The Conclusion of A Daughter’s Journey to Help Save her Mother’s Life: Results – 106 drop in LDL Cholesterol

November 1, 2012 – The results are finally in  . . . Cecile dropped an amazing 106 points in her LDL cholesterol in 3 months taking Nutrim®.  She took the challenge and followed through and had success.  This journey has sparked something inside for Cecile that is motivating her to make additional healthy lifestyle changes that not only affect her cholesterol levels and heart health but, also  her health in general.  Watch the video as Cecile reveals the following:

  • Amazing Before and After Cholesterol Test Scores from the Home Access Test kit and Her Latest Doctor’s Visit
  • Improved Lifestyle Changes Promoting her Overall Health-Quit Smoking!
  • Ways Cecile Used Nutrim®

As we now wrap up the beginning of Cecile’s journey to lower her cholesterol naturally by using Nutrim® – 100% natural oat β-Glucan super food, you can’t help but wonder what’s next . . .

I’m not just talking about my mother, because in this last video, she spells it out pretty clear that she intends on taking Nutrim® whether I am employed with the manufacturer or not.

But honestly, what IS next?  You may be reading this, holding your recent high cholesterol test scores, thinking this very same thought.  And I’m here to relay a message: “There is really no excuse.”

The words below are taken from an editorial article published in our company publication, Inside Nutrition (Winter 2012),  by one of our company’s executives, John Hunter:

We want to lose weight but only if we can do it by eating whatever we want whenever we want it.  We’re eating whatever we want whenever we want it.  We’re addicted to sugar, salt, and fat.  Our attitudes are similar to a child who stomps his feet and says, ‘I don’t wanna drink my milk.’ Yet, secretly, we hate the way we look, we hate the way we feel and we’re terrified of getting old . . . heart disease, cancer, and, (possibly the worse of all), dementia.

Despite all of this time, most of us keep telling ourselves that there is time. ‘Everything will be alright if I start next week, next month, next year, after my daughter graduates, after I get that raise . . .’

 Sorry, pal, time has run out.

 With what we know today about food, life-style and nutrition, there is absolutely NO REASON, (and yes, he’s shouting), for any of us to continue doing what we’ve been doing to ourselves. Good nutrition, knowledge of what will keep you healthy, and prevention are more easily attained today than at any point in our history.  We’re idiots if we don’t take advantage of [these] opportunities.  

Do you remember what I talked about in our very first blog together introducing our Nutrim® Video Series with Cecile? The clock’s ticking, so don’t let time run out like it did for my father because honestly, “There IS no excuse.”

cholesterol results chart

Cecile's Cholesterol Test Results Indicate 106 Drop in LDL "Bad" Cholesterol

Week 2: Lowering Cholesterol Naturally using Nutrim-My Mom Cut Out Her Sleeping Pill

September 6, 2012 – My mom’s overall experience with Nutrim is shaping up as she perks up with LOTS of energy after experiencing a minor pitfall during week 1.  She is shifting out of her comfort zone of just mixing the Nutrim powder in liquid by testing out other quick and easy ways to get her daily 2 scoops. Find out the other ways my mom tried Nutrim this week by watching below!

Cecile’s Nutrim Benefits this Week:

It’s only week 2 and She’s shouting Nutrim from the Rooftops!

I was completely shocked when week 2 came.  My mom insisted on knowing ways she could recommend Nutrim to friends, co-workers, and family members.  She didn’t need a low cholesterol test score to help her move forward in full-force sharing her recent positive experiences with our product, Nutrim.  Nevertheless, improved cholesterol test results are sometimes the necessary motivator for people to share their story, but not with my mom.  The increase in energy, regularities of her bowel movements, and lack of after-taste is what keeps her moving forward with this product.  She also continuously mentions how “champion race horses eat oats too”!

My Mother Believes Water is Connected to Weight Loss

In addition to lowering her cholesterol naturally, a small struggle she has been facing stems from being able to cut down (and cut-out caffeine) in an effort to up the water in her diet.  As a teenager, I found it hard to reconcile myself with “mother knows best”!  But lately, it’s been hard to ignore my mother as she continues to go on about the importance water and its benefits–transports nutrients throughout our body.  These constant reminders  from her make me realize that drinking diet soda does not equal weight loss.  Just some food (or drink) for thought!  Since starting Nutrim, my mom has been trading in the cans of Diet Coke for a water bottle and Nutrim2Go tablets.

Nutrim Surprises Her by its Versatility

In the video, my mom talks about several ways she has personally tried Nutrim.  She has mixed it in juice, coffee creamer, yogurt, and eggs.  As mentioned in her first week, she dove into using a heart-healthier version of butter.  Nutrim was originally developed by the USDA as a fat-replacer so adding it to butter makes sense.  My personal goal in support of my Mother’s Nutrim journey is to try and encourage her to substitute Nutrim for ingredients like flour, sour cream, butter, and mayonnaise.  I believe that the more times she fits Nutrim into her day; the more successful her next cholesterol test will be.

Week 1: My Mother’s Journey to Lower Cholesterol Naturally with Nutrim

August 23, 2012 – Hello again!  Last week, I unveiled our very close and personal Nutrim Video Series by introducing you to my mother, Cecile.  She has graciously allowed us to record and publish her personal journey towards lowering her cholesterol naturally and achieving healthy weight loss and maintenance.

Pluses about her Nutrim experience so far are:

  • Transforming her butter into a healthier version using Nutrim (The grand-kids refer to it as Grandma’s “special butter”!)
  • No longer feels compelled to buy energy drinks to get through her work day.
  • More Energy, Feeling Better, NO AFTER-TASTE!! (“The greatest thing about this product!”)

Moving Toward a Healthy Lifestyle with Nutrim

I’ve probably watched this video at least 3 or 4 times since its original recording. What if you were watching my Nutrim journey?  How would one suggest I fit Nutrim into a schedule consisting of balancing a 40 hours/week job, online graduate work, a 6 year old participating in soccer, softball, and dance (all in the same fall season), managing a house, and maintaining a (sane) relationship with my husband.

Scheduling the Second Scoop

Like any new user, my mom spent much of her first week just making sure she got used to adding Nutrim into her schedule. Mixing the powder into her morning juice before work was easy enough.  But, 75% of my mother’s workday revolves around sitting in the car traveling back and forth to meetings.  What’s to stop her from grabbing a double cheeseburger at the drive-thru?

Nutrim Can Go Anywhere My Mom Goes

When I initially found out that on Wednesday of her first week my mom had a problem fitting in the second scoop, it made sense to recommend the Nutrim2go chewable tablets.  In the convenient chewable, tablet form Nutrim2Go can be taken anywhere-so my mom will never miss her second serving of oat beta glucan.  So now, during the workday, with her water bottle in tow, she chews 2 tablets every couple of hours eventually taking 8 tablets (One Serving of Nutrim = 1 Scoop of Powder OR 8 Nutrim2Go Tablets) becoming a sensible and doable plan for my mom.

From Grain to Glucan

Food.  We all eat it.  We all love it.  It’s a vital part of our well-being, and in many ways, it is a part of identity and culture.  Food is important.  Food can even influence mood and outlook.  Food also usually has a story.  It may not sound exciting or interesting, but food has an adventure of its own, from its start to finish.  Nutrim takes a long journey from a little oat seed to a fine powder in a can or a chewable capsule.

It may be hard to understand, but the same powder that can help lower cholesterol, started in a field just like any other crop.

We strongly promote whole foods, those foods that are as class to their natural state as possible.  We suggest you use fresh garlic, rather than garlic salts and powders.  Try some real tarragon, rather than “Italian seasoning-flavored” mixes.  Use the real thing.  I’m sure this raises confusion as to Nutrim, and what it is.

Nutrim® is the easy way to supplement your diet with the Power of Oats.  It’s 100% oats.  It’s just cooked and ground down according to a USDA process.  And you won’t find another oat bran as pure and rich in oat beta glucan fiber as Nutrim.

So, next time you drink your 100% pure orange juice, think about the fact that several people worked long and hard to get that juice to you as safe, secure, and nutritional food.  Origin of food is an interesting topic, one that I love talking about.  Do you every stop to think about the fact that your whole wheat bread used to be a grain on a plant in a field somewhere?  Or the fact that your favorite soup comprises of several different products that had to be produced?

Part of the benefit of farmer’s markets is the face-to-face contact that buyers have with the people that worked directly with the product.  That’s an underestimated benefit in a fast-paced world like ours.

Food comes a long way from start to finish.  Are you well-versed in your food’s journey?  Check it out, you may end up finding out some useful information.

The Downward Spiral of Stress Eating

Emotional eating.  I’m sure we’ve all done it.  Or, maybe we’ve done the opposite, and abstained from eating because of an emotional situation.  This is probably one of my greatest weaknesses; I have a stress-craving trigger that would test most people’s will-power and a caffeine addiction that I’ve “beaten” about twelve different times now.  It’s easy to take good care of ourselves when life is going our way.  But, what about all those times when things seem a little out of control?

Things have been hectic lately.  Between great opportunities and stressful set-backs (such as, loved ones being in the hospital), stress has been a huge factor in my life lately.  Now, stress can be good, in moderation.  It can keep you on your feet and help you prioritize.  However, overt stress is hard on the body and mind.  It tests your self-control and tempts you into slipping back into bad habits.  As hard as I try most of the time to eat right, though, sometimes it just seems like such a good idea to have that Mountain Dew or sneak some McDonald’s instead of that healthier option I’d been planning on.

Stress eating.  It’s a horrible cycle.  Usually, there’s guilt.  In fact, in many ways, a stress-triggered craving can be tied to some serious health problems, such as eating disorders.  Often, emotional eating leads to feelings of guilt or regret, similar to what some people would experience after a bulimic binge.  While the self-induced harm isn’t quite as significant as that in a full-blown eating disorder, it’s hard on both the body and the mind.  You eat to get rid of the negative feelings, to “feel” better…and often end up feeling worse in the end.

I think it’s valuable to note that most Americans know that they eat wrong.  They understand that they should try harder.  But emotional eating is a hard cycle to break.  It’s a tough monster to beat.  Understanding just how hard it can be might make it easier to beat, though.  And every person who understands the downfalls of emotional eating, has the tools to beat it.

So, next time you’re feeling fried and that chocolate cake, that sugar-loaded soda, or that huge plate of nachos is giving you “the eye,” consider your options.  You can stress eat, feel better for a few minutes, and feel badly about it afterward, or…you can take the high road, remember your well-being, and feel accomplished later.  You may want that triple-chocolate fudge brownie, but I’m sure you’ll be happier you didn’t give in later on.

Consistency Matters!

Regularity is a little thing that can make a big difference.  Most people have their routines, and aren’t very appreciative when they’re interrupted.  Being consistent can be a make-or-breaker in many situations.  Your diet and lifestyle are no different.  Keeping up a good, consistent routine to take care of yourself is key.  This includes exercise, sleep, eating habits, and personal time.

Plan Ahead

You may worry that occasions will arise where you can’t always follow your usual routine.  Planning ahead can help you adjust to stick as close to your regular routine.  Sometimes when you’re traveling or with different people than usual, findings means to keep your health habits intact seem daunting.  A little forethought is all it takes to maintain your routine, and good health.

Adjust Accordingly

What if there is absolutely no way you can stick to it as well as you’d like to?  Try your best, and make compromises.  Find little ways to make up for it.  Can’t make it to the gym or fit in your normal exercise?  Tack on some extra walking.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Worried that your evening out may make it hard to eat right?  Find ways to cut extra calories and fat from your meal and go light on the things that you’re more worried about.

You can’t always be perfect, but you can still moderate yourself.  You may not always have the best options 100% of the time, but you can provide BETTER options for yourself than what might be easy.

Get Back on Track

Sometimes we all slip up.  Sometimes we just don’t have all the options we’d like to have.  Did you splurge on that last meal?  Did you skip a few days of working out?  So, you goofed.  We’ve all done it, we’ve all been there.  Just work hard to get back on track.  Messing up doesn’t have to be a permanent situation.  You may have actually learned something from your break.  Maybe you figured out the best way to avoid losing your routine.  Maybe you accidentally found something new to incorporate into your usual regimen (hopefully a healthful, beneficial addition).

No one’s perfect, and your routine can’t always be.  While it’s good to be consistent with things such as diet, exercise, sleep, and relaxation, you can still have wiggle room.  It’s most valuable to keep in mind, though, to realize that consistency matters.  Also, be sure to talk to your healthcare professionals about big lifestyle changes such as exercise programs and major diet changes.  Routines are only good to keep if they’re the right routines.

Don’t Pack on the Pounds at a Desk

I’ve had the opportunity to see two very distinctly-different career styles:  desk jobs, and tough manual labor jobs.  My father did manual labor his entire life.  From the time he married my mother in his early 20’s to his passing at age 46, he gained 5 lbs.  That’s all.  Millions of people around America wish they could maintain weight that well.  Dad’s secret was the amount of hard, physical labor he did.  You see, he worked in various areas of construction.  First, he was a roofer.  Then, he did general contracting.  Then, he helped run a heating and air conditioning company.  All of his jobs required a lot of hard, back-breaking work and a lot of unpleasant time out in the elements.  One of the big payoffs (other than providing for my mother, myself, and my 3 older siblings) was that he was always, always in great physical shape.

Then there’s me.  My job?  Sitting at a desk, sharing my thoughts with you lovely people (among other responsibilities).  I spend most of my days sitting at my desk.  There are plenty of stressful moments attached to my job.  There’s also those 3 o’clock slumps where it feels danged-near impossible to survive the rest of the work day.  Sometimes, eating feels like the only way to get away from my desk and shake myself out of a comatose state.

On the flip-side, I also help out on a farm.  I carry feed bags, drive tractors, and build fences.  (The guys get quite a kick out of little ol’ me getting down and dirty…I’m only 4’10”, I’m blonde, and I usually have well-manicured nails.)  So, compared to my weekends and evening tasks on the farm, my office job can seem fairly…sedentary.  So, I’ve forced myself to find some good ways to fight the “sit-on-your-butt-all-day-at-a-computer” bulge.

  1. If you must bring snacks, make them healthy.  Carrots, celery, and fruit all make great options.  My favorite (which gets weird looks) is plain Cheerios.  Just regular, oaty Cheerios.
  2. Instead of coffee, reach for tea.  Our break room always has a great selection of tea’s.  Some still have caffeine, and even if that’s not the best option health-wise, it can help wake up.  Lay off the sugar and heavy creams.  Most teas are naturally flavored, and don’t need additives.  In addition, tea’s are rich in antioxidants, which can be really helpful for heart health.
  3. Get up and move.  Instead of turning to food when you’re bored, go for a walk and clear your head.  Go down the hallway, around the office, or down the street.  Granted, this depends on the amount of break time and freedom you have, but a quick walk somewhere can really help jog your senses and fight monitor-hypnosis.
  4. Keep water with you.  It’s easier to ignore snacking urges if you take a sip of water every time you want to munch.  I keep mine in a stainless steel bottle; it keeps it cold, but doesn’t encourage contamination like some plastics will.  It’s also more environmentally friendly that one-time use bottles.  Besides, tons of water means a healthier body overall…and more bathroom breaks, which could be considered part of #3.
  5. Plan your snacks for the day.  Knowing what you can allow yourself as far as snacking goes creates more structure.  Promise yourself that you’ll only eat one of such-and-such at blank-o’clock.  Keep a schedule, follow it.

Gaining weight doesn’t need to be a side-effect of a desk job.  We can all be healthy, whether we work in an office or on a hot rooftop.

Bringing Honesty to Menus

Eating out is a fairly American tradition.  It’s one of the most standard forms of celebration, whether it’s for your kid’s Little League win, your grandma’s birthday, your sister’s engagement, or the fact that you survived the work week.  We, as a nation, generally like to eat out.  This is one of the greatest traps for our health, too.  Even people who are health-conscious in the home may decide to binge a little when eating out.  Lawmakers on state and local levels, however, are contriving ways to combat this trap.

Taking Steps

California has been in the news quite a bit lately for their legislation on food menu labeling.  This new law, enacted on July 1st, states that fast food restaurants must post calorie counts on their menu boards.  In addition, chain restaurants must post calorie counts, as well as some addition information, in their menus.  The next phase of California’s health movements is to try and phase out the use of man-made trans fats.  These steps, as well as others, are also being pursued in other places like New York City and several counties across the nation.  Some other states are also in the early process of drafting similar bills.

Benefits, Obvious and No-So-Obvious

There’s some obvious reasons why this is great.  Now, people who use calorie-counting as a part of their healthy lifestyle can more easily plan for eating out.  However, there’s a shock value involved, as well.  Many people assume that eating that chicken and fish options are so much healthier.  However, manditory nutrition info postings on menus can help clear up the myths about “healthy” fast food, as well as the “light” options at chain restaurants.

Some Shocking Facts

For instance, did you know that the tuna salad subs at Subway generally have the more calories than a roast beef sub from the same place?  It’s the mayonnaise.  Even light mayo will jack up the calorie and fat count to be equal to or greater than that of beef.  And those fish sandwiches at Burger King that seem like such a healthy option?  They’re fried, which means they’re riddled with trans fats.  A better option would be the grilled chicken sandwiches (without sauces and cheese).

Some People Won’t Change

There will always be people who don’t care.  The farmer I do side jobs for during busy seasons shocked me by stating that he thinks it’s a bad idea.  His take is that “people who eat fast food generally don’t care anyways.”  I can’t help but think he has a warped view of the issue (and I promptly told him so).  There’s a degree of manipulation by the restaurant industry.  Even nice sit-down restaurants may cut some corners on their “light” menus.

The Facts Speak for Themselves

I can’t see a single way that this would be a bad idea.  If someone doesn’t care about the nutritional content of their food, then they can ignore the numbers.  Maybe some people who are in denial of their eating habits will see the light.  Health-conscious people will also get the benefits of having more knowledge of the options, and we all know that knowledge is power.  Knowing these facts about our food is a big step towards acting to create better habits as a culture.

Classic Summer Foods From a Healthier View

I’d love to kick off this post with the old cliche “As summer heats up…”  However, this summer’s weather is so unpredictable (at least in the American Mid West), that I’ll start this way, instead:

As summer tries to decide what season it wants to act like, people are making vacation, cookout, and party plans of all sorts.  What a lot of people don’t realize is that there’s plenty of heart-healthy must-haves for the summer.  Sure, we tell you that a lot of the old classics are bad for your heart and you should find healthier alternatives…but that’s not to say some of them aren’t good for you.

Iced Tea

Iced tea, for example.  Natural tea is a great way to bring antioxidants (many of which have been tied to heart health and weight-loss) into any occassion.  You can ice just about any type of tea, so there’s an iced tea to fit anyone’s tastes.  This time of year, the best way to make tea is to sun-brew it.  Toss a few bags in a large glass container full of water.  The heat of the sun will cause the tea to brew naturally, and it takes very little work.  One thing to keep in mind, though, is that a lot of people dump loads of sugar into their tea.  Natural fruit juices can serve just as well!  Squeeze some unsweetened lemon juice into your tea.  Or, crush up some berries and stir them in when you add ice.  By the time the tea is completely chilled, it’ll have plenty of flavor.

Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is also a popular cookout dish.  With the 4th of July coming up this weekend, pasta salad production is probably at its yearly high right now.  Well, there’s plenty of pasta salad recipes out there that have some heart health benefits!  Any salads that use mayonnaise or Miracle Whip should be excluded from this list.  Sorry.  However, those delicious pasta salads that are seasoned with olive oil, vegetables, and species are still allowed!  In fact, they’re good for you.  Olive oil is recommended for a heart healthy diet (in moderation), and the vegetables most commonly used in pasta salad have plenty of chemicals and antioxidants that are good for your heart, and the rest of you, too.

Veggie Platters

Summer is also the time for gardening.  This means that the veggie gardeners out there are probably up to their elbows in seasonal fare.  This also means that summer produce is more affordable.  Peppers, snow peas, tomatoes, beans, and carrots with some low-fat dressing is a must at most summer shindigs.  It’s even better if your healthy dressing is homemade (unflavored, fat-free yogurt makes a great base for veggie dips).

I know, this is just three instances of summer hosting cuisine.  However, I know when I go to a cookout or graduation party or whatnot, these are three things I always, always grab when I go through the buffet.  Even if it’s only 65-degrees out in July.

Where Did All the Fiber Go?

Fiber’s Disappearing Act

Most health experts believe we should be getting 25-35 grams of fiber every day.  As Americans, we consume on average 10-15 grams of fiber a day.  This is a problem.

The consumption of fiber in the human population has continued to decrease over the course of human history.  In the last couple centuries it has taken a dive.  This most recent drop seems to have started with the genesis of food processing.  All that processing removes valuable fiber, as well as other nutrients.  Add that loss of fiber to America’s preference for poor food choices, and it’s easy to see how our fiber intake is decreased.

A Hole in Our Diets

Progressively, we have been exchanging high fiber, whole food products such as whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables for processed grains, potatoes with no skins, sugar, and processed oils.  This has left a huge hole in our diets, especially considering the health benefits of fiber.

Beyond the Basics

Most people are familiar with using fiber for constipation, but research in the last century has shown fiber to be benenficial for much more.  Fiber is broken down by good bacteria in our intestines.  It is a source of food for them, but when they have digested the fiber it serves as fuel for our intestinal cells.  Fiber is also beneficial for removing toxins from the body.  It has been shown in studies to help with maintenance of healthy weight and weight loss.

Fiber Helps More Than Just Digestion

Soluble fiber, such as those found in oats and beans, help lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.   Beta glucans, the soluble fiber from oats, have been allowed to carry a heart health claim by the FDA.  Soluble fiber is also beneficial for promoting maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels, which makes it especially important for diabetics.  Heart disease and diabetes are two of the most critical issues facing Americans today.  Finding one natural substance that helps fight both conditions is good news for the health world.

Time for Change

In an era of elimination issues, cardiovascular disease, and sugar imbalance, fiber is an important element to to return to our diets.   Since it is abundant in many whole vegetable-based foods, it is not difficult to add back into the diet.  It just takes a little conscious effort, and maybe a slightly longer preparation time for dinner.