Dec 27, 2009

New Year’s Resolution: Weight Loss Again in 2010?

Success begins with a reality check, followed by goal setting and the design and execution of a comprehensive strategy.

We've made it through Christmas and are quickly approaching the end of 2009 and even the end of a decade. With the beginning of each year come those New Year’s resolutions, whether in a brief thought or a more deliberate plan. What’s interesting is that we seem to choose the same topics when we make our list, like family, finance, career, character flaws, and life goals. And every year weight loss, health, or fitness becomes one of our main targets to resolve.

While it’s obvious to most that proper diet and exercise are the master keys to realizing our weight loss, health and fitness ambitions, there are other things we can do to ensure we succeed this year, 2010.

Success Begins with a “Reality Check”
First we can be more specific with our weight loss, health and fitness goals and write them down. But before we can be clear on what those goals are, a personal assessment is a must. Every smart and successful person who truly wants to improve significant personal areas of their life—the development of character, relationships, spiritual life—or who wants to see progress in more pragmatic areas—career, financial, and time management—will always begin with a thorough evaluation of their current condition. It is no different for anyone who wants to transform his or her bodies into a lean, firm, healthy, and more functional machine.

This brings me to that dreaded body fat test. When you’re serious about reducing fat, the most important thing to consider is not your total body weight but rather what makes up that weight. This is referred to as your “body composition”, which is a combination of your lean body mass (LBM) — muscle, bones, organs, and water — and your body fat. Your own ideal weight is the weight at which your lean mass and fat mass are combined in the correct proportion for health, wellness, and aesthetics. When you are in shape, you have a proportionally higher amount of LBM and a lower amount of body fat, regardless of what you weigh.

Due to the fact that your body weight can fluctuate anywhere from two to ten pounds in a given day, bathroom scales will only make you crazy. They are best used once per week and under the same conditions (i.e.; early morning, on an empty stomach). Also, traditional weight scales can’t differentiate between how many pounds of LBM or fat are on your body, which is more relevant to health and fitness than what you weigh.

In seeking out an accurate body fat test reading, there are quite a few methods for measuring body composition, each with its own margin of error, advantages, and disadvantages, as well as special devices, attire, restrictions, and costs. The Hydrostatic Weighing method is the most accurate and considered the “gold standard”, but it requires special and extensive equipment, can be quite intrusive to some people, and somewhat costly. Due to its convenience (both portability and fee) and its accuracy, I would recommend using the skin fold method. However, if your body fat level is over 30%, you might consider Bioelectrical Impedance. The most important thing to remember is to use the same method each time you take your body fat test.

After you know your body fat percentage, compare it the American Council and Exercise (ACE) chart and see where you fit in. With this information you will also be able to calculate how many pounds of LBM and fat your body is carrying. To get a more accurate review of your physique, take measurements, noting your size in clothes and a possible "before" photo. These are much better monitors when tracking fat loss and appearance then the scale.


Consider a thorough medical checkup to get an insight into your health and to see if you have any medical issues brewing. Note all your medications and maybe as you get more healthy and fit, you will be able to reduce or eliminate them altogether. A fitness assessment is a great way to test your strength, endurance, flexibility, core conditioning, functional capabilities and any possible, yet highly overlooked postural defects.

Create a visual aid by keeping all of your data in a special notebook and updating as you advance toward you goals. Every four to six weeks retest your body fat and measurements. Knowing your percentage of body fat and reassessing it periodically, is very useful in gauging progress during an exercise and weight-loss program. Your medical and fitness evaluations can be done every three to six months, unless you are under a doctor’s care for a particular medical problem.

Set Realistic and Specific Goals with a Timeline
Since you have completed your health and fitness "reality check" and have it all compiled in a special place, you may be feeling discouraged because sometimes reality sucks, but don’t despair; now you can set some realistic and specific goals for each category: weight, body fat, measurements, clothes size as well as health. If you are more interested in improving you fitness levels, you can set goals for strength, endurance, flexibility and all the rest. Include a timeline comprised of your long-term goals broken down into short-term, more obtainable ones. This will help keep from losing your motivation and affecting your momentum.

Design a Comprehensive Diet and Exercise Strategy
Design and write out a comprehensive diet and exercise strategy. This means choosing a diet plan that is based on a lifestyle change, not a quick-fix solution. Also, a work out regimen should incorporate all the components of exercise: cardiovascular conditioning, strength and endurance training, flexibility training, core and balance training, corrective exercises and functional training. The good news is that when you eat right and exercise, your health goals will fall into place most of the time.

Execute Your Strategy
You have your notebook full of data, goals, and your weight loss and/or "get fit and healthy" strategy ready to be implemented––now what? Following through is the most difficult part of all and is where discipline and motivation take over. A "get fit" buddy or a personal trainer may come in handy to either put or keep you on the right track. And the best motivating factor when trying to lose weight, get fit or healthier is when you experience results––consistency is key.

View wellness as a journey not a final destination. You can re-evaluate your notes and at anytime adjust your goals and timeline. Leave yourself some latitude and if you fall off your "get fit and healthy" wagon, dust yourself off and get back on immediately.

Seize this year and don’t leave your health and fitness for next year's resolution list. Succeeding at this one New Year's resolution will have a positive impact on your entire list by increasing your energy, productivity, attitude, and so much more, making 2010 one of the best years ever!

First on Blogcritics: Sci/Tech
New Year’s Resolution: Weight Loss Again in 2010?

Dec 4, 2009

Christmas is Coming: Are You Getting Fat?


The "goose" and people around you may be getting plumper this holiday season, but you don’t have to!

The "goose" is not the only one who gets fat during Christmas-time. The average person gains up to seven to ten pounds every holiday season, while some studies show that is it closer to one to two pounds. Whatever study you subscribe to, it is your own personal reality that really counts. The real issue is whether we ever lose those extra pounds or do we just keep adding weight on each year, making us fatter, unhealthy and frustrated?

Since the holidays are a time for parties, gourmet dinners and other festive events surrounding food, cookies, candy and alcohol, it means that we increase our caloric intake quite substantially––usually empty calories (void of nutritional value) that are full of fat, sugar, sodium and white flour. Moreover, we tend to throw discipline out the chimney, neglecting exercise and other important dietary regulations.

There's no getting around it, those extra holiday calories, especially carbohydrates, added sodium, excessive alcohol consumption, as well as other variables will put more weight on your body. But there is some good news here: those extra pounds might not be all fat. Holiday weight gain may stem from glycogen storage and/or water weight, which can cause you to think you are getting fat.

