Saturday, February 21, 2009

More Fascinating Research

As you may already know, I spend at least 10 hours a week exploring the latest research in nutrition and fitness, and as a result, I stumble across many interesting studies. Here are some I found lately.

Scientists suspect that the high fructose corn syrup found in soda may be the culprit in a recent study finding that women who consumed the most soda -- a marker for intake of high fructose corn syrup -- had an 86% increased risk of albuminuria, a sensitive marker for early kidney disease. [Shoham D, et al "Sugary soda consumption and albuminuria: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004" PLoS ONE 2008; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003431.]

New evidence has also exposed the fact that HFCS now contains high levels of mercury. Yet another reason to go organic! If this isn't bad enough, soda also has been scientifically linked to weight gain, liver damage, tooth decay, kidney stones, kidney disease, diabetes, heart burn, acid reflux, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, and digestive issue to name just a few.

Dr. Sears' recent newsletter pointed out that the FDA doesn't require labeling of cloned meat, and cloning is becoming more common every day! Cloned cows and other animals often die young, suffer birth defects, and commonly need antibiotics.

The Center for Food Safety says that as many as 50% of cow clones have what’s called “Large Offspring Syndrome.” Symptoms include unusually high birth weight that endangers the mother, and a long list of organ and systemic abnormalities, including heart problems and immature lung development.

What’s even more worrisome is that the nation’s major cattle cloning companies admit that they have already lost track of how many offspring of clones have entered the food supply!

The whole idea of cloned meat is frightening if you ask me. That’s another reason why I choose grass-fed beef. It's healthy and nutritious with no hidden food safety issues. It’s also hormone-free, antibiotic-free, has no preservatives, and has a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats. I get mine from through

1. Wells DN. 2005. Animal cloning: problems and prospects. Rev Sci Tech 24: 251-264
2. Center for Food Safety. Not Ready For Prime Time – FDA’s Flawed Approach To Assessing The Safety of Food From Animal Clones, 3/07
3. Geir Tveit & Peter Sand√łe, “The Science and Technology of Farm Animal Cloning: A review of the state of the art of the science, the technology, the problems and the possibilities.” Danish Centre for Bioethics and Risk Assessment, p. 24, 2005.
4. National Academy of Sciences. Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods: Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects. p. 222-228, 2004
5. Walsh MK, Lucey JA, Govindasamy-Lucey S, Pace MM, and MD Bishop. 2003. Comparison of milk produced by cows cloned by nuclear transfer with milk from non-cloned cows. Cloning Stem Cells 5: 213-219

Many of you who know me have heard me talk about the evils of Splenda (Sucralose), but recent research has found that in addition to all the side effects I have previously discussed, Splenda also reduces the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50 percent, increases the pH level in the intestines, and contributes to increases in body weight. [Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 2008;71(21):1415-29]

Stick with Stevia for your sweetener needs! Truvia is another sweetener that came to the market recently and is also all-natural, so now you have two choices!


Eggs and Greek yogurt both contain high amounts of Tyrosine which helps make the wake-up brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. This can be your new breakfast of champions and may even help you quit coffee if you are trying. Because both of these foods are also killer fat burners, this breakfast will make you leaner too!

Be sure to use organic eggs, and get your Greek yogurt from Trader Joe's - or another brand with a comparable macro nutrient ratio, because brands vary widely and it is important to get the kind that lists protein as the largest number on the nutrition facts.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


If I told you about a spice that could aid your digestion in a way that would help you burn more fat, would you start to incorporate it in your recipes? How about if I told you that it also does the following things:

* Reduces gas and bloating
* Assists in the digestion of protein
* Improves your body's ability to digest fats instead of store them
* Promotes proper metabolism
* Maintains and improves intestinal flora
* Improves elimination of wastes and toxins
* Rejuvenates your liver cells and recharges their capability to break down toxins
* Helps to prevent alcohol and other toxins from being converted into compounds that may be harmful to your liver
* Supports formation of healthy tissue
* Stimulates formation of new blood tissue
* Is a powerful anti-inflammatory
* Contains powerful antioxidant properties
* Counteracts the damaging effects of free radicals in your body
* Relieves arthritis pain and stiffness
* Is an anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) and can even inhibit tumor initiation, promotion, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis.
* Supports treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
* Inhibits the toxicity of cancer-causing chemicals in the environment
* Inhibits radiation-induced chromosome damage
* Prevents the formation of harmful heterocyclic amines and nitroso compounds, which may result in the body when eating certain processed foods, such as processed meat products
* Irreversibly inhibits the multiplication of leukemia cells in a cell culture
* Is helpful in treating cystic fibrosis, type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, cataracts, gallstones, and irritable bowel syndrome

How about now? Would you eat it? I would, and in fact, I do include it in almost every recipe I cook. It's called turmeric, and is very easy to come by. Some don't like the taste however, and others get annoyed that it stains everything it comes in contact with, but these minor drawbacks can be circumvented by taking turmeric as a supplement. Find a good pure organic source at your supplement store and start today! It has all of the benefits without any side effects, so why not?



The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources, “Curcumin at M.D. Anderson” (accessed January 22, 2009)

Biochemical Pharmacology, Volume 70, Issue 5, 1 September 2005, Pages 700-713

Monday, February 2, 2009

5 Day Fat Furnace Menu

So many people have asked me what to eat to flush fat fast, I decided to make it a blog post. I put together a sample 5 day menu below. Keep in mind that you must visit the X Gym recipe page for most of these recommendations at

The recipes (in quotes) on this page are quite miraculous because they are "negative fat recipes" meaning the more you eat, the more fat you burn off your body!

Suggestions and notes:
1.)Meats should be organic, free range, grass fed, and/or wild whenever possible.
2.)Drink 3-4 quarts of water (and spread it evenly throughout the day).
3.)To reduce cooking requirements, you can repeat certain days or meals instead of something different every day as listed. Mixing and matching recipes with other days is OK too!
4.)These recommendations should of course be cleared with your doctor to insure there are no conflicts with allergies, medications, intolerances, health concerns specific to you, etc.


Breakfast: "PJoe’s Special"
Morning Snack: Organic beef jerky (PCC)
Lunch: "Chuck’s Texas Meat Balls" with Yummy Tummy Ketchup
Afternoon Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs
Dinner: "Jenn Hendershott’s Turkey Meatloaf"
Evening Snack: "Cottage Dessert"


Breakfast: "Fat Furnace Frittata"
Morning Snack: Pre-chopped veggies dipped in “Follow Your Heart”
lowfat ranch dressing (PCC)
Lunch: "Harley’s Shredded Veggie Bonanza"
Afternoon Snack: Organic string cheese
Dinner: "Fiberilla Burritos"
Evening Snack: Safeway “Organics” sliced turkey breast and “Organics” sliced cheese (rolled together)


Breakfast: "PJ’s Easy protein shake"
Morning Snack: "Wilster’s Mock Smashed Potatoes"
Lunch: "Sony Mac’s Turkey Stew"
Afternoon Snack: Organic green salad with meat, cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette
Dinner: "Blackjack’s Chicken Frittatas"
Evening Snack: "Trilster’s Blender Bisque"


Breakfast: "Blueberry Smoothie"
Morning Snack: Valencia Peanuts (up to ½ cup)
Lunch: "Guilt Free Sandwich"
Afternoon Snack: Celery Sticks with PB2 peanut butter
Dinner: "Julio’s Taco Salad"
Evening Snack: "Broiled Broccoli"


Breakfast: "Yummy Tummy Yogurt"
Morning Snack: Organic beef jerky (PCC)
Lunch: "Crock Pot Delight"
Afternoon Snack: Pure Fit Bar (Belltown X Gym, PCC or
Dinner: "Spicy Peanut Bake"
Evening Snack: "Cottage Dessert"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fascinating Studies!

British researchers have shown that rigorous workouts lasting as little as three minutes may help prevent diabetes by helping control blood sugar.

"You can make just as big as an effect doing this as you can by doing hours and hours of endurance training each week" said James Timmons, an exercise biologist at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, who led the study.

Timmons and his team showed that just seven minutes of exercise each week helped a group of 16 men in their early twenties control their insulin.

The volunteers, who were relatively out of shape but otherwise healthy, rode an exercise bike four times daily in 30 second spurts two days a week.

After two weeks, the young men had a 23 percent improvement in how effectively their body used insulin to clear glucose, or blood sugar, from the blood stream, Timmons said.

"The simple idea is if you are doing tense muscle contractions during sprints or exercise on a bike you really enhance insulin's ability to clear glucose out of the bloodstream," Timmons said.

For the past ten years, Principal Yvonne Sanders-Butler, has required students at Browns Mill Elementary in Lithonia to participate in daily physical exercise and eat healthy foods. Her school enforces a strict ban on sugar.

According to Butler, standardized test scores increased 15 percent at the school within the first year of the program. She said discipline problems decreased by 23 percent. Student health has improved and obesity at the school has been virtually eliminated.

Dr. Richard Stahlhut of the University of Rochester and colleagues looked at levels of BPA (the chemical found in many plastic products) in over 1,000 U.S. adults who took part in a government health survey.

While the belief had been BPA was quickly and completely eliminated from the body through urine, this study found people who had fasted for even a whole day still retained significant levels of the chemical.

Stahlhut said this suggested BPA may hang around in the body longer than previously known or that it may get into the body through sources other than just food, perhaps including tap water or house dust. Stahlhut added that BPA may get into fat tissue, from where it might be released more slowly.

While breastfeeding seems to reduce the risk of a child developing asthma, eating fast food once or twice a week reverses the gains, according to a study of 700 Canadian children by the University of Alberta, published in Clinical and Experimental Allergy.

Along with its inflammation-cooling properties to reduce arthritis pain, ginger may have anticancer powers, too. And the ginger ale your grandma served you when your stomach was upset? There’s science behind that as well. Ginger is a well-known nausea reliever. [Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Altman, R. D., Marcussen K. C., Arthritis and Rheumatism 2001 Nov;44(11):2531-2538]