Wellness Tweaks

I haven’t been feeling my best lately. I’ve identified two areas where I can make wellness tweaks that I’m hoping will get me back on track.

Vegan At Home

Given my family history with eating disorders1, I am very careful to not put judgment labels on food. No food is inherently bad or good. Food nourishes our body and spirit.

About 4-1/2 years ago I started doing Meatless Mondays. That was working well for me: I still got to have my salmon and my chicken tikka masala. After a couple of months, Meatless Monday ran over into Tuesday, then Wednesday and one week I was no longer eating meat.

I left myself the option of having it if I really craved it (thinking that I’d miss my chicken tikka masala). But as the weeks went by I really didn’t miss my favorite meat dishes. And chicken tikka masala became paneer tikka masala.

Ah, yes. CHEESE. I might cheerfully give up butter and half-and-half. But cheese was the deal-breaker for me going full-on vegan (though I love scrambled eggs and omelets, too). Brie, Brilliant Saverin, Mt. Tam, parmesan, and don’t even get me started on the Harris Teeter specials on shredded cheese (buy 2 get 3 free)!

But there I was, with Hurricane Florence blowing through, eating through the perishables in case the power went out. And I just didn’t replace the eggs and cheese in my fridge, after I made my last omelet.

So I’m going to try being vegan at home because I KNOW I’m not ready yet to give up my paneer tikka masala, or cheese on my pizza or in my burrito. But I can make delicious Indian food without dairy at home. I make pretty decent burritos, too, even if I am terrible at rolling them so they don’t make a mess. And now that it’s fall (as I look at the forecast for 89 degrees later this week…*sad trombone*), I’m in a soup-making mood!

And pizza…well that can just be a treat when I go out.

I’m hoping this gets me back in better control of my diet. Between the hurricane and social stuff, my diet sort of got away from me for much of September. Bringing it back to plant-based (and not eating out) should help me reset my system and take care of some tummy troubles and skin breakouts that have cropped up lately.

Anti-Social Allergies

Surprisingly, this section is NOT about me being allergic to people! (Mostly.)

With all of the rain we’ve had in Raleigh this summer, stuff is blooming and poofing pollens and allergens into the air non-stop. At its worst, I feel like I need to scratch the inside of my skull, only I can’t get at it. Misery!

I’ve reluctantly been combatting the allergies with Cetrizine (think Zyrtec) but the drowsy side effect has severely impacted my quality of life. Even taking a child’s dose (1/2 a regular pill) seems to affect me like Benadryl and Sudafed used to2.

Last week was an extra-peopley week, between meetups and other engagements. I don’t really like sneezing all over people and buffets, so I was taking a Cetrizine every other day. It kept most of the itching and sneezing at bay, but finally piled up in my system. By Friday I could barely stay awake long enough to feed the cats. (General life stress and all of the crap in the news didn’t help the situation.)

A really unfortunate issue when I’m drowsy–and not somewhere where I can sleep–is that I become impossible to be around. Anyone who has ever had to deal with me fighting off sleep (and the associated brain fog) would describe me sort of like Kali, wearing a garland made from the skulls of anyone who dared try having a conversation with me.3

It’s not pretty, fam.

And I can’t be out here living my best life if I’m sleeping through it. So on Saturday, I took one last half dose since I was going to be at the soccer park (yay natural grass!). Now I’m waiting for all of the Cetrizine to work its way out of my system. I’m still feeling tired, but it isn’t as all-consuming as it was last week (even though many of the other stresses in my life remain).

And it’s back to the neti pot. I have had problems in the past using it, mainly because it dried out my nasal passages too much and caused sensitivity. I’m going to be more mindful of how warm the water is and, hopefully, I can drop the use of that down to every 2-3 days, once we get closer to winter.

The Office
I love being out at WakeMed Soccer Park, but it does a number on my allergies!

Back On Track

So these are the latest wellness tweaks I’m making in the hopes that I can get back on track and feel more energetic, creative, and productive.

1Have I talked about the nightmare of watching my mother lose 130 pounds on WeightWatchers and then nearly fucking DIE from the eating disorder that got triggered and amplified as a result?
2Once, in high school, I had a bad allergy attack one morning. Mom usually gave me a Sudafed but she was busy. Since I had REALLY bad allergies I took two. The only thing that comes close to a recollection of that day was that I interviewed the track coach (somehow I managed to take notes). I came home and told mom I was going to take a nap. That was 4 pm on Friday. I did not wake up again until nearly 2 pm Saturday when one of my dogs busted open the door and mom was about to check for a pulse.

3This is somewhat different from people trying to have conversations with me when I’m having an Introvert Day. On those days I am likely to stare blankly or squeak and run away because I have no supply of Talking English.

2 Comments

  1. Alix

    I don’t suppose Loratadine (Claritin) does anything for you? It only makes me a liiiiitttle drowsy.

    Sometimes I think moving is bad for allergies? I never needed allergy meds until coming to MI from FL. I’m apparently allergic to trees. Like, literally, the allergist started naming the trees I was allergic to – stopped, scrolled through the report, and said… “we’ll just say trees.” I’m guessing not Pine or Palm since those were the ones I grew up with…. but…. all the ones here.

    I hope you’re feeling better (I saw you might have a cold – sob).

    • victoria

      It isn’t as effective, plus I saw those articles where it was linked to a higher risk of dementia. Fexofenadine (Allegra) works a little better and I may end up going back to that during those times when a neti pot is ineffective.

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