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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Break from Calorie Counting is over!

Too much of a good thing is not good after all. When I thought I was able to maintain my weight without the help of a fitness app, I would be able to succeed. Fat chance! Suffice to say, I’m back to doing my fitness app or I may have to call it, food journal. Without journaling your daily eating habits, it’s failure waiting to happen.

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My weight loss program – lost 2 1/2 pound since I’ve started calorie counting last Sunday, May 22, 2015

I’ve already lost 2 1/2 pounds since I’ve started with calorie counting last Sunday! Yesss! I’ve gained 4 pounds when I took a break last October 2015 from doing my weight loss program through a fitness app. I was able to maintain my weight during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but Mother’s Day this month and another eating out excursion at a Korean Restaurant did me in.  Early on, it needed to be nipped in the bud before my weight goes haywire. Awareness and prevention go hand in hand.

I really feel good, health wise. I had my recent 6 months check up with my cardiologist and primary doctor and got a good health evaluation. I want to keep it that way.

At the cardiologist office, my blood pressure reading was 110/78! And this is at the doctor’s office where my BP would go up as I have this white coat syndrome. My echo cardiogram test came out great, too. My heart is in good condition.

I’m aiming to get to 100 pounds. My height is 4’ll and this weight is best for my height. My target date is August 2016 and most likely I maybe successful. When I stopped doing this fitness up, I was 105 pounds from my start point of 122 pounds. This time around, I’m ready to lose that extra 5 pounds. I’m motivated! screenshot_2016-05-27-06-26-23.png

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Nine tips to tame your appetite:

  1. Cut out processed food and eat whole foods. Focus on vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, wild fish and grass-fed meats.
  2. Eat breakfast. Studies show that it’s easier to keep weight stable over time when you eat breakfast each day. In general, eating earlier in the day can help keep you from overeating. Try not to eat anything within two hours of going to bed.
  3. Eat slowly. Your stomach takes 20 minutes to tell your brain when you are full so eat slowly and mindfully. Try to enjoy every part of your meal.
  4. Moderate or eliminate alcohol. Do this to lower your sugar calories as well as help prevent you from overeating.
  5. Avoid your trigger foods. Know your own trigger foods and avoid them. Soda, sweets, bread and baked goods are common trigger foods.
  6. Keep a journal. We use food to block our feelings, but you can use a journal to keep you from emotional eating. A journal helps you deal with your emotions in a healthy way.
  7. Get sufficient sleep. Even just a little loss of sleep makes you hungrier. While people’s need for sleep varies, most adults need between seven and eight hours each night.
  8. Control stress levels. Stress makes us overeat, and it makes us crave the wrong kinds of food. Try to actively relax instead by incorporating meditation or yoga into your life.
  9. Exercise. Walk a minimum of 30 minutes each day, and add in more activity as you are able.

from: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/09/9-tips-help-stop-overeating-video/


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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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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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What is Satiety?

asparagusThe dictionary states that Satiety is the quality or state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity. With regard to a losing weight journey, it is when the food ingested reaches the small intestine where you feel satisfied.

But then again, it depends on the food combination that we eat that will have an effect where you can feel full for at least 3 hours and you don’t feel to have a snack before the next meal.

There are times, for breakfast, that I can have a homemade smoothie consisting of small portions of raw spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, blackberries, raspberries and banana and seeds (hemp seeds, chia seeds or flax seeds), and I would last without nibbling anything for snack for about 3 hours. But there are times, that I would need to have more for breakfast to completely feel satisfied, by having whole grain cereal and non-fat milk that I will feel satisfied. It will hit the spot of satiety. Until lunch.

This morning, I had Berry Fruitful Cereal by Kashi -139 calories, 133 grams of strawberries -43 calories and an organic fat free milk – 60 calories mixed together in a bowl. Total calories I consumed so far is 242 calories. And it’s been two hours now that I did not need to snack on anything. And I still feel full. When I eat cereal without fruit, I feel hungry in no time. The additional fiber from the strawberries helped me reach satiety.

Breakfast is the most important meal for me, as it helps me not to overeat later in the day as I calorie count. I aim for at least less than 300 calories for breakfast, so I have enough to cover my entire meal plan later in the day. To continue to lose weight I have to eat less than 1,433 calories per day. My weight was down to 113.1 the day before.

Yesterday, I’ve decided to eat a little bit more and go over my daily calorie allowance and find out how much I would gain back, without any exercise involved. I had a total of 1,520 calories eaten, eating 87 calories more. My total breakfast intake was 542 calories, 640 calories for lunch and 340 calories of snack. This morning I gained 6 ounces from 113.1 to 113.7 lbs.

In this weight loss journey, I do not eat dinner nor snack at night. To lose weight the following day, I have to eat about 711 calories or less to lose 4 to 5 ounces a day. I eat early lunch/dinner as early as 3 pm with some snack to feel satisfied the rest of the evening without grabbing anything else to eat and still feel satisfied until bedtime. I drink plenty of water the entire day, at least 8 glasses, and it helped me feel satiation without thinking of anything else to eat.

