Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Cure - Week 4

I have been bad about posting.....sorry. I completed all 3 of the first 3 weeks and am doing great!

I haven't lost a ton of weigh like some others doing the plan, but I am very happy with the weight I've lost and the inches I've lost!

Here are the figures:
Week 1: weight loss = 0.4 pounds
Other measurements not taken

Week 2: Weight loss = 1.4 pounds (total 1.8 pounds lost), waist = down 1.25 inches, hips = down 1.5 inches.

Week 3: Weight loss = 0.2 pounds (total 2.0 pounds lost), waist = down 0.5 inches, hips = no change.

Other changes: Almost no indigestion, heartburn etc. Arthritis fairly stable, taking naproxen as needed, about 3-4 times each week. Also taking occasional aspirin for headaches, about once daily (I have a history of headaches due to neck problems)

BP started at 124/76, down to 113/68

Clothes fit better and I have a whole lot of "new" clothes I can wear! Clothes that have been hanging in my closet for a year now fit again!!

Week 3 & 4 are pretty much what I've been eating on low carb all along. Three to four times a day I have meat (meat/fish/fowl) along with a vegetable or two. Several days I've had my shake in the morning, simply because it's easy.

I posted several of the meals I've had on can see them here. No registration or sign in should be needed. (Berry cobbler and White pizza are old meals, not ones I've eaten on the plan)

All in all, I'm feeling good! Very happy with the results so far.

As per the book, I think I'm going to continue with weeks 3 & 4 for a while as I still have more weight to loose and weeks 5 & 6 are more for maintenance. Maybe do a week of shakes on occasion too.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Cure - Day 4

Day 4 is almost over and I'm feeling good!!

Shakes 3 times a day is boring....but easy. Meals have been fairly small.

Wednesday I had roasted chicken breast with cooked asparagus and lettuce with dressing.

Thursday was kind of a "cheat" neighbor brought over dinner for me. She is Algerian and brought me Algerian Shorba, which is a meat based vegetable soup; Bourek ground beef and cheese in a light phyllo dough; potatoes and peas in a spicy tomato sauce; and apricots, prunes and golden raising for dessert. I ate 2 of the Bourek with some of the Shorba, a couple bites of potatoes and 4 of the prunes. My son ate the rest. It was excellent! Apparently this is a tradition during Ramadan, sharing your evening meal with a neighbor! She's such a sweetie and it smelled so good! I did some estimates of what I ate and figure I stayed under 30 grams of carb total.

Tonight, Friday, I made scallops scampi with green beans. I really need to get to the food store and buy some veggies! All I have in the house now is some lettuce!!

I also found a new protein shake that is pretty good! Body Tech, Whey Tech Pro 24 in vanilla and chocolate! Each scoop is 24g protein with 3g carbs. I added some frozen strawberries to the vanilla and it was great!

The headaches from caffeine withdrawal are pretty much gone and I feel great! No hunger at all. I'm eating to the clock, not to hunger. Sleep is off and on, but that's pretty much normal for me.

I'll be checking my weight and measurements Tuesday, and will publish any losses or gains!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The 6 Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle

Today The 6 Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle hit the markets! The book was written by Mary Dan Eades, MD and Michael R Eades, MD, authors of the various Protein Power books.

A couple of months ago Dr Mike asked, on his blog, for volunteers to try "The Cure" and be willing to submit for interviews, pictures, etc. Of course I volunteered, but as they received hundreds of offers, I was rejected. Not surprised, but disappointed. Well, a week or so ago I received another email noting that they were able to get a few more "galley" copies and I was selected to receive one!! I started the program today, and plan to use this blog to give a running commentary of how I feel and how it's working (or not working).

The program is designed to address the abdominal, or visceral, fat that we tend to accumulate as we hit middle age. As explained in the book, this weight gain is not only common, but more dangerous than "regular" subcutaneous fat accumulation. This visceral fat is more dangerous because it leads to inflammation in the body, which can then lead to all kinds of other problems, including the development of coronary heart disease. Everyone pretty much agrees that visceral fat is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat!

The cause of this accumulation is caused by a number of factors, including hormonal changes, and is not as easy to loose. And the simple orders to eat less and exercise more usually doesn't work!

The Cure is designed to address this visceral fat accumulation. And I am sure I have at least I'm trying the program and will let you all know how I do!

Today was day 1. No caffeine, no alcohol, 3 meals of a protein shake (formula in book) and 1 "real" meal. Dairy is limited to a little cream in the shake. Medications should be limited to only those that are necessary and a good night's sleep is encouraged. Several supplements, including a good multivitamin/multimineral and potassium is also part of the plan. Pretty simple!! I had 2 shakes earlier today and then dinner was a steak with cooked mushrooms. I intended to also have a small salad, but was full enough that I decided to forgo it. I still have one more shake for later tonight, before bed.

I'm not a drinker, so the no alcohol part is easy for me....but I love my tea and I'm missing that! The shakes are filling and last several hours, so hunger has not been an issue. Late this afternoon I developed a headache, which I assume was caffeine withdrawal. After several hours I did take aspirin and it went away. Lots of water means, for me, frequent trips to the bathroom, which can be a pain.....but I know it's good for me!

I'm not going to post my measurements and weight, but will post any gains or losses. I weighed myself this morning and was surprised to have lost over 2 1/2 pounds since 2 weeks ago! A great start, huh? Oh yea....that doesn't count as I hadn't started The Cure yet!

Not sure how often I'll post, but at least once a week when I weigh myself. I'm still reading the book, so I'm not sure how often measurements are to be taken, but when I take them I'll post to show any gains or losses!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Food stores!

Went to the local food store today and it's appalling what they are selling!!

In the past the meat counter was the entire back wall of the it's less than 1/2 and that includes the "ready to cook" meats with marinades, sauces, etc.

The produce area wasn't too bad....but for people living alone it's not good. No longer can you buy a single zucchini, a single bunch of romaine....everything is either in "family packs" or cut up and ready to eat!

Full fat dairy is getting scarce too! I can still get my cream, but only in the small containers (lower fat cream is available in the quart containers). Yogurt? Well, if you don't want low fat or (heaven forbid) no fat, forget it!

Nuts!! I love them! the small bags (for baking, etc) they had chopped walnuts, chopped pecans and that's it. In the big bags they had pecan halves ($8/bag!!!) and walnuts! That's it!!! Of course they have the honey roasted peanuts, etc....but plain nuts? That's it. No choice.

OK....I don't really go up the aisles, except for paper products, but they sure are packed!

Frozen fruit is another thing. I live alone so buying frozen fruits (no additives) is a great way to get fruit for me. So today I go looking for frozen fruit and find 3: peaches, strawberries and blueberries. No raspberries, no blackberries, no mixed fruit! the front of the store, when I get to the register, there's a note posted proclaiming that they are increasing the size of some of their departments. They are now including Indian foods (good) and organic fruits and vegetables (good, but I didn't see any!)....and of course their cereal and snack areas!! Oh yea, just what we need! More snacks and cereals!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tax on sugary sodas?

According to the Wall Street Journal, lawmakers are considering a tax on "soda and other sugary drinks". The purpose of the tax is to help pay for the overhaul of the nation's health-care system.

Do you think this is a good thing? Why or why not?

Apparently the bill would put an excise tax (tax the manufacturer, who will then pass the cost on to consumers) on "soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas", but would not tax diet sodas (and presumably "fruit drinks" that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners!).

And why not diet sodas too? Recent research seems to indicate that diet sodas are just as "bad" and contribute to weight gains as much as the sugar containing ones do!

As a low carber, I never drink sugar-containing sodas and only rarely drink non-sugar sodas. I also never drink fruits drinks, whether they have had sugar added or not. I prefer to eat my calories! This tax, then, would have little or no effect on me!

As a consumer, I hate to see a measure like this pass because I'm afraid it will open the door to taxing other foods and drinks that are considered "unhealthy" or "bad" for us! What's next? Foods that contain trans-fats? Would that be ones that contain more than "0 grams per serving" or foods that have ANY trans-fat? What about snacks? High salt snacks? High fat snacks? Snacks that are essentially little more than sugar? How about fat content? Should I pay more for my 70/30 hamburg because the higher fat content is "bad" for me? Would they tax butter but not margarine? Coconut oil but not soy or corn oil?

So....what is your opinion? Do you support a tax on sugar containing sodas and other drinks?

(AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Low Carb Ice Cream

I've always been a huge fan of ice cream and always missed it on any
diet I tried in the past. Ice milk is not the same, sherbet is fine but too high in
sugar. But ice cream? Thick and rich with chunks of fruit? Yummy!!! But store bought ice cream is loaded with sugar and the "sugar free" brands all have sugar alcohols.'s a way to get that ice cream fix without all the sugar! And a very tasty way to add fat to your low carb diet!

For sweetener, I use SweetPerfection, which is essentially sweet fiber. It's kind of expensive, but to me it's worth it. The recipe is for 1 serving, although it can be made in larger batches. And, of course, for those limiting calories, cut the cream in half! here's what I do.

40-50 grams frozen berries, chopped
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
1 tsp sweetener (or more to taste)

1. While still frozen use a food chopper to chop the fruit to smaller pieces.

2. Add sweetener. I sprinkle over the fruit

3. Add cream

4. Stir well, making sure sweetener is well mixed

5. Place bowl in freezer, stirring and scraping sides every 10-15 minutes.

6. When frozen to desired consistency, Enjoy!

I've also made this with chocolate, and use 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder and increase the sweetener to 1 T.

Nutritional information:
For Strawberry, with 40 g frozen strawberries and SweetPerfection-
Calories: 431
Fat: 44 g (saturated: 27 g)
Carbs: 10 g (fiber: 3 g) - Net: 7 g
Protein: 3 g

Nutritional information:
For Chocolate, with 1 T unsweetened cocoa and 1T SweetPerfection-
Calories: 449
Fat: 45 g (saturated: 27 g)
Carbs: 14 g (fiber: 9 g) - Net: 5g
Protein: 3 g

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Email to Dr Nancy Snyderman of MSNBC

MSNBC has recently started a new show, seen weekdays at 12 noon ET. The 1 hour show features Dr Nancy Snyderman talking about items in the news, health myths and other health-related topics.

In the "Health Myths" part of the show, "Dr Nancy" tackles various subjects that are felt to be "common knowledge", despite the fact that they may or may not be true.

Like many of the doctors featured on TV, Dr Nancy seems to follow the mainstream medical opinions, sometimes sounding like she's simply repeating press releasese and not actually looking into issues.

This past week Dr Nancy tackled the common myth that eggs increase our cholesterol levels and should therefore be avoided. In her response, Dr Nancy said to limit eggs to 1-2 per week! This is exactly what the AHA (American Heart Association) recommends, but there seems to be little or no real evidence that eggs and/or dietary cholesterol actually does cause or contribute to developing or worsening heart disease!

As eggs are often a big part of most low carb diets, I decided to write and email to Dr Nancy asking for her to take an indepth look at low carb plans and report on them. Here is the email I sent:

Dr Nancy.
Your comments today on eggs is prompting this request!

I wish you would to a GOOD report on low carb diets and how they relate to heart disease, controlling blood sugars, etc.
Despite the research that is out there, done by some notables (like Dr Eric Westman and Dr William Yancy at Duke) the diets are repeatedly bashed as being bad for us and bad for our hearts and useless with diabetes. This despite study after study showing dramatic improvements in blood lipids, blood insulin and glucose levels, lower BP and a host of other "side effects"! True, LDL sometimes "goes up", but this is: 1 a calculated value that is incorrect with low triglycerides and 2 deceiving as most of the time people with low triglycerides have large, fluffy LDL, not tight dense LDL[Lipoprotein (a)]. Check out the research!

I've been watching your show and would love to see a real evaluation of the studies and the diets! Not a crazy diet that restricts carbs to 20-30 grams per day indefinitely (this is NOT Atkins!), but a healthful diet consisting of lean meats, full fat dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables! Not depending on low carb products, but avoiding processed foods and getting back to cooking our own meals!

I know the "common wisdom" is that saturated fats will kill us (read the original press articles from the Framingham Heart Study!), but there is no real evidence that this is true! (Check out Dr Malcolm Kendrick, Uffe Ravnskov, Dr Mary Enig) Almost all of the studies (the well designed ones) that "test" the sat fat theory contain either high levels of trans-fats or high levels of carbohydrates! Many even contain both!

I have been personally researching this for several years and have yet to find good evidence that sat fats are bad for us and/or that low carb diets are required for good health! (Feel free to email me, I'll give you lots of links to get you started!

Please don't just attack low carb diets out of hand! We've already seen too many commentaries on this!


Now, I have no idea if Dr Nancy actually even reads her email (I'm sure she get hundreds a day!), but I am curious if I get a response and/or if she will do a fair and well researched response.

Stay tuned! If I hear anything else, I'll be sure to post!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Conservadems? That's not what I voted for!!!

Kay Hagan! Do what you were elected to do!!

I watch MSBNC almost every night....and several hours of the day when I'm home. I've been listening to Rachel Maddow talking about the "Conservadems" and I am really ticked off.

In case you don't know....this is a term to represent a group of Democrats who are attempting to undermine President Obama's agenda. At least in my case, and I think in most others, these people were elected because we wanted a change.....and they promised to help pass President Obama's agenda he was quite clear of during the campaign. They cannot possibly say they were not aware of what Mr Obama wanted to accomplish!

Right now I am really upset. I voted for Kay Hagan in North Carolina because I wanted to elect someone that was in agreement with what was supposed to be a change for America. If I wanted business as usual, I would have voted to retain Mrs Dole. If I wanted to continue the Republican agenda of cutting taxes and then slashing public programs I would have voted for Dole.....but I wanted someone who believed as I did. I wanted someone that would work to change the way our country is run!

Kay Hagan ran as a Democrat. She repeatedly stated that she represented change. She repeatedly told us that she would follow the President's agenda. She did not run as a conservative, fiscal or religious!

There is an online petition to call for these so-called Conservadems to change their ways.....find it here: CONSERVADEMS You Should Be Replaced! and please pass it on!

Oh's a list of the Conservadems. If you voted for one and are angry, sign the petition and give them a call:
KAY HAGAN (NC) (CALL: 202-224-6342
For others, you can look up your representatives' contact information here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jim Cramer Interview by Jon Stewart

For those that haven't heard yet......check out the 3 part interview Jon Stewart did with Jim Cramer.

Just in case the embed doesn't work, here are the links:
Jim Cramer Pt. 1
Jim Cramer Pt. 2
Jim Cramer Pt. 3

Friday, January 09, 2009

Sanjay Gupta? For Surgeon General?

CNN and others are reporting:

Obama asks CNN's Sanjay Gupta to be next surgeon general

The popular television personality, a practicing neurosurgeon, reportedly would be provided a broader portfolio to make wellness, fitness and healthcare reform a top priority.

Reporting from Washington and New York -- President-elect Barack Obama has asked Dr. Sanjay Gupta to be the next U.S. surgeon general, looking to a popular television personality to help provide a public face for his healthcare agenda.

Best known as a health and medicine correspondent for CNN and CBS, Gupta, 39, is a practicing neurosurgeon in Atlanta and a member of the faculty at the Emory University School of Medicine.

The surgeon general oversees some 6,000 officers in the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service. Officers work as physicians, nurses, dentists and other health professionals in various federal agencies -- including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Prisons.

Past surgeons general have wielded the most influence, however, by using the bully pulpit to focus attention on major health issues. And Gupta would come to the post with an unparalleled public profile and background as a communicator.

Sanjay Gupta? Oh, please Mr Obama, no! Great smile.....popular on-air personality.....but not Surgeon General!

A little about me. I am a RN (class of '76) and have been an avid reader of medical topics for several years. Over the past few years, because of my own increasing age as well as some of the articles and research I've looked at, I have become a proponent of many non-conventional treatments and practices. The areas I am especially interested in are diet and nutrition, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes and other diseases of carbohydrate metabolism. I am a low carb advocate even tho I still struggle with weight and other health issues. I am also an advocate of an interactive doctor patient relationship. I believe all should investigate any disease, condition, prescription etc on their own and doctors should encourage this rather than look at it as questioning their authority. I believe strongly that we are pushing medications to excess, often without even attempting other means of treatment. I believe that many of the non-conventional treatments are viewed as a threat to doctors, nutritionists, and others and are attacked rather than looked into with an open mind.

So.....regarding Dr Gupta......I guess it all depends on what you want for a Surgeon General. If you are looking for a person that will be little more than a spokesperson for the AMA, AHA, ADA et all....if you are looking for someone to try to block real health care reform.....if you are looking for a puppet that doesn't do his (or her) own research, but instead depends on talking points provided by pharmaceutical companies....OK, he's the perfect choice.

But, if you want a Surgeon General is someone that will oversee not only the Public Health Service, but also promote truly healthy lifestyle changes...not what is being promoted today, but changes that really will make a difference....well, I'd say keep looking.

There are so many things that are pushed onto the public that have little or no scientific background. Much of the research that is done is poorly done and many times the results are misinterpreted. I would like to see a Surgeon General that looks at all the the policies and practices and study each issue and check out the research himself. Not just read the summaries, but look at the data and make his own interpretations. Of course I'd want this person to do this with an open mind, not just looking to verify his/her beliefs.

Currently much of the "current wisdom" in the medical industry is based on faulty or non-existent research. You cannot conclude anything from observational (or co-hort) studies, you can only form a hypothesis. You cannot promote a practice based on tradition....or beliefs that have since been proven wrong. You cannot continue to push policy and practices on people where the data just isn't there.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has sold out to Big Pharma and various food manufacturers. Allowing the AHA seal of approval on foods that do nothing to promote heath. Allowing Big Pharma to repeatedly conduct "education" seminars that are little more than sales pitches. Ignoring evidence that many of their practices are at least useless and in some cases dangerous. The American Medical Association too.....either they are complicit with manufacturers and drug companies or they just do their own research.....but they are continuously promoting practices and policies that are not based in science.

And the American Diabetic Association? Well they promote a diet based on the very thing that diabetics have trouble handling! Despite studies done to show more effective treatment, treatment that minimizes complications as well as the need for medications, they continue to promote the same treatments that they have for decades. They repeatedly cite "research". Poorly done, misinterpreted research maybe...but not well designed, well executed studies that show results they don't want to see.

The whole medical establishment repeatedly promotes a diet that is based on processed food!! Think of it.....the largest part of the food pyramid is grains. With few exceptions, grains must be processed in order for them to be edible for humans. So....we base our diet on a processed food? And! At the same time, we should limit protein and fat to very small portions. Even tho we likely evolved on large quantities of fats and proteins with minimal (and mostly seasonal) fruits and vegetables and virtually no grains, the diet that is promoted today pushes limiting naturally occurring fats and protein and encourages processed foods.

Please Mr Obama, look into some others for this position. Look
for someone that is more free-thinking. Someone who does his/her own
research and looks at the data and design of studies before forming an
opinion. Someone that is willing, if necessary, to take on the "big
guys" (ADA, AHA, AMA, Big Pharma, etc) and question or correct policies
and procedures that are ineffective or even dangerous.

For further reading, I highly recommend:
Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes (or any article written by Mr Taubes)
Blood Sugar 101 by Jenny Ruhl
Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution by Dr Richard K bernstein
Weston A Price Foundation: Know Your Fats
The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick