Americans need to start sweating

With holidays looming, many of us are not only thinking about our growing shopping list but also our ever expanding waistlines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that currently “only 45.9 percent of those aged 18 and over met the U.S. government’s recommendation of at least 30 minutes of brisk walking or other moderate exercise five days a week or at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise three days a week.” Currently approximately 1/5 of those polled reported that they were seriously inactive, meaning that they had not even exercised at least 10 minutes per week.

That last bit seems particularly stunning. Ten minutes is not much time. Ten minutes could be spent walking from the car to the shopping mall entrance. Ten minutes could be hand delivering Christmas cards to neighbors. Ten minutes could be walking to nearest community volunteer center to help with those less fortunate.

May 19, 2015 Health

TLC Diet

There a lot of diet fads out there that promise weight loss and lessen the risk of having heart disease and/or lower cholesterol levels. It usually entails a person to avoid a certain food group, and sad to say that most of these fads do not work. However, there is hope with the TLC diet. The program is especially good for people with heart diseases and has high levels of cholesterol.

What is it all About?

The TLC Diet is one best ways for one to proceed with watching what they eat by looking out for the certain amount of cholesterol that they take in from food. While such a matter is often observed by other dieting trends in the world today, this plan makes for a more precise approach on the matter, as it would require a specific amount of cholesterol that will be watched over one’s diet.

Referred to as the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet, this plan allows one to observe the amount of cholesterol that they take in order to help the body effectively regulate its metabolism and energy building process. Because it works such a system, there are specific guidelines that one has to follow to allow it to be effective.

This will involve a close monitoring of one’s cholesterol intake, which would have one taking less than 7% of the total calories for the day from saturated fat. This TLC Diet will also involve getting one’s daily total calories to less than 25 35%, and will have one looking after to receiving only cholesterol intakes of 200 milligrams a day.

April 26, 2014 Health

Menu planning

They say menu planning is a sure way to save money on groceries. Having a shopping list ensures that you won’t spontaneously buy unneeded items and that you will stay within your budget. However, menu planning alone does not take advantage of weekly sales and therefore doesn’t maximize your savings. More seasoned couponers make it sound so easy: plan your meals around the grocery store circular.

Easier said than done, at least for me. I follow recipes. I can’t improvise. I can’t look at a pantry and a fridge and whip something up on the spot. I suppose this ability improves with time, as I become more experienced and as my pantry fills out more, but I’m getting a little impatient. I miss the days when I could randomly select a few recipes and generate a shopping list from those recipes without worrying about what I already had on hand and what was on sale that week.

Here’s my current approach. It’s not ideal and it will need quite a bit of improvement, but it works for now.

1. I look at that week’s deals for several of my favorite stores (Hy-Vee, ALDI, CVS, Walgreens, and Hen House) and select the absolute best deals on items I use on a regular basis, such as meat, produce, dairy, cereal, snacks, soda, cleaning products, and health and beauty items.

2. If it’s something I could use more of right now, it goes on the shopping list. If I still have enough of an item, I consider if the deal is too good to pass up and if I have enough storage space for it.

3. I then go back through the circulars and pick items that may not be the best deals but that I need right NOW to tide me over until the item is on sale.

I try not to do this too often and make do without items that are not great deals, but every once in a while I cave. Just last week I bought a humongous 10 pound bag of chicken breasts at Costco. I had been watching prices ever since moving here in March and not once had chicken breasts dropped to $1.99 or below. I was getting impatient. Guess what’s on sale this week at Hy-Vee for $1.88/lb? That’s right, boneless skinless chicken breasts. Don’t I feel like a fool now? Yup.

4. I (try) to make a menu. Here’s where I fail most of the time and where I need to improve the most.

I make a barebones plan for the week that includes a few chicken or turkey meals, some beef meals, some fish/seafood meals, and some vegetarian ones. Once I pick the protein or main ingredient, I start scouring AllRecipes, Recipezaar, and SparkRecipes in search of highly rated recipes with that particular ingredient. I usually find something that fits the bill.

If I come across an amazing recipe that uses an ingredient I don’t currently have, I make a mental note for the next time that ingredient goes on sale. If I’m feeling ambitious, I even write it down on a “Dear Santa” list I have on the fridge. Hey, it works and I already had it. If I’m feeling a little adventurous, which doesn’t happen often, I may even attempt to improvise and exclude an ingredient I don’t have if I don’t consider it essential. I’m getting better at this, but I do fail quite often. Live and learn, no?

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that you don’t have to be a natural at menu planning to make this work for you. Even a little bit of planning works better than none at all. If the best you could do is get cereal and lettuce on sale this week, that’s more than you were doing before. Don’t feel like a failure if you can’t come up with five course dinners for every single day of the week using only items that are on sale. Don’t let perfectionism get in the way here. The FlyLady says that housework done incorrectly still blesses your family. That applies to more than just housework.

December 5, 2013 Health

Foot Gout Symptoms: Know Them Quick

Being aware of foot gout symptoms is essential for foot health and also will empower you to get immediate attention when the first signs of foot gout appear.

The first onset of foot gout symptoms the affected areas is sore and sensitive.  The tender area can have a dull pain at first, but can move on to a sharper more severe pain.

Before trying anything to treat your gout symptoms, consult your physician, as there could be other factors involved.

The initial warning signs of foot gout symptoms can also include a tingling sensation at the base of the foot or the base of your big toe.

Gout is caused by the build up of uric acid, a bodily waste that runs through the blood stream. This build up triggers your foot gout symptoms because the acid forms shrapnel-like slivers that settle in the extremities such as toes, fingers, ankles and joints.

The uric acid crystals form inflammation, stinging, and pain, generally leaving the skin shiny and red and painful as it forms into the available pockets of the extremity.

At the first sign of foot gout symptoms, an attack can last up to 24 hours, but over time can re occur weeks, months or years later, depending on the individual make up and health history.

Left untreated or foot gout symptoms ignored,Gout can lead to many other forms of damage to the body, such as kidney stones and Kidney damage,  joint damage, Heart Disease, Spinal Damage and even crippling Arthritis when the sufferer is older.

What Can I Do About It?

1.  Treating foot gout symptoms and the gout itself, is usually done by taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as Naproxon or other NSAID pain reliever.

2.  Also, stay away from certain foods that will trigger foot gout symptoms such as shellfish, bacon, alcohol  and high levels of dairy products.

3.  Have your doctor check your foot gout symptoms at the first sign of a flare up!

Foot gout is the most treatable form of arthritis. Knowing foot gout symptoms at their onset can help you get a jump on it and get the pain and condition treated quickly.