Archive for diet
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month; a time we women can think about our risks for breast cancer and how we can reduce them. A time to share our thoughts, knowledge and experiences with friends and loved ones.
According to experts, breast cancer is lower in countries with more of a plant based diet. The same experts state that diet is responsible for 30-40% of all cancers!
Researchers here in the US have not yet been able to link a higher fat diet with a higher rate of breast cancer. A study is ongoing however, the WHEL -Women’s Healthy Eating and Living study, looking at the effect of lifestyle and eating on the risk of breast cancer. This study will not be finished for a few more years. A similar study is ongoing in Europe, called EPIC-European Prospective Investigation into Cancer. It is involving over 500,000 people in 10 countries; and looking at the link between lifestyle and cancer.
We do know however, that being overweight and drinking alcohol heavily, and maybe even moderately; are 2 lifestyle habits that are associated with an increase risk of breast cancer. This HAS been shown in studies.
It is all about the immune system, and that IS how you can take control. Eating a healthy diet full of important nutrients, such as you get from fresh fruits and vegetables, gives your body what it needs to support a healthy immune system. A diet low in foods with added chemicals or pesticides, reduces the chance of unhealthy cell changes that may promote cancer. And maintaining a healthy weight with reduced fat, also reduces the amount of estrogen that fat cells are known to emit.
A recent study has suggested that women with healthy diets and weights prior to a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, had a better success rate with treatment and lower mortality in the years following diagnosis. This information was collated from data of the Women’s Health Initiative. It is felt this is related to a more vibrant immune system in women with healthier diets.
There are several simple steps you can take to improve your diet:
- Buy one new vegetable every week you grocery shop, and experiment with different way to prepare, cooked or raw.
- Add chopped vegetables to soups or spaghetti sauces, either home prepared or jarred.
- Eat your fruits, don’t drink them. This gives you valuable fiber and reduces chance of unhealthy additives.
- Trim fat and remove skin from meats and poultry to reduce unhealthy fats
- Use less salad dressing. Even try some of the yoghurt bases salad dressing now in markets. I have tried several and they are very good, usually located in the produce part of the market, no the usual salad dressing isle.
- Think of your plate divided into 1/3 section. Meat or protein on 1/3, vegetables on 1/3 and whole grains or beans on a third. Or, 2/3 s veggies, 1/3 protein.
- Reduce your portion sizes of protein to total of 6 oz a day
- Limit your alcohol. Alcohol is basically a sugar. Healthy limits are no more than 7 beverages a week for women, with a serving size of 4-5 oz of wine, or 1 0z of liquor, or one 12 oz beer (not IPA as the alcohol content is higher in many IPA beers) So MEASURE your wine glasses to know how much you are actually getting when you pour! A huge goblet filled to the top is not 1 serving.
Take this month of October to decide if you are serious about improving your immune system and sustaining your health for years and decades to come.
Start with one suggestion above and work on it. When you have integrated this into your routine, and you no longer need to think about it because it is automatic; start on the next item you feel you can, and need to change.
Making long lasting and important changes need not be done overnight. If you can, great!
Most of us however, have to start slowly and deliberately. I know you can change, I have seen it daily in my work in medicine. When the motivation is there, the power is there, and the will is there.
Find your power and motivation to make needed changes, and work to escape the risk of cancer.
You can not use up your will power first thing in the morning deciding between poached eggs with toast or waffles with syrup. If you want to eat healthy, make the decision in advance and conserve your will power for later in the day. Eat right at breakfast and lunch and you have won the battle. Will power is like muscle power, when you use it regularly it becomes stronger, but hard workouts leave the will and the muscles weak and tired and vulnerable to injury and failure. Take this to heart and make some decisions in advance. Make preparations and then just follow through. In the following two videos I try to show you how I set myself up for success at breakfast and lunch time. Exercise is an important part of living and health but weight is controlled 80-90% by diet. These decisions are very important.
Please try these suggestions. Tell me about your failures and successes. Leave me questions and make criticisms of these videos. The information is good and the principles are solid. I may not say it the way that makes most sense to you. Let me know what help you need. If you want some coaching, click on my offer above. Enjoy the videos.
What is the difference between dieting and making a life style change?
In this video I discuss the idea that you have a different perspective when you decide to make lifestyle changes. When you are dieting, you are
- giving up control of what you are eating to a “program”
- looking for a temporary fix to a long term habit
- looking at external cues for your success or failure,such as number on a scale
- not taking responsibilities for your actions
- not learning about food or activities and how they can affect you
- treating a symptom not a cause
In making a life style change, you are deciding that you are in it for the long haul, such as forever. You are evaluating what works for you, through trial and error. You are deciding for YOU what works and does not work. You are getting in touch with your feelings and thoughts about changes you are making, and this can make these changes more effective and long lasting. To make effective life style changes, you should:
- plan, journal and evaluate your feelings and thoughts about goals
- focus on how the changes you are making are benefiting YOU
- don’t be hard on yourself- think about correcting mistakes and moving ahead instead of giving up because of mistakes
- start small and move slowly through changes, think baby steps to change
- enlist help of friends, family, co workers. Someone you trust to be your support
- make a plan for stressful times.
Lifestyle change is not sudden or magical, it comes through slow, deliberate and dedicated action. It is never to late to make a lifestyle change, because the changes you make can be as big or as small as you want them to be!
This is section 3 and Video #4. The focus of this section is planning. Effective use of your time will be helpful in accomplishing your health goals. Weight change is the desired end, but the real effort is in taking better care of yourself. Putting your needs last or not addressing them at all leads to lost love. By that I mean loving yourself to think you are worth the time and effort. It means becoming more efficient and developing a plan that leads from what you are going to eat to a shopping list to stocking the pantry and executing your plan.
You may be very pushed for time and need to prepare meals that sort of fix themselves. In this section we will provide you with suggestions, some resources and examples. You will have to look upon this as an experiment. In this experiment, you are going to make sure you eat enough calories, the right kind of calories – meaning the correct ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates – prepared in a way you can eat them.
You are going to need some containers and some way to carry food to work with you each day. Begin now by watching my brief video and then working through the issues I bring up in the video. If you need my help, use the coaching tab at the top of the page and schedule some one on one time with me.
Lets work through the issues here.
#1 – an eating plan. You need 3 meals a day. Snacks are foods you eat if you miss a meal, not extra food while watching TV or using the computer or driving. Snacks are a late 20th century phenomenon of American culture. We Americans think we are OK if we can work 50 hours a week and sustain busy, busy schedules. We equate effective business with “HEALTH”. It isn’t true but that is how we have been taught to think of it since we were born. We have observed and understood our role – health = movement, activity, busy. Take the time now to pull out your journal and write a new entry.
At the top of a new page write: What does being healthy mean to me? Then brain storm! Write short points like the ones below.
- being active to old age
- not being sick
- not taking any medication,
- using science to keep my mind and body strong even if I have to take some medication
- not being afraid
- keeping my mental faculties sharp until I die
- dieing at what I think is old age – for me that is after age 85
So, you see what I mean here. Then I want you to write about how you feel you are doing with being healthy as you define it. If you look at my list above the pattern is a clear mind and sound body until I am old. I want to be independent. That is my cultural imprint. I want to be able to “work for myself” meaning make decisions, wash, dress, handle my financial affairs, and be independent until I lie down and don’t wake up one day. That is me, I share that as an example. In your journal, decide what health means to you. Write a short letter to yourself about what health is for you. Feel it! Don’t think it. Write what you feel. If you aren’t sure, write what scares you about not having your health. Then you can look at that and know what you think health is.
OK, ask yourself, will you create a habit of planning, shopping and preparing food that will sustain you but not fatten you. If you like me, feel health is tied up with some activity, will you then move more to build up a reserve for your elderly years. Using the brain and the body for work and social activity sustains you in later years with a reserve you can draw on and a health safety net that will allow you to function effectively even if you have degenerative problems in your bones, joints and nervous system later on. It is like building jettys and seawalls to preserve the coast. The sea hammers it relentlessly. But if it is well built, it will preserve the coast line during the life of the builders. Build bones, joints, muscles and a nervous system that will sustain you throughout your life, even if those systems get battered.
If there is one rule for you to obey, it is to eat foods in as natural a state as possible. The less a company has processed the food, the more truly nutritious it will be. Try to eat it locally grown, fresh, and organic. I like Jack LaLanne’s philosophy – eat the best you can afford but better to eat unprocessed but not organic than processed food. It will never be perfect, but you can improve slowly. First get in a habit.
Remember there are not diseases that result from not eating grain and other simple carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can be assembled inside the body from fats and proteins. The only deficiency diseases of macro nutrients are from lack of protein and fat. Fat is more calorie dense than protein so we need less volume. The fat needs to be mostly monounsaturated and a little saturated. Avoid Transfats and polyunsaturated fats. Remember there is no Cannola plant! That stands for Canadian Oil – Low Acid and is made from low acid rapeseed. Rape seed oil when low acid is edible but the unprocessed oil is slightly toxic and high acid oil is harmful to fetuses, infants and children. I would just avoid it -it is highly processed food. So is “Vegetable oil”. What is that? Soy oil, again highly processed but not as processed as the Protein from soy. In the orient soy is processed for 30 to 200 days for human consumption. Here we extract it with HEXANE. Google that and see if you want to eat food prepared with it.
OK, Recipes. Besides hiring me to help you, you can find great information in the following places:
Here is one that provides you with lots of resources and a plan but if you click here and buy, we will be paid a fee for sending you. We have subscribed ourselves for over 2 years now. The Diet Solution Program
From SquawkFox here is a printable_grocery_list_template
The last thing you need is a planner to schedule meal planning, exercise, and time to sit and eat. Hopefully you have downloaded our 30 tips for weight control. One of those tips was to only eat while seated. Find time to build your reserves now, not during a crisis.
Your comments, suggests and resources are most welcome!
Now that the New Year is here, you have no doubt made a resolution to lose weight. Who of us does not feel that a few lost pounds would be welcome? The question is, why are you dieting again?
Many of us get tired of how we look in clothes. We look at the models in magazines and on TV shows and we think- I want to look better, like she does!
But is this realistic? Is this a good reason to change?
It might be. However our nations obsession with skinny or very slender, is just not realistic or healthy. The recent criticism of Jenifer Ringer, the sugar plum fairy in the New York City Ballet’s recent production of the Nutcracker illustrates how warped the perception of beauty can be. Here is a vibrant, healthy, and strong ballerina with (in my opinion) a wonderful figure who was recently slammed by a critic for appearing to have “eaten too many sugar plums herself”. There has happily been a huge backlash against the critic and in support of Ms. Ringer.
There are many reasons to change your diet in a healthy way, or to begin an exercise program. I would say that improved heart and lung fitness, improved strength and flexibility, improved energy and alertness, improvement in disease risk factors are all excellent reasons to “diet”!
When I say “diet”, what I really mean is an improved and healthy eating program. What I do not mean is restriction of major food groups and choosing from a small list of foods for your nutrition. What I mean by “diet” is to eat:
- wide variety of fruits and vegetables
- healthy fats such as olive oils and nuts
- lean meats/fish/poultry
- whole grains such as oatmeal that is not instant and flavored, wild rice, couscous, quinoa, barley
- whole grain bread and pasta with NO bleached flour
- drink water, pure juices, NOTHING with corn syrup, high fructose syrup or any other syrup
- keeping restaurant food as close to all the above as possible, no fast food, very limited sweets
Keeping the this type of eating plan will not only help you lose weight and get slimmer, but more importantly will improve your health so that you can live longer and enjoy doing just that!
Isn’t that what most of us want?
Contact us with questions, comments or concerns! There is much information on this website and soon we will have a program to help with making these changes, and many others in the future.
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Anne can be your coach and mentor for menopause issues like
- weight gain,
- sleep troubles,
- sexual difficulties from menopause,
- how to talk to your Doctor,
- Diet and Fitness
In this brief but fun video she has a conversation with a pretend coaching client. Would you have the same questions? Ask her in the comments section. The sign up form follows the video.
The South Beach Diet, like several other diets, has been developed by a cardiologist
in response to poor weight loss results with use of a low fat diet. Dr. Arthur Agatston had
noted continued problems with hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia for his patients
that were utilizing the low fat diet to weight loss.
This diet works on the premise that adequate healthy fat in the diet helps with
satiety. Additionally, this diet limits carbohydrates with exception of vegetables
which reduces sugar cravings and helps with insulin regulation. This lack of sugar
cravings helps to reduce overeating and reduces calorie ingestion.
This diet, like the Zone and Atkins Diet, is a phased diet. There are 3 phases,
which at first restrict many foods and subsequently slowly add healthy carbohydrates
as you monitor the speed of your weight loss until you reach the maintenance phase.
This diet is very effective with weight loss. Phase one causes much water weight loss
as the body metabolizes stored carbohydrates and protein. This occurs due to
calorie restriction which causes the body to turn to carbohydrate stores for energy.
It takes a depletion of carbohydrate stores to force the body to begin burning fat
for energy. As protein and carbohydrates are metabolized, water is released. Over time,
the body adjusts and fluid stores are equalized again.
The phases of the South Beach Diet are as follows:
PHASE 1- This is the most restrictive phase and calorie consumption is fairly low. Foods
are restricted to proteins and vegetables. The meal plan is clearly laid out, sugars are
restricted and no alcohol is recommended. There is no fruit allowed in this phase due
to the sugar content of many fruits. This phase is the most restrictive but does
eliminate cravings. You are given ample opportunities to eat with snacks distributed
through out the day. This phase is limited to 2 weeks only as it is very restrictive.
PHASE 2- In the second phase, healthy grains and carbohydrates are slowly introduced.
You are allowed to eat fruits that are low glycemic, or slowly digested due to high
fiber content and low sugar content.Protein content throughout the day is not as high,
sugars are still restricted as is alcohol. Weight loss is expected to continue but is
slower. You are expected to remain on this phase until you have reached your weight goal.
This phase can last months, and is safe to do so.
PHASE 3- This is the final phase and meant to be the maintenance phase. Many more
carbohydrates and fruits are part of the diet, you are to closely monitor your weight.
Any weight gain can then be isolated and some amount of carbohydrates eliminated to
stabilize weight. By this time, you have hopefully learned healthy eating to maintain
weight loss and can adjust your own food choices without having to follow a prescribed
This diet delivers because of the following:
Easy to follow, has specific plan with no food choice involved
Causes weight loss
Recipes utilize many different vegetables and are tasty
You are allowed to eat much protein in form of steak, eggs and some cheeses
Can be followed for a long time without any nutritional deficiencies
Teaches healthy eating and relying on healthy carbohydrates
This diet may not deliver for the following reasons:
If you are vegetarian, it may not work as most protein choices are animal and dairy based
Phase 1 can be quite difficult with the severe carbohydrate restriction, this can cause
dizziness and fatigue for a few days until you adjust
Some recipes are time intensive, especially lunches
Recipes require purchasing of many vegetables which are not used again within a timely
fashion, causing some wasting of food as it spoils.
Not all vegetables are available and in season in many parts of the country
Which ever diet you choose, elimination of sugars and refined carbohydrates with allow
weight loss through reduces calories and elimination of hunger. Many of us have a skewed
hunger system, and eat when not necessary. Most of these healthy diets reteach your
brain to rely on less food and maximize intake of foods rich in nutrients.
In reviewing past posts and even in talking to friends and family members, I hear myself speaking a repeated refrain. I often notice the eyes of my audience glaze over!
Diet and exercise, diet and exercise, diet and exercise.
While I firmly believe that healthy diet and exercise can significantly impact most of what is wrong with our health, I do realize not everyone wants to follow this advice because they don’t see themselves as “that type”.
Many people really enjoy food in a way that is not obsessive or necessarily unhealthy. Take for instance a friend that can throw together a delicious crab cake or tasty quesadilla at the drop of a hat for friends and hungry teenagers. Many cooks in the South (where I reside) are very proud of their cooking skills and may feel that they cannot blend the two goals of serving great food and being healthy. Many of us are mothers that have had to cook for a variety of family tastes that have changed as children have grown. Food is good and coming together for a fun meal is, well, fun. The cook who pulls it together is entitled to feel proud.
So how can this person follow my advice?
One simple word. MODERATION!
Enjoy food, but make healthy choices MOST of the time. Splurge once in a while but NOT every day, not every meal.
You do not have to follow a diet and exercise plan perfectly, but you do need to follow a plan most of the time. Do it on days that are not special to you, routine days that do not include socializing. You don’t have to be perfect but you cannot indulge every day, at every meal, and expect to loose weight and reverse dangerous health trends.
You pick your time and pick your “poison”.
My poison is chocolate, cheese, good crackers and wine. I am 5’4″ and 129 lbs. While I realize I do not weigh much compared to other women my age; I am struggling to not gain too much more weight, but I do enjoy my “poisons”. So what do I do?
I count calories, I am careful not to enjoy my poisons daily ( or at least not in excess and not all of them on the same day) and I walk 5 days a week. I try for moderation.
Why do I bother?
I imagine myself at 70-80 years of age still walking and hiking, still traveling (hopefully over seas), and on a minimum of medications. I want to live independently and vibrantly; and health is the only way to do that.
That is my why. What is your why? Tell me in the comments section.
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Ramit Sethi is author of the blog I will Teach You to be Rich and author of the NYTimes best seller of the same name has something to say about how our attitude about money and food are much the same. We would rather spend an hour doing research about the best thing to do to get the weight off rather than actually take action on the problem. We would rather see a documentary with very thin science than read and apply principles that have been proven over and over. The Key: Do something that is right now! Don’t wait until you are an expert. Don’t wait until you know everything perfectly. DO SOMETHING NOW AND REPEAT IT REGULARLY! It does not have to be a lot, or really intense, or extreme, just a little regular exercise and a little less food each and every day. This video is not great. It does give you the visual message. You really ought to ask Anne in the comments section for examples and then take those examples and do something with them. Enjoy this 5 minute video.
This is the follow up to the poll/quiz I posted yesterday. This post answers 4 basic questions.
What is obesity?
The accumulation of excess fat constitutes over-weight and beyond a certain point is defined as obesity. You can define obesity by Body Mass Index or Body Fat Measurement but I think waist measurement is the best one. A woman’s waist above 35″ or a man’s above 40″ constitutes obesity if you are under 7 feet tall. More importantly obesity is a state of inflammation. Inflammation is the basic cause of all health problems. When the inflammation gets bad enough the body’s defense breaks down. Abdominal fat produces many chemicals that increase inflammation, elevate blood pressure, elevate lipids and raise blood sugar levels. Obesity then can be called a metabolic state in which inflammation is dominate. You don’t have to be obese to suffer from inflammation, but you are at greater risk when you are obese.
Which is more important diet or exercise?
Both are important but to reverse and prevent obesity, diet plays a role of 80% and exercise 20%. The national weight loss data base statistics show that those that lose weight and keep it off are regular exercisers. The number one exercise is walking. Resistance exercise like lifting weights is important also.
What is the weight gain hormone and how do I control it?
Weight gain is controlled by many metabolic processes but the number one hormone is insulin. Insulin is produced in the pancreas in response to one nutrient in the blood. That nutrient is glucose – SUGAR. Glucose is a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are sources of cheap energy. When you have too many of them in your blood, insulin and some other hormones cause the liver to create a fat called triglycerides (the fat inside your fat cells) and get the fat cells and liver to store it. When the carbohydrate is a difficult one for the liver to process, it gets stored within the liver and can result in a liver inflammation called NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). Until recently, this occurred in alcoholics, late in their life, and did not contribute to illness. Now we have 8 year old children with this problem and we don’t know what will happen in their liver after 30-40 years. Want to keep weight down? Keep insulin levels low in your blood. The glycemic load is a good way to look at how much sugar gets into your blood how fast from a serving of food. The lower the glycemic load, the lower the the amount of sugar in your blood and the lower your insulin.
Can you be fit and fat?
Short answer is yes. You can not be obese and fit. Fitness isn’t just measured by muscular or cardiovascular fitness. Fitness is a function of your physiology and your muscular strength and endurance. It is good to improve your strength and endurance but it is best to lose weight through a combination of diet (80% emphasis) and exercise (20%) emphasis.
What questions do you have? Ask them in the comments section. What is your story? Tell us about your successes and your struggles. I appreciate your participation in our blog and membership site.