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Back 2 Basics: Health Guidelines



Last week’s challenge was to track food. I have to admit here I am not good at this one at all. Yes, I have the tools. I have a myfitnesspal membership, but since I don’t have an android I have to do it on the lap top, which means I have to wait until I walk down to the lobby to the media room to insert all my information. I must battle my resilient nature to avoid tracking my food. Yesterday was my first day of actually inputting my food. I will just have to bite the bullet and write things down on paper before I input them into myfitnesspal. I have some encouraging friends who are doing this with me. One of my friends has been tracking her food and moving more for the last few months and has lost a significant amount of weight. I am so proud of her, way to go Amber. And a mutual friend of ours is using myfitnesspal again after some time away. I know we will encourage and motivate each other.


This week’s challenge is good health guidelines.


Fruits/Vegetables: I have to admit I am not that great at remembering to eat them. Fruit especially is not one of the things I go to. I know it is good for me and I will just have to change this habit. I do eat a lot of tomatoes and technically that is a fruit, but I do want to expand my taste buds a bit. I do love kiwis and apples are now starting to be cheap in the store along with pears. I cannot eat oranges or grapefruit because it interferes with my medications.  I eat a lot of broccoli and spinach, but I should try to incorporate other vegetables into my eating style. Yesterday morning I cooked an egg with spinach. It was yummy. And then I made a casserole with rice, chicken, broccoli, and spinach and tomatoes that was yummy too. I find when I mix veggies in things I will eat more of them. I am working on cooking things in bulk and freezing them for those times when I am not feeling well from my illness and don’t want to cook.


Lean proteins: I do well with this. I eat a lot of chicken, humus, beans, and ground turkey or Italian turkey sausage. And of course yogurt has protein too. I am staying away from beef and I am working towards the goal of eating more fish. I do not enjoy fish, but I know the fats in fish are good for me and will help me with my illness. I do like tuna fish and I have learned to like it with olive oil or smashed avocados. I just need to buy it more often and eat it more often.


Non-fat/low fat dairy: I eat low fat yogurt, which is good. I don’t like Greek yogurt, too strong of a flavor for me. So I went back to Yoplait yogurt since I discovered it doesn’t use high fructose corn syrup at all. I am trying to stomach eating non-fat low fat cheeses, but they just don’t taste that great to me. Plus the research I have read about the non-fat and low fat dairy and from my nutritionist have told me it packs a lot of sugar in it to make it that way. I feel in a quandary about this.


Whole Grains: I do eat bread on occasion. I finally found some bread that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy. I like Orawheat brand or when I want to spend a little extra Dave’s Killer bread. I hate rice, but I did mix some in a meal to get a grain. I made a casserole in chicken breast, broccoli, and spinach.  I love pasta, but I do have to be careful with pasta.


Liquids: I get my 3 liters of water a day. I have been working on drinking more water lately. It is a challenge, but I am making it work for me.


Healthy oils: I use olive oil or coconut oil and since oils have calories, I make sure to measure out the ¼ tsp and not just mindlessly pouring it into the pan when I cook. Also I eat humus and that uses olive oil and then I use avocados when I make sandwiches instead of mayo. I learned this trick from my nutritionist because she said mayo was unnecessary fat and avocados are a healthy fat. I don’t buy nuts often, because they are expensive for this lady who lives on a budget.


Multivitamin: I don’t take a multivitamin, but I do take vitamins. I take Vitamin D3, Folic Acid, and Calcium supplements. Since I take chemo drugs, Azapathrine, Prednisone, Hydrocholoxrine, and Rituximab infusions these 3 essential vitamins get eat up so these were actually prescribed to me by my doctor. Since I take about 20 pills a day, most of them are not vitamins; I am not too keen on adding another big pill to my arsenal. Perhaps I might just have to get over my resistance.


Limit sodium, sugar, and alcohol:  I don’t drink, so alcohol is easy for me. Sodium, I have been watching my intake and limit myself to 2000 MG a day and I stick to this. As for sugar, I am not a big sweets lady, and when I do desire chocolate or something sugary I only buy the smallest serving they have in the store. This helps me to manage and not be a binge eater of the sweets.


Every day I work on improving my nutrition in some way. I just have learned to not tell myself I cannot ever have this again because then that will be the one thing I crave. For me nutrition is vital for me to stay healthy, because of my Vasculitis disease I am more aware of the triggers certain foods have on my body. You would be amazed how your body lets you know that your body does not like what you have digested. I have days when I just don’t care anymore and I feel so overwhelmed, but in the end I think I am worth fighting for and this is one way I do that. I have also learned to eat slowly, because I have a trach this was suggested to me. When I had to learn to swallow, talk, and walk again I had to actually take my time to eat. The therapist had me put my utensil down between bites and actually chew up to 60 times before I swallowed. I noticed when I took my time with eating and I paid attention my swallowing mechanism automatically took over and knew when it was time to swallow the food down. When you don’t chew food properly and just eat fast that is when choking happens because you don’t give your body enough time to allow the flapper to close over the part of the throat that leads to the lungs.

Our bodies are amazing and I am aiming to take care of my body that is what this journey is all about.

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