9 Ways to Fill Up on Fiber

Are you looking for ways to fill up on fiber? If you want to speed up your weight loss program, use my 9 tips for packing fiber into your diet:

  • Add a few spoonfuls of unprocessed wheat bran to your morning breakfast
  • Choose whole grain low carb breads or tortillas
  • Use whole wheat flour for half of any baking flour
  • Try brown rice, barley, whole wheat or spelt pasta
  • Add beans to your diet using garbanzos, kidney and white navy beans
  • Raw vegetables, dried fruits, low-fat popcorn can increase your fiber
  • Add barley to soups or stews
  • Eat generous quantities of vegetables
  • Add bran cereal to foods such as meatloaf.
  • Again, portion control is important, but if you focus on these items
    you will pack a lot of fiber into fewer carbs and calories and that can spell WEIGHT LOSS in any language!

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    Is Soy Bad for You?

    It’s been more than 10 years since I sounded a warning that soy products containing high levels of isoflavones could be causing weight gain for menopausal women and damaging our health, so I thought you might like to read this article from the New York Daily News in 2002. Sadly, things have not changed.

    New York Daily News – http://www.nydailynews.com/
    Is soy bad for you?

    Monday, August 19th, 2002

    There isn’t a health-minded individual in America who is a stranger to soy. We’ve all heard about this near-perfect food’s miraculous benefits: It reverses osteoporosis, eases the symptoms of menopause, reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers cholesterol and even balances the mood swings associated with PMS. As beef turned into a four-letter word culminating in the mad cow scare, and dairy products were charged with creating allergies, soy became the protein of choice — the healthy alternative to red meat, chicken and milk. It’s no wonder food manufacturers and chefs all over the country figured out ways to turn the traditionally watery bean curd into delicious soy ice cream, yogurt,cheese, pasta, burgers and buns.

    You may want to hold off before reaching for your next soy wiener, though.

    “As little as a 5- to 8-ounce serving of soy milk a day has been proven to suppress thyroid function,” says soy researcher and nutritionist Michael Fitzpatrick. Drs. Daniel Sheehan and Daniel Doerge, former senior researchers at the Food and Drug Administration, have strongly opposed the soy industry’s proclamation that this humble bean is king. In a 1999 letter, the two scientists stated that rather than tout its health benefits, the FDA should attach a warning label to soy products. “The possibility that widely consumed soy products may cause harm in the human population via either or both estrogenic and [thyroid] activity is of concern,” said Sheehan in a recently published study.

    Approximately 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid dysfunction — and women are 10 times more likely to suffer from an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) than men. The most common symptoms of a hypothyroid patient are lethargy, weight gain, depression, inability to tolerate cold, dry skin, coarse hair and mental “fogginess.”

    The disorder usually occurs in women following childbirth and at the onset of menopause. By age 75, one in five women has a sluggish thyroid. Yet signs such as weight gain and lack of mental acuity are often chalked up to natural symptoms of the aging process.

    The culprit in a high soy diet lies in the isoflavones found in the bean, in particular, genistein. Interestingly, this is the very same ingredient that’s been enthusiastically promoted as the remedy for everything from heart disease to mood swings. New research shows otherwise. “The isoflavones in soy act like a hormone in the body,” said Dr. Larrian Gillespie, a retired urologist and urogynecologist and author of “The Menopause Diet.” “In many women, especially those who eat large amounts of soy concentrates or take isoflavone supplements, this disturbs the body’s hormonal balance, triggering or worsening thyroid problems.”

    Hundreds of new products

    Gillespie speaks from firsthand experience. She first tried soy supplements at the recommended dose of 40 milligrams. “I went into full-blown hypothyroidism within 72 hours,” she said. Next she experimented with tofu. “Same results as before, but this time it took me five days to get there.”

    Gillespie is troubled by the government’s recent announcement about the potential risks associated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which is followed by 6 million mostly menopausal women in the U.S. Drugs such as Prempro, Premarin and Climara were found to increase the rate of breast cancer and strokes. As a result, Gillespie is bracing for a “new push” for soy products by the industry that promise women a “more natural, risk-free” remedy for hot flashes and bone loss.

    Soy is already a big business in the U.S. About 140 billion pounds of soy are produced annually here, making the U.S. one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of the bean. Hundreds of soy-based products are introduced each year. According to Sally Fallon, president of the Westin A. Price Foundation (http://www.westinaprice.org/), “Up to 1% of revenue for every soybean sold in America goes toward promoting the benefits of soybeans in the marketplace and maintaining and expanding foreign markets.” In short, the soy industry has clout.

    Risk of thyroid cancer

    A disturbing example of the industry’s heft is the marketing of soy-based infant formulas. While considered a life-saver for the roughly 3% to 4% of infants who are lactose-intolerant, this “healthy” alternative is so vigorously advertised that it claims a whopping 25% share of total infant formula sales. “It’s criminal that soy formulas are being sold in the marketplace,” says Fallon. “Infants who are exclusively fed soy formula get 10 times the dose of phytoestrogens found in a healthy Asian diet. Such excess can be harmful.”

    Fallon also points out that the soy industry has known since the 1950s that soy formulas contain thyroid-suppressing agents. Though many have lobbied to have isoflavones removed from soy formulas, the high cost of doing so has prevented it from happening. For infants, any amount of soy is too much, according to the Soy Online Service (http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/). Unborn children exposed to high levels of antithyroid agents, the Web site says, are at high risk for prematurity and reproductive problems. Fitzpatrick, who heads the online service, also believes that long term feeding of soy formulas can raise the risk of thyroid cancer.

    Following the money trail might show why more information is not available about these issues in the U.S. Experts believe the regulatory agencies are cowed by the strength of the agricultural companies that dominate the U.S. soy market. Other countries, where there is less economic pressure, have led the way in alerting the public to the potential hazards of soy. In 1996, the British Department of Health issued a warning that the phytoestrogens found in soy formulas could adversely affect infant health. In Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand, health officials recommend a medically monitored diet of soy products for infants and pregnant women.

    A tub of tofu

    Proponents of soy have long used the Asian diet as their war cry for pushing high intakes of soy isoflavones. “I went to China,” said Gillespie, “and saw how little soy is used in their daily diet. We in America think we must consume an entire tub of tofu in a meal, whereas in Asia a quarter tub [30 milligrams] is considered a lot for a day.”

    Moreover, the Asian diet is dramatically different from its American counterpart, containing more fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and less red meat, chemicals and processed foods. Soy is consumed not only in small quantities by Asians, but often in a fermented state such as tempeh (soybean cake), miso (a paste used in soups) and natto (sticky, boiled soybeans) that are high in Vitamin K. “Look,” says Gillespie, “if soy is the answer, then why is the typical image of an old Japanese woman shrunken and bent over?”

    In the mid-’90s I fell hard for the hype surrounding the soybean. Believing the experts’ claims and looking for a low-fat protein, I became an avid consumer of tofu and a daily 12-ounce soy milk shake. I honestly liked the taste. Even after I was diagnosed with hypothroidism three years ago, I followed my “healthy” eating regimen. No one cautioned me of a possible correlation between my thyroid problem and soy consumption. I was 37 and suffered none of the classic symptoms.

    Yet my thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels clearly indicated an
    underactive thyroid. It was only after my son was born, a year after my diagnosis, that I removed soy from my diet. (As an infant, he suffered from gastric distress, and since I was nursing, a friend suggested I go soy-free to eliminate the bean’s hard-to-digest properties from my system.) Six months later, I was checked again and my TSH levels were normal. Now, I eat only small amounts of soy, occasionally. I still get checked twice a year, and my levels are still normal.

    How much is too much?

    While deep-pocketed soy marketers cook up even more ways to ingest the bean, there is, unfortunately, little data as what constitutes an appropriate level of soy intake. Soy Online Service cautions that even 30 milligrams of soy isoflavones a day can wreak havoc on the body’s hormonal balance. It advises anyone with a predisposition to thyroid dysfunction to be particularly careful. If, indeed, the Asian diet is one to be emulated, then why not use soy the way they have for thousands of years: in moderation.

    Thirty milligrams of soy isoflavones can be found in:

    • 7 ounces of soybeans
    • 4 ounces of tofu
    • 8 ounces of soy milk
    • 1.6 ounces of miso
    • 2.8 ounces of soybean sprouts

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    Eating Low Carb Burns More Calories

    Eating a diet rich in protein and lean on carbs may burn more calories according to a  study published in the Nutrition Journal. It’s all about the laws of thermodynamics, you know, those silly little equations that claim energy is never lost, except when it comes to exchanging heat. Researchers Richard Feinman and Eugene Fine claim that “a calorie is a calorie” actually violates the second law of thermodynamics, which predicts that various sources of energy will lose more heat when burned. So what does this mean when it comes to dieting?

    Plenty. Protein and carbohydrates are processed differently in the body. Protein has the thermodynamic edge, because more energy is released as heat than is converted into chemical energy or glucose. So although a chunk of steak and a bowl of noodles carry equal calories, the amount of energy the body scours from them to fuel movement or store as fat is quite different.

    This would explain, according to Feinman, why two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine found that those on a low carb, high protein diet shed three times as much weight as those on a low fat diet after six months. Further evidence for this argument can be found in a study done by Dr. Astrup in Denmark, Copenhagen. He studied 12 men in a room and measured scientifically how much energy each man burned when fed a diet high in protein or carbs. Men who ate lean protein, such as pork, put out 4% more heat than those on a high carbohydrate diet, not to mention they lost more weight.

    All this is good news for people enjoying a low carb lifestyle, but don=t expect the diet world to embrace Feinman=s opinion with open arms. Experts still claim the main reason people lose weight on a low-carb diet is because they eat fewer calories. But could there be another reason?

    Unlike high carbohydrate diets, protein triggers a response in the stomach that affects motility and stimulates the release of glucagon, a hormone that helps us to burn previously stored fat. In normal people, within thirty minutes of eating a small amount of protein, glucagon starts to rise, peaking at two hours. In fact, glucagon can stay elevated in blood for several hours after a protein rich meal. This gives your body plenty of time to use the fat stored around your waist and hips for fuel. Combine this with Feinman’s argument regarding the second law of thermodynamics and high protein/low-carb eating should have the metabolic advantage over low fat and calorically restricted diets when it comes to losing weight.

    Diet choices are like hats – not all fit or look good on everyone. But if you suffer from heart disease or diabetes, choosing a lifestyle that emphasizes a diet rich in lean protein, moderate amounts of fats and low glycemic carbohydrates can go a long way towards cheating the Grim Reaper.

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    10 Easy Low Carb Lunches for The Menopause Diet

    Worried about what you can eat for lunch when you only have 30 minutes? Here’s my 10 Easy Low Carb Lunch suggestions  for the Menopause Diet that will help you gain energy while losing weight.

    1. Chicken, tuna or turkey salad on a bed of lettuce with fresh veggies is a winner any time. You can even use this on low carb bread for a sandwich.

    2. Quesadillas filled with meat leftovers, vegetables and cheese heat up well. Just be sure to chose a low carb tortilla, and save on carbs by folding one in half rather than use two tortillas.

    3. Sandwiches Fill low carb bread/tortillas with avocados, chicken, onion sprouts or chives and coat with a mayo/mustard dressing. Yummy!

    4. Leftovers I often use leftovers for breakfast or lunch the next day. It’s easy to make extra at night. If you are cooking impaired, just pick up a roasted chicken at the store and take all the meat off while it’s still warm. Bag it and then use the meat in soups,sandwiches or just to snack on.

    5. Shakes or snack bars Look upon these products as “emergency” food supplies…like if you got lost in the Himalayas and needed to survive. However, for those on the run, it’s better to eat/drink a meal substitute than miss a meal altogether.

    6. Salads such as Chef, Caesar or Cobb can supply you with lots of protein. Just use a low carb dressing and you’ll be fine.

    7. Omelets This is a good brunch option if you have not had eggs at any other time throughout the day. Just add extra cheese and some meat and you have a great low carb meal.

    8. Burger meat of any kind…chicken, beef, buffalo or turkey with NO BUN can turn a fast food nightmare into a great low carb lunch. Several chains offer “low carb” burgers served with a salad.

    9. Miso soup and sushi without the rice is another excellent selection. However, if you suffer from hypothyroidism, skip the soup, as it contains soy products which may block your thyroid and lower your metabolism.

    10. Dinner for lunch can mean leftovers or having your main meal at noon, such as a great steak or fish main course. Order a side of veggies and skip lunchtime boredom.

    Just remember: Carb count is important throughout the day even when choosing low carb options, and don’t be shy about bringing your own bread if you crave a sandwich. It can prevent you from ruining an entire day!

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    Top 10 Tips for Surviving Holiday Stress

    Learning to control chaos in our lives can result in breaking the cycle of stress eating, especially during the holidays. So take a few pointers from me.You don’t need to be the “peacekeeper” for your family, putting your own needs last. It’s time to erase all those negative thoughts and start putting your own needs out there. So here’s my Top 10 Tips for Surviving Holiday Stress without gaining a pound.

    1.  STOP thinking you don’t deserve what you want because you are not “good enough.” You’re terrific! Look in the mirror and keep saying positive things about yourself.

    2. DON’T present a question about your feelings ( such as “do you know how I’m feeling?). TELL your family HOW you feel, then give them the space/time to deal with what you’ve TOLD them.

    3. THINK about your comments before saying them. Many times we don’t realize how others will perceive what we are telling them, and it makes things stressful. This way, you won’t lose the meaning of what you are trying to communicate in a word-vomit episode.

    4.  AVOID inflammatory words such as NEVER and ALWAYS. They imply you are rigid and inflexible.

    5. MENTION benefits. This is an old business school trick, but if you want to be successful at negotiating with your family ( after all, that’s what life is about ) then informing your family of the benefits they will receive by complying with your request will prevent you from sounding manipulative.

    6.  DO NOT apologize after making your request. You deserve to be heard and to have your needs considered.

    7. “I” is a good word to use in your message. It avoids confusion and emphasizes YOUR needs. So practice saying “I need,” “I think,” “I feel.”

    8. DO NOT blame or attack. Enough said about that one.

    9. KEEP your tone of voice moderate. I find this one the hardest for me, as I “project” my voice when stressed/upset. It really helps to almost whisper as you practice saying your needs ( I use the bathroom ) before delivering your needs to others who may take things in a negative manner.

    10. BE objective, stick to your facts and be specific about your needs. It’s amazing how having clarity in your OWN thoughts can make a big difference in clarifying what other’s hear you say.

    So, make this your new mandate to take back your health during the holiday season by practicing my Top 10Ttips for Surviving Holiday Stress.

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