In This Issue

  • ME and My Thoughts
  • Breaking the Boom - Bust Cycle
  • Today's Special from the Flagging Chef
  • Something to Smile About

ME and My Thoughts

"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!" - Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I first met and fell in love with Thoreau my freshman year in college (I won't admit how many years ago!). I was fascinated by his experiment on Walden pond so long ago. He purposely forsook his life in town for the wilderness of Walden. He left behind the hustle and bustle of society and civilization with their obligations and replaced them with quiet contemplation and a deep appreciate for nature.

I envied Thoreau for his experience. Little did I know that many years later I would be forced to adopt his simplistic way of life through chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). I certainly had to abandon many of my activities. How many of them had I been doing out of habit and duty rather than love? CFS required me to reevaluate what was important to me and set priorities.

With time, I realize that I haven't really lost anything of true importance. My life is filled with love, peace, faith, learning, and joy. I think Thoreau would approve.

"When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality." - Henry David Thoreau, Walden


Breaking the Boom - Bust Cycle

Does this sound familiar? You've been feeling so tired lately. Maybe you've had a sore throat and felt a little achy, too. You haven't been up to doing much, so you've spent a lot of time in bed. Then, one morning you wake up and feel a bit better – more energy, less fatigue. You remember all the things on your To Do list that you neglected over the last few days, and you get to work! You might make it through the afternoon, but then the exhaustion starts to creep back in again. By the next morning, you are back to square one … or worse.

Many of us with chronic fatigue fall into this boom-bust cycle. It becomes a one step forward, two steps back process. We end up feeling worse and worse.

Pacing is the way to break the boom - bust cycle. Pacing is the practice of alternating periods of activity with periods of rest. The key is to listen to your body and stop as soon as you become unpleasantly tired.

Here are some tips for successful pacing.

  • Apply the 50% rule. Only do half of what you think you can do.
  • Break larger tasks into smaller sessions. Rest between sessions.
  • Switch tasks. Instead of doing one thing for a long time, try to change the type of activity frequently.
  • Set priorities. Don't do something simply because you feel you should or have to. Make sure it really is important to you.
  • Ask for help! This can be hard to do when you are used to being independent. You will be surprised at how your relationships deepen when you ask for and receive help.
  • Plan big events. Clear your calendar around the event to make sure you have enough energy going into it and enough time to recuperate after.
  • Do something you love every day. Pacing can feel very restrictive. Remember, the goal is to give you the energy to do more of the things you enjoy, not less.

For more information on pacing, visit www.chronic-fatigue-community.com/pacing .


“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” - Marcel Proust

Today's Special from the Flagging Chef

Here is a quick, elegant dinner salad that is perfect for a hot summer night!

Bistro Dinner Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
  • 4 large eggs
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 bacon slices (uncooked)
  • 8 cups gourmet salad greens
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 (1-inch-thick) slices French bread baguette, toasted

Directions

Place nuts in a small skillet; cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.

Break 1 egg into each of 4 (6-ounce) custard cups coated with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap, and microwave at high for 40 seconds or until set; let stand 1 minute. Remove eggs from cups; drain on paper towels.

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp; cool slightly. Remove bacon from the pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings. Crumble bacon. Combine walnuts, bacon, greens, blue cheese, and pear in a large bowl.

Combine 1 teaspoon reserved drippings, vinegar, oil, tarragon, and mustard in small bowl; stir with a whisk. Drizzle over greens mixture; toss gently. Arrange 2 cups salad mixture on each of 4 serving plates; top each serving with 1 egg and 1 toast slice. Serves 4. From Cooking Light. For more super simple recipes, visit my recipe blog, The Flagging Chef.


Something to Smile About

A dentist, an electrician, and a carpenter decide to play a practical joke on their best friend on his wedding night.

"I'll loosen some joints on his bed so it collapses when he's making love," says the carpenter.

"I'll hot wire his mattress so they'll feel immense heat while making love," says the electrician.

"Those are good ideas," says the dentist. "But my contribution's going to be a real surprise."

The next day the new husband comes to the diner to meet his friends. He says "I congratulate you guys for making the bed heat up and collapse, but I'm gonna kill whichever one of you put Novocaine in the massage oil!"