Friday, July 12, 2013

Colorful Eating

Summer is here and in full swing! The temperature has risen and people are wearing less clothing. The styles are free flowing and very colorful. Flip-flops, sandals, shorts, tank tops, and sun dresses are the attire for the season. Well, just like we change the way we look during the summer season, we can also change our eating habits. Besides, who wants to eat huge meals during this time of the year? I certainly do not. It is too hot!!!
There is a trend called “colorful eating” ( Eating In Color_Recipes and More ). This is a great way to ensure you are getting all of the nutrients you need in your meals every day. William Cowper coined a phrase : “Variety is the spice of life”. You certainly want to make sure you are getting a variety in your diet.

I thought I would share with you a few ideas in eating. These meals are healthy, very colorful, and  filling. 

Breakfast- I start my day with a bowl of Honeynut Cherrios and a piece of fruit. I like the mini apples. I buy the Red Delicious, Fuji, and Gala apples and sample them all! There is a saying “ “An apple a day helps keep the doctor away”. Look at the benefits of eating an apple: 10 Reasons To Eat An Apple

I also drink a cup of coffee and a bottle of water.

Mid-Morning- I eat 7 raw almonds with a bottle of water. Almonds are great for reducing “bad” cholesterol. See the link below to learn more.

Lunch/Dinner-Usually eaten between 3 and 5 in the afternoon. I may fix a salad, sandwich, or  something light for dinner. The goal is to get fish  or salmon in my diet (2-3 times) a week. Here are some of my favorites:

Crab & Salmon Salad
Mixed greens, red cherry tomatoes
canned salmon, walnuts, sun dried cranberries,
crab (imitation-Ok), purple cabbage with a mixture
of Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette &
Asian Sesame Dressings w/ Wheat Wafers.
Chicken Pita w/ Red Grapes
Thin Wheat Pita add chicken (or
favorite meat), Romaine lettuce, walnuts, 
Lite Ranch
or a Lite Caesar for a savory finish.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I'm Walkin

This post is dedicated to the memory of my dad who would have been 79 years old today.
At the beginning of 2012, my post was  entitled, “Control Your Core, Or It Will Kill You”. The major theme was to encourage you to get moving . In other words-EXERCISE! Well, I told you in the post what I was doing. Now I would like to share an update.  After the passing of both parents within a little more than a year apart, I had the distinct pleasure of acquiring their dog. He is a nine pound silky terrier (Silky). Silky is not his real name but that is how I will refer to him in this post. He was predominately raised around people, and loves being the center of attention. Throughout most of my life I have grown up with dogs-Pekingese, Poodles, Pomeranians, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Huskies,  just to name a few. So, I guess you can say I am a “dog lover”. However, the loss of my last dog was traumatic enough to vow never to get attached to another dog.  There is a saying, “Never say never”. Sometimes the things we don’t want in life, turn out to be the best things for us! Remember how your parents use to make you eat vegetables when you were little? As it turns out, vegetables are the best foods for us to eat! As for Silky, he has been a source of comfort to the family, especially during our time of bereavement. While at the same time, being a wonderful bundle of  joy!
Now that I have become attached to Silky, the two of us have started walking in our neighborhood twice a day-in the morning and in the evening. We walk around the block for about 25 minutes that is, if my dog decides to take his time. But we can do it in about 20 minutes walking briskly. That is about 40-50 minutes per day. You are probably thinking “that is real easy”. Well, the street has an incline similar to walking up a hill. I have watched  people take breaks because they are literally out of breath walking up that incline. At first, it was a challenge for me and Silky but for three months at least five days per week we did it. I can not tell if I have lost weight but I certainly feel better and I sleep well at night. When I don’t feel like walking, guess who makes me? Right-My dog. Silky is conditioned and he looks forward to his daily walk. By the way, walking can help prevent dreadful illnesses such as: cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Check this out:  
I found another wonderful article written by Jane Warren. She shares 5 Surprising Ways Dogs Improve Human Health and she expounds on walking and a few other things. At the end of the article there is an inspirational message and a video by the group Mary, Mary.  
5 Surprising Ways Dogs 
Improve Human Health
We all know that a dog is man’s (and woman’s) best friend, but numerous scientific studies have also proven that dogs can improve human health. There’s no surprise here. Humans and dogs have been working together for thousands of years, and some scientists even believe the two species have evolved to live with one another. While having a pet will not improve your health if you never wanted a pet in the first place, animal lovers can reap numerous benefits from living with animals.
Dogs Encourage More Exercise
Most of us know the benefits of exercise, but it can be a struggle to find the incentive to get up and get moving every day. A dog provides strong motivation, and can make your daily walk or run less lonely and more fun. Moreover, you’ll burn extra calories when helping your dog walk on a leash and doing brief training exercises with your dog. For some people, going for walks alone is scary, but the additional security of a canine exercise buddy can make runs and walks feel more secure. I know that with Ranger, I have to walk him every day, and he’s always ready each morning, so morning time it is! Sometimes we even squeeze in an afternoon or early evening walk, which is better for my health. See the information in this study on pets and our health done by the National Institute of Health.
Dogs Help With Stress Relief
There’s no doubt that dog ownership does come with some stresses, from making sure you’ve applied their monthly frontline for fleas to worrying if your dog will get along with the other dogs at the dog park. But the benefits of pet ownership more than outweigh these minor stresses. Research shows that a few minutes spent petting an animal lowers blood levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol contributes to fatigue, weight gain and aging, and your pet can help counteract its negative effects. A few minutes playing with your dog every day also releases endorphins, powerful “feel-good” hormones that continue to function in the bloodstream long after the playtime ends.
Dogs Give A Sense of Safety
Many people living alone worry about intruders and burglars, and a dog can help give owners a sense of security. Burglars are less likely to break into a house with a barking dog, and your dog can help you feel less lonely whether you’re just spending the night by yourself or living alone long-term. If your dog is older and struggles to move around, you can still rest easy knowing that your dog will get to an intruder before you do. If the dog needs access to higher surfaces, you can invest in a pet studio dog ramp to make it easier for your dog to be visible and see outside.
Dogs Generate Social Interaction With  Others
People who have regular positive interactions with others tend to live longer and be happier, and pets provide you with a valuable opportunity to meet and interact with other people. Even if you’re shy, it’s easy to strike up a conversation with another person if you’re both talking about your animals. Trips to the vet, visits to the dog park and meet up with other pet owners also provide pet owners with easy and substantive opportunities for interactions. If you’re still anxious about meeting new people, consider joining a message board or online  group for people with similar pets to yours. You’ll quickly find yourself making new friends in addition to learning a lot about your best friend–your pet!
Dogs Help With Better Mental Health
In a fast-paced, high-stress world, mental health diagnoses such as depression and anxiety are at an all-time high. But pet owners have fewer mental illnesses, and animals are even used as therapy for people suffering from mental illness. If you struggle with depression, an animal can help you avoid dwelling on your problems. The exercise and stress release you get from spending time with your pet may even reverse the effects of depression. Dog owners are also substantially less stressed than people who don’t own dogs, and reduced stress is strongly correlated with lower blood pressure, a longer life span, greater happiness and improved health. So, if you don’t own a pet, and want to make some positive changes in your life, go to a local animal shelter or humane society, and find your next best friend today. You’ll both enjoy a healthier lifestyle!   
       I agree with Jane. You will enjoy a healthier lifestyle.  I always try to provide something inspirational from my favorite book-The Bible. The following web link  talks about how dogs are considered to be God's Messengers in the Bible  There are actually 40 verses  in the Bible that pertain to dogs. Some are giving warnings about how people should live. For other people, a dog is the last thing that they will see before their life ends.  My favorite verse on the  list is number 38:   
Philippians 3:2 
“Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh”. Life is full of two-legged dogs who want to destroy your reputation, your self-esteem, your joy, your courage or just YOU. Here lately, I have dealt with quite a few of  those kinds of dogs. But God wants us to be self-controlled and alert because it is not the person that harms you. It is the spirit within them.  

I Peter 5:8 states, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. The bottom line is that everything is going to work out in the end. Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” My dad loved quoting Romans 8:28. It was his favorite!  It is comforting to know that God has given us dogs to comfort, bring us joy, warn, and protect us just as He does through His Word.

What are your thoughts about this post?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sugar: "Less 4 Longer Life"

I recently had a traumatic day at the dentist. Why can't the dentist use warm water to clean debris from the mouth??? I can feel the cold water, especially when I am not completely numb! That day, I needed a lot of anesthesia in order to numb the two areas in my mouth. I did not eat breakfast before going to my appointment. ("BAD IDEA") As soon as I got out of the chair, the room was spinning. I felt like I was going to faint. ("OMG!") The dentist placed me in a room where I could sit down. She quickly realized that my blood sugar had dropped from receiving the anesthesia. Consequently, I became sad and emotional. The dentist and her staff reassured me that I was going to be alright. So, she gave me a fruity yogurt parfait and a piece of candy to raise my blood sugar. The fruit parfait had 39 grams of sugar in it.  I didn't bother eating the candy. Needless to say, my blood sugar rose quickly and I began to feel better. Now my symptoms were typical as Dr. Gabriel Cousens explains in the video below. This whole experience peeked my interest about sugar and sweetners. My research found the following article written by Sheryl Walters, a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner:

The average American eats between 90 to 180 pounds of sugar each year. That is a quarter to a half pounds each day for children and adults! Besides the typical culprits of desserts, doughnuts, and soda, sugar is also found in unexpected items like condiments and bread. Our consumption of sugar is deteriorating our health and increasing the numbers of diabetes, obesity, and many other chronic illnesses.

The typical effects of sugar are taught to us as children. Sugar can cause tooth decay by being used as a food source for the bacteria found on our teeth which causes plaque. In fact, the bacteria can actually turn the sugar into a glue which makes it harder to be washed away by saliva. Sugar also causes hyperactivity, crankiness, and difficulty concentrating in children as any parent can attest to! In addition to these well-known effects, sugar can also contribute to a decrease in immune function, increased cholesterol, overgrowth of yeast gastrointestinal problems, premature aging, cardiovascular disease, and more. There are many detrimental health effects of sugar but fortunately there are some healthier alternatives.

Check out this website regarding the sugar-yeast connection 
("The information is very useful and it works")

Bad Sugar Replacements! 
Sugar is often replaced in foods by products that are either lower in calories or cheaper to produce including aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), and high fructose corn syrup. These products also have detrimental side effects. ("Difficult for the liver to process"). Replacing sugar as well as these sugar alternatives with natural sweeteners will have a beneficial effect on health.

Good Sugar Replacements! Agave nectar is one alternative that is used by health conscious consumers. Agave nectar comes from the same plant that tequila is made from. It has recently become recognized as a healthy alternative to sugar and artificial sugar substitutes. It is about 90% fructose but is completely natural unlike the processed fructose found in high fructose corn syrup. Another benefit of agave is that it has a low glycemic value (less than 30, compared to sugar which is in the 60's.) A food that is low on the glycemic index is less likely to be converted to fat. Agave nectar is more calorie dense than sugar but because it is about forty times sweeter much less can be used to achieve the same level of sweetness.

Stevia  "This is what I use - Luv it" is another natural alternative to sugar and sugar substitutes. It is an herb native to Paraguay that has been used for centuries as a sweetener. It contains no calories and no carbohydrates. In 2008 the FDA approved its use as a food additive, previously it was sold only as a dietary supplement. Stevia also does not raise blood sugar so is a good choice for diabetics.
Replacement of sugar in your diet can be difficult. Reducing intake of processed foods and replacing sugar with natural sweeteners will increase your well-being, health, and energy.

There is another natural sweetner that I found in my favorite book that is not mentioned in the article above. Now, you won’t find the word sugar in the Bible but you will find-HONEY!
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Proverbs 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
Psalms 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
In the previous passages of scripture the Bible uses honey to metaphorically address man's psychological, physical, and spiritual being. It stresses the importance of using "pleasant words" because it is good for the body physically and spiritually. It tells the reader to use honey in moderation and warns against searching for your own glory. Lastly, God's words are sweeter than honey to the mouth. ("Awesome!")

Awesome poem about a"Sugar Addict"
Click on link...

76 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health, Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.,
Questions and Answers About Stevia, David Richard,
All About Agave,
Sheryl Walters

Learn the shocking affects of sugar through this video!
What are your thoughts about this post?
(Place your comments below.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Matters of The Heart

It has been a couple of months since my last post. During this time, there have been a few prominent people to pass away which triggered my thoughts about a death that I experienced; my mother. My post is not about the grieving process, bereavement issues, making the adjustment, or how my life has changed because of it. It is about bringing awareness to the issues of THE HEART-the organ that circulates the blood, the vital center of one’s being, emotions, and sensibilities.  Well, what happens to that vital organ when it fails to pump effectively? It is called heart failure.
In September of 2007, my mother experienced three heart attacks in a week. Prior to her illness, she was vivacious, energetic, and extremely independent. Her symptoms were: high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, cold sweats, weakness, and sleep disturbances. Unfortunately, men do not  have the same symptoms when they experience a heart attack. It was reported by the cardiologist that my mother had severe blockage to the point where she was not a candidate for bypass surgery.  The cardiologist stated that, my mother could receive a heart transplant or a defibrillator along with medication therapy. It was decided that the defibrillator was strongly recommended for her. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Communications (CBC) News Health, The defibrillators are implanted in people who are at risk of sudden cardiac death because of heart rhythm disorders. The actual function of the defibrillator is to apply an electric shock to the heart muscle. This is performed with the intent of reestablishing a normal heart rhythm.”
Basically, my mother had her own “crash cart” with this implanted device. In November 2007, my mother had surgery to have the defibrillator implanted. It was an outpatient procedure. The doctor had a mechanism in his office that monitored the signals from the defibrillator. On December 1, 2007, there was an episode with the device, meaning my mother’s’ heart stopped. Nevertheless, the defibrillator provided the shocked needed to stimulate the rhythm of the heart and my mother survived again. On the other hand, for the next 18 months my mother was in and out of the hospital because the defibrillator was “firing off” inadvertently, and it had to be recalibrated repeatedly. Because of this, my mother was no longer able to drive which curtailed her independence. Needless to say, this was devastating to her! Moreover, I wish that our family had the information in the  article below to help us make a more informed decision about the defibrillator. We might have had a different outcome. Please click the link below and read the shocking news:

     According to Natural News, men are better candidates for the defibrillator rather than women. My mother survived 18 months after having the defibrillator implanted. Please read the following article from a Canadian study:

Women who have defibrillators implanted for heart problems are more likely to develop complications than men, a Canadian study suggests. Men and women were equally likely to have cardioverter-defibrillators or ICDs implanted. But women were nearly twice as likely to have major complications within a year of getting the devices, according to the study in Monday's issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Defibrillators were not designed with body size in mind. (Michael Conroy/Associated Press)

The defibrillators are implanted in people who are at risk of sudden cardiac death because of heart rhythm disorders. The devices work by recognizing serious heart rhythm problems and treating them automatically such as by giving an electrical shock. Women were a third less likely to receive an appropriate shock than men, the researchers found.

"We had thought complication rates were fairly low," said Dr. Douglas Lee, a cardiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre in Toronto and a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. "In fact, it was a lot higher than anticipated." The findings suggest women should be aware of the potential risk of early complications after the surgery and see their doctor if these occur. Such symptoms may include:

  • Swelling or tenderness at the surgical site.
  • Difficulty breathing.
Other complications can only be detected during regular checks of the defibrillator at a clinic, which is why regular follow-up is so important, the authors said.

 Women-only trials needed

In the study, a major complication was lead dislodgement. When a lead or wire connecting the heart to the defibrillator is dislodged then the device can't sense any abnormal electrical activity or deliver shocks. The patient has to go back into the operating room to have the lead repositioned or replaced, Lee said. To obtain the data, researchers analyzed Ontario's ICD database, focusing on 6,021 patients including 1,288 women from February 2007 to July 2010. The researchers did not find any differences in mortality rates between men and women who received the defibrillators. But discovering the differences in complication rates adds to what is known about sex differences in heart patients.

The devices were not designed with body size in mind, which may be part of the reason for the lead-related problems in women, Lee speculated."The results reported by the investigators emphasize the ongoing need for inclusion of large numbers of women in randomized prospective clinical trials," said Dr. Stephanie Brister, a cardiac surgeon at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. "Indeed these results suggest that in certain circumstances 'women only' clinical trials may be required," she added in a release. The researchers noted there were drawbacks to the study, such as not following up on all potential ICD candidates. They also did not look into potential reasons for the differences between men and women. The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

     Another major issue with the defibrillator is, most of the time (70-80%) the devices are USED. Our family was shocked when we heard this information! The County Health Department and the funeral home director confirmed this information. The day my mother died, the defibrillator did NOT emit an electric shock. The cardiologist confirmed this information on his monitoring device; therefore he was quick to remove the defibrillator from my mother’s body while she was in the funeral home. Unfortunately, there was no recourse for these actions, due to time constraints and other severe health challenges that had impacted the family at the time. I hope that the information in this post will help you or a family member if you are ever confronted with this issue. In May of this year, will be three years since my mother’s passing. She lived to be 74 years old. My mother had a very giving heart; until one day her heart gave out on her. More importantly, she loved God with all of her heart. I believe the following scripture depicts my mother’s life: “My flesh and my heart faileth:  but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 (King James Version)

What are your thoughts on the "Matters of the Heart" post?