Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Marching On

In baseball parlance, I am zero for March. That's not a good batting average. The creeping crud (lingering nasal and chest congestion) has had me in its grip for almost two weeks, and the doctor is adamant: no antibiotics for wretched you, only Mucinex. The weather has been mostly overcast with roller-coast temperatures. And I haven't tended to the steadfastdawgwalker blog. Not so steadfast have I been.

Oh well, the sun is shining today, with temps rising into the 80s ahead of another cold front and rain tomorrow. I even cut back the dead-looking Lantana so it can make its Lazarus-like revival in mid-summer.

And amid all the gloom, my monthly day-brightener, Prevention, arrived in the mailbox. What is it about this little magazine that makes me happy? All the pictures of incredibly fit chicks? Or the pix of appetizing and healthy entrees? Well, both of those help with attitude adjustment, but actually the nuggets of wisdom in the short articles and illustrations are what fascinate me. Honest they do.

Just realized with arrival of March's issue that I hadn't given February's a decent perusal. (February was a busy month.) Had I done so, I could have eaten "for a FLAT BELLY with real food and no dieting" plus I could have gotten "a younger heart in just 7 days." Those were two of the cover stories.

Given that I have a bionic heart (artificial aortic root and valve), I wondered if the reduction of heart age would apply to me.  I found advice such as finding my "relax button" and imagining myself calm, and thought nope probably not hyperactive me, Bionic Bob. However, I was intrigued by the issue's guide to shopping and cooking for the New Nordic Diet. Scandinavians appear to be healthy so why not? But then I discovered that many Nordic recipes call for "fresh tree needles, even whole branches, from evergreen or spruce trees to give soups, stews, and sauces a piney flavor," and I decided no I really don't want to eat my beautiful cedar trees. I was relieved, though, to read further that rosemary or thyme are acceptable substitutes.

There is a dynamic feature in this issue about a possible therapy being practiced in Eastern Europe that could save us in our possible coming post-antibiotic era, when more and more bacteria become antibiotic-resistant. (That trend helps explains why doctors like my own are trying not to overprescribe antibiotics, lest we build up immunities rendering them impotent.) The story has to do with the harnessing for therapeutic good of "bacteriophages," substances that are eaters of bacteria and are found in soil, water, and even our digestive tracts. The story of what is happening in places like the nation of Georgia is worth a read.

It may seem at times that I am poking fun at Prevention, but if I am it is out of sheer love. Preventive medicine has always made sense to me, and so I am happy to see the idea advanced in a readable fashion. Even when this faithful subscriber come across pieces that seem quirky, I rarely come away without an idea or two for practical application. Which is not to say I eat tree bark -- yet.

Okay, now I can move on to the March issue. I think I will post my thoughts about its nuggets of wisdom tomorrow. That will serve to put me on a dilly of a blog-posting trend. As for dawgwalking, Sadie and I have done our best to persevere despite rising temperatures that quickly put her in panting mode and stubborn crud that makes my legs feel weak. Two old dawgs -- but we keep marching on.

                        © Robert G. Holland  2015

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