Archive for May 31, 2013


I’m looking forward to meeting new friends and seeing old friends at the workshop today.  Topics will be Digestion, Blood Sugar Regulation, Stress/Cortisol, and some really good questions I’ve received on Paleo/Primal/WestonAPrice particulars.   And yes, this has everything to do with our weight and our health.

Please feel free to drop in if you haven’t registered, it’s a big room with plenty of chairs.

Location:  Marshall Community Center

Address: 4311A Rectortown Rd, Marshall Va 20115

Time:  1-3pm

Cost: $30/person

I’ll be presenting the same information, same place, next week,  Wednesday, June 5th, 6-8pm.

Quaker Oats Bars – a Looks Healthy But Isn’t

smores barJust a quick “looks healthy but isn’t” post on Quaker Oats Smores Chewy Granola bars.  Let’s start with the box:  there’s a kindly looking Quaker man picture, the big words “No Trans Fat”, and the happy news that each bar contains “8g of whole grain”.  Looks like that Quaker guy went in his kitchen and cooked these up over the fire.  But he didn’t.
I picked this because Quaker Oats has a very strong connection with all things healthy and pure – but that’s just excellent marketing, not reality.

For example, this particular product has 58 listed ingredients.  I say listed because 3 times it also has “natural and artificial” flavors embedded in the ingredient list.  Who knows how many chemicals it takes to make a marshmallow flavor or scent, or graham flavor or scent?   Some artificial vanilla’s have over 200 ingredients!!

There are 13 sources of sugar.  There’s “honey powder”, what the heck is that?  Bees don’t make that.  There’s modified foodstarch and natural flavors, both of which are  FDA approved names for MSG (the excito-toxin that shrivels and kills brain cells, and causes migraines, bee picseizures, ADD/ADHD, and many other symptoms).  There’s Blue dye #1, which the FDA says is linked to ADHD, asthma, and allergies, – Europe’s banned it!
It’s preserved with BHT – remember that post?

And finally, there’s this ingredient:  sodiumhexametaphosphate.   What in the world is that doing to our body or our brain?
If this is a food product that you think has “diet” potential, because it’s only 90 calories and 2 grams of fat;  or worse, a “healthy snack option” for your child – rethink that.

This is just a little toxic chemical bomb loaded with artificial ingredients and potential side effects.  The foods we eat build our body, they build our brain, they affect our moods, they determine our weight, so we need to choose Real Whole Foods.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the Digestion and Blood Sugar Workshops coming up.  Look here for the info if you’re interested in attending.  Promise lots of motivation, inspiration, and information for getting lean and healthy.

You’ve Got To Believe To Make It a Lifestyle

If you read my blog, you know I’m advocating a Paleo/Primal/WestonAPrice/Real Whole Foods Diet that’s low on sugars and grains and chemicals, and high on fats, proteins, and vegetables.  This low carb/RWFs plan is an obvious way to lose weight, not something too many people argue with anymore.  But how many people can stick to it, day in day out, week after week, month after month? (How many times have I heard, “I could NEVER give up bread/pasta.”,  “Kids won’t eat anything else.”)  I. E.,  make it a LifeStyle??

Well, if it’s all about Weight Loss, people don’t stick to this plan any better than Weight Watchers, the Grapefruit diet, the South Beach diet, Jenny Craig, or ANY OTHER DIET (less than 1-5% stick permanently). fail:fish:cat  Because when it’s all about WEIGHT LOSS, you’re going to restrict your calories and fat.  Even on the P/P/WAP/RWF plan, you’ll try to “not eat too much”.    This NEVER amounts to “lifestyle”, it’s just a weak desire to be leaner.

Here’s the bottom line about Calorie Restriction and Fat Restriction:  You’ll NEVER ever fight your BIOLOGY and win.  Ever.  It’s impossible.  Your body wants Fat; Your body needs Fat.  Fat comprises 60% of our brain; fat runs thru our heart muscle, fat makes all of our sex hormones and steroid hormones (that’s the fight/flight).  Fat escorts most minerals and vitamins ADE & K to wherever they need to go.  Fat surrounds our organs and protects them. And that’s just a brief synopsis.

Try and stay “low fat”, and you will end up binging.  Either you’ll eat fat – which your body will use; or you’ll eat tons of carbs, which your body will turn INTO fat.  Either way, your BIOLOGY will trump your desire to eat low fat/low cal, and lose in box

What’s the answer?  Fill your brain with all the reasons we should eat certain foods, and shouldn’t eat others.  Become a believer in the DEEP, SERIOUS, CONNECTION, between every single bite we put in our mouths, to our moods, our body, our weight, our health, our emotions.

Here’s some reasons to meditate on:

Sugar, and refined grains (pasta, bread, cereals, etc) are absolutely 100% involved with Inflammation, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Migraines, Depression, Anxiety, and MORE.  The correlation is absolute, because these carbohydrates induce a big Insulin response from your Pancreas.  This starts a blood sugar roller coaster that has devastating effects on The Whole Body.

Your Liver takes a hit, your Brain takes a hit, your Nerve Endings in your extremities and eyes take a hit, your Arteries, your Hormones, your Neurotransmitters, and your Waistline takes a hit.  Your CHILDREN are similarly affected, even your skinny, active kids.   Poor health/weight problems “accumulate”.   Behavior, mood, attention – all of these are HEAVILY influenced by diet.

Let’s talk about Digestion.  Bloat, gas, indigestion, Crohn’s, colitis, gastritis;  NOT NORMAL.  When these conditions happen, it’s NOT because you’re low in Pepcid or some other Antacid.  You’re just eating foods that either aren’t breaking down well due to compounds in them, and/ or you’ve caused damage somewhere in your gut from years of eating foods that don’t break down well.

Then there’s the whole Negative Thoughts Cascade that gets released, for several hours to a day or so, after consumption of large amounts of bad carbs and crappy foods.  Talk about a hit to your energy, your demeanor, your thoughts, your decisions.

if no one sees you eat itHow to make RWFs a LifeStyle?  Focus On Feeling Good.  Honestly, it works.  When you’re out, and everyone’s having bread and dessert, think LONG TERM:  how do you want to feel later? or tomorrow?.    When you’re at the store, and you’re tempted by a box of cereal or crackers, think LONG TERM:  how do you want to feel later? or tomorrow?  When you’re making dinner and the pasta seems so simple, think LONG TERM: how do you want to feel later? or tomorrow?

It feels GOOD to feel Good.  If you’re plagued with gut issues, inflammation, sugar/carb ups and downs, or mood imbalances, imagine how it would feel — not to be plagued with those issues.  Imagine feeling good almost all the time.  It’s amazing.  It’s amazing to feel relaxed with yourself, not to be beating yourself up over splurges, or binges, or indulgences.

That said, give your self a break; because Change isn’t Linear, even when you do start believing.  It takes time, effort,  and focus, to really change thought patterns; but it does happen.

I’m looking forward to seeing and meeting everyone who’ll be at my workshops (5/31 or 6/5).  I promise to fill your head with a boat load of reasons to make RWFs a Lifestyle, and not a temporary effort at leanness.    Eat well, feed your body the nutrients it wants to be healthy, and if you need to lose weight, you will.


Looks Healthy But Isn’t – Cereal

Oh how I love taking apart “Looks Healthy But Isn’t” foods – and here’s a great one:  Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Yogurt Cereal.

Here’s the ingredients:  Whole Grain Flakes (Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Rice, Corn Syrup, honey bunches of oatsWheat Flour, Yellow Corn Meal, Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Malted Barley Flour, Salt, Canola And/Or Sunflower Oil, Honey, Natural Flavor), Greek Yogurt Granola [Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Brown Sugar, Whole Grain Wheat, Rice Flour, Canola And/Or Sunflower Oil, Milk Protein Concentrate, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Greek Yogurt Powder (Heat Treated After Culturing), Honey, Natural Flavor, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Citric Acid], Greek Yogurt Style Coated Granola [Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Brown Sugar, Whole Grain Wheat, Rice Flour, Canola And/Or Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup, Whey, Sugar, Honey, Greek Yogurt Style Coating (Sugar, Palm Kernel And Palm Oil, Reduced Mineral Whey Powder, Nonfat Dry Milk Solids, Greek Yogurt Powder (Heat Treated After Culturing), Lactic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Natural Flavor)]. Bht Added To Packaging Material To Preserve Product Freshness.

