My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou


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Review: Toadking Mood Tracker app for Android

Toadking version 1.1

I was asked to check out the Toadking Mood Tracker app & possibly review it here if I thought it was useful.

Well, I checked it out & I have to say I am finding it very useful. It’s a really great app, & I’ve tried a few for tracking moods, meds, sleep, a variety of things. It allows you to track any ten things you can rate on a scale of 0-10, so it’s useful for more than just moods. For instance, you could use it to rate different aspects of your runs: like how it felt; how you felt before, during, & after; any pain; breathing; etc. All sorts of things.

The interface is simple & intuitive, & the User Guide is comprehensive & easy to navigate. It’s easy to track as well as easy to check & share you history, both of those give you options for how you’d like to do it.

The app is free with no ads. There is a Paypal button discretely placed at the bottom of the user guide for anyone who would like to pay something to the creator.

That’s the short version. Hit “Read More” for the walk-through review with lots of screen shots! 🙂

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Yoga For Bipolar Disorder — Yea, Nay, Or Meh?

Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
~B.K.S. Iyengar (Quote Garden)

A study on yoga & Bipolar Disorder recently dropped in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice, “Self-Reported Benefits and Risks of Yoga in Individuals with Bipolar Disorder“.  It has blown the bipolar-sphere up.  When I finished yesterday’s post about yoga for veterans with PTSD I had a Google alert for “bipolar disorder” with four links about it, with varying opinions.  Today I have more opinions on it to review.

It involved 109 participants who self-identified as having BD & practicing yoga being given an online survey of their experiences with yoga.  The results were majority positive, for instance less anxiety & better sleep, but some people did report having negative experiences such as agitation during rapid breathing or hot yoga.  The study mainly saw hatha & vinyasha yoga, the typical yoga practiced in the USA, rather than the sudarshan kriya yoga of yesterday’s post.  Further research is planned.

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Fish Oil & Freebies!

Research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, or essential fatty acids (EFAs), can help lower triglycerides, slow the hardening of arteries, regulate heartbeat, and lessen the risk of death in people with known heart disease. It’s also possible that the omega-3 group may aid in treating depression… A few promising studies suggest that natural sources of omega-3s — especially fish oil — may help bring mood back into balance.
~Chris Woolston, M.S., Health Day

Body Vega Fish Oil

source: Amazon.com

I have been researching & trying a lot of different vitamins & supplements, & have been intending to write about them here.  Ta-da!  I’m finally doing it.  I figure fish oil was a good place to start.

A lot of research has been done into fish oil in the last couple of decades.  It has been shown to be helpful for several physical issues, but the research into its use for mental health has been less certain.  Some studies say it does, some say it doesn’t.  There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence out there to support whichever stance you prefer.  The Mayo Clinic’s site rates it an A on the physical health issues, but only a C when it comes to Bipolar Disorder.

I dug up a plethora of links on the issues, including what I wrote previously on fish oil & Bipolar Disorder, so there are lots there if you want to do some digging of your own.  I’ve included three research oriented links from the last year at the bottom.  They are the ones I used writing this.

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Skeletor Inspires Us to Conquer Negative Thought Patterns

Skeletor has the right idea!

Skeletor is Love added a new photo: “September 27, 2013”

Short & sweet today because I was gone most of the day & now that I’m home I can’t keep my eyes open. I am having allergy tests done Friday, so I am off all my allergy meds for the week.  This is not my happy place, especially during early fall.

I have chosen three articles on changing negative patterns in your life to complement the pic.  You may click them at your leisure.  At this point I have only been able to skim them, so hopefully none of them advocate ritual sacrifice in the fine print. Continue reading


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A Trip to the Local Library

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
~Henry David Thoreau (Brainy Quotes)

library books

No water mark or photo editing for this pic because I haven’t set my NEW LAPTOP up for it yet.  I  broke the screen on my other laptop months ago, so I was using it with a monitor. *le sigh*  I finally broke down & replaced it.

I went to the library today to finally get the last book in the Percy Jackson series (love the books, love the 2nd movie, disappointed by the 1st movie – in case you were wondering).  I also wanted to get a book on strength training while I was there.  I’ve been hearing a lot about The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess but no such luck.  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Weight Training (printed in 2000) was the best I could do.  Should be alright for the basics though.

An Unquiet Mind: Memoir of Moods & Madness was on a nearby shelf, as was Body Clutter: Love Your Body, Love Yourself.  I have quoted Kay Redfield Jamison here before, but never read the book – until now!  I had never heard of Body Clutter, but I am familiar with Flylady.  I grabbed the book based on the tag line & this from the back cover,

“…it’s not about finding the perfect diet, it’s about the way you feel about food & your body & understanding sound nutrition.”

I can get behind that.  I have been eating like the old me this month & I feel like crap because of it, so it appealed to me on that level.  Plus, I’m interested to see how it lines up with HAES principles.  It sounds like it could go either way.  I will let you know how it goes.

Have any of your read any of these books?  Have others you would recommend?  I would love to hear some opinions.


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NIH study shows people with serious mental illnesses can lose weight, March 21, 2013 News Release – National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The Frogman: Emergency Blog Kitten

Since the article has no images, it seemed like a good time to break out the emergency blog kitten.
(source: The Frogman)

NIH study shows people with serious mental illnesses can lose weight, March 21, 2013 News Release – National Institutes of Health (NIH)

People with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression can lose weight and keep it off through a modified lifestyle intervention program, a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded study reported online today in The New England Journal of Medicine.

This is one of those studies I read that made my head a’splode.  Not because I don’t agree with the mentally ill losing weight, you know I certainly support healthy behaviors regardless of a weight loss goal, but because it is one of those studies where they draw their conclusions based on things that will never work in the real world.

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“There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you’re high it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty. There are interests found in uninteresting people. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced irresistible. Feelings of ease, intensity, power, well-being, financial omnipotence, and euphoria pervade one’s marrow. But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends’ faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against– you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.”
~Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness (Goodreads)