The body needs some sodium to function properly. Sodium plays a role in the balance of fluids in your body, just the way nerves and muscles work.
The kidneys balance the amount of sodium in the body. When sodium is low, the kidneys hold on to it. When sodium is high, the kidneys release some in the urine.
If the kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, it builds up in the blood. Sodium attracts and holds water, so the blood volume increases. The heart must then work harder to pump blood, and this increases pressure in the arteries. Over time this can cause heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Some people are more sensitive to the effects of sodium than are others. This means that they retain sodium more easily, which leads to fluid retention which increases your blood pressure.
Less sodium is better than more. On average a person should have around 2,300 mg per day. That would equal about 1 teaspoon per day.
Most salt consumed in a typical Western diet come from processed foods, or prepared foods. This would include: Pizza, bread, cold cuts (lunch meats, bacon, cheese), soups, soy sauce and fast foods. Check the food labels on these items when you shop. You may be able to purchase them with a label that says low sodium or no sodium. Butter, beef and chicken stock can be purchased this way.
Here are some ideas of how you can cut back on sodium:
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. They are naturally low in sodium.
Fresh organic meat is better than eating cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, sausage and ham.
Choose low-sodium products, they will be labeled on the containers.
Eat and cook at home. This is the best way to determine how much sodium you are eating each day.
Don’t add sodium to the dinner table. Try using fresh ground pepper to substitute. Fresh herbs, spices, and citrus juice.
When shopping look out for labels and claims that are used for marketing a product. Such as:
Sodium free, this contains 5mg of sodium
Very low salt, each serving contains 35 mg
Reduced sodium, each serving contains 140 mg of sodium
Unsalted, contains no salt.
Our taste for salt is an aquired taste, so you can learn to use less salt to enjoy your food. You probably won’t even miss it! You will actually learn to enjoy more the tase of your food. Enjoy!
…make a memory every day and don’t apologize for who you are…Rebecca
Hello everyone and thank you for visiting. Its 2022!! Happy New Year. It’s also the Chinese New Year of the Dragon.
The Holidays are tough on everyone. The hustle and bustle are hard to navigate. We have lost track of our regular schedule of work, exercise, and nutrition. But it was all worth it, because we were blessed with family and friends.
A great way to get back on schedule is to do a Fast. Now I do not recommend fasting if you have not checked with your physician. Or if you have underlying medical needs. This would not be good. So, check with your physician before doing a Fast.
There are several types of Fasts that can help restore our bodies to Alkaline, and recalibrate insulin release, giving the pancreas a break. It can also help to temporarily reduce blood pressure, and in short term weight loss.
During this time period of fasting, our bodies produce less free radicals that can harm our bodies. Lowering free radicals due to overeating, alcohol, and stress. Antioxidants are uses to balance free radicals. This keeps them from damaging other cells.
What is a Free Radical you ask?
Free Radicals are reactive molecules that can damage proteins, cell membranes and DNA.
Antioxidants,Exercise and Fasting are a great combination as a Defense against Free Radicals.
Plants have developed there own way of protecting themselves from harmful sunlight and other insults that they are exposed to in the environment. They make a protective compound called phytonutrients. When humans eat them, they provide this protection to humans as well. Look for the colors of a rainbow in selecting edible vegetables
Antioxidants neutralize for radicals by giving up their own electrons, they are neutral offs!
Here are some suggestions:
Fast with a buddy. It’s easier.
Limit food intake to 500 calories every other day.
Drink at least 6 glasses of filtered water a day.
Eat two meals per day. Try doing a nutritious breakfast of 250 calories, late morning. Then a second meal around 4-6 pm of 250 calories.
Believe it or not Artichokes are delicious and very nutritious. They are a great source of antioxidants and dietary fiber, and minerals. They also contain and anti-inflammatory benefit. Steaming them or boiling them gives the best benefit. Frying them will change the antioxidant content.
Berries- Blackberries, Red Raspberries, Strawberries and Blue Berries.
You can also make berry smoothes by adding any berries to almond milk, ice and 1/2 of a banana and your favorite vegan protein mix. I like the “Magic Mushroom” mix. You can get it on Amazon.
These are very high in Antioxidants. You can add them to other dishes or just eat them as a snack.
What a delicious green! Kale can be sautéed or steamed, massaged and used in a salad, or soups. I have a great recipe for Chicken Kale Soup with Cantaloni Beans!
Beans are full of fiber and antioxidants. Black beans, red beans, white beans, chickpeas, etc.
The bottom line is that Antioxidants are a compound that your body makes from food naturally! They protect your body from harm. Explore these foods, and enjoy eating them.
Get yourself back on track. Feel good about who you are!
Remember to make a memory every day, and don’t apologize for who you are…Rebecca
Peppermint is a leaf. It is available in the form of teas, tinctures, essential oil, coated capsules of peppermint oil, chewing gum, and mints. Everywhere we look there is peppermint. It’s a classic candy for the holiday’s. Peppermint is actually good for you. Here is what I have learned:
Peppermint is good for digestion. You can find in in specialty teas,and is great with some honey to help digest all of the holiday food that we are eating. Peppermint is also great for gastrointestinal problems, it calms the intestinal tract. Peppermint is good for flatulence, (farting) or irritable bowel syndrome! If you are pregnant, peppermint is good for morning sickness or any type of nausea. It’s cold and flu season, and peppermint is good for respiratory congestion. You can buy peppermint in an essential oil. Blend the essential oil with vegetable oil and rug on your temples to soothe a headache. Follow the directions carefully for use in bath water and topically. Do not add more than the directed amount to bath water. Steep 1 ½ teaspoons of dried peppermint leaf in 1 Cup of hot water for 15 minutes, or a few drops of the essential oil in hot water for steam inhalation. So there you have it. Relax
Some things to remember: Portion Control 1-Eat what you want, but just one plate and watch portions. I ate a huge plate for thanksgiving, and proud of it. Brussel sprouts, sauerkraut, green beans with onions, and some turkey breast. I was stuffed, just like the turkey. We had ham, but I opted out on that, stuffing, potatoes and gravy. In the end, it’s, not a big deal. It’s a great deal. Put the focus on enjoying family and friends, just being together. 2-Be cognizant of alcohol intake– (see below as to how it affects us) – contributes to mindless eating! Hydrate yourself throughout the day before drinking. I personally drink red wine, I am a Black Box, Cabernet fan and enjoy drinking it. It helps with assimilation, and dark chocolate deserts taste great. I would rather drink a glass of wine with dessert and have a few bites, rather than eating an entire piece. It’s all about feeling deprived. 3-When snacking, eat more protein than carbs. and cut the salt. 4-Desert, 70 % cocoa and sea-salt chocolate bar, all of the good chocolate companies have their version. Any woman out there will love.. delicious and satisfying. Grab a teaspoon, take a scoop of each desert at the party. You are not missing out on anything.
Stress makes you fat, sick, and creates many sleepless nights. During the busy holiday just get out for 30 minutes of exercise, any type of exercise: walking, yoga, running, spinning, swimming etc. I know that as simple as it seem, many of us don’t get 30 minutes per day. This is what I do when I don’t feel like getting outside. Just pick 3 exercises, squats, walking up and down steps, push- ups, for example and do each one for 5 minutes each, then repeat them again later in the day. ( 15 minutes each X 2 = 30 minutes) I also have bands that I work out with, they are easy to take with you wherever you are. Just break a sweat every day, and this will put stress at bay. Don’t make excuses for not exercising. I like to get it over early, and tend to run out of gas around 3pm. It makes me feel like I have “one up” on everyone else. Get out of bed or off of the sofa and don’t even think about it, after 5 minutes you will feel great and more than likely keep going. Get lots of sleep and try to pamper yourself with a relaxing bath, essential oils, massage, for at least 15 minutes. I can’t say enough about the effects of stress on our lives. Before you go to bed, (you can do it in the morning or while you are exercising) remember to count your blessings. Focus on all of the special things that you have in this life. Write down the things that are bothering you. The next day take your worries and turn it into tasks. Do what it takes to complete and get it off the list. If it’s money or something that cannot be achieved immediately, make a plan and stick to it. Make your goals measurable to ensure success. It will just make you feel worse if you fail! More stress.
Alcohol, is a toxin and your body quickly works to metabolize and eliminate it. People drink to Relax, Celebrate, and Socialize. Alcohol is a drug that alters your conscious mind. Food in the stomach slows the absorption of alcohol, but most of the alcohol is absorbed in the small intestine and metabolized in the liver. Alcohol is a depressant of the central nervous system, it slows the transmission of the nervous system and is very sensitive to alcohol. The depressant effect of alcohol on the brain is what slows down a person’s reaction time to stimuli (such as a car coming toward you on the road) after drinking. Because the brain controls your thoughts, actions and behavior, alcohol impairs all of these. Many people wrongly think that a drink before bed will help them sleep better, but is has the opposite effect. Having a drink an hour before bed may help you fall asleep, but will disrupt your sleep cycle, it wakes you up and makes it difficult to fall back to sleep. A hang over is a way of your body saying “don’t do that to me again”!) Alcohol effects the natural process of hormones, insulin and glucagon that are automatically released to make glucose. The brain needs glucose to function properly. Alcohol causes a low blood glucose level that can contribute to fatigue, weakness, mood changes, and anxiety (Hangover). Alcohol also negatively effects parathyroid hormone and other bone strengthening hormones which increases the risk of osteoporosis, and increased estrogen levels in women, which could increase the risk of breast cancer. Learning this about alcohol made me aware of the damage it can do to our body. Certainly can be damaging to our bodies if abused.
Natural health and wellness encompasses a good diet, plenty of clean water and regular exercise, fresh air, herbs, essential oils, and other supplements to keep us in great shape and help us deal with life’s challenges.
Have a Wonderful Holiday, remember, don’t apologize for who you are and make a memory every day!
Root veggies for roasting today. They are from the last farmers market if this year! You can roast the purée and make a delicious creamy soup, or just eat them as is! Contains lots of fiber and antioxidants. Leeks, potatoes, carrots, red onions, sweet potatoes. In the oven at 450 for 30 minutes. Olive oil, salt and pepper. Enjoy
An orange has four times the fiber of six ounces of orange juice and has 65 calories!
Choose your carbohydrates from a range of nutrient-dense, low saturated fat foods whenever possible. Choose a diet with low to moderate amounts of simple carbohydrates and higher amounts of fiber and other complex carbohydrates.
There are many different types of sugars; naturally occurring sugars, which are found in foods such as fruit and dairy products, and added sugars, which are added by manufacturers to foods such as soda or candy. From a nutritional standpoint however, there is a big difference between these sugar sources.
Foods that contain naturally occurring sugar tend to be nutrient dense and thus provide more nutrition per bites, where foods that contain added sugar tend to give little else. The calories in sugar laden foods are called empty calories because they provide so little nutrition.
Between 1980 and 2000, our yearly consumption of added sugars increased by more than 20%! Sugars function as preservatives and thickeners in foods such as sauces. It is also used to make yeast in breads rise. And of course, sugars make foods taste sweet.
A super large soda at a movie theatre, 64oz. contains 800 calories, and over 50 teaspoons of added sugars.
While it is not completely necessary to avoid all sugars, reducing added sugars and consuming nutrient dense high fiber carbohydrates may be effective. This will help avoid weight gain and excess body fat. Research has shown that being overweight or obese increases the risk of 11 types of cancers including colorectal, postmenopausal breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer.
Check the Nutrition Facts Labels for the following ingredients; it does not distinguish between naturally occurring and added sugars. For example, the nutrition labels on ready to eat cereals such as raisin bran and dairy products such as milk list 21 grams of sugars for raisin bran and 12 grams for low fat milk. This can be misleading, as the grams of sugars listed for the raisin bran cereal include both the amount of naturally occurring sugars from the raisins and the sugars added to sweeten the cereal. For the milk, the sugar listed on the Nutrition Facts panel includes the naturally occurring sugar, lactose.
