My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Health’

How’s your health, girlfriend? (Your friends care!)

“Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘To Do’ lists.”  

—Michelle Obama

I have some pretty amazing women in my life. Like, really amazing. If you’re lucky enough to have a set of sister-friends, BFFs, partners-in-crime, confidants, and/or soul sisters like I do, you will no doubt go on living your every days and every nights with endless amounts of laughter, adventure, bear hugs, crazy shenanigans, support, and love. Months or years can go by without talking to them, but you can pick up right where you left off just as if you shared a cup of tea yesterday. That is the beauty of the unconditional love of our friends.

There are just some things that go unsaid about having close girlfriends; reminding each other never to get bangs again (ever!), supporting one another in their career pursuits, ugly TSwift car-karaoke sessions, Ryan Gosling movie marathons and proactively hitting the Chunky Monkey hardcore when one of you gets your heart broken.

You will go to the ends of the earth for your BFFs (or brave the aisles of that department store during their ‘Midnight Madness’ sale just to get that new pair of shoes). This also includes watching out for your girlfriends’ health.

August 1 is National Girlfriend’s Day. This is a day to celebrate the incredible women in our lives who make us laugh, make us smile, make us feel like our true selves and bring a little or a lot more joy in everything we do. This Saturday, and everyday, we women have to make a valiant effort to look out for one another. It’s what we do–right? And, as the quote at the top says, “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our ‘To Do’ lists.”

There are many things that you can do right now to help you and your girlfriends live a better and healthier life. It’s so very important to get regular checkups, stay on top of things like blood pressure, mammograms, cholesterol and preventative immunizations. The below from Oscar Health Insurance illustrates just some of the things you should be looking out for and doing on the regular. Oscar is passionate about their members staying proactive about their health, and have many tools right through their app to help make it easy. If you’re in the area, you can check our their individual health insurance plans in New Jersey and New York.

Oscar Women's Checkups

Being healthy is the shiznit. It really is.

That being said, of course it’s mandatory for you to indulge in those Friday night Appletinis every once in a while, those Netflix binging, nacho-eating, double-scoop-of-ice cream-splurges. Life is just way too damn short not to. But this being healthy thing isn’t so bad, either (and not just because you won’t wake up with a massive hangover the size of Texas the next day).

Here are just some of the ways you can celebrate National Girlfriends Day the right way, the healthy way, the dare I say, fun way!

1. So berry cool. There’s nothing better than biting into a juicy strawberry or blackberry on a hot summer’s day. grab a bucket and some gloves and get your berry-picking on! When you’re done, use them to bake a pie or sweet dessert (try these tasty berry shortcake recipes).

2. Beach it. Head to the beach and go for a walk, run or swim — with SPF, of course.

3. Swing irons. Head to the golf course and tee-up a few shots. If you’re not into golfing on a course, channel your inner Happy Gilmore and try mini-putting or even the driving range.

4. Be green. Ride your bike to your local farmer’s market, pick up some fresh foods and whip up a delicious eco-dinner together. (Tips to eat locally)

5. Kick back. Grab some magazines (or your favorite book) and read them while hanging out on your patio.

6. Donate your clothing. Go through your closets, try on each other’s clothes and set aside anything that doesn’t fit (or look good anymore!). Donate the clothing to local organizations, help those in need AND make room for that new LBD you’ve been eying.

7. Be artists for a day. Get a canvas and paint and create a work of art together

8. Sweat together. Go for a run or bike through your local park, go on a hike or hit the gym.

9. Go wine tasting. Register for a wine tasting class or go winery hopping at a few local wineries. Studies do show that a red wine has heart-healthy properties. Win-win.

20. Couch marathon. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your health is some serious chillaxing. Grab your girlfriends and Netflix the entire series of Sex in the City from start to finish (be sure to indulge and order takeout for dinner!).

Let’s all celebrate women and women’s health every day, so we have more days to spend shopping, ugly-dancing, road-tripping, laughing, smiling, living!

A Dose of Tough Love

Hello everybody!

I hope you are all having a lovely Wednesday so far.

So, for those of you who know me and have followed my ramblings over the past few years on This, That and the Other Thang, you know that I am usually not a very serious person. I like to air on the positive side of things, and as you are probably well aware by now, jump on any chance I get to infuse bodily humor or tragic puns in my posts (or life really. I mean, how can you NOT have a good day when inundated with a good fart joke, am I right?). Today however,  I have a more subdued topic to talk with you guys about. A topic that I am all too familiar with, a topic that hits pretty close to my heart. A topic that I am very passionate about.

Those of you who have followed me on my journey to recovery from my former roommate ED have seen what a terrible, debilitating and horrible disease anorexia really is. It takes your health, your mind, your relationships and your dream/goals away. It’s a mask that hides the beautiful person you are, inside and out, a mask that makes you believe you are somehow less of a person, a person not worthy of love, of acceptance, of recognition. It’s a disease that is not very well understood, a disease that does not have just one cause, one symptom, one magic cure. It’s a disease that I struggled with for nearly ten years of my life and, while I still have a bad day or two thrown into the mix, it’s a disease that I have kicked to the curb, once and for all. I won’t get into too much detail about my road to a roommate-life (you can check out my journey here, here, and here if you’d like), but I will say that I am very blessed to be at a place in my life where the scale no longer dictates my life. Where I am proud to walk around with a little junk in my trunk. Where I can look at myself in the mirror and not only see the reflection staring back, but accept her, love her, be her biggest cheerleader.

Yes.

I have made a lot of gains in the past few years.

I gained my health, my relationships, my dream/goals and my faith. I gained my strength, my humor, my happiness and my zest for life.

I gained it all.

So what if some of it was in my booty, hips and thighs? Those things were just a bonus 😉

I stumbled upon this incredible video and just had to share. To be honest, I went through a rollercoaster of feelings watching this video.

You see, not but a few years ago, I was this girl. I would go to the gym and spend hours on the treadmill, the elliptical, scary thin and scary unhealthy. I did feel that many eyes were on me, and I did have a few people express their concerns. The level of embarrassment and denial I felt was through the roof, but at that time, my ED had way too much control over me to allow me to do anything about it. Since then, I have developed a healthy relationship to food and exercise, and, much like the woman in this video, have come a very long way from that sick girl, largely in part to the people in my life, my friends and family who helped me see what I was becoming, what I was doing, and that if I didn’t do something to kick ED to the curb once and for all, what I’d be missing out on.

Watching this video, really made me take a step back and see things from a different perspective. Seeing things from a clear and healthy mind, I cannot even begin to imagine myself as this weak, sick and unhappy girl and makes me incredibly sad. When I was in the depths of my ED, I probably would have not accepted help from a stranger. Actually, that’s a lie. I KNOW I wouldn’t have; “I’m fine. I don’t need help. I’m not sick.” The reality of it was, I was too sick to see just how sick I really was. It just goes to show how powerful miss ED really is, how she bends your thoughts and your reality. Sometimes it takes a bit (or a lot) of outside influence from caring individuals to help show you the truth, a dose of tough love. Seeing these people reach out to this young girl with such heart and compassion, a girl whom they had never met, and who by their caring actions inevitably ended up saving her life, made me heart smile so much and brought a tear to my eye!

If any of you are struggling right now (even I still have my bad days), please don’t hesitate to reach out. To a friend, a family member, or a stranger at the Y with a heart bigger than Texas. The same goes if you see someone struggling. You never know how you can have the power to change someone life!

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please visit the NEDA website for information on how you can help!

Sweet and Salty Sodi[yum]

There was a time when I had convinced myself that I had the body of a 95-year-old portly man.

Accordingly, I made an earnest effort to stay away from foods with too much cholesterol, sodium, etc. Because, ya know, I obvies had to take care of my high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Except I didn’t. Not at all, in fact.

Every time I would go to the doctors for a check up and to get blood work done, my results almost always came back negativo on both of those counts-I actually had low blood pressure and low sodium levels. Go figure.

I guess that’s what staying away from any processed foods and eating an abundance of fruits, veggies, and boring, boring, Boring with a capital B food will do to you.

Of course, eating such “natural” foods is “healthy” in theory, but what is that I’m always telling you, friends?

Moderation. Moderation. Moderation.

No, a diet consisting primarily of frozen meals and fatty meats isn’t ideal. The same goes for hitting up the local McD’s or T-Bell for breakfast, lunch and dinner (although trust me, if I had my way, I could LIVE at Culver’s! Butterburgers and fries and shakes oh my!)

But neither is a diet consisting primarily of all natural unprocessed raw foods. I serve as the perfect example of that. My blood work actually showed that I had become “unhealthy” by being “too healthy”. Sweet salty irony, huh?

As a result of my sodium deficiency, my doctor asked me to increase my salt intake a tad. Initially I wasn’t as excited as I would have been if, say, my sugar levels were low. Cupcake diet? I’m down. But sodium? Meh. My avid sweet tooth wasn’t thrilled.

That was, until I gave salt a fair chance. I started to incorporate little by little plenty of sodi[yummy] foods.

Cheetos are like two treats in one. You eat them and then you get to lick your delicious orange and powdery fingers! What’s better than that?

I do like my weiners.

It’s a sad day in the Wendi house when I lick that last ounce of white chocolate peanut butter out of the jar. That is why I PREVENT this from happening by always having a stock of at least 4 jars in the pantry. Best. EVER!

Trail mix maddness 🙂

White chocolate covered pretzels. Ob.Sessed

And you know what?

I couldn’t believe how much I had been depriving my taste buds like crazy with all of the brown rice, unseasoned chicken, reduced sodium soups, crackers, chips and cookies I had been using. Sounds tasty, right? Yeah…not so much. And for what? To combat high cholesterol and high blood pressure? How can I combat something I don’t have?

I think I tend to do this a lot. I take preventative measures to avoid negative outcomes rather than just letting life happen. Low sugar and low sodium products are intended for people who are can’t tolerate them or need to eliminate them from their diet, not for people to consume in order to avoid maybe possibly by chance having slightly high sodium levels or cholesterol.

And what if I did? What if I went overboard on that whole “sodium reintegration” thing and ended up having high sodium levels?

{ Not likely, but we’re speaking in theory. }

Then what?

Oh, okay. I reduce my sodium intake a bit.

Because, guess what? Nothing in life is permanent.

We always have the flexibility to make changes or alterations to work in accordance with our current state. If it’s extra hot outside one day, perhaps we need to drink more water than we would if, say, it were 20 degrees cooler. That’s life. Living in the present and doing what our bodies need at that point. Not drinking 5 gallons of water every day to avoid potential deydration on a really hot afternoon.

When I was in high school and college, I was so obsessed with burying my head in my text books, camping out at the library doing my classwork (that wasn’t even assigned yet!) just in case my professor did indeed give us that term paper to write or research project to complete so I would be prepared. I would be ahead of the game. How nerdy is that?! The nerdiest!! The irony in this was that by taking super silly class preventative measures, being the uber student, it really was, in turn, preventing me from having any fun.

These are kind of poor examples, but do you get where I’m doing with this?

Basically, live in the moment.

Do what you want.

Live your life.

And if, in turn, problems arise – cross that bridge when you come to it. But don’t avoid the bridge all together. Where’s the fun in that?

Hot Pockets…I never thought I could blabber so much about salt, of all things.

Hope you have a great Tuesday guys.

And remember.

Try to stop worrying about the future (so much), and instead live in the moment.

Live in your todays, not your tomorrows.

I will if you will 🙂

Questions of the day:

What are your thoughts on preventative measures?

Are there any specific food groups or ‘additive’ that you tend to shy away from for no other reason than you think they’re bad for you?

 

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Hey guys!

Did you hear about this?!

We all know (much to my dismay)that sugar, if eaten to excess, has the capacity to lead to insulin resistance, hyper-activity in kids and a host of other health related problems, but a recent study conducted by researchers at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine found that the sweet, sweet stuff could actually affect the way our noggin works, the way we use basic cognitive processes like problem-solving, learning and memory retention.

The two researchers came up with an experiment in which they trained a group of rats on a complicated labyrinth of a maze twice a day for five days.

Speaking of Labyrinth, possibly one of the greatest and creepiest movies of all time. David Bowie couldn’t have been a better Goblin King!

But I digress…

After the rats were trained in the maze, the researchers split them into two groups. They gave both groups of rats a high-fructose corn syrup solution instead of water, but one of the groups was also given a mixture of flaxseed oil and, excuse my fancy shmancy wording here, docosahexaenoic acid (aka DHA) — two high-quality sources of omega-3 fatty acids, the good fats that are known to protect us against neural damage.

After six weeks of the super sugary diet (I wouldn’t want to see those rat’s dentist bill after that), the researchers reintroduced the maze. They found that group of rats who only were given the sweet stuff had a much harder time recalling the maze and were slower in their problem solving. The group of rats that were given the sugar-and-omega-3 cocktail did much better.

What the two researchers found from this experiment was that a high-sugar diet is bad for the brain for the same reason it’s harmful to the body: too much of that darn delicious fructose disrupts production of the hormone insulin, which is used by the body to regulate blood sugar. Steady blood sugar levels are essential to provide energy for things like walking, running, doing cartwheels and busting a move on the dance floor —  but they’re also needed for things like recalling and problem-solving.

In lamens terms, what this study concluded essentially, was that sugar can make us stupid.

WHAT?!?!

Oh dear…

If this is true, my IQ just dropped a bajillion points.

I am in full-on protest mode about this latest discovery. I mean, if this was true, why are there the amazingness that are…

                      Nerds: I don’t think I have ever met a dumb nerd, have you?

                                                                                                                                           Smarties: The name says it all.

Baby Ruth: One of the smartest (not to mention greatest ball players) guys, on and off the diamond. You have to be to be able to tell when that ball screaming 90 MPH towards you is a slider or a knuckle ball.

100 Grand Bar: You will be hard to find a person who has that kind of money who isn’t some form of an Einstein. Unless your last name happens to be Kardashian.

3 Musketeers: The “All for one, and one for all” gang didn’t siege and then save the residents of Paris with just luck. On no my friends, they weren’t the least bit airy in the head, if you know what I mean.

And before you say anything, I know there are those little pops some would call Dum-Dums, but without the ‘b’, they don’t technically qualify as a ‘dumb dumb’. Right?

Do I really think that sugar can make you stupid?

Not really.

But I do think that what these researchers complemented was that too much of a good thing is never a good thing. I probably have the biggest sweet tooth teeth around, and I am not going to stop indulging in some of that fructose when I feel like it, but I am going to make sure that I balance my diet out a bit with some, yes, veggies, fruits, and other good-for-you eats. Everything in moderation is what I say. Rock a little balance in your life and you’re golden.

However, when it comes to certain things…moderation is a little hard to manage.

Those lost IQ points? TOTALLY worth it 😉

Questions of the day:

Do you think that sugar really makes you stupid? 

Do you have a sweet tooth? And if you do, what is your go-to sugary fix?

                                       I have many a sweet tooth and my go-to fix? That would have to be anything cookie, ice cream, and chocolate related. Oh…and a little Twizzler action, cupcakes are my friend and I never met a Starburst or Skittle I didn’t like 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: