Take Care of Your Liver!

about-liver-and-bile

In a single word, the liver is VITAL!  The liver weighs about 3 pounds, is shaped like a football that’s got a flat, and is located on your right side under your rib cage.  The liver is the first line of defense against chemicals and toxins we ingest every day and it’s #TheSecondLargestOrganInYourBody.  A person can’t survive without a functioning liver.

The liver:

  • Filters blood coming from the digestive tract
  • Filters toxins out of the bloodstream
  • Digests and processes carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, & minerals
  • Recycles red blood cells
  • Helps the blood to clot
  • Stores energy for future use

The liver is highly susceptible to:

  • Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:  Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and pain in the right upper abdomen.  Liver enzymes may be elevated but liver function tests are often normal.  Many heavy drinkers have fatty liver disease.  Alcoholic fatty liver disease may be reversed if drinking of alcohol is stopped.
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis:  Liver swelling due to chronic alcoholism.
  • Cirrhosis:  Scarring of the liver caused mostly by chronic alcoholism, Hepatitis B & C , bile duct disease or iron overload resulting in liver failure.
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:  Occurs as a result of fat metabolism problems in the liver – symptoms are high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. #NAFLD is a risk for people who are overweight or obese or who have diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides. Rapid weight loss and poor eating habits also may lead to NAFLD.
  • Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (#NASH):  The more severe form of NAFLD where people (more commonly women than men) between the ages of 40 and 60 who are overweight or obese, or who have diabetes, high cholesterol or high triglycerides, end up developing cirrhosis as a result of the swelling and scarring of the liver that occurs in response.
  • Viral Hepatitis: Strains A and E are caused by eating food contaminated with the virus, while B,C, and D are caused by contact with blood, body fluids or unprotected sexual contact with an infected person.
  • Cancer

NAFLD affects up to 25% of people in the United States.  Let that statistic sink in.

The great news about the liver is that it is one of the few organs in the body that has the ability to heal with something as simple as changing a behavior or two.

  • Hepatitis B has a vaccination available – GET IT!
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Control sodium intake (no more than 2,000-2,400 milligrams of salt daily). Excess sodium can cause abdominal water retention/inflammation and can overwork the liver
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid #UnhealthyFats like potato chips, large amounts of animal proteins, fast food, sugary drinks
  • Add Vitamins D, E and healthy fats like those found in fish, olive oil, nuts, and avocados
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Only take medicines that you need and follow dosing recommendations
  • Drink coffee!  Coffee has been shown to keep liver enzymes low.  Coffee drinkers with hepatitis C had a better response to treatment, a lower risk of liver cancer, and slower progression to cirrhosis. #HMMM

Take care of your liver, you can’t live without it.  #ThingsThatMakeMeGoHmmm

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What You Eat Can Make You Look Old!

aging

When we were in our teens, twenties and maybe even our thirties, few of us really paid attention to warnings from our moms and others about things that could make us look, “old before our time.”  We were young, invincible and new beauty products were coming out daily that promised to, “turn back the hands of time,” so we threw caution to the wind and did exactly as we pleased, went out without sunscreen (gasp), ate and drank with abandon and if we missed a workout or ten, we’d “make them up later.”  Well, we’re in our 40’s now, and, NEWSFLASH, later has arrived.

Some of the things I was warned against were:

