Sluggish or Fatty Liver? Could Be Why You Can’t Lose Weight or Feel Energetic. Recipes For Detoxing and Renewing Your Liver.

20150627_172301If you struggle with weight loss, bad skin, lack of energy, pain, and everything from headaches to chronic disease, but can’t understand why, this Post is for you. Medications that you’re currently on, or have been on, could very well be the culprit.  Medications have consequences, always, despite being FDA approved and Doctor prescribed.    (Pictures of Healing Foods are sprinkled through-out. Recipes at the end. This pic to the left is Chipotle Sweet Potato-Zucchini pizza – DELICIOUS!!).

Did you know that the biggest portion of health care costs – 88% – are spent on Life Style Conditions.  That means that the majority of our symptoms are brought on from our foods, medications, actions, sleep, and thoughts.  All of which we have control over.

Food is Medicine or Food is Poison, that’s one of my favorite sayings.  Pharmaceutical drugs are Poison too, and I don’t say that enough.  Drugs are expensive (and getting more-so), loaded with side effects, and often prescribed unnecessarily or excessively.  ****

There’s a good chance that if you’re on any prescription or OTC drug, it could be interfering with your metabolism through either liver or gut disturbances, or nutrient depletion, or both.

Did you know that prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in the US?  Unfortunately, before the death happens, there’s weeks, months, or years of adverse reactions chalked up to age, circumstance, or un-luckiness.

Everything we put in our mouth has profound effects on our health, our energy, our looks, and our weight.  Food affects our mood, our sleep, and our personality.  So do drugs.

Let’s focus on the Liver.

OUR LIVER BURNS MORE CALORIES THAN OUR MUSCLE TISSUE.  A LOT MORE.  Our liver performs hundreds of functions every day, and thru the night too. It’s important that we not over stress the liver with chemicals, toxins, alcohol, or sugar/flour. A toxic liver is a sluggish liver, and a sluggish liver is compromised in it’s ability to do all it’s jobs/do it’s jobs fully.

20150217_172852 (1)Fatty liver disease has become such a problem that it now affects 1 out of 3 people – 1 out of 3!!!

We need to keep our liver humming, so here’s some suggestions.

1) Access your meds, even innocent seeming meds like TYLENOL.  Tylenol, which we give to our children without a second thought, is the #1 cause of acute liver failure in the world!  Not alcohol, but TYLENOL.

Statins absolutely cause liver damage.  Anti-depressants, auto immune and cancer drugs, and pain killers/narcotics cause liver damage.

Alcohol causes fatty liver disease and sluggish liver function.

For a very large percentage of people on prescription drugs, a change in Life Style, could get you OFF your prescription drugs.  Get in touch with me.

2) Processed Sugars and Grains are tough on our liver.  Our liver is highly involved in blood sugar regulation.  Processed foods, like bread, pasta, cookies, cake, that kind of junk, send the blood sugar skyrocketing.  The liver has to go into overdrive dealing with all the extra glucose.

What does the liver do with the extra glucose?  IT CONVERTS IT TO FAT/TRIGLYCERIDES, and directs them to be stored in our fat cells. Look straight down and do a gut check to see if this is happening to you.

Another job hampered by a slow or fatty liver?  Estrogen detox, or removal.  Our liver is supposed to get rid of/eliminate, old, used estrogens.  Whether those estrogens came from our own glands, or foods like soy (huge ingredient in most processed foods) or chemicals ( personal care products, cleaning products, plastics, etc.), the liver is supposed to break them down from a fatty molecule to a water-based molecule, and then send them on their way out.  Toxic, slow livers don’t do this well, estrogens stay in the body – stored in fatty tissue, and we become “estrogen dominant”.

Men, this happens to you too.  No man should be estrogen dominant.  Look at your boobs and belly to see if you are.

3) Become a Liver-Loving-Fool!

I tell my clients what I tell myself:  think of ways to help and nurture your liver every. single. day.  Seriously.

Even if we try hard to eat clean, our world is full of toxins:  all municipal water is loaded with chemicals,  our air is polluted, there’s carcinogenic chemicals in dry cleaning solvents, make up, body care products, baby wipes, plastics, artificial sweeteners, pesticides and fungicides on fruits and vegetables, and I could go on and on.  The point is, our liver is responsible for dealing with and eliminating all this.  It needs our help.

4) Eat Liver-Loving-Foods every day:  beets, lemons, asparagus, olive oil, good whey protein, leafy and bitter greens, garlic, milk thistle, cilantro, parsley, cucumbers, ….  basically, Real Whole Foods. Vegetables, herbs and spices, healthy fats, and clean proteins, all contain thousands of nutrients that nourish, cleanse, rebuild, and help the liver do it’s many, many jobs.

Remember earlier when I said that our liver burns more calories in a day than our muscles?  If we’re debating about how to spend any extra time we have, shopping, chopping, and cooking is just as important, as exercising.  Don’t negate one for the other. Schedule in both.

5) Try these No Recipe Paleo Meals to load your body with nutrients that make your liver20150603_072541 function well and your metabolism hummm:)

Eggs and Leftovers

This is left-over vegetables ( zucs, yellow squash, onions, and purple cauliflower) mixed with kerry gold butter and 3 eggs.  EASY no brainer.

CHIPOTLE SWEET POTATO-ZUCCHINI PIZZA

(from the picture at the top)

1 lg sweet potato
1 large green zuc, ring out water by twisting in a towel
1 heaping tbsp chipotle powder
3 eggs, beaten
5 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and pat onto a pizza pan.  Bake at 325 for 40 minutes.  Top with tomato sauce and cheese.

I’m making this again tonight and adding sausage, corn sliced off the cob, and cilantro, with shredded swiss.  THIS IS DELICIOUS!!

GREENS WITH HOMEMADE SAUSAGE, AND SAUTEED PLANTAINS

(from middle picture)

Ground sausage
Swiss Chard
1/2 an Onion and 3 Garlic cloves
coconut oil

Mix and saute in one pan, add the swiss chard last since it doesn’t need to cook as long.

Plantains:  slice, and saute in a pan with Kerrygold Butter, salt, and then put in a 250 oven for 20-30 minutes.

**** I’m not totally anti-drug; but I think it’s irrefutable that most drugs are prescribed or taken for conditions that could be fixed or managed with LIFE STYLE changes.  No one has high cholesterol from lack of a statin.  No one has a headache from a lack of Advil.  No one has high blood pressure from a lack of Lasix.  No one has diabetes from a lack of Metformin.  No one has depression from a lack of Prozac.  These are symptoms that happen from the actions we choose every day.

Summer Shape Up Part 4: You Don’t Deserve A Treat/Moral Licensing/Tomorrow Logic.

20150620_125014 (1)Hello from Aspen, Colorado!  Mark and I lived here in the early 90s, and we’re back for a long weekend.  I’d forgotten how majestic the Rockies are!

Pictures that have absolutely nothing to do with this Post will be randomly sprinkled throughout:)  You’ll see Maroon Bells, Ajax Mountain, and a 20150619_195723Food Festival – OMGosh.  Grilled Gizzards are now my new favorite food.

