just when you think you are the bee’s knees……..

It’s official.  I’m old.

Owie…it happened overnight.  I took my sweet little grand-daughters to church, knelt down to pick up something and BAM!!!!!

Who knew that osteoarthritis would be at church!!  It was waiting for me at church!!!  What the heck?!!  I couldn’t stand back up without making a horrible looking face and an equally horrifying sound……it sounded like an exorcism was happening in the back of the gift shop.

It seems that arthritis is going to get most of us..sooner or later.  What is osteoarthritis?  It is the painful result of cartilage breakdown.

On Monday I hobbled to the doctor to get an x-ray and that is when he gave me the news.  Yep, I had stiffness, tenderness, warmth and swelling around my joints.  These knees were popping and cracking like a bag of popcorn in a microwave.

The doctor decided to have an x-ray made of my lower back also…..yes…..it’s there also.  Thanks for asking.

Now what?  Basically, if the joints are swollen, the doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Aleve or Motrin.  Heat for stiffness and cold packs for swelling.  He told me that unless the pain was very severe, I should keep moving.  I need to keep those joints lubricated.

Then I came across this….a new word that I had not heard or experienced.

KNINKLES….(knee wrinkles)  Turns out, most of us will get these too….(unless you do what I have done for years and use a “neck” wrinkle cream on your legs…Neck creams are much thicker and YES….I DON’T HAVE KNINKLES!!!  For more serious kninkles, check out Thermage or consider a ‘thigh’ tuck….or just wear pants.)

Here are a few “famous” Kninkles…….(via)

So….what’s my take on this new arthritic me??  Well…..I wouldn’t trade my smooth ‘old’ knees for ANY of these celebrity knees…..and my hubby?  Yep…he STILL thinks I’m the bee’s knees!!!!

the healing power of Turmeric…

Turmeric?  I haven’t felt the need to rush to the grocery store for my turmeric, have you?  Well, we might reconsider…

Turmeric, which is also called the “poor man’s saffron,” is considered one of the most powerful and natural anti-inflammatories identified today!  It has been used as a remedy for joint problems, digestive problems, menstrual irregularities and liver complaints, just to name a few!

The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has also been shown to help prevent multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, skin disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome and many digestive disorders.  Did you know that in the laboratory, curcumin inhibits growth in many cancers, such as, colon, prostate, lung, liver, stomach, breast, ovarian, brain and leukemia! It has  also been know to move harmful and aging toxins out of the body.  What an amazing spice!!

To be assimilated by the body, turmeric must be mixed with black pepper.  Ideally, it must be dissolved in oil (olive, canola or linseed oil, preferably) and mixed with the black pepper.  You can purchase curry mixes, however the turmeric is only 20% of the total, so take the time to mix your own.

How to Use:

Mix 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and a generous pinch of black pepper.  Add to vegetables, soups and salad dressings. Try on deviled eggs for breakfast!  (You may also add a few drops of agave syrup to remove any bitter taste)

Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction.  Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.

kooky cucumbers…

Aaahhh….who doesn’t love the crisp cucumber?  Ok, maybe you are out there somewhere, but there are some interesting benefits of this delish vegetable fruit!  (scientifically it’s a fruit, but it really doesn’t matter now, does it?  Can’t we all just get along?)

Here are a few benefits! (via)

1.Quick pick me-up – Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins. Put down your sodas and coffee and eat a cucumber slice.

2. Rehydrates body and replenishes daily vitamins – Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.

3. Skin and hair care – If you don’t like to eat the skin, it can be used for skin irritations and sunburns just like aloe would be used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.  Though don’t expect a wig overnight…

4. Fight cancers – Cucumbers are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol.  (Aren’t those big words?) These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.

5. Home care – Eliminates a foggy mirror. Before taking a shower, rub a cucumber slice along a mirror and it will eliminate the mirror fogging up.  Instead of WD40, take a cucumber slice and rub it along a squeaky hinge and your door will stop squeaking.

6. Relieves bad breath – Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

7. Hangover cure – To avoid a morning hangover or headache; eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache…or just don’t drink too much the night before and have them in a salad.

8. Aids in weight loss and digestion – Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.

9. Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure – Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

10. Promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain –Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels

When buying cucumbers, choose the ones that are firm to touch and dark green in color. Do not buy overly matured or yellow colored as they are prone to contain more insoluble fiber and mature seeds. Go for organically grown cucumbers to get a rich taste and nutritients content.

How about a facial cleanser that is great for delicate or sensitive skin?  (adapted from Natural Beauty for All Seasons)

 Refreshing Cucumber and Chamomile Cleanser

2 Tbls. fresh cucumber juice (see note below)

1 cup chamomile tea

1 Tbls. glycerine

1 Tbls. aloe vera gel

Brew a strong cup of chamomile tea using distilled water.  Let cool.  Once cool, mix together the cucumber juice, chamomile tea, glycerin and aloe vera gel.

TO USE:  Saturate clean cotton ball with the cleanser and smooth over your skin.  Repeat if necessary.  You may rinse with cool water and use a light moisturizer.  Store in the fridge because the cucumber juice will spoil easily.

NOTE:  To make fresh cucumber juice, puree a fresh cucumber in a blender or food processor and strain the green juice.

See??  They’re not just for salads anymore!!