This is an aside from usual posts here…but may become a bit more regular if there is interest. I think anything that promotes increased energy for moms is relevant here;). As an aside, it has been quiet here as my website is about to go through a migration to a new server…not completely certain how this will affect everything.
I have been meaning to post about this for awhile now but today seems like a great day as many will be considering goals and improvements beginning tomorrow. I know I will be starting again after a week or so of deviation from my standards.
I will start this post with saying, I am not a nutritionist or at all medically trained. My info comes from my own experimentation and interest in my own well being. The only real take away from this is should be that we need to be our own advocates for our health!
With heart disease in my family and my mum passing away way to early of breast cancer, health is on my mind a lot! Although it began before some of those factors were on my mind, here is a story I am sure I have mentioned before. During trips to the grocery store with my mum when I was little, I would spend “candy” money that we were given on new and exotic fruits and vegetables. By the age of 12, I already had a great love for avocados, artichokes, and pomegranates…in the 80’s these were not common items in people’s carts;). This love and curiosity has never changed and it has spread to my children;).
Despite this love for great, fresh food, I have always dealt with high cholesterol…I was cautioned in my 20’s about my high cholesterol. At that time, I was a 20 yr old thinking more about my weight than nutrition though. I was eating low fat or no fat at all which actually seemed to lead to some issues with my HDL (the good cholesterol) and it not being high enough to offset some of the LDL (bad cholesterol). I was able to get that under control by taking in more good fats…yeah, avocados and essential oils! I did a lot of reading and attended classes to broaden my knowledge around fats. This definitely furthered my interest in food and sparked my “food heals” thoughts.
Then my mum got cancer…despite eating healthy. My mum made everything from scratch but we were a fairly typical British meat and potatoes family with a few other veggies on the side. When my mum passed in 2007, it rocked my world. Also being a new mom, it freaked me right out! What if I was not going to be there for my kids? Anyway, this lead to a lot more reading about nutrition and disease. Reading Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet opened up a lot more topics that were so interesting to me…not only about nutrition but ph balance of the body, the effects of stress on the body, the lymph system,… Although this book is 10 years old now, I still find the concepts in it to be very relevant…and she is just entertaining to read, I think;).
It was a lot to take in and I have slowly over 10 years been working to incorporate portions into my life and have continued to read numerous books on the subject…in some cases too many. The more you read, the more things start to contradict each other. It is definitely a balance of figuring out what works for your body!
Fast forward to this Feb, after an annual trip to the doctor to check my cholesterol, I was told that my numbers were at levels where I should be considering taking medication to lower my cholesterol. At 43, this did not sit well with me. Taking drugs for the rest of my life…BS! To clarify, I am not against medication (most of my family is part of the medical profession), but I could not fathom that there was not a better way to change my numbers. And the doctor’s statement that there was nothing I could do as it is genetics, lit a bit of a fire under me. Yes, it plays a part but I needed to see for myself if I made drastic changes, could I change my numbers? (I am a bit stubborn like that:) And I knew, that if I was being honest, there were areas that I could make changes. So for 6 months, I significantly reduced my dairy intake (cheese was a problem), I reduced the amount of meat I was eating (this continues to dwindle even more as I find I feel even better without it), lowered my intake of nuts (even though these are healthy fats, I was eating them in excess) and I have significantly reduced my vice…Miss Vickie’s chips;). I will add that I had already made a lot of changes over 10 years making these last few changes even easier and I had significant fire under me this time.
So the results…drum roll please…I have been able to reduce my total cholesterol from 5.3 in Feb to 4.3! CRAZY!!! I will add a disclaimer that it was not my doctor in Canada that thought medication was necessary and the rules may be different in the U.S.
The most amazing part, besides the numbers which I am clearly very happy about, is that I feel AMAZING. I have even more energy…which may seem incomprehensible if you have witnessed me chasing your 2 year olds around;). I have some pretty extreme dreams for myself and my health…surfing with my grandkids one day;) being one of them…so ENERGY is a necessity!!
As I head into the New Year, I am back to focussing on my list of Standards…I have never been one to do Resolutions… So if this is of interest, here are some of my standards
- essential oils 5 days a week – fish or plant based oils
- 70% plant-based days – for me a lot of these plants are raw because it is easy and I really like salads
- workout 5 days a week (for me this is anyway that I can move my body over and above what I already do in a day…skiing, hiking, biking, yoga, pilates, elliptical,…)
- half my body weight in ounces of water
Again, take this with a grain of salt and I would love to hear if there are things that you are doing that have made major changes in your life. I am also hoping to re-start my Social Series events this winter and I expect that topics will revolve around this. If you know of small businesses, that would like to come and do a talk about nutrition or fitness or well-being, please have them send me a note.
Happy New Year!! I am so excited for all that is to come in 2018!!!