medical monday: diverticulosis

Hello, and welcome to a very wet Medical Monday! I am having issues with my pool that are getting on my nerves. I have never had issues with it being nice and clean, and clear until last week. I am assuming it has something to do with the dreadful heat. Anyway, that is not what we are here to discuss. For the month of August I have decided the topic will be Diverticulosis, and Diverticulitis. At least once a week I will do an educational post on these two topics. They very much go together. This post may contain affiliate links.

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What is Diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is when you get small pockets, or pouches in the colon or intestines. Think of them kind of like tiny balloons. For whatever reason it is more common in men than women. These tiny sacs or balloons can hold waste products that moves through the intestine, and can become infected. As with any infection inflammation will occur causing pain, and that is when you get Diverticulitis. But, today we will focus on just Diverticulosis.

The tiny pockets form when the inner layer of the Digestive Tract pushes through weak spots in the outer layer. Almost like a Hernia does, if you have ever had a hernia. Most of the time these pouches will form in the left side of the colon, but you can get them anywhere in the intestines.

Diverticulosis is more common as we age. It is rare to get it under age 40, but some people do.

You may already know what I am going to say next. Studies show that a low Fiber Diet is most likely the predominant risk factor for Diverticulosis after age. Countries where eating fruit and vegetables is abundant, there is very little Diverticulosis possibly even in the over 60 age group. I will discuss this more in another post. If you would like to see what the pouches look like in the colon, watch the short video below. It is age restricted so you will need to click it to go to Youtube and watch it.

What are the symptoms of Diverticulosis?

  1. Some people have no symptoms at all until the pouches become inflamed and they have pain, usually in the lower left side of the abdomen.
  2. A change in bowel patterns. For example you may be very regular with no issues, but all of a sudden you are constipated. Or your bowels become more frequent and loose when that is not your normal.
  3. You may also experience cramping or bloating.

How is Diverticulosis diagnosed?

  1. Since most people experience no symptoms, or have vague symptoms they relate to something else, Diverticulosis is picked up by other exams you may have as Preventative Care such as a Colonoscopy, or Sigmoidoscopy. They can also be seen via a CT Scan, or Barium X-rays. If you have vague symptoms such as bloating and cramping, and are over age 40 talk to your doctor about having one of the diagnostic exams above. You do not want these pouches to rupture, especially if infected, trust me!

Most people do not need treatment for Diverticulosis other than preventative to prevent the pouches from becoming inflamed, infected or rupturing. Talk to your doctor, but most experts at this stage will inform you to eat a high fiber diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies. This will keep your stool soft, and moving freely through the intestinal tract hopefully eliminating the pouches from becoming filled with waste and becoming infected. Try to get most of your fiber from whole grains and veggies, as the sugar in fruit can be inflammatory. Nuts and seeds are also good for fiber, but ask your doctor first because they can actually complicate Diverticulosis. If you smoke, quit smoking. If you have other dietary restrictions, or take medications, be sure and discuss with your doctor before you make any major changes to your diet.

If you would like to use a Health Coach to help you meet your Health Goals, hit me up! I am accepting new clients at this time. Use the contact form below to message me and I will email you with dates for a phone meet and greet. The meet and greet is free and should not last longer than 15 minutes. After that you will decide if you would like to hire me as your coach.

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is this a healthy food? Mindful eating

Hello, and welcome back to Mindful Monday. As part of my Mindful Monday and Mindful Monday posts I will be sharing some of my families favorite food items, and some that I just want to talk about, as to whether these are healthy food items, or food at all. Before I get into it I need to make any potential new customers aware that I have a Tropical Storm heading towards me. The weather will start to go down hill tomorrow. For the most part we will get heavy rain, wind, and possible tornadoes. I may lose power, but obviously I am hoping not. Unless the system rapidly intensifies in the Gulf evacuation will not be needed. We woke up yesterday morning to a leak in our roof from the already heavy rains we have been experiencing for a month now. I noticed my neighbor also has a tarp on their roof, so all this rain is starting to affect us all. Keep us in your thoughts and I will try to keep posting every day. Next week I really am hoping to do a live video shot to put up on Youtube, but maybe you will get to see some Tropical Weather instead, lol. I am glad that I got to eat all of my fresh peaches, straight off of my peach tree before these high winds come. You may see affiliate links in this post.

Today, I am going to discuss Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn. It is my all time favorite popcorn of any popcorns. I am ashamed to say I could eat this whole bag if I didn’t have portion control. But, beyond my personal love for this popcorn is it a healthy food. The definition of a healthy food is: healthy foods provide nutrients to sustain a bodies well being and energy levels. Water, carbs, fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals are the key nutrients in a healthy food. So, lets look at the label of Smartfood popcorn and decide if I think it is a healthy food.

There are 7 servings in one bag and 160 calories per serving. A serving is about 2 1/2 cups, so that is a nice generous serving size. If you ate the whole bag you would consume 1120 total calories. So, yes it definitely will give you energy.

Each serving contains 14 grams of carbs. So if you are a Diabetic and have been told your snack should be 15 grams of carbs or less, one serving of this popcorn could be a snack for you. However, if someone consumed the whole bag it would be 98 grams of total carbs. There are 2 grams of fiber per serving. So, technically you could subtract 14 grams of carbs to get a net carb total of 84. So, yes it contains carbs for energy and even some fiber. Not too bad.

Fats: There are plenty of fats in here, but you could say it is probably too much to be considered healthy. Each serving contains 10 grams of fat, and 2 are saturated fats. There are no trans fats so that is good. If you ate the whole bag you would get 70 grams of fat, and 14 grams of saturated fats. That is not so great at all.

Protein: There are 3 grams of protein per serving and if you ate the whole bag it would be 21 grams of total protein. If you have CKD this could be a dangerous snack, especially because it is so easy to over eat it. On the note of CKD. There are no PHOS additives listed on the label, so that is a positive for this snack food. However, popcorn naturally has some Phosphorus and milk products are used, and that also contains Phosphorus. So, don’t be tricked into believing there isn’t any. Phosphorus is not a required item on food labels, something to lobby for if you have Kidney Disease.

Other Vitamins and Minerals: Sodium 200 mg per serving, that makes this a high Sodium food. Potassium 50 mg per serving which states is 0 percent of RDA. I find that strange since milk and popcorn both contain Potassium naturally. Calcium 2% of RDA. Iron 2% of RDA for one serving.

Ingredients: You can see the label below, but you will see they are not awful. There is some maltodextrin in there ie sugar and that would be why there is 2 grams of sugar per serving. In all there are 8 ingredients and as far as processed foods go I don’t find that to be incredibly horrible. There is milk used in this product so if you have issues with milk this won’t be a good option.

So, all in all what do I think? I think if you eat one serving that this could be a Healthy Food snack option. It is kind of high in fat so eat some veggies with it to help absorb the vitamins and minerals in your veggies. A win win. I certainly would try not to eat the whole bag, but like I said it would be very easy to. So, if you don’t have portion control this could be very unhealthy. , and would be more of a meal than a snack.

Do you love White Cheddar Popcorn, or do you have another favorite snack food. Obviously, air fried popcorn is the healthiest type of popcorn. Stay safe if you are in the path of Tropical Storm Elsa!

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portion distortion: Ice Cream!

Happy Monday! Welcome back to a new Portion Distortion topic. This time it is ice cream. Portion Distortion topics are part of my Mindful Eating topics to raise awareness of the foods we eat. Everybody loves ice cream. Well, unless you are lactose intolerant then you might not love ice cream. Ice cream is not only a calorie dense food, but it is also very high in fat and typically has lots of added sugar. This does not bode well for anyone wanting to lose weight, eat heart smart, or has Diabetes. Reading labels and knowing what you are consuming is a great way to raise your awareness. This post may contain affiliate links.

Publix had Haagen Daaz ice cream buy one get one free for the small containers. According to the container 2/3 of a cup is a serving size. That serving size has 340 calories, 21 grams of fat of which 13 are saturated fat, 32 grams of carbs, 32 grams of sugars of which 24 grams are added sugars, 75 mg of sodium, and 6 grams of protein and no fiber. That is not even one cup of ice cream. My serving size was 1/4 of a cup so a 1/3 of their serving size. Plus I added some pureed berries- 1 strawberry and 7 blueberries- for a total of 145 calories for 1/4 cup, 2 ounces of ice cream. You can very easily see how ice cream can be a concerning food to eat. A couple of weeks ago I got a kiddy size hot fudge sunday and it was over 600 calories! Now, I am not saying never eat ice cream. I love ice cream here and there. Just be aware of what and how much you are really eating. The images show my serving of ice cream and berries. It was really quite delicious. I do not like yogurt, and I am not sure it is even healthier than ice cream, but I may try the berries with almond milk yogurt. I will have to look at it when I go to the store again.

Do you love ice cream? What is your favorite flavor and brand? Leave me a note in the comments. Come back tomorrow to learn about my next food challenge. Don’t forget to join the Rosemary Challenge for the whole month of November.

Would you like to learn more about Mindfulness, and how it can help you in your every day life? Message me for a free meet and greet and learn about my Health Coaching services. There is a contact form at the end of every post. It is easy to fill out and will come right to my email. I respect your privacy and never share your information. All communications are private and secure. All new customers receive one month of coaching for only 25 dollars. What can we accomplish in one month? Let me help you reach your health goals. Check out my updated Meals with Melissa, and Distance Reiki plans. I will be updating all plans in the coming months.

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