Thursday, January 17, 2013

Know your numbers!

Know Your Numbers!

With Heart Health Month approaching, now is the time to schedule a check up with your doctor. When you have your blood work done, the optimal numbers to know are your:

  • LDL Cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol)- Ideal is below 100 mg/dL which is low risk for Heart Disease. From 100-129 mg/dL is average risk, and anything above 130 is HIGH risk for Heart Disease. Remember - LOWER IS BETTER
  • HDL Cholesterol (Good Cholesterol) - Ideal is Greater than 50 mg/dL. Less than 50 is Moderate to High Risk Heart disease. HIGHER IS BETTER.
  • Triglycerides - Below 150 mg/dL is ideal
  • Total Cholesterol - Less than 200 mg/dL is ideal
  • Blood Glucose - Fasting Levels should be below 100mg/dL. Over 126 mg/dL and you need to talk to your doctor about being diabetic or pre-diabetic and see what changes you need to make!
  • Blood Pressure - Normal is 120/80. Your doctor can advise you on how often to check this.
  • Weight - ask your doctor if you are in a healthy range for your body type, but know the number and know what range your should be in so you can work to get there.
  • BMI - 18.5-24.9 is healthy, 25-29.9 is overweight, 30+ is obese.
I encourage you to be vigilant in following up with your doctor in getting your test results. Have this chart handy when you get the results so you can compare your numbers. If you are outside of the ideal ranges, ASK QUESTIONS. You need to establish a plan of treatment with your doctor, and follow up. Make any necessary diet, exercise, and medication changes you need and get your numbers re-checked as advised to make sure they are staying within the ideal ranges.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Love your aorta, heart month is approaching

It is the start of a new year, and many people have made resolutions to get healthier, which is so great! In addition, February is American Heart Month, and this is the perfect time to start thinking about how healthy your heart is. 

Nick and I both come from families with a medical history of heart conditions. With three small children, that makes it all the more important to keep an eye on our hearts. We both go for regular check ups and try to eat a heart friendly diet, while getting some physical exercise. Nick requires medication to manage his blood pressure and cholesterol, as do many other people in our extended family. Since his dad passed from a stroke, my grandfather has had bypass surgery, and my other grandfather passed from a heart condition, we have seen what can happen.

I encourage each of you to get a check up and know your numbers. That is critical. You need to know where they are (and get treatment if they aren't in the normal range) and monitor them so you can seek treatment if they go outside the normal range. 

Exercise. As someone with chronic pain, I know how hard this can be, but I do make an effort to get moving for at least 30 minutes each day. Walking is something that most of us can do that can really make a difference.

Educate yourself. Know the main parts of the heart and how they work. Should you or a family member face an issue, such as an aorta aneurysm, stroke, heart attack, etc. it will help if you are educated on heart health. When the doctor or specialist is discussing what is going on, you will be better prepared to understand the terminology, and not rush to the internet in a panic, when all you can really comprehend at that point is all of the negative things that can be going on. Educate when you are calm, that should help you later, should you need to research, to hopefully be looking at ALL of the information, not just worse case scenarios.

Learn to make a list of questions for your doctor. When you are in the middle of an appointment, and may feel rushed, it will prevent you from forgetting to ask what may be a life saving question.

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Flowers can help your mind, body, and soul

Winter officially begins this Friday, and that is the perfect time to start planning for your spring garden! You can spend those chilly winter nights planning out what the design of your flower beds, educate yourself on what materials you'll need, when to start planning, and how to care for the garden. You can begin to budget each payday so when spring arrives, you'll be prepared. I plan to start with flowers in flowerpots on my porch and deck.
Here is a quick checklist of supplies you might need to get started:
  • Flower Pots
  • Soil
  • Save some egg shells, dead leaves, other composted material, and/or coffee grounds to mix into the soil to make it rich
  • flower bulbs
  • Water pot - or save an old jug to use
  • Spade
  • Pruners or shears
  • Gloves
  • Knee Pad
I plan to buy my flower pots and soil a bit before I am ready for the bulbs. I want to put the soil in and mix it with some compost, leaves, and egg shells I've saved so they can begin to break down. Then, I'll plant my bulbs so they can start to grow. We go through plenty of milk, so I'll save a milk just to wash out and use to water my flowers. I have a spade and gloves to keep my hands clean already, and my old bones certainly need a knee pad to rest on while I am tending to my flowers.

While planning out your flower bed, keep in mind what space you have available. Is is sunny, shady, combination? How many pots can reasonably fit in that space? How much time do you realistically have to spend maintaining your plants? Of course you want to stay on budget financially, but if you plant more than you have time to care for, you'll be wasting time and money on plants that will die. 
Gardening is a great way to get outdoors and out of the house. You won't necessarily be doing aerobic exercises, but it does require activity that you can do at your own pace. Taking care of a living thing is good for the mind, body, and soul.

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Reader Help Needed

I am back and working on a project. If you have ever used ANY diet/weight loss program, please message me. I have some questions and am looking to complile a series of posts about many of the programs available!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I've Moved!

I moved this blog over to self-hosted Wordpress and manually moved most of the relevant posts there by hand because the auto transfer didn't want to work:) You can find me at!