With our country leading the way for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, macular degeneration, and cancer, it is time to examine your own lifestyle eating habits and decide to take charge and do your job, which is loving and protecting your amazing body. Remember our mantra: I am beautiful, I am strong, and I am a princess!
To keep our bodies trim and fit, it must be a romance. You love your body; it needs you to protect it. Romance your body by feeding it what it really needs, “calculated care.” Consider that you are your body’s ultimate gatekeeper, its guardian. It is up to you to protect and nurture your body, giving it what it needs for optimal wellness, only allowing in that which is good, healthy and nourishing. If you do not tend to its needs, it will turn on you and destroy itself with ill health, disease, and deterioration. I am an avid reader of health books and magazines. I love to read the latest research regarding nutrition and natural ways to feed your body. What a wonderful time to be alive and have the privilege of seeing the latest discoveries for furthering our health.
I personally take nutrients every single day, and I believe it is one of the most important daily habits to acquire. Your body needs nutrition. Think of nutrients as food, not pills or medicine. It is impossible to get all you need from food. Our depleted soil is lacking valuable vitamins and minerals, and food by itself is simply not enough to feed your body. Stress in the work place or at home, along with chemicals we breathe, plus noise and pollution, puts a high level of stress even on a healthy body. Good nutrition can help counteract much of the stress we encounter just because we are alive and breathing.
Perhaps your weight is a big issue for you and causing you to feel self-conscious, or it is adversely affecting your health. If that is the case then you and only you can change this situation. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are wonderful programs, especially the support and encouragement you will receive from others sharing your same efforts.
What works for my lifestyle eating habits, may not work for you, but from all that I have read and practiced, a low-carb, high-protein diet will keep fat off your middle. Abdominal fat is lethal as it plays a major role in heart disease, the leading cause of death for women. Belly fat is toxic and dangerous for every woman. One in four women will die from heart disease. People on a low-carb diet are not as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, which is also a major threat to women.
On July 17, 2008, The New England Journal of Medicine posted results of “Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet.” This two-year study involved 322 participants who were moderately obese. They divided them into three separate groups and assigned each group one of the three mentioned diets. Only the low-carb diet had no restricted calories.
The study surprised mainstream medicine as the low-carb diet showed the most favorable results with the greatest weight loss and reduction in cholesterol and lowered triglycerides. The Mediterranean diet also had favorable results for diabetic subjects in reducing inflammation and controlling glucagon and insulin levels. The low-fat diet came in last!
Dr. Robert Atkins would have loved seeing the results of this study. He fought mainstream medicine for years, desperately trying to prove his low-carbohydrate diet was the healthiest way to eat. I watched him berated for his low-carb diet by another doctor on a talk show. I wish he could have lived to wallow in “I told you so!”
This is so amazing! We can actually kick the low fat fads finally to the curb and enjoy flavor and texture without guilt. Three cheers for Dr. Atkins! (Note: The Atkins Diet is extremely rigid during the induction stage, so check with your doctor to determine if it is appropriate for you.)
I encourage you pick up a copy of The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston, M.D. He set out to create a diet to help cardiac patients and wound up helping the world. I love this book because it makes the lifestyle change easy. No one wants to feel deprived of food and dine on rice cakes and carrot sticks. The South Beach Diet is a challenge to get beyond the Phase 1 stage lasting two weeks. You must avoid fruit, bread, and dairy during this time. Over the next two weeks, you will gradually add these foods back into your diet, but it will be the good carbs. Dr. Agatston has also written The South Beach Cookbook, which is full of great recipes to keep you strong and fit.
Mediterranean diets are more fish, chicken, and lamb orientated, keeping red meat at a minimum. The fat generally comes from olive oil. Yogurt and cheese are main staples along with fresh vegetables and fruit, and of course, red wine. Red wine has the age-fighting ingredient resveratrol. Red wine is also a natural blood thinner. Add some whole grain bread, dipped in olive oil, and you have the perfect diet. Oh, and do not forget a small piece of dark chocolate. Who would have guessed we would actually witness the discovery of the Holy Grail? Wine, cheese, and chocolate are all good for us! Now we can dine guilt-free, as a princess should!