FIT TIP FRIDAY brings a great tip from me to you . . . do as I (or anyone with some sense says) and not as I do. In other words, listen to your body and when it says "ENOUGH!", "QUIT!", "OUCH!", that's when you actually do stop. At least that is what I would tell you to do if you were in one of my classes, or within earshot of me. I would say go home, ice and get off of the injured appendage pronto!
If you don't, and you continue to aggravate an injury you'll end up being forced off! So, I've torn a calf muscle because of no one's fault but my own. I continued on it for three days until it absolutely sent me screaming for help. Therefore, let me be a lesson. Sometimes we can work it out on our own and sometimes we just can't. It's okay either way . . . just know your body, listen to it and do the right thing!
That's the FIT TIP for this Friday. Although, not much of a tip as you all already knew those words of wisdom.
Since I've not brought any enlightenment I'll make this post more about food.
I had some great, healthy foods this week! I love the Spring and Summer because of the light meals, fresh salads and fruits and veggies available. Yeah for no more hot soups for a while!
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Water based tuna mixed with a little mustard and edamame - hummus and crackers on the side. A great tie you over snack or light lunch!
Chicken salad made by shredding white meat and adding lots of celery and a tiny bit of light mayo and plain yogart. Served with a salad of greens and edamame. Seems to be a theme of edamame here!
Fabulous "pre-ballpark" meal! I stole and reworked Giada De Laurentiis Pinwheel Pasta and peas dish. A little pancetta or bacon, cooked and removed. Sautee sugar snap peas and edamame in pan. Add chicken stock and simmer. Add cooked pasta. Crumble pancetta and parmesan cheese on top. How easy and good is that?
Quinoa is such a funny work and an odd little grain, but truly packs a punch of protein, whole grains and fiber. My boys have no idea what they are eating and as long as they eat This is a yummy little salad I stole from Better Homes and Garden. I played with it a little bit and loved the sweet, citrus flavor!
For the health benefits of quinoa read below - I mean past the recipe! Give it a try . . .
HONEY QUINOA SALAD
2 Tb grated ginger
1/4 Cup honey
2 Tb white wine vinegar
2 Tb fresh lime juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Cup water
2/3 Cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 Cup cashews, chopped roughly
1/2 Cup dried apricots, sliced thinly
1 Cup dark sweet cherries or grapes
1/4 Cup thinly sliced red onions
1 small head of butter lettuce, or other salad greens
(I added roasted asparagus I had left over)
In a small bowl whisk together ginger, honey, vinegar, lime juice and garlic. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until well blended. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan bring water, Quinoa, and salt to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 10 mintutes or until absorbed. Remove from heat and sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Toss quinoa with cashews, apricots, cherries or grapes, and onion. Add lettuce and drizzle with some of the vinigrette to taste. Refrigerate remaining up to 5 dayys in a sealed jar.
372 cal. per serving
17 g fat
5 g fiber
9 g protein
1. Quinoa is a protein powerhouse - packaged in a tiny house. Proteins are essential to the building and repair of the body’s tissues and to basic functions like growth, digestion and excretion. Quinoa has a higher protein content than wheat, barley or other major grains. One cup of quinoa has 9 grams, which trumps the protein-rich egg (6 grams). Quinoa, which contains all 8 of the essential amino acids, is a complete protein. It has become a favorite dish among vegans and vegetarians, but the pleasures and benefits of it are available to anyone seeking an alternative to meat, eggs and dairy products as a protein source.
2. Quinoa is a dieter’s dream! It is a satisfying, low-cholesterol source of complex carbohydrates. Rich in fiber, it’s digested slowly and has a low glycemic index, helping you steer clear of the blood-sugar roller coaster. With its chewy texture, quinoa can be eaten at a leisurely pace. Its heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats will leave you feeling full while providing more nutritional content than breads or cereals made of refined grains. Quinoa can be eaten as a breakfast food to provide long-lasting energy and help you breeze through your morning workout. A meal of vegetables
and quinoa, or quinoa and beans, is a dieter’s dream: high in vitamins, minerals and protein, while low in fat and calories.
3.Qunioa is a great internal cleanser/detoxifier. As a complex carbohydrate, quinoa acts an internal cleanser, easing the progress of food through the digestive tract. Used regularly in your diet, quinoa can help keep you free of constipation and bloating. Unlike more common grains such as wheat, quinoa is gluten-free and can be enjoyed by people with digestive disorders
, like celiac disease. This versatile seed can be used in breads, soups or other foods where grains are a primary ingredient, offering a steady source of colon-cleansing fiber. The vitamin B and folate in quinoa also help the liver in its role of eliminating wastes from the body, adding to quinoa’s detoxifying properties.
4. Quinoa is a natural bone builer. For vegans, people with lactose intolerance
or those who are simply looking for non-dairy sources of this vital mineral, quinoa is a flavorful source of plant-derived calcium. Calcium builds and maintains bones and teeth, helps regulate the contraction of the heart, and facilitates nerve and muscle function. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 30 milligrams of calcium. Quinoa also contains impressive quantities of potassium, magnesium and zinc, minerals that are crucial for heart, nerve and muscle function.
5. Quinoa is a brain food. A cup of cooked quinoa offers 15 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of iron, which helps to deliver oxygen to the blood, boosting energy and brain power. Quinoa’s vitamin B content can help keep the mind sharp, maintain brain volume and stabilize mood.
There you have it! A natural boost of all sorts of good for you stuff! Even if you can't pronounce it, you can easily enjoy the benefits!What is your favorite spring time salad? Have you licked the pollen yet? Since I am on a Celebrity News Free period during Lent, what was the deal with Kim Kardashian getting floured? Is that really a word?
There have been a couple of stories in the news lately that have really stirred up the talking heads, the blog world, diet world and health care folks. At first glimpse they do not seem at all related, but as I was thinking about both stories, one of the main points in both is the age of the subject.
So what do a 71 year old man and a 7 year old little girl have in common? Mainly the fact that both are involved in a controversial issues based upon their ages.
Over weekend former Vice President Dick Cheney received a heart transplant at the age of 71. The procedure received some raised eyebrows on the subject of organ transplants due to the fact that Cheney is 71 and also brought about questions of how one moves up on the transplant list. Apparently, heart transplants are not as unusual as they were in the past AND they are also received by older folks these days.
My own father received a heart transplant at the age of 58. For that reason he lived to see my three boys born and grow to the ages of 14, 12 and 9 before passing away last year. He waited for 116 days at Emory Hospital confined to his hospital room and attached to lots of machines to keep him alive until the right match became available. I am all too familiar with the "transplant world" and the after effects. At the time Daddy received his transplant the longest anyone had lived was nine years. He lived 15 with the "new" heart. So, I see things have come a long way even in this short amount of time.
Consider the following numbers, courtesy of the United Network for Organ Sharing, which manages the national transplant system for the federal government. Of the 2,322 hearts transplanted nationwide last year, 332 -- or about 14% -- went to patients 65 and older. Going back to 1990, that rate was 3.4% -- just 72 out of 2,107 hearts. That's pretty notable.
The majority of heart transplants -- 44% last year -- have long gone to patients 50 to 64.
On the other hand, while more older patients are considered viable candidates for transplants, the whole number of available hearts each hear hasn't changed. That means that giving a heart to an older person leaves fewer to go around for everyone else. "That problem has been alleviated to a large degree by medical advances -- both drugs and mechanical pumps like one Cheney had -- that keep patients alive longer while they wait. Last year, 331 people died while waiting for a heart, down from 785 in 1995, the earliest year for which that data is available."
In 2011, heart transplants were performed at 126 U.S. hospitals. Each hospital's program decides who to put on a list and who is not eligible. Many factors are considered, including other health issues, contribution to the community, a strong support system and how the body will react to the heart. It seems that larger centers tend to take riskier -- and older -- patients, whereas smaller transplant programs tend to select patients with better chances for survival.
"At the Inova Fairfax
Hospital, where Cheney received his transplant, 2 of the 19 heart transplants -- or nearly 11% -- performed last year went to patients 65 and older."
One argument against
giving scarce organs to older patients is that those patients are much more likely to die from some other cause before the organ wears out. The proposal has been highly controversial, with older patients arguing that they deserve the same chances as everybody else.So, what are your thoughts on the "age factor" or should there be an "age factor" when determining who receives a second chance at life?
I think it can be said without much argument that childhood obesity is on the rise or at least is a serious concern. So, if you are a parent with an overweight or obese child, what is to be done? How is this to be handled? Apparently not like Dara-Lynn Weiss! She told Vogue magazine how she handled her 7 year old's weight problem and a firestorm of criticism has landed her in the midst of controversy.
Weiss put her 7-year-old daughter, Bea, on a diet after a pediatrician said that Bea should lose some weight. Bea weighed 93 pounds, making her clinically obese. It wasn't the diagnosis that was the problem, it was Weiss' handling of the child.
This is what she said of her methods:
"Sometimes Bea's after-school snack was a slice of pizza or a gyro from the snack vendor. Other days I forced her to choose a low fat vegetable soup or a single hard-boiled egg. Occasionally I'd give in to her pleas for a square of coffee cake, mainly because I wanted to eat half of it. When she was given access to cupcakes at a party, I alternated between saying, 'Let's not eat that, it's not good for you'; 'Okay, fine, go ahead, but just one'; and 'Bea, you have to stop eating crap like that, you're getting too heavy,' depending on my mood. Then I'd secretly eat two when she wasn't looking."
Weiss recalls a disturbing incident at a Starbucks: she tossed Bea's hot chocolate in the trash
after the barista failed to give her an accurate calorie count.
In the Vogue article, Weiss does admit she was not equipped to teach her daughter about having a healthy relationship with food. Apparently, Weiss had her issues and demons on this front.
What saddens me is the fact that Weiss' cruel treatment of this issue and handling of what could have been a great teaching time, is the fact that this little girl may now be set up for a lifetime of misery in handling food issues.
In fact, Bea said the following during her interview:
"'That's still me,' she says of her former self. 'I'm not a different person just because I lost sixteen pounds.' I protest that, indeed, she is different. At this moment, that fat girl is a thing of the past. A tear rolls down her beautiful cheek, past the glued-in feather. 'Just because it's in the past,' she says, 'doesn't mean it didn't happen.'"
And, now, not only was she humiliated in public by her mother during her weight loss journey, she now is being publicly photographed and interviewed about what seems to have been a most unpleasant experience.
The spokesperson for the weight watchers program Weiss initially used with Bea, but discontinued, stated that ""The parents aren't supposed to react in public. . . They're supposed to be on their child's team." She went on to say that she believed if Weiss had continued to come to the program rather than choosing the drastic measures she took on her how, the end result might have been better.
It seems obvious from the article that there were some emotional issues that were not addressed for Bea. She was only 7 years old when dealing with being put on a strict diet by her mother, and her own body images. Is there an age when it is too soon for these type of drastic measures? Is there a set age that obesity should be addressed?CREDITS:http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-heart-transplant-dick-cheney-pros-cons-older-patients-20120326,0,4499959.story http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-dick-cheney-heart-transplant-older-20120326,0,2640722.story
I was planning on posting an entirely different post for today. However, I really didn't have the time and to be honest my head is so clogged up I can't think clearly enough for any intelligent research or insight. Here's to hoping tomorrow is a better day . . . with less pollen and gunk in the air, and in my head! So, I've been saving some motivational type quotes and posters and waiting to share them. What better time then on a Monday when most folks are feeling the Monday drags . . . here's to getting off our rumps and giving it our all . . . let me know your favorite!
I hope something speaks to you today! Have a great, motivated Monday!
What gets you motivated? Have you ever been so stuffed up that if you use a neti pot it comes out your eyes? eeeuuuhhh. TMI I know!
Yes, it's FIT TIP FRIDAY . . . just read on for the tips!
I have always been convinced that I am not allergic to ANYTHING. Yet, as I've gotten older I'm not so sure. I say that because I have been sneezing, wheezing and operating through a complete fog for two days. Could it be the pollen count up in the thousands and the clouds of pollen I am walking through each time I step outside? If you live in the South right now you get what I'm saying. Unfortunately, there seems to be no rain in sight. Those darn weathermen got our hopes up, though!
So, this leads me to my question: Do we develop allergies later in life? By later I mean as adults . . . not as we become grandparents. My research says, "yes" you can develop adult-onset allergies, from hay fever to food allergies. And worse, even if you're an adult who doesn't have allergies now, this doesn't necessarily mean you will remain allergy-free for life. Bummer.
This is what happens. When when your immune system mistakenly identifies a substance such as pollen, mold, animal dander, or food as harmful, allergies develop. That substance is referred to as an allergen. The allergen stimulates cells of your immune system to release certain chemicals, such as histamine, which then lead to allergy symptoms.
Depending on the allergen involved, allergy symptoms can involve the nasal passages, eyes, sinuses, airways, skin, and digestive system. Reactions can vary from mild to severe and, in some cases, cause anaphylaxis
, a life-threatening condition.
There doesn't seem to be an answer as to what triggers these new, and unwanted, allergies. But, it is a fact that fever in the United States and around the world is increasing. Most theories as to why allergy symptoms have increased focus on "higher concentrations of airborne pollutants, rising dust mite populations, less ventilation in homes and offices, dietary factors, and sedentary lifestyles," explains Deborah Pockross, MD, a physician at Kenilworth Medical Associates in Kenilworth, Ill., and staff doctor at Northshore University Health System in Evanston.
Another theory is even more interesting. It is the "hygiene hypotheses"
which means that "a more sanitary environment [and less exposure to bacteria] increases susceptibility to allergic disease by suppressing the natural development of the immune system," Dr. Pockross adds. In other words, our living conditions and food are so clean they don't offer our immune systems enough to do, so our systems overreact to allergens instead. So, that's the problem with using too much hand sanitizer! I knew there would be a negative reaction at some point!! We grew up with good old soap and water (and sometimes not even that) and we were just fine and our food tasted much better I'm sure!
Some people do experience allergy symptoms for the first time in adulthood. (I'm thinking this might be me) This most often happens in your twenties, thirties, and forties rather than in later years. "As we age, our immune system does weaken — that is why more seniors get pneumonia than 20-year-olds," says Anthony J. Weido, MD, president of Allergy & Asthma Associates, a multi-location practice in the greater Houston, Texas, and Gulf Coast area. "As the immune system weakens, the hyper-allergic reaction also weakens,"
Any type of allergy can occur in adulthood, including hay fever, pet allergies, dust mite and mold allergies as well as insect bite, drug, and food allergies. Experts aren't sure why, but theories include being exposed to allergens when the immune system is weakened, such as during an illness or pregnancy. Also, not being exposed to a high enough level of the allergen as a child but reaching that threshold as an adult and also moving to a new location with different trees, plants, and grasses; or getting a pet (or three).
So, what's a person to do when the pollen count gets past the point of reasonableness? Here to save you are some FIT TIPS: 1. Overhaul your home.
It may not seem logical, but the cozy indoors is often worse for your allergies than the raw outdoors. Research shows that indoor air pollution can be up to 10 times greater than outdoor pollution and its effects much more intense, since we generally spend more than 90 percent of our time indoors. 2. Eat the right foods.
(Didn't you know I'd find a way to throw in healthy eating??) But, it's true! Improper eating habits can cause health problems, and make existing ones worse. Eating the right foods can help alleviate many health problems, including asthma and seasonal allergies. Medical studies have repeatedly concluded that powerful chemicals called antioxidants — found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, green tea, and other foods and beverages — help battle inflammation inside your body, a critical factor in controlling allergies. 3. Lose your extra pounds.
Obesity and being overweight have been linked to everything from heart disease to increased rates in cancer. Carrying extra pounds also makes it harder to breathe — Losing weight will make getting the oxygen you need easier. 4. Reduce stress.
Every time you’re confronted with a stressor — whether a traffic jam, fire, or bounced check — your body releases a cascade of stress hormones. They, in turn, send a volley of signals to various parts of your body to prepare it for action. If this happens day in and day out without physical release, stress can inflict its damage by affecting the very network that is supposed to guard your health: your immune system. A weakened immune system increases your chances of allergic reactions. Find ways to manage your stress -and we all know some form of exercise is a great stress reducer! 5. Complement your regular allergy medication with alternative remedies.
The following four substances, when paired with your regular antihistamine, may relieve allergy symptoms:
A daily multivitamin and mineral supplement that includes magnesium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and all the B vitamins 1.
A cup of peppermint or chamomile tea each night before bed 2.
Your choice of herbal supplements, dried ivy leaf, or pycnogenol 3.
A daily dose of echinacea taken two weeks on, two weeks off.Credits: Reader's Digest; www.everydayhealth.com/allergies/understanding-adult-onset-allergies.aspx
And if all else fails, we can all just move out west where the air seems to be nice and dry!AND HERE IS MY FAVORITE FIT TIP!
Jump Rope for 6 minutes!!
It is just as good of a workout as running for 30!
Who doesn't have time for that??
Do you have allergies? What do you do? Have you seen Hunger Games? Did you know there is a Hunger Games workout?
HAVE A FABULOUS, POLLEN FREE,
NO SNEEZING OR WHEEZING FRIDAY!
This Pink Slime business has been all the buzz in the media and social media lately. With all the talk and hype I was forced to do my research and see what is actually going on. (If you've already done the research good for you . . . if not, I'll save you the trouble and present it for you)
Now when I hear the word "pink" I usually think of something pleasant and soft and sweet. Well, not so with pink slime. Recently a report was released that the national school lunch program was buying 7 million pounds of ground beef filled with something called pink slime. It was like a shot heard around the internet world. From the outcry, the USDA now says that the schools will be able to choose what type of meat they serve.
After reading up on this pink slime makings, my hope is that they will be able to choose something more wholesome and nutritious to feed our children.
That is all well and good, I am thinking. However, I still wasn't exactly sure just what pink slime actually was. So, here you go. If your tummy is a bit weak, I suggest you skip down a couple of paragraphs. The “pink slime” is made by gathering waste trimmings, simmering them at low heat so the fat separates easily from the muscle, and spinning the trimmings using a centrifuge to complete the separation. Next, the mixture is sent through pipes where it is sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria. The process is completed by packaging the meat into bricks. Then, it is frozen and shipped to grocery stores and meat packers, where it is added to most ground beef.EEEWWWWW!"
'Pink slime' is unappetizing ... but perhaps not more so than other things that are routinely part of hamburger," said Sarah Klein, an attorney with the food safety program
of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Klein, said that the pink slime brouhaha was "a little bit of a tempest in a teapot, once you recognize what else goes in burger." Things such as head meat, cheek meat, edible lean organ meats (the heart and other internal organs), as well as weasand -- "raw esophagus." "Head meat trimmings" are particularly in wide use, according to Klein, in a range of burger products -- "ground beef, hamburger, pure-beef patties, regular beef patties."DOUBLE EEEWWWW!
The American Meat Institute doesn't see a safety problem with the product, which it refers to by the term "boneless lean beef trimmings."
Klein doesn't go that far. She said something I tend to agree with in this day and age. She said, "What pink slime reveals to us," she said, "is the unsavory marriage of engineering and food, but it’s present in a lot of the products we eat."
It is the process that seems to be the norm in American food. Processing our food far from its natural state and changing wholesome natural foods to other forms of crap. The bottom line is that we as parents, and consumers must decide whether we want our children eating ground beef at school . . . or even at home. How do we avoid pink slime in our ground beef?
When it came out several years ago that some fast food restaurants were using “pink slime” in their meat we tried to avoid eating hamburgers out and started cooking them more at home. How do we make sure what we purchase at our local grocer is the "real thing" and not some manufactured ammonia treated bunch of by products? Am I going to have to resort to buying a meat grinder and putting it up on my kitchen counter and grinding our beef for our Sunday evening cookouts? Can you actually see me doing that? Think not. Love my boys and all, but there are only so many hours in a day. I read that this fellow, Gerald Zirnstein, the former United States Department of Agriculture scientist does just that. He is the whistleblower on all this and says he knows "that 70 percent of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains something he calls “pink slime….”
Furthermore, and even more disturbing for people like me who actually do read the labels and tend to purchase based on what is in the labels of the food, “The “pink slime” does not have to appear on the label because, over objections of its own scientists, USDA officials with links to the beef industry labeled it meat.” Basically, the thought is ‘it’s pink, therefore it’s meat.’”
On a promising note, for an article on this by ABC News, they “. . . emailed the top 10 grocery chains in America. Only Publix, Costco, HEB and Whole Foods responded, saying they don’t use pink slime
. No word yet from the rest.” HOORAY! THOSE ARE MY GROCERY STORES!
Also, if your meat is stamped USDA Organic, it’s pure meat with no filler.”
Another suggestion I read was to choose a roast like a boneless chuck eye roast and ask the butcher to grind it for you. You could then know it is 100 percent beef wihout fillers.
So, that is where my research took me today. I think I will stick to shopping at Publix, Costco and Whole Foods. I will also double check the labels and look for the USDA Organic stamp, or to save money ask my butcher to grind a roast for our hamburgers.
I think my boys will thank me . . . as will anyone who comes over for burgers!
Sources: Latimes.com March 15, 2012; csmonitor.com March 16, 2012; blogs.ajc.com March 12, 2012
What are your thoughts on the pink slime hoopla? Does it gross you out as much as me? Do you think Five Guys has the good stuff or the bad stuff? By the way, I'll be the feature blogger over at Fitblogger tomorrow! Check it out! AND thanks for all of the Fitterati votes!! You all got me to double digits - Yippee!
Race Recap . . .
5 am Pre-race. Yes. I am the nerd that lies everything out the night before. . .
Post Race - Thanks for a great morning!
The Georgia Publix Marathon and Half Marathon was yesterday morning. I ran the Half with some great friends and had a blast . . . if you can call getting up at 5 am, running 13.1 miles with some not so fun hills, losing a toenail, having your legs give out and one of your friends hiding in the bushes to throw up, a blast, then it was all that, and more! As I've said before, I don't consider myself "a runner". Three to five miles is about my idea of a run. Therefore, I feel as if I accomplished something yesterday. I actually thought I would be dragging in at 2 1/2 hours so was not unhappy with a finish of 2:01. That darn one minute!! If I'd only shaved that off I'd feel much better about myself!
That being said, I am in awe of those under 2 hours finishers! You all rock!
This taste did not give me the bug to complete a full marathon. Yesterday, I was quite happy at the 7 mile split to be going left with the Half Marathon runners and let the Full runners go right. While I love the preparation, the race itself and the bit of competition I'm just thrilled with this goal of 13.1.
I have done Sprint Triathalons and thought yesterday's race was much harder for me than the swim, bike and run race. Mile 12 was a struggle and seemed to go on FOREVER for me!
All that being said, I will admit that I'm a planner and thrive on having something to "go for". As we were leaving the race, I asked a couple of my friends, "Well, what's next? What's the next goal?" I thought they were both going to throw me in the street! And they were right, we should just enjoy the moment and appreciate that accomplishment . . . at least for the day.
Do you like to have a plan? Or am I just really annoying?
Have you done your pushups? We are at at 36! Keep it up - you're doing great!
I have been out of town for a couple of days celebrating my mother's 75th birthday and then taking her to an eye specialist. I call this my "Non-Blog blog" as I don't include a lot of personal goings on, so I am getting to the FIT TIP in a round about way today . . .
I no longer live in the same town as my mother, but try to see her regularly. You see, in the last 2 years I have seen my mother be uprooted from her hometown where she was born, raised and lived, moved from her home of 40 years to a new home and a new city. She has left all of her friends with this move, and, most importantly for her, lost her highschool sweetheart, best friend and soulmate of 52 years when my father passed away. She has lost much of her independence due to the warp speed progression of macular degeneration of her eyes. She cannot read, drive, or do most things requiring vision. However, out of all of these losses I must say she has never once lost her sense of humor, interest in others and current events, and stubborn eternal optimism. She does not complain, whine or have pity parties. She has several health related issues, some more serious than others, yet where she may be weak in body she makes up tenfold with her strength of spirit. I only hope I have an ounce of that within myself!
All of this brings me to a subject until recently I had no knowledge of. Until my mother's diagnosis of macular degeneration I had never heard of the disease. However, I now hear it on The Doctors show, read about it in magazines and have seen several interviews with folks suffering from it.
It can be debilitating. Once progressed, one cannot drive, watch television, read, shop, write bills or read mail. On a personal note, if you have ever been around me you know I wear my heart on my sleeve and will cry at a Publix commercial. So, reading birthday cards to my mother was not pretty for me! Her friends and nephews wrote such touching notes to her that I could not read them aloud without a lump in my throat.
I'm not sure why macular degeneration is becoming more prevalent. My own unresearched, unscientific opinion is that the baby boomers are aging and as this can be an age related condition, more will be suffering so more information will be heard.
Many people can have macular degeneration for years and the symptoms will only be minor. My mother's progressed at warp speed and no one has been able to explain that. She has an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks itself, so my own, again, unresearched, unscientific opinion is that the autoimmune disease may have speeded the progression. Of course, if you have any medical background and are reading this and it sounds like hogwash, it might be, but it makes sense to me.
What is Macular Degeneration?
The American Association of Opthamology says this:
The macula makes up only a small part of the retina, yet it is much more sensitive to detail than the rest of the retina (called the peripheral retina). The macula is what allows you to thread a needle, read small print, and read street signs. The peripheral retina gives you side (or peripheral) vision. If someone is standing off to one side of your vision, your peripheral retina helps you know that person is there by allowing you to see their general shape.
Many older people develop macular degeneration as part of the body's natural aging process. There are different kinds of macular problems, but the most common is age-related macular degeneration.With macular degeneration, you may have symptoms such as blurriness, dark areas or distortion in your central vision, and perhaps permanent loss of your central vision. It usually does not affect your side, or peripheral vision. For example, with advanced macular degeneration, you could see the outline of a clock, yet may not be able to see the hands of the clock to tell what time it is.
There are two types: dry or wet macular degeneration.
Most people who have macular degeneration have the dry form. This condition is caused by aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula. Macular degeneration usually begins when tiny yellow or white pieces of fatty protein called drusen form under the retina. Eventually, the macula may become thinner and stop working properly.
With dry macular degeneration
, vision loss is usually gradual. People who develop dry macular degeneration must carefully and constantly monitor their central vision. It is SO IMPORTANT to see your eye doctor is you notice ANY changes in your vision. The dry form can change into the more damaging form of macular degeneration called wet (exudative) macular degeneration. While there is no medication or treatment for dry macular degeneration
, some people may benefit from a vitamin therapy regimen for dry macular degeneration
About 10 percent of people who have macular degeneration
have the wet form, but it can cause more damage to your central or detail vision than the dry form.Wet macular degeneration
occurs when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow underneath the retina. This blood vessel growth is called choroidal neovascularization (CNV) because these vessels grow from the layer under the retina called the choroid. These new blood vessels may leak fluid or blood, blurring or distorting central vision. Vision loss from this form of macular degeneration may be faster and more noticeable than that from dry macular degeneration.
The longer these abnormal vessels leak or grow, the more risk you have of losing more of your detailed vision. Also, if abnormal blood vessel growth happens in one eye, there is a risk that it will occur in the other eye. The earlier that wet macular degeneration is diagnosed and treated, the better chance you have of preserving some or much of your central vision. That is why it is so important that you and your ophthalmologist monitor your vision in each eye carefully.
While there is no cure for macular degeneration
there are steps you can take to lower your risk or slow the progression of this condition.
Therefore, here are my FIT TIPS:
There you have it . . . bottom line, be and eat healthy, exercise. Do the things you know you should. You'll feel good, increase your chances of keeping your vision, and your drivers license!
- Don't smoke. If you smoke, STOP yesterday! If you don't, for Heavens sake, don't start! Smoking is a powerful risk factor for loss of vision with AMD. In fact, one study showed that smoking more than doubles the risk of AMD. This study also found that AMD is more than twice as common in people who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes a day, compared with people who do not smoke.
- Wear sunglasses. UV protection may play an important role in preventing AMD. Beginning at a young age, begin protecting the eyes from UV light. Look for sunglasses that afford 100% UV protection or prescription eyewear with the same. A brimmed hat offers extra protection to shade the eyes when you are outdoors.
- Care for your cardiovascular system. Recently published data shows that people with uncontrolled hypertension were approximately three times as likely to develop the wet, or more severe, type of macular degeneration, compared to those without hypertension. Regular cardiovascular activity, such as walking or biking, may reduce the rate of progression to advanced AMD by as much as 25 percent.
- Eat your fruits and vegetables! Studies have shown that a diet rich in dark, leafy green vegetables will help decrease an individual's risk of developing AMD and/or help delay progression of the disease once it has begun. A recent study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that individuals who had the highest consumption of vegetables rich in carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin, had a 43% lower risk of developing AMD than those who ate these foods the least. Vegetables that are rich in these two carotenoids include raw spinach, kale, and collard greens. A new study also shows that people who eat three or more servings per day of fruit have a 36 percent lower risk of AMD compared to those who ate less than one-and-a-half servings per day. If an intermediate degree of AMD has already developed, or an advanced degree of AMD has developed in one eye, studies indicate that dietary supplementation with vitamins E and C, beta-carotene, zinc and copper may help to delay progression of the disease.
- Limit dietary fat. Before you reach for that pint of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey, consider that high fat intake is associated with an increased risk of AMD. A study published in the August 2001 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology found that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which are particularly prevalent in cold-water fish, had a protective effect against advanced macular degeneration. Meanwhile, consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, prevalent in vegetable oils, was associated with an increased risk. But go nuts for nuts! Eating one serving a day of any type of nut, according to AgingEye Times, reduces the risk of progression of AMD by 40 percent.
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!Have you done your push ups? Go ahead, get 'em done! Are you wearing green today?
No, I'm not writing about eating meat, being "skinny fat" or the poor lives of these hairless cats, although all the above would make great topics . . . I just loved this and wanted to share it!!
I'm sharing a recipe I made last night - a favorite in the home ever since someone brought it after one of the boys was born. I LOVED those days! A great dinner just magically appeared complete with salad, some type of yummy comfort food and, of course, dessert! The best! This CHICKEN PESTO BAKE is always a hit but extrmely heavy on the whipping cream, butter and cheese. I've lightened, and my family is none the wiser!
CHICKEN PESTO BAKE
Click here to see the page on Sparkpeople.com. and the nutritional information. (It also looks a lot better than here where I've tried to "supercopy" it in here! This lightened version is only about 247 calories per serving! You won't miss a bit of the whipping cream, butter or cheese! Promise!A great make ahead dinner full of vegetables, a little cheese and plenty of protein. Freezes well.
2 Cups Chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 Cup Onion, chopped
1 Cup mushrooms, sliced
1 Cup zucchini, sliced
1/2 Cup celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T Olive Oil
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 T dried basil
1/2 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp cracked black pepper
16 oz whole wheat penne pasta
3/4 Cup whipping cream
3/4 Cup Skim Milk
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese
2 T Parmesan Cheese
1 T pesto (or more to tasta)
Directions: Saute in olive oil the onion, mushrooms, zucchini, celery and garlic until crisp tender. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Cook and drain pasta. Combine everything in a large bowl and set aside. Cook whipping cream, milk, jack cheese and pesto over low heat until cheese melts, stirring. Pour over pasta mixture. Spoon into 9 x 13 casserole or 2 8 x 8 pans. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake covered 35 minutes at 350 degrees
Serving Size: Makes 10 1 cup servings
Number of Servings: 10Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user MARLADEEN1.By the way, we are up to 32 Push Ups! How are you doing??
These seasonal milkshakes seem to be all the rage at the fast food joints these days. This month it's all about the GREEN in honor of St. Patrick's Day. The folks over at the Golden Arches have come up with a Shamrock Shake. They say it's back, but somehow I missed its debut last year or whenever it was introduced. I, for one, do not like the mix of mint and chocolate. Call me crazy but that combination does nothing for me so the thought of having those flavors blended in a shake isn't something I'll splurge on. However, if that's what makes you turn on your blinker and go for the wallet (and hopefully the treadmill afterwards!) I've got something for you. . .
First of all, let's take a look at the Shamrock Shake. Imagine you ordered a small shake - that's a 16 oz size. Here's what you get:
Total fat: 13 grams
Carbohydrates: 96 grams
Protein: 13 grams
That's a small, remember? If you ordered up a large it would be 1100 calories! Whew! That's quite a while on the treadmill!
To the rescue is a tasty green smoothie that will satisfy that St. Patrick's Day craving! I cannot take credit for it completely, I confess. I have tweaked it a bit here and there, as you may like to do too. Let me know what you think!
St. Patty's Day Smoothie:
1/2 Cup low fat vanilla yogart (I use Greek)
1 Scoop Vanilla protein powder ( I use JuicePlus)
1/8 tsp mint extract (mind you I don't like this combo so you may want more!)
1/2 Cup ice
4 oz water
2 Tb sugar free instant pistachio pudding mix
**Here is where I throw in a handful of spinach, however, my boys would prefer it without.
A couple of drops of green food coloring (if you want it authentic)
All for just 180 Calories!!
Have any special St. Patrick Day foods? Besides green beer?