Tag Archives: Health

Eat Less

If you know me or this blog, you know I think that food and weight can dramatically impact MS or any chronic health issue. If the truth be told, I feel like I have struggled with weight issues since I was twelve or maybe even younger.  I doubt that is unlike many of you, especially women.

I have counted points, ate only protein, eliminated carbs, counted points again, exercised too much, exercised too little, taken diet pills (way back when), binged, starved and anything else to lose weight and then gain it right back again. I have lost and gained the same twenty pounds for over twenty years.

Since my MS diagnosis, I started to look at food and weight very differently. It became about health instead of skinny jeans. I am almost rid of that pesky twenty pounds again and hope to approach the rest of my life much differently in terms of maintaining a healthy weight.

When I read this, it really made sense….

“Think of the insignificant gimmicks that you’ve been told will help you drop
pounds:

  • Eat breakfast every single day: If you don’t, your body goes into ’starvation mode’.
  • Drink Coffee to speed up your metabolism
  • Drink 12 glasses of cold water every day
  • Eat protein for lunch
  • Sip Green Tea all day
  • Take your Fish Oil Pills every day.

In reality NONE of these things are going to result in significant or long lasting weight loss results.

Each one is either a misuse of scientific fact (confusing an association with causation), is an exaggeration (the ‘metabolism boosting’ effects of green tea or caffeine) or is simply repeating common myths as facts (protein for lunch).

And while the health marketers that push these info tid-bits may or may not mean well, convincing you to focus on the minor and mostly irrelevant tasks can not only prevent you from losing weight, it can also affect your health.

Successfully losing weight seems to be one of the most difficult life-problems to solve.

Yet it can be solved with one of the easiest solutions: Eating less.”

Often overlooked, but so obvious.

Can a friend make you fat?

While we all have to assume personal responsibility for our health and well-being, I think it’s true that other people can affect our health. Think about the times you spend with negative thinking, complaining people. You might feel drained or negative yourself. Compare that to a great evening with positive, uplifting friends and you can really see how the people you surround yourself with impact your health.

Friends can also affect our health with their healthy habits (or not so healthy ones).

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a  study found that “obesity appears to spread through social ties,” suggesting that the condition, which afflicts over 30 percent of the U.S. population, moves in a manner not unlike an infectious disease.

But just how does this work? The authors speculate that having obese social contacts could increase a person’s “tolerance” for obesity (if everyone around you is big, it doesn’t seem abnormal), or might influence their adoption of certain behaviors (getting super nachos instead of a salad). Having an obese friend was found to increase a person’s risk of becoming obese by 50 percent; having an obese sibling increased the risk by 40 percent, and an obese spouse by 37 percent.

We have to make our own decisions about what we eat, how much we sleep or exercise and what medications we take. But we also need to seriously consider how our friends decisions affect our behavior or how we affect theirs, both physically and emotionally.

Cut the negative talk (and the super nachos) and enjoy great friends!

Do you B12?

I get bored when I start to read something that becomes too scientific. While I like to understand why I take vitamins and other medications, it must be explained to me in the most simplistic way. Otherwise, I tune out!

In researching the importance of B12, I tuned out a bunch. Here is one simple explanation I found:

Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins. It is normally involved in the metabolism of every cell of the body, especially affecting DNAfatty acid synthesis and energy production. synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production.

While that is not all simple, it is simple enough for me to understand that B12 is a vital part of NORMAL functioning of the BRAIN and NERVOUS SYSTEM. I want that.

I found this article interesting (and simple) B12

Key Points:

“Studies have reported a significantly higher rate of vitamin B12 deficiency in people with MS than in people without MS, which is suspected to be due to problems with binding and transport of vitamin B12 (meaning that the body does not process vitamin B12 efficiently, which makes it difficult to maintain normal levels without supplementation).

People with vitamin B12 deficiency have destruction of both the myelinaxon. If the deficiency is severe, there can be serious brain damage, causing MS-like symptoms. Even when people have slight B12 deficiency, they may exhibit symptoms like fatigue, depression and memory loss. and the underlying

Vitamin B12 helps maintain the myelin sheath by playing a crucial role in the metabolism of fatty acids essential for the maintenance of myelin.”

I want to protect the Myelin I have left (in the hopes that it will attract more Myelin =)). My B12 levels are (not surprisingly) low and I have them tested every 3-6 months. I give myself 1 B12 injection a week. I don’t have any side effects.

I have heard rumors that B12 helps with weight loss and am sad to report that this has not been my experience. =(

So, do you take B12 shots? Do you test your B12 levels?

Secret addiction

While I typically adhere to the rule, “Never say never”, I can say that there are some things you will NEVER see me eating or drinking. You will NEVER see me eating a fat juicy steak and you will NEVER see me using artificial sweetener. That being said, as careful as I like to be about what I eat and drink, I do have a dirty little secret….

I am addicted to COKE. Of course, I am talking about Coca – Cola. I am not addicted to soda or Pepsi or any other form of soft drink, just Coke. I am addicted to the flavor, to the noise that the bubbles make inside the can, to the sound of coke pouring over ice and especially to the first sip. I am even addicted to Coke slogans like “Have a Coke and a smile”, “it’s the real thing”  or “open happiness”. I like their marketing and love their product.

I have quit drinking Coca Cola several times in my life (proof that I am an addict) and have gone without it for months and even years. I know that soda does not contribute to a healthy lifestyle and it probably doesn’t really make me happier but I LOVE how it makes me feel. I don’t drink Coke every day (but I want to!).

Aside from the horrible things that can happen from drinking coke (weight gain, tooth decay, bone density issues), I wanted to know why Coca Cola made me feel so great and did a little research.

Amazingly, the internet had the answer to my exact question:

What Happens To Your Body If You Drink A Coke Right Now?

December 8, 2006 by Liz Lewis
Filed under Drink, Prevention, Your Body

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Coke*

Have you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? It’s because it gets you high. They took the cocaine out almost a hundred years ago. You know why? It was redundant.

  • In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
  • 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
  • 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
  • >60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • >60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
  • >60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

This will all be followed by a caffeine crash in the next few hours. (As little as two if you’re a smoker.) But, hey, have another Coke, it’ll make you feel better.

Here’s the link:

http://www.blisstree.com/healthbolt/what-happens-to-your-body-if-you-drink-a-coke-right-now/

As for me, starting tomorrow, I am off the Coke! What’s your dirty little food secret?

Life is good

My home office is in place and my diet is completely clean. Life is good. I am optimistic about my infusion next week (June 2nd) because not only is my stress to a minimum but I have been sugar and flour free for more than ten days now and feel really good. I am eating fish, fruit, veggies and eggs. I will be adding bread and sweets back but in MODERATION. While I have rarely practiced this theory, I really believe that the first few (Two or three) bites of anything are the best. Can I have two or three tortilla chips or two or three bites of cheesecake or ice cream? I hate to exclude those yummy things forever but without moderation, they really don’t work for me.

We also planted our garden this week so I am looking forward to a summer full of fresh tomatoes, peppers (sweet and hot), basil and other yummy herbs.

While I don’t always follow my own advice, I still believe that food is the #1 factor in health or illness. What foods make you feel good? or bad? Have you noticed that what you eat, or don’t eat affects your MS?