Contents Owner: The Diet Solution Program
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Watching TV can make you Fat
Watching TV can definitely make anyone fat. No,
not just because it is a sedentary activity, but
because the information most commercials are
giving is extremely misleading and really confusing,
to say the least.
Most people who know me, know I am not a TV
watcher. Actually, I don’t even have cable at home
(A rare thing these days, I know.) Very often, I have
no idea which show is the “latest craze” and which
commercials are all the rave.
Last week the TV did catch my attention. I was at
my parent’s house and my mom had the TV on in
the background. I was helping her cook and I nearly
chopped my fingers off because I couldn’t believe
what I was hearing!
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“Eat Cheerios to lower your cholesterol.” “Three or
more glasses of skim milk a day are a great way to
lose weight”. Then it got ugly “Splenda is just like
sugar and is great for kids”.
The worst of them all (the one where my mother
had to nearly restrain me from attacking the TV
“There is nothing wrong with High Fructose Corn
Syrup. It comes from corn and can actually be good
for you.” I nearly passed out.
I can see why people are totally confused about
healthy eating. I can also see why obesity, heart
disease and Type 2 diabetes are at an all time high
in this country and in many others as well.
After I was done hyperventilating, I decided to first
turn the TV off (because my heart just couldn’t take
anymore) and then write this newsletter to clear up
a few misconceptions.
1. Cheerios biggest claim to fame is that eating
them will help you lower your cholesterol. I am here
to tell you that eating processed grains, especially in
the form of cereal can actually make your
cholesterol go up! The cholesterol study done
showed how soluble fiber can help the body
eliminate bad cholesterol from the body. Cheerios
has 1 gram of soluble fiber per serving. Woop-dee-
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doo. Big deal. I can get 2 grams of soluble fiber from
an apple, 3 grams from broccoli and carrots, and
more than 4 grams from kidney beans. (Beat that
Cheerio Man). Honestly, I don’t think there are many
foods in a box that are healthy at all. They have to
be highly processed to stay shelf stable, many times
loading them up with chemicals and fillers that are
making us gain weight. My recommendation is ditch
the cereal and pick up some wholesome natural
foods like fruits and veggies. Natural grains like
brown rice, millet and quinoa are 10x’s better than
any boxed cereal.
2. Milk does a body bad! That’s really what the
commercial should say. Ok, that is not entirely true.
Conventional milk does a body bad. If you have read
the Dairy chapter in The Diet Solution Program, you
know my stance on milk: Organic is a must and Raw
Milk is even better. If you didn’t read my article on
milk, you can read it here:
But don’t go yet until you read #3.
3. Give Splenda to my children? Never! Splenda has
not been out on the market long enough to show
whether it is actually safe or not. Until then it is a
public health experiment (No thanks, I don’t’ want
to be your guinea pig). Being the organic chemistry
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nerd that I am, I know exactly how sugar is
converted to Splenda. I will spare you the chem
lesson but tell you that Splenda (or sucralose) is a
synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by
scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide
formulation. Huh? Did you say pesticide? Yup. Many
chemists believe this molecule resembles a pesticide
much more than it resembles natural sugar. If this is
still in debate, I will not be a test subject. I highly
recommend you take yourself and your children out
of this experiment as well. My tip: Stick to natural
sweeteners like whole fruits, stevia and agave syrup
and stay away from artificial sweeteners like
Splenda, Equal and Sweet & Low.
I could probably go on and on. If I watched TV long
enough (or if I actually purchased cable) I could
probably find 10, 20, 100 more commercials that are
giving us false info, all in the name of selling
Now, go shut the TV off will ya?
Read the Real Truth about Healthy Eating and
Weight Loss and get started on your own fat loss
and health goals right away.
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Is there such a thing as Cheap Organic Food?
Are Organic foods really worth their, sometimes,
high prices? Is there any way to make organic
Many times people’s biggest resistance to buying
organic is the higher price. But there are ways to
make organic eating cheaper and much more
affordable for you and your family.
What exactly is Organic Food?
Organic food is food grown or raised without the use
of synthetic (chemically formulated) pesticides,
herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers. This method of
farming allows foods to grown in nature as they
were intended. Consider that conventional farmers
in the United States spray 2 billion pounds of
pesticides a year on crops to compensate for poor
farming practices. Do you know where those
pesticides end up? In our food supply!
