The doctor says…..


So I have decided to pursue a new career option.  In this new path I am required to have a full physical along with blood and urine tests.  I am due for a check of my B-12, and Vitamin D along with my fasting blood sugar levels.  So I took Friday off and went to the Doctor.  I had my blood drawn the previous week, so the results were in for my actual physical.

As a vegetarian there are certain things that are typically monitored and other things that are often discounted.  Things like Cholesterol and blood sugar were never really looked at before, for me.  I found out a few years ago that my B-12 were really low, like dymentia levels.  I also found that in the months of November through Mid-March, my Vitamin D levels plummet.  Funny since those are the months I avoid going outside.  About a year ago, I mentioned to my doctor that I would like to have my blood sugar done.  My mom’s siblings and her mother were all diagnosed with Type II Diabetes later in life.  I have a cousin who was diagnosed at age 18, he lost his foot a couple of years ago.  This concerned me greatly.

I had dated a guy with Type II for a couple of years, and he was always freaking out on me about my blood sugar.  We would go to those health fair things, and I would get my blood sugar done, but not fasting.  It was typically high, but normal for having just eaten.  The thing he didn’t understand, was that even though it runs in my family, it was about lifestyle not genetics.  I can prevent it.  I am not destined to get Type II, nor am I destined to have heart problems or anything else.  In my family most of the problems were not genetic.

Obesity and poor diet, along with sedetary lifestyles will put you in high risk for Type II.  I am overweight.  Obese in fact, by standard measures.  The difference is that I am very active, I bike 12-20 miles a day, 5 days a week. I even bike on the weekends if the mood strikes.  Being a vegetarian has helped a ton.  The thing that truly broke the cycle was cutting out processed foods.  I wish I could say, I do not eat any processed foods, but I am human and I do.  The key is that I eat them less than I eat real food.  I  eat more veggies in one sitting than most Americans eat in a week.

The problem I have now found is that by cutting out processed foods, I have cut out some essential nutrients not generally found in vegetarian foods.  Either that or my body just does not absorb them well.  My B-12 levels are still low.  I have been taking supplements for a few years now, and my doctor has suggested that I consume 5000mg of B-12 a day.  Holy crap, that is a huge number, considering  250mg is %850 of the daily recommend.  As people who are in charge of our own health, we can take the FDA recommendations and realize that they are based on general populations.  Some of us need more of some things and much less of other things.

The other things I found this appointment was that my cholesterol is low.  This is great, except that my good cholesterol is a bit too low.  She now wants me to take a fish oil pill, or a flax oil or flax seeds.  Sweet, I sprinkle flax seeds all over my salads almost daily.  I hear avacado is great too.

Fall and winter are probably the hardest for me and my health.  I tend to not want to do anything. My activity level slows down, and since I try to do mostly seasonally and locally in the food department, it tends to get tough.  I have found that I do like the leafy greens and squash is good.  Potatoes are great, but not so great for you.  I did discover that raw kale with this wasabi sesame dressing that I created was rather tasty.  So as with all of my recipes, I am about mixing things to taste.  I took mayo, fresh wasabi, some rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and some tamari sauce and a bit of lime juice.  Mixed it together until it had the desired taste and lightly tossed it over finely chopped kale with flax seeds and green onions.  This is officially my new favorite way to eat kale.

So the official conclusion here is, no matter what your health is, you have to fit your lifestyle according to it. Being overweight has not created any genuine health concerns for my doctor.  Oh and my kidney and liver functions are great, even with the amount of alcohol I abuse them with.  This again is likely due to my diet and lifestyle.  If you do not poison your body with processed foods, the caffeine and alcohol will not be a huge issue for them.  At least that is how my body seems to be functioning.

Maybe this month, I will start to really focus on losing some of my weight, the problem is much of my weight is muscle..  I know it sounds like an excuse, but my arms and legs are solid muscle, my midsection is the part that is flabby and I really really really hate core exercises.  Blah, maybe time to go back to a trainer.

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