The Quick and Clean Diet

Every year we vow to shed that holiday weight and pray the diet sticks. We make ourselves crazy trying, losing mental and physical energy the whole time... and by February, we give up and stuff ourselves full of Valentine's Day cupcakes. Well, maybe not ALL of us. Just us crazier ones. ;)

The Quick and Clean Diet by Dari Alexander will not only keep you from those cupcakes, but it will keep you eating right, AND you'll feel more energized than ever.

The Trick to Dieting

There are plenty of little tricks we can employ to help us in our diets. Drink more water, post pictures of your naked self on the fridge, hang a pair of skinny jeans in your room where you can see them, and on and on. But the real trick to dieting is far simpler than that. It's to feel good about yourself. But sometimes we get caught up in the numbers: calories, pounds, dress sizes, and the worst one... dates! Here's how a crazy conversations in your head might go:

"I need to lose X amount of pounds to fit in a size X skinny jean by X date by only eating X calories... or I'm a loser."

Dari Alexander has some saner advice in her new book, The Quick and Clean Diet.

Dari Alexander Quick Clean Diet

Dari Alexander Quick Clean Diet

Dari Alexander is not only a news anchor, but also a top journalist and hard working mother. Do you think she might need to look good and maintain a healthy level of energy? Oh yeah! In her new book, Ms. Alexander gives you a healthier way to achieve the fit body you’ve always envisioned.

The Three Levels of the Diet

High Motivation: This is where you get your mental momentum. High Motivation is where you quickly lose weight, limit and control your cravings, and shrink your stomach. After three days you will be well on your way to a better looking you!

Grounding: This is the next level of weight loss, according to Dari Alexander. Grounding is where you experience more weight loss while introducing yourself to whole grains, lean proteins, and good fats.

Stability: This is the most important level, in my opinion. Stability is where you evolve and develop into a healthy eating, living being.

With the Quick and Clean diet, you will still enjoy food... LOTS of it. Expect to eat lots of chicken, turkey and fish while staying away from pre-packaged, frozen, refined foods.

The Quick and Clean Diet isn't just a new fad or the latest Hollywood Diet. It's a better, cleaner way to eat, and all around healthier way to live. The book fundamentally changes the way you go about your daily life. It truly inspires a life-long healthy mindset. 

Stop hating diets and start loving this cleaner way of eating. Get your copy now:

The Quick & Clean Diet: Lose the Weight, Feel Great, and Stay Lean for Life

PS: Dari Alexander will be talking about The Quick and Clean Diet on Dr. Oz TODAY!

Diabetes, Death, and Paula Deen

I called the nurse's desk and asked to be rung into my grandmother's room, hoping my mom or aunt might be there to give me an update. I had been going to her hospital room every day after work to rub lotion on her hands and feet and just be with her. She was my Nana. The woman who took me to school most days. The woman who taught me to cook. The woman who bought me books and believed in my dreams. The nurse was about to transfer me to the room number I had memorized. Only this time, the response wasn't, "I'll put you through." With the voice of a teacher correcting a child, she said. "There's no one in that room." Knowing she was wrong, my shoulders stiffened as I began to correct her. We both stopped short when a nurse in the background chimed in to share the news.

The nurse on the line became apologetic and tripped over her words. Slowly, understanding flowed over me. As calmly and directly as I could, I asked the question.

"Is she gone?"

She was.

I thought I had been prepared for that moment. I had always known my grandmother was sick, but it wasn't until I was older that I knew it was with Type II Diabetes. I watched her slowly die for most of my life.

Nana loved to eat. She loved her sweets. Even when she was laying sick in bed, a collection of prescription bottles on her night stand, she always tried to sneak a sweet. When we were kids, she'd call to us as we walked down the hallway. "Pssst! Mija... just a little piece, pleeeease!!" Every now and then, I'd give her a little chocolate square and she'd snap at me in gratitude: "Don't tell your mom!"

Years later, when I was a young, single mom, my mother, grandmother and I lived together again for a few years. That was when Nana's health took a turn for the worse. My mom and I became her caregivers, going back and forth to and from the kitchen to her bedside with prepared meals and prescriptions. I did some research before she started her dialysis. Dialysis, if you don't know, is a process for removing waste and excess water from the blood, and is used primarily to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function in people with renal failure. Renal failure is something that often happens at the end of a diabetics' life, and it is not pretty. I knew about the possible fits and hallucinations after starting dialysis. My mom, never being a fan of research, didn't realize that, so when Nana's fits and screaming started, I had to calm them both down. My mom was so shaken. It was hard to see that. Harder than hearing the nasty words spewing from my grandmother or holding down her flailing arms -- the same arms that had once held me closely and securely, that now wanted to hurt me.

Things got better as far as the fits were concerned, but not as far as my Nana's health.

After several years, my grandmother moved to a home that was close to my aunt who was a stay-at-home-mom and had more flexibility to help take care of her. Sometimes when I called, my aunt would give me an update. More problems. More doctor visits. More pills. When she required round-the-clock care, we moved her into a nearby assisted-living home. I'd often visit with my older girls, sitting with Nana in front of the TV that she couldn't really see, catching up on life. The nurses would try not to interrupt as they put pills in her mouth and patches all over her body. It was hard not to cry seeing all the things that were necessary to keep my Nana alive.

By the time my grandmother had her heart attack on the dialysis machine, her body had long been ravaged by Diabetes. Every time I saw her, she was weaker, blinder, and more helpless than the time before. Only a shadow of the robust woman I had run to for hugs. She was only 74 when she entered the hospital for the last time. She wasn't able to talk to us because of the breathing tube sticking down her mouth. Her wrists had been tied to her bed rails, near enough to move, but not enough slack to grab the tube she kept trying to take out. The frustration came through as tears in her eyes. All I could do was stroke her hair back to comfort her, telling her I loved her and that it was okay to rest now.

I loved my grandmother more than my own parents. Everyone knew that. Even my mom. No one knows how much I still miss her, more than ten years after her death. I think of her almost every day. At first, those thoughts were angry. She had the ability to stay healthy and yet she chose to continue living and eating in a way that helped the effects of diabetes take her away from me. I wondered why she didn't love me enough to stay healthy. I know that sounds selfish, but those were my thoughts. Eventually, I thought of all the things she never got to do and made it a point to try to live the little girl dreams that she had nurtured in me.

And eventually, I forgave her for not eating better and not taking better care of her body.

There's a lot of talk about Paula Deen and her food show and not revealing her diagnosis of diabetes sooner. Paula Deen has always scared me. I like to enjoy a rich meal or pastry, but not every day and every meal. Her show seemed to glorify eating the fried butter way for every meal. I never could understand the frenzied fangirl love that some of my friends had for Ms. Deen.

Now, I know this is going to piss some of you off, but from my perspective, after watching my Nana die the slow painful death that can come with diabetes, Paula Deen not being honest about her disease while continuing to push the kind of foods that cause more people in America than ever before to be diagnosed with diabetes is equal to a porn star that has a life-threatening sexual disease and continues to promote unsafe sex. Personal gratification over the thought that others might get caught up in your lifestyle and, ultimately, your disease is so incredibly selfish and greedy! I don't even know how anyone can defend this woman.

And now she's going to shill for a pharmaceutical company?

Dear God, does this woman have no shame?

I hate that Paula Deen knew for so long and did nothing to change how she impacted the lifestyles of the people who were creating her wealth by following her recipes, watching her shows, buying her sponsors' products, and on and on. It is the height of irresponsibility to continue publicizing behaviors that caused her diagnosis without giving any kind of warning that maybe eating like this every day is a really bad idea. She could have told people what happened to her way back and changed things up a bit in her show. Working with a dietician on some recipes would have been the least she could have done. But maybe she'd offend the Butter Council or something? So rather than piss off a sponsor and losing money, she'll just keep feeding millions of fans her deadly diet?

