Healthchat

Conversations about optimal health.


Leave a comment

My Forever Journey

The last two years with COVID have been a wake up call. I am 67 years old and have survived a bout with the disease however that was not the challenge for me. The staying at home with two hungry grandchildren led to my undoing. We had way too much fun cooking, baking, eating and ordering out. I gained 18 pounds over the last two years and developed inflammation in my joints.

So fast forward to February of 2022. Ever since menopause I have had what I call an allergic reaction to chocolate, especially dark chocolate. I react to it with migraines which is so unfair. This year post Valentine’s Day after consuming too many chocolate covered almonds I ended up in the ER with confusion and high blood pressure. These can be symptoms of a Transient Ischemic Attack in vessels of the brain. Sometimes a precursor for stroke.

Talk about a wake up call! I knew that when I got out of there I had to make some drastic changes. Life as I knew it was over. After being scanned, poked and prodded I found out the results of all the testing: high cholesterol, moderate build up in Coronary arteries, migraine, and obesity. Time to take control over my health.

First step was agreeing finally to take a Statin drug to lower the cholesterol. That worked beautifully and brought my LDL down to healthy levels. Second step was to find some help. I asked a close friend and coworker who has a large health and wellness practice to mentor me in diet and exercise. I also enlisted the support of my family. My husband is going on this journey with me for which I am grateful.

The third step was beginning a journal during my prayer time in the morning. Asking God for His guidance with why I’m overeating and using food as a drug. Food has been a source of pleasure, reward, solace, entertainment, and basically an emotional crutch as far back as I can remember. I have examined why I overeat during other times in my life and I have learned a lot about myself but there are still places within that need healing. I know that as I learn and grow personally food will become just a source of fuel, not my go to friend.

That brings us to today. This series of posts will be about my journey to optimal health and I invite you to come along. Maybe you need healing in this area too. I will share my successes and failures and the forever plan that I’m following. We can be healthy at our stage in life. In fact, it’s been my experience that once the kids are out of the house I now have time to focus on me. For those of you who are younger, start taking care of your health now!! For once your health is gone, life becomes a huge struggle.

I welcome your comments just know that I will be approving what is published here.


Leave a comment

Say “No” to Diets and “Yes” to Habits

Take it from someone who has tried lots of diets, fasts, reducing centers and support groups for weight loss. I am a foodie. I love cooking shows and collecting cookbooks. I love cooking new recipes and feeding my friends and family. I even enter baked goods in the local fair and win awards. Does that mean that I will always be an unhealthy overeater who has to be on a diet for the rest of my life? The answer is a resounding “no”!!!

On this side of the diet life I now know that putting good habits into my day will help me to optimal health and wellness. Here is today’s habit that I am currently working on.

>1. Sleep. 7 to 8 hours per night. I go to bed before midnight and wake up 7 to 8 hours later. I have energy for the day. If you have a challenge with getting to sleep at night turn off all screens an hour before you go to bed. There are great herbal teas that you can drink in the evening to foster relaxation. My husband takes an herbal sleep gummy that helps him to get to sleep. Personally I go to sleep easily after reading a personal development book. Explore what it will take for you to put this habit into place. I don’t recommend any drugs or supplements that interrupt your sleep cycles.

Link your sleep to other evening activities. For example, I keep my book and reading glasses on my bedside table and the goal is to read for at least 10 minutes before I go to sleep. I also have a daily reminder on my phone about 30 minutes before bedtime. A great book to read on developing good habits is, Atomic Habits by James Clear. However, if you keep it next to your bedside it may be hard to read just 10 minutes before sleep.


Leave a comment

Whole Foods Plant Based Diet

Did I mention on Friday that I also have slightly elevated blood sugar that puts me in the PreDiabetic category? Diabetes Type 2 runs in my family so this is a major wake up call too. Looks like choosing to eat a whole food plant based diet is one of the paths on this journey to optimal health.

Here is a very informative article about how the whole food plant based diet may lower the risk of Diabetes Type 2


Effective Hand Washing

A lot of people have been asking about hand washing products and which are the most effective?  I’ve read about antiseptics, disinfectants, antibiotics, alcohol, bleach, germicidal, virucidal and viruseptic properties.  So, in trying not to confuse you, my readers, or myself I found a simple article sourced through the CDC that helps explain effective hand washing outside of the hospital.

Source: Show Me the Science | Hand Hygiene | CDC

IMG_0064

 

 

 

 

 


Boosting Your Immune System

IMG_0041

Having a healthy, robust immune system is a great way to fight off any disease including viruses.  The mechanical practices of washing hands, getting immediate help when symptoms appear and staying away from those who are sick are important recommendations.  There are also ways you can improve your body’s ability to fight back.

Since I work with the Nutrilite Corporation I will include the immunity boosters that they provide. There are Foundational Supplements that give the cells of your body what they need to produce overall wellness. Then there are specific Immune Boosters.

The Perfect Pack is an everyday foundational combination which includes:

  • Nutrilite™ Double X™ Vitamin/Mineral/Phytonutrient Supplement, now with PhytoProtect™ blend. The ultimate multivitamin. 22 vitamins and minerals and 22 plant concentrates.
  • Nutrilite™ Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables. Phytonutrients equal to 10+ servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • Nutrilite™ Balanced Health Omega. Supports brain and eye health.*
  • This supplement will provide your cells what they need to operate efficiently.

Then there are supplements that are specific Immunity Boosters:

Nutrilite Balance Within Probiotic,  a once-a-day probiotic supplement featuring an exclusive blend of five strains supporting immunity and healthy digestion. It supports and maintains a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut with daily use.

  • Contains an exclusive blend of 6.3 billion CFU (Colony Forming Units) of clinically tested, beneficial bacteria from 5 probiotic strains.
  • Arrive Alive Technology: naturally strong strains resist the harsh conditions of the stomach to arrive in the gut alive.
  • Stick to the Gut Technology: natural ability to adhere to the gut, helping to promote a balance of good bacteria with daily use.    

Also, The Immunity Health Twist Tubes To Go provide vitamin C and B vitamins in a liquid form that can be added to a 16oz bottle of water. I recommend oxygenated water like the Perfect Water brand. The flavor is Strawberry Kiwi and my grandchildren love it. We drink one bottle per day.

Finally, the Immune Health Pack which includes Echinacea and Time-release vitamin C is useful when symptoms of a cold or flu first appear. Take it as directed for the next two weeks or until symptoms are gone.  My experience with Echinacea is that it shortens the duration of a cold and decreases the severity.  In other words I’m sick for three days instead of seven and the symptoms stay out of my chest.

I know this sounds like an infomercial; however, Nutrilite produces supplements using pharmaceutical standards and grows the plant sources on their own farms, controlling the process from seed to supplement.  So that’s why I recommend them.

Nutrilite also has supplements for children, Vitamin C, Daily Vitamins, Probiotics and a Fruits and Vegetable tablets to support their health and immune systems as well.

The disclaimer for all of these products is that they do not treat, cure or prevent disease.  They support the health and wellbeing of your body at the cellular level.


Hibernation

For healthchat followers, I had a successful 21 day detox in the Fall and felt great going into the holidays.  Results were surprising for me.  The acid reflux symptoms I was having before the detox went completely away.  I found they were associated with dairy and wheat.  And it reinforced the experience that chocolate brings on wicked dizziness and migraines.  Weight loss was not the motivating factor but, I lost 15 pounds anyway.  So, I considered it a success.

However, with the holidays and 40 inches of snow last weekend some of my unhealthy eating habits have reared their ugly heads.  I call the post-holiday eating syndrome Hibernation.  Snow shoveling has been my exercise and all I want to do is stay at home, read and eat. I can relate to the bears and ground hogs.  IMG_0047

Some good habits are still in place.  Cheese and chocolate are still off the menu and I’ve reduced my wheat consumption most days.  Finally got back to bicycling at the gym. So, some of those ugly habits are not going to come back.

The plan now is to keep the healthy eating and exercise in place until Spring.  I’m not going to begin another detox or add anything new until my body wakes up from the long winter’s sleep.  Remembering how I felt before the detox and preventing those symptoms from recurring will help.  Also, keeping fresh fruit and vegetables on hand to prevent eating processed food from the cupboard is key.

Finally, accepting the fact that my body is coping with the season.  Eating heavier foods that help to keep me warm is okay.  Also, I’m determined to stop stressing about what I weigh, instead learn how to like myself and accept my new habits as part of the journey to ultimate health.  Enjoying the winter months and hibernation mode is the goal.  I think I’ll take a nap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Detox and Travel

NatGeo15     In my world there are not 21 days in a row that are conducive to staying home and concentrating on a healthy Detox.  So, this past weekend covered days 9, 10 and 11 on the Detox plan and I had to fly to Denver for a conference.  Instead of giving up before I started , I decided to plan ahead and be creative.

The first thing I packed was some Protein shake powder and a good shaker cup.  I’ve found that the Nutrilite Body Key shakes work really well because they have great flavors and all you have to add is water.  I also packed some ready-made shakes in a separate suitcase.  So I had my protein shakes, 2 per day ready to go.

I made sure that all the accompanying supplements were in my travel vitamin case and I packed an empty water bottle to refill with filtered water when I found some.  Next I included apples, and carrot sticks for the plane, instead of eating sugary snacks or nuts.

Once I got to the airport it was time to be creative.  I love Dulles Airport because they have a Chipotle restaurant open early in the morning.  Before I boarded the plane I ate a bowl of brown rice and vegetables.  So satisfying and I wasn’t ravenous when I arrived in Denver.

From then on it was just a matter of making good choices from the restaurants and stores.  Would you believe I even found delicious seedless grapes at the 7-11 along with giant bottles of filtered water.  The only compromise was egg whites and vegetables on a thin whole wheat bagel for breakfast.

On Sunday, day 11, I could introduce chicken breast or fish.  So, we went to a great restaurant that served bison and I ordered grilled Salmon with asparagus and kale salad.

Now a lot of you are thinking, “how restrictive, I could never eat that way”.  I get it, but I wasn’t craving dairy, red meat or wheat products at all. I felt great, had good energy and all systems were working well if you know what I mean.  I just had to think ahead with a plan and make choices that fit the detox profile.


Day 7 Detox

This isn’t for weight loss though it can be a great side effect. The 21 day plan is for detoxification. Ridding your body of pollutants, preservatives, and helping your cells to work better. It’s also a great jumpstart for a healthy eating plan. Having said that, I weighed myself at the beginning which everyone should do and then I weighed myself this morning just for some extra encouragement and that’s what I got. I’ve lost 15 pounds!


The 21-day Detox – My personal journey.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA  Time for true confessions.  I’m great at talking and writing about

optimal health but sometimes I’m terrible at following my own advice.  The last five years have been an emotional rollercoaster and my bad eating habits have re-surfaced.  Binging, eating whatever I want with no regard for calories when I’m angry or sad.  Basically, covering up the tangled mess of feelings with the legal drug . . . food.

Emotional eating is difficult to control until you expose the emotions that are driving it.  Sometimes life comes at you so hard that it takes a while to untangle how you are feeling and express those feelings appropriately.  I’ve also found that establishing healthy boundaries also works for me.  Quick aside, see the book by Dr. Henry Cloud entitled Boundaries if you have the same challenges.

So, having sorted through the knots and set up some healthy boundaries I’m now ready to tackle the eating issues. Breaking out of the cycle of emotional eating is tough unless you have a path to run on.  My path this time is a 21-day Detox plan suggested by my Chiropractor.  In theory, it supports healthy liver and kidney function, aiding in the breakdown of the toxins that we all pick up from our food and our environment.  I researched the detoxification process on several websites including the Better Living Institute  and decided to follow their guidelines.

The beginning has been tough yet satisfying.  Buying fruit, vegetables, (as much organic as the budget will allow), soy milk and brown rice was deeply satisfying.  I have arranged the apples, pears, kiwi, mangos, pineapple, bananas, avocados and the squash in baskets on the kitchen counter along with a jar of brown rice and daily supplements.  I feel like my kitchen is healthy for the first time in a long time  and I am excited about combining these ingredients into healthy shakes and meals.  What can I say, shopping for healthy ingredients felt good!

The next step was to get rid of the unhealthy food from the kitchen and my line of sight in the refrigerator.  The detox requires no dairy for 21 days and we have little children in the house so i bought lo-fat Mozzarella cheese for them, and lo-fat milk.  It also requires no animal protein for 11 days and then lean organically raised pork, chicken or fish for the last 10 days.  However, the little ones need their protein so I bought all non-preservative, organically raised protein sources for them.  Their snacks these days are animal crackers, goldfish, fresh veggies and fruit.  So, all the family is eating a healthier diet.

Days one through 3 were tough physically because I felt low on energy and if I didn’t continue to drink lots of water I developed a headache.  I slipped on day 4 and finished some homemade chocolate ice cream that was in the basement freezer.  Big mistake.  I am allergic to concentrated chocolate but I’ve been able to eat a few chocolate flavored foods like plain chocolate ice cream.  However, this was homemade, no fillers and real cocoa powder.  I had the mother of all migraines for two days. It was a great wake up call.  The detox is showing me what foods cause a negative reaction.  I now know that chocolate in any form is just not worth the pain.

This post has rambled on long enough. More to come over the next 15 days.  All thoughtful comments are welcome.  I will post the best ones.