Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I was reading a friend's blog post today. She is involved in campus ministry with The Navigators team in Colorado Springs. Her and her husband have an amazing admirable faith, a faith that seems so vast and deep compared to my own.

I'm not an exemplary Christian. Fellowship, evangelism, discipleship. None of which I'm good at. I don't pray as often as I know I should to keep my relationship strong with God. I can always tell when I let that relationship go by the way side. It's so easy to do in our culture. I feel the exact same way with people. When I rekindle our friendship it's amazing, but when I lose touch I lose base with what that friend stands for and why I fall in love with them as a person. Same with God. It's so easy to forget why I love Him but when I just put some effort in, it's blessed and beautiful. One day I'll learn to keep it alive and full and happy. That's when I'm complete, when I feel my best. I could use that now. My faith is strong and deep, don't get me wrong. I just don't always run to Jesus, I have a tendency to pull into myself when things get hard. Like now.

I haven't picked up my bible for about three weeks now. Isn't that horrible?! That's how He talks to me and I talk to Him via prayer. So in essence he picks up the phone all the time, but I never do. Also funny how that is in real life too. I hate talking on the phone, I almost never answer it unless I know I need to or know who's calling. But that's not how relationships work. They take time, fostering, loving care, and attention.

Anyway, it was so uplifting to read the blog. She helped lead a girl to Christ :) One of the things I love to say the most is "welcome to the family"'s just about the most wonderful thing you can say to anyone on this earth.

Earlier in class we were talking about The Okinawa, which is basically that Okinawa, Japan has by far the highest population of centurions (people who live for 100+ years). We were talking about all the influences as to why this is. I've been to Okinawa, it was beautiful, majestic, peaceful, spiritual. But markedly one of the things I took from there and will hold with me is the tranquility.

I'm sort of a naturally stressed person. My natural tendency is to stress and/or worry. I can go on vacation and still find something to worry about, even if it's just wondering what's going to happen in my future. I have my times where I'm nothing but a huge stress ball, and then I have my times where I am so completely relaxed and happy-go-lucky and laid-back that people know life is good and full of hope. But with Okinawa, there is such a deep peace, a beautiful tranquility to their culture that it resonates through people.

I think one of the biggest contributers to premature death (other than nutrition) is stress. American culture is stressful, there is absolutely nothing relaxing about it. There's pressure to be the best, to make something of yourself, to live up to expectations, to do as much as possible, to keep up with the rest. We get to busy we neglect ourselves, we don't take time to take of ourselves, let alone each other. This is a fundamental difference between our culture and theirs. And it leads to such a HUGE reduction in stress. Stress is hard on the body, in any form. It wears down the muscles, speeds up reactions that for every reaction slowly destroys the body in numerous ways, and ultimately wears down the spirit.

I got one of several group projects down. It's was a research project for my Exercise Testing Instrumentation class. We designed a research study in which there was one control subject and a few other subjects that ingested differing forms of protein. Kelly ingested a free amino acid supplement, Britt my roommate ingested a powdered vegetable protein drink, and I ingested a powder whey protein drink. We measured changes in lean muscle mass, fat mass, bone mineral content and overall body mass with DEXA's. Tomorrow the overall written project is due. Basically it was a miniature version of a scientific journal article. If you don't know what a journal article is go to and type in a subject that interests you and up will pop links to journal articles. Click on one and see it's format. THAT's what we did. It was crazy. And working with a group is never fun, especially when they don't pull their weight. It took us four hours to finish this stupid thing tonight but we got it done. Just have to finish the powerpoint presentation and we're good to go.

Tomorrow night I'm meeting with another group to wrap up a project and finish our last paper. It's for Community Nutrition in which we had to do a service learning project. In this project we were assigned in groups to work with an agency in the community and while working with them, we had to establish a nutrition related need, design and implement an intervention, and now we are working on evaluating the intervention. Our agency was the Northern Colorado AIDS Project. Because of the nature of the disease, we can't work directly with the clients who utilize NCAP's services, so designing an intervention without interacting with any of them was hard and interesting to do. What we ended up doing was creating a single pamphlet that summarized the drug-diet interactions of the most commonly perscribed HIV/AIDS meds and then another pamphlet that was a nutritional guide on how to alleviate the symptoms brought on by these medications and ways to optimize their health via diet. That one will be done tomorrow night.

Then Kelly, Heather and I have a presentation friday morning in which we are talking about bulimarexia: it's background/history, nutritional implications, and prevalence in society. Also what characterizes bulimarexia. I got the idea of this from Intervention. Yeah I know, don't make fun. But there was this girl who binged and purged but when she binged she didn't actually eat the food, she "chewed and spit." Which means she's not ingesting any calories. Like 150 calories in a day!!! That's not even enough for the brain to run on without muscle wasting!! But in our Nutrition in the Life Cycle class she wanted us to broach subjects that haven't been touched. Eating disorders were sort of covered but not bulimarexia. Oddly enough no research has been done on it since the 80's so yeah.

Last project to work on is Alyssa and I's case study presentation we just got yesterday and have to present on Tuesday. It's Parkinson's with Dysphagia. For our Medical Nutrition Therapy. But not only do we have to know what the disease is, but we have to know how it's treated medically, how to read so many different charts, interpret lab values and then percribe the right individual nutrition therapy based upon everything. Good lord, that's going to be a blast working on this weekend :)

Oh and I have to finish my renal disease case study. Shoot I should not forget that. I finished the entire case study other than developing a one-day diet that meets all the perscribed dietary guidelines. Ok, my gripe is meeting the potassium and calorie needs without overdoing the potassium which yes needs to be replaced but is found in low calorie foods and too much potassium can lead to abnormal heart function and possibly heart failure. This stuff is freaking hard!!!

Anywho, I just had to get all of that out somewhere. I'm basically rambling and spilling right now.

Here's a little pic of me I snapped today while in the bathroom at school to send to a friend. Enjoy :)

P.S. Winter is finally upon us, to my disdain of the frigid cold. It's snowing outside, beautiful fluffy white snow. Guess I'll just have to enjoy it and hit the mountains after finals. I can't wait to hop on a board again after so many years and continue learning how to board. But man, it makes for a chilly walk to/from class :)

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