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Galveston Diet~ Hmm…

The Galveston diet promotes veggies high in antioxidants like zucchini, cucumber, and broccoli. Shutterstock
  • The Galveston diet is designed specifically to help middle-aged women lose weight that they gained from menopause.
  • The diet is designed to reduce inflammation throughout the body to help aid weight loss.
  • The Galveston diet has a one-time fee, and one expert points out that there are other diets out there middle-aged women can follow to stay healthy for free.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition, and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.

Many women gain weight during middle age, particularly around the time of menopause. The Galveston diet, which was invented by Mary Claire Haver, MD, an OBGYN, aims to reverse this trend, using a diet plan consisting of lean proteins and low carbs.

The Galveston diet is designed to help menopausal women lose weight by fighting inflammation rather than cutting calories. Despite many personal stories of success on the diet’s website, there are no scientific studies that prove this diet is any better at helping you lose weight than other healthy, balanced diets. Here’s what you need to know before trying the Galveston diet. 

The Galveston diet is designed for menopausal women

The Galveston diet is primarily designed to help you combat weight loss during menopause. However, it also offers advice on how to relieve other menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes.

The crux of the diet is to reduce inflammation by limiting the hours in which you eat and cutting out foods that can trigger inflammation like gluten and sugar. 

Foods to eat on the Galveston diet

Here’s what you can eat while following the Galveston diet:

Meats: Only lean proteins are allowed in order to avoid excessive saturated fat, which has been linked to weight gain.

  • Salmon
  • Lean turkey and chicken
  • Lean grass-fed beef

Vegetables: Veggies that are low in starch and high in inflammatory-fighting antioxidants are encouraged.

  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

Fruits: Fruits that are lower in sugar and high in antioxidants are advised.

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Fats: The diet allows mainly unsaturated fats, which are a healthier choice for anyone trying to lose weight.

  • Avocado
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds

Foods to avoid on the Galveston diet

The only dairy product recommended is Greek yogurt because it has more protein than other yogurt varieties. Similarly, the only grain the diet includes is quinoa, again because it provides protein in addition to carbohydrates.

While following the Galveston diet, you should avoid processed foods and food with added sugars. The website recommends entirely avoiding the middle aisles of the supermarket, where snacks and packaged foods are found.

When to eat on the Galveston diet 

The diet not only places strict limits on what you eat, but also when you eat. While following the diet, you are advised to do a daily version of intermittent fasting in which you restrict your eating to an 8-hour period, such as between 10 am and 6 pm, and fast for the remaining 16 hours.

The intermittent fasting aspect of the diet is meant to help reduce inflammation and burn fat. In order to get all the details of the Galveston diet, you need to pay a one time fee of $59, which gives you access to a curriculum covering inflammation, hormones, and other health topics. There are also meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists available. 

Should I try the Galveston diet?

It’s important to make lifestyle changes when you hit menopause, says Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Women’s Health. “Women need to be aware that if they don’t change something at menopause — eat less and exercise more — they will gain weight.”

Though the diet has somewhat rigid restrictions, Faubion says that it does not seem to be harmful. However, she adds that paying a fee may not be worth it. “There are many diets that focus on lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and are low in saturated fat that women can follow, the Mediterranean being one.”

The guidelines for what menopausal women should eat are not much different than for other women, Faubion says. However, “midlife women tend to gain a pound or two per year, and avoiding that weight gain is very important to avoid increased cardiovascular risk over time.”

If you want to avoid rigid restrictions or paying for dietary guidelines, you may want to try a similar option like the Mediterranean diet.

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Fibromyalgia and Diet

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that affects around 4 million adults in the United States (1Trusted Source).

Though research is limited, scientific evidence shows that some diets reduce pain and symptoms related to fibromyalgia.

This article reviews which foods to eat and avoid to help manage fibromyalgia, along with 10 tasty recipes.

Shakshuka egg recipe

Fibromyalgia and diet

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that’s characterized by widespread muscle pain. Due to chronic pain, many people with fibromyalgia also have sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, and depression (1Trusted Source).

