Red Meat, Bacon and Cancer–The REAL Story



I’m sure most everyone who is on Facebook, Twitter or reading the news has seen the most recent headlines on processed and red meat.

For the record, this study was published in the well-known and prestigious publication,  The Lancet and reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). Over 800 epidemiological studies were looked at from several continents and many different countries, using diverse ethnicities and diets. And unlike another study conducted on red meat and processed meat in 2007, this study actually looked at the two types of meat separately.

Not a small ‘fly-by-night study, I’d say. This study was evaluated in October of this year, when 22 scientists from ten countries convened in Lyon, France to look at the body of data.

Red meat includes meat from most any mammal, as in: beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, or goat meat. Processed meats include pork, beef or other red meats as well as poultry, liver and meat byproducts, but also have been salted, cured, fermented, or smoked, usually with the addition of chemical preservatives, often nitrates and nitrites.

The most significant part of the study showed a high prevalence of colon cancers with processed meats.

So what was the actual risk? Well, according to the study, the risk goes up according to the amounts of red or processed meat eaten. No surprise here. For every 100 g of red meat eaten, the risk went up 17%, and for every 50 g of processed meat, the risk went up 18% for colorectal cancers.

But here’s where it gets a little complicated: colon cancer is the third most common cause of cancer and cancer-related deaths, but the absolute lifetime risk overall of developing colon cancer is about 1.8% for the average 50 year old. So if the risk of colon cancer goes up 17-18%, it’s only 17-18% of that 2%.

According to the WHO report, that classified processed meat in the same category as cigarettes, and red meat a step below, just how much would your risk of cancer really increase if you eat cured and processed meats?

It would be about three extra cases of colorectal cancer per 100,000 people, or about 1 in 33,000 chance of developing bowel cancer from eating cured and processed meats. This is a far cry from smoking cigarettes!

There are a lot of lifestyle variables involved in this study that are hard to control. For one, most heavy red meat eaters are not eating a large quantities of fresh organic veggies—they are eating low-quality, commercially raised, grain-fed, disease-ridden, antibiotic and growth hormone laced, fast food burgers, with a highly processed flour bun, sauce full of preservatives, and often with a side of chemical-laden French fries fried in highly refined, heated and denatured oil (a carcinogen in its own right). Oh, and add in a big dollop of highly sweetened, highly refined (sugar—another carcinogen) catsup. And, I kinda doubt most heavy red and processed meat eaters are sticking to their daily run or yoga class schedule. Just sayin’. Probably not the healthiest group of people on the planet, overall.

And don’t forget most red meat is usually cooked over high heat. Often it is seared, grilled or charred for flavor, which unfortunately creates a group of carcinogenic compounds called hertoerocylic amines.

Other contributors to the red and processed meat and cancer study, is the health of the animal used for processed meat (it’s usually not the top quality type, but the diseased and sickly ones), and the flavor enhancers, artificial coloring, fillers, and chemicals used to preserve this ‘food’. Have you read the ingredients of your bologna or hot dog wrapper lately? Most of these ingredients are carcinogens in their own right.

So for those of you who eat meat, is it time to give up your steaks and bacon?

Well…here is what I have to say about that:

Red meat is for the most part, one of the biggest contributors to climate change with the huge amounts of methane emissions emanating from commercial feedlots, and runoff that includes growth hormones and massive amounts of antibiotics that go back into the ground and air. And on top of that, the poor animals that are commercially raised for meat have a totally miserable life of being mishandled, pumped full of drugs, crowded, sick, and slaughtered inhumanely. It is a sad, sad situation.

On the other hand, I am not an advocate of being 100% vegan either—I feel that most people suffer from nutritional deficiencies over time that can create big health problems of their own down the road. So what is the solution?

The solution to both issues is to eat less meat. A LOT less meat for many of us. Eat grass-fed, locally raised meat (which contains high quality fats and antioxidants that can fight cancer), and avoid fast food joints that use the worst quality of meat possible.

And eat a diet of about 80% fresh vegetables—that is a key to good health.

Marinate your meat in herbs and spices, and don’t cook it over high heat to cut way back on the carcinogens created from cooking. Eat your meat rare (ground beef from grass fed cattle doesn’t tend to carry the dangerous E.coli bacteria that commercially raised hamburger does).  Eat bacon, or sausage once a week or less. Stay away from hot dogs and cured lunch meats—I hardly even consider them ‘real’ meat, anyway!

So the solution for you becomes (not a coincidence!) the best solution for the planet too—eat far less red and processed meat, and your body AND the planet will be much much healthier in the long run.


Bouvard, et al. Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat, The Lancet, October 2015.

Mark Sisson, Does the WHO Report Mean for your Meat-Eating Habit? October 28, 2015.

A Votre Sante!

cat e1307025161760 Best Fall Salad Squash, Kale and Apple Salad

Save the Colorado pic Best Fall Salad Squash, Kale and Apple SaladCatherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is an international health, wellness and longevity expert. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing, she has spent the last 30 years studying sustainable diets, health and nutrition all over the world. She also has 4 books including the worldwide best-seller,  “The Fat Burning Kitchen,” “The Top 101 Foods That Fight Aging”, and “The Superfoods Diabetes Reversal Diet” (due out in December) and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

Her mission is to help create a healthier planet and healthier people.

                                                Cat’s Global Green Kitchen


Dandelion Greens, Not Just Another Annoying Weed in Your Yard

What if there was a new drug that could cure liver disease, dissolve kidney and gall stones, aid digestion and weight loss, act as a diuretic, eliminate acne, relieve constipation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol…

Dandelion Greens, The Amazing Natural Medicine

Often overlooked as an annoyance in your yard, dandelion greens contain an amazing array of dazzling benefits.
What if you read in the news that medical science just discovered a new drug that could prevent or cure liver disease–including hepatitis, purify your blood, dissolve kidney and gall stones, help digestion, aid in weight loss, act as a diuretic, eliminate acne, relieve constipation and diarrhea, lower high blood pressure, prevent or cure anemia, lower cholesterol, reduce acid reflux, prevent various types of cancers, and prevent or control diabetes?

What if it had no harmful side effects?

All of these benefits are packaged in one plant—the dandelion.
The dandelion is one of nature’s top healing plant foods.

Dandelion has been used for hundreds of years in China, Europe, and the Americas to treat hepatitis, kidney, and liver disorders. And it’s often used as a natural treatment for hepatitis C, anemia, and general liver detoxification.

Rich in beta carotene (plant-based source of vitamin A), fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, cobalt, copper, boron, molybdenum, magnesium, phosphorus, B vitamins, vitamin D, and a good source of protein as well—this plant is as super-powered as you can get!
•    Vitamin A is important in fighting cancers of epithelial tissue, including mouth and lung.

•    Potassium rich foods, balanced with magnesium, help keep blood pressure down and reduce risk of strokes.

•    Fiber helps stabilize blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, reduces cancer and heart disease, and assists in weight loss.

•    Calcium, boron and phosphorus and magnesium work together to build strong bones and can lower blood pressure.

•    B vitamins help reduce stress, aid the nervous system and give you energy.
Dandelion’s strong diuretic properties help to lower blood pressure, and remove excess fluids from the body by increasing urine output, helping to flush toxins from the body.

Dandelion is excellent for reducing edema, bloating, and water retention. Dandelion diuretic is actually as effective as the potent diuretic drugs, Furosemide and Lasix, used for congestive heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver, with none of the serious side effects.

Dandelion roots contain inulin and levulin, substances that may help balance blood sugar, making it helpful in treating diabetes. Inulin, a soluble fiber, also helps digestion by feeding the healthy bacteria in the intestines, where it increases nutrient absorption as well.

Dandelion has had a long history of being effective for helping with weight loss.
In controlled tests on laboratory mice, a loss of up to 30% of body weight in 30 days was possible when the animals were fed dandelion extract with their food.

The bitter substance in dandelion (taraxacin) stimulates effective digestion.
The bitter taste actually promotes the secretion of bile from the liver and gallbladder, as well as hydrochloric acid from the stomach.

Choline is another ingredient of dandelion that is a liver stimulant.

Our livers work very hard to filter the toxins that we come into contact with on a daily basis, and need help removing some of these modern day poisons from our body. Rough skin and acne, constipation, gas and bloating, frequent headaches, and PMS are all possible indications of an overburdened liver.

Dandelion is high in Linoleic and Linolenic Acid–essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) required by the body. These fatty acids can lower chronic inflammation, such as proliferative arthritis, regulate blood pressure and the menstrual cycle, and prevent unhealthy blood clots.

Both dandelion leaves and root are used to treat heartburn and indigestion. The pectin in dandelion relieves constipation and, in combination with vitamin C, reduces cholesterol.

On top of all that, dandelion contains multiple anti-diarrheal and antibacterial properties.

Dandelion greens are high in oxalate, a naturally occurring anti-nutrient found in some fruits and vegetables that binds up minerals preventing their full absorption and can contribute to kidney stones, gallstones, and gout in susceptible people. 

But luckily, oxalate can be easy to mitigate by simple and light cooking as in the recipe below. 

If you pick wild dandelions, rather than purchasing them at the market, you can take advantage of the flower and roots, which also offer health benefits. But be sure to pick dandelions from areas that are safe from lawn pesticides, car exhaust and passing dogs, however.

The dandelion greens that you buy in the market are usually more mild tasting and less bitter than straight from your yard. You can add them to salads, soups, or stir-fries.

The following is one of my favorite recipes for you to try from my friend, Jenny at Nourished Kitchen :

Wilted Dandelion Greens
1 Tbsp whole mustard seed
1 Tbsp grass fed butter
4 ounces nitrite-free bacon, chopped
1 small shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 pound young dandelion greens, rinsed well and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons red wine or apple cider vinegar

Place a cast iron or stainless steel skillet over a high flame and toss in mustard seeds, toasting gently until they release their fragrance – about two minutes.  Transfer mustard seeds to bowl or dish to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Reduce the heat to medium and spoon butter into the skillet, allowing it to melt until it begins to froth.  Add chopped bacon to the butter and fry it until crisped and its fat rendered. Transfer the bacon to the dish holding your toasted mustard seed.

Toss chopped shallot into the rendered bacon fat and fry until fragrant and softened, about three minutes.

Stir in dandelion greens into the chopped shallot and bacon fat, and immediately turn off the heat as the greens will wilt in the skillet’s residual heat.

Pour in vinegar and continue stirring the greens until wilted to your liking.  Transfer to a serving dish and dress with toasted mustard seed and crisped bacon.

Serves 4, Prep time: under 10 minutes

Enjoy dandelion’s massive health benefits!

Till next time, stay healthy and lean!




Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree innursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. She also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

               Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.    

       Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.



Blood Sugar and Premature Aging

Sugar–even small amounts speeds up the aging process

GrumpyBlood Sugar, Insulin and Aging—The Damaging Effects of Sugar

Besides the formation of the highly destructive AGE’s, sugar, in all forms (fructose, sucrose, glucose, galactose, lactose and others) has other ways of inflicting serious damage to your body and speeding up the aging process.

Fructose is the worst of all sugars, but all forms of sugar that affect your body’s blood sugar levels, as well as the resulting insulin can be harmful. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola:

“Fructose in particular is extremely pro-inflammatory, promoting AGE’s and speeding up the aging process. It also promotes the kind of dangerous growth of fat cells around your vital organs that are the hallmark of diabetes and heart disease. In one study, 16 volunteers on a high-fructose diet produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs in just 10 weeks.”

So the internally and externally, limiting sugar in all forms, will go a long way towards slowing down the aging process.

Sugar, especially fructose and sucrose, increase insulin and leptin levels, while decreasing your body’s ability to effectively counteract that rise in blood sugar. This is a major cause of degenerative diseases.

Sugar also weakens or paralyzes the immune system, making your more susceptible to infectious disease, or complications of minor diseases. For example, that minor cold can become the flu, pneumonia or bronchitis—and in some cases deadly if you are elderly and in frail health.

The average American eating a stereotypical Standard American Diet consumes 2.5 pounds of sugar a WEEK. And when you think about adding in the other processed foods such as white or wheat bread, pasta, pastries, and all the refined carbohydrates, which turn into sugar in the body, it’s no wonder there is such a huge increase in diabetes.

Could it be that sugar is THAT bad? In a word…YES!

Let’s define what we are talking about when we say ‘sugar’. We usually think of sugar as the white stuff that sits in cute little bowls on our tables, or in those cute little colorful packets atrestaurants. The truth is there are many different types of sugars and our bodies do not react to all of them in the same way.

“High fructose corn syrup” is the form of sugar that you see on virtually every label of processed or packaged foods, or in most soft drinks. There are many other forms of sugar but for now, let’s concentrate on the two most often consumed sugars, sucrose and fructose.

Regular white table sugar (and brown sugar) is called ‘sucrose’. Sucrose is composed of one molecule of glucose bonded to a molecule of fructose. So, that makes sucrose about 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Fructose is 2x sweeter than glucose. Since table sugar is half fructose, it is lots sweeter than starches (which are also considered a type of sugar) in potatoes, bread or other carbs that also turn into glucose in the body.

The more fructose in any type of sugar, the sweeter it is.

High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. So that makes it sweeter than regular table sugar. Since white sugar and high fructose corn syrup are both a combination of glucose and fructose in our guts, our bodies are going to react in basically the same way to both.

The harmful effects of sugar have to do with the way your body metabolizes the fructose portion of the sugar. For instance, if we eat 100 calories of starchy foods like pasta or potatoes (which is converted to glucose in the body) or 100 calories of table sugar (remember basically 50/50% of glucose and fructose), they are metabolized differently and have a different effect in your body.

This is key:

  • Fructose is metabolized by our livers.
  • Glucose from sugar and starches is metabolized in our cells.
Why does this matter?

Consuming cane sugar or HFCS causes your liver to work very hard to process the fructose. If that sugar comes in a liquid form like soda or fruit juice, the fructose hits your system instantly and causes your liver to go into overdrive in an attempt to process it. And the fructose in High Fructose Corn Syrup hits your liver even faster than regular cane sugar because the fructose is not bound to the glucose in it. So your liver gets a massive shot of fructose!

When fructose is ingested quickly in larger quantities, the liver immediately converts it to fat. The fat becomes a substance called triglycerides, a key contributor to heart disease. Some of these triglycerides float around in your bloodstream and get stored as fat on your body.

However, excess fat is also stored in the liver. Ever hear of ‘fatty liver disease’? When the liver starts storing excess amounts of fat, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome follow, and not far behind then, is type 2 diabetes.

The result—accelerated aging, chronic disease and ultimately, death—all from excess sugar.

Some other ways fructose accelerates aging and disease:

  • Fructose elevates uric acid, which not only leads to high blood pressure, but also chronic, low-level inflammation which can affect virtually every system in yourbody to speed up aging and multiple chronic diseases. Ever heard of gout? This is a painful form of arthritis in which the uric acid forms crystals on joints, mainly in the feet and hands.
  • Fructose tricks your body into gaining weight by turning off your body’s appetite- control system. Consuming foods containing fructose actually makes you hungrier, by confusing your hormones. You don’t feel full when you should, so you keep eating.
  • Fructose quickly and easily leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity (yes, this is where the dreaded “belly fat” comes from), decreased HDL (good cholesterol), increased LDL (bad cholesterol), elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure, which leads to metabolic syndrome. And of course, it can continue straight to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

In 1980, only about 1 in 7 Americans were obese, and about 6 million people had diabetes—it was not a common disease. Today, 1 in 3 Americans are obese, and 19 million Americans have diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet (2011).

Another seven million people are estimated to have undiagnosed diabetes. That’s 26 million people! Add to that another 79 million people with ‘pre-diabetes’.

That’s staggering!! That combined number is approximately 100 million people with diabetes or pre-diabetes in the United States. That’s one third of the population!

Diabetes leads directly to premature aging (including wrinkly, saggy skin) and more serious complications including:

  • Heart disease and strokes
  • High blood pressure
  • Blindness
  • Kidney disease
  • Nervous system disease (neuropathy)
  • Amputations of extremitiesWe know that one of the most accurate predictors of heart disease and diabetes is a condition called ‘metabolic syndrome’. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) at least 75 million Americans have metabolic syndrome, and probably many more have it but have not yet been diagnosed.What is metabolic syndrome? It means your body has become resistant to insulin. Normally when you eat carbs or sugar, blood sugar goes up, insulin is then released to counter the rise in blood sugar, and blood sugar goes back to a normal level.If your diet is high in sugars and starchy foods, your body is continually pumping out insulin to lower your blood sugar. Eventually your cells stop responding to insulin, and your pancreas cannot create enough insulin in response to the demand, and it becomes exhausted. Blood sugar levels begin rise out of control, and stay constantly high, until you end up with type 2 diabetes.Add one more deadly disease that is tied directly to sugar and insulin—Cancer.

According to World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer: Your chances of getting cancer are much higher if you are obese, diabetic or insulin resistant.

What’s the connection? Sugar.

And, your chances of dying from a form of malignant cancer are way higher if your diet is high in sugar. Cancer researchers now know that the problem with insulin resistance and cancer is that as we secrete more insulin, we also secrete a related hormone known as ‘insulin-like growth factor’, and the insulin encourages bigger tumor growth.

Craig Thompson, president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, says many human cancers depend on insulin for fuel to grow and multiply. Some cancers develop mutations that actually feed off the insulin, and other cancers just take advantage of the elevated blood sugar and insulin levels from those with metabolic syndrome, obesity or type 2 diabetes.

Many of the pre-cancerous cells would never acquire the mutations that transform them into malignant tumors if they weren’t being driven by insulin to take up more and more blood sugar and metabolize it.

The Trouble With Grains

When you take a look at the food supply of highly civilized societies, the common denominator is an overload of carbohydrates and processed grains—often combined with sugar or fructose (in the form of high fructose corn syrup) to make that starchy stuff even more desirable and addictive. Our bodies quickly begin to crave that junk and the short term high we get from those foods.

Wheat and corn are two of the worst carbohydrates for raising blood sugar and increasing aging.

Cave men didn’t eat grains–at least nowhere close to the form we eat today. And, consumption of grain in civilized countries has been increasing for the last 30-50 years, to the point where grain is the primary food in many people’s diets.

As grain consumption has gone up, so have the numbers of obese and overweight people–in direct relationship to grain consumption.

Today, flours are more refined than ever, missing fiber and essential nutrients. The modernized version of wheat, triticum aestivum, is very different from the wheat used by our ancestors.

Modern wheat has been genetically altered and manipulated to become a far different plant than it previously was.

The gluten proteins in modern wheat are much different than the gluten in the wheat of the past. This is possibly one of the reasons for the sudden increase in the incidence of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

Wheat gluten can be related to a whole range of inflammatory diseases, and even for those who are seemingly not gluten-sensitive, it causes low-level, long-term inflammation.

Many people would never connect these symptoms with eating grains; but weight gain, and emotional, physical, and mental symptoms are fairly frequent with gluten sensitivity–whether you think you have a problem with gluten, or not.

Gluten sensitivity dramatically increases inflammation not only in the digestive system, but in the whole body system as well. Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease also block the absorption of important nutrients, creating deficiencies that lead to frequent illnesses, chronic disease, a weakened immune system, mental problems, and dementia.

Wheat also contains a type of sugar called Amylopectin A that raises blood sugar shockingly high. Eating just two slices of whole wheat bread (the kind we’re told is ‘healthy’) raises blood sugar higher than eating two Tablespoons of pure cane sugar.

High blood sugar leads to insulin release, fat storage, weight gain, production of AGE’s, and inflammation. It’s a vicious circle.

All of this leads to accelerated aging and chronic disease.

Corn may be an even bigger problem. Bumper crops of corn keeps corn prices low which in turn helps to keep many of the items we buy at the store low-priced. Corn, in some form, is in an overwhelming majority of packaged foods that we buy from conventional grocery stores.

Corn has a very high sugar content and it blocks nutrients from being utilized in the body.It can cause a variety health issues, such as dermatitis, diarrhea, and depression.

So, a diet high in processed grains—especially corn and wheat—actually hastens the aging process and causes increased inflammation and susceptibility to disease.

Control Blood Sugar to Slow Aging

Eating a more Paleolithic type diet that is mostly grain-free is a very good way to control blood sugar and the resulting AGE’s as well. This type of diet emphasizes eating real foods, such as naturally raised (grass fed) meat and fish, along with ample amounts of healthy fats, while avoiding grains, processed foods and sugars.

Foods higher in fiber are low glycemic, as well as foods that are primarily fat or protein. When eating a food that has a high sugar or starch content, such as fruit, pair it with a protein and/or a healthy fat to slow down the absorption in the digestive system. This helps to keep blood sugar low as well.

Meats and other proteins such as cheese, eggs, fish and chicken are all low glycemic. Avoid processed meats, though, including lunchmeat and sausages, as these often have surprisingly high amounts of sugar in them.

Healthy fats are low glycemic as well. Extra virgin olive oil, butter, avocados, cheeses, nuts, coconuts and coconut oil are all low glycemic.

Focusing on low glycemic foods instead of processed, packaged foods with added refined starches and sugar goes a long way towards avoiding blood sugar ups and downs and ultimately is the key to a longer life, and slowing the entire aging process.

Your ‘Second Brain’ and Anxiety and Depression

Surprising connection between mood and gut flora.

In school, we all learned about our primary nervous system, which is composed of the brain and spinal cord and its capabilities. But did you know that your gut actually contains one of the largest concentrations of nerves in the body and plays a large role in your emotions, moods and brain function?

Ever hear or say, “I had a gut feeling”? Or have you ever had “butterflies” when nervous, or been so upset you couldn’t eat?

Well, these are real feelings that emanate from your digestive system.

Both your enteric nervous system in your gut and your central nervous system were formed out of the same tissue in fetal development. These two nervous systems are connected and communicate via the vagus nerve, which runs from your brain stem to the nervous system in your gut.

The enteric nervous system in the gut is made of sheaths of neurons embedded in the walls of the entire gut, which is about 9 meters long from the mouth to the anus.

This second brain contains somewhere around 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system!

This multitude of neurons in the enteric nervous system enables us to “feel” the inner world of our gut and its contents.

Your gut bacteria play an active and integral role in your body, and help the immune system, synthesize nutrients and process foods.
And as the latest research shows, are extremely integral in your brain and mental health.

What is also very interesting, however, is that about 90% of the fibers in the vagus nerve, carry information from the gut to the brain, and not the other way around.

These messages from the gut to the brain can have a powerful influence on moods, Including anxiety and depression.

Scientists also know that the enteric nervous system manufactures around 95% of the body’s serotonin, an important (feel good) brain chemical that has a direct effect on moods and even some mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, and OCD.

When you consider that your gut is your “second brain,” it becomes easy to see how your gut health can impact not only brain function, but psyche, and even behavior as well.

Abnormal gut flora, as well, can be directly tied to abnormal brain function. In coming years, psychiatry will most certainly expand to treat the second brain along with the brain in your head.  In fact, some of the more cutting-edge physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists are now looking at digestive issues such as IBS, food allergies, and gluten intolerance as contributing to mental illnesses.

Our gut bacteria may actually have a very significant influence on early brain development and behavior, and the absence or presence of particular microorganisms in infancy can permanently change gene expression.

Gut bacteria can influence signaling pathways involved in learning, memory, and motor control. This suggests that gut bacteria are closely tied to early brain development and subsequent behavior and learning deficiencies.

Adding in the right probiotics (healthy bacteria) to your daily routine have also been found to influence the activity of hundreds of your genes, helping them to express in a positive, disease-fighting manner.

The types and function of your gut bacteria are extremely dependent on how things such as whether you were born via vaginal birth or by C-section, whether you were breastfed as a baby, and your diet and lifestyle choices, including whether you have a history of taking antibiotics and other medications, such as antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRI’s).

Besides antibiotics, and junky processed foods, our gut bacteria are also highly susceptible to:
•    Chlorinated and fluoridated water
•    Antibacterial soap
•    Agricultural chemicals
•    Pollution

So how to get your gut flora under control?

First of all, if you have any type of IBS, gluten sensitivity, or other allergies, or if you have ever had issues with anxiety, depression, or any other mental or emotional issues, try cutting out gluten, corn and dairy first. Then cut out processed foods (like fast food, hot dogs, lunch meat, processed cheeses and frozen dinners), and sugars—including those in sodas and added to other foods. A diet heavy in processed foods and sugars will likely grow harmful bacteria. And sugars–of all kinds–feed bad bacteria and yeasts like candida, totally upsetting the delicate balance of the healthy intestinal flora.

Introduce large populations of healthy bacteria. While changing your diet can help, getting a good dose of probiotics can be hastened by taking a broad-spectrum supplement containing Bifidobacterioum longum, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus among others.

The December 2011 issue of Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility reported that Bifidobacterium is actually known to decrease anxiety by decreasing the excitability of enteric neurons.

Other research also found the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus increased GABA, a calming neurotransmitter that regulates many physiological and psychological processes, also reducing the stress related hormone,  corticosterone.

So take care of your second brain, and you will affect not only your overall health, but you may find that you end up with a happier, less stressed, relaxed outlook on life. This, as you know, has far-reaching implications in every area of your health and wellbeing. You truly are what you eat. And you truly feel (good or bad) based on what you eat.

A Votre Sante!


CAT cropped headCatherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and wellness specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. She also has 4 books including the popular “Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 300,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

                                                  Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                                      Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.


  • Mercola, The Root Cause of Anxiety and Depression That Few Suspect, May 3, 2012.



Antioxidants Don’t Work Unless You Eat THIS

An ESSENTIAL food to eat to absorb nutrients


People are still so polarized about fats.

While some people are still adamantly anti-fat, there is a ton research out there that shows that avoiding fat is not only very unhealthy, but it doesn’t help with weight loss or better cholesterol levels either.

IF you stay up to date with the latest nutrition news, you probably already know that certain fats are not only healthy for you, but they are absolutely ESSENTIAL for your  good health!

We already know that saturated fats are extremely beneficial to our health—especially the saturated fat from coconut oil, fatty fish, grass-fed meats, whole milk, egg yolks, lard, and grass fed butter, right?

And, we know that monounsaturated fats like the fat in extra virgin olive oil is full of healthy and powerful antioxidants, along with the healthy fats from avocados and nuts.

Healthy fats, including saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, Omega 3’s and (to a lesser extent) Omega 6 and 9 fats, are essential for many important body and brain functions.

Here’s a few ways contribute to your good health:

  • Fats, especially cholesterol, make up our cell walls, which helps the immune system, brain function, healing, rebuilding, cell respiration, energy production, and more.
  • Saturated fats are necessary for lining the lungs which is necessary for ease of breathing.
  • Fats are a necessary component of myelin, the fatty material that covers nerve cells and brain cells, and enables them to signal properly.
  • The brain is made up of primarily fat. Omega 3 fats and saturated fats are actually necessary for proper function and repair of brain cells.
  • Cholesterol is necessary for production of hormones testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and other essential hormones in the body.
  • Fat is important to help us feel satiated and helps maintain a stable blood sugar.
  • Omega 3 fats and saturated fats are necessary to utilize calcium properly.
  • Fat is converted to fuel, which is burned as an energy source, as long as you are not eating a diet high in sugar or starch.
  • People who eat diets rich in natural fats like lard, butter and coconut oil, and omega 3 fats will smoother, younger looking skin than people who eat a diet high in vegetable oils.

Over the last several years, there’s been tons of research on the healing powers of individual nutritional compounds in foods, such as lycopene, vitamin D and essential fatty acids.

But, it has been found that certain nutrients work better together to create a bigger nutritional bang than when eaten alone. This is what we call, “food synergy”, and it’s one of the reasons why eating a wide variety of healthy foods can create far better health than eating a narrow selection of the same foods. Food synergy can help the prevention of many serious, chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, to name just a few.

Food synergy is very important when it comes to absorbing vitamins and antioxidants.

Including a healthy form of fat with your meals is absolutely necessary to absorb the valuable nutrients from certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that dietary fat is absolutely necessary for the proper absorption of nutrients from fruits and vegetables. In this particular scientific study, one group ate a salad consisting of spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots with fat-free dressing and another group ate the salad with a dressing that contained fat. Those who ate the salad with fat absorbed far more of the beneficial phytonutrients from the vegetables in the salad.

Similar studies from Ohio State University and Iowa State University also found the same results:  Adding healthy fats like nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, whole eggs, organic cheese, or avocado to your salad bowl can increase the amount and absorption of beneficial antioxidants, such as the lutein in the leafy greens, lycopene in tomatoes and red peppers, and beta-carotene in carrots — your body absorbs.

And, in fact, a 2008 Journal of Nutrition study reported that those who ate more alpha- and beta-carotenes, the compounds in bright yellow, orange or red colored fruits and vegetables, had about a 20% lower risk of dying from heart disease over a 15-year period.

Many of these antioxidants and vitamins, require fat to be absorbed and put to use in the body. This is especially true for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2, as well as the antioxidants lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene.

How does this work? When fats are eaten, the body responds by squirting bile (a digestive enzyme made in the liver), into the small intestine. Bile breaks up the fat into tiny globules called micelles that transfer their contents to the intestinal wall, where the nutrients are absorbed and sent into the bloodstream.

NO FAT ==> no bile secretion ==> no carotenoid absorption.

Many fats themselves are rich sources of nutrients. For example, one of the best sources of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, is red palm oil. Choline from egg yolks is an important nutrient for liver function. Cod liver oil is a great source for both vitamins A and D. And whole milk and butter from grass fed cows is rich in vitamin K2, necessary to prevent osteoporosis.

Many of the super powered, antioxidant spices  also require healthy fats to maximize their super powerful nutrients as well. Turmeric, cinnamon and ginger are some of those super powered spices that work best with some fat. For example, in order for the curcumin from turmeric to appear in the blood in large enough amounts to have beneficial effects on your health, it must be combined with a fat like olive oil, coconut oil,  butter,  whole milk, or cheese for optimum effect.

Here’s a really good example of what happens to some of vital nutrients if not eaten with some fat so they are absorbed properly. This actually happened to a good friend of mine a few years ago.

A while back when the low-fat craze was all the rage, my good friend, who was into bodybuilding and also a vegetarian, got too carried away with eating a low fat diet. She started avoiding ALL fats thinking they would make her gain too much body fat. Well, obviously she was not able to absorb a lot of necessary nutrients since she wasn’t eating any fat, but it was especially noticeable with vitamin A. She was constantsly craving and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables that contained beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in our bodies—as long as it’s eaten with some fat.

Well, of course she wasn’t eating any fat, so the beta-carotene had nowhere to go and her body couldn’t use it. She ate so much of these beta-carotene rich foods, that her skin actually started turning very orange!

In the absence of fat in her diet, her body could not do a thing with all that beta-carotene except to store it in her tissues. Needless to say, she became extremely deficient in a lot of vital nutrients that required fat, and she started having serious health issues because of this.

Once she finally went back to eating healthy fats, her body was able to absorb and uiltize the nutrients she was eating and her health came back, and her skin went back to being a normal color instead of orange.

Guess what the first thing she ate was? Organic, grass fed beef liver! Liver just so happens to one of the most potent sources of vitamin A, and it is also full of healthy cholesterol that is necessary to properly utilize the vitamin A.  So, you see, my friend was in dire need of vitamin A, (and cholesterol too) which she could not absorb with her fat-free diet!

While fat is necessary for good nutrition, the type of fat you eat matters. A lot.

When consuming dietary fat to improve your health, there are some important rules to follow:

  • Avoid unhealthy fats, especially trans fats and hydrogenated fats. Plant fats are fine but stick to unprocessed fats like avocado, coconut, nuts and seeds—NOT vegetable oils, that are highly processed and inflammatory.
  • You don’t need to overdo it — you only need a small amount of fat to facilitate vitamin absorption.

One of the best fats to help you utilize nutrients best is coconut oil.

A brand new study recently compared the effects of coconut oil to safflower oil on the absorption of carotenoids from tomatoes. The coconut oil actually enhanced the uptake of the tomato carotenoids to a much greater degree than the safflower oil. This may be because of the fact that coconut oil is made of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and is a saturated fat.

In short, most every meal or snack that you consume should contain some healthy fats, even if only in small portions. I even put coconut oil or grass-fed butter in my organic coffee in the morning, along with a touch of cinnamon—which, I’m certain, helps me absorb some of the healthy phytochemicials and antioxidant properties of the coffee and cinnamon. Yes, organic coffee has antioxidants in it too!

So, include a little coconut oil in your smoothie, add some grass fed butter to your cooked veggies, throw in some sliced avocado and a drizzle of olive oil on your salad. Drink whole milk instead of skim (better yet, drink whole, RAW, unpasteurized milk). Dip your apple slices or banana in some natural peanut butter; grab a handful of nuts to munch with your blueberries, and AVOID all those ‘low fat’ versions of foods you see that are advertised to be more healthy!

Ok, I’m off to enjoy my grain-free, Paleo, organic pumpkin pancakes (high in beta-carotene) slathered in grass-fed butter and a little maple syrup. Mmmm. Can’t wait!


Brown, et al, “Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2004.80(2):396-403

Kadey, Matthew, “Better Together”,, May 2010.

Mercola, Joseph. “Which Oil Will Help You Absorb Nutrients Better?”,, August 20, 2012.

Ribaya-Mercado JD. Influence of dietary fat on beta-carotene absorption and bioconversion into vitamin A. Nutr Rev. 2002 Apr;60(4):104-10.

Traber MG. The bioavailability bugaboo. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;71(5):1029-30.

Tyssandier V, Reboul E, Dumas JF, Bouteloup-Demange C, Armand M, Marcand J, Sallas M, Borel P. Processing of vegetable-borne carotenoids in the human stomach and duodenum. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2003 Jun;284(6):G913-23.

van Het Hof KH, West CE, Weststrate JA, Hautvast JG. Dietary factors that affect the bioavailability of carotenoids. J Nutr. 2000 Mar;130(3):503-6.

Preorder your copy of the The Flat Belly Kitchen  book on Amazon!

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CAT cropped headCatherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. She also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

               Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

       Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.














Calcium Supplements and Heart Attacks

Millions take calcium to prevent osteoporosis, but calcium increases your risk of heart attacks…

skeleton with heart

Millions of people, especially women and elderly people are taking calcium on the misguided advice that calcium supplementation will prevent osteoporosis. Unfortunately without the balance of other bone-promoting minerals, calcium can lead to atherosclerosis (‘hardening’ of the arteries), and heart attacks.

In a study from the National Institutes of Health, published May 2012, it was shown that calcium supplements can actually INCREASE the risk of heart disease. This study showed that men who take calcium supplements are more likely to die of heart disease than those who do not take supplements.

Males who took at least 1000mg of calcium a day, had a 20% higher chance of dying from heart related causes compared to those who did not.

Says the lead Physician in the study, Qian Xiao, “It’s possible that calcium build-up in the blood vessels may affect cardiovascular risks in some people.”

Many of the issues surrounding calcium supplementation have to do with magnesium deficiency.

The fact is, calcium must be taken with magnesium, another vital mineral that is key to preserving bone health and also vital for heart and blood vessel health. If calcium and magnesium are not in the correct balance and ratios in the body, the calcium cannot be utilized properly in the body, and excess calcium can end up in kidneys and blood vessels instead of the bones and teeth.

MAGNESIUM deficiency can induce elevation of intracellular calcium concentrations and actually accelerate atherosclerosis. Calcium is a primary component of atherosclerotic plaque.

Magnesium, on the other hand, is a natural calcium channel blocker and should always be taken addition to supplementing with calcium or when increasing dietary calcium.

Some nutrition experts estimate that about 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium, and since magnesium and calcium must remain in the correct ratios, that means every person with a magnesium deficiency has an overabundance of calcium.

Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, who is a specialist on magnesium and its role in our health, says this about calcium and magnesium:

“Magnesium is the key to the body’s proper assimilation and use of calcium as  well as Vitamin D. If we consume too much calcium with sufficient magnesium, the excess calcium is not utilized correctly and may actually become toxic, causing calcification in the arteries, leading to heart attacks, and cardiovascular disease.”

Says Dr. Dean, “There is an increasing amount of research-based verification suggesting that a high calcium combined with low magnesium intake [will] result in atherosclerosis which is the leading cause of death in the US”.

Magnesium, along with another essential vitamin, vitamin K2, remain two of the most important but overlooked ingredients for bone AND heart health.

While we have all had it drilled into our heads that insufficient calcium can lead to  osteoporosis, did you know that calcium MUST be taken with both magnesium and vitamin K2 for proper absorption and utilization in the body?

Vitamin K2 is a little known, but very essential vitamin, not related to the better known vitamin K1 which comes from dark green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin K2 is somewhat difficult to obtain in the diet, as this vitamin comes primarily from the milk and butter of grass fed cows. The typical dairy products that we get in our grocery stores come from commercially raised, grain-fed cows, and do not contain vitamin K2, so consequently the majority of people get little or none of this essential vitamin.

Without vitamin K2’s ability to help escort calcium to the important areas of the body where it is needed and put to use like the bones and teeth, calcium ends up floating around in the bloodstream, with the excess being deposited in places where it is not needed and not utilized.

As a result, virtually all aging adults may suffer from excess calcium deposits in the brain, glands, heart and blood vessels. Individuals who are able to get enough vitamin K2 in their diets, actually have a 57% reduction in risk of dying of heart disease, and women who take K2 have an 81% reduction in bone fractures.

Bones contain a protein called osteocalcin that functions like studs in a house. When activated by vitamin K2, osteocalcin grabs on to the calcium and holds it in place in the bones and teeth where it is needed.

The ability of vitamin K2 to activate calcium regulating proteins and thus maintain bone density and inhibit calcification is undisputed, yet the majority of adults do not supplement with vitamin K2.

The benefits of calcium supplements in protecting against osteoporosis have been widespread for over 30 years and the result is that the aging population and women have been gobbling large quantities of calcium but neglecting to include magnesium and K2. The result has been an overabundance of calcium in our bodies and runaway osteoporosis.

So for healthy bones, and a healthy cardiovascular system, take calcium in a 1:1 ratio with magnesium, and add vitamin K2. You’ll strengthen your bones, avoid osteoporosis, and greatly reduce your chances of heart disease!



William Falloon, Life Extension Magazine, Collectors Edition, Potential danger of calcium supplements. 2013

Sarah Glynn, “Calcium Supplements Lead to Heart Disease”, Medical News Today, Feb 22, 2013


What is Wrong With Soy?

A few years ago, soy was considered a ‘miracle food’ or a ‘superfood’. But is soy good or bad for you?

No soy. Vector sign.

A few years ago, soy was considered a ‘miracle food’ or a ‘superfood’. Dedicated health fanatics everywhere were slugging down soy milk, soy protein bars, tofu, tofurky and soy everything. But is soy really good for you?
Only a few decades ago, the soybean (unfermented) was considered unfit to eat–even in Asia where it originated. In western civilizations, it has been touted as a “health food”.

The soybean was not even considered edible until the discovery of fermentation techniques. Soy was only eaten as food in a fermented form like tempeh, natto, miso and soy sauce.

Unfermented soybeans contain large quantities of natural toxins which are actually “anti-nutrients”. These anti-nutrients block enzymes that are necessary for digestion and absorption of nutrients.

The natural toxins in soy can also produce serious digestive difficulties digesting proteins and amino acids. Some of the natural toxins in soybeans are growth inhibitors, and since they block nutrient absorption, soy should never be fed to children and babies, even though soy based baby formula has been used for years as a milk substitute.

Soybeans and other legumes contain large amounts of a substance called phytic acid. Phytic acid can be found in hulls of many beans or seeds. It blocks essential minerals–calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and especially zinc from being absorbed.

Soybeans typically contain one of the highest phytate levels of any legume, and even long, slow heating or cooking will not get rid of this substance. Only certain fermenting techniques will remove this nutrient blocker. Phytate content can also be reduced by eating meat with the soy. In many oriental dishes, soy is often consumed in a meal that has meat as a part of the menu.

So then, if you are a vegetarian, eating tofu and soy products as a substitute for meat and protein will most likely cause you to have nutritional deficiencies. Not only does the risk of B12 deficiency go way up, but mineral deficiencies are very common as well. Zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron deficiencies are all very common, but zinc deficiency is usually the worst.

Mineral deficiencies may show up as unnatural cravings for foods like chocolate, and other less-than-healthy foods, like.
Zinc is necessary for a strong immune system and also plays a role in intelligence and behavior, because it is needed for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. Zinc is very important to protein synthesis and collagen formation; it is involved in blood-sugar control, and it is needed for a healthy reproductive system.

Soy is now the number one Genetically Engineered crop in the US. In fact 90% of the soy in the food supply is genetically modified soy. GM soy causes major issues like infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, and scary changes in the cellular structure of major organs. And the antibiotic resistant genes in soy may be responsible for contributing to to new ‘superbugs’.

Children are the most susceptible to the harmful effects of soy and GMO foods. GMO soy has been tied to an increase in allergies, asthma, and a propensity to get antibiotic resistant infections.

Soy protein isolate, (SPI) is the often primary protein component in many soy foods, or protein supplements, as well as baby formulas and some brands of soy milk. What is soy protein isolate? Don’t be fooled, this is not a naturally occurring part of soy. Soybeans are made into a slurry and combined with an alkaline solution to remove the fiber, and then separated using an acid wash and,  finally, neutralized in an alkaline solution.

The acid washing process is done in aluminum tanks, which leach aluminum into the soy products. Soy curds are spray-dried at high temperatures to produce a protein powder. This high temperature, high-pressure process then creates TVP or textured vegetable (or soy) protein. The high temperature processing actually denatures the protein, making it virtually useless.

Nitrites (a potent cancer-causing agent–the same ones that are in processed meats like bacon and salami) are created in the spray drying process, and a toxin called lysinoalanine is formed during the alkaline processing. Does soy still sound like the healthy super food you thought it was?

Soy protein isolate used be a waste product of soy processing. Now, it is transformed from unappetizing by-products into something that will be consumed by human beings. Added flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers and synthetic nutrients change soy protein isolate, into a seemingly delicious manufactured food.

Experiments using soy protein isolate created deficiencies of vitamins E, D, B12, calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, copper, iron and zinc. The test animals also developed an enlarged pancreas and thyroid gland, and fatty livers.

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to be eating soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein. These products are heavily used in school lunch programs, commercial baked goods, diet foods and fast food products, as well as meat substitutes, protein powders, meal replacement shakes, and energy bars. Many third world countries use soy as a main part of food giveaway programs to starving people.

Soy also contains plant estrogens that disrupt the natural balance of hormones in the body. And if you are a man, do you want to be eating or drinking soy products loaded with substances that mimic female hormones, and lower testosterone? High soy consumption an actually contribute to male breast growth, aka – “man boobs” (gynecomastia). Soy’s phytoestrogens can be potentially harmful to women as well, upsetting the delicate natural balance of female hormone.

Excess amounts of soy given to young children and babies can also actually disrupt their sex hormones creating feminine traits in males and females. Unfortunately soy based baby formulas are frequently given to babies as a substitute for milk based formulas.

Soy also interferes with the body’s ability to process the thyroid hormone, a key hormone in metabolism, energy. and fat burning ability. In studies of women who consumed even small quantities of soy, thyroid function was shown to be greatly reduced.

Soy is one of the top ten food allergens, and some rate it fifth or sixth highest of allergenic foods. Allergic reactions to soy are increasingly common, ranging from mild to life threatening, especially due to the fact that most all soy is now genetically modified.

Soy is still being marketed to health-conscious consumers, although it is beginning to lose some of its popularity. While the media and soy producers have created an image in the public’s mind of soy as a healthy ‘natural’ superfood, and a supposedly healthy way to escape the so-called evils of saturated fat and cholesterol, in reality, it is far worse.

Don’t be deceived by clever marketing, soy is not a healthy addition to your diet. Avoid soy!

Do You Have the Power to Change?

How do some people totally change their habits while many of us are stuck in the same rut day in and day out? It appears that the key is…


happy lady

How do some people totally change their habits while many of us are stuck in the same rut day in and day out?

It appears that the key to losing weight, gaining healthy lifestyle habits, exercising regularly, and being very productive in your work all have to do with having a knowledge of how to form good habits.

Did you realize that most of our lives is really just a mass of habitual behaviors? 

In fact almost half of the behaviors we do on a daily basis (about 45%) are based on habits. Yes we humans are truly creatures of habits. But think about it, habits do serve a very good purpose as well. If we had to actually think through everything we did on a day to day basis, we would go nuts with the details. Habits allow us to function in our lives, and our minds can actually be occupied with other, more important thoughts.

Take driving for example. When you first learned to drive, you had to think about everything—and there were a lot of details! Sit down, put on your seatbelt, adjust the seat and mirrors, adjust the radio and temperature controls, take off the parking brake, put the car into reverse, turn around, look behind you, and put your foot on the gas, and back out of your driveway. Put on the brake, put the car into drive, gently press on the accelerator, and drive. And that’s just the first few feet! Now we can drive for several miles and our minds can be totally preoccupied with other thoughts, but we (usually!) get from point A to point B in one piece with no traffic infractions, right? It’s habit.

One of my favorite books “The Power Of Habit,” by Charles Duhigg, takes a close look at habits and how they are formed. In it, he points out that in almost any scenario in life, habits can be changed for the better, provided we know how they work, how to disassemble then and rebuild other better habits in their place.

And yes, learning about habits can fill a whole book, so I am here to highlight a few things that may help see habits in a whole new light.

The funny thing about habits is that once they are ingrained, they sort of disappear and  operate in the background in our brains, making us behave somewhat like robots with automatically pre-programmed behavior.

The key then, to changing some habits, is to learn how to spot those behaviors and find ways to change them.

It’s not always as hard as it may seem.

One of the interesting things about habits is the ‘context’ in which they happen. Many habits are unconscious behaviors that exist because of certain sets of conditions in the environment. When the context changes, then so do the habits.

The same applies to the things you do or don’t do for your diet and health. Most all of those things we do or don’t do for our health are habits. Now here is where the habits become very important. People often eat out of habit, and exercise or NOT exercise out of habit. Perhaps the cue is sitting down in front of the TV at night. Since you are used to munching on something, every time you sit down in front of the TV, you eat—whether you are hungry or not. You eat at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Habit. Sometimes you eat at meals not because you are hungry, but because it’s habit.

Do you follow an exercise routine? If you do, it’s most likely become a good habit. Or, are you TRYING to get an exercise routine in your life? You need to make it a habit.

How do you do that? Well, if you break it down into its parts, you can analyze how habits work and start implementing the changes you desire. But first, it requires a bit of mindfulness on your part and an awareness of the habits you want to change. Being mindful can really make things snowball in your life. So start paying attention to what you are doing. Really paying attention.

