When SaddleBrooke resident Ellinor Montgomery decided to write a book on health, she did so because she felt compelled. As an RN, she had seen plenty. As the owner of a company that assisted their clients with weight loss, she had seen even more.
“I have written my book more than once,” said Montgomery with a smile. Describing the many iterations her opus has taken before the final published version, which is ultimately concise and compelling.
“I have had ‘Eat G.L.A.D. Not S.A.D.: Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan’ in my head since 1987. In 2007 I got really serious about writing what I had been practicing — following my plan for healthy eating and exercise,” she said. “My late husband had chronic illnesses, and on my plan he lost 90 pounds. He got rid of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, severe joint pain, and congestive heart failure. With all these other problems out of the way, he underwent cancer treatments successfully. He later died of unrelated causes.”
When Montgomery’s husband was first diagnosed with cancer, she shot up an extra 48 pounds from stress. She followed her program with her husband and lost all the weight she had originally gained. To see her today, it would be hard to imagine this 5-foot, one-inch senior as anything but the petite healthy looking woman she is today. Spry and always smiling, Montgomery is a ball of energy when espousing the benefits of the nutritional advice she gives in her new book.
From nurse to author
Born and raised in Denmark, Montgomery’s family immigrated to central Washington when she was 10 years old. The girl who lived on a farm, dreamed of one day being a physician. Her path led her to nursing school in Portland, Oregon where she graduated and specialized in acute pediatric nursing.
She eventually landed at the Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California. In the 80s, Montgomery took a break from nursing to open a weight loss center. She had always been interested in weight and nutrition, and when the opportunity presented itself, she became an entrepreneur.
“The program at my weight loss center was very successful” explained Montgomery. “I learned a lot about setting calorie levels, about lean mass and fat loss, and about the beneficial effects of exercise.”
When prop 13 became a reality in the state of California, it greatly increased her business insurance from $700 a year to $7,000. The small business could not handle the sudden increase in operating expense, so Montgomery went back to nursing.
“The business could not be profitable once our insurance went up so drastically, so I had to go back to nursing,” said Montgomery. “However working with my clients at the weight loss center provided the framework on which I started to develop the idea for my book.”
Montgomery retired in 2010, after 50-years of nursing. Now a grandmother, she eventually remarried after the loss of her first husband and settled in SaddleBrooke.
“Once I had the time available, I started doing a whole lot of research,” said Montgomery. “I was particularly interested in the effect of obesity on longevity.”
With seven out of 10 adults overweight in the U.S., Montgomery feels that there is a whole generation of people on track to die younger than their parents did because of their weight. She said that weight is a huge problem, especially for the aging population.
In fact twice as many Americans are obese than three decades ago — enough for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to declare obesity an epidemic. More disturbing are statistics relating to children: 15 percent of children and teens are overweight, a nearly three-fold jump from 1980. Obesity is defined by your body mass index, or BMI in which your weight is divided by your height squared. If it’s 25, you’re overweight. If it’s 30, you’re obese. A BMI of over 40 means you’re morbidly obese.
“I put together a group of my neighbors here in SaddleBrooke with whom I shared the basic bones of the plan,” she described. “I invited them to participate, and several of them were quite successful in losing a lot of weight. The biggest benefit they spoke of was a significant increase in energy.”
What readers can learn
“The Standard American Diet is extremely unhealthy,” said Montgomery. “We are meant to eat whole food, natural food, a plant based diet, with little refined sugar and plenty of whole grains. At least half of what we eat should be comprised of fruits and vegetables. We can eat healthy fats, but must stay away from saturated fats.”
The problem, with America’s ever-expanding belly, and poorer health, has been going on every since the 1950s. The industrialization of food, a more sedentary lifestyle, more television, etc, are factors. Combined with aggressive marketing of food products and the invention of the fast food restaurant, not to mention larger portions, led to rapidly increasing numbers of overweight people.
To add fuel to the fire, two major reports came out in the 80s, identifying dietary fat as the single most important change that needed to be made in order to improve one’s health. Americans joined a craze to reduce saturated fat. The problem was that the food industry substituted vegetable fats for animal fats in such a profound way, along with substitute sugars for fats, that the calorie content of the products stayed the same.
The result was that if consumers see the message “low-fat” on a food product, then they think it is good, without thinking of calories. Nobody wants to talk about calories.
“Just because it’s low-fat doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Staying away from processed food is the best way to eat healthy,” said Montgomery. “I am basically following the Mediterranean diet, but renaming it the G.L.A.D. diet.
“Everything in my book is based primarily on the advice from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Mayo Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health, National Institute of Health, World Health organization and many others interested in health.”
Every 10 years the dietary guidelines are introduced by the USDA. They act as a key resource for policymakers and health professionals. The committee that sets these guidelines does a massive amount of research, but according to Montgomery the USDA also gets a lot of pressure from lawmakers and lobbyists hired by major food manufacturers.
“You need to follow the science,” said Montgomery. “Plus eating healthy means you have to prepare you own food. There is a reason processed foods are so popular, because people are busy. I suggest preparing food in bulk.”
Montgomery devotes a day a week to prepping recipes, and freezing dinners so she can minimize time spent in the kitchen.
“I have developed a stand-alone program that anyone can do. And when you read the reasons why you need to maintain a healthy weight you will have the motivation to do so,” she explained.
Montgomery says the most important thing to do is to keep things as simple as you can.
1. Eat only healthy foods
2. Eat only measured portions or servings
3. Count your servings
“Follow these three basic instructions and you can’t fail,” she added. “You have controlled your calories without counting them.”
“Exercise is also very important,” she added. “It is the best medicine you can take and it doesn’t have to be a gym membership – just go for a walk. A good 30 minute brisk walk every day should do the trick.”
‘Eat G.L.A.D. Not S.A.D. is broken into several sections. Readers will learn about the many connections between obesity and disease. Montgomery explains why over filled fat cells make for a toxic body. She also provides a BMI chart and a formula for readers to determine just how much weight they need to loose. The book also contains information about metabolic syndrome, which is a chronic inflammatory disorder.
“I was particularly shocked about the dangers of being overweight and giving birth,” said Montgomery. The chapter on how a mother’s weight can affect her newborn is a must-read for pregnant women or those planning to have children.
Montgomery suggests that readers learn their heart age, and provides an online resource for determining whether your heart is older than you are. She also discusses, in her book, new research about weight at the cellular level and the tiny end-caps on your chromosomes call telomeres which predict your longevity.
The book ultimately serves as a handbook on starting a healthy weight loss plan. From starting, to tracking, to suggested calorie intake, Montgomery lays it all out. She even has advice for navigating the grocery store and understanding tricky food labels.
And what about hunger, cravings and habits? Montgomery doesn’t sugar coat the fact that anybody starting down the road to weight loss will have these challenges, but after time they will diminish and then completely vanish.
“For all of us ‘normal’ is what we become used to, good or bad,” she states in the book. “Expect your self-image and lifestyle ‘normals’ to change for the better as you follow the program.”
Montgomery says that people who follow her program can expect to lose one to five pounds in the first week, mostly due to the loss of excess fluid from too much sodium and extra gut contents due to too much food in your old diet.
“Most people lose a half to two pounds of real fat loss, on average each week on the program,” she explained. “A short senior female should be happy with half pound weekly loss. A young male who does hard work can hope for as much as 2 pounds.”
“I urge people to do the right thing for themselves,” she says. “Figure out how to be your own best friend. Your body will keep you healthy with healthy fuel.”
“Anyone who reads this book will become well informed about the horrendous health effects of obesity,” she concluded. “I want people to make informed decisions about losing weight. Further, I want readers to understand and realize that weight loss is something everyone can do. This particular program is simple and easy and it teaches the reader how to avoid the pitfalls.”
To purchase a copy of “Eat G.L.A.D. not S.A.D.: Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan” visit www.eatgladnotsad.com. You can contact Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-833-328-4523. Also available through Amazon.
First time author Ellinor Montgomery wants readers to learn what it means to eat healthy.
New SaddleBrooke author explains
link between diet and health
Eat G.L.A.D, Not S.A.D.