Archive for March 2013

Inspiration for the eBook

I decided to launch the blog, website and subsequently the eBook in response to my sister’s chronic ill-health as a result of failed multiple diets, which led her down the final desperate path to gastric bypass surgery and the associated health complications.

The emotional and hormonal rollercoaster began with Slimming World to Weight Watchers to Tesco diets to Jenny Craig to Diet Chef and on and on.

Like every woman (and man), the self-esteem and confidence issues start to raise their ugly heads just because they just can’t follow the diet. The news is the diets are not fit for purpose and this is by design rather than incompetence; after all they need people to come back for more as their business model is based on repeat business.

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Like psychic readings, lotteries and astrology hotlines, the weight loss industry sells hope to desperate, vulnerable and insecure people.

The Huffington Post has a great quote in a previous article: “The diet industry is the most successful failed business in the world”.

In the UK, obesity has increased tenfold since the 1970′s. Clearly it cannot increase tenfold again or 250% of us will be overweight. However, the prediction of the Foresight report is that 90% of today’s children will be overweight or obese by 2050. We cannot allow this to happen.

Consider these alarming statistics for the USA:

  • Obesity is the number 2 cause of preventable death in the United States.
  • 60 million Americans, 20 years and older are obese.
  • 9 million children and teens ages 6 to19 are overweight.
  • Being overweight or obese increases the risk of health conditions and diseases including: breast cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, colon cancer, hypertension (high blood pressure) and stroke to name a few as if that wasn’t enough.

All this and what do the UK and US governments (or any government really) do about it? Nothing! Why? Because there is too much money and vested interests at stake.

See the blog under nutrition for a taste (literally) of what you are up against – “The Science of Junk Food” describes the whole process behind the creation of mass produced, highly processed (adulterated) crap, specially formulated (yes it’s a chemical laboratory process) by food industry hired scientists to come up with the right ingredients, artificial included and in just the right quantities to hijack your reward circuitry in the brain, which ensures you stay hooked.

Scary stuff!

The Fat Loss Puzzle eBook looks at the diet industry in detail and their tricks as well as a large case study look at the junk food industry.

Turmeric Cauliflower with Lemon Pepper Dressing

Turmeric cauliflower with lemon pepper dressing (Serves 4)

Turmeric has long been recognised as a powerful anti-inflammatory, and recent research has also unveiled its anti-cancer fighting properties. If you pair it with cauliflower (a cruciferous wonder-veggie), only amazing things can come out.
A vibrant, spicy, slightly pungent earthiness all in one dish. I can’t stress enough the goodness and health benefits of this dish. You should give it a go!The dressing is made with a good amount of lemon, garlic and pepper; three superfoods.

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1 medium head of cauliflower (around 1lb /450g cauliflower florets)
1 teaspoon turmeric
Vegetable stock
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 clove garlic, smashed
½ teaspoon whole pepper seeds
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh herbs, chopped (I used rosemary, thyme and oregano), optional

Cut the head of cauliflower into florets.

In a large saucepan heat the vegetable broth, when it starts to boil add the cauliflower florets and turmeric (the florets should be completely covered with the broth). Lower the heat and cook until al dente, 5 minutes.

In the meantime, in a medium bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, pepper seeds, ground pepper, sea salt and herbs. Mix until well blended.

Drain the cauliflower florets, transfer to the bowl and toss while it’s still hot. You can serve hot or cold, as you prefer.

Pesto Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Pesto mozzarella stuffed chicken breasts (Serves 4)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup pesto sauce (you can use store bought or use your favourite homemade)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (small perlini mozzarella balls work best, but, you can use larger mozzarella, just cut it down into smaller pieces)
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, sliced

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Rinse chicken and pat dry. With sharp knife, cut a pocket deep lengthwise into the edge of each chicken breast and be careful not to cut all the way through.

Season chicken with pepper. Spread 1 tbsp pesto into each pocket. Fill each pocket with 1/4 of mozzarella balls and 1/4 of the red pepper slices. Spread remaining pesto over outside of chicken breasts to give it a light, even coating. Lay chicken on grill pan and grill for about 5 minutes either side.

To Serve:
Slice and serve with celeriac mash and/or asparagus or a green salad.

Papaya, The Natural Anti Wrinkle Remedy

This article is for all you girls out there that are obsessed with wrinkles and who spend huge amounts of money on lotions, creams and whatever the cosmetic industry is throwing at you with the promise of making you look younger or prevent aging.

But hear this out, in order to get smoother, younger looking skin you should work from the inside (not only from the outside) by eating more of this sweet, buttery-textured fruit.

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In fact, recent researches shows that a diet high in carotenoid-rich foods, such as papaya, helps boost people’s defences against the sun’s damaging rays and, as a consequence, helps fight off wrinkles on your skin.

More papaya = less wrinkles
The intense orangey-pink colour of papaya means it’s full of cancer fighting carotenoids. A recent study conducted on individuals between the ages of 40 and 50, showed that those who had the highest skin levels of carotenoids had the smoothest, youngest looking complexions. Their furrows and wrinkles were not as numerous or as deep. Researchers speculate that this was due to the high concentration of provitamin A carotenoid phytonutrients in papayas circulating in the bloodstreams of the younger looking group.

Carotenoids are a family of antioxidants that include body helpers like beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, just to name a few. They are very powerful antioxidants and a good source of vitamins A, C, and E.

In particular, it’s lycopene (highly reactive toward oxygen and free radicals) that works the magic on your skin.

But it’s not only about skin
Scientists have documented this common sense observation by finding that papaya promotes digestive health and intestinal cleansing, fights inflammation and supports the immune system. It protects lung and joint health, revitalises the body, and boosts energy levels. Papaya is a potent cancer fighter that is highly effective against hormone related cancers as well as other cancers. New research shows papaya can stop the growth of breast cancer cells, halt metastasis, and normalise the cell cycle.

In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme, papain, which is used like bromelain (a similar enzyme found in pineapple) to treat sports injuries, other causes of trauma and allergies.

Finally, the fibre present in papayas can help bind the toxins that cause cancer. In the colon, these toxins help in keeping the cancer causing toxins at bay. The other nutrients contained in papaya are also known to reduce the risk of cancers, especially that of colon cancer.

The AgeLESS™ protocol in The Fat Loss Puzzle eBook gives a detailed strategy for anti-ageing and the recipe chapter gives an excellent papaya shake recipe.

The Science of Junk Food

It was a conundrum whether to include this article in health or nutrition. I opted for nutrition since it will lead you down the path to malnutrition, although it will also lead you down the path to ill health such is the scale of this issue.

The majority of the Western world’s health problems could be resolved by the food we eat. Our reliance on highly processed, nutrient deficient foods has mostly contributed to the majority of chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity, Alzheimers and cancer to name a few.

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The Fat loss Puzzle describes in detail how and why we have arrived at this dire crisis.

What role has the food industry played in this crisis?
As well as food being biochemically engineered to contain the optimum levels of salt, sugar and unhealthy fat, which effectively hijack the reward circuit in the brain.

However, in an effort to appease food industry critics, some food companies are shifting from their emphasis on these three addictive ingredients. But wait! They haven’t gone soft all of a sudden; more like they have upped their game. we now have novel biotech flavour companies like Senomyx, which specialises in helping companies find new flavours to reduce sugar and salt content in processed foods.

These flavour enhancers are created using secret patent it processes which do not need to be listed on any food packaging labels. The lack of labeling requirements is particularly troublesome and will most likely become an issue in the future. As of now, they simply fall under the generic category of artificial and/or natural flavours. What this means is that the product will appear to be much “healthier” than it might otherwise be, were a flavour enhancer not used. The question is, are chemical flavour enhancers safe? Or are food companies simply exchanging one harmful substance for another? That remains to be seen.

Finding your hedonic response
The $1 trillion a year processed food industry operates by one of the guiding principles known as “sensory-specific satiety”, which has been described as “the tendency for big, distinct flavours to overwhelm your brain, which responds by depressing your desire to have more.” The greatest successes, whether beverages or foods, owe their “craveability” to complex formulas that tempt your taste buds just enough, without overwhelming them, thereby overriding your brain’s inclination to say “enough.”

“Vanishing calorie density” is another term used to describe foods that melt in your mouth, which has the effect of making your brain think it doesn’t contain any calories; end result you keep eating.

Potato chips (crisps) are an example of one of the most addictive foods on the market. The coating of salt, the fat content that rewards the brain with instant feelings of pleasure, the sugar that exists not as an additive but in the starch of the potato itself; all of this combines to make it the perfect addictive food.

Sugar – more addictive than cocaine
Research published in 2007 demonstrated that rats who were offered a choice between sugar and cocaine, chose sugar. Even rats who were addicted to cocaine quickly switched their preference to sugar, once it was offered as a choice. The rats were also more willing to work for sugar than for cocaine.

Even more disturbing, sugar has a cross tolerance and cross dependency with drugs including pain killers.

Today, prescription pain killers have surpassed illegal drugs as the preferred “high” and pharmaceutical drug overdoses now rank second only to motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the US. Unfortunately, since it’s all legal, no one is really cracking down on this growing drug problem that is wrecking lives each day.

The Fat Loss Puzzle eBook covers the over prescribing of drugs and alternatives to modern poisons.

How the mainstream got it wrong

Cancer is one of those words that provokes a sense of fear in most of us. This is hardly surprising, given the statistics… like those which show how 1 in 3 of us will be affected by the disease at some stage in our lives… and whilst statistics may just be a bunch of numbers on paper for some people, the reality is much more hard-hitting if you or a loved one receives a diagnosis.

With 1 in 3 affected by cancer over our lifet
ime, many of you will have already seen loved ones suffering — and some even dying — from deadly cancers.

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It’s because of experiences such as these that one thing is crystal clear: Cancer needs to be talked about, no matter how scary or how personal it may be.

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it
Of course, no one is going to think about a disease (let alone talk about it), until it directly affects them, which is one of the main reasons why people don’t act preventatively!

Infuriating as it is, the majority of people don’t realise that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 85 per cent of all cancers are entirely avoidable and half of these are related to nutritional deficiencies.

Even more galling, is that when people start to act or think preventatively, the mainstream cashes in on the fact that Joe Public has been conditioned to believe that pharmaceutical drugs are the answer.

Take cardiovascular disease (CVD) for example, Big Pharma has been relentless in its efforts to establish the idea that cholesterol-lowering, side effect ridden statin drugs are the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to successfully preventing CVD… This could not be further from the truth!

Recently, a panel of cancer experts, writing in Lancet Oncology, suggested that drugs like Tamoxifen could reduce the chances of developing breast cancer… Obviously, cancer is now the mainstream’s next target… once again they’re determined to make people believe that dangerous pharmaceuticals are the only viable option.

Professor Jack Cuzick, an epidemiologist at Queen Mary, University of London, expressed his hope that trials on Tamoxifen might eventually persuade the National Institute for Clinical Health and Excellence (NICE), the UK health watchdog, to back it as a preventative treatment.

Are drugs really the only way out?
Other related research, was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. It showed the results of the first large study comparing five years on Tamoxifen to just two years on the drug, over a 10-year follow-up period…

Let the results speak for themselves: Cancer returned in 46% of the women who took Tamoxifen for two years, but in just 40 per cent of the women who took it for five years. Just 40%? Six fewer in every 100?

Which begs the question: With results like this, is it really worth pushing this drug forward as an effective preventative measure?

And we haven’t even talked about side effects yet!

When asked to explain the risk-benefit ratio of Tamoxifen, Prof. Cuzick said: “For every 1,000 women on Tamoxifen for 10 years, we estimate there would be 20 fewer breast cancers. But there would be three more womb cancers and six more deep vein thromboses.”… yet, he still wants NICE to back Tamoxifen as a preventative treatment?!

As is the case with most medicines, it comes down to an assessment of risks versus benefits… this is especially important when considering whether to give healthy individuals a drug as a preventative measure.

So before healthy individuals jump on the “Big Pharma Cures All” bandwagon, they should first take a look at the side effects Tamoxifen can cause:

• In patients treated with Tamoxifen for metastatic breast cancer, the most frequent adverse reaction to the drug is hot flushes;
• Increased bone and tumour pain and, also, local disease flare ups have occurred;
• Constipation, coughing, muscle pain, nausea, tiredness, vaginal discharge and weight loss;
• Severe allergic reactions like rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue, and unexplained hoarseness;
• Abnormal menstrual periods, abnormal vaginal bleeding or bloody discharge, chest pain, coughing up blood, dark urine, decreased sexual desire or ability, and depression;
• Fever, chills, or persistent sore throat, and groin or pelvic pain or pressure;
• Loss of appetite, loss of balance or coordination, missed menstrual periods, new or unusual lumps, one- sided weakness, pain or swelling in one or both legs, red, swollen, blistered and/or peeling skin;
• Severe or persistent tiredness or weakness, shortness of breath, skin changes, stomach pain, sudden severe headaches, swelling of the arms or the legs, unusual bleeding or bruising, vision or speech problems and yellowing of the eyes or skin.

It shouldn’t be difficult to make up your mind after reading through this list…

The truth is, there are many other safer alternatives that can successfully help prevent the disease… sadly they are being completely ignored by the mainstream. For instance, making simple changes to your lifestyle — such as taking regular exercise, eating healthily, avoiding smoking and reducing your alcohol intake — can really pay off and dramatically reduce your risk of developing cancer.

The Fat Loss Puzzle details the main causes of most cancers and other diseases including simple strategies for significantly reducing your risk and proven alternative treatment protocols.