Celebrity trainer designs ‘8-Week Total Body Makeover’: No sugar, no gluten

The trainer to celebrities such as Anne Hathaway and Naomi Watts is revealing her secrets to slimming down and shaping up. Simone de la Rue has helped those women as well as models, actors, fashion designers and everyday women get their best bodies, as reported in the Examiner. Now she’s sharing her secrets in a new book: “Body By Simone: The 8-Week Total Body Makeover Plan” (click for details).

In an interview, Simone told us that working out with your friends provides “a positive way to take care of yourself and share that joy with your friends.”

When it comes to diet, she advocates clean eating.

By limiting your sugar and gluten intake and your alcohol and dairy intake you are cleansing your system and allowing your body to digest properly. By eating whole, organic real foods rather than processed foods you can detox your system, and you’ll look and feel better.

In addition to the fitness and clean eating program, Simone’s book includes a two-week kick-start cleanse, which offers unique benefits for health and weight loss.

“It really is a detox to clean out your gut and detoxify your body, by eliminating certain foods that your body holds onto or is even allergic to,” explained Simone.

“The first few days are difficult as you are coming off caffeine and sugar, but at the end of the 2 weeks you feel incredible. Your skin glows, your eyes shine, your hair and nails grow, and you sleep better.  You have more energy and you feel lighter and alive!” she said enthusiastically.

We asked Simone to share her favorite recipe from “Body By Simone: The 8-Week Total Body Makeover Plan” (click for more information).


1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1 garlic clove, minced

6 oz grass-fed beefsteak, sliced

1 c green peppers, sliced

1 c red bell peppers, sliced

½ c onion, sliced

2 gluten-free tortillas, small

¼ c low-sodium salsa

¼ c shredded nondairy cheese

¼ c avocado, chopped

Sauté olive oil, cumin, and garlic for one minute. Add the beef and cook through. Add peppers and onion and cook until vegetables are soft. Spoon into gluten-free tortillas and top with salsa, avocado, and cheese. Makes 2 servings.


‘Primal Body’ transforms metabolism with gluten-free high fat ketogenic diet

Nora Gedgaudas believes that Paleo diets can be improved, as described in “Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life” (click for details).

A key part of her Primal plan: Going gluten-free.

“According to extremely knowledgeable research scientists such as Dr. Alexio Fasano, gluten is a substance no human being can actually even digest,” says Nora, who is a health researcher.

And with the wide range of adverse effects of gluten consumption (more than 200), gluten should not be considered a food, she contends. Instead, Nora believes that it is “a bona fide contaminant.”

Part of the problem with gluten stems from the increasing intolerance that we have when it comes foods containing gluten. As a result, gluten can damage both the body and the brain, says Nora.

Agreeing with her: Neurologist David Perlmutter, who says grain consumption is linked to dementia: Learn more by clicking here.

And, she predicts, “far from being a passing fad, gluten-related issues are only likely to grow with time.”

To succeed at weight loss, Nora recommends:

  • Cultivating a fat/ketone-based metabolism, as opposed to a glucose-based/dependent one. “It’s very difficult to get good at burning fat when you’re busy burning sugar all the time.”
  • Following a Paleo-style diet: Low in sugar, reduced in starchy carbohydrates, moderate protein and sufficient dietary fat.
  • Eliminate grains and legumes.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Enjoy greens and other non-starchy vegetables.

As for concerns that your body “needs” carbohydrates like bread and pasta, Nora emphasizes that extensive studies reveal that our bodies require protein and fat to function. Those cookies, cereals and potato chips? Not on the list of established human dietary requirements.

Bottom line: For health and weight loss, says Nora, learn to adapt what she calls the “Paleolithic principles” to your own modern lifestyle. That plan can help you overcome “the health challenges we are faced with today,” and is supported by “newer science-based evidence coming from human longevity research.”

Worth noting: An increasing number of Paleo diet experts are providing variations on this approach, like Nora. Get some different perspectives on how and why the Paleo diet works for weight loss and health by clicking here.

Robb Wolf: What to eat, what to avoid and how to win at Paleo diets

Are you considering following a Paleo diet? Curious about caveman cuisine? Pondering the possible benefits? We’ve got the answers to all those questions (and more) from Mr. Paleo himself, aka Robb Wolf, author of “The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet.”

Robb takes pride in the success of the Paleo diet. But he’s concerned that the caveman approach is often misunderstood by dietitians. Moreover, he points out that the fact it is so successful reflects the fact that the traditional “eat grains” food pyramid advice deserves a failing grade when it comes to health and weight loss.

In an interview originally published in the Examiner, Robb told me:

This ‘success’ is annoying as hell to me because it represents nearly 200 years of failure on the part of medicine and dietetics. The Paleo template is just Evolutionary Biology applied to food and medicine.

My research associates have published papers demonstrating not only that a Paleo diet provides all the nutrients for health, but that the Paleo diet is, calorie for calorie, the most nutritious way one can eat.

Robb recommends that for those who believe the “calories in, calories out” theory, they consider this: “A cupcake is apparently equal to an apple. Can that possibly be correct? I certainly do not think so,” he states.

When considering the Standard American Diet (SAD), Robb is particularly dismayed.

“We have bacteria all throughout our digestive tract, but for health and wellness it appears we should have certain amounts and types in specific places,” he added. The SAD approach,  which contains high levels of refined carbohydrates such as white flour bread and pasta, feeds bacteria and results in “small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.”

The latest research links that bacterial overgrowth “to a remarkable number of health issues, from cardiovascular disease to autoimmunity,” notes Robb. And while fiber has been touted for health for decades, “it has only been recently that we have understood the mechanism to be that of feeding our beneficial gut flora.”

Learn more, including Robb’s views on low carb ketogenic diets, by clicking here.

In addition, in a separate article originally published in the Examiner, Robb revealed the basics of Paleo diets and the six foods to avoid:


Best low carb and Paleo diet books for cancer, epilepsy, and MS

Paleo and high fat low carb ketogenic diets can achieve more than weight loss. They can supplement and even, in some cases, replace medication for many diseases. And in some cases, they can transform lives.

Learn more by reading:

A variety of books have been written to provide research and instruction for parents, physicians and patients on this topic. If you have additional suggestions, please let me know.

Cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis diet books:

After losing 55 pounds and 8 inches, Rhian shares low-carb high fat diet weight loss success

Meet Rhian. For ten years, she dieted and struggled with her weight.

Rhian tried different diets, such as Weight Watchers.

“I would be successful for a while and lose weight but as soon as I would stop sticking to their plan, the weight would go back on and sometimes more. I never really understood as to why as I thought I ate quite healthy – eating pasta, jacket potatoes, vegetables and fruit with a variety of low fat products but assumed my own lack of will power had stopped me from keeping the weight off,” she recalls.

At her highest weight five years ago, Rhian weighed 17 stone 10 pounds (239 pounds). And then she learned about Smash the Fat’s boot camp.

Created by leading personal trainer Sam Feltham, Smash the Fat Fitness & Fat Loss Boot Camps combine carefully designed workouts with meticulously crafted low-carb diets. Serving as a guiding light are the Smash The Fat Ambassadors team, which includes such noted experts as Prof. Tim Noakes. (Read my detailed interview with him about low carb diets by clicking here.)

For Rhian, the reassurance on the Smash the Fat Web site that there is “no shouting” and “no sit-ups” made her decide to try.

And what she learned was a wake-up call when it comes to diet. Rhian credits Sam for his encouragement and nutritional education.

“It massively reeducated me as to what I should be eating for my own body. I always though jacket potatoes and pasta were healthy which was pretty much 90% of my meals but they were just helping me stay fat as I wasn’t burning them off for the amount I was eating. Sam suggested I should eat low carb, high fat foods and the more I understood about this, the more it made sense for me,” she said.

Rhian learned to stop eating “low-fat everything.” Once she cut out carbohydrates and ate more healthy fats, “I noticed the difference not just on the scales but how I felt. I had so much more energy” now that she was burning fat.

And foods that she had feared became the way to fuel her weight loss.

“I could now eat full fat yoghurt, butter, meat with skin on which were foods I had always stayed away from. When I started boot camp in March 2013 I weighed 103kg and now I weigh 78kg. I have lost 25kg (55lbs) and 8 inches off my hips and waist, which is how I know I am really burning the fat! I have won two competitions at boot camp and I am still continuing to smash the fat!”

Rhian views this as a lifestyle change rather than a temporary diet.

“I have made these changes for life and I understand what my body needs so much more,” she said.

Her favorite foods now include eggs, salads, steak with green vegetables and burgers minus the bun topped with bacon and cheese.

The biggest change: Cutting sugar. “It’s my biggest downfall as the more I have the more I want. This is one of the reasons I have cut out fizzy diet drinks as they were making me crave sugar all the time,” she wisely notes.

Sam recommends reading:

And you can get all the details about the bootcamp and Sam’s views on low carb diets at his Web site.

Expert reveals weight loss benefits of high fat low carb ketogenic diet

For years, saturated fats such as coconut oil were relegated to the list of “bad foods.” We avoided it like the plague, convinced by so-called experts that it would lead to problems ranging from high cholesterol to heart disease. Recent studies, however, show that it offers benefits ranging from healthy levels of cholesterol to weight loss. At the same time, more experts are recommending low carb high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diets for similar benefits. We asked one of the world’s leading nutrition experts, Jonny Bowden, to clarify. He’s the author of “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will” (click for details) and “Living Low Carb: Controlled-Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss.”

With regard to weight loss, most of the fat in coconut oil is MCT (medium chain triglycerides), “which the body prefers to use for energy rather than storage,” he added. As a result of these benefits, Jonny says that the organic varieties available now qualify coconut oil as a superfood, earning a star in his book “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why.”

Studies support his views. A Harvard study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that “greater saturated fat intake is associated with less progression of coronary atherosclerosis, whereas carbohydrate intake is associated with a greater progression.” Moreover, Jonny cites “the famous Framingham, Mass., heart study, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol.” Researchers found that “people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, [and] ate the most calories weighed the least and were the most physically active.”

However, Jonny does emphasize that choosing the right brand is important. Look for “wonderful, organic coconut oil (like Barlean’s for example),” he adds.

If you’re not sure about how to cook with coconut products, Jonny’s authored several cookbooks to help: “The 150 Healthiest 15-Minute Recipes on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about How to Make the Most Deliciously Nutritious Meals at Home in Just Minutes a Day” (click for details) and “The Healthiest Meals on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What Meals to Eat and Why.” The latter book also includes details on how to cook with coconut oil, shop for it and use it in other ways.

We asked Jonny for his views on low carb high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diets. Here are some key points from Jonny:

Jonny notes that some people “try consciously to stay in nutritional ketosis NOT because they want to lose weight, but because they believe, not without reason, that it has health benefits way beyond fat loss. Famous example: the great neurologist and NY Times best-selling author of Grain Brain, David Perlmutter, who, incidentally, is as lean as a pole.” (Note: For more information about “Grain Brain” and renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, click here.)

The problem that many LCHF dieters experience: Getting into ketosis. “If you’re trying to get into ketosis for whatever reason, the level of carb consumption you’ll need to go to is going to be variable,” cautions Jonny. “Some folks have to go ridiculously low—10 grams a day (a couple handfuls of lettuce). Some can go as high as 50 grams a day. Almost no one will be in ketosis as 100 grams a day, so the range is somewhere in there.”

A new trend in the diet world attempts to stay true to the old philosophy of demonizing fat while following the new rule “low carb is good.” Can you really go on a low fat AND low carb diet? We asked Jonny, who bluntly shared his expert opinion:

I think low carb low fat diets are idiotic. I see absolutely nothing beneficial about avoiding fat. It’s a silly idea which is way past its expiration date, kept alive by ridiculous, antiquated organizations like the American Dietetic Association and their official Stepford-wife “spokespeople”. In addition, for diets to be both low in carbs and low in fat, they would have to be very high in protein (or you’d starve). That’s OK for some people, but the smartest advocates of high protein diets (Mike and Mary Dan Eades, for example) would scoff at the idea of a low fat version of a high protein diet.

Note: If you’re not familiar with the Eades and their approach to low carb diets, we highly recommend “Protein Power: The High-Protein/Low Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health-in Just Weeks.” The book proved to be a literal life saver for a friend who suffered a severe stroke in his 30s. After being diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and a roster of other problems, he was told to lose weight and used this book as his guide. Result: He reversed all his problems, lose the excess pounds and stays true to the principles of the Eades’ diet plan.

We also asked Jonny for his views on the percentage prescriptions that some emphasize (e.g. 20 percent carbohydrates, 60 percent fats, 20 percent protein).

“I’m not a huge fan of prescribing percentages for two main reasons: One, no one does them. Most American’s can’t calculate the tip on a 10 dollar restaurant bill. You think they can calculate percent of calories from protein? Good luck with that,” he commented.

And Jonny adds an additional caveat when it comes to percentages. “Two: Protein requirements don’t come in percentages. They come in absolute amounts. Example: You’re a 100 pound woman on a 1200 calorie diet and you’re eating 10% protein. That means you’re getting 120 calories from protein, or 30 grams a day. That’s ridiculously insufficient. Compare this to a 10% protein diet for a 240 pound bodybuilder eating 5000 calories a day. HIS 10% is going to be 500 calories from protein, or 125 grams. Percentage really doesn’t tell us much.”

However, for those insisting that they can only calculate their meals based on the percentage philosophy of dieting, Jonny offers up these thoughts:  “I’d go with 40/30/30 (40% fat 30 protein 30 carbs). For weight loss, many resistant people will need to lower the carbs even further. For people who are NOT carb sensitive (i.e. insulin resistant, weight loss resistant) they might even use the 40/30/30 template of my friend Barry Sears, which is 40% CARBS, 30% protein and 30% fat.) For general , dumbing down purposes, I’d say a third of your plate on each macronutrient with a glass of red wine once a day and a square of dark chocolate for dessert.”

And as for calorie-counting? “Calorie counting is like the training wheels on a bike. Useful for learning purposes, useless as a way of living on a regular basis,” opines Jonny.

One issue that has become increasingly controversial: Do low carb high fat (LCHF) dieters need to stay in ketosis in order to reap the benefits? Or is it sufficient to cut sugar and starch while boosting healthy fats and eating protein and veggies? Jonny offers the most insightful response that we’ve found: “In my opinion, the obsession with staying in or being in ketosis is a lot of energy spent on something that may not be as important as these folks think,” he says.

I DO believe you can get the enormous benefits of sugar/starch reduction diet without hitting ketosis, and i also believe that a LOT of people have trouble getting into it. I ate less than 50 grams a day for a week and couldn’t budge the needle, and I was using a blood test. (Of course, you could say that had i gone to 10 grams– 3 small handfuls of lettuce– I would have gotten there. Probably. The point is whether it’s worth it.)

And that’s the million dollar diet question: Is it worth eating entire sticks of butter washed down with coconut cream? “Apparently, to the advocates of living ketogenically, it seems to be. For the average person? I don’t know. and I’m not sure anyone else does either,” says Jonny candidly.

But here’s the catch 22: “There are no “studies” of people “flirting” with ketosis vs “in” ketosis where we could actually see what happens in real life. We have good info to base guesses on but they are just guesses.”

We also asked him to comment on weight loss supplements. And despite Dr. Mehmet Oz’s “miracle weight loss supplement” discoveries that average one a week, Jonny takes a pragmatic view: “Number one with bullet: Fiber.”

Although some exist with what he terms “decent research” backing their use that “may work synergistically,” Jonny feels that “overall, any of the popular widely promoted weight loss supplements or “fat burners” (esp the ones seen on infomercials) are a complete waste of time and money.”

He notes that “some may have some limited value, or some value when used in combination AND in conjunction with a really smart lower carb diet. (My own New You in 22 program had a supplement designed with this in mind called Metabolic Fire, designed by one of the top supplement formulators in America and based on research. But even that won’t work if you don’t eat the right stuff.) Most people don’t use them in conjunction with the right diet, and the hype and claims way outstrip any real value.”

Want an example? Contemplate raspberry ketones, which Dr. Oz proclaimed to be a miracle “Fat-Burner in a Bottle.” As a result, sales soared, and manufacturers couldn’t keep them in stock. Jonny’s view? “Raspberry ketones? You’ve got to be kidding.”

Our experience: We received two complimentary bottles of raspberry ketone supplements to try. Great smell, pretty bottle, no impact after using one of the bottles precisely as directed. However, when we poured the other bottle into our stinky garbage disposal and ground it up, it proved to be a very effective holistic cleanser. Albeit expensive. Our verdict: Save your money on that miracle “money burner in a bottle” (er, we mean fat burner) and use fresh lemons to clean your disposal instead.

Atkins, Ketogenic, Dukan and South Beach: Low Carb Diets Compared

If you’ve decided to go on a diet and lose weight in 2014, it’s time to find the right approach. Researchers increasingly are discovering that low carb diets have significant advantages, including boosting your metabolism and helping you stay full longer. From Atkins to ketogenic to South Beach and beyond, get the skinny on different types. Plus: For an overall view of low carb diets and how to make them work for you, read “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable.”

Your options for low carb diets:

You go through four phases, with each allowing an increasing number of net carbs per day. It’s designed to burn fat faster while minimizing hunger pangs and carb cravings. The Atkins diet has recently been updated to include more fiber, and you can learn more by clicking here for “The New Atkins Made Easy: A Faster, Simpler Way to Shed Weight and Feel Great — Starting Today.”

However, you can also learn a lot about the science behind the plan and how to make it work for you in “New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great” (click for details). There’s also a cookbook: “The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook: 200 Simple and Delicious Low-Carb Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less (Touchstone Book).”

Ketogenic Diet:
Although it’s similar to Atkins, carbohydrates are more strictly restricted throughout the weight loss plan. It’s designed to cause your body to burn fat for fuel rather than use carbohydrates by putting your body into a state of ketosis.

There are several books that can help, including:

Dukan Diet:
Rated low on the list of “best diets” by U.S. News & World Report, the Dukan diet is heavy on protein, in particular the “all-you-can-eat, pure protein “Attack” phase.” Various phases add more foods until you achieve “Permanent Stabilization.”

On the plus size: Protein lovers will be in heaven, and the variations in cycles can help prevent boredom.  You can learn more by clicking here for “The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever.

South Beach Diet:
Earning praise from WebMD, the South Beach Diet emphasizes that weight loss and health require learning to select the right carbohydrates and fats, says Miami-based cardiologist Arthur Agatston, M.D.

He developed the plan initially to help his heart patients before turning into a fiber-rich, low carb diet to help reduce cravings and jump-start weight loss. In the first two weeks, you can lose eight to 13 pounds, says the author.

WebMD terms it “a healthy approach to eating that can help you shed pounds.”

There’s also a version of the South Beach Diet that emphasizes removing gluten from your menu. Learn more: