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Lifestyle changes….

what kind of lifestyle changes have you made to help with your asthma and your overall health?

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Comments 38

  • Melissa G

    About a month ago, I gave up soda and trying very hard to give up sweets. The only chocolate I have been having is my chocolate protein shake in the morning.

    Since giving up soda, I have been drinking mainly water with the exception of a few glasses of juice. Wow, not only have I lost some weight () I feel so much better and I have been sleeping better. 

    I really am going to try to get up earlier and exercise. The more active I am, the better I feel. 

    What about you?

  • Shea

    Melissa, great topic! Awesome on eliminating sodas and feeling better! I also do not drink sodas (and also no alcohol), but occasionally have gingerale (a kind that has real ginger in it) or san pellagrino blood orange juice beverage for a treat.

    I switched from regular dairy to organic only– it is a little more expensive but I use and eat less pf it, and my tummy tolerates it much better than non-organic. I also avoid carageenan in my diet because that upsets my tummy too. Also, I use Rice milk for things like cereals use agave for sweetener on them instead of cereals higher in sugar. 

    I cut down red meat to once a week. I have been eating more cooked vegetables. 

  • LK

    Good topic, Melissa!  I was just reading an article about "organic" foods.  It is startling how some food labels are so misleading.

  • Melissa G

    Shea, have you ever tried coconut milk? Not sure if you need to avoid coconut. I love to replace milk in recipes with coconut milk, I like the richer flavor that the coconut milk gives. 

    Lisa,  had no idea! 

  • Pljohns

    I made the lifestyle change 2 years ago and totally changed jobs-got completely out of management and into a more stable, regular work hours, less stressful job.  I've also quit soda's for the most part.  Occasionally I will have one but have found that the really small 7.5 oz cans take care of my desire for one and it sure beats the 20oz big boy that is really bad for you.  I drink more water-usually 60-80 oz a day and have been exercising more regularly-I try to get my steps in every day and sometimes get more than planned.  I also have learned to avoid places that smell of any fragrance-I use to tolerate them OK but not since my asthma diagnosis and I've finally given that up-everything has to be scent free or i can't have it.

  • Melissa G

    Lynn, I had no idea how much better I would feel giving up soda! I have had several opportunities to have a soda, but have opted for water instead and so glad that I did. 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma
    Melissa G posted:

    Lynn, I had no idea how much better I would feel giving up soda! I have had several opportunities to have a soda, but have opted for water instead and so glad that I did. 

    Melissa, congrats on giving up soda!!!  In my mid-twenties, I used to "need" a coca cola by 10am (I also don't drink coffee) for my caffeine, and when I finally gave it up, I felt so much better. I decided to give it up when I realized that I could no longer taste it. I was just tasting fizz, I think. I was exhausted as I went through the process of removing it from my diet…but now, I have much more energy.  Water is such a great substitute!

    Here's an eye opening article from Harvard's The Nutrition Source titled, about the amount of sugar found in commonly consumed beverages. Below is the infographic from the article. Wow!!

  • Melissa G

    The only thing I have really struggled with is the need for a caffeine fix.  My days start early and sometimes end really late, and I need a pick me up in the morning. 

  • Pljohns

    I’m a hot tea person so i have a small cup of hot tea in the morning and when i get to work, I fix another on in my yeti ad by 3:30 it’s the perfect temp so I have afternoon tea too.  That’s it for me with caffeine.

  • Marie E Natzke

    I've stopped drinking coke a cola but once in a while I need to drink 7up or equivalent to settle my stomach from my new arthritis meds. For my caffeine fix I've been drinking coffee. I only need about a cup a day. I've been drinking kauai cold coffee brew. I add aguave, almond milk, and a little chocolate syrup and ice. I make my own Mccafe iced coffee. Not as many calories. I've lost about 3 lbs so far. I will treat myself over the weekend to Mccafe but then I get the small sized coffee…

  • SHN2014

    This is a great topic! I'm trying to give up soda, but I backslide more than I would like. I am doing better with giving up dairy. I'm trying soy or almond based yogurts and skipping cheese on my sandwiches. The biggest problem has been that I like cream in my tea and coffee and haven't found a good substitute, but I have only recently started the no dairy thing, so I'm sure I will find one at some point. 

  • Pljohns

    Soda is one of my backslides also-I wold say I have one about every 2-3 weeks now, which is a ton better than what use to be every day!  I like tea more so I have a cup of hot tea in the afternoon and ice tea with dinner(both decaf) so at least I've gotten rid of the caffeine

  • Kathy P

    We've actually started a soda habit here recently I've started making raw, fermented soda. Still has sugar, but I can control what's in it. 

    SHN – there are alternative creamers made from coconut or almond milk. We keep sweetened condensed coconut milk on hand to make chai lattes. I usually drink tea and don't add anything. The lattes are a treat. 

  • SHN2014

    Kathy P, thanks. I have tried one almond milk creamer that I didn't really care for, but it might just be the brand. I will look for other alternatives. 

    That is a great idea of making your own soda. I sure do struggle with that, especially when we go out to a restaurant. It's hard for me to just order water! 

  • Kathy P

    Yeah, I rarely drink soda these days. I do drink Coke as my caffeine and sugar source when I'm traveling, but don't order in restaurants or buy for at home. In restaurants, I've gotten used to just water or I'll order unsweetented iced tea.

    We started making "ginger bug" about a month or so ago. Literally just ginger, sugar and water. It starts fermenting from the natural yeast found in the ginger skin (you have to use organic to make sure it's not irradiated). You feed it every couple days and it just happily bubbles on the counter. Or you can keep it in the fridge for more time between feedings.

    Then you make whatever flavor "soda" you want. We've done ginger ale and fruit juice/cider ones. For the ginger ale, you boil grated ginger and then add sugar. Let that cool and add some strained ginger bug. I add lemon juice and a couple juniper berries. We let that ferment for a couple days, then bottle. I use the flip top bottles since I don't want to invest in a capper. Those sit for a couple days to carbonate and then into the fridge. We've also used some fresh pressed ciders from the farmer's market. The apple lemon was good, but the apple pomegranate was da bomb! About 4 parts cider, 3 parts water, a bit of sugar and 1 part ginger bug.

  • Melissa G

    Kathy, you need to open up your own restaurant! Your meals and other ideas always amaze me! 

  • Melissa G

    When Bekah is having a rough time, I get very little sleep, anywhere from 2-4 hours at night and sometimes not consecutively. I would be so tired in the morning. I have never been a coffee drinker. On the mornings when I could barely function, and I was running on very little sleep it was common for me to get headaches. I would take an excedrine for migraine and chase it down with a mountain dew.  Then I discovered mtn dew came in different flavors. I love the code red, so an excedrine and a code red would give me a pick me up I needed to get up and move in the morning.On a few instances I didn't get any sleep, those mornings I needed a caffeine IV…. then I discovered mtn dew pitch black…let's just say it put pep in my step for several hours. I finally realized, I couldn't function without the insane amount of caffeine I was consuming. So I stopped cold turkey. The first week or so was rough….now I don't miss them at all. I still am tired in the mornings but I try to walk around and exercise to get me going instead of caffeine. 

  • SHN2014

    Malissa G, great to hear you are off caffeine. I haven't been able to kick the habbet and can find myself drinking 4 cups of coffee in a day. Right now I am trying to just drink one cup in the morning and move to tea after that. That has lowered my caffeine intake but not removed it completely. I only had a half cup of coffee today and decaf tea after that. 

  • Tiffany F.

    We re-homed our family dog, invested in countless Asthma-friendly purifiers and products and adopted a much more green diet.  We try to eat leafy greens at least once per day if not twice in meals, eliminate processed sugars and carbs.  I make a morning green smoothie for my 3 year old, and she is used to eating salad for dinner because I have always given it to her.  Its made a world of difference.

  • Pljohns

    Tiffany-that is great that things are better since you made those changes.  making changes is tough but the rewards are often times so worth it!

  • Melissa G

    I have had a couple of sodas lately and after I do, I ask myself, why in the world did I drink that! I feel gross afterwards. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Tiffany, you made some hard decisions, but it sounds like things are moving in the right direction. What sort of green smoothie recipe do you use? 

  • Tiffany F.

    @K8sMom2002  Our dog got a great home and her current owner is home a lot more than we are, so it worked out nice.  Our daughter isn't as thrilled and wants a kitty or puppy badly.   We are really unsure what to do there – some people say different coats are fine for some people.  We weren't sure if a ferret might be in the cards, not sure if they produce dander similarly.

    I use many different recipes but only rule for me is just try to make sure there are dark leafy greens and natural omega 3/fatty acids in every one.  (usually in the form of flax seeds, avocado)  

    A lot of our recipes come from – have been following her for years and she has smoothies for everyone and my daughter (and also our very picky 6 yr old foster child) enjoy many of hers.  

    Finally, I highly recommend reading the book … you'll never look at a salad the same way again haha!  

  • Shea

    I have dog dander allergy (started mild but got worse over time after continued exposure, now is very bad), cat allergy (has always been bad now is very bad even to secondhand exposure to dander carried on people's clothing), and my son is allergic to dog and cat dander (confirmed by skin prick tests), and I had to do a LOT to inform family members how I cannot be in or visit homes with cat and dog dander (when I first was learning I tried petting a Labradoodle– supposedly low dander– but got allergic/triggered asthma and skin, and I tried meditating my allergies but that was not good, and made my allergies worse in tbe long run). I am very allergic to ferrets (they have similar dander to cats), and no dog is hypoallergenic although some dog dander might cause worse reactions than otbers they all will make a person with dog dander allergy more ill especially chronic exposure in living environment. My son sneezed after petting bunnies. A lot of furry animals cross-react and it is hard to get rid of a pet after getting one, also hard being sick all tbe time trying to live with them and getting worsening of allergies or developing asthma. My allergist said all furry pets produce dander. 

