|A WEIGHT OFF MY MIND | October 2002
Helping Thyroid and Autoimmune Disease Patients Lose Weight and Feel Great
from Mary J. Shomon
Author of Living Well With Hypothyroidism, Living Well With Autoimmune Disease, and The Thyroid Diet Success Guide
|IN THIS ISSUE:
Pilates: Hollywood's Hottest Workout-Is It For You?
Delicious Reader Recipes Make Weight Loss Easier
Quote of the Month!
Reader Weight Loss Tips: From Curves to Carb-Blockers
You Cannot Lose Weight, But...
Excuse-Proof Your Exercise Plan
USDA Offers Handy Free Nutrient Info Database
Successful Dieters Give Thumbs-Up to Peanut Butter Diet
Food Sensitivities and Allergies
Thyroid Diet Success Guide
Crucial Thyroid News to Help You Live Well
Special New Subscriber Value Package
Living Well With Hypothyroidism -- 16th Printing
Notes from Mary
Online, back to December 2001
A Weight Off My Mind email edition is published monthly, and is copyright 2001-2002, by Mary Shomon.
Regular mail: Mary Shomon, P.O. Box 565, Kensington, MD 20895-0565
IMPORTANT NOTE: All information in this newsletter is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should always seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and always consult your physician or health practitioner before starting a new diet, fitness regimen, herbal therapy, supplement or other self-directed treatment.
Welcome to the tenth issue of "A Weight Off My Mind," Mary Shomon's email newsletter for thyroid and autoimmune disease patients who are interested in losing weight and feeling better through diet and nutrition. You are receiving this issue because you signed up to receive this free email report. (Note: If you are no longer interested in receiving future
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PILATES: HOLLYWOOD'S HOTTEST WORKOUT-IS IT FOR YOU?
What do Madonna, Courtney Cox-Arquette, Halle Berry -- and now, Mary Shomon -- have in common? They swear by an easy and effective exercise routine that helps them sculpt and maintain their bodies-a routine that may help put the fun back in fitness for you as well.
Called Pilates (that's pronounced puh-LAH-teez), it's a unique method of strengthening the body by focusing on its core -- known in Pilates as the "powerhouse" -- the muscles of the abdominals and back. Developed by Joseph Pilates, who applied his methods to rehabilitate soldiers injured in World War I, the exercise regimen became popular with dancers. Pilates is now used not only by dancers and for rehabilitation, but by America's fittest and most glamorous stars and models -- and increasingly, even us people with thyroid conditions!
Pilates helps you perfect your posture, prevent injury, increase flexibility, and even improve circulation -- which can be a help to a sluggish metabolism. Pilates exercises are usually performed very carefully and in a controlled way, with concentration and breathing, promoting a mind-body balance in addition to fitness benefits.
Why is Pilates so popular? Fitness expert from the new Pilates for Dummies video, Michelle Dozois, offers these five reasons:
1. Look slimmer, instantly. Pilates makes you contract your abdominals and lengthen your spine like a ballet dancer, so you immediately look slimmer and more graceful. You relieve pressure from the lower back, so you gain energy, too.
2. Do it anywhere. Mat exercises, such as those in Dozois' video, can be done in a space no larger than an exercise mat, without any equipment.
3. No sweat, no impact. Pilates is a no-impact form of exercise that throws the old adage, "No pain, no gain" out the window. It's gentle on the body's joints and muscles and requires a minimal amount of repetitions, so it's easy to learn and fun to do.
4. Anyone can do it, no matter what your age or fitness level, or even given most health conditions. A "Pilates body" looks great on people of all ages, even folks in their seventies. Says Dozois: "Most get hooked on Pilates because it helps them look and feel better. I've also got clients who find it helps them recover from surgeries such as mastectomies. Pilates helps restore energy drained from chemotherapy. My clients also find it improves their balance and keeps their bodies moving freely."
5. Those in the know, know it works. Two of the most important names in dance, George Balanchine and Martha Graham, made it an integral part of their dancers' training.
Currently, Pilates is the fastest-growing class in health clubs, according to the International Dance and Exercise Association. Hollywood's best bodies swear by it.
I mentioned in the last issue that I have started to do Pilates, and I'm now two months into a weekly Pilates session with a trainer. Mid-week, I usually do another hour of Pilates from a tape. I've been doing Pilates mat work -- not the Pilates machine work, or fancy classes...just the simple floor work, using my own body for resistance and weight bearing.
The improvement for me has been dramatic, in just a few sessions. First, my posture is tremendously improved. And standing taller does make you look longer, leaner and thinner. Second, as someone who is forever hunched over the computer, and suffering from various shoulder, neck, and back pains as a result, I can say that since doing the Pilates, I am nearly pain free, even after a day of intense computer work. Third, I'm more flexible. Bending over to pick something up, putting on shoes, climbing stairs -- these are all activities that I'm doing comfortably, flexibly, and with a spring in my step. My legs actually feel lighter.
And, my abdominals are more toned and tighter, as is my waist. My arms and legs are a bit leaner and stronger.
Despite not being a big exercise fan, I actually look forward to each session, and by mid-week, I am ready to follow a video on my own, because I want that flexible, strong feeling to continue throughout the week. My goal is to work up to doing Pilates every day!
|If you'd like to give Pilates a try, I'd suggest Dozois' "Pilates for Dummies" video, which offers simple yet effective Pilates mat exercises plus tips, myth-busters and modifications for all fitness levels. In the Pilates for Dummies video or DVD, you'll get step-by-step instructions for 18 of the popular Pilates floor exercises.
Order Pilates Workout for Dummies
DVD version from Amazon.com
VHS from Amazon.com
DELICIOUS READER RECIPES MAKE WEIGHT LOSS EASIER
Readers have written in to share some wonderful recipes, and they are simply too delicious not to feature here so everyone can enjoy them!!
Janet's Grilled Asparagus
1 pound of asparagus
3 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
Wash and trim asparagus. Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place on grill for 10 minutes. Immediately remove to small platter and pour sauce over asparagus.
Janet's Garden White-Bean Salad
1 7-oz container pesto
1 cucumber, peeled & seeded
1 yellow pepper, seeded
1 tomato or 12 cherry/grape tomatoes
1 15 1/2-oz can of beans (I use 'Great Northern' beans), drained & rinsed
1 lemon - zest and juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Mesclun (baby greens) mixed greens salad with baby spinach
Cut vegetables into small pieces. Mix together the first six ingredients. Mince lemon zest and add it, along with the juice of the lemon, to the mixture. Add salt and pepper if desired. Mix together mesclun mixed greens & baby spinach; arrange greens on plates. Top greens with the garden white-bean salad.
Chicken breasts, halved (one half breast per person serving size)
Sliced zucchini (or other vegetables)
Reduced fat peanut butter
Olive oil (cold pressed extra virgin)
Cut the chicken breast into strips with meat-cutting scissors
Season with salt and pepper
For each breast you are cooking, slice a small onion, and some vegetables (i.e., zucchini) or any favorite vegetable, enough for one person
For each breast/serving, mix one tablespoon of reduced fat peanut butter and 2 to 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
Cook the chicken and sliced onion in a preheated nonstick pan in olive oil
Remove the cooked chicken to a glass plate
Cook the vegetables in the same pan for few minutes
Put the veggies on the plate with the chicken
Remove the pan from the stove, add the soy sauce and peanut butter and make a sauce
Put the chicken and vegetables back in the sauce on medium heat and cook for one or two minutes
Don't let the sauce dry up by cooking longer
Use more peanut butter and soy sauce if necessary, and add some hot sauce if desired
Serve alone, on rice or over angel hair pasta
Note from Mary: try Kikkoman reduced sodium soy sauce, great taste but even healthier
Vegetable Chili by Blanche
Blanche sent in this recipe, and says she loves it because "it cooks up so quickly and keeps well in fridge."
1 or 2 carrots chopped (optional)
2 medium onions
2-3 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tblsp. jalepeno peppers diced (use jarred in water drained) or not
42 oz. diced or chopped canned tomatoes (cheapest brand)
2 tsp. minced garlic (fresh or jarred in water)
2 cans red kidney beans washed and drained
1/3 cup bulgur wheat (optional)
Simmer first 7 ingredients until carrots (if using) are soft for 25 minutes: otherwise cook for 15 minutes. Add bulgur
Continue to simmer for another 3 minutes
Stop cooking and add kidney beans
Notes: This recipe is fat free and can be served over brown rice or pasta for a complete protein. If you like food less or more spicy, adjust accordingly.
Pat's Chicken Soup
Says Pat: "I invented this recipe for soup during a long trek through dental surgeries and such. It is healthy, filling and very good. I use organic foods."
3-4 skinned organic chicken thighs
2 cups of small yellow squash and zucchini
About 1/2 to 3/4 cup of white cabbage
Scallions cut up small
About 1/2 cup of cut carrots
1/2 large onion sliced or a medium onion
Diced green peppers if desired--about 3 tbs.
1 medium to large can (personal preference--I use medium) diced tomatoes, preferably with basil.
1 cube of chicken broth mix -- add water if more broth desired
Sprinkle with lemongrass, fresh thyme, sea salt to taste, cayenne pepper, a wee bit of organic sugar, teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, a medium clove of garlic squeezed.
Use slow cooker to better preserve nutrients--place veggies in bottom, chicken on top, herbs on top of that. Cook until all ingredients are tender. I sometimes use the fast selection on my crock-pot cooker.
You can vary amount of vegetables, and can use fresh string beans if desired. I prefer it with the squashes and cabbage. This freezes very well for soup later when you do not have time to make it.
And every herb assists the body toward wellness.
Barb's Fresh Salsa
Barb writes: "Here is another fresh salsa recipe. Seems almost TOO simple when you first see it but try it...very good and incredibly easy!!...actually we learned how to make this from a Mexican American health conscious friend! So we figure it is pretty authentic...delicious and good-for-you AND addictive!
4 good size GARDEN (if possible) tomatoes
1 med sweet onion (Walla wallas or such are the best)
1 bunch (maybe 4-6) green scallion onions
Handful of FRESH cilantro - to taste
All these items are chopped fine and mixed together- as in your recipe, a processor is nice but we think it is best done by hand, being careful to save all the juices. Sometimes we add a pinch or two of Celtic sea salt but most of the time it is not needed depending on the flavor of the veggies. Also a squeeze of fresh lime is nice for a change too. Some members of the family add a jalapeno diced real small but if you are a cool salsa lover, this recipe still tastes great as is! Trick is to let the flavors mingle for a bit before serving...and serve at room temperature. Also...if you add salt, it will juice up quite a bit so you may want to drain it a bit for easier dipping. (This 'draining' makes for a great HEALTHY and yummy V-8 type juice!) We use healthy tortilla chips or Wasa bread 'chips' but also very often raw veggies. Slices of cuke or zucchini...celery, sometimes even turnip and always jicama...the BEST! We like this salsa on everything...eggs, chicken, over cottage cheese, salads...great with avocado! Makes a great healthy alternative to regular salad dressing.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH!
Rose sent in this terrific quote from Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein:
There are women who take wonderful care of themselves and eat only vegetables and run ten hours every morning and take the right vitamins, and they will do just fine. I'm bringing up the rear.
READER WEIGHT LOSS TIPS: FROM CURVES TO CARB-BLOCKERS
Kudos for Curves for Women
A reader writes: "I wanted to let you and your readers know about a "new" Women's Gym. It's called Curves for Women. It's a Women's gym that from what I hear is WONDERFUL!! I hear NOTHING but good about this gym. It's a 1/2 hour at least 3 days a week program and you just go to each station for the allotted time and you're done!!! That easy. I haven't yet joined (we're in the process of moving) but I am SO joining when we get to where we're going. Good Luck!"
Note from Mary: I only hear wonderful things from Curves members, who swear by the fast, effective exercise program.
"The Firm" Tapes
"I have been doing Firm tapes for 15 years.. It has helped me tremendously !!! It incorporates Weights and Aerobics!!... As thyroid patients ... we can diet until the cows come home.... exercise is the key to maintaining your weight and stamina!! I am 5"7" at 130 and have been for years... at 46 I have to work even harder!!... Your newsletter is very very helpful! Thank you!" -- Darlene
(Note from Mary: A while back, I asked whether anyone had had any luck with carb blockers containing Phaseolim. I felt like I had some slight effects for a week or so, but then didn't really see any difference. But one reader felt that they were a terrific addition to her diet program.)
"I have had incredible success with this product and strongly urge you to continue to try to use it. I will say that it takes some adjustment to your present diet. In other words - if you're not eating much starches - your not going to have as much success since you're not blocking that many calories per day.. I had to increase my starches as a percentage of my diet and I am astounded at how well it works. I don't weigh myself but I can tell from my clothes hanging off of me how well I am doing and I have a doctors appt next week so I'll know how many lbs I lost. I know I've dropped about 2 sizes. I did go back to exercising last week - I do Pilates - and I dropped so much weight last week that I have added some more protein into my diet cause I'm worried that I am losing too quickly. I have recommended this to my sister who is also hypo and to some friends with ordinary weight issues and they've had success too. Some things I've learned from the man at the company (http://www.starchstopper.com)
You don't have to take it 1/2 hour before meals - I now take it about 15 minutes and a few times have taken it 5- 10 minutes before eating. I do take it with a large glass of water -- 6-8 oz -- to make sure it dissolves and enters my system quickly. The pills I take are a fine powder in a clear gelatin like capsule.
You don't have to race through your meal - I was doing this because I was afraid it was going to stop working a short time after taking it - according to him - this product continues to work for some time - possibly a few hours - so its safe to eat something with starch 1 hour after taking the pill.
