Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Friends Inspire me

In talking with one of my friends tonight about her 'yucky tummy' I became a bit inspired. 

We often become 'yucky tummified' when we eat things we shouldn't, we all know that. 
1) Taking too large a bite.  The faster you eat, the more air you swallow.  The bigger the bite, the less room in your mouth the less you chew.  You want to chew one two three four and swallow.  Your stomach needs more than huge chunks of food in it. It needs the saliva produced in your mouth to help react with the acids in your stomach to help break down your food.  What happens is your stomach can't properly utilize/process your food.  It travels along to your colon where you become gassy and 'stopped up.'  Gassy makes you feel yucky.  'Stoped up' makes you feel yucky.  Lack of proper nutrition, even if you are eating right, makes  you feel yucky.

Chew your food slowly.  Remember that old addage about 20 chews per bite?  There's a bit of truth to it.  We tend to ignore it in favor of getting over with dinner and back to whatever it was we were doing.  Slow down.

2) Drinking too much with our food is just as bad as taking too big a bite and not chewing properly.  The liquid makes our food swell.  It doesn't have the same chemical reaction with our stomach acid to break down the food and we get the same yucky tummy problem as mentioned in problem number 1. 

Just take sips of water with your food to 'wet your whistle'.  I know as we get older the tendency is to drink more with our food because we don't produce as much saliva as we used to, so add a little balsamic vinegar to your plate or a bit of lemon to help get the old salivary glands going.  There can be too much of a good thing when it comes to water.

3) Salt, oils, strong vinaigrettes, sauces(especially hot sauces, chili sauces, salad dressings) can do a heavy number on  your stomach.  Just as oil and water don't mix neither do oils and stomach acid.  Vinaigrettes will hae a negative effect on stomach acid, actually all of the above will.  They're best avoided.

Salt?  Why salt?  If your food is salty you tend to drink more water so look back at number 1 and 2 for the reason salt is listed here.

4) Yeasty foods.  Number one culprit in bloat.  Add yeast to acid and what do you get?  The way your stomach feels makes the hindenberg explosion look like a sparkler on the 4th of July!  Overly processed, white breads are bad news for digestion.  if you must must must have bread, aim for whole grains, not whole wheat,. While better for you than white bread,  whole whest is still too processed for  most people to digest.

So what to eat?

Whole grains like brown rice, long grain wild rice (not that prepackaged overly processed full of sodium stuff either)  Add your own flavorings.  Experiment.  Branch out a little.  Adventures with food can be fun!

Raw or lightly steamed veggies (can be fresh or fresh frozen).  Use Mrs Dash or just a little parsely and garlic on them if you need flavor.  Cruciferous veggies, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, are hard on the stomach but necessary ruffage and nutrients are in them so enjoy them once or twice a week.

Proteins like eggs, beans, and hard cheeses, but not the strongly flavored/sharp cheeses. 

Tofu is bland by itself, but added to mild soups or mixed into breads, cakes, and puddings will supply a major walloping of protein that easily and quickly digested by the stoamch.

Low sodium broth based soups. the heavier, creamier the soup the worse it is for you. the harder it is for your stomach to digest.

Fresh or fresh frozen fruits.  I dont' particularly care for frozen fruit as it tends to be soggy once defrosted, though this time of year I don't have a lot of choice. Fresh frozen is cheaper than out of season and tremendously expensive fresh fruits from Mexico.

Lean cuts of meat and fish. 

Eggs, even the yolk.

Simple proteins are easily digested.  Don't make things hard on yourself.  Eating isn't rocket science 101.  You have the knowledge tucked away in your brain.  Look for it.  Even in the Bible, people knew what to eat.  What do you see in there?  Olives, figs, meats, bread (There was a simple recipe and I'll tell you now, there are no hydrogenized oils, gluten free, high fructose corn syrup in that bread!  it's whole grain baby!) Simple oils, likely from flaxseed and olives, corn, fish, poultry, milk, honey, dates, wine...simple to grow, easy to maintain and harvest and store.  Nothing was wasted.  Nothing was overly processed and those people were healthy aside from famine, wars, and the occasional pestilence and or disease. (you know what I mean lol, they lived a long long time!)

Use a little common sense.  Think about what you're putting in your mouth. 

A little over a year ago I woke my self snoring and literally suffocating under my own weight when I slept on my back.  Keith had awakened me several times asking if I was okay because he thought I'd stopped breathing.  The fat was packed in so tightly around my internal organs that I was truly drowning myself under all that fat.  It pressed into my stomach forcing the acid in my stomach back into my esophagus reducing the amount of sleep I got each night because I couldn't breathe, stressing me out,  raising my cortisol levels and therefore helping my weight steadily rise.  I was taking prevacid and tipping the the scale  dangerously close to 300 piunds.  I was only 31 pounds under 300.  Only????  Eeesh!

A  little over a year later, I'm still just a hair over 200 pounds, but I'm in much better shape, except from bouts of insomnia from just simply getting older female hormone issues, and tonight, eating far too much sugar when I'm not used to it, while helping Grant with his edible science project. 

My anemia is under control, actually it's almost eradicated.

My period is pretty normal and predictable, not terribly heavy, and lasts less than a week. WOHOOOOO! 

I can now sleep on my back without suffocating.  Hubby still says I snore but I think  he's waking himsellf up with his own snoring.

 Acid reflux?  What acid reflux?

I owe my  thanks to several things. 1)  Age.  I realize I'm not getting any younger and I'm pretty much out of time to take chances with my  health. 2) My former ob/gyn telling me she could find nothing wrong with me so she wanted to do a hysterectomy.  huh?  My uterus is perfectly healthy so you want to remove it?  What kind of sense did that make???  So I dumped her and went to another og/gyn who told me as gently as possible to lose weight that most women who had my problems found that 200 was the magic number in putting their hormones back in their place.  He was right.  Now I just wonder what will happen when I get more toward my goal of 140? 3) My parents both have major health issues due to  their weight and I don't want to go their route. 4) Anne Louise Gittleman for writing Before The Change  5)My stubborn pride in deciding I wasn't going to die a fat woman.   And last but not least, 6) my husband for pissing me off enough to actually lose the weight the doctor suggested.

I might be getting old, but we'll just see who's 3rd rate now.  I love him dearly, but his mouth keeps him in soooo much trouble. 

What are you afraid of?  You dont' have to be third rate on a good day and you certainly don't have to be fat.  Take a slow, leisurely walk with me on the not-so-fat but not-so-thin side for a while.  It's easier than you think.

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