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Lose Weight Without Quack Diets

Eat right for your body, yes, but not your "blood type."

In my holistic health counseling practice, clients often ask me what I think of the popular book, Eat Right 4 Your Type, by Peter D’Adamo.

I know how confusing it can be to be bombarded with contradicting dietary theories. Between greenwashing by food manufacturers and information overload from the media it can be difficult to separate the facts from the quacks.

Eat Right 4 Your Type has been hugely popular since its release a decade ago. The author’s theory is that, in order to lose weight and be healthy, you have to eat the same diet your prehistoric ancestors did based on ABO blood type.

The book’s basic premise is that if your ancestors were vegetarian with type A blood, you’re supposed to eat a largely vegetarian diet. Type B’s are the descendants of omnivores and are the only ones who can benefit from eating dairy. And if you have type O blood, it means your ancestors were hunters. As the descendant of carnivorous cavemen you need to eat a lot of meat and avoid beans and grains.

D’Adamo claims that his theory is based on clinical research. In fact, there isn’t any hard science published independently that supports the author’s theories. D’Adamo’s theories largely oppose decades of scientific nutritional studies conducted by thousands of researchers.

D’Adamo’s own research focuses on lectins, which are carbohydrate-binding proteins containing sugar. According to D’Adamo, lectins, found in certain beans and legumes, are responsible for cirrhosis and kidney failure -- an alarmingly worrisome claim for people who have type O blood and eat lentils, for instance.

D’Adamo makes unsubstantiated statements about why people with a particular type of blood should eat certain foods and why other people with a different type of blood should avoid them. He completely generalizes about how one diet fits everyone in each blood type. We’re all unique individuals and one person’s healthy food might be another person’s poison, literally. One diet is not perfect for everyone, and certainly not because you have a particular type of blood.

There is no question that food allergies exist and that people can have bad reactions to a specific food. But allergies don't correlate to specific blood types.
Amira ElganNot eating what’s usually a healthy and nutritious food on the basis of blood type is nonsense. Conditions such as celiac, Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal disorders exist and afflict many people regardless of blood type, age, gender or sexual orientation.

The bottom line is that when it comes to losing weight, the basic foundation of all weight loss diets, including Eat Right 4 Your Type, is calorie restriction. Eating fewer calories than your body requires for daily energy expenditure will make you lose weight. It doesn’t matter what your particular diet might be; whether you eat a healthy vegetarian diet, are an omnivore, a French fry vegan or a meat and potato eater, and regardless of your type of blood.

It’s important to note, however, that people who regularly eat junk food have the hardest time losing weight and keeping it off. Eating junk food on regular basis will make you feel hungry constantly. When you deprive your body of real food nutrients and instead eat processed and fried foods laden with saturated fat and sugar, it’s simply impossible to satisfy your hunger for long and thus overeating occurs. Taking in a lot of calories while starving the body due to lack of proper nutrition is usually what leads to weight gain, then obesity, then diabetes and so on.

If you want to lose weight, forget about quack diets. Adopt a healthy eating plan and a healthy lifestyle. Educate yourself about your own health and find your ideal diet (I mean eating plan). Whether you're a meat eater or a vegetarian, there is increasing scientific data that shows the benefits of eating foods from the plant kingdom including colorful fruit and vegetables, leafy greens, grains, beans, nuts and seeds. And of course, eat less and exercise more!

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WORDS OF WISDOM
The Best Preparation

"Don't waste your life in doubts and fears: spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Your Wholesome Life

This newsletter and blog are free, but I make my living providing one-on-one holistic health counseling, either in person or by phone.

I invite you to contact me and let me help you make the changes you've always wanted to make. The first one-hour consultation is absolutely free.

When it comes to overall health and happiness, it’s all connected: your food, your relationships, your lifestyle and you career. Let me help you find your solution.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Celebrate Life with Gratitude

Holidays have a way of bringing out the best in us -- and sometimes the worst. Certain life events and personal conflicts can make us fall into deep desperation and emotional upheaval. But it’s up to us to keep a clear head, and not let ourselves disintegrate into unhappiness.

Any time we feel we’re not able to get over a hurdle in life, let's stop and remember something very important: Our only limitations are those we impose on ourselves.

When major obstacles or conflicts come our way, it’s important to get out of our own way and bring our attention back to what really matters in life: love, health and happiness. And as long as we base our words and actions on our true convictions and values, we’ll know how to take on any challenge.

Cultivate happiness by cultivating gratitude. Let’s be grateful for who we are without rejecting anything about ourselves. Let’s accept ourselves completely. Let’s be thankful for what we have and appreciate everything in our lives without regret or resentment.

Another way to nurture our health and cultivate our happiness is through acts of compassion and gratitude. We must find ways to show compassion and gratitude to both strangers and loved ones.

When we think it’s the end of the world because “others” are getting in our way, let’s focus instead on what’s going our way and the things we take for granted. Let us remember that every problem has a solution. Celebrate each day of life by enjoying life each day, especially the small things. Let’s not hesitate in the face of hurdles but muster our strength and fly over them.

Live every day as if it were your last. Make the most of your life because life is a gift and it’s not forever. Celebrate your life and be grateful for it.
 

Stay motivated - Read health-related research news, events and commentary every day. Check out Amira's Vegetarian Organic Blog.

RESEARCH DEVELOPMENTS
Biggest Study Yet Proves Superiority of Organic Foods

In the biggest study of its kind ever conducted, scientists have discovered that foods "contain up to 40 per cent more nutrients if they are grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides." The study, which was conducted at Newcastle University and funded by the European Union and food companies, found that the "health benefits were so striking that moving to organic food was the equivalent of eating an extra portion of fruit and vegetables every day."
 

VEGETARIAN ORGANIC RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Autumn Pumpkin Pie Cake
Vegan (serves 10)

Autumn Pumpkin Pie Cake

Click on the picture for a closer look!

My Autumn Pumpkin Pie Cake is a holiday indulgence you can enjoy without any guilt. Its delicious flavor comes not from a can -- not from unhealthy flour, egg yolks, refined sugar, dairy and so on, but pure vegan wholesome goodness.

Delight your palate with the wonderful signature flavors and ingredients of autumn and complete your Thanksgiving meal with a dessert made with real food. It’s tastes so good and it’s so good for you that it can make a complete meal all by itself. Have it for breakfast too!

Cook’s tidbits: Nothing like a glorious morning breakfast with a cup of hot chocolate made with raw cocoa powder and a slice of nutritious pumpkin pie cake.

Get cake ingredients ready: (use organic ingredients when possible)

¾ cup whole grain brown rice flour
¾ cup whole grain spelt flour
1½ cup raw pecan meal (very finely ground pecans in food processor)
1 teaspoon double acting baking powder
⅓ cup sucanat (or rapadura)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon sea salt
1¼ cup creamy soy milk, warm (such as Vitasoy Creamy Original)
2 tablespoons EnerG egg replacer (maybe substituted with tapioca or skipped altogether)
⅓ cup melted transfat free margarine or safflower oil (or canola)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup ground flax seeds
1½ cup homemade butternut squash puree (see cook’s tips below)
½ cup homemade sweet potato puree (see cook’s tips below)
⅓ cup raw agave nectar (or brown rice syrup)

¾ cup walnut pieces


Autumn Caramel Frosting Ingredients:

⅓ cup transfat-free margarine
½ cup sucanat or rapadura (or brown sugar)
⅔ cups homemade squash puree (see cook’s tips below)
½ cup sweet potato puree (see cook’s tips below)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:  

 
1. To prepare cake, preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat with oil two 9-inch round cake pans. In a large bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, spelt flour, pecan meal, baking powder, sucanat, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and salt. Set aside.

2. In a food processor or blender, blend together soy milk, egg replacer, melted transfat-free margarine, vanilla and flax seeds for about 30 seconds. Add squash, sweet potato and agave nectar mixing well until smooth and creamy.

3. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Using a whisk combine wet and dry ingredients well but being very careful not to over work the batter. Add walnuts and briefly mix.

4. Pour the equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and use spatula to spread batter evenly and smooth out top. Set timer and bake for 55 minutes.

5. To prepare frosting, melt transfat free margarine in a saucepan, add sucanat or rapadura and bring to boil over medium heat. Add squash, sweet potato, cinnamon and vanilla mixing well and stirring constantly until it boils again. Remove from heat and beat with electric hand mixer or blend in food processor until creamy and smooth. Set aside.

6. Remove pans from oven once done. Allow pans to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pan and let them cool completely on wire racks.

7. To frost and assemble cake, take one cake and frost the top of it with a thin layer of frosting. Take second cake and place it up-side-down over frosted cake so the two tops are touching. Finish frosting entire cake including top and sides. Prepare in the morning or a day a head and keep at room temperature.

Cook’s tips:

To make squash puree: Preheat oven at 350 F. May use kabocha, butternut or pumpkin. Wash under cold running water. Cut stem off and then cut in half, lengthwise. With spoon, scrape out all the seeds and membranes. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper place both halves with cut side down (skin up) and bake for 35 to 55 minutes or until it feels very tender. Allow to cool completely and remove the inside with a spoon and mash. The skin should come right off.

To make sweet potato puree: Bake at the same time with the squash in 350 F oven. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes well. Use a piece of parchment paper big enough to wrap around sweet potato just like wrapping a hard candy with the ends twisted. Place in oven and bake from 35 to 50 minutes depending on size but until completely tender. Allow to cool and remove spoon and mash. To store for later use, store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator without removing the parchment paper. They make delicious snacks. Here's my video on how to bake sweet potatoes.

 

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This newsletter is not intended to provide and replace medical advice. The author and editor expressly disclaim all responsibility for any adverse effects resulting from any information, diet or exercise suggestions. It is imperative that the advice of a physician is sought before any diet or exercise programs are adopted.

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Copyright© 2003 - 2009 Amira Elgan. All Rights Reserved.