Because there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat, you would need to consume 3500 calories over and above your metabolic rate and activity level in order to gain that pound of fat and vise versa; 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat. Although it is more complex than that, this tidbit of information is timely and should give you a little peace in regards to your holiday eating habits.

Don't get too jolly yet; when you consume excessive amount of calories (food and liquid) over an extended period of time you will get fat. And poor eating habits will mess with your health especially if you are obese, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or any other health predicament.

As a fitness expert for over 29 years, it has become somewhat futile to place weight-loss in a News Year’s resolution list, so I’m proposing a different strategy this year: a preemptive attack against "holiday fat". You don’t have to start your new year with the goal of losing the weight that you had planned on losing last year plus the ten pounds you just gained over the holiday season.

The simplest thing you can do over the holidays is to increase your water intake, especially if you are drinking alcohol. The health benefits of water are already well known, but did you know it has a profound impact on weight loss? Most of us retain water because we do not drink enough water. We even mistake thirst for hunger, so we eat more instead of drinking water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water, start early in the day and make sure you have access to water all day long. Keep in mind, dehydration not only has health consequences but also affects our mood and can make us lethargic, making it impossible to function, exercise and shop.

Second, you can exercise –– either add an exercise routine or increase your activity level during this time of the year, especially if you don’t want to give up your holiday eating habits. This is key to keeping your body intact, will help burn those extra holiday calories, increase your energy level, do wonders for your holiday cheer, not to mention all the other rewards you'll reap from exercise.

I’ve heard all of the excuses why people don't exercise and I have even used a few from time to time. Exercise doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation –– a little goes a long way. And if it prevents you from that dreaded holiday weight gain, it's worth it –– "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Power walking, running, biking, swimming, and other cardiovascular activities are easy to do and only take about 30 minutes or so. Weight training is one of the best activities you can do to prevent weight gain and will not only shape and firm your physique, but will increase your lean body mass, which means a faster metabolic rate. Again, time should not be an obstacle because a weight-training workout can be done in about 20 minutes or so. And since the goal is to maintain your weight, we can always add more to your exercise regimen later, like core conditioning, functional training, as well as corrective and flexibility exercises.

OK, so you don't wan to join gym…you don’t have to. All you will need for walking or running are a decent pair of tennis shoes, and as far as a home workout routine, there are some inexpensive pieces of exercise equipment that you can use for a great workout; a Swiss Ball, a foam roller, dumbbells and exercise bands.

By implementing just two tactics, more water and exercise, you'll escape the holiday weight-gain forecast. You can also monitor your diet a little by using these "Twelve diet tips for Christmas":
  1. Watch the alcohol; these empty calories add up quickly.
  2. Eliminate or decrease intake of sugary, unhealthy drinks like soda. Why waste all of your calories on liquids that have no nutritional value.
  3. Limit the cookies, candy, pies and other holiday treats.
  4. Increase your fiber during the holidays: this will give you that feeling of fullness and you will be less likely to overeat. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains and legumes.
  5. Don’t go to a Christmas party or dinner famished; have a snack an hour or so prior. This will keep you from eating everything in sight.
  6. When dining out or attending a Christmas party, skip or be selective with the hors d'œuvres. It is hard to know what's in them. Stick to the veggie and fruit platters; they are safer due to the fact they have nutrients without all of the fattening stuff.
  7. Don't salt your food; there is plenty of sodium in prepared meals.
  8. Always have your sauces on the side; this is where extra, unneeded calories, sugar, sodium, fat, and white flour is found.
  9. As a main course at a dinner party, avoid the fancy, creamy, saucy type dishes and if possible and without offending anyone, only eat dishes that have a clean look to them (like plain fish, beef, chicken, etc.). Do what I do: sneak the bad stuff to the dog “Fido” and pretend you ate it!
  10. If you are the chef for a party or dinner, find some decorative, healthy (low fat, low sugar and low sodium) recipes to add to the menu.
  11. Pace yourself; the holiday season is quit long and each day you will be able to enjoy foods that are normally diet taboos.
  12. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, not uptight, so don’t stress out. Take pleasure in all that the holiday season has to offer, especially ones that don’t involve food –– family, friends, faith, and charity.
Remember this is not a comprehensive weight-loss strategy –– it is a preemptive attack against "holiday fat", yet it does include an array of expertise that you can incorporate into your lifestyle year round, if you haven’t already. This approach will prevent you from gaining those extra pounds this holiday season and, who knows, maybe you will lose a few and start 2010 leaner than you left 2009!


BlogCritics in Culture: Christmas is Coming: Are You Getting Fat?
Author: Christine Lakatos — Published: Dec 05, 2009 at 4:03 pm
Just in case: lyrics to "Christmas is Coming: The Goose is Getting Fat"

Happy Holidays to all my blogger friends!
May you have a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!

Dec 1, 2009

Christmas Gift Idea: Chocolate for All


Everyone loves chocolate, since as far back as 2000 BC. Why not “gift it” this Christmas?

Everyone loves chocolate and it’s one of the best and easiest Christmas gifts to buy. We show our love for chocolate by eating billions of pounds of it each year. And I’m not just talking about Snickers and M&Ms, although they are my favorites. I’m talking gourmet––prepared in a sophisticated and meticulous fashion, using high quality ingredients. Gourmet chocolate makes a rich, creamy, luxurious gift, and is an all-time favorite holiday present to give and receive.

Chocolate dates back as far as 2000 BC and is thought to have originated in the Amazon. It is derived from the cacao tree and was used by the Maya culture, where they would harvest, ferment, roast, and grind the seeds into a paste. When mixed with water and other ingredients, “this paste made a frothy, spicy chocolate drink," yet the taste was very bitter.

In both the Maya and Aztec cultures, chocolate, then called xocoatl or cacahuatl (meaning “bitter water"), played an important role in religious and social lives. To the Maya, the cocoa pods symbolized life and fertility, and were often used in religious rituals; they were referred to as the gods' food. The Aztecs believed that wisdom and power came from eating the fruit of the cacao tree, and that it had nourishing, fortifying and aphrodisiac qualities. Interesting too is the fact that cocoa beans were used as currency.

Chocolate has evolved throughout history from a bitter drink to its current forms today, creating a multi-billion dollar industry with plenty of controversy surrounding its "dark side". History also tells us that at the end of the fourteenth century, Columbus was the first to bring back cocoa beans from the New World to Europe and he presented them to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, yet their potential was overlooked. It was Hernando Cortez who brought cocoa beans to Spain in the fifteenth century and saw their value. We can also credit Cortez and the Spanish for being the first to blend the bitter drink with sugar and other ingredients, moving us toward the mixture that we enjoy today. However, it was the French who were the first to package chocolate as a gift, when in 1643, the Spanish Princess Maria Theresa was betrothed to Louis XIV of France. She gave her fiancé an engagement gift of chocolate, packaged in an elegantly ornate chest.

Christmas is a time for giving and chocolate is a centerpiece each holiday season. So if you're like most holiday shoppers, who frantically need ideas for Christmas presents or need to buy “last minute” Christmas gifts, don't forget about chocolate. Why not “gift it” this Christmas? When you give a gift of chocolate, you’re not just giving a piece of candy, but a piece of history –– if it is good enough for kings, queens and other royalty, it’s good enough for all, especially those you love. With Christmas right around the corner you may need more ideas for giving chocolate gifts –– try these to make the 2009 holiday season the sweetest, most luscious to date.

  1. For a Christmas party or dinner.
  2. A corporate gift for a customer or business associate.
  3. Your boss or employee whom you don’t know very well.
  4. A teacher or other school official.
  5. Your neighbor.
  6. Your friendly Postal Service worker.
  7. Your picky, unpredictable in-laws.
  8. A distant relative, figuratively or literally.
  9. That person who "has everything" — we all know a few of those.
  10. A Christmas treat for you and your family. Just don't eat the whole box by yourself.
You don’t have to wrap a candy kiss or a Hershey bar in a bow; you can buy ready-made and beautifully packaged chocolate (gourmet and more) in a holiday chocolate gift basket and you don't have to leave your home to shop. The Internet offers a global marketplace when it comes to online Christmas shopping; just make sure you select a safe and convenient site that offers enticing Christmas gift ideas as well as a holiday gift guide so you can be confident that you find that perfect chocolate gift for all on your gift list, making it a very special Christmas.

Author: Christine Lakatos — Published: Dec 01, 2009 at 6:29 pm
Tastes in BlogCritics

By the way: Holiday Chocolate Gift Baskets are brought to you by my friend Alie James and is "Fair Trade Chocolate"!!

Nov 27, 2009

Diva Approved: Networking with a Mission


MY DIVA DIET is now partnering with other health and fitness organizations and medical practitioners to spread our mission of good health to all. Included in the Diva Approved part of our website you will find our networking partners as well as other recommendations for health and fitness organizations, companies, products and more.


One of our networking partners is the Weight Loss Institute.
They had this to say
about MY DIVA DIET and our website.

Searching for the right type of diet might be a hard thing to do for us, women. Mostly nowadays, when there are hundreds of diet pills, fat burners, appetite suppressants and diet plans all over the internet and deciding which one worth trying out is even harder than the whole weight loss procedure. Getting the needed help would be necessary, finding a site; a helping hand which can really help us would be useful. Mydivadiet.com might give you the needed help and even more, all this in the best, lightest atmosphere, the site is giving us.

At mydivadiet.com every woman can find the diet books she needs. The My Diva Diet workbook is giving you all the necessary information one needs to know about overall health, proper nutrition, tips, which can help you burn fat and improve your health forever. This workbook is for woman of all ages, including diet quiz, tips for fat reduction, special diets and effective diet guides. And what is the best, this site is only for us, women. My Diva Diet is presenting you intelligent and easy ways to lose weight and health regain. With the help of this book, you will not find out which are the best fat burners and diet pills, this book is giving you real, healthy and effective diet solutions, without talking you into the consumption of harmful chemicals and drugs.

The design of the site is the first thing that catches your sight. It seems like you have gotten into a cartoon with the latest graphics. The site gets you into a fairy tale world where villains rule your diet habits and superheroes rescue you from them. Although the site s cartoon like the services and solutions offered are real and true.

Even more they are useful and helpful. So if you want to know how to defeat your diet villains, and how to avoid becoming like Sat Fat, who is consuming too much fat and cholesterol, Joe Stuft who is overeating, Al and Cole who are drinking too much alcohol or Junkster who is eating too much junk food. So visit My Diva Diet and learn how to lose weight and live a healthy life without drugs chemicals and fat.

You will find the Weight Loss Institute on our Diva Approved page with more valuable information from them and others. Stay Tuned for more networking partners.

Nov 18, 2009

Dieting on Miracles: Quick-Fix Diet Solutions


Why restrictive and unbalanced diets don't work and how they actually contribute to poor health, a slower metabolism, energy reduction, and weight gain.

Americans shell out over $58 billion a year on weight loss products. With all this money being spent, are we any leaner? NO. In fact 67% of the American population is overweight or obese and childhood obesity is on the rise, with one out of three kids considered overweight or obese. So what is the problem?


Other than the obvious diet pitfalls of overeating, junk food consumption and lack of exercise, there is another culprit — the never-ending quest to find a quick-fix solution to our health and fitness woes. We seek out and find diet programs and products that are marketed today as "miracles" that are basically gimmicks full of false promises, magic potions, and misleading propaganda. Most of these counter-productive systems result in yo-yo dieting and can be quite dangerous.


There is no quick fix for fat loss, optimal health, and longevity, but the good news is that there is a way. You don’t have to starve or deprive yourself to lose weight! The next time you decide to go on a weight-loss diet program, open our eyes and spot the quick-fix diets. Don't believe the hype; think twice before you waste your time, money, health, and sanity. No sensible diet program will ever compromise your physical or mental health for the sake of looking good.


Some commonly used formulas for weight loss:
  • Liquid diets Low-calorie diets
  • High-protein, low or no-carbohydrate, high-fat diets
  • Low-protein, high-carbohydrate, no-fat diets
  • "One type of food" diets
  • Processed, packaged, and man-made food diets

Bottom line on quick-fix diet programs: restrictive and unbalanced diets don't work––they actually contribute to poor health, a slower metabolism, energy reduction, and weight gain.


#1 - Poor Health

Since most quick-fix diets restrict calories or do not allocate the proper nutrient ratio (protein, carbohydrates, and fat), and even completely eliminate important vitamins, minerals, and fiber, they put you at a nutritional risk. Another problem is that if you consume too much of any nutrient like protein, it can put undue stress on your kidneys and other internal organs. And if you consume excessive man-made food products, you are at risk of the perils of excessive amounts of additives and preservatives. All of these scenarios set the stage for a number of health problems during your diet, in the immediate future, and further down the line.


#2 - Deception and Dehydration

Many quick-fix diets promote low-carbohydrate intake, of which when you drop carbohydrates in your diet, you will lose weight. However, most of the weight lost in this manner consists only of glycogen and water. The problem with this type of weight loss is that you are deceived into believing that you are losing fat. In reality, once carbohydrate intake resumes (even the good carbs) and the water weight and glycogen are restored, you will mistakenly believe that you've regained the fat back.


Since the human body is over 60% water, this kind of diet and weight-loss result has a more serious consequence; it may lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue, crankiness, stiff joints, headaches, nausea, aches, electrolyte imbalances, and much more. Severe dehydration can cause seizures, coma, or even death.


#3 - LBM (lean body mass)
Reduction
Reduction in muscle mass is a common result of any type of low-calorie, low- carbohydrate, or starvation program. In fact, as muscle mass is lost, metabolism slows––the opposite of what the goal should be of any credible diet program. A daily intake of less than 1000 calories is considered starvation, and the human body will automatically try to salvage body fat just for survival.

#4 - Decrease in Energy

When calories are restricted, especially carbohydrates, the body's main source of energy is limited. This energy is needed for the body and the brain to function properly. Otherwise, you'll begin to feel tired, cranky, and mentally slow. You also will not have the energy you need to be active and exercise. Calories do so much for your body-–they provide energy, life, vitality, and so much more.


#5 - Body Fat increases

Any type of restrictive or unbalanced diet is a recipe for failure. The hype behind quick-fix diets is often unsubstantiated, based on gimmicks and full of false promises. They offer ways to lose weight fast with no regard for health and safety; the results will always be questionable. And after trying a quick-fix diet program, any attempt to resume normal, proper eating patterns will often lead you to regain more weight than you lost. Compounding the problem, regaining weight that you worked so hard to lose creates desperation, which often causes many to seek another quick fix. This process eventually leads to chronic yo-yo dieting, which is a vicious, unhealthy, frustrating, expensive, and dangerous cycle.

There is a rise in sound (proper) diet programs that will help you lose weight and gain health. There are now widely accepted, well-researched nutritional principles found in most well respected, leading diet programs, ones that are not marketed as miracles, that don’t offer quick-fix solutions, but truly provide hope, not hype!


Most fitness experts, nutritionists, diet gurus, and well-informed doctors agree that we should consume clean and wholesome foods and liquids to attain and maintain low body fat and vibrant health. We should eliminate junk food, fast food, fried food, and highly processed food. The real debate begins over how many calories we should consume each day and the nutrient ratio, which can be somewhat complicated and should be calculated based on your lean body mass, activity level, gender, age, goals and other variables.


The other debate exists over whether it is better to be a vegetarian or vegan, or not––each providing plusses and negatives to the health and wellness equation. Most also agree that fat loss is where it's at, not just weight loss, that real and lasting weight-loss results don't happen overnight, and getting fit is best accomplished when you include exercise. According to Web MD, "proven weight-management strategies include a balanced diet with reduced calories with a regular exercise regimen." The master key to low body fat, vibrant health, and longevity is not found in a miracle program or product (including diet pills and potions) but a lifestyle of the proper diet and exercise regimen!


First on Blogcritics: Sci/Tech
Dieting on Miracles: Quick-Fix Diet Solutions
Author: Christine Lakatos — Published: Nov 19, 2009 at 5:00 pm
More Sci/Tech articles...
www.MyDivaDiet.com

Nov 17, 2009

Diet Book Now on Amazon


MY DIVA DIET: Compact Version -- Sound Nutrition Made Practical is now on Amazon.com only $9.99

MY DIVA DIET brought you one of the most comprehensive diet books on the market today by incorporating a user-friendly interactive WORKBOOK format to ensure women achieve and maintain their goals for a leaner, healthier, and more functional and vibrant body-for life. MY DIVA DIET is back with the "Compact Version", where we have taken all of the core value and nutritional information (with a few minor updates) from the WORKBOOK and condensed it so that you can have the meal plans, recipes, guidelines, and special guides at your fingertips and be on your way to attaining the results you are seeking--RIGHT NOW!

Over twelve years in the making, MY DIVA DIET: A Woman’s Last Diet Book and WORKBOOK implements well‑researched nutritional principles found in many respected, leading diet programs; ones that do not offer quick‑fix solutions that are found in so‑called “fad” diets. By establishing the “Five Factors Affecting Body Fat and Health,” MY DIVA DIET addresses the root causes of why women gain excess body fat and ruin their health. Rather than another quick‑fix solution, MY DIVA DIET is a safe and effective method for achieving permanent weight loss, while improving health.

MY DIVA DIET offers HOPE not HYPE!

MY DIVA DIET: A Woman’s Last Diet Book was released in August of 2008 and has received rave reviews...

Included in MY DIVA DIET: Compact Version are five solid sections

  • SECTION ONE – The Introduction
  • SECTION TWO – The Analysis
  • SECTION THREE – The Guidelines
  • SECTION FOUR – The Menu Plan for Fat Loss
  • SECTION FIVE - The Guides -- #5 includes Food Pyramids for both Reduction Maintenance as wells as a "cheat sheet" and four MY DIVA DIET Guides
  1. MY DIVA DIET Food Preparation, Cooking and Meal Planning Guide: 52 Tips
  2. MY DIVA DIET Grocery Shopping Guide Phase One–Diva Reduction
  3. MY DIVA DIET Restaurant Eating Guide: 52 Tips
  4. MY DIVA DIET Society Guide

About the Author
Christine Lakatos, creator of the MY DIVA DIET fat‑loss system and workbook, has been involved in the health and fitness industry since 1980, and has been a personal fitness consultant and trainer since 1989. ACE certified since 1995, she has studied scientific back training, program design, Swiss ball training, rehabilitation training, scientific core conditioning, strength training for women, maternal and infant nutrition, childhood and adolescent nutrition, and weight management for teens, plus much more.

Christine has won titles in many competitions: 1993 Ms. Fitness San Diego, 1990 Ms. Fitness USA—Top 10 finalist, 1990 Steel Rose Championship finalist, and 1989 Ms. San Luis Obispo. She has also made promotional appearances for the health & fitness industry for: Thane Fitness Co., Power Gym, KESQ TV 3 Midday Show, Muscle Mag Video, Joe Weider’s Muscle & Fitness camp (counselor), Parillo Performance, Strong & Shapely, and Ironman magazine. She was also an American Gladiators (1990) contestant.

Now in her forties and the proud mother of two daughters, Christine strives to make sure women and young girls understand that there is no quick‑
fix to fat loss, improving health, and increasing
longevity, and that dieting to lose weight is not
about deprivation. She teaches that the key to fat loss
and vibrant health is accomplished with accurate
knowledge and coupled with accountability,
courage, discipline and motivation.


Get or stay in shape for the Holidays with MY DIVA DIET
Happy Holidays!

Nov 11, 2009

NEWLY RELEASED: MY DIVA DIET: Compact Version


“When a diet book delivers it’s worth its weight in gold”. Tailored just for women of all ages (teenagers to women over sixty), MY DIVA DIET promises fat loss and better health by providing a power-packed diet book, presented in a unique fashion using “Fitness Superheroes” and “diet villains”.

Over 12 years in the making, MY DIVA DIET implements well-researched nutritional principles found in many respected, leading diet programs; ones that do not offer quick-fix solutions that are found in so-called "fad" diets. By establishing the “Five Factors Affecting Body Fat and Health,” MY DIVA DIET addresses the root causes of why women gain excess body fat and ruin their health. Rather than another quick-fix solution, MY DIVA DIET is a safe and effective method for achieving permanent weight loss.

MY DIVA DIET brought you one of the most comprehensive diet books on the market today by incorporating a user-friendly interactive WORKBOOK format to ensure women achieve and maintain their goals for a leaner, healthier, and more functional and vibrant body–for life. MY DIVA DIET is back with the “Compact Version”, where we have taken all of the core value and nutritional information (with a few minor updates) from the WORKBOOK and condensed it so that you can have the meal plans, recipes, guidelines, and special guides at your fingertips and be on your way to attaining the results you are seeking––RIGHT NOW!

Sound nutrition made practical!



Now on CreateSpace and soon to be on AMAZON.COM
ONLY $9.99

MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book WORKBOOK still on AMAZON.COM

Nov 4, 2009

Calories: Friends or Foes?


Ten things you should know about calories, and why men can eat more than women and get away with it.
Opinion in Sci/Tech — by Christine Lakatos — on Nov 02, 2009

Like the word diet, the word calorie gets a bad rap, especially when it comes to losing weight. Let’s take a little journey so we can better understand what calories are and how they work in the human body.

1. What is a calorie?
A calorie is a unit of food energy. In nutrition terms, the word calorie is used instead of the more precise scientific term "kilocalorie" which represents the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a liter of water one degree centigrade at sea level.

2. What do calories do?
Human beings (and animals) need energy to survive and they require energy from food. Our food has three main components: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. They are digested in the intestine, then broken down into their basic units: proteins into amino acids, carbohydrates into sugars, and fats into fatty acids. The body uses these basic units to build substances it needs for growth, maintenance, and activity.

3. What is BMR?
BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate. BMR is basically the amount of energy your body needs to maintain normal body function. This includes the function of vital organs like the heart, lungs, brain and nervous system, liver, kidneys, sex organs, muscles, and skin, and accounts for about 60-70% of calories burned in a day. The amount of energy required by these processes must be met before any of those calories can be used for food digestion and physical activity.

4. What can affect one’s BMR?
One’s BMR can be influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors: genetics, age, gender, weight, body surface area, body fat percentage, body temperature and health, external temperature, glands, diet, and exercise. Here a few explanations.

Genetics:
Some people are born with faster BMR, some with slower.

Age:
BMR reduces with age. Because of the increase in cellular activity (cells undergoing division), BMR is highest during the growth spurts that take place during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy. BMR peaks at age twenty for males and females, then decreases by about 2% per decade throughout life. This decline during adulthood may result partly from a decrease in physical activity and the subsequent loss of muscle tissue.

Gender:
Due to a greater percentage of muscle mass (lean tissue) and a lower body fat percentage, men generally have a higher BMR than women.

Body fat percentage:
The lower the body fat percentage, the higher the BMR. Since the male body has a lower body fat percentage–they generally have a 10-15% higher BMR than women.

BMR and Muscle Mass:
Muscle tissue is metabolically, highly active even at rest, whereas fat tissue is not. Thus, lean body mass (LBM) greatly influences a body’s energy requirements and, in conjunction, its nutrient needs. An increase in muscle mass, for both males and females, will elevate BMR.

Starvation and Restrictive Dieting:
Metabolic rate can drop to as low as 20-30% during a period of starvation and restrictive low-calorie dieting. This drop is due to the body’s effort to conserve energy (and its eventual loss of lean tissue) by slowing its BMR. This slowing process is a natural protective mechanism that conserves fat stores when a food shortage occurs. Because of this, consumption of fewer calories than required to sustain BMR will be counterproductive, and can actually cause body fat levels to increase.

5. What impact does exercise have on BMR?
While we can’t change our genetics, age, gender, height or (in most cases) our environment, we can change our body composition. We can decrease our body fat and increase our lean body mass (LBM), which will mean a higher metabolic rate. Changing our body composition is done through proper diet and exercise — two things that will directly impact BMR.

Exercise can increase BMR and, depending on intensity and duration, the metabolic rate may remain elevated for several hours afterward. During sustained, large-muscle exercises like running and swimming, people can generate metabolic rates that are ten times higher than their resting values. Exercise will also increase your muscle mass, which will then increase your BMR.

This is why many top athletes can consume high amounts of calories and still maintain low body fat. The value of exercise cannot be overlooked — it is critical for both short and long-term weight loss; it prevents obesity, poor posture, muscle and bone loss, pre-mature aging, depression, and many other health issues, and it facilitates ultimate fitness levels; physically, mentally, and emotionally.

6. Calculating daily calories. Gender: why men can eat more than women and what women can do about it.
Whether you are interested in health, fitness or weight loss, calories should always be calculated according to your personal BMR, activity level and other variables. While gender is an influential factor for women, it is not necessarily the culprit when it comes to a lower BMR. Instead, a woman’s lower BMR is due to a smaller proportion of muscle mass to fat. That said, females should consume fewer calories than men (childhood, adolescence, pregnancy and athletes excluded). Girls, don’t despair; if you exercise you can eat more. Even though exercise in general increases BMR, strength training is the master to key to the development and protection of lean body mass, which as stated earlier, increases BMR, thus guaranteeing weight loss. However, there is a limit to how much muscle mass females can or want to have on our physique, so we as women have to deal with our limitations when it comes to calorie consumption.

Still, both male's and female’s food consumption should always match their BMR and activity level. If the goal is weight loss or maintenance, neither gender should eat more calories than needed. On the other hand, if we swing in the other direction and don’t eat enough (anything under 1000 calories per day), our predicament is just as grim.

7. Not all calories are created equal.
We get our calories from three main sources, each with a different function and energy potential. In a healthy diet even for weight loss or maintenance, balance of all three nutrients is crucial.

Protein is the "cellular building block" and is a main component of bones, muscles, organs, glands, cartilage, skin, and blood. It also aids in the development, maintenance, and repair of all body tissue and the formation of hormones, enzymes, and other body chemicals. Protein is important for growth and development during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy.

Carbohydrates are our chief "energy source", providing energy for all bodily functions and muscular exertion. They are also the only source of energy for the brain, nervous system, and red blood cells. Carbohydrates help regulate protein and fat metabolism and are required to break down fats in the liver. They help regulate blood glucose levels, assist in digestion and assimilation of other nutrients, and they provide nutrients for bacteria in the intestinal tract that aid digestion.

Fats supply "necessary nutrients" like essential fatty acids from mono- and polyunsaturated fats. They aid in growth, maintenance of healthy skin, vitamin absorption, and regulation of bodily functions. Although fats are not the chief energy source like carbohydrates, they do provide energy and are considered the most concentrated fuel source. Fats aid in heart and brain health, prevention of certain cancers, and help reduce other ailments like depression, inflammation, and blood pressure.

8. Each nutrient has a particular energy potential.
The caloric energy of a particular food depends on how much protein, carbohydrate, and fat it contains. Most foods contain mixtures of these three nutrients and are classified by which is most predominant. A food rich in protein, like beef, actually contains a lot of fat, while a carbohydrate-rich food like grain contains small traces of both fat and protein.

Caloric yield by nutrient type:
• one gram of protein: four calories
• one gram of carbohydrates: four calories
• one gram of fat: nine calories
Even though alcohol is not a nutrient it does contain calories: one gram of alcohol equals seven calories.

9. Weight control is a question of energy balance:
Energy in = Energy expended = WEIGHT STABLE
Energy in > Energy expended = WEIGHT GAIN
Energy in < Energy expended = WEIGHT LOSS

Although calories are necessary to sustain life and each nutrient has a particular function for health and well being, an excess of any of these will be converted by the liver and stored as fat. Even good calories, when consumed in large amounts, can end up doing harm.


Like many well-designed machines, the body stores energy for future use. Its primary means of storage is fat, or adipose tissue, which lies beneath the skin and surrounds the organs. You can think of fat and its caloric potential as a gas tank for the body. But, unlike a gas tank, the body’s capacity to accumulate an energy reserve is almost limitless. Calories consumed in excess of the body’s needs are stored as fat (in your fat cells — around your internal organs and visible places like your hips, butt, thighs, etc.).

10. Good news!
It sounds simple, but in reality it is somewhat complex. Calculating the correct amount of calories (energy) to consume each day for both men and women, then trying to figure out the proper nutrient ratio can be like trying to do your first science project when you were ten. Considering the facts and the critical role calories play in life, wellness, activity, health, fitness as well as weight loss, at the end of the day or in the context of this subject matter, the beginning of the day, we can conclude that calories are our friends, providing we are consuming pure and wholesome foods.

First on Blogcritics--Sci/Tech
Calories Friends or Foes?
All this and more in MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book

Nov 1, 2009

"Diet Villain" ALERT: SHOOGA (sugar)


SHOOGA: Using too much sugar, and too many sugar derivatives, and sugar substitutes

Over consumption of sugar is a rapidly growing problem in America today. The Center for Science in the Public Interest notes that we eat 20% more sugar now than in 1986. The average American eats twenty teaspoons of added sugar a day, aside from natural forms of sugar like lactose in milk and fructose in fruit. With so much sugar being consumed, it’s no wonder we face growing problems with obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.


Sugar:
Sugar primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beets and goes through a refining process. Table sugar (granulated white sugar), which is stripped of all vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids and trace elements during the refining process, is pure sucrose. Sugar can affect health in a myriad of ways–suppress the immune system, cause free radical formation in the bloodstream, produce a significant rise in triglycerides and increase in total cholesterol, cause hypoglycemia, kidney damage, produce an acidic stomach, overstress the pancreas, increase risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, increase the amount of fat in the liver, cause hormonal imbalance, increase in the body’s fluid retention, lead to many mineral deficiencies, speed up aging, cause headaches, including migraines, promotes tooth decay and periodontal disease. Sugar also contributes to hyperactivity, anxiety and depression, diabetes, osteoporosis, weight gain and obesity. And this is the abbreviated list.

Dietary sugar is primarily comprised of refined sugar cane or sugar beet. Table sugar (granulated white sugar) is pure sucrose and is stripped of all vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, and trace elements during the refinement process.

* Notes
  • One level teaspoon of table sugar contains 15 empty calories, which means that these calories have little, if any, nutritional value.
  • Beyond the sugar we add to our coffee or tea, we consume sugar in a myriad of packaged foods where its content is disguised by other names, like “high fructose corn syrup”, which can cause fat gain and health problems.
  • Read the ingredients panel on just some of the hundreds of cereals currently on the market today. See my blog "Food Facts: Cereal"
  • Just because you don’t use table sugar or eat high-sugar cereals doesn’t mean you are avoiding sugar in your diet. Just read the labels on other packaged, man-made food products.
  • Be aware of other sources of sugar, like molasses, syrup, jams, etc.
* Total Daily Sugar Intake Rules
  • Avoid eating or adding table sugar to your food.
  • Since there is plenty of sugar occurring naturally in some foods (e.g. dairy products, fruits, vegetables), try to keep your extra sugar intake to no more than 50 grams per day.
  • Be very selective in your extra sugar sources.
  • If you need sweet, use honey (1 Tbsp. = 17 g) or agave nectar (1 Tbsp. = 8.2 g).
  • Begin to read labels on packaged foods—you will be truly amazed at how many products contain sugar and/or sugar derivatives--IT IS EVERYWHERE
  • Train your taste buds to start enjoying the natural tastes of whole food and liquids, and you will reap the rewards of a leaner body, better health, and a more vibrant look. And, you will avoid many potential health issues.
FYI
Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup:
Fructose is one of three simple blood sugars that are primarily found in honey, fruits, and some vegetables. While fructose is a very important source of energy for many body processes, over-consumption can overwhelm the body’s ability to process it, causing the excess to be converted to fats in the bloodstream (triglycerides). The presence of excess triglycerides has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, appetite de-regulation (feelings of dissatisfaction or hunger which may lead to weight gain), and potential insulin resistance (which leads to the onset of type II diabetes).

If you are serious about losing weight and gaining (re-gaining) your health, sugar is one "diet villain" you need to be aware of and conquer! It is is MOST man-made, packaged, and processed foods. So save the sugar for those rare times you want to "cheat on your diet"!

===============
Sugar substitutes (artificial sweeteners)
Artificial sweeteners are chemicals or natural compounds that offer the sweetness of sugar without as many calories. Because the substitutes are much sweeter than sugar, it takes a much smaller quantity to create the same sweetness. Products made with artificial sweeteners have a much lower calorie count than do those made with sugar. Artificial sweeteners are often used as part of a weight-loss plan or as a means to control weight gain.

For more information on artificial sweeteners check out the MayoClinic.com.

Commonly Used
#1. Aspartame:
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener (the white powder in the little blue packets) commonly used in “diet foods” like soft drinks, drink mixes, gelatin desserts, low calorie frozen desserts, etc. Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), is a chemical combination of two amino acids and methanol, and has recently been linked to cancer and neurological problems.

#2. Saccharin:
Saccharin is an artificial sweetener found in “diet” products, soft drinks, sugar packets, and fountain drinks at restaurants. In animal studies saccharin has caused cancer of the bladder, uterus, ovaries, skin, blood vessels and other organs. In 1977 the FDA wanted to ban saccharin because of these animal studies, but congress intervened and permitted its use as long as there was a warning label. In 2000 saccharin was removed from the list of cancer causing chemicals and Congress passed a law removing the warning label. As a result, use of saccharin in soft drinks and other foods will likely increase, and so will the incidence of cancer.


#3. Splenda:
Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. It is true that the Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) — except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms.

According to Women to Women: A great website full of information on this topic
"Evidence that there are side effects of Splenda is accumulating little by little. Sucralose has been implicated as a possible migraine trigger, for example. Self-reported adverse reactions to Splenda or sucralose collected by the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center include skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, swelling, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain. These show up at one end of the spectrum — in the people who have an allergy or sensitivity to the sucralose molecule. But no one can say to what degree consuming Splenda affects the rest of us, and there are no long-term studies in humans with large numbers of subjects to say one way or the other if it’s safe for everyone."
#4. Stevia:
Stevia (STEE-vee-uh) is a South American shrub whose leaves have been used for centuries by native peoples in Paraguay and Brazil to sweeten their yerba mate and other stimulant beverages.

Stevioside, the main ingredient in stevia (the two terms are often used interchangeably), is virtually calorie-free and hundreds of times sweeter than table sugar. “So it appeals to many people as a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners,” says Mark Blumenthal of the pro-herb American Botanical Council in Austin, Texas.

Cancer. In the laboratory, steviol can be converted into a mutagenic compound, which may promote cancer by causing mutations in the cells’ genetic material (DNA). “We don’t know if the conversion of stevioside to steviol to a mutagen happens in humans,” says Huxtable. “It’s probably a minor issue, but it clearly needs to be resolved.” Read more from Nutrition Action


Artificial sweeteners are chemicals that offer the sweet flavor of sugar without the calories. There is much debate on their safety and MY DIVA DIET does not recommend them.




* Notes

The long-term harmful effects of some artificial sweeteners are documented. However, as new ones come on the market, their effects will remain unknown until the harm is already done.
  • According to some researchers, nutritionists, and diabetes experts, artificial sweeteners may have carcinogenic properties and be linked to increased risk of tumors, seizure disorders, chronic headaches, and hyperactivity in children.
* Sugar Substitutes Rule
  • To become genuinely healthy and fit you should avoid unnecessary sugar and artificial sweeteners while developing a taste for foods and liquids in their natural forms.
DON'T LEAVE YOUR HEALTH TO CHANCE -- skip the artificial sweeteners and use fruit, honey, or agave nectar instead!


Sugar is part of Factor #3: Quality and Purity of Calories of the Five Factors Affecting Body Fat & Health.

We are your "fitness superheroes", Super Fit Diva and Paw–ready to EXPOSE, ATTACK and DEFEAT the "diet villains" in your life!
To learn more about the 18 "diet villains" check out our website www.MyDivaDiet.com.

You can also take our 32 Question Diva Diet Quiz.
Stay tuned for our next featured "diet villain"!


E.C.L. Empower–Challenge–Legacy
Super Fit Diva and Paw
You can win the battle for health and fitness!

Oct 29, 2009

"Diet Villain" ALERT: POPS (lack of water)


POPS: Dehydration from drinking too little water and too many bad fluids like soda and other sugary drinks.

Water is essential for life–it makes up about two-thirds of a person's body weight and is the second most important nutrient next to oxygen. We can live without food for weeks, but only a few days without water. Drinking plenty of water stand alone as the best thing you can do for your body.

Notes:
  1. Water is critical to good health.
  2. Water is necessary for nearly every bodily function, including circulation, digestion, absorption, excretion, and nutrient distribution to all cells.
  3. Adequate amounts of water are vital to lung function; mitigate high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, hiatal hernias, headaches, angina, allergies, and constipation; prevent kidney stones; and slow aging.
  4. Lack of water can affect our weight-loss efforts.
  5. Most of us retain water because we do not drink enough water.
  6. We mistake thirst for hunger, so we eat instead of drinking water.
  7. Dehydration not only has health consequences but also affects our mood and can make us lethargic, making it impossible to exercise and eat correctly.
  8. Thirst cannot always be relied on as the best indicator of water requirements. If you're thirsty, you're probably already dehydrated.
Rules
  1. Supply your body with enough water each day and you will reap the rewards of health, vitality, energy, great skin, appetite control, reduced fat and bloating, and much more.
  2. Drink an average of eight to ten cups of water each day (depending on your body weight).
  3. You may need more water if you are exercising, drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks, taking medications, and/or consuming alcohol.
  4. It's best to drink room-temperature water–iced water can delay digestion if consumed with a meal.
FYI
Drinking bottled water is probably better than drinking tap water.
Another option is tap-water filtering system, which is less expensive than bottled water.

