Posts Tagged ‘health’

The other day I looked at some scantly-clad photos of myself taken by my wonderful boyfriend who loves me for who I am. They were taken on a day like any day since I’ve dropped several dress sizes, and have felt more confident about my overall appearance. When I saw those photos I wasn’t in denial, but in shock that instead of not looking toned (because the gym has gradually been helping me with that part), I still could so easily see that “my battle is not yet won” with fat itself–the fat that hangs around my torso–the kind that leads to Diabetes and Heard Disease… Oh! To feel defeated yet again after so much hard work!!! And the next day I really ate whatever I wanted–let me tell you… when you try so hard consistently and think you’ve finally beat the game and then see you are STUCK instead, it’s just the most frustrating feeling!!! I’ve been struggling to lose fat around my waist, and overall gradually return to a healthy/military weight, for about 10 years… having been a dancer for much of my life (both for pleasure and for a living), having gained the weight, lost it, gained it, lost it has been an embarrassing struggle. Many other dancers I’ve met throughout the years have not suffered the same battle of losing and gaining 40 lbs as quickly as every 6 months sometimes, and I’ve sometimes been so embarrassed about it that even if I ran into a former dancer I worked with, I deliberately tried to hide or shy away.

Diabetes. No, I don’t have it… yet. My great-aunts both died of complications with Diabetes. Cancer runs on both sides of my family—even my little sister had it and is in remission. My grandfather currently has it. And, most recently my own father was diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes II. My dad is convinced that we are all doomed to get it since we are offspring. I have been officially been challenged. I do believe, that my percentage chance of getting Diabetes II is higher than others whose family history does not have it. I also believe that diet and exercise can do amazing things when altered and looked at closely. And so, I’ve been put to the quick.

In the last 2 years I’ve dropped 38 lbs. It wasn’t a 6-month battle this time, but a 2-year battle… granted, I had held onto the heavier weight and fat longer prior to losing it too this time around. When my little sister got cancer, I switched to all organic, about 3 years ago… meaning, I switched to grocery shopping all organic. I still ate “whatever” out at others’ homes and restaurants… today I specifically only eat organic which are on the Top 10 Dirty Dozen. Some of those include: celery, apples, Chilean grapes, spinach, strawberries…

Lucky for me, I’ve always been interested in health and nutrition. When I was in high school one of my favorite late movie stars, River Phoenix, died of a drug overdose. It affected me so adversely that I really read into his lifestyle and habits. I learned he’d been a vegetarian, an animal-rights-activist, among other things… and I suddenly became therefore curious and began heading to the library on weekends studying vegetarianism. Within a year from then, I was a full-blown vegetarian (not vegan)… and battled with my old-fashioned-“eat-your-meat” family for the next 10 years… until I met my (ex)husband, who was carnivorous… and I felt the best way to sustain a working relationship was to cook and eat together. It was too hard to prepare separate meals all the time. Gradually I became what I call “a conscientious omnivore.” And then when my sister got cancer, I looked at my diet again more closely, so that the meats I bought were at least free-range and antibiotic-free… and that’s where it halted for a while. I was eating soba noodles with marinara in huge portions by suppertime, eating as many “healthy foods” as I could stomach—literally. I was so afraid of NOT getting my nutrients I overate… and I did that for years.

…and then, I hit my highest weight ever: 199. The day I got on that scale and saw how close I was to 200 lbs, I had a mixture of a revelation and inner fury… something HAD to change again, and majorly! By that time I had injured my hip, I had torn a muscle behind my right knee, I felt immobile, fat, irritated, joints ached, and yet, I had to wonder “WHY? I eat all organic! I eat HEALTHY complex carbs! What is the deal??” The deal? The deal was that complex carbs, what we thought was healthy to eat, are not necessarily being translated as “healthy” by our bodies… some of those are, and some of them aren’t.

Last year I was able to begin incorporating walks into my days at lunch time. Those 30 min walks 5 days/week helped me to lose 15 lbs. But, I hung around 185 then and plateaued.

Then, almost exactly 1 year ago today, I joined a gym, working on my joint health, working on stretching and elongating muscles that I’d torn in the past and have been unwilling to get surgery for to actually “fix.” I then began resistance-training and increasing my cardio too. A few months later I randomly found “livestrong.com” – a website dedicated to healthy living started by Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor… and began logging my calories and fitness… this was a breakthrough moment for me. Finally, I was able to manage my portion sizes. It has been written that 80% of Americans actually do NOT know the calories they are consuming or what they should be eating total for each day. This website offered me a free way to control my calories. And, I lost another 23 lbs this year for it. Around June or July, about 4 months ago, I plateaued again. I hit 161, would work back up to 165, go back to 161, work my way up again… it’s been a struggle. For the 3rd time now I hit 161 and for the life of me could STILL not hit a “healthy normal or military weight”, which at my height would be 158 max. I just couldn’t break the 60’s plateau. And, today, as I write this, I still stand at 161!!!

What I’ve been working on now though, is a Diabetic Diet. Temporarily. I want to see how this affects my overall health. I do believe, already having hit 161 my 3rd time, that it is making a difference. What I’ve learned is that as all carbs will turn into insulin (sugar) in our bodies, diabetics have major insulin problems. Most Americans don’t even know it and have insulin problems that will lead to insulin resistance. The Glycemic Index can illustrate which foods ingested will break down into glucose/insulin/sugar fastest in our bloods… what spikes our insulin, will hold our weight. That is what insulin is for… so, the less sugar, the less insulin spikes, and the more sensitive our bodies become to insulin again and don’t resist. This is my next step. And it’s incredible. I love potatoes and they are very nutritious for someone Hypothyroid like me (and Hypothyroidism is another battle of mine and also contributes to my slow metabolism), but they are very HIGH on the GI meter. Especially baked and mashed. So, where I used to have a large baked potato every week, I now substitute the most unlikely carb instead: a small bowl of noodles. Noodles!!! Wheat at best, but noodles, unless they were Soba, were not something I’ve allowed myself in AGES, so I am STOKED to actually get to eat NOODLES!!! YAY!!! And, if I want potatoes, they have to be boiled and New Potatoes, so their GI drops, and then I ought only eat a small amount. Bread. Even if it’s 100% whole wheat… is out unless it’s pumpernickle or something really grainy. Not ok otherwise. No bagels. No fluffy bread. And at a restaurant that’s the hardest thing–you’re starving, you arrive, and the first thing they give you is a basket of hot white bread rolls. KILLER!!!! But, I can eat a pita here and there or a corn/flour tortilla, and in order to not eat processed frozen foods for my work lunches, really, the most realistic thing here is to at least wrap something in a pita. So, that I am doing. I eat more tuna, eggs, and luckily because I was already cooking a lot and making soups routinely every week, there I have not failed. I will continue to do as I was. I have switched my breakfast yet AGAIN though. Instead of raw oats with flax, protein powder, granola, fresh berries, and rice milk, for now I have STOPPED the rice milk. I LOVE rice milk—love, love, love, but it’s VERY HIGH on the GI meter. So, now I am eating bran cereal with a little raw oats, with a ½ cup skim milk (even though I don’t tolerate dairy too well, but because I can’t eat a lot of soy due to my Hypothyroidism), flax, berries and protein powder. I may even cut out the protein powder all together—we shall see. Starting with a majorly high-fiber cereal in the morning is only benefiting me throughout the day. I literally eat 100% of my daily fiber already at breakfast… and then eat more as the day goes on besides.

Did you know that cherries, sweet cherries, bing cherries, are actually low on the GI meter? Amazingly so… not to mention dried apricots, grapefruit, pears and plums. Some of this I knew already, because when I lost weight on Michael Thurman’s Body Makeover Diet (which is the ONLY other advertised-diet that ever worked for me but took SO MUCH WORK in preparation every week) about 8 years ago (one of the times when I dropped 15 lbs) my personal blueprints only allowed me to eat low-glycemic fruits and vegetables. I had to stay away from corn. I had to stay away from refined sugar, added salt, and high GI fruit. That was SO HARD to do ALL AT ONCE. Today, I still struggle with my salt. I don’t add nearly as much as I’ve seen other people sometimes add to their food, but I’ve learned that healthy living has to be managed one step at a time, or you’ll go BUST. I have learned so much in the past years, and for the last full year I’ve been working out in addition to daily walks, fairly regularly (3-4x/week), I have been logging my foods and watching my portion sizes, and I’ve really overall stuck to it… whenever I failed I jumped right back on the bandwagon again. Over… and over… and over. Because, it’s a lifestyle. It really is. And now that I pretty much got the knack of the calories, more on foods, and the burn, I am once again looking closer at my food choices and my family history… and human physiology for that matter.

So much is against me: hypothyroidism, family diabetes, family history of cancer, insulin resistance, unhealthy foods on the market and TV influences… but if it’s up to me, I am not defeated just yet. And I won’t be without a fight. So, the challenge is on. “Is that all you’ve got?”


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I thought it was important already BEFORE to eat organic, but now I think it’s even that much MORE important! According to several recent articles, losing weight means toxins, normally stored in all of our tissues and fat, are released into the bloodstream–toxins, like pesticides from food!
Article 1
Article 2
Article 3

Try to stick to at least this chart. I do… I have since my little sister was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, due to toxins, although we will never know which…
The Dirty Dozen

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I had my usual workout yesterday but ran into an article with MANY “Aha” moments while reading up on a “Fitness” magazine at the gym while pedaling on the upright Matrix bike.

I couldn’t find it in stores–the particular version and article I wanted was in the “Eat Right” section… then I looked online and not until this afternoon did I finally find a section of that article. Here, I share it with all of you. NO EXCUSES PEOPLE!!!

Part I

“Dieting Excuses and Strategies
Oops, I did it again. I gave in to the late-night siren song of Ben & Jerry’s blaring from my freezer. As I scarf down New York Super Fudge Chunk, I come up with all kinds of reasons I need, even deserve, it. “We fool ourselves into thinking it’s okay to give in to temptation, focusing on short-term gratification instead of long-term consequences,” says psychologist Judith S. Beck, PhD, author of The Beck Diet Solution. Here, nine diet cop-outs and ways to reclaim control and ditch the excuses — and the excess pounds — for good.

Cop-Out: “I’m on vacation.”
Everyone deserves a little R&R, but when rest equals a hiatus from exercise, and relaxation means eating everything in sight, you’ll be packing more pounds on your return trip. “A few cocktails and three restaurant meals can easily sneak in an extra 2,000 to 3,000 daily calories,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member and author of The Flexitarian Diet. “In one week, that can add up to four to six pounds of fat.”

Take charge. “Don’t plan for perfection; instead, plan to indulge in moderation by paring down portions,” Blatner suggests. Tasting the culture is part of the experience, so sample the local delicacies and skip the stuff you can get anywhere. (Brie in France? Oui. French fries? Non.) Do the opposite with vacay libations: Stick with your usual white wine or Bloody Mary as opposed to sugary, umbrella-adorned drinks. Finally, work some calorie-blasting fun into the itinerary: Go sightseeing by bike or try a new activity, like surfing.

Cop-Out: “I have PMS.”
Take comfort in the fact that symptoms like cramps and mood swings aren’t totally in your head. You may be extra susceptible to carb attacks; although we all experience fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone, certain women are more affected by them. “It’s possible that those who are prone to PMS experience a drop in the brain chemical serotonin, and that can cause a spike in appetite — especially cravings for carbohydrates,” explains Stephanie Collins Reed, PhD, assistant professor of clinical neurobiology at Columbia University.

Take charge. Tame the PMS monster by tracking your cycle at mymonthlycycles.com (or try the iPeriod app); it will help you keep your blood sugar stable while your hormones ride the roller coaster. In the week before and during your period, reach for healthy, high-fiber snacks every few hours; choose those that provide a steady release of energy and satisfy your sweet — or salty — tooth. “Dip four strawberries in two tablespoons melted dark chocolate chips and refrigerate for 10 minutes, or have three cups of air-popped popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan,” Blatner suggests.

Cop-Out: “But he’s eating all that!”
The sexes are supposed to be equal, but our metabolism never got the memo. Men burn more calories at rest because they tend to have more muscle (muscle blasts more calories than fat does). Do the math: A 30-year-old man who is five feet 10 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds burns about 2,600 calories a day, while a woman of the same age, weight and height burns a little more than 2,200 calories a day. “Women are gaining more weight because they’re consuming the same huge portions,” explains weight-loss expert Jim Karas, author of The 7-Day Energy Surge.

Take charge. Instead of eating like a man, try exercising like one, with an emphasis on strength moves. If you don’t have time to hit the weight room, do 10 push-ups and Supermans (lie on your stomach and raise your head, arms, and legs off the ground, as if you’re flying, for as long as you can; rest for 30 seconds and repeat). Do three sets every other day and you’ll build maximum muscle in minimum time. When mealtime rolls around, have half of what he’s having. (Hint: Use a smaller plate to make the difference less obvious.)”

Part II

“More Dieting Strategies:

Cop-Out: “What’s a movie without Milk Duds?”
Snacks at the cinema, chili dogs at the ballpark, chocolate cake at a birthday party — we’re conditioned to eat in so many places and situations. “It’s nearly impossible to walk into the movies and not be tempted by popcorn,” says Susan M. Kleiner, PhD, RD, author of The Good Mood Diet. “You figure everyone else is eating it, and it’s part of the experience, so you should have it too.”

Take charge. Retrain your brain so that Twilight does not equal a tub of popcorn with extra butter. Before you leave home, pack a lighter version of your usual treat (veggie-flavored Pirate’s Booty for the movies, a six-pack of light beer for the neighborhood barbecue) and, to steel your willpower, jot down what you’re going to eat. Visualize how great you’ll feel when you walk out of the theater without the weight of the butter-drenched popcorn or leave the cookout without a bloated beer belly — and how happy you’ll be when you step on the scale the next day.

Cop-Out: “I’m so stressed out.”
Blame it on evolution: When you’re under pressure, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, prompting temporary spikes in energy, metabolism, and blood sugar. According to research, women who are frazzled often turn to foods like ice cream and pizza. Chronic stress is especially dangerous: Over time, high cortisol levels can lead to fat storage in the abdomen, upping your risk for obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Take charge. Blatner recommends making a list of calorie-free stress busters, which might include taking a walk around the block or listening to relaxing music. “When you get the urge to splurge, consult the list and do one of the activities for 10 minutes; that’s often long enough to distract you from the craving,” she says. If you can’t squelch your stress or appetite, opt for healthy protein (lean turkey or low-fat cottage cheese). “Protein raises blood sugar and keeps it stable for several hours,” explains Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of Beat Sugar Addiction Now. “Sugar helps you feel better for only about an hour.”

Cop-Out: “I’ve been good all week.”
You were the picture of dietary perfection Monday through Friday, and now it’s time to celebrate with a champagne brunch, a three-course dinner, and an evening of barhopping. Welcome to the weekend weight-gainers club! Researchers from the University of North Carolina discovered that people in the United States consume an average of 115 calories more per day on the weekend. This may not sound like much, but it adds up to an extra five pounds a year (and jeans that are way too tight). Plus, splurging on Saturday and Sunday often spills over into the workweek.

Take charge. Instead of thinking, “TGIF…I can finally eat something,” spread out your indulgences — a frozen yogurt here, a glass of wine there — through the week. Try not to make the weekend a restaurant marathon; when you are going to eat out, schedule a pre-dinner jog or post-brunch hike.

Cop-Out: “I haven’t eaten all day.”
You bypassed breakfast and hardly touched your lunch, so you feel like the queen of willpower — until you blow those saved-up calories (and more) on an enormous dinner. Skimping on meals early in the day often backfires because it boosts the production of ghrelin. This sneaky hunger hormone doesn’t just encourage you to eat; it also tells you to go for the good, but not good-for-you, stuff. A recent study found that when test subjects either fasted or received a ghrelin injection, they preferred diet-busting munchies like cake, chocolate, and pizza to veggies, salad, and fish.

Take charge. Outsmart your hunger hormones by eating every three hours; research shows that the more often people dine throughout the day, the less likely they are to be obese. “Keep satisfying snacks — an apple and almonds, cucumber slices and hummus — at your office or prepped in your fridge,” Blatner suggests. Not a frequent eater? Make it a habit by using a food diary, and jot down when you eat in addition to what you eat. If you notice you’re going more than three hours without a snack, set a timer to help you stay on track.

Cop-Out: “I need a pick-me-up.”
Ah, the mid-afternoon slump, when you want to curl up in your cubicle. Of course, you also want to keep your job, so you opt for a Snickers instead of a siesta. Turns out you’re not just lazy. Our circadian rhythms (the physical, mental, and behavioral habits controlled by our biological clocks) actually make us want to take an afternoon nap: An energy dip occurs about halfway between the time we awake and hit the sack. That means if you’re up at 7 and go to bed at night by 11, your slump will hit around 3 p.m. Because studies also link fatigue and high-carb snack attacks, the afternoon munchies mystery is solved.

Take charge. If you’re at home, take a 30- to 60-minute catnap to recharge your batteries. Researchers in Japan recently reported that it’s an effective way to boost energy and alertness. At work, go for a quick walk. A recent University of Georgia study found that just three low-intensity workouts a week raised people’s energy levels by 20 percent and decreased fatigue by 65 percent after six weeks.

Cop-Out: “I’m too busy to eat right.”
The more hectic our lives become, the less time we seem to have for our health. Case in point: A recent Cornell study found that parents who work long hours rely heavily on takeout and restaurant food. The irony is that while many of us claim we’re too busy to prepare a nutritious dinner, we still find time to watch American Idol as we wait for the pizza.

Take charge. Instead of opting for that 30-minutes-or-less delivery guarantee and settling in with your favorite show, try one of our 20-minute recipes. Or prep a week’s worth of meals ahead of time. Grilling chicken breasts and prechopping vegetables are obvious shortcuts, but you can also hard-boil eggs or even precook whole-grain pasta (simply warm small portions in the microwave or a skillet). “These foods will last in the refrigerator for five days,” Blatner says. Still too much work? Try our lazy girl’s grocery list: rotisserie chicken, frozen vegetables and unsweetened fruits, boxes of quick-cooking brown rice or other whole grains, and veggie trays with dip for a quick snack or to throw into a speedy stir-fry (without the dip). See how healthy fast food can be?”

**Helpful Hint: If you decide you absolutely MUST have popcorn, make some freshly popped at home and LEAVE OUT THE BUTTER. Sprinkle a little Parmesan on instead!

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Overall wellness is a combination of many things…

Lately I’ve been focusing on the physical because in recent years I’d been neglecting it to a point. I’m also focusing on the social side and a bit more on the spiritual side…

Since I’m fairly introverted by nature (INFJ), but am interested in people, I paid a long-time childhood friend a visit in the hospital who’d been suffering from various tumors and has been unwell and stuck in that hospital for weeks again. I decided to go impulsively after attending a bible meeting, where his father pulled me aside to give me an update on his health. I don’t frequently attend bible meetings, but my former “spritual” group (a Polynesian Halau) is something I’ve dropped out of, and the Polynesian Ohana is a group I am fortunate to spend time with, but they don’t have as many gatherings as the Halau did.

So, I decided to attend the meeting, and then visit my friend although I do not believe one could replace the other–I did need to fill the void with something… I miss the Halau, but knew it was time for me to leave, and I still adore actively volunteering with the Ohana.

Furthermore, on the interlinked social side, I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and learning more about Historical Reenactment with various groups through my boyfriend. It’s been interesting to gain knowledge while finding others with the mutual interest of learning about past times.

So, then for the physical side and concentration: Although my LDL was super low and awesome and my HDL in fact came back high and very good, I have read that drinking OJ, not to mention cranberry juice and grapefruit juice, also helps to increase your HDL (good cholesterol)… and since these things also aid in preventing cancer, I figured, well, why not? I don’t really drink much of anything other than water, seltzer (also water), loose leaf tea, and black coffee. I do make drinks (with organic lemons and limes) or have red wine sometimes, but otherwise the only time I drink anything sweet is when I go to Outpost Health Foods and drink their freshly made juices right there in front of me (since I don’t own a juicer or I’d make them at home too)… so, I was thinking, well, I really ought to have 5-7 helpings of fruit/veggies a day and although I have a handful of berries in my oats in the morning, and a fruit or veggie at my midday snack, and my frozen Healthy Choice meals have some kind of frozen veggie, then that leaves me supper, so hopefully I get a good serving then… but that’s just 4 servings. 4. 4 is not enough to be proactive-preventative… so, that’s yet ANOTHER reason to drink 100% juice. Ok, so then I’m worried about sugar. Obviously diabetes II runs in my family and I deliberately try not to drink too much sugar because I am also Hypoglycemic and too much sugar besides affects my Hypothyroidism and can be the 1st thing to cause me to catch illness (by bringing down my immune system)—this happens when I crave sweets and I’m on my moon and I end up eating a roll of Sweet Tarts or something and then later something else sweet and maybe something even after that… I mean, I need a lot for it to happen, but it DOES happen… luckily, I haven’t had sweet tooth cravings in the last year, but more salt cravings. Ok, anyway, so juice… I went to Outpost and found something called “Vruit”—cause I can’t keep the fresh stuff Outpost makes otherwise good in the fridge too long and it would lose a lot of antioxidants after the 1st day anyway… granted it’s 110 calories, but it’s all natural fruit sugar, 100% vitamin C, 100% vitamin A and NOT from a vitamin (they say Beta Carotene from a vitamin does NOT actually help like previously assumed while Beta Carotene from FOOD actually does).
VFruit 100% Juice Blend

And the one I’m drinking is “Orange Veggie Blend” and really it’s pretty darn good. In fact, I don’t mind the taste of veggies at all in my drink, but I actually don’t taste them in this. I taste fruit juice. And so, now I have 1 more serving of fruit/veggies… that brings me up to 5. Then I got some 5.5 oz. V8 for my midday snack only costing me an amazing 30 calories in the afternoon (granted I have 2 low-fat string cheese & another veggie/fruit then too totaling me to about 180 calories overall), but ok now I’m up to 6. So, 6 is doable. 4 was not. I still prefer 7, but I gotta’ watch my calories… so, maybe I’ll do a 2nd V8 or something eventually and then I’ll have my 7. 30 calories rocks!

Meanwhile, some of you know I’ve been having problems with my Hypothyroidism medication (side effects to my hair… falling out more)… and I do everything right otherwise—I mean, I use the best professional conditioner, I use Aveda essential oils, I use the best shampoo, I use heat protectant… no one can tell me what to do better than my own education on hair maintenance. Obviously it’s the medication and Hypothyroidism causing this as I have read time and time again it’s a common side-effect. So, although I am scheduled to see a doctor about it next month, meanwhile I learned from Malia in the Halau that Coconut Oil was something amazing for the skin and hair. Previously I had a book on spa and learned Olive Oil is too. So, I did finally buy some Organic Coconut Oil and then read all about it… and it IS amazing. I slept with my head wrapped in coconut oil last night the way I’d otherwise wrap someone’s head for a deep conditioning treatment: first in cellophane, and then in a towel wrap.

Normally I’d leave it in for 30 minutes. But I left it in overnight. Then washed it out this morning. As a person with Hypothyroidism my skin is ALWAYS dry. I’ve been to dermatologists for this many times who have prescribed me the best ointments, often expensive, but they only do so much. The actually OIL actually feels better on my scalp than any professional beauty aid I’ve used yet… Coconut Oil and Your Skin
Make Your Own Coconut Oil

…and now I’ve read some beauticians actually swear by it anyway… so, although I would not ingest it for weight loss (as some gimmicks suggest and I do NOT believe is healthy) I DO think it’s good for hair and skin… but, obviously, if it’s on the hair, it does need to be washed. They also say the natural oils of working out should help, so anything to keep me motivated I guess… Fitness and What It Does for You All that aside I also take extra Biotin in my multi-vitamin promoting wellness of skin, nails and hair.

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Normal Total Cholesterol: 199 or lower
Normal Triglyceroids: 150 or lower
Normal HDL: 50 or higher
Normal LDL: 129 or lower
Ratio HDL divided by LDL: 6 or lower (preferably 3.5 or lower)

Total Cholesterol: 146
Triglyceroids: 104
HDL: 72
LDL: 53
Ratio HDL divided by LDL: 2

My nurse told me to pat myself on the back. And I am happy with my scores… some even believe that if you have an HDL of 70 ot higher you are at Zero Risk for heart disease (I’m sure it depends on who you talk to, but it’s a nice thought)…but if your Cholesterol isn’t good what can you do to improve it?

To lower your LDL: Exercise. Cardio.
…and here is more on Decrease LDL
To increase your HDL: Drink 100% fruit juices like orange, grapfruit, cranberry or grape
…and here is more on Increase HDL
To decrease your Triglyceroids: lose some weight

To Our Health!

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People really eat poorly these days… and that means whether or not they are financially well-off. They just don’t eat anything the body needs to function properly. And cancer is sky-rocketing, and everyone thinks, “oh, it won’t happen to me”–well, I got a reality bite for ya: 1 in 3 will get some kind of cancer in their life according to statistics today.

The United States of America nominates Wendy’s as their Top Favorite Fast Food Restaurant.

This summer we are all going to festivals and mean to celebrate life, good weather, family and friends… but the majority of food at festivals is for allure but let me tell ya, it’s not for eating… this stuff will KILL YOU or at least do damage.

Consider Good Advice and follow a balanced meal and prevent up to a 50% chance of getting cancer. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel, how much more interested you’ll become in nutrition and how much more knowledgeable you’ll become during the process. Live this life. Don’t waste your health.

Salt, too much red meat, smoking, too few vegetables/fruits, being obese, all are contributors to leading an unhealthy diet. Why is it that the majority of people in the United States don’t seem to care anymore? It’s all over the news, the web, and still it’s as if the majority are in denial. Choices on Eating link diet to cancer.

Cancer Research confirms that a healthy diet of a minimum of 5 fruits/vegetables, and balanced meals are the way to go.

Check your Body Mass Index (BMI):
Where do you fall on this grid? What are you gonna’ do about it?

If you already have a good idea of what you need to do to change your life but can’t seem to organize time, food, and activity around your already-busy schedule, I highly recommend the free website at Live Strong. From February through March I dropped over 10 lbs. From March through April I dropped another 10 lbs. It is now August and I am maintaining without difficulty. Hard to believe? It’s lifestyle… it’s like Oprah says… LIFESTYLE! Who do you want to be? Aim for it. Write it down. Share–be held accountable! DO IT ALREADY!!!

I can’t stand watching people shove hotdogs and sausages down their throats every day–do you even know what’s in those?? It’s processed meat… do you know what that means? Read Processed Meat Link to learn more.

Consider Dr. Andrew Weil’s way of living healthfully: mind, spirit & body. Do your best to live by this food pyramid to lead a healthy life:

And Control your Portion Sizes – it makes a difference. Even if I buy a sandwich from Outpost Health Foods I still save 1/2 for dinner and only eat 1/2 for lunch… today Americans order food and EAT whatever they buy for instant gratification instead of for fueling their body with nutrition to function: think clearly, gain energy, and simply live! Look at all the FAT in these foods most Americans eat regularly! Eat to live! Don’t Live to Eat.

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Cancer: a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth (division beyond the normal limits), invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood).

NOTE TO READER: In the following true story, names have been altered for privacy purposes

When Dudley and I began dating in early 2006 I was very sick. I was simultaneously in beauty school, had just finished up my divorce, was about to graduate, but for the past several months was getting strep throat bouts and bouts of it… as soon as I’d finish another antibiotic I’d get it again… resistant. I went to doctor to specialist to doctor to specialist. I was very weak, lost a lot of weight, and always had swollen lymph nodes on the right side of my throat. Months went by and I continued to get ill. Swollen-to-the-touch.

I was put on Prednisone, which reduced the swelling but as soon as I was done with it the swelling would return and Prednisone you have to be careful with, but I loved how it made me feel and I hated being without it regardless of the side-effect of sleeplessness it caused… (some aer even on higher doses of Prednisone during cancer treatment, but you can also GET cancer from Prednisone if you use it too much)… anyway, Dudley was there when finally I was told I needed surgery to remove the lymph nodes swollen. Turns out I had a “rare internal STAPH infection” and a benign growth. So weird and gross I normally don’t even bring it up to anyone in conversation no matter the subject. But, it was so good to know Dudley was there. He gave me a little stuffed plush character head of some animal and I held it every time I could. lol… At that time he and I still lived apart.

After surgery I began to feel better… but I’d scared my family a bit. Before I knew it my own sister and clients were feeling their throats for swollen lymph nodes… and that’s when my sister noticed one—also on the right side of her throat, but a little towards the back. She mentioned it to me and to my mother. My mom said she should get it checked out. She waited. Finally, she went to the doctor a few months later and the doctor felt other swollen lymph nodes hidden under her armpits, behind her chestbone… he told her to go to a surgeon and get a biopsy and not let the surgeon talk her out of it. She was curious instantly but sure enough, the surgeon tried to talk her out of it saying it was not necessary… so she waited, but she did not bail out. Meanwhile she too began researching online—a scary thing when it comes to medical conditions, and that’s when “Hodgkin’s Lymphoma” and the worse, “Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma” (NHL) appeared. You’d think ‘cause there’s a “non” in the title it’d be less to worry about but it’s just the opposite. It’s in the Leukemia family, usually non-hereditary, and a cancer of the immune & lymph system. She worried about it but doctors didn’t worry her too much so she didn’t put too much weight into her worry.

When I got out of the hospital she had her biopsy. I was living with my folks ‘cause I’d just gone through my divorce and then met Dudley that next year and stayed there while I went through full-time school and worked part-time teaching dance again. So, I meant to call my sister when she got out of her surgery but my mom was on the phone, so instead I went over with Dudley, brought flowers that night – as she had also visited me after I got out of the hospital and surgery just previous. And when I got there I knocked. No answer. I knocked again. Slowly I saw her husband come to the door. He only looked through the window of the door. Finally opened it. Looked down and preoccupied. I asked if my sister were there. I suppose he didn’t know what to say or whether or not to even let me in… he said she was in the bathroom. So, I waited… and, then the door to the bathroom let out a little light and I saw her hobbling out, neck patched up, pulling herself out against the wall… and I walked towards her and (it all comes back to me like the worst nightmare you know when I go through this…) she walked towards me and I saw her face go from exhausted to a look of pure agony. Her daughter, not even a year old yet… she fell into my arms sobbing… and I knew. I knew and I instantly began sobbing and we held each other just crying… our men standing behind us just allowing the wave of desperation and thrill of torture fall over us… she had NHL. That night she told me all she knew. I was the first (other than her husband) to find out due to how things played out that night… but I retained this much: ZERO. Luckily, Dudley was there for it all and reiterated it to me later. I was in complete shock. I recalled NOTHING other than what I’ve mentioned. After that moment it’s a complete blur that night. Apparently my sister already was in Stages 3-4… … but, since I lived with my folks then, that is also the night I never returned. I moved in with Dudley permanently that night. I left a note with my folks and gradually, over time, began to move my things out of their place, into Dudley’s place, and 2 years after that out of storage and into Germantown… and now I’m here.

NOTE TO READER: Dudley and I are not currently longer in a relationship but we are amiable with one another and have been pivotal in each other’s lives.

After my sister was diagnosed with NHL I instantly gave up buying cigarettes for my breaks in beauty school and work at the Aveda salon. I also instantly bought everything organic. Simutaneously, since NHL is a cancer of the immune system due to “toxins” I also stopped walking on lawns and became increasingly paranoid about chemicals… eventually going “Green” with almost everything in the house. I was the one who had to shave my little sister’s head when her hair began falling out and she began to bloat out from chemo… I saw her go from beautiful to bald and puffy, from energetic to exhausted… all the while I worked full-time barely holding my own, client-after-client… and took my sister to chemo when I could, and often sat with her for hours after she passed out from the CHOP. I even sketched her once while I was in the hospital. During those times I was so worried about the stuff going through her blood stream, killing the cancer but also her healthy cells, that I couldn’t eat. Couldn’t drink. Couldn’t function well… emotionally she believes I was worse off than she was.

I hope never to have to go through something like it again, but the 1st experience is down. You never know… cancer is prevalent in our society today. Our family, someone we know may get it. Who will we be to that person? How will we cope? How can we be of help?

…things to think about. …things to contemplate… will we be stuck in our heads and do nothing? Will we change our worlds and relationships by stepping outside our box and actively pursuing to help? Bringing food, rides, babysitting, being available… all helps.

The good thing about my sister, is she had a huge network community, well knit, of bible students and family. Many who hadn’t even seen her in years sent her cards, thoughts, prayers, even food service… she believes the help she received actually healed her as much as the chemo. Today she’s one of a minority of those close to me who had the dreaded C-word, has been cancer free now for 3 years.

I am into “prevention” now and care about all ways to be a healthier person in mind, spirit, and body more than ever. I highly recommend checking in to life, while you have it. Health is a terrible thing to waste.

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