BRAVELUTE   88,470
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BRAVELUTE's Recent Blog Entries

Who Will Help Me Eat My No-Salt-Added Soup?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My sister called yesterday and invited Mom and I to meet her halfway for dinner at P_______, a restaurant chain. So we put our plans for picnic on the Gulf on the back burner until after the hurricane blows by. We'll still be eating the picnic food I pulled together today wherever we are: roast beef salad with tomatoes, peppers, onion and garlic, watermelon, black cherries, and a piece of homemade oatmeal/whole grain bread I had made yesterday.

So while Mom and Sandy chose breakfast items, I chose a sandwich without the white bread and a cup of tomato basil soup. Who could eat that manufactured bread with homemade oatmeal bread waiting at home. I had smelled it rising and baking all afternoon, and if I had squandered my carbs on that white stuff, I really would have felt deprived once I stepped in the front door.

But for me, the real story here lies in the tomato basil soup. When I go to most real restaurants, the tomato basil soup is always part of my meal order. I discovered the soup about three years ago. Can't believe I never had it before then. Until SP, I was even buying it canned to eat at home. From now on, I'm making my own in the crock pot with garlic and a little Greek Yogurt added toward the end.

Sandy was looking up carbs for Mom's banana nut muffin on her phone. I had estimated 60, but when she heard the count was 78, she decided to eat half and take the other half home with her. She counts carbs on her diabetic regimen.

Then I asked Sandy how much sodium was in my soup. It was very salty, and I told her I thought around 1000 mg. She reported 50% of the 490 calories were from fat, and that the sodium level was 1590. That was twice as much salt as was in my burger. I checked ingredients when I got home, and they hadn't added some kind of oil to the soup. The fat content was manufacturing cream, whatever that is.

So, I'm leaving in a few minutes to buy hurricane water, tomatoes, and some Greek Yogurt. While the storm gets closer, my kitchen will be calm and smell delicious because I'll prune some basil from the plants before the hurricane gets it all. Want to come over for a cup of soup and a slice of homemade bread? Supper is at 5:15.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMREITE 8/27/2012 12:13AM

    I enjoy homemade bread. it is so much better then anything you buy at the store.

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CHRISTINASP 8/26/2012 3:33PM

    Now I'm really hungry! :)

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Healthy Eating: More of this, Less of that, Wipe out those

Friday, August 24, 2012

I have copied the paragraph below from Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 published by USDA, USDHHS, and I have included the link for the complete document (pdf) which you can download and read on your kindle app or computers.

Chapter Summary:

"Many Americans do not eat the variety and amounts of foods that will provide needed nutri- ents while avoiding excess calorie intake. They should increase their intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, seafood, and oils. These food choices can help promote nutrient adequacy, keep calories in control, and reduce risks of chronic diseases. Consuming these foods is associated with a health benefit and/or with meeting nutrient needs. They should be emphasized to help Americans close nutrient gaps and move toward healthful eating patterns. They provide an array of nutrients, includ- ing those of public health concern: potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D. It is important that while increasing intake of these foods, Ameri- cans make choices that minimize intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars, which provide few essential nutrients. " Pg. 42


When I was teaching, we were bombarded with studies that seemed to have implications for teachers, without ever coming out and saying DO THIS to be a good teacher. So I got into the habit of looking at the implications that might have value and translating that information into an action plan. First I'd decide who would benefit if we were to do something with the information. Then if appeared that I had students who could benefit, I started examining how to make it happen. That usually meant I would list in two columns: more of this, less of that.

So, from this chapter of the document, I have decided I could definitely benefit from the recommendations because it would help control calories and chronic disease. Now I'm working on what that means to me, personally.

1. More variety in what I eat. Less in a rut. This should be easy for random me, and also keep me from getting bored with my program.

2. More vegetables. This will be difficult, because I'm only slightly better at it now that I've been all my life.

3. Actually plan meals with fruit and veggies being the stars.

4. And put whole grain products and meat in menus as guest performers. Once I actually am switched totally away from white enriched flour, this might be easier but right now white flour products seem to be a requirement as I plan meals.

5. Eliminate added refined sugars, so less processed food and restaurant food. Refined sugar products definitely send me into an out-of-control binge (cupcakes, donuts, etc.) But as long as I cook from scratch, from whole food, I'm not getting any hidden refined sugars. My rule to substitute fresh fruit when I want a bakery snack is very helpful.

6. More whole wheat products. Less "white" enriched products, or actually eliminate them. Needs to be said again. Plan a day in your routine to make whole wheat bread. You know you like to do this. Even if you need to get off the computer!

7. Continue efforts with fruits.
8. Increase fish
9. Investigate statement about oils and see if I should be more specific with the types of fats I track, instead of shooting for 30% of calories from fats.
10. More potassium, fiber, calcium, vitamin D (Public Health concern)
Learn foods that are good sources of potassium, fiber, calcium and vitamin D and work to hit the recommended levels on menu planner. Add calcium and Vitamin D to tracker.

11. Be careful with the menus that come up in the tracker. Sometimes they are repetitive from day to day, especially for snacks. If you notice that, simply switch out that menu for another you haven't eaten in a while.

12. Use the Nutrition tracker to plan and evaluate nutritional content of what I plan to eat BEFORE I've eaten the meals. Make adjustments when possible to increase nutrients which are lacking.

13. More of the OTHER nutrients, LESS of the energy nutrient (carbs, sugar)

14. Read more of the document to see if there are recommendations for limiting anything else, like sodium? or getting screened for any deficiencies?

15. Compare your anti-angiogenesis list and see if they support the recommendations, and continue planning meals around them, just increase veggies!!

What implications do you see for your life?



Okay, I'm addicted.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I've known for a long time I had random personality. It's a good thing, because I find myself in many SP teams with many goals, which equates to many different tasks to accomplish during my days along with everything I started between retirement and SP.

It's almost becoming unmanageable, and unless the Fly Lady program works miracles with streamlining my routines, something will have to go.

But what? surely not exercise; not menu planning; not taking on challenges, for I find them to be very motivating to stick with it and learn new things; not Fly Lady so I can have the required "remodeled kitchen" for the Healthy Eating Challenge; not playing the harp that helps me get a good night's sleep for the sleep challenge that helps me get the required rest that helps me lose weight; surely not the organic gardening team that is motivating me to get 4 square foot gardening boxes planted with fall veggies and herbs; surely not painting or writing for my creativity will suffer and then so will everything else that is me.

So, perhaps I'll go sign off some of the team goals to drink water. I don't think I have to drink 8 glasses x 5 teams like I see on my goal tracking page, but I do try to do the necessary steps to be successful at this healthy living.

This dilemma reminds me of the book dilemma which reared its ugly head today. If you came into my house, you might think I am a book hoarder. I Do love books. I was a reading teacher in my pre-retirement career. And I do have many books. I still have many children's books because I thought I might tutor someone, and I love the stories. I have many books on topics that circle around my retirement interests like butterflies, gardening, watercolor painting. And of course things I truly like to read. On my sidetable right now, I have a vintage copy of a Ray Bradbury book which I ordered after he died. And I have tried to switch over to e-books, but it's not the same. I prefer to read the book I can hold in my hand and see the whole chart of information on one page.

So it's too many books. But which ones go to appreciative new homes? See, knowing that just doesn't help with these books. I've already pared down the collection when I was sick. And yes, I've added to the library, even this summer. Addicted. I admit it. and I'm probably addicted to the online aspects of SP. But it is time to wean myself off because I'm spending too much time sitting, doing all of the sedentary activities, and not enough time living.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DS9KIE 8/24/2012 4:08PM

    I know how you feel and I know you will figure you out

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BRAVELUTE 8/24/2012 10:54AM

    Christina T. One of my off-line friends calls me an over-achiever. Might be true. Need to quit over-achieving in the weight department.

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CHRISTINASP 8/24/2012 3:15AM

    I can relate to so much that you wrote!
I too love books and own too many for my small apartment. I too have a lot of teams on my list. And TOO MANY GOALS! And like you I don't know which ones to drop...!
What I've done now is made a schedule to work on the goals every day. I will follow this (if I can, that is!) and after two months I want to evaluate just how it's going. If I still find it's too many goals, some may really, really HAVE TO go...!

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CBRINKLEY401 8/23/2012 11:41PM

    I didn't know I had a twin living in Florida!! Except for the harp thing. I love harp music but don't know how to play one. My daughter is the music major who can play all the different band and orchestra instruments.
I'm with you with all the team goals. Trying to support the different teams I'm on, but the goals are often the same. How many times do I need to mark off that I've done my 15 minutes of exercise under my other goals? At least the water drinking is usually automatically added when you track that under nutrition.
Been thinking of paring down the teams I'm on so I will be able to actually participate on them, but again, which ones?

Good luck sorting through your books and deciding which to part with. I've done the same, but won't give up my Flylady or Don Aslett books, nor my organic gardening or landscaping or natural healing books. Many of the others have already gone. Now if I can only get hubby to part with some of his that he hasn't read in years, if ever......?

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BRAVELUTE 8/23/2012 11:27PM

    You are right of course, and I even have a mess of professional work clothes that could go to the shelter. A plan!!

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A-NEW-TARA 8/23/2012 10:46PM

    I think it is like everything in our life, it's about moderation. I know how you feel about teams, I'm finding it myself that I feel spread a little thin with the attention I give to each team without sitting at the computer for hours on end. After all the reason we came here was to get healthy and means adopting healthy habits into our daily lives. Although I know without Spark I wouldn't be doing anything different than I have for decades. I think for me it will come down to 3 or 4 of the teams I've created the deep bonds with and the others I will wish continued success but be on my way.

Books are special treasures for sure and so very difficult to let go of but even our treasures need to be kept within moderation so they don't take over our homes and lives. There are so many great places to donate books to and by doing this it really helps spread the love of reading and books. Take your children's books, for example, a school library would love to receive such a gift and think of the hundreds of children that will enjoy those stories you love so dearly. If you do decide to tutor, what a great opportunity to also teach a child about the wonders of visiting a library. A women's shelter is another place where books would be a special gift as these women and children arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs. I hope you discover ways of bringing moderation into all aspects of your life without giving up any of those things you truly love.

