Riesling Wine Dinner

August 12, 2014 invited a friend to join me at the Sea Grill Riesling Wine Dinner hosted by David Rosengarten & Toni Jost.  Riesling is one of my all time favorite wines; so I was in heaven.  We started with appetizers and of course champagne to match.  But the rest of the pairings for dinner where Riesling's.  It was one of those times you just couldn't get enough of each dish.  We had four courses plus dessert and my guest wanted to lick the plates.  It was sooo delish!

Let's Eat Media Event

March 24, 2010 Oh my Gosh went to a "Let's Eat Media Event" and sampled so many products a quick run down:
-Eggland's Better Eggs:  less cholesterol 175 mg vs 213www.eggland.com
-Loved the tervis tumbler....excellent way to keep your cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot without burning yourself.
-daelia's biscuits...the almond with raisins that are specially made for cheese....let me tell you I didn't eat these I inhaled them with some farm fresh cheese!
-Then we had a silver of one of the "Prosperity Cades" oh my gosh...did I have a sugar high at 11:00 a.m....good, but eat an egg first for something.  www.fullcircleflavors.com  A company owned by three sisters.
-Keeping snacks healthy were the "Gudernoobs" with only 60 calories, 5g of sugar with an assortment of main ingredients.  Made by Woohoo.com
-Due to our visit with Circulon we have a wonderful recipe "Salmon with Mango Salsa" for the grill for everyone to try.
-Then I tried "Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie" and shared this with the women in the office...they wanted more.  www.brownbuttercookies.com  two sisters own this.
-WannaHavaCookie?  So good they look like mallowmars...but the taste is completely different.  Another woman company www.wannahavacookie.com
-Then we had some new decadent chocolates, delectable fruit jellies and mouth-watering fruit marvels that my taste palette kept screaming for more!  The New WONKA Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar is made with bits of scrumptious toffee pieces, crispy cookies and crunchy peanuts wrapped in milk chocolate. The New WONKA Chocolate Waterfall Bar tempts the taste buds with a combination of creamy white chocolate swirled in milk chocolate. And finally, the New WONKA Domed Dark Chocolate Bar is made of rich, velvety dark chocolate topped with smooth milk chocolate drops.  You get the picture....a choco-alcoholics dream.  And they have a contest....sad to say it wasn't my time to win yet!
-Then Dr. Lucy Gibney discovered her son had severe food allergies, she got down to serious business—in the kitchen. Today, Lucy’s gluten-free, allergy-friendly cookies are a delicious alternative for people with or without special dietary considerations
-Then the time savor of all time came from Uncle Ben's Boil-in-Bag Whole Grain Brown Rice...along with some new products.  Check it out for a quick meal for us busy women.

Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Restaurant

July 11 2013, Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Restaurant party to celebrate and try different cocktails and wines at the new NoMad. Some of them were just a tad too sweet for my taste buds and others I couldn’t get enough. However, it was exciting to meet some of the winners for the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Restaurant Issue Celebration. It truly was a wonderful evening - from the beautiful setting to the great wines, cocktails, food and music - what a great showcase and toast to today’s food and wine culture with the finest leaders in the restaurant industry. This year’s list of 100 includes thirty new winners, along with exclusive chef’s recipes, ingenious wine-pairing ideas for the home chef, editorial on important food trends in 2013 and an enticing selection of restaurant dishes diners will not want to miss. Check out the list here: http://www.winemag.com/Wine-Enthusiast-Magazine/2013-100-Best-Restaurants-in-America/

Here is a recipe to share…..they had more than wine.
DEWAR’S Honeysuckle Sour
1.5 oz. DEWAR’S Highlander Honey
.5 oz. Cointreau
.5 oz. fresh lemon
.5 oz. fresh orange juice
1 bar spoon simple syrup

Method: Shake DEWAR’S Highlander Honey with fresh lemon, fresh orange juice and one bar spoons of simple syrup.

Let's Eat Media Event

March 24, 2010 Oh my Gosh went to a "Let's Eat Media Event" and sampled so many products a quick run down:
-Eggland's Better Eggs:  less cholesterol 175 mg vs 213  www.eggland.com
-Loved the tervis tumbler....excellent way to keep your cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot without burning yourself.
-daelia's biscuits...the almond with raisins that are specially made for cheese....let me tell you I didn't eat these I inhaled them with some farm fresh cheese!
-Then we had a silver of on e of the "Prosperity Cades" oh my gosh...did I have a sugar high at 11:00 a.m....good, but eat an egg first for something. www.fullcircleflavors.com  A company owned by three sisters.
-Keeping snacks healthy were the "Gudernoobs" with only 60 calories, 5g of sugar with an assortment of main ingredients.  Made by Woohoo.com
-Due to our visit with Circulon we have a wonderful recipe "Salmon with Mango Salsa" for the grill for everyone to try.
-Then I tried "Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie" and shared this with the women in the office...they wanted more.  www.brownbuttercookies.com  two sisters own this.
-WannaHavaCookie?  So good they look like mallowmars...but the taste is completely different.  Another woman company www.wannahavacookie.com
-Then we had some new decadent chocolates, delectable fruit jellies and mouth-watering fruit marvels that my taste palette kept screaming for more!  The New WONKA Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar is made with bits of scrumptious toffee pieces, crispy cookies and crunchy peanuts wrapped in milk chocolate. The New WONKA Chocolate Waterfall Bar tempts the taste buds with a combination of creamy white chocolate swirled in milk chocolate. And finally, the New WONKA Domed Dark Chocolate Bar is made of rich, velvety dark chocolate topped with smooth milk chocolate drops.  You get the picture....a choco-alcoholics dream.  And they have a contest....sad to say it wasn't my time to win yet!
-Then Dr. Lucy Gibney discovered her son had severe food allergies, she got down to serious business—in the kitchen. Today, Lucy’s gluten-free, allergy-friendly cookies are a delicious alternative for people with or without special dietary considerations
-Then the time savor of all time came from Uncle Ben's Boil-in-Bag Whole Grain Brown Rice...along with some new products.  Check it out for a quick meal for us busy women.
-Temptation Temptation with Pamela's products all these great tasting, all natural, wheat-free and gluten-freed desserts. 

10 Reasons Why You Should be an Overeater this Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2009:  Leslie Landis thought you might enjoy the 10 Reasons Why You Should be an Overeater this Thanksgiving:

1. Instant gratification saves time.
2. Aren’t we supposed to end world hunger?
3. Why cut pork when the government won’t?
4. Grow the economy and yourself.
5. The U.S.A. can still be No. 1 in something!
6. Excess is a normal American trait.
7. It is good exercise for your jaw.
8. You won’t have to fight temptation.
9. Overeaters get a lot of attention.
10. It sure does taste good.

Enjoy the bounty this holiday brings.

This Holiday, Trim the Turkey-And Your Waistline

Guest blog by Dara Stieger, Registered Dietitian, MS, RD, LDN

Most Americans can pack on five to eight pounds every year between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, enjoying big family dinners and other seasonal festivities.

Sugary baked goods, butter-laden side dishes, sugar-loaded cakes and breads, and fatty main courses can make it hard to maintain your waistline, or lose weight, during the holidays.

But in fact, it can be downright easy to maintain your weight and the holiday spirit with some creativity and advance planning.

Avoid Mall Munchies

Step one: stay away from high-fat, high-calorie snacks when shopping at the mall or supermarket. Plan your shopping after mealtime, so you won't be hungry when you shop. And try to have three balanced, home-cooked meals a day, which will help you fend off snacking and overeating.

