Archive for December 28, 2013

Holiday Post from Culebra!

We’ve traveled to Culebra, Puerto Rico, to spend the holidays with our daughter Megan.  We’re having a great time, and doing our best to stay healthy:)  Here’s some pics and the story to go with them:

mark and milk


Mark brought our Raw Milk along!

We get to see our daughter Megan!

me and 3

Lunch on the beach:  coconut water, and then they bust them/machete them, and we eat the meat, and MOFONGO!!! OMG I’m in LOVE with Mofongo!  It’s mashed fried plaintains, salt, crispy pork rind, and tons of garlic mashed into a pestle and baked. Delicious.lunch on beach


chickens at restaurantThere’s chickens in the outdoor restaurants, and every where else on this island.  Including our porch. There’s a rooster that wakes us up every morning at 4 – and it’s pitch dark!

snorkelingGreat snorkeling!  The coral reefs come right up to the shore line.

dingydockDinner out at the Dingy Dock:  great fish and plantains:)

curry3We cooked two dinners so far, this one is a coconut milk curry – delicious!!  Our breakfasts are here too:  eggs, fruit, nuts, avocados.

surf at flamencoThe beaches are just beautiful!

Workouts:  hill runs, walking lunges, push-ups, long walks, and snorkeling!








Dessert Recipe and Inspiration: Contradictory? Nope.

firstpicmacyJust 2 days til Christmas and I’m so excited!  Not much time to write, but I do want to pass on a beautiful and delicious dessert idea, and a few success stories.

The picture posted today?  That’s my number 3 daughter Macy, who made Paleo Carmel Apple Bars, but instead of bars,appletrifle she did it trifle style.  It honestly tastes as great as it looks.

And just in case you haven’t been sticking to a Paleo Diet for the Holidays, here’s a few success stories from Mark’s Daily Apple.

(1) from a 40-something woman   (2) from a 34 year old man,  and (3) from a 54 year old woman.  They all had a lot of weight to lose, and the guy was INCREDIBLY sick.

You can change yourself.  Dieting won’t do it, but working on your mindset will.  Our actions are belief driven.  If you really believe that crappy food loaded with flours, sugars, hydrogenated oils, and chemicals will damage, hurt, and eventually kill you, you’ll stay away from them.  If you think your weight is just a reflection of ‘calories-in, calories-out’, you’ll be like the near-100% of all dieters, who lose weight just to gain it all back again.  Here’s a post on my own story.

To channel Charis again, think about what you manifested this past year.  Now my own thought: what do you want to manifest in 2014?

Tell Me, Should We Vent Our Feelings, Or Should We Stuff Them?

me:girlsThat might seem like a really odd title to a post 4 days before Christmas, but I live in a Girl Household, and it’s been a subject around here.  We have 4 daughters, ages 16 to 23, and the subject has come up:  if you’re stressed and something’s bothering you, should you talk about it or not.  I tend to be a “not” person.  I find that I actually forget about what bothered me if I ignore it; and most of my problems aren’t biggies, which in my book, at 48, primarily means health.  Besides, talking doesn’t resolve most problems, actions do, (even a lot of health problems).

That title question could be argued to death, but here’s some facts:  our feelings aren’t always an accurate reflection of the situation. Our moods, our feelings, our attitudes, they come from the Neurotransmitters in our brain.  Neurotransmitters are like roadmaps up there, and they send signals for everything:  breathing, moving, opinions, moods, everything.  The four main neurotransmitters are Serotonin, Dopamine, Gaba, and the Catecholamines, adrenalin, and norepinephrine.  These  things are made from Amino Acids, and Fatty Acids.  There are no carbs in our brain structure.  Our brain cells use glucose for fuel, but science has shown that they can also use Ketones ( a by-product of fatty acid metabolism, from a high fat, low carb diet), really well.  As a matter of fact, science is showing that the brain actually runs BETTER on fatty acids than glucose. ( the brain is 60% fat, much of it saturated.)


What happens when you don’t eat enough protein and fat?  Or when you do eat enough, but your digestion is bad and you don’t break them down and absorb them?  (remember:  heartburn, bloat, gas, stomach pain = NOT NORMAL, and a big sign of poor digestion).  Your brain suffers.  Those neurotransmitters don’t get made, or they don’t get made correctly.  Add the Standard American Diet on top of that, and you’ve got flours, sugars, hydrogenated oils, and chemicals messing up brain function even more.  Add lack of sleep and movement on top of that, both of which are VITAL to brain function, and the brain goes even further down hill.

Depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, and other mood disorders are plaguing this country, but you don’t need a “mood disorder” to signal that your brain could use some TLC, and the right food.  Access yourself:  are you stressed often?  do you constantly take offense?  need naps?  feel wired but tired?  gravitate to stimulants or depressants ?  Listen To Your Bodies Signals, they’re telling you something.

Commercial Advertising by Big Pharma would have you believe that this is all normal and unavoidable and you just need to take a pill.  The efficacy rate of mood drugs is between 30 and 50%; that’s pretty bad, and so are the side effects.  What if it’s not your circumstances, or the people around you driving you crazy, but it’s you?  Oh man, that line got me in trouble the other day, but… what if?

My husband and I (the guy deserves a medal, by the way), read Julia Ross’s The Mood Cure this past summer, did the quiz, and have been on her  program for Amino Acid therapy since July.  Oh My Gosh what a difference, for both of us!  We’ve also made going to bed early a priority for the past 2 years;  again, Oh My Gosh, what a difference!  Did you know that each hour of sleep before midnight is worth at least 2 hours after midnight?  Actually, the more we tie our daily habits and actions to our mood and our health, the better everything keeps getting.

Wow, I hope I’m not making it seem like I don’t think any problems are worthy of stressing about, because I do.  In a house with so much drama  (we had 4 teenagers for a couple of years.), you have to be a little bit tough.   But the older I get, the more I believe that “life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.”,  Charles Swindall;  and this one, “most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”, Abraham Lincoln.

Remember the other day when I told you about Charis and her advice to look back over this past year and see what we’ve manifested?  I’ve been doing that every day this week.  My life is what I make of it, even when a challenge is thrown at me.  We only have a couple of weeks left of 2013; ask, what did I do, what do I wish I did, and what do I want to do in 2014?  What kind of person do I want to be?  It all happens in your mind, and your mind can’t work for you if you’re not nurturing it with the food and the rest and the oxygen that it needs to thrive.  Be determined to create a life where you thrive!




I Want To Feel Energetic, Vibrant, and Alive! (and a DIY lotion recipe)

me cookingOh my gosh, one more week til Christmas! It’s a busy time, but we can still be healthy, right?  What we do when life is hard/busy/stressful, that’s who we really are.

I’ve heard from more than a few people expressing sadness about weight gain, specifically, weight gain since Thanksgiving;  the dreaded Holiday 5 Pounds.  You’ve got a choice here, you either go with the line, ” I’ve already blown it, New Years Day is right around the corner, I’ll start new then.”  or this line,  “More vegetables, more fruit, more healthy fats and proteins; I’m going to plan the next few days well and get back on track because I don’t like feeling this way.”

Pick a line and go with it.  If it’s the second line, MEDITATE ON IT.  Choose your thoughts; quit letting a momentary whim lead to actions that make you feel horrible later.   Do this for me:  next time you want some food that’s not healthy, set a timer on your phone and see how long the desire lasts.  Unless you’re genuinely starving, Hunger Is Temporary.  Seriously.  If you turn out to still be starving in 15 minutes, evaluate what you ate at your last meal.  Was there enough fat, enough protein, enough vegetables, enough Real Whole Foods,  or did you do the “diet” thing and now you’re hungry?  Give your body the nutrients it needs, and that compulsive desire to eat will start to fade away.  Weight loss (if you need it) is a side-effect of eating healthy.

On a different note, I’m obsessed with DIY lotions – they’re so fun!  But that’s not why I’m making them;  I’m making them because the ingredient list for store bought lotions is gross, honestly.   Look at Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer, it’s a Best Seller:  16,300 bottles are sold A DAY; that’s about $700,000 A DAY for just this product.

Here’s the ingredient list:

Water, Mineral Oil, Sesame Oil, Propylene Glycol, TEA Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Lanolin Alcohol, Petrolatum, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Yellow #5, Yellow #6, Red #33.   For the $38 – $46 you’ll shell out, here’s what you get:  dyes that the FDA say cause cancer (this would be the “transdermal” way to get cancer), Glyceryl Stearate, which is a petrochemical; the mineral oil and Petrolatum are inexpensive by-products of petroleum, and the two parabens?  They’re estrogenic (that means it mimics estrogen), carcinogenic, and allergenic.  Think I’m exaggerating because dangerous products aren’t allowed to be sold to the public?  Think again.

Fact check your products with EWG’s site, skin deep to see what they contain; or look here.

bowl in panHere’s a lotion I’ve been making from the wellness mama site, talk about luxurious!

1/2 c olive or almond oil            ingredients

1/4 c coconut oil

1/4 c beeswax (beeswax is cool!)

1 tbsp vitamin E oil

2 tbsp cocoa butter  and/or

2 tbsp shea butter

essential oils.   I’ve used Peppermint, Vanilla, Sweet Orange, Frankensense, and Neem, so far.

Directions:  put a pot on the stove that has 2-3″ of water in it and turn the heat to med-high.  Place all the ingredients in a mason jar, and then place the jar in the hot water. Stir til everything’s melted, then add your essential oils.   After that, you can redistribute to smaller jars, like I did, or keep it in the one jar.

Some of you might be thinking I’ve crossed a line. First, I’ve been asking you to plan, shop, cook and pack;  now I’m saying personal care products need to be made in the kitchen.  I SWEAR I’M NOT SAYING THAT!!  I’m just planting a seed.  I know better than anyone that sometimes, changes need to be made slowly.  But true Growth, becoming a better person, that’s always a goal, right?  I want to feel good, energetic, vibrant, alive – you do too, I know it!  What we put on our body is just as important as what we put in our body. Those chemicals from the personal care products,  they’re through the skin and in our blood stream in seconds.   Just a little seed.  ( a mustard seed.)

Let me finish with the three quotes for the week:

* “Most of us have practiced doing things the wrong way for years, we can’t expect everything to turn around in a few weeks.”  Joyce Meyers

* “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale

* “Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.”  Golda Meir


All Behavior is Belief Driven

elfJust 9 days til Christmas – I feel the energy in the air!!  Along with a giant To-Do list in my notebook.

I’m going to blast some facts at you, because : All Behavior Is Belief Driven.  Think it’s hard to walk past platters full of doughnuts, cookies, or bagels without eating any? It depends on your belief:  do you believe that flour and sugar are literally toxic to your brain and body, or do you still look at food as calories that you can work-off or starve-off later?

Fact: flours that contain Gluten (a group of proteins that are in grains) have ADDICTIVE properties, they literally stimulate pleasure centers in your brain that make you want more.

Fact:  no human being on earth has the digestive enzymes to break down glutens from wheat, barley, or rye.  Think you don’t have a problem because you’re not a Celiac?  Celiac disease is an AUTO IMMUNE reaction to the glutens. That happens to some people.   For the rest of us, the damage accumulates over YEARS:  the undigested proteins leak thru the gut wall, inappropriately; our immune system responds to the foreign objects, and where we’re most vulnerable (joints, brain, nervous system, thyroid, etc) gets attacked.

Fact:  sugar has ADDICTIVE properties. Studies show that it’s MORE addictive than Cocaine.  In 1700, the average American ate 4 lbs of sugar a year; in 1800 it was 18 lbs;  in 1900 it was 90 lbs,  in 2009, it was 180 lbs.   

Imagine the power that foods containing both Gluten and Sugar possess.  Think you can have just a little?  Maybe,  there’s actually still some people left that can have a bite and walk away, but they’re in the minority.  Most people have their appetites seriously triggered, and it tends to stay triggered.