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Vitamin D3 Deficiency Screening

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My vitamin D3 results came back from the screening test that Blue Cross Blue Shield would not pay for. Vitamin D3 deficiency is now linked to so many health problems. You'd think the insurance companies would gladly pay for the screening AND the supplements to proactively prevent cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, cancer, and auto immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes type 1 and 2.

They have paid close to $200,000 for both of my rounds of cancer diagnoses, surgeries, radiation, and 4 years of chemotherapy. And 2 weeks ago they had to pay for ultasound to see if blood clots were causing my calves to swell.

While the report said nothing per se about obesity, I'm hoping this is the last piece to my efforts to get healthy and lose weight.

Makes you wonder what my Vitamin D 3 level was in 2007. Well, we know it is 13 now. Many experts consider normal levels to be 36 - 100 with the optimal health range between 50 and 80.

In everyone's defense, even I didn't expect to have a vitamin D deficiency since I live in Florida. But there you go. And I'm now taking 10,000 units of Vitamin D3 daily for 3 months when we will test again. I bet I will have to pay for that test, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANE7786 8/23/2012 12:01AM

    My Blue Cross pays for Vitamin D blood tests. It doesn't pay for the 10 year tetenus booster. I don't like shots and my doctor used to tell me that it was so important. Suddenly he says it's not!

Comment edited on: 8/23/2012 12:04:52 AM

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BRAVELUTE 8/22/2012 11:36PM

    D & D, I do use sunscreen, but after 9:30. I'm out every morning walking the dog and doing yardwork without it between 7:00 and 8:45. After that, sunscreen goes on, even if I'm going to be indoors.

This is probably a result of just not going out in the sun through all the chemo therapy. I was told to stay out of the sun or I would turn purple. Sounded like good advice at the time.

I'm sure they will be able to remedy the deficiency. now that we know I have it. It just seems like a simple thing to do to test us for the deficiency and recommend a course of action when found. Seems like we could prevent a lot of health problems with just one test.

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A-NEW-TARA 8/22/2012 11:10PM

    Do you use sunscreen? If so it blocks the making of Vit. D, but I'd rather take a supplement than deal with the effects of the sun. I'm glad you at least now know you need to take the supplement.

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DLDMIL 8/22/2012 10:29PM

    My doctor did a blood test last fall and included the D level and my insurance paid the whole bill without question. I take a liquid D3 (2,000) everyday to keep mine up. Good luck with getting yours up and hope you feel better once it is within a normal range.

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DJ4HEALTH 8/22/2012 10:13PM

    If you use sunscreens then you don't get enough of the sun, even here in Florida. As for the insurance I think that they are in cahoots with the pharmacy industry to keep us sick and always paying for the meds., Not having us well and not having preventive measures like good food and pure water, that is what they need to do but then they would not have a job either. So keep us sick and they will always have a job.

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10 - 30 - ?????? pounds to go

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

When I returned to Spark People in July, I was worried about my chances for not being successful again, so I set a goal that I felt was doable in a relatively short period of time-10 pounds in 2 months. If I stuck with it, I'd increase the goal.

So today, the scale showed 10 pounds flown away. I was surprised I made it there in a month because I am "dieting" very differently than I ever have before.

My avatar picture is of me in 2007 after I had lost 68 pounds doing the Medifast program, 2 medifast meals and one lean and green real food.

Then came the cancer diagnosis with surgery, radiation, and chemo for 6 months, and steroids with the chemo to help tolerate the effects.

I decided I had one job to do during that time-to eat as healthy as I could to help my body heal and deal with what was happening.

So I came through that with weight gain, not loss. Then a 2nd diagnosis a year after the first with major surgery in December 2008 and a redo in May 2009, 6 months of major chemo, then 28 months of maintenance chemotherapy with the hope we could keep it from coming back a third time.

I gained back 43 pounds. And started working on moving and trying to get healthy again after chemo ended November, 2011. Thanks to SP, I now have just 30 pounds to go to get to my precancer weight and the picture I've posted of me playing the harp.

After that milestone, we are going to see what will be. I always was a skinny minny. But I stopped being skinny after I broke my arm in 5th grade.

I am going to make an effort to find things to do for excercise that are fun for me now, that I can do outdoors when the sun isn't out, since I am now super sensitive to the sun.

Any suggestions besides getting new tires on my recumbent bike? I know I'd love it if I could figure out the gears. That seems more difficult than it was to learn stick shift.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINASP 8/22/2012 4:10PM

    That's a lovely picture of you playing the harp. Congratulations on losing the 10 pounds!
I like the positivity in your entry!

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DIET_FRIEND 8/22/2012 12:12AM

    Wow, you've had your share of challenges. Good luck getting off the weight again. I have yoyoed for the past 20 years. This time is the time!

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LANAHAUTH21 8/21/2012 11:59PM

  Thanks for sharing. You have a great outlook. Good Luck in the future

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A-NEW-TARA 8/21/2012 11:59PM

    Congratulations! You have come through a couple rough years and have survived. I'm so happy for your 10 lb loss, keep it up.

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