Contents Owner: The Diet Solution Program
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To juice or NOT to juice…that is the question.
I’m pretty used to people coming to my home and
saying “Wow, this place is so super healthy. I can’t
believe it.” As you may or may not know, it does
take quite a few people to keep the Diet Solution
Program running. I had a bit of a “retreat” at my
house where I invited 3 of our employees to come
and work from my house and spend some time
together. Whenever entertaining guests, I always try
and be the “hostess with the mostess” and in my
best Martha Stewart impression I asked “Can I get
anyone anything? Some food or a drink?”
One of my employees replied, “Yes, I would love
some juice please.”
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As I did everything in my power to hold back the
look of death, I said “We don’t have any juice. How
about water or a tea?”
Without going through the entire conversation, this
particular employee couldn’t believe there was no
juice in the house. Moreover, she absolutely could
not believe that my son does not drink juice and
only drinks water (and yes, I did let her keep her
She has, of course, read and knows the DSP inside
and out, but she admitted that she really didn’t
believe that I completely lived my life that way until
she saw it with her very own eyes.
But back to the juice…
Juice is one of those drinks that many people
perceive as healthy, especially when it’s labeled
natural or organic and it says it is made from all
natural ingredients. Let me clear this up right now…
Juice is NOT part of a healthy eating plan unless you
are freshly squeezing it right in your kitchen with
your own hands or through a juicer.
“But Isabel. My juice says its organic, natural, 100%
juice with no sugar added. Is that ok?”
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Well, I spent a significant amount of time reading
the label of almost every single juice container, juice
box, and juice product and they all came up the
same…with tons of SUGAR. Read the label clearly
and you will see that every gram of carbohydrate
contained in the juice directly comes from sugar.
“But Isabel. All the carbs from fruit are from sugar
Yes, fruits are almost entirely sugar (coming from
fructose), but a whole fruit also contains plenty of
fiber and vitamins that are lost when you make a
juice, bottle it and store it for any amount of time.
“But Isabel. My juice is fortified with calcium, Vit D
and iron (or whatever they are fortifying juice with
When you “fortify” any food or drink with a vitamin
and/or a mineral, your body is smart enough to
know that this is not the real version of this
particular nutrient. So much so, that it will choose
not to use it. Yes, all of these fortified products are
not giving you the vitamins and minerals you need.
You must obtain these from natural sources like real
fruits and vegetables (i.e. real food).
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So if you’re a juice lover like many people are or
have fallen for the “juice is healthy” trap, here are a
few strategies to help you get your juice fix while
simultaneously following a healthy eating plan.
1. Buy a quality juicer and make your own
juice. There are so many different delicious and
nutritious juices you can make in a juicer that will
give you a super boost of vitamins/minerals and
super nutrition. One of my favorite is carrot, apple
and ginger. Be careful though! If you’re anything like
me and sensitive to too much sugar at once, I would
suggest having a serving of 4 oz or less or mixing
your 4 oz with some water. I would also suggest
juicing primarily vegetables and not as many fruits.
This is a great way to get in some serious nutrition
without having to eat vegetables all day long (a
great option for children). I would also combine your
fresh juice with a protein and healthy fat to keep
your blood sugar balanced.
It is best to drink freshly made juice right away, as
the longer it is stored, the more it will decline in
nutrition. You can put your juice in a glass jar with
an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. There should
be a minimal amount of air in the jar as the oxygen
in air (air is about 20 percent oxygen) will “oxidize”
and damage the juice. Wrap the jar with aluminum
foil to block out all light. Light damages the juice.
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2. Make my favorite “tea juice“. If you haven’t
seen this recipe in the Diet Solution Recipe Guide,
here it is again:
• 5-6 bags caffeine-free herbal tea (e.g., peach,
mint, chamomile, or fruit tea)
• 3 quarts boiling water
• Stevia powder (or liquid) to taste
• Pour water over tea bags in a large pot. Add
stevia while tea is hot. (Adjust amount
according to the desired sweetness.)
Let the tea cool, remove tea bags, transfer tea
to a serving pitcher or individual water bottles,
3. Make your own DSP approved lemonade. My
business partner loves this and drinks it almost daily
(be careful if you’re sensitive to citrus or too much
lemon.) Mix the juice from half a lemon, 5 drops of
liquid stevia and 12oz of water in a large cup. Add
more stevia or lemon based on your taste. This drink
is a great alternative to people who need a bit more
flavor than plain water all day.
So what did I end up serving my thirsty employee?
Water! (And she bought juice when we went out to
lunch). Oh well, I tried.
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So now that I’ve shown you why juice is not good
for you and how you can make your own healthy
drink alternatives, why not learn more about which
foods will cause you to lose fat? Check out our
informative video right now!
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How to reduce your risk for Heart Disease the
Are you one of the millions of people that is
suffering from heart disease or even worse? Have
already experienced a heart attack.
These days it’s difficult not to meet someone who is
either suffering from heart disease, has had a heart
attack or has been told they are at risk for heart
disease. It’s just about as common as meeting
someone with brown hair. Unfortunately, the media
and even many well-meaning doctors are completely
misinformed on how to tackle this growing epidemic.
It’s the number one killer in the US and plaguing
many other countries as well.
What are we to do?
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The best plan of attack is to combat the risk factors
the best we can.
Use the following 5 tips to get you started on a
heart healthy plan:
1. Drop the smokes. Yes, smoking has been shown
to be one of the biggest risk factors in heart disease,
mainly because of all the toxic chemicals added to
cigarettes (not that I’m recommending tobacco or
2. Walk, walk, walk. If finding time for a
structured exercise program is just too much of a
challenge right now, just start by walking. I have
known many people who have strengthened their
heart and reversed severe conditions by getting
outside and walking. If you can, find a scenic route.
There’s nothing more calming than the outdoors. (I
highly recommend whistling and singing while you
walk. It makes for happy thoughts.)
3. Calm down. By this I mean, don’t stress about
the stuff you don’t have to. This is actually a very
funny statement coming from me who used to stress
about everything! Deadlines, laundry, work, family…
you name it, I stressed about. Not until I realized
that this would kill me no matter how healthy my
food was did I drop the stress and pick up the
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laughter. Right now as I write this newsletter, I’ve
got more things that need to get done today than
are humanly possible. My reaction “Haha..better put
my Superwoman shirt on”
4. Do not and I repeat, do not go on a low-fat
diet. Your heart condition may get worse in your
attempts. Drop the bad fats (like hydrogenated oil
and the nasty oil in French fries and donuts) and
start eating more healthy fats like coconut oil, olive
oil, salmon, walnuts and whole organic eggs.
5. Do not be afraid to eat saturated fat. If read
“The Truth About Saturated Fat” in The Diet Solution
Program you know that eating saturated fats is not
what is causing people to get heart disease. It is
processed foods, sugars and an overabundance of
refined carbohydrates that is making this country so
sick. The whole saturated fats topic gets me so fired
up, I even made a video to further inform you –
check it out here.
Even tackling each one of these tips one at a time
will get you closer to a healthy heart and a lifetime
of good health.
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The Truth About Cholesterol
I am going to let you in on something shocking.
Cholesterol is not the major culprit in heart disease.
I know this may be hard to believe after all we have
heard about the dangers of high cholesterol from
our doctors, and the media. But the truth is, it is not
the cholesterol levels themselves or the cholesterol
containing foods that are the culprits in heart
disease, it is those foods and any other thing that
causes inflammation in your body that is the major
cause of heart disease (as well as diabetes and high
What is cholesterol and why do we need it?
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among
the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all your
body’s cells. It’s an important part of a healthy body
because it’s used to form cell membranes.
Cholesterol also aids in the manufacture of bile
(which helps digest fats), and is also important for
the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins, including
vitamins A, D, E and K. It is the major precursor for
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the synthesis of vitamin D and of the various steroid
hormones (which include cortisol and aldosterone in
the adrenal glands, and the sex hormones
progesterone, the various estrogens, testosterone,
and derivatives ).
How could something so good be so bad?
Cholesterol has been wrongly accused because upon
inspection of the arteries of someone at risk for a
heart attack, levels of cholesterol and plaque build
up are very high. Cholesterol is actually being
transported to tissues as part of an inflammatory
response that is there to repair damage. It will only
lodge itself onto the artery and cause plaque if the
artery has become damaged. Inflammation in the
artery is what causes this damage. In fact, it is now
known that the coronary disease that causes heart
attacks is now considered to be caused mostly from
To blame cholesterol for heart attacks would be the
equivalent of blaming increased police security in a
high crime area. It was not the police that caused
the crime, they were just placed there in response
to the crimes.
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A more important question to ask ourselves, is
how do we decrease the amount of
inflammation in our bodies so that cholesterol
will not bind to our arteries?
We must decrease all of those things that we do that
cause inflammation and increase things that
decrease inflammation. First and foremost we must
stay away from foods that cause inflammation in our
bodies. Any food that causes a fast rise in blood
insulin levels will quickly cause inflammation in the
body. These foods are sugar, white breads, most
dairy products and almost all packaged and
processed foods. What does this leave you with?
Fresh, wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables,
lean animal proteins, nuts, and lots and lots of
water. Also, taking in lots of omega-3 rich foods will
dramatically decrease inflammation in the body
(salmon, organic eggs, walnuts and sardines).
What about your cholesterol medication?
Some may be thinking, it is just easier to take a pill
and not have to change what I am eating. But you
may want to think twice considering the side effects
of statins (cholesterol lowering drugs). The most
common side effects reported are fatigued,
headaches, nausea and the most common of them
all, severe muscular pains and muscular
degeneration. If you remember that cholesterol is
essential for the formation of cell membranes, taking
a drug that is drastically lowering cholesterol may be
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causing membrane damage in neural and muscle
tissue. Most people on statins complain of neck,
back or leg pain.
Millions of Americans are now on cholesterol
lowering drugs, but the number of people suffering
from heart attacks and heart disease is only
increasing. Let’s take a personal responsibility for
our health and truly get to the root of the problem.
Managing your diet and staying away from those
foods that are causing an inflammatory response in
your body is your first step to decreasing your
chance of heart disease and heart attacks.
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The Real Truth behind Organic Foods
Many people are unaware of what organic food really
is. It seems that everywhere we go now, someone
is promoting something that is “organic”. Are these
foods worth your time and money?
It almost seems like some people are afraid of
organic food. Could this be possible? Are people
afraid that eating one morsel of organic food is going
to somehow instantly initiate them into the organic
food cult where you’re only allowed to wear sandals
made from tree bark and deodorant is prohibited?
I swear I have had people say to me “Well, you can’t
be that organic because you wear make-up and you
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What? That’s not what organic means at all! All it
means is that the food or the product has been
grown the way mother nature intended: without the
use of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and
fungicides. In other words, naturally!
Are some people afraid of the price? Organic does
not automatically mean “break the bank”. Many
times when I compare the price of the organic food
versus the conventional food, they are only a few
cents different. In the case of the bag of organic
carrots I bought today for my lunch, they were the
exact same price as the conventional ones. Imagine
If anything about the word “organic” makes you
want to jump and run the other way, be sure to read
my previous blog post “Is there such a thing as
Cheap Organic Food?”
It will help you understand exactly why organic food
is all the rave these days and what you can do to
make organic living easy, simple and not so scary!
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Is Milk really Healthy?
Is milk really necessary for an effective weight loss
plan? Do we have to drink our milk each day to get
a sufficient amount of calcium?
The answer to both of these questions is NO. We do
not need to drink milk as part of a healthy weight
loss plan or to obtain a healthy amount of calcium
Consider the following facts:
1. Americans drink the most milk of any other
country, yet we still have the highest rate of
2. Pasteurization kills off all the necessary digestive
enzymes in the milk (This is why so many people are
now suffering from lactose intolerance).
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3. Pasteurization also makes the major part of the
calcium contained in milk insoluble, in other words
making 50% of milk’s calcium unusable by the body
(This contributing to the high rate of osteoporosis).
4. Milk sugar (lactose) converts into sugar your body
uses very quickly, leading to blood sugar highs and
lows and an up and down energy rollercoaster ride
How could this all be true? Isn’t milk supposed to
do a body good? Well, yes it does, but milk was
really only intended to be consumed in its natural
state (unpasteurized). Sound scary? Many states in
the US and most organic farmers will ONLY drink
milk if it’s unpasteurized and they are extremely
The other fact we need to consider is that most cows
are being given an excess of growth hormone just to
keep them producing massive amounts of milk. This,
in turn, makes them sick, at which time they are
given antibiotics. The growth hormone and
antibiotics get into their blood stream and then into
the milk they produce. Who drinks this chemical
laden milk? We do! (Actually, I don’t and maybe
you’re starting to consider whether you do).
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The next big concern is “How will I get enough
Calcium?” As mentioned above, most of the
Calcium in milk is not absorbed by the body. More
calcium is absorbed from foods such as green leafy
vegetables, broccoli, sardines (with bones
preferably) and salmon. This makes sense that more
calcium come from greens since cows preferably eat
grass and they have a lot of calcium inside their
bodies (Please don’t eat grass. This really only works
If reducing your risk for Osteoporosis is your goal,
do the #1 activity that prevents this debilitating
disease: Exercise! Weight bearing exercise has been
shown to be the #1 way to prevent osteoporosis.
Putting small stresses on your bones via strength
training helps to re-build them stronger. No one, and
I mean no one, should be neglecting some exercise
into their life.
Here are my tips on drinking the right kind of milk,
calcium and preventing osteoporosis:
1. If you consume dairy on a regular basis, try to
find raw (unpasteurized) milk. www.realmilk.com is
a great resource for this.
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2. If the thought of raw milk scares you, purchase
the next best thing: certified organic milk products.
They will be free of antibiotics and hormones.
3. Since most of milk’s calcium is not absorbed by
the body, make sure to get your calcium from these
other sources: leafy green veggies, broccoli,
sardines (with bones) and salmon.
4. Commit to a strength training routine on a
consistent basis. Not just for your muscles and for
the way you look in the mirror (although this does
help) but for your bone’s sake.
Milk and dairy do not have to be a staple in your diet
in order to absorb adequate amounts of calcium and
achieve an ideal level of health. You can establish
and extremely healthy way of eating, reach your
weight loss goals, and feel great each day without
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Is a Low Sodium Diet necessary for good
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to give
up all salt in order to maintain optimum health. The
right kind of salt should be an integral part of
everyone’s healthy eating plan, even those with high
Here are the real facts about Salt:
The human body cannot survive without salt (which
is why you get a saline drip when you are in the
hospital). Sodium is an essential nutrient that your
body can’t manufacture on its own, therefore it must
Here’s the problem. Most people are eating the
wrong kind of salt. The only way to receive all the
benefits of salt is to eat unrefined sea salt, NOT
processed table salt.
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The reason why salt has gotten such a bad
reputation is because 99% of the world’s salt
research has been done on commercial table salt,
the only salt most people know about (which is bad,
bad, bad). Some of the best scientific research on
the healthy properties of unrefined sea salt are
written in French, German and Portuguese and many
Americans have not been exposed to them (until
Well, not anymore. Unrefined sea salt has worked its
magic in hundreds of my clients, and, not to
When you consider that sea salt aids in balancing
blood sugar levels, is needed for the absorption of
food particles through the intestinal tract, can help
prevent muscle cramps, is needed to make bones
strong, regulates and normalizes blood pressure,
increases energy levels, helps regulate the
metabolism, helps maintain proper electrolyte
balance, and supports the immune system., how
could you not use it?
What salt should you buy?
Look for unprocessed, unrefined sea salt. My favorite
brands are Celtic Sea Salt, Redmond’s Real Salt and
Himalayan Sea Salt (but any unprocessed, unrefined
brand is great-be careful though, if it doesn’t
mention unprocessed & unrefined assume it is not).
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These salts can be found on these great websites:
www.wildfamilynaturals.com (Look for Mineral Rich
Oh, and of course, avoid refined white table salt at
all costs (unless you want high blood pressure for
some reason). This is the kind of salt we want to
avoid like the plague.
So the next time someone tells you to take it easy
on the salt, tell them the above facts and encourage
them to make unrefined sea salt a healthy part of
their eating plan.
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Coffee: Good or Bad for your Health?
Is your morning coffee an ok option on your healthy
eating plan? If coffee really bad for you or is it
I get these questions about coffee and health all the
time and as a coffee drinker myself, it is smart to
take a look at both the good and the bad.
Now, I’m not here to tell you that coffee is good for
you. If I did, I would be telling only the good side of
the story and I’m no politician. I am here to give you
the good and the bad and tell you how you can
incorporate your favorite coffee or tea into your
healthy meal plan.
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The Ugly Side of Caffeine
Most coffee and tea contains a lot of caffeine. This is
usually the primary reason people make coffee their
drink of choice in the morning. Caffeine is a drug like
any other and comes with a long list of side effects.
Have you ever tried not having your coffee in the
morning? Yeah, pass the Excedrin, right? The
headache that comes on when you try and kick this
habit can be brutal (just like with other drugs) and
creating a dependency and addiction like this is
harmful to the body.
Second, coffee is extremely acidic. Our bodies
function at optimum levels when they are slightly
more alkaline (the opposite of acidic). It is best for
us to greatly reduce any foods that will drive our
body’s pH to be more acidic and eat more foods that
are alkaline (like fruits and veggies). An acidic body
pH is like a magnet for all kinds of illnesses. Also, an
alkaline body has a much stronger immune system,
making illness much less likely.
Last but not least, the caffeine in coffee and tea is
abuse to your adrenal glands. Your adrenals release
your “fight or flight” hormones basically giving you a
nice “boost” when needed. Unfortunately, people
who drink coffee all day long are consistently
beating on their adrenals. This is the equivalent of
whipping a tired horse even when he is exhausted.
Eventually he will not move at all.
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The Pretty Side of Caffeine
Coffee tastes oh so yummy and makes me feel great
in the morning. (What? Is that not a good enough
reason to drink it?)
Many studies have shown that coffee can help in the
prevention and treatment of diseases and illnesses
as varied as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, liver
disease, skin cancer, Parkinsons’s disease and more.
Although, I don’t believe coffee would be the cure all
to any of these diseases, many ancient cultures did
rely on the coffee bean to cure a long list of
ailments. Not to mention, small doses of caffeine
can increase performance and mental focus.
Green tea is also a great drink to include with a long
list of benefits. If nothing else, green tea is a
wonderful source of antioxidants which are
important in cancer prevention. Green tea has even
been found to raise metabolism and aid in fat
burning. Before you go take a green tea bath, its
effects are really minor when compared to the
effects of sound nutrition and exercise plans. Now
that I’ve said that, don’t think you can eat junk food
and just wash it down with green tea!
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What is a coffee and tea drinker to do?
1. Limit your coffee and tea intake to 2 – 8 oz cups
per day. No, not 2 of each, 2 total. Any more than
that is considered as a heavy addict. (I know. I’ve
2. If you are currently dependent on a lot of caffeine
each day, replace 1 or 2 cups of coffee with green
tea instead. Green tea has much less caffeine than
coffee and will help combat the ugly detox
3. Do not jack up your coffee with sugar, milk, syrup
and whip cream (So I guess that means no
Starbucks, huh?). Use stevia or xylitol to sweeten
and avoid all the empty, harmful calories. A
teaspoon of half and half won’t hurt either. Please oh
please, do not use any of those flavored creamers.
They are closer to someone’s chemistry experiment
than they are to real food.
4. Make sure to make your food choices healthy.
Avoiding other acidic foods like sugar, artificial
sweeteners and processed foods will lighten the acid
load on the body.
5. Make sure the coffee you drink is organic.
Conventional coffee is filled with pesticides and
chemicals and should be avoided at all costs.
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There is no need to give up your morning coffee but
it is important to drink the right types of coffee,
without the added unhealthy extras and, as with
most things, in moderation.
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Am I Constipated? Constipation Treatments
What constitutes constipation? Well, you are
constipated if you have 1 or less bowel movements
Why does this happen?
For several reasons…
It may be that you have just transitioned your
eating from one that was NOT “oh so healthy” to
your new healthy nutrition plan. Because you are
probably, now, feeding your body more fruits,
vegetables and natural foods that contain more
healthy fiber, your body is trying to get used to it
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This may not be the only reason you may be
experiencing constipation. One of the most common
reasons people have a hard time with “number 2″ is
that they are dehydrated. If your colon is not
absorbing enough water, it will not be able to push
the bad stuff out.
You know what happens to this bad stuff? It stays
inside you, making you extremely uncomfortable,
fatigued, and worst of all…prevents you from losing
Yes, if you have a toxic build up inside your colon, it
makes it extremely difficult for your body to absorb
nutrients and burn bad fat off your body.
Now those are just 2 of the many reasons you may
be experiencing constipation…there are many more.
The more important question is how do you tackle
this uncomfortable problem?
I am not going to recommend some laxative or even
some natural herbal formula. Many of these
supplements can be extremely harmful and send
you sprinting to the bathroom. Not to mention make
it quite difficult to leave the house (imagine drinking
way too much prune juice.)
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Here are some easy and natural ways you can
combat the old Pooping problem:
1. Make sure you are drinking enough water each
and every day. How much is enough? You should be
drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water
each day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds,
you need 100 ounces of water (Yes! That much!)
You don’t have to start with that amount all at once
but make sure you slowly build yourself up to
drinking your targeted amount.
2. Add freshly ground flaxseeds to your meals. Fresh
flaxseeds can be purchased at most supermarkets
and health food stores. I grind mine up in a coffee
grinder and have 1 TBSP mixed with water every
morning. You can also add your tablespoon to your
morning oatmeal, yogurt or even to salads or on top
of fruit. Not only will you be increasing your fiber
content for the day, you will be adding extra healthy
Omega 3’s to your meals.
3. Make sure to include enough raw foods into each
one of your meals. No, I am not suggesting you put
a raw steak on a plate and eat it. But you should
ensure that there is at least 1 raw component to
each meal. For example, for breakfast and snacks
include some fresh fruit. For lunch and dinner have
some raw veggies (cucumbers, carrots and
tomatoes). Cooked vegetables are great (I love my
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sautéed spinach and cooked cauliflower) but you will
benefit more from the naturally occurring enzymes
in fruits and veggies if eaten raw so make sure to
include both cooked and raw into meals.
4. Start each morning with this great “digestive
tonic”: 1 TBSP lemon juice in one glass of water with
a dash of cayenne pepper. This morning concoction
will help to stimulate your bowels and release
whatever “bad stuff” may be stuck to your colon
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How does Sleep affect Fat Loss?
Can being sleep deprived cause you to gain weight?
Yes! Many people don’t realize the many health
implications of sleep deprivation. It may even be
hindering your fat loss efforts.
How does sleep (or sleep deprivation) affect your
weight loss efforts?
Here are just a few reasons why sleeping may be
the missing link to your weight loss efforts:
1. When you’re tired, it is so much harder to make
healthy choices. I’m not sure if this is more about
psychology or physiology or a combination of both.
However, I know I have experienced it firsthand.
When I get a good night’s sleep, sticking to my
regular exercise and healthy eating routine is a
cinch. But when I’m sleep deprived, I somehow
think that chocolate and sugar will make me feel
better. The truth is, it never does! It actually makes
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me feel worse. Much worse, because the blood sugar
highs and lows makes me more tired and cranky
than before I ate the sweets.
2. Now for some science. Researchers from several
separate studies have found a link between sleep
and the hormones that influence our eating
behavior. Two specific hormones are involved.
Ghrelin is responsible for feelings of hunger. Leptin
tells the brain when it’s time to stop. When you’re
sleep deprived, your ghrelin levels increase at the
same time that your leptin levels decrease. The
result is an increased craving for food and not
feeling full (a hormone disaster as far as staying on
track with a healthy eating plan). Nothing is worse
than craving food and being hungry at the same
3. Many people don’t know this, but your body
adjusts itself based on your circadian rhythms and
the amount of sunlight outside. Without getting too
deep into the science, these rhythms and light tell
your body to physically recover approximately
between the hours of 10pm-2am and to mentally
recover approximately between 2am-6am. If you
aren’t getting to bed until 12am, you are missing
out on 2 crucial hours of physical repair. This can
result in all sorts of aches and pains that do not get
better, no matter what you try. I have seen clients
relieve bad backs and aching joints by just getting to
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bed by 10pm. I have even seen people get smarter
by sleeping til 6am (ok, I made this last statement
up but wouldn’t that be great?). All kidding aside, I
have seen people act consistently sharper when they
are well rested.
How are you going to get a good night’s sleep to
ensure you are not sabotaging your weight loss
Here are a few tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
1. Don’t watch TV before bed. You may not realize
how fired up the news or your favorite TV show gets
you before bed time. Instead grab a book or your
favorite magazine and read in bed. This works
wonders, especially a good fiction book that will help
you forget the day’s events.
2. Cut your caffeine intake early in the day. An
afternoon coffee or tea can still be racing through
your blood stream at 10pm. Cut out your last
caffeinated beverage by noon. This includes all
coffee and teas (except herbal teas). Once you catch
up on your sleep, you won’t be so dependent on
your afternoon java kick.
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3. Avoid Sugar before bed. (You were avoiding sugar
anyway right?) Consuming sugar right before bed
leads to a blood sugar roller coaster ride, potentially
waking you up in the middle of the night due to a
blood sugar low.
4. Put your work away before bed. There is nothing
worse than a racing mind before bed. Crunching
numbers and reading work documents right before
bed may lead to dreams about work (or
nightmares). End all work at least 2 hours before
bed. If this is not possible for you, you may need to
reassess your work schedule a bit.
Whatever the adjustments are for you, remember,
sleep may just be the missing link in your nutrition,
exercise and health regimen. Stick to your Diet
Solution Meal Plans and tuck yourself in at 10pm
each night and you will be well on your way to fat
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How Artificial Sweeteners Are Making You Fat
In my practice as a nutritionist and personal trainer,
new clients are always coming to me telling me they
are doing everything they are “supposed” to be
doing, but still, do not lose weight. Of course, this is
frustrating. Losing weight is hard enough, and to
change your eating habits and still see no results,
that’s even more frustrating.
Why do these people not lose weight? If I had to
pick the most common reason why most people’s
efforts have proved no results, I would say it is the
deception of artificial sweeteners and processed diet
foods. Yes, you heard right. It is the diet coke, diet
snacks, processed foods and artificial sweetener in
your coffee that is keeping you fat.
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How is this so?
Artificial sweeteners overwhelm your liver
Your liver is your largest internal organ, and it’s
responsible for an astonishing variety of life-
sustaining and health-promoting tasks, including
those that make healthy weight loss and weight
management possible. Integral to countless
metabolic processes, the liver supports the digestive
system, controls blood sugar and regulates fat
storage. One of your liver’s most important
functions, and the most crucial to your weight loss,
is chemically breaking down everything that enters
your body, from healthy vegetables, to not so
healthy fast food, from healthy water to not so
It’s your liver’s job to distinguish between the
nutrients you need to absorb and the dangerous or
unnecessary substances that must be filtered out of
your bloodstream. But when the liver is clogged and
overwhelmed with toxins, like artificial sweeteners, it
can’t do a very effective job of processing nutrients
and fats. If it can not process the nutrients and fats
that your body needs, this will cause you to gain
weight or will prevent you from losing weight.
Your liver also produces bile, a crucial substance for
detoxifying our bodies. It is the job of bile to help
our bodies break down the fats we need and to
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assimilate fat-soluble vitamins. But when our bile
becomes overly congested with the toxins it’s trying
to filter out, it simply can’t function properly. It
becomes thick, viscous and highly inefficient in
breaking down fats. The result: You are more likely
to gain weight and to have a greater difficulty losing
it. So the more toxic your body becomes, the more
difficulty you’ll have losing weight and keeping it off
because your liver just can not work properly to
break down fat.
Are artificial sweeteners considered a toxin?
What qualifies something as a “toxin”? A toxin is
anything that your body does not recognize as a
natural food source. The reason why artificial
sweeteners have “zero” calories is because your
body does not recognize them as a food source. For
example, the chemical process to make Splenda
(sucralose) alters the chemical composition of the
sugar so much that it is somehow converted to a
completely different molecule than sugar. This type
of “fake” sugar molecule does not occur in nature
and therefore your body does not possess the ability
to properly metabolize it. This is how the makers of
Splenda claim that it has zero calories, because in
theory it should not be digested or metabolized by
the body (Although it has been shown that some
people’s body do absorb up to 15% of the artificial
sweeteners they ingest). So the more artificial
sweeteners that you consume in one day, the more
you are overwhelming your liver with toxins and the
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less able it is to do its job of processing fat. And
what happens if the liver can’t do its job? You can’t
lose weight or worse yet, you gain weight.
What if you don’t use artificial sweeteners? Don’t be
fooled. Almost every diet product on the market has
some kind of artificial sweetener added to it. Even
some children’s snacks are now being made with
sucralose (Splenda) and most flavored waters
contain sucralose or aspartame.
Now add up how many things you eat in one day
that contain some form of artificial sweetener. The
list may be very long. How overwhelmed do you
think your liver is? Does it have the ability to work
properly? Even if you keep your calories at bay and
only drink Diet Coke with your meals, will you truly
get down to the weight that you want, and stay
there? It has been in my experience that the answer
is “no” and until you are ready to commit yourself to
a healthy way of eating, weight loss will always be a
What else do sweeteners do?
Sweeteners increase appetite
Artificial sweeteners tell your taste buds that, “sweet
stuff has arrived,” which to the brain means,
“nutrition has arrived.” When artificial sweetened
drink or food reaches the small intestine, the
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receptors find no nutrition. A message is then sent
back to the brain saying, “We’ve been tricked-there’s
no nutrition here.” The appestat (the part of your
brain that triggers satiety) sends the message to
“keep eating because we need nutrition to help
process all this fake food and run your body.” So
even after you eat a good portioned healthy meal
(along with your diet coke) you still feel like your
starving all day, or you become very hungry soon
after. Your healthy eating efforts may be sabotaged
if you continue to feel hungry all day. No one likes to
feel hungry so you continue to eat more food until
you feel satisfied, which in your effort to lose
weight, may just be too much.
Sweeteners Increase our Sweet Tooth
Saccharin (Sweet n Low) is 300 times sweeter than
sugar, aspartame (Equal) is 200 times sweeter than
sugar and sucralose (splenda) is 600 times sweeter
than sugar. Such sweeteners can only increase our
sweet tooth and increase our taste of sweet things.
If you can never get rid of your sugar cravings, any
healthy eating plan will be difficult because you will
constantly be craving “sweet”. Artificial sweeteners
have also shown to promote the same blood sugar
fluctuations as regular sugar, which, again will bring
on “sugar lows” which will increase appetite and
cravings. This is not to say, that something sweet
now and again is not ok, but it is those people who
can not control their sugar cravings that are being
sabotaged by these artificial sweeteners.
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What are some alternatives to sweeteners?
Giving up sugar and artificial sweeteners may be
difficult, especially if you are accustomed to
everything having such a sweet taste. A wonderful
alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners is an
herb called Stevia. Stevia is an extraordinarily sweet
herb, 200-300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia is
almost calorie-free, so it is perfect for people who
are watching their weight. Unlike sugar, it does not
trigger a rise in blood sugar so you will not get a
sudden burst of energy followed by fatigue and a
need for another “fix”. It increases energy and aids
digestion by stimulating the pancreas. Stevia also
presents great advantages over saccharine and
other artificial sweeteners in that it is not toxic.
Stevia is a plant that is found in nature and is not
man-made in a laboratory. Stevia can be found at
almost all health food stores such as Whole Foods,
and is listed under the “supplement” section. Stevia
can be used exactly like sugar and artificial
sweeteners to sweeten drinks and it can even be
used in baking.
If weight loss or staying away from sweets has
always been a problem for you, take notice of how
much artificial sweetener you have been ingesting.
That just may be the culprit. Make a resolution this
year to give up the “fake” stuff and stick to natural
alternatives like Stevia. You will not only be helping
your weight loss efforts but you will also be
benefiting your health.
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If you or someone you know is addicted to sweet
drinks such as sodas or beverages sweetened with
sugar or artificial sweeteners, try this “Tea Juice”
and you will see that weaning yourself off sugar or
sweeteners will be much easier.
• 5-6 bags of any caffeine free herbal tea of your
choice (green tea, peach tea, berry tea, orange
zinger, lemon, etc.)
• 3 quarts water
• Stevia powder or liquid to taste
Boil tea bags in a large pot. Add 1-2 full teaspoons
of stevia while still hot. (You may add more or less,
based on your desired sweetness) Let tea cool and
then transfer to the refrigerator in Ice Tea pitchers
or individual size water bottles.
This drink is a great replacement to Diet Coke or
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Healthy Tips for your Children
Childhood obesity has now become a worldwide
problem. More and more children these days are
suffering the same symptoms and diseases that
were once only seen in adults; heart disease, high
cholesterol and type 2 diabetes, to name just a few.
The good news and the bad news is that our children
mimic everything we do. Your habits will sometimes
become their habits (scary huh?).
I’ll never forget when my old neighbors said to me,
“Isabel, our 10 year old woke up this morning and
ate leftover chicken and veggies for breakfast,
instead of the bagels we bought. I wonder where
she got that idea?” I loved it!
When parents bring in their children into my office
wondering why their child’s weight has now become
a health hazard, I always have to ask, “How is the
whole family taking care of themselves or better yet,
how are you taking care of yourself?”
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I know this is a tough question to answer but these
little people are looking to us for their answers and
many times our actions speak louder than words.
We are their role models.
So as a mommy, daddy, aunt, uncle, grandma,
grandpa or just neighborhood friend, what can you
do today to be a healthy influence to a child?
1. Develop one new health habit each week that
involves your child. Want to go for a walk with
Mommy to make our legs and our heart strong?
Want to pack carrots in your lunch bag and see how
many veggies we can both eat? Want to pick a
healthy recipe and cook together? The options are
endless. Make sure your child feels like he or she is
an important part of your healthy life.
2. Let’s try and stay away from words like “weight
loss” or “weight gain” and definitely avoid the word
“fat”. Make it about “HEALTH”. We are going to take
a family walk so we can all be healthy together.
These foods make my heart and my muscles strong.
Want to see Mommy or Daddy do pushups? Cool,
right? Let your child know that being healthy is fun.
3. Be the healthy change you wish to see in your
child. Show your child that genetics, time, and
nothing else can get in the way of you getting
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healthy. Work on your biggest health obstacle and
chances are you will see the same change in your
Commit today to good health not only for yourself
but for those wonderful little people in your life that
look up to you and emulate you.
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Do You Have a Mint?
Bad breath can be a big problem (especially if you’re
the one smelling it!) It can cause embarassing
moments and bad first impressions. That’s why so
many people chew gum. In fact, according the
US Census Bureau, Americans eat about 1.8 pounds
of gum per capita each year. That may not sound
like a lot but think about the size and weight of one
piece of gum.
Gum chewing studies have shown many bad effects,
such as bloating and hormone and biomechanical
imbalances, as well as the habit leading to bruxism
and acid reflux ulcers. Many have educated
themselves and moved on to mints, but is this any
better? After all, most mints are made with artificial
sweeteners, so they can claim to be fat free or
calorie free. I understand the necessity for fresh
breath in a pinch. Most people don’t carry around
their tooth brush or mouth wash for a quick
refresh. That’s why I’ve come up with several good
options, in order from best to worst:
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1. Peppermint Breath Drops or Peppermint Essential
Oils – Many natural health food stores and anyone
who carries essential oils would have these. One
drop is pretty strong and enough to freshen your
breath. Peppermint is also great for digestion.
2. Mouthwash or teeth brushing after meals
– I know this isn’t ideal but it is a good option if you
3. Mints or candies that are sweetened with cane
sugar instead of artificial sweeteners. There are
even small ginger candies that are not only great
breath fresheners but also help after meals with
4. Gums or mints sweetened with xylitol – This
sweetener is a great calorie free option and many
popular brands use this ingredient. Careful as some
people have trouble digesting xylitol and can lead to
5. A piece of regular chewing gum sweetened with
sugar. The caloric content many be a little higher,
but you are only having a small bit. This is not ideal
if you are trying to lose weight and plan on using
this option on a daily basis.
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And the last possible option is a small piece of
artificially sweetened gum every now and then. The
amount in one piece every once in a while is not
enough to amount to any dangerous affects
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