Secrets to Jump Starting Your Weight Loss

It Isn't a DietThe truth is, most of us make losing weight too complicated. It doesn’t need to be. Let’s remove the walls and get you on your way to success. Listed below are the pitfalls most people make when trying to lose weight.

Doing anything temporally will give you temporary results! You have to get this, dieting is a temporary act and therefore it doesn’t provide long-term weight loss.

  1. Change your diet gradually. Many people jump right in and totally change their diet to the extreme. They go from the typical American diet rich in processed foods to a very restrictive diet. Any time you make sudden change in your diet and lifestyle you highly increase your risk of failure. Make the change slowly. Instead of taking foods away try adding healthy foods to your diet. You will begin to crowd out the harmful foods with healthy foods.  You can do this by adding an additional vegetable to your daily diet for 1 week.  The next week, add another one and then on week 3 add an extra fruit. On week 4 add another vegetable to your daily diet. By week 4 you have increased your vegetable intake by 3 servings per day and fruit intake by 1 serving per day. Can you see, we haven’t asked you to remove any foods, only to add healthy foods? This really works if you apply it. The aim is to slowly replace processed and refined foods with healthy vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds and a small amount of whole grains daily.
  2. Stop Stressing about life and losing the weight.  Because we make it so complicated we get overly stressed. Chronic stress causes our bodies to release higher amounts of cortisol everyday, which is a fat building hormone. There is an association between stress and the appetite increasing hormone ghrelin. If you have stress from work or home you need to manage it or remove the source. Stress will make it almost impossible to lose much weight. In addition stress kills by increasing the risk of heart disease, cardiovascular disease, hormonal imbalances and gastric diseases.
  3. Eat enough calories. Many people begin by drastically cutting food intake thus calories too much. If you go below 1200 calories for more than a few days your body senses a famine has arrived, it lowers your metabolic rate to conserve energy. You can even gain weight if you cut calories too much. If you stay in a severe calorie reduction under (800 calories or less, like anorexia) you body shifts to the catabolic effect of starvation and your body will begin to consume muscle and organs for its nutrition needs. The fact is, if you eat a mostly plant-based diet you would never need to worry about eating to many calories.
  4. Do Not Skip Meals! You need to eat at least 5 times per day. It keeps blood sugar balanced and energy available. It also keeps the metabolism boosted. A healthy meal replacement shake is an option and can serve your body well. I recommend Vive, it was created for weight loss and energy and is packed with an abundance of nutrition!
  5. Keep a Food Journal. Studies show us that people keeping a food journal for at least 3 months tend to lose weight and keep it off. It keeps you aware of what you are eating, when and how much. It’s easy to do and there are several online resources with good free food journal systems. Try these, www.myfitnesspal.com  www.fatsecret.com and http://www.myfooddiary.com
  6. Drink plenty of water. Many people will not drink enough water. It takes water to release and burn fat for energy. Water is so important for your health! You need at least 1/2 your body weight in fluid ounces daily. If you sweat a lot you need even more.
  7. Exercise. If you are overweight or obese you can lose weight for a short time by just cutting calories, however that will eventually slow and then stop. You must move more. Exercise does many wonderful things for our body. One benefit is that it speeds up our metabolic rate causing us to burn more calories through out the day! It builds muscles, improves balance, and improves immune function and much more. Just walking is a great exercise. Increase your speed and time as your fitness and health improves. I am an advocate of exercising multiple times per day. As an example; I would walk for 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the afternoon and 30 minutes before or after dinner. You can split it up however you wish, just do it. To loss weight most of your exercise should be a form of cardio exercise like walking or cycling. You should also do weight bearing exercises to build more muscle. Muscles burn more fat. For good results you need to exercise at least 1 hour per day, 5 days per week. Before beginning any exercise program please consult with your doctor for their approval. Walk twice per day to speed up the weight loss!
  8. Stop weighing everyday! Your weight can change, up or down five or more pounds in any given day. You will set your self up for disappointment by weighing everyday. Weigh your self every two weeks. Do it first thing in the morning immediately after waking up and after your first pee.
  9. Stop beating your self up! No body is perfect. Treats are allowed, even unscheduled ones. If you have a treat, the next time you eat make a healthy choice. Bashing yourself will make you eat more.
  10. DO NOT DIET!  It is our mindset to use the word diet and when we do we automatically set up in our mind that we will change our diet and lifestyle for a period of time and then come back home to that addictive food that got us fat to begin with. Plus, because you have starved your body (both calories and nutrients) in the past, your body senses this and begins to subconsciously increase your desire for fatty and sugary foods. Sure, you can lose 30 pounds and then you gain 50 back. Dieting will only make you fatter one diet at a time! Think lifestyle change!
  11. Sleep is Critical! If you are like most Americans you get less than 7 hours of sleep nightly. This can disrupt hormonal balances, reduce immune function, and reduce your energy levels, lower mental concentration and much more. When you sleep, your body is busy repairing tissues, making hormones, enzymes, red blood cells, white blood cells, antibodies, cellular antioxidants like Coenzyme -Q10 which is very important for energy production in the cell and heart health, Glutathione peroxidase and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) which are your cells most powerful defenders from internal and foreign invaders and other neurotransmitters necessary for good mental and emotional health.
  12. Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition!!!!  When your body is getting loads of nutrients it begins to clean and detox the body at the cellular level getting rid of toxic materials you have stored for years. Your body does not like to let go of stored fat unless it can detox adequately because your body stores many toxins in your fat. When depleted nutrient stores in your body get filled up and topped off by a nutrient rich diet, the bodies systems begin to come back into harmony with one another. Blood sugar begins to balance, cravings begin to disappear, energy improves, thinking improves, your hair and skin begins to glow and you sleep better. With great nutrition your body starts regenerating itself cell by cell into a new healthy and vibrant body.

The bottom line is that weight loss and health do not come from a “diet” they come from living a healthy lifestyle. That’s it. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and watch your body change!

Healthy Wishes.

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

www.wellnesswithwally.com

The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

Love Your Heart So It Can Love Even More!

Heart in handsThe lifestyle you live has the biggest impact on your heart health. Even if heart disease runs in your family you can trump those genetics by adopting a heart healthy lifestyle!

First know that cholesterol is not the enemy, your body actually makes 800 to 1500 mgs of cholesterol daily! Your hearts enemies are foods that cause systemic inflammation in your arteries forcing cholesterol to be used to patch and repair vascular sores. These foods are prevalent in the American diet.

What you are about to read should make you run in your kitchen and fire up a salad, smoothie or Vive. Did you know that a plant-based diet has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of and even reverse heart and cardiovascular disease?  You can listen to Dr. Dean Ornish and some of his patients at this link. http://www.youtube.com/user/DrDeanOrnish

Many factors can affect our heart health. Our diet (excessive simple sugars), stress, and other lifestyle factors like smoking and the amount of physical activity we get play a huge role in heart health.

In about a day your heart beats 100,000 times pumping around 2000 gallons of blood to 100 trillion cells through 60 thousand miles of blood vessels.  Every time I  think of that it amazes me!

The heart is not just an organ, it is also a muscle.  The heart requires a lot of energy and quality nutrition to keep it healthy.  Your heart is a very unique organ and unlike other organs and muscles, it does not become fatigued. It only stops when oxygen is no longer available.

Exercise increases the hearts fitness so it can deliver more oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Develop a good exercise program after approval from your doctor!

Because of the great energy requirements put on the heart, nutrition is very important.  Vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, enzymes and antioxidants are super important for heart health.

