The Christmas season is in full swing. I truly enjoy this time of year. It is a time for renewing relationships, friendships and faiths. Its a time to show appreciation to people that have made our lives easier and better through the year. What is it about the Christmas season that causes people to take a look at their lives? What is it about Christmas that brings out goodness and kindness in people? What would the world be like if Christmas was all year long?
Many physicians say limit salt intake to control high blood pressure. This may be a myth. It may actually be low potassium that causes high blood pressure. There are also other health problems that can cause high blood pressure. Our bodies must have water, food, air, minerals and salt to survive. All land animals crave salt and the minerals it contains. Ocean animals require salt and therefore live in the salty ocean.
People do not realize how much salt their bodies actually need to survive. We are fooled into thinking the small amount of salt we add to our food is enough for our bodies to survive. It is enough only because of the amount of salt in our processed food. If our processed food had no salt, we could not survive on the small amount we add. Our bodies must have salt to retain the water and moisture in our bodies. Without salt all the water would go through our bodies at a rapid pace and be disposed of through the urine. Without salt our bodies would remain in a dehydrated and unhealthy state.
I am beginning my fifth month of my major weigh down plan. I have had many ups and downs. Literally the scales have went up and down. In my last update I posted I was down 31 lbs. Thanksgiving came and the weekend following Thanksgiving came. During this period I gained 5 lbs. I was really down and out over this up. I really focused this past week on getting back on track. I am happy to say I went down 5 lbs. I am now back down 31 lbs.
One thing I have thought about in length is the fact that this is not a quick fix, fad diet or starvation plan. This is simply a weigh down plan and a life style change. I am going to enjoy events and holidays. I am not going to avoid life. I am going to continue to lose on my portion control life. Life is good.
I have had a very busy time at work and have not been able to exercise as often as I was. That’s o.k. I will get back to it. I am not going to get discouraged. This weight is going down.
Wanted to share a couple of my favorite party recipes. These are a couple of my tried and true treats for holiday parties. Both are quick and can be fixed at the last minute. These are both great for pop in guest. Keep these ingredients on hand during the holidays and you will be covered for last minute snacks.
Breastfeeding is one of the healthiest things a new mom can do for her baby. It is also one of the greatest bonding experiences ever. I remember my babies looking up into my eyes as if to say thank you. I knew from the day I found out I was expecting a baby that if at all possible I would breastfeed. Due to an infection it was not easy with my first son. I was only able to breastfeed him for about 3 months. Breastfeeding for only three months still brought great health benefits. The first milk that is produced is considered to be the healthiest of all. The first milk is called colostrum. This milk protects a baby from infection. Having this first milk also helps the babies gut to develop properly. Research shows that even a small amount of nutrition other than breast milk will alter a babies gut. If not for the La Leche League I would not have made it three months. La Leche League is a support group consisting of mothers that are breastfeeding or have breastfed their babies. When my second son came along things went smoother and I was able to feed him for the first year of his life. The health difference I have noticed between the two is that my oldest son has allergies. My second son seems to not have any allergies at all. http://www.llli.org/
When it comes to food options your local grocery store has thousands to choose from. The majority of these foods are not healthy foods. They may taste great but offer very little if any health benefits. Choosing from the top 20 healthiest foods will help keep a healthy weight, fight disease and build muscle. See the list below with some benefits on select foods.
On the fourth Thursday of November Americans observe Thanksgiving, a day that has been set aside for us to Thank God for all his blessings through the year. It is a time to also celebrate family and to reminisce with each other about the past year. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in early autumn 1621. The pilgrims did not call their harvest feast, Thanksgiving. They did pray to God but did not consider it a religious holiday. The first religious day of Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1623.
As a child I remember Thanksgiving being a day of feasting, being thankful, watching parades and being with family.
I remember only 20 years ago all the shops, malls, restaurants, even grocery stores were closed on Thanksgiving. This gave employees the opportunity to spend the day with their family. I like to think they were also closed out of respect for the holiday. The last few years this has slowly changed. Many families are no longer together talking, sharing, laughing, watching children play and praying together on Thanksgiving. Instead many are out trying to catch the sales shopping for clothes, gifts and items for their house. Now restaurants are open for dinning out. Families are missing out on the big turkey being carved at the table, all the homemade foods and desserts. The thing sadder than missing the home cooked meal is the family missing sitting around the table together talking, laughing, praying, while children are playing and just being together for the day. Times have changed.
I have been cooking in a kitchen since I was probably 10 years old. When I reached Jr High School level I really got interested in cookbooks. I enjoyed finding a recipe and trying it. I remember the first recipe I tried from a book was Eggs Benedict. This was breakfast for my parents, brothers and sisters. Since we did not have English Muffins I improvised and used plain toast. Some of the surprisingly best meals are made with substitutions. I have always enjoyed cooking especially when everything is neat and in order. I have to admit most of my meals are made without recipes. Most of them are made from memories of being in the kitchen with my mom, my mother-in-law, with aunts and friends. Of course I do have some favorite recipes passed to me from friends and family and sometimes from a cookbook.
It seems you can not pick up a health magazine or read an article concerning health online without GMOs being talked about in some way. They are never talked about in a favorable light. I have yet to read anything that says GMOs are healthy and we should eat freely of the products containing them. I read today of yet another health problem that is on the rise. Gluten sensitivity cases are rising at an alarming rate and now affects 40% of all U.S. citizens. This condition has been linked to GMOs in our food. Gluten sensitivity is something that needs to be taken seriously. It can cause major intestinal problems. Problems that include diarrhea, painful gas, bloating and constipation so severe that it disrupts a persons daily routine. Headaches, depression, weight loss or weight gain and aching joints are a few other symptoms that can be excessive and severe. Children and infants are not excluded from this painful condition. As well as the other symptoms they also may experience a slow growth pattern. Keep in mind GMOs are allowed in infant formula.
Eight more days to prepare my Thanksgiving dinner. I have my sweet potato casseroles ready and in the freezer awaiting topping on Thanksgiving morning. I did under estimate the sweet potatoes I needed for three casseroles. I will make one more if time permits. If not I will make the one I had planned for Christmas closer to that holiday.
Next in line was going to be the strawberry salad. However, I have decided to change that to a Cranberry Fruit Mold instead. I remembered how much my mother-in-law liked the cranberry one. I will make the Strawberry Salad for Christmas and will share the recipe with you then.