Diet Myths Busted
The Diet FItness Diva Newsletter Archives

Entries in whole foods (2)


Although I regularly bike, walk dogs, and swim; after sitting down for awhile, I feel stiff and achy. I have inherited arthritis so I am taking Glucosamine Chondroiton tablets twice a day with orange juice. Any dietary advice to help me remain active and pain free?

Food can’t cure arthritis but it can make the disease less painful and more manageable. You mentioned that you have not been diagnosed and that you think your condition is hereditary. Osteoarthris is not inherited. We will all get it eventually. Dinosaurs that lived long enough got OA. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and can be inherited. Please see your primary care giver to see just what you do have, if anything. Here is a list of just a few foods that will help to maintain the health of the cartilage that is between the bone and control inflammation.

1.       Any  foods that contain omega-3’s such as wild salmon, sardines, wild trout and herring. Other foods that are rich sources of omega-3’s are walnuts, soy beans flax seeds, canola oil and pumpkin seeds.  These fish contain vitamin D, which helps prevent swelling and soreness. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids decrease the production of chemicals that spread support inflammation.

2.       Extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil contains oleocanthal, which blocks enzymes involved in inflammation. Oleocanthal is similar to classical NSAID’s such as aspirin.

3.       Foods rich in vitamin-C s such as sweet bell peppers and citrus fruits. The cartilage between the bones is made up of collagen and foods rich in vitamin C help collagen maintain it’s integrity. However, if you have OA, too much vitamin C will make some joint pain worse so remember that moderation is the key.

4.       Dark colored fruits such as cherries, black grapes, raspberries, blueberries, eggplant. (yes eggplant is a fruit!) These fruits get their pigment from anthocyanin, an antioxidant which is found in the skin of these fruits and inhibits inflammation.

5.       Onions garlic, apples, berries and leeks. These foods contain quercetin, an antioxidant that appears to inhibit inflammation. 

6.       Green tea and red wine. Both of these drinks contain quercetin and other antioxidants. Green tea seems to be especially beneficial for people who have rheumatoid arthritis.


I am very serious about losing my weight; I have been exercising 2 times a day and I’m on a 1,000 calorie diet. I want to know what kind of exercises will help me lose the most weight and build muscle tone. I want to lose at least 20 pounds before December and hopefully 35 to 40 lbs total. What’s the best plan or diet for me?

The first thing you need to do is increase your calorie intake! If you're truly eating only 1,000 calories a day, your body will go into a storage mode. This is because your body understands it’s not getting enough food, so it will set off processes to hoard calories and hold onto fat since it thinks you are starving. Your body will also slow down your metabolism because it thinks it is in a fasting state and will want to preserve as much energy as possible. The body has built in defense mechanisms and you are activating them.

The key is to increase your calories carefully with highly nutrient dense food to fuel your body. I would recommend not eating any less than 1,500 calories a day and make sure your protein levels are sufficient. In terms of eating, focus on lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and yogurt. Eat protein with every meal.  You need fibrous carbohydrates mostly from non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, mushrooms, yellow squash, green peppers and sweet potatoes.  Stick to fruits that are fresh or flash frozen and use them to replace any processed, refined desserts.

In terms of exercise, you will benefit more from a highly intense 1 to 1.5 hour session 4 or 5 days a week rather than two times a day. If you're training twice a day, you will eventually burn out and never want to go to the gym again. In addition you will start to run out of energy for that 2nd workout especially with the way you are currently fueling your body. Go hard for an hour or a little more and then go home and recover for the next day.

Some suggestions for a workout might be to do around 30 minutes of weight training and around 30 minutes of high intensity cardio. Another idea might be to do a full hour of weight training on one day and an hour of cardio on another.  For weight training, try to take every set to positive muscle failure. You need to use enough weight to fatigue by the time you reach no more than 8 reps. In terms of cardio, burn some major calories with high intensity workouts and alternate with steady state workouts. Make sure you give yourself a day or two of recovery so your body has time to repair and you are ready to give your best. Since everyone is a little different, you may want to consult a personal trainer to make sure you follow a routine that best meets your weight loss goals.