Thursday, April 30, 2009

Take the Diet Detective's Refrigerator Quiz

Take the Diet Detective's Refrigerator Quiz - WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News:

By Charles Stuart Platkin

One of the first things you should do if you're planning to live a healthier life is evaluate your food surroundings --specifically your fridge. Here's a short quiz to help you determine what you might need to upgrade. Start at zero and add or subtract points based on your (honest) answers.

1. The following best describes your fridge ...

a. It's clean and organized - we even have a new box of baking soda. (+3)
b. It's stocked, but it hasn't been cleaned since we moved in five years ago. (0)
c. It's not filthy, but I wouldn't exactly call it clean. (-1)
d. It's a complete mess and completely disorganized - I need to get to that. (-2)

Diet Detective Tip: Would you choose to shop in a dirty, poorly laid out grocery store? Keep your fridge clean and organized into sections, just like a supermarket.

2. How many different kinds of fruits and vegetables do you have in your refrigerator now?

a. There's only one vegetable (some string beans) and two apples - with a bit of mold. (0)
b. None. I don't buy them because they always go bad. (-2)
c. Several different kinds of vegetables and fruits - we have peppers, squash, spinach, fresh salad greens, broccoli, apples, oranges, strawberries and watermelon. (+4)
d. We have some corn and an onion. (+1)

Diet Detective Tip: Put healthful foods like salad fixings and cut-up fruits and vegetables at eye level. That way they'll be the first things you see when you open the fridge. Keep all the high-cal foods in the fruit and veggie drawer or in the back.

3. Your milk and dairy products are ...

a. Whatever is on sale. (-1)
b. Chocolate milk, cheese, cream cheese and cream (-3)
c. Skim or fat-free milk, low-fat yogurt with no added sugar, low-fat half-and-half, containers of egg whites. (+4)
d. Milk, butter, eggs, yogurt (full fat but no added sugar). (+1)
e. Some 2 percent milk, provolone cheese and yogurt (but it looks like the yogurt has a lot of added sugar). (-1)
f. Regular milk, American cheese slices and various other cheeses. No yogurt. (-2)

Diet Detective Tip: Dairy is an important source of calcium, but it can be high in calories. Make sure to stick to low- or no-fat versions.

4. How many desserts/sweets do you have in your freezer now?

a. The Ben & Jerry's and Haagen-Dazs never run out. We have at least six flavors. (-2)
b. A frozen apple pie and frozen chocolate cake, plus loads of ice cream, a few ice cubes, one frozen Snickers bar. (-4)
c. Frozen fruit bars, frozen grapes, fat-free frozen yogurt. (+2)
d. No desserts. (+1)

Diet Detective Tip: Freeze fruits such as bananas and grapes, or make a smoothie with nothing but fresh fruit and a bit of no-sugar-added apple juice and freeze with Popsicle sticks in an ice tray. You should have something healthy and sweet on hand to satisfy those cravings.

5. Where are the water bottles in relation to the juices or sodas?

a. There is no soda or juice, just bottled water and a water-filtering pitcher right in front, then unsweetened iced green tea and skim milk. (+3)
b. Who needs water? Mostly we drink cola. (-3)
c. Mostly diet drinks - soda, iced tea, low-cal juice. (0)

Diet Detective Tip: Soda and juice are high in calories; try to keep water or unsweetened iced tea in the front - so you grab that first. Better yet, toss the cola.

6. Your peanut butter has ...

a. No added sugar or any other additional ingredients. (+3)
b. Added sugar and also added fat and salt. (-3)
c. Added sugar, but it's fat free. (-1)

Diet Detective Tip: Check the ingredients in all of your foods. Make sure there's no added sugar and that you can pronounce everything that's in what you eat.

7. When you get to your fridge you ...

a. Find yourself standing in front of the open door picking at leftovers. (-3)
b. Know exactly what you want and don't linger. (+3)
c. Stare at the fridge and grab the first thing you see that's edible. (-1)
d. Find that it's empty. (-2)

Diet Detective Tip: Always know what you're going to eat before you get there.

8. Which best describes the condiments in your fridge?

a. Mustard, salsa, relish, ketchup, low-cal salad-dressing spritzers (e.g., Wish-Bone Spritzers). (+3)
b. Ranch or blue cheese dressing, jelly, tartar sauce. (-3)
c. Butter, margarine, mayonnaise. (-3)

Diet Detective Tip: You would be shocked at how many calories condiments can add. Use mustard, salsa, spices and other low-cal condiments to add flavor.

9. Your fruits and vegetables are ...

a. Right where I can see them - front and center. (+4)
b. In the fruit and vegetable drawer, but they're always fresh. (+2)
c. In the fruit and vegetable drawer - but I always forget about them. (0)
d. Completely absent. The fruit and vegetable drawer has a few batteries and a bottle of Champagne we still haven't drunk from two years ago. (-3)

Diet Detective Tip: Fruits and veggies should be front and center so you see them.

10. If you had to make a meal from your fridge, you have ...

a. Chicken or tuna salad, bacon (but no lettuce or tomatoes), salami or bologna. (-2)
b. Lean roast beef, all-beef hot dogs. (+1)
c. Chicken breast, sliced turkey, leftover grilled salmon and turkey meatballs.(+3)
d. Leftover Chinese takeout. (-3)

Diet Detective Tip: Use lean protein and have a few meals prepared in advance.

11. How often do you make meals in batches and store them in the freezer or fridge?

a. Never. I typically eat out or bring in takeout. (-3)
b. I do that, but it's usually something like spaghetti and meatballs - nothing too healthy. (0)
c. I batch-cook healthy, low-calorie meals with the family every couple of weeks. We put some in the fridge and freeze the rest. (+4)

Diet Detective Tip: Buy healthy ingredients at the supermarket and batch-cook on Saturday or Sunday. Have the entire family help create several dishes for the next few weeks and freeze them in high-quality containers.

12. In the freezer I have ...

a. Frozen pizza, steak and a few Hungry-Man meals. Also juice concentrate, hot dogs and mac and cheese. (-3)
b. Chicken breast and other lean protein (turkey, fish), salmon, low-calorie frozen dinners (Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, Healthy Choice, Seeds of Change, Kashi, Amy's, etc.), sorbet, frozen vegetables (e.g., Steamfresh), containers with healthy homemade meals prepared in batches. (+4)
c. Ice, just ice. (0)
d. 2-year-old frozen veggies, orange and grape juice concentrate and a few containers of ice cream. (-2)

Diet Detective Tip: The freezer can be a dieter's best friend. Storing batch-cooked foods and low-calorie frozen dinners can be a great alternative to fast food.

13. On the front of your fridge there are ...

a. Inspirational healthy eating messages and a shopping list. (+4)
b. Photos of family and friends. (+2)
c. Unhealthy recipes and photos of cakes, muffins and other things I want to bake. (-1)

Diet Detective Tip: Research shows that inspirational messages help to keep you on track. Creating a shopping list helps to keep you from being tempted when you do go shopping.

14. When you open your fridge door you see ...

a. Leftover food stored in foil that's been reused several times and isn't really airtight. (-1)
b. Lots of plastic or sealed glass containers, but I can't tell what's inside. (0)
c. Clear, see-through containers filled with healthy foods. (+3)

Diet Detective Tip: Knowing what you have in your fridge is half the battle. Always store foods in clear, airtight containers.

A score of:

· 43 or more: Ph.D. in Nutrition

· 31 to 42: Nutrition Expert

· 23 to 30: Armchair Nutritionist

· 14 to 22: Simple changes would help

· 0 to 13: Fridge makeover needed

· -1 to -17: Need a game plan

· -18 to -35: Complete overhaul required

· -36 or lower: Seek assistance from a professional

CHARLES STUART PLATKIN is a nutrition and public health advocate, founder of, and host of the new WE TV series "I Want To Save Your Life" (Saturdays, 10 p.m. Eastern | 9 p.m. Central). Copyright 2009 by Charles Stuart Platkin. All rights reserved. Sign up for the free Diet Detective newsletter and iTunes podcast at

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hooters Lite Energy Drink Review

Big Red Boots
Caffeine Examiner

Unlike eatery, Hooters Lite Energy Drink looks nasty but tastes great
May 8, 6:49 AM

Is it inappropriate to be doing a review for Hooters Lite energy drink on a crowded bus? The restaurant is all over the globe, their name and brand is instantly recognisable, and their waitresses are infamous. So why am I still embarrassed to whip out the can and start reviewing? I wonder what it says about a person who uses the Hooter credit card, or sleeps in the Hooters Hotel and Casino in Vegas...

