Health Issue: Salt, Sodium and Exercise

During the winter I watch what I eat, yet I rarely exercise. I stop around the time I need to see a doctor regarding respiratory or bronchial problems. I was rather good at keeping my weight down. Yet, come Spring it jumps up a bit.

I’ve been walking since February, but haven’t made much headway. Daily, or every other day, I strive to walk 1 hour and 45 minutes. I don’t walk for speed. I walk for distance.

As of late, I’ve been ingesting too much salt.

It’s because I love soup. It’s a great meal to me. I know exactly how many calories I’ve eaten. However, according to nutritionists I’ve read, soup is one of the worse foods to eat. It is high in sodium.

Reluctantly, I have to find another warm food substitute. I can’t stand a lot of cold foods, and most “healthy” meals seem to be.

I try to drink a lot of water. Although I know I could never drink enough water, depleted by daily walks, to replenish fluids, or dilute sodium levels.

Salt intake should not exceed 1,500 milligrams a day.

Salt is everywhere. It’s in carbonated water. It’s in seasonings. It’s in my low fat fake milk, which also has a ton of sugar. It’s in my oatmeal. I wonder if Sea Salt makes a difference? Is vinegar acceptable? Oh well. Gotta research that. I’ll write about Sea Salt later.

I have an incredible craving and taste for acidic, salty, bitter and spicy foods. If I have any craving for sugar at all I just know I’m hungry. With the cravings for salt I’m not even sure what that means.

I can’t play around with my health regarding this issue. High blood pressure runs in my family.

My remedy for this situation? Keep track of the salt, and drink more water. Overall, my goal is to get fit, then skinny without being rash, drastic, or harsh.

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To Pack It All Up and Move Away

I want to run away from this life.

Right now, more than ever, I’ve this intense urge to sell my crap; junk the stuff cluttering up my life.

Let go of my issues. Just leave.

My problem: I love my home.

It’s the first, and only one, I’ve bought. The neighborhood is s’okay; crime is nearly nonexistent. There’s a steep price to pay for living here: New Jersey is one, if not the most expensive state in the country. It also feels like the most depressing, isolating, and socially stagnant places in the world.

It’s weird how much I miss Brooklyn, when I could not wait to leave that place!

My current home is my comfort zone.

This is where I hide from everyone. I don’t believe I should need someplace that makes me reluctant to let go of. I don’t think it’s healthy. I should be able to adapt to any environment; enjoy myself. At some point, in the future, I know I will move.

My other issue: I wouldn’t know where to go.

I used to want to a second home in Florida. I used to want to work in Nevada. I used to want to return to England. I used to want to find a home in Canada. I used to want to relocate to Australia or New Zealand. I used to want to hang out in Spain. I used to want to chill down in the Bahamas, Barbados, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

I have the “grass is greener” syndrome.

I take this feeling to mean that I need to take a trip. I read about people who backpack around the world. I feel no envy. I’d rather go somewhere, hang out for a couple of days and return to my home.

There are places I’d still like to visit: Australia, Italy, Germany, B.C. Vancouver, the Netherlands, maybe India or Japan. I need to make plans, or I’m going to go crazy.

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I Would Relax My Hair, But

It’s been well over a decade since I relaxed my hair and I don’t feel like re-learning how to deal with my hair. Whenever I would consider making the change, a multitude of issues come up:

  1. The warning on the box still says eye and scalp injury. I’ve seen pictures of relaxer scalp injury. It ain’t pretty. It’s downright sad and scary.
  2. It burns! It burns! In retrospect, it was crazy of me to go through torture just to get straight hair.
  3. I’m cheap. I don’t want to spend money on salon visits or a ton of expensive miracle products – just to stop breakage and hope it makes my hair grow.
  4. I like my hair thick. I value my hair line and nape. I don’t want to worry about a relaxer causing hair loss in those areas.
  5. I don’t want to wait until my scalp heals after getting a relaxer, before I can do anything else to my hair or scalp.
  6. It smells toxic, which is it. It stinks too.
  7. I’m lazy. What may be convenient to others isn’t to me. I don’t want to follow any complex rules regarding my hair. These rules seem to grow. Here are some that may be required, before heading off to the salon: base the scalp with heavy oils, do not scratch the scalp, deep condition the hair, do not wash the hair, [another rule], etc.
  8. I enjoy my free time. I don’t want to visit a salon every 6-8 weeks losing an entire Saturday.
  9. Hair salons employ scissor happy staff. There are hair dressers who don’t (wont?) wash the product out completely.
  10. If it is supposed to permanently straighten my hair, then why must I use flat irons or certain techniques to re-straighten it?
  11. Using different relaxers is really tricky. One can love certain products only to have them discontinued. That’s cruel – I sense a conspiracy, yo.
  12. I don’t know, or care, about the differences between no-lye and lye relaxers. I wouldn’t want to risk eye or scalp injury or baldness just to find out which one works.
  13. After losing hair with relaxers, I view it as a gateway product (yeah, like a drug!) to weaves and wigs. If a relaxer was supposedly good for hair, then weaves and wigs would not be necessary. It is just going from bad to worse. (Don’t get me wrong, I wear wigs on occasion.)
  14. I am terrified of involuntary baldness. I’ve read the horror stories. That’s too much stress for me.

Outside of these hassles, what is supposed to be the benefit of a relaxer?

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I Like Shopping For Hair Products But

I’m not willing to spend any money on the boutique stuff. There is a great deal of expensive products out there. I notice that companies are really focusing on kinky, curly and dry hair. That’s great that they’re realizing not everyone has oily straight hair.

Once I see that a bottle of magic hair potion, goes for $12-$24.95 at 6-8 ounces, I go, “No way. It’s not happening.” Even if the product promised to make hair grow one inch a month, I still wouldn’t fork over the money.

That Smell

Why do companies believe that hair (or skin care) products should include so much fragrance?

Not everyone wants to smell like melons, apples, oranges or mangoes. (Love the taste of mangoes, I just don’t want to wear them.)

How about a fragrance free sample? Or maybe a separate bottle or packet to add the scent?

I’ve been mixing my own concoctions lately and the blessing is that I can add the scent(s) later. The raw ingredients I put in are basically odorless. There are a lot of products I do like, but after a while that smell be killing!

Samples and Experimenting

I’ve found that what works for me are inexpensive products. I started out looking for cheap items, and found I can stay on the natural bandwagon. Reasonably priced products are not out of reach. I reach for generic items as much as brand name products just to check quality.

At times, there is no difference.

I say this, because I see that in some forums women who think of going natural think they need to spend a lot of money. I’ve even read that being natural is expensive. At first, I find that sentiment hilarious. (Don’t mind me I laugh at inappropriate things.)

I think a woman who’s going natural has to focus on the specific hair problem and seek an inexpensive remedy:

  • If it’s dry, look for moisture.
  • If it’s sticky from product buildup, search for a clarifying product.
  • If it’s hard to comb, find a detangler. In the case of natural hair, several steps to detangle may be required.

Frankly, I wish companies would sell more items in the sample size. I found Garnier Fructis at Wal-Mart, because of the samples.

Maybe I’ll write and ask for a super-rich creamy product – sans the fragrance.

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Garnier Fructis

Dry Hair

Everyone has different hair requirements. I am a 4a-z with hair that is fine, medium density, kinky, coily, textured, cottony, or nappy. It is rarely hard and never coarse.

Did I mention how fragile and delicate my hair is?

I envy people who can comb, flat iron, and blow dry nearly every day. It’s hard keeping my hands out of my hair. At a minimum, I let three days pass before I comb it again.

What I want from a hair product is that it leaves my hair feeling soft, moisturized, and easy to comb. It’s amazing how many products do the first two and not the last one!

Research

Periodically, I must switch products.

I read hair boards, searching for conditioners and gels with the best reviews. I evaluate based on hair type. I don’t ignore other hair types. I note those with similar problems: dry hair, often brittle, which leads to breakage.

Garnier Fructis Moisture Works Fortifying Cream Conditioner

For now, this product works. I love the smell, and I can comb my hair after I’ve washed with it.

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-In Conditioning Cream

The first time I used this product it left my hair a sticky, clumpy mess with a lot of white residue. I don’t know if I finally figured out how to use it or what, but I love this stuff now.

It is excellent for helping me unravel my twists or plaits. The drier my hair is the tighter it gets. This product makes my hair slide apart wonderfully and easily. There’s no snapping plaits apart with this.

Overall, I’m satisfied with Garnier Fructis for now.

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Sugar

There is too much sugar in my oatmeal.

I assumed, wrongly, that this was a great way to start the day. I enjoy a hot breakfast for winter and early Spring. The only thing that instant oatmeal does for me is trigger a ridiculous sugar craving hours later.

I am not a sugar fiend, but that instant oatmeal definitely turned me into one. I cannot tolerate a lot of sugar: it makes me sick. High blood pressure runs in my family. To me wherever there is too much sugar, there’s likely to be too much salt.

Now that the weather’s getting warmer, I’ve switched to one banana. I don’t like any of those “diets” that recommend a slice of whole wheat bread, one egg, an 8 oz glass of orange juice, and some other junk.

That combination is guaranteed to cause a belly ache and make me barf. I kid you not.

Sometimes you can’t win for losing when it comes to food these days.

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