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"Let Food Be Thy Medicine"

February 2018

Jean Varney
Jeannie Varney
 Nutrition Consultant


Welcome to the Eat Right Be Fit Live Well monthly link roundup.
Each week I read many interesting articles relating to nutrition, fitness and wellness. Here are some of my favorites from the past month. While every article may not be relevant to your personal circumstance, I hope at least one will spark your interest and provide you with a healthy tip you can incorporate into your daily routine.  



Diet Causing 300,000+ Annual Cardiovascular & Diabetes Deaths:   Here are the 10 dietary factors associated with decreased longevity. Want to live longer? Replace your chips with nuts, your meat with salmon, your breakfast cereal with oatmeal, your ice cream with fruit and your pizza with a salad and quinoa bowl. Oh yeah ... and lose the sodium! (Tufts Health & Nutrition Update)
The Worst Salad Ingredients for Weight Loss:   E ating more salads and still not losing weight? Are you including these ingredients in your meal thinking they won't affect the number on the scale? If so, eliminate these calorie bombs and instead, load up your greens with non-starchy veggies, nuts, seeds or avocado, beans, whole intact grains and lean protein. For dressing, consider fresh lemon juice, vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil.

Panera is calling for a federal crackdown on the eggs in its competitors' breakfast sandwiches:   Do you order egg sandwiches from Starbucks, McDonalds, Taco Bell, or Dunkin' Donuts? If so, are you getting a real egg? Maybe not! Do yourself a favor and cook your own at home, throw it between an Ezekiel English muffin and top it off with avocado, tomato, and some spinach.  (The Washington Post) 

Can More Coffee Lead to Less Liver Damage? Study Finds Link:  Heavy drinkers should not only cut back on their alcohol consumption but also, quite possibly, increase their black coffee consumption. Doing so, may protect the liver.  (Cleveland Clinic)

Alkaline water-find or fraud?  Are you spending a fortune on alkaline water? You may want to buy more veggies instead. The evidence that alkaline water is beneficial to our health is skimpy, at best! (

Don't Fear Fruits' Sugars:   Love your fruit? Than eat away. Just make sure you don't replace veggies with fruit. Instead, to improve your diet, replace breads, sweets, baked goods and fruit juice  with apples, berries, citrus ,and stone fruits. (Tuft's Newsletter) 

The 8 Best Protein Sources For Weight Loss:   I mostly agree with this list but please choose organic varieties of chicken breasts, cottage cheese and eggs. If you MUST eat red meat, choose organic pork tenderloin (yes, pork is red meat) or a grass-fed lean cut of beef and limit it to 3oz a week.  Healthier forms of protein are beans, lentils, tempeh, wild salmon and tuna. To limit heavy metals, choose a sustainably caught, low mercury variety of tuna. Look for Wild Planet brand.  (

Want to Keep the Weight Off? Eat More Slowly:  Here's a diet technique I FULLY encourage!!! Put away the electronics, chew slowly and taste every bite. (Spouse are you reading this?) Stop eating when you are no longer hungry not when you're full. ( 

The Warming Climate may be Stoking Foodborne Pathogens:  Love your oysters and shellfish? Me too! Just don't eat them from May - August.  (

Sugary Shakes in the Hospital Aren't Good Medicine:  I've experienced this firsthand. Since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, my mom has, at times, struggled to maintain weight. The majority of her doctors recommended Ensure. (Clearly they didn't know my profession!!!) Only her oncologist told her to avoid it -  acknowledging the excessive sugar and other processed ingredients were extremely unhealthy. Unfortunately his staff of nurses continued to push the product. Instead, Mom and I came up with a calorie and nutrient dense alternative: a shake filled with kefir, yogurt, fresh fruit, avocado, nut butters, flax and greens. If you or someone you know is needing to gain weight, please have them avoid these sugar filled, completely processed "ready-to-drink" products. Encourage them to make their shakes (and meals) with whole, real food instead. (NY Times)

About Jean Varney 
Jean Varney is the founder and president of Eat Right, Be Fit, Live Well LLC, a health and nutrition consulting firm committed to empowering men and women to improve their health through sustainable changes to their diet and lifestyle.  Based in the Washington DC metropolitan area, Jean coaches clients nationwide by phone and in person.  She focuses on helping individuals make smart choices about the foods they eat in order to maintain high energy levels, avoid unwanted weight gain and decrease their risk of heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes and other chronic illnesses.  Jean received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City.  To learn more about her practice, please visit her website at: