Browsing: Popular Diets

2010 Dietary Guidelines Recommends Mediterranean Diet

The 2010 diet guidelines for Americans recommends the traditional Mediterranean diet as a healthy alternative to the average American diet. These guidelines were released on Jan 31, 2011 by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Health and Human Services. The guidelines are based on the findings of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. This Committee was undertaken of scientific experts who reviewed the most recent research into diet and health and used it to create a scientific report based on solid evidence.

A press release quotes the secretary of the US department of Agriculture as saying …

“The 2010 Dietary Guidelines are being released at a time when the majority of adults and one in three children is overweight or obese and this is a crisis that we can no longer ignore,” said Secretary Vilsack. “These new and improved dietary recommendations give individuals the information to make thoughtful choices of healthy foods in the right portions and to complement those choices with physical activity. -related chronic disease. Improving our eating habits is not only good for every individual and family, but also for our country. ”

The purpose of the dietary guidelines is to educate people with the findings of recent research into health and diet. They will be used to assist health and nutrition experts to create educational materials that will be made available to the general public and special groups like school age children. They will also be used to design and run nutrition programs, including the federal nutrition assistance and education programs.

The core message of the guidelines is about making healthy food choices, based on nutrient lean foods and drinks rather than calorie dose ones. What does this mean? Nutrient dose foods are foods that are vitamin and mineral rich. These foods are close to their natural state, eg fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit juice etc. Calorie den foods are those which are high in sugar and calories and are processed until they have very few nutrients left. Eg. processed cereals like coco pops and fruit loops, processed snacks like crisps and cookies, processed meats like chicken nuggets, hamburgers, sausages and drinks like soda. In America today, most people consume far too many calories and not enough nutrients. This causes them to be overweight while being chronically under nourished and these leads to health issues like heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes etc.

But why would the they recommend a traditional Mediterranean diet as an alternative? Because this diet is based upon fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, fish and seafood with less red meat, sweets, poultry and dairy products than the average American diet. Mediterraneans rarely eat processed foods and most foods are either raw or only lightly cooked. Their diet is high in vitamins, minerals, protein, anti oxidants and essential fatty acids like Omega 3 while being low in toxins and saturated fats that lead to a host of chronic health issues.

For example, according to

  • France: 39.8 deaths per 100,000
  • Spain: 53.8 deaths per 100,000
  • Italy: 65.2 deaths per 100,000
  • Greece: 68.8 deaths per 100,000

All of these figures are impressive but particularly the French figure considering it is just over one third of the worldwide figure. Seems that overall, people who practice a traditional Mediterranean diet are much healthier than the average American.

You can download a copy of the 2010 diet guidelines from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion from DietaryGuidelines.gov

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The Paleo Diet – Can We Really Be Healthy And Lose Weight By Eating Like Our Caveman Ancestors?

If we're being honest, most of us could probably eat more healthily, especially those of us who are looking to lose some weight.

However, knowing this and doing something about it are two completely different things; and our quest to be healthier is made even harder by the number of conflicting views about exactly what types of foods we should be eating.

It seems there's always a new 'superfood' we should be including in our meals, or yet another diet that will help the weight to simply fall off.

One diet that has received a lot of attention recently is the Paleo Diet, even though it was first introduced in the 70's, and is based on foods we were supposed to have ateen many thousands of years ago.

But, can going back to the diet supposedly enjoyed by our caveman ancestors really be a healthier alternative? Will turning our back on thousands of years of development in the way we grow, prepare and eat food really help us to lose weight and lessen the risk of disease?

Then And Now

So what's the difference between what we eat now and what our ancientors ate hundreds of thousands of years ago? Quite a lot apparently.

Also known as the Paleolithic, Caveman or Stone Age Diet, the Paleo Diet advocates the kind of foods that were eaten by our ancientors during the Paleolithic era, hence the name. This was a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago.

During that time, it's suggested that our diet consist primarily of fish, meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

One of the things that bought the Paleolithic period to an end about 10,000 years ago, was the development of agriculture. This is what drastically altered our everyday diet, as we started to eat things like grain, potatoes and dairy products.

Foods like these had been around for many years before this agricultural revolution, but without the ability to properly process and cook them, they would have been harmful to eat.

Fast forward a few thousand years and the modern diet refined and processed these 'new' foods we were eating, and also added things like salt and sugar for good measure too.

All in all a very different diet to that enjoyed by our caveman cousins ​​and, as supporters of the Paleo and other diets argument, something that has had a significant impact on our health.

What Makes The Caveman Diet Better?

It is claimed to be a much healthier diet of foods that our bodies are used to eating. That is, over the hundreds of thousands of years our ancientors were 'hunter-gatherers', surviving on grass-fed meat, fish, plants, vegetables and fruits, this is the kind of diet our bodies got used to.

Which means that when this changed to include grains, potatoes, and dairy products, our bodies were less able to process these foods, which contributed to a range of health issues. But what is it that makes these foods so bad?

One of the key components of the types of food Paleo Diet advocates say should be avoided is lectins. These are proteins which are found in most plants, but especially in foods like grains, nuts and potatoes.

They act as the plant's natural defense against bacteria, insects, rodents, and pretty much anything else that might want to eat it – including us. These lectins can trigger an allergic reaction in the human body, and may even be contributing factors to diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Excluding these lectin-containing foods from our diet, and replacing them with the foods our bodies have evolved to process, is the basic idea behind the diet.

As well as being healthy, the fact that many of the foods you are likely to avoid are typically high in carbohydrates, also helps to explain why this particular diet has been favored by those who are looking to lose weight.

But, is eating more meat and simply avoiding all foods containing lectins really the secret to a healthier diet?

The Drawbacks Of Eating Paleo

The Paleo Diet diet is based on the 'hunter-gatherer' model, but it would be a little simplistic to assume that all hunter-gatherers, whether living now or in Paleolithic times, had exactly the same diet.

While it's assumed that the environment of humans back then provided them with a diet that was roughly 65% ​​meat and 35% plants, some modern-day tribes that are a perfect example of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, survives very well on the exact opposite – 35% meat and 65% plant foods.

Plus, meat today is not quite the same as the meat that the cavemen ate.

Our Stone Age ancestors would not have strolled down to the supermarket to pick up their mass-produced cuts of woolly mammoth, which had been pumped full of growth hormones, antibiotics and pesticides.

Even the more organically raised meats recommended by many Paleo advocates are still going to be very different from the meats collected by the original hunter-gatherers.

And, assuming we are able to obtain the best quality grass-fed meat, eating meat produces acid which the body deals with by using various minerals to neutralize it and convert it into acid salts.

Unfortunately, a diet that is high in meat may mean the body does not have enough readily available minerals to neutralize the acid produced, so it needs to take minerals out of the skin and bones which potentially opens the door for a number of illnesses, including osteoporosis and cancer.

Too much meat can also reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut and colon, and a consequent increase in the amount of harmful bacteria; and men and women who eat diets high in red meat have been found to be more at risk of certain types of cancer.

With regards to the suggestion that lectins need to be excluded from our diet, this could prove quite difficult to achieve.

All foods contain lectins, and it does seem a little contradictory to suggest that you should avoid eating grains because they contain lectins, but you should eat plenty of meat – which typically comes from animals that might have raised on the grains and other foods the diet recommends you avoid.

If the animals we eat are eating lectins, will not the meat they give us contain lectins? After all, this is one of the reasons the Paleo diet tells us to avoid dairy products.

The Paleo Diet Might Not Have All The Answers

Just because our caveman ancestors ate the foods recommended by the Paleo Diet does not necessarily mean that they did so because they were healthy, it was more likely because that's what was around at the time.

So, this may in fact mean that, just as cavemen in different regions evolved to eat different foods (because that's what was available), we will adapt and evolve to eat the beans, grains and dairy products we've been eating for many thousands of of years.

In fact, many modern civilizations survived very well on non-Paleo foods like vegetables and grains, and it was not until the modern Western diet of refined and processed foods was introduced that they started to see an increase in the kind of health issues the Paleo Diet is expected to avoid.

Also, as a very general comparison, if this diet was a much healthier option, those who eat a lot of meat should be healthier than those who eat a lot of vegetables, and it does not take a degree in nutrition or a scientific study to realize that that's generally not the case.

It does seem that while eating Paleo does have some merit, it's not a case of saying that the foods our ancientors ate were the healthiest, it's more than a case of saying that the heavily processed foods many of us eat today are definitely not.

Does The Paleo Diet Work?

While the hard-core advice of this diet may raise a few more questions than it answers, there is still some very sound logic in it that could help those who are looking to lose weight, or those who are simply wanting to eat a healthier diet .

Many nutritionists suggest that eating less of the foods the Paleo Diet says to avoid, and a balance of those it recommends, would be a good way to improve your health and help you to lose weight.

So, while you'd expect there to be some sense in a diet that's been thousands of years in the making, if you want to lose a few pounds and feel a little healthier, you probably do not need to go back to the stone Age to do so.

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Do You Really Know About The Ice Cream Diet?

The reaction many people have about this diet is typical, and they tend to look at it and wonder if it's for real. Everybody understands that if you're trying to lose weight, then you just do not consume ice cream while you're doing it. The diet maintains that you must eat ice cream every day while you're on the diet plan.

This diet is the latest of many that promise that you can eat delicious foods and still lose weight. The catch to all such diets, including the Ice Cream Diet, is that you have to watch your caloric intake very carefully.

You'll be able to eat some ice cream every day, if you want, but then you'll have to curtail your calories through the rest of the day. Another part of the diet strategy is frequent exercise, but that's really highly recommended no matter what diet you follow. This can be helpful for many people, as it allows you to have a treat every day. If you are trying to restrict your calories while eating nothing that pleases you, it can be hard to stick to your diet. The diet tries to keep things a little more exciting and pleasurable for the palate, and that is why it can be effective for many people.

They take advantage of human nature and psychology in this diet. When we deprive ourselves of something, we naturally want it more. When it comes to diets, if we do not eat anything we like, we will feel deprived. It is well known that so many people put weight back on, and part of the reason has to do with all those feelings of deprivation during the diet. This diet is actually clever because it addresses a very common problem experienced by all dieters, sometimes. This reduction in feeling enabled allows people to feel more positive, and it will also neutralize a lot of frustration and pent up energy.

It seems one natural reaction to remaining on a diet, including the Ice Cream Diet, for too long a period of time is that you actually get really bored. It is, after all, a low calorie diet despite the fact that you are allowed a small portion of ice cream every day. It's just that people need variety, generally speaking, with their foods and the low cal selection can feel limiting. This can, of course, be a challenge when you are on any diet, but some people prefer more open type of diet plans where they have a wider variety of choices. Your ultimate success with the Ice Cream Diet will depend on several factors, and you maybe should think about that before getting started. Yes – ok, there it is, you really can lose weight using the Ice Cream Diet. This diet, since its catchy name, is really a sensible and fairly traditional diet based on low calories and getting enough exercise. So, just as long as you follow what it tells you to do, then you'll lose weight – and do not eat a ton of ice cream, ever.

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How to Curb Your Appetite

Do you know, according to the recent surveys, statistics and studies, one of the top most reasons that cause people to gain weight is their inability to control their appetite? Similarly, if you do not know how to curb your appetite, all of your weight loss goals will eventually go in vain. Therefore, to achieve your weight reduction goals or to simply maintain a perfect body shape and ideal figure, it is essential for you to know and understand how to cur your appetite.

