Melisa Farill Talancon

Nutrition Consultant,

This conversation is closed.

What is the best diet for weight loss and keeping it off?

I'm trying to put EVERYTHING into the equation: animal rights, ethics, economy, lifestyle, culinary arts, healthcare priorities and above all, reality...what works best and stays that way?

Vegan, local, paleo, moderation? All of these?

Are dairy products really bad for us? Since when? Worse than fast food? Is sugar really worse than honey?

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    Jun 5 2013: The best diet is one you create for yourself, combing diets for your health issues and adjusting for your own personal taste.

    Start with the basic healthy diet, (low process food, anti-inflammation, etc) then Google “Health-issues diet" and adjust accordingly. A total change diet generally don’t last but a week or two, so instead start by switch a few foods and gradually build it to something you can enjoy and live with for the rest of your life.

    Here are a few ideas/ examples;
    Eat sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes
    Replace cow’s milk with Almond milk (personally I love the dark chocolate almond milk)
    Replace sugar with Spices* (Spices make cooking fun and tasty, and also vary healthy)
    Replace soda with unsweetened tea (imitation sugar are just or more unhealthy as real sugar
    Use more honey, real maple syrup and not that fact unhealthy garbage
    Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
    Add more fish and reduce fatty red meat is a common step needed, but does not apply to everyone. (men need red meat, just not fatty red meat)

    Making changing your diet fun!

    *don’t get spices from your grocery store, go online and get fresher and tastier spices for half the cost.

    And if you don’t want to design one yourself get a dietitian to design one for you.

    As to your questions Melisa,

    Are dairy products really bad for us? Since when?
    On average dairy was healthy when we had a more active life style and we need the high fat content. Currently most of us are not active enough anymore, plus fat causes inflammation and that worsens a lot on today health issues.
    Luckily there are now almond and soya milk product that have the vitamin D we need and taste good.

    Is sugar really worse than honey?
    YES, honey is a natural sugar and the body processes it differently/properly.
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      Jun 5 2013: Good comment Don, and I suggest rather than buying herbs, we can grow them. In fact, many herbs grow wild, and have antibiotic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antioxident componants!
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    Jun 4 2013: The paleo diet is the best I've seen. All her food is healthy, even the deserts and delicious and nutritious. No not-eating, no "eat whatever you want" or "stop buying all food" ludicrousness.

    Just healthy whole foods in delicious recipes. Yes, most are raw food. BUT I'm not that strict and I find that all the food is very edit-able depending on your tastes, but it's a great outline for nutritious meals.

    Yes, dairy products like milk are not meant to be consumed by humans and there are other ways but beware things fortifed with calcium to- it is most often calcium carbonate, which is not bioavailable and simple gets deposited in the wrong spots because our bodies have no use for it. I recently found out my almond milk is tainted with calcium bicarbonate, so much find a new brand.

    Not to mention many of us are at least lactose sensitive, because we shouldn't be having it in such quantities after a certain age we don't have the enzymes to digest it properly.

    I've heard good things about raw, unpasteurized cows milk, but have no experience with it myself. Goats milk is more easily digestible and comes in non-goaty varieties.

    I practice moderation and am cutting out all preservatives, additives, processed food, process sugar and dyes as much as possible, even making my own bread (shockingly simply good fluffy whole wheat bread with a little research and no added gluten or dough conditoners). - Since they're just unnecessary added chemicals.

    Sugar is much worse than honey when processed. Little as possible of both is best. But here's the thing- you're only supposed to use 1/3 cup of honey for every 1 cup of sugar and if you scale it like that it makes much more sense. Honey also has some health benefits but I'd much more recommend BEE POLLEN. You can actually live off 1tblspoon of the stuff a day, it's such a complete food. If also has anti-carcinogenic effects among many other things.

    Majority greens + natural supplements + hiking, yoga = Happy & healthy you.
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        Jun 5 2013: You are right, but don't hate diet promoters. :) There is a tendency to recommend what worked for you and swear by it, even if it was something completely crazy and illogical. We should correct this. If people are wrong, let's do something about it.
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      Jun 5 2013: Hi, Madeleine! The use of the word 'outline' is good. Any diet plan is merely an outline.
      I have the theory that more people became lactose sensitive or intolerant the moment lactose-free (which really means lactase-fortified) milk became available.
      I am familiar with the idea that 'we shouldn't be drinkng milk after a certain age', but why? We've made cheese and milk products forever. Suddenly it's bad for us?
      Did agriculture really cause that much damage? Did it all go downhill from there?
      And what you say about bee pollen is just crazy. As crazy as a maple syrup detox. I am scared of the power given to single foods. I get emails like 'your friend the kiwifruit' all the time. Eating kiwi won't save me from having cancer if it's in my nature. No matter how awesome and full of antioxidants and bright green it is. It just won't.
      No single food can provide anyone's daily nutritional requirements in a tablespoon.
      I really wish it could- imagine what it would do to world hunger.
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        Jun 5 2013: I wasn't in any way recommending only eating bee pollen, it was just something interesting I read about people only living on bee pollen and water for more than a month. I think it's crazy, too, and by no means sustainable and I don't know about an analysis of it - I was just stating an example of what an interesting food I found it to be. I'm sorry I didn't clarify, I didn't expect to get lambasted like that.

        I don't think all dairy is bad, I think moderation is key and what's bad is the ultra pasteurization it goes through see | Also, with such availability of other sources nowadays I think we should be utilizing those instead: kale, collard greens, almonds, oranges, etc.

        Actually, all of us have cancer cells and genes in our body that make us more prone to certain disease, the trick is to not to encourage growth of negative cells. No, a single kiwi will not save you - but eating whole foods, majority greens and cutting out things like sugar/excess glucose that feed all cells BUT effectively disable you're immune system from fighting and keeping the bad ones in check is a good start.

        As well as using gentle soaps and cutting out body washes, perfumes, make up, laundry detergents based on chemicals like sodium laureth sulfate that cause nerve damage (and it's supposedly safe to use on our bodies largest organ, the skin) is another good preventative measure against diseases such as cancer.

        Agriculture could be great, it's just the way it's implemented is completely unsustainable. And as of now, there are more obese people than starving people in the world. It's just a very badly managed system.
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          Jun 5 2013: Sorry if you felt lambasted... not my intention. I think your way of thinking is good for you as well as the environment. And yes, agriculture desperately needs a renewal. We are making bad use of incredible extensions of land.
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      Jun 5 2013: I agree with you. But I also think we all know what is wrong with our diets today. Less cooking. More ready to eat products. Processed food. Travelling food that loses nutrients. So what is better? Travelling fresh spinach or frozen-fresh spinach?
      What we really need to ask ourselves is this: How do we fix it? And as we fix it, what aspects of our lives will be compromised? Timewise? Culturallywise?
      You know?
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    Jul 1 2013: Replace half your fat and meat intake with fresh fruit and vegetables and stay on your feet more than sitting down.
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    Jun 27 2013: This new Ted Talk might be interesting to people considering a diet.It has to do with our diet, diabetes and refined sugar.
  • Jun 22 2013: Perhaps the question should focus on overall health instead of just weight loss. Some people are thin but are still unhealthy. Also the physiology of people vary, so there may not be a single answer for what is the best diet. Yet there seems to be a consensus that processed foods are bad for you, particularly foods which contain a lot of fructose. If fructose is the primary culprit, then honey should be no better than sugar.
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      Jun 26 2013: Agreed. Nothing is more frustrating to me than people who think honey is magically good for you, whereas refined sugar is the bad guy.
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    Lejan .

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    Jun 22 2013: In simple words: Dynamically, the intake has to be in balance with what's needed. If you grow heavy - move more or eat less. If you grow thin - eat more or move less.
    And intake and movement is combinable here ...

    Spread the variety of food as wide as possible, keep the food as 'natural' as possible, prefer whats 'seasonal' and also 'local'. Don't eat 'on the side', become aware of it - already within the process of preparation. Learn to cook, learn to enjoy cooking and - most importantly - get to the level of mastery to finally like what you are cooking ... :o)

    Incorporate your ethics in your menue, yet try not to become religious about it towards others ... :o)

    Get to know the basics of food to know whats healthy and less healthy for your system and incorporate the 'food pyramid' in your habit. Don't put 'no go's' on things you like - which, we all know or suspected by now - usually not belong to the healthy side of all food - yet watch its quantity.

    Turn your nourishment and physical activity into your habit, your nature and avoid any unilateral diet or short term 'I have to' exercises ... :o)

    Don't weight yourself or fixate on 'numbers' as you already know best what your 'status' is ... :o) Find the 'status' you like best for yourself - y o u r s e l f ,and no lifestyle role-model - and life 'dynamically around' it.

    Be patient to loose weight and make sure you always cast enough shadow ...

    Thats it, thats the whole miracle there is to your question ... :o)
  • Jun 16 2013: Hi John :) thanks for your answers :) i do believe sugar is a killer :) in 2002 i watched a bbc documentary about the sugar industry and concerns such as Nestlé interfering with a doctors attempt to set up a maximum of sugar recommendation per day. This lead me to a ook b. Kathleen Desmaison, someone who has a Ph.D in nutrion and has noticed that when alcoholics stop drinking they switch to sugar, alcohol being one kind of sugar. When I stopped eating all kinds of sugar, including fructose and lactose, my weight dropped in 6 months to my weight when i was 18. Thn one day , " i fell of the wagon" and all came back, did a modified Atkins, a modified South beach, and every time looked great, not since 4 years i just. Abandoned the whole dieting thing and gained 35 kilos, that i cant shake a gram :(
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    Jun 5 2013: Hi Melisa,
    I've never really "dieted" because I believe in good exercise, and moderation regarding the food I put into the body. I've always loved fresh fruits and veggies, so I eat a lot of them....preferably out of my own garden. If/when I buy anything in the winter months, it is the freshest possible. I eat very little meat of any kind any more, and only wild fish....not farmed.

    My own experience, and the experiences of those I have observed, is that it is not only what we eat that impacts weight, but also our state of mind, and exercise. So, to maintain a good weight, it is a whole lifestyle practice....don't you think? As a nutritional consultant, I'm sure you have lots of good information to offer us?

    Regarding sugar....
    I was with my brother in Boston, not too long ago, where he had extensive surgery for lung cancer. His doctor there has done extensive research, and he says "suger feeds cancer". Although I previously did not eat a lot of refined sugar (started using brown sugar and honey a long time ago), this information has caused me to eat even less now!
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      Jun 5 2013: Hi, Colleen! I believe in good exercise and moderation too. And your lifestyle sounds not only healthy but happy. :) A healthy mind and heart are vital too.
      I'm sorry to hear about your brother's cancer. I have heard 'sugar feeds cancer' before, but I need to do more research on it. I was taught all carbohydrates break down into sugar (glucose) for the cell to convert into ATP (energy). So I don't really know how simple sugar could feed cancer any more than a starchy potato could. I guess the amount and availability of sugar in the end worsens everything. I still have a lot to learn.
      But as a nutritionist I also think simple sugar is worthless. Except in a French baker's kitchen... let's give them some credit.
      It makes me wonder, could it be that when we eat sugar we crave more of it later, and also, we eat sugar INSTEAD of other more nutritious things?
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        Jun 5 2013: Hi again Melisa!
        I think my lifestyle is pretty healthy and content.....balanced:>)
        The scary thing is, that my brothers seemed very healthy, happy and content....until they got cancer!

        I've thought that about carbs too, and now they are saying those are not so good for us either, for the reason you mention.....they break down into sugar. I agree that the amount we consume is the important factor. I do not deprive myself of ice cream, pasta, potatoes, etc.....all in moderation.

