Tag Archives: Sports Nutrition

Starting a Weight Loss program

Weight Loss made easy

Once in a while we run across a blog that parallels your beliefs.  I have great respect for the thoughts of Tim Terrio of TERRIO Physical Therapy and Fitness.  Although his approach to weight loss is more extensive than what I would ever do,  his basic philosophy is simply  that you need to make the decision to start.

I like how he relates it to getting on a rollercoaster ride.  I have watched dozens of people ride the weight-loss roller coaster.   They gain the weight, eat to much, feel quilty,  start a diet, get hungry, binge, feel bad, start a diet, and the the roller coaster continues.  So what does it take to lose weight?  The following is short and to the point:

Get off the Weightloss Rollercoaster!

I wrote the “Healthy Family Evolution” and created the program for all of you who have been riding the rollercoaster of weight loss for far too long. Don’t get me wrong –  I love a good rollercoaster, the more twists, turns, loops and drops the better. The excitement of standing in line as the anticipation builds. Finally, it’s time to lock yourself in and enjoy the ride, which ends all too soon. But, the rollercoaster of losing weight and getting healthy is a different ride. First of all there is no excitement or anticipation to even get on the ride. Very insidiously the weight increases over time until it finally reaches a point where it gets our, or others, attention.  Then suddenly we are thrown onto the ride. We are bombarded with solutions, concoctions, potions and programs. We are told that it is fast and easy to lose weight so we jump on ride after ride.  We lose and we gain.  Yet we keep ending up at the same place. Frustration grows as we are directed by those trying to help pointing to the next great ride. The seemingly endless chase continues. Frustration gives way to “what’s wrong with me?” if this is so fast and easy then why am I not able to do it? As we get older the game takes on new importance as we are faced with several life threatening chronic diseases. The ultimate thrill ride either you conquer this foe and keep it at bay or it could cost you dearly and yet the cycle of failed attempts continues. So, once and for all lets acknowledge that this journey is NOT easy, it is NOT simple, there are no magic formulas, potions or concoctions. There is no silver bullet. The good news is that through research we do have substantial knowledge in how to make a sensible, sustainable change but it comes at a price. That price is taking the steps to change your behavior and to replace old habits with new ones. 

Save the rollercoasters for the amusement parks!  Let’s start evolving to better health, one decision, one day and one family at a time.  Get Informed.  Get Moving.  Get Better!!


With thousands of diet programs and weight-loss products on the market, there should be something out on the market that is simple, straight-foward, easy to do, clinically tested and researched, proven to work,  and doesn’t require you to be hitting the gym 7 days a week to lose weight.

First I made a decision I was going to lose weight.  Then I choose to use the Shaklee 180 weight loss system.  I didn’t have to lose a lot of weight, but wanted to get rid of some fat and regain energy.  I’m one who likes to keep things simple.  I wanted something that I didn’t have to think about and not complicate it with potions, lotions, or other weird concoctions.   Yes, it did require me to make a choice.  Next, it was a conscious decision to do what I said I was going to do.  Finally, it was the will power to change my eating habits, my thinking,  and my outlook on where I was going.

Yes, it did take close to a year to lose 25 pounds, but I had been carrying it around for over 20  years.  This was one of the best decisions of my life.

If you are willing to make a change in your life that can affect you the rest of  your life, then I would encourage you to take a look at the Shaklee 180 weight-loss program.  It is simple, supplies all your required daily recommended vitamins and minerals, and even tastes good.  No, this is not a magic bullet, but a  getting your tool to get your life back to where you know you should be.

First, make a decision.  Then get more information at my website “Why Diets Fail!”


A Special Report on Vitamin D

That One Critical Nutrient Your Multivitamin May Not Have Enough of

Did you know that vitamin D is not really a vitamin?  Vitamin D is actually turned into a hormone by the body.  This hormone is called “activated vitamin D” or “calcitriol.”

Your body will make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D found to influence over 200 genes, highlighting links to disease

I grew up in Washington State where it always seemed to rain a lot.  As a kid I was forced to take cod liver oil as a supplement.  I was too young to figure out why at the time, but it contained vitamin D and I wasn’t getting enough of it.  This was to help my bones as well as to prevent rickets.   Research is now showing that vitamin D may be a very important part of treating a whole list of serious long term health problems.

It is estimated that 75% of Americans are deficient in this vitamin

Yet, experts estimate that adequate supplementation with this nutrient can reduce your risk of developing cancer by up to 77%, and cut your risk of developing heart disease by as much as 53%.

You may be wondering what is this incredibly important nutrient that can reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, but is not included in sufficient amounts in virtually any of the multivitamins out there?

It’s actually a vitamin that our bodies can produce, yet most of us don’t have enough of.

You may have guessed it – it’s vitamin D.

The problem with ALL multivitamins on the market is that they don’t have enough of the “sunshine vitamin”.

You see, most multivitamins only include the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of the various vitamins and minerals. 

The RDA is a minimum number set by the government to ensure people don’t develop acute vitamin deficiency diseases like scurvy, pellagra, and beriberi.

Personally, I am not interested in merely surviving — I want to thrive. I want to enjoy OPTIMAL health.

Therefore I take MORE than the minimal amount of each vitamin. 

And so should YOU.

To achieve OPTIMAL health, you need to take the OPTIMAL amounts of vitamin D.

Currently the RDA (minimum amount) for vitamin D is set at 400 IU.  

They haven’t revisited that number in more than 20 years.  

When these numbers were set in the mid-1990s, most members of the medical community didn’t look at vitamin D as being all that important.  

They agreed we needed some of it to aid in the absorption of calcium in order to maintain strong bones and healthy teeth. 

Here’s the problem with the amounts, though… 

In the last 10 years, numerous studies around the world have shown that vitamin D is a lot more important than we once thought.  

In fact, it could very well be THE most important vitamin there is.  

It reduces the risk of developing most cancers. 

It fights heart disease, diabetes and bone loss. 

It cuts the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. 


By unlocking over 200 DNA blueprints needed by your body’s cells for growth and immunity. 

But don’t take my word for it. See the results of the latest research from the Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford in the UK: 

What does this mean for you?

It means that supplementing with vitamin D can help keep you healthy for much longer. It will also greatly reduce the risk of developing debilitating diseases.

There are no shortcuts. 

Lying out in the sun exposing your entire body to sunlight will absolutely raise your vitamin D levels. 

There are, however, risks that could counter the effect of any vitamin D you create doing that.  

Risks like sunburn and skin cancer to name just two. 

Getting some sun is fine. In fact, it’s a great idea.  

Just be smart about it and give your body the proper support with a good vitamin D supplement.

Vitamin D
Promotes Heart, Immune And Bone Health


Sugar Promotes Heart Disease and Cancer

Too Much Sugar

More than 1,660,290 new cancer cases are projected to be diagnosed in the US this year, and an estimated 580,350 Americans will die from the disease.1Another 600,000 Americans die of heart disease each year.2 At present, heart disease is the leading cause of death among both sexes.

Despite massive technological advances over the past half-century, Western medicine is still at a loss for how to rein in the prevalence of these top two killers.

It’s become increasingly clear that many of the conventional strategies, from diagnosis to treatment, are riddled with flawed assumptions and approaches that, in many cases, do more harm than good.

What’s worse, virtually none of the conventional strategies actually address the root cause of the problem, a flawed diet high in sugars and processed foods.

In fact, conventional dietary recommendations for the prevention of heart diseaseare diametrically opposed to what you actually need for optimal heart health! For over 60 years, saturated fats have been blamed for heart disease, resulting in the promulgation of a dangerous low-fat, high-sugar diet.

In reality, a diet that promotes health is high in healthful fats and very, very low in sugar and non-vegetable carbohydrates… Research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions now confirms that sugar is a primary dietary factor driving chronic disease development.

Sugar, and fructose in particular, has been implicated as a culprit in the development of both heart disease and cancer, and having this information putsyou in the driver’s seat when it comes to prevention.

How Much Sugar Is in Your Diet?

Ever since I started this Web site back in 1997, I’ve been warning about the dangers of high sugar consumption. It’s important to realize that even if you don’tadd sugar to your foods, hidden sugar, typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is in virtually all processed foods, from yogurts and sauces to breads and sodas.

Many favorite staples are also grain-based, such as bagels, pancakes, and breakfast cereals. All those grains are also quickly turned into sugar in your body, adding to your sugar burden.

Clinical trials have shown that those who consume HFCS tend to develop higher risk factors for cardiovascular disease within as little as two weeks, so if I had to pick out the worst culprit among sugars, it would be fructose.

Other studies indicate that if you limit your sugar, no matter what form you get it in, you effectively decrease your chances of developing cancer—including breast and colon cancers.

Soda Drinkers Have Increased Cancer Risk

According to recent research,34 older women who drink a lot of soda or other sugary beverages may be at significantly increased risk for endometrial cancer—an estrogen-dependent type of cancer that affects the lining of a woman’s uterus.

The study included data for more than 23,000 postmenopausal women who were followed for 14 years.

Women who had the highest intake of sugary beverages had a whopping 78 percent higher risk for endometrial cancer, and the risk appeared to be dose dependent; rising right along with consumption. Study author Maki Inoue-Choi was not surprised by the results, and neither am I.

“Other studies have shown increasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has paralleled the increase in obesity. Obese women tend to have higher levels of estrogens and insulin than women of normal weight, [and] increased levels of estrogens and insulin are established risk factors for endometrial cancer,” she said.5

Previous research has also shown that dietary fructose can promote cancergrowth in a number of different ways, including:

  • Altered cellular metabolism
  • Increased reactive oxygen species (free radicals)
  • DNA damage
  • Inflammation

Fructose Promotes Cancer Cell Proliferation

Studies have shown that different sugars are metabolized using different metabolic pathways, and this is of MAJOR consequence when it comes to feeding cancer and making it proliferate. Three years ago, researchers published findings showing that fructose is readily used by cancer cells to increase their proliferation.6 Cancer cells did not respond to glucose in the same manner.

In this case, the cancer cells used were pancreatic cancer, which is typically regarded as the most deadly and universally rapid-killing form of cancer. According to the authors:

“Traditionally, glucose and fructose have been considered as interchangeable monosaccharide substrates that are similarly metabolized, and little attention has been given to sugars other than glucose. However, fructose intake has increased dramatically in recent decades and cellular uptake of glucose and fructose uses distinct transporters.

Here, we report that fructose provides an alternative substrate to induce pancreatic cancer cell proliferation. Importantly, fructose and glucose metabolism are quite different; in comparison with glucose, fructose… is preferentially metabolized via the nonoxidative pentose phosphate pathway to synthesize nucleic acids and increase uric acid production.

These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation. They have major significance for cancer patients given dietary refined fructose consumption, and indicate that efforts to reduce refined fructose intake or inhibit fructose-mediated actions may disrupt cancer growth.” [Emphasis mine]

The study confirms the old adage that sugar feeds cancer because they found that tumor cells do thrive on sugar (glucose). However, the cells used fructose for cell division, speeding up the growth and spread of the cancer. This difference is clearly of major consequence, and should be carefully considered by anyone who is currently undergoing cancer treatment or seeking to prevent cancer.

This does not mean you should avoid fruits, the benefits of most fruits outweigh any concerns to fructose.   I would suggest to not juice your fruits and to eat them whole, and also realize we have bred many of these fruits to a very high level of fructose.   Fruits today are many times sweeter than they were historically, and should be consumed in moderation. The real problem is the high fructose corn syrup that is added to practically every processed food and drink you see.

Remember: Exercise Is Another Potent Ally Against Cancer and Heart Disease

Controlling your blood-glucose and insulin levels—through diet, along with a comprehensive exercise program—can be one of the most crucial components to a cancer recovery program. These factors are also crucial in order to prevent cancer in the first place. Diet and exercise—particularly high intensity interval training—are also the dynamic duo that will help you stave off heart disease.

