Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One

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The Stress of Tummy Trouble


Image courtesy of days days.deviantart.com

Nothing is worse than a tummy ache – that icky bloated feeling that we all get from time to time.  It can be soooo stressful especially when you look about 8 months pregnant and you have absolutely nothing due.    When I eat Oz-ily, which I have been for the most part (not perfect but close) this past week and a half, I feel much better.  I’ve written about this before, as much as it saddens me, bread can be painful for me.  Not bloat-y – it just seems to cause heart burn if I eat more than a slice or two a day.

Back to bloating though for a minute or two.  This morning, I watched a recent episode of Dr. Oz where he covered this painful topic.  A simple test to see if you are bloated, or if it’s just fat is as simple as slipping into your jeans in the morning, then again at night.  If they don’t fit in the morning, sorry, it’s fat, or you are an optimist and bought the pair of jeans that you’d like to fit into.  If the same pair that fit you in the morning, doesn’t fit later in the day, it’s the dreaded bloat.  I eat a lot of vegetables, chick peas and black beans and they cause no bloat.  It’s when I eat bread or pasta or cheese that things go awry.  Again, the better I eat, the less this seems to be a problem.  Apparently, women have curvier colons than men, and this leads to some bloating.

Here are some things that Dr. Oz and his expert sited as bloat inducing:

  • Chewing gum – apparently this can make you go up two dress sizes
  • Talking on the phone – ha – what a gas – what’s a girl to do?
  • Sports drinks – um – who actually likes these?  You can have my share

With every problem comes a solution and here’s what the good Dr. recommends:

  • Chewable ginger – well, if it helps with nausea, it may be worthwhile – I get car sick constantly
  • Fennel seeds – cheap and portable!
  • Drink water instead of juice or sports drinks – done!  I don’t drink either.  They also suggest coconut water but I find it tastes like moody socks but if you enjoy that taste, please feel free to enjoy bloat free!  I did notice that when I gave up Diet Coke that I was much less bloated.  TMI – but I barely burp now – drinking water is so much less entertaining!
  • Eat earlier – have a big breakfast, big lunch and a small dinner since your digestive tract is supposed to stall when it gets dark.  It actually does make you feel better.

Really, the best thing that I’ve tried is to limit bread.  I don’t have celiac disease, and I don’t think I’m gluten intolerant, but there is no doubt that at the very least, eating bread causes me to have heart burn and it’s very unpleasant.  I haven’t had any in 8 days, and I’ve been following the Dr. Oz plan for 8 days – what does that tell you?

I know that this is an odd place to stop, and reflect on the things that I am grateful for today, but what else can I say about the stress of bloat?  Today is Remembrance Day in Canada.  It is a time to honour the people that fought in the various wars that Canada participated in, most particularly World War 1 and World War 2.  Today, I am very grateful to soldiers that laid down their lives for Canada and for the fact that I live in a country that continues to honour our veterans.

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The Stress Questionnaire


If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve seen this diagram before.  It’s all about inflammation.  One of the root causes of inflammation is stress.  I stumbled across a little something on doctoroz.com – it’s a stress checklist so that you can see what the major causes of stress in your life are.  There are about 40+ items – http://www.doctoroz.com/article/stress-questionnaire – try the test yourself to see what’s inflaming you!  Here are my items:

  • Change in health of an immediate family member – always stressful
  • Work more than 40+ hours in a week – some weeks it’s 60+
  • Business or work role change – my role has been changing since April of this year
  • Sleep less than 8 hours – the quality of my sleep has increased, but the quantity has stayed between 5-6 hours – somedays it’s close to 6.5 but no where near the perfection of 8 hours
  • Change in responsibilities at work
  • Vacation – I love travel, but I guess getting ready to go away can be stressful and my next vacation is coming up quickly
  • Change in personal habits (diet, exercise, etc.) – I’m always trying something a little different with this blog and I’m doing the Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan again more to help myself feel better
  • Change in work hours or conditions
  • Presently pre-menstrual – I know TMI – but it’s a fact of life.  Yes, once a month, I like many women are aware that the whole world is out to get me

Nine out of about 44  – not terrible…but it is evident to me, that work causes the majority of my stress.  Some of the stress factors will be eliminated as time goes on.  Some, I’ll have to learn to cope with. Getting better sleep and more of it, has to continue to be a priority.  I’m not giving up travel though, just because it causes a little bit of stress.  It’s my top favourite thing!

One thing that has alleviated some stress has been my decluttering project.  This week, I began the process of Kijiji-ing/Craigslisting some of my items and I’ve sold a purse today.  So far, I’ve posted 6 items, and as I sell one, I’ll post more.  I’ve also started another pile of things to throw away.  Seeing my progress has been very satisfying, but I can’t wait to finish this little project even though I still have a lot of things left to do.

Today, I’m grateful for the stress questionnaire.  It’s a good little check list to see where your stress lives and it will help me address my own issues and for that, I’m…

Gratefully yours,


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New Topic – Re-Evaluation



I spent some time pondering my blog today – hence the picture that I took in Norway glancing out at the water with HUGE mountains reminding me of how insignificant that I am.  It’s a long weekend in Toronto, and one of my favourite ways to end it off is to just take a day and chill out. I always have the intention of being wildly productive, but just taking the time to do exactly what I feel like doing usually wins out.  Today, I read a life-altering, quality book that should be on everyone’s reading list.  “I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends – Confessions of a Reality Show Villain” by Courtney Robertson.  It’s a semi-tell-all from the former The Bachelor Finalist and ultimate winner.  Is it literary genius?  No – but it was very entertaining and a book that I could plow through really quickly.  Thanks Reality Steve for reviewing it on your site, realitysteve.com – that’s how I discovered it.  I usually read more high-brow fare, but every now and then, a little fluff is nice.  Doing my laundry always makes me feel productive, and it allows me to sit around and read while I wait for the washer to finish or in between folding loads.  Oh, the exciting life this blogger leads – you should all be jealous, but it’s such an ugly, tawdry emotion.

Back to my pondering.  Every few minutes while reading the holy grail of all things Bachelor, I thought about what I would like to write about this month.  I was reminded that I have a habit of picking of words ending in “tion” as my topics.  Case in point:

  • January – hibernation (ok sleep, but it has to work for my point to be valid)
  • February – beautification
  • March – nutrition
  • April – meditation (well, it ended up being about meditation so close enough)
  • May – inflammation
  • June – hydration (work with me here, I know it was about getting ready for summer)
  • July – vacation

So, for this month, I’m picking a biggie – re-evaluation.  Some of you may feel that this should be my December topic – au contraire – I think it’s important, as I close in on the last quarter of my year of following Dr. Oz’s advice, to take time now to get back on track with the good changes that I’ve made that may have fallen a bit by the way-side, keep up with what is working, and re-visit some things that haven’t.  I’ll be doing Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s new 21 day meditation experience, eating Oz-ily and trying a few new things on my road to good health.

So what am I grateful for today?  Long weekends when I can see my closest friends and have a day to myself to just relax even if it means doing a few hated house-hold chores to help me not feel like a total sloth.

Gratefully yours,


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26 Weeks and Counting – What A Burn

It’s official – my journey down the yellow brick road to good health is half-way over, or at least my experiment in taking Dr. Oz’s advice. It has been an enlightening first half.  I’ve learned things that I never would have given a second thought to, I’ve made changes that have made a big difference in how I feel and I’ve tried things that I never thought I ever would be interested in.  The latest thing that I’ve tried, admittedly on the advice of my dermatologist, has been a chemical peel.  He recommended that I get three of them to help with my annoying acne problem.  I had my first last Friday.  It all starts off in a very relaxing manner.  You have a traditional facial first including a scrub, steam and extraction (which I love).  The main event was next.  A 70% glycolic acid solution was applied to my face from the forehead down.  The reason they start with the forehead is because it can tolerate the acid for the longest period of time.  The acid stays on your skin for about 2 minutes and feels like your face is getting a sunburn.  Once the two minutes were up, I had to wash my face with lots of water twice. I then had a calming cream applied, followed by sunscreen.  So what were the results?

My skin was red and blotchy and looked really oily from the cream.  I was warned that my skin would “crust” in parts and to use Polysporin or petroleum jelly on it.  I ended up breaking out, but only one zit has really had any staying power.  My skin feels softer, but I haven’t seem anything amazing – yet.  According to Dr, Oz, “You’ll see the results of a superficial chemical peel when your skin heals, generally within two to three weeks.”  I’ll wait patiently and keep you posted.  My next peel is scheduled for the end of July.  If your doctor recommends a chemical peel, follow their instructions.  This includes wearing sunscreen since your skin will be pretty sensitive for a few days.  I hope it makes some sort of a difference.

So, what is the most important thing that I’ve learned in this half year?  I’d say that I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.  I also think mindfulness is crucial.  I think more about my health when I make a decision.  I try to stick with the things that make me feel better – it isn’t always easy, but I’m doing my best and isn’t that all we can really ask ourselves for?  I could list everything that I’ve keep up – ok – I will:

  1. Probiotics every morning – I really think these have made a huge change in how my tummy feels
  2. Prebiotics where possible to super-charge my probiotics.  This includes eating at least half of a banana most mornings or no longer avoiding onions
  3. Watching what I eat to avoid inflammation and to feel better.  I’m not perfect.  I’ve lost around 18 pounds, but 80% of the time, I’m on the money and I do feel better.  I’ve starting following Dr. Oz’s 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan once a month, not to lose weight, but because, overall, eating that way makes me feel better.  It’s totally not sustainable, so I eat the DASH way, the other 2 weeks with occasional cheats.  
  4. Researching what I put in my mouth – this means being a bit more critical about certain pieces of Oz sanctioned advice (coconut oil ring a bell?).
  5. Eating nuts – really, they help with sleep – I’m convinced of it.
  6. Sleeping in a cool room.  I do sleep better, not perfectly, but better.
  7. Meditating – I didn’t love the actual practice – just Deepak Chopra’s teachings, and if trying more meditation means that I get to benefit from someone much wiser than me, well, practice makes perfect.
  8. No shampoo faux-hawks.  Being more careful when I wash my hair has meant fewer tangles and fewer split ends.
  9. Zinc supplements – I still take these daily – I’m not sure if they’ve helped my skin, but I have to say that my immunity is better.
  10. Getting a mammogram – this was really important for me since breast cancer runs in my family.  Yes, it wasn’t pleasant, but early detection is worth the 5 minutes of discomfort that I suffered and it literally was 5 minutes for all of you chickens out there.
  11. Dandelion tea – I hate this – it tastes like dirt.  It can’t all be good news : )

There have been many more changes that I have made – mostly small ones, but eleven seems to be a nice round number or at the very least, two straight up and down ones.  I hope the next 6 months are as beneficial as the first 6 have been.  I know that Dr. Oz has detractors, and some of this is deserved, but he also provides a lot of really beneficial advice, so today, I’m grateful for my favourite TV doctor and to all of you for following me or reading my blog.  I struggled a bit in June with a demanding work schedule, but I won’t let that stop me from completing this experiment.  I’ll be revealing a new topic in my next entry – something really fun for me.  Until then, I am…

Gratefully yours,



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Fact or Fad (Part 2)


As I mentioned yesterday, I interviewed my cousin Gail Kardish, a Registered Dietician, about all things Oz.  I got her expert opinion of Dr. Oz’s Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan, the DASH Diet, and found out why Registered Dieticians hate my “Whiz-ard”.  If you didn’t get a chance to check it out, here is the link https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/fact-or-fad-part-1/ now on to Part 2!

Q: A lot of people have a lot of success with Weight Watchers and the points system – what are your thoughts?

A: The old Weight Watchers system was a great diet.  The new plan sets some people up to play the system.  For example, instead of eating nutritionally balanced food, some people will take all of their points for the day, and have one gigantic piece of chocolate cake.  It’s perfectly legal, but not the best choice.

Note from Jill – the old system included all of the basic food groups and a limited amount of optional calories.  Each week, new foods were introduced and you received a few more optional calories.  You had boxes to check off indicating that you had eaten a serving from that particular food group.  You also had to check off whether you ate your optional calories and drank 6-8 glasses of water.  This diet was amazing and the one where I kept weight off for almost a decade.  It was more about serving size versus points and it was really about a lifestyle choice, not a diet.  I’ve tried the new system, I did well, but the point counting got to be too much.  I know it does work for a lot of people though.

Q: How about the new trend where celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow offer nutritional advice (side note, I’m not a Gwynnie fan)?

A: I hate Gwyneth Paltrow (can you tell we are related?).  Don’t even try to do what celebrities do!  A lot of what they put out there is untrue and not substantiated by any credible sources.  They are also air brushed in photos which sets up a standard that the average women can’t live up to.   What they put out there is not reality.  They have chefs and personal trainers whose job it is to ensure that they are in good shape.

Q:  Moving on to my favourite new topic – probiotics.  As a registered dietician, what do you think of them?  Can you stay on them indefinitely?

A: They are still fairly new, but there is research that supports their claims.  It is possible, in some people, that they may have a placebo effect. So far, from what I’ve seen, they won’t hurt you, and may help with certain conditions and you can stay on them indefinitely.  A lot of people find them unaffordable, so I suggest kefir (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kefir) – it’s a good source of probiotics and is much cheaper than taking a capsule.  (Note from Jill – I’d rather go without probiotics than eat kefir, but good suggestion Gail!).

Q: Ok – give me the skinny on cleanses – are you in favour or not?

A:  I am absolutely, 100% against cleanses (as are most registered dieticians).  I believe in a lifestyle not a diet or cleanses to maintain or achieve good health.  A cleanse is a quick fix and you lose all of the perceived benefits almost immediately when it ends.  Keep in mind that your body detoxifies itself and is set up perfectly to do this through organs like the liver and your kidneys.  As soon as the cleanse is over, most people go back to the same habits and theoretically, you are “re-toxifying” yourself.  They are dangerous, in many cases, as you are losing a lot of water which throws your electrolyte balances off. Some cleanses even use laxatives, which, over time, can result in a lazy bowel and some people become reliant on them causing permanant damage.  As a registered dietician working at a hospital, I see people in the Emergency Room as a direct result of doing a cleanse.  Keep in mind that you aren’t losing all of those calories either when you use a laxative cleanse.  By the time everything reaches your colon, the small intestine has already absorbed the calories and nutrients so you are only really losing electrolytes and fluids.  Even if you aren’t using a laxative based cleanse, there is no long term benefit and you are missing out on important nutrients that all of the main food groups have to offer.

Q: What is the key takeaway for the reader?

A: There are no quick fixes.  You should be eating from all of the food groups to be in optimal health.  Most people, if they diet, will eventually gain all back all of their weight and then some.  Unless you make the decision to commit to a healthy lifestyle, the changes that are required to maintain a healthy weight can’t be maintained.  No one is perfect, as I mentioned before, you have to give in to cravings occasionally so that they don’t turn from a treat into a binge.  Make small changes to get yourself started and then keep going.

My Thoughts:

My cousin makes a ton of sense, and I agree with her about mostly everything.  She also warned me about the Bernstein Diet – it’s not healthy or sustainable.  There are always exceptions to every rule though.  I gave Dr. Oz a C+ for his Rapid Weight Loss Plan because I had brain fog, there were mornings where I felt nauseous (maybe it was the electrolyte immbalance that my cousin was talking about) and because I couldn’t exercise.  There were things that we both liked about his plan, but I think I’ll concentrate on the MASH Lifestyle Plan which I’ll write about tomorrow – taking the best of Dr. Oz and DASH.  I also totally agree with what she said about cleanses.  I know that a lot of people won’t agree with me (or her) and that’s their right, but I can only write about my own personal experience and thoughts, and give you the best advice that I can based on a professional’s opinion.  Make that two professionals, since my trainer told me that no person who has a career in fitness would ever recommend a cleanse or any eating plan where you cannot exercise.

I can understand why, as a health care professional, she would have some issues with what Dr. Oz is putting out there.  I have personally learned a lot and have gotten a lot of benefits from his advice, but keep in mind I sift through a lot of detail until I find what I am looking for.  My typical blog entry, no matter how simple the topic, is about an hour of research.  Most days, it’s a lot more.  I made the error of changing my diet without speaking to a professional.  After speaking with my cousin, at some point, I’m going to speak to a Registered Dietician and seek my doctor’s advice about what I have been doing.  Check your benefits to see if you are covered, they are a great resource.

I would like to close with a little moment of gratitude.  Today, I am truly grateful to my cousin for being such a great interview subject.  I am also grateful that her entry was my most read blog to date.  Gail, you were an amazing interview subject and I hope that you will let me interview you again in the future.  Until then, I am…

Gratefully Yours,


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Grimace-ing No More!


It’s finally arrived – the last evening of my time on Dr. Oz’s Two-Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan…and today, I’m grateful for the fact that I won’t have to “Grimace” over another purple-hued smoothie again!  Well, at least not for a little while.  I survived the two weeks and as I sit here with my glass of lemon water (I’ve started drinking it more than once a day), I’ve been pondering what I’ve liked and didn’t like about my Whiz-ard’s plan and what I would change the next time that I do it and what I will continue to incorporate into my daily life.

The Sweet:

  • I got used to having the lemon water in the morning, but again, I had to drink it at room temperature – the hot was just too unbearable for me
  • I learned how to use a blender!!!
  • I loved the variety of vegetables that I ate – when you are eating a lot of them, you have to get creative plus stir-frying them in olive oil with lemon, cilantro, ginger and hot sauce was really yummy (unless I was just hungry)
  • I actually liked the fact that I could easily follow the diet when I went out.  I had a salmon salad one day, arctic char another and a lot of chicken salad. You just have to ensure that the dressing is oil and balsamic and that you put it on yourself.  It got me eating things other than chicken just to get variety
  • My stomach felt way better than it has for a long time on the plan – no more bloating or discomfort after I ate – it was amazing!
  • I had little or no heartburn
  • My skin seemed to get better – but I don’t want to jinx it
  • I liked that I got to eat brown rice – I love it, and not having any carbs would have made it difficult
  • The detox broth was very soothing and actually tasted really good
  • I’m not craving sugar and that’s a good thing
  • It got me back in the habit of snacking through the day and when I do this, I generally tend to eat healthier and make better choices
  • I learned that I can cut bread down (I won’t cut it completely out, but will only have it once a day)
  • It was really easy to follow, and as my trainer said, it was an attainable goal – anyone can do this for two weeks

The Sour:

  • We all know that I hated the smoothies – it made me dread the mornings
  • It was a lot of prep for snacks, breakfast, and meals
  • I did get sick of the lack of variety of food.  There were days I would have killed to have some fresh fruit or quinoa
  • It was expensive
  • It wasn’t truly susatinable for longer than two weeks
  • You couldn’t really exercise on the plan, and I agree with my trainer – diet and exercise go hand in hand.  I still did my weekly training session, but I felt like I was slipping backwards in my progress because I couldn’t get my heart rate up
  • I have to admit, I did get some brain fog – there was one day at work I made mistakes on the same piece of work four times – it was totally frustrating and there were times where I had a hard time concentrating
  • I felt a general lack of energy – more so than before I started


  • I bought plain, unsweetened almond milk, next time I would get the vanilla flavoured one that Dr. Oz has in the recipe
  • I would get baggies of the flax seed and protein powder ready so that I just had to dump them in the blender in the morning – every minute that you can save helps
  • I would use fresh or frozed blueberries – the berry mix that I used (blueberry, raspberry and blackberry) had too many little seeds in it
  • I would continue to drink coffee and black tea – I know that you weren’t supposed to, but Dr. Oz also believes that they have health benefits and it did make the two weeks more bearable
  • I would do a lot more prep ahead of time – make a week’s worth of brown rice, cut up all of the veggies so that they are ready to go and maybe even pre-cook some chicken to top my salads with

Keep it Up

  • As I mentioned above, I’ll keep up with the lemon water – I just felt more hydrated drinking the extra water in the morning
  • I’ll continue with the probiotics for now, because I do feel better since I’ve started taking them.  I will check into how long you should take them for and see what Dr. Oz thinks and report back to you
  • Salad is an easy lunch and I’ll keep having it as one of my main meals throughout the day.  It’s an easy, starch-free meal
  • I’ll be limiting my dairy, unless it’s for a treat.  My skin is better and I feel better.  I’m going to keep having a greek yogurt every single day and I’ll count the milk that I use in my tea and coffee as my other serving when I start my new plan tomorrow
  • You are allowed nuts on this plan and Dr. Oz highly recommends eating nuts for various reasons so I’m continuing on with being nuts…about nuts

Overall, I am happy that I tried this plan and that I stuck it out for the whole two weeks even on the days, and there were plenty, where I didn’t feel my best.  I still don’t believe that my body is “reset” and that I’m “detoxed”.  I believe that you should fuel your body with the best possible foods  that hopefully, in some cases, this will have health benefits for you.  I would consider doing this plan again if I felt like my eating was off track and to get me back into clean eating habits.  Even though this wasn’t about weight loss for me, rather, starting on a path to wellness and getting myself out of pre-diabetes, I did lose almost seven pounds.  I have accepted that I will gain a pound or two this week while I start a new plan.  Overall, this plan gets a C+ from me.


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Grimace Smoothies and Other Week One Observations



As I was pouring my dreaded smoothie yesterday, I was looking at the purple hue and it reminded me of my favourite character from McDonaldland – GRIMACE!!!  He was such a cute, purple milkshake loving blob – I miss him!  According to Wikipedia, Grimace left McDonaldland in 2004 – never to return.  He is way up there is milkshake heaven.  Anyway, to make things more bearable for me, I’ve decided to name my smoothie the Grimace Slide – a cute name sometimes helps me get through things.  

I’m sipping on my green tea while I work on this entry.  I’ve officially become one of “those people” that I internally get judgey (it’s a word, at least in my vocabulary) about.  You know, the ones that sit across from you primly drinking their lemon water spiked with cayenne pepper and maple syrup while you scarf down chicken fingers (ok I don’t eat these more than 2-3 times a year, but you know what I mean).  They then proceed to tell you that they are detoxing because both their homeopath and naturopath told them that they were “riddled with inflammation” and that they must cleanse to get rid of the toxins in their body and reset their liver.  HOOOEEEYYYY I say – your body isn’t a computer that can be reset and we are naturally set up to detoxify ourselves through sweat and other unmentionables that I won’t mention because it isn’t ladylike (hint, you go to the bathroom for a reason) but I’m also not an expert.  I was on the phone with a friend that is doing this program with me and we were comparing notes about what we were doing and she told me that like it or not, this is a detox.  Insert horror music here.  I haven’t been this depressed since the last time that I shopped at Whole Foods!  Have I really become a lulu lemon wearing detoxifier?  And why am I wearing lulu lemon since I can’t exercise anyway?  I’m a fake, a sham, a phony!  Alas, dear readers, I have thought about a way to help me stop grimacing about this – get it?  I’m getting Grimace in here again!!!!!!  I can’t be a McSmugly if I am referring to a McDonald’s character.

