Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

Thyroid, Calories Or Vitamins: Which Is Causing My Ice Cold Hands, Feet?

HEALTH

Have cold hands and/or feet? Sometimes doctors overlook these symptoms as frivolous. But ignoring them could lead to bigger problems. Image courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net and Kromkrathog.

The game plan for the week was to start a 7-day fast on Sunday. It started off great but about 12 hours into the fast I started feeling cold all over. The next thing I knew my hands and feet were freezing. Now cold hands and feet are nothing new to me. But this wasn’t normal (not that cold hands and feet are normal). I’m talking ice-cold extremities. No amount of mittens or socks could warm me up.

So I started doing a little digging. Turns out there are a few options as to why this happens

A Sluggish Thyroid?
The butterfly shaped thyroid is a gland that sits above the collarbone in the front of our necks. It pumps out hormones that regulates our metabolic rate. If the thyroid starts slowing down your body temperature can drop, causing hypothyroidism (an over active thyroid is hyperthyroidism and another set of problems).

Too Little Calories?
On non-fasting days I’ve been eating between 1600-1800 calories a day…or at least that’s what My Fitness Pal claims. Of course I’ve railed against this app about inaccurate data before. However, going into a fast I’ve never felt hungry.

Low Red Blood Cell Count?
Too few red blood cells means anemia. I experienced anemia when I was obese and had month-long periods (Yikes!). But with the weight loss my red blood cell count has been normal…or at least that’s my assumption. However, when I had my surgery in June, the only problem I encountered was the very slow recovery of my red blood cells. In fact, I was kept in the hospital because of it. I remember my husband and mother commenting on how pale I looked. While lack iron can be the major cause of anemia, there are a few other micronutrients — vitamins B-12 and D — that can also trigger it.

Other micronutrient deficiencies  that can trigger cold extremities? Niacin (Vitamin B3) and magnesium.

I ended up calling off the fast for now. We ended up going out for dinner and I made sure I ate my full calories for the day. That helped to warm the hands and feet, but they were still a little cold.

I’ve got a month to go before visiting a doctor regarding my menopause symptoms. But the cold concerns me. A lot of thyroid symptoms are identical to menopause. In fact, most doctors mistake thyroid problems for menopause. And frankly, you can have both problems at the same time.

 

10K vs. 15K Steps? Does It Matter?

Saucony Hurricane ISO

Caution — Shoes are much, much more neon yellow than they appear! More steps a day just wear these puppies out sooner.

Here’s an interesting morning read about mail carriers in Glasgow, Scotland and heart health. Those who deliver the mail are far more heart healthy than their counter parts working a desk job. Why?  Glaswegian mail carriers deliver the mail by foot!  While The New York Times article is focused on whether we should target 15,000 steps a day vs. the current 10,000 step recommendation, I think they are missing another piece: strength.

If the Scots deliver the mail on foot, that means they are also doing a lot of weight training too. A mail bag loaded with bills, letters, flyers and Amazon boxes adds up in pounds/kilograms.

Yes walking is good for you. However, if most Americans can’t even get 10,000 steps in a day, what’s the point of upping the number of 15,000. Also the mail carriers in Scotland deliver by foot. That means they walk for nearly 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and get paid to do so. In the US, somewhere around 100 million employees are sitting at a desk.

Does your manager encourage you to get in a chunk of your 10,000 steps while you’re on the clock?

I’m curious if the study actually looked at their diet. If you had to walk every day for your paycheck wouldn’t you eat better too?  Again walking is healthy, but you can’t out walk a bad diet.

 

 

10k Training Commencing, Weather Be Damned!

exercise goals

From outdoor to indoor cycling, daily walks and long hikes, I’m focused on running a 10k this year and re-establishing my habit of exercising daily.

I want to run a 10k this summer. Unfortunately the weather isn’t cooperating. Old Man Winter doesn’t want to let go just yet. Between last week’s snowstorm that left mostly ice and the rain, I’m stuck indoors wishing I invested in all-weather running gear.

But all is not lost. Since rejoining the gym I’m toying to using it as much as possible before the weather takes a turn for the better.

Now I’m not a treadmill runner. I’ve tried that before and I’m just too clumsy for that contraption. Spin is where it is at, baby! Yep, my cycling classes not only helped my legs get into shape, but improved my endurance too.

Monday was my first class in nearly 2 years. It was pretty much as I remember: playing with the resistance setting to get the most of the workout and a bike seat that only Satan could have created.

Ugh! Even with biker shorts (they are padded), my butt is still sore from that class. A few more classes should end the soreness.

Of course I loved every minute of it…the class not the soreness! Of all the things I did at my old gym I really missed spin the most. It was a great way to burn off all that excess energy I build up during the week. But I really loved was my yoga class immediately after spin. It’s a perfect block of time to burn off and refocus your energy.

Unfortunately there currently isn’t any yoga following cycling at the moment. That just means I’ll stick to following Yoga with Adriene.

Between spin class, weight training, daily walks, running intervals (weather permitting), and upcoming bike rides and hikes along local trails (can’t wait), I need to carve out time in my schedule. I really lost the habit of exercising daily. A schedule is the first step in rebuilding that habit. I also need to create specific goals and milestones to hit. I’ve set goals for weight training, but now I need targets for cycling, walking, hiking and running (tracking distances, daily steps, speed, etc.).

Hmmmm…I have to noodle on that a bit more.

What are your fitness goals this year?

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon & Creme Fraiche

For St. Patrick’s Day I ended up making a corned beef brisket but forgot to buy the cabbage. Thankfully I had some Brussels sprouts in my fridge. They are the same species as cabbage and green too!  Whew!

I was planning to add bacon to the sprouts when I came across this recipe in The Real Meal Revolution. For some reason I never thought to lightly saute steamed Brussels sprouts in the rendered bacon fat. Add in creme fraiche and awesomeness happens.

Final 40 Fat Challenge

March 19 weigh inThis morning I stepped on the scale for the first time since January. I expected to gain weight back from my week-long fast (usually half comes back). Turns out I kept just 2 pounds off. As a ‘glass half full’ gal, I’ll take that.

So I’m officially stepping on the scale once a week. I’m tracking my food consistently once again. The wine is officially out of the house. For the foreseeable future, eating out is over with.

Funny how exercising regularly improves your mental focus. I know exercise doesn’t help with weight loss. It’s all about building strength, improving cardio and balancing hormones.

Most importantly it clarifies choices.

Battle Of The Final 40 Begins
Stepping on the scale I start my new journey – getting to a healthy level of body fat.   I know focusing on weight is dumb and doesn’t do any good. I need to focus on reducing my body fat while maintaining/building muscle. It was those fat cells that went wonky on me and caused the cancer after all.

I’m using the same calculations I made back in August when I figured out my ideal body weight.   For the sake of sanity I’m calling this challenge “The Final 40” since the balance of lean body mass and fat pegs my ideal weight at 165.

That doesn’t mean 165 pounds is my maintenance weight. Before cancer came a knockin’ I was dealing with a nasty infection due too excess skin (sigh…those were the days).

I’m looking forward to those days once again.

Want To Get Healthy? Then Give Up Dieting!

I’ve been in need of some motivation lately. Thankfully I found Nerd Fitness’ YouTube Channel. Although I’m a frequent visitor to their site, I wasn’t aware of the videos. This one is great for anyone thinking of “going on a diet.”

 

New Challenges, New Goals, Better Attitude

new life

My life has changed and I’ve set me sights on some new health goals to work towards.   FreeDigitalPhotos.net and mrpuen.

Over the last 5 years I’ve learned to focused on health and not weight loss. The results have been awesome. My doctor pronounced me healthy. After achieving my goal  I did the expected.

I coasted.

For 18 months I maintained my weight of 185 pounds. Sure I still wanted to drop about 25-30 “vanity” pounds because I knew the extra weight would eventually cause havoc as I got older. Knowing that didn’t propel me to take action. Oh, I came up with some new goals…and promptly started coasting again.

Why? No fire in the belly.

Five years ago I was staring at a bleak, unhealthy future of diabetes and heart disease. Fear drove me to act. But once I reclaimed my health, I thought the fight was over.

Boy was I wrong. Read more…

Saddest Words: Would’ve. Could’ve. Should’ve.

I’m not big on memes, but dang it, this one clicked (see image below)! Just before shuffling off this mortal coil I don’t want anything on my bucket list (which I’m still adding too!) left undone. I didn’t stop  working the 17 hour days for ‘The Man’ just to not live the life I want because I was too afraid, hesitant or doubtful.

quote

The words ‘would’ve,’ could’ve,’ and ‘should’ve‘ just mean ‘DIDN’T!‘ Screw that! You want true happiness, then banish those 3 words from your lexicon.

It’s time to stop planning and start living.

Time To See An Endocrinologist

bloodtest

Making an appointment with the needle! Actually an endocrinologist to find out which hormones are going wacky since my surgery. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and watiporn.

I’m waving the white flag. I keep reading so many conflicting things about my metabolism, weight gain/loss, and my menopause symptoms that it’s time to call in the big guns.

About 3 months ago my radiation oncologist suggested I meet with an endocrinologist to help with my raging hormones. Well I’m taking this advice to heart as I’ve come to the conclusion that most LCHF/Keto research is pretty much skimpy when it comes to menopausal women.   We’re just not as sexy as athletes.

Anyway, an endocrinologist focuses on hormone health and can recommend natural remedies – dietary, exercise, supplements, and acupuncture – to rebalance your hormone levels.

Whack-A-Mole Symptoms
I make one change to my diet to end the hot flashes, only to have insomnia rear it’s ugly head. Adjust for insomnia, here come the night sweats. It just goes on.

I’m trying to tackle this without knowing what it is I need to tackle. Do I have a thyroid problem? I’ve gained weight since surgery so are my fat cells producing too much of the bad estrogen? Is my cortisol level too high or too low? What about progesterone or testosterone? My resistance to insulin must be even more weakened now, right?

I just don’t know. It’s time to find out.

 

Chicken Stuffed Peppers

My dad use to make stuffed peppers when I was a kid. Green peppers, diced onions, cheese, ground beef, hot sauce and “milk.” Actually I think the milk was really cream of mushroom soup, but it’s not like that’s something you can tell 5 food-fussy kids. A man’s gotta do what he’s gotta do, right?

Anyway here’s a version from The Complete Guide To Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung (yes, a fasting book with recipes!). This recipe replaces ground beef with chicken and tosses in some spices and grape tomatoes.

Easy to make and, like other recipes from the book I’ve tried, very yummy.

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