Monday, November 30, 2009
I need to take a minute to vent my frustrations.
O.K., so for one, I am very frustrated with myself and my lack of motivation this past year. I don't know why, but I truly just couldn't get out of my own way.
Finally, I get the kick in the pants I need from a dear SP friend (thanks Jan)... and was really starting to get excited for embarking on a new chapter as this year comes to a close.
So, what happens? My body decides "ha ha on you!" I don't know if it is stress, but my hip went out on me and the pain that ensued was immense. At first, I was really scared. I thought I did something major (that's how bad the pain was). After suffering in pain for a couple of days I decided to go to the doc and to my relief I am told it is merely a pinched nerve. However, there are no guarantees and if it doesn't start to feel better by the end of the week... oh, I don't even want to think about that... I am going to focus on getting better.
With that said, now I have to stay off the hip because any weight on it causes extreme pain. Rest, Ice and Ibuprofen is what I have been prescribed. This bums me out because I want to move. I finally have the desire to move... and I can't.
There in lies my frustration. When I could have cared less about moving my body, I could without any issues. Now that I have the true desire to do something about this weight that I carry around, my body is revolting (I almost feel like it is punishing me for letting is stay sedentary for so long).
I guess I'm having my own little pity party right now. But truly it is more frustration than pity at this point.
This too shall pass... right???
Friday, October 17, 2008
Many of these (probably all of these) are common sense, but they definitely deserve a repeat! I know I can always use a good reminder.
Top 10 Tips to Stay Energized All Day
by Monique Ryan, MS, RD
1. Start the day right. Yes, that means breakfast. Combine a whole grain with fruit, skim dairy, or soy milk, and even add some lean protein to the mix to sustain energy levels throughout the morning. Cooked oatmeal with yogurt and a banana or Lite Mueslix with soy milk and blueberries are good choices.
2. Have a mid-morning snack. Combine a protein and a carbohydrate. It is fine to be hungry mid-morning, so honor your hunger and give your body fuel when it is asking for it. Try yogurt with a peach, low fat string cheese with an apple, or cottage cheese and grapes.
3. Eat lunch on time. Don't push back lunch until you are ravenous. Instead, eat your mid-day fuel right on time to keep your blood glucose levels nice and steady.
4. Boost your mental energy. Nature's nutrition for the brain are omega-3 fatty acids. Add light tuna or salmon to your lunchtime food choices, in addition to walnuts, tofu, and canola oil. Healthy fat keep you feeling full for a longer period of time, so add small amounts to meals and snacks. Some good choices include avocado and almonds.
5. Start the day with moderate caffeine levels and keep caffeine intake modest. While it does increase mental energy, too much caffeine may lead to energy highs and then lows, and it can interferes with quality sleep.
6. Limit processed foods high in sugar. Avoid the office candy jar, treats, and vending machine whenever possible. Processed foods do not provide sustained energy and can result in low-energy moments during the day.
7. Consume foods high in folate. Higher levels of blood folate have been associated with faster and better thought processing. Good sources include lentils, chickpeas, black beans, asparagus, broccoli, avocado, and orange juice. Also important are vitamins B6, found in bananas and spinach, and B12, found in lean proteins and skim dairy products.
8. Have an afternoon snack. If dinner is late or if you have an evening workout scheduled, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat yogurt provide energizing carbohydrate.
9. Consume complex carbohydrates that contain fiber. The fiber allows the carbohydrates to be released more slowly, providing sustained energy. Opt for whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and whole grain cereals.
10. Stay hydrated. About two-thirds of our body is water, and dehydration can contribute to reduced energy levels. About 80% of the fluid we consume comes from the fluids we drink, and the other 20% comes from foods. Always drink when you are thirsty, and have water available during the day to hydrate regularly.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I'm having a physical next week, so I had my bloodwork done and it came back with some not so good numbers. My cholesterol is on the high side. That's not a surprise, it runs in the family. The good news is that my good cholesterol (HDL) is high (65).
What was a surprise was my Vitamin D level. According to the results I have insufficient levels of Vitamin D. It's not low enough to be considered a deficiency, but it warrants attention and now.
I've been doing research on this since I received the news. What I have found out is this:
Vitamin D Deficiency and insufficiency is a hidden epidemic
If you live in the Northern hemisphere (above 37 lattitude) you are likely deficient or insufficient in Vitamin D
Low levels of Vitamin D can mimic the symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
Low levels increase your risk for breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer
Low levels also increase your risk for osteomalacia (softening of the bones) or osteoporosis
Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked with higher risk for having Multiple Sclerosis
Now, we can synthesize Vitamin D in our skin through sun exposure. BUT, we use so much sunscreen nowadays that we don't produce this crucial vitamin. And of course, those who live in the northern hemisphere don't have adequate sun exposure during the cooler months, either. As we get older our ability to produce Vitamin D from sun exposure greatly diminishes. And if you are of darker complexion, you will produce less as well (more melanin in the skin, means less Vitamin D production because melanin is a natural sunscreen).
Most doctors are prescribing 20 minutes of sun exposure per day on skin that does not have sunscreen on it. It has its limitations (see above) ~ and of course if you have/had skin cancer or are at increased risk for skin cancer, this may not be the best option for you.
When someone is already insufficient or deficient, docs are recommending 50,000 iu (that's not a typo ~ it is prescription strength) Vitamin D (once a week) for 6 to 8 weeks. Then being retested. If still insufficient or deficient a second course may be required. Once levels are optimal then the course varies a little. Depending on age the dose can be 400 - 800 iu per day (or more, or less). Recommendations also include getting in 1,200 mg calcium per day with the Vitamin D.
The biggest thing you want to remember, especially if you live up north, is to have your doctor test your levels... BUT have the RIGHT TEST. The test that is recommended is 25(OH)D. The other test has too many false normal levels.
Well, I don't have my physical until next week, so I don't have the prescription Vitamin D yet (the 50,000 IU), so I have been drinking more milk and eating more yogurt (both fortified with Vitamin D) and I have been supplementing with 5,000 iu Vitamin D daily. We'll see if it helps.
CAUTION: Do not megadose on Vitamin D supplements ~ especially because your levels may be fine and Vitamin D can be toxic if you take too much (it is a fat soluble vitamin, so it gets stored in your fat stores). Best bet is to get tested first before you decide a course of action. Of course, you can't go wrong by getting in 3 good dairy servings a day (as long as you aren't lactose intolerant).
This blog is not a substitute for medical advice. It is based on my experience and research. Please do not take it as gospel. Talk with your medical professional and get advice that is specifically for you. This is for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute proper medical treatment or advice from your doctor, nurse, registered dietitian or other healthcare professional.
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