Politics

Hey Snowflakes

I love all types of music.

Save one.

Rap.

I DESPISE rap. Mostly. There is some rap that is tolerable but for the most part, I can’t get behind basically speaking to a beat. I’m sure it’s hard, I can’t do it, but it’s just not my jam.

However,

Tom MacDonald.

To be fair, I don’t have a lot of experience with rap. When you say rapper, I think of the thugs that exploit women, have a mouth full of gold teeth and who yell an expletive every other word. I’m sure there is some really good rap out there, I just haven’t come across it yet. And rapping, in a lot of ways, is story telling to a beat.

I suppose most music is story telling on many different levels.

But Tom MacDonald’s “Snowflakes” song caught my attention. Why? Because he speaks raps the truth.

I watched an interview with him and Brandon Tatum. He started out as a regular rapper, talking about how the police are bad, he wants money, women, etc. The same ole, same ole. Tom started to realize that he’s not doing anything different – he’s just mimicking the artists he admires.

But then he sank to a new low in his life, realized he was an alcoholic, and worked to get his life back together again.

All of this to say, I appreciate the message he’s putting out there. He claims not to be political, and maybe he’s not, but his lyrics speak the raw truth of what is going on in our country right now and I for one appreciate that. Music, TV shows, anything like that, affects your mental health. For example, Brandon talks about taking a 30-day challenge put out there by a Christian music station. They asked people to listen to them, and just them, for 30 days and see if it didn’t affect their attitudes. Brandon says he took that challenge and sure enough, he felt free, light, optimistic, etc. whereas he would listen some other types of music where the message was anger, violence, hate and he would feel angry and violent. You have to be careful what sort of material you surround yourself with because it DOES affect you.

What you put into your head comes out of your heart.

Just like being around negative people can make you feel negative. You have to have a strong mind and be truthful with yourself enough to realize when something is affecting you and step away. Get some fresh air. Get a different perspective. Learn all sides to a story before making snap judgements.

I would encourage you to watch Tom’s video, but better yet, pay attention to the lyrics:


“Snowflakes”

If you lie to the government they’ll put you in prison
But when they lie to all of us it’s called being a politician
You think taking guns away will save our kids from the killings
But your pro-choice abortion kills way more children
If America’s so terrible and racist
It probably isn’t safe to encourage immigration, just saying
All the contradictions are embarrassing
You know who hates America the most? Americans
Trigger warnings used to be on TV for seizures
And now they’re everywhere to protect millennials’ feelings
He, she, his, him, hers, them, they
Screw a pronoun, ’cause everyone’s a retard these days
I hear ’em preaching at a protest that hatred’s the problem
But hating straight men, white folks, and Christians is common
Coca Cola telling people they should be less white
They preaching tolerance but if you disagree, they fight
There’s a race war here, elections based on fear
Black lives only matter once every four years
Soldiers died for this country and every one of us benefits
Give welfare to the bums and forget about the veterans
Black folks and white folks divided by the news
But we’re all the same, we are red, white, and blue
Ashamed to be American? Okay, that’s cool
‘Cause honestly, we are all ashamed of you too

(Chorus) Y’all are so fake, oh no
The forecast said that there’d be snowflakes, whoa-oh
You can’t make us see it your way, no way, gasoline and propane
More flames, oh no
No more snowflakes

They set us up to fail, that’s what they built the system for
Put an ammunition shop across the street from a liquor store
Empowering women used to be different than this before
The role models got OnlyFans or dance on a stripper pole
Screw it, I ain’t tripping, I don’t mean to be mean
But if our children are the future then our future is bleak
They take an Adderall to focus, hit McDonald’s to eat
They’re addicted to phones and they take Xanax to sleep
They blurred the lines dividing communism and democracy
In 2021 we paint the patriots as Nazis
The men playing women’s sports get trophies for winning
Like great, let’s celebrate a man for beating some women
If you’re black, your life matters, you’re supposed to embrace it
If you’re rich or you’re smart then you’re probably Asian
If you’re gay then you’re brave, all of that I’m okay with
But if you’re white, the stereotype is you are a racist
Blaming capitalism like that’s the reason things are tough
While you tweet from an iPhone and sip on a Starbucks
You’re supporting what you stand against you don’t think you are but
A Percocet addict don’t donate money to pharma
Damn dog, we’re all afraid to speak the truth
And the more afraid we get, the more we hate the ones who do
You’re ashamed to be American, okay that’s cool
‘Cause honestly, we are all ashamed of you too

We could all get along but there’s no stopping, ay
Everybody’s wrong, that’s a real problem, ay
They don’t wanna hear it but they still talking, ay
Soon enough we running outta options, ay
This ain’t gonna end till it’s in a coffin, ay
We ain’t gon’ be friends till we try to squash it, ay
I don’t know how we can make amends or we drop it
Snowflakes melt when it’s hot, kid

There’s a lot of truth to his lyrics. This is the kind of stuff that our kids should be listening to – truth. Facts don’t care about feelings.

Another aspect of this I’ve seen conservative talking heads talk about is how it’s refreshing to have a pop-culture conservative message out there. If conservatives want to reach people, especially in today’s culture, we need to relay that message THROUGH pop culture. One of the reasons a lot of young people think conservatives are the devil incarnate is because they are never exposed to the conservative perspective – all of the entertainment they consume does a really good job of making conservatives out to be Hitler re-incarnate which is the exact opposite of what conservatism stands for. Hollywood, musicians, reality shows, all permeate liberal ideologies – young people are not going to sit down and listen to talking heads spout conservative stuff because it’s not fun, it’s not cool. So I’m hopeful that Tom MacDonald sets a trend for more conservative thinkers out there to realize that if we want young people to listen, or even entertain the thought of listening to the “other” side, that we realize that social media outlets and entertainment avenues is basically THE only way to get the message out there.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that “old” people are conservative and “young” people are liberal? It’s because being a conservative means being responsible, rational, logical and young people, for the most part, are immature, impulsive, and impatient.

I guess what I’m trying to say is make conservatism cool and relatable enough for people to pay attention to.

Updated: Here are some interesting, and strangely satisfying, reactions to Tom’s “Snowflakes” video.

One, Two, Three

There are many, many more interesting reaction videos to “Snowflakes.” Honestly, this gives me hope. Maybe enough people will see it, talk about it and learn from it – maybe things will start to change.

Maybe.

Life, Relationships

People Will Dislike You and That’s Okay

I really don’t know when I started not caring about what people thought of me. Maybe high school. I remember not really belonging to any one group, or click, I just … existed. I feel like I was “friends” with a lot of different people from those clicks, but I never allowed anyone to get super close to me, or really get to know me at all, hence the reason I put “friends” in quotations.

I had a best friend in high school. We have since lost touch. We connected briefly on Facebook but when the Zuckerberg Zombies started playing god and censoring free speech, I disabled my account and haven’t been back.

(Though typing this makes me want to jump on to see if she’s still around. I wouldn’t mind reconnecting, actually).

But other than my best friend, I didn’t really have any other close friends. I kept people at arm’s length. And if we’re being perfectly honest here, I feel like I kept my best friend at arm’s length, too.

I know why I have this …. aversion to allowing people to get close to me. I can really trace it back to two incidents, one I’m not willing to talk about on this blog but the other … was a boy.

I fell head over heels in “love” with this guy when I was in high school. I don’t even know if you could call it “love,” but it was strong, however you want to slap a label on it.

He wasn’t a student at my high school, he had already graduated from a neighboring school so he was older and worked at a Skateland, or whatever it was called back then. I can’t remember if his parents owned the rink but he was like a manager, or maybe he was simply popular because he was cute and all of the girls had crushes on him.

And yet, he expressed interest in me. This was a huge boost to my ego because I was never one of the popular girls. I didn’t belong to their group, but we were friendly, (remember the whole friends with different clicks thing?), so I belonged, but not really. I was one of those people with my face pressed to the glass but never allowed into the store, if that makes sense.

And in a lot of ways, I was perfectly okay with that. But the fact that this cute, popular guy took an interest in me … went straight to my head.

And I fell hopelessly in love with him.

Or so I thought. Or whatever you call the feeling you experience the first time you’re in “love.”

We dated for a while, I want to say weeks, but it felt longer, until I found out he was “cheating” on me with a girl I DESPISED.

I didn’t even try to salvage the relationship. There was no way in hell I was going to grovel at this man’s feet – if he didn’t want me, he didn’t want me.

But I was heartbroken. In fact, I would dare say the experience broke something in me. I’ve always been standoffish my whole life but after that experience? I never allowed anyone to get to close me again.

Even to this day. (Kevin is probably the only human who has been allowed to get to know the real me and even then, there is a deep, dark, part of my heart that I will not allow him access to – I honestly couldn’t tell you why – self preservation, I guess).

I wouldn’t say I’m cold, I have a lot of compassion and empathy for other people, but at the same time, I could give a rat’s ass if someone likes me or not. Well, that’s not entirely true, if I like/respect you, then it bothers me if I feel like I’ve disappointed or upset you, but since I don’t allow very many people to get to know ME, that number is quite small.

The majority of people? Meh.

I don’t say this to brag, I’m not even sure if this is a healthy behavior to subscribe to, but in a lot ways, I feel it’s preferable when compared to people who only want to please others or wear their heart on their sleeves. That must be an exhausting head space to live in. Because people are mean and cruel and can manipulate you into doing something outside your comfort zone, either unintentionally or purposefully.

I guess, if you want to psychoanalyze this, I don’t trust people. Again, I know why I feel this way, I can trace it back to specific incidents in my life, which helps me understand myself a little better and deal with disappointments that come my way. It’s just easier for me not to trust someone and allow them to get close as opposed to opening my heart and having that person betray me and open myself up to feeling vulnerable, disappointed, and foolish.

And before you feel sorry for me, let me stop you right there. I’m GLAD for these experiences and LIKE who I am as a person. Because the alternative breaks my heart a little bit.

I’ve worked with countless people over the years, all sort of personalities. And the personality that I feel the most sorry for, and the most impatient with, are people pleasers.

I TRULY don’t understand people with personalities that can’t handle criticism, constructive or otherwise, people that get upset if someone is harsh with them or clearly doesn’t like them. I don’t understand why anyone would CARE what others thought of them. Now, I get people that you know, love and respect, of course, I’m not completely cold and unfeeling, but strangers??

Why?!? Why does it matter if people you don’t know judge you, or call you names, try and manipulate/bully you into doing something you clearly don’t want to do?

Who cares what these asshats think?

Case in point – masks.

I work in healthcare – I don’t think our mask mandate is going away any time soon, unfortunately, but when we talked about our local city finally, FINALLY, lifting the mask mandate for our city, my coworkers got a little freaked out. I understand that they are comfortable wearing them, and if they want to continue wearing them, okay, but when I mentioned that Kevin and I haven’t been wearing masks for weeks, I got deer-in-headlights looks and gasps of shock.

“Oh. I can’t do that. I don’t want people judging me.”

I feel like this is a common response whenever people are put into situations where they have an option of swimming upstream – making decisions against the majority. I get that it’s difficult and takes courage, but if the biggest reason someone doesn’t want to make a decision is based solely on how others will perceive you? I can’t get behind that.

My response? JUDGE AWAY. I don’t care. You don’t know me. Your judgement is based on your own personal feelings and is not, in any way, a reflection of who I am or what I feel. I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think of a decision that I’ve made for ME.

Now. If this judgement is coming from someone I love and respect? Let’s talk. Tell me why you disagree and let’s break it down, but if you’re a stranger? Or someone I dislike or don’t care to get to know?

DON’T CARE.

I think this is a topic that everyone should think about. I think there might be less sheeple if people accepted the fact that you WILL be disliked, that you CAN’T please everyone, all you can do is make the best decisions for you and your family. There is no one size fits all. There is no my opinion is the ONLY opinion. It’s OKAY if people don’t like you.

Truly.

This guy is a little too “new agey” for me, but his message is spot on. I like what he says, “allow others the FREEDOM to disagree with you.” This means, it’s FINE if someone disagrees with you and/or makes choices you don’t agree with. This does NOT mean you have the right to jump on the cancel culture train and actively try and destroy his/her life.

How do you respond if someone disagrees with you and/or your choices?

NOTHING. You simply move on with life.

I also like what he says about people that don’t like you are really struggling to like themselves. BINGO. I feel like this summarizes this topic exactly. I’m betting, most of the time, people don’t dislike YOU, they dislike an aspect of you because it’s something about THEMSELVES they don’t like.

“And they can say whatever they want and it only affects them, it doesn’t have to affect you at all.”

If there are aspects of you that you don’t like, take an honest look at yourself and work on it. The more you feel confident on who and what you are, the more you will care less what others think of you and the happier you will be.

Peace.

Life

Take a Breath

Something else about masks …

I promise I’ll shut up about masks …

maybe …

eventually …

We went to our neighboring city’s Wal-Mart last night, (we go grocery shopping every Friday night after we eat – it’s one of our “date” nights – I know, we are ANIMALS), and it was so nice to see nearly everyone without a mask. It seemed so normal! It was nice to see people’s faces again.

Then, today, I went to my local Wal-Mart to grab some chocolate, (don’t judge), some Wheat Thins, (I’m OBSESSED with them right now), and some darker foundation, (because it’s summer and I tan very easily), and nearly everyone was wearing a mask!

*cue sad, dramatic music*

SIGH

Kevin and I are having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that we live in a liberal city. In fact, let me prove it:

Do you see that one white spot?

Yeah, that’s where we live and it’s the ONLY county in the ENTIRE state of Missouri that has NOT entirely lifted restrictions. Really? Really?!? What the actual hell? We’ve been in denial for a long time and it’s time for a reality check – we are surrounded by liberals. And the frustrating part, (among many), is that we had an opportunity to vote these mo-fos out of office but did we?? Nope. Why? Because most people are not paying attention to what’s going on around them and didn’t even bother to vote!

AARGH!

*deep breath* Anyway, Kevin and I refuse to wear a mask and people can just bite my butt because WE ARE OVER THIS PANDEMIC CRAP. It’s over. Accept it!

However, it got me thinking as to why people still choose to wear a mask and I’m betting the reasons go way beyond COVID. And this article caught my eye:

A number of women have come forth asserting they would prefer to keep wearing masks, even after the general public has discarded them, with some of the women offering explanations such as a mask functions as an “invisibility cloak” or acts “almost like taking away the male gaze.”

I found this fascinating. It never really occurred to me that people would WANT to continue wearing masks for reasons outside of COVID. But it makes sense to me. Masks hide your identity, they, in essence, make you invisible to people. Some of the reasons given in this article:

“I don’t want to feel the pressure of smiling at people to make sure everyone knows I’m ‘friendly’ and ‘likable.’ It’s almost like taking away the male gaze. There’s freedom in taking that power back.”

I can definitely relate to this reason. There are days the last thing I want to do is smile at people, or put on my happy face. People are exhausting, especially when you work with the public. You have to pretend so much when you’re around people, the good and the bad, and it gets old having to pretend something you’re not all the time. It’s also a great way to disguise my expressions because sometimes, I listen to patients and it’s all I can do not to grimace or frown, or whatever, and wearing a mask helps to hide my true feelings. My face is very expressive, (so I’ve been told), and I have a MEAN resting bitch face, the mask is great for covering that up.

I’m not sure what this commenter is saying about the “man gaze.” Does she mean the look that men give you when they think you’re attractive? As a woman, I understand that look and I agree, I don’t necessarily like it, but I would rather endure that look than continue to wear a face diaper.

“Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker or maybe it’s because I always feel like I have to present my best self to the world, but it has been such a relief to feel anonymous. It’s like having a force field around me that says ‘don’t see me.’”

I don’t know what being a New Yorker has to do with this comment but I agree, masks were a way to make you anonymous to the world. You blended in and in a lot ways, it did make you feel a bit invisible. I can relate to this sentiment because when I’m out in public, on my own time, doing my thing, I want to be left alone. I’m on a mission, to get what I need, or do what I need to do, and leave. Blending in was a perfect way for me to remain under the radar and not draw attention to myself.

“I just stare at that little box with my face in it and pick apart my appearance. My double chin seems six times larger, my eye bags are too deep of a purple, etc … Even when there’s a heatwave and my apartment is close to 90 degrees, I’ll wear a turtleneck that I can pull up. I pack on thick makeup that makes my skin peel. I 10,000% plan on wearing it for the foreseeable future. After a full work day of worrying and not being able to focus on my actual job, it just feels nice to blend in. Simply put, I’m sick of being perceived.”

