Your Prescription

Your Prescription

I’ve never been a fan of weight-loss supplementation. I don’t know if my body just reacts to medications differently but whenever I’ve tried the latest magic pill I have felt awful.

I honestly believe that any time we attempt to skip the natural order of things – whether our intention is to get rich quick or lose weight fast –  we’re setting ourselves up for trouble. In the case of weight-loss supplements, that trouble can be things like liver failure, muscle breakdown, and kidney problems -some supplements can also exacerbate existing health issues like high blood pressure or heart disease.

According to this article in the San Diego TribuneNone of these products has been adequately studied, and any or all might be harmful”… they “are promoted as safe and effective, but they are rarely either … they are almost universally ineffective.”

The very best way look and feel our best is to take care of ourselves. Eat real food, drink plenty of water, practice moderation and move more. So instead of reaching for a pill bottle – do a Minute Movement –  you can do anything for a minute!

Make Your Minutes Matter!

BMI

BMI

I may have said before that I’m not a fan of BMI. This opinion was solidified a few years ago when one of my kids was in 3rd grade.  Some wonderful organization comes to our elementary school to check students for various health points and then sends a little update to the parents.  Unfortunately our update stated that my (still growing) child was classified ‘obese’ The letter wasn’t secured in any way so my child (and any classmates) could have easily seen that label and it could have stuck for years.

The thing is,  we go to our well child visits religiously and if our pediatrician were concerned he would have talked with us about it.  Children tend to experience weight fluctuations for many reasons. Not to mention the fact that their little bodies aren’t fully mature. Clearly no one had actually looked at my child or they would have never labeled one ‘obese’ risking a future filled with eating disorders and low self esteem.

That’s why I love this article and especially the included graphic showing that not all BMI’s are created equally.  Our family, for instance tends to be muscular and carries our weight more in the lower body so even when we are very fit our BMI tends to be on the higher side.  According to the article ‘…body fat percentage and body composition are more important indicators of health than weight alone. That puts the emphasis on exercises that don’t just burn calories, but also build muscle.’ – Minute Movement is a great way to build muscle so check it out now and …
Make Your Minutes Matter!

Be Aware

Be Aware

June is national Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (which I just realized late yesterday).

Since I am one of the 37 million Americans (including children and teenagers) affected by this, sometimes debilitating, condition I thought it only appropriate that I share some information with you today.

I am counted among the 70% of migraineurs with a family history – my mother, sister, and aunt all suffer from migraines – and I just hope that it eases up for me later in life like it did for my mom. Migraines have many symptoms in addition to (or instead of) head pain; such as sensitivity to light, sound and smells, nausea, visual, motor and cognitive disturbances, fatigue, food cravings, and mood changes. Symptoms can last from four to 72-plus hours and often have different stages which can change over the course of a migraineur’s lifetime (changes in how you experience migraine can be quite frightening).

Migraine triggers can also change over the course of time (or from attack to attack) and are often difficult to pinpoint. Sitting next to someone wearing strong perfume can set me off for days and I can’t visit my favorite candle shop because they make the (scented) candles on site. Weather changes, hormonal changes, food sensitivities, and stress are just a few common trigger – which are often cumulative making it even more difficult to determine just how to stay healthy.

Even healthcare providers tend to experience difficulty when helping their migraine prone patients. This complex neurological condition that less than 0.08% of the National Institute of Health budget  and even though more than 100 treatments are being used for migraine prevention – none were developed specifically for that purpose. All of which is frustrating and sometimes devastating for sufferers and their families.

Lost wages, inability to meet social obligations and family needs can leave migraineurs feeling isolated, guilty, and depressed. One of the more discouraging results, for me, is the inability to stay active.  Even if I don’t have crippling head pain I often don’t have enough energy to do even minor chores around the house and yard, let alone go for a run.*  On those days – the days that I can do something, just not everything – I’ve found that Minute Movement is a great option.

I can do anything for a minute!

As with many health problems, physical fitness can have such a huge impact; but chronic conditions can cause a person to become firmly locked in a downward spiral (less exercise = feeling worse / feeling worse = less exercise). If you know anyone who suffers from a chronic health issue that prevents them from getting enough exercise, please have them check out Minute Movement. It could be the thing that helps them get better.

Make your minutes matter!

 

*Boy I am SO lucky to have such a supportive family!

The Clean Fifteen

The Clean Fifteen

Here’s the ‘Clean Fifteen’ list that I promised yesterday. These list includes the produce with the least amount of pesticides that are safe to buy conventionally. They are:

avocado

sweet corn

pineapple

cabbage

sweet peas (frozen)

onions

asparagus

mangoes

papaya

kiwi

eggplant

grapefruit

cantaloupe

cauliflower

sweet potatoes

Be sure to check out the apple and android app stores for EWG’s Dirty Dozen app so you can always have these lists handy, or make a donation and get their ‘bag tag’ to take with you.

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen

This morning I picked fresh strawberries and used them on the salad we had for lunch, they were delicious.

I planted the strawberries partly because they were on the dirty dozen list a couple of years ago. The Dirty Dozen list is part of an yearly manual released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) showing which fruits and vegetables have the most – and the fewest – pesticides. This list helps us, the consumers determine which produce is worth the extra cost to buy organic when it’s not possible to buy organic EVERYTHING.

So I thought I should share the dirty dozen list (which is really 14 foods) with you today. They are:

apples

peaches

nectarines

strawberries

grapes

celery

spinach

sweet bell peppers

cucumbers

cherry tomatoes

snap peas (imported)

potatoes

hot peppers

kale / collards

 

Pretty much everything I love to eat!

Keep this list in mind when you do your grocery shopping and try to buy organic varieties whenever you can.

Tomorrow I’ll share the clean 15.

Dirt Makes Me Happy!

Spring is in the air which makes me incredibly excited for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I LOVE playing in the dirt gardening. I could spend an entire weekend weeding and planting and digging –  it might be my very favorite thing. And even though my body gets sore from all of that work, I always feel great when I’m working outside (and I’m usually reluctant to come back inside)!

I always thought that it was the sun and fresh air that made me feel amazing but apparently there are microbes in the soil that stimulate serotonin production making me relaxed and happier’. According to this articleGardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it and get it into their bloodstreams when there is a cut or other pathway for infection’, which is great news for me because when I finish working in my garden I am COVERED in those healthy microbes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    kind of like that!

Maybe it’s time for a new flower bed around here…


I hope the weather is nice enough this weekend for you to get out and play in the dirt. I can’t wait to hear what you plant!

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