Greatest GIFT – Naomi Jeremiah

Faith, God's Wisdom, journey to healthy living, Life and dreams – Naomi Jeremiah


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Fruits for Breakfast!

I took a break from doing veggie and fruit smoothies and celery juicing for breakfast first week of July this year. I could feel my system needed a change. I’m completely off from any prescribed BP medication since last year and I feel good without those horrible side effects that came with BP med! My cardiologist couldn’t agree more. He was happy with my BP readings without the medication in my system, but instead it’s with the help of plant based eating daily.

Spring 2019 was dealing mostly with sinus allergy that seemed like forever. I thought the sneezing and runny nose would be my company for a while there. Even with smoothies and juicing, the sinus battle continued. I’ve ordered from Amazon anything Elderberry, Echinacea, Vicks Vaporub and inhaler and humidifier.

Spring was a struggle; but the Spring sun was a relief. I always enjoy the Spring sun, way too beautiful.

Since I stopped juicing and drinking homemade smoothies, which I have done mostly since 2016, I’ve decided to try eating fruits for breakfast this summer. There’s abundance of fruits in summertime so I am taking advantage of the many fruit choices. Although, Winter last year and Spring 2019, I was consuming citrus like oranges, pumelos, grapefruits aside from eating apples.

Oatmeal was my favorite morning warm ups. I kept up with veggie salads as sides for lunch. My BP readings stayed down and good. I’ve maintained my weight and kept myself busy with organizing and getting rid of dust collectors and clutters.

When I started fruits only for breakfast, my energy heightened much better than doing smoothies and celery juice. I’ve realized, too, that when I juiced fruits, it did not agree with my system as I’ve lost the fiber my body needs. However, when I eat whole fruits; three or four small servings of different kinds of fruits, I feel great! With veggie salads, all organic, like arugula, different varieties of cucumbers, romaine, tomatoes, avocados for lunch and a main daily homemade dish of small serving of either fish, or lean chicken or lean meat, I am set for the next hours of intermittent fasting daily. I’ve incorporated IF since 2016 and my sleeping patterns and circadian rhythms are at its best! Sleep has always been sweet. Unless, something is worrying me or there are exciting events the next day that would keep me tossing and turning, most of my sleeping hours are so satisfying. I found out that by the time I am ready for bed, all the food I’ve eaten have almost been fully digested by the time I hit the bed, so all my system has to do is repairing and healing what needs to be healed in my body while I’m asleep. Eating fruits in the morning has lowered my blood pressure naturally, much better readings than with smoothies and juicing.

There are some days I’d get off IF when travelling or eating out. If I get lucky, and I did not eat restaurants’ foods which cause heartburn, my sleep will still be okay. Sometimes, I need that break, but the next day, I’d go back to my eating schedules to maintain my weight. It’s not easy especially when I splurge on some sweet desserts and bread. But I need to focus for the sake of my blood pressure.

As we get older, blood pressure spikes especially if we are not eating right. I’ve learned that high blood pressure leads to so many illnesses. It’s an indicator when something is wrong in our body. It’s a signal of some future events that are detrimental to our health. I’ve learned of this after thorough research and personal experiences when I started getting aware of this silent killer. High blood pressure almost always show up as one of the contributing factors to illnesses when diagnosed with heart disease, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney disease, Adrenal and thyroid disorders, sleep apnea as one of the few known causes associated with high blood pressure.

So, organic fruits for breakfast to the rescue! So many fruit choices, including bananas, apples, cherries… I love summer!

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Cold bedroom, best sleep!

This morning, I woke up and the room temperature was 62 degrees F. That is very cold for me. But when it’s cold in the bedroom, I always get the most relaxing, peaceful and long slumber. sleep7

I’ve been so fortunate for a while now that I am able to get a good shut eye, at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep. It was not always a great sleep in the past for me. I had trouble sleeping before and I would wake up tired.

Two years ago, I’ve decided to find ways to correct my sleeping habits in the hope that I can cure my insomnia or sleep disorder. Through the latter part of my adult life, good sleep was very hard to achieve.sleep2 I resorted into taking over the counter sleeping pills, and then switched into more natural sleep aid, like Melatonin and Valerian. They did not really help that much. From time to time when I was very tired, I would doze off and get maybe 4 to 6 hours of sleep. For one thing my mind was so active, mostly worrying about the next day’s work activity or maybe personal issues would interrupt my sleep.

 

The internet and cell phones did not help and when social media and smart phones came along, sleeping was a distraction more than a necessity. sleep9Especially when some research group was saying you don’t need to have an eight hour of sleep. It’s different in each individual. Not everybody have the same sleeping requirements. So that played in my mind and as long as I’d get to sleep, even just five hours a night, I will be okay. I did not have a sleeping schedule set. Whenever I feel sleepy, that was the time. But as time went by, the less sleep I was getting. I had to rely on over the counter sleeping medication on nights when I was so wide awake. My mind was going 100 miles per hour thinking of so many things.

