Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Thing About Substances

People, who know me, know I am a bit of a teetotaler.  I do drink, but it is very rare. My history with me taking illicit or illegal drugs or recreational drugs is limited too. Let’s get one thing out of the way; I am an adult child of an alcoholic. My father went into recovery for alcoholism when I was three. Both of my blood uncles and my brother have struggled with alcohol and/or alcoholism. Several members of my family including some of those mentioned have struggled with drug dependence to illegal and/or legal.  My ex, Barbara, had issues with substance abuse too. Part of that was I did not want to know, the other was like many who substance abuse, she was a pathological liar. 

I know I have an addictive personality. I have been known to spend too much with blind collectibles trying to get the one or ones I desired. It is a big reason I try to avoid games like HeroClix or collectible card games. Due to those reasons I am very wary of intoxicants and gambling. I have seen the damage those things can do to people at their worst. I know I have what could be considered an obsessive personality, even though that has been toned down in the last 10 years. Many of my pop culture obsessions have gone to the wayside.

As I have said before, due to my medical conditions I spent my childhood in and out of surgery. I was under the influence of pharmaceutical drugs, all legal. I did not like the way they made me feel. When I got to be old enough to possibly experience drugs, I was not interested. First I had experience the pharmaceutical versions of many opiates, barbiturates, and cocaine derivatives. Second I knew that the street versions had risks due to cutting the drug with another substance and those substances could be toxic on their own. Thirdly I did not like they way the pharmaceutical versions made me feel, so why would I like the street version any better? 

In many ways due to my medical history I had little control as a kid, so I exerted it where I could. And staying away from drugs was a way to do that. In University I drank one to three in a sitting, maybe once or twice a month at the most. I had more important things in my mind to spend my money on (movies, comic books, recreational books, table tope RPGs, and food). In High School I loved going to Theme/Amusement parks for the thrill rides.  Once I moved to Oregon full time that was not as possible and I did not trust the attractions at carnivals and fairs for safety reasons.

It is not that I don’t like alcohol, but I drive a large amount and do not wish to get a DUI.  Even when I do drink 3 to 4 is my maximum, 1 to 2 is my norm. This rule did start back when I was only 150 lbs. I have not adjusted things since I have gained all this weight in the last 30 years. The cost of alcohol at bars seems ridiculous. Last time I drank Rum and Cola with Captain Morgan’s Bite (lime flavored rum) it cost me $8.

Tobacco, I never got into because of my breathing issues due to my medical conditions. I had grown up with two smokers and my brother smoked for years, all three have since quit. When I got into Shamanism, I tried to use it ceremonially, which means once a month or one a quarter. That stalled out, I eventually stopped altogether. However my former partner was a chain smoker. I saw that as a useless and expensive habit. I have been in a smoke free household for almost 4 years. That has been great. I have friends who smoke. That is their choice, I do not judge.

As I have said I never did any street drugs, as being afraid of it being tainted as well as my aversion to their pharmaceutical versions. Marijuana on the other hand I did try at the tender age of 25. Since, I have used it a total of 4 or 5 times. I was not impressed with that either. Many of my jobs had UA tests so I did not want to fail those and possibly lose my job. I lived with someone on medical marijuana, so was already afraid I would fail due to contact high.

Overall, I do not want to follow down the same road as many of my male relatives. After living with someone who was a substance abuser, I am more sensitive about it than I was before. I tend to limit my drinks to two in the rare times I do drink. I do not expect others to live like I do. This is my personal choice. All I wish is that people respect it. My friends tend to do that. If they did not, then why keep them as friends? 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Milepost 3 on the Road to Wellness

In August, September, and October I continued with using more turkey and limiting red meat to two or three dishes a month. Ground beef has been replaced with ground turkey. I made pizza with turkey pepperoni and skim milk mozzarella. Ground turkey has been used in dirty rice, chili con carne, and taco meat. I have used turkey bratwursts, turkey Polska kielbasas, and turkey ham as well as the turkey pepperoni.

Rick's vegetarian lasagna

I continued with increasing vegetarian dishes, which included spanakopita and a vegetarian lasagna, mushroom instead of meat and zucchini instead of pasta. Speaking of the vegetarian lasagna, I made a mistake and used pre-made canned/jarred marinara. I learned later that it had too much sodium and corn syrup/sugar. When I made the pizza, I made my own homemade marinara for the first time. Instead of pita bread for hummus and tzatziki, I started using raw cauliflower, carrots, and celery.

Indonesian lemongrass beef

On September 18, 2015, I had another muscle pull this time the abdominal muscle. This was after I helped the landscaper pull out a 6 by 20 foot hedge. Since then I have upped my dietary amount of potassium. My new blood pressure medication can lead to low potassium. I am increasing my banana and yogurt consumption since both are high in potassium. The muscle pulls could be cramps or strains. Then I caught a cold, so the walking regimen has been suffered as a result.

Honey mustard chicken

In October I decided to make more seafood choices, I went out and had squid and shrimp. I made pasta with tonatto sauce (tuna, anchovies, capers, olive oil, and lemon juice). This plus my monthly sushi will help increase my seafood intake. However I dropped the amount of my monthly sushi to save money. Instead of three items, I lowered it to two. At the end of July, my doctor recommended more seafood. I am working to find inexpensive ways to do that. Frozen and canned options seem to be the cheapest at this point.

Turkey pepperoni pizza with homemade marinara

In early October I weighed myself at 357 lbs. My mother bought a new scale for both of us. I was seven pounds from my goal weight. Since I have had a cold and my activity went down, that has caused some weight gain. I gained back 6 lbs, but I lost 3 lbs a few days later. I am currently as of October 14th at 360 lbs. Now, I am 10 lbs short of my goal.  I will work to get back into losing again.

Chilled tangy avocado soup

I am still being very strict about my portion control, except when I was sick. This is the second illness road bump.  I cannot get discouraged by this.  I also had some family functions that were less than optimal, but I avoided sweets both times. During the illness when I had a sore throat I ate some ice cream and canned soups.  Those did not help. I still consumed less than before the beginning of this in late March of 2015.

Before the muscle pull and the cold, I had increased my walks to two days of walks and one day off, then repeat.  Now, I have raised the frequency to three days of walks and one day off, then repeat. Family functions and health has impacted that plan. I am back on the walking regimen with a new route that crosses a hill like feature twice.

This is an ongoing journey. I will have highs and lows. As long as my good choices outnumber the bad or slip ups, I will be fine. I have discovered I need both physical activity and better eating habits. Relying more on homemade products versus pre-made store bought items has proven to be a good way of doing things. Store bought may be more convenient and accessible, but in the long wrong they are a bad idea. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

News & Reviews

Starting on August 22, 2015, I began writing for the Neverland Podcast's news feed.  This is the place where I will have the links to those articles and reviews.

Devil Dinosaur Gets a More Modern Treatment with Upcoming Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur
New Heroine added to the DC Television Universe
The Totally Awesome Hulk’s Identity Revealed
Release Date Announced for the Next Marvel/Netflix Show Jessica Jones
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 1: Magician’s Apprentice Review
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 2: The Witch’s Familiar
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 3: Under the Lake
The Flash Season 2 Episode 1: The Man Who Saved Central City
Sweet Christmas! Power Man and Iron Fist Return
The Arrow Season 4 Episode 1: Green Arrow
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 4: Before the Flood
The Flash Season 2 Episode 2: Flash of Two Worlds
The Arrow Season 4 Episode 2: The Candidate
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 5: The Girl Who Died
The Flash Season 2 Episode 3: Family of Rogues
The Arrow Season 4 Episode 3: Restoration
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 6: The Woman Who Lived
The Flash Season 2 Episode 4: The Fury of Firestorm
The Arrow Season 4 Episode 4: Beyond Redemption
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 7: The Zygon Invasion
The Weekly DC TV Easter Egg Report for the week of November 2-8, 2015
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 8: The Zygon Inversion
The Weekly DC TV Easter Egg Report for the week of November 9-15, 2015
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 9: Sleep No More
The Weekly DC TV Easter Egg Report for the week of November 16-22, 2015
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 10: Face the Raven
The Weekly DC TV Easter Egg Report for the week of November 23-29, 2015
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 11: Heaven Sent
The Weekly DC TV Easter Egg Report for the week of November 30-December 6, 2015
Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 12: Hell Bent
DCTV Easter Egg Report 12/16/2015
Doctor Who Series 9 Christmas Special: The Husbands of River Song
DCTV Easter Egg Report 01/24/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 01/31/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 02/07/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 02/13/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 02/20/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 02/27/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 03/06/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 03/13/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 03/20/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 03/27/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 04/03/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 04/10/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 04/17/2016
DCTV Easter Egg Report 04/24/2016