Look for these added sugars: Sugar, molasses, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and fructose.
Added sugars are found in soft drinks, sugars and candy, cakes, cookies, pies, fruit punch, ice cream, yogurt, and grains, cinnamon toast, canned fruit, and sweetened waffles. Sugar consumption should be kept at about 8-9 teaspoons daily or 9% of total calories. Most American’s consume, on average over 30 teaspoons of added sugars daily!
Naturally occurring sugars and added sugars There are two types of sugars in American diets: naturally occurring sugars and added sugars.
Naturally occurring sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose).
Added sugars include any sugars or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation (such as putting sugar in your coffee or adding sugar to your cereal). Added sugars (or added sweeteners) can include natural sugars such as white sugar, brown sugar and honey as well as other caloric sweeteners that are chemically manufactured (such as high fructose corn syrup).
You can use sugars to help enhance your diet. Adding a limited amount of sugar to improve the taste of foods (especially for children) that provide important nutrients, such as whole-grain cereal, low-fat milk or yogurt, is better than eating nutrient-poor, highly sweetened foods.
Sources of added sugars The major sources of added sugars in American diets are regular soft drinks, sugars, candy, cakes, cookies, pies and fruit drinks; dairy desserts and milk products (ice cream, sweetened yogurt and sweetened milk); and other grains (cinnamon toast and honey-nut waffles).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified some common foods with added sugars. The table below lists a few examples and the number of calories from added sugars they contain. Note the calories here are only from added sugars in the food, not the total amount of calories in the food.
How to find added sugars in food.
Unfortunately, you can’t tell easily by looking at the nutrition facts panel of a food if it contains added sugars. The line for “sugars” includes both added and natural sugars. Naturally occurring sugars are found in milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Any product that contains milk (such as yogurt, milk or cream) or fruit (fresh, dried) contains some natural sugars.
Reading the ingredient list on a processed food’s label can tell you if the product contains added sugars, just not the exact amount if the product also contains natural sugars.
Here are some product terms related to sugars, and their meanings:
Sugar-Free – less than 0.5 g of sugar per serving
Reduced Sugar or Less Sugar – at least 25 percent less sugars per serving compared to a standard serving size of the traditional variety
No Added Sugars or Without Added Sugars – no sugars or sugar-containing ingredient such as juice or dry fruit is added during processing
Low Sugar – not defined or allowed as a claim on food labels
Although you can’t isolate the calories per serving from added sugars with the information on a nutrition label, it may be helpful to calculate the calories per serving from total sugars (added sugars and naturally occurring sugars). To do this, multiply the grams of sugar by 4 (there are 4 calories per 1 gram of sugar). For example, a product containing 15 g of sugar has 60 calories from sugar per serving.
Keep in mind that if the product has no fruit or milk products in the ingredients, all of the sugars in the food are from added sugars. If the product contains fruit or milk products, the total sugar per serving listed on the label will include added and naturally occurring sugars.
We Need to reduce added sugars Although sugars are not harmful to the body, our bodies don’t need sugars to function properly. Added sugars contribute additional calories and zero nutrients to food.
Over the past 30 years, Americans have steadily consumed more and more added sugars in their diets, which has contributed to the obesity epidemic. Reducing the amount of added sugars we eat cuts calories and can help you improve your heart health and control your weight.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about 6 teaspoons per day, 25 grams for women and 9 teaspoons per day 30 grams, for men).
Monosaccharaides are one-molecule sugars, most commonly found in food are Glucose (blood sugar) Fructose (fruit sugar) and Galactose (found mainly in milk)
Sugar can contribute to dental cavities, elevate the level of fat in your blood, and lower the good HDL cholesterol. Foods with added sugars can rob your body of nutrition. A diet high in simple sugars causes insulin resistance, because of the constant release of insulin from the pancreas. The body begins to ignore it! Excess sugar causes; high cholesterol, triglyceride levels and hypertension and the development of type II diabetes.
Dietary Sweeteners The perception is that consumption of sweeteners will lead to a reduction in calories consumed. This in turn will lead to weight loss or prevention in weight gain. Unfortunately, this is not the case as detailed studies have not shown these sweeteners to reduce the number of calories consumed or to have any significant effect on body weight. In fact, aspartame may actually increase your appetite. Saccharin was banned in 1977 because it caused bladder cancer in rats.
Sugar Substitutes are sweet and sometimes sweeter than sugar but contain fewer calories.
Sucrose – 4 calories per gram (Table Sugar-found in tenderizes and enhances flavor, contributes to browning properties to baked goods)
*Stevia – is a natural sweetener extracted from the Stevia plant. (300 times sweeter that sucrose)
*Naturlose– low calorie natural sugar found in milk that has just been recognized as safe.
*Nectresse-from the Monk fruit, (green melon) in Central Asia, it is 150 times sweeter than sucrose.
Sorbitol – 2.6 calories per gram (Found in sugarless gum, baked goods, and candy, may cause diarrhea)
Mannitol – 1.6 calories per gram (Found in gum and jams)
Xylitol – 2.6 calories per gram (Found in gum and candy)
Saccharin– 0 calories per gram (Sweet Low)
Aspartame – 4 calories per gram (NutraSweet and Equal) 200 times Sweeter than sucrose
Sucralose– 0 calories per gram (Splenda) 600 times sweeter that sucrose
Since your body can’t identify these sweeteners, your body cannot metabolize them. They actually make you gain weight!
Saccharin was banned in 1977 because it caused bladder cancer in rats.
What to Eat:
Eat more whole fruits, which includes much needed fiber
Use Stevia as a sweetener. You can grow the plant and use the leaves to put in your tea or coffee for sweetness. You can also buy it in the grocery store.
Choose organic or locally grown fruits when available
Through our lifetime, we have many choices to make. It is the same with eating. We all have an emotional connection with food.
If you are overweight and struggling with overeating, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. The strongest food cravings hit when we are at our weakest point. This is when we may turn to food to comfort ourselves. When facing a difficult problem, or just normal stressors in our lives. Sometimes this happens even when we are bored.
Relationship conflicts, work, financial pressures, and health problems are all trigger points.
Emotional eating can sabotage your weight loss efforts. This often leads to eating too much. This is called “mindless eating”, when you just eat, and do not have the feeling of being hungry.
During these emotional times of eating, we tend to crave high-calorie foods, sweets and fatty foods. Weight gain can happen quickly! You can quickly gain 3-5 lbs. in a week!
Although some people eat less in the face of strong emotions, if you are emotionally distressed, this could also turn to binge eating, quickly consuming food because of convenience without enjoyment.
Emotions and eating habits are tied together. Food serves as comfort and also a distraction when dealing with painful situations.
Whatever emotions drive you to overeat, the end result is always the same result. The emotional return for this behavior is guilt and weight gain! This can also lead to an unhealthy cycle. You emotions trigger you to overeat, then you feel bad and beat yourself up, then you overeat eat again. Its a never ending process.
Here are some tips on getting breaking the cycle of Emotional Eating:
Start with keeping a calendar and food diary. On the calendar, write your emotions. In your food diary, write what you are eating at that specific time. This will help you detect patterns and cravings.
Next thing is to recognize your stressors, and try to calm them. Exercise is the best. Walking, Yoga, Meditating, are excellent.
Before you eat, have a reality check with yourself. Are you really hungry, or is this emotional?
When eating meals, chose high protein, lean meats. Carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits (berries only) and whole grain breads. Fats such as avocados, olive oils, and nuts. Eat healthy snacks to satisfy cravings throughout the day.
Focus on the Positive! If we don’t have our health, we have worries and stress.
“make a memory everyday and don’t apologize for who you are….Rebecca
Diabetes affects millions of people. Although diabetes is a serious health problem, with proper care you can learn to manage your diabetes and lead a full and active life.
