Diet Tips


Looks good to me, I’d probably skip the Fage and just add some Sriracha, but if you don’t follow paleo, yogurt is cool

My Life Journey, unscripted and unrated...

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Not in the mood for a heavy dinner and want to feel super clean in the morning? Here is a a healthy natural diuretic mix!

– 3 steamed artichokes  – steam for an hour , then let cool , eat the leaves and work hard for that super high anti-oxidant heart!

– wok up a bunch of asparagus and a red pepper in a tablespoon of EVO with garlic and add a tablespoon of Fage 0% yogurt on top for a little kick.

Yummy in the Tummy!

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I’m not surprised that a segment about how to lose fat quickly and effortlessly would be featured on Rachel Ray, given the fact she offers up recipes that will also quickly and effortlessly add significant fat to your body.

This article on the New York Times illuminates all the purported medical ways to lose inches quickly and they don’t seem to be liposuction. I did get a kick out of the pictures of the vibrating belt machines because I remember as a child in the 70s my neighbor had one and it looked like the most fun torture device ever. Needless to say it never helped her lose any weight, but, it was super-exciting to go visit.

I guess my point to all this is that if you want to lose fat, the real guaranteed way to do it would be to lift heavy weights. Probably a lot cheaper than any of these devices and results would be obvious quickly. Maybe not in 8 minutes, but surely within a few weeks.

Here are a couple of sites to check out to get you started:

Girls Gone Strong

Bret Contreras – What Women Want

Thrive with Jen Sinkler

Amy Rubin, Female Powerlifter and Trainer at Work

Amy Rubin Yunger, trainer & powerlifter says, “Squat deep to burn fat!”

The Joulebody Cleanse

I’ve ALWAYS dreaded the idea of fasting. It’s only every really come up for me in terms of religious holidays and the occasional surgery or blood work. Lately, I’ve started to warm to idea of fasting, after trying some different cleanses. I’ve noticed that after the dread wears off, and you start to get in the right mindset, they can actually be energizing. So, it only makes sense the next step is exploring the intermittent fasts/intermittent caloric restriction diet programs I keep hearing more and more positive things about.

This most recent write up in the Wall Street Journal, “Short Fasts for Weight Loss vs. Traditional Diets” posits that following a strict diet for just two days a week, instead of constantly calorie counting, is a far more effective way of losing weight. There also seem to be some other health benefits, such as better brain functioning and retention of muscle mass. There’s also growing research on how this type of diet can potentially prevent breast cancer.

A fast is considered 500-650 calories per day, a couple of times per week. The other days you eat as you normally would. Once you get past the “crankies”, you fall into a rhythm (?) and it becomes more or less effortless.

I’m thinking I will give this fasting a try, a la Dr. Gregory House, who was known for using himself as a guinea pig. Incidentally, the show “House” featured a nutritionist on Season 3, but, I digress…

I will post updates when I finally settle into trying this new diet plan. One caveat though, if this is indeed the way to lasting weight loss and improved health, then I will be forced to re-examine my “traditional” clinical nutrition education.

Have you every tried one of these intermittent fasts? Thumbs up or down? Let me know…

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Cartoon representation of ubiquitin protein

A recent article in the FASEB Journal, “Short-term energy deficits increase factors related to muscle degradation, confirms what those in the know have been saying for a long time…

…just cutting calories to lose weight isn’t ideal for your body aesthetically OR biologically. A certain percentage of both fat and muscle are lost during the weight loss process.

The good news is that it is possible to offset this effect by consuming a sufficient amount of dietary protein to replenish protein stores during weight loss. According to the article,

Protein consumption slows the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), which is primarily responsible for degrading skeletal muscle.

UPS may also be involved in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome. cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. UPS specifically degrades proteins tagged with an ubiquitin chain.

The study proposes that at least 2-3 times the IOM’s RDA for protein may be the sweet spot for offsetting this catabolic response. More research is needed though before any definitive recommendations can be determined.

Come on, really? A recent article in the Huffington post, Menu Nutritional Information Ignored By More Than Half Of Americans, says that half the country is ignoring this information on menus!

If I see nutrition information on a menu, there’s no way I can ignore it. I immediately start a convoluted equation in my head of how unusual/coveted the menu item is and then I divide that by the amount of exercise/deprivation it would take to justify it and then it all boils down to the sodium. Ultimately, for me,  it is really the sodium that is going to cause me to get bloated, which is a slippery slope to feeling uncomfortable in my clothes and then impairing my cardio. It always takes a few days to get rid of that bloat.

If I am being totally honest, i sometimes compare the amount of calories to the price, because that does play into it in these tough financial times. If I make chicken at home all the time, I don’t see this as worth spending a lot of money or calories on, but, fish I might be inclined to pay more for and pay more attention to the nutritional profile

The nice thing about menu labeling is that you can make informed decisions about your meal. If it is in excess of 1,000 calories and you didn’t just run a marathon, you should probably bring half home for another meal.

Ideally, make most of your food at home an you don’t have to worry about any of this. But, if you can’t and the restaurants has gone to the trouble to give you an FYI, please pay attention 🙂

 

Unintentional "cooking" of my salad planned for the beach

Unintentional “cooking” of my salad planned for the beach

Super motivated on a Sunday morning to go to the beach and bring some healthy vittles to avoid a trip to the snack shack at the beach. The shack at the beach is lacking when it comes to food offerings. Overpriced frozen foods that you wait to have heated up and served to you in a paper box. The worst offender is the “pizza.”

I’m reasonably sure it is a knock off of Ellio’s pizza. No offense to Ellio’s, but, I think my parents may have served us that Ellio’s pizza a few too many times. I can barely look at it and I always thought it didn’t really taste anything like real pizza. But, I digress…

So, I got out my mandoline, “french fry cut” the yellow zucchini, orange pepper, etc. I threw all the ingredients together in Tupperware, drizzled some oil, vinegar and lemon juice and set it on ice. I was super excited to eat it while kicking back in the salt air.

After putting in my time at the shore watching three energetic boogie boarders, I finally sat down to have my salad. Took it off the ice, it was nice and cold. And then it dawned on me…I DIDN’T BRING A FORK!

Oh yeah, and the (now maligned) snack shack didn’t have any forks either! Criminy!

So, I brought the salad back with me and finally got a chance to eat it this evening. The veggies were nicely “cooked” by the citrus and vinegar, a ceviche if you will. Super crunchy and refreshing. Big on Vitamins A, C, Potassium and loads of other vitamins and antioxidants. Oh yeah, and of course low calorie.

Ingredients

1 yellow zucchini (sliced on the mandoline to look like noodles)

1 orange pepper (also sliced on the mandoline)

1/2 vidalia onion

Handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half

4-5 broccoli florets (only threw these in because I grew them in the garden)

1/2 cup of hearts of palm, salad cut

Herbs (Basil, Oregano, savory, thyme)

Red wine vinegar

Toasted sesame oil

Juice of half a lemon

Method

Throw all vegetables together, drizzle oil and vinegar and lemon juice over them in a tupperware. Add a few pinches of salt. Shake up the tupperware. Enjoy immediately or let stand overnight for a more crunchy/pickled version.

Salad Nom Noms

Salad Nom Noms

I do have a garden growing in the backyard, but, the yield has been spotty at best. We are talking like one green bean per day, a few snap peas here and there, shabby chard and broccoli that flowers before I get a chance to eat it. The tomatoes are coming along, but, they are still green. Oh yeah, and peppers that are at a stand still. Honestly, I have had better luck accidentally growing peppers in the refrigerator by leaving them in the vegetable bin too long. (that phenomenon is called “internal proliferation” and for you fellow food geeks, there is an explanation of it here.

So, even though I planned on making myself some killer homegrown salads this summer, so far, not happening. Thus I settle for a “refrigerator salad.” My herbs are doing well though, so I try to treat the basil like a “green.” I do always have on hand a few salad staples and they make for a hearty, healthy side dish or as a base for some fabulous protein topping (i.e. salmon or tofu.). If you have leftover of the salad, it can be used as a stir-fry base as well.

Ingredients

1-2 handfuls Snap Peas (Blanched) (1 cup has 44 calories and 4 grams of fiber)

1-2 heads broccoli (blanched)

2 carrots (peeled/blanched)

1/2 red pepper

1/2 red onion

Basil and any other herbs hanging around

Sesame oil (only used it because I was out of olive oil)

Red wine vinegar

Himalayan sea salt to taste

Method

1. Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil.

2. Prepare an ice bath to submerge the vegetables in after boiling.

3. While waiting for the water to boil prep all vegetables.

4. Once the water is boiling, throw in the snap peas for roughly 1-1 1/2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon or strainer and submerge into the ice bath.

5. Repeat with the broccoli and carrots.

6. After all the vegetables are blanched, toss everything into a bowl, drizzle with some sesame oil and red wine vinegar.

7. Add the herbs and salt to taste.

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