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Lose Weight And Eat Well... On $6 A Day!
by JohnMc

Rate: TerribleRate: OkayRate: AverageRate: Pretty goodRate: Excellent    (61 votes)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Michael Ozner is a renowned cardiologist and a diet expert. In other words, he is a perfect fit for the Diet.com audience of overweight men and women who are at risk of heart disease. Please see what he has to say about eating well and saving money during a time of rising weight and rising prices.

Special for Diet.com
by Michael Ozner, M.D.


Government figures show that we're in the midst of the worst case of food inflation since the 1990s. During these tough economic times, it's possible to eat delicious home-cooked meals that not only save you a bundle of money, but help you live longer and lose up to 8 pounds a week!

It costs a lot less to eat three meals a day at home than to dine out -- even at cheap, fast-food restaurants. What's more, these scrumptious meals are satisfying, help you trim down without trying, and have been shown to prevent a host of illnesses and diseases. What's not to love?

Here are some daily menu ideas from my book, The Miami Mediterranean Diet, along with an approximate per-serving cost, to show how you can feed yourself all day long for less than one trip to a typical fast-food joint.

4 Breakfast Ideas
Oatmeal with raisins and almonds, $.25/serving
Wheat toast with chunky peanut butter and honey, $.25/serving
Cheesy Apple Raisin Cinnamon Omelet (p. 123), $.75/serving
Broccoli and Cheese Frittata (p. 128), $.80/serving
Serve any of the above with one fresh fruit (e.g., orange, apple, banana, pear), $.50/each

4 Sample Lunch Ideas
Savory Mediterranean Chickpea Soup (p. 91), $1.25/serving
Pizza Margherita (p. 109), $1.00/serving
Veggie Wrap (p. 215), $1.10/serving
Smoked Fish and Roasted Pepper Sandwich (p. 221), $1.00/serving
Serve any of the above with a vegetable salad or fruit salad, $.75/serving

4 Sample Dinner Entrees
Chicken with Pomegranate Sauce (p. 175), $2.25/serving
Shrimp in Spicy Black Bean Sauce (p. 178), $2.50/serving
Pasta with Red Clam Sauce (p. 170), $2.40/serving
Florentine Roasted Pork (p. 174), $2.50/serving

4 Sample Dinner Side Dishes
Greek Rice (p. 185), $1.35/serving
Broccoli with Fresh Garlic (p. 188), $1.25/serving
Sautéed Vegetables with Fresh Thyme (p. 199), $1.20/serving
Spicy Couscous (p. 198), $.90/serving

4 Sample Desserts
Yogurt Nut Cake (p. 236), $.75/serving
Sweet Mango Mousse (p. 237), $1.35/serving
Sweet Italian Rice Pudding (p. 240), $.85/serving
Crème de Banana Baked Apples (p. 241), $1.00/serving

Michael Ozner, MD, is a nationally known cardiologist and author of The Miami Mediterranean Diet: Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease (BenBella Books, 2008). He is medical director at the Center for Prevention and Wellness, Baptist Health South Florida, and medical director for the Cardiovascular Prevention Institute of South Florida. Find out more about him at www.cardiacoz.com.

July 7, 2008

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Nutrition Secrets For Staying Slim & Healthy!
by JohnMc

Rate: TerribleRate: OkayRate: AverageRate: Pretty goodRate: Excellent    (23 votes)

If it's true that you are what you eat, we are in a whole lot of trouble. Fatty fast food. Additive-packed microwave entrees. Supersized restaurant servings. Cheese-choked pizza delivered to our door. All-u-can-eat buffets...

The list, my friend, is as long as our waist is wide.

Wouldn't it be nice to scrap all the crap and to find the nutrition secrets that'll allow us to look and feel our best at any age?

We can. And a beautiful, brainy model is here to lead us to the Promised Land.

Meet Valerie Ramsey. She's far from your stereotypical emaciated model type. She's bubbly and engaging... motivating and inspiring... and she's 68 and a mom of six and a grandmother of seven!

That's no typo. Yes, vivacious Valerie is all of 68... and she's only been modeling since reaching her Golden Years and being discovered while doing her day job as a fulltime public relations director for the hallowed Pebble Beach golfing resort.

And now she's an author too. Her awesome new book, Gracefully: Looking And Being Your Best At Any Age (McGraw-Hill) is chock-full of great advice for you and me.

So, Valerie, how can we better our habits to age gracefully like you?

"Many of us fall into the trap of eating the same foods the majority of the time — almost the way we wear 10 percent of our wardrobe 90 percent of the time," Valerie tells Diet.com.

"The problem is that once we develop eating habits, not only is it hard to change them, but we often don’t realize we’ve created the habits in the first place. Even if we’re choosing to eat healthy foods, if the menu isn’t varied, it’s unlikely that we’re giving ourselves the nutritionally balanced diet needed to maintain optimum health, energy and well-being.

