Weight Loss – The Truth about Calories

“Eat less and exercise more and you’ll lose weight.”

How often have you read or heard that? Thousands of times most likely. And I’m sure like most people you are thinking – if only it was that easy!

But is it true? Can you eat 1,000 calories a day of chocolate cake and potato chips, hit the gym for an hour and still lose weight?

Are 160 calories of almonds going to impact your body in the same way as 160 calories of a sugary soda or a candy bar?

You probably already know the answer to those questions is a resounding “No!” Honestly a calorie is not a calorie! While they’re equal by definition in terms of their energy content, your body processes each in a specific way, and these differences have serious implications for weight management.

Let’s take it one step further. Even if you eat 1,000 calories of junk food, can you exercise enough to burn it all off and end up losing weight anyway?

Again, that just doesn’t work so the answer is “No.” The truth is you can’t out-train a bad diet but you can eat your way to a fitter and healthier body.

The point is this: the source of the calories is far more important than the amount, since they are not all metabolized equally. Calories from carbohydrates (sugars, starchy carbs and grains) raise levels of the storage hormone, insulin and are stored as body fat.  Healthy fats, which are the most efficient fuel for your body and clean protein (think grass-fed, free range, wild caught) have very little impact on your insulin and so help you lose weight.

All these years we have been urged to eat low fat, diet foods, replacing real foods like meat, eggs and avocados with low fat, sugary carbs, exercise like fiends and stick to a certain number of calories and where has it gotten us? Overweight, obese, in many cases malnourished, diabetic and suffering from heart disease and cancer. Not a very pretty picture.

I like to keep things simple and basic. I tell clients to choose real, whole, high quality one-ingredient foods, eliminate (for the most part) or at least limit grains, sugar and other starchy carbs replacing them with non-starchy veggies to give you fiber and healthy carbs.

Pay more attention to the quality of your food and the breakdown of the macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) than the number of calories.

Dr. Mercola says: “Carbohydrate intake is the primary factor that determines your body’s fat ratio, and processed grains and sugars (particularly fructose) are the primary culprits behind our skyrocketing obesity and diabetes rates.”

Is that all there is to it? Not quite – there are certainly some details we tweak including hydration, supplements to be sure you are covering your nutritional bases, inflammation, type and amount of exercise, adequate sleep, hormonal imbalances, stress and self-sabotaging beliefs, meal timing, food allergies and sensitivities among others.

There’s no “one size fits all” answer. I truly wish there was. But when we use common sense and get back to basics, it’s almost amazing to see how well our bodies respond.

Do you count calories? Have you found it to be helpful if you are trying to lose weight?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

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Posted in Cancer, Diabetes, Fitness, Heart Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nutrition: What the Health Documentary

I have worked with people who have varied types of diets. While I don’t particularly like labels, I am what I consider a “qualitarian” – someone who eats animal products within a plant based diet, my overriding concern is food quality. I have known people in the past who felt their vegetarian or vegan diet was superior. However, they neglected to choose high quality foods so eating all plant foods that are genetically modified or full of pesticides or processed carb snacks is not healthy at all. In fact it defeats the purpose of trying to avoid what they consider “toxic” animal foods.

Don’t misunderstand, if you eat conventionally raised animal products, that isn’t providing the health benefits you desire either.

So when I create my meals, my top consideration is the quality of the foods I include. That’s step one. Of course there is more to a healthy diet than just that, but without that, no matter what you do, you will miss the mark.

There are so many confusing and contradictory reports about what really affects our health. Is it sugar? Fat? Meat? Gluten? Grains?

I’ve said many times in the past, whenever you read new research results that casts a certain food or food group in a negative light – first find the money trail behind it. Years ago the cereal industry funded research saying the cholesterol in eggs caused heart problems. Then we were fed margarine and told to avoid butter and saturated fats and eliminate eggs and salt and what happened? Heart disease increased. New research has proven just the opposite to be true. Eggs, saturated fat from properly raised animals and natural unprocessed salt do not cause heart disease.

The bottom line is to eat the highest quality real food (margarine isn’t real food!) you can find and afford.

That being said, I read about a documentary called “What the Health” in this article in Dr. Mercola’s newsletter. I won’t repeat all he says since you can read it for yourself, but the bottom line is that it seems to promote veganism as most of the experts involved in its creation are vegans.

If you are a vegan and find that diet suits you, that’s fine with me! However, when presenting information to the public, it needs to be balanced and unbiased, otherwise it is nothing more than a commercial for your opinions. That can end up being very dangerous, especially if, for example, your recommendation to someone with diabetes is to eat low fat, avoid all animal products but not restrict carbohydrates or sugar. That is a recipe for disaster.

With all the recent research, to say sugar doesn’t cause inflammation and carbs can’t make you fat is an incredible stretch of reality!

However, I am not telling you what to believe or what is true or not true. You can read the article and watch the documentary and come to your own conclusions. My goal in sharing this is not to get you to agree with me, but to make you aware that everything we are told by “experts” is far from unbiased or accurate and to provide both sides of the story so you can make an informed decision on your own.

How do you decide whether health information you read is true or not?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Diabetes, Heart Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Health: Two More Ways to Use Salt You May Not Know

Have you ever heard of halotherapy? I hadn’t either until a friend of mine mentioned “salt rooms” after reading these two previous blog posts (here and here). Then I read this article. I have known about the health benefits of natural, unprocessed salt, so these two uses were fascinating to me.

I had never, however, heard of salt rooms or salt caves, which apparently have been around for hundreds of years. It makes perfect sense to me that salt is such a powerful healing agent. I always think about how renewed and revitalized I feel at the ocean – not just swimming or walking in the salt water but breathing the air. As the article mentions, when you have a dental problem or sore throat, rinsing or gargling with salt water is often the first recommendation.

It’s the negatively charged ions as well as salt’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are responsible for the health benefits. It sounds wonderful to me: You enter a room resembling a salt cave with walls covered in mineral salt. You sit in adjustable and comfortable massage beds. The room’s temperature and humidity is maintained for optimal conditions. The lights dim and you can choose to listen to relaxing music. Many people close their eyes and meditate. All sessions last for 25-45 minutes and you will finish feeling relaxed and energized.

Some of the conditions salt therapy is believed to improve include:

Asthma

Allergies

Chronic ENT illnesses (ear-nose-throat)

Bronchitis

Frequent ear infections

Frequent colds

Allergies to industrial and household pollutants

Hay fever

Smoker’s cough

COPD

Cystic Fibrosis

Pharyngitis

Sinusitis

Rhinitis

Tonsillitis

Snoring

Sleep Apnea

You can Google “salt rooms” and find out if there are any in your area you can try.

The other interesting use of salt is salt lamps, which you’ve probably seen around. They’re made from Himalayan pink salt crystals and can range in color from light pink to pink with an orange hue, depending on the mineral concentration. They create a soothing glow in any room and my son and daughter-in-law use one in the baby’s bedroom to create that calming atmosphere.

There are some interesting health benefits associated with their use including:

Purifying the air

Reducing stress

Easing allergy and asthma symptoms

Increasing energy levels

Improving sleep quality

Reducing electromagnetic radiation

Helping to improve certain skin conditions via reducing pollen in the air

You may be wondering how they “work.” Well the salt attracts water molecules that are circulating in the air in every room in your house. The water molecules attach to bacteria, viruses, dust, mold, pollen and other allergens. So it helps detoxify your room by capturing and holding these particles instead of allowing them to continue floating around for you to breathe in. As the bulb heats the lamp, the water vapor is released back into the air, while the lamp retains the contaminants.

They also release negative ions into the air. Those are oxygen atoms with an extra electron which occur in nature via the effects of water, air, and sunlight. That’s why being at the beach or near a waterfall rejuvenates and relaxes you so much.

The only two cautions I want to share about salt lamps are to make sure you are buying it from a reputable source and know it truly is made from Himalayan pink salt. Otherwise you won’t reap those health benefits. The other is to keep it away from your pets as ingesting too much salt can harm them.

These are two unique ways to reap the varied health benefits of salt. Have you used either? If so, share your experience.

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

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Posted in Detoxification, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Health: Gut Bacteria, Moods and Parasites

This summer was predicted to be one of the worst when it comes to tick borne diseases. When you think of ticks you automatically think of Lyme disease but there’s more than just that. Ticks carry not only bacterial diseases such as Lyme, but also viral illnesses like Powassan and parasitic diseases like babesiosis.

I wanted to share a personal experience here. Years ago my dad had been bitten by a tick and we didn’t know it. He experienced some very alarming symptoms. I remember him calling me on the phone and telling me it took him 30 minutes to figure out how to get into his car to drive it. Yes, he finally figured it out and drove! When he finished his errand and wanted to return home, he couldn’t remember how to physically get into the driver’s seat for about 20 minutes – again.

Obviously as he was in his early 80’s I was especially concerned. It turned out he had Lyme disease and once it was treated, thankfully he never had those cognitive issues again.

Recently my husband was bitten by a tick. He went to the doctor immediately and did the antibiotic treatment and went back in 30 days for a blood test. While we were waiting for the blood work results, he started having flu-like symptoms. We treated it as if it was a virus he caught and he began feeling better.

When the doctor called with his results she told us he had contracted babesiosis. This is a serious, malaria-like parasite that infects red blood cells. She prescribed more antibiotics and an anti-parasitic medication that really made him feel awful and messed up his stomach. But he stuck with it for the 10 days. He scheduled follow up blood work in 30 days.

What happened next is what I wanted to highlight. I noticed his moods were off. He was very quiet, very down and agitated. He just seemed angry all the time. I passed it off as just not feeling like himself and being on the medications. I should mention all throughout this time he still took his supplements, including probiotics because I know the antibiotics kill off good as well as bad bacteria and gut bacteria affect mood and brain function.

Well shortly after he finished the anti-parasitic medication, he had an emotional explosion! He was beyond angry, yelling and raging. What precipitated this outburst was so illogical it really put up huge red flags for me. He was so agitated and upset it was almost impossible to talk to him. But I asked him what was wrong with him and his response was, “I don’t know. I just know I’m not right.” When he calmed down a little he admitted that for the previous week he had just felt like fighting with everyone and had almost gotten into arguments in the gym and other places.

This was a Saturday and I couldn’t get in touch with his doctor so I researched babesiosis further and found some of the symptoms included emotional lability, depression and hyperesthesia (more sensitive to stimuli). I’d never heard the term “emotional lability” so I got the definition:

“In medicine and psychology, emotional lability is a sign or symptom typified by exaggerated changes in mood or affect in quick succession. Sometimes the emotions expressed outwardly are very different from how the person feels on the inside. These strong emotions can be a disproportionate response to something that happened, but other times there might be no trigger at all. The person experiencing emotional lability usually feels like they do not have control over the emotions.”

I share this because often we pay attention to the physical symptoms and overlook the emotional, not connecting them as being related as well.

In sharing this with my chiropractor she told me about a natural product called Lauricidin, which can only be purchased from health care professionals and suggested I get him on it immediately and keep him on it. I bought a container from her and he is taking it twice a day because even if his follow up blood work shows all is clear, this can still be resident in his tissues and this parasite can go into a dormant state for a period of time only to reawaken later. I look at it as preventive medicine.

This recent article on Dr. Axe’s website talks about a particular type of stevia that’s been proven effective against Lyme disease which I also found pretty interesting.

The bottom line is prevention. We use a natural bug repellent when doing yard work that I buy from Dr. Schulze (it smells very strong but it works!) and spray our sneakers and socks when walking on trails with a lavender based spray I originally got for my daughter’s dog. Evidently lavender is one of the scents ticks don’t like. Go figure!

My husband just got the results of the follow up blood work. The doctor said it shows this infection is now dormant, but we know it can resurface.  He is looking, acting and feeling like himself and he is staying on the Lauricidin indefinitely. Believe me a lot of prayer went up for him as well as the natural supplements and I have no doubt they had as much or more effect.

Have you ever had to deal with a tick borne disease? If so, have you experienced mood/brain issues?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

Posted in Brain health, Emotional Health, Overall Health and Wholeness, Supplements | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Ginger: It’s Not Just for Nausea Any More

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You may be familiar with using ginger for nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness and upset stomach. And it is wonderful for all those things. I take ginger and turmeric capsules for minor muscular aches and pains and it works better than pain relievers for me.

I just read some interesting research that compares powdered ginger to the leading prescription migraine drug, sumatriptan (Imitrex). This is big news!

It is estimated that approximately 37 million people in the U.S. experience migraine headaches. Migraine.com says:

“Some migraine studies estimate that 13 percent of adults have migraines and about 2 to 3 million suffer from chronic attacks. Also, almost 5 million people experience at least one migraine attack per month.”

That is a lot of people affected and being able to use food rather than a drug with negative side effects is a great option. A double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial put ginger up against Imitrex,  one of the world’s top-selling migraine remedies. Amazingly, researchers discovered that a quarter-teaspoon of ginger worked just as fast (in about two hours) and just as effectively.

Often people think an expensive drug has to be more effective than just food, but keep in mind, pharmaceuticals are huge money makers and researchers are willing to do these in-depth trials. Ginger is inexpensive, readily available and safe, so there’s no money to be made here.

Immitrex and other migraine drugs work by constricting blood vessels as well as blocking pain pathways in the brain. While it brings about almost immediate relief for many patients, headache recurs in almost 40% of people within 24 hours after taking the drug.

Minor side effects include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and muscle weakness as well as the possibility of more serious side effects such as coronary artery spasms, heart attacks, stroke, abnormal heart beats and seizures. I’d say that makes ginger definitely worth considering before resorting to a dangerous drug.

Would you try ginger for a migraine before using a drug based on this information?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Brain health, Heart Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Children’s Health: Getting to the Truth

The whole vaccine issue is a very controversial one with people passionately on one side or the other. As a new grandmother I am extremely concerned about the safety of all these vaccines children are given from birth onward. I know my son and daughter-in-law have researched and discussed how they feel most comfortable scheduling these for their son. However, the fact remains that often we are not told the whole truth when it comes to health or medications, and this issue is certainly no exception.

Regardless where you fall on this issue, I think we can agree that having unbiased information is most important in order to make informed decisions that can affect a child’s health and life.

I think parents are so overwhelmed by conflicting information and feel unprepared to disagree with what a health professional they basically trust is telling them, even when they don’t feel peace about it. I am not an expert in this area, but as a concerned grandmother and health coach, one of the most important things I do is to provide information so people can make their own decisions.

The bottom line is that you are the one who is responsible for your own health – not your doctor, not your spouse, or parent. In the case of our children, we are their advocate and must make the best decisions possible on their behalf.

So with that said, I want to share a resource that you can share with your doctor and hopefully will help you educate yourself and give you the confidence to make the right decision for your child.

Neil Z. Miller, is a medical research journalist and director of the ThinkTwice Global Vaccine Institute. He’s written several books, the most recent of which, published in 2016, is “Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers.”

In this work he reviews the concern about vaccine safety and efficacy raised by 400 peer-reviewed published studies in response to the common statement that “there are no studies showing vaccines are unsafe or ineffective.” Surprisingly, though you would expect to hear about this in the media, the vaccine industry is very powerful and as with most thing, money is a powerful incentive.

I believe this book is a great and very valuable resource for parents who are smack in the middle of this issue. There is also great information on his website as well.

Scripture tells us we are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). That’s always true, but never more than in relation to this issue.

Do you think a resource like this would help you to navigate this issue more confidently?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Children's Health, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Weight Loss: What If It Doesn’t Work for You?

When you read about different research and studies and their findings, do you automatically believe whatever the findings indicate is what is best for you?

If you read this article, would you assume that you had to give up meat and become a vegetarian in order to lose weight? It seems to say that the best diet for weight loss and reducing muscle fat is the vegetarian diet.

I go to visit my sweet little grandson every month for a few days. My daughter-in-law is a vegetarian but because of how some of the foods were affecting the baby as she is nursing him, she has essentially been eating a vegan diet. So when I visit I eat what they eat.

I am not a vegetarian – I consider myself a “qualitarian.” I eat meat and animal products but I am most concerned about the quality of my food. That being said I have no problem eating what they eat for a few days. What I find very interesting is that I usually gain a pound or two when I am there even though I probably eat far fewer calories than usual. Actually I was close to being a vegetarian when I was younger because I just preferred grains and veggies. But in my early 40’s I began gaining weight even though nothing else changed and that was when I created my Today’s the Day Plan. I got back to my healthiest weight and have easily remained there for over 20 years.

So for me, this research doesn’t hold true. I think it’s wonderful to do research and to be open to making changes. However, we have to always keep in mind that we are each unique and what works for 99% of people may not work for us! And that’s fine. Just as “one size fits all” clothing doesn’t usually fit everyone well, one size fits all diets don’t work for everyone either.

So definitely be open to learning from research. It seems something new is discovered every day. But even more important, in my opinion, is to know yourself and your makeup. Keep it simple. Employ a few basic principles such as eating only fresh, high quality, one-ingredient foods; use spices and herbs liberally to flavor foods and boost nutrition and create meals from clean protein, non-starchy green veggies and healthy fats.

The details are open to interpretation but if you start with the basics you will find it much easier to stick with the plan that works for you.

Does it frustrate you when you don’t get the same results research says you should?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment