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Loaded Low-Carb Bell Peppers

Try this protein-rich, low-carb recipe this week. It’s hearty and delicious, and it’s sure to become a new family favorite.

stuffed bell peppers

Loaded Bell Peppers

4 bell peppers (green, red, or yellow), tops removed, seeded

1 pound lean ground beef (may substitute ground turkey or chicken)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ yellow onion, finely diced

1 cup sliced baby portabella mushrooms

1 zucchini, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 cup fresh spinach

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano

1 tablespoon tomato paste

½ teaspoon prepared garlic

Fresh, chopped basil for garnish (optional)

Shredded low-fat Mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap the bell peppers (with tops and seeds removed) in aluminum foil, and place in a baking dish. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from heat.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until evenly brown. Drain any excess oil and set aside. In the same pan add oil and cook onion, prepared garlic, mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper and spinach until tender. Return beef to the skillet. Mix in the tomatoes and tomato paste, and season salt and pepper. Stuff the green peppers with the skillet mixture, and garnish with fresh chopped basil and shredded cheese (optional).

Return peppers to the oven, and continue cooking 15 minutes.

Sugar Is Making Us Fat

Most of us are aware that too many calories from any source will be stored as fat if not burned. What we may not know, however, is the toxic affect that simple carbohydrates (sugar) have on the body.

The lack of nutrients in sugar makes it easier to over consume. Consuming equal calories from sugar as foods rich in fiber, fat and protein does not provide the same full feeling. This is why you can snack on candy and shortly after be hungry for a full meal. Consuming sugar only causes your body to crave more sugar. It’s addictive!

It’s important to note that not all sugars are equal. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those found in milk and fruit, do not have the same negative effects on the body, as they are also rich in vitamins and fiber.

Take an inventory of the sugar you consume, and create a plan of action. You decrease your overall sugar consumption without feeling deprivation. Here are five simple and practical tips to help you lose weight and increase your energy level by simply “getting off the sugar”.

  1. Quit drinking sugary drinks! The empty calories in drinks, such as soda, sports drinks or sweet tea, can add up to weight gain. A can of soda contains about 38 grams of sugar and 150 calories. If you are accustomed to drinking two cans per day, eliminating soda and switching to water could cause you to lose about 2 pounds per month without changing your diet otherwise
  2. Eat regularly. Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger.
  3. Avoid refined carbohydrates. Foods as white bread and white pasta cause dramatic spikes and drops in blood sugar levels and lead to hunger and sugar cravings. Replace refined carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates, like whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and whole-grain bread.
  4. Replace refined sugar with natural sugars. When a craving hits, opt for a piece of fruit. The natural sweetness will satisfy your sugar craving, while the fiber will help stabilize your blood sugar, decreasing your sugar cravings.
  5. Read labels. Make sure you KNOW what you are eating. Always look at the labels. Stay away from high fructose corn syrup and other added sugars. Foods marketed as “healthy” can often be misleading. At Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness we offer a complete line of healthy protein-rich snacks.

How can Bee Healthy help you cut the sugar habit? We offer physician-supervised medical weight loss programs utilizing appetite suppressants, supplements, and nutrition counseling. Appetite suppressants help you to take control of your eating habits, training yourself to choose the right foods to fuel your body, without feeling hungry and deprived. Our injections and supplements provide you with increased energy and boost your metabolism.

Our staff is dedicated to helping you change your habits and CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Call one of our clinics to set up your appointment TODAY! You will be glad you did.

Eating Well on a Busy Schedule

Demanding professional careers and busy family lives have many of us eating poorly. Poor nutrition can leave us over extended, overwhelmed and, let’s be honest, overweight. One of the greatest hurdles we face when trying to eat healthy is a busy schedule. Everything else takes priority. It’s more convenient to pick up fast food on the go or to purchase premade and processed items than to find time between activities to cook lean meats and fresh vegetables.

The good news is that being busy doesn’t necessarily mean having to forgo healthy eating habits. It requires some knowledge and organization, but if we commit to change, it is possible. Face it; everything worth having takes extra effort.

When it comes to healthy eating, organization and advanced planning are essential. Planning ahead and creating menus for the entire week will help us keep focused and on track. Going to the grocery store and purchasing what we need ahead of time will keep us from making last-minute decisions that sabotage our diets. Don’t get caught short; always have a plan.

1) When planning your lunches for work, choose food containers that will make your healthy eating more convenient. Plastic food containers and storage bags are versatile and ideal for eating on the go. They keep your food fresh and allow you to control portion sizes.

2) Get in the habit of carrying water with you at all times. Adequate water consumption is essential for fluid balance, calorie control, muscle fuel, clearer skin, kidney function, fatigue busting, and brain boosting. Drinking water throughout the day will help keep your appetite in check as well. You won’t feel starving, so you will be more in control of what you eat.

3) Make time to eat smaller meals throughout the day. If you plan and cook ahead of time, it will take you less time to eat. This, in turn, will allow you the flexibility to eat more frequently. Eating smaller meals more frequently will allow your body to use food more efficiently.
Less is not always more. Make sure you eat all the food you need. Don’t think you are doing yourself a favor by not eating all the food that is recommended each day. Remember, eating more frequently — without eating in excess — will actually boost your metabolism, thereby helping to reduce body fat.

