Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Can Conquer Emotional Eating

You can conquer emotional eating. Like me you may have taught yourself to use food as a reward system. Chocolate when you’re happy, ice cream when you’re sad and my longtime favorite was candy when I was bored. There are so many emotions tied to snacking that have nothing to do with whether you are hungry or not.

Our appetite is controlled by signals that tell our brain when we are hungry and when we are full. When you become hungry, your tummy will start to gurgle and growl. It’s a slow process that can be felt below the neck.

When your emotions make you think you are hungry it’s an immediate process that comes from what you are thinking about. Did you see the word think being said twice in that last sentence? Your thoughts about how you are feeling turn into cravings for the chocolate, the chips, the candy and they want immediate gratification. This is not hunger and happens above the neck, in your head.

There is a 2-step process that has worked for me.

Step 1: I stop and ask myself if the hunger is coming from my head, above the neck or my stomach, below the neck.

True hunger comes on slow and can be felt below the neck. Cravings and emotional eating come on sudden and really start an immediate inner dialogue going on above the neck in your head. You start wanting food like pizza, chocolate, a candy bar and chips. Right now!

Step 2: If the answer is, above the neck, I determine what I am actually feeling. In my head I say "name that tune" :) And, name the emotion I am feeling.

Over time have I taught myself to stop, figure out below or above the neck, name the emotion and realize that eating for the wrong reasons would only make me feel another negative emotion and create a vicious cycle.

As I’ve said in other blog posts, losing weight permanently is a journey you take with yourself, for yourself and end up discovering who you are and what you really want in life.

Enjoy the journey! Your Diet Diva



Roasted Tilapia with Tomatoes

Here is another great Tilapia recipe that is 100% compliant for the Medifast diet plan. The garlic and green olives really makes this recipe Diva-licious!

Servings: 4

Per serving
1 Leanest Protein
1 ½ Condiments
1 Healthy Fat
½ of a Vegetable Serving

Ingredients:

• 4 (10-ounce) Tilapia fillets
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 10 sprays Cooking spray
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
• 3/4 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 3 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:

Note: If you do not have a jelly-roll pan you can easily substitute with another baking pan that is close in size and measurements like the following:
Sheet Pan (reg): 10-1/2" wide x 15-1/2" long x 1" deep
Sheet Pan (lg): 12-1/2" wide x 17-1/2" long x 1" deep

You can also use a cookie sheet, or even a pizza pan that comes close to these measurements listed above.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Spray jelly-roll pan with cooking spray. Arrange fish in a single layer in the center of a jelly-roll pan. . Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper. Combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients; stir. Arrange tomato mixture around fish on baking sheet.
Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1/4 cup tomato mixture.

Lennie Campbell ~ Your Health Coach

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Green Beans with Dill


This is a great side dish for anyone looking for a way to cut back on the calories during the holidays or anytime of year. It's one I have had in my recipe file for several years and always enjoy making it.  It is a compliant Medifast plan recipe as well. The dill gives this recipe a nice aroma and flavor. 

4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup


Per Serving
2 Green
1 Condiment

Prep Time: 25 minutes




Ingredients: 

1 pound green beans, trimmed
4 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1. Bring an inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add green beans, cover and cook until tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, whisk dill, shallot, oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the green beans and toss to coat. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

Approximately 75 calories per serving

This is exceptionally good when served with a grilled salmon fillet!

Enjoy!
Lennie Campbell, Your Diet Diva

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

The holidays are a time for celebration with those we love. It can also be a time when a few pounds are gained. The calories from an average Thanksgiving dinner alone can add up to be over 4,200. There are healthy alternatives that can save the increase in body weight without sacrificing flavor.

For my clients on the Medifast weight loss plan this recipe below is a great way to stay compliant.



This low carbohydrate recipe is direct from our nutrition support team. A serving counts as 1 condiment and 1 vegetable. This is a great recipe to keep you compliant during the holidays.

Ingredients
• raw cauliflower - a medium head makes about a pound of florettes which is 9 vegetable servings
• 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon pepper
• two cloves minced garlic or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Break the cauliflower up into florets, or just chop. Cook it in the microwave in a container or steam it. Cook it until it's tender -- a fork should easily pierce it.

The easiest thing to do is to add the rest of the ingredients to the container the cauliflower is cooked in, and then use a stick (hand) blender to put it all together. Or you can put it all in a regular blender or food processor.

This recipe makes 9 servings and each serving counts as one condiment and one vegetable.

Enjoy!
                                        From Your Diet Diva Blog

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jamaican Pork Loin

This recipe is great no matter what time of year.  If your grill is not covered by a roof, grab that umbrella and start singing in the rain (or snow). You will enjoy cooking this delicious pork tenderloin.  

Servings: 6

Per serving

1 Lean protein
3 condiments


Ingredients
• 2 cups sliced scallions
• 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
• 1 Habanero pepper, quartered and seeded (if these peppers are too hot for you, substitute with jalapeno)
• 1/3 cup cider vinegar
• 2 packets Splenda
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 2 teaspoons ground allspice
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 2 teaspoons dried or fresh thyme
  1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
• 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
• 1 3-pound center-cut pork loin, trimmed

Directions:

Puree scallions, garlic, chili pepper, vinegar, Splenda, oil, allspice, coriander, thyme, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper in a food processor.
Pour the spice mixture into a large, Ziploc plastic bag. Add pork and turn the bag to coat the pork with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Can refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Approximately 20 minutes before you are ready to grill, preheat a gas grill (with all burners lit) to 500°F
Turn off one burner (leaving 1 to 2 burners lit, depending on your grill).
Remove the pork from the marinade. Place the pork on the unheated side of the grill rack. Close the lid and roast undisturbed for 45 minutes.
Rotate the pork 180 degrees, cover and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 145°F, 20 to 30 minutes more. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Diva Note: You can butterfly the pork tenderloin to increase the surface area for the marinade to penetrate.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Popular Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Wins Again

Today I wanted to share a photo with you that I took at a local event last week that was held in Mauna Lani, Hawaii. The event is put on at The Shops at Mauna Lani each year and the restaurants located within the plaza offer a variety of different meals to sample. The event offers great music from local artists, and a silent auction along with the food. This year the event’s name was “Uncorked” which speaks for itself:) It’s a very fun, 2-hour event held outdoors. It was a benefit for the North Hawaii Community Hospital.

Since I’m a health coach I am always checking out the menu options available wherever I go. At this event I was pleasantly surprised by the meal prepared by the Tommy Bahama restaurant. They were serving mashed cauliflower as part of the meal rather than mashed potatoes! I teach my clients on a regular basis the importance of this side-dish-swap. Cauliflower is such a healthier, better low-carbohydrate option than potatoes. And…it tastes better!

This photo was taken at the very end of the evening and the portion of mashed cauliflower is smaller than everyone actually enjoyed on their 7 inch plates. The staff was just starting to pack things up when I decided I needed to take a picture.

More and more restaurants are changing their menus to reflect lower fat and lower carbohydrate meal options. With obesity on the rise in America it’s been a very welcome sight to see this shift starting to take place.

Diva Note: Anytime you are concerned about a restaurant and the availability of meals to meet your weight management needs:

(1) Google the restaurant name to find their menu. 99.9% of all restaurants have their menu available to view. Go prepared by determining what you will be ordering before you arrive.

(2) Google the restaurant name and get their phone number. Call ahead and find out if they will prepare the fish, chicken or other entrees in a way that meets your needs.

From Your Diet Diva Blog



Thursday, November 8, 2012

No-Crust Pumpkin Pie

The holiday season always sends my on a quest to find the best recipes that won’t sacrifice flavor and at the same time won't be loaded with hidden calories. I have been able to find some delicious low-carbohydrate variations that will satisfy everyone's palate for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

This year I will post a series of great calorie-saving recipes and tips throughout the holidays to help you understand what calories hide in the food you eat and what you can do to eliminate weight gain throughout this special time of year. I believe the most important thing to do in order to avoid holiday weight gain is to educate yourself. You must know the impact of the foods you are eating. It’s dangerous to haphazardly eat anything in front of you and if you do, you should expect to gain weight. On the other hand, if you go into the season armed with the knowledge of how many calories are in some of the most popular holiday foods as well as how long it will take to burn off those additional calories, you may decide to do things differently this year.

Let’s start with a quiz:
How many calories are in one slice of pumpkin pie?

Answer: One serving of traditional pumpkin pie with a whip cream topping is 450 calories and if you think that is a real shocker….one slice of pecan pie packs with it approximately 650 calories.

What amount of exercise is necessary to burn off those calories from one piece of pumpkin pie?
Answer:  A person weighing 150 would need to pedal vigorously for 30 minutes to burn approximately 350 calories. This is what would be needed for the additional calories in ONE piece of pie!!

Can you see yourself vigorously pedaling a bike for 30 minutes on Thanksgiving Day for pie alone?

Not this Diva!
The better option is to learn how to prepare meals without all the calories.
The pumpkin pie recipe below is a family favorite and no one has ever complained. Not one peep.

No-Crust Pumpkin Pie
You will be able to enjoy 2 tablespoons of sugar-free cool whip topping & 1 piece of pie for a total of 125 calories.

Prep and Baking Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

3 egg whites or ½ cup Egg Beaters (Some people have modified the recipe by using 2 egg whites & 1 whole egg).
1 can (15 ounces) of solid-packed pumpkin
¾ cup granulated Splenda that is made for baking. (you will find it in the isle with the baking goods) Do not use the packets of Splenda!
½ cup reduced-fat biscuit mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces fat-free)
1 cup sugar-free cool whip

Directions: 

In a large bowl, combine the egg beaters or egg whites, pumpkin, sugar substitute, biscuit mix, spices and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in the evaporated milk slowly.
Pour into a 9 inch pie place coated with a cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 – 40 minutes or until your knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Top with a dollop of SF cool whip and serve!
Refrigerate leftovers, if any are to be found:)

Note: This is not a recipe while on the Medifast weight loss plan. It is a GREAT maintenance recipe and great healthy recipe for the general public that does not skimp on flavor and it is diabetic-friendly.

From Your Diet Diva Blog & Lennie Campbell

Let me know your favorite low calorie holiday recipes!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chicken with Lemon Juice and Capers

Makes 4 servings
Per serving
One Lean serving
4 fats
2.5 condiments

Ingredients:

• 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 packet Medifast crackers, crushed
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons capers, drained
• 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

1. Place chicken between 2 sheets of wax paper and pound to an even thickness. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Place cracker crumbs in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in crumbs.

2. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes. Turn chicken over. Add broth, juice, and capers; reduce heat to medium, and simmer 3 minutes, basting chicken occasionally with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley; cook 1 minute. Remove chicken from pan.  Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

3. Bring sauce to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. Serve over chicken.

Great over a bed of butter leaf lettuce with chopped red peppers.

Recipe modified to be 100% compliant for Medifast Lean and Green meal.


Holiday Tiramisu Milk Shake


Recipe for Tiramisu Milkshake 
  • 1 packet Medifast Cappuccino
  • 2 tablespoons sugar-free chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • Method: Pour ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. 
Great Medifast recipe for the holidays!

Tony's Amazing 92 Pound Weight Loss Story!

Tony Lost 92 pounds!

I have had the pleasure of being Tony’s health coach while on the Medifast weight loss plan. Tony has a deep compassion for others and from the very beginning, while being focused on his and his wife’s own health, Tony has always been thinking about others and how he can reach out to help people take control of their own health so they can enjoy life to the fullest. He is a true inspiration to many folks.

Tony’s Story :
"I got up to 315 and have now lost about 92 pounds and I am striving to lose 115 pounds by Christmas. I started in January and lost about 20 pounds on a different diet. Then, our doctor recommended we try Medifast…he has lost over 90 pounds himself on it. After him suggesting it to us two different times, my wife and I decided to give it a try. 

We began last April, and since then, she has lost an additional 44 pounds for a total of 62 and I have lost an additional 72 for a total of 92. We have been on numerous diets over the last 25 years and have never been successful. Medifast is the first program we have tried where not only have we been successful, but we have also found it to be fulfilling, easy to use, easy to travel with, easy to go socialize with, easy to remain focused on and not get burned out or tired of, and best of all, a diet that rarely are we hungry during the day and focused on food or the next meal. We also have not had to exercise a great deal to lose the weight.

We have seen our blood levels improve, our blood pressure improve, I was able to get off my C-Pap/sleep apnea machine, I can bend over and tie my shoes and cross my legs while sitting. I also have seen significant improvements in my circulation, and of course significantly increased levels of self-confidence! 

We have recommended it to numbers of people and carry Lennie’s business cards so we can help others be successful. We can without hesitation or reservation recommend the diet to anyone! In combination with our pursuit of the spiritual root of our overeating and Medifast, we are thrilled and thoroughly enjoying ourselves!

If your clients are looking for a great book on seeking the root cause of their overeating, we would recommend reading, Made To Crave".

Note from Your Diet Diva: Made To Crave also has a "Made To Crave Action Plan Book" available as well. 

                            Can you see why I LOVE what I do:)  Your Diet Diva 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mummies in a Blanket

Your Diet Diva made these little mummies-in-a-blanket for a party I attended last night and they were such a success I wanted to share them with everyone. They are so easy to make and everyone loves them. 


When using the right ingredients you reduce the recipe by an amazing amount of fat grams and calories.

Ingredients

8 hot dogs that are 97 - 98 % Fat-Free
1 package refrigerated Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls (unprepared)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375%

On a dry surface, place the 8 triangle-shaped portions of dough far enough apart to give you room to stretch and roll each each piece around a hot dog. I started with the wide end and when I got to the top of each hot dog I used the last thin piece of dough to create the headpiece. The first batch looked hysterical:)

Place the blanketed mummies on a non-greased baking sheet, evenly spaced.

Bake until slightly browned, about 12 - 13 minutes.

Allow time to cool and make mummy eyes by using French's Mustard.
Approximately 134 calories per mummy.

This is a maintenance recipe and not intended to be used when on the Medifast weight loss program.

Have fun and enjoy!
                                                  From Your Diet Diva



Friday, October 26, 2012

Your Refrigerator ~ Friend or Foe?

OK, let’s have some fun and treat this like a game. Ready, set, go!

Go to your refrigerator and take a pen and paper with you. As quick as you can, open the door and start writing everything in your fridge. Remember to include the items in the door.
 
 Does your refrigerator look like this?
 

For many of us on a path to optimal health we tend to overlook what’s really lurking in our refrigerators. There are everyday staples loaded with hidden fat grams & high fructose corn sugar that we use on a regular basis like salad dressings, hot dogs, processed lunch meat, sausage and mayonnaise. Mayonnaise alone packs with it 11 grams of fat and 100 calories per serving and 1 tablespoon is a serving. Most of us will spread 4 to 5 tablespoons on 2 slices of bread for a sandwich without much effort.

Let’s do the math. There are 11 grams of fat per serving X 5 tablespoons = 55 grams of fat and 500 additional calories for just the spread on your sandwich. 

The real killer is the hot dogs which our kids LOVE to eat. One Oscar Meyer Premium hot dog packs with it 240 calories, 23 grams of total fat and 9 grams of saturated fat per serving (1 hot dog). Most Americans and their children eat more than 1 hot dog at a time! You do the math on this one! 

In addition to the high fat food items in your refrigerator there are items harboring high fructose corn syrup like Heinz Catsup, Smucker’s Strawberry Jelly, Worcester sauce, Mott’s Original Applesauce, Capri Suns and even Yoplait Yogurt.

High fructose corn syrup is sugar and sugar of any kind leads to obesity. Dr. Mark Hyman wrote a great article on the dangers of High fructose corn syrup in an article published in May, 2011. It’s entitled, “The 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You”. It’s a great read.

Decode the fine print and become a “Label Reader”.

Pay particular attention to the serving size when reading a label. Sometimes that alone can be a real shocker when it comes to grams of fat and calories.

It’s important to know how many grams of fat you should be eating in a day for your height, age and activity level in order to maintain your ideal weight. The University of Maryland Medical Center has an easy way for you to calculate your daily need. Find that out before you go to your refrigerator

http://www.umm.edu/heart/caloric.htm

Healthy Alternatives

Condiments

Heinz organic tomato ketchup
French's Worcestershire
Farman's pickle relish
Mt. Olive Hamburger dill chips
Annie's Natural Organic Ketchup
French’s Honey Dijon Mustard 

Yogurt

Brown Cow Vanilla Yogurt
Southern Home Nonfat Plain Yogurt
Dannon Plain Yogurt*
Mountain High Yogurt (it appears all varieties are HFCS free)
Dannon All Natural Vanilla Yogurt
Dannon All Natural Coffee Yogurt
Horizon Organic Fat Free Yogurt

Peanut Butter & Jams

Adams Peanut Butter
Costco sells an organic peanut butter
Whole Foods brand peanut butter
Karo Dark (with Blue label)
Karo Brown Sugar syrup
Hero Jams (from Switzerland) --- can be found at Cost Plus World Market
Darbo Jams (from Austria) --- can be found at Cost Plus World Market
Whole foods brand (365) strawberry jam
Smuckers organic grape jelly
Safeway "O" Organics Maple Syrup

Salad Dressings

Fat is not a bad thing when selecting a salad dressing. I read the labels and make sure there are no more than 6 grams of fat per serving, BUT watch the serving size…some are only 1 tablespoon!

Great Value (WalMart) Zesty Italian Dressing
Walden Farms
Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise
Hidden Valley Ranch Old Fashion Buttermilk
Blue Plate Mayonnaise
Wishbone Light
Ken's Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing
Annie's Naturals Organic Papaya Poppy Seed Salad Dressing.
Annie's Naturals Goddess Dressing (check other Annie's too, quite a few are HFCS free).
Brianna's Homemade Blush Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (all varieties seem to be HFCS free)
Drew's Salad Dressings
Most Newman's Own varieties
Kraft Honey Dijon Vinaigrette, dressing & marinade
Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette, dressing & marinade



Resources:

Dr. Mark Hyman

FITDAY

University of Maryland Medical Center

WebMD.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Pudding

If you like those chocolate-covered coffee beans, you will like this recipe! Great way to enhance your Medifast Chocolate Pudding.

Ingredients:

1 Medifast Chocolate Pudding

½ cup cold coffee

3 ice cubes

½ teaspoon coffee grounds

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon sugar-free chocolate syrup

Blend all ingredients together in your blender or Magic Bullet. The longer you blend, the creamier it becomes. I like adding 1/2 cup more water and turn it into a divalious shake.

Enjoy!  Your Diet Diva

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thai Crock Pot Chicken

Cooler weather is just around the corner and I thought it might be a good time to post a super good crock pot Lean & Green recipe.

Servings: 4

Per Serving: 
1 Leaner Protein 
3 Green 
2.5 Condiments
¼ Healthy Snack

Ingredients:

2 lbs. chicken breasts, uncooked - yields 24 oz. cooked (4 lean)
1/2 cup or (4 oz.) Salsa Verde (8 condiments)
2 tbsp. Peanut Butter (1 snack)
1 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (1 condiment)
1/2 tsp. ground or fresh ginger (1 condiment)
6 cups cauliflower cooked and mashed or grated

Directions:

Place all ingredients in the crock pot, except cauliflower. Stir to roughly mix the ingredients and make sure that the chicken is completely coated with the marinade. Cook on low for 6 hours, no stirring.

To serve, divide chicken into 4 equal portions of 6 oz. each over 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower per serving. Stir sauce in crock pot and then spoon the sauce evenly over each portion. Note: We shredded the chicken. Scatter just a at little freshly torn mint or cilantro on the top.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pan-Seared Scallops

This is an incredibly easy recipe that has been modified from Cooking Light to fit our Lean & Green meal. When you need to make something that taste good, quick, this is it!

Servings: 4
Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Per Serving:  
1 Leanest
1 Green
1 Healthy Fat

Ingredients:

• 2 pounds sea scallops
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 5 sprays Cooking spray
• 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
• 2 cups grape tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons commercial pesto• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Directions:

• 1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Pat scallops dry with paper towels; sprinkle with salt   and pepper.
2. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add scallops to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
3. Remove scallops from pan; keep warm.
• 4.Reduce heat to medium. Add rind and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; bring to a simmer. Add tomatoes; cook 45 seconds, tossing to coat.
• 5. Spoon 2 teaspoons pesto on each of 4 plates. Arrange one-quarter of scallops and about 1/2 cup tomato mixture on each plate. Sprinkle with basil.

Notes:
For a golden-brown crust on the scallops, don't disturb them while they cook except to turn them over.

Enjoy ~ Lennie

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Believe In Yourself

One of my Health Coaches just sent this to her clients and I wanted to share it with everyone. Thank you, April!

Believe in yourself...  

Believe that you have what it takes to get control of your health!
Believe that improving your health can change your family!
Believe that you can and will eat healthy foods and enjoy it!
Believe that you will reach your goal weight!
Believe that all things are possible to him that believes....




Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cilantro-Lime Pork Tacos

This is a great recipe for the entire family! If you are on the program everything is 100% compliant except the tortilla the rest of the family can eat. I know you know...I just have to make sure:)
This is delish!

Number of Servings: 3  
Per serving:
1 Lean
2 Green
3 Condiments

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients:
• 1 ¼ pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 10 sprays pan spray
• 3 slices thinly sliced onion
• ½ cup jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
• 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
• 1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
• 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  7 ounces lettuce leaves

Directions:
• Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and black pepper. Spray pan      with pan spray. Add pork, and sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove pork from pan; place in a bowl.
• Add onion and jalapeño to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.
• Add broth; reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in tomato; simmer     2 minutes.Return pork and accumulated juices to pan. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; cook 1 minute or until pork is done.

Enjoy! ~ Your Diet Diva

What is your favorite Lean & Green recipe?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Get Your Metabolism Charged

One of the things I love about what I do is how "portable" my business has become.  No matter where I am or where I go; if there is internet service I am able to work.

Today, while out-of-town, I've had the opportunity to talk with 8 clients and there was a common topic that came up throughout each conversation. The reoccurring topic was around what tips or secrets did I know that would help each person's weight loss journey be more effective.

I decided to go into my files where I store all the great articles written by one of my mentors, Lori Andersen.  Below is an article Lori wrote earlier this year.  It lists the actions she taught me to incorporate while losing 35 pounds and these are the same ones I follow to maintain my goal weight 4 years later.  Enjoy!

Get Your Metabolism Charged!
By Lori Andersen August 11, 2012

We all want to know the extra little actions we can do daily to increase our metabolism while we lose weight and also once we are in maintenance.


Always eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast jump-starts your metabolism and eating every three hour thereafter keeps high energy all day. Women who skip this meal are 4 and ½ times more likely to be obese.

Drink Coffee, Tea or the Calorie Burner products Daily
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, and it has been shown to increase your metabolism 5-8%. This adds up to about 98-174 calories a day! A cup of brewed tea can raise your metabolism by 12%. The Calorie burner products by Medifast can boost your metabolism ! Wow!

Eat your Fiber
Research has shown that some fiber can increase your fat burning by as much as 30%. Aim for 25 gms daily. Our Take Shape for Life program easily fills this requirement.

Make your Water Cold
This makes the body work harder to warm it up in the body. Researchers have found that drinking 6 cups of cold water/day can raise your resting metabolism to burn 50 extra calories.

Choose Organic Products
A study out of Canada reports that those who have the most organochlorines ( pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experience a lower metabolism as they lose weight. Another researcher found that pesticides can cause weight gain. So always choose organic when picking peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, and pears.

Always include Protein. Your body needs protein to maintain it’s lean muscle mass. Add protein to every meal. With Medifast this ones easy!

Divide your Meals
6 small meals throughout the day can help to keep your metabolism up better than eating just 2-3 times daily. With the Take Shape for life Program, we’ve got this one done.

Add Spices to Your Food
Cinnamon increases metabolism twentyfold and you just need to ingest only ¼ to 1 tsp per day.

Skip the Cocktails
When you drink alcohol, you burn less fat and will probably kick yourself out the fat burning stage. The alcohol you consume will be used as an energy source instead of the fat. Having two martinis can reduce your body’s fat-burning ability by up to 73%

Take your Calcium
Studies have shown that women short in calcium may slow their metabolism. You will get RDA, but you may want to supplement.

Get enough Chromium. Studies found that getting 120 mcg daily will help boost metabolism. Found in green pepper, spinach, meat, eggs, and if you are on the maintenance phase and can have fruit…apples and bananas also are good sources of chromium.

Exercise!!!
Taking part in both aerobic and weight training will significantly increase metabolism and build muscle which will be an important part of you maintaining your new healthy weight

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Turkey Sausage & Peppers

A client turned this recipe in and said it was a great. I have not tried it and do not have a picture to show. I thought any picture would be better than none.  Such a Diva thought! It is a cute turkey:)

Servings: 4                         Super Easy ~ Prep Time is 10 Minutes

Per Serving
1 Leanest
1 Green
3 Condiments

Ingredients:  

1 large green pepper, thinly cut into strips
1 tsp. olive oil
Season with salt and pepper

For the Sausages:
1 lb (or a bit less) ground turkey breast – 99% lean
2 tsp. crushed rosemary
1 tsp tarragon (you could use basil instead, if you prefer)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
ground pepper to taste 
For the Sauce:
1 small can tomato sauce (no sugar added)
1/2tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8  tsp. cayenne pepper (or more to taste - optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Spray pan with Pam, add teaspoon of olive oil and sauté peppers until they just begin to
brown (crisp tender). Remove to a bowl.
Mix seasonings with turkey and form into 4 sausage shaped links. Spray with pam and
brown all sides (on med-hi heat) in same pan that you did the veggies in. Cook until
centers are no longer pink. Remove to bowl with peppers.
Turn heat to low, pour tomato sauce into the same skillet and add spices. Cover and let
simmer 5 minutes. Remove the lid and add the sausages and peppers. Mix together and
cook another 3 minutes or so just to heat. Then plate ‘em up!

Friday, September 7, 2012

#1 Secret For Permanent Weight Loss

OK, you have worked hard to get your weight off, broke through some barriers and learned new habits to replace the old ones that kept you at an unhealthy weight. And now is the time where the real work begins as you learn how to maintain the new you. My own maintenance journey has been full of pitfalls and setbacks as I have engaged again in everyday life. It’s the daily choices we make and the little bit here & a little bit there of the wrong foods that put the weight back on. I cannot stress enough the importance of paying attention and gaining knowledge about what you put in your body every day. My hope in writing this article is to help you understand the beverage industry and how it impacts your long-term success.

                                                    Rethink What You Drink

Most people try to reduce their calorie intake by focusing on food, but what’s more important is to understand the calories and dangers found in what you drink.

Secret #1 ~ The single biggest source of calories in America is soda pop. 

All of us know that pop is nothing more than sugar-water and that it’s devoid of any nutritional value and it leads to obesity. There are several other, often overlooked reasons that most people don’t know about as to why you should kick the soda pop habit.

Did you know that drinking regular soda pop increases fat buildup? Danish researchers discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. The study revealed that people who drank a regular soda every day for six months saw a 132 to 142 percent increase in liver fat, a 117 to 221 percent jump in skeletal fat, and about a 30 percent increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fat. Their consumption also led to an 11 percent increase in cholesterol, compared with the people who drank other beverages such as water or milk.

Did you know the color caramel is cancer-causing? In 2011, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the artificial caramel coloring used to make Coke, Pepsi, and other colas brown. The reason: Two contaminants in the coloring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in animals, a threat the group says is unnecessary, considering that the coloring is purely cosmetic. According to California's strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms per person per day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat, and most popular brown colas, both diet and regular, contain 200 micrograms per 20-ounce bottle.

Did you know pop may accelerate aging? Diet or regular, all colas contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tangy flavor and improves their shelf life. Although it exists in many whole foods, such as meat, dairy, and nuts, too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging. The study, published in a 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal, found that the excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels—a disturbing trend considering that soda manufacturers have been increasing the levels of phosphoric acid in their products over the past few decades.

In addition to pop there are other drinks that contribute to weight gain and prevent Americans from sustaining a long-term healthy weight. The CDC has created a chart that illustrates the impact of hidden calories in other daily drinks. This CDC chart is worth spending time reading.

Regarding calories in your drink choices, take a look at what a very popular drink at Starbucks has packed into it. The Starbucks White Hot Cocoa with whipped cream seems like good choice on a cold winter morning. Think again, this frothy drink comes packed with 520 calories, 16 grams of fat and 75 grams of sugar. Your blood sugar will hit the ceiling in minutes. Instead select the Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte, Grande since it has 130 calories and is a much better choice at America’s favorite coffee house.


                                                    Diet Pop is NOT the Answer!

Many people think that a diet pop is the best way to go because the label shows no calories and no sugar. Right?
Wrong! That caramel-colored bubbly diet pop like, just like it’s counterpart, comes with its own set of side effects that may harm your health—from inducing kidney problems to adding inches to your waistline. Yep, inches to your waistline.

Prevention magazine listed the top 4 reasons you need to kick the diet cola habit as welll….now!

Kidney Problems
Here’s something you didn’t know about your diet soda: It might be bad for your kidneys. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. Even more interesting: Since kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.

Messed-Up Metabolism
According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease. Whether that link is attributed to an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers’ eating habits is unclear. But is that one can really worth it?

Obesity
You read that right: Diet soda doesn’t help you lose weight after all. A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, and you crave more.

A Hangover that Hangs On
Your first bad decision was ordering that Vodka Diet—and you may make the next one sooner than you thought. Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunker, faster, according to a study out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. That’s because sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker than those with sugar, leaving you with a bigger buzz.


I will be adding new “secrets” each week for keeping your weight off permanently. Stay tuned for the next secret from Your Diet Diva Blog!

References:
Eat This, Not That
Prevention Magazine
CDC (Center for Disease Control)
Rodale

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baked Fillet of Fish in Foil Packets


My daughter made this for us while we were in Hawaii this last winter.  It is so good!  She used Ono but any white fish will work great.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Servings: 4

Per Serving
1 Leanest Protein
3 Green
3 Condiment
1 Healthy Fat

Ingredients
 4 - 10 ounce fish fillets, rinsed and patted dry
·1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
· ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  ½ teaspoon fresh pepper
·6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
·1 cup sliced green onion
·4 cups baby spinach leaves or chopped spinach
·3 cups plum or Italian tomatoes, roughly chopped
·2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
·2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
·2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
·1 sprinkle of red pepper flakes, to taste
· 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Turn the grill to medium high heat.
If you are cooking indoors, preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Take a large sheet of aluminum foil and place it on a large platter or tray.
3. Lay the fish fillets in the center, in a single layer then spread a little lemon juice over the fillets. Season with the sea salt and fresh pepper.
4. Next, using a large mixing bowl, combine the garlic, onion, baby spinach and tomatoes. Add the balsamic vinegar, fresh chopped herbs, red pepper flakes and toss to mix. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
5. Tear off another sheet of foil the same size as the bottom sheet.
6. Turn up all the edges of the bottom sheet a bit to catch any liquid that runs to the edge.
7. Spoon the spinach-tomato mixture on top of the fish. Drizzle on any remaining olive oil left in the bowl.
8. Lay the second piece of foil on top of the fish and veggies and crimp the foil closed all around the edges to make a large packet.
9. Carry the packet with the platter or tray to the grill and carefully transfer the packet to the preheated grill. Cover the grill and cook until the fish is done- about 20 minutes or so- depending on the thickness of the fillet, and how hot your fire is. The fish should flake easily with a fork, and appear opaque. Or place foil packet in oven and cook about 20 minutes.


Enjoy this great recipe brought to you by Your Diet Diva Blog

Chocolate Kisses


Serving: 1 meal, 1 condiment

Ingredients:
1 Medifast Chocolate Pudding
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. DaVinci sugar-free Cherry syrup 

Directions:
Whisk pudding w/ water and add enough syrup to make a good consistency. Using a spoon drop onto wax paper and freeze.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Super Easy Salisbury Steak

You can use a blend of two kinds of ground meats for the patties. The turkey breast is going to be the best for lower fat content and the ground round will add more moisture. Serve with roasted vegetables for a great Lean and Green meal.

Servings: 4 

Per Serving:
One Leaner serving
¼ snack
3 condiments

Ingredients
¾ pound ground turkey breast
¾ pound ground round
1 packet Medifast multigrain crackers
2 large egg whites
5 sprays Cooking spray
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth

Directions
Combine first 4 ingredients. Divide meat mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2 inch thick patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add patties; cook 6 minutes or until browned, turning after 3 minutes. Remove and set aside patties from pan; cover to keep warm. Stir in water and remaining ingredients. Add patties and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 5 – 7 minutes.

Do Fat Cells Ever Go Away?

Many clients have asked me the question, “Do fat cells ever go away?” so I decided to write about it today and post it to my Diva Diet Blog.

We all know that when we consume more calories than we expend, those extra calories will be stored primarily as fat regardless of whether the extra calories come from fats, carbohydrates or proteins. So how many fat cells are we born with and do we ever create new ones?

When do fat cells start to develop?
The body creates a set number of fat cells in development, which last for life. "Infants begin to develop fat cells during the third trimester of pregnancy. As a young child grows, fat cells divide and multiply in the body much the same as red and white blood cells do. Unlike red and white blood cells that dissolve and exit the body through the skin, urine and bowel, fat cells endure.

Most scientists believe that fat cells increase substantially in number during adolescence and having an elevated number of these cells is a predictor of obesity later in life. I’ve known this for many years and my heart breaks when I see the number of overweight/obese children these days.

Do fat cells multiply?
If we eat more calories than our body needs, our fat cells stretch to store these extra calories as triglycerides. The sad truth is that a person can even gain new fat cells. An obese person has at least two or three times the amount of normal cells, which continue to multiply and affect body function.

Once created, fat cells remain in your body forever; they may shrink in size when you lose weight, but they never go away. Body fat increases with age. According to the Mayo Clinic, "As you age and your metabolism slows down, the amount of fat in your body slowly increases. Women experience an even greater fat percentage increase than men do.”  This would indicate, as we all age, there is an even greater need to pay close attention to portion size and food choices. 

I chose this picture to illustrate what the body looks like when we are at our optimal weight and what happens as a person starts to gain weight and the fat cells become stretched and enlarged. 

Do fat cells store toxins?
Recent research being done now shows fat cells in overweight people create certain substances that are released into the bloodstream at higher levels than normal. Over time, excessive amounts of the substances begin to damage blood vessels and tissues and impair blood flow, resulting in health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

Is there anything you can do to normalize the secretions from your fat cells? The answer is yes, and losing weight is your best option. Weight loss shrinks fat cells back to their usual size, normalizes their secretions and can reverse or prevent many of the health conditions associated with obesity.

Some experts predict that doctors may one day be able to analyze a person’s genetic make-up along with the products of their fat cells to see which compounds that are over- or under-secreting, and design an individualized dietary plan to counter the adverse effects of abnormal levels of specific secretions. Until that day, the usual diet and exercise plan is the best route to shedding pounds.

Resources:
John Hopkins Health Alerts
Protean Services March 2011
Michigan Life Science Institute

Brought to you by Your Diet Diva Blog

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Walking for Weight Loss


If you are looking for a better way to live your life, there are just simple ways for you to do that. As of this time, the incidence of overweight is increasing. When you are overweight, you are prone to develop or experience lifestyle-related diseases. One of the best ways for you to ensure that excess fats and calories will be burned is through walking. Even though walking might may seem too simple, it will make a big difference to your weight. The inches literally started to melt off my body once I incorporated walking into my daily routine. Because of my work schedule, it was easier for me to get up one hour earlier so I had time every day to fit it in and could not make any Diva excuses! I always take one day off each week.


What Does it Cost You?
The cost of being overweight is definitely high. Once you have high BMI which is a number higher than a 24, this means that you are obese and you are prone to developing lifestyle-related diseases. You can find your current BMI by going to this following link. I want to know my BMI. These lifestyle-related diseases might lead to hospitalization. Once you are hospitalized, you need to pay for your medical bills. This includes your treatment, the surgery you need to undergo (if needed), your accommodation in the hospital, service fee for professionals, laboratory fees and many more. Though there is no exact estimation of the expenses you need to spend, it will be high enough. For sure, not all people have financial resources to pay for these medical bills. Though some do have proper financial resources, they are not willing to pay for these expenses.


How Much Walking? There are lots of experts who recommend walking in order to cut your excess weight. Usually, these medical experts recommend people to at least try walking for 30 minutes every day. This is enough to facilitate a fast fat burning process in your body. Yet, these 30 minutes per day will not automatically cut down your excess weight. Rather, you need to do walking continuously 30 minutes per day plus be changing your eating habits to ensure that you can reduce excess weight. And, you must continue to walk long after you reached your goal weight.

Other Benefits to Walking.
Aside from the fact that walking will help you lose weight, this will also make your body function better. Walking at least 30 minutes per day will also promote your cardiorespiratory health. This is because of the effect of walking in terms of restoring the normal circulation in the body. Once there is proper blood circulation, your body parts will be supplied with the oxygen and nutrients from the blood. In addition to that, this will also make you feel good. Simple walking will stimulate the production of endorphins, which are natural substances in the body that will always give you a good mood.


This Diva is an Advocate! As you can see, this Diva is a BIG advocate of walking as walking will definitely induce weight loss and the figure you want to show off. If you are looking for possible ways to burn excess fats in your body, you already know that walking is one of the best options for you. Though this might take effect after several weeks, it is the cheapest way to eliminate excess adipose tissue production in your body. Just make sure that you will do your best in order to stick to this simple exercise routine. So, why don’t get started now! To quote NIKE…”Just do it”. You will love how you feel and the confidence will radiate from you.


From Your Diet Diva Blog

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Help Me Make Bail - I'm a MDA Jailbird!!

Off to Jail She Goes!
Believe it or not...Your Diet Diva is going to jail on Tuesday, August 28th and she needs your help!! The bail amount is high and my family is having a tough time coming up with the total amount. Please help!

Fun & For a Great Organization
OK, so it's a fun jail for the vital work of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.The MDA LockUp is a community event that raises funds for people with neuromuscular diseases. After losing a good friend to one of the muscle-damaging diseases, when she was only 37, I said yes today when I was asked to go to jail and support the MDA. I hear they feed you real well while in jail!

I Might Not Get Out on Good Behavior
I might not be able to rely on good behavior to get out so that's why I need your help - I need you to donate to my bail! Just click on the "Help Your Diet Diva" link below and it will take you my very own MDA website to make a secure donation - I know that together we'll Make a Muscle and Make a Difference in the fight against muscle disease.

Click here:  Help Your Diet Diva

Thank you all in advance!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to End Comfort Eating

As you know, weight management is an ongoing issue. We can find a good balance for awhile, but our lives are always changing and we encounter new things and thought patterns that can take us off course.

Over the last couple of months, I found myself snacking on things when I wasn’t hungry. I’d be working at my computer for awhile, but then I’d feel a compulsion to get up and wander to the kitchen to find something to crunch on. It was the crunch I was looking for, the satisfaction of chewing on something. I went through a bunch of rice crackers before I noticed just how much I’d eaten. For a while, I crunched on carrot sticks, at least a better alternative than the chips or rice crackers.

And, as I’ve notice the feeling of weight creeping up on me, yes, I had to buy another pair of pants.

I used the process, What Weight Represents from my book, “A Lighter You! Train your Brain to Slim your Body.” I simply imagined packaging up the weight, gave it a visual and set it out about 3 feet from me, and looked at it. Then, I imagined stepping into the weight and looked back at myself, asking, what does the weight want?

The answer that came to mind, it wanted comfort.

I had recently been dating a very amazing guy, and the sadness and loss that I’ve felt in letting go of that relationship was creating an internal fear, “ what if it happens again?” A part of me didn’t want to go through the pain of letting go. If I gained weight, I’d be less attractive and so protect myself from having another relationship that I’d have to say good bye to.

When we try to protect ourselves from the negative things that might happen, we also insulate ourselves from the good that could be. I don’t want to cut myself off from life, protecting myself and trapping myself in fears. I want to live by allowing myself to flow with the experiences of life and allowing myself to enjoy all the good that is coming to me.

To take care the part of myself that wanted comfort, I imagined wrapping it up in down blankets and giving myself positive messages and encouragement. Then, I asked my mind to notice all the positives I got from that relationship and all the gifts it brought to my life.

My life is better off for having met him and I recognized that the gifts and benefits outweighed the hard times of letting go. And, what if the next relationship I didn’t have to say goodbye? That was heartening. In fact that was hopeful and hopeful is a much better place to hang out.

So, if you find yourself needlessly snacking, mindless eating, or comfort eating ask yourself, “What do I really want?” and pay attention to the response that you get. Our habits and cravings can be reminders for us to nourish ourselves on all levels, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

You can read more about my book, A Lighter You! Train Your Brain to Slim Your Body here.  The book is based on positive mental strategies and NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming exercises to help you achieve your ideal weight and keep it! 

Written by Holli Stokes, Author of A Lighter You! Train Your Brain to Slim Your Body

Thank You, Holli!  from Your Diet Diva Blog  

Have an article you'd like me to publish on my diet diva blog?  Send me the article and I'll see if it fits my guidelines!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Constipation and Weight Loss

Constipation is not the most pleasant topic to write about but when it happens to you….you want relief fast and this Diva on her diet blog is going to share some tips that have worked for her and her clients.

Whether it’s the Medifast meal replacements that you choose to consume while losing your weight or another program, the fact remains that changing your normal diet may cause constipation.

Let me take just a minute to clarify what constipation is so you can better understand what it is and the things you can do to alleviate it.

What is Constipation?
According to the NIDDK constipation means different things to different people. You may have constipation if you have three or fewer bowel movements in a week or if your stool is hard, dry, painful or difficult to pass. Some people with constipation lack energy and feel bloated.

Some people think they are constipated if they do not have a bowel movement every day. However, normal stool elimination may be three times a day or three times a week, depending on the person. Everybody’s habits are different. Some people aren’t that regular and do not consider themselves constipated. The amount of exercise you get and how much you eat can affect your bowl habits.

 Causes of Constipation
· Medication such as ones used for depression, anxiety, water pills, painkillers and medical conditions such as diabetes and hypothyroidism.

· A change in your normal diet. Decreased food intake = less movement.

· Not enough exercise (this was a huge lesson for me since I have had bouts of diverticulitis).

· Lots of stress in ones life.

· Not drinking enough water

· Drinking too many caffeine beverages since caffeine tends to dehydrate you.

· Ignoring the urge to go. Mother Nature does tell you and you need to stop what you are doing and listen.

· Eating a low-fiber diet. The recommended amount of daily fiber is between 21 and 35 grams each day depending on age and gender.

 The Diva’s Recommendations
· Flaxseed (ground) is considered a condiment. A serving size of ½ Tbsp. ground flax seed = 1 condiment
& a serving of 1 Tbsp = 2 condiments

· Flaxseed oil is considered a healthy fat and the serving size is 1 tsp.

· Fibercon is a convenient caplet so you do not need to worry about the carbohydrates.

· Sugar-Free Metamucil ~ Make sure it is sugar-free. 1 – 2 tsp. is a serving in water 1 x a day.

· Magnesium citrate ~ Clients that have used this have said they needed to adjust the dose for a few days.

· Smooth Move Herbal Tea - This is not one of my favorites only because Senna is in it and can be rough on the system. You need to watch how much you start out with otherwise your friends and family will not see you for a few hours or several days. Just kidding about the several days!

The Medifast meals provide on an average of 20 - 30 grams of fiber and that’s before the meal you have on your own. The difference is in the type of fiber and you must have insoluble in your diet to prevent constipation. That’s why you need your veggies and good sources like flaxseed that is both a source of soluble fiber and insoluble to be included.

Things to Remember 
· Best veggies for constipation are greens like broccoli (the super star of fiber), spinach, cabbage, cauliflower
and zucchini.
· Drink plenty of non-caffeinated liquid throughout the day.
· Exercise regularly. 20 minutes each day will make a difference.
· Heed nature’s call. No one else will do it for you!
· Be careful about introducing stimulant laxatives.

Resources: www.mayoclinic.com/health/constipation and NIDDK

In the news from Your Diet Diva's Blog

Friday, July 27, 2012

Why is the Low Glycemic Index of Value?

Why is the Low Glycemic Index of Value?
What is it and Why Should You Care If Your Weight Loss Program Includes It?
Lennie Campbell, Yahoo! Contributor Network

A report written June of 2011 showed that the life expectancy for most US counties falls far behind the other industrialized nations. The report addressed different counties in the US where the life expectancy was the lowest and when I compared it to the counties with the highest rate of obesity, they were the same. For me, this means a direct correlation between the two. Obesity has been linked to heart disease, cancer type 2 diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and dyslipidemia. It's now an epidemic in America.
The glycemic index is just starting to take hold in the US and accepted as a valuable resource to help control weight gain among a variety of health issues. To me it is a key tool that can create an enormous impact on obesity. I have been using it as a tool to help my weight loss clients maintain a healthy weight and it's working.

What is the Glycemic Index?

Authors Lucy Beale and Joan Clark, R.D., C.D.E in their book entitled, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Glycemic Index Weight Loss state the simple definition as "The glycemic index is a scientific measurement of how a person's blood sugar levels change while eating different types of carbohydrate foods. The glycemic index's ranking system is only for carbohydrates and not for proteins or fats".

In the beginning the index was only used to help diabetics control their blood sugar levels but as non-diabetic American's began to eat more highly refine carbohydrates and simple sugars ( foods with high starch content and high fructose corn syrup) the glycemic index has become a valuable tool for health in general.

Now all edible carbohydrates in all their forms have been given a value of high, medium or low from the glycemic scale. The carbohydrates with the lowest score are the best. For example: a 1/2 cup of Grapenuts has a score/value of 75 compared to a 1/2 cup of cooked Oatmeal that has a score/value of 53 which is low. The lower, the better.

Why Should You Care?

Two Reasons:
1. The glycemic index indicates how fast your insulin level rises after eating certain foods. The faster your insulin rises your body can only deal with a certain amount and your body stores the excess blood sugar as fat.
2. When your body begins to store the fat....your metabolism slows down. Slow metabolism equates to more weight gain.
At one time, I was 35 lbs overweight myself. Yes, even me who had been in the weight loss industry for over 15 years. A friend recommended the Medifast program to me and I was totally thrilled to find out the Medifast meal replacements all had a low glycemic index. Once I started the program I could immediately tell a difference in how I felt and my energy remained high. Not to mention the 35 lbs I lost in 2 1/2 months. I even became a health coach for the company through their division called Take Shape For Life and now enjoy seeing dramatic changes happen to all my clients in a very short time because of the of the low glycemic meals.


Links and Sources:
http://www.obesityinamerica.org/understandingObesity/diseases.cfm
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm
http://www.pophealthmetrics.com/content/9/1/16/abstract
http://besttruehealth.com/reshape-and-fit/why-low-gi-makes-you-feel-full/

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mock Chinese Fried Rice

This recipe is so good that you will use it for the rest of your life. It is such a tasty, healthy alternative to high glycemic pasta!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 3

Per Serving:

Lean - 1 Leaner
Green - 2 1/3
Condiment - 1 2/3
Healthy Fat - 1/3

Ingredients:

· 3 ½ c raw cauliflower
· ¼ c green onions
· ½ tsp garlic powder
· ½ tsp ginger
· 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
· 3 eggs, beaten
· 1 tsp olive oil 2 - 6oz cooked chicken breast

Directions:

1. Grate raw cauliflower in food processor or with a box grater
2. In a wok or large flat skillet, heat oil
3. Fry garlic powder with finely diced green onion for approximately 1 minute
4. Add grated cauliflower and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly
5. Add soy, ginger, diced green onion, and pre-cooked cubed chicken breast
6. Stir to mix well and brown a bit
7. Push mixture to side of pan. Scramble eggs in empty side of pan until done, but still moist
8. Stir eggs into “rice” mix and remove from heat

Enjoy & let me know how you use cauliflower to replace high glycemic carbohydrates.

Your Diet Diva!







Monday, July 23, 2012

Herb and Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

via
Here is another great recipe and this time we are using Laughing Cow cheese rather than Goat cheese. Serve with fresh spinach sautéed with crushed red pepper. 

Servings: 4 

Per serving: 
One Leaner Protein 
1/4 snack 
1 fat 
1 condiment 
1 vegetable serving 

Preparation Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients: 

· 1 packet Medifast crackers, crushed 
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint 
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
· 4 wedges Light Laughing Cow cheese 
· 4 (8-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 
· 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 
· 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided 
· 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
· 4 cups fresh spinach 

Preparation 

1. Preheat broiler to high. 

2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each breast half to form a pocket. Stuff 2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each pocket; close opening with a wooden pick. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt. 

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan. Add chicken to pan, and cook for 2 minutes on 1 side or until browned. Arrange chicken on a baking sheet (browned side up); broil for 8 minutes or until done. 

4. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, red pepper, and spinach; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Baby Bok Choy with Almonds

This recipe is so simple and so good:)

Servings: 6

Per serving
One vegetable serving
1 fat serving
1 condiment
1 optional snack

Ingredients

· 2 Tbsp olive oil
· 1 cup chopped green onions, including green ends
· 3 cloves garlic, chopped
· 4 cups baby bok choy, rinsed, larger leaves separated from base, base trimmed but still present, holding      the smaller leaves together – 4 vegetables
· 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 3 ounces chopped, roasted, salted almonds – 6 optional snacks

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add onions, then garlic, then bok choy. Sprinkle with sesame oil and salt. Cover, and let the baby bok choy cook down for approximately 3 minutes. (Like spinach, when cooked, the bok choy will wilt a bit.)
2. Remove cover. Lower heat to low. Stir and let cook for a minute or two longer, until the bok choy is just cooked.
3. Gently mix in almonds.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What You Need To Know About Cellulite

The Medifast Plan Can Help!

Cellulite is a common term used to describe overfilled fat pockets right under your skin. These are fat cells that have become enlarged causing these cells to take up more space between the skin's connective tissues than normal. The fat then expands these spaces resulting in the overlying skin dimpling, often called the orange peel effect.

It appears in ninety percent of post-adolescent women and is rarely seen in men. Common areas where cellulite is found, are the thighs, buttocks, and the abdomen. Contrary to popular belief, cellulite is not related to obesity, since it occurs in overweight, normal, and thin women. Cellulite causes many image problems and many women avoid wearing short skirts or shorts because of it.

Some of the contributing factors for developing cellulite are:

1. Heredity. However, you can still do a lot to fight cellulite.

2. Not drinking enough water. Water helps flush toxins and waste from your body. Drink seven to eight glasses of water a day.

3. Diet. Poor eating habits (alcohol, caffeine, spicy or fatty foods) contribute to the formation of cellulite because the toxins they produce get trapped in the fatty tissue. Saturated fats block the arteries and get trapped in the tissue as well, preventing sufficient waste and toxin elimination.

4. Smoking is not only bad for the skin and lungs, but it weakens the skin by causing constriction of capillaries. It also damages the connective tissue and can increase the dimpling effect of cellulite.

5. Tension and stress can cause a muscle to seize up in pain; they can also cause the connective tissue that covers that muscle to seize up. Tension can also block the tissue, preventing proper waste elimination and purification.

6. Medication can disturb the body's natural processes, disturbing the purification system that is naturally in place. Diet pills, sleeping pills and diuretics can all lead to cellulite; oral contraceptives, which increase the body's oestrogen, cause fat cells to enlarge, leading to water retention. Retaining water inhibits the body from flushing the system of toxins, leading to the formation of cellulite.

7. Lack of exercise contributes to the formation of cellulite. Exercise decreases many health risks and also helps fight cellulite. It improves muscle tone, circulation and overall well-being, helping to break blocked tissue and purify the body.
                                                   Cellulite Treatments

Using a program like Medifast to remove unwanted fat before a specific treatment is always a good idea. On the Medifast plan you will be consuming approximately 30 - 35 grams of fat per day. This is just the right amount for you to safely lose weight. Once you have lost your weight  the average person needs to consume about 85 - 100 grams per day.  Watching your fat intake is extremely important following any type of treatment.  It won't do any good to have a treatment to remove cellulite if you do not plan on cutting back on the amount of daily fat you eat.

There are three main treatments for cellulite; namely, endermologie, cosmetic surgery, and topical creams or lotions.

Endermologie

The Endermologie machine, developed in France over a decade ago, has been found to have an effect in fighting cellulite. It uses rollers and gentle suctioning to deeply massage the affected areas, increasing circulation. Toxins and abnormal water buildup are expelled as connective fibres are stretched. Endermologie also exfoliates the skin, leaving it soft and silky. The increased circulation may give you a natural energy boost. Many sessions are normally needed. This can add up to several hundred dollars.

Cosmetic Surgery

Treatments like liposuction (surgery to remove fat) and mesotherapy (injection of drugs into cellulite) are either expensive or may produce only temporary improvement. Many doctors advise against liposuction to reduce cellulite because it is designed to remove deep fat instead of cellulite, which is close to the skin. This is performed by a plastic surgeon and can be expensive compared to other methods. Consult with your doctor if you want to explore this further.

Cellulite Creams or Lotions

This is the safest and most popular way to reduce the problem. Because cellulite is actually little pockets of fat under your skin, your blood circulation does not easily reach these areas. Specially formulated creams can help.

Some of the ingredients used in these products include :

Algae extract - which can help break down fat and increase your metabolism.

Green tea extracts - will back up the algae extract and increase the rate at which your fat is broken down to form smooth tissue.

Retinol A - a compound that is a derivative of Vitamin A and targets your skin and connective tissues directly to condition and strengthen. Retinol A has a rejuvenating effect on your skin, and will decrease your cellulite while preventing it from becoming worse over time. It can improve your skin's texture, so your skin will become smoother and firmer and this helps your cellulite vanish even faster.

Creams or lotions are the most economical of the three treatments, however like the others, it may take a several months to see measurable results.
There are even more new treatments for cellulite on the horizon.