You’ve heard about preemptive strikes, how about preemptive health? Don’t wait until you are really sick to get blood work drawn. Have it drawn at your yearly physical and keep a copy for your records. You OWN your medical records, by the way, your physician is just the custodian of them – so you are legally entitled to a copy of anything contained within it.
PREEMPTIVE HEALTH: What Blood Work to Request from Your Doctor
I get a lot of requests from people asking what blood tests they should request at their next medical appointment. Along with getting a standard Chemistry Panel and Complete Blood Count (CBC) which should include RBC Magnesium and RBC Potassium , here are the ones I commonly recommend for women. Men would have a few slight differences.
1) Complete Thyroid Panel :
TSH (many doctors only test TSH, and that is like trying to diagnose what is wrong with your foot by only looking at your big toe)
Free T3 (also known as: Triiodothyronine, Free)
Free T4, Direct S (Not Free T4 Index, Free T4 calculated, or TSH reflux)
Reverse T3 (If your doctor will do this and/or if it’s available in your country)
***Because this test includes a TSH screening, remember that medications like corticosteroids, aspirin and lithium can interfere with those results. Also, if you’ve had a recent X-ray that used iodine dye – or other radioactive tests – ask your doctor when you can take an accurate TSH test. Pregnant women in their first trimester should also ask their doctor about the proper time to get a TSH test.
If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism and/or Hashimoto’s Disease, add these :
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPOab)
If you have symptoms of hyperthyroidism (much less common), add these:
Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin (TSI)
Thyroid Receptor Antibody (TrAb)
2) Iron panel:
Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)
4) Sex Hormones (serum blood):
***The sex hormone tests should be done 7 days after ovulation. If you don’t know when you ovulate, an ovulation kit can be purchased from a drugstore, or you can just test on day 21, if you still menstruate. If you no longer cycle, the tests can be done anytime.
5) Other tests:
C-Reactive Protein (systemic inflammation marker)
Cholesterol panel ( I don’t care if it is high, I look at the ratios, and your CRP level^^^)
Fibrinogen (clotting & inflammation marker)
Hemoglobin A1C (long term measure of glucose status)
Homocysteine ( risk for coronary artery disease, fractures, and other disorders)
A) If you have ANY chronic health conditions, I recommend getting an ELISA Food Sensitivity and Allergy Panel done. It is an easy way to identify what you consume that is contributing to your systemic inflammation. Most family doctors do not perform these tests, you will need to go to someone familiar with them. ALCAT and ALLETESS are the two brands of testing that I have used with my patients. Their respective websites can help you locate a practitioner who is versed in them www.alcat.com , www.foodallergy.com
B ) If you have symptoms of low cortisol/ or adrenal fatigue, then salivary cortisol tests should be considered. Cortisol levels: 24-hour saliva cortisol tests from Canary Club and MyMedLab are done through ZRT Laboratories: http://www.canaryclub.org/diurnal-cortisol-4x-stress-hormone-kit.html ($119+shipping) or https://sttm.mymedlab.com/sttm-profiles/sttm-24-hour-cortisol-dhea ($125)
Symptoms of low cortisol: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/symptoms-low-cortisol/
C) Educate yourself! Read up on what you are experiencing: Books I highly recommend: Type II Hypothyroidism, Dr. Mark Starr; Stop the Thyroid Madness, Janie Bowthorpe; What is Your Menopause Type? Joseph Collins ; Death to Diabetes, DeWayne McCulley, The Blood Sugar Solution, Dr. Mark Hyman; The Adrenal Reset Diet, Dr. Alan Christianson; Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Wentz & Nowasadzka.
©2015, MirandaJorgenson, www.mirandajorgenson.com
My Plateau Busting protocol is a work in progress, as we discover new information in the literature – we tweak things accordingly. By popular demand, I have enclosed the updated protocol here so people can refer to it, but please know that this protocol is the “Cliff Notes” version, and the full program will be outlined in detail in my upcoming book.
One of my most popular videos on Youtube is “What To Do When You Hit a Weight Loss Plateau”, and due to it, and the popularity of my Facebook group www.facebook.com/WeightLossResources, I hear from many women from around the country (and around the world) that are immensely frustrated with their inability to lose weight. Often these women are seemingly doing everything right – they are eating a decent diet, they are exercising, they are making a concerted effort to live healthier – unfortunately, their bodies are rebelling, and eschewing all of their efforts to shed the pounds. This is disheartening and demoralizing, and it creates a vicious cycle of trying the next new diet, failing, getting bigger, trying the next new diet, failing etc.
I want to make it clear – you are not a failure! There is so much erroneous and misinformation in the diet world – you can’t help but be confused. Furthermore, not every diet is a good match for every person. Some people are able to thrive on a vegetarian diet, others fail miserably as their quest to avoid meat brings a plethora of low quality processed foods into their diet. There is always a HUGE difference between how a diet looks on paper and how it is brought to live in a real world setting. So let me say this; weight loss is never linear. It always comes off in stair steps. Our goal is to minimize those stair treads and maximize the risers! I would love to equip you with simple, easy to implement tools which empower you to make lifestyle changes that result in a happier, healthier YOU!
First off, let’s throw the notion out the door that everyone needs to be a size 2. It isn’t reasonable, it isn’t healthy, it isn’t practical. Maybe you have always struggled with your weight, maybe the hormone changes from multiple pregnancies put you on your current course, maybe you have other underlying health challenges… when you set your goal weight, don’t pick one from a statistician’s magic graph, pick one that is reasonable and doable for you! Make the first step in setting yourself up for success!
So, I am going to outline the key steps in helping you blast through those plateaus in 7 simple steps:
- Protein for Breakfast! Our aim is to follow a ketogenic/”Death to Diabetes®”/ Paleo style breakfast. Your ideal breakfast will be a ‘bulletproof’ coffee (coffee containing a spoonful of melted grass-fed butter and/or coconut oil), at least 35 grams of high quality protein (eggs, meat, fish), and unlimited steamed vegetables (if so desired). Keep your carbohydrates, yogurts, smoothies, etc for later in the day.
- Snacking – If you must snack between meals – limit your snacks to protein, or 1-2 oz of healthy seeds or nuts. When you snack on fruit, dairy, or carbohydrates – you create a bigger spike in your blood glucose levels (and subsequently your insulin), which lends you towards eating more and being hungrier. It also stimulates you to release hormones which make weight loss more difficult.
- Inflammation – reducing your systemic load of inflammation is KEY to getting the pounds off permanently. You can do this by ensuring that you are getting at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Getting your carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits as opposed to pastas, breads, and sweets will also help. Supplements including fish oil, turmeric, boswellia, ginger, or proteolytic enzyme blends will go a long way to reduce your total inflammatory load. Intenzyme Forte from Biotics Research is one proteolytic enzyme blend that I frequently use with my patients and clients.
- Tea time – instead of loading up on sodas, make a concerted effort to drink tea ( hot or cold work equally well) – at least twice a day. Make a point however to mix up the types of tea that you drink so that you do not consume too much of any particular nutrient that may be found in certain teas (such as fluoride in green tea) . Black tea, white tea, green tea, roobios tea, dandelion tea, yarrow, rosehip, cornsilk, pu-ehr, matcha, and ginger all have known anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. Lemon water or lime water will also work, and they have the added benefit of containing bioflavonoids – which also aid in the process. TruVision’s Heart & Hydration is another acceptable substitute for any of your daily cups of tea.
- Protein centered meals – While nutritionists vary on what they consider to be the ‘ideal’ daily intake of protein, I find it a good rule of thumb to use HALF OF YOUR IDEAL WEIGHT (LBS) IN GRAMS (PRO) , so if you currently weigh 225 lbs, but your goal weight is 150 lbs, you need to take 150 divided by 2 = 75. Therefore, you should strive to consume at least 75 grams of high quality protein per day. I tell my clients to quit worrying about counting calories, and count grams of protein instead!
- Probiotics before bed – more and more studies are demonstrating that gut bacteria play a definitive role in whether you carry extra pounds. Obese people and average weight people have very different ratios of gut bacteria. Take 1-2 capsules of a probiotic from my approved list before bedtime, and rotate brands so that you can introduce multiple strains into your gastrointestinal tract.
- Move IT or Lose IT – You don’t need to take up decathlons or bench press 300 pounds, but you need to move those joints. Chiropractors are always fond of the saying “move it or lose it”, and that plays true with your joints and your muscles. Get out and walk, and if you can’t walk – get a stationary bike. Most thrift stores have a ton of stationary bikes for just a few dollars! Your quadriceps are the largest lymphatic pump in your body, you need to start working those on a regular basis and you will flush away the metabolites from breaking down fat.
Want to kickstart the weight loss process?
8. The TruCombo’s (TruFix/TruWeight&Energy, both Gen 1 and Gen2) are one of my secret weight loss weapons. They both help reduce your appetite, make you feel full quicker, balance glucose fluctuations, reduce cravings, and increase your metabolism. The cornerstone of either combo is TruFix, and it is a body balancing supplement. An imbalanced body stores fat, a balanced body will release fat! TruVision can be an incredible tool in your arsenal to decrease those cravings that make it so hard for you to stick to a program. It is literally “willpower in a box!”
So now you know the basic steps, but you need to understand the science and rationale behind the recommendations:
Rationale 1 : The breakfast needs to be essentially carb-free. Do not ask me if you can have fruit, or yogurt, or cereal, or pancakes, or donuts, or oatmeal, or cheese, or anything else. We want ONLY protein so we are starting off the day by leveling glucose and insulin. Those other foods, even if they are ‘healthy’ choices, will spike your glucose and insulin, and then your TruFix has to work twice as hard to be effective. This is, in effect, a ketogenic or paleo-style breakfast. This type of meal “shifts the body’s metabolic engine from burning carbohydrates to burning fats”2 and improves insulin sensitivity and leptin resistance3. Consuming carbohydrates, even in healthy forms such as those from fruit (fructose) or dairy (lactose) causes surges in blood glucose levels which in turn initiate the release of insulin. People with excess weight have been shown to be insulin resistant4 and therefore if we by pass this, we set the stage for less severe glucose and insulin fluctuations throughout the day. In fact, in his book Death to Diabetes™, researcher DeWayne McCauley postulates that eating a paleo or ketogenic breakfast is the most important factor in modulating glucose levels throughout the day.5 If protein alone doesn’t fill you up, feel free to add 2 cups of any steamed green vegetable. You can season it with olive oil, vinegar, and Mrs. Dash seasoning.
Rationale 2 : Snacking should not stimulate the appetite, spike glucose levels, raise leptin levels, or be a major source of calories. Most people grossly underestimate how many calories are contained in their daily ‘snacks’ and instead of being 100-200 calorie tide-me-overs, snacks have become 700 calorie crappucino’s, milkshakes, yogurt-covered extravaganzas. If you stop drinking your calories, it is much easier to stick to your daily dietary recommendations.
Rationale 3 : Where do we start? There are so many! First, let’s take a look at how inflammation makes you fat : Inflammation begins within the fat cells themselves. Most people think of inflammation and assume that means joint pain, but inflammation is so much more. At its very core a fat cell is an inflamed cell. “As glucose is moved into fat cells, they produce an excess of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) which in turn initiates an inflammatory cascade within the cell”7. As the percentage of body fat increases, the rate of inflammation increases exponentially. This inflammation causes insulin resistance, and can be noted with C-Reactive Protein testing. The inflammatory cascade eventually makes its way to the brain, specifically the hypothalamus, where it causes leptin resistance.8 Leptin is your ‘hunger’ hormone and is noted for controlling your appetite and regulating your metabolism. The more fat you have the greater potential you have for leptin resistance, which affects your glucose regulation, and slows your metabolism which results in more weight gain and insulin resistance. It is a vicious cycle that keeps getting progressively worse. Inflammation within the gut itself, where 80% of immune function resides, further causes both leptin and insulin resistance. An imbalance in the gram-negative bacteria in the gut has been shown to produce an endotoxin called lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and a cytokine cascade which causes inflammation, insulin resistance, and weight gain.9 But I digress, we will get into how bacteria are related to obesity in the step 6. Obesity makes fat cells act like they are infected.10 The stimulation of fat cells by excess calories causes the cells to make Major Histocompatibility Complex II (MHCII), which in turn sends your immune system into over-drive, mimicking autoimmune dysfunction.11 This breakthrough in understanding the fat cell may prove to be crucial future weight loss and aging studies.
Intenzyme Forte™ is a proteolytic enzyme formula. When taken on an empty stomach, it can be absorbed intact into the bloodstream12 where it can be directed towards breaking down those inflammatory products in the body. Proteolytic enzymes have been demonstrated to reduce Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-a), a cytokine protein that signals inflammatory responses along with other pro-inflammatory mediators such as Prostaglandin E2 and Thromboxanes.13 Autoimmune dysfunction is associated with increased levels of TNF-a.14
In addition to the overwhelming capacity of proteolytic enzymes to interrupt this fat-inflammation cycle, certain ones, including bromelain, have a secondary action of helping the body to utilize insulin more efficiently which in turn helps to keep blood glucose fluctuations less dramatic. 15
To summarize all of this technical jargon : fat cells are inflamed cells. Think of each fat cell like a little water balloon filled with fat. The fat creates chemicals which not only irritate the body, but stimulate the body to keep making more and more fat cells. This is very stressful on the body which finds the inflammatory chemicals hugely irritating, so the body tries to dilute those irritants by sending more water to the area (bloating and swelling) to flush those chemicals away. This not only sends the body down the pathway to blood sugar dysregulation and even diabetes, but can result in premature aging and even autoimmune-type degeneration. Once you have made a fat cell, you can never get rid of them (barring surgery like liposuction) but you can deflate those ‘balloons’ of fat, and turn off the inflammation production. That is what we are trying to achieve with this step.
Mid-morning and mid-afternoon take Intenzyme Forte™ . The protocol recommends 1-2 capsule(s) of Intenzyme Forte mid-morning, and 1-2 capsules mid-afternoon on an empty stomach. Empty stomach usually means 30 minutes+ prior to eating or a minimum of 90 minutes after eating. *This HAS to be taken on an empty stomach or IT WILL NOT WORK! Please note, if you have significant levels of inflammation, you can take additional capsules twice a day, but for simplicity and to curtail costs, I suggest starting with 1 capsule twice daily.
If you choose to use one of the other anti inflammatory supplements that are listed above, then change the dosing accordingly.
Rationale 4 : All of these teas have a known mild diuretic effect and by keeping them in rotation our body will not accommodate to it- thereby it maintains its effectiveness. As we already discussed, the body likes to flood inflamed tissues with excess water, so if we drink tea, it’s mild, natural diuretic properties help us flush those inflammatory by-products from the body, and that will support healthy weight loss. Please note: many of the teas listed, particularly the herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free. Should you choose to use green tea or black tea however, it is the caffeine portion of it which acts like a diuretic, so make sure to purchase regular versions and not decaffeinated ones.
Rationale 5 : Protein intake speeds metabolic rate. You need to be consuming enough high quality protein in order to trigger your body to release the fat that it has accumulated. Dieters that fail to consume enough protein will get muscle wasting – so it is in your best interest to make sure that you are consuming enough high quality, non-soy protein.
Rationale 6 : An increasing body of evidence suggests that obesity is directly linked to the bacteria in your gut. In fact the bacteria in thin people differs from the bacteria in overweight people. 16 Thin people and overweight people have entirely different strains and ratios of intestinal flora.17 Researchers at Laval University in Canada, found that female test subjects receiving probiotics lost twice as many pounds as those in the placebo group over the course of a twelve week period.18 Furthermore, probiotics may normalize intestinal pH, making it more difficult for candida albicans to thrive, and may crowd out pathogenic bacteria species.19 There are variations of professional opinion on the best way to consume probiotics, but heat and acid are enemies of bacteria, so if you can get the probiotics through the stomach acid as quickly as possible, then you have created optimal conditions for the greatest number of probiotics to survive. Hence the need to take them on an empty stomach. Taking them at night coincides with the greatest period of bowel rest for most individuals, which allows for longer periods of contact between the probiotics and the intestinal mucosa, which may improve the rate of colonization. When you take probiotics with food, they stay in the acidic stomach for much longer, which kills off a greater percentage of the bacteria. Again you want to take your probiotics on an empty stomach so it gets passed through your stomach acid quickly and so it can colonize in your large intestine while you have your longest period of bowel rest. If you take magnesium, this is an ideal time to take it too.
Rationale 7 : You can not out-exercise a bad diet, and similarly, a clean diet alone will not compensate for a deficit of physical activity. After blood, lymph is the largest fluid which circulates in the body and it is very important to maintaining overall health. Walking is the #1 exercise to encourage lymphatic flow, and moderate to fast paced walking is excellent aerobic activity. It is a lifestyle modification that is easy to implement and that provides both immediate and long-term benefits.
Rationale 8 : There are several. First, we want to regulate glucose and insulin spikes. Even as little of five extra pounds of body weight indicates some degree of insulin resistance. One, we are consuming the TruFix at or near the same time as protein. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and the stomach retains protein containing meals for longer periods of time before it is sent through to the small intestine. This enhances absorption of the TruFix ingredients. Two, for those drinking tea or drinking the TruHeart & Hydration drink mix, there is a well established neural-lingual connection between your taste buds and the brain. Primary gustatory fibers synapse centrally in the medulla, so upon consuming sweet substances, the sweet taste receptors in the mouth stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain. We can use this signaling to turn down the body’s desire for carbohydrate-rich or sweet substances; “…sweet taste is modified by circulating hormones. Recently, the effect of leptin on sweet-responding taste cells has generated much interest. Leptin, a protein hormone secreted mainly by adipocytes regulates body mass and suppresses insulin secretion by the activation of ATP-sensitive KCn . Its inhibitory effect on TRCs also involves the activation of a K+ conductance and membrane hyper polarization. Thereby the hormone partially blunts nerve signals indicating sweet taste, which, presumably, makes food less attractive.”6 If you hold the sweetened (stevia) tea or Heart & Hydration mix in the mouth for several seconds before swallowing it extends the contact time between the taste buds and the sweet taste – thus fooling the brain into believing that it has consumed a significant amount of carbohydrates, which results in a down regulation of your appetite and sweet cravings.
Other Helpful Pointers:
- Meals – Make healthy choices when you can. If you can eat lower amounts of carbohydrates, you should see results faster. Try to eat GOD made foods and avoid as many Man-made foods as possible. *Perfect meals are meat & veggies*
- If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to one (1) oz of hard liquor or 1 6(oz) glass of wine per day. If you drink more than this, it increases the difficulty you will have losing weight tremendously.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners
- Keep your fruits and yogurts as side dishes to your meals – like dessert.
- If you are having a smoothie – have it with lunch or dinner.
- If you already exercise, keep continuing what you are doing. Please don’t start a new program at the same time you initiate a new diet. You want to know what is working for you and what isn’t.
- If you are consuming the beverages as described, please make sure that you are drinking your water. These cups of tea do count towards your daily quota.
- Please do not skip meals.
Troubleshooting for SPECIAL CASES:
1) Autoimmune patients have difficulty losing weight. They usually have elevated levels of inflammation and hormonal imbalances – both of which impact fat burning. Before starting any diet program, it behooves you to see your physician and get a complete blood workup. C-Reactive protein and Thyroid panels are well worth getting. If you are symptomatic for any autoimmune condition, now is the perfect time to have your endocrinologist review and balance your medications. I will explore more options for autoimmune patients in future blog posts.
2) Gallbladder surgery can make weight loss incredibly difficult. I have two very popular blog posts on what post cholecystectomy patients need to do to lose weight. Supplementation is absolutely KEY to helping them balance the nutritional deficits caused by their surgery. I have very specific recommendations for anyone who has had their gallbladder removed.
3) Bariatric Surgery is a double edged sword – it can be a life saver, or it can leave people feeling more frustrated than ever. Bariatric patients all have altered digestion and at some point or another they all experience nutritional deficits. An optimal body is a balanced body, therefore, bariatric patients need to be much more diligent about their diet and they should strive to supplement their diet with liquid-based dietary supplements whenever possible to ensure optimal absorption.
4) Consider getting ELISA (blood test) to determine your allergies and sensitivities. Then you can take the guess work out of what substances are causing you inflammation and you will know exactly which ones to remove or limit from your diet. ALCAT or ALLETESS are two that I use in my office.
- Start by taking before pictures – take a face view and a full body view. Clothed is just fine because that is how the world sees you!
- Take your measurements, write them down and stick them aside.
- Write down your goals! This is important — remember the adage, “Write it down & make it happen”? People that write down their goals are significantly MORE likely to achieve them than those who just dream about them.
- Don’t let a bad day get you down. A momentary lapse doesn’t mean you have to abandon your diet and health goals. It isn’t about being PERFECT, it is about doing the BEST YOU CAN!
- When you weigh yourself, weigh yourself first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom. As a rule, I do not recommend weighing every day, but rather every week. It is completely normal for women’s weight to fluctuate by 1-4 pounds per day. What you eat, drink, and your physical activity all contribute towards this. it is not uncommon for some people, particularly those with autoimmune conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis or Hypothyroidism to fluctuate by more than 5 pounds a day when they are particularly inflamed.
- Focus on how your clothes fit and how you feel – that is a better indicator of your momentum and success than a number on the scale.
- visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/Weightlossresources for help and support.
1. McCulley, DeWayne. Death to Diabetes. North Charleston: BookSurge LLC.© 2005
2. Ketogenic Diet Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Numerous Aging Markers. Retrieved April 26, 2014 from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/02/ketogenic-diet-health-benefits.aspx
4. Hyman, Mark. The Blood Sugar Solution. NY: Little, Brown and Company. ©2012
5. McCulley, DeWayne. Death to Diabetes.
6. Sweet taste signaling. Retrieved April 26, 2014: http://www.qiagen.com/products/genes%20and%20pathways/pathway%20details.aspx?pwid=425
7. How inflammation makes you fat and diabetic (and vice versa).
10. Obesity makes fat cells act like they are infected. Retrieved April 26, 2014: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145145.
12. Proteolytic enzymes among top 10 ways to help decrease inflammation. Retrieved April 26, 2014: http://www.enzymesinc.com/index.php?id=
13. Quell the fire of Inflammation the immense power of proteolytic enzyme therapy. Retrieved April 26, 2014: http://metabolichealing.com/quell-the-fire-of-inflammation-the-immense-power-of-proteolytic-enzyme-therapy/
15. Bromelain. Retrieved April 26, 2014 : http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1089-BROMELAIN.aspx?activeIngredientId=1089&activeIngredientName=BROMELAIN
16. The Microbes in Your Gut May be Making You Fat. Retrieved April 29, 2014: http://www.livescience.com/41954-gut-microbes-make-you-fat.html
18. Certain probiotics could help women lose weight, study finds. Retrieved April 30, 2014:
19. Why Use Probiotics For Candida? Retrieved Apriil 30, 2014: http://www.thecandidadiet.com/probiotics.htm
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Disclaimer: Consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program. Dr. Miranda’s protocol is offered as generalized information and should not be construed as medical advice.
Copyright (c) 2014, 2015 Miranda Jorgenson. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of the author
It has been a long time since I have done a product specific post, but I am so excited about the release of this product next week, that I just had to tell you about it…
TruElevate – The latest creation from TruVision Health, TruElevate is a synergistic blend of ingredients known to promote healthy weight loss. In fact, TruElevate was designed to help individuals with resistant fat break through their weight loss plateaus. Furthermore, it comes in two unique versions – a delicious chocolate smoothie, or as easy-to-swallow capsules. So how does it work? In a nutshell, TruElevate acts to decrease appetite, balance glucose and insulin levels, burn fat (with an emphasis on stubborn abdominal fat), and provide you with gentle, sustained energy so that you can get out and enjoy life more! While it aids in fat loss, it doesn’t do so at the cost of losing muscle. It helps you to maintain your muscle mass and feel good while doing it. It contains several ingredients that have balancing or reparative properties to ensure you have ‘healthy’ weight loss. If you’ve been stuck in a rut – then give TruElevate a try!
