What Lurks In Your Drains?

Hello, and welcome to another Healthy Tip on Tuesday. Halloween is this week, if you live in the US, and I thought something creepy would be fun.

When you think of your sink or tub drain, do you think it contains loads of bacteria? Believe it or not, it does, and you might be surprised that most of that bacteria comes from washing your hands and it washing down the drain. Hospitals found that handwashing was possibly leading to increased levels of resistant bacteria, and when they started to disinfect down the drains their cases went down. Of course, food, toothpaste, dirt, and any other item that goes down the drain, and sits there can grow germs. Check out my post on why you should be disinfecting your home every day.

Of course, germs can live on any surface including your hands, face, phone, tv remote, handles, keys, etc. Disinfecting frequently touched items on a daily basis can keep you from getting sick. Make it a habit, and it will soon be routine for you to do it.

Below are some fun videos for you to watch on this topic. If you would like to know how to disinfect your drains you can read here, and here.

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Obesity Causes Dementia!?

Whoa, and Happy Tuesday! It is Obesity Awareness Month, so be sure and check out all of the other posts on this topic in the archives, or just search the word obesity.

Dementia touches my life in so many ways. I work on a Memory Care Unit with Dementia residents, and I have a loved one suffering from this horrible disease. I am not going to go into all the details of Dementia, now, but it will be discussed in more details on Memory Care Mondays. It is an unkind disease that robs your brain of memories and basic life skills.

I know there is a body positivity movement, and I love that. It is great to love yourself and know that you are beautiful no matter your size. I saw one of these influencers on Youtube state that losing weight is torture and self abuse. While I agree it is not a lot of fun to put yourself into the throws of an exercise regime, eating less food, and lifestyle changes. But, I also think you have to be Mindful of what studies say Obesity really can, and does do to the human body.

You will find a few videos below. They are short, and some talk about the Mediterranean Diet as a lifestyle to help with Obesity and prevent Dementia.

But, what about the statement does Obesity cause Dementia. I like facts, with real data, and controlled studies. They make me happy. Now, if you don’t understand all of the jargon in the study, just read the conclusion.

There are a few things I would like to point out about Obesity and Dementia. Obesity is complicated, and so is Dementia. But, the study I am sharing does show a correlation between Obesity in midlife and a definite increase in Obesity. Now, why I find that really interesting is, if you look at the way they did the study mild cognitive injury appears to show up about 12 years before diagnosis, and the average age of diagnosis was about 75. That means mild cognitive changes probably started around age 63 or sooner. But, Obesity at ages 60 and 70 seemed to be protective. Why? If someone is already starting to have mild cognitive changes, say as early in the 50s when they are Obese, when they start to decrease their food intake, as the disease progresses, the extra weight proves to be protective. Did that make sense? It makes sense to me. Being underweight at ages 60 and 70 proved to increase mortality. They tend to forget to cook, not eat, or just don’t want too. In another words, it is mixed. You need to not be Obese in midlife and below to help prevent Dementia in the first place, but if you are obese in your 60s and 70s it is protective because you are going to need a little extra weight when you don’t want to eat anymore. If you are young and you think carrying all this extra weight does not seem to be harming me, you might want to rethink that.

The reasons for this is most likely because of the inflammatory processes caused by Obesity, and vascular changes caused by Obesity. If you don’t want Dementia, and trust me you probably don’t, giving yourself a little self love now, by losing weight, and maintaining it can help prevent Dementia. Following the Mediterranean Diet is a great start. This style of eating has been shown to be protective against Dementia, and other chronic illnesses too.

If you would like to start walking to increase your daily activity, check out my Walking Buddy Plan.

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Sugar and Obesity!

Hello, and welcome to another Healthy Tips on Tuesday post. October is Obesity Awareness Month, or improve your Metabolic Syndrome Health Marker if you prefer. You will find two videos below. I urge you to watch them both. Remember not only fat people have Metabolic Syndrome, and not all Obese people do either. But, if you are on a weight loss journey you simply can not ignore sugars.

Why can you not ignore sugars if you are on a weight loss journey, especially added sugars? I will give you some examples below, and what to try to limit your sugars to, to lose weight. Please note if you are a Diabetic this could be dangerous for you. Please talk to your doctor about Carb control, rather than sugar consumption.

Here is an example. When I look at a box of pasta, which is high in carbs, it only has 2 grams of total sugar per serving, zero of which are added sugars. The same thing with a baked potato, not sweet potato though. A baked potato has only 2 grams of total sugar, per potato, and of course none are added sugars. I used those two examples because pasta, and potatoes, are the arch nemesis of many weight loss diets. Pasta, enriched pasta especially, is a good source of nutrients, as are baked potatoes.

Now, the evidence is mixed on whether added sugars cause Obesity or not, or at least that is what the sugar industry say. I think the evidence is stark. Since the 1980’s when Obesity really started to take off, is when Americans started to eat more processed, readily available, easy to make meals. Watch the videos the stats are right there.

Quitting sugar is hard. It might even be addicting, read my post on this topic. My research shows that discretionary sugar may be the very reason you can’t lose weight. Wait, what? Discretionary sugar, what is that? After you have consumed all of the nutrients your body needs for a day you might have discretionary sugar left to eat in your day. WTH! That sounds horrible to have to try and track, understand, or even care about. Here is an easier method. For women you can eat up to 50 grams sugar, total, in a day, only 25 grams of that 50 should be added sugars. For men just double it. One thing to be careful of, though, is like for me I drink a Welch’s juice that does have sugars, but they are not added sugars. This does not mean I can drink as much as I want. I add only a small amount to my regular water to add flavor. Most processed foods, even organic processed foods, will most likely have added sugars in them. For me, right now, I am not focusing on the total sugars, but rather the added sugars. I am tracking that, ok only 1 day so far, to see if I notice any difference in weight loss, and more importantly waist circumference, as that is actually my goal. It is going to be tough to stick to 25 grams today, because it is family cookoff challenge night and I have to eat two sandwiches. But, I think the bread I bought will be OK. Yesterday, my tracking app said I ate 59 grams of total sugars, but I didn’t keep track of added sugars. But, I still lost some ounces when I weighed myself this morning.

I will be looking more into this sugar topic in upcoming posts, especially in relation to Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Why Should You Care About Obesity?

Hello, and welcome back to another Healthy Tips on Tuesday post. If you have been reading along then you know that for the month of October I am discussing Obesity. This is the third post on that topic, so please be sure to read the other two, as I don’t intend to repeat myself for each new post. You can just type obesity in the search bar and all posts on this topic will come up. I have done others, previously, before deciding to focus on it for a whole month. If you are triggered by this content, please stop reading now.

So, why should you even care about Obesity? About 70% of Americans are overweight or obese. That is a pretty striking statistic. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, but the big 3 are Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer. Of course Obesity causes lots of inflammation, chronic pain, decreased mobility, body image issues, and other non disease type illnesses. Obesity also causes a strain on the health industry costing billions of dollars a year. Loving your body is awesome, but trust me there will come an age in your life, where being Obese is most likely going to be more of a burden than you want, or intended.

There are two types of body fat, subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat. Visceral fat is by far the worst fat, and even thin people can have it. That is one of the reasons the BMI is not a perfect tool, but it is a tool none the less. I watched a ton of videos to find the ones that I think explain the difference between subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat, plus how to possibly tell if you have visceral fat. If your body is shaped like an apple, chances are good you have both types of fat. If you are thin, but have a little pooch belly chances are good you have visceral fat. You may not even be considered obese, and still have lots of visceral fat.

Watch the short videos below to learn more about why you should care about Obesity, visceral fat, and subcutaneous fat. Please note I am not promoting the Paleo, Keto, or Carnivore Diets. They are ways to lose weight, but I think there are other options. If you choose to use them please be under the supervision of a doctor, especially if you have CKD.

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Taste Test Tuesday: Family Cook Off Week 1

Last week I announced that my husband, daughter, and I were going to start a family cook off even each Monday. Yesterday, was our first cook off, and I was the judge. We need to come up with a prize, but we didn’t decide that yet.

So, for this week I got to pick the theme, and I picked a Fall Casserole. My daughter, who is 17 picked a Keto casserole, and my husband chose a classic. I forgot to take pictures, but below you can see the results of my judging. Next week my husband gets to pick the theme and be the judge. Even though my daughter decided she didn’t want to judge, just compete, she is going to pick themes every 3rd week. I am not sure how long we will keep this up, but we had fun doing it, and it is a great way to have some family fun!

I did a ton of meal prep last week, so now this week I can just relax a little for dinner. I don’t usually do large meal preps, but actually I found it quite rewarding. I now have 8 dinners prepped in the freezer and ready to go when I want them. I will post more on that in a future post.

Husband’s Meal: I don’t know the actual name of this casserole but I have seen versions of it on Pinterest. His ingredients were: tater tots, ground beef, cheddar cheese, Manwich, and Fritos. When he told me his choice I asked him if he could make his own Sloppy Joe sauce homemade, as he is a very good cook and I was pretty sure there would be High Fructose Corn Syrup in the Manwich. He opted not to do that, and took the easy way. I deducted points for that. Being he is a good cook, and knowing I do not care to eat the canned version I felt he was being unhealthy on purpose. He had good presentation, and this casserole was huge and will feed us for several days. So, from an economic perspective he gained some points. He also did not use a recipe. Again, he got some added points. It had really good flavor, but it was extremely dry. I suggested maybe less tater tots next time. His was also quite salty, most likely from the cheese and Manwich. There is no vegetables anywhere in this casserole.

Daughter’s Meal: She chose a Keto Chicken Fresca type recipe. I am not sure she realized it was Keto, because she doesn’t really care about Keto. So, I took away some points for not choosing a recipe that would be good for the whole family. She does not care for chicken, so she wanted to substitute for another meat. I already knew what my husband was making, so I suggested she not pick ground beef. So, she picked beef tips, or stew meat. She also didn’t want to make the homemade salsa, as she does not like fresh Cilantro, and I agree with her on that, as it tastes like dishwater to me. Her dish was very fast, and easy to make. The most time consuming part was sauteeing the meat slightly, with the chopped onions, prior to baking. Her ingredients were: beef tips, medium salsa, 1/2 of a chopped onion, a little cumin, chopped bell pepper, some of my homemade Basil herbed salt, and chili pepper flakes. Oh, and part skim Mozzarella cheese. The presentation of her dish was not great. She used way too much salsa, and it made the dish look very wet and sloppy. However, this dish had much better flavor, and it was tender and delicious. She was creative in her food pairings, and substitutes. It had great flavor without being salty.

The winner was my daughter. She put some thought into hers, and had a pretty well rounded dish. I would have preferred she added some rice, or something to it, to make it more of a balanced meal. My husband’s was dry, and hers was wet, but after taste testing was done, I just mixed them together and it was delicious!

Next week I will remember to take pictures.

From a CKD standpoint, the casserole with the fresh ingredients is always going to be best. Because I do the grocery shopping I was able to pick the products. There was nothing I could do to substitute Fritos, or Manwich, but I was able to buy grass fed organic beef, and organic salsa. I don’t think I remembered to buy organic cheese, but I did buy light cheese where I could. The Manwich and the Fritos are very high in Sodium, and as I stated the Manwich as High Fructose Corn Syrup in it. The Fritos might too, I didn’t check that. This did have a ton of protein in it, so I have to be mindful of serving sizes. I do not have an issue with Potassium, so the salsa is not an issue. As for phosphorus processed foods are going to have a lot of it, and the body absorbs 100 percent of it. That is why I prefer organic when possible, because it does not usually have phosphorus additives in it. Once in a while I find one, though, so always read the labels.

If you are living with a Chronic Disease, and you would like to help your family understand your food limits, try a family cook off. Let them learn how to cook for you, instead of you cooking for everyone else, and you. People learn by doing, and their perspective might change if they actually have to be in it.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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Don’t Go To Bed Angry!

Hello, and welcome to another Healthy Tip Tuesday! I think this issue is more particular to women than men. Women tend to ruminate and overthink things. Men just let it go, not all men, but I think in a general way this is probably true. So, my Healthy Tip for today is, don’t go to bed angry.

This is a Health blog, with help topics. Relationships, and emotions, are all part of Health. Being angry is normal, and even necessary. It is how you go about your anger that matters. Sleep is another Health issue and many people don’t get enough of it, except my teenager she gets plenty, lol. Going to bed angry is going to make you have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep. Your spouse, or partner, may be sleeping away and you are angry, and it probably is only making you angrier. A lack of sleep will effect you the next day, possibly making you grumpy, or snappy, at work or in other relationships such as with your children.

You might not even be angry at your spouse. Maybe it a coworker, neighbor, friend, or relative. The point is get it out in a constructive, mature, and healthy way. Yes, I just said that. An argument doesn’t have to be loud, toxic, rude, disrespectful, and violent. That is childish. One thing that annoys me more than anything is people who think everything is an argument, like arguments are all bad. People make them bad by infusing extremes into the argument. Just have an intelligent two sided conversation where each side gets to speak their grievance. Say your peace, let it off your chest. Do not expect, though, that just because you said your peace the result will be as you want. The point is to not carry your anger, or frustrations to bed with you, not to get everything your way.

I know for me this is particularly difficult. I am a ruminator, not necessarily angry, but I rethink things, and reassess. It is just in my nature. But, I have to stop myself, make a list of things to do or revisit, and then allow myself to rest my mind an go to sleep. I have a very active brain that has a hard time resting. But, I have to rest, and so do you. It is so important to good Health!

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Get to know oxalates!

Hello, and welcome to Healthy Tips on Tuesday! This week’s tip is really a teaser of topics to come. Get to Know Oxalates!

I already knew some about Oxalates, because I have CKD. But, I did not know to the extent that they are toxic, and even poisonous. Oxalates are found in lots of plant foods. I have been strictly plant-based for about 2 months now, and I have noticed some odd symptoms. But, I am still researching this, and I don’t have a ton of time today to do a large post. Plus, it is a teaser. You will just have to pay attention to learn more about this topic.

Tomorrow I will most likely be doing my last post on Diverticulitis, and then I can concentrate on Oxalates after that.

If you are Vegetarian, Vegan, Plant-Based, or just eat a ton of plant foods every day, you are going to want to keep up with this topic.

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what is diverticulitis?

Welcome to another Tuesday edition of Health Tips on Tuesday. August is Colon Health Awareness Month and I have been discussing Diverticulosis. Today, I am going to talk about Diverticulitis. It is a sister disease to Diverticulosis. You can read the other posts on this topic in the archives.

Diverticulitis is very common especially as we age. You have to have Diverticulosis to have Diverticulitis. Why? Because Diverticulitis is inflammation, and or infection, of the Diverticulum that are present in Diverticulosis. Remember that diverticulum are pouches that form usually in the lower colon and can not only become infected but also can blow, or perforate causing much larger issues.

There are 3 videos below that explain Diverticulitis and have images to help you visualize what I mean. It may be disturbing to some people, so watch wisely. The 3rd video is in Spanish, to explain it to any Spanish readers that may visit this blog. I only know a little Spanish, so I can not verify what he is saying. I tried to find it in Sign Language as well, but I could not locate any, except for one with signs for common symptoms. So, I will share that for any medical people so you can have at least some basic signs to communicate with hearing impaired patients.

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i took the plunge!

Hello, and Happy Tuesday to all of my wonderful readers. I took the plunge today. Keep reading to learn more.

You probably are thinking I went sky diving or something, right? Nope. I took the plunge off the deep end of online grocery shopping and pickup plunge.

I have never tried this feature before and I don’t know if I will ever go back to in store grocery shopping. Why?

If you read here often than you know we are trying to follow a strict budget this year, to spend down debt. I was doing good with the budget grocery shopping, but then I got off the rails and have been going over, not by a little, for a while now.

So, reason #1 for doing the online shop and pickup is to stay on budget. I order exactly what I know I will need on the app, hit submit, pick a time to pick it up, show up, park, and they even pack it in the car. It was super easy and super fast. I was not there more than 5 minutes. Grocery shopping, normally, was at least a 2 hour event, from start to finish the old way. It could even be longer with my teen, or hubby with me. I have to say shopping with teens, and our spouses, is definitely not budget friendly. My bill was at least half by doing it on the app, and pickup, then when I shop in the store.

The #2 reason for doing online and pickup shopping is because Covid is running rampant here where I live. 1 in 3 people are likely to have Covid according to the numbers. I am vaccinated, but because I work in health care I am extra careful right now, and with a lot of people choosing not to wear a mask, I have to consider my own safety, and the elderly people I care for. The Delta variant has shown to be able to cause breakthrough infections in vaccinated people, though much less severe than unvaccinated, and it can be spread by the vaccinated at least for Delta.

Some of my favorite stores, like Trader Joe’s does not offer this feature, and that makes me kind of sad. But, I do not get to shop there that often anyways due to distance.

Have you tried online ordering and pickup? Is it something you find useful, or no? Let me know in the comments

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the case of the disappearing bacon!

Hello, and welcome to Tuesday! I figured out was wrong with my pool after dumping a gazillion chemicals into it, lol. There was a small tear in the hose that leads from the skimmer to the pump hose. It was literally just blowing the algae back into the pool instead of through the pump. I fixed the issue and today the pool is blue, yay! Sadly, all it has done is rain since yesterday afternoon, Boo! But, that leads me to invite you sign up for my newsletter below so you can learn about my two health challenges for August.

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If you read here often then you know I have stage 3 CKD, which is slowly improving over time and with lifestyle modifications, and that through the years I have modified my eating patterns many times to help slow progression of CKD, and for overall health. I am mostly plant-based at this time. Every now and then I will try some other regimens to see if I can knock off a few more pounds by surprising my metabolic system. The only one I absolutely will not try is Keto. I am always interested in articles, videos, webinars, etc. on Nutrition type topics.

This morning I was reading Fox Business. I read it pretty much every morning. I read an article that pork prices could go up 50% due to a new California law. Yesterday, not on Fox Business, I read a headline that said bacon could go away forever! Now, I don’t really eat bacon so I am not all that concerned. However, I do enjoy some extra lean pork chops once in a while, and my family still eats meat, even though I have chosen to drastically cut my meat to once or twice a week, in small portions. Please note plant-based does not mean Vegan. If you would like to read my rant about that topic please go here. I am here to say that if pork prices go up 50% we will not be eating any pork, except on special occasions like a good expensive steak. I already feel like bacon is a garbage food and plenty expensive. I certainly won’t pay more for it. That does not mean my husband and daughter will agree. Lucky for me I do the shopping and meal planning. Even cheap bacon is like 4.99 a pound, now double that. It would definitely disappear from our table. Don’t even get me started on ham prices. Good grief!

But, why will pork products be going up? Apparently, California voters voted for Proposition 12 and it passed way back in 2018. This means pork producers had 3 years on working towards the standards. The standards are ethical standards for baby animals, and breeding animals mostly regarding space and ability to move around. You can read the full ballot here. What I found of particular interest is that PETA decided to oppose the passing of this proposition on the premise that they want people to eat no meat products at all. That means everyone would have to become a Vegan. I honestly don’t see this ever happening, ever. So, if the lives of animals can be improved, and made more humane, that has to be a good thing. There are several great reasons to eat less meat, but there is a place for meat in a healthy diet. That is not the topic today, though. Today, we are talking about pork and the prices of pork going up.

Then I read another article, which is actually older, that bacon causes Cancer. Well it isn’t just bacon. Any heavily processed meat, and especially smoked meats apparently, increase the risk of Cancer. But, as you will see in the video below the risk is like small. Still it is a proven risk, and of course you will have to decide if the risk is too high, or not.

Bacon is very high in Fat, and Sodium. I find it to have a very small amount of protein for the amount of fat and sodium per serving. So, to me it is a low quality protein source at best. There is of course the debate about fat, especially saturated fat, and whether it is as unhealthy as we think. We know that our brains need healthy fats to function. We also need to consume fats for absorption of other nutrients. However, again, not for this post. But, there is absolutely no debate about Sodium and the fact that is unhealthy, and most Americans consume way too much of it. Depending on the type, and cooking method bacon can start at 175 mg per one slice. Most people do not eat one slice of bacon. What about Canadian Bacon? While leaner than regular bacon, it really is just ham and still quite heavy on the sodium, but way less fat.

Below are some interesting videos on the topics discussed today. But, what do you say? If pork prices go up 50% will bacon, and other pork products disappear from your food list? To me, and I may get scolded by someone for saying this, for health reasons I would have no problem with bacon disappearing. By the way Proposition 12 was not just about pigs. It is for other animals as well, but for some reason everyone is hollering about bacon.

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