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Insanity Nutrition Guide


Ever heard of Insanity? If not, Google “Insanity Workout” and read up on how the workout program promises weight loss and a better looking body in 60 days. That, or stay up late one night and you’re bound to see a television infomercial for it. No matter how many times I’ve seen it pop up on T.V., I’m still oddly captivated by how everyday people get staggering results.

But is it really as “simple” as just doing the workouts, which, to me looks about as easy as lifting a monster truck with my pinky? No. And no insanity workout review would be a fair assessment if it didn’t emphasize the importance of the free insanity nutrition guide download that accompanies the program.

My skepticism melted away as I reviewed the 52 page insanity nutrition guide pdf download. I thought id’ be suggesting that carbohydrates are the enemy, all fats are evil, and taking 500 calories a day for months will do the trick for weight loss. I also thought it wouldn’t be surprising if they threw in a FREE insanity workout calendar with ‘specially formulated’ miracle drinks to promote extreme weight loss IF YOU BUY NOW! (Sorry, those infomercials have an odd grip on my brain.)

Thankfully, I was so, so wrong. Short of going to see a dietitian for expert advice, the insanity nutrition guide printable manual presents safe nutrition advice that’s fairly easy to follow and not too intimidating. It offers a systematic approach to tailoring each person’s unique calorie needs, goals, and emphasizes variety and hydration as key to good health. Honestly? I had to read it a couple times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming or not catching some fine, fine print.

My favorite aspects of the insanity nutrition guide:

  • Uses a predictive equation to estimate resting energy expenditure based on a person’s unique characteristics including gender, height, weight, age
  • Takes into account people’s different activity level and increases caloric requirements
  • Suggests a 500 calorie/day deficit to promote steady weight loss of 1 pound/week, which is safe and sustainable versus dramatic hypo-caloric diets that often result in rebound weight gain
  • Promotes 3 meals and 2 snacks, totaling 5 meals a day spread several hours at a time, with meal ideas that have protein, carbohydrate, and vegetables/fruit
  • Emphasizes lean proteins, low-fat dairy, healthy fat additions, complex carbohydrate food choices over saturated fats and refined sugars

Looking for the insanity nutrition guide printable version?

Go to: http://www.teamunify.com/cast/__doc__/Insanity%20Nutrition%20Guide.pdf

(I want to be sure we’re looking at the same document, in case there are other insanity nutrition guide manuals out there.)


The bottom line is:

  • Nutrition is the foundation of good health, whether or not you do insanity
  • You are unique, so your eating plan needs to match your needs and goals, not ‘that guy in the infomercial ‘ or ‘your cousin Suzie’ or ‘uncle Frank’
  • Follow the insanity nutrition guide if you are doing the insanity workouts. It just makes sense to do the program in its entirety. Is it really realistic to expect 100% results from doing 50% of the work?
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Healthy Grocery List – Shopping Smarts

grocery shopping

Grocery shopping can be such a chore after a busy day running errands and doing work. It’s no wonder that we’re tempted to buy convenience foods and quick-prep food items when we’re at the grocery store – our minds are trying to maximize our time so we spend less time in the kitchen and more time on other things.

Healthy grocery shopping requires us to plan ahead and avoid the common trap of buying processed foods and treats that we can go without (both for our health and our wallets!). Don’t get stuck making bad choices when shopping for food. Follow these simple and easy tips to make every trip to the grocery store a health-provoking one.

Tip #1 – Have some food before you go shopping

Hunger can cloud our judgment and make us buy more foods that are higher in salt, sugar, and fat. Our brains are wired such that we need the nutrients from food to keep us thinking clearly. Make sure you eat a meal or snack and drink fluids so you’re in a neutral state of mind when you go shopping. Some healthy snacks include: peanut butter on Triscuits, small slice of cheese with fresh pear, handful of nuts or a small apple.

Tip #2 – Write a “eating healthy grocery list” and stick to it

Try keeping a magnetic notepad on your fridge door. Once you run out of something such as toilet paper, milk, or frozen blueberries, add it to the list and don’t add any extras. By sticking to your list of essentials, you won’t be tempted to buy extra foods like ice-cream, cookies, etc. unless it’s a special occasion. This tip will also help you save some money in the long run.

After a while, you’ll be able to write out a healthy grocery list template based so healthy grocery shopping is made easy no matter who goes to pick up the groceries.

Tip #3 – Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the aisles if possible

Every major grocery store is set up in a similar fashion. Fresh, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruit, breads, milk and dairy products, and meat and alternatives are stocked along the periphery of the store. The aisles in the center of the store are where you’ll find processed items. Some processed items aren’t bad at all, such as no or low sodium canned goods, plain frozen vegetables and fruit, high fiber low sugar breakfast cereals, and spices. However, a lot of processed foods such as chips, salsa, pop, candy are much less healthy for you. By first filling your grocery cart with fresh foods from the perimeter, you’ll think twice about whether you really need to venture the aisles and battle temptation.

Finally, many grocery stores such as Save-On-Foods and Choices Markets, both from British Columbia, offer free nutrition tours where a registered dietitian takes individuals and groups along a store to offer healthy eating and shopping tips. The tours can be catered to the needs of the group as well. So whether you’re looking for help in developing a “healthy grocery list for college students” that are about to move out or a “healthy grocery list for men” in your home that were never taught formally how to buy groceries (and quite honestly, could use a tip or two), you’re in good hands! I have had the privilege of being an attendee it’s always a fantastic experience. I can see how beneficial it would be for small families needing tips for writing a “healthy grocery list on a budget” or groups of elementary or high school students as they learn about healthy eating. Take advantage of the opportunity if your neighborhood store offers this service!


GM Diet Plan for Weight Loss


In short, this diet scares me. I blurted out, “Are you kidding me?” a couple times in my head.

The GM diet menu consists of no alcohol, but plenty of water as basic rules, coupled with a strict 7 day plan that promises rapid weight loss, improved energy levels, and detoxification. There are modified plans such as the “GM diet plan for Indians” and “GM diet plan vegetarian” available that include respective GM diet charts and GM diet tips. Interestingly, the GM diet plan Indian version has gained popularity since its development in 1985.

A quick summary of the GM detox diet

(and my concerns below each day)

Day 1: unlimited fruits, no bananas, melons preferred

  • Diabetics beware! This is NOT for you! Fruits contain carbohydrate, which causes sugar spikes when taken in large amounts or not coupled with a protein source. Taking an unlimited amount for a day will lead to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and cause damage to the intricate blood vessels that carry blood to all parts of your body, including your retinas and kidneys.

Day 2: potatoes for breakfast, vegetables for lunch and dinner

  • Again, not appropriate for diabetics.
  • Also, not for people with renal (kidney disease) because of the high potassium and phosphorus content, both of which need to be individualized depending on the person’s bloodwork.

Day 3: unlimited vegetables and fruit, vegetable soup encouraged

  • Day 3 without protein, which will lead to feelings of hunger, weakness, soreness, and low energy. Not a good combination for people not in good health, are battling a short-term or long term illness, caring for young children or the elderly or driving to and from work!

Day 4: 3 glasses of milk and up to 8 bananas, small bowl of vegetable soup at dinner encouraged

  • I struggle with the logic of this one. 3 glasses of milk a day is a good thing. 8 bananas? If it’s a means to replenish potassium, there’s no need given potassium is in the fruits, potatoes, and vegetables encouraged on the first three days. Why introduce a surge here?

Day 5: 2, 10oz beef portions with 6 whole tomatoes, drink more water today

  • The extra water is for washing out the added uric acid produced as a byproduct of breaking down protein. More water is always good – no complaints here.
  • Protein…finally! But now there’s no carbohydrate! One day for healthy folk is alright, but diabetics, don’t do it. This will lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and is dangerous to try!

Day 6: unlimited beef and vegetables

  • Vegetables – no problem. If no starchy vegetables are chosen though, there’s no carbs again!
  • Unlimited beef? I fail to see how saturated fat in large amounts qualifies as detox.

Day 7: some brown rice okay, unlimited fruit juice and vegetables

  • No protein means feeling hungry sooner, and often.

This is undoubtedly another rapid weight loss fad diet that should not be tried. Its strategy is simply not sustainable and will likely lead to rebound weight gain. Despite the claims of improved energy, I believe that most people will feel less energetic and for some, downright crummy because of the lack of calories and imbalance of carbohydrates and protein over a week. In fact, because of the ‘unlimited’ amounts of food allowed on different days, I struggle with even saying weight loss is guaranteed. As for detox? The guideline of increased water intake and high fruit/vegetable intake are good ideas with poor execution.

Sorry to be so harsh, makers of the GM diet plan. Your intentions were good and I’m sure some people have benefited from the GM diet tips, but the risks far outweigh the benefits from my perspective. Call me a biased professional, but I stand by gradual weight loss done in a sustainable manner through balanced meals and an increase in physical activity – Hands down. 


Dash Diet Recipes & More

dash diet

Here is one diet that dietitians gladly stand behind and enforce to patients wishing to lower their blood pressure.  Many people have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), but not everyone knows how to keep their blood pressure under control.


Dash Diet for High Blood Pressure Tips:

  • Aim for a healthy weight (Body Mass Index between 18-25)
  • Be physically active as often as you can
  • Enjoy less salt in your foods
  • If you drink alcohol, consume in moderation
  • Measure your blood pressure regularly (If your doctor said so)


You can also try following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet, which may work as well as medications do when it comes to lowering blood pressure.


