Thursday, October 16, 2014
Did you know you can REVERSE Prediabetes
and PREVENT Type 2 Diabetes ?
First of all - What is Prediabetes ?
Prediabetes is a health condition that results when you have too much glucose, or sugar, in your blood, (but it is not yet high enough to be called "Diabetes".
What's the GOOD News ?
You can improve your condition and prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes,
Who is at risk of Prediabetes ?
1. Age 45 or older
2. Overweight or obese
3. Being physically inactive
4. History of cardiovascular (heart) disease
5. High blood pressure - or being treated for high blood pressure (hypertension)
6. High cholesterol
7. Having a parent or sibling with diabetes
8. Having gestational diabetes during pregnancy
9. Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
10.In women, having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
11.Having a family background that is African American, Alaska Native, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander
12.Having a dark, velvety rash around your neck or armpits (known as acanthosis nigricans)
How do I know if I have Prediabetes ?
You need to get tested for a fasting blood glucose or sugar (FBS).
There are no typical physical symptoms of having Prediabetes, so many people are Prediabetic and do not yet know it. Talk to your doctor about getting tested.
How do you treat Prediabetes ?
Simply put: ACTIVITY and WEIGHT LOSS
Even a modest amount of weight loss can make a big difference. Experts suggest aiming for 5-10 % of your current body weight. That would be 10-20 pounds for a 200 pound person. This can actually prevent the development of Diabetes and reverse Prediabetes.
Physical activity will not only help you burn more calories and tone muscles, but will also significantly help with weight loss efforts. In addition, increased physical activity helps your body become more sensitive to insulin, the hormone that helps manage blood sugar levels.
If you have never been physically active, check with your doctor first and start out slow. Walking is a great form of exercise and a great way to start ! Aim for 30 minutes a day of activity and then, over time, increase your activity to 30-60 minutes per day.
Here are some ideas to increase your daily activity:
l. Use a pedometer and track your steps. Each mile is about 2000 steps.
2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
3. Take a quick walk during your lunch break at work.
4. Park at the far end of a parking lot and walk to the building.
5. Walk on a treadmill while you watch TV, read, or listen to music.
6. If your destination is not too far - consider walking there instead of hopping in the car.
7. Get a walking buddy
8. Find scenic places to take a walk.
9. Walk your dog.
I'm sure you can think of more.
Here are some weight loss tips:
1. Eat breakfast daily to give you energy and help you feel full
2. Drink calorie-free water ! Avoid all sweetened beverages. Avoid alcohol. Avoid artificially-sweetened beverages as well since they tend to make you hungrier and thirstier.
3. Follow the MYPLATE model in which 1/2 of your plate consists of fruits and vegetables.
4. Log on to SparkPeople every day and track your food and activity.
5. Be active for at least 30 minutes daily. Gradually increase the length of your activity as your fitness level improves.
Find out if you are Prediabetic, and if so, take steps to reverse this condition before it is too late. Take care of your health.
I was around 200 pounds for several years and was Prediabetic. With SparkPeople I have lost 30-40 pounds and now my fasting blood sugar is below 100. I walk almost every day.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I'm proud of myself today for saying "No, thanks".
It was a BIG temptation.
Our neighbor, (funny her name is "Angel") knocked on our door and offered us a bottle of tequila. "Do you still drink?", she inquired.
We haven't had tequila since mid-March, six months ago, when Johnny went a little crazy and busted up his guitar. We didn't have ANY hard liquor since. Six whole months. Until 10 days ago when I bought a bottle of whiskey for us to share, and AGAIN, DUH !, Johnny went a little crazy, screaming at the top of his lungs, for all our neighbors in our little building to hear, about all the illegal activity going on by certain individuals (who shall remain nameless). He then proceeded to recount all the reasons he hates living in our apartment, the "drug dealing" being one of the reasons.
I became angry that he seemed to be unhappy with our living arrangements and yelled back, "IF you're not happy here, you're NOT a prisoner, and you can just LEAVE !"
We calmed down and made up quickly after I said that, but. . . fast forward here to this evening: Here was Angel offering us a bottle of hard liquor. For FREE !
I'm sure she heard our big fight last week. (She lives on the other side of our wall). And now she's offering us a big bottle of BOOZE ? Does she want to hear a repeat ?
I just kept saying, "Oh! No. No. No. No ! But thanks anyway."
She persisted. "Maybe save it for company? It's too hard for my stomach."
I continued, "No, thanks ! We really don't want it around to tempt us." And shut the door in her face.
I'm so proud of myself for being strong.
Johnny and I started discussing the "temptation" we just experienced.
I said, "That was definitely the ENEMY tempting us to drink hard liquor !"
Johnny thought that maybe it was GOD testing us. I wasn't sure about it so I got out my Bible. James, in (James 1: 2-4, and 13-15) writes,
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. . . . . When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
So we were both wrong. It wasn't the Enemy or God but rather we were tempted by our "own evil desire".
We love both the taste and the effect of liquor.
But we're learning. We can't stop at one or two. We'd probably have a "problem" fueled by the alcohol. And then there's the hangover next day, or in Johnny's case, three days. His liver really can't handle the booze anymore. His liver enzymes are already high.
So Johnny thanked me for saying "NO !" to Angel at the door. He wants to be healthy and live. He wasn't upset that I didn't accept the "gift" and we could have had an "instant party". He was glad that "I" was the one who answered the door. He admitted he wouldn't have been able to turn away a free bottle of booze.
