Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Secret to a Healthy "Cottage"

I know I have a passion for making our "beach cottage" as user friendly and welcoming as possible, but sometimes I have a hard time keeping it that way because my physical temple can't keep up with everything that is required. As I age, I've noticed that when I don't make the time and effort to exercise and eat properly, my energy lags and my positive outlook suffers; about myself, my service to God, and fulfilling my God-given duties as a wife.

It's no secret to most people who know me that peri-menopause has been quite a painful and tumultous time for me--off and on, of course--but still it hasn't been a walk in the park--nor were the years before that when I was cursed with the dreaded PMS. Since I've been a full-time homemaker, I've had the time to read a lot of books on health and diet and healthy lifestyle. None of it really clicked until I read "The Zone".

Turns out that I was eating way too many carbs, not being conscious of how much protein I was getting, and not the right types and amounts of fats to eat. We need all of these, but in certain amounts according to our activity levels, size and gender.
When we take in more than food we need, it's a no brainer that we will gain weight and we'll basically be "backed up" since the body can only process so much at one time. That bloated feeling, that heavy, lethargic feeling, the headaches, the body aches, the emotional roller coasters are side affects of overload.

But the secret that I found to be the most enlightening to my middle-aged body was that it was the ease attaining and consuming way, way, way to many carbs. Now that the gov't has endoursed the Pyramid Diet, many think we can eat lots of any kind of carbs and not pay attention to portion size or being careful to not eat so much that your insulin levels don't rise to high.
I learned the magic formula for staying healthy and relatively slim. This is it-- and it's so simple!
Carbs raise our insulin levels and insulin stores and holds on to fat. Easy, huh?

Here's the other side--Proteins raise our glycogen levels and glycogen releases fat! If you just remember those two things and apply them, and get the enough of the nutrients you require throughout the day, you have it made.

That is "The Zone" in a nutshell; by stabilizing blood sugar levels we have more energy, better sleep, better mood, less aches and pains, bloating goes away and you feel lighter; everything works better since we are giving the body what it needs, no more, no less. No, it's not an exact science; it's a range you will fall into--the zone--that when you get there you will feel in sync with yourself.

I can purposely fudge a little now that I know what I need to do to feel good and lose weight when I want to. I know later that that's what I did and why I have a headache and feel cranky; I know I can jump back on the happy Zone wagon whenever I want to feel better.

I'm so thankful that I had the time and took the time to read "Enter The Zone"; it is the first in the Zone series that explains everything and the many ways eating this way can stave off many of the degenerative diseases of older age and keep on an even keel. I was in a lot of pain from stomach problems and acid reflux, and my main reason for reading it was to reduce inflammation, since that is one of the selling points of The Zone. Since I have suffered off and on for 7 years with the reflux, I was motivated to understand how it works and to try it. I'm glad I did because it worked, and I am doing much better, and have dropped 5 lbs in 2 months. If I would have added more exercise, it probably would have been more!

My heart's desire is to for everyone who will listen and try to understand and apply this to experience the satisfaction of knowing you can be in control if you learn how to stabilize your blood sugar because that is what makes everyone feel like they can't control their wacky cravings and unhealthy choices. We can have all the determination in the world, but until we learn how get what we need when we need it, it's a losing battle. There's hope though; with just a little effort it can be done, and it's simple.

PS An average woman needs 10 grams good fat, 20 grams lean protein, and 30 grams healthy, low-starch carbs at each of three meals. Add 2 snacks (4 hrs after lunch and 4hrs after dinner) approx. 1/3 the amounts at the regular meals and you have a balanced diet!
Whew, I know this is a long one, but it's important to know we don't have to suffer if we don't want to!!!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pretty Braiding on Anna Maria Horner's Blog

I guess I need to learn how to display the actual picture, but click on this address to see the cutest little braiding job I've ever seen. Someday it would be nice to try that on sweet Leilei! After she gets over the aversion to her brush and comb. It is necessary to actually make contact with the head to achieve this look... For now, I can just dream of our little princess with princess braids.