    We decided to get leopard geckos (nice lizards, dont get too big, good with kids dont bite, and easy to clean tank. Inexpensive to buy and live a long time. We have 2 of those. A year after getting them we found out about a more rare lizard called ornate uromastyx and we have 2 of them now too. They also are easy to handle and have great personalities and don't get too big. We love our lizards and best of all no dander, no allergies!

  • K8sMom2002

    Tiffany, so glad your dog is settling into its new home and happy! Sounds like it was a win-win for you, the dog and the new owner!

    But hugs on your daughter wanting a kitty or a puppy. I was thinking of Shea's very cute lizards when I read your post — so glad she shared photos! Some people don't care for lizards, but it might work for you.

    Also, for years, we kept goldfish — you would be surprised how attached you can get to a goldfish!

     … it helped me understand that it's not the fur, but the protein in the urine, saliva and dander that causes the problem. 

  • Shea

    These lizards are so chill– they arent wiggly or jumpy or bitey or anything like the little wild lizards we have in Florida. They just kinda sit and let you pet them and they each have their own personalities, sometimes they might want to crawl on the floor for a bit or up onto your arm, but they are easy to handle, very gentle, and never bite. I prefer them over pet birds (which have sharp beaks and can bite hard, and always poop on me when I hold them– and both mt mom and I have an allergy to feathers and bird droppings), and over dogs or cats which can scratch, bite, or slobber, and Im allergic to. Best of all, they arent needy– if you dont pick them up and just watch tgem and feed them and turn their lights on and off, they are fine with that, and if you want to hold them, they are fine with that too. 

  • Melissa G

    I fell off the soda wagon and have had a few and let me tell you I can notice the difference. I really prefer water now. I am not craving sweets and not snacking nearly as much as I use to. 

  • Wheezy Me

    Regarding asthma- well, it worsened after I moved to a city with colder climate, (though I love my new place and it's totally worth it!). I started warming my house more often, drinking hot drinks, and ventilating my room as often as possible. As exercise is one of my triggers, I learned that indoor activities are easier for me and switched from walking outside to dancing at home. I also play tennis, which is outdoors but requires short bouts of exercise insted of prolonged ones.

    Many wrote about diet changes. I have been a vegetarian for as long as I can remember. I started eating healthier foods and exercising years ago for other reasons (obesity, prediabetes) and they improved greatly, as well as my overall wellbeing; I didn't notice any effect on asthma, though.

  • K8sMom2002

    Wheezy Me, I'm with you — sometimes exercising outdoors isn't in the cards for me … but walking indoors? That I can do.

    What kind of dancing do you do? I have two left feet, but one of the most fun activities that I can remember doing with my DH is signing us up for a dance class. We didn't get much better, but it was fun!

    Shea, so very interesting about your critters! It's nice that they are so low key.

  • Shea

    I love dancing for exercise too! I dont know any formal dance moves, I just like to put music on and get silly, stepping and twirling– and I get soooo sore the next day so I know its good exercise. 

    I do kinda want to start doing the Zumba (they sell it on dvd… Its an upbeat dance video). In fact, I named my baby uromastyx lizard Zumba on part to inspire me (and to kinda match with my males name, which is Zombie), but she really does have lots of energy every morning she zooms around her habitat– so it is a fitting nane all around.

    Speaking of zooming, I hadnt had a Starbucks coffee in quite some time (and living in FL I usually get them iced) but I had a coupon for Target so I went, and of course couldnt resist a Starbucks– I got a hot one since its cold outside– that thing made me feel like Superwoman– I did all my grocery shopping, finished my xmas shopping, came home, unloaded, finished putting together this IKEA furniture piece that I had gotten stumped by a week ago– (saw my mistake and its all together and in my closet to hold my crochetting and crafting stuff), made dinner then did reading homework with Tommy, cleaned the kitchen, and still felt like a million bucks. I forgot how magical that coffee is– and drinking it hot– I think because it doesnt have ice there is more in it, but also I think it is really nice drinking hot beverages (at least ehen its cool outside)… It sat in my tummy better. 

  • Pljohns

    WOW Shea-talk about the energizer bunny  I need about a gallon of that stuff today.  I do agree that sometimes there is nothing like a nice hot beverage when it's cold outside.  I've been on a hot chocolate binge and it's been really good.  The hot stuff seems to warm up my lungs and they work better.  I've started making time for a cup of hot tea every morning no matter what-

  • Melissa G

    Maybe I need to give coffee a try…I tried it once and didn't like it. I definitely need something to help me get up and go! 

  • Wheezy Me

    Cynthia, I never learned to dance formally. I just follow the moves from youtube videos such as Just Dance- there are so many options and I keep dancing to those I liked best. I even made up my own moves for several songs.

    Shea, well done for managing all of this in one day! You do sound like a superwoman!👏👏👏

    I like some sweet tea flavors (chai masala, apple&cinnamon, strawberry etc) and also hot cocoa with milk. These are the drinks I have often. I never liked coffee much but started drinking one occasionally and it can be a real energy booster.