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Dr. Oz Says “Skip Breakfast!” Should We?

In a video-taped interview this week with Fox News, Dr. Oz admits that doctors don’t learn much about nutrition in med school. I wondered then, how did he discover this remarkable “new” idea of skipping breakfast? He learned this dietary concept through Hugh Jackman. A terrific, talented and one of my favorite actors, but hardly an expert on physiological nutrition.

Dr. Oz went on to claim the average person eats continually over a 17 hour day. Very few healthy people I know eat “continuously.” If consuming potato chips at 11pm is a habit, then we have a counseling problem.

I do agree that eating before bedtime is not beneficial to sleep. Sleep releases beneficial growth hormones – lack of it leads to mental deterioration, internal stress and illness.

“I think for 2020, the first thing I’m going to do is ban breakfast,” the celebrity doctor recently told TMZ. “I don’t think we need to eat breakfast. That’s an advertising ploy.”

Well that settles it doesn’t it? If that bastion of newsworthy journalism, TMZ broadcasts it – then it must be true.

Dr. Oz goes on: “Unfortunately, a lot of the dogma that we were fed for decades came out of advertisements. It wasn’t really based on the truth around our health.”

Well that’s true – advertisements are meant to manipulate the public into purchasing their product; but let’s break his statement down.

Never did the doctor clarify what a healthy versus unhealthy breakfast is. Eggs contain countless nutrients which I’ve written about, whole wheat French toast is better than white. There’s a huge distinction between sugary Honey Smacks with a quarter teaspoon of fiber and 5 teaspoons of sugar and Shredded Wheat with a quarter teaspoon of sugar and two teaspoons of fiber. Add a banana, berries and cinnamon for nutritious fructose and added fiber because fiber also allows the body to rid itself of toxins through bowel movements.

Thankfully Mark Wahlberg (who wakes up at 2:30am and eats breakfast at 3:15) and Dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, the manager of wellness nutrition services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute respectfully disagreed with Dr. Oz’s finding.

In response, Dr. Oz shot Mark down, “Well, powerful medical literature and lots of athletes support me and show that intermittent fasting flips the switch so it bolsters your physical and your mental performance.”

Great, I can recruit just as many athletic directors and dietitians who would declare the opposite. But the response of “Oh yeah, did not,” “Did too,” is kind of childish isn’t it? Even if 5,000 men are wrong, they’re still wrong! (old Chinese saying.)

We are all uniquely created. I don’t eat breakfast immediately either – I like to be awake. I don’t measure portion sizes anymore – after measuring several times, usually you’ll know how much is normal.

I DO eat for nutrients. My morning begins around 7am with two cups of coffee, creamer, cinnamon and turmeric, an hour later, ¾ cup of quality yogurt, walnuts, berries and milled flaxseed. About 1/2 to 1 hour later, whole grain cereal and a half banana. At lunch I’ll have variety: a small salad, a half sandwich or planned-overs from the night before. Dinner consists of 3-4 ounces of meat with 5xs more veggies. A small dessert is eaten about 2 hours later. Sometimes in the afternoon I’ll eat a square of dark chocolate.

For my dietary advice I will go to The Great Physician. He lovingly created us individually according to Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5. In Exodus 16:21, God ordered the Israelites to gather manna every morning. Even God believed in breakfast! I’ll cast my lot with my LORD. I believe God’s smarter than any man.

Have You Tried the Sausage and Ice Cream Diet?

So how many diets have you tried already? The no-fat, no-taste diet? The no sugar-penance diet? The no-carb diet plan? The bacon and cheese diet?

By now, have you realized the only thing lighter is your wallet? This is the time of year when normally sensible humans start believing in unicorns and Big Foot.

There is no magic formula to lose those pounds. If there were, everyone would be following one diet plan instead of grasping at rainbows.

False diet gurus are nothing but modern day snake oil salesmen. They get richer while you get fatter. I’m always amazed how many believe their proclamations: “by consuming sausage and ice cream you will lose weight while remaining healthy.” Those are the same people who laugh at me, as a Christian for believing God created mankind and I trust in Him. I have physiological proof for my diet, do they?

There’s a reason God created the three food groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats – the Absolute Laws of Physics don’t change! Our bodies don’t “evolve” into different creatures!

FACT: The body needs nutrients to survive and to work as a well-run machine. FACT: The body needs balance – the three legged chair of nutrients carbohydrates, proteins and fats creates a balanced physiological system. FACT: Missing essential nutrients upsets nutrient balance, resulting in  bodily chemical chaos.

Every nutrient has a purpose. Skipping certain nutrients increases the possibility of illness such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol or worse. Without balance you set yourself up for Metabolic Syndrome. MS is similar to the domino affect. For example, consuming too much fat makes your heart work harder, resulting in higher LDL cholesterol which leads to heart disease, which leads to stress, leading to potential nerve damage – you get the picture.

To empathize how desperate people are to lose weight, I remind you of the time Rachel Ray posted this advertisement:

Wanted: Volunteers to test new diet program. Some foods are toxic and will cause blindness and death. Call 555-. . . . . . .

You think this is too farfetched? Wonder, who in the world would sign up for such a crazy plan??? Well, over 1400 people, that’s who.

Oh I’d never fall for that, you protest. Really? If you believe that the Keto Diet can assist in weight loss for a lifetime, I urge you to place oil in your gas tank and see how long that works for your car.

Even Paleo has changed their recommended diet foods to include more balanced offers. But Paleo still for some reason, rejects legumes, cereal grains and potatoes – all fibrous selections. (Yes avoid sugary cereals but Oatmeal, Raisin Bran and Kashi brands are far different from Fruit Loots. And they don’t clarify that oily French Fries everyday is far worse than a fiber-rich, nutrient-dense baked potato.) God’s diet never changes its mind.

Don’t follow blindly, question everything about a diet plan.

It’s simple: anything God created, should be fine in moderation. It’s man that messes things up. Be careful with processed foods. Consuming all those chemicals in one’s body festers inside us like a chemistry set. We all know what happens if too many chemicals come in contact with each other . . . disastrous results!!!

Try to eat as many whole foods as possible. Even eat those in moderation. I’ve even counseled overweight vegetarians. Live smartly and eat well.

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”  (Psalm 34:8)

God’s Plan doesn’t restrict your culinary enjoyment; He simply urges sensible eating!

Water Helps Us Lose Weight, How???

You’ve always heard how water is essential to weight loss, right?

When I asked patients to increase water intake, occasionally they’d roll their eyes. “I know, I know,” they whined, “water makes us feel fuller.” Actually drinking water doesn’t make me feel full for long, does it for you?

Or someone might challenge me with “what about that woman in 1934 who died because she drank too much water???” (Obscure example.) Of course balance is key.

Know why:

“A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

Our God is a God of balance and doesn’t make mistakes! He’s created us well. More is not better and homeostatis (balance) is the key to true health.

There are certainly important physiological reasons why we should consume water! Water is the magical elixir in optimum health and it seems so obvious.

Our body is comprised of at least 70-75% water. Our brain: 75%. H2O – the “O” stands for oxygen of course. Oxygen transports energy. Oxygen helps the brain produce neurotransmitters and hormones. We won’t have as much brain fog so prevalent as we age if we hydrate more.

Unfortunately, cell performance deteriorates as we age. It’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics – everything’s winding down.

Water fights off aging. You’ll have fewer headaches, be less tired and cranky, retain mental capacity, blood pressure will be regulated and constipation won’t be an issue. Those who consume water have a more fluid, youthful, steady gait. Our knees and joints are safely cushioned; surrounded by water.

Water allows the kidneys to do their job of filtering out toxins, making our pH less acidic. We’re sick less often. I’ve used this illustration often but it’s important enough to repeat here:

Suppose one of your co-workers fails to come to work. The boss says you’ll be required to do that employee’s work along with your own. What happens? Your desk piles up with unfinished business, right? That’s the symbiotic relationship the liver has with the kidneys.

The kidneys filter out toxins. One of the most important responsibilities of the liver is to metabolize fat. When one doesn’t drink enough water, the liver has to step in, doing the work of the kidneys and thus cannot do its primary job. Therefore the body gets fatter.

Water transports nutrients and eliminates toxins. Electrolytes can then move messages efficiently. The accumulation of toxins places undo stress on the body, going into survival mode. (Survival mode slows down metabolism!) Blood begins to flow toward our outer extremities in our “fight or flight” mentality; thus away from our digestive system, virtually shutting it down.

Water cushions our vital organs, acting as a shock absorber. Once again, lack of water produces bodily stress. Water provides oxygen and therefore assists the energy cells: (mitochondria) in energizing our body. If we are dehydrated our blood pressure increases, our urine is darker and we feel sluggish and dull-headed.

Drink pure water – it takes metabolism longer to break down elements added to water. Cold water increases metabolism a bit. (Keep a pitcher of water/lemon in the fridge.) Warm beverages are comforting, a stress reliever.

Of course there are other side benefits as well. Water plumps up our skin and keeps us looking younger. Who doesn’t want to look younger? If we fail to hydrate, we fail to rid our skin of toxins and dry skin, acne, wrinkles and sun spots increase.

Therefore, consuming water gives us not only a young-at-heart attitude but younger looks as well. Thank you God for H2O!

 

 

 

Adrift in a Sea of Nutritional Myths

When are we going to learn that God is actually smarter than we are? When are we going to trust that what He proclaimed  6,000 years ago nutritionally, is still Truth for today?

There are plenty of false diet gurus who testify how, by abstaining from this particular food type, you’ll lose weight. Please don’t be a sheep and follow blindly. We must realize if someone is pushing a diet agenda, there’s usually something profitable for the one doing the pushing!

God has no agenda except keeping you healthy in order to honor Him. He wants you to live a vibrant, productive life. He’s not Lucy waiting to take away your fun. Follow His dietary plan in Genesis 1:29 & 9:3 and enjoy a healthy life!

Contrary to what many scientists believe, our DNA wasn’t derived from apes, crystals or aliens. God created Adam with the perfect brain and physique with the intention of avoiding the Second Law of Thermodynamics when He said, “Do Not Eat!” But Adam believed a false prophet (Satan) and ate what was never intended for him. Mankind has deteriorated ever since. Lucky us.

“Discretion will watch over you, and understanding will guard you.”   (Proverbs 2:11)

Use discretion! Let’s look at some food fallacies people believe today. Avoiding: 

Bread.  A 1970’s Scandinavian study discovered when men consumed twelve slices of bread every day for weeks, rather than gain, they lost weight. Full of B vitamins, whole grains convert fats, proteins and carbs into energy. Fiber in hearty bread attaches to cholesterol, moving sludge out of one’s system, allowing the absorption of nutrients, which process food into energy.

Avocados: Physiologically, this fruit contains monounsaturated fat which attacks lousy LDL cholesterol and the stress hormone, cortisol which produces acid, creating toxins, which increases one’s waistline.

Pork: Pork loin contains less fat than the equivalent amount of skinless chicken breast. It contains thiamine, a calming B vitamin which overcomes stress. Choline and amino acids assist with metabolic processes.

Coconut: medium-chain trigylcerides and lauric acid target belly fat. This is one food stressed on the Keto Diet and why it works for some but overall Keto is a dangerous diet plan and never one I’d recommend!

Bananas: This often maligned fruit is one everyone should purchase! Magnesium, potassium, B’s, even vitamin C! Chocked full of fiber, it allows insulin to be released more slowly into your system, thus less hunger pains. Starts out as a starch. becoming more of a simple carbohydrate as it ripens (still nutritious.)

Nuts: Nuts are packed with protein, enzymes, antioxidants and so many beneficial nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B12, vitamin E, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and essential fatty acids. Pistachios fight cortisol, the stress hormone and walnuts are fabulous for cognitive retention!

Eggs:  Eat for nutrients!  A, D, E, B6, B12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, iron, choline, folate, selenium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and vital amino acids among other nutrients, nuff’ said?

Beans/lentils: The Paleo diet says avoid them. Really? These beneficial foods have both soluble and insoluble fiber plus protein, thiamine, E, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, etc. etc. . . .  what do you think???

Milk/ Cheese: Calcium/D for strong bones and muscle mass, (muscle burns fat.) Probiotics and whey for weight loss and digestive health.

You’ve probably guessed by now that God’s simple diet plan is the most beneficial, while offering Moderation!  I believe I’ll follow it, will you?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

 

Eat Breakfast? But I’m Not Hungry!

God created us with powerful physiological engines. We wouldn’t expect a car to run efficiently without gasoline or oil, nor a refrigerator without electricity; therefore  our body needs to generate the right energy to work efficiently as well.

“Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.” (Psalm 119:73)

Think of a historical train’s steam engine. As long as the engineer continues to stoke the engine with coal or wood, the train contentedly moves along. If the engineer falls asleep, runs out of coal and fails to do so, the engine begins to run out of steam and the train slows to a stop. Then it takes longer to get back to proper speed.

Same with us. If we fail to eat regularly, we’ll also run out of steam.

When we wake in the morning we’ve been without food for 6-8 hours. If we refuse to eat, our brain will believe we are ill and will slow down our metabolism. It holds on as protection so it can disperse calories when necessary. It can’t comprehend we would want to starve on purpose so it believes it’s protecting us.

Therefore, eating mini-meals throughout the day will naturally allow us to think, move and operate effectively.

Start each day with breakfast:

Quick energy is what we need most each morning so we can wake up our brain, which runs almost exclusively on glucose, a sugar. That means beneficial carbohydrates which enter our blood stream in about 15-30 minutes. But there’s a problem: carbohydrates only last about 2-3 hours at a time.

Have you noticed that if you have a sugary donut, your body is energized but then crashes quickly? You probably get hungry, spacy and perhaps even jittery within an hour or two. If you don’t want to crash mentally or physically, choose any high-fiber complex carbohydrate such as Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, Kashi or Raisin Bran (with 1-2% milk) for quick energy but fiber for sustaining energy. Fiber allows insulin to be released more slowly into your system, thus you won’t get that jittery feeling in an hour.

And I’d much rather see someone add a little real sugar (at 16 calories per teaspoon) than spoon any chemically created artificial sugar into their coffee, tea or cereal. Why consume unnatural processed food with absolutely no nutritional value? You’ll become a walking chemistry experiment, ready to erupt with cancer or illnesses when processed chemicals collide!

You’ll then need to sustain that energy with a little (2-3 ounces) quality protein which lasts about 4 hours in your system. Low-fat, good-quality yogurt with a serving of fruit, walnuts and sprinkled with milled flaxseed is wonderful or consume a slice of low-fat ham like Canadian bacon and egg between an English muffin. Even bagels, toast, Buckwheat (kasha) pancakes or waffles are fine in moderation. But go easy on the syrup or add fresh fruit instead. Add a little peanut butter or lower-fat cream cheese spread on your bagel for sustained energy.

Finally, we need to keep our bodily machine well-oiled by consuming good quality fats like real butter, milled flaxseed, coconut or almond milk. Fat remains in the system for 5-7 hours.

Consume a banana, apple with cheese or graham cracker with peanut butter as a mid-morning snack.

By consuming healthy food at breakfast, you set yourself up for a day of vitality and contentment. Your mind and spirit will be renewed and your energy level will at least get you through breaktime without giving in to sugary snacks!

It’s all about balance and physiology, not lack of willpower!

Controlling Blood Sugar Sensibly and Effectively

Since I began working for physicians, where I specialized in the disease, diabetes has increased to epidemic proportions in this country. It’s also sad to report that more children than ever have this disease. Why?

For one thing, we have become even more of a Fast-Food-Nation with all its tempting, fat-laden, high caloric choices. Sadly, obesity has run rampant in our country.

Surprisingly, fat is more detrimental to the diabetic than sugar! Fat clogs the arteries which stresses the body, which raises insulin levels which creates hunger pangs. It’s a vicious cycle.

But avoid those artificial sugars, especially Splenda which produces dangerous side effect. Use Stevia, less regular sugar or honey instead.

A practical diabetic diet (due to everyone being physiologically different) should consist of 50 -60% complex carbohydrates, 20-25% lean protein and 2025% beneficial fats like olive or canola oil, avocados, fatty fish and nuts. Avoid chemically processed items and select whole foods. Make lean pork, sirloin, chicken, eggs, turkey and fish your preferred meat options.

There are basically only 3 food groups: Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. All carbs produce a form of glucose (which is necessary for brain function!) but simple (sugary) carbohydrates should be consumed only in tiny amounts.

Most diabetics reach for sugar-free items which are high in fat. One patient wrote in her food diary that she consumed 6 cookies at one sitting. When asked why, she answered, “But Ellie they were sugar-free!”  Sugar-free doesn’t mean calorie free and these were loaded with fat.

The best habit diabetics can incorporate into their daily routine is consuming 35 – 45 grams of fiber to their daily diet. 4 grams = 1 teaspoon – or approximately  9 – 10 teaspoons of fiber per day, (now you know what it means to you in “dog years.”)

Adding fibrous foods helps one lose weight. Fiber allows insulin to be dispensed more slowly into the blood stream so you won’t feel jittery or hungry and reach for that Snickers bar. Fibrous foods mean fresh fruits with skins, vegetables, whole grains, cereals (with 5+ grams of fiber,) nuts, seeds and herbs. Eat sensibly, your health depends on it! Diabetics however should avoid fruit salads since it’s too much sugar at once.

Establish a routine. A diabetic needs to live a disciplined life. Eat systematically to keep blood sugar levels stable, meaning same time each day, example: 8am, 10am snack, noon, 2pm snack, 6pm and always incorporate a small protein-rich snack before bedtime.

Moderate exercise is also essential on a routine basis to avoid nerve damage and create ways to release life’s stresses which raises insulin levels. The hormone adrenaline, designed for the human “fight or flight” reaction, increases fatty acid production while shutting off insulin while under stress. Constant stress upsets pancreatic balance which solicits diabetes.

Certain nutrients/foods regulate insulin:

Chromium. Chromium is like the doorknob which allows insulin to flow slowly into your system. Some foods containing chromium include mushrooms, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beets, turkey, shellfish, garlic, apples and basil. Add garlic to as many foods as you can; pasta sauces, pork loin, chicken, breads . . .

The antioxidant lipoic acid, contained in spinach, potatoes, broccoli, liver and red meat, fights premature aging of the arteries (aging arteries makes the heart pump harder, increasing insulin stress.)

Cinnamon allows your fat cells to recognize and respond to insulin more efficiently. Shake it on cereals, over whole grain toast and fruit. Along with a half teaspoon of cinnamon, I place a few dashes of turmeric in my morning coffee as well. Makes the smoothest cup of coffee I’ve ever tasted!

“Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,” (Exodus 23: 25)

The Benefits of Spicing Up Your Life!

“Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.” (3 John 1:2)

Many people are “sunny personalities,” tying their moods and energy to sunshine. To me, the grey, overcast days are much worse than the cold ones.

When depressed, the mind appeals for relief. People tend to gravitate to comfort foods but that simply puts on the pounds. Instead of reaching for chocolate pudding or potato chips, how about going for something producing healthier results?

First turn to Scripture and what truly brings Joy to the soul, Jesus! Then go to God’s Healing Garden:  Hot spicy foods improves one’s mood naturally. (Drugs and alcohol don’t!)

The chemicals in spicy foods have so many medicinal factors to improve health; it’s hard to know where to start!

Let’s look at cravings:

  1. When one is mired in a depressed state, it craves happiness.
  2. When one is in pain, they tend to seek out emotional relief found in comfort foods.
  3. When our bodies are exhausted, it requires food (water)for quick energy.

That’s when we should turn to hot spicy foods!

Whenever one consumes horseradish, hot sauce, salsa, hot peppers, hot mustards, wasabi and Chili spices, it affects the brain’s neurotransmitters. (Just a fancy word regarding how the nerves send messages to each other.)

When our brain communicates its desire for relief from pain, depression or lethargy, it sends out a signal. Then tiny chemical “firemen” answer the call, running in with fire hoses blasting our brain with the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. “Aah” you sigh, “I feel so much happier and more energetic now.”

So, I add hot spices not only to Chili, pasta, Oriental foods and soups but even special wine sauces, tomato juice or chocolate for a boost of happiness. (Chili spice in chocolate??? Try it, it’s amazing! Probably dating back to the Mayan culture?)

Haven’t lost weight recently, no matter how much you exercise or cut down? Chili’s affect one’s metabolism by revving up your internal engine. Consume a week of smaller, spicier meals and see how the pounds decrease.

Hot spices burn off calories because the heat one feels is the energy needed to consume them. Fascinating, right?

This knowledge doesn’t give you a license to eat more, mind you! Use restraint and discipline. Anything that makes one feel good can become addictive. I say this because hot, spicy food is my trigger food. It’s tough for me to stop gobbling down salsa and chips at a Mexican restaurant.

However, it should naturally curb your cravings because it sends out a blast of overwhelming flavors, fooling the brain into believing it has eaten more than it has and voila’, you find you’re not as hungry.

Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a natural immune system protector.

Experiencing a cold? Chili’s are a natural decongestant and expectorant. Anything that will make one’s eyes moisten will also open up the lungs and sinuses. Reach for the hot peppers, horseradish or spiciest salsas! Hot wings or General Tso’s Chicken anyone?

People spend a fortune on over-the-counter drugs when it’s right in your refrigerator. So when you’re experiencing arthritic or muscle pain; or coming down with a sore throat, reach for the hot Tabasco sauce and add a few drops in your chicken soup or sauces.

So many remedies, so little time! I haven’t even begun to discuss how hot peppers contain antioxidants which keep us young, neutralizes free radicals, protects us against heart disease, strokes, cell damage, cancers and other illnesses. That’s for another post!

Yes, Praise God, He definitely provided natural relief!