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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easy Spring Cleanse 1 week Diet: Do it!

Sometimes we just need to simplify our lives.. and our menus to lose weight! Do this for one week and I guarantee you will lose weight and feel recharged and renewed. Send me your before and after weights and any questions. Have fun! Your pants are going to feel so good soon.

Spring Cleanse

Eat ONLY the foods listed below: (sensible portions)

-       vegetables - all
-       fruit - all
-       sprouted whole grain bread (Ezekiel 4:9) OR whole wheat matzo (if you're starting over Passover)
-       quinoa
-       sweet potato
-       eggs or egg whites
-       nuts
-       avocado
-       butter
-       olive oil
-       fish
-    seafood
-       chicken
-       steak
-       bacon (max 2 strips per day)
-       beans and legumes
-       tofu
-       shirataki noodles (House Foods brand, buy at Whole Foods, Longos, or T&T grocery)
-       vinegars
-       spices, ketchup (sparingly), mustard
-       clear broth soup
-       Drinks: water, soda water, unsweetened almond milk (Blue Diamond Almond Breeze brand unsweetened chocolate or vanilla), tea, coffee (max 1 cup per day), red wine (max 4 glasses per week)

Optional: Use calorie tracker like to plug in portions of foods to make sure calories fall in good range for you. To find out how many calories you should be eating per day, go to It will have you plug in your age, sex, weight, and height and it will calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). You will then scroll down the page and it will tell you how many calories you burn in a day based on your activity level (be honest). Once you have this number, subtract 500, and this is how many calories you can eat in a day to lose 1 lb of fat per week, or subtract 1000 to lose 2 lbs of fat per week.

Example: A 35 y.o female that weighs 140 lbs and is 5”4, who does 3 spin classes per week and works at a desk job (i.e. moderately active), will burn between 2042 – 2161 calories per day (depending on which formula chart you use). To lose 1 lb of fat per week, she would need to eat approximately 1600 calories per day.

** Don’t be surprised if you lose more than 1 – 2 lbs of fat per week though because you will also be shedding water and glycogen weight.

Can't think of what to eat? Here are some breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas to get you started:


-       Ezekiel bread 1 piece toasted with butter and tomato slices
-       Ezekiel bread 1 piece toasted, smoked salmon, cucumber, tomato slices
-       Egg white omelet with mushrooms, onions, Ezekiel bread
-       Egg white omelet with vegetables and 2 strips bacon
-       2 hard boiled eggs, 1 slice Ezekiel bread toasted with butter
-       Handful almonds and apple
-       Apple and 2 hard boiled eggs
-       Grapefruit, 1 slice toast with butter


-       Mixed green salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with grilled chicken breast, grilled salmon, or grilled shrimp, 1 slice Ezekiel bread
-       Tuna and salmon sashimi, edamame beans, miso soup (or rolls without rice, i.e. wrapped in cucumber)
-       Canned tuna packed in water, drain, place in sandwich with Ezekiel bread, tomato and avocado slices
-       Egg white omelet, 1 slice Ezekiel toast, side salad or tomato slices
-       Bean salad – chickpeas and lentils mixed with olive oil, 1 sliced chicken breast
-       Apple, sliced chicken breast, carrots and celery
-       Steak sandwich – 2 slices Ezekiel bread, 1 piece lean steak, tomato slices, lettuce
-       Freshii restaurant type salad using mix of following ingredients: greens, cut up veggies, plain protein, i.e. not mixed with mayonnaise – chicken, bacon, tuna, etc.; nuts; raisins *dressing should be either vinegar only or vinegar mixed with small amount olive oil


-       same as lunch options, or
-       protein (i.e. grilled or steamed or bbq’ed chicken breast, steak, fish, seafood, or tofu), with steamed or grilled vegetables, with either sweet potato, quinoa, or shirataki noodles


-       nuts, fruit, cut up veggies, hard boiled eggs, glass almond milk
Good luck. Send this to as many people as you know and have a contest. Spring challenge. Email me for support/motivation. Do it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Potato Chips and Heroin: Science Reveals Similarity

Potato chips and heroine have a lot more in common than one may think. Whereas expressions like sugar addict, chocolate fix and overeaters anonymous suggest a similarity between food and drugs, a recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry actually confirmed that the brain chemistry between food addicts and drug addicts are exactly the same when it comes to cravings and urges.

Researchers analyzed the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans of women who constantly ate uncontrollably, i.e often binged, eating past the point of hunger saturation. The brains of these women, when shown pictures of a chocolate milk shake made with Häagen-Dazs ice cream, revealed increased activity in the same regions of the brain that fire when people who are dependent on drugs or alcohol experience cravings. Not surprisingly, when women who weren’t addicted to food were presented with the same milk shake picture, they showed a much lower activity in the same regions.

Now here comes the interesting part. Five seconds after which the women were presented with the photo, they were also given the Häagen-Dazs ice cream milkshake to taste. Over the top delicious, right? Wrong. Once the women actually tasted the milk shakes, those who scored high on the food-addiction scale showed dramatically less activity in the “reward circuitry” of their brains than the other women. 

This phenomenon of fantasizing about the “fix” and then being underwhelmed with the high is what leads to problematic eating and drug use behaviors. It explains the AA expression, “one is too many, a thousand isn’t enough,” and the drug expression, “chasing the first high.” The idea of the binge is better than the actual binge and hence the addict doesn’t feel satisfied with just one bite, one hit, or one drink and continues to chase the feeling by consuming more and more. Regret and ill consequences ensue. 

So what is the addict to do? The key is to break the circuitry. In order to diminish the behavior, one needs to treat the fantasy and the high of anticipation. In essence, once needs to learn to stop dreaming of how wonderful the indulgence is going to be because in reality, it’s not. Quite the opposite, in fact. The more the addict practices actively quieting the voice in the head and not giving in, the softer it will become and the less strong the neural firing will be. 

Many food addicts feel that they’re up against an impossible task since they can’t quit food all together as smokers, alcoholics and drug users can with their respective drugs. And it’s true – it’s much harder to become a controlled user than abstinent. This being said, most food addicts binge on certain foods and not others. I recommend becoming abstinent to these trigger foods, which are typically carbohydrates – bread, salty snacks like crackers, chips, pretzels, etc., and quick releasing sugar treats like ice cream, pop, and candy. This still leaves lots of food to enjoy. Yes, it’s too bad that these foods can’t be enjoyed, and yes it’s too bad that a recovering alcoholic can’t enjoy a glass of wine, but such is life. Acceptance and being grateful for the things you do have and can enjoy in life are key.

My recommendation: Take some time and really think about your binge foods. What’s calling your name? Write these foods down and quit - cold turkey. The hardest part is making up your mind. Once you’ve decided to quit, stop thinking and compromising and scheming and dreaming; shut your brain off as soon as it starts to fantasize: turn the channel if a tantalizing food commercial is on, avoid events and functions that might serve up your trigger foods for the first little while, don't stop at the drive through or convenience store or walk the grocery aisle with junk foods..and don’t give in. Practice. Within a few months, you’ll be well on the road to recovery; although hard days will be inevitable, in general, it will just keep getting easier and easier the longer you persist.