Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Schwarzbein Principle

I've heard wonderful things about this book, so I went ahead and ordered it. The premise is that out of control insulin levels are responsible for everything from belly fat to PMS. The "Schwarzbein Principle" is a controlled carb diet (15 at meals, 7.5 g at snacks) for a month of detox, or however long it takes to bring insulin and hormone levels back into balance.

I am in the very early stages and feel a bit off -- I gave up coffee and am now on day 4 without it. That is the hardest part. I actually don't crave carbs. I crave coffee! But I now understand that caffeine can stimulate insulin production -- leading to hunger -- and so I'm off the stuff. Day 2 was the worst with nausea and headaches. Who knew I was so addicted?

One image I am carrying around with me. Schwarzbein describes insulin resistance as cells having so much sugar (energy) stored up in them that they close their doors to insulin bringing in any more sugar. Controlling insulin through lower carbs will force these cells to dump out their sugar. I like the idea of having all this untapped energy just stored up inside me. Instead of feeling worn out and fatigued, it makes me feel like I am about to have a gigantic burst of energy start flowing through my veins!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year, New Blog

Okay, so this my little venture into blogland needs a facelift! I am currently barnstorming the blogosphere looking for role models. If I've left a comment in the past few weeks on your blog -- hi! It means you are doing something good!

Questions I am asking myself right now --

1. Will the whole Verizon is now Fairpoint switch screw up my blogger account (I guess my verizon email addresses disappear on 1/1/09)?
2. Should I keep this name? Is this where I am going? [Shudder as I type this...] What is my brand?
3. No matter what I end up doing, a blog editorial calendar is a must!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Eat Healthy at Thanksgiving

Happy Gimme Gimme! as my 3-year old daughter liked to say. I LOVE Thanksgiving and take so much pride and joy in cooking the annual meal for usually no fewer than a dozen people. Over the past few years. I've also used Thanksgiving as an opportunity to reach out to my hardcore margarine spreading, white bread loving relatives and show them the healthy goodness of eating a whole foods diet. And what other meal so perfectly showcases how yummy it is to eat an all-natural, organic diet? I've been scouring the web this month looking for a few new resources to email relatives who inevitably ask, what was that recipe? why was the bird free range? what is free range? I have a bunch of links to share. Here's a good first one. I would send this to an absolute novice to the whole foods scene. Chris Rosenbloom from the Atlanta Constitution gives a pretty good run down of the 5 healthiest foods to serve on Turkey Day: Cranberries, Pumpkin Pie, Sweet Potatoes, Turkey (triptophan!!!), and good ol' greens. His article can be found here. Martha Stewart's Classic Pumpkin Pie recipe can be found here.

Also included in this article is really good looking recipe for smothered greens. As Rachael Ray says, "Delish!"

Healthy recipe: Smothered Greens 5 (1-cup) servings

Hands on: 20 minutes Total time: 50 minutes

2 pounds of greens (about 18 cups packed mustard, turnip, collard greens or kale or a mixture)

3 cups water

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 green onion (both white and green parts) chopped

1/4 pound smoked turkey breast, roughly chopped

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

A few drops of hot pepper sauce

Salt to taste (optional)

Wash the greens thoroughly in cool water, making sure to get rid of any sand or grit. Remove and discard the stems and dry the greens slightly with paper towels or a dish cloth. Tear the greens into bite-size pieces and set aside.

In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil and add the garlic, green onion, turkey, onion, ginger, thyme, pepper, cloves and hot sauce. Once the mixture has come to a boil, add the greens. Stir to incorporate the seasoning and reduce the volume of greens, about 1 minute.

Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the greens are tender. Add salt, if desired, to taste. Before serving, discard the garlic.

—From: “Secrets of the Lean Plate Club” by Sally Squires (St. Martins Griffin, $14.95)

Per serving: 80 calories (percent calories from fat, 22), 9 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, less than 1 gram fat (0 grams saturated fat), 16 milligrams cholesterol, 375 milligrams of sodium

Nutritional Bonus Points: Greens are low in calories but packed in nutrients—one serving of this recipe provides 475 milligrams or about 10 percent of your need for potassium, which is important in controlling blood pressure.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pregnancy Health in the News

Extra! Extra! Want to know how breaking prenatal health news and recently released medical studies impact your pregnancy? Hot off the presses, here's a rundown of today's top pregnancy headlines with tips for how cutting edge prenatal resea

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Flu Shots in Pregnancy Protect Newborn. Really?

Here's the article. Read the complete text here.

A pregnant woman who gets a flu shot passes protection on to her fetus that lessens the newborn’s likelihood of contracting the flu during the first months of life, researchers report in the Oct. 9 New England Journal of Medicine.

Although the vaccine has been shown to be safe, no randomized trial has evaluated the shot’s effectiveness in a clinical setting — until now.

“I think this will now make a difference,” says study coauthor Mark Steinhoff, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “If you want to protect the baby and be careful, maybe the vaccine is a way to do that. I think more women will ask for it,” he says.

Vaccinating pregnant women against influenza is approved and even recommended by U.S. medical authorities and by the World Health Organization, but few mothers-to-be get a shot.

Things that make you go hmmmm... Well, flu shots still contain mercury and let's see... Mercury containing fish? Don't eat. Silver amalgam dental fillings? Don't get them during pregnancy, says the FDA. Why? They contain mercury. So why, why, why should pregnant women get the flu shot when it contains mercury. Maybe in the risk-benfit analysis, it is worth the possibility of mercury toxicity, but then why not just address this in the study.

Wow, I really am turning into Deirdre Imus!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

O Magazine

My mom gave me a subscription to O Magazine as a Christmas present last year. As the months went by and the hefty-sized glossy would land -- clunk! -- in my mailbox, I admit to being less than thrilled. Smiling Oprah and all her peppy headlines just didn't do it for me. I don't think I even read the first seven issues I received and, now as I think about it, I have no idea where those ended up. But then, one night as I was giving the kids a bath, I sat next to the tub and cracked open the July issue. As I read, I had what Oprah calls an "Aha!" moment. I sat there getting splashed by the tsunami that is bathtime, but didn't feel a drop as I read the article about Eckhart Tolle. It was a Q and A interview between Oprah and ET. As soon as he described this one night where, depressed out of his mind and considering suicide, he thought, "when I am saying to myself, 'I am so depressed', who am I talking to? Who is the 'I' and who is the 'self'?"

It's almost like some kind of riddle out of Alice in Wonderland, but with that question I was hooked. Not so much on being a ET follower -- though I do plan on reading his book. I was hooked on O magazine because I suddenly realized that beneath the slickness and air brushing, this magazine is filled with so much that is just soooo relevant to my life. Thank you Mom!

I am writing this because I have browsed a few blogs where one blogger tries to live out all of Oprah's advice in one year and another where the blogger tries to systematically follow all the advice in O magazine. I'll post the links later as I am forgetting their urls at the moment. I guess I have been immune all these years to the mighty O, but as I read Oprah's magazine, I am falling in love with the deep wisdom and fun, practical spirit the pages contain.