In fact, a recent meta-analysis that reviewed 305 randomized controlled trials found no statistically detectable differences between exercise and medications for heart disease, including statins and beta blockers. (Previous research has also shown that exercise alone can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by a factor of three,7 which isn’t too shabby.) Exercise is in fact so potent, the researchers suggested that drug companies ought to be required to include it for comparison when conducting clinical trials for new drugs. As reported by Bloomberg:8

“The analysis adds to evidence showing the benefit of non-medical approaches to disease through behavior and lifestyle changes… ‘In cases where drug options provide only modest benefit, patients deserve to understand the relative impact that physical activity might have on their condition,’ Naci and Ioannidis said in the published paper. In the meantime, ‘exercise interventions should therefore be considered as a viable alternative to, or, alongside, drug therapy.’”

In a nutshell, being a healthy weight and exercising regularly creates a healthy feedback loop that optimizes and helps maintain insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity. And, as I’ve mentioned before, insulin and leptin resistance—primarily driven by excessive consumption of refined sugar and grains along with lack of exercise—are the underlying factors of nearly all chronic disease.

Connecting the Dots: Fructose—Uric Acid—Cancer and Chronic Disease Risk

The theory that sugar feeds cancer was actually born nearly 80 years ago. Shockingly, most conventional cancer programs STILL do not adequately address diet and the need to avoid sugars. The 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, Ph.D., first discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. Malignant tumors tend to use a process where glucose is used as a fuel by the cancer cells, creating lactic acid as a byproduct.9

The large amount of lactic acid produced by this fermentation of glucose from cancer cells is then transported to your liver. This conversion of glucose to lactic acid generates a lower, more acidic pH in cancerous tissues as well as overall physical fatigue from lactic acid buildup.1011

This is a very inefficient pathway for energy metabolism, which extracts only about five percent of the available energy in your food supply. In simplistic terms, the cancer is “wasting” energy, which leads you to become both tired and undernourished, and as the vicious cycle continues, will lead to the body wasting so many cancer patients experience. Additionally, carbohydrates from glucose and sucrose significantly decrease the capacity of neutrophils to do their job. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that helps cells to envelop and destroy invaders, such as cancer.

While all forms of sugar are detrimental to health in general and promote cancer, but in slightly different ways and to a different extent, fructose clearly seems to be one of the overall most harmful. As mentioned above, fructose metabolism leads to increased uric acid production along with cancer cell proliferation.12 Again, ONLY fructose (not glucose) drives up your uric acidlevels.

Now, the connection between fructose, uric acid, and insulin resistance is so clear that your uric acid level can actually be used as a marker for toxicity from fructose. What this means is that if your uric acid levels are high, you’re at increased risk of all the health hazards associated with fructose consumption—including both heart disease and cancer. Subsequently, you’d be well advised to reduce your fructose intake. For more information about this, please see my previous interview with Dr. Richard Johnson, who is an expert on this topic. Two key recommendations however are:

  • Keep your uric acid level below 4 mg/dl for men and 3.5 mg/dl for women, and
  • As a standard recommendation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day

Reeling in Your Fructose Consumption May Be the Most Important Lifestyle Change You Can Make

Dr. Johnson has written one of the best books on the market on the health dangers of fructose, called The Sugar Fix, which explains how fructose causes high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and kidney disease. It’s also safe to say that many cancers are also on the list of diseases that are directly linked to excessive fructose consumption. In addition to the studies already mentioned, fructose has also been found to promote metastasis in breast cancer,13 and shows genotoxic effects on the colon in animal research.14

Fructose also promotes a condition called intracranial atherosclerosis15—a narrowing and hardening of the arteries in your skull—and contrary to popular belief, it is the sugar/fructose in your diet that increases your risk for heart disease, NOT saturated animal fats.

At the basic dietary level, the prevention strategies for heart disease and cancer are identical. First and foremost, you need to address your insulin and leptin resistance, which is the result of eating a diet too high in sugars and grains—again, not fat, with the exception of trans fats from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which have been linked to increased heart disease risk, even in small amounts. To safely and effectively reverse insulin and leptin resistance, you need to:

  • Avoid sugar, processed fructose, grains if you are insulin and leptin resistant, and processed foods
  • Eat a healthful diet of whole foods, ideally organic, and replace the grain carbs with:
    • Large amounts of vegetables
    • Low-to-moderate amount of high-quality protein (think organically raised, pastured animals)
    • As much high-quality healthful fat as you want (saturated and monosaturated from animal and tropical oil sources). Most people actually need upwards of 50-85 percent fats in their diet for optimal health—a far cry from the 10 percent currently recommended.

Restricting Fructose Consumption Is Crucial Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Whether we’re talking about heart disease or cancer, reducing (or preferably eliminating) fructose and other added sugars, as well as limiting grain carbohydrates from your diet is a primary strategy on my list if you have insulin and leptin resistance. This dietary modification should also be part of your comprehensive treatment plan if you’ve been diagnosed with either cancer or heart disease.

Understand that excessive fructose consumption leads to insulin resistance, and insulin resistance appears to be the root of many if not most chronic disease, including heart disease and cancer. So far, scientific studies have linked excessive fructose consumption to about 78 different diseases and health problems.16

By severely reducing your intake of fructose and carbs in your diet, you help stave off any potential cancer growth, and “starve” any tumors you currently have. It also bolsters your overall immune function, because sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately.

To learn more about this article go to: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/11/sugar-heart-disease.aspx

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Come check out my website to learn more about Shaklee 180 Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Meal-in-a-Bar.

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Ibuprofen Kills Thousands Each Year, So What Is The Alternative?

Ibuprofen Kills Thousands Each Year, So What Is The Alternative?

A recent Reuters’ article opened with the following stunning sentence:

“Long-term high-dose use of painkillers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac is ‘equally hazardous’ in terms of heart attack risk as use of the drug Vioxx, which was withdrawn due to its potential dangers, researchers said.”  

The 2004 Vioxx recall, as you may remember, was spurred by the nearly 30,000 excess cases of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths caused by the drug between 1999-2003. Despite the fact that scientific research had accumulated as early as 2000 linking Vioxx to increased heart attacks and strokes, the drug’s manufacturer Merck, and the FDA, remained silent as the death toll steadily increased.

The Reuters report focused on new research published in Lancet indicating the risk of heart attack increases as much as a third and the risk of heart failure doubles among heavier users of NSAID drugs.

INFLAMED: Our Default Bodily State

Why are so many folks taking NSAID drugs like ibuprofen anyway?

Pain and unhealthy levels of inflammation are fast becoming default bodily states in the industrialized world. While in most cases we can adjust the underlying pro-inflammatory conditions by altering our diet, and reducing stress and environmental chemical exposures, these approaches take time, discipline and energy, and sometimes we just want the pain to stop now. In those often compulsive moments we find ourselves popping an over-the-counter pill to kill the pain.

The problem with this approach is that, if we do it often enough, we may kill ourselves along with the pain…

Ibuprofen really is a perfect example of this. As mentioned above, this petrochemical-derivative has been linked to significantly increased risk of heart attack and increased cardiac and all-cause mortality (when combined with aspirin), with over two dozen serious adverse health effects, including:

  1. Anemia[1]
  2. DNA Damage[2]
  3. Hearing Loss[3]
  4. Hypertension[4]
  5. Influenza Mortality[5]
  6. Miscarriage[6]

Ibuprofen is, in fact, not unique in elevating cardiovascular disease risk and/or mortality. The entire category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appears to have this under-recognized dark side; cardiovascular disease and cardiac mortality score highest on the list of over 100 unintended adverse health effects associated with their use. See also our analysis of the rarely acknowledged dark side to aspirin: The Evidence Against Aspirin And For Natural Alternatives.

So, what does one do? Pain is pain. Whether it happens to you, or you witness it in another (which can be worse), finding relief is a top priority.

Ibuprofen Kills More Than Pain, So What Is The Alternative?

Research on Natural Alternatives To Ibuprofen

Here is some evidence-based research on alternatives to ibuprofen, sourced from the National Library of Medicine:

  1. Ginger – A 2009 study found that ginger capsules (250 mg, four times daily) were as effective as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen for relieving pain in women associated with their menstrual cycle (primary dysmenorrhea). [7]
  2. Topical Arnica – A 2007 human study found that topical treatment with arnica was as effective as ibuprofen for hand osteoarthritis, but with lower incidence of side effects.[8]
  3. Combination: AstaxanthinGinkgo biloba and Vitamin C – A 2011 animal study found this combination to be equal to or better than ibuprofen for reducing asthma-associated respiratory inflammation.[9]
  4. Chinese Skullcap (baicalin) – A 2003 animal study found that a compound in Chinese skullcap known as baicalin was equipotent to ibuprofen in reducing pain.[10]
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids: A 2006 human study found that omega-3 fatty acids (between 1200-2400 mg daily) were as effective as ibuprofen in reducing arthritis pain, but with the added benefit of having less side effects.[11]
  6. Panax Ginseng – A 2008 animal study found that panax ginseng had analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity similar to ibuprofen, indicating its possible anti-rheumatoid arthritisproperties.[12]
  7. St. John’s Wort – A 2004 animal study found that St. John’s wort was twice as effective as ibuprofen as a pain-killer.[13]
  8. Anthrocyanins from Sweet Cherries & Raspberries – A 2001 study cell study found that anthrocyanins extracted from raspberries and sweet cherries were as effective as ibuprofen andnaproxen at suppressing the inflammation-associated enzyme known as cyclooxygenase-1 and 2.[14]
  9. Holy Basil – A 2000 study found that holy basil contains compounds with anti-inflammatory activity comparable to ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin.[15]
  10. Olive Oil (oleocanthal) – a compound found within olive oil known as oleocanthal has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen.[16]

There are, of course, hundreds of additional substances which have been studied for their pain-killingand/or anti-inflammatory effects, and there are also aromatherapeutic approaches that do not require the ingestion of anything at all, but there is also a danger here. When we think of taking an alternative pain-killer to ibuprofen, we are still thinking within the palliative, allopathic medical model: suppress the symptom, and go on about our business. It would behoove us to look deeper into what is causing our pain. And when possible, remove the cause(s). And that often requires a dramatic dietary shift away from pro-inflammatory foods, many of which most Westerners still consider absolutely delightful, e.g. wheat, dairy, nighshade vegetables and even wheat-free grains, etc.


To learn more about this article go to  http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/ibuprofen-kills- more-pain-so-what-alternatives

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Come check out my website to learn more about Pain Relief Complex.

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‘The Octoberfest Diet’ – What Can We Learn From This?

'The Octoberfest Diet' - What Can We Learn From This?

Critique of the October Fest Diet

With all the trendy new diets and mass amounts of research available on specific foods and food groups, it seems a bit old school to count calories for weight loss.  My nutrition professor would always say, “If people knew it was a simple as calories in versus calories out, I would be out of a job”.  While I agree that portion control is important, certainly not all calories are created equal when it comes to weight loss.

For example, there are many research studies showing that increasing intake of coconut oil actually helps people lose weight.  One might say, “Weight loss is due to getting in more calories from fat, so you are less hungry and eat fewer carbohydrates.  It isn’t because it is coconut oil”.  Fortunately, researchers have already disproved this hypothesis and showed that coconut oil had greater improvements in weight loss and/or waist circumference than soybean oil (63-64) and olive oil (65). Research indicates that this is due to the fact that the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconut oil are more water soluble and have a “thermogenic effect on foods” (66).  Put simply, MCT actually help you burn calories.

One man decided to do a radical diet he called, “The October Fest diet”.  His diet was high fat, high animal protein, high alcohol, and high gluten.  A diet considered offensive to both “Paleo” dieters and vegans alike.  While I strongly disagree with such a diet program, I find it to be a fascinating example for which to explore the research to its rationale.

This man was eating ONLY sausage and beer for the month of October.  The catch is that he was limiting his calorie intake by approximately 600 calories less than he usually consumes.  He described the diet as, the “a little buzzed, a little hungry” diet.  Everyone can agree that a reduction in calories would likely result in weight loss, but most would be surprised that this diet also improved his cholesterol by 30%.

So how can it be that a diet high in saturated fat, sodium, gluten, and alcohol can improve cardiovascular markers?  First let’s put to rest the obvious debate on cholesterol.  Most of the cholesterol in our body is produced by the liver.  It is the precursor to all our steroid-based hormones and has numerous other important functions in the body.  Cholesterol is not the bad guy.  Research has shown that cholesterol in food is not associated with cardiovascular risk (1-3).  Now let’s take a closer look at what is going on physiologically.  What happens when someone loses weight?  When someone gets rid of excess fat they are actually decreasing inflammation in the body.  This is a big reason why weight loss improves cardiovascular markers (4). Inflammation has proven to be central in cardiovascular disease (5-12).  Our fat cells, also known as adipocytes, secrete hormones and have a significant impact on our immune system and inflammation (13).  Therefore, when we are losing fat, we are decreasing negative hormone and immune signaling which perpetuate inflammation.  Remember, inflammation is not just a risk factor for cardiovascular disease; it is connected to most diseases of the body [i.e. Osteoporosis (14-15), Autoimmune conditions (16-18), Diabetes and Obesity (19-25), Neurological and Neurodegenerative diseases (26-32), Cancer (33-42), Pulmonary conditions (43-46)] .

What most people do not know…

Everyone knows that insulin controls blood sugar, but most do not know that insulin levels also significantly impact cholesterol synthesis and cardiovascular health (47-59).

So what impacts insulin?  Carbohydrates!  There are very little to no carbohydrates in sausage (depending on what they use for fillers).  How much carbohydrates are in beer?  Not as much as you may think.  Most of the calories in beer are due to the alcohol content.  This “dieter” claims to be drinking approximately 6 beers per day.  That is just under 5 servings of carbohydrates a day.  That is less than the average pasta dinner at your local Italian restaurant.

What about the role of alcohol on insulin levels.  Long term alcohol consumption is not good for the liver, and a damaged liver can negatively impact the endocrine system (60).  However, there happens to be a study which showed that when healthy men changed from 7.2 alcoholic beverages a day down to 0.8 a day for one month, there were no changes in insulin sensitivity, fasting insulin, or glucose (61).  In fact, another study showed that short term alcohol consumption may even improve insulin signaling (62).  Based on this information, it is unlikely that the alcohol consumed in this 30 day October Fest diet negatively affected insulin due to the short duration of the diet, and the “dieter” being in relatively good health.

Does this mean we should adopt the, “a little buzzed, a little hungry” diet?

If you are in good health and do not have food sensitivities, it will likely not have any ill effects short term.   However, this diet will not provide proper support for long term goals for optimal health.  This diet has no fiber or phytonutrients.  Long term, that will impair digestive and immune function and increase risk of disease.  There is no need to feel “a little hungry”.  You can stay low calorie and add in non-starchy vegetables high in phytonutrients and fiber to fill you up.  As mentioned previously, long term alcohol consumption is bad for our liver, which can cause a cascade of other issues.  Substitute the beer with fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains high in fiber and phytonutrients.

Remember, “diets” are something you do for a certain amount of time, then it is over.  Adopting healthy lifestyle practices is key for long term weight management and optimal health!

To more about this article go to: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/octoberfest-diet-what-can-we-learn

Shaklee180 Smoothees

Shaklee 180™ Energizing Smoothee Chocolate

A complete, balanced, meal.

A delicious and convenient way to help you lose the right kind of weight. Prepared as directed, each mix delivers the goodness of a meal to help you power through your day. Protein and fiber help keep you feeling full longer while added leucine helps your body retain muscle so your metabolism can power on as the inches come off.

Come check out my website to learn more about Shaklee 180 Energizing Smoothee Chocolate.

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