Vitamin B12

It’s been awhile since my last post as I’ve been busy with other things. I thought that I’d share some interesting and important information though.

I know that some people try to cut back on the amount of meats they eat and try to up their vegetable and fruit consumption to be healthy, but is it really more healthy to cut meats out too much? Take a look at this. If you take a quick look it shows what Vitamin B12 is and why it is important. This vitamin is not found in plants so if you tend to cut back on meats, you may want to think about taking a supplement to make sure you are getting the proper amount of Vitamin B12.

A small excerpt from the article that may determine if you are not getting enough Vitamin B12 (http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-QuickFacts/):

Vitamin B12 deficiency causes tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, and megaloblastic anemia. Nerve problems, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, can also occur. Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include problems with balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue. Vitamin B12 deficiency can damage the nervous system even in people who don’t have anemia, so it is important to treat a deficiency as soon as possible.

Do you think you are getting the proper amounts of vitamins and nutrients in your diet?

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

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Sprouts

Thought I would post an update with how the sprouts are going. The sprouter I bought came with a trial pack of alfalfa seeds to sprout. Upon getting it, I quickly read the directions on how to use it. I knew that I needed to soak the seeds for a certain amount of time so I rinsed them off and then used distilled water to soak them in. I didn’t want to use the tap water from the sink as my water has a lot of chlorine in it. Whatever the water you use to rinse the seeds off with will be in the final product so I want to limit that as much as possible. I want to eat the healthiest sprouts that I can.

Once I got the seeds soaking I then washed everything up and patiently waited for my sprouts to be ready to put into the sprouter. The alfalfa seeds only need about 3-4 hours to soak. To help pass the time I needed to do some shopping anyways for groceries, so I went ahead to do that. By the time I got back home the seeds were ready to rinse and transfer to the sprouter trays. Once they were in the sprouter, I just rinsed them 2-3 times for a few days. After 4 days of doing this they were ready to harvest. I think there were quite a few seeds that didn’t sprout, but I wasn’t concerned as it was just a trial pack that came with the sprouter.

Today I’ll finish up the rest of the alfalfa sprouts. Once they were done I put in a mixture of beans and it has been 2 days and they all look almost ready to harvest already. It seems like these take about half the time the alfalfa sprouts do. I tasted a few of them already and I like them so that is good. I think I’ll let them go another day before I harvest them and then start another batch. I think every 3 days of a new batch of bean sprouts won’t be a bad start as that should give me what I want to eat every day without having any days without some. I may buy another sprouter to keep up with demand though if I can’t get enough with just the one.

I haven’t noticed any vast improvements from eating the sprouts as I’ve been limiting my consumption so they will last a little longer. Not sure if I’ll sprout alfalfa or not again, but I’m thinking about it. I can tell you though that I seem to have less symptoms when eating my food with the sprouts. I’m hoping that once I start to consume more that I’ll notice improvements overall. I believe that the additional nutrients and enzymes will greatly help my body out.

Do you eat sprouts? If so which ones do you like the most and why?

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

Enzymes

The other day I was browsing around trying to see if I could find anything I haven’t already seen for helping with my acid reflux and digestive issues. I ended up stumbling on this site and found a downloadable pdf document that has a lot of good information. It makes sense to me and has given me new ideas and things to try. What does this have to do with enzymes? As I’m a little more than halfway through the 80 page pdf document, the author talks about how important enzymes are in establishing a productive digestive system. I started thinking about this and it made a lot of sense to me.

This entire time I’ve been trying to tackle my problems in a different mindset than I have now. Before I was focused on trying to get my rebound under control after getting off the medication and thinking that if I eat the right foods, my body will heal itself naturally. After reading this new information and doing some additional research, I have found that enzymes are very important to our digestive system. They are the first process starting in the mouth to start breaking down foods and then the top part of the stomach before it gets to the bottom of the stomach where the acid is. I’ve been eating a lot more fruits and vegetables but most of the vegetables are cooked. I have found that cooking vegetables actually degrades the quality of the food and actually kills off a lot of the enzymes making it more difficult for the body to digest.

So the answer is simple, just eat more raw vegetables! Actually it is not as simple as that as you need to eat a lot of vegetables to get what you need. Today’s vegetables are not nearly as nutritious as they were 50-100 years ago. Soils are being depleted of nutrients due to mass agriculture. Kind of hard to get around that when there’s so many people to feed though. So what do you do? Juicing comes into play a little here as by juicing you are able to take in a concentrated form of nutrients and enzymes. You could also take supplements but if you are like me, I don’t want to be stuck with remembering to take a pill every day at certain times. It doesn’t always fit with my schedule. Although the pill is easier and faster than juicing.

The author of the pdf mentioned eating sprouts. They didn’t talk much about it so I had to do some additional research myself to understand the benefits of eating sprouts. I still don’t have all the answers I want yet but I found enough that I went ahead and ordered the necessary items to get started. My total cost was about $40 for start-up and will be about $10-$20 for each time I need more seeds. I’ll see how long a bag lasts once I get them in and start growing them. For those of you who don’t know what sprouts are, they are any type of plant that creates little sprouts when growing. Instead of letting them grow to maturity, you only grow them until they are little sprouts and eat them. During this stage they are still living and have more enzymes than when they mature.

Anyways, I should have my stuff in tomorrow so I can start the process. I guess they only take 2-5 days to grow which is great. You don’t have to wait a couple of months to start eating them like fruits and vegetables. I’m thinking of ways to incorporate them into my everyday diet and hoping that they will make a difference. Now that I’m learning a new way to tackle my problems, I have been more excited as I’m tired of trying all these different supplements that don’t seem to have any long term effects.

Is there anything that you have done to improve your problems naturally without supplements and it is working for you? Share with others so it may help them.

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

Anxiety and Eating

It’s been a few days since my last post as I’ve been busy with other things in my life at the moment. As I continue to deal with different problems or try to find out more information for others, I ran across some information that may be helpful for those of you that have high anxiety. Traditionally, someone might get a prescription filled in order to treat their anxiety. That may be fine if it works, but what side effects do you have to deal with? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a medication with no side effects? I don’t think there’s one that exists. Medications always seem to have side effects which create the need for other medications to treat those side effects which in turn cause more side effects. So if you end up going on medication for anxiety and end up with side effects that you need to take more medications for, is that really helping with your anxiety in the end?

How about taking a different approach to helping your anxiety. According to this site there was a study done that proves that what you eat can determine how much anxiety you may get. Aside from thinking happy thoughts, eating healthy may be the key to solving a lot of problems. I know people that have health anxiety. This can not only lead to thinking the worse case scenario but also down a spiraling path of eating unhealthy to try to make themselves feel better which in turn creates more problems. If you find that you have these problems, why not take a step back and look at your overall life and determine what you have been doing and what you are doing now that may affect your overall health. Now take a look at where you want to be in the future and determine what needs to be done to get there. This is your life after all. Why not take charge?

Doing a quick search to find foods that may help with anxiety gives a lot of results. Just do a quick Google search for “foods for anxiety” and you’ll quickly see a lot of different things show up. Basically in a nutshell, the foods that I scanned over all include natural foods such as fresh produce and fresh meats. There are different vitamins that are linked to affecting anxiety so I would stick with specific foods that contain those. This site contains a list of food items to eat and to stay away from. This site contains a lot of information as well as natural supplements and vitamins that may help.

Do you have anxiety and if so how do you deal with it? Let others know so you can help them out.

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

People and Support

Today I have decided to talk about other aspects of our life rather than food. When it comes down to it we are just another animal with basic needs and wants. Some of us like to be left alone but most of us strive on interaction with others. Interaction doesn’t necessarily need to be face to face, but can be through the internet as well. There are many support groups that work strictly online through blogs, forums, or social networks. Without others who experience the same things or are there for support, many of us wouldn’t know what to do or where to go to deal with our problems.

Not everyone knows what to look for or how to search for certain things to help them. That’s where other people are very important. Without this support network we wouldn’t be able to find more information as easily to help us on our way. Just by knowing someone else out there is going through the same thing you are may give you the push you need to keep on the right track. You now can work with that other person, or group of people, to help each other out. It helps to know that you are not alone.

Next time you are having a problem with something and wish you had someone there to help you through it, don’t be afraid to reach out. Even if you are unsure about how much joining a forum will help, it is free and worth the try. You can ask your questions and you just may be surprised at the responses you get. But when you don’t get the answers you are expecting, don’t give up. There are many questions that are difficult to answer. If you are patient enough someone may come along to help you in the right direction to find the answers you are looking for.

Have you joined any support group to help you through your life to make it better? Have they helped you out with your problems? Let us know the support group you have joined and how they have helped make your life better. I know that without the group I joined I wouldn’t know everything I know today.

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

Vitamins and Their Importance

To add on to yesterday’s post I have decided to do some research on some vitamins that are important to our digestive health. When doing some searching I cam across this site that explains a little about a few vitamins and their importance in the digestive tract. You will find out that it is very difficult to find a single food item that contains all of these vitamins. This is where it is important for us to consume a variety of food items in order to get the variety of vitamins our body needs in order to function correctly.

Why is it important to make sure we get the proper nutrition for our digestive tract? The answer is simple. It is our digestive tract that provides our entire body with the nutrients it needs in order to function correctly. Without our digestive tract working properly, our bodies don’t digest the nutrients properly which can lead to a long list of chronic illnesses. There are too many out there for me to discuss them and go into detail, but I believe they all can be linked to not getting the proper nutrition by either not eating the proper foods, or not digesting them properly. There are many other nutrients other than those that help the digestive tract and those nutrients are very important for our bodies to function correctly.

While I was on heartburn medication I didn’t know it at the time, but I wasn’t allowing my body to get the proper nutrients. I was doing this in two ways. The first way was that I wasn’t eating the proper foods. I ate a lot of processed foods that didn’t contain all the nutrients I needed. The second way was by suppressing the acid production so my body couldn’t break down and digest the foods properly. Once I had learned about the importance of stomach acid and what I was doing to my body, I decided it was time to make a change. I am glad I did as I find that I feel much better now and have more energy.

Have you come to a point in your life that you realized you were going down the wrong path and had to make a choice? Did you decide to make changes for the better? Why or why not? Let us know about your experience and if you have benefited from the choice you have made.

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

Knowing What I Can Really Eat

In a previous post I posted about specific food items that I eat on a weekly basis that give me no problems. For those of you that have digestive problems, you know how hard it can be sometimes to find the things that you are able to enjoy without suffering from it. You might tend to just stick with a select few items because when trying other things you would like to enjoy, it just causes too many problems. So how do you determine what you are able and not able to eat? I’ll explain how I went through the process to find the foods that I am able to eat to make my selection bigger.

I like to do a lot of research on things before I just jump in. When I decided that I wanted to be healthier I had read about all these different diets to help but didn’t want to commit to the first one I came across. I’m very picky about the foods that I eat and don’t like to put in a lot of work to prepare a meal. I like simple and easy. not a lot of ingredients and keeping the seasonings down to a minimum. This is how I came across the Paleo diet and decided to go with that because to me eating Paleo means to eat naturally with simple ingredients. Fruits, vegetables, and meats.

So here’s what I did in order to determine what works and doesn’t work for me. When you go to the grocery store and are walking through the produce section, take note of all the different types of foods that are in there. What I did was pick a few items and decided to do some research on them to see if others with the same problems I had have any problems eating those foods. I then researched on the specific benefits of those foods to determine if it would really be good for me to try it out or if it would be more  of a filler food that wouldn’t be worth it. I would then slowly add it into my meal plan for a meal or two during the week and see if it gave me any problems. If not, then I would add it to my weekly meals. So far everything has worked out and I rarely need to stop buying something.

I am glad I did this as I started out with very few items and within a couple weeks I was tired of eating them. Within a few weeks of starting this I had quickly increased my variety and now am never bored with my choices. What is even better is I sometimes go up to 3 weeks without repeating any meal that I have previously eaten so it is less like having a food schedule. I just pick the meats I want for the week and then make whatever vegetables I want with it as I am getting ready to cook.

I hope this will help you increase the variety of foods you choose to eat as a bigger variety is healthier. Different foods contain different nutrients and the bigger the variety, the healthier you’ll be. Let me know how you determine the foods you like to eat.

