Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Decision for a Lifestyle change Part 2

In my last post I said told about how I became sick and started fasting to clear my body of toxins that were causing the illness. This post I will tell how after two weeks I discontinued the fast and was able to continue losing weight.

I have read that the best way to come off of a fast was to come off it slowly so that's what I did. When my appetite began to return I started eating fresh fruits and vegetables for several days. When I became hungry again I knew that I needed to add protein to my diet so I started eating chicken and fish in small quantities along with the fruits and vegetables. I started eating oatmeal for breakfast. Not just oatmeal but oatmeal with honey or molasses and almonds or walnuts. I avoided eating anything white--white sugar, white flour, white rice, milk and even potatoes. I also avoided eating anything that contained wheat for about a month.

About the time I started eating protein again I started yoga. I opted for yoga for several reasons. First of all, I've got some very stiff joints because I have osteoarthritis. The yoga helps me loosen up without damaging or jarring my joints. I ease my body every morning out of the pain in the joints and in the process and lengthening and strengthening my muscles.

I do the yoga aswana type of yoga which is the type that uses physical poses.

Yoga has helped me become more aware of my body's signals. My body tells me when I need to be especially sensitive around a joint. It tells me when the pain that I'm feeling should be worked through and when the pain needs to be heeded and I need to stop in order to avoid injury. I have learned through the yoga that I need to discipline myself and I need to be patient with myself and this has stretched into other areas of my life.

I have started a journal. I haven't started a food journal because I don't want that kind of relationship with food. The relationship I want with food is one of mutual respect. Food is meant to nourish me that is all. It was not designed to be comfort to me. The journal is helping me deal with my real issues that I have buried under these layers of fat. As the weight comes off, I go deeper and deeper into what is really going on and what I really have to get rid of along with the extra pounds. Again it is a process that I must be disciplined in and be patient with.

I am not on a diet. I am changing my lifestyle to benefit me over the long term. So far the decision to change my lifestyle has resulted in my being 24 pounds lighter. Daily I continue to grow in discipline and patience.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Decision for a Lifestyle change

Around the Fifteenth of March I got some kind of virus. The virus had cold symptoms and soon developed into what I would guess is bronchitis. The illness dragged on for two weeks which is the sickest I have been in many years. In the beginning I tried several over the counter medications that didn't seem to work. I was afraid that I would have to go to the doctor and get antibiotics in order to get over this thing. I don't know where the idea came from or why I decided that this was the best thing for me but I realized that I wasn't hungry. I figured if I wasn't hungry then perhaps I should try fasting. After all, didn't the old adage say: "Starve a cold?" I didn't opt for an all water fast because I was afraid of electrolyte imbalances so instead I opted to include juice.

For those two weeks I didn't eat anything solid, nor did I want anything solid. I was miserable but I was content that this course of action was the right one to help remove toxins from my body so that it could fight off what was obviously more than just a virus.

During these two weeks not only did I not eat but I hardly had the energy to get off the couch so I did a lot of thinking. I was finally realizing that I needed to take better care of my body. All those promises that I made to myself about eating better foods and getting proper exercise I hadn't yet followed through on. I vowed to myself that this fast was the beginning of a lifestyle change.

In my next post I will explain how I did transition from the fast to what I plan is a lifetime long lifestyle change.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why I do it isn't because I'm cheap!

Yesterday I worked all day hanging out laundry on the clothes line (my solar clothes dryer!) and worked at weeding the garden and filling in seeds where they hadn't germinate. A thought came to me: Am I doing this because I'm cheap or is there another reason?

Immediately I realized that it wasn't because I was cheap. If I were doing it because I was cheap, we would be eating macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. I can't tell you the last time we ate that in our home.

One reason could be because I like the fact that we are decreasing our carbon footprint. The fact that when we grow our food in the backyard, it doesn't have to be trucked half way cross the country to get to my table. Food trucked in trucks that are fueled by diesel which is fuel processes from oil. The oil derrick fiasco in the gulf of Mexico that is currently crippling the tourism and fishing in Southern Gulf States reminds me that having a backyard garden makes good common sense.

By not using the dryer I am decreasing the necessity of our electric company from having to burn more coal to keep every one in electrical power. This coal comes from deep shafted mines where miners daily risk their lives simply so I can run my dryer? I prefer to forgo the luxury.

Having a garden and a clothes line helps me spiritually as well. I am connected to nature, the Creator and the creation. Rather than ignoring the weather conditions by simply throwing my clothes in the dryer, I am compelled (because I like dry clothes)to know what the weather will be before I do laundry. If rain is likely, I save laundry for another day. If the day is sunny, I do all the laundry I can do that day because it might rain the next.

There's so much each day that the garden helps with me spiritually. Creating and using the compost pile reminds me that everything goes somewhere and that it is best to recognize that wastes in one area is a prized commodity in another. This philosophy can be carried into so many areas of our lives.

It's said that the best fertilizer for a garden is the foot prints of the gardener. Perhaps that is what this garden called earth misses most.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How many grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates I need each day

To decide how much you need in fats, proteins and carbohydrates each day, first you need to discover how many calories you need to consume each day. To figure that out try this equation.
If you are a woman, here's the formula to find out the exact calories you personally need (Basic Metabolic rate or BMR)to maintain your current weight while sleeping.

655+(4.3x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x Height in inches)-(4.7x age in years)=BMR
Now calculate your activity. If you're trying to lose weight, calculate using the sedentary rate: BMR x 0.20= Add this number you get to your BMR and you will have the calorie intake you need to maintain your current weight.

Second you will need to figure out what calorie intake should be taken in each of these categories. for fats multiply it by 0.4, for proteins multiply it by 0.3 for carbohydrates multiply it by 0.3. To check to see if you multiplied right, add all your calories together. You should come up with your total caloric intake.

Now that you know how many calories need to be eaten each day in fats, proteins, and carbohydrate you can figure out how many grams you will need by dividing the calories by 4 for proteins and carbohydrates and 9 for fats.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What should I be eating?

I'm beginning a slightly new direction with this post. I am going to change this blog from being about gardening to about how to live a healthy lifestyle. Everyone knows that in order to have a healthy lifestyle, then need to do things like quit smoking, minimal if any alcohol, proper rest (7-9 hours per night), plenty of exercise and proper food for good nutrition. It's in the implementation that we often fall short. How do we do what we know is good for us?

When I was in nursing school, we had to take one semester of nutrition and in it I learned that we needed to divide our calorie intake by the percentage of our daily caloric intake should be in carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The percentage at the time was suggested at 30% fats, 30% proteins and 40% carbohydrates. From a recent study that I saw, these percentages should be changed to 40% fats, 30% proteins and 30% carbohydrates if our intention is to lose weight.

The reason, according to the study is that it takes more energy to burn fats than it does carbohydrates. Because digesting fats take more energy, the process takes longer. Yes, fats have 9 calories per gram and carbohydrates only have 4 calories per gram and you would think that because carbohydrates have only 4 calories per gram, because you can eat more, you will feel satisfied longer but that is not the case. When you eat more of your calorie intake as fats, you will maintain an even blood sugar level longer because it's taking the fats longer to digest. If you take more calories as carbohydrates, your blood sugar rises faster, your insulin kicks in and cleans up the excess sugar storing the 'extra calories' as fat and suddenly you're hungry again. Not only that but that 'sugar stored as fat' will be harder for your body to use. It will want to go for lean muscles tissue before it goes after that fat. You will not only be hungry again but you will be decreasing your metabolism because you are feeding on lean muscle tissue. Worse yet, your pancreas will be working over time to produce insulin and can wear out. This is one of the chief causes of Diabetes type II.

By switching the percentages, you will slowly be feeding your body the fuel it needs and your body will maintain the energy it needs to maintain a good metabolism.