So here we are at 11 pm at night. I got my 30 minute walk to the beach in at sunset. Then we watched the final 2 hour show of "America's Got Talent". And now I'm on the computer doing what I discovered I really enjoy doing . . . writing. I'm finishing my sixth day alcohol-free. (I drank some wine on September 11th ).
We triumphed over temptation . . . only by the Grace of God.
Whew ! That was a close one !
Sunday, September 14, 2014
I'm thrilled with my newest purchase which was delivered yesterday by UPS - a light blue all-aluminum Schwinn bicycle. My sweetheart, Johnny, had to do some assembly. Thank goodness he's quite a "handy-man". It would have been next to impossible for me to do myself. He did an excellent job and got it all adjusted for my short legs and long back.
It GLIDES like a DREAM !
I haven't gone very far yet - just a little test ride around the parking lot at the radio station across the street. It is by far, the best bicycle I have ever ridden.
And it is SO PRETTY !
As most of you know, I haven't been able to afford a car for almost 6 years now (although I have a perfectly good "safe driver" driver's license). But a new bcycle was within my budget. I'm very satisfied with my "new wheels".
But here's the problem:
Now I won't have to WALK everywhere anymore. And I will actually be getting LESS exercise by rolling along effortlessly on my new Schwinn. ! lol
Case in point:
Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment. I was planning on walking the mile and a quarter. Now I'll be trying out my new bicycle. I have to admit, it will be nice to not be as hot and sweaty as I would be if I walked there. (We're still getting up to 90 degrees every afternoon down here in Florida).
Oh, I just thought of something. With my new bicycle, I'll be MORE likely to go to my twice per week exercise class which is also a little over a mile away. That will mean LOTS more exercise as we do weight lifting, and sitt-ups, and push-ups, and squats, etc. I haven't attended in probably 9 months. I've GOT to get back into the habit of showing up there. I have an umbilical hernia that concerns me and has kept me from doing any other exercise other than walking. I'm considering surgery. I'll have to see how I do at the class before I decide if surgery is necessary.
But back to the new bicycle. It is really beautiful and, most importantly for me, it is made of aluminum so I don't have to worry about it rusting. I LOVE it !
Ride, Valerie, Ride ! lol
Friday, September 05, 2014
Have you ever noticed how you can take a really "good-for-you" healthy, nutritious food and totally RUIN it by how you prepare it or "top" it ?
I've always been conscious of that when I'm trying to eat healthy and lose weight.
Some people are oblivious to that fact - or just want their food to taste "extra good".
Case in point: My neighbor who is an insulin dependent 500 pound man brags that he tries to eat healthy by snacking on celery. I thought that was great until I found out that he gobs peanut butter on his healthy celery. Sure peanut butter has protein and the healthy kind of fat, but it also has a high calorie content. I did some checking. 2 medium stalks of celery, which are basically fiber and water, are only 15 calories. Spread on 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter and you add 200 calories. That still wouldn't be so bad IF you stop at 2 tablespoons and not eat half of the jar. But does my neighbor stop at 2 tablespoons? I wonder !
My landlady was shocked by her weight at her last visit to the doctor and wants to slim down. She's decided to eat mainly salad, which is great since 3 cups of tossed salad has only about 66 calories. But top it with 1/4 cup of blue cheese dressing and you've added at least 300 calories of mostly "fat". Not exactly a "diet plan" !
A friend of mine was advised by her doctor to avoid "shrimp" because her cholesterol is high. Apparently that doctor isn't aware of the fact that dietary cholesterol is NOT the main culprit when it comes to serum cholesterol. We need to avoid "trans" fats and saturated fats and "total" fats in our diets. I informed my friend that shrimp are perfectly fine to eat as long as you don't batter and fry them. I looked up shrimp on the SparkPeople food tracker for verification. 6 cooked shrimp were listed at only 33 calories. But fried coconut shrimp were over 500 calories ! That didn't count any sauces you dip them in. Big difference !
Most people think a baked potato is the most fattening and unhealthy thing to eat. "Oh, all those carbs !" they say. Well a medium baked potato with the skin is only 160 calories. And I had heard years ago and recently saw again on SP, that a medium baked potato actually has more potassium than a BANANA ! The lowly potato also has zero fat and 4 grams of protein. Sounds pretty healthy to me. But, of course, top it with 1 tablespoon butter (100 calories), 2 tablespoons sour cream (50 calories) and bacon bits (25 calories) and you're up to 335 calories. Now you're talking ! I always order my baked potato PLAIN in a restaurant - and I enjoy it that way. The same goes for a baked sweet potato. They're delicious PLAIN ! You don't need all that butter and brown sugar. Learn to enjoy the natural food without all the added fat and sugar.
My favorite snack is a medium fresh apple. Only about 75 calories and lots of fiber. Now I could easily add 385 calories by topping it with butter, brown sugar and walnuts and baking it. That still would be a pretty healthy dessert, however, as far as desserts go !
But my point is this - - natural whole foods can be so healthy and nutritious when you eat them in their natural state. But most people tend to "ruin" them by smothering them in fat such as butter or cheese, or topping them with sugar, or battering and deep frying them.
Enjoy your fresh steamed broccoli without the melted cheese. Saute your boneless, skinless chicken breast in a little canola oil instead of breading it with mayonnaise and parmesan cheese. Have a fresh banana for a treat instead of a big banana split with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
So don't "ruin" your food. Learn to enjoy whole natural foods without all the added extra calories. Your waist-line will thank you for it !
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