Category Archives: Simplify

Qi (chee) on this.

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It’s time to update you about my long-time health drama.  I have had a sour stomach most of life.  Just before I chose to stay at home,  it completely whomped me.  Throat, esophagus, stomach.  Likely stress-missed meals-stress-missed sleep-stress- induced….numerous doctors, tests, meds and diagnoses culminated into one thing – not solving my problem.  Finally, I quit what doctors told me to do.  I stopped all medication.  I changed the way I ate, in an effort to eliminate “pain” foods.  I loyally attended yoga (stress reduction/better circulation) and even started acupuncture sessions.  I wanted to fix myself – naturally.

*Enter new alternative medicine doctor.*

WOW.  Her therapies literally swept pain out of my body.  I FELT it.  And in the process of treatment, she coached me about lifestyle and diet.  She described me as an ‘earth’ body (whaa?) and someone who deals with spleen Qi deficiency.

Okay…..

I researched it.  I was shocked, to say the least, to find case after case about people with the same issues and a common theme for resolving the problem:  diet.  Over and over again….all of my crazy symptoms didn’t seem so crazy.  Was it possible that there was something to it?  After all, Chinese medicine has been around for a heckuva lot longer than western medicine.  There must be something to it.

According to literature, I am eating all the wrong things.  My favorite foods essentially ‘weaken’ my spleen Qi.  (stay with me).  Instead, I need to drop the last of my dairy intake.  Wheat is out.  Refined sugar.  High carb fruits- gone.  Uncooked veggies.  Cold food (ice cream!), soy, greasy food, bananas and anything unnatural -moot.  Instead, my new diet is rich in other grains, cooked beans, garlic, baked root veggies, mushrooms, some red meat, basil and various strong spices.

And here I am.

My first efforts at cooking this food introduced me to TarteletteBlog’s version of Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Rice.  I found it on Pinterest, which continues to be an awesome source of information and inspiration.  After tweaking it to meet my needs, it was awesome and substantial enough to leave me fulfilled.  Better yet, my husband liked it.  Best yet, it’s a great way to incorporate one of my favorite veggies:  butternut squash!

Butternut Squash =


Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Rice by TarteletteBlog

So far, I don’t feel better….or worse.  But I just had that surgery….AND I admit I cheat here or there.  After all, life is too short to absolutely cut out chocolate (dark please) and frozen desserts (hello, ice cream).  I just need to incorporate loads of the ‘good’ foods, until I can feel fulfilled by those means.  Sigh.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Before I go, guess what?  I’m in the process of updating my NEW blog title and site.  Talking about work-to-home is limiting and frankly, it doesn’t fully express what I’m about.  Change is refreshing.

Til’ then,

~Edhead

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Wanted: Fresh Lemon and Sparkle

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The second thing I did after resigning from my full-time, paying career:  clean my home.   The first: figuring out how to do it without going nuts.

Kirstie Alley, while gabbing on Oprah, revealed that she is an avid cleaner (as in paid to clean houses in her past).  She also announced that mops are a big NO NO.  She conveyed this vital information in such a passionate, scrupulous way….I immediately sentenced my own mop to garage time.  Let the spiders enjoy it.  Instead, I bent down on my hands and knees and scrubbed my wood floors by hand.  No fun task, but channeling a little Karate Kid vigor (wax on/wax off!) left me smiling at clean, sparkly floors.  This is how I clean now.  Every time.  After all, Kirstie said this on OPRAH and I do what Oprah says. 😉

My new Dyson came next: the revolutionary cleaning tool that never loses suction!  Well, almost never.  It is the best purchase I’ve made this year.

Last, but certainly not least…I threw out all 30 cleaners adorning my storage closet.  As a busy working mom, these cleaning products helped me feel like I was taking care of my family and home.  It does this?  That sounds great!  Half the time?  BINGO!  I accumulated one expensive, confusing, disgusting (was that wet paper towel hiding under the Windex bottle since ’96?) cleaning stash.

No more.

On a new budget and determined to simplify, I armed myself with just a few major cleaning items:  a lemon, vinegar, bleach, baking soda and Clorox wipes (in every bathroom my boys use.  ahem.)  Cheap and effective.  Simple and not as dangerous as most products.  (see more information on the bleach controversy and why I think it’s safer than we think here).

These have worked so well for me…I can’t believe I didn’t listen to my grandmother sooner.  Why, today’s cleaning challenge to de-maggot, disinfect and de-stink my exterior garbage dumpster would make her smile.  I didn’t.  Not one bit.  But I found that sparkle.

Lettuce be happy

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I wanted a garden this year.  And a tiny garden I did get.  Inspired by my in-law’s green thumb setup (actually jealous), I claimed my sunny backyard patches.  Ok, I glared and hrumphed at my neighbor’s looming trees eating up my precious sun.  I.  Was. Determined.

And so we dug and built and dug and built and prettied my little garden with raised beds and decorative rock.  Wheelbarrow upon wheelbarrow full of delicious black dirt made its way to my new space.  Bring on the veggies!  To my surprise, my usual bed of lettuce failed to thrive (thanks trees and wandering squirrels).  Yet, tomatoes grew above my head and fell over the rest of the garden.  Cantaloupes snuck in and I even salvaged a few green onions and carrots (thanks family dog).  Sweet peas, pickle cucumbers, swiss chard and green beans have made their presence known.  Just enough to make it to our dinner table….and just enough to scare me as I realize most of it will need to be dealt with all at once in just a month or so.  Nonetheless, I am so grateful to have the time to enjoy this summer pleasure.  It’s a taste of childhood growing in my own back yard.  And the grocery budget likes it, too!

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