Being busy doesn’t have to mean having to forgoing healthy eating habits. You can control your appetite, eat healthy and lose weight despite a busy schedule. At Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness, we can help to educate you on healthy eating habits. Our appetite suppressants and dietary supplements can aid with controlling your appetite, allowing yourself the time to make healthy choices. Ready to get started? Our professional providers and nutrition counselors are ready to help. Call us today with any questions or to make your appointment.

The “Skinny” on Carbs

Have you heard the buzz about eating “low-carb” for weight loss but never really understood all of the facts? Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness wants you to know the “skinny” on carbohydrates so you can use them effectively in your diet to achieve maximum weight loss.


Carbohydrate is a term for all sugars. They are the body’s fuel for many functions. They supply the energy needed for the muscles, brain and central nervous system. During digestion, all carbohydrates are broken down into glucose before they can enter the bloodstream where insulin helps the close enter the body’s cells. Some of the glucose is stored in the liver and a muscle for future use, to fuel a workout for example; however, if there is extra glucose (if too many carbs are consumed), the body stores it as fat. This is where carbs contribute to weight gain or inhibit weight loss.


At Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness, our nutritionists teach our clients about “good” carbs and “bad” carbs? Carbohydrates are found in sweet and starchy plant-derived foods, including fruits and vegetables, grains, and processed products. Every single source of carbohydrates falls somewhere on the Glycemic Index (GI), which is the scale of how fast the carbs from the food enter the bloodstream. High GI foods enter the bloodstream quickly, whereas lower GI foods enter the blood at a slower and steadier pace.


When high GI foods are consumed in high amounts, they cause sudden surges in blood sugar levels. This results in increases in insulin release, elevating appetite and increasing excess fat storage. Lower GI foods, such as many complex carbohydrates (or starches) are structurally more complex and take longer to break down and digest. Because they enter the bloodstream gradually, they trigger only a moderate rise in insulin levels, not contributing as much to increased appetite and fat storage, this not contributing as much to weight gain.


Our nutrition experts at Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness encourage clients to choose their carbohydrates well! Unrefined or “whole grain” carbohydrates found in products like brown rice and whole wheat pasta, contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber which promote overall health. Refined grains, such as white bread, pretzels, cookies and pasties, are stripped of these vitamins and minerals during the refining process. In other words, they offer little to no nutritional value.


When carbohydrates are consumed is as important as what type of carbohydrates are consumed. At Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness we teach our clients to be “Carb Free After 3”. In other words, we encourage clients to consume their carbohydrates earlier in the day rather than later. Carbohydrates are burned more efficiently in the early hours of the day than they are at night. Efficiently burned carbs result in more successful weight loss.


Carbohydrates are not your ultimate enemy! You can educate yourself and learn how to choose carbohydrates well! Making the lifestyle change to give your body the right fuel at the right time of day will help you achieve maximum weight loss. Our team at Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss can equip you with the information and tools that you need to develop a healthy lifestyle that lasts.


For more information on how carbohydrates affect weight loss, or to develop a specific weight loss plan, call Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness to set up an appointment. We can help you get on the road to better food choices, an effective exercise routine, and a healthy lifestyle with weight loss results that will last!

Cut Salt, Save 500,000 U.S. Lives Over a Decade, Study Finds

Reducing salt in Americans’ diets would save hundreds of thousands of lives over 10 years, according to a new study.


Excess salt, the primary source of sodium, contributes to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, the leading killer in the United States.


Immediately reducing people’s salt consumption from current levels to the upper limit of the U.S. government guideline — 2,300 milligrams a day — would save 500,000 to 850,000 lives over the next decade, largely by reducing heart attacks and strokes, the study found.


Gradually reducing sodium levels in processed or restaurant foods by 4 percent a year for 10 years would still save 280,000 to 500,000 lives over a decade, the researchers concluded.


The average American consumes about 3,500 mg per day, and men tend to ingest much more than that, according to the study, which was published Feb. 11 in the journal Hypertension.


“No matter how we look at it, the story is the same — there will be huge benefits in reducing sodium,” study lead author Pam Coxson, a mathematician at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a university news release.


For the study, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought together three groups of scientists who used different computer models to estimate how lowering salt intake would save lives.


All the models showed consistent, substantial benefits if current sodium intake were reduced to a level close to the upper limit of the federal guidelines.


Many people believe that taking the salt shaker off the dinner table will reduce their sodium consumption to a healthy level, but 80 percent of the sodium consumed by Americans comes from processed foods, Coxson noted.


Bread and other cereals account for about one-third of daily sodium intake. Other types of processed foods that have high sodium levels include canned soup and processed meats. Even fresh chicken is sometimes injected with salt solutions before packaging. Restaurant meals are also high in sodium.


In commercial settings, salt is primarily added for flavor and sometimes to preserve foods.


More information


The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute outlines how you can reduce salt in your diet.


— Robert Preidt


SOURCE: University of California, San Francisco, news release, Feb. 11, 2013


Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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