Wonderful beans. They are chock full of protein, carbs, and fiber. New research indicates that the type of fiber found in beans fights belly fat.There are two types of fiber-insoluble fiber, found in nuts and whole grains, is what keeps your intestines working correctly. Soluble fiber, found in vegetables and beans, is known for lowering cholesterol and controlling blood sugar. Now, scientists think soluble fiber also fights the battle of the bulge, and we all know by now how dangerous belly fat is to ones health. It doesn’t matter what type; kidney, pinto, black, lima, garbanzo-all possess these qualities.

Speaking of blood sugar and diabetes, beans are not the only food that helps control it. Whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables also help. All are low on the glycemic index, meaning they digest more slowly, causing little rise in blood sugar. They are also loaded with inflammation-fighting antioxidants, and are high in water content, helping to control weight.

Adding yogurt, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens to your diet helps to lower your risk of diabetes by 10 to 20%. With diabetes being prevalent on my mother’s side of the family, I need to be especially vigilant-I include all of the above in my food plan. I also drink two tbsp of apple cider vinegar (ACV) twice per day. As I’ve said before, ACV is great for lowering blood sugar AND losing weight.

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks back about a man who was experiencing burnout at the gym-he ended up pretty much doing the same things during his workouts. So what did he do to change his routine? He wrote down 20 different workouts, ranging from paddling a kayak to shooting baskets to working out on children’s playground equipment. A former Dungeons and Dragons player, he used dice with 20 different sides to dictate which workout he would do that day. I thought that was pretty cool, so I came up with my own. I’ve written up 12 different workouts and use regular die-if I roll the same number two days in a row, I roll again. There are three or four workouts that are brutal. When I roll them, I get angry and use that to fuel my workout. I have a couple of ‘softer’ ones-when I roll those, I workout hard because it feels like a bonus. It’s a win-win. Try it out. I’ll put up a sample later this week.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.