Paula Deen had a responsibility to tell her fans what her food did to her health. Period. But she didn't. She still hasn't! She just drawls out a little, "Oh hey... I'm gonna stop drinking sweet tea and I'm gonna take these here pills."

I feel like I'M taking pills - CRAZY PILLS!

Anthony Bourdain was right. She is the most dangerous woman on television. And I wonder, how many daughters and granddaughters will go to their grandmother or mother's hospital room one day and find an empty bed because they didn't stop eating the way Paula taught them to cook.

*Type II Diabetes is not a death sentence. There are many lifestyle changes that people can make to live a long and healthy life. Number one is diet. If you are overweight, you coud be at risk. Talk to your doctor. Meet with a nutritionist. Do what you need to do to stay healthy, if not for yourself, for the people in your life.

Don't Get Zombie Brain... Eat, Drink, and Be Skinny!

Did you hear the news? Dieting causes the brain to eat itself!! *Side Note: This explains so much about so many people.

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York found that like other parts of the body, hunger-inducing neurons in the brain begin to consume themselves in periods of starvation. It's a process called Autophagy; a major mechanism by which a starving cell reallocates nutrients from unnecessary processes to more-essential processes.

Dr. Rajat Singh, said, "A pathway that is really important for every cell to turn over components in a kind of housekeeping process is also required to regulate appetite." He also added that drugs that might intercept that pathway might make you less hungry and burn more fat.

Click HERE for the rest of the story.

Well, until that drug is created, I'm going to stick to the old Calories-In-Calories-Out model of burning fat and losing weight.

I recently returned to my morning jog/walks. I've been tracking my progress thru RunKeeper, slowly carving time off of my 2 mile jaunt. It's my personal goal to get out earlier and go at least five miles, but this is a good start.

I attempted a cleanse. That didn't go so well. Not only did I have a full social calendar that threw me for a loop almost daily, I found myself thinking about food at at an almost obsessive-compulsive level. I was also starting to forget important information. Not sure if that was because my mind was full of foodie thoughts, or if that was the beginning of my brain eating itself.

Then one day, I was telling a friend about my madness. She said one thing about the cleanse diet that really hit me. "It doesn't sound like there's much joy in that kind of eating."

No. No joy at all. NONE!

I like food. No... I LOVE food. And I love to go out. I love to enjoy a beautiful meal, sip a tasty drink, and maybe, indulge in a little sweet. Nothing wrong with that. The problem was that I was going out far too often and indulging much too much. Maybe the cleanse was more punishment than quick fix. That's for therapists to decide.

Suffice to say, I stopped the cleanse and went back to being careful about how I indulged. I continued drinking plenty of water, plus I got back to cooking more at home; usually protein rich legumes, dark leafy greens, and lean fishes.

I also found two tasty low calorie substitutions for my sweets cravings.

Skinny Cow, makers of the low-fat ice cream sandwiches (2 pts according to Weight Watchers Points system), has created some tasty treats that are now in the candy aisle! These delectable treats contain only 110-120 calories.

[caption id="attachment_921" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Have Your Candy and Eat It, Too!"][/caption]

When I tasted the package of bite-sized Dreamy Clusters, I was seriously thinking, NO WAY! Savoring the crunchy crisps drenched in caramel and covered in milk or dark chocolate (I loved both), I couldn't believe it was a low cal candy I was indulging in.

My boxes of Heavenly Crips candy bars sort of evaporated. I later found wrappers in my kids' bags. But before their sticky little fingers ate all of the candies, I was able to enjoy the delicate wafers layered with creamy chocolate, and another with peanut butter filling, both bars coated in chocolate.

Sinlessly Satisfying!

So save us all from the Zombie Apocolypse! Skip the brain-eating diets. Keep enjoying life (and food) by getting a few miles in each day, eating leaner, and enjoying some tasty lo-cal treats.

~~~

To scoop up the latest product and flavor news, tips on eating smart, and luscious offers, connect with Skinny Cow! Check out the Skinny Cow Website. Like them on Facebook. Follow them on Twitter.