If the mall's food court is your only option for a meal on a busy day, choose healthier items such as a "create your own" salad with low-fat dressing (or olive oil and vinegar), or a slice of pizza topped with fresh vegetables.

And here's a neat exercise tip to use while you're mall hopping: Park as far from the mall entrances as you can, or enter the malls at the opposite end of your destinations. Depending on how much extra walking you can engineer into your travels, you can burn any extra 100 to 500 calories.

Be a Party Planner

The holidays are loaded with great get-togethers; sometimes several in a week. To maintain or even trim your waistline at cocktail parties, eat something healthy, yet filling before heading to the parties. This will help you cut down on or even avoid fattening party foods and snacks.

And if you're hosting your own bash, wait until the day of or day before the party to buy your groceries, even if that means missing a sale. Keeping sweets, cakes, breads, drinks, snacks, and other party foods out of the house will also keep them out of your tummy.

Also, plan your schedule so there's little as time as possible between party preparation and the arrival of guests. This will help you avoid snacking on your tempting and delicious party creations.

Remember, being the host means that you can create healthier versions of all of your favorite recipes which you, your guests and your family can enjoy without any guilt.

Skin the Bird

One holiday dinner can have over 3,000 calories-more than people should consume in a single day. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the meal. Instead of ham, roast beef, or other dark meat, reach for white meat turkey. Then peel off the skin, which harbors about 4 grams of fat, and you've shaved about 35 calories off that delicious helping.

Likewise, pass on too many starchy side dishes. Favor roasted vegetables and salads instead (especially salads without dressing already mixed in). You can also opt for low-sodium butter, low-fat dairy products, and egg whites to cut calories without cutting flavor.

The Skinny on Drinks and Desserts

Alcohol is very high in calories. Cutting back on alcoholic beverages will cut your total caloric intake. Wine or light beer may be a better choice than mixed drinks which are often high in sugar and calories. And remember, if you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation.

When baking sweets, use a substitute for sugar, use light butter instead of regular butter when possible, and use apple sauce instead of oil (yes, you read that right!). Top your desserts with a dollop of light whipped cream. And be sure to serve a big bowl of high fiber fruits, such as grapes, pineapples, honeydews, and strawberries.

Lastly, don't let watching what you eat get in the way of your good time. Remember that healthy options are nearly always available on the table. You just need to be alert and inventive. Make this the year that you make the best choices, and have the best, slimmest holiday season ever.

Vegetables and Fruits: Never a Fad

Guest blog by Felicia Drury Kliment
Author of Eat Right for Your Metabolism: The Individualized Diet Plan to Balance Body Chemistry, Lose Weight, and Prevent Disease

When choosing vegetables and fruits, select a rainbow of colors to ensure you gain the entire range of benefits they offer. The various pigments in plants confer particular health benefits.

Red and purple plants -- grapes, blueberries, strawberries, beets, eggplant, red cabbage, red peppers, plums, and red apples -- contain antioxidants that prevent the formation of blood clots. 
Yellow and green plants -- spinach, collards, corn, green peas, avocado, and honeydew -- include the pigments lutein and zeaxanthin, which help heal cataracts and macular degeneration and also reduce the risk of developing these eye problems. 

Orange plants -- carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and mangoes -- have alpha carotene, a cancer fighter, and beta carotene, which helps repair damaged DNA. Oranges, peaches, papaya, and nectarines support the transmission of nerve impulses between cells and strengthen the cardiovascular system. 

Green vegetables -- broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy -- have anticancer properties. 

Vegetables also help raise mineral levels in the body -- provided there are enough fat-soluble vitamins A and D in the diet to assimilate the minerals. Because individuals who have excessive levels of some minerals are usually deficient in others, they need to eat more of the vegetables that will normalize their deficient mineral levels and less of those that contain large amounts of the minerals in which they are oversupplied. Because it is in the pigment of plants that many of the minerals and other nutrients in plants are stored, the choice of vegetables depends to some extent upon color. For example, anyone with a potassium deficiency needs green, leafy plants because the dark green pigment in these leafy plants contains high levels of potassium; on the other hand, eating white, orange, yellow, and light green plants increases calcium levels in the body. When we lack a particular nutrient, we also lack one of the pigments that store this nutrient.

Surprising Skin Aging Antagonists: Face the Facts

Guest blog by Dr. Tess Mauricio

Doing the wrong thing can certainly speed up your skin’s aging process, and you might be surprised at what some of those no-no’s are. Here are 5 ways to ensure you continue to put your best face forward:

1. Avoid drinking through straws.
I’m sure many of you drink dark sodas, tea and coffee through a straw to prevent staining your pearly whites or to avoid putting your mouth on a can or bottle, right? Do Not Sip From a Straw! It’s causing fine lines around your mouth, a sign of premature aging to your facial skin area. Over the long-term, pursing your lips to sip out of a straw causes extra wrinkles around the mouth.

2. Train yourself to sleep on your back
Resting your face on the pillow in the same way every night for years on end leads to wrinkles. Called sleep lines, these wrinkles eventually become etched on the surface of the skin and no longer disappear when the head is not resting on the pillow. Women, who tend to sleep on their sides, are most likely to see these lines appear on their chin and cheeks. Men tend to notice these lines on the forehead since they usually sleep with the face pressed face down on the pillow. People who sleep on their backs do not develop these wrinkles since their skin does not lie crumpled against the pillow.

3. Pull down the shade in an airplane.
You’re much closer to the sun in a plane than on land, so it stands to reason that solar rays, which can penetrate windows, are more intense at higher altitudes. This may explain why pilots and flight attendants have been found to be at an increased risk for melanoma and other skin cancers. Plus, the air up there is notoriously dry—and without moisture, skin, like any living tissue, simply shrivels. Drink as much water as you can in flight; avoid alcohol and salty foods, which are dehydrating. Apply a rich moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before boarding, as sunscreen needs time to be absorbed before it’s effective. And if you’re sitting next to a window, pull down the shade.

4. Beware beauty creams with toxic ingredients. 
Yes, exposure to some beauty cream chemicals do more harm than good. You may be surprised to hear this, but many ingredients in beauty creams actually speed up the aging process. Avoid buying beauty creams that contain parabens, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, dimethicone, and other toxic ingredients. When buying a beauty cream, read the label carefully and talk to your dermatologist before experimenting with a new facial product.

5. Maintain a healthy weight.
Packing on pounds can make your skin look plumper on the surface, but carrying excess weight can cause your body’s levels of insulin (a hormone made by the pancreas that controls the amount of sugar in your blood) and cortisol to rise, which can break down collagen. You’ll see increased sagging from putting and keeping on as little as 10 to 15 extra pounds. Loss of facial fat causes sagging and a gaunt, aged appearance. In addition, repeatedly gaining and losing weight can take its toll on the skin’s elasticity, leaving behind stretch marks and jowls. Yo-yo dieting also causes premature aging. The repeated weight gain and loss stretches your skin and makes it loose and saggy. Maintain a healthy weight with proper diet and exercise. Aim to keep your weight in the normal range, with a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9.

Other surprising skin aging antagonists to avoid include:

-- Cell phones held against your face - phones get left around on various surfaces and pick up much bacteria that can cause pimples around cheeks and jawline. It's best to use your cell phone in hands free mode!
-- Central Air Conditioning and Heat - pulls essential moisture from the air and can readily dry out your face skin
-- Glasses & Sunglasses - bacteria can grow on the frame that will sit directly on your facial skin for an extended period of time (simply wipe clean with anti-bacterial cloth before putting glasses on each day)
-- Chlorine - after a dip in the pool or hot tub, don't just rinse skin with water to think the chlorine is gone…scrub the face with a sudsy cleanser to remove all chemical residue and be sure to moisturize afterward!

