Whole30 elimination diet for weight loss and health: Paleo-style low carb

The Whole30 elimination diet offers a way to win at weight loss while boosting your health, detailed in the best-selling book “It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways” (click for details).

The Whole30 program is a whole foods-based elimination diet designed to help people identify foods that are affecting them negatively, either physically or psychologically. We help people change their habits and tastes, eliminate cravings, and improve awareness as to which foods are negatively impacting how they look, feel, and live,” explained Melissa Hartwig in an exclusive interview with the Examiner.

And the benefit for those who do want to shed pounds: They can do so while focusing on changing their attitude and approach to food rather than obsessing about counting calories or restricting carbohydrates.

What the diet involves: For 30 days, dieters avoid sugar, alcohol, grains (including corn and rice), legumes (including soy and peanuts), and most dairy products. The exclusions are not chosen to provide a boot camp-style regimen. Instead, those food groups are “potentially inflammatory,” says Melissa. As a result of eliminating them, many readers find relief from problems such as “skin issues, digestive distress, chronic pain, or medical symptoms.”

When it comes to her own inspiration, Melissa credits two Paleo diet gurus: Robb Wolf, author of “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet” (click for details) and Mark Sisson, author of “The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy” and “Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes.”

Calling Robb their mentor, Melissa notes that “his Paleo Solution Seminar and Paleo Solution book were some of the first practical application guides to Paleo eating, and his “try it for 30 days” approach formed the foundation of the original Whole30 program. We also love Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple. His books spell out in a really fun way how to live a healthier lifestyle via diet, exercise, and play. Plus he lets you eat dark chocolate and drink red wine.”

However, don’t assume that the Whole30 is identical to the Paleo diet. Those who are vegetarians, for example, can benefit from the plan by using the special guidelines that the Whole30 provides specifically for them. “We have expanded our general recommendations to work within a vegetarian or vegan framework. We believe that including moderate amounts of animal protein is a healthy practice, but we also respect people’s individual choices. People can still implement many Whole30 principles alongside their vegetarian or vegan diet in a way that improves health while still honoring their self-imposed restrictions,” states Melissa.

Bottom line: After reading numerous weight loss books and studying various diet plans, we whole-heartedly recommend the Whole30 diet book. Whether you want a fresh start on dieting, are seeking a way to improve your eating habits or want to benefit your entire body while shedding pounds, it’s the best guide that we’ve read: It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways” (click for more information, including how to order).

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‘Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us’ Investigates the Dark Side of the Food Industry

Learn how a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist dared to challenge our nation’s food giants and discover the shocking truth about our national addiction to salt, sugar and fat in his book “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.”

Michael Moss reveals the shocking truth about our nationally SAD (Standard American Diet) situation. On average, we eat 33 pounds of cheese and 70 pounds of sugar annually. We swallow twice as much salt as we should daily.

And the reason: Processed food made by corporations who care about their profits and are careless about our health. very year, the average American eats thirty-three pounds of cheese and seventy pounds of sugar. Every day, we ingest 8,500 milligrams of salt, double the recommended amount.

Moss uses his investigative skills to explore how mega-corporations such as Kraft, Coca-Cola, Lunchables, Frito-Lay, Nestlé, Oreos, Capri Sun and more create sugary, salty and fatty foods with minimal or negative nutritional value. It’s a must-read for anyone and everyone who cares about their health. 

Designer Whey Review

If you’re on a low carb diet, whey protein powder can provide a quick solution when you’re rushing and need a fast, protein-rich breakfast, snack or even lunch. But finding a tasty sugar-free version isn’t so easy. After tasting some brands that tasted like chalk, and a few that refused to mix up even when I pushed the blender to its maximum speed (terrorizing the puppy), I discovered Designer Whey. 

At just 100 calories per serving with 18 grams of protein, I love the French Vanilla flavor (click for details). Use it plain for breakfast, or add fresh or frozen fruit such as blueberries to jazz it up. For a richer flavor, use unsweetened almond milk such as Silk Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk.

Do you cheer for chocolate? Then go for Designer Whey Double Chocolate flavor. Also just 100 calories with 18 grams of protein, the rich chocolate bliss will satisfy your yearnings while whittling your waistline.

And for something different, get ready to be seduced by strawberry. Designer Whey Luscious Strawberry has the same number of calories and grams of protein: Try blenderizing with frozen strawberries for a figure-flattering dessert.

Are you awed by almonds? Then allow yourself to indulge with Designer Whey Vanilla Almond flavor. Blend with almond milk for an almond-worthy experience.

For those who are always rushing and can’t even spare time to take out the blender, go for the new and delicious Designer Whey Protein Bar, Triple Chocolate Crunch bars. Nom Nom Nom.

Britney Spears’ trainer Tony Martinez: Exclusive interview

“Britney wanted to work on her core, toning up as well as achieving the highest athlete workout performance level possible,” Tony recalls of their initial meeting to establish her goals. He uses a “work out smarter, not harder” philosophy to make the most of Britney’s limited time. And making it fun plays a key role in keeping his client focused on results, which he calls his “trickeration” method.”

Vinegar may help with weight loss, say researchers

Can vinegar help with weight loss? Yes, according to some studies. For example, one study revealed that those who sprinkled bread with the vinegar felt full longer. Another indicated that mixing apple cider vinegar with water and drinking the mixture can help. 

Other researchers recommend balsamic vinegar, such as MiaBella Balsamic Vinegar, for reducing your blood pressure and cholesterol while helping with weight loss.

  • Arizona State University researchers determined that balsamic vinegar consumption can lower systolic blood pressure (the larger or first number in your blood pressure reading) by as much as 20 points.

What to know if you want to try either: Use pure vinegar rather than a salad dressing containing vinegar, which can contain sugar. With apple cider vinegar, go organic for purity, such as Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Organic Raw.

Diet Rehab: 28 Days to Finally Stop Craving the Foods That Make You Fat

Oh junk food, how we love you. We consume you in the form of PopTarts for breakfast, gobble doughnuts in the mid-morning and crunch on crackers or chew on chocolate chip cookies the rest of the day. If you feel that your love affair with junk food has turned sour, Dr. Mike Dow has the solution in his book “Diet Rehab: 28 Days to Finally Stop Craving the Foods That Make You Fat.”

Dr. Dow discusses how the fat and sugar in junk food can be just as addictive as cocaine. These foods change your brain’s chemistry. And quitting can be challenging.

In this book, Dr. Dow explains how to use his 28-day program to break free of your addiction without the withdrawal pains that sometimes accompany quitting foods like sugar overnight. His advice echoes that of fitness guru Tony Horton: Read my interview with Tony about why he recommends a sugar-free diet by clicking here.

Meditation can help with weight loss, depression and fear: Dan Harris explains

What can you do if your attempts to lose weight are overpowered by emotions such as anxiety, anger, fear or loneliness? What if food seems to provide your only path to happiness? Meditate, says ABC News Anchor Dan Harris in his bestseller: “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story” (click for details).

In an exclusive interview for the Examiner, Dan revealed how he found success but,initially, not happiness in the demanding, competitive world of TV news. But it was a long and winding road which began with a nationally televised panic attack. That episode revealed that Dan’s biggest challenge was what he described as “the voice in my head.” We asked him to elaborate., 

“When I talk about the voice in the head I am not talking about schizophrenia, or “hearing voices.” I’m talking about the inner narrator, the ceaseless mental yakking that is the central feature of most of our lives. The voice has us constantly casting forward into the future or remembering the past instead of focusing on what’s happening right now,” he explained.

“It spends enormous amounts of time judging, wanting, or rejecting stuff. It compels us to eat when we’re not hungry, lose our tempers when it’s strategically unwise, and derive our self-worth from compulsive comparisons to other people. Yes, the voice is capable of generosity, humor, and insight – but too often it’s negative, repetitive, and self-referential,” he adds.

And although you might assume that some people blithely go around without the self-talk, Dan feels that “we all deal with it; it’s just that some of us are so entranced by the nonstop conversation we’re having with ourselves that we don’t even know it’s going on,” he says. He feels that describes his own situation before he discovered meditation.

“And when you’re unaware of the voice, it can yank you around,” adds Dan, referencing his former use of drugs and nationally-televised panic attack.

Although Dan’s a believer in the benefits of meditation, he doesn’t feel it constitutes a “miracle cure” or magical solution for addictions, whether to drugs, alcohol, food or nicotine. However, he does advocate using meditation as a tool.

“Clearly, given the fact that I named my book 10% Happier, I am not a believer in miracle cures. I don’t think meditation is going to magically erase your addiction(s). That said, I firmly believe it should be added to our arsenal,” Dan declares.

“For too long, we’ve written off meditation as mystical nonsense employed only by hippies and robed gurus. This is largely a result of the fact that too many of meditation’s most prominent proponents speak as if they have a perpetual pan flute accompaniment,” he notes.

Dan cites numerous scientific studies that indicate “meditation can have a vast array of physical and psychological benefits, including mitigating the effects of addiction. For example, a friend of mine, a brilliant neuroscientist named Dr. Jud Brewer, has used meditation to help people quit smoking. How exactly does sitting with your eyes closed help? Meditation gives you a different relationship with the voice in your head – so that when you feel the urge to eat, smoke, drink, or use cocaine, you might take it less seriously and not blindly act on it. It puts an extremely helpful buffer between stimulus and response.”

We live in a world where multi-tasking is applauded. People who are constantly busy are viewed as achievers. What role can meditation play in terms of providing peace and happiness?

Dan calls multi-tasking “a huge lie we tell ourselves. As a friend of mine – Janice Marturano, a former corporate exec who is now a mindfulness teacher – once explained to me, multitasking is a computer-derived term, but we humans only have one processor. We simply cannot focus on more than one thing at a time. So “multitasking” is essentially shorthand for “doing many things poorly.” To be clear, I’m not a fundamentalist on this score. Sometimes, in our busy lives, we have to do (or attempt to do) many things at once. Just the other day, I caught myself walking down the hall, with a glass of water hanging out of my mouth, while I furiously typed on my Blackberry. (For the record, I also have an iPhone. Belts and suspenders.)”

The other common excuse for not even trying meditation: I can’t sit still long enough.

“It won’t surprise you to hear that I get this comment a lot. I refer to it as the “fallacy of uniqueness” argument. People say to me, “You don’t understand, my mind is too busy, I could never meditate.” The good news and the bad news here is: you’re not special. Welcome to the human condition,” asserts Dan.

“Meditation is hard. So is going to the gym – if you’re not cheating. Meditating is exercise for your brain. If you’re struggling, you’re probably doing it right,” he says. (And by the way, if you’re not struggling, Dan says you’re either enlightened – or not actually meditating.)

In “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story,” Dan explains how you can experience meditation for yourself, offering resources and tutorials. It’s deceptively simple – and wonderfully powerful. It’s a very personal story, from surviving near-catastrophe to adopting ASPCA cats (and yes, Dan remains a rescue cat advocate and adopter).

And beyond telling his own journey and unveiling how to incorporate the benefits of meditation in your own life, Dan also offers an exploration of the role that competition plays in our nation. His book illuminates the way in which insecurity can feel like security for those who feel it helps them push themselves, while “envy” is often translated into motivation.

“In my view, competition absolutely is a necessary tool for success. But competition is not, as many of us assume, incompatible with compassion. In fact, studies show that people who are compassionate are happier, healthier – and more successful. It’s a major strategic advantage to have people liking and trusting you. It’s also very useful, in heated situations, to be able to take other people’s perspectives,” Dan reflects.

“That is not to say that we don’t sometimes have to try to beat people at things (scoring a client, winning a promotion, getting assigned to competitive story in my newsroom), or to argue our case to the detriment of others. But I’ve found that it’s helpful – both strategically and emotionally – not to go through this process while blinded by hate,” he says.

And thus, in the end, Dan’s journey is a story of love as well as happiness. You’ll discover how to feel “sympathetic joy” rather than envy, for example, and learn how to evaluate the difference between obsession and useful focus. Our take on it: We’re calling this the best book of 2014 for its humor, wit, warmth and wisdom. You can learn more about 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story” by clicking here.