United States ~ Europe

Make The Smart Gambles

make the smart gambles

Make The Smart Gambles

Make the Smart Gambles

I was lying in bed Wednesday morning at 2:00 a.m., awake and sore. I was into the third day of recovering from a bad bout of a vicious food poisoning.   Primary suspect: Huevos Rancheros. Location: A Mexican restaurant in the center of Amsterdam.

After lying in bed for the better part of two days, my body was deadly sore. Plus, I was dehydrated and still sick, so that adds to the fun…

As I am want to do, I turned on an app that is designed to help you meditate: a fairly easy-to-use app called, The Cutting Machinery.

In two sets of ten minutes each, the narrator directs you to:

First: Focus on a mantra;
Second: Engage all your senses at once so that you are mindful of all input around you;
Third: Give your negative emotions room to be felt, accepted, and released to the Universe (or something like that).

So, it’s me and the app…

I won’t lie; sometimes I use the app to fall asleep. I know, I know…but there it is.

I turned it on this night so I could get some asleep.

Ten minutes in, the little bell rang, and the narrator got me ready to “feel everything sensation at once.”

This is when I usually fall asleep. I guess I just go into sensory shutdown or something. But this night, I was really sore.

I needed a chiropractic adjustment in the worst way; my neck was locked up, so I was getting a headache; my ribs were locked up (presumably from all the vomiting), so I couldn’t lay on either side well; and my pelvis was locked up from lying in all kinds of wrong positions for too long.

In short, my sensory input was mostly neck and back pain.  Sleep was far away.

I decided to actually meditate: to simultaneously engage all my sensory awareness.

I listened to my neighbors move about in their apartments. I smelled the fresh air coming in the window that I had left open slightly. I felt my aches and pains. I heard a faint whine…

..wait.  What was that?

…a faint whine.

It drifted close, then away, then close…then very close to my face…

…There’s nothing like the realization that you’re being HUNTED AND HARVESTED BY A MOSQUITO to access your complete and total awareness.

Reader warning: I am not the Dalai Lama. I am not a Zen Buddhist.  If a mosquito is hunting me, it’s either me or the mosquito.

I will spoil you the details, but after a brief, hectic, animated engagement with a mosquito newly fat and drunk on my blood, I won.

I had taken a gamble on my window.

I had taken a chance and left the window ajar — without a screen — to let some fresh air in.

I took a gamble that I was too high up, I was too remote, and the opening in the window was too small for a flying insect to notice.

Even a mosquito.

I took the gamble and lost.

I didn’t have to go through that. I could have lessened my exposure to…well…exposure. I could have gotten the screen beforehand.

You know how it is. I had other things on my mind: trying to get settled, trying to get situated, trying to meet people, yada yada yada. A screen was a detail that I backburnered until later.

But I had made a worse gamble

But the decision I made at the Mexican restaurant three days prior was worse.  No, it wasn’t the Huevos Rancheros — ordering anything from a restaurant in which one is unfamiliar is always a gamble.

My bad was that I consciously decided not to take a digestive enzyme capsule before I ate.

THAT was unnecessary. I keep them with me wherever I go. I offer them to friends like a before-meal mint.

But this time, I actually thought to myself, “Eh, let’s see how my digestion handles the food.”

Bad gamble. Silly gamble.


*I am not making claims that digestive enzymes supplements protect one’s gut against food poisoning.

I am saying that, for people like me who are in their middle years our stomach acids and digestive enzyme production start to slow down.

It is often a good idea, especially at restaurants where you’re not in control of the food, to take a digestive enzyme supplement to help break down the food you into its simplest forms: amino acids.

That former statement is backed up by science.  Next is where my theory – *with no scientific backing of which I am aware, mind you – kicks in:

*Claire’s Unverified Theory: If there happens to be some nasty bacteria trying to live in the food, then logic would dictate that the digestive enzyme would break that down into amino acids, too. Maybe they would even break down a virus.

So, to me, it’s a safe bet to take a digestive enzyme at a restaurant. I normally take a digestive enzyme supplement at a restaurant.

In fact, it is a silly bet NOT to take one.

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But, this time, I just wanted to see what would happen.  Just in case I was wrong.  That I didn’t need them.

Would I be all right?

I got my answer during the next 72 hours of bedridden involuntary emergency detoxification.

Knowing the odds, I consciously made a silly gamble.

I won’t be making that gamble again. I hope.

We all make decisions on the fly, little concessions, little gambles, little postponements to prioritize something else.  Many times, that’s the only thing to do to get something you need done in a timely and efficient fashion.

Many times, one makes the decision to gamble on something because they are being prudent or cautious – like taking nutritional supplements, using natural products over conventional products, or putting a screen in the window.

Other times, the gamble is just silly.

Even dangerous.

I am one of those people who sometimes makes those silly gambles.  It is in my nature to push my boundaries. Not proud of that, but it’s true. I’m curious sometimes to the point of using my own body as a laboratory.

You’d think by now I’d be more discriminate with my gambles.

I’m better than I was even ten years ago. But I am still learning.  Always learning.

What are smart gambles?

  1. Use quality nutritional supplementation
  2. Use cleaning products, bathing products, linens, and clothing that are free of synthetic chemicals or unnatural fibers.
  3. Make every effort to eliminate refined sugar and artificial sweetener from your life.
  4. Eat organic, locally grown, minimally processed foods
  5. Eat mostly vegetables. If you eat meat, make them (once) happy, free-range animals (see #4)
  6. Filter your water and air with good filters
  7. Avoid plastic storage containers for your food
  8. Brisk-walk 4 times a week, at least a 1/2 hour a day
  9. Do weight-bearing exercises 4 times a week, at least a 1/2 hour a day
  10. Move your bed away from the plugs in your room.
  11. Sleep 7-8 hours a night on a regular schedule.
  12. Use a crystal deodorant stick instead of anti-persperant/deodorant from the drug store
  13. Brush and floss twice a day (I heard many dentists have taken floss off of their recommendation. I’m not buying it).
  14. Get regular chiropractic adjustments so that you can adapt to your ever changing environment.
  15. If you’re 40+ and starting to get gas and bloating at every heavy meal, buy a decent digestive enzyme like this one: Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes Ultra w/Betaine HCl

Those are just the ones off the top of my head.

What are silly gambles?

Ignoring all of the above. It’s just our lives, right? What could happen?

Where can you make the smarter gambles in your life?