Tea can harm your health

taking a tea breakI kept getting a cold every few weeks, which is odd because I’m a healthy weight, eat clean, and exercise consistently. My doctor ordered blood work, and the results revealed that my iron levels were low, which surprised me because I eat a good portion of iron-rich proteins in the form of chicken, fish, eggs, or turkey, daily, and I make sure to have steak or lamb once a week as previously advised by my doctor to get more iron.

People who exercise a lot, and who have more muscle need additional iron, so I do fall into that category, but having such low iron levels still didn’t make sense. After doing some research, I learned that the tannins in tea, and I drink tea all throughout the day, hinders iron absorption (1). So, now I limit tea to 16 ounces (one large glass), in the morning, and eat a tangerine or orange with one of my afternoon meals. (Iron supplements can be toxic since it builds up over time (1).

I would have never thought that drinking tea was the reason I kept getting sick and why my injuries from running and tennis were taking so long to heal. This is a good reminder that even healthy foods can be harmful in excess.


*Want to learn more about nutrition? Order my book at http://www.thehighfivediet.com  


Sweet Sweat Waist Trimmer Review

sweet sweat waist trimmer

I’ve seen many women at the gym wearing these waist trainers, and they swear that their tummies are smaller because of it, so I decided to buy it and see if it worked for me. The concept is that when you sweat, it pulls water out of the skin, and removing this water by sweating, will flatten your stomach. When fitness competitors do a show, they deplete their water intake, which does, in fact, make them look much thinner. My stomach never sweats, and I do retain water, so I thought, this product might actually make my abs look better.

 To use the product correctly, you are supposed to smear the lotion, which comes with the elastic belt, onto your stomach and lower back. The waist trimmer stays put with Velcro, but I don’t like the ingredients in the lotion, and just wearing the belt makes me sweat, so I don’t think the lotion is absolutely necessary. With the belt snuggly around your waist, you can then workout. It should only be worn during exercise, and for no more than two hours.

Since I have a short torso, I purchased the smallest size, but even though it’s comfortable, it bunches up and forms rolls on my back and makes my belly look really big when I wear it, so I only wear it when I’m exercising at home. The belt does make my stomach and lower back sweat, but it doesn’t make my stomach look any flatter or smaller.

My recommendation is that, if you want to make your stomach look instantly slimmer, don’t buy this, because, wearing it adds bulk. If wearing it, will motivate you to work out longer or harder, or add more cardio, then, get it; it’s not expensive. If your gym is really cold, you might want to buy this product, because it keeps you warm, even before you start exercising.

If you want to lose body fat, the smartest thing is to make permanent dietary changes. You can use my methods and make my favorite recipes from my book at http://www.thehighfivediet.com


Should I eat a lot more protein to lose body fat?


BBQ chicken

The body burns more calories digesting protein than fat or carbs, because it takes more work to break it down, but how much protein a person should eat depends on their activity level, age, and if they have kidney disease. More protein means more calories, and we’ve been told that in order to lose weight, we need to eat fewer calories, so then what?

You do want to keep the amount of calories in check if you want to lose weight, and protein calories can really add up fast, so when adding protein to your diet, chose lean protein, and cut down on other fats and carbohydrates.

But then there’s the matter of how much protein, and is more really better? The RDA is only .8% per kg of bodyweight, which is like one serving of steak or fish at a restaurant, but that’s a minimum requirement for health, so most people need more than that, but most people eat MUCH more than that.

A small study with 39 people showed that twice the amount RDA of protein resulted in fat loss, but three times the RDA, did not result in body fat reduction. So more lean protein, but not an excessive amount of protein, on a calorie deficit diet, in addition to exercise, will result in more fat loss, according to this study (1).

If you’re worried about eating too much protein, the good thing is that a healthy person’s body naturally gets rid of the excess protein, which means, it’s not stored as protein, but gets converted to fat if you don’t burn it off. In other words, it’s not toxic if you eat more than can be absorbed. Because protein is not stored, you should eat smaller portions of protein with each meal, or snack, frequently throughout the day.

You can use this on-line calculator to determine the range of protein for you: http://www.calculator.net/protein-calculator.html

  1. Source: Mohr, Dr. Kara. (2017) “Can you really lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously?” [blog post]. Girls Gone Strong. Retrieved from:  https://www.girlsgonestrong.com/blog/fat-loss/can-you-lose-fat-and-gain-muscle-simultaneously/


Interested in learning more about nutrition? Go to http://www.thehighfivediet.com

Make your own slimming tea

Any way to cheat the system to lose weight, and people tend to open up their pocket books, but some of these weight loss teas have dangerous chemicals and can cause diarrhea (gross). Studies have shown that vinegar reduces belly fat, but don’t exceed two tablespoons of vinegar a day, and never drink it straight (it could burn your throat).

To make your own slimming tea that’s safe and effective, due to the addition of apple cider vinegar, I created this recipe.

I use this Good Earth’s “Sweet and Spicy” because it has a good flavor and contains a bit of stevia, which balances out the sour vinegar. The finished product kind of tastes like light apple cider, but without carbs or calories.

To make this simple recipe:

  • steep 2 tea bags steep in very warm water for 5 minutes
  • pour 1 tsp apple cider vinegar over ice
  • add filtered water to make 16 liquid ounces

Sip and enjoy!

For more healthy beverages, order my dairy-free cookbook from http://www.thehighfivediet.com


Best fruits that are low in carbs

Smashed Banana Oatmeal

“…Berries are the healthiest fruits…offer potential protection against cancer…boost…the immune system…and may help you live longer” and what’s even more amazing is that they are low in calories and carbohydrates. If they are picked at their freshest, they’re sweet, and will satisfy a sugar craving.

I eat berries every day, but since fresh organic berries can be expensive, I buy frozen blueberries and raspberries and add them to my smoothies and oatmeal.

Photo: oatmeal with pomegranate seeds

Source: Greger, M.D., Michael. How Not to Die. Book. New York: Flatiron Books. 2015 pg. 289.

How to pick the most-nutrient dense foods

fruit and veggiesWe’ve been told to select a rainbow of foods to get a variety of nutrients, but the produce and vegetables that have the most antioxidants are those that have the boldest colors like red. So choose red grapes, red apples and red cabbage over green, red onions over yellow or white onions, and yellow corn over white corn.

I blend frozen red grapes with coconut milk in smoothies, or just eat frozen red grapes as a snack to cool me down in the summer. For steak or ground turkey tacos, I add sautéed red onions with sliced red cabbage, yellow corn, and hot sauce as toppers on corn tortillas (yum!).

Source: Greger, M.D., Michael. How Not to Die. Book. New York: Flatiron Books. 2015 pg. 289.


Low-Calorie Dairy-Free Cookbook

All the recipes are dairy-free, 90% of which are gluten-free, and all the desserts are vegan. This is not your typical diet book. You will learn:

book cover front.jpg

  • everything you need to know about nutrition
  • what it’s like living with food allergies
  • the mindset of an anorexic
  • proven techniques to stop over-eating
  • which fat-loss products/treatments work & which don’t
  • which ingredients to avoid that cause weight gain
  • what food combinations aid in fat loss
  • the benefits and problems of popular diets
  • how to lose weight without starving, counting carbs or calories

The High-Five Diet is easy to follow and can meet everyone’s fitness and weight loss goals. Whether you are extremely overweight, just need to lose a few pounds, or want to clean up your eating habits, this book is your solution. I provide worksheets to follow this unique program to keep you accountable daily, which is the key to your success.

You’ll also get healthy, dairy-free recipes, as well as vegan and gluten-free ones, designed to fill you up and lose body fat. It doesn’t matter what allergies or food restrictions you have or what foods you avoid, because this diet can fit every person, every lifestyle, and every budget.

Order your copy today from www.TheHighFiveDiet.com

Sit at work; it’s better for you

photoAt my job, I spend the entire time on my butt at the computer. Standing does burn more calories than sitting so I placed my computer screen and keyboard higher, and tried it out. After a week, my back, neck, and feet hurt, so went back to sitting in front of my computer at work, and good thing I did. It turns out that standing in front of the computer is worse “according to numerous studies…” and “…increases the progression of carotid artery disease…” (1).

  1. source: vos Savant, Marilyn. Parade Magazine, May 21, 2017 issue. Pg 8.


Clarification on fats: good vs. bad

Bloody Mary with BaconAll fat is not bad, but there are diets that will encourage you to eat high-fat meats, like many on the Paleo or Whole 30 diet. I saw a post on Instagram from a woman who follows a Paleo diet, who wrote that lard is good for you and to eat bacon and cook your food in lard. Pork fat never was, and never will be a good fat.

There are fans on the Butter Coffee train who add butter to their coffee and claim it gives them energy. Candy gives me energy after a workout, but that’s not a healthy item either. “Foods high in saturated fat (such as butter, full-fat dairy products, fatty beef, pork, poultry with skin, lamb and baked goods made with palm oils… promote inflammation and contribute to clogged arteries, increasing one’s risk for heart attacks and heart disease and forcing the body to work less efficiently. This puts a strain on all systems in the body, including metabolism. Chronic inflammation leads to diabetes, cancer and obesity and worsens insulin resistance, which alters metabolism and encourages fat storage (1).

So, don’t eat lard or bacon, butter, or chicken skin with the misconceived notion that these are good for you. They’re not! Eat small portions of avocado, nuts, seeds and fish to get your healthy fats.


  1. Source: Lakatos, Tammy and Elysse. “Metabolism-Damaging Foods.” Blog Post Type. Ace. May 26, 2017. Web. June 7, 2017.


why calories and macros aren’t everything

meat sauce from The High-Five DietIf I’m eating a certain number of calories and keeping my macronutrients (carbs, protein and fats) in line with what is ideal for me, does it really matter if I eat two cookies and white rice, instead of oatmeal and quinoa if the calories and macros are exactly the same? It turns out that it does matter when it comes to weight loss and good health. It’s really easy for our bodies to break down simple carbs like cookies and stripped grains, like white rice, so that takes little effort. When we eat whole grains, it takes much more work to break down, so we burn more calories eating oatmeal instead of cookies, even if they have the same number of calories and/or carbs.

If you’re not concerned about losing weight, your health should be #1 on your list. “Poor dietary choices can affect hormones, inflammation and gut bacteria…” Refined carbs also raise blood sugar and promote inflammation that is associated with chronic diseases, which can unfavorably alter the body’s metabolism.” “…Too much sugar can also cause insulin resistance” and managing diabetes is no easy task, and a serious condition, not to be taken lightly (1).

While cookies taste better than oatmeal, the oats are definitely the better choice. I’ll be doing a video on how to toast oats, making it into a healthy granola with added berries without any sugar, honey or syrup.

My next book, Slimming Dairy-Free Desserts and Smoothies will be available in July. These treats are all gluten-free too and have unprocessed ingredients to help you burn calories while enjoying something sweet and guilt-free.

Photo: The recipe for this savory dish, Pasta with Meat Sauce, is in the High-Five Diet. This time I used skinny spiralized zucchini noodles instead of the rotini pasta to make it gluten free and with even fewer calories. I cooked the zucchini noodles in the sauce to break it down so it actually tasted like spaghetti. You can order this diet book with over 40 dairy-free recipes from http://www.thehighfivediet.com

  1. Source: Lakatos, Tammy and Elysse. “Metabolism-Damaging Foods.” Blog Post Type. Ace. May 26, 2017. Web. June 7, 2017.


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