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

Food Choices

One thing that many people seem to have in common when trying to battle digestive problems is coming up with a list of foods that can be eaten without sacrificing taste. I have seen many people say that they are eating a bland diet that consist of unseasoned white meats and a very limited selection of vegetables. I went down this route as well and can agree that it gets old fast. You quickly start to miss food with flavor and more of a variety. This post should help you with picking a variety of foods that you can season with very little effort and have good tasting meals again that are not going to give you any problems.

When it comes down to it there are two seasonings that are very basic and can add a lot of flavor to any piece of meat. Salt and pepper. I tend to use seasoning salt for certain cuts of meat, mostly beef, but for more healthier cuts of meat such as chicken, turkey, and fish, I tend to just use salt and pepper and they come out tasting a lot better than cooking them with no seasonings. Below is a list of meats that I have found I can eat with no problems as long as I am also eating some vegetables with them.

  • Lean beef (Tenderloin or any cut with little to no fat.)
  • Chicken (White meat is better than dark meat.)
  • Turkey (Same as chicken.)
  • pork (Tenderloin and chops.)
  • fish (Wild fish is better than farmed as it has less contaminants. I stick with 1-3 servings per week.)
  • other seafood (Shrimp, crab legs, lobster, mussels, and scallops.)

I tend to season vegetables the same way I do meats. Sometimes I use a vegetable seasoning by McCormick though. I either steam, grill, or saute the vegetables in different combinations or eat them raw. Here is a list of vegetables and other foods that I eat that give me no problems.

  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers (Green, yellow, orange, and red)
  • Onions (In moderation.)
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms (White and Bella)
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Spinach
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Celery
  • Eggplant

With fruits I always eat them raw as is without any additional condiments. here is a list of fruits that I eat that give me no problems.

  • Melons (Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, honeymoon, melorange)
  • Strawberries
  • Cara Cara Oranges (Less acid than other oranges.)
  • Kiwi
  • Cherries
  • Pomegranate
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Bananas

I know there are more food choices that may work, but the ones I have listed are what I tend to eat on a weekly basis. I also know that while some foods don’t bother me, others may have some problems, but this shows that there is a large variety and with the different combinations you can do can give you a large variety of options that never leave you bored with your meal choices.

Let me know what foods you eat that give you no problems so others can enjoy a bigger variety.

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

Hobbies

Just about everyone has some sort of hobby. Some may define a hobby as something you do for fun outside of work. Some may define a hobby as something that is more organized that you enjoy doing from time to time. Is watching tv a hobby? Perhaps if you only watch the same shows and not just turn it on to pass the time by. Some things are hard to determine if they are hobbies or not. In any case, when it comes down to it, I consider hobbies something that is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Hobbies help take your mind off the many stresses you may encounter throughout the day. I have many hobbies and never seem to have enough time to do all of them as much as I would like to, but I accept that and choose which hobbies I would like to do when I have some free time.

What is the importance of a hobby in your everyday life? It provides a way in which you are able to become stress free. At least for a little while. It’s always nice to be able to just get away from life in general. That’s what vacations are for, right? Only if you are able to go on a vacation every couple of months, which the majority of us can’t. Would you be able to do your job 24/7 outside of time to sleep? I wouldn’t. I enjoy my hobbies because it gives me a sense of peace. It allows me to let my mind relax for a bit or take a different track so I can relieve any stress I might have.

If you feel that you don’t have any hobbies and have a hard time trying to pick one up, then maybe you are trying too hard. Think about things you really enjoy doing. It could be anything. Reading books, taking a bike ride, jogging, watching specific genre of movies, gardening, ect… The list can go on and on. Some of the things I enjoy doing as a hobby are photography, reading, watching certain tv shows, grilling, and others. I consider grilling a hobby as it is something I enjoy doing and I have fun thinking of different things to try grilling and different techniques.

If you find that you have a hard time relieving stress but don’t know what to do, try doing one of your hobbies or picking up a hobby that you can enjoy doing. This will not only make you happy for a duration, but will also be better for you overall. Let me know what kinds of hobbies you enjoy to make your life better.

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

Eating Habits

Since eating tends to be the center of most of our lives, I have decided to start off in that direction. We all love to eat, unless it causes pain, and there are certain things that we love to eat more than others. With all the choices out there how do we know what is good or not good for you? If it tastes good, it doesn’t mean it is good for you. But then again there are also a lot of things that do taste good that are good for you. So how do you choose what to eat and not to eat? I hate having to look at the ingredients every time I go to the store to stock up on food for the week. So I make it very simple. I buy fresh. No packages, no labels, no ingredients but the one I’m holding in my hand. Just simple fruits, vegetables, and meats.

We live in a society where it is less than feasible for everyone to eat fresh foods. That’s why companies create processed foods that take little to no preparation prior to cooking. We all see them as we walk down the grocery store isles. Boxed and bagged meals that just need a few fresh ingredients added as you cook them such as milk, butter, and meat. Frozen meals in the freezer section that include everything, just warm it up and eat. But have you looked at the ingredients on those meals? There are so many different things on there and who knows what may or may not be good for our bodies from that list. Instead of trying to determine what is good or not good to consume, I just made it simple to stop eating all of those processed foods altogether. Well, mostly anyway.

What does my normal trip to the grocery store look like then? Around where I live, all grocery stores tend to have their layout fairly the same. You walk in and there’s a lot of fresh produce. Then once past that there’s a line of many different isles with different types of food. Then you’ll have a fresh meat area with different types of cuts of meats and then the processed sandwich meats as well as store made dishes. Then there’s the frozen and refrigerated sections. I tend to spend the majority of my time in the produce section. I collect all the fruits and vegetables I need for the week. I then move on to the meats to grab what I want to cook with the vegetables throughout the week. After that is done, I head to the dairy section and grab some milk, eggs, and cheese. Then I’m on my way to checkout. Wait! Where’s the canned items? Where’s the bread, noodles, or meals that are already prepared? I already have what I need so I don’t bother with those. Plus most of those items give me problems with my digestive issues anyways, so I have learned how to prepare and cook fresh foods rather than pre-processed pre-prepared foods.

I usually don’t have a grocery list when I go in, and yes I do sometimes need to go back mid-week to pick up something I may have forgotten. The only thing I have on my mind is what types of meats I want to eat throughout the week. I always get fish and chicken and then fill in with different cuts of pork and beef for the rest of the meals. I eat an 80/20 Paleo lifestyle which comes down to 80% of the things I eat are considered Paleo, while 20% are not. Seasonings and condiments create the majority of items that I consume which are probably not Paleo. But they don’t give me any problems so I continue to use them. I have been doing this for about half a year now so I know what vegetables to get and which ones to stay away from and the same for fruit. I also have an idea of how much to pick up without having to throw anything out. One thing I hate is having to throw food out because I couldn’t use it in time or not everything was eaten.

Generally when I prepare the food, I will prepare enough to feed me, my wife, my two kids, and have enough left over for lunch the next day at work. I would say about 95% of the time it works out and no food is wasted. There was more waste in the beginning as I didn’t know how much to prepare, but I learned and adjusted. And the best part of it all, my food bill has not went up. Some weeks it is actually less. So this is a good thing as well. In the beginning it was a little hard managing my time with doing the food preparation as I was used to having more time to watch tv or do other things, so trying to fit in 30-45 minutes of food prep to my normal schedule was really difficult. I decided to adjust my schedule and learned that eating healthy was more important than watching some tv shows, so in the end, healthy eating took precedence.

In addition to preparing dinner every night when I get home from work, I also need to prepare fruits for my mid-afternoon snack at work. So every couple of days I’ll cup up different fruits and store them in large containers, which I then transfer to a small container every night to be ready to take to work the next day. I will admit that all of the food preparation is a bit much, but in the end I am happy I stuck with it because I feel a lot better. I would say this is the main reason I was able to reduce my medication.

For those of you who are having troubles with your health, I challenge you to think about what you eat and if you think those things may be causing some of the problems. Try to change your eating habits for a couple of weeks or so and see if you start to notice a difference. In future posts I’ll explain the benefits of different foods and why I tend to stay away from others. I don’t eat pasta anymore, but it’s not because it’s not part of the Paleo lifestyle. I always reason out why I eat certain foods and not others. I’m not going to say what you should or should not eat, but give you something to think about. In the end, you should be able to eat whatever makes you happy. It’s just nice to have things to eat that don’t cause any problems that you enjoy eating.

Let me know how you have changed your eating habits to create a lifestyle that works better for you.

Thanks and have a wonderful day!