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


My New Favorite Vitamin, More Stuffs, & A Giveaway

Vitamin Wheel

Vitamin Wheel from Medical News Today

Okay, I’m going to wrap up the last three days of fish oil, inositol, & spearmint tea by reviewing various other things I’ve tried recently.

Let’s start with the basics: multivitamins.

For years I took One A Day’s Women’s multi, switching to Wal-Mart’s Equate version at some point.  They were vitamins.  Honestly, I could never tell a difference between taking them or skipping them.  However, I could tell if I took them on an empty stomach.  They have plenty of iron.  Always take iron with food.  It will tear your stomach up.  I also tried a OAD formulated for energy.  It made me sick, as most energy-touting pills do.

I looked at whole food vitamins at some point, but they cost too much to be practical for me.  However, recently I tried Alive! Once Daily Women’s Ultra Potency from Nature’s Way. From their listing on Swanson’s:

Nature’s Way Alive! Once Daily Women’s Ultra Potency is nutrition you can feel with more energizing nutrients from more natural sources than other multi-vitamin brands. This unique formula delivers 26 fruits and vegetables, extra B-vitamins for energy, and special nutrients for breast health, urinary health, and hair, skin and nail health. Contains no salt, sugar, yeast, wheat grain, dairy products, artificial flavorings, colors or preservatives.

I could tell a difference right away.  My mood & energy have improved.  It’s not dramatic, so not making me feel weird.  I just feel normal, more motivated.  This is my new vitamin.  I ❤ it.  At $10.99 for a two months supply, it’s pricier than what I was taking, but it’s still not bad.  Definitely worth it IMHO.  That’s a lot cheaper than similar vitamins.

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Spearmint Tea For The Excess Face & Body Hair of PCOS

Thought I would follow-up yesterday’s post on inositol by talking about spearmint tea.  It’s another hot topic in the PCOS community.  Not just the PCOS community.  As an anti-androgen, it helps the symptoms of PCOS by reducing the amount of testosterone in your body.  In one long & enthusiastic thread on the topic, I read about men who used it to slow down beard growth so they didn’t get five o’clock shadow, it also made shaving easier, & a trans woman who used it to help with  her hormones & facial hair.

This is for spearmint tea, not peppermint tea.  Some people do report using peppermint oil externally to slow body/facial hair growth & improve the hair on your head.  Always, always, dilute your peppermint.  Never use straight peppermint oil.  For the hair, some people put it right in their conditioner or shampoo.  I haven’t tried this yet, but I have the peppermint oil for it.

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PCOS, Inositol, & My Thinning Hair

chemical structure of D-chiro-inositol

For women with PCOS & other hormonal issues, hair is a big deal.  You get too much hair in some places, well everywhere but your head.  On your head, you lose it.  PCOS causes an excess of testosterone, leading to male pattern baldness, as well as male pattern body hair (excess hair on the chest, back, hands & feet, butt, all the manly places, also thicker & darker) & the the dreaded facial hair.

My biggest problem was thinning hair.  When I was younger my hair was so thick I had it thinned out when I had my hair cut.  Last year I realized I was losing a bird’s nest of hair every day.  No matter how many times I brushed it, more hair was always coming out.  I would brush it before I washed it, still lose lots of hair in the shower, & later I could pull at my hair & come away with several more strands.  The shower was full, the garbage can was full (after I brushed it really did look like a bird’s nest in the can), & there was hair everywhere in the apartment.  Granted, I do have long hair which adds to the volume of my hair piles.

I could see my scalp without parting my hair for the first time in my life.  I’m vain when it comes to my hair, so that was a big deal for me.

What is a modern gal to do when she has a problem?  To the interwebz!

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Who Knew Glass Jars Could Be Good for Your Health?

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”
~Jim Davis (Good Reads)


I’ve been saving glass jars for months now, & now I know why!  I got an email today about Clean Eating Spinach Salad in Jars & it clicked why I need all those jars.  (Actually I have used some for various purposes, fyi.)  I’ve seen the idea before, but at the time I didn’t have jars & by the time I had jars I forgot about it.   I also have some ideas for overnight oatmeal in jars pinned, which I’m going to try out now that I have half a pantry shelf full of empty jars.

For your own ideas, here are a couple of links to inspire you:

How to Pack the Perfect Salad in a Jar
19 Ridiculously Easy Mugs of Overnight Oats

Given the tangent I went on behind this jump, I almost retitled this Trying to Eat Healthy When You’re Broke & Hate to Cook. Continue reading

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TedMed: Peter Attia: What if we’re wrong about diabetes?

“Getting the cause  & effect right is extremely important… maybe we have the cause & effect wrong on obesity & insulin resistance.  Maybe we should be asking ourselves, ‘Is it possible that insulin resistance causes weight gain & the diseases associated with obesity – at least in most people?’  What if being obese is just a metabolic response to something much more threatening, an underlying epidemic, the one we ought to be worrying about?”
Dr. Peter Attia, “What if we’re wrong about diabetes?”

I received this video in a newsletter from Upworthy today.  It is a TED talk given by Dr. Peter Attia.  The topic of his talk is the idea that fat isn’t the disease, it’s a symptom, something a lot of people have been saying for years.

He suggests obesity is a healthy coping mechanism for dealing with insulin resistance, & points out that obese people without insulin resistance have no greater risk of developing the associated diseases than lean people without it, but lean people with insulin  resistance are actually at greater risk than the corresponding obese people.

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Helping to End Eating- and Weight-Related Disorders | World of Psychology

Our current culture presents a confusing array of messages about eating and body image. We see media images which promote unrealistic (and generally unreal) bodies paired with headlines about obesity prevention programs; news stories about eating disorders alongside multiple supersize food options; push for perfection alongside marketing for indulgence.

Psych Central Helping to End Eating- and Weight-Related Disorders

Helping to End Eating- and Weight-Related Disorders | World of Psychology

Man, does that first paragraph bring back some memories!  When I was a skinny teenager, after I had moved in with my dad, when I went to visit my mom the first thing she would do was try to give me a diet pill.  Next she would launch into trying to feed me & if I wasn’t hungry – oh, because maybe I had just eaten – she would tell me I was anorexic.  Granted, my mother didn’t take diet pills for diet reasons.  There’s a few reasons why she dropped dead of a heart attack at 60yo.

There are truths about eating and bodies which seem to get lost somewhere between childhood and teenage years. Young babies and toddlers generally find joy in their bodies, no matter what their size or shape, and they listen to their bodily cues such as eating when they are hungry and stopping when they are full.

Seven steps from NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) to help prevent eating disorders are outlined in the post.

  • Everybody is different
  • Listen to your body.
  • No dieting.
  • Move often.
  • Reject weight bias.
  • Avoid comparing your body to your friends’ bodies or to the bodies you see in the media.
  • Handle life difficulties with healthy coping techniques, not through over- or undereating.

For more depth on the steps, I encourage you read the full post.

I think a recent post  by Ragen Chastain over at Dances with Fat, “Obesity & Eating Disorders, complements this well.  She discusses the ignorance of modern thinking about fat people & eating disorders.  People considered overweight or obese are not only ignored when they have eating disorders, they are actually encouraged because our society, & even our healthcare system, believe in weight loss at any cost.

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Adventures In Birth Control Pills & Bipolar Disorder

It is easy to fly into a passion – anybody can do that – but to be angry with the right person to the right extent & at the right time with the right object & in the right way – that is not easy, & it is not everyone who can do it.
~Aristotle (Think Exist)


Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time yelling

Lumpy Space rage!
(This came from my hard drive, & all I know is it’s from tumblr, & of course Cartoon Network.)

This post has taken me a while to write.  I found out on Friday of last week my pills need to be switched, & spent the weekend researching the issue, but all I found was nothing but a lot women asking the same questions with no answers except from other women with the same questions or some personal insights; very frustrating.  I called my GP’s regular office on Monday, only to be told I had to come in for an appointment, my med change couldn’t be done over the phone – this was by the lady who answers the phone not a nurse, she wouldn’t let me even leave a message.  Needless to say I was too pissed to write about it that day, plus I wanted to wait till I went to her other office the next day where I knew it would just be my doctor & a nurse.  So I started writing this on Tuesday but couldn’t finish it because my brain quit working.  I guess all my anger from Monday & anxiety on Tuesday tripped a switch because I slipped into no energy mode for a few days with random bouts of suddenly-I-can’t-keep-my-eyes-open super tiredness.  But anyhoo, here it is, re-written to catch up to the later date.  Sorry if I don’t get everything perfectly updated & it reads clunky.

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