Monday, February 28, 2011


March is kidney awareness month... I wrote about our kidney transplant on my other blog....check it out ttp://giselamendes.blogspot.com/2011/02/march-is-national-kidney-month.html Here I wanted to talk about kidney health. I never realize how important our kidneys are until my husband had his own fail. It was crazy seeing him on dialysis hooked up to this enormous machine doing the job that two little organs do in our bodies. Allot of people don't realize the actual purpose of our kidneys, to be honest, I never thought about my kidney till I had to donate one of them lol. Before I talk about kidney health here is a quick lesson on what our kidney actually does:

What do the kidneys do?
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day, a person’s kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. The wastes and extra water become urine, which flows to the bladder through tubes called ureters. The bladder stores urine until releasing it through urination.Wastes in the blood come from the normal breakdown of active tissues, such as muscles, and from food. The body uses food for energy and self-repairs. After the body has taken what it needs from food, wastes are sent to the blood. If the kidneys did not remove them, these wastes would build up in the blood and damage the body.The actual removal of wastes occurs in tiny units inside the kidneys called nephrons. Each kidney has about a million nephrons. In the nephron, a glomerulus—which is a tiny blood vessel, or capillary—intertwines with a tiny urine-collecting tube called a tubule. The glomerulus acts as a filtering unit, or sieve, and keeps normal proteins and cells in the bloodstream, allowing extra fluid and wastes to pass through. A complicated chemical exchange takes place, as waste materials and water leave the blood and enter the urinary system.The kidneys measure out chemicals like sodium, phosphorus, and potassium and release them back to the blood to return to the body. In this way, the kidneys regulate the body’s level of these substances. The right balance is necessary for life.In addition to removing wastes, the kidneys release three important hormones:

erythropoietin, or EPO, which stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells

renin, which regulates blood pressure,

calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, which helps maintain calcium for bones and for normal chemical balance in the body.

So you see, we actually can't really live without our kidneys...so it's important to take care of them. Allot of things we don't really think about can actually affect our kidney health such as, high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol. So it's important to know that when creating a healthy lifestyle, its not just about how you look, so much as how you can keep yourself healthy enough to be able to live a long, happy life.
Here are some basic tips on what you can do to guarantee your kidney health:

Increase Fluid Intake

Drinking lots of fluids is very healthy for the kidneys. It helps flush toxins and wastes out of the body and is protective against kidney stones, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Clearinghouse.

Eat/drink Cranberries

Urinary tract infections are very common, especially among women. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recommends consuming cranberries and cranberry juice to maintain kidney health and prevent infection

Limit Salt Intake

The kidneys are important for maintaining a proper balance between salt and water in the body. Eating too much salt may increase blood pressure and make the heart work harder. It may also stress the kidneys, which could have difficulty keeping sodium levels balanced, according to MayoClinic.com. The website indicates that an adult should not consume more than 2,300mg of sodium daily.

See simple... Drink lost of water, have cranberry once in a while and really watch your sodium intake. If your family has a history of diabetes monitor your sugar intake as well, considering that diabetes can lead to renal failure. If you or your family have a history of high blood pressure, than you should monitor your blood pressure and stay away from foods that causes it to increase.There's so many tips and information on line, (you can also ask your doctor) that there's no excuse for someone to not take care of their health now in days. Remember being healthy benefits you, and your world(family and friends) SO.... be healthy!

P.S. BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR! ( to the world you might be one person, but to one person you can become the world!)

Friday, February 25, 2011

P90X UPDATE - Day 45


So, up to day 45 with my journey. I had to take a bit of a detour unfortunately but I am getting back on track! For some reason I always have that " I want to give up" feeling right in the middle of a new work out program. In the begging I push myself because I see results but than when it becomes "normal" I always want to give up... not this time! In the previous post I mentioned how I had to stop P90 for a little bit, and I was really upset about it. I thought ALL my progress would go down the drain. This mentality is what sometimes gets us giving up a exercises routine. Things happen! Guess what? Its OK! Its life!!!! Something like P90X takes allot of dedication and sometimes we get shifted to a different direction. My case were health reasons, but it could have been anything, work, family, emergencies. Its OK to take a break sometimes, as long as you stick to good eating habits, and get right back on track when the dust settles. The important thing is to not make excuses. The truth is we know when we are.... We might fool everyone else but deep down inside we know when we slack off. So I decided to pick up where I left off, and days where I have more time, I'll double the work out. I also want to start taking advantage of warmer days to start running outdoors again. I am not where I want to be yet, but I am on my way! My goal is to loose about 10 to 15 more pounds and tone up all over, mainly thighs and tummy. Mushy jello BE GONE! SO start by setting up monthly realistic goals.. Example, t his month my goal is to loose 4 pounds and to melt away at least half on inch from all my measurements,and my nutritional goal is to add more fiber to my diet and eat leaner.This is doable in a healthy way.. NOT to loose 20 pounds in a month.. anything that makes you do this that fast is not healthy, and will have you gain it all back as soon as you stop! So here's a preview of what I look like on day 45....


Thursday, February 24, 2011


So aside from a being active and eating healthy there's also and important key factor which we must add to our lifestyle which is to stretch! I know when we think of stretching allot of times it brings us back to elementary school when our gym teacher had us reach for our toes, but stretching is actually vital to any age! Allot of people have the misconception that you only need to stretch if you're going to work out.. WRONG! As we age, our muscles tighten and range of motion in the joints decreases. You know when you hear older people reach for something, and their back hurts and they say its because they're old.. well actually it's because they probably don't stretch often so their muscles have righted causing any simple task to become a work out. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and keep your joins in check.
It does not have to involve a huge time commitment, but stretching can end up giving you huge results! Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect from a regular stretching program:

Reduced muscle tension
Increased range of movement in the joints
Enhanced muscular coordination
Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body
Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)
Prevents muscle injury
Stress relief
Improves posture

So you might be thinking, "I don't have time." You know what I hear, "blah blah excuses blah!" You can literally take 10 minutes of your day to do a simple stretch, even like you used to do as a kids in school. Either when you wake up, or when you're watching T.V. or before you hit the shower.. Anytime, anywhere.. I sometimes get to tired of sitting all day at work, I get up and stretch my legs and arms, I don't care what people think, this is for my own good! There are some cautions you must take when stretching...

Warm up first

Stretching muscles when they're cold increases your risk of pulled muscles. Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favorite exercise at low intensity for five minutes.

Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds

It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds — and up to 60 seconds for a really tight muscle or problem area. That can seem like a long time, so wear a watch or keep an eye on the clock to make sure you're holding your stretches long enough. For most of your muscle groups, if you hold the stretches for at least 30 seconds, you'll need to do each stretch only once.

Don't bounce

Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears (microtears) in the muscle, which leave scar tissue as the muscle heals. The scar tissue tightens the muscle even further, making you even less flexible — and more prone to pain.

Focus on a pain-free stretch

If you feel pain as you stretch, you've gone too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch.

Relax and breathe freely

Don't hold your breath while you're stretching
Stretch both sidesMake sure your joint range of motion is as equal as possible on each side of your body

Stretch before and after activity

Light stretching after your warm-up followed by a more thorough stretching regimen after your workout is your best bet
Some exercises that are great for stretch are yoga and Pilates. With so much out there you can find a work out that you enjoy and in the long run promotes nothing but "good health."

(References: about.com, mayo clinic)
Some basic stretches EVERYONE should include in their routines....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Need motivation......

What to do when the last thing you want to do is be healthy?

I am on my 43rd P90X and unfortunately had to slack off a bit. I recently had some issues with my reproductive area, which forced me to have to rest a little. At first I immediately felt like I lost all my progress, but, the truth it doesn't really work that way. I might had to be light on my work outs, but that's no excuse for not continuing to try in eat healthy. I've also been forced to walk more since my car broken down, so I am getting some type of exercise. One thing that has been super helpful for me these last 2 weeks, have been protein shakes. I tried a shake from a line called "SHAKEOLOGY" and I love it! I can't wait to order more. Just because for some reason you can't be as active as you normally would be, there's no excuse to change your eating habits. I have a serious problem with this... Once I am not active for some reason I feel like a slob and I want to eat junk, so for me I just avoid all together having junk at home! It's important to continue to measure and weight yourself during the time of your break. I am taking some hormone medication, which is causing me to be bloated and crampy,(and emotional phew!) so I can't base these side effects on how I actually look, but I am still keeping track, so once I am better I can keep track of what I am need to work on. I am trying to cut down on carbs more these weeks, since I am not burning as much calories. You know you body! You know what you should and shouldn't cut back or add. For me carbs and sugars are my worst nightmare!!!!!!! I wanted to share with you ways that I stay motivated....

1. Set up realistic short term goals.( I make monthly goals for myself)
2. Look at pictures of what you want to achieve. ( be realistic!)
3. Keep track of your measurements. ( Once they start to shift up, its a major reality check!)
4. Drink LOTS of fluids. ( the less active you are the more water you retain)
5. Think health! ( Its not about just physical, its about doing things that will make you feel good, and have long term benefits)
6.Focus (anytime you start to want to give up, think about all the times you looked in the mirror and were unhappy, or about all the times you had no energy, that you felt unhealthy)
7. Try new things! ( Sometimes when it comes to diet and exercises we have our minds set on what works for others, but with so much out there you shouldn't limit yourself, research)

So by Monday I should be all ready to get back into my routine, and I'll continue to keep you posted on my P90X journey!

Random thought: I tried a yogurt called FAGE and I am obsessed with it.. Its Greek low fat yogurt and it comes either with honey, berries,cottage cheese or plain. Greek yogurt is an awesome snack or breakfast option ...
Here are some benefits of grek yogurt vs regular yogurt.