On one of our vacation road trips, I found a book written by Dr. Don Colbert entitled The Bible Cure for Sleep Disorders. The book gave way for me to embark and research about achieving a natural way to get good sleep.

Work With Your Wake/Sleep Cycles
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help to set a rhythm to your sleep cycle and prompt your body to recognize when rest time is approaching. A morning ritual such as meditation or yoga that reduces your stress can be extremely beneficial – and this can also be repeated before sleep.

Move your body earlier in the day and avoid anything too vigorous at night, if possible. Movement, particularly movement that gets the heart rate up or is physically exerting, typically activates the sympathetic nervous system making you alert and awake, and subsequently decreases your melatonin (sleep hormone) production. Instead, in the evening, allow yourself time to slow down, unwind and stimulate your sleep neurotransmitters. Around 60 to 90 minutes before sleep, turn off your “devices”, turn the lights down and maybe include some meditation or light reading. Finding sleep hygiene that works for you is incredibly important, but these are great starting points for everyone. from: https://www.foodmatters.com/article/when-sleep-is-elusive-getting-quality-rest?fbclid=IwAR2n_bPPRMTPltLnxchyez6DdCw09nZAl8m5oS-ftwXDDv2kSMigL4Kszpg

The first thing I’ve changed was my sleeping schedule. I started sleeping at the same time at night and waking up at the same time in the morning. It took time changing the bad sleeping habit. I found a good herbal sleep medicine at Sprouts. It’s called Deep Sleep.deepsleep2 It doesn’t have side effects deepsleepso it’s safe to use. With Deep Sleep, it helped me to make a transition from a poor quality of sleep to a rhythmic sleep cycle. I try not to take it every night if I don’t have to.  When I am very sleepy, I would skip it. sleep4

I made it a point to turn off my desktop computer two hours before bed. I give myself time to relax. I brush my teeth two hours before I go to bed as I find that brushing my teeth right before bed makes me wide awake.

What helps me to stay asleep is making sure that I’m done with my daily water intake, which is 8 glasses a day, about 4 to 5 hours before bed, and not eating before bedtime. That’s where my intermittent fasting works in my favor. I stopped eating by 4 to 5 pm at the latest. It settles my stomach and most of the food I’ve eaten have digested by the time I get to bed. I don’t experience heartburn that can interrupt with sleep. I don’t take any medication nor supplement I discovered could interrupt with my sleep. Celery juice and smoothies and vegetables and fruits had helped me settle my stomach at night.

“Set your smart thermostat to slowly lower your home’s temperature starting at dinner time and ending at 65 degrees when bedtime rolls around. This gradual loss of temperature and light can really help stoke the motivation to sleep.” https://www.menshealth.com/health/a25628788/how-to-get-more-sleep-expert/

In winter, I would turn off the central heat and by the time I’m in bed the bedroom is getting cold. During warm days, I set my air cooling thermostat to 68 degrees, but now that I know that I can have a good sleep at 62 degrees under three blankets and a thick comforter, I might settle for 65 degrees.

What I find so helpful that relaxes my mind is reading my daily Bible devotional before bed. As I meditate on God’s Word, my mind relaxes and what I have read about God’s goodness and faithfulness and His love for us completely take over my mind. Thankfulness and gratefulness to God clears my mind of worry, concern and fear and giving my burden to Him stop the mind from self-involved thoughts. Afterwards, I would do my deep breathing of 4-7-8 about 8 timesbreathing and I’m ready for a restful shut eye.

And If I get lucky, I might remember my dream that I usually have about the time I would wake up. And I remember a lot of my dreams since I no longer deprive myself of a much needed sleep every night. I actually have a sleep journal and it’s fun to go back and review what I wrote from time to time.

When I get to Stage 5 of my sleep, I can feel, when I wake up in the morning, that I had a restful, long and peaceful sleep and a deep sleep at that. I’m getting a lot of them lately, the cold weather must have aided as well.sleep3

“What is deep sleep and how much do we need of it?

Some studies have shown that your deep sleep should at least be 20% of your overall sleep. It means that since most adults need 8-9 hours of sleep, they will need about 1.6-1.8 hours of deep sleep to feel fully functional next day.”  from: newhealthadvisor.com

What stage of sleep is most important?

For a quick review of the four stages of sleep:
Stage 1 (N1): This is the lightest sleep, lasting as little as five minutes,…
Stage 2 (N2): This light sleep is also fairly easy to be awoken from,…
Stage 3 (N3; formerly N3 and N4): This is deep sleep, during which the body performs maintenance…
Stage 5: REM sleep is the only sleep stage in which we dream.

from: soundsleephealth.com   sleep

Why is REM sleep important?

REM sleep is important because it is the restorative part of our sleep cycle. Typically, you begin the sleep cycle with a period of non-REM sleep followed by a very short period of REM sleep.  from: azumio.com

How much sleep does an adult need?

An average adult needs between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep per night.

Can you get too much deep sleep?

According to New Health Advisor, adults 18 and older need anywhere from 1.5-1.8 hours of deep sleep per night, which is about 20% of your overall sleep. Some people, however, may find they need more in order to feel fully rested. There’s no such thing as too much deep sleep.  from: eightsleep.com   sleep6


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Bananas, my natural healer!

Cloudy days have been overstaying their welcome more this time of the year than the previous years in our woods. I have to find ways to combat SAD (seasonal affected disorder) for dark clouds affect my mood every year. From September to February, I feel sometimes, in a sad mood, not depressed but just a feeling of being under the clouds. It somehow triggers memories of years gone by, that easily make me emotional, though I’m able to manage it well, and I have to thank God for that.

It’s not as worse as when we used to live in California. In California, when it hit the month of September, there’s a gloomy touch in the air when Fall season arrives. It’s still sunny, but you can feel the dampness, especially the area where we used to live being close to the beach. I used to start getting sick in September without fail. My SAD got some relief when I was told at a health store that Gaba plus can help with SAD. And it did, but I cannot take it long term as it has a side effect.

When I’ve embraced eating plant based food, where I lost a lot of weight, I started to get familiarized with the benefits of each vegetable and fruit I’ve been eating. This year, the Celery juice has been giving me a lot of energy and it helps with SAD during this time of the year. I started taking calcium with Vitamin D3 and it’s been helping with SAD also. I’ve added more bananas in my fruit daily intake and I’ve discovered that it helps with SAD also! What do you know!

If You Think Bananas Are Just For Monkeys, Think Againbananas

These 25 ways to use and eat bananas will blow your mind!

1. Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.

2. Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar.

3. Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and night time leg cramps by eating a banana.

4. Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana.

5. Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, bananas5 which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.

6. Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.

7. Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.

8. High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.bananas3

9. Eating Bananas For Digestion
Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body.

10. Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.

11. Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.

12. Got the runs? Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea.

13. Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD.

14. Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.

For Natural Healing From A Simple Banana

15. Eating bananas will help prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.

16. Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.

17. Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing protection from free radicals and chronic disease.

18. Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness.

19. Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation.

20. Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana.

21. Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day.

22. The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). bananas4

The list of fruits and vegetables with tryptophan is huge! It calls for another blog to enumerate them.

23. Quitting smoking? Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium to speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal.

24. Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place.

25. Rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather shoes or handbag and polish with a dry cloth for a quick shine.

Oh, and remember — bananas make great snacks and delicious smoothies.

from: https://www.foodmatters.com/article/25-powerful-reasons-to-eat-bananas?

Last, but not least, my close relationship with God has helped enormously with SAD for before I become a Bible believer Christian, my SAD was more of a depression than anything because it was throughout the year as far as I can remember and would get worse when Fall season starts.

Hopefully, March will bring more sunlight and beautiful days ahead. I always hope for brighter days and they are not far from sight! I can bet on that!


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January, a Recovery month with Celery Juice

I was texting one of my best friends today, and while chatting with her, I suddenly realized that January, with its pitfalls, is really a recovery period from a hectic and stressful December. january

I’ve always thought of January as dragging because of the winter weather. But it is actually a month to heal, to begin a new chapter, a clean slate to start the new year and start all over again. We can carry the good in the new year, and leave behind the bad in the old year.

One of the things I’m bringing with me from last year is what I’ve learned about the healing benefits of Celery Juice.

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I do not have so many health issues, thank goodness, but what it did to my body is a miracle by itself. I’ve realized it healed my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which did not miss a beat every November through February. Because of the energy level the juice gives, dragging days are the thing of the past. The juice has given me great sleep. My blood pressure has stabilized and has stayed normal.

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I’ve done green smoothies most of last year and the year before. The smoothies have given great benefits and with intermittent fasting that is part of my healthy regimen for years now, I’m on track. I gave up taking blood pressure medication which hurt my system and given me angina or chest pain because of the side effects that had made me reach for Nitrostat to aid and stop the chest pain. After so many months of side effects that had given me fatigue, body chills, feeling of passing out and lost of quality of life, stopping the medication was the right thing to do and replaced it with natural healers through plant based foods. Gone was the chest pain and back to feeling normal.

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With the addition of the Celery Juice, it’s totally a different ballgame. It’s diuretic which relieves and excrete water in my system, which helps stabilize the blood pressure. Phthalides a group of active compounds found in celery juice help to reduce blood pressure by relaxing the muscles in and around the walls of the arteries. This causes the vessels to dilate which creates more space for the blood to flow at a lower level of pressure.

