Tears, Beers and Cheers…

Good morning and happy Memorial Day.  This, the last Monday of the month, honors fallen soldiers.  Thanks, Carol, for reminding us to honor those the holiday is for.  Sometimes we get so caught up in a day off, beers and hot dogs, that we forget why we are partying.  While I am basically a pacifist, and believe war is not good for living things, I also recognize that I am free to sit at my computer and type WHATEVER the hell I want and I understand, intellectually, that many fought for MY right to do this…and many lost their lives in the fight.  My heart breaks every day, for the parents who’s children return home, wrapped in an American flag and buried with honor.  My heart goes out to each and every parent, spouse and child who has lost a loved one in war, and now, more than ever it is time to bring our soldiers back home from Iraq.  While I will remember the fallen heroes today, my wish for peace grows ever stronger.

For my locals:  While I will be training clients this morning, I will not be teaching any classes.  Tamarac Fitness Center is CLOSED for the day.  Bally is open from 8-8 but ALL classes are cancelled. If you are a Bally student feel free to get in their and get on a piece of equipement.  I’ll be back at TFC tomorrow night and Bally on Wednesday.

Well, its off to get ready for work.  After 3 back to back training sessions, I’ll be hoping to come home to float in the pool.  Mitch and I have a date to play some swimming pool badminton which should be a lot of laughs.  I have waited all weekend, to indulge (and I do mean indulge) in a real summer holiday treat–a spicy bloody Mary with a beer chaser (thanks to my “live life like its your last day” friend, Lisa who brought that combo with her from Milwaukee where they obviously know how to drink!)

I will also be lighting the BBQ for a repeat of Friday night’s dinner which was delicious.  Thanks to Carol for the idea, via the video she sent me late last week.  Though I wont be making the seitan, I will be basically making most of the other stuff on this video.  Maybe it will inspire you, too.  I am not sure why I can’t get the below site to “link” if you just copy and paste and put in your browser, it should bring you to this 4 minute video from Bobby Flay.  Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku1d7IONHDA

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you drink…be happy, remember why we are celebrating and please be safe.  Don’t drink and drive, don’t text and drive…I say, if you can help it JUST DON’T DRIVE AT ALL!

Shake it Up, Baby

Grab a banana or two.  Peel, break in halves and place in a zip-lock baggie in your freezer.  During the week, when you feel like blending up your own, cold, healthy, refreshing smoothie, break the banana into pieces in your blender.  Add some other fresh berries and a little bit of milk.  (I use soy or almond milk in mine).  I also add a spoonful of peanut butter, which adds calories but also adds some healthy fat, protein and lots of great flavor.

Keeping some bananas in my freezer is always a great start to a filling, easy to to transport, meal.  Filled with potassium and other critical nutrients,  a banana based shake is great for before (or after) a workout.   You could certainly add some protein powder to it, if desired.  As the days get warmer and warmer, often an icy cold shake is the perfect meal and treat all at the same time.

With so many variations on the shake, or the smoothie, making them at home is MUCH less costly in both price and calories!

Freezing the bananas TODAY, will pay off Tuesday when we are all trying to eat more healthy after a long holiday weekend.

Homemade shakes.  Just another reason I love summer.

Summer is in the Air and I LOVE IT!

My niece called me from New York City a few weeks ago.  She was walking to work at her relatively new job as a hot shot NYC attorney and just wanting to catch up on life.  It feels like such a short time ago that we put on our bathing suits and sat in the whirlpool at her (actually my sister and brother-in-law’s) weekend home in Bethel, New York,  to discuss what she might do with her life after her upcoming graduation from Wash U.  I mentioned law school and after a few minutes, she jumped out and announced to everyone that she had decided she wanted to go to law school.  Funny how other people’s kids listen to what our own would roll their eyes at.

So on her walk to work she was telling me about a new studio she went to recently, for a workout she couldn’t quite find the right words to describe.  “Sort of Pilates but kindof aerobic,” she said, but then added “but that’s not really right either.”  Physique 57 was the name of the studio and my niece also added “it’s where Kelli Ripa” works out.  I told her I would check it out online when we hung up and that’s exactly what I did.  Of course I wanted to know about the place Kelli Ripa works out at.  That woman has a gorgeous body!

Last summer I got super hooked into P90X thanks to Kyle Zipp.  This year, when I saw that Physique 57 also offers videos, I figured, “why not?” and just a few days later, there I was in my garage with my new playground ball, a chair (to simulate a ballet barre)  some light weights and my yoga mat.  Muscle overload, followed by stretching is the recipe used by the instructor to lift the butt and sculpt the arms, shoulders and abs.  My niece was correct in her description of Pilates and aerobics.  Somehow, this 57 minute body sculpting routine, manages to keep your heart pounding and your muscles begging for mercy.

I have only done the video twice, and have brought little bits and pieces to some of my classes.  Come mid June, a couple of my clients will be leaving town for the summer and I will have time to revisit this video and bring more of it to my students and clients.  If it’s good enough for Kelli, its good enough for us!

I will also be revisiting P90x this summer.  As far as I am concerned, that program still takes the prize for the most diversified, challenging and (mostly) safe moves to recreate a body!  I’ll also be hitting the pool a lot more.  Swimming is a great way to let the muscles unwind while still working them.  While many of us can’t and shouldn’t jump on land, the impact is taken off our joints in the pool.

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE summer?  Some down time, swimming,  long days and summer fruits and vegetables!!  Just yesterday I was at Publix filling my wagon with peaches and mangos and blueberries and red raspberries and corn on the cob and… Well you get the idea.  As a weight conscious vegan, nothing gets better than summer.  The best that Mother Nature has to offer is not only abundant, but also quite affordable.  There are some people that like to remind me about the sugar in fruit and how it will spike my insulin and sabotage my diet.  While I do know this is true to a point, I never really met ANYONE who got fat eating grapes.  I just haven’t!  Additionally, fruit is a good way to get some of our much needed fiber.  Nothing like it to keep that digestive system working regularly!

http://i.ehow.com/images/a04/rb/54/make-fruit-basket-summer-fruit-800X800.jpg

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.  The Un-official start to my favorite season.  Have fun, be safe and enjoy the bounty of food mother nature has given us.

Speaking of bounties of food…Carol, thanks for that Bobby Flay video.  I did try most of what was on it last night and it was YUMMMMMMMMMMMMY!  I will try to post that video, on here, soon!

What a Pain in the Neck

Just a few years ago, I helped Kyle with a paper he was doing for one of his college English classes.  The topic he chose to write about was the possibility that someday soon, all the new, hand-held  technology would make people suffer with addiction problems.  The NEED to text, chat and email without being able to stop oneself was a real possibility.  He walked around campus noticing everyone on their cell phones.    It all made sense and it didn’t take very long before everything that he wrote about to come true.  Ever leave your house now without your cellphone?  Probably not, and if you do, like me, you probably feel “uncomfortable.”  The need for Oprah to start a world-wide quest to reduce texting while driving,  is a clear example of how extreme this problem has become and in such a short time.

But what about the physical aspects of using these devices.  My client  (and very dear friend) Lesley has been suffering in her right thumb area.  Being an avid reader, she fell head over heals for her Kindle.  I decided to do a search and see if she might have an over-use injury from it.  In doing some research, I found this– BLACKBERRY THUMB!  Since she and I both have iPhones and neither of us are abusers, her issue is definitely not from that.  But I bet it IS from the Kindle and obviously, from the article I found, many others are suffering similarly from their Blackberries.

Yesterday morning, I saw a local chiropractor discussing an over-use injury he has been seeing more and more of…TEXT NECK!  As soon as he said the 2 words together, it made total sense to me.  For years we have known to keep our computer screen at a level that keeps our neck in a neutral position, but almost everyone looks down, to text or read their messages or emails on their phones.  Think about it.

Ears are meant to be centered over our shoulders.  A million times a week I must say “center your ears over your shoulders, ribs, hips and ankles.”  That is a neutral neck, or an anatomically correct posture.  It is a position that not only encourages beautiful posture, but more importantly keeps our spines healthy and strong.  It also keeps us from having pain in our necks.  The muscles in the back of the neck were night designed to remain in a craned forward position.

I am not so worried about my generation.  But I am really concerned about the younger generation.  They have grown up on these hand held devices and they have unlimited texting on their phone plans and they use thousands of texts every single month.  Since over-use injuries happen over the course of time, they won’t really know how much damage they have done until they start getting too many headaches or begin to experience chronic neck pain.

Since we can’t expect texting to go away, we need to work on bringing the phone up to our level, instead of bringing our eyes down to it’s level.  No doubt this will take a little getting used to, but so what?  Apparently there is already an app available for the droid which teaches proper alignment.  One will soon be available for the iPhone as well.  We don’t need an app, though, to teach us to just raise the phone up.  It’s easy enough to do, we just have to remember.  If you have to hide your phone under a desk you shouldn’t be using it!  That goes back to the mental addiction aspect 🙂

As modern technology continues to grow at an incredible rapid  speed, we need to remain diligent in our efforts to remain healthy and safe.  As a rule, our eyes belong looking ahead.  Anyway, when we look down, we miss way too much of what’s right in front of us.  For the sake of others as well as ourselves, let’s use our wonderful technology to enhance our lives, not destroy them.

If you love someone who texts a lot, share this information with them.  I immediately shared it with my kids.  They might think you are being a real pain in the neck, but you might just save them from a much bigger one later on!

Have a great Friday.  Let the holiday weekend begin.

And What About…

Yesterday was a crazy, long work day for me.  On my 1.5 hour morning break, after taking Blaze for a pretty decent walk, I came home and with remote control in hand, I watched the BL finale (mostly in the fast forward mode) again.  I was actually amazed at the numbers on the scale for almost everyone!  Even the twins who were still huge, took off big numbers from their original weigh ins.  Last night, while training with Erica, (who appropriately wore her Biggest Loser tank top) I realized there were some people I never even mentioned in yesterday’s blog.  I mean, Miggy looked like a totally different person and was as proud as a peacock, strutting her new body.  Lance looked very handsome and Victoria and her mom, Sherida also did a great job of reinventing themselves!  The way Sam kept looking at Stephanie, sitting in the audience, was pretty touching for those that may have missed that.  I am left with a feeling of concern for Koli, as I really think there was something not right with him.  Diet pills?  Dehydration from “dieting down” for the final weigh in?  Maybe starvation?  Perhaps all of the above?  I don’t want to be a rumor starter or negative (ever on this blog) just realistic.  He was jittery, couldn’t stand still for ONE second, distant, quiet and after winning the 100 grand, when Alison asked how he was feeling,  he responded “I just want to go home.”  I think he looked like he was about to crumble.  I hope he’ll be OK.  But alas, I must move on from BL.  It’s over.  I have to accept it.  Erica let me know that Jillian’s show will be shown at lots of different times through the summer, but we both wonder if a full hour of her will be overkill.  I guess we’ll see soon enough.

I am excited to say that readership of this blog continues to grow.  As soon as I can get my webmaster to give me a little time (he is pretty busy these days with his own work and new projects) I will be adding some articles offered up by some “guest writers” who have been reading the blog and would like to contribute.  I also encourage you to visit both the beautybean.com and thekindlife.com when you are sitting with some time to “surf.”  Both Alexis and Alicia have done great jobs with their sites!  Thanks, Alexis, for the invite to the thank you party.  I wish I could wiggle my nose and be in NYC next week!

Since this is Thursday, it must be Vegan Feast day.  Yay!!!!  Keeping with the summer theme, I will be serving sandwiches.  I have learned that if I use a little spray of olive oil on the “bacon” and then grill the strips for a couple of minutes on each side, they come out really, really good.  The fake bacon was challenging me, having tried it in the frying pan, on the griddle and in the oven and being UNhappy with the finished product all the time.  The olive oil and the bbq are definitely the way to go!  I have also found if I spray a little olive oil on the Gardein chicken cutlets and grill them, they also come out GREAT.  Last night I did both the chicken and the bacon and made an insanely satisfying wrap for dinner.  If you know someone who is looking to replace some animal products in their life, please do them a favor and tell them to try the Gardein products.  While Chef Tal Ronnen makes it in a way that people really think they are eating chicken, I don’t but for me, who doesn’t want the chicken, it’s a perfect way to add some protein and a “main” course to my meal.  It has found it’s way to Publix freezer, so you can probably find it in your local grocery store.

I saw an interesting spread in the food section of my paper today.  Robyn Medlin apparently blogs at GrillGrrrl.com and shared some of her recipes.  Here’s one that I will be trying (probably tonight!)

GRILLED ROMAINE

4 romaine hearts, outer leaves removed, halved lengthwise so that leaves stay together

2 tablespoons of olive oil

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

freshly grated parmesan cheese (I will omit that and use nutritional yeast instead)

Preheat gas grill to medium-low. Drizzle olive oil on romaine. Grill 4-5 minutes per side until hot but not charred.

Serve with freshly grated cheese….or, faux cheese, or nutritional yeast to keep it vegan 🙂

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VXVqHWzVlXA/SfhtoUkvO4I/AAAAAAAABfI/38bx1MZsRKA/s400/042509+grilled+romaine+(5).JPG

Robyn says this is the best kept secret and once you make it, you’ll make it over and over again.  “The grill wilts and sweetens the romaine, making it a great compliment to anything you serve.”

Carole, I wanted to let you know that I did make the kale chips last week.  I definitely will be making them again, but next time I need to let the leaves dry out completely.  I also think I used to much olive oil.  They had a hard time crisping up, but the ones that did were really tasty!  Thanks.  I am having so much fun expanding my vegetable “bank.”

Before I sign off to walk big red, I need to say this.  The more I read, the more I continue to learn that countries that have the highest protein consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis.  Read that again. While we keep being told to increase our calcium, we are not told enough that what we really need to do is decrease our animal protein consumption, as they make it very hard to absorb the calcium.  We have a ridiculously high rate of osteo as well as vitamin D deficiency in America and it shouldn’t be!!!  There are groups of people in this world that eat NO dairy and yet have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.  I won’t go on and on about this because there’s a good chance you may think I am rather biased (and I am).  All I suggest is that YOU do some reading on this and you will see for yourself.  While I have a vested interest in promoting plant-based diets (because I LOVE animals as friends, not food) I honestly have a much more vested interest in our health.  Mine and YOURS.  It truly breaks my heart to hear of all the cases of osteoporosis amongst my students, friends and loved ones.  I desperately want us all to stay strong, together!

Much love…pass it on!

And the Confetti Please…

Congratulations to the winners of this season’s Biggest Loser, and there were many.  First of all, what a blast I had watching this finale with Jane, Jessica, Greg and Mitch.  While Jane  and Jessica are my friends, they are also my clients/students.  Jane  works out very seriously with me several times a week (and a few on her own).  Jessica has just taken off an amazing amount of weight, (well over 50 pounds) as she prepares for her upcoming wedding.  Greg is a mixed martial artist/personal trainer.  Mitch, you all know who Mitch is.  Poor guy has no choice but to care about this stuff, because he is a great “other half.”

Back to the winners.  I thought Daris was a winner for being voted into the final 3 by America, beating Koli out for this position.  Daris was also beaming as he introduced his very pretty girlfriend seated in the audience.  His smile, his eyes and his body all looked fantastic.  Shay, from last season, was a winner, losing another 52 pounds, which translated to $52,000 dollars from Subway.  She looked absolutely beautiful.  Next stop, running a marathon with Jarred of Subway diet fame.

Next a steady stream of winners, as all the eliminated contestants began their strut in.  Jane had commented on how they have just a minute or two to show off their “evening gown” look before changing into weigh in clothes.  They really put a lot into how they looked for those couple of minutes.  Sunshine looked gorgeous in her sunshine yellow dress.  She won back her life and her dad’s life, too.  Oneal color coordinated to match his baby girl.  Ashely’s mom, Sherri, looked destined to win the at home prize.  She looked SKINNY and IS.  She weighed in at 119 pounds, less than I weigh.  Stephanie looked beautiful and I am confident that her and Sam will continue to take care of their bodies, together.  What a handsome couple they make.   Darrel was the biggest surprise.  He did an unbelievable job taking off the weight at home.  We all thought he would take away the $100,000 second prize but alas Koli had to weigh in.  Can someone explain what it was he was wearing before he changed into the weigh in clothes??  Sam and Koli wore some interesting “dress” clothes for this possibly biggest night in their lives.  In his weigh in clothes it was obvious that Koli was pretty skinny.  He weighed in right around 200 pounds, losing 53.35 percent of his body weight and took home second prize, a big loser and a big winner!

I think I would have liked to have seen Daris win the grand prize.  Last week I was really having a hard time with his going home and binge eating.  This week, seeing his smile, his eyes, hearing his great little accent and seeing him beam up on the stage, I wanted him to take it all.  Though still a winner, beautiful Ashley, squeaked by him in the weigh in.  This left only Michael, who began the show at 526 pounds, to get on the scale.  We wont even talk about what he wore to the show…but suffice to say it was ALL wrong!  A skeleton belt? Did he really need to make the pants ANY tighter?  Ok, whatever, he HAS always been a bit “quirky.”

Before getting on the scale, he presented his mother, Maria, (his partner on the show) with a single white rose.  They have that close mother/son, Italian thing going on.  I thought Maria looked WONDERFUL, by the way.  She found her waist, as Jessica said about several of the women.  As Michael stepped on the scale, we were reminded by Alison, that he would have to lose more than 48.93 percent of his weight to beat out Ashley.

While the 5 of us watching tried to quickly calculate the math, we all agreed that we thought he had it.  I might mention here, that we were playing a little game we called guess the new weight.  At certain points of the night, we got a little too wrapped up in who won the point, instead of what the actual weigh in number was which is why it’s hard for me to remember the exact numbers now!  We did have a lot of laughs though and next season it will be who can come the closest WITHOUT going over.

As Michael stepped on the scale, I reminded the others that it ends pretty abruptly, which I find so disappointing.  I don’t know what I want to see, but it all just happens to quickly in those final seconds.  Sure enough, Michael Ventrella, (my first week’s pick, but admittedly I weaned and waned a lot as the season went on) the heaviest man to ever come on the show, the man who cried that he was still shopping in the big and tall man’s store not so long ago, the guy who could barely walk up the steps to weigh in at one time, managed to lose 50.19 percent of his weight and take home the grand prize of $250,000 dollars, bragging rights, the title of this season’s Biggest Loser winner and a whole new life.  At just 31 years old, he really does have a whole new life ahead of him.

I wish for all the contestants that they remember what it feels like to be a winner and they keep that feeling alive by continuing to eat well and exercise daily.  Quite a few of the contestants, like the twins, still have a way to go and I hope they get the continued support they need to stay on their life altering journey.

Oh, before I sign off, it was also great to see past winner Eric, who has been struggling with the yo-yo syndrome, looking rather slim and handsome, once again.  I hope he will have the determination to keep it off this time!

Next Tuesday night, 10pm, Losing It, with Jillian.  Erica, is there someone you can thank at NBC for giving me something to live for while BL is on summer break?  Can’t wait to discuss all with you later!

Have a winning day, everyone.  Remember, given some good motivation, there is NOTHING we can’t do!

**Sorry for typos and such…I have GOT to get ready for work or else I could go on and on…even Melissa (who made us all a little crazy this season) did a fantastic job of taking off close t 150 pounds!  It takes a determined individual to make it through law school, and determination she showed in this “game ” as well.

BIGGEST LOSER FINALE Tonight. NBC. 9:00 PM


Not only will we get to see who wins, but we will also see ALL the contestants back to weigh in and compete for the “at home” prize of 100 grand…and Shay-remember, she comes back to weigh in and turn her lost pounds into cash thanks to Subway.

And as an FYI, Jillian’s show, Losing It, premiers next week so those of us that are highly addicted to BL don’t really have to go through summer withdrawals.

**While I cannot quite figure out the time frame between last week’s TAPED show and tonight’s LIVE finale, I did find one blog by a BL nutritionist, (written this week) that said she met Michael for the very first time, 8 months ago.  Not sure how much before the actual start of the season that was.  We do know they were on the ranch for 4 and half months and then at home for 30 days bringing us to last week…it’s the final time span I am unsure of.  May the best man/woman win!

I CAN HARDLY WAIT!!!!!!

You’re Hired!

Somewhere mid-season, I got involved in watching Celebrity Apprentice.  I always seem to have a bias towards the rock stars, and quickly found myself liking both Cindi Lauper and Brett Michaels.  I knew Cindi did not have what it took to become the Apprentice, but I did wonder about Brett.  Any of us that watched, became immediately concerned when he first had his appendix out and then ended up in the hospital again, this time as the result of a brain aneurysm.

In the end it would come down to just two.  Holly Robinson Pete, playing for a quarter of a million dollars for her foundation that supports Autism, on behalf of one of her sons who is afflicted and the often wacky, scattered, Brett Michaels, who was playing for The Diabetes Foundation.  He is not only a diabetic, but his young daughter, he recently learned, is borderline.  Before hiring one of them as his next Celebrity Apprentice, the Donald announced that they both played so well and both did such a great job with their final task (creating a new flavor for Snapple and producing a commercial for that flavor) that Snapple agreed to award them each the quarter of a million dollars towards their charities.  He then told Holly what an outstanding job she did, but appointed the title to Brett, who was there looking pretty good after all he has been through, but definitely walking with a very pronounced limp.

This morning, I woke up wondering what I would blog about.  As fate would have it, I opened up Diet for a New America and ironically (or not) the page said AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION and then went on to talk about Diabetes.  In honor of Brett, his daughter and the MILLIONS of Americans suffering from this disease, I knew I had found my topic.  Turns out it is not a big coincidence that Mr. Michaels would suffer the way he does.  In the very first paragraph, I read that diabetics are “extremely vulnerable to atherosclerosis, are highly prone to heart attacks and strokes and have shortened life expectancies.”  The damage the atherosclerosis does to their cardiovascular systems has a profound negative effect on the quality of their lives.  Lack of circulation often leads to blindness as well as kidney malfunction or failure.  Lack of circulation to the extremities causes minor infections to often lead to amputations and can be life-threatening.

With all of this knowledge, many diabetics still do not know which “diets” are best for them to follow.  Most still eat the “standard American” diet, which is clearly NOT in their best health interest.  Both type-1 and type 2 diabetics will benefit from a low fat diet. Particularly those without any saturated fat, have shown a fantastic success rate in improving their health.  Sometimes, type-2 diabetics can even get rid of the pills, shots and pumps by following this type of diet.  Even in type-1 patients, a studies show that those who omit meat and other high-fat, low fiber foods, need 30% less insulin and have more stable blood sugar levels.

It seems that the very same diets that can help treat diabetes, are the same diets that can prevent it!  They are also the same diets that promote cardio-vascular wellness.  Worldwide, the disease is rare, sometimes even non-existent, in places where people diets are rich in grains, vegetables and fruits.

I hope you will think about this as you prepare or order your meals today.  If you know someone that can benefit from this information, pass it on.  Diabetes is one of the top killers in America, but…it doesn’t HAVE to be!  Make low fat choices, eat high-fiber foods and get some exercise every single day.  Worship your “temple”.

Over-use Injuries

I was doing some research online this morning, regarding over-use injuries.  Firstly, Rita, in your case the over-use injuries almost always says words like “discomfort” but rarely can I find words like “acute” or “excruciating” which makes me wonder about your situation and diagnosis.  Please let me know how you are feeling and what you think about this.   I was also researching this topic for a great friend and client or has been suffering in her thumb and non-chalantly said “maybe it’s from the kindle.”  I found the following article and thought, with SO many of us using hand held devices, this was worth posting.

BLACKBERRY THUMB

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Overuse of the thumb to operate a mobile device may lead to Blackberry thumb

Blackberry thumb is a neologism that posits a form of repetitive strain injury caused by the frequent use of the thumb(s) to press buttons on PDAs, smart phones, or other mobile devices. The name of the condition comes from the BlackBerry, a popular brand of smartphones that debuted in 1999. Part of the rationale is that the thumb does not have the dexterity that the other four fingers have, and that it is especially common in those who use these devices for such activities at high speeds comparable to that of touch typing.

Blackberry thumb is a syndrome. In other words, it is a collection of symptoms and signs and not currently a discrete, testable pathophysiological process or disease. Until better science is available, it is best considered a social construction.

Symptoms of Blackberry thumb include aching and throbbing pain in the thumb or sometimes other fingers and in the wrist. Part of the syndrome of Blackberry thumb is disability of the hands.

Prevention

Given the way mobile devices are constructed, particularly their small size, most users find it easiest and most tempting to use their thumbs to press the keys.

Experts recommend that Blackberry thumb can be prevented by use of other fingers to press buttons on handheld devices, and to vary which fingers are being used. They also encourage owners of these devices not to use them for lengthy typing tasks, such as “writing books.

It is also important to consider that in the absence of better evidence, such speculative preventative measures risk stigmatizing hand use, which can increase illness behavior as seen in the Australian epidemic of repetitive strain injury.

Treatment

The recovery process from Blackberry thumb can be lengthy, and may involve curtailing or altogether eliminating such use of a mobile device. In some extreme cases, surgery may be necessary. Current surgical alternatives include a tendon transfer whereby one of the bones at the base of the thumb is removed and a coiled tendon is put in its place as a cushion. For more advanced cases of arthritis, the basal thumb joint can be replaced. However, recovery can be lengthy and outcomes optimal only in patients who have low activity demands on the thumb joint.

One alternative medicine treatment is prolotherapy. Reeves has published a small randomized clinical trial showing some efficacy.Since surgery on small hand joints with severe arthritis can be traumatic with protracted recovery, newer treatments are being developed. Mesenchymal stem cell transplants offer one possible solution for cartilage replacement in damaged joints. Some spas offer massages as a method of cure.

Alternative view

The primary issue seems to be a misinterpretation or an overinterpretation of the nociception (pain related nerve signal) that can accompany arm use. Nociception can stimulate our built in “pain alarm,” alerting us to real or potential tissue damage; however, we learn to interpret and reassign these signals because most pains are false alarms. For instance, in many contexts activity related pain is seen as healthy: think yoga or other athletic/exercise endeavors.

Common features of activity-related pains that have not gotten the attention they deserve include stress, job burnout or dissatisfaction, and secondary gain (where a person benefits either directly or indirectly from being ill).

The above article represents still another reason we should try to use our electronic devices less and our whole bodies more.

As an FYI, the garage sale was a blast!  We got rid of tons of stuff and made over 100 bucks towards the renovation of Kyle’s room, into a guest room.  (Carole, I am sort of keeping you in mind as the guest that will hopefully spend some time in that room over the years to come).  Since I HATE the thought of throwing things out (they DO end up in a garbage dump!!!) a garage sale is not just a win for the  sellers and the buyers, but also a gift to the Earth.

I am going to sign-off now and protect all of my fingers and my wrists, too!  I would hate to get “bloggers over-use injuries.”  Though there hasn’t been such a thing reported yet…my guess is there will be!

Much love and peace on this Sunday.

Smart Guy

If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”  ~ Hippocrates