Overcome Your Basic Desire for Sweet Foods

July 12, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Holistic Nutrition

Why do we need to sweeten everything we eat? Is it because nothing in its natural state tastes good? Or, have we been programmed to think sweetness is the only taste that is truly satisfying because sugar has been increasingly added to most packaged foods? It is interesting that if you stop eating sugar laden foods you will acquire a more refined palate and when you eat something sweetened your tolerance will be diminished. Sweetened foods will seem to be too sweet.

In order to overcome your basic desire for sweet foods you must read all labels to avoid the hidden sugars in everything from potato chips to breaded fish. An effective way to begin weaning yourself from sugar is to experiment with healthy sugar substitutes such as xlitol, agave nectar or stevia. These sweeteners have a much lower glycemic index. This means they do not convert as rapidly as simple sugars.

We need to ask ourselves if the food we are eating is naturally sweet and if not, is it truly any good for us if the only way it is palatable is by adding sugar. We should also ask ourselves if the food we are eating is whole or have parts of it been removed during processing. It is always optimum to consume foods in their whole state so that we have all of the nutrients nature provided to digest and utilize the nutrients it contains. This is the way we have evolved over the last many thousands of years we have been on this planet. It has only been maybe 100 years that mankind has had access to the commodity of sugar at very cheap prices. It has only been during this time that so many of the maladies we currently experience have begun to manifest themselves. This is not accidental. A majority of our current health issues experienced today are a direct result of an over consumption of refined sugar and white flour.

If you are tempted to eat a food which is not whole, ask yourself if you are eating to nourish your body and quench hunger or are you just satisfying a psychological need for a particular taste sensation - notably the taste of sweetness. In order to stay healthy and vital in our current environment a discriminating knowledge of what we put in our bodies is crucial.

The Body has Only Two Places it Can Store Excess Sugar: the Liver, as glycogen, or as fat.
Yes, that’s right. The unused sugar is stored as fat and the hormone that does this is insulin, and the pancreas always releases insulin when one eats carbohydrates/sugar. Therefore, if you are not very physically active when you eat refined carbohydrates, you will store any excess as fat. Additionally, the consumption of refined carbohydrates, by definition, means you are not obtaining adequate minerals to maintain normal cellular functions especially those associated with sugar metabolism and management.

Related article: The Only Weight Loss Tips You’ll Ever Need

The Only Weight Loss Tips You’ll Ever Need

July 11, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under General Interest, Holistic Nutrition

There will always be some new fad diet out… some Mother-of-All-Weight-Loss-Plans… some “secret ingredient” found in some fruit you’ve never heard of before. If you’ve tried one or more of the latest diet plans and the only thing you ended up losing was your “will power,” then the following weight loss tips will work for you as they have for me — and countless others. You will be able to lose weight without having to count calories, or join some expensive gym, or become a paid member of some website.

I should back up a bit and mention what inspired me to give this a try. A few months ago, I had a CA125 test done. The results came in high; a high probability that I had (have) ovarian cancer. And there you have it – my “inspiration.”   The “C” word.  I was scheduled for surgery in April. LONG story short, I ended up getting into an argument with my Oncologist during the pre-op exams and ended up leaving his office. Of course, my OB/GYN called me later that day and after explaining to him what had transpired, we agreed that I could postpone the surgery until June. It’s now July and I have not (yet) had the surgery, for reasons that have nothing to do with this article, and a lot to do with my sucky health insurance plan.

At any rate, it was at that point when I decided to make what was a HUGE change in my lifestyle and eating habits, with the thought in mind of preparing my body for surgery and recovery. Losing weight was not my top priority, but I’m not complaining that pounds immediately started coming off, and at a healthy rate of 2-3 a week. The only weeks I have not lost, but not gained, are the 3 weeks that I had a “meat and potato loving” house guest. Prior to that, I had not eaten meat or potatoes in 6 weeks, along with other dietary changes.

There have been other very noticeable health improvements as well, such as: the pain in my leg is gone (at times, it would feel as if my leg was on fire!); I can now go up/down the stairs without having to favor that one leg; the dark circles under my eyes are all but gone; and my digestive tract is no longer on vacation. And, oh by the way, the edema problem I’ve had for at least 8 years in my legs, ankles and feet is now a thing of the past! Yes…I was a train wreck. But poor health is bound to happen when you spend your entire life eating processed foods, and drinking a lot of Pepsi every day.

The Best 2 Weight Loss Tips:

  1. Change your perspective. Stop thinking about “dieting” and start thinking about how to avoid paying out thousands of dollars in medical expenses each year by preventing diseases that are preventable. Instead of thinking “I want to lose weight,” think, “I want to be as healthy as possible.” In my opinion, it’s pointless trying to convince your brain that you want to “lose” something when you’ve programmed it from day one not to lose. After all, who wants to lose at anything!
  2. Don’t wander around the grocery store.  You won’t be tempted to buy what you usually buy, or buy out of habit.  Plus, you can save time and energy when grocery shopping!  Follow these health-conscious shopping tips:
  • If there’s a food label on it, don’t buy it.
  • If it’s white (i.e. bread, pasta, flour, etc.), put it down.
  • If it contains sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup – which is in just about EVERYTHING), ignore it.

Other helpful tips:

I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of “Eat For Health (2 book set),” by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.  This 2-book set was given to me as a gift.  I wish I had this precise information years ago.  The step-by-step outlined plan is set up in 3 phases. Considering my health condition at the time, I jumped right into Phase 2. That’s not something I suggest for everyone. You’ll know whether or not you can, or want to, start on Phase 2 after you read the book.

The main problem I had with Dr. Fuhrman’s plan is that it was impossible for me to eat that much food! Not to mention, I’ve never in my entire life eaten this many greens! And we’re talking POUNDS of the stuff!! This gives whole new meaning to “It ain’t easy going green.” One thing for sure, you will absolutely not be hungry all day. I had to find some alternative to eating truckloads of greens in order to get in the daily requirements.

Enter “Amazing Grass” Green Super Food. Catchy product name, yes? The first one I tried was the Berry Flavor, which I found to be a bit too sweet.  This may sound strange coming from a life-long Pepsi addict, however, the  less sugar you eat the less you crave it.  Aside from the sweetness, the flavor didn’t always mix well with other fresh fruits that I was adding to it…though it was very good mixed with fresh pineapple. Now I’m using the unflavored blend, which mixes well with just about every fruit I add to my smoothie.

So.  There you have it.  One very simple, yet highly effective, way to improve your health and help to prevent diseases.  If nothing else, at least give up refined sugar.  The sugar alone can do a great deal of damage to your body!

Best of health to you, and yours…


Related Article: Overcome Your Basic Desire for Sweet Foods

Health Care in US Ranked LAST

July 11, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under General Interest

Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a recent report released by The Commonwealth Fund. When compared to health care systems in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the U.K., the U.S. scores dead last.

One noted (and major) difference in health care systems amongst the countries being compared is the health care philosophies.  With the exception of the U. S., all nations in this survey have “universal health insurance.”  Universal health insurance…what a concept.  Someone should have thought to include that in that health reform bill.  What a shame that our politicians care far more about their political careers than they care about “We, the people.”   At any rate, the survey does, however, mention that the recently passed “health reform legislation”  in the U.S. will help to bump it up some in the foundation’s view.

Source: Reuters

How Much Soy is Too Much Soy?

July 3, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Thyroid

While deep-pocketed soy marketers cook up even more ways to ingest the bean, there is, unfortunately, little data as what constitutes an appropriate level of soy intake. Soy Online Service cautions that even 30 milligrams of soy isoflavones a day can wreak havoc on the body’s hormonal balance. It advises anyone with a predisposition to thyroid dysfunction to be particularly careful. If, indeed, the Asian diet is one to be emulated, then why not use soy the way they have for thousands of years: in moderation.

Thirty milligrams of soy isoflavones can be found in:

  • 7 ounces of soybeans
  • 4 ounces of tofu
  • 8 ounces of soy milk
  • 1.6 ounces of miso
  • 2.8 ounces of soybean sprouts

> Read the full article by Dr. Gillespie

Sleep-Disordered Breathing

July 3, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Sleep Disorders

Sleep-disordered breathing, also called “Sleep apnea,”  is a common disorder that can be serious; it can contribute to the development of heart disease and stroke. In sleep apnea, your breathing stops or gets very shallow.  Each pause in breathing typically lasts 10 to 20 seconds or more.  These pauses can occur 20 to 30 times or more an hour.  In many cases, sufferers don’t realize they have the condition.

The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. That means you are unable to get enough air through your mouth and nose into your lungs. When that happens, the amount of oxygen in your blood may drop. Normal breaths resume with a snort or choking sound. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

When your sleep is interrupted throughout the night, you can be drowsy during the day. People with sleep apnea are at higher risk for car crashes, work-related accidents and other medical problems. If you have sleep apnea, or any sleep disorder, it is important to get treatment.

Air Pollution and Breathing-related  Disruptions

A new study, conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, has found a link between air pollution and breathing-related disruptions during sleep.  According to the authors, this is the first attempt to document a link between exposure to pollution and sleep-disordered breathing.

In the study, researchers tried to discover if air pollution — which irritates the airways — has anything to do with sleep disruptions, which affect an estimated 17 percent of adults in the United States.

The authors of the study pored over data from the Sleep Heart Health Study, which examined the heart health and sleep patterns of more than 6,000 people between 1995 and 1998 and adjusted for factors such as age, gender, smoking and temperature so they wouldn’t throw off the results. They then compared those patterns to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air pollution data on seven cities: Minneapolis; New York City; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Sacramento; Tucson, Ariz.; and Framingham, Mass.

They found that incidents of sleep apnea and low levels of oxygen during sleep went up as the temperature rose during all seasons of the year. Sleep-disordered breathing also rose during the summer as air pollution worsened.

Particles of pollution “may influence sleep through effects on the central nervous system, as well as the upper airways,” wrote co-author Antonella Zanobetti in a news release.

The study, funded by the U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the EPA and the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, appeared online June 14 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


Antonella Zanobetti, Susan Redline, Joel Schwartz, Dennis Rosen, Sanjay Patel, George T O’Connor, Michael Lebowitz, Brent A Coull, and Diane R Gold
Associations of PM with Sleep-disordered Breathing in Adults from Seven U.S. Urban Areas.