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Posts tagged ‘healthy habits’

Health Wise: Fatty Liver. Should I Worry?

Liver Functions Baffle Your Average Doctor

In my long trek through Western medicine’s non-answers last year, one diagnosis came up, but was cast aside as unimportant: fatty liver. But is it really unimportant, or do our doctors simply not know what to do with it?

For answers, I followed a friend’s recommendation and purchased “Liver Rescue” by Anthony William. Instead of starting at the beginning (a process I immediately discovered had me yawning in minutes), I decided to jump to a chapter that addressed my immediate issue, the fatty liver, and read forward. It proved to be a wise choice as I quickly covered several chapters and gained a lot of useful knowledge.

After a few chapters, I jumped again as the author was taunting me with the promise of chapters on foods and herbs that were and were not good for fatty liver and the many other things you do to beat up your poor, overworked liver. The good news is, there’s hope, even for things you were born with as a result of the many things that come to you while still in the womb.

Understanding Cravings for Healthy Foods

I tried not to let myself get bogged down in the perilous trek through heavy metals, Epstein-Barr virus, and a dozen other seemingly insurmountable woes. Instead, I focused on all the things you can do to help your liver get out from under it’s seemingly insurmountable load of toxins. As it turns out, a number of things I’m doing are actually taking me in the right direction. Granted, I need to do more, but at least I’m doing things to help rather than adding to the problem with every step or bite I take.

It’s funny, because I’d found myself craving certain foods, and giving up others lately without any clear reason. In the last few weeks, I’d cut way back on sugar consumption, only succumbing to a craving for ice cream twice, and at well spaced times. I’ve avoided gluten, and limited my consumption of eggs and dairy. Most of all, I’ve had a mad craving for broccoli, celery, and apples.

As it turns out, broccoli is one of the many vegetables that helps the liver fight pathogens and harmful bacteria. Apples both hydrate and cleanse the liver, as well as providing an inhospitable environment for fungus, mold, yeast, bacteria, and viruses. Celery is virtually a wonder drug for the liver; hydrating, protecting cell membranes, and restoring bile production. In addition, the cluster salts in celery bind to all the nasty stuff your liver works overtime to protect you from. In short, celery gives your liver a much-needed break.

Healthy Eating Doesn’t Have to Be Unpleasant

I’ll admit, when I first turned to the chapters on food do’s and don’ts, I expected to find I couldn’t eat anything I really liked. While I learned (at least according to Mr. William’s research) that things like eggs, cheese, and dairy make my liver work harder, I also learned a diet rich in the fruits and vegetables I love, a limited amount of healthy fat like avocados, as well as things like potatoes, bananas, apricots, and cherries were beneficial to my liver in the first place, and could, given time and a few other not-so-onerous actions on my part, clear up my fatty liver, and even help me release those sticky pounds I seem to keep rediscovering.

I also learned I was on the right track with some of my supplements including CoQ10, Turmeric, L-Lysine, Vitamin C, and Vitamin Dā‚ƒ. While I’m not doing everything right at the moment, I’m certainly not on a fast slide into more serious problems. Still, I do need to alter my eating habits more before I see significant results.

There are things I do, like coloring my hair and excessive dependence on the microwave which are exacerbating the problem. But there are also things I either avoid completely or consume in moderation which add up on the healthy side of my balance sheet. Things like:

  • Diet soda (never)
  • Alcohol (once in a great while and always in moderation)
  • White sugar
  • White flour/gluten
  • Processed foods (as seldom as possible. Have you seen my freezer?)
  • Fried foods (my stomach goes on strike if I try)

Care and Feeding of a Healthy, Helpful Liver, without realizing it, I’ve trained myself to deal with what may not even be a problem I started. According to Mr. William, you inherit a lot of your liver issues from our parents. In fact, in many cases you’re born with your liver already impaired by things like heavy metals and toxins which came from the bodies of your parents. It kind of reminds me of original sin. You pay for issues affecting your health through no fault of your own.

I’d love to blame all my excess poundage on an overworked liver, but let’s face it, I don’t eat right consistently. Some days I eat too many calories and don’t move more than a couple of thousand steps. Other days, I eat on the run, and get 12- or 13,000 steps in, but come home and eat something toxic late at night. I admit listening to my liver, albeit unconsciously for the last few weeks is making me feel better, but the numbers on the scale haven’t dropped much. I’m still inconsistent.

What I have done is revise the shopping lists I keep on my phone to include more of the beneficial fruits and vegetables listed in the book. My daughter’s timely gift of an Instant Pot will make it easier to avoid adding toxins to the otherwise healthy food by zapping it with microwaves. The Instant Pot is equally fast, and won’t poison my vegetables in the process (or at least I hope not). I’ve also pulled a selection of my healthy single servings out of the freezer so they’ll be defrosted and ready to heat on the stove instead of in the microwave.

Educating Myself

The challenge over the last year has been my discovery that Western medicine doesn’t delve deeply into the liver unless they find something major like cancer cells or cirrhosis. Unless fatty liver is severe, they brush it off. Their training doesn’t teach them to delve further into the things which cause things like fatty liver, or how it could be indicative of the need for dietary changes and supplements to help the liver do it’s job more efficiently. They aren’t well-versed at the thousands of functions performed by the liver, or how excessive need for its services can cause it to bog down. They also don’t seem to get the connection between viruses, the liver, and how dependent the human body is on proper care and disposal of toxins, much less, what constitutes a toxin.

I’m learning that as I age, it’s even more important to educate myself on both cause and cure, because my doctors are in the dark if it can’t be diagnosed with their machines and blood tests, or cured with knives or pills. Too often, the pills themselves contain substances which further poison my liver. MRI’s, CT Scans, and X-rays aren’t doing it any favors either.

There’s no way to go through life completely removed from anything that gets your liver jumping up and down in distress. That’s what it’s for; to protects you from toxins, excessive hormones, and thousands of other substances. It is possible to go back to basics and eat foods which help your liver instead of harming it. All it takes is a little information, and the willingness to treat the one body you’ve been given as well as you possibly can. It doesn’t have to mean going full vegan or vegetarian either, which, in my opinion have their own set of drawbacks and challenges for the liver.

Minimizing Toxicity with Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for the availability of information nowadays. It makes it easier to figure out what’s best for me instead of relying on others to tell me based on what little they know.
  2. I’m grateful for friends who’ve done their own research and can shorten the time it takes me to find what I need.
  3. I’m grateful for options. I don’t have to accept a bunch of diagnoses that tell me nothing.
  4. I’m grateful I never developed a dependence on things like artificial sweeteners or sodas, and that I gave up habits like smoking long ago. While I still do things which aren’t as good for my body as they could be, I’ve been a lot worse too.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; health, harmony, joy, love, friendship, community, literacy, inquisitiveness, mental acuity, advocacy, peace, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light


About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Winning the Weight Loss Cha Cha

Creating New Set-Points

I’ve been playing Winning the Game of Weight Loss for about 12 weeks now, including the 11 day challenge which got me started. In that time, I’ve lost about 12 pounds and to the casual observer, there’s no change. That used to bother me, but I’ve finally figured it out. Today, I was giving myself compliments as I walked around with my head held high and my smaller clothes fitting quite nicely.

It’s been anything but a smooth path and, in fact, it has been a series of “two steps forward, one step back” days. All in all, I’ve released about 12 pounds of fat so far which, if you’re doing the math is a mere pound a week.

But I’ve gained so much more in the process. Today, when I slipped on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt I hadn’t been able to wear since 2012, you’d have thought I was some hot 20-year-old about to go strut her stuff on a beach only slightly less blisteringly hot than my neighborhood, rather than the overweight 60-something I really am. As I walked from store to store doing my errands, I felt like that hot 20-year-old. And here’s why.

  • There wasn’t a single pain anywhere in my body.
  • No matter how fast or far I walked, I didn’t get winded.
  • My lungs expanded and contracted without having to fight the layer of fat which used to get in the way.
  • I could feel my body adjusting to the lower weight, and knew it would continue to adjust its set point downward.
  • I’m loving the change in my diet. No, really.
  • I love cooking up a batch of vegetables or trying a new recipe for chicken or fish.
  • I love taking the sugar and processed foods out of my diet.
  • I even love drinking my coffee black again.
Adjusting My Mindset

It took me awhile to realize that the body’s normal set point can readjust to a lower weight, but I have to be patient while it re-calibrates. We don’t notice when it adjusts to a higher set-point because we’re usually not watching as we just get bigger and bigger until we reach the “Oh my god! What have I done to myself!” stage. At the rate I’m going, it will take more than a year for me to reach that magical place called “My Ideal Weight”, but this time, I’m doing something I never managed before. I’m changing my habits in a way that feels good to me. I’m not missing the pre-packaged meals because I keep my freezer filled with ones I make myself. I’m not missing sugar. I have a little now and then and that’s enough.

I was never a soda drinker and, thankfully, have always kept a glass of water handy day and night, though I’ll admit I’m going through those 5-gallon bottles more quickly lately. I eat bread occasionally as well as rice and potatoes. I just eat more lean protein, fruits, and veggies.

Better still, I find myself leafing through my collection of cookbooks looking for healthy new ways to prepare my basic ingredients. With the recipes as with labels, I am rather militant about using things which don’t contain added sugar. I get plenty from fruit and from the honey I put in my yogurt or tea once in awhile.

Yesterday, I vacuumed the whole house and mopped about half the floors. When I finished, I didn’t feel the slightest fatigue. In fact, I felt great for having exercised so much. The cats are going to have to get used to the sound of the vacuum cleaner on a more regular basis!

Baby Steps Become Giant Leaps Forward

As if I didn’t have enough wonderful, exciting changes going on, I’ve also given up TV. Oh, I still watch the occasional movie on Netflix or Hulu, but I’ve had no desire to plant my butt on the couch for hours and be mindlessly entertained. Instead, the sofa has become my reading nook. This single change has had a huge impact on my life!

  • I go to bed earlier.
  • I sleep better.
  • I get more done around the house.
  • I move more than ever in the evenings.
  • My mind is constantly creating because it’s no longer being spoon-fed stories.

I admit, this isn’t all a result of playing Winning the Game of Weight Loss. Winning the Game of Money has also effected some of the changes. I’m dreaming bigger dreams, setting goals and making plans. I’m even sticking to some of them! Because the major component of my dreams involves writing, I am naturally writing more. Sure, most of it is articles and blog posts for myself or other people, but the words are getting on the page. In the meantime, I’ve drawn within 13 pages of finishing the edit I’ve been working on, and come up with a really cool plot twist for last year’s yet-to-be completed Nano. In fact, I’ve agreed to join my fellow Inklings in the July challenge so I can finally finish it.

Of course, that means getting that last 13 pages knocked out this week! So I’ll bring this post to a rather abrupt end in order to make that happen.

So Much to be Grateful For

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the things that motivate me to achieve my dreams.
2. I am grateful for the changes I’ve been making in my life lately…even the things I’ve given up.
3. I am grateful for the quantity of writing I’m doing lately.
4. I am grateful for new opportunities in my social life.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, life, friendship, inspiration, dreams, motivation, challenges, new directions, peace, harmoney, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

February 10, 2015 Reading to write better

Sometimes you need a writing break to read someone else’s work

I wasn’t happy with my characterizations. My characters were feeling very flat. So what did I do? I gave in to the desire to read, but instead of picking up the Mercedes Lackey I’d borrowed from my daughter, I immersed myself in “Fifty Shades of Grey, Volume 1”. I wasn’t overly impressed with the writing, to be honest, and was especially conscious of repetitious phrases (other than the ones which were intentionally so) and some stilted dialogue.

What hit me the most, though, was that it was a very toned down take off on a book I read years ago called “The Pearl”. The Pearl (A Magazine of Facetiae and Voluptuous Reading) was published in Victorian England from 1879 to 1880.

I was intrigued by the unique challenges of writing an entire book from the first person POV which is something I’ve yet to attempt. My tendency is to write from the POV of third person omniscient. Whether or not this is the best option remains to be seen, which is also true with regard to purchasing volumes 2 and 3 of “Shades”.

On the one hand, the pace was decent and I didn’t find it dragging anywhere, at least not for long. On the other, there was a certain childlike simplicity to much of it, which, admittedly suited the character whose POV was being used. However, that simplicity, had me, by about halfway through the book, skimming more than actually reading. Perhaps this is simply my own lack of patience, but the story seemed to become decreasingly compelling from about the mid point on for me.

What was the real purpose for this exercise, this divergence from my own writing?

In truth, I needed to step away from my own decidedly flat characters and see how someone else, someone published and, in this case, with a movie deal would do it differently. Instead, I came away with the realization that what I really need to do is take a page from one of the members of my critique group and just sit down and develop my own characters.

The exercise didn’t yield the expected results, but it did give me a new direction to try, so I’d have to say that the operation was a success despite the fact that the patient died. But that’s what autopsies are for!

Resetting intentions

A couple of days ago, a fellow blogger, Nicola Sunny blogged about her progress since she set a number of intentions at the end of last year. It reminded me that I have intentions of my own and progress reports are a good way of staying on track. I mulled over her list for awhile, especially in areas where we paralleled. Then I took a look at the recalcitrant (and evil) scale in my den and decided to try to again replace the batteries in case the ones I’d last installed had been on their last legs. Much to my surprise (I won’t say joy), the new batteries did the trick, but the reading on the newly revived scale was less than auspicious. In the months since I have not been using it at least weekly, I’ve also stopped using MyFitnessPal to track my food intake and exercise, and have dropped back from four days a week at the gym to a weekly high of two days.

Back pains and food comas and weight gains all added up to one thing: I needed to take myself firmly in hand and get back to those better habits I’d formed but somehow drifted away from. So, this is it. I’m resetting those intentions to be healthier. I’m tracking my food, eating the ready made meals in my freezer, working back up to four days a week at the gym and, with luck, three nights a week of dancing. Because the truth is, if I’m taking care of my physical self, the rest of my intentions start falling into place much more harmoniously.

Those flat characters I mentioned? Well, increased health on my part should fill them out nicely too.

Stay tuned, right here, for healthy updates and the return of my muse in a bigger, better, stronger form.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for rude awakenings.
2. I am grateful for inspiration from others who tread my lonely but satisfying road.
3. I am grateful to be getting back into my healthy and productive routines.
4. I am grateful for messages from the Universe, reminding me that I am the only one who can take care of me.
5. I am grateful for abundance: inspiration, guidance, lessons, healthy habits, gratitude, friends, love, joy, happiness, peace, harmony, health and prosperity.

Blessed Be

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