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Monday, March 24, 2014

Getting Fit // Healthy, Balanced Living


So, about a month ago - Scot was diagnosed with gout. (I had vaguely heard of it with older people, but I had no clue what it really was until now.)

Don't know what gout is? Mayo Clinic describes it here:

Gout is a painful form of arthritis that occurs when high levels of uric acid in your blood cause crystals to form and accumulate around a joint. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines. Purines occur naturally in your body, but you also get them from eating certain foods. 

Gout usually starts with excruciating pain in your big toe, which explains some foot problems Scot's been having lately. Sometimes the attacks can get so bad that you'll have to use crutches or wear a special boot to walk. Stress makes it worse, and it won't entirely ever go away. Thankfully, Scot went to the podiatrist as soon as the pain worsened. The doctor prescribed a medicine to take every day to decrease the amount of uric acid in his body and another medicine to be used whenever an attack flares up.

For this attack, it took about two weeks for the pain to subside. Now, we're just working on eating a little healthier to see if that will help.

We're eating more of this:
green vegetables (particularly spinach)
cherry tomatoes
cucumbers
pickles
carrots
celery
fruits
peanut butter 
mixed nuts and sunflower seeds
whole grain breads and pasta
low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt
hard-boiled eggs
cherry juice
homemade lemonade

And less of this:
processed foods
high-fructose corn syrup
meats (bacon, beef, pork)
fish and seafood
oatmeal
alcohol
soda

They recommend drinking 8-16 ounces of water daily - no soda or alcohol, no high fructose corn syrup. And some exercise. Really just a regular healthy-eating plan more than anything.

It hasn't changed my cooking for dinner that much, but we are making a few changes to eating healthier during the day. For lunch, we have turkey or chicken sandwiches with lots of spinach and cut-up cucumber. Or, a spinach salad with tons of veggies and a little fat-free balsamic vinaigrette. For snacks, we have cut-up fruit, hard-boiled eggs, tortilla or pita chips, pretzels, veggie straws, carrots, cut-up veggies, cut-up cheese, mixed nuts or granola bars.

We can't afford an all-organic lifestyle (and I'm not sure I'd like to), but we're making some small changes that will hopefully make a big impact in helping to keep Scot's pain at bay. Yet, still living life and enjoying some of those unhealthier things - like occasional desserts, cookies, soda and chocolate. Living a balanced life is what matters most to us.

(So proud of my hubby for going to the doctor and getting everything checked out - for keeping his health a priority too!)

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