Diabetes and Cholesterol

A person who has diabetes has a greater chance of having high cholesterol. After I was diagnosed as diabetic, I was told that I also had high cholesterol levels. I stopped eating all beef products several years prior to this diagnoses, ate small portions of lean red meat on occasion, didn’t eat any dairy products, was in my thirties, exercised frequently, and was the proper weight for my height so how could it be possible that I had high cholesterol?! The doctor wanted to put me on statins. “Heck no,” I thought! It was bad enough to have to take insulin, but statins too? It was not a good day!

What I found out is that acceptable levels of LDL cholesterol have gone down over the years so that more and more people are put on pharmaceuticals. This benefits the manufacturers, and the doctors who receive compensation from prescribing these medications, but does not help and can even harm patients.

After administering insulin and reducing the amount of carbohydrates I consumed, my LDL cholesterol level dropped considerably and is now considered “good.” What the doctor didn’t tell me and what I want to share with you is that high blood sugar messes up your whole body. Even if you don’t eat any products containing cholesterol, your body makes cholesterol on its own. If your body isn’t functioning properly, your body cannot remove the excess cholesterol and it keeps building up, raising those levels.

You may be able to avoid taking cholesterol-lowering drugs by keeping your blood sugar levels in check. Just because a doctor recommends a medication doesn’t mean you have to take it. All prescription drugs have benefits and risks. It’s unfortunate, but you have to be your own medical advocate. No one has your best interests at heart better than you, except maybe your mom!

Hate Water? I’m going to change that.

homemade tea

I’ve heard a few people tell me they hate water. To me that’s just crazy talk. It’s like someone insisting that grass is purple and the moon is made out of marshmallows. Water haters say they drink juice and flavored water instead of plain water. Juice has calories and carbs which add up so it’s not the best hydration choice. Flavored drinks typically have food coloring, preservatives, and synthetic sweeteners so I’m not a fan of those either.

I enjoy a challenge so I’m going to make all of you who hate water, love it. You can make delicious and refreshing water without adding any calories, carbohydrates, or chemicals.

Below are my top three homemade flavored water tips:

1)      Add thin slices of lemon, oranges and cucumber to a glass jug. Fill with filtered water and ice. Yum! (keep in refrigerator)

2)      Pour a little bit of brewed coffee into a glass jug or glass. Add water and ice for iced coffee

3)      Put 3 tea bags (my favorites are mint and green tea) in a microwavable cup with ½ glass of filtered water. Heat 30 seconds in the microwave. Add tea bags and brew for 3 minutes. Pour the hot brewed tea in a glass jug. Fill with cold filtered water and ice. You can add a few drops of liquid stevia to make it taste like sweetened tea.

As Tony Horton, fitness celebrity trainer, says, “Drink your water people!” Maybe now you will.

How Calories Add Up

This is a follow-up to the blog I wrote on 7/30/13 in reference to how dining out increases your waist size. Lazy Dog Restaurant’s Ginger Soy Salmon with brown rice entrée contains a whopping 1050 calories. I contacted the restaurant and they gave me this break down:

  • 8 oz Salmon=471 calories
  • 1.5 cups Cooked Rice=220 calories
  • Veggies with Sauce and oil= 250 calories (Steaming the veggies would remove about 180 calories)
  • Teriyaki Glaze=45 calories

Now I know why that dish contains so many calories. The salmon they give you is a generous portion: a half a pound. I also didn’t know the vegetables were cooked in oil. If you noticed, the math doesn’t add up to 1050. 471+220+250+45 = 986, not 1050 per their online calorie chart. It’s only a difference of 64 calories, but still!

If I omit just the rice, that would still make the meal 776 calories, which is a lot, especially when that number doesn’t include a beverage or dessert! If I had steamed vegetables instead of the fried veggies and excluded the rice, the dish would come in a 596 calories which is not bad for a restaurant in terms of calories. It’s still more calories than the meals I make at home. Dining out is such a love-hate experience for me!

Jillians Michaels Kickboxing Video Review

Jillian Michaels Kickbox Fast Fix

If you want short cardiovascular workouts with little out-of-pocket investment, this one is you. Jillians’ “Kickbox Fast Fix” contains three 20-minute fast-paced kickboxing workouts. Other training programs drag on because they are boring, but all three kickboxing workouts are really fun. Sometimes, with other exercise videos, I’m thinking, “When is this going to be over?” On this DVD when I hear Jillian say, “Time for a cool down.” I’m a little sad because that 20 minutes went by so quickly. Of course I can always watch another one!

The negatives to this exercise DVD are the uninspiring music and confusing moves. One of the videos incorporates weights, but it’s only two sets of the same movements so it’s not much of a strength-training workout. Over all, I give this a thumbs-up.

Diabetes and depression

If you’ve been newly diagnosed as diabetic, or if you’ve been a diabetic for years, you’re bound to have bouts of depression due to fluctuations in blood sugar. Being diagnosed with a disease is definitely a depressing realization. One of the biggest challenges a diabetic has is to keep her or her blood sugar stabilized. When a person’s blood sugar is too high, she or he will have sadness and less energy. Whenever you are feeling blue, it may not be your job or a situation that’s getting you down. Test your blood sugar with your glucose meter even if you think the numbers will be okay. The meter is not there to judge you; it’s to help you. If your blood sugar is too high, you know you need to take more medication. Taking drugs sucks, but depression sucks even more!

Weight Training fat-burning tip

Here’s a little known, but super important fact that will flatten that belly. After every weight training workout, don’t just dry off and head home. Whenever you pump iron, you release fatty acids. You want to do 30 minutes of light cardio right after weight training to flush those fatty acids out of your system, or you can incorporate cardio in with the weight training. You don’t want the fatty acids to go back into your cells, which keep you fat.

For your light cardio after weight-training workout, you want your heart beats per minute (BPM) to be between 110 and 130. You can buy a heart rate monitor at your nearest fitness center or you can just calculate your BPM yourself. To determine your BPM, take your left index finger and middle finger and place them on your right wrist where you feel a pulse. Count how many pulses there are in 15 seconds and multiply that by 4. Ex: 32 x 4 = 128.

I wish someone had told me this fat-burning tip years ago!

Reduce cholesterol levels naturally

If you need to reduce your LDL cholesterol levels without taking risky prescription pills, see my do and don’t list below:

Take policosanol

Avoid carnitine

Take prebiotics daily

Eat 1 ounce of raw unsalted almonds and walnuts nuts every day (this will increase your HDL which is what you want. Stay away from salted and roasted nuts since you don’t need the extra oil or salt)

Avoid farmed fish, deli meats, fried foods and any product that is hydrogenated

Remove any visible fat off meat (the cholesterol is in the fat)

Keep blood sugars in the normal range (see your doctor to confirm your range)

Eat no more than 1 portion of red meat to once a week

Reduce salt intake by cutting back on processed & restaurant items (home cooked is best!)

Exercise at least 30 minutes five times a week

Eat more high-fiber foods like broccoli to sweep that cholesterol out of your body (clean-up time)

Eat eggs but remove the yolkes (I suggest eating no more than three whole eggs a week)

Lose those extra pounds by following the steps above

Make box jumps easier & cheaper while shedding fat

Reebok Step

Box jumps are a great way to shed fat due to their high intensity and cardio component, but they’re difficult! I wanted to try box jumps, but I didn’t want to fork out all that dough for a jump box that might be too high. My Reebok Step was too low so I bought a pair of additional risers; now I have a box that’s perfect for me. I can also add more risers as I get better at this exercise. I finally have a better use for that 90’s Reebok Step!

Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes

A type 1 diabetic has a pancreas that has been damaged, most-likely from a viral infection, whereas, a type 2 diabetic has a pancreas that is not fully functional due to increased age, inactivity, poor eating habits and/or lack of activity.

What’s interesting is that the amount of insulin given to a type 1 diabetic differs from what is needed for a type 2 diabetic. Someone who is a type 2 diabetic has tissues that are a lot less responsive to insulin so they have to take much higher doses. Since insulin makes it much harder to lose fat, it’s especially important for healthy people and pre-diabetics to clean up their diets and start exercising now. If you think exercising is a pain, wait until you have to prick your fingers and inject medicine three to five times a day!

The dangers of antiperspirant

This is a follow-up to the blog titled “Antiperspirant – is it harmful?” on 7/5/2103. If you look on your antiperspirant, you will find a warning on that back label that reads: “Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease.” So I asked my doctor, “What’s that all about?” He told me that if a person’s kidneys aren’t functioning properly, the aluminum from the antiperspirant builds up in the body. That’s scary.

Luckily deodorant doesn’t contain any aluminum . Deodorant won’t stop you from sweating, but at least you won’t be stinky and you won’t have to worry about any harmful effects from aluminum.

%d bloggers like this: