Great Flicks: The Princess Switch
One week before Christmas, a duchess switches places with an ordinary woman from Chicago, who looks exactly like her, and they each fall in love with each other's beaus.
Great Flicks: The Holiday Calendar
A photographer inherits an antique Advent calendar that seems to predict her future -- including a budding romance.
The Fibromyalgia Holidays
It happened again. The season crept up on me before I could hide. Yes, I’m a holiday avoider. I wasn’t always. When I was young and energetic, I looked forward to the excitement, the tree, the gifts, the food, and particularly the music that accompanies the season. I am fortunate to have cherished memories of all those things. But times change, and so have I.
As a young mother, I bought into the fairy tale that the perfect “Hallmark” Christmas was not only possible but that it was obligatory. It was up to me alone to create it in my home. Each year I strive to outdo the last — cooking more, decorating more, and spending more, but enjoying it less. And each year I was disappointed in the results. It was lots of work that no one particularly noticed but me.
Eventually, I figured out that “Hallmark” Christmases only take place in greeting cards and on television. Nowhere else is this perfection seen, certainly not in my less than perfect home with my less than perfect family, and especially not with my less than perfect health. At about the same time that I began to question all my efforts, my fibromyalgia said, “Enough!”
Surprisingly, I’m perfectly fine with the outcome. I have realized I can do a whole lot less (translation: barely anything) and still enjoy the season. I’ve had my turn at brightening up the world. Now it’s up to someone else to do it. And, of course, they do. Let me assure you that young, healthy people and especially retail merchants will supply all the Christmas anyone can handle — and more.
As for me, these days I manage to do something special for my grandchildren — usually from home, thanks to the internet. I hang a fresh wreath on my front door. (The smell of fresh pine is one item I refuse to do without.) I buy Christmas goodies at the bakery and an already-cooked turkey with the trimmings from the local grocer. The cards and letters I once sent have become emails.
I enjoy a seasonal visit with my family who live in another city, but never on the holiday itself. I have memories of my one and only Christmas Eve airplane journey that was scheduled to take five hours door to door. Instead, due to weather in another part of the country, it took 13 hours in crowded airports to reach my destination. Unwilling to risk a similar situation, I make my visits about a week before or after the actual holiday. I still get to see their tree, perhaps a Christmas pageant, and share in their excitement. But then I get to go home to the familiar routine so necessary in preventing fibromyalgia flares.
Unfortunately, fibromyalgia doesn’t take a holiday vacation. So, rather than try to pretend it doesn’t exist, I’ve learned to do only what I can comfortably do. This is just one more instance where less is more. By Christine Lynch
I have noted a much better quality of life since going Paleo. For some reason the meat, tubers, and veggie thing still leaves my body in shambles wanting more food through disengaged central nervous system.
I have come to enjoy these Paleo sides and keep a bag of them in my freezer for easy pick up when needed.
1 Cup Almond Flour
2/3 Cup Tapioca Flour
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Real Salt
5 Tbsp Butter
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
1 tsp Lemon Juice
After her sister is quarantined at Ellis Island, a Polish nurse (Marion Cotillard) is forced into prostitution by a theater manager (Joaquin Phoenix) who moonlights as a pimp.
In 1818, high-spirited young Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) finds herself increasingly intrigued by the handsome but aloof poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw), who lives next door to her family friends the Dilkes. After reading a book of his poetry, she finds herself even more drawn to the taciturn Keats. Although he agrees to teach her about poetry, Keats cannot act on his reciprocated feelings for Fanny, since as a struggling poet he has no money to support a wife.
In 1980, Lee Strobel's (Mike Vogel) award-winning, investigative reporting earns him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. Things at home aren't going nearly as well. His wife Leslie's (Erika Christensen) newfound faith in Christ compels Lee to utilize his journalistic and legal training to try and disprove the claims of Christianity, pitting his resolute atheism against her growing faith.
An Argentine doctor faces legal and ethical challenges when she travels to the countryside to pick up the infant she has been waiting to adopt.
CIA agent Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) hatches a bold but dangerous plan to capture terrorist Al-Saleem. With the help of Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) who is a master of subterfuge, Ferris creates a fake terrorist organization to prompt Al-Saleem out of hiding. At the same time, Ferris must keep his plan secret from Hani (Mark Strong), the head of Jordanian intelligence, because Ferris will lose his own life if Hani finds out.
Matt, a struggling executive, finds his world turned upside down when his estranged father's nurse shows up unexpectedly in his office. Matt's father, a famed bad-boy photojournalist, is facing terminal cancer and his dying wish is for Matt to join him on a road trip from New York to Kansas to process his last rolls of Kodachrome film before the sole remaining lab closes and those captured moments are gone forever.
Rising FBI investigators Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Jess (Julia Roberts), along with Claire (Nicole Kidman), their district-attorney supervisor, are suddenly torn apart following the brutal murder of Jess' teenage daughter. Thirteen years later, after obsessively searching for the elusive killer, Ray uncovers a new lead that he is certain can permanently resolve the case and bring long-desired closure to the team. But no one is prepared for the shocking and unspeakable secret that follows.
Mobster Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson) ignites a turf war in 1970s Cleveland that leads to the collapse of the Mafia in several major U.S. cities.
Following his release from prison, an ex-fighter (Sean Bean) meets a woman (Eva Longoria) who helps him put his life back together.
With the nation embroiled in still another year with the high death count of Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) brings the full measure of his passion, humanity and political skill to what would become his defining legacy: to end the war and permanently abolish slavery through the 13th Amendment. Having great courage, acumen and moral fortitude, Lincoln pushes forward to compel the nation, and those in government who oppose him, to aim toward a greater good for all mankind.
Along with two friends, a determined woman travels to Vietnam to bring home the baby her recently deceased daughter had planned to adopt.
Good Reads: The Silent Corner
The Silent Corner. These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for—but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demand: find the truth, no matter what.
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Hip Flexor Pain
As the sun wanes down, and winter begins to take effect, getting out in the sun makes is all but impossible to gain that helpful nutrient Vitamin D. One thing that is becoming a constant plague is hip flexor pain. It seems as the week drones on, pain begins to radiate on both sides of my hips while walking. I'm sharing an article from Living Smarter with Fibromyalgia to offer some insight:
It is not uncommon to have hip flexor issues or pain in this area when living with fibromyalgia. The hips, hip flexors, and lower back correlate with fibromyalgia pain areas due to tender areas around the lower back, many more trigger point areas and other conditions that affect the surrounding areas.
The hip flexor muscles allow your hips to move with flexibility. You are engaging these muscles whenever you move your legs, and that means your hips are involved in most of the movements that you make throughout the average day.
A healthy person may not realize how often they use their hip flexors, but anyone living with fibromyalgia who experiences hip flexor pain will be well aware of this on a more regular basis.
I have personally dealt with hip flexor pain and then later re-strengthening of these areas while developing more fibro safe exercises after my full hysterectomy three years ago. Yes, I do get it. I will address more of this later in the lower part of this article.
While there are some known injuries and medical conditions that can cause pain in the hip flexors, it can be difficult to identify a direct cause of this pain in someone with fibromyalgia, except for the many daily activities that I often refer to.
We might treat the pain as another symptom of the diagnosed condition or take more time to determine an exact cause for the pain. Either way, the fibromyalgia and hip flexor pain is often debilitating if not treated efficiently and promptly.
Hip flexor pain is often referred to as flexor tendinosis. The pain from this condition typically comes from one or both of the following muscles: Illicacus and Psoas. These muscles are often lumped together as one unit, referred to as the illiopsoas.
The psoas is responsible for a lot of general back and leg pain because the sitting positions that most people hold throughout the day cause the muscle to shorten for a long period of time. When you stand up and start moving around again, that muscle doesn’t want to lengthen and function properly.
For those suffering from fibromyalgia, the pain may come from other muscles that help the hips move. This includes the quadriceps, even though those muscles are lower than most hip flexor muscles.
While flexor tendinosis caused by an injury or issue not related to fibromyalgia may focus on one particular muscle or area of the hip, fibromyalgia patients may experience pain that spreads out throughout this region of the body. The cause of the pain is often unexplainable, as is typically the case with fibromyalgia pain.
One simple way to prevent some fibromyalgia and hip flexor pain is to avoid sitting in one position for a long period of time. Get up and move around periodically so that your muscles don’t have time to set in one position.
You often hear me recommending safe and effective exercise and the importance of participating in some level of exercise in order to keep your body strong and more flexible, and this is another recommendation for hip flexor pain as well.
As an alternative to straps and/or bringing the neck forward, bring a chair up to you close while lying on floor, then cross one leg over the other just above the knee, and hold. The chair really acts as a person or therapist helping you to stretch in a safer and more effective way.
The stretch I am performing here is great to do anytime, especially after sitting. We draw up on one leg (no shoes) to just above OR below the knee, (this loosens the hips) then draw the arm up on the same side and feel the light stretch from your hips through your obliques. Here, I am putting my heel just ABOVE the knee, not on the knee itself.
Slightly different than yoga, what we do is more range of motion techniques for fibromyalgia. Therefore, avoid pushing into the knee or inside of opposing leg. The idea is to lift and stretch through the movement.
If you spend much of your day sitting at a desk, invest in an office chair that is highly adjustable. Set the chair higher, allowing your hips to rest above your knees. This position is healthier for your hip flexors and may eliminate pain caused by the shortening of those muscles in the typical office chair position. You may also want to consider a standing desk that allows you to easily lift your work space.
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Valerie utilizes an extensive amount of research producing this blog. Categories are purposely set up in stages, rather than topics, so you can easily implement one step at a time.