“Another interesting nutrient in celery juice called phthalide relaxes smooth muscles inside your blood vessels, thus helping to reduce high blood pressure. The phthalide in celery is also believed to help lower LDL cholesterol for better heart health.

The Top 7 Reasons to Juice Celery
Reduce Inflammation in Your Body.
Lower Blood Pressure and Improved Cardiovascular Health.
Celery juice as a Cancer Fighter.
Cleansing and Detoxifying.
Skin Benefits of Celery Juice. Recovery Juice.

Sleep Enhancer
The aforementioned celery juice benefits for high blood pressure, reducing hypertension and lowering stress hormones, alongside its high levels of electrolytes are probably a big part of why it is often suggested for enhancing relaxation and sleep.
Celery juice also contains magnesium, known as the calming mineral. Magnesium deficiency can lead to many health problems, including difficulty relaxing and getting to sleep so make sure you get enough of it.

healthambition.com

insomniarelief

 

Too much sodium, especially table salt or processed salt in the body cause water retention as the body tries to dilute the salt with large amounts of water. According to the Medical Medium, Anthony William: “If you’re worried that the sodium in celery is a problem because you’ve heard that “salt is salt,” know that the sodium in celery is not just salt or the basic mineral sodium. Medical research and science have not yet discovered the different varieties of sodium in celery, nor how beneficial they are. Celery’s naturally occurring sodium actually helps stabilize blood pressure, bringing it down when it’s too high and up when it’s too low. Further, it won’t dehydrate your organs—instead, it clings to toxic, dangerous salts from poor-quality foods and helps draw them out of your body while replacing them with undiscovered cluster salts.” I take my blood pressure regularly, so I can tell that the sodium on Celery juice doesn’t create a problem with my blood pressure.

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“Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Its sticks also act as a diuretic, which helps remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort.” organicfacts.net

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The miracle of Celery Juice

Thanksgiving day 2018 came and gone and surprisingly, though I had an extra helping and went a little overboard with eats, my weight management did not suffer. I still do my intermittent fasting, my daily smoothies and veggie salads. With holidays, there are so many food temptations and I just can’t resist. Amazingly enough, I was able to maintain my weight, even with the extra calories from the Thanksgiving feast. I recently added Celery juicing because of the things I’ve read about it and the juicing benefits of celery.

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Organic celery is a staple in my fridge. I add it to my salads and cooking. There is this medical medium guru on Facebook that I follow and he faithfully promotes the healing benefits of celery juice. He said that celery has an incredible ability to create sweeping improvements for all kinds of health issues. He said that celery is truly the savior when it comes to chronic illness. He said it is most powerful to drink it alone. Aside from celery being an alkaline food, the health benefits are aplenty.celeryjuicebenefits2

In my case, it’s one of my food aids to naturally lower my blood pressure. It prevented constipation and amazingly aided with my weight. I see the difference in my weight scale.celeryjuicebenefits3

And yes, it helps with bloating. I don’t feel bloated like I feel water heavy, though I drink a lot of water each day. Celery contains Phthalides, phytonutrients that provides potential cardiovascular benefits. Celery phthalides can act as smooth muscle relaxants, most likely through their impact on the flow of calcium and potassium inside cells and related nervous system activity involved with muscle relaxation. Of course, relaxation of smooth muscles surrounding our blood vessels allows them to expand and the result is a lowering of blood pressure.

celeryjuicebenefits4

I drink celery juice first thing in the morning, and I wait about 30 to 45 minutes before I eat my breakfast. I combine 3 to 4 celery stalks, chopped, with some coconut water to aid in extracting the juice and I use the new, updated NutriBullet.

celeryjuicebenefitsI have not taken any blood pressure medications for almost a year now because of the very bad side effects. But because of the veggies (plus smoothies and celery juice) and fruits I eat everyday, and supplements of Fish Oil, Cholestoff, grape seed extract and olive leaf extract, I am able to get good BP readings.

And one thing that help with lowering my blood pressure is when I stopped adding salt when cooking. I don’t use table salt either. I try to buy food and condiments with a label indicating fewer milligrams of sodium, which we need and an essential nutrient in our body; as long as it’s not too much and excessive. I’ve learned that if we consume too much sodium, it can cause water retention, and our body may respond by raising our blood pressure to push the excess fluid and salt out of our system. Our heart is working hard, which is not normal, when our blood pressure is high and chest pain can occur.

“Humans are genetically programmed to eat ten times less sodium than we do now. Many so-called low-salt diets can actually be considered high-salt diets. That’s why it’s critical to understand what the concept of ‘normal’ is when it comes to sodium. Having a ‘normal’ salt intake can lead to a ‘normal’ blood pressure, which can contribute to us dying from all the ‘normal’ causes, like heart attacks and strokes. The American Heart Association recommends everyone consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium daily— that’s about three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt. The average American adult consumes more than double that amount about 3,500 mg daily. Reducing sodium consumption by just 15 percent worldwide could save millions of lives every year.

If we could cut our salt intake by about a half teaspoon a day, which is achievable by avoiding salty foods and not adding salt to our food, we might prevent 22 percent of stroke deaths and 16 percent of fatal heart attacks. That’s potentially more lives saved than if we were able to successfully treat people with blood pressure pills. Simply put, reducing salt is an easy at home intervention that may be more powerful than filling a prescription from the pharmacy. Up to ninety-two thousand American lives could be saved each year simply by eating less salt.”

Excerpts from: How Not To Die – Michael Greger, M.D.

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Peak Fasting

I finally broke the plateau hurdle in my weight loss journey! Aside from losing the two pound gain from the 2017 Christmas holidays, which got me back to 105 pounds. I maintained this weight since late 2015 when I started losing weight and plateaued at 105 lbs.

It’s very true, the last 5 pounds are the hardest to lose. Either I was not mentally ready to get lower than 105 or my mind is playing games with me.

wp-1507945080633..jpgThis is me at 105 lbs. last year before the holidays. It looks like I look okay. My BMI was 21.2 which is considered a normal weight. What makes me get rattled is when I go to my primary doctor and my cardiologist for my checkup, I seemed to gain an additional 5 or 6 lbs. each time they weigh me in! So for them, I am 110 or 111 lbs. which is ridiculous. I still am considered normal weight for my height, but it seems unfair. Whatever the weight that registered at the doctor’s office scale is what they go by and record on their office chart. And they don’t pay attention when I say my weight is lower than that! One assistant said: “you must have eaten a lot before you got here.” No lady, it’s all the clothes I’m wearing! No sympathy I’m telling you! LOL

On the positive side of things, I am so thrilled that I am 2.6 pounds away from my goal of 100 pounds! My BMI is 20.7. The less weight I can lose, my BP will go down more and my heart would not work as hard.

What really helped me to get past the diet plateau, was the peak fasting or intermittent fasting. When I started my weight loss journey, I did not know anything about peak fasting. I was losing weight by counting calories then, which tremendously helped a lot. Weighing the food we eat had educated me and my husband and reality sets in as to why people gain weight. The bad carbs are the greatest culprit of all. Anything with sugar triple your chance of gaining unwanted weight. And so does saturated and trans fat. Anything heavy in weight, like sweet potatoes to grapefruit to meat ribs with bones, we would remove the parts that will not be eaten when we use the food scale. Or else they will add up to the gram count!  152 grams of half of a medium size grapefruit is 64 calories already.  Sweet potatoes at 51 grams is 77 calories.

 

 

They seem small in calorie numbers, but when we add the other foods to the list, they add up to the daily food budget. I’ve learned to truly lose weight, and still able to consume variety of foods good for me is to weigh my food. To maintain my weight is to learn how to eyeball the amount of my daily food intake and learn to adjust when I gain an ounce or two or a pound based on what the food scale has taught me.

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This was my lunch one day at 353 calories. I can eat tons of veggies without hurting my food budget.

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This is 465 calories. Sweet Potatoes and the pork ribs provided the most calories on one lunch this week.

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I had a bowl of organic popping corn to the lunch mix. My lunch for today, Sunday was 284 calories including the popcorn. Bowl of popcorn is 69 calories at 19 grams. Panseared seabass was so delicious with tomatoes, red peppers and red onions. My sides were organic garbanzo beans and pearled couscous. I can only have 21 grams of pearl couscous which is not very much in a very small serving cup. And it’s already 75 calories taken away from my daily calorie budget. We did not know couscous would steal the calorie show. They are as bad in calorie count as white rice!  The lunch was so good though! Mediterranean diet at its best! And the kitchen still smells so good!

Most of my daily breakfast consists of veggie and fruit smoothies which always meet my daily fiber requirements together with veggie salads. This week I’ve added some organic apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter. 20180128_193850.jpg

Today, for my morning snack, I had this delicious crispy noodle and nut mix. For a very small cup of this to die for snack, it cost me 131 calories! I cheated on this one and I added a little more so it was more than 131 calories. But I just had to have it.

I do moderate treadmill walking most days which helps reduce the calorie budget. I drink 8 glasses of water everyday. My last meal is always lunch, then I start with my peak fasting.

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2016/04/29/peak-fasting.aspx

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Intermittent Fasting, weight loss and Christmas holidays

Ahhhhh, the holidays are finally over! A month of holiday celebration was somehow a hurdle with losing or maintaining weight; but thankfully, I only gained two pounds total since yesterday, New Year’s Day!

I got so used in doing intermittent fasting and it helps on days before and after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year; the reason why I was able to control my weight. The calorie counting I incorporated during those times that I have to lose 20 pounds when I started changing my lifestyle habits, has given me the heads up when I was facing with all those glorious holiday foods. I knew that if I ate more than the calories that I have been used to, I will gain the following day. But I’ve learned also that if I ate less the next day of gaining some ounces or a pound, without being hungry as I fast, the following day, I would lose the calories I gained. That’s how I was able to maintain my weight. FB_IMG_1513610750289.jpg

I’ve learned that our body system can adapt to changes in eating habits, so if I feed my body less, it would be happy and content. The lessons I’ve learned as I am realizing it now is if I trained my system to eat less processed sugar, like cakes, cookies, chocolates, ice cream, pies; my system will adapt and would not anymore clamor for those types of food. The biggest dilemma for me is if I start tasting them again on holidays, and they are so attractive during the holidays, my digestion process seems to want to betray me and dislike the taste of the natural sweetness of the whole foods such as fruits. It doesn’t help, too, that most of the best fruits are not in abundance during the winter season of holidays galore.

Well, I promised myself that today, I’m starting to nip it in the bud, start to eat less and less simple sugar again, replace them with smoothies and more veggie salads, which get my energy in a better level, and control my hunger pangs and to get back to working out.FB_IMG_1513610843289.jpg

How sight and smell relate to digestion

 

“At first glance — or sniff — the digestive link between your eyes, nose, and stomach sounds a tad weird. But think about it: How many times has the sight or scent of something yummy like a simmering stew or baking bread set your tummy rumbling?

The sight of an appetizing dish or the aroma (actually scent molecules bouncing against the nasal tissues) sends signals to your brain: “Good stuff on the way.” As a result, your brain — the quintessential message center — shoots out impulses that

 

  • Make your mouth water.

 

  • Make your stomach contract (hunger pangs).

 

  • Make intestinal glands start leaking digestive chemicals.

All that from a little look and sniff. Imagine what happens when you actually take a bite!

Tasting and chewing in the digestion process

You know that small bag of potato chips you have stashed way at the back of your desk drawer? Well, dig it out and take a chip.

As the chip hits your tongue, your mouth acts as though someone had thrown the “on” switch in a fun house.

 

  • Your teeth chew, breaking the chip into small manageable pieces.

 

  • Your salivary glands release a watery liquid (saliva) to compact the chip into a mushy bundle (a bolus in digestive-geek speak) that can slide easily down your throat on a stream of saliva.

 

  • Enzymes (which you can think of as digestive catalysts in this case) in the saliva begin to digest carbohydrates in the chip.

 

  • Your tongue lifts to push the whole ball of wax . . . no, bolus, back toward the pharynx, the opening from your mouth to your esophagus, and then through a muscular valve called the upper esophageal sphincter, which opens to allow the food through. In other words, you’re about to swallow.”

source: http://www.dummies.com/education/science/biology/the-human-digestion-process-or-what-happens-after-you-eat-food/

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Just One Bad Meal Can Mess with Your Health

Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Super Size Me was one of the first to vividly demonstrate the consequences of trying to sustain yourself on a diet of fast food. After just four weeks, Spurlock’s health had deteriorated to the point that his physician warned him he was putting his life in serious jeopardy if he continued the experiment.
But as the featured study showed, it doesn’t take a virtual month to experience the health effects of a poor diet. In fact, the changes happen after just one meal, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

When you eat a meal high in unhealthy fats and sugar, the sugar causes a large spike in your blood-sugar levels called “post-prandial hyperglycemia.” In the long term this can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, but there are short-term effects as well, such as:

Your tissue becomes inflamed (as occurs when it is infected)
Your blood vessels constrict
Damaging free radicals are generated
Your blood pressure may rise higher than normal
A surge and drop in insulin may leave you feeling hungry soon after your meal

The good news is that eating a healthy meal helps your body return to its normal, optimal state, even after just one. Study author James O’Keefe of the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri told TIME:

“Your health and vigor, at a very basic level, are as good as your last meal.”

source: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/04/29/junk-food-metabolism.aspx

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I experienced this poor diet effect when I ate a meal high in unhealthy fats and sodium, one night when we went to see a movie last month before Christmas week in a theatre, where they serve food inside the auditorium. I thought to myself, it was only for one night, it would not hurt me, but it did. I felt so restless in bed and I had chest pains. I lost the calories I gained from it two days after I got back to eating my healthy homemade meals, but it surely proved that foods served in restaurants are not the best quality foods that your body definitely does not need. I can even tell now which restaurants we would go to and their foods will give me heartburn. Of course, after going twice, and it’s still doing the same result after I ate their food, there is something in their ingredients that do not agree with the human body’s digestion. For one thing, to gain profits, they serve you with the cheapest ingredients combine with trans fats and high in salt and hidden sugar, it’s a stomach catastrophe waiting to happen. Overtime, when you keep eating fast foods, you will develop all kinds of  maladies:  illness · sickness · disease · infection · ailment · disorder · complaint · indisposition · affliction · infirmity · syndrome · bug · virus – you name it!wp-1508636809959..jpg


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Food Shopping for health and wellness

Ever since I’ve modified my eating habits for the past few years, I’m always conscious of what to buy at the grocery stores.  I have gained knowledge into the type of foods that  would either make me healthy or will eventually cause diseases to propagate in my precious body. I’ve learned so much about organic foods and GMO laden produce and food products. It’s scary when you think about what’s out there bad to eat.

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When it comes to my health, I don’t want anymore to let food commercials dictate what I should eat. I was commercially sublimated during my younger years of busy and stress loaded life. When you’re young, you don’t think of food in terms of your health, but what would make you feel stuffed, glutted or engorged regardless of the bad consequences and that would satisfy your hunger pangs. Looking back, I had eaten quite loads of fast foods. They were delicious, for Pete’s sake! Ate in many restaurants, hole in the wall types, and some elegant ones. I let the chefs’ or cooks’ concoctions to rule my eating habits. It was fun while it lasted. As luck would have it, I was into workouts to save my life! Yes! You should see my collections of VHS and DVD workout tapes! I have tons! And I still have them, but now contemplating in donating them.

I lost some weights, maintained the weight loss, but eventually succumbed to gaining extra pounds. That’s when health problems surfaced. My blood pressure went up and I was not feeling so good anymore. This led me to research about the causes of high blood pressure and how to manage it naturally. I went through different types of high blood pressure meds and most had bad side effects. It was frustrating. My salvation: plant based foods! They are miracle foods. But then I’ve learned that not all plant based foods are created equal.

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Most grocery stores carry food produce that are laden with dangerous pesticides. Even the ones on the grocery shelves.DirtyDozens2 To top it off, most are GMO or genetically modified foods. They are foods genetically altered to look attractive to our eyes and genetically enhanced to have longer shelf life!GMO2

“The rise in autoimmune diseases, infertility, gastrointestinal problems and chronic diseases may be associated with the introduction of GM foods. In a position paper by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the authors ask all physicians to consider the role of GM foods in the nation’s health crisis, and advise their patients to avoid all GM foods whenever possible. The Academy also recommends a moratorium on GM seeds and calls for immediate independent safety testing and the labeling of all food items containing genetically modified products. As of 2010, the U.S. does not require food manufacturers to identify foodstuffs produced with genetically modified crops.”

How To Avoid GMOs
“The best way to avoid GMOs is to cook at home using certified organic ingredients. Organic foods, by law, are non-GMO. When buying produce such as corn, look for the PLU code on the label — if it begins with 9, it is organic.GMO4 If you use packaged or prepared foods, look for “USDA Certified Organic” on the label. Packaged foods that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients are not permitted to contain GMOs. Assume that all restaurants are serving GMOs. The vast majority of non-organic products sold in a conventional supermarket, including pet foods and baby foods, contain some form of GMO corn, soy or other ingredients.”

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/216714-dangers-of-gmo-foods/

I only have one body to live on and one life to live. But I have capabilities to control what I will eat. Screenshot_20171022-111922.jpgThis day and age, there are tremendous information at my beck and call to help gain knowledge on protecting my health.

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Today’s breakfast – organic cereal with 11 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein with some blackberries

I’m thankful and grateful for stores that are popping up and carrying organic and non GMO foods. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and now Aldi. Groceries near us are carrying organic produce and non GMO products. On the side of our world, we have HEB and Kroger and even 99 Ranch that dedicate organic food sections, or organic and non GMO products spread all over their food shelves. You just have to hunt and look for them. And because of the increase demands for organic and non-GMO products, the overall costs are moderately going down. Now that Amazon owns Whole Foods, I’ve seen organic pricing getting to the level, in some degree, with their conventional counterparts.

Screenshot_20171022-111733.jpgIt cost me such a lot of hours of research to get where I am with my health now. I am, more than ever, pays attention subsequently to what I require for myself to be able to give the necessary defense, to protect my body from the radical changes that poor eating habits entail. I promised myself to succeed.

 

 

 


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Too much cholesterol

foods-high-cholesterolAccording to WEBMD, our body through our liver produces 75 percent of cholesterol that circulate in our blood. A normal level of cholesterol plays an important part in helping our cells do their proper jobs in our body system. 25 percent of cholesterol comes from our food. Therefore, when we eat foods high in cholesterol more than our body needs; and we eat them everyday, it can cause damage deep within our body. We don’t feel any symptoms when our body carries too much cholesterol, but over our life span, it can lead to a build up of plaque inside the arteries and narrows the space available for blood flow and can trigger heart disease. It’s pretty scary!

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But there are ways to lower our body’s  cholesterol, thank goodness! First stop is to have our cholesterol level tested via blood testing at the doctor’s office. The results would show the levels of bad (LDL), good (HDL) and triglycerides.

 

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Since I started this blog and has kept my weight down with the help of plant based eating, I have lowered my blood pressure and my last cholesterol test showed a low level because of the plant based foods I’ve become accustomed to. My intake of meat, poultry and seafood becomes my side dishes. I’m still into smoothies, apples, oranges, grapefruit which I eat in the morning after drinking a glass of water. I still drink eight glasses of water. Most especially, I still keep track and weigh myself daily before I start my day. If I gain a pound or maybe two, I eat more plant based and lesser simple carbs and less protein and I still do intermittent fasting.  If I am mindful of what I eat daily, keeping the weight down is easier nowadays.

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Calorie Awareness

People nowadays can easily consume more than 2,000 calories in one seating. With the abundance of restaurants and fast food chains, a person can easily devour more than 4,000 calories from eating breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner in a day. If a person eat this much everyday, the weight gain is obvious. And if this person is not eating healthy, the person’s immune system would suffer and so does the rest of the person’s body organs and cells. Chronic diseases will follow suit.

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This worth of breakfast food is 2,100 calories, according to The Upshot article on What 2,000 calories look like.

Lunch

This lunch combination, or it can be for dinner,  is worth a whooping 2,670 calories.

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This delicious meal just by itself without a soda or side dish and bread is 2,370 calories.

And when we dine out, we totally disregard the need to eat veggies and fruits that have so much nutrients and what our immune system is craving for. So, when we eat restaurant entrée and fast food, our digestive system is working so hard. If we are lucky, our body may get some protein in the process, but mostly bad fat and bad carbs that would add up to our waistline because that is where the bad food we had eaten would end up, while our immune system starve to death.

Ever since I’ve started using food scale and have been journaling my food intake for a year now,  I’ve noticed that my stomach has adjusted to the reduced calories I’ve been consuming each day.  I’ve mostly consumed foods eaten at home which I prepare and cook. Occasionally my hubby and I would venture and eat out at Whole Food’s food court or buy the ready made lunch/dinners they sell, which is heat and eat. Mostly, they are nutritious and not so high in calories. We’ve dined out occasionally on special occasion and I would go back to eating less the following day.

I’ve read that the way to accomplish this effect is to train your body to get used to accommodating smaller meals. Your stomach will adjust to proportions suitable for the needs of the average quantity of food you’re used to taking in, in a single serving. Over time, eating smaller-portioned meals reduces the size your stomach is accustomed to inflating during mealtime.

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This is one of my measured food portion for lunch which consisted of Asparagus Risotto at 71 calories, a combo of wild Akeya rice and brown rice at 203 calories, baked chicken wings at 107 calories and 136 calories of Romaine and Avocado salad with cucumber and Siracha ranch dressing. The total calories for lunch that I have eaten was 517 calories. That day I had also consumed 301 calories of healthy breakfast cereal with strawberries mixed with plain Kefir. For snack I had an apple with peanut butter and some blackberries at 235 calories. For a year now, I’ve used smaller plates and bowls. For my drink, I always have 8 glasses of water consumed in a day, not counting my glass of Mineral Water I would drink for lunch almost everyday. Thankfully, Mineral Water is zero calories.

My total calories that day was 1,053.screenshot_2016-05-30-15-58-22.png

To maintain my weight, according to this plan, I have to eat 1,599 calories (for me this is a lot of calories)  and to lose weight, I have to eat less than 1,368 calories a day.

I can see now why I gained a lot of weight from dining out. I had eaten more than 1,599 calories. Knowledge is power definitely! Using a food scale now, it revealed to me that  it’s very easy to eat more than 2,000 calories or more in a day!

I’ve learned that veggies and fruits have lower calories. We can eat lots of veggies and fruits combined and it will not even make it to 2,000 calories. Amazing!

According to this article I’ve read, women who consume more fruit and vegetables have a healthier and more attractive glow than those who don’t, scientists have discovered.

Carotenoids – a type of pigment found in carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens and tomatoes, is credited with helping to protect against cancer.

People consuming diets rich in carotenoids are healthier and have lower death rate from a number of chronic illnesses.

The chemical can also work as antioxidants, aiding in the prevention of cancer.

A recent study showed that eating at least seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day was linked to a 42 per cent lower risk of death from all causes.

I’ve just read that: “A new study published in JAMA Oncology revealed four lifestyle choices that can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Staying away from smoking, keeping a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake and avoiding hormone therapies after menopause can lower your risk of getting breast cancer by 30 percent.”