Author Archive

Obese Texas doberman now in rehab in Cleveland

An obese doberman stray picked up by animal control in San Antonio is now getting comfy and ready for epic dieting with animal rescuers in Cleveland.

“Bear the Big Doberman,” as he’s now known, has become a media star since the story of his rescue broke, he even has his own Facebook page.  His profile reads, “Meet the Bear, who certainly backs up the phrase, everything is bigger in Texas.”

The dog, now 142 pounds, had already lost four pounds before he made it to his foster home with a volunteers from Lone Star Doberman Rescue in Cleveland where will stay until he is well enough to be permanently re-homed.

His original weight of 147 pounds was twice the size of a regular doberman and San Antonio animal care officials said he looked miserable and was possibly depressed.

Bear is already on joint supplement and thyroid medication and is dealing with high cholesterol.

“He’s good, his condition is he has the start of two ear infections, he has hyper-thyroid, that’s somewhat common but he was definitely being overfed,” said Jennifer Rentfrow of Lone Star Doberman Rescue, “Someone was loving him to death, literally, through food.”

A program of short walks will start soon to try to get him down to his goal weight of 80 pounds.  His meal plan includes four small meals a day of premium dog food.

Lone Star is keeping track of his vital statistics and will document his “journey from fat to fit” on his page here.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

All the reasons I loved being on the Paleo diet (but why I decided to stop)

Over the years, I’ve allowed myself to be a guinea pig when it comes to diet trends; I’ve gone pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, and most recently, Paleo. Based on the dietary habits of our cave-dwelling ancestors, the Paleo diet has continued to gain popularity within health circles, especially CrossFit enthusiasts. This high-protein, low-carb diet strictly prohibits foods like grains, beans, wheat, and dairy and has been linked to story after story of successful weight loss and the elimination of digestive issues. After months of wavering back and forth, I decided to take the plunge, clean up my diet, and embark on a short Paleo project.

Each stint in a different diet has taught me something, but I can say with complete sincerity that my Paleo experiment had profound effects on my relationships with food and my body . . . but I couldn’t stick with it forever.

What I Loved

I Stopped Stressing About Calories
As someone who had been a slave to counting calories in the past, I found new freedom in taking the focus off of the numbers and on to the ingredients. By default, I was consuming higher-quality, whole foods on the Paleo diet. Not only did I lose weight, but I felt energized from the inside out. Today, I still consider calories when making food choices, but going Paleo helped me realize that calories are not always king - and they’re certainly not the only thing you should be considering when planning meals.

I Achieved a New Level of Body Awareness
As an avid yogi, I always considered myself to be hyperaware of how food relates to my energy levels and mental clarity. But it only took one week on the Paleo program to see just how strong of a connection exists between diet and workout performance. Before going Paleo, dairy and grains were part of most meals, leading to major belly bloat every day. Yes, different foods do different things to different people, but after going through a small elimination period, I was able to scale back on the foods that were weighing me down.

I Started Treating Food as Fuel
In my teenage and college years, I had a serious love-hate relationship with food. Meals regularly felt like battles, and I achieved a false sense of control wavering back and forth all day between periods of fasting and binging, wreaking havoc on my health, my energy, and, not to mention, my metabolism. I’ve come a long way from those days, but taking on a rigid clean-eating program helped me embrace my food in a whole new way.

For the first time in my life, I was not a member of the clean-plate club. During my Paleo experiment, I never left a meal feeling stuffed and started finding smaller portions more satisfying. The project also forced me to take stock of just how much of my diet had relied on wheat, grain, and dairy products – and how my body feels different when I scale back those foods. Almost out of nowhere, it happened. I was practicing what I had been preaching: I officially grasped the concept that food is not standing in my way; it’s helping me function at my top potential.

I Got Back in the Kitchen
I’ve always loved cooking, but with a full-time gig and a serious workout schedule, all of my social engagements and catch-up sessions with friends revolved around dinners out. Taking on a Paleo experiment meant I was going to have to spend a lot more time in my kitchen to prepare Paleo-friendly meals, but I was up for the task.

The first day I went overboard. I decided to prepare four over-the-top, labor-intensive recipes I had spent hours looking for on Pinterest . . . on one Sunday afternoon. Once I got that stressful experience out of my system, I learned how to prep meals in advance and throw together an easy breakfast or supper at home. While I still enjoy the occasional meal out during the week, a lot more of my weeknights are spent cooking with friends in my kitchen.

Why I Stopped

I have many friends who have found success with a Paleo lifestyle, but most of them take an 80/20 approach to the program; 80 percent of the time you follow all Paleo rules, and 20 percent of the time you have the freedom to indulge as you please. Some people thrive in this system of clear-cut rules, but my Paleo experience solidified a fact I’ve known about myself for a long time: I am just not one of those people.

When someone tells me I can’t eat something, it’s all I can think about, and then I would eat it. A lot of it. Since I’ve struggled with food in the past, it’s important for me to feel like I have options. While eliminating certain food groups from my diet helped me achieve a new sense of body awareness, I didn’t like that some foods were strictly off-limits in the Paleo diet. According to trainers Chris and Heidi Powell, “Anytime you deprive yourself of food . . . all you want is what you can’t have,” and for me, this could not be more true.

Now, I’m eating in a way that supports my needs, tastes delicious, and keeps me satisfied. I don’t eat bread, pasta, and pizza every day, but when I’m craving it or it’s a special occasion, I eat what I want - when I want! – in moderation instead of binging later. Without all the strict diet restrictions comes a more relaxed and balanced relationship with food that naturally aligns with the rest of the relationships in my life. My days of mindlessly scarfing down a big baguette with butter or a huge pizza are long behind me, and I credit my Paleo experiment with this newfound natural balance. It’s a priceless and delicious gift I never anticipated receiving from the cavemen.

This story was originally published on POPSUGAR Fitness. See it here


Kim Kardashian Wants To Lose Weight, But Should She Give A F–k?

Gone are the days when Kim Kardashian’s big butt protruded and she had a waist so thin.

(record scratchhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!)

What am I talking about? Those are still the days! Kim doesn’t seem to think so, though. Friday morning (August 1), the reality starlet posted a throwback photo from five years ago, implying that she could bear to lose 20 pounds after reminiscing about “lighter” times.

But hello! You’re a human, Kim K — not a Barbie. Humans are not meant to be static, plastic-perfect beings. You’re supposed to change, fluctuate and be dynamic. So you’re longing for the person you used to be? Be who you are in this moment.

That said, Kardashian has every right to want to go to the gym and get her workout on. It’s great feeling healthy — as long as you’re striving to be your best self today, not yesterday.

Of course, Kim’s fans came to her side, getting all Gretchen Weiners on their Regina George. “You are good right now,” wrote one Instagram fan, while another echoed her, “I think you’re even more gorgeous now.”

Yeah, I agree with those fans about Kim’s conventionally pretty physique — as Kanye would say, she’s “the most beautiful woman of all time… the top 10 of human existence” — but I also want to say this: Who the f–k cares?

Be you, Kim Kardashian. If you want to “get back on your grind,” get back on your grind. But if you also just want to go play in the water with your baby and live up your life in Mexico, I’d say, go ahead and do that too.

Southern-style diet ‘increases death risk’ in kidney disease patients

New research published in the National Kidney Foundation’s American Journal of Kidney Diseases suggests that eating a “Southern-style diet” is linked with higher death rates in kidney disease patients.

People with kidney disease who regularly consumed foods familiar to Southern diets had a 50% increase in risk of death across the 6.5-year follow-up period.

Lifestyle factors that the National Kidney Foundation say can reduce kidney disease risk include eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, taking regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

Investigating the influence of diet on kidney disease patients, the researchers used the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study to identify 3,972 participants with stage 3-5 chronic kidney disease who had not started dialysis.

Analyzing the dietary habits of the participants, the researchers found that those who regularly consumed foods familiar to Southern diets had a 50% increase in risk of death across the 6.5-year follow-up period.

Foods that the authors identify as being part of a Southern diet include processed and fried foods, organ meats and sweetened beverages.

Previous studies have looked at the effect of individual nutrients on longevity in kidney patients, but this is the first research to focus on dietary patterns.

Lead author Dr. Orlando Gutiérrez, associate professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says:

“This is the first study to identify a regionally specific diet pattern that is highly associated with adverse outcomes among persons with kidney disease.

It’s well known that the Southern region has poor health outcomes in a number of different areas including stroke, heart disease and sepsis, and that the style of diet plays a role.”

The influence of diet on health outcomes in the Southern region may already be known, but the study also reported one surprising finding.


A healthy diet of whole foods, fruits and vegetables is known to be associated with improved survival, but in this study the healthy diet had no protective influence over kidney failure.

“This doesn’t mean that eating a healthy diet doesn’t help, but it suggests that healthy lifestyle overall – not smoking, exercising and eating right – the combination of these things is more important for kidney health,” says Dr. Gutiérrez.

In 2013, Medical News Today reported on other research from the REGARDS study, which found that the Southern diet also increases risk of stroke.

The researchers behind that study found that people who ate Southern-type food at least six times a week had a 41% higher stroke risk than the rest of the population.

However, in that study, people who ate fruits, vegetables and whole grains at least five times a week were 29% less likely to have a stroke, compared with people who ate these foods less than three times a week.

The researchers commented that African-Americans are particularly at risk, noting that the Southern diet is around five times more popular among black people than the rest of the population.

Written by David McNamee



View all articles written by David, or follow him on:



Gluten-free diet may do more harm than good for those without wheat …

UF/IFAS photo by Tyler L. Jones Only one percent of the population needs a gluten-free diet, say researchers, yet gluten-free labeling is everywhere.

The term “gluten-free” may lead some consumers to think they are getting an overall healthier option, according to new research conducted by nutrition experts at the University of Florida.

Study author Karla Shelnutt, a UF assistant professor in family, youth and community sciences, says the gluten-free diet is popular with women trying to lose weight, but it might not be their best choice if they don’t have celiac disease, which affects just 1% of the population.

Refined gluten-free foods are often not fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, she says, and those for whom a gluten-free diet is necessary are advised to carefully balance their diet or take a vitamin supplement.

“The problem is you have a lot of healthy women who choose a gluten-free diet because they believe it is healthier for them and can help them lose weight and give them healthier skin,” says Shelnutt.

For example, Shelnutt says, these women will start avoiding foods like cereals fortified with folic acid, which is well-known to be essential for women’s health.

The $10.5 billion gluten-free food and beverage industry grew 44% between 2011 and 2013, according to market research company Mintel, which estimates sales will skyrocket to $15 billion by 2016.

The study was conducted over the course of a day and aimed to assess people’s taste for gluten-free foods and their perception of the gluten-free diet by means of taste testing and a questionnaire.

One third of the 97 male and female participants said they believed gluten-free foods were healthier than their conventional counterparts, which surprised Shelnutt and her team, who had expected the figure to be lower.

Nearly 60% of participants said they believed a gluten-free diet can treat adverse medical conditions and 35% believed gluten-free could ameliorate digestive health.

As far as overall health is concerned, 31% of participants believed gluten-free was “healthier” and 32% believed doctors prescribed gluten-free eating for weight loss and felt that gluten-free would improve the diet in general.

According to Shelnutt, eating gluten-free can lead to weight loss because the diet reduces carbohydrate intake, although this can be achieved without adhering to gluten-free labeling.

Shelnutt admits that a participant group of 97 is not large enough to be considered representative of the general public’s opinion, but it does provide important insight.

The study was published in the current edition of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Reporter Attempts To Eat Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Absurd 7 Meal Diet

It’s no secret, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had to eat a crazy amount of food to take on the role of Hercules in his upcoming film.

So when USA Today reporter Bryan Alexander agreed to try the actor’s entire 7 meal diet, he knew he had a challenge ahead of him. Still, he vowed to at least attempt the meal plan, which includes steak for breakfast, 12 egg whites before bed and…lion’s blood.

To be clear, here’s how much food the reporter would actually need to consume in order to eat like “The Rock”:

Alexander and “The Rock” sat down and went head-to-head taking back plate after plate. Alexander said he was feeling pretty good on meal 2, but by meal 4 or 5 he was looking a little “queasy.”

“Are you OK?” the Rock asked him. “Literally. Are you OK? You’re looking kind of…”

But in the end, despite almost getting sick, Alexander was able to take down some– maybe not all– of the Hercules diet.

“I held down two steaks, one halibut, some chicken, oatmeal and some hefty portions of the vegetable sides from each plate,” he wrote. “We slowed to a near stop when it was clear my frail ego would keep me eating to self-destruction.”

We’ll give Alexander an “A” for effort, but he’s going to need a little more practice if he wants to look like this anytime soon: