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April 2009

Treating Post-Partum Depression and "The Baby Blues"

There are many new moms working on losing the baby weight on PEERtrainer, and we talk to a lot of you in our Tip Of The Day weight loss program. This is probably the most overwhelmed you will ever be in your life and often people are not really prepared. And you really can't be- especially if it is your first. And in some ways your second child can be even more of an unexpected jolt!

Regardless, you are going to need to get some help. And you want to make sure that you don't have the expectation that your mother, mother-in-law, husband, friend are going to be there or have all the answers. Misunderstandings in this area are common, and what you really want is to develop a "you zone" where you can start to organize and adjust your thoughts and expectations to your new reality.

If you are lucky you can go to a counselor who really feels like a friend. It's not like there is anything wrong with you, you really just need to be shepherded into this "new place." The reality is that while your own situation is unique, what you are facing is very very common. So get in the habit of getting help and getting in the "you zone." By doing this you can really make some of the overwhelm manageable.

One thing you may want to consider is getting a set of CD's with a good therapist on there who can take you through this process and help you foster your "you zone." Probably the most important thing you can do is find something relaxing and calming. 

One of the leading experts in this field and someone who is very good at helping new moms through this process is Shoshana Bennett. She is the author of Post-Partum Depression For Dummies. She also has a CD titled "Beyond The Baby Blues" that are very popular. She is also a clinical hypnotist, which simply means she knows how to help you "recondition" your mind in a  way that you want. Most of us have this cartoon image of someone in a crazy trance. Hypnosis is simply the power of suggestion, and it works really well to make you feel great. 

This is the outline of her program:

Session 1: Taking Care of Yourself

This short session will help you find a way to take care of your needs, no matter how much support you have from others. It is unhealthy always to be focused on the needs of others, rather than on your own needs. Shoshana's organic style will help you figure out what YOU need, and give you permission to take those healthy steps so you can have the energy to take care of your family.

Session 2: Feeling Confident

This session will help you feel confident about the healthy choices and decisions you're making as a mother, and to change those behaviors which may not be so healthy. This session can alleviate doubts and fears and will allow you to feel the satisfaction of knowing you're doing your best.

Session 3: Creating Harmony

Perfect balance with all your many roles (wife, mother, employee, or whatever fits your individual situation), is an unrealistic goal. Creating harmony among all your roles, however, is not only possible: Shoshana helps her clients do it on a daily basis – and it feel great! In addition, this session can help you create ways to manage your expectations in a realistic way so that your new role as a mother can integrate healthfully with the "you" before you were a mom.

Although the program was created for new moms with the baby blues, it is clearly a program that can help any new mom. Following the steps in this program can also minimize the risk of postpartum depression. That is why people are calling these "the new mom's survival CDs!".


This is a high quality product, from a very good company. We have known them for several years and have high regard for the work they do. -Jackie

Diet and Meal Plan For People With Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes

We have started to see questions from people who have diabetes, metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes who want to know what kinds of meals they should be eating. Usually in a situation like this we would answer with a boilerplate "you have to ask your doctor" kind of thing.

The problem with this response is that your doctors advice is probably not that great. Very few MD's specialize in nutrition and overall the subject is poorly understood. As a general rule, doctors in the US treat the symptoms of disease, rather than focus on root cause. Think about your visits to the doctors office over the last 5 years-- you are probably in and out of the doctors office in ten minutes. (After waiting an hour.)

And then you leave with a bunch of prescriptions. And that is pretty much it. Now, the drugs that are made today are truly extraordinary. They work really well. But if you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes or warned that you are at risk, you need to start focusing on the root cause as well as the symptoms. 

Your eating and meal plans are a key part of addressing the root cause side of the equation.

The most important thing you need to focus on is a plan for long term weight loss. You don't want to get on a diet where you are just going to gain the weight back. Mapping out a strategy is key. First of all, You will need to forget the food pyramid in planning your meals. The base of the traditional pyramid is grains and cereals. You will need to make vegetables, salads and beans the base of your personal food pyramid and meal planning as a long term goal.

The stuff that is in plants is the key to long term health. But if you are reading this, you probably eat very few fruits and vegetables each day, and you probably can't imagine eating this way. And that is ok, just understand that making a shift in this direction will be easier than you think. The trick is finding very practical ways of doing this.

At PEERtrainer, we focus on helping people make the changes they are able to at the moment. The first thing you need to do right now is just lose a couple pounds and start to develop the "weight loss success muscle." You can lose weight and you can keep it off. You just need to learn how to. The following is a sequence of ten things you can do over time to eating right.

1. The first place to start is simple portion control. You need to learn how to do this yourself, or you need to have someone help you with this. NutriSystem is a good place to start for many people because they prepare familiar foods for you in the correct portions at a good price. We have written a detailed review of NutriSystem programs for diabetics and pre-diabetes.

2. It might be that you need some in person support and guidance, and Weight Watchers does a very good job in this department. They have a new Momentum Program which will help you with portion control and also help you get more vegetables, salads and beans in your diet with tasty recipes. The link takes you to the PEERtrainer review of their program.

3. Get a copy of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's "Eat To Live." This book will teach you in detail about why you need to make the long term transition to a much more plant-based diet. The basic idea is that in every group of people on the planet, as consumption of animal protein goes up, so do diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke etc. 

4. Get more support. PEERtrainer has a free weight loss program called the "Tip Of The Day." Each day you will get an email with one idea to focus on that day. It is a very innovative program and it is easy to do. People find that it is a great reminder service to stay on track, and it does introduce a lot of practical ideas to make the changes you need to over time. Over 15,000 people get that email each day!

5. Understand that changing how you think will help your health and that you can do this quickly. We have a great article published on the site called "How To Change Anything In Your Life" and it goes over a seven step process that will help you.

6. Assess your belief that weight loss is possible. Have you decided to make a change but deep down inside you expect that you will either not succeed or that you will gain the weight back? There is a HUGE difference between your expectations and desires when it comes to weight loss. You can read this article to help you understand what your real expectations are.

7. Learn that "No" is a complete sentence. So much of our food decisions result from subtle pressure from friends, family, even the waiter/waitress at a restaurant. You are going to need to develop the "No" muscle whenever you feel pressured.

8. Get inspiration from others. We just published a letter from a reader which we ended up sending to the entire community. It is called "How To Feel Great Right Now." If you want a positive jolt right now, read it.

9. Get out of the mindset that you have to be on only one diet. Learn to mix and match. We call this "Diet Fusion."

10. No matter what, know that weight loss is possible and use as many tools as you can. You can't build a house with just a hammer...

NutriSystem D

PEERtrainer Diet Blog

You are Diabetic and Your Doctor Thinks You Can't Lose Weight....

One of the dirty secrets of treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and Diabetics is that most doctors take the approach that it is nearly impossible to get people to lose weight. As a result, the treatment pays lip service to "diet and lifestyle improvements" and just gives you medications that often result in greater weight gain and increased diabetes. 


So the question is- what do you think? The reality is that Type 2 diabetes can be cured, not just managed or made part of your lifestyle. There are a bunch of ways to lose weight that work. This blog post highlights several of them, and they are all different approaches. Some of it is very mainstream, and other approaches are a little new. But they all work in different ways, and the bottom line is that you can lose more weight than you ever thought possible, as long as you start to think and act a little differently.


This is what we do at PEERtrainer- we help people make massive change, one step at a time, and we base this all in the reality of how people really live. Just start to mix up your patterns. Do one thing this week, just one thing. If you approach each week like this, you will make massive changes over time that will stun your doctor. It is also really important that if you follow any of the steps below and you start to lose weight, go to your doctor immediately to make sure your medications are in the proper dosage.

Step 1: Glycemic Control and Portion Control

The first step is obviously get the blood sugar under control. This is what your doctor just told you and we'd be very curious to hear the specific things you were told. Leave them in the comments in the bottom of this blog post, we really want to hear them. The ultimate treatment (and potential cure) of Type 2 Diabetes is a diet very high in plant based foods, especially greens.


However, first things first. You need to get your portions under control and do so in a way that brings your glucose levels inline. And the best way to do this is to lose weight. You might want to consider a meal delivery service like NutriSystem for the first few months. NutriSystem programs for diabetics like NutriSystem D are clinically proven to help get things under control for you.


The reason this might be a good idea is that for most people dieting is hard. NutriSystem makes it easy, and basically costs nothing for most people. You already spend money for food, more than you probably think. You simply shift the cost to this program. They also do a fairly good job of giving you support and also showing you how to start adding more plant-based foods into your diet.


It may be that you can adopt a healthy diet on your own instantly, but be open to making it easy on yourself and finding ways of boosting your odds of success.


Step 2: Get Massive Motivation and Support

You can make incredible changes in your lifestyle. But as we said earlier, the odds of your immediate friends and family being a negative influence in your life is pretty high. So you are going to need to look outside your immediate circle for daily influence and ideas. To plug PEERtrainer for a second, we have some incredible resources to support and motivate you. The single most effective free tool we have right now is the PEERtrainer Tip Of The Day Program. This will give you massive motivation and support via daily emails. Click on that link to learn a little more, but it is a really cool program.


There are a ton of other resources out there to help you, and just be open to new ideas as much as you can. One of the things we really focus on is helping build your level of belief that massive positive change is possible.


Step 3: Begin The Path To Nutritional Excellence

We firmly believe that people need to make the first steps towards weight loss as easy and doable as possible. That is why we view things like the NutriSystem Diet to be a very realistic first step. But down the road you are going to need to read Eat To Live Or Eat For Health and learn about the work of Dr. Joel Fuhrman. We go out of our way to credit Dr. Fuhrman with pioneering the field of "nutritional excellence." He is influencing the entire diet industry and has been instrumental in the development of Weight Watchers new Momentum Program and was a core influence of Dr. Ian Smith's Fat Smash Diet.


This three step process that we outlined will help you with both the short term and long term aspects of getting your Type 2 Diabetes in control. If you do start to adopt the high nutrient diet over time that Dr. Fuhrman recommends- only 10% animal protein, high amounts of greens and salads each day- make sure to see your doctor and make sure any medications you are taking are at the right levels.


No matter what you do, make sure to check out the PEERtrainer Tip Of The Day page. You also might want to join PEERtrainer and start logging your food and exercise each day to make sure your portions are really under control and you get support. And if you feel like you need some help getting started, don't be afraid to get some help with a company like NutriSystem.
Step 4: You Have Started A Good Faith Effort To Lose Weight, But Are Having A Hard Time
If you have started to make some better decisions but are not having the results you want, you probably need to make some more adjustments. Eliminating wheat and gluten in your diet is a very good idea, and more and more doctors are recommending that people with Type 2 diabetes reduce gluten.
As you reduce your wheat and gluten, you want to really step on the gas with Stage 3 of this process. As you increase your greens and vegetable consumption, you are going to be giving your body the nutrients it needs. This will help to reduce your food cravings. You need to be patient here, but you will find that as you eat the right foods your system will begin to regulate itself better.
Removing dairy from your diet is likely to help a great deal as well. Many people are lactose intolerant to varying degrees. You never know until you try.

NutriSystem D


Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Is Metformin Effective? What Are The Side Effects?

Metformin is one of the most popular anti-diabetic drugs and one of the most prescribed drugs overall in the United States. The drug has been around for over half a century and is effective in suppressing glucose production with relatively few immediate side effects. But long term use is likely to result in early death and many people think that they are "healthy" now that they are on this drug.

Given the serious complications of Type 2 diabetes, a drug like this is highly likely to be prescribed by a doctor to treat the symptoms. The causes of Type 2 diabetes are largely dietary and one will want to make changes in their diet over time which can lead to tremendous improvement in how you feel and how much energy you have.

Am I Going To Have Type 2 Diabetes The Rest Of My Life?

There appear to be a lot of people heavily invested in the idea that Type 2 Diabetes is something you have to have the rest of your life. If you go to a site like WebMD and look up "healthy diet for a type 2 diabetic" you may come across this article in which someone named Hope Warshaw is interviewed.

She states that:

"You're going to have diabetes for the rest of your life."

From what we have started to observe at PEERtrainer, this appears to be an incorrect assumption. It is extremely hard to make dietary changes given social pressure and the inadequate advice of organizations like the American Diabetes Association. There is strong evidence emerging that with the right diet, one can reverse Type 2 diabetes.

"Can" is the most important word here, because it is very difficult to do so. But it can be done, if one follows a diet that includes very high levels of plant based foods. There is this idea out there that one just needs to take their diabetes meds, eat a "reasonable" diet and all is well. Here is the reality of the situation:

More than 70 percent of adults with Type II diabetes die of heart attacks and strokes, and these deaths occur at a younger age compared to people without diabetesPremature death and the devastating complications of this disease simply do not have to happen. 

Those with diabetes are told to watch their diet, exercise and use drugs to better control the glucose levels in their bloodstream. My message is that the nutritional advice received from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), dieticians and physicians is inadequate and permits countless of unnecessary premature deaths and much needless suffering. I declare, “Don’t live with your diabetes, don’t simply control your diabetes — get rid of it.”

- Dr. Joel Fuhrman

The diet that Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends is rapidly becoming mainstream. His basic message is eat a diet very high in plant based foods and especially greens. And the science backs him up. What is interesting is that his precise words and ideas are now being parroted in many places. In the April 2009 issue of Men's Health Magazine there is an article called "The New Rules Of Healthy Eating" that talks about the importance of eating a very minimal amount of meat, eating tons and ton vegetables, eating beans, using fruit for dessert. This is all Dr. Fuhrman 101, and it is great to see others start to advocate this exact diet approach

So think about the assumptions you might have about treating Type 2 Diabetes.

Trade names include: GlucophageRiometFortametGlumetzaObimetDianbenDiabexDiaformin

How Much Protein Should A Diabetic Have Per Day?

If you have Type 2 diabetes, one thing to focus on is replacing animal protein with vegetable protein over time. People typically consume too much animal protein, which is especially hard on diabetics.

The typical US diet is very high in protein, and high levels of vegetables are essential to long term reversal of type 2 diabetes. This is from the abstract of a recent study published by the Baylor College Of Medicine:

"Long-term cohort studies have indicated that whole-grain consumption reduces the risk of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, nuts (eg, almonds), viscous fibers (eg, fibers from oats and barley), soy proteins, and plant sterols, which may be part of the vegetarian diet, reduce serum lipids.
In combination, these plant food components may have a very significant impact on cardiovascular disease, one of the major complications of diabetes. Furthermore, substituting soy or other vegetable proteins for animal protein may also decrease renal hyperfiltration, proteinuria, and renal acid load and in the long term reduce the risk of developing renal disease in type 2 diabetes.
The vegetarian diet, therefore, contains a portfolio of natural products and food forms of benefit for both the carbohydrate and lipid abnormalities in diabetes. It is anticipated that their combined use in vegetarian diets will produce very significant metabolic advantages for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications."

Is There A Cure For Type 2 Diabetes?

There are a series of steps that if followed are highly likely to help improve your condition. We outline a three step process to follow in addition to or to augment what your doctor recommends if you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

A summary of the approach is as follows:

1. Get your glucose and portions under control. And you need to start with whatever approach you are most likely to follow through successfully on. NutriSystem D can be a good option, especially if you are having a hard time keeping your portions in check. This is a new version of their diabetics program, and offers a very broad set of support options beyond just the meal plans.

2. Get massive support and motivation and be open to new ideas. Your existing assumptions got you to this point, and you are going to need to think differently and test your assumptions. PEERtrainer has a free "massive motivation" email program that will add a daily support layer. Join it and plug into an excellent stream of ideas that will get you on the right track in an easy, steady manner.

3. Start working towards a lot of greens in the veggies. This is a must given the recent research that shows that type 2 diabetes can be cured in many cases with a diet high in plant based foods.