Aside from pesticide contamination, conventional
produce tends to have fewer nutrients than organic
produce. On average, conventional produce has only
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83 percent of the nutrients of organic produce.
Studies have found significantly higher levels of
nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and
phosphorus, and significantly less nitrates (a toxin)
in organic crops.
When I first discovered that organic foods might be
the missing link to my weight loss and health efforts
(read my story here), I had just graduated from
college and was living in a miniature apartment in
New York City which was quite pricey, that I could
How in the world was I going to spend the big
bucks on organic food?
Here is how I mastered the art of “going organic on
1.I stopped buying crappy “non foods” (and, yes,
crappy is a scientific term). Most protein shakes,
“health” bars, and processed foods are actually
pretty expensive and when you completely
eliminate them from your grocery list, you will
save hundreds of dollars. Take a good look at
the price of sugar cereals, packaged cookies and
cakes, and frozen TV dinners. You will see how
the prices of these foods quickly add up. That
same amount of money can be better spent on a
week’s worth of organic produce.
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2.When I started eating reasonable portions, the
food was not that expensive. When I really took
a look at how much I was eating and how much
I was supposed to be eating, I clearly had
mistaken myself for a 200 lb sumo wrestler. I
had portion distortion to say the least and eating
less meant spending less!
3.I sought out the local farmer’s markets. The
prices were so much better and I always got
fresh food in season. And, honestly, if the price
of cherries was the equivalent of diamond
earrings, I would choose a different fruit. Go for
the apples, pears, or bananas. Variety is good
anyway so choose the fruits and veggies without
the diamond prices.
4.I transitioned my kitchen and my whole house
slowly. I probably did not have a complete
organic kitchen until 3 years later. Not the ideal,
but I did the best I could. Rome wasn’t built in a
day and neither was my organic palace. Do the
best you can, start with a few items and then go
5.Buy organic foods “selectively”. The following
foods have been shown to have the highest
levels of pesticide residue, so they should really
always be purchased organic:
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2.Apples 2.Bell Peppers
5.Pears 5.Hot Peppers
*Always look for animal products (meats,
poultry, and dairy) that have no added
antibiotics and growth hormones. Ingesting
meats that have been injected with these
harmful substances is equivalent to eating the
hormones and antibiotics themselves. Very
These foods tend to be lower in pesticide levels
so can be purchased conventional if necessary:
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2.Plantains 2.Brussels Sprouts
7.Kiwi Fruit 7.Okra
There’s no material item that comes close to
matching “feeling good” about yourself. Take a look
at where you’re spending your money now and
figure out how to fit organic foods into your budget
(even if it’s a slow transition). I promise that if it
was doable for me, it’s doable for you too!
Get started on your own fat loss and health
goals right away with these Simple and Easy
Healthy Meal Plans.
Stay up to date on the most current nutrition and
health information here: The Best Diet Info.
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Back To School Means Back To Health
It happens to the best of us. The kids get out of
school and our exercise routines and healthy eating
habits get thrown to the waste side. Evening trips to
the ice cream shop, hours of sitting in a beach chair,
long car rides where only fast food is available: all of
these factors may have added a few extra pounds to
you and your kids over the course of the summer.
Now with the start of the school season how can you
get yourself and your kids back on a good eating
and exercise routine? The following 4 steps will help
you lose those unwanted summer pounds and
develop a good routine for the whole school year.
Pack your lunch.
Not just your child’s lunch, but your lunch as well.
Make meal preparation an activity that you do along
with your kids. Include them in the process from
start to finish. First start by making a grocery list of
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all the foods you will need for breakfast, lunch and
dinner for the week. Remember that kids are more
likely to eat healthy foods if they have chosen them
themselves. Next, food shop together. And last,
make lunches at the same time that you make
dinner in the evening. Not only will your children
enjoy the foods that they have prepared themselves
but they will also learn the value of taking time to
prepare healthy foods. Yes, we are all limited by
time these days. But children who learn that healthy
food takes time to prepare become teenagers and
adults that will take the time to choose and prepare
healthy foods. Children who eat on the run usually
turn into teenagers who eat fast foods on the run
who then turn into adults who eat fast food. This
starts them on a downward spiral that will only lead
to obesity and heart disease.
Schedule your exercise.
Schedule your exercise routine around your child’s
school schedule and/or activity schedule. For
example, wear your gym clothes to drop your kids
off at school and go directly to the gym. Not only
will you be setting a great example for your children,
you will be less likely to skip your workout if you are
dressed and ready to go. You can also schedule your
exercise time around your child’s sports or activity
schedule. If you know your child has dance on
certain days, at certain times, schedule your
exercise during that time as well. If you prioritize
your own exercise time this way, you will be showing
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your child how valuable exercise is and how it is an
integral part of your day. Children who see you value
and prioritize exercise time become adults who value
and prioritize exercise time.
Make sure your back pack is packed the night
Again, this does not only go for your child but it
goes for you as well. What do you need to have set
up at night to make the next morning run smoothly
and free of chaos? When I was a little girl my mom
would help us each night set up our clothes and
backpacks the night before. Every night I would
have to think about the next day’s activities and plan
accordingly. Did I have dancing school after school?
Was it gym day? Was I going to a friend’s for a play
date? Now, as an adult, the questions are a bit
different but still require planning and packing the
night before. Am I going to the gym first thing in the
morning? Do I need to pack my clothes for an after
work workout? Am I meeting a friend for a run? Do I
have some healthy snacks with me? This simple step
each night still helps me, to this day, make each
morning run smoothly.
Get a tutor or outside help.
If your child was doing poorly in math, you would
not just let him throw in the towel and drop math
class. Same goes for your workouts and eating
regimen. If you find that you’re struggling with your
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current plan, find yourself some outside support just
as you would find your child a tutor or
supplementary tutoring class. Join an exercise class
at the gym, hire a trainer for a few sessions, consult
with a nutritionist, find an exercise/nutrition support
group. When one avenue doesn’t work, try a new
strategy. You would never let your child just drop
out of school if one method of learning wasn’t
working. Same goes for your exercise and nutrition
plan. No one plan works for everyone, so explore all
your options and choose the best plan for you.
Remember that health should always be your
highest priority. Teaching your child that health is
just as important to their future as school will get
them started on a life long path to healthy living.
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3 Simple, Healthy Meal Plans You Can Start
Is it possible to put together a simple and healthy
meal plan? One that is not going to be complicated
and hard to follow? Yes. It is possible and I will
show you how. The healthy meal plans below will
help you achieve your health goals while
simultaneously shedding fat off your body.
Here are 3 healthy meal plans you can get started
on right now.
Protein should be included in every meal throughout
the day and breakfast is no exception. Make sure to
include organic eggs, cottage cheese, raw nut butter
or smoked fish as one component of your healthy
breakfast. Carbohydrates should also be included in
the form of oatmeal, sprouted grain bread, fruit
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3 great sample breakfasts are:
Oatmeal with almond butter, topped with fresh
berries and a bit of Stevia to sweeten.
2 hard boiled eggs, 1 slice sprouted grain toast and
Smoked salmon over sliced tomato and 1 green
The same rules apply as breakfast. An easy way to
ensure that you always have a healthy protein
available for lunch is to pack leftovers from dinner
the night before. Leftover hamburger, chicken legs
or wild fish are all great to include in a salad or over
3 great sample lunches are:
Baked Tilapia over sautéed spinach, green salad with
chick peas (oil and vinegar as dressing) followed by
½ cup of pineapple.
Leftover chicken legs with ½ sweet potato and
Lean hamburger over portabella mushroom and
brown rice. Cooked vegetables or a green salad. 1
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You can really be creative with dinner. Look for
recipes that are quick and easy and modify them
with your own healthy ingredients as needed.
Again, always remember to include protein and
3 great sample dinners are:
Mexican salad: Ground beef over shredded lettuce
and tomato, guacamole and brown rice.
Grilled Salmon over asparagus, green salad (oil and
vinegar as dressing) followed by a fresh fruit salad.
Buffalo meat balls over rice pasta with sautéed
You never want to let your body get too hungry.
Hunger often leads to binge eating of unhealthy food
and makes sticking to a healthy eating regimen
much more difficult. It’s important to keep snacks
handy so you never experience hunger or a blood
sugar low without having a healthy option nearby.
3 great snacks are:
2 Tbsp almond butter on ½ apple
Trail mix made up of walnuts, almonds, pumpkin
seeds and dried fruit (no sugar added)
Cottage cheese and pineapple
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Incorporate just a few of these meals into your daily
eating regimen and you will see an incredible
difference in your weight loss results. Following
simple and healthy meal plans like these is the first
step in achieving your health and fitness goals.
To get started right away on your own fat loss
goals , download these Simple and Healthy Meal
Plans right now.
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Healthy Restaurant Eating
Healthy restaurant eating is possible and can be
much easier than you think. If your schedule has
your traveling a lot or opting for take out often, use
the ideas below to stick to your healthy meal plans
while still enjoying your meal out.
Here is my plan of attack whenver I am on vacation,
traveling for business or just in a situation that has
me ordering out more than I am able to cook.
I do what I call “damage control”: Do the best I can,
with what I’ve got and have an awesome time on
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Prepare my “emergency kit”. I will pack and take
with me: walnuts, almonds, almond butter, organic
turkey and beef jerky, apples and pears. None of
these need refrigeration so they will keep well
wherever you are. If I’m in a situation where there is
no protein handy (like when it’s time for a snack),
I’ve got my nuts and jerky to tie me over. If you
don’t have something handy, you just may find
yourself grabbing pretzels and potato chips (or
whatever other horrid food people eat while away).
There is always a protein on the menu, no matter
what. Omelets, or smoked salmon are my favorite
choices but I’ve even gone to places that now carry
turkey bacon and turkey sausage on the menu. Stay
away from the heavy and deadly pancakes and
waffles. This is a blood sugar disaster waiting to
happen. Eating a sugar loaded breakfast like this will
only set you up for hunger and cravings the rest of
the day. And, just may ruin an otherwise great day.
Lunch and Dinner
I have said this before. Most of us know what is
healthy on the menu but we still continue to order
the crappy stuff. Yes, I do believe in a treat and a
cheat meal once or twice a week, but definitely not
every night of your vacation. Some people eat and
choose items off the menu like they are being sent
to starvation camp when they get home. This is not
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an “all or nothing” deal. You’ve committed to eating
healthy for a lifetime. Don’t worry. The food will
always be there whether you eat it all at once or
space it out over a lifetime.
Ok, back to my point. First, items on the menu that
you know are drenched in heavy sauces are an
instant No-No. Fettuccine Alfredo? Come on now.
Are you serious? Can you get the steak, veggies and
salad instead and be just as happy? Or, the Chicken
Cacciatore with a side of broccoli rabe? (Yes, we’re
at an Italian restaurant). Often times, our taste buds
are really just as happy with a healthier choice. No,
this is not deprivation. This is choosing to feel good,
be healthy and eat good food at the same time.
I love desserts too and I will definitely get myself a
yummy piece of apple pie or chocolaty treat while I
am away. But if the piece of dessert is bigger than
the size of my head, I will not eat the whole thing.
There is no need. My taste buds are just as happy
with a few bites (and my body is happier too).
Remember, we’re not going to starvation camp after
this. Trust me, there is enough apple pie, chocolate
or (insert your favorite dessert here) to have a small
amount at a time for the rest of your life.
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The who? Yes, you know who the trolls are. Those
people who tell you to “just eat what you want”, or
“don’t torture yourself”. These people always seem
to come out of hiding when dining with you at a
restaurant. (They are also present at parties and
family functions. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid).
Don’t let anybody else tell you that taking care of
yourself and feeling great is a bad thing. I don’t
mean to talk bad about your family and friends, but
chances are they are not too thrilled with their
current weight and health and really just upset that
you actually started to eat healthy and take control
of your life.
Remember, there is no need to avoid restaurants
and vacations (but please do avoid fast food joints).
You just need to focus on the healthier options and
have a great time!
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Healthy Eating On A Budget
Contrary to popular belief, healthy eating does not
have to inflict damage to your wallet. In
challenging economic times, many people tend to go
for the “cheapest” food options and sometimes these
options are far from healthy.
Just recently my husband and I put ourselves on a
serious “budget” and of course this meant a “food
budget” as well.
Below are the simple steps we took to continue to
live our healthy lifestyle while saving a few dollars in
1. We drastically cut out eating out. It’s shocking
to discover how much you are really spending by
buying a quick pizza and ordering quick take out
every once in a while. What we often don’t realize is
that every once in a while is much more often than
we think. We are now cooking at home a lot more
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and discovering quick, easy and delicious recipes
that cost very little when made at home. Now we
are no chefs by any means but it’s amazing what
you can put together in 20 minutes or less by just
getting a bit creative and seeking out new recipes.
2. My husband is now packing his lunch. Truth be
told, I pack it for him. I often take leftovers from
the night before and put them together in a salad or
a sandwich. He was spending an average of $7-$10
each day on lunch and taking his lunch instead will
save us over $280 a month.
3. Bargain shop. I have become a master of
seeking out the sale. I know which grocery stores
will put their fruits and vegetables on sale and
where I can get the best bargains. If the weather
permits, I always go to the local farmers markets to
get fresh fruit and veggies. Not only will you save a
ton of money at a farmers market, the produce is
fresh and delicious.
4. We have learned to love and embrace
leftovers. It is amazing what you can do with
leftovers once you get a bit creative. Don’t let food
go to waste. Use leftovers from the night before for
lunch or re-heat for dinner.
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5. Cut out the expensive junk food. It’s shocking
how expensive cereal, crackers and packaged snacks
are. You can get 10x’s more for your money and
value by buying plain oatmeal, making your own
bread, and snacking on fresh fruit.
Healthy eating does not have to break the bank.
Find good deals, learn to embrace cooking and
discover the power of the leftover and you will be
well on your way to a healthy, cost effective eating
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Eating Healthy While Traveling
It’s difficult enough these days to maintain a healthy
eating plan, let alone keep a healthy diet while
I am no stranger to maintaining a healthy eating
plan while being on the road. I do a good amount of
traveling myself, and my clients and readers are
asking me all the time:
“Isabel, I am always on the go. How can I stick to
my healthy eating plan and still live my life?”
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If your days really have you running around from
work, to parties, to picking up kids all over the
neighborhood, here are a few strategies that really
1. Make your trunk your refrigerator.
Ok, not literally, but I have known many people
(including myself) to keep a small cooler in their
trunk at all times. They fill it with healthy goodies at
the beginning of the day (raw nuts, fresh fruits and
veggies, even hard boiled eggs) along with some ice
packs and extra tupperware (just in case) and
they’re off for the day. At the end of the day, they
empty whatever is left and the ice packs go back in
the freezer for the next day. This is also a great way
to keep your water bottles nice and cold and not
warm from the car heat.
2. Make your supermarket your Fast Food stop.
Instead of a quick trip through the drive thru, run
into the local supermarket and pick up an
assortment of dried or fresh fruits, healthy trail
mixes, fresh veggies and natural peanut or almond
butter. Most supermarkets now have wonderful salad
bars and prepared foods like grilled chicken and
salmon (better than any fast food joint) and healthy
sandwich options (be careful with certain
condiments like mayo that may be added). Eliminate
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the fast food joints from your choices of “quick
stops” and look for the hot spots in town that offer
3. Be the bearer of good food.
When going to a barbecue or social event, always
offer to bring something (now I sound like the
etiquette police). I always bring something and that
something is always healthy. I know, if nothing else,
at least I’ve got that to eat (although all of my
friends and family know why I do this. Even if you
contribute the healthy and lean beef burgers or
turkey burgers, this may deter you from the not-so
healthy hot dogs and sausages. Or how about a
colorful salad or fruit salad?
4. Find the healthy places all over the world.
Before I go on any trip, I go online and find the
closest Whole Foods or Health Food Store. If there
are none close by, I find a major supermarket. This
doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy myself on vacation (like
the Key Lime Pie I enjoyed down South) or when
visiting family and friends, but I make sure that all
healthy principles do NOT go out the window. I keep
it healthy and have a great time! (not one or the
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There are always great ways to maintain your
healthy weight loss plans even if your life has you
traveling and on the road quite a bit.
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