Category Archives: Health

DASH of Common Sense

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Most of the people who drop by my blog spot would not know the struggles I dealt with while pregnant in 2009 and in 2011. I had developed preeclampsia. Those were two complicated pregnancy’s that God pulled me through and made me stronger. For those who do not know what that condition is, please refer to The Preeclampsia Foundation website for more details.

Since 2009 my body has not been the same and not just the typical adjustments after having a baby but after my body being put through the wringer twice. After having my mind, heart, liver and kidneys stressed to the max, I have been seeking my healthy norm that I was prior to pregnancy. I had lost a lot of weight that I had put on from lovely bed-rest and edema from the condition. I did it by nursing, healthy diet and exercise and strong determination. But, I hit a plateau and began noticing edema coming back. What on earth?!?

Well. One thing I know is stress kicked into high gear in the Summer of 2012 when I picked up a part-time job working from home doing underwriting for an insurance company. Trying to balance home duties, kids needs and my own personal time needs ie sleep. I was going down hill with blood pressures all over the place. I had seen doctor after doctor telling me old information about after effects of preeclampsia and finally this year, went back to an old faithful I had seen in 2009 that specialized with my pregnancy complications dealing with my heart in particular and he agreed something wasn’t right and pills would not be the trick. Mostly because I had inconsistent blood pressures and going on a drug would only complicate matters. Some facts about preeclamptic survivors, is their risk for heart disease, kidney disease and liver conditions magnifies. Many doctors who are not up to date with the latest news regarding this condition and what long term health of the patient can lead to can mean a harder recovery and or no recovery and possibly pre-mature death from the silent killer. Heart disease. As a patient, you take health, your health into your own hands. Find a doctor who is well versed and don’t give up. Doctors are humans who either choose to investigate you and get to the bottom of your issues or brushes you aside and sums you up in their head. You choose to hire or fire your doctor. That is the beauty of having options.

This wonderful doctor informed me that he has been working with several organizations to get them on board with his research surrounding the effects of preeclampsia and the risks the mother has afterwards. ie American Heart Association

The main reason for my post is to share the diet plan he has suggested to me. The DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. I have purchased the book and an additional recipe book to plan out my meal plans and I am so glad I did. The recipes are simple, sound good and seem very simple. I hope to share my journey as I try to lower my blood pressure, improve my good cholesterol, lower my body weight and lesson my chances for cancer. Naturally. I love running and walking trails. This in combination with my diet, I hope to see some improvements. A lot of this is simple, common sense meals. Eating mostly veggies, fruits, lean proteins and fibers. I disagree with alternative, fake sugars. I will not and cannot eat those. But I use good, real sugars in my diet. I was already eating similarly to this diet just by common sense, but I am a person who often needs guiding along to follow through for the cause. This in turn will help my husband and teach my daughters the value of healthy eating. I want to grow old with my husband and watch my daughters grow. More than words can express. I look forward to our local market opening in the next few weeks to get our fresh fruits and veggies.

I had an EKG last week, I have a stress test tomorrow on a treadmill -call me hammy for hamster 😉  An MRI Friday. They are testing me for MS (multiple sclerosis) and praying that I have good news rather than the alternative. Either way, I am in good hands. I have a purpose here and will learn as I go. God is so good to me and and for all I have been through in my life when I entered this world, I have seen the hand of God work in me and others. ❤

Me and my girls checking out the gorillas

Me and my girls checking out the gorillas

Thank you for checking out my post and may you live a healthy, happy life. Blessings on a great day to you! =)

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Do you know the Muffin Gal?

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Muffins are awesome. They are full of wonderful things, well… not every muffin is made the same way. But here is a way to get some protein and a laundry list of goodness in your body.

My oldest daughter just turned three in November and she has always been a muffin girl. But not always the best eater. I was so happy to finally buy my mill a few years back. I have seen a difference in our skin and digestive tract by improving our diet with milling. You’d be surprised to know all the benefits of fresh milled wheat as suppose to milled wheat or that other white stuff I am trying to avoid eating with every grain in my body. Pun intended. 😉

As far as skin goes, I have had less breakouts and periods of no psoriasis and skin irritations. It goes the same for my daughter for skin irritations and less psoriasis breakouts. The reason? Vitamin E is prominent in these hard red wheat grains. And, high in fiber keeping your tract clear by regular movements. You intestines are your immunity and when they get backed up or if they are in distress with irritable bowl, celiac disease or constipation so on. You feel like crud and you may even look like… never-mind.  All these factors with a laundry list of other benefits I hope to share gradually for you all in time. I will attach a link for your convenience on how I started with the help of The Bread Beckers.

The photos above may amaze you, that you can eat beans in foods. My hubby does not like the texture of beans and is a pretty picky eater and he devours these. It is worth your time to try. If you do not have a mill, I noticed that Whole Foods has a grinder now with different types of wheat types to choose from. Here is the recipe below, with the detailed items I used. I owe a big thanks to The Bread Beckers for this recipe as well as other recipes I will share in time. 🙂

What on earth is Ezekiel Bread? Or Ezekiel mix?

Well, the biblical reference is taken from The Old Testament, the book of  Ezekiel 4:9. It is considered a fasting bread. Ezekiel was commanded by God to eat a certain about of this bread everyday. He would be the bare of Israels sins. Here is the link to Ezekiel if you’d like to read from this story, directly from the source.

“Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side. ”  

Let’s just say, Ezekiel survived off of this bread for a long time.

Combine these un-ground grains to make the mix. This can be used to make the bread. But I will be providing the muffin recipe.

2 1/2 cups hard red wheat
1 1/2 cups spelt (rye can work too)
1/2 cup hulled barley
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup lentils (green lentil)
2 tbs. great northern bean
2 tbs. red kidney beans
2 tbs. pinto beans

Sweet Potato Muffin or Pumpkin Muffin      (recipe from Bread Beckers notes via Melanie C.)
Preheat oven to 350

Measurements before grinding:
Note: I like to make a big batch of Ezekiel mix and then prep little pre-sorted containers of this mixture for easy muffin preparation. Also, I spray the muffin liners with Bakers Joy for easy removal of muffin from liner.

¾ cup Ezekiel (mixture from above)
¼ Spelt
¼ Oat Groats

Grind then Add:

½ Cup Sucanat
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Baking soda
¼ tsp Baking powder
¼ tsp real salt

Whisk dry ingredients together

Combine dry with wet:

Sweet Potato Muffins:                                                                                  Pumpkin Muffins:

2 (6oz) jars sweet potato baby food                                                       1 cup canned Pumpkin
¼ cup coconut oil or olive oil                                                                  ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup honey                                                                                                    ¼ cup coconut oil or olive oil
2 eggs                                                                                                                   ¼ cup honey
½ cup mini chocolate chips                                                                       2 eggs
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Bake 18 minutes

 

I hope you enjoy these muffins as much as our household does. The history behind this is interesting as well. Thank you for visiting my post. I hope you have a blessed day. Here is one of my favorite quotes that I hope may brighten your day. It may be cloudy, but it can be bright =)

 

“Do not anticipate trouble,

or worry about what may never happen.

Keep in the sunlight.”
                         ~Benjamin Franklin

 

 

Milling Wheat- A Flavorful Shock!

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Here is a sneak peek into my kitchen and what has been going on. I’ll post more and update soon! I am needing some beauty sleep. Until then, I bid you farewell. 🙂

Pre-eclampsia stinks. Outcome, wonderful.

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First of all, I would like start out by stating I am a very blessed and overjoyed mother of now two daughters. I am joyfully listening to the gentle thumps of my daughter dancing to a Kindermusik album. Another sound that just melts me is the coos of my four week old daughter. She came four weeks early but is very healthy. So grateful for that! A huge thank you to my Lord! Here are some pictures of my loves.

The reason she came early was due to me being induced after having three needs for going to the hospital and being admitted each time, but eventually released two of the three times. To say the least, I ended up pre-eclamptic again after having this condition in my first pregnancy in 2009. Here is a helpful link to familiarize yourself with the condition.

http://www.preeclampsia.org/

My hope is more will be learned about this condition. It has been known about for over 100 years, but not understood entirely.

The low down:

I visited the hospital at 33 weeks not to count the dots on the ceiling or evaluate their curtains, but due to contractions every 2 minutes apart and lasting 3 minutes long, so I got three shots of terbutaline to stop the pre-term labor, stayed two days & received two corticosteroid shots, which is a steroid to mature lungs. I was sent home on moderate bed rest. A week later at 34 weeks, I was admitted for elevated protein in urine (which is a sign of pre-eclampsia), left after two days and got a lecture about staying but convinced them to let me leave on stricter bed rest. Obviously my body was trying to get delivery to a move on. Then, for the third time at 35 weeks, I was admited again with blood pressures on a roller coaster ride, elevated protein levels, again and a series of emotions to join the club. I was calm, but knew something was wrong, espeacially when they told me I gained 9lbs in 6 days (sign of Pre-e) and only going to get worse and had to make a decision to be induced early. My doctor was blunt and told me, “You are going to go eclamptic, it is only a matter of time now.” Side note: If you go eclamptic, the mother and child typically do not survive the stroke and/or seizure. I finally gave it to God to guide me, my husband and doctors. We felt okay to let her come early- I knew it was time. I felt peace come over me. On the evening of O’ Hollows eve, October 31, I was administered Cervidil, which is a labor inducer. The morning of All Saints day, I was started Pitocin to get my contractions regular and after laboring a long time w/o meds, I caved due to blood pressure issues and exhaustion. If you have not had Pitocin, it is a synthetic hormone, similar to your own natural hormone, that magnifies your contractions. The nurses were battling it out with the pitocin to keep my daughter from stressing and my blood pressure from spiking and so it was best to get the Epidural. It helps lower your blood pressure and obviously numbs your nerves. Dr. Heinz, wherever you are- you are a Anesthesiologist Ninja! Best epidural given ever! I had a not so pleasant experience last time.

The delivery:

So, I wasn’t happy with the nurses one bit! The rotation of nurses continued as I went through my laboring process, and some were better than others. But I landed a real winner. I was feeling pressure and knew my daughter was in the birth canal (Though you have an Epidural, you still feel pressure so you will be able to push) and I wanted to push!  I told two nurses at two different times, I felt extreme pressure and needed to see my doctor. My irritation was the fact my dilation was not checked in hours within a few, I was at 9! My doctor finally came after just delivering and she was surprised to see me at 9, oops- 10! What!?!?! So, I was told to hold it as they prepped the room for the baby. Yes… they told me to wait. What!!!! ANYway. In one contraction and three pushes later, I was looking at my second daughter. My emotions were flowing, along with tears. The joy that overcame me was nothing compared to the emotions earlier. I am so grateful to be alive and see my family grow.  

The fears:

I know I should not be fearful when I have a savior who cares for me, but I am sinful & sin get in the way of trust often. I was terrified at a few points when there were medicines administered to me that I knew were intense.

Medicine Fear #1

Beta-mimetics- terbutaline
Possible side effects for you include:

  • Fast heartbeat- Check
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Poor blood flow
  • Low blood pressure
  • High levels of sugar in the blood
  • Highlevels of insulin (a kind of protein) in the blood
  • Low amounts of potassium in the blood
  • Less amounts of urine
  • Changes in the function of the thyroid gland
  • Shaking
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations

Possible side effects for your baby include:

  • Fast heartbeat
  • High levels of insulin in the blood
  • Low or high levels of sugar in the blood
  • Enlarged heart
  • Poor blood flow
  • Low levels of calcium in the blood
  • Jaundice
  • Low blood pressure
  • Bleeding within the brain or heart

Medicine fear #2

Magnesium sulfate
Possible side effects for you include:

  • Redness of the skin
  • Tiredness and drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Double vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Heart attack

Possible side effects for your baby include:

  • Tiredness and drowsiness
  • Decreased muscle tone
  • Slowed breathing
  • Loss of minerals

Overall, God is in control. He knows my story and how it will end. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to Him for blessing me with this life. Having Pre-E has taught me many things, and to be specific, faithful.

Baby Heidi born 11/1/11 @ 5:30 PM 22″long and 7lbs 3 oz

One of my favorite passages:

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”. Romans 12:12

More than likely, I will not have anymore children, unless God decides a different path for us. But we both feel we are content. I am comfortable with what I have. Originally, I wanted 6. Then down to 4. Now to 2. Oh the irony.

I hope you enjoyed this reading and that it provided insight and educated you.

mac