Jul 30, 2009

The Carb Defense

Ever since the “no-carb” craze, carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap—particularly grains. Many of us know the health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables but are unaware of the benefits derived from grains.
  • Fruits and vegetables not only provide many vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but their attractive rainbow colors indicate natural plant pigments that contain specific important nutrients and help prevent certain types of cancers and other diseases.
  • Whole grains give us the sustained energy we need each day and also provide:
  • Fiber, which helps reduce blood cholesterol, may lower the risk of heart disease, reduces constipation and diverticulosis, and helps you feel full (so you eat fewer calories).
  • Folic acid and other B vitamins, which play a key role in metabolism, help the body release energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates; and are essential for a healthy nervous system.
  • Several minerals that are directly related to the proper function of our bodies and immune system.
  • Antioxidants and phytoestrogens, which are helpful in preventing some forms of cancer, fighting off menopausal symptoms, and decreasing the risk of some chronic diseases.
  • Whole grains like wheat and barley have young sprouts known as cereal grasses that contain antioxidant enzymes, trace minerals, chlorophyll, and high-quality vegetable proteins that create a powerful tool for good health—e.g. wheat grass.
  • Since fruits, vegetables, and grains are crucial for health and actually can help with weight loss, think again before you eliminate them from your diet. Case closed!

Quality carbohydrate intake
Carbohydrates are the most desirable fuel source, supplying our bodies with the energy we need for daily living. Eating the proper kind of carbohydrates will keep us from getting fat and developing possible health problems like diabetes and coronary heart disease.
  • MY DIVA DIET recommends that high-quality carbohydrates account for approximately 45% of your daily calories in the Diva Reduction Phase and 45% to 65% in the Diva Maintenance Phase. Depending on your age, lifestyle and activity level (or if you have a certain medical condition that warrants lower carbs).
* Notes
  • There are two categories of carbohydrates: complex and simple.
  • Good carbohydrates are the complex ones, like fruit and vegetables, whole grains and grain foods, and legumes.
  • Potatoes and yams are excellent choices for healthy complex carbohydrates.
  • Poor-quality carbohydrates are the simple ones, like sugar, processed foods, soft drinks, snacks like cookies and chips, and alcohol.
  • Most simple carbohydrates are highly refined, contain huge amounts of calories, contribute no nutritional value or fiber, and leave you feeling hungry.

* Quality Carbohydrate Intake Rule
  • Unlike other diet programs, MY DIVA DIET doesn’t want you to avoid carbohydrates. We just want you to clean them up and control the amount you consume.
  • 200 grams or less of carbohydrates seem to be the best amount to consume each day for most women to lose fat, stay healthy, and be able to function.
  • In the Diva Reduction Phase (based on 1,300 calories per day) MY DIVA DIET recommends about 130 to 150 grams. Under 100 grams per day is just not safe—you will not get leaner quicker, nor will you maintain your results.
  • In the Diva Maintenance Phase, you can go higher in carbohydrates (how high depends on many variables).
  • If you are exercising, have a high metabolism, or for other reasons listed in our Daily caloric intake, a higher carbohydrate intake is warranted.
  • Avoid simple carbohydrates like table sugar, junk food, cookies, donuts, etc., as these are not only unhealthy but add unwanted fat pounds to your body.
  • The only high-sugar carbohydrates that may be okay in moderation are honey, agave nectar, natural fruit spreads, applesauce, and some dried fruits with no additives.
  • Choose your carbohydrates from natural, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure that you get every benefit nature has to offer. Look for these colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, and white.
  • Be very selective when choosing grain products and use the following Paw Guide:
Paw Grain Products Guide
Look for:
  1. Whether whole grain is used
  2. Whether the grain is manipulated
  3. Whether the grain is reduced to flour (not always bad)
  4. Whether the product is fried or baked (baked is preferable)
  5. How the grain is preserved
  6. If there are any other additives
  7. The more fiber, the better

So at the end of the day you should be very selective with your carbs, but enjoy and lose weight the safe, healthy and lasting way!

Jul 26, 2009

Diet Book Review: By Alie James, Writer for Blog Critics

Book Review: My Diva Diet by Christine Lakatos
When a diet book delivers, its worth its weight in gold. Christine Lakatos delivers, so we can safely shed those unwanted pounds!
Review in Books — by Alie James — on Mar 02, 2009

There is a place for "thinking outside the box," especially when writing a diet book and trying to stand out from the thousands of competitive diet books available to the hungry market of “tired-of-dieting dieters.” Christine Lakatos wrote My Diva Diet, and is such a thinker. She wants to get our attention, and she does so by using Diet Villains and Superheroes throughout her book. We have Ms. Diva, who highlights for us some very useful tips, and it's her presence throughout the book that ties everything together. Her sidekick, Paws, makes a presence as well, and summarizes the howto information for us.

