neuropathy pain relief (foot, toe & finger exercises & treatments)

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To watch a video, instead of reading this post, on how to reduce neuropathy pain with natural methods, scroll to the bottom of this page.

For some people, neuropathy means tingling or numbness in the toes or fingers. For others, neuropathy causes pain in one or more body parts, such as the hips, legs, toes and/or fingers. Neuropathy is usually caused by high blood sugar over a long period of time, but neuropathy can be caused by medications, numerous other ailments, or having diabetes for many years, even with good blood sugar control. 

I’ve had Type-1 diabetes for over 20 years now, and even with consistent exercise, healthy eating, counting carbs, glucose testing and being told by doctors that my A1C, the average blood sugar test, is fantastic (the last one from 2 months ago was at 5.5% which averages at 111 mg/dL), I still ended up with painful neuropathy in my fingers and toes, due to poor blood flow. Without adequate blood supply, our bodies don’t heal, and the body parts that don’t receive sufficient blood, with all its nutrients, those sections of the body can die (called necrosis). For this reason, it’s really important to exercise and take additional courses of action for those that have neuropathy, in order to prevent necrosis, infection, and amputations. If you have any black spots on your skin, go the emergency room immediately.  

While I am a certified personal trainer, and a certified strength and conditioning coach, I am not a doctor, podiatrist, or physical therapist, so consult with a specialist to make sure the exercises and treatments I use, would be appropriate for you.

If something hurts, stop. I’ve heard of stories where diabetics broke bones, and had ulcers, and didn’t even know it. Ask your doctor if the following exercises and treatments that I have been using would be okay for you to do.

Here are exercises to help reduce neuropathy pain:

  1. foot shakes
  2. take shoes off to do toe, ankle, and calf raises to use full range of motion (stand on a cushy yoga matt, or carpet so you don’t slip)
  3. prances
  4. toe lifts and heel lifts
  5. Alternating flexing and pointing toes
  6. Wide, controlled ankle circles
  7. Straight arm finger flicks
  8. calf raises
  9. calf stretches
  10. foam roll the calves with a soft foam roller (you can foam roll the hips and glutes too, not shown in video)
  11. hip raises 
  12. Hip rotations

Here are treatments to improve blood flow & reduce pain:

  1. Staying hydrated with water (I drink tea too)
  2. Infrared/red light therapy (the one in the video is from Joovv)*
  3. Elevate feet with a pillow when sitting or lying down
  4. Keep bedsheets loose to allow the feet and toes to move freely
  5. Moisturize your feet and toes after your daily shower with an unscented certified organic lotion to ensure it doesn’t contain any chemicals. You can add a certified essential oil for additional moisture and healing. Put on comfortable, fitted socks to lock in moisture and keep your feet clean.
  6. Massage the bottom of your heel and the sole of the foot with a clean lotion (see above) and/or essential oil (watch video for details)

Does drinking water help with neuropathy pain relief?

Staying hydrated with water and/or tea prevents toxic buildup and inflammation, plus drinking water helps with circulation and transports nutrients. Don’t let yourself get dehydrated!

How can diabetics reverse and/or reduce neuropathy pain?

If you are a diabetic, keeping your blood sugar as steady as possible, without letting it get too high or too low, can sometimes reverse neuropathy.

What’s the best natural painkiller for neuropathy?

The best painkiller for neuropathy is a healthy diet, stable blood sugar levels, and daily exercise. To stop neuropathy pain, or to reduce it, healthy food, like fruits, vegetables, beans and greens, allows our bodies to repair itself.

Which foods make neuropathy pain worse?

Foods like potato chips, animal meat, soda, alcohol, dairy, and fried foods make neuropathy worse. If we keep eating processed food and animal meat, we are adding more inflammation, so the sicker we get, regardless of our genetics. We all have some control over health, so do what you can to improve it any way you can.

Let me know if you have any questions.

For more info on diabetes, check out my book, which details my story of being diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes at age 30, the struggles I went through and how I managed to keep my blood sugar and weight where it needed to be, in The High Five Diet https://thehighfivediet.com  (another book, specifically to help diabetics manage blood sugar is coming out in 2021).

Click the YouTube video play button below to watch the exercises, to get more detailed explanations, and additional information:

*Here’s the link to the newer version of the infrared/red light therapy machine I’ve been using: https://joovv.com/products/joovv-go-2-0

Sources:

Dr. Jo, physical therapist & doctor of physical therapy. Videos: https://youtu.be/loUuq7rPTH0  and https://youtu.be/sLn6OoH12uY

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/nerve-pain-self-care

https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/tf4413

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-detox-your-body#3.-Drink-More-Water

P.S. This is my 866th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

I don’t make any money on this platform. If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

3-minute butt-burner band workout (lift and tone your glutes)

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In this short glute workout, that’s under 3 minutes, designed by Bret Contreras, aka the Glute Guy, follow along with me for a quick butt-lifting, booty-burning workout.

There are five exercises, performed for 30 seconds, with a minimal break in between each exercise for an incredible butt-endurance mini workout. All you need is a mat, a chair and an elastic band designed to go around the thighs.

