I’ve managed to lose twelve pounds without ever feeling hungry and
with bread and desserts still on the plate!
That alone is worth the effort
.  ~Shelly Tucker www.This Eclectic Life.com


My blogfriend is battling her cholesterol level one meal at a time.  Sensible story-teller that she is, Shelly is taking care of herself by switching to meat-free meals.  Her doctor gave her the lowdown:  it was either medication or behavioral changes.

I was told that I could lower my cholesterol if I dropped some weight, got regular exercise, and ate healthy foods.

An initial false start led her to up the ante.

At the time of that first test, I did eat a pretty healthy diet … but I ate a lot of meat (and of course, bacon).  Small changes didn’t result in a noticeable drop, so I decided to go “whole hog,” so to speak, and eat like a vegetarian for three months.

Her commitment seems to be working for her, and she doesn’t feel tempted when cooking meat-centered meals for the husband.

It hasn’t been as difficult as you might think. Eating like a vegetarian is certainly not as hard as I thought it would be.

The proof in the meat-free pudding will be her cholesterol levels in August, results which I await in anxious anticipation.  Could it be that the cure for high cholesterol is possible through changes in meal planning?  And a twelve-pound weight loss over a month’s time is exactly the slow and sure way to do it.

Bravo, Shelly, on taking a thoughtful and sensible route to better health.  Too many Americans opt for the quick fix, hoping medication will be their salvation, their way back to good health.  Medication too often masks the problem of eating poorly.  Nothing cures the body of too many unhealthy foods like stopping them before they are eaten where they can do real damage.

This is a beautiful example of voting with our forks.  Changing what we eat signals a real commitment to care for our bodies in substantive ways.

The American food industry sells many empty foods.  Comprised of mostly sugar, fat and refined and enriched elements, empty foods have lots of heft:  they fill you up, but they have very little, if any, high-quality food value.  Marketing tricks you into thinking that there is goodness in words like:

Made With Organic . . .
Reduced Salt
, Smart or any other health claim

Used in food packaging and advertising, these words, at best, mean absolutely nothing and, at worst, are little inaccuracies sprinkled on the packaging.

Low-cal is a tip-off that the product contains artificial sweetener.  Substitution with equivalent amounts of artificial sweeteners is not a good solution to high-calorie food products.  Saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame and acesulfame potassium are artificial  sweeteners approved by the FDA.  Artificial sweeteners eaten in one meal can fool the body into eating more at the next so, despite being low in calories, consuming artificial sweeteners can actually cause weight gain.

Because a food is said to be low in calories – like diet soda or low-fat cake – the food industry counts on us to convince ourselves that we can eat them without consequence.  That, while knowing they are not good for us, makes it seem as though they are not really bad for us.  But, when you look at it, no good will come from eating these types of foods.

Combining whole grains with  refined defeats the purpose of using whole grains in the first place.  Any company that truly recognizes the benefit of whole grains would never combine them with a refined grain product.

Same with organic.  If a company uses an organic ingredient and then adds high-fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, GMOs, plants grown with pesticides or meats with antibiotics, then that food product is by no definition organic.  Be very suspicious of packaging that says Made With Organic . . . . A glance at the ingredient list will tell you the whole story.

Natural is a word that literally has no definition in the food industry.  They can legally call artificial bacon bits natural.  It means absolutely nothing.

Enriched is a clue that the food product is highly processed.  If it weren’t it wouldn’t need to be enriched because all of the nutrients would be intact.  And how are those food products enriched?  Artificially and chemically.

Watch out for the slippery term Reduced Salt.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t an abundance of added salt, so check the food label for the quantity.

What is a healthy food?  If a package proclaims that the food product inside is Healthy, chances are it is not.  Health, like Good or Bad is a relative term.  The food industry will admit, for example, that a granola bar is healthy because it is more healthy than an iced pastry.  Most food is healthier than an iced pastry; it isn’t any sort of benchmark in the world of food.  Don’t be swayed by this ploy.

Seek out information about what to eat for yourself.  The food industry is interested and focused on protecting their interests, not yours.  Eat whole foods for a month and see if your body doesn’t feel better.  Today’s List will help get you there.  It is a dozen foods that you can eat that will help you get to a whole food menu.  Most require no cooking, but does require label-reading to insure that you’re eating food unadulterated with the things that keep us addicted to poor-quality food.  You be the judge.  Your body will know.  Try it.  Keep me posted; I’m interested in how it goes!

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