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Posted by on in Nutrition

I don't  think there is one person on this planet who would argue that tobacco is an addictive substance. That’s a no-brainer.



But what would you think if I told you some of your favorite foods might be just as addictive? In my 20 year career taking care of women, I have seen a lot of addictive behaviors particularly when it comes to food.


And one food that seems to be especially addictive is cheese.


Cheese…. It was a part of my life since I was a kid. Being raised in a Catholic Italian family, every Friday night my mom would make; baked ziti, ravioli, lasagna, stuffed shells or manicotti for dinner. And that cheese tradition continued into my adulthood.


Years later while studying nutrition; I learned that all dairy products contained morphine like substances called casomorphin. Yup, you heard it right.


Since 1970, Americans have tripled their consumption of cheese from 8 pounds per person to a whopping 35 pounds a year and here is the reason.


Cheese is a highly concentrated form of dairy that has an added kick; casein. Casein, the protein found in cheese breaks apart during digestion to release a whole host of opiates called casomorphin.


Multiple studies have shown that casomorphin is just as addictive as morphine but to a much lesser degree. I guess that is why some of my clients “can’t live without it”. It binds to the opoid receptors in your brain which are involved in controlling pain, reward and addiction.


Knowing this, is it any wonder why pizza came out on top of the most addictive foods list.


Check this out; it takes 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese and casein is the substance that coagulates the solid milk fats and separates them from the liquids- also known as whey.


Some scientists go so far as to describe cheese as “dairy crack”, because the more casein in a food, the more casomorphins.


For decades cheese has been linked to heart disease, digestive disorders, gas, bloating, weight gain and constipation. But there are many who would debate that statement.


So, do you really think dairy does a body good?

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Posted by on in Nutrition


I have always been the kind of person who likes to break rules and this is one of my favorite rules to break; eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day to burn fat and speed up your metabolism.


There was a time when I blindly followed the “grazing” strategy and it worked for a while –until it stopped working and I started gaining weight.


So if eating mini meals is supposed to speed up your metabolism and burn fat, why are we more overweight than ever?


I want to share with you the dangers of eating 5-6 mini meals and the benefits of eating 3 squares a day.


Stored fat is the body’s “steady, gets you through the day” and your brain’s preferred fuel source; it is like a slow burning log in the fireplace. On the other hand, sugar and carbohydrates are more like paper being thrown on the fire; you get a quick rush of energy and then the next thing you know, you hit the crash line.


But when you “graze” throughout the day, your body uses sugar for fuel instead of stored fat. When I talk about sugar, I am referring to carbohydrates like the healthy snack bar, yogurt, cookie or bag of chips you just ate.


Think about this; why should your body dig into stored fat for fuel, when it gets express meals delivered every 3 hours? Not to mention that when you are constantly “grazing” your insulin (a fat storing and hunger hormone) levels go up 6 times a day rather than only 3 times a day.


Experts tell us that grazing;


Speeds up your metabolism

Helps you lose weight

Keeps your blood sugar level

It keeps cravings at bay


Unfortunately, there is no evidence supporting their claims. In 2002, the New York Academy of Sciences published a report stating that all-day grazing can put you at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.



But there is plenty of evidence to support eating 3 squares a day. A 2 month study published in the book “The 3-Season Diet 2000” by John Douillard, found that people who retrained their bodies to burn stored fat by eating 3 meals a day lost an average of 1.2 pounds a week.


They also had:


  • Increased energy levels
  • Clarity of thought
  • Better sleep
  • No more cravings


Eating 3 meals a day might sound hard, but according to celebrity nutritionist JJVirgin PhD, “three meals a day is making a comeback as a weight loss strategy. Start by eating your first meal within one hour of getting up and the last meal within three hours before bed.”


I believe that snacking is just another way for BIG FOOD to make more money off the American public. It's time to start listening to your body's unique nutritional needs and not what so called experts tell you.

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Posted by on in Nutrition


Marilyn Monroe passed away more than 50 years ago, but celebrities like Elizabeth Hurley and Roseanne Barr are still debating what her actual dress size was.


Every Thursday night 7 million viewers tune into watch "The Biggest Loser" and Americans spend 33 billion dollars annually on diet related products and programs.


So, has our obsession with dieting become our new favorite pastime and are you one of those obsessed people who’ve become a professional dieter?

Take the quiz to find out.


The “Professional Dieters” Quiz


•Do you tune in to watch The Biggest Loser every week?
•Do you make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, eat healthy or exercise?
•In the past year, have you spent money on weight loss products; books, DVD’s, pills, or programs?
•Is there a piece of exercise equipment sitting in your bedroom with clothes on it?
•When you “cheat” on your diet, do you make a promise to get back on track tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes?
•Do you have clothes in your closet that do not fit, but you keep them, hoping one day they will fit?
•Have you joined a gym only to stop going a few weeks later?
•Do you avoid looking in mirrors?
•Do you use blame menopause for your weight gain?


If you answered “yes” to any 2 questions, you’re on your way to becoming a professional dieter

If you answered “yes” to any 3 questions, you have a part-time job as a professional dieter

If you answered “yes” to any 4 questions, you ARE a professional dieter


Tomorrow I will share some tips so you can quit your job as a professional dieter.


The pay is lousy anyway.

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Posted by on in Nutrition

Have you seen the new Weight Watchers commercial featuring the new stockholder and spokesperson Oprah Winfrey?

Apparently, this commercial is bringing people to tears because so many women who have struggled with body image (including myself) can identify with Oprah’s struggles.

At one point Oprah says "Inside every overweight woman is the woman she knows she can be". Some women found that to be insulting and so that brings up the question;

Should you let your dress size determine your self worth?

As a nation, we have watched Oprah struggle with her weight since 1988 when she dropped 67 pounds to 1990 she tipped the scales at 237 pounds!


Even with all the ups and downs in her weight, she still has achieved more success in her lifetime than most of us can ever dream of.


Let's face it, Oprah will be successful at whatever she puts her mind to and that success has nothing to do with what size she wears.


Don’t get me wrong; I am not condoning being overweight because it leads to all sorts of health problems some of which are not reversible.



But know this; your body has set point- a certain weight at which it likes to stay. It seems that no matter what I do to take off a few pounds, my body likes hanging around 143-145 lbs. And your body is no different.


I believe as long as you are eating whole, natural foods, being active at least twice a week and practicing other healthy habits, does it really matter what size you are?

I think Weight Watcher commercials should take the emphasis off numbers and put more emphasis on how to live a happy, healthy productive life.

Oprah is a remarkable woman and my opinion of her will not change even if her body weight does.

 Will losing weight make her more successful; probably not.

Who you are, what you have achieved in your life, what you are planning to do with the rest of your life, has nothing to do with the size of your jeans.

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Posted by on in Nutrition

From muffins, to bagels, sandwiches, boxes of cereal, soda’s, lattes, dinner plates and refrigerators, we are a nation obsessed with things that are supersized. And that obsession with supersized portions, plates and utensils has led us down the road to obesity.


So how did this portion distortion get started? The supersize me era started in the late 1970’s as a way for fast food restaurant owners to compete in a very competitive field. “Restaurant meals of all kinds have gotten larger with an emphasis on getting more food for the money," the Center for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in a 2006 report. "Americans are surrounded by larger portion sizes at relatively low prices, appealing to the consumer's economic sensibilities. However, the cost to America's health may be higher than most people realize."


Since 1955, fast food restaurants have steadily increased the size of their food in order to stand out from their competition. Check out this brief video





Well, I don’t eat at KFC or Micky D’s, so I was fairly certain that I wasn’t supersizing my meals, but I after reading “Mindless Eating” by Cornell University’s Brian Wansink, PhD, I found out just how wrong I was.


It never occurred to me that the size of my dinner plates, bowls and even utensils would be subject to portion distortion. But they are. The size of an average dinner plate grew from 9 inches in 1960, to 10 inches in 1980 and now has expanded to 12 inches or larger. The dinner plates your grandparents used always had a border which made you think you were eating a larger portion than you were. On the other hand, the plates we use today are 12 inches across the middle and holds twice as much food!


I love this story about my friend Betsy who was antique hunting. She spied two beautiful dinner plates and asked the shop keeper if she had any more. The shop keeper replied “These aren’t dinner plates, they’re serving platters”.


While increased plate sizes hasn’t been the sole contributor to the obesity epidemic, large quantities of cheap food have distorted our perceptions of what a typical meal is supposed to look like.



So what are we to do? You are invited to join the Small Plate Challenge where you can lose weight just by changing plates! Start by eating dinner from a 9 or 10 inch plate for one month. This is not a diet, but it is a step in the right direction toward making healthier choices and eating smaller portions at night.


This challenge encourages eating whole foods, lean proteins and healthy fats, while avoiding packaged, refined, highly processed foods.


When you join this FREE challenge, you’ll receive daily motivational e-mails and lots of tips to keep you going .And just for joining you’ll get a FREE 21 day membership to either Fitness Concepts in Hensonville or Hyer-Expectations Fitness Studio in Catskill.


If you want to take the challenge, private message me and I’ll set it up.

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dieting sucks