How two guys lost 150 lbs on an easy to follow vegan diet!

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National Diet Report Card: How to get better grades!

Happy Fall!Image

Our holidays are finally over, and my personal report card looks ok. After a month of feasting (as little as possible) off diet, I went from 178 to 182…..  for a gain of four pounds. But for the the rest of the country, things are not looking quite as good, because the Center for Science in the Public Interest has just released a dietary report card.

Every once in awhile somebody with some credibility says the exact same thing that we have been saying and it feels really good!So lets quickly review the results of the CSPI comparison of US food intake in 2010 vs 1970, when the rate of obesity was half what it is today, which today stands at about 30 percent of the population.

Added sugars 78 lbs per year- and down from 1970 by about 10 lbs. (so much for cutting back on sugar)

Total fat consumption up 20 lbs per year. Mostly in the form of cooking and salad oil..  

Average consumption of added fat is 645 calories per day, that is on top of fat found in meats etc.

Cheese consumption(mostly fat) up 300 percent.

White Grains, burritos pizza crust, pasta bread, muffins etc, up significantly.

Total calorie intake daily, up about 500 calories.

Consumption of fruits and vegetables up slightly.

Another recommendation: Portion Distortion. Restaruants are mostly responsible for extra portion size which has led people to lose track of what normal food portions look like. Avoid restaraunts, but if you must, take half home for tommorow!

What i like about the report card is that it makes it easy for everyone to see where there is room for improvement. If folks can cut out most of the added fat  we will all be a lot healthier!…. and lighter…….And what I find most interesting is that people tend to focus on actual sugar, where consumption is down. More effort needs to be focused on reducing grain and fat intake, or better yet, replacement with fruits and vegetables.

Happy fall !


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Why no oil?: How to “get the fat out”

untitled“Why no oil?” Good question, and I hear this quite a bit. It also seems to stir up some passion, because as opposed to other aspects of this crazy diet, the oil thing seems to fall into the category of faith. Meaning, people are taking it on faith that there is such a thing as “good oil”.  Of course, we disagree.

Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, the author of “How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” is a pioneer in the no oil movement. Here is his take on oil from his website .

. Why does the diet eliminate oil entirely?

NO OIL!  Not even olive oil, which goes against a lot of other advice out   there about so-called good fats. The reality is that oils are        extremely low in terms of nutritive value.  They contain no fiber, no minerals and are 100% fat calories.  And above all they contain        saturated fat which immediately injures the endothelial lining of  the arteries when eaten. It doesn’t matter whether it’s olive oil, corn oil, coconut il or any other kind , avoid ALL oil. This is so important I have detailed  oil in Chapter 10.

So that basically explains it in a nutshell. No oil at all. Of course this is next to impossible because its in everything you eat. I have to say that we are about 95 percent oil free, and i think its one of the best weight loss tools out there. Without all the extra fat in my diet I have plenty of room calorie wise to eat. And eat I do!

The question you should be asking at this point is ,what about the mediteranean  diet, which includes oil…isnt that supposed to be good for your heart??. Check out Dr Esselstyn’s response to the Med diet results. His logic is rock solid.

Misleading Mediterranean Diets: Another Look at the Evidence

The recently published New England Journal of Medicine article on the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, “Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet,” has been roundly praised. It might have been better titled, “Promoting Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet.” All three dietary groups had almost equal facility promoting the growth and clinical appearance of cardiovascular disease which manifested itself as strokes, heart attack and death in those who at study onset did not have this illness.                  This Spanish study which clearly worsens cardiovascular disease, is not alone as earlier this month the British Medical Journal updated the randomized Sydney Heart Study, confirming that the addition of oils worsened the outlook for cardiovascular disease.                  By way of contrast, our small plant based nutrition study took patients with established advanced cardiovascular disease and not only halted disease progression but was able to demonstrate disease reversal.  We will shortly publish an expanded version confirming our original findings.                  The epidemiologic ultimate confirmation of the power of plant based nutrition to prevent cardiovascular disease is best demonstrated in T. Colin Campbell’s China Study.  In a rural province in China over a three year period examination of over 250,000 death certificates, not one death was attributable to cardiovascular disease.                  We’ve reached a crucial fork in the road: do we promote cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet or eliminate it with plant based nutrition?                  Caldwell  B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.       Director Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal Program Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.       February 26, 2013     

So do we promote heart disease with an oil including diet? Harsh words indeed. Anyhow I urge you to check out Dr Esselstyn’s books and his work. And if nothing else, cut out some oil. Your body will thank you !

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Erroneous logic: how to have a happy and healthier New Year!



So do you have a New Years resolution? Am I out of sync? No, because this last week was Rosh Hashanah, otherwise known as the Jewish New year. For us folks it’s more of a solemn time of reflection than a time of celebration. My New Years resolution, among many things is to be the best father and grandfather that I can be. Here is my grandson Jacob. He lives too far away in New Jersey!

This week the CDC concluded that “some” heart attacks can be attributed to lifestyle. Of course if you have ever read any of Dr Esselstyn’s books, or those of Joel Furhman, you might see things differently. They both think that lifestyle causes somewhere close to 100 percent of all heart disease. I am not the expert, so I will leave it to the experts to fight it out. I can only speak for myself by saying that losing 70 lbs and sticking to a low fat vegan diet for the last year has vastly improved my health, and that I hope others are able to follow!

Here is something interesting from a theological view. Judaism views a persons life in this world as timed. In other words, your time in this world is your time, and bran isn’t going to save you…. Our Rabbi even joked about this in one of the many speeches  over the holiday. So, why bother with worrying about your diet? Suprisingly, this is a common excuse that I hear from people, but there is more to it than that…. Before I respond to the erroneous logic that “nothing matters”; here is what I am working on this year:

losing my final 10 lbs

Purchasing a new home before my wife kills me for dragging my feet.

Spending more time visiting my family all over the country.

learning more Torah.

We all want to be there for our families and taking care of our health is step one, because without that we are useless. Yes, a person can get through the day by eating whatever, but when you eat a truly healthy diet you feel better, have more energy, and provide much better value to yourself your family and your community. Even if you have no control over how long you are here on earth, whether you live another six months,,, or another sixty years, by improving yourself you are providing more here and now to your family! So make the changes necessary to provide extra value, and you and those around you will reap the benefits for years to come! Sorry, even faith is not an excuse!