Finding your way
through the secrets of
the garden of health
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
WHEN IT COMES TO losing weight, it’s not
only what you eat, but when. That’s what
Jorge Cruise, author of the 3-Hour Diet series
of books (Collins, 2006) believes. Cruise says
that eating the proper foods every three
hours helps you achieve three vital things:
1. Reduce your cortisol hormone levels, which
contribute to belly fat.
2. Keep your metabolism elevated so that you
stay energized and continue to burn fat.
3. Help control your appetite so you don’t
overeat and bury your muscles in fat.
And as to what are the proper foods at
breakfast, lunch and dinner, Cruise offers this
approach. On a 9-inch plate, visualize these
• A Rubik’s cube, representing your carbohydrate portion at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
• A deck of playing cards, symbolizing your
protein serving at each meal: approximately
3 ounces of chicken, cheese, eggs or fish.
• A water bottle cap, representing the amount
of fat on your plate—a little more than one
teaspoon. This can be salad dressing, butter
or olive oil.
• Three stacked DVD cases, representing how
much fruit or vegetables to eat at each meal.
Cruise believes there are no bad foods, just
bad portions. Using this “visual timing”
method, he says, you’ll find that all meals
are balanced at about 400 calories each.
Learn to eat the right portion at the right
time, and you will lose weight.
Supplement these meals with smart snacks,
and you’ll be on the way to shedding pounds,
Cruise says. More on this plan can be seen
at www.3HourDiet.com. A
IF YOU’RE LIKE MOST people, your knowledge of herbs extends to which
ones go well in certain recipes. However, as evidenced by the expanding
selection in herb and supplement aisles, many herbs are gaining popularity among health-conscious people. There’s been an increasing emphasis—
which really began to pick up steam in the ’90s—on the use of herbal supplements to help prevent illness or maintain good health.
With that explosion of choices, however, comes confusion, sending
shoppers down the aisle with little idea of where many of these odd-sounding
items are from or what they do.
Here’s an (admittedly) noncomprehensive look at some of the herbs—
as well as a couple of fruit- and vegetable-sourced supplements—available
in the marketplace.
Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
A plant native to North America, black cohosh has a history of use for
arthritis and muscle pain, but has been used more recently to treat symptoms
that can occur during menopause. Although study results are mixed on its
effectiveness, for many women it is an effective herbal alternative to estrogen
hormone replacement therapy for hot flashes, night sweating, vaginal thinning
and dryness, depressive moods and sleep disturbances. This may be because
the root of the plant contains phytoestrogens, chemicals found in plants that
are similar to the female hormone estrogen.
Possible side effects and cautions: Black cohosh can cause headaches and
stomach discomfort. In clinical trials comparing the effects of the herb and
those of estrogen, a low number of side effects were reported, such as
headaches, gastric complaints, heaviness in the legs and weight problems.
No interactions have been reported between black cohosh and prescription
medicines. It is not clear if black cohosh is safe for women who have had
breast cancer or for pregnant women.
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
Historically, cranberry fruits and leaves were used for a variety of problems, such as wounds, urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, stomach ailments
and liver problems.
Recently, cranberry products have been used in the hope of preventing
or treating urinary tract infections.