Archive for October 31, 2013

Think Your Way To Health and Weight Success; and Cholesterol Facts

debbie (27)I’ve had an unusual number of cholesterol questions in the past week, and I just gave a talk on cholesterol yesterday, so it’s “on the brain”.  There’s just so much MISinformation out there about cholesterol, most of it perpetuated by pharmaceutical companies ( statins bring in 29 BILLION a YEAR), and many doctors, who’ve been taught to believe that total cholesterol is very important, and that all LDL is bad.

In the words of Wheatbelly doctor, William Davis, that would be fine if it were 1963.  But it’s 2013, and science has shown us that total cholesterol is a HORRIBLE predictor of heart disease. In 2013, MUCH better predictors of your heart health are (1) your triglyceride/HDL ratio (should be less than 3.5 for men, and less than 2.5 for women),  (2) your blood sugar level/insulin level (excess glucose and excess insulin damage arteries and organs like the heart),  (3) your A1C, which shows an average of your past 90 days of blood sugar, and is indicative of heart disease, diabetes, and possible neurological problems (think Alzheimers and Dementia).  There’s other risk factors, like the amount of chemicals you ingest, slather on, or breath in, and the amount of trans fat you eat, but those are hard to measure.

Why shouldn’t you worry about cholesterol?  Because you’d DIE without it – it’s that necessary. The body uses cholesterol to make all our adrenal hormones and sex hormones, Vitamin D, bile salts, myelin sheaths, cell membranes, and includes it in “healing patches” when damage occurs.   As a matter of fact, if you takes steps to lower it with statins, you’re putting yourself at risk for diabetes (statins cause blood sugar levels to rise and muscle cells to become insulin resistant),  muscle pains, impotence, dementia, cataracts, kidney and liver problems, cancer, and weight gain (thanks to the insulin resistance and blood sugar rise).

Instead of falling for the party line, if your total cholesterol or LDL has come back high, think of WHY that might be.  Did you just have an illness, or a stressful event?  Because if you did, your liver made MORE cholesterol so your body could ramp up it’s immune system ( cholesterol is an ANTIOXIDANT and HEALING MOLECULE); stress would have induced the adrenals to produce more cortisol and other “fight or flight” hormones, which are made from cholesterol.  Or maybe your body is trying to heal you with Vitamin D ( made from cholesterol).  There’s a lot of reasons your body makes cholesterol.  It’s NORMAL.  Damaged cholesterol is what’s dangerous.

Here’s something most people don’t know:  LDL and HDL do NOT equal Cholesterol.  Cholesterol is a fatty substance, and lipoproteins are lipoproteins;  lipoproteins CARRY cholesterol inside of them.  Low density Lipoproteins (LDLs) also carry triglycerides, steroids, fat soluble vitamins, and anything else that’s fat soluble,  through the blood, to wherever they need to go.

cholesterol mythAll LDL is NOT bad.  If we need more cholesterol to make more hormones, more vitamin D, more myelin shealths in the brain so our brains cells can communicate, LDL is going to get it there.  However, OXIDIZED, DAMAGED LDL is bad.  How does it get damaged?  Glucose/blood sugar, toxins(cigarettes, chemicals in foods,..), and trans fats.

Please, learn about cholesterol.  Learn how to make your Heart Healthy – for real.  There’s so much information and if you learn it, you’ll be able to go to your doctor and comfortably assert that no, you’re not going to get on a statin just because your total cholesterol is 201, or 220.  Read Cholesterol Clarity, Grain Brain, or Cholesterol Myths.  Get on sites by forward thinking doctors and scientists who are practicing according to 2013 facts. (here’s one) .  Listen to podcasts, like this one by Dr. Cate Shanahan on The Truth about Statins and Cholesterol.  Become your own best health advocate.  You can do this!

And that leads me to my title today, think your way to health and weight success.  I’ve heard too many times now, “oh, I just can’t give up bread”  ” I could never give up pasta”  I HAVE to have desserts/sweets every day”  ” I could NEVER give up my wine”, etc etc etc.   Oh my gosh.  If your kids tell you “I can’t learn to read”, “I can’t get my times tables”, “I’ll never understand Algebra 1/Geometry/Algebra 2”,  “this class is too hard, I’ll never get higher than a D” waa waa waa.  You’d never accept that, because you know it’s not true.  Why don’t you apply that same logic to yourself?  Lot’s of people don’t eat bread or pasta or dessert or drink wine.  Lots of people shop, plan, pack, and cook.  Normal, regular , busy people.

