Can We Talk About Food?

First, I just wanna say thanks to those of you that reached out after my last post about John. I really, really appreciate it. I’m going to post the link to their GoFund Me account if anyone feels so inclined to donate. They are asking for donations to help with expenses beyond John’s wife medical bills. No pressure to give, but if anyone felt the desire, I wanted to offer it. Again, thank you for your prayers, positive thoughts and vibes. I hope his wife feels them!

https://www.gofundme.com/for-barb

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This is a weird post, I know. Feel free to skip this one if you need to. But I’ve been thinking a lot about food and nutrition lately! *lol*

Mainly, two things:

  1. I want to eat more vegetables.
  2. I’m contemplating becoming a dietitian or nutritionist (!!!)

Vegetables – In the last couple of years, I’ve become fixated on improving my health for a variety of reasons. After starting to follow a lot of healthy Instagram and Youtube accounts, I realized I definitely didn’t consume enough veggies. Honestly, as a society we don’t eat enough of them. What we do love though, is meat! I’m not saying we should give up meat. Not at all. But perhaps consuming less would be better for our overall health. I know for me, when I really focus on eating veggies, I feel SO GOOD! Like, seriously, evaluate whether or not you eat a lot of veggies. Try it for one day. Eat veggies in all of your meals and see how you feel. Trust, you will feel better at the end of the day. And I won’t get into how great all that fiber is for your body. #DigestionIsLife

Water – Do you drink water? How much? If you’re not getting a serious amount of water in your diet, you gotta do better. I know…water is boring. I used to be someone that NEVER drank water. I seriously would go a whole day without drinking even 8oz of water. Most days, I think I got in about 8oz, but I know for sure that when I was in my 20s, I could go almost *days* without drinking water. I KNOW! How horrible is that? #MinuteMaidJuiceWasLife

Now, I drink water all day. I’m still not a huge fan, but after seeing how drinking an adequate amount of water in one day made me feel, I’m definitely an advocate of it. There is all sorts of information about the amount of water you should drink daily. Some articles stick with the old “six to eight, 8 oz glasses a day”. While newer research says we should try to drink half our body weight in ounces. I go for the latter method. I go with this because after thinking about it, I do think someone who weighs more should drink more water. Our bodies are like 60% water, right? So it makes sense that if you’re 200lbs, you should try to drink 100 oz of water. I know that sounds like a ridiculous amount of water. But now that I’m doing it (or trying really hard to), it’s not as hard as you think. Seriously, I drink water from sun up to sun down. And now that I’m limiting my coffee drinking, I pretty much just drink water (with the occasional cup of hot tea). When I drink the appropriate amount of ounces of water for my weight, I feel AMAZING!! Since I drink so much, I can instantly tell when I haven’t had enough water for the day. I feel lethargic and a little…foggy? Also…if you suffer from bloating…WATER IS YOUR FRIEND!! I have made other changes to my diet that contributed to always feeling bloated. But now, if I don’t have enough water, I bloat immediately! Having more water solves that easily. And while I can just drink straight water, I often add lemon to it to make it go down “easier” *lol* Seriously, lemon (or any type of fruit…citrus is great, as are strawberries) really helps you drink it if you’re not into water. #LemonWaterIsLife

In a previous post, I mentioned reducing my carbs. I did more research and tracked my food for a week. So I’m ok with the amount of carbs I get per day. It really isn’t the amount, rather, the type that I needed to change. I eat a lot of starchy carbs (hi, potatoes!), so I’ve started switching out those for more greens and lower carb veggies. I’ve also been trying to focus on my protein intake because I definitely wasn’t getting as much as I needed.

I think I mentioned this before, but 6 months ago, I went to the doc and had some general labs run to see how the ol’ cholesterol, blood sugar and other things were doing. Well, much to my surprise, my blood sugar, cholesterol and thyroid were all a little bit high. Luckily, I didn’t need any meds, but I needed to work on it. My doc recommended I start taking fish oil to help with my cholesterol and he prescribed Vitamin D (that was low as well). He also told me to keep exercising, specifically cardio. (I really wasn’t doing much cardio, just strength training.)

Well, this past Monday, I went to the doc to get an update on new labs I had run. Everything is MUCH better! My blood sugar was high and now it’s normal! My thyroid is fine too. I still have to work on my cholesterol. It did go down, but still needs some work. My doc seemed impressed. He said that whatever I was doing, I need to keep it up. Basically, I shifted my diet to include more veggies, swapping in more greens and lower carb veggies. I’m trying to really watch my sugar intake and have lower sugar fruits. And I’ve stepped up my cardio game to 30 min/3-4 days week. I usually ride the bike (regular, upright bike), jump rope and/or do the stairmaster. For ex: I’ll bike for 20-25 min and then jump rope for 5 mins (trying to work my way up though). Or I’ll do the stairmaster for 15 mins and then bike for 15 mins. My legs are looking GREAT! *lol* If any of you follow me on Insta, then you get a better idea of what I eat. #FoodPicsAreFun. I’m really, really happy that the changes I made actually worked!

Guys, seriously, we’re all getting older! Our bodies aren’t the same as they were back in our 20s where we can eat everything and get away with it. I know, it’s tough to eat well and exercise. I struggled with it too. I love a good burger and fries and I loovvvve dessert! And occasionally, I still have both. But I know I can’t eat like that all the time and expect to be in good physical shape. I am surprised though, that my cholesterol was high, given that I eat pretty damn good. If I’m getting in as many veggies, fruit and overall good stuff in my body, then I can’t imagine what my body was going through when I used to eat fast food twice a day! (Yeah, I did that. No lies. I was living that “Super Size Me” life for like a year. So bad!)

*steps on soapbox* Prevention is everything guys. If you haven’t gotten checked out in a minute, do it. Go see what’s going in your body. I never thought at this point in my life, given how I eat, that some things would be even a little high. I’m glad I know and glad that I can do something about it and not be put on any meds. Not that meds are bad…if you need them, then you need them. But for real, we can heal ourselves with food! #FoodIsLife *steps off soapbox*

Let’s get fit and healthy, guys!! Let’s live forever! *ok, not forever*

-t

p.s. I did a little research about becoming a nutritionist or dietitian and looks like there isn’t an “ACEND-accredited supervised practice program” near us. Well, I could go to Howard, but the tuition is ri-donk-culous. I wanted to do something online, but Howard only has in-person courses. I have to do more research. I don’t mind going to classes, but I’m not driving far and wide to do it. AND, cost would be a big factor. I could take a class at a time though to keep it more affordable. If anyone has a friend that is a nutritionist or dietitian, holla. I could use more insight. Gracias!

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