It’s over between me and Oprah. If you are a regular reader of metabolism.com you probably know about my proposal to Oprah. Don’t get worked up, it wasn’t a marriage proposal. It was a proposal to create a Diabetes Lifestyles reality show for her new cable network. Here’s the background. Oprah is starting her “Own” network on cable and is hosting a contest for ideas to add to her line up. For the past 6 months visitors to Oprah’s website have been able to view all the ideas submitted by the public and vote for their favorite ones. My idea was to produce a Diabetes Lifestyle reality show called This Sweet Life. Over two months my idea acquired about 60 votes and was still in the running. The problem between Oprah and I started when she asked for a commitment. I’m not phobic about commitments but she asked for too much. In order to stay in the contest I had to commit to taking 6 weeks away from my medical practice to go to Los Angles to participate in filming of the conclusion of the contest. I’m sorry Oprah…I’m already committed to my medical practice so you can’t have me!
Maybe some other time. But it was fun while it lasted.
Gary Pepper, M.D., Editor-in-Chief, metabolism.com
5 steps, 5 simple steps can help us reduce dis-ease and induce ease.
1) Â EAT WHAT GROWS OUT OF THE GROUND. Â A pretty simple concept, yet the best way to have a healthy diet high in fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, good fats and good carbs. Â Eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables combined can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, Â high blood pressure and even osteoporosis. Â Ideally eat 9 or more servings per day for optimal health. Â Add whole grains, legumes, Â nuts, seeds, herbs and spices and you are on your way to a truly health promoting diet. Â Of course it is important to minimize exposure to pesticides and toxins that can end up in our produce and we’ll cover that in a future post.
2) Â HYDRATE. Â Drinking adequate amounts of fluids is extremely important to our metabolism. Â Our bodies are at least 60% water and even mild dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue and impaired athletic performance. Â Preferably our fluid intake will mostly come from purified water (I recommend Reverse Osmosis for several reasons we will cover in a future post). Â You can use RO water to make tea, coffee, lemonade and fruit seltzers. Â Most of us need at least 1 ounce per kilogram of body weight to start. Â We need to take in additional fluid in case of hot weather, losses during exertion, fever and other specific conditions.
3) Â BE ACTIVE. Â We all know that a sedentary lifestyle can increase our risk of heart disease and even cancer! Â Moderate activity that lasts at least 60 minutes should be done daily , or at least 5 days per week. Â To improve our fitness level, aerobic activity can be added a minimum of 3 times per week along with some weight training to build and maintain lean body mass.
4) Â RELAX. Â Stress can be as detrimental as a poor diet. Â The “fight or flight” response is great if you have to wrestle a foe or escape from one. Â A chronic “fight or flight” response is not great as the hormones coursing through our bloodstream can actually wreak havoc on our systems over time. Â A constant barrage of cortisol can even negatively affect parts of the brain. Â Deep breathing can reverse the stress response and begin to restore balance and harmony. Â Plan play time and get adequate sleep in order to keep that balance.
5) Â SMILE! Â Just the thought of a smile can make us feel really good. Â Imagine what the real thing can do!
KC has a lot of experience to share about how stopping smoking effects metabolism. (KC also has a lot of Bingo experience but don’t ask me how I know.) GPepper Editor-in -Chief
Iâ€™m a long-time (25+ years) smoker who has quit and re-started many times. My opinionâ€™s based on my own experience, talking to friends who have quit, plus years of reading umpteen books, journals, websites, etc. Smoking obviously screws with your metabolism – but no one is sure exactly how. Expect to gain up to 10 pounds within the first 6 months after quitting. Gaining more than 10 pounds in that time probably indicates overeating. It takes your body about 1 year to re-adjust its metabolism. Accept the idea that you will likely gain a few short-term pounds after you quit; consider it a â€œsymptom of recovery.â€ 10 pounds is not that big of a deal, though it certainly grabs your attention. After 1 year, your weight will slowly return to normal if you keep exercising and eating right. Managing the weight gets harder as you get older, so start NOW. Having said all that, I know people who have quit smoking and never gained an ounce, so hope for the best. Stay strong everyone, stay motivated, and Good Luck!!!
Did you know that nutrition is just as much about HOW and WHEN you eat as it is about what you eat?
Did you know that you can get more nutrients from eating your favorite neighborhood pizza in the right way, than you could from eating a steamed organic bowl of vegetables in the wrong way?
Ayurveda, the ancient system of health from India has given us tools to maximize the nutrients we get from our foods and to improve our digestion. So here’s 3 quick and crucial tips from ancient India!:
- When you eat, no matter what it is, chew it slowly, aiming for at least 30 chews per mouthful. Our saliva is the first step of digestion. Chewing well breaks down the food before your stomach processes it, exposing more of the nutrients to your body and also minimizing problems with reflux, acid and indigestion. Plus, savoring your food makes it last longer and may reduce the total amount of food you need to feel satisfied.
- When eating a heavy food like pizza, burgers, ice cream etc. try to eat these foods earlier on in the day, say for lunch or for an early dinner before 6:00pm. This will allow your body to digest and process the food before bed, going to sleep with a full stomach is at the root of a lot of weight management problems.
- When you eat a heavy meal, start with a raw salad filled with tons of crisp greens and your favorite light veggies like tomatos, cucumber, carrots etc topped with a light vinegar based dressing. The raw veggies act like a broom through the stomach, helping the body to digest the main meal and helping you maintain your weight.
Ancient India and China have a variety of techniques that can change your life depending on your lifestyle, body type, appetite, region that you live amongst many other considerations. This is something that an experienced practitioner can help you to decide. The above 3 suggestions will work for anyone anywhere and will provide simple and dramatic changes. Try them on for yourself and see how simple big change can be!
One aspect of lifestyle that is often overlooked is time spent sleeping. Getting adequate sleep is often sacrificed due to the demands of job and family. In the Sleep Heart Health Study over 1400 men and women were surveyed about their sleep habits and its relationship to diabetes and prediabetes. It was found that sleeping less than 6 hours per night was associated with increased risk of having diabetes. Interestingly, in those sleeping more than 9 hours per night there was an increased risk of diabetes and prediabetes. The authors of the study recommend trying to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night to minimize the chances of developing blood sugar problems.
Maintaining ideal body weight with diet and exercise is also crucial for avoiding diabetes and prediabetes. In overweight adults for each 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) gained per year the risk of developing diabetes increases about 50% over the next ten years. By losing 2.2 pounds per year the risk of developing diabetes is reduced about 33% for the next 10 years (J Epidemiol Community Health. Â 2000; 54(8):596-602).
Speak to your healthcare professional to find out if you are at risk for developing diabetes and to learn ways you can avoid it.
Gary Pepper M.D.
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