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The purpose of our blog is to share what we have learned about nutrition, weight loss, fitness, and health, in order to help you find ways to feel better and live longer. It is amazing how much our diet and lifestyle affect our health and well-being.

Did you know that you can reduce your risk and even prevent many diseases and health conditions simply by making some changes to your diet? Check back often for valuable tips and information.


For the first time in my life I have found weight loss success. During my adult life I have tried dozens and dozens of so-called "diets" and none of them worked over the long-haul. Oh, I was able to lose weight with some of them, but once I went off of the "diet" I quickly gained back all of my weight (plus some).

I have finally learned that losing weight has to be a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. Crash diets and all the other crazy diets will not only cause you to fail, they are harmful to your health. To lose weight and keep it off you must NOT go on a "diet." What? Why? Because we all consider a "diet" a temporary thing. For example, how many times have you said, "Oh, I will go on this low-fat diet until I lose 20 pounds." Okay, what happens after you lose the 20 pounds? Or you simply give up? You go back to your old habits and gain that 20 pounds back.

The only way you will ever be successful at losing weight, with the added benefit of improving your health, is to make healthy changes that you can live with for the rest of your life. Period. Not for a week, a month or 3 months, but for life. For me, my initial goal was to lower my cholesterol level. I had to have a blood test for my insurance coverage and my cholesterol level had to be lower than the previous year's levels or I would have to pay a much higher premium. Well, that was a pretty good incentive for me make some positive changes.

I sat down and figured out what I needed to do. I knew I had to change the way I ate and I knew I had to exercise in some form or other every day. So, I made a list and I stuck to it. It was difficult at first. To make matters worse, I am a compulsive eater. However, as the days went by, it became much easier because my body stopped craving sweets and processed foods. For the first time in my life, I was never tempted to binge because I never felt deprived.

Use the list below and make whatever changes you need to make in order for it to work for you. FYI, my cholesterol level dropped 65 points after 7 weeks, and my triglycerides dropped 70 points!
Another benefit that I hadn't planned on was that after being an insomniac since my teen-age years, I now sleep like a baby every night!


1. Avoid "white" Foods & Processed Foods.
These foods have no nutritional value and are "empty" calories. Sweets, anything made with white flour,and anything that comes in a package with a long list of ingredients.
Always read the food labels. Stay away from those long lists of ingredients. The longer the list, the more chemicals and additives are present. These are extremely toxic to your body.

2. Drink Lots of
Water. Water keeps your body's organs hydrated and flushes out unhealthy toxins. It helps to fill you up and reduces your urge to over-eat.

3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast.
Instead of coffee and donuts, try fruit, yogurt, grains like oatmeal or whole grain toast, and lean protein. NEVER skip breakfast. By eating a large, healthy meal when you get up in the morning, your metabolism will "rev up" and you will not be hungry by mid-morning. If you skip breakfast, your
body will go into starvation mode and store calories in your body as FAT, yes FAT! So do yourself a big favor and eat breakfast.

4. Reduce Your Stress Level.
So many of us live with too much
stress. Stress lowers your immune system, making it easier to get sick. It also makes us lethargic, tired, and depressed. There are a lot of simple things you can do and a lot of ways to feel better about yourself and your life. Take a long, hot bath, read a book, listen to music, get a massage. Do something nice for yourself. Giving yourself something to look forward to is a tremendous mental incentive.

5. Move!
Oh my gosh! There are so many ways to incorporate movement into your day, even at work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get up every hour and walk around your floor, your hallway or your desk. Park your car in the farthest space from where you need to be. Walk or bike to work. Skate, dance, golf, jump rope, clean house, play tag. The best exercise you can do is to walk. Try to take a walk every day! The more you move, the more your metabolism will be your friend. (I walk 3 miles every day whether it is raining, snowing or freezing.)

Diverticular Disease

What is diverticula disease? Diverticula are pouches that push outward through vulnerable areas in the colon. Diverticulosis is the condition of having diverticula. Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula become infected. Diverticulosis and diverticulitis are called diverticular disease.


Diverticular disease is rare in countries where people eat high-fiber diets. The disease was first noticed around the time that processed foods were introduced into the western diet. Our highly refined western diet, with inadequate amounts of fiber, is the primary cause of diverticular disease.

Because processed foods contain refined, low-fiber flour, there is not enough fiber to prevent constipation. Chronic constipation forces the muscles to strain in order to move hard stools. This increased pressure in the colon causes weak spots that force the colon to bulge out and become diverticula.


DIVERTICULOSIS: Symptoms are chronic constipation, diarrhea, cramping, and bloating. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately to determine if you are suffering from diverticulosis.

DIVERTICULITIS: Because diverticulitis occurs when the pouches become infected, the most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain. There may also be nausea, vomiting, fever, chills and cramping. The extent of the symptoms is dependent upon the level of the infection.


DIVERTICULOSIS: Treatment for diverticular disease includes a high-fiber diet. Fiber keeps the stool soft and lowers pressure inside the colon so that bowel contents can move through easily. If you increase your fiber intake, make sure you increase your fluid intake at the same time. (Drink at least 3 pints per day).

Occasionally, mild pain medications that help relieve symptoms can be prescribed. The doctor may also recommend taking a fiber product such as Citrucel or Metamucil once a day.

Avoid foods that may irritate or get caught in the diverticula. These include nuts, popcorn hulls, sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds. The seeds in tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries, and raspberries are considered to be harmless.

DIVERTICULITIS: The primary goal of treatment for diverticulitis is to clear up the infection, rest the colon, and prevent complications. If there are no complications, antibiotics can heal the infection within a few days.

To rest the colon, the doctor may suggest bed rest, along with a liquid diet. An acute attack with severe pain or severe infection may require a hospital stay.


*The table below shows the approximate amount of fiber in some foods that you can easily add to your diet:

apple 1 medium = 4g fiber
peach 1 medium = 2g
pear 1 medium = 4g
tangerine 1 medium = 2g

acorn squash, fresh, cooked 3/4 cup = 7g fiber
asparagus, fresh, cooked 1/2 cup = 1.5g
broccoli, fresh, cooked 1/2 cup = 2g
Brussels sprouts, fresh, cooked 1/2 cup = 2g
cabbage, fresh, cooked 1/2 cup = 2g
carrot, fresh, cooked 1 = 1.5g
cauliflower, fresh, cooked 1/2 cup = 2g
romaine lettuce 1 cup = 1g
spinach, fresh, cooked 1/2 cup = 2g
tomato, raw 1 = 1 gram
zucchini, fresh, cooked 1 cup = 2.5g

black-eyed peas, fresh, cooked 1/2 cup = 4g
lima beans, fresh, cooked 1/2 cup = 4.5g
kidney beans, fresh, cooked 1/2 cup = 6g
potato, fresh, cooked 1 = 3g

bread, whole-wheat 1 slice = 2g
brown rice, cooked 1 cup = 3.5g
cereal, bran flake 3/4 cup = 5g
oatmeal, plain, cooked 3/4 cup = 3g

*Source: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA Nutrient Database for standard reference.


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