Coffee: The Greatest Addiction EVER

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTVE5iPMKLg]

What does this say about me?

Being a participant in the crunchy movement (whether by association or choice no longer matters), I’ve agreed with many statements that say “Ingredient X is bad for your health because it has been used to kill rodents/roaches/alien babies. Therefore, whatever is used to kill other forms of life must not be healthy or acceptable for human consumption.”
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A Personal Health Experiment: Life Without Corn or Grains

Mister Sensitive

More than the average person, I seem to be sensitive to the foods, smells, and chemicals around me. I’ve experienced more than my fair share of mood instability due to undiagnosed chemical reactions to ingredients in my meals and beverages.

It turns out that the ingredients I “love” the most are the ones that affect my mood the most. Like drugs, they elevate my mood into near mania and then cause me to crash, whether from insulin reaction or something else.

Continue reading A Personal Health Experiment: Life Without Corn or Grains

Honoring My Wife for a Job Well Done

While I’d like to take some credit for the character and development of our two year old daughter, I know the lion’s share of the credit goes to my wife, Heather. She spends 10 hours a day with her that I miss out on, and during those hours has shaped our baby girl’s heart with every word, response, touch, and smile. Katie’s development is no accident, and I’m taking a moment to honor the one responsible.

Here’s what I know:

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Happy-er Tuesday

We’re alive and well at the Dessinger house. After a four day epic no-sleepfest, our daughter is feeling “somewhat” better. Of course, as I write that, I hear her having a meltdown in the kitchen.

The point is, at least she’s sleeping somewhat at night and during her naptime. Here’s hoping she continues improving until she’s back to full strength.

Day 50: Daniel Versus the Rocky Beach

We drove down to Key West yesterday to see what we could see. As expected, parking was a bit of a beast. Eventually we got some sound advice from a information service worker who directed us to Fort Zachary Taylor Beach.

It cost somewhere around $10 for three adults and a toddler to enter. The beach was as attractive (if not more so) as any we’d seen. But we’d been warned: it’s a bit rocky from the soft sand to the swimable water.

I made the mistake of assuming I could handle it barefooted. I took my baby girl down to the water to swim only to experience the pain of rocks underfoot.

I was already halfway out into the water, so I gritted my teeth and pushed my way through to the surf. Katie had a blast out there. She loves it when her daddy kicks her feet for her as she floats on her arm floaties.

The pain was infinitely worse on the way OUT of the water. I remember specifically wondering if this level of pain would equal at least intro-level torture elsewhere. I’m not a small boy. That was my 280 pounds PLUS my daughters 30 or so pounds pressing my soft as silk baby feet into the rocks.

I hung with Katie at a picnic table in the shade while Heather and Gigi snorkeled out by the rocks. I learned my lesson. The next time out, I wore my FiveFingers Sprints and the difference was noticeable. I still felt all the rocks and could have bruised the bottom of my foot, but the Sprints sole kept the sharp edges from feeling like they were piercing my skin.

It was a great swim overall. The deciding factor on this trip has been the presence or lack of seaweed. Some of the beaches we hit were chock full of sea vegetation and there’s something just a little ominous and creepy about swimming over a solid black surface. My mind starts asking “What could be lurking down there?” and I can’t relax as deeply as when I can see the sand beneath me.

Anyway, the moral of the story is this: wear your VFFs to the beach and in the water. They’re worth their weight in gold.

Day 36: Going Sockless

sockless-fivefingersI didn’t want to, but laundry schedules conflicted with work. I had to wear my black Classics without socks. It was more than a little embarrassing. Probably no other style or color faces this issue, but my black Classics with jeans look like toed ballet slippers. I’m just not okay with that.

The owner of our agency (he is also my boss) has been fairly open minded up to this point. He’s a vegetarian and quasi health conscious individual. When he saw my feet in the breakroom, he told me they really looked like socks. He did NOT like the appearance of my foot’s skin showing. Understandable. Honestly, as long as they don’t look like ballet slippers, he can dislike them all he wants.

By the end of the day, my feet felt pretty sweaty. I like the moisture absorption I get with Injinji toed socks. Even if my feet sweat, I don’t feel that slightly squishy feeling down in each toe chamber like I did yesterday.

That’s my two cents. Sorry I haven’t updated each day. I run several blogs (including one on the Dallas Cowboys) and it’s easy to get sidetracked.

Day 35: TOMS to the Rescue

toms_logoIt took my Classics the better part of a day to dry after washing, so I made Sunday a TOMS day. My wife bought me my first pair of TOMS shoes in early August for my birthday. I wore them exclusively for a couple weeks before my feet started to ache a little bit. TOMS are, by necessity, very thin shoes. The soles are thin and the fabric is thin.

But unlike the Vibram FiveFingers line, TOMS aren’t anything like barefoot. They’re still a hard, cardboard-like sole. The only appeal to wearing TOMS is the charitable side of the company. For every pair of shoes purchases, TOMS gives a pair to a child in need. What a perfect way to appeal to consumers: “Help others by shopping for yourself.”

I find myself enamored with companies who think outside the box of typical American capitalism. The age-old standard leads to toxic dumping and polluting the planet. I like companies who combine business with charitable giving, or who insist on manufacturing their products in a environmentally friendly way. Every step helps.

That’s why I read sites like Treehugger and Jetson Green. I like to see people make creative and innovative decisions in the formation of their businesses. They provide products and services I can feel good about using.

I don’t know where Vibram stands on environmentally friendly, and I’d like to find out, but they fall into a separate category of health benefits. If a company meets one of these criteria, I will consider using their products:

1. Significantly more efficient use of natural resources

2. Charitable giving I can actually see

3. Improve my personal health

4. Completely or almost completely non-toxic

Vibram meets #3 for sure. My posture and back strength has improved. I literally feel more “grounded”. No pun intended there. The materials may or may not be the most ecologically sound. But the product is making a difference in MY life.

Day 33: VFF Friday – Wash That Stank

stinky

It’s Friday and I’m exhausted. I madethe mistake of staying up late to watch Gamer online (yes, I know it’s still in theaters). After 30 minutes of gruesome bloodshed, Megavideo shut me down, offering up the usual time limit exceeded excuse.

Point being, I woke up at 6:30 this morning to find that I feel like total @$$. okay, not total… just semi. while Heather got an extra hour of sleep, I played with Katie and got our morning tea ready.

Right now, we’re sitting at the chiropractor, waiting for him to squeeze us in. How did we get our wires crossed? they’re telling us that we’re scheduled for 10am, not 8. Oops. well, I’m not coming back at 10, so its now or never.

We just left Jim Bob’s office (yes, my chiro’s name is Jim Bob), and i’m hopeful that this lasering thing will be the answer to my foot pain. I’m comitted to two months of lasering my foot befor I evaluate progress. if there’s a significant decrease in pain, it will be a success.

Stay tuned.

Is It Possible To Think Too Much?

When I was 19, I was new to the faith and growing through a nine month discipleship training school at church. I was prone to anxiety attacks and nearly debilitating fear of failure. I second guessed everything and never felt satisfied about ANY explanation. So I journaled and journaled and journaled, desperately seeking an opportunity to express my fears and concerns without being turned away by my peers or authority figures.

I’ll never forget the day when I spilled my guts to the discipleship director. Every concern I shared was extremely important to me. He looked at me with all seriousness and said, “Daniel, you think too much.”

I what?!?!?! How exactly does a person think too much? This one statement sent me into fits of confusion. How is it humanly possible to think too much? Doesn’t that just mean everyone else thinks too little?

I should have gone and talked with him further to get him to explain what he meant. Instead, I just simmered in “nobody understands me” for a few years. If my mentor couldn’t understand me, I had little hope that someone else would.

That isolation cost me a lot of growth. A lot of productivity. I still question whether it was necessary. Perhaps the soul searching phase was absolutely necessary. But MAYBE I could have moved past it with the right relationships and advice. Guess hindsight’s not always so 20/20.

Some 13 years later, I think I finally understand what he MEANT to say. A lot of my thoughts are anxiety driven noise, based on the fear of forgetting, of falling behind on projects, of disappointing my boss or my wife, etc. So much noise that can be quieted. I suppose I would actually think “less” in some respect if I were at peace. That’s always true after a good workout. The endorphins are pumping and I’m just simply satisfied with not thinking. It’s one of the only times in life that is true. The only other would be after a carthartic breakdown. The calm after that storm is very serene as well.

What do YOU think?