Monday, 5 October 2020

Sing to fill the emptiness that comes each time

One Japanese study has demonstrated that adding soluble fiber to white rice changes its effect on blood sugar and insulin. Eating a breakfast containing white rice and soluble fiber for just two weeks actively improved insulin resistance in a group of overweight men and women when they switched from eating an identical breakfast that did not contain the soluble fiber. FERMENTED MILK Several studies from around the world have shown an inverse relation between regularly eating a fermented milk product such as yogurt or kefir and insulin resistance. The probiotic VSL#3 has been shown to reduce the risk of autoimmune diabetes. Those who claim they feel no anger aren't being honest with themselves. It's also natural to feel guilt or shame about being angry, like, how can I be angry at my kid when he was suffering from this disease? Our approach at EricsHouse is focused on helping people work through that so that it doesn't become something you can compartmentalize and push away because it will come back and keep you from ever finding peace. Part of self-love is accepting that you're angry. How do you match up an equal amount of love to balance out the anger? It comes through self-love and compassion. You have to honor the emotion because it's real, and over time you can let go of some of it, at least, as you begin to see that there is a world after losing a child. One thing our particular community of parents deals with is the knowledge that we don't own our children. We just don't. We become known as Eric's mom, for example, so involved in caring for our children, raising them and grooming them and protecting them, all as their mom or dad, so when they die, we instantly lose our identity. The problem is that people often don't act on this knowledge, for the simple reason that they cannot afford the upfront costs of such products. People are literally dying because they have no savings. Now, the villagers of Western Province have no access to savings banks or building societies. So was there an alternative way in which saving could be effectively encouraged? This is where the idea of using piggy banks came in.

Researchers arranged for a local artisan to make a simple green metal box for each family involved in the study. The box had uneven sides, a diagonal slit in the top and a padlock with a key. Families were also given a passarticle in which they could keep a record of how much money they had saved as the study proceeded. Three-quarters of the people who took part in the Kenyan experiment were so poor they had dirt floors in their homes. They were only able to put very small amounts of cash aside. I'd taken Joan Didion with me - her Slouching Towards Bethlehem collection of essays. Joan is good hiking company. She lays words down defiantly and from a place where she feels like an alien in a world of rules and yet finds her belonging. When you hike solo, this is a conducive headspace. You feel like a weirdo, but the sanest one around. Lying in my tent on the second night, wearing two sets of thermals, the thrift store ski pants, possum fur socks I got in New Zealand when I was twenty-one and the second-hand beanie with a head torch over the top, I read her essay `Goodbye to All That' about loving but ultimately leaving New York: `Everything that was said to me I seemed to have heard before, and I could no longer listen . It is distinctly possible to stay too long at the fair. I'm not sure what it was about the line, but it saw me give up. Not all of it. Just the dull rollercoaster stuff. Eat 300g of natural, plain, probiotic yogurt every day. If you need to take a course of antibiotics, consider replenishing your gut microbiota with a short course of a probiotic formulation such as VSL#3 (after checking with your physician). In addition to its anti-inflammatory benefits, turmeric may also help protect against insulin resistance. For this reason, I prefer to take the whole spice and try to emulate what is done in India, where it is added to almost every meal as part of the cooking process, including breakfast. Turmeric is broken down by the liver, and this process may be decelerated by the compound piperine, found in black pepper.

Finally, it is better to take the whole spice rather than a pill containing extracted curcumin because other compounds present within whole turmeric seem to improve its absorption and retention, and also because taking the whole spice maintains some degree of dilution that might protect from toxicity. If you take turmeric, choose the whole spice if possible, rather than a pill containing an extract. Consider adding it to your cooking. If you take a pill, aim for one that contains whole turmeric. Take turmeric with a quarter teaspoon of black pepper and with a little fat. I'm not Eric's mom anymore. In that case, who am I? Who will I be, and how do I spend my time now, without him, without the direction that the compass of his life provided? We have to figure out what to do with our time, let alone our identity. That's what I tell the moms I meet when I feel it's the right moment. If you allow yourself to grow as a result of your loss, you will probably emerge much stronger and wiser and be in a position to help others work through it, too. A doctor told me: You need to decide: are you going to let this define you, or are you going to let this experience redefine who you are, and how you contribute and give back? For me, I knew I had to get bigger instead of shrinking into my grief. My challenge was, and still is, to find the language to express the facts and the feelings. Every parent who has lost a child has to find a new language that they can own, that feels healthy and real and right. And remember, they were not being incentivised to save by earning interest. The money they took out of their green metal boxes at the end of the study was the same money they put in. Even so, the results were dramatic. With the green moneyboxes, saving for bed nets went up by 66 per cent. This is a huge jump.

Other savings initiatives, such as one that took place in three countries - Bolivia, Peru and the Philippines - tried sending regular text messages reminding people to save and saw savings rise by just 6 per cent. So why were the results so astonishing? Perhaps it was simply that the notion of saving had been introduced into this society for the first time? It probably helped too that others were watching the results (as we saw in article 6 this always helps people to achieve a goal). But it was also crucial that the method of saving was a simple and practical one - and directed toward a specific and important goal. The staid rules, the social contract. And the (false) idea I was weird and wrong for feeling as I did. The traumatic decision I'd made a few weeks earlier was not only to terminate my pregnancy, but also to cut the social contract with motherhood. When I got up to go to the loo in the middle of the night, stars were falling from the sky. I realise it must seem to you that on every hiking trip I do I have some almighty, life-about-facing epiphany. I'm a bit self-conscious about the convenience of this as a literary device. Ditto the weird deus ex machina coincidences that often surround these trips. But the truth is, this stuff generally does happen on a hike in the wilderness. It just does. And pithy quotes appear. Although the common kitchen spice cinnamon improves insulin resistance in rats, this effect has not consistently been found in humans. Where studies have shown some degree of benefit, the dose of cinnamon used was between 1g and 3g daily. A meta-analysis of eighteen randomized trials has shown that magnesium supplementation can improve insulin dynamics in people who are at risk of developing diabetes, such as those who are overweight or obese. You can improve your magnesium intake naturally through your diet by consuming more dark green vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and cashews all contain good amounts of magnesium.

NON-DIET RISK FACTORS FOR INSULIN RESISTANCE Other aspects of lifestyle that affect your risk of insulin resistance include: Sedentary behavior Having visceral fat Irregular sleeping patterns That takes time and practice, and you have to say stuff out loud. So how many kids do you have? Well, we have five kids. One of them, my son Eric, is in heaven. I've learned a great lesson from our son, Joey, who deals with this loss in his own special way. He just goes outside and talks to the stars. He says he feels like he gets messages out there and then he brings them back in for us. Hey, I saw Eric, he says. Joey like an angel on earth. I often keep a light on for Eric at home. Having a clear target is one of the best ways of motivating us to save. It's the reason why churches put up giant thermometers on their gates. This way, the congregation can share in a collective sense of achievement as the red line rises towards the amount of money needed to restore the organ. You may also recall my lute fund, which I mentioned in article 1. Looking back, I think I took greater satisfaction from meticulously colouring in my big picture of a thermometer every time I saved another pound than I'd ever have got from actually owning a lute.

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