When you take a look at any habit, you will find that habits generally have three parts:

  • The cue
  • The routine, which is the actual behavior or habit
  • The reward

Changing any one of these three parts will help to change a habit.

And the coolest thing about changing any one of these three parts of habits is that they often set off a chain reaction that can be so powerful its ripples affect other habits in a good way.

Take exercise for example. When people add the habit of exercise into their lifestyle, generally the ripples of that habit begin to extend to other parts of their lives—in a good way. Often exercise leads to eating better, and that makes you feel healthier. And then that leads to weight loss, which leads to other good things. Because your mood is better and you feel better, perhaps that leads to better relationships in your life. And maybe the improved relationships in your life improve your work and add to its success, and then you make more money, and on and on…

And the ripples can keep on going…and you end up realizing how much control you have over things in your life, things you thought you could never change!

So what’s important to remember here is that when you change a habit to become a positive habit, the immediate reward is not the only the actual positive change.

There is a definite ripple effect that goes on here.

The other thing about habits, and this is one that I KNOW is important, is that tiny changes and minor little habits have a cumulative effect over the course of your life and when you think about those little ‘things’ that you do, day in and day out, these little ‘things’ matter more than some of the BIG things or big changes.

That cookie you had last night while you watched TV is inconsequential, but if you have cookies EVERY night, it become a much bigger thing. And conversely, adding in a small behavior that benefits you in a positive way may not seem like a big deal, but if you do it day after day, after day, after day, the cumulative benefits start to really add up. You gotta look at the big picture here.

Those small decisions can have a huge impact, as they add up over time.  

Ok, so what about old habits, how do we get rid of them, and do they just go away?

Well, first of all, lets talk about physiology first. Habits actually create a neural pathway in your brain. Much like a dirt road becomes a major highway with repeated use, repeated behaviors create neural ‘highways’ so to speak, in your brain. So, yes, reverting to the major highway instead of carving a new path out of the wilderness is the easiest way to go.

But you want to change your habits, right? So that bad habit that has become the super highway, has to be diverted. A detour. And that detour then needs to become a major roadway. Just like cars and traffic help to change narrow little roads into major highways, you can create that major highway in your neural pathways.

It’s just repeated use over time.

What then happens to that now deserted highway in your brain—the neural pathway that was once a major habit? Does it just disappear? Well, no. It’s still there. Like a deserted highway, weeds may grow up around it, and cracks may appear in the road, and eventually it crumbles over time, but it is still there.

So this is where it gets a little tricky.

You have to find a new behavior that responds to the old cue and gives that behavior a reward and build on that.

So let’s break this down.

1.     Be mindful of your daily routine—and remember that’s more than half of the things you do on a day in and day out basis. Pay attention.

 2.     Identify the behaviors or habits you want to change.

 3.     What is the cue that brings on this habit? Is it a time of day, a location, an emotional state, or other people? What happens right before the habit that triggers the behavior?

 4.     And finally, what are the rewards of that habit? Look closely. Think about this one. Find the reward. Its there, no matter how small that reward is and how unconscious, there is a reward.

Let’s use exercise as a habit. Do you have it now? Want it to be a habit? Ok, add in a reward. It can be a seemingly silly as a smoothie at the end of your workout or you get a latte from the local coffeeshop when you are done. Or it’s just the awesome way you feel afterwards.

Identify a cue—perhaps its your alarm clock going off an hour earlier in the morning, perhaps it’s the workout clothes you have at the end of your bed, ready for you when you open your eyes.

And then, repeat. Build that highway in your brain and reap the rewards.

Once you pinpoint the behavior or habit, the cue and the reward, you can make a plan to change it.

Begin now.

Start with ONE habit you want to change. Put a positive one in place of a negative. It may be something as simple as kissing your child, or spouse or significant other every morning and telling them you love them. The cue is the morning, the habit is showing someone you love them, and the reward is the good feeling it provides both you and them. Small, seemingly insignificant, but huge in the course of a lifetime.

Now do that with your eating habits. Take one thing and change it. Do it over and over again and your life changes. Remember the ripple effect? Go for it.

Sometimes it takes a long time. Sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error, but you can do it. Once you figure it out, you can gain power over your habits and make some major changes in your life.

Takeaway #1

Be MINDFUL of the things you do on a day to day basis.

Takeaway #2

Look at habits you wish to add, remove or change. Replace a bad habit with a good one.

Takeaway #3

Identify the cue and identify the reward. Replace the behavior with a positive one. Add in a cue and a reward. Lather, rinse and repeat over and over again, and you are on your way to positive changes in your life.

What habits do you want to change? How successful have you been?

I’d love to see your comments!

Till next time,


Save the Colorado picCatherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, (studying MSN/PH) is an international health, wellness and longevity expert, author, explorer, and adventurer. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing, she has spent the last 30 years studying sustainable diets, health and nutrition all over the world. She also has 4 books including the worldwide best-seller,  “The Fat Burning Kitchen,” “The Top 101 Foods That Fight Aging”, and “The Superfoods Diabetes Reversal Diet”,  and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health

Her mission is to help create a healthier planet and healthier people.

                             Cat’s Global Green Kitchen




Addicted to Food?

Are you addicted and don’t know it? From time to time, we all stray off of our normal ‘healthy’ or weight loss diet. It’s not a big deal unless you have trouble getting back on track…

doughnut-junk food lgAre you addicted and don’t know it?

From time to time, we all stray off of our normal ‘healthy’ or weight loss diet. It’s not a big deal unless you have trouble getting back on track. Did you know you can have hidden addictions to foods that you eat on a regular basis? These addictions can be as strong as nicotine to a smoker or heroin to a junkie.

For most people, it’s foods containing sugar, grains (especially wheat), and dairy products. While these foods seem to be everywhere, they are also actually highly addictive. And don’t be fooled for a second in thinking that food manufacturers don’t know this little factoid, and do their best to put sugar, wheat and dairy in as many things as they can.

These foods can stimulate opiate-like receptors in the brain, and your body actually responds to these foods just as it would heroin or morphine. The opiate-like ingredients in dairy and wheat are proteins, which coincidentally are also known to be highly allergenic. In dairy, that protein is casein, and in wheat, it is gluten.

These proteins trigger the release of exorphins (very similar to endorphins) that go straight to the brain and create a feeling of instant comfort and pleasure. Think of all the combinations of dairy and wheat that people love and consider as comfort foods, or foods they can’t live without: macaroni and cheese, pizza, bagels and cream cheese, cookies and milk, grilled cheese sandwiches, and on and on.

Are sugar, wheat and dairy your weakness? Think about it. Maybe you weren’t even aware of that addiction.

The tough thing about straying off your diet and eating foods with wheat, dairy or sugar makes it especially difficult to get back on track. You become addicted. And just like the heroin junkie who thinks he can have “just a little”—once you’re off track, it becomes exceptionally difficult to break free from these foods’ grasp.

The interesting thing about wheat and dairy is that most often if you find you have a hard time living without, or staying away from these foods, you most likely are allergic to those proteins—the gluten and the casein. And I don’t mean the kind of allergy that makes you break out in hives, and or makes your throat swell, but it is often an allergy, nonetheless.

What do these allergic reactions cause? Inflammation in the form of stuff like bloating, weight gain, (usually excess water) stomachaches, sinus and nasal drainage, earaches, irritability, depression, fatigue, brain fog, ADHD, acne, joint pain, headaches….and non-stop eating.

This vicious cycle of allergy and addiction can interfere with digestion and your body’s ability to extract nutrients from food. It also affects the immune system, helping to magnify allergies, and weaken it’s defense system, so you become more susceptible to viruses, bacteria, and yeast overgrowth.

Ironically, the very foods that you just cannot live without are usually the same foods that cause some of the worst reactions, and cause you to overeat. So you are caught in an allergy-addiction cycle.

Think about it.

Have you ever eaten a bowl of cereal and as you are eating it, you get hungrier and hungrier? Next thing you know you’ve eaten three bowls of cereal. Have you ever said, “I just can’t live without my bagels? Or “My pasta”? You need bread and butter at every meal, or just can’t stop when you eat crackers and cheese? Is your favorite comfort food ice cream or pudding?

Take a look at what you are eating…addiction often lurks in your daily habits.

Does this mean you’re weak? Do you lack willpower? No. It’s just that these addictive substances are wreaking their havoc on you and your best laid dietary plans.

Many ‘diets’ actually contain a built-in plan to fail if they contain dairy, wheat or sugar. How many times have you heard the standard “Eat whole grains and lots of dairy” instruction? Some of the most popular diet plans like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig all contain moderate amounts of the big three addictive allergens—wheat, dairy, and sugar. This should come as no surprise. They want consumers to keep coming back and buying more of this stuff.

Having an allergy-addiction to any one or more of these substances is a little like an alcoholic thinking it’s ok to have just a small glass of wine or beer, instead a big one. What would you guess is going to happen at some point? That small portion grows or becomes more and more frequent.

The best solution to break free of the addiction/allergy cycle is to eliminate wheat, sugar and dairy from your diet altogether. While may sound somewhat extreme, you will be amazed at how much easier it becomes to stick to a healthy diet that keeps you at your optimal weight.

If giving up bread or milk makes you feel anxious and deprived, I can sympathize. I too, was once addicted to bread, milk and sugar as well. I’d try to cut back and cut calories to lose weight, only to end up on a (coffee cake, cookie, bagel, cinnamon toast) wheat binge after a few days.

I tried to eat less only to be on that same Merry-go-Round of addiction and overeating. I gained weight, and I felt awful. It wasn’t until I actually tried a two-week elimination diet, that I realized how fantastic and energetic I felt once I had gotten totally away from those foods.

This blog will go into the details of an elimination diet, but basically you totally remove wheat, dairy and any other foods you feel you just can’t live without. Then you re-introduce them, one at a time, and observe your reactions over a period of 24-48 hours

I’ve kinda developed and evolved a dietary strategy that helps me get back on track after a few days of this type of dietary disaster. I’d like to share that with you and hopefully you will be able to adopt this and find success as I have.

First of all, the best thing to do is to go ‘cold turkey’. Take the offenders out of your diet, totally. Remember the alcoholic with the small glass of wine? It doesn’t work. Take it all out—the sugar, the wheat and grains (other grains contain addictive gluten-like substances as well), and the dairy.

Then plan out your meals for the next couple days. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but make it super healthy and high fiber. You’re doing a mini detox basically.

Surround yourself with awesome superfood veggies that are brilliant and brightly colored and will make you feel so spectacular that you won’t want to go back to those addictive foods. Add in some top quality protein and good fats and you’re golden. Cravings go away when you give your body what it truly needs.

So the idea is to load your body up with a ton of powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, powerful nutrition to overcome the toxic load you’ve put in your body. And you want to have a lot of veggies in there that will feed your body what it needs and help to clean house as well.

So I generally plan on a few humongous salads with a good portion of healthy protein added in—free range chicken, grass fed beef, or some wild-caught fish, like salmon.


Wheat, Dairy and Sugar are addictive substances, and for many people they produce an allergic, inflammatory reaction in addition to the addiction, making it extremely difficult to eat ‘just a little’. Meanwhile, you make it harder to lose weight and mess with your health.


AVOID Wheat, Dairy and Sugar all the time. Avoid all processed, packaged foods and especially avoid “Diet” foods. Just an alcoholic cannot drink once in a while, neither can you eat this stuff “once in a while”.


When you get off track, quit the grains, sugar and dairy, COLD TURKEY, and arm yourself with a healthy diet plan for the next few days. Load up on veggies and healthy proteins and let your body detox this crap out. You’ll feel better quickly! Have a plan, and have some healthy meals lined up and you will feel satisfied and ‘clean’ again in no time.

Stay healthy and lean, my friends!!





Find out what foods age you the fastest and how to reverse aging here.

The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging

Cat profile close upSM Paleo Carrot & Apple MuffinsCatherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. 

Cat’s  book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

                           Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.










The Number 1 WORST Food for Your Skin, Joints and Blood Sugar

This food that you may eat daily, ages the body, causes arthritis, spikes blood sugar and increases wrinkling and sagging of skin…

breadI’ve got a great article today from my co-author, Mike Geary, who has some surprising facts about one of the foods most people eat daily. You may be shocked to read this!!

And please check out my new Anti-Aging book for only $9. It’s been selling like crazy!


Click here to find out—The #1 WORST Food that CAUSES Faster Aging (beware!)





CatheadandshouldersCatherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. Get the latest Gluten Free, Superfoods Recipe book HERE–The Fat Burning Kitchen Superfoods Recipes. Cat also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

             Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                                       Diet and Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.



Aging Better with Vitamin D

Vitamin D is very important to optimal health, and can affect everything from your immune system (one of the biggest reasons people tend to get sick in the winter) to how well you age…

mamma loves tootieVitamin D is of primary importance to optimal health, and can affect everything from your immune system (one of the biggest reasons people tend to get sick in the winter), to hormone balance, weight gain or loss, muscle strength, bone density, cancer risk, and mental health. Other studies show that vitamin D helps with rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, cancer prevention, blood pressure, and heart disease.

 And most importantly, vitamin D has been scientifically proven to stop or slow the aging process!

And while some of us may be younger and some of us are older, the one fact you cannot argue with is that we are all growing older—whether its fast or slow–so anything that helps us age better is something we can all use.

In a recent British study of over 2100 female twins, scientist looked at telomeres, which are the part of DNA that shortens with aging. (Twins have very similar DNA, so differences were easily noted within the experiment.) One group of the twins was taking vitamin and mineral supplements and the other was not. At the end of the test period, the telomeres of each group were measured.

Telomeres are the lengths of genetic material that cap the free ends of DNA in a cell, and are one of the most reliable measures of aging. As a person ages, the telomeres shorten and the DNA becomes more unstable until eventually the cell dies. While telomeres are all the same length at birth, lifestyle factors such as diet, nutrition, exercise, and other environmental factors will speed up or slow down the length of time it takes for these to deteriorate.

The study found that those with the highest vitamin D levels had significantly longer telomeres, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, meaning that those with higher levels of vitamin D aged more slowly. And the best part–

Researchers found that those in the study with the highest vitamin D levels had DNA that was the equivalent of five years’ younger!

This is one of the reasons that vitamin D has such a strong protective effect on many age-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Vitamin D is primarily made in the skin after exposure to sunlight. It actually takes the UVB rays to convert the sunlight on your skin to vitamin D. Getting sunshine on your skin for at least 20-40 minutes in the middle of the day, when UVB rays are present, is the best way to get natural vitamin D, based on your skin pigmentation (darker-skinned people need more, and lighter-skinned people need less).

 However, from around October to March, if you happen to live in the northern hemisphere, north of 30-35 degrees latitude (roughly north of a line from Los Angeles, California, over to Atlanta, Georgia), the UVB rays are too weak to stimulate vitamin D production.

And if you live even further north, like in Canada or northern Europe, you will need to supplement your vitamin D close to nine months or more out of the year. This means you will have to supplement with vitamin D in the winter AND in the summer, especially if you work or stay inside during the day.

The problem is that many of us have become so sun-phobic and afraid of skin cancer that we are now seriously lacking in this essential pro-hormone.

But—increasing Vitamin D levels from regular small doses of sunshine can actually decrease one’s cancer risk!

According to Dr. William Grant, a noted vitamin D researcher, cancer rates in people living at higher latitudes, such as Iceland, are approximately 4 times higher than the cancer rates of those living at lower latitudes in the tropics.

Our human ancestors functioned well with continual exposure to sunlight, which was estimated at levels of 15,000 to 20,000 IU of vitamin D a day!

Humans were never really designed to get vitamin D solely from food—we were made to get it from being outside in the sunshine. While many of the foods we buy may say, “vitamin D fortified”, in truth, very few foods such as fatty fish (cod liver oil), eggs, and organic liver, naturally contain vitamin D. In fact, the paltry amounts of vitamin D in most vitamin D fortified foods means most people would need to eat 8-10 servings just to meet the current RDA (Recommended Daily Amount), and as we know, the RDA is the bare minimum, not the optimal amount.

The best form of vitamin D is from sun exposure. You cannot overdose on this kind of natural vitamin D; the body converts only what it needs for optimal health. However in winter months when the sun is not strong enough to create vitamin D, or if you are indoors during the day or live in a northern climate, you will need a supplement. That means here in the Midwest too, until sometime in March.

When choosing a vitamin D supplement, it is important to take the natural form of vitamin D, which is vitamin D3, not D2 which is artificially derived.

The optimal healthy range of vitamin D in the blood is around 50-70ng/mg, which can be achieved by taking a supplement of at least 1000IU to 5000IU, according to Dr. Heaney at the Creighton University Medical Center.

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola’s recommendation, however, adults need about 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 per day to reach the optimal levels of 40-50 ng/ml, which should be modified for the seasons if you are in the sun more during the spring and summer.

Too much supplemental vitamin D can lead to toxicity, so it’s a good idea to consult with your physician to get vitamin D levels measured to get a more accurate idea of how to much to take.

Always take vitamin D with meals. When vitamin D is taken with the largest meal of the day, studies show the highest increase in blood levels of vitamin D. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, taking it with a meal that contains some healthy fats help it absorb in the body better.

I highly recommend an OIL-BASED vitamin D3 supplement as it’s better absorbed by your body.  Unfortunately, many D3 supplements use refined soybean oil as their oil of choice, so read labels, since soybean oil is not the optimal type of oil.

Till Next Time,

Stay Healthy, Lean and Young!



Cat profile close upCatherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. Get the latest Gluten Free, Superfoods Recipe book HERE–The Fat Burning Kitchen Superfoods Recipes. Cat also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

             Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                                       Diet and Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.

The Friendly Critters in Our Gut Known as Probiotics

We often think of bacteria as harmful, however there are organisms that live in our digestive tracts that are necessary for our health…


Gut-Friendly Organisms We Want to Have

What are probiotics? Probiotics are tiny organisms that exist in a healthy human gastrointestinal tract.

Probiotics were discovered when a Nobel Prize-winning Russian microbiologist traveled to Bulgaria and observed people drinking fermented milk and living longer, healthier lives. For thousands of years many cultures ate fermented foods before refrigerators came about, as a safe way of storing and eating foods. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria that our bodies need for healthy functioning.

These probiotics are the good bacteria that populate our digestive systems. This lining of the intestinal tract in our bodies is key to optimal health. Healthy bacteria colonies help to break down foods we eat, manufacture and metabolize vitamins, and other vital nutrients, and filter out waste. But our intestinal organisms are even more complex than just that.

While the general health of the whole body, including our mental health depends on the ability of our digestive system to break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates in our foods into useable nutrients. It’s these friendly bacteria, or probiotics that live in our guts that have a real impact on our overall health.

Unfortunately, today’s modern diets are processed, pasteurized and basically ‘dead’ foods. What happens when people eat a diet heavy in processed, ‘dead’ foods, is that harmful bacteria then take over in the digestive systems, causing many problems—not only with the digestive system, but the body as a whole. Many diseases start in an unhealthy environment in our guts. And this becomes even worse from taking antibiotics. While antibiotics can kill dangerous pathogens, they also kill off the healthy and beneficial bacteria in our bodies as well.

Probiotic actually means“for life,” and probiotics like lactobacillus, plantarum and bifidis help immune cells fight disease, prevent diarrhea and constipation, protect the mucous lining of the intestine, assist digestion and provide the proper nutrients for healthy blood cells. Probiotics are also responsible for the manufacture of B vitamins and vitamin K right in the intestines where are immediately absorbed.

The tiny organisms that live in our digestive system can have a huge impact on our health. And what we eat determines what kinds of organisms we have. Unhealthy, processed, starchy or sugary foods can cause bad bacteria to grow out of control, making our immune systems weak, and affecting our ability to metabolize and synthesize vitamins and nutrients.

The intestines also function as one of the body’s most important immune defenses. In fact, 70-80% or so of the body’s immune cells are present in the intestines. Of course our immune systems protect us from dangerous viruses, bacteria, and parasites, but they also control responses to foods and food allergies as well.

The intestinal tract is the largest interface between the body and the external environment, and actually contains more surface area than our skin. Signals from nerve cells, endocrine cells, and immune cells in the intestines affect tissues and organs throughout the entire body. There are nearly a billion neurons in the intestinal nervous system.

It’s really no wonder then that people say they have a “gut feeling”.

Amongst this complicated and highly specialized system, live organisms that have a powerful effect on our health. These beneficial bacteria fight off dangerous organisms and potentially harmful invaders. Probiotics regulate our immune responses, and suppress excessive inflammation as well.

But too many antibiotics which kill off all bacteria, good or bad; toxins in the environment, and a bad diet high in sugar and starch will throw off this delicate balance. And yes, simply growing older can throw off this balance of beneficial bacteria too.

Negative changes in our intestinal flora can be associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. It is now thought that many allergic reactions, asthma, and even obesity are tied to bacterial imbalances in the gut.

The good news though, is that adding the right types of probiotics and good bacteria will maintain or restore a healthy balance in your intestinal tract and improve overall health in the entire body, and fight aging.

For example, higher levels of beneficial bacteria are actually an aid to weight loss, as overweight people tend to have low levels of the right kinds of bacteria. This chronic exposure to unhealthy bacteria in the intestines causes system-wide inflammation and can lead to metabolic syndrome, which, as you may already know, is the beginning of diabetes and heart disease.

The right probiotics can help to lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol and improve insulin sensitivity. And most importantly, probiotics may play a major role in preventing cancers, both inside and outside the intestinal tract—especially cancers of the colon, liver and bladder.

Two types of bacteria, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, have been found to be highly beneficial to health. Studies have shown that they can actually prevent potentially harmful bacteria from attaching to the lining of our digestive systems, help achieve the right acid-base balance for the intestines, support the gut lining and other intestinal microflora and provide strength and support for the immune system.

In two separate human studies it’s been shown that probiotics directly improve the body’s immune response. One study showed that ingesting probiotics for only a short time caused significant increases in the cytotoxic ability of natural killer cells. And, another study of subjects in their fifties who consumed a dairy drink with a strain of Lactobacillus found the same benefit.

Study after study has shown that probiotics help keep people healthier, especially the aging population. As you age, the immune system weakens and the healthy balance of bacteria and organisms in the digestive system begins to break down.

Although we typically think of probiotics benefiting just the intestines, they actually benefit the whole digestive system, including the mouth, throat, stomach, and vaginal tract.

Some of the other ways probiotics can benefit your body:

  • Probiotics can prevent wrinkles and give you a glowing complexion by eliminating the toxins and fighting free radicals that can damage skin and cause early signs of wrinkling and sagging. And probiotics help you digest your food better, so you get more nutrients in your body.
  • Probiotics can help you burn fat better by reducing cravings for carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol and help you have more energy to be more active
  • Probiotics clean your liver which is reflected in your skin and eyes. When you keep toxins from building up in the liver, you have younger looking skin with less liver spots, moles and skin tags, and you have bright, clear eyes.
  • Probiotics help your hair and fingernails grow faster and stronger by keeping the blood vessels surrounding your hair follicles nourished. Healthy blood nourishes hair, skin and nails. Probiotics also help to break down proteins in the diet that benefit hair and nails.

Although probiotics have been known about for a long time, we are just beginning to understand just how important their role is in fighting aging, maintaining good health, strengthening the immune system, and fighting disease.

There are hundreds of probiotic products available in foods, drinks and supplement forms. The following tips can help you choose a high quality probiotic product:

  • Make sure the probiotics are live cultures. Many yogurts and other food products brag about containing probiotics, but unless they are ‘live’, they won’t do any good.
  • Look at how many CFU’s are present in each serving, and go for the highest number.
  • Look for the type of bacteria present. Some of the better known ones are acidopholus, lactobacillis, and bifido bacteria. These strains are also highly beneficial: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Streptococcus thermophilus, bifidobacteria, and Saccharomyces boulardii.
  • If you are taking supplements, make sure the product is enteric coated, meaning that it will survive the acid environment in the stomach to get to the small or large intestine where it is needed.
  • And most probiotics will die in a warm or hot environment, so be sure to buy from a trusted source that keeps their products cool enough to be viable.

Most probiotics do not have any adverse side effects but read labels carefully and take as directed. Some probiotics may have a very ‘cleansing’ effect on the digestive system—especially if you are not used to them.

Healthy Probiotic Foods

Yogurt-Avoid the sweetened, heavily processed yogurts, and instead go for unsweetened, plain, organic types of yogurt. And be sure the label says, “Live cultures”.

Kefir-A cultured milk product and is helpful to those with lactose intolerance. Kefir contains different types of beneficial bacteria than yogurt does, as well as beneficial yeasts. Kefir contains more bacterial strains that remain viable in the digestive system, increasing the likelihood of intestinal colonization.

Kombucha Tea-This tea is made from a culture of symbiotic beneficial bacteria and yeasts that has been popular in China for the last 2,000 years. Kombucha contains many important amino acids, B vitamins, and powerful substances that enhance the immune system. It’s also known to be effective against many cancers.

Kimchi-This traditional spicy Korean condiment is made of cabbage and other vegetables and seasoned with salt, garlic, ginger and chili peppers. Fermented vegetables make them easier to digest as well as the vitamin levels.

Sauerkraut-This cabbage dish has been salted and lacto-fermented over a period of weeks. The healthy bacteria in sauerkraut produce beneficial enzymes as well as having antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances.

Miso-Miso is made from cultured paste of soybeans. Salt and water are the only other ingredients of natural miso. The enzymes break down and help to pre-digest the proteins, starches, and fats into amino acids, simple sugars and fatty acids. Miso is often used as a soup base but is great in sauces, marinades and dressings as well. Always use unpasteurized miso, and don’t boil it; high temperatures will kill the beneficial microorganisms.

Tempeh-Another healthy form of fermented soybeans (generally soybeans are not a healthy food-unless they are fermented). This soy food is easier to digest and provides many valuable vitamins and nutrients, as well as protein, calcium and iron. The mold that is produced from the fermentation produces a natural antibiotic that strengthens the immune system.

Umeboshi-Salty, sour lacto-fermented pickled plums that originated in Japan. Umeboshi are highly alkaline and help to stimulate the digestive system, and promote elimination of toxins. They also possess natural antibiotic properties and are very beneficial for intestinal health.

Pickles-There are almost limitless varieties of lactofermented vegetables you can make using salt, temperature and a controlled environment. Most pickles purchased from the store, are made using vinegars and heat processing, which eliminates the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that result from natural fermentation–check the label to ensure pickles are actually fermented.

Fermented drinks-Besides kombucha and kefir, there are beginning to be many fermented fruit and vegetable drinks showing up on the shelves of many healthy grocery stores and health food stores. One of my favorites is called, “Inner Eco” and can be purchased at Whole Foods and other healthy food stores. This product contains one of the highest concentrations of beneficial bacteria with over 100 billion probiotics per Tablespoon!

CatheadandshouldersCatherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. Get the latest Gluten Free, Superfoods Recipe book HERE–The Fat Burning Kitchen Superfoods Recipes. Cat also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

Wellness Made Easy. Simple Smart Nutrition and Simple Smart Health.


Detox Your Body, Lose Weight, and Feel GREAT

The Holidays are over and it’s time to get back on track with your diet and fitness. First order of the day is to get the junk out of your system. A Detox diet will give you immediate results…

flat belly fit girl

So it’s time to get back on track with your diet and your fitness. First order of the day is to get all that junk out of your system.

For those of you who haven’t yet started a detox diet (now is the time to do it, as you will have lots of others to commiserate with), this will really help you get all that sugar, toxins from excessive alcohol, and processed junk out of your system.

I developed my own Detox Diet, and I wanted to share that with you. I have it divided into three phases of three or so days. The first three days are probably the most difficult as you may actually have some withdrawal and detox reactions, but stay with it–it’s well worth it once you get through this part!

I noticed that I lost weight, (ok so I don’t weigh myself) but my pants were all fitting looser after the FIRST THREE DAYS!

I didn’t move on to the next part until my headache had gone away–that’s a detox sign and if you have a headache or other physical complaints, you need to get all of this out of your system first before you move on.

Although I eat a primarily Paleo diet, I removed the meat for the first three days to speed up the detox/elimination part of it. This makes foods move through your system quicker, and the raw vegetables add tons of enzymes and nutrition, while the fiber helps to ‘sweep’ out your digestive system, pulling out toxins, and crud that may be lining your intestines. Yes, over time, crud can actually become plastered to your small and large intestines, blocking nutrient absorption and adding to your toxic load.

The Simple Smart Detox Diet

Phase One (First 3 Days)–

You are eating primarily raw fruits and vegetables. On Day One, stick to only raw fruits and veggies. You can have these in a salad, smoothie, or just eat plain as something to munch on.

On Days Two and Three, you may add in some legumes such as organic lentils or other beans (except soybeans) for added protein. Quinoa is also allowable. Continue on raw foods for breakfast and lunch, but you may have lightly cooked or steamed veggies or soup for dinner. See my recommendations in the meal plan below.

Drink water with lemon, as much as you want throughout the day. You may also drink green tea and if desired, you may sweeten with a small amount of RAW honey.

It’s also ok to add a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice to your salads.


  • All sugar (except small amounts of honey)
  • All meat, poultry and fish
  • All dairy
  • All grains, including gluten free options, and all processed flours
  • All soy based foods
  • All processed foods–this means ANYTHING that comes in a box, bag or can with more than one ingredient.
  • All preservatives, chemicals, pesticides, hormones, etc.
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee–except 1 cup organic coffee if desired

Phase Two (Second 3 Days–or when your headache and other symptoms go away)

Diet is the same as above, but you can now add in nuts, legumes and some fish or chicken if desired, but only organic/wild caught etc. Eggs are ok if they are organic or free range.

You may add back in healthy fats such as butter, coconut oil, and virgin olive oil. Avoid any processed oils such as cottonseed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil or corn oil.

Organic potatoes are allowable, but only in the evening and only in small amounts. The bulk of your diet should be raw veggies, a serving of fruit (as in one apple or one banana, a half cup of berries, etc.) Make sure the fruit you eat is in whole form, with no sugar or anything else added.

It’s also allowable to have ONE glass of white wine per day if you’d like. No other alcohol–no beer, red wine or hard liquor.

Phase Three (The last three to four days)

Begin allowing in some red meat, but only if it is organic and/or grass fed meat. Avoid any commercially raised grain fed meats with hormones, antibiotics, etc.

Grains such as quinoa or white or brown rice are allowable for one meal a day.

There you have it!

You should be feeling energetic, clean, and much lighter!

A detox diet is essential to get you on the path to weight loss, back to good health or to address food allergies or sensitivities. Detoxing rids your body of toxic chemicals, digestive ‘sludge’, and inflammation that may build up from eating a conventional diet or a diet that is too heavy in sugars, starches, refined grains or anything else that we know is not good for us.

Some things to keep in mind during your detox:

You will most likely have a dull headache the first few days. If it persists more than the first two or three days, up your water intake, eat a small amount of ‘clean’ protein, and get plenty of rest. And stay on Phase One for another day until your headache goes away. It will–it’s just your body getting rid of built-up ‘CRUD’ and it doesn’t feel good when it starts getting into your system as your body starts to clean house.

Eat raw two meals a day, then you may have lightly cooked veggies and some clean protein for dinner.

Eating a raw, almost vegan style, clean diet during the detox may produce some digestive discomfort. This is your body  adjusting to these foods and taking a digestive enzyme will go a long way towards helping this. However, you may have a little gas or feel bloated as your body tries to get rid of waste material. This is normal.