What is appetite?

Let's start by defining the appetite first. The term “appetite”, often also known as hunger, can be simply defined as your desire to eat. In other words, it is a psychological and physiological feeling that causes you to eat food unless you are satiated or satisfied.

How does appetite work?

To better know how to curb your appetite, you should also understand the way it works within your body. You know that the food you consume or eat is principally stored in your stomach for hours before it finally moves toward the small intestine. As soon as it is moved to the small intestine (duodenum), your stomach begins to become “empty” or devoid of food. The lack of food in your stomach causes its walls to shrink rhythmically and periodically, a phenomenon commonly known as “hunger pangs”. This “emptiness” automatically sends signals to the “appetite” center located in your brain which, in turn, creates the desire to eat or a wish to eat food.

How to cur your appetite? '

It is crystal clear from the above discussion that “appetite” itself is not a bad thing and, in fact, is a healthy, normal physiological process that is essential for us and also for all livings beings of our class. However, it is only when this appetite becomes “abnormal or uncontrolled” that the things start going wrong. In majority of such cases, it is just a “psychological” desire to eat more and more that causes people to gain weight on consistent basis. Weight loss & fitness experts and nutritionists have recommended the following ways to control or curb your desire to eat more.

1. Exercise just before you eat

Ideally, you should never engage yourself in any vital physical activity just after having any kind of meal, be it a dinner, lunch or breakfast. It is not only a bad practice but also increases the risk of heart attack for you. Therefore, try to perform exercise (such as walking, swimming or jogging or any physical workout) just before having breakfast or dinner. You will notice that it can dramatically reduce your appetite throughout the day.

2- Drink plenty of water

Interesting but true, water acts as an excellent, natural “zero” calorie appetite suppressant and the best part is that it comes for free. Drinking a glass of water about thirty minutes before having a major meal would tend to decrease your appetite at least by 20% to 30% as most of the time, it is our “thirst” for water that we often confuse with “hunger” for food.

3. Consume appetite-suppressing food

All foods containing fiber such as whole wheat, fresh fruits (apples, oranges) and green leafy vegetables (lettuce, broccoli, carrots) are rich in dietary fiber. This fiber is very low in calories and makes your stomach feel fuller for prolonged period of time. As a result you are naturally inclined to eat less and consume fewer calories that results in gradual weight reduction.

4. Use a natural appetite suppressant

Lastly, if you want to know how to cur your appetite in a natural way, using a pure, organic and herbal appetite-suppressing supplement is considered as one of the fastest and effective ways to control your hunger pangs. You should, however, be sure enough to choose this supplement from a reliable and authentic weight loss site . Such selected supplements are specifically recommended for those people who are unable to control their abnormally high appetite by other natural means.

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Fluid Retention Diet

What is a fluid retention diet? This is a diet that is specifically created and engineered to help those suffering from edema or water retention that is dietary-related. This distinction is necessary as some cases of fluid retention are caused by other problems and issues that are not necessarily related to the diet, and those suffering from such diseases and conditions need to seek professional help for them.

A significant cause of edema nowdays is high dietary sodium. A significant amount of electrolytes like sodium in the blood stimulates the thirst mechanism in humans, and this of course causes people to increase their water intake in order to ensure that the level of salt in the blood does not reach dangerous levels. Unfortunately, in today's word where most people are frequent consumers of fast food items and other less-than-optimal food – most if not all of which are rich in sodium – many people suffer from edema caused by high sodium levels. Switching to a diet that contains a low amount of sodium can help sufferers avoid this problem.

Another good component of such a diet is dietary fiber, especially in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables. While canned vegetables still do have significant benefits, edema sufferers need to know that salt is added to many canned vegetables in order to preserve them. In addition, many canned fruits may have been artificially sweetened with sugar, which can itself lead to further health problems. The recommended amount is approximately eight servings of fruits and vegetables daily as part of a balanced diet. Some excellent vegetables that can form part of a fluid retention diet include cabbages (known for stimulating urination and so probably useful to stave off edema), cucumbers, carrots, spinach, bananas (high in potassium, which can counter high sodium levels, and thus excellent in helping treat water retention), peaches and pears.

Now, for some practices that can help edema sufferers successfully deal with their condition. Firstly, they need to learn how to properly read and interpret labels. Some unscrupulously labeled food items may claim to be healthy but may actually contain high levels of sodium. Sufferers, as well as those who wish to eat a healthy diet, need to check the level of sodium their food contains and avoid those items that contain too much sodium.

Next, sufferers need to take a long hard look at the food they eat. Many people nowdays enjoy garnishing their food with pre-mixed flavoring mixes, salad dressings and the like, both for convenience's sake and in order to boost the flavor of their food. It must be stated that many of these prepared mixtures and dressings can contain an inordinately high amount of sodium – even those that are marketed as 'lite'. A good solution is to try and flavor one's food with natural substances such as vinegar or citrus juices, or homemade salad dressings based around these and other substances, instead of buying mixes in the store.

Use these tips to develop a fluid retention diet that can help banish edema for good!

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Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits

The Mediterranean diet has many health benefits. Wondering researchers have spent years trying to discover why. Although many regions have adopted a much more westernized diet habit which has replied in a mounting obesity issue, communities that still follow the traditional Mediterranean diet continue to experience health which is the envy of the western world.

The Mediterranean diet consistants of fresh, healthy plant food like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, olives, fish and seafood. They combine this with reduced amounts of red meat and dairy products.

The Mediterranean diet is more nutritious because foods are less processed. Processing food, and even cooking it, deprives it of nutrients. But in a traditional Mediterranean diet, most foods are eaten raw or lightly cooked. When red meat is served it is usually trimmed of excess fat. The overall diet provides plentiful fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fatty acids required by the body to maintain health and prevent chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer.

Another notable aspect of the traditional Mediterranean diet is that not every meal contains animal flesh (ie meat or fish). There are common days with no animal flesh being consumed at all. On these days, the protein portion of the meal is derived from things like beans, nuts, seeds and eggs. Although eggs are still animal products, recent research indicates that eggs do NOT increase blood cholesterol as scientists and doctors used to believe. Another modern day alternative to meat is tofu which comes from soy beans. While this is not a part of the diet, it would certainly be a worthy addition to it.

All of these things result in the Mediterranean diet being high in monounsaturated fatty acids, otherwise known as MUFAs which are healthy fats. Diets containing MUFAs (and polyunsaturated fats, or PUFAs) rather than planned and trans fats, tend to provide certain health benefits including reduced risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • High Cholesterol
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Alzheimer's
  • Depression
  • Metabolic syndrome

Lets take a closer look at these.

Reduced risk of heart disease and high Cholesterol

High levels of saturated fats result in increased cholesterol in the bloodstream. Over time, the cholesterol attaches to the walls of arteries causing a narrowing of the arteries that can lead to blockages, heart attacks and heart disease. Quite clearly, the reduced amount of saturated fat in traditional Mediterranean diets results in lower cholesterol levels. In some cases, high cholesterol is hereditary and is caused by the liver producing too much. A healthy diet containing high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids is proven to actively combat this issue and can have a significant lowering effect on cholesterol levels.

Reduced risk of Stroke

A Columbia University Medical Center study in which researchers followed 712 participants over a six year period that those participants who followed a moderate Mediterranean diet were 21% less likely to experience a stroke. Participants who followed a strict diet were 36% less likely to experience a stroke.

Reduced risk of cancer

According to a study by the Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain: “There is a 'probable' protective role of the Mediterranean diet towards cancer in general.” A National Cancer institute study of 500,000 people found that people who consumed more than 4 oz (113g) of red meat daily were 30% more likely to die from ANY cause over 10 years than those who consumed less. Sausages and processed meats increased the risk even more.

Reduced risk of Diabetes

Consumption of complex carbohydrates and high fiber foods reduces the glycemic index of foods and low GI foods prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. So a low GI diet such as the Mediterranean diet tends to prevent diabetes … See the section on Metabolic syndrome below

Reduced risk of Parkinson's & Alzheimer's

Some studies indicate that people who adhere to the Mediterranean diet have lower rates of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Researchers are unsure why this is the case but they believe that healthy food choices improving cholesterol, blood sugar levels and blood vessel health may be the cause.

Reduced risk of depression

British Researchers studied depression and diet in more than 3,000 middle-aged office workers for five years. Their findings indicated that people who ate a diet high in processed meat, chocolate, sugar, fried food, refined cereals and high-fat dairy products were more likely to suffer depression. But people who ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish similar to a Mediterranean diet were less likely to suffer depression. Their findings support other research that has found that healthy diets can protect against disease.

Reduced risk of Metabolic syndrome

Many overweight and obese people suffer from a condition called Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions – high blood pressure, a abnormal blood sugar levels, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels – that occurs together. These increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. People on the Mediterranean diet have been found to be less likely to be overweight, thus reducing incidence of this condition.

So, as you can see, adopting a traditional Mediterranean diet has many worthy health benefits. It has even been found to reverse many chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure, angina and even improving mobility in people who suffer from arthritis. So maybe it's time you tried this delicious, healthy diet!

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What If I Fail On Medifast? Tips To Ease These Fears

I sometimes hear from folks who are interested in the Medifast diet, but who have their doubts about it. Some common comments are things like: “what if I am the exception to the rule and Medifast does not work for me?” “What if I'm one of those few people who do not lose any weight at all on the diet? What if it's a complete failure and waste of time? What if I actually gain weight?” These are actually very common concerns. I had the same type of thoughts also. No one wants to waste their time or look around and see every one else's success while they themselves are not enjoying any success or weight loss of their own. But, although these types of doubts are normal and common, it's my experience and opinion that allowing these doubts to derail you or to stop you from trying actually puts you at risk for failing before you even try. In the following article, I'll offer some tips on how to deal with these doubts if you are having them.

Try To Look At It Objectively: It's amazing how many of us suspect that we are going to be the exception. I feared that all of my coworkers who started dieting at the same time as me would lose weight while I would not. I imagined them buying new clothes while I just stood by in my old ones. I was ignoring all of the studies which showed success as simple math that even I could calculate. Most people understand that if you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. Since I would be taking in well under 1500 calories per day on Medifast and I knew that the average moderately active female burns 1,800 to 2,200 calories per day, it was obvious even to me that I would have taken in less than I burned which prompted in weight loss. So unless I planned to cheat horribly or quit, there was really no reason why I should not be successful. It may help you to look at your own situation with these numbers in mind. Also, even a slight amount of exercise will help these numbers to look even better. So while it's tempting to think that you're going to be the odd man out, try to think of it objectively. It's a simple matter of calories in and calories out. Unless you plan to take in more calories than are directed, there is no reason to believe that you will not have some success.

Tell Yourself That You Will Wait And See Rather Than Sabotage Yourself Before You Even Start: It's just human nature to be tempted to quit before you even try. Tell yourself that you will give yourself a fair chance and that you will just wait and see what type of success you have. I finally just decided that I would give myself a month before I even made any judgments about my performance. This helped to take the pressure off and allowed me to just let things unfold without sabotaging myself. So to answer the question posed, I'd answer that if you do not have the success that you'd like, you would hopefully reevaluate and try again. But it's my opinion and experience that the diet is set up to take in fewer calories than you are burning and therefore, many people are pleasantly surprised when their fears and doubts are not realized.

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Making a Healthy Lifestyle

Is your lifestyle healthy? Are you eating a healthy diet? Do you need to watch your weight every day? Do your clothes not fit you anymore? Do your friends think you are fat? Do you have a lot of questions about how to make life a lot healthier and more productive?

Uh huh! So much questions popping out. Making a lifestyle healthy needs constant skeptline. You should know how to plan your daily activities and even the amount of food you eat. Having a healthy lifestyle does not mean that you should starve yourself just to look and stay healthy. There are foods that you should take in a minimal amount. There are also foods that you can take a lot of times in a day as long as you want it. Being slim does not mean that you are healthy. Being obese does not also mean that you are healthy. There are a lot of people who starve themselves just to stay slim not knowing that they are not already getting the required amount of food a body has to take in. We should have the right knowledge wherever we are doing the right thing or are we just making our life more prone to sickness and even death.

Exercise! Yes, we do need exercise but do we know which exercise is proper for us? We often go to gym trainers to help make us look good. But I always do remind each and every one that one health program is not adoptable to everyone. There are people who body can not adjust to one type of program suitable to other people. Most guys do want to have a six pack. I for one also wanted to have a six pack even though I am a female.

So how do we do it?

The Diet Solution. We are introducing a program that we guarantee can work for each and every one of us. A program suitable for each unique individual. This package will consist of everything you need to know, from the right food you are going to take in to the best exercise that you should practice. This program would not ask you to stop eating or to starve. Never. You will know which foods you are going to avoid and which foods you are going to love. It also has a fitness program designed for each type of body at all ages. It also consists of how to get six packs on a matter of time.

Is not that great! Try what is best for you and see the results you will love.

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The Raw Food Diet: A Comprehensive Introduction

I have been a raw foodist since January 2000. Here I explain what the raw food diet is, and how you can start eating it.

What is the raw food diet?

People on a raw food diet eat 100% raw, uncooked food. There are many people who find this a little difficult (often due to social reasons), so they choose a 75-99% raw food diet. Most raw foodists are vegetarian or vegan, but some eat raw fish and meat. The benefits of a high-raw or all-raw diet are clear.

  • Increased energy
  • Weight loss (or gain if you were too skinny)
  • Diseases disappearing
  • Happiness, and often bliss

The actual food ate by raw foodists varies very much, as well as those who eat a balanced raw diet, there are natural hygeists, sproutarians, fruitarians, juicearians superfoodists, ecstatic foodists and living foodists.

Most raw foodists eat a high proportion of organic or wild food in the belief that conventional food is more toxic and weaker.

Thousand of people each year are turning to the raw food diet. Why? Because these foods help your body stay clean on the inside, they give you energy, they're full of life and they help people avoid disease associated with the Standard UK Diet (SUKD !!) and Standard American Diet (SAD !!). As our government embarks on healthy eating campaign after healthy eating campaign, let's think about looking to nature to get it right. It's sooooo simple!

If you do not want to stop eating cooked foods, then make the decision to cut out microwaved foods and to have at least 50% raw food in each meal to stop yourself suffering from leukocytosis and a suppressed immune system.

So, what do you eat?

Masses of variety. So much more than in Ye Olde 3D Worlde cooked days.

My diet is so different from the SUKD. I base my recipes on the following foods:

  • Fruits, dried, fresh or frozen
  • Vegetables, dried or fresh
  • Sprouts
  • Herbs and spices
  • Nuts and their butters
  • Seeds and their butters
  • Ancient grains, soaked or ground
  • Sea vegetables, often served
  • Algaes, sometimes frozen or compressed into tablets

I personally pay particular attention to superfoods, such as maca, wheatgrass, goji berries, raw chocolate, chlorella, spirulina, algae and others.

Raw foodism is the oldest diet in the world. It's the only diet for every species in the world except humans and the animals they keep. It's the ultimate fast food diet – just pick and go! No more greasy pans or toxic oven cleaning chemicals to deal with.

Is it expensive?

The reality is, that your health is not something that should come down to cost. It can be expensive to buy organic fresh foods, but if you're resourceful, it does not have to be. Think about growing sprouts on your windowsill for a few pennies. Think about planting some fruit trees, growing greens, foraging. I know people from all walks of life who make raw living seem easy simply because they're resourceful and fit raw food into their lives because they love the benefits. I also know of people who use every excuse under the sun to not eat raw, even though they say they want to! Money is just one of those excuses, if you want to eat raw, you will.

You are what you eat. Because we know this phrase to be so true, think what you want to make of: a starch-bomb baked potato or strong, wild and free greens …

Do you need special equipment?

You do not need it, but many people do have it. Dehydrators, a very strong blender, juicers and several other gadgets are often found in the raw foodists kitchen. Take your time with buying stuff, and remember that you can get by with just your hands!

Will I become deficient in anything if I eat just raw food?

You can be deficient in nutrients on any diet. The SUKD and SAD diets are low in phyto-nutrients, B12, the anti-oxidant vitamins, EFAs and water. The nutrients to watch out for on a UK-based raw food diet include vitamins B12 and D, essential fatty acids and protein. For the vitamins, I recommend a good multi-vitamin tablet. For EFAs, I recommend omega 3 oils, either proprietary or hemp or flax seed oils, vegan DHA (made from golden marine micro-algae) and flax, chia and hemp seeds in the diet. The superfoods will cover your protein needs when eat regularly, and of course, there's the wonderful hemp protein powder. There is no need to eat animals to get enough protein – I've been a vegan since 1987 and only ever felt protein deficient when on a high-fruit diet. I certainly do not recommend this way of eating to anyone.

Can children eat raw food?

Children have very different needs to adults, so the raw food diet is different for them, just as a cooked food diet is. There are children being raised successfully on a raw food or high raw food diet. Evie, my daughter is one of them. For more information, I recommend you read specialist raw children books. As with all dates, proceed with knowledge and care.

How do I start eating raw food?

I've trained many people with raw food, and the most successful method has been this: change one meal at a time. Become comfortable with that meal, then change the next one.

For example, you could first of all alter your breakfast. Make smoothies, eat fruit, make juices, have raw muesli with nut milk etc.

Then, when you're happy with that, alter your lunch. Make cage burritos, lettuce or nori wraps, salads, dehydrated goodies such as burgers or crackers with hummous and guacamole.

Then alter your evening meal. Remember, there are many great raw recipe books, so you can always have something different to eat.

Making your snacks raw could mean eating dried fruits and nuts or enjoying vegetable sticks with dips.

Finally, including superfoods every day will ensure you get more minerals and other nutrients that may be missing from a normal raw and cooked diet.

Things to do

  • Enjoy food in its natural state.
  • If you can not eat it raw and unprocessed (like kidney beans and potatoes), ask yourself “Is this food designed for humans?”
  • Look at food as it's being cooked. See the water disappear, the colors fade and the textures change. Really think about the logic of eating food in an altered state.
  • Ask yourself if you're as healthy and happy as you could be. If the answer's no, then change something. The saying goes: If you keep on doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. Change your eating habits and the results will soon show.

Extract from one of my books, Detox Your World

Chemical changes in food

Cooking causes major chemical changes to the food and then the food contains new and unrerecognizable chemicals. Your body does not recognize them and treats them as toxins. It creates an immune response, and produces many white blood cells to go and disarm the invaders. Ultimately, your immunity really suffers because it's made so many attacks on the “food” you've eaten, and so becomes depleted.

A good example of this is the simple baked potato, which is often used in other detox programs. When it is baked, it contains over 400 more chemicals than when it is raw. As we're undergoing a detox, we want to remove ourselves as far from all known sources of toxins as possible, so we spend this time eating a diet which has not been cooked.

In my recipe book, Detox Delights, I've created over 100 delicious and sometimes sinful-looking recipes which will make you love food that loves your body. In this book, there are another 100+ recipes. This all goes to show that you do not lose out on variety or enjoy when eating healthily.

If this looks a bit too different for you to try, do not worry. The detox plans are carefully worked out so that you gain maximum energy with minimal cravings.

Your body has an immune response when you eat cooked food

When you ingest cooked food, your body acts as if it has been poisoned. White blood cells are produced and rush to your defense. This immune response is known as leukosytosis. If you eat raw food, or at least 50% raw food in each meal, this does not happen.

All forms of cooking change the structure of the cells within the food, such as the baked potato's 400 chemicals mentioned above. Your body has to try and do something with these new and unrerecognizable chemicals. When your body has to deal with this chemical assault on a daily basis, over weeks, months and years, it does not have the time or energy to do normal housecleaning and repair. It also has to find safe places to put the chemicals that it does not have time to remove. This long term storage of toxins accounts for many of the diseases prevalent in our society.

I hope this little introduction into the world of raw foodism has helped you decide to add more raw food into your diet. Remember that being graduated about your changes causes the cravings and detox symptoms to be minimal. Above all, enjoy your journey into raw foodism, it opens up many more doors than those I've mentioned here!

Bliss U

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Can You Mix Two Medifast Meals Together? Should You?

I sometimes hear from people who are trying to tweak the medifast diet in order to make it work better for them. One of the common questions that result from this topic is whether you can combine two medifast meals at one time. There are a couple of reasons that people want to do this. First, sometimes, they have a busy life style and they want to eat one larger meal to ward off hunger or to save time. An example is someone who wants to have a large breakfast because they are not going to eat again until lunch. Another reason that people want to combine meals is just for variety. For example, the hot chocolate and latte are wonderful mixed together. I mix these two quite a bit. But there are things that you can do to ensure that you are still with in the diet's guidelines, which I will discuss below.

If You're Going To Eat Two Full Meals, Adjust For The Rest Of The Day: Keep in mind that I'm only sharing my opinion and practices with you. If you have any real concerns about this, the company offers free counseling and can answer any questions you might have. But if I combine two full meals, then I will just make adjustments for the rest of the day. Since you're supposed to have five prepackaged meals and one main meal, if you combine two meals at one time, then that leaves you three more for the day. In the example of combining two for breakfast, then you could either just skip your morning or afternoon snack (but not both) to compensate for this.

If You're Mixing Meals For Taste Or Variety, Just Use Half If You Want To Only Have One Full Meal: Remember when I talked about mixing the cocoa and latte? I do this so that my drink tastes like a restaurant mocha, but I do not always want to sacrifice one of my meals to do this. So I will only use half of each which makes it only one meal. I will just save the other half for another time. In this way, though I'm using two prepackaged meals, it only counts as one and I'm able to eat 4 additional meals that day plus my main lean and green meal.

Hopefully, this has addressed some of the concerns. I typically feel free to take liberties with my meals, as long as I stay within the guidelines. I figure that it is much better to do what I need to do to stay in compliance and to stay on the diet, then to not take the liberties and to be unhappy or hungry. I do not see a problem with combining meals as long as you adjust accordingly. If you're going to combine two full meals to count for two, then just have three more through the day. If you do not want to consume two meals at once, then just use half. This has worked well for me. But every one is different and there's nothing wrong with experimenting to see what works for you.

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Meal Replacement Shakes: Are They Right for You?

Meal Replacement Diets are common weight loss strategies in which people substitute meals with protein shakes, energy bars, cookies, soups, and other forms of liquid sustenance for one or two regular meals per day, particularly breakfast and sometimes lunch. These meal substitutes are created to provide energy, nutrients, and a certain amount of calories need for everyday activities while decreasing the appetite. Basically, a person who goes through this diet is only allowed to take 800 to 1000 calories per day. He or she is also encouraged to eat healthy, regular meals for dinner.

Are you familiar with the television series, the Biggest Loser? Well, one of the most popular replacement diets is the Biggest Loser Club diet. It is a diet intended for those who want to lose weight just like the contestants on the show. Shakes, soups, snacks, and bars are available online and in selected retail stores if you want to follow this diet. Other well-known diets are Lose It! Weight Loss system which is USA-based and offers shakes, puddings, bars, and dieting support; Slim-Fast which replace two meals a day with powdered shakes; Dr. Seigals Cookie Diet which replaces two meals a day with six special cookies.

Pros:

One advantage of meal replacement diets is that they can be used for short-term weight loss. This is due to the fact that certain studies have found that these substitutes can be as effective as traditional calorie-counted diets. Here, people who go through such diets can go back to eating regular meals once they have achieved their desired weight. Also, a this type of diet can be a convenient option for someone who is always on the go. Due to the lack of time, protein shakes and other easy-to-prepare meal replacements may be the only solutions to stay lean and healthy. These products also take away the need to calculate calories because they are especially prepared; and then, contain fixed amounts of calories.

Cons:

Just like any other diet, there are also disadvantages associated with meal replacement diets . For instance, people who undergo these diets may not be properly educated on nutrition. As a result, they may not develop a healthy, long-term eating habit. Moreover, these diets may be limited to certain food types only. So, the dieters may get bored with the choices they have. These types of products are also quite expensive, and most of them are highly processed. There can even be risks involved in a very low calorie diet that's why medical supervision might be necessary. Is this Diet Right for You?

However, these diets are ideal if you want to achieve quick weight loss. They are also good options if you want your calories controlled, and if you do not want to be hassled in planning or preparing meals. If you are overweight, obese, or have type 2 diabetes, it is advised that you consult your doctor before undergoing any weight loss program. Even though studies support the safety of consuming replacements, you still have to make sure that your body is fit for the diet.

So, what do you think? Sound off below!

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Paleo Diet: 5 Tips To Help You Make a Successful Switch

When you are making changes to your regular routine including how you eat, it is important to plan ahead of time, and to get the support you need to stay motivated and excited about the change. Together we will explore 5 simple tips that are sure to help you successfully switch over to a Paleo Diet.

1. Grocery Shop Before It's Too Late
If you're anything like me, grocery shopping is not your favorite thing to do; you wait until you have nothing in your fridge, and are tired of eating fast food, before you actually go. When you do not have food in your fridge, you will be more tempted to buy unhealthy foods on the go. Plan when you are going to go grocery shopping ahead of time, and get the foods you need to make healthy choices throughout the week.

2. Cook A Lot At Once
What has helped me stick to a healthy Paleo Diet is preparing enough food for my partner and I for a couple of days. For example, 3 days ago I cooked a Bacon / Spinach Frittata, Chicken Marsala, Kale Salad and Egg / Tuna Salad during one cooking session. Sure it took me about 3 hours to do everything, but we've had delicious, nutritious food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the last 3 days now. All we had to do was heat it up quickly, or grab on the go.

3. Be Adventurous
Enjoy your new Paleo Diet and all the foods that comes with it. This diet introduces foods that many of us have never eat before such as:
-Beetroot Salsa
-Duck Pomegranate Salad and
-Pork Shoulder and Sour Pickle Stew

So be adventurous; do not be afraid to try something new. Also, focus on all the new healthy foods you get to explore, rather than focusing on all the junk foods that you can not have.

4. Go Paleo with your Partner or Friend
Cooking and eating new healthy foods together should be a fun journey you embark on with someone you enjoy. If you are in a relationship share this experience with your partner, if you're single invite your best friend over.

5. Acknowledge Your Health Results
Often times people tend to focus on the negatives, try instead to focus on the positives no matter how settle, by acknowledging the results you are experiencing from maintaining a Paleo Diet.

Remember getting healthy should be fun and invigorating, not burdensome and boring. With that, eat well and enjoy.

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Visualize Yourself Thin: 3 Essential Steps for Amazing Results

BAM VP – Be A More Vibrant Person in 2012

V is for visualization. Close your eyes and visualize a beautiful memory, proud moment, memorable vacation. Make it real by noticing the colors, sights, sounds, smells around you. Visualization encourages the release of feel good endorphins. Puts a smile on your lips. Now open your eyes and have a great day.

Visualize Yourself Thin: 3 Essential Steps for Amazing Results

“If I Can See It, Then I Can Be It” – I Believe I Can Fly lyrics by R. Kelly

Do you visualize? Daydreams, memories and inner talk are all types of visualization. Imagine a goal that you want to attain. Then program your vision to reach it.

The Carrot and the Stick

Your goal is to lose weight. Specifically 20 pounds; or wear a size 8 again; or have energy to play with your kids. That's the carrot, your reward. If you want to be successful in your undertaking you will have to acknowledge why you are pursuing this goal.

What was the incident, the last straw – “the stick” that set this plan in motion? Was it a long look in the mirror, a hurtful remark directed at you or a medical issue that would disappear if you lose the weight? Write it down and leave nothing out. No one has to see this except you. This is the motivation you will use again and again at those times when you are tempted to give in to cravings.

Picture Perfect Visual Aids

Find pictures of you at your ideal weight. Place them everywhere. On the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, iPhone, iPad, computer screensaver. You could also use pictures of someone you believe ideal or even hang that size 8 outfit in full view.

This is not only about how you want to look. It is also about how you want to feel. Link positive affirmations to your visuals. Think, “I can do this”, I look awesome, or whatever works for you. Send love even to those parts you want to slim down!

Wait for It …

You knew this was coming. Food and exercise. What is your action plan to help make this weight loss happen? Link lots of pleasure to this planning phase. Visualize yourself selecting, preparing and eating healthy meals. Picture yourself savoring and enjoying the feel and texture of the food in your mouth. Adopt an “I eat only the best for my body” attitude.

You will want to give up foods that keep the weight on. But take baby steps so you do not feel deprived. For example, one less soda a day will save approximately 100 calories.

Exercise must be fun for you to stay with it. So visualize moving your body to something you enjoy and watching the pounds melt. Dancing, jogging, biking or walking. An extra 2000 steps a day will help maintain your new weight.

Now Visualize Yourself Thin

Visualizing is a powerful tool. According to Emil Coue (who coined the phrase, “every day in every way I am getting better and better”) “” your thoughts become reality – you are what you think “. You will be using all that you have learned so far to create an image using your sense of sight, touch, sound, smell and taste.

Set aside 5 minutes two or three times a day. You can visualize while walking, exercising on the treadmill, sitting alone, in the morning or in the evening before falling asleep. Visualize yourself already at your ideal weight. Use your senses to bring this image alive. Give it detail. Are you wearing that size 8 dress looking proud and confident? Walking along the beach in your bikini making heads turn? Playing tag games with the kids with energy to spare?

Feel the air around you, the ground beneath you, the sights and sounds you are experiencing. Visually step into your picture and try it on for size. Fall in love with your body again. You are BAMVP. Bold, Awesome, Motivated, Vibrant and Powerful.

BAMVP – Breath, Affirmations, Meditation, Visualization, Progressive Relaxation

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Paleo Diet Plan – Adapting the Everyday Paleo Concept

If you take a look at an ordinary Paleo Diet plan, it would include a lot of fruits and vegetables. Most of the carbohydrates are from these kinds of foods. Fruit and vegetables are also good sources of natural sugars and fiber. These elements provide a significant source of energy that is helpful in the maintenance of the body. Some of the popular fruits included in the Paleo Diet plan are berries, pomegranate, bananas, apples, grapes, pineapples, and oranges. On the other hand, vegetables include bell peppers, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, spinach, and tomatoes.

The recommended protein intake must be from lean sources and the regular fat intake should give you healthy monounsaturated fats as well as polyunsaturated ones. In a Paleo Diet plan, it is also acceptable to combine lean protein-rich foods like salmon, fish, beef, pork, grass-fed buffalo, turkey, chicken, and eggs. Sources of your regular fat intake may be nuts like almonds, macadamia nuts, and cashews. Seeds like sunflower and walnuts are good sources, too. Dishes or food can be further enhanced by using natural herbs or spices. In the Paleo Diet, the person is allowed to eat whenever he is hungry. The quantity of food to be taken is also unlimited. The person can consume the amount needed for him to be full. This is actually an approach called “unweighed and unmeasured.”

People who decide to practice the diet should make sure that he does not consume the food items banned from the diet plan. These are food items that are nonexistent during the Paleolithic period. Bread, noodles, pasta, and cereals are not allowed because they are products of agriculture, which was not yet practiced during that time. Other food items that are banned include legumes like beans and peas and starchy root vegetables like potatoes. These food items can not be eaten raw. The necessary preparation must be done before anyone can eat them. More obviously, dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt are strictly banned.

One good thing about the Paleo Diet plan is that it allows cheat meals. If you check out some useful weight loss websites, you'll get to read that adding 1 to 2 cheat meals each week to one's Paleo Diet plan can be good. Cheat meals happens when the person consumes a meal including food items that are banned. It is allowed because the plan should be appropriate to the different personal requirements of each person. Personalizing one's Paleo Diet plan will ensure that the person will get a more appropriate diet plan that will help him function daily. Athletes, for example, need more nutrition compared to ordinary working employees who do not even have a particular strenuous activity. The daily activities and routine of people determine a different set of requirements when it comes to vitamins and minerals in general.

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How Does The Cost Of NutriSystem Success Compare To The Basic Program?

I've been getting a lot of questions about NutriSystem's new success line that includes the new chef's table meals plus the new protein shakes. Many are intrigued by this new program but they assume that it's going to be a lot more expensive. I often hear comments like: “Is the NutriSystem success plan more money than all of the others? If so, how much more does it cost? I'll try to answer these questions in the following article.

Whether The Success Line Costs More Depends On How Many Chef's Tables Meals You Want And Whether You Want The Frozen Or “Select” Meals: As of this writing, the company is offering some chef's tables meals and shakes that are included in the core or auto delivery basic plan. For example, the core or basic plan that is currently around $ 259 includes 7 days worth of chef's table entrées as well as some shakes. Beyond that, the soft canned foods come with the basic package. The core plan does not include the frozen meals on the select line. However, some of my favorite meals are on the basic line including the pizza, the risotto, and the pancakes.

Now, if you want more than 7 days of the new chef's line and you want gourmet or frozen meals included in your order, then the select plan is just a little more at around $ 299. With this premium, you get 10 days of the chef's table as well as the new protein shakes, and your other foods will include frozen or “select” foods. I have to admit that many of the frozen foods are quite good including the glazed turkey and the french toast. So to answer the question, you are looking at around $ 40 more to get more of the chef inspired food and frozen meal options instead of just the soft canned meals.

When I explain this, many people ask me if it is worth it to pay more. I suppose that depends on your budget and how satisfied you are with the food on the basic line. I think that most people can find plenty to like on both plans. However, the company often offers discounts on the select line so that it ends up not being such a huge premium. In this case, it's not much more than an additional dollar or so per day. I would say that this is worth it to me, but your opinion could certainly differ. I think that if you ask this question to many different people on the diet, you might get several different answers. But it might make you feel a little better to know that even if you choose the cheapest option (the basic,) you will still have access to the new chef's line and to the new shakes. But if you also want additional frozen meals, that will cost a little more.

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