  • Smoking cigarettes:  Not just for the obvious reason that it’s bad for your lungs, but the tar/nicotine stains your fingertips, fingernails, yellows your teeth, gives you horrible breath, the odor sticks to your hair, the heat dries your lips & skin round your mouth and pursing your lips around the end of the cigarette to hold it in your mouth causes wrinkles to form.
  • Always drinking through a straw:  Similar to the cigarette argument, pursing your lips around a straw to hold it in your mouth causes wrinkles to form.
  • Going outside without sunglasses:  Squinting to read street signs or focus on anything in the bright glare of daylight causes the thin skin around your eyes to wrinkle.  It also causes the skin between your eyebrows to wrinkle which causes your nose to lose it’s perkiness and appear bulbous!
  • Not getting enough sleep:  Turns out Mom wasn’t just riding our asses on this one. When you don’t average at least 7 hours of sleep it can cause big-time negative effects on your health, such as weight gain, lowered immune system, decreased focus, pale skin, and memory issues.  NOTE REGARDING SLEEP:  Sleeping on your side can cause wrinkles too – to help avoid this, sleep on your back or buy the softest pillow cases you can afford (high thread count or silk) so that the fabric doesn’t wrinkle under your skin.

As if those warnings, added to the one we all got scolded with about needing to wear Sunscreen #SPF1000 (as if any of us listened to that one…), weren’t enough, apparently what we eat matters too.

These foods will age you faster than you will like:

  • Margarine:  When I was growing up my Mom & Grandma called it Oleo.  All I know is the brand they used was Parkay, my husband’s Mom only cooked with real butter and once I started cooking for him, so did I.  Both contain fats, but Butter comes from nature while Margarine is full of artificial ingredients, wrinkle producing and artery clogging trans-fats.  I just use it sparingly and exercise to move butter’s naturally occurring saturated fats.  Trans-fats are also hidden in things like baked goods (DONUTS).
  • Microwave Meals:  Microwave meals contain high levels of sodium and other preservatives that increase water retention, add water weight and a puffy appearance.
  • Energy Drinks (Red Bull, etc.):  Instead of giving you a shot of energy, these temporary energy boosters are full of sugar, sodium, caffeine, and are highly acidic. This combines to cause long term damage to the enamel of your teeth, can dehydrate you and add to wrinkles and make all of your skin look older.
  • Pre-packaged Baked Goods:  The added sugars, preservatives and fat contribute to weight gain, poor dental health and accelerated aging process.
  • Bacon, Ham & Sausage:  NO! NO! NO! I don’t care what the justification for this one is, I refuse to live without a vice or three! 😉  For anyone who cares, blah, blah, nitrites, preservatives, free radicals, cell oxidation, can lead to cancer in lab rats, blah, blah.  NO! NO! NO!
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup:  You can have this one.  I’m keeping my Easter Ham and Occasional Bacon!  Sugar (especially this one) is the worst thing for your skin because it damages your collagen and elastin which are the components needed to keep skin looking youthful and firm.  This includes candy and high sugar cocktails like Piña Cóladas too…  You don’t have to avoid all sugars though – Dark Chocolate (SUPERSTAR!) is a great and safe indulgence.
  • Alcohol:  Drinking sugary cocktails hurts collagen & elastin production, and alcohol also robs the body of vitamin A, an antioxidant that’s essential for cell renewal and turnover.  Drinks without added sugars, like wine, champagne, or a vodka/soda with lime are your best alternatives if you like to imbibe. WHEW!  I’m saved!  Also, stay hydrated and have some water between cocktails. 😉
  • Deep Fried Foods:  Exposing oil and fat to high temperatures lets the bad guy free radicals loose to wreck havoc on our internal organs and skin. #JustSayNo
  • Charred Meats:  Another bad guy that lets loose the free radicals out to storm our pristine cells and makes our skin look old and wrinkly.  #Boo! 
  • Flambé:  NOOOOO!  Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubilee are two of my favorite table side treats.  Now they are bad for me too.  The USDA warns that ‘foods flamed with alcohol appear to have all the added alcohol burned off, but the food actually still retains 75 percent of the added alcohol.’ And alcohol dries out the skin making us look OLD, AARGH!

The good news is it’s never too late to remember to hydrate (inside and out), there ARE some great cosmetic products and procedures that have been developed to lessen the effects of time, and there are even some pharmaceutical products like SeroVital that help the body restore it’s youth naturally by boosting production of HGH (Human Growth Hormone).  HGH has been shown to help:

  • Stimulate the production of lean muscle
  • Reduce body fat
  • Stimulate production of collagen
  • Increases Energy
  • Improves Mood
  • Heightens Sex Drive

Whatever the answer, I know that it’s well beyond time to treat my body like less of a playground and more of a “temple.”  At least while it’s recovering a bit of it’s youthful glow…Hmmm!

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Your Body On Sleep

I don’t see an entry for: it just really feels good or my bed is really comfy.  Those must be implied. Hmmm


Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

How Does The Brain Retain Information

Thanks http://www.mindflash.com!

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Bob Harper “Biggest Loser Trainer” Suffers Massive Heart Attack

bob-harper-20728663-1-402That one of the fittest men in America can suffer a heart attack so severe that he remains unconscious for two whole days following should scare the shit out of everyone reading.

“NEW YORK (AP) — Fitness trainer and host of NBC’s “Biggest Loser” Bob Harper says he is recovering from a serious heart attack that left him unconscious for two days.

Harper tells TMZ he was working out in a gym in New York City this month when he collapsed. He says a doctor who also was in the gym performed CPR on him.

The 51-year-old Harper says he spent eight days in a New York hospital and has not yet been cleared to fly home to Los Angeles.

Harper has been a fixture on all 17 seasons of “The Biggest Loser.” He served as a trainer on the show from 2004 to 2015. He took over as host of the reality weight loss program last year.”

how-to-perform-cpr-guide-f

Learn CPR and make sure those around you and the gym you go to are equipped with the tools to save you should you, God forbid, or someone you love, suffer the same scary fate while exercising.  Obviously call 911 first (not 999 like this UK graphic shows).

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

You Don’t Need Cardio to Sculpt Hard Abs?

absWhen my jeans are a touch too tight I pull out the food scale, cut calories, and make myself miserable by piling on the cardio.  That just gives me a headache, makes me grumpy, and leaves me hungry.

I get that adding more fruits and vegetables is a good thing to do when you want to lose a few, and those are things I already enjoy, but no matter how hard I try, the joy of eating like something other than a rabbit and the desire to lose a few pounds always seem to stay at cross purposes.

I have always believed you can’t lose weight while still enjoying an unrestricted diet.  I’m not good at starving myself, sticking to a diet or counting calories.  I don’t  overeat, but I do like to eat food that tastes good.  To be perfectly honest, it isn’t even always about wanting to lose weight. Most of the time I just want to tighten up.

The blogger profiled in an article I read today in Shape Magazine makes more sense to me than cutting carbs, logging hundreds of miles on the treadmill, doing hours upon hours of crunches, sit-ups and other ab focused exercises that just seemed to leave me hungry and with an aching back, ever did!

Faith Brar profiled 24 year old Instagram fitness blogger, @Lindseylivingwell, who had open heart surgery at only 7 years old.  With her history, she has great inspiration to keep herself fit and healthy.  Like many others, she has tried many approaches to do that, finally settling on something that worked for her, and I think, works for me too!

#transformationtuesday “skinny” v. strong 💪🏼 and sorry, I’m about to get sassy. • first of all, I hate the word skinny. I hate that people tell me I was “skinny” in my before pictures – I didn’t need to lose weight. and maybe they’re right. but the truth is I don’t give two shits about being skinny 👋🏼👋🏼 I don’t care if I have a fast metabolism. at the end of the day, if I’m not eating to fuel my body, it doesn’t matter if I’m skinny if I’m not healthy. • the girl on the left was doing whatever she could to keep a flat stomach. endless hours of cardio, restricting carbs and other food groups, limiting calories to 1100/day. weight loss was her number one goal. and honestly, she felt awful. • FLASH FORWARD to the girl on the right. hi, that’s me 🙋🏼 present day. that girl is lifting weights 3-4x a week. yes I still do cardio, but my main goal is to gain muscle, not lose weight. I count macros, consume 400+ more calories, AND still eat an occasional donut 🍩 I don’t care that I don’t weigh any less. I feel good. I don’t care that my thighs look bigger. it’s MUSCLE. I don’t want to look skinny, I want to be strong 💥 • my point is, don’t fixate yourself and your fitness journey on some skinny bullshit (sorry for the language). and if you’re one of those people messaging me, or anyone else, saying I “don’t need to workout,” shame on you. do whatever routine works for you and helps to be your best, HEALTHY self. healthy looks different on everyone 👊🏼 you got this. #YouKnowILoveAGoodRant #SorryNotSorry

Posted by l i n d s e y ❃ 24 (@lindseylivingwell) on Jan 31, 2017 at 4:39am PST


And, lest I fall down on my own blogger job, speaking of traditional ab routines that leave you with an aching back:

crvsplvssu

magnets_productKeeping Lindsey’s lessons in changing my mind set at the top of my list, I’m off to the rowing machine to burn some calories and build some muscle at the same time.  Then I’m texting my husband and asking him to stop at In-N-Out on his way home.  What?  I’m not having him bring me a shake 😦 or a soda.

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Pairing TRX Straps With My Workout Foe, The Kettlebell

TRX, for anyone who is unfamiliar with the workout system, is a highly effective body weight training system using only straps to perform a whole body workout.  TRX was developed by the Navy Seals, who couldn’t tote a gym with them into the secret places they were sent.  I am convinced that they only shared it with the public to prove what wusses we regular people are.

Like anyone who works out, I get bored doing the same thing day after day, so I change up my routine.  I rotate PiYo, Rowing Machine, Kettlebells, TRX Rip Trainer and TRX Straps, but the TRX and I, because it kicks my ass, have a particularly rocky relationship. 😉 HMMM

trx_workout_plan-700x189

Today I came across a trainer in Colorado using a few moves I haven’t tried, combining the TRX with my other workout foe, that Bitch, the Kettlebell.  You think I’m being facetious, but have YOU tried to rise from a sitting position (or up from the toilet, especially an old school low one) the day after doing kettle bell figure 8’s?  Laugh now, but you’ll agree with me the day after 3 sets of 30 with a 15 lb Kettlebell, trust me.

TRX Single Leg Front Squat with Core Cross-overimg_71681-300x300

  • Position one foot in the strap.
  • Begin standing with your arms out at your sides.
  • As you come into a squat (pay attention to your alignment – be sure the knee isn’t coming in front of the toes), cross your right arm in front of you to touch your left foot.
  • Allow your back leg to bend slightly as you come down.
  • Repeat for 15, then switch sides

Kettlebell Row with TRX Single Leg Squat

  • Position one foot in the strap scissored out to your side.
  • Begin in a single leg squat holding a kettlebell with two hands.
  • As you straighten your standing leg, bring the kettlebell up to a row.
  • Keep the leg in the TRX straight as you lift and lower, and maintain a flat back.
  • Keep your chest lifted when you’re holding the kettlebell and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you come up into the row.
  • Modify this by doing it without the kettlebell until you feel comfortable with the extra weight.

TRX Bicycle Straddle Combo

  • Both feet in the straps, lay on your back.
  • Lift your hips and engage your core without arching your back.
  • Do 1 bicycle pull in with each leg followed by abduction (legs apart).
  • Return to beginning and repeat.
  • Do 15 of that series in a row

Twenty minutes of cardio (mine will be on the rowing machine) plus three sets of this circuit and you should be a quivering mess like I was.  If you aren’t then you are in much better shape than I am and need to add a heavier Kettlebell and more reps then tell me how standing up from sitting on that toilet feels. 😉

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Soft to Shredded in 60 Days

shoppingI’m skeptical but that’s what PiYo promises.

Foot surgery to install plates & screws in my right foot, immediately followed by a 3 1/2 week bout with bronchitis/pneumonia/strep has left me feeling weak and soft.

I bought the PiYo videos before my surgery, exactly 20 weeks ago tomorrow, because it promised that I’d be able to get definition without weights or jumping.  The weights don’t bother me, but impact isn’t my friend right now, and I’m not exactly sure when it will be again…

piyo1

So I am prepared to start my 60 days.  The first thing I’m supposed to do is measure myself, weigh myself, and review the diet suggestions to get the best results.  All in all, it looks like something I can manage.

  • I already follow many of the diet guidelines
  • I just need to find the motivation to get started
  • I know that there will be pain in my foot
  • I realize that modifications in some of the movements will be necessary to accommodate the changed angles my foot can achieve
  • I need to stop the excuses and start today

All of this was spurred on by an article in Shape Magazine with a picture of a girl with ripped abs under a headline: How Long Should it Take to See Muscle Definition? Their answer was anywhere from 4-8 weeks depending on your intensity and diet.  Well THAT was vague.  Starvation would make it happen even faster….duh!

The article did remind me that I have the PiYo videos, that I have been sitting around for 5 months, and it’s time to stop doing that so I can get back into my favorite jeans, so I guess it served a purpose.  Of course I probably should first remember where I put those videos I bought.  :0  HMMM

Good thing it’s still early afternoon.  I have a couple of hours to remember where I put them before my workout time is scheduled.  UG! #OneDayAtATime

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12 Amazing Beauty Benefits of Honey

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Is It a Migraine or Some Other Type of Headache?

headacheAnytime someone is suffering a particularly bad headache that lasts beyond a day there is a natural rush to label it a migraine.  Most of the time that assumption is incorrect.

What is a headache?

  • Unpleasant pains in your head that can cause pressure and aching
  • Can range from mild to severe pain
  • Usually occur on both sides of your head
  • Some specific areas where headaches can occur include the forehead, temples, and back of the neck
  • A headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common headache type is a tension headache. Triggers for a tension headache include stress, muscle strain, or anxiety.

Ignoring the Migraine for the time being, other types of headaches include:

  • Cluster Headache – severely painful headaches experienced in cycles of attack followed by periods without pain on one side of the head; and
  • Sinus Headache – Often confused with migraines, sinus headaches co-occur with sinus infection symptoms like fever, stuffy nose, cough, congestion, and facial pressure; which then leads us to the Migraine Headache.

What Is a Migraine?  Intense or severe headache often accompanied by other symptoms including:

  • nausea
  • pain behind one eye or ear
  • typically on only one side of head
  • pain in the temples
  • seeing spots or flashing lights
  • sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • temporary vision loss
  • vomiting
  • intense pain, possibly throbbing
  • performing daily tasks nearly impossible
  • pain may be so severe that the sufferer seeks care at the Emergency Room
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 29.5 million Americans experience migraines.  Migraine headaches are typically divided into two categories:  Migraine with or without an “aura.” An “aura” refers to sensations a person experiences before he or she gets a migraine.  The sensations typically occur anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes before attack.
These can include:
  • feeling less mentally alert or having trouble thinking
  • seeing flashing lights or unusual lines
  • tingling or numbness in the face or hands
  • unusual sense of smell, taste, or touch

Some migraine sufferers may experience symptoms a day or two before the actual migraine occurs. Known as the “prodrome” phase, these subtler signs can include:

  • constipation
  • depression
  • frequent yawning
  • irritability
  • neck stiffness
  • unusual food cravings

So, how do you know if it’s really a migraine?  

migraine-vs-headache

Once you have determined that you are a migraine sufferer, it is important to try and isolate what your triggers are so that you can eliminate them and try to reduce the number days you are affected by them.  This chart is a handy guide to the most common migraine triggers.

Migraine Triggers Infographic

Image via: Migraine Triggers Infographic

The only trigger I do not see is Donald Trump.  He gives me a Migraine. 😉 Hmmm

Do you use Facebook?  If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments