Greatest GIFT

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


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Maintenance Monday

20171016_160157.jpgAfter the weekend, Monday is a good day to start getting the weight down to at least where I feel my weight loss effort is a success! Not that I gained some extra pounds since the last time I blogged my weight progress. At this stage of my conscious food mindfulness, I would say if I gained a pound or two, it’s quite easy to lose the unwanted pounds because it’s not much.

What is hard for me now is to lose that last 5 pounds. My body seems to not want to let go. Today, I started using again the small cups I’ve used when I started this weight loss journey. I have tons of those small cup sizes and I know I will not ran out. The challenge is how long will I be able to stick to the calorie counting. What’s nice is I do not have to weigh my food by using my food scale. The length of time that I’ve used it to lose 16 pounds, which is about 6 months, I’ve mastered the tedious food weighing technique.

I’ve gained 30 pounds through the years, and getting down to where I am now, was a 4 year struggle, and the hardest is eating less than my usual intake. It took me to so many researches and guides to healthy lifestyle changes. I’ve learned that the unwanted pounds I was carrying led me to borderline hypertension stage 1. I initially took the precaution of taking prescribed blood pressure medication but eventually it manifested some awful side effects. I was described different kinds, and the end result was the same. The pestering side effects; and I’m not about to take another medication to cure the side effects!

There must be a better way, and there was, a natural way to lowering and controlling the blood pressure from escalating. Losing weight and plant-based food – a Dash and Paleo lifestyle eating. I don’t think of it as a diet but a lifestyle overhaul. Adapting Intermittent  Fasting at the same time made weight loss a success. To this day, Intermittent Fasting for me is a way of life. Giving the digestive system a chance to rest has given my body to repair itself.

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Homemade cooking is the best way to lose weight and control what gets into my body. I’ve mostly used organic ingredients. Today I’ve made this dish – It’s a pastured raised ground veal. I cooked it with some white onions, garlic, 2 tablespoons of scallions and some green pepper with some lime juice. Stir fry them together, until meat is cooked.  I bought the veal at Whole Foods and it’s already pre-mixed with Taco seasoning which are all natural. It’s Gluten free, although I do not have a problem with gluten, and there’s no MSG added and no nitrates. It’s manufactured by Strauss free raised. It has natural spices, paprika salt, cottonseed oil. It would be good with organic tortilla, but it’s good with brown rice as well.

“Veal is enriched with vitamin B. This vitamin is essential for energy and healthy metabolism. Other than vitamin B, veal is a rich source of vitamin B-12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. People who consume beef on regular basis can easily switch to a smarter and healthy choice with veal. People living with a strict calorie regimen, still get a taste of life with veal as it delivers only 179 calories from a 3 ounce top round cut. There is no difference in the calorie segment for the people eating beef or any kind of other red meat.”  Source: http://benefitof.net/seven-secret-health-benefits-of-veal-they-do-not-want-you-to-know/

I don’t eat very much red meat. I try to vary my everyday homemade Protein menu: fish, seafood, poultry, some white meat, and once in a while steak. Everyday, we have our morning veggie and fruit smoothie; and our meal always have a veggie salad to the mix.

20171016_160411.jpgI’ve also made today Chayote with wild caught Shrimps from Whole Foods. I cooked it with onions, garlic and tomatoes and added some chicken broth and some salt (I use coarse Kosher) to taste. When the Chayote is well cooked, I added the Shrimps and cooked for about an additional 5 to 10 minutes and it was ready to serve. It was delicious! “Chayote is a gourd plant, eaten in similar fashion to the summer squash, cucumbers and melons. You can add raw chayote to salads or cook them in meat or vegetarian dishes. … Chayote can also help support weight loss efforts, as it is low in calories and fibrous. Furthermore, chayote is a rich source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, copper and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C. Another strong suit of this vegetable is its folate content, which is helpful for cell division and DNA synthesis.” Source: Mercola.com

20171016_160504.jpgIf I want some rice with the meal, I always make organic Brown Rice mixed with tri-color organic Quinoa. “Health benefits of brown rice include better functioning of cardiovascular system, digestive system, brain and nervous system. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants which provide relief from a range of ailments such as hypertension, unhealthy levels of cholesterol, stress, mental depression and skin disorders.” Source: Organic Facts  I only eat a cup of Brown Rice/Quinoa as it’s not low in calories. If I eat more, I will gain weight.

“Researchers attribute the health benefits of quinoa to its complete nutritional makeup. Quinoa is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Quinoa contains Iron. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.” Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html

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Keeping it real

Based on what I experienced in the past in regards to weight loss and maintenance is to always be updated with articles about getting fit. They may sound to me as the same advice, but another article might sound more specific and gives me inspiration to keep up with being fit. I’ve learned from past experience that when I let go and  stop paying attention about what I’ve read, I lost the desire to keep my weight down, and for all I know the weight crept up on me.img_20160530_172601.jpg

Before the internet swept us all up with all the high tech, the smart phones, and tremendous flow of articles about everything under the sun, including health advice and healthy nutrition, I was buying all kinds of fitness, nutrition and health magazines. I subscribed to some of them. It got pretty expensive and took up a lot of space that I am glad that I can just put the articles now on my favorites to read later.

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I do not have so much weight to lose, so I can be a little flexible, controlled eating 2 or 3 days and eat a little more on one particular day. I follow pretty much the article below that I’ve read recently. It’s good to have those days when some cravings get fulfilled .

Today, I ate what I’ve wanted and not worry of the extra intake, watched a favorite period drama series that my husband and I enjoy, but we still maintain having fruits and whole grains. I ate more than my share of peanuts, ate more of my lunch meal and I was pretty much happy. I still religiously follow intermittent fasting everyday. After each meal, I continuously drink water until I have about 8 to 9 glasses of water, and that would keep me full.

 

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It’s true that a good night sleep would prevent me from overeating. So I make it a habit to sleep at the same time each night to help me dose off quickly and restfully.

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Whether you’ve recently lost a bunch of weight, you’re heading out on a vacation, or a big holiday of eating is coming up, preventing weight gain is easier than you think. Aside from no-brainers like drinking a lot of water and not eating an entire cake every day, keep these tips in mind, and you won’t have to worry about the scale numbers creeping up.

Save yoga pants for yoga

Wearing leggings when you’re not down dogging is comfy, yes, but a bad habit to get into. The stretchy fabric and elastic waistband are so forgiving that you’ll have no idea if your waist is expanding. Save the spandex for your workouts and opt for something more structured like a pair of jeans or a fitted dress so you can keep tabs on your waistline.

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Fiber, and more of it    

Fiber has the ability to fill you up for hours. Include at least eight grams at every meal and three to four at every snack to help you reach a goal of 25 to 30 grams a day. Nosh on fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds and you’ll have no problem getting your fill.

30 minutes, at least

Get in the habit of moving daily. Aim for at least a half hour, with four to five days devoted to more rigorous or longer workouts, and two to three days a more moderate workout like walking, hiking, or stretching. Be sure to include strength training with weights since building muscle helps you burn calories faster. If you don’t have time, studies show that even 15 minutes proves beneficial.

Make one meal of the day a big, huge salad to fill up on fiber without a ton of calories. Include a variety of greens and fresh veggies in your salad along with a low-fat protein source like beans or marinated tofu, add cooked whole grains to make it even more filling, plus avocado or sunflower seeds to add healthy fats. Ensure you eat one salad every day by making a week’s worth all at once.

Chocolate, alcohol, or french fries

Cravings only grow stronger with time, so keep them at bay by giving in to them! Indulging a little every day will settle those cravings, so you can move on and stay committed to your healthy diet. The key, though, is to enjoy a small taste and to be done. Don’t let a little indulging turn into a week of eating whatever you want.

Research shows those who are sleep-deprived tend to eat hundreds of calories more, not just because they’re awake longer, but because sleep affects levels of hunger-regulating hormones.

Feeling tired makes you more likely to reach for sugary pick-me-ups. Get to bed at the same time every night (even on weekends), and set your alarm for the next day, making sure to get between seven and nine hours of sleep.

As a bonus, the extra energy will allow you to hit your a.m. workout with intensity, instead of hitting the snooze button and skipping out.

derived from:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/weightloss/6-things-you-can-do-every-day-to-prevent-weight-gain/ar-AAh3hv8?ocid=spartandhp#page=1

 

 

 


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New development on blood pressure numbers

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Two days ago, I went to see my primary doctor for a 6 months checkup and refill of my blood pressure medication. I’ve been trying to stop taking it for the sole reason that I want to lower my blood pressure naturally. However, my blood pressure the past days for my systolic seemed to be elevated and I was trying to figure out if it was because I stopped taking my BP med. My systolic reading was around 138 to 140 in the morning. And I thought it was high, as I was getting systolic readings of 126, 127, 130 to 134 before I stopped taking my BP med.

I was running out of my med, so I’ve decided to see my doctor. He was glad that I maintained my weight. I told him that the chest pain I was having before was completely gone after I stopped drinking anything with caffeine, especially coffee and tea. My doctor said that I’m having a bad reaction to it. I referred to the pain as angina and he told me that I should not use that word as I do not have it. It is a heart disease and other doctors may misunderstand me.

My doctor conveyed to me that there were some research studies done about blood pressure measurements that was discussed at the doctors convention he attended. I knew pretty much what he was going to tell me as I’ve read these reports online. In my case, since I do not have other health issues or chronic conditions, the 3 months worth of BP readings I shared with him via my daily log were great. He told me not to worry so much of my blood pressure even if my systolic goes up to 150 from time to time. He believes I should keep taking my low dose of BP med and we will take it from there. He knows that I’ve changed my diet and started eating more veggies and fruits and that I am proactive in regards to my health. April2016

I was ecstatic! Finally, a conventional doctor I’m seeing is accepting the change of times in the medical field. There’s hope for conventional doctors. High blood pressure is a serious condition and millions of people in the world have them and they do not know that they are walking time bombs as HBP is a silent killer that lead to massive heart attack or stroke.

One of the reports I’ve read about the changes on blood pressure measurement, I copied and posted below to remind myself and this great news. The link to the website where I gathered the information from, I’ve attached and posted here.

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“Whom does this study affect?

SPRINT focused on a specific group of people with hypertension: those 50 and older with at least one other chronic condition, such as heart disease or kidney disease (both of which raise heart attack and stroke risks), and those 75 and older. Of every six people with high blood pressure, only about one of them is in such a high-risk group.

If you are in that group, talk with your doctor about whether lowering your systolic blood pressure to 120 is worth the risk, says Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist at Yale University. If you’re not in that group, based on these new findings, you may not need to aim for such a low number.

Also talk with your doctor about making lifestyle changes that can help reduce blood pressure. Those are especially important for people like those in the group studied in SPRINT.

For the rest of us . . .ReduceBloodPressurerightaway5

If you’re not in one of the previously mentioned high-risk categories, what should your blood pressure be? Consumer Reports’ medical experts consider 150/90 a reasonable goal for most people age 60 to 75 who don’t have other risk factors. They suggest a goal of 140/90 for people younger than 60, those with diabetes and those younger than 50 with chronic kidney disease.

Those numbers are based on recommendations from an independent expert panel convened by the NHLBI. The panel noted that achieving levels below 140/90 can require additional blood pressure drugs or high doses. That increases the risk of the previously mentioned side effects and — depending on the drugs — problems such as persistent coughing, erectile dysfunction and frequent urination.

But be sure of your numbers.

Uncertain about your blood pressure? Get it measured, even if you think it’s fine. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that everyone 18 and older be screened for hypertension. Having high blood pressure generally causes no obvious symptoms, so an estimated one-fifth of American adults with the problem don’t know they have it.

Surprisingly, the most accurate way to measure your blood pressure is not at your doctor’s office. Up to 30 percent of people receive an incorrect diagnosis of high blood pressure, often because their blood pressure is normal at home but spikes in a doctor’s office, perhaps because of anxiety. Blood pressure can also fluctuate depending on such factors as sitting position, bladder fullness and placement of the monitor’s cuff.

The gold standard for measuring blood pressure — a method known as ambulatory monitoring — involves wearing a small, doctor-prescribed device that records your blood pressure at frequent intervals over 24 hours. But that monitoring isn’t widely available, and insurance might not cover the cost. A good alternative, the task force says, is a home blood pressure monitor. Record levels once in the morning and once in the evening for a week.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/its-important-to-get-high-blood-pressure-under-control-but-how-low-should-it-go/2016/04/21/9193efe8-b3bc-11e5-9388-466021d971de_story.html

http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20131218/new-blood-pressure-guidelines-raise-the-bar-for-taking-medications


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Health and Intermittent Fasting

screenshot_2016-01-09-09-38-07-1.pngCancer Awareness is a thing of the past. The people who started this movement was just in for the money, how much you can donate to be aware of the vicious disease that is cancer. What we all need to know now is how to prevent it, to not be part of the million numbers who survived or got killed by it. How can we not be aware of cancer when what we’ve been reading now is people dying of it. It’s in the papers and all over the internet.

I’ve started with Intermittent fasting to lose and maintain my weight.img1458758819217.png I have been doing it for months and I’m so used to it that I don’t get hungry anymore during my daily fasting hours. To lose weight, it’s just a matter of how much calories I would eat on the hours I allotted for eating which is breakfast and lunch. To maintain is eating the same amount of calories. To be successful with it, I have to eat what my immune system or my microbiome or gut community would love to eat so they could make my system work properly in absorbing the food I feed them. I’ve stayed with eating lots of raw organic veggies, some organic whole grain, organic and grass fed beef and wild caught fish and seafood. I’ve added a teaspoon of coconut oil to my morning smoothie blend which I have not done in the beginning of my weight loss journey last May of 2015. I’m eating it sparingly as it is a saturated fat, but a good feed for the brain. I’ve used good fats like avocado oil for cooking, and extra virgin oil for my salads. Flax seeds and hemp seeds are my favored seeds to blend with my smoothie and salads.screenshot_2016-04-23-17-33-09-1.png

Fasting and Prevention

“For those trying to keep cancer at bay, intermittent fasting may improve your sensitivity to insulin and reduce your insulin resistance, which has been linked to several types of cancers. There’s also some evidence that fasting induces your body’s cells to begin the process of autophagy – including neuronal and general autophagy – to clean up cellular “garbage.”

While the scientific evidence on cancer prevention is still premature – and keep in mind the majority of clinical studies have been in animals, not humans – nevertheless there is some exciting evidence showing the potential!” http://www.hope4cancer.com/information/healing-cancer-on-time-how-intermittent-fasting-may-help.html

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the heatopoietic system. When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged.  What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. ” – Valter Longo, corresponding author. (1)

“Again, because fasting significantly lowers white blood cell counts, this triggers stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.  More importantly, it reduces the PKA enzyme, which has been linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer.(1) It’s also noteworthy to mention that fasting protected against toxicity in a pilot clinical trial where patients fasted for 72 hours prior to chemotherapy.” http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/06/22/scientists-discover-that-fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regeneration-fights-cancer/

 


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You are what you eat!

Cancer is now a worldwide threat and it seems  people from all walks of life get it. Being aware of this disease is well and good, but the most important thing is how to prevent it at all costs. There are ways to not let cancer cells take the reign over our immune system and overtaking our good cells.HealthagainsIlness2

Top Cancer Prevention Strategies

I believe you can virtually eliminate your risk of cancer and chronic disease and significantly improve your chances of recovering from cancer if you currently have it, by following these relatively simple strategies.

    1. Eat REAL Food: Seek to eliminate all processed food in your diet. Eat at least one-third of your food raw. Avoid frying or charbroiling; boil, poach or steam your foods instead. Consider adding cancer-fighting whole foods, herbs, spices and supplements to your diet, such as broccoli sprouts, curcumin and resveratrol.
    2. Carbohydrates and Sugar: Sugar/fructose and grain-based foods from your diet need to be reduced and eventually eliminated. This applies to whole unprocessed organic grains as well, as they tend to rapidly break down and drive up your insulin level.

The evidence is quite clear that if you want to avoid cancer, or you currently have cancer, you absolutely MUST avoid all forms of sugar, especially fructose, which are dirty fuels generating excessive free radicals and secondary mitochondrial damage.

    1. Protein and Fat: Consider reducing your protein levels to 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of lean body mass, or one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. Replace excess protein with high-quality fats, such as organic eggs from pastured hens, high-quality grass-fed meats, raw pastured butter, avocados, pecans, macadamias, and coconut oil.
    2. GMOs: Avoid genetically engineered foods as they are typically treated with herbicides such as Roundup (glyphosate), and are likely to be carcinogenic and contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction. Choose fresh, organic, and preferably locally grown foods.
    3. Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats: Normalize your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats by consuming anchovies, sardines, wild Alaskan salmon or taking a high-quality krill oil and reducing your intake of processed vegetable oils.
    4. Optimize Your Gut Flora: This will reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune response. Researchers have found a microbe-dependent mechanism through which some cancers mount an inflammatory response that fuels their development and growth.

They suggest that inhibiting inflammatory cytokines might slow cancer progression and improve the response to chemotherapy. Fermented foods are especially beneficial for gut health, and the fermentation process involved in creating sauerkraut produces cancer-fighting compounds such as isothiocyanates, indoles and sulforaphane.

    1. Exercise and Move More: Sit less, move around more and try to take 10,000 steps a day.  Exercise also lowers insulin levels, which creates a low-sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells. In a three-month study, exercise was found to alter immune cells into a more potent disease-fighting form in cancer survivors who had just completed chemotherapy.

Researchers and cancer organizations increasingly recommend making regular exercise a priority in order to reduce your risk of cancer and help improve cancer outcomes. Exercise may also help trigger apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells. Ideally, your exercise program should include balance, strength, flexibility, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). For help getting started, refer to my Peak Fitness Program.

    1. Vitamin D: There is scientific evidence you can decrease your risk of cancer by more than half simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with appropriate sun exposure. Your serum level should hold steady at 50 to 70 ng/ml, but if you are being treated for cancer, it should be closer to 80 to 90 ng/ml for optimal benefit.

If you take oral vitamin D and have cancer, it would be very prudent to monitor your vitamin D blood levels regularly, as well as supplementing with vitamin K2, as K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity.

  1. Sleep: Make sure you are getting enough restorative sleep. Poor sleep can interfere with your melatonin production, which is associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance and weight gain, both of which contribute to cancer’s virility.
  2. Exposure to Toxins: Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, herbicides, household chemical cleaners, plastics chemicals, synthetic air fresheners and toxic cosmetics.
  3. Exposure to Radiation: Limit your exposure and protect yourself from radiation produced by cell phones, towers, base stations, and Wi-Fi stations, as well as minimizing your exposure from radiation-based medical scans, including dental x-rays, CT scans, and mammograms.
  4. Stress Management: Stress from all causes is a major contributor to disease. It is likely that stress and unresolved emotional issues may be more important than the physical ones, so make sure this is addressed. My favorite tool for resolving emotional challenges is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

HealthagainsIlness

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/04/09/atrocious-state-cancer-treatment.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20160409Z1&et_cid=DM102212&et_rid=1437307434


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Coffee, my heart’s enemy!

Change is afoot! I cannot drink coffee, and though I love the taste and smell of it, hands down, I cannot have it! I have to give up even the decaffeinated ones. Since 97% of caffeine has been removed, the remaining 3% still create havocs to my heart and angina sets in until my body eliminates the coffee out of my system.coffee

It’s actually the caffeine that my heart is allergic to and it reacts on caffeine’s entrance in my body’s bloodstream. Even tea is my heart’s enemy because of the caffeine. I’ve come to a conclusion that anything with caffeine added to food, my heart will pitter patter and starts crying out loud! It surely gives me quite a fright. Thank goodness, my heart is in good condition according to my cardiologist.

“The reason for the angina: Vasoconstriction, it is the narrowing of blood vessels. When vasoconstriction occurs, blood flow is slowed down or partially blocked. It can occur in response to psychological conditions or drugs, such as decongestants, pseudoephedrine or caffeine.”

“By limiting your caffeine intake, you may be able to avoid vasoconstriction and decreased blood flow in the brain. The study published in “Human Brain Mapping” found that those who consumed high levels of caffeine had less cerebral blood flow, when compared to low and moderate caffeine users. In the study, 45 milligrams per day was considered low dosage, 405 milligrams per day was considered moderate and 950 milligrams per day was considered a high level of caffeine.”

Excerpts from:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/395736-does-caffeine-constrict-blood-vessels/

I had never been in the habit of drinking coffee like other coffee lovers do. I never did. I’d have a cup once in a while in my younger years, but it was never an ongoing leisure. I drink it then only to perk me up in the morning on the way to work, if I did not get a good sleep the previous night. The desire to be constantly metabolized, in short, energized by coffee everyday was never my thing. Therefore, I did not know then that my heart reacts to caffeine except when I was taking diet pills moons ago. Caffeine is one of the ingredients in diet pills. I definitely did not put two and two together.

Not until I’ve gotten the luxury to be able to stay home. My hubby loves coffee and the coffee aroma got me entangled with the idea of a cup of joe in the morning would be a welcome change. Three days with coffee gave a sudden chest pain. I’d stop drinking it and the pain would go away. Unbeknownst to me, the caffeine raised my blood pressure, too.

As of late, I’ve given coffee a last try by trying some decaf. It didn’t do no good to my heart either especially if I have it every morning, even in small amount. It was alright if I only have it once in a blue moon. But no chance everyday. Coffee is acidic and an acidic body can cause inflammation and increases the chance of diseases thriving in our bodies.

Pros and Cons of coffee ~~ According to this website,

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/7-coffee-pros-cons.html

The goods on coffee are: Can reduce the risk of diabetes, fights free radicals, improves memory and cognition.

The negative effects of coffee: can increase Osteoporosis, can cause wrinkles, weight gain, conventional coffee is laden with pesticides.

On this website: http://www.healthassist.net/blog/general/pros-and-cons-of-coffee/

The site particularly discussed about heart disease as part of the negative effects of drinking coffee and high blood pressure. If I continue drinking coffee, regular or decaf, there’s a possibility that my heart may give up on me  due to high blood pressure, which is another side effect of coffee drinking. “Recent Italian study found that coffee drinking can slightly increase the risk for development of sustained hypertension in persons with elevated blood pressure.”

I guess coffee is no longer in my future. As much as I love the smell and aroma of newly brewed coffee, I have to think of the many cons associated with getting addicted to it.

Goodbye coffee, it’s been nice knowing you at Starbucks, especially. coffee2And I am no longer a fan of Starbucks for years now. Talking about pesticides and toxins in their coffee!

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More Sunny Days

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The weather is changing and I can feel the change in my mood and body. I am getting more motivated to do some light workouts nowadays. My diet remains the same as usual, the green smoothies seem to be as perfect to have than winter time. Though, I kept up with preparing it almost everyday during winter. Best of all, I’ve maintained my weight! Intermittent fasting is still a way of life, which I am so used to now.

However, Springtime is surely happy days. The sun always keeps me in a better mood. It indulges me to have a much better outlook. screenshot_2016-03-31-22-41-43-1.png

The time change this month had screwed up my sleeping habit and it’s only recently that my circadian rhythm finally is back to normal and I’m able to establish my inner clock to work in my favor again with regards to a restful sleep.

According to Dr. Mercola:

“A number of studies indicate that springing ahead to Daylight Saving Time (DST) may be hazardous to your health. Although the one-hour time change may seem minor, when it comes to your body’s internal clock, it actually is a big deal.

The latest study suggests turning your clock ahead for DST may set the stage for a small increased risk of heart attack the following day.1

The findings were published in the March 2013 edition of the American Journal of Cardiology.2 The study showed a small rise in heart attack rates the Sunday following the shift to DST, the Saturday night when you lose an hour.

However, the study showed a small tick downward the Sunday following the change back to standard time, when you gain an hour. Given that heart attacks appear to increase following the shorter night, it is reasonable that sleep deprivation may be to blame.

There are numerous studies showing the adverse health effects of sleep deprivation. But the studies involving one-hour time changes point to just how sensitive your body is to seemingly insignificant changes in your diurnal rhythms.

The lead researcher of the featured study speculates that a more significant result may be found with a larger sample size—the population in this study was quite small. When you consider these results in light of prior studies, the issue becomes more of a concern.”

Reading this made me realize that I had a lot more sleepless nights during the week after the time change or Spring Forward. When I can have a good and restful sleep, I can feel the goodness it brings to my mood and my body temperament. My blood pressure reading is good. I just wish that whoever is responsible for these time changes will stop changing the time. If I can choose, I want it to just stay on daylight saving time.

 


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A Question Remains

I recently received a sad news that one of my relatives died suddenly without a warning sign. Just like that, he was gone. In pictures he recently posted, he seemed fit as a fiddle. I saw some tinge of sleep deprivation or lack of good sleep in the current and casual photo shoots, but I could be wrong. He was young, seemed full of life and maybe had great ambition.

It was a puzzle to me and everyone that knew him of his passing at 39 years old, with no serious known illness. He did not make it alive to the hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival and diagnosed that he suffered a mild stroke.

I was told that he went to bed with a full stomach. Just right after he ate a big dinner, he went to sleep, physically tired from a day’s work. In the middle of the night, his wife awaken from his loud snore. She tried to wake him up but he did not respond. They rushed him to the hospital but it was too late.

So many things came to my mind of what might have happened to him from the time he went to bed and got into a deeper sleep.

  • He slept with a full stomach 

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According to Livestrong.com

When you go to sleep or go into a reclining position, gravity no longer pulls everything in your abdomen straight down. If you have a full stomach, this can cause acid reflux, potentially resulting in long-term damage to your esophagus. If you have digestive problems when you lie down after going to sleep, you should talk to your doctor and consider making changes to your lifestyle.

Stomach Digestion   Wordmedref_picture_of_stomach_revised

When you eat food, your stomach churns to help mix the food with gastric acid and break it down. The top of your stomach is lined with a ring of muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle prevents the contents of your stomach from traveling up into your esophagus. However, when partially digested food presses up against the lower esophageal sphincter, it can relax. When you have a full stomach and lie down, more food can press against the sphincter, allowing the contents of your stomach to re-enter your esophagus.

Stomach Acid Problems

Lying down on a full stomach can cause significant discomfort, but it can also lead to serious health problems. If the lining of your esophagus is regularly burned by stomach acid, your esophageal cells will gradually change, resulting in a phenomenon known as Barrett’s esophagus. This increases your risk of developing esophageal cancer. Chronic acid reflux can also cause your esophagus to narrow or develop open sores.

  • He was snoring loud enough to disrupt his wife’s sleep     

Sleep-Apnea

According to MayoClinic.Org

Normal snoring, called primary snoring, is harmless to the snorer although annoying to anyone who sleeps with that person.

Sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep can lead to further throat relaxation.

  • Sleep position. Snoring is typically most frequent and loudest when sleeping on the back as gravity’s effect on the throat narrows the airway.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring may also be associated with obstructive sleep apnea. In this serious condition, your throat tissues partially or completely block your airway, preventing you from breathing. Sleep-Apnea2
  •  

    Risk factors that may contribute to snoring include:

    • Being a man. Men are more likely to snore or have sleep apnea than are women.
    • Being overweight. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to snore or have obstructive sleep apnea.
    • Having a narrow airway. Some people may have a long soft palate, or large tonsils or adenoids, which can narrow the airway and cause snoring.
    • Drinking alcohol. Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, increasing the risk of snoring.
    • Having nasal problems. If you have a structural defect in your airway, such as a deviated septum, or your nose is chronically congested, your risk of snoring is greater.
    • Having a family history of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea 

    Habitual snoring may be more than just a nuisance. Aside from disrupting a bed partner’s sleep, if snoring is caused by obstructive sleep apnea, you may be at risk for other complications, including:

    • Daytime sleepiness
    • Frequent frustration or anger
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • A greater risk of high blood pressure, heart conditions and stroke
    • An increased risk of behavior problems, such as aggression or learning problems, in children with obstructive sleep apnea
    • An increased risk of motor vehicle accidents due to lack of sleep

    I was told that the deceased was not a smoker nor was an alcohol drinker and mostly was not doing drugs.  Narrowing it down, he was a man, may have a narrow airway, had a nasal problems or might have a family history of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a serious condition if not treated. His diagnose was he had a mild stroke. Obstructive sleep apnea, that he might unknowingly was suffering from, had block his airway during deep sleep and he was unable to breathe which caused a mild stroke as the air to the brain was constricted which caused the mild stroke. WordBrain

    WordStrokeBrain2

    I don’t know the distance from their home to the hospital, but if he got medical help sooner than later, he would still be alive as it was a mild stroke. Our neighbor, who suffered from mild stroke, is well and back on her feet. Our emergency hospitals here, which we have quite a few, are about ten to maybe fifteen minutes away. She’s a lot older than my nephew and thank God, she survived. Hers was mostly stress related. WordStrokeBrain

     

     

    Whether these were the causes of my nephew’s untimely death, it was very sad that he was gone. I feel for his mother and siblings, especially his wife left with five young kids to take care of.

    There are no permanent things in life. Life is so precious and being knowledgeable about how our body works is a must.

     


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    Natural Human Growth Hormone

    1Winter2016BeigeJacket

    With this update, my current weight is 104.2, which I was able to maintain last holiday season due mainly to intermittent fasting. I’ve eaten more than usual during Christmas and New Year. But because of intermittent fasting, I was able to keep my weight down. I’ve gained a pound, but after the New Year, I’ve easily lost a pound and back with my usual calorie control healthy lifestyle.

    I believe intermittent fasting is one of the most powerful interventions out there if you’re struggling with your weight and related health issues. One of the primary reasons for this is because it helps shift your body from burning sugar/carbs to burning fat as its primary fuel.

    via Dr. Mercola

    Breaking Down Fat

    When you are not eating, your body is not absorbing food. If your body is not absorbing food, there is little insulin in the blood. However, your body is always using energy; and if you’re not absorbing food, this energy must come from internal stores of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Under these conditions, various organs in your body secrete hormones:

    • pancreas – glucagon
    • pituitary gland – growth hormone
    • pituitary gland – ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone)
    • adrenal gland – epinephrine (adrenaline)
    • thyroid gland – thyroid hormone

    These hormones act on cells of the liver, muscle and fat tissue, and have the opposite effects of insulin.

    When you are not eating, or you are exercising, your body must draw on its internal energy stores. Your body’s prime source of energy is glucose. In fact, some cells in your body, such as brain cells, can get energy only from glucose.

    The first line of defense in maintaining energy is to break down carbohydrates, or glycogen, into simple glucose molecules — this process is called glycogenolysis. Next, your body breaks down fats into glycerol and fatty acids in the process of lipolysis. The fatty acids can then be broken down directly to get energy, or can be used to make glucose through a multi-step process called gluconeogenesis. In gluconeogenesis, amino acids can also be used to make glucose.

    In the fat cell, other types of lipases work to break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol. These lipases are activated by various hormones, such as glucagon, epinephrine and growth hormone. The resulting glycerol and fatty acids are released into the blood, and travel to the liver through the bloodstream. Once in the liver, the glycerol and fatty acids can be either further broken down or used to make glucose

    Human growth hormone (HGH) plays a vital role is staying young, long after you’ve finished growing. HGH is a product of the pituitary gland, the master gland of the body. As the name implies, it promotes linear growth in children and adolescents. After the body stops growing taller, levels of HGH decline and often become very low in adult life.
    Growth hormone helps burn fat, build muscle and fasting triggers the “growth hormone response”, which prevents you from losing muscle while you fast. Since your muscle is largely responsible for your metabolism, growth hormone also plays a large part
    in keeping your metabolism elevated while you are fasting.

     Naturally Increased Growth Hormone

    ) When you sleep
    2) When you are in a fasted state

    Natural HGH Booster #3: A Sleep Mask

    You release the most growth hormone while you sleep. Use a sleep mask to block out light, allowing melatonin, the sleep hormone, to surge, and get a deeper, more restorative sleep.

    Scientific studies show fasting and intermittent fasting promote weight loss and burn belly fat, but have other important anti-aging health benefits, such as protecting the brain from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, the Huffington Post reported.

    Researchers say fasting and intermittent fasting keeps the brain from shrinking and protects it from stress. Fasting as little as eight days a year could have significant health benefits, even for older people and cancer patients.

    Research conducted at the USC Davis School of Gerontology indicates that fasting for two to four days at a time can regenerate your entire immune system — especially for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

    “When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it does is recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” said study author Dr. Valter Longo, a professor of gerontology.

    Longo said fasting can be especially beneficial for older people (whose immune systems become damaged with age) and for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. “If you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system,” he said.

    Boosts Human Growth Hormone 2,000%

    Previous research from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Utah indicates periodic fasting dramatically increases human growth hormone. In a recent study, men who fasted for 24 hours experienced a 2,000% spike in HGH, while women saw a 1,300% increase. Studies show fasting stabilizes blood sugar and improves cholesterol.

    Fasting for an entire day or two at a time can be difficult for most people, but you can reap the anti-aging and weight loss benefits of calorie restriction through intermittent fasting, which calls for alternating days of feeding and fasting.

    Intermittent fasting can slow down aging by limiting the oxidative and metabolic stresses that damage cells, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    According to research by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), intermittent fasting is better than conventional dieting for fueling weight loss, improving brain health, and maintaining lean muscle mass. “Just as exercise makes muscles stronger, fasting makes the brain stronger,” said Dr. Mark Mattson, chief of the NIA’s neurosciences lab.

    What’s more, this pattern of intermittent fasting helped the animals maintain their lean muscle mass even as they aged — the exact opposite of what happens to both animals and people as they get older.

    Hugh Jackman Credits IF For Buff Wolverine Body

    Similar experiments conducted on humans (alternating between days of normal eating and calorie restriction) showed the same effects. Dr. Mattson said fasting for short periods of time like 16 to 24 hours induces a state of stress in the body, which responds by releasing neurotrophic proteins that stimulate neurons and other cells.

    Actor Hugh Jackman recently credited intermittent fasting for helping him achieve his rippling Wolverine body. Jackman, 45, said IF also gave him more energy and improved his sleep.

    Hugh’s 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol involves doing all his eating for the day during an eight-hour window and then not eating at all (except for water) for 16 hours. Jackman typically consumes all his calories between 10 am and 6 pm. It’s an eating plan he follows even when he’s not training for a role.

    (Marcola) I view intermittent fasting as a lifestyle, not a diet, and that includes making healthy food choices whenever you do eat. Also, proper nutrition becomes even more important when fasting, so you really want to address your food choices before you try fasting.

    This includes minimizing carbs and replacing them with healthful fats, like coconut oil, olive oil, olives, butter, eggs, avocados, and nuts. It typically takes several weeks to shift to fat burning mode, but once you do, your cravings for unhealthy foods and carbs will automatically disappear. This is because you’re now actually able to burn your stored fat and don’t have to rely on new fast-burning carbs for fuel. Unfortunately, despite mounting evidence, many health practitioners are still reluctant to prescribe fasting to their patients


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    White Coat and White Bloat Syndrome

    I saw my cardiologist yesterday for my six months check up. The medical assistant was amazed that I’ve lost weight. She told me that my weight was 126 in May 2015. I told her that I was 121 that day she weigh me in. She said that different scale has different results. I was very surprised with her response because she did not point out that everything from my clothes to my shoes add up to the weight reading on the scale. I mentioned that to her and told her that when I weigh myself in the morning, I don’t have any clothes on to get my correct weight. Whitebloatsyndrome

    Yesterday, I had to remove my sweater and my sandals so that at least my weight at the doctor’s office is not way too off from my weight in the morning. Being my appointment was in the afternoon, I had already eaten and had drank some water already. At least, the difference in my weight was about 4 pounds. The doctor’s office scale indicated I was 109 pounds, while my morning weigh in was 105.6 pounds.

    I’ve realized, too, that when they take my blood pressure at my cardiologist office, my blood pressure was way too high. Yesterday my BP reading was 200/80. WhiteCoatHypertension5That was too high and inaccurate. The medical assistant and the doctor said that I may have a white coat hypertension. When I think about it now, I may surely be suffering with that kind of hypertension, but only at the cardiologist office. Another medical assistant took another reading and the systolic level went down to 168 which was still high. At my regular doctor, I never get that kind of very high blood pressure reading.WhiteCoatHypertension4

    According to Wikipedia:

    White coat hypertension, more commonly known as white coat syndrome, is a phenomenon in which patients exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range, in a clinical setting, though they don’t exhibit it in other settings. It is believed that the phenomenon is due to anxiety that those afflicted experience, during a clinic visit.

    The patient’s daytime ambulatory blood pressure is used as a reference as it takes into account ordinary levels of daily stress. Many problems have been incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of white coat hypertension.

    The term “masked hypertension” can be used to describe the contrasting phenomenon, where a patient’s blood pressure is above the normal range during daily living, although it isn’t above the normal range when the patient is in a clinic setting.

    Diagnosis

    In studies, white coat hypertension can be defined as the presence of a defined hypertensive average blood pressure in a clinic setting, although it isn’t present when the patient is in other settings. Diagnosis is made difficult as a result of the unreliable measures taken from the conventional methods of detection. These methods often involve an interface with health care professionals and frequently results are tarnished by a list of factors including variability in the individual’s blood pressure, technical inaccuracies, anxiety of the patient, recent ingestion of pressor substances, and talking, amongst many other factors. The most common measure of blood pressure is taken from a noninvasive instrument called a sphygmomanometer. “A survey showed that 96% of primary care physicians habitually use a cuff size too small,” adding to the difficulty in making an informed diagnosis. For such reasons, white coat hypertension cannot be diagnosed with a standard clinical visit. It can be reduced (but not eliminated) with automated blood pressure measurements over 15 to 20 minutes in a quiet part of the office or clinic.WhiteCoatHypertension6

    Mayo Clinic explanation of white coat hypertension here at:

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/white-coat-hypertension/FAQ-20057792

    There must be something that is stressing me out every time I see my cardiologist. Thank goodness that I have a daily log of my blood pressure readings and my daily weight that I can show to my GP and my cardiologist for the correct BP readings at home. It’s frustrating because now doctors can email their patients their medical records and the patients will see what they have recorded at their end. I hate to say it, they are mostly wrong information and limited in scope. Mine showed a wrong height, wrong BP reading info and seem that it did not show what my cardiologist and I had conversed about my health progress.

    He asked me what did I do to lose weight. I explained what regimen I have done which I have posted here on my blog. He seemed to be writing down the information. And he agreed that diet and the type of foods I have eaten in the past months helped me tremendously. He also concurred that blood pressure goes down when a person loses weight. He repeated that my heart is in good shape, very healthy according to the echocardiogram and the nuclear tests in May 2015; and he added that the pain I might have experienced in the past was probably gas from indigestion, which made sense. He commended me for taking a proactive role with my health.

    There were minor findings from my nuclear test that he needs to monitor, so he wanted to see me in six months for another echocardiogram. I guess I only suffer white coat syndrome at the cardiologist office and not with my Primary Care Physician or come to think of it, if they don’t ask me to take a test or two for preventive care. I think I may have to pass this up next time they told me I’m due for a preventive assessment review.

    Maybe because my cardiologist and his office are not in sync with my current health updates, I guess I feel frustrated and it is stressing me out in the back of my mind. Especially, when I viewed my current medical record with them yesterday. It looked like nothing has changed in my condition except my weight. I guess they do not have time to build a relationship with their patients being pretty busy with other patients. I guess I might just have to take this whole thing with a grain of salt.wpid-screenshot_2015-08-07-20-37-20-1.png

    My overall health is really in my hands. I cannot depend on conventional doctors to take care of my health. I have to accept the facts that their medical records about me would be erroneous because no one really pay attention on correcting them and they based things on what their medical instruments tell them whether it’s wrong or not. I just have to leave it at that.  I have to take care of myself by continuously being proactive with my healthy eating habitsasparagus, reading articles about health from functional and alternative doctors and learn from them. If I keep on eating the right foods wpid-screenshot_2015-08-28-07-30-36-1.pngand eating less and do my daily intermittent fasting, intermittentfastingstaying away from most of the processed foods, drinking water, have a good night sleep schedule; my conventional doctors would just be saying on the back of their heads: “there goes my business!” Just leave them in wonderment. Really, when you’re ill and naïve about your health and uneducated, it’s easy for  conventional doctors to whip up any kind of diagnosis. It’s really trial and errors with them because they don’t really know you and your body personally.wpid-screenshot_2015-08-04-15-07-28-1.png

    http://www.ehow.com/how_5013527_avoid-white-coat-syndrome.html

    According to ehow.com, there’s a way to avoid White Coat Syndrome:

    • From the evening before you go to the doctor, stop drinking water. If you have less water, you will have lower blood pressure. The only reason you’re not drinking water is so you can have a few uneventful doctor’s visits without the high blood pressure speech. If you do this, make sure you test yourself so you know you don’t have high blood pressure.
    • On the way to the doctor, listen to pleasant music. Smile. Enjoy life. Drive slowly. Do everything to be relaxed on the way to the doctor. Ignore the stresses of your life. Do not think or worry about white coat syndrome. What’s on your mind can have a huge effect on blood pressure, so it’s best to be relaxed as much as possible.
    • Walk slowly into the doctor’s office. Excessive physical exertion will raise blood pressure.
    • Stay relaxed the whole time at the doctor. Meditate. Smile at the world. Close your eyes. If you have somebody with you, fall asleep while you wait, which will make you very relaxed and lower blood pressure
    • After you get a normal blood pressure reading and avoided the high blood pressure speech, congratulate yourself on a job well done. You’ve conquered White Coat Syndrome on this visit.WhiteCoatHypertension3
    • Tell your doctor about your white coat syndrome. This is the most important step.The doctor’s job will be to determine how pervasive your white coat syndrome is. He calls it white coat hypertension, which is still just as serious as regular hypertension or high blood pressure. On one hand, your blood pressure may be normal during the rest of the day, which means blood pressure meds will give you hypotension (low blood pressure). On the other hand, high blood pressure during other stressful parts of the day (other than the doctor’s visit) may warrant treatment of white coat hypertension. In many cases, the doctor will still want to prescribe you blood pressure meds anyway because if you’re stressed from doctor’s visits, you’re probably suffering hypertension during the other stressful parts of your life. If you have other factors such as heart disease or overweight, your doctor might err on the side of caution and diagnose white coat hypertension. Your doctor will do what’s right for you. If he prescribes you meds anyway, it’s not a defeat. He’s doing you a favor in treating white coat hypertension.

    And take a deep breath!