Do Processed Foods Cause Kidney Disease?

Welcome to another Thinking on Thursday topic and it is the day before the Night Before Christmas. How exciting!

There are lots of thoughts about what causes kidney disease and how to prevent, and treat it once you have it. There are lots of different reasons someone may get kidney disease. What about processed foods? When I talk about processed foods I am talking about highly processed foods, though processed foods have their own issues as well. Highly processed foods are processed foods that don’t just have added fat, salt, and sugar, but also have other chemical additives, colors, preservatives, etc. There are studies that show that the body does not know how to break down these chemicals in these foods and that it caused the kidneys to work harder and can even damage them. If you read here often then you know I have been able to get back to stage 2 CKD after being diagnosed almost 5 years ago. I do attribute a lot of this to allowing my kidneys to heal from the damage of years of eating processed and highly processed foods. I mostly consume organic, home-cooked meals now. I do indulge in unhealthier options, it is a given in this world these days, but before diagnosis and a stressful job with kids at home, we were consuming these types of meals daily. Below you will see links to articles, studies, and videos that explain this topic and how increasing both fiber and resistant starch can actually help to start to heal at the very least the metabolic issues of CKD and at best the damage that has been done to the kidneys. If you don’t like to read research studies, like I do, just read the conclusion. That is the only part that really matters, lol. You can buy resistant starch right off of Amazon, and make your own baked goods using it. The video is short, but she explains the idea of brown food, or baked diet, as the concept to ultra-processed fiber deprived foods and CKD.

If you would like to learn how to cook your own meals and reduce eating processed meals, plus how to meal plan for when you work, use the contact form at the end of the post to message me and I will talk to you about my health coaching options.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7547583/

https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/090112p22.shtml This article does not reference CKD but does talk about weight and metabolic issues.

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Temperature Checks!

Hello, and welcome to another Thinking on Thursday topic. Today, I am going to talk about Covid, boo, and some of the new hot topics surrounding it. If you like this post please like it and share it.

Unless you live under a rock then you know we are going into our 2nd year of this dastardly pandemic. The new Omicron variant is all the rage of topics of late. But, Delta is still the variant that is dominant in the USA and still causing sickness, and death. Here in Florida, our cases are ticking up slightly, and I noticed hospitalizations are on the rise. In one local county, the cases are low but the positivity is going up. I have noticed a few things in my local area. Mask wearing has never been a big thing in rural areas, but now I am noticing health care facilities not requiring staff to wear masks if they are vaccinated. This is particularly dangerous, and reckless in my opinion, especially when caring for elderly or immunocompromised people. The Florida govt only recommends mask-wearing, it does not require, it. However, why is this? With waning immunity from natural infection and vaccine protection, people’s lives are being put at risk for other people’s silly reasons to not wear one. I have even seen first responders going into facilities without face coverings on. This is completely reckless IMO.

This morning I read an article about temperature checks being an easy way to possibly catch Covid fairly early. The article showed the order that Covid symptoms most likely will appear, and fever is the first symptom. For Covid symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after exposure, and for Flu 1 to 2 days after exposure. The other symptoms in order after fever are cough and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea. Now, this does not mean everyone will have symptoms in that order, some people have no symptoms at all as we know. But, with Flu season in full swing, it may help distinguish patients in hospital or clinical settings faster as the dry cough is the typical first symptom when someone has the Flu, and start treatment quicker. I have seen job postings in Florida for businesses that are still doing temperature checks on all visitors entering the business. I used to check my family’s temp every day before we all got vaccinated. Now, I just do it if I think there has been exposure, or we are near someone with symptoms. This is a fairly easy way to screen people. Just be sure you are using your thermometer correctly. I will give an example. If your forehead thermometer says the temp is 95 degrees or lower, or even 96 change the batteries or get a new thermometer. This is not accurate!

Boosters are another hot topic right now. I have noticed some skepticism with people about boosters, and I am not going to lie I am one of them. My husband was boosted, but my daughter and I have not been yet. I don’t think she is even able to yet due to age. For me, I am still considering it, but I don’t want a booster and then in 6 months, I have to get another shot for another variant. I don’t like to put all that stuff into my body and I have been exposed at least twice that I know of. To me, it would make more sense to do an antibody test to see how strong my immunity is first. I know that is probably expensive and I don’t know if my insurance will cover it, but I need to find out. In the meantime, I will do what I need to keep myself and others safe. I will wear my mask in crowded places, be socially distant when I can, keep air moving indoors or in the car, wash my hands often, and disinfect frequently. I am not telling you to not get boosted, or get a vaccine. I am telling you to consider your options and take the safest route for you.

If you are not vaccinated I do urge you to consider it. At least one dose will give you some protection against severe illness and possible death.

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Walk with Me

Gift Idea #3 For People With Dementia!

Hola! That means hello in Spanish. I am learning Spanish! I actually remember quite a bit from years ago when I was doing it with my son for Middle School Spanish. I do know some basic words but really can not put a sentence together. That really has nothing to do with the gift idea for today, but it is an update to the topic of Dementia prevention which is to learn a new language.

While it is true that a lot of Dementia is related to memory issues, but there are also socialization issues as well. Today’s gift idea is thinking games, especially games that can be played in a group with family or friends. Did you know from my research that the #1 game that was shown to help people with Dementia was Tetris? Do you remember Tetris? I used to play it on the Nintendo 64 as a teenager. I just downloaded it from the Google Play store for free. If your loved one has a smartphone help them to download it and play away. I am sure they probably have it in a plug-and-play version for the TV or is available on the laptop.

These ideas are from this article.

  1. Card games. If your loved one is like my loved one they probably played card games a lot when they were younger. If they have mild cognitive decline ask them which ones they loved to play. Pinochle was a big one for my loved one. Then learn how to play it and set up a game. You can play easier card games like War, Go Fish, and Memory. Memory can be very fun if you attach pictures of loved ones, or pets to the cards. Or, old magazine ads I think would be super fun. Have a discussion about those ads, events, or loved ones.
  2. Bingo. Where I work the ladies used to love to play Bingo. It has kind of fallen out of favor recently but every afternoon they used to sit down to play Bingo. They really only liked it though if there was a snack for a prize, lol. If you are playing in a group of Dementia residents be sure and have someone available to assist those that need it.
  3. Visual Games. This is similar to the Memory cards I mentioned above.
  4. Word Puzzles. This does not mean Soduko or crossword puzzles, though those are amazing if your loved one can still do them. Word search puzzles, hidden object puzzles are awesome! Way down at the bottom of that link I shared is a topic about Memory Cafe’s. Which sounds awesome, btw. There are none near me, but my loved one is in a facility where activities are done daily. Anyway on that website is a free game called Memory Joggers. It is perfect as a word puzzle game.
  5. Video Games. I have already talked about Tetris, but what about other video games. They can help with hand eye coordination, as well as memory.

Some games not mentioned are games about music from their generation. Board games like Chutes and Ladders, Dominoes, Uno, Operation, and possibly others. I found this game that was precisely designed for people with Dementia.

Just remember to be Mindful of their Dementia. You don’t want anything too complicated, or that goes too fast. A game that maybe they played before Dementia might be easier as they may remember the rules and how to play. My loved one absolutely loved Pac-Man, while she couldn’t play it on a smartphone she could play the plug-and-play version of the game.

Search the archives and see the other two gift ideas! Ask me about my Health Coaching and how it can help meet your health goals.

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Snowman Puzzle

Thanksgiving Tidbits!

Happy Thanksgiving, 2021! My husband does the turkey, and that is already in the oven. I prepped a bunch yesterday and will begin the snacky type before meal stuff soon. Below you will see my two tables set up. The smaller table is our usual dining room table. Since we don’t have a large family at home anymore we downsized from the big one. This little table just serves as extra space in case we need it. I could not find my Thanksgiving table runner, and my husband could not find any left at the store. So, he bought poinsettias, for the big table. I tried to block them out in the photos as it isn’t Christmas, yet, lol. Don’t mind the clutter in the background, it happens. I am a simple girl, and I don’t do fancy.

The orange wine bottle with the Pilgrim painted on, the two votive candle holders, and the Joy framed picture is decor all made by me. All of those items came from Dollar Tree. I painted the artwork on the wine bottle. The Joy picture is actually a gift bag with lights behind it. I really like how that came out. I do not care for the other one that I made, not shown. On the big table are three gel candles I made. I etched the turkey image onto the glass, for the two smaller candles. I then added the gel wax. The bigger one has pine cones in it. I really do enjoy the glass etching and candle making. I have some made for Christmas too!

As my children grow and start lives of their own, my husband and I have to learn to adapt to the holidays. They will look much different in as soon as a year when my second child will be an adult. I tend to like to be in my home for the holidays, celebrating how I want to. My husband is the same way. But, we have to accept that we may have to adjust holiday time to be with extended inlaw families. Since Covid is a little bit better this year, and I am now at stage 2 CKD, this year we have agreed to have dessert with my son’s inlaws. This is very important to him, but he too has to understand how we like to celebrate our holidays. We spent Easter with them, and it was quite lovely. But, he has to understand his sister will soon be on her own and he can’t have things just how he wants. Flexibility is the key.

My point is, change is inevitible, and adapting is vital. What if you were going to be alone for a holiday? How would you cope? Having a plan is super important. There is nothing wrong with being alone, some people even cherish it. The key is to use your time wisely. You can read more here. I personally think having a pet, or a volunteer situation is an awesome way to spend a holiday or any day if you don’t have family near, or friends to be with. There are so many shelters and rescues with dogs and cats in need of loving homes. It can be very rewarding for both of you.

Whatever you do this Thanksgiving I hope you can find gratefulness in whatever you do and all that you have. Spend a day not worrying and instead make a goal to just be happy.

I personally find Thanksgiving to be stressful, and not at all relaxing. However, I have had to learn to change my mindset so that I am not concentrating on all the work that needs to be done for just a few minutes of eating, but rather to be grateful that I have someone to cook for, eat with, decorate the tree, and laugh with.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Elephant In The Room

Welcome back to another Thinking on Thursday topic. While I was going to do a Dementia article today, I have been reading a lot about Obesity and how it is affecting people who get Covid. This has kind of been known in the medical field, but now others are starting to talk about it more with data becoming more available. But, in general, people don’t want to discuss the issues of obesity and Covid or any health-related issue. Did you know that body fat is important, but that you should not be carrying more than 20% body fat on your body? There will be 3 websites for you to visit and read more about this, with all of the various studies done.

Did you know, regardless of age, if you are obese you have a 48% increased chance of dying from Covid 19? Even if you are overweight, and not obese, your chances of getting a serious infection and becoming hospitalized increase exponentially. Plus, according to this article, fast food in 2020 increased by like 40%. Fast food is one of the worst things you can eat if you are trying to avoid obesity. In general, and I would say almost all, fast food is high in fat, salt, calories, and sugar.

So, when I thought about this I thought well it must be due to breathing issues due to obesity and chest wall expansion. But, it actually is way more complicated than that. Excessive adipose tissue increases inflammation which can cause the Cytokine Storm that is so deadly for people who get Covid. It also decreases Immunity, causes thicker blood which makes you more prone to blood clots, and other complicated factors. They think this is why younger people are starting to die from Covid, due to Obesity. Plus, if you are obese you are more likely to have other comorbidities like Heart Disease, Cancer, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome in general.

So, why should you care? Well, for one thing, if you are overweight or obese, you may not be ready to die or be in the hospital for an extended period of time. It is imperative that you socially distance, wear a mask, and get vaccinated at least until Herd Immunity can be reached. While none of these things are perfect, used together they can protect you quite well. I also think due to the massive mishandling of Covid in the US we are most likely heading towards seasonal bouts of Covid. That means we most likely will need to learn to watch for flare-ups and take proper precautions as needed. While masks are a huge, contentious issue, I don’t see them going away any time soon.

This should be a wake-up call to anyone who needs to work towards a healthier weight and better metabolic health. Trust me I am one of those people, too. I have never been thin, and I carry the pudge around the middle especially after having children. But, I also work hard every day to modify my diet, lifestyle, and exercise habits to constantly improve. You can too! It is hard work, no doubt, but it is worth it.

https://immunityageing.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12979-020-00212-x

https://www.science.org/content/article/why-covid-19-more-deadly-people-obesity-even-if-theyre-young

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/if-you-are-at-higher-risk

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Planning For Your Elder Years!

I know people think of planning for retirement as just having retirement money, or a 401k. But, there are actually so many other things to consider than just money, though a lot of those other things are going to have a money component to them. Check out my post on retiring with no money.

This post will be based on this article. I will add my own thoughts, and our own needs to plan better. Remember, I am already 52 years old, and while we have started planning, honestly you really should plan long before you turn age 50. I will go in the order the article goes in.

I did decide that I will extend my Dementia topic into next month, mostly because there is so much information and it will be Christmas. I want to share some great gift ideas for people with Dementia.

If you are smart, which I was not, you will start planning for your elder years in your 20’s or 30’s. Like most people, I didn’t want to think about old age, or maybe I thought I wouldn’t get old, lol. The 401k always seemed like a pain because most people don’t stay with the same company long term, and definitely not until retirement, anymore. That is if you are even lucky enough to work for a company that offers a 401k option, matches it, and you don’t have to work full time to get into it. Money is obviously going to be the most important issue for your elder years especially if you expect to live only on Social Security.

So, how should you plan for your elder years? For the sake of ease let’s consider elder years as being after age 60.

  1. Have everything prepared and organized. What do I mean by that? Have all important documents in one spot, either a safe, with your attorney, or with your POA. Important documents are items such as ownership of your home, assets, savings accounts, social security, 401k, investments, bonds, wills, IRA, POA, Health Care Proxy, life insurance, etc. My husband and I need to sit down and get all of this organized and in one spot. Having yourself or your family run around and try to find all of this information when it is needed is not a good thing to do.
  2. Make a will. I think everyone should have a will, especially if you have any kind of assets or children. If you die without a will guess who decides where your assets will go? If you didn’t guess it is the government. A basic will can be made on Legal Zoom. You do have to be sure and file it properly, and name an Executor. You should update it at least every 5 years, make sure you are aware of any changes in the law. I have a loved one who told us she had a will and she did not. Now she is in a pickle, which has just made the situation that much harder for all of us. It is not fun, believe me, and very time consuming when a loved one does not plan for their elder years.
  3. Have a what if meeting? This is with your family, or a friend you trust if you have no family. This is mostly to brainstorm to see who is willing to be POA, or Health Care Proxy. You don’t want to assign either of these to someone if it is not something they are willing to do. Have the discussion! We have always been open with our kids about our basic wishes should we become terminally ill, but not really if we get Dementia or become legally incompetent to care for ourselves We need to do this in the upcoming year.
  4. Make a Living Will. This is much different than a Will. That kind of will deals with your monies and assets after you die. A Living Will deals with issues while you are alive. This is where the topic of a Health Care Proxy being chosen will come. Your Proxy will make medical decisions for you if you become unable to do so yourself. Again, you do not want to name someone as your Proxy if it is not something they are comfortable doing. Even though I don’t have a legal HCP my immediate family knows exactly how I feel about medical care should I become terminal. Since I have CKD this was discussed sometime ago. But, I have to make it legal. If you don’t make it legal, you would be surprised of all the conflicts that will arise when the time comes, and it will come, eventually. Decide how you want it to be.
  5. Appoint a Power of Attorney or POA. The article states if you think you will need one. Trust me you will need one. I have worked in health care for 35 years, and you need one. The conflicts that can be avoided, delays, etc can all be avoided. My loved one refused to appoint a POA even though it was apparent she needed one. For years we begged her to do so, but nope she refused. Now she has to deal with the consequences. This isn’t meant to say she is being punished, but please remember your actions or lack there of have consequences, not just for you but for your loved ones as well. There are different types of POA’s and you control who has access to what and what decision they will make. But, if you choose not to do so, you may end up with no control over your elder years.
  6. Set up a pension. Now as I stated companies do not offer traditional pension, or retirement plans, like maybe your grandparents had. That ship has sailed for most people. But, a 401k if you can get in one, an IRA, Health Savings Account, or just a regular savings account are good options. You can learn more about off of those by doing a quick search on Google.
  7. Pay off all debts before you retire. We are currently working on this. For all of 2020 we have set the goal to spend down our debt, and to save. Initially, my husband just wanted to spend down the debt and use any monies to just pile it onto other debts. For example you pay off one credit card, and whatever monies that leaves each month, say extra 50 dollars you would throw it onto another bill. But, I objected to that and said we had to save money too, not just pay debt off to avoid making new debt. So, that is what we have been doing. At the beginning of the year we used the Dave Ramsey method of setting up a budget. There were a few things we changed, such as tithing, and I forget the others. But, we have stuck to it and have paid off a lot of debt already. Because we chose to save also, when our refrigerator died we were able to pay in cash rather than financing it. The nice thing is we don’t even know when payday is anymore because we are not living paycheck to paycheck. Our bills are on time and it just repeats every month with the extra money being split 50-50 to another bill and savings. It is our goal to have our mortgage paid off earlier than when we retire. One important thing to remember here is that buying new cars, phones, and such puts a huge strain on a budget. Downsizing your home, buying certified used phones, and good used cars can really save a lot of money. Pay in cash if you can!
  8. Plan a budget. I already discussed current budget, but think about a budget for when you retire. Have a basic idea of how much money you will have and how you will budget it. We have not even thought about this much, other than in regards to #7. However, I think a lot of people do not consider full budget needs such as health care, medications, maintenance and repairs to homes and cars, etc. You need to budget for all of these things.
  9. Keep working. I am a nurse and I am unsure if I will be able to keep doing bedside nursing until retirement, let alone after. But, working even after retirement age, not full time, there are penalties to Social Security is super important both financially and mentally. Make sure you know the rules. Getting a side hustle when you are younger, such as blogging, or thinking about how you would be able to make money after retirement. Maybe you have a hobby and can sell a craft, though I don’t personally think this is anywhere near as lucrative as it used to be with most platforms charging huge amounts of money to sell stuff. But, for me some things I have considered are this blog and Health Coaching, Phlebotomy, Assisted Living Administrator, etc. If I wanted to do Youtube videos, which I currently do not have the ability to do lengthy videos, that is another great side hustle.
  10. Stay healthy. Medical care costs are going to be a huge out of pocket expense if you can not stay as healthy as possible. This is a broad topic, but I think everyone knows that eating better, maintaining a healthy weight or at least not gaining if overweight, and exercise are all great ways to be healthier.
  11. Plan for your needs. This is kind of what the whole article is about. Think about what you think you will need. For example, I was at a thrift store and they had a cane at a really good price. It fit my size and I bought it and stored it in the garage. Now, you can’t just buy a cane, walker, or crutches without being sure they will fit your body size for safe use. So, be sure and learn how to know if it is right for you. But, that is just an idea of what I mean about planning for your needs. If you don’t know how to cook, plan a budget, fix basic things around your home, or you live in a very rural area where programs are slim to none, then you have some planning to do.
  12. Make friends. Did you know that widowed or single women who live alone are more likely to get Dementia than men? Women tend to become lonely and isolated which increases the risk of Dementia. Men, obviously can become lonely too, but the truth is women outlive men. Make friends, stay active, volunteer, join groups that you are interested in.
  13. Be mentally active. Everybody always worries about exercise, and of course it is vital, but keeping your brain active is just as important. Learn new things, keep learning, try hard things, it is good for your brain and may help prevent Dementia.
  14. You can not control the aging process. It is what it is and we all get old. We are going to die someday, sad but true. Some die young, some die old. It is sad, always, but it is and always will be a fact of life. Be prepared, make it easier on yourself and your loved ones. Don’t delay and bury your head in the sand. Start thinking about it right now. Start making a to do list to help you work through the steps. Update and edit it often.

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Recreating A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Feast!

Welcome, to another Throwback Thursday topic. I am probably going to extend my Dementia topic into the month of December because there are so many topics I want to cover that center around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you are in your 50’s or older you most likely watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving every single year. I know I did, and I watched it with my children as well. Sometimes it is hard to find, which is a shame, and I have to watch it on Youtube. This year it will not be on CBS, it will be on PBS on November 20th. Be sure and find your local PBS station and mark your calendar.

If you read my blog pretty consistently then you know I have started a family cook-off-night competition. We do this every two weeks on a Monday. There are several reasons I started doing this, such as family fun, we homeschool and it gets my daughter in the kitchen and can count as an elective credit, we learn creativity and budget planning. My husband has already picked the theme for his judging turn and it will be this coming Monday. That means it is my turn on the Monday of Thanksgiving week. Guess what my theme will be?

You probably have noticed that food prices are higher, and the news is starting to report that there may not be enough turkeys for Thanksgiving or maybe not as big ones. I know we get stuck on our traditional foods for holidays, but would that really be such a tragedy? Would it be so bad to just be thankful for being with family and the ones you love? Should it really matter if you don’t have a 4,000 calorie day of eating? I am not sure, let’s think about it. I think my husband would be devastated as Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday. But, I also think there is a lot to be said about being humble, and grateful for what you have rather than what you want. Is this the year we all consider the real meaning of Thanksgiving, and maybe it isn’t a gargantuan meal? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

So, what about the meal created in Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving meal. What kind of nutrition does it have? According to this website, the meal contains around 500 calories and nearly 100 grams of carbs. Of course, you could eat more and increase the calories. But, what about a modern version of this meal. Could it be made healthier while sticking to the basic premise of the meal? That is the question and will be the theme of my next family cook-off challenge, on November 20th, which coincidentally is the same day the special will air. I will definitely take pictures this time to share on the blog. Technically, if you think about it, on the show they all end up going to grandma’s for Thanksgiving dinner, so this could technically be an appetizer. That is something to think about, too. Below are two videos of people that have recreated the dinner. One is very traditional and the other puts a little more effort into making it homemade. Be sure and check them out.

If you would like to join in on this challenge be sure and share a link in the comments to your post, or video, so everyone can see your results. I will read, view, and share anyone who comments on their results, or thoughts. Please do not spam me. All comments are moderated and spam never shows up here on this blog, so don’t waste your time.

Have fun with this one! If you are a homeschooler like me, this is a great activity to do with your kiddos, young or old. Bonus points if you set the table the same way as in the show. You do not have to do it the same day I do, any day in the month of November is fine.

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The Hardest Part Of Losing Weight~

Hello, and welcome to my last post on the topic of Obesity. Obesity was my Health topic for the month of October. While I did not get to cover all of the topics I wanted to, I provided a great deal of information for anyone interested in learning more about Obesity. For the month of November, my Health topic will be Dementia. I usually do posts on Gratitude in November, but I think I will just refer to last year’s posts.

For the month of October, my husband and I challenged ourselves to lose 10 pounds by the 31st. With 3 days left I still have 3.5 pounds to go. While I would obviously like to smash the goal, I am realistic that 10 pounds in one month, is not easy, and equals 2.5 pounds per week. I don’t know, yet, how my husband did. I will report on Monday. For November, and which is the topic of this post, we will make a goal to keep off whatever weight we lost in October. This is a huge challenge for any who loses weight. Learning how to keep off the weight is the harder part of weight loss in my opinion. If you did not learn how to change your relationship with food, make better food choices, learn proper portion sizes, and move more then you probably will not be successful at keeping the weight off. With the holidays coming all of the aforementioned things are super important. I am in no way suggesting you starve, deprive yourself, exercise to death, or eat no carbs. Those things are not sustainable, nor do they lead to success. People will try to sabotage you, trust me. Why they do it, I don’t know for sure, but they will. You have to have more willpower than they do. Now, I could have done the Keto Diet and probably easily lost the 10 pounds, and more. However, of all the people I watch who do the Keto Diet, as soon as they stop they gain weight. Why? Because, not eating carbs is not sustainable for the rest of your life, and unless you learn how to eat carbs in a healthy way, sustainable weight loss will most likely not be a success for you.

The human body needs carbs, fat, and sodium. There are Keto doctors, at least they say they are doctors, who say we don’t even need carbs to survive. That may be true, and I have found no clinical trials that say that, but carbs are affordable, and many people rely on them. I am not Diabetic, but if you are you still probably have been told to eat a certain amount of carbs to keep your blood glucose from dropping.

Here are two sources that can help you learn about keeping weight off. Plus, there is a video below, in case you don’t want to read it all, but it is worth the read, that explains the study. The second source offers a presentation on learning to keep weight off. I did not watch it, yet, but I intend to.

Last Fall I made a goal to lose weight. I managed to lose 20 pounds in about 6 months. I was able to maintain that right up until the Summer of this year. I gained back 4 pounds, which is not awful, but definitely was not part of my Health goals. So, what have I learned in the last year about weight loss, and keeping it off?

  1. I have to be consistent. I can’t lose weight and then expect to stop eating the way I have been to lose it, and go back to the bad habits and not expect to gain. I have to track my macros whether others like it or not. It is a very important tool for me to be successful. I have to track my step count, whether others like it or not. It is a very important tool for me to be successful.
  2. I really hate intense exercise. I do lift weights, but only light weights, no I don’t care what you think about that. I walk, a lot, that is my main form of exercise. I do make fitness goals, and then I try to meet them. But, I do not necessarily enjoy it. Those goals are more a must, than an enjoyment.
  3. I allow myself to indulge now and then, or to not follow my weight loss eating plan. I do not allow myself to feel guilty.
  4. I do weigh myself every day, and no I don’t care what others think about that. I have CKD and I tend to retain water. A couple pounds of weight gain, when my other food tracking seems to be on track, can be a warning sign.
  5. I measure my chest, waist, and hips weekly. This is a far better tool than the scale to monitor success as losing body fat is really the goal, not necessarily weight loss.
  6. I can not worrry about what others think, or say. People are going to stick their noses in whether you ask them to or not. My actual weight for my height, which is 5 feet even, is 128 pounds. People will think I have lost too much weight when I reach that goal simply because they are not used to seeing me that size. It will not make me unhealthy, and I can not let their issues effect my goals. People will also judge what, and how I eat. Learn to tell people to mind their own business. Unless I am seriously over weight, or under weight, and they are a loving family member, doctor, or friend, then just let it slide off your shoulders. I don’t need it, but they seem to need to tell you how to eat.
  7. Learn to say no. This one is very hard when you have a family, and or active social life. Learning to say no I am not going to drink alcohol excessively, no I am not going to out out every day, yes, I am going to learn to cook for healthier food options.
  8. I can not eat fast food, convenience food, processed foods, and snacks plus lose weight. It simply is not possible. These foods are very calorie dense, devoid of fiber, high in fat, and high in salt. This has to be a treat, not a habit.
  9. I can not drink my calories.
  10. I have to be patient. It takes time to break old habits, and to obtain the willpower to counteract everyone around me. Get off social media if it effects me in a negative way. Infleuncers are not inflencers for anything good, or at least not most of them. They are making money just like the nasty food companies. They are pushing products, and looking for views, plain and simple. Don’t read comments either, they are never good. When people are just looking to make a buck they are not worried about someone else’s health.

If you would like help to lose weight via my Health Coaching, use the contact form below to message me. I am not young, and I am not thin. I have my own weight loss goals. But, I know how to support, teach, and motivate.

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Throwback Thursday: Why Obesity Was Rare In The 50’s

Hello, and Happy Thursday! I have had a crazy week and I feel like I have totally neglected my readers. I still have so much to discuss on the topic of Obesity, and the month is almost over. My newsletter was supposed to go out yesterday, but I will literally not home at all yesterday enough to do it. So, it will go out today.

I know people don’t like the topic of overweight, and obesity, and how much we really eat past what our bodies need. But, the truth is, for most people, if you are overweight you are consuming too much food, and not moving enough. That is just the facts. Stored fat is just unused energy. The body stores it like a savings account. You didn’t spend the energy, so you saved it.

I did another blog post a while back about how portion sizes have changed through the years. You can read it here. I have a whole section on portion distortion under the category section.

Another thing people really don’t want to discuss is how inactive we really are, compared to past times, and even as soon as the 80’s when technology really exploded. I think I want one of those old washing machines shown in the video. I don’t know as I would do all laundry that way, but what a simple way to burn some extra calories doing something I have to do anyway. I don’t know about scrubbing floors and rugs on my hands and knees though. That is a bit much, lol. Anyway, we move way too little, and sit way too much. Desk jobs, automation, and technology have made our lives so much easier that it is effecting us in negative ways. Be sure and watch the video of the young lady who only ate proper portions for the day. She is thin, but is used to eating way over standard portion sizes. She is funny, but you will get the point.

There are a couple of videos below to help you better understand on why we are storing so much energy, instead of using it up. I think you might be surprised. I was. If you would like to start being more active, check out my Walking Buddy Plan.

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Stop Calling It Obesity?

Hello, and welcome back to another Thinking on Thursday topic. For the whole month of October I am discussing Obesity. But, as you can see in my title I posed the topic as a question. However, by the end of the post I think you will see why I think it should be a statement. If you feel like you will be triggered by this topic, please stop reading now.

If we should stop calling it Obesity, what do I think influencers, health coaches, fitness coaches, doctors, etc. should call it? I think it should be referred to as Metabolic Syndrome. Why? Keep reading.

Obesity is a word that implies fat, unhealthy, lazy, over eating, etc. Instead we should be focusing on obesity as a health marker, because honestly that is all it is. You can be obese and be fit, and even healthy, especially in your younger years. You don’t have to like that statement, but it is technically true. It doesn’t mean you will be fit, or healthy forever, though, if you stay obese. Fat shaming, fat phobia, name calling, berating, using other people’s struggles to make yourself money on Youtube, Instagram, Tiktock, Snap Chat, I don’t even know what all of the platforms are, but you really should be ashamed of yourself. First of all, if you really care about obesity as a topic, and a health marker, bringing attention to the healthy at every size, feeders, mukbangs, and other such content that so offends you, is only making them more money and gives them no incentive whatsoever to change their undesirable health marker, ie. obesity. Plus, for all you fat shamers just because you might be thin does not mean you are healthy. The public sees weight visually and it implies health to them, but that is not necessarily true. You can be thin and have Metabolic Syndrome, and make no mistake once you have allowed your body, through bad lifestyle choices to put on a lot of fat, it is extremely hard to get it off. Please do not read part of this post and then leave me a nasty comment. Read the whole thing and make sure you understand what I wrote.

So, for the rest of this month’s topic on Obesity, I will refer to it from here on out, as Metabolic Syndrome Awareness, and yes, Obesity is a huge part of Metabolic Syndrome.

Now, before I go into what Metabolic Syndrome is, and how to tell if you have it, let me say a word about waste measurement, or the dreaded BMI. If you are short, whether you are a man or a woman, keeping a normal BMI is going to be a much bigger challenge than if you are tall. That does not mean it should not be a goal for you, just because it is hard. 140 pounds on a 5 foot 4 woman, is going to be much different looking, and measurement, than on a 5 foot 10 woman. It is very easy to carry excess weight in your abdomen when you are short. However, again, this does not mean you should not have a goal to decrease your abdominal fat, even if it is subcutaneous fat, vs visceral fat.

Metabolic Syndrome in it’s easiest to understand definition is a set of health markers that point to an increased risk of Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes etc. The markers are below is how the US defines Metabolic Syndrome, other countries use other markers.

To be diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome you must have 3 out of the 5 markers listed below. If you do not know your markers, then you should. If you are claiming Health at any Size, or whatever mantra people use, then you can’t claim that without knowing your health markers.

  1. A waist measurement of more than 35 inches around in women, and 40 inches around in men. To measure your waist accurately use a tape measure on naked skin right above the belly button. Pull it snug, like your jeans would fit nice, not tight like your jeans will make you not breathe. That is your waist measurement. I personally have this marker, and I am working hard to get it below 35. I am 5 feet tall, on my tiptoes, lol, and I carry my weight in my abdomen and chest. I have already lost 3 inches off my waist, but I still have a way to go.
  2. A fasting glucose of 100 or higher, or if you are taking medications to control your blood glucose. You should fast, ie not eat for at least 12 hours before doing a glucose level for this purpose. I do not have this marker.
  3. A Triglyceride level at or above 150, again you should be fasting for at least 12 hours for this number to be accurate. I do not have this marker either. However, I must mention that when I was eating a low carb diet, and had increased my fat intake to get enough calories, my Triglycerides were quite high. I have since corrected this with diet modification. If you are on the Keto diet you should be monitoring this marker. Being thin, but ending up with Heart Disease, or Stroke, is not exactly a healthy thing now is it. There are different types of Keto diets, so there is that.
  4. A HDL Cholesterol level below 50 for women, and below 40 for men. This is the so called good cholesterol. This is a hot topic issue, but again it is a marker or risk. My HDL was 46, three months ago, and I am going to be retested tomorrow and I am hoping it has gone up. If you take medications to improve HDL then you are also considered as having this health marker.
  5. A blood pressure at, or above 130/85 regardless of gender. Systolic is your top number, and Diastolic is your bottom number. If you are young, you may only see your doctor yearly. So, measuring your own blood pressure regularly at home should be an important health goal for you, especially if you have any of the other markers. Be sure you are not in an excited mood, sitting comfortable, and legs are not crossed at the knees or ankles to get an accurate blood pressure. Your arm should be at heart level. If you already take medications to control blood pressure, than you are automatically positive for this marker. Even with Kidney Disease I do not have this marker, nor do I take medication to control it.

So, if you read all that, I have 2 out of 5 of the markers. I can not make myself taller, so I have to work harder to reduce my waist measurement. I do not have Metabolic Syndrome, but I am overweight, and by the charts obese. I am not ashamed of that. The best I can do is keep trying to improve. But, I am active, and fitness goals are a huge part of my regime. I do not smoke, genetics do play a role in some of my markers, and I can not change that either. I will discuss more about that in the coming weeks as we continue down the path of preventing Metabolic Syndrome, and how to treat it once you have it.

That should be the focus of anyone who is concerned about the health of others. Not their body size, what they think of how they look, how they feel about what they eat, etc. Your feelings do not matter when discussing someone else’s health and wellbeing. Feeling are just that, and opinions are feelings, by the way. It is not tough love, either. It is intrusive, that is what it is. Start revealing your own numbers, and put it as a disclaimer, if you really feel the need to criticize someone you see as obese, fat, disgusting, lazy, or whatever. Please don’t call me a Snowflake, politically correct, or whatever other label you might want to give me. You don’t have to agree with me, just as I find some of these infuencers content dangerous, inappropriate, and having nothing to do with promoting health.

If you are looking to start a gentle exercise regime, towards a goal of being more fit, check out my Walking Buddy Plan, and take advantage of the discount available.

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