Monday, December 30, 2013

Exercising when sick :(

     I have the worst cold ever. Runny nose, sore throat, cold sweat when I walk around. I usually go to the gym and walk when I have a cold. But with this thing, I don't even want to walk around the house. This got me thinking, is it beneficial to work out when I'm sick or should I just say forget it for the next 5 days.
     The Mayo Clinic says if it's a cold above the head then exercise should be okay. Scale it back if you need to.They do say if you have a fever not to exercise. I didn't take my temperature though, but the hypochondriac in me insists I have a fever...
     What is really painful to me now is the sinusitis. It kept me up most of the night. On Yoga Journal, they talk about several poses that can help the sinuses. Salamba Sarvangasana- supported shoulder stand, Ardha Halasana- supported half plow pose, and Eka Pada Savarganasana- plow pose with one leg up are said to be useful in relieving sinus pressure and clearing the sinuses.
    I don't usually take medication, but when sinus pain keeps me awake, I really wish I could take some NY-Quil. However, because of my intolerance to salicylates, I have to avoid a lot of medications. The menthol that causes the nice cooling feeling in your throat will make me really sick. The NSAIDs are not good for my stomach or intestines. I can't tolerate "natural" products, such as herbal tea. Too feel better, I'm rotating ice water and lipton tea. I'm putting a little honey in my tea because I heard this is good for you. Don't know of any actual proof behind this. What the heck, honey taste good. It can't hurt.
I think I am going to try some yoga poses. I can't be allergic to those.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Turmeric and Saffron: Persian Saffron Butternut Squash Dessert and My 5 ...

Excited to try this!
Turmeric and Saffron: Persian Saffron Butternut Squash Dessert and My 5 ...: Five years ago, on a typical cold day in December, I created my little blog. The whole idea of a Persian food blog- its name and format s...

CrossFit and Rhabdo, Ouch!

    I just recently came across this article CrossFit's Dirty Little Secret. I have been contemplating trying CrossFit just to see what the hype was all about. Currently, haven't tried it so I don't have an opinion. And oh my gosh, this article is scary. It basically describes a condition called Rhabdomyolysis. Asked my husband what that is and he said its an issue with straited muscles...Ok, thanks doc, but what issue? I guess he doesn't see this too much in dogs and cats (:
 In the article it describes how extreme over-exertion can cause the muscle cells to rupture and release protein into the blood stream. The protein levels are so high, that it can cause kidney failure and this condition can be fatal. Now, I don't know, based on this article, how  common this is in CrossFit gyms. Is it common, or is it because something this rare has happened a few times, the trainers have took it upon themselves to be educated on the matter?
      I decided to look into "Rhabdo" further and came across this answer to the first article 'Secret' Rhabdo:CrossFit, Exercise and Risk. This is written by an M.D. who is also a CrossFit trainer. He talks about this being a risk of any hard core fitness regimen and that CrossFit takes it upon themselves to educate their trainers and their clients, instead of ignoring the issue. I have done hard core training (at least, to me it was) and I have never been told about this risk. So if there are a lot of articles from CrossFit on this condition, I don't see it as a bad thing. It means they are talking about it.
     My question after reading the articles is: How the heck do I know if I am putting myself at risk for this condition? (doubtful that I ever will, call me crazy but do not enjoy extreme pain)
Here are the symptoms, courtesy of Web MD
  • Painful, swollen, bruised, or tender areas of the body
  • Muscle weakness or trouble moving arms or legs
  • General feelings of illness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion, dehydration, fever, or lack of consciousness
  • Dark-colored urine; reduced or no urine output
How do you know you are just working hard and not exploding your muscles?
Found these tips on a CrossFitter's site :CrossFit Reality
  • HYDRATE!!! (Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue which will exacerbate Rhabdo)
  • Listen to your body (If I didn’t, I could be dead! Seriously)
  • Drop the EGO. (If you push it past your capabilities, Uncle Rhabdo will be waiting.)
  • Go to the hospital (If you get Rhabdo, you need advanced treatment to save your kidneys. You’ll end up there sooner or later with Rhabdo, so be smart and go early)
  • Act prophylactically! (Take steps ahead of time to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.)
  • Ice any unusual pain or soreness after every workout (no exceptions here folks, if you come to me with soreness you’ll know what I’ll say from hear on out.)
  • Educate yourself [Know what movements are more likely to cause Rhabdo; eccentric movements (loading muscles while also lengthening i.e. pull-ups, squats, GHD sit-ups, etc.)]
  • Go through On-Ramp (If you are new to CrossFit, regardless of your background you should start off with an On-Ramp class to avoid Rhabdo) 

Now I don't think I push myself to this point. I do work out pretty hard in my bootcamp but I am yet to do 1 pull-up let alone 100. I think I'm good.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bone Broth

     I've been feeling a little sick, like a flu or cold is coming on :( Time to make some bone broth like all the Paleo-ists gush about.
    It's nothing that really needs a recipe. Just use your ingredients for any stock ( onions, carrots, celery,) but boil them with a bunch of bones. (I used a lot of celery because that's what I had, also I want to avoid salicylates for now so I nixed the carrots and herbs) Apparently, adding some vinegar helps to extract the calcium from the bones. I wonder if lime juice would do the same.
    There is some science behind this. A simple google search will show plenty of people going on about the benefits. If you look a little harder you will find a scientific study raising the alarm for "lead toxicity". A second search and you'll find a dozen articles refuting that study.
     Doing a literature key word search on Pub Med didn't help me. Since I am no longer a student, I don't have as much access to finding articles. And I never liked Pub Med as a student, but that's all I can use for free now. I know I can find studies on the benefits of certain minerals, gelatin, chondrotin and cartilage. I was just trying to find studies that show the nutritional benefit and absorbance of these nutrients when you consume a bone broth.
     I found the following list of references on bone broth at The Life Extension Blog
  1. Int J Med Sci. 2009;6(6):312-21.
  2. Chest. 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7.
  3. Science. 1993 Sep 24;261(5129):1727-30.
  4. Arthritis Rheum. 1998 Feb;41(2):290-7.
  5. Arthritis Rheum. 1996 Apr;39(4):623-8.
  6. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Dec;32(6):577-84.
  7. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 2002;22(3-4):101-10.

     He talks about the collagen that is released when cooking the bones broth and how it reduces inflammation and relieves osteoarthritis. He doesn't talk about the broth in terms of nutrition and the minerals it is said to release.Whatever, bones contain minerals duh. The bone marrow contains vitamins. If they show that cooking it leaches out some lead that was stored than I'm sure it leaches out into the water, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and so on as well. I think I read about some zinc in there
     Here is a nice article on bone broth Bone Broth is Beautiful.This article talks about everything bone broth and was worth the read. Peer-Reviewed literature or not, it convinced me about bone broth.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kicking Butt and Paleo Recipes

My group training is over until January 8th! I don't know what to do now. We have been doing TRX and circuits that have been killer. TRX are these cables hanging from a bar that you can put your feet in or hang on to and take traditional exercises to an "excruciating" other level. It never fails to make me sore. Inclined push-up,  I look a lot like the T-Rex trying to do that. So what to do for exercise during these 4 weeks off!
I'm going to do workouts from The Ancestral Body E-book, which you can get from the link. I like these workouts because they are quick and don't need equipment. They are burpees, push-up and planks in a dozen different ways that  I couldn't even imagine.  I will also be going to Core Power Yoga when I can get a babysitter, because they don't have daycare :( And I will be tackling the TRX on my own. Trying to do a 5 minute plank, which makes you hate your life immensely for those 5 minutes, but it will give 6-pack abs under your flab.
Along the lines of Paleo recipes, I am having extreme issues trying to find things to make to eat. I don't feel like eating all day (when you don't eat sugar anymore you kinda give up, lets have eggs and carrots yay!, no) Until I am hungry and then I want to eat, but don't have time to cook. Another issues is because of salicylate intolerance/allergy/makes me vomit whatever the freaking name is, I cannot eat a lot of spices. I like Thai and Indian curries and apparently so does the rest of the Paleo Community. All the recipes I find on NomNomPaleo are full of thes spices I am forbidden :(. I'm trying to change things up so I bought some goat stew meat. So far I have it slowcooking in the crock pot. I went to Nom Nom Paleo to find a lamb or goat stew. I really like the Rogan Josh lamb stew. The recipe actually comes from The clothes make the girl, so I found a new blog! And she happens to be doing a giveaway today, maybe I'll win! I never win anything. Anyway. I cannot use turmeric or cumin. Ginger is also suspect for me because once I ate a lot of ginger jam and I was incapacitated for the next day. I thought I just had the flu, but more ginger jam later and salicylate education, I now know the ginger made me sick. However, that was a lot of ginger. Will a tsp dry in a whole pot be a problem? I'm gonna use cardamom, ginger, don't have paprika, chili powder (that makes my nose run, probably should skip it but I don't want to) salt, and then of course the garlic, onions, coconut milk. I don't know about the carrots. Cooked carrots give me and my 8 year old daughter stomach pain... Let's see how this taste.
Last night, I made meat balls, cauliflower soup and butternut squash. I liked it all but my husband said the food didn't go together. I kinda agree. The meatballs didn't match. But I needed a protein and meatballs are fast to make. Not like lamb or goat that needs to cook all day. Even chicken. Whole chicken needs 1.5-2 hours. I also went shopping, spent all my money on groceries and I want to use what I have. I think cauliflower would go good with the rogan josh but I'm not going back to the store this weekend.
I need some ideas for how to come up with dinner. I think I have reached a recipe burn-out.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dr. Cordain at the Koelbel Library


 I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Loren Cordain, of The Paleo Diet. He is a Colorado local, so he gave a free talk at the library. I really enjoyed it. I was taking notes like I was back in college. I wish I had lectures like that back then. So, I had been telling myself that I want to go Paleo but I can't convince myself to give up the dairy. I said Dr. Cordain himself will have to convince me. Okay, he did it. I never liked milk, but I will avoid or severely restrict yogurt and cheese. I'm still going to eat the pasture raised heavy cream and ghee, but at least whiles my body is trying to get back into balance with this lifestyle, I will not have any cheese or yogurt.
I had read all of his books already, but after listening to him speak, I am very convinced about Paleo. For example, he spoke about legumes. I understood the reference about peanut oil actually being used to induce  cardiovascular disease in the lab rats, but I must have glossed over why the rest of beans and legumes shouldn't be eaten. He described how the legume is actually the seed surrounded by toxins to protect itself from predation and these toxins are harmful to us. I will still have beans once in a while (certain dishes need them), but they will not be a basis of my diet like they have been. And when I eat them they will be fully cooked and not from a can.

Gosh, he talked about so many interesting things, it made me just want to take up hunting. I want to get my own wild game and elk and deer. (: He mentioned myopia, acne, dementia, depression all connected with metabolic disease, which is caused by the standard western diet. (OMG, check out this link of what a weeks groceries looks like around the world, USA family lost out big time food around the world).

He mentioned how the standard western diet changes the bacterial flora of our bodies to be more gram negative, and that these bacteria are thought to cause chronic low grade inflammation  and may damage the lining of our stomachs and intestines. This got me thinking that what if this has something to do with my salicylate intolerance? What if I cure my gut and repopulate my flora, would I be able to eat egg plant and mint again? Would I have a greater toleration for salicylates with out the nausea, vomiting, head aches? I can't say, but I'll keep you posted. I also am wondering if there is a connection with this lifestyle and pregnancy induced hypertension and the excessive weight gain during pregnancy. So far I have come across that they don't know why pregnancy causes this inflammation of the blood vessels and it is some reaction to the pregnancy. That being said, are there studies that show that diet can help reduce this inflammation. Pregnancy does cause the mother to be insulin resistant to varying degrees. Would eating a paleo diet help with excessive weight gain?
 A fellow scientist was criticizing this diet to me and I told him just look at the literature of all the studies performed on this topic and compare it to the studies where they say eat low fat, eat corn oil, margarine, and whole grains, oh and don't forget not eating egg yolks (boo, I can't get over the ridiculousness of that)  He said that Paleo doesn't have any research. Well how about a 40 page bibliography in Dr. Cordain's book, ahem, ahem. However, I learned at his lecture that on his website that I put the link above, for The Paleo Diet, he has all his research papers available for download for free. So check them out.
I really enjoyed the lecture and hope to attend more like it. It is very motivating in my quest to give up sugar.
Thanks Dr. Cordain!

Brunch and Insulin Resistance

egg muffins
     I wanted to make a brunch that didn't cause diabetic shock. I made these egg muffins which is just eggs whipped up with mushrooms, caramelized onions and olives. I used ghee to grease the pan so they wouldn't stick. I also made the Paleo peach blackberry cobbler that I shared. People still eat bread so I asked people to bring some muffins and bagels for the Paleo non-believers, then I made them take all the extras home.
     The research I've come across has led me to believe that insulin resistance has a lot to do with weight gain and weight loss. I feel this is a really good, simple explanation.
" Insulin sensitivity has to do with how well your cells respond to insulin. People that are highly insulin sensitive require very little insulin to store carbohydrates. By reason then, people that are insulin resistant (type II diabetics), need larger amounts of insulin to shuttle those carbohydrates around.
What this means is that when you have high insulin sensitivity, you are able to eat carbohydrates without such a large rise in insulin. When insulin is kept low enough, fatty acids can still be released. However, once insulin gets too high, fat loss comes to a halt. People that have bombarded their bodies with high-glycemic carbohydrates and processed foods over their lifetimes have become somewhat resistant to the effects of insulin. Therefore, when they eat carbohydrates, it causes a larger release of insulin. This inhibits the release of fatty acids.
     Higher insulin levels = more fat storage"( Coach Calorie)
Another issue on insulin, I was confused about how fructose is constantly said to contribute to insulin resistance when it uses a non-insulin dependent pathway for metabolism. I was reading the articles on The Paleo Diet 
and I came across this article Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just syndrome X where this was discussed. According to the article, when fructose is in the presence of glucose (as in high fructose corn syrup and table sugar) it is insulintropic. This means it will cause the release of insulin from the cells. Furthermore, this article talks about insulin sensitivity and the result of increased insulin release to lead to more conditions that what we thought, namely balding in men, acne, myopia and PCOS. 
     It seems that insulin resistance is a big deal. However, if you're not reading about it on blogs or once in a while in a health magazine, what are people learning to do to deal with this problem? Being prescribed medications? The ever evasive "eat less"? Health care practitioners do not want to mention the Paleo Diet. They may not know about it or are mislead into calling it a "fad diet". Like I learned in some of my nutrition classes, "there are no bad foods". I disagree. There are bad foods. If you eat it and it makes you sick it is a bad food. If I eat foods with high amounts of salicylic acid, egg plant for example, I get severe stomach pain and eventual ulcerative colitis! That is a bad food for me.  The reality is, if your body cannot handle sugar, why keep eating sugar? If your body cannot tolerate rice and bread, why take drugs (that have their own side effects) to be able to continue eating it, until your pancreas completely gives out and your tissues are completely resistant?  I think the answer to how to deal with the increasing incidence of metabolic syndrome is much easier than we are lead to believe, but it's much more difficult at first to change your eating than it is to take a pill.

Blackberry-Peach Crisp

Blackberry-Peach Crisp
I made this but made it a cobbler  by using an almond flour dough. It was the best cobbler I ever had.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Perfect Riding Boots

That's what I imagined my lessons would be like

I bought an Amazon Local deal for horse back riding lessons. I've been on trail rides and wanted to actually know how to ride. However, the main thing that I kept thinking about was riding boots. I see high boots all the time at the store and the same things always happens. I try them on and I can't get them over my calf or I can't zip them up. I leave the store depressed. Now, I never thought my calves were fat. In fact, I would say they weren't fat at all. So what's the deal?
We had to wear riding boots to this horse back riding deal and the thought of renting their boots and not being able to fit into them was weighing on me and pissing me off. I thought there has to be a boot for wide calves. I mean we have wide width shoes, right?
I did a little google and came across Brittany,Herself. In this blog, she did a whole page on wide calf boots.  (It's a real thing) And, she looked really good in them. I looked up the brands she recommended, but at this point I wouldn't have time to order online. They better sell some fat calf boots in the store. The Kohl's website showed they carried them in the store. I went there and they had one pair of boots that could accommodate a wide calf with a second zipper? They weren't really riding boots so I said no.
Then I found the LC. Lauren Conrad riding boots and I tried them on and they fit! These weren't even wide calf. So, I bought them and I love them .

LC Lauren Conrad riding boots at KOHL'S

Now, my next problem was "skinny" jeans. As the name implies, they are made for "skinny" people. My skinny friend who was going riding with me said to me in our discussion of riding boots, "Don't you have skinny jeans to wear with them". No my dear, No. Skinny jeans are for skinny people. I am not those people. More of why I love Lauren Conrad at KOHL's. She has a pair of jeans called L.C. Pencil Jeans. I don't know what the hell that means, or what makes them different from skinny jeans. I just know that when I put them on they fit and I didn't look like a large ass with feet. They looked good. So I bought them.The Hills was my favorite guilty pleasure back in the day, but now L.C. came back into my life and made my day. (:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hot , Sweaty Yoga!

     I love yoga and I  want to be a yogi when I grow up. My gym doesn't have yoga at any practical time so I started going to a yoga studio, where I discovered Hot Yoga. The fact that I can tolerate a temperature of 106 degrees is amazing to me and then actually wanting to do exercise in that heat is beyond me. However, it was the best yoga I ever tried and I highly recommend it.
     I liked the feeling of the sweat dripping down my face. I liked how I could stretch better in the heat. And at the end I felt a lot more relaxed. I like the steam room and hot tub, so maybe the heat just makes me more relaxed in general, so why not combine that with yoga.
I have to say this is a class that I wouldn't want to go to with men. They seem to sweat a lot and frankly it stinks.That's mean. I'm a little sorry.  My husband goes at a different time than me and he can continue to do that. Anyway...
     While searching for what are the benefits of hot yoga, I found this article in the Huffington Post that says that people perceive themselves as burning more calories from sweating, but you aren't really. It also says you can get all the same benefits of stretching and flexibility without the heat. Do you really do yoga for calorie burning? Power yoga may burn a little more calories with the fast pace, but I'd say paying attention to calories isn't productive.
     Here is another link from Mind Body Green, talking about the myths of the benefits of hot yoga. Namely, boosting metabolism, increasing circulation, detoxing. The points are all valid for why you don't need hot yoga for any of these things. Doing a Pub Med search, I haven't found any research articles that show any true benefit of hot yoga over traditional yoga. That doesn't mean they are not out there, I just haven't come across it in my quick search. I did come across this article on PubMed, that showed an improvement with insulin resistance in older adults. However, it did not compare the benefit of yoga or hot yoga. This improvement could've just been due to the fact that they were getting exercise.

      Despite the lack of scientific evidence that I was able to dig up, I think hot yoga felt great. I felt sore the next day so I know I was working those small neglected muscles that you only work in yoga. And just because scientific studies haven't found certain benefits, doesn't mean there aren't any. Research is full of variables.