Last month marked the first year when I started blogging on this site. I remember my first post – it was in a depressing tone as it featured the passing of one of the most bubbly personalities in Hollywood, Robin Williams. It was so relevant at that time as I remembered some people who were in challenging situations in life.
This year, however, I decided to do a complete makeover as suggested by my son, Josh. We started to work on the theme to set aside the gloom of last year and to welcome the new season of life and new beginnings. From the very dense logo and “hospital-ish” feel of the website, Josh decided to do a little bit of experiment with the theme and it’s colors.
He suggested that it should be simple yet stylish, so we played with only three colors: green, blue and red. Green speaks of life, harmony, healing and safety. Blue, on the other hand, talks about clarity, wisdom, tranquility and stability. To strike a balance and a contrast with the other two colors, we used red to display energy, leadership, passion and love.
Also, and surprisingly, the past year has earned us an audience from different parts of the globe from Japan, India, Macau, South Korea, United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada, Australia and more. Reason why we decided to put the world map as it’s base.
After several weeks of brainstorming, here now is the finished product!
Hopefully, I would be able to reach more people to help transform their lifestyles in the coming years. So as an added treat, I am giving you a free “Health Assessment Test” for you to know where you are in your health condition and what can be done to meet your wellness needs. Answer the question: Are You as Healthy as You feel?
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body. Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)
Today is a special day because it marks the second month after my dengue incident, and it also happens to be my spiritual birthday. Yes, I do have a spiritual birthday and I celebrate it every year, because it reminds me of God’s love and points me from where I was to where I am right now. What better day than today to embark on a new journey to take back my health!
Like a swing that never made it to the other side my health got stuck where it was four months ago. My weight started from 140 in January then went down to 128 in February as I did my healthy diet and high impact exercises. If there was any consolation I got from being sick, it was the long stopover of my weight. I was happy to read the scale at 128 pounds last night.
Somehow, it inspired me to get back on track again, although I know it will not be easy. I guess I have to muster all my willpower to get the momentum back; this time though, I will have to take a different route. Another knock on the head, would be detrimental to my health. I don’t need to take an ice bucket challenge to have a brain freeze to remind myself that my age is not on my side. So I’ve got to slow it down.
“Your body system could not take the heavy stress: your immune system got compromised and which is why you had dengue,” was my friend’s stern remark. It took a little while before I got past my denial stage after she said that.
So today, I decide to take a slow but steady stride as a commitment to God and to myself – I want to be a better version of me.
My goal for this month and the succeeding months is to modify my diet using “The Healthy Eating Plate” as my guide; then to load up on my Essentials to fill in the nutritional gaps. I will also journal and share my progress in the hope of encouraging someone to take back their own health.
Being a nurse is a huge advantage for me in my quest for a healthy life. I had the proper education, the venue for health promotion and disease prevention, the experience to be with healthy and unhealthy individuals alike, and the best part is, access to information and technology that keeps me abreast with the latest news in science and medicine.
The last 2 decades of exposure to different health industries fueled the passion in me to pursue wellness. So, I came up with my own standard of what a healthy lifestyle means. I do not really have the affinity with Mathematics, but this is much like simple Math for me. It only requires the simple formula of addition, which is the sum of all these elements to become healthy:
A peaceful mind keeps all the hormones in our body at normal levels. We all know that stress triggers the shoot up of the emergency hormone called Adrenaline. In real emergencies, this hormone is very useful for survival, but in normal daily life, a very high concentrate of this chemical triggers a lot of disease processes like hypertension and heart ailments. Therefore, promoting sleep and minimizing stress equals to a healthy mind and body. A peaceful mind also promotes a restful night sleep.
Adrenaline: A stress hormone produced within the adrenal gland that quickens the heartbeat, strengthens the force of the heart’s contraction, and opens up the bronchioles in the lungs, among other effects. The secretion of adrenaline is part of the human ‘fight or flight’ response to fear, panic, or perceived threat.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 New Living Translation (NLT)
Sleep plays an important role in body regeneration and repair because it promotes normal organ function. Therefore, the lack of it accelerates wear and tear, and the development of several illnesses. An adult should have at least 6 to 8 hours or in some books it says 7 to 9 hours of sleep to keep the body and mind in their optimum levels of functioning. Find out about your circadian rhythm or biological clock and its benefits to your body. Decide to stick to a consistent sleep pattern and you’ll go a long way.
Healthy Balanced Diet
We all know the traditional “Food Pyramid Guide” that details the food groups and their recommended allowances. Harvard, in its best efforts has made updates to it and now came up with the “Healthy Eating Pyramid” and the “Healthy Eating Plate”.
Using the Healthy Eating Pyramid and the Healthy Eating Plate
The Healthy Eating Pyramid and the Healthy Eating Plate complement each other. Both emphasize foods that promote good health. And both encourage people to limit or avoid foods and drinks that are harmful, or that provide lots of calories but have little nutritional value.
Think of the Healthy Eating Pyramid as your grocery list: Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy oils, and healthy proteins like nuts, beans, fish, and chicken should make it into your shopping cart every week. Add a little yogurt or milk if you like. Skip the soda and snack food aisle, the deli counter, and the steaks and chops at the butcher counter.
Let the Healthy Eating Plate be your guide to planning a healthy, balanced meal and serving it on a dinner plate—or packing it in a lunch box. Put a copy on the refrigerator at home or at work, to give you a visual guide to portioning out a healthy plate, and a reminder to pump up the produce.
The Healthy Eating Pyramid also addresses other aspects of a healthy lifestyle—exercise, weight control, vitamin D and multivitamin supplements, and moderation in alcohol for people who drink—so it’s a useful tool for health professionals and health educators.
Many people fail in dieting because the principle commonly used is restriction and deprivation. I think, healthy eating means having the right kind of foods in their appropriate amounts.
Exercise is another area of failure for most people like me, probably because of frustration and lack of consistency. Most people begin strong as I do, but over time become tired and stop altogether. Recently, I have decided to change my mind-set. So before I started my exercise program, I re-calibrated my mind and thought of exercise as a lifestyle instead of a weight loss goal. I also decided that enjoying my exercise is better than enduring it. My advice, choose a physical activity or exercise that you really – I mean really like, because if you do, the percentage of failure dramatically decreases.
Balance Between Life and Work
Anything that is out of balance is abnormal and unhealthy. Determine to create balance with work, responsibilities,family, community, exercise, recreation, service, personal passions and spiritual activities.
It is pointless that you get up early and stay up late eating the bread of hard labor, because God gives sleep to those He loves. Psalm 127:2 International Standard Version (ISV)
Do you want to be successful and consistent? Then love what you do!
Today, as I celebrate my birthday I did some serious evaluation about my health. I found out that the last 2 months of 2014 have been very difficult for me, because of too much get together, parties and reunions. It seems to me that I gained all the weight that I tried to lose for 8 months last year. Worse is, this has been going on for the last 5 years of my life.
What do I do now? My mind and body tell me I should start a consistent healthier lifestyle this year, keep my weight on check and enjoy everything that is required to achieve them. This thought dawned on me after my last visit to my ophthalmologist who told me that I should start taking care of myself, because he saw some beginning changes around my eyes that he had not seen before. I have to mention also that I had episodes of chest heaviness and shortness of breath on 3 different occasions last year.
Honestly, as a nurse I have been so obsessed with trying to eat healthier and keeping my calorie counter for the longest time. I have tried doing exercise at least twice a week, but my problem is not in doing it, but in maintaining it. In fact, at the beginning of this year I went shopping for more fruits, vegetables, lean meat and chicken portions, plus I loaded on brown rice, healthy sugar, and wheat bread.
My challenge now, is how I can maintain doing these without feeling obliged or compelled because of my health or my weight? I started my research and was prepared to see hundreds of advertised diets, but there were 2 that caught my attention and, which left me thinking. There was the Beyond Diet and the Paleo Burn technique among many others.
Beyond diet believes that exercise may help in weight reduction, but ultimately diet plays a major role in the body’s ability to burn fats. Paleo Burn, on the other hand, says that removing wheat and all wheat products on my diet will do the trick. Paleo says having more fiber in the body signals the hormones to store up more fat. The 2 methods talked about the role of insulin in aiding the body’s ability to burn fat. However, both their claims confused me in some way, so I dug in some of my stock knowledge as a nurse and helped myself process the information.
I decided, I cannot follow just one diet alone or worse believe in just about everything I read on the Internet. So after some serious digging here are the personal goals I have set for myself to attain:
To have all my blood chemistry values in normal levels,
To lose all the excess weight and fat deposits,
To maintain my ideal weight and to enjoy while I keep it.
To make healthy choices in diet and activities.
Lastly, to live healthier so I can honor God with my body.
I think that the most important goal that will keep me going on is the thought that if I take care of my body, I will honor God and I will prove my love for my family. This means spending decades with them in my healthiest possible state.
To support my goals, here are my action plans that you might get some input from:
I will eat a healthy balanced diet based on the “old school” food pyramid, from breakfast to dinner to provide my body the nutrients it needs, and to enhance all the hormones necessary for my body systems to reach its optimum levels. It also means I will stay away from junk. Eating healthy also increases my body’s ability to burn more calories as it increases my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).
I will exercise for an hour at least 3 times per week to strengthen my heart, and to tone my muscles that will help in burning the food I eat. Remember, the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn.
I will load on water every day.
I will learn cooking healthier recipes.
I will have enough rest and sleep to recharge my body and to promote regeneration.
I will have a regular “Me Time” to relax.
I will pray more so I can manage myself in handling stress effectively.
Just a Few More Tips:
The more color on your plate, the healthier it is.
Choose an exercise that you really enjoy doing, so you can stick to it for the longest time.
Spend more time in prayer; it cleanses not only your body, but also your soul and spirit.
Now, going back to the 2 diets I discovered, here is my take: balanced diet is really important, but you do not need to pay so much money just to have your meals prepared by someone. You can research and learn so many things on your own, but if you have a medical condition, you must consult a professional. Now, on the grain issue, I believe wheat has a lot of benefits for the heart, but be sure you’re eating the real thing. You should have some knowledge on reading the labels too. Lastly, insulin is a hormone thought to process only sugar, but there are research studies that show, it helps burn fat too.
So my gift to myself, my family and my God on my birthday – is my health!
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body. Proverbs 14:30 NLT
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT