Proven Food for Fitness

strength training

Many of us are either focused on aerobic activity or weight lifting and resistance training. But for fitness do you need both? In my opinion doing both is important. How can we maximize the benefits of both? Ensuring the proper food and supplements are taken at the right time can help! Click on the article below to read more!

Proven Food for Fitness

Thank you for clicking over to my other site. I am transitioning to this site…and it’s hard to keep up with two websites promoting my book.


Novel Way to Manage Menopauseal Night Sweats

A Novel Way to Manage Menopause Related Hot Flashes

Hormonal Hot Flashes

Hot flashes due to hormonal imbalance can occur during pregnancy and at midlife. This blog is going to focus on mid-life hot flashes. Hormonal fluctuation during perimenopause and menopause can result in hot flashes. The cause is uncertain and about 40% of females experience disrupting hot flashes. The hot flash intensity can vary from mild sensations of elevated body temperature to an all-out body drench.

The NEJM Journal Watch Women’s Health has discussed that there is a modest correlation between persistent night sweats/hot flashes, called persistent vasomotor symptoms, and the development invasive breast cancer. This is something to consider and I recommend a discussion with your doctor about how to manage them.

In the meantime, while monitoring closely and seeking care, we all want a bit of relief.

Here are the most commonly suggestions to improve or reduce the number or intensity of hot flashes.

Modern Medical Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy
Bioidentical hormone therapy

Prescription drugs: Gabapentin and clonidine

Natural supplements:

Vitamin E

Black Cohash
Red clover
Don Quai
Evening primrose

Lifestyle Recommendations:

Maintain a healthy weight
Monitor your diet
Avoid caffeine
Avoid spicy and hot foods
Dress in layers
Keep a fan handy
Lower the thermostat
Limit sugar
Exercise vigorously most days of the week
Stay hydrated
Reduce stress

These are the most common suggestions to manage the hot flashes, but I have a novel, inexpensive method that helped me. Let me tell you the back story of how I discovered this.

NurseChrisP’s Novel Way to Manage Menopausal Nighttime Hot Flashes

This novel way to manage menopause related hot flashes is based on my personal experience only. I have researched this and have not found any data supporting this. I am suggesting this as a women suffering from sleep disturbance from intense and frequent hot flashes and night sweats on a fairly frequent basis.

Here is a bit of the back ground.

A few months ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was prescribed Armour thyroid supplementation. Thyroid supplementation absorption is highly affected by timing and certain foods. It is recommended that it is taken on an empty stomach. I assumed that this meant I could take it in the morning before my coffee. Sadly I found that caffeine and the cream I put in my coffee could decrease the absorption of it. So I began taking the medicine at 3 am in the morning. This was a time that I usually woke up due to a hot flash. So it was not an addition disruption to my already disrupted sleep.

To accommodate this new need of taking a pill in the middle of the night, I started keeping a cup of ice water by my bedside to take the medication. What happened next was unexpected and reproducible. Sipping the ice cold water either stopped the hot flash entirely or reduced the intensity of it. Believe me I was floored to say the least. After I noticed this I began experimenting with different water temperatures with varying results.
The room temperature water did not seem to affect the hot flashes, cold water improved them, but the ice water that resulted in a mild “brain freeze” resulted in the best effects. Eureka.

NurseChrisP’s Method

Large cup of ICED water, and a straw.

Directions: At first sign of hot flash, use the straw to direct the cold water to the top of the roof of your mouth (where you would get a brain freeze). Take 8 swallows of water and wait for the freezing sensation on that area of your mouth.

Repeat as often as you need to.

This method is anecdotal, not researched or proven in the medical community. This is my experience only. For those with persistent and disruptive symptoms, please seek the care of a doctor to rule out other causes of night sweats.

Please try my technique and send me a note about whether it helped you or not.

If you want help regaining your health, check out my book, Second Chance at Health- Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating,  and my other blogs.

Lifestyle Diseases and Silent Sickness

Silent Sickness

Life Style Diseases

Early detection of lifestyle diseases are important.  The top three lifestyle diseases that I discuss in this blog are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetes. These three diseases are lifestyle related because they can be attributed to obesity. Obesity most often results from to overeating, a typical American diet, a sedentary lifestyle and stress. These lifestyle diseases are often without symptoms initially, which is why I refer to them as silent sicknesses. They escape detection unless you go looking for them. Most often you will not feel sick until they are advanced.

In this blog I discuss when to begin checking for them and how frequently. The goal is to never suffer from lifestyle diseases, but early detection of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetes is the next best option.

High Blood Pressure: Life Style Disease #1

The first silent sickness is high blood pressure. High blood pressure has most recently been implicated as a precursor to diabetes in those with abnormal fasting glucose along with the high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. High blood pressure that is undetected and untreated will result in kidney damage, damage to the small blood vessels in the eyes (this is possibly reversible),  and can increase the risk for stroke and heart attack.

However, the symptoms are often so non-specific it can be overlooked for years. Some of the more common vague symptoms are fatigue and headache. These are so non-specific that  most people attribute them to other conditions of their life.

Normal Blood Pressure

Normal healthy blood pressure should be below 120/80 for the average adult.

When Do I Check My Blood Pressure?

Check a baseline blood pressure at age 18 and then every 2-3 years if normal.

However, if you are obese overweight it should be checked before age 18. The risk for elevated blood pressure is high with obesity.

If it is higher than 120/80, and you are normal weight with no other health issues and if you are in your 30’s monitor it every 2 years.

If you are in your 40’s then annually is adequate if it was normal at the initial check, you are not obese and are maintaining a healthy weight.

If your BP is higher than this, and you are normal weight, recheck again in 3 months.

If your BP is higher than normal and you are overweight, obese, have high cholesterol and/or pre-diabetes then you should recheck it every 2 months.

Using Automated /Public Blood Pressure Check Machines

The automated blood pressure check machines located at many pharmacies are a great place to check you pressure if you don’t want to go to the doctor. These machines are required to be calibrated and if used properly can be used for blood pressure screening.

Follow these steps to ensure the most accurate reading.

Ensure that the home machine is not over 2 years old, and in proper working. For the public blood pressure machines you can ask for their calibration records, or trust that it is in working order.

Ensure that the cuff is the correct size. The correct cuff size is important. If you use the incorrect size cuff the reading will be too high (if it’s too small) or too low (if it is too large). If your upper arm is more than 13 inch diameter, use an adult large.

To accurately check your blood pressure follow these steps

Avoid smoking for 30 minutes prior
Sit quietly for 3-5 minutes prior to taking the reading
Refrain from speak during the reading
Do not hold your arm up actively during the reading

High Cholesterol: Life Style Disease #2

High cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease including stroke and heart attacks. Elevated cholesterol levels do not result in physical symptoms. Doing research for this blog I saw many sites stating that pain in the hands, and feet can indicate high cholesterol. I have never heard of this symptom before. This is such a vague symptom, and there may be many causes of those symptoms. If you experience them I recommend  a general health evaluation by your provider.

There are some uncommon outward signs include: arcus senilis, which is an opaque ring around the iris of the eye that can appear in the elderly, and in younger people with high cholesterol; xanthelasma papebrarum, these are yellow deposits around the eyelids; and xanthomata, which are fatty deposits in the tendons.

Normal Cholesterol Levels

Normal levels of cholesterol vary by gender, race and age.

When to Check Cholesterol Levels?

All adults should have their fasting cholesterol checked once very 4-6 years. Fasting cholesterol levels means that your last meal was between 8-12 hours before the blood test. Your doctor will monitor it more frequently when you receive the diagnosis of high cholesterol. Once you have the diagnosis testing may occur every 3 months, 6 months and then annually.

Studies show that keeping these levels within normal parameters (for those without genetically related high cholesterol) can reduce the risk of these life changing events such as heart attack and stroke.

Pre diabetes: Life Style Disease #3

Pre-diabetes often goes undetected for years, because,  like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, the symptoms are subtle. Pre-diabetes puts you at risk for progressing to diabetes type 2.

The subtle symptoms will include fatigue, skin changes called acanthosis nigricans, sugar cravings and weight gain. Once pre-diabetes becomes diabetes, the symptoms become more difficult to ignore as they may disrupt your life. The symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, increased urination, increased hunger, weight loss or gain without changing anything, and fatigue.

Normal Blood Sugar Levels

Normal fasting blood sugar levels are 65 mg/dL-99 mg/dL and an Hemoglobin A 1 C of less than 5.7%.

Pre-diabetes occurs when the blood sugar is higher than 99 but  less than 126 or the A1c is more than 5.7%

When to Check for Pre-Diabetes

If you are obese or overweight you should check annually for pre-diabetes. The only way to check for pre-diabetes and diabetes is to check you lab work.

Silent Diseases can Kill

These silent sicknesses can dramatically change your life in a negative manner. The medicines will have side effects, the monitoring of them will cost you money and time.
You can avoid these silent sicknesses by maintaining a proper weight, eating a clean diet consisting of wholesome foods and being active enough.

If you already have these diseases, all is not lost. If you lose as little as 5% of your body weight, you can improve your blood pressure, your blood cholesterol and your blood sugar.

You can check your cholesterol levels and blood sugar/A1c without having to go to the doctor. Ulta Lab tests offers this service. You sign up for the testing you want on the website, you will choose the lab location most convenient for you to get the blood drawn at. Your results will be available online in your account. You will then be able to print and take the results to your physician for evaluation.

Life style changes are the cornerstone for prevention and even possible reversal of lifestyle diseases. My book, Second Chance at Health- Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating can show you how to make these changes. When you discover the movements that you love, and a sustainable eating plan, it is easy to stay healthy.

1 2 9