All posts filed under: Blog Entries

10 Ways, 10 Days to Lower Carbs, Day 3

Eat a Low Carb Breakfast My mother battled her weight her entire life.  She was never heavy, but it was a constant struggle for her, and she passed on to me and my sister a “deprivation mindset” about food.  But, that is a story for another day.  I have truly battled my weight, for a variety of reasons (read my story later) and changing how I ate breakfast helped enormously. A carb free/low carb breakfast is one way you can start your day off to not sabotage yourself!  My mother complained that “If I eat breakfast, I’m hungry the rest of the day“.  She probably was.  With the American custom of high carb, low fat, low protein breakfasts, you sabotage yourself.   Here’s what happens:   First, you eat a carb heavy breakfast. (BAGEL, OATMEAL, TOAST, CEREAL, JUICE, PASTRY…)→ your body gets a sugar load (that’s what carbs convert into once you digest them) so your body produces INSULIN in response to the spike in your blood sugar (Insulin stimulates the cells throughout your body to …

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs: Day 2

Watch out for fructose and sugar in disguise. Fructose is in many natural foods.  But where we get into trouble is the HIDDEN addition of sugar into processed foods. If you stick to a low carb diet, you’ll lose weight in part because you’ll ingest less fructose.  Fructose can be converted by our bodies into body fat very quickly.  The bottom line is that if your only source of fructose came from eating an apple or orange a day, keeping your total grams of fructose to below 25 per day, then eating it would not be an issue. Here’s the problem:  the typical person is consuming 75 grams of fructose each and every day. Because fructose is so cheap it is used in virtually all processed foods. The average person is consuming one-third of a pound of sugar every day, which is five ounces or 150 grams, half of which is fructose. This is 300 percent more than the amount that will trigger biochemical havoc, and this is the average — many consume more than …

10 Days, 10 Ways to lower carbs: Day 1

The secret to staying healthy is lowering your carbohydrate intake. And I don’t just mean losing weight, I’m talking about lowering your cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation.  The stuff that makes us chronically sick. I’m going to post 10 days/10 ways you can lower your carbohydrate intake. DAY ONE: Ditch Dairy, specifically Milk MILK is nutritious, but it’s also fairly high in carbs because it contains a type of sugar called lactose. (Remember, its purpose in life was to GROW baby cows!). An 8-ounce (240 ml) glass of full-fat or low-fat milk contains 12–13 grams of carbs. This is especially important if you drink milk by the glassful or in lattes or shakes. SWITCH TO: coconut, almond milk, hemp milk. (Again, this isn’t about dairy, it’s about CARBS:  case in point?  Rice milk is a dairy alternative, but is FULL of carbs, and isn’t any better than milk, in fact it is the highest in carbs.). Look for unsweetened varieties that have less than 2 carbs per serving (carbs minus fiber = total carbs).  Look at …

The Right Receipt!

Last week we were in Denver to see my son.  My son and husband had lunch together, and our son wanted to take him to a local restaurant that he liked.  I loved his choice for so many reasons:  1. It was a great restaurant that cooked local, often organic food. (they do pay attention when I talk!!!)  2. It provided them with low carb options for a lunch  3.  It gave me an idea for a post.  WIN-WIN-WIN!   Here’s what amazed me today as I scanned in receipts.  THEIR RECEIPT GAVE THEM THE NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR THEIR MEALS!  Why doesn’t every restaurant do this?  How cool is this?   My only comment is most people probably don’t want a 2,500/day calorie intake — but in Denver, which is one of the healthiest cities, it may be accurate due to the amount of biking/hiking/exercise most people get. But in all other regards, this is an awesome idea more restaurants need to follow! Tell your favorite local restaurant to try doing this, it appears that this …

2016 – The year to NOT…

It’s January 1st, and for many of us the new year heralds the all too familiar “this year I’m going to (insert self critical phrase here — eg; get thinner, work out harder, ramp up my career or be a better parent)…”  STOP. Just STOP. And make this year different. Make 2016 the year you become kind to yourself.  That doesn’t mean you can’t improve your life, or strive to be a better version of your present self. Go for it! But don’t base your changes on self-criticism– because that is a guarantee of failure. Over 90% of NY resolutions fail. The math is not on your side! Besides cutting yourself some slack, make your goals realistic.  It’s fairly simple if you use the concept of “baby steps”. Pick one goal related to your desired change — I want to lose weight so I will stop drinking soda of all kinds and replace it with water this week. Next week I’ll take another small step. I want to be a better parent, so instead of …

Can 36 Questions Help You Fall in Love?

I watched an amazing TED talk the other day and was totally intrigued by her story and an article she’d stumbled on in her research that posed 36 questions.  The questions were meant to help university students bond with each other, and was written in ’97 by faculty at various universities (see original link below). What she found, is that some of the couples/pairings from the study not only became closer, they actually fell in love, one couple even getting married.  Then she did it with a close friend, and guess what?  They fell in love.  So she wrote about it and it went viral.  And her TED talk is the aftermath of what she learned. Her story is much better told by listening to her TED talk, which I’ve placed here.  You can scroll down immediately for the link to the “36 questions”, but I encourage you to watch her talk.  If you don’t have a partner/spouse, consider doing it with your best friend, roommate, or anyone you’d like to feel closer to.  You …

Fat Shaming Never Works

In fact, as you read this excellent article from Kris Gunners, who authors the website Authority Nutrition, you will see that shaming never works —  it does the exact opposite. If you know someone who is frustrated with a family member or a friend’s weight and you see them shaming that person or dictating what they should eat, show them this article and ask them to really think about what it is they’re doing to that person emotionally. I would like to thank Kris for letting me re-post this here. I have given a lot of links to his website in the past, and I would encourage you to routinely check it out. Science Confirms: “Fat Shaming” Just Makes Things Worse By Kris Gunnars, BSc | September, 2015 | There has been a lot of talk about “fat shaming” on the internet in the past few weeks. This was sparked by a couple of viral videos, one serious and the other a (bad) joke, that harshly criticized overweight people. Some believe that making overweight people feel …

10 Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today I heard the words from my husband “It’s cancer”.  He stood in Recovery Room with tears in his eyes and had to tell me my biopsy was positive. I was in shock and scared out of my mind.  For about a day.  And then we went into fighting mode.  Not that I wasn’t still scared.  I was.  Every single day.  As a former nurse, this wasn’t supposed to happen to me.  This was the thing that happened to someone else. The Hardest moment came a week later when I sat in the “Cancer Center” waiting room at our local hospital.  Here I was with my husband, who is a cancer surgeon, and I really wanted to run out of the room.  I wasn’t scared of seeing the oncologist, or the treatments, but sitting in that room with others who were struggling, some who were clearly fighting a much larger fight than I was — that was the thing that I didn’t want to see.  Was that my future? It felt too …

Vitamins 101: Why Spend the $$?

Nutritional Supplements – what are they, how do they work and how do you choose them? Nutritional supplements are without a doubt one of the most easily accessible and also one of the most confusing aspects of self care.  Regulation of the vitamin/supplement industry only began in 2011. Why do we need nutritional supplements? Besides what I’ve already eluded to, animal feeds have changed from the natural foods they eat in the wild to highly processed, chemical laden concoctions that are designed to maximize growth rate, muscle mass and profit for the growers.  The result is meat that is dangerously high in chemicals and totally lacking in the natural nutritional elements that have kept us healthy for so long (until the 20th century!).  Watch Food Inc. and you’ll never look at your food the same way again. If this weren’t bad enough, the modern reliance on drugs to treat diseases symptomatically has led us away from the traditional cures that sought to replace what was missing in the body. Many modern drugs actually block absorption …

Grass Fed Beef ONLY

Updated Nov. 1, 2015 Changing your shopping habits to purchasing grass fed beef only is probably one of the best things you can do for your family’s health. I’ve updated this post with some new research and tables to make my point.  We live in a culture where beef, chickens and pork are all fed grain, and (especially for beef) grain is not their natural diet.  So, why spend the money on grass fed beef?  Simple.  All the research we were taught about red meat causing heart disease and cancer was based on evaluating data of people in US eating corn fed beef.  But, when you look at populations who ONLY eat grass fed beef, they don’t have the same issues with heart disease.  Even butter, long thought to be “evil” is actually pretty healthy if you buy “pasture” butter a.k.a. grass fed butter.  So, if you are not vegetarian, you CAN enjoy a steak or hamburger and not feel guilty!  Want to see more research?  Click on links at bottom of this article. Why …

Black Bean and Corn Salad

I love this salad for a few reasons:  it uses all that is summer, it provides protein, and it can be made ahead.  In fact, it is BETTER if you let it sit for a few hours in the frig.  We can make a batch of this and it keeps a few days in frig. Not to mention it is really pretty! If you are staying away from all carbs, omit or halve the corn and add some diced jicama. Printable recipe here. Ingredients 1 cup fresh cooked corn (I used two cobs), cooled and cut (can use frozen organic corn also) 4 green onions or scallions (white parts only) chopped fine OR ¼ cup finely diced red onion 1 can (16 ounces) organic black beans 1 small handful (½ small bunch) of chopped fresh cilantro (or basil if you don’t like cilantro) 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters (cut large cherry tomatoes into quarters) ~ 20-30 green olives, sliced in half Optional:  add diced avocado for a burst of fiber and …

Eileen’s “Tastes Like Summer” Salad

I threw together this salad today that was inspired by a salad we created in the cooking class at Food As Medicine recently.  Using what’s fresh, I gave it a new spin.  Similar to tabbouleh, it makes a great side dish, we had it with lamburgers one night and local wild rice brats on July 4th.  Yes, this does have a few carbs, but good ones. As you make this, keep in mind that any ingredient can be modified.  If you hate cilantro, leave it out, if you adore basil, add more.  If you are addicted to spicy, add some.  You cannot screw this up!  Just go slow and keep tasting it until you like it. Summer Quinoa Salad ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked (I used white quinoa variety) 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved 1 handful parsley, stemmed and chopped 1 handful cilantro, chopped (stems are ok, they have same flavor as the leaf!) 1 small bunch of basil 1 handful mint, stemmed and chopped ¼ Cup Olive Oil (up to ¹/3 cup …