Weight Loss, Food Cravings, Leptin Resistance, Insulin Resistance – What Applies To You?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis post is about Weight Loss, Food Cravings, Leptin Resistance, Insulin Resistance, and Being A FAT BURNER OR A SUGAR BURNER;  it’s all coming together!

Here’s some biology to explain how a VERY high fat, low carb diet eliminates cravings, despite:

bad sleep/fatigue( situational);  stress;  actual hunger;  worry over kids;  fights with the hubs;  over-exercise;  hanging around the house. ( do they sound like typical excuses to you?)

I always say a Calories In/Calories Out model doesn’t work because we’re NOT a math problem, we’re a CHEMISTRY SET.  Our HORMONES RULE, and a low fat, low calorie, high carb diet RUINS OUR HORMONES.  It also causes a condition of Metabolic Damage that takes a period of serious consistency to reverse and fix.  Anyone can lose weight by starving themselves, but that causes a lot of damage to our metabolism, hormones, and cells. To be a healthy Fat Burner, you need to have cells and hormones that work correctly.

I’ve been mostly Ketogenic, and consistently High Fat Low Carb for a few months now, after years of what I considered HFLC diet;  with the addition of a LOT of fat ( up to 5 tablespoons at dinner ALONE ), really positive changes have happened, and it’s inspired some research.  Why?

Because after a few months of VERY HIGH FAT/low carb,.. my brain has changed!  Thoughts of food, of eating, have STOPPED.   Seriously, I have to remind myself to eat lunch and dinner (sometimes) because I’m not really hungry.  And sometimes when I am actually hungry, i.e., I feel a lot of hunger in my stomach, I oddly am not rushing to eat food.  I’m okay.  I didn’t realize this until the other day when I’d had no sleep and felt no desire to comfort myself with food.  Not even a second of a thought about it!

What’s happening?  It’s so interesting!

In addition to a High Fat diet’s role in building and nourishing the brain, which is 60 to 70% fat, a HFLC diet repairs and reverses LEPTIN Resistance.  If you’re overweight, or normal weight but struggle with food cravings, or either normal or overweight and exercise but don’t use your fat stores for fuel, you’re probably Leptin Resistant.  Let me back up.

You know that Insulin Resistance  (IR) plays a key role in cravings; IR is a result of the high blood sugar and corresponding high Insulin levels necessary to reduce the blood sugar.  Insulin is a “Master Hormone”, and other hormones are released – or NOT – in response to Insulin being present in the blood.

Remember, as long as Insulin is in the blood, FAT WON’T BE BURNED FOR FUEL.  Fat will just be stored.  When Insulin is in the blood, a lot of our excess Carb/glucose is converted to TRIGLYCERIDES. 

Leptin.  Leptin regulates ALL the hormones of the body:  Insulin, thyroid, sex hormones, all of them.

Leptin Resistance means the cells don’t accept Leptin inside; the cell doors are shut.  If the cells don’t get leptin INSIDE, correct messages don’t get sent out.

Which messages?  After we eat, our fat cells should spit out leptin and that leptin should go to our hypothalamus and deliver the signal that we’ve had enough to eat and it’s time to turn off the hunger.  Excessive simple sugars ( from carbs) destroy the cells ability to “receive” leptin, because INSULIN blocks the Leptin receptor.  Remember: high carbs ALWAYS mean high Insulin. Always.

Triglycerides, made from EXCESS CARBS, also block leptin receptors!!!

When the leptin can’t get INSIDE the cell, the signal to shut off hunger doesn’t happen.  Another link in the cravings chain: when we eat food, the neurotransmitter DOPAMINE is released, and dopamine makes us feel pleasure when eating.  Leptin, when it gets inside our brain cells, stops the release of dopamine, which stops the pleasurable feelings associated with eating.  If the cells are Leptin Resistant, the dopamine keeps flowing, the good feeling/desire to eat overrides a full stomach, and we eat too much.

What else?

Leptin INSIDE our brain cells UP-REGULATES the thyroid; that means metabolism turns UP.  Leptin RESISTANT cells DOWN-REGULATE thyroid, that means a slower metabolism.

More?  Our MUSCLE CELLS HAVE LEPTIN RECEPTORS TOO.  When there’s leptin resistance in MUSCLE CELLS, fat is not burned in those cells, fat is stored in fat tissue instead.  Sugar/Glucose is the only fuel left for the muscles to burn.  A damaged/closed cell can’t even do that.  CHRONIC FATIGUE sets in due to lack of actual “energy”.  This happens EVEN IF YOU RUN MARATHONS but live on a HIGH CARB diet.  Sound familiar?  You exercise a ton but can’t lose weight?  You don’t have correct cell function, all over your body.  You MUST have CORRECT CELL FUNCTION TO BURN FAT.
More?  Insulin Resistance and Leptin Resistance are a guarantee you have a FATTY LIVER.     Our LIVER controls what fuels get burned; our LIVER is the LARGEST SOURCE OF CALORIE BURN IN OUR BODY, our heart and brain are next, and then our muscles.  You want a perfectly functioning liver.  Trust me.

How does a HIGH FAT LOW CARB diet – with a TON of vegetables, some fruit ( maybe, depends on your blood sugar), healthy proteins, some nuts and seeds, and maybe some high fat dairy ( blood sugar/allergy) affect these conditions?

First, Insulin is immediately lowered, because there’s less SUGAR in the blood.   Less Insulin means less TRIGLYCERIDES, LESS INFLAMMATION, LESS CELL DAMAGE (from the insulin and glucose), and less sugar turning into fat(triglycerides), and stored in the liver or fat cells.

Less Insulin and less sugar mean the LEPTIN RECEPTORS in the BRAIN will become NORMAL and accept the Leptin.  Dopamine production and use will REGULATE, and be NORMAL.  You’ll – eventually – start to feel NORMALLY satisfied after a meal.  The NORMAL amounts of dopamine will also mean you’re not constantly searching for “more pleasure” from your food, which causes you to eat when you shouldn’t.

A HFLC diet means that Insulin Receptors and Leptin Receptors will – eventually – return to NORMAL, and functioning.

The high fat, and the anti-oxidants, the vitamins the minerals the phytonutrients ( from cholesterol – which IS an anti-oxidant, and the protein/vegetables/fruits/nuts/seeds) will eventually repair damaged cells ( 100% of EVERY CELL MEMBRANE IN OUR BODY IS MADE FROM FAT AND CHOLESTEROL), and reduce and eliminate INFLAMMATION.

We don’t burn fat calories, lose weight, build muscle and GET HEALTHY until we have NORMAL, HEALTHY, CELL FUNCTION.

How?  A Real Whole Food diet that’s high in fat, low in carbs, and high in nutrients; good exercise, stress management, and sleep.  Lack of sleep creates a hormonal situation, as does stress, that also block Insulin and Leptin Receptors. Oh, and you must be CONSISTENT in your efforts.  Too many people I talk to are so on and off the Healthy Train that results are small or non-existent.

Time and consistency matter, because it takes LONGER for our muscle cells to be leptin sensitive – and use fat for fuel – than for our brain to become leptin sensitive. Isn’t that interesting??

Want to learn more?  Invest yourself!!  I’m attaching some links to articles written by a brilliant Neurosurgeon who’s done a TON of research on leptin, and an Endocrinologist who’s also done a ton of research on leptin, and a podcast by a leader in the Leptin field.

Read, listen, and learn.  Apply what you hear to yourself.  Take notes, think about it, if you’re a client, let’s talk about it.  If you’re not a client yet, and want to be, get in touch with me.  You can change your body, you can lose weight, get healthy, and become NORMAL; sometimes this happens easily, and sometimes you’re so metabolically damaged, that it takes a while, but it will happen, I promise.

Here’s the Resources:

http://jackkruse.com/my-leptin-prescription/

http://jackkruse.com/how-does-the-leptin-rx-work/

http://jackkruse.com/the-leptin-rx-faqs/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2255442/The-REAL-reason-eat-New-theory-revolutionise-way-lose-weight.htmlhttp://jackkruse.com/leptin-part-deux-the-liver/

Podcast: http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com/shownotes/9647/789-llvlc-classic-dr-ron-rosedale-on-low-carb-leptin-and-lipolysis/

How To Avoid Fatigue Induced Food Cravings; and more Food Pics

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast night I had a very rare bad night’s sleep.  Normally, I’m the type that when my head hits the pillow, I don’t slowly drift off, I plummet into oblivion.  I don’t even move very much and some mornings my hair’s perfect :)

Anyway, something went wrong last night, and I couldn’t get to sleep until around 3:30.  I get up at 5, so clearly, I been “off” today.

What wasn’t off?  MY EATING.  Honestly, a few years ago a bad night like that would of had me snacking or binging on and off throughout the day.  I would have gone from feeling bad to feeling miserable.

These past few years of eating more fat, and these past several months eating GOBS of fat, and …. nothing.  No desire, no cravings, no inkling of an idea that eating might make me feel better.  What a relief!  I wish I had known about this when all my kids were little and I had over a decade of interrupted sleep, but better late than never.

Food cravings strike for many reasons; and food cravings can strike for absolutely NO REASON AT ALL.  You just want the food,.. because.  I think the science is pretty clear that CRAVINGS are a symptom of a high carb diet.  Here’s a line from a study published by the NIH, comparing Low CARB diets (LCD)  with Low FAT diets (LFD): Compared to the LFD, the LCD had significantly larger decreases in cravings for carbohydrates/starches and preferences for high-carbohydrate and high-sugar foods. The LCD group reported being less bothered by hunger compared to the LFD group.

Exactly!  Our body is made out of Water, Fat, and Protein; a little bit of mineral, even less vitamins, and just a teeny, tiny bit of Carbohydrate. ( Most carb is converted to fat and stored.) For the past several decades, during the Low Fat push, our dietary fat’s decreased and our carb consumption has increased, greatly.  What’s been the result?  Obesity and disease, with the CDC predicting NO END IN SITE TO THE RISE OF EITHER.

(When they talk about statistics in 2030 or 2040, they’re talking about what OUR KIDS will be facing.)

Eating disorders, food compulsions, they’re also on the rise.

A day of cereal or toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, pasta for dinner, and carby snacks in between are a recipe for exactly the health and weight situation we’ve got.  It’s also a perfect way to create food addiction.  Substances in grains and sugar trigger the addictive pleasure centers in our brain.  The glucose nature of grains and sugars causes them to quickly be digested and absorbed into the blood, sending blood sugar HIGH, along with the Insulin necessary to lower it.  High Blood Sugar and High Insulin lead to:  Inflammation, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Auto-Immune, Migraines, and I could go on and on.

It matters what we eat; stay away from the Cereal, the Bread, the Pasta, The cookies/cake/croissants/muffins/pretzels/crackers/waffles.  Load up on good meats and eggs, healthy fats, TONS of vegetables, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, and some full fat dairy if you tolerate it.  You’ll say good by to health issues, good by to excess body weight, and good bye to cravings, I promise.

Meals for the past two days:

Smoothie Tuesday: water w/flax and chia/Jay Robb protein/2 raw eggs/MCT oil/frozen spinach/frozen banana/cinnamon/ginger/coconut flakes/pumpkin seeds

lunch 9:10Lunch Tuesday:  sardines/basil/tomatoes/S&P/balsalmic   and a coconut oil fat bomb.  It doesn’t look very good but it tastes fine – honest.

 

dinner 9:10

 

 

 

Dinner Tuesday:  ground sausage and liver fried in butter topped with a little cheese;  roasted potatoes;  and in the bowl:  cauliflower, tomatoes, mushrooms in butter, w/ thyme and oregano.

Today / Wednesday:

Smoothie: I KNEW I NEEDED TO EAT VERY HIGH FAT TO GET THRU THE DAY:  a cup of full fat coconut milk ( can, not box), flax, 2 raw eggs, vanilla and stevia, MCT oil, raw greens powder, coconut flakes, blueberries, nutmeg, and mace.

Lunch:  out to eat:  a big cobb salad with salmon, olive oil and vinegar.

And that’s it so far.  Oh, Tip For The Day:  Plan.  Did you think each day would be a different tip? Planning is EVERYTHING.  Plan your lists, plan your meals, plan around your schedule, plan when you’re going to chop and cook and pack.  The busiest people in the world get the most done because they Plan.  Eat well!

How To Get Healthy and Lean With NO RECIPE PALEO MEALS. Food Pics!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m about to embark on a whole week of posting What I Eat, the How To’s of making it, and the Why’s of what I’m cooking.  Frequent complaints I hear are “I don’t know how to cook, I don’t have time to cook, I get confused in the grocery store, I don’t know what’s healthy, I’m too busy to cook, No one likes my cooking and I feel like it was a waste of time and effort.”

These negative thoughts pony on the back of massive amounts of advertising convincing us that frozen food, processed food, and fast food are PERFECT for each of these situations, and look:  everyone in the ad is slim and beautiful!  What could go wrong??

A lot:  a nation that’s 70% overweight, tired, sick, and stressed, and kids who take more drugs to control their behavior and moods than ever imagined.  Its time to take back out health, and that only happens by eating Real Whole Food.  

To all of you who are either intimidated by cooking or always looking for ideas, this week will be for you.  If you check out my What I Eat page, you’ve noticed that most of our dinners are just meat, vegetables, fats, herbs, and spices, thrown together without a recipe.   Honestly, I rarely even get out a measuring spoon; most of the time I either pour spices into my hand, or chop and throw herbs right into my pot, depending on my mood.

If you’ve been obsessed with the Food Network, or Food magazines, you’ve been convinced that Cooking Is A Science for the Gifted In Cooking.  I’m here to tell you, it’s not.  Honestly.  Throw a bunch of Real Whole foods together, and it ALWAYS comes out good.  But food, food is a science;  Food is Medicine, and it’s important to learn the benefits of particular foods, and then use that knowledge to lose weight, stay lean, get healthy, boost energy, recover, repair, and sleep well.

Food can also be Poison; feeding your kids Pasta and Chicken Nuggets is a really bad idea.   True it’s fast and easy, and they’ll LOVE it, but the Simple Carbs, the Gluten, the Chemicals, and the total LACK of any nutrients, will set your kids up for a life of poor health, weight issues, foggy thinking, fatigue, and learning problems.

All week I’ll be giving tips that are tailored to you overcoming all those typical excuses for why cooking just isn’t possible.  Today’s tip:  Plan.

Get out your day timer, look at your schedule and your kid’s schedule.  When are you home? when are you working/driving/working out/activities/sports etc?  Write it down.  If you’re in the car from 3 to 7, you need to either pack dinner, or have something ready in a warm over (175*) for when you get home.  You might have to make dinner in the morning or early afternoon, if that’s when you have time.  Dinner doesn’t have to be prepared right before you eat, dinner needs to be prepared WHEN YOU HAVE TIME TO MAKE IT.   If you leave for work early in the morning and don’t get home til late, you need to have food already prepared in a crock pot, or refrigerator via Power Cooking. ( I’ll do a Power Cook this week, for now, read this post for an explanations/how-to’s.  )

Really, there’s very few surprises in life, and I’m saying that as a working mom of 4, one of whom’s epileptic.  Life is pretty routine;  if you want to accomplish much, plan around your routine.  This takes attention, effort, and practice if you’re used to winging life by the seat of your pants.  If you’re a parent, choose what you want to teach your children:  planning or winging.  Which do you think will be more helpful to them?

On to Today’s Meals:

I always start the day with Intenzyme ( anti-inflammatory enzymes), Bromelein ( enzymes for my sticky blood), and Tyrosine ( amino acids for energy).  I take digestive enzymes with my meals, and a good fish oil,  and a vit B complex after breakfast, along with HCl ( stomach acid).    Shelby takes Primrose oil ( good for fluctuating hormones), Fermented Cod Liver Oil ( all my girls are on this, it’s good for the immune system), and B complex.

FYI, all my water has Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar added, I love the taste, and all those live enzymes are good for me.

Breakfast for Shelby ( she’s my only kid home right now. )

banana & egg pancake

 

This is a big pancake made out of a mashed ripe banana, 2 eggs, cinnamon, mace, and ginger, then cooked in coconut oil.  She tops it with butter.  This has been her breakfast for the past 8 days.  I’m expecting it to change soon, but we’ll see.

 

9:8:14 smoothie

 

 

 

 

To the right is my breakfast:  a Smoothie.  In the glass:  water with chia/flax/hemp seeds, a scoop of Jay Robb protein, and my newest find:  Amazing Grass Raw Reserve.  Then I added some of the frozen collard greens ( from last nights dinner), a few chunks of frozen avocado ( baggy ), a raw egg, some frozen blueberries, a little MCT oil, and ice.  Also: cinnamon, mace, and cloves.  I measured NOTHING, and there’s no recipe, but there are reasons for choosing my ingredients.

The seeds are high in Omega 3 and phyto nutrients, and great for pooping.  Flax seed is also good for eliminating old estrogen from the body. The Grass, well, check out how many nutrients are in there. Jay Robb:  easy, clean, quick digesting whey protein; I’m lifting in less than 2 hours and I want amino acids in my blood, ready to be used by muscle cells.  Collards: greens are Nutrient Bombs, and I had leftovers.  Avocado:  great source of mono-unsaturated fat.  Raw eggs:  where do I start?  MCT oil: great for producing Ketones.  Cinnamon/Mace/Cloves:  spices are NUTRIENT BOMBS.  Check out Worlds Healthiest Foods to learn about these spices, and why you should incorporate them.  Blueberries:  vein health, heart health, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, phyto-nutrients.

Lunch for me:  Sardines w/ tomatoes, basil, S&P, olive oil and vinegar.  Shelby took a Cliff Bar, a big apple, and some nuts.

Dinner:  Pictures tomorrow, but cod, and spaghetti squash loaded with a vegetable tomato sauce, topped with cheese.

Start making your plan now, and let me know what you come up with.  Cooking is NOT rocket science, you can do this!

 

 

Weight Loss: Gluten Free Foods Keep You Sugar Burning Instead Of Fat Burning

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClients I work with often make the mistake of thinking that Gluten Free Food PRODUCTS are not only healthy, but Weight Loss Inducing.  That’s a Big Mistake.

Gluten Free Food Products are missing the damaging gluten protein – that’s true.  But Gluten Free products like pasta, bread, cereal, and cookies, are made with High Glycemic, very easily digested and absorbed, SIMPLE SUGARS.

When we eat Simple Sugars, our blood sugar levels and blood insulin levels skyrocket, and damage happens, always.  Whether the simple sugar is from white flour, brown flour, rice flour, or corn flour, i.e. gluten-free or NOT, simple sugars flood our blood stream quickly and easily wreck havoc – every. single. time.

I love to say that a Carb is a Carb is a Carb.  No matter the source, our gut digests Carbs to the single sugar/simple sugar GLUCOSE, which then goes through the small intestine wall and into the blood stream.  When our blood sugar and insulin levels are high our arteries become damaged, our brain accumulates plaque, our blood becomes thick and sticky, and proteins and fats in the blood and affixed to the body ( our thyroid, our intestine walls, our skin..) become “Glycated”, or damaged – permanently.

These Simple Sugar Gluten Free Products also make us fat.  Here’s how:  when our blood sugar is high, anything above 100mg/dcl, insulin is released from the pancreas to lower it.  Some blood sugar can go into muscle cells (or not), a tiny bit of blood sugar can be stored in the liver (or not), and ALL THE REST OF THE EXCESS IS REMADE INTO TRIGLYCERIDES. Triglycerides = Body Fat.  

Glucose/blood sugar/carbs don’t make ANY part of us, not our hair, our eyes, our bones, our teeth. Carbs are just an energy source, and we can’t even store very much.  Excess ALWAYS gets made into Body Fat.  Always.

Another undesirable result of High Blood Sugar from Gluten Free Products:  Insulin Resistance.  When you have insulin resistance, your body’s ability to literally use FAT FOR FUEL is SHUT DOWN.  Instead, your body burns sugar.  Period.  This isn’t healthy or normal.  WebMD says at this point at least 34% of all Americans are fully Insulin Resistant.  Imagine what the number would be if it included everyone who was hovering at full Insulin Resistance??  50%?  60%?  More?   We’re 70% overweight in the country;  the correlation between ANY belly fat and insulin resistance is very high.   Got Belly Fat?

If you diet and exercise, and can’t lose weight, you’ve got a problem.  It’s not normal.  When you’re a Sugar Burner, your body sets itself up to mostly burn glucose.  Even in the absence of food, it still wants to burn Sugar not Body Fat.  This means that when Sugar Burners cut calories, or increase exercise, the body would rather break down muscle tissue and convert it to glucose than burn body fat.  It’s easier, and the body ALWAYS does what’s easier.

If you want to quit burning so much sugar for fuel, and start burning your fat stores, you’ll have to (1) cut out the grains and sugars, even gluten free grains, and (2) up your healthy fat intake.  Seriously, if you want your cells to become acclimated to burning fat, there’s a whole set up of enzymes and protocols that go along with that.  As long as there’s excess sugar in your body, from any source ( gluten free products, grains, and sugars, sometimes even fruit) YOUR BODY MUST BURN SUGAR.  It takes a real consistency of effort before your body believes you and sets up fat burning mechanisms in your cells.

Something that struck me in the book Keto-Clarity, was how many doctors were quoted as saying that before several decades ago, because the average American diet was much lower in carbohydrate, and higher in healthier fats, it would have been normal to burn both Glucose and Fat throughout the day and night.  Low states of Ketosis, where ketone bodies were burned, would also have been very normal.  There’s entire cultures that ran on Ketone bodies and fatty acids easily and with great health, throughout the world, throughout history and even today. ( For instance, very Northern  and Desert cultures with little access to plants or grains)

If you can’t lose weight, there’s a good chance you’re insulin resistant, you’re a sugar burner.  Even if you DON’T need to lose weight, but eat a high carb diet, you’re a sugar burner;  inflammation is happening.

If you want to STOP burning so much sugar and START BURNING YOUR FAT STORES,  Contact me and let’s get started.  It’s time to turn your metabolism around and make it work FOR you, not AGAINST you.

Got Heart Disease? There’s a Good Chance You Do. Luckily, You Have Power Over That.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wrote a Newsletter yesterday on Heart Disease and how to both prevent it and diminish any damage you’ve possibly already caused.  It takes about 20 years for a disease to develop blatant symptoms; “Silent Damage” is very real, and statistically, if we live a Standard American Life, we have it.

If you read my Newsletter already, re-read it with another horrible disease - Cancer – on your mind.  Most of the causes of Heart Disease are also causes of Cancer, and certainly causes of Inflammation.

Further, most of the causes of Heart Disease, Cancer, and Inflammation, will inhibit Weight Loss. 

This Newsletter contains both Reasons for damage to your arteries and heart, and Solutions.

Heart disease is the #1 killer in the U.S. About 1 million people die EACH year from heart attacks, strokes, or a “cardiovascular event”.

According to the American Heart Association, to lower our risk of Cardiovascular Disease we need to lower our cholesterol by eating low fat foods and taking statins if needed, exercise, reduce salt intake, and stop smoking.

Hmmm. Americans ARE taking statins ( 1 out of 4 over 45), we do eat less fat than 100 years ago ( when heart disease was rare), more people exercise than ever, salt intake IS down, and fewer Americans smoke.

The CDC predicts Heart Disease will increase EVERY SINGLE YEAR FOR THE NEXT 30 YEARS.
The advice has some problems.

One of the main causes of heart disease is damage to our Coronary Arteries, or CAD for short ( coronary artery disease). What damages our arteries? It’s not what you think.

Delete the image burned into our minds that we eat foods with saturated fats and cholesterol and within minutes those substances have filled our bloodstream, and then literally clog it. That’s biologically impossible.

If you’ve worked with me, you know that fat takes hours to digest. (that’s a good thing.) Fats from food sources are readily and easily used by the body for their individual fatty acids to build and repair. Remember, our body is made out of Water, Fat, and Protein; a teeny bit of mineral, and even less vitamin and carbohydrate (1-2%). Good fatty acids are CRUCIAL for our health. ( http://www.rocksolidnutritionandwellness.com/the-basics/fats/ )

We don’t develop heart disease because Saturated Fat and Cholesterol are horrible villains destroying our arteries. Other things do that. Here’s a list of reasons, and the solutions to go with it.

1) Insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas in response to sugar/glucose ( from flour, grains, fruit, beans, etc.) Insulin’s okay in SMALL amounts, critical even, and incredibly damaging in large amounts, like the amounts the average American makes due to ingesting simple carbohydrates several times a day. Think of the hormone Insulin like BARBWIRE COURSING THRU YOUR ARTERIES. It’s caustic and damaging in large amounts.

If you’re overweight, or over 40, and/or have high Triglycerides ( > 100) ask for a 3 hour Glucose Test. If your body can’t handle a bolus of glucose, that means your cells are saying “NO” to the Insulin, aka, Insulin Resistance. This is bad because this means high levels of Insulin and high levels of Glucose are staying in your blood stream WAY TOO LONG. The Insulin literally INFLAMES YOUR ARTERIES, and the Glucose attaches to the proteins in your arteries ( collagen, a protein, is a main component of arteries), and “GLYCATES” them: sticky sugar molecules inappropriately attach to the proteins and fats in your body and blood and DESTROY them. Their shape, their function: ruined. It’s bad.

Even easier: Buy A Glucometer and test your postprandial/after meal blood sugars. It’s simple – ask me how.

Solution: Quit eating Grains and Sugars! Insulin will decrease, Blood Sugar will decrease, Inflammation will decrease, Triglycerides decrease, VLDL ( the “bad” cholesterol) decreases, HDL INcreases, and your WEIGHT and STOMACH girth will decrease. Can’t imagine eliminating sugar and grains? Neither could I. It was easier than I thought; you can do it too. If you’re addicted, email me.

There’s NO medication to lower Insulin, there’s NO medication to lower Triglycerides, there’s NO medication to raise HDL, there’s NO medication to decrease Inflammation ( permanently). Statins don’t do any of that except for possibly, in some people, reduce some inflammation. SOME PEOPLE. What you put in your mouth is the only solution. A high fat, low carbohydrate REAL WHOLE FOOD diet, with great supplements, good sleep, and movement, is the fix.

2) Man made chemicals, found in foods ( preservatives, emulsifiers, flavors..), personal care products, lawn and garden chemicals, cigarettes, are LOADED with toxins that have the same effect on your arteries that Insulin does: they’re caustic and damaging. Did anyone read the Washington Post article on the FDA’s INABILITY to regulate and monitor all the chemicals in our daily lives? Pitiful. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/food-additives-on-the-rise-as-fda-scrutiny-wanes/2014/08/17/828e9bf8-1cb2-11e4-ab7b-696c295ddfd1_story.html) 100 years ago we had NO chemicals in our food supply, 50 years ago we had less than 1000, today, there’s more than 9,000. Many of these HAVEN’T been tested, and many that have, and are deemed possibly CARCINOGENIC, are granted a GRAS status (generally regarded as safe), and incorporated into items we eat, drink, and slather on. Other countries all over the world say NO to hundreds of chemicals that are prolific in American processed foods and products.

Solution: Quit eating processed foods! Shop, chop, pack, and cook. Become picky about food quality. Be suspicious of restaurant food. Read labels of your food and products.

3) Lack of Vitamin D3, the B vitamins ( the heart LOVES B’s), K2 ( essential for placing Calcium in BONES and not arteries), along with other nutrients. How could you be deficient in Nutrients? Your gut. If you burp, bloat, or reflux, you don’t have enough stomach acid. If you don’t have enough stomach acid, breakdown and absorption of nutrients are reduced and good gut bacteria, who have thousands of jobs, are negatively affected. All disease begins in the gut.

Solution: (a) fix your gut with HCL and/or digestive enzymes (b) supplement with D3, K2, and other nutrients. If you’re confused, ask me.

4) Plaque build up and Inflammatory compounds from the damage you keep doing. Plaque is literally a God-Send. It saves our lives over and over. Plaques get sent to the damaged areas in our arteries to prevent them from busting open ( an occlusion). If we didn’t have plaque, heart disease would kill us a whole lot faster than it does. Atherosclerosis is “never-healing-lesions”. They don’t heal because we keep damaging them over and over with Insulin, Glucose, chemicals, etc. The assaults don’t stop, so the plaque can’t stop.

Our liver makes the plaques and sends it to the damaged areas. What’s in plaque? 68% is fibrous tissue, 8% is calcium, 7% inflammatory cells ( they call our fighter cells to them to remedy damage), 1% foam cells, and 16% lipids/fats. MOST OF THE FATS, ~74%, ARE UNSATURATED.

Solutions: quit building plaque! and supplement: Niacin increases HDL which helps reduce plaque, and lowers LDL and triglycerides; Vit K2 reduces calcium in arteries; Vit C is heavily used by arterial walls to rebuild; a good fish oil soothes inflammation (instead of plaque patches soothing inflammation); CoQ10 reduces amyloid plaques ( Statins turn OFF the cells that make CoQ10, they’re the same cells in the liver that make Cholesterol.) and CoQ10 is a preferred fuel for the hearts cells mitochondria ( fuel furnaces).

5) Magnesium Deficiency. Magnesium is critical for over 300 daily functions, magnesium deficiency is EPIDEMIC. It takes 28 molecules of Magnesium to process 1 molecule of sugar ( from dessert, bread, or pasta). Magnesium relaxes the artery walls, reduces blood pressure, and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood and for the blood to flow freely.

Solution: Supplement every single day with Magnesium. It matters that you use GOOD magnesium and not one that passes through quickly without being absorbed into your cells. Ask me if you need a recommendation.

6) Fibrinogins. These are blood clotting cells. I know about these because I’ve had 2 blood clots. Instead of Coumadin ( never!), I’m on Systemic Enzymes. I get my blood analyzed on a regular basis, and I haven’t had Fibrins in my blood for years now thanks to Systemic Enzymes, fish oil, and an Anti-Inflammatory diet ( Real Whole Food, no sugars or grains).

