Fad Diets – Paleo, Wheat Belly – Just Eat Real

Standard

Posting from my friend Judi Finneran’s post today. I agree 100% with what she’s saying. She and I did our 60-day Juice-fest together. Let me know what you think.

Wheat Belly, The Paleo Caveman Diet, Dr Atkins and Eat to Live

Let me just start off this post by saying very clearly, I am not a doctor, a dietician, a nutritionist, a scientist or an expert of any kind in the field of healthy eating.  I am simply a person who has battled weight my entire adult life and have spent the same amount of time in personal study, reading, trying, living and coming to finally understand what healthy eating is for me.  Being almost 200 pounds overweight at one time, did not in any way diminish my knowledge of calories, carbs, fats, food combining, healthy eating etc. I just did not always choose to act on what I knew to be true for me.

For the past several days I have been listening to the book Wheat Belly, by William Davis, MD.  While I was initially drawn to reading the book due to my own loveof starch carbs (give me a potato or a chocolate any day) I was underwhelmed to say the least and frightened by some of the information espoused in the Wheat Belly Diet.  90% of what I heard, in MY OPINION, was complete hooey as much as I would have loved to believe it.  Anyone who tells me I can grab a block of high fat cheese for breakfast, not worry about how much I eat and still lose weight causes me to drop to my knees, saying “tell me it’s true.”   Suggesting fried eggs as a great breakfast nearly made me trip on the sidewalk.  I do agree with the points made about we eat too much junk and many of them are wheat, bagels, pretzels, crackers, etc.  But overall, listening to this book made me fearful for people reading it.  It is just another fad diet, again in my opinion and designed to excite those who worship at the alter of a highly saturated fat diet.

Which brings me to other very popular fad diet book out there right now, The Paleo Diet.  The author is Loren Cordain, Ph.D., the world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets.  Seriously, how many experts on there on the Paleo Diet to make him the leading expert?  When I hear people talking about “The Paleo Diet”, I picture plates loaded with big bloody slabs of beef.  And as in Wheat Belly, carbs are the enemy.  Not just junk food carbs, but also vegetables.  I would like to find one physician who would ever tell a patient to eat more red meat.  To me, this was Wheat Belly was a caveman slant, designed to attract real men who eat meat.  Right.

To me, in my opinion, these are both just redressed versions of the Atkins Diet of the 70′s and 80′s.  The same old stuff in a new outfit, out to fool an new bunch of people.  The reason I keep stressing in my opinion is because I am not an expert.  I am just someone who has never, ever, not even once heard of someone dying from eating too many vegetables.   I was a server in a restaurant when the Atkins Diet was in its heyday. I most often worked the breakfast shift and the most common meal was steak and eggs.  The eggs were either fried or scrambled with cheese added.  Again, seriously.  Oh and no toast.  And we all remember how Dr Atkins died, right?

I admit it, I am a true believer in Eat to Live, Nutritarian Lifestyle by Dr Joel Fuhrman.  It just makes sense to me and I don’t see anything in there which could possibly kill me.  Fresh whole fruits, tons of veggies, no processed foods, healthy whole oils, no added salt or sugar.  Just whole, healthy clean food.  Dr Fuhrman and Eat to Live has stood the test of time and there are 1000′s of long term success stories to back every thing up.

Come learn more about Dr Fuhrman, Eat to Live, Nutritarian Lifestyles in my Dr Fuhrman’s Eat to Live – Nutritarian Plant Based Diet and see for yourself…

Teaching Healthy Living and Eating to Live,

Juicy Judi, Living Vegan

veggies, eat to live

The #1 Weight Loss Secret – Drop your SSBs!

Standard

There is only one food that studies have consistently shown to be directly linked to obesity and to Type II Diabetes … sugar sweetened beverages.  Sugar sweetened beverages have become so bandied about in the global health world they are now known by the acronym SSB.

According to Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “… sugary soft drinks are the number one source of calories in our diets. We get more calories from sodas and sugary drinks than any other individual food — cake, cookies, pizza, anything.”

Chicago area hospitals are phasing out all SSBs including so called energy drinks.

The dire effect of SSBs on our health has prompted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to propose limiting the portion size of SSBs to 16 oz. Vendors violating the size restriction could be fined $200 per infraction.

Sugary drink consumption may just be a part of the U.S. obesity epidemic, but the products are the largest single source of sugar in the diet and have a major impact on health, Thomas Farley, New York City’s health commissioner, said.. Reducing obesity by just 10 percent in New York City would save about 500 lives a year, he added. “It’s ridiculous to say we shouldn’t try something that’s only going to solve a portion of the problem,” he said at an event sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a group that has long advocated against junk food.

Bloomberg’s proposal will be submitted June 12 to the New York City Board of Health, which will then vote on it after a three-month comment period. If approved by the board, the ban would take effect early next year.

Don’t think you are doing yourself any favors by choosing sweetened tea over soda. While I am a Southern lady through & through, real southern sweet tea is off my table. Even 100% pure fruit juices, while nutritious, can pack on the calories. Check out this excerpt from their Health Department fact sheet:

I don’t drink sugary beverages, only 100%juice.That’s healthy, right?
Fruit juice is more nutritious than sugar-sweetened fruit drinks, but it’s packed with calories from the natural sugars found in fruit. Limit your intake to no more than six ounces daily, the amount in an old-fashioned juice glass.Or dilute juice with water or seltzer to cut down on calories and sugar. As a rule, it’s better to eat your fruit than drink it.

Why should anyone decide what I can eat or drink?
You can eat and drink what you like—we just want you to have all the facts.The beverage industry spends billions of dollars marketing products to children and adults.Consumers deserve to know that these heavily-advertised beverages are the largest single driver of the obesity epidemic, and that there are healthy alternatives.

Isn’t lack of exercise the real cause of obesity?
Exercise is essential to good health, but calories are the main culprit in weight gain.And controlling your calories is easier than consuming too many and then trying to burn them off.A typical adult needs 27 minutes of brisk walking to burn off the calories in a single 12-ounce can of soda, 46 minutes to burn off a 20-ouncer. So skip the soda and take the same walk.Your body will thank you in more ways than one.

Along with health and government officials looking at ways of limiting SSB consumption, others are looking to tax it, much like tobacco. Municipal leaders in Richmond, Calif.,  where more than 58 percent of Richmond’s residents are obese or overweight, announced a November ballot initiative for a one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

The EpiAnalysis blog has a very informative article about taxing sugar-sweetened beverages.

So here is the bottom line, ReThink your Drink. Drink water – lots of water.  Jazz up your water by infusing it with fruits like citrus and herbs like ginger and mint. Dilute your fruit juices with club soda or selzer. Rather than store-bought tea drinks, drink herbal teas. They’re tasty and not caffeinated. Herbs, especially mint, are so easy to grow no matter where you live, in either containers or soil, inside or out.

Want to Lose Weight? Exercise – Just Gotta Do It!

Standard

As one of the Queens of the Weight Lost & Found department, I know all about losing weight; I’ve dropped and popped back on the same 30 pounds for so many years its not even funny anymore. So I am determined to keep it off by helping as many others reach their goals as I can.

The real studies that matter have determined that the vast majority of people who reached their weight loss goals and kept it off long term have three things in common:

  1. They exercise at home
  2. They eat breakfast
  3. They weigh themselves regularly

I can sympathize with everyone trying to reach and maintain their ideal weight because the main reason I start to pack the pounds back on is I swan dive off the exercise wagon. It seems when I give myself permission to not exercise, I also give myself permission to indulge in poor food choices.

Exercise does not have to cost a thing, you don’t need fancy walking shoes or stylish jogging suits – just get up and walk. Walk for 15 minutes. Smile while you’re walking and tell yourself over and over, “I feel great, I love to move!” Each week add 5 minutes more.

Once you get in the groove, if you want to reward your self and your happy feet, go ahead and get some  new sturdy walking shoes or a comfy pair of yoga pants to wear walking.

Do some crunches, push ups and knee lifts and jumping jacks. Start off with 5 of each if that is all you can do, then each week add 5 more. This takes less than two minutes. That’s one commercial.

I know I am worth the time of one commercial. And so are you!

Lavender Farm

Standard

Day 4 of 28 – Advanced level Turbo Jam

Provence, Hidcote and Grosso lavender plants for sate

Went to a charming 24-acre farm in Burnsville, NC. The Mountain Farm grows lavender and blueberries and raise dairy goats, llama and baby doll sheep along with miniature guard donkeys. The owners took over this farm 40-years ago with the idea of making it as sustainable as possible, pretty forward thinking for their time, eh?

They also have two large wind turbines, installed for free by a state grant, that cuts their power bill in half!

Growing many types of lavender, the Farm produces all sorts of wonderful high quality beauty products (balms, bath salts, lotions, soaps and shampoos) culinary products (lavender teas, sugars, salts, honey) and fiber products (dyed and un-dyed wools, and knitted hats and such).

Doesn’t this just lure you in?

One of the really neat features of this farm is they’ve created a 7-level labyrinth of lavender (say that 3 times!) Different from a maze, there is no puzzle to getting into or out of a labyrinth; there is only one way in to the center and one way out – it is more of a meditative exercise than a mental exercise.

Which brings me to why I’m blogging about this. I’ve grown lavender for a long time and used it in many crafty-kinds of ways, yet I’ve never used it in cooking. Now, since coming back from the farm, I’ve googled all sorts on interesting recipes using lavender.

Basically, you can substitute lavender for rosemary in most any savory dish. I found recipes for adding lavender to desserts from chocolate cake to cookies and creme brulee (wow!) as well as for making lavender salts and sugars.

Wind turbines cut the farm’s power bill a little more than half and are practically silent in operation so as not to disturb the animals in the barn.

I bought a lavender tea sampler: Love Potion, Lavender Chai, Lavender, Mint & Hibiscus and Lavender, Chamomile & Mint. The Lavender Chai this morning was really good and the whole kitchen smelled heavenly!  I like my teas to have strong flavor, especially in the morning, as well as a nice aroma and this tasted really good, very earthy but not at all bitter.

This experience just reminds me of how many things we grow are good for us and can add an extra dimension of flavor keeping us engaged and keeping eating healthy from being boring!

So now that my own lavender is in bloom, I’m going to try it in all sorts of dishes – don’t be surprised to find a new recipe with lavender in my Regular but Awesome Recipes soon!

View of the Black Mountains from the center of the labyrinth

Five Easy Tips to stay Healthy and Still Enjoy Memorial Day (or Any Holiday!)

Standard

Its the Memorial Day Weekend. For any of you that have served or whose loved ones are serving for the benefit of all of us – thank you. I cannot but imagine the feeling  in the pit of your stomach of those with loved ones  missed, so far away.

While we Americans take time over this holiday to remember and express gratitude to our heroes, especially our fallen heroes, for their sacrifice, it may seem Memorial Day celebrations are more focused on the BBQ grill or smoker.

Those of us committed to our fitness goals can be tempted by the happy atmosphere of good friends and tasty treats so here are some tips I’m using to enjoy myself, respect the party efforts of my family &  friends and not go too far off my path.

1. Make Time for Exercise

I’m getting up each morning and doing my Turbo Jam exercises. Before getting distracted or side tracked by the people and events of the holiday, by getting my exercise done, my confidence and satisfaction will shine through and guilty “should” & “should’ve” thoughts won’t interfere with my enjoyment of the present.

I will dance every chance I get (and Susie D will be right there with me! Or I’ll organize a hike, play lawn games like croquet , organize  races or volleyball on land or in the water; whatever joy in movement I can conjure up. If nothing else, Shelby the wonder Puppy is always up for a walk!

2. Bring a Healthy Choice Dish

I make a really good summer salad that every one loves and is so easy to make its almost a sin! I have the recipe here. Having something as tasty as this makes it easy to avoid the heavy mayo-based or pasta salads that are traditional BBQ or picnic favorites.

3. Eat Healthy Before

I  make sure I don’t skip any meals before the party because I don’t want to be in hunger mode when the goodies are served.

4. Drink Sensibly

I try to drink a lot of water at parties. For me, it helps to hold hunger in check and I find I also don’t drink as much alcohol.

I’m often asked to sing and I found out a long time ago I do not sound better the more I drink!

Your best food choices can be thwarted if you forget how many calories you might be drinking. Plus, too much alcohol and you can easily give yourself permission to overindulge in food, too. One of my other tricks, especially at a bar, is I enjoy club soda with a section of lime – it looks like a gin & tonic so  no one asks why I’m not drinking.

5. Give Yourself Permission (or Halve it and Have it)

I try not to psyche myself out that there is anything I can’t have – who doesn’t rebel against “can’ts” even if they come from  ourselves! So I tell myself I can have anything as long as I halve the portion. When I can have (halve) whatever I want its easier to avoid those things altogether.

But I do not forget this is your day, soldiers and patriots

With deepest gratitude to the brave women and men in our armed forces. Thank you for my freedom.

Ultimate Reset – Day 21

Standard

Well, we made it through the Beachbody Ultimate Reset!

Pros:

  • We learned some really tasty new recipes
  • Herb is sleeping better
  • My eyesight improved a bit, can read a lot more stuff without reading glasses!

Cons:

  • Lots of food prep – this regime is not for the person used to quick fix-it type meals or people that eat out a lot. It wasn’t so bad for Herb & I because we are used to prepping fresh veggies.
  • Some recipe items were hard to find and pricey here in rural USA.
  • No noticeable change in inflammation (hip pains)
  • No increase in energy or general feeling of well being.

I thought cutting out dairy (I’m a cheese nut) would have a bigger impact. While I did drop 8.5 pounds I cannot attribute it to just the dairy because we eliminated sugar and meat too,  as well as cheese sauces, gravies, etc. I haven’t noticed any change that to my mind would justify the expense of this regime.

Mostly it was a 21-day diet to get you off diary, meat and sugar. Herb & I both enjoy vegetables, especially fresh our of our garden, and it is not unusual for us to have a big salad or veggie stir fry for dinner.

What was new for us is quinoa (pronounced Keen-wha) which we both liked a lot. There was also tempeh (a differently processed fermented soy product like tofu is a fermented soy product) that neither of us cared for. We’ve had lentil soups but hadn’t had lentils as a side dish and the lentil-lime salad was really good.

I’d have to say my most favorite recipe surprise was  zucchini cashew soup. I’m okay with zucchini, not a favorite, but I wouldn’t flick it off my plate and I don’t care for cashews. Yet put the two together and it was HEAVENLY!

We also ate a lot more fruit, fruit platters most every breakfast, that we enjoyed.

While I respect and value all the Beachbody products and programs that I have knowledge,  I won’t be recommending this one to my clients unless someone is living a really toxic lifestyle and is serious about wanting a change.

7 Ways to Beat the Food Addictions

Standard

Throughout the course of my generation, the US food industry has been as insidious in addicting us to food as the tobacco industry was in the prior generation.

Commercial farming is focused on producing commodities, largely three crops: corn, soy and wheat. All other fruits and vegetable are considered “specialty” crops.

Seed for the greatest percentage of the big three is patented and controlled by Monsanto. They are patented because the seed is genetically modified (GMO) to make the plant almost invulnerable to herbicides  by introducing herbicides into their very DNA. The resulting plant produced is infused with herbicide and then we are paying top dollar to eat it.

Around the globe man existed for thousands of years on wheat and soy – now they are the top allergens in children and adults. The number afflicted with allergies to “staple” foods has  doubled almost yearly since GMO foods were introduced, as has the rise in autism, yet our government agencies see no correlation…

This post by Mike Geary, The CORN, SOY, and WHEAT Monopoly is an excellent read, but I’m focusing on the following (excerpted from his blog):

By “derivatives” of corn, soy, and wheat, this means the food additives such as:

  • high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • corn oil
  • soybean oil (hydrogenated or plain refined)
  • soy protein
  • refined wheat flour
  • hundreds of other food additives such as maltodextrin, corn or wheat starch, soy lecithin, mono and diglycerides, etc, etc

It is these derivatives that are literally killing us. Not only are we constantly eating because our bodies are desperate for nutrition, HFCS and refined flours are literally addictive, as addictive as tobacco or cocaine.

Beating any addiction is hard and these 7 tips I’m going to share have been helpful to me in combating my food addiction.

1. Stop eating at junk food places

There is nothing healthy there, no matter what the commercials are telling you. Even if something is low calorie, it has no substantive nutrition. Salads are contaminated with preservatives, salad dressings are contaminated with the above derivatives. Stop. Don’t taper off, just stop.

2. Stop shopping in the center aisles of the grocery store

Most of the offerings in the center aisles are processed foods, even the canned vegetables and many packaged vegetarian foods. Be a label reader. Avoid any products with more than 7-ingredients and avoid every thing with HFCS, soy or hydrogenated anything. Avoid any product with more than 200 mgs Sodium. Take the time to read a label, it’s much quicker than sitting in the doctor’s office reading a lame out of date magazine or waiting for your prescription at the pharmacy…

3. Be accountable to someone

Find a friend or loved one to go on the journey to beat the addiction of food with you. Everything is more fun with a friend and you’ll be less likely to succumb to the call of the pasta if you are not alone.

4. Exercise

Any exercise is better than no exercise. Endorphins are released when we exercise, and endorphins makes us feel better. When we feel better we are less likely to munch. Again, get a buddy to exercise with – its more fun! My exercise buddy is my dog. If you don’t have a dog, maybe you could offer to walk a neighbor’s pet or better yet, go to your local animal shelter and help walk and socialize their dogs. A socialized and calm dog is much easier adopted!

5. Get a Bag of Tricks

Keep some distractions handy – crossword puzzle, sudoku, drawing or painting supplies, cards with words of inspiration, pictures of fashions you’d like to wear or places you’d like to go. Get you mind off the craving and engaged in something else.

6. Drink a glass of water

Aw, you knew this one was coming! When we are addicted to food, much of that food is high in sodium and dehydrates the body. Drinking a glass of water helps to nip the craving in the bud with the added benefit of helping to flush and hydrate our cells. Think water is boring? Try these recipes for water (yes, recipes…)

7. Become an Expert

The more you understand the what , how and whys of food addiction and the food industry’s involvement, the more ammunition you have to win mastery over the addiction. Read books, watch movies like Forks over Knives, Weight of the Nation, Food Matters. Once you understand the nature (or rather the lack of nature) of what you are eating and craving you just might decide to make a different choice.