The insulin/fat connection

The primary source of body fat for most Americans is not dietary fat ----- but carbohydrate, which is converted to blood sugar and then, with the aid of insulin, to fat by fat cells.

Remember, insulin is our main fat-building hormone. Eat a plate of pasta. Your blood sugar will rise and your insulin level (if you have type 2 diabetes or are not diabetic) will also rise in order to cover, or prevent, the jump in blood sugar. All the blood sugar that is not burned as energy or stored as glycogen is turned into fat.

So you could, in theory, acquire more body fat from eating a big carb "fat-free" dessert than you would from eating a tender steak nicely marbled with fat. Even the fat in the steak is more likely to be stored if it is accompanied by bread, potatoes, corn, and so on.

Now consider what would happen if you instead ate a “fat-free” dessert with exactly the same number of calories as that steak. Your insulin level will jump dramatically in order to cover the sugar and starches in the dessert. Remember, insulin is the fat-building and fat storage hormone. Since it’s dessert, you probably won’t be going out to run a marathon after eating, so the largest portion of your newly created blood sugar won’t get burned. Instead much of it will be turned into fat and stored.

Interestingly enough, eating fat with carbohydrate can actually slow the digestion of carbohydrate, so the jump in your blood sugar level might thereby be slowed. This would probably be relatively effective if you’re talking about eating a green salad with vinegar-and-oil dressing. But if you’re eating a regular dessert, or a baked potato with your steak, the slowdown in digestion would not prevent blood sugar elevation in a diabetic.

Read more about this the insulin/fat connection here.

Carbs + dietary fat = converts to body fat

I love my carbs - but I am also aware of how much and what kinds I am consuming. According to a top-notch authority on the subject, Richard K. Bernstein, MD, in his wonderfully informative book; Diabetes Solution, states:

"If you give it some thought, it makes perfect sense: If a farmer wants to fatten up his pigs or cows, he doesn't feed them meat or butter and eggs, he feeds them grain. If you want to fatten yourself up, just start loading up on bread, pasta, potatoes, cake and cookies - all high carb foods. If you want to hasten the fattening process, consume dietary fat with your carbs. Indeed, two recent studies shown that dietary fat, when consumed as part of a high-carb diet, was converted to body fat. Fat consumed as part of a low-carb diet was metabolized, or burned off."


When you want a change from your plain, ole water.....

I just found out what an Italian soda is!  I had the club soda and sugar-free vanilla syrup on hand and came across the recipe in a diet book for low sugar eating.  Wow!  It's great!  Calorie and sugar-free and it taste fantastic!  You can gussy up the drink by adding cream to make a cream soda.

This is a healthy alternative to "real soda" - which is horrible for our health.  Club soda is simply plain water that has carbon bubbles added.  Get the low-sodium kind if you are avoiding salt. 

Italian Soda: Basic Recipe

* 2 Tbs flavored sugar-free syrup
* 8-12 oz club soda

Pour syrup into glass, add club soda and stir.

That is easy, isn't it? Now, when you need to add some luxury to that you want a Cremosa.

Cremosa:Basic Recipe

* 2 Tbs flavored sugar-free syrup

* 8 oz club soda
* 4 oz half and half or cream

Stir together, or serve in layers. To serve in layers, pour the syrup in the glass. Add the club soda, then partially whip heavy cream and float it on top. It takes some practice but is a beautiful presentation.

Tip: The secret is to mix in the order given in this recipe. This will keep your milk from curdling.
Start with a large glass. Pour syrup into the glass (a few tablespoons, you may like more or less). Next add the cream, half and half, or milk. Stir them together. Now fill the glass with club soda and ice. Top with whipped cream if desired. Drink with a straw. Enjoy!

Now that you have the basics down...Here are some of the best flavor combinations:

* Victorian-1 tbs vanilla, 1 tbs rose
* Creamsicle-1 tbs orange, 1 tbs vanilla
* Creme Brulee-1 tbs caramel, 1 tbs vanilla
* French Countryside- 1/2 tbs lavender, 1 1/2 tbs lemon
* Summer Afternoon-2 tsp blackberry, 2 tsp white chocolate, 2 tsp violet
* S'mores-1tbs toasted Marshmallow, 1/2 tbs Caramel, 1/2 tbs Chocolate

There are literally hundreds more combinations and ways of making them, and each of the recipes can be used for cremosas as well.

Click here for Da Vinci cold drink recipes using their sugar-free syrups.


Weights will bring down your sugar better than jumping around aerobically

This may be a longish post - but stay with me - you will learn how to effectively lift weights to bring your sugar levels down. Here's how:

The major problem a type 2 diabetic has is the insensitivity of the cells of their body to the effects of the insulin that their body is producing. This insensitivity is called "insulin resistance". Exercising the muscles of the body can greatly increase the sensitivity to insulin, and as that sensitivity is increased it brings sugar levels down naturally. Doctor Richard Bernstein has developed a way to exercise the body that greatly improves the body's sensitivity to insulin, and this is covered below:

"Insulin resistance, which is the hallmark of Type II diabetes, is enhanced in proportion to the ratio of abdominal fat to lean body mass. One of the best ways to improve this ratio in order to lower your insulin resistance is to increase your lean body mass. Therefore, for most Type II diabetics, the most valuable type of exercise is muscle building."
If you eat this....ya gotta do what the little guy is doing...

"First, what is muscle-building exercise? Resistance training, weight training (weight lifting), or gymnastics would all qualify."

"Aerobic exercise is exercise mild enough that your muscles are not deprived of oxygen. When muscles exercise aerobically, they don't increase much in mass and they don't require as much glucose for energy. Anaerobic exercise deprives the muscles of oxygen; it tires them quickly and requires about fourteen times as much glucose to do the same amount of work as aerobic exercise."

"The blood sugar drop during and after continuous anaerobic exercise will be much greater than after a similar period of aerobic exercise."

"The efficiency of your own (or injected) insulin in transporting glucose and in suppressing glucose output by the liver becomes considerably greater when anaerobic exercise is incorporated into your program."

"Anaerobic metabolism produces lactic acid, which accumulates in the active muscles, causing pain. Since the acid is cleared almost immediately when the muscles relax, the pain likewise vanishes upon relaxation. You can identify anaerobic exercise by the local pain and the accompanying weakness. This pain is limited to the muscles being exercised, goes away quickly when the activity stops, and does not refer to agonizing muscle cramps or to cardiac pain in the chest. Anaerobic activities can include weight lifting, sit-ups, climbing, chinning, push-ups, running up a steep incline, uphill cycling, gymnastics, using a stair climber, and so forth, provided that these activities are performed with adequate loads and at enough velocity to cause pain or transient discomfort."

"You can achieve continuous anaerobic activity, but on a rotating basis. After you finish exercising certain of your abdominal muscles by doing sit-ups, for instance, you switch to push-ups, which focus on various arm and shoulder muscles. From there, you go to chinning. Similarly, different weight-lifting exercises also focus on different muscle groups."
Don't know who this guy is.....but he looks good in green....

"The buildup of muscle mass lowers insulin resistance and thereby facilitates both blood sugar control and weight loss."

"The most productive way to perform an anaerobic exercise is to tire a particular group of muscles as quickly as possible, and keep them tired during the course of the exercise."

"By placing maximum demands on your muscles at first, you put yourself into the anaerobic (or oxygen-deprived) state right off. Then by slowly progressing to lighter weights, you force your muscles to work continuously in the anaerobic state and thereby build them."
The Best Exercises To Use Are Big, Compound
Movements That Recruit A Lot Of Muscle Mass.

"I start out with as much resistance as I can handle, and then ease up."

"This is how it works: Let's say you're performing curls. These involve sitting at the edge of a bench or chair and flexing your arms at the elbows with weights in each hand. You start with the heaviest weight that you can lift 3 - 4 times."

"By the time you've lifted it 4 times, your muscles are tired and you can't lift it any more. You immediately pick up the next lighter weight and do as many repetitions as you can (say 3 - 4), and so on down through lighter and lighter weights until you get to a total of about 20 repetitions. You might find that you can get out 21, or maybe you can only manage 19 - that's fine. The idea is that after the first few repetitions, your muscles are tired and they're working while they are tired, which is what stimulates muscles to build more mass."

"When you perform anaerobic exercise, your muscles break down for the first 24 hours, but then they build up over the next 24 hours."

"Once you've done your repetitions for a particular muscle group, you don't need to do that exercise again until the day after tomorrow. You immediately go on to the next exercise. In this way, you can accomplish considerably more in a shorter time frame."

"You can accomplish a more thorough and sensible workout in 15 - 30 minutes than you can in an hour and a half of conventional, less strenuous aerobic activity."

excerpted from Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution
by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein

Click here for a great weight training site for women


Kale - a green kind of LOVE

Kale is my new VFF! It has everything a girl could want in a vegetable and will always be there for me.
Great nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants...the list goes on and on.
There is a lot of nutritional info on the web and lots of great recipes for you to discover.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas

* Braise chopped kale and apples. Before serving, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped walnuts.
* Combine chopped kale, pine nuts, and feta cheese with whole grain pasta drizzled with olive oil.
* Kale, white bean and spicy sausage soup

We crave whole grains

The bran and germ of a grain contain significant amounts of vitamin B, a nutrient that regulates metabolism, maintains healthy skin, steadies muscle tone and promotes cell growth -----BUT--- vitamin B is depleted as we digest carbs of any kind.

If you eat white rice (as in a Chinese dinner) this depletes the vitamin B in your system; ..... but eat brown rice with the bran intact and this will replenish the B you're losing with eating carbs. Did you ever notice that you're hungry a few hours after eating Chinese dinner? Because you filled up on white rice, which is a big hit of carbs (along with lots of added sugars in the stir-fries).

For the nutrition we need, not to mention big flavors in every bite, we crave whole grains!

Source: Real Food Has Curves; How to get off processed food, lose weight, and love what you eat by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Exactly how much sugar???

Want to know how much sugar you're eating? Look at the ingredient list on a package; check out the number of grams of sugar per serving. Now divide that number by four. That's the number of teaspoons of sugar you're getting in each serving. (And notice how many servings the package says it contains. It may surprise you.)

Source: Real Food Has Curves; How to get off processed food, lose weight, and love what you eat by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Just what are "Fruit Syrups"?

When a product claims to be made with 100 percent fruit, read the label. If it includes fruit concentrates, it basically includes straight-on, extracted sweeteners.

Food chemists process fruit juice until it is basically fruit-flavored sugar, and then reconstitute it. Fruit a euphemism for sugars.

Source: Real Food Has Curves; How to get off processed food, lose weight, and love what you eat by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough