Thursday, October 19, 2017

Day 19 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 19 of the Write 31 Days writing challenge. My theme for this month is “31 Days of Healthy Choices”

Yesterday I not only woke up feeling sicker, but also to the news that Gord Downie had died. (and did not feel at all up to blogging)

For Canadians, Gord holds a special place in our collective hearts. 

Check here for the moving tribute from our own Prime Minister - who shed tears for his friend.

Gord's group, The Tragically Hip, has been around for more than 30 years. Watching them, and listening to his lyrics, is always an experience.

Last year we had the news that he had an inoperable brain tumour. What a shock that was. But then he proceeded to defy that prognosis. There was a countrywide tour and a new project, The Secret Path. He wanted to use his platform to inspire Canadians to be better than themselves.

But on Tuesday, he died, at the age of 53. What a tragic loss for us all.

He has left us a vast amount of music and poetry. He also leaves us with a philosophy for living that we all would be wise to adopt.

“First thing we’d climb a tree
And maybe then we’d talk
Or sit silently and listen to our thoughts
With illusions of someday
Casting a golden light

No dress rehearsal,

This is our life."

So, sit quietly, or gather with friends, and remember life is not a dress rehearsal. Live life to your fullest – with LOVE.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Day 17 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 17 of the Write 31 Days writing challenge. My theme is 31 Days of Healthy Choices.

When you are sick, you need to step back and take care of yourself. And I am sick - probably a cold, but still feel lousy.
So today, I have:
* slept in
*taken tylenol twice
*drank lots of tea
*made chicken noodle soup
*rubbed my chest with Vicks
*had a hot rum toddy (boiled water, honey, rum, cinnamon)
*gargle with warm salt water
*and am now heading to be - earlier than I usually do

Be sure to take care of yourself when you are ill!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Day 16 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 16 of the Write 31 Days writing Challenge. My theme for this month is 31 Days of Healthy Choices.

I grew up with 3 brothers and a sister and meals were always a rush. I learned to eat quickly. To this day, I am still one of the first to finish.

I read an interesting, informative article from Spark People today, and it pointed out the benefits of eating slowly and really savouring your food.

Digestion is improved, bloating is lessened and may help in weight loss.
You need to allow at least 20 minutes to eat your meal as it takes that long for the brain to register you are full

Read here for the whole article and more tips on how to eat more mindfully.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Day 15 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 15 of the Write 31 Days writing challenge. My theme is 31 Days of Healthy Choices.

Here we are almost mid-month and choices should be easier. When I got interrupted for Thanksgiving, my routines were disrupted and I have been having some difficulty getting back on track.

I so wish I could twitch my nose and the house was totally decluttered or I was at the weight I need to be. But there is no quick fix. There are so many people on TV or on the radio who promise to help you lose weight or get fit – all for some low monthly cost.

But, it doesn’t work that way, as much as we wish it would. They certainly make their money and when we fail, we blame ourselves and not the advertiser.

Slow and steady wins the race – especially on the road to better health.
I just have to buckle down and just make one good choice after another, and continue doing that.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Day 14 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 14 of the Write 31 Days writing challenge. My theme is “31 Days of Healthy Choices.

Stress is a killer. Too many people live with daily stress – whether from jobs, relationships or situations. We really have to get it under control or it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes.
Tonight I had the perfect antidote to stress - we entertained friends, had a meal together, played cards, laughed.

Other ways I deal with stress:
*talk to friends
*create art
*walk and take photos

How do you reduce stress in your life?

Check here for more info on handling stress:
10 Tips      

Friday, October 13, 2017

Day 13 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 13 of the Write 31 Days writing challenge. My theme is: 31 Days of Healthy Choices.

I do not have diabetes but my husband does. We are both on cholesterol lowering medication  though as it is important to have lower cholesterol. I tried with diet and some exercise to lower it but I wasn’t successful enough.

The older I get, the greater concern I have for having a stroke , as this is what caused my mother and grandfather to die.

So, I want to adopt healthy practices that will keep my cholesterol low:
1.     Reduce stress – this is a big one, and I know there is stress due to my husband’s health. But I read and do some art and it helps.
2.   Eat a balanced meal: more vegetables, whole wheat breads, more fish and chicken, fruit – and less fat, sugar, salt.
3. Get active –a minimum of 3 – 30 minute blocks of exercise a week. Although we are trying 3 – 10 minute blocks a day.
4.   Lose weight. Trying – but it is definitely harder the older you are.

“Raise Your Hand for diabetes” is an initiative in Canada to raise awareness of diabetes. Check here for info on diabetes.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Day 12 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 12 of the Write 31 Days writing challenge. My theme is “31 Days of Healthy Choices”.

Did you know that the average Canadian consume more than 25 teaspoons of sugar a day? That’s an obscene amount of sugar. The trouble is, sugar hides in so much of what we eat – pop, ketchup, sweets, etc, etc, etc. Check any processed product and there will probably be some kind of sugar/dextrose in the ingredients.
Some glucose in our diet is needed for good brain function – but too much and a whole host of bad comes with it:
*memory problems
*liver disease
*bad skin
And this is just the short list!

We have become addicted to sugar and we need the high we get from it. Yet we know it is bad.
I have tried cutting back, but once I have a carb with sugar, my cravings start.
After two weeks on the South Beach diet a few years ago, my sugar cravings stopped and I lost weight. Trouble is, once I restarted carbs, the cravings, and the weight returned.
Eating anything in moderation is a given – we need to be as aware as possible about what we put into our bodies, especially sugar.

Check here for an interesting article on sugar consumption.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Day 11 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 11 of Write 31 Days – the daily writing challenge. My theme is “31 Days of Healthy Choices

Yesterday I wrote a bit about reading labels and watching out for sodium and sugar.
There are many so-called “healthy” foods that really aren’t healthy for you. By checking the labels, you can quickly see why not.

Here’s a list of foods that really aren’t that healthy.

Canned soups – too much sodium in most cases

Trail mix, granola – make your own!

Flavoured yogurt – too much sugar

Smoothies – watch out for added sugar

Gluten-free foods – really check the labels closely

Frozen diet dinners – too much sodium

Wheat bread – be sure it is 100% whole wheat

Fruit cocktail – better to heat fresh fruit

Check here to see more such foods and why they might not be such healthy choices.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Day 10 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 10 of the Write 31 Days – the daily writing challenge for which my theme is “31 Days of Healthy Choices”

Yesterday our family celebrated Thanksgiving with a big turkey dinner. The day was full with prep and family, so I did not post.

A benefit of my husband being diabetic is the training we received from the diabetic clinic. We learned about counting carbs, reading labels closely and portion size.

We don’t look at food quite the same way now. We check for sodium, sugar and carbohydrates. It really is a challenge sometimes to find food choices that are low in both sodium and sugar.

I used to serve low salt soup for my hubby when he wasn’t well. But after checking all the labels of different kinds of soup, I now make my own chicken noodle soup.

Reading labels and checking ingredients should be part of everyday shopping. If I can’t read the ingredients, I tend not to buy the item.

Here is a great site to learn how to read labels for better nutrition.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Day 8 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 8 of the Write 31 Days challenge - with my theme being "31 Days of Healthy Choices"

My word of the weekend has been balance!
 With 3 special Thanksgiving dinners this weekend (Friday, Sunday and Monday), I have tried to balance what I eat each meal. I have tried to eat just a bit of each dish and eat slower. With so many at the table, there has been more talking and thus slower eating.
My downfall tho has been the pumpkin pie and whipped cream. But I tried to balance it with more steps each day - and that has helped.

One more day - and then I can return to the new routines that I had just started.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Day 7 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 7 of “Write 31 Days” – the daily writing challenge this month. My theme is healthy Choices.

One healthy choice that is not disputed is exercise. We are told often that we need to get more physical – that we must get our heart pumping for a sustained time. We need to be less sedentary – not sitting for too long.

Although I used to enjoy swimming and skating and walking, as I’ve aged, I’ve had much less of a love affair with any of these activities.

With the stress in my life, I had turned to food – and so over the years, my weight increased. I know what is required; I know why exercise is so important.

Dr. Axe offers these 11 benefits of exercise.  

The Mayo Clinic offers a benefits list as well.

So with the fitbit to help me achieve my 10 000 steps most days and weekly swimming, I am getting more active, although I still have a ways to go.

What physical activity do you take part in?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Day 6 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 6 of the “Write 31 Days” – with my theme of 31 Days of Making Healthy Choices

Bad day (food overeating)!

Here in Canada, this weekend is Thanksgiving weekend. All 3 
of my kids and their significant others (and the newest grandchild) came for our Thanksgiving dinner.

So we had turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, squash, gravy, cranberry sauce, and of course, pumpkin pie, with whipped cream.

am still overly stuffed. But hosting my kids was definitely worth it. We laughed and talked and ate and ate.

We all need to have days where we splurge a bit – knowing we will get back on track in a day or two.

I made sure I walked a lot  - in fact I have over 11,000 steps ( and I have another hour until midnight!)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Write 31 Days - day 5

Today is Day 5 of the "Write 31 Days" - and my theme for this challenge is "31 Days of Healthy Choices"

Yesterday I mentioned keeping a list of foods eaten and how you are feeling.
But, I find that keeping a journal involves so much more. It becomes a record, a diary, a means to clear the mind of negative thoughts.
If you have never kept a journal consider doing it.
In Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way", she stresses writing morning pages. I find that for me, I need to dump what's bothering me and also what's right with me at night. I can exorcise the gremlins and go to be having expressed gratitude for what has gone well. I sleep much better.

Here are some articles on keeping a journal:

The Benefits of Writing in a Journal

10 Journaling Tips

What to Write in a Journal

Do you keep a journal?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Write 31 Days - Day 4

Today is Day 4 of the Write 31 Days Challenge.

As I settle into watching what I eat, and taking as many steps as I can, there are still bumps in the road.
This morning I had cereal with flax for breakfast - I just couldn't face eggs. But that led to a bigger lunch. I will have to go back to having an egg for breakfast for a while.

Here are some tips I remember that have helped before:

~number 1 - is to journal about this journey and write down everything that you eat each meal. It is recommended by many people. And it does work.

~brush your teeth after every meal

~don't eat anywhere but at the  dining room/kitchen table

~have a bunch of vegetables already cut up for a quick snack

~put some fruit in your water and sip often

~set a timer for 30 minutes when at the computer - and then get up and move around for at least 10 minutes

What tips do you have to help you eat and live healthier?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Day 3 - Write 31 Days

Today is Day 3 of the “Write 31 Days Challenge”

Yesterday, I bought “Food Can Fix It” by Dr. Oz Mehmet and started reading it right away. I found much to like about it and learn from.

The idea that “food heals your body and energizes your life”, reinforced what I want for a healthier life.

In the first section, Oz describes how prediabetes works and how fat comes to be stored in the body. I have a fatty liver and Oz gave great detail of how  the condition develops.

I plan to read this book this month and make many food fixes – for pain, for my heart, for my brain and untimately for weight loss.

His 21 Day Plan looks doable and I am eager to follow it. As I have been cutting back on snacks, I am starting to feel a bit better. With Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend, I plan to start the Plan next wee.

I’ll leave you with a quote (and good advice)

The closer you can get to eating foods the way they appear in nature, the better off you will be.” (pr. 15

Monday, October 2, 2017

Write 31 Days - Day 2

Day 2 of the Write31Days – and the topic today is New Routines.

To be successful in leading a healthier lifestyle, I really must adopt new routines.
For too long, I have:
~had a treat with my tea, 4 or 5 times a day
~not exercised
~walked less than 6,000 steps most days
~snacked just before bed
`~eaten too much bread and desserts
~not eaten enough fruits So here is a list of new routines I hope to adopt (adapted from Healthy Habits Daily Countdown) 

1 glass of hot lemon water to start the day
2 hours before bed turn off the computer
3 -10 minute exercise breaks – just as effective as 1 -30 minute block
4 hours between meals
5 -7 fruits and vegetables a day
6 food breaks – 3 healthy meals and 3 small healthy snacks
7 -8 hours of sleep a night
8 glasses of water a day
9 minutes or more – to meditate, write in a gratitude journal, pray
10 thousand steps a day

I started my morning with a glass of hot lemon water. (There are many benefits- check here for reasons why)
Breakfast was an egg and half an English muffin
No tea, no cereal, no toast. And it filled me to lunch - of canned salmon and carrots and a nectarine.
I plan to stay away from tea for a while and drink more water.

Changing routines and developing healthier habits is my key to success.