Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wholesome breakfast

Breakfast is no longer eggs, bacon and a hash browns!
This breakfast will also stick to your ribs and get you through the morning.

2/3 cup Organic oatmeal
2 Tbsp Soy protein
1/4 cup of seeds and nuts (I dried the pumpkin seeds from the Halloween jack o'lantern and saved them in an air-tight container
5 dried apricots (replace with a couple fresh ones when in season)
10 fresh blackberries

2 oranges freshly squeezed

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Awesome Salad

I'm very excited about my lunch today.

Chopped organic green leaf lettuce
Chopped organic green cabbage
Organic grape tomatoes
Sunflower seeds
1Tsp Flaxseed Oil
Scoop of Blue Moose of Boulder local organic hummus with garlic
8 oz of fresh squeezed Orange Juice

Skinny Jeans

I'm happy to say I'm back into my Skinny Jeans!

How did I do it?  I finally took the plunge and cut out meat and dairy. In 3 weeks I lost 3 pounds and two inches off my thighs which got me back into these jeans.  I did this without additional exercise. In fact, I had knee surgery last Friday so I haven't really worked out in a couple months.  Saying no to meat has been hard, but I made up for it by adding garlic and chipotle pepper to my dishes to give them a savory taste.

I grew up thinking that meat and dairy are the staple foods.
"If you don't eat anything else, finish your steak and drink that milk!"
What I'm now starting to understand is how your body metabolizes meat and dairy.  
In order to digest these animal proteins, the body uses its stored calcium.

Researchers at Cornell University have found a direct link between diary products and osteoporosis.
"This phenomenon could explain why Americans, who ingest much higher levels of calcium, have much higher rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures compared with many Chinese and other Asians who consume few dairy products and ingest low amounts of calcium," Campbell said. Hip fractures in the United States, for example, are approximately five times more frequent than in China.
Other studies have also found a link to bone loss and eating animal protein.

The American Heart Association nutrition committee did a study of high animal protein/high fat diets and found that although initial weight loss was quick, this diet will "induce metabolic ketosis" depleting your liver glycogen stores.  They body then burns fatty acids instead of glucose.  You will live, but your body will then start burning the protein found in your muscles if you don't start taking in a large amount of carbohydrates.

So, what is going on with eating just vegetables, legumes and whole grains?  The vegetables work with the legumes to create complete plant based proteins that do not require the body's calcium to digest and the whole grains provide the carbohydrates that are also easy to digest.   My body is working more efficiently and no longer needs to store fat.  I'm also getting more nutrients in each bite of food.  Now a plant based diet is also known to lower blood pressure.  Mine is already 96/54 so I don't know how much lower I can get before passing out!  Yow!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Organics are amazing!

I started eating organics a while back.  I knew that non-pesticide food was better for you, but didn't realize how different organics are from conventional foods until my husband and I started watching some documentaries on food.

This got me to do so me research.
The Mayo Clinic has a great article on the benefits of organics vs conventional foods.  The surprising thing is that you would think the vegetables you get in the grocery store are better for you than the processed food, but if you don't get organics, you are eating a ton of toxins.

My all time favorite food is the Strawberry!  There have been studies done that show the organic strawberries have more anti-oxidants.   They may be smaller, but they are meatier!  I think they are sweeter too. :)

Some of the foods I eat on a regular bases are not organic.  This means with each bite, I'm putting pesticides and hormones into my body.  Here are some of those things and the organics alternatives I found.

Quaker Oatmeal            Bob's Red Mill Oatmeal
Mahatma brown rice     Lundberg brown rice
Barilla pasta                  Ancient harvest pasta
Lipton tea                      Tetley organic tea
Maxwell house coffee   Newman's own and Green Mountain

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Benefits from acupuncture

I'm on my third month now of acupuncture treatments.  The treatments are for fertility but also for pain in my knees.   I've noticed some amazing results in my overall health.   Before I go into those,  if you have never done acupuncture, here is a little summary of what to expect.

When you first go see an acupuncturist, they assess your health a lot different than a traditional doctor.  Along with the list of your ailments and health history, they will ask you about your daily discomforts. Do you sleep well, do you have cold feet and hands...?   They will also look at your tongue and take your pulse.  When they check your tongue it's not to check the tonsils, but to see what your tongue looks like! It can show signs of your kidney, spleen and liver not working quite right.  Checking your pulse is not to count the beats per minute what to assess how strong or weak your pulse is.  It assess your blood flow.

When I was assessed my acupuncturist said my body seemed to experiencing a lot of stress, and that I held my tension in the middle of my body.  She asked me to be mindful of that and to take breaks and breathe deeply.  She then said I was low on Blood and that it was Stagnant! Ugh!  She meant it in the Chinese medicine definition, but the visual was still awful.  So she encouraged me to add lean red meat into my diet, apricots and almonds.  Also I started to take an herb blend called Ren Chong and another called Yuon to build up my blood at the beginning of the month and to nourish my liver, kidney and spleen.  I also received acupuncture treatments twice a week.

After the first month I started to feel more relaxed.  I didn't realize how tense my body was until she said something.  My sleep was deeper again, and I began to wake up rested.  Off and on, but feet are warming up.  Sometimes I don't need to sleep with socks!  I noticed during the second month that my gums were healthier.  I had an accident about 10 years ago that damaged my teeth and gums, and they have been receding.  Now they are a healthy plump pink again and I can floss without discomfort.  Next I noticed my skin clearing up.  I had brown spots from years of being on the pill.  Those spots are fading and are gone from my right cheek and fading from the left side of the face.  This month is my first month PMS free...ever!

My knees are much better. The dull ache I had is gone.  I still have a torn meniscus in my left knee which needs to be repaired through surgery, but I find walking much easier again! 
This sounds like I was a wreck before I started acupuncture, but I considered myself very fit and healthy!

I just started taking Synthroid and have only taken it for a month. I'll need to wait another month to give you the effects of that.  I'm excited to share this health journey!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Organic nutrition!

The past few weeks we've been watching food documentaries at home.   I've never lived on a farm so it's so fascinating to learn where our food comes from.  It can also be disturbing when  you see the massive farms and dairies that produce bulk foods. 

One particular documentary was really good:  FoodMatters 

I knew organic was good for you because the food was raised without pesticides, but I didn't realize the nutritional value of organic vs. mass produced food. Even though the organic apple may look smaller, it is packed with more nutrition than the big non-organic apple.

I also knew vitamins were important, but didn't realize how important.  I thought since I ate a lot of non-processed foods, I was getting most of my vitamins from the food I ate.  But since I wasn't eating all organic foods, the vegetables and fruits were still lacking in the minerals and vitamins that are needed.  I've also been taking herbs to help with getting my cycle regular and to help with fertility.  What I've come to realize is that my body is lacking a lot of nutrients and that is why my effort to feed my body the nutrients it needs is going so slowly!

So this weekend we stocked the fridge with organic fruits and veggies and no-hormone eggs and beef.   Along with our meals I juiced carrots, apples and a sweet potato for a snack.

For vitamin supplements I'm taking a prenatal multi-vitamin, folic acid, fish oil, and an echinacea  blend because I had a small head cold.
For herbs I'm taking two types of Chinese herbs, Ren to nurture my heart, kidney, liver and spleen.  Then in the second half of the month I'm taking an herb to move and build blood.
I'm also drinking a cup of green tea each day in place of a morning cup of coffee. 

I know that filling my days with these nutrients will help me fight off colds and  diseases and get me back on the right track for a long and healthy life!  

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