Whether you like gimmicks or not, the purpose of any book is twofold - first, to get the attention of its readers, and second, to deliver an effective message. Lakatos got my attention, and delivered a very helpful Diet book. I liked it and will use it; I especially find the recipes in her books unique and enticing.

The book cover promises, “A Woman’s Last Diet Book.” I suggest that it become one of your most valued resources on dieting, rather than your last diet book. This is because I know that all of us, who are "tired-of-dieting dieters, need a quick fix and are always looking for something “newer, quicker, and faster.” However, this book is quite thorough and packed with a complete and proven fat loss "system." The reason I put quotes around the word, system, is because that is the key to this book. Anytime there is a system we can easily learn and follow, we have a much greater chance of success.

I am confident that you will enjoy and use the information in My Diva Diet. If you really want hope, be sure to take a look at the author’s bio. Christine Lakatos has over 25 years experience in helping people lose fat and improve health, and she is a beautiful, very fit, practice-what-you-preach woman. She has the credibility we want to see in an author of a Diet book.

Diva ... me?

Well, why not me, and for that matter... why not you, too?

"Dreaming Song" is my blog for women. I write about things that make our lives and homes naturally beautiful, healthy, and happy. It's also about my life as an "intuitive" design consultant, natural health and beauty advocate, country music enthusiast.

Check out Alie James blog and her great e-book “Secrets to Healthy Aging & Ageless Beauty”

Make sure you check out Blogcritics, a group of authors who write on music, books, film, popular culture, politics, and technology.

Jul 22, 2009

Diet Book Review: Diet Blog -- MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book

OK, this has to be one of my favorite reviews of my book other than Alie James of Blog Critics and the Lakatos Nutrition Twins review of MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book.

Mike Howard
"Mike Howard has been actively involved in the fitness industry for the past 12 years as a Personal Trainer, lecturer and author. He has helped hundreds of individuals of varying age and experience with everything from fat loss and general health to active rehabilitation and athletic performance. Mike has an extensive background in anatomy and exercise science, and is a diligent researcher of nutritional science and the psychology of motivation. He has applied his knowledge towards helping clients as well as educating current and prospective personal trainers. He has a true passion for teaching and helping people succeed."
Review by Mike Howard of DietBlog.com
I don't know if I'm the best person to review a book that is "for Women only" although in reality, the fairer sex is the prime target for marketing of diet books/products.
Henceforth, I have toted this rather large pink-coloured book around with a certain degree of inconspicuousness - determined to unravel the secrets of "a women's last diet book".

Author Kristine Lakatos takes the reader through a comprehensive plan to help us women achieve the health and body they want. And, when I say "comprehensive", I'm not spouting hyperbole. This book is enormous and chock full of guides, charts, worksheets, quizzes, recipes, and the like.

My Diva Diet is presented in a cartoon-type fashion, with Lakatos taking on a heroine persona - creating a mascot and other cartoons to illustrate her points. I imagine the reader's response to this strategy would range from mildly entertaining to excessively irritating (I'm somewhere in the middle here).
The Diva Diet essentially has 2 phases:

Diva Reduction: Which is a lower calorie (1200-1300) plan that breaks down to 35% protein, 45% carbs and 20% fat. It has all the run-of-the-mill suggestions such as: 4-5 meals per day, eat clean, natural, fresh, organic, etc, etc. You stay in this phase for 10 weeks.

Diva Maintenance: A far more flexible plan in terms of both calories (1400-1600), and carb consumption (up to 65%).

Quick take: Reduction - the average person may call it "too low in fat", although I really don't have a problem with it, provided the dieter is getting sufficient essential fatty acids. Protein intake is sufficient, and combined with the rest of the recommendations, I have no problem with this ratio.

The maintenance phase, however in its more extreme ranges, is both too low in protein (20%), and too high in carbs (65%), unless said dieter is an endurance athlete.

Overall Impression
There is a TON of information in this book - most of which is sound information. It follows the same tenets of most of the other books out there, and covers a very wide range of topics - again mostly accurate and practical.

There may be a little information overload, and admittedly this may be my own ADD-like disposition. I think the terms "pure" and "clean" foods are a little overused, and Lakatos' definition of this expands to include organic and Kosher - which is not necessarily better from a health and/or fat loss perspective.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go file my nails and watch Grey's Anatomy!
End Review
Information overload, hmmm, probably? It is meant to be a diet book and workbook, as well as a book that you can refer to over and over! While I loved this review and respect the expertise that Mike Howard brings to the table, there are two areas that I must disagree:

#1 -- The reduction phase is more strict based on a 34/45/20 ratios and the nutrient ratio in the maintenance phase is a range not a set number -- 1400 to 1600 calories 20-35% protein, 45-65% carbs, and 20-30% fat. I give a range to allow flexibility and due to the fact that many women are different ages and sizes and have different lifestlyes and exercise habits. There is a reference chart on page 295 "Dieting Ranges for Women", in which I give highs and lows!

In fact this is where the real debate begins with fitness experts–how many grams of protein, carbs and fats? And I got "ripped" (6% body fat) by eating 100 grams protein, over 300 grams of carbs, and 10 to 15 grams of fat each day for 12 weeks--then only during the last month I dropped my carbs to just under 200 grams per day!

Paw Safe and Healthy Dieting Ranges For Women - per day
High: over 3,000
Low: under 1,000
High: over 150 grams
Low: under 60 grams
High: over 300 grams
Low : under 100 grams
Fats :
High: over 50 grams per day
Low : under 20 grams
------------------------- *These estimates are averages – every woman (and young girl) is different.

#2 -- Kosher meats and organic foods may not be relevant when you are trying to lose weight, however they ARE better choices which means a healthier body!

Thanks Mike--love your review! Thanks to all my reviewers and anyone who has purchased MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book. Would love to hear your comments too!

Diet Book Review: EveryDiet.org -- MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book

Everydiet.org is an on-line site with highly-qualified contributors whose goal is "to provide the most complete diet reference site on-line." They recently reviewed MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book, to their list of over 200 diet books and systems. Here are some of the highlights:

My Diva Diet (click here to read the entire review)


My Diva Diet was developed by Christine Lakatos who is a former professional bodybuilder and certified fitness trainer. Her program is designed specifically for women and she promises readers that it will be the last diet book they will ever need.

Lakatos has drawn on her experience in competitive bodybuilding and incorporated the concepts that allowed her to reach a body fat level of 6% without resorting to starvation diets or drugs. She uses animated diet villains and fitness superheroes to illustrate important information in a format that is fun and easy to understand.

Lakatos states that
her program is based on changing your lifestyle so that you will not only lose body fat and improve your health but also will be able to easily maintain the results that you work so hard to achieve.

  • Based on up to date scientific principles.
  • Specifically meets the needs and goals of women.
  • Focus is on a long-term solution rather than a quick fix approach.
  • Illustrated format can help to maintain attention and highlight important points.
  • Flexible approach with seven different ways to use the program.
  • High intake of protein prevents muscle loss while dieting and reduces appetite.
  • Provides clearly illustrated guides to portion control for many common foods.
  • Includes a menu plan and recipes.
  • Addresses the psychological factors involved in weight management.
  • Author has over 25 years experience and is a living example of what she teaches.
  • May not appeal to male readers.
  • Fairly strict and requires elimination of many foods.
  • May be somewhat difficult to eat out as many common ingredients are forbidden.
  • Recommends the intake of oils that are very high in omega 6 fats, which could potentially exacerbate an omega 3 fatty acid deficiency or imbalance.
Lakatos presents a lot of useful dietary information in a format that will be easy for most readers to absorb. Her program involves a clear system that is based on solid principles and is likely to produce successful results for most dieters.

Thanks to EveryDiet.org, appreciate the non-bias review and the cons are pretty accurate except for the final one--the oils recommended are high in omega 6 and does include oils with omega 3's and the diet includes foods that are high in omega 3's. Page 250 of MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book
Fats and Oils
Good sources of quality fat include unrefined vegetable sources or oily fish
  • Oils like olive, safflower, sesame, soybean, and sunflower
  • Others include: flax oil, canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, soy oil, wheat germ oil, walnut oil, and hemp seed oil
  • Oily fish: salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna
To learn more about omega 3 and omega 6 check out FitProNutriton.com

Click here to learn more about everydiet.org
About This Site "You are what you eat."

Contributors and Authors
Mizpah Matus--BHlthSc(Hons)
Mizpah Matus received a Bachelor of Health Science Degree with honors from Charles Sturt University. She has also completed an Advanced Diploma of Herbal Medicine and has commenced postgraduate studies in Nutrition Medicine.

Her major area of interest is diet and nutrition for health promotion and personal transformation. She writes for Nourishing Perspectives - and publishes a nutrition blog.

Mike Howard -- Dipl.flm, BCRPA (TFL)
Mike has been involved in the health industry for over 10 years as a personal trainer, lecturer and author. He has an extensive background in anatomy, exercise science, and is a diligent researcher of nutrition and human performance. He has authored several publications including a manual entitled “Winning the Losing Battle—The Truth about Fat Loss”.

Mike is also a staff writer at the popular health magazine Diet Blog.

Check out other reviews of MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book. Wishing all success with their weight loss and health goals this summer, 2009!

Jul 13, 2009

Fast Food Dangers!

The topic of fast food is always a consideration in any diet program. Fast food places are all over, however, some are much better than others, even if they offer no-fat and “so-called” healthier menu items.

"Do yourself and your family a
big favor. Do your own research on fast food items and be extremely selective when you decide which drive-through to visit and which item to order."

Twelve Problems with fast food:

Ask these questions:
  1. Where does the meat come from? And is it really meat?
  2. How was the animal (meat) raised, slaughtered, and processed?
  3. What is really in the food? Is it real?
  4. Is it fresh? Or is it frozen, canned, dehydrated, or freeze-dried?
  5. How many additives and preservatives like sugar, fat, salt, and white flour (and their derivatives) do they use?
  6. How many chemicals are used?
  7. How many flavor enhancers are in the food. And what do they use to enhance flavor and appeal?
  8. How many fake and cooked fats like hydrogenated oils are used.
  9. Is there any nutritional value?
  10. Where is the fiber?
  11. How many calories are you about to eat?
  12. What are the conditions and practices of the fast food chain?

“Poor quality meat (meat derived from animal cruelty and unsafe methods of processing) and other standard food items are just found not in fast food places—they are also in many of the restaurants at which we frequently dine at.”

Twenty Shocking Facts About F
ast Food
Did you know?
  1. One Burger King Whopper has 628 calories! That’s just about half of your daily calories.
  2. One Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger has 1570 milligrams of sodium. That’s almost all the sodium you need in a day.
  3. The Breakfast Jack, served at Jack in the Box, has 220 grams of cholesterol.
  4. There are 1,010 calories and 2580 milligrams of sodium in the 6 Piece Garlic Parmesan Twists served at Round Table Pizza.
  5. The Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger from Jack in the Box has 77 grams of fat!
  6. One medium chocolate shake from Dairy Queen has 133 grams of carbohydrates. That’s almost all the carbohydrates you need in a day—and they are bad carbohydrates!
  7. At Wendy’s, the Big Bacon Classic Burger has 260 calories coming from fat!
  8. The Chicken Pot Pie from KFC has 40 grams of fat, and 770 calories!
  9. The McDonald’s Deluxe Breakfast has a shocking 1190 calories!
  10. A Strawberry Slush at Sonic has 185 grams of sugar!
  11. A Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese at McDonald’s has 20 grams of saturated fat!
  12. At Carl’s Jr., the Catch Fish sandwich has 3927 milligrams of sodium!
  13. The Pancakes with bacon served at Whataburger has 118 grams of carbohydrates.
  14. The Double Whopper with cheese at Burger King has 185 milligrams of cholesterol.
  15. Hardee’s 2/3 lb. Bacon Cheese Thickburger has 96 grams of fat!
  16. The Double Chili Burger at Carl’s Jr. has 962 calories!
  17. There are 20 grams of sugar in the Western Bacon Six Dollar Burger served at Carl’s Jr.
  18. The Super Sonic No. 1 at Sonic has 596 calories from fat.
  19. At Wendy’s, the Chicken BLT Salad with toppings has 19 grams of fat.
  20. A basket of 21 Crunchy Shrimp pieces at Long John Silver’s has 105 milligrams of cholesterol.
“If you are not up-to-date on the damage fast food can do to your figure and your health; the threat it poses to our children; and the horrific things it does to animals, our food, the environment; and the danger it places on the people that work in the fast food industry, try watching Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation” DVD and read the book too ("Fast Food Nation" Book) and Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me.” If you are serious about losing weight and being healthy, FAST FOOD should be avoided, but since they are a big part of the American diet, here are 5 tips to help you.

