At the Top of My Lungs: About-Face

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
At the Top of My Lungs: About-Face
2013-09-20-Tarcevaface.jpgPhoto credit: Jennifer Glass

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill

This is the worst. Worse than chemo. Worse than radiation burns.

I stopped taking the powerful cancer treatment drug Tarceva after a week because it caused such a severe rash on my face. My doctor said this might get worse before it got better, and so it did. The pustules are bigger and there are a lot more of them. New sores developed in and around my ears, around my eyes and in my mouth. It is hard to sleep because the pillow chafes against the sores on my face.

As much as possible, I stay in the house. I can’t bear to see how people look at me.

I’m regretting the time spent fretting over crow’s feet, laugh lines and age spots. I’m frightened that I cannot count on my countenance and might never see my old self in the mirror again, that I’ll face the future with a ravaged face.

My husband tries to comfort me. It breaks my heart that he cannot caress my face.

I know I will have to start taking Tarceva again at a lower dose. The very idea makes me want do an about-face and stop the whole thing. But Tarceva is the best bullet I have to prevent my cancer from spreading, so of course I will put on a brave face, keep calm and carry on. I have skin in this game.

In the look-on-the-bright-side category, there’s a school of thought that finds a correlation between the severity of the rash and the efficacy of the Tarceva. Because this initial rash is so severe, we hope that the Tarceva will be effective in keeping my cancer in check, even at a lower dose.

I stand in the shower with the warm flow on my back because the pelting pressure is too painful on my face. With my eyes closed I glide my soapy fingertips over my forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. Familiar yet foreign terrain. The bumps on my skin are like braille, a tactile language telling me that my body is a battlefield, and, for now at least, my face is a casualty of war.

This column originally appeared on parade.com. For more by Jennifer Glass, click here. “Like” Jennifer’s Facebook page here. See her Fear.Less. video here.

For more by Jennifer Glass, click here.

For more on personal health, click here.

7 Steps to a Healthy Body and Mind
Having a healthy diet is not about starving yourself. When you embark on such a journey, the purpose is to have a balanced diet of fruit and vegetables that will help you clear out your body and dump the toxins. The rewards are immense, as they won’t limit to your body only, but they will extend to your mind and spirit as well. Plus, adding a consistent workout routine will contribute to your health improvement overall.

Here are a set of useful steps to help you with your game plan:

1. Start with a positive mindset

Observe and learn from these health and wellness experts. Most of them have a strong online and social media presence. This makes it easy for you to research them and choose the one that best matches your expectations on how to stay in good shape. Whether you’re dieting so that you can look good in your bikini, or simply because you do care about your health, make sure you stay motivated to get the best results.

2. Make a plan and make sure you stick to it

How much weight do you want to lose in how much time? Set some realistic targets for each week and write down your progress. Get a diet buddy to keep you on track with working out and compare notes. Surround yourself with motivational quotes and keep visualizing your goal image.

3. Never underestimate the power of chlorophyll

Go for green vegetables, particularly the dark leafy ones. The more, the better. Not only are they brimming with fibers, but also with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and tons of antioxidants.

Thanks to Dr. Oz, green juicing has become immensely popular. Juice isn’t just fast and easy to prepare, but it’s the best way to start your day with. According to Kris Carr, New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Sexy Diet, all you need is: organic celery, a peeled cucumber, some romaine, kale and a pear.

Juicing is a great way to get your recommended daily allowance of fruit and vegetables, reduces inflammation and gives you a great boost of energy. And it’s wonderful for your immune system.

4. Hydrate properly

Water is essential for carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells. You need water for your overall metabolism. It also helps tremendously with the detox process, keeping your immune system functioning properly. It supports digestion as well as transporting and removing waste products in the blood. Make sure you drink one glass of water every hour.

5. Choose a workout you’d enjoy

Include in your regimen a workout that helps you add muscle while you lose fat. Zumba can be a great option. It’s fun, high-energy and those Latin beats are easy to follow. If you’re more into something milder, a Pilates session or a set of hatha yoga exercises will help with your flexibility and strengthening your muscles.

If running is not your bag try walking or swimming. Another option would be Tim Ferriss’s Six- Minute Abs described in his book The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. Whatever tickles your fancy.

6. Avoid mixing carbohydrates and proteins

Most nutritionists are reserved about this combination. It slows the digestive process. Proteins are digested differently than carbohydrates. Mixing acidic foods like meat, fish and cheese with the alkaline fruit and vegetables would cause fermentation in the intestines. If you can’t give up on your steak and baked potato, no worries, you can still have them. Just not during the same meal.

7. Don’t forget to reward yourself

Punishing yourself is not going to help. Every once in a while, when you notice that you’re closer to your goal, indulge yourself. This way, sticking to a healthy diet won’t feel like a trap. Treat yourself to an ice cream or a small piece of your favorite chocolate cheese cake. It’s not going to be the end of the world.

Obsessing over your daily intake of food and pushing yourself too hard won’t get you anywhere. The key is to eat and exercise with moderation having set some realistic targets. It’s all about finding the balance that’s right for you.

For more by Anca Dumitru, click here.

For more on diet and nutrition, click here.

Is the Quest for Balance Actually Making Us Feel More Unbalanced?
Balance is a pretty loaded word these days. Messages are fierce and strong about how essential it is to have a balanced life — whether phrased as “work-life balance” or “me time” or “having it all.” Everywhere we look, people are telling us about how we should achieve balance in our lives and giving us tips on how we can do just that. Browse though any magazine or surf the web for a few minutes and you will find one of the bazillion articles out there about why balance is important (it reduces stress, prevents burnout, promotes health and happiness) and how we can achieve balance (by prioritizing, doing what you love, delegating, investing time wisely).

While the advice — and certainly the principles behind the quest for balance — are positive, well-intentioned and sometimes even helpful, I can’t help but think that all this talk about balance is really just making me feel very unbalanced.

I also can’t help but notice that the emphasis on finding balance tends to narrows the lens a bit too much. Well-intentioned advice and tips become one more task on life’s to-do list. Inspiration for finding balance becomes a way to compare ourselves to others. And reiteration of the importance of achieving balance (especially “work-life balance” and “having it all” — whatever that means) provides just one more source of guilt for the ways in which we are not measuring up. And lately I’ve been finding the pressure to achieve balance — to strike the perfect mix of work, family, friends, exercise, community service, spirituality, personal time, and hobbies — to be, quite simply, exhausting.

For many of us, circumstances exist that prevent a constant state of life equilibrium and balance. There are fluctuating work demands and out of town travel. Aging parents and sick kids. New babies and little sleep. Vacations and lazy weekends. New jobs and promotions. Kids at college and an empty house. Layoffs and retirement.

If we narrow the lens enough, things will always be out of balance. There will always be more of this than that. Sometimes, it’s more dark than light. Sometimes, it’s the other way around. Sometimes, there is less bitter and more sweet. Or vice-versa.

Life is a series of seasons, and seasons within the seasons. There are days, for me, that consist almost exclusively of wiping snotty noses, folding load after load of laundry, preparing meals, breaking up fights and picking up toys. And that’s OK, because that is the season that I am in right now. There are also days in which my life feels oddly symmetrical. Days when I am productive with work assignments, write for a while, take my kids to the library after school, exercise, chat with a friend, watch The Daily Show with my husband and get more than six hours of sleep. Those days are few and far between (though they do seem to be happening more often lately as my kids get older); most days are still a little heavy on one thing or another.

And that’s OK.

Because I think that there can still be balance in the imbalance if we widen the lens a bit and readjust the focus.

Last Sunday, our minister made a comment about finding the places and activities in which we are called to be our best and truest selves. And her words really stuck with me, because I think that just might be the key to finding balance. You see, balance isn’t about meeting some cryptic, ever-changing standard about where and how we spend our time. It’s not about the ways in which our friends and family and the “happiness experts” tell us we should achieve balance. It’s not even about the ways that we found balance last year or how we hope to find balance in the upcoming one.

Maybe balance, like success, isn’t something we can obtain or achieve, but something that we feel within ourselves, in our soul, in the essence of our being. Maybe balance is about spending as much time as possible in those places and activities that bring out our best and truest self. And, when life’s circumstances take us away from those things, balance is about bringing our best and truest selves to whatever it is that we are doing — even if it is wiping snotty noses or baby bottoms for the hundredth time that day. Sitting in an airport for hours on end traveling from one work meeting to another. Getting a mid-afternoon pedicure. Enduring another long conference call. Waiting in the carpool line.

Because when we bring our best and truest self, it’s a little bit easier to see things with a wide-angle lens, regardless of how imbalanced life might be at that moment.

Don’t get me wrong; I am certainly not promoting an all-or-nothing lifestyle, by any means. Everything seems to be a bit more difficult when my obligations or priorities are off-kilter. I strive for balance just like anyone else, and sometimes that means making difficult decisions about how to spend my time, money, and resources.

But what I am realizing is that when I appreciate and prioritize those activities that help me bring out my best and truest self — things like picking my kids up from school, writing, connecting with friends, sitting on the back deck with my husband, going to church and volunteering — my world seems to tilt ever so slightly into a more balanced state, even if the external circumstances haven’t changed at all.

When I focus on calling out my best and truest self during life’s imbalanced and chaotic seasons, a personal and purpose-driven balance is created.

And when I stop listening to all the noise about how to find balance, when I stop comparing myself to someone else’s definition of balance, and when I stop measuring myself against some kind of esoteric criteria, I can actually honor my own inner balancing mechanism.

Then I might actually have a chance at feeling something close to balance — even if the world is still spinning out of control, too fast and unpredictably lopsided.

This article originally appeared on the author’s website at www.christineorgan.com.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women’s conference, “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power,” which took place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.

Green – The Huffington Post
Lyons, Colo. Residents Unable To Return Home For 2-6 Months, Water Contaminated Due To Flood
The disastrous flooding in Colorado brought even more bad news to Lyons residents Thursday, who learned during a town meeting that they might not be able to move back home for two to six months.

Officials say the town’s drinking water is contaminated with E. coli and is unsafe to drink, water and sewage lines will cost at least $1 million to repair, and roads and bridges are badly damaged, The Longmont Times-Call reported of the meeting.

Floodwaters engorged the St. Vrain River, changing its course and took out the town’s bridges.

“It isolated this community into a separate island,” Boulder Sheriff Sergeant Kevin Parker told The Denver Post, indicating a group of houses. “Having recently re-read Stephen King’s new book ‘[Under] The Dome’ — it was very similar.”

As early as Sept. 12, the day after the major flooding began, the town was described by Boulder County Sheriff Joseph Pelle as being “completely isolated.” Residents had to be evacuated by the National Guard and were allowed to return home Thursday.

Residents who leave Lyons are required to have a pass to get back in through the check point.

A bulletin on the town’s website partly describes the situation residents are facing:

Port-a-potties are available in Town. Under no circumstance should you flush or pour water down and plumbing drain or toilet in Lyons.

There are 2 dumpsters at the library that will be emptied every day. Bring plastic bags and boxes that can help you trash from your house to the dumpsters.

But despite the conditions, officials are saying an evacuation is not mandatory.

Boulder County Sheriff’s deputy Nick Goldberger and town administrator Victoria Simonsen said residents could stay in their homes if they chose.

“This is not a mandatory evacuation, but it is a health concern if you stay there and we wish you would leave,” Goldberger said. “You’re all adults, and you’ll make your own decisions.”

15 Things We Wish We Could Strap A GoPro To
These days it seems like people are “strapping” GoPros to just about anything: drones, eagles, base jumpers, and of course, surfers.

Below, 15 things we wish we could strap a GoPro to.

Blue Ivy Carter

Daenerys Targaryen’s Dragons

The DeLorean

Sonic The Hedgehog

McKayla Maroney

This Guy

Hunter S. Thompson

Cher’s Jeep

Sunny, Obama’s new puppy

Michael Jordan, Circa 1987

Willy — When He’s Freed

The Mickey Mouse Club Girl Who Isn’t Britney Or Christina

Shakira’s Hips

Aladdin’s Magic Carpet

Miley’s Wrecking Ball

Oil Spills In Flooded Colorado: ‘We’re Going To Have Dozens, If Not Hundreds, Of Toxic Sites’
The catastrophic flooding that washed over Colorado last week has damaged more oil and gas fields around the state than previously thought, resulting in spills totaling more than 22,000 gallons from the sites surveyed so far, state regulators confirmed to The Denver Post on Friday.

“We are going to have dozens, if not hundreds, of toxic sites,” Wes Wilson, former EPA engineer and current anti-drilling activist said to The Denver Post, “and they’ve got to be cleaned up.”

NewsBreaker tweeted this image of dark crude leaking near the South Platte River:

More oil spills confirmed in #COFlood

-"Going to have dozens, if not hundreds, of toxic sites"

http://t.co/0T1UkYVvDS pic.twitter.com/AkDwaExrDd

— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) September 20, 2013

On Wednesday, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. said that 323 barrels — about 13,500 gallons — had spilled from an oil and gas tank farm along the St. Vrain River near Platteville. That’s on top of the 125 barrel spill— or about 5,225 gallons — from a damaged storage tank into the South Platte River near the town of Milliken that the oil company had also reported.

Approximately 18,725 gallons of condensate — a mixture of oil and water — have spilled from the Anadarko sites, according to Matthew Allen, spokesman for the Denver office of the Environmental Protection Agency.

colorado oil spill

Oil workers try to lift a storage tank for condensate that was knocked over by floodwaters from the Platte River at an oil well site near LaSalle, Colo., on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. Condensate is the mix of oil and water that is pumped out of the ground. The tank was intact and had not leaked. Numerous oil and gas well sites have been damaged by floodwaters throughout Colorado, with several reports of spills. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

On Friday, the COGCC reported that another new spill has been announced by Anadarko that remains unmeasured. Five spills along the South Platte River in Weld County have been classified as “notable” and two more spills were confirmed along the South Platte near Evans involving Anadarko and Bayswater Exploration and Production, according to The Denver Post report on the spills.

“In the context of this historic event, these spills are not an unexpected part of many other sources of contamination associated with the flood,” the COGCC said in a statement Thursday, when only 10 oil spills had been confirmed by state regulators. “Those include very large volumes (millions of gallons) of raw, municipal sewage and other hazards associated with households, agriculture, business and industry.”

colorado flood oil and gas

In this Sept. 17, 2013 photo, a crude oil storage tank lies on its side in flood water along the South Platte River, in Weld County, Colo. Hundreds of natural gas and oil wells along with pipelines are shut down by flooding, as state and federal inspectors gauge the damage and look for potential contamination from inundated oil fields. (AP Photo/John Wark)

About 600 personnel are inspecting and repairing damaged well sites, but inspectors can’t get to some oil and gas sites, as some wells are still in deep floodwater and damage to those won’t be clear until waters recede, 7News reported.

9News reported Thursday that the oil and gas industry in Colorado estimates that only about 10 percent of the wells in the worst flooded areas have been assessed so far.

colorado flood

WELD COUNTY, CO. – SEPTEMBER 16: A drilling derrick near Greeley stands in land flooded by the South Platte River. Aerial photographs of the Platte River flooding cities and farms in Weld County, Colorado. (Photo By Tim Rasmussen/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The size of the affected area is immense and the long-lasting environmental and business impact of the flooding and oil spills in Colorado is difficult to assess as it continues to develop. The Denver Post reported that there are 20,500 operating wells in Weld County, more than 300 in Boulder County, about 250 in Larimer County and just under 100 in Broomfield County. All these counties were deeply affected by the flooding.

Approximately 1,900 wells were initially shut down by the flooding, out of more than 51,000 operating in Colorado.

Colorado produced 135,000 barrels of oil a day in 2012 and 1.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2011, according to The Associated Press.

colorado flood oil and gas

This Sept. 17, 2013 photo provided by Ecoflight shows the result of flash floods that inundated parts of the booming oil and natural gas patch in northern Colorado?s Weld County. Hundreds of natural gas and oil wells along with pipelines are shut down by flooding in this key energy region in Colorado, as state and federal inspectors are just beginning to gauge the damage and looking for contamination from inundated oil fields. (AP Photo/Ecoflight, Jane Pargiter)

Good News – The Huffington Post
‘BatDad’ Is The Superhero Father Every Kid Deserves! (VIDEO)
Note the time and then immediately stop whatever it is you were doing before to witness history in the making. It’s — dun-nuh dun-nuh dun-nuh dun-nuh — BatDad!

He doesn’t just tell his kids to say please. He puts on a mask, a cape and his best Dark Knight voice to inspire them to be good. This compilation of his seven-second clips comes straight from @BatDadVine. (He goes by BatDad on Vine if you want to look him up there.)

As one commenter so aptly writes, “He’s the hero his kids deserve, but not the one they understand right now.” Indeed. We salute you, BatDad!

CORRECTION: This article has been edited to correct the spelling of BatDad’s Vine handle.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Happy Fall!
Everyone I know has been complaining about how scattered they’ve been this week. Nobody can seem to focus on anything for more than five minutes. I’ve been two days behind all week. Not sure how that happened since I got all caught up last weekend, but that’s just the kind of week I (and all of my friends) have been having. As a result, I missed one meeting yesterday and almost missed another this morning, very unusual for someone as organized and perfectionistic as I am!

Some people are blaming PMS, others the full moon we had on the 19th, and others the upcoming fall equinox. Me? I’m just surrendering to the flow of things and laughing at myself. And thanking the universe that my wonderful friends have been so patient and understanding with me this week, especially when I forgot to meet with them!

One thing I’ve learned this week is that sometimes you have to go with the flow. If things get done, great. If not, there’s always tomorrow. Or maybe those things weren’t important anyway. My unusually scattered mind has set me up for some great self-reflection opportunities.

And it’s a perfect time for it — between the full moon, the fall equinox and my upcoming 40th birthday, I’ve been grateful for the extra motivation to self-reflect. The symbolism behind the full moon is one of giving birth to what we’ve been working on so we can enter a time of self-reflection and closure as we approach the new moon. The fall equinox is a day of balance — with equal dark and light, marking a time for the Northern hemisphere when the days will get shorter and the nights will get longer — again symbolizing a time of self-reflection and closure. While the combination of these events may make it harder to focus, that inability to concentrate may allow our minds wander into uncharted territory, which is vital for personal growth.

The fall equinox (Mabon) actually marks the second harvest festival of the year. While the early crops were harvested in August, September harvests the bounty of the slower growing crops like winter squash, carrots and apples. This marks a perfect time to take stock of everything we’ve already harvested metaphorically this year and plan for the coming fall season.

Mabon also coincides with the sun entering the balanced sign of Libra on September 23. The hectic days of summer are over, the kids are back in school and you can finally breathe again! Now is a great time to seek balance in your life and make some time for a little self-care.

How might you work with the energies at this time of year? Here are some ideas:

Go outside — notice the leaves. Are they changing colors yet? Are the temperatures getting cooler at night? How can you make more time each day to appreciate the changing seasons of your life?

Have a fall cleaning — we all know about spring cleaning, but fall is a great time to donate to charity all of those summer items the kids outgrew or will outgrow by the time summer rolls around again. Put away your swimsuits and get out the gloves, hats and coats. The act of exchanging swimsuits for coats should help you solidify the change in season and intentions you have for the remainder of the year.

Sit down and make a gratitude list — what are you grateful for this year? What has happened in your life that opened doors or your eyes? What are you celebrating right now? There’s always something to be grateful for and this gratitude practice is a great way to put closure on the first part of the year.

I plan to celebrate fall (and my birthday) by taking the day off, getting a massage, spending some time outside in nature, doing a little painting, a whole lot of journaling and whatever else I feel called to do. How will you celebrate fall this year?

For more by Mary Pritchard, click here.

For more on happiness, click here.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

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