I just heard you groan. You’re thinking,¬†But you just told me that dieting does not necessarily help me lose (or gain) weight. Yes, yes I did.¬†Dieting does not help maintain healthy body weight. In fact, more and more research suggests that dieting actually harms your basal metabolic state, making you prone to regaining even more weight than you’ve lost and having a hard time losing it (again). (Please excuse the advertising at the end of the article linked. It’s the research surrounding¬†Biggest Loser that fascinates me most. Here is also a great article by IDEA.)


So, the bad news is that yo-yo dieting can slow down your metabolism and a slow metabolism means that you are prone to working harder for fewer results. And then there are genes, which do account for a certain (if small) percentage toward whether or not we are naturally inclined toward thin or not-so-thin. But here is where the good news comes in!


Epigenetics. It’s a word most of us have never heard of before. Translated as “control above genetics,” this is the study of how environment plays a role in “turning on” and “turning off” our genes. Food is one of the main environmental factors we have in our lives and it perhaps plays one of the biggest roles in how our genes function (exercise being another main player).




It seems that Hippocrates was right when he said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Scientists have discovered that bioactive compounds like phytonutrients and antioxidants play a huge role in turning on genes that help us lose and maintain a healthy weight. Healthy lifestyle and diet choices can change the expression of at least 500 genes! This is great news for those of us who struggle with things like sugar addiction because it means that a wide, varying diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables nurtures your entire body right down to genetic expression. It means that you can start remaking yourself one bite (and one activity) at a time–and in 7-10 years, you’ll literally be a whole new person!


In my next post on this series, I’ll be sharing the small steps that I have been taking to help reduce my sugar cravings. I knew going in to this that it wasn’t going to be something that happened overnight, but I’m happy to say that I’m slowly seeing results. Looking forward to sharing more soon!




Read the Whole Series here:

Part 1

Part 2

Matcha Tea

Aloe Vera

September 19, 2013

Aloe plant, Wikipedia.

Aloe plant, Wikipedia.

It’s not just for sunburns anymore. Aloe vera supplements have hit the health foods stores with claims of weight loss, digestive and immune help. Even my father-in-law, who might be one of the people least concerned about health food supplements that I know, has taken aloe and claimed that it’s helped him lose weight. (To which I say, “Great news!”)


So what is aloe, exactly, and what will it possibly do for you?



There are some concerns about aloe being taken internally. Studies done on rats and mice have revealed carcinogenic buildups within the rodents. Granted, these were unfiltered aloe supplements in large quantities. Those people take are filtered through a charcoal process (they’re a clear gel) and taken 1-3 times a day (or as often as a person desires, from what I’ve read).


My personal experience is quite limited with aloe. I have not tried taking a supplement on a regular basis to see how my body would react. However, I do know people who have, and do, take aloe. Many of them, especially those with stomach and intestinal complaints, find some or much relief. Quite a few have found that they’ve lost weight, possibly due to aloe’s reputation as a laxative.


My advice is, as always, do your research before beginning any kind of supplement regimen. Talk it over with your physician, particularly if you have any kind of medical problems or allergy to aloe. The benefits may sound great but the jury is yet out about the risks involved. Will the pros outweigh the cons? Time and studies will tell.