Two of the worst foods, according to the movie “Diet Fiction” are sugar and saturated fat. If you’re eating sugary foods and unhealthy saturated fats, you’re increasing your chances of heart disease, cancer and a slow metabolism.
Saturated fat = high LDL cholesterol, that’s the bad kind. If your doctor says your LDL is high, he’ll want to put you on medication, which will lead to higher medical costs, and risks of other problems (side effects from the drug(s)).
Saturated Fatty Foods:
Butter increases Alzheimer’s disease risk by three times. It’s not healthy, stop eating it. Use olive oil instead, but reduce all oils, or eliminate them completely.
Coconut oil has 60% of its calories from saturated fats
Eggs have 20% of its calories from saturated fat. Remove the yolk if you want to eat eggs.
Meat is the 2nd worst of all saturated fats. Meat is the #1 food most associated with weight gain. The leanest red meat has at least 40% of its calories from saturated fat.
Dairy – You don’t need to eat dairy, that’s a myth pushed by the dairy industry; cheese is the 1st worst saturated fatty food.
Bacon – I don’t care if you are on a keto diet, bacon is not healthy! If you feel best on a ketogenic diet, try vegan keto with fats from dry-roasted almonds, chia seeds, and avocado.
Chicken – the leanest chicken breast meat has at least 30% of its calories from saturated fat
Wild salmon – the leanest has at least 20% of its calories from saturated fat
Tofu – 40% from saturated fat
Nuts – 80% from saturated fat
If you have high cholesterol, or it’s on the high side, you want to limit, or avoid foods that contain saturated fats. That may mean going on a vegan diet. Changing the way you eat is challenging, but it sure beats chemotherapy.
Source: Diet Fiction. Dir Michal Siewierski. 2019. Film. Amazon.
Photo: Sugar cookies made with butter are delicious, but they promote inflammation, induce insulin spikes and high blood sugar, cause weight gain, and cause you to crave sugary-processed foods the more you eat them. If you can’t survive without your sweet snacks, I have a sweet tooth too, check out my no-sugar, low-oil, good-for-you treats from my dairy-free dessert cookbook at https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997665424/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507756038&sr=1-1&keywords=slimming+Dairy-free+smoothies+and+desserts
It’s true that we cannot eat the same way, or eat the same number of calories we used to when we were in our teens and twenties. A few reasons is that our metabolism slows, we move less and work more, and our hormone levels change.
What’s surprising is that eating just one extra cookie or 30 extra pistachios, on a daily basis, can, theoretically, cause a person to put on 10 pounds in just one year. So, that extra bite of this or that can have a profound effect on your weight.
While the math is not perfect, since the more we weigh, the bigger our organs get, and bigger bodies burn more calories; this explains why people get frustrated when it seems like they are eating the same as they always have, yet keep getting fatter.
The good news is, if you reduce your calories, little-by-little, you’ll see a smaller you, little-by-little. When you weigh less, the organs shrink, which is when your weight loss might stop. At that time, you’ll need to reduce your calories a bit more, and maybe add more exercise, to drop the extra weight.
We all tend to underestimate how many calories we eat, and overestimate how many calories we need.
Photo: me cutting up bell peppers
Some fitness trainers eat high protein, low carb, restrictive diets, and then binge on a cheat meal, like eating a whole pizza at one sitting, once a week. They will avoid fruit, except for berries, count carbs, count every calorie, and make 6-pack abs a priority. They don’t get enough nutrients (since they aren’t eating a well-rounded diet) so they get their energy from pre-workout powders or energy drinks (which are not regulated, increase heart rate, and can contain harmful chemicals).
You don’t want nutrition advise from trainers like these! They may look good, but they feel like crap (and can’t poop without fiber supplements). Many of these supposedly fit folks end up with heart attacks at an early age. A lot of them take steroids too.
The fitness trainers that want to look good, be fit, AND understand the importance of a healthy body and mind, focus on eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, proteins, grains (if tolerated), have wine or beer every now and then, don’t typically count calories, but keep an eye on portion size, and enjoy a meal out with friends every now and then. These are the trainers you want to work with, and get advice from.
I want to look good, but I make my health a priority. I don’t eat the same foods every day, my meals must taste yummy, and I rarely have cheat meals (which just makes me feel terrible).
People still get confused as to what is healthy, and what would be tasty well-rounded meals, so I decided to write down what I ate yesterday with an explanation on why I chose those ingredients.
Vanilla iced chocolate coffee:
1 level tablespoon Truvani vegan vanilla protein powder, ¼ cup cold coffee, 1 cup filtered water, ¼ cup ice, 1 level tablespoon of cocoa powder all blended for 10 seconds.
Why: When I get up in the morning, I’m usually really hungry, but I save my breakfast as my pre-workout mini meal about 30 minutes prior to exercising. This drink has very few calories, but tides me over for about an hour or two.
Breakfast: fruit smoothie with one frozen banana, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, ¼ cup collagen protein powder, 1 heaping tablespoon of acai powder, 1 heaping tablespoon of Truvani vegan vanilla protein powder.
Why: Drinking a fruit smoothie satisfies my sugar cravings, provides hydration and just enough energy without too many calories to get me through a 60-90 minute grueling exercise session.
Lunch: 3 ounces baked pork loin with spices and herbs served with sautéed onions, cabbage, and shredded carrots
Why: Pork loin is a lean protein and simple to make. The cabbage, onions and carrots provide nutrition and fiber.
Snack: one kiwi, handful of almonds, 3 ounces of leftover rotisserie chicken.
Why: It’s best to eat every 2-3 hours to prevent metabolism from slowing and binging later on. I pair every meal with protein, healthy carbs (like the kiwi), and some healthy fat (almonds). Combining protein, carbs and a little bit of fat will make you fuller longer.
Dinner: Crockpot chicken breast with honey-lemon garlic sauce, water chestnuts, with cauliflower rice, and two figs on the side.
Why: Chicken breast meat has less fat than chicken thighs or legs. I don’t have to add oil when cooking in a crockpot. The cauliflower rice is low in carbs and calories and is a good source of fiber. The figs are the healthy carbs, which help with sleep and satiety.
Being healthy, happy, eating delicious meals, and having a healthy bodyfat percentage is definitely doable; I’m living proof.
Photo: Melanie and I are both certified fitness trainers (she’s on my right). Check out her meals at Mel’s Naturals
If you are one of the many people that thinks it’s impossible to lose weight, you are not alone. The good news is that it’s not impossible for you to lose weight, but it does mean you’ll have to be consistent with lowering your calories, and be patient.
Below is a link to the most accurate weight loss estimator, to date, so you can see how long it will realistically take to get that bodyfat down.
I’ve used this tool for myself and find that it is quite truthful. For instance, it states that to maintain my weight, I should eat 1683 calories a day even though I lift weights 90 minutes, four days a week. To lose three pounds in 30 days, I should limit my calories to 1455 calories daily. That’s not a lot of food, so it’s been really tough for me to get those darn three pounds off.
I suggest putting your activity level a bit lower than what you think it actually is, because it might display your suggested calories higher than it should be.
Photo: me taking a sip of beer. Don’t forget to count those liquid calories, they add up fast!
Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 am, PBS airs “Happy Yoga,” a twenty-two minute exercise program featuring seated gentle movements and stretches lead by yogi Sarah Starr. The videos are shot in serene spots such as a field of sunflowers, or at a beach with waves licking the rocks in the background.
The exercises vary, but typically include shoulder rolls, seated cat-cow (arching and releasing the back), and gentle tapping with kitty paws (using your knuckles). You can make these exercises more challenging by standing, which I typically do. The movements are slow and repetitive, which makes it a relaxing and meditative time for you to unwind and de-stress.
I record these and watch them when I need to relax and move my tight muscles without having to change into exercise clothes; I highly recommend it.
Here’s two of her videos you can watch right now:
Photo: Me doing a butterfly stretch on a rock
In many circumstances, you don’t need prescription medication to manage or treat your condition; yet your doctor will tell you that you must take this medication even though there are safe alternatives that can reverse it. I asked my endocrinologist why that is.
I asked my endocrinologist: Why don’t doctors tell their patients the truth, that to lower their blood sugar, lower their cholesterol, and to reduce hypertension, they need to do cardiovascular exercise, lift weights 2-4 times a week, lose weight, reduce their portions, eat more vegetables, and stop eating fatty meats, fried foods, pasta, bread, butter, and sugar? He told me that doctors got tired of patients ignoring their healthy advice. Patients were asking for pills, instead of changing their diets because they didn’t want to change their habits, even though they were bad habits, and contributed to the sickened state they put themselves in.
So the next time your doctor tells you that you have to take a prescription, ask what the side effects are, how long you have to take the medication, and if there are any alternatives other than western medicine? Keep in mind that doctors don’t know all the side effects so read that long printout that should come with the medication. If it doesn’t come with the packaging, ask the pharmacist to print it out for you.
Some doctors don’t exercise and don’t eat healthy, so don’t expect every doctor to give you tips on how to reverse your condition without medication. Some doctors are really busy and don’t have the time to break down exactly what you need to do for your condition. Do your own research. Schedule a meeting with two different nutritionists (you’ll get a more information with two different people). Don’t just take a walk. Go to the gym and hire a trainer so you don’t get hurt and don’t waste your time. You need to make exercise and eating properly a priority; it’s for your health. Feeling awful is your body telling you that you need to make changes.
While there are conditions that cannot be reversed with a healthy lifestyle, being active and eating nutritious foods and keeping your bodyfat percentage in the fit zone, will make you feel better, possibly prevent future medical issues, and may even help in having to take less medication.
We know that certain foods won’t make you lose weight, but, certain foods, even healthy foods that have been promoted as being great for fat loss, can cause you to gain weight. Below is a list of foods that I thought were healthy, that were not just preventing me from losing excess body fat, but were causing weight gain:
- Bars. I’m not talking about candy bars. I’m referring to those “healthy” nut and fruit bars, and protein bars. These snacks or meal replacements, can range from 140-390 calories. Most of these bars contain sugar, or some type of sweetener like rice syrup, which spikes blood sugar and makes us crave sugary foods even more, causing us to eat more. Many bars also contain “natural flavors” which is a nice way of saying: chemicals that are categorized as obesogens (causing weight gain), and may disrupt your DNA.
- Nuts. People who eat nuts have been shown to weigh less, but stopping at seven almonds is just impossible for me. I was easily eating 200-300 calories in nuts; even though that’s not a lot of calories, if I burn 1600 calories a day and I’m eating 1900 calories a day, I’m going to pack on extra pounds.
- Crackers. I thought crackers were a healthy snack, but typical crackers are made with the same ingredients as cookies: sugar, salt and flour, and make us crave sweet and salty foods even more.
- Pretzels. I also thought pretzels were a healthy mid-day snack, but they too are made with the same ingredients as cookies: sugar, salt and flour. Yes, most pretzels contain sugar!
While I do eat bars once in a while, I try not to since I always end up over my calorie budget each time I do. I still eat nuts, but I limit them to the weekends (my little splurge). I’ve eliminated wheat crackers and all pretzels, and noticed fewer cravings. By moving my meal times closer to when I crave food, I’ve been able to limit snacks and reduce my daily calorie intake.
An oncologist by the name of Dr. Fata, told many of his patients that they had cancer even though they were cancer-free. Many of these patients incurred permanent injuries from unnecessary chemotherapy treatments, such as lost teeth, organ damage and some died. Sometimes he told his patients he cured them because of how it felt, even though they were never sick in the first place.
In a U.S. court of law, he admitted guilt and was convicted, and said the reason he said he did it was greed (he received payments for the chemotherapy drugs) and power. He was convicted of these crimes in court and it was discovered that over 500 of his patients received chemotherapy that didn’t have cancer.
Even though doctors take the oath to do no harm, there are some that care only about making money, and do not care about the well-being of their patients. Any time that you are given a diagnosis and are prescribed treatment or medication, make sure to get a second opinion; your life could depend on it.
Source: Rosenberg, Chuck, host. “Barbara McQuade: Greed and Power.” The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg. 11, Jun. 2019. Podcast
This video will help, not just football players, but any athlete, to weight train based on goals, to achieve maximum success in his or her sport.
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What you do prior to, and after your workout is just as important as the exercises itself, so why do people refuel with junk? People choose to exercise for a variety of reasons: to look good, lose excess fat, maintain or get fit, reduce pain, correct posture, and/or to be able to do the things they love, such as golf, or being able to play with their grandkids, so I don’t know why people think it’s okay to pig out right after a workout session.
One woman rewards her walk with a couple of chocolate bars, a man feasts on drive-through fast-food after his workout session with his trainer in the park, and, this one is the most common, join friends for lunch at a favorite restaurant with a high-fat, high-carb meal.
Your body is primed for food after exercise so you want to replenish with water, salt, carbohydrates from fruit or vegetables, a small amount of healthy fat (like avocado), and lean protein. Your body needs nutrients, not just calories.
Exercising won’t offset frequent bad eating habits. You cannot eat anything you want no matter how much, or how hard you exercise. You can have your lunch out with friends, and a decadent dessert once in a while; food shouldn’t be what makes you happy; it’s the friendships, experiences, and an able, healthy body that enables us to live life to the fullest.
Exercise is not punishment; stop thinking about it those terms. Exercise is the time for you to focus on yourself; the reward is THE WORKOUT!
Photo: You can get healthy options when you go out to eat, depending on where you go and what you order. Unfortunately, the portions at restaurants are much too large. Even the sushi plate with teriyaki chicken and the one-cup of rice above is too large of a serving for most people. Skip the rice, soup, and the fried foods when eating out.