Tag Archives: weight loss

Yikes! Those Holiday goodies landed on my hips!

Is it time to go on a diet? Again? But what about last time? How did that go? Thanks to Dr. Steve Chaney, I have some ways to evaluate what might give you lasting success this time around.

4 mistakes to avoid when choosing weight loss diets,

6 tips for choosing the best weight loss diet, and

7 tips for keeping the weight off.

Which diet is best?

Like millions of Americans, you have probably set a goal to eat healthier, lose weight, or both. But which diet is best? Vegan, Paleo, Keto, 360, Intermittent Fasting, low-carb, low fat – the list is endless.

An image of a dieting strategy chart.

And then there are the commercial diets: Meal replacements, low calorie processed foods, prepared meals delivered to your door – just to name a few of the categories.

You can choose to count calories, focus on portion sizes, or keep a food journal.

And, if you really want to live dangerously, you can try the latest diet pills that claim to curb your appetite and rev up your metabolism.

The diet that works requires effort. And a change of mindset. There is no magic wand that will chase the extra pounds away forever.

Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing The Best Diet

1) Endorsements.


Endorsements by your favorite athlete or public person are paid for.

Endorsements by Dr. Strangelove and his buddies can be equally misleading. They usually tell you that the medical establishment has been lying to you, and they have discovered the “secret” to permanent weight loss and the “Fountain of Youth”.

Recommendations of the medical and scientific communities usually represent a consensus statement by the top experts in their field. I would choose their advice over Dr. Strangelove’s opinion any day.

2)    Testimonials.

Most of the testimonials you see online or in print are either paid for or are fake.

Testimonials by your friends can be equally misleading. We are all different. What works for your friend or for your trainer may not work for you.

For example, some of us do better on low-carb diets, and others do better on low fat diets.

3)    Diets Based on “Magic” Or “Forbidden” Foods or Food Groups.

We have 5 food groups for a reason. Each food group provides a unique blend of nutrients and phytonutrients. And each plant food group provides a unique blend of fibers that support the growth of different types of friendly gut bacteria.

The bottom line is that each of us does better with some foods than others, but there are no “magic” or “forbidden” foods that apply to everyone.

4)    “Magic” Diets.


Dr. Chaney book, “Slaying The Food Myths”, doesn’t feature a “magic” diet that is going to make the pounds melt away and allow you to live to 100. Instead, he recommends a variety of healthy diets and suggests you choose the one that fits you best.

There is an allure of “magic” diets. Dr. Strangelove claims the diet will be effortless. He gives you some scientific-sounding mumbo-jumbo to convince you the diet is scientifically sound. Then he cites some clinical studies showing the diet will cause you to lose weight and will improve your health parameters (things like cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure). It sounds so convincing.

  • The studies are all short-term (usually 3 months or less). 
  • When you rely on short-term studies, the very low-fat Vegan diet and very low-carb Keto diet give you virtually identical weight loss and improvement in health parameters! 

Those two diets are as different as any two diets could be. That means we can forget all the scientific-sounding mumbo-jumbo as to why each of those diets work. Instead, we should ask what these two diets have in common.

The answer is simple:

#1: The clinical studies are comparing “magic” diets to the typical American diet. Anything is better than the typical American diet! It is high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, saturated fat, and highly processed foods. No wonder the “magic” diets look so good.

#2: The diets are whole food diets. Anytime you eliminate sodas, fast foods, and highly processed foods, you will lose weight.

#3: The diets eliminate one or more food groups. Whenever you eliminate some of your favorite foods from your diet, you tend to lose weight without thinking about it. I call this the cream cheese and bagel phenomenon. Bagel & Cream Cheese

  • If you are following a low-fat diet, it sounds great to say you can eat all the bagels you want. But without cream cheese to go with the bagels, you tend to eat fewer bagels. 
  • If you are following a low-carb diet, it sounds great to say you can eat as much cream cheese as you want, but without bagels to go with your cream cheese, you tend to eat less cream cheese. 

#4: Because they eliminate many of your favorite foods, “magic” diets make you focus on what you eat. Whenever you focus on what you eat, you tend to lose weight. That is why food journals and calorie counters are effective.

#5: Finally, whenever you lose weight, your health parameters (cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure) improve.

Tips For Successful Weight Loss


What should you look for in choosing a healthy weight loss diet? Here are the top 6 tips.

1)    Choose whole food diets. Avoid sodas, fast foods, and highly processed foods.

2)    Choose primarily plant-based diets. These can range from Vegan through semi-vegetarian, Mediterranean, DASH, and Nordic. All are healthy diets.

When we look at long term (10-20 year) studies: 

  • Vegetarians weigh less and are healthier than people consuming the typical American diet. 
  • People consuming semi-vegetarian, Mediterranean, and DASH diets are healthier than people consuming the typical American diet. 

When we look at low-carb diets: 

  • People consuming plant-based low-carb diets weigh less and are healthier than people consuming the typical American diet. 
  • People consuming meat-based low-carb diets are just as fat and unhealthy as people consuming the typical American diet. 
  • The Atkins low-carb diet has been around for more than 50 years, and there is no evidence it is healthy long-term. 

3)    Choose diets that include a variety of foods from all 5 food groups. I have discussed the rationale for that recommendation above.

4)    Choose diets that consider meat as a garnish, not a main course.

5)    Choose diets that feature healthy carbs and healthy fats rather than low-carb or low-fat diets.

6)    Think lifestyle, not diet. If you choose a restrictive diet so you can achieve quick weight loss, you will probably be just as fat and unhealthy next December 31st as you are this year. Instead, choose diets that teach healthy eating and lifestyle changes that you can make a permanent part of your life.

Tips For Keeping The Weight Off


You know the brutal truth. Around 95% of dieters regain everything they lost and then some within a few years. You have probably gone through one or more cycles of weight loss and regain yourself – something called “yo-yo dieting”. You may even be asking yourself if it is worth bothering to try to lose weight this year.

Rather focusing on the negative statistics of weight loss, let’s look at the good news. There are people who lose the weight and keep it off. What do they do?

There is an organization called the National Weight Control Registry that has enrolled more than 10,000 people who have lost weight and kept it off. The people in this group lost weight on almost every diet imaginable. However, here is the important statistic: On average people in this group have lost 66 pounds and kept it off for at least 5 years.

The National Weight Control Registry has kept track of what they have done to keep the weight off. Here is what they do that you may not be doing:

1)    They consume a reduced calorie, whole food diet.

2)    They get lots of exercise (around 1 hour/day).

3)    They have internalized their eating patterns. In short, this is no longer a diet. It has become a permanent part of their lifestyle. This is the way they eat without even thinking about it.

4)    They monitor their weight regularly. When they gain a few pounds, they modify their diet until they are back at their target weight.

5)    They eat breakfast on a regular basis.

6)    They watch less than 10 hours of TV/week.

7)    They are consistent (no planned cheat days).

Which Diet Is Best?

Now it is time to get back to the question you are asking right now, “Which diet is best?” I have covered a lot of ground in this article. Let me summarize it for you.

If you are thinking about popular diets: 

  • Primarily plant-based diets ranging from Vegetarian to Mediterranean and Dash are associated with a healthier weight and better health long term. 
  • If want to lose weight quickly, you may want to start with the more restrictive plant-based diets, like Vegan, Ornish, or Pritikin. 
  • If you do better with a low-carb diet, my recommendation is the low-carb version of the Mediterranean diet called Med-Plus. It is a whole food version of the Mediterranean diet that minimizes added sugar and refined grains. 
  • If your primary goal is rapid weight loss, you could also start with one of the healthier of the restrictive low-carb diets, like the Paleo or the 360 diet. I do not recommend the Keto diet. 
  • No matter what diet you start with, plan to transition to the primarily plant-based diet that best fits your lifestyle and food preferences. This is the diet you will want to stick with to maintain your weight loss and achieve better health long term. 
  • Plan on permanent lifestyle change rather than a short-term diet. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time. 
  • Eat whole foods. Big Food keeps up with America’s favorite diets and is only too happy to sell you highly processed foods that match your favorite diet. Avoid those like the plague. 

If you are thinking about commercial diets featuring meal replacement products: 

  • Look for meal replacement products that: 
  • Do not contain artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives. 
  • Use non-GMO protein. A non-GMO certification for the other ingredients is not necessary.
  • Have stringent quality controls in place to assure purity. “Organic” and/or “non-GMO” on the label do not assure purity. 
  • Look for programs that can provide clinical studies showing their diet plan is effective for weight loss and for keeping the weight off. Many programs have short-term clinical studies showing they are effective for weight loss, but very few have longer-term studies showing the weight stays off. 
  • Finally, look for programs that teach permanent lifestyle change. This should include guidance on exercise and healthy eating. 

Dr. Chaney does not recommend most commercial diets that feature prepared low-calorie foods “shipped right to your door” as a major part of their program. The foods are highly processed. Plus, they include all your favorite unhealthy foods as part of the program. Even if they include lifestyle change as part of their program, they are undermining their message with the foods they are providing you.

He adds that Weight Watchers is highly recommended by most experts in the field. Weight Watchers emphasizes journaling and counting calories, which is a plus because it makes you focus on what you are eating. They also have a good lifestyle program and support that can help you transition to permanent lifestyle change if you are willing to put in the effort.

However, I don’t recommend their prepared low-calorie foods. They are no better than foods provided by the other commercial diet programs.

Get in touch with me if you are curious about what I have done to lose that 25 pounds and keep them off for years. Let me know how I can support you in your effort to claim a healthy life style for yourself.

Be well, Do well, and Keep Moving. Betsy

Betsy Bell Enterprises LLC, 206 409 5940, Betsy@hihohealth.com

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Keto Diet: Healthy or not?

Dear Ones,

From the Heart….

I’ve been eating lots of rhubarb, some from my own garden, but most from the healthiest patch of rhubarb I have ever seen in the garden of a woman who doesn’t eat it because she is on a keto diet. I decided to see what a keto diet is since my trainer at the Xgym promotes this diet, too. We’re told not to eat carbs even as they show up in vegetables and fruit except for the ones very low on the “sugar” scale or glycemic scale.

I add sugar to my cut-up rhubarb and put it in the microwave for about 6 minutes. Out comes a sauce with rhubarb pieces still intact, soft and delicious, tart spring in every mouthful. Have I ruined a Keto diet? Let’s take a look at what my most reliable doctor/scientist, Dr. Stephen Chaney, has to say.

Personally, I think people gravitate to the keto diet because they need rules about refined carbohydrates, which are altogether different from fruits and vegetables and a little added pure cane sugar. When a person craves sweets, a teaspoon of sugar does not satisfy. It’s the refining and additives, fat and salt, that make carbohydrate foods fattening. A small serving of rhubarb crisp a couple times during the spring growing season will not induce diabetes or cause your low-carb diet to fail.

The ketogenic diet has been around since the 1920s when doctors realized it helps control epilepsy. Today the ketogenic diet is mainstream. Proponents claim:

Hunger and food cravings will disappear. The pounds will melt away effortlessly and rapidly.

You will feel great. You’ll have greater mental focus and increased energy.

Physical endurance will increase. You’ll become superhuman.

Type 2 diabetes will disappear.

Your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels will improve, reducing your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

This sounds like the perfect diet. But, is this diet safe?

What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a natural metabolic adaptation to starvation.

Metabolism 101:

The Fed State fed (absorptive) state of metabolism ie. while your food is being digested. Here’s what happens to the carbohydrate, protein & fat when we eat in a meal.

  • Most carbohydrates are converted to blood sugar (glucose), which is utilized in three ways:
    • Most tissues use glucose as their primary energy source in the fed state.
    • Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in muscle and liver.
    • Glycogen stores are limited, so much of the excess glucose is stored as fat.
  • A few tissues such as heart muscle use fat as an energy source. Excess fat is stored.
  • Protein is also used in three ways:
    • Some of it is used to replace and repair the protein components in muscle and other tissues.
    • In conjunction with exercise, protein can be used to increase muscle mass.
    • Excess protein is converted to fat and stored.

The Fasting State: Between meals:

  • Most tissues switch to fats as their primary energy source. Fat stores are utilized to fuel the cells that can use fat.
  • Brain, red blood cells, and a few other tissues still rely solely on glucose as their energy source.
    • Liver glycogen stores are broken down to keep blood glucose levels constant and provide energy for these tissues. (Muscle glycogen stores are reserved for high intensity exercise).
    • As liver glycogen stores are depleted, the body starts breaking down protein and converting it to glucose.

Starvation – The Problem: If the fasting state were to continue for more than a few days, we enter what is called starvation. At this point we have a serious problem. Fat stores and carbohydrate stores (liver glycogen) exist for the sole purpose of providing fuel during the fasting state. Protein, however, is unique. There are no separate protein stores in the body. All protein in our body is serving essential functions.

To make matters worse, our brain is metabolically very active. It consumes glucose at an alarming rate. Thus, large amounts of glucose are needed even in the fasting state. If protein continued to be converted to glucose at the same rate as during an overnight fast, our essential protein reserves would rapidly be depleted. Irreversible damage to heart muscle and other essential organs would occur. We would be dead in a few weeks.

Starvation – The Solution: Fortunately, at this point a miraculous adaptation occurs. Our bodies start to convert some of the fat to ketones.

All tissues that use fat as an energy source during fasting can also use ketones as an energy source, sometimes with greater efficiency.

Over a period of several days, the brain adapts to ketones as its primary energy source. This greatly reduces the depletion of cellular protein to supply blood glucose.

However, red blood cells and a few other cells still require glucose as an energy source. Essential protein reserves are still being depleted, but at a far slower pace.

With these adaptations, humans can survive months without food if necessary.

There are a few other adaptations that make sense if we think about the dilemma of going long periods without food.

Appetite decreases.

Metabolic rate decreases, which helps preserve both protein & fat stores.

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

Proponents of the ketogenic diet advocate achieving a permanent state of ketosis without starving yourself. That is achievable because the real trigger for ketosis is low blood sugar, not starvation.

The starting point for the ketogenic diet is low-carb, high-fat diets like Atkins. However, ketogenic diets go beyond traditional low-carb, high-fat diets. They restrict carbohydrates even further to <10% of calories so that a permanent state of ketosis can be achieved. Basically, the ketogenic diet:

Eliminates grains and sugars.

Eliminates most fruits.

Eliminates starchy vegetables (root vegetables like beets, corn, peas, beans, squash & yams).

Reduces protein intake. That’s because dietary protein will be converted to glucose when blood glucose levels are low.

You are left with a highly restrictive diet that allows unlimited amounts of fats & some vegetables and moderate amounts of meats, eggs, and cheeses.

The Ketogenic Diet Is Not For Wimps

#1: You have to be committed. You will have great difficulty following it when you eat out and you will have to give up many of your favorite foods.

#2: The transition is rough. Physiological adaptation to the ketogenic diet will take anywhere from a couple of days to a week or two. During that time, you will have to endure some of the following:

  • Headaches, confusion & “brain fog”
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Lightheadedness and shakiness
  • Leg cramps
  • Constipation
  • Bad breath
  • Heart palpitations

#3: There are no “cheat days”. On most diets, you can have occasional “cheat days” or sneak in some of your favorite foods from time to time. A single “cheat day” will take you out of ketosis. You will need to go through the transition period once again.

Is The Ketogenic Diet Effective?

Mostly True Claims:

Reduced hunger.

Improved mental focus and increased energy. Contrast to the “brain fog” and fatigue of the transition phase. You have also eliminated all foods that can cause blood sugar swings from your diet. Blood sugar swings can affect both mental focus and energy levels.

Rapid weight loss. If we focus on short term weight loss, this is true because:

A lot of the initial weight loss is water. Glycogen stores retain water. As glycogen stores are depleted, the water is lost along with them.

Most people inadvertently reduce their caloric intake on a highly restrictive diet like this. For example, fats are often consumed along with carbohydrate-rich foods (butter with toast, sour cream with potatoes, cream cheese with bagels). Less fat intake.

The weight loss with the ketogenic diet is because you are burning fat stores. You burn fat stores when fat intake is not sufficient to meet your energy needs. “Calories in” are less than “calories out” as in all diets.

Reversal of type 2 diabetes. Because carbohydrates are restricted in this diet, blood sugar and insulin levels will be low.

Half true claims:

Improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some studies show an improvement. Other studies show them getting worse.

Increased physical endurance. This is only true for low-intensity endurance exercise. It is not true for any exercise or event that requires spurts of high intensity exercise. Because:

The muscle fibers used for low intensity endurance exercise utilize ketone bodies with high efficiency. You can run for miles as long as you don’t care how fast you get there.

The muscle fibers used for high-intensity, short-duration exercise cannot adapt to use of ketone bodies because they lack sufficient mitochondria. They require glycogen stores, which are depleted on a ketogenic diet. Even in events like marathons most people want to sprint to the finish line. They won’t be able to if they are on a ketogenic diet.

Mostly False Claims:

Long term weight loss. Some long-term success has been claimed in a highly controlled clinical setting. However, most studies show:

People regain some or most of the weight after 6 months to a year.

After 1 or 2 years, there is no difference in weight loss between high-fat/low-carb diets and low-fat/high-carb diets.

The reduction in metabolic rate and the reduction in muscle mass associated with the ketogenic diet make it difficult to keep the weight off long term.

It is a healthy diet. To a point……

This is a healthy diet only from the point of view that it eliminates most fast foods and processed foods.

However, any diet that eliminates 2 and a half food groups (grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables) is setting you up for long term nutritional deficiencies. It is possible to cover some of those deficiencies with supplementation, but supplements can never provide all the nutrients found in real food.

Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe?

For most people the ketogenic diet is likely to be safe for short periods, maybe even a few months. However, I have grave concerns if the diet is continued long term.

This diet is likely to create nutritional deficiencies which could have severe health consequences.

Long term reduction of protein intake will result in a gradual depletion of essential cellular protein reserves which can weaken heart muscle, compromise the immune system, and damage essential organs.

Ketones can damage the kidneys.

The problem is the ketones, not the protein.

Long term ketosis has the potential to cause osteoporosis.

Try the Mediterranean Diet for a healthier way to achieve your goal weight and stay there.

If you disagree with Dr. Chaney’s analysis and conclusions, I recommend you go to his web post and read the thoughtful objections and criticisms people posted and his responses. Some number of people have had excellent results with the Keto diet.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving, Betsy

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Think Thin

Gentle Reader,

I hear “I’ve got to lose those extra pounds I gained over the holidays.”  This cry goes up every year in January.  The newsstands and grocery checkout lanes are full of magazines with the latest and greatest way to lose weight.  Did you ever wonder why it is so hard to get to your goal weight and stay there?

Could it be a question of BELIEF?  Perhaps you do not believe you can maintain your goal weight for the rest of your life.  Perhaps you, like me, have gained and lost countless pounds never believing you would/could arrive at and remain at your goal weight from now on—even when the holidays came and you indulged a little more than normal.

This was my personal view for many years. Those extra 25 pounds just hung around, got lost and found themselves again.  After the holidays, I would have to make a great big effort, increase the exercise program, go back to my fat clothes for a while and suffer.  Not anymore.

What changed for me can change for you, too.  I developed an enduring belief in myself at 140 instead of 160.

A little book called Mach II: With Your Hair on Fire, by Richard Bliss Brooke came across my desk recently.  In chapter 7, he describes how we change our beliefs and how the new belief will create new results.  He opens this chapter with this quote from the Bhagavad-Gita “Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.”  I will add Dr. Shaklee’s famous saying, “What you think, you look. What you think, you do. What you think, you are!”

In my case, I suddenly gained 25 pounds when I got so sick in high school that I couldn’t swim.  I swam competitively and ate all I wanted without ever going over 137lbs:  milk shakes after school, candy bars, fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits with butter and honey, all that great Southern cooking available to me every day.  My mother was so shocked at my sudden weight gain—along with the stretch marks on my thighs and breast—that an all out war on food ensued.  My father and younger brothers got involved in weighing in Betsy every morning and counting her calories every night.  Mother and I ate competitively, going for a 25 lb weight loss in a few months.  We ate those appetite-suppressant chocolates called Aydes, grapefruits and nothing else for lunch. I can’t remember what other stringent means we concocted.  You have probably done similar things to lose the weight you fight.

“We made up all the beliefs we have about ourselves.  We made something up based on what happened, or what we thought happened, or what someone told us happened.  And then, we went about learning to believe in those stories by listening to them over and over again” in our thoughts.  I decided, based on my father and brothers’ words, that I had no will power and that I would never lose those extra 20-25 pounds.

“Human beings are not born believing anything.  All we are at birth a clean slate for limitless possibilities.”

Brooke says the first step is “We give up our right to be right about us.”

Think about that statement.  We give our right to be right about ourselves.

He goes on to explain “Most of us hold on to what we believe to be true—about life and most everything else—as if there were no possibilities for any other truth.  Breaking through your barriers to success requires that you make up a new set of ideas of what’s possible, so that your possibilities support and empower your desires.  It comes down to a new screenplay.

Sometime in the 80s, I started drinking Shaklee’s Energizing Soy Protein shakes and leading weight loss classes called Slim-up and Live.  I listened to a 20 min. audio cassette in which questions or images were suggested.  I listened every day, often more than once.   At some point, I was a person who weighed 140lb.—not 160lb.—and my eating and exercise supported that vision, that belief.  I gradually started to think thin.

Brooke uses an interesting analogy taken from the practice of dyeing cloth used by Native Americans.  “Creating a new belief is like dyeing cloth in the old traditional way.  Native Americans would take a piece of natural fabric and change it into a different color by soaking the cloth in a dye, squeezing it out, hanging it up to dry and set, and continuing the process over and over again until the cloth ended up the color they wanted—the color they thought was possible to achieve.

“At first there was little, if any, change in the color of the fabric.  It took many soakings, rinsings and settings, and the change of color was gradual. Although at times the change was hardly noticeable, the new color deepened each time.  After a while, this change accelerated, becoming richer faster, until soon there was no hint of the original color.  The old color was gone and in its place was the new color.

“Our beliefs are created the same way.  This ‘dyeing’ process with our beliefs occurs in the mind and is called imprinting.  We have the extraordinary ability to create thoughts at will, and we can imprint those thoughts on and into our minds at will, as often as we choose—literally hundreds of times each day

“Like the depth of the color of a piece of dyed cloth, we can also control the quality and intensity (i.e., power) of the imprint we create. To the degree that our picture has clarity and detail, and can be expressed and experienced by our senses and emotions, our mind will respond to it as if it is a real experience.  The richer and more complete the image, the greater its impact in and on your mind.”  And on your behavior.

I have lost that cassette tape years ago, but found in Richard Brooke’s book, a series of questions very similar to those I used to change my belief so I would think thin.  Ask yourself these questions and answer them with as much detail and specificity as you can to form a new belief in yourself.

  • What exactly is an excellent weight for you?
  • What exactly do you look like at that weight?
  • What is the shape of your body at that weight?
  • Describe the new lines, curves, contours and the definition of muscles you see now.
  • What do you think about when you see yourself in the mirror?
  • What does the scale indicate when you step on it?
  • How do your clothes fit?
  • What do your new clothes look like? How do you look wearing them?
  • How do you feel at this new weight?
  • Are you doing any new activities now? What do you like best about them?
  • What are people saying to you about the new you?
  • What are people saying about how good you look?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • Do you have any new attitudes?
  • Are you more confident…? more attractive…? more secure..?happier?

“You may think that your answers to these questions sound silly, contrived.  That’s fine.  Realize that your answers are providing a powerful clarity—your answers are filling your mind with a richness that’s the equivalent of having a real life experience.”

If you want to further the power and effectiveness of creating real-time present pictures of the answers to each of the above questions, write them out and then speak them into your computer’s recording device and make your own MP3.  Play it to yourself as you exercise, ride the bus, do the dishes.  You will create a new belief about yourself at your ideal weight.  You will think thin. If writing out the details is too much for you, speaking these questions into a recording device and then pausing after each question, can be just as effective.  Listening to the question with enough time after it to visualize yourself in this new ways is a powerful tool to changing your belief.

180 Turnaround Program

While you are programming your mind for success, it is helpful to have a weight management eating and exercise program to follow.  I strongly recommend the Shaklee 180 Turnaround program for healthy weight loss. Right now is an advantageous time to participate as Shaklee has announced a major push to help people lose a total of 40,000 lbs.  WOW!  Big goal.  Check it out here.

The 180 Turnaround Program not only feeds your body the calories, protein, fat and fiber it needs with two replacement meals a day, but also helps your body keep its lean muscle mass.  Only the fat goes.  This means your metabolism stays high and you continue to have good energy all day.  Here is my youtube channel with success stories.

Think thin by changing your belief about your ability to succeed.  Once you are at your ideal weight, continue to think thin and support your resolve by using the Lean and Healthy program.  That’s what I have been doing for years.  Those extra couple pounds from the holidays are gone already thanks to the Lean and Healthy program.

I’d be happy to help you get on a weight management path with all the support your want from me.

Be well, Do well and Keep moving, Betsy

206 933 1889

You may want find peace around your struggle with weight by working with Grace Bell,  Eating Peace . In telecourses she asks, Making peace with food, not war, is so difficult for many. Where does it go wrong? What’s really going on? How can I become free again with food, and innocent as a child?






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Gentle Reader,

Seventy years ago when I turned 7, an add in Life Magazine read “Thanks to penicillin…he will come home.” Antibiotics dramatically lowered the incidence of death on the battlefields of WWII from infection. The miracle created by chemist, Alexander Fleming and the mass production of drugs reversed certain death to probably life.  My parents -as nurse and physician-worked through New York City’s flu epidemic, the horrors of infection during surgery and the fear for their three small children with the polio virus running rampant.  They embraced Better Living through Chemistry with open arms.  So did the farming industry; chickens and pigs and beef all grew faster and fatter with antibiotics.


Collateral damage has made the news.  Books have been written about the dangers of bacterial resistence to antibiotics.  The first voices against over use of antibiotics came as early as the 1970s but the manufacturers of these wonder drugs refused to cut their profits in favor of promoting more moderate usage.  My brothers and I used antibiotics on our Holstein dairy cows and our meat chickens, following the instructions from the agricultural bulletins handed out to 4H members.  (My brother thought growth hormones would be good for him, too, and swallowed a vial meant for the chickens!  He was 12.)


Today Americans experience an unprecedented number of deaths –23,000 fatalities each year and 2 million sick–directly related to antibiotic resistent bacteria.


Debra Daniel-Zeller published an article in this month’s Puget Consumer Coop newsletter in which she takes a close look at the microbial world being altered and victimized by antibiotics.  I had no idea that microbes, including bacteria, were one of the first life forms on the planet.  They inhabit outer space, living 22,000 feet above the earth and influence the weather.  They inhabit the ocean.  They form 70-90 percent of the cells in and on our bodies.  More than 500 types of microbes live in the human gut.  Ms. Daniel-Zeller mentions microbe

clostridium difficile
clostridium difficile

clostridium difficile, a little bugger that antibiotics don’t kill, that lies in wait in the body for up to 2 years and comes back to haunt our good health.  We need a balance of microbes.  Antibiotics wipes out some upsetting the balance.


Everyone is worried about the disappearance of the honeybee.  For the past 50 years, farmers have been using an antibiotic in the hives to treat foul-brood disease.  Now the bees carry several antibiotic-resistant genes, adversely effecting their metabolism.

foulbrood disease in the hive

One of the reasons it is so hard to lose weight, it turns out, is because the very antibiotics used to fatten animals, fatten humans.  You may or may not take antibiotics  but you are getting them in the meat and chicken you eat. There is a direct correlation between rates of obesity in states where the highest number of antibiotic prescriptions are written. (New England Journal of Medicine)  Let’s face it, thin people have a rich diversity of gut bacteria functions, unlike low diversity in fat people.


All bacteria in the gut become shell shocked and put up defenses when an antibiotic comes along. Vulnerable bacteria die and their functions no longer benefit us.  Seventy percent of our immune system cells are found in the walls of the gut.  When these cells die off, the walls of the gut become permeable.

Bateria in the gut
Bateria in the gut

It is probable that various autoimmune disorders such as Lupus, MS, asthma and even simple allergies result from the breakdown of our gut’s bacterial barrier.  Chrone’s disease and celiac disease are on the rise, possibly due to early and frequent use of antibiotics.


Antibiotics are not going away very soon.  While they have been banned in animal husbandry in the EU and Russia, the US agricultural, meat and dairy industries remain “self-regulating”, i.e. no government regulations. Five US cities have passed resolutions supporting statewide and national bans on non-therapeutic use of antibiotics.  This is a start.


Personally I am convinced that my diagnosis of breast cancer at the age of 34 was influenced by my parents’ enthusiastic use of antibiotics at the slightest sign of the sniffles.  Such was their delight in these miracle drugs.  When situational stress put an extreme burden on my immune system, I did not have the defences to correct the DNA damage that may have resulted in cancer growing cells.  I will never be able to substantiate this theory, but articles like this one in the PCC paper shed more light on how overuse of antibiotics allows disease states to start.

Healthy gut.
Healthy gut. photo by Shuttercock


Want to stay healthy and avoid these diseases?  Want to lose weight?  Here are three things you can begin now.

1. Take no antibiotic unless it is certain you are suffering from a bacterial infection.

2.  Eat only organically grown meat and chicken which have no antibiotics (or hormones) added to their feed or injected into their bodies.

3.  Take supplemental probiotics daily to help populate your gut with friendly, beneficial bacteria.  I appreciate the quality of Shaklee’s Pre and Pro biotics, Optiflora.  For more information on this product, please visit my Resources page.


Since this is a blog about arthritis, I have to add this:  losing even 10 pounds will make your joints happier and less painful.  Changing your diet away from antibiotic laden foods might be your missing weight loss link.  Thinner bodies, healthier guts, less inflammed joints.


Be well, Do well and Keep Moving


206 933 1889

www.EmpoweredGrandma.net (my travel adventures, both spiritual and physical)

www.HiHoHealth.com  (shopping for Shaklee products)

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Digestion: Key to health

Gentle Reader,

Here we are in a New Year.  I hear murmuring around me about changes in eating, in exercise, in work habits.  People everywhere seek balance in their lives, which seem to be uncontrollably hectic.  We interrupt ourselves and forget what we hoped to accomplish in the next hour.  There is no peace.

This time of year solutions abound.  Your favorite person on Facebook asks everyone to comment on their resolutions and past successes.  The radio and TV, pod casts and news articles have the answer if you would just listen, please.  Of course, I am going to recommend a better diet, one with supplements.  Ha! It just could be that digestion is the key to health.

Years ago I learned a very important lesson that relaxed my need to save the world all by myself.  Food, diet and nutrition are one small part of the total health picture. A wise woman, Angela Arriens, lectured on the 8 common threads across all cultures that lead to a health filled life.  As a cross-cultural anthropologist, she knew what she was talking about from years of research.

It turns out that our diet per se is only one/eighth of the picture.  Other factors–exercise, spiritual practice, friends and relationships, music and color (art), and deep rest are the aspects I remember to this day, 24 years after hearing her speak.  What a relief to know what a small part I might play in advising someone’s health picture.  My supplement program is not the key ingredient to a healthy life, just one aspect.

Having said that, I want to suggest that digestion is a key to health, one of the most important aspects of nourishing our bodies.  We can eat whole foods and never contaminate our bodies with junk food, but if we don’t have a functional digestive system, we may still miss the nutrients we need.  If you struggle with acid reflux or bloating and gas after eating, perhaps your digestive system needs some fine-tuning.  If you suffer from arthritis, joint pain, or are developing spinal stenosis and osteoporosis, it could be that your nutrients are not doing their job in the body.

Goal of Digestion

Take whole foods and turn them into energy and nutrients to allow the body to function, grow, and repair itself. When we swallow food we have chewed in the mouth, the esophagus carries the mass to the stomach.  The first potential problem is the esophageal sphincter, or trap door that opens to let the slurry of food pass into the relaxed upper stomach.   If the food is well-chewed, broken down evenly, the weight will easily open the trap door and the mass will pass into the stomach, letting the sphincter close behind it.

Chew your food well to aid this process.

Problems occur when we swallow chunks of food and the sphincter explodes open to let the material pass.  Gas results.  Flow back of acid results.  In time, the sphincter wears out and doesn’t close firmly or quickly.

In the stomach, an acid excretion further breaks down the food into the nutrients that can be absorbed by the tiny cilla in the small intestine.  The stomach must be acidic to do this job or food continues down the digestive track un-dissolved and its nutrients are not absorbed.

When people feel discomfort from the escaping acidity up the esophagus into the mouth, called heart burn or acid reflux, the go-to remedy is an antacid.  This might give a feeling of relief but the nutrients that need to be broken down into their absorbable components remain unavailable to our system.  Antacids neutralize the acid the stomach provides to break down food.

Ideally, the stomach breaks down proteins.  When this is not functioning as designed, a better intervention is to increase the stomach acid by drinking warm water and lemon juice first thing in the morning.  Not coffee.  And chew, chew, chew until the slurry that drops to the esophageal sphincter gently pushes the trap door open.

If there are foods that are hard for you to digest like dairy or refined carbohydrates (cookies, crackers, breads, cakes), the cruciferous foods—broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, or legumes—beans, you might need digestive enzymes to hit the stomach first thing before a meal to help break those things down.  (This is where Shaklee’s EzGest comes in handy,  Take one before each meal.)

Most of us do not feel the peristalsis—muscle action of the small intestine as the slurry passes on down.  When functioning normally, the digestive acids in the intestines break down starches, proteins and carbohydrates.  Nutrients are absorbed into the body all along this passage as they become dissolved.  Certain vitamins like the 8 different B vitamins become absorbed in specific areas of the intestines whether the B’s come from foods or supplements.  When not functioning normally, we feel gas and bloating moving down the intestinal track, often producing pain and even severe discomfort.

Finally, the pancreas introduces pancreatic acid to break down starches, fats and protein and the liver produces bile acid to further break down fats.

Alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream from the stomach.  (Eating grapes and other high sugar content foods seems to have the same quick absorption rate for me, but I know there has to be some breakdown beyond the stomach acids.  Still the same rush alcohol brings happens with these high sugar foods.)

The most common drugs prescribed by the medical profession and purchased over the counter are meant to correct mal-functions in this digestive process.  They often eliminate the discomfort that occurs when the acids do not stay where they belong but they weaken  natural digestion.  It is possible to return your digestive system to a drug-free, comfortable state.  It takes changing your eating habits.  Since digestion is the key to health, you’ll be glad you did.

These supplements help:

Ez-Gest digestive enzymes

Optiflora pre- and probiotics  for maintaining a healthy digestive balance  Healthy bacteria

Herb Lax for constipation and blood cleansing  Healthy colon

Fiber Advantage Bars, and Fiber Tablets  Promote colon health and regularity

Changing your digestive process may be the key to losing weight along with the other benefits.  Many of us take on the goal of getting to our healthy weight by summer time.  The Shaklee 180 Turnaround is an excellent program to help you on your way.  It could be that dealing with the digestive issues will make all the difference.

Remember, just losing 10 pounds will ease up on those aching joints, the arthritis in your knees, hips and feet.  Could better digestion help?  Didn’t we say that digestion is the key to health?

Let us know your solutions to the struggles you have with digestion.

Be well, do well and Keep Moving,



Betsy Bell’s Health4u

206 933 1889



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Medicinal herbs and herbal supplements and weight loss

Gentle Reader,

Can an arthritis sufferer who is also over weight benefit from Medicinal Herbs & Herbal Supplements?  Perhaps you are one of those people like a friend of mine.  She’s in her late 40s and has been unable to get to her ideal weight for her entire life.  She was a fat baby.  She has eaten the perfect diet:  low carbs, lean protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables and hardly any snack foods that most of us would consider OK for once-in-a-while treats.  She has developed aches and pains, those joint issues that come when a person exercises a lot (trying to get that weight down) and fears arthritis is creeping in.  She already takes medicinal herbs and herbal supplements made by Shaklee which help with pain relief.  I have described the benefit of Pain Relieve Complex in several previous posts.

In desperation, she consulted a physician who suggested the Atkins diet.  For the beginning months she ate nothing but protein and then slowed added carbohydrates in the form of raw vegetables, 25 grams a day, no more.  (One protein source she loves is Shaklee’s Instant Protein Soy Mix, a pure, non-GMO protein source with no carbohydrates at all.)  She began using the medicinal herbs and herbal supplement Glucose Regulation Complex.

Taken in the middle of a meal, the herbs in this Glucose Regulation Complex unlock the doors of the stubborn cells and allow the sugars to enter!  Voila!  And Halleluiah!  At last her body is using the glucose to energize her and the pounds are coming off.

Medicinal herbs and herbal supplements abound on the market today.  How do you decide where to buy them and from whom?  Let me suggest the following bench marks to consider.  If your product does not meet all these requirements, look further, or shop for the Shaklee product.  (If the Shaklee corporation makes the medicinal herb or herbal supplement you are looking for, you are in luck.  If not, ask these questions of the manufacturer before you buy.)

  • Does the company control the source material from which the medicinal herb or herbal supplement is created?
  • If not, does it inspect with a plant chromatography methods?  In other words, does the batch of raw material pass through a thorough inspection of all the properties to determine if there are contaminants, and if the plant material is what it supposed to be?
  • Has the company conducted double blind scientific testing to see if the medicinal herbs and herbal supplements manufactured by the company itself reached the blood stream in the human body and performed as predicted?  Was the study conducted well enough for a peer-review journal to publish the results?
  • Does the company provide a money back guarantee on the medicinal herb or herbal supplement so that if the customer does not get the results they are looking for, they get their money back?

If all these points cannot be answered in the affirmative, I would not recommend buying that medicinal herb or herbal supplement.

OK, then.  Are you one of those people who are ready to try a medicinal herb or herbal supplement to see if you can get your body to accept glucose into the cells?  If so, please take a look at Glucose Regulation Complex.  The active ingredients include

  • Chromium (as chromium polynicotinate)
  • Taurine
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Banaba Leaf Extract (Lagerstroemia speciosa) Standardized to contain 18% colosolic acid
  • Vanadium (as vanadium amino acid chelate)

Other ingredients include Magnesium (as magnesium oxide) and Zinc (as zinc gluconate)

These ingredients help the sugars you eat get into the cells where they belong.  End of sugar cravings!

With the loss of extra pounds, arthritis pain goes down and maybe even away.  Of course, I can’t predict your individual outcome, but what if Glucose Regulation Complex worked for you the way it has for my friend?  Why not give it a try?

The side benefits of Glucose Regulation Complex include lowering cholesterol.  The scientific information you will want to study is in this pdf.  I have put the document on the resources page of my blog www.grandmabetsybell.com/resources/.

Feel free to pass this post along to friends and family who struggle with weight loss.  This may provide the missing ingredient.

I’d love your comments so others can benefit from your wisdom.

Be well, Do well and keep moving,


206 933 1889



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Vitamin D may prevent Diabetes II

Gentle Reader,

Vitamin D, seems to be the miracle supplement as research turns up more benefits. In my recent travels, along the Inside Passage in Alaska, I worried about the many “round” people from the cruise ships.  They may not have gotten a diagnosis of diabetes from their doctor.  But they may, like many of us, walk around leading what seems like normal lives with pre-diabetes.

Dr. Steve Chaney describes the condition in his recent newsletter.  [To read the whole letter, go to Resources: Diabetes is a deadly scourge.]  He says that when we become overweight our tissues become insulin resistant. Initially our pancreas responds by pumping out more insulin to keep our blood sugar levels near normal. It also starts releasing fatty acids into the bloodstream.

At this stage our blood sugar levels are pretty well under control, but our blood levels of insulin and fatty acids are higher than normal. We are asymptomatic for the most part, so many of us never realize that we have a problem.

And lots of us are pre-diabetic!

When the normal range goes to pre-diabetic and beyond.

My grandfather on my mother’s side was diabetic.  He was a Swede-Finn, emigrating to New York City in around 1900 and joining the dock builders union.  He worked hard, driving piles, helping construct the Brooklyn Bridge and the piers along New York’s maritime harbor.  Then he sat down.  His knees hurt.  His hands hurt. His back hurt.  He had arthritis and moving his body hurt.  Then he developed diabetes.

My mother was never diagnosed with diabetes.  I suspected her of being very close to slipping from pre-diabetic to diabetes in the last 10 years of her life.  Her shoulders hurt.  Her hands hurt.  She had old age arthritis at 55 and began taking Motrin.  I remember her and my father both taking drugs for their aches and pains when I was in high school. They both slowed down, walking less and less.  She was never diagnosed with diabetes.  She died of pancreatic cancer.

This family history is a major driver for me to stay slim and active in spite of major arthritis.

Dr. Chaney points out that there are several published clinical studies showing that lifestyle changes (weight loss, exercise and a healthy diet supplying all of the essential nutrients) can significantly reduce the progression of
pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes.


Supplement with Vitamin D3 by Shaklee

This is a blog about managing arthritis.  See how stiff joints, slowing down, mild and more severe osteo-arthritis, the kind that comes with aging, can be part of the pre-diabetic cluster of conditions?  The primary focus of Dr. Chaney’s article is the research about the benefit of Vitamin D on keeping the pancreas healthy.  Make no mistake, however, Vitamin D by itself will not prevent diabetes.  

Do not let your aches and pains keep you from moving.  Keep those joints active to the maximum extent of their flexibility.

Take Vitamin D if you are over weight and suspect you are pre-diabetic.  But there is no magic bullet.

I was talking with a young woman today who says she doesn’t want to take pills.  I’m all for avoiding medicines if possible.  It was a major challenge for me to understand vitamins are food supplements, foodlets, if you will.  Yes, they are in pill form.  I seldom refer to my vitamins as pills.  They are my supplements.  I take them to fill in the gaps and to compensate for the sluggish utilization of nutrients that comes with age.  We do not make Vitamin D from the sun the way we did when we were 10.

We are going into the winter months when those of us in the north will get less and less sun exposure.  Why not supplement with Vitamin D3?  Especially if you are little round in the middle.  Then, by all means, consider the 180 Turnaround program for losing those extra pounds.  You’ll be thrilled with how much easier it is to move with even 10 pounds less to carry around.

To your good health,

Be well, Do well and Keep moving,


206 933 1889

PS If you would like to comment or ask a question, please email me at betsy@hihohealth.com.  I’ve had too many spammy comments and have limited access to the comment section, but I would still love to hear from you.




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5 Surprising Signs of Dementia

Gentle Reader,

Are we showing signs of demenita?  Traveling with my sister-in-law for a month on ferries, in rental cars and my car; staying in new rooms night after night has resulted in a few missing things, left here and there.

“Our life style is not compatible with our memory issues,” Joan said and we both burst out laughing.  We had to make a stop in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to buy the plug for our cell phones.  She is taking pictures with my camera because she didn’t bring her charger for this round of sites.  And then there is the misplaced earring.

It wasn’t enough to spend 3 weeks poking around five towns in the Inside Passage of Alaska.  We decided to extend our ferry-boat travel to Lopez, San Juan and Victoria with a full afternoon at the Butchard Gardens.

The Sunken gardens at Butchard in Victoria BC
The Sunken gardens at Butchard in Victoria BC

Tonight we are in our beds in the James Bay Hotel, Government St. in Victoria.  A half-moon hangs over head.  The lights on the government buildings glittered like Christmas time.  The street musicians entertained enthusiastic passers-by and the little harbor taxi spun like a wind-up version of the bumper cars.  At Butchard the gardens are transitioning from summer to fall with beds full of chrysanthemums, tight-buds hint lavender, gold, yellow and orange .  The zinnia patch is a clown-riot of color. The tuberous begonias and impatience vibrate their more nuanced color palate.

Butchard Gardens, Victoria,BC
Butchard Gardens, Victoria,BC

The visit to the gardens began with high panic:  I couldn’t find my wallet.  I put it in a different place in my purse, changing a fixed habit.  Dashing nervously back to the car (if you have been to Butchard Gardens you know how far everything is), I was relieved to find it on the floor of the car just inside the door. All was well.

Do we have the early signs of dementia?  A few years back, my daughter Grace, who was working with a University of Washington hospice project, asked me to subject myself to a base line test of memory.  I did.  I passed.  Somewhere in my medical records there is an account of my memory capabilities at 70.

This recent report may interest you. We can watch for early signs of dementia and take steps to avoid the full-blown condition.

By Alysha Reid, Everyday Health Staff Writer

There’s growing evidence that small changes in the way you walk, chew, sleep, and feel may be subtle early indicators of dementia.

Dementia is characterized by the progressive loss of cognitive functioning as brain cells are destroyed.

But long before you show obvious signs of dementia, certain changes in your behavior could signal that you may have the condition.

One: Trouble Chewing Hard Foods

The act of biting an into apple may predict your odds of developing dementia, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS). Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karlstad University in Sweden studied a sample of 577 people aged 77 or older and found that those who had trouble chewing hard food such as apples had a much higher risk of mental decline. The Swedish researchers offered one possible explanation: Since chewing is difficult when you have few or no teeth — which may be the case for some older people — they chew less, which reduces blood flow to the brain and therefore may put you at higher risk for dementia.

Two: Slow Walking

Your walking style could predict your dementia risk, according to a report presented at the 2012 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. Several studies presented there found a correlation between walking abnormalities and signs of cognitive decline on neuropsychological tests. Another study presented at the conference analyzed the at-home walking behaviors of 19 older subjects using motion-sensor technology. They found those with a slow pace had smaller brain volumes, which is often true of people with dementia.

Three: Trouble Sleeping

More bad news for night owls: Your sleep cycle now may lead to dementia later. In a December 2011 study published in Annals of Neurology, 1,300 healthy women over the age of 75 were followed over the course of five years. By the end of that time, 39 percent had developed some form of mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Researchers found that women with weaker circadian rhythms(those who performed less physical activity early in the day) were 80 percent more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment or dementia than women who were active early in the day.

Four: Carrying Extra Pounds

Being overweight is linked to many health dangers — including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. But one study, published in May 2011 in Neurologylinked a high BMI to a higher dementia risk. In an analysis of 8,534 twins aged 65 and older, it was noted that 350 were officially diagnosed with dementia and 114 with possible dementia. When researchers tracked their BMIs from 30 years earlier, they found that those with dementia or possible dementia now were 70 percent more likely to have been overweight or obese back then.

Worried that your extra weight could lead to cognitive decline later on? The answer may be tostart a workout program. A July study presented in the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference concluded that exercise may protect the aging brain.

Five: Being Depressed

Feeling blue isn’t only bad for your emotional well-being — depression can take a toll on your brain health, too. A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry evaluated the medical records of more than 13,000 California residents over the course of six years. Those with late-life depression had double the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease, while those with both mid-and late-life depression had more than triple the risk of developing vascular dementia.

Dear friends, I hope this can be a little wake-up call for.  Not an alarm bell necessarily, but a cautionary suggestion to take a look at some of the creeping behaviors that might be addressed sooner than later.

By all means, to avoid early signs of dementia, keep moving!  Email me or comment here with your stories about dementia.

For supplements that can help, see resources.

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving,


206 933 1889



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No Magic Pill to end Arthritis Pain

Gentle Reader,

In the end, and in the beginning, there is only one thing we –you and I– can do to bring lasting health to our aching bodies.  Life style change.  As I travel the Alaska Marine Highway, eat in the cafeteria on board, snack along the wharf in the various Inside Passage towns, I struggle with how to maintain my eating habits with poor choices everywhere.  Some people go on vacation and throw their healthy life-style to the winds for those 7 – 21 days.  Unfortunately the stomach doesn’t know you are on vacation and when the deep fried foods, extra sour dough bread with butter come rolling down the intestinal track, the joints react.

I’ve been having a few digestive and joint issues until yesterday when I found an IGA in Skagway with a ripe peach, some snap peas, and carrots.  Amazing how getting back to the healthy routine will quickly restore one to their mobile less-pained body.  Did I mention I also found a 4 mile round trip hike up to Dewey Lake right out of Skagway on 2nd Ave?

hiking in Skagway
hiking in Skagway, Dewey Lakes

So good to move after strolling.  What a difference.

This article about the new weight loss drug Dexaprine came across my desk.  Dr. Chaney talks about the hazards of relying on a magic pill to take care of the pounds that weigh our joints down.  It simply doesn’t work. Read his whole article here.

Want to really make a difference in your health?  Lose 10 pounds.  Safely.  Let the fat go, keep the lean muscle.  Have the energy to work out, or a least begin a walking program.  Change the way you eat, permanently.  That’s what the 180 Turnaround kit and the Lean and Healthy Kit are all about.  Consider these Shaklee products as a way to launch yourself into a permanent life-style change.  Personally, I’ll be drinking –or pouring over my breakfast cereal–a Shaklee 180 smoothee for the rest of my life, just as I have been doing ever since I achieved my goal weight 25 years ago with the Shaklee shakes and vitamins.  Why not?  Excellent science behind the product.  Delicious. Sustains energy all day. Convenient to use (I have packets with me on this trip.)  Cheaper than the fast food items at Starbuck’s or McDonalds.  Begin today.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,


PS to catch the latest on the Alaska expedition, click here

PPS Leave me your diet success/struggle stories in the comment section.

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Food Cures. Is there such a thing?

Gentle Reader,

I’ve joined an on line face book arthritis support group to learn from others how they suffer and what they are doing about it.  Following the rabbit trails I came to this web site  maintained by a Joy Bauer.  She has a slide show showing foods that are helpful for sufferers of arthritis.  You can also take a survey here that will give you a food suggestion list based on your answers to several life style questions.

Here are the suggestions that resulted from my survery:

Step 1

Understanding Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is due to a combination of factors, including genetics, past injury, joint use and overuse, and the aging process in general. The word “overuse” implies that it’s a concern for serious athletes, as well as those who have stress on the joints caused by excess body weight. Losing just a little weight can have a huge positive impact on OA. Because arthritis is a disease of inflammation, the most effective — and logical — treatment is anything that fights inflammation. Management of arthritis usually starts with ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications, eating anti-inflammatory foods, and improving weight and lifestyle. I will go into more detail on how to manage OA in the following steps and on the Food Cures Web site.
Step 2

Foods to Avoid
In order to reduce inflammation in your body, you should dramatically limit your intake of pro-inflammatory foods. It sounds like you’re already avoiding foods high in saturated fats — such as fatty meats, butter, whole and 2 percent milk, full-fat cheese, and rich desserts. However, there are a few other foods you should add to your “foods to avoid” list. Trans fats, which are man-made fats added to baked goods to give them a longer shelf life, are very dangerous and even worse than saturated fats for your health. The good news is that laws now require food manufacturers to list trans fats on nutrition labels — so they’re easy to spot. Choose packaged foods that list 0 grams trans fat on the Nutrition Facts panel and don’t list any “hydrogenated oils” — codeword for trans fats — in the ingredients panel. The other food group to avoid is simple and refined carbs — which set up a state of inflammation in the body. These foods include soda and other sweetened beverages, candy, sugary refined cereals, white-flour baked goods, and white rice, bread, and crackers.
Step 3

Keep Drinking Your Water
Cartilage is 65 to 80 percent water, so staying hydrated is important for the health and lubrication of your joints. Maintaining proper hydration is even more important for individuals who suffer from gout. Water helps flush uric acid out of the body, and studies suggest staying hydrated may help prevent flare-ups. It isn’t necessary to count the number of glasses of water you drink in a day — the latest research suggests that if you take time to drink a glass whenever you feel thirsty, you’ll probably do fine. You are already drinking enough water, which is important for managing your arthritis. To spice things up, you might want to try flavoring your water with fresh fruit slices or drinking unsweetened green tea or herbal tea — there are so many delicious and fun varieties. And be sure to avoid sugary drinks like soda, sweetened water, fruit drinks, sweet tea, and froufrou coffee concoctions.
Step 4

Smoking and Arthritis
I know you don’t smoke, but I just wanted to share with you a few good reasons to stay smoke-free: Smoking delivers toxins throughout the body, causing inflammation and increasing the risk of arthritis. In one study, smokers were more than twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than people who didn’t smoke. In addition, researchers from a multicenter study reported in 2005 that smokers had a greater risk of osteoarthritis of the knee, possibly because smoking interferes with the body’s ability to repair its own cartilage. The bottom line is that staying smoke-free is a wise choice!
Step 5

Maintain Your Healthy Weight
One of the best things you can do for your arthritis is maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight — and you’re already there! Being overweight can put added physical stress on your joints, which can aggravate arthritis (particularly osteoarthritis) and increase your levels of pain. An unhealthy weight can also promote inflammation, which as I’ve mentioned is the root of arthritis. Another reason to keep eating right and exercising!
Step 6

Exercise and Managing Arthritis
You’re already exercising daily — good for you! Many people stop exercising at the first twinge of pain in a joint, but this can be a big mistake. Exercise can actually be a great tool for fighting arthritis. It can help you lose or maintain weight, which reduces the overall stress impact on joints. Strong muscles can absorb shock from daily movements, keep joints stable, and protect against additional joint injury. Stretching and yoga can improve flexibility and range of motion and reduce joint stiffness. Swimming and water aerobics allow free movement without added stress on the joints. Walking is another manageable, low-impact form of aerobic exercise appropriate for most individuals with arthritis. All good reasons to maintain your active lifestyle!
Good luck changing whatever needs changing to find the pain free movement you long for.
Comments?  Please leave your thoughts and comments.  Pass this along on your facebook page.
Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving,
206 933 1889
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