A Welcome Break

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, but that’s because I was in Colorado for half of that time!

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Rocky Mountain National Park

WHH and I took a much-needed vacation to visit my brother and his lady friend in the beautiful Boulder area. It was one of the lazier, less planned vacations we’ve ever taken and in some ways that made it even more enjoyable. With my crazy schedule over the summer and WHH gearing up for his new position, we’ve been working ourselves too much. This vacation was a great time to recharge.

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I took a lot of inspiration from an article that my mom sent me earlier in the summer titled, “In Praise of Purposeful Loafing.” It’s a great, quick read on the merits of chilling the heck out. So as the summer unofficially comes to a close this weekend, I urge you to take time to unwind before the busyness of the fall is upon us. You know, sit by a beautiful river with some coffee, a good book, and a handsome man.

Books and coffee outside in Colorado

I hope you all have a great holiday weekend and I’ll see you in September!

Quick Tip: Get Outside!

Hi all! So happy to be back here again!

I wanted to let you in on a new healthy habit of mine: getting outside. More specifically, I’ve been spending my weekday lunch time outside. Not a revolutionary idea in the least, but it’s been a big change for me as I would usually spend that time writing blog posts, reading other blogs, and catching up on personal things that needed to be done.

Corner desk

Type, type, typing away…

It started when I was still in class this summer. I felt like I was missing out on some beautiful summer days, spending all of my time at work or inside doing lab experiments. I decided that instead of sitting inside, why not go outside? It was also nice to warm up from the chilly indoor air conditioning (yes, that blanket that I’m using in the picture above for padding is also used to keep me warm!).

While reading, I would make a point to be in the sun for 10-15 minutes to get some vitamin D. I’m glad I did this because I recently learned that even after over a month of doing this and also taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day, my levels dipped back down! Do you remember when I was able to get it up to 61 ng/ml? Now look at it! Back down to 38!

Vitamin D July 2014

I obviously have some vitamin D issues. Despite taking a multivitamin, an additional vitamin D supplement, getting sun, and having a healthy diet, it keeps trending down! My PCP told me to increased my dose to 5,000 IU/day, so I’m hoping that, combined with continued outdoor sun exposure, will keep it higher.

When class ended, I decided I would still go outside, and this time go for a walk. I love my BalanceBall chair, but sitting all day isn’t so healthy (and I do transition to a modified standing desk for a few hours most days). So walking seemed like a natural way to stretch out those hip flexors and get the benefits of some low intensity exercise.

Summer stroll scene

Scene from a weekday stroll

Though the amount of time I’m able to be outside for a walk varies, I am able to get out most days. A couple of weeks ago I got out every single day!

Daily walking habit

While going for one of our nightly walks a few weeks ago, I proclaimed to WHH that I intend to keep this habit throughout the year, safety permitting. Granted, I may balk at the idea when it looks like this outside:

Massachusetts polar vortex 2014

But I will try my darndest and push myself to do it. The fresh air, the sunlight, seeing nature (even if it’s just trees on a busy city sidewalk) are refreshing. We’re meant to be outside! We are not meant to be holed up in front of electronics all day.

Massachusetts walking path

Lucky to have this near my work

Questions: Do you try to get outside during your lunch breaks at work? Have you started a new habit lately?

School’s Out For Summer!

Hi all!

I’m so excited to be back! It’s been a bit of stressful summer, but I wanted to pop in to tell you I’m hoping to be back a bit more regularly. I’m not going to be posting as frequently as I was before because I want to enjoy what little is left of the summer. I’ve spent the past ten weeks reading my textbook, doing my labs, and writing up lab reports and papers. I can say with near certainty that I will not be taking a summer class or an accelerated lab-based class again unless I absolutely have to!

Gas mask for dissection

My summer in one picture

Though it’s been a rarity, I have had a few opportunities to enjoy some beautiful summer days. I made it up to the lake house a couple of times and hope to go up again soon!

New Hampshire lake scene

Peaceful early morning at the lake

We had a quick weekend getaway to Boothbay, Maine for a family wedding. If you’re ever in the area, check out the Botanic Garden. It’s gorgeous!

Coastal Main Botanical Gardens

I got to see Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails last week and the night couldn’t have been more perfect for an outdoor concert! I was lucky enough to tag along with my husband and his two good friends.

Comcast Center Mansfield Massachusetts at night

Oh and see that KT tape on my right hand?

Soundgarden NIN KT tape

Yeah…so…I’m back to getting my tennis elbow treated, this time in physical therapy (yes, this would make physical therapy stint #3 in a year and I’ve lost track of what treatment approach this is for the elbow). This would be part of the stress of the summer. I’m going to post more on that soon and what I think is going on with my broken body. There’s some conventional stuff in there, but in true Whole Health Dork fashion, there is also some unconventional stuff that I think makes a lot of sense and may be a big part in my recovery.

Most importantly, what’s going on with all of you?! I’ve missed you all! I hope you’re having a fabulous summer!

See you soon…

WHD