"I learned to accept and embrace the notion that nutrition weighs in as one of the most important aspects of maintaining health and youthfulness."

The Benefits of Proper Nutrition

"I’ve also found that the well-known mantra of a big, healthy breakfast, a balanced lunch, and a light dinner early in the evening works wonders for keeping my tummy flat and knocking off a couple of pounds for that all-important occasion," Valerie says.

"There are several body types and being thin doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthier than someone who needs to shed some weight. Also, you need to redefine weight as “body fat” rather than the number you read on the scale. Muscle tissue and body fat are what matter, and most women do not have enough muscle. It’s about your clothing size, not the number on the scale."

10 Simple Rules we all should strive for

1. Drink a glass of water first thing every morning.

2. Eat slowly and sit down at every meal.

3. Eat breakfast or a snack within 45 minutes of waking.

4. Try never to eat a carbohydrate by itself; add a fat or protein.

5. Never go longer than four hours without eating.

6. Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily (small amounts at meals).

7. Eat dinner by seven o’clock.

8. Take at least one 15-minute break outside the office each day.

9. Make sure to get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

10. Choose natural carbohydrates — the ones that come from the ground—such as rice, yams, sweet potatoes, and beans.

Valerie says that like exercise, a sensible, balanced diet should become a habit, which is why fad programs don’t work.

Valerie continues, "Any limited diet may take weight off initially, but those diets are not healthy in the long run and are impossible to stick to — they are technically designed to fail. It has been proven over and over that you need a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats."

Despite what magazine or TV ads may promise, winning the war on wrinkles and age won't happen overnight. It is truly amazing what the body can do and recover from -- once you come face-to-face with what food is and how it works inside your body!

When you’re eating the right foods -- and getting a good night’s sleep -- the years will peel away from your face and body.

"Nutrition and eating right needn’t be daunting," Valerie says.
"There are ample resources available in magazines, books and television shows... in addition to doctors and professional nutritionists. The trick is learning how to weed through the data to find the nuggets you need.

"Keep away from fads and trendy diets because they often result in more damage than benefit. Prepare your grocery list at home by looking through your refrigerator and pantry — are there enough fruits, vegetables, and grains?

"Never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. It makes impulse buying irresistible. Prepare your list and then stick to it.

"Old habits are easier to break when they’re replaced with a new, desirable habit. What do you have to lose? A few pounds? And what you’ll gain will reward you tenfold."

Valerie says she's been "blessed" with healthy genes, yet she too must worry about putting on weight. Her extra pounds tend to settle on her hips and belly -- not a good look for a professional model!

"I'm sure a lot of women can relate to how a few pounds can make us feel unhappy in our clothes," says Valerie who was 63 when she was "discovered" while overseeing a photo shoot at Pebble Beach.

Her motivation: You've got to look back to look forward. Recognize the things you've done and the things that you have wanted to do.

"Pull them out and take a second look at them. When something sparks a positive chord... well, that’s your signal. Now find a way to go and do that, knowing you may have to start from ground up."

Words of wisdom from a woman whose life has been one amazing success after another.

Valerie was 53 when she moved from Greenwich, Connecticut to California and her post-mom career kicked off.

May 27, 2008

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From Belly Fat To Belly Flat!
by JohnMc

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I've been waging a losing battle against my belly bulge for the past decade or so. I always thought I was simply exercising wrong or maybe eating a poor diet.

Thanks to the eye-opening new book, from Belly Fat to Belly Flat (HCI), I know now that the culprit may be hormonal.

The book's subtitle says it all: "How Your Hormones Are Adding Inches to Your Waistline and Subtracting Years from Your Life."


NOTE: To get a copy of from Belly Fat to Belly Flat, click here or click on the book cover at left.

Co-authored by renowned hormone expert Dr. C.W. Randolph and his partner at the Natural Hormone Institute of America, Genie James, from Belly Fat to Belly Flat is a must-read for women in their 30's and 40's and men in their 40's. In a nutshell, it's the medically proven way to reshape your body!

"When people hear the term hormonal imbalance, most immediately think about the change of life, menopause," Dr. Randolph tells Diet.com. "Although it’s true that women going through menopause have significant hormonal changes, the issues associated with hormonal imbalance, such as abdominal weight gain, typically begin in a woman’s early to mid-30's and a man’s early 40's."

There it is -- abdominal weight gain! My belly is a force of nature... it's the byproduct of my body's failure to churn out enough hormones for a fellow my age!

"We found that no matter how much you do you won’t lose the last 30 pounds around your hips and abdomen if you suffer hormone imbalance," says co-author Genie James, M.M.Sc.

"Most of us don’t think of hormone problems 'til menopause, but women in their early 30s -- and men in their early 40's -- are at risk."

