The Whole30 Diet Program 101

So what exactly is the Whole30 Diet Program? This is a 30-day weight loss program that is formulated to jumpstart your metabolism and essentially reset your system to a new way of eating.

Described in detail in the New York Times Bestselling Book – “It Starts With Food,” and followed by thousands on their website, that details the official Whole30 Diet Program, this grueling diet plan is not for the fait hearted, but does promise some incredible results.

There are some similarities to the Paleo diet, in the sense that it is low carb and high on protein, but there are some striking differences. Most notably is the level of restriction that is present in this 30-day program.

There are a large number of foods that are off-limits during this program and the reason for this exclusionary approach to dieting is to control your body’s weight loss while purging your system of modern-day processed and unhealthy food.

 What Is Excluded?

During this program, there are a number of foods that you are no longer able to eat. In addition to food restrictions, you are also not allowed to smoke tobacco or consume alcohol in any form, even in your cooking.

No added sugar is allowed, be it real or artificial

This includes honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, stevia, coconut sugar, Equal, Splenda, NutraSweet, and all those sugar alternatives that are on the market. No sugar really means no sugar.

No legumes

This includes all beans, peanuts, and peanut products like peanut butter. It also includes all forms of soy including soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and lecithin. They definitely cover their bases.

Don’t recreate baked goods or junk foods

using ingredients not banned by the program; that defeats the purpose of the Whole30 program. You’re trying to transform the way you eat and it’s only for 30 days. Remember a pancake is a pancake regardless of how you prepare it or the ingredients you use.

No Grains

This includes but is not limited to wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, and even those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. You can also forget about eating any bran, germ, or starch.

Dairy is strictly prohibited in all its forms

This includes goat and sheep milk based products, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, and sour cream. The sole exception to this rule is clarified butter or ghee.

No food containing carrageenan, MSG or sulfites is allowed

you are therefore encouraged to watch your labels when purchasing food.

In addition to these exclusions, there is one rather interesting rule that makes this program unique. For the duration of this program, you are not allowed to weigh or measure yourself at all.

You are encouraged to weigh yourself before you begin and once you complete the program, but you are not allowed to step on a scale while participating in this program. This is to keep your mind off your weight fluctuations and get you to focus on transforming your eating habits.

Exceptions To The Rules

 There are a few exceptions to the food restriction rules in the Whole30 Program. These exceptions are intended to ease a bit of the tension associated with these exclusionary diets.

Exceptions Include

 

  • Clarified Butter or Ghee is allowed
  • Fruit juice as a sweetener
  • Vinegar in most forms is allowed including those containing white balsamic apple cider, red wine, and rice. The sole exclusion is that vinegar that contains added sugar and malt vinegar
  • Salt is allowed even though most iodized table salts contain sugar

The Promises

The website of Whole30 promises that it will change your life, including how you think about food, your tastes, and even cravings. There are plenty of testimonials that attest to this fact and the people behind this program swear to these promises and live by this way of eating.

Many of the testimonials find people commenting on the fact that this is a permanent lifestyle change and not just another interim diet.

Of course, this is not a surprise since you are eating 100% real food as nature intended with none of the human fashioned extras we have become accustomed to.

You’re Responsibility

When it comes to the Whole30 Diet Program the burden of responsibility weighs rather heavily on you. It’s a tough program in the sense that you have to take a lot of personal responsibility for what you eat. There are some harsh restrictions during this 30-day period, but if you stick to with it, it promises incredible results.

 

The MIND Diet To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Could there actually be a diet that can prevent degenerative diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease?  There actually is and it’s called the MIND diet or the Mediterranean-DASH diet, which is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets.

The idea is that, when eating this kind of diet, you can protect the brain cells from dying and decrease the incidence of Alzheimer’s dementia.

The idea behind the MIND diet is that you eat from the following food groups: vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables, berries, nuts, whole grains, beans, poultry, fish, wine, and olive oil. The foods you stay strictly away from include butter, cheeses, stick margarine, red meat, fried food, fast foods, sweets, and pastries.

This diet was first developed in 2015 by a nutritional epidemiologist at the Rush University Medical Center, Martha Clare Morris. She worked with a team of researchers to follow the food eaten by 923 elderly people over the age of 65 years old.

They looked at these people’s diets for 4 ½ years and found that 144 of the people in the study developed Alzheimer’s disease.

Those participants who followed the MIND diet had a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Even those people who changed their diet moderately to approximate the MIND diet had a decrease in the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

They found that the risk for Alzheimer’s disease dropped by 35% in those people who moderately followed the diet and dropped by 53% in those who strictly adhered to the diet.

Other Studies

This wasn’t the only study to show that diet was related to brain performance. One study found that those who ate at least two helpings of vegetables per day, especially green leafy vegetables had better performance on mental tests.

Studies on animals showed that those animals who ate berries performed better on memory testing. Large studies on people showed that eating just one meal of fish per week decreased the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia.

The MIND diet stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. The researchers who developed the diet based it on the DASH diet, which is usually used in those with high blood pressure and the Mediterranean Diet, which is usually used to prevent heart disease.

The original paper outlining the diet published their research findings in the medical journal, Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

What the Mind Diet Looks Like

In the MIND Diet, you need to concentrate on eating these types of foods as part of a healthy diet:

  • At least one serving of vegetables per day
  • Green leafy vegetables, at least six servings a week
  • Nuts, especially tree nuts, like almonds and walnuts
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice and whole grain bread
  • Beans, such as kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans
  • Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries, which are high in antioxidants
  • Wine, particularly red wine, which is high in resveratrol
  • Olive oil, which can be used in cooking foods or as a dressing
  • Poultry, such as turkey or Chicken
  • Fish, especially those cold-water fish that are high in omega 3 fatty acids.

The foods you stay away from including the following:

  • Red meat, such as comes from beef and perhaps from pork
  • Cheese, of which there are many kinds to avoid
  • Butter and stick margarine, which are high in saturated fats
  • Fast food or fried food, which is high in saturated fats
  • Pastries and sweets, including candy and doughnuts

Every day, you need to eat at least one green leafy salad, three servings of whole grains, and at least one vegetable (raw or cooked). You need to have just one glass of wine with one of your meals. Snacking is allowed as long as you stick to the diet.

Nuts make for good snacks on this type of diet. Beans are eating every other day and fish is eaten once a week. Berries and poultry are eaten about twice per week. Any of the foods considered unhealthy should be eaten at less than one time per week.

The use of berries is particularly important on this MIND diet. Blueberries especially are packed in antioxidants, which help protect the brain.

Strawberries are also potent and contain large amounts of antioxidants. It seems that if you stick to the diet at least moderately and eat most of the foods on the diet, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease decreases significantly.

10 Ways To Make Healthier Diet Choices

Eating healthy is one of those things you know you should do, but probably don’t know exactly how to do. Between all the fads, trends and gimmicky routines, it can be hard to make sense of it all. Below are some simple and easy ways you can make healthier diet choices immediately.

10 Ways To Make Healthier Diet Choices

 Reduce Refined Sugars

Refined sugars refer to any type of sugar that is made as a result of heavy processing, such as white table sugar and especially high fructose corn syrup.

Avoid foods that have a high content of refine sugars and syrups, choosing unsweetened options to keep it natural. You can also switch to unrefined sugars, such as coconut sugar, for baking and other uses.

 Eat Meals Regularly

Sticking to any kind of healthy diet depends on eating the right number of meals every day. Skipping a meal deprives your body of the energy it needs to run and leads to gorging at your next meal.

Start out by making sure you eat a balanced breakfast every morning and then work in a few healthy snacks throughout the day to keep yourself full and fueled.

 Read Ingredient Labels

One of the easiest things you can do make healthier diet choices is to read the whole nutrition label on everything you buy. Check the number of vitamins and minerals to make sure you get enough nutrients, and also check the ingredients to make sure they’re not hiding anything.

For example, some brands advertise as being Greek yogurt but actually use corn starch to thicken it instead of the real active cultures.

 Choose Lean Meats

If you eat meat, make sure it’s always as lean as possible. While 80% lean and lower ground beef might seem like a good deal, it’s sneaking a lot of fat into your foot that can lead to weight gain, high cholesterol and more. If you can’t buy leaner meats, then make sure you cut out the fat at home before you cook it.

 Limit Processed Carbs

You’ve probably heard people talk about going on a low carb diet before, or even trying to cut carbs out completely. Carbs, which is short for carbohydrates, are one of the three basic nutrients that you need in your diet, so you shouldn’t cut them out completely.

Instead, focus on decreasing the amount of highly processed carbs you eat. It’s a simple as eating 100% whole wheat instead of bread made from enriched flour.

 Rethink the Drinks

Many sodas contain a high amount of refined sugar, which can not only cause you to pack on the pounds but increase your risk of diabetes. Alcoholic beverages can also lead to unwanted weight gain, liver damage and cause you to overeat later on. Consume these drinks in moderation whenever possible.

 Focus on Natural Sugars

While it’s not good to eat too much of any sugar when you do make sure it’s a natural sugar. The sugars that come from fruits are always going to be better for you than eating refined sugars since the fruits also offer valuable nutrients as well.

Stick to the Perimeter

When you go grocery shopping, try to stay on the perimeter of the store, which has all of the fresh produce, dairy, and meats. This helps you stay away from the inner aisles that contain the dry goods with lots of preservatives.

 Go Fresh over Frozen

Try to buy fresh foods whenever you can, since these are going to have a higher nutrient content. Freezing fruits, vegetables, and meats can decrease their health factor, and the frozen items may also include sauces and sugars.

 Cut Out the Extras

Whenever you’re ordering food at a restaurant, think about everything that goes into it so you can cut out the unhealthy extras. Little things like leaving the mayo off your burger or cutting the syrup out of your coffee can have a huge impact.

Final words

There you go, those are some simple and easy ways you can make healthier diet choices immediately, if you need a guide on how to make healthier diet choices, you can watch this video that explains foods you should not eat if do you want to lose weight.

6 Smart Food Swaps To Save Calories

For many people, creating a balanced diet is one of the hardest tasks imaginable and when you try to make that diet include foods that actually taste good, it starts to seem practically impossible.

The good news is that it’s actually incredibly easy to eat healthy and tasty foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients. Read on to learn about six smart and simple food swaps to save you some serious calories.

Oatmeal instead of Sugar Cereal

6 Smart Food Swaps To Save Calories

The kid in you might be tempted to have a bowl of sugary cereal in the morning, but it’s going to pack on hundreds of empty calories without giving you any real nutritional benefit.

The same goes for some brands of granola, which can include a huge amount of refined sugars that equate to deceptively high calories. One cup of cooked oatmeal only has around 150 calories and can include a huge dose of dietary fiber, iron and other nutrients that are great for your heart health.

 Plain Yogurt and Fresh Fruit instead of Flavored Yogurt

Plain Yogurt

Don’t be fooled by those fruit on the bottom yogurts, which can seem like a healthy combination of milk proteins and fruits. Many of these yogurts pack the sugar into the yogurt, which already increases the calorie count, and don’t actually include any fresh fruits.

Instead, they coat the fruits in syrups that do nothing for you aside from increasing your sugar intake. Ditch these yogurts for a plain yogurt that doesn’t include any additional flavorings or add-ins.

You can even try a low-fat plain yogurt to lower the calories even more. Top it all up with some fresh fruits and berries, which only have natural sugars and include vital nutrients.

 Spaghetti Squash instead of Pasta

Spaghetti Squash

Pasta is notorious for being high in calories, even if you choose whole-grain pasta, with approximately 200 calories per cup. Moreover, since most people end up eating more than a single cup in a meal, this can add up fast.

Ditch the pasta, try out a spaghetti squash, which has an amazing 30 calories per cup, and includes a good amount of fiber and other nutrients. All you need to do is cut the squash in half and bake it, then use a fork to scrape out the insides.

This turns the squash into a stringy product that looks, and tastes, almost exactly like spaghetti without any of the extra calories that come from processed grains.

 Cauliflower instead of Potatoes

Cauliflower

It might not seem like it, but cauliflower is actually an incredibly versatile replacement for potatoes. A single medium potato can have around 160 calories, whereas the same amount of cauliflower only has around 50 calories, not to mention the huge savings in carbs.

You can easily boil and blend chopped cauliflower florets to make mashed potatoes, or bake them whole and eat them like you would fried potato products.

 Frozen Bananas instead of Ice Cream

Everyone loves ice cream, but not everyone loves all the extra calories and fat that it comes with. A half cup of vanilla ice cream start out anywhere from 130 to 160 calories, and it only goes up from there once you start looking at different flavors or adding in toppings like chocolate and cookies.

An easy swap here is to use frozen bananas to create a natural soft serve, sometimes known as “nice” cream. Simple chop up a few bananas and place them in the freezer for a few hours.

Once they are solid, place them in a blender, and blend until they reach a smooth consistency. A half cup of banana soft serve can have 100 calories or less while also giving you a serious boost in potassium, Vitamin C, and dietary fiber.

 There you go, those were 6 smart food swaps to save calories, you can start practicing them and I am sure in short time you will start to see a lot of improvement in your weight loss journey.

How Perfecting The Skill Of Mindfulness Helps Improve Your Diet

Making the decision to live a healthy lifestyle complete with a nourishing diet is easy to do. The hard part is living it out and making the decision daily to take good care of yourself and your body. By practicing Mindfulness, you can improve your diet, and stay on track with your goals.

How Perfecting The Skill Of Mindfulness Helps Improve Your Diet

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the meditation practice of sitting quietly, focusing on your breaths, in and out. Its intent is not to rid your mind of thoughts or keep from thinking. It is intended to help you balance and accept yourself, your thoughts, and be aware of your body at the moment.

How Do You Meditate With Mindfulness?

Meditation may sound intimidating or like something you don’t have the time or focus to do, but Mindfulness is something anyone can practice, no matter where they are physically, or where they are with themselves.

To Practice Mindfulness, You Can Follow These Steps:

  • Find a quiet and comfortable place.
  • Sit on a pillow, and cross your legs comfortably making sure your hips are above your knees. Place your hands palm down on your thighs.
  • Close your eyes and begin breathing, in and out.
  • Focus on your breath, and pay attention to your thoughts. If they contain worries and stresses of the day, breathe them out.
  • As you breathe, do not try to stop your thoughts or change them. Just focus on who you are in that moment.
  • Breathing in and out, become aware of your body. Use your breathing to connect to your body, mind, and self as a whole just where you are.

How Can Mindful Meditation Help Improve Your Diet?

You may wonder how Mindful breathing and meditation can help you improve your diet and stay on track with your weight loss goals, and will find that they support one another quite well.

Releases Tension And Relieves Anxiety

When you release your body of tension through Mindful Meditation, you’ll reduce the anxiety and stress that is likely taking a toll on your body. If you are peaceful, relaxed, and free of stresses you will be less likely to use food as a comfort.

Emotional eating is linked to stress. By freeing yourself from this, you can minimize or eliminate emotional eating and enjoy healthy, nourishing meals.

Engages And Focuses Your Mind And Increases Body Awareness

Breathing in and out, while allowing your mind and body to be aware of one another engages the brain and connects you to your body in a way that is calming, yet invigorating.

By being mindful of the moment you’re in, and how special you, your mind and body all are, you begin to value all your parts, thoughts, and self. This type of mindset makes you peaceful, thankful and encourages you to take the time to give yourself the best care, food, and love possible.

Creates Acceptance Of Who You Are Now, And Inspires The Journey Of Where You Want To Go

Being able to love yourself, and accept where you’re at in your journey will lend itself nicely to keeping you on track in your healthy eating ambitions.

If you constantly feel worthy of the care you’re taking to feed your body healthy fuel and treat yourself well, you’ll be less likely to become discouraged and give up before you reach your health goals.

Mindfulness calls you to be calm and recognize your thoughts, and who you are in any moment you’re practicing. Being mindful of your mind, body, and self as one can be very powerful in helping you achieve a healthy balanced life, and diet.