Did you catch my title?  If you take my group fitness classes, you’ve heard me say this a 1000 times at the end of the class.  Then I usually say, “it was just a workout, we didn’t do anything to make the world a better place.”  And therein lies my purpose in today’s piece.

There’s a theory called the “Moral Licensing Loophole”;  I learned that term in Gretchen Rubin’s book on Habits, called Better Than Before.  ( I’m ALL about habits.)  The Moral Licensing Loophole means that we give ourselves permission to do something “bad”, because we feel we’ve been “good”. (This is a continuation of my assertion that our thoughts are more important than a food plan.)

In my 28 years of working in health and fitness, I see this theory used all. the. time.  Heck.  I’ve used this theory!

Here’s some examples:

*That class was so hard, I can definitely afford wine tonight.

* That run was so long, I deserve ice cream.

* I just did 100 lunges! The french fries and cookies won’t even register with my body!

* I’ve worked out every day this week – I must have Calorie Deficit going on, potato chips and beer won’t even bring me back to normal!

* I’m going to overeat today and just work it off tomorrow, and probably the next day too.  So this doesn’t really count.

20150620_171446(0)Actually, that last one also falls under the “tomorrow logic” category.  As in, Now doesn’t matter because I’m going to follow good habits Tomorrow.

I’ve even fooled myself into thinking that extreme indulgence today will give me extra self control tomorrow.  Does that sound familiar?

Here’s some facts, followed by thoughts we need to cement in our brain:

1) Studies show that Rewards inspire TEMPORARY behavior.

2) Everything we do counts. We are the culmination of our every day habits.

3) Tomorrow-logic doesn’t work, because our actions and behaviors cause brain chemistry that perpetuates more of the same behavior, not different behavior.

Let’s look at these points a little deeper.

“Rewards only inspire temporary behavior”.  That’s a well studied, well 20150619_203249documented fact, yet rewards are used so often to motivate behavior change that you’d never know it. Think about all those 12 week weight loss contests.  Or attempts at losing weight before a wedding or a beach vacation. Who do you know that’s actually kept the weight off once the designated time frame is over?  I have to keep beating this drum:  weight loss is NEVER a big enough motivation to eat healthy and exercise forever.  If it was, 95% of everyone who goes on a diet wouldn’t gain their weight – plus a few extra pounds – back.

A “reward” implies an “end”.  When this is about weight loss, that translates to a temporary, and often heroic, effort at Deprivation, feelings of Sacrifice, and a sense of Hardship.  All of these are Negative Values.  They make us feel as if we deserve some sort of Prize at the end, usually a food prize.

SOLUTION:

20150619_200732Change your thoughts about the food you eat.  This was what my last Post focused on, but there’s more.  In addition to looking at Bad Foods as potentially cancer causing, or migraine causing, or heart disease causing, what about framing Good Foods and Good Choices in a positive light.

*”Thank goodness I don’t eat after dinner anymore, I sleep so much better now.”

*”Thank goodness I don’t drink alcohol every night, I sleep better, my face isn’t puffy, and I have better energy in the morning.”

*”Thank goodness I started packing lunch every day.  I can’t remember the last time I felt sleepy in the afternoon.”

*”Thank goodness I’ve gotten rid of the starchy and sugary carbs, my stomach is so flat!”

Positive Assertions!  Friday night we went to a food festival, which was amazing!  We both ate a lot of food, and felt pretty full.   Alright, we probably ate too much, BUT, no bread and no pasta.  ( there were no desserts, so that wasn’t even a temptation)  We got back (walked home up a mountain!), feeling stuffed, but our stomachs looked fine – honestly.

Not being bloated and sick and gassy, it’s WONDERFUL. That’s our motivation for not eating grainy, sugary carbs.  We Feel So NORMAL and good that it’s worth it.

“Everything we do counts. We’re the culmination of our every day habits.” 20150620_171508 This is why I counsel my clients to start eating well RIGHT NOW.  Don’t wait for Sunday, or the 1st, start now.  It’s not about weight, it’s about whether you’re putting foods in your mouth that make you feel good or make you feel like crap – in the long term.

No fooling ourselves that a little bit of poison doesn’t matter.  Or that falling off the wagon won’t hurt.  Everything counts.  Look down at your stomach – is it flat or puffy?  Are you energetic and clear thinking, or tired and foggy?  How’s your skin?  How’s your sleep?  Do you digest without bloating, farting or burping?

Everything counts, and here’s why:

“Tomorrow-logic doesn’t work, because our actions and behaviors always cause brain chemistry that perpetuates more of the same behavior, not different behavior.”

When we tell ourselves that we’re not going to drink the wine or eat the pasta or have the chips, and then we do, we STRENGTHEN the habit in our brain.  We don’t weaken it with our actions or our pledge to be better tomorrow, ever.  The action creates chemicals that create substance -matter- in our brain. The action makes it harder to resist next time, not easier.  If over indulgence was a deterrent, we’d have no obese people, no alcoholics, no drug addicts, no gamblers, etc.  

Indulgence begets more indulgence.  Always.

Solution:  In addition to changing your thoughts about what makes you feel good and happy, access your circumstances and surroundings.  What do you need to change there?

Could you:

*Keep your home a junk free zone.

*Pack a lunch every day.

* Make enough dinner that you have leftovers for lunch.

*Pledge to quit depriving yourself, and eat 3 meals a day of Real Whole Food.

*Make butter, olive oil, and coconut oil regular additions to each of your meals so that you’re not starving.

*Set aside time to plan your whole week, so you can schedule grocery shopping, packing, and cooking, and power cooking.

*Want a sweet or a salty?  Make It Yourself.  Learn how to bake cookies with almond flour, honey, and dark chocolate.  Learn how to bake homemade french fries in your oven. Learn how to make homemade ice cream, with real cream, swerve, and vanilla or cocoa powder.

Back to the word “deprivation”, that’s not what being healthy is about, but that’s the term and the attitude that’s been instilled in all of us since the 1970s, right?  “If you want to be healthy, you need to eat boiled chicken and steamed broccoli.”  That’s such bull crap!

I still remember Mrs Poland from my high school saying, “if you’re not hungry, you’re not losing weight”.  I believed that for decades, and it’s so wrong! Hunger and deprivation set us up to Fail, not Win.

Hunger’s the enemy, and we can keep it at bay by having hearty meals full of good fats, good proteins, and a TON of vegetables; not over exercising, and working hard at getting enough sleep.

Those are the secrets and the tricks to being a Normal Weight, feeling good, being healthy, and having nice skin.  Honest.  Get in touch with me if you need help. 

Part 3 Summer Shape Up: Change Your Thoughts About Food to Change Your Body

change aristotleYes!  to constantly working to have better thought patterns!  Yes to not accepting that we’re stuck with where we are, because we’re not amoebas – we’re humans, and our brain is literally capable of changing and growing until we die.  Or not.  It’s up to us.  Taking control of our thoughts by focusing and being intentional is exercise for the brain.

Deliberate, studied, conscious thinking keeps our brain young and vital!  This is how we grow new neurons and thought patterns, this is how we determine whether positive chemicals or negative chemicals flow through our brain.

So what are our thoughts about food?  My aim for these last few Posts is to convince you that our thoughts are more important than a particular food plan when it comes to our weight and our health.

Counting calories, tracking food, weighing, measuring, diet meals, diet this could be the daydesserts, diet pills, diet plans… their long term success rate is an abysmal 1-5%.  This stat shows that the desire to lose weight isn’t a strong enough force to change our habits permanently, and temporary changes are useless.

Unfortunately, the HABIT and PATTERN of thinking of our body as the end result of how much we diet and exercise is fairly fixed in most of our brains.

It’s so untrue.  Let’s change that!

Our body’s not a Math Equation, it’s a Chemistry Set.  Start THINKING about our body that way, start looking at food as chemicals that send signals and have consequences as to how we function and feel and perform, and we can change our body, forever.  Losing weight, getting fit, becoming healthy, that happens when we care about every bite that goes into our mouth because we understand that food’s consequences.

My last Post was on stressing about our food, and how counter-productive stress is to our weight and health.  So I’m not suggesting hours of research, or logging everything we eat on to FitDay.

I’m talking about sitting with the thought – the fact – that our food becomes us. Not just our weight, but our mood, our skin, our hair, our energy, and every cell in our body.

Our thought patterns and habits dictate what we eat.  When we believe that certain foods give us energy or heal our body or give us pretty skin, it makes us more likely to seek it out and eat it.

When we believe that certain foods cause cancer, heart disease, migraines, fatigue, diabetes, and allergies, it’s easier to avoid them.

Put “consequence facts” in your mind that allow you to make good choices:    howlongdoyouwantotcontin

– White flour raises blood sugar, insulin and triglycerides; it’s also been sprayed with chlorine gas. The EPA sites this gas as a dangerous irritant that can be lethal.  It also has gluten, which damages the gut and the brain.

– Sugar is cancer cells favorite food.  The same with High Fructose Corn syrup.  They’re both very, very easy for cancer cells to metabolize.

Garlic reduces plaque build up in the arteries.

– Sugar is pathogenic bacteria, virus, and fungi’s favorite food. So sugar feeds the bugs that make us sick.

– Avocados have fats which are great for our skin and vitamins which are good for our eyes.

– Sugar and processed grains cause high blood sugar which causes “glycation”, which damages our skin by causing age spots and wrinkles.  Alcohol – even wine! – causes glycation.

– Leafy greens are loaded with nutrients that make our skin and arteries healthy.  Beets have ingredients that help our liver do all it’s many jobs.  Cruciferous vegetables prevent cancer.

– Sugar suppresses the ability of white blood cells to kill pathogens. Sugar and our immune system are highly connected.

– Saturated fat and cholesterol make up our glands, our hormones, and 60% of our brain.

– Proteins make up our muscles, hair, skin, nails, ligaments, and organs. Proteins become the connections between the fatty parts of our brain that allow messages to jump from one neuron to neuron to another.  They also build our chemical messengers, neurotransmitters:  dopamine, serotonin, GABA, etc.

When we eat sugar and flour and hydrogenated fats and toxic chemicals, we damage our heart, our brain, our liver, our kidneys, our skin, etc etc etc.  Damage.  It’s slow, it’s subtle, it might be mistaken for “aging”, or a bad mood, or fatigue, but it’s damage, and it’s inevitable.

Damage is also revealed in an inability to lose weight.  Our bodies should be masters at burning fat for fuel,  and using nutrients to rebuild our cells.  When illness, chronic fatigue, and resistant weight loss happens, there’s our proof that Damage is Done.

habittilobserve then choiceThank God it’s possible to reverse the damage by changing our habits. Here’s an Action Plan:

– Set aside time every week for planning, as in write down your schedule.  Your work, your kids schedule, your errands, your workouts, everything, including Food.  Schedule your grocery store, keep a running list all week, make time to chop and prep, power cook a few meals and put them in the freezer.

Does planning sound stressful? Studies show that organizing and scheduling REDUCE stress.  Living by the Seat of the Pants increases stress.

– Don’t buy your trigger foods. This is a no-brainer!  Keep foods that tempt you far, far away.  Convenience of trigger foods makes resisting really tough, so don’t let them be convenient. Worried your family will object to no chips or cookies in the house?  Junk food is Poison food.  No one in our families needs that crap.  No one.  All those above listed facts on sugar and grains and their links to cancer and immune function, they apply to children too.

There’s a great study on Flight Attendants who smoke, and the desire they feel for their cigarettes while they’re on their flights. The study revealed that it didn’t matter how long the duration of the flight was, whether it was short or long, their desire for their cigarette rose as they got closer and closer to the end of the flight.  Smoking was about to go from “Not Allowed”, to Convenient, and the craving appeared.

– If shopping is your albatross, take advantage of shopping on line, or having your groceries delivered, or buying the precut vegetables or prepared meats at most grocery stores now.  At least have a list ready!

bo bennett quote– Commit to 5 minutes a day of reading information that trains the brain to think of Food as Medicine or Food as Poison.  Please.  To beat the drum again: wishing for weight loss isn’t enough to inspire permanent habit changes.  Believing our food can make usfeelgood healthy and vibrant or sick and old, can.

One of my favorite sites, based solely on studies but written for succinct, easy reads:  Green Med Info.

Need help with your habits and thoughts? Get in touch with me! I have skill set of tricks to change behavior. Imagine yourself a year from now; you could be a whole new you, you could be the same, or you could be worse. Make the choice, take the action.

 

 

Part 2 of Summer Shape Up: Stressing About Our Body Fat Just Makes Us Fatter – Really.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet me say that again:  Stressing about our body fat just makes us fatter. It’s true; and as woo-woo as that may sound, it’s very grounded in science.

Remember in my last Post  I said that when it comes to weight and our health, our thoughts are more important than a food plan?  If a good food plan was all it took, no one would be fat and sick.

One of my favorite quotes is:  “Our body isn’t a math equation, it’s a chemistry set.”  This is why low calorie, low fat diets don’t work in the long run.  We upset our chemistry when we eat that way.

I’m continuing my series on taking control of our thoughts to get control of our body.  Many of us constantly bemoan our butts, our stomach’s, our thighs, and our batwings. Constantly.

How’s that negative thinking working?

A favorite quote, “What we think about, we bring about.”   More science, more chemistry; our brain LISTENS to our words and creates chemicals and structures in response to those words.  Seriously.

Constantly bemoaning our weight and our shape and our health is called STRESS.  “Stress” is a chemical state in our body that’s really only good if we need to run away from a bad guy or perform a heroic feat.  Other than that, it works against us. (Actually, there’s more to the stress story.  “Temporary” stress can help us solve problems and get out of jams. It’s “Chronic” stress that hurts us – and makes us fat.)

A stressed-out state, for ANY reason (mental, physical, emotional, REAL OR FAKE), causes the same chemical response: an increase in hormones that dump lots of SUGAR into the blood stream.  Nothing is easier and faster for our cells to use in an emergency than sugar.  Not fat, not protein, but SUGAR.

