It’s been four weeks since I started my journey to a healthier me.  I’ve lost a total of 8 pounds.  My goal weight is 145 pounds in the middle of the day.  Why in the middle of the day, do you ask?  I like to weight myself when I first get up because that’s always my lightest weight, and as the day progresses I’ve noticed my weight goes up a few pounds.  I guess it’s the food and water that we intake, as well as the fact that most of us have clothes on about that time of day :-)

So I’m feeling pretty good about myself.  I’ve eaten a 95% vegan diet for the past month.  I’ve been exercising  a little more, but I still have a l0t of room for improvement in that area.

I started a nutrition class this past Tuesday, and had my blood pressure checked by a nurse.  Much to my chagrin,  I was told that it registered in the range of  Stage 1 Hypertension / borderline Stage 2.  I had noticed that it was creeping up over the past couple of years, but I had no idea it was that high.  My diastolic was 100!  I wonder if it was higher before the 8 pound weight loss?   This is nothing to play with.  I plan to chart my blood pressure  for the next couple of weeks so my doctors and I can make an informed decision about whether I can lower it to a safe zone with diet and exercise, or if I need to begin taking high blood pressure medication.  If I can do it naturally I’d prefer it.  So I have more incentive to lose weight and exercise daily.

So I ask you, have you checked your blood pressure lately?  Most of us  just wait until we have our annual checkup, but 12 months is a long time.  If you don’t have your own blood pressure machine at home, stop by the Walgreens, CVS, or other pharmacy in your neighborhood.  Most of them have blood pressure machines you can use to take your blood pressure.

In the mean time, here are some articles I found helpful and they apply to anyone, not just women and not a specific ethnicity.  They will help to educate you on Hypertension, the healthy range for your blood pressure, etc.

Hello everyone.  It has been quite a long time since I last posted on this blog.  Since my last post, I’ve undergone two surgeries and the associated recovery periods.  Most of last year I’ve been focused on rebuilding my business and getting back into the rhythm of things.  During all of these events, I must admit that I fell off the weight-loss wagon so to speak.   I went back to eating dairy, poultry and fish (I haven’t ate red meat or pork for over 30 years), and I also continued to eat desserts.  It was in moderation of course, but the end result was I did not loose much weight during this time.  The good news is that I didn’t gain too much either.

On March 8th I made a decision that seems right for my body.  I decided to transition to a vegan diet.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing people who eat meat.  But for me, I’ve noticed that my body doesn’t metabolize animal based foods well.

About four years ago I decided to try a raw vegan diet and I must admit, I had more energy and felt great.  Then I started traveling for work and was gone 3 weeks out of each month.  I started eating at restaurants and went back to eating poultry, dairy and fish in addition the fruits and veggies.  It’s much easier to order chicken or fish sandwich then a veggie plate when you’re on the run.   Everyone who was around me, felt that I ate healthy.  And based upon what you read in the papers and magazines, I was eating “healthy”.  However, for my body, it was not the best I could do.

So in the past 15 days my diet has been about 90% vegan and my body is responding well.  I’ve been eating about 50% raw fruits, veggies and salads and I plan to increase the percentage  to 70%.   I start out each day with a green smoothie.  For those of you who’ve never heard of a green smoothie; it is basically fresh or frozen fruit mixed with organic spinach and liquid that can be water, juice or almond milk.   I have greatly reduced my intake of refined sugar foods as well.  I’ve lost 7 pounds over the past two weeks.

I’m interested in hearing if any of you are vegan or eat a raw food diet.  I’m also interested in hearing from those who eat a more traditional diet but are achieving weight loss success.  I definitely feel that the success of your diet (and I mean that in the generic sense of the word) depends upon your body chemistry and makeup, and that biochemistry impacts the way that you metabolize food.

I hope you are still out there, and if you are, please give me a shout out.

And, feel free to share your recipes.  We’re in this together

Lori

From children to senior citizens, I am talking to more people who are using video gaming systems as a part of their workout routine.   Many of my friend are using Nintendo’s Wii’s fitness games and accessories to make exercising fun.   In fact today, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Games Research national program, announced it has awarded $2 Million in grants  first round of financing to study and research how playing video games can impact your health will eventually give us scientific evidence showing exactly how video games actually effect us.

A Wii or similar video gaming systems, may be exactly what one may need to get their exercise on!

It’s been a long while since I last wrote to you. A lot has happened. I’ve been recovering from a serious health challenge for the last 6 months. But my God reigns and I am Healed! All is well. I’m slowly getting back to a exercise routine; especially since the weather is better.

I feel like I’m starting from scratch. I still have over 20 pounds to loose. I must admit this time around it’s been a little harder then I thought it would be. Last summer as I trained for the marathon I was eating healthy and running several times a week. When I got sick everything went out the door. But I realize that any commitment to living a healthier lifestyle begins in the mind. You have to mentally commit and then “tell” your body to cooperate. I’ve been pretty lazy recently. Let’s face it, ice cream takes better then spinach (at least most people think so) and sitting down watching TV is easier then jogging for a couple of miles. But for me, once I make my mind up that I’m going to do something, then I just have to “do it” and not think about it any more.

So this week I started with walking and some simple floor exercises . Next week I’ll work in some visits to the gym.

Let me hear what’s working for you. I can use the encouragement.

I was one of approximately 36,000 entrants who participated in the Chicago Marathon this past Sunday. (Over 45,000 registered for the event, but 10,000 had the good sense to stay home in the sweltering heat). This was the 30th anniversary of this great race and my first marathon.

During the two weeks leading up to the marathon, I was not sure if I was going to compete or not. You see, earlier in the training season, in May, I suffered an knee injury and had been in physical therapy until early September. I wasn’t able to resume training until mid-September. I began walking and my longest walk had only been 7 miles.

Logic told me that I should abandon my dream and wait until next year to do the marathon. However, Friday night (Oct. 5), I was unable to sleep because although my head was telling me to stay home, my heart was saying “you can do it”. Saturday morning I prayed about it and asked the Holy Spirit to help me make the decision. I went down to pick up my bib and other entrance materials. I made up my mind that I was going to finish what I started… I would finish the marathon even though I was going to have to speed walk it. Once I committed to the decision, I knew that the Lord would bring me through it.

Completing this race has built my faith. You can believe that you can do something, but if you don’t “act” on that belief, that’s the faith part, then the belief really means nothing.

As you may have heard, for the first time in the history of the race, officials stopped the race after 3.5 hours due to extreme heat. I was able to make it past the half-way mark before we were told to turn around. I walked back to the finish line and officially finished the race. I’m so happy I decided to follow my dream. It was an exhilarating experience. It would have been nice to go the distance, but I have to admit, I was happy the officials stopped the race. It was extremely hot and the weather was beginning to take it’s toll on me. But I did it! I walked over 15 miles and crossed the finish line. I’ve got a beautiful medal to prove my participation. But most importantly my faith is strong and I know that with Christ I can do ALL things.

Maybe I’ll see you out on the walking trails or in a future marathon or half-marathon. I’m hooked.

Hello

I hope you enjoyed our first day of fall this weekend. We had a beautiful weekend, if you don’t take into consideration that my team, the Chicago Bears lost miserably on Sunday night to the Dallas Cowboys.

I was out of town last week in Vegas. If you ever get a chance to see the comedian, George Wallace, you have to do yourself a favor and go see him. You will not be disappointed. They say laughter is good for the soul, and you will definitely laugh long and hard. George is known for his “I Be Thinkin” jokes and he got me “thinkin.”

Why do some countries and ethnic nationalities seem to be healthier then others? Is it their diet, their approach to life, their environment? Or is it a spiritual? It’s probably a combination of all of the above. What can we learn and apply to our own lives to live healthier and longer?

I visited a statistics site called Nation Master and compared the health statistics of various countries. So I’ve been thinking. Why is it that out of over 200 countries, the United States expends the most per capita for health care (includes public and private funding), but we are only #44 when it comes to our life expectancy at birth? You would think if we spend the most on health care we’d be the healthiest. But that is not the case. And why do almost all the countries in Africa lead the world in persons infected with HIV (e.g. 194 out of every 1000 adults in Swaziland, 192 out of 1000 in Botswana or 146 out of 1000 in Zimbabwe) yet most of the Asian countries have a very low rate (e.g. .094 out of 1000 adults in Japan, 0.099 out of 1000 in the Philippines) of people living with HIV?

We need to be aware of our world around us and be tuned to what the Lord has to say to us about how we should protect our own health.

It’s suppose to be in the low 90’s today so I’m off to take a brief walk during my lunch hour.

Talk with you soon.

Knowing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the key to knowing how many calories you should, or shouldn’t eat in a day. Simply put, your BMR is the minimum amount of calories your body requires on a daily basis to complete its basic functions (i.e. breathing, sleeping keeping your heart beating or regulating your internal temperature). Your BMR is dependent upon your age, height, and weight and gender. If you’ve noticed that every year, it becomes harder to eat whatever you want and stay slim, then, you may have discovered that your BMR decreases as you age. The good news is that a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, etc) can increase your BMR.

Once you know your BMR, then you can determine your Total Daily Caloric Expenditure by adding to that number, the number of calories used (i.e. energy burned) in your physical activity and the energy burned in digesting your food … yes digesting your food is work and uses caloric energy.

Once you have estimated your total daily caloric expenditure, you can more accurately calculate how many calories you can afford to eat (i.e. your daily calorie budget) and how much exercise you need to do every day to maintain, gain or lose weight to meet your healthy weight goals.

Basic Daily Caloric Expenditure Calculation

1 – Estimating your BMR

Calculating your BMR can be a very scientific process, but here is a quick “back of the envelope” sort of calculation which gives a good estimate.

BMR = your body weight (in pounds) multiplied by 10.

Example: 186 pounds x 10 calories/pound = 1,860 calories

Another more accurate way of calculating your BMR is called the Harris-Benedict Formula This formula takes into consideration your gender and age along with your weight. Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basal_metabolic_rate for the formula.

Alternatively, you can visit this site for an online BMR Calculator that takes your age, weight and gender into account. http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

2. Next factor in Calories Used in Physical Activity

Multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity level factor, as follows:

Physical Activity Calories = (BMR x Activity Level):

  • Sedentary: 20% (Sitting most of the day)
  • Lightly Active: 37.5% (Walking here and there; daily chores)
  • Moderately Active: 40% (Constantly moving around; daily exercise)
  • Very Active: 50% (Heavy exercise for prolonged periods of time, such as training for a sport)

Example: 1,860 calories x 0.20 = 372 calories for a sedentary person.

3 – Next Factor in The Calories Used During Digestion

Calories used during digestion, are estimated at 10% for the general population..

Digestion Calories = (BMR + activity level ) x 10%:

Example: (1860 + 372 calories) x 0.10 = 223 calories

4. Total Daily Caloric Expenditure = (BMR Calories + Physical Activity Calories + Digestion Calories)

Therefore, in order to maintain my current weight I burn an average of 2,455 calories every day to support my body’s most basic needs, activity level and digestion of food.

Now that I know my daily caloric expenditure, I can figure out how many calories I need to reduce in my diet in order to reach my weight loss goal.

Keep in mind that one pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. Therefore as a general rule of thumb, to loose 1 pound per week, I must take in a negative 500 calories a day or negative 3,500 calories per week. I can reduce the calories by a combination of eating less and exercising more to lose weight. So you see it’s pretty simple, if the total number of calories burned is more then the calories consumed it will lead to weight loss.

My goal is to lose 30 pounds over the next 6 months; that’s approximately 1.15 pounds (4,025 calories) of fat in per week or 575 fewer calories each day. My plan is to eat 375 fewer calories and maintain a daily exercise routine that will burn up 200 calories per day.

So I’m off to the gym to find out what how long I need to exercise on the elliptical to burn at least 200 calories . I’ll let you know how things go.

My question for you:

What exercises do you do? How frequently do you do them? How many calories do you burn while exercising? Okay that’s 3 questions but you must admit they are all closely related.

Talk with you soon,

Lori

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