Shawna Kendrick, on Sat, Jan 24, 2015
Laura Zavadil, on Wed, Feb 19, 2014
Juicing is the process of extracting juice from the flesh or the pulp of a fruit or vegetable. This technique has been used for hundreds of years as a way to maximize nutrient intake by drinking only the juice of various vegetables and fruits. I wanted to get the New Year off to a healthy start and reset my digestive system, so I researched how to complete a “safe” juice cleanse.
The idea of a juice cleanse is pretty simple: all meals and snacks are replaced with juices made from (preferably organic) fruits and vegetables for three to ten days. The main health advantage of a juice cleanse is based on the theory that our bodies are more efficient at metabolizing and excreting toxins when our digestive system is freed from the burden of digesting solid food.
Additional Benefits of Juicing
Here are some additional benefits of juicing:
Trying a Three-Day Juice Cleanse
After much research, I decided to try a three-day juice cleanse. It wasn’t the best three days of my life, but here are some of my observations:
Disadvantages of Juice Cleanse
There are, however, disadvantages of juice cleanses. For example:
If your goal is to eat healthy, you don't need to juice as a way to cleanse or detox your body. Juicing can be an easy way to get in your greens (for instance, without having to eat fistfuls of kale), but juices should be used to complement a balanced diet that includes minimally processed foods, good-quality lean protein, and plenty of whole fruits and vegetables—which, ironically, are the real cleansers. The fiber found in whole fruits and vegetables act like a scrub brush for your digestive tract.
Juice Cleanses: Not a Long-Term Solution
Bottom line, although a juice cleanse could feel like a psychological jump-start to healthy eating, it is not a solution for long-term wellness. Simply put, being healthy is a lifestyle event, not a three- or ten-day adventure.
Shawna Kendrick, on Wed, Feb 5, 2014
This time of year many people are looking to drop excess weight. In their desire to see rapid results, many start a supplement program such as AdvoCare®. I’m writing to warn individuals who may be interested in trying this particular program. First, I will describe the program before sharing my professional (and maybe blunt) opinion as a Registered Dietitian.
The AdvoCare® Weight-Loss Program
AdvoCare® offers a variety of supplements and weight-loss programs, with the 24-Day Challenge being the most popular program. The 24-Day Challenge is the most popular program because it supposedly helps people “get skinny” in just 24 days. The program consists of a 10-day “cleanse” phase followed by an additional 14 days of a “Max” phase. AdvoCare® advertisements claim that the supplements taken during the “cleanse” phase will rid your body of toxins and prepare your body to better absorb nutrients. These supplements include an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement and an energy drink. According to AdvoCare®, these supplements will help jump-start your weight-loss efforts by ridding your body of water weight.
The “Max” phase consists of a “metabolic nutrition system,” which claims to increase metabolism, control your appetite, and support core nutrition when the user consumes meal-replacement drinks and more energy drinks. Additionally, this phases includes a meal plan that emphasizes lean proteins (such as ground turkey and chicken breast), non-starchy vegetables (such as asparagus, broccoli, and tomatoes), and complex carbs (such as whole grains, oatmeal, and quinoa).
Why the AdvoCare® 24-Day Challenge Is Bad For You
Sounds pretty good, right? Well, let me break down the reasons why this particular AdvoCare® program should come with flashing signs that say “WARNING! DANGEROUS DIETARY HABITS AHEAD!”
Other Warning Signs About AdvoCare®
Those are my complaints as an RD; however, there are other warning signs that everyone should know. Numerous reports are popping up online in different forums warning other consumers about the safety of these supplements. People are reporting severe health complications such as gastric pains that require hospitalizations, organ failure, and adverse medication interactions. One of my own corporate wellness clients experienced a very serious medical scare while participating in the 24-Day Challenge. Not only did her blood pressure spike significantly during the program, but she also experienced kidney failure despite having no previous risk factors or pre-existing medical problems. Her doctor immediately told her to stop the supplements, and luckily her kidney function and blood-pressure levels were moving back toward normal after two weeks.
To be frank, I’m appalled that products like AdvoCare® are allowed to be sold in our country. It just demonstrates that although many supplements can benefit one’s health, they are not tested and regulated by the FDA.
I encourage anyone who wants to try AdvoCare® or a similar program to consider the warning signs of an unhealthy (and potentially dangerous) diet plan:
The old-fashioned way of losing weight will never change: eat healthy and exercise. Simple, but true.
This blog was written by Laura Zavadil, RD, LDN
Shannon Hendrix-Buxton, on Sat, Jan 4, 2014
I am a recovering perfectionist. It’s an ongoing struggle, but every day I get more comfortable with not being the best at everything. And every day, I feel a little happier because of this attitude. Here are my thoughts as to why.
From an early age, we are taught that 100 percent is the best. Those three numbers represent the perfect indication of success. We are encouraged to give 100 percent of our efforts and to be the best we can possibly be. Some people (myself included) misconstrue this message to mean anything less than 100 percent is unacceptable.
All-or-Nothing Thinking Can Derail Your Health
As a wellness coach, I often see clients mirror these perfectionist tendencies. For example, some may think their diet is ruined because they ate a donut for breakfast and therefore make poor eating choices for their other meals. Others feel it is pointless to lace up their running shoes unless they have time for a 5-mile run, and stay in and watch TV instead of going for a 2-mile run.
Cognitive-behavioral therapists call this type of thinking an all-or-nothing cognitive distortion. It’s an unhealthy perspective for one simple reason: No one achieves 100 percent of their goals 100 percent of the time. No one.
For perfectionists who struggle to make healthy lifestyle choices (whether it be avoiding the vending machine at work or exercising a certain number of times per week), not achieving 100 percent of a goal can be discouraging, if not downright depressing. This is unfortunate because many people fail to give themselves credit for the healthy choices they do make.
The 65–85 Rule as It Applies to Fitness
My road to recovering from my all-or-nothing thinking patterns began with a simple rule:
Aim to be successful 65 to 85 percent of the time.
I can just imagine the looks of disbelief from my fellow perfectionists. Give me a moment to explain why the 65–85 percent successful rule is such a beautiful thing.
Personally, I believe adopting this 65–85 percent attitude has been one of best decisions of my life. I don’t beat myself up if I occasionally eat too much chocolate because I know I eat pretty darn healthy most of the time. If I only have time to run 3 miles instead of 6 because I feel unusually tired, I congratulate myself for getting out the door in the first place.
I’ve found that I’ve actually become healthier (and most importantly, happier) by letting go of my perfectionist thinking. I hope reading my thoughts will persuade you to try to do the same!
Cody Parks, on Wed, Sep 4, 2013
Whether we like it or not, we have an epidemic on our hands. Whether you are overweight, obese or not, classifying obesity as a disease will affect you, if it hasn’t already. Changes are in order. Simply classifying obesity as a disease does not make the necessary changes automatically occur and I’ve already expressed my concern with the direction I think this could go.
Fructose is processed in our bodies similarly to ethanol (alcohol). Actually, chronic consumption of fructose shares 8 of the 12 side effects of chronic ethanol consumption. Fructose is like alcohol without the buzz. How do you make alcohol? Ferment sugar! Due to the fact that fructose consumption has no immediate side effects, the government will not regulate it. When the government won’t step in to make necessary changes, it becomes our responsibility.
In 2007, Yale University published a meta-analysis of 88 cross-sectional and longitudinal studies looking at the effects of soda consumption. They reported that consistent soda consumption correlates to an overall increase in average energy consumption (we eat more), increased body weight, decreased milk and calcium consumption, and decreased consumption of adequate nutrition. This even included studies sponsored by major soft drink companies, which had consistently smaller correlations vs. the independent studies. When the companies won’t admit fault and make changes, it becomes our responsibility.
We must make the changes. The supply won’t budge until the demand changes.
What are some things we can do?