Tips for Staying on the Zone Diet


Ten years ago I stood in my bathroom, getting ready to go to an informal Christmas work party. The bathroom had windows on both sides, and for some reason I had never glanced at my back when I was washing my face or applying makeup.

That night I finally looked. My butt was huge. I was shocked. The next day I purchased The Zone by Dr. Barry Sears and started the diet the day after.

Yes, I said the day after. A week before Christmas. I was not only fat, I was not that bright either. But, that being said, the Zone changed my life. Before reading The Zone, I believed that fat was our enemy.

I downed box after box of those awful fatless cookies in the green box that I think Oprah recommended. I ate pasta and rice and agonized over my weight. It wasn’t my fault. Nobody knew.

After being on the Zone for two months (yes, two months) I had lost about 30 pounds. I started at 185. Three months later, I had lost another 20, which is where I slowed down as I was suffering from “lollipop head”; my head was disproportionately larger than my body.

Every woman I worked with or was related to, even one of the ladies who worked the front desk at my apartment complex, went on the Zone. About 15 to 20 women in all. All but one gave up.

Why? It was too hard. And it was. The first Zone book had you doing math at every meal to make sure you were getting the proper balance of protein, carbs and fat. Dr. Sears loosens up a bit in later books, urging you to employ the “eyeball method”.

Please make sure, if you’re interested in the diet, to go to the Zone website or purchase one of Dr. Sears’ books. I just wanted to share a few tips from my success on the Zone.


Cottage cheese

Snacks are the most important part of the diet, in my opinion. Before I started the Zone I ate all day long. It would have been very difficult for me to go to a strict 3 meals a day plan. Make sure your snacks are something you enjoy eating.

My favorite is cottage cheese and pineapple. Easy to put together, and I don’t have to cook anything.

I also purchased a low carb bread (ten years ago, no one had gone rabidly anti-carb yet, so there weren’t many choices. I used a “light style” bread, which I think is still good) and deli meat, and made myself a half sandwich for a snack, which worked just fine.

Make sure your snacks are easily made so you can assemble them quickly.

Preparing meals ahead of time

A time saver and a great idea. I cook a mean turkey chili which fits the Zone requirements. I make enough for about 4 days, and stick it in the fridge. That way, I can easily tote it to work or just heat it up at home (and a small bit makes a good snack).

If your lunch is already prepared, you won’t be tempted to eat out or just grab anything from the fridge. This can be a lifesaver.

Have go-to meals

This goes hand in hand with the above. After a while, especially if you’re single, you will get very tired of cooking in the Zone all the time. So, I suggest having a go-to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Particularly something you’ll always have on hand. For example, something frozen or canned.

I loathe making breakfast. There’s something about being domestic before noon that gets my back up. So my breakfasts are always go-to meals. I rotate between three menus, all of which contain foods that I always have around and/or are not as perishable as fresh.

Oatmeal and eggs if I’m feeling housewifey (I think oatmeal’s half-life is 150 years) and a fridge doesn’t look right without eggs in it, so they’re always around.

A breakfast burrito when I’m feeling half housewifey, the whole wheat tortillas can be kept in the freezer and filled with your scrambled eggs then briefly heated in the microwave. And cottage cheese and dried fruit when I’m grouchy and don’t want to look at a stove.

Eat foods you dig


This may seem like a no brainer, but almost all of the women I mentioned above purchased pounds and pounds of vegetables that rotted away because they didn’t like them. Ok, I’m assuming we’re all adults, or close to it.

There has to be ONE vegetable you like. Mine happens to be broccoli. I also like snap peas. If I were a smarter person, I would have invested in a broccoli farm. Alas, I did not.

And the great thing about the Zone is that you can eat anything you like, you just have to eat it in the proper proportions. For example, you can have 2 and a half cups of broccoli, or a quarter cup of rice. Hm.

If you have a family

My husband has a high metabolism. My husband may have the finest example of a metabolism in the Western world. He is beyond the Zone. It’s enough to make a woman who has struggled with her weight her entire life sick.

But I love him and he has to be fed. And he can’t live on broccoli and protein. He needs the pasta and rice, the potatoes and yams.

And all I can say is, you’re going to have to suffer. Unless of course, your husband’s a chub. Unfortunately, most of us will be making spaghetti we never eat, and rice we can only stare at longingly.

But, from experience, I can say that it’s all worth it. You will drop the weight and you will drop it fast.

There’s always tomorrow

The Zone is not the Atkins diet, the grapefruit diet, the soup diet, or that awful crash diet where you have to eat a lot of beets. If you screw up, just eat in the Zone at your next meal. Try not to beat yourself up too badly.

Do what I do, and take it out on your husband and his freakish metabolism.


Why Do We Need a Clean Earth?

Did you know that London’s cabdrivers are bound by law to keep their taxis clean? Failure to do so may result in their being banned from the city’s streets for a period of time. Even when road conditions are bad and most cars stay dirty for days on end, the London taxicab is spotlessly clean. The vehicle’s shiny surfaces evoke in the driver and his passengers feelings of pride and pleasure.

Clean Earth

Similarly, when our home, our clothes, and our belongings are clean, that promotes in us a feeling of well-being. Woe betide the schoolboy whose mother sees him come into the house and leave a trail of mud on the carpet from his dirty boots!

In fact, good health depends a great deal on personal cleanliness. Our body requires regular care and cleaning to remove dirt that would provide a foothold for disease. Commercial companies make vast profits selling cleansers, detergents, polishes, soaps, shampoos, and disinfectants that we use to keep ourselves and our immediate surroundings clean.

Surely, most people are conscious of the need for cleanliness. But if you live in a city, you know that this is not the whole story.


Danger-PollutionCity dwellers are well aware of pollution and the defiled environment. They see it in uncollected garbage, in litter carelessly left on the streets, and in crude graffiti on public buildings. They smell it in the choking fumes from dense traffic and in the acrid smog that plagues some cities.

Perhaps that is why many who live in cities try on occasion to spend time in the countryside. They enjoy filling their lungs with clean air, perhaps even drinking crystal-clear water from a mountain stream. Others like to go to the beach and relax on the sand or cool off with a pleasant dip in the ocean.

Wait a minute, though! Dirt and pollution lurk there too. ‘How can that be?’ you ask. ‘It looks so clean.’ Well, let us look a little closer at that “clean” air and “clear” water.

Moral Pollution

Moral pollution includes drug abuse, which is more widespread than ever. Pop stars, stage and screen idols, and even apparently respectable businessmen, have become the objects of scandal due to their dependence on drugs.

Moral pollution also includes sexual immorality, which can be the cause of broken families, divorce, abortions, as well as burgeoning epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases, including the sinister scourge of AIDS.


Hypno-Birthing: A Holistic Alternative to Lamaze

My Experience with Painless Labor-Hynobirthing

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to have a water birth, a common method in Europe that was popular in the 70s. Unfortunately, there were no facilities that offered water birthing anywhere close to where I lived, so early on I realized I had to find an alternative method, as I had no desire to duplicate the fiasco so many couples have with Lamaze.

Painless Labor-Hynobirthing

My father and husband together came up with the idea: hypnobirthing! I was thrilled to find a hypnotherapist who lived ten minutes away. My husband came to classes with me, but we didn’t practice the breathing exercises together nor did he listen to the audio tape that I conscientiously turned on once a day during my ninth month.

I was apprehensive as my scheduled inducement date approached. We went for one last private session the day before d-day, during which my hypnotherapist put me into a relaxed state that had me walking on clouds for most of the next 24 hours. We went for a walk on the beach and I felt very much at peace and prepared to face the next day.

By the time my coach got to the hospital, I was already in labor. In response to her prompting I could immediately go into a very relaxed state during which I was well aware of what was happening, but remained incredibly relaxed and pain-free.

As the contractions became more pronounced I added visualization techniques to my breathing that carried me through the most painful stages. It took a lot of concentration but eighteen hours of labor were virtually pain-free. And not once did I want to yell at my husband, except maybe after the baby was born when he complained about how tired he was.


Going Green with Eco-Friendly Makeup

Going Green with Eco-Friendly MakeupEco-friendly makeup products are not only better for our environment but can also be better for your health. These makeup products eliminate the use of certain chemicals that are harmful to your skin. Regular makeup products usually contain mercury, lead and petroleum. Exposure to these chemicals in your makeup can cause skin rash, headache and may be linked to cancer.

Eco-friendly products are free of these harmful chemicals and completely safe. All forms of makeup are available organically, including foundation, concealer, lipstick, eyeliner and blush.

Five of the most popular eco-friendly makeup products from Saffron Rouge are:

  1. Organic Moisturizing Mascara,
  2. Dr. Hauschka Lip Gloss,
  3. Dr. Hauschka translucent makeup,
  4. Pure cream stain
  5. Eyeliner Duo.

Organic Moisturizing Mascara is a product created by NVEY Eco Cosmetics and is very popular right now. This product is enriched with vitamin B5, nettle, and Horsetail to condition and build the lashes to their full potential. Unlike messy wet mascara, this is a dry mascara formula.

It consists of algae extract that allows it to stick all day long and is easy to wash off with soap and water. This product from Saffron Rouge is also available in three different colors which makes it even more popular.

Dr. Hauschka Lip gloss is very well known and popular organic makeup. It was created by Dr. Hauschka and is available through Saffon Rouge. This lip gloss is known for its shine and creamy texture and lasts all day.

It is made from several ingredients including beeswax, apricot kernel oil and mango butter. These ingredients are known to help retain moisture in the lips and help fight chapped or dry lips.

Dr. Hauschka translucent makeup is healthy for your skin and creates a flawless look. It is a liquid foundation that hides discoloration of the skin, as well as blemishes and redness. This makeup has several ingredients including macadamia oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, rose wax, and Shae butter.

This product also contains marsh mallow and carrot extracts for added smoothness. It does not contain artificial preservatives or chemicals.

Pure Cream StainAnother popular makeup item being sold right now is known as Pure Cream Stain. It is used to add shine and pigment to the lip and cheek area and is made of all natural ingredients. The ingredients in this mixture include rose wax, jojoba oil, vitamin E, and chamomile. It blends easily and is used on every skin type, which adds popularity to it. It is available in seven different shades.

The Eyeliner Duo, also created by Dr. Hauschka, is organic and mineral based. It is an eyeliner pencil that is known for highlighting and brightening the eye area. It has two separate ends; one end has a gray color to make the eyelashes appear thicker and the other end has a white color that is used to make the eyes shine when applied to the inner lashes.

The ingredients in this mixture contain black tea leaf extract, anthyllis, and witch hazel. This, like the rest of these makeup products, is great for both the environment and healthy for your skin.


A Guide to Saving the World and Saving Money in the Process!

Many of us want to help slow down the destruction of our environment, but just the thought of it may feel a bit overwhelming. At least it does to me. But when it comes down to it, there are many ways that basically anyone can help – and, as a bonus perk, save money while doing it.

A Guide to Saving the World and Saving Money in the Process!

So if you’re at a loss as to how to start “saving the world”, or are already there but just looking for even more tips and tricks, read on for this sectionalized guide to going green.


With water being such an essential and finite resource, this should definitely be one of the top focus points when it comes to conservation. Less than 3% of the world’s water sources are fresh, and a lot of this even is out of human reach. With global water consumption that doubles every couple decades, the idea of preserving water should not be taken lightly.

On top of that, if water is included in the utilities that you pay for, you can save a decent amount of money by applying at least a few of these tips:

  • Don’t leave water running when it’s not in use. Though obvious, it has to be said – because most of us are guilty of this very thing. It may not be really paid attention to when we leave the bathwater running into the drain for several minutes to warm up, or leave water to flow from the kitchen sink in between tasks. It may not seem like much problem at all, but it does add up.
  • Reduce shower time. If you like to spend a long time in the shower, consider shaving some minutes off. This will not only help conserve water little by little, but you will also be helping your water bill as well as heating bill. Another option as far as conserving heating energy would be to simply not have it running as hot, or turn it to cold in the last few minutes of the shower of vice versa. Depending on how long you normally shower, you may actually use LESS water than you would if you instead took a bath.
  • Invest in a low-flow shower head. This will reduce the flow of water, automatically conserving the amount of water when showering, while still retaining most of the water pressure. Another very low-cost idea is to install faucet aerators on the faucets around your house – these also slow the water flow without really affecting the pressure.
  • Stop buying bottled water. This in itself is my toughest transition. I really love bottled water – the convenience, the taste…but it’s mostly a long-lived habit of mine I am working on kicking. Bottled water is truly an unnecessary extra expense as well as a product that just generates more waste with its plastic bottles. Instead, opt for a RO water filter to purify tap water and bring a reusable water bottle filled with your purified tap water when traveling or commuting.


  • Don't leave appliances on when not in use! Don’t leave appliances on when not in use! Another obvious tip that we’re pretty much all guilty of. Especially when it comes to lights around the house – it’s so easy to either be lazy and not get up to turn off a light you no longer need, or simply forget that you have lights on in unoccupied rooms. A solution to this would be to force yourself into the habit of turning off the light/appliance as you leave a room, even if you believe you will be returning shortly – if you do, it shouldn’t be that much extra hassle to turn the light or appliance back on. If you still have trouble, consider investing in some timers that automatically switch lights and such off after a certain amount of time or lack of motion.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of the more widely-used incandescent ones. Not only do these energy-saving bulbs last longer, but they are generally brighter, providing more light for less energy.
  • Adjust the refrigerator temperature. The refrigerator alone eats up tons of energy – it’s suggested to be kept at 37 F, and the freezer at 0.
  • Go easy on the thermostat. In the winter, set it a few degrees lower than normal if you usually keep it pretty high. For air conditioning in the summer, do just the opposite with setting it a few degrees higher. The money (and energy) this saves will add up.
  • Consider purchasing a smart strip. Just having an appliance plugged in can still create “phantom” energy loads, but a smart power strip will detect when a device is shut off. Otherwise you can try to unplug your appliance whenever it’s not in use, which can quickly become a hassle.
  • Use cold water when washing clothes. Most of the energy consumed while using a clothes washer is due to the heating up of water. You may also consider using a clothesline or, if the weather doesn’t permit or you lack a yard, a drying rack to dry clothes on naturally instead of using even more heating energy in a dryer.


  • Carpool if you can, as it’s better for a couple or a few people to split the gas for one car than each pay their own on several cars.
  • Try walking or biking to work or school if it’s within distance. This way you’re not only helping the environment and your wallet, but your personal health too.
  • Consider moving closer to where you need to go. While this may not be a spur-of-the-moment decision to make for most, it may be something to consider if you are using a huge amount of gas each week to make it to school or work.
  • Invest in a no-fuel lawn mower.You can go simple and get a modern reel-style mower, as these require no energy but your own to push it – which is very good for you. Or, if you’d rather not do this, consider a battery-operated mower. Still saves money on fuel and is much better for the environment.


  • Buy recyclable batteries. Yes, they are more expensive than ones you can toss in the trash, but they’re less costly in the long run as you can use them many times before they finally fail completely. They also tend to last longer in one use than normal batteries. Aside from expense issues, rechargeables will keep you from throwing batteries away, which is not a good thing. Speaking of which…
  • Don’t throw rechargeable batteries away! In some states it’s even illegal to. Wherever you are, it’s not too hard to find a place that will properly take care of (as in, recycle) batteries from cell phones, cameras, etc. that are no longer of use to you. Check out to find a place near you that will do this.
  • Cell phones are recyclable. More and more often I’m seeing cell phone depositories popping up, but they are still not widely known about. If you have a cell phone that no longer works or you no longer need, check out this site to find out how to recycle it.In the winter, set it a few degrees lower than normal if you usually keep it pretty high. For air conditioning in the summer, do just the opposite with setting it a few degrees higher. The money (and energy) this saves will add up.


  • Support local farmers by purchasing food that is locally grown or produced. This helps keep your local economy thriving, and can generally be less expensive when it comes to buying organic foods like milk and eggs than it would be if you were to buy from out of the area.
  • Try eating a few meatless meals a week. This will not only be healthier for you and your family, but will cost a lot less than constantly buying meat from the supermarket for every meal.
  • Buy food from the bulk bins. Especially if it’s something you and you family consume a lot of. This is easier on the environment as much less packaging is used, and easier for you as by the amount you get it’s usually cheaper.


  • Buy secondhand. Instead of always buying new things, don’t be afraid to shop thrift shops for cheaper, gently-used clothing, or sites like eBay and Amazon (or even craigslist) that have many options for just about anything used.
  • Don’t buy books. Instead of paying money for another book that uses tons of paper, head to the library and borrow it. You’re probably only going to read it once anyway! Unless it’s like your favorite book, then of course it’s excusable. If you really want to support the author, consider purchasing books in eBook form instead. As much as I love to have book-in-hand, I have taken to acquiring eBooks – the same story, but without all the publishing-on-paper bit.
  • Borrow things besides books. An interesting site known as BorrowMe lets people lend or borrow just about anything on a contracted basis.

While going green may seem like a daunting task to many of us, if each would apply even just a few of the above ideas to our everyday lives, we are on our way to not only saving money – but truly helping the environment.This will not only be healthier for you and your family, but will cost a lot less than constantly buying meat from the supermarket for every meal.