BLOG 192 EFFORT
The skills and wisdom we achieve in life is the result of continued efforts. Most times we are graded or only praised for results, not the efforts it took to reach the goal or accomplish the task. Winston Churchill said, “Continuous effort not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential”. Effort is the act of trying, your level of intensity or work, your focus, and continuous drive to succeed. We are expected to give effort in the roles we play in life including work, sports, relationships, and for our health. Sometimes the attempt is what makes the reward more deserving and feelings of a job accomplished. It is the affirmation that when the result is determined, you did give your best. Hard work is a mind set that requires effort.
Believing in your efforts is motivational. People attribute their successes to natural ability, luck, other people, and EFFORT. Of these four causes, effort is the one that makes the experience purposeful. A handout or gift doesn’t equate to action. The refusal to give up puts you in the driver’s seat to wake up, take action, and apply effort. Your attitude shifts when you know you have to work for what you want. You cherish a possession much more if your efforts earned you the money to pay for it versus having it handed to you. You put effort into your school work when you know your grades influence financial aid or earning your degree versus having someone pay for all your school and you automatically graduate regardless. Effort connects action to reward.
Effort creates a mindset of not settling for less. What you put in, you get out. Don’t expect more when you give less. Equate your effort to your expectations. Effort builds character and makes you stronger whether the task requires mental or physical work. Sometimes the result doesn’t always match what you had desired. Sometimes your effort can feel under-appreciated or devalued when you don’t get what you had hoped for. Regardless of the outcome, there’s a mental fulfillment to knowing you truly tried. Those close to you see and it and know. Reassure yourself that your efforts will pay off in some form. Maybe the grade wasn’t that great on the test, but you still have the final and the effort you gave to study for this test will cut down on the studying for the final to help you focus more on what you need to better understand. Effort is a can do attuite and must for success. It is the key to success and when you keep turning that key, doors continue to open.
BLOG 191 CELLULITE
Cellulite: These dimples aren’t from smiling
Cellulite is the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that can be seen on the lower portion of the body. This dimply skin is typically seen around the buttocks, abdomen, and thighs. It is a type of connective tissue that like to manifest. The fat has pushed through the connective tissue and wants to be seen. Statistics vary, but most report somewhere near 90% of women having this appear on their skin. The time after the years of puberty brings on the cellulite, but there are number of causes regardless of age and body type.
These lumps are more embarrassing as opposed to being considered a medical condition. As fat accumulates, the connective tissue between muscles that has fat starts to push up against the skin. The tough cords try to fight this which leads to the dimples and uneven skin. Cellulite likes to make it presence known as we age because our skin starts to lose its elasticity.
There are pros and cons to all approaches. Some are more cost efficient than others. It seems like those creams, massages, and different products on the market don’t live up to their gimmicks. Retinol cream is a popular item. They might slightly improve the appearance, but they don’t make it go away the way we desperately hope for. Being more active and weight loss can help. Genetics are genetics when it comes to these dimples, so even lean people can have cellulite.
Laser work seems to be the most effective treatment type at this time. Some laser procedures include radiofrequency, tissue massage, and others use infrared light. Results are temporary. Liposuction is also an option in which the doctor will make an incision and use a tube to suck out the fat. This doesn’t completely remove the cellulite but improves appearance. New lasers can be used in combination with liposuction which has the potential to destroy the fat cells and help tighten the skin. Cryolipolysis actually freezes the fat cells. This takes multiple, ongoing treatments. Ultrasound can also improve appearance.
There are also alternative approaches. Some believe that repetitive massaging will increase blood flow and help remove the cellulite toxins. Mesotherapy involves injecting different herbal remedies to the area. Topical creams are also common.
We would prefer a life without cellulite, but that is not always the way the cards are dealt. We can take steps to improve the appearance of the dimples. Those lumps are fighters so being consistent and persistent is important. There are many options on the market, some working better than others. Luckily, clothes can cover the skin. Be confident and know that what is on the surface of the skin doesn’t define the inner self you are truly known for by others.
BLOG 190 TORTILLA CHIPS
This snack food made from corn tortillas is a favorite crunch for many to consume. These wedges are pretty basic…. corn, vegetable oil, salt, and water, fried or baked. Yellow corn is the popular staple, but they can also be made from white, blue, or red corn. Originally considered only a Hispanic style food, this chip is a main attraction for any party, dip, or occasion. Today, tortilla chips sell at a much higher rate than regular potato chips. In fact, tortillas now out sell hamburger and hot dog buns. Mexican food has practically become as American as apple pie.
In the 1900s, tortilla chips were being sold to Mexican restaurants in southern California. What was once just left-over tortilla dough, became a whole line of distribution. Frito-Lay saw dollar signs written all over this and created the “Dorito”. In Spanish, “dorito” means “little golden things”. The Dorito was the original tortilla chip (hidden under that orange cheese color), to hit shelves in the United States. Then the concept of salsa and guacamole were introduced. Low and behold when the nacho was “invented”, this plate of tortilla chips and cheese, took these wedges to the next level. So think about this…. Frito-Lay owns Fritos, Ruffles, and Lays, and basically the tortilla chip.
The actual history of who invented these chips is debatable. Some say it was Rebecca Webb Carranza, others say it was the Martinez family of the Tamalina Milling Company.
The problem is self-control when it comes to these taste-bud pleasers. Most can say they have eaten so many in one serving they pile up in their teeth or their mouth starts to sting from the salt. A single serving size of these is supposed to be 9 chips. Yes, 9. That is about 150 calories and 20 carbohydrate and about 110 grams of sodium. Tortilla chips pretty much define what empty calories are. There isn’t exactly a nutritional benefit to their consumption. Then we dip each chip in sodium filled salsa and pile on the guacamole (understanding that ¼ of an avocado is one serving), the fat and calories continue.
Football season fans just wouldn’t know what to do without a chip and beverage in hand. Mindless eating and social eating for sure. And well, you can never go wrong with tortilla chips. Have you ever had a bad tortilla chip?? Maybe stale, but most of us polish off the bag before that ever happens. Turning down tortilla chips might a sin but try to reach for the veggie platter instead. Your fitness journey will thank you. If you have the will power to just stick to 9 chips, well all the more power to you.
BLOG 189 POTATOES
White, red, and sweet…. they make up the potato family. These starchy vegetables are staple of our diet, but each differ in taste, size, and nutrients. The potato is economical, can be prepared and used for so many different varieties of food, and can either practically be a meal or compliment a meal. Mashed, sautéed, hashed, as a French fry, in a soup, in a burrito, you name it.
Here’s the line-up and it is important to note that all potatoes are fat free:
1. White potato: 155 calories, 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 36 grams of carbohydrates
2. Red potato: 150 calories, 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 34 grams of carbohydrates
3. Sweet potato: 105 calories, 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 24 carbohydrates
All 3 are great source of vitamin C. We can get up to 1/3 of the daily total intake that we need from potatoes. However, sweet potatoes are the clear winner when it comes to vitamin A. Sweet potatoes can give us up to 4 times the amount of vitamin A that we need. A white potato has zero grams of vitamin A. We need “A” for our immunity, growth and development, and our vision. Sweet potatoes are also the winner when it comes to containing antioxidants. Sweet potatoes also are the fiber winner. Even though they may only contain 1 gram more, when most Americans don’t get adequate amounts of fiber in their diets, a little goes a long way. Sweet potatoes also have the lowest amount of carbohydrates. This affects their position on the glycemic index (GI). The higher the GI score, the more likely the food is to raise blood sugar levels. This is not conducive to diabetics. White potatoes rank in at 78 while sweet are at 63. However, white and red make up for lack of “A” by containing more iron, potassium, and magnesium than sweet potatoes.
Collectively, potatoes are low in calories, have no fat or cholesterol, have fiber and vitamin C. no nutrition label will break down the carbohydrate make-up for you of potatoes. Potatoes are slow to digest in our system. We like them because they are filling due to their complex carbohydrate composition. The difference is that sweet potatoes won’t spike your blood sugar like a white or red potato will. Sweet potatoes digest slower in our system and their nutrients enter our blood stream at much slower rate so we feel more satiated.
We tend to over do it when it comes to potato consumption. It’s difficult to stop at ½ cup of mashed potatoes or to have a baked potato merely the size of your computer mouse. Especially when it comes to French fries, just having a few is a mind game. The winner is the sweet potato when compared to its family members. Just be sure not to load up on butter, cheese, sour cream and the works no matter which type you choose. Taste your food for what it is versus what the condiments can cover up. When it comes to potatoes, it appears the sweeter the better.
BLOG 188 MENINGITIS
Anyone can contract meningitis but is most common in ages 16-25, in those over age 55, and in newborns. This is a rare infection of the membranes called meninges. The membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord become inflamed. The fluid surrounding these areas has become infected. This disease comes in three forms, and usually spreads rampant in areas where people are in close contact with each other. For instance, college campuses with dorms have been known to contain the disease. Outbreaks are common in military barracks and in parts of Africa. There are vaccines to help protect us from this infection.
Possible signs include headache, fever, or having a stiff neck. The symptoms are very similar to the flu. Seizures, sensitivity to light, difficulty walking, and decreased appetite and thirst, are also possible indications. Newborns can also be infected and might constantly cry, have a lasting fever, and not feed well.
The most common type is viral meningitis. It is typically not the most serious type (but not always). Diarrhea is known to cause this. Bacteria meningitis is very serious and can cause brain damage when not treated immediately. The bacteria gets into the bloodstream through the ears, sinuses, or throat. Once infected, the bacteria travels in the bloodstream to the brain. It is the type that can be easily spread even through a cough or sneeze. Fungal meningitis is the least common type. People who have a suppressed immune system are the most susceptible.
It is important to keep up on recommended vaccinations. This includes in both childhood and adult life. This bacteria does spread quickly. Having a suppressed immune system puts someone at higher risk, especially for persons with AIDS, diabetes, or alcoholism. The longer the bacteria lives, the more severe the outcomes, especially the development of seizures. Severe cases result in hearing loss, learning disabilities, brain damage, shock, loss of memory, and death.
The bacteria spreads itself when in contact with coughing, sneezing, kissing, sharing toothbrushes, food, or cigarettes. Hand washing, proper hygiene, and covering your mouth and nose, are preventative measures. Having the appropriate vaccinations including Hib, PCV13, PPSV23, and meningococcal can help ward off the spreading and contraction.
Viral meningitis can typically be treated with Tylenol. Most people can fully recover within 10 days. Bacterial and fungal meningitis can often result in hospital care. The patient is put on an IV and heart monitor. Anti-biotics are then injected through the veins. Steroids can also help. Hydration becomes very important. Severe cases of bacterial and fungal meningitis can result in death and long-term disabilities. Make sure to be aware of your environment, get the vaccinations, and always wash your hands. We are taught to share, but sometimes keeping our germs to ourselves isn’t selfish when our health is at risk.