Fortunately for me, the can is designed mostly tastefully, featuring a very clothed, pleasant and ceaply printed photo of one of their waitresses on the front. I can actually picture the waitress drinking one of these, as this drink has 0 calories, tastes insubstantial to swallow large amounts quicky, so she could keep her work mandated weight down while jumping from table to table hurredly dodging paws, slaps and pickup lines.

This has a light blue color, and a very light citrus flavor. I was definitley expecting a Red Bull knock off, or something cheap - not a unique and very delicious flavor. I have heard it described as much like fresca, and others thought it tasted like light berry. I think te thing is, the flavor in this is so light and airy, it is hard to nail down what the flavor is. Either way, the light taste works for it and proves to be excellent and easy to drink down. I really wanted to not like this flavor - but it is really too tasty to me to scorn. If I could stand the packaging,I would probably stock up!

This has a lot going for it - I got about 3 solid hours of energy from this, with 1900 mg of taurine and 220 mg caffeine. That is a very decent caffeine amount, completely unexpected in a cheap brand drink. I really appeciate how Hooters really put their creative juices into this drink's creation, rather than just farming it out to a bigger company overseas.

The other ingredients in here are what you would expect from an energy drink - full of b vitamin complex, ginseng, inositol, calcium and magnesium. Decent fare from something I did not expect to have anything going for it.

For being hooters, I expected a whole lot more form them. I thought this was either going to be very classy, or very tacky. Turns out it is neither, going for just poorly printed, oddly designed and unorganized. When I think of a hooters drink, I picture something involving big breasts, owls, tacky and fun. Instead, this drink is poorly printed, with a non-buxom waitress staring out with silver shiny eyes. The fonts are hard to read, and the diamond plate on the background not only makes things hard to read, but don't make any sense.of course, it is not double faced, and when you drink from the can you are proudly advertising a big "7", which turns out to be their nascar truck they sponsor. They do list caffeine and taurine and all the rest - which I do appreciate, but if this drink fails it will be solely on the designer's shoulders.

Youknow it says something about your company when your website has been suspended for non-payment....

Friday, April 24, 2009

WARNING: FDA recalls Brooklyn diet pill company’s harmful over the counter supplements

Injury Lawyers News New York | New Jersey

New York’s Universal ABC Beauty Supply products contain illegal drugs.

New York, NY(–The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerts Universal ABC Beauty Supply International, Inc., a Brooklyn based dietary supplement manufacturer, found the illegal, unapproved, and undeclared drug, Sibutramine, in the products the company distributes. Sibutramine, an FDA approved medication used as an appetite suppressant for weight loss, is a prescription approved medication by the federal government. The FDA has not approved the use of this prescription medication ingredient in 34 different Universal ABC Beauty Supply’s products.

The FDA issued a strong advisory to U.S. Consumers about the undeclared , Sibutramine, because the medication is known to cause the following harmful side effects:

-Substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients
-High risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease
-Harmful to consumers with congestive heart failure
-May be risky for patients who have arrhythmias
-Possible injury to patients with a medical history of stroke

A complete list of the 34 recalled products are can be found on the FDA’s website (see below) and includes SLIM FAST, 60 capsules, 3 pouches/box. Consumers should not consume any of the recalled products and may contact the diet supplement weight loss company for a full or partial refund of unused portions at their website. The FDA does not endorse this product or this product’s names and consumers may complain to the FDA’s main number 24 hours a day, 301-443-1240. Injured victims and concerned consumers can also file a report online at If you have been injured by a defective product including an over the counter dietary supplement you may want to contact a New York personal injury lawyer.
Universal ABC Beauty Supply International, Inc. of Brooklyn, NY, has been informed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that FDA lab analyses of the dietary supplements distributed by the company were found to contain undeclared Sibutramine, an FDA-approved drug used as an appetite suppressant for weight loss. These dietary supplements are not supposed to contain Sibutramine. The FDA has not approved these products, therefore the safety and effectiveness of these products is unknown.

FDA advises that these products pose a threat to consumers because Sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias or stroke.

All lots of the following dietary supplement products are being recalled:


1. ProSlim Plus, 60 capsules, bottle in box
2. 3 DAYS fit, 60 capsules, bottle in box
3. EIGHT FACTOR DIET, 60 capsules, 3 pouches/box
4. 24hours Diet, 60 capsules
5. Slim 3in1 M-18 ROYAL DIET, 90 capsules, 3 pouches/box
6. 3X SLIMMING POWER, 60 capsules, bottle in box
7. Extrim Plus 24 Hours RE-BURN Formula, 60 capsules
8. Slim 3in1 EXTRA SLIM FORMULA, 90 capsules, 3 pouches/box
9. Slim 3in1 EXTRA SLIM WAIST FORMULA, 90 capsules, 3 pouches/box
10. SLIM EXPRESS 360ยบ C
11. SLIM EXPRESS 4in1, 60 capsules, bottle in box
12. ROYAL SLIMMING FORMULA, 60 capsules, bottle/box
13. BODY CREATOR, 90 capsules, 3 pouches/box
14. Slim Waistline (labeling written in Chinese)
15. BODY SHAPING, 90 capsules, 3 pouches/box
16. PERFECT SLIM, 90 capsules, 3 pouches/box
17. Perfect Slim 100% Natural Herbal Essence
18. IMELDA Perfect Slim
19. Slim Waist Formula, 32 capsules, 2 pouches/box
20. Super Slimming, 60 capsules, bottle in box
21. 2 DAY DIET
22. Powerful Slim
24. SUPER FAT BURNER, 60 capsules, bottle in box
26. SLIM FAST 2, 32 capsules, 2 pouches/box
27. SLIM FAST, 60 capsules, 3 pouches/box
28. Slim up, 120 capsules, bottle in box
29. 7 DAYS DIET, 60 capsules, 3 pouches/box
30. Perfect Slim Up, 60 capsules, bottle in box
31. JM Fat Reducer
32. SlimBurn
33. 21 Double SLIM

NOTE: The above products may have various UPC numbers.

No illnesses or injuries have been reported to the company to date in connection with this product.

Universal ABC Beauty Supply International, Inc. is taking this voluntary action because it is committed to providing accurate information about its products and because of the concern for the health and safety of consumers. The company has discontinued distribution of these products. It sincerely regrets any inconvenience to customers.

Consumers should not consume the above products and should return the dietary supplements on hand to the place of purchase for a full refund or partial refund of the unused portion. Distributors should contact Sandra Tan by phone at 718-891-6888 or by e-mail at to receive further instructions for returning the product(s). Consumers with questions should contact Sandra Tan at 718-891-6888, Monday through Friday, 12:00 pm through 6 pm, EDT.


Generic Name: sibutramine (oral) (sih BYOO tra meen)
Brand Names: Meridia

What is sibutramine?

Sibutramine affects chemicals in the body that are related to weight maintenance.

Sibutramine is used as a short-term supplement to diet and exercise in the treatment of obesity.

Sibutramine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about sibutramine?

Sibutramine has been reported to cause increased blood pressure in some patients. It is important to have your blood pressure and pulse monitored regularly while taking sibutramine.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Sibutramine may cause dizziness, difficulty concentrating, or restlessness. If you experience these effects, avoid hazardous activities. Do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines without first talking to your doctor, especially weight-loss products, tryptophan (L-tryptophan, 5-HTP), decongestants, antidepressants, cough suppressants, lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithonate, others), and migraine medicines.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking sibutramine?

Do not take sibutramine without first talking to your doctor if you
  • have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), or phenelzine (Nardil) in the last 14 days;

  • are or have been depressed;

  • have bleeding problems;

  • have anorexia nervosa;

  • are taking an appetite suppressant;

  • have high blood pressure;

  • have heart disease, irregular heartbeats, congestive heart failure, or a history of stroke;

  • have epilepsy or another seizure disorder;

  • have gallstones;

  • have glaucoma;

  • have liver disease

  • have kidney disease.

You may not be able to take sibutramine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Sibutramine may interact with other medicines and cause a condition called Serotonin Syndrome. This syndrome requires immediate medical attention and may include one or more of the following symptoms: anxiety, restlessness, loss of consciousness, confusion, weakness, tremor, poor coordination, fever, shivering, sweating, vomiting, a fast heartbeat, and others. Do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines without first talking to your doctor, especially weight-loss products, tryptophan (L-tryptophan, 5-HTP), decongestants, antidepressants, cough suppressants, lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithonate, others), or migraine medicines. Sibutramine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether sibutramine will harm an unborn baby. Do not take sibutramine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether sibutramine passes into breast milk. Do not take sibutramine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. The safety and effectiveness of sibutramine have not been studied in children younger than 16 years of age.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

‘Skinny Bitch’ Authors Set Sights on Men With ‘Skinny Bastard’

‘Skinny’ Authors Have New Goal: Making Men Buff
‘Skinny Bitch’ Authors Set Sights on Men With ‘Skinny Bastard’ -"
Stephanie Diani for The New York Times

Kim Barnouin, left, and Rory Freedman, authors of “Skinny Bitch” and now “Skinny Bastard.”

Published: April 22, 2009

Can the sassy, foul-mouthed, hectoring tone that prompted millions of women to buy “Skinny Bitch” work for men?
Skip to next paragraph
Still Skinny, but Now They Can Cook (January 2, 2008)
A Diet Book Serves Up a Side Order of Attitude (August 1, 2007)
Well Blog: The Skinny on Skinny Bitch (February 11, 2008)

In an effort to capture the other gender with their best-selling diet book franchise, Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, the authors of “Skinny Bitch,” a vegan manifesto clothed as a weight-loss primer, have retrofitted the original book for men under the title “Skinny Bastard.” The book, published by Running Press, goes on sale on Monday.

The authors and publisher believe that the tough-love message of the original book will translate to men who want to lose weight and “get ripped.” Running Press, a division of Perseus Books, has planned an initial print run of 100,000 copies.

“Skinny Bitch,” with maxims like “sugar is the Devil” and “soda is liquid Satan,” has spent a total of 92 weeks on The New York Times Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous Paperback Best-Seller list, and has sold 1.1 million copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of sales. The authors have also written a recipe book, “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch,” which sold a healthy 217,000 copies, and a book for pregnant mothers, “Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven,” which has sold only 26,000 copies.

“Skinny Bastard,” said David Steinberger, chief executive of Perseus, is “a testosterone repackaging of basically the same book, prepared in a way that will get the message out to men.”

Ms. Freedman said she and Ms. Barnouin had always planned to write a book for men. “All along, the plan was to target both men and women,” Ms. Freedman said. “It was just: Let’s get ‘Skinny Bitch’ out there and establish it because women are more prone to buying diet books and books in general.”

“Skinny Bastard” follows roughly the same outline as “Skinny Bitch,” with the language retooled to appeal to male psychology. Whereas the introduction to “Skinny Bitch” reads, “If you can’t take one more day of self-loathing, you’re ready to get skinny,” the men’s version does not assume low self-esteem: “Chances are, you haven’t done so badly, despite the few extra lbs you’re carting around. ... But don’t kid yourself, pal: A hot-bodied man is a head-turner.”

The authors added a section on professional athletes who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet (although not necessarily the one presented in “Skinny Bitch”), including Ricky Williams, a running back for the Miami Dolphins, and Jerry Stackhouse, a shooting guard for the Dallas Mavericks. (A spokeswoman for the Mavericks said Mr. Stackhouse was now back to eating meat.) A new chapter, “No Girls Allowed,” details the benefits of eating a vegan diet in preventing heart disease, diabetes and prostate cancer.

In general the most popular men’s diet books tend to focus on fitness more than food, said Edward Ash-Milby, a buyer in the diet book category at Barnes & Noble. He said 8 out of 10 people shopping in the diet section were women. Both the publisher and the authors assume that mostly women will buy “Skinny Bastard.”

“I think the guys will enjoy it once they have it,” Ms. Barnouin said. “But I think it’s going to be the wives and girlfriends and sisters buying these books.”

Some booksellers suggested that men might be affronted by the book’s tone. “You’re not going to insult somebody into weight loss,” said Geoffrey Jennings of Rainy Day Books, an independent store in Fairway, Kan. “It’s funny for girls to do that back and forth and guys too can throw things back and forth insult-wise. But this isn’t going to be one of those pass it around the bar, ‘Here’s a book for all you guys with beer bellies.’ ” Mr. Jennings said he had ordered only six copies of “Skinny Bastard.”

From a nutritional point of view Lisa Young, an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University, said the tone of “Skinny Bastard” — in which, for example, the authors refer deprecatingly to “man boobs” — didn’t appeal to her. “But it may appeal to the nondieter or the people who don’t want to read a boring diet book that just says eat less,” Ms. Young said.

She said men tended to be motivated more by health than vanity when trying to lose weight, so adding a chapter about heart disease and prostate cancer “is a very smart way to speak to men.”

Perhaps what “Skinny Bastard” needs is a celebrity to be photographed with a copy. After all, “Skinny Bitch” only took off a year and a half after it was published, when Victoria Beckham, the pop star known as Posh Spice and wife of the soccer star David Beckham, was seen picking up a copy at Kitson, a boutique in Los Angeles.

According to Fraser Ross, the owner, Ms. Beckham didn’t buy the book, though the store sold thousands of copies. He said he hadn’t yet seen “Skinny Bastard.”

The book, Mr. Ross said, “needs the perfect skinny bastard to endorse it like Victoria did.” (Ms. Beckham did not actually endorse “Skinny Bitch.”) “And I don’t know who that would be.”

Monday, April 20, 2009

Balanced exercise - Gyrotonic

Balanced exercise

GyroWHAT? Gyrotonic is a mixture of yoga, dancing, swimming, tai chi and gymnastics. It's nothing new; it's just repackaged in a really nice format. It emphasizes articulation of the joints -- particularly the spine -- and then strength through expansion. Gyro is Greek for "spiral" and tonic is "health." The only other synonym I have ever found for gyrotonic is "balance" -- balance in your body, balance in your life, balance in your approach to motion and exercise.

Equipment overlooks nothing Traditionally, you go to a gym and work out your quads and hamstrings and maybe calves, but you don't work other connective tissue -- say, everything around the ankles or knees. So you end up building something that's structurally very large, but isn't held together well. Gyrotonic tends to work the body in a far more holistic capacity.

Layers of strength It works not only the large muscles, but also the fascia, soft tissue, connective tissue. We move in complex, compound motions. Strengthening in one particular direction only prepares you for activity in that range of motion. Gyrotonic moves the body and exercises the body in all 360 degrees, and it prepares not only the large but also the small muscles for any activity or range of motion.

Pass it on I got into [gyrotonic] probably five, six years ago. It's the most intelligent form of exercise I've ever found. As that's become my passion, it's also become my primary vocation, and I opened a gyrotonic studio in August of last year.

Stronger, leaner, more limber Besides my being stronger and leaner, my flexibility has greatly improved. It's much more than just being able to touch my toes -- my whole body and spine are far more fluid, flexible and graceful in motion.

Feed the body well Exercise is just one component of a healthy life. Eating is definitely another part of it, and I'm a firm believer in eating well. I try to eat very healthy: whole, organic nonprocessed foods. I subscribe to a CSA and go to the farmers markets several times a week during the season. I am a firm believer that once a person is not eating processed foods, the body's natural cravings will help direct your eating habits into what is best for you.

Exercise: Best Butt Toning Exercises

By JasonCooley / Apr 18, 2009 Fitness

Most women complain about their lower half (specifically the butt) being their major problem area. The last ten years have put more emphasis on the butt making it a desired physical asset to have. Now every woman wants to work on her butt even if it's not in any worse shape than the rest of her body. A tone shapely butt is the latest thing and I'll tell you the five best exercises to get it.

