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Green Smoothie Recipes for Beginners

Green Smoothie Recipes for beginners  Getting started with green smoothies can be daunting. With so many choices and exotic ingredients to choose from, it can seem a little overwhelming, especially if you’re also learning a whole new diet. The whole point of a smoothie is that it’s quick and easy to make while incorporating healthy fruits and veggies into your diet

In this post, I’ve put together five simple-to-make green smoothie recipes for beginners that can be made in a flash and have inexpensive, easy to find ingredients.

Aside from being delicious, all of these recipes are designed to help you avoid blood sugar spikes, which can lead to weight gain and other metabolic issues like Type 2 Diabetes over time.

If you choose dairy as the first ingredient, just make sure you stick with full fat versions like half-and-half or heavy whipping cream. For more info on why that’s important to weight loss, see my post “The Best Diet Plan for Weight Loss”.

Lemon Creme Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup half & half, coconut or nut milk of your choice
  2. 1/2 avocado or 1 serving cup of Wholly Avocado Minis
  3. 2 scoops ViSalus Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake mix (Vanilla Creme)
  4. 3 drops DoTerra Lemon Essential oil or juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed into a high speed blender such as Vitamix or a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

Green Dream

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup coconut or nut milk of your choice
  2. 1/2 avocado or 1 serving cup of Wholly Avocado Minis
  3. 1 pear, cored and cut into chunks
  4. 1 cup kale leaves

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed into a high speed blender such as Vitamix or a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

Hydrating Citrus Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup unsweetened coconut water like Vita Coco Pure
  2. 3 stalks celery (preferably organic)
  3. 1 cucumber cut into chunks
  4. 3 drops DoTerra Grapefruit essential oil or 1 grapefruit, peeled and pith removed

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed into a high speed blender such as Vitamix or a food processor and blend until smooth.

Super Detox Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup unsweetened coconut water
  2. 2 stalks celery (preferably organic)
  3. 1 tsp Hawaiian Spirulina or 1 cup spinach leaves (organic)
  4. 3 drops DoTerra Lemon essential oil or juice from 1 lemon
  5. 1 granny smith apple (preferably organic) cored and cut into chunks

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed into a high speed blender such as Vitamix or a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

Waldorf Salad Green Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup coconut water or coconut milk

3 stalks celery (organic if possible)

2 granny smith apples cored and cut into chunks (organic if possible)

Handful of walnuts (optional)

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed into a high speed blender such as Vitamix or a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

 

I hope you enjoy these, please let me know what you think (or if you have any questions) in the comments section below.

To Your Success,

Karyn

Related:  Green Powder Superfoods – What You Need to Know Before You Buy

See a green smoothie made here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjbkRAqJnNU

Green Powder Superfood – What You Need to Know Before You Buy

green powders superfoods

Green powders are being touted on almost every health and nutrition website these days. From matcha tea to spirulina and chlorella…all kinds of miraculous claims are being made. Unfortunately, most of these claims are made by sites that get paid when you click on their links and buy. That doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t effective but there is definitely a conflict of interest involved with these website recommendations and this should be considered by the buyer.

You won’t find any affiliate links to products for sale in this post…we’ll look at one of the popular types of green powders sold today, the benefits claimed, and the potential risks – yes, there can be more risks involved with green supplements than you may realize.

Popular Claims

The Alkaline Myth

One of the most popular claims touted by wellness websites and magazines is that green powders alkalize the body, meaning they help keep the body’s pH level at an optimal state. The theory is that most people’s diets are acidic and that this is the basis for chronic illness.

There is much to be gained monetarily from promoting this theory, just Google “alkaline water” for example and you’ll find some water alkalizing units selling for over $4000! The truth is that the body naturally leans slightly alkaline and has a tightly regulated system for maintaining optimal pH. In fact, the foods (or water) you ingest may have a temporary effect in pH on urine or saliva, but will have little to no effect on your blood pH.

Protein Claim

Yes, green powder superfoods have a ton of protein, spirulina is commonly touted as a suitable replacement for meat and dairy but the truth is that it’s not humanly possible to eat enough of the stuff to make a real difference protein-wise. For example, spirulina contains about 2 grams of protein per serving (1 tsp). You’d have to eat 17 1/2 servings of spirulina to equal the protein in a 4 ounce chicken breast! It’s also a lot more expensive than other protein sources available.

Antioxidant Claims

An ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is the measurement a particular food has in protecting you from free radical or oxidation damage and is commonly used to claim a products potency.

Keep in mind that just because a substance rates high in the ORAC lab test, it does not mean it actually maintains that performance in the body. This is why the FDA prohibits “antioxidant” claims from being promoted on labeling.

There are some indications that green powder superfoods can have some positive effects on certain health conditions. We’ll break them down next.

Spirulina

Spirulina, or blue-green algae, grows in the wild in lakes from Africa to Hawaii. Some sources say its use dates back to the Aztecs and that the Kanembu people of Africa harvested it from Lake Chad for use as a food source.

Spirulina contains decent levels of the following nutrients:

  • B Vitamins like beta-carotenegreen powder superfood
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Gamma-linolenic acid

It also contains a high level of B12, but the B12 found in spirulina is not absorbable by the body (as it is from meat products).

It is worth noting that although spirulina has been shown to help certain medical conditions, there are also significant safety concerns associated with its use.

First the good news: Spirulina and chlorella have been shown in some legit scientific studies to help with treating the following*:

  • Cancer
  • Fibromyalgia (Chlorella pyrenoidosa)
  • Hay fever, hives
  • Liver toxicity
  • High blood pressure
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • High cholesterol
  • HIV

*Important to note that these are initial findings and are considered preliminary evidence, more studies are needed.

Most greens products are considered safe, but you must read the labels carefully as they can contain many ingredients, and some such as herbal extracts can have powerful interactions with prescription drugs. Also, they could have different effects on children since dosages may not have been considered for children.

**You can find out how certain products test out from Consumer Labs, an independent testing organization. They test supplements and report if the product has what it says it has and has no other substances that aren’t on the label. This is an important, non-bias service in this age of “info-marketing”.

One of the biggest concerns with spirulina or any other green powder superfood is heavy metal contamination. Blue-green algae actually absorbs heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium leading some sites to promote it for “detox”. These sites state that spirulina absorbs heavy metals but doesn’t release them in the body. I couldn’t find any scientific studies to support that claim. You can see which supplements tested over the safe limits for heavy metals at Consumer Lab’s site as well.

Another potential serious risk is the potential for microcystin toxin – a German study found this toxin was in every supplement containing a form of green-blue algae (Aph. flos-aquae) sourced in Oregon. Mycrocystin toxin is considered carcinogenic and known for acute toxic effects on the liver.

A Canadian study found 3 out of 4 supplements tested exceeded the myrocystin toxin limit proposed by the World Health Organization. Two of which were from Klamath Lake, Oregon.

Green algae/chlorella – Chlorella hasn’t been shown to cause toxicity but can have negative effects on the digestive system. Symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea and abdominal cramping were reported in multiple studies. If you do decide to try a green powder, ease them into your diet slowly, then take note of any side effects you may encounter.

Here’s a recipe to try

Aside from the obvious potential for heavy metal exposure, when trying to incorporate these into the diet, many people will start juicing or drinking smoothies daily. Be careful when adding a lot of fruit juice to your diet as it can cause your blood glucose levels to spike, triggering insulin over reactions that can lead to weight gain, prediabetes, hypoglycemia, and even Type 2 diabetes over time.

Smoothies can commonly have two or more servings of fruit in one serving. If you eat 2 bananas, 1/4 c blueberries, and 1 orange as I found in a smoothie recipe on a popular website, that’s a glycemic load of over 250, equivalent to a serving of macaroni and cheese.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the facts known about green powders, check out the Consumer Labs’ site or even the Center for Disease Control’s site.

If you’ve had any experience with green powder superfoods that you would like to share, please comment below.

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

 Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

 

Symptoms of Low Potassium – Does Dieting Put You at Risk?

Symptoms of Low Potassium
Low potassium levels can result for a variety of reasons, such as medications for high blood pressure, antibiotic use, excessive alcohol use, or even excessive sweating from prolonged exercise.

But what if you’re just not getting enough in your diet? In this post, we’ll take a look at why this mineral is so important to your health and how you can be sure you’re getting enough.

Why is Potassium Important?

Potassium is what’s known as an electrolyte. Controlled by the kidneys, it works hand in hand with sodium to keep blood pressure regulated. It’s also key in keeping fluid levels maintained. This is why we’ve often been warned to stay hydrated while working in the heat, and to drink Gatorade (contains electrolytes) if we plan to exercise for more than an hour.

Potassium is also responsible for the health of cells and blood vessels, although scientists are yet sure why. Certain medications prescribed for high blood pressure can lower potassium which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. This is why potassium supplements are often prescribed along with drugs for hypertension.

Adequate potassium levels are also linked to reduced risk for stroke. In a 2014 study at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, postmenopausal women who ate the most potassium in their diet had a 12% less risk. Even more notable, the study found a 21% risk in stroke from women who did not have high blood pressure.

Whether you have high blood pressure or not, if you’re low on potassium, you could experience other side effects, especially if you’re on a low sodium diet or even a very low carb diet.

Symptoms of Low Potassium

If you have low potassium levels, you could be experiencing any of the following:Symptoms of Low Potassium

  • Leg Cramps
  • Fatique and weakness
  • Constipation
  • Abnormal heart rythym
  • Increased blood sugar levels or insulin resistance

About 3 months into my low carb diet, I started having severe foot cramps after going to bed at night. At first I thought it was magnesium, so I increased my dose with no effect. If you’re on a very low carb diet such as Keto, or Adkins 20, you know that in order to keep your carbs that low per day, you can’t eat any fruit but maybe a small serving of berries.

Since potassium is largely found in fruit, it can be near impossible to prevent your potassium levels from getting too low. Although a lot of people go on low carb diets to lose weight, for me weight loss was an awesome side effect…the main reason I went on a low carb diet was to lower my blood sugar levels, now I know I have to find out more about potassium.

How Much Should You be Getting in Your Diet?

The current recommended daily dose of potassium is 4700 mg, and if you’ve ever tried to track this as I have, you’ll soon see how daunting it can be to hit this high target. In fact, some scientists agree that it’s probably not even feasible. Only about 20% of Americans meet the daily standard, about 23% of the French, 8% of Brits, and only 5% of Mexicans.

Probably a big reason for this is due to the reduction in sodium in our diets. Potassium and sodium are found together in many foods, so when we cut our intake of sodium, we unknowingly drop our intake of potassium as well.

But the good news is that even increasing your potassium levels can make a big difference in your overall health. remember the women in the Albert Einstein study? They weren’t hitting the 4700 mg mark either, yet they still showed increased protection from stroke.

Which Foods are High in Potassium?

Since I wanted to keep losing weight with low carb, I thought about taking a potassium supplement, but found out that this route is very risky and too much potassium in the blood poses even greater health risks. I was surprised when I asked my doctor, (who suggested lowering my carbs in the first place), would not prescribe it, and suggested including potassium rich foods in my diet instead.

I’ve been playing around with this since then, adding an avocado each day, for instance. This does help with the foot cramps but not with my digestive “slowness”. Added more water and exercise and I’m still not where I want to be.

I started to expand my research on fruit and found out some interesting facts that none of the low carb diet plans mention. First, a list of potassium rich foods in no particular order:Which Foods are High in Potassium

  • Potato – both white and sweet
  • Avocado
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Coconut
  • Bananas
  • Parsley
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apricots
  • Spinach

Low carb gurus tell us that most of the foods on this list are too high in carbs and will prevent us from losing weight. I try to follow a diet in foods that are have low Glycemic Load (foods that aren’t likely to cause insulin blood sugar and insulin spikes). There’s probably not a guru on the planet that will recommend bananas or potatoes on a low carb diet, but that’s okay, but you can add other fruits to your diet without worrying about slowing your weight loss

As one of the most nutrient dense fruits on the planet, consider the health benefits of papaya alone:

  • High in Beta carotene, Vitamins A & C, protein, minerals and essential fatty acids – helps rebuild muscles, bones, organs and other tissue
  • Rich in digestive enzymes to aid in relief of intestinal discomfort
  • Gently removes toxins while having a soothing effect on digestive tract
  • May help the body recover quicker from illness
  • Can help heal acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, joint pain, shingles and chicken pox, fibromyalgia, arthritis, colds and flu

Although papaya has a fair amount of carbs per cup, the fiber in them helps slow digestion and the glycemic load of 1 cup is only 59, well below the standard.

You don’t have to miss out on the incredible health benefits of eating wholesome fruits or even vegetables like sweet potatoes (which are also high in potassium and have tons of filling fiber), just because of current diet trends.

By eating a variety of fruits and vegetables every day and avoiding starchy, processed carbs like bread, pasta, and rice, you can continue to lose weight in the healthiest way possible, without dangerous side effects of low potassium.

Try this tasty papaya smoothie:

  1. 1 cup chilled fresh papaya, cubed
  2. 1 cup unsweetened Coconut Milk or Coconut water
  3. 2 Scoops Visalus Vi-Shape Protein Shake mix or your favorite unsweetened mix
  4. Blend in high powered blender or food processor til smooth

Pour into glass and enjoy!

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

 

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diet or Exercise for Weight Loss, Which is Better?

Diet or Exercise, Which is Better?

For decades, we’ve been told by the ‘experts’ that the best way to lose weight is to simply eat less and exercise more. But anyone who’s tried to lose weight this way faces a daunting task: have enough willpower to start a restrictive diet AND begin a regular, usually strenuous workout schedule.
Unfortunately for most of us, this method usually ends in failure, if we even start at all. Yet despite it’s dismal success rate, the myth of extreme dieting and exercise continues.

But can you really get away with one without the other and still reach your weight loss goal? In this post, we’ll see what leading edge health experts are saying, and find out which is really better: diet or exercise for weight loss?

First – What’s Making Us Fat in the First Place?

Over the years, we’ve heard lots of theories about what makes us gain weight:

  • You eat too many calories – No, you don’t eat enough calories, your body thinks you’re starving!
  • You eat too much fat – No, you eat too much saturated fat, eat more unsaturated fat!
  • You eat too much bread and pasta – No, whole grain bread and pasta are good!
  • You need to exercise vigorously 3 times a week – No, exercise moderately 5 times a week!
  • Do more cardio – No, you need to lift weights to build more muscle, muscle burns more calories!

Despite all this advice, we are fatter and sicker than ever. Let’s take a closer look at exercise first.

No Pain, No Gain

Since the 1950s, the US government has promoted the importance of exercise in response to the increasing incidence of heart disease. In the 70s, Jim Fixx’s bestselling book “The Complete Book of Running” launched a worldwide movement and the running shoe industry is still booming today.

The health club and aerobics class trend followed in the 80s and from Jane Fonda to Richard Simmons, everyone was doing it. In fact, statistics show that from 1978 to 2008, exercise increased worldwide.

Despite popular belief, Americans actually exercised the most at 135 average days per year compared to the worldwide average of 122 days.

Does that mean that all this increased exercise translated to lower obesity rates? Uh, no…in fact, the countries with the lowest exercise rates in some cases, had a third the obesity rates of America. So what gives?

Some experts, such as Dr Jason Fung, MD, author of “The Obesity Code, Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss”, believe that although exercise has many other health benefits, whether you exercise or not has no real effect on obesity.

He believes that exercise plays about a 5% role in weight loss compared to diet at 95%. As a nephrologist, Dr Fung treats patients with kidney failure, an advanced Type 2 diabetes complication. The real culprit in weight gain he says, is hormone imbalance namely, insulin.

Feel The Burn

Yet another expert, cardiologist Dr Rob Thompson, MD says something a little different. In his latest book “The Insulin Resistance Solution, Reverse Pre-Diabetes“, Thompson agrees that the problem is an imbalance of the hormone insulin and that the focus should be on diet, but also stresses the importance of exercising using our “slow-twitch” muscles.
Your body uses insulin to transport blood sugar (glucose) out of the bloodstream to be either utilized by muscle as energy or stored as fat. Without enough regular exercise, the muscles can become unresponsive to insulin, but just a few minutes of walking activates the slow twitch muscle fibers and they start utilizing the excess insulin.

According to Thompson, if you walk for just 30 minutes, the responsiveness lasts up to 48 hours after exercise, and its effect on insulin is faster than diet and medication. The best news may be that walking is easy for just about everyone, and because it’s easy and relatively convenient, we’re more likely to do it consistently.

Either way, the general consensus between most doctors at the cutting edge of today’s nutrition agree that diet is the main factor in the rising rate of people who are overweight or obese.

America is experiencing an epidemic of insulin resistance as approximately one third of the population has it by the age of forty. Left untreated (preferably by diet and exercise), it can lead to Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and a host of other deadly conditions.

The Simplest and Most Effective Way to Lose Weight

Both of our doctor experts know that the key to weight loss isn’t cutting calories or hitting the gym for 5 hours a week, it’s about stopping the glucose spikes that cause our insulin levels to rise. Long term elevated insulin levels can actually cause the body to become resistant to it, making it hard to lower blood sugar levels leading to fat storage (especially belly fat) and Type 2 diabetes.

What causes our blood sugar to spike? Along with sugary soft drinks and fruit juice, the main culprit is starchy carbs. Grains and grain products like bread and pasta, along with rice and corn products have 3 times the glucose molecules as common table sugar and cause your insulin levels to spike dramatically.Diet or Exercise, Which is Better?

Unfortunately, these products make up the bulk of the American diet thanks to decades of dietary recommendations from our government, mainstream medical, the food industry and the compliant media, mainly “health” magazines.

Just by eliminating these products, many people have not only lost weight (without deprivation), but have reversed insulin resistance and prevented Type 2 diabetes from devastating their lives.

It’s not just about cutting the starch, you also need to increase the levels of fat that you eat. When you cut your starchy carbs, your body will begin to utilize fat (both stored and eaten) as it’s main energy source. When this happens, you stop having food cravings and feel satisfied longer.

It may be the hardest thing to wrap your head around but it’s true – eating more fat, moderate protein and low carb is the simplest, most effective way to lose weight – without feeling hungry or deprived, ever. People who eat this way (including me) say now that they know the secret, they never have to worry about weight gain ever again.

Forget about cutting out all delicious foods, you just have to get rid of the cheap, starchy filler foods that cause the blood sugar spikes that eventually cause weight gain and disease. Add creamy, flavorful fats and 30 minutes of walking at least every other day, and you’re on your way to permanent weight loss.

To learn more about how insulin effects weight, click here

To Your Success,

Karyn

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

 Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

 

 

 

Hormones and Weight Gain – How Getting Balanced Can Make the Difference

Hormones and Weight Gain - How Getting Balanced Can Make the Difference

If you’ve tried changing your diet and exercising but still struggle to lose weight, you may have a hormone imbalance that’s inhibiting your success. There could be any number of possible imbalances causing the problem depending on whether you’re male or female, pre, peri, or postmenopausal, or even whether you have other medical issues.

Although this post will touch on how imbalances affect various health conditions, the main discussion focuses on hormones and weight gain and how certain hormone imbalances could actually be keeping you from losing weight.

Included in this post is my own history with hormones imbalance, how I fixed it and started losing the weight and most importantly, how you can, too!

General Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

 

There are numerous symptoms associated with hormone imbalances depending on of course, which hormones we’re talking about. Here’s a general list of symptoms, I’ll break them down by hormone next:

  • Weight gain/loss
  • Excessive belly fat
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Fluid retention
  • Constipation
  • Hair loss/facial hair growth
  • Brittle nails
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Brain fog
  • Feeling cold
  • Muscle aches & pains
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Poor sleep
  • Incontinence

The Main Hormones That Can Affect Your Weight

 

Thyroid

The thyroid gland produces hormones that help our body use energy, keep us warm, and keep our brain, heart, muscles and other organs working properly.

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland can’t produce enough of these hormones to keep our metabolism running smoothly. When your thyroid is out of whack, the symptoms can also affect other parts of your life, like your motivation to exercise and what you feel like eating (like too much comfort food).

You’re fatigued during the day, but have trouble sleeping…not getting enough sleep can cause all sorts of other health problems.

Even though hypothyroidism is on the rise, most doctors (who actually bother to test for hypothyroidism) are still relying on outdated methods, including how they test and what’s considered the “normal” range. Many patients who complain of symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, or depression will be tested and declared in the normal range, either leaving the doctor’s office empty-handed or as in too many cases, with a prescription for anti-depressives.

Another common theme among the medical establishment is prescribing synthetic thyroid medication. Some people say they have been helped by drugs like Levothyroxine, but many more have found their best results with naturally derived prescriptions like Nature-Throid.

Getting your thyroid function balanced could be the key to losing weight and feeling better.    Hormones and Weight Gain - How Getting Balanced Can Make the Difference

Since it can be tricky finding a physician who can test and diagnose hypothyroidism correctly, I’ve included a link for your convenience. Click here

 

Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone

Although I recommend starting with thyroid balancing, you should know that imbalances in the sex hormones can greatly affect your emotional and physical health.

If your female, you’ve no doubt experienced PMS or menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, brain fog or night sweats caused by fluctuations in estrogen levels. Loss of progesterone at this point in life can affect sleep and the ability to keep estrogen levels in check which can lead to other serious health problems.

A lot of women think the symptoms of menopause are normal and something you just have to put up with, but this is no longer the case!

Low testosterone in men, can cause a host of health issues some of which include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle loss
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Loss of bone mass

But low testosterone is not only detrimental in men, it can also cause some of these problems for women as well.

Advances in Hormone Replacement Therapy can eliminate these symptoms safely, whether you’re male or female, and if the right therapy and method is chosen, can absolutely change your life.

Hormone Replacement Therapy – Debunking the Myths

 

HRT has been given a bad rap. Back when HRT was first developed, the only drugs available were synthetic and made from questionable sources. The drug Premarin (still available) is made from the urine of pregnant mares (for real).

It was the side effects caused by synthetic hormones that raised the alarm in the health industry. We were told that menopause increased the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis but then when given synthetic HRT, our risk of breast cancer increased.

The modern answer to HRT and these side effects is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.

 

The Best, Most Effective Hormone Replacement Therapy

 

For several years, I struggled with symptoms such as fatigue, poor concentration, fluid retention, weight gain, and low libido. I tried many methods of HRT from patches to creams to sublingual lozenges, you name it, but nothing worked. Then about 4 years ago, my doctor prescribed something different…from a company who it turns out, is leading the way in BHRT…

BioTe Medical is the leader is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and is led by founder Dr. Gary S. Donovitz, MD and also includes many very accomplished physicians on the Board of Directors.

What make this BHRT different from others I had tried was the delivery system. BioTe uses a pellet system inserted under the skin (very simple and safe technique in office) to deliver the hormones.

One of the problems with other methods is the hormones actually making it into the bloodstream intact or consistently. For instance, pills can be rendered ineffective by the digestive system and patches and creams have to penetrate the very protective layers of skin.

Another problem with other systems is regular delivery of the hormone. BioTe’s method works something like this: about 3 days after insertion, the body has built capillaries around the pellets, allowing the hormones to be gradually and naturally drawn into the bloodstream for consistence availability over 3-4 months.

Another extremely important difference with bioTe is their extensive and thorough blood testing. This is key in the proper diagnosis and in the correct dose of hormones prescribed. Your medical professional will continue to monitor your progress in case any adjustments to be made.

I cannot tell you enough how much bioTe’s therapy has helped me and the quality of my life! I’m so thankful that I found a doctor who cares enough about her patients to offer this service.

If you’ve already cut the harmful and unhealthy starchy carbs from your diet as I’ve suggested in my other posts and you still can’t lose weight – something else is going on that you need to investigate…it very well may be a hormonal imbalance.

Please take a few minutes to take this quick quiz to find out if your hormones could be limiting your quality of life.

Please note – I do not receive compensation for recommending bioTe. I have just seen such a difference in my health because of the therapy and feel I must share it with as many as possible.

To learn more about a healthy diet that makes it simple to lose weight, click here

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

 

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

 Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

Essential Oils for Weight Loss and Cellulite

Essential Oils for Weight Loss and Cellulite

For thousands of years, essential oils have been used for spiritual, emotional and physical health. Chances are good that you’ve enjoyed essential oils in aromatherapy, in skin or hair care products, or maybe to soothe sore muscles.

But what about using essential oils for weight loss and cellulite improvement?

In this post, I’ll identify the most effective essential oils known to support weight loss and cellulite reduction as well as how to find the best quality oils .

Weight Gain 101 – The Real Culprit

Before we dive into essential oils as weight loss aids, we must remember that the real cause of weight gain for most people is eating too many starchy carbs and or sugary soft drinks or fruit juice.

During the digestive process, food is broken down to its basic building blocks before entering the bloodstream where the hormone insulin is released to process it. It takes more insulin to process carbs than fat or protein.

Starchy carbs, (grain products, potatoes) have 3 times the glucose molecules (blood sugar) of regular table sugar requiring excessive levels of insulin in order to keep it under control. Regular glucose spikes can literally cause the insulin response to wear out over time in a high percentage of people, leading to weight gain, belly fat, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.

Although the best way to lose weight and avoid major health problems is to cut the starchy carbs from your diet, the following essential oils have been shown in many studies to provide support in the process.

Cinnamon Oil

One of the oldest known essential oils, cinnamon has been used in hundreds of remedies as far back as ancient Egypt. It has been reported to aid in the control of blood sugar levels.

According to the Mayo Clinic, cinnamon may be helpful as a supplement in Type 2 diabetes treatment. In several studies, it had a potential effect on glycemic control and one study in particular, using 500 mg twice daily for 90 days, improved A1C levels (A1C levels are considered a reflection of average blood sugar levels over a 3 month period).

It should be noted that these studies used ground cinnamon, cinnamon essential oil is much more potent and should be used with care to avoid irritating side effects. As with any essential oils, you should always check with your doctor and pharmacist for any possible interactions.

Lemon OilEssential oils for weight loss

One of the most popular and most useful essential oils, lemon aids the digestive process and helps detox the liver.

Why is the liver important in weight management? Your liver is the last stop for glucose before it reaches the rest of your body where it’s either used for immediate energy needs or stored as fat. The liver keeps your blood sugar from shooting too high or dropping too low. Lemon oil used internally can be a powerful aid to the all important liver, and it tastes great.

Add 2-3 drops of pure therapeutic grade lemon oil to a glass of water daily as a refreshing and supportive drink.

Peppermint Oil

Since the digestive system is key in processing food and deciding whether it’s stored as fat or used as energy, it’s important to keep it healthy. Peppermint is one of the most powerful essential oils known to aid in digestion when taken internally. When used aromatically, it can clear the mind and relax the body.

Chronic stress can have a negative effect on overall health, including weight management. Using essential oils for stress management, may be the most common use of all and Peppermint simply must be in your collection.

essential oile for weight loss and cellulite

Grapefruit Oil

Wow. This one is known for so many benefits that it’s tough to know where to start…a list is in order. Grapefruit essential oil is used to:

  • Reduce anxiety and stress
  • Fight obesity
  • Reduce the appearance of cellulite
  • Eliminate water retention and puffy skin
  • Cleanse the liver, kidneys and lymphatic and vascular system
  • Boost mood
  • Promote physical energy

It’s sweet, tangy, bright fragrance blends nicely with other oils and it only takes a drop or 2 in a glass of water.

Note – it is safe for dogs and horses, but toxic to cats. If used topically, avoid the sun for 24 hours (all citrus oils can cause skin to be sensitive in sunlight).

Geranium Oil

Known to alleviate anxiety, geranium oil is also used to eliminate fluid retention and lymphatic congestion. Since cellulite is mainly caused by aging skin that’s lost elasticity causing the fat deposits under the skin to protrude, using geranium oil could be an effective tool in combating the appearance of cellulite.

Note – Pregnant women should avoid the use of geranium oil

As we know, cutting starchy carbs is the best way to lose weight and losing weight is the best way to reduce the appearance of cellulite, so your diet should be your focus. Learn more here.

Feel free to use essential oils as a fun and effective aid in the process. Just make sure you don’t skimp on quality and be sure you always buy directly from the source to ensure authenticity.

How to Find the Best Quality Essential Oils

Essential Oils for Weight Loss and Cellulite
Serenity Essential Oil by DoTerra

There are many sources for essential oils, most claiming to be pure. However, at this writing, there is only one company (DoTerra) that actually pays an independent lab to test its oils for purity. This is extremely important, especially if you take essential oils internally.

To shop for the finest essential oils, click here

There’s a lot of science that goes into the process of sourcing growers, ensuring compliance and commitment to quality, harvesting, and distilling the finest oils. I’ve tried many but DoTerra’s the best.

To learn more about essential oils click here for a free guide

 

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

 Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

5 Diet Myths Debunked

5 Diet Myths Debunked

Let’s face it, there’s a heck of a lot of diet advice available everywhere. From Oprah to Marie, everyone has something to say about what works when it comes to losing weight. Aside from paid spokespeople, the real experts in the field of nutrition and health are beginning to say something very different.

Have you tried and tried to lose weight without success? Maybe you’ve cut your calories drastically, lost weight but gained it all back, so you tried the same method but it didn’t work this time…you blamed it on lack of willpower and felt like a failure…but what if its not you, but the advice that you’ve been getting that’s failing?

Now more and more doctors are starting to speak out about what’s really making us fat and it may not be what you think. In fact, the 5 diet myths debunked here may actually surprise you.

Diet Myth 1 – Eating Fat Makes You Fat

For over 40 years now, mainstream health, the media, and even the government have been recommending a low fat diet promising it to be healthier and that if we ate this way long enough, we’d lose weight. Instead, obesity rates have skyrocketed. Before the USDA food pyramid, Americans ate plenty of red meat, eggs and dairy and in 1975, only about 14% of us were obese. Fast forward to now, and over 70% of us are officially overweight or obese. What happened?

We followed their advice! But when we cut our fat, we increased consumption of starchy foods like potatoes, rice and wheat, thinking they were healthier. Now, not only is there an obesity epidemic, but life threatening diseases like diabetes are at record levels.

The root cause of our weight gain is that too many starchy carbs cause blood sugar to rise too fast, causing the hormone insulin to spike in an attempt to control it. Over time, this can lead to weight gain (especially belly fat), insulin resistance, and diabetes. Many people are cutting the starch and losing weight almost without effort.

Several years ago, doctors found that some fats are healthier than others, especially when it comes to controlling high cholesterol and heart disease and the FDA no longer even recommends a low fat diet. But many diet programs still cling to the old way and continue to push low fat…it not only doesn’t work, but judging by the obesity statistics, its dangerous advice.

If you want to be free from yo-yo dieting, feeling deprived on a low calorie diet, and worrying about gaining it back, then its time to ditch that tired, old advice and cut starchy carbs from your diet.

Diet Myth 2 – Eating Cholesterol Causes High Cholesterol

Like I mentioned above, cardiologists know that some monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados and nuts can actually lower cholesterol levels. But what about eating red meat, that’s saturated fat, doesn’t it cause high cholesterol?

In reality, reducing cholesterol in your food does very little to help your body reduce it in your bloodstream. That’s because the liver is the manufacturer of cholesterol, producing about three times more of it than what you eat. Eating less of it just causes the liver to produce more.

Unfortunately, genetic deficiencies in the cell receptors responsible for cholesterol removal are what cause high cholesterol, its all about how efficient your system is in removing it.

Transfats – Transfats are vegetable oils that have been altered by partial hydrogenation in order to extend shelf life of some processed foods. Transfats have been shown to increase cholesterol levels and are suspected in the risk of heart disease.

The good news is that if you cut starchy carbs from your diet, and use butter instead of margarine, you eliminate the majority of foods that contain the most trans fats, like bread, crackers, biscuits, etc.

Diet Myth 3 – Whole Grains are Healthy

While scientists were trying to figure out why eating cholesterol didn’t increase bad cholesterol in the body, they found that when people cut their consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy, they replaced those foods with more and more starchy carbs.

Although starchy carbs make you feel full, the effects don’t last long and you’re soon hungry again. This is because the high level of glucose in starch causes your blood sugar to spike. Your insulin responds with its own spike in an effort to control the blood sugar. This in turn triggers the blood sugar to drop rapidly, causing you to feel tired. The brain senses the rapid drop and tells you to eat something to bring it back up. This is when the hunger hormones are released and you feel hungry, starting the whole vicious cycle over again. Do this day after day and over time, you increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Scientists then zeroed in on refined flour and sugar and started recommending whole grains instead thinking the fiber in it would slow the insulin spikes. Fiber is important, it does indeed slow digestion, but the problem is that most starchy carbs just don’t have enough fiber to actually slow insulin spikes.

Let’s compare the Glycemic Load of white bread (the standard on the scale) versus whole wheat:

White bread (1 slice) – 107

Whole wheat bread (1 slice) – 129

The goal of a low glycemic diet is to eat foods that do not cause glucose (blood sugar) spikes. Anything under 100 on the scale is not likely to do so. We can see that a conventional slice of whole wheat (1-3 grams of fiber), is actually worse than white bread. Why? In most cases the added sugar necessary to make it palatable, pushes it over the edge.

Bottom line, unless you eat low carb breads or tortillas that have a significant amount of fiber added, you need to cut this crap out of your diet. Try Mission brand’s Carb Balance tortillas, they’ve found a way to add a boat load of fiber while still making these tortillas light and fluffy. I promise you love them.

Diet Myth 4 – Sugar is Poison

Is sugar actually bad for you? Sure, if you eat too much of it, especially in liquid form. But its not as bad as starchy carbs.

Starch has 3 times the glucose molecules as table sugar. The glycemic load of a teaspoon of sugar is only 28, less than 1/3 of that of white bread. If you add a teaspoon to your morning coffee, you aren’t getting enough to spike your blood sugar…remember, the lab standard load is 100.

However, if you drink sugary sodas or fruit juices, you’ll get too much. Sodas are obvious, there’s just too much sugar in them, but why are fruit juices a problem? That takes us to the next myth…

Diet Myth 5 – Juicing is Healthy

When you break down the cellular walls of plants, this causes them to digest much faster…there’s no fiber to slow it down. This leads to blood sugar and insulin spikes and because liquid food isn’t as filling as whole food, you may end up consuming more fruits and vegetables in one glass than you would if you ate them whole.

For instance, 1 apple has a glycemic load of about 78, a carrot, about 21. No problem, but when you combine them in the popular carrot-apple juice recipe, you’re now hitting 99 on the glycemic load scale, plus, you broke down the fiber so it digests super fast..that’s right, except for the vitamins and minerals, you may as well have had a slice of white bread, your blood sugar and insulin will spike.

Look, if the only way you’re going to get your fruit and veggies is by drinking them, than you can at least slow down the negative effects:

  • Make smoothies with full fat dairy products like half & half or heavy cream (fats are the best way to slow digestion)
  • Add low carb protein powders (no sugar added) Try ViShape by ViSalus
  • Use nut butters to increase the fat level
  • Try tossing an avocado into your green smoothie, making it creamier and healthier than ever

You can also slow down the effects by simply drinking the smoothie after you’ve eaten solid, no carbs foods like meat, eggs or whole veggies.

Now that you know the truth about of what really causes weight gain, you can begin to eat healthy, satisfying food without feeling deprived. Once you’ve experienced the almost effortless weight loss that I and others who have cut starchy carbs have experienced, you will know for sure that you have found the secret to “dieting freedom”…the freedom in knowing that you ‘ll NEVER have to worry about your weight ever again.

Find out more about Glycemic Load here 

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

 

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

 Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The Best Carb Blockers and How They Work

The Best Carb Blockers and How They Work

In previous posts, we’ve learned about Glycemic Load and that some foods release glucose into the bloodstream slower than others. There are various reasons for this like the fiber in plants, which “soaks up” digestive juices, keeping glucose from being absorbed into the intestinal lining too quickly.

There are other substances that can affect the speed at which food is digested. These “Carb Blockers” may allow us to enjoy forbidden foods occasionally without worrying about spiking our blood sugar or inhibiting weight loss. In this post, I’ll dig deeper on the subject .

You’ll learn about the best carb blockers and how they work, plus the easiest way to use them. I hope you’ll find this info as enlightening as I did when I first learned about them.

The Truth about Carb Blocking Supplements

If you surf the web for carb blockers, you’ll probably find a host of supplements promising to block carbs. Let me be clear: nothing will totally block carbs from being digested, so when you see a supplement company making this claim, please avoid wasting your money…their claims are nothing more than a marketing exaggeration.

In fact, of all the supplements that I found advertised, none seemed to contain any substances that have actually been proven to slow digestion.

One common claim is that of white kidney bean extract. White beans contain a substance called phaseolamin that did slow digestion of starch in the lab, but failed when tested on humans. Scientists found that stomach acid deactivates the process. Unfortunately, it’s still being promoted even though it’s not effective.

Fake carb blockers must be profitable, you’ll find them everywhere on line – from white bean extract to green tea and chromium, none of which actually work (not harmful, but a waste of money).

Carb Blocking Drugs

There are however, carb blocking drugs that are effective at slowing the digestion of starch. Acarbose is used in the treatment of diabetes and works by blocking amylase, the intestinal enzyme responsible for breaking down starch into glucose. Acarbose is a natural substance produced by bacteria in soil and can make higher glycemic foods act more like lower glycemic foods. In addition to diabetes, it’s also being used in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

The most commonly used medication used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes is Metformin. Metformin works in the liver to help control blood sugar levels as is generally tolerable and effective for most people. As with any drug, there are side effects and require a prescription.  For more info click here

The Natural Way to Block Carbs

Like acarbose, certain foods eaten with or before carbs can slow the absorption of glucose and prevent the insulin spikes that we know eventually can cause diabetes as well as being the major cause of weight gain over time.

Some fruits and vegetables contain plant cellulose and fiber, which act as physical barriers in slowing digestion. Others trigger hormones that slow digestion, while still others act like acarbose and inhibit digestive enzymes.The Best Carb Blockers and How They Work

Digestion 101

There are 4 main processes involved in digestion:

Chewing – we’ve always been told to chew our food well to aid in digestion and this is true, small food particles digest faster. In the event you must eat a high glycemic food like pasta, you definitely do not want it to digest quickly. Experts recommend serving larger pasta types such as lasagna and serving it al dente as the larger particles will take longer to digest.

Another thing to think about is eating whole fruits versus juicing them as the mastication process in blending breaks down the plant cell walls and fiber that help slow the digestion of the fructose contained in them.

The Stomach – the stomach doesn’t do any digesting, but rather is a storage hopper for foods until they can enter the intestines. Stomach acid tries to liquefy food, making it easier to pass. When you eat foods that resist liquefaction, like meats and vegetables, they will slow down the process of digestion, so never eat high glycemic foods like starchy carbs on an empty stomach.

The Pyloric Sphincter – (what a lovely name). This is the valve that allows food to enter your intestines and regulates the speed that it does. There are hormones and nerves in the intestines that activate it so when they sense enough food is present, they cause it to close.

You can actually control this to some degree. It turns out that one of the most potent foods in controlling the pyloric valve is fat. As soon as the body senses fat is present in the intestines, it closes the valve, stopping more food from entering. Some scientists have found that a mere 2 tablespoons of fat eaten a few minutes before a high glycemic food can slow it’s digestion by over 30%!

The Final Step – before entering the bloodstream, food has to be broken down to it’s basic building blocks: glucose, amino acids and fatty acids. Enter amylase, which breaks it all down into glucose so it can be absorbed by the intestinal lining. Vinegar inhibits amylase, slowing the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.

Another powerful weapon in slowing glucose absorption is fiber. In order for glucose molecules to enter the bloodstream, they have to come in contact with the intestinal lining…otherwise, they just float around in digestive juices. The fiber from plants can greatly slow this process, so eating high fiber foods or even adding a supplement, such as psyllium to a meal can make a big difference in after meal insulin spikes.

Fiber soaks up digestive juices preventing glucose from coming in contact with the intestinal lining quickly. It takes about 10 grams of fiber to reduce after meal glucose levels by up to 20%

Blocking Carbs is as Easy as Eating a “Regular” Meal

Although the process of digestion is complicated, your eating program doesn’t have to be. Most of our regular meals are already set up for slowing the digestion of glucose:

  • Eat a salad with vinegar & oil before the main meal or eat a handful of nuts, seeds, olives, pickles, or cheese
  • Do not eat starchy carbs on an empty stomach, eat mostly vegetables and/or meat first
  • Eat fruits in whole form, not sugary juices or smoothies

One last way to counteract the effect of glucose on the bloodstream is to exercise after a meal. This is a very common practice in other countries such Italy where it’s a nightly practice to take a stroll about town after the evening meal. Activating your slow-twitch muscles uses glucose before it can enter the bloodstream and a 30-minute walk is the perfect way to do it.

As you can see, you don’t need to buy expensive (fake) supplements or take drugs to slow the effect of starchy carbs on your blood sugar levels. You can still lose weight while eating delicious “regular” meals by following this commonsense advice. It really can be that simple.

Find out more about the Glycemic Load here.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have any questions, or would like to add a comment, I’d love to hear from you below.

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best (and Simplest) Low Carb Snack Ideas

The Best (and Simplest) Low Carb Snack Ideas

In previous posts I’ve mentioned how important it is to always have healthy, low carb snacks available. This will help you avoid the starchy, sugary snacks that make up 99% of what you’ll find in snack machines at work or in the snack isle of the grocery or convenience store.

In this post, I’ve put together some of the best and simplest low carb snack ideas so you’re always prepared when hunger strikes.

Nuts, Seeds, and Creamy Butters

Without a doubt, some of the best low carb snacks are nuts and seeds. Although they do contain some carbs and will be limited if you’re on a very low carb diet such as Keto, you should be assured that the healthy dose of fat that you get with nuts and seeds will actually slow down the release of glucose into your bloodstream making it a fantastic appetizer when you can’t avoid starchy carbs in your meal, or when you would like to have a sweet dessert.

Any nuts will do, you can use them as a substitute for chips or other starchy, salty snacks:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanuts (I know, not really a nut, a legume)
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

Cheese and Dairy

When you’re on a low carb diet plan, you need to ensure you’re getting enough fat for your body to utilize for energy. Although you’ll want to ensure you get most of the additional fat from healthy plant based nuts, seeds and oils, you will also get to enjoy plenty of dairy products as well.

Note – You want to make sure you’re eating only FULL FAT dairy as low fat or skim versions have way too much sugar in them. Take a look at the difference between the Glycemic Loads of full and low fat vanilla ice cream as an example:

Vanilla High Fat Ice Cream (1/2 c) – 68

Vanilla Low Fat Ice Cream (1/2 c) – 114

Wow, what a difference! Oh, and you’ll enjoy the high fat version so much more – this kind of treat was never meant to be butchered to low fat anyway…what’s the point?

This works the same way with other dairy snacks, you’ll always go for the full fat choice. Sometimes you my have to search a little harder for them, though as there are so many versions of low fat yogurts and cream cheeses than full fat.

Always check for added sugar and avoid it, you can always sweeten by hand or use sugar subs instead.

Go for:

  • All kinds of full fat cheeses and cream cheese
  • Ricotta
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt (I prefer Fage brand since it’s Greek, it has less water and is thicker and more satisfying)

Chips and Popcorn

This is my particular area of weakness – or used to be before I went low carb. I can remember many nights when a craving for potato chips would send me to the pantry, only to trip over the empty bag when getting out of bed the next morning (party size).

And I was never satisfied with a handful or small bag, I had to grab the big bag, so I could eat to my hearts content. A funny thing happened about 2 days into my low carb life – I stopped having these cravings!

I did however read somewhere that popcorn was better since it has more fiber and it takes less of it to satisfy the carb craving, so I switched.

Instead of eating the entire bag, I either share it or break it up into serving sizes of no more than 2 cups each. This works like a charm, especially since eating it can turn into mindless mouth stuffing if not planned for and contained.

Here’s the Glycemic Load scoop on popcorn versus chips:The Best and Simplest Low Carb Snack Ideas

  • Potato chips (1 small bag or 1 oz) – 62
  • Corn chips (1 small bag or 1 oz) – 97
  • Popcorn (2 cups) – 57

Now compare those to these other starchy snacks:

  • Wheat Thins (4 small) – 136
  • Pretzels (1 small bag or 1 oz) – 151
  • Rye crisps (1 rectangle) – 125

Quite a difference. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be way more satisfied with 2 cups of popcorn than 4 tiny crackers. It totally tastes better, too. But, I can still have a small bag of Lay’s when I get a hankering’… I prefer munching on some cheese at the same time 🙂 See my fave here

Sweet Low Carb Snacks

Awe, I saved the best for last…although most of the sweets we’ll discuss will also fall in the desserts’ category, you can certainly have sweet snacks as long as you have the with fat and there are no starches in them:

  • Peanut M&Ms; (1 snack size pkg or 3/4 oz) – 43
  • White Chocolate (2-1″ squares or 2/3 oz) – 49
  • Chocolate (2-1″ squares or 1 oz) – 68
  • Snickers (2 oz bar) – 218
  • Jelly beans (1/3 c or 1-1/2 oz) – 312

Notice that you can have a larger serving of dark chocolate than white (less sugar), and the extra sugar in Snickers (and other comparable candy bars) and jelly beans will totally cause blood sugar spikes since the Glycemic Load is so high.

Remember These Basic Truths and You’ll be Okay

Stick with no or low carb snacks for the most part – nuts, seeds, cheeses, olives and of course, veggies with creamy dips (which I forgot to mention above)

Enjoy occasional starchy snacks like popcorn, potato and corn chips as long as the portions still keep you under 100 on the Glycemic Load Chart.

Enjoy high fat dairy and keep your sweet tooth happy with reasonable amounts of dark chocolate, chocolaty nuts or Peanut M&Ms;

Sticking with these low carb snack ideas should go along way in helping you reach your weight loss goal successfully, without feeling deprived or having to resort to unhealthy starchy snacks.

I hope you found this post helpful. I’d love to hear from you! If you have a question or would like to leave a comment below, that would be awesome!

To Your Success,

Karyn

 

We are not doctors. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any concerns or questions about your health should be discussed with a physician or other health-care professional.

Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional based on information provided on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

We also provide certain supplements and nutrition products through the site. Information regarding these products may not have been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claim as to the efficacy of the products, neither the products nor information provided on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

Why You Don’t Need a Low Carb Food List to Lose Weight

Why You Don't Need a Low Carb Food List to Lose Weight

Most low carb diets like Adkins and Keto, require that you keep your net carbs under so many grams per day whether you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight. (Net carbs = total grams of carbs – fiber).

This is an effective way to lose weight and it really is pretty simple, just read the labels of any packaged foods, consult a low carb food list and record what you eat in a daily food diary.

But what if you find recording everything you put in your mouth too tedious or inconvenient? There’s another way to lose weight without the need to constantly refer to a chart or record everything you eat. Most diet books would have you think this is easy but don’t we already have enough stuff to keep track of?

In this post, we’ll explore exactly why you don’t need a low carb food list to lose weight and also learn the truly low-hassle way to be successful.

Good Carb/Bad Carb, What’s the Difference?

Since we now know that the key to weight loss is keeping our blood sugar and thus insulin levels from spiking, it should be as easy as avoiding those foods that cause this, namely, carbohydrates. But it’s not that cut and dry.

Although all carbs are eventually broken down into blood sugar (glucose), the main difference between good and bad carbs is the speed and ease with which they do.

The glucose molecules of natural, unrefined foods such as vegetables and fruit, have a much tighter bond and are intertwined with fiber and cellulose. It takes time for the digestive process to break the glucose free and send it to the bloodstream.

Not so with starchy carbs like pasta, bread, potatoes and rice. The bonds that hold the glucose are weaker in these foods and are easily broken apart by the digestive system. There’s just not enough fiber or cellulose to slow absorption down, and remember, starch has many more glucose molecules than even table sugar, so it hits your bloodstream fast, causing a major spike in insulin to get it under control.

Counting Carbs vs. Glycemic Load

Since some carbs break down at different rates than others,  simply counting carbs isn’t enough…we need an easy way to determine the good ones from the bad. Enter the Glycemic Load

The Glycemic Load is how food scientists rate the effect a certain food has on blood sugar based on actual serving sizes. I’ve included a chart below that compares net carbs to glycemic load so you can see the dramatic difference in some foods versus others.

Since I promised you that you wouldn’t have to memorize nutritional info or carry a chart around with you, we’ll use this just to illustrate some key points.

Serving Size Net Carbs Glycemic Load
1 Pancake 5″ diameter 22 346
2 Bagel 1 medium 35 340
3 White Rice 1 cup 44 283
4 Baked potato 1 medium 24 246
5 Raisin Bran 1 cup 39 227
6 Brown rice 1cup 39.5 219
7 Coca-cola 12 oz 39 218
8 Hamburger bun 5″ 27 213
9 Doughnut 1 medium 22 205
10 Cornflakes 1 cup 23 199
11 Macaroni 1 cup 78 181
12 Corn-on-the-cob 1 ear 28 171
13 Spaghetti 1 cup 41.5 166
14 Oatmeal 1 cup 23 154
15 Chocolate cake 4″x4″x1″ 34 154
16 Grape-Nuts 1/2 cup 41 142
17 Cheerios 1 cup 18.5 142
18 Tortilla, corn 1 medium 11 120
19 Orange juice 1 cup 25.5 119
20 Whole wheat bread 1 slice 10 117
21 Cookie 1 medium 9 114
22 Banana 1 medium 9 114
23 White bread 1 slice 14 100
24 All-Bran 1/2 cup 8 85
25 Tortilla, wheat 1 medium 13 80
26 Apple 1 medium 21.5 78
27 Orange 1 medium 9 71
28 Pineapple 1 slice 6 50
29 Table sugar 1 round tsp 5 28
30 Milk (whole) 1 cup 12 27
31 Strawberries 1 cup 9 13
32 Carrot 1 medium 5 11
33 Peanuts 1/4 cup 3 7
34 Pork 10 oz 0 0
35 Lettuce 1 cup 1 0
36 Fish 8 oz 0 0
37 Eggs 1 large 0 0
38 Chicken 1 breast 0 0
39 Cheese 1  slice (2 oz) 0.8 0
40 Butter 1 T 0 0
41 Broccoli 1/2 cup 5 0

For example, take a look at the carbs in 1 cup of strawberries (#31). 9 grams of carbs, not bad…unless you’re on a typical low carb diet, such as Keto. 9 grams is nearly 1/2 of your total carb allowance FOR THE DAY. Which is also why no fruit, even fruits low in sugar like berries are forbidden during the weight loss phase of Adkins.

Now take a look at the glycemic load of strawberries – a measly 13, that’s only 13% of the load caused by 1 piece of white bread (the standard measurement). You could even sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar on a cup of strawberries and be at a glycemic load of 41, considered low on the glycemic load chart.

Get Rid of Starchy Filler Foods without Feeling Deprived

Take another look at this example chart, but this time, take a look at the foods at 100 or above for glycemic load. These are the foods we want to avoid. They send our blood sugar levels too high, too fast, causing insulin spikes, weight gain and all manner of chronic disease, most notably, Type 2 diabetes.

Do you need to memorize the list? Nope, if you look closely, you’ll notice that a whopping 21 out of the 24 foods at 100 or higher (GL), are either flour or grain products, potatoes and rice. The other 3 are Coke, orange juice, and banana.

You really only need to avoid 4 types of foods in order to lose weight:                                        Why You Don't Need a Low Carb Food List to Lose Weight

  1. Flour and grain products
  2. Potatoes
  3. Rice
  4. Sugary soft drinks and fruit juices

That’s it. These bad carbs are pretty easy to spot, too so no need to read lengthy ingredients lists. Now, if you’re thinking “But I love my chocolate cake! No way I can face life knowing I can never have another piece!”

No prob! Simply divide a typical 4″  x 4″  piece in half, and you have 2 servings at a GL of 77 each. You can enjoy a piece every day if you like. In fact, as long as you stick to 1 or fewer servings of foods 100 or higher per day, you should be okay.

One caveat: If you’re like me, there are some foods that you may find nearly impossible to eat at ‘safe’ serving sizes. They’re just too addictive… you know who they are.

I’ve basically learned to forget they even exist and instead, substitute for other rich, tasty treats that are satisfying enough in a few bites that I’m not tempted to go back for seconds…and thirds.

Another thing to keep in mind when eating occasional bad carbs is to avoid eating them on an empty stomach. If you eat low carb or better yet – no carb foods like those at the bottom of this chart first, they will slow down the digestion/absorption rate of the treat and thwart glucose spikes. You can also use nuts, seeds or other fatty foods like olives to “block” the bad carbs.  Learn more about Starch Blockers here

Keep It Simple for Long Term Success

As long as you avoid starchy carbs and sugary drinks most of the time, reduce serving sizes when you do indulge, and always eat carb “blockers” like vegetables and/or fatty foods first, you don’t need lists, carb counting or even a detailed food diary to be successful.
Now that you know the difference between good carbs and bad carbs, you should relax knowing you can eat a wider variety of foods and still lose weight consistently, without feeling deprived.
Bon Appetit!

Can you think of some rich, creamy and satisfying foods that you can eat instead of starchy “filler” foods? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below!

 

To Your Success,

Karyn

 

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