Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The eye of the beholder

Like it or not, people are visual creatures. They use other people's appearance and celebrity images as a basis of comparison to themselves. It's basic human behavior.

I just want to remind you that presentation of celebrities on TV and in magazines is a great deal of visual trickery and should not be used as your standard of beauty. This recently published image of Ellen Degeneres in The Daily Mail shows why.
There is no intent here to denigrate Ellen. I happen to be a big fan of her comedy work. She is 55 and happens to looks 55 without her makeup. There is not a damned thing wrong with being 55 and looking 55. I'll be there soon enough myself. I just don't want people to feel bad if, when they wake up in the morning, they don't pop out of bed looking like a super model. The truth is super models DON'T EITHER!
 For even more examples, check these out...
Dove's Model Before and After Makeup
33 Celebreties Without Makeup 
Stars Without Makeup Slideshow
10 Horrible Model Photoshop Fails

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Poppin' tags...

Thrift stores are your friend when you are embarking on a low carb lifestyle. With rapid weight loss, body composition changes and downward-moving measurements, clothes become too big too fast to buy new. Save yourself a lot of money and head down to your local thrift shop.

In my area, Goodwill has a great selection, reasonable prices and daily sales. Other good thrift stores include the ARC and the Salvation Army. If your town lacks good thrift stores, consignments shops can also be a good bet. Keep in mind that the less money you spend on clothes, the more money you have for steak and coconut oil.

(Yeah, that's me. 210 lbs and shrinking.)

This entire outfit, including shoes, was less than $14.00. So you can really go poppin' tags with only $20 in your pocket!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Oatmeal Manifesto

The topic of oatmeal came up in a low carb discussion group today. Someone posted a recipe for oatmeal and banana pancakes. Since this was in a low carb group, several people commented that the recipe was in no way low carb. The original poster got defensive and stated that while oatmeal pancakes were not low carb, at least they were healthy because oatmeal is good for you. But is it really?

I say no, oatmeal is not a health food. The typical blood sugar spikes associated with eating oatmeal are bad enough, but when you through in the phytic acid content, it's only slightly better for you than wheat, which is a proven nutritional disaster. If you want to eat oatmeal because of the taste - eat it! Just be aware of the risks. Don't operate under the delusion that oats are some kind of health food. Not only are they not a health food, oats are definitely not something you should recommend to people on a low carb diet cruising for low carb breakfast ideas in a low carb forum. 

Whether or not you eat oatmeal (either in plain or pancake form) is up to you and based on your body. Even a tiny bit of oatmeal is enough to trigger serious inflammation for me. This makes me sad because oatmeal with cream and maple syrup is one of my old winter breakfast favorites. If you happen to be at your goal weight, have no problems maintaining your weight loss and don't have serious blood sugar issues, you might want to try steel cut oats soaked overnight ala Nourishing Traditions. After all, oats are comforting, filling and relatively inexpensive.

If you want to totally avoid oatmeal's carb count risks or the phytic acid content, there are some really great low carb pancake recipes out there. The Nourishing Days coconut flour pancake recipe is my personal favorite. To keep it lower carb, skip the honey and use some monk fruit or erythritol for sweetener.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Coupon Alert!

Heads up coupon clippers! On there are coupons on Nevella liquid sweetener, Hormel canned chicken, Atkins meals, Planters peanut butter, and Johnsonville Sausage. Usually coupons are just for junk, but there are actually low carb and paleo-friendly offers this week. I also noticed coupons for Oscar Myer Pulled Pork, Diet Pepsi and Pepperoni were on the list.

While I love to cook from scratch and think that is the healthiest, let's be honest. Life gets hectic. If you have some low carb/paleo packed food on hand it can keep you from diving in to a bag of potato chips from the 7-11. Visit here.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Low carb on the go: McDonald's

2 McDoubles (no cheese) and a grilled Chicken Snack Wrap with mayo (no ranch) in between. Buns and wrap removed. Low carb, filling and only $4.25.

And here is the nutrition data. Only 8 grams of carbohydrates!

This is not a perfect meal. There are still omega 6 fatty acids in the mayo and high fructose corn syrup in the ketchup. But if you have to make a fast food run, you could do a heck of a lot worse.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WARNING! Know your HCG!

You may have heard about it from friends. You may have seen awesome before and after photos posted online. You may even work with someone using it. I am talking about the "weight loss miracle" known as HCG.

HCG is a natural hormone produced during pregnancy. In the 50's, a British Doctor did research at an Italian hospital and found that HCG hormone injections combined with a low calorie protocol and a low carb maintenance phase could induce long term successful weight loss. Even with the low, 500 calorie diet you follow while receiving the injections, you do not experience hunger because the HCG helps mobilize fat out of your cells and in to circulation. It is easy to understand the appeal.

If you decide to look in to HCG, you have to be very careful. There are several different forms of HCG on the market and most of them contain no HCG hormone at all. Because of a recent crackdown by the FDA on people selling HCG hormone, most of what you find commercially will be listed as homeopathics, all natural, hormone-free, encoded, imprinted or herbal formulas. None of these contain the actual HCG hormone and none of them were used during the studies done by Dr. Simeons in the 1950's. In order to help you avoid purchasing "fancy water" under the guise of buying HCG, I have listed information on the different types of HCG below.

1) HCG Injections: This is the real stuff used by Dr. Simeons. The injection mix contains actual Hcg hormone. The hormone comes freeze dried and must be mixed with bacteriostatic water and kept refrigerated. The HCG will be a brand name like Ovidac, Corion, or Hucog. It will not come premixed, nor will the label read Hcg 3x6x12x30x (or something similar).

Because of US law and rulings by the FDA, there are only 2 ways to get actual HCG injections.
a) 'Grey Market' through an overseas pharmacy, or,
b) through your doctor or a doctor-run weight loss clinic

2) HCG Sublingual Liquid: Also the "real stuff". Contains the same freeze dried actual hormone (Ovidac, Corion, etc...) which must be suspended in a solution of colloidial silver and/or liquid vitamin B-12 and alcohol. Items are shipped separately or as kits and you will have to mix the final form of the solution for yourself. DO NOT confuse sublingual HCG formulations with HCG drops or pellets! You CAN NOT buy sublingual HCG over the counter at a health food store or in the vitamin department at your local Walmart. Just like HCG injections, you will have to get your freeze dried hormone from an over seas pharmacy OR you will have to have it prescribed to you by your doctor or have it supplied at a doctor-run weight loss clinic.

WARNING: Recent research by Dr. Sheri Emma has shown that prescription HCG taken sublingually is UNDETECTABLE in the blood stream. Your body CAN NOT absorb HCG under the tongue. The only way to get HCG in to your system is via injections. Read her study findings here.

3) Homeopathic HCG Drops or Pellets: These are readily available from vitamin shops, online herbal remedy stores, and websites. They are sold "over the counter" because they DO NOT CONTAIN ANY MEASURABLE LEVEL OF THE ACTUAL HCG HORMONE. Being homoeopathic, the hcg is diluted again and again and again, supposedly giving the solution the "imprint" or "memory" of HCG. Homeopathic HCG will be followed by a series of numbers like 3x 6x 12x 30x 60x or a similar combination of numbers indicating the level of dilution. According to homeopathic theory, the more diluted a formula is, the stronger it gets.

The homeopathic HCG is then paired with a combination of amino acids, sometimes vitamin B-12, and a preservative such as alcohol or colloidal silver. The preservative used and amino acid, vitamin, herbal or mineral composition will differ depending on the manufacturer.*

4) Hormone-free HCG: Also readily available from vitamin shops, online herbal remedy stores, and websites. Like drops and pellets, they are sold "over the counter" because they DO NOT CONTAIN ANY MEASURABLE LEVEL OF THE ACTUAL HCG HORMONE. Instead of HCG, they may contain amino acids, vitamins and/or herbal blends. In some cases they may contain actual animal thyroid or hypothalamus gland. Read the label carefully.*

5) HHCG, Imprinted HCG or Electronically Encoded HHCG or HCG: Usually sold through internet sales, facebook groups and independent distributors. Like drops and pellets, they are direct to consumers and they DO NOT CONTAIN ANY MEASURABLE LEVEL OF THE ACTUAL HCG HORMONE. Instead of HCG, these formulas may contain minerals, sea salts, amino acids, vitamin and/or herbal blends, but are marketed as being electrically "encoded" or "imprinted" with the bioelectrical signature of the HCG hormone. This is similar to the theory of homeopathy that believes shaking "encodes" water with the memory of HCG, but instead this uses electricity and some sort of encoding machine to create the finished product.*

WARNING: Homeopathic drops, pellets, and encoded or imprinted HCG formulas contain no measurable amount of HCG . If they contained HCG, they would be illegal to sell without prescription in the United States. Even more importantly, THE SIMEONS PROTOCOL DID NOT USE HOMEOPATHIC DROPS, ENCODED DROPS, IMPRINTED DROPS OR ANY TYPE OF PELLET. The Simeons Protocol used REAL hormone formulas only. If you use homeopathic drops or pellets, etc..., YOU ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE POUNDS AND INCHES PROTOCOL and are not getting any real HCG.

NOTE: It is my personal belief that homeopathic and hormone-free drops can actually lead to weight loss, but not by the ingestion of imprinted HCG water, magical electric currents, or shaking water that once held a tiny amount of HCG. You lose the weight by the low calorie diet, the action of amino acids or herbal remedies added to the homeopathic solutions and/or the natural appetite suppression some people experience simply through ketosis. For some formulas, instead of HCG, you are actually stimulating your own body to produce HGH. While this can be an effective weight loss tool for some people it has risks and you should be fully aware of them. I believe the advertisement and selling of homeopathic, encoded, imprinted or hormone-free HCG to be deceptive and an intentional fraud. Rather than ordering from an hcg promoting company, check your local vitamin store to see if they have just an amino acid blend. It will be MUCH CHEAPER than buying anything with the magic letters HCG on the label.

Even better, read THE MOOD CURE by Julia Ross and get a real, tested idea of how amino acids can help you. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Healthy snacks?

I just checked this list of "100 Healthy Snacks" recommended by the Ohio State Diabetes Research Center.

About half of them would send my blood sugar through the roof. Raisins? Goldfish Crackers? Triscuts? Graham Crackers? Lime SHERBERT? These high-carb, high-sugar snacks are not a healthy option for anyone let alone a diabetic. They are junk food. Sure, some junk food now and then wont kill you, but if you are eating these foods because you think they are "healthy" and ALSO doing occasional junk food indulgences, you have a great formula for out of control blood sugar and weight gain. So, is Ohio State using a definition of "healthy" I am not familiar with?