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Health & Lifestyle e-Newsletter, Issue #001, May 2005
May 10, 2005

Issue #001, May 2005 Newsletter

The "Diet Free ... At Last!" Health & Lifestyle e-Newsletter is dedicated to keeping you updated on important health and weight-loss related issues...

This program is not just about losing weight, but more importantly, focuses on ways to improve your health ... and as a fantastic bonus you get to lose the excess weight that's been interfering with your health!


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Table of Contents:


Article: As long as you lose weight, does it matter how?

"Miracle Food" of the month: Beans and legumes

Recipe of the month: Persian Lamb & Split Pea Stew

Welcome to the launch of the "Diet Free ... At Last!" Health & Lifestyle e-Newsletter!

My name is Geri Richard and my purpose for writing this e-Newsletter is to provide ongoing information and tips to help you to not only lose weight (if you need to), but to learn how to manage health conditions you may have that trigger weight gain like Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, Estrogen Dominance, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Thyroid imbalances, Adrenal Exhaustion, Fatty Liver and much more.

The reason why we are exploring these health conditions is because in many cases, these conditions trigger high levels of insulin, high blood sugar levels and will usually cause you to store fat, rather than burn it off. By the way, even if you do not necessarily have to lose very much weight (or any weight at all), these health conditions still change your body’s metabolism to be a fat-storer rather than a fat burner.

What does this mean? It means that even if you are not overweight at this present time, your body could still be in the early stages of fat storage and your body’s metabolism could be starting to slow down. You may notice that you are starting to put on a bit more fat in the abdominal area than previously. If so, fat in this area is closely tied to Insulin Resistance and unstable blood sugar and insulin levels. As time goes on, your body will naturally be more prone to storing fat rather than burning it, and in most cases the end result is excess weight.

This program will focus on giving you a lot of information about both weight loss and the above-mentioned health conditions. If you do not feel like you need to lose any weight, then just ignore the weight loss information (or you may still feel like it is interesting information since it is very different from what the unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans out there are preaching!) and focus on the information related to Insulin Resistance, Diabetes and how to manage these conditions with nutrition and exercise.

I had to go through a lot of trial and error to perfect this program ... so that you don't have to! Believe me, I've been there ... and I want to teach you how NOT to go through what I did!

In my personal case, I have been plagued with excess weight and yo-yo dieting for the last 20 years, which has brought me to the state I am now in where I exhibit most of the above health conditions, with an emphasis on Insulin Resistance and Diabetes. (Click here to see a list of my symptoms)

And I have done a lot of trial and error in my research to find out what is the best way to cope with these conditions and keep my blood sugar and insulin levels stable, and it is my sincere hope that my experiences and research will be able to help anyone who is in the same boat!

And that's how the "Diet Free ... At Last!" Program was created. This is a program that promotes a healthy eating program that will help to alleviate and manage these health conditions in a safe and natural way ... and will help you to lose weight in the process.

So let's get started ...

Article: As long as you lose weight, does it matter how?

Do you have trouble losing weight, even by following rapid weight loss diet plans? Or keeping it off? Have you ever wondered why it is that no matter how hard you work at losing weight, no matter how much willpower you exercise, you are never able to make it stick? Even if you lose weight through sheer grit and determination, there always comes a time when you have to give up and the weight creeps right back on again.

In a perfect world, it wouldn't matter how we lost weight ... as long as it came off. We could use whichever method appealed to us the most, follow it, and when the weight came off we could go right back to our previous eating habits and not worry about gaining the weight back again.

Well, I guess we don't live in a perfect world, because like it or not, it does matter how we lose weight if we want to keep it off for life, rather than losing and gaining weight over and over again in a vicious yo-yo dieting cycle.

Most of the rapid weight loss diet plans on the market are doomed to fail right from the start because they trigger biological survival mechanisms like food cravings that are prone to making you store fat and gain weight. It is not that you don't have strong enough willpower to make these diets stick, it's that they biologically program your body to crave food and it is impossible to conquer these powerful food cravings through willpower alone.

How many times have you felt like a failure? That there must be something wrong with you because you just can't stop thinking about food. How long has it been since food, dieting, planning your meals and constantly thinking about your next meal has not been a part of your life? When is the last time you got through a whole day without craving some forbidden food? When is the last time you've been able to eat, completely guilt-free?

Unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans program your body to crave food obsessively. The body is biologically programmed to survive and will trigger survival mechanisms such as food cravings which will keep you alive in the short run, but which will ultimately cause many health problems in the long run.

On these unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans, caloric intake is often much lower than it should be. Restricted calorie diets don't work because the body adjusts its metabolism to match the lower calorie intake, thereby conserving energy. So even though you are taking in less calories, the body automatically adjusts its needs to match these calories and slows down the metabolism in response. This continual slowing down of the metabolism makes it harder and harder to lose weight, even on very low calorie diets.

Eating more healthy nutritious food actually speeds up metabolism by requiring the body to turn up its furnace to burn off the food.

When there aren't enough calories in the diet, the body prepares itself for survival against starvation. To do that, it activates fat-storing enzymes whose job it is to conserve as much of the calories eaten as possible. Because these diets don't have enough calories to sustain healthy life, our body resists starvation by causing food cravings in the hope that whatever food we eat will give us the nutrition we need.

When we finally give up the diet and start to eat more food, since the body is already in a fat-storing mode, the weight we lost goes back on. Following a restricted calorie diet is often the first step in unbalancing the body's intricate fat-burning system. The next step comes when, after the body has been programmed towards fat-storage and the body's fat percentage increases substantially, the body develops insulin resistance.

Keep in mind I am not advocating eating food without restriction and because eating too much of any food, including healthy food, does inhibit weight loss. Even if you find that you don't gain much weight, you won't lose any either. This is especially true where eating some very innocent looking "low-fat" snack foods.

Often people think that "low-fat" equals "calorie-free" and will eat more than they should of these apparently "healthy" snacks. I truly believe that a great part of the obesity problems we are facing as a nation has to do with the tremendous increase of "low-fat" snack foods available to us.

Research shows that we are eating a much higher percentage of low-fat food than we were 20 to 30 years ago, and yet obesity is increasing at an amazing rate. Why? I think that many people look at low-fat foods and think they can eat them without restriction.

There are many foods that have little or no fat to them, but they still have a caloric intake that has to be taken into consideration. For instance, there are many snack foods on the market that are very low in fat, but have a calorie intake between 100 to 200 calories (for instance, low-fat cereal bars, popcorn, rice snacks, candy or cookies). You could easily eat a couple of these foods, adding less than 5 grams of fat to your daily total. (On top of that, many of these "low-fat" snack foods are really processed foods that have little nutritional value or nutrients in them, so not only are you eating more calories than you think, but they are empty calories!)

Now when you look at it like that, it doesn't seem possible that eating these low fat foods could hurt your dieting efforts. But in actual fact, you could easily ingest between 100 to 300 or 400 calories eating these kinds of foods without even realizing it. Eating a few hundred calories extra each day, especially if they are empty calories, will most certainly sabotage any effort you make to lose weight. At best, you will maintain your weight and not lose any and at worst, you will gain weight even while following a healthy weight loss program!

This, in turn can de-motivate you to the point where you give up, thinking the program doesn't work for you. You can eat virtually no fat at all in your diet and still manage to gain weight if you are taking in more calories than you expend every day. Of course, if you are eating healthily, you will still obtain health benefits from the program even if you don't lose weight, but of course the ultimate health benefits will be realized by shedding those unwanted pounds. And what's the healthiest way of doing that? That's where the "Diet Free ... At Last!" Weight Loss Program comes in.

Now I know what you are thinking: "Oh, no! Not another weight loss diet!"

And you are absolutely right! This is NOT another weight loss diet! This is a healthy weight loss program that focuses on losing weight in a safe and healthy way, slowly and steadily, and teaching you the healthy weight loss strategies that will help you to get off the diet merry-go-round forever and KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF! This program is all about correcting the physiological imbalances caused by low calorie, low fat weight loss diets. It is all about finding out WHY you are having trouble losing weight and what health conditions could be perpetuating your weight problems ... and then giving you the strategies to manage the health condition and re-establish your body's natural state of health and wellness.

And I bet you're still tempted to go for the "FAST" weight loss diet plans ... but let me give you 12 reasons why you shouldn't even consider it...

  1. What's the use of losing weight FAST, if it comes back on just as FAST!

  2. Each time you lose and regain the weight, you are slowing down your metabolism, until you come to the point where it is extremely hard to lose weight and extremely easy to regain it.

  3. Why starve yourself and go hungry when you don't have to?

  4. Unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans trigger uncontrollable food cravings.

  5. Unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans cause you to lose large amounts of water and muscle, rather than the fat you think you are losing.

  6. Unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans increase cholesterol levels.

  7. Unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans leave you tired, depressed and with a lack of energy.

  8. In the long run, unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans and yo-yo dieting are shortening your life span.

  9. Unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans cause you to have loose, sagging skin due to large amounts of muscle being lost.

  10. Unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans can even decrease your sex drive!

  11. These rapid weight loss diet plans are just a temporary stop gap, they are not a permanent solution.

  12. But most importantly of all ... each time you lose weight following unhealthy rapid weight loss diet plans, you are increasing the risk of many lifestyle diseases like Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, Estrogen Dominance, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Fatty Liver, Hypothyroidism ... the list goes on and on!

And why is this important? Because all of these lifestyle diseases trigger fat storage and make gaining weight VERY easy and losing weight VERY hard!

Imagine being able to lose weight without starving yourself, without hunger and keeping the weight off so you never have to diet again!

If you are in search of a fat-reducing program that promotes a healthy, safe way of losing weight and keeping it off forever, look no further. The "Diet Free ... At Last!" Weight Loss Program is not a diet. It doesn't involve buying any special foods and it doesn't involve depriving yourself of delicious healthy food. It will, however, teach you certain foods you can eat that will help you to stop craving food and make it much easier to lose weight. It will teach you the necessary steps for successful weight loss and weight management.

This is not a fad diet to be followed for a short while where you invariably regain the lost weight plus more. Instead this program will teach you valuable strategies to enable you to change to a healthier lifestyle permanently, it will teach you how to lose weight and keep it off ... and most importantly, it will explore the different health conditions that may be causing your weight problems and trapping you in a yo-yo vicious cycle, such as Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, Estrogen Dominance, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Fatty Liver and Hypothyroidism, to name but a few!

"Miracle Food" of the month: Beans & Legumes

This category includes all the different kinds of beans and legumes including fresh beans like green beans, peas, sugar snap peas and lima beans, as well as all the different kinds of dried beans, peas, split peas, chickpeas and lentils.

There are many different health benefits you can get from beans and legumes ... the following is just a short list:

  • Beans and legumes are an extremely healthy way to get your daily protein needs met. Although they are considered "incomplete" proteins, including grains or nuts in your diet will complete the protein. Contrary to previous popular belief, it is not necessary to eat the grains or nuts in the same meal ... even if you eat them any time during the day, it will still complete the protein in the beans.

  • Because beans and legumes are not a meat product, they are a low cholesterol alternative to getting your protein needs met.

  • Beans and legumes are also low in "bad saturated or transfats", unlike meat which can be very high in saturated fats.

  • Beans and legumes are a terrific source of fibre, which in turn helps to stabilise blood sugar and insulin levels as well as lower abnormally high levels of estrogen, (known as Estrogen Dominance). This in turn has many health benefits (click here to see a more extensive list of benefits).

  • Beans and legumes are rich in phytonutrients like polyphenols and antioxidants. Phytonutrients again help to reduce symptoms of estrogen dominance and menopausal symptoms, and of course antioxidants are the main "magic bullet" in controlling free radical damage. The main advantage of decreasing free radical damage is that it decreases your risk of developing cancers as well as improving and supporting your immune system.

  • Eating more beans and less meat also helps to reduce calcium loss. Eating diets that have too much protein derived from meat causes the body to leach calcium from the bones.

  • Research has found that increase in the consumption of beans and legumes has resulted in a decrease in the risk of death from heart disease, as well as a decrease in the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

  • Beans and legumes have been found to be just as effective in lowering cholesterol as oat bran, and you don't have to eat as much beans to get the same effect (1/2 cup beans per day is just as effective as one cup of oat bran.

  • Beans are a rich source of B-vitamins, including folate, which plays an important part in reducing homocysteine levels. (High levels of homocysteine increases the risk of cardiovascular disease)

  • Beans are a high satiety food and will fill you up, decreasing food cravings and overeating.

  • Studies have shown that increasing the amount of beans and legumes you eat may help to prevent certain cancers, particularly breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and colon and prostate cancer.

This is a pretty impressive list of benefits derived from one humble food. I think it may be time for us to rethink adding beans and legumes to our daily diet and to find fun and interesting recipes to jazz up our taste buds, like the following Middle Eastern delicacy:

Recipe of the month: Persian Lamb & Split Pea Stew

1 pound Cubed lamb
2 tablespoons Tomato paste
1 Chopped onion
Cubed potatoes (2 medium)
Sliced Eggplant
1 cup Split Yellow Peas
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of Saffron

  1. Slice eggplant, coat with salt, let stand for 15 minutes, rinse off salt and saute until brown. Set aside.
  2. Add a few teaspoons of boiling water to a saucer and mix saffron and set aside for a few minutes.
  3. Saute onions until translucent. Add cubed lamb and saute until browned.
  4. Add turmeric to onions and lamb and saute quickly for a few seconds until coated; add tomato paste and saute quickly.
  5. Transfer meat and onions to a large pot or dutch oven. Cover with water and add split yellow peas, eggplant and seasonings.
  6. Bring to boil and lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours (depending on how tender you want the meat)
  7. Last 20 minutes, chop up potatoes and add to stew.

Well, that's it for this month. I hope you've enjoyed this e-Newsletter as much as I've enjoyed writing it! If you have any fun recipes using beans and legumes (or any recipes at all) that you'd like to share with others, please feel free to send them to and I will try to include as many as I can in future issues.

Take care and happy & healthy eating!

All the best,

Geri Richard

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Written by Geraldine Richard
Health Dimensions / "Diet Free ... At Last!" Weight Loss Program
P.O. Box 1025, Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia 4068

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