Archive for ‘Tools and Products’

April 19, 2018

#550 – Pastry Blender to Potato Masher

PastryBlenderPotatoMasher (1)

If you have compromised hand and wrist function, kitchen chores, like mashing potatoes, can be a challenge. Good tools are essential, as is finding creative uses for the items you already have.

I have a pointy-ended potato masher (see bottom image, on the right), which doubles as a torture device. I had to press down on the end of the handle to apply enough pressure to mash those spuds. While I was getting the job done, I was also gouging my palm. (A mixer or food processor works, but sometimes I don’t feel like hauling out or dirtying those items.)

I was delighted when I found a pastry blender with a handle that is ergonomically-suited to me. It allows me to keep my wrist in a neutral position while I mash, mash, mash those potatoes. My mother-in-law blesses me each time she uses the one I gave to her. My sister-in-law used it at Christmas and she raved about it. Guess what she’s getting as a gift? Shhh, don’t tell her!

If you’re new to stocking a kitchen, or are new to RA, I’d suggest that you select a potato masher, or a pastry blender, with a handle that is horizontal. If you can’t find one, at least choose a potato masher that has a rounded tip on the handle. (See bottom image, left side.)

More creative uses for things you already have:

 

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February 14, 2018

#548 – Your Beautiful Heart

myemwave

Under stress, your heart rhythm shows up as a jagged line – the two branches of your autonomic nervous system (ANS), are speeding up and slowing down. What matters is the quality of that rhythm. If it’s speeding up and slow down, much like a driver with his foot on the gas, then the brake, the gas, the brake, the gas, and so on, which is what happens under stress, it’s not doing you any favours. This wears out your nervous system, accelerates aging and sets up the scene for ill-health, along with a host of other things. Learning to activate the power of your heart changes your heart rhythm. As the rhythm becomes more balanced, you enter a more coherent state. How you think and feel is reflected in real-time in your heart rhythms.

For example, this morning, I recalled what it was like to be in a state of flow. I  went into high coherence; a stress-free zone. Then, a negative thought poked its way into my mind and I immediately saw red in the Coherence Ration window. That’s how our thoughts and emotions affect our heart rhythms. When you’re aware of this, you can make changes to benefit your health and well-being.

By regularly addressing and undressing my stress, I am able to decrease the amount of cortisol my body produces. I see the effects in my lab tests, too, with a lower value in my C-reactive protein (CRP). (If you have RA, CRP, a marker of inflammation, will be part of your regular blood work.)  Cortisol contributes to the inflammatory response, so anything you can do to limit the amount of cortisol that you secrete is a plus, especially if you live with rheumatoid arthritis.

My morning begins with a cup of tea and time on the emWave. Often before I start writing, I’ll do a 10-12 minute session. I do know how it feels when I am in a coherent state; I like the verification I get when I use the emWave. It keeps me on track and honest! 🙂

Since starting this program, over 10 years ago, my life is better in so many ways. In fact, that’s why I became Auntie Stress. I noticed a change in how I moved through life and I wanted to help others do the same. Email me if you’d like to address and undress your stress. I have various options available at a variety of price points to suit your budget.

HeartMath is a registered trademark of the Institute of HeartMath. | emWave and Personal Stress Reliever are registered trademarks of Quantum Intech, Inc.

August 31, 2017

#534 – Double up on Things that Work

Shoes

Yes, you are seeing double. That’s intentional.

It’s taken me longer than I care to admit that when I find a product that works well for me, such as these shoes, that I should buy more.

I’ve written about what I love about the water shoes you see in this picture. After posting, I hurried off and bought another pair. Lucky for me, they were on sale!

I loved my first pair of  Merrell slip-ons  so much that I bought a second pair, just in case they stopped making them. (Isn’t that often the case? You find something you love and when you go to replace it, it’s no longer available.) For a slip-on they’re surprisingly comfortable. The sole provides support, yet is cushioned enough to treat my RA feet with TLC. I also like the fact that they allow air to circulate. (No one likes stinky, sweaty feet!)

Recently, I found some baby-skin soft bamboo blend underwear at Mark’s.  (Yes, my mother would be horrified. I agree that  maybe it’s a little TMI – too much information! ) Regardless, I’m planning on stocking up because they’re just too good not to have.

When you have a chronic condition, some things become very important. For me, it’s shoes. While the bamboo blend underwear is comfortable to wear, it’s not crucial that I have them. However, Lene Andersen has a different take on them, which she describes in her epigrammatic style on A Farewell to Underpants. One word: fibromyalgia.

Whatever is important to you, whether it makes your life easier, more comfortable and/or aesthetically pleasing, you may wish to double up. Now, if only I had bought a second three-quarter length sleeves black sweater with the cute polka-dotted placket!

 

 

May 11, 2017

#524 – Those Pesky Containers

Some of my food storage containers are difficult to get into.

A can opener does the trick for a couple of different styles of  containers.

Stuck? Go on a treasure hunt to see which of your implements can do double-duty.

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