You can start to eat a salad, soup etc. or any other non starch item after you've taken the pill, during the time when you're waiting for the pill to take effect.
You can take up to 1000 mg of the Phaseolamin with a meal - I generally take one 500 mg pill, but on a few occasions when I knew I was having a large portion of pasta or I was particularly hungry - I have taken 2 pills before the meal - I have only taken the 2 pills a few times - I mostly take 1 pill.
You can take it several times a day - they recommend 2x on the website but the man told me that people take it before eating a snack of potato chips, if they're having starches at 3 meals instead or 2 - etc.
IMO for $16.77 and virtually no health concerns taking this product since its made from kidney beans - I can't see how more people in our hypo community aren't giving it more of a chance. I really urge you to try it again or try to make it work for you by adding more starches as a percentage of your diet. I have been killing myself for the past 2 years to lose AND just maintain my weight - this has been like a miracle to me. Its sad to see all of the women on your site struggling and so unhappy and this is something that has a good chance of working for them if they'd give it a chance.
BTW - thank YOU for telling us about it -- I can't tell you what a gift this has been to me - I have been killing myself to just maintain my weight before I started this product.
|(Note from Mary: After getting Julliana's testimonial letter, I'm going to get out my bottle of carb blockers and keep trying them again to see if maybe I didn't give it enough time. It's also possible that something that works really well for one person may not for another, so given that these products are inexpensive and appear to have no particularly troublesome side effects, they are definitely worth revisiting.
If you are an Iherb.com user, as I am, you may want to get Natrol's Phase 2 product that contains only Phaseolim. It's $14 for a bottle of 60, and is one of the products recommended at Starchstopper.com
Buy it now from Iherb.com
YOU CANNOT LOSE WEIGHT, BUT...
by David Junno Psy.D.
Many of us have been faced with having to lose weight, lower our cholesterol, become more fit, or make some other important change to improve our health. Yet, all of these things are impossible to do!
"What?" you might say, "How can that be? People are being asked to do these things all the time." The problem is that these are end points, hoped for goals; they are not things you can actually "do."
Things we cannot do (a short list):
For goals to be accomplished there must be actions we can take. Just focusing on losing pounds, for example, gets us nowhere. Focusing on the actions steps we need to make that could result in losing pounds, now there is something we can "do."
- Lose weight
- Lower cholesterol
- Become fit
- Lower blood sugar
- Clear our arteries
- Have a stronger heart
- Reduce stress
Things we can do:
With many health-related goals, we don't always see the results, or see them right away. For example, with lowering cholesterol we never actually see the cholesterol and how high or low it is. With losing weight the results may be slow and gradual. This can make it difficult to sustain motivation over time.
- Determine how many calories of food we need a day and eat less than we burn
- Plan our menu for the week to have foods that are good for us
- Spend 15 minutes during lunch and after dinner taking a brisk walk
- Have healthy alternative snacks available when we need them
- Avoid eating foods high in saturated fats or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
- Take time each day to do one thing we enjoy
- Prioritize what we need to do and eliminate low priority items when we a stretched for time
However, we can keep track of meaningful action steps we take. We may not be able to see pounds being shed each day, but we can keep track of how much fat we include in our diet, or how many minutes of exercise we get. Having concrete actions we can monitor increases our sense of mastery and control and therefore fuels motivation.
Get the picture? Success in accomplishing our goals is all about having the right focus. Want to lose weight, lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, get fit, strengthen your heart, or be happier? Then focus on what steps you can "do" to get there.
Remember, having the right diet and getting enough exercise will not only improve your health- IT WILL IMPROVE YOU LIFE.
Until next time,
Dave Junno Psy.D.
Dave Junno Psy.D. is a psychologist, coach and author of Lowering High Cholesterol and Reducing Your Risk of Heart Disease - READY OR NOT! You may contact Dave Junno via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at
EXCUSE-PROOF YOUR EXERCISE PLAN
by Susan Rutter © 2002
We all do, even me. We blow off working out. We don't have time. (That's my big excuse since having a baby.) We don't like doing it. We're intimidated. Or, it just doesn't seem worth all the effort.
Well, here are tricks for getting past those common excuses. Exercise can be simpler (and feel easier) than you ever imagined.
Excuse: It doesn't feel good.
Solution: Do A Cool-Down!
Finishing your workout with 5 minutes of easy activity can make it more enjoyable, according to a study by Britton W. Brewer, PhD, of Springfield College in Massachusetts. "People's last impression of exercise is the one that lingers," he says. "With a cool-down, you leave feeling the exercise was easier, so you're more likely to do it again."
Excuse: I'll look silly.
Solution: Forget Perfection.
Exercise is not a Broadway performance. "Women put such pressure on themselves." says Carol Gallagher, PhD. "Learning to feel okay with and laugh at little mistakes is good for you." Walk, dance -- enjoy yourself without worry about how you look. Bonus: You burn more calories when you're not very good at something.!
Excuse: I don't have time.
Solution: Count the small stuff.
"Life is never all or nothing, especially in exercise." says Dr. Gallagher. A 10-minute walk is always better than nothing. I found that when I did my workouts it felt more comfortable with casual wear. Forget changing into exercise clothes; I just slip on my sneakers for a quick walk around the block.
Excuse: I'm not getting results.
Solution: Move It All.
Try an activity that works both your upper and lower body at the same time: try aerobics, swimming, pole walking. You'll boost your calorie burn without feeling like you're working any harder. In a study of 30 women who cycled, walked, or did step aerobics, researchers found that those doing the step workout requiring the use of their arms and legs felt the exercise was significantly easier -- even though they were working at the same intensity as the others. "Coordinating your arm/leg movements can keep your mind busy, so you're less likely to focus on the exertion," says Lisa Lloyd, PhD, of Southwest Texas State University.
Excuse: I've tried it before.
Solution: Shift your thinking.
"You achieve what you focus on," explains Dr. Gallagher. "So instead of focusing on what you didn't do, concentrate on the times you did exercise. It's more empowering and proof that you can succeed."
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Susan Rutter: author, publisher, nutritionist, instructor
Helping patients make healthy choices and changes in their lives. Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a free email course: "Your Health and Your Weight"
We Are What We Eat...includes 4 free health software programs.
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|ARE YOU GETTING THE FREE THYROID NEWSLETTER?
If you're a new "Weight Off My Mind" subscriber, you may not know about my monthly thyroid newsletter, "Sticking Out Our Necks," which features thyroid-related news and information, both conventional and alternative. Each monthly issue covers a variety of the latest thyroid disease news and information of interest to patients and practitioners. If you signed up for this diet newsletter, you are NOT automatically subscribed to the monthly thyroid newsletter, so get on the list for this free monthly now! Or, send an email to email@example.com with "Subscribe Thyroid News" in the subject.
USDA OFFERS HANDY FREE NUTRIENT INFO DATABASE
If you have a Palm Pilot or other handheld personal digital assistant (PDA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just made your dieting easier. The USDA Nutrient Database, which provides data on 6,220 foods for up to 117 nutrients and food components, is now available for download onto your PDA, making this information available on the go. You can also view the information online on your computer, in a variety of different formats. A search tool is also provided so you can look up the nutrient content of different foods directly from the home page.
In a statement, Phyllis Johnson, director of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, which manages the nutrient database, said "It's nutrition in your pocket, at home or at work. And it is available to consumers free-of-charge, as an 'e-government service.'"
The program lets you scroll through an alphabetized list of various foods, with nutritional information on each food. You can also modify portions to reflect sizes you are eating.
You can download the PDA software, and find out more information about the database at http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp.
SUCCESSFUL DIETERS GIVE THUMBS-UP TO PEANUT BUTTER DIET
"Fight Fat with Peanut Butter -- Real Life Success Stories" is highlighted on the cover of the November issue of Prevention Magazine. The magazine article profiles dieters who lost up to 27 pounds and are keeping it off by following the Peanut Butter Diet.
Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian and an associate professor of aging, nutrition and fitness at Johns Hopkins University, put the diet to the test. Ten women, plus Pierre herself, followed the diet for five months. The results? "Astonishing!" according to Pierre. "Collectively, we have lost a total of 140 pounds and not one person is tired of eating peanut butter. Over the past twenty years, I've counseled thousands of weight loss clients, but I've never before seen success like this," she enthused. Not one person dropped out, which is surprising for a program of this duration.
This group of women proved what researchers at Harvard and Purdue Universities have been finding in scientific studies -- peanut butter and peanuts are satisfying snacks that can help people stick to weight loss diets. By counting calories and watching portions, each woman spread up to four tablespoons of peanut butter into her daily diet. Although portion-control was stressed throughout the study (one serving, or two tablespoons, is about the size of a ping-pong ball) dieters looked forward to their daily doses of peanut butter or peanuts. Favorite snacks of the dieters included peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hot oatmeal with melted peanut butter swirled through it.
As an added benefit, many of the dieters saw their cholesterol levels drop. These findings are consistent with previous research at Pennsylvania State University, which shows that including peanuts and peanut butter in a healthful diet lowers bad LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and total cholesterol by 14 and 11 percent, respectively.
The Peanut Butter Diet may sound like the latest fad diet, but its diet profile gets high marks. About thirty-five percent of calories in the diet come from fat -- mainly healthy monounsaturated fats -- and it is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Fifteen percent of calories come from protein, including the cholesterol-free plant protein in peanut butter, and the remaining 50 percent of calories come from carbohydrates. The diet also contains almost 30 grams of fiber and nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This diet is consistent with the latest dietary guidance from the National Cholesterol Education Program, American Heart Association, and
National Academies of Science.
When first promised that they could lose up to 25 pounds a year, while including four tablespoons of peanut butter a day (six tablespoons for men) into a healthful diet, dieters could not get enough. Moving quickly, nutrition editor, Holly McCord, MA, RD, expanded a March 2001 Prevention article into a top selling diet book, now in its fifth printing. Prevention's
Peanut Butter Diet, published by St. Martin's Press in August 2001, contains 28 days of diet menus, plus recipes and an in-depth summary of nutrition research that provides the basis for the diet.
Peanut butter and peanuts can be labeled free of trans fat and are rich in good unsaturated fat. Peanuts and peanut butter also provide plant protein, fiber, vitamin E, folate, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, all of which are thought to be important to health. Peanuts also contain bioactive components such as phytosterols, flavonoids, and antioxidants, the benefits of which
nutrition scientists are only beginning to discover.
You can find out more about the peanut butter diet at the Prevention magazine website.
Or, if you're daring and want to try the Peanut Butter Diet yourself, you can get the book online now from Amazon.com.
FOOD SENSITIVITIES AND ALLERGIES
When it comes to weight loss for people with thyroid disease and other autoimmune conditions, it's important to look at food and environmental sensitivities and allergies as possible factors that make weight loss difficult. Here is an excerpt from my new book, Living Well With Autoimmune Disease that addresses one aspect of the issue.
One of the most important things you can do is to determine if you have food or environmental allergies or sensitivities, and then identify ways to treat them.
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The most common allergenic foods include:
Dr. Larrian Gillespie, an expert on hormones and diet, is a firm believer that unsuspected and unidentified allergenic reactions may be causing inflammation and contributing to the autoimmune process. Says Gillespie:
- Dairy foods
- Fish (especially shellfish)
"Many people are allergic to food products. This causes the gut to 'leak' highly charged byproducts of metabolism into the lymphatic system. In turn, the byproducts alter the protective surface layer, called glycosaminoglycans, which act as the first barrier between the joint/muscle tendons and the fluid bathing them. Think of this as a giant bug zapper trying to prevent the bugs from getting through. When the membrane is damaged by altering the charge on the surface of the membrane, it allows larger molecules to pass in, causing inflammation. By using a diet that avoids allergens you can help prevent attacks of inflammation."
Food allergies are high on Dr. Donna Hurlock's list of possible triggers and culprits in some autoimmune reactions. Hurlock, a women's health and hormonal medicine expert, gynecologist and surgeon, urges her autoimmune disease patients to find out whether they have food allergies.
But don't waste a lot of money doing food allergy testing. You can spend $500 to $800 to do food allergy testing, and you'll find out you're allergic to wheat, or dairy, or another common allergen. Instead, a simple elimination diet – where you remove foods from your diet, and then reintroduce them, noting symptomatic reactions -- will tell you all you need to know.
Dr. Hurlock found that her own food allergy to citrus juices caused her to have joint pain approaching the level of rheumatoid arthritis.
"My hands hurt quite a bit. I immediately started an elimination diet, and discovered that I was allergic to orange juice. I stopped drinking it entirely, and no longer had joint pain. But every time I break down and drink it, I get joint pains."
Dr. Hurlock believes that while conventional medicine can solve some problems, with autoimmune diseases that have no clear cure from the outset, all autoimmune disease patients owe it to themselves to go on an elimination diet to assess food allergies. Says Dr. Hurlock:
"If you have a ruptured appendix, go get surgery. But if you have rheumatoid arthritis and all they can do is give you steroids and methotrexate, then at least do an elimination diet."
To do an elimination diet, you need to remove an item completely from your diet for 2 weeks. Then, eat a large amount of the food you're testing, to see if you have any noticeable reaction over the next 72 hours. You're looking for diarrhea, nausea, gas, headache, rashes, skin eruptions, itching, fatigue, irritability, and other strong reactions or symptoms.
According to registered dietitian and nutrition educator Rick Hall, insensitivity to foods may be more prevalent than we know, and he also advocates an elimination diet for autoimmune disease patients. Says Hall:
"The most known food sensitivities are to dairy, corn and wheat. There's additional evidence that soy may also be problematic. A food challenge test can be conducted to isolate which foods cause adverse reactions."
Functional medicine practitioner Dr. John Dommisse is a believer in more formal testing.
"I like the IgG4 and IgG1 (delayed) food allergy testing in the blood, by the ELISA method. This test is not popular with allergists but I have found it to be very useful in my practice. For one thing, it reveals those food sensitivities that are virtually impossible for patients to discover themselves, because the reactions are delayed."
|The above was excerpted from Living Well With Autoimmune Disease: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know by Mary J. Shomon, copyright 2002. http://www.autoimmunebook.com|
The book was just released in early October, and for those of you who have Hashimoto's disease, Graves' disease, or any autoimmune condition, it's a key step in living well. Living Well With Autoimmune Disease was published by Harper Collins, and is the second book in my ongoing "Living Well..." series. The book focuses on various autoimmune diseases and subclinical autoimmune syndromes, their symptoms, and the conventional - and alternative - treatments that can help reduce the risk of developing these conditions, help to keep them from worsening - and in some cases, even CURE them! It's also the only book to look at autoimmune diseases as one group of conditions with common or similar causes and triggers, and many common treatments to help.
Here's what "Alternative Medicine," the nation's top magazine on holistic and complementary medicine, had to say about Living Well With Autoimmune Disease.
'Living Well With Autoimmune Disease' should not only prove inspirational for those afflicted with these mysterious conditions, but also offers solid, practical advice for getting your health back on track." (Alternative Medicine magazine, November, 2002)
Publisher's Weekly had this to say:
"...those with autoimmune illnesses are being shortchanged by the medical establishment. Since those who suffer from one are more vulnerable to other autoimmune disorders (not to mention that they may have a genetic predisposition toward a disorder), this informative self-help manual is badly needed. Drawing on extensive research, as well as doctor-patient anecdotes, Shomon's guide is designed to empower patients to participate in their own care..."
(Publisher's Weekly, July 2002)
And Amazon.com recommends the book as well:
"...Living Well with Autoimmune Disease helps readers pinpoint symptoms, find the right practitioner, and learn cutting-edge approaches to reduce symptoms and reverse their disease. Shomon, a patient advocate and Web guide for people with thyroid disease...includes a 30-page checklist of risk factors and symptoms (helpful when you have no idea what condition you might have), a guide to finding and working with the right practitioner, and an extensive resources section that includes patient support organizations, Web sites, and books..." (Amazon.com)
To read a chapter, see the table of contents, read reviews, and find out how to order the book - online or by phone, go to http://www.autoimmunebook.com.
|If you have an autoimmune disease, you'll also want to subscribe to my free newsletter, The Autoimmune Report. This monthly email newsletter covers all facets of autoimmune disease, from diagnosis to cure, with both a conventional and alternative focus. If you're interested, sign up here, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Subscribe Autoimmune" in the subject for news and updates, including advance information on the book.||
MARY SHOMON'S "THYROID DIET SUCCESS GUIDE"
Just a few of the key features in the 35-page Guide include:
|Thousands of people have already ordered their copies of the "Thyroid Diet Success Guide,” and people are reporting that the low-glycemic approach featured in the guide is helping them slowly and safely lose weight. |
For me, it's been the only way I can effectively lose weight (and believe, me, I've tried them all!!) The "Thyroid Diet Success Guide" features information about why it's harder for thyroid patients to lose weight, insulin resistance, the role of the adrenal system, and lots of practical suggestions to help you finally enjoy weight loss success.
The "Thyroid Diet Success Guide" features a diet plan that you can follow, and specific information on exercises, and many other tips and resources. The Success Guide will help you get on the right track, with information that has actually helped other thyroid patients -- including me -- to effectively lose weight!
- Weight Loss Secrets for Thyroid Patients
- The Thyroid/Weight Loss Connection - Some Theories
- How To Lose Weight With Hypothyroidism
- Weight Loss Success: How I Lost 25 Pounds
- The Ultimate Thyroid Exercise Program
- Choosing the Right Weight Loss Program
- The Habits of Successful Weight Loss
- How Much Weight Do You Really Need to Lose?
- Popular Weight Loss Myths
- Seeing Results with Weight Loss and Exercising
|Order online now, securely, using Visa, Mastercard, American Express or your Discover card, via secure processing with CCNow. |
DISCOUNT FOR ONLINE ORDERING!
US ORDERS: $12, plus $2 shipping and handling, for U.S. online orders
OUTSIDE US: $12, plus $7 shipping and handling, for international online orders.
Buy Your Thyroid Diet Guide Online Now
FAX OR MAIL ORDERS
You can also order by fax, or mail. For an order form you can print out, visit http://www.thyroid-info.com/dietbook.htm. U.S. cost is $15, outside the U.S. is $25.
ORDER TOLL FREE
To order by phone, call our toll-free order line during weekday business hours at 888-810-9471 to order using your credit card. If you'd like a call-back, leave a message with your name and number, and Pat at the office will call you back to take your order. U.S. cost is $15, outside the U.S. is $25.
DELIVERY TIME: Don’t forget to allow 10 days to 2 weeks from receipt of your order for delivery of your Thyroid Diet Success Guide.
SPECIAL OFFER: We had the “Mini-Guides” reprintd, so every Weight Off My Mind subscriber who purchases The Thyroid Diet Guide will receive a free pocket-sized "Mini-Guide" that summarizes the key diet tips in a portable, easy-to-carry format!
MORE CRUCIAL THYROID NEWS TO HELP YOU LIVE WELL
If you are not receiving the Sticking Out Our Necks bimonthly print newsletter, you may be missing out on some essential thyroid news. Sticking Out Our Necks is a full-text newsletter sent by mail, including special features you won't find on the web in my email newsletters. It’s the only independent patient-oriented newsletter focused on the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease and related conditions. Every bi-monthly issue of Sticking Out Our Necks is filled with 12 pages of conventional and alternative thyroid-related information that helps you live well. You'll find unbiased conventional and alternative information, including the latest medical journal research that even your doctor hasn't gotten around to reading yet. If you want to be informed, empowered, and have the information you need to live well with your thyroid condition, subscribe now.
A one year subscription is only $25. Order securely online now, with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover, or via mail/phone/fax (Visa and MasterCard only).
SPECIAL NEW SUBSCRIBER VALUE PACKAGE! FOR ONLINE ORDERS ONLY!
The best possible value for those who want both the Thyroid Diet Guide, and a year’s worth of continuing information on thyroid disease and weight loss!!
A $48 value, all for only $37 plus postage. You save $11! ORDER NOW – ONLINE ONLY!!
- The Thyroid Diet Guide -- Thyroid Diet Guide (a $15 value), with Mini-pocket guide
- A One-Year Subscription (6 bimonthly 12-page issues) to "Sticking Out Our Necks: The Thyroid Disease News Report" (a $25 value)
- The 8-page Summer 2002 Thyroid News Roundup, Featuring More than 40 Thyroid-Related News Stories (a $8.00 value)
Order online now, securely, using Visa, Mastercard, American Express or your Discover card, via secure processing with CCNow!
|Order online now, securely, using Visa, Mastercard, American Express or your Discover card, via secure processing with CCNow, and receive:
US ORDERS: $37 total (plus $2 shipping and handling), for U.S. online orders
- A year's subscription (6 bimonthly 12-page issues) to Sticking Out Our Necks
- The Thyroid Diet Guide
- The special 8-page Summer Thyroid News Roundup Report, featuring 45 important thyroid-related news stories!
OUTSIDE US: $37 (plus $7 shipping and handling) for Canadian and international online orders.
BUY NOW! -- Use your credit card for a secure online order now!
Note: You should receive your order within a week to ten days for U.S. delivery.
LIVING WELL WITH HYPOTHYROIDISM
||16TH PRINTING!! Also, don't forget that your starting place for information about hypothyroidism is the first book in the Living Well series, , my book Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctors Don't Tell You...That You Need to Know. The book, published in 2000 by HarperCollins, is a top 40 Amazon.com health bestseller, and in October, it just went to its 16th printing! You can find out more information, read a free chapter online, order it now from Amazon.com, or get more information on the book and how to order it at http://www.thyroid-info.com/book.htm.|
NOTES FROM MARY
The holidays are coming. Is it time for you to get out the cookie and cake recipes, put another stick of butter in the stuffing, and forget all your good intentions when it comes to diet and exercise? Or are you, like me, hoping to do things a bit differently this year?
Let's share ideas, information-- and inspiration!! Do you have any secrets on how to stay sane when it comes to food and festivities? Healthy holiday recipes? Tips and tricks on how to fit exercise into the busy holiday season? Please share your holiday how-tos with me for a special holiday-focused issue next month. You can email me at email@example.com.
My objective is to get us all -- myself included -- through the season without gaining weight -- and ideally, continuing to successfully lose weight, exercise, and stay as stress-free and healthy as possible!
And in the meantime, go get a Pilates tapes and start working your powerhouse, stay AWAY from the leftover Halloween candy, and see you later this month for the November issue!
information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a
substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical
conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health
issues and consult your physician or health practitioner before starting a
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