One cup of this stuff is 47 grams of carbohydrate, add a little milk, probably skim because that means skinny(not), and you’ve added at least 6 to 10 more grams of carb;  add a cup of orange juice, and you’re adding another 25 or so grams of carb. (Remember, carbs = sugar = glucose.)   These super easy to digest carbs break down fast, shoot thru the intestine wall, right into the blood stream; the pancreas responds with big doses of insulin, and you’ve started the Blood Sugar Up, Blood Sugar Plummet cycle, and hormonal disarray.   Your brain, your moods, your arteries, your organs, your mid-section – all take a hit.  Not a great way to start a morning.  And I haven’t even mentioned the ingredients yet!

Count and you’ll find 12 additions of sugar, numerous types of grains that contain gluten and other proteins which are difficult to digest and cause bloat, gas, and leaky gut; vegetable oils that are full of inflammation causing Omega 6s; soy (ugh), Natural Flavors (usually MSG laden), and ****  Greek Yogurt Powder (Heat Treated After Culturing), and Greek Yogurt STYLE Coating.

Let’s talk about this for a second.  Obviously, we’re supposed to associate “healthy” with this cereal because of the ‘greek yogurt’.  Real yogurt is a dairy product that’s gently warmed,  has a culture added to it which eats the milk sugars, and grows  beneficial bacteria.  This cereal contains “greek yogurt POWDER” , which was heat treated after culturing: NOT a health food.  Health wrecking.  There are no live cultures, bc any heat strong enough to make a powder killed the cultures.  And assuming the yogurt was actually made from milk, the sources of “yogurt powder” would be OXIDIZED.  Oxidized fats and cholesterol are dangerous and damaging.

Cereals have enjoyed decades of fame as a great way to start your day, or your kids day.  But they’re not.  They’re carbohydrate bombs, usually loaded with additive / artificial ingredients, and they leave you hungry in a couple of hours, with the brain needing a carb-fix to counter act the blood sugar plummet induced by grains and sugars.

cleaneating picBetter options for breakfast?  Leftovers from dinner; eggs with veggies; smoothies;  my breakfast this morning will be 2 hard boiled eggs with pesto.   If you’re used to traditional, carbohydrate laden morning foods, and honestly can’t imagine eating otherwise – but you WANT to get off the carb train, make a plan.  Pull out a notebook, write some ideas on it.  Then shop, prep, cook, and have Real Whole Foods ready to eat or put together (and NO, cereal is NEVER a RWF, it’s a processed, packaged, refined food product.) and start from there.  Changing is a process, not a automatic switch that’s flipped.

Switching from convenience foods to Real Whole Foods has about a million and one health advantages,  but it can seem overwhelming.  And it is… first.  Once it’s a habit, it’s not an effort anymore.   Honestly.  Read, invest some time understanding why it matters that you get off the processed, refined foods, and give your body the RWFs it wants and needs.


Why Am I Always Hungry??

If I counted how many times I’ve heard, “I could never just eat 3 meals a day, I’d starve.  I think I have low blood sugar.  I can’t go more than a few hours between meals.”,    it would be in the hundreds.

Folks, you’ve been hypnotized into believing:  you need to eat constantly to keep your metabolism up;  you’ll waste muscle cells if you don’t constantly feed them;  you NEED to eat every couple of hours or you’ll get so hungry you’ll binge and eat a horse. eating a horse   This is all propaganda designed to get you to eat processed, refined food products – seriously.  This line of thinking started in the muscle magazines about 15/16 years ago, I know, because I was a devotee of every muscle mag out there for about 20 years.  Protein bar and Protein drink makers – successfully – pushed the idea that if you ate some protein every couple of hours, you’d build muscle and get lean.  Wow.  Is that an idea that just took off.  Their advertising and articles were accomplanied by pictures of incredibly fit bodybuilders who ate 6 or 7 mini-meals a day, a combination of real foods like meat and broccoli, with protein powder or protein bars.

A picture’s worth a thousand words, and these people looked great.  However,  if you read their blogs, and kept up with research on food timing, you’d be privy to the problems of constantly eating.  First of all, these are pictures of COMPETITORS, who despite eating 6 or 7 times a day, have an incredibly low calorie consumption – that’s how they get ripped and lean.  Second, if you attended any Body Building shows, or followed their blogs, you’d know that they cycle in and out of incredible leanness, and some degree of “not lean at all”, to plain “overweight”.    Plus, jokes about chronic stomach distress, low energy, and ammenorhea (lack of menstrual cycle), are the norm, not the exception.   Does that sound healthy?FLEX

When you eat low cal/low fat, the fact is that you will be Constantly Hungry.  You will be consumed with thoughts of food. (study after study after study confirms this)   Low Cal/Low Fat starves the body and brain of nutrients.   Our body is made of: water (60%ish), proteins (16%ish), fats (15%ish), carbs (2%ish), vitamins, and minerals .  The brain is 60% fat.  If you’re not taking in enough FAT and Protein – your body and brain will send CONSTANT signals to get you to eat. Try to live on vegetables and lean meats, or worse, “diet foods”,  and you are setting yourself up to fail.

As a matter of fact, THE BEST WAY TO GAIN WEIGHT IS TO GO ON A DIET AND CUT YOUR CALORIES AND YOUR FAT INTAKE.    It’s a guaranteed “sure thing”.  Plenty of studies prove this.

Need to lose weight?  Eat Real Whole Foods:  healthy portions of good meats and eggs, plenty of healthy fats, TONS of vegetables, some fruits, some nuts/seeds, some dairy if you tolerate it.    Feed your body the nutrients it needs to thrive, and if you need to lose weight you will. What about hunger?  It OFTEN – but not always – abates, when you regularly consume foods that nuture your body.   I’ve worked with many, many people who thought they couldn’t eat that many calories, or just eat 3 meals, or consume that much fat, but they could and they did and they lose weight and feel great.  I’ve also worked with some people who are so addicted to food and eating that it’s way more than a physical endeavor, it’s mental also.

Food addiction is something I’ve had a lot of experience with, so if this is your problem, get in touch with me.  You can escape food addiction – I promise.    There is hope and a future free of self-hate, negativity, and castigation.

Whether that’s your problem or not, changes in your health and weight are completely possible.

Back to the original thought about weight and meal frequency and metabolism.  It’s all a big sham and here’s a few reasons why:

1) Studies show it doesn’t matter how many meals you divide your daily calories into, it still takes the same amount of energy to digest (not “burn”) that food.

2) Constantly eating means constantly high levels of blood sugar/glucose, which means high insulin.  High blood sugar leads to low blood sugar, that’s the Blood Sugar Blues (weight gain, health issues, and attitude problems).  Insulin and excess Glucose are caustic and inflammatory – to just about the whole body.

3) High insulin + High blood glucose = High Triglycerides.

4) Constant eating has a BAD effect on your hormones (that’s the real reason people gain weight), because constant eating means high Insulin and high Cortisol.  Taking breaks between meals  allows blood sugar to stablaize, and Insulin to recede, which means GLUCAGON can be released, and this hormone taps fat cells to release their energy.  You could call this “fat burning”.

5) Frequent meals lead to …..  hunger, and a desire to eat more.  Eating becomes habitual.

6) Back to Metabolism!   A high metabolism is a sign of fast cell turnover.  Fast cells are HUNGRY cells.  People with fast metabolisms need to eat more often.   Slow metabolisms mean slower cell turnover; theoretically, these people SHOULDN’T be as hungry.  But, in America, with 70% overweight, hunger isn’t just about nourishment or an empty stomach, it’s about desire and want.  (back to addiction and habit – get in touch with me)

Once again,  the path to lean and healthy is “just eat Real Whole Food”.  Don’t be afraid of good fats, and let hours go between meals.   Food for thought.

(Don’t forget my Blood Sugar and Digestion workshops:


What’s Wrong With Grains?

I’ve got some great questions on which grains are okay, as in gluten free or “safe”.  My answer?  None are really okay or safe, and here’s why.

If you’re eating a grain that contains the protein “gluten”, you’re ingesting one of the most common allergens out there.  Don’t see any evidence of common allergy symptoms, like stomach ache or stuffy nose? That’s because food allergies, or food sensitivities, manifest in several different forms, especially sore joints, headaches, skin problems, and auto-immune eat less breadconditions.   Really.  The gluten protein is incredibly difficult to digest, for almost everyone.  It often goes thru the small intestine IN-completely digested, perforates the intestine wall, and leaks out into the blood stream as a large protein as opposed to tiny amino acids.  When our immune system sees the big proteins in the blood, it mounts an Immune Attack, and this can manifest as joint pain or an attack on different organs or systems.    Pretty serious stuff.

What if your grains, such as kamult or spelt,  don’t contain gluten?  They still contain “gliadins”.  Gliadins, once digested, become “exorphins”, which are morphine-like compound that bind to opiate receptors in the brain.  Their effect is to cause Addictive Behavior, and Appetite Stimulation.  Grains (and sugars – both become Glucose in the blood), are as addictive as modern feel good drugs.    Ever not been able to stop eating those crackers or sweets, even if you’re full?comfort w chocolate :wine

What about “healthy whole grains”, like buckwheat, quinoa, or millet??  They get stamps of approval on cereal packages – they must be good, right?

Here’s the carb counts on a few of those:

1/2 c oatmeal  29g carb

1/4 c wild rice 34g carb

2 oz wheat pilaf w orzo   40g carb

1/4c barley 32g carb

1/4c quinoa 30g carb

2oz whole wheat pasta  44g

Note that these serving sizes are really, really, small – not realistic portion sizes.

The point?  Grains are really high in carbs. So in addition to the proteins, or the lectins, or the gliadins that are either hard to digest or cause addictive behaviors, there’s the starchy part of the grain that’s incredibly easy – and quick – to break down and send thru the intestine wall, right into the blood stream, as Glucose.

If you’re struggling with weight, or blood sugar problems (more and more normal weight people are having blood sugar issues), you’ve just dumped a load of glucose in your blood that will need to be delt with ASAP.  (because high blood sugar is a TOP priority of the body).

What happens with excess blood sugar?  It get repackaged as TRIGLYCERIDES and deposited in the stomach area.  Here, you can call it belly fat, estrogen belly, wheat belly, or carb baby.  Whatever sounds the best.

So back to the beginning.  I don’t think there are safe starches – for most people.  I think most people should be getting their carbs from fruits and vegetables.  I do know a COUPLE of people who eat completely reasonably, and never OD on starchy carbs, but I think they’re the exception, and not the rule.  For most of us –  normal people – limit the grains if you want to be healthy and lean.

And of course, eat Real Whole Foods:)

PS:  Remember I have 2 local workshops coming up on Blood Sugar/Hormones and Digestion – the real keys to being lean and healthy.   Information is here:


Iron Info and Lifestyle Thinking

I’m feeling all motivation this morning, so that’s coming.  First though, I’ve had a few run-ins, in just a few days, with people who are having either iron overload problems, or iron deficiency.   Iron absorption is a pretty big issue, and I just want to touch briefly on a few pointers and guidelines about it.

Iron plays a large part in the amount of oxygen that gets delivered to our muscles, brain, and tissues, but it’s also involved in metabolism, immune function, DNA synthesis, growth, and healing, among other  things.  It’s important.

Deficiency and Over-Sufficiency both come with pretty serious consequences.  Children and menstruating females are most likely to be Deficient, and men and menopausal women are more likely to have too much iron.   It’s important to keep an eye on your levels via regular blood tests.

Moms, kids tend to be iron deficient, as a matter of fact, it’s a fairly common problem with the SAD (standard american diet) that most kids are on.  It will affect their growth, energy and health, so remedying that is important.

Here’s a few tips:  iron comes in two forms,  “heme iron”, which is from animal sources, and “non heme iron”, which is from plant sources, and egg whites. (that’s simplistic, but accurate)  Heme iron is MUCH more absorbable and usable by the body than non heme.  Much more.  For instance, spinach is loaded with iron, but less than 2% of it’s iron is absorbed (the Popeye thing was misleading- he lifted heavy for those forearms!);  soybeans have more iron than red meat, but less than 7% of their iron is absorbed.popeye

If you are iron DEFICIENT, you’re going to need to add some meat protein, as that iron is highly absorbable, and there are other “co-factors” in meat that aid  absorption.   Vitamin C also SERIOUSLY increases iron absorption – by 4X!!

Phytates in grains and nuts, the mineral CALCIUM, and Tannins in teas and coffee INHIBIT iron absorption.

If you’re iron status is normal, just eat well rounded meals and the body takes care of itself.

If you have too much iron, then add the CALCIUM, the phytates from your nuts (you know how I feel about grains), and your coffee or tea to your meals containing iron.  They will all help prevent absorption.

Enough about Iron – on to Food!

Here’s my quote for the day:  “Make your health and your energy your priority, and then if you need to lose weight you will.”

Honestly, it’s not the other way around despite decades of hearing it put that way:  Lose weight and get healthy.  That doesn’t happen because when people try to lose weight, they go on DIETS.  Diets make people GAIN WEIGHT and become LESS HEALTHY.  Don’t believe me?   Statistics say that at least 95% of EVERYONE who goes on ANY kind of diet and loses weight will GAIN IT ALL BACK PLUS SOME.  Some stats say that the real number is 99%.

Diets imply a beginning and an end.  An effort that you’re going to make for a period of time to not eat too many calories, to consume certain foods, to shun other foods, and usually to exercise to “burn calories”.

The average dieter displays an enormous amount of strength to resist their normal routines and habits for a few days, or a few weeks, sometimes even a couple months, and then, whether jumping off ferris wheelthey lost weight or didn’t (which does happen), they get tired of the mental effort required to constantly fight their urges.  They give in/fall off the wagon, gain weight, mess up hormones, and re-ignite negative patterns that keep them on the Diet Ferris Wheel. (let’s not forget the self-hate that comes with the Diet Ferris Wheel.)

Don’t let this happen to you!  If you need to lose weight, put your time and focus on eating Real Whole Foods:  meats, healthy fats, TONS of vegetables, some fruit, some nuts, some dairy (if you tolerate them).  Try to skip the snacks, avoid flour and sugar products (blood sugar blues and triglyceride production),  let hours go between meals so that Glucagon(a fat burning hormone) can be released.   Put your mental energy on RWFs being a normal LIFESTYLE for you, not a temporary effort that may or may not result in weight loss that won’t last.

Take steps, do ACTIONS, that will have positive results:  shop, cook, plan your day in writing,  get to bed at a decent hour (the evidence linking lack of sleep and belly fat is HUGE), exercise or at least move – every day, drink tons of water;  in other words, work on your daily habits.  These steps will only sound like an effort until they’re just normal.  Does that make sense?

Work on deleting the Diet Mindset.  Work on habits that make your liver, your hormones, your immune system, your whole body,… run right.    Our body wasn’t made to run on crappy carbs, tons of sugar, and chemicals.  If you’re sick, tired, and overweight, there is a simple solution that’s 100% full proof and long term.  Eat Real Whole Foods.


Power Cooking – The Secret to being Lean and Healthy

I’m writing this blog on a Saturday, so I’ve got weekend plans on my mind.  Who thinks about Power Cooking on the weekends?   And what the heck is Power Cooking?   It’s a great idea to take advantage of any spare hour or two, whether it’s over the weekend, or any week day, to prep and cook for several meals.

Power Cooking is when you’ve made a menu idea of foods that could last you a week or longer between the fridge and freezer; and you get them “table ready” in a a couple of hours. These foods can be for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.   Here’s an example:

pulled chicken, pulled roast, pesto, giant salad, roasted potatoes, hardboiled eggs.

cooking mamaIf these were my menu ideas, I’d make an ingredient list, shop, and PLAN/write down in my to-do book an appointment for myself  to spend a couple of hours cooking.  Sometimes this is Sunday afternoon, sometimes it’s a weekday.  It depends on my work schedule, and my kids sports/school schedule.  But I always schedule it.   If I didn’t schedule it, I wouldn’t get to it.

If any kids are home and available, I get them to scrub vegetables/chop.  Usually, I do this alone, because for me, I’ve trained myself to think of Power Cooking as Me Time.  I prop a TV up on the counter, I pop in a DVD to a great series (right now I’m on season 3 of Justified), and I go to town.   Sometimes I listen to lectures or Podcasts instead.  Other friends I know listen to music and drink wine when they cook – whatever makes you happy and in-the-moment!

I ALWAYS have a PLAN Written down and Displayed on my counter, something like this:

-chicken in pot to boil ( this cooks/simmers for hours, till it’s shreddable)paleo comfort foods

-S&P roast, wrap in foil, pop in oven at 200* for 24 Hours – set timer

(shred tomorrow, freeze half immediately)

-hard boil a dozen eggs to keep in fridge

-wash and cook 8 potatoes, 4 sweet, 4 white   (these last forever – I either

cut/dice/saute in butter, or split, fill, and twice bake)

-make basic salad to fill largest plastic container ( all my girls, and I, eat a lot of salad;  in the winter, I tend to cut and roast a lot of vegetables instead)

-make a favorite pesto recipe,  to be used on potatoes, or meat, or on eggs, or in salad

paleo book elenaSometimes I’ll make a actual recipe (casserole, dish), pop that in the fridge, and reheat on a particular night.  I was doing that a LOT for a while when all my kids were home.  I’ve learned from the Food Channel that flavors actually intensify over a few days in the fridge.  So night’s we’d get in late from a practice or game, all I’d have to do is pull the pan/pot from the fridge and warm it up.

Why all the effort?  Why’d I spend Focus Time on thinking of cooking as enjoyable, and Me Time?  Because food is that important to my health, my weight, and my families health – and their MOODS! I’ve got 4 daughters;  the amount of estrogen in this house is huge.  The last thing I need is to stoke any emotional fires by feeding my kids a diet of sugar, refined carbs, and chemicals.  Seriously.  And that goes for me too.

Looking for some fun recipes?  Try,, primal, or any one of hundreds of sites on the web.   IMPORTANT:  if your time is limited, set a timer as to how long you let yourself browse recipe sites, because it can be quite additive.

Feed your body the nutrients it wants to build your brain, your muscles, your immune system, your hormones, ……. your health.   What we eat matters.  Eating – and cooking – Real Whole Foods,  is important.


Howdy Readers,

I’m going to be holding 2 local workshops on Blood Sugar Regulation and Digestion.  Sound like odd topics?  Why not “How to Lose Weight” or “How to Get Healthy”?   OR :  I Can Make You Skinny By June! ??

Because, if you want to lose weight and get healthy, it’s ALL about how well your digestive system is working and the state of your hormones.  Period.  There’s No diet foods, or diet drinks, or diet pills, or diet protocols, or a “fat burning” exercise that will take your weight off and keep it off.

As a matter of fact, Diet Foods put weight ON.  Seriously, the evidence behind artificial sweeteners, chemical ingredients, refined carbs, and “franken” fats fills text books.  It’s no ones secret, yet the marketing behind these products is in the Billions and Brilliant.

Perfect digestion is critical to our weight and our health.  If you don’t have ENOUGH stomach acid, or sufficient pancreatic enzymes, or you have leaky gut, or not enough beneficial bacteria in your lower intestine,  you’re in trouble.     Anyone have indigestion,  burping, gas, cramps, or general stomach pain and discomfort?  What about a “stomach bloat” that comes on every afternoon and doesn’t disappear til morning?    NOT NORMAL,  totally  Fixable.

Fixable with what?  More Pepcid or Tagament?  Could your body be deficient in those meds??  Absolutely not.  And if you are taking digestive medications, YOU”RE DOING MORE HARM THAN GOOD.    Read the pamphlet’s that come with any of those, they’re meant to be used on a very short term basis – for good reason! (which I’ll be going over in the workshops)

Allergies, auto-immune, liver problems, weight issues, fatigue, migraines, etc etc – all the result of improper digestion, not a medicine deficiency.   Really, this is a Big, Important topic.  You should know how your body is supposed to work if you want it to work correctly;  don’t fall prey to marketing and advertising of products that literally bandaid your symptoms while allowing problems to grow, or have a set of side effects that make everything worse,

Blood Sugar Regulation?  Your hormones are the key to EVERYTHING!!  One of my instructors  has a line that “we look at the world through Hormone Colored Glasses”. (I love that)   When you eat too many  refined carbs (or even too many good carbs if you have blood sugar issues), and your Insulin ( a major hormone) is Dis-regulated,  YOUR WHOLE HORMONAL SYSTEM IS DISREGULATED:  cortisol, adrenaline, testosterone, estrogen, all of them, are affected and can be disregulated too.  Insulin is a Primary Hormone,  it sets the tone for all our other hormones.  (Actually, cortisol’s a biggie too;  I’ll be talking about that.)

Eat a typical, standard American diet (SAD) of cereal, coffee drinks, sandwiches, chips, snacks, and pasta, and you are a hormonal disaster.   Eat constantly, all day long, have your blood sugar UP and Down and Up and Down, You are a Hormonal Disaster.  Eating like that wrecks your gut too, and there goes your Digestion.

My workshops will be two hours long, and they will cover the same material.  Come once, or if you’re up for it, need to resolve issues and really learn how this Biology is supposed to work, come twice.

I’ll be holding each workshop at the Marshall Community Center.  It’s easy to get to, right off Rt 17 and Rt 66.  They have a great room that I’ve used for other workshops and it can accommodate a lot of people. Plus they have plenty of parking.  For my out of town readers,  Video formatting is in the works, more on that when it’s ready.

I don’t have my PayPal Widget set up, so I can’t take payments via my site (yet).  If you want to attend, please just mail me a check or pay at the door.  Either is fine, just let me know in advance if you’ll be attending so I can make sure the rooms set up correctly.


Digestion and Blood Sugar Workshop

May 31st, Friday 1-3 or June 5th, Wednesday 6 – 8pm

Cost: $30 per person – cheap, because I want people to learn this stuff and not be at the mercy of bad information and persuasive marketing.

Send checks to (or make checks out to)

Debbie Abbott

9277 Maidstone Rd

Delaplane Va 20144

and please email me to confirm attending.  Can’t wait to see you there!

Want to Lose Weight?

cat-remember dietHow do you lose weight – PERMANENTLY?

Well, you employ the Real Keys to Weight Loss:   SMALL, CONSISTENT changes, day after day, week after week, month after month.  You eat Normal, Moderate amounts of Real Whole Foods, and let houurss go between meals so that your blood sugar has a chance to regulate/get within normal range, and THEN, fat cells can be burned for energy.  You stay persistent even after veering off course.
What happens when you eat way less calories than your body needs?  I.E., a real low calorie diet? ( I’m not giving a number, bc it would be different for everyone based on bone stucture, muscle propensity, and activity level, but if you’re genuinely hungary because your meals are so small, it’s probably “very low calorie”.)
When you eat Very Low Calorie for just a couple of days, your brain perceives a starvation/crisis situation.  Muscle tissue is very metabolically active, and takes a lot of energy/calories to sustain.  Fat tissue is much less metabolically active, and takes very very Few calories/energy to sustain.    If your brain thinks that there is going to be a shortage of calories/energy, your brain will instruct specific hormones to TAKE APART MUSCLE TISSUE TO FEED THE BODY.  Your brain will STAY AWAY FROM BREAKING DOWN THE EASIER TO KEEP FAT TISSUE IN A TIME OF ENERGY SHORTAGE.  

Read that again.youll lose wt on any diet:crying

Low Calories Diets, even a couple of DAYS of Low Calorie, ( according to studies), trigger your body to break down muscle tissue for fuel to save energy for the brain and body.    Low Calorie Diets Fail.  Some people can sustain them; but they eat up a lot of their muscle tissue, and really  slow down their metabolisms.

Usually though, Very Low Calorie Diets aren’t sustainable – so after the short period of abstinance, when Muscle Tissue is destroyed for fuel and Metabolism is drastically slowed,  – then there’s a back-lash of over eating.  Now, there’s TOO many calories, and the body’s metabolism has been made slower from the Diet.  What does that lead to?  Weight Gain.  Easy weight gain.  Because now, with less muscle,  your body burns less calories at Rest and at Work.

This is why when I see magazine covers or ads promising  “Lose 7 pounds in 10 days”  I want to scream.  Anyone can do that – ask a wrestler.  Starve, spit, take laxatives, take stimulants, take drugs,   and you’ll lose weight.  All Muscle.
The body gives up FAT when it feels nourished (with healthy fats and proteins, tons of vegetables, some fruit, some dairy, some nuts and seeds), and it has Blood Sugar Under Control (from not overdoing the starchy carbs, and letting hours pass between meals so that blood sugar can regulate).

Diets Don’t Work.  That’s a Statistic.  Not my opinion.  If you want to lose weight, eat Normal/Moderate amounts of Real Whole Food, and let hours pass between meals.    Weight loss is about blood sugar and hormones.
Weight Loss is NOT about excessive exercise or Low Fat or Low Calorie. Think about it with Common Sense – who does that work for in the long run? No One.

So today, and everyday, Nourish Your Body.  Eat Real Whole Foods.