Monday, September 12, 2011

Wherein I Pat Myself on the Back

You guys? I want to kind of brag a little bit here. Some of you longer-time readers may know that I have been seeing a nutritionist. You can see the post where I first see her here and where she talks me off a ledge here and where I realize I need more help than just her here.

I am not going to pretend I met my weight, and consequently my BMI goals.

But another area I had focused on was triglycerides.  High triglycerides can be an indicator of Diabetes, something that is just rampant in my family. I've always been hyper-aware of the possibility that my weight, though less than it used to be, still puts me in a risk area for this disease. Seeing what my father has gone through, as well as myriad other people in my life,  I just don't want to ever have to deal with Diabetes if I don't have to.

My triglycerides  had actually gone higher from my first biometric screening to the next, so I was concerned about the trend. She immediately suggested fish oil and more fiber.

My screening was in February. I had it retested a few weeks ago. 38% lower.

While I am not proud of my lack of weight loss, I am very proud of how much my health has improved.

My nutritionist and I determined we don't need to continue to see each other, but I told her I owe her a lot, and I know I will keep what I learned going forward as I work on improving my body and my lifestyle.

Some of the biggies I learned:

1. Fiber is key for everything. Healthy digestion, weight loss (keeps you full longer), and lowering triglycerides and even bad cholesterol. My favorite sources of fiber have been high-fiber Trader Joe's bread and spinach.

2. Get water where you can. If you're like me and don't love just chugging boring plain old water, try flavored water or flavored seltzer (watch out for added sugar, though) or decaf tea. Lemonade counts, too (again, watch the sugar).

3. Check your sugar. Have I said enough about sugar? Honestly, guys, my diet focus was always on fat. So I did a lot of those 100 calorie packs and yogurts. But when you look at the sugar content of some of these items, it can be quite alarming. Keeping sugar at or around 6 grams is a good guideline. BUT, some things will be higher. I was nervous about these fruit bars from Trader Joes that I ate.

Source: Yummy Diet Food

Well, I needn't have been. My nutritionist declared them almost the perfect snack. Low calorie, has a serving of fruit and/or veggies, and all of the sugar comes naturally. If you see something high in sugar and it comes from fruit or something else naturally high in sugar, check the ingredients to make sure there's nothing added or processed.

4. Supplements can be your friend. I was a bit anxious about adding supplements to my diet. I mean, I take a multivitamin, but otherwise I'm sort of skeptical about adding a bunch of pills to my life. However, I can now say with 100% certainty that fish oil was integral in lowering my triglycerides. I also am taking Vitamin D. I can't point to any particular effect, but I do feel more energetic.

So overall I feel like I have the tools, and now the key is using them correctly.

Have I convinced any of you to see a nutritionist or dietitian? Do you take supplements? What nutrition fact surprises you the most?


Kat said...

MAJOR Gold Star for you, lady! That's a huge difference. 38%!? That's playing for keeps.

re: The Fiberful bars...are they good/do they give you gas? I've been doing the regular fruit leather things they have there and have been nervous to pick the fiber ones up because they could be...different. Lord knows you'll give me the real truth on this one :)

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Kat: they are FANTASTIC! No bloating, they actually taste good, including the one w/ veggies. I eat them before I work out b/c my personal trainer is at 6:30 at night, so I have one around 5:30 and then have protein when I return from the workout.

Aleta said...

Were can you get those fruit bars?

Also, how much fish oil can a person take? I wouldn't mind taking supplements but I'm always concerned that there's a "right dosage" amount.

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

I have only seen the fruit bars at Trader Joe's. It's a Trader Joe's brand, though there may be something similar out there.

I take 2,000 mg of fish oil. You may wish to ask your doctor, but that is the recommended dosage.

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

That's so awesome!! I know I'm probably in trouble with my sugar intake. I'm a sugar fiend. I know it's so unhealthy. There are just so many factors -- fat, sugars, calories, etc. It's hard! I'll be getting back into the dieting thing a lot more once I stop nursing. Right now I'm scared to cut back because I don't want to drop in supply. I'm proud of you!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Congratulations!! That totally deserves a You Go Girl!!

I need to just get up and moving. But with three boys, it's been difficult to carve out 30 minutes a day just for myself. I can't even pee by myself.

SmartBear said...

Yay for you! Way to go girlie! I am going to check out those bars at T.J.'s. And supplements? Well....when your endocrine system decides to revolt, it's a daily juggle of supplements. Sigh....

Ameena said...

My mom has been struggling with her trigyclerides so I know what a huge accomplishment this is for you!

I saw a nutritionist once, hoping for some miraculous answers to my many food intolerances. She tried but she didn't have answers so after a few visits I had to stop seeing her!

Crystal said...

Those bars sound great! Thanks for sharing. I'm definitely into supplements. It's hard to get all the nutrition you need from our food these days.

Anonymous said...

That's really great! Congrats. I, sooo need to drink more water. Perhaps I'll try this flavored water you speak of =)

Erica@PLRH said...

Congrats on the improved health! You have every reason to be proud. Atta girl!