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Dr. Melissa Hershberg

Dr Melissa Hershberg: Get Rid of Your Love Handles, Thunder Thighs and Saddlebags

by Rhonda Spivak, January 29, 2011

Former Winnipegger Dr. Melissa Hershberg spoke at a Combined Jewish Appeal's Women's Philanthropy event at the home of Glenna Kay on an always topical subject--DIETING!
By far the most humourous aspect of this event is that as soon as  Dr. Hershberg finished speaking,  the large number of women in attendance were treated to an abundance of desserts (not exactly low cal) made by Baked Expectations. There's nothing quite like talking about dieting in between mouthfuls of cheesecake!
Hershberg, a family doctor and a weight loss expert, and the author of two top selling books The Hershberg Diet and also the Rebel Diet [to show you that you don 't have to follow outdated "diet" rules to succeed with weight loss."] The "Rebel Diet" provides hundreds of ideas for tasty meals that you can eat while shedding unwanted pounds.
In fact, the book jacket indicates that it can help those who are "sick of love handles, saddlebags, floppy boobs, thunder thighs and double chins." How’s that for a catchy description?
In her talk, Hershberg indicated the importance of choosing foods that contain significant amounts of water--an often forgotten component of foods. Foods such as watermelon, spinach, lettuce etc contain lots of water which helps fill you up, while not being full of calories. (I wonder if having lunch in a bathtub would count.)
Hershberg suggested that when you do not have time to fully prepare a meal, you can always put a lean cuisine meal on a bed of spinach, which will have a low calorie count and be filling. [Unless of course you are afraid of Popeye and don't like spinach.]
Eating dried fruit, on the other hand, which has virtually no water, can run up your calorie count pretty quickly, a reason to avoid it if possible.
Hershberg also spoke about eating in a manner that doesn't spike your sugar levels and gets a better insulin response. As she writes in the Rebel Diet, “...we need to be smart about our consumption so that we don't spike our insulin levels and acquire a Buddha belly along with diabetes as a result."   
One of the foods Hershberg recommended is "Blue Diamond Almond Breeze"-one cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk has only 40 calories, and "most of them come from protein and healthy fat." (if its Kosher, Schmoozer’s should stock up!)
Recommended foods are Liquid Egg Whites, (the more liquid the better), frozen grapes ("They taste delicious, have a satisfying texture and take longer to eat"), berries (all kinds are "super-waistline friendly", and also good frozen when out of season).
Foods to avoid are crackers--"Although they sound innocent enough, crackers are responsible for many a dieter's fat pants," writes Hershberg in Rebel Diet.
[At about this point in time in writing an article I would have normally gone up to the cupboard to fetch a cracker, but instead thanks to Dr. Hershberg I am going to munch on a cinnamon stick! Cinnamon has no calories and is a good item to add to foods instead of sugar, as Hershberg suggested in her talk.]
I would love to write more about Hershberg's Rebel Diet but I can't concentrate on chewing my cinnamon stick and writing at the same time. My brain cells just won't let me multi-task in this manner. But based on my skimming through the pages of Hershberg’s Rebel Diet, I'd recommend reading it. I'm not sure I'd recommend eating it-- it may be low cal but comes with artificial colouring.
So forgive me Dr. Hershberg if I don't finish eating the book--I've tried adding water and making it liquid but it hasn't worked. Just think of it as my own little rebellion. 
On a serious note, this third annual Topics in Health program, presented by the CJA’s Women’s Philanthropy division, offered an opportunity to engage in social action as well as hear speakers who focus on women’s health issues, and the turn out to hear Dr. Hershberg was terrific. Evening Co-Chairs Glenna Kay and Valarie Thompson are pleased to announce that the event raised $8,000 for Jewish Child and Family Service’s Healing Hands Initiative, a program that supports women and families dealing with critical and terminal illness in our community.
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.