Diet & Lifestyle – “The Harmonic Diet”

Dr. Vincent Fortanasce

Dr. Vincent Fortanasce

The Guidelines to the Diet – “The Ten Commandments”:

1. Plan on 5 meals a day: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and two snacks – one between breakfast and lunch and the other between lunch and dinner in order to control bingeing. When you eat regularly, your body doesn’t feel any need to store “food” in secret places (abs, buttocks and hips) for future usage – your body burns everything and even more! When you eat smaller portions more often, you can eat the same amount of calories, but more of those calories will be used as fuel and not stored as fat. Skipping meals slows your metabolism by 40% as it is goes into a starvation mode, so you lose less.

2. Make and take time to eat with friends or family: Don’t stand while eating. Don’t eat and work because it causes you to eat more. Instead, eat half as much and chew twice as long. Most people think that digestion begins in the stomach. Yet, with proper, health-promoting digestion, this process actually begins in the mouth. The process of chewing is a vital component of the digestive activities that occur in the mouth, inextricably linked to good digestion, and therefore, good health.

3. Keep a snack pack: How many times have you pulled into the drive-thru window of a fast food restaurant because you were hungry and had no snacks with you. It is very important to plan ahead. Keep snacks handy, nuts, almonds & walnuts or fruits and vegetables. If you pick up a sweet by impulse, take an almond to maintain “Harmonic Proportions.” This prevents insulin peaking.

4. Avoid food stimulants: Reduce your intake of salt, MSG, refined sugar, saturated fats such as butter, trans-fats in frying oils and margarine, often found in processed bakery goods.

Characteristic for stimulants is that they can stimulate a craving, or cause addiction through chemical changes in the brain. We use stimulants to make us feel good. If you try to control a symptom with stimulants, the cause of that symptom will remain. So try to stay away from stimulants as much as you can. The most well known stimulants are:

  • Refined white sugar
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Red meat; Corn fed is bad, Grass-fed is better
  • Diet pills
  • MSG (Monosodium glutamate)

5. Snack on Fruits and Vegetables: The darker the berry the better. Vegetables are also very good for you, especially broccoli. Try to eat half a cup of blueberries per day, wild blueberries are best. The pigments that give berries their beautiful blue and red hues are also good for your health. Berries contain phytochemicals and flavonoids that may help to prevent some forms of cancer. Fill your plate � with vegetables � whole grains, and � protein ( your serving of meat or fish should be no larger than the Size of your hand or a deck of cards ) Drink one glass ( 6 ounces ) of wine per day. Wine could preserve your memory. When researchers gave memory quizzes to women in their 70s, those who drank one drink or more every day scored much better than those who drank less or not at all. Wine helps prevent clots and reduce blood vessel Inflammation, both of which have been linked to cognitive decline and heart disease.

6. Beware of the “sentinel risk factors” that can destroy your willpower and Cause bingeing on carbohydrates or alcohol. They are sleeplessness ( less than 7 hours Per day ) and uncontrolled stress. We all have stress and some is unavoidable and has to be dealt with. There are many things you can do to reduce stress in your life. Many of our problems in our life that cause stress are self created and thus avoidable. Always search for personal growth and new ways of thinking about life. “When you think you know everything you can learn nothing.” We have several programs that can help reduce stress in your life.

  1. Therapy; we have a trained Counseling psychologist on staff that can help you learn to deal more effectively with stress.
  2. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress; we have an exercise program that takes into account your age and physical abilities.
  3. Biofeedback; this is a treatment technique in which people are trained to improve their health by using signals from their own bodies. Psychologists use it to help tense and anxious clients learn to relax and to treat many stress disorders.
  4. Sleep is essential for the production of the two neurotransmitters and youthful hormones that give us the willpower to stay on a diet, get things done, and promote calm and harmony in our body and mind.
  5. Sleep apnea People who have sleep apnea ( snore + overweight ) age quicker and are 12 x more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

7. Be active: By walking 10,000 steps a day, you can burn 300 calories per day ( 2,100 calories a week ) which is approximately three pounds per month. A great tip is to buy a pedometer. People tend to get fixated on pedometers when they have them, and the fact that nothing has to be written down — no fitness diary needs to be kept, no information must be logged on a computer — makes pedometers easy to use day after day in various settings, none of which has to be a gym.

8. Practice Neurobics, or brain exercises, to increase neural pathways ( i.e. eating or brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, learning a new language, or changing routines such as altering your commute. This will increase your brains capacity. Your brain is an interest bearing account; use it or lose it. The secret of brain exercise is doing something usual in a novel or different way. ( see detailed information on neurobics in the “Neurobics” section of this binder )

9. Practice Spirituality, Prayer & Meditation. Prayer is asking God. Meditation Is listening to his answer. Forgiveness is paramount in reducing uncontrolled stress. Pray at least twice a day. Meditation is generally an internal, personal practice and done without any external involvement, except perhaps prayer beads to count prayers, though many practitioners of meditation may rely on external objects such as candle flames as points on which to focus their attention as an aid to the process. Meditation often involves invoking or cultivating a feeling or internal state, such as compassion, or attending to a specific focal point. The term can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state. Biofeedback is an easy way to learn to meditate.

10. Remember, to make any Diet a daily habit, you must endure it for 28 days. If you invest just 28 days in making the sacrifice to stick to your diet, it begins to become a habit and thus easier to maintain. So many people give up before this amount of time when they were so close to making a positive change in their health and well-being.

11. The Journal Numerous studies note that those who journal their lifestyle changes are 4X as likely to maintain it. In an article from The American Medical Association reviewing 48 diets; they concluded that the only factor that was associated with a successful diet was counting calories, and that was best done by journaling.

Supplements

If you want to fight disease and achieve maximum life span, you can’t do it with diet alone. You need the extra nutritional boost that only supplements can provide. All of us can take a giant leap toward longevity just by taking supplements. Supplementation not only protects against deficiency but also bridges the gap between average nutrition, which culminates in premature death, and optimum nutrition, which can extend our life span. The extra nutrients that supplements provide prevent marauding free radicals from harming healthy cells, speed the repair and regeneration of damaged cells, and facilitate Renewal. The upshot of all this is a longer, healthier, more vital life.

The Cost of Poor Nutrition

Your body will show signs of a nutrient deficiency with a list of minor symptoms: fatigue, weakness, insomnia, irritability, nervousness, depression, poor concentration, memory loss, aches and pains, recurrent infections, allergies, circulatory problems, and just not feeling well. These are the symptoms that send patients to doctors. Because most conventionally trained physicians have little education or experience in nutrition, they’re unable to make the connection between a patient’s complaints and a nutrient deficiency. Then when the test results come back normal (as they usually do in such cases), the symptoms tend to be dismissed as “all in your head”–or, even worse, as “a natural part of aging.”

Recommended Supplements

  1. Aspirin – 81 milligrams
    It is well documented that aspirin reduces the risk of heart attack in people with known coronary artery disease(CAD).Aspirin also reduces the risk of having symptoms for people who have a higher risk for the disease. People who are at high risk for coronary artery disease or who already have coronary artery disease will benefit from aspirin therapy.
  2. Fish oil – 1,000 milligrams per day. If one has cardiac risk factors, take 3,000 milligrams per day
    Fish oil is used for a wide range of conditions. It is most often used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. Some people use fish oil to lower blood pressure or triglyceride levels (fats related to cholesterol). Fish oil has also been tried for preventing heart disease or stroke. The scientific evidence suggests that fish oil really does lower high triglycerides, and it also seems to help prevent heart disease and stroke when taken in the recommended amounts.
  3. Folic acid – 400 to 800 mcg per day
    One of folate’s key functions as a vitamin is to allow for complete development of red blood cells. These cells help carry oxygen around the body. When folic acid is deficient, the red bloods cannot form properly, and continue to grow without dividing. This condition is called macrocytic anemia, and one of its most common causes is folic acid deficiency.
  4. Multi-vitamin without copper ( should include vitamins C and E
    We all know that multivitamins are a combination of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are essential for general health and well-being. The body is a symphony of chemical reactions, each requiring particular nutrients to occur properly. By ensuring that all of these nutrients are present, the body can function optimally, resulting in feelings of energy, vitality and health. Consult with your doctor for the best multi-vitamin for you
  5. Coenzyme Q10 600-1200 Milligrams per day, especially if you are on a statin medication ( Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor )
    CoQ10 boosts energy, enhances the immune system, and acts as an antioxidant. Clinical research suggests that using coenzyme Q10 supplements alone or in combination with other drug therapies and nutritional supplements may help prevent or treat some of the following conditions: heart disease, High blood pressure, high cholesterol. Supplementation of coenzyme Q10 has also been found to have a beneficial effect on the condition of some sufferers of Migraine headaches.
  6. BriteShield-two per day
    Contains resveratrol (found in wine) and turmeric ( it was found that certain cities in India that have turmeric daily in their diet have significantly lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. BriteShield contains a proprietary blend of safe, natural and effective ingredients clinically shown to help defend brain cells against free radicals, inflammation and other neurotoxins, e.g., mercury, that contribute to the aging process.
  7. chromium picolinate
    Providing supplemental chromium picolinate to elderly adults with early memory decline can improve cognitive performance and brain function, according to a study published in Nutritional Neuroscience, Chromium supplementation improved learning, recall and recognition memory tasks. Also, fMRI indicated subjects receiving chromium picolinate had greater activation in the right thalamic, right temporal, right posterior parietal and bifrontal regions of the brain. Recent research in the areas of cognitive brain function and Alzheimer’s disease has shown significant links to glucose metabolism.

Please note: Be careful, there are only a few supplements proven to be effective. Don’t fall pray to the 80 Billion dollar holistic remedy market that will tell you anything to sell you something.

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A – 5000 IU
    This is one of the antioxidants. It is fat soluble meaning that it requires fat for absorption and is stored in the fats of the liver. The most popular form of Vitamin A is Beta Carotene. Vitamin A is essential for vision, cellular growth and development, reproduction (needed for proper testicular and ovarian function), proper immune function, formation of healthy skin and hair, promotes bone growth and tooth development. Low intake of Vitamin A has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer.
  • Vitamin C – 60 mg
    Vitamin C is found in vitamin supplements in the form of ascorbic acid. It is a water soluble antioxident. It is involved in the formation of collagen, which is a very important part of connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, and bone). It helps promote healthy teeth and gums, aids in iron absorption, helps heal wounds, and may provide resistance against certain infections. In tests, it has been shown to help prevent the common cold.
  • Vitamin D – 1000 to 4000 IU
    (fat soluble) occurs in high amounts of cod liver oil and the body can only manufacture this when exposed to ultraviolet light (sunshine). It’s main function is to aid in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Some studies have shown that Vitamin D also functions to improve muscle strength and bone density.
  • Vitamin E – 10 mg (15 IU)
    (fat soluble) This vitamin is also needed for normal red blood cell formation, and serves as an antioxidant protecting the body from free radicals.
  • Vitamin K – 80 mcg
    (fat soluble) Vitamin K’s main function is the formation of prothrombin, which is needed for blood clotting.
  • Thiamin – 1.5 mg
    It is also referred to as Vitamin B1. Thiamin helps in the carbohydrate metabolism process and aids in DNA formation. It also stimulates appetite.
  • Riboflavin – 1.8 mg
    Also called Vitamin B2. It is involved in energy production from carbohydrates, fatty acids, and some aminos. It is a vital nutrient for the body and especially vital to the eyes, skin, and nerves.
  • Niacin – 20 mg
    Known as Vitamin B3, is present in all cells and functions in many metabolic processes such as energy production, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, fatty acid synthesis, and helps reduce cholesterol and fatty acids in the blood.
  • Vitamin B-6 – 2 mg
    This vitamin is very essential in amino acid metabolism. It plays a role in glycogen breakdown, energy production, and in the formation of red blood cells.
  • Folate – 400 to 800 mcg
    Another form of the B vitamins. It is an important factor in DNA formation, protein synthesis, and cell formation. Folate (in the form of folic acid) has been proven to lessen the potential of birth defects when taken during and even prior to pregnancy. It has also been proven to lessen the chance of a premature birth. Folate also has an effect on the tissues that line the intestines, bone marrow, and regenerating muscle tissue. It is important for any tissue that is quickly repairable.
  • Vitamin B-12 – 2 mcg
    This particular vitamin is necessary for neural tissue development, folate metabolism, DNA production, energy metabolism, new cell growth, and new red blood cell formation.
  • Biotin – 30 to 100 mcg
    A member of the B vitamin family, Biotin is involved in energy production, waste formation, protein metabolism, glucose formation, and the metabolism of fatty acids.
  • Panthothenic acid – 4 to 7 mg
    A member of the B vitamin plays a role in steroid and cholesterol synthesis.

Minerals:

  • Calcium – 1200 mg
  • Phosphorous – 1200 mg
  • Iron – 15 mg
  • Iodine – 150 mcg
  • Magnesium – 400 mg
  • Zinc – 15 mg
  • Selenium – 70 mcg
  • Manganese – 2 to 5 mg
  • Molybdenum – 75 to 250 mcg
  • Chromium – 50 to 200 mcg

This list I have provided shows which fruits and vegetables are in Season throughout the year. It will depend upon where you live, but this list is general enough to give you an idea of when produce is typically available. Buying in season saves you money!

Spring Fruits and Vegetables (March – May)

  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapple
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Rhubarb
  • Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Apricot
  • Cherries

Summer Fruits and Vegetables (June – August)

  • Watermelon
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Beets
  • Cantaloupe
  • Corn
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Cucumbers
  • Figs
  • Limes
  • Green Beans
  • Kiwi
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomato
  • Eggplant
  • Plums

Fall Fruits and Vegetables (September – November)

  • Pomegranate
  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Coconut
  • Lettuce
  • Persimmon
  • Beets
  • Eggplants
  • Pumpkins
  • Spinach
  • Tomato
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Limes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pears
  • Winter Squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines

Winter Fruits and Vegetables (December – February)

  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Pears
  • Coconut
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Pomegranate
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tangelos
  • Tangerines
  • Cabbage
  • Leeks

Fruits and Vegetables in Season All Year

  • Avocados
  • Banana
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes

Next: 4 Step Harmonic Diet