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: 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:

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


· 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


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

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 


· 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 


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


· 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

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.


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.