I was recently asked How Blood Pressure was measured and what those numbers mean. I wanted to make sure that you understood this as well, because it’s important to know as much as you can so that you can be better equipped to control your blood pressure. [Read more…]
You’ve heard the blood pressure readings. You know the optimal blood pressure levels. You even know some of the medications used to treat high blood pressure. BUT… do you know how they got those numbers? Most people don’t, so let me explain (I’ll try not to get TOO tech-y). [Read more…]
The Holiday Season is officially here. And with that comes Family, Friends, and FOOD! Lots and lots of food… amirite??
No matter where you are (I’m in New Orleans, so you can only imagine how great the food is!), you are bound to eat a bit more than you should at some point. It started off with your Favorite Uncle’s famous fried turkey for Thanksgiving. Will probably include Auntie’s Mac & Cheese, Grandma’s Sweet Potato (or Pumpkin) Pie, your Mom’s Gumbo, and a slew of other traditional holiday favorites. It’s really hard to resist any of it because they only happen a few times a year.
How to Avoid Being Overstuffed This Holiday Season
- Slow Down! Yes the food is really, REALLY good. But it’s not going anywhere. No, Cousin Darren isn’t going to eat it all. Take your time to eat your food and actually enjoy the flavors that each dish has to offer. I promise you, you’ll love it even more if you take the time to ACTUALLY taste the food. Besides that, it’ll give your stomach a chance to register when it’s full.
- Sip Water: Don’t Guzzle it! Just sip it. Drinking water throughout the day will allow your body to be less thirsty which will decrease some of those “hunger” signals. Sometimes, our hunger is actually thirst signals that we are misinterpreting so we eat more than we really want/need. Making sure you are sipping water through the day will help you stay hydrated, help keep your bowels moving, and will help decrease those hunger pangs.
- Walk It Out: After your meal, take a leisurely stroll up and down the block (as long as the weather permits). Nothing too strenuous though because walking too fast or too hard will shunt blood away from digestion down to your legs. This will make digestion worse so don’t overdo it. Take some time to smell the roses … or the snow.
- Add More Veggies! By adding a few more veggies to your meals (Yes, this means breakfast too!) you can increase your fiber content, add more nutrients to each meal, and fill up sooner. You can do all of this without increasing the amount of calories you are consuming – and maybe even decreasing them – because veggies have less fat and carbs than fried food, bread, pasta, etc. Eating more squashes, eggplant, spinach, greens, etc is always a plus.
- Start Working Out: Not right after a meal, but consider increasing your workouts over the holidays. Don’t wait until January 1st when you can start now! Working out and becoming more conscious about your body can help you avoid over indulging. This will leave you feeling satisfied with the food you have consumed while still having the body that you know are working towards.
- Bring Tupperware: This Thanksgiving I brought a set of tupperware with me to my family function. At the end of the night, when the family said “take some of this home with you!” I was prepared. It also meant that I didn’t feel the need to overeat while I was enjoying my time with my family. It also means that I can enjoy the food later without wondering if the foil wrapping was going to keep my food fresh.
- Take Your Supplements: If you take things like apple cider vinegar, digestive enzymes, probiotics, etc. now is not the time to forget that you have them. Keep them on board to help keep your digestive system working optimally and efficiently. If you don’t take any of these, consider talking to your holistic practitioner about which ones are best for you.
Make sure you are enjoying your family time with NO guilt around food. Give yourself some grace and smile. There is no need for the extra guilt this season. Just begin to make these small tweaks to your mealtime and have some fun!
Insulin Resistance is a condition in which the insulin that’s in your body – whether you make it or inject it – becomes ineffective. Your body stops recognizing it so it’s not able to do its job as well. This leads to many other conditions including diabetes.
What You Can Do To Re-Sensitize Your Insulin…
Insulin Resistance is tough, but not impossible to reverse. Here are 5 things you can do to become more Insulin Sensitive (in no particular order):
- Get Some SLEEP! Several studies have shown that sleep deprivation CAUSES Insulin Resistance. This occurs in those that are healthy, those with insulin metabolic syndrome, Men and women. The “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality is probably going to get you to the grave faster. If you’d like to read any of those studies, here are a few: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- Exercise More – Exercising and Movement have profound affects on the body. One of them is helping to decrease the amount of sugar in the body even without the help of insulin. Making movement a regular part of your life is going to be key in becoming insulin sensitive, losing weight, having better quality sleep, and managing your stress levels.
- Stress Less – All stress – mental, physical, real or perceived – affects your body by increasing the fight-or-flight response. The problems occur when you have chronic stress and no outlet for it. The more stress your body encounters, the more at risk you are for increasing insulin resistance. Begin managing stress better and you are closer to becoming more sensitive to insulin. Check out the book Take Vacations Daily for daily suggestions of ways to break the stress cycle and decrease your blood sugar levels.
- Drink Green Tea – Green tea has been shown to be a very good drink for health in general. It has lots of antioxidants and lots of other factors that help to increase insulin sensitivity as well as lowering blood sugar. Just remember not to add too much sugar to your tea. Try a Flavor Tea Box for a variety of teas that are not only delicious, but also good for you!
- Use More Herbs and Spices – Spices such as Cinnamon, Fenugreek and ginger and herbs such as turmeric and garlic can be beneficial in lowering blood sugar.
No one thing is likely to be the Magic Bullet that will make you more Insulin Sensitive. It will take a combination of many, if not all, of these to do the trick. The other thing that will be needed is TIME and CONSISTENCY!
Your body didn’t get to where it is over night. It won’t reverse any condition over night either. It’s important to keep that in mind as you begin to make the changes. You may not actually SEE the changes you want to see, but changes are occurring. You may have to pay attention to other changes that are happening in the body as well, not just the ones you want. Just like the weed that grows in the concrete, persevere against all odds. Even when you don’t see the growth right away.
Give your body a chance to make the shifts and be consistent with the changes you make. You will gradually see your body responding… and HAPPY.
If you’d like some help creating a plan to help re-sensitize your insulin, Let’s Chat!
The biggest reason that IR is such a problematic disease, besides the fact that your blood sugar is increasing and your insulin efficiency is decreasing, is that there are SO many other things that are affected as well.