High Fructose Corn Syrup is Not Your Friend

high-fructose-corn-syrup is bad for youYou’ve had a bad day. You feel pretty terrible and your troubles seem insurmountable. You really need a pick-me-up. You head for the pantry the minute you get home and pull out a treat. It’s sweet, it’s gooey, and it’s most definitely over-processed food. You know it isn’t good for you but you really don’t care. It works. A few minutes later, you’re blissful, ready to get some dinner and happy to finish your evening. Sure, you still have all of those problems but they just don’t seem quite so terrible.

Why did that sweet treat do the trick? The secret is most likely sugar – and, to narrow it down a bit, most likely sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is a super sweet concentration derived from corn; it’s cheap to make, easy to use, and (an added bonus) extends the shelf life of foods in which it is used.  Pretty cool, don’t you think?  Manufacturers think so. They know more about it than you do. First, they know it’s highly addictive. Canadian scientists equate the potential addiction to that of cocaine. Ridiculous, you think. We thought so, too. But HFCS has been shown (via MRI studies) to stimulate the pleasure centers in your brain and to elicit behavioral reactions similar to those elicited through cocaine use. No, this doesn’t mean HFCS is the same as cocaine; only that it is highly addictive. For food manufacturers, this equates into increased consumption which, of course, means increased profits.  Second, rats fed a diet of foods high in HFCS become nervous and anxious when the sweet stuff is removed from their diets. Think about your friends who go on No Sugar Diets.  We don’t know about yours, but our friends report headaches, bad moods, and general anxiety as they attempt to succeed at eliminating sugar from their diets. It’s okay to refer to it as an addiction. Professor Bart Hoebel, with the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, has named it so and reports it makes you fat. In fact, he mentions the problems we’ve all experienced if we’ve successfully stifled our sugar addiction – cravings and relapse are part of the process.

What are the potential effects of fructose on your various organs and systems? That’s the bad news. The happy feelings you derive from HFCS foods come at a heavy price. Science News reported the effects of fructose in its June 2013 edition:

Brain: Unlike glucose (i.e., table sugar), fructose does not adequately curb the hunger signals in your brain. So you remain hungry – and you continue eating. Also, pleasure centers in your brain are stimulated – creating a dependency.

Liver: Fructose ends up in your liver when it’s consumed. Its chemical bond is different than that of table sugar – which does not break apart until it is in the intestine.  Fructose breaks apart in the liver and may be packaged short-term as glycogen to provide energy or as fat. This flood of energy overstimulates your mitochondria (i.e., the power plants of your cells) and the excess energy is turned into liver fat; increasing your risk of fatty liver disease (a liver disease that is usually associated with alcoholism and can cause cirrhosis).

Kidney: Fructose that seeps into the liver may increase uric acid increasing your risks of contracting gout, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.

Abdomen: Fructose is responsible for much of the fat that accumulates in your abdomen.

Pancreas:  Fructose increases insulin resistance which increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Bloodstream:  Triglycerides circulating in the blood can harm both your heart and your liver.  Additionally, it can cause rashes.

As we move toward our Cupcake Time Diet, we hope you are willing to move away from foods containing high fructose corn syrup. However, this does take somewhat of a commitment since HFCS is found in so many foods:

Bread: Some commercial bakeries use HFCS in their bread. To avoid it, you would need to carefully check labels or take the time to bake your own bread. Amazing that we often have to make our own food if we want to avoid all of the chemical additives.

Salad Dressings: Again, you would need to carefully check labels to avoid HFCS or make your own.

Tuna: Avoid purchasing Sunkist Tuna Lunch To Go as it contains HFCS.

Canned Goods:  HFCS can be found in canned fruits, vegetables, and even baked beans. Again, checking labels (or canning your own) can work to help you avoid it.

Mac & Cheese:  Making your macaroni and cheese from scratch is easy and it tastes better. Give it a try!

Cereal:  Check the labels of your cereal. Be wary of anything listed as a syrup or corn derivitive.

Crackers:  Even though we think of salty when we eat crackers, a quick check of boxes reveals tons of crackers that include HFCS on their labels.

Soup:  Campbell’s condensed vegetable soup contains HFCS. Is there nothing a mom can feed her kids that doesn’t contain this stuff?

Yogurt:  Danon and Yoplait list HFCS on their lists of ingredients. Trader Joe’s French Village yogurt does not.

Ketchup: Heinz ketchup lists both corn syrup and HFCS on the label. Check it out.

In short, read labels to find out the hidden ways HFCS is tucked into your diet. When you identify the products, walk away. Cooking from fresh, finding alternative labels, or avoiding certain foods altogether are ways you can eliminate HFCS from your diet. Don’t replace it with other sugars; work to only eat sugar when you intend to.

The Power of Three

Triads are powerful. Avoid MSG, aspartame, and high fructose corn syrup.Have you noticed that power always seems to travel in threes? Hong Kong has its evil 14K Triad, television has Charmed, American government has its Iron Triangle, and Christians have their Trinity. Even music has a triad (have you ever heard the song by David Crosby about menage a trois called Triad?).  And did you know the triangle is the strongest shape? That’s why it’s so commonly used in bridge building. We don’t know why, but three seems to be the number that contains the power to both heal and hurt.

 

We have one more triad for you to add to you lists of three: high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and aspartame.  This isn’t just for the sake of diet, it’s for the sake of your good health.  You see, each of these chemically developed food additives mess with your metabolism, internal organ health, brain function, and eating. It sounds so dramatic, we know. But we’ve been researching these for the past couple of weeks and it just makes us sick to think of how the food industry makes us sick in an effort to sell more product. Recognizing how these three items can negatively impact your life and refusing to put them into your body will result in better health and a healthier weight. More later; but we wanted to be up front about this so you can work on cutting them out of your diet now rather than after we’ve provided the compelling evidence to do so.

Now go watch your Star Wars trilogy.

Body Tricks

sundial is like your circadian rhythms To those of you who are now following us via email, we did send out the tentative Cupcake Time Diet Plan on Wednesday night. If you didn’t get a copy of it, let us know and we’ll happily forward you one.

We have really learned a lot during our adventures with dieting. Failure is not always a bad thing because it can teach you lessons you never knew you needed to learn, even if it does keep you in your fat pants. This is one thing we did learn: if you eat late at night, you will gain weight.

When the kids were little, Sherry always gave them a Midnight Snack. This was a small snack that was part of their bedtime routine – first they would get into their jammies (bath time some nights but not always), then a snuggle in bed with Sherry while we read a book together (we read everything from Where the Red Fern Grows to The Black Cauldron Trilogy to Anna Karenina), and, lastly, a Midnight Snack before tuck ins.  We laughingly called it Midnight Snack because it always felt so late when  snack time rolled around (usually 9:30 p.m.).  In fact, Sherry played a pretty good April Fool’s joke on Brooke when she was around 6 years old (Brooke claims she is still in need of therapy because of this and says you should not try this at home).  You see, Brooke would often fall asleep early in the evening and wake up just in time for her bedtime routine.  So on the morning of April 1st, Sherry convinced Brooke it was nighttime as she woke her early in the morning. A sleepy little Brooke joined her sisters for a Midnight Snack of brownies and milk.  It was dark (just like it was at night when Brooke would wake up in time for her snack) and Brooke was still a little drowsy (typical) and pretty anxious to return to her warm bed for the night. As they finished the last bits of their brownies, the sun began to rise. Brooke was confused and panicked to think that the sun had forgotten it was night time and she would now be required to stay awake “all night” and wait for another night to show up.  For a long time, she could not be convinced that she had actually slept through the night – she is sure she was somehow cheated out of a full night’s sleep. 

Anyway, Midnight Snack time remains an endearing part of our bedtime routine.  However, during the past few years the midnight snack seems to have grown in direct proportion with our weight. And it no longer is part of our bedtime routine; it seems to have become a part of our stay up routine.  We found ourselves working late into the evening and then actually eating our Midnight Snack, well, at midnight to wake us up so we could stay awake even longer. Soon we were shocked to find our clothes telling us we were fat with every zip and every button. We shook our heads in disbelief because we were gaining weight while, at the same time, generally eating less and trying to lose weight. It wasn’t until we started trying different diets, that we realized that we were eating late at night to create enough energy to stay awake. Late night eating – when your body is ready for bed – increases weight because your body is converting those calories into fat. Just like poor Brooke watching the sun come up, your body can be confused and left to operate at less than optimum capacity when your activities don’t match the time of day.