  • Plant based foods provide a bounty of nutrients and antioxidants the body needs for great heart health.
  • Studies show Nuts and seeds consumed daily reduce the risk for heart disease. They are anti-inflammatory and a good source of Vitamin E, which, is very important for cell membrane health and is also an antioxidant.
  • Omega 3’s from Salmon, sardines, ground flax seed and walnuts reduce inflammation and keep blood platelets from sticking, reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables reduce inflammation and protect the heart from free radical damage.  The greater the volume of oxygen is needed in a cell to make energy, the higher the potential for free radical damage.  The heart is a big air and fluid pump.  So antioxidants are even more important for the heart muscle.
  • Magnesium is very important for heart health because it helps blood vessels relax, potentially reducing blood pressure, which, if high, can damage the heart.
  • B Vitamins are critical for preparing foods for the conversion to energy.
  • B12, Folate and B6 are critical to reduce the protein homocysteine from accumulating in our tissues. Homocysteine causes cellular damage to the heart and blood vessels and heavily associated with heart disease.
  • Iron, B12, Vitamin C and Folate are important to make healthy red blood cells and blood vessels.
  • Vitamin E from food and Co-Q10 from foods are important heart protectors.

 

Some of the best foods for heart health are:

  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans)
  • Avocado
  • Dark chocolate
  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens)
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Bananas
  • Bell peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans (pinto, garbanzo, black)
  • Lentils
  • Pomegranate
  • Blueberries
  • Goji Berries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Salmon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Wild rice

Heart Health Destroyers

Sadly the American diet is the perfect diet if you want poor heart health. It is rich in sodium, sugar and bad fats and low in nutrient rich foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds and whole grains, which promote health.

If you love your heart it would be best to avoid or limit these foods in your diet. These foods are health destroyers!

  • Foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol (meats, processed meats, eggs, cows milk and cheese)
  • Processed meats
  • Foods high in sodium
  • Foods high in sugars particularly added sugars such as (refined sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, confectioners sugar, brown sugar etc..)
  • Fried foods
  • Flour based foods (includes breading on fried foods, cookies, crackers, cereals, pastries, breads, pasta) Flour can turn to blood sugar as quickly as table sugar.
  • Excess sugar is a powerful risk factor in your diet because it creates inflammation and sores in your arteries, which forces your body to use cholesterol to repair them. This makes arteries stiffer creating more sores or tears requiring more cholesterol.  It’s a vicious cycle that accelerates heart and vascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Other Heart Health Factors

  • Stress is a killer! It creates hormonal changes that raise blood pressure, cause obesity and eventually damage your heart.
  • A lack of exercise let’s muscles atrophy, becoming weaker. Your heart and blood vessels are muscles and need exercise to be in top health.
  • A lack of sleep creates systemic stress putting additional stress on your heart.
  • Cigarettes destroy your blood vessels and lungs. Both are critical for your heart to be healthy.
  • Limit alcohol to no more than 3 drinks per week.

Summary

Having 2 smoothies a day filled with every color of vegetable and fruit, nuts and seeds is going to get you on the right track for great heart health.

  • Have Vive twice per day to make sure you are getting the heart healthy nutrients you need.You can add Vive to smoothies and make them even better!
  • Avoid added sugars; the healthiest sweeteners are stevia and raw honey.
  • Reduce your intake of animal fats
  • Make your diet mostly vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts and seeds and limited low glycemic whole grains
  • Exercise daily
  • De-stress by exercising, enjoying friends and laughing!
  • Reduce your salt intake to 1300 mgs per day to reduce blood pressure.
  • Drink plenty of clean water
  • Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly

Happy healthy eating!

Wally Bishop C.N.C

Vive Developer

Sources

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/544S.long

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11832674

http://www.youtube.com/user/DrDeanOrnish

The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

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Frustrated With Your Weight Loss? Try These Tips!

Do you dread getting on the scale?  It will become the enemy when you visit it too often. Your weight is not the problem. Your problem is a diet and lifestyle that promotes weight gain. Change the behavior and the weight will change.  Quit weighing every day and only weigh once every two weeks. What you eat or do for one day reflects little on any part of your health. What you do consistently for weeks and months is what effects your health and weight loss  Your weight can shift multiple pounds from one day to the next, weighing everyday is not a good way to measure your weight loss success. Eventually it is going to show no loss or weight gain and you will be disappointed, frustrated and question your ability to lose the weight.

At some point in your weight loss journey you will hit a wall and the weight loss you have been enjoying stops.  This happens to anyone that diets.  So why does this happen you ask?  There are several reasons, lets explore them. Dieting; diets do not work. If you want permanent weight loss, change your life style and dietary habits forever. If you don’t, you will go back to the old behavior that made you fat.

  1. Skipping meals.  When you skip meals it leads to overeating later due to increased hunger. In addition it can cause craving due to a drop in blood sugar levels. Aim for 3 snacks and 3 meals per day.  DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST!
  2. Lack of enough sound sleep.  Most people never realize how important to your overall health including weight loss.  With out adequate sleep your hormonal system is out of balance, you are under stress and releasing fat building hormones.  Your need 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep every night.
  3. Lack of water.  Without enough water (body fluids) your metabolism is lowered and you do not burn as many calories. You just can’t make as much energy without the water.
  4. Doing the same exercise routine. You body will figure out how to do your routine very efficiently and you will burn fewer calories.  Change your routine and include strength training and interval training.  Keep your body guessing.
  5. Eating the same foods every day. This is very common. Many of us like certain foods and we like the same ones for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The problem is again our body gets to comfortable because it now has learned how many calories and what nutrients to expect.  Vary your calories from day to day.  If your calorie budget is 2000 calories shoot for 1800 one day, 2200 one day, 2000 one day and even 1600 one day. The important part is averaging 2000 calories over several days.  One day at 2400 calories is not going to effect your weight however a week of 2400 calorie days will.
  6. Under consuming calories. Everyone thinks that if you eat less you will lose more weight. Wrong!  For most people if you consume less than 1200 calories per day your body is going to think it is starving. As a result it will lower your metabolism drastically and will even want to turn what you eat into fat for later energy when there is no food available.   You must eat enough to cover your Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR).
  7. Nutrient deficiency.  You should complement your diet with super nutrition. Even eating health is not enough with today’s foods. Your body can’t make energy, build muscle, make enzymes, red blood cells,  hemoglobin etc… without an abundance of nutrients.  Your mitochondria ( cellular power plants) are highly dependent on nutrients to burn carbohydrates and stored fats.
  8. Consuming too many calories.  Everyone has a calorie budget. If you exceed it consistently you will gain weight. It is important to know yours.  Eat 500 calories less per day that your burn and you will lose 1 pound per week of  hydrolyzed fat.  Never attempt to lose more than 2 pounds per week.  Eat less calories ( however not to few) and exercise more to increase your weight loss rate.
  9. Forgetting to adjust calorie intake when weight is being lost.  As the pounds come off you have to adjust your calorie intake.  If you continue eating the same calories that you did 20 pounds ago the weight loss is going to stop.
  10. Stress!  Stress releases hormones that build abdominal fat.  Find ways to add relaxation into your life. Make life fun!
  11. Lack of exercise. Everyone needs to exercise.  Exercise not only burns fat, it also detoxes the body, forces the body to repair itself and make more energy producing compounds and tissues. If you are morbidly obese you may lose weight for a while without exercising. However at some point the weight loss will stop if you do not include some form of exercise.
  12. Lack of real commitment. Are you so tired of being over weight that absolutely nothing is going to stop you. If you aren’t willing to tell your friends or even ask them to support you in your efforts then I question if you are really committed to your weight loss.  It is important to let friends and family know so they can help reinforce good behavior and not tempt you will fattening foods. Your friends will want to help and not sabotage your efforts.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you get over the hump when you hit the weight loss wall.  Change your foods regularly, change your calories daily and vary your exercise routine.  In some cases, if you have exercised regularly, you may need a week off.  If you have given your body a break you may want to increase your intensity to jump-start the metabolic engine again.

Healthy Wishes

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

WebND

The contents of this blog is not and should not be  considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

New Years Resolutions, Successful Weight Loss, Part 1

The Holiday Season between Thanksgiving and January 1st  is a dietary challenge for most  of us.  How did you do? Were you able to keep the pounds off or did you gain a few?  Now is the time to get in the right frame of mind to tackle your weight and health issues. This New Year,  can be the year you really improve your health and develop a lifestyle that will promote vibrant health forever!

If you are serious about taking the pounds off and keeping them off read on! Having lost over 200 pounds and kept it off, I guess you could say I know what I am talking about when it comes to weight loss.

Most people start with a great attitude and lots of enthusiasm. This last for about 3 months and before you realize it you are slowly sliding back to your old habits. I am sure that’s not what was intended however over 90% of those making dietary resolutions do not keep them through the year. They did not have a plan to carry them through. They lasted 3 months on desire alone and it takes much more than desire to have successful long-term weight loss. If desire is all that is required to lose weight, we would all be at a great weight and healthy.

If you really want to reach your goals you must be determined that nothing will get in your way.  Success in business or weight loss requires a plan or formula.  So what is required?

Resolution Tools

  • clear picture of the goal
  • path to reach the goal, a plan  (diet, exercise, detoxification, relaxation, education etc…)
  • strong determination ( you can’t let family, friends or circumstances sabotage you and rob you of your goal)
  • knowledge ( do you know how many calories you should consume, the right ration of carbohydrates, fat and protein in your daily diet, which foods increase metabolism, which foods promote health and which ones don’t etc…)  This is one of the areas most people get trapped by. There is an incredible amount of information in the internet. Much of it is wrong and even harmful in some cases.  Trust a dietary health professional to give you safe and effective advice.

Weight Loss Forever

The fact is, losing weight requires a change in the way we think, eat and the amount of activity we engage in. If you keep doing what you doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got. So change is necessary. There is no magic bullet or pill. Diets do not work. What we eat is vitally important to proper weight balance. If you want permanent change, a change in your lifestyle is what works.

Why Diets Do Not Work

In America when someone uses the term “diet” in the context of losing weight it usually means they are going to change what they are eating and maybe exercise a little for a temporary period until they have achieved their desired goal. Then what do they do?  They will return to their original eating and lifestyle habits. They have not established healthy lifestyle habits or fixed the problem that caused the weight gain to begin with. Yes they are going right back to the very same behavior that got them to that point of needing to lose weight to begin with. Hopefully you are getting the message. If you only want to lose a small amount of weight for a few months, OK diet. If you really want to lose weight and keep it off you must quit thinking a diet will do it. You will set yourself up for failure.

A Healthy Food Relationship

Our relationship with food can be out of balance or skewed. Most people look at foods as an enjoyable hobby, event or even a means of comfort when sad, frustrated or angry. Without understanding the mechanics that drive us to eat we fall into the traps of over consumption.

Hunger vs. Appetite

You must also learn to identify the difference between hunger ( a real physiological need) and appetite ( a false sense of hunger). Appetite is usually caused by eating at the same time everyday, during events such as when watching football, by social influence going out for beer and pizza with friends or a holiday party or event.  Dietary consumption driven by appetite will almost always cause weight gain.  Overeating when hungry will cause weight gain.

Calories In vs. Calories Out

You must understand your energy balance. This means you must know how many calories you need based on your activity and exercise levels. If you consume more calories than you burn per day you will gain weight. Every day you have a limit, think of it as a calorie budget. As long as you do not exceed the budget you will not gain weight. To lose weight you must consume fewer calories than you burn so your body must use stored energy in the form of fat to function. To lose one pound per week you must burn 500 more calories per day than you eat.  Never eat less than 1200 calories per day. This will slow down your metabolism drastically to the point that you will not lose weight. You may even gain weight. Your body thinks it is starving. Never lose more than 2 lbs. per week on a continuous basis.

