Sodium in Processed Foods: The Silent Killer?

saltIt’s no secret that we have too much salt in our diet. 

Although the body only requires about 180-500 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, we typically ingest almost 4,000 mg.  Currently, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, but this amount will be reduced to 1,500 mg by 2020.  More on that later… Continue reading

Real Weight Loss Stories | Amanda A.

Real Weight Loss Stories | Amanda A.

I had a baby five years ago and realized that I wasn’t going to be able to get the weight off without help.  I had a back problem that was headed towards surgery, and my doctor had said that I needed to lose weight. None of my clothes fit and I was just miserable.   I also suffer from Ulcerative Colitis.  Both the back problem and the UC meant occasional doses of steroids, which led to my weight gain. It became a vicious cycle of meds, weight gain, depression and inactivity that led to more weight gain, more back pain, and resumed medication use.

I started the Greenlite Medicine program on Friday, August 13, 2010 (lucky for me); and I weighed even more than I thought—192.7 pounds; my BMI was 29.3; and my body fat was 41.7 percent! I couldn’t have done it without the support of my health educator Elaine. She has been amazing, straightforward; and has lots of tips for helping me (like lemon in my water bottle, as lemon and water both have clarifying actions in the body; and acts as a natural detox). Being held accountable every week has made all the difference in the world.  Also, having a list of foods I could get easily from Trader Joe’s has really been helpful.

Before I had a family of my own, I had successfully completed Jenny Craig—but that didn’t help me in the real world.  You can’t eat packaged meals when you have a child; it was finally time for me to learn how to eat properly.

Honestly!  I had tried everything else!  The idea of initial help with medication appealed to me; but, the fact that this program isn’t over once you lose the weight was also a big factor.  My real journey is beginning now—re-introducing regular eating into my diet and helping to plan my life after my diet.

Now that my back is better because I weigh less, I work out about 4 times a week with cardio interval training, and lift weights twice a week.  I can go to the park, play ball, and chase after my daughter on her scooter.  Going to the gym has made a huge impact not just on me physically, but emotionally. I walk my child to and from school whenever I can and take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever possible.  A new Ipod shuffle was one of the non-food rewards I bought myself and I loaded it with my favorite upbeat tunes that helps keep me motivated during my workouts.

My back doesn’t hurt all the time; I can be up and about with my daughter.  I’m not laid up for weeks on end.  Even more significantly, since I started with Greenlite, I have realized that my UC outbreaks weren’t due to dairy products (which I can now eat in moderation); but rather due to processed carbohydrates (cookies, crackers, white bread, pasta, rice).  Since I cut down the consumption of processed carbs from my diet, the UC flare ups have totally gone away. This in turns means no steroids to control the outbreak, and no weight gain! Greenlite has empowered me to break the vicious cycle of meds, weight gain, depression and inactivity, through mindful eating.

The two day protein only has been a fantastic help when I get off track (and I still do!).

The biggest impact for me was seeing my before picture, yes I looked significantly heavier but it’s the expression on my face that struck me, I looked miserable.  And I was—from going to the closet every day and having to struggle into clothes, to not being comfortable standing for long periods of time.  Also, being laid up for weeks at a time because my back had gone out, and having to take more medication.  Everything is better now.  My UC is not flaring – I can eat dairy in moderation and I’m happier.  This is by no means the end of my struggle; I will have a lifelong battle with food and emotional eating but I’m on the right path.  Greenlite doesn’t just take my after picture and send me on my way; they continue to support and guide long after the “goal” weight has been achieved.  That was super important to me; I need this to not be a diet, but a lifestyle change.

Should Carbohydrates be Treated as an Addiction?

carbohydratesBased on recent studies, there has been increased success with treating obesity and disordered eating as a type of addiction to a substance. Addiction is by definition the “compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance”. With this definition in mind, should carbohydrates be treated as an addiction? Wouldn’t a successful “addict” be able to achieve life-long “sobriety”? For clinicians that are using this approach toward carbohydrates, the answer is an emphatic yes!  Continue reading