Sunday, June 21, 2015

Healthy Eating To Boost (CD4) The Immune System

For the past three years, during my hiatus from blogging, I have been discovering food that boosts health. Foods that will strengthen the body's immunity to illnesses, viruses, and the likes. During my research, I have discovered and (probably proved) tested some foods that do strengthen the immune system. These foods that I am going to write about have been consumed by yours truly on a regular basis. 
  • Mushrooms - these edible fungi have been a  personal favorite of mine. The three varieties have been a regular in most of the dishes I have been cooking... These are: Shitake (fresh and dried), Button (fresh, white or brown), Portobello (fresh). Of the three, Shitake mushrooms are well known to have the most health benefits and is also well known around the world as an immune system booster. You can have buy it in stores either dried or fresh. However, among the three, Portobello is the tastiest and most delicious. 
  • Salmon - is labelled as one of the few super foods available. It's tasty, you can have it raw or cooked, and it has essential fish oils. 
  • Turmeric - this spice is a regular on my (almost) everyday rice. It is known to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Milk - Drinking milk after a meal can hinder the digestive system to absorb fat, and has a lot of protein and calcium too!
  • Eggs - Eating two eggs a day is considered safe. Eggs are packed with protein and other nutrients. Eating eggs on a regular basis also makes the liver produce less cholesterol because of the eggs cholesterol content, therefore, controlling the body's cholesterol in the process. More on the the relationship of cholesterol, liver, and the body in my future articles. 
  • Wine - I have been drinking win on a regular basis. I am already okay to drink alcohol regularly, but on moderate amounts and two hours after or before drinking my ARVs. I drink white most of the time lately as I have been eating fish a lot. I still have red wine, that I drink sometimes before I sleep. 
  • Yakult - This Asian native drink contains bacteria that regulates our digestive system. It is made of milk, with yogurt like taste. Having a healthy digestive system is important for nutrient absorption. No matter how healthy and nutrient-packed the food is, it's useless unless your stomach and intestines can digest and absorb whatever is needed to be absorbed.  
  • Oats - Cholesterol fighter and fiber provider. Need I say more?
Well, those are just some of the regular food I eat, and I always pair them with great music playing in the background to complete the mood. More on how to incorporate those foods in your daily diet and more, soon.

Monday, June 1, 2015

I Am Still Alive

It's been three years since I posted something in this blog. I admit, I missed blogging, I tried several times to change the genre of my documented literature to something else, like poetry, photography, or anything away from what triggered to start this blog. Although I'm still very much active in Twitter, it's different when you have a regular audience you cater to, and somehow help other PLHIVs either long-term survivors or the newly diagnosed. Something triggered me to check out the emails I get from this blog, then I logged in to Blogger to check how my sleeping blog is doing. I still got a few thousand hits last month, and I still get emails from readers both old and new, I even got a comment saying that I am already dead as the blog has not been updated for the longest time. So here I am, typing on my laptop, showing the world that I am still alive. 

It has been three years, yes, it has been that long. I thought, there has been a new breed of PLHIV bloggers sprouting in the internet along with the fast rising number of HIV cases in the Philippines. I thought that my hiatus would be prolonged as my wisdom and experience with this illness (or condition) would no longer be needed because I am sure that the new PLHIV bloggers' knowledge would suffice the need. As I witnessed in Twitter, there is still a need to guide the newly diagnosed, there is still a need to share experiences, there is still a need to share what I can. To help give light to stay alive and be alive with HIV/AIDS.

My weight has been on a constant high with little up and downs in-between; but my determination to finally get rid of the bulge is never hampered. I need to lose some weight, because I may not die of HIV or AIDS complications, I may die of a heart disease or any sort of cardiovascular related illnesses. At the moment I am slowly shifting to becoming a weekday pescatarian. I cook my own meals for almost the entire week, I am on a sugarless diet (most of the time), so I don't put sugar on my coffee, in fact, I like it black. I brew my own coffee most of the time using a French Press and I only use locally grown Arabica beans. My CD4 count for three years (running) has been constant above 1000. My last CD4 count this past March was 1,196, and my Viral Load is zero. I am no longer in San Lazaro Hospital's care, I am under the care of a private hospital which I will withhold the information for privacy purposes. I am still taking the same ARV combo of Zidovudine/Lamivudine and Efavirenz. The Efavirenz side-effects are still being felt, but I am well adapted to them now. However, the much awaited "high-definition" dreaming has not happened to me yet. 

I tried enrolling to a gym and tried swimming, the former was a failed attempt to be fit because of my excessive exhaustion from work, swimming is still being worked on. All in all, my goal these days is to be fitter and healthier and to eat better foods. Losing weight will follow as long as my food intake is better. I cannot give-up on fat as the ARV needs them, besides, I don't want to look dry. 

So there, in a nutshell, I'm still alive and my immune system's health is pretty much intact and already back to normal with zero viral load. I believe, that's all thanks to healthy eating and keeping a healthy perspective in life. Furthermore, a stable and healthy emotional and mental state plays a key role in keeping my immune system strong, aside of course to the much needed ARVs.