You will notice number 1 on the list of best butt toning exercises is the squat followed by other good exercises listed in no specific order. You will notice one of the other best butt toning exercises is a variation of the squat. That's because the squat is the absolute gold standard in having a top notch backside.

Best Butt Toning Exercises:


Position the bar about chest level. Step in the rack, get under the bar and lift it off, and carry it to the middle of the rack. Position your legs about shoulder width apart and simply bend down at the knees and hips as if you were going to sit down. Keep good posture. Leaning forward is fine just do not round your back. Squat as low as is comfortable and in time you will be able to squat lower. Do not allow your hips to go past parallel. Do not allow your knees to go past your toes. Push through your heels to rise back up. Keep your feet flat on the floor.


This is very similar to the squat and works so many other muscles that you need to do it on a regular basis. Grab the bar and hold it slightly wider than hip width apart in front of your thighs. Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Maintain a slight arch in your lower back and your chest up, look towards the ceiling, slowly bend your knees and push your butt back lowering your body so your thighs are parallel with the floor. The bar will not scrape your knees if you're are pushing your butt back far enough and keeping your upper body upright. Push through your heels to rise back up to starting position. Keep your back from hunching over when you rise back up to standing. If you have trouble with this work on strengthening your lower back and hamstrings.

Hip Raises

Lie face down on a bench with legs completely hanging off the bench. You should feel the edge of the bench right on your hip flexors (the crease between your legs and torso). Straighten your legs and put toes together on the floor. While keeping your legs completely straight, raise your legs until they're parallel with the floor and even with the bench. Squeeze your glutes then slowly lower until toes touch the floor again.

Wide Squat

This exercise is better done on a smith machine for safety reasons. It's the same as a regular squat but with a much wider stance.

Now that you know the best butt toning exercises, you can be confident you are doing the best exercise for butt toning.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Diet: Blueberries May Banish Belly Fat

Diet Rich in Blueberries May Boost Heart Health

April 19, 2009 -- Busting belly fat may be yet another of blueberries’ health benefits.

A new study shows rats who ate a diet rich in blueberries lost abdominal fat -- the kind of fat linked to heart disease and diabetes -- as well as experienced other health benefits like lowered cholesterol and improved glucose control even if their diet wasn’t otherwise heart-healthy.

"Some measurements were changed by blueberry even if the rats were on a high-fat diet," researcher E. Mitchell Seymour, MS, of the University of Michigan’s Cardioprotection Research Laboratory, says in a news release.

Researchers say the results suggest that antioxidant-rich blueberries may change how the body stores and processes glucose or sugar for energy, thereby reducing the risk of both heart disease and diabetes.

"The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables have been well researched, but our findings in regard to blueberries show the naturally occurring chemicals they contain, such as anthocyanins, show promise in mitigating these health conditions," researcher Steven Bolling, MD, of the University of Michigan, says in the release.

Blueberries Boost Heart Health

In the study, presented at Experimental Biology 2009, researchers fed rats bred to become obese either a high-fat or low-fat diet enriched with whole blueberry powder or carbohydrates as 2% of their total diet.

After 90 days, the rats fed blueberries had less abdominal fat, lower cholesterol, and improved glucose control and insulin sensitivity. The latter two factors are markers of how well the body processes sugar for energy and are related to diabetes risk.

These health benefits of blueberries were evident in rats fed both high- and low-fat diets enriched with the blueberry powder. But the benefits were greatest among those who ate a low-fat diet.

In addition to the other heart health benefits of blueberries, those fed the low-fat blueberry diet also lost body weight and fat mass compared to those on the high-fat diet.

Although more research is needed to confirm these results in humans, a related study presented at the same conference showed that men with risk factors for heart disease who drank wild blueberry juice for three weeks seemed to experience slight improvements in glucose and insulin control.

Resveratrol, the Red Wine Antioxidant: Benefits, RIsks, and Interactions of this Popular Supplement

Resveratrol, the Red Wine Antioxidant: Benefits, RIsks, and Interactions of this Popular Supplement

Apr 18, 2009
Though generally considered safe and effective, human studies of resveratrol's effects are still very limited.

Since the early nineties, resveratrol, an compound found in red wine, has achieved significant attention in the media for its amazing antioxidant powers. Several new studies about resveratrol have led to piqued interest in this interesting phytoalexin, and some doctors and nutritionists now believe that it can combat nearly every health problem: obesity, heart disease, cancer, and even exposure to radiation. Though generally considered safe and effective, human studies of resveratrol's effects are still very limited.

Scientific Studies of Resveratrol's Positive Effects

There is no question that resveratrol offers antioxidant benefits and other positive influences on living organisms. Several studies of simple, short-lived animals have demonstrated an increased lifespan for worms and fruit flies given moderately large doses of the compound. Peer-reviewed examinations of rats and mice have shown that resveratrol consistently prevents cancer, reduces inflammation, and slows the aging process. These claims, though made based on animal studies alone, are used by many supplement manufacturers and wine companies to support the daily addition of resveratrol to the American diet.

Animal studies of resveratrol's effects are quite promising, but they have limitations. No laboratory setting can enable a rat's biology to closely mimic a human being, and many previous, unrelated rodent tests have revealed misleading information. Without placebo-controlled, double-blind, peer-reviewed studies of human beings, no one can be completely certain of the efficacy of resveratrol in treating or preventing any disease: researchers can only speculate and make educated assumptions.

Does Resveratrol Explain the French Paradox?

As early as 1819, physicians began noticing an unusual phenomenon: despite the fact that the French consume a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol, they appear to suffer from a surprisingly low incidence of heart disease. This puzzle has now fascinated health care providers for nearly two centuries, but some believe that we are closer than ever to understanding the reason for the relatively good health of the French. Since its discovery, many people have believed that resveratrol in red wine plays a key role.

While this theory for explaining the French paradox is somewhat credible, it does not alone appear to account for the phenomenon. In laboratory settings, only mice who were given very large doses of resveratrol showed the significant health benefits associated with the antioxidant-- and only massive amounts of wine intake could match this level. It is most likely that resveratrol plays some role, but that other aspects of the French diet also account for the paradox.

Friday, April 17, 2009

What Size Exercise Ball to Buy For Your Height

How to Choose and Use an Exercise Ball

Yoga ball, exercise ball, gym ball, fitness ball — whatever you call it, it's a must have for all active people. An exercise ball can be used for both stretching and toning exercises, but if you're new to this piece of gym equipment, here are some things you should know.

When choosing an exercise ball, you should know they come in three sizes, depending on your height. Check the list below to see which size is right for you before purchasing one.

4'11" to 5'4" height: 55 cm ball
5'4" to 5'11" height: 65 cm ball
5'11" to 6' 7" height: 75 cm ball

Now that you know which size ball to use, here are some ways you can use it:

  • Use the ball as a weight bench. Lie across it on your back and do chest presses, tricep presses, or lying pec flies to work your upper body. Since you're using your legs to keep your body stable, you end up toning your glutes, quads, and hamstrings as well.

To see the other exercise ball ideas, read more.

  • Use it to elevate parts of your body. Raising your upper or lower body on a ball can help target specific muscle groups more effectively. Try doing push-ups or bridge leg lifts with a ball and you'll end up working many muscles at one time.
  • Do ab work. Crunches, abdominal twists, and bicycle crunches are so much more challenging on a ball, since lying on one engages your abs even before you start doing any exercises.
  • Do yoga and Pilates moves. You can tone and increase flexibility by using a ball to do basic poses and exercises. Do backbends and back strengthening exercises such as prone leg raises. A ball can also support your body weight to help you balance when trying challenging poses such as scorpion.

# This item: TKO Anti Burst Fitness Ball Set 75cm by TKO
# TKO Anti Burst Fitness Ball Set 65cm by TKO
# TKO Anti Burst Fitness Ball Set 55cm by TKO

Top Stories
Exploding Balls

Millions of exercise balls recalled due to explosion risk

Story By: Jamie Smith
Source: NBC

Published Tue Apr 21, 2009, 08:34 AM MDT
Updated Tue Apr 21, 2009, 08:34 AM MDT

Millions of fitness balls have been recalled due to risk of explosion The Consumer Product Safety Commission says over inflated balls can suddenly burst while in use, causing the user to suddenly fall to the floor.

The CPSC has received 47 reports of the balls bursting causing injury in some cases. The balls were distributed by EB Brand and were sold under the names Bally, Total Fitness, Everlast, Valeo and Body Fit.

Concerned consumers can return the balls to the place of purchase or contact EB Brands to receive a copy of the updated instructions on how to safely inflate the ball.

UnDiet: The Jelly Bean Diet

Ok so Easter is over and now you have all those jelly beans to eat. Lucky for us a new crop is in and they are salmonella free, which is good cause you've been on a Jelly Bean Diet for a week now. Never heard of such a diet? Let me be the first to explain.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, they make apple-flavored jelly beans. If one keeps the doctor away, just think how much healthier you will be after gobbling down a whole handful of apple jelly beans.

That’s not all: they’ve turned bananas, peaches, oranges and just about any other fruit into jelly beans. Even though the orange ones weren’t navels – yes, I checked – they’re still mighty tasty. And a handful supplied me with a full day of vitamin C.

The jelly bean is a bean; otherwise, they would call it something else. Like a banana.

Beans are loaded with protein and fiber, both of which are good for you. Unfortunately, eating too many beans in one sitting can have adverse effects on one’s gastrointestinal system, something not too pleasant for anyone who happens to be near you — like The Wife.

This is not so with the jelly bean. Feel free to eat as many as you want. There will be no gastrointestinal side effects. Although, over time, depending on how many are consumed, there may be a little expansion.

Some jelly beans are even sugar-free, but I don’t know why. Eating sugar-free jelly beans is akin to drinking tea without the sugar. Not only is it not natural. It’s just plain unhealthy.

I guess they make them for those folks from up North. Maybe those jelly bean people can make some of the sugar-free ones taste like grits. That way we can hand them out to all the Northerners that ask, “Hey, what’s a grit?”

After being on the Jelly Bean Diet for a month, you may notice there’s a bit more of you in the bathroom mirror. You may even start to think that it’s time to put down that jar of jelly beans, walk away, and do something really silly — like working out to get back into shape.

When you feel that urge, I have the perfect answer for you. Just smile at the reflection in the mirror, walk right back to that multi-colored jar of joy and grab a handful.

Being round IS a shape, after all, and happiness is a fistful of jelly beans.
But for those that don't prefer the round shape and can't kick the jelly bean habit...Diet Jelly Beans are better.

Craving sugar means your body is hungry and needs energy quick. By adding 100 calories at breakfast and lunch should minimize these sugar craving and keep you from snacking later in the day.

Detox Diets Sucks: Goop Cleanse, Blueprint Cleanse, Master Cleanse

Why I Ditched Gwyneth Paltrow’s Detox Cleanse

In theory, I love detox cleanses. The idea of spending three to five days concentrated solely on health and emerging energetic and, um, skinny, excites me. In reality, I can’t quite conjure the joy.

This is not to say that I don’t force myself through them on a semi-regular basis. I’ve tried a number of cleanses, from the popular BluePrint juice diet to the extreme Master Cleanse. I was excited when last week a friend (who is also into this stuff) recommended I try Gwyneth Paltrow’s regime from her GOOP newsletter. I was eager to try something new, something homemade that (I assumed) wouldn’t cost me too much. However, I ended up dumping the whole thing in three days.

Before I get into the GOOP detox, I should probably address why people willingly put themselves through hell. Aside from the obvious reason of dropping a few pounds pronto, in my experience cleanses help clear up your skin, leaving your complexion brighter. There’s a whole school of wisdom that suggests ridding your body of toxins can cure a variety of ailments, but according to the TIMES, Western doctors remain skeptical. Generally, however, it’s a good way to jump start a healthy diet or take a few days off from drinking or smoking.

GOOP Cleanse: Prescribed by Gwyneth’s specialist, Dr. Alejandro Junger, the seven-day menu consists of shakes, homemade juices, soups, salads, and simply prepared chicken and fish. Mornings start with lemon water, tea, and tasty berry protein shakes. In the afternoon, you eat a salad with avocado, another shake, or broccoli soup. At first glance, the Goop Cleanse is incredibly appealing. It’s not too extreme, thanks to the solid foods, and the recipes are pretty tasty. The DIY factor and lower cost is also a plus. Yet, I found, lower cost does not equal low cost. My grocery list had more than 40 items on it, including some high-cost ones like protein powder (about $15) and ProGreens powder (about $30). Had I purchased my entire list, I estimate my grand total would have come to about $180. That’s not too bad, considering many cleanse companies charge as much as $75 per day. The time commitment became an issue. There’s a lot of prep work, and I found that going about my day didn’t always leave time for me to juice beets or make soup. While I was excited to morph into Gwyneth (literally, this was my vision) by day seven, I knew my schedule wasn’t going to allow it. So, I had to quit after day three, leaving lots of unused produce in my fridge.

Blueprint Cleanse: At first only for NYC locals, Blueprint has gone national with its expanded delivery options and gained popularity thanks to celeb fans and press galore. On this liquid-only program, you drink six juices per day, which include kale and apple, beet, lemonade, and cashew milk, depending on the level on intensity (Renovation, Foundation, Excavation). I’m a fan of this program for its ease, but not for the starvation factor or price. For a three-day Renovation cleanse, you’ll pay $195. If you’re serious about sticking to it, it’s worth the expense. If you prepare your body before and after with lots of liquids and raw foods, you can extend its effects.

Master Cleanse: Commonly referred to as the “Lemonade Diet,” the Master Cleanse is truly for people on the crazy wagon (or who have supernatural endurance). It is guaranteed that you will lose weight on the mixture of cayenne pepper, water, lemon, and maple syrup, which is supposedly enough to sustain you for days. That’s not the worst of it. Once a day, you do a salt water flush and drink senna tea to eliminate everything in your colon. There are generally two reactions to this regime. Those like my friend Chrysanthe don’t last a day through the torture, fatigue, and hunger. “I couldn’t do it because I worked in a cafe. I think you’d have to sit in a dark room and not have to be on your feet at all,” she told me. Then there are others who have a magical reaction to the mixture by reportedly losing their appetite all together and experiencing crazy energy. Another friend, Jeralyn, 26, who did the cleanse for eight days, reported that the greatest effect was on her skin: “The one comment I kept getting from friends was that my skin was glowing. Everyone remarked about it. It looked flawless—really! I usually have discoloration and I have a lot a beauty marks, and it diminished the appearance of both for sure (I noticed that).” One thing’s for certain. Committing oneself to the Master Cleanse means abandoning your social life if you’re the type who eats out frequently or bar hops. Of all cleanses, this one is the cheapest but the most difficult to endure.

Photo credits:,,

How accurate are calorie counters on exercise machines?

07:55 AM PDT on Thursday, April 16, 2009
SEATTLE - If you work out on exercise machines, watching those calories burned can be a great motivator.

See Video

But have you wondered how accurate those calorie counters are on those machines? If you don't enter specific information, chances are it's calculating the calories for a very fit man.

When you're clipping along on an exercise machine and you see your calories burned climbing, you might feel like you're being freed from your last bad meal.

"I look at it because then I think, oh great, I just used up my pumpkin scone," said Laurie Reed, exerciser.

But just how accurate are the calories burned? Well, pretty accurate if you are one body type.

"The calorie count that it's going to read out is going to be based on a 154 pound man," said Tim Koffler, fitness director with the Seattle Athletic Club. "So in order to get your calorie count the most accurate, we're going to put in as much information as we can."

Koffler says to increase accuracy, you have to give the machine as much personal information as possible. The most accurate machines will ask you your gender, age and weight. And when you type that weight, it's tempting, but don't underestimate.

And putting a little variety in your workout helps keep the calorie count honest too because you don't want to get too good at just one thing.

"So if you jump on elliptical, used to going 40 minutes, 5 days a week, in about 4-6 weeks your body becomes efficient at doing that so it requires less energy to do it," said Koffler.

In order to keep that calorie counter the most accurate, don't lean on the handles of the exercise machine. That can reduce the number of calories you burn by 50%.

Again, you can lie about your weight on your driver's license, but not on the exercise machine. Entering your correct weight will help the machine keep track of your calories. And mixing up your workout will translate into a more accurate calorie count on your machine.

And in order to mimic walking or running outdoors, the treadmill elevation needs to be set at least at level one.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Diet: A concept that’s a breath of fresh . . . chocolate?

A diet concept that’s a breath of fresh . . . chocolate?

If you like it with almonds, well, we’re still working on that

Does part of your excess weight problem derive from the fact that, when in the presence of chocolate, you simply — to use a popular euphemism for pigging out — “inhale” the stuff? The solution, according to one inventive entrepreneur, may be for you to literally do that: inhale the irresistible treat.

From the Food and Drink News comes word of the arrival on the market of Le Whif, a name that properly belongs on a cologne or room air freshener, but is in fact a small cylinder, designed after the fashion of an asthma inhaler, by which one can inhale chocolate-flavored powder.

Le Whif is the brainchild of Harvard professor David Edwards, who extols it as “a mix of culinary art and aerosol science,” and promotes it as a way to satisfy your craving for chocolate without physically consuming any calories in the process.

“We call it whiffing,” says professor Edwards, apparently unaware that this sounds like something kids do with paint in order to get high.

Water on the brain? No, Hershey’s in the lung

Whether inhaling tiny particles of chocolate-flavored powder can in fact be as satisfying as just eating the stuff is open to serious question; we know that the physical activity involved with most addictions is a psychologically important part of the high that is sought.

Beyond that, there is the matter of whether drawing some foreign substance into your lungs is inherently more healthy than swallowing it and letting your digestive system take the hit.

By coincidence, another article has recently come across the wire about “smoking candy,” an emerging schoolkid craze that involves grinding simple sugar candies such as Smarties into a fine powder, inhaling it and then blowing it out like cigarette smoke. Check out You Tube to see young candy smokers in action.

Air, good. Sugary glop, not so much.

The problem with this, other than youthful imbecility, is that when inhaled sugar stays, or builds up, in the lungs or nasal cavity for a length of time, you run the risk of an infection. According to Dr. Mark Shikowitz, an ear/nose/throat specialist in Long Island who has treated sugar smokers, “Any time you have a substance such as sugar in these areas, which are moist, it creates a terrific growth medium for bacteria.”

The Le Whif folks insist that their chocolatey particles are too large to enter the lungs, and for their own good, we hope they’re right, but this still seems like a case of playing fast and loose with one’s pulmonary system. Nevertheless, Dr. Edwards envisions food inhalation to be the possible answer to the entire obesity epidemic sweeping the country.

“It’s zero calorie, so it could also be used as a diet tool,” he notes, promising a broad line of inhalable food products to come. “Eventually we could be having three course meals this way.”

So if those bacon double cheeseburgers and onion rings seem to just go directly to your hips or butt, rejoice. In the future, they won’t get any further than your alveoli.

(By Robert S. Wieder for CalorieLab Calorie Counter News)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Exercise: Eye Exercise

Home Therapy Effectively Treats Common Eye Problem

© Deborah Mitchell
Apr 13, 2009
Eye therapy, Publicdomainpictures
A simple eye exercise known as "pencil push-up therapy" can greatly improve an eye muscle coordination disorder that affects 5 to 20 percent of people.

If your eye doctor told you that a simple eye exercise you could do at home would improve your vision and your performance at work and school, would you do it? Apparently many patients don’t even though the exercise takes only moments per day to do.
How the Eye Exercise Works

The eye exercise, which can be done at home or in the doctor’s office, involves having patients visually follow a small letter on a pencil as they move the pencil closer to their nose. The goal is to keep the letter clear and single—no double vision—until the pencil touches the nose. This simple exercise should be done daily multiple times during the day or as directed by an optometrist.

Although the exercise is simple, a National Eye Institute study, published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in October 2008, found that nearly 75 percent of children who were given vision therapy in the office along with at-home reinforcement achieved normal vision or had significantly fewer symptoms. In comparison, only 43 percent of patients who completed home-based therapy alone reached similar results. Therefore, the researchers recommend that people who need treatment for convergence insufficiency use both office-based and home-based vision therapy.
What the Eye Exercise Treats

The exercise is designed to treat an eye condition known as convergence insufficiency, which means an inability to cross the eyes. Being able to cross your eyes is important, especially when you need to look at objects up close. This requires that your two eyes turn in so they are both pointing at the item you want to see.

Therefore, people who have convergence insufficiency typically have trouble reading. Thus convergence insufficiency is a significant problem among young children who are learning to read. Symptoms of this condition include losing place and concentration while reading, blurry and double vision, reading slowly, eyestrain, and headaches.

Diet: Paleo Diet

5-Minute explanation of the Paleo Diet

Posted By steve on April 13, 2009


by Dr. Ben Balzer, family physician

There are races of people who are all slim, who are stronger and faster than us. They all have straight teeth and perfect eyesight. Arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, schizophrenia and cancer are absolute rarities for them. These people are the last 84 tribes of hunter-gatherers in the world. They share a secret that is over 2 million years old. Their secret is their diet- a diet that has changed little from that of the first humans 2 million years ago, and their predecessors up to 7 million years ago. Theirs is the diet that man evolved on, the diet that is coded for in our genes. It has some major differences to the diet of "civilization". You are in for a few big surprises.

The diet is usually referred to as the "Paleolithic Diet" referring to the Paleolithic or Stone Age era. It is also referred to as the "Stone Age Diet", "Cave Man Diet" or the "Hunter-Gatherer Diet". More romantic souls like to think of it as the diet that was eaten in the "Garden of Eden" and they are correct in thinking so.

The basic principles of the Paleolithic Diet are so simple that most high school students can understand them. Within 15 minutes from now you will grasp the major elements. At the technical level, Paleolithic Diet Theory has a depth and breadth that is unmatched by all other dietary theories. Paleolithic Diet Theory presents a fully integrated, holistic, comprehensive dietary theory combining the best features of all other dietary theories, eliminating the worst features and simplifying it all.

All major dietary components are covered- (i.e. vitamins, fats, protein, fats, carbohydrates, antioxidants and phytosterols etc). This is for the simple reason that it is the only diet that is coded for in our genes- it contains only those foods that were "on the table" during our long evolution, and discards those which were not. Have you ever wondered why almost everybody feels the need to take vitamin supplementsat times, or why so many people feel the need to "detoxify" their system? There are very real reasons for this that you will soon understand. Now, come with me, I’d like to share the secret with you...

Basics of the Paleolthic Diet

For millions of years, humans and their relatives have eaten meat, fish, fowl and the leaves, roots and fruits of many plants. One big obstacle to getting more calories from the environment is the fact that many plants are inedible. Grains, beans and potatoes are full of energy but all are inedible in the raw state as they contain many toxins. There is no doubt about that- please don’t try to eat them raw, they can make you very sick.

Around 10,000 years ago, an enormous breakthrough was made- a breakthrough that was to change the course of history, and our diet, forever. This breakthrough was the discovery that cooking these foods made them edible- the heat destroyed enough toxins to render them edible. Grains include wheat, corn, barley, rice, sorghum, millet and oats. Grain based foods also include products such as flour, bread, noodles and pasta. These foods entered the menu of New Stone Age (Neolithic) man, and Paleolithic diet buffs often refer to them as Neolithic foods.

The cooking of grains, beans and potatoes had an enormous effect on our food intake- perhaps doubling the number of calories that we could obtain from the plant foods in our environment. Other advantages were soon obvious with these foods:

· they could store for long periods (refrigeration of course being unavailable in those days)

· they were dense in calories- ie a small weight contains a lot of calories, enabling easy transport

· the food was also the seed of the plant- later allowing ready farming of the species

These advantages made it much easier to store and transport food. We could more easily store food for winter, and for nomads and travelers to carry supplies. Food storage also enabled surpluses to be stored, and this in turn made it possible to free some people from food gathering to become specialists in other activities, such as builders, warriors and rulers. This in turn set us on the course to modern day civilization. Despite these advantages, our genes were never developed with grains, beans and potatoes and were not in tune with them, and still are not. Man soon improved further on these advances- by farming plants and animals.

Instead of being able to eat only a fraction of the animal and plant life in an area, farming allows us to fill a particular area with a large number of edible plants and animals. This in turn increases the number of calories that we can obtain from an area by some 10 to 100 fold or more. Then followed the harnessing of dairy products, which allow man to obtain far more calories from the animal over its lifetime than if it were simply slaughtered for meat. Dairy products are interesting as they combine a variety of components- some of which our genes were ready for and some not. Whist cows milk is ideal for calves, there are several very important differences between it and human milk. For example, the brain of a calf is only a tiny fraction of its body weight whereas humans have very big brains. Not surprisingly, cows milk is low in critical nutrients for brain development, particularly omeg 3 fats.

Paleolithic Diet buffs refer to the new foods as Neolithic foods and the old as Paleolithic Diet foods. In simple terms we see Neolithic as bad and Paleolithic as good. Since then, some other substances have entered the diet- particularly salt and sugar, and more recently a litany of chemicals including firstly caffeine then all other additives, colourings, preservatives, pesticides etc.

Grains, Beans and Potatoes (GBP) share the following important characteristics:

· They are all toxic when raw- there is no doubt about this- it is a fact that no competent source would dispute- they can be extremely dangerous and it is important never to eat them raw or undercooked. These toxins include enzyme blockers, lectins and other types. I will talk about them in detail later as they are very important.

· Cooking destroys most but not all of the toxins. Insufficient cooking can lead to sickness such as acute gastroenteritis.

· They are all rich sources of carbohydrate, and once cooked this is often rapidly digestible-giving a high glycemic index (sugar spike).

· They are extremely poor sources of vitamins (particularly vitamins A, B-group, folic acid and C), minerals, antioxidants and phytosterols.

Therefore diets high in grains beans and potatoes (GBP):

· Contain toxins in small amounts

· Have a high glycemic index (ie have a similar effect to raw sugar on blood glucose levels)

· Are low in many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytosterols- ie they are the original "empty calories"

· Have problems caused by the GBP displacing other foods

As grains, beans and potatoes form such a large proportion of the modern diet, you can now understand why it is so common for people to feel they need supplements or that they need to detoxify (ie that they have toxins in their system)- indeed both feelings are absolutely correct. Unfortunately, we don’t necessarily realize which supplements we need, and ironically when people go on detoxification diets they unfortunately often consume even more Neolithic foods (eg soy beans) and therefore more toxins than usual (perhaps they sometimes benefit from a change in toxins). More detail on these issues follows in subsequent pages.

The essentials of the Paleolithic Diet are:

Eat none of the following:

· Grains- including bread, pasta, noodles

· Beans- including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, snow-peas and peas

· Potatoes

· Dairy products

· Sugar

· Salt

Eat the following:

· Meat, chicken and fish

· Eggs

· Fruit

· Vegetables (especially root vegetables, but definitely not including potatoes or sweet potatoes)

· Nuts, eg. walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia, almond. Do not eat peanuts (a bean) or cashews (a family of their own)

· Berries- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.

Try to increase your intake of:

· Root vegetables- carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, Swedes

· Organ meats- liver and kidneys (I accept that many people find these unpalatable and won’t eat them)

Expect some minor tuning problems- don’t worry, you can deal with them:

· It will take some time for your body to adjust to the changes after all these years. There is a huge surge in your vitamin intake. There is a huge decrease in your toxin intake.

· Start with breakfast for few days, as this is the easiest place to start as most people eat it at home, and it tends to be the least Paleolithic meal of the standard 3. For weight loss you will eventually need to reduce your carbohydrate intake, but ignore this initially as most people have high carb intakes and this can continue for the first few days that you are on this diet. If you reduce too quickly then you may fell unwell. Then move on to lunch or dinner for a few days and then to all 3 meals. If you work, you will often find it easier to take your lunch to work.

· Keep reading more about the diet- and read it again. Remember, there are many dietary myths that will need to be unlearned. Particularly, please read the section on fats several times. Knowledge on fats has exploded over the last decade and there is a realization in mainstream nutrition that omega 3 fats are critical to good health. It is very important to ensure that you have an adequate intake of these. The low fat diet craze of the 90’s was well intentioned but many people "threw out the baby with the bath-water"- most people reduced omega 3 fat intake as well as other fats, and sometimes even increased omega 6 fats. There is now a realization that the low fat diet theory of the 90’s doesn’t often work (it has about a 6% success rate like most other diets) and that the vast majority of the Western population need to increase their omega 3 intake and decrease their omega 6 intake. Even if you don’t end up on a Paleolithic Diet, you will benefit from a better appreciation of fats.

Technical Aspects:

12,000 years ago the ice planet Earth thawed out as the last Ice Age came to an end. The great glaciers melted, carving enormous plains across the continents and the planet became green again. The seas rose some 400 feet (120 metres) (incidentally unfortunately drowning most of our archeological heritage). The plains flourished and savannah, prairie and forest sprang up. Grazing animals spread onto the plains, followed by hunting animals and amongst these last were the greatest hunters of all- humans. Humans, being omnivores, have the ability to eat both plant and animal foods. That is a major advantage as the number of creatures that can live in a particular habitat depends entirely on how much energy they can obtain. To make a crude example- imagine you are breeding monkeys on 100 acres of land and the only edible plant there is bananas. If you double the number of banana plants, then you can double the number of monkeys on the land.

You might instead introduce apple trees and have the same effect. The number of monkeys would depend entirely on how many calories they could obtain from the environment. The carrying capacity of the habitat for a species depends on how many calories the species can obtain. Humans are no different. They have a major advantage in being able to eat both plant and animals foods thereby harvesting enormous amounts of calories from the environment. Humans learnt to cook grains, beans and potatoes and increased further the number of plant food calories they can obtain from the environment- probably doubling it in most habitats, and even more on grasslands.

The reason why grains, beans and potatoes store so well is simply because of the toxins that they contain. The enzyme blockers put them into a deep freeze, stopping them from sprouting. The lectins and other toxins are natural pesticides and can attack bacteria, insects, worms, rodents and other pests (and humans too of course).


You probably already know a lot about nutrients- macronutrients (fats, protein and carbohydrates and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytosterols etc). Now it's time to meet the rest of the family....... We all know that foods contain a variety of nutrients. There is less awareness that many foods contain small amounts of potentially harmful substances. These are toxins, as they have toxic effects. They are normally called "antinutrients" by the scientific community as toxins sounds too alarmist. Antinutrients are very real and for over 100 years research has been done on them- but it is generally only appreciated by a small group of specialized scientists. Antinutrients have an incredible range of biological effects. As you have probably already guessed, the vast majority and highest levels of antinutrients are in Neolithic foods like grains, beans and potatoes. The Paleolithic diet has incredibly low levels of antinutrients compared to the usual modern diet. I believe that this is the number one advantage of the diet.

Textbooks on antinutrients read like books on what not to eat- Neolithic foods are the most prominent. Professor Irvin Liener published one of the most famous of these books in 1980. In the first chapter he points out that when we started cooking inedible plants, new toxins entered the diet for the first time. Ironically, he wasn’t trying to promote Paleolithic diets- his aim was to help agricultural scientists more safely feed the world on grains, beans and potatoes.

It’s a technical subject, and I’ll do my best to make it clear to you.

Consider our friend, the apple. When an animal eats an apple, it profits by getting a meal. It swallows the seeds and then deposits them in a pile of dung. With some luck a new apple tree might grow, and so the apple tree has also profited from the arrangement. In nature as in finance, it is good business when both parties make profit happily. Consider what would happen if the animal were greedy and decided to eat the few extra calories contained within the apple seeds- then there would be no new apple tree to continue on the good work. So, to stop this from happening, the apple seeds contain toxins that have multiple effects:

* firstly, they taste bad- discouraging the animal from chewing them

* secondly some toxins are enzyme blockers that bind up predators digestive enzymes- these also act as "preservatives" freezing the apple seed enzymes until sprouting- Upon sprouting of the seed, many of these enzyme blockers disappear.

* thirdly, they contain lectins- these are toxic proteins which have numerous effects. They act as natural pesticides and are also toxic to a range of other species including bacteria, insects, worms, rodents and other predators including humans .

Of course, the apple has other defenses- to start with it is high above the ground well out of reach of casual predators, and it also has the skin and flesh of the apple to be penetrated first. Above all though is the need to stop the seed from being eaten, so that new apple trees may grow.

Now, please consider the humble grain. Once again as a seed its duty is mission critical- it must perpetuate the life cycle of the plant. It is however much closer to the ground, on the tip of a grass stalk. It is within easy reach of any predator strolling by. It contains a good source of energy, like a booster rocket for the new plant as it grows. The grain is full of energy and in a vulnerable position. It was "expensive" for the plant to produce. It is an attractive meal. Its shell offers little protection. Therefore, it has been loaded with toxic proteins to discourage predators- grains are full of enzyme blockers and lectins. You may be surprised to learn that uncooked flour is very toxic- please don't try eating it as you become very sick. And yes, I don't recommend al dente pasta (if one must eat pasta at all).

Beans too are full of enzyme blockers and lectins. Potatoes contain enzyme blockers, lectins and another family of toxins called glycoalkaloids. Glycoalkaloids (GA) unlike lectins and enzyme blockers aren't destroyed by cooking, even deep-frying. GA are particularly high in green or injured potatoes, which must never be eaten even if trimmed heavily and well-cooked. Many people have told me that they eat small amounts of raw potato- this is a dangerous habit and it should be discouraged very strongly.

These toxins in foods are commonly referred to as antinutrients. Let's learn some more about them:

Enzyme Blockers: These enzyme blockers are abundant in all seeds including grains and beans, and also in potatoes, serving to hold them in suspended animation and also acting as pesticides. Most commonly they block the enzymes that digest protein (proteases), and are called "protease inhibitors". They can affect the stomach protease enzyme "pepsin", and the small intestine protease enzymes "trypsin" and "chymotrypsin". These small intestine enzymes are made by the pancreas (it does a lot of other important things besides making insulin). Some enzyme blockers affect the enzymes that digest starch (amylase) and are called "amylase inhibitors".

When GBP are cooked, most of the enzyme blockers are destroyed, but some are not. In human volunteers and in animal experiments high levels of protease inhibitors lead to increased secretion of digestive enzymes by the pancreas. This is because the body can sense that the enzymes have been knocked out and orders to pancreas to make more. Even if the effect of GBP based foods is only a small increase in pancreatic enzyme secretion, over many years it all adds up to a lot of extra work.

They are effective poisons- rats cannot gain weight if they have substantial amounts of enzyme blockers in the diet. As far as their preservative action is concerned, I need only to remind you that the potted grains in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs were still viable and sprouted after thousands of years locked away.

Grain eating birds have evolved digestive enzymes that are resistant to grain protease inhibitors. Lectins (Haemagglutins)................ Meet Hannibal

Lectins are natural proteins that have a large variety of roles. They are amongst the most fascinating and stimulating of all biological compounds, and I have no doubt that they play a major role in many "unexplained " diseases. I think of them as "Hannibal Lectins" as they remind of the devious criminal mastermind in the shock horror movie "Silence of the Lambs.' Lectins are like master code-breakers. The cells of our bodies are studded with receptors which are like code pads to ensure stimulation only under the correct circumstances. Lectins have the ability to crack these codes and stimulate the receptors causing a variety of responses- covering basically the full repertoire of the cell and even tricking the cell into doing things it normally cannot do.

They also have a knack for bypassing our defenses and "getting behind the lines", and then they can travel all over the body causing harm. They can, for example:

--strip protective mucus off tissues,

--damage the cells lining the small intestine- disrupting the microscopic fingers called villi and microvilli,

--get swallowed whole by the small intestine cells ("pinocytosis")

--bind to cells including blood cells causing a clot to form (hence they were initially called "haemagglutins")

--make a cell act as if it has been stimulated by a hormone-

--stimulate a cell to secrete a hormone

--promote cell division at the wrong time

--cause gowth or shrinkage of lymphatic tissue ("outposts" of white blood cells)

--cause enlargement of the pancreas

--cause cells to present codes (HLA's) that they normally should not use

--cause cell death (apoptosis)

Lectins break down the surface of the small intestine, stripping it of mucus and causing the cells to become irregular and leaky. Some lectins make cells act as if they have been stimulated by insulin. Others cause the pancreas to release insulin. Others cause immune cells to divide in the wrong way, causing growth of some white blood cells and breaking down the control of the immune system. Others cause cells to present the wrong codes (HLA's) on their surface, tricking the immune system into thinking that intruders have been found and activating the immune system inappropriately- thus leading to "autoimmune disease" where the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system.

Autoimmune diseases are incredibly common and increase every year that a person gets older. A disordered immune system also has a much harder job recognizing and attacking the real intruders- invading germs and cancer cells (you may have heard that scientists think that most people generate many cancer cells in a life time but that the immune system cleans most of them up).

It is not known whether lectins can cause cancer- this is one of the most important questions in medicine today. They certainly affect colon cells in the test tube. I feel that they are likely candidates as they can stimulate abnormal cell growth and they also cause disorder in the immune system.

Lectins have many other roles besides defending seeds. For example in beans, lectins act like a glue to enable nitrogen-fixing bacteria to bind to the roots of the plant. Many important lectin families are found in animal tissues, but as we are carnivores, we have evolved to be able to deal with these- just as birds that live on grains have evolved to be resistant to grain lectins.

It is ironic that the lectins were discovered more than 100 years ago and yet so many questions remain unanswered- the same was true of the immune system until the 1980’s. I hope that there is more research done into lectins as they hold a whole world of disease mechanisms of which most of the medical community is blissfully unaware.


Exorphins are food chemicals that have morphine-like activity. They are found in dairy products and wheat. Our body has its own natural morphine like substances that are called endorphins. Endorphins work by stimulating a type of nerve cell surface receptor called endorphin receptors. Endorphins are very important in controlling pain and addictive behaviour.

Exorphins also act on endorphin receptors and may stimulate them or block them. It is logical that exorphins may therefore affect chronic pain and also affect addictive behaviour.

Diet: Cabbage Soup Diet

Need To Lose Weight Fast?

By Kirsten Hawkins

If your normal diet is healthy, and you just want a quick boost to drop 8-10 pounds quickly, or to kick off a new diet with a bang, the Cabbage Soup Diet actually works. The cabbage soup diet has been around for nearly 30 years. It’s based on the notion that your body actually uses more calories to digest cabbage than the amount that it derives from cabbage. It’s a so-called ‘negative calorie diet’, and includes many foods that, like cabbage, are high in fiber and very low in calories. The base of the cabbage soup diet is - what else? Cabbage soup. There are several recipes for cabbage soup available. Essentially, the soup is made with onions, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, celery and spices to taste. You’ll be eating the soup every day - as much of it as you want. In addition, there is a seven day routine of foods to supplement the cabbage soup.

Day One: All the fruit you want (except bananas) along with all the soup that you want. No caffeinated beverages or sodas. Drink only water, tea and cranberry juice.

Day Two: Eat all the vegetables that you want, but avoid dried beans, peas and corn. Eat veggies raw, fresh or cooked. No fats, no sauces, no butter. At dinner, you may have one baked potato with butter - and of course, all the cabbage soup that you want!

Day Three: Eat all the fruits and veggies that you want from day two and day three - but NO baked potato.

Day Four: Bananas and skim milk - yes, all the skim milk you want, plus up to eight bananas, along with — you guessed it, all the cabbage soup you want.

Day Five: Eat ten to twenty ounces of beef (or skinless chicken, or broiled fish). Drink at least 10 glasses of water, and eat up to six fresh tomatoes. (if you substitute for the beef today, you may not tomorrow)

Day Six: Eat all the beef, vegetables and cabbage soup that you want. No baked potato. Lots of leafy green vegetables.

Day Seven: You can have all the unsweetened fruit juices, brown rice, and vegetables that you want - and at least one bowl of soup.

That’s it. Remember - this diet is NOT recommended for long term weight loss, or long term use. It doesn’t contain enough complex carbohydrates to be healthy for longer than a few days. But if you just need a jump-start or a quick fix, it’s a good way to pick up the pace for a week. - quoted from Changing Shape