Your circadian rhythms create a continuous loop wherein your body knows when to store energy (i.e., bedtime) and when to prepare to use it (i.e., breakfast time). Your thyroid gland gives you a great big dose of thyroxin as your feet hit the ground each morning to prepare you to be awake and alert for your day. You need to treat yourself to a good breakfast (even if you hate breakfast) in order to keep your food intake aligned with your circadian rhythms so you enjoy can enjoy optimal health and energy.  Skipping breakfast can make you fat, too.

So, if you want to lose weight, don’t eat at night. Instead, go to bed and get a good night’s rest. Sure there are times when you’ll need to stay up late but if you find yourself staying up past 11:00 p.m. on a regular basis you’re doing yourself a disfavor.  Getting adequate sleep and eating only during the times when you are most likely to expend energy are two of the most important tips for being healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. Doing otherwise will leave you exhausted and weighing more than you want. Who needs that?

The Story of nICE

Elizabeth Garden RosesToday has not been the day we planned.  At all. We got up early and prepared for a relaxing walk in Elizabeth Park. The weather was perfect, we felt great, and we were excited about our morning. And then we saw it….a little purple cell phone. It was sitting on some stone steps. Sherry picked it up and cursed her lack of forethought as she had not put in her contacts. She will often go walking with Brooke sans contacts and make Brooke do all the work of looking for cars and checking out the scary people (we do have to be able to pick them out  in a line-up just in case, you know).  But it was blind Sherry that spied (and subsequently picked up) the little purple cell phone. (Brooke claims she saw the phone first but was remiss to pick it up for fear of getting germs. Ha) After gazing, squinting, and cursing a bit Sherry handed the phone to Brooke for a closer examination.

Brooke confirmed it was an active phone and looked for an In Case of Emergency (ICE) person. By the way, if you don’t have an ICE person in your cell phone add one right now while you’re thinking about it. If you’re ever unconscious or killed and the emergency person picks up your phone, your ICE person will be the first person called. So make sure the person you entered really does like you. We think of everything when it comes to safety. One other safety tip, if a person approaches you with a gun and tells you to get in their car DON’T DO IT!!  Run away screaming! Bad guys are notoriously bad shots. And if the person shoots you, there will be people nearby who can get you to a hospital. If you get in the car – the person can shoot you anywhere and there may not be people to save you. (This is the sage advice Sherry would give Brooke and her sisters when they were, oh, 6 years old and Brooke is still traumatized to this day. BUT. She is alive , Sherry is quick to point out.)  This cell phone had no ICE person.

Brooke found a phone number labeled Dad and sent a text advising Dad that we had the cell phone. We figured that Dad would care about the lost cell phone if anyone did. After 2 trips around the rose garden, there was still no return text so we took the phone to the caretaker’s cottage to turn it in. The nice lady who received it was Karen the Executive Director for the Elizabeth Park Conservancy. She graciously received the phone and promised she would watch for Dad to send a return text. Then she slyly delivered a plug for volunteering at the park (which we believe is a noble thing to do if you live in the Hartford area) and sent us on our way. We meandered through the park and enjoyed the sights and smells of the abundant roses which are currently in bloom. Yes, that picture is one we took in the park this morning. And we began our trek back home. And Brooke mentioned with a half laugh that she didn’t have her phone and speculated whether she had lost it – but reassured Sherry it was probably at home. Deception!  Brooke’s phone was nowhere to be found.

We quickly made our way back to the Park, using Sherry’s phone to continuously dial Brooke’s phone along the way in hopes of hearing the lost lamb sounds of Brooke’s ringer (actually it’s Burning for You by Blue Oyster Cult but whatever). No such luck. We could not find that phone anywhere. Brooke was upset. Sherry was upset. Sherry was worrying about a thief running up charges on her phone account and musing over whether the phone could be tracked through its internal GPS system. She was cursing Karma for not taking better care of us. We had just turned a lost cell phone in.  Come on! Brooke was trying to figure out what she was going to do for a phone, whether a stranger was going to go digging through her emails, and how she was going to make it through the day without the comfort of endless texting and Scramble activities. Dejected, we returned home with a plan of action in hand. Brooke sent a text from Sherry’s phone begging the finder to please contact Sherry’s number and return the lost phone. Next, we planned to transfer Sherry’s phone to Brooke’s number since Brooke uses the Smartphone stuff and Sherry pretty much sticks to the Dumbphone stuff. We would transfer Sherry’s number back to her old phone, since she kinda likes it better than her new phone anyway. And we would shut down access to Brooke’s old phone.

But we had an appointment with a mechanic (and you never miss those or ones with your hairdresser or you’re just screwed) so we had to be quick. We effortlessly moved Sherry’s number back to her old phone  (which, of course, was not charged) but could not move Brooke’s number to Sherry’s phone on-line. Still not sure why that change was prohibited: but we were instructed to call the phone company to make this change. However, this was problematic as Sherry’s phone was now disabled due to the transfer and the new/old phone was not charged. Sherry was standing in the corner blindly trying to stab the power cord into the phone but, minus her contacts, only succeeded in failure.  We had to go. We were sweaty, ill dressed, and late for the mechanic appointment.

As we headed for the mechanic’s, the disabled Sherry phone received a text. From Emma; who now joined our small drama. Brooke (who could not call Emma on the same phone on which we had received said text – yes, she tried) asked Emma to contact the phone company to report the now-believed-to-be-stolen phone as stolen to freeze the number until we could get the number transferred. Unbeknownst to us, Emma also sent a text to any would-be thief imploring them to do the right thing. She offered a reward “if you decide not to be a cruel person” and generously provided Brooke’s email address for any reward seeking activity. We arrived at the mechanic’s harried, disheveled, and seeking an outlet. And then Sherry’s disabled phone rang. It was a nice lady who had found Brooke’s phone in the park, hauled it home, and then called us to let us know she had it. The phone was returned and the phone company spent 40 minutes trying to put all the right phones back with the right numbers. No reward was sought and the lady was deemed to be “not a cruel person” by all. We are very grateful to her, to karma for coming through for us, to the mechanic who restored our air conditioning like a pro, and to Emma for cleverly guilt tripping/bribing any potential thief while calling the phone company to suspend the service.

Whenever we get stressed we eat. And this time we didn’t! Okay, maybe it was because we were short on time but maybe…just maybe…we have a little progress here. We did not buy the candy offered at the mechanic’s shop. Even after everything was said and done, we did not come home and eat. We found a healthy alternative – we took an angry nap.  The purple cell phone is still at the park waiting for its owner.

Read Tonight to Save Some Money on This Cool 5k!

Glow-in-the-Dark  5k runIf running 5Ks is something you enjoy, check this out. This non-traditional 5k is happening all over the nation and, lucky you, you can get in on the action!  Even better, if you sign up tonight before midnight (that’s only one hour for you East coast runners) you’ll save money!  After enjoying your glow-in-dark run, you can check out the dance scene that is provided for your enjoyment! This is a don’t miss opportunity!

Cheaters Never Prosper (They Just Win)

Elephant on ScalesYou’ve tried other diets before but they always failed you.  It’s not a mystery why they failed; you cheated.  Right?

Wrong! You did not cheat on your diets, your diets cheated you. The way America has dieted for the past few decades has been a set-up for failure. No one really understood it before but we do. And, we are going to help you see what was wrong with your past dieting. You only cheated because your body was telling you that what you were doing was all wrong.

In the next few days, we will be debuting our Cupcake Time Diet. You will soon be on the road to losing weight while eating cupcakes. This is not an exaggeration! We can’t wait to share it with you!

Want a sneak peek? We will be sending an advance copy of the Cupcake Time Diet to everyone who is on our mailing list by Wednesday, June 5th.   So add yourself to our mailing list today by entering your email address under Follow Blog Via Email in the right hand column and soon you’ll be on your way to the body you want with a diet that won’t cheat you!

Drinking on the Job

The Green Drink

You know the Green Drink? We decided to try it out and tell you what we thought.  We were thinking that liking it would be a good thing because it’s full of vitamins, anti-oxidants, and minerals and the ingredients were foods we would typically put in a salad – or whatever. A quick drink giving us all of our nutrients seemed like something we could get used to.  The promise is you will lose weight by drinking this drink and making no other changes in your diet.

Following the recipe, we mixed the drink in the blender.  If you decide to make this drink, mix the banana and orange in the mixer first and then add the greens. Dry greens don’t mix really well without any moisture and you’ll find yourself digging spinach greens out of your blender when they don’t do their thing.

The Green DrinkThe results will be a bright green mixture that looks exactly like the picture here. It looks healthy. But it smells kind of nasty.  It smells like crushed spinach with a high strawberry smell – as Brooke put it – “kinda like throw up, but not quite.”  Or kind of like old salad that you forgot to put in the fridge.  Slightly dreading the task at hand, we closed our eyes and took a drink.  Hmm.   It boasts a heavy spinach taste with a slightly citrus overtone enhanced by the flavor of strawberries.  With great effort we finished the drink and struggled to hold back the gag reflex the entire time.

We expected this extra boost of vitamins and minerals to keep us feeling full and satisfied until lunchtime. Unfortunately, we were hungry by 9:30. So it was good for about an hour. See, we were on our way to New York when the hunger hit and we don’t really eat while driving but we had many serious discussions about stopping for food along the way that day. Once we’d arrived at our destination, we tricked Emma and Jake into going to Toast for brunch, Westside Market for snacks because brunch left us still hungry, and then later for pizza.  Yes, we picked up cupcakes from Crumbs to continue our refining our cupcake diet.

In short, the Green Drink left us gagging, dissatisfied, and hungry. We made it one more time (masochists that we are) and added raw honey, cherry juice, cinnamon, and coconut oil to try to make it taste better. Well. That was a disaster.   Pouring it down the drain, was a gruesome task that left us thinking of, well, what the stomach flu can often look like.  Ew.  Never again for this drink. In the alternative, we would suggest a yummy Spinach and Strawberry Salad that has similar ingredients and would be a lot tastier.  It would be so much easier than trying to drink this glop.

The Wild Zombie

We know y’all are interested in nutritional drinks so we tried one more time. Sherry asked a dear friend, June,  for her health drink recipe and she was kind enough to lend it to us. June drinks it quite often so we were willing to give it a try.

To make this drink, you will need :

About ½ c of mixed berries (she uses Trader Joe’s  frozen berry mix because it contains cherries).
Two handfuls of your favorite greens (she uses spinach, kale, beet greens, chard, etc.)
1 T. Chia Seeds (you can also get these from Trader Joe’s in the cereal section)

To mix the drink:  blend the berries and add the chia seeds. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the chia seeds soften and expand. Add the greens and a little water (you control the thickness on this one) and blend well.

Wild ZombieThis drink was easier by far to make. It looked kind of like a deep blood red (not going to lie we were making a lot of vampire and zombie jokes – we have dubbed this drink the Wild Zombie as a result).  If you use your imagination (of which we have none) you could see it as a rich deep chocolate much like a red velvet cake (but blended – and  not cake-like—and better for you).  We skipped the spinach because of our hatred of the Green Drink as mentioned above. We used kale and cilantro in our drink just because we got to pick the greens and those were in the refrigerator.  This drink smelled a lot better – more like a fruit drink with deep veggie undertones.  Much more to our liking.  The taste was a lot like when you order a Jamba Juice and ask them to put lemon grass in it.  It is milder, fruitier, and very healthy for you.  Because you are using mixed fruits, expect to find some seeds but they confuse you a little because of the presence of the chia seeds.  Okay, we didn’t let the chia seeds soften because we have no patience. We just threw it all together and blended it. If we were to choose between the two drinks, this is the one we would make.  The Wild Zombie did not leave us hungry like the Green Drink – which made us happy.

Living in the Gap

Blue Bins are the best part of dorm move outThe end of the school year brings finals, stress, fun, and a change of living arrangements for dorm dwellers. All of that change means celebrations and, of course, the inevitable moves. We helped Emma and Jake move out of their dorms and into….well, into nowhere for the moment.

There is this strange phenomenon known only to dorm dwellers called “the dorm gap”. You are expected to pack up and move your belongings out of your dorm room. You participate in this activity while trying to complete all of your final testing – since policy requires you to be out of there within 24 hours of completing your last final or, at the latest, by Saturday – May 19th. College students are super humans. How do they study for tests, write papers, take final exams, say goodbye to friends for the summer, pack up everything they own (which often means inadvertently packing up that book or journal article you really needed for your end-of-year essay), catch up on laundry, wrap up final arrangements for your internship which includes a physical, and sleep all at the same time?

To complicate things a bit, the colleges will typically provide summer housing if needed; but not in the same room you’ve been living in all year and definitely not without a gap. This year, the gap is roughly a week. Emma won’t have summer housing available until the end of May and Jake’s housing is available next Tuesday. This is where life gets creative for an undergrad. Refrigerators, boxes, books, bedding, clothes, food, decorations, etc. have to find a place to dwell during the gap. Solutions are both creative and imaginative and you should be impressed with their mad problem solving skills and tenacious ability to get everything accomplished. Schools should really give credit hours for this.

They found foster homes for some of their belongings in New York, stashed some of their belongings (some temporarily and some permanently) with us, and are now trying to catch up on some sleep.

We spent the last two days moving them. Our lives have been filled with blue bins (used for moving your stuff out of your dorm and for covert rides), Thai food, Swedish Fish, cookies, M&Ms, Thai Food, trail mix (Thanks to Jake’s mom), and gum. No nutritious meals, no chelating (except for when eating Thai food), and no cupcakes! We kept missing Crumbs cupcakes!

Blue Bin Ride during dorm move outFriday, we packed up Jake’s belongings, went for Thai food in New York, headed to Crumbs – and they were closed for the evening. Abject disappointment!!!  We headed to Connecticut, slept for 6 hours, and headed back to New York to do it all again; this time for Emma’s belongings. We went early to avoid the crowds and heat. The room was emptied, the car was trapped by a delivery truck (who double parks in New York? Just. Everyone.), we took a stroll to check out housing locations for both the summer and the next school year, gleefully found ourselves at Crumbs (no accident) – and they were still closed. I had my face pressed against the glass woefully staring at the help who adroitly avoided my mournful gaze. We left – fearing they would call the cops on the cupcake stalkers. We took Jake to New Haven to get a haircut, ate more Thai food in Connecticut, rushed Brooke to meet her friends so they could celebrate the end of Law School Year 1 (Woohoo!!!), and collapsed into bed at an ungodly hour (except Emma, who inadvertently passed out on the couch at 8 p.m.) as consolation. And now we have unpacked most items, laundered several items, and slept the sleep of the dead. We don’t even dare step on our scales to see what damage we have wrought. We can do that tomorrow.

Today? We’re taking it easy. No Thai food since that happened four times last week. We are going to enjoy a home cooked meal, watch Drop Dead Fred, and a few hours of simple laundry and trying to fit everything that has to stay here in inconspicuous places while refilling the car’s trunk with what must inevitably return to New York (no, not the kids – just their stuff) and catching up. Later this evening, we return Jake (and one small bag of his belongings) to New York so he can start his summer job at Sullivan & Cromwell on Monday. He is sleeping on the couch of a friend until his place is available on Tuesday afternoon. We can’t imagine starting a new job at a large firm with our belongings spread between two states and dwelling in the dorm gap. We imagine this will add to the stress of his first day on the job, but are confident he’ll be fine: he’ll be arriving at work with his favorite Crumbs cupcake for lunch.  Ahhh college life.

The Satan Diet Works but We’re Taking It a Step Farther

Devil Diet - Eat OrganicWhen we used the Satan Diet, the pounds magically came off. There is no doubt about that. But why?  How are we losing weight when we’re eating copious quantities of food (albeit food in specific categories).  One reason is that we’re initially eating fruits and vegetables; foods that are primarily composed of water. Another reason is that we really haven’t found fruits in season (since this is early Spring) and we are picky about our fruits. There is one more, very important reason, however, that most people aren’t recognizing. It can be summed up in one simple word; chelation.

Chelation is the process your body uses to remove metal-based contaminants (such as lead, aluminum, cadmium, and mercury) via the bloodstream; then the metals are excreted in your urine (ew).  The levels of pollution in the air you breathe and the food you eat are astounding.  Many people claim these toxins are killing us via increased illness, cancers, and damage to your neurological system.

As toxins build in your body, you become tired, lethargic, more prone to illness, and susceptible to auto-immune disorders. Sherry noticed right away that she was feeling better when we added fruits and vegetables to our diets.  She found she wasn’t hungry as often and we both noticed her arthritis was doing better.  Well, to be honest we did a couple of things about that arthritis; Sherry makes sure she gets 1/2 a tablespoon of cinnamon and some local raw honey every day. We read those two foods could help ameliorate some of the  pain and swelling of arthritis. It seems to have made a little difference but then we added the vegetable thing within 2 months so we can’t say how much of the improvement is from what change – we can just say there has been overall incremental improvement. So much for the scientific method.

Anyway, chelation can be a horrid medical procedure if you have serious metal poisonings (think Lead Poisoning). What most people don’t realize is that our bodies also follow a natural process of chelation that is made possible by the foods we eat (or should be eating in any case).  We don’t even have to think about it. It just happens.  But the next time someone asks you to do something you really don’t want to do, simply say, “I’m sorry, I’ll be busy chelating at that time and won’t be able to do that for you.”  They will walk away truly confused, yet satisfied that you are indeed busy with important work that they won’t dare question and you’ll have time for that book you’ve been trying to get to  (or a nap).

Anyway, chelation is the largest case against junk food.  Eating processed foods all day can fill you up and make you invariably happy but these foods don’t have what it takes to encourage chelation in your body.  The more you fill up on tasty junk food, the more over-burdened your body will be with the buildup of toxins. You need to eat a variety of food to assist your body with chelation.  Here are the foods that matter:

  • Pectin occurs naturally in lots of fruits and vegetables and has been found to chelate heavy metals and other toxins from your body.  Good sources of natural pectin include apples, grapes, beets, carrots, bananas, cabbage, and the pith (that icky white part) of citrus fruits.
  • Cilantro (and the coriander seed it produces) not only perform normal chelation functions but are said to cross the blood-brain barrier and remove metals from the brain. This could be very important to potential Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s sufferers as experts continue to research the link between increased metals in the brain and these two diseases.  Right now experts only state there is some type of protein-metal interaction that takes place to keep us free of these diseases and the jury is still out regarding what is genetic and what is environmental. There is no proof that eating cilantro or avoiding soda pop packaged in aluminum containers will stave off either disease – but isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
  • Cruciferous Vegetables contain antioxidants that increase the production of detoxifying enzymes in your body. These vegetables include staples such as arugula, horseradish, cabbage, kale, and broccoli and are rumored to also have anti-cancer effects – always a good thing.
  • Sulfer Rich Foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, garlic, and brussels sprouts work to also remove heavy metals from your body.
  • Amino Acids are also natural chelating agents.  Your body makes 10 of the 20 needed essential amino acids (or proteins) naturally but you must use food to obtain the other 10.  Proteins control virtually all cellular processes so you don’t want to short yourself on them – and your body doesn’t create a store of them so you must get new ones all of the time.  Again, it is the interaction of proteins and metals in the brain that are the focus of research on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases – so this is very important stuff. Amino acids can be obtained by eating meats, dairy products, and/or a rich variety of plants.  Nutritionists used to believe you had to eat a combination of foods to create a complete protein to derive benefit. This is why vegans are often working to ensure they have adequate nutrition – but that combination theory is out the door. You don’t need to combine to benefit (which made Sherry kind of sad because she was always careful to drink milk when eating Peanut M&Ms to ensure she was getting at least one complete protein. All of that work for nothing!).

As you read through this list of foods, you’re probably making an internal inventory and congratulating yourself on eating many of these foods already. Go ahead, be smug. You’ve earned it! And we hope you’ve made the connection between the Satan Diet and chelation.  Following the Satan Diet eliminates the processed foods your body has been enjoying and replaces them with more of the foods that support chelation. As you diet, you are getting rid of excess heavy metals in your body – so you are getting a detox cleanse free of charge.  During this diet you are not just losing weight; you’re getting your body to a healthier state of being.

But there is one rub. (Sherry’s turn to be smug.) Our food supply isn’t what we think it is. We have eaten Farm Bred and Atlantic Salmon without realizing we were also ingesting mercury and other toxins. We all switched from red meats to chicken in an effort to be healthy not realizing farmers are poisoning our chicken with arsenic (in the form of the drug, 3-Nitro) to enhance weight and skin pigmentation…oh, and to control diseases. When the FDA verified this back in 2011, the industry volunteered to conduct a 30-day phase out of its use – and then got caught again just now in February of 2013 when inorganic levels of arsenic was again noticed in chickens and again traced back to the continued use of 3-Nitro. No, my friends, there is no honor among farmers from the looks of things.  Now think about everything we’re learning about Monsanto – genetically engineered produce that harms us and food doused with heavy pesticides that can be absorbed by food.  The question often returns to – what in the world are we eating? Do we know? (Sherry smugly maintains that an Oreo is an Oreo and M&Ms are M&Ms so all that junk food is superior to those vegetables and meats everyone else is eating. Unfortunately, Sherry is chelating any time soon with this attitude.)

So, as a suggestion, if you want to boost the benefits of your Satan Diet, you can purchase  organically grown food during your diet week. This helps because you are actually aiding the chelation process by not adding any extra metals or toxins via the pesticides, arsenic, and growth chemicals used on our food supplies.  This organic food recommendation is indeed going to be part of our upcoming Cupcake Diet (still in the works – but making progress).