Weight Gain Prevention - Retoration of Healthy Weight As We Age Gracefully

weight loss apple with measuring tape, small Calories count but they aren't the whole story. A 55 year old woman, 5' 6" and 125 pounds is going to look, feel, and gain weight completely differently with these two 1500 calorie scenarios:

  • whole foods, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • soda, chips, pastries, and a daily salad for her "dose" of veggies

As we age we burn fewer calories for many reasons. I will share a few here:

  1. Decreased activity level - hey, we were all more active as kids!
  2. Muscle tissue declines with age and muscle is more metabolically active than fat (that means muscle burns more calories than fat tissue does).
  3. Hormone levels slowly decrease as we age (not just our male - female hormones but all glandular levels of hormones) slowly lowering our natural metabolic rate.
  4. When we are young and growing, our bodies need substantial calories and nutrients to keep up with this crazy growth schedule. As we age, face it folks, we are no longer growing. The amount of calories required to maintain - sustain our adult bodies is lower than what the average child or teen needs for healthy growth. (Unless of course we are training for triathlons!)

To counter what most people consider the inevitable weight gain of growing older, a few simple lifestyle practices can be put into place. These practices will ensure growing older with gracefulness, thriving wellness, and maintaining (restoring balance) to your body's normal weight.

apple with health words

Try these habits on for size!

  1. Whole food eating habits. With reduced calorie needs as we age, making 100% certain the calories we do consume are dense with nutrition is imperative for maintaining whole body health and vitality. We cannot afford to waste calories on junk foods.
  2. Eating only what you need, avoiding overeating. Those huge meals we could burn off in our youth, nah, not so much anymore. Overeating (excess food and calories) is a #1 contributor to adult weight gain.
  3. Avoid refined sugar like the plague. Yes, this include artificial sweeteners, corn syrups, and refined sweeteners like white stevia powder.
  4. Move your body every day.
  5. Positive attitude creates positive energy in your body. A positive person is less likely to turn to food, and usually the choices are not nourishing foods, for comfort.
  6. Change the way you function around food. Give up the habit of allowing food to consume your life.

Yes, there is more to it all than this simplicity... However, simplicity is a great place to start and advice to personally tweak things for your health needs is always at hand.                   PaulaYoumellRN.com

Sending love & light for gracefulness & vitality as we walk our wise years,                                                                                                              Paula

Cramp Free Periods, Naturally!

Uterine cramping is a normal process of a woman's monthly menstrual cycle. The uterine muscle, the myometrium, contracts to help dispel the monthly moon blood. uterus 2

The above picture is a bit detailed but does show you the myometrium.  Above the myometrium is the endometrium.  This is the layer, inside your uterus, that builds up monthly with blood, blood vessels, and tissue.  When an egg is fertilized, this pumped up endometrium is a fine place for the egg to land and implant. No fertilized egg and the built up endometrium must be shed.  This is your menstrual period.

Cramps, ah those nasty, painful cramps. I remember my mom making me tea with whiskey in it.  As a young adult, I changed the recipe a slight bit.  Black tea was swapped out and chamomile tea brought in. I would add a good full dropper of black cohosh tincture into the tea, with a bit of local / raw honey, and sip away. What a fabulous, and tasty, way to calm the pain of the uterine cramps. Herbs to the rescue!

Black cohosh is an antispasmodic to your muscles, nerves, and blood vessels and is a muscle anti-inflammatory. Black Cohosh contains the anti-inflammatory salicylic acid (the active ingredient in aspirin), among several other natural chemical constituents that create the anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Native Americans and traditional community herbalist have used black cohosh, from the beginning of time, to ease female reproductive concerns and aid in labor and delivery.

When American Physicians still practiced plant-based medicine, they administered black cohosh for female reproductive problems, including menstrual cramps and bleeding irregularities, as well as uterine and ovarian pain.

I am offering chamomile and black cohosh as a suggestion to avoid using over the counter and prescriptions drugs that are synthetic.  Nature knows best.

Other aids for menstrual cramps are living a natural lifestyle:

  • Whole food eating: our bodies function best when not polluted by factory made food products and instead nourished by 100% whole foods.  Every organ functions as it should when it is nourished and healthy.
  • Movement: a female who is physically active has less or no problems with menstrual cramping
  • Age: young girls, just starting their moon cycles, are more apt to feel the pain of heavy menstrual cramps.  As we move through adolescence and our bodies develop, hormones balance out, the cramping lessens.  After I had my first son, no more menstrual cramps!
  • Switch from tampons to a menstrual cup.  Many women report far less cramping when they stop using tampons and use pads or a menstrual cup.
  • Take herbs to nourish and balance the female reproductive organs so they function in the way nature intended.
  • Yoga: is an amazing healing tool. Yoga brings body, mind, and soul together and balances all body functions.
  • Acupuncture: this helps balance the flow of healing energy in your body. I can not recommend it enough!

These are good recommendations to get you started on your female healing plan. As you are working towards healing your body and bringing balance back to your physical, emotional, and spiritual self, rely on the chamomile tea and black cohosh to ease the monthly uterine contractions that create painful energy.

If you have natural ways you use to deal with menstrual cramps, share here please.

PS  Some more thoughts:

From a reader:  CLARY SAGE essntial oil!! 2 DROPS ON A TOWEL/HOTWATER BOTTLE COVER, held close to area..best pain relief ever!

Post to come: Avoiding birth control pills as a means of "covering up" cramps. In the past few months I have had contact with 4 female's families, women in their early to late 30's with breast cancer.  All had been "put on" birth control pills to deal with cramps, irregular cycles, etc. as a teen and each had been on the pill for 20 plus years.  No coincidence here ladies; synthetic hormones are not good for your beautiful breasts!

I will elaborate on this in another post.  No PILLS to "band-aid" menstrual cramps!

the pill

Healing PCOS

I just returned from Arizona, see picture below of my kids and I, swimming it up at Havasu Falls! And yes, the water was that blue and dreamy. So what is the connection with my vacation and PCOS?  Read on my friends...

For entertainment purposes I brought a book with me on the plane.  It was a diet and natural approach to creating health for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  Fun one I am, eh?  Think I could and would find a bit more entertaining read for the travel.

I had purchased the book to learn another person's views on dietary and lifestyle recommendations for healing PCOS.  If the book was good, I could recommend to women in need, was my thought.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is defined as a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of a female sex hormones. This may lead to menstrual cycle changes, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health changes.

My thoughts on why this is happening in female bodies: reproduction, even having a menstrual cycle is not required for women to survive on this planet. Yes, for survival of the human species but not the person in question.  In order for a female to survive her unhealthy dietary and lifestyle choices, the body will pull minerals and nutrients from the reproductive tract first.  Remember, we can survive without an intact menstrual cycle and reproductive tract.  This is the body's way of sparing the vital organs by not depleting the vital organ cells first. After years and even generations (think about moms, pregnant and eating junk food and drinking soda, for a couple of generations... you get some serious nutritionally depleted humans) of depleting the reproductive tract, how can we expect the reproductive tract to function normally?  It can't; it has been neglected, abused, and depleted of cellular health.  In my eyes, this is why women will display symptoms of reproductive tract disorders before other health problems; the reproductive tract gets depleted first because we can survive without it. It's nutritional stores are being used up at alarming rates so the rest of your organ systems and body can survive.

So, here is what I found in this book (And no, I will not blast the title or author's name, very unprofessional... but I will give you my straight up thoughts on the downside of the "plan" and my thoughts on whole health choices for healing PCOS.)

Keep in mind, we all have to work from the space we are in life.  If I only used the nutrition information I learned in nursing school, I would be in big trouble.  I had maybe two hours of lecture time devoted to nutrition in my entire 2 years of nursing courses.  I might add that those 2 hours were pathetic nutrition information, at best.

To heal we must think outside the box; think beyond the information given to us in nursing school, dietitian school, medical school, etc.  Nutrition is not part of mainstream medicines healing plan.  We have to search out this information on our own, use our common sense in regards to what is real food and what is not, and apply this information to our knowledge of human biology and physiology. We have to think for ourselves; not let the USDA, Big Ag, and food corporations do the thinking for us.

OK, let's get started:

1.  I was appalled at the dietary recommendations in the book for a variety of reason, which I will eventually cover all my thoughts on this.  Be patient, I have much to share.

I find most medical staff, RDs included, need to learn about real nutrition, whole food nutrition from a holistic perspective.  They also need to learn about cell biology or should I say use their biology training and think about it in regards to human cells and nourishing those cells.  We also, as a human race, need to think about cell biology in regards to the plants and animal products we are eating.  If these plants and animals are not healthy and well fed with their naturally intended diets; we the people eating them are not going to be nourished and made healthy by their body cells.  It is simply a need to understand organics, bio-dynamic, and sustainable food (whether we are hunting and gathering that food or growing it in our back yards).

2.  Artificial sweeteners were OK by this Rd's standards.

"Are you kidding me?  Fake shit is somehow OK in the human body, messing with cellular health?"

No way, I am telling you to cut that shit right out of your diet.  All fake shit has to go. There is absolutely no place for it in health and healing, period.

Yup, a bit of a hard ass but hey, who do you want helping you to heal?

  • the person who says fake, toxic stuff is OK in small amounts OR
  • the person who says no way, no fake stuff, period?

Let's look at it this way:  If you had lung cancer and I said, "Hey, go ahead, smoke 20% of what you used to, from 40 cigarettes a day to 8 cigarettes.  Really, it's OK to smoke with lung cancer as long as you smoke in serious moderation."

I would hope you would take one look at me and think that anyone who would tell you to keep smoking ANY amount with lung cancer is not the person you want to be working with you on your healing path.

Seriously, run from anyone who tells you that ingesting the poison that got you where you are, health wise, is still OK in small amounts.  It is not OK in any amount!

Same goes for liver cancer.  Let's just say you drank a liter of Jack Daniels a day and then find out you have liver cancer or cirrhosis.  Now I tell you to cut back to just 7 to 8 oz a day of your happy Jack.  Would you not think I was completely nuts for telling you to keep drinking alcohol?  Seriously, your liver is toxic and sick, really sick, but go ahead and keep drinking.  Just drink less??!! Would this even make sense to you?

Bottom Line:  Get the fake shit out of your diet, all fake shit, not just artificial sweeteners.  Get rid of artificial anything. (That is IF you want your reproductive tract and whole body to heal.  And, let me add, any disease is a whole body disease.)

2.  Book says refined foods are OK in moderate amounts.

Refined foods are what has robbed your body cells of nutrients, robbed your reproductive tract of its health.  No refined foods, period.

You want to rebuild your cellular health and rebuild your body.  Eating refined foods will continue to rob your cells of their nutritional stores.  Why would you want to keep doing that?

3.  There was no advice to seriously cut your intake of grain carbohydrates and refined carbohydrates (again, the advice is that small amounts are OK.  No amount is OK. Eating them is damaging to your body at this point.)

PCOS is a carbohydrate issue, a pre-diabetic metabolic syndrome thing happening in your body.  Despite the main stream medical mentality that refined grains, refined carbohydrates (think potato chips), and sugars are OK, in moderation, in your healing diet... I am telling you that they are not.

  • stop eating all kinds of sweeteners, real or artificial
  • stop eating all grains, refined or whole, processed or not.  This means: pasta, bread, cereal, cakes, pies, cookies, donuts, crackers, granola, oatmeal, etc. (Relax, take a deep breath; when you heal your body you can once again enjoy small amounts of whole grains only. But first you have to get rid of the shit that is making you sick and heal your beautiful body cells.)
  • eat whole fruits only and in small amounts, maybe one or two servings a day and choose low sugar fruits (Berries over bananas, apples over pineapples).
  • SKIP FRUIT JUICE of any kind, it is liquid sugar to your sick body.

4.  Skip the suggested complicated math equations to figure your calorie and carbohydrate counts for the day.  Complicated math makes eating a chore.  Learn to eat real food in real amounts for your body and your movement needs and math is not necessary.

Eat 100% real food, 100% whole food and skip the:

  • sugars
  • grains
  • fruit juices
  • refined carbs (potato chips, french fries, etc.)

5.  Book says tofu hot dogs are a good choice.

NO WAY.  Crap food!  Tofu hot dogs are some of the worst processed soy crap on the planet.  Any of the fake soy "meats" are toxic, processed, refined crap.  If a product contains soy oil, soy isolates, soy protein, textured soy protein, etc., avoid it!

Soy that is OK to eat in tiny amounts:

  • high quality, organic, plain tofu
  • tempeh
  • miso
  • natto

Skip soy milk.... think junk food being sold as health food.  Seriously.

6.  Margarine is OK by this books standards!

Seriously lady writing this book?  Margarine is a factory made product NOT food.  If it comes from a factory, not a real farm, do not eat it.

Find real butter; butter from cows wandering in fields eating what cows are supposed to eat... grass.  Not commercial butter sold in grocery stores but real butter.  Eat it, love it, enjoy it as it sinks in and nourishes your reproductive body cells.

That butter may not have come from a plant BUT the cows who made the cream to make your butter were eating plants; the plants that cows are supposed to eat: grass!  This means the cow's body cells, organs, etc. are healthy and their cream is healthy.

Worried about saturated fat?  Read up on it on mercola.com or the Weston Price website. Think about Eskimos eating whale blubber... were they worried about saturated fats?  Eskimos were amazingly healthy until we introduced them to white flour, white sugar, alcohol, factory made foods, etc.

By the way, animals fed their natural diets (cows eating grass) have a much lower level of saturated fats than factory farm raised - grain fed cows.  Again, living beings eating their naturally intended diets are health, inside and out!

7.  The book's author recommends low-fat ice cream.

WOW, read the labels on that crap.  Low-fat ice cream, and most ice creams, are loaded with tons of fake shit.  Do not eat it.  Fake kills, nature heals.  Find a local source of pasture raised cows and eat their yogurt, full fat and all.  Want a recipe for an ice cream substitute made with real, full-fat yogurt?  I will add it below.

Same goes for the low-fat cheese recommendation... eat real cheese from real cows, goats, sheep, yaks, pigs... whatever, just animals eating their natural diets: grass.  Skip the fake shit.

8.  Books recommendations follow the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

That pyramid should be burned.  A grain based diet will not heal your PCOS. Skip the food pyramid recommendations.  Eat whole foods, in season, grown locally and sustainably.

Yes, real food is more expensive.  Let me remind you, real disease is a serious expense: financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually....

oz. prevention

9.  Book recommends coffee and scones or coffee and bagels (refined flour bagels at that) for breakfast.  

This is not real breakfast food my friends.  Try the yogurt recipe I mentioned above.  I will add it below.

Eat an omelet (yes, eat both the whites and yolks) with lots of veggies in it.  Try an omelet with apple slices and a bit of cheese (full fat from pasture raised animals) or try beet slices and a bit of feta cheese.  Be creative with real food.

10.  Microwaves are OK to use according to this book.

Let's just say no to microwaves.  Look up European studies on them.  I would not eat food or beverages cooked or heated in a microwave. Your body cells deserve better.

OK, there is so much more I could say.  But this is a long one I know.  I am passionate about real food, real health, and real healing.  If we stop doing the shit that makes us sick and start doing that which heals... well, we will heal.  That is what I wish for you!

lifestyle heals

Got a healing story to share?  Tell me about it!

Blessings, Paula



Ice Cream Substitute

I often am asked about ice cream as many people cannot resist the creamy, sweet, cool taste sensation of this treat.  “What can I do to replace this treat?”  I have clients who eat it every night and know they need to end this ice cream and refined sugar relationship!

This is my version of something that is a creamy & yummy treat.

½ to 1 cup of whole fat yogurt from pasture raised animals

1-2 tbsp. of organic peanut butter, almond butter (some yummy, nut or seed butter to add to the creamy texture)

½ to 1 tsp. real vanilla extract (I use extra vanilla and cinnamon and skip the sweetener, good idea for those with metabolic issues including PCOS)

½ to 1 tsp. raw, local honey or local maple syrup (the darker B & C grades of syrup are less refined & more nutritious)

Optional spices & flavors:  cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, hazelnut extract, almond extract, coffee extract, chocolate extract or cocoa powder…… use your imagination and flavor to your liking.

I also add raw, organic nuts and seeds of various types to give it crunchiness, organic no added sweetener granola, local / seasonal berries or fruit (depending on the time of year).

PCOS:  skip the granola, it is a grain food.  You can add it back, in small amounts, after you heal your body.

If I am eating this as ‘breakfast’, I often will beat a local, free range, naturally fed chicken egg and add to the yogurt-nut butter base then add flavors and fruit.  This adds healthy fats, protein, vitamin  A & D, iron, minerals, and all sorts of good nutrients!

IMPORTANT: Know who raises you eggs, and how they are raised, before eating them raw.