Dr. Randolph says you can combat your pooching belly and chunky hips by applying "bio-identical progesterone" cream twice a day. A sensible diet and a steady dose of exercise do help... but they alone won't diminish your belly fat if your hormones are unbalanced.



To learn more about your unique hormone issue, take the insightful Hormone Quiz.

I could get into the science and stumble through the three types of natural hormones, but I'll leave such information to the experts like Dr. Randolph and James.

The pair has agreed to write a regular blog for Diet.com. Future topics will include how stress and a lack of sleep can screw with our hormone balance. Their first blog, The Hidden Weight-Gain Epidemic, has been posted.

Back to your belly fat. Remember the highly tempting ads for CortiSlim and CortiStress -- products that claimed to shrink your belly fat by controlling your cortisol? Those products also grabbed the attention of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Warnings letters and fines followed.

Dr. Randolph says those products were on the right path, but because the creators tinkered with the natural cortisol (basically so they could trademark their products) the end result was a substance the body did not recognize and therefore could not use.

And this is why Dr. Randolph insists on bio-identical substances. The creams he supports are exact copies of the stuff your body needs to balance its hormones. The best news: you don't have to buy a cream from him. He lists a few store brands that will work just fine.

He adds that one of the best ways to control the creation of this stress hormone cortisol is lifestyle change. And that's exactly what we promote here at Diet.com. To link up with our perks-packed premium program, click here now and lose weight today!

James says the "Belly Fat to belly Flat" plan was perfected to where women apply cream between their periods, twice daily. Through trial and error, they discovered that the best places to rub the cream are the inner forearms, chest, neck and breasts.

"Some clients told us that from day one they felt like a different person. But usually you feel -- and see -- best results after two to three cycles," she notes.

"Average weight loss is 6-10 pounds the first month. We worked with thousands of volunteers and found that when you take off this weight, you keep it off."

The book includes a 30-day hormone-balancing meal plan and a slew of tasty recipes to help you stick with the eating plan.

Dr. Randolph, a board-certified gynecologist, backs his claims with a wealth of medical experience. He's a hands-on researcher who sees patients at his clinic and wellness center in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. He was a pharmacist in his "first life."

Fat Magnet

If you feel like a "fat magnet" there may be a medical reason, according to from Belly fat to Belly Flat:

Too much estrogen circulating in the body increases body fat, and fatty tissue within the body produces and stores more estrogen. Body fat contains an enzyme that converts adrenal steroids to estrogen. At a cellular level, body fat continues to produce more estrogen, and a high estrogen level, in turn, causes the body to increase its store of fatty tissue. In other words, your belly becomes a “fat magnet.”

When you’re estrogen dominant, your body is unable to effectively use fat stores for energy, which means that your body’s ability to metabolize or burn body fat for calories is compromised. The result is extra weight that won’t go away even with more exercise or less eating.

When high estrogen levels are unopposed by sufficient progesterone, the resulting condition of estrogen dominance also impacts your body fat’s distribution. In both men and women, higher estrogen levels ­predispose the body to store fat around the abdomen. In women, estrogen dominance causes fat to be stored around the waist, hips, and thighs, and it’s the main reason that many middle-age women have pear-shaped bodies. Estrogen dominance is also the reason for the middle-age spare tire in men.

Dr. Randolph notes, "If you are a woman in your 30's, you need to understand that estrogen dominance is not 'your mother’s problem.' For most women, estrogen dominance is a concern to be reckoned with long before middle age or menopause. As a woman approaches her mid-30's, the balance of hormones within her body begins to shift, starting with a decline in progesterone. In fact, progesterone production declines 120 times more rapidly than does estrogen production. It is this downward shift in progesterone production that causes the body to become estrogen dominant."

Contrary to the popular belief, men can also be estrogen dominant. In men, progesterone is produced in the adrenal and testicular tissue. When men reach their forties, falling progesterone levels lead to a fall in testosterone levels. As both the progesterone and testosterone levels decline, the male body becomes estrogen dominant.

Food for Thought

Certain foods can help to decrease the body’s estrogen load. You need to develop a diet, moderately high in calories, that allows for protein and healthy fats at every meal. It includes ample portions of “belly-blaster” foods that will reduce or eliminate your extra estrogen load.

The stars of the nutritional component of the plan are cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, insoluble fiber, and lignans, because these foods function within your body to reduce an unhealthy estrogen load.

Cruciferous vegetables are a critical part of your success on this plan. Eating large amounts of broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts, celery, beet root, kale, cabbage, parsley root, radish, turnip, collard greens, and mustard greens have been shown to improve the production of “good” estrogen. Although not considered cruciferous, asparagus and spinach are also “belly blasters” because they also improve “good” estrogen levels.

March 31, 2008

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