You,, too, can embark on the journey to optimal health! It begins by cleansing to the cellular level and rebuilding with clean food after that. To participate, leave a comment or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll need to order by March 1 if you are interested in doing the cleanse beginning on March 9. We'll be sharing our experiences with the Sisters 4 Self-Care support group.
Ooh! The joys of getting older.
So, some of you may know that I had bunion surgery on my right foot on Memorial Day weekend, 2014. My foot wasn't terribly deformed but it hurt fairly regularly, especially if I was wearing heels. Most would just say not to wear heels and I had eased up on wearing them a bit but I knew that something wasn't right when my foot would hurt even in flats or gym shoes. I was apprehensive about having surgery until I participated in the Chase Challenge in Chicago where corporations and individuals either walk or run a few miles for charity. It is truly an awesome event. I chose to walk because I'm not a runner but my foot was hurting after the walk. So, in to surgery I went.
Now, my healing process went well, thank God! I have had surgery before (toes, eyes, fibroids, etc) and I have always been one to heal fairly quickly. So why would I think that this event would be any different? After all, I have been and continue to be in fairly good health. I'm not overweight and I do try to take care of myself in the form of good nutrition and rest (I'm still a work in progress with both). So, I exercised a bit to test out my foot while recuperating. I ran on the treadmill (now, I told you that I'm not a runner so what made me decide to do this is beyond me) and I did some fairly high impact exercises when trying out a Kettleburn class run by my friend and fitness coach, Charles Shepard of Body By Nature Fitness in Chicago (you'll hear from him in one of my future posts). I seemed to make it through both exercises just fine! I'm healed...or so I thought.
Fast forward to December 1, 2014. Our women's group at work held an event and I found myself walking around the building a bit to ensure that we everything was running according to plan (I was on the organizing committee). The day went well and I began walking to the train station with a triumphant feeling, knowing that we had presented an awesome, meaningful activity to women at the company. I almost walked with a skip but, by the time I got to the train station (which is only about a 12-15 minute walk), I was nearly crawling! My foot was in enormous pain.
I figured that I had "tweaked" it some way and decided to try to soak the foot and elevate it. But, when it was still sore and swollen two weeks later, I made an appointment for my podiatrist, convinced that something had gone wrong with the surgery (the pain was in the same foot that was operated on only months before). Dr. Steven Gelsomino did an X-ray and didn't see anything (the bunion area looked great) but, after feeling on my foot, he suspected that I may have had a stress fracture. So, I hobbled around a bit more but tried to elevate the foot as often as possible. I went back for another check up and, lo and behold, we were able to confirm that I did, indeed, have a stress fracture. Fortunately, it is healing well but I won't be able to jump or run on the foot for a few more weeks.
I've heard the term "stress fracture" many times before but I wanted to see what causes it. So, I looked at About.com under Sports Medicine (http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/foot_facts) and learned that a stress fracture in the bones of the foot is usually caused by overtraining or overuse. It can also be caused by repeated pounding or impact on a hard surface, such as running on concrete. The article said that women seem to be at greater risk of foot stress fractures, possibly because of a related condition called "the female athlete triad". This is a combination of poor nutrition, eating disorders and infrequent menstrual cycles that predispose women to early osteoporosis or thinning of the bones.
Now, I know that I don't always eat the best but I have fairly decent nutrition habits. I definitely don't have an eating disorder and my menstrual cycle runs like clockwork every month. But I am getting older and we know with age comes the possibility of osteoporosis. So,I didn't take what I learned lightly. I realized that I need to ensure that I'm incorporating foods and supplements that are rich in calcium and magnesium (which helps the body absorb the calcium) to avoid further issues with my bones. According to EHow (www.ehow.com), foods that contain magnesium include seafood, dark green vegetables, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries, pears, beans, avocados, dark chocolate. Interestlingly, figs are high in magnesium. Foods containing calcium include most dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese but also turnips, collar greens, kelp, kale, broccoli, legumes, parsley and almonds.
While eating the right foods is imperative, many will find that supplements will assist in ingesting the right nutrients because it's not always easy to obtain them through our foods. The August, 2014 issue of Better Nutrition magazine had a great article about bone health in it. Thomas E. Levy, MD, advises that "While it's true that the human body requires the mineral (calcium) to grow and maintain bones and perform other functions, there are some very real dangers in getting too much. And skimping on other nutrients that are essential for calcium to be utilized by our bones can compound the risks.". The article (written by Vera Tweed) recommends the following to aid in maintaining strong bones:
- 500 mg of Vitamin C
- 500 - 700 mg of Calcium (most of which may be obtained from food but you can supplement to obtain the rest)
- 400 mg of Magnesium
- 1,000 - 2,000 IU of Vitamin D
- Vitamin K (daily dosages vary depending on the form used)
- 680 mg of Strontium
In the same article, Marita Schauch, BSc, ND advises that it's important to have strong digestion to aid your body's ability to adsorb the calcium. "As you age, your stomach acid and absorption capabilities decrease, increasing the likelihood of vital and mineral deficiencies. In fact, estimates show that decreased (or low) stomach aid is seen in as many as 40 percent of postmenopausal women."
Okay. I'm convinced. I am already taking the Healthy Start Digestive Pak from Youngevity. It contains all of the important nutrients needed for a healthy balance every day. But Beyond Osteo-fx (which is in the Healthy Start Pak) is probably what will do the most to help me maintain healthier bones as it contains Vitamin D3, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, MSM, glucosamine sulfate, KCi, boron and strontium. You can go to www.youngevity.com for more information on it.
As for my stress fracture, I won't be able to wear heels for a while now. I'm in flats and gym shoes or boots (it's still January in Chicago, after all) every day. Aside from the supplements and eating healthy foods, I have been using arnica on it. The same issue of Better Nutrition has an article on this homeopathic treatment which aids in healing. I'll be good as new before you know it!
...Now hear the word of the Lord.
I recently went to the visitation of the daughter of one of my sorors. I don't have any biological children but the thought of losing one's child - whether conceived and carried in the womb or in the heart through adoption - is inconceivable to me. To think that a person nurtured this being and then had to bury them is devastating. And so it was that my beautiful soror buried her equally beautiful daughter who, at the age of 26 years old, died of complications from Crohn's disease.
Now, it's hard enough to think about the fact that this gorgeous, vibrant young lady died but it's even harder to fathom the fact that she died from complications of a disease from which people rarely die unless untreated. So it made me look into it more to get a better understanding. Crohn's disease. What is it? How is it caused? Is there a cure for it? How is it treated?
What I learned is that Crohn's is an inflammatory bowel disease which is considered to be chronic. There are many thoughts about the cause of the illness ranging from the thought that there is no cause to the belief that it's caused by the environment, genetics, one's immune system and bacterial factors. Whatever the case, there is no known cure. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, frequent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, the feeling of the need to move bowels and fatigue.
As mentioned, there is no known cure for the disease but there are recommendations for management of it. Some recommend avoiding gluten containing grains such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. There's also the suggestion of avoiding soy products, some nuts and eggs. And heavy proteins are not always tolerated well, either. It is recommended by some to add anti-inflammatory herbs to the diet, such as turmeric, ginger or cinnamon. In addition, probiotics, fish oils and vitamins (especially B-12 and D) are said to be very helpful.
While I am saddened for the loss of such a beautiful spirit such as my soror's daughter, I can't help but wonder if some of my emotion is not only because of her demise or the sympathy I feel for her survivors, but also because I realize that I could be one of the millions of people who have the disease. I'm blessed that I haven't been diagnosed with it but I have had one or two of the symptoms over the course of time and it has been said that many will show symptoms for many years before receiving the diagnosis. So, to be on the safe side (and because of the desire for overall good health), I am incorporating some of the changes that have been recommended for those with Crohn's. I'm limiting my gluten intake and substituting milk products with other things like almond or coconut milk (giving up cheese is very challenging, though). I ingest the vitamins and minerals recommended through the Youngevity Healthy Body Digestion Pak. This is a group of supplements designed to provide the body with the ultimate 90 essential nutrients needed for healthy daily living. This is obtained through the Tangy Tangerine healthy drink ,Osteo-FX, EFAs (the noted fish oils), enzymes and Flora FX, which is a proprietary formula of probiotics. I know that taking this pack, along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle of exercise, clean eating, getting enough sleep and reducing stress, can lead to a longer healthier life. I've got the supplements down. Incorporating the exercise more now. Working on the cleaner eating, getting enough sleep and reducing stress. You'll hear more about that journey soon.
In the meantime, take care of yourselves, inside and out.
So, if you are a person who has transitioned from relaxers to natural hair or if you are in this process, then you have probably heard of Curly Nikki. She is one of the pioneers in the natural hair industry. She's a professional blogger and author of Better Than Good Hair. In addition, she's been seen and heard on national talk shows such as Dr. Oz and The Steve Harvey Show. So, as you can imagine, I was excited when she put a post on her website looking for natural hair folks who wouldn't mind sharing their pictures and information about their journeys. I sent my picture in before the 1st of the year and heard back from them advising that they wanted me to send more pictures and to answer some questions. So, I did. And, wouldn't you know it, they published it on January 10! I was elated! I didn't even know that it was coming out! A friend of mine was looking at it and she shared it on FB! Now I've printed copies of it and have shared it on all of my social media sites. So, of course ,I'm sharing it here with you! Just click the link below and enjoy!
First, I am now The Digest Diva! Yes, you can check me out on www.thedigestdiva.com. This was a wonderful idea shared with me by Michael Damond of Cold Slap Consulting. I love reading magazines and glean so much information from the articles. While I love books (and have sometimes purchased them based on the articles read), I love magazines because I can get enough information to make me"dangerous" with knowledge in a relatively short period of time. It takes me weeks to read books but only a few hours to read articles. So I receive a lot of information in a shorter period of time. I love that!
As the title of my blog post states, we are in a new year. 2015. Yesterday was the first of the year and today, my hubby celebrates 52 years of existence on this planet! Praise God! He's looking well, doing well and enjoying life! I love me some him!
My usual practice is to start something new on New Years Day, like a new fitness routine, meditation, etc. then I make resolutions around that. I haven't stuck with the resolutions so I didn't do them this year. I talked about making some changes when I turned 49 in September. I started some things but didn't stick with them so I'm going to continue to work on what I started instead of starting something new.
In that vein, I have started tracking my meals on FitnessPal again, an app that can be obtained on most smart phones. It had been quite a while since I had done that so I didn't realize that I was missing out on so much. Now, not only can you track your meals but you can do meal plans and glean other information on the FitnessPal website, blog and Facebook page. Go figure! And you can connect with friends who are also on FitnessPal to keep up with their progress and to track your own. When did they add all of this stuff? Or had they already added it before and I just didn't take advantage of it? I don't know but I'm taking advantage of it now. It's a great way to keep you on track with your fitness goals.
I'm also reading a book called Juice by the owners of the Pressed Juicery. What a great way to get in shape! Juicing helps with adding vitamins and minerals to your body in an easy manner because you can't eat as many fruits and vegetables in a sitting as you can when they are compressed into a juice. So, I'll be juicing more. My reward for doing this will be to upgrade to a masticating juicer instead of my current centrifugal one.
What's the difference, you ask? The masticating juicer moves more slowly so it works better on juicing greens and other fruits and vegetables. As a result, you yield more juice from the produce, thus saving you money over time. Since it's slower, it doesn't create as much heat when it works so you preserve more enzymes, as well. The problem with masticating juicers is that they typically cost more money, from $200 tot $500 for some of the top brands. The centrifugal ones will juice but they are not as good with greens and the high speed creates a little heat, which will kill some enzymes. But they are more affordable, ranging from $50 - $300. I would love to have the former but I won't upgrade to one until I see that I'm more regularly using the latter. I am currently inconsistent with it, at best.
Well, that's it for now. I'm going to go through all of my information to determine what to share first this weekend. Stay tuned!
The Digest Diva is a wife, "bonus" mother, daughter, entrepreneur and corporate professional. who loves gathering information, learning and sharing with others.