Does Weight Loss Equate to Health

Weight Loss does not mean you are healthy. I had a client state, “When I get my excess weight of I will be healthy.”  I had to explain that just losing weight does not mean you are healthy.  The qualities of the foods you consume are much more important for your health than the weight loss. Losing weight without a proper diet will lead to future regain of the weight and other possible health conditions. There are plenty of people at the right weight for their height that are not healthy. For example, some people manage weight through the unhealthy practice or purging or bulimia where they purge the foods they eat and they over exercise. This can lead to a potential for very serious health consequences.  There are many people who may look healthy because they are at a normal weight however they could be eating a very poor diet of fast foods that are making their body’s nutrient bankrupt. Eventually nutrient bankruptcy of the body will lead to illness and possible disease. Weight lost achieved in a healthy way can give an excellent foundation for vibrant health providing a long quality life.

Nutrition

Our health is really dependent of the consumption of the building blocks of our bodies. Refined and processed foods are devoid of the nutrients required to keep us healthy. We need vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, enzymes, proteins, complex carbohydrates and fiber for vibrant health. Eating foods devoid of them will cause blood sugar imbalances which will cause cravings for carbohydrate rich foods.  In addition the lack of nutrients means you can’t turn the foods you eat into energy. To make energy from foods requires many nutrients and just taking a supplement or eating foods enriched or fortified with the nutrients they are missing is no replacement for nutrients from real foods.

Happy New Years

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

Nutritionist

WebND

The contents of this blog is not and should not be  considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Always seek medical clearance before starting a new exercise routine. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.


South Carolina to Cover Obesity Surgery?

Americas Obesity Epidemic

When I heard this it really irritated me.  Instead of spending the money on education to prevent obesity, lets enable bad dietary behavior by surgically shrinking the stomach.  What has the person learned? Nothing! This is a waste of taxpayer money.  Just two weeks ago the N.Y Times released an article stating that obesity rates are still climbing.  Gastric  by-pass and lap band surgeries do not fix the problem.  An analogy might be;  run the car engine without putting oil in the motor, when it burns up lets just replace it.  Does that make sense.  Eat a poor diet, don’t exercise and when you become obese it’s OK we will just cut you open and shrink your stomach.  Maybe you will keep the weight off, maybe not. The problem has not been addressed.

Recent studies make it clear that the current approaches to obesity from western medicine aren’t working.  When I was close to 440 pounds my doctor never recommend a dietary or lifestyle change, he recommended gastric bypass surgery.   I am so glad I did not have the surgery.  I did it the healthy way and lost over 200 pounds and I have kept it off.  The problem got corrected.

It further impresses upon me the need for state or federal program to teach people how to lose weight and live healthy. To change this poor health mentality in our American culture it has to start in our schools.   At an early age we must begin to educate our children on the importance of  healthy eating, healthy lifestyles and the mechanics of how to live of life of wellness.  This has to be ingrained in the minds of our youth.

The cost of educating is cheaper than a surgical fix. We must focus on prevention. We must address the cause of the problem. Lap band surgery or even gastric bypass surgery does not fix the problem and many times there are surgical complications.  Weight is a behavior and education problem.  Less than 1% of obesity is caused by medical conditions or the side effects of drugs.

If you are obese or have weight issues I challenge you to make a stand. Take your life back the right way, the only long-term healthy way, by eating healthier foods, moving more and staying within your calorie budget.

I did it , you can do it.  Please,  for your children, for your wife, for your self, for your friends,  for your health, make a commitment today to do something about your weight.

The first step is making the commitment.

Always consult with you doctor before making dietary or lifestyle changes particularly if your have health issues.

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

Nutritionist

Nutrition Shootout! A Healthy Fast Food Sandwich Vs A Homemade Mushroom Cheese Burger

Just for a little fun and to make a point about the nutritional value of preparing your own food, I wanted to compare one of  Wendy’s’  healthiest  fast food sandwiches, Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich to a homemade Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger (no meat). For those of you that prefer meat, don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe, it is very filling and has great flavor.

Both competitors have a single slice of cheese, mayo is on the Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Smart Balance Lite Butter spread on the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger.  I used spinach on the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger while the Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich uses lettuce. Their menu doesn’t specify the type, so I used iceberg and romaine in my calculations for Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

As far as fast food goes, Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich is a good choice if you order it with just the bun, grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato,  mayo, mustard and a slice of cheese.  I wish they offered it with a whole grain bun.  I hope the President of Wendy’s reads this suggestion. You can shave extra calories and fat off of both sandwiches if you leave off the cheese. As with any fast food choice, avoid the sauces and dressings, they add extra calories, sugar, cholesterol, sodium, saturated fat and in some cases trans fat to your meal.   They also contain preservatives that can damage your health if over consumed.  I have a few clients that eat fast food two and three times per day.  I would not recommend eating at any fast food establishment that often, if at all. You can access all of Wendy’s nutritional data and food ingredients at this website.

At the weigh in, the homemade Portobello mushroom cheeseburger weighs in at 352 grams and 365 calories while the Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich weighs in at 260 grams and 440 calories. It looks like the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger  is a little heavy,  yet has fewer calories, less fat, less cholesterol, taste great and gives you more nutrition per calorie!  When you  prepare  foods at home you can use more nutritious ingredients, avoid health damaging preservatives and cooking at home is less expensive.

In this comparison, I used Wendy’s published nutritional data in every nutritional category they provided. I compiled the additional nutritional data for both foods using ESHA Nutritional Data Software, a leader in nutrition data collection.

In the graph below the RED is the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger, and the Blue is Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich. For the complete nutritional data for each food, click here.  If there are other comparisons you would like to see, just let me know. My next blog is on fast food salads, you are going to be shocked!!

Wendy's Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich-vs-Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger
Wendy's Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich-vs-Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger

Do You Know Your Phytonutrients? You should!

Phytonutrient Rich Foods
Phytonutrient Rich Foods

Have you seen those two guys on TV in the pond filled with cranberries promoting the antioxidant power of cranberries? We all assume they must be good for us. Most people under-estimate the power of not only antioxidants, but phytonutrients in general.

The new buzz in health news is the power of a class of phytonutrients known as antioxidants. Every time I turn on the tube or check out the web,  I see adds  about phytonutrients known as antioxidants.  Did you know that antioxidants are just one type of phytonutrient?

What are Phytonutrients?

Phytonutrients are not vitamins or minerals.  Phytonutrients are certain organic components or compounds found in plants, and these components or compounds are believed  to provide protective benefits that promote human health.

There are many different types of phytonutrients such as anthocyanidins ( a type of antioxidant found in blue and purple foods), glycoproteins, polysaccharides,  ( essential sugars that protect the myelin sheath of our nerves and promote health in our digestive and immune systems),  phytosterols (heart and arterial protecting compounds) and polyphenols ( a very powerful class of antioxidants) found in a variety of foods including brans, nuts, seeds, dried spices, fruits and vegetables .

Phytonutrients may

· serve as antioxidants  ( they protect cells from free radicals that cause aging and illness)

· enhance immune response ( they help elevate our ability to produce more immune cells such as Killer Cells and antibodies)

· enhance cell-to-cell communication

· alter estrogen metabolism

· convert beta-carotene to vitamin A

· cause cancer cells to die (apoptosis)

· repair DNA damage caused by smoking and other toxic exposures

· detoxify some carcinogens

Source USDA http://www.ars.usda.gov/Aboutus/docs.htm?docid=4142#top

So what does all of this mean to you and me?

It reinforces what our grandmothers have told us for years. Eating fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds and whole grains are good for us and can offer many health benefits.

Getting your phytonutrients from foods  has a much more powerful effect than taking isolated phytonutrient or antioxidant supplements. Our bodies are designed to get nutrients from natural unprocessed foods. Antioxidants that exist together in their natural form, for example in rice bran, blueberries or spinach, have synergies that make them much more powerful than when consumed in supplement form.

Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds also provide vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fiber in addition to carbohydrates, proteins and heart healthy fats and oils.

If you are not eating at least 2 servings of fruits, 3 servings of vegetables, 4 servings of whole grains and 1 ounces of nuts and seeds daily you are robbing your body of essential nutrients required for vibrant health. The SAD (Standard American Diet) has made Americans one of the least healthy populations of all industrialized nations, yet we spend over twice the money per person on health care.

Make veggies, fruits, grains, beans, nuts and seeds a part of your daily diet.  Your body will love you for it!

Healthy Wishes

Wally’s Daily Dose

Obesity, You Can Beat It

obesity-epidemic rates 2004
obesity-epidemic rates 2004

I was once a morbidly obese person.  Thank you God, the bonds of my obesity were literally eaten and walked off.  If you are obese or overweight, I am urging you to take a step today to change your life.  If you don’t, I can promise you that it will shorten your life by years.  Sure 15 or 20 extra pounds  isn’t going to impact your health as much as 100 pounds of extra fat will. However, that extra 20 pounds will, if you are consuming a nutrient poor diet and not getting enough exercise.

This week, I watched Losing it with Jillian Michaels. I try to watch it every week as well as the biggest loser when it is on. I am cheering hard for their success.  Jillian’s show gets down to the dynamics of family life and the effect obesity has on everyone; spouses, children, aunts and uncles, even neighbors and friends.  I will tell you, playing with my grand children is the greatest reward I could receive.  Before the weight loss I could only sit and watch them play.  People that know me will tell you I am not the type of person to sit and watch. My weight loss has given me my life back.  Obesity is a type of imprisonment within your own body.  I f you are overweight or obese, I want to empower you with the knowledge to lose all the weight you want to lose and be healthy!

Do you know what the number one killer in America is? How about lifestyle choices which include diet and activity . This includes heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure.

If you are overweight I want you to know that you can lose that weight and keep it off. I know you are shaking your head saying I have tried and tried and tried again and I lose some weight and then life bucks me off the diet and I gain it back. I went though those thoughts too and tried a lot of diets. I literally dieted my way to almost 450 pounds. I have walked in your shoes and I have succeeded at losing over 200 pounds and kept it off.  I must tell you, I enjoy eating today more that ever.

Please listen to me, believe me,  you can lose the extra weight you are carrying. A lot of my clients use the same excuses I did.  I blamed my genes, my ex-wife,  my schedule, stress from work even bad luck.  Genetics only go so far. Science has shown repeatedly  that our lifestyle choices can trump genetics a majority of the time.  We all have people, schedules and jobs that stress us. There are no acceptable excuses to neglect our health.

There is no shortcut or pill for weight loss.  If there was, I would have found it.  Surgery should always be the last option. You will have to make huge sacrifices once you have your stomach stabled or banded. The answer is to discovery why you have gained the weight and then to correct it.  You must learn how to eat and live a healthy lifestyle.

How to get started, read this document and understand that just reading a manual or word document isn’t the answer. We must tailor the information in this document for your unique situation. I promise, you will not be hungry or deprived any foods.

It requires a warriors attitude! You must declare war on your fat! You must make slow gradual changes and understand it takes time. We want you to lose no more than 2 pounds per week.

If you want my help just ask .

Healthy Wishes

Wally’s Daily Dose