Previous Writings

These are some of my old blog entries I've shared regarding health and proper eating.

Diet and Supplements

by Lisa Murray on Sunday, March 11, 2012
© Lisa Murray 2012

I wrote this on my SparkPage blog this morning. It's a thought process I've come to realize lately.  You may not agree with it, that's fine.  It's a free country, but it is what I have been through and what has worked for me.

I have to say I've lived on multi-vitamins and supplements for years. Yes, I needed them. Why? I wasn't eating correctly. I thought I was - following the recommended diets and nutrition from such noteworthy sources as the USDA, etc.

I've just recently found out that I've been snowed. Ok, they have good intentions. But, that doesn't make them right.

Since starting to exercise and improve my life and health - after being diagnosed with such things as Parkinsons, asthma, WPW and arthritis, very real and debilitating problems, and at a time when I was really not eating right (though the Gov't thought I was), and learning what a REAL healthy diet is, I've been better. Feeling better, thinking better, living better, more energy and such.

So I am going to be phasing out my supplements. Right now I take a multi vitamin, a B complex (for peri menopause symptoms of depression and irritability and sleeplessness - which isn't from that at all now I have discovered) and an Omega 3/6/9 complex to help stave off the parkinsons issues (as directed by a well meaning friend, also bunk). I am phasing them out since my body is used to them and I don't want to deliver a bad shock to my system.

What was I eating? Lots of carbs and sugars. Hey, 20 years ago I was single, in college, working at the same college, and kept busy hanging with friends at clubs and bars. I loved to dance. So I got some exercise. After some bad relationships I gave into the depression and lethargy and stopped exercising, and got worse. After going through a lot of garbage and wandering around, I finally landed a great relationship and have a great family, though I was rapidly having health issues, sleeplessness, irritability, even angry outbursts, muddy thinking, and depression. As a child I was raised on things like meats, butter, whole milk, (natural animal saturated fats), fresh vegs from our garden, but not a great deal of grains and breads. That's just how we ate in the late 60s early 70s. I was healthy. At least until I was about 12 and things started falling apart, and mal-nutrition came into the picture. But as a late teen I had a better environment. Even with the issues around my family at the time (and they were bad), I was healthy. Yet in my late 20s, 30s and early 40s, I was not.

Last Spring, my then just turned 8 yr old and I were wandering around the street fair in town. I with my cane because my hips couldn't support me, and living in pain. Peri-menopausal for 7 years at this point and giving in to the rocking chair. We ran straight into the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts folks. Ash was enamored. So we decided to get info and sign her up. The person we talked with, BKJN Allen, told me I could do it, too. Yeah right. Sure. I wondered what marketing-inspired drugs he was on. But, trying to be open minded, I signed up as well. I endured the pain in my hips and left the cane at home, determined to give it a fair try. That was almost a year ago. Ash and I are now green belts, and hubby is a gold belt.

That started me on a downward rolling ball of snow that grew. But a good ball. Not only did I push myself to work through the pain in MA, I learned the value of general health and exercise. I started working out (at the Civic center fitness rooms, where we bought a family membership so Ash could go swimming), walking on the treadmills, doing the weight machines, and eventually the free weights. And I started swimming with Ash. Then taking up running since we have to be able to at black belt testing. And Kickboxing class.

Plus, I started looking at my diet. We didn't eat too badly, I thought. Pretty balanced, not a great deal of sugar and junk food. But we definitely needed work. According to the USDA and other sources, we did ok. But it wasn't good enough. I was still having issues with my health and well being. So I read the recommended reading by KJN David - Body for Life. It has a well thought out eating plan, if a bit outdated. A good balance of proteins and carbs, and eating less amounts more frequently. Ok, that works. Then, recently, another friend posted info on a movie made a few years ago called Fat Head. I found it not only amusing, but very true. Fats (natural, animal and saturated) do NOT cause heart disease. They do not make you "fat" - too many calories make you fat, and sugars and carbs are the main contributors. Basically, go back to how I ate as a kid.

As I thought about it, the times in my life, even a couple of weeks ago when I had way more carbs than fats/proteins, I was sluggish, tired and down. The pollen hasn't helped, but that isn't the main culprit, just an aggravator. When I've had a better diet as when I was a kid, I was happier, healthier, more stable, in less pain, and able to do what I needed to do. As I delve into more research, it is proven more and more and it is more and more obvious. Count calories, keep the carbs way low, eliminate sugars, and I am better.

It makes so much sense why the government and certain doctors, scientists and organizations push the carb diets, with low fat and cholesterol. It's politics. It's money. Tom (who made the Fat Head movie) is right on.

What is really making us fat and heart sick? Sugars and carbs causing insulin imbalances (see the movie, it explains it).

Why do we follow this diet? The gov't and USDA and other "officials" tell us we should.

Why do they tell us that? They are pushed by organizations who give money to our officials - congressmen and such who push legislation through - to do so. Organizations such as the supplement, anti-depression and heart medication people. Organizations such as the big GMO grain people like Monsanto. Other organizations, like the idiots at the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) have no desire to bring viable and real scientific info to the public eye so we can make healthy choices, they want to be in charge (they are vegetarians - not in and of itself a bad thing, but they are fanatical about it) and make decisions for everyone else. Like Robot, a Doctor Who episode back in the early 70s with Tom Baker and an organization who wanted to tell everyone how to live and what to do, what to wear, what to eat... Control freaks. Idiots. Because they think they are the only ones who know what's best and that the rest of us, as a whole, are stupid and incapable of making decisions for ourselves.

Why do these organizations do this? To promote their products. To keep their organizations alive.

What to the organizations get out of this? Convincing the public that their way and their diets are what is right, so we follow them. Then we get problems like heart disease, diabetes, hormone imbalances, depression... and rely on their products, buy them, to fix our "problems". Medications that do not make it any better, but we are convinced they do.

Why do scientists, doctors and researchers push this? Why do they ignore real scientific findings and facts and only show what these organizations want us to know? Because the government (those who get money from these organizations) funds by grants and such these scientists and researchers. The big, bad corporations who make these "fixing" products (that don't fix) fund the doctors - such as pharmaceutical companies. Without these grants and funds, the researchers and such do not have a job. They politically control what info is brought to the legislative table. I am going to interject here that there are legitimate illnesses and diseases, and legitimate medications to treat them.  This is not, I repeat NOT, a bash on medications and doctors.

How do I know this to be true? Look at me. I am 48. I was half dead and in pain, taking meds and supplements and NOT getting better. I changed, and get healthier, happier and stronger every day. I do NOT walk with a cane. 48 years of experience and proof by that experience. I still love the Body for Life books - great advice. However, I do more the higher protein/saturated natural animal fats and low carbs from sources such as vegetables, rather than sugars and starches. I still indulge from time to time in ice cream, a glass of wine, a nice baked potato, and such. Once in a while will not kill you. Unfortunately I still have a problem with preservatives - which, really, isn't a bad thing. I have to use wholesome, real and organic foods. This is a problem? I think not.

To see the Fat Head video - it's on Netflix or you can see it here

Doctor Who: Robot

Healthy Thoughts

by Lisa Murray on Tuesday, May 3, 2011
© Lisa Murray 2006, 2011

UPDATE! This is my old post renewed with a few extra thoughts. This is my original research and work, not what may have been reposted and changed by others.

One of the most important things to have in any endeavor is a positive attitude – emotional health. That doesn’t mean one doesn’t have bad days nor things don’t happen. But it means one strives to be and do their best. I’ve always “preached” balance. These things I have found from experience to be a good foundation to build a goal upon, as they bring self respect, self love, strength and integrity to the table:

1. I associate with good thoughts and feelings. I create them when possible. I gently allow any negative to pass through, and sometimes give it a little push to get it going on its way. You can’t control usually what comes into your mind, but you can control how much you linger on it. If you’re unhappy – find out why. What is the real, base reason for the unhappiness? Is it because of what someone else did or said, or is it that what that person did or said is showing a need-of-change within yourself, a place you don’t want to acknowledge? Something within yourself you don’t like. Delve deep. Don’t discount professional help – it’s a tool that is sometimes needed.

2. I do what makes me happy. As long as I am not harming anyone else, anything I chose to do is ok. Conversely, if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it! Bust out of the stereotypes and negative limitations. Get positive dreams and pursue them!

3. Religion. I shun it. I believe everyone has their belief system and one should follow it whole heartedly, whether it be a God, Gods, Goddesses, or whatever. Belief is personal. Very personal. Religion itself is a man-made control system filled with rules made by insecure people. Self control is what is needed. When we try to control others we build strife and discontent within ourselves. Find your niche. Here’s what a Baptist Preacher has to say about Religion: Dealth by ReligionScroll down to the Death by Religion series four part series videos.

4. I surround myself with happy, positive, healthy people. If people chose to be evil, hateful, sorrowful (chronically), negative, destructive, or any other such negative behavior, I generally don’t deal with them. I believe we are all basically born good, and learn to be whatever we are. We can also unlearn. We can choose to be happy and content. This is not saying we don’t have bad days, or bad things happen that make us angry or sad at any given time. That is normal. Karma is real. We can get along with each other. We can keep ourselves from being walked on. Contentions, dishonesty, and other such negative emotions cause stress, which leads to bad health; even cancers (see stress below).

5. I know my limitations and who I am. I accept and love myself for who and what I am. Because I am a good person. I do not limit myself with false modesty. “To thine own self be true.” as Shakespeare wrote.

6. We live within our means. We don’t do credit cards and such here in our household. We know what we need and want, and why we need and want. We aren’t extravagant and don’t need to “keep up with the Jones” or any other such rubbish. Budgeting and financial education are so important to living within one’s means, as well as a firm grasp of what is truly important. Things are never important to us.

7. Shun status. We have one old, cheap, but well run car. We don’t have fancy furniture, or a fancy house, or go to fancy restaurants, or buy fancy doodads. We have what is nice, frugal and functional. It suits US. Status living causes stress and stress causes illness.

8. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. You can’t truly succeed unless you do. Look at yourself, all of yourself, inside and out, in the mirror. All the dark little corners. You are ok. Yes, some things may need adjusting or changing, or outright ousting. Make a list. One thing at a time and be loving and patient with yourself. Follow your heart.

My motto: Why? Because I can.

Physical/Food & Fitness
Previous Post 1: Lose Weight Quick Schemes. Young Skin Schemes! BUNK! RUBBISH. There. That’s my in-a-nutshell thought on these things.

Really – we are bombarded with “FREE TRIAL! BEAUTY SECRETS” and “QUICK WEIGHT LOSS!” And, as anyone who has gotten caught in those schemes knows, they don’t work. There is only one way to keep healthy and in shape (ie: lose weight), and only common sense to keeping “younger” skin.
Most of those free trial skin things will charge you for shipping, then in two weeks charge you a hefty amount for using the “non-free” portion of what they sent. Just TRY to get it cancelled. And most of it won’t work. I’ve taken to following (almost religiously) Jillian Michael’s systems. She ROCKS! Go there. Do what she says.

So how to get in shape? How to lose weight? How to have younger skin?

1. Attitude. YES YOU CAN! The first thing one needs to do to get in shape/lose weight/get healthy is change the way you look at things and your attitude towards eating and exercise. No, you don’t have to go on some starvation diet (NOT HEALTHY!), eat only carrots, or run 15 miles a day. Not all of us can do the same things nor do we have the time. Decide that you really want to change your lifestyle where it means eating and moving.

2. Trash the excuses! I don’t have time. I am too sickly. I am ….. fill in the blank here. There are diets for everyone, and exercises for everyone. Unless you are paraplegic or other such, or a doctor has specifically told you not to, you can do it. You can change your eating habits. You just have to put your mind to it. I have asthma, Parkinson’s and arthritis. I am also 5-8 and wear a size 10-12. I exercise. I eat properly.

3. Don’t look at dieting as “DIETing”. Look at it as changing the way you eat. Common sense. Eat good, nutritious, healthy foods. IGNORE the soda, chips, candy, cake, etc. Get away from sugar, bad fats, bad carbs, processed foods, etc. Cooking is EASY. And not at all if you are trying to lose the pounds. Some of us don’t think about it – get thirsty, pull into a McDoogles or grab a candy bar and a coke at the cash register… no wonder we’re hefty. Hey! They put water in that cooler as well!! I prepare healthy, wholesome stuff at our house and it’s no more expensive than buying that packaged garbage. Sometimes cheaper. Suck it up and get used to it. Pick and chose what you like- I am partial to Italian and other Mediterranean style dishes. All things in moderation – I love a good glass of wine or dark beer. I do not swim in it. I love a good cheesecake or chocolate. Moderation! Get you a copy of the food pyramid and see what of the food groups you like best. I always keep whole grain bread and fresh foods on hand. Whether you prefer meat and potatoes, or are vegan, or something in between, there is a healthy way of eating you can live with. Change your eating habits for LIFE, not just for a time to lose weight. Learn to cook good food and cut out preservatives as much as possible. CARBS and FAT are your friend – but only the GOOD ones. See Jillian’s page for what I’m talking about. A good keyword: Organic! See Key To Good Food below.

4. FADS don’t work. Dieting fads do not work. Sometimes they work for a while, but then once you lose the weight, you go back to your old ways and gain it back again. Tip: If you start to get hungry – eat something non-fat or drink water. Those ads are not there to help you lose weight or get in shape – they are there to make money.

5. Get moving! First, see a doctor to make sure there aren’t any hindrances and to find out what type of exercise is best for you. Walking? Running? Dance? Aerobics? Yoga? There are LOTS of ways to get moving, build muscle and burn fat. Second, find a gym/class or CD you can do at home, or a nice place to walk/run, or whatever, make a schedule and stick to it! I LOVE to sleep in. I make myself get out of bed at 4:30 am and exercise. Sometimes it’s only a toning 20 min exercise, sometimes an hour and a half full bore aerobic and weight training deal. It’s better for your body and your heart. If you want to lose weight – do something aerobic. I recommend dance! Sit on the floor and stretch – it really jump starts your day.

6. DRINK WATER. This is good not only for your health and weight, but for your complexion as well. Want better skin? Common sense. Drink Water. Get real about aging – AGE HAPPENS. Everyone ages differently and covering up your skin might work for a few hours, but may harm your skin in the long run. Water hydrates and flushes out poisons. Lots of fiber helps as it clears out your system. Cut down on fats and sugars. WASH your face – I use soap. Pure, homemade soap. I rinse well. Most people at first look think I am 30, when I am actually 47. Use a clean, light oil moisturizer with sunscreen to protect your face – even if you don’t go out in the sun or wear makeup. I have oily skin so I use Seabreeze sometimes to cut some of the oil, and I use a moisturizer. Stay as clear from toxins as you can – smoke, smog, etc. Keep your hands off your face. Most high priced skin treatments are hype (unless you have severe acne and need a dermatologist to prescribe something) and are 80% fillers and won’t work if you don’t eat right and take care of your skin. I don’t tan. I can’t and I wouldn’t anyway, as I’ve known too many people with melanoma (even some who died and young). Again: ORGANIC. I like to make my own products.

7. Give yourself time. It takes time to change habits – do it gradually. It takes time to lose weight. It takes time to get in shape. It takes time to undo damage to the skin! Start replacing bad foods with good foods. Start exercising a little bit every day. Start washing and protecting your skin. Don’t be hard on yourself if you slip up – just go on. Keep a daily chart of your progress. I don’t own a scale – I go by how I look, how I feel and how my clothes fit! Don’t make outrageous goals that you won’t obtain. One day at a time and a little bit at a time!

Following simple common-sense things like this not only will make you healthier and slimmer, it will make you stronger, more youthful, and save you money as well. See Jillian’s link above – my fav!
And guess what? All of this info is FREE! Here’s some more FREE info:
USDA Food Pyramid: and
My favs: Jillian Michael’s Circuit routines, Jazzercise, TaeBo & Core Latin Dance CDs; as well as Contra and Scottish Dance. Escape your Shape & Yoga for Your Life (books). A new favorite: ZUMBA! Seriously – if you like Latin dance – it’s easy and fun. A bit tricky learning some of the moves at first, but wow!

Fav Foods: Fresh – meats (chicken and fish mostly) but spargingly, veggies, fruit, whole grains. Mediterranean and Italian cooking, some Oriental, French, Cajun and British.
Fav Drinks: Water. Coffee. Tea. Cranberry-Pomegranate & Ruby Red Grapefruit juice (lovely mixed together). New Castle Brown Ale and Merlot (not mixed together!)

Previous Post 2:
To answer inquiries, I was addressing the bombardment of “get thin quick” schemes, make-yourself-look younger schemes and that sort of thing, not anyone necessarily in particular. It was also because I have had to relearn my own advice as I spent three-plus years not being allowed to exercise by a cardiologist when it was found I had heart trouble. See, I love to cook, I love to eat, and I love to drink (though I do drink responsibly). As this rather extreme case, I have found those types of people who are not happy with their weight/health situation want a quick “magic wand” pill to make everything instantly better (or a good scapegoat), and not have to do any work such as diet, self control, calorie counting or exercise. And when those schemes don’t work, they blame someone else or find some excuse.

Since writing this post I have found two sites that pretty much fill in the blanks and give more information on what I believe to be true. That is Calorie Counter which has a ton of information and The Lose Weight Diet. Free info, absolutely free with no trials, money down or anything… just free info. They’re a MUST read if you are thinking of getting into some fad diet or supplement or equipment. You have to work for what you want, but that’s what makes it worthwhile, I think.

One of the obstacles I face (other than finding time to eat and exercise with kids around and a hubby on the road most the week) with the good-ole-fashion-guaranteed weight loss plan is the counting calories. I get overwhelmed with having to figure out what and how much to eat! Here’s how I tackled (successfully!) that task:

I made a list of all the food I had in the house with the columns. Then I made a chart with food, servings, amount I usually eat of this (every food! no hiding the chocolate!), amount I like to eat (so I can include the things I don’t have at home right now), and what I should be eating. I then thought about it and added substitute with – such as substituting my Country Crock spread with olive oil, and the information you can get from the label or from here – – which includes: calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated, transfat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fiber, sugars, protein, and benefits (fiber, vitamins, etc).

Then it was easier for me to choose foods to fit into my more healthy diet. I also realized that alot of my cooking was healthy anyway – Mediterranean and oriental styles, just needed to change a few things here and there. It’s also easier for me to see what I am eating and eliminate (substitute) the more less healthy for more healthy stuff and decide on portions, etc. I am horrible at making menus – menus at our house consist of “whatcha want for dinner?” but have learned, for myself, that I can better decide on portions and also eliminated wasted foods. I use the list of healthy foods I found on the site above to substitute on my chart. It’s a bit of effort at first, but really helps in the long run and most of it you only have to do once! We also grow our own veggies in our garden, and have a compost bin.

