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Journey Against Metabolic Syndrome – Week Three

This week the weight loss seems to be reaching a slowing down point.  That tends to happen in every diet.  The way to break it is usually adding more exercise.  I am trying to build that into my routine, but it is not easy for me because I hate to exercise!

My results this week are one more pound lost for a total of 11 pounds.  In terms of inches I am much more happy.  I have lost another 2 inches for a total of 10.5 so far.

This week I have continued the daily lunch salads and the brisk walks during lunch to and from the salad bar.  I have cut down the juices to two per day.  One for breakfast that incorporates carrots and some fruit.  One during the mid afternoon that includes celery, cucumber and any other green like Kale and one apple to help the taste.  The mid afternoon drink helps to curve the hunger.  Lets face it, no matter how big the lunch salad, it does not get me to dinner.  In the past, I used to have some kind of snack if I did not have a hardy lunch.  Now I juice!  It is much more healthy and helps not feel so deprived.


Journey Against Metabolic Syndrome – Week Five

I hope by now you have noticed that the date stamp on these posts is off.  The reason is that I am blogging as I have time and not always as things happen.  Having said that, I am actually off by a week or so.

This week I am almost back on track but I have only lost 1 pound of the two I gained.  The reason I say I am almost back on track is that I have participated in all the celebrations associated with family and my new lovely granddaughter Elise.  However, I have made sure I am eating more vegetables than protein and I am skipping the sweats altogether.  The other issue is that I ran out of most of the vegetables.  I have not had time to purchase fresh organic produce.  The juices I have made from what I had in my refrigerator and that was cucumber, celery, carrots, oranges and apples. However, even with this partial getting back on track, I do feel better than last week and I am no longer bloated.

I am back eating salad every day at work but I have not had time for my daily one mile walk.  Therefore, this week I am at negative one pound (negative because it is part of the two I gained last week).

Journey against Metabolic Syndrome – Week Four

This week my journey against Metabolic Syndrome has taken me off track!  But for a very good reason.  My granddaughter Elise Marie was born.  My daughter went into labor a week early and we had a storm in the golf.  All at the same time.  My daughter and I were in the hospital during a lock-down due to the storm while her husband went home to secure the house.  As a result, there were not too many eating choices and my trusty juicer was far far away! I was back to my old eating habits, sandwiches, french fries and even a few sweats, not to mention a coke or two.

So at the end of the ordeal when I finally got home, I had gained 2 pounds and felt very bloated.  I have to admit I felt discouraged.  After all the reading and discipline it only took a little sidetracking for me to gain 2 pounds.  That thought was not helping me stay the course.  But my friend, who is doing this with me and had no family emergency kept me on track.  She was quick to remind me that we had decided on a lifestyle change period.  It did not matter if I gained as long as I go right back to my new lifestyle.

So this week’s report is a negative 2 pounds.  We will see what happens next.

Research into the best juicer for my purposes

It turns out that there is a lot more to a juicer than I could ever imagine.  Much information is written on this subject and there are dozens of YouTube videos comparing the various types of juicers.  I had no idea, but there is a a whole community out there and lots of people that are avid juicers who can offer a wealth of information on the subject.  One that I have learned a lot from and who I recommend to anyone who is interested in learning more about this subject is John from Discount Juicers. Here is one of his many videos.

I viewed many videos like this one and in the process of narrowing down my choice.   Will update soon.

Journey against – Metabolic Syndrome week two

Well Friday came around again and I am very happy to report that I have lost a total of 10 pounds (or 4 more pounds) and 8.5 inches.

When I refer to inches I am measuring the following areas of my body: waist, abdomen (or belly), chest circumference, hips, and upper leg.  Once I measure all of it, I add the inches.  I am most interested in reducing my waist to less than 35 inches since that is one of the indicators for Metabolic Syndrome for women.

This week I have tried to “improvise” with the juice recipes and I have not been too successful.  Most of them have not tasted better than the ones from the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead site.  The reason for the improvisation is that I have wanted to use all organic vegetables and I am still trying to find the best sources for the produce.  So at times is has been hard to find all the types of vegetable one juice takes i.e. Kale, cucumber, celery, apples all organic.  When I have not had all the ingredients it is recommended that you substitute with another vegetable of the same color, since the color is directly connected to the nutritional properties of the vegetable.   Unfortunately, the substitutions I have made are good for the colors but not so good for the taste! Nonetheless, I have drank all my juices and I am seeing the results to I am very happy and feel very good.

Now there are a couple of more people in the office that are getting interested in trying the juices and it has become a nice source of good conversation during lunch.  We are trying to learn more about nutrition, what are the properties of all the produce, what is healthiest for adding to our juices, etc.  The beauty of this, is that even if you don’t really like too many vegetables, you can still enjoy the benefits by juicing them and “drinking” them, instead of eating them.  Juicing gives you the possibility of actually meeting and even exceeding the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet.

Now that I know, my general medicine physician approves of how I am doing this diet (3 juices daily plus a salad for lunch, for dinner more vegetables with a small serving of a protein) and that I can actually stick to this, it is time to do the research to invest in a higher quality juicer.

I will share my finding here.


Journey against Metabolic Syndrome – Week One

I decided to record my weight and total inches lost every Friday until I reach my goals. The first Friday I had lost 5 pounds and 6 inches.

This week I incorporated eating a salad for lunch (I can’t work my high stress job on juice!).  So instead of 5 juices per day, I drank 3 juices and had two meals.  The meals were mostly composed of green vegetables.  For lunch a salad with mixed greens and toppings like, olives, artichokes, bell peppers, garbanzos, cucumbers and asparagus.  The salad was different each day to make it more interesting.  Also added a balsamic vinaigrette.  The evening meal was either baked or steam vegetables or hummus and wheat crackers.

I also incorporated walking one mile a day this week.  I do it at lunch by choosing the long route to the salad place.  Half mile to the cafe and half mile back to my office with brisk walk.

I have to say that I already feel more energy and feel lighter on my feet.

So here is my plan.  I currently have 4 out of the 5 indicators to grant me a diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome.  This is not good and I intent to reverse that path by applying the principles of a more wholesome diet.  I will incorporate juicing and a bit more exercise.  I will also cut down in portion size and favor vegetables over protein. I am not a nutritionist.  I am a laboratory scientist.  I know of enough medicine to be dangerous!  It is time to apply what I have learned to my own body.  I hope to interest some of you in this journey since I am putting myself on the line here and do not plan to fail.


I can not believe I did it.  But I did.  I have lived the past three days making juices from several fruits and vegetables (some of which I did not even know existed until now). Examples of vegetables I had never heard of are:  Fennel Bulb, Swiss Chard and Kale.  The others were more common to me like, spinach, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, basil, parsley, ginger among others.  The fruits I used are: pears, apples, blackberries, blue berries, clementines, oranges and strawberries.

I have to say that most of the juices I tried were very tasty.  The first part of the day was not bad, as the afternoon came, it became more difficult.  The only way to do this for me was during a weekend.  I can not work on juice fuel!  but I can certainly juice on a 3 day weekend.

The effect of the cleans is obvious as you make many many trips to the rest room.  However, the fruits, vegetables and water keep you hydrated and with enough potassium to feel relatively fine and with energy.  My purpose is not to detail the diet, for that I suggest you visit the Join the Reboot site.  That is the source I am using for this journey’s diet plan. My purpose is to share the journey which means more to  me than the recipes themselves.

Outcome of my three day fast was a loss of 5 pounds.  Not bad for 3 days!

The fight is on and the goal is to loose 20 pounds, lower my Cholesterol and take off a few inches from my waist.

I will blog about the rest of this personal journey.  I hope it can serve to motivate those who read my posts.


Journey to fight Metabolic Syndrome Start Now!

The weight as I start this journey is 152 lbs.

The waist is over 35 inches.

Cholesterol 257 mg/dL

Triglycerides 177 mg/dL

Blood pressure controlled with medication

I made a shopping list from the 3 day fast plan and came home with fruits and veggies last night.  The plan is based on 5 juices per day.  There is a variety so I will try most of them and see what I like best in order to make it more palatable.  The emphasis on this juice fast is to cleanse or detox the body for the first three days.  Then I will start a plan of mostly juices with one or two salads a day until I reach my goal.

Goal = No Metabolic Syndrome indicators

Today was difficult.  Lets face it, I am fat because I like to eat, so drinking juice does not satisfy that craving.  But I am committed to continue this.  With my headache from caffeine withdrawal and my head on fumes because of the hunger, I marched on!

Chocolate a health food!

Europe’s Food Safety Authority will allow the worlds largest chocolate producer to add language in the food label letting consumers know their dark chocolate can beneficial to blood circulation. Although not expected to be approved until next year by the European Commision, this announcement is enough confirmation. For me to feel less guilty about eating chocolate!

However, is important to know that it is not just any chocolate that is healthy. Is the chocolate that is processed using a specific method that preserves the antioxidants and flavanols naturaly present in dark chocolate.  It’s worth knowing that many chocolates available to us now are over-processed like many of the foods we eat these days.  Processed foods loose much of their nutritional qualities and chocolate is no different.

Barry Callebaut is the company that has earned the distinction from the European Food Safety Authority to label their chocolate as potentially good for circulation.  Callebaut has been conducting clinical studies on the health benefits of coca flavanols.  These compounds have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve circulation and reduce the risk for heart disease?


The Journal of the American Medical Association released a report this month that shows that the Low-Glycemic Index Diets are the best to keep the weight down.  This has to do with the fact that apparently, not all calories are created equal.  That is, the source of the calorie gives it a certain “quality” that affects how efficiently we burn energy.

When it comes to weight loss maintenance, evidence shows that most people can lose weight, but end up gaining it back.  The problem is that as we lose the weight the body needs less calories to maintain itself i.e. we spend less energy.  Ironically, this makes it likely easier to gain the weight back.  The goal is to maintain a diet that will help burn the highest amounts of calories to help maintain the weight loss.

Different diets help us burn calories at different rates.  According the studies,

  1. The low-carbohydrate diets help burn the most calories but have unintended negative side effects like inflammation and increase in the stress hormone Cortisol (both adversely affect risk for heart disease and diabetes).
  2. The low-glycemic diet is next after the low-carb diet in its ability to stimulate calorie consumption (i.e. 150 calories a day burned over those in a low-fat diet) and does not have the side effects.  Therefore, is considered the most effective in helping keep the weight down.
  3. The low-fat diet burns the least amount of the three types discussed here.  Actually considered the least healthy.  It can produce certain metabolic changes associated with regaining the weight.

The low-glycemic diet is structured based on the following calorie sources:

  • 40% Carbohydrates (healthy carbohydrates)
  • 40% Fats
  • 20% Protein

“There is a growing feeling that we need to go beyond low-fat diets, that was too simplistic a vision”, said Dr. David Ludwig one of the study’s author from Boston Children’s Hospital. “instead, focus on reducing highly processed carbohydrates” . Highly processed carbs make sugar easily accessible to the system rather than securing it in more health elements i.e. fiber in fruits.  When the sugar is easily available to the system it causes a sugar rush with a subsequent crash that stimulates hunger and jeopardizes the diet.

As in most studies and theories, there are opinions on both sides.  Although the most efficient to maintain weight loss, some researcher say the low-glycemic index diet do not have the best nutrition standards.  Others say the diet concept is too confusing and hard to maintain in the long term.  In the end, they all agree that balanced diets that eliminate junk food in favor of healthy ones is the best choice.  Moreover, it comes down to math; eat less calories than you can burn in a day through exercise.  That seems to be simplest and the best advice to keep a healthy weight.


JAMA, June 2012

WSJ, June 26, 2012

ABC News June 26, 2012



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