A DASH Diet Meal Plan involves the following:

  • Focus on having fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Enjoy low fat dairy foods like milk and yogurt (versus their full fat counterparts)
  • Emphasize whole grains and high fiber foods
  • Choose foods low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat
  • Consume more fish, poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds and less red meat
  • Keep sweets, sugar, and alcohol to a minimum
  • Have foods rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium, as well as protein and fiber
  • Maintain a daily sodium or salt intake between 1500mg (2/3 tsp) to 2300mg (1 tsp)


Other Benefits of the DASH Diet Menu:

  • Lowers LDL (“Lousy” cholesterol that sticks to your arteries and causes blockages)
  • Reduces your risk for developing heart disease (due to decreased blood pressure and LDL levels)


Tips to Get You Started on Your DASH Diet Plan:

  • Read the Nutrition Facts Label to select foods with low or no sodium
  • Avoid buying processed foods, smoked, cured, and processed meats
  • For sauces and seasonings, use small amounts to flavor food
  • Rinse canned beans, vegetables, and fish and drain well to remove excess sodium


For a sample Dash Diet Plan Recipes (including High Blood Pressure Recipes (Hypertension Recipes, also known as Low Sodium Diet Recipes) as well as a 1 week Dash Diet Plan, visit:



Tags: dash diet plan, dash diet menu, dash diet for high blood pressure, dash diet plan recipes, high blood pressure recipes, low sodium diet recipes, hypertension recipes


Can the FODMAP Diet really help with IBS?

fodmap diet plan

The FODMAP diet was developed in 1999 by Dr.Sue Shepard for people dealing with the uncomfortable symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, which includes abdominal pain or bloating, excessive wind (flatulence), changes in bowel pattern (constipation, diarrhoea, or a combination of both) and other types of gastrointestinal discomfort. Today, the FODMAP diet has been recognized as an effective diet therapy and consumers are able to easily access fodmap diet recipes or low fodmap diet books by searching online or visiting local bookstores.


FODMAP Diet Explained

FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo, Di and Monosaccharide And Polyols (sugar alcohols). These are molecules found in many foods that are hard to digest for some people. What happens is these FODMAPs do not get properly digested in the stomach, or small intestine. When they reach the large intestine, they become a source of food for the bacteria that normally live there. The fermentation and digestion that occurs as a result of the bacteria feeding off of the FODMAPs is what is responsible for the IBS symptoms listed above.


Therefore, for people suffering from IBS symptoms, there are two routes when it comes to following the FODMAP diet:


1) Take FODMAPs in smaller than usual amounts. You may see an improvement in your symptoms and this will be a sign that the FODMAP diet is working for you. You can then decide if you want to stay at this intake level or further adjust your diet to control your symptoms.


2) Try the FODMAP elimination diet and stop eating all foods containing FODMAPs. When you’re ready, reintroduce small traces of FODMAPs into your diet and track your IBS symptoms in a journal. Notice how your body reacts to these foods and find your balance between enjoying FODMAP containing foods and being IBS symptom free.


FODMAP List of Foods (not a complete list)

  • Grain Products:
    • wheat (in large amounts)
    • brown rice
    • kamut
    • spelt, rye (in large amounts)
    • barley (in large amounts)
  • Vegetables:
    • asparagus
    • artichokes (globe and Jerusalem)
    • sun chokes
    • avocado
    • broccoli
    • beetroot
    • cabbage
    • brussels sprouts
    • cauliflower
    • chicory
    • fennel
    • onions
    • garlic
    • leeks
    • radicchio
    • shallots
    • mushrooms
  • Fruits:
    • apples
    • apricots
    • cherries
    • grapes
    • mango
    • nectarines
    • peaches
    • pears
    • plums
    • prunes
    • pineapples
    • watermelon
    • fruit juices
  • Milk and Alternatives:
    • milk (fresh, powder, condensed, or evaporated)
    • custard
    • yogurt
    • ice-ceam
    • dairy desserts
    • soft unripened cheeses (such as ricotta, cottage, cream, marscarpone)
  • Meat and Alternatives:
    • legumes
    • lentils
    • chickpeas
  • Sugars & Sweeteners:
    • high-fructose corn syrup
    • corn syrup
    • honey
    • sorbitol
    • manitol
    • xylitol
    • maltitol
    • isomalt
    • inulin


Other Methods of Relieving IBS Symptoms (Non-FODMAP related):

  • Add more soluble fiber in your diet, especially at the start of your meals
    • try a bowl of oatmeal at breakfast and a cup of water
    • use a fiber supplement like Metamucil if that’s more convenient for you
  • Eat meals at regular times, spaced around 4-6 hours apart
  • Carry snacks with you to avoid getting hungry
  • Small frequent meals may be a better option if you tend to feel bloated after large meals
  • Choose lower fat foods
  • Enjoy cooked fruits and vegetables more often than raw, uncooked versions
  • Take carbonated drinks and caffeine containing drinks sparingly
  • Drink peppermint tea and chamomile tea throughout the day
  • Minimize your stress levels
  • Get adequate sleep daily
  • Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or tai-chi