Coffee time! I can’t believe it has been a month since the last time we sat down and talked with our favorite hot drink. Pull up a chair and let’s chat.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you about my float therapy session. I had never done float therapy before. When I received a gift card for an introductory session from my son and daughter-in-law for Christmas I didn’t know exactly what to expect.
I pictured floating in a coffin-like enclosure in complete darkness, which made me slightly apprehensive about trying it. As it turns out, this mental image was completely inaccurate.
The place where I floated is called Bala Float Center. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a very nice woman who explained the whole process to me. I was taken into a spa-like private suite with a changing area, shower, and float room.
I was instructed to take a head-to-toe shower using soap (including washing my hair) before I entered the float room. The float room was about five feet by eight feet with a glass door, kind of like a big shower, except the ceiling sloped from normal height at one end to about three feet high at the other.
Inside the float room, there was a control panel which I could use to turn the lights on or off, adjust the loudness of the new age-y relaxation music, or activate the intercom to communicate with the receptionist if needed. The room was filled with about a foot of saturated Epsom salt solution heated to body temperature.
I stepped into the room and lowered myself into the water. My skin immediately began to itch. A lot. At first, I thought I would have to get out of the water and cut the session short, but the itchy sensation quickly disappeared and I began to relax.
I spent a few minutes of the hour-long session playing with the controls to determine the optimum conditions. When I turned off the lights, it was pitch black. Having my eyes open or closed looked exactly the same. Because the room was so large and I could move around when I floated, this was rather disorienting. I turned the dim lights back on. I found it more relaxing to float with the music off.
After I had all the adjustments made, I wondered what I would do for the 55 minutes left in the session. I am not a good relaxer. Being completely still for almost an hour seemed daunting. I started doing meditation-like mind exercises, trying to let thoughts come and go, not holding on to any one thought, just noticing where my mind wandered. I soon became very, very relaxed. I floated.
And, before I knew it, time was up and I had to take another shower (my third of the day). As I washed off the Epsom salt solution, I noticed my skin was extremely soft and silky. This lasted for several days after the float. I also noted that my muscles and mind were both in “hang-loose” mode, kind of like during savasana in yoga or right after a good massage. That lasted for the rest of the day.
I will definitely float again. Thank you to my son and daughter-in-law for introducing me to a wonderful new experience.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you about my new diet. Unfortunately, this new diet was not completely voluntary.
As part of my annual physical two months ago, I had the typical bloodwork done. My cholesterol was always a little bit on the high side, but my doctor was unconcerned because my good cholesterol (HDL) is very high and my ratio of bad (LDL)-to-good cholesterol is very low. This time, my total cholesterol was not just a little bit high, it was through the roof.
My doctor wanted me to begin taking cholesterol-lowering medication, but I asked if I could attempt to lower my cholesterol through diet. I have four months to try.
Even though I don’t eat much meat, I was eating full-fat yogurt five or six days a week for breakfast, drinking full-fat milk, cooking with butter, and otherwise consuming a lot of saturated fat. I didn’t realize that to maintain good cholesterol levels, I not only had to watch my cholesterol intake, I had to watch saturated fat as well.
Cholesterol is only found in animal products, so French fries, for example, contain no cholesterol, but they do contain saturated fat. In fact, lots of food contains saturated fat. Look at the labels in the grocery store sometime. I was amazed.
My goal is to eat less than 10 grams of saturated fat each day. The salad pictured above, which was our dinner last night, along with some home-made honey oatmeal bread, contained spinach, cabbage, edamame, spiralized sauteed sweet potato, and spring onions with a tiny bit of spicy peanut dressing.
The peanut butter in the dressing contains saturated fat, but I used less than a tablespoon and the edamame contains (yes!) saturated fat, but I still met my goal of under 10 grams per day. I got the recipe here from this vegan blogger. It was delicious.
I still dream of ice cream.
Thank you for joining me for coffee this month. As always, I enjoyed our talk.
I am linking up with Coco from Running With Perseverance and Deborah from Confessions of a Mother Runner for their Ultimate Coffee Date, Kooky Runner for Tuesday Topics, Morgan’s Milieu for Post, Comment, Love, and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 5.