I give in to my cravings food wise with moderation. Does that surprise you? I long ago learned to listen to my body and trust what it was saying to me. Namely, something is lacking in my diet that my body needs. Numerous blood tests will backup this suppositions.
For months now, I have been craving peanut butter. I mean, I was eating 4 pounds of the stuff every month. So I put on my investigator cap. Remember, that I'm a nerd that loves researching, and really don't have much else to do. So what does peanut butter have in it that my body could want? Other than fat...
- Protein. Peanut butter contains 7.02 grams (g) of protein per 2-tbsp serving. This counts toward the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for women of 46 g and 56 g for men, which varies by age and activity level.
- Magnesium. With 57 milligrams (mg) of magnesium, each serving helps towards the RDA of 400–420 mg in men and 310–320 in women. Magnesium is essential for health, playing a role in over 300 chemical processes in the body.
- Phosphorous. Each serving contains 107 mg of phosphorus, which is about 15.3 percent of the RDA of 700 mg for adults. Phosphorus helps the body to build healthy cells and bones and helps cells to produce energy.
- Zinc. A serving of peanut butter provides 0.85 mg of zinc. This is 7.7 percent of the recommended daily intake of 11 mg for men, and 10.6 percent of the RDA of 8 mg for women. Zinc is necessary for immunity, protein synthesis, and DNA formation.
- Niacin. Peanut butter contains 4.21 mg of niacin per serving, which makes a useful contribution towards a person's recommended intake of 14 to 16 mg. Niacin benefits digestion and nerve function and helps produce energy.
- Vitamin B-6. With 0.17 g of vitamin B-6 per serving, peanut butter provides almost 14 percent of an adult's RDA of 1.3 mg. Vitamin B-6 plays a role in over 100 enzyme reactions in the body and may be necessary for heart and immune system health.
I pulled a copies of my last two blood tests and compared results. Areas that was higher and lower were noted. Then, looking back with my calendar, I could pin point what was happening had happened in my life that could attribute to the changes.
The blood tests-My protein level was unchanged so it couldn't be that. But, as I did a side by side comparison the magnesium, phosphorus, B vitamins (b-3 niacin and 6), and zinc were lower in the most recent blood test. They were still in the normal range, but at the lower end of the scale. Not enough to ring the alarm bells with the doctor, but my body knew.
I searched for a lower fat option. A lot of times my body will substitute a craving for the first available option that is easily recognizable. But this time, other than eating several different things, peanut butter was the answer. Now before looking on the internet or product label, I didn't know/remember all of this. I'm good, but not THAT good.
So what was happening in my life at the time, I was under stress and not sleeping well. Cancer has a way of doing that. My cardiologist stopped my Potassium and Magnesium supplements because they stopped my Lasix, diuretic. I started on two new medicines: one to raise my heart rate and blood pressure, and one to control the high blood pressure within my heart. I had cold like symptoms because of my allergies and the unseasonably strange weather. I also fought off a bladder and sinus infections. I had a thyroidectomy and took high doses of radiation. In other words, my life was up in the air, twisting around like crazy.
I take what my body tells me very seriously unless I'm craving chocolate cake or cookies. (grinning) I analyze my cravings to as you can tell. Just to be sure. I've been on a low sodium diet since 2002. But with my heart rates and blood pressure being so low, I now crave salty things like potato chips and salted peanuts. I let myself have them in moderation at bedtime when my blood pressure naturally falls.
My body is craving milk products and broccoli now. Why? My last bone scan showed I was starting to show signs of osteoporosis. But, the cravings started six months before my bone density scan.
So how do you listen to what your body is telling you? You've only got one body and it is your temple. You nurture it. It will tell you what it needs to give you the best possible outcome. You just have to do focused listening and analyze what it's telling you. Having had courses in nutrition, helps, but the internet is full of information about vitamins and minerals that your body needs to work properly. By listening to my body could I have circumvented my strokes and even my heart attacks...partially. A proper diet, exercise, and the right course of treatments would have helped. I was too busy at the time to really listen to what my body was trying to tell me. I also have a trunk full of family history pointing to predispositions for these. You might be able to beat the family history, but it's unlikely. But, forewarned is forearmed. My sister has escaped some of it until she turned sixty then the dam broke. Still that ain't bad. Better than me who started with cursed genetics at twenty-six.
I do my utmost to prevent falls and mapping out in my head how to get back up again. How to get upright again on your own is very important. There always isn't a handy chair around you to help with this.
Is there one spot in your house or yard that trips you up constantly? There are several for me. My ramps outside my house is a big one for me, especially after rain or snow. I positions height friendly chairs close to where I usually land or use the grooved stairs. What's a height friendly chair, ice chest, or anything? A sturdy (can bear your weight at any angle) item at abut elbow high. If I can get my functioning elbow on a surface, I can straighten my feet to rise by using the item for support, then my hand can lift me all the way to upright. See, prewarned is prearmed. For height differences in flooring, a piece of tape or a painted line works wonderfully. It physically denotes a change to cue me to raise my affected foot higher or hold something so I don't trip or throw myself off balance. But even with these precautions, it the little stupid things that cause falls. But I digress.
In short, try listening to your body. It's telling you what it needs to remain working in tip top shape. It just takes practice.
Nothing is impossible.