Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spicy Pineapple Zucchini Bread

I realized that I have Visiting Teaching appointments tonight and most of the ladies on my list are new to me. The thought process here is that I should not go empty handed. Since I had a gargantuan zucchini on the counter still waiting to be used, the decision was simple: zucchini bread it is. Here's a recipe that's different from your average zucchini bread! The oil can be substituted for applesauce if you so desire. I've done it both ways and it's delicious!

Spicy Pineapple Zucchini Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl:

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 can crushed pineapple (drained)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg

Mix well then add:
3 cups flour

Mix well again! Spray pans or muffin cups then shake cinnamon sugar in the bottom. Add the batter to the pan then sprinkle more cinnamon sugar liberally over the top. If baking loaves, bake for approximately one hour, or 25 minutes for muffins. Makes two loaves or about 24 muffins. You know they're done when the top is golden brown. This recipe makes very moist bread because of the pineapple!

We have found Saigon Cinnamon at Costco. It is a much stronger cinnamon. It is the kind Cinnabon uses in their cinnamon rolls! This kind of cinnamon really enhances the flavor of the zucchini bread!

I shaved my bed sheets!

A year or so ago I found high thread count bed sheets for great prices for Matt and I! We'd always wanted to try higher quality bed sheets but I'm too thrifty and won't pay a high price. Living near a Ross store changed that! We love them. For some reason, a higher thread count makes softer sheets, which of course, is cozier.

Over time my calloused feet rubs the threads creating little balls on the sheets, eventually making the sheets scratchy instead of soft. Last night I decided to try something I'd heard about for sweaters with this problem. I took my razor and I shaved my sheets. No shaving creme needed! It worked marvelously! I can hardly believe it was so easy. A few years ago I purchased one of those fancy shavers for sweaters and it did absolutely nothing so I had given up. But using a regular old razor did the trick. I had to clean the fuzz out of the razor every few strokes, but that is no big deal. Sweaters and sweatshirts, watch out, here I come! In the meantime, I really should get a pedicure.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Recycled Christmas

Do you ever feel like you've overdone Christmas' past? When you clean out closets, do find Christmas toys from the previous year that is rarely played with? Besides these usual dilemmas, Matt and I have decided that we need to simplify our lives and spend less money during the holidays. We've also decided we'd like to be able to do Christmas for my sister's family since they have been unemployed much of the year.

Every year about this time I go through the kids rooms and dejunk, taking out all the toys that are broken, incomplete, or no longer played with. Doing so creates space for whatever might arrive Christmas morning! The kids then thank me profusely when they get home from school and realize their rooms are spotless. This year I'm feeling the need to make some changes in the usual procedure.

As I deep clean, I have been finding lots of things that are in excellent condition but are not being used. Often times I find myself thinking that a certain member of the family might enjoy that item. In wanting to keep costs down this Christmas, I'm thinking this might be the way to do it. There will still be plenty of gifts under the tree, nice ones at that, and things that have gone unused will finally be loved and appreciated. Here's an example. Zack bought a fedora (cool hat) off ebay and it's too small for him. Elijah loves the hat but doesn't get to wear it because it is Zack's hat. If Zack were to "recycle" this hat as a gift to Elijah, Eli would be SO excited and the hat would be worn all the time. Another recycle gift idea that has crossed my mind is the snare drum Zack got for Christmas last year. He was so excited about it that he saved his money and bought a drum set, which, of course, already had a snare. So there's an extra snare drum sitting around unused. If Zack were to "recycle" the unused snare drum, one of the little boys would be thrilled to pieces to get it.

Some people may think this regifting idea is rude. Don't worry, you're not likely on the list of people to be receiving "recycled" gifts from us anyway! In the meantime, as we deep clean bedrooms, closets, and garages, there's so much to go around it's almost ridiculous. I'll still have to figure out what to do with the rest of the stuff not being used. If it were spring or summer or early fall, I'd have a HUGE yard sale. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, I'm a day late and a dollar short... as always.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Yorkshire Pudding

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! Mostly because Matt gets up with me to prepare it. Although we're not very awake or talkative, it is quality time together. If it was just me, we'd be having cold cereal for breakfast every day and breakfast for dinner on occasion. Thanks to Jaymie, one of my Tooele neighbors, I have this delicious recipe for Yorkshire Pudding. Depending on where you're from, the name might be different. I believe they're also called Popovers. I always make a double batch because the leftovers are great for snacking on later, and they're healthier than a lot of other snacks the kids might create or get ahold of!

Yorkshire Pudding:

1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pans WELL! Fill cups only 2/3rds full. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from pans immediately or the bottom of the yorkshire puddings will burn.

These can be eaten plain, or they can be topped with anything you can imagine! Each member of our family likes something different on their yorkshire pudding: maple syrup, peanut butter, jam, butter, etc.

This recipe can also be used as the outer portion of eclairs! They're SO easy to make. The funnest part is turning on the oven light and watching them rise taller and taller during the last couple minutes of baking. If you don't have time to cook in the morning, try these as an after school snack!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Easy Guacamole!

My dear friend Timi gave me this recipe and we make it ALL the time. If we have company over, it is instantly devoured. You're gonna love it, too!

You will need:
Premade salsa
ripe avacados

For small avacados, mix half a cup of salsa per avacado. With large avacados, mix one cup of salsa per avacado. Just squish the avacados like ripe bananas and mix it in with the salsa.

I buy my avacados at Costco so they're larger than others I've bought at other grocery stores. It's common for avacados to not be ripe when you buy them. If you leave them on the counter with a bunch of bananas, the gas released from the bananas as they ripen will help ripen the avacados within a couple days!

On tour with the Ricks College Chamber Orchestra

Just the title of this blog dates me now that Ricks College is BYU-Idaho! I played clarinet from 5th grade all the way through college. In college I took private lessons and branched out a little bit by learning to play the soprano clarinet (a smaller one) for the orchestra, and the bass clarinet for the chamber orchestra.

The Chamber Orchestra members were "special." They were the best players of their instrument and with the exception of string instruments and percussion instruments, there was only one of each of the band instruments. All of these players were music majors. I was not a music major and not the best in my instrument; therefore, I was shocked when I was invited to be in the Chamber Orchestra....if I would play the bass clarinet. Ah, but of course! It wasn't as easy a transition as one might think. But that is another can of worms.

In the spring of 1994, the Chamber Orchestra went on tour across Idaho, into Oregon, then down into California. Our first stop was a suburb of Boise on a Sunday evening. We weren't doing a full performance here, but since the members hosted us, the plan was to do a fireside for us.

On the bus on the way to Boise, I was sitting next to an old boyfriend, who was a percussionist. I fell asleep. I'm a VERY sound sleeper and apparently missed out on quite a bit of conversation while sleeping. The percussion professor walked the bus in search of someone to lead all the students in a choir for the fireside. Tim informed the professor that I at the time was the choir director in our ward and volunteered me, the not so "special" one, to lead all of the music majors in a hymn that we, of course, would rearrange. So when I woke up, I was informed that the decision had been made and I was to lead them all in song. YIKES!

Lucky for me the professor told me exactly what he wanted done with the hymn. We were to sing "All Creatures of Our God and King" at least twice as fast as we sing it in church. The men would sing the first verse, the women the second. Then on the third verse we sang acapella with the first stanza in a round (only once) but the first group would hold the note while the second group caught up; after which, we would break into four part harmony. I know this is hard to imagine by just reading a description, but listening to a group of music majors singing it was absolutely awesome! I have a couple awesome choir memories and this is one of them.

I really don't remember the rest of the tour all that well, except that my ex boyfriend followed me around San Fransisco "to keep me safe" since I didn't want to stick with the group at Pier 39. I wasn't thrilled about it, but whatever. I remember buying chocolate at Giradelli Square and buying a huge ice cream sundae at an ice cream parlor. My two favorite foods!

The heaviest thing on my mind during this trip was my missionary. Matt was serving in the Arcadia, California mission in L. A. and I was going crazy realizing that I would only be four inches away....according to the map. Yah, I knew it was several hours away still, but we were both in California!!! Silly, I know, but nobody compared to my missionary.

I made an awesome friend while playing clarinet at Ricks College, and that was Elinda! Elinda, if I've incorrectly remembered any details from this trip, please feel free to let me know and I'll correct them in my post!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The mysterious pole

We moved into this house in the middle of the coldest and harshest winter Utah has seen in over a decade. It was so bad, I wasn't sure if we actually had neighbors. I'm pretty sure everyone was in a deep state of hybernation. I would have much rather been hybernating than moving that winter. UGH. I cringe just thinking about it.

That spring, a pole that is mounted on a thick metal plate appeared just over our property line in the front yard. Matt and I were looking down the street, probably watching the kids walk to the bus stop when we both recognized there was something different about our view. We decided to wait it out and see if someone came to claim the pole. No one. About two weeks later, we rolled it to the back yard and I ordered a tetherball off ebay to attach to the top of the pole! My boys were ecstatic. But the mystery continued. We had no idea where the pole came from or why it appeared in our yard.

Occasionally I have to replace the tetherball. They don't seem to survive the weather well. Recently Elijah begged me to buy a new ball so we got on ebay and ordered another. I commented once again on oddity of the pole appearing in our yard in the first place, but how much joy it has brought for Elijah. He finally told me, "I know who gave us the pole. The guy next door asked me if we wanted it and I told him yes." So apparently, it was never a mystery as to who gave us the pole. Just that Matt and I didn't find out about it until just a couple weeks ago!

Meanwhile, we have some tetherball monsters in this house. Elijah is determined to be the best tetherball player at school. The only kids that can beat him are the REALLY tall ones. Eli is pretty darn tall for his age, so with all the practice he gets in at home, plus his height, he's one of the best tetherball players around! That boy is seriously competitive!


As you may have already read from previous blog posts. We're trying to catch all the mice that have mysteriously appeared in the house. After deciding to not use glue traps, we switched over to the old reliable mouse traps and have managed to catch six mice. YUCK! But I've carefully placed a couple glue traps in locations where we tend to have a lot of spiders. Glue traps are great for catching spiders!

One of these glue traps was sitting under a decorative table, behind the couch in the TV room. I probably should have placed this glue trap more under the couch, but at the time, I didn't think I needed to worry about it. Weeks have gone by, I forgot the glue trap was even there. Matt was sitting on the other side of the couch, computer in lap, working on his contract work while watching TV with me. I was sitting at the craft table quite close to where the forgotten glue trap sat...when all of a sudden, Gracy came flying out from behind the couch.

Now when a cat is startled or scared, it runs pretty darn fast and disappears. They're fast creatures. But Gracy was frantically flailing and flying through the room causing quite the ruckus. At first I couldn't figure it out. By this time, she hit the kitchen floor and I understood what had happened. Gracy stepped on the glue trap and it was stuck to her foot. She would lift her foot higher than usual while running AND trying to get it off all at the same time. These glue traps are about 4 x 6 inches, so they're not small, especially not when attached to a cat's foot. So with every step of that foot, the glue trap smacked the floor. Gracy was running around everywhere frantically trying to get away from it to no avail. I'm up and chasing her by this time hollering, "Catch the cat, somebody catch the cat!"

Zack and Sara had been doing homework quietly and the little boys had already been sent to bed. It took them a moment to figure out that something was not right with Gracy and we all pursued, giggling as we chased her. It took us a minute to corner her so we could catch her and then Sara carefully removed the glue trap. I'm surprised Gracy didn't have a heart attack. Stuck to a glue trap, then chased by her people must have been absolutely terrifying. And yet, the situation was quite the comedy act and brought bouts of laughter for all!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spice Cake Oatmeal Cookies

I love that my teenagers are willing to try new recipes on their own! Sara is taking treats to her Novel Writing class on Friday and perused one of our cook books and came across this recipe. Since we had a spice cake mix in the house, it was easily done! At first she wouldn't let us taste them, not knowing if there would be enough for her class. After torturing us with the divine smells accompanied by spicy cookies, we finally got to discover how yummy these are! Please note, there's a story after the recipe! Read on.

Spice Cake Oatmeal Cookies:

1 pkg. spice cake mix
2 cups rolled oats
2 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
2 cups raisins (opt.)
1 cup chopped nuts (we used pecans)
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients. Drop onto cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes. Cool on rack.


As Sara prepared her cookies, I was reminded of a time when she was 8 years old. She had checked out a library book that was recipes from another country. She was determined that we had to cook something from this book before she returned it to the library. I finally agreed and asked her to choose a recipe. Sara chose oatmeal cookies, but of course they weren't called that because they were from another country. After verifying that we had all the ingredients, I asked her to read off the ingredients to me and I'd pull them out of the cupboard and fridge in preparation to bake. The last ingredient was rolled oats. I said, "Here's the oatmeal." Without missing a beat, Sara said, "Okay, let's roll 'em!"

Friday, October 15, 2010

High Adventure in Idaho

It's UEA weekend in Utah, but in Idaho everyone is out of school for two weeks for spud harvest. It's super convenient that mom's not working during the time that we have here to "play!" Mom loves to have fun with the grandkids and wondered what high adventures we might have while we're here. I told her I'd get back to her on that at a later time.

At some point last week, Joshua, 6, told me he thought potatoes grow on trees. LOL! Okay, apparently I'm not doing my job as a mother, so I figure I know exactly how to fix that dillusion. I explained it to him right away, and told him we'd go dig up some potatoes while in Idaho. Being the end of spud harvest, that shouldn't be a problem at all!

Today's big adventure started at a neighbor's house, to pick pumpkins from their garden for my kids to carve. This neighbor also offered carrots and beets for us to take in abundance. After digging out two bags of carrots and a handful of beets, we headed back to mom's house. Of course much carving and drawing ensued. I ran to the DI since one of my kids didn't bring enough clothes. Considering I love the DI and we don't have one near me, it's actually a treat to shop there.

As I perused the DI, dad found a field with potatoes available to glean and mom took the kids out to the field for the fun to begin. Except the fun began before they left the house. Dad decided to let the teenagers do the driving. Sara and Zack each got a turn driving the Jeep to and from the farmer's field, and Sara, Anni and Zack got to drive the 4 wheeler to, from and around the fields. There were a few potato plants left for Josh and Elijah to see what they look like. Then with a couple shovels and much digging in the mud, the kids gathered three kinds of potatoes: reds, russets, and yukon golds!

With chicken and gravy in the crockpot and potatoes boiling to make mashed potatoes, mom and I headed into Rexburg to the farmer's market. Our goal was to buy fudge, which was easily achieved. After window shopping at many booths, I bought a Nerenberger bratwurst from a man who is from what used to be East Germany. I told him I visited East Berlin before the wall came down and he got a bit emotional. He explained he's truly grateful for the changes that have come to that part of Germany and added that it's nothing like it used to be. On our way out, I bought half a bushel of honey crisp apples! You know, just in case we didn't already have enough food in the trunk to take home!

Back at mom's house, I taught Sara how to make mashed potatoes, and then we sat down to a dinner of chicken and gravy over mashed potatoes with fudge for dessert! What a day. I feel bad that Matt isn't with us this weekend to enjoy the fun, and I'm grateful for the hard work he is putting in this weekend back at our currently quiet house. Then again, maybe he isn't sad about not getting to dig in the mud in search of potatoes! Who knows.

The best fudge EVER!

My mom's neighbors in her tiny Idaho town are Twila and Scott Kent. They have perfected the fudge industry. You haven't tasted amazing fudge until you've tried theirs. Every year at Christmas time, my dad buys several pounds of several flavors of fudge for us all to share. My waistline will verify that their fudge is truly amazing.

So Matt and I have started buying our water at Water-Mart in 2700 West in Riverton. If you're interested, it's in the little strip mall that's behind the Maverick that's on 126th South and 2700 West. The Water-Mart sells really good filtered water (thank you Sue for the referral!), fudge, and authentic Italian Gilato. Matt was quite excited by the fudge and decided to buy some. We bought our favorite flavors: mine is mint chocolate and Matt's is peanut butter chocolate. The mint chocolate was fine, but the peanut butter chocolate left a lot to be desired. So I let the guy know how I felt. I told him he really should do business with Twila's fudge and he wouldn't be disappointed. He actually asked for her information, so I promptly called my mom and got her home phone number.

This happened Tuesday evening. Today is Friday (same week) and I bought fudge tonight at the farmer's market in Rexburg. Scott Kent saw me and let me know he'd just signed a fudge contract in Riverton. He drove down this morning, delivered the fudge, and drove back in time for the farmer's market to start at 4 pm. HOLY COW! I told him I had given them his phone number and he gave me a nice discount on my fudge purchase!

I am SO impressed. How many businesses take your advice when you share your opinion? How many businesses are genuinely interested in hearing your opinion? Twila's fudge is truly the creamiest fudge you'll ever put in your mouth! I highly recommend you stop into the Water-Mart and try the fudge. You won't regret it! For those of you that are not local, you can find Twila's fudge at If you're looking to do a yummy spread of treats for the holidays, this is the way to go! As for me, I'll be buying Twila's fudge at the Water-Mart!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Addidas deodorant?

Addidas is a big name sports maker. In the past, I've been plenty pleased with their shoes. I guess they figure that since they sell sports products, they should also sell deodorant to help you not stink while playing sports in their shoes and sports paraphernalia.

Several months ago, I became a coupon fanatic. One of the rules to couponing is to not be brand specific. You can get great deals by purchasing whatever is already on sale, plus your coupon. So, I stocked up on deodorant. This week I decided to try one of the new brands in my storage closet and pulled out the Addidas deodorant.

I showered late in the day, around noon, and used the deodorant as usual. By 4:00 pm, I couldn't stand the smell of myself. It's not just the smell of the deodorant, and it's worse than me not using deodorant at all. Pathetic. A sports deodorant that doesn't even last four hours. In my opinion, Addidas should stick to making shoes! Meanwhile, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with several bars of stinky deodorant taking up space in my linen closet.

Just in case you wanted to know.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mouse Tailes!

We have two cats, specifically to be mousers. With an acre of land and being surrounded by small ranches and one acre lots, there are plenty of mice and voles to go around. Friday, our boy cat, is a great mouser. He loves to hunt and will often leave his token on the step beside the house, like a good cat should do. Gracy is Friday's sister. She is great at catching the mice, too, but apparently she's politically involved with human rights and feels that it is inhumane to kill the mouse once she has caught it. For Gracy, catching the mouse is a game, not a hunt. She will catch it and then proceed to play with it. On occasion, I have seen her pass the mouse off to Friday when she is done with her fun.

The biggest problem is that Gracy likes to bring her toys in the house. Before I go to bed, the cats typically want to come in and will meow at the back door. I have learned the sound of a meow with a full mouse when Gracy has a live mouse in her mouth! But even without being able to SEE the mouse, I make Gracy meow to me with her mouth open every night before I let her in. This is because, one night Gracy had a small mouse in her mouth. I told her no and she walked away with her treasure, but was back at the door only seconds later. I could not see anything in her mouth, and figured she had just let the mouse go, so I let her in. Once in the house, she opened her mouth and out popped a little mouse. No, I am not kidding! Even the mouse's long tail had been neatly tucked inside for easy deception of the "master." Gracy then proceeded to play with the mouse in the house. The problem with this is there are plenty of nooks and crannies in which the mouse could hide safely away from Gracy's banter. That little mouse disappeared. GRRRR! This is not the only time this has happened. I honestly don't know how many mice Gracy has brought into the house. With Friday in the house at night, he does his best to hunt down Gracy's toys. Twice now he has left a dead mouse for me in my bedroom, beside the bathroom door.

