Saturday, April 19, 2014

What how can this be?!?

I went for my yearly physical yesterday and everything was great except one thing.  I swear this surgery for my hysterectomy has put my body out of whack!  My blood pressure was fine before the surgery and then it went up after the surgery for about a month.  I was on blood pressure meds and I am now off them.

Now, this is even more crazy!  My cholesterol went up!!!!! Urgh, how can this be!  I pretty much eat vegan.  I only eat fish and egg whites.  Everything else is plant based.  I know that I haven't been eating the best way because I can't cook for myself, currently.  I am eating more fish than I would normally and the take out meals that I have been eating must be causing the high cholesterol.  I figure that even though I am eating plant based foods, these foods must have more oils than I use.  I am sure of it after all.. they have to make the foods taste great!  I have seen plenty of posts about how oils can raise your cholesterol too.  Now I believe it.  Man, I just can't believe how careful that I need to be in my eating!

Also, I have other restrictions on me because of the hysterectomy.  I haven't been able to exercise for two months and I haven't been able to take some of my vitamin supplements because they cause bleeding (thin blood). Which is great for heart health but not surgery health.

Goes to show you how important everything is that I have been doing for my health.  Every little piece matters.  I hope that soon I will have no restrictions on me and I can get back to normal.

One thing that I am so excited about is that I finally broke the barrier.  I have not been able to loose weight for two years.  I have been stuck!  Probably because of the two large cysts that were growing in me.  Basically, I could not eat because it caused me great pain to eat since those cysts were taking up all the room in my stomach.  I never thought that I could juice.  Well I juiced for 2 months because that was all my stomach could handle and I lost 15 pounds!  I am so excited that I am now 60 pounds lighter from when I started this Plant Based Diet journey.  See my post on the before and after me.

Click here to find about My Progress.
Never give up ~ Beth
This is me at 190 pounds.

This is me at 250 pounds, the beginning of my journey.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Facts on Vitamin C

Do you realize that a bell pepper has more vitamin C than an orange?  And who knew that muscle weakness or fatigue could be caused by low vitamin C?  Goes to show you that we all should be eating a healthy plant based diet to get all the best nutrients from food into our bodies from the foods we eat.  You can't get that from eating packaged foods.  In fact you may be pretty sick eating that way.  A low nutrient diet can cause all sorts of health problems.  That's what is keeping the doctors rich in this country.  I don't know about you but I plan to be staying out of the doctors office as much as possible! ~ Beth

What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is abundant in vegetables and fruits. A water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, it helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin.

Why is vitamin C necessary?
Vitamin C helps to repair and regenerate tissues, protect against heart disease, aid in the absorption of iron, prevent scurvy, and decrease total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides. Research indicates that vitamin C may help protect against a variety of cancers by combating free radicals, and helping neutralize the effects of nitrites (preservatives found in some packaged foods that may raise the risk of certain forms of cancer). Supplemental vitamin C may also lessen the duration and symptoms of a common cold; help delay or prevent cataracts; and support healthy immune function.

What are the signs of a deficiency?
Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, joint and muscle aches, bleeding gums, and leg rashes. Prolonged deficiency can cause scurvy, a rare but potentially severe illness.

How do you get enough vitamin C from foods?
Vitamin C is easy to get through foods, as many fruits (especially citrus) and vegetables contain vitamin C. Good sources include: apples, asparagus, berries, broccoli, cabbage, melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon), cauliflower, citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges), kiwi, fortified foods (breads, grains, cereal), dark leafy greens (kale, spinach), peppers (especially red bell peppers, which have among the highest per-serving vitamin C content), potatoes, and tomatoes.

Find out how much Vitamin C you should be getting by reading the rest of the story:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hysterectomy - Week 3

Well today it's nice outside so I finally could take a walk. My hubby drove us down to the boulevard and we did one complete loop. Oh my that was a HUGE walk for me.

Before my surgery I could easily do three loops. I am amazed at how much your stomach gets used for everything. Yes my stomach is a bit sore from our walk. It doesn't hurt but I know that somehow I used my stomach during our walk. I suppose that we use our stomach for all sorts of balance. 

I remember that after surgery, I walked all hunched over because my stomach hurt and I couldn't use any tummy muscles. 

I can't wait to do the things that I use to do again. It's been about 2 months that I haven't exercised at all. I wonder how long it will be before I can do TRX again or lift weights. I'm pretty intense when I work out. All this that I'm doing now is baby steps to me. 

Can't wait to my next goal.. 2 loops around the beulivard! I suppose when I get to 3 loops, then I've arrived back to the physical shape that I was in before. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Are You Low on Magnesium?

I have had problems with heart palpitations   I found out that I should increase my magnesium intake.  But I had no idea of all the other issues of low magnesium could cause.  For an example a reent mammogram shows that I have calcifications in my breast.  Well low magnesium and high calcium intake could be the cause of this.  I hope by increasing my magnesium intake that I cure this health issue that I have too.  See why you may need to be taking a magnesium supplement. ~ Beth
The answer is likely “Yes” that you are deficient in Magnesium.

Magnesium is the eighth most abundant mineral on earth, and the third most abundant in sea water. More importantly, it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and it is necessary in over 300 reactions within the body.

Magnesium isn’t just abundant in the body, but vitally important too. As this article explains:

Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency. Soft tissue containing the highest concentrations of magnesium in the body include the brain and the heart—two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to magnesium insufficiency.

Proper magnesium ratios are important for the body to correctly use calcium in the cells. Even a small deficiency can lead to a dangerous calcium imbalance and lead to problems like calcification and cell death. This manifests itself with symptoms like heart trouble, migraine headaches, muscle cramps and premenstrual cramping.

Where Has All The Magnesium Gone?

Unfortunately, most modern farming processes tax the soil, depleting it of its natural magnesium. On top of that, many hybrids are selectively bred to survive low levels of magnesium and most conventional fertilizers use nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, and do nothing to replenish magnesium levels.

Water was once a good source of magnesium, but now:

Fluoride in drinking water binds with magnesium, creating a nearly insoluble mineral compound that ends up deposited in the bones, where its brittleness increases the risk of fractures. Water, in fact, could be an excellent source of magnesium—if it comes from deep wells that have magnesium at their source, or from mineral­rich glacial runoff. Urban sources of drinking water are usually from surface water, such as rivers and streams, which are low in magnesium. Even many bottled mineral waters are quite low in magnesium, or have a very high concentration of calcium, or both.

These additional dietary factors can also deplete magnesium:

  • Consumption of caffeine
  • Consumption of sugar (It takes 287 molecules of magnesium to metabolize a single glucose molecule!)
  • Consumption of processed food
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Consumption of produce from depleted soil
  • Consumption of foods high in phytic acid

Additionally, drugs like birth control pills, hypertension medicine, diuretics, insulin, and certain antibiotics (among others) deplete magnesium levels. Sweating often from exercise or other causes can also deplete magnesium.

What Does Magnesium DO?

  • Magnesium is necessary for hundreds of functions within the body, but is especially important for:
  • Gives rigidity AND flexibility to your bones (more important than Calcium in many cases)
  • Increases bioavailability of calcium
  • Regulates and normalizes blood pressure
  • Prevents and reverses kidney stone formation
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Helps prevent congestive heart failure
  • Eases muscle cramps and spasms
  • Lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides
  • Decreases insulin resistance
  • Can prevent artherosclerosis and stroke
  • End cluster and migraine headaches
  • Enhances circulation
  • Relieves fibromyalgia and chronic pain
  • Treats asthma and emphysema
  • Helps make proteins
  • Encourages proper elimination
  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Proper Vitamin D absorption
  • protection from radiation
  • To aid weight loss
  • Lessen or remove ADD or ADHD in children
  • in proper carbohydrate digestion
  • emerging evidence is showing a preventative role in many cancers
Even though magnesium deficiency is rarely addressed in medical settings, the National Institutes of Health website states that:

Some observational surveys have associated higher blood levels of magnesium with lower risk of coronary heart disease [50­51]. In addition, some dietary surveys have suggested that a higher magnesium intake may reduce the risk of having a stroke [52]. There is also evidence that low body stores of magnesium increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which may increase the risk of complications after a heart attack [4]. These studies suggest that consuming recommended amounts of magnesium may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

Are You Deficient?

As I said above, the answer is likely ‘yes’ in today’s world, as over 80% of tested adults are. Unfortunately, blood tests are relatively ineffective in gauging magnesium levels as less than 1% of magnesium is in the blood.

Low magnesium levels are often diagnosed by symptoms alone, and the following symptoms can point to low magnesium levels:

  • Inability to sleep or insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Mental disturbances
  • Anxiety, depression or restlessness
  • Muscle soreness or spasms
  • Infertility or PMS
  • High levels of stress
  • Headaches
  • Heart “flutters” or palpitations
  • Fatigue or unusual tiredness
  • Coldness in extremities
  • Fuzzy brain or difficulty concentrating
  • Allergies and sensitivities
  • Lack of appetite
  • Back pain
  • Body odor
  • Bad short term memory
  • Poor coordination
  • Insulin resistance
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Constipation
  • Frequent cavities or poor dental health
  • Gut disorders
  • Kidney stones
  • Thyroid problems

If you have more than one of the above symptoms and especially if you have more than five, it is highly likely that you could benefit from magnesium supplementation.

How To Get Enough Magnesium

Unfortunately, magnesium is often not well absorbed by the digestive track, and is even more difficult to absorb if you are deficient or are low in vitamin D, have poor gut bacteria or suffer from a number of other conditions.

On top of that, most foods are depleted of their natural magnesium levels and the water supply is lacking also. For this reason, I often recommend magnesium supplementation to clients who struggle with the above symptoms.

There are several ways to supplement, and a mixture of more than one type of magnesium supplementation seems to be most effective. It is important to start slow and work up, as high doses will not be completely absorbed at first and most will be wasted.

Leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, kelp, and especially nettle (in herb form available here) are good dietary sources of magnesium, though if you have a deficiency, it will be difficult to raise your levels enough through diet alone.

The best ways to supplement with magnesium are:

In powder form with a product like Natural Calm so that you can vary your dose and work up slowly.

For the full article click

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hystorectomy - Week 2

Day 9 - This morning I got up and made myself breakfast and I was amazed that just the simple task of cooking breakfast can wear you out.  And yes food taste so good when you are hungry!

I took a shower and dressed myself today too!  I did need help with my socks though.  It's amazing how I am so happy for the small accomplishments!  I still need to wear sweatpants since I have stitches still and buttons hurt my tummy.  The stitches come out Monday, I hope.  The staples already came out and it feels so much better with them out.

Thank goodness that the weather is getting nice.  I took a nice walk outside on the boulevard.  I did this once last week and I took one small loop and was tired.  This week I did two of those loops and man that felt good.  My legs needed that, they are so sore from sitting all the time.

Day 14 - Well last night I slept in my own bed.  Oh my that felt wonderful!  I haven't been able to sleep except sitting up and in my day bed that is higher than my bed.  I used my binder to sleep because it helped keep my saggy stomach tight so that it didn't pull on my insides.

I also am only taking Motrin now and I hardly need it anymore.  I'm so excited and I can't believe that it's only been two weeks.  Of course I am not totally back to my normal self.  I still walk slowly and get tired easily.  I am using the binder less and less.  But once my back starts hurting, I put it back on.

I can't wait to drive again.  I am pretty much stuck at home unless someone drives me somewhere.  I can't even walk out side since I live on a hill and that's too much to do right now.  My exercise right now is going up and down the stairs.

I even worked from home this week.  I do get tired about noon time and need a nap but then I go back to work in the afternoon.  I am not able to put in a full day but I did get a lot done.  I am so happy that work allows me to work from home until I can drive into work.  I hope by week 4 that I can do this and not be falling asleep at work.  But it will all come together in time.

I just can't believe how much pain that I was in 2 weeks ago and now I'm practically pain free!

~ Beth

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hysterectomy - Day 7

Today I decided that I would post about my progress since I had my hysterectomy.  Hopefully, I'll be able to help some of you out there.  I know that I have tons of questions and not sure of what to do.  So far I have found a few websites that answer some of my general questions but everyone is different.

Today is day 7 since I have had my hysterectomy.  I am surprised that I am doing so well.. after all it was only 7 days ago that I had a major surgery!  I have a huge cut from my surgery.  It starts only a couple of inches below my breast all the way down to my c-section scar, Wow! I had to be opened that much because I had two large ovarian cysts.  One the size of a football and the other the size of a softball.  I can't believe that I didn't even feel them until the pain came that emergency room day about 1 month ago.

Yes, that pain was intense and if it wasn't for that pain, I would have never know of what was going on inside my body.  I kinda had clues but I had no idea that my ovaries were the cause of my belly bloating.  I was wondering what in the world am I doing wrong at the gym.  I exercise regularly and my belly is getting bigger... what the heck!  Maybe too many sit-ups?!?  Well now I know the reason why my stomach was getting bigger.

Thank God that these cyst were not cancerous.  Most the times ovarian cyst are not cancerous and they do go away on their own but that is not always the case.  I really didn't want a total hysterectomy but given my age and that I was almost in menopause stage, I decided to do this.

The doc said that this would be best but I really just wanted the cysts removed.  But given the chance that this could be cancer and the fact that if I had everything removed.. I would not need anymore surgery if any more problems arrived.  I also found out that if you have your ovaries removed and leave your uterus there is a strong chance that your uterus could give you cancer.

Of course I didn't like any of my choices.  I didn't want to have surgery and was mad at myself for not seeing the doc sooner.  I would have had a much simpler surgery if I had seen him sooner!  So after a week to decide on the total hysterectomy, I just did it!  After all I need to take care of my hubby who has MS and is well now.  Who knows what he will be like in a few years and what if I need surgery again.  Just do it and get it over was my thought.   By the way there was nothing wrong with my uterus.

So far as my symptoms go.. I have stomach pain from the incision.  It's not really all that bad as compared to a week ago.  But the gas pains make it so much worse.  That is the number one complaint that I have.  The gas pains are getting better but you have to move everyday to get the gas out and you MUST take Colace or you will be so sorry that you didn't. During the day my pain is mostly managed with Motrin and Tylenol.

By the end of the day my back ends up hurting because I can't use my stomach for anything and the back is doing all the work!  So by the end of the day I have to take the pain meds prescribed by the doc. I don't need to do this everyday.  Some days are good and some days are not so good.  I feel like a baby who is trying to balance his head all day long.  It's amazing how much that you use your core muscles for everything that you do.

I do feel overall stronger every day, little by little.  I am happy for small accomplishments!  I was told that pretty much for 4 weeks that I will be feeling tired.  So far I have been taking two naps per day.  I have a day bed in my office that is pretty high up and that works great to get in and out of.  Plus I have tons of pillows stacked up in a ramp like way.  I can't sleep laying down yet.  I would not be able to get out of bed.  That is very hard to do especially when you are in pain. I am sure that soon enough I will be able to sleep sitting down once I get a little stronger.  My but is so sore from sitting on it all day! It will be nice to sleep in a different position in time.

I started the menopause symptoms about one week after surgery.  I had a fever the night before and thought that maybe the fever was breaking but after talking to several others who have gone through this, I found out that I was having the night sweats.  I totally drenched my bed and had to wash all the sheets.  The weird part is that I was never hot, just sweaty.  I felt cold and clammy all night and all day... not fun! 

I sent my hubby to local "all natural" market, after I talked to them over the phone for help with these menopause symptoms.  I'm glad that we have one of these in our local town and they are so helpful!  I also checked with my doc and the natural remedies that I purchased is what my doc recommends too.  Great that I'm on the right path!  I still have the sweats but so far I haven't been drenched in the night.  We will see what happens.  The doc says that these symptoms should get less and less as time goes on.  And so far they are uncomfortable but not unbearable.

I am glad that we live in an age where there is so much natural help out there.  When my mom had her hysterectomy she had no choice but to go onto the hormones.  Which of course are controversial.  Me personally.. if I can avoid them.. that would be best.  I like the all natural choice and try to avoid chemicals at all costs.  Hopefully, I can avoid taking these as well. ~ Beth

Monday, March 10, 2014

My hysterectomy post op

I'm finally home after my hysterectomy.  It's been 4 days since my surgery and of course I'm still pretty sore.  But I'm doing OK.  I guess the worst part is all the gas that gets trapped after surgery.  That stinking gas is so painful.

Unfortunately, my blood pressure was a slight issue during surgery and now.  It seems that my body's reaction to stress on it is to make my blood pressure go up.  Currently, I am taking a diuretic blood pressure pill to get rid of all the extra fluids that I received when I was in the hospital that is making my blood pressure unstable at the moment.  And I'm sure the hospital food didn't help any.  I'm sure that it was loaded with salt!  But overall I'm impressed with the hospital's food choices.  You can actually eat vegan at the hospital that I was at.  Not as healthy as I cook but I give them an A+ for their menu items.

I'm sure the pain pills are also contributing to the high blood pressure.  I know that soon I'll be back to normal and off these pills once again and that once I can exercise again that I will get my blood pressure back to normal.  Exercise and weight loss are the best way to control that.  I miss going to the gym.. it's gonna be a long, slow recovery but I'll get there eventually.

So far I have not needed to take any hormone replacements.  I'm happy about that.  Even the nurses and staff at the hospital say that you don't want to take those.  I wish that medical society thought that way about every pill that they give you.  I also wish that they thought more about prevention and all natural ways of healing.  I suppose if they did, all their patients might be gone.  It's so sad that hospitals are like little factories of sick people being operated on and treated for all sorts of illnesses when they could have been prevented for the most part.

I know that eating a plant based diet is the best way to go for the best health but that doesn't mean that you will not get sick.  Don't get upset if you get a bad health report.  It's just a set back and more encouragement to eat to right way.  I know for me if I didn't have health issues to start with that I would have never changed my diet.  These little hiccups will not stop me on my road to good health. ~ Beth

Listen to your body!