Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Journey of an Atkins Dieter

Spring is creeping up on us as winter seems to fade away. One thing that folks are going to be worrying about now is:  “How will I look in my swimsuit on spring break? I need to lose these 10 pounds that I have gained in winter now!!! How I wish I stuck with my new year’s resolution!”
Now people will tend to fall in the fad diet trap by trying to hurriedly lose the extra pounds. Some will inevitably blame the extra bulge on the darn polar vortex! As they could not make it to the gym after being snowed in or splurged on extra calories because there was nothing else to do but sit at home and watch television.   What is the easiest and quickest solution? Let us go on the Atkins diet to lose the unwanted pounds and look skinny in that swim suit.
The Atkins diet is the most horrible, hardest, and unhealthy diet to follow. I mean not being able to have fruit strips our body of essential vitamins and minerals!  The diet is high in protein and fat. It can leave you feeling hungry, deprived, and irritable for days to come.
So let us begin the first 2 weeks where we cut out all sugar, caffeine, carbohydrates (healthy and unhealthy), and introduce into our bodies access protein and fat from meats, nuts, and cheese.  Two weeks of absolute torture and if you passed these two weeks kudos to you! I am an advocate for healthy eating and not quick weight loss. During this time sure enough you have lost a good 10 to 13 pounds! How awesome is that! NOT! You feel like you have accomplished so much so you feel you can treat yourself to something so yummy and delicious, but beware what you lost will slowly creep back on! You have lost only water weight and no fat!
What do people most likely do after they have cheated? Tend to fall back into all old habits and basically give up. This is why we want to concentrate on healthy diets and not fad diets that promise quick weight loss. We have to avoid this yo-yo effect on our weight as it puts stress on our all our organs and can lead to chronic diseases.
Want to fit into that bikini? Follow a diet full of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Carbohydrates are your friend and not your enemy. Our brain depends on these carbohydrates for energy. You just need to choose the right ones! Stay away from white breads, white pastas, white rice, and sugary cereals. Include 100% whole wheat breads, brown rice, quinoa, brown rice pastas, and whole wheat pastas in your diet.  Practice moderation and remember to keep moving to burn those calories!!!
Drink plenty of water to lose that belly fat and you will fit in your bikini in no time! 

If you have any diet stories to share I would love to hear them!

Comment below

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 3 and 4 Gluten Free

So far so good! I have found something to cure my sugar cravings that is a tasty treat and gluten free! I made chocolate chip cookies with chickpeas! Yes chickpeas! Surprisingly you could not even taste the chickpeas in the cookie. On day 3 I kind of slipped and had some ice cream. So I kind of cheated on the dairy free part. It is all good because I got right back on track the next day.

Recipe for the cookies:
Ingredients
1 1/4 cup chickpeas washed and then dried with paper towel
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup  natural crunchy almond butter
1/2 cup  dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees C.
2. Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in food processor. Process until smooth.
3. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and then add dark chocolate chips.
4. Make 1 1/2 inch cookie balls with wet hands and put on foil or parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
5. Bake 10-15 minutes ovens will vary.

The end result:
These cookies were delicious! If you have any leftovers keep them in the fridge so they stay fresh. When you want to eat them zap them in the microwave for 20 seconds and they will taste like they are freshly baked!

Enjoy!!!!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day 1 and 2 of Gluten free/dairy free

From my last post, you all can see that I am trying a gluten free/dairy free diet for this week. So far its been going ok, but it is not easy! It is not hard to stay away from the breads, but my biggest weakness is sweets.
However, there are many things you can make that are gluten free and I will experiment with some recipes soon.

The hardest part of the dairy free is not being able to eat ice cream or yogurt!! I have not noticed any difference in how I feel. The only thing I have noticed is having a little more energy than usual.
For the past few days I have been having rolled oats with almond milk and blueberries for breakfast. For lunch I will usually have a salad with fruit and some grilled chicken. For dinner I had fish, brown rice, and kale. Like I said the food is not the problem...the desserts are an issue.

More to come for the rest of the week!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

GLUTEN FREE/DAIRY FREE HYPE!!!

Recently there has been much hype about removing gluten and dairy from the diet. Many doctors, such as Dr. Oz, are having celebrities, trainers, nutritionists, and other doctors claiming that gluten and dairy are causing inflammation in the body leading to many diseases and disorders.I have long been against any fad diets. However, this "idea" or "concept" does not seem to be a fad. In situations like this we are must pay attention to our body. If for some reason we believe that gluten or dairy do not agree with us we can try eliminating it from the diet. What is the truth to this gluten free/dairy free craze based on a nutritionist perspective? I will tell you.

GLUTEN
So what is gluten? Gluten is a protein that is found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. A gluten-free diet is prescribed mainly for celiac disease. In celiac disease the protein gluten causes inflammation in the small intestine. Those who suffer from this condition have no choice, but to go gluten-free. A gluten-free diet is very challenging and can be very tough initially. Many things we eat contain gluten and those who are sensitive must avoid all gluten-containing products. Also, they must avoid cross-contamination so a product made in a factory that processes "wheat" is not allowed on the gluten-free diet.

So why are people torturing themselves to gluten-free even though they are not suffering from celiac disease? That is the million dollar question! Many people claim that removing this protein from the diet helps them feel better. They are less bloated, have more energy, less arthritic pains, and in some cases have cured certain autoimmune disorders.  

DAIRY
The claim dairy causes inflammation does not make much sense to me. How can something with vitamin D and calcium be harmful to you? I personally believe it is not the actual dairy people are having problems with, but the hormones injected to the cow producing the milk we drink. However, those who cannot digest the milk due to lactose intolerance should avoid dairy products. Everyone is different someone who has lactose intolerant may be able to handle cheese, but not milk. Another person may not be able to eat any dairy products at all. I feel that it is important to just pay attention on what happens to your body when you eat certain foods. If they do not agree with you, avoid them. But remember if you are avoiding dairy you might need a calcium or vitamin D supplement.

WHY AM I BRINGING UP THIS TOPIC?
I am going to challenge myself this week and avoid gluten and dairy foods to see if there is some real truth to this hype. I will keep you all updated with my progress.I personally have been having issues with certain wheat products and I absolutely cannot drink milk.  Starting tomorrow I will be going gluten and dairy free for 2 weeks.  It is not going to be easy, but I do love a challenge!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Chia Seeds and Weight Loss



The chia pets sold in the 1980’s and '90s were made up of chia seeds that sprouted to show fur or hair on the animal figurines. These same chia seeds are now available for adding to beverages and foods both for weight loss and as a healthy supplement. Chia seeds, which originated in Aztec culture, come from a plant called Salvica hispanica.  Primarily grown in South America, these seeds have become the buzz of the nutrition field.
Nutrition
Chia seeds are packed with nutritional power. According to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, chia seeds first started getting recognition because they were rich in omega-3 fatty acids. But they also contain iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, fiber, and protein. All these essential nutrients help fight inflammation, lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The USDA reports that one ounce or 2 tablespoons contains 138 calories, 9 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates,10 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein.

Weight loss
Chia seeds contain insoluble and soluble fibers, which leads to fullness after a meal and blood sugar control. This is the reason they are being promoted as a weight loss supplement. However, published studies show conflicting results on its effect on weight loss. Appalachian State University performed a study in 2009 to examine the seeds effect on overweight adults. The participants included the seeds in their diet for 12 weeks and the results indicated no change in their body mass or composition. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study in which type 2 diabetics took chia seeds for 12 weeks. The results were positive in that the seeds in fact reduced blood sugar levels after eating and promoted satiety.
Diet
Whether you choose chia seeds for weight loss or a healthy supplement, they are very versatile and can be added to many foods. They are a great addition to a smoothie, fresh squeezed juices or even a low fat milkshake. They are a lot like flax seeds in that they can be mixed into yogurt, oatmeal, rice, salads, sandwiches or scrambled eggs.
Side Effects
Too much of something can often have effects on our body. Since chia seeds have both insoluble and soluble fibers, consuming too much can cause gas and bloating. The omega-3 content and antioxidant properties can lower blood pressure or thin out the blood. If you already have low blood pressure, be cautious when consuming these seeds. Also, if you are on blood-thinning medication or preparing for surgery, do not consume these seeds.
References

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Aztec Diet Secret, What are Chia Seeds?
[ http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442472548&terms=chia%20seeds ]
USDA: Nutrient Data for 12006, Seeds, Chia seeds, Dried
[ http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3591?qlookup=chia+seeds&fg=&format=Full&man=&lfacet=&max=25&new=1 ]

Healthy Weight Loss Ideas



Healthy Weight Loss Ideas

Losing weight can be a long, stressful process that requires time and motivation. When you have come to the point where you need to lose some extra pounds, it can be a daunting task to find the best weight-loss solution. Do not rely on fad diets that promise rapid weight loss because quick weight loss can lead to loss of muscle mass, bone and water. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that healthy weight loss should be done gradually by making smart lifestyle choices.
Eat Whole Grains
An ideal weight loss plan is one that involves healthy foods. Begin by switching to whole grains and cleaning out all white processed foods from your diet. Processed foods lack vitamins, minerals and fiber and are high in sugar and calories, which can lead to obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. Whole-grain products are rich in fiber, helping you stay full longer, which can aid in weight control. Read the labels and look for the product's 100 percent whole grain stamp.
Eliminate Soft Drinks
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the amount of sugar in one 12-ounce can of regular soda is equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar and consists of more than 200 calories. Although diet soda is calorie-free, long term consumption can also lead to weight gain. Because the body cannot use the artificial sweetener for energy, it starts to crave something substantial to get the calories it needs. To combat the craving, you eat more food, leading to an increase in calories and, subsequently, weight gain. If you want to maintain your weight or lose weight, try a healthier option such as sparkling water, unsweetened tea or coffee.
Low-Fat Diet
According to the MayoClinic.com, 20 to 35 percent of your calories should come from fats. Fat has 9 calories per gram, while protein and carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram. Foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, such as butter, cheese and some red meat, are considered the bad fats. These foods are not only high in fat, but have additional calories and sugar. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are the good fats and they are found in foods such as olive and canola oils, fish, nuts, and sunflower, flax or chia seeds. These foods come from more natural sources rather than processed. To eliminate excess calories and sugar that come with the bad fats, replace them with the good ones.
Caloric Intake
The body uses calories for energy to perform several necessary physiological processes. In order to calculate your daily calorie needs, determine your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, which is the number of calories your body needs while at rest. A pound of fat has 3,500 calories, so you must create a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories a week to lose 1 pound. Subtract 500 calories from your BMR through either eating less or burning calories via exercise to lose 1 pound in seven days.
Mediterranean Diet
Try the Mediterranean diet, which incorporates healthy oils, nuts, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. The diet concentrates on limiting red meats to once a month while including fish and poultry twice a week. The diet also calls for low-fat dairy products, switching out salt with seasonings and herbs, and physical activity. The diet is not a quick weight-loss solution, but a way to a healthy lifestyle by causing gradual weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week.

References
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Staying Away from Fad Diets [http://www.eatright.org/public/content.aspx?id=6851]
MayoClinic.com: Healthy Diets [http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/MY00431/DSECTION=healthy-diets]
Harvard School of Public Health: How Sweet Is It? [http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/how-sweet-is-it/]
Harvard School of Public Health: Sugary Drinks or Diet Drinks: What's the Best Choice? [http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-vs-diet-drinks/#diet-drinks]
MayoClinic.com: Fat Grams: How to Track Your Dietary Fat [http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat-grams/HQ00671]
Harvard School of Public Health: Fats and Cholesterol [http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fats-and-cholesterol/]
MayoClinic.com: Counting calories: Get Back to Weight-Loss Basics [http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/calories/WT00011] 
MedicineNet.com: The Mediterranean Diet [http://www.medicinenet.com/the_mediterranean_diet-page2/views.htm]

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Published Article SFGate: What Is the Function of B12 in the Production of Myelin?

Vitamin B-12 is involved in important processes in your body. This water-soluble vitamin supplies methyl groups for DNA and protein synthesis. Your body can store vitamin B-12 for a long time...(more)