The Mistakes Most Doctors Are Making When It Comes To Chronic Illnesses

If Dr. Don Colbert practiced medicine in the New York area, instead of in Orlando, FL, I’d make him my primary physician. Unlike doctors who often dash off prescriptions for drugs to “treat” chronic diseases, Dr. Colbert maintains that simple changes in our daily diet, combined with the proper dietary supplements, can help dramatically improve these long-term conditions. 

To be clear, 59-year-old Dr. Colbert isn’t against all medication. He prescribes antibiotics for patients with pneumonia, or medication to decrease the inflammation for someone with “crippling rheumatoid arthritis.” But given that 133 million Americans (45% of the population) are being treated for at least one chronic disease, Dr. Colbert asserts that “we simply cannot continue to slap a bandage on our rising health epidemic, and we must address wounds from the inside out in order to truly fix America’s underlying chronic health issues.”

The New York Times best-selling author of books including What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You and The Seven Pillars of Health, Dr. Colbert’s new book, Let Food Be Your Medicine, Dietary Changes Proven To Prevent Or Reverse Disease, examines our most common health issues and offers us “a better understanding of what to eat and what not to eat,” so we will know how our choices affect issues such as cardiovascular disease, weight loss, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

“Chronic diseases continue to be responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths in the U.S. every year,” according to the press release that was tucked into my gift copy of Dr. Colbert’s new book. Medications clearly are not addressing the root of the problem. The good doctor believes he has the solution to “increase our chances for longevity by changing the foods that we eat.”

I accepted an invitation to interview Dr. Colbert because I have become alarmed by how quick my and my friends’ doctors prescribe medications when they see spikes in blood pressure, LDL (bad cholesterol), glucose, and more.

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[Flab Over Fifty] My Belly: 1988 V. 2015

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This photo was taken in the summer of 1988, when I was 41 years old, and weighed about 129 pounds.

My 69-year-old father had died a few months before, and I had lost 50 pounds on a liquid-protein diet which I began around the first of the year.  I remember feeling pretty darn good about my body, although it was a confusing time in my life.

Enough psychology. My 40-year-old belly was a far cry from my belly of today. Although I will never weigh 129 pounds again, and my belly will never be as flat, I have a ways to go before I’ll  be satisfied with the shape it’s in. Back then, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other potential maladies weren’t on my radar screen. Today, I know that excess weight can be an enemy, and I am determined to get rid of it.   (more…)

[Flab Over Fifty] My Journey, Inch By Inch By Inch

My belly, at its widest, currently measures 43”, which is 2.5” smaller than it was five weeks ago, when I started my battle against the belly. If I can lose 2.5” every five weeks, I should reach my goal of 36” in about four months. It’s definitely not a speedy process, but there’s no other way to achieve my mission, except to continue exercising and eating well.BEFORE

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[Flab Over Fifty] My Belly Fat Is Driving Me Crazy. Is Yours?

For those of you just joining us, this is the second installment of an ongoing “journal” I’m keeping on my program to eat right, stay in shape, and reduce my belly! It will please me if I can inspire even one other women to be a belly buster. Catch up by reading last week’s entry.

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I’m three weeks into my belly-busting regimen, and more (or less) over my continual craving for carbs. I say more or less because it’s pretty hard for me to go totally carb-less. So although I haven’t had a bite of bread, a cookie crumb, or a strand of spaghetti (from David’s plate) in 21 days, I’ve had a few teaspoons of jam, straight from the jar (George Costanza would definitely accuse me of “double dipping), and a couple of clementines.

I’m eating roast chicken; fish like salmon and tuna tartare; salads with balsamic vinegar and olive oil; homemade vegetable soups like broccoli and squash (made in a Vitamix without butter, milk or cream), and coffee with heavy cream (won’t ever deny myself heavy cream in my coffee).

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[Flab Over Fifty] I’m Baring My Belly. Would You Dare To Bare Yours?

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I know I’m far from alone when it comes to the business of bellies. It’s one of the unfortunate things that “pop up” after menopause. Even thin women get bellies!  When we post an article about belly fat, it invariably gets thousands and thousands of views.

Although I started a four-times-a-week cardio-and-weights regimen nine months ago, with my beloved LA trainer Vann Duke (over Skype), I knew that if I persistently attacked the baked goods that David continually buys, my belly wasn’t going anywhere.  (BTW, I can’t blame the baked goods entirely.  I’ve indulged in foods like pizza, ice cream, caloric frozen yogurt, far too long.)
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You’ll Be Fed Up In 95 Minutes!

An alarming documentary I watched last weekend, called Fed Up, prompted me to text my daughter, who has an 18-month old son:

“Don’t ever give Primo any cold cereals or other supermarket foods that have tons of sugar, even if the boxes say low fat or no fat. It’s scary what’s happening with children’s health in America because the food industry is producing such crap.”

I challenge anyone to watch this 95-minute documentary without having a similar reaction. Even if you’re smart enough to keep yourself and your family far, far away from processed foods, you’ll be shocked to learn just how much they’ve contributed to the snowballing childhood obesity epidemic, the likes of which the world has never before seen.

First consider these two ridiculous, well-known facts:

  • American auto companies freely manufacture (and sometimes even surreptitiously sell) defective cars that can kill us
  • American tobacco companies knowingly produce cancer-causing cigarettes

Here’s a third equally ridiculous fact, that isn’t as well known; as a matter of fact, it’s one of America’s best-kept, dirty-little secrets: The mammoth American food companies knowingly make cereals, cookies, frozen breakfasts, lunches and dinners—hundreds of thousands of processed foods—that are creating a “tsunami of sugar” sweeping up our children and putting them at precipitously high risks for developing cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

And nothing is stopping these companies from continuing this despicable practice

Not Michelle Obama (although she’s tried with her Let’s Move campaign). Not our schools, 80 percent of which have deals with companies, including Coke and Pepsi, to serve junk food and beverages to our children and grandchildren. Not parents, who succumb to the lures of food marketing, on TV, on the internet and around practically every corner they turn. And certainly not our children.

Yep, that’s right. One in five children today is obese, compared to one in 20 in the past. Obesity isn’t just unattractive and sloppy. It leads to chronic illness. Imagine an eight-year-old giving himself insulin shots. You don’t have to imagine. It’s happening. It really is. Once limited to adults, Type 2 diabetes has become a childhood disease.

The amount of added sugar in the 600,000 processed foods currently manufactured in America is horrifying. Sugar isn’t just in cookies and desserts; 80 percent of our processed foods have added sugar. Our kids are becoming sugar addicts. The American Heart Association recommends a daily sugar intake for women of 6 to 9 teaspoons, but our daily intake is actually 41 teaspoons.

If we keep traveling down this sugar-paved road, it’s estimated that 95 percent of all Americans will be obese in the next two decades.

The seeds of the epidemic actually were planted in 1977, after a government committee on nutrition and human needs heard expert testimony that obesity was the #1 form of malnutrition in the US, caused by a diet overly rich in saturated fats, rich in sugar, rich in fatty meats and rich in cholesterol. When the committee report recommended the creation of dietary “goals” for Americans—that we reduce our intake of fat-rich, caloric food—the egg, dairy, beef and sugar associations united, rejected it and demanded a rewrite.

If Americans reduced their intake of fat-rich, caloric food, that would translate into less business, the food industry correctly reasoned. Can’t have that, manufacturers thought, so they started getting creative, and devious: They re-engineered their food with less fat and fewer calories, but began dumping in more sugar to make it taste better. Otherwise, the food would have tasted like cardboard. That’s when the marketing gurus stepped in and designed labels that made bold statements, such as: “Now with half the fat and one-third fewer calories.” What the labels didn’t say was that the re-engineered food contained twice the sugar. The upshot? Americans doubled their daily intake of sugar from 1977 to 2000.

Remember when the heads of the tobacco companies “lied through their teeth” about the dangers of smoking, the film asks? Everyone watching the lineup of tobacco execs seated before Congress knew they were calculating clowns, but we let them get away with it. Until we didn’t. And when the government, media and the public finally took on the tobacco companies, in the mid 90s, changes were swift and effective. Smoking ads were banned on TV; smoking was banned in planes, in the workplace, in restaurants. Labels on cigarette packs were honest. The fact is, we should ban smoking entirely, but the tobacco lobby is too strong, so we’re settling for second best. The good news is that half as many high school students are smoking now than they did 20 years ago.

Well, my dear FOFriends, the documentary claims that the food companies have been lying through their teeth for the last 30 plus years about the damage that sugar is causing to the health and well being of our children. And we will have to “demonize the food industry, like we demonized the tobacco industry,” if we are going to cure obesity, the documentary emphatically states.

I’m ready. Are you?

Here are 19 other crucial facts and statistics I gleaned from Fed Up about the obesity epidemic and the effect of sugar on our children’s (and, of course, our) health.

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Staness and I Ate Like Women

Question:

What do you serve to a friend whose revolutionary new book, Eat Like A Woman, is going to be featured on one of the two big morning shows next month?

Answer:

You serve her one of the dishes from her book, of course!!!

My beautiful, talented and all-around wonderful pal, Staness Jonekos, flew in from LA this week for a media tour, so I decided to cook a Honey-Glazed Spiced Pork Tenderloin for her, from a recipe in Eat Like A Woman.

The elegant recipe was simple to follow and took under 20 minutes to put together. The two-pound pork tenderloin cooked in about 25 minutes.

The dish was light and scrumptious. Slightly spicy and sweet at the same time (it’s made with a dash of cayenne pepper, as well as honey), I served it with broccoli and garlic. Pork tenderloin is super lean, extremely low in fat, sodium and cholesterol, and full of protein.

I’m not going to give you the recipe here because I want you to buy the book, but here are the nutrition facts for 3 ounces of pork tenderloin: 122 calories, 3 grams of fat, 0 carbs, 0 sugar and 22 grams of protein. As Staness would say: “Yummers!”

Eat Like A Woman is not a cookbook. It’s worlds better because it tells us what we should eat, why we should eat it, and when we should eat it. The recipes in the back are bonuses.

I’m tempted to next make the Dolly Parton’s Hello Dolly Bars. Staness is crazy about them. They’re not dietetic but, as my friend says: “Practice portion control and you don’t need to diet.”