Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Crazy running, crying lady! (coffee vs tea)

So I have quit coffee among other things. But while getting myself back into running shape I revisited the idea that the caffeine gives you a little extra boost for your work out. I though I'd test this out for myself. Part of me thinks this was a desperate subconscious attempt to get coffee back into my life, but I rolled with it. What's one cup going to hurt, right? Well, I had a coffee, waited 45 minutes, worked and it it was slightly better than the day before. Possibly the coffee, possibly I was just having a good day. The difference was just to slight to really tell. So coffee is back out. THANK goodness, I'd hate to think I went through those awful withdrawals for nothing. So where else can I get caffeine that's not coffee. Well tea of course was my next test. Tea has more caffeine than coffee and has great health benefits as the next day I made a cup of Green Tea, waited 45 minutes and hit the track. I ran my little brains out. Got around the track 10 times only stopping once to mess with my ipod for a few seconds.It was like I has rockets on my sneakers! Now this was noticeable. Enough for me to try again 2 days later. This bring us to yesterday (Friday). I was tired, in pain I thought no way am going to get this done even with the tea, so I'll just do what I can, experiment over.                                                        

                                             Well, 4th time around I thought "how in the hell did I do this just 2 days ago?" "I'm going to die!" Last year I worked my tail off with "Couch-to-5K" getting back into "running" shape after doing nothing all winter. "Why is this happening?" (an always rhetorical question I can't stop asking myself!) I feel even better/faster/stronger on this 90 day program (Day45 Friday). But As with Fibro, some days the body is just not connected with what the mind wants to do. I started to decide "only one more time around, then I'll walk". I was feeling a bit defeated and disappointed, but I'd get over it. Then when I got back to where I started, like a message from God (or whoever you believe in) "that song" , "the song", started to play, that made me want to tell Fibro to SUCK IT and I will not be defeated and I will keep going. I went around the track that same 10 times and then did one extra for good measure!
                                                  Now I always have this song  "Breaking the Habit" by Linkin Park push me just a little bit further, just a tiny bit it a quarter mile, or 5 more minutes, for some reason this song resonates with me on such a level that I can get through almost any pain.  I think about struggle, loss, pain, and becoming stronger and changing my life...blah and boring I know, but don't we all have at least one of those songs? Be honest!! But I swivel that button, I skip to that song  when I need it. Yesterday... the timing of it playing on it's own, on shuffle, exactly when I needed it literally brought me to tears.So I cried. I took deep breaths, cried a little, smiled a little and kept going. Thankfully no one else was around, they would have run from the track in fear of the crazy running crying lady! Was it the tea? Was it the music, or a combination of the both? You be the judge. As for me either way,  I took it a a sign that I had to do it. I had to be  thankful that I am alive, aware, and that I can do it. Do it for me, for everyone who can't, and for everyone who wishes they could. Because tomorrow I might not be able to open the jar of spaghetti sauce.

But today I can run. 


Friday, May 4, 2012

Some Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Anti-Inflammatory Foods
By Jack Challem
Chronic inflammation almost always lurks beneath the surface of diabetes and excess weight. 
You can't see or feel it, but this type of inflammation increases the risk of coronary heart disease, 
the leading cause of death among people with diabetes.
Processed sugars and other high-glycemic starches increase inflammation, just as they raise 
blood sugar, according to an article in the March 2002 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Good news, though: Many foods have anti-inflammatory properties. Here are 11 of the best...
1. Salmon. Coldwater fish, including salmon, contain anti-inflammatory fats called omega-3s.
Wild salmon has more of these super-healthy fats than does farmed salmon.
Shopping tip: All  Salmon from Alaska is wild, whereas Atlantic salmon is usually farmed.
Herring, sardines, and tuna also contain omega-3s.
2. Grass-fed beef and other animal foods. As opposed to traditional, grain-fed livestock, meat
that comes from animals fed grass also contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s, but in lower
concentrations than coldwater fish. Free-range livestock that graze in pastures build up higher
levels of omega-3s. Meat from grain-fed animals has virtually no omega-3s and plenty of
saturated fat.
Cooking tip: Unless it's ground, grass-fed beef may be tougher, so slow cook it.
3. Olive oil. Olive oil is a great source of oleic acid, another anti-inflammatory oil. Researchers
wrote in the October 2007 Journal of the American College of Nutrition that those who consume
more oleic acid have better insulin function and lower blood sugar.
Shopping tip: Opt for extra-virgin olive oil, which is the least processed, and use it instead of
other cooking oils. Other "cold-pressed" or "expeller-pressed" oils can be good sources, too.
4. Salads. Dark-green lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and other salad veggies are rich in vitamin C
and other antioxidants, nutrients that dampen inflammation.
Suggestion: Opt for olive oil-and-vinegar salad dressing (vinegar helps moderate blood sugar),
and skip the croutons.
5. Cruciferous vegetables. These veggies, which include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale, are also loaded with antioxidants. But they provide one other ingredient -- sulfur -- that
the body needs to make its own high-powered antioxidants.

6. Cherries. A study in the April 2006 Journal of Nutrition showed that eating cherries daily can
significantly reduce inflammation. Cherries are also packed with antioxidants and relatively low
on the glycemic index.
Tip: Frozen cherries are available all year long and make a tasty dessert with a little yogurt or
7. Blueberries. These delectable fruits are chock-full of natural compounds that reduce
inflammation. Blueberries may also protect the brain from many of the effects of aging. Frozen
are usually less expensive than fresh -- and just as good for you.
8. Turmeric. This spice contains a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory compound, according to
a report in the August 2007 Biochemical Pharmacology. Turmeric has long been part of curry
spice blends, used in southern Asian cuisines. To use: Buy powdered curry spice (which contains
turmeric and other spices) and use it as a seasoning when pan-frying chicken breasts in olive oil.
9. Ginger. This relative of turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and some
research suggests that it might also help control blood sugar.
Suggestion: Brew your own  Ginger tea. Use a peeler to remove the skin off a piece of ginger,
then add several thin slices to a cup of hot water and let steep for a few minutes.
10. Garlic. The research isn't consistent, but garlic may have some anti-inflammatory and
glucose-regulating benefits and it may also help your body fight infections. At the very least, it
won't hurt and makes for a tasty addition to food.
11. Green tea. Like fruits and vegetables, green tea contains natural anti-inflammatory
compounds. It may even reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Suggestion: Drink a cup a day -- or brew it like sun tea, refrigerate, and serve.
As you probably noticed, anti-inflammatory eating is right in line with healthy, diabetes-friendly
eating. And it's the way we all should eat, whether we have diabetes or not: lots of plant foods
and moderate portions of animal foods, as unaltered and unprocessed as possible. If everyone ate
this way, we'd see a much larger portion of our population living healthier, longer lives.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Supermoon Saturday!

So what's all the hype HYPE about? A perigee full moon brings with it extra-high "perigean tides," but this is nothing like the natural disasters predicted by Internet doomsayers, ie The Japan Earthquake maybe, and maybe not March 11 not a supermoon. But there has long been discussion weather or not the moon cycles have an effect on depression, pms, mental stability and more. Ever heard people joke "oh it must be a full moon" simply because of all the strange goings on?How about "the full moon brings out all the crazies"? The term Lunatic is derived from the word Lunar (Moon) Do Full Moons Make People Crazy?

One theory: Just about all the air you breathe has some ions that are negatively charged and some positively charged. If you breathe large amounts of positive ions without an equal amount of negative ions, you will actually become lethargic and in some cases sick (high positive ion concentrations in the air are associated with the full moon). 75% of the general population react favorably to negative ions but are adversely affected by positive ions, while the other 25% react in the opposite way, finding higher positive ion days "euphoric", and higher negative ion days just a little bit boring. These people compensate for the stress caused by positive ions with sufficient adrenaline production.In other words, 75% of the general population goes into different ranges of depression and 25% become hyperactive. We are all affected somewhat by higher positive ion ratios. There are no side effects from negative ions.

Also Psychology Today has stated that 81 percent of mental health professionals believe that lunar cycles affect human behavior.

That being said, You are the best judge.If you are superstitious or notice a change in the past during a regular full moon, take care. Maybe stay home, relax with a movie and some green tea. Try not to be around anyone you know to be stressful or confrontational. Don't take on any extra work at your job or additional emotional baggage from friends or family (until after Sunday anyway!). All of which can be hard to do or not do, but your well being is a steak. Get on the treadmill for 20 minutes (even just WALKING) Saturday and/or Sunday sometime, kick up those endorphin levels, keep your lights on so your not sitting in the dark and give yourself a chance not to succumb to the emotional tidal wave that accompanies this Supermoon. I for one will be distracting myself with scrapbooking on Saturday, and then I have The Walk For Hunger on Sunday so I believe I have a good chance of not sitting around feeling lousy. I'll save that for Monday!