Monthly Archives: July 2010

Fat, Obesity, Oxidative Stress, Heart Disease and Inflammation

Most people have heard of good fats and bad fats.  Hydrogenated, saturated, unsaturated, the list goes on.

We are also familiar with good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.

Now medical researchers are taking a closer look at “bad” fat.  It is harder to lose this kind of fat and it is carried in the abdomen…commonly called the “gut”.

 

fatbelly

 

There is a normal bodily process called oxidation that occurs when our body burns fuel to function.

Oxidation is damaging to our bodies and is counteracted with antioxidants.

Everybody is talking about how important it is to have a lot of antioxidants in our diets.  We get them from foods high in Vitamins E and C.

When there are too many by-products from the oxidation process, which is common in obesity, we end up in a state of oxidative stress.

 

toxic

 

Oxidative Stress leads to cardiovascular disease and inflammation (anyone experiencing painful joints?).

Of course, losing weight so we are no longer obese will reduce the high levels of oxidative stress.

However, according to an article in Diabetes Forecast, published by the American Diabetes Association, researcher, Dr. Abbas Kitabchi, the type of weight loss diet we are on is vitally important in affecting oxidative stress.

Studies have found that high carbohydrate diets actually cause more oxidative stress than high protein diets.

Dr. Kitabchi compared 2 groups of women; one group on a high carbohydrate diet and one group on a high protein diet.  He measured their their blood pressure, blood glucose, and weight each week.

His preliminary findings are supporting earlier research results that a high protein, low carb diet results in lower oxidative stress and decreases associated health risks.

We’ve all heard of the Adkins Diet that just about eliminates carbohydrates from the diet.  Although people successfully lose weight on the Adkins plan, it is a difficult diet to maintain for long periods.

 

balanced_diet

 

A healthy balance between protein and carbohydrates is what is needed.

Dr. Barry Sears, author of Toxic Fat, teaches just this principle.  His goal is not to take food away but make the foods we like to eat healthier.

Dr. Sears is experimenting with developing high protein bread products.

When we have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and good fat, then we should not be hungry again for about 4 hours after eating.

I am eager to keep an eye on this theory to see if it holds the key to effective weight loss for those of us struggling to regain a healthy lifestyle.

 

Believe In Your Success, I Do!
Karen
mentor.karen.imnotfluffy@gmail.com

6 Best Ways to Detox

Detoxing is a very popular Health and Wellness buzz term.

Everybody is doing it!  Everybody needs it!  Everybody should be doing it!

The opinions on how to detox, when to detox, how often to detox, and exactly who should detox are as varied as there are nutritionists, dieticians and holistic health practitioners.

I do believe in detoxing and I use my line of nutrition products to achieve my results for day to day health.

I also am always looking for healthy lifestyle changes in my diet to achieve comprehensive results.

I came across an online article from MSN Health, 6 Healthy Ways to Detox, that lists foods to add to or eliminate from our diets to achieve detoxifying results.

 

sugar

Eliminate Added Sugars

 

Eating too much sugar in any form can increase the problems of inflammation, heart disease, certain cancers, and feelings of being unfocused & tired.

High fructose corn syrup is in an alarmingly huge variety of foods.  The article claims that HFCS can alter the hunger and fullness signals we get from the hormone leptin.

 

FriedFoods

Eliminate Bad Fats

 

Choose foods that are baked or broiled, not fried; and choose lean meats rather than high fat marbles meat and whole milk.

The article sites a study that suggests eating foods high in saturated fat (that is the solid fat like in butter or fat you see on a steak) may interfere with your body’s ability to respond to feelings of fullness.

This lady can eat 2 to 3 times a normal serving of a perfectly bar-b-qued steak with that yummy “juice” (aka FAT)!

Evidently, oleic acid, an unsaturated fat found in olive oil, avocados and nuts can help curb hunger and improve fat digestion!

Time to throw out the Crisco and buy only olive oil.

 

high_protein_foods

Increase Proteins In Your Diet

 

Diets higher in protein have a greater effect on stabilizing blood sugar so you feel full longer.

Keep the meats higher in saturated fats at a minimum (like that yummy bar-b-qued steak!).  I have cut down to indulge 1 to 3 times a month and my cravings are satisfied with that ratio.

It is suggested that we add proteins from non-animal sources like whole grains, tofu and beans.  These food sources are high in fiber, something we all need more of to reduce our chances of heart disease and colon cancer.

 

red-wine 

Drink Red Wine, In Moderation

 

Red wine has long been recommended for its antioxidant health benefits.  My dad loves it!

Not just any alcohol will do!  Hard liquor is high in carbs and very tough on the liver and blood sugar.

One glass of red wine a day is the recommended consumption to take advantage of the antioxidant resveratrol.  Resveratrol is thought to help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and reduce inflammation.

If you don’t like wine, like me, I suppose you can mix it with a low sugar juice or sugar free 7-Up.

It is important to consult your doctor first before starting a red wine regimen, especially if you take medications like Simvastin (a cholesterol lowering drug that requires no alcohol intake).

 

high-fiber-foods-main_full

Increase Fiber in Your Diet

 

The article refers to a study that suggests when we eat 34 grams of fiber a day, our bodies absorb 6% fewer calories a day.

If the thought of eating fiber makes you think of those dry rice cakes, relax.  Soluble fiber is found in a lot of yummy foods.  It is just a slow process in adding these foods to your diet so you eat them as a matter of habit and not “I have to & I hate it”.

High fiber foods include oats, beans, berries, fruit, potatoes and edamame.

I enjoy the high fiber Diet Appetizer Cookie I sell through my company.  It comes in

  1. chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin,
  2. is less than 150 calories,
  3. contains 8 grams of fiber and
  4. 5 grams of protein.

I like them best when I have one of those overpowering craving for sweets, or when I get a grumbly tummy before dinner.

 

girl-eating

Eat on a Regular Basis

 

Most women who have lived their lives seriously overweight have convinced themselves that eating less means eating less often.

This habit creates in us the starvation mode we always hear about.  Our body misses the calories when it needs them, so the body slows the metabolism to conserve energy.

Of course, the result is that we do not lose weight.

Eating on a regular basis is important in keeping our bodies fueled and our metabolism going at a higher rate.

Eat breakfast within 90 minutes of waking up and eat every 3 to 4 hours.

Rather than having 3 main meals a day, divide that same food into 5 or 6 smaller meals spaced out evenly throughout your day.

 

level

This is Detox?

 

I’ve been thinking while writing this post that these six “detox tips” don’t sound like what we usually hear about as detoxing.  No colon cleanse sold here.

However, these tips are actions we can implement as Lifestyle changes that will keep our bodies in a healthier, nontoxic state.

This is good.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but whenever I’ve done a juice fast, I am starving afterwards and feel like eating anything not nailed down.  Changing daily habits is much more effective and long lasting.

Believe In your Success, I Do!
Karen

mentor.karen.imnotfluffy@gmail.com

Mom’s Heart Friendly Vegetable Soup

I found this recipe on a Facebook group and it really looks yummy.

Even though it’s summer, and we don’t always think of soup in hot weather, this particular veggie soup is light and takes advantage of many seasonal vegetables you might be growing in your garden.

The recipe was originally published by Jeremy Mailman at Notecook.com.

 

carrotscabbage_1

Heart Friendly Vegetable Soup

1 carrot, finely chopped
1/4 head cabbage, shredded
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 medium tomatoes
1 liter (about 4 cups) beef or chicken broth
dash ground pepper

Put all ingredients in a large pot with enough water to cover.
Bring to a boil and simmer 40 minutes.
Season to taste with pepper or other spices.

Serve and Enjoy!

 

This recipe can easily be modified to include many different kinds of veggies and seasonings.

Peppers are good for our health and offer a no salt flavoring alternative.

Try it out and don’t be afraid to experiment until you develop your own unique blend for your Heart Health Soup!

This soup has less than 3 gm of salt, 20 calories, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol.

 

Yea MOM!!

 

Believe In Your Success, I Do!
Karen
mentor.karen.imnotfluffy@gmail.com

Obesity Related Health Issues

 

I am not one to promote using the health risks of being overweight or obese to try to motivate or convince someone to lose weight.

 

MomatThanksgiving

 

It is low, manipulative, degrading and ineffective.

I do, however, believe it is important for women, and men, to understand the health issues and diseases we develop when we carry a lot of excess weight.

Just because we are overweight or obese, does not mean that we cannot be knowledgeable about our health concerns and start learning how to make lifestyle changes to protect our health.

This will always be my motivation and focus when I right about these topics.

Let me share the health issues I am coping with.

 

joint-pain

First is Joint Pain. 

 

Arthritis already runs in my family.  My aunt Jeannette has severe osteo-arthritis that has disfigured her hands and absolutely crippled her. 

Several family members have had knee replacements and my mother used to have to soak her hands in hot dishwater every morning just to get her hands to move.

I have inherited arthritis.  Now in my mid forties, it affects every joint of my body.  The pain in my shoulders, elbows, and hands drastically reduces my strength and ability to do things I enjoyed effortlessly just five or so years ago.

My knees and hips are in such bad shape that I look like an old granny when I stand up.  My back is always in pain, exacerbated by a serious back injury when I was 19 working in a nursing home.

My excess weight has absolutely made my pain and decreased functioning worse.  My back, hips, knees, and feet are taking a serious beating from carrying around almost 100 excess pounds (now about 75 lbs) for so many years.  I almost need to use a cane.

My sister’s arthritis and joint problems are very similar to mine.  She has severe lymph edema in her legs which makes walking (now only with the aide of a walker) excruciatingly painful.

Sadly, once we get to the point of experiencing very painful joints caused by excessive weight, our ability to tolerate the pain of exercised is greatly diminished.

 

sugar

Second in importance to my life is Diabetes.

 

Diabetes does not run in my family.  None of the women in my family even developed gestational diabetes.  Nobody else has it except for my father who just recently developed it in his 80s.

My Type II Diabetes is directly caused by my weight and unhealthy eating habits.

Diabetes frightens me because it is debilitating and deadly.

Sugar and Insulin imbalance can ruin every cell of your body.  Most seriously, you can go blind, lose your feet/legs (amputation), experience renal failure and an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

It is a disease that is totally preventable, had I been living a healthier lifestyle.

It is also a disease that is almost completely curable through diet and lifestyle changes.

 

strong-heart1

Third on my list is Heart Disease.

 

Heart Disease is yet another disease category that I am genetically predisposed to on both sides of my family.

My father has hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and angina.  He has had several angioplasties done to flatten the plaque in his arteries.  His father died from a stroke and his mother had high blood pressure.

My mother also had hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  She developed congestive heart failure in her late 50s and died of heart failure when she was only 60 years old.

Up until my 40s, my blood pressure had consistently stayed in the 110/70 range.  My pulse was normal and my cholesterol was in great shape.

Then it hit.  During one doctor’s appointment, my pulse was over 100 and my blood pressure was in the 200/100 range.

I was prescribed a diuretic which helped some, but not enough.  Then another BP lowering drug was started which has brought my blood pressure back down into normal range.

My cholesterol was still in good shape, but since I developed diabetes, the doctor wanted my cholesterol even lower.

 

KarensMedsB

My Medicine Cabinet.

 

The result of all this is a box of medication that would make me rattle if you listened closely enough for all the pills I am taking now!

Much of what I am facing with my health, along with others just like me, can be controlled or minimized through a change in lifestyle habits.

Changing Lifestyle Habits is what I have learned to focus on.

Everyone who is overweight and experiencing weight or obesity related health problems wants a magic bullet to make it all better and make it go away.

There is no such thing.

What works for one person will not work for others.  What is important is learning what you as an individual needs to do to improve your health.

If you know that focusing on changing your lifestyle habits is what you need to focus on too, then join me here while we learn these habit changes together.

Subscribe to my feed. 
Send me an email. 
Skype me. 
Or pick up the phone and call to chat.

You don’t have to do this alone!

 

Believe in Your Success, I Do!
Karen
mentor.karen.imnotfluffy@gmail.com