With this weight loss plan, I always make sure that I either have fish, beef, seafood or chicken for lunch. And always with a bowl of veggie saladstrawberriesspinach and some brown rice mixed with Quinoa. When I have extra calories to play with, I would snack on fruits, like guava, cherries, apple or watermelon early afternoon before or after late lunch. Or I’d have some unsalted garlic peanuts for my protein intake. Nuts are high in calories, so I’ve learned to eat them moderately, even those unsalted sunflower seeds have sky-high calories!

Though I ate 87 calories more than my daily allowance yesterday, I was not feeling so full, but well satisfied. I noticed though, that I was sleepy and needing an afternoon nap. With less than my daily allowance of 1,433, I feel energized and not sleepy at all, unless, I did not get my 8 hour of sleeping time at night.

I changed my weight plan with a different target weight of 107 lbs.; since 113 is not so far from my original target weight of 110.

For me, it’s fun to know or be knowledgeable on calories. Understanding the importance of calories in, I’ve learned that I was excessively eating more than I should; and that I do not need the extra food intake to live. Less is more even in meals. Knowledge is power. Getting enough food wisdom and understanding on the benefits of enjoying eating healthy would lead to a purposeful living.fruitsveggies


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Food Digest

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In this journey of losing weight the proper way by eating nutritious food,bigstock-Heart-of-fruits-and-vegetables-184383741 I’ve read and researched articles upon articles on the right food to eat to sustain good health. Yesterday, as I was finishing up my lunch of fish, brown rice quinoa and mixed salad greens, I started wondering about how our food are digested and processed in our tummy; and how much our stomach can hold as we feed it. I’ve learned that our stomach is the size of our fist that can expand comfortably to hold 1 liter of food. When we swallow our chewed food, it goes to the esophagus and then to the stomach. human-digestive-systemdetailed The stomach does its job with the food we ingested before it goes to the small intestine. I’ve learned that to know when we feel satisfy with the food we ate, it would take 20 minutes from the time we swallowed our food to feel satiation. Health experts suggest not to eat too fast and learn to chew many times to give the food a chance to properly get digested. The reason for this is the stomach does not release the next batch of food we swallowed to the small intestine until it is able to do its own job of breaking down the ball of food and extracting nutrients from it. In the small intestine is where we started feeling full and it gives signals to the brain that our body has enough food and it’s time to stop eating. The stomach is the food storage or the holding tank of what we ate. And if we eat more than 1 liter of food, the stomach will get cramped. Maybe that explains why we get stomach ache from so much food we ingested.

The stomach which is the size of a close hand, expanding it to allow 1 liter of food is not really part of the normal function of the stomach. When we eat dense food such as meat and chicken, it takes the stomach 6 to 8 hours for this protein to be released. And depending on how we chewed this type of protein, they may linger in the stomach longer as the stomach is trying to break it down. Health Experts say meat may stay in our intestines 24 to 72 hours before it’s released. Red meat takes 1 to 3 days to complete the digestion process because of fat content and high protein. It takes 30 to 40 hours to complete the digestion process and elimination from the small intestine to the large intestine (colon).

I can see now why research say we can last without food for 3 days because we still have the food we ate in our system 3 days ago, especially protein food or animal protein. Vegetables and fruits take a back seat in the stomach when eaten with animal protein to allow this slow digested food to be let go to the small intestine. While waiting, the veggies and fruits get fermented in the stomach.

I’ve noticed that if I have 2 glasses of water in the morning, followed by my regular veggie and fruit smoothies, things seem to work well in my stomach and I would have a  food waste elimination after an hour or two if I’m not adding any animal protein to it first thing. Now, it makes sense why the food pyramid showed a plate with majority of fruits and vegetables and small portion of animal products. This type of eating is what our digestive system prefers as it helps with digestion and we do not compromise the health of our organs. Working hard our digestive tracts can take its toll on them on the long term. Which makes us prone to chronic illnesses and diseases in our body.

Bottom line for me, I don’t need extra food in my body that I don’t need especially junk food, loads of sugar and salty foods. Exhausting my stomach is cruelty to it when it’s only a size of a fist. My small intestine is completely satisfied with small portion of food by the time it reaches it. And if I have a small portion of protein such as meat or chicken or pork, which I seldom eat, I have to remember the slow and long digestive process before I can eliminate the waste from it after my small intestine extract the nutrients from it. I always have to remember to love my body because no one can love it as much as I do by not abusing the natural process of its creation.


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Successful weight loss

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I never knew losing weight can be easy even at the age when metabolism gets slower. I’ve been on and off with dieting through the years. Bought books to learn the secrets of losing weight successfully. I’ve tried different programs from Atkins to Weight Watchers, and Paleo in recent months.

I was successful in losing 20 pounds when I was younger after having a baby. My weight hit the roof when I could not get into a size 9 anymore. I clearly remember when I went into a panic mode, and I immediately went into a strict dieting, barely eating and then, supplementing my body with a diet pill daily. I lost the weight in a matter of a few months, but my body was experiencing so much fatigue and I was so hungry all the time. I was always getting a headache. But I still managed to lose the extra weight and I especially like that I reached my weight goal where I can wear my size small outfits again. I eventually incorporated exercising to my diet plan to be able to maintain my ideal weight. I’ve exercised everyday. Bought exercise videos, and got different exercise equipment. That was my workout regimen each and everyday of my life. I also did not go overboard with food. Unbeknownst to me, I was dehydrated all the time. I’d get dizzy most days and I lack good sleep. Since I was not eating properly, which I was aware of, I’ve taken supplements of Vitamins and Minerals, with additional Vitamin C.

My life was so hectic with work and socializing; work hard, play hard was my motto. I was able to maintain my ideal weight for quite sometime; until I was in a phase of my life where fine dining in a good restaurant became a thing with me and my hubby. We worked so hard on weekdays, so why not splurge with food on Fridays and weekends. Especially when work was so stressful, I felt comforted with dining in a restaurant. I am not into fast foods then and even now. Not that I knew already the pitfall effects of eating junk foods in our body system. I was just not attracted to foods that can be cooked so fast in no time. From time to time, maybe when things were rushed that I succumbed to having burgers at the fast food joints.

Though I was  still working out, my weight gain started to creep up slowly. For one thing, I stopped weighing myself in the morning. No matter what other people say about weighing everyday, it worked for me when I stepped on the scale each morning. I was able to lose some pounds here and there because I knew what my weight was. I’d workout harder or I’ve avoided eating three meals a day.

When I finally threw caution to the wind as in not weighing each day, started eating out not only in the weekends but almost everyday, my weight went haywire. This was during the time where eating out in newly opened restaurants was the in thing. Everyone at work who can afford to eat out and trying different authentic foods, enjoying sushi, all you can eat seafood places like Todai and the likes were rubbing off on us. And I must admit, my hubby and I had a great time and memories with the abundance of restaurants catering to our taste buds.

The catalyst that broke the camel’s back was when my hubby and I relocated to another state; sold our house and just enjoyed being non working citizens. Food was our best friend. No cares in the world is not a good thing most of the time; especially if it concerns your health. Over indulgence with fine dining has its price– our health. Slowly but surely, I’ve lost my energy. I did not feel so good. I bought a treadmill but if I did not use it all the time, it’s no help to me. When I checked my scale one day, the weight report was not a welcoming change. I’ve got to do something about it.

I’ve started searching online about healthy lifestyle. I’ve learned so much about plant based food. That vegetables and fruits can do wonders to your body, especially when you eat them raw. Slowly, I’ve changed what we have in our kitchen, refrigerator and pantry.

I’ve Facebook liked almost all of the health gurus and functional doctors and I’ve learned so much from them. When we’ve changed our eating habits to healthy eats of vegetables, fruits, whole grain bread and seeds, grass fed beef, organic chicken, and wild caught fish to nuts and all organic, I feel like I have so much energy. I can tell that plant based food is doing me so much good and I was so happy that feeling sluggish will be a thing of the past.countnutrients

Knowing that we have embarked into counting on nutritious and healthy food to make us feel good, I rest easy that this eating lifestyle is what we are looking for. Not eating out as much is for the best as we became GMO aware and organic food educated. I’ve learned to cook healthy food which gives me the driver seat in regards to salt and sugar intake. But all food has calories whether good or bad. Although the calories on fruits and vegetables are lower than meat, poultry, wild caught fish, grains, seeds and nuts and other food on the health chart, if you eat a lot of them, you will gain weight or just maintain your current weight. And we still need to lose weight.

So what’s the next best thing we discovered? Counting calories! With the help of an app that we found online, counting calories have made my husband and I lose weight. We bought a food scale so we can get right measurements in regards to grams, ounces, and so on. Weighing ourselves everyday again on our weight scale is the facts of life.  Seeing the weight goes down is the reward of calorie counting. It works for us!  My hubby has lost 27 pounds since May 2015; and I’ve lost 8 pounds so far since June 8th last month. I’m only aiming to lose 10 pounds for now. I am now down to 114 pounds. I’m hoping to get back to 105. Eventually, down to 100 as my ideal weight.

We finally found the right way to lose weight successfully, feel full and be nutritiously healthy. I’ve got into the habit of drinking 8 glasses of water daily; and I’ve been sleeping 7 to 8 hours each night. The rise in energy is amazing, as we continue to eat organic veggies, fruits, brown rice, quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds that we mixed in our veggie and fruit nutrablast each morning; and some grass fed meat, organic poultry and wild caught fish and shrimps, in moderation that is, we are on the right track of combating the weight gain we dreaded all these years. There’s hope to losing weight— for us it’s counting calories!

A scale with an apple and one with chocolate.