Fitness Flash

Fitness Flash
Blogcritics Magazine

Writer for Blogcritics Magazine

Writer for Blogcritics Magazine
Since March, 2009

The MY DIVA DIET mission E.C.L. Empower -- Challenge -- Legacy

"To empower women (and young girls) so that they can get into great shape, to challenge them to be better women, and to ensure a legacy of good health for the next generation!"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fat Loss, Vibrant Health, and Longevity - Winning Formula


THE FINAL PART of the Seven-Part Series: Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About It, PART SEVEN: The Winning Formula for Fat Loss, Vibrant Health, and Longevity! only on EZINE

Diets are big business and they come in many packages like diet programs, books, videos, products (including creams, gadgets, drugs, supplements, drinks, foods, etc.), and there are the health clubs, clinics, centers, and even surgery. In fact, in 2004 the weight-loss market was worth $46.3 billion and according to a recent study done by Marketdata Enterprises, the estimated value of the U.S. diet market in 2008 was $58.6 billion. That's an increase of $12.3 billion in only four years. With all of this money being spent, are Americans leaner or healthier?


According to JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) Issue: August 27, 2008, "unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are second only to tobacco as underlying causes of death."


John LaRosa of Marketdata, one of the leading researchers of the diet industry, recently informed me "the number of U.S. dieters is estimated at 72 million. Sixty-six percent of the American population is overweight or obese (both combined -- total 151 million adults). The share that's obese (BMI 30+) is 31% (71 million)." Childhood obesity in the U.S. is growing at an alarming rate, with one out of three kids now considered overweight or obese. Statistics on eating disorders are just as alarming when it is estimated that 5-10% of American teenage girls and women (i.e., 5-10 million) and one million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or borderline conditions. At least 50,000 individuals will die as a direct result of their eating disorder.

At any given time two-thirds of all American adults are on a diet. Of those, 29 percent are men and 44 percent are women. Yet, only five percent of dieters will keep the weight off. In fact, most will actually regain their lost weight, plus more. With all the money being spent on diets and diet products, Americans aren't losing weight. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, overweight and obesity has reached epidemic levels. One of the main reasons dieters fail at their "get fit" attempts and remain a statistic is because they choose "fad diets" as opposed to a balanced, healthy diet. In fact the weight-loss industry makes its billions because "millions succumb to 'quick-fix' claims, seeking a (non-existent) effortless weight-loss method."


There is no quick fix to fat loss, optimal health, and longevity! No sensible diet will ever compromise your physical or mental health for the sake of looking good. In fact, you don't have to starve, deprive yourself, settle for fake food, lose your sanity and health, or take pills to lose weight and get into great shape! I know that getting and staying healthy and fit involves a lifestyle of the "proper diet and exercise regimen". According the Web MD --"proven weight-management strategies include a balanced diet with reduced calories with a regular exercise regimen".


Prevention is best when it comes to being healthy and fit, however, if you've never been taught proper eating habits, you want to lose a few pounds, you've become overweight, obese, or find yourself facing health issues, you may need to seek out a diet program.


First and foremost, we should quit searching out diet programs and products that offer quick-fix solutions and are basically gimmicks full of false promises, magic potions, and misleading propaganda. Then we should start to tackle the root causes of why we are overweight and not at our full potential for optimal health.


If you want a lean, fit, healthy and more functional body, while improving your chances of a longer, happier life, you will need to change your thinking or behavior-or both! The winning formula for fat loss, vibrant health, and longevity can be found in five very powerful words; knowledge, accountability, courage, discipline, and motivation.


#1 -- Increase Knowledge (general awareness or possession of information, facts, ideas, truths, or principles)

Knowledge is power; however, make sure you have accurate knowledge when it comes to health and fitness. If you don't, you may find yourself choosing one of the thousands of "fad diets" (quick-fix solutions) that only lead to failure and down the path of yo-yo dieting, leaving you fatter and unhealthier then you were when you started and may even drive you crazy!


#2 -- Become Accountable (responsible to somebody else or to others, or responsible for something)

Do a reality check on your current health and fitness condition by getting a physical examination. Make sure you get your body fat tested (and note measurements) because this is the only way you will know your body composition (lean body mass vs. fat pounds). Frequent body fat tests are necessary so that you will be able to track your progress to know if you are losing fat and not just weight. You may also consider evaluating your level of flexibility, strength and endurance.


Don't despair when you see your current health and fitness condition. Think of this as your map, showing you were you are, where you need (want) to go and how long it will take to get there. This map will help you set realistic goals and an appropriate plan that will enable you to accomplish your goals in a timely manner.


Stop "blaming shifting" (and making excuses) and take personal responsibility for your current health and fitness condition. This is a major step towards change! In fact, 70% of chronic diseases come from a poor diet and lack of exercise. Admit to your part and move on to a better you!
Consider a "get fit" buddy that will diet and workout along side you. This will help with motivation and on-going accountability.

#3 -- Find Courage (the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action)

Wage war against obesity-a battle worth the fight! This type of battle demands backbone-strength of character and determination. Getting and staying fit and healthy requires a long-term commitment where you may have to endure uncomfortable stretches (especially in the beginning). So dig in and you will win!


#4 -- Implement Discipline (mental self-control used in directing or changing behavior, learning something, or training for something)

Discipline is usually the toughest part for most who start and stay on a proper diet and exercise program, but without it failure is inevitable. However, it doesn't have to be an all or nothing situation, even small steps of discipline will improve your body and move you toward ultimate health and fitness levels.


Make mini goals (along with small rewards) and even scheduled "cheat days" as you go down your "get fit" journey, this will ensure a positive attitude that will keep you on the road to success.


Don't be too hard on yourself if you stray from your diet or exercise program. When you fall, get up and start again. Remind yourself that nobody is perfect and continue toward your goal of the body you've always dreamed of.


#5 -- Stay Motivated (having enough interest or incentive to do something) Keep in mind getting (and staying) fit and healthy is a lifestyle and you will need to enjoy the process as well as the end results. Motivation is essential to endure your new lifestyle of the proper diet and exercise program, so find ways to keep your incentive going.

We are all motivated in different ways when it comes to getting and staying fit. Some are motivated by vanity, some are forced into a healthy lifestyle due to major health issues, while others really enjoy the process and the final goal of a healthy, fit, vibrant, and more functional body. Whatever motivates you, use it to your advantage and you will be victorious!


On a final note: know that we all face the same battle and nobody is immune to the challenges surrounding fat loss, vibrant health, and longevity. Getting fit and healthy is hard work, but possible (even likely) if you are willing! At the end of the day, it is all up to you!

www.MyDivaDiet.com

Monday, June 22, 2009

MY DIVA DIET Grocery Shopping Guide

The most common question I get asked as a fitness expert is: “What should I eat?” My answer is – “Good question! Cleaning up your calories is more important than decreasing them. It is the most important step you should take if you truly want to lose weight and gain health.” As the saying goes, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT and DRINK! This article will address foods only–liquids will require an entire section! Whether you are male or female, the food choices are the same (in quality we eat the same but quantity is where we differ)! And if you are a vegan or vegetarian, just use the tips that apply to you!

STAY HYDRATED -- WATER ALL DAY EVERY DAY!

Paw Food Guide
  • Clean and pure foods—natural, fresh, organic, and kosher
  • Lean, healthy, fibrous, and alive foods
  • Foods made by God (nature) for human consumption
  • Carefully chosen man-made or man-manipulated foods

To be a little more specific, it would be a list like this–condensed version.

Paw “Good Food Choices” Quick Guide
  • Fresh-water fish (with fins and scales)
  • Organic free-range and grass-fed animal meats (beef, poultry, turkey)
  • Kosher beef (only to be eaten once per month)
  • Eggs from organic, free-range, vegetarian-fed hens
  • Organic low- to no-fat dairy
  • Fresh legumes
  • Raw and unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Plant protein products—clean and pure
  • Organic whole grains
  • Grain products—sprouted, stone ground (baked, never fried)
  • Organic fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh and untainted herbs and spices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil and other unrefined vegetable oils
  • All-natural spreads, sauces, sweeteners, salad dressings, and dips.
  • All-natural gluten-free smart diet cheats

MY DIVA DIET has a complete section (over 35 pages) devoted to “Good Food Choices” (with nutritional values).


NOW lets get practical–“MY DIVA DIET Grocery Shopping Guide”!

#1. If possible, try shopping at a natural or health food store. This helps you pick healthy, natural foods. These stores also give you a bigger selection of organic and kosher meats, fresh water fish, eggs from free-range vegetarian fed hens, organic dairy products, fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Great places to shop are Trader Joes (www.traderjoes.com) and Whole Food Markets (www.wholefoodsmarket.com).

#2. Know where your own local health-conscious grocery store is.

Support your local organic farmer.”

#3. Find your local organic farmer and/or farmers’ market to get your fresh produce.

#4. Shop from the outside aisles in. The outside aisles have all the fresh produce, herbs, meats and fish, as well as dairy and other products that require refrigeration. These are where most of your “good foods” are.

#5. Do not go to the grocery store when you are hungry. This might cause you to break down and buy everything.


Don’t be fooled by all the products at a health food store. Some are not as safe to eat as real, wholesome, fresh foods are. And you can gain weight from eating too much—even from good foods!

#6. Make grocery shopping easier by making a list. This enables you to pick what you need instead of items you don’t. It is also more efficient to make a list, thus saving time and money!

#7. Use the MY DIVA DIET grocery shopping tools.

Paw Grocery Shopping Tools
  • Diva Reduction Meal Options and Recipes
  • Diva Smart Diet Cheat Sheet
  • Paw Grocery Cart Check Guide
  • Diva Reduction Good Food Choices At-a-Glance
  • Diva Reduction Safe Cereal List
  • Diva Food Test and Paw Label Guide

#8. Take your own meal and recipe ideas with you.

#9. Plan your meal ideas in advance so that you don’t waste time or food.

#10. Resist the junk-food items!

#11. Make sure you buy your planned cheat items so you won’t cheat on something you shouldn’t.

#12. Skip the deli section unless it is a health food store and you know what is in the pre-made dishes. Exceptions are rotisserie chickens, fresh turkey breast, high-quality deli meats, and some salads.

#13. Always read labels when you are buying any food in a package.

#14. When you check out, do a quick glance at your basket.

#15. Final Tip: For more help on what foods to buy, see our name-brand list in MY DIVA DIET Resources and Recommendations at the end of this book and on our webiste, DIVA APPROVED.


If you shouldn’t eat it, don’t buy it!

Paw Grocery Cart Check Guide
  • Your grocery cart should be filled with fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • While you were in the produce aisle, did you also remember your herbs and spices?
  • Did you pick up some water and tea (or coffee)?
  • Check for a few lean meats (like skinless chicken breasts and ground turkey).
  • If it is a beef night, add some filet mignon to your cart.
  • If it is a fish night, select some fresh wild salmon, halibut, or snapper.
  • Add a few deli items (like baked chicken and fresh cuts of deli meat).
  • Be sure your dairy products are low- or no-fat.
  • Include a variety of legumes, nuts, seeds, and some almond or nut butter.
  • Choose a few healthy plant protein products (like soy milk and hummus).
  • Add a variety of whole grains (like quinoa, rice, buckwheat, and oats).
  • Check for a few grain products (like mochi, rice cakes, sprouted corn tortillas, and safe cereals).
  • Don’t forget the olive oil and Balsamic vinegar.
  • If you buy salad dressing, make sure it’s low- fat, low-sodium, and sugar-free.
  • Do you have some Parmesan cheese and other good foods for flavor (like salsa and marinara)?
  • You should have very few sauces—but you can add mustard and horseradish.
  • Add some honey or agave nectar, a small container of fruit spread, and some applesauce.
  • Add a few selections of dried fruit.
  • Be sure you have very few canned or frozen foods—maybe some peas, chickpeas, and kidney beans. Or some tuna, corn, olives, and berries.
  • Did you grab some smart diet cheats?
  • Did you check the dates on packaged foods?
  • Did you read the labels on your packaged foods before you dropped them into your cart?
Always choose natural, fresh, organic, and kosher foods. It may mean you spend a little more money and make more trips to the grocery store, but it also means fewer visits to the doctor’s office.”

AFTER YOU CLEAN UP YOUR CALORIES: You will then need to calculate the amount of calories you should consume each day, your daily nutrient ratio, number of meals per day, meal size (portion control), and meal timing. This is all part of the Five Factors Affecting Body Fat and Health–where MY DIVA DIET addresses the root causes of why we get fat and unhealthy in the first place!

The Five Factors affecting Body Fat and Health
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

MY DIVA DIET WAY -- The Five Factors Fixed
Factor #1: Monitor liquid consumption.
Consume plenty of water each day and proper amounts of other liquids

Factor #2: Calculate the quantity and distribution of calories.

Eat according to your metabolism, goals, and activity level.

Factor #3: Determine the quality and purity of calories.

Eat pure and wholesome foods.

Factor #4: Eliminate restrictive and unbalanced dieting forever.


Factor #5: Introduce a balanced exercise regimen.



www.MyDivaDiet.com

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Read Food Labels: Your Health & Fitness Levels Depend on It!

When it comes to grocery shopping, wholesome foods in their natural state are the best choices. But in today's society we are bombarded with man-made and man-manipulated foods and food products! MOST of them are unhealthy, fattening and can be harmful. Keep in mind that many of our foods (even wholesome foods) come in a package and we should take every measure to educate ourselves in what we are about to buy and eat (or drink). READ LABELS! Here are some facts to consider about packaged foods that will shed some light on this topic. Then I will give a great tool (designed by MY DIVA DIET) you can use when you are about to buy or consume packaged, processed and man-made food products.

INFORMATION
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for assuring that foods sold in the United States are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled. This applies to foods produced domestically, as wells as foods from foreign countries.”

“The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA), which amended the Food, Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act requires most foods to bear nutrition labeling and requires food labels that bear nutrient claims and certain health messages to comply with specific requirements. (Regulations are frequently changed).” *
____________________________________________________________
* Food Label Resources:
• FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration
• Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
• CFSAN/Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, April 2008 www.cfsan.fda.gov/guidance.html

Food Labels include the following:

Dietary Guidelines for Americans
This is found on the nutrition panel. It was designed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1980 and is updated every five years.

Nutrient Descriptors and Claims
This is found on the front of the package and is designed to get your attention–to encourage you to buy the product. Commonly used words are, “light”, “low fat”, “no trans fats”, and many more.

Health Claims
Health claims are common practice when foods that are packaged and/or man-made food products are marketed. Food companies use health problems (often caused by poor diet), certain nutrient deficiencies, the importance of certain nutrients, and the dangers of certain additives and preservatives to convince you to buy their products.

Note: Products that make health claims are subject to certain regulations set by the FDA. However, we really don’t know how strict they are and the degree of enforcement is unclear.


Don’t believe
everything you read!


Organic Labeling
On food labels, products using the term “organic” must meet the following guidelines:
• “100% Organic” means it must contain only organically produced ingredients.
• “Organic” means it must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients.
• Processed products that contain at least 70% organic ingredients can use the phrase
“Made With Organic Ingredients”.

The Nutrition Facts
The nutritional panel is on the back of most packaged and man- made food products. This includes both mandatory and voluntary information.

List of Ingredients
Ingredients for all foods (including standardized foods) must be listed on the food label. The label must also list the FDA-certified color additives by name. Ingredients are listed by weight, in descending order.

Food Allergies
Since January 2006, food manufacturers must also disclose whether products contain any of the top eight food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soy). However, the label does not specifically address gluten. “Gluten Free” labeling is currently voluntary, but many food companies add it to their labels. This is due to the new trend of gluten-free foods becoming more popular.




What about Food Additives? "That would require an entire book to explain! So I will just say, when it comes to food additives, we really don't know the long-term safety of most of them. So ask yourself this question: do you really want to leave your future health to chance?"
Here is a link List of Food Additives

DIVA ADVICE -- “To really know what you are getting when you buy a packaged and/or man-made food products–DO YOUR HOMEWORK–your health and fitness levels depend on it.”

Diva Food Test & Paw Label Guide
Here is a quick six-question test you can perform when deciding what to eat (and drink). This is where the quality and purity of calories are determined. When choosing a food and/or a food product, you must be able to answer “yes” to three or more of the six questions listed below. Using this food test will ensure that your food choices fit into the MY DIVA DIET program for fat loss and better health.
Diva 6-Question Food Test
#1 – is it LEAN?
• Low in all fats (especially low in “bad fat”)

#2 – is it HEALTHY?
• Low in sugar
• Low in sodium
• Low in saturated fat and cholesterol
• Free of empty and unnecessary calories
• Free of trans fats
• Full of nutritional value

#3 – Where’s the FIBER? (exceptions are meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy)

#4 – is it CLEAN? (what are the ingredients?)
• Low or no preservatives and additives
• Free of flavoring agents, coloring agents, etc.
• Free of chemicals and other fake foods
• Free of hidden fats, sugars, sodium, and flour
• If packaged, does it have less than 6 ingredients?

#5 – Is it PURE?
• Natural vs. processed
• Fresh vs. man-manipulated
• Organic vs. non-organic
• Kosher vs. non-Kosher
• Real vs. genetically modified
• If it is a packaged food, what are the ingredients listed?

#6 – Is it ALIVE? (with the exception of animal protein)
• Sprouted grains and legumes
• Raw nuts and seeds
• Raw fruits and vegetables

Packaged Food Analysis
There are seven main questions you should ask when you are considering packaged foods that are manipulated or man-made.
1. Who made it?
2. How was it made?
3. How many ingredients are in it?
4. What is in it (what are the ingredients)?
You should also wonder:
5. Where was the product made?
6. What kind of factories and equipment were used?
7. What are the conditions and practices of the company that made, processed or packaged the product?

When you examine labels of man-made food products or any packaged food here are some other things to know and do:
• Read the nutrition facts and know that it only gives part of the picture.
• Know that some products have zero nutrition.
• Read the list of ingredients and know that:
• The order of the ingredient tells you a lot about a particular product.
• The ingredients are listed in descending order–from most to least.
• It does not tell you exactly how much of each ingredient is used.
• Choosing packaged foods and man-made food products is NOT always “black and white”.
• There will always be Best – Moderate – Marginal – Worst.
• Use the Paw Ingredients Label Guide to help you deal with the number of ingredients and determine how many are appropriate.
• If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, you probably shouldn’t purchase that product.
• Don’t buy into the health claims–pure and wholesome foods offer the best health benefits and are safe!

Paw Ingredients Label Guide
Number of ingredients Signals
1 Ideal
3 Excellent
5 Probably OK
6-9 May need further analysis
10-19 Could be a problem
20-29 Caution
30 + Stay away!

There are a few exceptions to this guide (mainly protein shake mix, health drinks, and food bars that have added vitamins and minerals–but only those that meet the high quality food and liquid criteria)!

Great article to read on WebMD Women's Health -- "Weight Loss: How to Read Food Labels"




This information can be found in its entirety in MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book Reading Labels section (pages 256 to 267; copyright 2007). www.MyDivaDiet.com
See detailed guide on grocery shopping on twit2fit–MY DIVA DIET "Grocery Shopping Guide".

Friday, June 12, 2009

Exercise - A Major Factor If You Are Serious About Getting Fit


Exercise - A Major Factor If You Are Serious About Getting Fit
(Fat Loss and Superior Health)


Part Six of this Seven-Part Series: Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About It. Found on EZINE

The wide-ranging health benefits of regular exercise include reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity. Exercise can help improve your skin and enable your internal organs to function better. Exercise contributes to mental well-being (including alleviating depression, stress, and anxiety) and ensures better sleep. Exercise increases metabolism, energy, and endurance, while it reduces some of the effects of aging--it is truly the "fountain of youth"!

A properly designed and executed exercise program can improve or protect posture, help keep bones and muscles stronger, and maintain joints, tendons, and ligaments injury-free. Exercise also helps keep joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible.

Exercise is a major factor when you are trying to lose weight because it facilitates fat loss by burning calories when you are exercising and increasing your metabolism for many hours afterward. Exercise increases your lean body mass, which equals a higher sustained metabolic rate and leads to a leaner, firmer, more sculptured physique. Exercise makes you healthier, feel better, look younger and more alive-it's sexy!

If you are serious about getting fit, losing fat and gaining health, there is only one main exercise rule; exercise is mandatory. So find something active you enjoy doing and make it part of your life. Prior to starting an exercise program, consult with your physician.

Exercise is crucial for fat loss and good health. It is also essential for maintaining low body fat and a fit physique. However, the frequency, duration, and intensity of your exercise will vary depending on your goals, age, fitness level, medical condition, and other circumstances.



To read the entire article, click here!
Click on title to view the other FIVE PARTS of "Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About It."
Stay tuned for the final part of this Seven-Part Series: Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About It, PART SEVEN: The Winning Formula for Fat Loss, Vibrant Health, and Longevity!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cheating on Your Diet!


Is diet a bad four-letter word? If you eat food (or liquids), you're on a diet. Diet is defined as "food or drink regularly consumed," or "a controlled intake of food and drink designed for weight loss, for health or religious reasons, or to control a medical condition." The real issue is whether you on a proper diet, for your body to either lose weight (fat), or maintain a healthy and acceptable body weight.

If you want to be fit and healthy you should stick to a proper diet most of the time, but let's get real.....

What About Cheating?
We have provided you with a Diva Smart Diet Cheat Sheet in PART FIVE (pages 216- 219). Cheating is part of our program, so don’t worry. However, when it comes to cheating, less is better. Try not to cheat for the first two weeks. This will help change your tastes and enable you to get a good start on your discipline. In Phase One—Diva Reduction, keep your choices to the list provided (gluten-free is best) and the portion listed. Cheat only once per week or less.

TIP: It’s always best to cheat on real foods, not on junk food. As your tastes change, soda, hot dogs, fries, donuts, candy, fake foods, white flour, etc., will actually become repellent
to you.

In Phase Two—Diva Maintenance, your cheating should still be only once per week from the Diva Smart Diet Cheat Sheet, but in this phase you can add another type of cheating: one to two times per month you can deviate from the program. As you learn more about foods, you can create your own diet cheat sheet.


“When it comes to cheating—keep it simple and safe, and the
fewer ingredients the better! Also keep your cheats to once per week or less.”




For those of you who are in a reduction phase of your diet take a look at the Diva Smart Diet Cheat Sheet Phase One—Diva Reduction




Paw “Smart Diet Cheats” Guide
* Only use once per week or less
Keep to one serving or 50 to 200 calories
  • The fewer ingredients the better
  • Choose pure ingredients, always
  • Choose natural, fresh, organic, and kosher foods when possible
  • Choose wholesome foods (foods with nutritional value)
  • Choose foods low in fat, sugar, and sodium
  • Low- or non-fat dairy cheats are okay
  • Choose foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol
  • Gluten-free foods are a good idea
  • Flours made from wheat, potato, masa, spelt, and rye are okay
  • Certain white-flour products are okay on occasion, like no-salt sourdough pretzels, sourdough bread, and white pasta.
  • Healthy cereals would be another way to cheat safely (just don’t eat the whole box!).
  • Dark chocolate is always a good cheat choice, as are fudgsicles, puddings and Popsicles.
  • • Don’t be tempted to choose items that contain artificial ingredients, hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, sodium nitrate, and other harmful preservatives and additives.

Smart Diet Cheats
MY DIVA DIET cheats for dieting are allowed within the guidelines above, so enjoy!
  • These simple and safe cheat ideas meet the Paw “Smart Diet Cheats” Guide.
  • Ideas are gluten-free.
  • Some have flour and some have dairy.
  • Some have higher amounts of sugar, as most treats do, unless you are into salty foods.
  • Some contain sodium.
  • Items are listed by product name and serving size, followed by the nutrition facts.
  • If you do your own research, you can find other cheats that fit this criteria and the Paw Guide above.

Cold & Creamy
•Kozy Shack Chocolate Pudding: Serving size: 1/2 cup
140 calories; 4 g protein; 24 g carbs; 3 g fat; 1 g fiber; 19 g sugar; 140 mg sodium

•FudgStix Lite: Serving size: 1 bar
90 calories; 3 g protein; 18 g carbs; 0.5 g fat; 1 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 45 mg sodium

•FruitStix Creamy Coconut: Serving size: 1 bar
110 calories; 2 g protein; 18 g carbs; 4 g fat; 0 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 3 mg sodium

•FruitStix Creamy Banana Low-Fat: Serving size: 1 bar
90 calories; 1 g protein; 17 g carbs; 2 g fat; 0 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 30 mg sodium

•Julie’s Organic Sorbet (blackberry): Serving size 1 bar
60 calories; 0 g protein; 16 g carbs; 0 g fat; 0 g fiber; 14 g sugar; 20 mg sodium

•Dreyer’s Vanilla Fat-Free Yogurt: Serving size 1/2 cup
90 calories; 3 g protein; 20 g carbs; 0 g fat; 0 g fiber; 14 g sugar; 45 mg sodium

•Dreyer’s Swiss Orange Sherbet: Serving size: 1/2 cup
150 calories; 1 g protein; 30 g carbs; 3 g fat; 0 g fiber; 25 g sugar; 40 mg sodium

•Breyers All-Natural Vanilla Ice Cream: Serving size: 1/2 cup
140 calories; 3 g protein; 15 g carbs; 7 g fat; 0 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 40 mg sodium

•Yoplait Chocolate Mousse Whips: Serving size: 1 container
160 calories; 5 g protein; 26 g carbs; 4 g fat; 0 g fiber; 23 g sugar; 105 mg sodium

•Yoplait Raspberry Cheesecake Thick & Creamy: Serving size: 6 oz.
190 calories; 7 g protein; 32 g carbs; 3.5 g fat; 0 g fiber; 28 g sugar; 100 mg sodium

Chocolate
•Xocai Chocolate Nuggets: Serving size: 12g
70 calories; 1 g protein; 6 g carbs; 5 g fat; 1 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 10 mg sodium

•Dove Dark Bar: Serving size: 12g
70 calories; 1 g protein; 7 g carbs; 4 g fat; 0 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 8 mg sodium

•CocoaVia Chocolate-Covered Almonds: Serving size: 1 pack (best to eat only half)
140 calories; 3 g protein; 12 g carbs; 11 g fat; 3 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 0 mg sodium

Candy Type
•Yummy Earth Mixed Fruit Lollipops: Serving size: 3 lollipops
70 calories; 0 g protein; 17 g carbs; 0 g fat; 0 g fiber; 17 g sugar; 0 mg sodium

Cookies
•My-Deal Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Ginger Snaps: Serving size: 5 cookies
140 calories; 2 g protein; 21 g carbs; 6 g fat; 1 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 85 mg sodium

•Sans Gluten-Free Vanilla-Flavored Wafer Cookies: Serving size: 4 wafers
160 calories; 1 g protein; 19 g carbs; 8 g fat; 3 g fiber; 14 g sugar; 25 mg sodium

•Barbara’s Fig Bars – Wheat-Free: Serving size: 1 bar
60 calories; 1 g protein; 13 g carbs; 0 g fat; 1 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 25 mg sodium

Chips, Crackers & Crunch
•Pinnacle Gold Natural Gluten-Free Baked Potato Chips: Serving size: 1 oz.
110 calories; 2 g protein; 19 g carbs; 1.5 g fat; 2 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 160 mg sodium

•Lundberg Wasabi Rice Chips: Serving size: 1 oz.
140 calories; 2 g protein; 18 g carbs; 6 g fat; 1 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 210 mg sodium

•R.W. Garcia Lo’s Tortilla Chips: Serving size: 1 oz.
140 calories; 6 g protein; 13 g carbs; 8 g fat; 4 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 50 mg sodium

•Edward & Son Vegetable Baked Brown Rice Snaps: Serving size: 8 crackers
60 calories; 1 g protein; 12 g carbs; 1 g fat; 1 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 40 mg sodium

•The Kitchen Table Bakers Gourmet Cheese Crisps: Serving size: 3 crackers
80 calories; 7 g protein; 1 g carbs; 6 g fat; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 150 mg sodium

•Orville Redenbacher’s Buttered Popcorn Mini Cakes: Serving size: 8 cakes
60 calories; 2 g protein; 12 g carbs; 1 g fat; 1 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 70 mg sodium

•Mrs. May’s Naturals Pumpkin Crunch: Serving size: 6 pieces
98 calories; 9 g protein; 8 carbs; 11 g fat; 1 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 41 mg sodium

TIP: Try some fresh berries with a tablespoon of Cool Whip.

