Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shout out for local local local butchery!

A fabulous friend in Manotick has jumped off to start a business I'm really envious of., the Manotick Village Butcher. They were in the Ottawa Citizen this week, and I so thrilled for them.

They're having a grand opening this weekend, I hope I can make it out. I really encourage you to go to. All the meat I've had from them is marvelous, and I need to try some of the new sausages from James. Way to go!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And another...

For tonight's dinner, since I had lovely Thai for lunch today, and don't need another meal.

A good handful of rinsed dandelion greens
1/2 pint of blueberries
1/2 cup of vanilla soymilk
1/2 cup crushed ice

Liquify in your blender, and try not to be appalled by the dark green/blue colour.

Drink with a straw and enjoy. It looks awful, but tastes lovely. Drink it soon after making it, as the natural soluble fibres in the ingredients tend to start to change its texture fairly quickly.

And it's a nutritional powerhouse, high in Vitamins A and  K, Lutein + zeaxanthin. potassium, and fibre. Blueberries rank #1 compared to 60 other fruits and vegetables in antioxidant activity.  

Did you know that dandelion's latin name is Taraxacum officinale, which means the "Official Remedy for Disorders." Dandelion green extract has been shown to induce an anti inflammatory effect in laboratory research, and protect against oxidative stress (which is implicated in disease and aging).

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Green smoothies to go

Yesterday morning I thought I'd try a green smoothie for breakfast. I need more greens, to round out the other veggies I have no problem fit in. Here is my first, very own smoothie recipe, and it was great!

Take one blender.
Add 1/2 a banana
One ripe kiwi, peeled
One large leaf of kale, with the spine removed, and chopped into large pieces
Three ice cubes

Mix on "crush ice" speed until the ice is broken up.

Then , add 1/2 a cup of vanilla soy milk, and blend until smooth.


You can't taste the kale, and the kiwi seeds add fabulous texture.

Dark leafy greens have lots of vitamins and minerals, as well as such as sulforaphane This is an antioxidant chemical thought to have cancer fighting properties. Kale is related to broccoli and cabbage, from the brassica family. Chopping or blending kale helps release its phytochemicals, making it ideal for smoothies!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Loving my veggie box

Thursday is veggie day. I get a gorgeous bin of organic veggies and fruits delivered to my door by Ottawa Organics. It feels pretty decadent, but it does mean that my house is stocked regularly with healthy things without any effort on my part (except for to remember to put out last week's bin each week, which I regularly miss...thank goodness they let me accumulate a few before cutting me off!).

Tonight I was about to head to my Thursday night dinner joint, as Thursday evening is my night sans kids and for resting, getting some exercise or yoga practice, and recharging before Friday and then a busy weekend with the rugrats. The Thursday dinner joint is The Table, just down the road, tasty, healthy, fresh, veggie based, and buffet. I love buffets.

However, tonight I decided to stay in, and cook up some lovely veggies just for me. Cooking for one is odd, but I'll at least have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

On the stove as I type is the Green Door's Mediterranean Beans recipes. The Green Door, by the way, is probably my favourite restaurant in town. If only I could walk to work AND live close to it. Alas, I can't. And clearly there is a theme with restaurants that I hold dear.

I did the math while I was cooking, and it was in fact quicker to do the work to make dinner than to get in the car and drive to and from the Table. The simmering time isn't included, but that gives me a chance to update this blog here. All the ingredients came from this week's veggie bin, except the dried oregano, which I dried from an earlier one.

I must remember the next time I think that going out to get food (even if it is healthy, nearby, yummy vegetarian buffet) is not necessarily more timely than just whipping something up myself.

And now, my beans are ready, I am going to sit down and enjoy them!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lovely yoga in Hintonburg Ottawa

I finally have recovered from a wrist flare enough to try a yoga class, and this Sunday enjoyed a grueling Kundalini class with a friend which really tested my limits. It was a love/hate class. I felt good for being there, but did it ever challenge me while I was in it.  I felt great afterwards, until the next day when walking was a little hard. I'm fortunate to live down the street from Pranashanti Yoga Studio, which has a great range of classes. The setting is blissful as well.

Then (go me!) on Thursday, I enjoyed a 90 minutes Yin Yoga class. This style, called the quiet yoga, has you hold poses for five minutes each to get deep stretches into your connective tissues. It seems like it should be easy, but as you breath through the poses, the stretches get deeper, and your body begins to tell you exactly where you are holding problem spots. Again, challenging but great. At the end of the class, while I was lying in Savasana, my body was radiating contentment from all of the deep work it had just done. I felt like I had spent an hour with a massage therapist, when it was really all me.

I also had to laugh at the instructor's disclosure that she was type A during the day, and Yin Yoga helped her balance this. Type As, if you don't know, are people always on the go who feel a lot of time pressure. They are doers, and active, and can race by you like a whirlwind. That would be me. I jump out of bed, and the day starts in full speed. Yin really appeals to me as a way to counterbalance the full steam ahead pace of the rest of my life, which I'm trying to moderate.

Paying attention to balancing my life is working out really well.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Celiac disease

A recent study by the Mayo clinic shows that the rate of celiac disease has increased by about 400% in the past 5 decades! Celiac is a reaction against gluten, found in many grains, which can lead to an autoimmune reaction in your small intestine. When people with celiac eat grains with gluten, the small intestine is damaged, which can lead to a range of symptoms, including digestive problems, rashes, headaches, depression, joint and muscle aches, and many more.

Unlike many diseases, there is a "cure" for celiac: avoid all food containing gluten.

Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in people with celiac disease, and they are both autoimmune diseases, meaning that the body's immune system attacks the body when it shouldn't.

I'm still waiting on my IgG testing for food sensitivities (update: I got the results back today and I only have a few IgG mediated sensitivities, one however is wheat, along with oysters, asparagus, mushrooms and lettuce!), and while I doubt I have celiac, I also thought I should rule it out as related to my arthritis and fatigue. I found a home blood test that is offered in Canada, which is pretty cool. Because 20% of the population has the genes related to celiac (although not all of these people develop the disease), I figure it is best to rule it out. When I get my test on Tuesday, I'll give a review of how well it worked, and more importantly, whether there were any interesting results!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Probiotics and you...

In addition to the research on Omega 3s, there seems to be an increasing amount of research being done on probiotics. Probiotics are ‘Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host' (World Health Organization).

Did you know that there is apparently about 3 pounds (1.5 kilos) of bacteria in your digestive system? (However, I am still looking for article that references this fact!)

These micro-organisms have three important functions: digestive; control of digestive and immune cell development; and a protective barrier effect.

Bacteria help digestive parts of your food and synthesise vitamin K, which is required for blood clotting. There are other digestive benefits which I may document in a later post!

From doing studies with mice in sterile environments (where they have no bacteria in their gut!), scientists have learned that bacteria play an important role in determining how the cells lining your digestive tract are formed and organized. As well, they play a role in the development of the lymph tissue around your digestive tract.

Finally, bacteria also help by adhering to your gut lining, so that other harmful bacteria may not be able to hold on there and make you ill.

It's amazing what your digestive system does. And on that note, I'm going to go eat some of my home made yogurt, which contains a much higher level of probiotics than most commercially made yogurt. Yum!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Omega 3 fatty acids, inflammation and depression

So this week is all down hill with my joints, and typing this post is not a heck of a lot of fun! However, staying connected with people is important.

Some interesting articles have been coming up in my search for relevant studies. I'm still amazed at how important Omega-3 fatty acids are. For example, here is a recent review that covers how and why they are important to inflammation, which for my arthritis, is one of the things I need to get under control.

Fatty acids from fish: the anti-inflammatory potential of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids

What I find very interesting is that it is not only "physical" disorders that respond to omega-3's, but mental health problems as well. A recent study showed that omega-3s had an effect comparable to antidepressants for mild to moderate depression without anxiety. That's pretty amazing. Although I wholeheartedly support the use of pharmaceuticals when called for, if we could intervene earlier with some dietary modifications, or simple supplementation, that may be better.

One final thought before I rest my wrists: Depression is being increasingly seen as an inflammatory disorder. Isn't that interesting?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

More healthy snacks for my kids

nutrition geekery/

The goal for the day is to bake/make a bunch of healthy snacks for the kids so that instead of sending the to get a granola bar mid afternoon, or a bear paw, they get something that has more nutritional value. I wonder if I can make pumpkin granola bars for them?

Look at the number of times SUGAR appears in one of their favorite snacks.

Ingredients: Granola (rolled oats, rolled whole wheat, brown sugar, sunflower oil, fructose-glucose, dried coconut, honey, a few other things) more glucose, chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, salt, vannilin), crisp rice (rice flour, sugar, barley malt, salt) glycerin, sunflower oil, sugar, sorbitol, salt, molasses, flavours, soy lecithin, veggie oil

*guilt guilt guilt*

The more I read about nutrition, the more I can't believe I stopped  paying attention to my family's diet. Here's the added sugar recommendation from the USDA:

Significantly reduce intake of foods containing added sugars and solid fats because these dietary components contribute excess calories and few, if any, nutrients. In addition, reduce sodium intake and lower intake of refined grains, especially refined grains that are coupled with added sugar, solid fat, and sodium.

And I love this recommendation from the USDA's 2010 report on Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

Shift food intake patterns to a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. In addition, increase the intake of seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products, and consume only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry, and eggs.

/nutrition geekery

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And balancing sweetness with science

I've also been remiss in sharing with you my evidence based explorations. Frankly, I've been doing more cooking than reading. But reading has been happening.

An interesting report that was released by the US Department of Agriculture is here. It is the basis of their to be recommendations for dietary guidelines. You might find Resource 3 in the supplement section interesting as it summarizes recent studies looking at the nutritional composition of "conventionally" farmed foods and organic farmed foods. However, its important to consider that what is really needed is a large number of studies, noting a large number of variables (not simply conventional vs. organic, but also other aspects of the cultivation and transportation techniques that may be related to health).

Okay, so there you have a little bit of evidence to chew on while you eat your Banana Cocoa Creme Pudding!

Monday, June 28, 2010

New recipe! Kalen's healthy treats

Tonight I wanted something sweet, But I've been doing really well to not to eat refined sugars since I've cleaned up my diet. I do have some from time to time, and I won't deny that I like having a vegetarian whole foods buffet with a fab dessert section close to my new home! However, tonight I thought I'd try to make something myself.

At first I was going to make a raw food "brownie", but it seems the mini food processor my mom gave me is not up to doing dates. Instead, Kalen's healthy treats were born (and so named by said child).

Take a good handful of pitted dates, and a few tablespoons of almond butter. Mix them about so that the dates are well covered in the almond butter. Then, take a tablespoon or two of cocoa or carob powder, and mix that around. The proportions should be so that you have what appears to be a cocoa covered date at the end, one that can be picked up and eaten with the fingers within being gooey or powdery. Kalen loved these and while they are still high in sugars, they also pack some protein and healthy fats too. I will post pics tomorrow!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My new juicer (have yet to buy Birkenstocks)

Troy really does think he may have married his mother by mistake. He did live on a commune for a while during his childhood, and she was somewhat of a traditional "hippy" by most standards. He remembers her growing her own sprouts, communal dinners and the like.

Last week was a happy week. I received my new juicer that I had ordered about a month ago. It is the "Hurom Slow Juicer". My middle child loves watching the Youtube and instructional videos.

But really, this totally beats the one I bought a decade ago from Canadian Tire. Wow, the juice is awesome. When I made apple/pear/blueberry juice on Wednesday, we didn't drink it all immediately. The portion that sat had so much pectin in it that it gelled! It's nice getting juice that is pulpy and full of fibre, and that uses almost all of the fruit. There is very little waste with this juicer. I'm in love!

So far we've done: apple/pear/blueberry; celery/pear/ginger; orange/grapefruit; and apple. I've also made soymilk, but need to cook them more to get a good consistency.

There you have it, further ramblings of me trying to become more healthy!

PS I ordered mine from Costco online, but had to wait 4 - 6 weeks to receive it. I've seen similar juicers at Rainbow Foods on Richmond Road. If you want to buy local (for Ottawa readers), you can pick a similar one up there.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


That link should have been Manotick Village Butcher. Note to self: check links especially when typing from memory!

shout out for local meat!

I've been waiting to do little happy dances on this blog until my friend's butchery was closer to its grand opening. I think they are almost there, so here it is. I don't have to hold back any longer.

As an intro: I have a friend who I knew was opening a butchery. I should have known it would be no ordinary butchery. I had posted to one of our forums in an online knitting group whether any one wanted to share a freezer order of beef from Dobson farms, which I wrote about earlier.

The friend in question emailed me and gently reminded me of their soon to be butchery and that their products would be mainly local, pasture raised, organic when feasible, ethically treated and prepared with care. It was one of those aha moments, where I also felt a little silly for not connecting the dots earlier.

So soon I will have access to all sorts of wonderful meat, and will be supporting a local business and a friend. I encourage you to try them out if you're from around Ottawa. I'll be making weekly or so trips out to pick up enough for a week or two, and for my downtown friends, I'll be happy to coordinate orders to be picked up from my now central not-so-log home.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yummm! Homemade Granola Bar Recipe

Granola bars - I used almond butter and almonds and hazelnuts as the nuts, doubled the raisins and used no seeds. Subbed in rye flakes for the flax, olive oil margarine for butter. Very tastey (a little to sweet, so I'll cut down sugar next time). Also used a 9 x 11 pan and made thinner bars.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Very cool! Yoga on line

I've been wanting to get to the Yoga studio down the street from me (I'd also take a class at the location to the left). It's serendipitous that the one recommended by a friend just happens to be a 2 minute walk from my new house. However, scheduling and kids and a job don't often go well together. The Yoga as Medicine book I'm reading recommends trying to do Yoga every day, even for a short while. I have to agree that setting up a daily habit makes more sense for overall lifestyle change than sporadic once a week visits. I miss maternity leave where I could go to yoga/tai chi/pilates classes at the gym on a daily basis.

However, book pictures don't speak to me. Especially since I'm a super klutz for all things physical . Spending so much time in my head has weakened my ability to coordinate my movement skills...Trust me, you don't want to be my dance partner. I can run a mean logistic regression, though!

I found an online Yoga community, and tried a "class" tonight. It was great. Short, well described, and I liked the way I felt after it. I didn't have to adapt any poses to the wrist brace I am wearing right now (no downward dog for me!). It also has a workplace videos section, which I'm going to schedule into my day at work. I work for a very, very large employer, and I can only imagine what providing some sort of access to such videos on the desk top, and encouraging a culture of actually doing mid day "mini-fit" breaks, could do for our health (not to mention the possible decrease in strain and ergonomic issues). Finally, the company the put this together is Canadian. Pretty cool, eh?!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Food sensitivity testing

There, the blood is drawn, and now I wait on tenterhooks to see if my body does not like common foods. I dread losing coffee, cocoa (aka chocolate) and cow's milk yogurt. I have been told that sheep's yogurt is very nice. I hope so!

However, I'd be mad to put up with such sore joints and disability. I didn't do yoga this week on my rest and recovery day because it hurts to flex my wrist and it hurts to use my fingers.

Yes, coffee I will sacrifice you for the ability to cook a healthy stir fry without pain. That being said, I'd really appreciate it if I could keep coffee, so as small and petty as it seems, I hope the universe will grant me this one little indulgence!

On integrative medicine and Western medicine

Having spent a good long time in university (13 years, my gosh, that's a long time!), and being firmly entrenched in an evidence-based framework, I'm finding this foray into integrative medicine intellectually challenging. Even though I went into Health Psychology and focused my research on chronic stress and health when it was clear that the root causes of health and illness were not simply viruses, bacteria, and genes, there is an important intellectual jump to make. (In a very small voice I will admit there is also something attractive about IM, especially when one continues to feel ill even with the best of Western medical care. I think it arises from hopefulness that something has to work, and trying to gain a sense of control).

Often modern Western medicine is at a loss when it comes to many chronic diseases. At the same time, there is a lack of evidence about much of what integrative medicine (IM) has to offer. I'm having a running argument in my head about some of the proposed causes and treatments for chronic illness that are offered by IM, for example the food sensitivity testing I am going to subject myself to today.

At the same time, when I examine carefully what Western medicine offers, much of it is also lacking a clear evidence base and is based on assumptions from its own theory of what makes people sick or healthy. I also have to remind myself that sometimes we don't know why Western treatments work.

Take plaquenil for rheumatoid arthritis, a medication I was on that effectively treated my arthritis for years. Plaquenil is an anti-malarial, and they found that it also helped RA symptoms of people who took it as a treatment for malaria. I'm sure at some point the causal mechanism of why it works will be uncovered, but in the meantime Western medicine continues to use it in the absence of this understanding. It works, it has few side effects, and thus is an effective tool.

I note that I should have visited Africa before I switched medications!

The question is, should we then accept IM treatments as well, even if we don't understand the underlying mechanisms? I would argue that yes we should, but that it is important to conduct good research to bear out the effects promised by the treatments, as well as to ensure that they don't cause harm. Merging the best of IM with the best of Western medicine seems like a sensible approach where everyone will win.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

On an entirely different note: Junk Mail

Moving back into the city has its advantages. I walk to work now, and it takes 22 minutes at most. This sure beats the 40 minute drive which stressed me out, consumed gas, and had no positive associations except for time to listen to the CBC. Now I get to work, get 40 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, and get to explore my neighbor. I get to work feeling energized and relaxed (and only a little sweaty!). Hooray for active transportation.

Disadvantage: Junk Mail. My goodness do I get a lot here. My mailbox is full. My porch has been littered twice with rolls of flyers that I could use to do some weight lifting (second on my list of physical activities to include into my weekly routine, after a weekly Yoga class). In "the country," aka Honey Gables, apparently we weren't affluent enough to warrant flyers. It's too bad that now that I am in a two bedroom townhouse apparently I am...

So to stop this nonsense, I checked out the Canada Post website. Here's the answer, at least for my mail box: Put a note on my mail box asking them to stop. Easy peasy.

For the flyers on my porch, it may be a more difficult task. I'm going to see if putting a big red dot sticker on my door helps. We'll see!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Artificial sweeteners and health

So about a month ago now I dropped my diet cola habit. I was drinking 2-3 diet colas per day, partly due to a caffeine habit, partly due to the fact that I LOVED the taste (crazy, eh?). When I decided to overhaul my diet, I resolved that the diet drinks had to go. There really wasn't any argument for keeping them in.

Hydration? Water.

Caffeine? Coffee or tea, which both have other health benefits.

I used to get regular migraines. I take two different drugs to prevent them, as well as magnesium which has been shown to reduce their number. After I stopped the diet colas, my migraines reduced even more. I was amazed. I've only had two since, and they weren't that bad in comparison to past migraines.

The ND that I am seeing told me that aspartame is metabolized into formaldehyde which is neurotoxic, which can explain why getting rid of diet drinks (and other artificial sweeteners) may have helped. As a scientist, I of course needed to look in the literature.

I haven't done a comprehensive review yet, and you should never base your conclusions on single studies. I was able to verify that metabolites (the chemicals your body turns the aspartame into) of aspartame can include methanol (think cow farts!) and formaldehyde (think high school dissection projects). Some authors suggest that these metabolites can harm brain functioning, for example in this article: Direct and indirect cellular effect of aspartame on the brain.

I still need to do more research to get a better sense of how real these potential harms are. There seem to be many animal studies on lab mice, rats and cell cultures, however it is important to look at the effect on humans as well as we know that mouse models are not always directly translated into human effects.

Nonetheless, an interesting start.

And really, I can't see any good reason to continue drinking diet soft drinks anyways.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dinner tonight

Sorry for the break in posts -- we moved into town this past weekend, which has been great but busy! I still plan on coming out to Manotick to get my meat from the Manotick Butchery.

I went shopping at Rainbow Foods to get groceries, and lost myself for an hour. The same can be said for picking up new kitchen utensils at Kitchenalia. We've downsized, but I am investing money that would be spent on eating out and gas into making a healthy lifestyle the easy and enjoyable choice!

Tonight for dinner, a yummy, quick and healthy recipe that I created all by myself. I am beaming proud at how it turned out.

2 large organic sweet potatoes
1 lb organic spinach
1 package tofu burgers (La soyarie in this case)
1 tbsp fair trade curry powder

2 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil

Saute spinach in 1 tsp olive oil. Set aside in a bowl.

Dice sweet potatoes and saute in 2 tbsp olive oil for a few minutes. Throw in 1/4 cup of water, cover with a lid and let steam until the sweet potatoes are soft. Dice tofu burgers, chop sauteed spinach, and mix into sweet potatoes with curry powder. Heat until all ingredients are warm, and adjust seasoning to taste.

2 cups of mixed brown rice prepared as you normally would.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grass fed beef: Moo!

I was really happy to find a local source of grass fed beef through the Ottawa Valley Food Cooperative link. I'd love to get a quarter of this beef, as grass fed beef has significantly higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, which have really important health benefits.

I'm dreaming of a quarter of grass fed beef from Dobson Farms. However, my family doesn't think we'll go through 150 pounds of finished weight in a year. I don't know - I do most of the cooking, and so I think it's possible. In the meantime, I'm going to try to at least get a large order of ground beef for the freezer, and to visit them at the Carp Farmers Market.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Food intolerances, some research

Just a quick update this evening. A friend of mine had some food allergy testing done, and I'm looking into it for myself given my elder son's wide range of serious food allergies. It's not unimaginable that I could have less severe food in tolerances causing inflammation in my body.

Tonight's reading: Testing for food reactions: The good, the bad, the ugly, published in the April 2010 edition of Nutrition in Clinical Practice. I'm interested to see what they say.

In the meantime, fruits and vegetables, avoiding wheat and high sugar or refined and processed foods as much as possible. Dark chocolate is definitely in, and is calling. Yum!

Where to start?

I've really been doing this for a few weeks now. I started overhauling my diet after reading "The perfect 10 diet." I'm not a fan of popular diet books, as the science shows that most "diets" aren't successful in the long run. (PS I'm not trying to lose weight, just trying to become healthier! If I lose some weight in the process, great, if not, I don't care!). However, this book had an interesting take on the way food interacts with your body's hormones, and since I wasn't ready to crack open the hard core text books yet, it was a good place to start, clearly read with a grain of salt. Note: I don't read anything without a critical eye.

Main take away points (it's been a few weeks now): Fruits and vegetables are in, grains are mostly out, good fats in, bad fats out (definition to follow!), healthy protein sources in. I think that's the core of it.

The fruits and vegetables were easy. Increase them. Full stop. No interpretation necessary. So, I went ahead and ordered a large organic fruit and vegetable basket to be delivered weekly by Ottawa Organics. We used to do Bryson Farms, but they don't deliver out to our new house. The first week, we were successful in going through almost the entire basket, plus top ups of specific fruits and veg from the grocery store. We're now on week two. What the heck am I supposed to do with Tatsoi? It ends up that the green is great on its own, with a bit of Asian salad dressing.

Next order of business: more on good fats/bad fats. This one I need to research. I'm still a little confused although so far, at least it seems Omega 3s are unilaterally good!

Friday, May 21, 2010

And we're off!

Last year chronicled the rise and return to sustainability of my small fibre arts business. This year, I'm tackling something a little more serious. I've been struggling with a lot of fatigue, and my inflammatory arthritis has been ramping up and I'm not willing to give in to regular cortisone injections just yet. I'm also not thrilled at the idea of increasing the folate disrupting DMARD (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug) that I'm on. It makes me tired and nauseated -- which doesn't sound like a good trade off for tired and sore, although I agree with avoiding long term damage to my joints.

So with spring here, I'm taking a really dedicated approach to improving my health through the means that I control. Food and exercise are indeed medicine as well, so I'm starting there. I can't help but think that the large things I put into my body on a daily basis might outbalance the small little (albeit potent) pills I put into it. Don't get me wrong -- I'm all for living better through chemistry (the pharmaceutical kind) when necessary. I also want to take control of what I can as well.

As a scientist, I expect this journey to be evidence based. I've been inhaling many books on nutrition and health lately, and verifying on a regular basis what I take away through the peer reviewed research. I'm amazed at how much there is out there!

Hang out while I chronicle on a weekly or even daily basis, my return to examining diet, exercise and other life habits with a view to living better with chronic arthritis. It should be a rewarding year -- I can't wait to look back on it!