Yesterday morning was a typical Sunday morning... or it started out that way. I sat in my bedroom working on finishing touches for my Sunday School lesson when Gracy tried to climb in my closet. I don't let her nap in there since she tends to leave a pile of fur, so I kicked her out of the room. I sat back down and next thing I knew, I heard a scratching sound coming from my closet. I look over and there's a mouse climbing through my clothes that are neatly hanging in the closet. AAHHH! No, I am not afraid of mice. I just don't like them in my house, leaving their poop everywhere and chewing things apart. I tried to catch the mouse in a container, but it was too fast and got away. So, I pulled out some glue traps, stuck an M&M on each one and put them in different spots in my closet in hopes to catch the mouse. Off to church we go.... LATE due to mouse hunting. I hate being late.

When I got home from church, I went to my closet right away to check the mouse traps. The one at the bottom of the closet was gone. So the mouse went for the M&M bait, got partially stuck, and drug the trap away. Just my luck. This didn't help my mood at all. But, a few minutes later, I hear Gracy, meowing with her mouthful. Recognizing that sound, I was excited. I praised her, and she set the mouse down. I was ready! I through my hands over the mouse expecting to have it trapped. Much to my chagrin, the mouse ran between my fingers, faster than the speed of light. I guess I must have blinked, because I didn't even see which way the mouse ran. In catching the mouse, Gracy got the glue trap stuck on her long fur. Sara got the scissors, and we gave Gracy a haircut, freeing her from the glue trap. Elijah said he saw the mouse go into the bathroom, so that's where I headed next. We already had a mouse trap in there from when Gracy had last brought a mouse in the house (maybe this one) and asked Elijah to go get some cheese! I figured we'd have that mouse in no time with fresh cheese on the trap. As I set the trap on the floor, I saw a tail sticking out from under a towel. There's the mouse! This time determined this mouse is NOT getting away, I cupped over the top of the towel where the mouse was hiding. It tried to escape, but I had it. I hollered excitedly for Elijah to open the toilet. I grabbed the mouse by the tail, dropped it into the toilet and flushed. I think there's a scene like this from the movie "Flushed Away." The mouse was swimming as fast as it possibly could, trying to keep it's head above water. Elijah said it looked like the mouse was running on a treadmill, it was flapping those little legs so fast. He was worried the mouse would jump out, so he closed the lid. When we opened it, the mouse was gone.

VICTORIOUS! Finally. I could rest in peace the rest of the day knowing I got the mouse that was in my closet.

I wish my mouse tailes were over; however, I know we have a mouse living in the cupboards in the kitchen. It appeared in the silverware drawer this week when I reached in to get a fork. There's another in the TV room, that also got stuck on a glue trap and dragged the trap away. I haven't found it yet. One scurried in the front door last week when the little boys were playing. Who knows where it went. And yet another that was spotted in Elijah's room this morning. The general consensus is that glue traps are only good for catching random spiders or curious little boys who don't know what they are. So today we are taking stock in the old fashioned mouse trap in hopes to actually catch the mice and not leave them roaming our house.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fibromyalgia relief!

Many of my friends have fibromyalgia to which there seems to be no cure. Although exercise is highly recommended, it is painful, and pain meds don't do anything to relieve the pain.

I am currently taking several natural supplements as a migraine prevention and have been very pleased to not be on prescription meds that may or may not work. I am also seeing my chiropractor weekly. We briefly discussed omega-3's one day, and what happens to the body and mind without them. At a later time I asked for more details and he loaned me a book by another Utah chiropractor named Dan Murphy who spoke at a convention. As I have flipped through this book, I found the section on fibromyalgia and was quite excited by what I read. There are many references and a lot of science and research behind it all to which I will not go into the details. I will give the references so you can research if you'd like and I will give the main points of do's and don'ts in hopes that you can find some relief to the great amounts of pain you have suffered so very long! My notes and quotes are taken from Dan Murphy's book he printed for the seminar.

Muscle Pain Understanding Its Nature, Diagnosis, and Treatment
by Siegried Mense and David G. Simons
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2001
Ch. 9 by I. Jon Russel, MD, PhD "Fibromyalgia Syndrome"

"...believed to come primarily from central nervous system nuerosensory amplification of nociception in general and not from muscle pathology."

Lab test show: "...low platelet serotonin levels, elevated levels of spinal fluid substance P and nere growth factor, abnormal cortisol and growth hormone regulation, and lower than normal regional blood flow in the brain."

Causes: "...depression, anxiety, insomnia, endocrinopathies, irritable bowel syndrome, and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system."

Painful Cervical Trauma: Diagnosis and Rehabilitative Treatment of Neuromusculoskeletal Injuries
C. David Tollision and John R. Satterthwaite
Williams & Wilkins, 1992, p. 303

* can be caused by whiplash, which never heals and only gets worse

Management of Fibromyalgia: Rationale for the use of Magnesium and Malic Acid
Journal of Nutitional Medicine, No. 3, 1992, pp. 49-59
Guy E. Abraham MD and Jorge D. Flechas MD, MPH

* lack of oxygen to the brain interferes with ATP process, increasing pyruvate production and lactic acid, which increases pain perception

* to make glucose, the body breaks down proteins from the muscles in the process of fixing the ATP cycle, resulting due to a deficiency of oxygen & other substances needed for ATP synthesis.

* magnesium and malic acid are common deficiencies needed in ATP production.

* causes: "irritable bowel syndrome, tension headache, primary dysmenorrhea, mitral valve prolapse and chronic fatigue syndrome"

* "magnesium is reduced by excess aluminum and/or excess calcium"

* "ATP production is controlled by the vitamins thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), and pyridoxine (B6) because they are essential for the electron transport system, and all three vitamins require magnesium to become biologically active."

* "During anaerobic glycolysis....9 of 11 steps require magnesium." AND "3 of 9 steps in the Krebs Cycle require magnesium."

* "Malic acid is one of the most potent chelators of aluminum and is most effective in decreasing brain aluminum levels."

* "Fibromyalgia patients supplemented with a daily dose of 300-600 mg of magnesium plus 1200-2400 mg of malic acid 'all patients reported significant subjective improvement of pain within 48 hours of starting.' Additionally, the fibromyalgia tender point scores were reduced by about 60% at 4 weeks and 66% at 8 weeks."

Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with Super Malic: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover pilot study
Journal of Rheumatology, May 1995;22(5):953-8
Russ IJ, Michalek JE, Flechas JD, Abraham GE

* "abnormal blood flow may deprive muscle of sufficient oxygen and other nutrients." Chiropractic can help with this as spinal adjustments improve spinal mechanics and increases blood flow throughout the nervous system.

* "the best results were observed from 'use of a higher dosage and longer duration of treatment' with malic acid and magnesium, increasing production of ATP.

Effects of muscle strengthening versus aerobic exercise program in fibromyalgia
Rheumatology International, Nov. 3, 2007
C. Bircan, S. A. Karasel, B. Akgun, O. El * S. Alper

* "The magnitude of change was generally greater in the strengthening group v. the aerobic group" however; aerobic exercise did help improve symptoms.

Why It Hurts: Pain and Inflammation
(Details of author, book title, ch., etc., not included)

* Fish oil relieves symptoms for fibromyalgia and ADD

* fish oil should be taken 2-3 times daily in large doses to keep pain down. (2 TBSP oil, or 2-3 capsules per dose)

* (fish oil is the same as omega 3)

* Yukio's wife started on the oil after being non-functioning due to pain or brain fog as a side effect of narcotic drugs and was improved immediately.

Relief of Fibromyalgia Symptoms Following Discontinuation of Dietary Excitotoxins
The Annals of Pharmacotherapy: Vol. 35, No. 6, pp. 702-706. June 2001
Jerry D Smith, Chris M Terpening, Siegried OF Schmidt and John G Gums

* "fibromyalgia can be caused by exposure to dietary excitotoxins in susceptible individuals"

* "excitotoxins are molecules, such as MSG and aspartate, that act as excitatory neurotransmitters"

* "glutamate and other dietary excitotoxins primarily enter the brain at the hypothalamus which is not well protected by the blood-brain barrier.

* "MSG is found in nearly all processed food and can have many names, including gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, textured protein, and yeast extract"

--please note, I have summarized and tried to use easy terminology. Feel free to do more research to have a greater understanding of these concepts.

My personal thoughts:

Avoid: aspartame, MSG, and glutamate.

Take: magnesium, malic acid, omega 3 in large doses
(at least twice a day, if not three times a day!)

Work on building muscle, which should be easier to do with less pain once on the suggested supplements.

Visit a chiropractor regularly.

I am personally taking large doses of magnesium (400 mg) and omega 3 (3 gelcaps) twice daily as a migraine prevention and have been amazed at the improvements I have felt in my brain function! I personally prefer gelcaps and have found magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil) gelcaps at Costco.

Please pass on this information to anyone you know who suffers from Fibromyalgia. It's amazing that natural supplements can fill in the gaps our body needs!

Lots of love,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Migraines? Try this prevention plan!

I meant to post this blog ages ago because so many of my friends get migraines; however, life has been pretty crazy at my house and for the first time in ages, I have time to blog!

I had been having headaches several times a week, but never thought they were migraines because my symptoms are not typical of migraines. Matt found Dr. Larry McCleary, M.D. on a radio show and was impressed by what he heard. Dr. McCleary is a retired brain surgeon and people ask him all the time what they can do for their brain to help this or change that. So he wrote the book: The Brain Trust Program: A Scientifically Based Three-Part Plan to: Improve Memory, Elevate Mood, Enhance Attention, Alleviate Migraine and Menopausal Symptoms, and Boost Mental Energy.

Needless to say, we bought the book. Matt read it first and gave me to "cocktail" of supplements to prevent migraines. I hunted them down right away and started taking them. Dr. McCleary recommends waiting two months to decide if the supplements are working, and keep a daily record of how you feel so you can track headaches, etc. I noticed a difference in the first week. My headaches at first were not as bad as usual, then they got farther and farther apart! The supplement "cocktail" works!

I will say, starting out feels expensive since you're buying so many meds at once; however, when taking them regularly, the bottles don't all run out at the same time, so it's not too bad replacing the empty ones. I also shopped around and buy in bulk when possible!

Not only did my migraines go away, (I do still get one on occasion, but they're no where near as bad as they used to be), but my memory improved quite a bit. I used to forget what I was saying mid-sentence. I am now able to focus on my homework more easily without constant distraction. And, once I added a healthier diet into the mix, my hot flashes have cut way back. (Yes, I'm experiencing perimenopausal symptoms. UGH.)

The "cocktail" of supplements is on page 207:
Take twice daily for migraine prevention.

400 milligrams Magnesium
100 micrograms Huperzine A
10 milligrams vinpocetine
1 gram taurine
100 milligrams Coenzyme Q10
B Complex
2-3 Omega-3 with DHA and EPA
1 Flaxseed Oil (pills)
1 tsp-1TBsp MCT oil

I have found that I can get good deals at Costco and ebay for these. I get MCT oil, Huperzine, and Taurine on ebay. I get everything else at Costco in bulk. I add the MCT oil into whatever I'm eating in the morning and afternoon snack. It's tasteless and works great for migraine prevention.

I've been taking these supplements since spring of 2009 and now swear by it. If I start getting little headaches, it's typically because I haven't been taking two doses a day. Dr. McCleary discusses what each of these supplements does for the brain and it makes so much sense! I recommend you buy the book for yourself and read through it. In the meantime, you don't have to have a prescription for migraines, get started on this "cocktail" right away!

Bye-bye headaches!