Paw Fast Food Five Guide
5 tips:
  1. Avoid fast food.
  2. Use fast food only as an “I haven’t eaten all day”solution.
  3. Choose the healthiest menu items.
  4. Don’t super-size – eat small portions or share.
  5. Your best bet: Go to your local health food store and choose lean dishes from the deli or find a place to get a healthy protein shake or smoothie (these are fast meals but much healthier)!
MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book does have a complete section on BETTER choices for FAST FOOD, however, real food is BEST!

Jul 10, 2009

Diet Analysis: Open the Door to the Truth About Your Dieting Habits!

The Analysis
You never find yourself until you face the truth.
~ Pearl Bailey

MY DIVA DIET Analysis Overview
Every smart and successful woman who truly wants to improve significant personal areas of her life—the development of her character, relationships with others, her spiritual life—or who wants to see progress in more pragmatic areas—her career, financial planning, time management—will always begin with a thorough evaluation of her current condition. It is no different for women who want to transform their bodies into lean, healthy, sexy, more functional machines.

“Here is where we become accountable!”

We start to become true Diva Dieters by changing our eating habits, and this type of change requires a complete and honest diet analysis. A diet analysis is a very powerful tool for five reasons:

  1. It gives you a true and precise picture of exactly what kinds of foods you’re consuming (i.e. becoming aware of what you are putting into your body).
  2. It will help you examine your overall eating and exercising practices.
  3. It will reveal your strengths and weaknesses in specific areas of health & fitness.
  4. It will ultimately help you create a new lifestyle incorporating proper eating and exercise.
  5. It will serve as a tool to guide and keep you in line for the long term.
Think of your diet analysis as a map indicating “you are here.” It will tell you where you are, how far you need to go, and how long your transformation process will take. This is the beginning of your success. After your analysis, you should seek accurate knowledge on how to change, and then you need to implement whatever changes are necessary. We know you have the courage to do so!

The Diva 32-Question Diet Quiz will help you analyze your relationship to the Five Factors Affecting Body Fat and Health. The Diva Diet Quiz will also introduce you to the Diet Villains some of which you may be battling today.

The Diva 32-Question Diet Quiz is in the MY DIVA DIET workbook PART ONE, pages 10- 12 and can be downloaded from the MY DIVA DIET website and now here on my blog -- MY DIVA DIET Quiz).

The Five Factors
Factor #1: Liquid Consumption
Factor #2: Quantity and Distribution of Calories
Factor #3: Quality and Purity of Calories
Factor #4: Restrictive and Unbalanced Dieting
Factor #5: Exercise

Here is part of the grade sheet:

Your Diva Diet Quiz Scores will help guide you into the right adjustments to reach your overall goal to getting fit the healthy, safe, and lasting way. Most questions are worth between +30 and -30 points. A few indicate more significant aspects of your diet (water and alcohol intake, clean and pure calories, fiber intake, restrictive and unbalanced dieting), so they are worth +50 to -50. Exercise ranges from +65 to –65, depending on the regularity of your habit.

"GET YOUR BODY FAT TESTED–knowing where you are will help you set realistic goals on where you want to go and how long it will take!" Here is a chart to help you understand what the numbers mean. To learn more about body composition see "Understanding Body Composition is Critical When You Go on a Weight-loss Program"!

Also take measurements, note size in clothes, and lastly your body weight. You may consider a physical exam to test for health issues.

Paw Body Fat Rating Guide

Body fat % with Diva Rating

Athletic (exceptional)
10 to 15% body fat and below

Extra-low body fat (excellent)
16 to 19% body fat

Low body fat (very good)
20 to 21% body fat

Good shape (good)
22% body fat

High body fat (poor)
23 to 25% body fat

Very high body fat (unhealthy)
26 to 34% body fat

Extra-high body fat (deficient)
35% body fat and up

Diva Diet Quiz Grades are provided at the end of the quiz to give you a reality check and help you make adjustments so you can reach your goals.

Jul 8, 2009

Fruits and Vegetables: The Master Keys to Superior Health, Weight Loss, and Longevity!

Fruits and Vegetables should be the main part of your diet due to their health-promoting value–nutrients that they contain! They also provide fiber, (one of the only ways other than whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds), which is lacking in the American Diet.

Fruits are flavorful, versatile, and full of health-promoting nutrients. We need fruit in our diet every day because they not only provide energy and fiber, but they contain many water-soluble vitamins like: vitamin C and the B vitamins. Fruits (and vegetables) provide more of these critical nutrients than any other type of food. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D and E), which are bodies can store for future use, water-soluble vitamins are needed every day for our bodies to function optimally! Fruits are rich in health-promoting phytonutrients (plant nutrients), which act as powerful antioxidants!

  • Apple
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries Sweet
  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Guava
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mango
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Olives
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Plum
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerine
  • Watermelon

Just like fruit, vegetables should be included every day because they not only provide energy and fiber, but they contain many water-soluble vitamins like: vitamin C and the B vitamins. Fruits (and vegetables) provide more of these critical nutrients than any other type of food. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D and E), which are bodies can store for future use, water-soluble vitamins are needed every day for our bodies to function optimally!

Vegetables are the most nutrient-rich foods, (provide the most vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients for the least amount of calories), so they are key if you want to lose weight and keep it off!

Vegetables come in many sizes, shapes and from different parts of the plant.
  • leaves: spinach and lettuce
  • roots: carrots and beets
  • stalks: celery and fennel
  • tubers: potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • inflorescents: flowering vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower
  • bulbs: garlic and onions

  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn on-the-cob
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Jicama
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Loose Leaf Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Parsley
  • Chili Peppers
  • Green/Red Bell Peppers
  • Potato
  • Canned Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Acorn Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Hubbard Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomato
  • Yams

  1. Try to consume at least 3-5 serving of fruits and vegetables per day.
  2. When choosing fruits and vegetables, go for colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, and even white. Each color is a pigment that signifies the presence of certain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  3. Since some fruits and vegetables are seasonal, choose accordingly–this will help you add variety to your diet.
  4. Natural, fresh and organic fruits and veggies are best.
  5. Choose fresh fruits and veggies over canned and frozen.
  6. Don't let any diet (unless you have a specific medical condition like diabetes) tell you that you can't eat carrots, potatoes and bananas!
  7. When cooking your veggies, don't over cook them and skip all the sauce and salt.
  8. Where appropriate, eat the skin of fruits and veggies, they are full of fiber and other nutrients.
  9. Watch out for dried fruit, they are okay from time-to-time, however they are much higher in calories for a small amount.
  10. If you are lacking in fruits and veggies, try a smoothie or healthy green drink!


Jul 6, 2009

Herbs and Spices the Forgotten Treasure!

Herbs & Spices are often a forgotten treasure and MY DIVA DIET wants you to know more about them.

Wars have been fought and countries discovered because of “treasured” spices. Marco Polo’s accounts of his trip to China in the late 1200s told of the spice trade in unknown lands, and many Europeans went in search of the exotic indulgence. In the fifteenth
through the seventeenth centuries, Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Dutch traders competed in the Far East for dominance in the spice trade, and by the late 1800's. America became involved. America’s first millionaires made their money in spices.

Herbs and spices are a great addition to any diet program.

They enhance flavor, improve the appeal, and increase the nutritional value of any dish. They also replace the need for other ingredients like fat, sugar, sodium, and flour.
These are some benefits of herbs and spices:
  • Low in calories and fat
  • Provide a variety of vitamins and minerals
  • Provide fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, antimicrobial properties, and anti-inflammatory potential
The properties found in herbs and spices promote the following:
  • Natural defense against infections
  • Joint health
  • Heart health
  • Balanced blood sugar
  • Digestive health
  • Weight control
  • Enhanced memory
  • Enhanced detoxification
For example:
  • Liver supporters: milk thistle and dandelion
  • Blood cleansers: red clove and burdock
  • Metabolism boosters: cumin, coriander, dill, mustard seed, and cinnamon

Herbs: These are leaves of low-growing shrubs. Popular herbs include parsley, chives, marjoram, thyme, basil, caraway, dill, oregano, rosemary, savory, sage, and celery leaves.

Spices: These come from the bark (cinnamon), root (ginger, onion, garlic), buds (cloves, saffron), seeds (yellow mustard, poppy, sesame), berries (black pepper), or fruit (allspice, paprika) of tropical plants and trees.

Isn't it time you add this "treasure" to your diet now and you can fell like a MILLION DOLLARS.

It is better to choose your herbs and spices from the fresh produce isle, however, if you get the ground in a bottle make sure it's pure and it doesn't have added ingredients like sodium, sugar, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients.

From time to time, I will be focusing an herb or a spice at MY DIVA DIET "Notes from Super Fit Diva". First one is my favorite--Cinnamon!