious you can go Paleo or Keto.  Keto is a bit more extreme, but that is the route I have gone. And there are plenty of places that offer advice, recipes and starter tips. The ones I can think of off the top of my head are Cooking Keto with Kristie and Keto Connect.

We use keto strips to monitor if we are in ketosis and blood sugar testers on occasion to make sure we don’t get too out of wack.  I will admit, I break diet on occasion, which does cause me problem, but about 90% of the time I’m on a keto diet. I’ve lost nearly 40lbs and still losing. I feel great, and the number of health problems I’ve experienced has gone down.  The best part is that the problems I have experienced both mental and physical both decrease when I consume less sugar.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Stress and Caregivers: The Nitty Gritty Truth

If you are a caregiver, particularly to a family member you are going to be stressed.  There is little you can do to stop this stress aside from trying to look on the bright side.  However, there will be days where even that is a daunting task.  

On any given day there is entirely too much for me to do and not enough time for me to do them.  I have to cook the meals, clean all the rooms, do all the laundry, and the rest of the household chores. Then there are the finances. There will be paperwork for insurance, pensions, loans, etc.  In my case, there is also a small child and everything that goes along with that. I could go on and on.

stress

When there are too many pieces or parts to track it is easy to feel overwhelmed

My point is that it is hard.  There are days that I feel like a complete failure. There are days where things go wrong and I break down and cry.  I often feel overwhelmed or like there is no end in sight.  I’ve had days where what I felt made me feel like a horrible daughter or even mother.  

Even worse, some days, I fear what the end looks like. In my case, I don’t know if I will have a place for myself and my Valkyrie to go.  I don’t know if I will have figured out a backup plan. I’m always working on it, but that doesn’t mean I’ll find a viable option before the proverbial shit hits the fan.  

Feelings are Okay

The first thing I have to tell you is that all of these feelings are okay.  

You have a right to feel them. Acting on them may be an entirely different thing. However, it is okay to feel them. 

Don’t get me wrong. You wouldn’t be doing this if you didn’t love them. But it is okay to feel this way. It is okay to cry.  You may not feel like it, but it is. I’m almost 30. I’ve been helping to take care of my mother for nearly my entire life. I had a short break from 2006-2014, but I’ve basically been doing this my entire life.  

There are days I hate what I do.  There are days I wish that I could walk away. I have had moments where I feel useless. You just have to accept that these moments will happen an move on.  

And even if you aren’t a caregiver in the sense I’m talking about, this can apply to you.  You may be a single mom taking care of four kids. Or maybe a single dad. You may even be happily married, but have 12 kids.   Regardless, it is always okay to feel the way you do.  Feelings aren’t logical.  They don’t have to match what we know to be true or our obligations, perceived or otherwise. 

What to do?

This is much harder.  The good news…there are plenty of options. The bad news…it may take you some time to figure out what works for you.  The worse news….you may find something, have it work for a while, and then be straight back to the drawing board. But don’t fear. Here are a few of the various coping mechanisms I’ve cycled through over the years:

  1. Counseling– You would be surprised how much it can help to just have someone to talk to.  If you can’t afford a counselor, this could even work with a friend.  It just depends on you and your preference. 
  2. Journaling– I used to love writing down everything I felt. The best part was that I could go back later and evaluate it and determine if I really felt that way deep down or if it was just a passing fancy.  Sometimes I felt something in the moment that wasn’t something I felt all the time. Sometimes that feeling was getting to the root of the issue and others it was just a part of the momentary panic.  But writing allows you to go back and take the time to figure that out. 
  3. Creative outlets– This is my current cycle. In the last few months, I have painted minis for tabletop, sewn more dresses than I have room for in my closet, and thrown myself into coming up with new and creative ways to homeschool Freya.  In some ways, this site is even an outlet.  It gives me a place where I can share and write and maybe even help someone.
  4. Yoga, Meditation, and exercise– I put these all together for a reason.  It’s just about what helps you get out of your own head. For some people that is solitary and sedentary and for others its about motion. I’m a little bit of both, so I use these interchangeably depending on what phase I’m in that day.  
  5. Reading– Sometimes I read fun stuff. Recently if I read for stress, its been self-help.  I’m going to list a few of them in the resources at the bottom of the page.  Sometimes you just have to work on you to get through the rough patches.  Maybe there is a reaction or coping mechanism you can learn to help you.
  6. GET OUT– this is a big one.  Maybe the biggest. You have to get out of the house and interact with other people. Every once in a while when I get really low I pull together some money and I take myself to the mall. Maybe I buy a new dress. Maybe I get my nails or eyebrows done. It may just be going out to get some guilty pleasure (I prefer lily’s nearly sugar-free chocolate or sushi if I’m ditching the diet).  Or find something you can go and do at least once a week. I have a gaming session with some of my high school friends nearly every week.  I drive an hour and a half to get out of the house and do something else.  

Remember Who You Are

Just remember its easy to get lost in what you do. It’s easy to forget to get out and enjoy life.  I can’t say I have it entirely together. I just told you that there are days I cry and break down.  There are days I don’t want to do anything (and I only do the bare minimum).  No matter how upbeat you are there are going to be those days.  It’s a fact. It doesn’t make you weak. That just means that you are human like the rest of us. 

It means that you have needs too.  It may mean that you aren’t meeting those.  And there may be times that you can’t meet all of your needs. I am an extrovert. I want to get out there all the time. If I could I would have something going at least two or three days a week.  Eventually, I would need a week or two away to recoup, but I love being around people. I love doing fun things. However, I know I can’t do that. So I take what I can.  For example, this weekend I’m going to a retreat with my friends. Next weekend we have a sitter so we can go to a social event together.  

We may only make it out together once a month aside from our gaming, but we get away from everything. 

And realize that there may be more than you can keep up with.  This does happen sometimes. You may end up in a situation where you are perpetually putting out fires. That is okay too.  Don’t give up. Keep working on solutions. You may find a way to at least dull the burn, even if you can’t put out all the fires at once.  

 

Just remember that for as horrible as your situation may be or you may precieve it, It can always be worse and you can always find ways to make it better. Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather