Let’s stop making food the enemy….

milk & bread  What is food?  For some, it represents comfort.  For others, it’s something to be savored and enjoyed.  And for many, it’s both protagonist & antagonist; the never-ending story of good vs. evil.

What is it to you?  Perhaps all of the above.

This is where being both nurse and personal trainer is more than a little helpful.

Food to me represents sustenance; systemic nourishment for the central, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, integumentary, reproductive, sympathetic & parasympathetic systems.

When you look at it from this standpoint, you take the pleasure vs. pain principle out of it.

Furthermore, food is ENERGY.  If you recall from 1st, maybe 5th grade, you know energy cannot be created or destroyed.  It can only be transferred.  Therefore, when you put that ENERGY into your body, how is it used?  Well, the above mentioned systems depend on it. Bone & muscle make or break on your choices.  Thinking & reasoning, how you respond in “fight or flight” mode, skin turnover, heart function, just to name a few derive energy from your intake.  Now, let’s add-on.

EXERCISE

As you know by now, exercise comes in a variety of packaging.  From cardio to strength, hot yoga to Pilates, boxing to ballet, there are myriads of ways to get moving.  One thing most of us take for granted (myself included), it the fuel needed to get us moving. 

The body is meant to be moved, true enough.  But if and only if, our PRIMARY systemic functions are satisfied.  I’m sure you’ve heard the adage “if you don’t work, you don’t eat.”  Your body says, “if you don’t eat, I don’t work.”  Of course there’s more to it than that.  Quality nutrients are needed, if you want to perform at an optimum level.  And that doesn’t just mean when you want to go all out at the gym. Which brings me to my next topic (s).

What is quality nutrition?  We all have our own, individualized take on this one.  And far be it from me to give definitive answers.  All I can do is give you my take.  My experience may be different from what the experts of the day may be touting.  In fact, it really is.

Working out isn’t working for me.  I haven’t dropped more than a few pounds.  There may be different reasons for this.  Will cover why this may be occurring.  Will also relate one of my client’s surprising finds why working out wasn’t working for him.

I can do this on my own.  DVDs, diet plans, and exercise online is plentiful.  You are so right.  Free advice, You-Tube videos, and diet plans abound.  How’s that working for you?

As you can see, this may take a while.  It’s definitely beyond the scope of one little post.  So stay tuned boys and girls.  And to quote the late, great Betty Davis, “fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

 

 

 

 

Taking a leap of faith; a client’s journey

gymnast

For the past 10 yrs or so I have struggled with trying to get fit, aka lose weight.

Some years ago I went on the Atkins diet, and it worked pretty well.  When I left the diet, I immediately put the 25 lbs I lost, back on.  I also ended up with kidney stones; the diet may have contributed to it.

One summer I spent walking 2/3 days a week, anywhere from 9 to 11 miles at a time; but I didn’t drop a pound. Stairs were still difficult, so I really wasn’t any fitter. I just got use to walking long distances. It was wasted time to my ultimate goal of trying to lose weight and getting fitter.

Since then I realized a life change would be needed. That’s easy to say, but difficult to do when you don’t have any guidance.  In mid May of 2014, Crystal suggested I start counting calories and track my workouts.  Bingo, it worked; prior to that I was basically eating more than I was burning off.

Over a six month period I lost 35 lbs and have been able to maintain that weight loss.  I now workout regularly and I am able to run a lot easier at my current weight.  People who haven’t seen me in a while have voiced concern about my health. I assure them I am fine and have never been fitter. Crystal suggests not only cardio, stretch, and strength days, she monitors what these workouts do to my weight. I am content with my weight, but now it’s time to firm things up.

At 56 I am fitter than I was at 46 or even 36. During this past holiday season, I’ve been able to control the weight with workout days, and I hope to continue through 2015.

What about you?  Exercise routine leaving you less than enthused about your progress?  What about nutrition, calories, and how much your burn vs. how much you eat?  Confused? 

Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com  Also, take a look at my archives.  You may find what you need.

High protein low carb diet…not from my perspective

healthy living waterfall  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Yes, it’s been awhile.  All apologies.

As we trek into another year, resolutions in tow, many are revisiting and re-evaluating.  If part of this revisiting includes weight loss, I want (as always) to interject my perspective.

This is a post I published in August of last year.  However, I feel the need to re post, because of the attention and bad press carbs have received.  No, I’m not saying to fill your plate with fettucine alfredo, ask for seconds on the bread basket, or have that extra donut.  Skip the donut–at least for today.

High protein low carb diets are reaching epidemic proportion.  And yes, there is a reason I’m borrowing this phrase.  From sugary snacks touted as “high protein, low carb,” to ridiculous amounts of meat only consumption, it’s time to put forth a few facts.  Then, you decide.

Have to preface this with a disclaimer.

As a former dialysis nurse, I am somewhat reserved and dubious about protein intake; especially HIGH PROTEIN INTAKE. True enough, most reading this are not in renal (kidney) failure. Protein must be moderated for those suffering from renal insufficiency. However, it makes me consider the overly paraded cascade of high protein consumption.

CREATININE

Creatinine is a test used to diagnose renal (kidney) function. It can be increased in those who ingest large amounts of meat. Yes, it is only elevated slightly and can be transient–but my question is this. What happens if it is continually elevated, because that’s the majority of the person’s diet? Can the kidneys keep up with this demand?

BUN

Blood, Urea, Nitrogen (BUN) measures the amount of urea and nitrogen in your blood. So what’s that supposed to mean? Well, urea is the end product of PROTEIN metabolism. During a meal, protein breaks down into amino acids. In your liver, these amino acids are catabolized and free ammonia is formed. These molecules combine and form urea, which is deposited into blood, and given over to the kidneys to excrete (rid themselves of). Again, if this is 60-70% (or more) of a person’s diet, now what?

(Source: Mosby’s Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests–3rd edition)

QUESTIONING; NOT DEBATING

I did preface this with my bias. Of course protein diets will help with weight loss. So will smoking. For years women swore by smoking to curb their appetite. Many still do. And while I’m really not trying to compare the two, there is an article which does.

http://www.healthline.com/health-news/food-high-protein-diet-increases-mortality-risk-030414

No, I’m not a vegan, nor do I plan to become one. My palate expresses no desire for bean paste or tofu. I love my chicken, ribs, and steak. BUT, this does not represent my primary or elevated intake. Fish? Forget it for me. I hate fish. However, with the advent and subsequent takeoff of high protein diets being touted, it raises questions. Sure there are other sources of protein; never said there weren’t. But HIGH protein with mitigated or very low carb ratio, can and does have consequences. Many of them numerous, and beyond the scope of what’s discussed in this blog. Need a little more convincing? Ok.

http://www.health24.com/Diet-and-nutrition/Weight-loss/The-dangers-of-high-protein-slimming-diets-20120721

What I’ve always taught, both patients and students is this: Be mindful not just of outcome, but of rationale (the “why” and reason behind an action) Rationale for me, must represent all of the following–cause, relationship, and effect. Yes, these diets will cause you to lose weight. Yes, that is your desired outcome. But what of the other components; relationship and effect?

You be the judge.

All for now. Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments? More info? Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com