Tag Archive | weight loss strategies

Concerned About Aging Well? Eat These Foods

My birthday is this week. With age comes wisdom and confidence but sadly in the U.S., age isn’t honored as it is in other countries. I wouldn’t want to be 20 again but I sure don’t enjoy seeing the wrinkles that currently adorn my face. I was concerned about the hot dry climate of Arizona producing wrinkles until we moved to the  frigid, wintry, windy area of Ohio. It’s worse!

“And you have filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me bears witness to my face. (Job 16:8) NKJ

Does your face represent impatience, worry or peace? To look younger: relax, exercise more, eat nutritious food and place your trust in the Lord.

Less Wrinkly Skin = Less Sugar which is easier said than done. When it’s dreary outside my first inclination is to bake. Instead create hearty soups like vegetable or chicken noodle.

I find it ironic that  glycation, the process of metabolizing sugar in our bloodstream, attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules is called “advanced glycation end products” or “AGEs” for short.

Try Herbal Teas: Teas wash out toxins from our system and gives a natural glow. I like green tea and often consume flavored herbal teas. I especially enjoy pomegranate, berry, orange spice or acaia berry tea. Each promotes collagen production and circulation.

Increase Turmeric, Curcumin and Cinnamon: Turmeric, found in mustard, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Used for centuries in Eastern and Asian cooking, curcumin which can be purchased separately, also helps relieve acne. Sprinkle it over soup, rice, frittatas, egg dishes and I’ve sprinkled each in my coffee which created the smoothest cup I’ve ever consumed.

Probiotic Foods: Attempt to decrease the harmful bacteria in our digestion system by increasing healthy probiotic  bacteria which fight infections and acne in our skin. Garlic, onions, yogurt (containing live cultures, not pasteurized – look at the label)  Remember that healthy bacteria in our colon equals healthy skin.

Probiotics is the good bacteria found in asparagus, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, pickles and cultured buttermilk and it promotes the growth of this healthy bacteria.

Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Collard and other Greens:  These foods contain zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that evens skin tone and brings out our natural radiance. It’s best to steam these greens to increase nutritional value.

Milled Flaxseed, Avocados,Wheat Germ: Have a dry complexion? The omega 3’s in these are beneficial for retaining youthful skin. All contain ceramides, a fat molecule that locks in moisture and promotes a natural glow.

Combining Vitamin A and C foods restores collagen and elasticity.

Red Meat: Surprised? Red meat is not the enemy as claimed by some false diet gurus! Red meat contains alpha lipoic acid, another antioxidant that promotes healthy collagen and consuming it is one of the few ways to acquire vitamin B12. This vitamin will revitalize energy levels and brain function. It contains nutrients which effectively calm the body, thereby producing less skin breakouts.

Choose 3 – 6 ounces occasionally of lean red meat like “loin”, “round” or London Broil.

Pomegranate Juice, Blueberries, Cranberries and Red Wine contains antioxidants to combat free-radical damage and pomegranates are three times the most potent.

Tuna, Sardines, Oysters, Cod: Even though they sometimes aren’t the most popular fish, they contain antioxidant-protecting selenium, along with omega-3 fatty acids to prevent skin redness and irritation.

Oysters and shrimp are rich sources of zinc which prevents breakouts and restores clear skin. Zinc is also microbial; therefore will protect against illnesses when fighting a cold or flu.

With all this said, remember God cares more about our soul than our outer shell! True beauty comes from within.

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“Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese . . . “

LTSTEBC high resolution cover for Twitter

As you know most people gain weight over the holiday season which now lasts from Halloween until the Super Bowl. Then feeling guilty, they’ll desperately attempt a diet beginning on January 2nd. This lasts approximately three weeks if they’re lucky – or until the first football playoff game if not.

What’s the underlying reason for failing on a diet plan? It’s usually not because we don’t know what we should do. Most realize we should eat less, exercise more, slow down and drink water. Yet we fail over and over again! That’s frustrating! Weight loss is primarily a mental and Spiritual challenge, much more than mere willpower.

Please don’t settle for second best!” You are worth more than that! You would never think of throwing trash on the floor of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, so why do you trash your own temple of the Holy Spirit with so many unhealthy foods? 

My book, “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese . . .” will make the perfect Christmas gift this year. With over 230 pages of practical applications and encouragement, it targets our mind, body and spirit. It’s not another diet book; it was written as a positive philosophy on how to honor God with our earthly bodies by choosing wisely.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”  (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20)

“Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” (Nutritional & Life Lessons God Teaches Us) addresses this Truth: God never meant for us to live on complicated, fallacy-laden, restrictive diet plans which clearly reject our Maker’s fundamental psychological, physiological and spiritual wishes. God set Adam in a Garden and provided the perfect Master Plan for health. Today however, people needlessly consume “sticks and twigs,” processed packaged foods, drink tasteless protein shakes or restrict their diet needlessly. Why?

Healthy living is not about denying oneself chocolate, cheese, eggs, potatoes, shrimp or any other food while consuming only rice cakes and celery. God gave us the perfect dietary plan in Genesis 1:29 and 9:3. There is no need to suffer through some restrictive, unappetizing menu in the quest to obtain health. If one concentrates on nutrients, they will naturally be healthier, while resisting toxic cravings. Since most already know what to do, I concentrate on the physiological reasons of why do we do what we don’t want to do? (as the Apostle Paul acknowledged in Romans 7:15.)

Now please don’t respond with comments like “Well I’m allergic to eggs or shrimp, so that’s a Biblical fallacy!”  God didn’t have to advise, “don’t put beans in your ears . . .” either. He gave us common sense and a world where we live under Grace.  (We also live under the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, meaning everything’s winding down.) Everyone’s been formed uniquely with a different chemical make-up. I address that in my book.

“Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” is filled with useful illustrations, realistic applications and common sense! I pray that this encouraging and intriguing non-fiction work will motivate you to tackle the many mental, physical and spiritual connections to food which challenge you. Discover your true vitality through sensible eating, honoring God in the process!

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

My paperback book can be found on amazon.com at an affordable price or as an e-book. (It’s certainly less than a hospital visit and remember: nothing tastes as wonderful as Victory feels!)

The Most Grandiose Season of the Year!

Welcome to the most grandiose season of the year!!! No, not Thanksgiving or Christmas: it’s Weight-gain Season!

gluttonyAs the lyrics from the movie Oliver professes, “Food, Glorious Food . . . !” The holiday pig-out season now begins at Halloween and ends with the last Super Bowl party in February. That’s one long temptation for someone suffering from food addiction. So how does someone resist the seduction of food?

My mother always cautioned me if I ever greedily placed too much on my plate, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach!” She was right and since I originally grew up on a run-down NJ farm, whatever I took, I was forced to eat. I vowed someday I’d consume an entire package of chocolate pudding by myself! I did – it was a learning experience. I’m not poor anymore but sometimes my mind taunted me to believe otherwise. All-One-Can-Eat-Buffets are still my worse temptation.

With God’s help I overcame the enticement of food. It feels wonderful to conquer the temptation of overeating, however I know many will suffer through this holiday season. Stay strong!

First, enjoy food! Don’t believe the lie of “good and bad” foods. Once I believed that. So what did I do? Feeling like a “rebellious child” I snuck food secretively in case someone caught and belittled me.

According to God any food is fine in moderation if we remain in control. Don’t become a slave to a deep-fried Twinkie!

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)

How do we remain in control? Strategize. Why not spread much smaller portions of white meat turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans and a sliver of pumpkin pie rather than piling our plate, eating everything? Are we suffering then? No. Have we deprived ourselves of pleasure? No. The first bite of anything always tastes best because fat coats the tongue, taking more to satisfy. Allow our brain to tell us we are sampling fabulous nutrients. Savor it, eat slowly and don’t feel guilty.

If you overeat, ask why you lost control. Is it because you’re angry, feel you “deserve it,” are uncomfortable around family, greedy or simply peer-pressured, etc?  If those reasons apply, it’s more about physiology, strategy and psychology than control, (another post.)

 “For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16)

Have we created an idol out of food? Remember our Lord actually died for every sin, which means gluttony as well as murder or theft.

“Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”  (Philippians 3:19)

All choices have consequences and whatever we choose, we own. With food however, whatever we choose we wear! Do you love that food enough to wear it? That’s not an exaggeration. We wear it on the inside and it shows on the outside: we’ll have a grey appearance, our energy level will be low; we’ll be overweight and susceptible to illnesses. Were all those chemically, calorie-laden foods worth it? Is it worth the sorrow on your children’s faces when they learn you have diabetes or heart disease?

Now please don’t misunderstand, enjoy your parties and holiday dinners. But consume a variety of more healthier (80%) than non-healthier items. Take smaller portions, chew thoroughly, slow down and relish the flavors. Conquer your desire of addictive foods and enjoy God’s Bounty.

Eating Right Isn’t Complicated

Eating right shouldn’t be that complicated. God advised Adam how to eat in one sentence:

“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”  Genesis 1:29.

Simple, concise, easy to understand. Nothing complicated. Only after the Flood (REAL climate change) did God instruct us to eat meat.

Then some fad-diet-gurus came along and really messed with our heads.  “No, don’t eat carbs, they’re bad for you!”  “No legumes!” or other such nonsense. Even Christians fall for these false diet doctrines!  And you know why??  Because some believe if it’s simple – it’s too easy.  Life is complicated so one must suffer in order to achieve ‘perfection’.  Well, who do you believe, God or some guy who wants to make a fast buck at your expense? th7QKR9FEN“As for me and my house . . .  I will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.    

So How Should We Then Eat Overall?

  • Eat for good quality nutrients.
  • Eat smaller portions, taking calories into consideration.
  • Learn to eat only until you’re satisfied, not till you’re full.
  • Slow down, chew your food, enjoy the pleasure of taste.
  • Moderation is essential. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day.

It’s imperative to “break that fast” or your body thinks you’re ill. It’ll slow down your metabolism in order to protect you.

So first, eat breakfast!

Yogurt:

thBZB5RUVIStart with 6-8 oz of a good quality yogurt with no artificial sweeteners: Dannon Natural, Stoney Farms, Mountain High. The good bacteria gets down into your gut and builds up your immune system. Add berries or a banana if you desire.

Next consume a serving (check the label, each is different) of a good high (5+ grams) fiber cereal.  Good quality cereals include Grape nuts, Great Grains, Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat, any Kashi Go Lean or Fiber One products. High fiber cereals shouldn’t taste like sawdust! Drink water afterwards. The fiber expands, binding with the bad artery clogging LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, removing them from your system.

What about eggs? Choose wisely. A whole grain English muffin with 1 egg, small slice of Canadian bacon/ lean ham (Bacon contains nitrates, preservatives and dyes) with a slice of 1% white American cheese is a great treat.  Limit fried potatoes and overly buttered toast. Use jams or a good quality peanut butter instead. Balance lunch then, with mostly fruits/vegetables, 2 ounces of lean protein.

What about juices?  When consuming juice rather than the fruit, you rarely get fiber. Choose a fresh orange at 60 calories rather than juice at 120 for 6 ounces. Orange juice with pulp is a better choice. Cantaloupes, bananas, berries contain great amounts of potassium, magnesium, beta carotene, lutein and antioxidants for heart and eye health.

In a hurry? A smoothie using a ripe banana, orange juice, yogurt, 1% milk and ice cubes, can be a wonderful potassium-magnesium shake!

Pancakes? Buckwheat rather than white flour pancakes provides better fiber for insulin management. Try fruit toppings rather than syrup.

Coffee?  Two cups usually – more and you lose valuable bone density and nutrients. Green tea, no problem.

Pop-Tarts?

You probably know my answer to this one. One Pop-Tart has approximately 200 calories and few nutrients. Furthermore, in an hour you’ll be hungry because of an insulin/sugar drop. What’s my mantra? Nutrients!  You could consume three oranges for the same calorie count.

Bottom line; eat breakfast to rev up your metabolism each morning. Use common sense and don’t stress out. Ate a fatty breakfast? Consume more vegetables for lunch!  You control your own eating habits. Honor God with that control.

The Power of Little Leucine in Weight Control

Remember this scene in the movie Seabiscuit? Toby McQuire proudly proclaims to the sportswriters surrounding him, “Though he be but little, he is fierce.”  That’s what I think of the little-known amino acid, leucine. It’s a little known amino acid with powerful abilities!thI1XNYUFU

A mighty warrior in the battle of weight loss, leucine heroically fights the weight loss battle for you by faithfully regulating blood sugar, maintaining muscle and stimulating cardiovascular health. Leucine is found in good quality protein like yogurt, cottage cheese, whey, brown rice, nuts, egg whites, fish, meat and poultry.

How does leucine work?  Well, God created this incredible earthly body which silently communicates functions within a network of corridors and components throughout the body.  For example; the hypothalamus summons nutrients as needed, the bloodstream directs nutrient direction, the liver is the chemical manufacturing plant and kidneys escort toxins the door. My, my . . . and some people believe all this intricacy happened by chance. God knew what He was doing all the time:

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;…”   (Psalm 139: 13-15)

But how does this little known amino acid assist in weight loss?  A 2008 article published in the Journal of Physiology discovered that a diet containing leucine prevented muscle loss and as you most likely know, muscle burns fat.  The more muscle one has, the more fat is efficiently burned in daily metabolism. Weight loss and exercise go hand in hand.

Leucine is not a complete protein however, which means it needs other amino acids (valine, isoleucine among others) to work properly. So it acts as a team player with other amino acids in this soccer game of metabolism.

Whey protein on the other hand, assists your body in making one of its most important antioxidant and immune supporter elements, glutathione.  According to renown author Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., founder and medical director of the UltraWellness Center, glutathione is the most important molecule necessary to maintain proper health. It slows aging and resists illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and dementia.  (No wonder the Mediterranean people look so vibrant and alive! Yogurt is a staple in their daily lives!)

Whey protein, the liquid by-product of milk contains lactose (milk sugar) water and other nutrients. It is a complete protein. Caution: whey can cause dietary discomfort if one is lactose intolerant. In fact, amino acids and hormones are nothing to experiment with because it could upset body chemistry. (I’d rather not play Russian roulette with my physiology, would you? Please don’t purchase individual supplements thinking you are getting a quick fix!)

Leucine and whey together produce higher metabolic exercise sessions. Whey is the thin, watery substance found in low-fat yogurts. Thick Greek yogurt has little whey protein(it’s strained out) and thus doesn’t produce the weight loss results many crave. Millions have jumped on this Greek yogurt fad. As for me and my house, I’d rather bring home low-fat, 1% Mountain High yogurt any day, which contain active pre and probiotic cultures with no added fillers or junk and skip the expensive Greek yogurt.

Hope this and the previous little post helped clarify one of the mysteries of why protein is essential in weight loss and vibrant health.

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Green Tea

As much as I post, I was amazed that I hadn’t written anything on the benefits of green tea!   thX2JS1LC8

As a nutritionist, I maintain a healthy weight and hardly ever weigh myself, so I was puzzled to discover that I had lost 5 pounds and an inch and a half around my waist over the winter. My yearly physical was perfect, so I was curious as to how I could have lost weight while being cooped up all winter in Ohio’s bitter cold. Oh sure, I had lifted a few weights but not nearly as much as when I had resided in Arizona.  Nor had I routinely walked two miles daily.

The only difference was that I climbed 11 stairs and drank a whole lot of tea this winter. I surmised that it had to be the tea! So if you are curious to discover if green tea will work for you, I urge you to try it for yourself. Just remember that green tea contains caffeine so don’t drink close to bedtime if caffeine affects you. And don’t fall into the trap that “if some is good, more is better” – it’s all a matter of physiological, godly balance. Green tea is not a god to be worshipped – 2 cups per day is best.

Entering “Diet” Season: Distinguishing the Practical from the Absolute Crazy!!!

thHVU3S2BIOkay, hang on, we are about to enter the Twilight Zone of diet season.

I read a statistic recently estimating that over 45 million Americans will go on a diet this January. 93% we are also told, will fail. But how can we fail at something we need daily in order to survive? Food! Each one of us is on a diet. A “diet” is simply what we consume everyday.

However those attempting to lose weight and strive for a healthier lifestyle need more. In order to remain physically healthy we must have knowledge, (knowing what to eat and how it affects us physiologically) and also wisdom to figure out why we either strive to eat properly or self-destruct.

“A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.”                   (Proverbs 14:15)    

We are going to look at a myriad of diet plans through a “Did God really say . . . ” biblical perspective. It is important to use our brainpower and ask ourselves, what would God have said about this if He placed every single instruction in one book?  Of course we couldn’t carry a Bible that large. If one can’t find a verse to confirm your beliefs or answer a specific question, than we must use common sense. Just because the Bible doesn’t say, “Thou shalt Not put bean in your ears!” means it’s okay. For example, who would ever conceive that swallowing cotton balls to lose weight would ever be a good idea??? Yuk!

For the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about some of the old as well as new diet plans available because sometimes diets are simply reworked to seem new again. Caution! There are several dangerous diet plans out there and if someone gets desperate enough, they might try anything. Who knows? If one doesn’t use discretion, it might actually be “The Last Diet Plan You’ll Ever Need!” or “You’ll Keep Weight Off Forever!”

So if you are wondering if you should try the Paleo, Gluten-Free, Atkins,  Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig diet plans, a diet pill or even the Hot Dog diet, tune in for the next several weeks. I’ll be using a decidedly Christian balanced viewpoint, but you can decide what works, what doesn’t and how God wants you to take care of our bodies. We are each responsible for our own actions on this Earth.

 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.”               (Proverbs 9:12)

Let this be your best God-honoring New Year ever!!!

Note:  This is the final week to order my novel, “Sometimes Marriage is a Real Crime” for the discounted holiday gift price of 99 cents off Amazon.com.  Have a very Happy New Year! http://www.amazon.com/Sometimes-Marriage-Crime-Ellie-Marrandette-ebook/dp/B00KU7XIOS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420048943&sr=1-1&keywords=sometimes+marriage+is+a+real+crime

And my nonfiction healthy-living book, “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese . . .” (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us) also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is the perfect way to lose weight and begin getting healthier in a sensible way.