SavvyHealthGirl is back! After a 6 month hiatus due to my increased workload for my very demanding job, I am eager to get back in the groove of giving you the information you need to be savvy about your health. Stay tuned for a new post this week!
For the past couple of years, I have provided tips on eating healthy and staying fit during the Thanksgiving holiday. I have encouraged readers to use organic foods from the farmers market or step away from the mashed potatoes or caramel cake. As I began thinking about my tips for this year, I was stumped. What else could I talk about? How many more tips can I give about skipping the gravy or taking a walk after dinner? Well this year i thought I would try something different — “do’s and don’ts” for turkey day. I hope you find them useful as you head off to visit friends and family on this day of giving thanks.
Do be sure to take a moment today and contemplate about the things you are thankful for in your life. So what your life isn’t perfect? Whose life is? This last year may have been really rough, but there are things you are surely thankful for. Did you wake up today? See, there’s something to be thankful for.
Do wear some roomy or stretchy clothes. While I am not a proponent of over-eating, I do think indulging every once in a while is okay — in moderation of course. So if you are planning to go house hopping today, like I am, wear some clothes that will allow you to breathe after every meal. Nothing worse than your belly bulge coming over your pants. Not attractive at all.
Do be nice to ALL family members and family friends today! Be nice to everyone! I know you are tired of hearing your Aunt Susan’s wacky stories from the 1970s or watching your Uncle John (who’s not really your uncle) show you his new dance moves, but they are family and we are stuck with them. Sigh! Instead of rolling your eyes or trying to find a quick escape, join in on those dance moves. You never know how important that moment could be for that person.
Do remember to laugh and smile. There’s nothing better than humor and feeling good. With everyone’s busy schedules these days or living far away, the holiday season is generally the one time when everyone gets together for fellowship. So enjoy it to the fullest. Sit back, relax and just be. Laugh until it hurts, until liquid comes out of your nose and until you cry.
Don’t over-indulge on high caloric foods. Okay this is my one nutrition tip for the day. Yes, everything looks good. Yes, you want to taste everything you see. Yes, heartburn and stomach pains are a reality. Carry your Zantac or Tums if you need to, but take it slow on the food. There is nothing wrong with tasting a little bit of everything as long as you do not overdo it. A couple of tablespoons of the sweet potatoes with marshmallows is not as bad as two heaping serving spoons of sweet potatoes. You really do not want to get on the scale next week and it be 5 lbs higher. Especially since the holiday season is just beginning and so is the holiday eating.
Don’t forget to ask your host if there is anything you can bring to dinner. Sure, you go there every year and never have to bring anything. But isn’t it nice to ask? Offer to bring wine or games for entertainment. If they still say not to bring anything, when dinner is over, offer to help clean up. They will be thankful and appreciative for your gesture.
Don’t underestimate the power of Thanksgiving Day football games! If you need anything from the store, the basement, the garage, the attic or heck if you need anything at all today . . .be sure to ask the men in your house BEFORE the games come on. I am trying to warn you now so you won’t be upset later when he doesn’t budge. He can’t hear you because he is in a trance, he can’t respond because he is in a trance and he can’t move…why? Because he is in a trance. They can’t help it, something just takes over their bodies, sort of like when we see a shoe sale. Same thing. So, grab him EARLY to get what you need, because soon your small window of opportunity will disappear and there won’t be another until about midnight.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone,
Live Life, Live Healthy!
Well it’s hard to believe an entire year has gone by since I wrote my very first post — “The Day Before Indulgence ”. When I initially had this idea to start a blog on women’s health I thought I would have all of this time to sit and just write aimlessly, giving women the information they needed to make informed decisions about their health and wellness. It’s still my intention, but wow blogging is hard work!! There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to work, sleep, do what you love or anything else for that matter. But I hope I have given you something to chew on and put into practice over these last 12 months. I also hope all of you have enjoyed reading the posts I have written. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to thank all of my subscribers and readers who keep coming back to the blog. I am inspired to write because of you. This has been a year filled with lots of important information, policies and changes related to women’s health. With a new administration coming in January 2009, I imagine there will be even more related to the health of women in this country.
What better way to kick off my second year than how I started, with a new post on Thanksgiving and being mindful of how much you eat– How Not to be as Stuffed as the Turkey! Enjoy and remember live life, live healthy!
The Breast Cancer Site has a nice page where you can “click” daily to give women in low-income communities free mammograms. These women may not have access and the “Click to Give” program gives them the opportunity to get the health services they need. Click the pink box below, save a life and increase the awareness about breast cancer! It costs you nothing, but 2 minutes (if that) of your time.
Happy Sunday all! Well I am sitting in the airport on my way to Omaha, NE for a work trip and my flight is delayed. So what better time than now to update my blog and crank out a new post. As I sit here, I started thinking how I have been sick with a not-so-nice summer cold and congestion for the last week and how the re-processed air on the plane is not going to help. Which is why I took “Airborne” about 30 minutes ago. You all know I am a tad bit of a germ-a-phobe and last thing I want is to get sick AGAIN from someone’s nasty germs floating around on the plane.
Oh I digress. I really started thinking about my immune system and what I have not been doing over the last month to keep it strong. I got food poisoning one week, then the next week I got the cold. What luck, right? I didn’t understand it because I eat healthy, drink 10-12 glasses of water a day and I work out 6 days a week. I thought I was doing everything to keep myself healthy. Then I realized, I haven’t taken a multivitamin since April. Not good. Especially not good since I have cut out a lot of carbs over the last 4 months, including some whole grains which provide us with iron and magnesium. I didn’t think about it until it was too late and I found myself standing in the middle of my kitchen popping Golden Seal Echinacea two at a time, Vitamin E, C AND my multivitamin. A sad attempt to give my immune system a majorly overdue boost!
Here is a major tip: when you are making some heavy changes in your diet, even if it is for the good, supplement your eating habits with a multivitamin as well. So often we may be eating extremely healthy and still don’t get all of the necessary nutrients needed on a daily basis. For example, when you remove carbohydrates from your diet, this often means wheat bread, brown rice, pita bread, crackers and other grains which are critical to the adult diet. Sure we want to be cautious about overindulging in these foods, but we have to remember that they provide us with iron, magnesium, and folate. For women, each of these is extremely important to our diet. Folate (folic acid) prevents neural tube defects in the fetus during pregnancy and iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood (many women in their childbearing years have iron-deficiency anemia). That is why at the very least taking a multivitamin, which has folic acid, B vitamins and many others vitamins, will supplement those foods we may have decided to give up and the nutrients we may not be getting enough of.
You may be asking yourself, how do I know which multivitamin is right for me? As you search for the multivitamin that works for your body, find one that is:
A great place to start is GNC, they have a new multi-pack for various types of women — menopausal women, active women, etc. . . Good luck in your search!
It’s Springtime and that means lots of new lives will soon be making their way into this world. I definitely see more pregnant women in the spring and summer, than I do in the winter. Much like last year, I seem to have a few girlfriends that are expecting. A couple of them are still exercising and some of them, not so much. Of course, there are many valid reasons why they don’t exercise — severe fatigue, morning sickness, and discomfort from the baby sitting on their bladder. It’s a little hard to walk 30 minutes when you have to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes. Not very many restrooms on the hiking trail.
Understanding all of these challenges, I am a firm believer that women who are pregnant should try their very best to get some physical activity on most days. Exercising while pregnant has several health benefits: keeping your weight to the maximum you should gain, reducing your risk of getting gestational diabetes, and strengthening your bones. A few women also told me that working out did help with the nausea, it helped them lose the pregnancy weight much faster and it helped a little bit with the labor. It also helped them bounce back faster, energy-wise, after the baby was born. There is definitely something to be said for exercise, but you still need to be very careful in the type of exercise you do while you are pregnant. Keep the following things (from the March of Dimes) in mind as you begin thinking how you can incorporate exercise into your next nine months:
*Before you go out and run a marathon, talk with your health care provider. Not all pregnant women should exercise, especially if they are at risk of preterm labor or suffer from a serious ailment, such as heart or lung disease.
*Think about the type of exercise you want to do. Know that it’s okay to try several things. You can do brisk walking for 30 minutes or more, and you don’t need to join a health club or buy any special equipment. You can also swim, which is really good for pregnant women. The water supports the weight of your growing body and provides resistance that helps bring your heart rate up.
*You can also look for classes that are specifically designed for you such as prenatal yoga or aerobic classes for pregnant women.
*Avoid any activities that put you at high risk for injury, such as horseback riding or downhill skiing. Stay away from sports in which you could get hit in the belly, such as ice hockey, kickboxing or soccer. Especially after the third month, avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on your back. Lying on your back can restrict the flow of blood to the uterus and endanger your baby. Finally, never scuba dive. This sport may lead to dangerous gas bubbles in the baby’s circulatory system.
*Most importantly, pay attention to your body and how you are feeling during and after exercise. Don’t overdo it—try to build up your level of fitness gradually. If you have any serious problems, such as vaginal bleeding, dizziness, headaches, chest pain, decreased fetal movement or contractions, stop exercising and contact your health care provider immediately.
Enjoy these nine months as best you can and help your body adjust by adding a bit of exercise to your new lifestyle on a regular basis.