Here are the exercises, in order:

1. lateral band walk

2. kick back

3. banded seated hip abduction

4. elbow plank with a continuous butt squeeze

5. glute bridge pumps for 30 seconds + 10-30 second hold

Let me know if your butt was on fire at the end of this 2-minute and 40-second glute workout, and if you liked this video.

Play the YouTube video below to follow along with me in this short, fun workout:

Below is the link to Bret’s 11-minute and 45 second video on this topic if you would like to know why he thinks this short workout is so effective:

P.S. This is my 865th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

I don’t make any money on this platform. If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

Full body workout for seniors (for strength, balance & flexibility)

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In this full body workout (see video towards the bottom of this post), specifically designed for seniors, or for those individuals who need to re-gain strength, all that’s needed is a sturdy chair, and a soft surface like a mat or cushy carpet. If you have light dumbbells and/or ankle weights, grab them too, but you can use your bodyweight for resistance like I am here.

In this head-to-toe, follow-along workout, my mom has joined us virtually (she’s in her 70’s). Mom keeps fit by walking, gardening, and strength training with me, twice a week on-line. I used to train her at the gym where I worked before COVID-19, but that didn’t stop us from exercising, or from making our health a priority (we just needed to make changes and be creative).

Here’s a list of the exercises we did together, in order:

  1. Warm-up with prances & parallel calf raises
  2. Single-leg kickstand squats
  3. Side leg lifts
  4. Kickbacks aka donkey kicks
  5. Single-leg deadlifts
  6. Seated single leg extensions
  7. Calf raises
  8. Elevated narrow push-ups on a chair (to target the triceps)
  9. Bent-over rear flyes
  10. Scarecrows
  11. Pec dec press
  12. Shoulder press
  13. Standing lateral shoulder raises with a clap at the top
  14. Single leg balance spelling out the alphabet from A-G
  15. Seated bent-knee lifts (to target the lower abs)
  16. Seated or standing oblique crunches (to target the side abs)
  17. Seated cat-cow
  18. Seated glute stretch
  19. Seated and standing hamstring stretch
  20. Seated and standing quadriceps stretch
  21. Calf stretch
  22. Inner thigh stretch (butterfly pose)

To watch this workout, play the YouTube video below.

Let me and mom know if you joined us in the workout and if you liked it, because it was a lot of fun to film it, and we’d like to make more of these for you to enjoy and get fit with us.

P.S. This is my 864th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

I don’t make any money on this platform. If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

Walking carb-burning workout for diabetics (5000 steps)

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In this walking, cardio workout (scroll down to video below), you’ll burn carbs and bodyfat. If you stick around to the end, you’ll have walked 5000 steps! Eating a healthy diet usually isn’t enough to manage blood sugar for diabetics, especially for type-1 diabetics like myself (actually, I’m a type 1.5 diabetic because I was diagnosed with diabetes as an adult).

For blood sugar management, choosing healthy carbs, like beans, berries, and veggies instead of pasta, pizza, and French fries, makes a huge difference in how high blood sugar will go. Type II diabetics can usually lower their blood sugar levels by cutting down or removing all animal protein and eating whole foods.

For type-1 diabetics, eating healthier helps blood sugar control, but carbohydrate portion size is a must. Type-1 diabetics must measure carbs and eat a lower carbohydrate diet to keep blood sugar levels in a more stable range. Exercise will help lower blood sugar, and may reduce the amount of mediation you need to take (that’s what happed to me…a good thing).

This workout is designed for diabetics, but all are welcome. It’s not too intense, so most people can do this workout to lower blood glucose and lose excess bodyfat. Go at your own pace. If you feel dizzy, or pain, stop right away.

If you’re a diabetic, test your blood sugar BEFORE you work out, not right after. Blood sugar readings right after exercising is INACCURATE. You want to see what your blood sugar reading is before exercising to find out if it’s low or high. If your blood sugar is low, eat some fruit, since sustained exercise drops blood sugar levels (even in non-diabetics).

I’m in the process of writing a book specifically for Type-1 diabetics, so subscribe to my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5TKWxKKl1IRfTZsVgS0ziA to get notified as soon as it’s available in 2021. I have other published books, too. One book, my personal story, is called The High-Five Diet. This book is about growing up with severe food allergies, getting diagnosed as a type 1.5 diabetic at 30, how I had to completely change my diet, the crazy stuff I tried, and how I managed to stabilize my blood sugar and my weight. Go to www.thehighfivediet.com to check it out.

Let me know if you have any questions, I love helping others, it’s my passion.

Nina

P.S. This is my 863rd blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

I don’t make any money on this platform. If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

2021 Diet trend: The Low-Fat Plant-Based Diet. What it is and how to do it right

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(If you’d rather watch the YouTube video I created specifically on this topic, instead of reading this post, scroll down this page until you find the video, and press play).

A low-fat, plant-based diet is really HOT right now, but people are confusing low-fat with limited fat and no-fat. A plant-based diet that consists primarily of whole grains, beans, greens, nuts, seeds, and fruit, with limited amount of animal products is a lower fat diet, because animal products are reduced and animal protein contains a lot of fat, specifically, saturated fat. Even the leanest of animal proteins, contain quite a lot of fat compared to a whole-food plant diet. By limiting all foods from animals, such as beef, turkey, fish, chicken, pork, eggs, and dairy, you’re automatically eating less fat, which are some of the most harmful fats.

On multiple social media platforms, those trying to incorporate a low-fat plant-based diet, mistakenly think they need to avoid avocados, nuts and seeds, because those are high-fat foods. Fats from avocados, nuts and seeds are healthy plant fats and absolutely should be eaten every day, but in moderation, because they are also high in calories.

We need healthy plant fats in our diets to keep our joints moving, our skin soft, and our hair silky, so make sure to eat whole-fat plant foods. If you have high cholesterol, you might want to keep the portions of coconut meat and avocado small because those foods contain saturated fats.

On a low-fat, plant-based diet, it’s advised to limit or omit animal foods from our diet, and, avoid oils. All oils, not just tropical oils, like palm oil and coconut oil, should not be consumed. Oils contribute to not just weight gain, but high cholesterol.

Oils are processed foods, and processed foods are deleterious to our health, and, yes, that includes olive oil. Unless you’re eating an olive, the oil that’s been separated from the olive is harmful because it’s no longer in its healthy original packaging. Anytime you take a food and remove parts of it, like the fiber from an orange to make orange juice, it is no longer the same product from the earth, and is processed.  

How to make the change from a meat-centered diet to a low-fat plant-based diet

When I advise people to make dietary changes, small changes over a period of time, like 4-6 weeks, tend to stick best. One easy switch is to make a fruit smoothie with a frozen banana, a scoop of vanilla vegan protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, and a teaspoon of almond butter (healthy fat), for breakfast. After a few weeks, swap out one of your meat-based meals for a hearty vegetable soup or salad. Then try reducing the amount of animal protein in another meal. For instance, if you normally eat four ounces of steak or chicken with dinner, reduce that portion of meat to two ounces.

If your favorite dishes contain dairy or oil, there’s some really good substitutes on the market today.

Below is a list of vegan substitutes:

Parmesan cheese            nutritional yeast

Cow’s milk                        unsweetened almond, soy, oat, coconut milk, coconut water

Dairy yogurt                       coconut yogurt, almond yogurt

Dairy cream                        coconut cream

Below is a list of oil substitutes:

Fried flour tortillas           Baked or grilled corn or flour tortillas

Oil to fry foods                  stir-fry with a small amount water or broth

Oil in desserts                   creamy almond butter

Once you get the hang of the new diet, you may want to make more elaborate vegan dishes like vegan zucchini lasagna with cashew ricotta, kung pao tofu with vegetables and zoodles, or, my favorite: vegan corn tacos with fresh guacamole, black beans, sautéed zucchini, sliced red bell pepper strips, salsa, cilantro and a dollop of coconut yogurt.

Below is list of some of my vegan recipes to help you get started.

green-pineapple smoothie

https://realdiethelp.com/2020/08/11/iron-rich-green-tropical-smoothie/

egg-free breakfast scramble

https://realdiethelp.com/2019/11/07/tofu-scramble-with-roasted-potatoes/

dairy-free & sugar-free ice cream

https://realdiethelp.com/2020/06/18/weight-loss-dairy-free-banana-caramel-ice-cream/

dairy-free, sugar-free chocolate milk

https://realdiethelp.com/2020/01/14/drink-this-chocolate-milk-post-workout-instead/

Oil-Free Vegan Sweet Potato Crisps with Kale Chips & Tahini Dressing

https://realdiethelp.com/2019/03/12/oil-free-vegan-sweet-potato-crisps-with-kale-chips-tahini-dressing/

Creamy vegan pumpkin soup

https://realdiethelp.com/2018/11/06/vegan-pumpkin-soup/

Broccoli with creamy guacamole dressing, cumin-dusted chickpeas, dried cranberries, walnuts & vegan chorizo bits

https://realdiethelp.com/2018/05/10/broccoli-with-creamy-guacamole-dressing-cumin-dusted-chickpeas-dried-cranberries-walnuts-vegan-chorizo-bits/

To watch the YouTube video I created specifically on this topic, click the play button below:

Good source to explain healthy and unhealthy fats:https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/plant-based-fats-better-for-the-heart-than-animal-fats

P.S. This is my 862nd blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

I don’t make any money on this platform. If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

Vegan Keto Asian Noodle bowl (low carb vegan Japanese recipe)

(if you are viewing this on email or on social media, please visit site at http://www.realdiethelp.com for the most updated version of this post; it looks better, and it shows me an accurate count of views)

Noodles are high in carbohydrates, but this noodle bowl is much lower in carbs because I’m using Shirataki noodles instead of rice noodles. Shirataki noodles contain only 5 grams of carbs per bag.  These noodles don’t have any flavor, so the sauce is a definite must; the noodles are also wonderful for texture, and this dish is so much better with noodles, than without them.

I swapped out a red bell pepper for a green bell pepper to lower the carbs. I also chose green onions instead of a white or yellow onion to lower the carb count. To reduce the carb count even more, you can omit the carrot and green bell pepper, and/or swap out the sauce for a little bit of warmed miso soup stock. To increase protein, add more tofu.

Vegan Keto Asian Noodle bowl (low carb)

Ingredients:

  • 2 T coconut oil (you can sauté in a little bit of water if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled, diced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
  • Green bell pepper, cored, and sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and diced
  • Bunch of green onions, washed and sliced
  • Handful of washed, green spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 1 bag shirataki noodles
  • 1/2 box firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 T sesame seeds

Sauce:

  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T coconut aminos (it’s like soy sauce but with less salt, wheat-free & sweeter)
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar

Place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet on medium heat. When the oil is melted, add ginger, carrot, and bell pepper. Keep stirring. After 1 minute, add the garlic, green onions, and spinach leaves, and cook one more minute. Remove from heat.  

Divide veggies into two bowls. Remove noodles from bag, rinse shirataki noodles and boil as instructed on the package. Add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan and cook tofu so that it’s slightly brown on each side (or to lower calories or oil, heat in the microwave). You want the tofu to be warm throughout to match the temperature of the other ingredients. Rinse and drain the noodles after they are slightly cooked. Add the drained noodles to the tofu in the warm pan. Divide the tofu and noodles into the two bowls. Mix thoroughly so the veggies are on the top, middle, and bottom of the bowl.

Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl and pour 1 ½ tablespoons of sauce on top of each of the two portions. Top with sesame seeds. Optional additional toppings: raw cashews, and/or sriracha sauce.

Calories 307       Net carbs 10 grams         Fat 24 grams      Protein: 4 grams

P.S. This is my 861st blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

I don’t make any money on this platform. If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

TRX intermediate/advanced workout (unique exercises)

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When I worked at a gym as a fitness trainer, which was right before the gyms were forced to close due to COVID-19, I taught my clients how to lift weights, use the machines, various mobility exercises, proper stretching techniques, and how to perform lots of exercises on the TRX. I even taught TRX group classes. All my clients, of all ages, loved the TRX. Some of my clients asked if they could do their entire lesson on the TRX.

The TRX is an inexpensive piece of equipment that can be used anywhere, at the park, or inside your home. With no more access to the gym, I purchased a TRX for myself. One of my clients wanted a TRX virtual training session that she can do at home, so I made a TRX YouTube video that anyone with a TRX can watch and workout to, at their convenience.

balance & core

TRX lateral kick
knee tuck (abs)

TRX Exercises
2021

inner thigh and glutes

TRX lateral lunge

abs

TRX pendulum swings with an oblique crunch

Most of the exercises in the TRX exercise video I created (some of the exercises are shown in the photos above) require good balance and a substantial amount of strength, they are also quite challenging, so I would categorize this as an intermediate/advanced workout. Since repetition is boring, and our minds and muscles need new stimulus, variation is important. A lot of these TRX exercises, listed below and in my recent TRX video, may be new to you.

Below is a list of challenging exercises, for a total body workout, in order:

  • TRX squats with heels raised the entire time
  • Static lunges with heels raised the entire time
  • Figure four squats
  • Single leg push-ups (one foot in the foot strap)
  • Spider man push-ups (one foot in the foot strap, then switch feet)
  • High rows
  • Hamstring curls
  • Long-leg bridge hold
  • Diamond push-ups with one foot in the foot strap
  • Curtsey lunge with a lateral kick
  • Squat and reach with heel raises
  • Squat and toe touch
  • Rows
  • Scarecrows
  • Side plank with hip lifts (switch sides)
  • RKC (front) plank
  • TRX Knee tucks
  • TRX pendulum swings with an oblique crunch

Stretches: pectoral (chest) stretch, quad (thigh) stretch, hamstring stretch, figure-four glute (butt) stretch, inner thigh butterfly stretch

You can order a TRX from https://store.trxtraining.com/shop/suspension-trainers/  (I have the home version $184.95). I don’t recommend a TRX knockoff because those don’t last as long, they shred and tear, and the straps don’t move up and down as smoothly as the TRX does. 

Grab a glass of water and exercise with me to this total body follow-along YouTube TRX intermediate/advanced workout, by pressing the play button below:

P.S. This is my 860th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

I don’t make any money on this platform. If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

How to lose weight without dieting or exercise (seven weight loss strategies for 2021)

(if you are viewing this on email or on social media, please visit site at http://www.realdiethelp.com for the most updated version of this post; it looks better, and it shows me an accurate count of views)

People are looking for easier ways to lose weight, and for many, exercise is painful, either due to a medical condition, or an injury. For those with certain preexisting conditions, exercise is not an option until they lose weight, their body is healed, or their pain level is reduced.

People have more challenges with dieting because that requires a mental adjustment, omitting or eliminating the foods they enjoy, preparing homemade meals when they are exhausted from work and don’t have the energy or time to make breakfast, lunch and dinner from scratch. Dieting means spending more money on healthy foods, when you may not have the means to do so, especially now since so many people have lost their jobs, or have been forced by their employers to take a pay cut.

Is it possible to lose weight, get rid of excess belly fat, reduce hip rolls and slim thunder thighs, without dieting or exercise? The answer to that question is yes, but you’ll still need to make changes. Results don’t happen without action. Keep reading, or scroll to the bottom of this post to watch the video I created on this subject.

Here’s seven effective weight loss strategies that don’t require exercise or adjustments to your diet (although, I’m a big proponent of both for a healthy body).

7 weight loss strategies without dieting or exercise

  • Don’t use any products that contain parabens. Parabens are used in products as preservatives. They are found in hair sprays, cosmetics, lotions, shampoo, hair gels, and shaving cream, to name a few. Parabens are endocrine disruptors and are classified as obesogens. They damage our cells, and one of the side effects is they make us fat. Read the product labels and look for words that contain “paraben.” Throw those products away and replace them with products that are paraben-free.
  • Don’t use any products that contain perfume, parfum, or fragrances. Scented products are a combination of chemicals. If you are constantly putting chemicals into your body, via either through the nose, such as breathing it in, eating it, or putting chemicals on your skin, those chemicals get absorbed. Our liver metabolizes fat, but the liver prioritizes removing harmful items first. So, if you keep putting poison into your body, metabolizing fat is going to be on the bottom of the list. If you want to add a scent to your products, on your skin, or to your clothes, use certified organic essential oils.
  • Don’t consume any foods that contain natural flavors. Natural flavors are combinations of chemicals. The word “natural” is a sales term, it has no actual rules or regulations tied to it. The term “natural flavors” is in numerous foods, like protein powders, crackers, cookies, ice cream, to give a few examples. Manufactures create chemicals in a lab to make synthetic vanilla, because vanilla is expensive and it’s cheaper to use chemicals. They make hundreds of chemical concoctions to replicate real food for the sole purpose of saving money. The only natural flavoring that’s safe to consume is when the words “certified organic” precedes it.
  • Place your meals on smaller plates. We eat with our eyes so if we put an adequate portion of food on a large plate, we may think we’re not eating enough. In our society, we’ve been taught to fill and clean our plates. By putting our meals on smaller plates, this solves those issues. The only exemption is if you’re filling your plate with greens.
  • Don’t eat after 7pm. This is a form of intermittent fasting. At night we tend to overeat and grab sweet and salty snacks, like ice cream and chips, so if we cut off access to foods before those cravings kick in, we’re reducing calories from high fat, unhealthy foods.
  • Wait 20 minutes after a meal before eating again. Our brain takes 20 minutes to register that we are full. This is one explanation as to why people overeat. Once we feel full, it’s less likely we will keep eating.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water helps you lose weight because water fills you up. A lot of time our bodies tell us we’re hungry, when we’re actually dehydrated. Drink water all day long, in between meals, during a meal, and at night. A good rule of thumb is to drink your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, try to drink 150 ounces of water in a 24-hour period.

I have more effective fat loss strategies, which can be found in chapter 4 of my book The High Five Diet www.thehighfivediet.com titled “Weight Loss Products & Treatments.”

I created a video specifically on this subject. Click the play button on the YouTube video below to watch it.

To summarize:

7 weight loss strategies without dieting or exercise

  1. Don’t use any products that contain parabens.
  2. Don’t use any products that contain perfume, parfum, or fragrances.
  3. Don’t consume any foods that contain natural flavors.
  4. Place your meals on smaller plates.
  5. Don’t eat after 7pm. This is a form of intermittent fasting.
  6. Wait 20 minutes after a meal before eating again.
  7. Stay hydrated with water by drinking your body weight in ounces, daily.

photo: me taking a selfie. I’m leaner now than the cover photo of my book because I wanted to promote a healthy weight, instead of skinny. I find it appalling and harmful that so many weight loss books and programs show ridiculously thin women as the ideal sexy look (it’s not).

P.S. This is my 859th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

I don’t make any money on this platform. If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

How to calculate net carbs for blood sugar control & weight loss

(if you are viewing this on email or on social media, please visit site at http://www.realdiethelp.com for the most updated version of this post; it looks better, and it shows me an accurate count of views)

If you’d prefer to watch a video instead of reading this blog, scroll down to the bottom of this post to play the YouTube video

How to read nutrition labels: Nutritional labels can be confusing, but it is important to understand how to read nutritional labels when trying to discern if a food is high in calories, high in carbs, and low in fiber. To determine if a food is high in calories, look at the serving size. If one chocolate bar is four servings, and you eat the entire bar at one time, that is a high calorie treat. Pay attention to the serving size because that is the amount, you’re supposed to limit yourself to. One way to lose weight, is to limit portions to the serving size listed on the box or package.

Carbs contain calories, and excess carbs lead to weight gain and higher blood sugars. To figure out how many carbohydrates are in a single serving, you want to tabulate the net carbs to get the true number of carbs you’re absorbing that add to your waistline.

How to count net carbs: To calculate the net carbs in a serving, look at the total carbohydrates, also known as gross carbs. Next, look at the number of grams of fiber. Now that you know the grams of gross carbs and fiber content, subtract the fiber from the total/gross carbs to get the net carbs. For example, on the nutritional label on the oats I have at home, the total carbohydrates are 27 grams. The dietary fiber is 4 grams.

  1. Total carbohydrates (gross carbs): 27 grams
  2. Minus – dietary fiber: 4 grams
  3. = 23 grams of net carbs (27 – 4 = 23 net carbs)

Why is fiber important & why it’s not counted: The reason fiber is subtracted from the carb count, is because carbs from fiber do not impact blood sugar, don’t add any calories, and gets removed from our body. Fiber is a zero-calorie whole-food ingredient. The minimum amount of fiber goal you want to shoot for is 25 grams per day, spread throughout the day. Fiber is like a magic broom, it cleans the gunk out of our bodies. Fiber cleans out bacteria, reduces cancer risk, helps you poop, improves gut microbiota, and aids in weight loss.

How does whole foods help with weight loss? Eating whole foods with fiber, like whole grains (not bread, which is not from whole grains even if it says so, because the grain is pulverized, and the outer kernel removed) keeps you fuller longer and helps you eat less, which is why whole grains are wonderful foods for weight loss. Eat whole grains, such as quinoa and groats, paired with additional vegan protein sources such as beans or tofu, plus healthy whole food fats like nuts and seeds blunt glucose (sugar) spikes. High spikes in blood sugar might give you an energy boost initially, but then you’ll probably end up with an energy crash, where you have a sudden urge to take a nap.

Why do diabetics have to know how to count carbs? While you may not be in the category of someone that needs to lose weight or needs to consume more fiber, calculating net carbs is essential for diabetics when tabulating how much insulin to take. If a diabetic injects insulin based on gross carbs instead of net carbs, blood sugars may go too low, which can be dangerous, and even deadly. As a type-1 diabetic, knowing the net carbs, and measuring or weighing carbs, is how I lost weight and manage my blood sugars.

Watch the YouTube video below on this topic

P.S. This is my 858th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

What are Instagram’s new terms of service? Should I delete the Instagram app?

Instagram’s alarming new spying terms of service are so outrageous, it’s making news and people are deleting the app. On Instagram and YouTube, I watched videos which claimed that Instagram is reading our text messages, storing and sharing our personal information worldwide, looking at all our photos, spying on us though our camara lenses, tracking our location, watching where we go on the web, capturing our our credit card numbers and addresses, and that’s just a few of the privacy concerns. After hearing this, I deleted the Instagram (IG) app off my phone as a precaution, which doesn’t delete the data from Instagram, the app is just no longer on my iPhone.

If you’d prefer to watch a short video I made on this, scroll to the bottom of this post to play the YouTube video I created on this subject.

I have been using Instagram to share photos of my pet, provide exercise tips and motivation and to encourage people to eat healthier and move more. I also use Instagram to keep in touch with friends, to find new recipes, and to see the latest fashion and make-up tips.

I wanted to make sure that the rumors were true before I deleted all the photos and videos I uploaded over the past six years, because some of the videos took over an hour to create, and I spent a lot of time making my pages look good. Once your Instagram account is deleted, the photos and videos you upload cannot be retrieved after 30 days, but you can reinstall the app after it’s been deleted.

Instead of trusting articles on the subject, I went right to the source and read Instagram’s new terms of service, dated December 20, 2020, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/termsofuse

To be honest, it’s not easy reading, there’s a lot of legalese. I spent additional time trying to “read between the lines” to understand what it meant in practice. On the “terms of use” page, there links to many pages, and some pages, like the terms of service and data info, is quite lengthy, which makes it more difficult to read all the terms (that may have been the point: to confuse us and to make sure we don’t know all the insidious things they are trying to hide from us). 

While I am not a lawyer, my interpretation of certain sections, in summary, are in red below. I’ve included the exact verbiage from the terms of service on-line from Facebook (source links are provided), so you can make your own assessment, if you’d like.

You cannot sue Instagram (IG):

“ARBITRATION NOTICE: YOU AGREE THAT DISPUTES BETWEEN YOU AND US WILL BE RESOLVED BY BINDING, INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION AND YOU WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT OR CLASS-WIDE ARBITRATION” (1).

IG shares your information with law enforcement on what they may deem “misuse,” whatever that means.

“We also may share information about misuse or harmful content with other Facebook Companies or law enforcement.” (1).

While I give the green light to sharing information on social media with law enforcement if it’s going save a life, property, animals or the environment (like if someone sets a mountain on fire), it shouldn’t be used to prosecute someone for a petty crime like smoking marijuana in a state where it’s not legal.

IG shares your information across other platforms and apps

“Instagram is part of the Facebook Companies, which share technology, systems, insights, and information-including the information we have about you” 

“The Facebook Products include Facebook (including the Facebook mobile app and in-app browser), Messenger, Instagram (including apps like Boomerang), Portal-branded devices, Oculus Products (when using a Facebook account), Facebook Shops, Spark AR Studio, Audience Network, NPE Team apps and any other features, apps, technologies, software, products, or services offered by Facebook Inc. or Facebook Ireland Limited under our Data Policy. The Facebook Products also include Facebook Business Tools” (3).

IG transfers your personal info around the world, and stores it

“To operate our global Service, we must store and transfer data across our systems around the world, including outside of your country of residence” (1).

“We share information globally, both internally within the Facebook Companies, and externally with our partners and with those you connect and share with around the world in accordance with this policy. Your information may, for example, be transferred or transmitted to, or stored and processed in the United States or other countries outside of where you live for the purposes as described in this policy” (2).

Why is IG doing this? They claim its “…to show you ads, offers, and other sponsored content that we believe will be meaningful to you.” How is storing our personal info and sharing it helpful to us? It’s not! It’s helpful to them and, potentially harmful to use.

IG states:

“We don’t share information that directly identifies you (information such as your name or email address that by itself can be used to contact you or identifies who you are) unless you give us specific permission.” (1).

But, aren’t we giving them permission by using the app?

IG can do anything they want with your photos, videos, etc.

“When you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Service, you hereby grant to us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings). This license will end when your content is deleted from our systems. You can delete content individually or all at once by deleting your account” (1).

IG can change your username

“If you select a username or similar identifier for your account, we may change it if we believe it is appropriate or necessary (for example, if it infringes someone’s intellectual property or impersonates another user”  (1).

IG won’t guarantee that your personal information be kept safe or secure, thus shirking all responsibility:

Our Service is provided “as is,” and we can’t guarantee it will be safe and secure or will work perfectly all the time. (1).

Here’s where it gets super creepy. They are admitting to collecting our communications with other people, so when you send or receive a DM, direct message or private message, it’s not really private because they are saving that info, and they are keeping notes where you were (location) when a photo was taken, and even see through your phone camera: (2). Source: Data Policy | Instagram Help Center

“We collect the content, communications and other information you provide when you use our Products, including when you sign up for an account, create or share content, and message or communicate with others. This can include information in or about the content you provide (like metadata), such as the location of a photo or the date a file was created. It can also include what you see through features we provide, such as our camera, so we can do things like suggest masks and filters that you might like, or give you tips on using camera formats (2). Source: Data Policy | Instagram Help Center

If you’ve provided information on your race, health or political views, that info might be shared and distributed, depending on the laws in your country:

“You can choose to provide information in your Facebook profile fields or Life Events about your religious views, political views, who you are “interested in,” or your health. This and other information (such as racial or ethnic origin, philosophical beliefs or trade union membership) could be subject to special protections under the laws of your country.” (2).

IG keeps and accesses who you call, all your text messages (also referred to as SMS log or short message service (4), your contacts, which means your friends, family, co-workers names, emails, phone numbers, any information you’ve entered in your contacts:

“We also collect contact information if you choose to upload, sync or import it from a device (such as an address book or call log or SMS log history), which we use for things like helping you and others find people you may know and for the other purposes listed below” (2).

IG is collecting and saving our credit card information, our address, and what we buy on the platform:

“If you use our Products for purchases (through Facebook pay) or other financial transactions (such as when you make a purchase in a game or make a donation), we collect information about the purchase or transaction. This includes payment information, such as your credit or debit card number and other card information; other account and authentication information; and billing, shipping and contact details.”

(3) Source: Payments | Facebook Help Center

And it gets worse, they are taking info from not just our cell phones, but also our computers, TVs, ipads, what software and hardware we use, device IDs, GPS location (where we are physically), cell phone #, to collect even more information about us:

”As described below, we collect information from and about the computers, phones, connected TVs and other web-connected devices you use that integrate with our Products, and we combine this information across different devices you use. For example, we use information collected about your use of our Products on your phone to better personalize the content (including ads) or features you see when you use our Products on another device, such as your laptop or tablet, or to measure whether you took an action in response to an ad we showed you on your phone on a different device.” (2).

“Information we obtain from these devices includes:

  • Device attributes: information such as the operating system, hardware and software versions, battery level, signal strength, available storage space, browser type, app and file names and types, and plugins.
  • Device operations: information about operations and behaviors performed on the device, such as whether a window is foregrounded or backgrounded, or mouse movements (which can help distinguish humans from bots).
  • Identifiers: unique identifiers, device IDs, and other identifiers, such as from games, apps or accounts you use, and Family Device IDs (or other identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).
  • Device signals: Bluetooth signals, and information about nearby Wi-Fi access points, beacons, and cell towers.
  • Data from device settings: information you allow us to receive through device settings you turn on, such as access to your GPS location, camera or photos.
  • Network and connections: information such as the name of your mobile operator or ISP, language, time zone, mobile phone number, IP address, connection speed and, in some cases, information about other devices that are nearby or on your network, so we can do things like help you stream a video from your phone to your TV.” (2).

Third parties send Facebook and their affiliates, like Instagram, information about our purchases.

Advertisers, app developers, and publishers can send us information through Facebook Business Tools they use, including our social plug-ins (such as the Like button), Facebook Login, our APIs and SDKs, or the Facebook pixel. These partners provide information about your activities off Facebook—including information about your device, websites you visit, purchases you make, the ads you see, and how you use their services—whether or not you have a Facebook account or are logged into Facebook. For example, a game developer could use our API to tell us what games you play, or a business could tell us about a purchase you made in its store. We also receive information about your online and offline actions and purchases from third-party data providers who have the rights to provide us with your information. (2).

They are tracking and following not just were we go virtually, but physically:

Location-related information: We use location-related information-such as your current location, where you live, the places you like to go, and the businesses and people you’re near-to provide, personalize and improve our Products, including ads, for you and others. Location-related information can be based on things like precise device location (if you’ve allowed us to collect it), IP addresses, and information from your and others’ use of Facebook Products (such as check-ins or events you attend). (2).

They are keeping track of all the websites we visit, not just Facebook or Instagram:

“We use the information we have (including your activity off our Products, such as the websites you visit and ads you see) to help advertisers and other partners measure the effectiveness and distribution of their ads and services, and understand the types of people who use their services and how people interact with their websites, apps, and services” (2).

Freaked out? You can delete the app and your account.

“We store data until it is no longer necessary to provide our services and Facebook Products, or until your account is deleted – whichever comes first. This is a case-by-case determination that depends on things like the nature of the data, why it is collected and processed, and relevant legal or operational retention needs. For example, when you search for something on Facebook, you can access and delete that query from within your search history at any time, but the log of that search is deleted after 6 months. If you submit a copy of your government-issued ID for account verification purposes, we delete that copy 30 days after review, unless otherwise stated.”

“When you delete your account, we delete things you have posted, such as your photos and status updates, and you won’t be able to recover that information later. Information that others have shared about you isn’t part of your account and won’t be deleted. If you don’t want to delete your account but want to temporarily stop using the Products, you can deactivate your account instead.” (2).

Here’s a short summary of what Instagram is collecting on you:

  • IG transfers your personal info around the world, and stores it
  • IG can do anything they want with your photos, videos, etc.
  • IG won’t guarantee that your personal info be kept safe or secure, thus shirking all responsibility.
  • IG has access to text messages and your contacts, which means your friends, family, co-workers names, emails, phone numbers, any information you’ve entered in your contacts.
  • IG is collecting and saving our credit card information, our address, and what we buy on the platform.
  • They are taking info from not just our cell phones, but also our computers, TVs, iPads, what software and hardware we use, device IDs, GPS location (where we are physically), cell phone #, to collect even more information about us

Anytime you are on the internet, or even on a telephone phone, regardless of whether it’s a landline or cell phone, information about you is being collected, no matter how careful you are, but in today’s technology age, it’s practically impossible not to be connected. Due to the pandemic, a lot of us are working on our computers from home and shopping on-line, as we should be.

Here’s some steps you can take to protect your privacy:

  • Close apps running in the background. (on iPhone, press the home button quickly, twice, and swipe up to close each running app).
  • Delete search history in your web browser (ex: IE, Safari, Chrome, Edge)
  • Don’t share your location on apps or photos (you’ll have to turn this on if you want maps to help you navigate)
  • You can use Incognito mode, or private mode, in your web browser (ex: go to the web, aka the internet, click the three dots on the top right, and select the incognito option)
  • Delete the apps you don’t use (you can always re-install them). You can still access Instagram on the web at Instagram.com without having the app on your phone or iPad, but it’s harder to use (they did that on purpose) and you cannot delete photos or edit the text from your posts on the web.
  • Go to the privacy tab in your phone and turn off access to apps.
  • Turn off access to your mic. You can allow or block apps to have access to your microphone, but if you are not using that app to record your voice or sounds around you, the microphone access should be turned off. The same concept applies to photos.
  • Turn off, or limit access to your photos. Certain apps will need access to your photos, like if you want to make a copy of your check to deposit it into your bank account, or if you want to upload a photo to Instagram, or a video to YouTube, but you don’t have to grant access to all your photos. For those apps that you use to upload photos or videos, choose selected videos instead of “all” or “none.”
  • Don’t put your personal information anywhere on the web, if possible. Hackers use your birthday, address, schools attended, graduation date, your pet’s name, and family’s names to impersonate you, steal your money, and spread harmful information about you.

Here’s what happened 24 hours after I deleted the Instagram app and did not log onto Instagram:

  • My chronic neck pain went away (aka text neck). This makes sense because looking down for long periods of time is not healthy for the spine, neck or surrounding muscles.
  • My left upper trap (trapezius muscle) started to relax and felt less tense.
  • I no longer felt I had to capture every healthy meal, cute photo of my pet, or a workout on my photo to post later.
  • I no longer thought about hashtags (which are used as search tools)
  • I felt less stressed and happier with the way I look.
  • I had more time to do whatever.

I decided that my privacy is at risk by using Instagram, so I deleted the Instagram app and my Instagram accounts. I also deleted the Facebook messenger app.

With this new information, will you delete the Instagram app and just look at Instagram on the web? Will you delete the Instagram app and all your content? Will you change your settings? Will you delete some photos or videos? Will you be a little more careful about what you post? Will you keep using social media the same way? Let me know in the comments below and why, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

If you clarity and visuals on some tech tips, watch the video I created below, specific on this subject

P.S. This is my 857th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=Z6BNSVHQWH478

Sources:

1. https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/termsofuse

2. Data Policy | Instagram Help Center

3. https://www.facebook.com/help/1561485474074139?ref=igtos

4. What’s the different between SMS vs MMS” (Aug 62020). Slick Test. Aug. 6, 2020. Blog. Available at https://www.slicktext.com/blog/2018/10/difference-between-sms-and-mms/ Accessed: 1/1/2021.

Additional source: https://9to5mac.com/2021/01/04/app-privacy-labels-messaging-apps/

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