I decided to compare Dr. Oz’s Two-Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan to another plan he just featured – the 10-Day Detox Diet and you know what?  Whether I want to admit it or not, I’m on a detox.  Side by side they are very similar.  Here is a link if you want to check out the Detox Diet http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/10-day-detox-diet-one-sheet.  The major differences are:

-Dr. Oz’s plan starts with a cup of hot water and lemon where the 10-Day Detox Diet doesn’t

-The smoothies are different – Dr. Oz’s has fewer ingredients and has protein powder while the Detox Diet has nuts, seeds, lemon, coconut butter avacado and half of the amount of almond milk and a little bit of water.  I’ll take Dr. Oz’s thank you very much!

-Dr. Oz’s plan gives you 1/2 cup of brown rice where the Detox Diet doesn’t allow for any type of carb

-Dr. Oz’s plan doesn’t allow you tofu, eggs or tempeh (unless I am missing something) where the Detox Diet does

-The Detox Diet is very specific about the spices that you can use, where the Dr. Oz plan doesn’t mention them

-The Detox Diet doesn’t recommend supplements where Dr. Oz’s does (i.e. probiotics in the morning)

-Dr. Oz’s plan is 4 days longer (D’OH)

-Both cut out wheat, sugars, processed foods, alcohol and dairy (except the Greek yogurt on Dr. Oz’s plan)

Now that I’m calmer about the fact that I’m on a detox, I will tell you one thing if you are thinking about doing either plan – it’s very expensive.  I’ve spent $150 so far on the Dr. Oz plan – that includes all of the produce, the probiotics, the rice protein powder ($25.99 alone), ground flax seed ($6.99), almond milk, etc.  Some of the items will outlast the plan like the flaxseeds.  Some, like the protein powder I won’t use again unless I do this plan.  If you decide to do either, remember they are ingredient heavy and you will have to buy everything.  There are ways to eat healthier foods on a budget (i.e. frozen foods instead of fresh) but there is not way to do this without a lot of homework for less than $100 at least for week one.

Please take what I am saying with a grain of salt  – you know the one that you aren’t allowed to have but really think about if you are ready to commit the time, the energy and the budget to a detox if you are going to do one. 



Patience is a Virtue…

Dwayne blog

I have been training with Dwayne Roberts for the last year and a half – exercise training that is. Every Wednesday, my friend and I have an hour of his time. Sharing a trainer is a great way to get the benefit of their experience at a cost saving to you.  Although it still can be expensive to do it weekly, I do see a lot of benefit.  It’s a guarantee that at least one day a week, I’ll do strength training.  You are supervised by someone who really knows what they are doing so that on the other days, when you aren’t with a trainer, you have the correct form and a plan to use.  Plus, they push you more than you are capable of pushing yourself.  No one likes to feel discomfort, and especially a princess like me.  I was really hoping that Dwayne would just do the work out for me, and magically, I’d see the benefit – but sadly, and maybe even a little cruelly, he makes me do everything that he says – including the “Anne Hathaway”, the “Dead Pope” and the “Frankenstein”.  I’ll explain what those are in another entry, but they are all names that I came up with that Dwayne thinks are bordering on tasteless for exercises that I dread.  Seriously though, the best part about working out with Dwayne is that even though he is really nice, he makes you do EVERY EXERCISE – whether you want to or not and that’s really what the goal of working out with an expert is, isn’t it?

Dwayne and I have spoken about Dr. Oz’s Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Program, and I trust his opinion so I thought you could all benefit if I asked him a few questions about the program:

-What are the good points about this plan?

The diet depletes the sugars in the body to cause weight loss. It’s a balanced dietary plan that includes low glycemic foods.  It doesn’t take everything away from you – you do reduce fruit but you still get a couple of servings and you also get brown rice for carbs.  You are getting a bit from each food group.  It’s also a good plan, because it’s only two weeks of achievable goals – anyone can manage two weeks on a plan.  The recipes that are provided are good and the plan overall is easy to follow.

-What are the negatives?

The cost can be prohibitive for some people between the supplements and produce.  For people who exercise, it’s not the right plan because there is no physical activity. That would be asking you to do something you normally wouldn’t do.  Most, if not all trainers will tell you that you need diet and exercise to lose weight and keep it off.  I also question the sustainability of the plan.  It’s hard for people to know what to do after 2 weeks.  For example, how do you make the plan a lifestyle instead of a two week diet and incorporate exercise?  It also doesn’t explain any other dietary modifications you should make once you are at your goal weight

-Why can’t you exercise on this diet?

This diet is depleting your glycemic levels (sugars) which fuels your body for exercise. When you exercise, your body is looking for energy  and with this diet, it  isn’t there and as a side effect, you may feel light-headed or dizzy or you may not have the energy to complete your workout. Its like trying driving your car on empty. Without fuel, you can’t exercise.

-What if you want to exercise?

On the day you are exercising, more food to sustain a work out.  The easiest plan is to have one more smoothie, just like the one that you have in the morning. It doesn’t change what you have to eat on the plan, you just increase your volume of food so that you have the energy needed to work out.

-What do you think of diet plans where you can’t exercise? Isn’t exercise crucial when it comes to weight loss?

I don’t recommend diet plans where you can’t exercise, nor would most trainers. If you diet without exercise, eventually your body will plateau and you need to find other ways to lose those extra pounds. Plus there are health benefits to exercise that diet alone will never be able to provide.

-How does eating wheat and other processed food affect you and your health?

Wheat is a heavy product – people can get bloated and your system can slow down. Your system is asked to do more when you are eating wheat. Foods are too processed now and that means that they are preserved in one of two things – sugar or salt – too much of either can have a negative impact on your health.  Too much salt, for example, can lead to high blood pressure.

-What do you attribute higher rates of obesity to?

Over the decades, younger generations are becoming more sedentary compared to their ancestors. Our grandparents were much more active and had to be whether it was for their jobs, or even just getting work done around the house.  Technology changed all of that, you don’t have to get up out of your chair to do something.  Even in plants where people do labour, things have become more automated so those roles aren’t as physically demanding as they once were. In general, people are doing less and putting more into their bodies.  Food is also way more accessible now than it used to be. You can find it in malls, schools, universities and even in the basement of hospitals. Decades ago this wasn’t the case – you had to actually prepare your meals – there was no instant gratification. Now in two minutes you can have a hot meal made in the microwave.  It’s easy and fast, but not necessarily healthy for you.

-As a trainer, what advice would you give someone starting a weight loss program? How about when they first see you?

The first piece of advice is to make sure you are getting a balanced diet – drink lots of water, keep your sugars and salts low, get lots of rest and of course exercise!When I first meet someone, I identify what they are eating currently and then change one thing at a time, not necessarily their whole diet because that can be overwhelming. I also tell people not to have protien bars – use whole, fresh foods. Protein bars are high in sugar and your body may not be able to absorb everything in one properly, meaning a portion of what you paid for is wasted every time you eat one.  People have a false idea of how healthy packaged foods like protein bars are. I recommend keeping packaged and processed foods to a minimum or better yet, don’t eat them at all.

-What words of motivation do you have for people who are trying to lose weight?

Be patient – it’s better to have weight come off slowly and steadily, as opposed to instant gratification diets, so that your body can adapt. Basically slow and steady wins the race.

Dwayne is one of only five Nike Sparq trainers in Canada. He has over twenty years of experience as a trainer.  His passion is helping people take ownership of their own health and wellness through a safe, proper program, ultimately achieving any goals that they have.  According to Dwayne, it’s not about a fancy gym, it’s about the plan you have.