Health Concerns Contents Owner: The Diet Solution Program Presented by: FREE E-books 1. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. Foreword Apart from sharing information and knowledge, this FREE E-book hopes to make a small contribution towards saving mother earth through promoting wider use of paperless publications. You may freely distribute this E-book so long as the contents herein are not changed or ownership overwritten. This E-book is for information purposes only. While every attempt has been made to verify the information provided herein, neither the author, publisher nor the marketer assume any responsibility for errors or omissions. Any slight of people or organizations are unintentional with no intention whatsoever to convey any idea affecting the reputation of any person or business enterprise. The trademarks, screen-shots, website links, products and services mentioned herein are copyrighted by their respective owners. This E-book has been distributed with the understanding that we are not engaged in rendering technical, legal, medical, accounting or other professional advice. We do not give any kind of guarantee about the accuracy of information provided. In no event will the author and/or marketer be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or other loss or damage arising out of the use of the information in this document by any person, regardless of whether or not informed of the possibility of damages in advance. 2. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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.” 3. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 job). 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?” 4. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 too right?” 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 these days).” 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). 5. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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. 6. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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, and refrigerate. 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. 7. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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! 8. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. How to reduce your risk for Heart Disease the Natural Way 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? 9. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 anything.) 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 10. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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. 11. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 blood pressure). 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 12. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 chronic inflammation. 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. 13. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 14. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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. 15. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 don’t smell.” 16. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 that! 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! 17. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 each day. Consider the following facts: 1. Americans drink the most milk of any other country, yet we still have the highest rate of osteoporosis. 2. Pasteurization kills off all the necessary digestive enzymes in the milk (This is why so many people are now suffering from lactose intolerance). 18. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 for you. 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 healthy. 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). 19. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 for cows). 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. 20. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 drinking milk. 21. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. Is a Low Sodium Diet necessary for good health? 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 blood pressure. 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 be consumed. 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. 22. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 now, right?). Well, not anymore. Unrefined sea salt has worked its magic in hundreds of my clients, and, not to mention, ME. 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). 23. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. These salts can be found on these great websites: www.celticseas.com and www.wildfamilynaturals.com (Look for Mineral Rich Salts) 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. 24. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 actually good? 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. 25. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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. 26. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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! 27. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 been there). 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 symptoms. 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. 28. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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. 29. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. Am I Constipated? Constipation Treatments What constitutes constipation? Well, you are constipated if you have 1 or less bowel movements each day. 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 and adjust. 30. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 weight! 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.) 31. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 32. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 walls. 33. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 34. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 time. 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 35. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 efforts? 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. 36. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 loss success. 37. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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. 38. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 healthy soda. 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 39. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 40. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 constant struggle. 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 41. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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. 42. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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. 43. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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. Tea Juice • 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 Diet Snapple. 44. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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?” 45. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 46. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. healthy. Work on your biggest health obstacle and chances are you will see the same change in your child. 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. 47. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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: 48. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 have time. 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 digestion. 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 stomach discomfort. 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. 49. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program. 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 50. All Rights Reserved. The Diet Solution Program.
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