Wednesday, May 25, 2016

AN APPLE A DAY

Really!  An apple a day is great improvement to your health.  I think this was one of my first nutritional lessons from Mom.  I believe it to be true and don't you just love how it rhymes?  


Did you know there are 7,500 varieties of apples in the world?  2,500 varieties of apples are grown here in the United States, but only about 100 kinds are grown commercially.

During my short tenure on earth, my taste in apples has changed.  When I was really young, it was all about Red Delicious.  When I went out on my own, it changed to Granny Smith.  It seems like every year a new variety catches my eye.  Fuji.  Braeburn.  Gala.  Pink Lady. And now ... Honey Crisp!!

My Maui friend Leslie turned me on to this choice.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  This apple has been my favorite for a few years.  And it's not just me.  I served some thin slices at the coffee group last week and several ladies asked what kind it was.  It's a Catch 22 ... these are the most expensive apples EVER.  But I allow myself this luxury.

My mind just swirled around apples.  I had to Google apples.  While they may not keep the doctor away, they are really good for you!


1. Apples are filled with soluble fiber  (5 grams)
    • This fiber has been shown to reduce intestinal disorders, including diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and possibly some types of cancer.
    • Helps control insulin levels by releasing sugar slowly into the bloodstream.
    • Cleanses and detoxifies, which helps eliminate heavy metals, such as lead and mercury.
2. Apple pectin helps reduce cholesterol levels by lowering insulin secretion.

3. In two studies researchers found that eating five apples a week lowered the risk for respiratory diseases like asthma.

4. According to Chinese Medicine: Apples strengthen the heart, quench thirst, lubricate the lungs, decrease mucous and increase body fluids.

5.  Apple cider vinegar can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

6. Studies indicate that eating apples daily can reduce skin diseases.

7. According to a Brazilian study, eating an apple before a meal helped women lose 33 percent more weight than those who didn’t.

8. An apple has only 50-80 calories and has no fat or sodium.


9. Apples are packed with vitamins C, A , and flavonoids and with smaller amounts of phosphorus, iron,  and calcium.

Best of all ... I learned that an apple a day keeps the  pharmacist away!  Researchers discovered that people who ate a daily apple were 27 per cent less likely to need to visit the pharmacist for drugs.  That's a pretty big number!




Monday, May 23, 2016

ISOLATION, LONELINESS, DEPRESSION, DEATH

The conditions listed above are the buzzwords young(er) writers, reporters and professionals in the geriatric field use all the time when talking about people over 60.  Apparently not being social can lead to death ... 

These words have a negative connotation to me.  When I Googled "isolation" the photo below popped up.



And to me that looks like a perfect spot for relaxing, meditating, and enjoying the great outdoors.  Not isolation!  Same photo showed up under loneliness.  Alone is not always loneliness.  Sometimes it's a hard thing to accomplish .... getting time to be alone!

While I am a proponent of maintaining a social life as we age, methinks "they" protesteth too much.  I, for one, enjoy a lot of me, myself and I time.  Way more than I used to.  Actually, I cherish it!  There are a few days each week where there is nothing scheduled on the calendar.  Just the way I like it!  And at least once a week I don't even leave my property!

I do believe I, personally, need friends and in person friendships.  Just as I think others may not need it so much.  Who is to say what is normal or right?  Maybe if a person never leaves the house?  Maybe if a person begins hoarding?  Maybe if the person is not doing basic personal finances or personal hygiene or eating cat food?

For me, using social media is a daily thing ... text messages, Facebook and emails.  I have two high school buddies who email every Sunday to share our little boring lives.  Others I contact once a month.  Luckily some of my Facebook friends have become personal friends!  

On occasion, if I need background noise ... I listen to NPR or have Netflix running on the TV.  Mostly I enjoy the quiet!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I DO NOT DESERVE THIS!

Living my life solo for the first time in my life has been very interesting.   I can't lie and say it has been easy, but so far not unsurmountable.  Honestly ... mostly positive.

The hardest part is feeling guilty living this dream.  The atmosphere in this tropical island is delightful.  The sunshine is mood lifting and I love how cheerful it makes everything.  I'm slowly building a friendship base while enjoying keeping this laptop busy all the time!

The year round warmth is good for my bones, my skin, my eyes, my hair.  I haven't even put on a sweatshirt this year.  No closed toe shoes.  I've gone completely native!

I'm lucky enough to have some friends who can afford to come visit.  My sister-in-law Kim (married to my youngest brother, 15 years my junior) arrived via cruise ship so today we spent the day together.  I don't think we have EVER chatted this much.

The fresh produce is another perk of living here.  We have access to through-the-berry RED Kula strawberries year round.  There is really no excuse for me not losing weight with the abundance of fresh fresh fresh just picked food.


This is such a good life ... I often cry because he is not here to share it.  That's the hard part.





Monday, May 9, 2016

WINE and WHINE

Boo hoo.  My whirlwind weeklong guests had to leave today.


Despite me not being a bottle of wine, I think they had a GREAT time.  And I will welcome them back.

My gosh did they keep themselves busy!  A three island helicopter ride.  The BEST luau on the island.  Molokini snorkel.  Day in Honolulu. Many beautiful sunsets.  Plus she had online classes and homework.  He did a bit of work also.  Plus a yin/yang gecko tattoo on their calves.

Unfortunately for my new Weight Watcher self, we imbibed in Scotch (to commemorate Mr. Ralph's departure ... Kerry worked with him for 20+ years).  We talked and laughed and cried about our memories of him.  

Both Lisa and Kerry are foodies.  We went to dinner together most nights but breakfast and lunch I sent them on their own.  Honestly, I did try to eat less but I was so bad, I skipped my WW meeting on Thursday morning.  Oh ... and the leftovers!  I had a few bites today and tossed everything into the trash and pushed it to the curb.

Tomorrow, I'll go produce shopping.  My condo buddy sent me the perfect birthday gift.


She kept the other one so now we can have wine and whine via phone.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

ABSORPTION. ADJUSTMENT. ACCEPTANCE.

Grief.

Who knew?  I sure did not understand how deep it could go.  That it lasts forever.  That there is no "other side".

May 2 marks the third year since Mr. Ralph died.  Of course I miss him every minute.  Usually it's great memories and occasionally, so sad.  He would sure be loving this life he gave me.  I don't have a green thumb and I'm sure he's tsk tsking about me not fertilizing more and hand watering his babies that need more than the sprinkler system provides.  Soon I'll have to have the watering system come on twice a day ... summers are hot and bright.

Inside and out, I think I am adjusting to my new normal just fine.  I continue to make friendly acquaintances and have a small tight knit circle of friends.  Most of them understand I love my alone time.  Me and my computer, with the TV going in the background.  I'm okay with eating out by myself (except dinner for some reason) and I'm getting better at doing the inviting.

I've accepted my life as a merry widow and am not quite so awkward any more.  Often I can talk about him without crying.  I'm still very happy with my decision to not remarry.  Even though I hear the third time's the charm!  I had a pretty happy ten years the first time and almost 30 the second time.  I do miss the hugs.



It's a whole new chapter of ME.