When we feel stressed from a kid or a spouse or a co-worker or traffic or from agonizing over our weight or stressing about food or exercise, our glands squirt FIGHT AND FLIGHT HORMONES (chemicals) into our blood stream.

These hormones do a number on us:

– they inhibit fat burning in cells (never good for healthy body weight!)

– they dump loads of sugar/glucose from the liver into the blood

– they break down muscle tissue to convert to glucose (fitness friends, take note – we want that muscle!)

– they make us hungry and crave more sugar – just in case the stress is chronic (“stress eating”)

– they slow down the thyroid (not a priority), slow down digestion (not a priority), slow down sex hormone production (not a priority)

– they suppress the immune system (not a priority, and this is why stress is associated with being sick more often)

And that’s just the starter list!  The gist:  Stress Makes Us Fat and Sick, not lean and healthy.

I know I already said this, but I’m saying it again:  stressing over our weight or our food or our workouts is EXACTLY the same as stressing over a bad guy or money or a fight.  Stress is stress is stress is stress.  The same chemicals are released into the body.

Action Plan to Combat Stressing About Our Fat:

1) Quit comparing ourselves to any woman on a magazine cover.  I quit buying women’s magazines 15 years ago.  I didn’t want my 4 daughters influenced by those faked and unrealistic images. Woo-hoo! FREEDOM.  Seriously, have you ever googled what they do to those cover images to make them look so perfect?

Having those images around is like having our favorite trigger food in the pantry.  Bad stuff happens.  Set yourself up for success and control your surroundings as much as possible.

Temptations CAUSE stress.  Get rid of them.

2) Quit comparing ourselves to anyone at the gym, or in our circles, who has a better body than us.  STOP IT.  What a waste of a brain space!  And it’s stressful!  We have friends and family who need our help and our prayers.  We have a home and jobs and people who need our attention. There’s turmoil and starvation and war going on, and we’re stressing about our butt and our weight?  Let’s focus on important issues.

The Bible says to focus on Love, Joy, Appreciation, and Gratitude.  Meditation books say the same thing.  What we focus on has a CHEMICAL CONSEQUENCE.  (Hey!  Food also has chemical consequences!)

3) DEEP BREATHING.  Humming.  Singing. Breath Patterns.  Yep, really. For weight loss!  These actions stimulate our Vagus Nerve, the nerve that runs from the brain stem to every organ in our body.  When we stimulate it with deep breath, humming, and singing, it releases Happy Chemicals.

This is the polar opposite of our Fight and Flight/Sympathetic nervous system, which is the system that releases cortisol, adrenalin, and more.

The Vagus Nerve releases chemicals that actually benefit our DNA, and make our brain more creative, problem solving, and powerful.   Fight/flight chemicals (chronically produced) damage our DNA and inhibit problem solving and creativeness.

Fight/fight chemicals also deplete our willpower.

The Vagus Nerve meanders all the way into the belly; spreading fibers to the tongue, pharynx, vocal chords, lungs, heart, stomach, intestines and glands that produce the anti-stress enzymes and hormones: Acetylcholine, Prolactin, Vasopressin, and Oxytocin. These chemicals make digestion, metabolism and relaxation BETTER.

They even make us poop better!

4) Gratitude, appreciation, love for your body. Yes, you need these for weight loss.  Honestly, even a year ago, I wouldn’t have written that.  I’ve read this, been taught this, for years, but it never sunk in.  I’m wired pretty happy, so I never thought I needed this advice.  I was wrong.  We all need this advice.

Again, stressing over our body, picking apart it’s “defects”, is just “stress”.  Stress is a chemical state that inhibits fat loss, and encourages fat deposition.

I really believe this explains the strict diet and exercisers, who are just doing it for weight loss – not health, who never seem to lose weight.  

When we eat for health, our thought patterns are something like this:  “I haven’t had any fish in a few days and I really need that Omega 3.”  Or, “My throat hurts, I need some garlic.”  Or, “If I eat that, I’ll have bloat and foggy brain the rest of the day. Better stay away.” Eating for health means looking at food as Medicine, and it’s empowering!

Counting calories, measuring, white-knuckling up some willpower – NOT empowering.  At all.  It’s draining.

Try this: next time negative beliefs about your body consume your thoughts, stop them, and replace them with 5 different gratitudes about your body.

If you have difficulty thinking of 5 gratitudes, you’ve got a bigger problem than your weight!

Resource for improving your mind:  Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyers.

Learn more about the Vagus Nerve here.

Reinforce Food is Medicine here.

Go think about what you’re thinking about!

Part 1 of Summer Shape Up: Train Your Brain To Work For You.

20150530_094024I’ve been absent for 2 weeks from my blog and it’s killed me!  We’ve had 2 big graduations, parties, and extra travel; but the real reason has been that my computer died.

( Pic of our youngest daughter, Shelby, after her HS graduation, with me, and Amanda.)

Well, actually, my computer was killed by a coffee spill:(  But I finally have a new one and it’s working and all is well!

All is not well for several women who’ve emailed me in the IMG951389past 2 weeks, wanting a diet plan that’ll whip them into shape for Bathing Suit Season.  

(Pic of me and brother-in-law, Bryan, at the Juvenile Diabetes Walk in DC)

I’ve got “plans”; as that’s my job.  But here’s part of my goal: To teach that our thoughts are more important to health and weight loss than a food plan.  Honest.  Really.  It’s true.

Does this sound like you:  “I’m so fat, I’m barely going to eat.  I’m going to start every day off with either a fast, or a juice.  I’m going to workout at least 5 days a week, with sprints!  Lunch and dinner will be miniature!  Boiled chicken and steamed broccoli!  The weight will pour off, and I’ll look just like all the women on the magazine covers by the end of the month.  Woo-hoo for diets!”

Reality check:  statistically, about 100% of EVERYONE who goes on a diet gains the weight back; more than 50% gain more.

Have you heard the phrase, “Stop the insanity!” ?  STOP THE INSANITY!  Would the above plan take off weight?  ABSOLUTELY!  Would it stay off? No.

We’ve got to work on our mind; the mind’s the priority.  If we don’t train our mind to work for us, we’ll never stick to a healthy food plan, ever.  We won’t even make a healthy food plan;  we’ll make a dumb food plan that guarantees failure.

Real health and fitness, being a great weight, is about the actions we take every single day, cumulatively.  Little bursts of starvation or action have no positive results.

To stick to a healthy plan, we have to BELIEVE that food and exercise and thoughts matter, that they create us, because they do.  They really do.

20150530_094802(0)Bad foods (processed flours and sugars, chemicals, hydrogenated fats) make a bad body and a bad mind.  Nothing works right, and I’m not just talking fuzzy thinking or a big butt, which stink.  I’m talking Cancer, Heart Disease, Auto Immune Issues, Neurological Problems, Diabetes, Pain, Headaches, etc. You get the point.

( Meg, Shels, Macy, Manda after graduation )

I’m on a mission!  Food is Medicine or Food is Poison, and I want everyone to believe that so much that it affects our behavior.  This is important.  A belief that we need to lose weight is NEVER enough to effect permanent behavior change.  Never.

But a belief that Bad Food causes Cancer and Disease, in us and our children, now THAT can cause behavior change.

You know what else Bad Foods cause?  Bad decisions.  Our thoughts are actually structural.  Our thoughts and memories are literally made out of proteins.  They’re not little vaporous words floating through our mind, like in a cartoon.

Quality in, quality out.

These protein structures, aka memories, affect our decisions and attitudes.  Again, quality in, quality out.

Want productive thoughts that lead to healthy actions?  We need to be Intentional and Discipled about our health.  To be intentional and disciplined requires knowledge and application.  This is where most of us struggle, right?  Every single thing we give attention to, that we practice and focus on, grows.  If we practice and focus on training our thoughts to lead to healthy actions, we’ll lose weight and get healthy.

Honest.  It’s that simple.

But it’s not easy.  Most things valuable and good aren’t easy.  Should “easy” be a criteria for what we do?   Is that what we teach our kids?

The next few Posts I do are going to be on Training Our Brains for Healthy Behaviors – Every Day.  Not because I’m an expert at it, but because I’m a student of it.   Habits, behaviors, practiced and learned attitudes; I LOVE THAT STUFF!!  I can’t get enough of it!

When we train our mind to work for us and not against us, you know what we lose (in addition to weight!)?  STRESS.  If we believe that what we put in our mouth is going to make us tired, depressed, bitchy, bloated, sick, and fat, then there’s no decision-making-stress when that temptation is put in front of us.  A trained mind allows us to easily choose foods that are good for us.

Join me over the next few weeks as I really zero in on developing habits that lead to a lean and healthy body.  Anyone and everyone can do this.  Let’s commit to becoming the person we’ve always wanted to be.

“Take Control Of Your Habits, Take Control Of Your Life.”

“Successful People Are Simply Those With Successful Habits.”  Bryan Tracy

Part 2, with concrete action steps and mind-bending facts,  coming soon!

True Grit, Good Eating, and Lots of Pictures!

4 girls after walking cereOur #2 daughter, Amanda, just graduated from college this past weekend.  Graduation is a big deal for everyone, but this is extra special to us.

Amanda’s epileptic, and epilepsy and college aren’t very conducive; she did it anyway.  She graduated from UVa despite more seizures there cumulatively than she’s had since she was 7.  She worked through post seizure migraines and pain, pre-seizure aura’s, and memory loss due to cluster seizures.  She had more trips to the hospital than most people have in a life time.  She missed classes and had to deal with explaining – over and over again – to her professors why.

Some days she called home crying that staying at UVa didn’t seem possible, or healthy.  But she stayed, and she persevered through more obstacles than most of us will ever encounter.20150515_154723
amanda I on step FridayI don’t know why God choose Amanda for these trials.  I do know that coming out on the other end has made her really strong.

Last week, one of my friends put this on Facebook:  “On particularly rough days, when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%… that’s pretty good.”

That’s Amanda. She literally defines True Grit and No Excuses, and I’m so proud of her.

It’s easy to see how Epilepsy and Lifestyle are super related.  Seizures are20150516_115227 (1) triggered by dehydration, high and low blood sugar, alcohol, lack of sleep, stress, full moons, periods and God knows what else.  No one can control the moon, or a woman’s cycles, but food, water, alcohol, sleep and stress management, they’re all controllable. (Seizures can still have a mind of their own.)

Amanda has big, obvious results if she doesn’t manage her life carefully, but I want to venture that all of us have r20150516_094620esults from not managing our lives carefully: headaches, stomach problems, weight problems, auto-immune issues, fatigue, chronic disease, and pain. They’re just as connected to our day to day actions as Amanda’s seizures.

If my 23 year old daughter can own her health, we all can. Our health should be a priority, and the way we handle that priority doesn’t just affect us, it influences the children and friends and family who watch us.

Now for the Fun Stuff:  Pictures from the weekend in no chronological order, and details on how we stuck to Real Whole Food while traveling:)  20150516_192747 We were lucky to stay in the house of some friends – super lucky.  The house was a dream for me because I love old homes!  So much character!

I brought enough food that we ate all our meals at “home”. (I pretended all weekend that house was mine.)  For breakfast, we had eggs, chicken sausage, fruit, and cheese.  For lunch, we had lunch meats, cheese, saurkrauts, fruit, nuts, and paleo cookies.

20150516_184236It was the dinners that made the weekend!

We catered from a Charlottesville company called20150516_184253 dahcatering – they were FANTASTIC!  Organic and gluten free ingredients, lots of flavor, plenty of food, I can’t say enough good things.  They delivered everything on Friday and I just had to reheat each night.  Here’s a family pic of all of us, Amanda’s boyfriend Ian, my in-laws, and my niece Morgan.  It was party!

amanda and ian after diplomaThe first night we had salmon topped with pesto, a quinoa dish loaded with asparagus and herbs, 20150516_115513gluten free cornbread, and a huge spinach/strawberry/toasted almond/goat cheese salad.  The dessert: gluten free ginger cookies and Trickling Springs ice cream that I brought with us ( thank you dry ice!)

The second night we had chicken breasts stuffed with roasted peppers and mixed cheeses, topped with a mushroom/cream/white wine sauce, a GIANT bowl of roasted vegetables, roasted potatoes, polenta, and coconut macaroons with more Trickling Springs ice cream.

I believe good ice cream is essential to any celebration.

20150516_115035 (1)

Mark and Amanda after the morning ceremony.

amanda in cap gown

 

 

 

Amanda, as an “alumni”.

Ditch The Starchy Carbs and Paleo Indulgences to Get Rid of Winter Fluff

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve had several questions on “safe starches” and paleo indulgences. Here’s a Post with the 411 on both, and advice at the end for making it easier to get rid of winter weight gain.

If our starch is coming from a grain, as opposed to vegetables or fruit, I don’t think it’s safe – for most people.

If the grains contain the protein “gluten”, we’re ingesting one of the most common allergens out there. If we don’t see typical symptoms, like stomach ache or stuffy nose, that’s because food allergies, or food sensitivities, often manifest in sore joints, headaches, skin problems, fatigue, and auto-immune conditions.

The gluten protein is incredibly difficult to digest; humans don’t even have enzymes for gluten. Gluten goes thru the small intestine IN-completely digested, perforates the intestine wall, and leaks into the blood stream as a large protein. When our immune system sees the big proteins in the blood, it mounts an Immune Attack, and this can manifest as joint pain or an attack on different organs or systems. Pretty serious stuff.

What about gluten-free grains, such as kamult or spelt? They still contain “gliadins”. Gliadins, once digested, become “exorphins”, which are morphine-like compounds that bind to opiate receptors in the brain. Their effect is to cause Addictive Behavior, and Appetite Stimulation. This explains binges and eating way past full.

What about “healthy whole grains”, like buckwheat, quinoa, or millet? Look at their carb counts:

1/2 c oatmeal 29g carb

1/4 c wild rice 34g carb

2 oz wheat pilaf w orzo 40g carb

1/4c barley 32g carb

1/4c quinoa 30g carb

2oz whole wheat pasta 44g

Note that these serving are really, really, small; I mean, who eats a quarter cup?  Have you ever measured 2 oz of pasta?  I have.  It’s miniscule.

