Aug 25, 2009

A True Inspiration

Annie’s Journey to the Finish Line (Skinny Gene Project San Diego)

Saving my life-One step at a time

I DON'T WANT TO DIE and I'm dying. I am this reality. I WANT TO LIVE and I'm living. I am creating this reality.”

Like millions of other Americans, like YOU, I have faced adversity and been forced to hurdle obstacles more times than I can count. Despite every effort to fight, a series of medical conditions overcame my body. Before they were able to diagnose and stop the problem, the damage had been done.

I had to walk away from 10 years of service to the Navy. Images of my shipmates were replaced by the reflection of the overweight woman in the mirror that stared back me, suffocating my spirit and determination until nothing was left.

Alone without my Navy family and without my own family I sank into depression and my health spiraled further out of control. Before I knew it, my mortality became a reality.

The Skinny Gene Project taught me that it is never too late to regain control of my life. Not only am I receiving the tools and resources I need to be successful, this organization gives me tremendous hope and I know I don't have to struggle alone. They support and believe in me, even when I start to lose faith in myself. - Annie


After becoming a member of the Skinny Gene Project, Annie began working with our Registered Dietitian (Emily) and a physical trainer from Tru Health and Wellness (Craig). With less than 30 pounds to go in losing her first 100 pounds, Annie set her sights on walking in the San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon.

She trained vigorously for weeks. Then, a few weeks before the event, she fell. Annie injured her knee and was no longer able to compete. This was a devestating blow to Annie. It was happening again!

Several years ago, while in the Navy, Annie was training for the San Diego Marathon and had a horrible bike riding accident. She was immoble for months. This marked the beginning of her weight gain. This time however, Annie was determined to have a different outcome.

Although her knee injury prevented her from participating in any physical activity, she continued to lose weight. She focused on regaining her health ...


Finally, on August 16th, Annie completed her first 5K.

Congratulations Annie! We are so very proud of you!

Skinny Gene Project's September Shopping Cart

Making healthier choices begins with what you decide to put into your grocery cart.

Try to find a way to incorporate each of these items into your meals.

Avocados – The only fruit that is a great source of monounsaturated fats and are sodium and cholesterol free, essential for a heart healthy diet.

Garlic – Adding garlic to season your meal not only increases the flavor, it reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer. Try to make garlic a daily flavor: fresh, dry, or powder.

Fiber One - Super start to your day and not to mention the added benefit of lowering cholesterol, managing your blood sugar, and satisfying your appetite. A ½ cup serving of Fiber One has 14 grams of fiber, meeting ~50% of your daily need and 1 gram of cholesterol lowering soluble fiber. Try a bowl for breakfast or stir a Tablespoon or two into your yogurt.

Tuna - Two servings of fish a week will provide you the essential fatty acids that will help lower your triglycerides and lower risks of cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attack or stroke). Canned white tuna is a great source of the Omega-3 essential fatty acid and quick fix for dinner on the weeknights!

Green Beans - A great source of antioxidant rich vitamins and fiber that will help keep your blood sugar from spiking and your heart healthy. Buy fresh, frozen, or canned.

Whole grain pasta – Try Barilla Plus Pasta, made of 50% whole wheat and provides 7 grams of fiber per serving versus the regular white pasta’s 2 grams fiber per serving. Barilla Plus Pasta provides a rich source of protein and Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Tomato - One of the super vegetables containing phytochemicals that help protect you against cancer. Buy fresh year round, although best July through September!

Grapes – The rich purple color provided by the phytonutrients in grapes protects against heart disease.

Yogurt - Eat 3+ servings low fat or fat free dairy daily can help reduce the belly fat! Yogurt provides friendly bacteria that strengthens your immune system and keeps your gastrointestinal tract healthy from harmful bacteria.

Did you miss the August Shopping List? If so, click here!

By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CNSC

Not All Carbs Are Created Equal

Chosing carbohydrates can be very confusing.

Eating the right type of carbohydrate can be the difference between substantial weight gain and weight loss.
Eating bad carbs can cause heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, hunger pangs, and can even trigger overeating. Good carbs are needed for proper brain function, helps your body burn more body fat, fills you up and keeps you from getting hungry.

So don’t cut carbs; make better choices.

Using a simple ranking system known as a Glycemic Index (GI), we can clearly identify good and bad carbs. The GI indicates how much sugar is in a particular food, and how quickly that food will affect your blood sugar.

“The whiter the bread, the quicker you’re dead”

White bread, potatoes, refined cereals, and several other high GI foods are quickly digested and cause sugar to pour into the blood stream. This surge of sugar causes the blood sugar to spike. Along with these spikes come severe drops in blood sugar, which causes excessive snacking and sugar cravings. These spikes also negatively affect the elasticity of the arteries and can lead to heart disease or sudden death.[1]

Fight the Fat.

Foods with a low GI are usually high in fiber and are digested slowly. This creates an opportunity for the calories from the food to be burned throughout the day as energy, instead of being stored as fat. Since there aren’t any high and lows, as there are with high GI foods, there aren’t the associated excessive snacking and sugar cravings.

Low GI foods, such as vegetables, whole grain products and beans, expand in your stomach and make you feel full longer.

Benefits of eating a low GI diet

The following are clinically-proven benefits of eating Low GI foods:
Lose and control weight
Increase the body's sensitivity to insulin
Improve diabetes control
Reduce the risk of heart disease
Reduce blood cholesterol levels
Help you manage the symptoms of PCOS
Reduce hunger and keep you fuller for longer
Prolong physical endurance

Better life through better choices.

To assign a GI ranking, each food was individually tested in a clinically controlled setting. It can’t be determined by simply reading the nutritional information.

LOW- GI is 55 or under
MED- GI is 56-69
HIGH- GI is 70 and above

Below are a few popular low GI foods. A complete listing of foods, including 1,300 foods (750 food groups) and corresponding GI ranking is available on our Skinny Gene Member’s Only Section.

Click here to become a Member Today and see the GI (and Glycemic Load) on all the food tested to date. (see additional benefits of becoming a member)


All-bran cereal (42)
Apples (38)
Apple juice (40)
Bananas (52)
Brown Rice (55)
Buckwheat (54)
Carrot (47)
Chick peas (28)
Fettuccine (40)
Grapes (46)
Green peas (48)
Honey (55)
Kidney Beans (28)
Long grain white rice (52)
9-grain, multi-grain bread (43)
Oranges (42)
Peaches (42)
Peanuts (14)
Pears (38)
Sourdough wheat bread (54)
Whole Grain (100%)- (51)


Beets (64)
Cantaloupe (65)
Coca Cola (63)
Life cereal (66)
Pineapple (59)
Sugar (table) (68)
Sweet potatoes (61)
White Rice (64)
Wild Rice (57)


Baked potatoes (85)
Cheerios (74)
Cornflakes (81)
English Muffin (77)
French Fries (75)
Grape Nuts Flakes (80)
Popcorn (72)
Shredded Wheat (75)
Watermelon (72)
Whole-wheat flour bread (71)
White flour bread (100)

[1] TAU study shows why simple carbs are bad for you by JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH