Getting Super Better Playing Super Better: Jane McGonigal, Quester Extrodinaire

 When I returned to college at 50, much of it online, I began reading and researching web pioneers as I was using conferencing and learning to build websites.

One of the names I kept hearing about was Jane McGonigal. But she was a gamer, something I was definitely NOT interested in. So I let her slip by.

When I was first diagnosed with MTHFRc677t and became legally disabled, I began reading everything I could on all the difficulties of a severe disease. I found that stress plays a major role. I believe I caught Jane doing a TED talk during that time so I bought and read and played as best I could, Super Better.

Her book, a delight, was probably her dissertation. It is done in the style I prefer and many of the doctors I review here cannot or will not afford. The book is full of citations for all her claims that gaming develops strengths and resiliencies especially when we have allies helping us in our quest. And unlike many of these professionals, her book has a great index, so you can look up any part at any time. I now see she wrote an earlier book: Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

While I hesitate to recommend her to some of the dear folks I know, who are very very ill, I do. We all need allies; we all can be amazingly resilient and we all have undiscovered strengths. The main tenet of this blog is that TOGETHER, WE HEAL. Treating illness is not for sissies btw. If you watch almost any of Jane's TED's talks, you will hear how she created Super Better after a very serious illness.

You would think a book on gaming is all about sitting alone in your room playing computer games but the way Jane recommends is just the opposite. She places gangs of kids, actually huge gangs, I think they have done thousands, together in a room playing together. What researchers found was that empathy and social skills INCREASED. This is all well researched and documented. Players learned to help each other even while competing.

And games, quests, like how Jane worked with her own illness, do not need to be computer driven. Jane claims having a gaming attitude towards life can add ten years to your life. So no matter what the challenge is, I suggest you check Jane McGonigal out. Read her and watch her videos. I have had a hard time getting one to upload for you to enjoy. So I will suggest you search her on TED and go to her own site here. Enjoy a new attitude that just may change your life.

I have also attached a good smattering of TED talks below here as none would post on this page. You will find Jane's talk near the end. Enjoy this brilliant woman! Game on, Ally!


The Body Shop: IODINE

I thought I would just name this post IODINE because so many in the wellness community know about it and a lot more do not. There are one in expensive supplement, Lugol's Iodine and two good inexpensive reads on the subject: The Iodine Crisis: What You Don't Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life by journalist Lynn Farrow and the other by David Brownstein, M.D, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It.


We who have been "floxed", that is damaged by fluoroqine antibiotics, also use iodine now for fluoiquine toxicity. Fluoriquinones include Ciprofloxacin (aka Cipro), gemifloxacin, levofloxacin (aka Levaquin), moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin and can cause serious disability. There are 8, yes 8 groups on Facebook regarding this disabling iatrogenic disease. I mention it here because one group is called Iodine for Fluoroquine Toxcitiy.

An aside: while I hear that Wikipedia has basically been high jacked by the right, I also don't use it because it discounts many diseases many of us feel and been tested to have and one is the seriousness of fluoriquinone toxicity. If you look it up on Wikipedia you will find that the outcome is said to be simply this: disability. Well, I don't know about you but that enrages me as I know many who have been severely disabled by these drugs as they are usually a "first line of defense" in medicine and so common. I wear a medic alert bracelet for my MTHFR 677 disability. Though I do not know what part of my own health is related to fluoriquones I have been treated with Cipro and Levaquin several times so for this and for my thyroid I take Iodine. Others wear bracelets, and I may become one, that say NO FLUOROQUINES.

I will leave this section now and get onto the books and of course the product because as Lynn Farrow says this is NOT your skull and cross boss tincture of iodine from childhood boo boss. This is serious medicine and to do it well both Brownstein and Farrow will teach you that you need an Iodine Loading Test, which I so far have not done.

The Iodine Crisis: What You Don't Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life Farrow's book is an easy, astonishing read with a ton of resources especially for breast cancer, for which she and others use iodine for as well as MANY illnesses such as low thyroid.

