Healthy Thursday: Losing Weight


There are so many articles, blogs, conversations, news stories going on about ‘the best, most healthy way to lose weight’. There are, literally, hundreds of new ideas, opinions and ultimatums on weight loss. Sure, some people claim they ‘just can’t lose weight, no matter what they do’, that one can’t help roll their eyes.

Weight loss isn’t confusing, difficult or mysterious. The best, scientifically proven way to lose weight is eating low-carb, low-calorie foods, cardiovascular exercise AND strength training. Healthy weight is a lifestyle choice-you must choose to consciously add healthy vegetables, healthy grains and healthy meats to your diet. You must consciously choose to add aerobic activity to your day. You must consciously choose to lift weights, do resistance band exercises or some form of strength training to your day.

There are so many bad foods bombarding us ever second of every day, no one is immune. Easy, empty carb/calorie foods are cheap, but they also are bad for our hearts, cause diabetes, dementia and other health issues. If you start off eating healthy vegetables, avoid the high carb, high starchy foods, like corn, peas, potatoes, summer squash. These are the worst foods for your body. Do include foods like beets, carrots, celery, green beans, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, zucchini, winter squash. Add leafy greens to other dishes, like spinach, kale, radish greens, turnip greens, beet greens.

Other foods to avoid are any foods made with/from white flour, white sugar, white rices. These turn into sugar and pack on the pounds. I don’t have to tell you, avoid any processed foods, any pre-made/pre-boxed/pre-bagged foods. Food you make yourself you know what went in it. You know how many steps removed from nature the food is. A rule of thumb: the closer to natural, the healthier it is.

Grains are your best friend. Switch to healthier grains, like barley, brown/wide rice mix, bulgar, farro. These don’t necessarily have lower carb/calorie counts, but they do have higher fiber counts, which removes fat from your body! That is also the reason you hear “eat more leafy greens”: they remove fat from your body as well!

Portion control is a really big issue with dieters. Pay attention to how much you eat; if you don’t know what portion a food is, start using measuring cups and measuring spoons. A serving of vegetable is, roughly, 1/3 a cup per serving. If you eat 2-3 meals per day, get your daily servings (roughly 5-8 per day), divide them between your mid-day and evening meals, so you get a cup of vegetable per meal. Take only one serving of meat per meal, the human body only needs a palm-sized serving per day for nutritional needs. Anything more, is adding bulk to your stomach, hips, butt and thighs. Measure your grains, dressings, butters and so on.

The biggest issue with living healthy is exercising. You don’t know how many memes i’ve seen on social media decrying exercising. The less you exercise, the more harm you do to your body. Walking is the best start to exercise I know. Do what you can; when I started back in 2005 or so, all i could do is 100 feet at first. I added a few feet each week until I could walk around the block. You don’t like to walk by yourself? Feel everyone is watching, pointing and laughing?  Really, people have better things to do than watch you walk. Get out there!

Strength training is another big issue with healthy living. The number one issue women tell me is they don’t want to get bulky.  Relax, women don’t have enough testosterone in their body to get bulky. Only if you were taking male hormone supplements, shots or pills would you bulk up like a wrestler. Women need a tiny bit of naturally occurring testosterone to firm up muscles, so you have that hourglass figure. Like Marilyn Monroe had.

You can easily start using canned foods (shame on you for having them in your cupboard!), books on your shelves, laundry bottles filled with water, anything in your house. There are so many strength training/body weight/weight lifting videos on the internet, a simple browser search will help you find beginner videos.

Is healthy living easy? No, I will be the first to tell you getting started is difficult and will challenge you in ways you can’t imagine. But, I will also be the first to tell you the rewards will be better than you can imagine.

Wertfrei Wednesday: Taking stock


It’s December 3rd, folks, exactly four weeks left in 2014.  Remember back on January 1st with all those well-intentioned New Years Resolutions? Did you do quarterly checks against that list you made? There are 28 days to finish that list or renew those resolutions. It’s never too late to re-start the resolution!

Did you resolve to lose weight but too many delicious foods throughout the year? Never fear, if you fell off the mashed potato wagon, just make small, simple changes for a healthier lifestyle. If you drink too much soda, exchange one can for a juice or a green tea. Like those mashed potatoes? Exchange for mashed cauliflower with a small amount of exotic cheese.

How about working out? Did you resolve to work out religiously hours every day? In reality, that is unrealistic for anyone but gym rats and bunnies. Start small: walk around the block or the local college or high school track. Is there a mall nearby? Be one of those mall walkers! Start lifting a one-pound weight of something around the house a few times a day, build some strength in your arms. Do some old fashioned calisthenics from high school.

Wanted to expand your knowledge but life got in the way of signing up for something? Good news, there are plenty of colleges offering free classes online, community centers offering seminars or one-night only classes for different areas. Subscribe to an email service!

There’s still plenty of time to re-start those resolutions.

Healthy Thursday: Weight Loss by Fruits and Vegetables

veggie vendor


A new study has just confirmed what we already knew: Eating fruit and vegetables will not help you lose weight []

As I have said, time and again, in articles and cookbook introductions, you need to do some form of exercise that makes you sweat for an extended period of time. While admirable, reducing your food intake to apples, bananas and carrots alone will not ‘melt off the fat’ as promised by whatever fad diet you saw in whatever magazine. You’ll lose some weight, for sure, but you will also lose muscle mass, your health will deteriorate and you’ll have less energy to gt around to do daily chores and errands.

