30 Days of Health and Contentment: Day 11

Today is our second day of aerobic workout this week (see exercise pattern here). Remember, you need to keep your heart rate within your target range for 40 minutes.

Dealing with sugar cravings is our biggest challenge. A friend of mine has used fruits as a substitute for white sugar in her diet. If you are able to eat grapefruit (read below), check out this recipe for grapefruit salad from the blog mrs-twinkle.com.

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Grapefruit and Statins

A lot of us take statins to control blood cholesterol levels, and we are told not to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice. Bummer! at this time of year, citrus is readily available. Those red grapefruits at the market sure look good. So, why the warning about statins and grapefruit?

sliced grapefruit, limes, oranges, lemons
January brings citrus to market

With a bit of investigation, I learned that grapefruit are high in a substance called furanocoumarin. This chemical affects how the liver processes statins, and may cause a toxic overdose by allowing too much statin to be released into the bloodstream too fast.

Furanocoumarin changes how our bodies deal with statins. And, it’s not just statins. Other medications can be affected by  furanocoumarins. So, be safe and heed those drug warnings.

Caving to Cravings: Other Options

When the sun isn’t shining much, as it hasn’t been around here lately, it can be really hard to stay focused and motivated. You want comfort. There’s the rub – we too often comfort ourselves with food.

From the time we are infants, we associate comfort with food, right? When a baby cries, the first thing we think of is hunger (and, if that doesn’t work, then, we try other stuff!).

How can you care for yourself, and feel contentment, without first resorting to food? First, you need to distinguish feelings of hunger from cravings. If you think that you are truly hungry, give yourself some healthy choices. For example, you might try an apple, or nuts, or scrambled eggs.

Don’t feel like eating any of those healthy choices, but that bag of potato chips is looking good? I probably don’t need to connect the dots for you.

When we crave unhealthy foods, we are in need of something. Ironically, it may not be food at all. Think about other ways to bring comfort into your day.

How about a lie down on the couch with a new, cozy blanket and magazine?

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Is there a sewing, knitting, woodworking, or drawing project that you can indulge in for personal satisfaction?

How about a favorite TV show On Demand?

Maybe you’d feel comforted by a scented candle and soft music, a warm bath, or a gathering around the fireplace or fire pit.

Some people like to chew gum when they have cravings. I prefer a strong mint, or brushing my teeth. It doesn’t always work, but it’s definitely worth a go.

The point is, you need to think ahead about how you will deal with your need for comfort so that grabbing chocolate isn’t the only option. By the way, I am no saint. I just ate a bunch of chocolate bells!

Hell’s bells.

This post is not intended as medical advice. Consult with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.

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