Short news from the book. Though many of us are now gluten free and do not eat bread, many still do. According to Farrow, up until 1970, iodine was the ingredient used to make bread rise better. In 1970, iodine became replaced by BROMIDE, a fire retardant! That is why you will see today non-bromated bread and flour in better bakeries. As a culture we went from eating a lot of iodine, we get a little in iodized salt, but a lot of folks even limit that (in my view, they should be using pink salt, full of minerals. I will let you research the benefits of pink salt; my bet is it has some iodine in it. Purity is important so I use the one from the SF Salt Company and have called them about their sources). Farrow, from her breast cancer experience and the experience of others has developed many online resources for breast cancer patients online. If I remember correctly, one woman even cured her tumor with iodine. Bottom line, I believe this is a REALLY IMPORTANT BOOK. So far my thyroid has been a little low and so I upped my dose. I plan to have my thyroid tested very soon as well as to consult a functional doctor to possibly get an "iodine loading level".

Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It. Dr. Brownstein does an excellent more in depth review of iodine, including explaining iodine loading testing. He also relates it to genetic damage and the suppression of glutathione, the queen of antioxidants and key to my disease MTHFR677. I must re-read him. He is sitting right here beside me as I write so he will go with me to my doc soon.


The Body Shop: Finding Home in an Earth Friendly Way

I was married for 40 years to a brilliant musician and craftsman. I much preferred it when he built something or remodeled something rather than play and write music that may or may not be picked up (some of it was). Building was so concrete, his taste is exquisite and I could help in my humble ways with marketing and being sometimes a helper.

I encouraged him and me to attend the second ever LEED Green Building Conference in Tuscon, AZ. He would soon become LEED certified in green building. I pushed him to get our local city councils on board as we were both on a LEED community board but generally it was too soon they weren't ready to hear about what we now almost take for granted. Now our town brags of many "green certified projects."

He worked with straw bales that we finished like adobe or porcelain. Pure beauty, in southern AZ.

Now that I am on my own, I am still a contractor's wife and have the knowledge to know a good thing and it turns out that there are many good things out there today. One I notice is Cord Wood Building and Container Building I have long known of. Here is a nice selection of Amazon's Eco Friendly building books and if you are looking for a spot try the many Intentional Communities via a simple Google search. 

This is one I especially like: The Toxin Free Home.It gets a five star rating btw so I am not the only one concerned. Not really a building book as much as a housekeeping guide.

And here is one that would fit my budget: Shipping Container Living.

And here are some classics on Yurts and yurt like building. Think it is funky? Think again: both Tassajara Zen Center ( and Tree Bones Resort in Big Sur ( use them.

I am looking for a place and the accessories I will need. Hope this info inspires you, too.


The Body Shop: In the Summer Time...Earthing Ourselves

You are supposed to be hearing a summertime song as you read this and this is meant to be a bit of fun based on a deep principle of electrons and our bodies.

I just got a pair of these flip flops and they seem wonderful. I am not good at going barefoot as we are told to do so this is a good middle ground. I found them referred to on Dr. Jack Kruse's site. Kruse is known as the Redox Doc.

More about all that in a moment but here are my new pluggz flip flops. They have a bump in the center that they say helps ground us as we are electrical beings after all. tTey say they use "electrically conductive soles". I am just beginning to use them but most of the reviews are very upbeat. So this is a fun and lovely way to increase the electron flow into your body. My black one's fit perfectly. 

Along with your new flip flops you may want to learn more about "earthing" and both pluggz and Amazon recommend a book on the importance of electrons and the body. Earthing: the Most Important Health Discovery Ever! by Clinton Ober may help us all learn more simply.

And here is Kruse's groundbreaking book:  Epi-paleo Rx: The Prescription for Disease Reverasal and Optimal Health.

Kruse's site is a wonder of information for those who really want to get into all this and deeply improve their health.

That is it for today. The sun is out; there is a flowering crab tree just outside my window I must visit in my new flip flops. Oh and that reminds me do enjoy some "forest bathing" or  as the Japanese say shinrin-yoku. Here is a lovely site about shinrin-yoku

Enjoy spring! Enjoy sunlight wherever and whenever you can. Having FUN outside really is good for you. Go ahead and play!