4 grams of carbs = 1 tsp of sugar.  2 ounces of pasta is 10 teaspoons of sugar.  Think about that.

Excess blood sugar is ALWAYS repackaged as triglycerides, always.  I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but high blood sugar is tied to every disease out there through the inflammation and glycatation it causes.  It’s also a big cause of Weight Gain.

Next, Paleo Indulgences.  I’m talking treats made with almond or coconut flour, plantains, honey, molasses, Swerve, chocolate, cream, nut butters, etc.  I’m going to call them P.I. for short, and if you need recipes, search Pintrest.

P.I.s are wonderful for kids. They’re practically a necessity when transitioning from a SAD ( standard american diet) to RWF (real whole food).  I LOVE a good paleo cookie or homemade ice cream. But unfortunately, and this is where I am right now, for weight loss, or just leaning out the Junk In The Trunk after a long winter, they need to either go, or be strictly limited.  Sad.

But summer clothes just don’t have the “hide the poochy stomach” ability that winter clothes do!

What to do? Set up your house/office so that temptations don’t trigger you.  Don’t buy anything that tempts you, because tempting food calls to us, loudly.  No lying that we’re buying something “for the kids”.  If it’s a temptation, it’s banned.  Treats need to be “treats”, and the definition of treat is: “an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.”  Once or twice a week is an out of ordinary event.  EVERY DAY IS NOT OUT OF THE ORDINARY.

Girlfriends, thanks to estrogen, a propensity for slow thyroid, very little testosterone, and high cortisol, we just don’t have tons of leeway for jumping off the path of a RWF, fairly low carb diet, if we want to be a healthy weight and feel great.  It’s the price of being a woman.

It doesn’t mean we have to starve or exercise a ton – as a matter of fact, that plan slows down thyroid hormones and raises cortisol – exactly what we don’t want.  But we do need to pay attention to the details:  TONS of vegetables, plenty of good meats and eggs, healthy fats, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, and some real dairy if we tolerate it.

Hours need to go by between meals so that Sugar Burning stops and Fat Burning happens.  Avoidance of foods that cause headaches, stomachaches, and skin problems is important; those symptoms are signs of inflammation, which raises cortisol, which inhibits fat burning.

So there’s my Sunday take on grainy carbs and paleo treats.  Have a wonderful Mother’s Day, and eat smart!

 

Will a Cleanse Fix PMS, Man Boobs, and Resistant Weight Loss? Yes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI get asked about cleanses all the time, literally.  Which ones are good, are they necessary, are the real,… you get the drift.  Here’s the facts, and trust me, this is interesting – and applicable to you, I promise.

First the Scoop, and then, every day Solutions.

Cleanses are Real, they’re Important, and they’re Necessary (I’ll explain why in a minute).  Unfortunately, “Cleanses” have been hijacked by the Diet Industry; when we think of a cleanse, we think of ingesting something that will make us poop away all the blubber in our stomach. Right?

That’s faulty reasoning. Delete it.  If our stomach has blubber on it, it’s not from impacted intestines, it’s Body Fat, and all the pooping in the world won’t reduce that.  

However, we could have excess body fat because our liver is Toxic, Sluggish, and Fatty.  Slow livers also impact our moods, our immune system, and our sex hormones. Struggling with any of that?

Our liver is the seat of our metabolism.  It performs between 400 and 500 jobs a day. It burns more calories than our muscles. It metabolizes fats, proteins, and carbs.  It filters every single chemical that goes in our mouth or our skin. It makes cholesterol.  It makes bile.  It breaks down all our old hormones.  It transports amino acids through the blood.  The list is endless; the point is:  guess what happens when it’s not working correctly?

Dr. Mark Hyman says we become “toxic waste dumps”.  I love that analogy!

 

Our liver deals with all the chemicals that we breath in, slather on, bath in, and ingest.  Some studies say that 80% of all liver toxicity is from pharmaceutical drugs.  Ever taken a Tylenol?  It’s the most popular drug in the US, and the #1 cause of Liver Failure.  More than 900 prescription drugs are known – it’s listed on their fact sheets – to cause damage to the liver.

Enough scare tactics.  What To Do About It?  I used to advise a liver cleanse once or twice a year, and I still do.  But I’ve expanded my thinking:  I personally cleanse my liver every day.  Every day I eat or drink Liver Loving Foods.  Every day I take herbs that are good and helpful for my liver.  Every day I avoid as many chemicals as possible.

I think of myself as a person in a row boat that has a leak in it.  The water (toxins) keep coming in, but I have buckets that I use to scoop the water out, so I don’t sink.  That’s what we need to do:  keep up with the constant assault of chemicals in our world.

By the way, anxiety, stress, depression, and anger, all the negative emotions, can have negative effects on our liver.  The Brain, the Nervous System, and the Liver are INTIMATELY connected.

Here’s some Cleanse Particulars: foods; herbs; with how-to’s on incorporating them; and actions that make a difference.

1)  Eliminate any and all Processed Foods.  Really.  #1 Thing To Do – quit putting chemicals, refined carbs, and toxic vegetable oils IN YOUR BODY.

2)  Use natural cleaning products.  Here’s a link to EWG’s Guide to what to use and what not to use.  MOMS: cancer, heart disease, auto-immune, behavior disorders – they’re all on the rise in our children.  Let’s protect our kids by investing time in learning about this.

3) Use make-up and skin care products that aren’t loaded with cancer causing chemicals.  Read this Post to learn what’s in Clinique lotion; a recipe for homemade lotions; and a link to EWG’s beauty data base to research everything you rub on your body.

Oddly, I still talk to people who think that what we rub on our body couldn’t possibly harm our liver or brain.  Wrong. Our skin is our bodies largest organ. It’s filled with pores.  There’s a fast and direct connection to our blood stream.  The blood goes through our liver and our brain.  Of course what we rub on our skin affects us!

4) Add these Foods to your grocery list, and use them every week:

* garlic * grapefruit * beets * carrots * leafy greens * green tea * avocados * olive oil * cruciferous vegetables * LIVER * cabbage * walnuts * turmeric * .

These foods contain specific nutrients the liver uses to break down chemicals, toxins, and old hormones, and convert them into something we can poop or pee out.

What about All Vegetable Diets, or Juice Fasts for cleansing?  I don’t recommend them.  The liver uses a LOT of amino acids to do it’s jobs.  Go too long without eating amino acids (proteins), and your body will break down MUSCLE TISSUE for the amino acids.   You don’t want to lose muscle tissue!

Do you have to eat all these foods every single day?  I have garlic, turmeric, and leafy greens every single day. I hate grapefruit, so I never eat it.  The other foods I rotate in.  Make the effort.

5) Herbs to incorporate, either through teas, or pills, or tinctures:

* milk thistle(I use Herb Pharm) * dandelion(tea, greens, or tincture/Herb Pharm) * chicory root(tea) * turmeric * yellow dock * chlorella ( I add to my smoothies).

There’re a lot of great herbs on the market.  Try your local health food store, or order from Mountain Rose Herbs, Yogi Teas, or Jon Barron.

Dr. Group has a great liver tincture, as does Herb Pharm.  I also like the Biotics 10 Day Cleanse and have used that several times.  Mark is finishing one up right now. Email me if you’re interested in that.

6) Sweat.  Seriously. Like, go to Bikram, or a hot yoga class once or twice a week, or a sauna. We can eliminate toxins through our pores – use that pathway!

7) Give Up The Alcohol.  Yes.  Do it.  Alcohol converts to fat that gets stored in the liver.  Alcohol contains “aromatase”, which converts testosterone to estrogen.  Alcohol contains fructose, which builds up as fat in the liver.  Alcohol raises blood sugar, which has to be converted into triglycerides in the liver.

Repeat This:  Alcohol is Liquid Donuts.

8) Pray and Meditate.  Remember I said there’s HUGE links between our moods, emotions, and our liver?  We’re a giant connection, and the enteric nervous system connects our brain to our liver and gut.  It’s important to get control of our minds, we need to “think about what we’re thinking about”.

9) Drink a TON of water.  All day.  The liver needs water not just for “flushing”, but also for doing it’s jobs.  We all know this, so make water a priority.  Fill a bunch of water bottles or pitchers at night or in the morning and get through them.  Add some lemon or lime if you want – they’re liver loving:)

Does this all make sense?  If we want to be vibrant, sharp, stable, and healthy, we need to do everything possible through our food and lifestyle to make that happen.  Nurturing our liver, every day, is a huge part of the puzzle.  Take these ideas, read the links, and invest time in learning how your body functions.

 

5 Fun Drink Recipes To Improve Weight, Energy, and Inflammation

debbie (27)Great weight, good energy, and optimum health? Oh yeah, they’re important. If you read this blog, you know it’s not a low calorie, low fat diet that makes Health,.. it’s Nutrients; and we get Nutrients from our food. That’s why I’m such a Real Whole Foodie.

Here’s the thing though, it’s more than eating good fats, good proteins, and a ton of Vegetables. Real nutritional powerhouses are Herbs and Spices, and if we want to “up our game”, we need to learn how to incorporate them into our every day life.   The problem: herbs and spices scare people.

Don’t Panic! I get comments all the time like: “I don’t know how to use herbs.” “I don’t know which herbs or spices taste good”, and, ” I don’t have time to do those big recipes that have herbs and spices Debbie, I’m busy!”.
It’s okay! Busy people can be healthy too. Everything’s a journey, right?

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, and that’s how you’re going to approach eating healthy every day. Everything’s only difficult until it’s routine. Then it’s no big deal.

Consider this: (1) We Americans grow up with pretty Bland Tastes: we want sweet, or we want salty. We were raised that way, and for the most part, we’re raising our kids that way. This isn’t working out very well. And (2) we’ve been convinced that Nutrition and Health come from a Pill, a doctor, or Processed Food products with tricky names, like “Ensure”. (Check out the ingredient list of ensure at the end of this Post.) Awareness is a big part of the battle, right?

Here’s a short primer on a handful of herbs and spices, and ideas on how to use them.  If I can do it, you can do it. I was brought up on salt, pepper and sugar, like all good American farm girls. I evolved though, and you can too. Here’s some super delicious (HONEST) recipes to up your nutrition:

20150426_082054This is my Ginger Juice:)
I make this several days a week and put a little in our teas and our waters. It’s simple: buy big, knobby ginger, cut off a piece, peel it, and then chop it into little pieces. Put the pieces in a jar, and fill the jar with hot water. I let this sit and steep over night. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory, great for digestion, and stomach upset. I always make sure to chew and swallow a piece or two also, I’ve grown to appreciate the bite. Ginger’s a great source of iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.

This is a morning smoothie. Smoothies can be SIMPLE (base, fruit, and ice), or smoothies can be vehicles for piling on the nutrients, which is what I do! This smoothie has 2 raw eggs, coconut milk, greens powder, cinnamon, nutmeg,smoothie411 and frozen berries. My smoothies change daily, and I try to keep a mental list of what I use one day so I can switch it around a little the next. Green powder is great for the liver, and now we’re finding that the chlorophyl in greens powder actually helps our cells make energy – just like it does for plants- THAT IS SO COOL! Cinnamon is great for lowering blood sugar, and fighting certain virus and fungi; and nutmeg boosts the immune system, and benefits the blood and skin.

This is Megan’s “Golden Milk” drink. The ingredients: Coconut milk, turmeric, vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne, ghee/butter, and Maca. (Pimage (1)roof that our example matters, right?) Here’s some “whys”: Turmeric is super duper Anti-inflammatory, and multiple ( THOUSANDS ) of studies show it’s benefits in cancer, cystic fibrosis, heart health, and and more.   **Turmeric can be off-putting for those of us not used to it’s flavor. I eased my way into the taste by using Garam Marsala and Curry, two spice mixes that incorporateimage Turmeric, but are less pungent.  While I still LOVE, and use, those spices, I’ve also come to love the taste of turmeric.

Vanilla’s shockingly healthy! It has loads of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which means it not only feeds our cells, but can reverse oxidative damage to our cells, much like turmeric. Cayenne’s another powerhouse: weight loss, digestion, throat congestion, heart disease, the list goes on and on. And Maca, have you heard of that? That’s a herbal “adaptogen” That means it makes hormones “normal”, and who doesn’t need normal hormones? Seems like most of us are walking around with totally Crazy Hormones.

20150224_144352 (1)Next, here’s a tea I make in my French Press: black tea, whole cloves, ginger, and slippery elm. Cloves are very anti fungal, anti bacterial, and anti viral, they’re strong. They’re also indicated in fighting cancer, protecting the liver, and fighting mouth disease. The slippery elm has been my new go-to since last fall. Slippery elm helps the body build mucus ( YES – we need mucus. Delete the TV commercials that picture mucus as Bad Bugs out to get us. Reality: when we’re sick, mucus is instrumental in getting the Bad Stuff out of our body. Plus, several parts of our body are supposed to be lined with mucus, like our throat, our stomach, and our lungs. When we don’t have enough mucus, bad stuff happens.) I started using Slippery Elm (and marshmallow root) this fall, most days of the week. For the first time since high school, I didn’t lose my voice once this past winter, nor get a scratchy throat. Slippery elm (and marshmallow root) help the body build it mucus where it needs it.

20150422_140548And finally, here’s one of my favorite afternoon drinks:  In my french press I mix decaf coffee, cocoa beans, coconut flakes, and then usually turmeric, and here I added Ashwagandha.   THIS IS SO GOOD.   ** My decaf is “Swiss Water” decaffeinated, and it matters.  If you’re not drinking Swiss Water decaffeinated coffee, you’re drinking chemically decaffeinated coffee.  Not only do you drink those chemicals, but studies show chemically decaffeinated coffee isn’t nearly as caffeine free as you may think.  Swiss Water is a patented process that only uses water to decaffeinate, and strips out almost 100% of the caffeine.

Coffee is a Nutritional Powerhouse, so is Cocoa.  The phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, are abundant.  So are the health benefits.

Ashwangandha’s another “adaptogen”; it benefits thyroid and adrenal function. It’s also supposed to reduce brain cell degeneration – I need that!

Did you notice that I used the word “anti-inflammatory” often? Let me link anti-inflammatory and weight loss:  If we can’t lose weight despite working out and eating fairly well, it’s probably because our cells are “inflamed” with either Insulin or Leptin Resistance.  When the cell is inflamed, all the doors on the cell that open for nutrients, are instead, shut.  These anti-inflammatory herbs and spices can help reverse that, and correct cell metabolism so that nutrients can get in and be “burned”, which is a dumb term, but paints a good picture.

My point: anti-inflammatory foods aren’t just for sore joints, and bad stomachs, and chronic disease; they have a profound effect on our metabolism.  Who doesn’t want a better metabolism?

Honestly everyone, there’s a whole new world out there to explore when you start diving into to the components of food, and learn how they benefit our body.

When we get sick, or fat, or run down, we’re not missing a medication.  Think about that:  we’re not LOW on meds.  We’re low on Nutrients that our body uses to function, and build, and repair.  It’s so worth the effort to learn a little bit every day of how our body works and what we can do to make it better.

We’re not a Math Equation, we’re a Chemistry Set.  Food is Medicine, or Food is Poison;  our health, our weight, our energy is the cumulative result of what we do every day, day in, day out.  Make choices that produce great end results, and see your health and weight and energy improve day by day, month by month, year by year.

References and Resources:

Check out Drug and Herb Interactions here: www.standardprocess.com/MediHerb-Document-Library/Catalog-Files/herb-drug-interaction-chart.pdf

Research Herbs and Foods here:

www.greenmedinfo.com

www.organicfacts.net

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed

Learn about Swiss Water Decaf:

http://www.swisswater.com/consumer/swiss-water-process

And the Health Benefits of Coffee and Cocoa Beans:

http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-cocoa.html

http://authoritynutrition.com/why-is-coffee-good-for-you/

Great Place To Buy Herbs: www.mountainroseherbs.com

Ashwagandha Benefits: www.draxe/ashwagandha

Finally, look at the ingredients in Conventional Medicine’s healthy drink: Ensure.  Hint, it’s disgusting.  www.rocksolidnutritionandwellness.com/how-to-really-lose-weight-it’s-not-by-dieting-and-a-looks-healthy-but-isn’t

Want To Lose Weight? Ditch the Dumb Mini Meal!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s Spring and I have several clients who want to lose weight by summer.  Many of them have been eating 5 to 6 times a day, as suggested by their doctor, their weight loss center, or some book they’ve read.

I hate the Mini Meal Plan! If you want to lose weight, the constant grazing just has to stop.

Years of Diet and Supplement companies advising us to eat 5 or 6 times a day to “speed up our metabolism” has been disproven -scientifically – over and over.  Unfortunately, the “eat all day long” idea has taken hold; that’s an exciting thought for Foodies! But how’s that working out for health and weight loss? Not so well, and no wonder.

Mini meals don’t speed up metabolism. If you eat 2000 calories in a day, divided by 3 meals or 6, it takes the same amount of energy (thermogenesis) to digest that food. Sadly, thermogenesis doesn’t actually account for much of our calorie burn at all, so as a weight loss tool, it’s ineffectual. As a weight GAIN tool, multiple meals are perfect! The habit of eating all day is pleasurable for our brain to establish. For everyone who’s tried this form of eating, you know that dependency and excitement about the next meal becomes a happy mental focal point.

Mini-meals cause eating to happen whether there’s hunger or not. Eating happens because “it’s time to eat”.

I recently heard an interesting study on Flight Attendants who smoked.  They were questioned as to when their desire for a cigarette started to well up while on their flights.  The answer:  the duration of the flight had nothing to do with wanting a cigarette, but how close they were to landing, and actually being able to smoke, was what triggered the wanting.

Apply that to food, and constant mini-meals:  the schedule, or thought that your next meal is right around the corner, produces a desire and excitement for eating.  So does plummeting blood sugar.  Join mini-meals with high carb “snacks” ( like most diet bars or shakes ), and you’ve got a problem: constant glucose/sugar in the blood stream, going up up up, and then crashing down down down.

By the way, who does benefit from Mini Meals?  The Diet, Supplement, and Food Industry.  Snacking is a multi-BILLION dollar business.

Snacking was pretty much unheard of for Adult Americans until the early 1970s.  Hmm, that’s about the same time Weight Gain started to ramp up!  Until then, snacking was considered something only for young and growing children.

Quick Review:  Carbs are digested to blood sugar/glucose.  When glucose is present in amounts over 100mg/dcl, that’s considered TOO MUCH GLUCOSE in the blood (remember: excess glucose is TOXIC to the body). Your pancreas releases the hormone Insulin, which takes the excess glucose and (1) puts it in needy muscle cells, or (2) puts in empty liver cells, or (3) takes all the leftovers and remakes the glucose into TRIGLYCERIDES.  Triglycerides are FATTY ACIDS.

Say out loud to yourself:  “Excess sugar and carbs are turned into body fat.”

Wonder if this is happening to you? Look down at your stomach. The body deposits most of these homemade triglycerides in the abdominal area. In addition to belly fat, excess glucose and excess insulin dramatically create/cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to absolutely every single chronic disease and condition out there, including weight gain.

Here’s my approach: we only eat 3 meals a day; we eat mostly healthy fats and proteins, tons of vegetables, some fruits, some nuts and seeds, some whole fat dairy, our blood sugar/glucose stays under 100, we go hours WITHOUT insulin in our blood.

****Then our pancreas releases the hormone GLUCAGON. Glucagon “taps” the fat cells holding those triglycerides, takes them to the liver, which remakes them into glucose for the body to burn. Now we’ve literally “burned fat”.

What about “crashing”?  Please don’t worry that you’ll “crash your metabolism” if you don’t eat every couple of hours. That’s ridiculous. Your metabolism is at the mercy of your HORMONES; the hormone Insulin BUILDS, the hormone glucagon TEARS DOWN. Anabolic and Catabolic. ( We’re a Chemistry Set, not a math equation. )

Worried because you can’t seem to go more than a few hours without STARVING?

Two reasons.  1) You’re a sugar burner. Sugar burners have created systems for digesting and storing sugar/glucose, and because that system runs so fast, you’re genuinely hungry all the time. Fat Burners can go HOURS without feeling hungry, even through hard workouts. IT FEELS GREAT TO BE A FAT BURNER. Honestly! For years I was a 5/6 mini-meal a dayer. What a pain in the butt.

2) You’re addicted to either food or eating, or both.  :(

Either way, get in touch with me.

Anyone and everyone can break the patterns and habits that have led to weight gain, fatigue, and inflammation.  Everyone.  It’s Mid April, you could be a rock star in a few months if you start now.  You could be a whole new person by Christmas!  

Food is Medicine or Food Is Poison.  Let me teach you how to make Food your Friend.