Tag Archives: nutrition

A Shocking Trip to the Doctor

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What a difference a day moment makes…

My employer offers discounted rates on our health insurance if we (my husband and I) go in for a thorough annual physical. Two weeks ago I completed my physical. Last week my blood work results came in and I received a phone call from my doctor. Everything looked really good except my cholesterol.

My total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol are very high. Combine these results with my family history of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke, it does not look good for me at all. It is so bad that my doctor wanted me on multiple cholesterol lowering medications immediately. I requested to change my diet and start exercising more, a chance to lower my cholesterol naturally. I have been given three months to lower my cholesterol. I have until June 30, 2017 to lower my cholesterol or I will be placed on medication. Challenge accepted.

I have joined a Beachbody Challenge Group and the group of women I am virtually working with are amazing and help keep me accountable. It makes this process fun.

I am on a low cholesterol diet and exercising daily. I have to diligently watch my saturated and trans fat levels as well as my sodium and cholesterol intake. Also, I make sure to get the good fats (poly and mono-unsaturated fats, omega-3’s) in my diet and take my omega-3 pill.

It is definitely a change. I really miss cheese. and fried foods. and baked goods. and delicious processed foods. But I am staying strong. This isn’t going to be easy but I know I can beat this with hard work and a positive attitude.

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My 17 Day Diet Adventure

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Cycle 1: Accelerate: Day 1

  • Breakfast – strawberry meal replacement shake and I use one cup of TruMoo chocolate milk and one cup of ice in my shake.breakfast-day1
  • Lunch – turkey sausage, chicken breast, onions, and quinoa with steamed cauliflower that had a little hot sauce on them. I mixed all these items in a pan together and ate until I felt comfortably full. (The book has a guide on “fullness meter” and “hunger meter” to assist in overeating or not eating enough). I had two cups of hot green tea with lunch.

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  • Snack #1 – six ounces of Greek Gods Greek Yogurt Honey with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. The six ounces (or 3/4 cup) is a LOT of yogurt, so I took my time eating it.

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  • Snack #2 – Yoplait Lite Key Lime Pie Yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Dinner – my leftover’s from lunch, salmon filet, chicken breast (which I wasn’t able to finish), and spinach sauteed with garlic and one tablespoon of olive oil. I had two cups of green tea with dinner.

My first day was a good day. I did not get my fruit servings in before 2:00PM so I skipped the fruit servings. Mild headache for most of the afternoon but I ate slower and drank a lot of water. I tried to keep my hands busy (because I get bored) so I crocheted when I was sitting. I wasn’t hungry but still had cravings; cheesy enchiladas and chips LOL It was mind over matter.

I got 30 minutes of mild swimming for my exercise. The book requires 17 minutes of mild to moderate exercise per day so I am ahead of the game today.

I am not counting calories, which is nice, so I am not using My Fitness Pal during this time. I will still be getting my weight and measurements but at the end of each 17-day cycle. I am anticipating reaching (or getting very close to) my goal weight after the first cycle, but we will have to see how things go and if I need to move to the second cycle before going to maintenance mode, I would be okay with that too.

I am hoping the rest of the cycle continues to go smoothly.

Here We Go Again

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I’m Back!

Hello ladies and gents! Wow, a whole lot has happened in five months. Let me give you the run down; I gave up on exercise and continued to eat healthy after the adrenal fatigue fun and then I started to feel better and gave up on eating healthy. When May came around, I told myself “who cares? I am going to LIVE!” Well, I lived it up and never stopped eating junk for months. On July 2, I broke my leg (fibula right above my ankle) which required surgery. I have been 100% non-weight bearing and laying/sitting for two whole months while continuing to eat junk all. day. long.

Results of these “fabulous” decisions? My GI tract is miserable, constant headaches and fighting days of migraines, a LOT of extra weight gain which makes it very difficult to move around on my crutches and knee scooter, sluggish, fatigued, acne, moody, cranky, nothing in my closet fits (yes, that includes my fat sweatpants), and pretty much an overall sense of ickyness and misery.

When I weighed and measured myself I realized how out of control I have allowed things to get and I say “NO MORE”. I am getting back on track starting immediately. I have updated my Resources page with new information and my Progress page with new goals and measurements, so be sure to check out those pages.

I am going back through this blog, day-by-day, to get motivation and more ideas for shopping lists and creating weekly meal plans. I’m going back to the basics because I know that everything I have done previously has worked, so I am going to start at the beginning and create a new life for myself. My nutrition is going to be the biggest component of this journey since my exercise plan will have to be highly modified.

Since I have a broken right leg, I will use a foundation of push-ups and sit-ups as well as my stress relieving yoga video to get things started. I have Googled “exercises to do when you have a broken leg” and there are dozens of videos for me to use including CARDIO! No way, so cool! Cardio for crutches. So happy that I have options.

If you find yourself in a situation like mine, stop making excuses (this was so hard for me but I did it) and get yourself in a positive mindset. You’ve got this! Let’s do this!

New Day. New Start.

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Beachbody, T25, Focus

No more excuses. I now weigh more than I have in a very long time. I haven’t been over 140 pounds since I was pregnant (and post-partum) with my daughter. It was a humbling weigh-in on Monday morning.

Last summer (2015) I purchased Beachbody’s T25 (Focus T25) and tried it once; never tried it again. Last year, I basically slacked off; ate whatever I wanted, did not exercise at all, and now I am paying for it.

So, I am going to stick with the T25 (Alpha and Beta phases). I am going to start eating significantly better and exercising like a crazy person. I am going to become a “morning” exercise person. I am going to stick to strict eating using My Fitness Pal.

Also, I joined a Beachbody Challenge Group to help keep me motivated and on track. I created a public profile on Beachbody for anyone to see my journey in a more “logistics” manner if you prefer. OR if you are on Beachbody too, connect with me!

The first day (Monday) was easy to get up and work out. However, the past two days have been difficult. My husband (thank goodness) has been helping me get my big butt out of bed and get downstairs for our T25 workout. Yes, the hubby is doing this with me this time around (so proud of him).

T25 is no joke. It is 25 minutes of hard work. The program is set-up for you (it comes with a calendar to follow) and each video comes with a cool down just for that work-out. I am a hot sweaty mess afterwards (as well as sore and tired LOL) but it is so worth it. The videos are motivating and have a low impact alternative for many of the exercises that still keep your heart rate up and still feels super intense.

T25 Alpha is 5 weeks. It is a foundation to getting your body whipped into shape. After I complete Alpha, I am onto Beta, which is more focused on weight training, toning, and building muscle (plus more intense exercises I hear). Beta is an additional 5 weeks. I cannot wait to see my results by April 4th!!! Just in time for spring and summer, WOOHOO!!!

Here’s to not quitting. Here’s to the new me in 10 short weeks!

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Bananas: Good or Bad for Weight Loss?

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Bananas and Weight Loss

I am sure you have seen many different articles and posts about bananas. I am so confused. Some “experts” say bananas are good for you and others say that bananas are bad for you, bananas sabotage weight loss, and that basically bananas are evil.

Well, I decided to research bananas further to see for myself.

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The Good about Bananas

Bananas are a nutritionally sound food that contributes to a well balanced diet, whether you are trying to lose weight or not.

  • High in potassium. Potassium is essential to the function of many of the body’s systems (cardiovascular, digestive, nervous). Also, potassium is required to maintain fluid balance in the body. Potassium prevents the body from cramping and helps alleviate water retention (bloating).
  • High in fiber. Bananas have a high fiber content including insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber protects the GI tract and soluble fiber protects the heart. Fiber reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Also, bananas contain a unique fiber called resistant starch. Resistant starch protects the lower GI tract and promotes good bacteria growth.
  • High in vitamins. Bananas contain the highest amount of B6, which promotes healthy neurotransmitter function. Also, collagen production (skin firming) occurs when eating bananas because of the high amount of Vitamin C.
  • Low in calories. Contrary to some “experts” opinion, bananas are low in calories; only 92 calories per one medium sized banana. Bonus: a medium sized banana has only a 0.5 gram of fat.
  • Low Glycemic Index (GI) score. Contrary to some “experts” opinion, bananas are relatively low on the GI scale. Yes, bananas have carbohydrates but the carbs in bananas helps maintain blood sugar and avoids sudden peaks and drops. Bananas are similar to other servings of fruit (i.e. apples, oranges, grapes) on the GI scale.

The Bad about Bananas

  • Carbohydrates. Bananas contain approximately 25 grams of carbohydrates per one medium sized banana. This is similar to other fruits (i.e. apples, grapes, pears); however, if you are trying to stick to a low-carb diet this might not be the best fruit option or should not be eaten every day.
  • Bananas do not allow you to feel full and are not the best choice for hunger cravings. Bananas should be eaten with something else (i.e. toast and peanut butter) for a more complete healthy snack that alleviates hunger cravings.

So, after careful review, bananas are healthy for you but should not be eaten often if you are trying to lose weight. If you want to feel full and still get all the great health benefits of a banana, you should eat the banana with other foods.

H.Pylori

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H. Pylori

ulcerFor those individuals who do not know what H.Pylori is or don’t understand the destruction this little spiral shaped bacteria does to one’s body, here is a crash course in Helicobacter Pylori.

H.Pylori is a bacteria that more than 50% of the world’s population harbors in their gastrointestinal (GI) track, with infection rates more prevalent in underdeveloped countries. It is primarily contracted through contaminated water or food. Due to the bacteria’s shape (think of a corkscrew), H.Pylori easily buries itself into the layers of the stomach and upper intestinal track (duodenum). The bacteria will remain dormant or begin rapidly reproducing throughout the stomach and duodenum. H.Pylori destroys the protective lining of your stomach and intestines and “feeds” (thrives) on the stomach and intestinal lining. This destruction leaves the stomach and duodenum with large open sores throughout. These sores are called ulcers.

Duodenal ulcers are located in/on the first few inches of the intestine. Duodenal ulcers cannot be cured with antacid medications. The antacid medication must be taken infinitely to maintain a better quality of life (not present with symptoms).

Gastric (or peptic) ulcers are located in/on the stomach. Gastric ulcers cannot be cured with antacid medications. The antacid medication must be taken infinitely to maintain a better quality of life (not present with symptoms).

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If ulcers are left unattended, they can lead to internal bleeding, surgical repair of the stomach or duodenum, and/or cancer of the stomach or duodenum.

Symptoms of H.Pylori

  • Constant burning pain in the stomach and abdomen
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Black stool
  • Constipation, bowel blockage (due to swelling of intestines)

Treatment of Active H.Pylori Infection

  • High dose antibiotics, usually given in two to three separate pills
  • Pills are taken twice daily for 10 to 14 days
  • The treatment of an active infection is usually worse than the disease. The type of antibiotics used leave your body fatigued, nauseated, and unable to eat.
  • My GI doctor prescribes narcotic pain medication to help with the pain of both the active H.Pylori infection and the antibiotics. Also, he prescribes an anti-emetic (anti-nausea) medication to help with the intense nausea and vomiting.

Daily Treatment of H.Pylori Aftermath (Ulcers)

  • Antacid; prescribed for the ulcers. Dosage depends on the severity of the ulcers and usually declines as time progresses and your ulcers start to heal. For example, I started on 80+ mg a day of omeprazole after my initial diagnosis/treatment and then my relapse. Currently, I take 40 mg a day of omeprazole.
  • Magnesium; due to the antacid severely depleting magnesium levels, I take 600 mg per day of a magnesium supplement to avoid chronic migraine headaches.

Diet

In order to prevent a relapse (or outbreak) of active H.Pylori, it was highly recommended by my GI doctor to follow a healthy diet and avoid certain foods that can irritate the ulcers and cause the bacteria to reproduce and become active (causing further ulcers and damage to my stomach and duodenum). A healthy diet significantly helps to minimize symptoms and can assist in fighting off (and possibly killing off) the bacteria.

  • Foods to Avoid: tomatoes and tomato products, large amounts of chocolate, large amounts of coffee, high-fat dairy products, fried foods, sugar, processed foods, limited salt, cabbage.
  • Foods to Eat: lots of high fiber foods, whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins (chicken and fish), low sodium foods, legumes/lentils, fruits (especially cranberries and apples), lowest-fat dairy products.

cranberriesA diet full of foods that contain high amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids are great at healing ulcers and keeping the H.Pylori from returning (reproducing). Cranberries (sugar free cranberry juice or 100% natural cranberry juice) have been proven to attack and kill the bacteria. Other foods to eat lots of if you have H.Pylori (or other ulcer diseases) are: apples, raspberries, prunes, pears, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, celery, onion, garlic, 100% whole grains, and lean chicken breast and fish. I was given a comprehensive list for my dietary needs. If you want a copy of it, contact me and I would be happy to share.

I hope this information was helpful in understanding H.Pylori and gives you a little more insight into my life and the need to eat more hippie food.