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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.)

Herbal Weight Loss Products

These days, there is a great need for overweight Americans to lose weight. There is a long  list of dieting options available. There are exercise programs, exercise machines, dietary supplements, dietary food and drinks, diet pills, etc.

One option to shed those unwanted pounds is to use herbal products. Herbal weight loss products have been in great demand for people who want to lose weight the natural way. The following are some herbal weight loss options that you might want to consider.


There are a lot of herbal weight loss products available on the market now. Be careful, however, as there are some products that claim to be safe and natural because they are herbal, but some actually have side effects.

Here are some ingredients and chemicals that you should watch for, as they may be harmful to your health:

Aloe. Most often used as a topical product for wound healing, oral forms of aloe are added to herbal weight-loss products. Oral aloe produces a strong cathartic response (producing bowel movements) and many aloe weight loss products are marketed as "internal cleansers." However, aloe or aloe-containing products should not be ingested orally if you have intestinal problems like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or abdominal pain of an unknown reason. Use of this agent orally has lead to side effects such as abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and problems with the body's mineral balance. 

Cascara. Cascara is a common ingredient used in weight loss products. One of the few herbs approved as an over-the-counter drug by the FDA, it is a strong stimulant laxative. Misuse of this herb has caused problems with the body's minerals (such as potassium, sodium). It should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Cascara may interact with drugs such as Lanoxin and diuretics

Chitosan (KITE-o-san). This dietary supplement is made from chitin, a starch found in the skeleton of shrimp, crab, and other shellfish. Chitosan cannot be digested; therefore it passes through your intestinal tract unabsorbed without adding any calories. The chemical nature of Chitosan makes it bind with fatty foods, removing some of the fat from your body as it passes through rather than allowing it to be absorbed. Several studies, however, found no more weight loss from Chitosan than from a placebo (sugar pill).

Chromium Picolinate. This is a synthetic compound found in herbal weight loss products. Chromium is a nutrient that helps regulate blood-sugar level.  However, this ingredient, when taken in high doses, may cause damage in the chromosomes. It can also lead to dehydration.

Dandelion. Dandelion is a natural diuretic. It may produce significant weight loss by decreasing body water. However, it can cause allergic reactions and heartburn.

Glucomannan. Made from the root of Amorphophallus Konjac, glucomannan is said to contribute to weight loss by delaying the absorption of glucose from the intestines. Small limited studies have shown glucomannan to be effective in decreasing body weight. This effect is believed to be due to a "feeling of fullness" which may be due to the swelling of the glucomannan in the gut once it has been exposed to liquids. However, esophageal obstruction has been reported in several people taking glucomannan.

Green Tea. Studies show that intake of green tea, or green tea extracts burns extra calories. This is one good option for those who want to lose weight. In one study, people who drank green tea every day were found to lose 2 to 3 times more weight than those who did not drink green tea. These results show that green tea is a natural product for weight loss. A cup of tea gives an immediate energy lift without the side effects of caffeine. Green tea is also an antioxidant.

Guarana. Made from the seeds of a plant native to Brazil, guarana is used to promote weight loss due to its stimulant and diuretic effect. Guarana contains 3% to 5% caffeine and may cause high blood pressure. Some of the extracts have been known to cause prolonged bleeding and interact with blood thinning drugs such as Coumadin. Side effects from guarana may include nausea, dizziness, and anxiousness.

Immortality Herb. This herb is called Jiaogulan in China and Gymnostemna Pentaphylum in medical terms and is known to have the following benefits: 

*increases healthy blood flow
*reduces artery blocks
*aids healthy blood pressure
*increases the rate of fat burning

Do not take it with anticoagulants or antiplatelets as it can cause uncontrolled bleeding. 
Senna. This is an herbal laxative. Senna is a main ingredient in weight loss teas and it works by stimulating the colon. The downside effect of this herb is dehydration. It can also lead to colon problems and can become addictive. Some people, when addicted, are unable to perform bowel movements without it. 
St. John's wort. This supplement increases the production of a chemical in the brain. If not used properly, it may cause eye and skin sensitivity, mild gastrointestinal distress, fatigue and itching. 

Although a lot of herbal products claim to be safe and natural, research the ingredients and the effects of the product itself before using them.

Advice for Taking Herbal Medicines
  • If you become ill while taking an herbal remedy, see a doctor or consult with a health care professional.
  • Do not take herbs if you're pregnant or nursing.
  • Do not take large quantities of any one herbal preparation.
  • Do not take any herb on a daily basis.
  • Buy only preparations in which the plants are listed on the packet.
  • Do not take herbal remedies without first talking to your doctor.
Keep in mind that herbal preparations will not provide permanent weight loss and there are multiple ingredients in herbal weight loss preparations, some of which have serious side effects and can lead to dangerous toxicities. The use of herbal remedies to lose weight is not generally recommended by the medical community due to the high risk of toxicities and lack of effectiveness.


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