One nut per fruit! My fave!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I guess you know what I'll say...

Every week I talk about how horrible certain foods can be for your body, and some of them really are, but what about self-medication? I mean, everyone takes Ibuprofen/Advil or Acetaminophen/Tylenol or, of course, Aspirin. Guess what?


But, when you're in pain it helps to have something besides caffeine.

According to The Free Medical Dictionary ibuprofen, i.e. Advil, Motrin, and Rufen Therapeutics, is a non steroid anti-inflammatory medication used to reduce swelling, headaches and mild to moderate pain. Another plus is that it's an anti-fungal, which is a huge plus for my particular diet. However, the common knowledge about ibuprofen is that, if taken on an empty stomach, can make you very sick. This sickness includes:
Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, nervousness, aspetic meningitis, arrhythmaes, amblyopia, blurred vision, tinnitus, nausea, vomiting constipation, dyspepsia, abdominal discomfort, GI bleeding, cystitis, hematuria, azotemia, renal failure, anemia, prolonged bleeding time, aplastic anemia, neutropenia, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, hepatitis, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, bronchospasm, rash, pruritis, urticaria, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, edema, and allergic reactions including anaphylaxis.
Basically, there are so many risks to putting a synthetically made substance into your body. My forte is not medication so I can't really tell you what half of these reactions are, but the half I know are bad.

My mother can be described as a sickly person, but she honestly is able to combat every physical ailment that comes her way. She has had back problems since she was as young as 16 and in the last two years she has had 7 back surgeries. Because of so much resting she has needed to do she hasn't been able to exercise at all. After the recovery of her last surgery she was able to start working out, exercise, and be much more active. Akin to her personality, she pushed herself and fractured her foot.

All this has brought me to a new understanding of ibuprofen.

Picture a bone that is weak, well picture any bone you want to picture, how does that bone grow? How does bone grow at all? A bone is like a muscle, so how does muscle grow?

To build muscle a person must create resistance against the muscle and break the muscle down then rest to rebuild the muscle. The rest is just as important as the actual weight workout because it is the rest and relaxation that helps the regeneration of the muscle. With that information, you have two bones that rub against each other. The more the body moves and the more resistance it has, the more the bone will break down.

Basically, Joe (my imaginary guy friend) lifts weights to be the hottest guy at the beach once summer hits. He goes to the gym to lift weights 3 times a week, each day choosing a different muscle group. What he doesn't know is that not only is he building muscle, but he is also building bone. So, he lifts those 50 pound weights, breaks down his muscle and his bone and rests for 3 to 5 days. In that rest time the muscle and the bone are able to regenerate. Every time a muscle or part of a bone regenerates it creates a little more. Over time, his thin frail (frankly their girl-like) bones will get so much stronger and he will gain the weight he wants.

What does that have to do with ibuprofen? Well, any anti-inflammatory medication takes away the swelling from the muscles and joints in the body to get rid of pain. When the swelling is gone then there is no breakdown of the bones. I hope you see where the chain effect is, if there is no breakdown of the bones then all the bones can do is get weaker and weaker. No weight gain for Joe and the possibility that if he gets drunk this summer and falls he could break something. (Especially if he doesn't take his calcium/magnesium.)

Life lesson, try to stay away from the ibuprofen, especially if you are recovering from surgery or a break or fracture of some sort. It will only cause more problems for you in the long run. But, if you have a headache and need to stay awake in class, by all means, take a few ibuprofen. (I do, I know it's bad but you've gotta do what you've gotta do)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Skinnier is Healthier... NOT

As I was looking for something interesting to write about I came to the realization that not everyone’s fat. I have struggled with weight and mostly insecurity about my curvy body my whole life but many of my friends have been very skinny and had no problem keeping their stick like figure.

When I was younger I held a bit of jealousy towards their ability to eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. Over time I’ve realized that I have hips, and they don’t, and while I have to wear a pants size that is two sizes bigger it doesn’t mean I’m fatter just different. Both body types are beautiful in their own way and it’s difficult for both types to find the perfect pair of pants. Needless to say, there are people in their early twenties who have no problem with weight and are almost too skinny.

I received a comment last week from a blogger and it was on defining the word health. What is healthy may not be for the other. I don’t know how I took that position in my last blog, but I do not believe that. Every person can be healthy eating foods that are healthy and have a good nutritional value. My point is that society doesn’t know the difference. Health is health and it absolutely is not relative, just because a person is skinny does not mean they are healthy. Allow me to prove my point.

Besides the well known eating disorders i.e. anorexia and bulimia which can take away all the nutrition from a person’s body as well as be a mental disorder, there are other diseases that can follow with being, what doctors like to call, underweight or malnutrition. According to Ali Hale, “Underweight or Slightly Overweight: Which is Worse?,” there is a list of reasons why people should worry if their weight is under normal. There’s low muscle mass, hair loss, osteoporosis, anemia, weakened immune system, and for women: menstrual irregularities and pregnancy complications including the inability to get pregnant. That’s a lot of reasons to worry about your weight.

If those aren’t enough of reasons for you then I invite you to answer a few yes or no questions out of Doug Kaufmann’s book “Weight Loss.” This book is about fungus in the body and how it affects the body. Most people gain weight with fungus, but there is a rare few that lose weight from the lack of nutrition. Neither is good.
1. Do you suffer from fatigue?

2. Do you often feel irritable?

3. Do you get more than the occasional headache?

4. Do you have itching, tingling or burning skin?

5. Do you have hives, psoriasis, dandruff, or chronic skin rashes; or do you have acne?

6. Does your vision blur for no apparent reason?

7. Are you bothered by recurring problems with your digestive tract such as bloating, belching, gas, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, indigestion, or reflux?

8. Have you had sharp cravings for corn, peanuts, or sugar?

9. Do you suffer allergic reactions to pollens, molds, animal dust mites, perfumes, chemical, smoke, or fabric store odors?

10. Are you allergic to any foods?

If you honestly answered these questions and said “Yes” to at least one it would mean you have some kind of fungus inside your system that can be gotten rid of with diet. Of course the “more “yes” answers tend to indicate a more serious degree of fungal infection and/or exposure to mycotoxins.” So if you only said “yes” to a few then I wouldn’t freak out.

Taking Hale and Kauffman and many other writers, nutritionists and doctors, as well as the BMI chart at the top, it helps to know where you are and what you need to do to improve. Eat healthily (no junk food) and exercise. Basically follow some of the things I’ve been writing and do your own research.

Honestly, being a newly healthy individual and watching my family go through their ups and downs with weight and health, I’ve realized one important thing. Thank goodness I’m learning how to eat well now so I don’t have to go through being obese and having tons of health problems to change my lifestyle. It’s so much easier for me now then it was for my grandparents, where only some of whom learned how to eat right before diseases took their bodies over.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Soy-Joy for the Girl and Boy (yeah, I rhymed)

Thank that "being" up there (whoever that might be for you) that we had spring break this week and that I did absolutely nothing except work and watch mind numbing television, for now I am going to blow your mind, again, with some crazy facts and questions that will haunt you.

Neil Barnard, MD, claims that, "women averaging [eating] one cup of soymilk or about one-half cup of tofu daily have about a 30 percent less risk of developing breast cancer." Wow, that's some great stuff, right? He also claims that "many soy products are high in protein" and that manufactures sell this up by putting so much soy in a product that it can give the customer too much protein.

Too much protein? Well, again, according to Barnard,
Overly high protein intake may boost the amount of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in the bloodstream, a phenomenon known to occur with cow's milk.

So, basically, he is saying that eating too much protein (mostly from soy and cow's milk) can heighten the possibility of insulin growth in the body. If you've been reading any of by blogs, then you probably know that I will disagree with this particular argument.

This week I want to take a little trip through society as a whole, because much of what we eat is based on what we learn as a child in our society, so I think it's important. I realize that many people, in the past, have believed that soy (like cow's milk) is healthy and a good source of protein. This especially is targeted toward vegans. Although Americans claim to have an open mind toward many subjects and cultures, we are not without our faults and choose fast food restaurants to nourish ourselves, our young and our old. The fear I have, as I'm sure many nutritionists and smart doctors have, is that it will only get worse in the future. People will become more obese and the planet will become more polluted. (I'm not sure how pollution just worked its way in there, but I'm going to roll with it.)

With this fear in mind there should be someone telling America what really is healthy for you so that maybe things could be different in the future. This brings me back to the facts about soy. It was mentioned earlier, as a popular belief confirmed by Barnard, M.D., that soy is effective in preventing breast cancer in women. But, according to Nexus Magazine, Volume 7, Number 3 (April-May 2000):
Thousands of women are now consuming soy in the belief that it protects them against breast cancer. Yet, in 1996, researchers found that women consuming soy protein isolate had an increased incidence of epithelial hyperplasia, a condition that presages malignancies. A year later, dietary genistein was found to stimulate breast cells to enter the cell cycle - a discovery that led the study authors to conclude that women should not consume soy products to prevent breast cancer.

Since 1996, research has not been reported that breast cancer cannot be prevented by eating soy protein isolate, which is basically a version of soy that is processed and bleached and processed again. In the grand scheme of things it is important to see things in perspective, therefore, let's look at the real protein needs. According to Healing Daily, soy is a source of protein but also contains “phytic acid [which] blocks the body's uptake of essential minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron and especially zinc.” Overall, soy has more protein than a food without protein but also has more phytic acid than any other food with protein; therefore it is less than sufficient as a true source of nutrients.

My main topic was to haunt you with the scary facts about soy and I wonder whether America will actually research the true value of foods or just keep eating “diet” foods that aren’t really healthy. If I were to be an optimist for a moment, I would be able to imagine a world of fit individuals who loved to learn about health and nutrients and worked out to get to a picture of perfect health… but, as it were, I am no optimist. Is it possible for people to become healthier as they learn about health… yes, will the majority of people do it? I think that picture is impossible as most people don’t like to put work into what they eat… hence “fast food.”