A Spoonful of Health

A Blog About Wellness


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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar, could it help you lose weight? Possibly!

apple

There are many claims about the health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV), unfortunately most are not scientifically based. I am going to write about the benefits that some friends on mine have noticed while they took ACV. I have not been able to stomach it, even extremely diluted so this is not first hand experience.

A friend of mine has stated that ACV helped with her UTI’s, much like cranberry juice would. She stated if she had symptoms of possible UTI which she was prone to she would take some ACV and her symptoms would be gone the next day. The reason this may work is because it will make your urine more acidic, preventing the bacteria from being able to grow.
ACV seems to help people with heartburn, this is because heartburn is caused by our stomachs not having enough acid, so they churn more violently forcing the acid through the weak sphincter into out esophagus. ACV put more acid back into our stomach thus calming our stomachs and reducing heartburn. Of course it also stimulates digestive juices helping to breakdown foods they may be irritating our sensitive stomachs during pregnancy as well. This also helps reduce stinky gas as our foods are being broken down more efficiently.

ACV is said to help our satiety and therefore we won’t snack as much, leading to less calories consumed. So ACV could be said to aid in weight loss. Unfortunately the taste of it makes me gag and I am doing other things to help lose weight I can’t give an accurate account of this. But there are MANY people on the internet who swear by it. There has only been one scientific test that I’ve read about and it was a 12 week program where half the people were taking ACV and half weren’t, and they all kept food journals to make sure they were eating similarly. But they only lost 1-2 pounds over that 12 weeks. Which is not very much, however combined with portion control and exercise it could lead to that couple extra pounds you want to lose and just can’t seem to.

Some studies have shown that drinking ACV daily led to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, which in turn lowered blood pressure. I have really good cholesterol, but my blood pressure was high throughout my pregnancy, for this reason alone I would consider trying ACV, I just need to find a better way to consume it. These studies have also shown that ACV MAY lower blood sugar levels when taking before a meal.

I haven’t talked about why ACV may be bad for your health, and that is because I can’t find much information about it being bad for your health. Vinegar is a cleanser. The only caution I can suggest it PLEASE dilute it! A shot of vinegar is extremely acidic and that can destroy the enamel of your teeth and wreak havoc on your esophagus. Just think about how a bulimic’s throat get destroyed from vomiting, it’s the stomach acid that does that, ACV would be the same going down if not diluted.

So where do I stand on ACV? It seems like if it is diluted with water or juice and only taken once or twice daily there aren’t really any bad side effects. Am I going to take ACV? Probably not.

Sources: Dr. Oz, Jessica Barry, WebMD


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Why I Stopped Soda

Soda, oh so sweet, bubbly, tasty soda!
Soda pop is so terrible for you, but it’s so delicious! It’s delicious because it is a sugar, and sugar is so damn yummy! Soda seems so refreshing on a hot day, but the truth is, due to sodium content, it is actually making you more thirsty! And there is nothing hydrating about soda. Sugar + Salt = Dehydration and FAT
I’ve had two soda’s since I’ve started to get healthy.
1. Was an italian soda on my birthday, so no salt, but added cream
2. Was a Diet Soda at Sonic when I was out with my husband
DIET soda is just as bad at regular soda, possibly worse! Yes it has no calories, but there are lots of studies linking degenerative diseases to sugar substitutes.

rethink-your-drinks-sugar1sdf

Soda is made for numerous reasons
1. It makes you fat and increases bad cholesterol
2. Diet soda still increases blood glucose levels, which leads to weight gain, and possibly diabetes!
3. The artificial coloring in dark sodas is carcinogenic
4. Accelerates aging
5. Messes with your hormones
6. It causes pollution
7. Teeth decay and gum disease
8. It’s addictive
9. Heart disease risk, due to build up to fats
10. Gout
11. Dementia
12. Asthma
13. Osteoporosis
14. Reproductive Issues

Now if that doesn’t convince you to quit soda, I don’t know what will. Soda is sugar, and sugar is addictive, so I understand it is not easy to quit! But there are way that will help! If it’s the sweetness of soda you like, try juice! If it’s the bubbles you like, start with a carbonated water mixed with juice. Eventually you will need to quit the bubble because carbonation leads to osteoporosis because it leaches calcium from the bones, but it is still much better than regular or diet sodas!

References: Rodale, Wellness Mama, Authority Nutrition, Babes and Kids Review.

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Flavoured Waters
A great way to kick the soda is by flavouring boring old water!
You can easily make a pitcher of these for drinking at home, or you can throw the few ingredients in a travel bottle!
You will want to use a spoon or a muddler to crush your herbs and smaller fruits to bring out the flavours a bit more.
You can mix up any combination of fruits and herbs to make your favourite flavours, but here are a few I can’t get enough of.

Strawberries and Basil
Cucumber (slices), Mint, and Ginger
Lime, Orange and Lemon (slices)
Grapefruit (slices) and Cucumber (slices)
Watermelon and Mint
Blackberry and Sage

So you can just add these items to water and let it sit overnight in the fridge, or for an even stronger flavour, you can poor hot water over the fruits like you would be making a hot tea, and then let it cool overnight in the fridge.


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1 Month Progress

So we are a month into my simple life changes and here are the results so far.

Day 30 205 lbs, 45 lbs to go
april14fat
1 Month Measurements
Bust 43.5″
Chest 35″
Arm 12.5″
Waist 35″
Hips 44.5″
Thigh 26.5″
Calves 16″
Stomach 43.5″
Size 18

I am still considered a size 18 overall, but I am wearing size 16 Old Navy shorts and they are a bit big, but the 14 is too small.
So I am up in some things (I think due to bad measuring the first time, I couldn’t find my measuring tape so I used a string and a ruler haha). I am the same in some things, and I am down in others, so yay! I think my boobs are up because of breast feeding, but my hips and waist are down! So maybe I will actually fit into last years summer shorts!


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Eating While Pregnant

I did not eat well during my pregnancy. I didn’t think that I had changed my diet very much while I was pregnant. I didn’t think I was eating much more, or eating worse things, but apparently I was, because I gained 50 lbs!

So how can my bad experience help you? Well I can tell you what you SHOULD be doing when you are pregnant and trying to stay fit.

First off, NO DIETING once you find out you are pregnant. If you are already overweight, consult your doctor about what you should be doing, you SHOULD NOT DIET, but you may be told to eat healthier. For a healthier diet the best place to start is the good old food pyramid, and portion control.
Choose MY Plate has the USDA recommended portions and categories you should be eating from.

Now, once you are pregnant, you will have to make some changes in your diet. First off you will actually need to consume more calories. I know, who wants to eat more when they are trying to lose weight! Well you have a human inside of you and s/he needs to eat too! You will need to consume an extra 300 calories per day. And no that does not mean go eat a chocolate bar. Those need to be HEALTHY calories, particularly protein. That leads us to protein, you need to consume at least 60g of protein a day. There are a ton of great protein sources, greek yogurt, chicken, beans, lentils, milk, cheese, and quinoa. The last few things you can do are mild exercise (if you don’t already exercise, and if you do (you probably aren’t reading this blog), you can continue to exercise at your regular level, with doctor consent), getting a good nights rest (do whatever you can to make your rest the best you can, get special pillows, sleep alone, whatever you need) and stay hydrated! This was the thing I was worst at, I hate water! But guess what, if you don’t drink water, then you retain water and that makes you larger, gives you stress marks, increases blood pressure, etc! So about the BEST thing you can do for yourself is to drink a butt load of water.

OF course there are special circumstances to all pregnancies and you will want to consult your doctor before making any large changes in your life, but these are all great things you can do!

Oh, I almost forgot, a prenatal multivitamin, your growing baby needs folic acid! You can absolutely get this from foods such as dark leafy greens, citrus fruit, beans and lentils, but a prenatal vitamin is gonna make sure you don’t miss anything your growing baby needs.

chick

Asian Style Baked Chicken Legs and Vegetable Stir Fry
This recipe gives us protein, folic acid and a ton of other vitamins from the yummy veggies!
This recipe appears to have a lot of salt and oil, but it’s just a marinade, so it won’t all stick to the chicken.

Chicken
Ingredients
8-10 drumsticks, cut slits into chicken
8 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger root
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
spices/herbs of choice, parsley, salt, pepper, chinese five spice, etc

Directions:
Blend all ingredients except chicken, marinate chicken overnight in ziploc bag with the liquid you just made.
Bake in a non-stick baking pan for 45 minutes at 375°F.

Vegetable Stir Fry
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion
2 cloves garlic
Dash of Pink Salt
2 cups broccoli
2 cups cauliflower
1 medium carrot
5 shiitake mushrooms
1 large bok choy
2 tablespoons & 1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon white cooking wine
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon tahini paste
1 teaspoon molasses
1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
A pinch of red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t like spice)

Directions:
Chop onion and garlic into slices and heat on stove with olive oil and pink salt for about 7 minutes. Chop up all veggies into small pieces. Add all veggies EXCEPT bok choy to the pan, and continue heating for another 5 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, then add bok choy and the new sauce you just created to the pan. Cook for another 8 minutes, stirring often so the sauce doesn’t burn!


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20 Minute Stroller Walk

How is just 20 minutes a day helping me reach my fitness goals?
20 minutes of walking burns between 90 and 110 calories and it can reduce the chance of premature death by 16-30 percent! Any exercise is better than none!
Going from my inactive lifestyle to a slightly less inactive lifestyle can make a huge impact.
However, I’m going to need to do a heck of a lot more to reduce my weight. 20 minutes is great if you are extremely unfit or a senior citizen. My excuse as I’ve said before is my knees are crazy messed up from the extreme weight gain. But starting this week I’m adding a leg workout to my walk to kick it up a notch! Part of the reason I want to add to the walk beside fore more exercise and strength is that our bodies grow accustom to repetition and eventually the 20 minutes of walking will do very little for my body. So my additions this week will be I will walk at a fast pace for the first 10 minutes. Then I will do lunges for 30 seconds, and hold a squat for the next 30. I will continue walking at a fast pace for the next 5 minutes. Then another 30 of lunges and squats, and then moderately walk for the last 3 minutes. It isn’t much but it’s a slow start to getting my legs strengthened for doing a 30 day leg challenge next month. Look forward to that!
I’ve been walking five days a week and taking two off. I try not to take two off in a row because exercise only works if it is regular.

stroller

Now walking with a stroller is like using a piece of gym equipment, you have to use it correctly or you’ll end up hurting yourself and possibly your baby!
When I first thought about exercising I decided I would see if I could jog, I started and as I pushed the stroller my weight pressed down on it and my stroller started tipping backwards towards me. So lesson one, the stroller is not a crutch to lean on.
1. You want your elbows against your sides and your palms close together on your stroller’s handle, this will help engage your core muscles.
If you can keep your stroller’s handle below your waistline, this will also engage your core. You do not want your elbows at a 90 degree angle, you want them at a more obtuse angle to take strain off your arms.
2. For an arm workout, you want your handlebar in a higher position to make your elbows 90 degrees, then do your walk keep your elbows as close to your sides as you can and drop your shoulders, this will work your triceps.
3. If you are in a safe place like a park (and NOT on a road) you can pull your stroller behind you, or push in front using one arm, and alternating halfway through your walk. this will work biceps.
3. Finally for legs and butt, you just need to take large steps, do lunges, or hit the hills! Keeping your handlebar at waist level.

For more information on stroller walking, check out Walking Mama, she has an amazing e-book all about stroller walking!