Birth, Death and Dieting

I found out yesterday that my oldest dog, Charlie, might have cancer.  I love that dog.  I am pretty devastated.  However, I will not stray from my quest for physical fitness and staying thin.  I still got up and went to Pilates today.  Letting myself go will not make him healthy and I still have two other dogs who need a healthy mom.  I still have a husband who loves me and we will get through this together.

Today’s food will be the same as usual and I will stay on track.  It was my birthday on Thursday and I still ate appropriately.  I had a FEW bites of my husband’s chocolate gelato, but I stuck to my usual low-carb foods for the day.  Tonight, friends are taking me out to an Indian restaurant and I will only eat 4 ounces of Chicken Tikka and some of the Cauliflower of the Gobi Gobi.  NO naan bread, etc.

I will not allow myself to fall into the pit of depression or birthday eating, where you screw up months and years of hard work.  Carbs will NOT make me feel better in the long run.  I will only feel worse because–“Once over the lips, a lifetime on the hips.”


Some researchers maintain that reducing your carb intake can impact your brain’s serotonin levels, putting you at risk for depression and mood imbalance. Therefore, it is important to eat protein every 3-4 hours, get between 50 to 100g of carbs a day and to exercise to increase serotonin levels.  That is why I made sure I made it to Pilates today.  I will try to get on the elliptical later too.  And I am taking my vitamins.  B Vitamins are really important in times of stress!  I will also take L-Theanine 200mg, which is the most magic remedy for any kind of stress out there and it is a natural protein with no side effects.

So, if you are down–go for a walk, do something.  Not this kind of exercise…..



Here is my Charlie in better times. He loves going to the park (The bench at the park pictured behind him.  I am sure he peed on it!)


10 Tricks To Keep Losing Weight

1.  Portion Control:  You have to weigh and measure your food.  You can find visual aids to help you along until you get used to size.  But, if you are supposed to eat 4 ounces of meat per protein meal out of 6 meals a day, and you are eating more or even less than that…you will be messing up your diet.  So, get a scale and learn.  Use measuring cups and use visual aids, if needed.

2.  Learn about size through visual aids:  Here is a website to show you the portions compared to everyday items.

chicken3.  Read Food Nutrition Labels:  The labels tell the story.  It will tell you the AMOUNT of portions in your bottle or container and how many carbs and proteins are in them.  Go for higher protein and lower carbs.  Remember that between 50 and 100g of carbs a day are better for a diet.  And 1g of protein isn’t even worth eating or drinking the item.

4.  Look at the nutritional Information of the Food at Restaurants:  Same goes here for knowing what you are eating per PORTION.

5.  Trick Your Eyes:  Use Smaller Plates:  You will feel that you are eating more if you use smaller plates for your measured PORTIONED food.

6.  Avoid Buffets:  It is too easy to go back for seconds, thirds, etc. and it is hard to say no to all of those carby, sweet things.

7.  Doggy Bag It:  I always break my food down when I am out…and I put the portion that is beyond my eating portion in a doggy bag and put it aside.  Less likely to keep eating and ruin my diet.

8.  Don’t Supersize Food:  Saving money?  Not losing weight.  It isn’t worth it.

9.  Write Meals Down:  Keeping track of what you eat helps you keep your carb intake and food intake under control.

10.  Watch What You Drink:  If you drink, do not use sugar and don’t drink juice, laden in sugar and carbs.  Drink water, coffee, tea or flavored water with sugar substitute.  And watch alcohol.  Lots of carbs and sugar.  The least offensive–vodka or gin, but there are still carbs and the alcohol will take up a lot of energy processing in your body and you will not burn as many calories that day.  It really is not worth it.





Low Carb Taco Bell-esq Crunchastic Supreme

Another Mexican-style food that tastes great and can be made at home.

Low Carb Crunchastic Supreme like at Taco Bell.  This is a meal that ends up being less than 10g net carbs and tastes great.


This is a low-cal version of a Taco Bell favorite at home. Roll up your sleeves, chica, and get busy!

1 large low carb tortilla, (just picked some up from Trader Joes at 4 net carbs each)
3 baked corn tortilla chips (take away a lot of carbs if you just skip this part)
1/4 cup drained 98% fat-free chunk white chicken breast (previously packed in water)
1/4 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded lettuce
One-third plum tomato, diced
1 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
1/2 tsp. dry taco seasoning mix
2 dashes cayenne pepper, or more to taste

Using a fork or knife, break up the chicken so there are no large chunks. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine chicken, cheese, taco seasoning mix, and cayenne pepper, and mix well. If you like, season to taste with extra cayenne pepper. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese begins to melt. Set aside.

Warm the tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds (making it easier to fold without ripping), and then lay it out on a flat surface. Place the chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla. Flatten the mixture into a circle, keeping it about 2 inches from the outer edge of the tortilla. Next, layer the tortilla chips on top of the chicken mixture. Evenly top with sour cream, lettuce, and tomato.

FOLDING INSTRUCTIONS: Starting at the bottom of the tortilla, fold edge up a few inches to the tortilla’s center. Then, going around the edge of the tortilla, repeatedly fold, overlapping sections to meet in the center for a total of about six folds, until filling is completely enclosed. (Trust us, it’s easy!)

Bring a pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat, and carefully place the folded tortilla in the center of the pan with the folded side down. Heat for 4 – 5 minutes, until the tortilla is browned. Carefully flip it with a spatula, and heat for another 30 – 60 seconds. Now chew it up!


Serving Size: 1 Crunchtastic Supreme (entire recipe)
without the chips, about 5-6 carbs for the entire tortilla filled wrap

Trader Joe’s Sonoma Low-carb tortillas.


This is an example of low-carb tortillas.  this one is at Costco and Markets.





The Skinny on Mexican Food

Recently. I read that almost 33 percent of Mexicans are obese, making it the most obese nation in the world,

We have a huge population of people in the U.S., who are also obese and eat Mexican food. So, is Mexican food fattening?

The issue is that due to high prices in Mexico, the regular population cannot afford the vegetables and fruit, so they stick to the American Junk food items (hamburgers, soda, pizza) and the cheaper Mexican meals.

Mexicans wryly call their foods of choice, “Vitamin T”–the tacos, tamales and tostadas. These foods anchor their diet and are much of the problem. Once reserved for special occasions, the carbohydrate and lard-loaded dishes now get gobbled daily.

That wasn’t so much a problem in past generations, when most Mexicans lived on the land, worked hard physical labor and couldn’t afford a daily feast. These heavy carved foods are not meant for daily consumption. And the more sedentary lifestyles, combined with the ability to eat as if it were a party most days, has helped lead to the country’s girth growth.

There are plenty of healthier choices like broth-based soups, fresh fish, salads, vegetables and fruits. But those tend to be more expensive for the Mexican poor and working class. And the heavier fare is just so good and addictive. Carbs are addictive.

People who eat Mexican food this way on America are also facing a weight challenge.

I went to a Mexican restaurant recently, after being afraid to eat Mexican food and I ordered a grilled chicken salad. It was delicious. Lettuce, guacamole, cheese, tomato and seasoned grilled chicken–served with a guacamole dressing. I am pretty site my meals was under 10g of carbs, compared to a burrito with the heavily-carbed rice and beans, at 50 or 60g of carbs.

My salad was tasty, filling and I will stay thin with it. I don’t want to go over 100g of carbs a day. This is the right way to eat and even the old school thinner Mexican way to eat. We need to learn that we can’t eat party style every day. We need to eat right and only eat Vitamin T on special occasions.


Fall Into Dieting and Be Less Sick Too!

Fall or Autumn is now here.  Time to worry about colds and flu!  However, the things that you need to do to boost your immune system are very similar to the things that you need to do to lose and maintain weight.  If you start to do these things now, you will have a double benefit.


Did you know that if you are eating a diet without simple sugars in it, you can boost your immune system?

  • Avoid sweets, desserts, white flour, refined grain products–all which turn into sugar quickly.  Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after you have ingested them.

Other things you should do to Boost Your Immune System:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially warmer fluids.Consuming adequate fluids supports all of your bodies’ functions including the immune system.
  •  Make soups and broths (from scratch with fresh vegetables is always best) and have them throughout the week.
  • Drink herbal teas. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times.
  • Avoid concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages, as the sugar content is harmful for the immune system. If you do drink juice, dilute it with 2/3 water! THIS ALSO WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
  • Try a daily saline flush. Along with staying hydrated, flushing your sinuses with mild salt water helps to keep mucous membranes moist which protects you from microbes. You can use a neti potor easy to carry plastic bottles that come with saline packets to take with you when traveling or even at the office! Be sure to rinse them well with warm water and soap and air dry between uses. Studies have also indicated that flushing one to two times daily is appropriate and you should not go over this.
  • Have protein with each meal. Proteins are the building blocks of the body. This includes your immune and detoxification systems. Organic, clean, and lean animal protein as well as plant-based (legumes, nuts/seeds) proteins are important to get with each meal and snack. About 6 lean protein meals a day, but small portions (4 ounces of meat, on average–the palm of your hand).  THIS ALSO WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
  • Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices (oregano, turmeric) to your meals! Add these to your soups and vegetable dishes, as well as bean dips and sauces. Garlic and onions offer wide spectrum antimicrobial properties.  THIS WILL ALSO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
  • Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes. About 2 small servings a day, and you are better off avoiding the root vegetables due to the sugar content.  THIS WILL ALSO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
  • Get sufficient sleep! We all know sleep restores and heals the body. Without adequate sleep, optimal immune function is next to impossible! Get in a better rhythm and head to bed earlier on those dark winter nights. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Getting too little sleep also will hurt your metabolism.  If you get enough sleep, THIS WILL ALSO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.Get regular exercise. Mild to moderate exercise (for approximately 30-45 minutes) helps boost the immune system. Avoid overexertion such as training for endurance events when you are feeling run down. This will lower your immune defenses.  THIS WILL ALSO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.



Eating the Coconut Squares Is A NoNo!

A client of mine went to Trader Joes before coming into my office. Her friend came with her and had a bag of Trader Joe’s lightly sweetened coconut strips.


The friend offered me some, telling me that she had been eating them and that they are delicious. Apparently, she does not read my blog.

Here Are The Issues

1. A coconut is a fruit, a fruit high in carbs.
2. It is sweetened. Always go for unsweetened.
3. Fruits should be natural, no sugar added and eaten in measured amounts, knowing the carb amount.

I took the bag and looked. 1/4 a cup was a total of 24 grams of carbs. 6g of fiber is good, but only 2 grams of protein (you should be eating MORE protein, less sugar). It also had 16g of sugar, or approximately 4 sugar cubes per 1/4 a cup. And 1/4 a cup is teeny!

Guaranteed, that this lady had no knowledge or desire to know what she was eating. The only real concern was hunger and taste. “This tastes so good.”

I am going to guess that this lady either had no breakfast or ate a little carby food item before venturing out with her friend, causing her to have a sugar roller coaster affect, and a major sugar low and a need for something sweet (more of the hair of the dog that bit her). And what a shame too. She is getting over a major illness and should be focused on eating right, not eating sugary coconut strips.

Issue 4.

Just because Trader Joes or Whole Foods sells an item, it doesn’t mean that you should eat it, that it is good for you, or you will lose weight.

What To Eat When You Are Hungry

I have discussed substitute snacks many times. A snack between each meal and after dinner. They should all be protein based, low sugar. If not dairy products cheese, cottage cheese, etc) eggs, or meat. There is also low-sugar protein bars or protein drinks, low-sugar or carb Greek Yogurt, measured out nuts or peanut or almond butter. If you have a piece of fruit, eat a natural one, not dried and a small piece mixed with some form of protein, your body will feel full longer with protein, not sugary fruit alone.

Healthy Restaurants Can Still Make You Fat

I saw an article today about how Chipotle has good organic food and grass-fed meat.  However, if you still eat one of their burritos, you are getting over 1,000 calories in one meal.  If you get a burrito there and have everything in it…the beans, the rice, the guacamole, etc.–it comes out to be over 100g of carbs.  That is the most you should have in a whole day if you want to lose weight.


I have written about this before, but I get double salad in a bowl, and I choose to not have the rice and beans (adding up to about 40g of carbs, all by themselves) and I have the cheese, the meat, sour cream, salsa, etc.  You have to pay attention to what you are ordering and what you are eating.

Here is the Chipotle calculator here, but I would think that the numbers are pretty much the same wherever you go.

I had a client who wanted to lose weight, who brought a giant chicken burrito into my office and she ate the whole thing.  This is why she has not lost weight.  It was two to three times the portion that she should have had.  She should have split it with her daughter, at the minimum!  It was there, so she ate it. But, if she keeps this up, not only will she never lose weight (will gain), but her daughter will eventually have weight issues too if she emulates mother’s overeating style.

Restaurants make big food.  You should always break down your food, put half in a box and then it is out of sight–out of mind.  Then, just eat the half in front of you.  It really is the right size portion that you should have had in the first place–unless you are a very active long-distance runner, an athletic man, etc.  But, most people are sedentary and not that large.  There is NO way they should be eating those adult-sized portions.  It is ok to order from the children’s menu, which actually is the appropriate size portion for the average eater.

AND THEN THERE ARE THE CHIPS:  Each chip is about 2g of carbs.  If you eat the bag of chips that comes with it, it is an extra 63g of carbs–empty calories!

And don’t forget, you can make your own burrito by using low-carb tortillas.  Here is the brand that Costco and other stores has, and it is very low carb.  Tastes good too.


Choose wisely!!  Don’t suffer and miss out on foods, just realize the restaurants are giving  you high calorie crap and you have to be smart and pay attention to what you are eating.

Sugar-Free and Tasty Granola

A lot of people complain that if they have oatmeal or Greek yogurt, that it is a bit too bland for them. I tell them that they can put one of their two daily small servings of fruit in their yogurt or oatmeal. You can also use nuts, bit read the nutrition label for the carb count per serving size. But, some people want granola. Granola is a no-no as a healthy diet or maintenance food.

Many people think that granola is a health food. Well, with all of the sugar in regular granola, you will wind up gaining weight with it. But, there is a recipe for sugar-free granola. This sugar-free recipe has 4g of net carbs per half a cup. granola has about 32g of carbs, 6g of fiber (26g net carbs) and 5g of protein, and 12g of sugar–which is like eating three sugar cubes.

So, I decided to try a sugar-free type of granola. It wasn’t hard to make.

This recipe has no fruit. I hate fruit in my nuts. But, if you want to throw in a few raisins, go ahead, but keep it to a minimum. Raisins are high in sugar and carbs. A half a cup of raisins is 66g of carbs and 48g of sugar or 12 sugar cubes. Seriously! Just half a cup of them! Dried fruit is a weight gainer!

So, feel free to substitute any nuts or seeds you like in this recipe, but the flax meal is essential, and the coconut is helpful. These will absorb the liquids and this is what will form the clumps — otherwise you just have toasted nuts and seeds with some flavoring.

Yield: 12 Servings


  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free maple-flavored syrup



1. Heat oven to 300 F. Cover baking sheet with sides with a silicon mat or greased parchment paper.

2. Roughly chop the nuts.

You can do this in a food processor, but if you do, start with the harder nuts — the almonds in this recipe or filberts (hazelnuts) if you use them. \
3. Melt the butter or coconut oil – you can microwave it in the bowl you’re going to use for mixing (although you can mix right on the baking sheet), if you wish.

4. Mix the syrup and coconut oil or butter together.

5. Combine the nuts, coconut, seeds, and salt. If you’re doing this on the baking sheet, add the water first and mix (hands work best), and then the oil/butter and syrup mixture. Otherwise, just combine it all in a bowl and turn out onto the baking sheet. Press into an even layer.

6. At this point, it’s good to taste it. It’s going to end up tasting a little less sweet, so judge your own desire for sweetness and add more if you want.

7. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Twice during the baking, stir the mixture with a large spoon and press back down. After the second time, don’t move it around any more. Bake until fragrant and lightly browned on the surface.

8. Let cool completely in pan. It will crisp as it cools. Store in sealed container. Serve with yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. If you like, add dehyrdrated blueberries or strawberries.

Make about 6 cups — 12 servings. (half a cup servings)

Nutritional Information: Each serving has 4 grams net carbs plus 6 grams fiber (10 grams total carbohydrate), 7 grams protein, and 292 calories.

Here are the pictures that I took of the process from the mix, to on the sheets, cooked and put in the jar.