Monday, October 31, 2011

10 Things, Day 3

Day 3 and its really hard!  But I'm continuing on..
1 I took a leap of bravery. I began posting these lists on my blog. I don't know that anyone actually reads it, but it felt right.
2 I reminded myself that smiling causes less wrinkles than frowning
3 I helped a friend make a shower curtain today, because
4 I'm a really good seamstress!
5 I'm very creative
6 I have the ability to look at fabric and see shirts, jackets, and handbags
7 I wore the pants that fit decent today instead of my favorite, baggy, too big yet comfy pants.
8 I'm good at providing challenging feedback
9 I'm generous with my time
10 I liked my ankles today. They didn't get puffy!!

Day Two

Day 2…the first day was hard to come up with ten things. I've put a lot of thought into today!
1 I looked in the mirror twice today. On purpose. And I didn't cringe. In fact, the second time I smiled at myself.
2 I called a friend in need today and brightened her day. And took time to feel good about it.
3 I met friends for lunch even though I did not want to get dressed this morning.
4 I got dressed this morning
5 I listened to others today instead of focusing on negative self talk
6 I walked eight blocks.
7 that walk was on a crowded street, which I usually avoid because I don't want people looking at me
8 I changed my nail polish from dark grey to a very positive nude color. Fingers and toes. I've been black or gray for over a year. When people ask, I tell them it suits my mood. This should surprise them!
9 I have great toes. They look good in sandles!
10 I stopped eating today when I felt a little full. I didn't even finish! And I tried not to feel guilty.
Until tomorrow …

Sunday, October 30, 2011

10 Things, Day 1

Over on the Tera Warner Blog, she has a challenge.  List ten things you love about yourself.  For each day you do it, you are credited $10 toward her Body Enlightenment Program.  I want that program.  I can't afford that program. So I'm taking a stab at this.
My goal is the full 30 days. If I can do it, I'll get the program for free. So here goes. Yesterday was Day 1
Ten things….
1. Beautiful blue eyes
2. Will do anything for my inner circle
3. Best cat owner/staff for my cats
4. Smart
5. Love to learn new things and grow my knowledge
6. Slender fingers
7. Clear complexion

8. Empathetic
9. Hard worker
10. Safe driver
This is going to be challenging….

Monday, October 17, 2011

Busy Busy

I've been crazy busy. The last three weeks, little downtime.

What happens when I don't have much needed downtime?  I eat whatever is easy and handy. And I ain't pretty when I do that!

So here we go. Slowing down. Remembering what is important. Good health, long life. Green juice at least one meal a day.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Coconut Oil, Oh My!

Several times in the last few weeks I've heard about the evils of Fish Oil. How it can have mercury, how quickly it goes rancid, etc.

A friend told me his doctor has him on a "pharmaceutical grade" fish oil tablet. I find it hard to believe that such a product exists since the FDA does not oversee supplements!  What the heck kind d of doctor does he have??  I am so appalled by this I just want to shake my friend for buying in to this myth.

That got under my skin.  I started paying attention.  Fish oil goes bad quickly, regardless of the "grade". Often it spoils IN THE CAPSULES.  There are studies and tests that prove it. Fish Oil is best when free of mercury and fresh. Very hard to achieve.

I read about this years ago and stopped taking it. And I have many friends whose doctors continue to recommend it. They share their stories and I bite my tongue. 

Anyone who takes anything should do the research.

Anyone who takes anything should do the research! 

I can tell you the benefits and side effects of my blood pressure medicine, my potassium supplement (which I HATE), the Zyrtec and the Prilosec (which I take every other day).  Nothing goes I to my body, supplement or meds, without my being informed.  I demand it.

But people don't do that with the popular supplements.  And Fish Oil is popular.

Flaxseed Oil and Coconut Oil are excellent replacements.  Two tablespoons a day of each is what I shoot for.  Listening to the 12 Steps to Whole Foods has cemented that for me. 

Flaxseed Oil is to be kept refrigerated and should not be heated. Put some in a smoothly or a salad dressing.  The benefits of flaxseed oil are amazing! I choose oil over ground seeds because its easier for me.

Coconut Oil can be heated and therfore is excellent for cooking. I also put it on my face, hands, and elbows at night. And since I like coconut, I have started using it like butter on the occassional slice of bread.  I have many friends who use it. It comes in a solid form, looks like shortening.  Refrigerate it if you live in a warm climate and it melts.
Have I grossed you out??

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Favorite Thing: Coconut Oil

About a year ago I read the book 12 Steps to Whole Foods.  I purchased a pack with the book, audio files to accompany it, a DVD with how to videos and a journal. 
Last week I began listening to the audio files. Of all the things that I've heard thus far, one really stuck out - Coconut Oil.
Three days ago I began using it at night as moisturizer.  Yup, moisturizer. It absorbs quickly, leaves no greasy residue, and wow does my face love it! I hate washing my face in the morning it feels so good!
I have dry skin. I've spent 25 years looking for the perfect moisturizer and eye treatment.  Why did no one ever tell me about organic virgin Coconut Oil?
Plus, my elbows feel great and the little dry patch on my forehead is nearly gone.
Until I find something better, I'm sticking with it!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why This Blog?

I've spent the better part of the last 15 years reading about every diet, fad, healthy lifestyle, whatever the current buzzword.  I read, I study, and I'm fascinated by the amount of information provided about health and nutrition. 

What fascinates me more is that more than half of Americans are obese.  Fast food, fast lives, easy-to-grab processed foods.  Our country has made them part of the lifestyle. 

I don't really remember which diet or book or magazine or documentary or TV show clicked on this obsession I have.  I think I've read and done them all.

I used to be a stick person.  Age, lifestyle, hormones, and a love of food have moved me out of stick person mode into what I consider fat.  I recognize it in the size clothes I wear and the periodic glimpses I catch of a reflection in a window or mirror.  I often don't see it day to day when I look in a mirror.  That's a challenge for me, because I forget I'm "fat".

I've tried (and failed) at almost every diet trend out there - for the last 20 years!  That's a lot of failure.  I do well for a few weeks or a few months, and then slide back into old habits.  Sound familiar?

I've continued to read and study.  A couple years ago I decided to hell with it.  I'm going to figure out what works for me.  I'm going to become in tune to what my body requires, and find a balance between that and what my brain wants.  Because want to be healthy, and I want to enjoy my favorite things from time to time.

My parents health is precarious.  Between the two of them, my brother and I have seen the results of being overweight, high blood pressure, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, stroke, migraines, blindness, high cholesterol, over-prescribed pain meds, and a strange little blood clotting disorder that creates lots of clots that clogs the arteries and causes blockages.  That's a hell of a lot for us to wrap our heads around.

We already struggle with our weight.  We have migraines (I've had them since I was 8 years old).  I have high blood pressure (since I was 25 years old).  Personally, I'm terrified of the next 20 years with our family history. 

In my research and self-experimentation, I have discovered that:
  • processed foods make me have cravings for more processed foods, and never fill me up. 
  • dairy makes me congested, is a headache trigger, make me bloat up like a blow fish, and cause my tummy to be unhappy. 
  • a whole foods diet, with an emphasis on veggies, makes my body happy.
  • it's not as hard to cut back on meat as I thought it would be.
  • GMO's scare the daylights out of me (who wants to eat food created in a petry dish?)
  • eating foods that come from places close to home is good for me and our local economy.
I am currently obsessed with documentaries about food in this country.  I recommend them to everyone I know.  I recommend books I've read (I have three books going right now, all food related).  I sometimes jump on a soap box and lecture, and my friends aren't always appreciative.

So not long ago, one of my friends who has the same concerns as I suggested, in jest, that I write a book.  We laughed about how it would be called The Armchair Nutritionist, the rants and ramblings of a girl obsessed by food and good health.  About a week later, I started this blog. 

Now I can rant without upsetting anyone (no one has to read it!)

So that's my story.  And this follows my ups, downs, results of experimentations gone awry, and maybe someday it will help one person find a path to better health.

It Was a Dairy Kind of Day

As I lay in bed last night with a headache, congestion, bloaty, and feeling quite lethargic, I had to laugh.  I consumed more dairy in one day than I have in the last several months! 
We had a coffee bar at work. I was three lattes and a hot chocolate down before I realized that i was drinking REAL milk, and I'd had a lot. Then I was really hungry, and I had a half a slice of cheese pizza.
I remember at the time saying "I'll pay for that later!" I usually ask for soy in my lattes. And since I've pretty much given up caffeine, its rare that I have one at all.
There was a "picking at" appetizers all day. We had breakfast and lunch appetizers. One of the best was the shot glass of tomato bisque. At the end of the day, I was still hungry and craving the dark side. I joined my coworkers for a drink and more appetizers.
The cravings happens when I throw caution to the wind.  Too much of a good thing makes me want more!
I ended the day with bread sticks and half a bowl of pumpkin crab bisque.  It was so good. I love bisque.  I love pumpkin crab bisque! So interesting and a soothing experience.  Wrap yourself in bisque at the end of a long day....
I then went home fell into a dairy induced coma. Today I'm still a little blech but I'll survive.  I know that a day of clean eating will bounce me back!
Was it all worth it? Yes!!!  The food was excellent!!!  I'm glad I didn't overindulge.  Lots of picking, so not a lot consumed.