WHAT IS DIABETES? When you eat, some of your food is broken down into glucose (a kind of sugar). Glucose travels in your blood to all your body’s cells. Insulin, made by your pancreas, helps glucose move from your blood into your cells. Glucose helps your cells produce the energy you need for healthy living. Glucose from food makes your blood glucose level go up. Insulin lowers blood glucose levels by helping glucose move from your bloodstream into your cells. When you have diabetes your body doesn’t make any insulin, or enough insulin, or your body prevents the insulin you do produce from working properly. You must do the work your body did before diabetes to keep your insulin and glucose in balance.
TYPES OF DIABETES The most common types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas (the organ that makes insulin) does not work right. The cells that produce insulin are damaged or destroyed, so the body makes little or no insulin, and usually occurs in children or young adults.
In Type 2 diabetes, the body makes some insulin, but not enough. Or, the body prevents the insulin you do produce from working properly. Approximately 90% to 95% of all diabetics are Type 2. Type 2 diabetes is more common in overweight older adults, but it is becoming more common in young people and children.
People with Type 1 diabetes will always need to take insulin to manage their diabetes. However, Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. At first, they may be able to manage their blood glucose with diet and exercise, but most will eventually need to take insulin to manage their diabetes.
WHAT CAUSES DIABETES? The cause of diabetes is unknown, but scientists do know that certain things (risk factors) increase your chance of getting diabetes. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include being overweight, high blood pressure and a family history of diabetes.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES
Tired all the time
Need to urinate often
Sudden weight loss
Wounds that won’t heal
Numb or tingling hands or feet
HOW EXERCISE CAN HELP YOU MANAGE YOUR DIABETES The treatment goal for diabetes is glucose control, which includes diet, and exercise. Exercise is effective in glucose control because it has an insulin-like effect that enhances the uptake of glucose even in the presence of insulin deficiency. Exercise will help improve glucose tolerance, increase insulin sensitivity, and decrease insulin requirements. Additional benefits of exercise for diabetic patients include improved lipid profiles, blood pressure reduction, weight management, increased physical work capacity, and improved well-being.
Prior to beginning an exercise program, diabetic patients should undergo an extensive medical evaluation. Cardiorespiratory activities include any activity that increases your resting heart rate and uses the large muscles in your legs and arms. Walking is easiest. You may enjoy an aerobics or step class, running, swimming, water aerobics, chair aerobics, riding a bike or dancing.
Get at least 150 min/week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (50-70% of maximum heart rate) and/or at least 90 min/week of vigorous aerobic exercise (more than 70% of maximum heart rate) is recommended. The physical activity should be distributed over at least 3 days/week and with no more than two 2 consecutive days without physical activity. Ask your health care team what your target heart rate should be. Or, you can use perceived exertion by asking yourself, how hard am I working? After a 5-10 minute warm-up of gradually increasing your intensity, the exercise should feel somewhat hard – to hard. You should always be able to talk to someone near you while exercising.
WHEN TO TEST YOUR BLOOD SUGAR Hypoglycemia or low blood glucose is the most common problem for diabetics who exercise. Because of the increase of glucose uptake during exercise, the risk of hypoglycemia exists during and after exercise, and may last as long as 48 hours after exercise.
Common symptoms include:
Fainting or feeling faint
Testing: Monitor blood glucose prior to exercise and following exercise, especially when beginning or modifying the exercise program. Never exercise if your blood glucose level is too low. Measurements that are less than 100 mg/dL are considered hypoglycemic, but rapid drops in blood glucose can also cause signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia.
If you take insulin or diabetes medicine, you may need a snack before or after you exercise. Muscles keep burning glucose even after you stop exercising.
– 3 graham cracker squares – 15 – 20 fat free chips – 1 small piece of fresh fruit – 2 TBSP of raisins – 1 cup skim or low fat milk
If you are trying to lose weight, talk to your health care team about using less insulin or medicine instead of eating more food.