Good food and exercise …research aims to establish and implement programs to aid SCI health.

We all know that good food is important …..lots of green vegetables, salads and fresh fruit.  I met an aged tortoise that reminded me of that fact recently at Singapore Zoo but there is another important factor to human longevity – exercise!

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On a fine night #stgeorgeopenair cinema is a delight for wheelchair users and their carers.

Emily and I were lucky enough to be invited to the open air cinema on Mrs Macquaries Point. I was reticent as I anticipated parking mayhem, a long walk/push to the venue. I expected issues with seating and difficulty accessing food and drinks. How wrong could I have been…….. I have to share that the evening was one of the most special events that Emily and I have attended. Continue reading

Emily’s second hand surgery has been easier, let’s hope it’s as successful!

I have to publish this post before I forget how we have managed with Emily’s cast. The operation to address tenodesis was on December 9th with the original bulky white cast being replaced by a lightweight purple cast the following week. We were on the bus into town minutes after the vividly coloured, ‘punching fist’ cast had dried, well, it was the week before Christmas and a girl has to shop!

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Helpful hints to get in Shape whether a wheelchair user or carer.

Taking care of ourselves is imperative and when healthy choices are incorporated into our everyday routines then well-being blooms.

Emily attends therapy sessions at Walk On in Lidcombe, aquatic-physiotherapy whenever possible and scheduled time in her standing frame amongst other exercises. These activities constitute an important aspect of her health and fitness routine. As her carer I must prioritize my health with similar vigor as being unfit would compromise my ability to give care. Essentially we all need to be robust with added vigor to meet the challenges of our active everyday roles. Continue reading

Progress this year shows Emily blossom into post trauma independence and I celebrate !

Today is the anniversary of my 1st blog. I thought it fitting to reflect on the year; Emily’s progress, the subtle changes that experience has delivered to Emily and me, the evolution of our separate short and long-term goals. Continue reading

My local cafe told me to – never give up!

I was up at dawn and cycling energetically with my chum; up hills, down slopes and around bends. My Strava (iphone app that plots course and speed) was on and we were loving the fresh bright morning. We arrived, puce and sweaty,  at our local cafe for our regular coffee fix where we were greeted by a blackboard notice telling us “Never give up!”

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Relaxation tips for Carers

Relaxation can be the last thing we think about during our busy day but crucially important for us all. Without a moment to remember ourselves within the daily routine we can loose perspective. Relaxation readjusts my psyche so that I am calmer and surprisingly more energised.

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Writing about carers is personal

Most every family will live their lives safe in the knowledge that only Grandma and a rare visiting Auntie will see them in their favourite Disney PJ’s, yawning on the way to their morning ablution. I wake up everyday to greet a variety of carers as they enter our home, 7.00am the door bell rings and our privacy evaporates. I mostly bump into the roster-ed carer on the stairs; I’m usually sleepy, padding barefoot towards the kettle for morning tea.

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Avoid toxins and unnecessary calories for a healthy SCI and carer diet

I love lists, I make lists for Monday, I write lists for Woolworths, I mark on my hand, to remind me with a single letter, of something I would otherwise forget for another week. But did I miss the memo telling social media that all articles have to devise their contents into an ultimate list of ten? I wish life could be addressed with a list, a top ten easy steps to everything or ten bullet points for life! Now I am enlightened into the magic significance of ten I  am trying to tackle all things in sub ten. I can’t lay off listing but I can attempt shorter lists; brief, succinct notelets to myself, it’s a challenge but I set about it with my healthy diet for SCI and carer piece below.

I was reading about making every calorie count which is important in a SCI diet as fewer calories are needed during a regular day. Eating healthy ingredients maximizes benefits within the daily allowances. I was reading avidly about ingredients that would enrich a diet without overdosing on calories. In one article it declared the benefits of antioxidants which help lower the risk of stroke according to research published in the journal Neurology but the article didn’t give any actual antioxidant examples. I delved further and looked up antioxidants in food; Google gave me a list of ten which included: Purple, Red, and Blue Grapes, Blueberries, Red Berries, Nuts, Dark Green Veggies, Sweet Potatoes and Orange Vegetables,  Tea,  Whole Grains,  Beans,  Fish. A pattern was beginning to emerge along with lists always coming in ten, the super-foods, antioxidants and healthy choices overlapped.

I have compiled my own list although mine only runs to six, as I endeavour to rebel against the number ten. The foods below are an amalgamation included in many of the lists beneficial to us all in our diets.

  • Tomatoes – high in important antioxidants such as vitamin C and Vitamin A
  • Salmon – packed with omega – 3 fatty acids
  • Oats – our daily intake can slash the risk of heart related conditions and stroke by at least 15 – 20% reports a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  • Berries – higher intake of berries can reduce the risk of heart disease by a third – Nurses’ Health Study in the US
  • Yogurt – according to a study in the Nutrition Research journal yogurt eaters, who eat at least one serving a week, have healthier diets and are less likely to be nutrient deficient.
  • Broccoli – high In vitamin C and K . As an anti inflammatory compound it has been found to slow down the wear and tear of joint cartilage so lesson the symptoms of arthritis. Men who eat broccoli a few times a week run a lower risk of developing prostate cancer according to a study in the journal Plos One.

I appreciate  these one-dimensional lists of healthy foods and but life is a complex blend of interactions so although we must all be more aware of our food choices we have to consider our lifestyle to really address health.

It’s the connection between what we eat and our lifestyle that really interests me.  I started reading wellness practices at I read several subjects which were pertinent for Emily and me. I reckon we all gain if we practice living well whether we are able-bodied or wheelchair users. The basic messages were:

  • Eat fresh food
  • Avoid heavily processed and refined foods
  • Eat food high in antioxidants – bright coloured fruits and veg, grains and beans
  • Avoid fried foods
  • Wash fruit and veg thoroughly before using them
  • Avoid heating food in microwaves in plastic containers
  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Surround yourself with clean air
  • Keep use of over the counter medicines to a minimum.
  • Use non polluting products in the home, phosphate free.
  • Use solar sources of energy
  • Use personal hygiene products that are free from artificial chemicals
  • Support the environment – don’t use plastic bags, support environment friendly industry.
  • Reduce stress – manage mental and environmental stress in your life

Wow that’s quite a list, fifteen, but reducing toxins improves body functions and reduces the stress on our kidneys ,liver,  lungs and digestive systems. The reason this list extends is because it also tackles environmental issues; basically lifestyle choices combined with healthy food choices. I’m not doing well on succinct , short or brief yet!

So more reading ensured I was educated widely on the subject but reading more and more doesn’t expand this topic much. It comes down to a simple logic; eat fresh and modestly, be aware of your carbon footprint in all your choices. That’s two points so I can rest easy now as succinct, brief and healthy in under ten points.

  • Done.

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