The cause of fibromyalgia isn’t yet known, and the condition cannot be cured. People with fibromyalgia must manage their symptoms through medical treatment and lifestyle changes (1Trusted Source).

One way to help symptoms is by following a certain diet.

Though little research has been done, some evidence points to certain dietary approaches that may help manage fibromyalgia symptoms. These include (2Trusted Source):

  • Low-calorie diets. Weight loss may help with fibromyalgia symptoms, so a low-calorie diet may be a good approach.
  • Vegetarian diets. These diets are rich in anti-inflammatory fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. The strongest evidence is for raw vegetarian diets.
  • Low FODMAP diets. FODMAPS are types of carbs that some people can’t digest. Low FODMAP diets exclude most dairy products, grains, fruits, and vegetables. It’s a very restrictive, highly anti-inflammatory way of eating.

A diet high in anti-inflammatory foods may also help manage fibromyalgia symptoms, as chronic inflammation is one of the suspected causes of the disease (3Trusted Source).

Regardless, this disease and its symptoms are highly individualized. Different diets may work better or worse depending on the individual.

You may benefit from working with a registered dietitian if you’re following a more complex eating pattern, such as a raw vegetarian or low FODMAP diet, to manage your fibromyalgia symptoms.

Foods to include

Types of foods that are typically part of dietary approaches for fibromyalgia include (2Trusted Source):

  • Low calorie: low calorie, high protein, high fiber, or filling foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains
  • Vegetarian: fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds; some vegetarians may include eggs or dairy products while raw vegetarians eat only uncooked plant foods
  • Low FODMAP: only foods that are low in FODMAPs, including most meats, rice, some fruits and vegetables, and limited dairy products

You should also add a variety of anti-inflammatory foods that fit into your preferred eating pattern, as they may help alleviate symptoms. Examples of anti-inflammatory foods include (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source):

  • Protein: salmon, eggs, chickpeas, Greek yogurt
  • Fruits: bananas, oranges, apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, avocado
  • Vegetables: spinach, kale, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, bell peppers, cucumber, carrots
  • Carbs: sweet potatoes, brown rice, honey
  • Fats: olive oil, coconut oil
  • Herbs and spices: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, garlic, cloves

Note that some of these foods, such as honey and chickpeas, are higher in FODMAPs. As such, avoid them if you’re strictly following a low FODMAP diet.

Foods to avoid

On the other hand, foods that are typically avoided in the dietary approaches to fibromyalgia are (2Trusted Source):

  • Low calorie. Exclude empty calories like chips, cookies, cakes, ice cream, sugary drinks, added sugars, and added fats.
  • Vegetarian. All vegetarians exclude meat from their diet. However, raw vegetarians will also exclude cooked foods.
  • Low FODMAP. On the low FODMAP diet, you need to exclude all foods that are high in FODMAPs. This includes wheat, dairy products, beans, garlic, and onions.
  • Anti-inflammatory. To decrease inflammation you should also avoid pro-inflammatory foods, which include highly processed foods, refined carbs, fast food, and processed vegetable oils like soybean oil or corn oil (6Trusted Source).


Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by muscle pain. Some dietary approaches may help manage its symptoms, including anti-inflammatory, low calorie, raw vegetarian, or low FODMAP diets.

Fibromyalgia-friendly recipes

The following recipes are appropriate for various dietary approaches to fibromyalgia, and they all contain anti-inflammatory ingredients like fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

1. Shakshuka for one (vegetarian, low FODMAP)

Shakshuka is a North African dish made by simmering eggs in tomato sauce. However, this take includes some healthy, anti-inflammatory additions like spinach and fresh parsley (4Trusted Source).

At only 286 calories per serving, it’s also an ideal meal for anyone following a low calorie diet to help manage their fibromyalgia.

It’s likewise appropriate for anyone following a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, which includes eggs and dairy products.

Simply swap the onions and garlic for garlic- and/or shallot-infused olive oil to make it FODMAP-free.

Get the recipe here.

2. Mango turmeric overnight oats (vegetarian)

This easy breakfast dish is appropriate for raw vegetarian diets, as you don’t have to cook it. Instead, the oats soften overnight by soaking in coconut milk, resulting in a creamy and smooth texture.

Additionally, this recipe contains several anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and honey (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

Get the recipe here.

3. Watermelon, mint, and grilled cheese salad (vegetarian)

This flavorful salad makes a great summer meal. With 484 calories in a generous serving, it can be part of a carefully planned low calorie diet.

It’s also appropriate for lacto-vegetarian diets, which include dairy products.

Finally, the salad is rich in vitamin C — a potent anti-inflammatory antioxidant — from the watermelon (9Trusted Source).

Get the recipe here.

4. Wild blueberry cauliflower smoothie (vegetarian)

Smoothies are a perfect on-the-go meal solution, and this vegan smoothie is compatible with a raw vegetarian diet for fibromyalgia. Because it contains only 340 calories per serving, it’s also an appropriate meal for low calorie diets.

It contains blueberries, strawberries, and purple cauliflower, which are all rich sources of anthocyanins — antioxidant pigments that give these fruits and vegetables their bright colors (10Trusted Source).

Anthocyanins are also highly anti-inflammatory, with one study showing they improved sleep quality in people with fibromyalgia. However, more research is needed (10Trusted Source).

Get the recipe here.

5. Mediterranean vegetable salad with prunes and fruit dressing (vegetarian)

This vegan salad recipe is loaded with anti-inflammatory ingredients like prunes and beets (10Trusted Source).

With a few simple tweaks, like opting to not cook down the prune juice and swapping out the edamame for nuts like walnuts or pecans, you can make this a raw vegan recipe.

Additionally, this entrée salad contains only 450 calories in a large portion — making it a good fit for a low calorie diet.

Get the recipe here.

6. Fresh spring rolls (vegetarian, low FODMAP)

These low FODMAP spring rolls are loaded with vegetables and are naturally low in calories — containing only 240 calories in a 3-roll serving.

They’re also full of a variety of antioxidants from colorful vegetables like carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, and red cabbage (11Trusted Source).

For an extra dose of protein, you can add tofu or cooked shrimp.

Get the recipe here.

7. Chocolate mint quinoa breakfast bowl (vegetarian, low FODMAP)

This indulgent breakfast recipe is loaded with antioxidants from anti-inflammatory berries, dark chocolate, and pumpkin seeds (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).

At 490 calories per serving, it’s a bit high in calories for breakfast on a low calorie diet. However, you could easily include a smaller portion of this breakfast bowl or split it into two meals.

It’s also vegetarian and low in FODMAPs, making it ideal for people with fibromyalgia.

Get the recipe here.

8. Trail mix (vegetarian, low FODMAP)

This quick and easy trail mix recipe is a perfect vegetarian and low FODMAP grab-and-go snack. It can fit into a low calorie diet as well, as it only contains 140 calories per serving.

It contains antioxidant-rich pecans, pumpkin seeds, bananas, and dark chocolate — which may help decrease chronic inflammation (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).

Get the recipe here.

9. Sprouted rice salad (vegetarian, low FODMAP)

This salad can be eaten warm or cold, so it’s a great vegetarian and low FODMAP dinner or lunch option. It also contains only 280 calories per serving, making it a good choice for low calorie diets as well.

It’s rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants from pomegranate, including vitamin C (9Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

Get the recipe here.

10. Low carb chicken salad on zucchini chips (low FODMAP)

This low FODMAP chicken salad can easily be made vegetarian by replacing the chicken with hard-boiled eggs or cubed tofu.

It’s full of anti-inflammatory ingredients, like grapes, pecans, purple cabbage, and rosemary (7Trusted Source).

At only 265 calories per serving, it can also be eaten on a low calorie diet.

Get the recipe here.


These 10 recipes are appropriate for diets to manage fibromyalgia symptoms. Most are vegetarian, and they all contain anti-inflammatory foods. Some are low in calories and FODMAPs.

The bottom line

Fibromyalgia is an incurable disease characterized by chronic muscle pain. According to some research, certain diets may help manage the symptoms.

Although further studies are needed, the diets with the most evidence include low calorie diets, vegetarian diets, and low FODMAP diets that are rich in anti-inflammatory foods.

If you’re having trouble planning a diet to help with your fibromyalgia, you should consult a registered dietitian for help.

Although fibromyalgia doesn’t have a cure, eating an anti-inflammatory diet may have powerful effects on your symptoms and quality of life.HEALTHLINE NEWSLETTERGet our weekly Fibromyalgia email

To help you manage pain and avoid fatigue, we’ll send you tips, techniques, and trustworthy info on meds.Enter your emailSIGN UP NOW

Written by SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD on April 28, 2020

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Pescatarian Diet… Did You Know?

Pescatarian (sometimes spelled “pescetarian” with an e) is a word sometimes used to describe those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish. A pescatarian, or someone who follows a pescatarian way of eating, maintain a vegetarian diet with the addition of fish and other seafood such as shrimp, clams, crabs, and lobster.

In other words, a pescatarian is a person who eats fish but doesn’t eat steak, chicken, pork or any other kind of meat, only fish and seafood. That’s not all they eat. Pescatarians also eat mainly vegetarian foods such as tofu, beans, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and grains.

illustration depicting reasons to go pescatarian
The Spruce / Maritsa Patrinos

Reasons to Go Pescatarian

Although the word is not commonly used and a pescatarian is not really a vegetarian, often people adopt this kind of diet for two reasons: one, they have health concerns (such as high cholesterol) and want to cut out meat but still get healthy protein. The other common reason to go adopt a pescatarian diet is to build up to a completely vegetarian diet. With this method, they may eventually phase out fish and seafood but will do so over time.

Other reasons for adopting a pescatarian way of eating include many of the same issues that motivate people to go vegetarian or vegan: a reduced environmental footprint and animal cruelty concerns. And some people follow a pescatarian diet for religious reasons. Pescatarians often believe that moderate consumption of fish or fish oils, which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, is necessary for optimum health, although vegetarian alternatives, such as flaxseed oil and hemp foods are available.

While it’s true that fish is a good source of protein, this shouldn’t be the sole reason for eating a pescatarian diet. There are plenty of meat-free and fish-free sources available to vegetarians and even vegans, including eggs, low-fat dairy, beans, lentils, nuts, and more. It’s certainly possible to maintain a protein-rich diet without consuming meat or fish.

Are Pescatarians Considered Vegetarian?

No. A pescatarian is not a vegetarian or even a type of vegetarian. There is much confusion over what a vegetarian is and isn’t, but no definition of the term ever includes fish or seafood.

A vegetarian diet excludes all animals, and fish are animals. Therefore, a diet that includes fish, or a person who consumes fish cannot be properly called a vegetarian. A pescatarian is not a vegetarian, and a vegetarian diet does not include fish.

What Are Semi-Vegetarians or Flexitarians? 

A “semi-vegetarian” -or a “flexitarian” is someone who eats a mostly vegetarian diet, occasionally supplemented by meat, though there’s no real agreed-upon definition of how often one can eat meat and still call themselves a semi-vegetarian or a flexitarian. Pescatarians are not restricted to “occasional” fish and may eat fish as little or as frequently as they prefer.

These labels are somewhat personal. If you state that you are a pescatarian, semi-vegetarian, or flexitarian, be prepared to explain your diet choices to those that ask. While it’s none of their business, it’s likely that friends, family, and even strangers will be curious about your dietary habits, restrictions, and reasons.

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Alkaline Diet~ Did You Know?

Alkaline Diet

By Sonya Collins

The Promise

It’s a pitch Hollywood celebs love: that the alkaline diet — also known as the alkaline ash diet or alkaline acid diet — can help you lose weight and avoid problems like arthritis and cancer. The theory is that some foods, like meat, wheat, refined sugar, and processed foods, cause your body to produce acid, which is bad for you.

So, according to the “science” behind this diet, eating specific foods that make your body more alkaline can protect against those conditions as well as shed pounds. The alkaline diet really rocketed into the news when Victoria Beckham tweeted about an alkaline diet cookbook in January 2013.

What You Can and Can’t Eat

Most fruits and vegetables, soybeans and tofu, and some nuts, seeds, and legumes are alkaline-promoting foods, so they’re fair game.

Dairy, eggs, meat, most grains, and processed foods, like canned and packaged snacks and convenience foods, fall on the acid side and are not allowed.

Most books that tout the alkaline diet say you shouldn’t have alcohol or caffeine, either.

Level of Effort: High

You’ll be cutting out a lot of foods you may be used to eating.

Limitations: Many foods are off-limits, and so are alcohol and caffeine.

Cooking and shopping: You can get fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. It may take a while to learn how to prep and cook your meals when you use fresh foods.

Does It Allow for Restrictions or Preferences?

Vegetarians and vegans: This diet is mostly to completely vegetarian. It also works for vegans, in that dairy is off-limits.

Gluten-free: The diet excludes wheat, but to avoid gluten completely, you’ll need to check food labels carefully, as gluten is not just in wheat.

Besides wheat, the diet nixes most of the other major triggers for food allergies, including milk, eggs, peanuts, walnuts, fish, and shellfish. It’s also good for people who are trying to avoid fat and sugar.

What Else You Should Know

Cost: Many web sites with information about the alkaline diet also sell courses, books, supplements, and alkaline-infused water, food, and drinks. You do not need to buy these things to follow the alkaline diet. There are many free alkaline food charts online that list foods you can buy at the grocery store.

What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:

Does It Work?

Maybe, but not for the reasons it claims.

First, a little chemistry: A pH level measures how acid or alkaline something is. A pH of 0 is totally acidic, while a pH of 14 is completely alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral. Those levels vary throughout your body. Your blood is slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Your stomach is very acidic, with a pH of 3.5 or below, so it can break down food. And your urine changes, depending on what you eat — that’s how your body keeps the level in your blood steady.

The alkaline diet claims to help your body maintain its blood pH level. In fact, nothing you eat is going to substantially change the pH of your blood. Your body works to keep that level constant.

But the foods you’re supposed to eat on the alkaline diet are good for you and will support a healthy weight loss: lots of fruits and vegetables, and lots of water. Avoiding sugar, alcohol, and processed foods is healthy weight-loss advice, too.

As to the other health claims, there’s some early evidence that a diet low in acid-producing foods like animal protein (such as meat and cheese) and bread and high in fruits and veggies could help prevent kidney stones, keep bones and muscles strong, improve heart health and brain function, reduce low back pain, and lower risk for type 2 diabetes. But researchers aren’t sure of some of these claims yet.

People who believe in the alkaline diet say that though acid-producing foods shift our pH balance for only a little while, if you keep shifting your blood pH over and over, you can cause long-lasting acidity.

Is It Good for Certain Conditions?’

Following an alkaline diet means choosing fruits and vegetables over higher-calorie, higher-fat choices. You will also shun prepared foods, which often have a lot of sodium.

That’s great news for heart health because these steps help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which are big risk factors for heart disease.

Getting to a healthy weight is also important in preventing and treating diabetes and osteoarthritis.

Some studies have found that an alkaline environment may make certain chemotherapy drugs more effective or less toxic. But it has not been shown that an alkaline diet can do this or help prevent cancer. If you have cancer, talk to your doctor or dietitian about your nutritional needs before starting any type of diet.

The Final Word

The emphasis on fruits and vegetables that is at the core of alkaline diets offers the promise of healthy weight loss. No special gear or supplements are required.

You’ll have the best success with it if you like to choose and experiment with new foods and love to cook.

But following an alkaline diet will be tough for many people.

A lot of favorite foods that are allowed in moderation in other plans (including lean meat, low-fat dairy, bread, and sweets) are forbidden here. Protein is limited to plant-based sources such as beans and tofu. This means you will have to make sure you get enough protein and calcium.

Eating out also can be a challenge. If you travel a lot for work or have a busy schedule, you might feel bogged down by all the food selection and prep.

Finally, many alkaline diets fail to address a major factor in weight loss and wellness success: exercise. You should include fitness in any healthy eating plan that you choose. The American Heart Association and the CDC recommend getting at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. If you have any medical problems or are out of shape, talk to your doctor first.


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