Have you ever heard of Systemic Enzymes? I LOVE them! What an enormous difference they’ve made in my life. I’ve been on them for about 10 years, I’m almost 50, I work out HOURS a week, and my level of pain and inflammation ( from exercise or injuries) has never been lower. I’m savvier at how to manage it via years of trial and error with which enzymes work best for me.

Basically, the inflammatory compounds in our body are mostly Protein based. Bacteria, virus, most pathogens, are protein based. Systemic Enzymes break down proteins in our blood and tissues: scar tissues, blood clots, cysts, plaques. There’s studies all over the world validating Systemic Enzymes in not only the fight against inflammation, but cancer too. ( http://www.inflammation-systemicenzymes.com/).

Again, if you’re interested, ask me. There’s several different fantastic Enzyme Formulas out there, you’ll need to find the one that works best for you.

7) Excessive alcohol. If I had a dime for every time I heard that wine is healthy, I’d be a millionaire. We’re NOT Italian or French. We don’t eat, live, or sleep like them. We’re Americans, and we’re fat ( 70% overweight), sick ( 70% are on at least 1 drug), and tired ( the CDC says it’s EPIDEMIC: http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/). We can’t get away with excessive alcohol. Alcohol’s effects on the heart are many: it directly causes a “weak heart” or Cardiac Myopathy; alcohol ruins liver functions which is critical for the CoQ10 and good cholesterol the heart craves; and alcohol literally ruins stomach lining, which decreases stomach acid which decreases nutrient breakdown and absorption. Stomach lining also produces Intrinsic Factor, which attaches to B12 and escorts it into cells for use. Deficiencies in B12 are associated with high Homocysteine, a HUGE risk factor for Heart Disease and Stroke. ( Acid suppressors also reduce B12)

B12 should be sublingual for good absorption. CoQ10 is an excellent idea for anyone over 40, as even if you’re NOT on a statin ( and you probably shouldn’t be), your body produces less as you age. Your heart needs CoQ10 for “food”, so supplementation is a very good idea.

8) Trans fats in Margarines, and Vegetable Oils that are heated, or exposed to light and air (O2), are damaging to the arteries. Quit using them! Use Saturated Fats for cooking instead: they’re LOADED with nutrients, and their chemical structure is STABLE, which means heat, light, and air don’t oxidize or damage them.

Heart Disease is preventible. Become informed, be proactive, learn, study, read. Don’t take your doctors advice if it’s old-fashioned and clearly not working. Reread the info in the Newsletter, and then read the link at the bottom. There’s so much science out there that’s not getting to the masses. Don’t let that be you!

Here’s an interview with 2 doctors from one of my favorite books, The Great Cholesterol Myth.  

Do You Have Weight Loss Frenemies?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’ve been published in the Huffington Post again! This time our article is on Weight Loss Frenemies, and How To Overcome Them:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-and-debbie-abbott/your-weight-loss-frenemie_b_5686483.html

It’s hard when you’re the only one in your house, your office, or your group, who wants to start eating better.   Our world isn’t conducive to healthy eating, at all.   Kids are rewarded with junk food at school, clubs, and after all their sporting events.  Offices provide donuts, bagels, subs and pizza at meetings, as if that kind of food makes people more productive, and friend groups tend to center around drinking alcohol, and eating the kind of foods that lowered inhibition, from alcohol, induces.  Church lays out donuts and coffee, there’s bowls of candy on the table when you wait for your car to be inspected, and popcorn and candy at the movies seems obligatory.

Not only does the world collude against us, but apparently, we subconsciously seek out others who support our Bad Habits and Self Defeating Desires.

After you read this article, whether you need to lose weight or not, access what your relationships have become, access what your Down Time has become, access what your daily habits have become.  Friends and fun SHOULD have positive, long term consequences. Going to the office shouldn’t constantly throw you off your healthy eating routine.  Regrets, recriminations, resolve to “start again tomorrow”, those thoughts and feelings just lead to stress and bad hormones; if they’re normal for you, it’s time to make changes

Our health, our mood, our thoughts, they’re all the results of our actions every single day.  If we don’t step back and take an account of our time and our habits, before we know it, we’re living mindlessly, making bad choices, and teaching our kids to do the same thing. 

One more thing:  if you have Frenemies who are inhibiting weight loss or healthy eating, forward the article without saying a word.  Honestly, from my work I can tell you that most people want to change, they want to be healthier, they want to feel good, they just feel stuck; we can be the change!

Click on the “Like” and “Share” buttons when you read the article.  The more people we reach, the easier we can make it to take positive actions every single day. You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

 

School’s About To Start, How’s Your Immune System? How’s Your Kid’s Immune System?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve got a great reader question about Strep Throat, but I’m going to morph that into a Post on the Immune System.   After all, that’s what it’s all about, right?  Here’s the email:

 I was hoping to find out more about which brand of probiotics I should be taking.  I have a long history of frequent occurrences of strep throat and still get it frequently in adulthood. I have always been given antibiotics so I’m thinking I do not have even close to the amount of good gut bacteria that I should have.  I have noticed over the years that when I get strep throat the symptoms have become more and more severe with higher fevers and a horribly sore throat.  Do you think this could have anything to do with all the antibiotics I have put into my body?
In addition to probiotics, are there certain foods that will increase good bacteria more than others? And for the next time I get strep, do you think its too late for me to try natural remedies after a lifetime of antibiotics?

Strep, and sore throats, used to be my Achilles Heel also.  For everyone reading this, take out “strep” and put in whatever illness is your primary problem, because it’s not the Bug that’s our issue, it’s our immune system.  It’s either weak or strong, and for the most part, we have a lot of control over that.

If you have a weak immune system, and start building it TODAY, in a year, you could be a completely different person.   It’s never too late to build a strong immune system, but it does take consistent effort for the rest of your life.

The bacteria that cause strep, Streptococcus pyogenes,  is actually a NORMAL bacteria for us.  As a matter of fact, our skin and mucus tissues ALWAYS have bacteria on them, this strep bacteria being one of them.  What happens is sometimes it, or other “Normal Flora”,  overstep their bounds and become pathogenic.  Why?

We compromise our immune system with chemicals and/or sugar.  How?

The primary chemicals in ANTIBACTERIAL SOAPS, triclosan and triclocarbon (T&T), actually ******mutate all the bacteria they come into contact with, both the good and the bad.  By the way, our skin is a PRIMARY line of Immune Defense; that means God made it literally teeming with BILLIONS of bacteria that work FOR US.  Studies show that when these bacteria are exposed repeatedly to triclosan and triclocarbon, Genetic Mutations Happen. This is bad. I can’t even link to one study – there’s too many. Google it if you’re interested.

When good bacteria are mutated, they’re UNable to fight off bad bacteria.

Studies also show that T&T disrupts thyroid function, muscle function ( your heart is a muscle), and imitate estrogen ( a xenoestrogen). So, it slows thyroid, muscles, and imitates estrogen? Hello body fat, fatigue, and moobs!

Another reason to stay away from antibacterial soaps? Triclosan was introduced in 1969… as a Pesticide; and today it’s still registered as a pesticide.

It’s time – right now - to throw away any and all bacterial soaps you have in your house and switch to just Plain Soap.  Look for brands that have FEW ingredients and no chemicals:  Dr. Bronners and Kirks Castille are two we use in our house.  There’s several options in your stores Healthy Aisle.  If you’re rubbing your babies butts or your kids hands with chemical laden wipes, stop now and find a better brand.  They also contain T&T, along with assorted other cancer causing, immune disrupting, chemicals.

Reason number 2 for a weak immune system:  Sugar; it suppresses the immune system IMMEDIATELY, and for hours; and it’s Bad Bacteria’s FAVORITE food.  ( Cancer cells also thrive on sugar.)

Scenario:  You and your child wake up and have a glass of OJ, a bagel or bowl of cereal, and a banana.  Boom:  there’s now anywhere from 70 to 100 grams of sugar in you, or 17 to 25 Teaspoons of Glucose in the blood.  White Blood Cell activity, the exact activity we need when the kid next to ours sneezes, or we push open the door loaded with bacteria at our office/store/gym, won’t be coming to the rescue.  It’s suppressed from the sugar, and possibly mutated by antibacterial soap.

Reason number 3 for a weak immune system:  Too much Bad Gut Flora and not enough Good Gut Flora.  Our large intestine is supposed to contain about 100 TRILLION beneficial bacteria.  It turns out that these bacteria have hundreds and hundreds of jobs, and one of the biggies is interacting with all our Fighter Cells, like T-Cells and B-Cells.

A single round of plain old antibiotics, for strep, may wipe out strains of beneficial bacteria that may never, ever come back.

Our Lymph System, which is heavily involved with our Immune system, runs through our large and small intestine, completely and literally intertwined.  Our gut bacteria and our lymph system work together to create our Immune System.

It matters that we have Great Gut Function:  good strong stomach acid, plenty of digestive enzymes, we poop every day, and that our food goes from one end to the other WITHOUT gas, bloat, indigestion, or reflux.  Those conditions aren’t normal and indicate big problems with your gut.

Problems with your Gut mean problems with your Immune System.  We’re a big cycle.

What to do here:  Evaluate: do you bloat/burp/reflux?  You probably need to supplement with stomach acid (HCl) and/ or digestive enzymes. ( I use Biotics brands. Email me. )  Been on several courses of antibiotics?  Focus on Probiotics and *******Fermented and Cultured foods******.  Probiotics are great and often necessary, but even the expensive ones with billions of organisms don’t approach the numbers and strains in Real Whole FERMENTED Foods.     (BTW, that link highlights an interview with Caroline Barringer, she was my main Instructor when I was in school at the Nutritional Therapy Association. )   Good brands of Probiotics:  Biotics ( email me), Dr. Ohhiras, and Culturelle.  There’s more, and it’s a good idea to rotate them.  Apparently, our bacterial microbiome is literally as individual as our fingerprints, and it’s very varied.

Second evaluation:  do you get sick often, colds, flu, sore throat?  Correlate your weak immune system with the health of your gut.  Fix your gut first, and strengthen your immune system with Real Whole Foods ( which also help fix your gut).  If you have an over active immune system ( auto-immune conditions, like allergies), you probably have Leaky Gut.  You’ll need to heal and seal the intestines; again, email me for a supplement list.

If you have an aversion to fermented foods, ( real saurkraut, keifer, kumbucha ), get over it.  Buy some, and commit to eating a little bit every single day.  Pretty soon, that tart taste goes from bad to good.  Our taste buds do evolve, honest.  Two of my favorite brands of cultured food are Wildbrine and Bubbies Pickles.  If you buy any of the cultured beverages, make sure it has LITTLE TO NO ADDED SUGAR.  Sugar feed bad bacteria.  Add a little liquid stevia if it’s too tart, or add your own berries or fruit to thick keifer and blend them in. ( p.s. Cultured/fermented foods and drinks are ALWAYS in the refrigerator section.)

What else can we do to strengthen our Immune System in addition to cutting back on the sugar and upping cultured foods?  Lots.

1)  Eat garlic, onions, ginger, oregano; they all contain nutrients that make good bacteria thrive.  Those same nutrients are also used by our entire gut lining to rebuild, repair, and reduce or eliminate inflammation.  They also have STRONG anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. 

2) Eat PLENTY of fiber; that’s what our gut bacteria eat to thrive, be strong, and do their work.  Bacteria in our gut eat fiber and resistant starch, they don’t eat fatty acids or amino acids.  After they eat, they produce ( think, “poop out”) by-products, like vitamins and fatty acids that are used through-out the entire body for different jobs.  One by-product they produce is called Butyrate, and it’s a fatty acid that they eat themselves, and send to inflamed areas of your body.  Butyrate has enormous Anti-Inflammatory action; research is showing it also has Anti-Cancer properties.

3) Butyrate is also found in Grass Fed Butter ( like Kerry Gold), and other FULL FAT dairy products from COWS THAT EAT GRASS.  (remember, butyrate is a fatty acid)  Butyrate is made in the cows gut by their gut  bacteria from nutrients in GRASS, not grain.   Read your labels and look for Grass Fed dairy. It’s getting easier and easier to find grass fed dairy products in the stores.  If you’re interested in Raw, Grass Fed dairy from a farm, and you live in Virginia, search www.localharvest.com.
We belong to 2 great raw milk co-ops, and another raw cheese co-op.  Look for a farm convenient to you.

Wrap Up:  Sugar, grains, and chemicals ruin our body. Unnecessary / excessive antibiotics destroy our beneficial bacteria.  For a strong immune system, and to repair damage from a weak immune system, live by the premise that every bite matters.  Every thing we put in our mouth either makes us stronger or makes us weaker.

We don’t get sick because people around us spread their germs, we get sick because we’re not strong enough to fight those germs.

Strengthen your body every day.  Eat Real Whole Food with plenty of good fats, clean proteins, TONS of vegetables, some fruits, some nuts and seeds, and some dairy if you tolerate it.  Pledge to have fermented or cultured foods several days a week.  Take good supplements.  Drink good water, move, rest, control your stress levels.  And stay away from foods that make you sick, weak, and miserable.

Could OTC and Prescription Meds Be Making You Fat and Sick? Yes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe chances that everyone reading this is taking or has taken at least 1 over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drug is pretty high.  We’re Americans, and taking a pill to soothe an ill is normal.

Could “normal” meds like Tylenol or Statins contribute to our weight issues ( ~70% overweight), our moods ( declining ), and our poor HEALTH?  Oh my gosh, yes.  Read on for some scary facts, because all these drugs aren’t good for us, no matter what the ads say.

- America spent $2.4 Trillion on Disease MAINTENANCE in 2007, but according to WHO, we rank #37 in Health Care IN THE DEVELOPED WORLD.  ( Who wants to maintain their diseases anyway?)  We spend more on health care than the next 10 countries studied COMBINED.

- In one study, Americans had the second highest rate of chronic disease in the seven developed countries examined.

- According to the CDC, there’s not ONE disease or condition, NOT ONE, that’s been decreasing or is going to decrease, in the US, in the next 3 decades.  So the drugs aren’t improving anyone’s health in the long run.

The MAJORITY of Americans use drugs for pain, disease, colds, stomach problems, infections, etc, etc.   *****In other words, we’re taking our medicine, we’re just not getting better.  We’re getting worse. *****  As a matter of fact, an article titled “Death by Medicine”, authored in two parts by Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, describes in excruciating detail how the American medical system has bumbled its way into becoming the leading cause of death and injury in the US, claiming the lives of nearly 784,000 people annually!

Hospital errors are responsible for part of that, but Pharmaceuticals represent much of that total.  Here’s the facts ( straight from the pharmacist’s RX side effect sheets ) on some of the most commonly used drugs in America, and their potential side effects.

******Side effects can have quiet and long escalations.  Don’t feel comfortable with your drugs just because an obvious side effect, like a big rash, didn’t pop up.*******

Tylenol/Acetaminophen:

* Long-term Tylenol use has been linked to brain damage, increased blood pressure and kidney failure; about 15 percent of the people on dialysis today are there as a result of the damage that Tylenol (and/or aspirin) did to their kidneys.

* Acetaminophen is the #1 cause of Acute Liver Failure in the US.  Google it.  Our liver is supposed to perform over 500 jobs a DAY.  Our weight is intimately tied to our liver. Our metabolism, our hormones, our cholesterol: liver liver liver liver.

NSAIDS, or Non-Steroidal-Anti-Inflammatory-Drugs ( Motrin, Advil,…)

* Each year, an estimated 107,000 patients are hospitalized for NSAID-related gastrointestinal complications.  This is because NSAID’s ruin stomach lining.  We need our stomach lining!

*All NSAIDs, including over-the-counter aspirin and ibuprofen, are associated with potentially serious side effects such as cardiovascular problems, GI bleeding, kidney problems, and hypertension.

* What about the Conventional Wisdom that an aspirin a day is good for preventing heart attacks?  Did you know that the FDA REVERSED that position?  Does your Doctor know? “FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called ‘primary prevention.’ In such people, the benefit has not been established but risks — such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach — are still present.”

* Harvard Heath says the  NSAIDs, including the COX-2 drugs, tend to boost blood pressure.

* Between 1999 and 2010, DEATHS from prescription painkillers increased 400% for women and 265% for men.

What’s going on with painkillers, other than that they ruin your liver, kidneys, and brain?  They’re HIGHLY addictive. Most prescription pain killers work by binding to receptors in your brain to decrease the perception of pain. But they also create a temporary feeling of euphoria, followed by dysphoria, which can easily lead to addiction.  Addiction leads to accidental overdoses.

Let’s move on:  Acid Suppressors for heartburn, GERD, and reflux.  In 2012, Americans spent $5.1 BILLION on Nexium alone.  Thanks to an incredibly poor diet and way too much stress, most American’s don’t have ENOUGH stomach acid, causing the food to sit too long and ferment.  The acidic burp that explodes up the delicate esophagus hurts, badly. It’s also damaging.  Acid suppression might seem logical, but it’s not.  You want your food to digest faster, not slower; and that acid – which our stomach should naturally be loaded with – triggers all the rest of the steps of digestion.

Acid suppressors inhibit nutrient absorption, promote bacterial overgrowth, increase risk of infections, increase risk of bone fractures, and increase risks of certain cancers.  The FDA recommends taking acid suppressors for no longer than 8 – 12 weeks because of this.

Let’s move on to Statins.  As of today, 1 out of 4 Americans over the age of 45 is on a statin, primarily as a PREVENTATIVE measure against heart disease.  What a joke!  Statin’s increase the risk for Diabetes, Cataracts, Erectile Dysfunction, Memory Impairment, Muscle Fatigue, and *******Coronary artery and aortic calcification*******.  Wait a second, isn’t that Heart Disease???  Oh, and what’s the #1 reason Diabetics die?  Heart Disease.

Actual PREVENTATIVE measures against heart disease are eating Real Whole Foods, Exercising, Sleeping, and practicing Stress Management.  Zero side effects, plenty of benefits.

I’m closing with a link to an article from America’s Pharmacist, Suzy Cohen.  Someone took her to task for NOT recommending anti-depressants in a case of depression. Instead, Suzy had outlined a supplement program of Nutrients the body uses for correct thyroid function and neurotransmitter status.  ( Hypothyroid and/or insufficient GABA, dopamine, and serotonin are often the REASONS for depression).  Her response was perfect:  no Drug is going to provide the body with the vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, or phytonutrients that it lacked that caused the problem in the first place.  She wraps up with the potential side effects from anti-depressants, and culminates with the FDA Black Box Warning that children and adolescents on anti-depressants have higher incidences of SUCIDE.

Let me finish with a oft repeated statement:  No one is sick because they’re deficient in a Drug.  You’re not inflamed because you’re low in Advil, you don’t have clogged arteries because you’re low in statins, you’re not depressed because you’re low on Prozac, and you don’t have stomach issues because you need more acid suppression.

Poor health is from a lack of nutrients.  BONUS:  Eat for your health, and if you need to lose weight, weight loss will be a side effect.  Focus on Real Whole Food:  plenty of vegetables, good meats and eggs, lots of healthy fats, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, and some dairy if you tolerate it.  Sleep, move, and deal with your stress.

One more tip:  there really are great supplements out there that contain the NUTRIENTS in concentrated form that your body can use to:  decrease plaque, decrease inflammation, fight bad bacteria and viruses, build neurotransmitters, build magnesium stores, fix your gut, stop headaches, increase energy, etc etc.  If you have questions, ask me, I LOVE this stuff, and I’ve spent a lot of time learning my supplements.  There’s no need to Poison your body in an effort to get well.

 

Fitness Conference, Habits, Keto Diet Update, and Why I’m Staying On It.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI just spent a 3 day weekend at the DCAC Fitness Convention; 13 classes in 3 days.  I split the time between actual movement classes and lectures; total FUN:)

What’d I learn?  A lot.  What am I passing on?  This: the day to day choices we make, all day long, really, really, matter.  Our food, how much we sleep, how we handle our stress, and that we move and laugh and smile, matters.  Our choices to either do these things or not, become our habits, and our habits makes us who we are.

More:  Habits Are Everything, and we all have to take the Action Steps to develop the habits make us healthier.  No one else can do it for us, and we can’t do it for anyone else. We can’t change our spouse, our child, our parent, or our friends.  We can only change ourselves, and then hope to inspire the people we love and care about. (The DCAC Fitness Conference isn’t just about exercise, there’s some great Positive Psychology lectures – I love that stuff!)

Keto Update:  I thought I’d stop the Keto Diet at the end of the month ( July ), and I did.  But I miss it!  I’m back on as of today!  I might do a little Keto Cycling here and there, but not for at least a few weeks. ( More on Keto Cycling later.)  It was honestly easier than I thought it would be except for 2 things:

I’ve been deficient in Salt and Fat, even though in the past few years I’ve really upped my in-take of both.  Ketosis makes the kidney’s flush out more water than normal, and with the water goes your sodium and electrolytes.  This is revealed in pretty painful and persistent leg cramps, which I’m prone to anyway.   My blood pressure also dropped a little too low, but with the conscientious salt increase, I can tackle that.

I needed 2 teaspoons of salt a DAY to counter-balance the cramps and hypo-tension, which meant adjusting my tolerance for a salty taste.  It’s impossible to “retain water” when you’re in even mild/medium ketosis, even with 2 teaspoons of salt a day.  No wonder Salt was so important throughout history!  P.S. I never did get above the “medium” levels of ketones.  Maybe next time?

I was also surprised at HOW MUCH FAT it took to get into ketosis – a LOT.  You can’t tell just by looking at my “What I Eat” page, but I had to LOAD on the butter/coconut oil/olive oil/cream cheese/MCT oil, and cream.  It’s not easy, or initially natural, to eat that much fat, and it took some thought and effort.

My weight stayed completely stable, even on the 2 days I did make an attempt at counting fat grams, and took in almost 3,000 calories – IN FAT ALONE, not counting my protein or veggie carbs.  Did you catch that?  My weight stayed stable despite all those fat calories.

We’ve been fed such a load of bull for all these years!

On that note, here’s a great article on Dr. Michael Mosley, in the Daily Mail.  He’s the author of the FAST DIET, and for years promoted a low fat, high carb way of eating, which he himself followed.  He gained weight anyway and developed diabetes.  Now he’s re-examined the science and has come to a very different conclusion about saturated fat and carbohydrates role in our health and our weight.  Please read!  The more you know, the easier it is to make good choices for yourself.  The easier it is to make good choices, the less your (lizard) brain fights you.  Your lizard brain is the deep, subconscious part, that HATES stress.  It’s hard to win a fight with your lizard brain, and far better to work on thoughts and habits that become STRONGER than the lizard.  Does that make sense?

