Tuesday, April 7, 2015

World Health Day! Tuesday 7th, April 2015 WEGO Writers Challenge #6 #HAWMC

After being diagnosed with many illnesses, mainly chronic in nature, our diet can make a huge difference in the way we feel.

For instance, those who are diagnosed as diabetic usually find themselves on a diet with much less sugar, carbohydrates, and things that can raise their blood sugar and make them even more diabetic. The lifestyle also usually includes weight loss, if weight it a contributing factor, and more exercise.

Those with certain types of headaches, such as migraines have what some call "triggers". Some of those triggers that can cause this type of headache can be certain wines, certain types of cheese, and other foods that can also make the headaches more frequent or worse than they already are.

With all of the different diets on the market today, what is sad is just how many of us in this nation are considered either "overweight" (20 pounds over your suggested weight), or worse "obese", which is 20 plus pounds over your suggested weight.  Americans tend to be one of the most obese nations in the world. With all of our high calorie, high fat content, high carb foods; especially those right at our fingertips at fast food, drive through places to eat, we lead the world in the most ill people that have weight as a huge factor.

Heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, joints wearing out, legs that cannot hold our weight without some type of assistance such as a cane, or walker have became a common site in this nation. What is worse, is how many of those that do have health issues that are directly effected by what they eat, don't do the correct things even though they realize it is detrimental to their health.

As far as the Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, my joint replacements, osteoarthritis and heart problems, I don't necessarily follow to the exact "t" a so called diet of any kind. But, I have always been very careful to watch my intake of calories, carbs and bad fats, due to not wanting to develop other problems such as diabetes. Also, more weight puts a difficult strain on your legs, knees, hips, and feet. It also can effect the stress on your spinal column. So, anyone who has had or does need to have a joint replacement, especially below the waist should try to maintain a healthy weight, and get the exercise recommended in order to have success with a replacement joint.

There are things now since I've been diagnosed with Sjogren's that I must do on a daily basis that does effect my diet. I must have something to "sip" on all the time. I am constantly with some type of diet drink, green tea iced, at times water, but I carry a drink with me everywhere. If I don't my mouth and throat get so dry, it is like I have an entire mouth full of cotton. Or it feels as if someone put glue all over my mouth, and it sticks everywhere. I take Lasix daily. Since it is a diuretic, is another reason why especially in the warm months, I must try and continue to keep hydrated at all times. I could get my electrolytes out of whack and cause me to lose too much potassium. Which if it gets low enough, can put you at the very least in the ER, getting IV potassium, or like a friend of mine just lately, had to be admitted for a couple of days in order to get her potassium level back up. Potassium being too low in the body can cause severe fatigue, severe muscles aches and pains, cramps of the muscles, and set your heart rate off, or you could possibly die if it got too low and was not taken care of properly very soon. So, having the proper balances of those types of minerals in our bodies is critical for many reasons.

I have always tried to stay on a diet of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, very little red meat, more chicken, fish, and beans. I also buy most everything I can that is lower in fat and calories, such as cottage cheese, I buy Almond milk, lower calorie, "butter spreads", low calorie sour cream, and so forth. I use Splenda, rather than sugar or brown sugar. I use low calorie or Splenda based products such as soda, cake mixes, frostings, and any other baking or cooking product that is with less fat, calories, and uses items such as Splenda to lower the "bad calorie" counts, and so forth.

Since I love to bake, I have all types of recipes that I use and I substitute things such as using "egg beaters" or an equivalent, Splenda of course, I use wheat flour most of the time, buy low calorie canned milk, cream cheese lower in fat and calories, salad dressings and on.

We have SO MANY of "both" choices, even in our fast food and sit down restaurants. Buffets now tend to have lots of choices at their salad bar, and have many vegetables, usually baked fish, and alternatives to your higher in calorie or fats, like red meats, and so forth.

Many of our fast food places have now put calorie counts, fats, and carbs right on their items. They also have began to offer alternatives to high fat foods, especially to the kids. Applesauce and milk rather than fries and a soda. Yet, with ALL of the changes, still we have an ever growing population of obesity, to the point of being an epidemic in our country. As ridiculous as that sounds, due to the number of work out gyms, running tracks, and activities with baseball, soft ball, little league, soccer kids, and so many activities to keep the kids fit, and more on their good weight side, our kids are growing up to be very young, very obese adults. The numbers of children with a weight problem, high blood pressure issues, being diabetic very early, having all types of joint problems, and much more is a trend that just needs to be under control.

Of course that all starts with the parents, and what they offer and teach their kids to eat at an early age. Both of my children, watched me live on lower calorie, low fat foods, walk 5 miles a day, back then did some aerobics, and kept my weight in check.

Keeping my own weight in check for many years has been a task that was not and still is not all that easy. I've had issues in keeping the weight off since I was a teenager. Not due to what I ate when I was younger, and not because I did not get out and play. But, due to possibly some type of "genetic" issue I fought since I was about 20 years old to keep an extra weight off. In fact, I almost went the opposite way about 10 years ago, just before I came to know about my autoimmune problems. I got down to honestly a dangerously low weight. I stood back then about 5'5"tall, and got down to 101 pounds. As much as I loved the "0" clothes, and the extra small clothing, I know other were very concerned. By the time we had moved back to Texas, and I got settled in, then began to have multiple joint and joint replacement surgeries, my weight then came up to somewhat normal. I lost a few pounds, and fight daily with about 5 to 7 pounds I want to keep off because I feel my joints certainly don't need it.

I still try to maintain a diet of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, and star away from most red meat. I use ground turkey for anything that might call for "ground meat". I also make "turkey burgers" when I am making burgers at home. I've also ordered a turkey burger in a restaurant and have had them very flavorful. I don't "fry" anything. I either use my slow cooker, (for instance I make home made turkey chili), bake, broil, and sometimes grill meats. I've researched some items as far as food goes that could help with the autoimmune illnesses. But, for the most part, making sure to eat a well balanced daily healthy diet, along with some type of regular exercise program seems to be the best way I can take care of myself as far as my eating habits with the autoimmune illnesses.

Rhia Steele 4/7//2015

No comments: