Q & A on practical wellness
More News from Philippine Daily Inquirer
Ask and I answer. In the ever-changing and expanding world of wellness, remedies and approaches old and new emerge and reemerge in a brand new light.
Q: I have developed an insecurity because of my recent 10-lb weight gain. How can I shed it off quickly?
There are two things you need to remove—your weight gain and your insecurity. But if you think losing the weight will mean losing your feeling of inferiority, too, you’re wrong.
You need to love and accept yourself, no matter what and however you look.
Self-esteem is so firmly rooted in embracing yourself. So begin to love and appreciate yourself first. Restore this lost part of who you are. To quote Deepak Chopra, MD, in “The Path to Love,” “Mind, body and spirit would unite—this union creates the love you have to give.”
Consult your physician first before embarking on a weight-loss program.
The simple steps to losing weight :
Adopt a daily exercise regimen—brisk walking, biking, dancing, running or jogging will do.
Throw out all sweets from your refrigerator. This includes cakes, pastries, chocolates, ice cream. If it contains sugar, then it is considered sweet. That’s right. These include dried sugared fruits, beverages.
Cut back on your carbohydrate intake by 75 percent. You can start with 50 percent then work your way up. Definitely, no starchy foods at dinnertime.
Remove midnight snacks.
Increase your vegetable and fish intake. Reduce or remove red meat and pork from your diet immediately.
Increase your water intake.
Stay away from alcohol.
Speed up your metabolism with green tea and spicy food.
Take vitamin B6 and B Complex as a fat burner.
Eat slowly. Rushing through a meal adds extra calories.
Try fasting on liquids and fresh vegetable juices for 24 hours. This works wonders.
Consider taking human growth hormones or HGH. Take it before bedtime, when your metabolism is rejuvenated.
Amino acids, arginine and ornithin stimulate the pituitary gland and metabolism.
Note: Check contraindication for arginine (like herpes, schizophrenia). Also, do not give to children.
Q: What would you recommend for frequent travelers?
Each time you board a plane, ship or bus, remember that you share the air you breathe with other passengers. And this goes on for as long as the journey lasts. Can you picture this clearly? You are inhaling the exhalation of strangers. Not to mention every sneeze and cough.
There is definitely a need to shield yourself from airborne viruses.
This, plus the stresses of travel, can take its toll on your immune system.
Bring: Multivitamin and mineral supplements, vitamin C (1,000 mg, take 1-3 times daily); co-enzyme Q10 with vitamin E (take once a day); B Complex (50 mg, take twice daily); acidophilous capsules (to prevent diarrhea or stomach disorders, take one capsule daily); calcium, magnesium, zinc (take one tablet daily).
If you’re having difficulty sleeping, take 1-3 mg melatonin capsules or tablets 15 minutes before bedtime.
Here’s a trick: To beat jet lag when crossing time zones, take your melatonin while in flight and during bedtime. Upon arriving at your destination, follow the day-night cycle there.
This means that you must take melatonin before every bedtime there. Do the same upon your return flight.
Remember to load on vitamin C two hours before boarding the plane. This way, you will fly with antioxidant protection. Drink plenty of water. Cabin air is dry and dehydrating.
Q: As a TV addict, I hardly leave my room. Please help me be well.
First of all, too much TV isn’t good for you. It has a near-hypnotic effect on many. But you already know this because you’re TV-bound.
First things first. Find reasons to leave your house. Keep busy. Try some outdoor fun and exercise. If you are sunlight-deprived, take vitamin D supplements. Load up on vitamin B Complex. To prevent eye strain, take betacarotene capsules. Start reducing your TV time slowly—one hour each day until you’re completely weaned off the habit.
Q: Heavy drinking is my pastime. Any advice for a borderline alcoholic?
All heavy drinkers are vitamin-deficient. Moreover, the alcohol you consume usually replaces your meal requirement very poorly. In fact, most drinkers jokingly brag about being on a liquid diet. Joking aside, drinking prevents the absorption and storage of much-needed vitamins and nutrients. Alcoholism, if untreated, leads to ulcers and eventually stomach cancer.
Undergo counseling to guide you through your personal issues. Chances are, there are deeply rooted psychological problems that must be addressed.
Nevertheless, drinkers in general require vitamin C (1,000 mg); B Complex (100 mg, take twice daily); calcium (500 mg); magnesium (250 mg, take 2-3 times daily).
It is also important that you do not drink on an empty stomach. Have a full stomach and when you have the urge to drink, reach for red wine.
Q: I thought I was only suffering from minor aches and pains but it turns out that I have gout. How do I get rid of this?
Gout has been aptly called by many health experts as the disease of overindulging oneself.
A form of arthritis, gout manifests the same symptoms—joint pain accompanied by swelling. This pain may be felt in the first joint of the big toe, wrist and elbow, knee and the joint of the foot. Pain is caused by sharp crystals of uric acid forming in the fluid surrounding the joint.
What can cause gout? Alcohol, rich foods, blood pressure medication, lead poisoning and inherited metabolic disorders.
When uric acid levels are high or, strangely enough, dramatically drop, a gout attack occurs.
Dietary and lifestyle changes must be immediately put in place. Consult your doctor.
Flush out toxins by drinking water.
Try coconut water, too.
Avoid foods rich in purines (protein components which convert to uric acid).
Do not eat liver, beef, lamb, veal, shellfish, yeast, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring.
Do not go on a starvation diet because it also increases blood levels of uric acid.
Take 10,000-40,000 micrograms of folic acid, a B vitamin that inhibits xanthine oxidase, the enzyme responsible for the production of uric acid. Check with your doctor.
Stop all alcoholic intake.
Eat an anti-inflammatory fruit like cherries. Or any dark berries like maqui from Chile and acai. Try fresh maqui juice mixed with acai and blueberries. It is now available in the Philippines. Call World of Wellness, tel. 9289969.
Take vitamin E.
Avoid taking vitamin C and niacin in excess. Both increase uric acid levels.
Aspirin in low doses also aggravates uric acid levels.
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION: “Today defines me. And all is well and good in my life.”
Love and light.
References: “Prevention’s Healing with Vitamins,” “More Natural Healing,” Kevin Trudeau’s “Remedies Revealed” and Earl Mendell’s “Vitamin Bible for the 21st Century”
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