A healthy lifestyle needs a well-balanced eating plan including proteins, vitamins, minerals, low-carb, low-starch, low-sugar fruits and vegetables and healthy fats. Avoiding high-carb high-fat, high-salt foods at all costs. If you are unsure, ask your health care provider for a referral to a dietician or nutritionist.

To lose weight, you must include a form of exercise that has both cardiovascular exercise and strength training. If your goal is to just lose weight, you’ll lose that all-important muscle mass.  You need muscle to keep going, to carry your body and energy reserves. There are numerous books, videos, gyms to get you going in the right direction.

Your body will thank you.

Healthy Thursday: Don’t Diet


Summer is in full force, more people are feeling energetic, making plans to diet, exercise in order to lose weight fast.  They are looking for fast diets, like the antithesis of fast food. More and more articles are popping up, everywhere I look promising to help you melt fat faster than you can down  a thick milk shake. Every news, health and fitness website has some sort of article or list that promises pounds of weight will drop off with some magic mix of fruit, vegetable, mix of protein/carbohydrate. Sorry to say, there are no fast fixes in weight loss.  There isn’t a diet that works.  The only thing that does work is what should be the normal American diet and plenty of exercise or activity. Here is my list, condensed from my Introduction to the Ultimate Simple Healthy Fresh Cookbook, of how to be healthy, but as you know, contact your health care provider before starting any drastic change in diet or exercise.

1.  Health starts in the kitchen! As I’ve said many times before, don’t diet! eat healthy! What does that mean? cut out salt, sugar, processed carbs and fat. Read labels-removing anything that has an ingredient ending in -ose (glucose, sucrose, etc) or that has sugar, corn syrup and so forth. Buy whole wheat pastas, breads (but dont tank up on bread or pastas!).

2. Water is life! Increase your water intake to 30-60 ounces per day. That is in addition to your morning coffee. Add a sugar-free tea to your day. Water flushes out impurities, clears the skin, ensures your internal organs are operating properly. Tea, especially green, white, herbal teas help flush your system and strengthen your immune system.

3. Increase your intake of leafy greens! Having pizza? One of my favorite ways to have pizza is to put the salad right on top! Dress leaf lettuce lightly in italian dressing (or make your own) and pile it on top. Chow down! The dressing will cut the dough. Add spinach, kale or vegetable greens (radish, beet, etc) to a low-carb, low-salt white sauce and add to a pasta or lasagna.

Continue reading Healthy Thursday: Don’t Diet

Healthy Thursday: Weight Loss Myths


Circuit Machines
Circuit Machines

We’ve all heard them, heart-felt advice, old wives tales: weight loss myths.

There are so many of them out there, some sound and some so off the wall you just laugh. The great people over on Natural Blaze have addressed the top four.

1. The faster you lose your weight, the more weight you will regain later.

2. Setting realistic goals for weight loss ensures a greater degree of success.

3. States of change or degree of readiness are helpful in weight management success.

4. Daily self-weighing interferes with weight loss success.

The article they derived their top 4 myths from also talk about the top 10 presumptions of weight loss, here are the top 5:

  •  Regularly eating (versus skipping) breakfast is protective against obesity.
  • • Eating close to bedtime contributes to weight gain.
  • • Eating more fruits and vegetables will lead to weight loss or less weight gain, regardless of whether one intentionally makes any other changes to one’s behavior or environment.
  • • Weight cycling (i.e., yo-yo dieting) increases mortality rate.

In the article I wrote years ago, How I Lost 41 Pounds, I give the tips I used to lose weight:

  1.  I firmly believe one has to be mentally ready to live a healthier lifestyle.
  2. There are no diets, no gimmicks and no weight loss secrets.
  3. Don’t deny yourself: don’t be a masochist, be smart about eating, though.
  4. Do something that makes you sweat for an extended period of time.  Walking is a great start!

It is a lifestyle commitment to eating better-healthier, exercising and making better choices.


Healthy Thursday: Diabetes Weight Loss Drug

Novo Nordisk’s big-selling diabetes drug Victoza appears to be an effective weight loss therapy, data from a late-stage clinical trial presented on Saturday demonstrated.

In the 56-week study of 846 overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes, a daily injection of 3 milligrams of Victoza led to significantly greater weight loss than did a placebo.


Patients taking the 3 mg dose of the drug, known chemically as liraglutide, had a mean loss of 5.9 percent of body weight. That compared with a loss of 4.6 percent for a 1.8 mg dose and just 2 percent loss for those who got a placebo. All patients were also put on a diet and exercise program.

The results were presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting in San Francisco.

Weight loss had been viewed as a beneficial side effect of Victoza as obesity is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes. But with obesity becoming a global health crisis, Novo Nordisk now sees the medicine as a potentially lucrative weight loss drug at a higher than currently approved dose. Some two thirds of Americans are classified as overweight or obese.

Healthy Thursday: Mixing it Up

Getting your cardio in with your workout is essential to getting healthy, fit and feeling better about yourself. Many do the tried-and-true treadmill, grinding out mile after mile.  I know I did that for quite some time before I started using the other machines at the local gym.  The treadmill is easy to use, a gym staple for decades, helping people lose unwanted pounds.  For awhile I switched to the elliptical machine.

I really had enjoyed using the elliptical machine, as well.  The challenge was to keep your balance, while using both your arms and legs, pumping and climbing simultaneously. The weight dropped off and my waist was returning to a normal size again. However, I had developed knee problems out of the blue one day and could no longer use it.  So I went to my Doctor and she suggested using the exercycle. That helps my knees but the weight loss is slower.

Whatever you do, check with your health care professional and choose a cardio that is a best fit for your needs.  And don’t be afraid to switch machines and mix it up every few months.

Your body will thank you.