Fact: in 1890, 3% of the population was overweight,  in 2010, 70% of our population was overweight.

Fact:  Gluten and Sugar are conclusively linked to Cancer, Heart Disease, Obesity, Migraines, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Auto Immune Conditions, Depression, ADHD, ADD, Anxiety, and just about every disease out there.

Fact: 70% of Illnesses today are PREVENTIBLE.  70%.

There’s a sweet, sweet girl who’s wisdom I follow, her name is Charis.  She wrote one of the most profound statements this past weekend.  She said to spend time before the New Year thinking about what you manifested this past year.  OMG I LOVE THAT.  Our life, our body, our thoughts, our “luck”, our relationships, they’re all exactly what we made of them.  Evaluate where we are, where we want to be, and how to get there.  If it’s a different place, it won’t be doing the same old thing, that’s for sure.

We only have a few weeks left of the Change.   Nothing changes if our thoughts don’t change.  Nothing.  Actually, I should say, nothing PERMANENTLY changes.  Will powering through situations is do-able, for a little while.  Then there’s the backlash.  Remember that quote I used the other day, ” for every diet, there is an equal and opposing binge”?

Practice making the association between every bite you put in your mouth and your health, your energy, and your resilience.   If you have children, help them make that association too.  We live in a world that promises happiness if you drink diet coke or eat pop tarts and frozen pizza.  We’re bombarded with ads promising quick fixes with pharmaceuticals.  We see pictures of beautiful people indulging in alcohol, chips, and candy, sending the message that if they do that and look that good, we can do that and look that good.  It’s not true.  Our body, our brain, and our spirit need Real Whole Food, sleep, exercise, and love.

I’ve got 3 quotes for you; if you really want to change, write them down and meditate on them.  Post them on your lamp your mirror your steering wheel;  practice positive, productive thinking.

(1) “Most of us have practiced doing things the wrong way for years, we can’t expect everything to turn around in a few weeks. ”  Joyce Meyers

(2) “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”  Norman Vincent Peale

(3) “Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.”  Golda Meir


Paleo Christmas Party Recipe Links

table at partyYou can have a Christmas party without grains and sugars –  we proved it yesterday:)  Thank you to everyone who brought the delicious food, and thanks for braving my snowy, hilly, driveway.  I’ve got the recipes links for about half of the food that was shared, and the whole recipe for the cauliflower soup.  NOTE:  No one expected “cauliflower soup” to be so delicious, but it was.  OMG:  herb-y, hot, creamy, wintery and warming.

Magic Cookie Bars, All Day I Dream About Food.  The sweetened condensed milk takes 90 minutes to make, plan accordingly.

Bacon Jam from the cookbook, Beyond Bacon.

Goji Berry Sea Salt Drops, from Food Babe.

Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with Manchego cheese, and Bacon wrapped dates NOT stuffed – both versions are delicious.

Paleo Snickerdoodles, Elana’s pantry.

Paleo Molassas Spice Cookies, Elana’s pantry.

Paleo Coconut Milk Bread, The Spunky Coconut.

Peanut butter Caramel Shortbread bars, All Day I Dream About Food.

Peanut Butter Cookies, Elana’s Pantry ( these were supposed to be Vegan, but I used butter)

Star Butter Cookies, Elana’s Pantry

Paleo Pecan Sandies, Elana’s Pantry

Chunky Monkey Muffins, Primal Cravings cookbook

Sorry, there was a lot more food on the table, but no cards with links on them:(  I’ll do a better job monitoring that next year I promise!

The Cauliflower Soup Recipe:

2 leeks, including 2 bunches of greens, roots trimmed

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 celery rib, with extra leaves, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp finely minced garlic

2 tsp curry powder –   this ingredient surprised me bc I tasted NO hot spicyness at all

2 tsp ground ginger

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (more if necessary)

Juice of half a lemon

1 head cauliflower, cored and broken into florets

1 cup half and half

salt and pepper to taste

Cut leeks in half lengthwise. Wash to remove dirt.   Pat dry and thinly slice crosswise.   (2) Heat oil w the butter in heavy pot over low heat. Wilt the leeks and celery w leaves until softened, 10 minutes, add garlic during the last 5 minutes.  (3)  Stir in the curry powder and ginger, cook over low heat to permeate the vegetables, 1 minute.  (4) Add broth, lemon juice, and cauliflower florets. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. (5) Puree in a food processor until very smooth, adding half and half though the feed tube.  Add extra broth for desired consistency. Season w Salt and Pepper.   Sprinkle with crystalized ginger or sliced scallions.


For Every Diet, There’s an Equal and Opposing Binge

christmas goodiesI hope I’m not beginning too many posts with “I got an email”, but honestly, I got an email that probably applies to so many of us, that I have to answer it here.

Hi Debbie,

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I meant to make this the one December in my life that I didn’t gain so much weight that I hated myself in January.  I was determined to “stay on the wagon” as you put it the other day.  But I’ve fallen off.  I feel hopeless. Between the parties and goodies that people are bringing into the office, I don’t see how I can possibly lose weight in December.

There’s more, but you get the gist.  Here’s my answer:  please don’t give up – and don’t plan on trying to lose weight in December either.  How bout for now, you practice different thoughts ?  That’s the point of the Mantras (this week’s Mantra is “I think long term.”):  to change your actions, and your body,  by changing what goes on in your head.  This takes time, attention, and effort.

Bad habits are so easy to develop; they give this short, momentary pleasure ( hormones and endorphins) that create neural circuits (think: road maps) in your brain.  Deviate from your normal patterns, and those neurons send STRONG signals that COMPEL you to do what you’ve always done in the past (keeping you right where you are).  Breaking habits means muscling through a few of those compelling messages, so that you can create NEW neural circuits.  Here’s the tricky part, I’m using the term ” muscle through “, which implies Will Power. Unfortunately, WillPower is in very limited supply.  Will Powering through situations is going to be a temporary ability.  That’s why, “For Every Diet, There’s An Equal and Opposing Binge That Happens.”  Ever heard that one before?  Ever experienced that?

The trick is to change how you feel about food and eating at the neural/brain level.  Work on that for now: ”  I think long term, I think long term. ”  Keep reading, keep learning, keep thinking about your habits now, and what you want your habits to be a year from now.  Real change is peaceful, not stressful;  you can have real change, but not from a specific diet plan, pill, cleanse, superfood, super drink, etc etc,  Real Change comes from changing your brain.  The time to start practicing is now.

Waiting for the holidays to be over, a new month to begin, soccer season to end, a project at work completed, Monday,  yada yada yada, is a Diet Mentality that keeps you on the Diet Roller coaster.  Get off the roller coaster.  This is your life.  There’s always stress, there’s always complications, and there’s always co-workers, loved ones, and friends, who push food on you.  It’s normal.

***** The Food Isn’t Your Problem.  Your Mind is The Problem. *****  Work on changing your mind and in a year you can be a whole new person.  Keep putting it off, and stay exactly the same.

Tire Out Your Kids – Make Them Do Tabata’s With You!

Right now I’m sitting in my house watching a snowfall that’s supposed to bring 6″ in 6 hours.  For most of us Virginians, that means life comes to a halt, or at least slows down.  I know, I know, for all you New Englanders and Westerners, we’re a joke. I lived in Aspen from 91 to 93, so I get it.  Still, this is what happens here!

This is to all my fellow moms, who won’t be going to the gym today and taking my class, or anyone’s class; and to everyone I won’t be training today:  a Workout to do At Home:)

If you have little kiddos around you, demanding your attention, they’ll enjoy this.  Maybe it’ll head standmake them so tired they’ll take a nap this afternoon, or at least go to bed earlier tonight.  ( Not that us moms count the hours til bedtime……)

tabata timer Install or download a Tabata Timer app on your phone.  Turn the volume all the way up.  You’ll get an Interval timer that will give you 10 seconds to get ready, then for the next 4 minutes, you’ll get a whistle that blows after 20 seconds, and then 10 seconds.    I use this in class all the time, but I also use this at home.  It’s awesome!

Here’s 2 workouts, do one or do both, depending on time and (kid) demand :

jumping jacks for 20 seconds  ( bad bladders, pee before hand)

squat and hold for 10 seconds,   do this for the whole 4 minutes


mountain climb for 20 seconds

rest for the 10 seconds

jump squat for 20 seconds

rest for the 10 seconds,  keep repeating for 4 minutes

Here’s my biggest piece of advice for today:  Don’t give in to  (regrettable) desires to pig-out.  Remember the Mantra of the week:  “I think Long Term.”  Stay away from crackers, ice cream, and Christmas cookies. Better yet, if you have these, throw them in the trash and pour dish soap on them. No one needs them.  Focus on eating good fats, good proteins, and tons of vegetables and fruits.; use the day to cook casseroles or meals that you can freeze/store/eat later.

If you do Fall Off The Wagon, GET BACK ON THE WAGON.  One or two slips-ups aren’t as bad as a full day of slip-ups.  Really there’s nothing that can’t be fixed or undone.  Positive thoughts, positive actions.  I’m off to workout!




Bad Eating on a Snow Day; and Insulin Resistance

snow hereOh man I love snow days!! The house is decorated, we watched a movie with Shelby, the horses got their blankets on, and Mark put together his annual yearly picture collage with a couple hundred photos.  It feels good to get things done:)  You know what didn’t happen?  Bad eating, and that feels great!  When we ate munchie foods and snacks, we always kept them in the house;  now that we don’t snack between meals, there’s nothing calling us from the Pantry or Fridge!  No markcrackers, no chips, no cookies, nothing.  Between not having the junk in the house, and eating our high fat meals, Cravings Are Gone.   I know from my emails, and I remember myself, how loudly food can call to you;  change your thoughts, change your kitchen, change the way you cook, and those food voices get softer and softer until they disappear.  Honest.  You don’t have to Change Everything All At Once; just have a plan.  Make one small change every week.  Write it out.  Stick to it, be determined even in the face of set backs.  It’ll happen, I promise.


shelby mad

The picture on the right is Mark making the collage.  The picture on the left is Shelby pouting because we have no junk food; she had to cook up a snack of chicken sausage and was wishing she’d spent the snow day at a friends house.  Kids….

That leads to the Change your Mind / Change your Body plan.  The mantra for this week is “I think Long Term.”    So often we just think with a little spot in the brain that’s full of  “addicted neurons”; think Long Term and you’re using consequences to guide your behavior instead of momentary desires.  Your body and  your health will permanently change when your thinking does, so solidify in your mind why food matters.  Here’s some fodder:

I got another good question this weekend,  “what exactly is Insulin Resistance?”.  One of my nutrition clients is trying to figure this out, but we all need to know the answer because according to pubmed, at least 25% of the US population is Insulin Resistant.  Tests are showing that some babies are actually born insulin resistant (moms- cigarettes and alcohol aren’t the only thing you should avoid when pregnant, grains and sugar do damage too.).

Insulin Resistance is the condition before full blown Diabetes Type 2; here’s what happens (the short answer):  When  you eat carbohydrates (any and all) they break down to Glucose.  The Pancreas releases Insulin to shuttle the Glucose out of the blood.  It takes it to the muscle cells for fuel, the liver for storage, and then takes it to a different part of the liver where all the leftover glucose gets converted to triglycerides/fat, and stores it.

Go back to the muscle cells:  Insulin is a Caustic, Irritating, Damaging hormone.  (It wrecks havoc on our arteries as it courses through our veins).  When there’s not too much of it, the muscle cell doors “open” to let the insulin carry the glucose, and other nutrients, in.  When there’s too much insulin, from eating carbs all day and keeping blood sugars high, the cell doors “close”.  They say “NO” to the insulin.  Glucose and nutrients can’t get in.  That’s Insulin Resistance.

When the Glucose can’t get in the cells, the Pancreas gets a signal that blood sugar is high, and makes more Insulin.  More Insulin courses through our body, causing more damage.  More Glucose is converted to Fat, since the muscle cells can’t use it.  The excess glucose and insulin stay in the blood stream too long, causing free radicals, and damaging the cells on the back of the eyes, the kidney, and the extremities – these cells can’t resist.  ( a condition Diabetics are all too familiar with).

What else happens during Insulin Resistance?   It’s not a good list:  nerve damage, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high LDL, coronary artery disease, fatty liver, wrinkles and age spots, impotence, polycystic ovary disease, and I could go on and on and on.  Insulin Resistance can last for years before full Type 2 develops.

High blood sugar and high circulating Insulin are really really bad for you. What we eat matters!  What we eat determines our weight, our moods, our skin, our energy levels, our health.  Insulin Resistance is reversible, and preventable.  Choose wisely, choose Real Whole Food.  Check my What I Eat Page for Ideas, and if you’re in the area, drop in this Friday, December 13, between 12 and 2, for my Paleo Christmas Party!  Taste delicious Paleo foods without causing the blood sugar and insulin spikes:)

Want to lose weight? Quit Eating Grains and Sugars.

debbie (12)I got a great email from someone new to the blog, and interested in weight loss.  She’s confused because her doctor gave her a diet handout that used the government sponsored “my plate” as a weight loss guide.  She’s discouraged because she feels she’s been eating pretty healthy, and actually very close to the “my plate” guide lines, yet she’s overweight and has just been labeled “pre-diabetic” according to her fasting blood sugars and A1C.  Hmmmm.  She only eats whole wheat or whole grain products, and often even chooses gluten-free grains.

She’s wondering how whole grains can be bad, and asked why I’ve advised people to avoid them when her doctor says they’re healthy.  I love this because it gives me a chance to dive into our Plan for Change:  change our body by changing our minds.  All behavior is belief driven.  If you believe that weight loss is just about math ( calories in / calories out), and you eat accordingly,  one of two things will happen:  you might lose weight, but you will probably gain all of it back plus a few pounds (that’s a statistic: more than 95% of everyone who loses weight gains it back), or,  (2) you won’t lose any weight at all.  That seems to be happening more and more these days as more and more people are “broken” after years of the Standard American Diet.

Your body’s not a math equation, it’s a chemistry set.  When you eat grains and sugars, and your blood glucose rises above normal, hormonal shifts happen that make weight loss IMPOSSIBLE and weight gain a CERTAINTY.

High blood sugar, which happens easily with grains and sugars, causes the release of Insulin, a hormone that stores and builds.  Insulin takes excess blood sugar to the liver, where it gets remade into triglycerides, or FAT, and then deposited into fat cells in the abdominal area.  Remember our mantra for the week?  “Grains and Sugars are deadly and fattening” ?  That’s no exaggeration.

In addition to fat deposit and weight gain, high blood sugar and high insulin:  suppress the immune system, cause high cortisol, suppress thyroid hormone, shrink brain tissue, make blood thick and sticky, create inflammation throughout the body, creates free radicals, inhibits cellular uptake of vitamins and minerals, damages artery walls, raises blood pressure, raises the “bad” cholesterol, decreases HDL, narrows the vasculature of the eyes, kidneys, feet, and brain, causes headaches, and causes depression.

That’s a short list, but it makes my point that Grains and Sugars are deadly and fattening.  Want to lose weight?  Go back to my statement, all behavior is belief driven.  When you believe grains and sugars are deadly and fattening, real change happens.  You can get all the carbohydrate your body needs for fuel from vegetables and fruit, which also come with whopper doses of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber.  Check out my What I Eat page if you’re wondering what’s left when you cut out pasta, bread, and cereal.  Keep learning, keep reading, keep focusing, keep saying the mantras.  You really can change your body, but you have to change your thoughts first.  You can do this!