Simple Solutions to Fire Up Your Metabolism

Guest blog by  "Nutrition Twins" tm
 Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CPT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CPT
Author of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever

Let's face it, we live in a nation where at any given time, at least 70% are trying to lose weight. Although the majority of those people have desperately tried popular diets, most have not stuck to them, as strict diets require hard work and discipline. Most people really just want a quick fix. No one wants to hear that they have to exercise and eat right to achieve their weight loss goals. 

Sadly, when it comes to weight loss, there is no magic bullet. The good news is that we are about to help you to lose body fat with the next best thing to a quick fix-firing up your metabolism! 

What exactly is metabolism you may be asking? Well, simply, it is the way your body uses calories from the foods that you eat. The calories from food that are not burned up for fuel have a dreaded fate-they end up on your stomach, hips and butt as body fat, which is what happens when you have a slow metabolism. However, when you fire up your metabolism, you help your body to burn more calories so that they are not stored as fat. Follow these simple steps in order to fire up your metabolism. 

Simple Step #1: Include an "always" carbohydrate with every meal.
Eat carbohydrates and fire up your metabolism? That's right! Certain carbohydrates are very helpful when it comes to making your metabolism speedy and helping your body to burn up calories. We call these carbohydrates, "always" carbohydrates, and they include fruits, vegetables and whole grains (like oatmeal, whole wheat breads and whole wheat tortillas, brown rice, whole grain cereals, etc.). 

"Always" carbohydrates give your body the energy to be active and to burn calories-energy for even the littlest activities-they burn calories too. (Without carbohydrates, you would feel so tired that you would try to conserve energy every chance you get-the resulting inactivity leads to weight gain.) "Always" carbohydrates contain fiber (which helps to provide an extended energy boost) and nutrients that help you to convert your food into usable energy. Therefore, be sure to include small amounts (the size of your fist or smaller) of an "always" carbohydrate with every meal. 

This shouldn't be hard-you probably already include carbohydrates in your meals. Now, make sure that you are firing up your metabolism by choosing the right ones and making sure not to overeat them. Instead of having Special K, Golden Grahams or grits for breakfast try Cheerios, Grape Nut Flakes or oatmeal. Swap the roll on your turkey sandwich for whole wheat pita bread or any other whole grain bread. And order your Chinese food with brown rice instead of white. Ditch bagels and try whole wheat waffles, English muffins, whole grain toasts or tortillas and top with fruit slices instead of jelly.  As for vegetables, the more that you eat, the better. The exceptions are peas, potatoes and corn, which should be eaten in no more than fist sized portions like other "always" carbohydrates.

Simple Step #2: Eat protein. Just be sure to combine it with an "always" carbohydrate. 
Protein is the key to a speedy metabolism because it helps you to build lean muscle, which helps burn calories quickly. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism. Although many people believe that eating protein gives them energy, it does NOT. However, it takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, so it slows the digestion of the "always" carbohydrates and makes the energy and the metabolic boost from the carbohydrates last longer. So, eating small amounts of protein with "always" carbohydrates prevents hunger and extends the energy boost of the carbs. 

Just remember, eating a large portion of protein at one sitting will make you feel sluggish, as blood rushes to your stomach, working to digest all that protein. Your brain and muscles are left short on blood supply and energy. (Think of how you feel after a big steak meal.) To make it easy, if you eat an "always" carbohydrate the size of your fist, also eat a protein portion that fits into the cup of your hand. 

This is easy-if you are eating Chinese food, like chicken and broccoli, you would eat a serving of brown rice no bigger than your fist, chicken that could fit into the cup of your hand, and unlimited broccoli. If you eat a plate of shrimp marinara, eat a fist sized portion of pasta (ideally whole wheat pasta) and eat enough shrimp to fill the cup of your hand. Mix steamed veggies in your marinara sauce and fill up on those. (Don't worry about feeling hungry--as you will notice in step #5, when you fire up your metabolism, you will be eating too often to be hungry).

NOTE: When it comes to protein, be sensible. Choose the best proteins to help prevent heart disease. Choose beans, skinless poultry breast, skinless fish, lean cuts of red meat like the tenderloin with all fat removed, and choose nonfat or low-fat dairy products.

Simple Step # 3: Fabulous Fats. That's right-you can choose these fats and get skinny!
You see, fat provides long-lasting energy. Although carbohydrates are the bodies preferred source of energy (especially for the brain and nerve cells) and they provide your body with the energy that is stored in the body as glycogen, the body cannot store enough glycogen to provide energy for very long. That is where fat comes in. Fat helps you to spare your glycogen (energy) by providing fuel. Remember, having energy for movement is critical, as all movement (even little ones) helps your body to burn calories. So, fat helps to speed up your metabolism by making carbohydrates available for a long period of time, providing more long-lasting energy.

Also, like protein, fat is digested more slowly than carbohydrates. So, fat helps keep you satiated so that you don't overeat. Combine a little fat (or some protein) with a carbohydrate and you will avoid eating excess food while firing up your metabolism. 

Be sure to choose "friendly" fats (also know as "unsaturated" fats) that help your metabolism without clogging your arteries. Fat "foes," (also known as saturated fats), are artery clogging fats that eventually lead to heart disease, bogging down your metabolism as they make your blood "thick and sticky." This makes all body processes, including your metabolism, less efficient. Steer clear of the fat "foes," which are animal fats like butter, sour cream, full fat dairy products, fatty meats, and hydrogenated fats like, margarine.

Don't worry-this isn't rocket science! For example, you already eat this way when you choose a peanut butter sandwich or oatmeal sprinkled with nuts. (Our book has hundreds of suggestions for you too.)

Simple Step # 4: Never skip breakfast. 
Whether you choose an English muffin and a dab of peanut butter, scrambled eggs wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla, or oatmeal with almonds sprinkled on top, eating breakfast will help you to fire up your metabolism and achieve your ultimate goal. 

Here's why: Overnight, your body starts to feel threatened because it realizes that it has not eaten for a while, and it fears it might not be fed again. Your body's metabolism slows as a protective mechanism to prevent starvation. Your metabolism remains at this depressed rate as it conserves energy (calories). It barely burns calories and fat until it is fed again and feels as though it won't starve to death . 

So, speed up your metabolism as soon as you wake up by eating something! And no excuses about not having enough time-there is always time to grab a piece of fruit on your way out the door.

There are so many good options. Be sure to make a smart choice. Here are some examples (and our book has hundreds too): 
· Sliced apple and a slice of whole wheat bread with a tablespoon of almond butter on each
· Whole-wheat waffle topped with non-fat yogurt and berries
· Whole-grain cereal, such as Raisin Bran in a small bowl with skim milk or soy milk and a hard boiled egg
· Cantaloupe and non-fat cottage cheese

Simple Step # 5: Don't wait more than 4-5 hours between meals/snacks.
Just as your body feels threatened overnight when it hasn't been fed for a while, the same thing happens when you don't provide your body with food every 4-5 hours. 

Don't be fooled, you aren't doing yourself any favors by skipping lunch in order to overindulge at dinner. If you do this, by the time you get to dinner, your body really will be conserving calories and moving in slow gear. Even if you ate a normal-sized dinner, your body would perceive it as an overwhelming amount and would end up storing calories that it should have burned off. Eat a larger than normal meal, and you'll store even more. 

Note: You shouldn't add extra meals into your day. Simply take the food that you are already eating and space it out throughout the day. For example, if you usually have a turkey sandwich, a yogurt and a piece of fruit at noon, eat 1/2 the sandwich at 11:00 am, the other half and the fruit at 1:30, and then eat the yogurt around 3:00. 

Simple Step # 6: Drink the right beverages at the right time.
Water, water, water. Every process in your body takes place in water. Water carries nutrients and oxygen throughout your body. If you are dehydrated, every process in your body will suffer including your energy level, and your metabolism. 

Want to feel full on less food? Water helps fibrous foods to expand in your stomach and make you feel full. It is a myth that you shouldn't drink water with your meals. Make sure to drink water throughout the day and aim for at least 8 cups a day.

Hate water? Try these tips to spice it up: · Add a squirt of lemon, lime or orange or · Toss in ice cubes of your favorite juice

Simple Step # 7: Don't skimp on sleep.
You are more likely to gain weight when you are sleep deprived. First, the hormone that regulates your appetite, cortisol, is affected when you are sleep deprived. This has devastating results-you feel hungry even after eating enough. Meanwhile, you burn fewer calories, as you are too tired to be as active as you would be if you were rested. Additionally, growth hormone is reduced, increasing your body proportions of fat versus muscle (the more muscle you have the more calories you burn). Also, sleep deprivation impairs your body's utilization of carbohydrates, your body's favorite source of energy. Lastly, when you are tired, you look for a quick pick-me-up, and most people usually turn to the thing that will give them energy the fastest… sugar. Sugary foods are calorie-loaded and they cause you to have a short-lived energy boost followed by an energy crash. 

So be sure to make sleep a priority and aim for a minimum of eight hours of sleep a night. Make an appointment time for bed, just as you would make a doctor's appointment. 

Simple Step # 8: Make exercise a habit.
The calorie-burning doesn't only last during the exercise, but is extended for hours afterwards. Choose your favorite exercises and aim for five sessions a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. Don't make excuses, even if it means walking 15 minutes out your front door in the morning and then walking 15 minutes back.

Simple Step # 9: Make strength training exercises part of your routine.
The more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn, even while you sleep. Aim to lift weights three days a week. If you're a woman who doesn't lift weights for fear of getting bulky, fear not-you don't have enough testosterone to build bulky muscles. Instead, you will get a lean, toned, sleek body. 

Sugar Addiction

Guest blog by Rebecca Cooper
Author of Diets Don't Work ® 

Proven to be more addictive than cocaine, a closer look at Sugar may help to explain America’s rise in obesity, diabetes and the new focus on food addiction.

A 2007 study (Lenoir, Serre, Cantin, Ahmed), found that intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward even in addicted and drug-sensitized subjects leading to increased aggression upon withdrawal and a disruption of the dopamine/acetylcholine reward balance in the brain. 

The alterations on brain functioning brought on by highly palatable foods produce many of these hallmarks of addiction - including intense craving, the inability to control or stop use, a pre-occupation with the substance, and withdrawal symptoms - the idea of dessert becomes elevated to a whole new level.

Research is supporting evidence that food addictions has behavioral and neurological qualities that resemble substance abuse and dependence. Increased craving for food or food-related substances leads to a heightened state of pleasure, energy, or excitement (Zhang, et al., 2011)

I think it is ironic that when the government ordered cocaine removed from all Coca-Cola beverages no one would have guessed that an even more consequential substance would take its place. High Fructose Corn Syrup hit the markets in the 1970s as a wonder product. Cheaper than sugar cane with an intense sweetness we associate with confectionery delights, High Fructose Corn Syrup is now used to sweeten candies, juices, cookies, cakes, and has even found its way into less palatable tempting items including bread, soups, snacks and other pre-packaged foods. 

Intense sweetness triggers the same receptor pathways of other ingested addictive chemicals, including cocaine and opiates. It alters the transmission of certain brain chemicals including endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, which, in turn, trigger the pleasure center of our brains, leaving us wanting more. (Nicole, et al., 2008). It is important to note that with the incorporation of HFCS into food products have raised more than 1000% since 1970 (Bray, Nielsen, & Popkin, 2004). 

As an eating disorder treatment center, we consistently see what happens with patients who have an addiction to sugar and what happens when they stop eating sugar. When they eat sugar they get a sugar rush, then their blood sugar levels drop, they become tired and sleepy, they become depressed then they crave more. For some these cravings lead them back into their eating disorder.

Certainly, we can find studies to support any opinion, and much like eating disorders, every one of us is different and the effects of sugar may vary. At Rebecca’s House, we have found that when a person has the courage to realize that their relationship to food is out of alignment or is one of addiction, they can begin to change. Many clients have found that once they are freed from the bondage of sugar, their cravings and binges go away, they are less depressed, they maintain a normal weight without dieting or obsessing and they are able to improve their total health.

It’s so hard today to promote the fact that sugar is an addictive substance, leaving one craving more and more. Unfortunately, there are still many nutritionists, dietitians, and professionals who don’t believe sugar can be addictive to SOME people. In all my years of work with eating disorder sufferers and emotional overeaters - as well as the new scientific studies - prove otherwise. It is just like alcohol. Some people have no problem having a few drinks, but others cannot stop after that first drink. 

Millions of people are addicted to sugar and do not even realize it. The “food” manufactures are only concerned about their bottom line. They know that sugar is toxic and addictive; they add it to make us want their products, to feel that we must have more. We are getting sicker because our addiction to sugar, as well as our eating habits in general, have weaken our immune system. Our health care system cannot keep up with the high costs associated with obesity, diabetes, and associated diseases. 

We are in the midst of an obesity crisis in this country and I’m convinced sugar addiction is a major culprit. I’ve known this from working with disordered eating patients for decades and now with new scientific evidence maybe we can educate the general public that for some sugar can be the gateway drug to a life of obesity, diabetes, and/or addiction. Nothing less than the health of our nation is at stake. 

Avena N. M., Rada P., Hoebel B. G. (2008). Sugar vs. Fat Bingeing: Notable Differences in Addictive-like Behaviors; Department of Psychology, Princeton University.

Bray, G. A., Nielsen, S. J., Popkin, B. M., (2004). Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. American Journal Clin Nutr. 79(4):537-43. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15051594. 

Lenoir, M., Serre, F., Cantin L., & Ahmed, S.H. (2007). Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward. PLoS ONE 2(8): e698. 

Zhang, Y., Von Deneen, K.M., Tian, J., Gold, M.S., Liu, Y. (2011) Food addiction and neuroimaging. Curr Pharm Des 17: 1149-1157.

Reducing Skin Aging- How to Get The Wrinkles Out!

Guest blog by Shari Lieberman, Ph.D., CNS, FACN
Author of Glycemic Index Food Guide: For Weight Loss, Cardiovascular Health, Diabetic Management, and Maximum Energy
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog!

Researchers examined the diets of approximately 2,000 people who were 70 years and older to see if what they ate made a difference in the youthfulness of their skin.The participants were from Australia, Greece, China, Japan and Sweden. 

Rather than using the skin on the face, the skin on the back of the hand was examined and tested to assess actinic damage or skin aging. The back of the hand was used since some participants may have been using cosmetic products that reduce skin aging and wrinkling on the face. A silicon rubber impression method was used to keep an actual model of the skin, its texture and signs of wrinkling for each participant. 

Oxidative stress in skin is induced by sun damage and inflammation. Also, when damage occurs (e.g. exposure to sunlight) antioxidants in skin may undergo depletion. If antioxidants are not replenished continuously, deterioration of the skin can occur leading to accelerated skin aging and wrinkling. 

Topical application of numerous antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, Coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, and flavonoids in green tea, have been shown to decrease sun damage and protect the skin against aging, improve skin wrinkling and possibly prevent skin cancer. Studies using oral antioxidant supplements of vitamins C and E simultaneously have also shown a reduction in sun damage and wrinkling of skin. However, this is the first time that daily food intake was examined to see if specific foods would protect the skin, reducing wrinkles and other signs of aging. 


Overall, those with a higher intake of vegetables, legumes, olive oil, monounsaturated fat (e.g. olive oil) and legumes, but a lower intake of milk and milk products, butter, margarine and sugar products had less skin wrinkling and aging. Eggs, yogurt, legumes (especially broad and lima beans), vegetables (especially green leafy, spinach, eggplant, asparagus, celery, onions, leeks, garlic), nuts, olives, cherries, melon, dried fruits (in particular prunes, apples and pears), multigrain bread, jam, tea and water were all shown to protect against skin wrinkling and aging. Higher intakes of vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, and retinol (vitamin A) were also very protective against skin wrinkling and aging. Whole milk sweet milk desserts, ice cream, red meat (especially processed meat), potatoes, soft drinks, cordials, cakes and pastries were associated with increased skin wrinkling and aging. 


Vegetables have a high content of antioxidants beyond vitamins C and E and beta-carotene. In particular, flavonoids and other powerful phytonutrients present in foods such as tea, apples, onions, garlic and eggplant are extremely powerful antioxidants. Tufts University has identified prunes, strawberries, berries, cherries, and tea to have some of the highest antioxidant activity compared to other foods. These foods are rich sources of polyphenols have a higher antioxidant activity than vitamins C or E. Legumes are a rich source of phytoestrogens that also have potent antioxidant activity. Collectively, these powerful antioxidants protected the skin against wrinkling when consumed in the diet.

Fish intake was shown to reduce skin wrinkling when consumed with other protective foods such as vegetables. Fish is a rich source of PUFA in the form of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While EPA and DHA are extremely important essential fatty acids that are not only important for skin, but for the cardiovascular and immune system as well, they are still susceptible to oxidation because they are categorized as PUFA. Therefore, a higher intake of fish must be accompanied by a higher intake of antioxidants. 

A diet rich in monounsaturated fat (MUFA) from olives and olive oil may increase the MUFA content of skin. MUFA is much more resistant to oxidative damage than polyunsaturated fats found in other types of oil. Also, oil assists the absorption of fat-soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E and lycopene. Margarine is made of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and frequent intake was associated with more skin wrinkling and aging. This may also be due to the more damaging effects of trans fatty acids and their greater susceptibility to oxidative stress than other PUFA. Margarine contains far more trans fatty acids that are formed during the hydrogenization process than would ever be found in nature. Even though saturated fats resist oxidation, foods high in saturated fat such as meat and butter did not protect against skin aging and wrinkling. 

High sugar intake was associated with greater skin wrinkling. This may be due to a greater production of advanced glycosylation end products (AGE) and less clearance of these damaging compounds. AGE are found in excess as a result of the aging process and also with conditions such as diabetes. AGE are closely associated with oxidative stress and have similar damaging effects. 


The skin is very susceptible to oxidative damage due its high content of lipids, proteins and DNA all of which are extremely sensitive to the oxidation process. By consuming more vegetables, legumes and switching to olive oil (preferably extra virgin) and eating less meat, dairy, butter and sugar you can protect your skin against wrinkling and aging. 

Selected References

1. Purba M, Kouris-Blazos A, Wattanapenpaiboon N et al. Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference? JACN 2001;20(1):71-80.
2. Boulanger E, Dequiedt P, Wautier JL. Advanced glycosylation end products (AGE): new toxins? Nephrologie 2002;23(7):351-9.
3. Shapiro SS, Saliou C. Role of vitamins in skin care. Nutrition 2001;17:839-844.

Rediscover the Joy of Eating: How a Diet is Helping Thousands Heal

Guest blog by Jenny Lass

What would you do if the comfort food you grew up loving suddenly made you sick? This is what the 70 million Americans with digestive disorders experience, and many don't find the relief they need through traditional medical interventions. The treatment options for gastrointestinal patients usually involve expensive medications with daunting side effects, such as bone thinning, rashes, night sweats and facial swelling. 

Although drug treatment for intestinal conditions is sometimes warranted, what happens when the drugs don't work or the side effects seem worse than the disease? Steroids, a common treatment for many digestive disorders, become less effective each time they're used, so patients are left with little recourse if their symptoms return. Fortunately, there are other options, such as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which has been a welcome option for thousands of people around the world seeking long-term help.

The SCD was developed over 50 years ago by prominent New York pediatrician Dr. Sydney Haas and made famous by Canadian nutrition scientist Elaine Gottschall. It eliminates complex carbohydrates and disaccharides so food is easier to digest - that means no grains, starches or refined sugars. The SCD was actually one of the earliest treatments for celiac disease, which is defined as an autoimmune disorder that leads to intestinal damage when patients eat gluten. 

The SCD got somewhat lost in the gluten-free hype, but many celiacs turn to it if the gluten-free diet doesn't work for them. In fact, the gluten-free diet can take up to six months to kick in, whereas many SCDers find relief within the first week. A 2004 physician-run survey found that approximately 80% of people who try the SCD are helped by it, including those with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Even the autistic community has latched on to the SCD, which is sometimes more effective than the gluten-free casein-free diet.

However, the SCD is not meant to replace drugs or doctors - it's integrative. It can help reduce medication dosages, help medications work better, eliminate medications sooner or even help patients avoid medications altogether. SCDers are encouraged to seek supervision by physicians or dietitians, but they are often left to fend for themselves when the health care professionals the consult aren't aware of the diet. A lack of funding for this non-drug-based treatment has also limited the amount of research that can be done to fully understand the benefits of the SCD. The Elaine and Herbert Gottschall Foundation is finally starting to accumulate funds to support the promotion and further study of this diet.

Another challenge facing the SCD is its elimination of some of the foods we're used to eating - a prospect that might seem unappetizing at first. But a quick review of the SCD's innovative techniques and recipes shows that it is full of your old favorites, made differently. There's the art of eating virtually lactose-free dairy products. Old-aged cheeses, such as parmesan, brick, gouda, havarti, Swiss and cheddar, are naturally lactose-free due to their long fermentation time. The same principle applies to homemade lactose-free yogurt - 24-hour fermentation allows the bacterial culture to break down the lactose, leaving easy-to-digest yogurt that can be used for cheesecake, cream cheese, ice cream and breads. Being able to eat dairy is not only satisfying to the palate, but also essential for fighting low bone density, a condition that often accompanies digestive diseases.

One of the other keys to the SCD's success is its creativity in the absence of all grains. Spaghetti squash, zucchini, egg, Enoki mushrooms and squid replace crepes and noodles, and cholesterol-lowering, vitamin-packed almond flour produces authentic-tasting baked goods that are healthy and easy to make. The SCD provides the simplest gluten-free baking method on the market and uses easy-to-find ingredients. Aside from almond flour, which can be found in the bulk section of many grocery stores, bulk food stores, health food stores or online, your SCD baked-good shopping list might be as minimal as honey, butter, baking soda, spices and fruit. 

Although some may balk at the idea of eliminating a long-standing staple such as grains, it's important to note that there's nothing magic in pasta and cereal - you can find the nutrients in grains in many other foods. Squash is packed with vitamins A, B, C and folate, and almond flour is high in fiber. Eggs are one of the few foods containing naturally occurring vitamin D and red meat is one of best sources of dietary iron. 

The SCD's reliance on almond flour also takes full advantage of the "good fat" in nuts. Research shows that the fat in almonds actually helps instead of hinders weight loss because it satisfies hunger and tends to prevent unhealthy or excessive snacking. And we tend to forget that fat is an important part of a healthy diet. For example, we need fat to metabolize fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D and E, and fat helps with temperature regulation, hormone production, and the development of the brain and nervous system.

All controversy aside, the SCD warrants further investigation. Medical journals are slowly accumulating case studies that document how this diet that got lost in the shuffle is helping people with digestive diseases who have run out of options or are searching for complementary solutions. 

Making Healthy Restaurant Choices

Guest blog by Editors of Prevention Magazine with Ann Fittante, MS, RD

At a popular pizza chain, the personal pan pizza with sausage packs 740 calories and 39 grams of fat. And at one major fast-food joint, a triple cheeseburger with everything has 810 calories and 47 grams of fat -- two meals' worth of calories and more fat than most of us should scarf down in an entire day. 

The bright spots in this grease-spattered scenario? First, you. Your power as a restaurant patron lies in your order. The waiter, cook, and manager want you to leave happy -- just tell them what you want. Second, more and more fast-food spots, casual dining eateries, and even upscale restaurants offer healthier alternatives on their regular menus. 

We believe that a meal away from home should be delicious and enjoyable -- there's no need to order dry chicken breast, have only a glass of water . . . and sulk. The trick? A little preparation so that you can outwit the menu, sidestep temptation, withstand the siren song of enormous portions, and leave the table happy. 

Have it Your Way

Eating out is, in a sense, eating blind. You don't usually have access to nutrition labels, so you don't realize how the cheese, butter, oil, sugar, and oversize portions are adding up. (That focaccia club sandwich? It packs 1,222 calories and 65 grams of fat!) The veggies may arrive dripping with butter and cream. The bread's heavenly, but it's white. That salad that seemed so healthy may have more calories and fat than a cheeseburger, thanks to fried chicken strips and an ocean of dressing. 

And then there are the portions. When a pair of New York University nutrition experts weighed and measured the everyday foods served up in Manhattan's delis, bakeries, and sit-down restaurants, their results were amazing: Compared with government-recommended portion sizes, pasta servings were five times heftier, cookies were seven times larger, and muffins weighed three times more. Why you might not notice: Portions have slowly, slowly increased in size over the past 30 to 50 years. "What I found was appalling," says study author Lisa Young in her book Portion Teller: Smartsize Your Way to Permanent Weight Loss. "The foods we buy today are often two or three times, even five times, larger than when they were first introduced into the marketplace." 

If you suspect that restaurant eating is a minefield, you're not alone. Even chefs have food issues when faced with a yummy menu -- or the temptations cooking in their own kitchens. (If you were constantly surrounded by chocolate lava cake, fettuccine Alfredo, raisin nut bread, and bacon-wrapped filet mignon, what would you do?) "Having lunch at a restaurant is where I can get into trouble," confesses chef Sara Moulton, host of Cooking Live with Sara Moulton and Sara's Secrets on the Food Network, cookbook author, and executive chef at Gourmet magazine. Who wouldn't find it hard to resist the extras (like foie gras or a six-dessert sampler) that chefs often send to her table? 

Yet Moulton stays slim -- and even dropped a few pounds when she was about to start hosting a live television show several years ago. ("The camera really does add 10 pounds," she says.) Her strategy? Don't let yourself get too hungry, especially before a dinner out. "When you're hungry, your resistance to snack on tempting foods plummets," she says. She does splurge a little on weekly dinner dates with her husband. "Knowing I can have some cheese on Friday night helps keep me disciplined the rest of the week," she says. At lunch, Moulton sometimes can't resist eating an entire 714-calorie mozzarella, tomato, and basil sandwich. And yet, she believes in not letting a diet detour derail her successful efforts to maintain a svelte figure. She gets right back on the horse: "On those days, my dinner is a 300-calorie Lean Cuisine." 

How can you achieve -- and maintain -- a lean silhouette while still enjoying a night out at a bistro? These strategies will help. 

Step 1: Prepare Your Plan of Attack

It's amazing how much trouble you can get in even before your meal arrives. Take a proactive stance against the unhealthful food assault catapulting in from all sides. 

Spoil your appetite. Before you leave for dinner, eat something substantial like a bowl of soup, a piece of leftover chicken, a piece of toast with low-fat cheese and leftover vegetables, yogurt with fruit and nuts, a hard-cooked egg, or apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon. Any healthy minimeal will be lower in calories and fat than an over-the-top restaurant appetizer. 

Know where you're going. Become familiar with the dining guidelines for different kinds of restaurants, and try to picture what you're going to eat before you even walk in the door. Don't let the menu sway you! If you've been to the restaurant before and can resist the temptation, keep the menu closed. Order what you'd like, and let the waiter sort it out. It's your meal -- have it your way. 

Avoid the bread basket. It's one of the leading causes of overeating at restaurants. Send the basket back -- out of sight is out of mind. If that's unthinkable, take one slice of bread to enjoy with your meal. Bread can tack on an additional 500 calories to your meal's total -- not even including the butter or olive oil that usually accompanies it. 

Limit yourself to one alcoholic drink. Alcohol, whether in the form of a cocktail, wine, or beer, can weaken your resolve for exercising thoughtful moderation with your food. Plus, it dehydrates you and offers no nutritional benefit. When you go out, limit yourself to just one drink -- or order a bottle of fancy water instead. 

Because the body will use the alcohol for energy first (followed by carbohydrates, protein, and fat), when you drink and eat, the excess calories are often stored as fat. To keep the pounds from piling on, skip higher-fat entrées (such as duck and filet mignon) in favor of lower-fat fare (including white fish, pork, poultry, and venison) when having wine with dinner. 

Drink water. You've heard this before, but we'll say it again: Drink water before, during, and after every meal, whether you're at a restaurant, at home, or anywhere else. 

Step 2: Place Your Order With Confidence

If you feel intimidated by servers, stop right now. Don't worry that you're holding them up with your questions and requests. Don't feel shy. Running interference between the kitchen and your table is a server's job, and he or she wants to please you. (There's a tip at stake here . . .) 

Be constantly aware of portion sizes. Trust us: You likely won't need an appetizer and an entrée. Some restaurants have been known to serve up to seven times the normal portion for a meal. 

Plan to leave food on your plate -- or request that half of your meal be wrapped before it even comes to the table. Why you want to keep the extra food out of sight: In a Pennsylvania State University study, researchers found that all the volunteers who were given extra food on their plates ate it -- without reporting feeling any fuller afterward. 

Appetizers are generally more realistic portion sizes. Order your favorite as a meal with a side salad, or order two appetizers -- one that is more vegetable-based. 

Ask, ask, ask. Is it fried? What kind of sauce comes with it? What sides are served with each dish? Can I get brown rice instead of white? 

Always request sauces and dressings on the side. You'll realize how little sauce and dressing you really need. 

Don't order something new when you're very hungry. If you do, you'll likely order too much food, overeat, and regret it later. If you're starving, order a standby that you know is good for you. 

Order plenty of vegetables. Get a large mixed salad, or order vegetables sautéed in a bit of olive oil or steamed with sauce on the side (so you can lightly dip them in the sauce). 

Sip some broth. Soup is a good high-volume food that will fill you up. Look for vegetable, broth-based, and bean soups. Avoid cream-based soups and chowders. 

Step 3: Finish With a Flourish 

Don't let down your guard after the server scurries off to the kitchen with your order. You'll still need to exercise some caution when your perfectly ordered meal arrives. 

Stay alert. It's easy to get caught up in an engaging conversation and eat everything on your plate without even thinking about it. After you've finished your allotted amount, have the server wrap up your leftovers. The bonus is that you have tomorrow's lunch (or dinner) already prepared. 

End your meal with refreshing green or herbal tea. Ginger tea can help with digestion, and green tea is good for your overall health. Many restaurants now offer a variety of exotic teas, so treat yourself to some! Some teas are so fruity that they're a perfect replacement for dessert. 

Order a dessert for the table. Three bites of the chef's signature chocolate bread pudding with butterscotch sauce won't hurt -- just make sure someone else will finish the rest. 

Are All Diets Unhealthy?

Guest blog by Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., and Nadine Taylor, M.S., R.D
Author of Runaway Eating: The 8-Point Plan to Conquer Adult Food and Weight Obsessions

Want the short answer? Yes. Now, you may be thinking, "If I don't stay on some kind of diet, I'll just blow up like a balloon. I need to be on a program just to keep control of myself." But consider that any kind of dieting involves a diet mentality, which ensures failure, encourages you to ignore hunger and satiety signals, and promotes a negative relationship with food, because you have to give up "forbidden" foods and, often, eat foods you don't really like. This inevitably results in giving in, which often means bingeing and feeling terrible about yourself. So, though this idea may sound radical, we firmly believe there is no good diet.

By "diet," we mean the conscious restriction of the amounts or kind of foods you're allowed to eat for the express purpose of losing weight. A diet is something that you go on when you want to change your body, and go off once you've reached a certain goal. Though we certainly do endorse consuming a wide variety of healthful foods, paying attention to portion sizes, and thinking twice before eating a lot of foods that are high in calories but low in nutrition, we don't recommend following any kind of plan that tells you what, how much, and how often you should eat, without regard for your body's hunger and satiety signals. And we definitely don't recommend any eating plan that you go on and then go off.

Although it may sound surprising, the negative effects of dieting also hold true even if you aren't following a formal diet but still think like a dieter. If you count grams of fat, opt for high-protein foods while shunning carbs, rely on "safe" foods, beat yourself up for eating "bad" foods, consciously or unconsciously undereat (which can trigger overeating later), use diet soft drinks or coffee to quell your hunger, or decide what you can eat based on what you've already eaten today, you're dieting. 

The Physical and Psychological Effects of Dieting

Have you ever noticed that as soon as you go on a diet, all you want to do is eat? Even if you weren't particularly concerned about food prior to dieting, all of a sudden you become obsessed with it. You find yourself preoccupied with what you'll have for your next meal, whether you can have a snack, what others are eating, or even what you'll allow yourself to eat tomorrow. What's going on? 

The mind and the body are inextricably linked, and never is this more apparent than when you go on a diet. Geared to survive during feast or famine, both body and mind switch into survival mode when the food supply is radically diminished. While the body turns down the metabolism and becomes a "slow burner" in an attempt to hang on to every single calorie, the mind gears itself to one overriding purpose: getting food. The result? Suddenly, you may find yourself clipping recipes, planning menus, cooking elaborate meals or dishes for others (neither of which you'll eat yourself), or even dreaming about food at night. The message is clear: Your body wants food, and your mind does, too.

After a few days of extremely restricting your food, you'll probably become more depressed and anxious. Although this may be due to changes in neurotransmitters like serotonin, it may also occur because you are depriving yourself of things that are very pleasurable that aren't replaced by anything else -- leaving a pleasure void. You may suddenly prefer to spend more time alone -- it takes too much energy to deal with others -- and your self-esteem may start to drop. Unfortunately, the more depressed, anxious, and isolated you become, the more you'll obsess about food. 

Some people can hold out longer than others, but the result is eventually the same: a binge. You eat something you "shouldn't," which makes you feel as if you've blown it. So you let go and eat. During the binge you feel relief -- at last you can relax and do what you've wanted to do all along. But you may also feel as if you're in a trance and can't stop yourself. It's almost as if your body has developed a will of its own; it's going to feed itself whether you like it or not. As a result, you can end up eating more food in one sitting than you ever did when you weren't dieting. 

Are you crazy? Absolutely not. This is a normal, even healthy reaction to a period of semi-starvation, a reaction that made good sense during primitive times. After a period of famine, it was natural and necessary for our ancient ancestors to overeat. They needed to be able to take advantage of a feast when they had the chance, because the food supply was uncertain. To make this possible, their appetites increased after a period of famine. So the same amount of food that would have satisfied them during times of plenty left them feeling hungry after a period of semi-starvation. The same thing happens to you when you restrict food. Suddenly, you develop the urge and the capacity to binge, and you no longer feel satisfied after eating what you used to consider a normal meal. In short, restrictive dieting can trigger binges and leave you hungry even after you've eaten normal amounts of food. This is true for most Runaway Eaters, and even for those dieters who do not develop Runaway Eating problems. 

The psychological consequences of dieting were clearly illustrated in a classic study of the effects of semi-starvation done in 1950 by Ancel Keys, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota. In the study, 36 healthy, young, psychologically sound males were observed over a period of 1 year. During the first 3 months, the men ate normal amounts of food; during the next 6 months, they were given half as much food; and during the last 3 months, their food allotment was gradually increased. During the semi-starvation period, the men became preoccupied with food and constantly talked about it, read cookbooks, clipped recipes, and daydreamed about eating. When a meal was served, many took an inordinately long time to eat it, trying to make it last. Over time, the men became extremely depressed, anxious, and irritable. 

Once they made it through the period of semi-starvation, the men ate nearly continuously, with some indulging in 8,000- to 10,000-calorie binges. The men reported that their hunger actually increased right after meals, and some of them continued to eat to the point of being sick without feeling satisfied. Although most of the men finally reverted to normal eating patterns within 5 months of the study's end, some continued with their new patterns of "extreme over consumption." 

We see these same patterns in dieters: the preoccupation with food; the anxiety, depression, and irritability; the tendency to go off the diet and eat more than one would have in the pre-diet days; and a propensity toward bingeing even after the diet has ended. 

Twelve Ways to Trim Your Body & Your Food Costs

Guest blog by Denise Austin
Author of Denise's Daily Dozen: The Easy, Every Day Program to Lose Up to 12 Pounds in 2 Weeks

I often hear people say that eating healthy is too expensive, but I disagree. Sure, some fast food costs less than a dollar. But it’s not worth it to eat all that heart-clogging fat and high calorie food, especially when there are some easy ways to make healthy foods fit your budget. Here some of my favorite tips:

1. Buy in bulk. I buy whole grains, nuts, dried beans, oats, dried fruits, and organic brown rice in bulk at places like Costco, Sam’s Club, and B.J’s. Because you’re not paying for extra packaging or marketing, your price per pound is a lot cheaper.
2. Don’t buy small packages. It may be easier to buy portion-size packages of food, but those little bags are often more expensive. Instead I suggest buying the large package and then dividing it into small portions in individual plastic bags when you get home. 
3. Shop locally. I buy local produce and very reasonably priced olive oilat a store in my area called the Mediterranean Bakery because it offers great bargains. I also go to my local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. It’s fresh and wholesome, less expensive, and you’re supporting local farmers.
4. Buy seasonally. I plan my recipes and weekly menus around what’s currently in season. These foods are lower in price and typically have much better flavor, too.
5. Grow your own. Homegrown is always best. I have my own herb garden in my kitchen. I can take snips of what I need like fresh basil, thyme, parsley, and rosemary, and it costs me just pennies.
6. Cook yourself. Restaurant meals tend to be pricier than what you’d eat at home, plus you don’t know exactly what goes into it so it’s harder to track fat and calories. I love to cook at home because I can control exactly what ingredients are in my food—such as how much salt or oil is used —as well as portion size. 
7. Pick inexpensive edibles. Foods that give you more nutritional bang for your buck include potatoes, beans, eggs, milk, and canned tuna and soups. These foods have low price tags, but are high in vitamins, minerals, and other healthy compounds.
8. Split costs with a friend. Sometimes the food at those warehouse stores is less expensive but comes in huge packages that you can’t possibly finish. Instead, find a friend to split some of these items with. 
9. Make restaurant meals more cost efficient. Today’s restaurant meals are bigger than ever. Instead of eating too much and regretting it later or wasting food, have your waiter put half your entrée in a To Go box before he even brings it to the table. For one price you get dinner today and another meal for tomorrow!
10. Cook in bulk. Once you’re chopping, dicing, and cooking, why not make more than one meal at once and then freeze it or put it in the fridge for another day? This saves time and money since all those perishable items you bought won’t go to waste.
11. Brown bag your lunch. Even if you do have a healthy place to buy food at work, it’s always cheaper to bring your own. This way you’re not paying marked up prices for something like a sandwich or salad that you could easily make yourself. 
12. Practice good food storage. There’s nothing worse than spending good money on healthy foods only to toss rotten, unused items like fruits and veggies at the end of the week. Use your refrigerators crisper drawers for vegetables and when you freeze foods make sure the containers you use are made for the freezer (this helps ward off freezer burn and loss of flavor).

White Mushrooms and Grilled Ramps on Toast

Guest recipe by Alexandra Guarnaschelli,
Exec. Chef: Butter Restaurant
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog
6-8 servings

4 tbsp. Extra-Virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
2 small cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
¾ pound white mushrooms, stemmed, washed, dried and thinly sliced
12-18 fresh Ramps, washed and trimmed
1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. dry Marsala
½ cup sour cream
The zest from ½ lemon
1 tbsp. chopped (fresh) parsley
1 tbsp. chopped (fresh) tarragon

Kosher salt and freshly-ground white pepper to taste

Note: this recipe can be served with roasted meats or a piece of fish. In this case, it will be served on little pieces of Rosemary toast.

1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the diced onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and lower the heat. Add the thyme and the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and a lot of the liquid has evaporated at the bottom of the pan, 8-10 minutes. Remove and discard the sprigs of thyme.
2. Heat a large sauté pan until it smokes slightly. Coat the ramps with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the ramps to the hot pan and "char" them slightly. Turn the heat off and allow them to cook an additional minute or two until they become tender. Remove from the heat and drizzle with Balsamic vinegar. Turn them onto a flat surface and cut into bite-size pieces.
3. Add the Marsala to the mushrooms and cook until the flavor of the alcohol has mellowed considerably, 5-8 minutes. Add the sour cream and allow it to melt over the mushrooms. Check the seasoning. Add the lemon zest, parsley and tarragon. Taste for seasoning. Bring to a simmer and serve on toast immediately. Top each with the ramps.

Suggestions: This would be delicious with a Gruner Veltliner - Veltlinsky for example. . I love the acidic bite and the slightly carbonated character of this wine. It would nicely compliment the earthy mushrooms and cut through the creamy flavors as well. If in the mood for red, I would love to see this seasonal nibble with something as noble and exciting as Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2000. Wow!

White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream

Guest recipe by Anne Walker, Dabney Gough and Kris Hoogerhyde
Authors of Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery

Makes about 1 quart

5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
5 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped (11/4 cups)
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Raspberry Swirl Sauce (page 142)
Make the base
1. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in half of the sugar (2 tablespoons). Set aside. Put the chopped chocolate in another medium heatproof bowl and set that aside as well.
2. In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, salt, and the remaining sugar (2 tablespoons) and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
3. Carefully scoop out about 1⁄2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1⁄2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.
4. Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer. 
5. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl with the white chocolate and whisk to combine. Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Freeze the ice cream
6. Whisk the vanilla into the chilled base.
7. Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, put the container you’ll use to store the ice cream into the freezer. 
8. As you transfer the ice cream to the storage container, drizzle in some raspberry purée after every few spoonfuls. When all the ice cream is in the container, use a chopstick or butter knife to gently swirl the mixture. Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, freeze for at least 4 hours.

Raspberry Swirl Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup | Pictured on page 140

2 half-pint baskets raspberries (2 cups), preferably organic
1/3 cup sugar
1. Combine the raspberries and sugar in a small nonreactive saucepan and put the pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has a jammy consistency, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium as the mixture thickens to prevent scorching.
2. Remove from the heat and let cool for a minute. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth, being careful to avoid hot splatters. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much purée as possible. 
If using as a topping, serve warm or at room temperature; chill well before swirling into ice cream. 
“Reprinted with permission from Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker, and Dabney Gough, copyright © 2012.  

Triple BrowniesTriple Brownies

Guest recipe by Wonka Exceptionals

Talk about decadent!   (Makes 36 servings) 
These decadent brownies are a “must try” for chocolate lovers, whether you prefer the dark, milk or white variety. 
Aluminum foil Nonstick cooking spray
1 pkg (18.5 oz) Chocolate brownie mix
1 (3.5 oz) WONKA Exceptionals Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar
1 (3.5 oz) WONKA Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate Bar
1 (3.5 oz) WONKA Exceptionals Chocolate Waterfall Bar

PREHEAT oven according to brownie mix package directions. Line 9-inch-square baking pan with foil (this makes for easy brownie removal); spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. 
PREPARE brownie mix according to package directions. Spoon half of batter into prepared pan; place chocolate bars in a single layer over batter. Spoon remaining batter over candy bars, gently smoothing down top. 

BAKE according to package directions for 9-inch pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. To serve, lift foil from pan and peel away foil from brownies. Cut the square into 6 equal strips; cut strips in opposite direction, making 36 bars. 

Tomato Salad

Guest recipe by Viktorija Todorovska
Author of The Puglian Cookbook: Bringing the Flavors of Puglia Home

This simple tomato salad can also be used to make bruschetta. Although not exclusive to Puglia, it is often served on toasted bread as a starter, as it highlights the quality and
sweetness of ripe Puglian tomatoes. Try it with the Orecchiette with Broccoli or Spaghetti with Zucchini
yield: 8 servings

1 pound (454 g) ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) sea salt
3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped basil

1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes and onion. Season with the salt, olive oil, and vinegar. 
2. Serve sprinkled with the basil. 
Reprinted with permission Agate Surrey, 2011


Guest recipe by Judith Fertig and Karen Adler
Authors of Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked: 300 Foolproof Recipes for Everything from Amberjack to Whitefish, Plus Really Good Rubs, Marvelous Marinades, Sassy Sauces, and Sumptuous Sides
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

For this recipe, choose a firm-fleshed fish such as U.S. farm-raised catfish. 
Serve this with Texas pecan or the more fragrant jasmine rice.

Serves 4
1 pound U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths on the bias
1 cup chopped Napa cabbage
Toasted sesame seeds to garnish
For the Lemongrass Marinade:
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh lemongrass (available at Asian markets)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon nam pla or bottled fish sauce, (available in the Asian section of grocery stores)
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon peanut or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1. Place the fish, onions, and cabbage in a large seal able plastic bag. In a medium bowl, mix the Lemongrass Marinade ingredients together and pour over the fish mixture in the plastic bag. Seal, then toss to coat the fish and vegetables with the marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal, gas, or wood pellet grill. Spray a grill wok with cooking spray and place over the sink or outside on the grass. Pour the marinated fish and vegetables into the wok, allowing the excess marinade to drain away. Place the wok on the grill. Using wooden paddles or grill spatulas, turn and toss the fish and vegetables until the
fish is opaque and the vegetables have lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve over rice, garnished with toasted sesame seeds.