Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. But the goal of this article is to get us all to play! And be happy. And be healthy.
For the sake of sounding very dramatic, it’s imperative that we, in particular, take care of our health and our lives, facing some of the stresses going on in our society now.
We can do this.
We are an organized community.
We believe in ourselves.
Here are a few things we, as folks with disabilities, that we can do to make sure our bodies stay as HEALTHY and as WELL as we can be.
First, drink lots of water. Yes, it means we will pee more. But for the sake of our kidneys and bladders, which are even more fragile if we have spinal damage of any kind, be a camel. And make sure you know where the bathrooms are! Second, sleep well. Eight to 10 hours a night.
Three, Eat healthy food.
That means several things. If you know you have a problem with sweets, cut back. Sugar can interfere with the function of your kidneys, liver, and other organs, and make you sick. Knock it out if at all possible.
Wheat (gluten), milk products, and for some of us, nightshades (tomatoes, bell peppers, white potatoes, which can increase joint and muscle inflammation) are a no-no. Replace them with yummy yams and sweet potatoes, which have loads of nutrients. And yellow or red beets, which also keep you warmer in winter. And replace wheat with rice or quinoa.
Cry. Yes, you heard me right. Cry.
Releasing emotions not only helps us cope more easily with life, but it also makes your kidneys, bladder and other internal organs less stressed. And our muscular system works more efficiently.
Let’s release the stress to those internal organs!
Our brain also benefit from the release of emotions and less intake of sugar and starches.
“What CAN I eat that’s healthy?” you may ask.
Well, right now I have some whole garlic cloves baking in m electric counter-top oven. So are some carrots slices.
I eat lots and lots of cooked greens (minus bacon or fat).
My plate of food has lots of colors. Yellows (yellow squash), green (greens and zucchini), orange (yams – you can bake them whole, or dice and cook); red (beets, which take longer to cook) and orange or white fish (salmon; cod).
It’s loads of fun to make colorful plate of food.
And feed our bodies as well.
One more thing, for those of you who are adventurous: your local coop or health food store (Present Moment or Tao Foods in Minneapolis; Mastel’s in St. Paul) will be carrying herbal remedies and flower remedies. The first can help with health issues, such as echinacea for colds, flu or other infections, golden seal similarly; chamomile to help you sleep; and flower remedies for dealing with stress and emotions.
Rescue Remedy (Bach flower) is one of the best-known flower remedies to take if you feel like you are in an emotional crisis (which just a few of us have been lately). I keep a bottle in my medicine cabinet.
One last thing. Play! Lots! Go out with friends, even if it’s challenging physically. Ring in the New Year with a song, music, fun stuff; games all sorts. Let your life be cheerful, and let yourself and your friends some together and matter. That is the best counter to any messages in the world that might make us believe otherwise. Go play!
–L.A. Reed is a writer from St. Paul