Thursday, July 02, 2009
What to Eat to Beat Knee Pain
Simple diet changes can help chase away knee pain. Learn which foods can help — and hurt — knee health.
By Jan Sheehan
Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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Looking for a natural way to relieve knee pain? You may want to tweak your diet. A growing body of research suggests that small dietary changes can add up to big benefits for knee health. “A number of foods have powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that may be as effective as some prescription medicines for arthritis and other types of knee pain,” says Beth Reardon, RD, MS, an integrative nutritionist and medicinal foods expert at Duke Integrative Medicine Center in Durham, N.C. Read on to learn how mealtime may be affecting the health of your knees.
Diet and Knee Pain: Go Fish
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are natural anti-inflammatories. Calming joint inflammation can often help ease knee soreness, according to Steven Stuchin, MD, director of orthopedic surgery at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City. In randomized clinical studies, omega-3 fatty acids were found to ease pain and reduce the duration of morning stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis. The best sources of omega-3s are salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, cod, and mackerel, as well as fish oil supplements. Another benefit of adding fish to your diet: “Fish is safer than anti-inflammatory medication, which may have side effects,” says Reardon.
Diet and Knee Pain: Drink Orange Juice
Orange juice is a top-notch source of vitamin C, a nutrient that may guard against knee osteoarthritis. A 10-year Australian study of almost 300 middle-aged adults found that those getting high amounts of vitamin C were less likely to suffer the kind of bone degeneration associated with knee osteoarthritis. “Drinking a glass of orange juice provides about 25 percent more vitamin C than eating an orange,” says Reardon. Other good sources of vitamin C to prevent knee pain are green peppers, grapefruit, and strawberries.
Diet and Knee Pain: Eat Spinach and Onions
Follow Popeye's lead and add spinach to your regime. Australian researchers found that getting high amounts of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin (found in green veggies like spinach) can help relieve knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. Several studies have found an additional benefit of lutein and zeaxanthin, as they can help prevent vision-related diseases.
Don't forget to add some onions to your spinach salad as well. Adding onions to salads, sandwiches, stews, and casseroles may help put the brakes on knee pain. Onions are a rich source of quercetin, a flavonoid with strong anti-inflammatory properties, says Reardon. In studies of arthritic mice, quercetin resulted in significant decreases in arthritis symptoms. Apples, red grapes, and tea are also good sources of quercetin.
Diet and Knee Pain: Order Indian Food
A helping of curry could do wonders for your knee pain. That’s because turmeric, a spice used in curry and other Indian dishes, contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory. “Curcumin works similarly to COX-2 inhibitors — drugs that reduce the COX-2 enzyme that causes the pain and swelling of arthritis,” says Reardon. A 2006 Canadian study of the effects of both curcumin and quercetin found that curcumin reduced the inflammation of arthritis in animals. Quercetin (the flavonoid in onions) worked too, but not to the extent of the curcumin.
Diet and Knee Pain: Use Ginger Generously
The herb ginger traditionally has been used to relieve upset stomach, but researchers recently discovered that it also reduces knee pain by decreasing inflammation. In a study of 261 patients with moderate to severe knee pain due to osteoarthritis, ginger extract significantly reduced knee pain during standing and walking. Cooking with this spice can increase the flavor of meals while decreasing knee pain.
Diet and Knee Pain: Avoid Refined Carbohydrates
Some research suggests that diets high in refined carbohydrates can increase inflammation, says Reardon. She recommends steering clear of white bread, pasta, and baked goods — taking these foods out of your diet can have an added bonus of helping you drop excess pounds.
Because changing your diet is a relatively easy step, it makes sense to try some — or all — of the foods listed above. You may find some relief from knee pain and get some added health benefits to boot.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
God has a plan for everyone. It was time for me to follow God's plan to build my temple for Him. As long as I am doing this for Him, He will bless me with the knowledge and strength to accomplish my goals.
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,"
1 Cor. 6:19-20
I have always admired the guys that were toned and had the six pack stomach's. Last year I was subconsciously preparing myself for the most life changing experience of my life. I met this most AWESOME lady that has blessed my life more than she will every realize. Everyone on here will know her as "Whodaresbetrue." She kick-started my eating healthy, drinking more water, and exercise tips. She really knows how to get free information from those trainers during dinner dates, ROFL. JK darlin. I have taken what I have learned and customized it to me. I learned about calories, fiber, protein, carbs, sugars... So much information just boggling my mind. I have learned when you reach this point that you need to just get away from learning and apply it. Then go back and learn some more. Bits and pieces at a time. Before you know it, you have all the tools you need to be successfull in your health journey.
First, I learned how to lower my carbs. Which in-turn most of the time lowered the calories. Increasing my water intake from 32 oz./day to 64 oz./day was a big deal for me. I always felt that my body didn't need that much water. BTW, I am a very structured individual. I figured I could drink 32 oz. during the morning time. Then 32 oz. during the afternoon. Mission accomplished :) Now I am usually drinking from 80 to 96 oz./day. Just takes time and discipline. As far as eating habits go, I have discovered that I can make a lot of different foods with eggs and flaxseed. I have substituted white/wheat bread with making my own flaxseed bread. Egg recipe's are endless. During the last couple months of last year (2008) my body adjusted to new eating/drinking habits.
2009 was the start of my personal trainer career, LOL. I spend 90% of my time at home, sad but true. I work from home, why not exercise at home. I'm not a gym rat and I don't enjoy exercising. The benefits, accomplishments, and experiencing the transformation of my mind, body, and spirit is what drive's me. This experience was another rush of information just flooding my mind. What exercise program do I follow? What equipment do I need? What supplements do I need to take? How often do I exercise? What part of the day is best for me to exercise?
All of these questions just boggled my mind endlessly. My pastor and I had discussed last year to utilize our gym to exercise together. We agreed on exercising in the morning and following Billy Blanks Tae Bo. We didn't need any equipment really except for a mat at first. We were SIKED! We did this Tuesday - Friday for approx. 1 hr. Then we played basketball for an hr. I accumulated enough Tae Bo dvd's to last us the whole year. I knew we needed to alternate strength training and cardio days. There wasn't a so called beginner dvd. We just jumped in. The first couple weeks of Tae Bo was kind of difficult because we had to learn the routine. The first month kicked our butt.
Another flood of information was learning about supplements. Which one to take? When do I take them? How much do I take? Through my own research I came to the conclusion that Whey Protein, Creatine, and Glutamine, were the 3 main ingredients I needed. I don't have money trees growing in my yard, so I don't buy the highest quality supplements. At the same time, I did experience a huge difference between Walmart Body Fortress Whey and Optimum Nutrition. That being said, I don't buy the cheapest either. My body has reacted very positive to Optimum Nutrition products. The Whey and Glutamine have done great for me. I drink 8 oz. of Whey first thing in the morning. Depending on the flavor I will mix it with bananas, peanut butter, or oatmeal. I also take another 8 oz. before workout, after workout, and before I go to bed.
The Glutamine powder I did not like. Taste awful. So I take the pills. I take 2 in the morning and 2 before I go to bed.
I decided to take the Sci-Fit Kre-Alkalyn 1500 Creatine pills. I believe it helps me with my endurance during my workout. I don't experience any stomach problems with this product. I take 2 first thing in the morning and 2 before workout.
L-Carnitine is another supplement that is part of my ammunition. I really debated on this product. At first, I didn't think it was helping me at all. I took it for a while then stopped. After the first week of not taking it, I noticed that I had lost my focus during my workouts. So I started back to using it.
I also take my multi-vitamins every day. Also along with metabostart from naturesunshine.com
That's it for supplements.
Back to the workouts, February was a little easier. I changed up the dvd's for the month, but the moves were basically the same. God crossed my path with an individual that was selling a bowflex very cheap. That was my sign that I needed to move up to the next level of my exercising. After researching several exercising routines and advice, I decided to follow Kris Gethin 12 wk transformation challenge.
A couple weeks later I purchased a nice treadmill that I could run on. I had both of my ACL's replaced 2 yrs. ago and running on concrete just kills my knees. So why not add more exercising at home, LOL. For the next 8 wks, my mornings totally consist of exercising.
After 5 months, I can see my body transforming. It is encouraging when you finally reach this point in your journey. During the 5 months, I fell off the wagon just like everyone else does. My weight fluctuating between 170 to 166. I would be at 170 at the first of the week then 166 by friday. I would slack off a little bit on the weekend and here I go again on monday starting out at 170. So discouraging. I learned that the scales were not the only way I could notice my progress. I started logging my body measurements and taking pictures. This provided me the encouragement I needed. I was starting to get stressed out because of spending so much time exercising and not getting anything else done. I had to stop the Tae Bo and focus more on my strength training.
Once I planned out my diet, exercise program for the week, and figured out what supplements my body reacts positive too. Everything started coming together. God has provided me the knowledge and strength I needed to get this far. I have all the tools I need to continue with my transformation. I have been logging my weight, exercising program, and body measurements. I haven't started logging my diet yet. I do know that my diet is healthy. I don't know if it is providing me all the energy and nutrition that my body needs. That will be my next flood of information.
I still have a long journey in front of me, but I am encouraged and excited to experience it. Thank you God and "Whodaresbetrue" for all the knowledge, encouragement, and support through my health journey :) Luv ya both with all of my heart!
Monday, January 05, 2009
1 Peter 2:12
Mediocrity is fast becoming the byword of our times. Every imaginable excuse is now used to make it acceptable, hopefully preferred. Budget cuts, time deadlines, majority opinion, and hard-nosed practicality are outshouting and outrunning excellence. Those forces seem to be winning the race. Incompetence and status quo averages are held up as all we can now expect, and the tragedy is that more and more people have virtually agreed. Why worry over the small stuff? Why bother with the genuine now that the artificial looks so real? If the public buys it, why sweat it?
To make it painfully plain, why think clearly since most folks want someone else to think for them? Why live differently in a society where it's so much easier to look the same and swim downstream? Why fight fiercely when so few seem to care? Why stand courageously if it means risking ridicule, misunderstanding, or being considered a dreamer by some and a fool by others?
Why, indeed? To quote young David just before he took on that Philistine behemoth in the Valley of Elah, "Is there not a cause?" Must we wait for someone else to establish our standard or to set our pace? Not on your life! It is my firm conviction that those who impact and reshape the world are the ones committed to living above the level of mediocrity. There are still too many opportunities for excellence, too much demand for distinctiveness, to be satisfied with just getting by.
Excellence is a difficult concept to communicate because it can easily be misread as neurotic perfectionism or snooty sophistication. But it is neither. On the contrary, it is the stuff of which greatness is made. It is the difference between just getting by and soaring---that which sets apart the significant from the superficial, the lasting from the temporary.
A commitment to excellence is neither popular nor easy. But it is essential. Excellence in integrity and morality as well as ethics and scholarship. Excellence in physical fitness and spiritual fervor just as much as excellence in relationships and craftsmanship.
Since it is the living Lord in the final analysis who appraises our excellence, it is He whom we must please and serve, honor and adore.
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