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Sherry's healthful wellness tips

8 Rules you should break to lose weight

Did you know that we spend over $107 million every day on weight loss products and weight loss plans? Women, especially, diet before weddings, reunions, bathing suit season – the list goes on. We DIET because we feel that is the best way to get slim.
You can probably drop a few pounds on any plan but most people gain it back and often end up heavier. A lot of this weight loss wisdom turns out NOT to be so smart after all. Here are 8 rules you should BREAK when it comes to weight loss:
The best workout for losing weight is aerobics or cardio vascular
FACT: Cardio is great for burning calories, but it does not preserve or build muscle. If you cut your calories and do only aerobic classes, you will actually lose muscle tissue and slow down your metabolic rate. Every pound of muscle you have burns 15-20 calories a day. It may not sound like much, but if you lose a pound of muscle you could gain 2 pounds of fat in 1 year.
STRATEGY: You can gain 1-3 pounds of muscle in 3 months if you lift weights at least 2-5 times a week. Use weights heavy enough so it is difficult to do the last 3 repetitions. I like to do 3-4 sets of 15 repetitions for each exercise and break it down to 2 muscle groups per workout out session. Add some cardio after you lift weights to see great results. You need the glycogen in the muscle to lift the weight and once that is used up, the body turns to fat for energy.
It is simple - cut your calories and you will lose weight
FACT: This concept always drives me crazy as a Health & Wellness Consultant, because very often when sitting down with a client I would actually ADD a meal or two to their day. If you are not getting enough calories for the day, especially protein, your body will break down muscle to get more. Muscle helps your body burn calories. When you eat too few calories, your body produces less of a hormone called LEPTIN, which may help regulate appetite. Research is showing that women who cut their calories too low caused LEPTIN to diminish by an average of 54% and their hunger DOUBLED! The downturn of LEPTIN production occurs within 48 hours of starting a low-calorie regimen which may explain why so many diets started on Monday are history by Friday.
STRATEGY: Complete meals of protein, good fats and fibrous carbohydrates every 3-4 hours will keep your energy level up and support muscle.
Cut the carbs and the weight will fall off
FACT: A study done at the University of Pennsylvania found that even though the low-carb dieters lost MORE weight in the beginning, there is no difference in weight loss after one year with other conventional weight loss plans. Cutting carbs is too restrictive and it usually causes fatigue and when you are tired, you tend to overeat the wrong foods. Remember, it is the processed carbohydrates that get us in trouble. There is nothing wrong with whole fruits and vegetables.
STRATEGY: Eating healthy does not mean no carbs! Eating plenty of high-fiber carbs like fresh vegetables and whole grains are still low in fat and calories and will keep you full
Keep your daily fat intake to under 20% - fat makes you fat!
FACT: There are some people who keep track of their fat grams better than their money in their checkbook. Fat makes food taste better and if you are more satisfied with a meal, you will more likely stick with a good eating plan. Many of the fat-free foods on the market today are loaded with sugar which are converted to glucose in the body and stored as fat – period! Two low-fat cookies can contain more calories than 2 Oreos – low-fat cookies are less satisfying and you may end up eating more of them in the long run. Many people are lacking good fats like olive oil or canola oil or good fats from nuts.
STRATEGY – Take a look at your day of meals and see if you might be lacking good fats – a handful of nuts tossed in a salad at dinner are full of unsaturated fats and magnesium which help you to calm down and get a better night’s sleep.
You can eat as much as you want of soup, salad, fruits, popcorn since they are naturally low-fat and low-calorie
FACT: Portion control does matter and when you give people the green light to eat as much of these foods as they want, they tend to eat too many calories for the day and never feel satisfied. They end up lacking protein which supports muscle.
STRATEGY: Again, complete meals every 3-4 hours with good quality protein (chicken, tuna, fish, egg whites, legumes, turkey, soy, etc.) and fibrous carbohydrates ( anything in the produce aisle) will help keep your weight in check with regular exercise.
There is no such thing as a bad food
FACT: I used to say this all the time, but I find some people need to understand there are some pretty bad foods on the market today – most of which are in the center aisles of the grocery stores. Take a look at complete meal in a box including the chicken – that is a little scary! Let’s face it – an orange is still better than a candy bar. There are trigger foods like breads and cookies than set you up to crave more of the same foods all day.
STRATEGY: Stock your pantry and refrigerator with healthy carbs like whole grain breads, pasta made from rice, veggies for snacking, low-fat dairy products, etc.
Walking for 30 minutes 3 days a week is all you need to do to lose weight
FACT: The American Heart Association recommends this for cardiovascular health, however, it is not enough to really lose some weight. Remember, you must incorporate weight training too – so a good idea is to get in ONE HOUR of physical activity everyday.
STRATEGY: You could lift weights for 30 minutes and then walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. The weight lifting part could include 2 muscle groups for 15 minutes each followed by the cardio workout – walking or doing aerobics. 
You are not allowed to eat after dinner or dinner should be no later than 6:00 pm
FACT: Who eats dinner at 6:00 pm? Most people do not even get home until 6:00 pm. The research is showing it is not when you eat – it is WHAT and HOW MUCH food that really counts. If you give yourself a cut-off time you may actually eat more at dinner because you know you are not supposed to eat anything else later.
STRATEGY: Try and eat your main meal during the day and enjoy a lighter dinner. If that is not possible, then have enough dinner to feel satisfied and then have a snack later on. Good choices include “Yogurt, Oats and Raisins” or yogurt with a high-fiber cereal or a dish of sorbet or frozen yogurt. 
Remember, a hearty, healthy meal can satisfy you and rev up your metabolism. Small, tiny portions can slow it down. Stupid diets can be bad for your body and make you heavier in the long run. You must eat whole foods, good quality protein, do weight bearing exercise and cardio-vascular workout to lose weight and keep it off. The reward is feeling better during the day with more energy and sleeping better at night. How wonderful is that!?

8 Risk factors for heart disease

I know you have heard all the rules for preventing heart disease – get your cholesterol checked regularly, cut down on saturated fat, exercise, quit smoking, reduce stress levels. Unfortunately, it is not that simple anymore – there is new research out about lowering your risk of heart disease. Below are 8 risk factors to avoid.
Eating too much pasta
If you have given up fat in favor of more carbohydrates, you may be doing your heart a disservice. For years, we all thought heart disease was a “fat” problem. It is not – it is a sugar problem. Surprise! People have been on low-fat diets for 30 years and heart disease has increased. The explanation lies in Syndrome X – which is a cluster of 4 symptoms including low HDL (the good cholesterol), high triglycerides, obesity and high blood pressure. These 4 symptoms put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes. It is a condition called "insulin resistance"– insulin raises blood pressure, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol which can lead to diabetes – diabetes boosts the risk of heart disease. Even a moderate elevated level of blood sugar can increase the risk of heart disease.
SOLUTION: eat reasonable amounts of protein and fat and go for the “good carbohydrates” like fresh fruit and vegetables which will give you more fiber and antioxidants. Simply going for a walk everyday for 30 minutes lowers blood sugar levels.
Not eating enough of the good fats
This means vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil, corn, safflower and sunflower plus Omega 3’s (essential fatty acids) found in cold-water fish, walnuts and flaxseeds. DECREASED CONSUMPTION OF THESE OILS CAN ACTUALLY INCREASE THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE. SOLUTION: Get “fat-free” out of your head! Toss walnuts or toasted almonds into your salad every day. Eat salmon whenever possible, grind flaxseeds and add them to smoothies and vegetables, use olive oil based salad dressings.
Being a bachelor
Not being married can literally break a guy’s heart. Studies have shown that ‘never-married’ men have an increased risk of dying of heart disease. These findings remained the same after adjustments were made for age, smoking, physical activity, alcohol intake, etc. The reason is that marriage provides a social support system which is protective of the heart. Having a life partner offers emotional security for both men and women.
SOLUTION: get out there – join a dinner group, book club, gym, bowling league, biking group, whatever interests you to get out of the house.

Being a "type A" personality
Do you know any of those people who get up in the morning and are on the treadmill with a cup of coffee and their cell phone? These are definitely Type A personalities and there is a strong association between stress and heart disease. Stress increases cortisol (stress) hormone and adrenaline levels and in turn boosts the C-reactive protein – an inflammatory molecule that is directly involved with the early course of heart disease.
SOLUTION: Lighten up, put the cell phone away, listen to relaxing music. Are you drinking too much coffee? 4 or more cups of coffee per day raises homocysteine and cholesterol levels. Take time for yourself – meditation will lower your heart rate, cholesterol and blood pressure. Studies have shown that yoga can lower blood pressure, decrease your heart rate and reduce cholesterol levels.
Eat your greens
Eat your greens or whole-grains – they are rich in B-vitamins which help to de-stress the body. B vitamins help keep levels of homocysteine levels in check – homocysteine is an amino acid formed during normal metabolic processes. If blood levels of this hormone are too high – over time, the result is atherosclerosis and heart disease. B- vitamins are required to metabolize homocysteine levels and increasing your levels of B- vitamins and reduce your risk of heart disease.
SOLUTION: Add a B-vitamin to your daily routine or better yet, eat leafy greens and veggies.
Are you a spiritual person?
People who do not have a spiritual connection are more likely to develop heart disease versus those who do have strong spiritual connection show a reversal of heart disease. Prayer can create healing!
SOLUTION: Connect with something greater than yourself. I enjoy reading Sylvia Brown’s collection of books which will give you some good ideas for making a spiritual connection. Take time to watch the sun set in the sky. Find what works for you!

Being a post-menopausal woman
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women – more than breast cancer. They are at an increased risk for heart disease because of elevated levels of estrogen. Estrogen has a protective effect on the heart but estrogen levels drop dramatically after menopause. Plus women tend to gain weight because metabolism decreases after menopause.
SOLUTION: Add 26 grams of soy to your daily routine, exercise of course, and digestive enzymes can help fight arterial inflammation. Omega 3’s reduce inflammation in the body. Co-Enzyme Q10 protects the heart and L-Carnitine acts like a “fat taxi” because it forces the body to use the fat that is on you for fuel.
Having a low HDL (good) cholesterol count
If HDL levels are too low, the risk of heart disease is increased. It appears that LDL (bad) cholesterol transports cholesterol from the liver to the cells, while the “good” HDL cholesterol does the opposite – it removes damaging cholesterol from the cells and transports it to the liver so it can be removed from the body. So if HDL level is too low – it could indicate more of build-up.
SOLUTION: Increase your activity levels, anything that gets your heart rate up can increase HDL (good) cholesterol. If you smoke – quit! You don’t have to run a marathon – taking a low-impact aerobic class will do the trick.
So, to keep your heart healthy follow this simple advice:
  • Eat right, exercise, drink plenty of water
  • Include following foods in your diet: walnuts, red wine, ginger, apples, barley, oats, green tea, beans, garlic and soy
  • Include a few supplements that will keep your heart ticking strong
Recommended supplements
Supplement

The Benefit for You

Niacin
Helps lower blood lipids, This should be in your vitamin supplement, or
B-Vitamin
500 mg per day
Omega 3's
Fish oil can help protect the heart and slow down the build-up of plaque in artery walls.  500-1000 mg. twice a day
Grapeseed extract
Helps prevent plaque from forming - 150 mg. twice daily
Magnesium
Many people are lacking magnesium - it is important for overall health and reducing stress in the body.  It is also important for absorbing calcium.
Flaxseed
Ground - helps lower lipoprotein levels in the blood and balance estrogen levels. 1 -2 teaspoons daily
Co-Enzyme Q10
A vitamin-like nutrient that helps improve congestive heart failure; take 30-100 mg daily
Natural Vitamine E
Helps prevent atherosclerosis and lowers heart attack risk - 400 IU daily - it is best absorbed when taken with Vitamine C
Garlic
Oderless - lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure - or cook with it whenever possible.  follow the label directions
Hawthorn
A herb that strengthens the heart

 

Natural remedies for allergies

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an estimated 50-60 million Americans suffer from allergies – 35 million suffer from seasonal allergies including sensitivity to trees, grass and ragweed pollen more commonly known as hay fever. Pollen can torment allergy sufferers any time of year, especially in warmer climates.
Allergies are a result of an immune system gone wild. Instead of recognizing an allergen as benign (such as pollen or mold spores), the immune system identifies the substance as sinister and produces antibodies designed to defuse foreign invaders and protect the person from future exposure. This overblown defense results in sniffling, sneezing, itching, etc.
During the past several decades, allergies have increased considerably and the research is showing it is due to our changing environment. Today, we are exposed to 60,000 different chemicals that can accumulate in our body’s tissues and organs. In the United States alone, more than 2.2 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the environment and one year – 1994. This chemical build-up in the body is referred to as the “rain-barrel effect.” The build-up increases to a point where the last drop finally drips over the top and your body can no longer cope with the extent of toxicity contained in the body. When this happens, the immune system develops hypersensitivities that trigger allergic reactions.
Many over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines and decongestants are losing their effectiveness in treating the symptoms. The side effects are not losing their effectiveness which range from cold-like symptoms to anxiety, insomnia or drowsiness. The good news is there are some natural botanicals and supplements that can give you relief.
Probiotics
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that help normalize immune system function and improve or prevent allergic responses. The research is showing that this good bacteria help the immune system how to decide the difference between harmless substances and dangerous invaders. Try acidophilus in supplement form and follow label directions or include low-fat cultured yogurt in your daily regimen.
 Co-Enzyme Q 10
Co-Enzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like compound that helps to build the immune system and is a powerful anti-oxidant that enhances the effect of other anti-allergy supplements. Allergy sufferers typically have low-levels of anti-oxidants especially during allergy season.
Acupuncture
Some people opt for a more hands on approach and find that acupuncture supports and stabilizes immune function – it works so well that many report complete remission of symptoms. Each acupuncture point stimulates different parts of the brain which are crucial to immune system response especially when it comes to controlling allergies.
Vitamin C
By suppressing the production of histamines, you can often prevent or at least reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Vitamin C and various bio-flavonoids like those found in soy provide natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatory effects. Bio-flavonoids work to stabilize cell membranes so histamines are not easily released and are found in citrus fruits, berries of all kinds, herbs and spices like parsley and turmeric. Drinking several cups of green tea daily can prevent allergic responses. Grape-seed extract contain powerful antioxidants. Quercetin (found in apples, onions, berries, cabbage, grapefruit, tea and red wine) contain powerful flavonoids and reduce histamine production.  Quercetin is better absorbed when taken with bromelain – a mix of enzymes naturally found in pineapple. Many natural medicine doctors recommend taking 400 mg. of Quercetin with 100 mg. Bromelain and 500 mg. of Vitamin C with meals up to three times a day.
Milk thistle
This is a supplement I have taken for years because it supports liver function – it is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that prevent allergic reactions as well. Milk Thistle contains sylimarin that protect cells by neutralizing the effects of toxins, chemicals and pollutants.
Omega 3’S
Omega 3's are found in fish, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts and whole grains will help to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms because they reduce inflammation in the body.

Stinging nettle
Stinging nettle contains a host of anti-inflammatory substances along with vitamins, flavonoids and minerals. Hay fever sufferers showed a significant reduction in symptoms after taking freeze-dried nettle leaf.
Peppermint tea
Peppermint tea can help thin mucus and break up congestion and relieve nasal symptoms.
Garlic
Garlic is rich in flavonoids like Quercetin and acts as an antioxidant enzyme plus it can reduce mucus and congestion. Add garlic to your favorite recipes everyday.

Thyme
Thyme helps calm a cough and soothes irritated bronchial tubes. Add fresh thyme to sauces or soups.
It is important to note that you should avoid foods that inflame or aggravate symptoms like wheat, dairy, sugar, corn, peanuts and eggs – in some people, these are highly reactive foods that cause inflammation in the body and mimic allergy symptoms including bloating and fatigue. The research is showing that people who react to grass pollens may react to certain fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes, onions, garlic, peaches and melons as well as peanuts, eggs and pork.
If you think you are allergic to a certain food, eliminate from your diet for at least 2-3 weeks and see if your symptoms improve.
As with most conventional allergy treatments, natural remedies work best when taken before the fact - from one week to one month before the start of allergy season – and continue until allergy season has passed. OF course, a healthy diet and regular exercise do wonders for building and keeping the immune system strong.

The low down on low carbs

For years, you have seen low-fat products all over the grocery store aisles from low-fat ice cream to low-fat breads, cookies, cakes and more. Well, look out! The low-fat foods are about to be replaced with an array of LOW-CARB foods. In fact, there are “Low-Carb Superstores” that sell about 1,600 products and you should see 5,000 new outlet stores opening up in the next 5 years.
The FDA hammered out a legal definition of “low-fat” but there is no such standard for “low-carb.” So the FDA is taking notice and there are some manufacturer’s printing misleading labels on products that claim to be low-carb when in fact they are mostly carbohydrates. 
Most low-carb products are lower than their regular counterparts. You may wonder – how do they do it? Instead of sugar and wheat flour, they use soy and wheat gluten to make low-carb muffins, cakes, cookies and pasta. If the product does contain a carbohydrate, it is usually oat bran, wheat bran or insulin – which is a fiber-like substance, actually a PRE-BIOTIC that encourages formation of healthy, beneficial bacteria in the intestine. The body can not break down these carbs, so they pass through the digestive system and contribute far fewer calories than digestible carb
Creating low-carb products that taste good has been a tricky business. This is because flour and sugar contribute to taste, moistness, tenderness, texture and structure we have come to enjoy in baked goods. Most of the low-carb pancake and muffin mixes are OK but the pastas and ready-to-eat breads and muffins are disappointing. 
Now, some of the low-carb ingredients are a huge improvement over the heavy-sugar, low nutrient make-up of the LOW-FAT foods. The fact that the low-carb foods are using soy, oat, wheat and rice brans makes them a better choice than the fat-free products because these ingredients help to lower the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer, diabetes and obesity. 
Low-carb foods are usually sweetened with calorie-free, artificial sweeteners so they do not contain empty calories like SUGAR. You will see products sweetened with sugar alcohols like LACTITOL ( a derivative from milk sugar lactose) and MALTITOL (from malt) which deliver only half the calories from sugar. In moderation, sugar alcohols are fine, however, if you eat too much, you can wind up with diarrhea.
Even though there are healthy low-carb foods, there are tons of low-carb junk food. The sugar is replaced with fat in the OLD LOW-FAT SNACKS but FAT is replacing the CARBS in many of the low-carb products. Some are high in saturated fat like Atkins Advantage Chocolate Coconut energy bar which has 8 grams of saturated fat – half a day’s recommend limit for saturated fat.
The scientific evidence that low-carb diets work is mixed. One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that after 6 months, low-carb diets lost more weight than those on a low-fat diet. However, after 1 year, there was no significant difference in weight loss between low-carb diets and low-fat dieters. Low-carb diets are too restrictive and if people are substituting low-carb beer and candy for zucchini, it is not going to get them anywhere.
People got fat on low-fat cookies because they were eating the whole box and empty calories can put the weight on fast and leave you feeling less full and satisfied. 
Benefits of low carb foods
  • The low-carb products have more protein and fiber which is a very powerful weight loss tool. Protein and fiber help you stay full longer.
  • You might eat less of highly processed, white flour products.
  • Triglycerides fell significantly lower in the low-carb group compared to a high-carb group in one study.
If you eat large amounts of sugar and refined starches, they up your blood sugar levels, which in turn triggers the release of the hormone insulin. If you are already overweight, if decreases the body’s sensitivity to insulin so the body floods the bloodstream with insulin to compensate. High insulin levels are what can cause diabetes. Eating lots of processed carbs can up your triglycerides – a blood fat that is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. This still means that eating less of processed carbohydrates can lower triglyceride levels.
The key is to eat good quality carbs like WHOLE fruits, vegetables and whole-grains. The high protein diets are high in saturated fat and can increase your risk for heart disease and colon cancer. Too much protein is bad for your kidneys and if you cut your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grains you are missing out on nutrients like B-vitamins and antioxidants. 
THE LABEL – how to understand which products are low in carbs an be difficult to read and comprehend. Read the number of “total carbs” to determine the carbs in a food. Then read the “dietary fiber” which is usually higher in low-carb foods because of the wheat and oat brans. Finally, read the protein – most low-carb foods have higher protein content due to replacing wheat flour with soy and gluten. 
  • Gluten is a wheat protein that important for giving baked goods texture.
  • Soy protein and soy isolate are high-protein, low-carb derivatives from the soy bean.
  • Brans give texture and that “grainy” taste to offset the “beany” taste of soy. It is very low in calories.
  • Spenda is a favorite sweetener found in baked products that is calorie free and doesn’t break down when heated unlike aspartame (Equal) that turns bitter when heated.
If you insist on eating low-carbs, it might help you to get more fiber into your daily routine. After years of sitting down with people to find out what they are eating everyday, some of the products might be an improvement to someone’s diet. Whatever it takes to have you eat more vegetables and salads or anything from the produce section – I’m happy!

Carbohydrates you can eat

First everyone needs to know we have to work with the Body Genetics that were passed down to us. Most people are confused on what carbs to eat to get lean and fit. Well if you want to know what I recommend, I recommend you learn how to eat according to the Glycemic Index below!
Now to enhance your diet, I recommend using the Empower Life products. The Empower Life products will enhance your diet to achieve your health & fitness goals!
The importance of understanding and knowing the Glycemic Index
High Glycemic Index foods have been linked to obesity and diabetes. By understanding and using the Glycemic Index to manage your food consumption will not only help you lose weight, but it can help prevent many chronic diseases such as non-insulin dependent diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, hypertension and many other chronic illnesses. Heart Disease being the no. 1 killer in North America.
What is the Glycemic Index?
This Glycemic Index is not a list of "good" or "bad" carbohydrate foods as far as nutrients go. Instead, it shows which carbohydrate foods raise blood sugar levels. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. It compares foods gram for gram of carbohydrate.
Carbohydrates that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest Glycemic Indexes. The blood glucose response is fast and high. Carbohydrates that breakdown slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low Glycemic Indexes. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health. Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also help reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.
What is the Importance Of Low Glycemic Index Foods?
If you follow a low glycemic diet, it can help you with:
  • Low GI foods/diets can help people lose weight and improve muscle to fat ratio
  • Low GI foods/diets keep you fuller for longer which helps with appetite control
  • Low GI foods/diets have been known to enhance mental alertness
  • Low GI foods/meals have a smaller rise in blood glucose levels after meals
  • Low GI foods/diets can improve the body's sensitivity to insulin
  • Low GI foods/diets can help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise
  • Low GI can prolong physical endurance and enhance exercise and sports performance
  • Low GI foods can improve energy levels while reducing sugar-related energy and/or mood swings
  • Low GI foods/diets have been proven to reduce the incidence of Type II diabetes and to help control Type I and II diabetes, hypoglycemia and hypertension.
The Glycemic Index and dieting

Low glycemic food is especially helpful in assisting those who want to lose weight. Low Glycemic Index foods will increase the sugar levels in the body to sustain better and more even energy levels for longer periods of time. This means an individual will feel less inclined to eat because energy is being slowly released into their bloodstream. A good understanding of the Glycemic Index will also assist with exercise. If you exercise then eating high glycemic foods will help you recover from your workout. Specifically, faster carbohydrates that are high on the Glycemic Index are great for raising low blood sugars after intense exercising whereas low Glycemic Index foods are helpful in maintaining blood sugar levels for long periods of exercise. Health experts encourage using the Glycemic Index in conjunction with other meal programs to assist in managing diabetes and/or controlling weight.
What is the problem with high Glycemic Index foods?
High Glycemic Index foods cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels and in turn an over production of insulin or Hyperinsulinemia. You may know of this rapid rise in blood sugar as a "SUGAR HIGH". This is followed by an over production of insulin which removes the sugar from the blood and the result is a "sugar low". High Glycemic carbohydrate foods also raise insulin output. Insulin is a hormone that causes the body to store fat! It is believed that these wide fluctuations in blood sugar levels promote over-eating, mood changes, increased LDL cholesterol, decreased HDL, hypertension, hyperuricemia, hypertriglyceridemia and obesity. This collection of symptoms is sometimes known as "Syndrome X ".

Choose foods with a low Glycemic index especially carbohydrates. Generally, these carbohydrates will be higher in fiber (and nutrients) and will be absorbed more slowly. This provides a better sense of fullness and an even level of energy, without widely fluctuating insulin levels. Choose low fat proteins, limit saturated fats (butter, other animal fats), eat fish or supplement with omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) and stick to mono-unsaturated fats such as OLIVE and CANOLA oil to decrease the risk of heart disease.

The Glycemic Index

Using the Glycemic Index to maximize exercise
Knowing he Glycemic Index will also assist with exercise. If you are planning to exercise, you should eat low glycemic carbs about 60 minutes after exercising.
Eating high glycemic foods will help you recover from your workout. Specifically, faster carbohydrates that are high on the Glycemic Index are great for raising low blood sugars after intense exercising whereas low Glycemic Index foods are helpful in maintaining blood sugar levels for long periods of exercise.
Glycemic Index of common foods
Glucose 100
Breads  
Mixed grain bread 28
Oat Bran bread 48
Pita bread, white 57
Wheat bread, wholemeal 69
White bread 71
Bagel, white 71
   
Breakfast cereals  
Rice Bran 19
All Bran 42
Oatmeal 49
Special K 54
Muesli 56
Life 66
Grapenuts 67
Cream of Wheat 70
Cheerios 74
Total 76
Team 82
Cornflakes 83
Crispix 87
   
Fruit & fruit products  
Pear, fresh 37
Apple 38
Orange 44
Grapes 46
Banana 54
Raisins 64
Watermelon 72
   
Snack food  
Peanuts 15
Popcorn 55
Pretzels 81
Dates 103
   
Sugars  
Fructose 22
Honey 58
Sucrose 64
Maltodextrin 105
Maltose 105
   
 
   
Cereal grains  
Barley, pearled 25
Rice, instant, boiled 1 min 46
Sweet corn 55
Rice, brown 55
Rice, white 55
Couscous 65
Rice, instant, boiled 6 min 90
   
Dairy foods  
Yogurt, low-fat, artificially sweet 14
Milk, skim 32
   
Legumes  
Lentils, red 25
Kidney beans 29
Butter beans 31
Pinto beans 39
Baked beans, canned 48
Kidney beans, canned 52
   
Pasta  
Fettucine 27
Vermicelli 35
Spaghetti, protein enriched 27
Spaghetti, white 41
Macaroni 45
Linguine 46
Tortellini, cheese 50
   
Soups  
Tomato soup 38
Black bean soup 64
Split pea soup 60
   
Vegetables  
Carrots, cooked 39
Yams 51
Sweet potatoes 54
Potatoes, white, boiled 56
Potatoes, new 57
Beets 64
Potatoes, mashed 70
Potatoes, baked 85
   
     
Breads GI
Rye bread 48
Pita bread, whole wheat bread 57
Croissant 67
Oat bran bread 68
Mixed grain bread 69
Pumpernickel 71
Pita bread, white 82
Hamburger bun 87
Melba toast 100
Bagel, white 103
Kaiser rolls 104
Bread stuffing 106
Rice cakes 110
Wheat bread, Wonder white 112
Wheat bread, gluten free 129
French baguette 136
   
Cookies GI
Oatmeal 79
Rich Tea 79
Shortbread 91
Arrowroot 95
Graham Wafers 106
Vanilla Wafers 110
   
Crackers GI
Jatz 79
High Fiber Rye Crispbread 93
Wheat Crackers 96
Stoned Wheat Thins 96
Water Crackers 102
Rice Cakes 110
Puffed Crispbread 116
   
Dairy GI
Yogurt, low-fat, plain 20
Milk, chocolate 34
Milk, full fat 39
Milk, skim 46
Yogurt, low-fat, fruit 47
Ice cream, low-fat 71
Ice cream 87
   
Fruit & fruit products GI
Cherries 32
Grapefruit 36
Apple 38
Apple juice, unsweetened 40
Apricots, dried 44
Pear, fresh 53
Apple 54
Plum 55
Apple juice 58
Peach, fresh 60
Orange 53
Pear, canned 63
Grapes 66
Pineapple juice 66
Peach, canned 967
Grapefruit juice 69
Orange juice 74
Kiwi 75
Banana 77
Fruit cocktail 79
Mango 80
Apricots, fresh 82
Raisins 91
Apricots, canned syrup 91
Pineapple 94
Rockmelon (musk melon, cantaloupe) 93
Watermelon 103
   
Pasta GI
Spaghetti, protein enriched 38
Fettuccini 46
Ravioli, meat filled 56
Spaghetti, white 59
Spirali 61
Capellini 64
Macaroni 64
Linguine 65
Instant noodles 67
Tortellini, cheese 71
Macaroni & cheese 92
Gnocchi 95
   
Snack food GI
Peanuts 21
Mars Peanut M & M's 46
Mars Snicker Bar 57
Mars Twix Cookie Bars 62
Mars Chocolate 63
Jams and marmalades 70
Chocolate 70
Potato crisps 77
Popcorn 79
Muesli Bars 87
Mars Bar 91
Mars Skittles 98
Life Saver 100
Corn Chips 105
Jelly Beans 114
Pretzels 116
Dates 146
 
Breakfast items GI
Rice bran 27
Kellogg's All Bran Fruit'n Oats 55
All Bran 60
Granola Bars, Quaker Chew 61
Oatmeal 70
Bran Buds 75
Special K 77
Oat Bran 78
Kellogg's Honey Smacks 78
Muesli 80
Kellogg's Mini-Wheats 81
Bran Chex 83
Kellogg's Just Right 84
Life 94
Nutri Grain 94
Grapenuts 96
Shredded Wheat 99
Cream of Wheat 99
Golden Grahams 102
Puffed Wheat 105
Cheerios 106
Corn Bran 107
Breakfast Bar 109
Coco Pops 110
Post Flakes 114
Rice Krispies 117
Team 117
Corn Chex 118
Cornflakes 119
Crispix 124
Rice Chex 127
   
Grains GI
Barley, pearled 36
Rye 48
Wheat kernels 59
Rice, instant, boiled 65
Bulgur 68
Barley, cracked 72
Wheat, quick cooking 77
Buckwheat 77
Sweet corn 78
Rice, brown 79
Rice, white 83
Couscous 93
Barley, rolled 94
Taco shells 97
Cornmeal 98
Millet 101
Tapioca, boiled with milk 115
   
Vegetables GI
Peas, green 38
Peas, dried 44
Sweet potato 54
Sweet corn 55
White potato 56
Yams 71
Carrots 71
Potato, white, boiled 80
Beets 91
Potato, mashed 100
Rutabaga 103
Pumpkin 107
Potato, micro-waved 117
Potato, instant 118
Potato, baked 121
Parsnips 131
   
Legumes GI
Soy beans 25
Lentils 41
Kidney beans 42
Garbanzo beans 47
Pinto beans 55
Black-eyed beans 59
Pinto beans, canned 64
Black beans, canned 69
Kidney beans, canned 69
   
Soups GI
Tomato soup 54
Lentil soup, canned 63
Split pea soup 89
Black bean soup 92
Green pea soup, canned 94
   
Sugars GI
Agave nectar 11
Fructose 32
Lactose 65
Honey 83
High fructose corn syrup 89
Sucrose 92
Glucose 137

Natural and healthy ways to fight arthritis

It drives me crazy when I see TV commercials offering drugs for curing everything from asthma to warts with a list of side effects the length of both my arms. When it comes to arthritis, you might find a drug that will ease your symptoms but it will not change the underlying causes. Some of these drugs can actually do damage to your cartilage not to mention other toxic side effects.
There are more than 250 drugs marketed to treat arthritis including 30 different types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including aspirin and ibuprofen which can actually accelerate the breakdown of joint cartilage. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, complications from these over the counter drugs have lead to 7,500 bleeding ulcers, 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths annually in the United States costing over $2 billion in medical expenses.
So are you ready for some alternatives? There are some natural supplements that actually provide the building blocks of cartilage – others stop inflammation or stimulate the re-building process.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Personally, I have been on this product for years and will never go off it. Glucosamine can actually increase cartilage in joints.  The usual recommended dosage is 1,500 mg. of glucosamine and 1,200 mg. of chondroitin.
Omega 3’S (fish oil)
Fish oil is well known for having anti-inflammatory properties, but it also helps to prevent the breakdown of cartilage plus reduce inflammation. Usual recommended dosage is 1,000-3,000 mg. daily.
SAMe – (S-Adenosyl-L-Methione)
It was originally given to patients to help with depression, however, doctors found that it helped depression PLUS osteoarthritis. There is a link between depression and osteoarthritis. SAMe helps the body make more cartilage as well as more neurotransmitters in the brain. Recommended dosage: a typical dosage is 440-1,600 mg. daily.
Hyaluronans
A natural lubricant formed from glucosamine and glucoronic acid that helps to cushion joints and cartilage. Many rheumatologists inject it directly into joints but it is available as a dietary supplement. It can help rebuild the structure of joint cartilage. Common forms are Biocell Collagen II or Kolla 2. Follow the label directions.
Vitamin D
Studies done a Boston University School of Medicine found that low blood levels of Vitamin D were strongly associated with a risk of developing osteoarthritis not to mention a thinning of bones. Vitamin D helps our bone structure and the stability of knee cartilage. Check your vitamin supplement – recommended dosage of Vitamin D is 400-800 IU daily.
Cetyl-Myristoleate
A supplement that has shown to improve knee flexibility after only 2 months and can reduce osteoarthritic symptoms. Follow label directions.
Ashwaganda
This Indian herb has been used by Ayurvedic doctors and herbalists as a potent anti-inflammatory. It functions very similar to SAMe because it provides the “methyl groups” that help construct new molecules. So many herbs are rich in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties and many offer some benefit in osteoarthritis. Always follow label directions.
When it comes to diet, there are some anti-inflammatory foods that will offer some relief and insure your long-term success in staying pain-free.
A good first step is to avoid or limit your intake of inflammation-promoting fats like corn, safflower and soybean oils. Avoid all foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which include trans fats found in many products in the center aisles of the grocery store. Trans fats interfere with the enzymes involved in the body’s production of anti-inflammatory compounds.
Some anti-inflammatory foods
  • Fish – cold-water fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel are rich in Omega 3’s, which are anti-inflammatory. Shoot for 2 fish meals per week and stay away from fried foods because they promote inflammation.
  • Vegetables - how many times do I have to say it? Did you eat something “green” today? Vegetables are rich in antioxidants which turn off several genes involved in inflammation. Choose leafy greens salads, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans. Remember, starchy foods boost insulin which boosts inflammation.
  • Fruits - try berries or kiwi fruit
  • Olive oil - is rich in oleic acid – an anti-inflammatory fat that enhances the effects of fish oil and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Extra-virgin olive is best because it is made from the first press of the olive rich in nutrients.
  • Water - water - water - low-grade dehydration may reduce the natural sponginess of joint cartilage. Try adding a slice of lemon or lime to jazz it up a bit.
Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a different kind of ache that affects about 2 million people in the United States. It is an auto-immune disease that attacks the connective tissue around joints. It can be triggered by a viral infection, injury and long-term food and pollen allergies.
There are 2 types of treatments that are showing great success:
  • Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) - is a natural plant fat that is concentrated in evening primrose oil, borage and black current seed oils. It works by boosting the body’s production of anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, the number of tender joints decreased by 45% and swollen joints declined by 28%.
  • Vitamin E - can reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. In one study, they increased the dosage to 900 IU twice daily and patients had a faster and more significant reduction in pain compared to those taking only drugs.
It is important to note that chemical sensitivities and food allergies can cause symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Nightshade family plants including tomato, potato, peppers, eggplant and tobacco can cause or aggravate arthritic symptoms in many people. Also, LECTIN, a group of proteins found in legumes, wheat and rice might trigger rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Alkalize and you energise!

Have you ever felt hungry still after eating a huge meal? Do you exercise everyday and still not shed a pound? Do you see yourself aging before your very eyes and feel tired or overweight? Have you wondered why cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes rates are skyrocketing?
The answer is really quite simple – acid overload !
The food we buy in our supermarket today is actually forming acid in your body. Meat, cheese, eggs, bread, coffee, chocolate, sugar, rice, milk, cereal, cookies, crackers, etc. are all acid forming. All that food we crave is acid-forming and over-acidification of body fluids and tissues are linked to every known disease including that dragged-out, fatigue feeling most of us complain about everyday, not to mention the endless list of digestive disorders and medical problems.
When your body is overly acidic, you become vulnerable to germs, yeast, bacteria, molds and fungi which thrive in acidity! So many people today live on highly processed, over-cooked foods which is why you see and hear so many TV and radio commercials for anti-acids.
What is the opposite of acid? Alkaline!
What’s alkaline? Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds – again, most everything in the produce section of your favorite grocery store. What is the science behind this? There is a relationship between acid and alkaline, which is scientifically quantified on a scale of 1 to 14 known as the PH – on that scale, 7 is neutral. Below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline!
Most of us eat 80% acid foods and 20% alkaline foods, which is what can get us in trouble. We all need to eat just the opposite – 20% acid foods and 80% alkaline foods.
You must be thinking – “I am not ready to become a vegetarian!” You really do not have to! You just need to add more super greens foods, whole grains, herbs, etc. to your day and watch your vibrant health return. Unlike animal protein, super green foods are easily digested.
What super green foods can do for you
  • Help your body return to a healthy PH balance
  • Regulate blood sugar levels
  • Maximize energy
  • Increase your mental clarity
  • Help you reach an ideal weight
  • Restore clear, bright eyes
  • Rejuvenate your skin
  • Improve your digestive tract
Why can you eat right and still gain weight?
The human body is alkaline by design – acid by function. In other words, demands from your daily routine, stress levels, exercise and how you digest your food all form acid. The more acid you produce, the more acid you become – even minor things like coffee, a glass of wine, an annoying phone call can increase acid production. When your body’s PH is in the acid range (below 7), it retains water to dilute the acidity and stores fat in the arteries as protection from the acid blood!
Acid storage makes the body crave sugar and salt !
When you have too much acid in the body, blood sugar balance is impaired and your energy can greatly diminish! You feel run down because your cells are run down so you eat more protein and starches and the vicious cycle never ends! When your body is dealing with acid overload, it will hold onto FAT no matter how much you exercise your restrict your diet.
This is why super green foods can actually shift your body to a healthier PH so your body will naturally and safely release fat and water in the shortest time possible and keep it off! Super green foods lets you break this acid overload cycle because they carry off the acids and flush them out through the kidneys. When you flush acids, you also minimize over-acidity which keeps the pounds on or keeping you sick or not feeling your best.
Putting alkalinity back into your body helps you neutralize the daily acid production and helps your body feel better, recover quicker, reduce food cravings and food intake. There is a lot of research to support the fact that a high alkaline balance in the body is the first line of defense against fatigue, illness and disease.
What are the super green foods?
  • Spirulina – contains the richest source of B-12 and iron and helps build the immune system
  • Barley grass – has the highest alkaline PH factor available in food and contains large amounts of chlorophyll
  • Royal jelly – contains all the B-complex vitamins and has the highest concentration of pantothenic acid which is thought to contribute to the longevity of the “queen bee” in the hive
  • Grape-see extract – a powerful antioxidant that is 50 times stronger than Vitamin E and 20 times stronger than Vitamin C. It helps maintain strong, healthy connective tissues to preserve elasticity and flexibility of skin and joints
  • Vitamin E – An anti-oxidant that protect cholesterol and lipids from oxidation
    GINGKO BILOBA – powerful antioxidant that protects vascular health and enhances mental function
  • Cholorella – this is the best source of chlorophyll which is shown to be active in healing wounds, cancer, pancreatitis, anemia therapy and can help to detoxify the body by removing lead, mercury and cadmium
  • Ground flaxseeds – contain the richest source of Omega 3’s and 6 oils which play a key role in oxygenating the body
  • Lecithin – helps break up and dissolve cholesterol faster than anything else
  • Enzymes – help with absorption of nutrients
See where you can add these super foods to your day – add them to a meal. For example, you can purchase spirulina at your local health food store and add it to your smoothie. Yes, it will turn the ingredients in your blender green, but it will not affect taste. You can add ground flaxseeds to your dinner salad at home. Make a point of focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds for a meal. You should notice a difference in how you feel very quickly!

Recommended supplements

All supplements are not created equal! If you want to know what supplements I recommend, I use and recommend Empower Life International supplements! Click here to shop the Empower Life products!
Not sure what supplements to take?
Below are some recommendations. Check out Sherry's nutrition tips for other useful recommendations.
  • Cal-Max - Not sleeping well? Pain in the body? Fibromyalgia?
    Then you must try Cal-Max at nite before bed. Cal-Max comes in a powder form - just add boiling water to a teaspon of powdered Cal-Max in a tea cup - stir until clear - it tastes like lemon water and is very soothing to drink before bed. YOu may add an herbal tea bag if you like - just drink a cup of Cal-Max at least one hour before bed time. You will sleep like a baby!
  • Solibra-SR - Feeling stressed? Anxious? Going through Menopause??
    Then you must try Solibra-SR - an outstanding B-complex with folic acid designed to relax the body while still feeling alert throughout the day. YOu will be amazed at the results and how wonderful you will feel during the day.
  • New Bust - Was your breast growth interrupted at puberty? are you unhappy with your breast size? Would you like an alternative to breast surgery?
    Then you must try New Bust - it only takes 3 months to notice a difference in your breast size - many see a positive change in their cup size within the first month. Our breasts develop when all our hormones are balanced during puberty, however, there are many factors that can affect our balance - stress, too much exercise, diet, lack of sleep, etc. so New Bust helps to balance the hormones naturally and in particular increase the growth factor compounds found in breast tissue, hence you may grow to the size you should be based on your body type. The best part about New Bust is many of the PMS symptoms go away like mood swings, bloating, menstrual pain, etc.
Visit MP Direct.com to order - tell them Sherry Granader sent you!