Week 2 – Day 5

Raspberry Ketone

Raspberry ketone is the primary aroma compound of red raspberries. This compound regulates adiponectin, a protein used by the body to regulate metabolism. Raspberry ketone causes the fat within your cells to get broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster. The recommended dose is 100mg per day. To get the same benefit from the whole fruit, you’d have to consume 90 pounds of raspberries.

I started taking Ketone when I started this project. It is an easy supplement to take (not a huge pill) and it does smell and taste like a hundred sweet raspberries! I’ve not had any secondary effects (some feedback include light headaches, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness).

In any case, do not take additional supplements without checking with your family doctor – – This website does not recommend this supplement – I simply am documenting what I am personally doing for my health and my own journey.

Week 2 – Day 4

As part of his Eat Yourself Skinny list, Dr. Oz suggests guzzling green tea to feel full between meals. Chockfull of a phytonutrient called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), green tea increases the hormone responsible for making you feel satiated. Drinking green tea daily has long-term benefits as well. It can help prevent storage of excess fat, improve your appetite-regulating hormones and change how your body handles cravings and metabolizes food.

I now drink mostly tea during the day (other than water). I have many types of green tea and although I don’t steep it long enough as I don’t particularly like strong tea. I also really enjoy jasmine tea which I learned to really appreciate while working in China many years ago.

Week 2 – Day 3


Dr Oz featured Kristin Kirkpatrick who writes:
A new study in the October 11th issue of the journal PLoS Medicine found eating cruciferous vegetables – such as broccoli – in their whole form increases the absorption of cancer-fighting nutrients.
The study looked specifically at a key enzyme called myrosinase which is found in broccoli. The researchers determined that it was missing from most of the supplement forms of glucosinolates, a valuable phytochemical in cruciferous vegetables. Myrosinase is necessary for the formation of sulforaphane, the compound responsible for broccoli’s super healthy benefits. Furthermore, the study found that, without the enzyme found in the whole food, the body absorbed 5 to 8 times less of these important components in broccoli. The researchers also found that myrosinase was destroyed with excessive cooking and recommended lightly steaming for the best results.

Broccoli is a standard vegetable in our house and we eat it almost every week. I prefer to steam it and keep its bright green color and crisp texture.

Week 2 – Day 2

Beautiful APPLES!
From his series “Eat yourself skinny” Dr. Oz states that apples are the perfect pre-dinner snack. Soluble fiber in apples, called pectin, reduces the amount of sugar and calories that’s absorbed into the bloodstream after a meal. That’s good news for folks who want to prevent type 2 diabetes, but it also makes apples one of the best snacks for dieters. Apple pectin prevents spikes in blood sugar that lead to increased fat storage. It will help you avoid the blood sugar “crash” that leaves you craving more food and can keep you satiated for up to two hours.

The Health Works collective website listed benefits of green apples –
• The Fiber composition in Green Apples helps in Digestion and cuts down the vulnerability to Colon Cancer
• It doesn’t contain Cholesterol which can help you maintain your calorie strict diet regime for weight loss. A single apple can literally blow your hunger away
• Green Apples contain comparatively less proportion of Fructose Content than the Red Apples, which can allow consumption by Diabetic Patients.
• Green Apples contain various anti oxidants which can help prevent different types of Cancer.
• Green Apples are a good source of Vitamin C which can prevent Mouth and Stomach Ulcers

Green apples have always been my favorites amongst apples, and I try to include them often in my fruit servings.

Week 2 – Day 1

According to the Dr Oz show article “A Rainbow of Foods for Longevity” by Mao Shing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., PhD, “Like red berries, blueberries and blackberries receive their coloring from phytonutrient flavonoids. The phytonutrients found in blue and purple foods keep blood vessels healthy, benefiting your cardiovascular system and lowering your risk of heart disease. Flavonoids also help reverse short-term memory loss that comes with aging and may help prevent cancer.”

Here is the list of 10 Health Benefits of Blackberries from the site ingredientsinc.net
While at their peak season, indulge in blackberries for a nutritious snack or dessert. One cup of fresh blackberries has 62 calories, 1 gram of fat, 15 carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and only 1 mg of sodium. Here are the top 10 health benefits of eating blackberries:

1. Blackberries are one of the top ten foods containing antioxidants.

2. Blackberries are packed with polyphenols helping to prevent cancer and heart disease.

3. Blackberries are filled with anthocyanins (antioxidants which give blackberries their deep purple color) which help in memory retention and the risk of hypertension.

4. Blackberries are said to strengthen blood vessels, help fight heart disease and help improve eyesight.

5. The high tannin content of blackberries help tighten tissue, relieve intestinal inflammation, and help reduce hemorrhoids and stomach disorders.

6. Ohio State University found that blackberries may protect against esophageal cancer, a cancer caused by gastric reflux disease.

7. Blackberries have shown to protect against other types of cancers. They contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), a compound believed to play a vital role in preventing breast and cervical cancer.

8. Blackberries are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Manganese and fiber.

9. The high fiber content of blackberries help reduce risk of intestinal disease and the risk of developing diabetes.

10. Blackberries are a healthy food choice that kids and adults love. They are a great way to refuel after a hard workout and help aid in fighting obesity.

Week 1 – Day 7

PEPPERS! ah… such colorful vegetables, aren’t they? Did you know that green peppers can be non-mature red, orange, yellow or other colored peppers? I personally enjoy eating any of those colored ones, raw or cooked.

According to Dr. Oz, and other sources, eating raw bell peppers is best as cooking them reduces their nutrients. Tonight, we had a nice salad with loads of yellow and orange peppers, amongst other veggies.

Bell pepper is not only an excellent source of carotenoids, but also a source of over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. Bell pepper is a very good source of vitamin E at about 1.45 milligrams per cup, and it contains more than 30 different carotenoids, including excellent amounts of beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. Both of these carotenoids provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits. These colorful vegetables will likely always be part of my weekly intake.

Week 1 – Day 6

We do it every minute, every hour, day in day out… We breathe. Did you know that you can apply the following breathing technique as presented by Dr Andrew Weil:
A way to tame your tension is to employ the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose for a mental count of four seconds. Hold your breath for a count of seven, and then exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This simple breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.

I must admit it is a bit foreign at first – we are not used to taking as long to breathe out, or to even hold our breath, but after a dozen times of so, you will find is easy to complete. I have been doing this for a few days now, and I do find it seems to relax my body.

An easy tip you can do any time, and just about anywhere.

Week 1 – Day 5

Today, we feature CHIA SEEDS.
Dr Oz’s tip: Chia seeds are super high in soluble fiber — which, in addition to filling you up, has cholesterol-lowering properties and prevents the absorption of fat. For a hydrating metabolism-boosting beverage, try a chia seed cocktail. Add chia seeds, a slice of lemon and a dash of agave to distilled water.

Well, after getting the chia seeds at the local Bulk store, I opted to add them to my morning natural low fat yogurt.

According to research, the exterior of the chia seed is covered in soluble fiber. But this isn’t just any soluble fiber, like that of an oat or flax seed.

The fiber of Chia is special, in that it can absorb NINE times the weight of the seed in water, and hold it close to the surface. When it does this, it forms a bead of gel, with the consistency of a gelatin snack. This gel isn’t easily removed from the seed. It takes the digestive system a while to use and remove it, thus hydrating the colon and easing digestion. A well hydrated colon has an easier time moving food through it. Keeping the body hydrated is also important for absorbing nutrients.

The soluble fiber in chia seeds helps control blood sugar levels by slowing down the transformation of carbohydrates into sugars. With the chia seed, you get all the nutrition, and all the taste; you can make these seeds taste like whatever you want. They absorb any liquid they’re placed in and distribute the flavor. They have no flavor of their own, so they can’t cover up or ‘ruin’ the taste of foods you love. They’re as easy to use as ‘measure & sprinkle on’! No messy grinding or any preparation is needed.

Sounds like an easy addition to any healthy diet!

Gym time… and a bit more background to this project!

Today I had a complimentary session with Russell Shaw, a trainer at the Goodlife Fitness Gym in Barrhaven. He was so informative, nice and personable and he developed a program specific to my needs – – ie, getting ready for my next Camino starting in April.

You’ll notice the duration of this project is important – it runs from Nov 19th to April 5th which is a week before my planned departure for France, where I will meet with team Nestor and start again the Camino journey.

I asked Russell to focus on my goals –
– become stronger cardio and muscle wise
– develop a stronger back (which did cause me some discomfort last Camino, mostly when walking downhill due to the weight of my backpack)
– develop stronger legs and core

The weight loss is secondary to the getting fitter.. it’s a byproduct, NOT the main focus. I think we often get too focus on the weight, and not take into consideration how stronger we become, how better our clothes feel, how longer we can walk, jog etc.

Russell (who played professional soccer, coached athletes and now is a personal trainer at the club) developed a program based on my needs. My main focus for the first four weeks will be foundation exercises – squats (at which I excel thanks to my kettlebell coach Mary Burney!) lunges, pull and push machine exercises, plank (one of my favorites) and an exercise for strengthening my back. As well, cardio will be part of the overall program.

Along with my Dr Oz show’s tips, ideas and calls to action, this will provide me with a sound approach to bettering my health and wellness!

Week 1 – Day 4

Tip: Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are a perfect remedy for when you’re feeling anxious throughout the day. They’re rich in omega-3s, which can help reduce anxiety by keeping stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline in check. Macadamia nuts make a great snack when you need a lift at work or when you have kids in the car. They’re so big and filling, you only need to eat 8 nuts a day!

When we first visited Hawaii back in 2000, this was my first time to truly taste macadamia nuts and I was sold on them. I don’t think there is any nut as soft and flavourful out there. Of course, the ones we got in Hawaii typically were covered in chocolate although a few times we did go for the natural ones.

I stayed away from them thinking that they were too high in fats – and wouldn’t you know, they have the good fat your body needs. And since it only takes 8 for its benefit to affect the body, you can be sure this will be on my snack list from now on. I buy a lot of my spices and specialty couscous and nuts at Bulk Barn, so I save on the otherwise higher cost of grocery suppliers. This will be an easy change to adopt !!