Biggest Loser

     Has anyone noticed all the hype that is going on with the Biggest Loser program?  Many are saying that their lives have been ruined by this show.

     When the show began 6 years ago, the people that were on the Biggest Loser had normal metabolisms, meaning their bodies would burn calories at a normal rate.  They were normal besides the fact they were overweight.  If they were to go on a diet, they would lose at a normal rate because of their metabolisms.  The show was a rigorous and very stressful to them.  Some of the youtube videos (and there are a bunch) that I have watched reveals how awful things were.  One man said that they were not to drink anything 48 hours before the weigh in.  Dehydrating your body is so dangerous!  They also said they were given coffee because it's a diuretic to help them eliminate more fluid.  We had a lady at the hospital that fainted because of dehydration.  Your organs can start shutting down.

     They were calorie restricted, and had to exercise 8-12 a day.  No one can do that after the show!  People have lives!  It was all consuming on the show, but now 6 years after the show there are big problems for these people!  There have been some researchers that have been following these people and have discovered that their metabolisms have not recovered from the strain.  So when your metabolism slows you have a hard time losing and maintaining that weight loss.  Most if not all of the contestants have regained their original weights and then some  One man "Danny Cahill" was 430 pounds at the beginning of show.  At the finale he weighed 191.  Now he is back to 295 pounds and burns 800 calories less than a normal man his age.  What it all boils down to is money.  They all did it for a quarter of a million dollars!  It's not worth it!

     So what is my point to all this?  We need to change our "diets" to a lifestyle of eating,  Diets don't work. When you come off of calorie restricting then what happens?  You gain it all back!  I did this with weight watchers, and Shakeology.  It wasn't something I could continue forever.  Those gimmicks cost lots of money.  They are just gimmicks.  I have talked about this before, but with the hype surrounding the Biggest Loser, it just testifies to me that clean eating without animal products is the way we are designed to eat.

     I haven't lost that much, 35 pounds, but my metabolism is slower because of age.  I have a hard time being active because of my osteoarthritis, but for the younger crowd this lifestyle is awesome!  I wish I would have raised my children this way.  I wish I had that knowledge back then.  I do feel so much better eating this way, and have regained my health which is so important.  I won't give up. Slow and steady wins the race right?  It takes a bit to figure out what will work for you. Right now intermittent fasting is working for me, but I'm not always doing what I need to do.  My sweet husband buys junk at the store.  He love to sabotage me, although he says he just likes to treat me.  lol

    The show now is talking about having Dr. Greger author of How Not To Die come and help people learn to eat a whole foods plant based diet, which I think is awesome!  I hope he stresses lifestyle, and that they keep an eye on these folks after the show.

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     This is what I think of when I hear SOS.  Gillian's Island!  LOL

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     No I don't need help, but I have been learning a lot about being SOS free.  SOS stands for sugar, oil, and salt free.  I remember when I first started this plant based diet, how everything tasted so bland. My husband often commented that I need to add more seasonings, and then he proceeded to add more salt to his plate.  It hasn't been until recently just this year that I have tried really hard to go SOS free.  Since Christmas I have lost 9 pounds as well, and I know that this is why.

     So there are the advantages of going SOS free.  Weight loss is a big one.  A person's taste buds will change a lot after going salt free especially.  My husband took me out for lunch yesterday, and to one of my favorite places to go as well.  Zuppas!  I love their soups, but it was so salty yesterday that I could barely choke it down.

     What does salt do to your body?  It retains water, it makes your blood pressure rise.  We do need salt, but only minimally.  We need 180 mg per day if you don't sweat, and more if you do.  You don't need a salt shaker though.  There are plenty of plants that contain salt naturally.  Also don't cook with salt.  If you have to have salt, add it to your plate at the table.  Salt dissipates during the cooking process.  There are also all kinds of salt substitutes on the market now days that add lots of flavor to your cooking.  Trust me, once you remove it you will get used to not having it as your taste buds adjust.

     Oil was another hurdle for me when I first started this way of life.  Do you water saute?  You can save on so many calories if you don't use oil to saute your veggies.  We don't even have oil in the house anymore.  I was reminiscing this morning as I was cooking up some potato hash on the stove. When my kids were young, I would cook up spuds with lots of oil to get them crispy.  I sure wish that I had raised my children differently and that I knew then what I know now that oil is artery clogging, and diabetes causing.  It also plays havoc with your heart, your blood pressure and your skin!  You know what is so irritating is companies will tell you that oil is heart healthy!  We do need oil in our bodies, but we need the right kinds in moderation.  Avocados, nuts, and seeds provide all the oils we need. Don't go crazy though as you will gain weight.

     Sugar, my last nemesis.  Sugar is everywhere!  It's in everything!  Sugar is likened to a drug.  It's as addicting as drugs.  It lights up a part of your brain that is very satisfying.  I have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet.  There are many people that are addicted to this stuff.  It also causes obesity and obesity in this country is an epidemic.  Couple it with a sedentary lifestyle, and it's a disaster waiting to happen.  Again, I wish I hadn't given my children so much sugar.  I was listening to a video this morning about when processed foods came into our world, and it was just after WW11 when women started to work more out of the home, and life became so incredibly busy.  Processed foods were easy back then and today, it is astonishing to go to the store and see all the "food like" products on the shelves.

     It is so important to stay away from any processed foods.  They play havoc on our bodies, they are making us sick!  There is more diabetes, more heart disease and more obesity than ever before, and it's all because of the FOOD!  Food is making us sick!  It can also make us well though.  I'm so thankful that I have an interest in nutrition, and that I have made great strides in our family to eat nutritious healthy foods.  It's all a process and something that we aren't used to doing, but there are so many resources that can help us along out journey.  One book that I have been reading is Lean and Clean written by High Carb Hannah, and she writes about SOS free eating.  It has helped me to understand and change my evil ways.  LOL  Check her out on YouTube, and get her book.  It's an ebook, and so worthwhile.

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Inflammatory Foods

     Update on my arthritis:  It has been since the first of December since I had a cortisone shot.  It helped so much, and I have been going to physical therapy as well to help strengthen the muscles around my knee.  I also got an off loading knee brace, which has helped somewhat.  It's hard to know which number to put it on.  I started with 1, and now I'm up to 4 because recently I have had a flare up.  I have been in a lot of pain, and working at a hospital where I walk 12,000+ steps a day has been almost too much to take.  Tomorrow I am going back to the doctor to see about a different kind of shot.  The shot I'm looking into is made with chicken cartilage.  Now I know what you are thinking. I'm vegan, how can I use that kind of shot.  I'm a believer that animals were put here to help us.  As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are taught that beasts and fowls of the air, I the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly.  D&C 89:12.  It is my belief that we shouldn't eat meat because of the saturated fat, but if the animal can help with a medical problem, then I feel good about it.  I know it's a fine line.

     There are also foods that we should stay away from because they are inflammatory, and arthritis is a inflammatory disease.  I think that all my years of eating garbage foods has finally caught up with me.  I hope that my message can reach the "younger" generation so that they can stay away from them.  It's kind of irritating that these foods are still allowed in the U.S. as they cause so many diseases!  That is another article for another day.

     What foods should we stay away from?  Which foods cause inflammation in our bodies?  Well all the good tasting kinds of course!  Ugh

     1.  Sugar:
                      This is my hardest thing to stay away from.  It's addicting to say the least.  It lights up a                        part of our brains, which helps us to want to eat more.  Plus sugar is in everything!  It's                        in ketchup, barbecue sauce etc, and it has many names, 61 names to be exact!  We live                          by a sugar beet factory, and it amazes me how many sugar beets are taken to that
                       factory during the summer months!  Learn the names, and read labels!  It's scary!
     2. Vegetable Oil:
                       Now since being on a vegan diet, I have given up oil a long time ago, at least cooking
                       with it!  A person really needs to read labels to see that these ingredients are in
                       everything.  Now how do you get your omega 3s you say?  Ground flax seeds, and
                       chia seeds.  Start with the whole seed and grind your own.  Whole foods remember!
     3. Fried Foods:
                       I recently got an air fryer, and that has helped a lot!  It crisps things up, and they are
                       tasty!  The one thing that is hard is going out to eat and staying away from the
                       french fries, but think about this if those foods didn't have salt on them they would
                       probably taste gross.  Just good to stay away from it all.
     4. Refined Flours:
                       This one can be a challenge as well.  We love pizza in this house maybe once every
                       other week.  Veggie of course, and no cheese.  If you must have flour try to grind your
                       own.  Refined flours is just another processed food.
     5. Dairy:  
                       There are so many reasons to stay away from dairy, and this just adds another reason.
     6. Artificial Sweeteners:
                       I don't understand how people can eat this stuff, not only are they bad for you, but
                       they taste terrible!
     7. Artificial Additives:
                       Anything that starts with artificial is going to not be good.  Things that contain
                       artificial ingredients, your body has no way to process them.  Again, read labels!
     8. Saturated Fats:
                       From what I have been reading and studying, I have found out that saturated fats not
                       only cause problems with diabetes and heart disease, but they are horrible for
                       inflammation.  Saturated fats trigger fat which triggers inflammation, and again
                       our bodies can't handle it.
     9. Conventional Grain Fed meats:
                       I know it's not good to consume meat at all, but the article that I will link to this
                       post states that it is better to eat grass fed meats.  Farmers feed their cattle a diet
                       that is unnatural to them, and then they have to administer antibiotics.  I say just
                       stay away completely from animal products.  The less saturated fats, the less
    10. Processed Meats:
                       I shouldn't have to even tell you not to eat these.  They are artificial, injected with
                       artificial colorings and artificial flavorings that attack our immune systems.
    11. Gluten From Store Bought Bread:
                       I have a hard time with this one because I have read different things about gluten.
                       I know that our grains have changed over the years due to GMOs and pesticides,
                       but not everyone has a gluten sensitivity.  I don't eat much store bought bread.
    12. Alcohol:
                       I don't drink, so this isn't a hard one for me, but for others who do: the experts
                       say a little is best.  Isn't that true with most things?  Moderation in all things?
                       Alcohol is damaging to your liver.  Our liver purifies substances from our bodies,
                       so if it's damaged it is not able to to do it's job anymore.
    13. Transfats:
                       My youngest son, loves the peanut butter that is not the natural stuff.  It contains
                       hydrogenated oils which are extremely hard on your body, and is not found naturally
                       on earth.  Again a man made substance and highly processed.
    14. Fast Foods:
                       When you think of fast food, think of chemical toxins.  Have you ever heard of
                       phthalates?  I hadn't.  They are a substance that is used to make plastics!!!  Good
                       Grief!  The article goes on to say what exactly couldl happen if you continue to
                       eat fast food.  READ THE ARTICLE!

     So what are we supposed to eat?  Whole Foods!  Nothing processed!  It's hard when you go to the grocery store and walk down the isles to find something to eat.  My rule is to stay out of the isles! Use the parameter of the store, in other words the outsides.  Stick to eating plant based foods.  We, including myself have a lot to work on.  I have a guilty pleasure now and again, but I have to decide if 2 minutes of pleasure is worth a lifetime of pain.

     I really wish that I knew in my youth that the things that went into my mouth would cause a great deal of suffering later in life.  I know I would have done things differently.  I am grateful though that I have this knowledge now!  Slowly and surely I'm changing the way we eat.  It's a process and a journey!

Raw VS. Cooked

     Have you ever thought that eating raw food would be better than cooked food?  Have you ever watched any youtube videos with Fully Raw Kristina and wondered what it would be like to just eat raw foods?

     When I very first started this investigation, I looked into it.  I tried a couple of Fully Raw Kristina's recipes, and actually quite liked them.  No it's not just salads, it can be anything from burritos, (using a collard green leaf) to nice cream which I still enjoy.  I do have to say though that I enjoy cooked food so much more, and it's more satisfying to me.  I also live in Boise Idaho and in the winter time, I need hot food!

     What are others saying about raw vs. cooked though.  Which is the better option?  This is what google has to say.  Raw Food vsCooked Food: 6 Foods You Should Always Eat Raw For Nutritional Value. Cooking helps soften our food so our digestive system can process it more smoothly. However, steaming, microwaving, boiling, and stir-frying have an effect on the nutrients and health-promoting compounds of certainfoods.Jun 9, 2015  

     What about our ancestors.  Didn't they eat raw?  Yes about a million years ago!  Also animals eat raw foods, but animals out in the wild at least the herbivores eat all day long.  They chew about 6 hours a day, where we only chew 1 hour a day.  Their stomachs are also larger than ours.  How do you feel after a huge salad?  I'm stuffed!  I love a huge salad, but they don't stay with me very long.  I find that I have to eat more as the day wears on, especially while I'm at work.  My job is very physical, but it may be different for those sitting at a desk all day.

     So nutrients are lost when we cook veggies.  My personal challenge is being well rounded.  Eat some raw foods and then some cooked.  At work, I eat a lot of rice and beans, sweet or regular potatoes, and then on the way home I usually eat raw veggies.  Eating the raw veggies while I drive passes the time, and I'm not as starving when I finally get home after being on the road for 30 minutes.  I don't get home until 8 at night and I don't want to eat anything heavy before bed.

     I use all the time.  I love the research that Dr. Greger has done, and here is what he has to say on the subject.

     I guess what it boils down to is personal choice.  Maybe in the summer when it's blazin hot here I will prefer more raw foods.  I also believe that we need to be well rounded and eat a lot of different types of foods, raw and cooked.