TIP: OCCASIONALLY, just go for it--M'M'S here I come!


MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book (copyright 2007)
To learn more about MY DIVA DIET and how you can lose fat and gain health go to www.MyDivaDiet.com!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gluten Free: How it Can Help You Lose Weight


Food Sensitivity
Some of you may be aware of food intolerances and food allergies. They are different. We will just call them both “food sensitivities.” Both can cause a variety of physical reactions, like water retention, tendency to gain weight, puffiness, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, hives, itching, nasal congestion, fatigue, mood swings, headaches, and more.

Gluten-Free Foods
Gluten is a highly complex protein that occurs in four main grains—wheat, rye, barley and oats—as well as in other grains, including spelt and triticale, so it is present in many products. Gluten-intolerant people find gluten difficult to digest, while others have a more serious reaction called celiac disease. Both problems are more common than you think and can cause many uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches, mouth ulcers, weight gain or loss, poor immunity to disease, skin problems, and other gastrointestinal disorders.

If you know you have a certain allergy or intolerance to any food, then by all means drop it from your diet and be aware of food products that contain these items. If you think you have a specific allergy, consult your doctor or a nutritionist.

FYI Websites
Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease
The Gluten Free Mall

MY DIVA DIET advocates a wheat- and flour-free diet in the Diva Reduction Phase and want you to use gluten-free products whenever possible. Wheat and other whole grains are healthy, but it is the overuse and manipulation of these grains that becomes the problem. We also want you to put products made from grains in perspective. You will find that by making these changes in your diet you will change your weight immediately and your health will improve over time.

If you know you are gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease, you can follow MY DIVA DIET with special adjustments. If you think you may have these conditions, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment protocol.

In the meantime, change your diet to wholesome foods and eliminate foods that are not natural and fresh. As far as products like cereal, breads, tortillas, snacks, and more–switch to gluten free!

The Core of MY DIVA DIET
The central and most important part of the MY DIVA DIET program is the quality of the foods that we advocate for losing fat, improving health, and staying fit for the rest of your life.

MY DIVA DIET advocates wholesome foods. Foods that promote mental, spritual and physical well-being. Foods that are made by God (nature) and intended for human consumption. And, MY DIVA DIET is very selective in its recommendations of foods made or manipulated by man.











MY DIVA DIET Food Criteria
MY DIVA DIET has designed two valuable diet tools, found in PART TWO (the Diva
Reduction Pyramid
on page 31 and the Diva Maintenance Pyramid on page 46). Each tool summarizes MY DIVA DIET food standards in a single page. But you can also find them on the MY DIVA DIET website--click each pyramid title!

Throughout the MY DIVA DIET workbook you will also find many other useful special designs, guides, tips, charts, and diet tools that will help you succeed in your goals for fat loss and better health. "When you succeed, we do too!"







Monday, June 1, 2009

The Proper Diet - Good Foods For Low Body Fat, Vibrant Health, and Longevity!



Part Five

of the Seven-Part Series: Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About It. --
Found on EZINE!


The Problem:
At any given time two-thirds of all American adults are on a diet. Of those, 29 percent are men and 44 percent are women. Yet, only five percent of dieters will keep the weight off. In fact, most will actually regain their lost weight, plus more. With all the money being spent on diets and diet products, Americans aren't losing weight. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, overweight and obesity has reached epidemic levels. One of the main reasons dieters fail at their "get fit" attempts and remain a statistic is because they choose "fad diets" as opposed to a balanced, healthy diet. In fact the weight-loss industry makes its billions because "millions succumb to 'quick-fix' claims, seeking a (non-existent) effortless weight-loss method.

Diet Defined:
After a "fad diet" fails, most dieters give up, claiming, "diets don't work". It seems to me that the word "diet" is the target of criticism and creates a lot of confusion. Is diet a bad four-letter word? If you eat food (or liquids), you're on a diet. Diet is defined as "food or drink regularly consumed," or "a controlled intake of food and drink designed for weight loss, for health or religious reasons, or to control a medical condition." The real issue is whether you on a proper diet, for your body to either lose weight (fat), or maintain a healthy and acceptable body weight.

Diets that Don't Work:
Instead of saying, "diets don't work", we should specify which diets don't work. Unhealthy diets don't work. Restrictive and unbalanced diets don't work. Starvation diets don't work. Fake food diets don't work. Diet pills don't work. Massive supplement intake diets don't work. Fad (lose weight fast) diets don't work. We should confront the real issue; most diet programs and products offer quick-fix solutions and are basically gimmicks full of false promises, magic potions, and misleading propaganda. As a fitness expert for over 27 years, I've seen diets come and go (and some recycled) and have witnessed first-hand, the damage done by "trend diets." No sensible diet will ever compromise your physical or mental health for the sake of looking good. In fact, you don't have to starve, deprive yourself, settle for fake food, lose your sanity and health, or take pills to lose weight and get into great shape! I know that getting and staying healthy and fit involves a lifestyle of the "proper diet and exercise regimen." See my article -- Diets: Hope or Hype?

The Solution:
First and foremost, don't fall victim to "quick-fix" diets and make certain your diet is proper (appropriate and sound)! Unless there is a specific medical condition that should eliminate certain foods, you should be leery of any diet program that lacks sufficient amount of calories, restricts one of the key nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats), and even restricts certain wholesome foods like carrots, potatoes and bananas.

The good news is there is finally 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 do not offer quick-fix solutions that are found in so-called "fad diets".

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. The other debate exists over whether it is better to be a vegetarian or vegan - or not! 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 over night, and getting fit is best accomplished when you include exercise. According the Web MD, "proven weight-management strategies include a balanced diet with reduced calories with a regular exercise regimen." The key to low body fat, vibrant health, and longevity is a lifestyle of the PROPER DIET and exercise!

Proper Diet:
The proper diet includes the following factors: Liquid Consumption, Quantity and Distribution of Calories (daily caloric intake: under eating and over eating; daily nutrient ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat; and meal size: portion control), and Quality and Purity of Calories.

I would like to specifically address Quality and Purity of Calories. Calories are our friend, however, the wrong kind of calories will do harm (make women fat and sick-the opposite of fit and healthy)! Calories that are not wholesome and do not promote mental, spiritual, and physical well-being include:
  • Fat calories
  • Unhealthy calories
  • Dirty calories
  • Impure calories
  • Old and dead calories
  • Non-kosher calories

In summary quality and purity of calories include:
Clean and pure foods-natural, fresh, organic, and kosher
Lean, healthy, fibrous, and alive foods
Foods made by God (nature) for human consumption
Carefully chosen man-made or man- manipulated foods

Good Foods:
Unless you are a nutritionist, food expert, or well-informed fitness professional making good food choices can be a confusing subject. Even experts sometimes disagree on what to eat. There are obvious choices of what not to eat, namely most packaged, processed, and man-made foods-especially the ones full of preservatives and additives. However, some packaged and man-made foods may be good to eat, and some may even be a smart diet cheat. As you do your own research on packaged and man-made foods you can add more of them to your diet. Just remember that when you consume more man- made foods, you are increasing your odds of making mistakes in your food choices.

Pure and wholesome foods (God/nature-made foods) will always be a staple in any diet, whether you want to lose fat, improve health, gain lean body mass, increase your fitness level, become an athlete, or even just maintain your current weight and health condition.

Good Food Choices Short List
Since I have been in the fitness industry for over 27 years, I am always asked, "what do you eat?" and/or "what should I eat?' Here is a VERY short list, but I am sure it will be helpful.

Here is a good rule to follow: In choosing foods-now and later-use the Golden Food Rule: "If God (nature) made it, it is safe. If it is man-made, then it must be examined thoroughly." Quote from MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book

  • Fresh-water fish (with fins and scales; like salmon, halibut, trout, and tuna)
  • Organic free-range and grass-fed animal meats (beef, poultry, turkey) - (skinless, white meat from poultry)
  • Kosher meats (if you eat meat you should only eat it once a month or less and trim the fat-good choices are filet mignon, flank and top sirloin))
  • Eggs from organic, free-range, vegetarian-fed hens (use egg whites and only a few whole eggs each week)
  • Carefully chosen meat products (like Boars Head deli meat -- fresh and white meat)
  • Organic low- to no-fat dairy - (eat or drink minimal amounts)
  • Fresh and organic legumes
  • Raw and unsalted nuts and seeds (dry roasted on occasion)
  • Plant protein products-clean and pure (like nut butter, hummus, soy butter, and more)
  • Organic whole grains; like barley, oats, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, couscous, kamut, millet, quinoa, rye, spelt, and others
  • Grain products-sprouted, stone ground (baked, never fried); like bread, cereal, rice cakes, mochi, corn tortillas, etc.
  • Organic fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh and untainted herbs and spices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil and other unrefined vegetable oils
  • Limited amounts of all-natural spreads, sauces, sweeteners, salad dressings, and dips.
  • All natural gluten-free, low-sugar and low-fat smart diet cheats; like are fudgsicles, popsicles puddings and yogurts. Dark chocolate (low sugar of course)! Barbara's Fig Bars, Mrs. May's Naturals Pumpkin Crunch, and Lundberg Wasabi Rice Chips.
  • Don't forget to consume plenty of water each day and the proper amounts of other liquids. Liquid consumption is another topic altogether!

MY DIVA DIET: A Woman's Last Diet Book (copyright 2007)
Click here for the other 4 parts of "Why Do American Women Get Fat? What You Can Do About It." EZINE only!