Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baby Number 8: Thomas

My eldest sister had her 8th baby last week!  Congrats!

He was born 30 days early.  Kim experienced some complications which caused them to induce her at 35 weeks.  Both Mommy and baby are doing really well!  Kim was able to return home today but little Thomas has to stay at the hospital a bit longer.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thoughts on Cholesterol?

I'm a big fan of fat.  I've said this many times.  I LOVE putting heavy cream in rich chowders.  Milk is not milk unless it is whole milk.  Cheese, eggs, and butter are staples in this household.  We are followers of the Scandinavian diet of the importance of dairy products.

There has been a lot of promotion out there for low fat diets.  Has anyone else noticed how hard it is becoming to find full-fat yogurt?  I avoid low fat labeled foods as often as I can if it is not naturally already low-fat.  Yes, it makes our dairy bill more expensive... but for the taste and health benefits we receive, we believe it is worth it!

Now for the disclaimer:
Xan and I get regular check ups and our vitals are solid.  Most doctors tell us that we need to gain weight and I've been told many times to stay away from low-fat diets to help me gain or maintain my weight.  We eat balanced meals which includes a lot of fruits and vegetables.  Our eating-out budget of $40 a month rarely gets maxed out, if it gets used, since we usually eat at home.   In other words, we don't pig out on saturated fats ALL the time.  As much as I love french fries and would LOVE to have them every day, I usually only eat them 2 or 3 times a month.  I just make sure its a large order when I do.  :)

Okay.  Now that that is said and done, lets get to the meat of what I wanted to talk about.

New research disproving links between 
cholesterol and heart disease?

I admit, after watching a documentary yesterday called Fat Head and being all excited because it was validating so many of my own personal beliefs, I expected to find valid articles from solidly, respected sites (like CNN or something) confirming all this research being done that shows there was never a strong correlation between cholesterol and heart disease.

Moreover, the documentary also stated medical studies that linked low cholesterol with depression in women.  Which, to me when I heard it, SCREAMED, "um... duh!"  Women naturally carry more fat then men.  We have the ability to nurture our children with the fatty goodness of breast milk.  Shouldn't that also mean that we need to be eating a diet containing fat?

What did I find?  The only site that I could find in the 15 minutes my mind would focus on it was from The Healthy Skeptic.  It was the only one that looked professional, provided sources and links, and it even had multiple articles about it.  Any of you out there know of a better one?  I would LOVE to learn more about this.

Now, I turn the soap box to YOU.  
What are your thoughts, findings, opinions?  
Do you buy into this research?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Caffeine as Medication?

The morning of a BIG paper due 
Little did I know in college as I came to a fast approaching paper deadline, grabbed a Mountain Dew or Cola, put in a movie, and started to write my paper, that I was actually self-medicating my ADHD, and not just treating my occasional migraines.

Studies have shown correlation that caffeine works in helping someone with ADHD focus without the negative side effects that comes with Ritilin and other ADHD specific medication.  Although, TOO much caffeine comes with its own consequences to avoid.

Read one article about it here.

Xan mentioned this fact to me sometime after I had already graduated from college.  I thought back and realized that indeed, my best papers and test scores came after a caffeinated beverage because I was more able to stay on task, my thoughts felt more organized, and my ability to remember things from class and research increased.

Since then, I have found that I reach for a caffeinated beverage when I feel I am having a bad ADHD day.  It happens a lot at work.  I clock in, walk over to my department to assess our workload, and find a BIG load with VERY little space to work in to sort it all out onto runners to take out to the floor, crowded aisles, and -simply put- a chaotic feeling hovering over my head.  I immediately start feeling stressed as my brain attempts to sequence my to-do list and solve the best ways to organize the tasks but keeps getting distracted by other noises, additional tasks I find that need to be done, and instructions/comments from other people.

THANKFULLY, this is not EVERY day.  Just here and there.  -Sigh of relief- that my job isn't crazy all the time!

It is on those days that I *grab some caffeine and like magic, things start falling into place.  Before I know it, I've done 5 hours of my normal work pace in just 3 because I'm focused and I don't have to stop and reorganize what I'm doing in my head ever 20 minutes because I've forgotten.  Strangely, this phenomenon ONLY occurs when I'm having a bad ADHD day.  It doesn't work if I'm just tired or just drink caffeine on a normal day.  It only works when I'm struggling to focus.

But I don't always like all the sugar and carbonation I drink to get the caffeine.  Does anyone know of a sugar and carbonated free way to get caffeine?  (and no diet drinks - I can't have artificial sweeteners).  I'm not looking to get more then 50-60 milligrams.  That dosage works perfect for me.  I'm just looking for more options.  Or any opinions or knowledge on this topic?

*Keep in mind that when I say I go grab some caffeine, usually that means a 16 oz bottle of Mountain Dew, or more recently discovered new favorite, Sun Drop.  I RARELY drink more than 70 milligrams of caffeine a day.  (The daily "safe" limit is 300 milligrams/day.)  And I average 2-3 bottles/cans per week.  We are in no way talking caffeine addiction.  

**Also, if I ever decide to take more than my current dosage (way below the American average caffeine consumption, I'm sure), I plan on first consulting my physician.  Don't worry.  :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Toad trying to pick out a movie

Sometimes people ask us how Toad got his name.  He's a cat, not a toad, right?  Xan's parents, who found him as a kitten and raised him for 3 years, called him a Toad simply because he IS such a Toad.


Sometimes we'll wake up in the morning and come out to our living room to discover he's had another bad night of not knowing which movie to watch.  We caught him in the act this time.  Just look at his guilty face!