This comment just makes me sad. I feel bad that people are so self-conscious about how they look that they would prefer to wear a face diaper than allow people to see them. I’m sorry some people feel this way, however, that’s even more of a reason to get out there and live your life instead of hiding from it. Take control, do something about those insecurities, whether that’s make different lifestyle choices or seek therapy – no one should want to wear a mask simply to hide physical imperfections.

I’ll never forget the first time we were FORCED to wear a mask. It was a trip to Wal-Mart shortly after this pandemic started and they wouldn’t allow you to come in without one. I was so furious the entire trip that by the time we got back out to our car, my heart rate was 160! I felt faint and JUST PISSED OFF. To me, wearing a mask is dehumanizing and humiliating. It does something to your psyche, at least, it did to mine, and I furious that they were taking my right to choose away from me. To me, I was being forced to abide by someone else’s fears. It dented my fierce sense of independence and I was resentful as hell.

(Still am).

I, for one, FULLY EMBRACE the fact that we’re doing away with masks. If you want to continue wearing one, go ahead, but I will not be participating any more.

I choose to breathe freely. Always.

Food

Hello Fresh Review

Look what landed on our front porch!

First and foremost, this post is NOT sponsored. In any way. This is my honest opinion.

I know what you’re thinking, “But Karen, you’re one of the cheapest people on Earth, why in the world would you try Hello Fresh?”

Thanks for asking, friends, I’ll give you a few reasons.

  1. Because I was curious.
  2. Because I’m sick and tired of eating out and wanted something healthy
  3. Because a favorite YouTuber offered a discount code and I have trouble passing up a deal.

So yeah, I bit the bullet and signed up for Hello Fresh.

Kevin thought it would be fun to film us cooking the first recipe. It’s pretty obvious we’re not experts but you know what? We had fun and that’s all that matters.

We’ve tried five recipes so far:

Salsa Verde Enchiladas – I gave it four stars out of five. I don’t know that Kevin really liked this recipe all that much – it didn’t have meat, just a lot of beans, that I paid for later on in the week. *ahem* (We didn’t get a picture of this recipe)

Chicken Gyro Couscous Bowl – I REALLY liked this recipe. We happened to cook it on a really hot day and it was a perfect dinner as it was more of a cool salad-type meal. I gave that one 4 out of five stars.

Hone Thyme Pork Tenderloin was the third recipe. We diced sweet potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts, which I’ve never had before, and Kevin cooked the pork tenderloin on the grill. It was probably my least favorite. I gave it three out of five stars. Not that it was bad, just kind of bland. I will say though, I REALLY enjoyed the roasted brussels sprouts, I liked the charred taste, and the sweet potatoes were also really good, which makes me want to have them more often.

Italian Chicken Over Lemony Spaghetti was the fourth recipe. I REALLY liked this one as well and gave it 4.5 stars out of five. Again, Kevin cooked the chicken on the grill (it’s really the only way to prepare meat, in my opinion) and I cooked the zucchini and the noodles. Something about this recipe that I found really cool, was making a sauce and then tossing the fully cooked spaghetti noodles into the sauce. It re-hydrated the noodles and the pasta soaked up the flavored liquid which really gave it a good taste.

Pork Carnitas Tacos was okay. I gave it three out of five stars. The pork was crumbled and I “pickled” the onions in a white wine vinegar liquid which was an interesting taste. But it tasted a bit like hamburger helper, to be frank.

(We didn’t even try to make this picture pretty – I was over it by then and I said, “screw it, just use a paper plate”)

We also discovered Poblano peppers. Kevin and I have never had those before, at least, to our knowledge, they were in the Pork Tacos and we REALLY liked the taste of them. We will definitely use those in some of our recipes instead of plain green peppers.

We got another box today with Beef and Veggie Bibimbap and Blackened Chicken Penne recipes that we’ll try this week. I’m not a big beef fan so I’m not really looking forward to that one, but any chicken and pasta dish and I’m ALL about it.

Okay, let’s real talk here:

Cons

(I’m starting with cons because I feel like it outweighs the pros, overall)

Price – By FAR the biggest con, in my opinion.

So the discount code made the first box, of two meals, come to $28.00. The second box of three meals was $32.00. And the reason we got three meals the second go around was because for a low, low price of $1.50 per person, we could get a third meal and we were like, “why not?” The price is really not that bad – we figured we end up spending about $15 to $20 per meal for both us when we go out anyway. And this is healthy food so .. why not. The third box, which came today, cost $45.00 for two meals. And the reason it’s more is because my discount code is less on the third and fourth deliveries. The price will jump to about $60 bucks once the discount – FOR TWO MEALS.

Now I can not justify that price, really for any reason.

We have one more week with a discount and I’m really not sure if we’ll do it or not. We’re on the fence about it. We’ll see how it goes.

Cook Time

If you’re thinking getting Hello Fresh delivered to you will save you time, think again. On average, each meal took about 10 minutes to prep and between 25 – 35 minutes to cook. Now you’re coming up on an hour each night before you have a chance to sit down and eat. And let’s not forget the clean up. True. You don’t have to make a special trip to the store to buy the ingredients but let’s face it, if you plan ahead you can buy the ingredients when you have to go to the store anyway so …

Pros

Convenience – It’s delivered to your door. You don’t have to spend time hunting for specific ingredients at the store, it’s literally dropped at your door. Also, it’s fun to choose your recipes from the site every week.

Selection – The Hello Fresh website has a fantastic selection to choose from. They give you a list of recipes to choose from each week and they have meat/veggies/ vegetarian / and other diet options for those that can’t, or won’t, eat certain foods. All of the recipes look delicious and definitely not recipes we would try otherwise on our own.

Fresh Ingredients – All of the ingredients that have come with the recipes have been top notch. The meat/veggies have been fresh and really tasty. Absolutely no complaints there.

Portion Size – All of the ingredients have been perfectly measured out and make two nice-sized meals. Nothing goes to waste and we don’t have extra of something that will sit in the fridge, go bad and get tossed.

Cancel Anytime – Which we will be doing very soon. However, I will keep an eye out and use discount codes as I come across them as it would be fun to do Hello Fresh once in a while. Definitely not every week.

I know there are more pros than cons and I said in my opinion there are more cons than pros, but I just can’t past the price. To me, it’s just not worth spending that much money on.

However, if you live in the boonies, or you have a very busy schedule and don’t have a lot of time to plan your meals or shop for ingredients, this would be a great option.

I have to admit, though, I HATE to cook. And I mean – I. HATE. TO. COOK. I hate everything about it. I hate the time it takes to cook. I hate the fact that it literally takes you ten minutes to consume something that took you close to an hour to make. And I hate the clean up. I would rather grab something to eat and get it over with in the fraction of the time it takes you to make something from scratch.

Overall, it’s been a fun, and delicious, experiment. Again, Kevin and I have tried things we wouldn’t normally ever try and that’s always a plus in my (recipe) book.

Life, Work Stuff

My Days as a Healthcare Worker are Numbered

Well. It has begun. The threat to fire people if they don’t get the jab. I think this might be the beginning of the end for me.

A hospital in Houston Texas has made a line in the sand – get the jab on or before June 7th or lose your job. The article states that 4 out of 5 employees have gotten the jab and “One hospital administrator said that getting vaccinated is a part of the sacred oath healthcare to do everything possible to keep patients safe and healthy.”

On one hand, I totally get that. You don’t want to inadvertently make someone in the hospital even more sick by introducing a virus to an already compromised immune system. Also:

“As the first rule of the Hippocratic Oath is: do no harm, vaccine safety must be guaranteed. That has not yet happened. More studies of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy should be conducted and published and more transparency about possible risks provided to the public before Americans enter the largest experimental medication program in our history.” Source

But on the other hand, I have a lot of questions. And the fact that we rolled this out, so quickly, with no trials, under Emergency Use for a disease that has a 99.5% recovery rate for a person of my age, seems … excessive.

I’m not willing to be a human Guinea pig. I would prefer to wait and see what the long-term repercussions will be, if any, and would like to see some successful trials first before considering the “vaccine.” In addition, I’m not totally comfortable with the mRNA factor of this “vaccine” and the fact that it contains little to no dead Coronavirus is enough for me to say, “No thanks.”

If you don’t know a lot about the experimental injectable, and why would you? The media continues to do a bang-up job of keeping information from the public, I encourage you to read the white paper on experimental vaccines for COVID-19 published by the American Frontline Doctors. It has a lot of interesting, and informative, information about this injectable that everyone has a right know. It’s not called “informed consent” for nothing, folks.

From the American Frontline Doctors’ website:

“There have been many post-vaccination questions. We will keep adding Q/A to this list. The fundamental problem with releasing medications that have not been fully researched is we don’t know what we don’t know. AFLDS is highly concerned about what we don’t know!” Source

And that’s my biggest hesitation – WE SIMPLY DON’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THIS TO ENCOURAGE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE TO GET IT.

Why are people like me being demonized simply because we have questions??

My being against this experimental injectable does not mean I’m an anti-vaxxer – in fact, I daresay MOST people who are refusing to take the jab are not anti-vaxxers, we, – I – am simply asking for more information and for the vaccine to be run through it’s normal paces and treated as every other vaccine that is out there and approved by the FDA. I am all for vaccines for polio, small pox, measles, etc., overall Those diseases are way more serious than COVID, at least according to research and statistics at the time of this writing, and it makes sense to stop those more serious diseases in their tracks. But this virus, though deadly to some, overall, is not as deadly to all.

And if I’ve learned anything at all in healthcare – there is no one size fits all answer when it comes to people’s health. Healthcare is a pretty shade of grey – it’s not black and white.

I am not criticizing people who have gotten the jab. I am not trying to scare people who have gotten the jab – you have made the decision that you think is right for you and your family. Awesome. That’s how it should be. I respect your decision – please respect mine.

And if this issue stopped there, you wouldn’t be reading this post right now. But, if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, I don’t tend to go quietly into the night on stuff that I’m passionate about.

I respect people’s rights to make their own decisions and live their best lives. I may not always agree with people’s decisions but who cares, I’m nobody. Ultimately, it’s none of my business what you do in your life – your decision, your consequence.

However –

Once you take my right to choose away, IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG. And that’s how I feel about this whole vaccine passport and mandatory vaccines at work issue.

When you force people to do what you want and if they don’t you will penalize them in some way, that’s called coercion.

And I don’t respond well to this type of bullying.

Also, what happened to “my body, my choice?” Where are all the pro-lifers out there? Why aren’t they throwing a fit because the government is threatening lifestyle choices, (no cruises, no sporting events, no concerts – no job), unless you take the jab? So, it’s only my body, my choice under certain circumstances? That doesn’t make sense. You can’t pick and choose your definitions.

At least, you shouldn’t be able to – though to be fair, people do it all the time.

At this point in time, the hospital where I work put out a statistic that 56% of employees at my hospital have gotten the jab. I’m not too worried right now, however, if that percentage gets into the 80% range, I will start sweating. Because right now, there are too many employees that haven’t been vaccinated and don’t want to take the chance they could potentially lose them. They can’t afford to lose 40% of their staff, assuming most of the unvaccinated quit. But if that percentage of employees that get vaccinated gets to be 80% or above? Then my employer has more leverage.

Another factor in my favor – there is a pretty severe shortage of medical personnel out there. More and more people are NOT choosing to go into healthcare so the supply is low but the demand continues to go up, so I’m hoping that is another factor that will discourage my employer from issuing a “get the injectable or else” threat.

So what are my plans if/when we reach that point?

*sigh*

Depends. If it gets super nasty and I have very little choices, Kevin and I have talked about consulting a lawyer to find out what my rights are. The American Frontline doctors has a link on their site that will pair me up with a local lawyer for a small fee and we might start there. I can’t really fight this until I find out what my legal rights are.

And maybe I won’t really have any – especially since I work in healthcare and the rules are a bit different given the nature of the “business.” And if that’s the case, then so be it, I guess I won’t be a healthcare worker any longer. For if it comes down to either being coerced into the getting the jab to keep my job or having to quit in order to protect my body from God knows what, then I guess I’ll have to quit.

I don’t want to. I really enjoy my job and I feel I’m quite good at my job, and I wouldn’t draw that line in the sand solely due to principal, though that would be a big part of my decision, but largely because I don’t want to play Russian Roulette with my body. Sure. I could get the jab and it’s highly likely that I will be just fine, but considering all we DON’T know, no one can say that with 100% certainty and the fact that the disease has such a high recovery rate, I would prefer to take my chances on suffering through the disease and taking medications that we KNOW help the symptoms of the disease than stick my arm out for a technology that hasn’t been tested and “experts” really don’t know a lot about.

Not to mention, assuming life will go back to normal. Which I know is a big reason a lot of people are getting the “vaccine.” Not because people believe it in it or are scared of the disease but simply because they want life to get back to normal. And I get that. I want to burn these damn masks and be able to freely go where I want to go without people giving me the evil eye or work on the assumption that if they get too close to me they might die.

But life is NOT getting back to normal. We still have these stupid masks mandates, we still have to social distance, we’re still not allowed to do much outside of our jobs so … even if I was absolutely okay with getting the jab, got it and life remained the same, WHAT’S THE POINT?

Anyway. I’m nervous. I feel like this might be the beginning of the end of my healthcare chapter and I’m mentally preparing myself to make changes – the only question is when? I HOPE it doesn’t happen for quite a few years, I was HOPING we wouldn’t have to address this issue for quite a few years, but when I saw that article about the Houston hospital, I really think my days are numbered. It’s too bad I’m not closer to retirement age, I would just retire early, but I’m not there yet. I still have about ten years left before that makes financial sense.

*sigh*

Who knows what is going to happen. For now, I’m just taking one day at a time because really, what else can we do??

Food, Life

Sick and Tired

Literally. I’m literally sick and tired. This is the biggest reason I’ve been quiet this past week – I’ve felt like crap.

It started on Wednesday. I had a little bit of a cough. And my chest felt heavy. I never had difficulty breathing, but I definitely felt chest pressure. And mind-numbing fatigue. By Thursday, my sinuses were completely clogged and I felt like crap. Still went to work, but it was rough.

Friday was a bit better, but not by much.

Do I have COVID? Who knows, maybe? But most likely, it’s a head cold. I know it’s hard for some people to believe, but it IS possible to have something other than COVID.

Today? I feel … ick. Sinuses are still pretty clogged but at the same time, I have a runny nose and though I’m still coughing, it’s only occasionally and my voice sounds really croaky. I doubt I do a podcast tonight because my smoker’s voice is not cute.

I’m rarely sick. Like, EVER sick. So this took me by surprise. I was prone to sinus infections for a number of years but then I discovered nose spray, Zicam and hot liquids. (Tip: Routinely burn the back of your throat. Don’t give yourself third degree burns, but hot enough for it to be uncomfortable. I have found that really helps burn off any bacteria that might be camping out).

Yep. I went to work even though I felt like dog shit. I haven’t called in ONCE in the ten years I’ve been with the clinic. I didn’t call in because I didn’t want to ruin that record, (though to be honest, I did think about that), but rather, I wasn’t sick enough to stay home. I guess I should define my reason for staying home – when I can’t walk upright.

On one hand, I probably should stay home when I feel like this. I don’t want to pass this on to someone else. And I would have, if I thought what I have is contagious, (but what if it was COVID, Karen?? Huh? Huh? Chances are, it isn’t, so calm your self righteous self down), but on the other hand, I’m tough enough to deal with it and in fact, getting up, taking a hot shower, distracting myself at work, does wonders – I usually feel way better by the end of the day whereas staying home I would have been focusing on my poor little self and wallowing in my sickness.

I feel like most people nowadays use any excuse, at all, to stay home. People don’t tough it out anymore, they call in “sick” if they have a headache, or the sniffles, or cramps or … whatever. I don’t know, maybe they’re telling the truth. Maybe their headache is a migraine, or their sniffles is a sinus infection, or their cramps are so severe they CAN’T walk upright, who am I to judge their motives? But judging by the work ethic of most people nowadays, I am suspicious.

And I don’t really care – do what you want. But it DOES put more stress on the poor saps you left to cover for you and do your work for you.

It’s just something to consider the next time you’re tempted to call into work. I’m just saying.

I started my OMAD fast this week. For those that don’t know, OMAD stands for “One meal a day.” I’ve determined that for me, my feeding window (I always feel like a cow whenever I talk about my “feeding” window – moo), is 3:00 – 7:00 PM. That way, I can still eat dinner with Kevin. And it’s every day, not every other day, or three times a week like I’ve been doing for the past 18 months. So, I fast 20 hours a day, every day.

I started it on Monday and it was rough. I was never so glad to see 3:00 PM roll around that I ate about two meals in four hours and felt SO SICK afterward. Lesson learned – I won’t do that again. But since I’ve been sick for the majority of the week and NOT HUNGRY, it hasn’t been that bad. I’m getting used to it now. And for the past two days, it hasn’t been a big deal, at all. I have been drinking water with sea salt though and I think that helps.

But being sick, it got me to thinking – is fasting GOOD for you when you’re sick? Does it help heal you faster?

Good question, if I say so myself. Ha!

I’ve also heard, or read somewhere, that when you fast and start burning fat, that you can release a virus, or some sort of sickness, that was trapped in your fat and get released when you burn that fat so that is why you feel sort of sick when you start a program designed to burn fat.

I have no idea if that is true, but it sort of makes sense to me.

So. I don’t know. I don’t know there is a hard and “fast” rule (see what I did there?) to whether you should Fast or not when you’re sick. You just have to do what feels right for your body, I suppose.

All I know is, fasting feels right for me and if I can improve my heart health and avoid brain disease, like Alzheimer’s, and extend my life expectancy, then I plan on continuing it.

Now. It’s 3:00 o’clock and time to break my fast.

Your turn. What do you think? Do you Fast? Do you Fast when you’re sick? Why, or why not?

ADDED: I just thought of something – what if I’m feeling sick because I wear a mask to work all day every day? I think, eventually, it’s going to come out that wearing masks cause respiratory issues. Mark my words.

Food

Fasting Update

I started fasting in November 2019. Right before Thanksgiving. Probably the WORST time to fast. But what can I say? I’m an idiot.

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my fasting journey. But for those of you curious, yes, I’m still doing it and could probably do it better, but my goal was never to lose weight, per se, but to feel comfortable in my skin. To not have to be uncomfortable in my clothes because I’ve made a vow to myself, I will not buy bigger clothes.

PERIOD.

My Fasting schedule is: I Fast for 24-hours on Sunday, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Why those days? No specific reasons, those days just work better for me. So, for example: I eat dinner on Saturday night about 6:00 PM. I will then not eat again until 6:00 PM Sunday night. I’m giving my intestines 24 hours to rest and my glucose to drop to zero. Am I hungry? Yes. But it’s not bad and I’ve gotten used to it, to be honest. I think the biggest reason I feel hungry is because my brain has been programmed to turn on my hunger hormone at the “normal” eating times and I just need to re-program it. Which takes time.

But honestly, I’m not really that hungry anymore. And I try to only eat when I’m hungry on “feeding” days. I don’t know why we have all been brought up to believe that we have to eat three meals a day. No, actually, we don’t. And in fact, it’s better if we DON’T do that.

Have I accomplished Fasting goal? Yes – sort of. But it has been a BUMPY road and I learned A LOT about my body in the process. More on that later.

First and foremost, if you’re thinking of starting a fasting program, talk to your doctor. Especially if you have any underlying health conditions, specifically, diabetes. Fasting messes with your blood sugars, in fact, that’s what fasting is, in a nutshell, it lowers your glucose level to virtually zero so that your body has no choice but to tap into your fat reserves, so if you’re diabetic … well, you can see the problem. So check with your doctor before starting something like this.

First of all, what is fasting? Dr. Jason Fung is a doctor one our neurosurgeons at work refers patients to. Well, he doesn’t refer them to him, he encourages people to look him up and watch his videos. Here’s Dr. Fung talking about what to expect when you start a Fasting regiment.

My comments:

  1. Headaches or Dizziness

Yes. I have experienced, and sometimes still experience dizziness. And I’m pretty sure it’s lack of sodium. I don’t really like salt and prefer my food to be salt free so on Fasting days, I drink a glass of water with sea salt and it not only helps curb my appetite for that day, but I have noticed a decrease in dizziness. And it should be sea salt, not the iodinized table salt.

I have also bought bone broth and warmed it up at work to drink on Fasting days. This helps with hunger and I’m hoping the collagen in bone broth will smooth a few wrinkles in the process. (Hey, let me wallow in my self-delusion, please).

2. Bowel Changes

The change in bowel patterns – erhm – I’m going to keep this brief because NO ONE is interested in how many times I go to the bathroom, but I will say, that yes, that definitely changes when you Fast. However, I take magnesium supplements on Fasting days not only for constipation, but it also helps my stress levels. It helps calm me down and I’ve definitely noticed a difference since taking it.

3. Insomnia

I have experienced a bit of insomnia. But since I’ve cut all caffeine out of my diet, this is not as big of an issue as it used to be. I didn’t cut caffeine out of my diet because of Fasting, but because I was having a lot of heart palpitations. Cutting caffeine really helped with that but what REALLY helped my palpitations was taking potassium supplements. Ever since I’ve done that, my palpitations nearly disappeared. (Some of the palpitations was due to stress/anxiety, which I have from time-to-time when my body can’t take anymore and then it just sort of manifests. Fun stuff).

He mentions Blue-Block for insomnia. I actually bought, and am wearing now, Blue-Block glasses I bought from Zenni.com. Do they help? Meh – jury is still out but I would like to think they are helping my eyes as I stare at either a computer screen, a phone screen or my Kindle screen all day long. I DO think it helps with eye fatigue.

4. Heartburn

OH. MY. GOSH. YESSSSSS. I definitely experience heartburn. Especially when coming off a Fast. I went through a period of time when I drank Apple Cider Vinegar, not so much for the heartburn but because it also helps with hunger pangs. Thankfully, heartburn doesn’t happen very often and when it does, I just chew on the Alka-Seltzer heartburn tablets and that takes care of it.

The beauty of Fasting is that it’s completely customizable. You can follow any schedule you want. For me, Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays just seem to work the best. I knew I didn’t want to skip Friday or Saturday nights because those are our “date nights.” Kevin and I go out to dinner on those nights.

I will say, that starting out is hard. And start small, by the way. Don’t start with OMAD (one meal a day) or alternate day Fasting. Try skipping breakfast and eat lunch and dinner to begin with. Or, eat breakfast and lunch and skip dinner. Whatever fits into your lifestyle. And then gradually, lengthen your Fasting window. Skip breakfast and lunch and only eat dinner, for example.

Another tip – DON’T DRINK SODA OR OTHER SUGARY DRINKS. I can’t even tell you how MUCH this helps. Those drinks are good and addicting because they are liquid sugar. And sugar is addicting. Also, cut down your carbs. I try not to eat much bread. And I LOVE bread. But again, it helps. Bread gives you a lot of belly fat because of the yeast, which is also in beer, hence, a “beer gut.”

As Dr. Fung said, consistency is key when you Fast. But it’s a lifestyle choice and change and it’s not always easy. Let’s break down the reasons people fail when they try Fasting according to Dr. Eric Berg.

  1. Never Start

It seems “unnatural” to not eat. So it’s a mental shift away from what we’ve been taught our whole lives. In order to survive, you must eat. And sure, that’s true, but skipping a meal or two doesn’t equate starvation. “You’re switching food fuel with fat fuel.”

2. Feel Worse

Yes. I won’t lie. When I started my Fasting journey, the third day WAS AWFUL. I was dizzy, a little out-of-my head and I felt like my stomach was going to eat itself. I believe I broke my Fast a bit early that day because I was so miserable. But I didn’t give up. The fourth day wasn’t as bad and after a while, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I still have hunger pangs but I just ignore them most of the time. I found out, the hard way, that most of my struggles were due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. When I started taking potassium and started drinking water with sea salt, my symptoms went down SIGNIFICANTLY. I also eat a lot of eggs on my feeding days and raising my vitamin B levels also really helped. So, learn from my mistake – keep your electrolytes up, it’s important.

3. Don’t Lose Weight

I dropped about 20 pounds in three months. And then … nothing. Now granted, I haven’t been as active as I need to be. Remember, I’m either sitting on my butt reading or I’m sitting on my butt blogging or checking my Patreon, so I’m quite confident when I start my walking back up, I’ll drop some more pounds. But the fact that I dropped that much weight right off the bat was very encouraging. And people at work noticed and were encouraging, that really helped me to stick to the plan. And remember, my weight loss goal was just to feel comfortable in my skin, not necessarily to get down to a size zero. Not because I didn’t want to be smaller but because I don’t want the stress of staying that size. Staying overly big or overly small takes a lot of work and quite frankly, life is too short to want to deprive myself of the small pleasures all so I can stay overly small. No thanks.

I also Fast to repair my internal organs. And it’s healthier for your brain which studies have shown help prevent Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. And it also prolongs your life expectancy. There are A LOT of health benefits of Fasting, not just weight loss and to be honest, those benefits are more important to me than being stick thin.

4. People Discourage You

“You’re not starving your body, you’re just shifting what fuel you’re running off of.” Dr. Berg says when you eat is more important than what you eat. I found this interesting and encouraging. Insulin is triggered by carbs and frequent eating. I wish I had known this stuff when I was in my 20’s. I think a lifetime of Fasting would have made my life a little easier now that I’m in the my 50’s. It’s not too late, but if you’re reading this and you’re younger, I encourage you to look more into this alternative. I recommend watching Autumn Bates and Fledge Fitness YouTube channels. They are both GREAT resources on what Fasting is, how to implement in your life and the science behind the lifestyle.

So. I’m sorry if you clicked on this post thinking you were going to get a before and after picture. Honestly, I WISH I had taken a before picture but again, my goal wasn’t merely to lose weight but to feel better on the inside and the outside. I think I’ve accomplished that but I’m ready to amp it up another notch. I’d like to start OMAD (one meal a day). I’m close to doing that now. Even on my feeding days, I have been trying to stick to my fruit smoothie in the morning, skip lunch and then eat dinner. My fruit smoothie is:

Handful of Pineapple
One banana
Greek yogurt
One scoop of protein powder
One cup of Almond milk
Handful of Strawberries

It tastes like liquid ice cream. I LOVE them. I drink them three times a week right before work and that will, most times, curb my hunger and I don’t eat lunch. I hate to give them up, but I suppose I could drink them as “desert” after dinner.

At any rate – I want to try OMAD and of course, start moving more. I have been walking a few times around the hospital during the weekday and I’ve been averaging about 7000 to 9000 steps per day. It’s better than nothing.

So Fasting is not a fad for me, it’s a lifestyle. One that I really don’t have any intentions of stopping. The trick is finding a schedule that fits in with your life.

It’s a personal journey and one I hope you will look into and try.

Good luck!