I’m Lindsey. I’m Disgusting…

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I share earbuds with total strangers at the gym. OK I really “borrow” them from the lost and found when I forget my own. But then I started to worry: Can I get herpes from this? Because I’m convinced I’m going to get an STD at my gym. Not because my gym is dirty. In fact, it’s super clean and almost spa-like. It’s more about karma and the fact that I can’t believe I avoided them in college (no matter what you might have heard, no kidding, there was quite the nasty rumor going around, and I know who started it, you know who you are).

On a particular day when my post-workout euphoria shifted into post-workout paranoia, I Googled “can you get herpes from sharing earbuds?” It showed up on not one, but several no-fly, fear-mongering listicles including:

According to BuzzFeed, my nasty habit can result in “infections, boils, or pustules.” Ew, ew, and/or ew. So no more shared headphones. If I forget my own, I’ll have to sing out loud to myself (sorry, elliptical neighbors). But onto the quite literally burning question: Can you get an STD at the gym? 

The first story that popped up in my research from the New York Times told of a potentially deadly staph infection you can possibly pick up on the mats. Of course, my eyes skipped over that at first and went straight to New HPV Warnings: You Can Get It at the Gym. Now, you can’t believe everything you read on the interwebs, but since I discovered this story on a lesser known site, I have read similar findings from what I consider trusted media outlets. It’s enough to give me yet another reason to avoid spin classes. And short shorts.

Also, when I started to type “Can I get an STD at …” into my search window, the following searches tried to automatically fill in my blank:

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So there goes all those foam parties I had on the books.

My Theme for 2017: Less is More

I’ve noticed a pattern in past new year’s resolutions: write more, exercise more, shower more. You see?

This year, as I stepped back to take a look at my proverbial plate, I thought to myself, why am I adding more? What could I take away from my life that would make it better?

  1. Facebook less. That’s not a typo, that’s “Facebook” as a verb. And that doesn’t mean I will be Instagramming more.
  2. Watch less TV. I’m currently in a bingewatching foggy hangover state from staying up way too late watching — don’t judge — season 2 of Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.
  3. Shop online less. It’s not so much that I buy a lot online, rather I go from site to site adding items to carts. “Lindsey, did you forget something?” is a popular email in my inbox. It’s therapeutic, but so is cutting.

Looking at my resolutions, you will see a theme within a theme. We spend 70% of our lives in front of digital media. Yipes. Admittedly some of these “less” resolutions may imply more of something else, but hopefully that will be a healthy natural reaction in the right direction, and not a force against the fibers of my being and all I hold dear. (Note, I did not say “drink less”. I’m not a masochist.)

Your Daily Migraine Forecast

I was on AccuWeather.com checking out temps in Charleston for November and I noticed a new feature: Migraine weather reports.

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As longtime migraineur, I pretty much know the kind of weather that’s going to set “it” off (rain, snow, wind, really anything that’s not a nice perfectly calm sunny day). And then I saw this:

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Is it really possible that the entire country is experiencing ideal weather for migraine sufferers? I’m skeptical. Still, it’s nice to see my people recognized, and this could prove helpful when planning trips or even mentally preparing myself for the pain to come (assuming I ever see a state that’s not in the blue).

On a semi-related note, my absolute favorite place to get the weather is from Gigi. If you haven’t, you must.

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Pantry Purge: Time to Start Eating Clean

In the past two years, my migraines have gone from frequent to flat-out chronic. I’ve trial-and-errored my way through a slew of daily preventives, rescue meds and pain pills. I’ve even tried eliminating alcohol (gasp!). I had an 18-month pain vacation while I was pregnant and nursing, but a) that’s no vacation, and b) I can’t be pregnant all the time. I always thought changing my diet would be a drastic thing to do, but drastic times…

An enticing pic of porridge from KERF. (Hope you don't mind that I "borrowed" this pic, Kath!)
An enticing pic of porridge from KERF. (Hope you don’t mind that I “borrowed” this pic, Kath!)

Due to a recent rodent issue, I’m having to start my spring cleaning immediately in the kitchen. It disgusts me how much money I’m throwing away as I throw out all of the food on our shelves, but eating something that’s been nibbled on by a mouse would sicken me way more.

Tonight, after a day of Imitrex, hydrocodone and canceled plans, I decided that I’m sick of relying on meds that barely act as a Band-Aid and I’m sick of being sick. So after cleaning out our pantry tomorrow (and scrubbing from top to bottom) I’m going to fill it with clean food. What is clean eating? Well, it can mean different things to different people. Diane Welland, RD, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Clean defines clean eating as “consuming whole, natural foods that have not been processed.” For my purposes, I’m also going to try to avoid dye-free foods and sugar (I’ve read that both can be very bad for migraineurs).

This will not be easy and I will no doubt find myself at the McDonald’s drive thru getting a regular Coke within the month (I don’t know why, but their Cokes are the best), but I’m going to try.

So far, I’ve found these sites and bloggers as great resources and inspiration for my new diet.

KERF

100 Days of Real Food

Die, Food Dye!

More than a change in diet though, it’s a change in lifestyle. A recent bout with the stomach bug combined with relentless migraines have kept me from the gym, but regular exercise is just as important as root veggies.

I’m not ready to give up my morning cup of coffee (and perhaps never will be), but I’m going to start to try drinking it black… baby steps.

Have you had success cutting out processed foods? Do you have a favorite site, blog or book you swear by on the subject? Please share!

Staying hydrated.

Whenever you’re not feeling well, the first question asked, be it by friends, family or a doctor is, “Are you drinking enough water?” At least it should be. Not drinking enough water can be the cause of headaches, cramping and fatigue to name a few. Of course water is not always the cure to what ails you, but it’s a good place to start. (Remember, I’m a writer, not a doctor, people.)

So how much is enough? While there’s no easy answer, according to MayoClinic.com and The Institute of Medicine, the adequate intake “AI” for women is 2.2 liters a day (9 cups) and for men, it’s 3 liters (about 13 cups) a day. That’s a lot of liquid!

For an amount more specific to your body, I found this Hydration Calculator on About.com. According to the its calculations, I need 2.4 liters a day… pretty close to the recommended AI for women. But the problem is, lately, I have not been wanting water. It’s all I can do to get it down. My cravings for water ebb and flow like my kicks for any other food or drink. (Except for cheese. I’m always in the mood for cheese.) So I’ve come up with a few ways to help make the H20 go down:

1. Find the perfect water bottle. I’ve tried many a bottle, but I always come back to the CamelBak Better Bottle. I like to see what I’m drinking. But it’s really all about the bite valve. I can flip it up with one hand (being able to open my water bottle with one hand is key) and it makes the water that much more gulpable. Dave calls it my sippy cup. I prefer the smaller .5 liter size because it’s easier to carry places, but it comes in .75L and 1L models.

2. Add juice.  I discovered this trick when I was pregnant and bored with water and ginger ale. I’d fill up a glass with about 2/3 to 3/4 water and then fill the rest with my favorite juice (mangosteen or acai if I was feeling ritzy). For an extra kick, I use seltzer water instead of regular water. Which brings me to #3.

3. Go for some bubbly. Seltzer water is not for everyone, but it can be a great substitute for water and for soda. I could drink White Rock Pomegranate Blueberry Seltzer by the liter. Actually, I do:)

4. Tea for you. What are you steeping that bag in? Water! Tea is just as hydrating as water only you get the added bonus of antioxidants and herbal benefits. I don’t have a favorite hot tea yet (iced mint tea in the summer!), but I tend to lean toward anything that has the words “Zen” or “Calm” on the box. (Or “Energy” for midday!).

What are your tips and tricks for getting your daily dose of water?

Get your flu shot.

20111108-151657.jpgYou may have heard the myth that the flu shot can actually make you sick. Well, it’s just that. A myth. When it first came out, it did indeed carry a live virus but that’s no longer the case. I found this out at Jed’s check-up last week and should’ve gone straight to the drug store for mine. Procrastination does not pay off. I tried to will myself back to health overnight only to wake up this morning even more incapacitated than the day before. The good news is that it’s made me realize that I do indeed yearn to be active and productive. (A recent “down” period had me feeling otherwise.) The bad news is that I’m stuck in bed. I was able to lift my head off the pillow around 11, and am now sitting up about to catch up on my Must See TV. I don’t have cable. Do they even call it that any more? And God bless Dave for taking off work to watch Jed. Taking care of a small child when you’re sick is about as much fun as doing so when you’re hungover. (Subtract the guilt and add body aches.) I really don’t know how you single parents do it. You are my heroes. If Dave weren’t home today and if my folks hadn’t been here yesterday, I would have been Les Mis. It really does take a village. And a blogosphere.