Here is how each ingredient works:
Ribose – Is a pentose monosaccharide (simple sugar) which forms the backbone of RNA and plays roles in metabolism and energy (ATP) production. Early research indicates that taking ribose supplements orally may improve energy, sleep, the sense of well-being. Studies also show that it supports healthy heart function, a reduction in fatigue, restless leg syndrome, and may lessen symptoms associated with fibromyalgia . Ribose may lower blood sugar levels, so people taking insulin or other diabetic medications should monitor their blood sugar and consult with their physician.1
Inulin – A polysaccharide and functional fiber which acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are substances which support the growth of healthy intestinal flora and probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut. In dietary supplements, inulin is most commonly derived from the chicory plant. Studies have demonstrated that inulin is beneficial in supporting healthy blood lipid levels, including cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It promotes bowel regularity, weight loss, and can also be used as a food additive to improve taste.2
Caffeine – is a natural CNS stimulant which is found in tea, coffee, chocolate, colas, and many other products. It is commonly used to reduce fatigue and increase mental alertness. Used in moderation, caffeine can enhance the action of other medications and supplements, and is widely recognized as being safe when used as directed.3
Yerba Mate – a tea derived from the evergreen bush ilex paraguariensis, and has been used for centuries to provide energy and improve concentration. It has been demonstrated to promote normal blood levels of glucose and cholesterol. Studies also indicate it may be beneficial for urinary tract health, colon health, bone density, healthy mood, and weight loss. Consumers of Yerba mate report that it provides them with the energy and alertness of caffeine without any ‘jitters’ or sleep disturbances.4,5
N-Acetyl Tyrosine – An amino acid that may be difficult for the body to make in optimal concentrations. It is used as a building block to make new proteins and cells, and to aid the recovery and repair of muscles and other systems. One of its key roles is that it aids in the synthesis of dopamine – one of our main neurotransmitters. Dopamine is directly correlated to your emotional responses, behavioral responses, and addictions. Dopamine levels are also associated with norepinephrine – a neurotransmitte related to adrenalin. Maintaining healthy dopamine levels results in stress alleviation, enhanced mood, and improved energy and concentration.6
Taurine – A sulphur-bearing amino acid that is a required building block for proteins. Certain tissues of the body have higher concentrations and requirements including the heart, brain, muscles, and blood cells. It has been used to support healthy cardiovascular function, blood pressure, blood lipid profiles, and as an agent of repair for those with oxidative damage from diabetes and alcoholism.7,8 It also helps the body respond to mental and physical forms of stress.
Phenylethylamine – is a natural chemical found in the body which boosts mood, mental drive, concentration, productivity, and aids in fat burning. It is also one of the components in chocolate that makes it so appealing.9
Green Tea – Used for centuries a daily tonic and all-purpose beverage, green tea is an extract form the Camellia sinensis plant. Studies have demonstrated that green tea extracts have thermogenic properties, and can reduce body mass index (BMI) and obesity levels (particularly abdominal fat).10,11
Evodiamine – An Asian plant extract that has been demonstrated in laboratory studies to reduce both fat uptake, act as a thermogenic, and stimulate metabolism.12,13
Trimethylglycine – An organic compound found in many plants, but commonly isolated from beets. Trimethylglycine is required for methylation, and for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. It also plays a key role in energy production, and is beneficial for optimal digestion, liver health, and certain detoxification pathways.14,15
Theacrine – is a natural plant extract which structurally resembles caffeine but appears to have fewer side effects, making it known as an acceptable alternative to caffeine. It is noted to increase energy levels, and has stimulatory effects. It may boost physical activity, motivation, concentration, and levels of alertness. Anecdotal reports suggest it may be useful in reducing fatigue, and have anti-aging and immune boosting properties.16,17
Glucomannan – Often found in the cell walls of certain plants, Glucomannan is a polysaccharide/dietary fiber. It has been used as a food additive to emulsify fats and act as a thickening agent. As a dietary supplement, it can decrease appetite and it slows the absorption of sugars and fats in the gut; which can help to balance glucose levels, and result in weight loss. As the fiber passes through the intestinal tract, it absorbs water, which also helps glucomannan improve bowel health and regularity. 18,19
Huperzine – purified extract from Chinese Club Moss. It is associates with improved memory, mental focus and clarity, muscle function, energy use, and sleep.20
DHEA – Is a hormone (dehydroepiandrosterone) naturally produced in the body, however both stress and age decrease its production and many people turn to dietary supplementation to maintain optimal levels. DHEA has been associated with enhancing immune function, energy production, normalizing hormones, building and maintaining muscle, bone health, and balanced mood. It is believed to have anti-aging benefits and plays a role in weight loss; particularly in the reduction of abdominal fat and insulin sensitivity. Lower levels of DHEA are found in people with chronic health conditions, including diabetics, and those with cardiovascular dysfunction, inflammatory disorders, immune disorders, and with those taking certain medications – including corticosteroids and hormonal birth control.21,22,23
Xylitol – a natural sugar alcohol commonly extracted from birch trees for the dietary supplement market. It is used in lieu of sugar in “sugar-free” products, and is believed to prevent dental cavities and ear infections when taken orally. It is considered a ‘diabetic friendly’ sweetener.24
Available soon: You will be able to get TruElevate as part of our convenient Combo-Packs
**A note on resources – while I had the option to use any of a variety of available sources for the information contained above, I chose to stick to popular and widely accepted sites such as WebMD and the MayoClinic. Whenever possible, I did not use sites associated with the manufacture or sale of dietary supplements so there would be no accusations of ulterior motivation. These resources are not all encompassing, but are user friendly, and I encourage you to be your own informed consumer and do your own fact checking.
©2015, Miranda Jorgenson. May not be used in whole or in part without the expressed written permission of the author.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Maybe it is because I was raised in Canada, maybe it is because my grandparents were products of the Great Depression, but I am frugal. I’m a dollar and cents kind of gal. I always want to know exactly what I’m buying and what it is going to end up costing. So, in the course of my meticulous comparison shopping, I have created a small chart detailing the most commonly referenced weight loss programs on the internet and their respective costs. Not that I consider it a true comparison, however, because the TruVision combo works from within and does not involve gritty shakes, bars, or meal replacements of any kind. However, since so many people are watching their pennies in this day and age – this should give you good insight on what things actually cost and what you get for your dollar.
There are literally hundreds of diet products on the market, and I can’t investigate all of them, but the following list contains the ones that came up most frequently in my research. Each ‘system’ or ‘plan’ takes a slightly different approach — some focus on dietary restriction, other on pills, appetite suppression, shakes, etc. Some involve extreme dietary restrictions for their duration, which I am not a fan of. The long-term viability of program like that is not good. Some involve healthy lifestyle modification, others position themselves as being ‘magically’ effective. Popular products like Body by Vi will set you back $311 for 30 days of shakes. NutriSystem costs anywhere from $299 to over $500 depending on the package of meal replacements you choose. Isagenix, another shake and pill program comes in at $383. Jenny Craig averages $100-$130 per week and involves follow-up office visits. The TruVision combo isn’t for everyone, but it did work for ~80% of the study participants- which is a phenomenal track record by anyone’s standards. It works to balance the underlying body chemistry so your body can release the weight it has been hanging onto. It works even better if you take advantage of their 10K Fitbit program and work on getting in 10K steps per day (thereby winning free products from the company). You eat real food of your own choosing and you never have to drink gritty shakes or consume chemical cocktail franken-foods. I will be the first to admit that it is hard to compare apples to oranges, and some of these programs are very good and some are very bad. I leave it to you research each plan’s individual components, but know this: most good diet plans will have you lose 1-2.5 lbs per week on average, so if you are paying $80 to lose 10 lbs vs. paying $400 to lose 10 lbs – then your Cost Per Pound Lost is $8 vs. $40. It is clear that you don’t have to spend big money to get big results!
Cost Comparison of Popular Weight Loss Programs
||Length of Program
||Retail Cost (average)
||TruFix & TruWeightEnergy combo, pills
||Pills, patches, shakes
||4 body wraps, Thermofit, Greens, pills
||Drink additive, pills, laxative, probiotic
|| $120- 220+
||Coaching only, food extra
|Body By Vi
||Transformation kit: Shakes
||24 Day Challenge, pills, fiber, shakes, MR
||Meal Replacements (MR) kits
||Ult. Wt. Loss kit; shakes, pills
||Pills , shakes
||$60 – $120+
||Drops, $50-$120 per bottle, 1 bottle for every 20 days, $$$ charges for Dr.’s appt
||$50 – $240 av ++
||Paid per week @ $100-130/wk, MR
|South Beach online
||Centered on ‘good carbs’, foods can be costly
||MR, does not include Center fees or food upgrades
|LA Weight Loss
||3 levels – all have juice & bars, upgraded pkgs have additional shakes, fiber, and supplements
||$199 Silver$299 Gold
||Weight loss coffee, @ 2 per day
||Weight Loss Bundle; pills
||Reset Weight Loss, pills, MR,
||180 Turnaround Kit; tea, bars, shakes
||Smart mix, AM/PM combo, XM+; drink, pills
| NuSkin /Pharmanex
||ReDesign Weight Mgmt ; pills, shakes
|Physician Weight Loss Centers
|Fit Team Global
||Fit Sticks: drink mix
||Zen Shape: Mix, pills, shakes
||Shakes, portion control, exercise
||Loyalty Pack, shakes, pills
This is an aspect of weight loss that perplexes a lot of people – they start a new diet and notice their clothes getting looser, or their face getting thinner – but their weight is staying the exact same! It is frustrating, because you *think* your diet is working but you step on the scale and feel like a big old failure.
Well, I am here to tell you that you can relax! You are not a failure! You are experiencing the wonders of the fat cell in action (I can hear you saying, “big whoop — skinny thighs are what excites me!”).
Let’s start off with a little physiology lesson. In your body you have 10-30 billion fat cells, and that is if you are of a healthy weight. Overweight people can have 75 billion fat cells or more, and it is not unheard of for morbidly obese people to have 250-300 billion fat cells overwhelming their boney frames! That is a LOT of fat cells (adipocytes). Picture each fat cell like a little deflated balloon. That balloon can be relatively empty or filled to the brim and be stretched over 10x its normal size. Now these fat cells are stubborn creatures – you can always make more, but once you have them, they are yours for good. Up until very recently1, it was thought that the only way to get rid of fat cells was to cut them out, but you can deflate them — and this is the key to losing weight effectively.
You see, fat cells are little storage tanks, and despite your most heartfelt desires to the contrary, they are remarkably efficient at storing fat in the form of triglycerides within the cell. When we want to burn fat – it isn’t an easy matter of having your brain tell your body, “we need more energy – let’s burn that love handle”. It doesn’t work that way! We need two enzymes, hormone sensitive lipase and adipose glyceride lipase to break down the triglyceride within fat cell where it is then released into the bloodstream as FFA’s. The more blood supply an area has, the better it can whisk away those FFA’s that are getting dumped from the fat cells. You can see this on your own body — take a second and poke your facial cheeks. See, the fat there is nice and soft because it has a good blood supply. Now grab the fat on your belly or on your butt. Feel the difference? It is dense and hard. It doesn’t have a good blood supply to whisk fat away. This is why when you start losing weight, it usually leave the ‘soft’ places first – your face, breasts, and arms and leaves you feeling like a saggy humpty dumpty for a while. This blood flow issue also leads us to our key point – when you start a diet and are burning fat, the scale often stays immobile despite you noticing that you are shrinking. This happens because the body abhors a vacuum. When the adipocytes dump out their fatty contents, your body doesn’t like to see an empty cell – so it shuttles water into the cell to fill up the space the fat just occupied. This is also why fat loss can be considered an inflammatory process and why you often feel bad, tired, sick, or swollen when you are dieting (there are other chemical factors, but we will discuss those at another time). Your body is literally replacing the fat with water! This process is more extreme for some people than for others, and some fortunate souls experience very little of this water replacement. This is also why your stomach or thighs can feel mushy or spongy when you are losing weight – you are replacing a dense fat with water.
So, what you can do, especially if you know that you have resilient fat or are a water hoarder? Well, there are a few simple things:
- Stay hydrated. I know, you’re thinking, “Why put more water into a swollen body?”, — Well, you need to flush out the metabolites from breaking down those FFA’s.
- Limit Caffeine and Alcohol. A little of either substance is OK, and small doses of caffeine can even be beneficial because it has a mild diuretic effect. Large amounts of either (and by large I am referring to more than 3 caffeinated beverages or more than 1 glass of wine or beer each day) can cause you to swell up like a balloon at the Macy’s Day Parade AND make your hard-earned weight loss come to a grinding halt.
- Shake your booty. Yes, I said it. The largest lymphatic pump in your body is the quadriceps muscles in your legs, so anything that gets those quads pumping — like walking, dancing, or biking, increases your lymph flow and your blood flow. If you work yourself up to a decent exertion point, then you will really increase systemic blood flow, and breathing (and breathing is the means by which your body excretes the metabolites of burnt fat cells!). Dig out those Richard Simmons’ shorts you’ve been hanging onto for the past 20 years — (they are back in style) and get ‘Sweatin’ to the Oldies!’
So there you have it! Know that you are not hallucinating – your face is thinner, your breasts are shrinking, and those bingo wings are real. Your scale just hasn’t caught up with your body! The more you follow the above steps – the faster you will purge that excess water (and inflammation) and the scale will start moving in the right direction.
Did you know that calcium absorption is a major issue for bariatric patients? Approximately 85% of all calcium supplements sold in the United States contain calcium carbonate (also known as limestone, or chalk) – and this form of calcium is rarely recommended for bariatric patients because of several key features: 1) it acts as a functional antacid, 2) it requires a highly acid environment to be absorbed, and 3) as a direct result of surgical alteration of stomach size – most people will no longer have the physical capability to absorb any of the elemental calcium from it.
The two forms of calcium that bariatric patients hear bantered about most frequently are CALCIUM CITRATE and CALCIUM LACTATE. Both of these are excellent sources of calcium, however, one has a distinct advantage over the other. If we are speaking about the best form of tableted calcium for people who have not had surgical alteration of their GI tract – then I would agree that calcium citrate pills are ideal. However, when you take into account how bariatric surgery affects the stomach and/or small intestine, and knowing that a large percentage of bypass surgeries involve bypassing at least part of the duodenum (which is where calcium is normally absorbed) – then calcium lactate becomes the winner.
Furthermore, calcium is a bulky mineral. You have to take a lot of it to be able to absorb the percentage you actually need. That is why calcium tablets are usually fairly big. Knowing this, vitamin manufacturers have two choices when they configure their supplements – they can either divide the dose into multiple tablets or capsules, or they can compress it into one or two giant ‘horse’ pills and compress them to the point that they are veritable cement bullets. This leaves bariatric patients in a catch-22, — they usually do not want to feel full and bloated from taking a lot of pills, but they also know if they take one of the highly compressed tablets, that they will likely absorb very little from it.
The solution is to take powdered calcium, and the ideal form of powdered calcium is calcium lactate. Calcium lactate is considered to be one of the most neutral forms of calcium. It is not chalky or soapy like calcium carbonate, and it lacks the bitterness of calcium citrate. If you need a calcium that is readily absorbed, and has a high solubility factor, which means that you can easily mix it into any beverage you so choose — then calcium lactate is the one to choose. It is significantly more soluble over other forms so you can fit a larger dose in a smaller serving size. Naturally gentle on the stomach, powdered calcium lactate provides the most available surface area for absorption once it passes into the small intestine.
That isn’t to say that you can’t get calcium citrate in powdered form. There are a few commercial preparations that use it, but powdered citrate does not mix readily into beverages. If you put a spoonful of it into a glass of water, you would have to stir and guzzle the contents very quickly or you would lose a significant amount as it would settle to the bottom of the glass or stick to the sides. Having to chug a big glass of bitter, gritty calcium, 2-3 times a day may not be appealing to many people.
That said, it is my belief that most Americans do not have a calcium issue. Per capita, American’s has one of the highest calcium consumption rates in the world yet they have one of the highest rates of osteoporosis. This tells me that we don’t have a calcium issue, but a magnesium and co-factor issue. We know that 80% of women are magnesium deficient. If you are going to supplement with calcium, please speak to your physician about adding a magnesium supplement to your regimen. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of both calcium and magnesium, so they are good nutrients to pair together. My office carries a supplement which contains a balanced ratio of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Please contact us for details.