When you’re done with that article, read Dr. Mercola’s latest article on the vindication of Saturated Fat.  Honestly, Good Fats are So Good For Us, here’s a few reasons why, and at the end of the list is the reason I’m going back on the Ketogenic Diet.

Fats make up every single cell membrane in our body, and saturated fat and cholesterol are a large part of those membranes.

Saturated Fats make up all our Sex hormones and Fight/Flight hormones.

Fat and cholesterol make up 60-70% of the dry matter of our brain.

Saturated Fats increase the size of our LDL cholesterol ( we want big, fluffy LDL!)

Saturated Fats raise HDL.

Saturated Fats are structurally sound and aren’t prone to damage by heat, light or air, which means they’re great to cook with.

Fats allow Fat-Soluble-Vitamins, A, D, E, and K,  and many minerals, to be absorbed into our cells.

Fats are critical to our immune system.

Here’s one of my Favorite Reasons:  Fats Trigger Satiety – especially in the absence of Carbs.  This is the best thing about the Ketogenic Diet to me:  No Hunger.  No Bloat.  No Cravings.  It’s awesome!

Besides that, the Ketogenic Diet fits perfectly into my Real Whole Food, Paleo-ish template.  Does my whole family eat this way?  NO!  But that hasn’t been hard to work around – at all.  I’ve been serving meats and tons of vegetables forever; for the kids or company, I add: bowls of watermelon, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, low-carb/almond flour/coconut flour breads/cookies, ( you get the idea),  and everyone’s happy.

Angel Food Cake! What I’m Eating To Be Ketogenic, Pictures, and Recipes

angelfood cakeHere’s something that for a long time I considered “Healthy”, but it isn’t:  Angel Food Cake.  I remember my mom making it when I was a kid because my dad was told he had High Cholesterol, and Angel Food Cake had zero cholesterol, which meant healthy (in the old days!).  Then she’d make a fat free pudding with skim milk, and Viola!:  Healthy Dessert!

Here’s the Ingredient list for Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake mix:

Sugar, Wheat Flour Bleached, Egg White, Corn Starch, Leavening (Baking Soda, Citric Acid), Calcium Chloride, Modified Soy Protein, Salt, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (A Whipping Aid), Nonfat Milk. Freshness Preserved By BHT And Sodium Ascorbate.

If you cut the cake into 12 pieces, there’s 32 grams of sugar per piece, along side a giant dose of Cancer Causing, Liver Damaging, CHEMICALS.

Here’s the Ingredient list for Jello-O Instant Fat Free Vanilla Pudding:

Modified Food Starch, Maltodextrin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate And Disodium Phosphate (For Thickening), Contains Less Than 2% Of Nonfat Milk, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Salt, Calcium Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Mono- And Diglycerides (Prevent Foaming), Aspartame And Acesulfame Potassium (Sweetener), Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Artificial Color.

Thanks to a big dose of Aspartame, this pudding only has 8 grams of Sugar per serving, mostly, this pudding is a Giant Chemical.  The food dyes alone make it Poison, but the rest of those ingredients are just as bad.

Don’t do it!! Don’t be fooled by pretty desserts that promise no Fat and low Calories.  Our body NEEDS fat, and nutrients!  All those chemicals aren’t just potentially cancer causing, they’re bad for our LIVER ( the BIGGEST source of our Calorie Burn), our Heart ( oxidized cholesterol), our WEIGHT ( all that simple sugar will raise Blood Glucose right out of the normal range), and our Brain ( some of those chemicals are “excito-toxins”, and literally stimulate brain neurons to death!)

At the bottom of this post I’m attaching a recipe for an AMAZING Angel Food Cake from Maria’s Mind Body Health blog;  Shelby says it’s the best thing I’ve ever made, and Shelby’s a tough critic :)

I keep getting questions about What I’m Eating to put myself into Ketosis.  It’s been 19 days on the Keto Diet, and I’ve been updating my What I Eat page pretty frequently.

Monday, my Ketones finally hit the “Medium” range, ( took a while!), my weight’s been incredibly stable at 129/130, my energy and sleep are great, and I’m finding this really do-able. That’s probably because I was already Real Whole Food/Paleo for the past few years, and said goodbye to grains and sugars a long time ago.

That said, on August 1st, I’m going back to my Real Whole Foods diet, with my occasional Potatoes, Bananas, and any vegetable I want! I’m glad I dove into the Keto Diet to figure out the nuances, because I think it’s incredibly Therapeutic and Beneficial for a number of health conditions, including:  Insulin Resistance, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Thyroid disorders,  and Diabetes, to name a few.  Oh, and for those who are having a difficult time losing weight:  It’s fantastic!  

Before I show some food pics, and post the Angel Food cake recipe, here’s a little info on my upcoming weekend.

I have the DCAC Fitness Convention Thursday night through Sunday; I’m packing my breakfasts and lunches, but I’ll eat out each night.  I’ll be sure to update food and workouts though out the weekend.  I LOVE the DCAC!!

Here’s some of my Keto Meals from the past several days:

chicken:cauliflower

 

This was bone-in/skin on Chicken that I cooked on foil ( less pans to wash), and in the skillet: 6 tbsp butter, 1/4 c water, a whole head of cabbage, cauliflower, onion, and chives.  Topped with Cheese:)

 

sausage:onion:cauli

 

 

To the right, that’s crumbled sausage, zucchini, cauliflower, chives, and garlic cooked in butter and you can’t tell, but there’s a whole skin from one of those chickens cut up and cooked in the pan too.  Topped with cheese of course!

And here’s the Angel Food Cake recipe, my notes are in BOLD throughout the recipe:

“HEALTHIFIED” ANGEL FOOD CAKE
12 egg whites
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1 cup Jay Robb strawberry protein powder (or EGG WHITE powder if Dairy Free) ***I USED VANILLA, NOT STRAWBERRY BC I DON’T HAVE IT**
1 cup Swerve confectioners’ sweetener (or powdered erythritol) (I USED REGULAR SWERVE, NOT CONFECTIONERS – WORKED FINE)
1 tsp strawberry extract (or other extract) ( I USED LEMON EXTRACT BC I DON’T HAVE STRAWBERRY)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift whey protein and confectioners erythritol together and set aside. In a large clean bowl, whip egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy (save the yolks for “healthified” creme brule, “healthified” coconut custard, OR “healthified” ice cream). Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until very stiff (you will be able to put bowl upside down and the whites won’t fall out). Add your favorite extract flavor. Quickly fold in whey mixture. Pour into a greased 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Makes 14 servings.

 

*****MY OVEN WAS TOO HOT – LAST NIGHT I BAKED AT 325 FOR 38 MINUTES******

“HEALTHIFIED” CUSTARD

12 large egg yolks
1 cup unsweetened almond milk *****I USED COCONUT MILK FROM CAN – WORKED PERFECT
3/4 cup Swerve (or erythritol and 1/4 tsp stevia glycerite) I USED HALF SWERVE, HALF STEVIA
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted - **I USED HALF OF EACH**

Whisk egg yolks, almond milk, and sweetener in medium metal bowl to blend. Slowly mix in the melted butter so the eggs don’t cook unevenly. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Whisk mixture constantly and vigorously until thickened and instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 140°F for 3 minutes, about 5 minutes total (or coats the back of a spoon). Remove mixture from over water. Serve warm or chilled. (If serving chilled, it can be prepared 1-3 days ahead and refrigerated. Re-whisk before serving.) Makes 4 servings.