        I agree with you that refined sugar is pretty worthless, and it is surprising how many prepared foods contain a lot of sugar. I think it has been proven that sugar is addictive....hasen't it?
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          Jun 5 2013: Completely. I think sugar addiction is the biggest addiction in the world right now.
  • Jun 5 2013: I've lost 40 pounds as of this year. And I've found that my weight was much easier to lose while on the paleo diet. I have to be very strict though. After a month of being on this diet, I still do occasionally crave those old junk foods, when I do eat them, they don't taste as good as I remember. This diet has not only helped me lose weight, but now I have a distaste for junk foods. And since I've been on this diet, I also feel overall more awake, and don't crave caffeine anymore. I have a smoothie I blend up (note, I said blended, not juiced, so I'm still getting the fibers) made up of kale, parsley, almond milk, (decaf) green tea, banana, strawberry, blueberry, plum, peach, hemp protein powder, stevia, coconut oil, lemon, and cocoa powder.
    This smoothie has all 3 types of calories the body needs, carbs (from fruit), fat (from almond milk and coconut), and a complete protein (hemp protein powder). So this smoothie is a complete meal all on its own.
    The strawberries and bananas in a smoothie will cover up any vegetable flavors, if you want them just for their health benefits, but don't like the taste.
    And green tea is good for increasing your metabolism, which aids in weight-loss. And you can actually get way more nutrients from tea if you simply rip open the teabag and eat it. I've mixed in green tea leaves from the teabag into things like spaghetti sauce, and I don't taste the tea one bit. But if you eat the tea, you want to get naturally decaffeinated. Because you're getting way more nutrients, you're also getting way more caffeine. I learned that the hard way, and overdosed on caffeine when I first tried eating it.
    But just know that dieting all by itself is not the solution to weight loss. Just as much as a 15 minute walk right before or after eating, twice a day, will boost your metabolism and help digest food and burn calories.
    Honey is just easier to digest because bees have already digested it.
    And what other animal has dairy throughout its adult diet?
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      Jun 5 2013: Austin, first of all, congratulations on losing 40 lbs. It's not easy and you must feel very proud of yourself.
      I still question the paleo diet, though. I'll tell you why. It might have all the macro and micronutrients you need, but how easy was it to follow? How has your social life changed while you've been on it? Do you find it easy to eat at a restaurant? At a friend's house?
      The nature of my question is exactly that, shouldn't a diet plan be easy to stick to?
      I am sure you feel so well that you wouln't trade that feeling for all the non-paleo food in the world, but do you think it's the only way you would have lost all that weight?
      And I know no other animal has dairy throughout its adult diet, but also, no other animal sautees other animals in vegetable oil and toasts with fermented grape juice, you know? So what?
      • Jun 5 2013: I have been losing weight before I started this diet, but the diet has sped up the process. People blame the fat in the meat of a burger for weight gain. But it's actually the combination of fat and wheat. Wheat raises your insulin like sugar, but it doesn't give you that sugar-rush energy to burn off those carbs. So wheat makes weight-loss more difficult. And the only animals meant to live on gains are birds.
        Yes, it has had an effect on my social life. I don't eat out, because most restaurants my friends want to go to have meals which include some of everything that I'm trying to avoid in them.
        I wouldn't say it's the "only" way to lose weight. I also went on the Dukan diet, for a couple of weeks and lost 10 pounds in that time. But I gained that weight back at the same rate I lost it when I went off the diet. The Dukan diet lets you eat as much food as you want with no portion restrictions, as long as all of your calorie intake is from protein (chicken, egg whites, etc.), no carbs or fat. I wouldn't suggest that diet though. I have heard of a diet, similar to paleo, but also includes eating everything raw and un-extracted. So nothing cooked, fermented (alcohol), or extracted (vegetable oil). Everything is fresh. So uncooked sushi would probably be your only meat. And people who live on this diet have a much longer lifespan. I heard of people living to be around 100 on this diet.
        The paleo diet is probably the easiest diet I've tried to stick to (been on it for 3 months now), if you eat a wide range of foods mixed together in your meals, it's easier to stick to the diet, because you're getting more variety, even in just one meal. That's why I mixed up that complicated smoothie. And I switch up what fruits I put in it sometimes, and cocoa gives you dopamine, which is a feel-good chemical in the brain. And putting cocoa powder in my smoothie makes me crave it more and makes it easier to stick to the diet. So having cocoa can make it easier to stick to from dopamine.
  • Jun 5 2013: Once you put it on it doesn't go easily. Stress can really mess things up as can excess sugar, salt, processed foods etc. Eat three meals, lots of fiber, etc.
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      Jun 5 2013: Hi, George. Stress is a major point.
      So besides minimizing environmental stress as much as we can (liking our jobs, being with the right person, handling family decisions well, doing well economically, living safely...), have you heard of the relationship between food and stress hormones, like cortisol?
      Brad King is one of the first authors I ever read about this. It's a book called Fat Wars and it explains this thoroughly.
      So when we diet is there a way of combining foods in a certain way and timing them right so that we feel less stress throughout the whole process...? I believe so.
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    Jun 5 2013: Never eat anything that contains processed sugar. The weight will melt away.
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      Jun 5 2013: My parents are both dentists, and I couldn't agree with you more. Sugar provides empty calories, causes caries and more sugar cravings. I always ban simple, processed sugar from diets.
      But tell me, what do you think about artificial sweeteners?
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        Jun 5 2013: I'm wary of them. I started the sugar free diet two weeks ago. I notice immediate results in energy levels and a sense of solidity almost immediately By the third day I was seeing weight loss of less than a pound a day. I'm loosing about a pound a day now. Of course the cravings kicked in almost immediately. I countered with some sweet fruits (banana is my favorite).

        With the increase in energy, you become a bit confused because sugar give your brain a fogginess. The clarity that comes, after it's disuse, causes this confusion because you have so many stimuli attacking your brain. Colors become more vivid.

        I was addressing this issue with my wife this morning and we concluded that eye flicker is reduced, causing you to focus more on objects and take in their attributes more fully. My glass Rx is already being thrown off. It is important to try and remain calm, frequent meditation helps.

        I keep busy creating new food substitutes. Today, for breakfast, I had crushed banana mixed with green peanuts and half a teaspoon of raw honey. It was delicious. I haven't decide what I'll eat for lunch but I'm thinking of a nice salad, along with some fresh pears. My summer cloths are starting to fall off of my body

        I find myself trying to avoid filling in the gaps with gluten and bread. It's hard because my wife is a baker in the kitchen and is not along with me for the ride. She is noticing the increasing lose in weight however. .

        I take pain medications everyday for chronic pain. I have noticed I'm only taking half as much. I find this exciting because I like to think and the medications make this an arduous process.

        Last nite was a hard one because I just couldn't seem to get that full feeling. I attribute this to being too busy and not resting enough. I had to travel to Atlanta, GA, to shop at the whole foods market and pick up a few things.

        I'm using Stevia for a sweetener.
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    Jun 5 2013: Melissa, weight loss aside, what do you think of the new movement to drink your vegetables, and eat your fruits?
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      Jun 5 2013: Hi Mary! I don`t think it's really new. You might remember the 80s and all those infomercials of juice extractors. We've been kind of doing this for 4 decades, only now we have more awesome stuff like wheatgrass and kale.
      I think that in the fast paced world we live in, drinking vegetables is a good on-the-go option to get the nutrients we need (as long as we drink them right away, vitamins are light and temperature sensitive.)
      And about fruits, I think they should be eaten whole, (within reason, no banana peels).
      But above all, both things should be done if enjoyed, either drank or eaten. There is no sense in doing anything if we can't keep it up. :)
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        Jun 5 2013: Thanks for the reply Melisa.

        We enjoy eating all kinds of vegetables, and every once in a while I like to throw some into a smoothy....kale or spinach, or cucumbers....whatever I have around.

        As to fruits, eating them with the skin only concern is all that wax they put on the outside.
        I know it's a special food grade wax, but I don't know......??
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          Jun 6 2013: Hi, Mary! I really recommend you eat organic if you have access to it and can afford it. Organic produce is sometimes coated with natural waxes, ike beeswax (not petroleum based ones).
          It''s great you enjoy fruits and vegetables!
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    W. Ying

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    Jun 5 2013: .
    . .
    .My answer:

    Our instincts control our weight.
    Our instincts tell us eat living-cells (mainly vegan, living-cell raw meat tastes bad).

    However, we can not control our weight by merely eating right, without exercising right, sleeping right and being happy validly.
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      Jun 5 2013: I think our instincts have gotten weaker as technology has gotten stronger.
      To be honest, my instincts have never clearly said to me 'eat living cells'.
      Our instincts have gotten so weak in fact, sometimes we confuse thirst with hunger. We need to learn to listen to our bodies like we used to.
      And yes, weight control and good health are about the combination of all those things- including happiness.
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        Jun 6 2013: .
        You are right that "our instincts have gotten weaker as technology has gotten stronger"!
        It is because the technology is making enormous new tasty foods which our instincts can not detect their harmfulness.
        I say these foods give us invalid (harmful) happiness owing to they are out of the valid scope of our instincts.
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    Jun 4 2013: As this is your professional field, could you share what the best current research and thinking suggests?

    Often among those who are not experts, views on the subject will be skewed by what most recently has reached headlines, even if it is a finding of a single recent study.
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      Jun 5 2013: I am at a crossroads right now. I have so many questions it makes me wonder if I know too much (arrogance apart! haha). I do believe in organic food and moderation and eating local, as it has proven to be safer, fresher, more nutritious and it also benefits your community, and so later, the world.
      But I also studied culinary arts before becoming a dietitian, so there's a repressed part of me that I can't convince to forget about animal products, not just for their taste (AND nutritional benefits), but for the culture, traditons, world cuisine and culinary art they represent... I mean, all those aspects DO have an added value that we just can't ignore.
      I watched Graham Hill's Weekday-Veg talk. He is awesome, and his idea is awesome. I do think he's got a point and I agree with what he has to say.
      But I live in a country (Mexico) where what is mostly wrong is food education. And obesity is a huge problem. So what I have found is that there is a priority: To make them lose weight. I do this with portion control and I try to suggest better sources of fat, carbs and protein, and encourage a lot more fruits and vegetables. But introducing people to superfoods and juice extractors is too sudden a change. They need to retrace their steps, control the amount of junk they eat, and then, as they see results, they might become interested in taking it further. A complete change in their diet pattern is unrealistic and discouraging.
      There is also an economic and social aspect to all of this. Eating organic is not cheap. We need to work on making organic food more available and more economical to eat than its counterpart. Especially in a country like mine, where, when it comes to food, prices are read more often than nutritional labels.
      So paleo, vegan, local, low carb, low glycemic index... what really works?
      I'm inclined to think that retracing our steps is key... and after that, education, and after that, moderation.
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        Jun 5 2013: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that there are strong cultural aspects of diet that create particular challenges. If you look at the normal diet of those you serve and they kept eating the same things but substituted organic versions, you could well still have a great problem with obesity. The more expensive some ingredients are, the more likely meals will shift toward the cheaper starches, I would think.
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    Jul 1 2013: Mary,

    " makes you seem like a naughty little nice and fix her something she likes one day....surprise her!!!"

    How about I make a nice carrot cake with honey?

    Eating right is good for the already old body too. :)

    The blood disorder identifies me as a direct descendent of the druids. Pure, Northern European -on the northern side of the Ice Sheet during the last Ice Age. My people hunted the Neanderthals. We might have thought one or two of them might be kinda cute. :) Who knows.

    I'll look at the video. I'm sure I've read the information before. I agree, Mid life appears to be the destruction point in our lives of unhealthy eating. If I remember, I started going downhill, faster, around age 50, 52.

    I'm already thinking of going to the sail boat and getting involved with it again. I feel that good.
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      Jul 2 2013: Carrot cake sounds awfully good!!!

      I did not know you descended from the druids....they are kind of a mysterious group huh?

      As for mid-life...yes, if you have unhealthy habits, then you start to show this around least that is what I have noticed. Although, even people in their 20's can look years older if they live an unhealthy life style.

      I think your genes also play a role. Some people inherit good genes, and they either look young, or old their entire life.....

      Bon Voyage on your sail boat........I'm a land lover......last time on a sailboat, well, let's just say it wasn't pretty.

      I think like you, it's never too late to start good habits.....eating or exercising, or even treating people with kindness and respect and letting go of deeply entrenched's never too late to change the rest of your life!!!
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    Jul 1 2013: rule number one: if a diet has a name, it is bullshit.
    rule number two: if a diet can be summarized in five or less sentences, it is bullshit.

    you will not be able to eat in a healthy way unless you learn the basics of nutrition. you need to understand what fats are, what types there are, what foods contain what fats and in what amounts. you need to understand what carbs are, what types there are, what foods contain what carbs, what is the insulin index, what is the glycemic index, what foods have high and low indexes. you have to be familiar with the most important vitamins, their effects and sources. and so on, proteins, minerals, fiber.

    you need to be able to approximate the calories, carbs, fats of a food just by roughly knowing its ingredients, at a glance. you need to be able to "feel" if your diet lacks some key component just by remembering what you have eaten the last week. you have to feel bad eating hamburger patty with cheese, white bun and fries, as you automatically head-calculate the absolute lack of minor nutrients in this mountain of calories. you can simply recall low calorie or low fat foods if you feel like eating too much calories or fat lately.

    if you possess this basic knowledge, you don't need to follow a diet. you can vary your diet freely, and still be healthy.
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      Jul 1 2013: Here is a "short" list of diet fads....

      You make a valid point.

      Eating natural foods....not processed, and varying your diet by eating foods that are in season helps keep your diet balanced....for example, now that it is summer here, enjoying berries, and mangos, and peaches and nectarines, along with all the seasonal vegetables, is a healthy choice.
      Moderation in portions and exercise also play a key role, imho.

      I think that people want quick fixes Krisztian......and they rather spend a buck on a quick fix, then to bring home healthy alternatives and have to prepare their meal.

      Is there an obesity problem in Hungary?
      Is there alot of processed food in your markets, or do people eat mostly fresh ingredients?
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        Jul 1 2013: "Is there an obesity problem in Hungary?"

        somewhat, but the main problem is circulatory diseases. number one cause of death is heart attack, stroke and the like, by far. let me add that a typical hungarian diet consists of pork, potato and white flour and dairy products and egg. sure i'm exaggerating, but not much.

        "Is there alot of processed food in your markets"

        some, but much less than in the US or west EU. i would say majority of the food consumed is made of fresh ingredients, either home made, or made by restaurant / food delivery. they use relatively few processed ingredients, save by weird cooking greases and things like that. chicken nugget is not part of hungarian cuisine. alas, sausages containing 4% meat are. i would assert that processed food consumption is proportional to GDP. should the hungarian GDP double, we would eat just as much quasi-food as americans do. chips and soda are here already.
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          Jul 2 2013: Do you think that the circulatory diseases are directly linked to their diet?
          Or do you think that at this point it is a hereditary issue?

          Let's hope Hungary keeps to the fresh ingredients and they are smart enough to not adopt all kinds of quasi-foods.
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        Jul 2 2013: i would go with diet + other habits, but it is just a wild guess.

        i would not trust a hope that we are any smart. why would we be any smarter than americans? teens want to go to mcdonalds all the time.
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    Jul 1 2013: I started the No refined sugar diet May 28, 2013. My results so far are:
    Weight loss = 32 lbs.
    Pain leve went from constant 7 to 2.
    White cracked feet went to pink Calous on right big toe is gone.
    Eye sight reverted to previous two Rx. I still have a problem and will go to Doctor.
    Energy level is X 3 maby 4.
    Concentration is dead on the money.
    Focus is pinpoint.
    My body and mind are calm.


    My body is not missing sugar but my mind still tries to convence me I need it.

    All anxiety is gone. I am constatly degrading the refinement of the food I eat.

    I'm removing all processed grains from my diet.
    I love rice I make all kinds of rice dishes. I am moving to unrefined, brown rice. I expect it will increase my weight loss.
    I have almost removed potatoes entirely from my diet.
    I rarely eat meat anymore focusing on fish and shrimp.
    Steak is tasteless and hard to digest.
    My regulararity is normal. It has never been normal.
    I can sleep now without any medication. I sleep, I dream, I awaken rested.

    I am convinced we are poisoning our children with refinded sugar. Every can of Coke has 4 teaspoons full of sugar and about 5 teaspoons of salt. That is the secret ingredent. The rest is color and some flavor.I have to wonder how the national health would improve if we made refined sugar illegal, like a drug. Would our children get smarter and have less health issues? I don't remember having all these health issues when I was a child.

    My blood pressure is steady at 125/72, taking 10 mg of lisinopril per day. Thats down from 40 Mg per day. The last time I saw that I was fresh out of Military training. I was peak.
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      Jul 1 2013: I just went to the refrigerator, and pulled out a 17 ounce plastic bottle containing a light yellow drink that my husband brought home yesterday because they were giving samples away, and he decided to spend a buck on it.

      It's called Sparkling Ice.
      The flavor: Coconut Pineapple (there is a picture of a coconut and a pineapple on the bottle).
      It is, and I quote: Naturally Flavored Sparkling Mountain Spring Water
      It has.....ZERO calories
      It is filled with Vitamins and Antioxidants.

      Sooo, what to do with it?

      It has 10% of the following: Vitamin D, Vitamin B3, B5, B6, B12, Biotin, amd 500 mg of green tea Extract.
      Oh....and 3% juice (coconut, pineapple)

      In the ingredients we have yellow #5 and yellow #6..........along with other goodies I will not type here.

      Any idea if it is good for you?

      I'm thinking their selling green tea with sparkling water in a bottle...............for a buck.

      What do you think John?
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        Jul 1 2013: My daughter in law thinks my diet is a faddish thing and makes fun of me all the time. I used to get on her for not bringing me a honey-bun when she picks up the kids from our home. Soooo she brought me a large box of them the other day.

        I let them sit on the counter for a couple of days, lightly tapping on them with my fingers as I passed by. Finally on the third day, I tossed them in the garbage. :)

        "Sooo, what to do with it?", you say?

        My rule of thumb is if nature did not create it, don't eat or drink it. What is "Natural Flavorings", according the the FDA? I can tell you this... it ain't natural. :)

        I agree with the green tea thing. But why take chances when you don't have too?

        Use my rule of thunb.
        Understand this:
        my wife is not on this diet with me and I can see her suffering because of it. But, she refused to part with her old time favorite things like the cakes she bakes for the kids and family, etc. She is well entrenched in her habits but comes from hardy Natural Native American stock and is not so affected by the things she consumes. She also doesn't consume as much sugar as I did. (1 Galleon of sweet tea a day in the summer).

        But, because I took over the kitchen and prepare the meals, she is indirectly affected. :)

        I drink tea to keep my iron down (chelation therapy). I have a genetic blood disorder called Hemochromotosis.
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          Jul 1 2013: Well, it's a terrible thing when people who love you try to sabotage your efforts at eating healthy.......honey-buns huh? Around here it's "pastelitos".....Guava pastries made with pastry dough....flakey and sweet.

          I have to stick them in the refrigerator instead of letting them sit on the counter....their aroma fills the kitchen.

          The sparkling drink is probably going to go down the drain, and the bottle in the recycling bin. Unless someone decides to return it the next time we are in the stores.

          I just can't get over all the stuff they package and sell people.

          As for natural....have you seen this?

          She is really funny....and she does the best interviews.
          Hope you like it.....and that it brings a smile to your face.

          You shouldn't have smiled after you said that you took over the kitchen and prepare the meals, and that your wife is indirectly makes you seem like a naughty little nice and fix her something she likes one day....surprise her!!!

          As for your blood disorder, I had never heard of it before. I have always suffered from iron defficiency myself. What kind of tea do you drink? Hot or cold?

          I think we have to use common sense in eating.
          What happens to us, I think, is that from the moment we are little, tv bombards us with junk food..........and if we do not have parents who help us cultivate a love of natural foods, and educate us in staying healthy and having healthy eating habits, things can spiral downhill once we reach mid-life.

          Eating right is good for the body, and when we grow old, our body will thank us.
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    Jun 26 2013: Melissa, the comments underneath the talk on diabetes that was posted yesterday is quite enlightening.
    I hope you are following it.

    Also enlightening is Peter Attia's site, where he posts his own personal diet routine.......lots of fat.

    I would be interested in learning anything you know about msg, or if anyone in the medical community that reads this message knows something or can provide any links to verified data, I would really appreciate it.

    The site has a compilation of information from different sources......I am a bit confused about all the information for and against msg.

    What do you think?
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      Jun 26 2013: Hi Mary! I am actually following the diabetes talk you mention, and I'm really inspired by Dr. Attia. I have yet to visit his site, thanks for the recommendation.
      About MSG, what can I say? I absolutely do not recommend it. I prefer using herbs, salt and spices. It is an ingredient in junk food and both things should be avoided altogether.
      Plus, further studies are needed, but it might cause insulin overproduction... which plays a huge role in obesity.
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    Jun 8 2013: I'm still on the no processed sugar diet. I've lost 15 lbs eating plenty of food. My mind is clearer. I have loads of energy, Most of my aches and pains are gone. My guitar playing is getting better. I'm sleeping better (this is a really good thing for me).
    I've developed a craving for all kinds of unsweetened tea. Plane yogurt is my delight, especially with all kinds of fruit and raw honey. Exotic salads are to die for.

    It's amazing. The Atkins diet is all fat and no carbs. The Japanese diet is All carbs no fat. They both work. The one thing they both have in common is... no sugar -in particular no processed sugar.

    I've slipped up a couple of times -three sips of sweet tea, one bite of a delicious cake my wife made. Each time I paid dearly for it. The tea left my mouth feeling like I'd been sucking on a giant lollipop and left a filmy feeling in my mouth. The cake gave me a head ache. That's the only two times I fell down.
    I can breath without the stress of tight muscles now. I feel more calm and very relaxed. I do run my mouth a lot more often, but I make more sense, according to my wife.
    • Jun 16 2013: Hi John, i know what you mean abou having a clear head when off processed sugar, bu what do you do exactly ? I think i am so hooked on sugar, that whenever i try to get off it, dont know how to do it. So how do you do it ? You make a list of foods that you are nt eating ? Do you eat fruit ?
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        Jun 16 2013: Yana, I eat everything that is not nailed down to the floor as long as it does not have P-Sugar in it.

        I had some bad days, don't get me wrong.

        I think you need to understand my position at the time I decided to quit. I was culturing some Paramecium and I decide to drop a few grains of sugar on a slide I was looking at. They all slowed down and then died. I was shocked. I knew that sugar is used as a preservative to prevent bacteria, like salt but I didn't put no more than two grains in about a teaspoon of water and they died. They are a whole order on evolution bigger than bacteria.

        I started to wonder what sugar may be doing to my bodies microbes.

        I was driven by pain from a wound I received in Vietnam. I'm disable and using a wheel chair. I had to take sleeping pills to go to sleep. I've been living like this since I was 19. Life really didn't look all that appealing to me if you catch my drift.

        So, I decided to give it a try. the result were fast, after a couple of days I was seeing result and I was full of energy. After a week, I was really zipping along. I could breathe, etc. as I mention in my other post.

        Right now, it's been almost a month. I've lost 18 lbs and my cravings are starting to level off. If I can't fight it. I make a yoghurt shake with raw honey, a tbls of vanilla extract and some strawberries and banana. I let it harden in the fridge. I sip it slowly until the craving is gone. The impulse is to gulp it all down. The trick is to force yourself to take little bits of fruit, not gouge on it. You have to retrain your mind to substitute the fruit for the sugar craving. It is a learning process. I started eating a lot of salads and got real creative with it. What I noticed is no matter how much I ate, as long as it was a vegetable or fruit, I could eat as much as I wanted without any ill effects. I didn't even gain weight. It just melted away.

        Not eating sugar means read the labels. 2/3 of the food store are off limits to me.
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        Jun 16 2013: Sorry to take up two posts.

        Now I eat a good breakfast of protein (eggs) or make fried rice with veggies, egg and rice. Sometimes I eat oatmeal filled with fruit. I'm not driven to eat because of hunger, it is clearly a sugar craving. I can work all day with no hunger pains, if I get into the work and forget to eat. If I get hungry and I'm busy (I haven't been busy in ten years) :) I just scarf down a couple of carrots and an apple. Perhaps a banana also.

        I don't gain weight but I don't load up on carbohydrates either like potatoes and bread. Avoid sandwiches. They can replace your sugar craving.

        I don't have any more pain. I'm came off my pain meds three days ago. I no longer take sleeping pills. I slept the last two days like a baby. I haven't done this in like forever. I can't remember not taking a sleeping pill to go to sleep. Coming off meds took two weeks of weaning.

        Processed sugar is a killer. It is poison. I think it is the cause of all our medical ills. My wife and I are looking into the possibility that they don't make sugar like they used to. They may be putting something in it. It is the one food substance that can reach at least 90 percent of our entire population. Something is going on with sugar.

        If you have not checked the food you are looking at for any possible connections of hidden sugar, don't eat it. It's actually cheaper to eat real food. And you can be choosy about what you eat. I eat a whole watermelon in three days. That's 6 dollars/3 = 2 dollars a day. You can't buy a candy bar for less than $1.99 these days. In fact, it's 3.25am and I just happen to have a watermelon downstairs. See you later.

        you can ask me anything about this diet. I'll telly you everything I know.

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    Jun 6 2013: Thanks for commenting below, Melisa. No, I think you're wrong, I think it's just that solid food is harder for the body to digest and use. I believe I could eat solid food for a year and would be in just as bad of shape as I was after two weeks. I really don't know how to prove this except to start eating solid food again, and I don't want to as I'll immediately feel bad. But doesn't what I'm saying make sense, that skim milk, which has already been broken up by the mother's body, would be easier on the body of the person who consumes it than solid food?

    This idea is not original with me. I got it from the Masai tribe of Kenya, who famously live only on products of the cow, milk, beef, and they occasionally tap into a cow vein and drink blood without killing the cow. If you've never read about them, they're a fascinating people.

    I should mention that another health advantage of all-skim milk is that it fills you up with water, which is zero calories, yet tastes good, it's great for weight loss. Again, though, I'm not recommending this diet to anyone else.

    I have found that fluid whipping cream has other interesting uses. For a while I shaved my head, and I found the fluid whipping cream was a better lubricant than the soap shaving cream. These days, when I want to put a picture on the wall, I'll pour a little fluid whipping cream on the back, slap it up against the wall and hold it for a minute or two, and then it adheres quite nicely.

    I also shifted to drinking all my milk from gallon containers, it eventually occured to me that of all the containers, the gallon container was the most like a breast, full and round at the bottom, and tapering to something like a nipple at the top. I like this idea, in practice it means I drink from the gallon in the morning, skip lunch because I don't want to carry, and drink again from gallon at night. This is a natural pattern, cows are milked in morning and evening.
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      Jun 6 2013: You made me laugh out loud.
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        Jun 7 2013: Cool, yeah, it probably is all a little goofy, but for me it has been good and positive.

        Yeah, I think I didn't write perfectly clear, Melisa, I did try the diet for two weeks that is recommended by U.S. nutritionists. Two weeks is an adequate tryout, do you think? As I say, I felt bad, then I returned to skim milk and felt good again. I hope I can get my diet approved, because I think it will end up helping many people.

        If you want to see what a person looks like who has lived on skim milk for five years, you can check out my one YouTube video, at This is actually an idea I had about exercise. Give me your opinion if I seem healthy.

        Again, let me be clear that I am not recommending this diet for anyone else.
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    Jun 6 2013: Hi all, your question Melisa is understandable but is slightly flawed in that lifestyle is the key and the word diet is a label that as such would not even be considered.
    Our species has evolved over a very long period of time. As such, consider the following. I have read about eating for your bloodtype! That is to say, some cultures have had an upbringing of food groups that are totally different to others.
    This may be areason why some people are lactose intolerant for example compared to others who have historically been drinking cows milk for thousands of years.
    The Australian Aborigine for example never had alcohol in their pre settlement history and as such their livers were not as developed as their settler counterparts who had thousands of years of human evolution and adaptation to the substance.
    Our ancient forefathers had a very different and much more active lifestyle to what we enjoy today. As such if you don't exercise and burn off the stored energy from food consumed, you will store it as fat!
    I have been informed that, you should eat breakfast like a king (big meal so that you have a good energy start to the day) eat lunch like a prince and dinner like a peasant.
    Recent readings on this subject which make sense to me basically conclude, eat what you like for a few days, then don't eat so much for a few and then pig out again. In an odd sort of way I think it works, because you don't feel like eating heaps after you already have for a few days.
    Notwithstanding you do have to exercise. Weight bearing is best with some cardio. 45 minutes a day is all you need and was the success formula behind the look for many in the movie 300.Cut down on your sugar intake, it is a real fat trap!
    The pyramid does work! Consider the lifespans of historical ancients and what their diets would have been. Eg Socrates, Plato living to over 80 years:D
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      Jun 6 2013: Time Traveller,
      A question is simply a way to get information, and I do not perceive any question to be "flawed".

      Life-style: "an individual's typical way of life".

      In my humble perception, our diet is a very important part of our lifestyle.
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    Jun 5 2013: I'm not recommending this diet for anyone else because it hasn't been approved by the nutrition establishment, but for the last five years I have been living on skim milk. Every day I drink about two gallons of skim milk, and don't eat or drink anything else. I very quickly lost 80 pounds and have kept it off. I'm about six feet two inches and now generally weigh about 166.
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      Jun 5 2013: You have mentioned this Greg, and I cannot imagine that you get essential nutrients. It is a choice you make for yourself, and I respect your choice.

      I LOVE food....many different kinds of I would not deprive myself by limiting intake to one food.
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        Jun 5 2013: Thanks for commenting, Colleen. I was able to get a list of the recommended nutrients and recommended amounts one should get, these are called the Reference Daily Intakes as I recall, published by the Food and Nutrition Board of the U.S. Then I got what's in milk, these come from the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA, skim milk is NDB 01085 (NDB stands for Nutrient Data Base). I was able to compare on twenty nutrients. I found that skim milk was adequate for 13 of the 20, it was slightly lacking for four, and it completely lacked three, iron, fiber, and can't recall, either thiamine or niacin. So yes, it is missing.
        But here's the rub: during the five years I lived on skim milk, I decided to try a more "establishment" diet of the kind the nutrition establishment recommends. At the time the "gold standard" was the USDA food pyramid, remember the food pyramid, it was printed on cereal boxes, the tip of the pyramid was some food group where you were only supposed to get one serving, then the next level was food groups where you were supposed to get two servings, and so on. Colleen, I felt lousy, my eyes ached and I was tired a lot. Then I went back to all skim, and I felt good again. So my impression is that my diet is better. But I want to say again that this has not been verified by professional nutritionists.
        My theory is that milk is better for you because it is fluid, the body doesn't have to work as hard to process and use it. Solid food nourishes you, but in my mind it clogs you, it sits in you longer getting broken up and never gets as thoroughly broken up as milk.
        I am working to try to get my diet approved. I am in in touch with the most recent chairwoman of the Food and Nutrition Board, and she is gathering contacts for me at the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, who in 2015 will release the new I think it's called Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it comes out every five years.
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          Jun 5 2013: Hi, Greg. I cannot believe you've only had skim milk for 5 years. I am thinking that probably the reason you felt lousy once you ate something else is that you were not used to processing solid food anymore. Your digestive system is designed to digest solid and liquid foods, and like any other system, it will deteriorate if you don't use it.
          The food pyramid is only a general guide. You really need to see a specialist to improve your diet. You don't have to eat anything you don't like, but eating only one item is not healthy at all.
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          Jun 6 2013: Hi Greg,
          If it works well for be it.

          It appears that our bodies were designed to consume solids as well as liquid, and I agree with Melisa, that the reason you may feel lousy when you eat something other than milk, is because the body is not used to it.

          I eat very little meat now, and when I do have some, it sometimes causes the digestive system to feel a little uncomfortable.....especially with beef, which I may eat a little piece of once a year, or something like that. Friends who are mostly vegetarian experience this as well
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        Jun 5 2013: I certainly get the enjoying many foods, Colleen. Although I love my all-skim-milk diet, one thing I don't like about it is that it's not a choice for me, I really have to do it or I feel physically bad. I slightly envy people who can eat a variety of foods and still feel okay.
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        Jun 6 2013: re if it works well for, I don't think so, Colleen, I have written back to Melisa higher up, I think it's just that solid food is harder to process. I believe I could eat solid food for a year and I'd still feel bad, I can't prove this, or rather I don't want to prove it because it means I'll feel physically bad, but doesn't it stand to reason that fluid food like milk would be easier to process and use?

        I hope I didn't hit you with too many obscure agencies and publications. Actually, if you google these a little, you'll find that they are the basic publications and top agencies in the field of nutrition. I'm somewhat educating myself about who to contact here, I have a degree from Stanford, but it's in English, not nutrition.
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          Jun 6 2013: That's what I meant Greg.....if it works for you....if you are happy with the results, and you feel healthy, that is what counts. I read all your comments on this thread:>)

          No, honestly Greg, it does not "stand to reason that fluid food like milk would be easier to process...". As Melisa and I both said, it seems like the body was designed to digest solid foods.

          Besides that, as I said before I LOVE food, and I feel healthy, so I would not give it up:>)
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        Jun 6 2013: thanks, Ms. Steen. The body is designed so that it can digest solid foods, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't have an easier time digesting fluid ones.

        I'm not attempting to persuade you to give anything up. In fact, I can't even recommend my diet to anyone else. But for me it has been the best diet for weight loss and keeping it off.
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          Jun 6 2013: I just noticed my typo in your name Greg, and corrected it.....sorry about that:>)

          Like I said, if it works for you, and you feel healthy and content with be it:>)
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        Jun 6 2013: Well, what interests me Colleen is to see if this all-skim milk diet might help with diseases like cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and so on. Since it helped me with my eye discomfort, I rather have the impression that it would help with other diseases, for the same reasons, that milk is particularly easy for the body to process and use, and that it helps with weight loss. I'd like to get scientists interested in trying the diet for disease therapy, but first I have to get it approved as an acceptable diet, the nutrition establishment will say that it lacks certain nutrients, and they are right, I just think its strengths might outweigh its failings. So we'll see, for me it's an interesting project.

        But I'm glad you're happy with whatever you're eating, I remember you're an outstanding gardener.