This is part of Factor #1: Liquid Consumption of the Five Factors Affecting Body Fat & Health. More on liquid consumption coming...and how "what you are drinking can truly make or break your dieting efforts!"

We are your "fitness superheroes", Super Fit Diva and Paw–ready to EXPOSE, ATTACK and DEFEAT the "diet villains" in your life!

To learn more about the 18 "diet villains" check out our website www.MyDivaDiet.com.

You can also take our 32 Question Diva Diet Quiz.
Stay tuned for our next featured "diet villain"!


E.C.L. Empower–Challenge–Legacy
Super Fit Diva and Paw
You can win the battle for health and fitness!

Oct 27, 2009

Food Facts: Cereal

Breakfast is an important meal, but when you grab that box of cereal do you really know what you are eating?

Cereal is a commonly consumed food item, however, did you know that most cereal contain sugar, salt, flour (usually white or wheat), corn starch, and artificial ingredients. So, before you trust Tony the Tiger with your dietary advice and that of your children, you better think twice! In fact, take a look at some of the cereal you may have in your cupboard, and just count then number of ingredients–if there contain more than five then it is probably not a good choice! There are a few exceptions like cereal found at Food For Life. Read more at the end of this blog!

Diva Reduction Safe Cereal List
Here is a list of cereals (hot and cold) MY DIVA DIET endorses...they:
  • Are all gluten-free.
  • Have no trans fats, saturated fat, or cholesterol.
  • Are very low in or have no preservatives or additives.
  • Contain less than 2 grams of sugar.
  • Are very low in or have no sodium at all.
  • Are made from the whole grain–most are not from processed grains.
  • Are not made from white or wheat flour.
  • Are not made from any flour at all.

Hot
#1 -- Arrowhead Mills Organic Steel Cut Oats - Organic, Wheat-Free, Vegetarian -- ¼ cup = 160 calories; 6 g protein; 27 g carbs; 3 g fat; 8 g fiber; 0 mg sodium; 0 g sugar

#2 -- Old Fashioned Quaker Oats - 100% Natural -- ½ cup dry = 150 calories; 5 g protein; 27 g carbs; 3 g fat; 4 g fiber; 0 mg sodium; 1 g sugar

#3-- Ancient Harvest Quinoa - Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Organic -- ¼ cup dry = 166 calories;
5 g protein; 30 g carbs; 3 g fat; 3 g fiber; 5 mg sodium; 1 g sugar

#4-- Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes - Organic, Gluten Free Kosher -- .33 cup = 134 calories; 4 g protein; 23 g carbs; 0 g fat; 2.6 g fiber; 4 mg sodium; 1 g sugar

#5-- Lundberg Cream of Rice Cereal - Gluten Free, Organic, Vegan -- ¼ cup dry = ½ cup cooked = 150 calories; 3 g protein; 32 g carbs; 1.5 g fat; 3 g fiber; 0 mg sodium; 0 g sugar

#6-- Pocono Cream of Buckwheat - Wheat & Gluten Free, Organic -- .25 cup = 140 calories; 2 g protein; 36 g carbs; 0 g fat; 1 g fiber; 0 mg sodium; 0 g sugar

Cold
#7 -- Nu-World Foods Amaranth Berry Delicious Gluten Free, Milk-Free, Corn-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Kosher, Organic -- 1 cup = 86 calories; 4 g protein; 18 g carbs; 1 g fat; 3 g fiber; 3 mg sodium; 1 g sugar

#8 -- Erewhon Organic Crispy Brown Rice – Gluten-Free, Organic, Kosher -- 1 cup = 110 calories; 2 g protein; 25 g carbs; 0.5 g fat; 0 g fiber; 160 mg sodium; 2 g sugar


Paw Guide for Choosing Healthy Cereals
It is always best to choose cereals that:
  • Have 5 ingredients or less
  • Contain no trans fats, cholesterol, or saturated fats
  • Contain no preservatives or additives
  • Contain no white flour
  • Are gluten-free (with some exceptions like oats and rye)
  • Are made from the whole grain
One serving size should:
  • Have less than 5 grams of sugar
  • Have less than 50 grams of sodium
  • Have 3 to 10 grams of fiber or more

You can find some great cereal that is not gluten free at Food For Life, and is great for when you are on a Maintenance Plan and are not gluten intolerant (celiac disease)! Their cereals contain no flour, no refined sugar, no preservatives, no fat or shortening, no cholesterol, and no artificial colors or flavors. Ezekiel 4:9® Sprouted Whole Grain Cereals are made from freshly sprouted certified organically grown whole grains and legumes. This natural combination provides unequalled nutrition as a complete protein.

Food for Life products are made with filtered water and are kosher-certified. Their products are made with whole grains, sprouted grains, and they are low glycemic, high in fiber, and they do offer gluten-, wheat-, and yeast-free foods. They include cereal, breads, tortillas, and more! The best part is you will find food items based on scripture, Genesis 1:29 and Ezekiel 4:9! And they are in your local supermarket!


To learn more about gluten free, you can read my blog, Gluten Free: How it Can Help You Lose Weight. And check out our book MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book for more on losing fat and gaining health––for life.

Oct 24, 2009

Dieting Without Sauces: A Great Way to Lose Weight!


Sauces, salad dressing, dips, and condiment intake
Many Americans don’t appreciate real food (e.g. food in its natural form). We not only super-size our meals but also put
sauces and condiments on everything.

* Note

  • Some sauces, salad dressings, dips and condiments are good to use, such as salsa; marinara sauce; low-sodium, no-wheat soy sauce; olive oil; Balsamic vinegar; low-fat salad dressing; mustard; and horseradish.

* Sauces, Salad Dressing, Dips, and Condiment Rules
  • Try to eat your foods plain—it’s much better for you.
  • If you are going to use sauces, salad dressing, dips, and condiments, use them in moderation, and choose ones that have some nutritional value.
  • Choose items that have minimal calories and ingredients.
  • Be extremely selective.
  • Watch out for sauces and dips made at restaurants and those you buy at the grocery store. Most are packed full of fat, flour, sugar, sodium, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients.
  • You can find better-quality products at some health food stores—read labels.
If you need the sauces, salad dressing, dips, and condiment, here are some much better choices (list above), however, if you want to lose weight and gain health––LESS IS BETTER!