This product in your garage can kill you

image

To this day, manufacturers are still putting known toxic ingredients in their products. Case in point: methylene chloride is a toxic substance found in paint strippers, has caused dozens of deaths (1), and “OSHA considers methylene chloride to be a potential occupational carcinogen” (2). Yet, the current EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, is doing nothing to ban this killer.

Even though there is a warning on the label, if a product causes a person to get sick, then it shouldn’t be on the market. When handling ANY cleaning or stripping agent, assume the worst and wear the appropriate gloves and face/skin protection, or assign the task to a professional.

Here’s a list of products that contain this dangerous substance: https://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/search?tbl=TblChemicals&queryx=75-09-2

 

Sources:

  1. “Researchers Tout Safer Alternative to Potentially Deadly Paint Stripper Chemical.” CBS News. Jan. 2 2018. Accessed April 5, 2018. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/researchers-find-safer-alternative-paint-stripper-chemical-methylene-chloride/
  2. 2. United States Department of Labor:  Accessed April 5, 2018. https://www.oshagov/Publications/osha3144.html
  3. Accessed April 5, 2018. https://www.publicintegrity.org/2018/03/26/21626/epa-planned-ban-deadly-paint-stripping-chemical-will-it-follow-through
  4. Accessed April 5, 2018. http://www.live5news.com/story/37843587/live-5-investigates-local-family-demands-epa-ban-paint-stripper-chemical

An easier way to lose weight

transformation Tuesday

Losing weight doesn’t have to mean completely changing your diet. There’s lots of strict diet plans out there that will lead to fast weight loss, but you’d have to follow it to a T, and be ready and willing to go all-in. That could entail omitting your favorite foods, missing dinners with friends and being hungry, so it’s no wonder lots of people put off starting a diet plan.

There’s an easier way to lose weight, and you can still eat the same foods if you want. You only need to reduce your calories by 250 per day to see your weight go down on the scale in less than a month. That could mean cutting out that daily protein bar, or not grabbing that bag of chips with your lunch. It might mean changing a habit.

I used to order a ginger ale every time I went out to eat. Now I order plain tea or water with my entree. I was surprised that I actually didn’t miss the soda. I used to eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, and then cut it back to just Sundays. I don’t eat bacon any more, but little changes adds up; those pounds will drop off, just be consistent.

Photo: Yes, both of those photos are me. One of the methods I used to lose weight is the one above so I know first-hand it works. 

P.S. For a complete diet and nutrition guide, and the rest of the tips I use to lose bodyfat, order your copy of my book The High-Five Diet: https://www.amazon.com/High-Five-Diet-Easiest-Weight-Loss-ebook/dp/B01HSIM6NA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468641914&sr=1-1&keywords=the+high-five+diet

 

Chocolate-Licorice Smoothie

coco smoothieWith Easter around the corner, I just couldn’t resist buying a bag of jelly beans. I picked out my favorite flavor, black licorice, and left the rest for my husband. He later asked me where all the black licorce went. (Hee, hee). I was tempted to just get a bag of licorice Jelly Bellies, but those sugar bombs make my blood sugar soar, which got me thinking; what if I could make a licorice smoothie? I love dark chocolate too, so I pondered if licorice and chocolate would be a good combination, and, it’s AMAZING.

Here’s my latest creation, a guilt-free, healthy, no-sugar, dairy-free smoothie, made with cocoa powder for that wonderful rich chocolate flavor, and fresh fennell, which give it licorice notes.

Chocolate-Licorice Smoothie

  • 1 cup coconut milk, plain unsweetened (I use So Delicious)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, level
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, alcohol free
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fennel stalk*
  • ¼ cup plain collagen protein powder (I use Great Lakes)
  • 1 ½ ripe bananas, frozen, in 1-inch chuncks

Add all ingredients, except bananas, in a blender cup for 20 seconds or so until incorporated. Add bananas and blend again, until smooth.

P.S. Use the stalks of the fennell (which look like celery). Don’t use the root of the fennell, which is not as sweet and doesn’t impart as much of that licorice flavor. Save the sliced fennel root for a salad. You can omit the vanilla extract if you don’t have it. I ran out of vanilla extract and the smoothie was still sweet and decadent. It’s good without the cocoa powder too, which makes it a bit lighter, without caffeine, with a stronger licorice flavor, which is unique and refreshing. I like it with, and without the cocoa powder. Let me know which one you prefer.

Sugar increases cholesterol

flourless peanut butter cookiesWhen I was diagnosed with diabetes, I had no idea that my blood sugar levels were high, and I was completely shocked that I had high cholesterol since, at that time, I was in my early 30’s and was a healthy weight and exercised on the weekends. My doctor wanted to put me on cholesterol lowering medication; that alone almost gave me a heart attack. I refused the cholesterol meds and told the doctor that I was going to lower it naturally by changing my diet. By the look on his face, he was skeptical.

I gave up candy, bread, bagels, cookies, brownies, white rice and pasta. I stopped ordering soda when I went out to eat. I also reduced my total carbohydrate intake, even from fruit, since I was way eating too much, per my doctor. I cut back on fatty animal proteins, took my insulin, and checked by blood sugar daily. At the next blood draw, my blood sugar levels AND my cholesterol levels were down, and they kept going down.

I had no idea, at that time, that high blood sugar causes high cholesterol. The reason this phenomena occurs, is that, when we eat unhealthy, highly processed carbohydrate foods, our HDL, the good cholesterol, goes down (1). HDL is what keeps our bad cholesterol down (1). It’s like a seesaw. If one is down, the other is up (1).

It’s really amazing how much damage unhealthy foods can do. Revamping my diet was really hard and, at times, I became depressed because I felt that I had so few choices to eat, but I’ve found ways to be really creative in the kitchen, and I’m fit and healthy, and that’s what makes it worthwhile.

  1. Source: Klogas, Elizabeth. “How sugar really affects your cholesterol.” WebMD. Jul. 10 2017. https://blogs.webmd.com/heart-disease/2017/07/how-sugar-really-affects-your-cholesterol.html

Free San Diego Seminar on Managing Diabetes & Weight Loss

me cutting bells

If you are in San Diego, don’t miss out on the free seminar I am giving in April at Jimbo’s Markets.

Topics to be discussed:
• How to calculate net carbs & why it matters
• The difference between simple & complex carbs
• How exercise & stress affects blood sugar levels
• Which order your foods should be eaten
• How often to eat to lose weight & reduce overeating
• How to keep blood sugar levels stable

What time: 6:30pm-8:00pm

Which locations and when:
Carmel Valley – April 30
Horton Plaza – April 4th
4S Ranch – April 11th

Seating is limited, so please sign up in advance at the above locations at Jimbo’s Vitamin Department for this FREE Seminar!

*If you cannot make it to any of these seminars, you can contact me for a private consultation, or you can listen to the following podcast when I was interviewed about how I lost weight and got my health back on track: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/chewables/id/5278761

New Larabar Flavors Review

 

larabarsLarabars are one of, if not THE, healthiest bars on the market. They’re vegan, and made with whole foods, like nuts, seeds and fruit. The problem is that they are low in protein and some flavors, like peanut butter, are dry and taste “healthy.” My favorites are Lemon (best cold, in the refrigerator) and Peanut Butter and Jelly (which is hard to find). My least favorites are Apple Pie and Cherry Pie, which don’t taste anything like pie. I am a sucker for new stuff and their new flavors sounded delicious, so I had to buy them.

 The four new flavors I tried were Limited Edition Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl, which was dry and bitter and the little chocolate chips dropped on the floor as I took a bite (wah); Coconut Cream Pie, very sweet, but perfect when I crave candy; Banana Chocolate Chip, which tastes like a gluten-free, dry banana bread made without sugar, sprinkled in with a few tiny chocolate chips; and Pecan Pie, which has the perfect combination of cinnamon spice and crumble.

P.S. I have numerous healthy vegan desserts in my cookbook, Slimming Dairy-Free Desserts & Smoothies. Check out my Coconut-Oat Bars with chocolate chips and walnuts. The recipe is on page 44 and each bar is only 140 calories. You can order your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Slimming-Dairy-Free-Desserts-Smoothies-low-calorie/dp/0997665424/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

 

Can’t eat this? Try this instead.

peanuts

We are all different, and we all eat differently, which means some people may lack certain essential nutrients. An all-in-one supplement may have too little of a something and too much of another. Here’s a quick guide based on certain dietary restrictions, but it’s best to get a full blood panel to see where you are defficient.

Consume the following supplements/foods daily:

  • Vegan Diet:                                                                                                                            1000 mcg Vitamin B12 dissolvable tablets in the form of hydroxocobalamin
  • Gluten-Free Diet: 200 mg magnesium glycinate
  • Dairy-Free Diet: 500 mg calcium and 1000-5000 IU Vitamin D3
  • Nut-Free: sunflower seeds or a multivitamin
  • Picky Eater Diet (one that doesn’t eat vegetables):                                                    beans, peanuts, whole grains, sunflower seeds, oranges, tomatoes, avocado, or 1000 mcg L-5 methyltethrahydrofolate, or Metafolin
  • Fish-Free Diet: walnuts, flaxseed, hemp and chia seeds

 

*Source: McCulloch RD, Marsha. “Skipping that? Eat this.” Delicious Living March 2018. Pages: 25-29. Print.

SunWarrior’s Vegan Protein Powder Review

sun warrior sample sizeSince I’ve found the chocolate and vanilla flavored vegan protein powders to be, well, awful, I decided to try SunWarrior’s Natural flavor (their chocolate flavored protein powder is really bad and the vanilla is overpoweringly sweet). What’s nice about a plain protein powder is, I can just add berries, or coco powder to make it taste like whatever I want.

Excited to try it, I put 1 cup coconut milk beverage, 1 frozen banana, a dollop of almond butter, ½ tablespoon of coco powder and ½ tablespoon of carob powder, and added the natural Warrior Blend in my Ninja. It was so thick, I had to stir it with a spoon, and it tasted like ground-up chalk. I couldn’t even taste the almond butter or the chocolate powders because their Natural flavor overpowered it. It was like drinking liquid sawdust. This was probably the worst vegan protein powder I’ve tried so far, and I think I’m going to give up on finding a good-tasting vegan protein powder; they’re like Unicorns…they don’t exist.

P.S. I’ve created a new drop-down, called protein powder reviews, on this site so you can find my reviews easily. On the right side, half-way down, under “Topics: Select below,” click on “Select Category,” and select “protein powder reviews,” or “recipes” for free printable healthy and dairy-free recipes, or “exercise” for exercise videos or tips, or anything in the other categories that you find interesting.

 

Why veganism is not for everyone

vegan T-shirt worn by Fit Girl

After watching the film “What the Health,” I went 100% vegan and felt great for two weeks, but by the third week, I felt ill…lethargic, tired, and weak. I couldn’t lift as heavy and my muscles were shrinking (I measured my quads). I had intense cravings for sugary and salty snacks, which is not normal for me. My stomach hurt, and I felt tinges of nausea come and go. I read that meat eaters who go vegan can go through a flu-like detox, which can take months to resolve. I’ve also read and heard that some people start losing their hair after cutting out animal protein.

Since vitamin B12 can only be obtained by eating animal meat, vegans are told to take supplements. If a vegan diet is what humans were meant to eat, why would we need supplementation? If meat is so toxic, then, shouldn’t we feel better, not worse after we stop eating it? There’s lots of people who were once vegan and reverted back to eating meat, because they didn’t feel good.

Celebrities who were vegan who went back to being carnivores include: Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, film-maker Alex Jamieson, former president Bill Clinton, singer Carrie Underwood, celebrity trainer Bob Harper, and comedian Ellen DeGeneres. While their specific reasons for forgoing a vegan diet vary, their complaints are common and include: ending up with an eating disorder, loss of energy, difficultly finding quality vegan meals in restaurants, and struggling to consume sufficient protein (1).

While I am a big proponent of vegetables, fruit, greens, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, I do believe that we were meant to eat SOME animal meat. The problem is that the SAD, Standard American Diet, has ridiculously large portions of meat at each meal. I do eat fish, red meat, ground turkey and eggs, but much less than I used to, and I lost a few pounds.

There are many vegans who do just fine, but they also eat bread and pasta, which are fortified. (I stay away bread and pasta since they are high-carbohydrate, processed foods that spike my blood sugar, which is especially bad for a diabetic). I’ve also had low-iron levels my entire adult life, and was instructed by my doctor to eat red meat once a week. After I cut out meat, my guess is that my iron levels plummeted which caused my energy to drop. What works for one person, may not work for another.

I provide lots of vegan recipes on this blog because we don’t need to eat meat in every meal. I now consider myself “plant-based” and have great admiration for those that are vegan. We should make decisions, not just based on science because science it’s theoretical (remember when all fat was thought to be bad so manufacturers removed the fat and added sugar?). Your diet should be based on what works best for you, your lifestyle, and your goals. Being super strict with food is unreasonable and no fun. We can be healthy and happy!

  1. Source: https://www.prevention.com/eatclean/former-vegan-celebrities/slide/8

Photo: Me. I need to find a “NOT” sticker to add to this shirt.

Reduce waste with one easy change

coffee or is tea

Starbucks coffee is so good, but the plastic-laminated disposable cups are so bad for the environment. “…they are almost impossible to recycle, meaning they don’t degrade for up to 500 years. In Britain alone, an astonishing 2.5 billion cups are discarded each year” (1).

Just like bringing your bags from home to the grocery store (you are doing this, right!?), you can bring your coffee mug or thermos to your favorite coffee shop.

  1. Source: Pilling, David. “GDP is choking us and the planet.” Los Angeles Times. 25 Feb. 2018: Page A17. Print.

 

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