Because you are eating a very high fiber diet full of enzyme rich veggies, AND because your body is ridding itself of waste materials and detoxing and cleaning house, so to speak, you may be visiting your bathroom more frequently than usual. Just keep this in mind, as you may not want to do this detox diet when you are required to sit through long meetings, or taking a transcontinental flight.

For the full day by day, blow by blow, meal plan, please enter your email address below and I will send the step by step guide with meal plans and recipes.

There is a simple, smart way to achieve effortless weight loss and end your food addictions once and for all. The Simple Smart Detox Plan will be sent immediately to you.

We respect your email privacy

Let me know how your detox goes! I’d love to hear from you on your symptoms, the process, and how you feel after you do the whole ten days.


DSC_6810Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. 

Get the latest Gluten Free, Superfoods Recipe book HERE–The Fat Burning Kitchen Superfoods Recipes. Cat also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

                           Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.


Powerful Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory Applesauce with Turmeric

The yellow color in curry, and mustard, too, comes from a spice called Turmeric, and it has some amazing health benefits.


Do you like mustard? Or–what about curry?

Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as a dye, as a spice for dishes, and also in traditional Indian medicine. Turmeric has some of the world’s most powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties of any food or spice you can eat.

What is turmeric and why should I add it to my foods?

Turmeric grows as a shrub in India and tropical parts of Asia, and it’s roots are ground up to make turmeric. The primary ingredient in turmeric is something called curcumin and it is deep yellow. This deep yellow spice has  incredible medicinal properties as well as it’s pungent taste and color.

Indian medicine uses this spice as a cleansing agent in the body, an aid for digestion, and in treatments for fevers, infections, liver and gall bladder problems, and arthritis. It is also known to help burn fat–by raising metabolism, and is known to prevent heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. In fact it it one of the reasons scientists actually think eastern Indians have so few incidences of Alzheimer’s and dementia in the elderly. This powerful spice is also known to be very effective in killing cancer cells as well.

The massive amounts of antioxidants shut down free radicals which are a primary cause in aging, disease and cancer. Many natural practitioners actually recommend turmeric when a potent antioxidant or anti-inflammatory is needed.

Turmeric  also stimulates  the flow of bile in the gall bladder and therefore is very effective as a digestive aid and fat-burning compound. It is very effective at lowering inflammation from IBS, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis and other digestive diseases.

For the heart, it contains strong anti-platelet substances which help prevent the blood from clotting too easily, and so is very effective against heart attacks and strokes as well as lowering homocystine in the body, which is a key predictor of heart attacks.

This powerful anti-inflammatory works as well as Ibuprofin as a treatment for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and joint pain.

Turmeric is a powerful weapon to fight cancer. This super spice can prevent tumors from growing or slow the growth and spread of cancer cells. In fact, a research study done with mice injected with cancer cells, the curcumin in turmeric was proven to be more than twice as effective as the cancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol).

One of the standout qualities of turmeric is its effectiveness against Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s victims  are known to have a buildup of a certain type of plaque in the brain, and turmeric is highly effective at breaking down this plaque with its powerful anti-inflammatory compounds.

Ok, so how to eat turmeric? You don’t have to eat curry every day!

One way to get high concentrations of curcumin is to use the spice turmeric in some of your cooking and recipes.

Curry contains turmeric, but is usually a combination of several spices and you may not get as much turmeric as you would using pure turmeric. That’s not to say there aren’t benefits to curry too, since it is a blend of several spices, but you can buy turmeric on its own.

Try to get creative and test using turmeric and/or curry on various foods so you can benefit as much as possible from this potent super-spice…

This spice doesn’t have to be used just for curries. It is delicious on sautéed apples, or steamed cauliflower, green beans and onions, or any of your favorite veggies. In fact, I add it to just about everything.

Turmeric is also a great spice to complement recipes that feature lentils. Give salad dressings an orange-yellow hue and a little extra flavor by adding some turmeric powder to them.

Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in healthy recipes. One of my favorite ways is to add a healthy dose of it to egg salad or to scrambled eggs. It adds a great flavor, and gives the eggs a delicious rich yellow hue.

Get turmeric in your diet and take advantage of its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits!

I am always looking for good ways to add this awesome spice to my meals, so I decided to add it to homemade applesauce, and came up with this tasty dish. This applesauce dish is just delish–and it’s a great way to add turmeric to your diet.

Curry and Turmeric Applesauce

In a pan, cut up (peel or leave peels on) 2-4 organic granny smith apples

Add 2-4 Tablespoons water

1 Tablespoon organic butter

1 tsp (or more) fresh curry powder

1 Tablespoon Turmeric

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup or so of raisins (optional)

1/4 cup of pecans or almonds

1 Tablespoon of sugar, honey or maple syrup (optional)

Cook and stir over medim-low heat until apples are soft and begin to fall apart. Serve warm or cold.


Inflammation–Silent and Sneaky Partner of Aging and Disease

Inflammation can cause aches and pains, arthritis, bursitis, or any type of health issue that ends in -‘itis’. Inflammation can lead to…


Inflammation is actually a product of our immune system, and is our body’s protective response to injury, dangerous bacteria, viruses, or toxins. Normally it is part of a healthy immune response to prevent dangerous invaders from taking over our bodies.

Primitive man needed a strong immune system to fight off dangerous and deadly diseases and infections. Today there are relatively few infectious diseases our immune systems need to fight. While the ability to thrive and survive as humans had a lot to do with the strength of our immune systems, it seems in the absence of many infectious diseases, our immune systems and inflammation have turned on ourselves.

Inflammation can cause aches and pains, arthritis, bursitis, or any type of health issue that ends in -‘itis’.

Some of the more subtle forms of inflammation can include sore stiff muscles, tendonitis, joint aches, acne, red eyes, itchy irritated nose, itchy, rashy skin, allergies, swelling or puffiness, and more. Inflammation can be as minor as a pimple on your nose or as major as a heart attack.

Long term inflammation can cause heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, certain forms of cancer, diminished mental and physical energy, the loss of muscle mass and wrinkled, sagging skin.

Even though inflammation is our body’s natural response to protect our bodies from invaders, unfortunately, our overly active immune systems and the inflammatory response end up damaging our own bodies. Often inflammation is sneaky and silent, but can be deadly, too. Inflammation may be totally invisible to our own eyes, and often only specific blood tests can uncover high inflammation levels.

It used to be thought that aging came with chronic inflammation, which then progressed to chronic disease. Over time, chronic inflammation can lead to breakdown of collagen, destruction of the joints, blood vessels, digestive system, brain and nerve tissue and other organ systems, and premature aging, disease and ultimately, death.

What we now know, though, is that aging does not have be accompanied by inflammation, meaning that many of us can live to a ripe old age without chronic disease.

According to Russell Tracy, professor of pathology and biochemistry at University of Vermont College of Medicine, and a pioneer in research that demonstrated the role of inflammation in heart disease:

“Inflammatory factors predict virtually all bad outcomes in humans. It predicts heart attacks, heart failure, diabetes, becoming fragile in old age, cognitive function decline, and even cancer…”

Elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease (a chronic, progressive, degenerative disease of the brain), show areas of the human brain clogged up with neurofibrillary tangles and plaques. These same patients show many inflammatory cells and cytokines (a product of the immune system response). Clearly Alzheimer’s disease has a strong association to inflammation.

In diabetes, inflammation and insulin resistance work their destruction together. High blood sugar raises the body’s inflammatory markers. The drugs that seem to restore insulin sensitivity are also effective at reducing the body’s inflammatory markers like IL-6 and CRP.

Even osteoporosis and depression may have inflammatory roots, along with age-associated weakness. Scientists have even found that inflammatory activity breaks down skeletal muscle, leading to the loss of lean muscle mass. And on top of that, extra body fat tends to make these diseases strike earlier, because fat cells increase inflammation, and bring on accelerated aging.

Often low-level inflammation in our bodies is nothing like the raging infection, high fever or allergic reaction that you can’t help but notice. As inflammation in various parts of the body simmers in the background, over the years, damage beings to accumulate–in the heart, the brain, your nerves, your digestive system, your bones and joints and more.

What you eat, and how much you eat has a definite effect on the level of inflammation in your body.

Some of the ‘healthy’ foods you eat every day may actually be causing inflammation in your body.

Food allergies and sensitivities, can actually be one of the biggest contributors to inflammation.

And, guess what? The typical high-carb/high grain, low fat diet  is extremely inflammatory.  Refined sugar and other high glycemic, grain based foods make blood sugar and insulin levels rise, and put the immune system on high alert. High insulin levels also activate enzymes that raise levels of inflammatory arachidonic acid in our blood.

Allergies or not, much of the inflammation in our bodies begins in our digestive systems with reactions to common foods eaten every day like pasteurized dairy, corn and wheat. These foods contain proteins that easily spark the inflammatory cascade. You may be eating these foods on a daily basis and they are causing inflammation–and you not even know it!

All forms of sugar, processed foods, pasta, breads, pastry, baked goods, and snack foods such as rice and corn cakes, chips, pretzels, etc., cause a highly destructive pro-inflammatory response in our bodies. If we choose sugary or starchy foods, we trigger this pro-inflammatory release of sugar into our bloodstream.

Your best bet to dramatically decrease inflammation is to cut out wheat/gluten, corn and dairy for two weeks and note the difference. Add in one food at a time and see how your body reacts. Wait 24 hours before adding another foods. Many people often find a surprising difference in how they feel with increased energy levels, better moods, clearer skin, absence of aches and pains and a loss of weight.

Fats and Inflammation

Once thought of as healthy, polyunsaturated oils like safflower, cottonseed, sunflower, corn, peanut and soy, are primarily made up of omega 6 fatty acids. Our diets have an overabundance of omega 6 fats, which creates an unhealthy imbalance. Without enough omega 3 fatty acids to hold omega 6 fats in the proper ratio, the body turns the omega 6 fats into arachidonic acid, which is highly inflammatory.

The proper balance of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats is about 2:1 or 1:1. Unfortunately, most diets (heavy in grains, vegetable oils and grain-fed meat) are out of balance with regard to omega 6 and omega 3 fats. A standard diet often has a ratio of about 20:1, omega 6’s to omega 3’s. A diet this heavy in omega 6 fats increases inflammation in the body.

These unhealthy fats compete with omega 3 fats in our cell membrane (which is made up of fatty acids). When the cell membrane is made up primarily of omega 6 fats and trans fats, the membrane actually becomes less resilient and brittle, which limits the exchange of nutrients and oxygen. This poorly structured cell cannot fight dangerous invaders effectively, and eventually weakens and dies.

Both trans fats and omega 6 fats encourage the storage of body fat, especially in the abdomen. Excess belly fat, which can be measured as a waist size of 35 inches or more for a woman and 40 inches or more for a man, means higher levels of inflammation, since abdominal fat produces inflammatory chemicals in the body.

A diet heavy in omega 6 fatty acids (vegetable oils) actually increases wrinkling and aging of the skin as well leading to more cancerous changes from exposure the sun. In test subjects, dietary omega 6 fatty acids increased levels of PGE(2), an inflammatory messenger chemical that promoted the growth of pre-cancerous and cancerous skin cell changes.

Fortunately there are several anti-inflammatory fats, which are highly effective in helping our bodies stay younger and fight the affects of aging and inflammation.

Omega 3 fats contain two components that fight inflammation in our bodies: EPA and DHA.

The anti-inflammatory properties of EPA have been studied at length and proven to fight inflammation and a variety of health issues from depression, to heart disease and cancer.

It is important to note:

grain fed meat and farm-raised fish contain primarily omega 6 fats, while

wild-caught fish and grass fed meat contain mostly anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats.

Monounsaturated oils like extra-virgin olive oil, oil from nuts, avocados, and coconuts are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that fight inflammation.

Below is a list of foods, oils and spices that counteract inflammation.

Anti-Aging, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Spices And Nutrients

Certain spices, herbs and teas contain some very powerful compounds that fight inflammation. Some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory phytochemicals are in these herbs and spices:

  • Turmeric
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Cloves
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger
  • Chili Peppers

Some of the spiciest anti-inflammatory additions to a meal are hot peppers–including jalapeños, habeneros, and cayenne peppers. Chili peppers of all types include capsaicin (the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains), which is a potent inhibitor of a substance in the body associated with inflammation. Capsaicin also helps to raise metabolism and burn fat as well.

Green, white, oolong, and rooibos tea contain potent catechins, bioflavonoids and polyphenols that reduce inflammation and limit free radical production. Drinking 2 cups of these kinds of tea a day, can reduce inflammation significantly, as well as adding powerful antioxidants that fight aging and disease.

Foods High in Anti-Inflammatory Fats




Grass fed Meats

Free range, organic eggs



Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Coconut oil

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Chocolate (70% or more cacao)

Red Grapes


Shiitake mushrooms




Brussels sprouts



Jalapeño Pepper

Habenero Pepper

Banana Pepper

Chili Peppers


Look for the new 101 Anti-Aging Superfoods and the Anti-Aging Superfoods Recipe book due out this week! 


Till next time,

Stay healthy and lean and young!



Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN,is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. She also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

Her mission is to help others prevent disease, lose weight, and live their best life ever.
Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.


The Fat Burning Kitchen will get you started on the path to a healthy diet, weight loss and vibrant health.You will notice a difference in the first 24 hours! Learn about the so-called ‘health’ foods you may be eating that are actually ruining your health, and causing you to gain weight. And find out the best, fat-burning super-powered nutritious foods to eat to lose fat, gain boundless energy, and feel better than you ever have!



These Foods Accelerate AGE-ing in Your Body

AGE’s are the key to aging in our bodies. AGE’s are responsible for wrinkly, sagging skin, diabetes, and damage to blood vessels. Where do they come from?


AGE’s That Age Us

What are AGE’s? AGE’s are Advanced Glycation Endproducts. AGE’s can be either in the food you eat or formed within your body. AGE’s occur when sugar molecules attach to protein or fat molecules without an enzyme.

So what’s the big deal about this, you ask?

Well, AGE’s are a serious promoter of aging in the body, as well as the beginnings of many chronic diseases. In fact AGE’s are one of the biggest factors in diabetes, heart disease and others as well.

These AGE’s form a sticky plaque-like substance in the brain, nerve tissue, and the rest of the body. It is reported that when AGE’s are consumed, about 10-30% are absorbed into the body. The body’s ability to eliminate these once they are absorbed is very limited, meaning that once these gunky, gooey, nasty things get in human cells, it’s damage that cannot be undone.

While all human tissue is subject to damage by AGE’s, the lining of blood vessels is especially sensitive, as well as certain nerve cells that can quickly accumulate damage—especially in blood capillaries of the kidneys and eyes, brain and nerve cells, collagen, and your DNA. This is pretty serious and destructive stuff.

AGE’s are responsible for wrinkly, sagging skin, damage to the pancreas that causes diabetes, and damage to blood vessels, which leads to the plaque buildup that causes heart disease.

Besides the irritation and inflammation they create in blood vessels, they damage collagen in blood vessel walls, which leads to high blood pressure. Glycation also weakens the blood vessel walls, can cause aneurisms and deadly hemorrhagic strokes.

AGE’s also help form the sticky amyloid proteins and neurofibril tangles that take over the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease, causing severe memory loss and dementia.

They can easily damage the nerves, causing peripheral neuropathy and deafness, as well as attacking the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, which in turn can lead to blindness, as well as creating dangerous by-products that can become cancer.

The wide variety of diseases is the result of glycation interfering with molecular and cellular function in the body and its release of highly oxidizing byproducts.

As you can see, AGE’s are highly destructive. Where do they come from?

Advanced Glycation End products can come from two primary sources:

  • From our diet (Exogenous AGE’s)
  • Internally produced in the body (Endogenous AGE’s)

Any food that is browned or roasted such as brown bread, browned or grilled meat, bacon, crispy brown cookies, chips, crackers, etc. contains AGE’s. They form whenever food browns with heat as in roasting, frying or grilling. Cooking food at high temperatures without water or liquids (as in frying) causes the sugars in the food to bind with the proteins or fats to form AGE’s.

Any food that is high in fat, protein or sugar is likely to cause AGE’s when cooked. Using water when cooking as in steaming, poaching or boiling helps to prevent the sugars from attaching to the proteins and fats and helps to prevent AGE’s. Cooking at a lower temperature also helps to minimize AGE’s.

You know that crispy skin on the roasted Thanksgiving turkey? That’s full of AGE’s. So are French fries, bacon, chips, and just about anything that is baked or fried to a golden brown. Even that juicy steak, dark roasted coffee in your espresso, and that delicious caramel on your dessert are full of AGE’s.

Processed, packaged foods often have added AGE’s to enhance their flavor and make the food look more appealing. Caramel coloring is a good example of this. The list of foods with added AGE’s also includes donuts, cakes, crackers, chips, dark colored soda, and even dark beer.

Endogenous (or internally formed) AGE’s occur in the body from the sugar and carbohydrates in the food you eat. Excessive sugar in the body (in the form of glucose) binds to proteins causes glycation. People with chronically elevated blood sugar have the most damage from AGE’s, such as those with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

As nutrition expert Johnny Bowden says, “It’s like putting sugar in your gas tank, it totally gums up the works.”

Certain types of sugars such as fructose, are much more likely (as much as 10x more likely) to glycate. If you look at the huge amount of foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, or the large numbers of people eating sugary, processed foods and drinks, is it any wonder why there are such high rates of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other inflammatory diseases?

AGE’s can be measured by the same test given to diabetics to monitor long-term blood sugar control. This relatively new blood test is known as the Hemoglobin A1c test.

For optimal aging, your A1C levels (whether diabetic or not) should be less than 5%, which would mean keeping an average blood sugar level of about 90 mg/dl. While that seems fairly low by some conventional medical standards, this percentage is easily attainable if you eat to keep blood sugar stable.

Minimize the effects of AGE’s

  • Keep blood sugar low with a low carb/low sugar diet. Especially avoid the sugar that comes from fructose, as in high fructose corn syrup and fruit juices.
  • Avoid grains—especially wheat and corn, they tend to raise blood sugar. And grains are often baked or fried to become crispy and brown which makes them even higher in AGE’s. Yes, that includes that wood fire roasted pizza, too.
  • Cook meats at lower temperatures – Higher temperatures produce far more AGE’s than slower cooking over low heat. Cook meat in broth if possible. For example, rare and medium-rare meats will have fewer AGE’s than fully cooked meats, like barbeque, bacon, or well-done steak.
  • Eat vegetables and fruits raw, boiled, stewed, slow-cooked, or steamed – boiling and steaming introduce water to the cooking process, which stops glycation.
  • Avoid processed foods. Not only are they higher in sugar content, they often have caramel coloring and other additives high in AGE’s to improve color and appearance.
  • Avoid browned, roasted, grilled, carmelized, or fried foods. If it’s golden brown or brown, it most likely contains AGE’s.
  • Avoid dark colored sodas, dark beer, and anything with caramel coloring in it.

Combat AGE’s With These Foods

All low-glycemic foods

Kale, collard greens, or spinach



Sweet potatoes

Red, yellow or green peppers

Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts






Red or black grapes


Green tea, black tea, and rooibos tea

Cinnamon, Cloves and Turmeric

Supplements that Battle AGE’s

  • L-carnosine – An amino acid found in protein. L-carnosine helps prevent glycation by generating an enzyme that is able to counterattack AGE’s that have already been formed. This supplement is said to decrease the risk of attracting neurodegenerative disorder and inflammatory diseases by removing the unsaturated aldehydes (sugars). Since meat contains this amino acid, eating meat is less likely to produce as many dangerous AGE’s in the body.
  • Benfotiamine – A fat-soluble synthetic form of vitamin B-1. This substance has been studied to stop AGE’s from being formed. It blocks the biochemical processes that can cause vascular, nerve, kidney and retinal damage that are connected AGE’s and high blood sugar levels. Benfotiamine is a supplement and not naturally found in foods.
  • Pyridoxamine – A unique form of vitamin B6, called Vitamin B6 is involved in hundreds of beneficial enzymatic reactions in the body. While the benefits of conventional vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) are well documented, this unique form of vitamin B6 called pyridoxamine is thought to interfere specifically with the toxic glycation reactions in the body.
  • Antioxidants – Foods and supplements high in antioxidants will help to combat the damage that AGE’s do in the body. Supplements include alpha lipoic acid, astaxanthin, vitamin C and vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, selenium, quercetin, and flavonoids.

While it may be virtually impossible to avoid the glycated end products, you can minimize them and the damage they do with your diet. And that, in itself will go a long way towards keeping you young.

Till next time,

Stay healthy, lean and young!




Get the latest Gluten Free, Superfoods Recipe book HERE–The Fat Burning Kitchen Superfoods Recipes.

Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition.  Cat also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

I’ve learned over the years how to find some great food buys, that are super healthy, organic, less expensive or hard-to-find, and I wanted to share that with you…

And no, it’s not raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, although I like them too!

I’ve been eating the way I do for quite a few years and I’ve learned over the years how to find some great ingredients that are super healthy, less expensive or hard-to-find, and I wanted to share that with you. Now for those of you who live far away from me, I apologize in advance. Hopefully you can find some of these same things at stores near you or very similar items.

I am not advertising for anyone nor trying to sell any particular product for my own personal gain. I don’t get commission on this stuff either. This is just my list of grocery items that I have found are either a great value or particularly good.

I love Trader Joe’s to stock up on great healthy, often organic items at a super great price. I tend to get more of the canned, bottled and frozen foods when I go to Trader Joe’s, and like to get more of my fresh produce at Whole Foods or the local grocery or farmer’s market. The selection is better and the produce seems fresher.

Some of these things are just super tasty, some of them are hard-to-find ingredients, some of them are things that come with a small price tag or that just save time and energy when making meals. I will probably be adding to this list from time to time, as new products come out, prices change, etc.

Here is my list thus far:

Grassfed Beef–This is such great stuff and totally different (and better because of the fat content) than ‘organic’. Choose grassfed over organic whenever possible. The BEST tasting, highest quality grassfed meat can be ordered from U.S. Wellness online. They deliver to your door in two days. If you want to find something closer, get grassfed from Whole Foods. They now carry a decent assortment of locally raised grassfed meats. I also found that Trader Joe’s carries grassfed ground beef which is really tasty and a decent price as well. Also, your closest farmer’s market may carry grassfed meats, local and natural bacon and free range pastured eggs.

Chicken–I like Trader Joe’s chicken. They offer organic/free range breasts and thighs (boneless and skinless), or whole chickens at a good price. Costco also carries some convenient three packs of organic boneless, skinless thighs or breasts at a great price. I prefer boneless skinless thighs because they have a better flavor, and juicier and more tender, and because the thighs are dark meat, they contain more iron and other nutrients than breasts do.

Bacon–The only kind of bacon you should eat is the natural kind that is nitrate and nitrate free. Regular grocery stores sell it, but, wow! It’s expensive there. I hate paying $6 or $7 for a small package of bacon that doesn’t even weigh a pound. Trader Joe’s sells a package of “Ends and Pieces” bacon that weighs a whole pound and is delicious, and all natural as well. It’s mostly regular slices of bacon and a few smaller thicker, odd pieces. Works for me at $2.99 for a pound.

Natural Chicken Sausage from TJ’s or WF–Both stores have a great selection of natural chicken sausages. They are relatively inexpensive and a great quick meal with some veggies or delicious added to eggs in the am. Or try a little stirfry with them. The green apple sausage from TJ’s is da bomb. Had them on the grill last night!

Natural Peanut Butter–Trader Joe’s Valencia Peanuts and flax butter.

Sunflower Butter–For those of us who have developed a nut allergy, sunflower butter is a great substitute. Try to find the kind without a lot of sugar.

REAL Butter–Kerrygold brand of Grassfed butter. Grass fed is WAY better than regular butter, and has the hard-to-find vitamin K2. I originally found this butter in my regular grocery store (Dierberg’s), but I’ve seen it at Trader Joes and Whole Foods as well. Trader Joe’s by far has the best price on this–it’s $2.00 less than what it sells for at Whole Foods.

Raw Cheese–Regular grocery stores are starting to carry raw cheeses and some have a great variety. And raw goat cheese is great for those who have dairy allergies and sensitivities. I am allergic to pasteurized dairy, but raw cheese is just fine !My very favorite (not cheap, but soo delicious!) Raw, cave aged gruyere from Whole Foods. Wow. What a delicious nutty taste it has.

Eggs–Now this can be a complex decision. So many different kinds of eggs and different classifications. The best choice is from the local farmer’s market, and pasture raised. If you are purchasing from a grocery store, look for ‘organic’ or ‘pasture-raised’. Buying  this classification is generally more expensive, but chickens who are raised for organic eggs are much healthier overall, not given hormones and antibiotics and not near as likely to have eggs with salmonella or other dangerous organisms. If you can’t find organic or just don’t want to pay the high price, look for ‘free range’ and organic eggs. My favorite from Whole Foods is Farmer’s Hen House ‘free range’ egg raised on Amish farms. (Amish farms are close to organic, just not certified). This brand comes in a ‘jumbo’ size, so for $3.99, you get a lot of egg–with rich orange yolks (meaning they have lots of healthy omega 3 fats and nutrients).

Nuts–Trader Joe’s also has a great variety of nuts and trail mix. Just watch out for the sugary additions if you are doing trail mix or a flavored nut.

Energy Bars (grain free and nut free)–Macro bars are my new favorites! Most any grocery or health food store now carries a wide variety of energy bars. Whole Foods has a whole wall of them! Whew…gets crazy trying to decipher ingredients. Trader Joe’s also carries a great selection. Stay away from the manufactured ‘energy bars’ which are basically processed soy and sugar.

Paleo Bread or Tortillas–Whole Foods and other health food stores now carry somewhat expensive paleo tortillas and other bread products, but these can be expensive. Better to make your own or omit all together.

Milk (milk substitute)–I love Trader Joe’s brand of coconut milk in the carton. Many companies make this type of milk now and I like the flavor (no coconut taste), and it’s consistency. Watch out for added sugars though. Hemp and flax milk are good, and I’ve seen quinoa milk. These can be pricey, and often there is little of the main ingredient and a lot of fillers, sugars, thickeners, etc. At least buy the kind with no added sugar.

Pasta–Tj’s now carries a lot of great gluten free pastas and the latest, which is REALLY good is black bean pasta. I looked at the ingredients and it said, “Black bean flour”. Period. It is really good, really hearty and filling and full of protein and fiber. YUM. There is also yucca flour pasta, quinoa pasta, etc.

A Healthy Treat–Trader Joe’s Toasted Coconut snacks. A hint of sweetness, a nice crunch, a touch of toasted coconut flavor, with a little bit of sea salt. Wow! My new favorite snack.

Chips–Of course you should avoid chips, but sometimes you just want a salty crunchy snack. These fill the bill. Trader Joe’s carries them and I’ve seen similar ones elsewhere. Lentil chips. These tasty chips are made of lentils and rice flour. No corn, no gluten, and no added oils. And they hold up well to your favorite hummus.

Laundry Detergent–Since I have read about and personally experienced the problems that the toxins in regular laundry detergent contains, I have switched to an all natural, plant based type. One of my favorites and by far the best price is either Trader Joe’s own brand of lavender scented detergent or Whole Food’s 365 brand. Both seem to do a great job (and I don’t get itchy) and are suitable for HE washers too.

While I’m at it, I love Trader Joe’s French milled soap bars, their natural citrus shampoo, cream rinse and body wash too–free of chemical toxins and additives.

Favorite Supplements–While I can get clients physician grade supplements at a good price, I have found that a couple brands at Whole Foods are just as good and you can get them quickly (if you live near a WF), and the prices are about the same as what I get at a discount. Plus you don’t have to pay for shipping, wait for them to arrive, etc. Solaray and Twinlab are good lines with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and herbs. I also like Jarrow for more speciality items like Alpha Lipoic Acid.

P.S. I get Grain free natural dogfood from Costco that my dog loves and is a great buy as well.





Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. 

Get the latest Gluten Free, Superfoods Recipe book HERE–The Fat Burning Kitchen Superfoods Recipes.

Cat also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.




My 10 Simple Rules for a Healthy You and a Healthy Planet

Eating can be so complicated these days. If you follow the information you see in magazines, the news, and the latest fad diet book, you will be totally confused. I’ve been there…

Eating can be so complicated!  If you follow the conflicting information you see on Facebook, Twitter, magazines, TV shows, mainstream media, and the latest fad diets, you can become totally confused!  I’ve been there. In the 30 years or so that I have studied diet and nutrition, I’ve followed and studied a lot of information–and MIS-information. And using the nutrition information and research I’ve studied over the years, my medical knowledge, and myself as a guinea pig, I’ve found what works. And I want to share that with you. To simplify things. To simplify your life and your diet–and to help you be your healthiest self while helping our planet.

1. Follow a diet that your ancient ancestors ate–eat unrefined, unprocessed foods with ONE ingredient, as much as possible. Eat simply. Eat locally if possible.

2. Keep Blood Sugar Levels Stable, by minimizing or avoiding all grains (especially processed wheat and corn), and any kind of food containing sugar, including corn syrup, fructose, honey, glucose, sucrose, and all artificial sweeteners.

3. Avoid packaged, processed foods. They most certainly contain starchy processed grains, artificial ingredients and sugar in addition to contributing to environmental pollution from the manufacturing process, packaging and the health issues they create.

4. Eat plenty of healthy fats and oils, including the saturated fats in butter, coconut oil and (organic and naturally raised) animal fats, meat and whole eggs. Embrace the fats in nuts of all kinds, avocados and olive oils. Eat fat that is naturally occurring, not processed.

5. Avoid unnatural oils such as canola oil, soy oil, corn oil, sunflower and safflower oils. These oils are high in omega 6 fatty acids and add to inflammation, body fat and disease. 

6. Eat high quality protein. While most people eat a diet too high in protein, some protein is absolutely essential. There are many reasons to avoid industrially produced, unhealthy animal products, but it gets very difficult to get adequate amounts of usable protein without some type of animal protein. Animal protein is a complete and bio-available protein and contains vital nutrients including collagen, iron, zinc and all the amino acids. It is vital for active adults for energy, muscle recovery and strength.  Be thoughtful in your choices and realize you don’t need large amounts of it. Protein in your diet will help to satisfy your appetite, as well as help keeping your blood sugar low and stable. 

7. Eat only NATURALLY raised protein such as grass fed beef, free range chicken and eggs, wild caught fish and grass fed (unpasteurized if possible) dairy. These meats are far healthier than regular commercially raised meats, have more nutrients, have healthier fats in them and taste superior. If you are vegetarian, eat pasture-raised eggs and stay away from soy products except natto and tempeh that are fermented and more easily assimilated.

8.  Give your body the nutrition it needs with REAL food and your hunger will adjust. Don’t eat ‘fake’ foods! Don’t eat ‘fake’ meat. Eat large amounts of fresh, live vegetables–organic and local, if at all possible and a small amount of fresh fruit along with healthy protein and fats.  

9. Pay attention to omega 3 fats versus omega 6 fats. Omega 3 fats are those which occur in naturally raised meats (grass fed/free range), wild caught fish, organic free range eggs–and to some extent flax seeds and nuts. Omega 6 fats are those fats which come from grains, animals raised on grains, and processed ‘vegetable’ oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, and canola oils. You need about 2-3x more omega 3 fats compared to omega 6 fats. 

10. Beware of liquid sugar in drinks including fruit juice (even 100% fruit juices), sweetened drinks such as sweet tea, soda, sports drinks, and alcoholic beverages. 

and two more (unrelated to food, but just as important)—

11. Get out in the sunshine and fresh air as much as possible–every day if you can. Even if it’s just a few minutes around noon, it’s better than none. The vitamin D you get from real sunshine will help your mood, protect your immune system and is vital for your overall well-being.

12. Exercise on a regular basis–at 3-4 times a week, or more. Do it with a friend, it helps you stick to your plan better and is much more enjoyable.

There you have it. This is what I follow on a day to day basis. That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally eat french fries or a cookie. Yes, I do, but I do limit them to once in a while. And you know what, they just don’t taste as good to me anymore. My body knows what good food is and that is what it craves.

I feel better now than I ever have. My mind is sharp and clear, my energy is high, and my weight stays exactly where I want it to.

Start incorporating these things into your life and you will find amazing results! 

Take care and stay healthy and lean!




Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition.  She also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health. Cat provides both corporate and individual health and wellness coaching and programs.

Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.

                               Contact me at 314-369-6400 for more information.


Hidden Food Addictions Can Make You GAIN Weight

Think—what foods do you eat day in, and day out on a regular basis? Foods eaten daily can often cause chronic health problems. Would you believe that the majority of people have some hidden food sensitivities?

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Think—what foods do you eat day in, and day out on a regular basis?

Often these may not even be foods you realize you are eating, but exist as ingredients in many packaged foods. Foods and food substances, eaten every day can often cause chronic health problems like weight gain, puffiness, inflammation—and even more serious health conditions like migraine headaches, arthritis, osteoporosis, neuropathy, bladder infections and other illnesses associated with long-term nutrient deficiencies.

One of the most overlooked and least understood parts of diet is food allergies and sensitivities. Did you know that a large percentage of the population has food sensitivities and don’t know it? Many allergies and sensitivities come are actually food addictions.

Food allergies or sensitivities do not always occur as a big, full-blown allergic reaction with hives, shortness of breath and anaphylactic reactions. Often these food reactions can occur on a ‘sub-clinical’ level without obvious symptoms. But not always obvious is the inflammation and reaction on the cellular level.

As surprising as it sounds, it is possible to be both allergic and addicted to a food or chemical substance—and this is often the case. The two things go hand in hand.

This sets up cravings with both physiological (physical) and psychological (mental or emotional) discomfort, withdrawal symptoms and cravings when the offending food is not available.

While there often is a much longer list, the top offenders are usually foods that contain wheat, dairy, corn or soy. And if you think about it, its pretty hard to avoid these foods as they are the ingredients in many, many processed or packaged foods—and often disguised as ingredients you may not recognize.

What happens in a food sensitivity reaction? Foods that are partially digested leak through the cell wall of the intestinal lining. Then the undigested particles of food are attacked by the immune system as if they are foreign invaders.

When the immune system is activated, our bodies react in a similar way to fighting off a virus or bacterial invasion. The ability to fight other infections drops, inflammation in the body goes up and some kind of reaction takes place. Often it is a chronic reaction because the offending food is eaten every day.

When reactions occur to foods that are eaten on a regular day-to-day basis, there is constant chronic inflammation that can manifest as a variety of symptoms.

Part of the weight gained from food allergies is fluid retention caused by inflammation and the release of certain hormones. In addition, some foods do not break down and digest properly–particularly carbohydrate–in the intestines which can result in a swollen distended belly, indigestion, and gas production.

Eating these foods actually creates a physiological reaction in the body similar to way we would react to an addictive drug like cocaine or heroin. Foods can release substances in the body that create an almost euphoric high. This reaction is just like when an addict gets “high”.  Endorphins and other hormones are released, the body reacts and then withdraws.

And guess what? All addictions have the same type of reaction – whether cigarettes, coffee, heroin, corn, wheat, milk or other foods. Both addictive and allergic responses to a food allergy can cause uncontrollable eating behavior. Every hear someone say they just can’t live without their _________ (fill in the blank here–bread, pasta, milk, etc.) ?

And it’s not just hives or a rash that come from the allergy-addiction syndrome. Most any chronic physical problem can come from a low grade food allergy. As Dr. Ellen Grant reported in the medical journal, Lancet, 85% of people who suffer from migraines could be symptom-free if they eliminated common food allergens. And, there is also strong evidence that chronic arthritis, asthma and diabetes may be caused by allergic reactions as well.

Huge numbers of people have hidden food allergies, which are manifested in the form of addictions. And the misleading thing is that food allergy reactions are not always immediate and severe (as in the case of hives, shortness of breath and other life threatening symptoms), but often reactions are very subtle and delayed for 24-48 hours, making it difficult to trace back to a particular food.

Food allergies and sensitivities can cause symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, heartburn, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, sinusitis, irritability, yeast infections, migraines, rashes, psoriasis, acne, anxiety, depression, insomnia, PMS and more. Chronic food allergies can affect virtually any system in the body.

Often one of the best ways to detect a food sensitivity or delayed allergy reaction is to look at the foods that you eat every day, all the time. Can you go without them? Think about it–if you cannot live without your daily bread, bagel, cereal, etc., its highly possible you have a sensitivity to that food and is most likely it is causing an inflammatory reaction in your body.

What’s the solution? Anyone who is trying to lose weight or has any kind of chronic health condition should look at food allergies or sensitivities. Become suspicious if you eat a particular food every day—and that includes most of us—or if you have a favorite food that you eat often or crave. Pay attention when you are eating—are there certain foods you just cannot get enough of?

Since the most common offenders are wheat, corn, soy and dairy products, the first step is an elimination diet.  Remove all the foods that contain wheat, corn, soy and dairy from your diet for a minimum period of two weeks.

That means reading every label and scrutinizing everything you are eating. Most processed or packaged foods contain these ingredients in some form, so eating simple one-ingredient natural foods is the easiest way to avoid the allergens—and it’s far healthier as well. So for example, eat an apple instead of something out of a box.

It’s important to note that wheat is the primary content of most all flours (except gluten free) and prepared items, so that means cutting out most all breads—whether its whole wheat, rye or white; pastas, crackers, cookies, cereals, and more. However, it’s pretty easy now to find plenty of wheat and gluten free items to substitute–but watch out for added corn in gluten free items.

Wheat and corn starch are also commonly used as thickeners in sauces and gravies as well, so beware when eating prepared soups or eating out when sauces are served with foods.

Doing an elimination diet is NOT easy. You may feel intense cravings the first 24-48 hours after you start and you could begin to feel sick as your body detoxes the offending substances out of your body.

But–if you stick with it–4 or 5 days into the diet, you may suddenly feel like a brand new person!  Your energy will rebound, you will have sparkling mental clarity, and smooth glowing skin. Not only that, but many lose 5-10 pounds in 4-5 days! As you continue on the diet, you may also continue to lose weight, since you are not overeating certain foods to get your ‘fix’.

After the two weeks, slowly re-introduce the allergenic foods, one at a time. Try adding wheat back in for one full day, then wait 2 more days to record any delayed symptoms. When you add in a food, eat it at all three meals to get the full reaction. You may be really shocked!

Food allergies and sensitivities have been ignored by most medical doctors. Because no pharmaceuticals are involved,doctors don’t tend to diagnose or treat health conditions with elimination diet.

The simplest answer to food allergies and sensitivities is to eat pure, natural, whole foods like grass fed meats, fresh fruits and vegetables with ONE ingredient, and avoid processed, packaged convenience foods and fast foods with multiple ingredients.

Removing foods that you are allergic or sensitive to can have life changing benefits. You can actually change health issues such as depression and anxiety, improve your sleep, have better digestion, clearer skin, reduce asthma, stop eczema and psoriasis,  and end arthritis and joint pain, and more. It’s really worth the effort.

To get help for an elimination/detox diet, contact me at Cat (at) simplesmartnutrition(dot) com. I can help you–I’ve been there!

Till next time,

Stay healthy and lean!



Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN,is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. She also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

Her mission is to help others prevent disease, lose weight, and live their best life ever.
Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.

The Fat Burning Kitchen will get you started on the path to a healthy diet, weight loss and vibrant health.You will notice a difference in the first 24 hours! Learn about the so-called ‘health’ foods you may be eating that are actually ruining your health, and causing you to gain weight. And find out the best, fat-burning super-powered nutritious foods to eat to lose fat, gain boundless energy, and feel better than you ever have!

What Does the Type of Fat You Eat Have to Do With the Shape of Your Hips?

Men and women are biologically predisposed to be attracted to a particular type of body shape in the opposite sex. Men generally like curvy women, but today’s female…

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Men and women historically have always been attracted to a particular type of body shape in the opposite sex. There are biological reasons for this.

Men have always been drawn to curvy women, especially women with smaller waists and rounded hips. While waist and hip sizes may vary, historically, men have universally been attracted to women with a waist to hip ratio of about 66%, and curvy hips and thighs.

Yes, ladies, contrary to what many of us believe, men generally do not wish we looked like stick figures or rail thin models.

Unfortunately, the majority of today’s American women, especially younger women in their 20’s, have a waist to hip ratio of closer to 75%, meaning that the waist is about 75% of the total hip measurement. American women’s waist size is getting bigger.

Why is this? It has to do with the type of fats in our diet today. 

The type of fat you eat gets stored in different parts of the body. Typically, fat from Omega 6 fats like the kind found in vegetable oils, grains and processed foods is stored more in the waist or belly. Fat from Omega 3 fats is more likely to be stored in the hips and thighs.

When women lose weight, it generally is lost in other parts of the body first.

Much to a woman’s frustration, the fat in the hips and thighs is usually the last to go, and the most difficult to lose, as the body stores this valuable fat here for purposes of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

According to Will Lassek, M.D., and Steven Gaulin, Ph.D. in the book, “Why Women Need Fat”,  the fat that is stored in a women’s hips and thighs is rich in a very valuable substance that is concentrated in this part of the body. This fat is high in something called DHA—which is a component of the Omega 3 fatty acids in our diets.

DHA is extremely important for proper brain and nervous system function, as nerve cells are made primarily of this type of fat.

Omega 3 fats and DHA in our diets come from wild caught fatty fish, grass fed beef and dairy products, and free range chickens and eggs. But sadly, the North American diet and the diet of most civilized countries, is mostly grain-based and not only are our diets too high in grain based, processed foods, but beef cattle, dairy cows, and chickens that produce the meat, dairy, and eggs in our diet are also fed grain as well, making commercial meat and dairy way higher in Omega 6 fats, not Omega 3 fats.

(This may also be the reason for the rise in autism, ADHD and other issues related to brain health—our diet is very poor in Omega 3’s and DHA.)

So according to Mother Nature, mothers breast feed their children, and the fat in a mother’s milk is pulled from stored fat in the  hips and thighs primarily.

Mens’ ancient biological brains are actually telling them that a woman with a smaller waist and curvy hips and thighs carries an abundance of the good fat, DHA from the Omega 3 fats in her diet. Since DHA is vital for the brain and nerve tissue, DHA means smarter, healthier children.

And other studies show that children and mothers who live in countries with have a high amount of Omega 3 fats in their diets, and higher DHA in their bodies, tend to score higher on tests of academic ability and intelligence. Some of these women from other countries have up to 4x more stored DHA in their bodies than American women. Not surprisingly, American children score 31st out of 64 countries on the same academic tests–much lower than the children from mothers with higher DHA, according to Lassek and Gaulin.

Today’s average American woman is about 20lbs heavier than the average woman in the 1970’s, with a much bigger waist (waist to hip ratio) measurement. Why the change?

The long answer has to do with a variety of things from extra large portions, high fructose corn syrup and sugar in everything to ‘supersizing’ and processed foods. But in terms of the type of fats in our diet and how our bodies store fat, it boils down to the kind of fat that is most prevalent in our diets right now.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats are considered “Essential Fatty Acids” and come from our diets. We depend on our food supply to get these fats, but unfortunately for most of us, our diets are overloaded with Omega 6 fatty acids, which come from vegetable oils, and grains, primarily.

The Standard American Diet contains up to 20x more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3 fats. That’s WAY more than the proper ratio we need to be healthy.

So, in order to get enough Omega 3 fatty acids, the average American must eat more of everything, just to get the right amount of  Omega 3 fats.

And studies also show that Omega 3 fats are much more satisfying to the body and that we are hungrier after eating foods with Omega 6 fats,so that also leads to more eating.

And, Omega 6 fatty acids actually tend to be stored in the waist and around the belly, rather than the hips (and men store more belly fat as well), so our diets and the type of essential fatty acids we eat, ends up being a very big factor that determines our body shape.

So, ladies, if you want a smaller waist and curvier bottom, eat more Omega 3 fats from wild caught fish, grass fed meats and dairy, and free range eggs.

Cut way back on the Omega 6 fats, by avoiding all grains and vegetable oils. You not only will have a better body shape, but you will produce healthier, smarter children and YOUR brain will be healthier and function better as well.

The correct balance of Omega 3 fats to Omega 6 fats is crucial for our health and for survival, as well as a more attractive body.

Choose wisely!

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Till next time,

Stay healthy and lean and curvy!

cat e1335982521218 Are Eggs Really As Bad As Cigarettes? Really?

References: Will Lassek, M.D., and Steven Gaulin, Ph.D, Psychology Today, Feb. 2012, and the book, “Why Women Need Fat”.

DSC 6815 e1335982388100 Are Eggs Really As Bad As Cigarettes? Really? Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition.  She also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.





Are Eggs Really As Bad As Cigarettes?

So the latest news is that if you are eating eggs, you may as well be smoking–according to the medical journal, Atheroslcerosis. Really??
Now wait a minute…what is this study all about?

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So the latest news is that if you are eating eggs, you may as well be smoking according to the medical journal, Atheroslcerosis.

Really?? Now wait a minute…what is this study all about?

Well, in a nutshell, three researchers who have close ties to the statin drug industry, studied a group of middle aged and elderly stroke patients about their diet, specifically, eggs.
The oldest members of this study group, of course reported eating the most eggs–no surprise. But the people who reported eating the most eggs also smoked the most and were the most diabetic. (Risk factors for atherslcerosis–hello?)
The scientists did try to control for other variables such as sex, blood lipid profile, smoking,  and body weight index.
But they didn’t look at other important lifestlle factors, like exercise, stress, or other dietary factors.
Did they separate out the other processed garbage in their diet that may also have contributed to the atherosclerosis?
What about dietary intake of processed sugars, starchy stuff like cookies, cakes (these contain eggs), custards, ice cream, pancakes, and processed vegetable oils and margarines?
How can you really say EGGS were the cause of the atherosclerosis? There simply is no way that a study like this can avoid the so-called ‘confounding variables.’

Now if you really wanted to do a study to see if eggs contributed to heart disease, why not take a group of non-smoking, non-drinking exercisers, who avoided starchy processed carbs, sugars and processed vegetables?

Studies like these just make me want to bang my head against the wall…

Mike Geary has an excellent article on eggs and why they are good for us.

Let’s not let a poorly done observational study (that means there has been NO scientific study was done, just observation and conclusion based on the observation, without controls for variables) sabotage your nutrition and fat burning progress.

Just remember:

Eggs and egg yolks are good for you. Go ahead and eat them.

Don’t smoke.

Get exercise.

Avoid sugar, refined grain products and vegetable oils.

Eat real food.

Relax. You are way healthier than the average Joe.

If you liked the information here, and would like to STRAIGHT SCOOP on Diet and Health, Subscribe Here.


Till next time,

Stay healthy and lean, and enjoy your (whole) eggs!


cat head Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. She also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.