Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gotta love those tiny baby hats!

So I needed a quick baby shower gift, so I made a quick search for baby patterns on Ravelry and found these cute little gems and I just love them. It was amazing because they are so darn cute and tiny, and I guess I forgot just how tiny they are.... I sure hope that someone near me will have a baby really soon, I would love to snuggle a little baby! Oh and nothing like having a great excuse to knit up some adorable baby items!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Detoxification and clean eating

I have had several people recently ask me about detoxification/cleansing lately and I figured that I would sit down and write a few words about it here instead of writing people individually. First before I say anything else PLEASE PLEASE do not start any detox program if you are unsure of your health status!! So please don't take this post as any medical advise for I am NOT a physican or liscenced medical provider. I am a student of nutrition and I do believe that you can have a toxic overload.

For example, if you must have caffiene everyday, smoke cigarettes or have cravings and withdrawl symptoms, you are probably toxic of those substances be wary of what they are doing to your health. Even processed sugar and flour have these effects.

Moving forward. How are we exposed to toxins? One way is from the environment we breath in exhaust, industrial waste, mold, pollin, dust, smoke and others, We are exposed through the medicines we use and from the food we eat. It is hard to avoid environmental pollutants as we have to live and breathe the air around us. We can take care in where we go to spend our time outdoors, and we can control how much we contribute to environmental polution (another whole post, yes?)

What we can control is what we actually eat and put in our mouths food, medicine and supplements. For example, I was looking at supplements some supplements (generally the cheaper ones but not always) had more sugars and food dies than the substance for which they are labeled to be. Do we really need to take certain medicines? I some instances yes, in many no. Medicines have their place, but I have seen too many that think it is imperative if they go to a doctor for any reason that they should leave with a prescription, this is not always the case.

The best thing that you can do to AVOID becoming toxic is choose foods that are unprocessed, whole and organic whenever possible and don't forget to wash your produce as well. **** Many local farmers are not certified organic as it is an expensive process many cannot afford; however, if you talk to them they will usually be direct with you. Processed foods are a large source of food additives that have not yet been tested for their long term effects. Use caution when buying and eating these products. Other ways is to avoid things like smoking, and second hand smoke and going outside for exercise in industrial areas.

Some small things you can do to assist your body to get into and stay in good health: -choose whole grain flours over white processed and bleached flours. -choose juicing your own fruits and vegetables instead of store bought -make your own bread crumbs (you would think that bread crumbs were straightforward, alas some have more junk then they do crumbs) -avoid excessive or all amounts of alcohol -choose sparkling juices over soda -avoid artificial sweetners and refined sugar -drink lots of water and avoid drinks high in colorings, additives, sugars etc. -bake or broil your foods instead of frying

Our bodies have a natural detoxification system however most of our organs are overloaded. Just exercising can help release toxins from our body through sweat, do you exercise? A sauna is great too. These toxins enter (and hopefully exit) our bodies through our lungs, skin, liver and kidneys. How are you treating yours? There is a myriad of things you can do, cut out foods that are hard to digest for a bit such as dairy, wheat, and meat, eat natural foods such as fruits and veggies (even more you can juice them or blend them into smoothies) for a few days, see how you feel. Sometimes eliminating foods that cause you to feel sluggish and without energy is all you need.

If you really want to detox (and are in relatively good health), start small, perhaps a day of fresh fruit and vegetable juices, it will give your body a break and most likely you will feel better for it. Do remember that whatever you do it is important to keep hydrated so your body will continue to function properly. A vegetable juicer removes the pulp and allows the nutrients to be quickly absorbed into your body quicker. I would recommend doing as much reading as possible, there are many recipes for detox, and I will say it again. If you are unsure of what to do consult a professional for guidance and have support.

There are some really great books that talk about detox, two of my favorites are The New Detox Diet by Elson Haas MD and Natural Detoxification by Jacqueline Krohn MD and Frances Taylor MS. In my own experience it is better to start detox with natural easy to digest foods than with other items that you can purchase for cleansing. I will recall that most religous and spiritual people use fasting as a means to clarity, and other things such as giving up meat or other foods generally speaking these rituals are cleansing to the body. When the body is overloaded it can not keep up with all the work it has to do. Remember that healthy digestion starts in a relaxed atmosphere and chewing your food well.

****Foods high in pesticides: apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears and grapes(imported), bell peppers, celery, spinach, lettuce and potatoes (these are sometimes referred to as 'The dirty dozen')

Food lowest in pesicides:onions, avacados, corn(sweet), asparagus, peas(sweet), cabbage, brocolli, pinneapple, mangos, kiwi, bananas, and papaya

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Peanut/Soy allergy and more

It looks like our family is about to embark a new and different nutritional journey. My cutie pie Nikolas recently had blood work done and unless the test was completely inaccurate it seems he has some definite food and environmental allergies. Dust Mites being the 'high score' has got me busy washing, cleaning and scrubbing in a different mode than usual. It is easier to say that he is not allergic to 5 molds, kentucky bluegrass, dairy and chocolate than to say what he is allergic/sensitive to. Pretty much everything else tested to have at least a small reaction. YIKES... Peanuts was second to the dust mites and the poor child is going to go into shock when I remove his peanut butter.(already searching for an alternative nut butter)

Until we have further information, I would love for you all to share any and all resources that you might have so that I can go into the allergist 'armed' with all the information I can shove into my brain in the next two weeks. My preference is to improve this through nutrition and keeping the house extra clean (even the dusty basement)Perhaps until he goes back to the Dr. I will do my best to keep food logs and such and document how his rash is doing to also bring it to his appointment. Yes I am proactive and will not let any stones go unturned. Especially if there is something that Iwe can do about it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Weightloss is it choice or chance?

Playing this weight loss/maintenance game is quite a roller coaster right now. It's been harder than ever to feel successful and see the success on the scale, in the gym and just inside me. Most days what I put in my mouth is entirely by choice, I choose it and I reap the effects of my choices good or bad. I choose to go the gym, hop on the yoga mat, or strap on the running shoes and hit the pavement. I choose what I buy at the store or farmers market (which is non-existent right now) how I cook it and how much I eat.

Is it really that easy? Some days yes, it really is that easy. Then some days, less than others, it is not. I was on a great road to healing, inside and out, doing well and came across a snag in the road. I had lost 12 lbs and was feeling more physically able to move like I want to be able to move.(so darn close to goal again) Then came a dreaded doctors appointment, a prescription, and at first a 4 lb gain, then a 5 and quite truthfully who knows today... The medications are known to cause weight gain, and I debated not taking it, however I was fully convinced by a few that the doc wouldn't prescribe if it wasn't necessary.. UGH the pressure. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I did Not scarf down over 20,000 additional calories to cause the scale to go booming in the wrong direction, it's so defeating.

So now I continue to exercise (6 days last week) and will not give up. Today I leave it to chance what will happen now. I can't stand feeling bloated, chubby and out of control but I do. A weeks worth of sensible food is planned for on paper. I continue to eat healthy whole foods, exercise and plan plan plan... this is choice. The rest I leave up to chance, as I see despite the discouragement of choosing the right things and chance taking control. It feels completely crummy but I dredge on... for today. What more can I do?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Yaktrax and my icy snow shoveling

Several months ago I had written a post here. In light of finally getting back to my running and a brief question to other runners out there about what they do in the winter months when the roads are icy and packed with snow.

Shortly after posting, I got an email from a marketing person for the yaktrax company asking if they sent me a pair of yaktrax would I be willing to post a review on my blog. Well I agreed, and received the pictured yaktrax, along with some socks and other gear. These yaktrax have so patiently waited in the drawer until just the proper snowy moment so I could strap them onto my shoes.

We had an icy snow storm of sorts last night and being as I had to clean up my driveway of all the heavy and icy snow that had accumulated on it. I strapped on the yaktrax and off I went.

First off, the yaktrax were easy to strap onto my winter boots. Please note that these are not meant for wood floors, and no I didn't damage my floors. I was able to strap them on standing up in our entrance/porch type thing. I knew that there was some ice on the front concrete stairs in front of our house; however, with the yaktrax I was able to walk without worry as the grip was great. It wasn't until I got all the snow off the stairs that I was able to see just how much ice was on there. Ditto for the entire driveway and sidewalk (yup, I am so lucky to live in a neighborhood that has them) The snow was heavy and I was able to get good traction with my legs and feet without slipping.

I was able to trot (as I am slow anyway) on the ice without worrying about slipping, although my neighbors much think I am a complete nut job, I continued to test out the abilities of these little spring like grippers. I am confident that if I got myself out there for a real run, I would most definitely be much safer than if I ran in my shoes alone. I was hoping to go at least up and down the street; however after pushing and pulling lifting all that icy snow from my driveway I think I have had my workout for the day. (except maybe a little bowling on the wii with the kids)

I would recommend these for any sole that spends much time in ice and snow in the winter, if you are walking your dog, shoveling the driveway, or training for your next big (or little) race.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Spoof Videos

On the Corn Growers Association HFCS commercials Here's the guys from the king Corn Documentary..... Here is what the commericals SHOULD be like on TV! Just couldn't resist

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Nutrition and more for the New Year

2008 is now in the past, and it was definitely a big year in terms of nutrition actually in terms of so much. Late summer of 2007 we made a cross country move, it was tough, it was stressful and well I can say that I just did not want to do it! 2008 was our first year in this new(very old) house, starting over one mored time. It's exhausting emotionally and physically.

The biggest part of my journey began in 2004, I have learned so much grown so much and somehow I always seem to land on my feet no matter how painful it may seem at the time. On the other hand as the old adage goes "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger", on the inside I have the biggest muscles on this side of the continent.

My journey started slowly, mostly by just learning to drink water. I look back and wonder how in the world I could have possibly lost all that weight with what I was eating. Much less and better than before. It's just that looking back it is too funny to me. The biggest thing I have learned is that it is about the journey, there will never be perfection unless I can airbrush myself to the outside world and to myself. Impossible, I am sorry to say.

The truth is I believe today that beauty shines from the inside. Good health, confidence and contentment (I don't say happy because we can't be 'happy' every minute of the day) and being content and at peace with who I am is much better for me. This has taken much work over the past few years, a lot of letting go and soul searching. Am I there ALL the time now, no, I am however there much more than before.

I am out of excuses of why I 'can not' get to my goals, I have to just continue on the journey. It's about making choices and making the right ones. Where does nutrition have to come into all of this. Well it does, for me I can say most things lead to it. I have a stomach ache, it's probably something I ate or didn't eat, headache same thing. Tired, not enough water and perhaps not enough sleep. All in all, I know that I feel better from the inside when I eat better.

How do I know what to eat? Honestly, I keep reading learning and experimenting (with my own body) 4.5 years ago, I didn't even know what hunger felt like. I couldn't stop eating when I was full because I didn't recognize the feeling as full. Some days it felt impossible to trust myself that I was not going to starve to death if I stopped eating or waited to eat. Today I know when I am hungry, I know when I am thirsty and I know when I am lonely. Today it is about a choice I make.

Once I began school in June. I was exposed to even more 'diets' than I thought possible. I have read most diet books on the market from Susan Powter (remember her) to Atkins (funny for a vegetarian), Richard Simmons, French Woman don't get fat, South Beach, Mcdougall and much more. I have experimented with vegan, raw, omnivorous (not recently) etc. What I realize about most of these is that they are all very hard to keep up with long term. All of these plans have positive and negative points; however, I still have interest in what the authors/founders have to say about each one, because I can take positive aspects of each and incorporate them into my lifestyle. Raw food is great for me, but if I miserable trying to eat it all the time, I know I will not shine. Just like anything else, I have to follow my intuition and do what feels good in my own body.

The journey of learning about me, is what it is all about. I have no expectations of myself except to learn what feels good to me and offer to nourish myself and my family in that way. My food choices are different then they were 4 years ago, and even 1 year ago, and they will probably be different this time next year. 2009 is my year to have complete postitive choices, try new recipes, and begin fresh and new. Nothing more nothing less. I strive to be healthier and more energetic this time next year.

A very important aspect along with nutrition for me is exercise. Really they go hand in hand. The muscles store and utilize energy (from food/calories) better with use. So balance is the key. Not to much and not to little. I am looking forward to what the new year will bring and what new things will come into my life.