Today I wanted to talk to you guys about diets that may serve you this year in 2019. Diets have always been so challenging and that is because companies push so much bad food down our throats through commercials, advertisements, billboards, government and corporate corruption and the media. What exactly is bad food? Well its highly processed foods laced with high amounts of sugar and made with trans fats. Yet with all this in our environment, we thankfully still have a choice. We get to consume foods that are organic, fresh, and balanced. We want our futures energized promising us longevity.
So this why I wanted to write a blog post that will support you with the truth and some easy ways feel better. Because choosing a diet can be complicated, intimidating and expensive. I chose the top 5 diets that may help you save money, drop a few pounds or a lot of pounds and get your health back on track. I am not a doctor. My diets in this blog are just my opinions and recommendations. I do suggest you connect with yourself and your higher self and see what he/she would eat to receive the energy, the guidance, the health and the beauty it needs to live your best life ever.
I’ve struggled with my weight on and off since I was a teenager. I hide my fat well because I’m tall. I wear black clothes most of the time and I’m pretty curvy. So a few pounds on or off don’t really make a difference unless I’ve gained a lot of weight. Which has happened before. I was my heaviest in 2014-2015. And dieting has always been a challenge for me, especially when stress levels are high, priorities are all over the place, and I’m living my life day by day spreading myself thin. My body has paid the price from constant yo-yo dieting over the years. During a so called diet, my weight would be ideal and then I would gain it all back. It was such a vicious cycle. However, as I grew older and as I develop into a wellness practitioner I’m motivated as ever to find the best ways to eat healthy and feel healthy. As a society, we have come a long way to knowing the truth about the healthcare, medicine, foods and what truly works.
So lets dive in and talk about diets.
1) Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent fasting has helped me drop a few pounds and helped me reduce my cravings. My will power has gotten stronger and my need to eat so much as dramatically reduced. I was programmed to eat three times a day or 5 mini meals a day to lose weight or to survive. Its simply just too much food to eat in any given day. And I never lost weight that way by they way. . I know in my past I used to practice intermittent fasting unknowingly and always noticed the pounds falling off my body. Intermittent Fasting is a diet that you can practice by simply changing the times you eat in a day and increasing the amount of time you don’t eat in a day. What I love about intermittent fasting is you can combine all the diets throughout this blog and create a customized diet nutrition plan. Intermittent fasting is a great way to allow the body to detoxify itself by burning less fuel (food) because I learned over consuming foods can cause you to age more by making your body digest large amounts of food and never truly giving your body a break to heal, and to build/repair healthy cells. Its hard to do that when we are eating so much food and not moving enough. The body will wear itself out exhausting so much energy trying to balance the body, then add on all day metabolizing and digesting food. It’s the real reason why you may be experiencing a lot of fatigue. Its the reason why many people experience insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic symptom, which is why so many people, especially Americans can’t lose weight. Its the real reason people crash and get into a food coma.
Intermittent fasting has also been practiced throughout the world for ages. Its practiced by Christians. They would pray and sacrifice a few meals to manifest a powerful prayer request to God and usually celebrate with a meal to acknowledge the blessing God has fulfilled. It is also practiced by the Muslims, during their time of Ramadan, a 40 day sunrise to sunset fasting with prayer and other religious rituals and festivities. Catholics intermittent fast during the lent season, which looks like no meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday till Good Friday, and in additon, to the lent season, catholics sacrifice some other bad habit daily to increase strength, discipline and purification for 40 days, which usually looks like a diet, fasting, cleansing, and detoxification. Buddhist Monks and Nuns practice intermittent fasting for about 18-20 hours a day, eating there biggest meal in the morning and a sensible lunch a few hours later. They usually skip dinner for sipping and snacking on hot tea, honey, dark chocolate and will resume to their next meal the next morning, this is also known as the Buddha diet.
So how do you intermittent fast?
There are a few ways to do it. I recommend you start slow and allow the body to adjust. The easiest way to get into intermittent fasting is to start eating only 2 times a day in a specific time period. No snacking. Intermittent fasting is all about honoring the time you eat and honoring the time you don’t eat. There is a real healing power that happens when you allow the body long periods of time away from food.
An example of a beginner starting to intermittent fast is 2 meals a day in an 8 hour window.
Breakfast 7-8am: Warm Lemon Water with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cayenne pepper, coffee and tea with coconut milk and honey if you like.
Lunch 11-12pm: Sensible lunch or brunch. Protein, Good fats, fiber and complex carbs, and vegetables. An example is 3 eggs cooked in a table spoon of grass fed butter or coconut oil, you can add some tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms. Half an avocado. And some sprouted bread for toast.
Dinner 6-7pm: Eat a large salad (about 4 cups) of kale, arugula, spinach, cabbage, cucumber, red onion whatever veggies you like. Top with grilled Salmon, and a light dressing. A few pieces of dark chocolate for dessert or some berries.
Throughout your fasting drink plenty of water and herbal tea. Many of Intermittent Fasters tend to drink too much coffee, or bullet proof coffee. I recommend the normal caffeine intake, which is no more than 400 mg , which is roughly about 4 cups of coffee. All that coffee will just give you a very jittery and anxious type of energy. Green tea and herbal teas are better because of the hydration and the boost in antioxidants. If you don’t hydrate enough during intermittent fasting you will get constipated. I also recommend to take any supplements during the first meal. Best supplements for intermittent fasting is green tea extract, magnesium, flax seed oil plus a food based multivitamin like, Paradise Vitamins.
Keep in mind to stay active and to eat more protein on days you are doing more workouts and physical activity. On days you take a break from fasting or days you cheat because of social obligations or celebrations is the time you can eat more carbs and dessert. Just don’t make it a daily habit. Cheating should be occasional.
One of the main benefits of intermittent fasting is to over come cravings and to gain willpower and strength with your relationship to food. People who intermittent fast save money, lose weight and gain more energy. People who are underweight should not be intermittent fasting.
I juice regularly whether I am intermittent fasting or doing a special diet or not. Some days I juice all day for a few days no more than 3 days. Or on some days I juice for one or two meals and in the evening I’ll eat one solid sensible meal. Another way to juice is to add a glass of green juice, or berry beet juice to any of your meals to supplement and boost nutrition. Juicing is good to do when you are having some minor imbalances in the body and you need to take a break from all food without depriving yourself of nutrients. Juicing helps you consume more fruits and veggies, and allows the body to receive all those vitamins, phyto-nutrients, and live enzymes, this is great for people who don’t get their recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. 5-6 servings of vegetables is recommeded for adults and 2 servings of fruit is recommended for adults. I don’t recommend anyone to do a juice cleanse for a whole week. My recommendation is for 3 days maximum. The reason is because juicing can deprive you of the fiber and amino acids you will need to lose weight and to have healthy organ function.
Juicing can heal your cells and possibly heal cancer. Just think of juicing as a fusion of vegetables and fruits hitting your bloodstream fast. Your body doesn’t have to break down the food to digest and absorb the nutrients. Juicing is also another great way to protect the vegetables from heat. You are consuming them raw and minimally processed so nutrients are not damaged during the cooking process. Juicing can also balance out the acidic levels in the body by making the body more alkaline. By lowering acidity levels in the body you are also discouraging cancer from growing and spreading, and significantly reducing inflammation, which is the root cause of all chronic disease.
One personal reason why I love to juice is because my skin is always glowing after a few days of juicing. My acne, fine lines, dry patches all disappear. My skin start to glow. My complexion starts to look more youthful, hydrated, plumped and fresh. The vitamin A and C in the juices really help my skin glow from within allowing all impurities in my cells to cleanse out naturally.
What type of veggies and fruits should I use for juicing?
Kale, Cucumber, Celery, Parsley, Dandelion Greens, Wheatgrass, Apples, Carrots, Pineapple, Ginger, Lemon, Beets, berries especially blue berries and many more.
Always juice or blend with organic produce. Pesticides are very toxic and can cause nerve damage and can affect the endocrine system.
Should I blend or juice?
It really depends. I like blending when I need more fiber. If you are experiencing diabetic and pre diabetic symptoms, and or insulin resistance blending your fruits and veggies to make a smoothie or shake will be better for you. Because you get to keep all the fiber in the juice and that will help your body balance out all the natural sugars in the juice.
If you just want the nutrients and really need to take a break from digesting and need more healing to happen in the body by consuming less, juicing is better.
How do I juice?
There are many ways of juicing. My favorite way is to juice first thing in the morning with (2) 12 oz. juices and another (2) 12 oz. juices for lunch then a light sensible meal, usually something like a salmon salad, lean chicken breast with steam brocoli, or quinoa with lentils, veggies, and herbs. My favorite brand of pressed juice is 1915 Organic. I love the Organic Romaine Blend, Organic Carrot Blend, Organic Cucumber Blend, and the Organic Beet Blend. I always buy these juices because they are high quality, high pressured processing and organic. I usually get lucky and buy one and get one free. I usually take a break from supplements while I juice because I like to take my supplements in the morning and not in the evening. In my experience I cannot take supplements without a meal it irritates my body and gives me a stomach ache.
You never want to drink orange juice or any of those fruit juices from the market. Those are processed and filled with sugar. That is the wrong way to juice and can really damage your health only drinking that. You want fresh, organic, raw juices. Those are the best.
3) Ketogenic Diet.
I haven’t fully dived into the ketogenic diet. People are very confused as to what the ketogenic diet really is. People who are not so well informed think it is the Atkins diet. Both diets are similar because both advise you to avoid carbs and sugar for faster weight loss. However, Ketogenic diet is different because instead of more protein it advises people to eat more healthy good fats. Ketogenic dieting can get dirty really fast because people may tend to eat more trans fats or fried foods, which can be so bad for you. Those types of fats are good to avoid as much as possible because the body doesn’t know how to digest trans-fats. In this case processed sugars are slightly better than trans-fats and here’s why, the body will always digest and metabolize processed sugar. Sure you will strike up your blood sugar levels, glucose goes up, and you might experience a sugar crash, but good news is the body is burning off that glucose. Not with trans-fats. The body has no clue what to do with this type of fuel but store it has fat. We could be storing trans fats in our bodies from a few years ago. And the body doesn’t know how to break it down. This is why its important to eat clean.
The Ketogenic diet is a good for weight loss while maintaining the integrity of skin elasticity, its also great to boost brain power, dramatically reduce inflammation and keeps you full longer.
After the first two weeks your body will get used to your new diet, and will reach ketosis, which is fat burning mode. Fat burning seems to be the missing link with all diets that have failed to give weight loss results with many people struggling. Ketogenic is not easy, because our modern diets are inundated with sugar, processed foods and all sorts of refined carbs. You may even feel sick the first 2 weeks of doing the ketogenic diet. You may also experience flu like symptoms, and its perfectly normal. You may get the keto flu or the carb flu. The body will have a hard time adjusting but once you pass through the first two weeks you will see your body transform. Intermittent fasting can be combined with the ketogenic diet.
How to eat on the ketogenic diet?
Protein intake is imperative when it comes to keto. Too much protein you can struggle reaching ketosis and too little protein can lose muscles mass. Its wise to keep your protein intake at a moderate amount to 0.5 to 0.8 gram per pound of body weight if there is minimal physical activity. If you are working out a lot you can consume 1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So if you are sedentary it looks like you should be eating about one serving of protein 2-3 ounces and if you are lifting weights 6-8 ounces of protein. Good sources of protein are eggs, beef, lamb, seafood, fish, pork, organ meats, poultry, other meats like veal, goat, nuts, beans etc. Just make sure your protein is grass fed, hormone free, cage free and organic.
Good fats make up about 80% of the ketogenic diet. Its a good source of fuel for your body and provides very sustainable energy. How much good fat are we talking about? Well, for a 2,000 calorie diet you must consume about 130g-175g of fat per day. Which is a lot of fat!
Here are some healthy fat suggestions:
Avocado: 21 grams of fat.
1 Tbsn Olive Oil: 14 grams of fat.
1 Tbsn Almond Butter: 9 grams of fat
1 Tbsn Grass Fed Butter: 12 grams of fat
1 Tbsn of Coconut Oil: 14 grams of fat
3.5 ounces of Dark Chocolate: 42 grams of fat
Remember that some of your protein will also have fat so you can add that in your healthy fats goal of 130g-175g of fat per day. Also keep in mind you should eat more fiber so you can cancel out any carbs you eat. For example, if you eat 30 grams of carbs and also consumer 13 grams of fiber you will net 20 grams of fiber. It’s very important to add fiber to your diet to balance out carbs and sugars. The beauty of fiber!
4) No S Diet
I love the concept of this diet. Its pretty easy to follow for anyone that doesn’t like complicated diets. The main thing with this diet is that you can customize it based on your needs. You can also make the No S diet keto friendly and even incorporate some intermittent fasting. But that sounds so brutal and will cause some major deprivation.But if you feel challenged try it out. Diets shouldn’t deprive you too much. They are supposed to make you feel better, optimizing your energy, and help you look and feel your best. Food is your fuel for life and food is medicine.
Simply, the No S diet is, No Seconds, No Sweets and No Snacking except for the days that start with S, like Saturdays and Sundays and Special Days (like holidays, celebrations etc). Why I like this diet is because its easy and there are no games. All the No’s in this diet is what makes myself and many people add on so many pounds. The moment I indulged and eat seconds I noticed I’m fluffier and have way more inflammation. Don’t get me wrong I love to eat. But I always pay for it after with some of the consequences below.
Consequences of eating seconds too frequently:
- May increase blood pressure
- May gain extra weight in the long run
- May develop type 2 diabetes
- May develop hypertension
- May compromise sleep
- May cause bloating
- May cause constipation
- May cause heart disease
- May cause all kinds of other health concerns
- May cause a food hangover
- May affect skin with breakouts, hives, swollen, patchy, red, blotchy.
Sugary sweets should be avoided as much as possible. There is just no nutritional value in cookies, conventional candies, donuts, cakes etc. Plus many of those sugary sweets have higher amounts of trans fats which is actually even more dangerous that the sugar itself. The body doesn’t know how to digest trans fats so it just stores it as fat in the diet. but trans fats is worst and its in most of the sugary sweets. Dr. Oz say sweets should only be consumed occasionally. Do you know what the word occasional means? It really means once or twice a year, or 4-6 times a year and 1-2 times a month, that’s the max. That is how many sweets we should be eating. We would all be super models if we followed that right? LOL
By default, the S diet has a little bit of intermittent fasting since there is absolutely no snacking allowed except for the days that start with S. Snacking causes aging. Snacking doesn’t provide satiety and snacking is detrimental to weightloss goals. The No Snack rule helps give the body a break. The break is not as intense, like intermittent fasting where there are no meals and snacks for 20 plus hours or so. This method is what they teach in Ayurveda, to space out each meal for about 5 hours. Breakfast at 7:30 am. Lunch at 12:30 pm and Dinner at 6 pm. No snacking between meals helps you eat only when your hungry and not when you are bored or feeling weak to a craving. To master this schedule of mini fasting per meal you gotta eat a balanced diet of healthy lean protein, healthy fats, some fiber and lots of greens. A dietitian once told me the body doesn’t know the difference between hungry and thirsty. If you eat bad your body will store fat, you will get moody and you will feel tired. So to stay fuller longer drink lots of water and herbal tea with no honey and sugar for maximum benefits.
5. Blue Zone Diet
If you want to live past a 100 follow the blue zone diet. The blue zones in the world have the largest community of elderly healthy people that have the most longevity. The Blue Zone diet is also know as the longevity diet. Where exactly are the blue zones in the world? Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Icaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Among the 7th day Adventist, in Loma Linda, California, USA.
What are they eating?
Well let’s break it down. Lets start with protein. Blue zone people eat 2 ounces or less of protein 5 times a month! People in the blue zones eat little amounts of fish also. They stick to 3 ounces of fish or less a week. They stick to sardines, cod and anchovies because they are affordable, low in mercury and are not a threat to other species that are currently being over fished. Blue Zone people also eat only 3 eggs or less per week. They don’t do any thing to the eggs and separate the ingredients and create egg whites. They eat the eggs whole. One of there main sources of protein is extra firm tofu and beans. Blue zone people eat half a cup of beans per day. Which shows a good source of plant protein and high fiber in their diets.
Dairy is something they don’t consume much of either. They hardly drink milk from a cow and I don’t blame them. Milk in the United States is dangerous, being filled with hormones, antibiotics and other 20 some chemicals. Blue Zone people naturally follow a good diet because up to 60% of people in the world are actually lactose and tolerant. If they do eat dairy its fermented yogurt, sour milk and cheese and its not typically from a cow its actually from a goat or a sheep.
Sugars and sweets is eaten very sparingly among the blue zone people. On average, they only consume about 27 grams of sugar (7 teaspoons) a day and most of it comes from natural sugars from fruits or intentionally adding it. They eat cakes, pastries literally only on occasion. Remember guys, occasion is a few times a year and perhaps only once a months at the most. Americans on the other hand consume nearly as much as 3 times more sugar than our Blue Zone friends. Makes sense why Americans are overweight and obese. Sugar is all over our diets and its also hidden in our diets even though we intentionally avoid sugar.
So I’ve writing about everything they don’t eat, lets talk about what they do eat. Its simple they eat 95% plant based diet and products that come from a plants that are minimally processed. Here are the top foods that the blue zone people eat.
Top Blue Zone Foods
- Beans of all kinds
- Leafy greens
- Nuts of all kinds
- Olive Oil
- Fruits of all kinds especially blueberries
- Fermented foods
- steel cut oats
- sweet potatoes
- green teas and herbal teas
Blue zone people live up to a hundred for a reason. They eat so clean and also hydrate accordingly. They avoid all soda pop and fruit juices with artificial sweeteners. They drink plenty of water. One of the blue zones in Loma Linda, are a large 7th day Adventist community and they believe in drinking 7 glasses of water a day to increase blood flow and to avoid getting a blood clot. Coffee is a beverage many of the Sardinians, Icarians and Nicoyans drink plenty of. I personally can’t drink that much caffeine anymore because it just gives me so much anxiety and drives my blood pressure up the roof. But ideally, coffee in the morning for breakfast, green tea or herbal tea in the afternoon or evening, one glass of red wine for dinner and water all day. If you want to follow the blue zone diet you don’t have to start drinking red wine. I personally don’t drink alcohol anymore but I wouldn’t mind drinking a glass of delicious, antioxidant rich red wine at a vineyard or on vacation somewhere. Life is all about moderation, health, balance and fun right?
I hope you love this blog. I really enjoyed writing it.
Love and Light,