Are the Numbers On Your Scale Creeping Up?

5 Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in Menopause

 

According to the Center for Disease Control, two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. We’re also consuming too much sodium, which can cause high blood pressure, heart failure, or stroke.

Too much sodium can also cause a temporary increase on the scale, and it’s a real bummer when you do your morning weigh-in and you’re two or three pounds heavier.

You want to keep your sodium content down to less than 2300 grams a day, but not have to eat food that tastes like bland cardboard. Here are five strategies to reduce sodium intake in menopause:

Cook Fresh Food

It’s a temptation when you’ve had a hard day, to just swing by the local fast food drive-thru or go out to eat, but you can easily exceed your daily sodium intake in one meal. For example, an Angus Bacon and Cheese Burger from McDonald’s contains 2,070 grams of sodium. That is before you tack on those yummy fries to go with it.

Sear, sauté, or roast your meat, and fill up half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.

Change Pizza Toppings

A nice pepperoni and sausage pizza is always a favorite, but will send your sodium intake sky high. Eat healthier toppings such as Canadian bacon, turkey pepperoni, or white meat chicken.

Rinse Off Canned Foods

It’s more convenient for me to buy canned beans because I don’t like standing for hours over a hot stove. Canned vegetables are fine to substitute when you don’t have time or money to cook fresh. Just rinse these canned goods with water and you’ll wash off some of the excess sodium.

Eat Smaller Portions

This is where you really need to pay attention to food labels. Determine how much salt is in one serving and eat a half portion or share with someone else.

Buy Low-Sodium Products

There’s no shortage of low-sodium soups, crackers, bread, salad dressings or condiments. Check the nutrition labels on products such as milk, cheese, or yogurt. It’s better to buy fat-free or low-fat dairy products.

How do you control your sodium intake?

When Your Back Won’t Stop Hurting

Easy Treatment to Knock Out the Pain!

I’ve had chronic back pain for over 20 years and have tried a variety of remedies.  Pain medication is an everyday thing and I never miss my stretching exercises. These are steps in the right direction, but I was still having pain that was affecting my quality of life.

Last year my doctor wrote a prescription for a TENS unit. A TENS is a small portable machine that can be worn on the body. Sticky pads are attached by wires and stuck on the skin where you’re experiencing the most pain. This transmits small electrical pulses that feel like little electric shocks.

How It Works

You use dials to program the intensity.  There are 2 control knobs. One control makes the electrical signals stronger or weaker, and the other makes the electrical signals faster or slower.

Don’t turn the machine on while you’re placing the pads on your skin. Place pads on either side of the painful area and make sure they are at least one inch apart. You should leave the pads on for 15-30 minutes.  If you have severe pain, you can use the TENS multiple times a day.

Things You Shouldn’t Do

There are a few do’s and don’ts you need to keep in mind. Don’t use the TENS in the shower, driving, or sleeping. Pads should not be placed on the mouth or eyes, varicose veins, chest and back at the same time, the head, sides and front of neck, breast tissue, or the heart.

Consult Your Doctor

You will need a prescription but I was pleasantly surprised that my insurance provided 100% coverage, so I had no co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses. Ask your doctor for a physical therapy consult, so you can learn where to place the sticky pads so they’ll do the most good.

Check with your insurance to find out if this is a covered expense, but even if you have to pay a small amount it might be well worth it.

I’ve used the TENS quite a few times, and it is very good at temporarily relieving my back pain. My opinion is that it needs to definitely be in a pain control program, but combined with medication and exercise to receive the maximum benefit.

Get Back on the Horse

Keep Working Toward Your Goals!

 

I’m always up for a new adventure and when a friend invited me to go horseback riding, I was eager to give it a try.  It was just my luck to get the biggest and most cantankerous horse in the stable. I gave myself a little pep talk, and swung into the saddle.

I tried to guide him with the reins, but either he was mixed up or I was, because he kept walking into bushes on the trail. It wasn’t long before we were at the halfway point, and I felt I could finally relax. Apparently, my horse had a difference of opinion, and took off running at top speed back to the stable.

I felt like the villain in a bad western movie being chased by the sheriff. I hung on for dear life, and was a nervous wreck by the time we got back to the stable. It’s a good thing I love animals, because my first thought was to dismount and give him a good swift kick in the rear.  I could have sworn he gave me a dirty look as he was led back to his stall.

My journey into horseback riding was shaky to say the least, but if I had another opportunity, I would get back on the horse and try again. Maybe choosing a smaller horse with a calmer disposition, doing some research to see what makes a horse tick, and more guidance from the staff, would make all the difference.

Living a successful life is a lot like riding a horse.  There are times when you’re feeling your way along, and you’re going to make some mistakes along the way. You may be so discouraged that you’re tempted to give up.

Get back on the horse. It may take awhile to reach your goals, but if you stay on your feet and keep moving forward, you will be successful.

Pickle Juice For Hangover and Better Digestion?

4 Unique Juices You Should be Drinking!

I remember growing up we had orange juice every day for breakfast. It was easy to serve, just pop open the frozen can, mix in some water and you were good to go.  Now that I am trying to make better food choices, I learned that an 8 oz. glass of orange juice can have as much as 21 grams of sugar.

This is true of most fruit juices, but there are exceptions. Here are four unique juices you should be drinking:

Pickle Juice

Once you eat the last pickle, it’s time to heave the jar in the trash. Not so fast. If you’ve had a night of excess drinking, pickle juice can help replenish your sodium levels caused by dehydration.  The vinegar content in pickle juice helps balance flora and bacteria which aids in digestion.

Watermelon Juice

This favorite summertime fruit is not only delicious, but since it is mostly water, you don’t have to worry about excess sugar. It is high in lycopene, which helps reduce your chances of getting skin cancer.  I like the fact that citrulline, which is an amino acid found in watermelon, can reduce soreness after a good workout.

Tart Cherry Juice

I don’t know about you, but there are many nights I can’t get to sleep. According to a pilot study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, tart cherry juice can help you get a better night’s rest. This is due to a high content of naturally occurring melatonin.

There is good news for arthritis sufferers.  In a 2012 study by the Journal of Food Studies, participants drank tart cherry juice twice daily for 21 days, and felt less arthritic pain.

Pomegranate Juice

Short-term studies have shown that pomegranate juice may benefit those with heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.  This is promising research, but more studies are needed according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Pickle Juice Helps Hangover and Digestion?

4 Unique Juices You Should Be Drinking!

I remember growing up we had orange juice every day for breakfast. It was easy to serve, just pop open the frozen can, mix in some water and you were good to go.  Now that I am trying to make better food choices, I learned that an 8 oz. glass of orange juice can have as much as 21 grams of sugar.

This is true of most fruit juices, but there are exceptions. Here are four unique juices you should be drinking:

Pickle Juice

Once you eat the last pickle, it’s time to heave the jar in the trash. Not so fast. If you’ve had a night of excess drinking, pickle juice can help replenish your sodium levels caused by dehydration.  The vinegar content in pickle juice helps balance flora and bacteria which aids in digestion.

Watermelon Juice

This favorite summertime fruit is not only delicious, but since it is mostly water, you don’t have to worry about excess sugar. It is high in lycopene, which helps reduce your chances of getting skin cancer.  I like the fact that citrulline, which is an amino acid found in watermelon, can reduce soreness after a good workout.

Tart Cherry Juice

I don’t know about you, but there are many nights I can’t get to sleep. According to a pilot study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, tart cherry juice can help you get a better night’s rest. This is due to a high content of naturally occurring melatonin.

There is good news for arthritis sufferers.  In a 2012 study by the Journal of Food Studies, participants drank tart cherry juice twice daily for 21 days, and felt less arthritic pain.

Pomegranate Juice

Short-term studies have shown that pomegranate juice may benefit those with heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.  This is promising research, but more studies are needed according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.