Another option (or both) is to use an automated system like this – and it’s free! You just have to get past the offers and such, but none are required.
Oh, and while I am at it… if you’re looking for a great basic workout resource – Jillian Michaels. I can’t say enough good about the woman. Also try here: I have the book and have had it for years – Escape Your Shape – which is a wonderful source of exercises based on your basic body shape. You don’t need a lot (if any) equipment for this. I have the aerobic bar, two 3 lb hand weights, a resistance tube and jump rope and that’s all I need, in addition to the most important equipment: SHOES. Proper shoes. The book is well worth the purchase of $13 (or less at Amazon). Walking just requires good shoes for support. Yoga doesn’t need anything. If you like Latin dance (who doesn’t), try Zumba. It’s relatively easy and fun!

So, if you or someone you know is struggling to lose weight – first have yourself, or them, look within yourself and change the excuses and laziness and habits that keep you unhealthy. Then do it! Stick with it! It may take months or years, but it is worth it. Sure is cheaper than hospital bills!

Go ahead – be gone with it. Get your sexy on. *

Key to good eating (mixture of info I found) :

1. Try to cut out as much ‘junk food’ from your diet as possible. This includes pretty much all chips, candy, soft drinks, etc. Cut out sugar and hydrogenated vegetable fats.

2. Avoid – or at least limit – your intake of refined-flour baked goods (carbs), including non-whole-grain breads, bagels, doughnuts, cupcakes, brownies, cakes, etc. Also, throw out the processed, high-sugar breakfast cereals – stick to whole-grain cereals and oatmeal.

3. Buy a variety of fresh fruits and veggies and begin to include at least 1 or 2 servings with each meal. Also, avoid getting hungry (and overeating) by snacking on fruit or cut-up veggies throughout the day – a single large apple can easily curb hunger.

4. Try to eat a serving of leafy green vegetables at least twice a day. Also, eat a variety of other colorful vegetables as often as possible. Best: Select 3 servings of whole grains (cereal, bread, rice) and at least 5 servings of nonstarchy fruits (berries) and vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli) per day.

5. Use nuts and seeds as healthy, portable snacks you can carry anywhere. Also, they can be used to add flavor and ‘texture’ to many different foods (especially salads).

6. Eat a serving of beans or legumes at least 1-2 times per day. The dozens of different types of beans and peas can be used in hundreds of healthy recipes. Also, consider buying or making bean sprouts – they are considered to be some of the most nutritionally ‘powerful’ foods available!

7. If you buy grain products – including breads, cereals, crackers, pastas, etc. – always choose whole-grain options. Just make sure that ‘whole-grain’ is the first word in the ingredients list and you’ll be fine. Avoid or limit white rice, white pasta, etc.
Best: Select 3 servings of whole grains (cereal, bread, rice) and at least 5 servings of nonstarchy fruits (berries) and vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli) per day.

8. Substitute chicken, legumes, nuts and fish for red meat.

9. When possible, always choose organic foods.

Jillian Michael’s on how our food system is set up to fail and make us fail: Food System Failure
So, then, avoid:

  • Sugar!
  • Processed Foods!
  • Preservatives, non-natural additives and hormones
    —BHT, BHA, sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate
  • Artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Nutrasweet, etc)
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Hydrogenated Oils (Crisco, fake butter, etc)
  • Processed soy products
  • Anything unpronouncable!

Good stuff: REAL organic foods, home grown, locally grown. USDA Certified Organic. READ THOSE LABELS!

Good carbs:
Brown rice, spelt, sprouted grain breads, millet, quinoa, sweet potatoes
Almost all Fruits and Vegetables (esp non-starchy)
Fats (in moderation!):

  • Good: Butter, eggs (yolks), nuts, olive oil, coconut oil – natural unprocessed fats, In Moderation!
  • Bad: Hydrogenated oils, canola, margarine, substitute butters, etc.

© Lisa Murray 2006, 2011
* Tonight, Enrique Ingesias

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.