Henry Ford has one of my favorite quotes ever:  “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”.   He said that decades ago, but wow, was he ahead of his time.  Neuroscience has advanced to a degree where technology has made it possible to actually SEE how our thoughts change our brain, instantly.   Our thoughts affect our neurotransmitters (serotonin, gaba, dopamine..), and we CAN control our thoughts if we practice.  A lot.

Instead of “preparing” to blow it because “it’s the weekend”, or “you’re traveling”, or “you’ve had dr suessa hard week”, or “there’s no time to cook”, figure out the action steps and then plan to succeed.  No time to cook?  Go to the store and buy already prepared meats and vegetables, then cook up at home.  Become a whiz with your crockpot; make giant batches and freeze.   Traveling?  Bring food in coolers, or baggies (nuts, fruits, seeds, they all travel well).  Weekend binges ? They can take 3 or 4 days to atone for – trust me, I did that for years. It’s miserable.  Learn to de-stress after a hard week with a hike, yoga, movies, books, naps, things that actually make you feel better when they’re over instead of worse.

Here’s another favorite quote, from the Paleo Mom, “it’s only effort until it becomes habit”.  You can change your patterns and make new patterns.  Other people do, you can too, I promise.

Back to cholesterol levels and heart disease!  Here’s a ONE minute video by Dr. Malcolm Kendrink who in ONE minute, debunks the whole “cholesterol/heart disease” paradigm.  Please watch this – it’s very eye opening.

PMS, Bone Health, Women’s Issues?

debbie (43)Went to a Woman’s Health Seminar yesterday and it was excellent:)    We heard about PMS, Menopause, Weight Gain, Bone Health, and the (lack) of sexual desire so many women feel  that it’s the subject of a zillion jokes and pretty much accepted as “normal”.

Here’s the facts though:  PMS, bad Menopause symptoms, Weight Gain, Bone deterioration, and lack of sexual desire isn’t normal and you don’t need Magical Pills to help you get past it.

Once again, it’s ALL ABOUT DIET AND LIFESTYLE.  Your health, your mood, YOUR HORMONES, they’re the result of the Food You Eat, How You Manage Your Stress, Sleep, and Exercise.  There were no Big Reveals, Special Programs, or, like I said above, Magic Pills.   That’s okay though, because Your Health Is In Your Hands:  you have power and control over your physical and mental health, you just need to start exerting it!

PMS:  Low B vitamins and low magnesium stores will cause cramps and moodiness.  If you eat tons of carbs, you’ll burn through your B’s and Mag stores just processing/metabolizing the flours and the sugars.  You can supplement, but if your diet is Oatmeal/cereal/bagel forPMS breakfast, Starbucks midmorning, bagel/sandwich/pasta for lunch,  carby snack mid-afternoon, and then pasta/bread for dinner, then WINE,   there’s NO CORRECTING for that level of refined, processed carbohydrate ( whole wheat, whole grain, whatever, they’re reduced to Glucose/Sugar in your stomach.)

Menopause?   Some other countries don’t even have a word for that.  We’re special because we have some of the worst Peri – Menopause Symptoms In The World.  If you’ve spent your whole life eating  processed carbs, trans fats, and chemicals; drinking wine several nights a week, snacking enough that Insulin is never turned off; not managing your stress so that Cortisol is made Constantly – which means Raw Ingredients for other hormones go to Cortisol – then there is no supplement/pharmaceutical protocol that’s going to fix you.  Changing your diet will though.  So will adding exercise, going to bed hours before midnight, and managing stress.  Seriously.

Bone Health?  American’s eat more calcium, take more Vitamin D, more Bone Building Supplements, than ANY OTHER COUNTRY.  We have MORE osteoporotic fractures than ANY OTHER COUNTRY.  You can’t supplement your way out of a Carby Diet, Unmanaged Stress, Wine Every Night, Little Sleep, and No Exercise.   Just like Weight is ALL ABOUT THE HORMONES, so is your mood, your health, and your BONES.  If you have Glucose in the blood stream  ALL THE TIME ( see diet described above), bone health will be greatly affected.

Sexual Desire?  Doesn’t happen when you’re exhausted, adrenally depleted, have a slow thyroid, a liver that’s clogged, an unhappy attitude about your body, and loads of cortisol.  Again, there’s no Pill or Magic Formula to fix this.   But Lifestyle Works Every Time – honest.

We’ve got ESPN on this morning ( If my husbands home, it’s on.  It seems to have a goodbone fracture with drugs calming effect on him as he doesn’t even sit and watch it, he just enjoys having it in the background.)  So far there’ve been commercials for Doritos ( super happy people), Beer (super happy people), Prilosec ( Happy guy in front of a PILE of food;  Warning stayed on the screen for the duration:  Do Not Take More Than 14 Days.  That’s because it RUINS DIGESTION, REDUCES STOMACH ACID, and INHIBITS NUTRIENT ABSORPTION – it says that on the package too.) and then Cialis (happy people).

If you live your life according to Media Advertising,  this morning’s message is this:  Junk food is wonderful and makes you happy,  Alcohol is wonderful and makes your life better, and Drugs will help you with all the problems you encounter from your Junk Food and Alcohol consumption.

But that’s not true, at all.  Not for men, not for women, and not for children.

Your lifestyle choices Every Single Day are what make or break your health,.. every single day.  Take control of your life:  eliminate the processed grains and sugars,  read your labels so that you can avoid trans fats and chemicals too.  Don’t assume ANY FOOD that comes in a box or bag is healthy, even if it’s in the Health Section.   Do you drink Wine or Beer several nights a week?  Think of alcohol as Liquid Doughnuts, quit fooling yourself that there’s some health benefits, because there’s not.  Treat alcohol as a VERY OCCASIONAL treat; did you know that a serving size of wine is FOUR OUNCES????   Alcohol ruins stomach mucas/gut function, destroys the liver (which compromises about 60% of our Total Daily Calorie Burn), influences the body to convert everything consumed with the alcohol to be converted to fat, induces insulin to be released, damages neurons in the brain and I could go on and on and on, but let’s leave it at this:  Alcohol’s not healthy.

Sleep is IMPORTANT, and lack of sleep does a number on your hormones that lead to all kinds of illness and disease.  Make getting to bed and falling asleep – way before midnight – a priority.   Exercise is IMPORTANT,  you don’t have to do Cross Fit, or Interval Training, but you should move EVERY DAY.  Yoga / dance classes /  walking / 10 minutes on a bike and 10 minutes of lifting / whatever… it’s all good and your mind and body NEED it.    Stress Management:  Practice this.  Read about it, learn about it, focus on it.  If you live a life where stress in unavoidable, you need to learn mental and physical tricks to keep your Cortisol from constantly flooding your blood stream.   Think that’s impossible because  your life is so stressful?  Other people manage it, you can too.  It takes forethought, practice, and effort, just like planning/shopping/cooking and eating well.  But it’s totally do-able.

Our health is in our hands, from PMS, to Osteoporosis, to GERD, to Heart Health, to Diabetes, Cancer, Auto-Immune and everything else.    Practice the habits and actions that lead to Good Health, Good Hormones, and a Good Immune System.  Eat healthy fats and proteins, tons of vegetables, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, some whole fat dairy( if your stomach agrees).  Exercise or move every day.  Go to bed at a decent time.  Practice stress management techniques.  Drink plenty of water.  Avoid foods and people that are toxic ( some people need to be “mentally” avoided if you can’t avoid them physically).  Take your power and use it.    You can do this!


Weight Gain, Cancer, Depression,…Thanks, Aspartame.

debbie (27)I hear this all the time:  I just can’t stop drinking my diet ___, I know it’s not good for me, but it’s the only bad thing I do. (That’s code for:  I’m going to keep doing this no matter what.)  Sugar, flours, and trans fats, it’s easy to believe they’re bad for us.  But what about Diet Foods that are supposed to make us skinny, they must be good, right?  All the people you see advertising them look GREAT –  we want to look great – diet products seem like the logical answer.  But they’re not.  They’re deadly and addictive, and studies show that partakers AREN’T skinnier/leaner/thinner.  Let’s look at Aspartame, aka NutraSweet and Equal.

The evidence against Aspartame is vast, wide, and old.  It’s highly, highly linked to cancer, especially leukemia; it depletes the brain of Serotonin, which causes depression; it’s a “neurotoxin”, which means it stimulates brain cells – sometimes to death; it’s highly linked to migraines, seizures, and headaches and every neurological condition out there;  it has substances which break down to formaldehyde; and it stimulates areas of the brain which no diet cokemake you want more.  Diet Soda, Low fat Yogurts, Diet Bars, Diet Candy, Diet Ice Cream, Diet Cookies, it’s a given for most of these products.  But did you know it’s also in several foods that aren’t Diet products?   Sauces, crackers, CHEWING GUM ( 85% of ALL gum), and medicines?

Did you know that every time you give your child a children’s pain reliever such as Tylenol or Pediacare, you’re giving them a dose of Aspartame?  It’s also in Alka Seltzers, Zantacs, chewable vitamins, laxatives, and hundreds of other medicines.

tylenolThe FDA refuses to fully condemn it, but it’s reputation has taken a (deserving) hit.  Because of this hit, the company that market’s and owns Aspartame (Monsanto), will soon be marketing it under it’s new name:gums  AminoSweet.

Here’s the thing:  everything in moderation doesn’t apply to Poison.  A little tiny bit of poison does damage.  Every time.  Don’t be fooled by what you don’t see, because poison, and damage, accumulate.

Worried because you want to break your habits, but can’t?  That’s because when brain neurons create patterns, it’s very very hard to undo them.  You can help your children avoid poor health and (future) addictions by making sure everything they eat benefits their mind and body. You have a lot of power as a parent, and,.. that’s our job.     If you want to break your addictions/patterns/thoughts/habits, email me.  It takes a plan, conscious effort, and support.  Trust me.

coconut chipsOne more thing, recipes:  Toasted Coconut Chips.  O. M. Gosh.  These are amazing. Courtesy of my friend Gina:

1 bag Bobs Mill Large Coconut Chips

1/4 cup melted Ghee or butter (Ghee is butter that’s had all milk/water removed – it’s Super Butter)

1/4 tsp sea salt

Stir whole bag of chips around in bowl of melted Ghee till well coated. Sprinkle with salt.  Spread on a long pan/sheet, and toast at 325 for 30 minutes.  Every 6/7 minutes, you’ll need to toss/mix them well.  Keep an eye on them – you might need to reduce the heat. It’s normal that they brown a little.  These are HEAVEN !

Next, Plantain Muffins – Delicious and a great alternative to wheat flour, or even coconut or almond flour.  These are from the Paleo Mom, and this is directly from her site.  I used muffin cups because I hate washing the sides of those little pans.Paleo-Yorkshire-Puddings-1024x682

  • 2 large green plantains (1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups pureed)
  • eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • about 1/3 cup ghee/butter/palm shortening
  1. Put about 1/2 Tbsp of fat in the bottom of each cup of a metal muffin pan (silicone pans can’t handle this high heat).  Put muffin pan in oven and turn up heat to 450F.
  2. While you’re waiting for the oven and pan to preheat, peel the plantains.  I find this easiest to cut in half both lengthwise and crosswise (quartering the plantain) and then prying the peel off with my thumbs.  Combine the plantains, eggs, salt, and butter in a blender.  Blend on high for 3-5 minutes, until smooth and airy.  This takes less time in a high powered blender.  In my Blendtec, I pressed the smoothie button to puree the ingredients, then blended on 7 for an additional minute.  You get more air in your batter if your ingredients are room temperature.
  3. Remove the hot pan from the oven and pour batter into the muffin cups.  Put immediately into the oven and bake for 20 minutes

And that’s my words for today:)    I’ve got a Female Health Seminar all day Saturday, which I’m really looking forward too.  If you’ve got questions about that, email them to me, and I’ll keep my ear open for answers.  Eat Real Whole Foods!!


Cholesterol Clarity, and Some Recipes

debbie (22)There’s a lot of confusion and mis-information about Cholesterol, so let’s clear a few things up here:  The fat and cholesterol you eat does NOT go straight to your arteries and clog them.  That’s not how the body works AT ALL.  That’s a fear tactic pharmaceutical companies use to get you on their statins.  Cholesterol is a HEALING molecule, a major building block,  and an  antioxidant; it’s so VITAL to our body that God made EVERY SINGLE CELL IN OUR BODY produce it.  When you see a reading of your Total Cholesterol, your LIVER made most of that.  Very, very little of the cholesterol in our BLOOD comes from the food we eat.

Our brain needs TONS of cholesterol to function; our sex hormones are made from cholesterol, Vitamin D is made from cholesterol, bile is made from cholesterol; every time the body has an injury (say, a damaged artery from Insulin or toxic chemicals), the liver sends cholesterol to the site to Heal and Seal the damage. Even mental stress signals the body to produce more cholesterol.

Lipo-proteins are proteins that carry fat and cholesterol inside of them.  Low-Density Lipoproteins carry fats and cholesterol from the liver to other places in the body, and High Density Lipoproteins carry the waste products back to the liver.  Cholesterol does NOT equal lipo-proteins.  Measuring Lipoproteins is a way (some say an inaccurate way) of measuring the amount of cholesterol in your body.  Lipo-proteins are NOT ALL THE SAME.  Seven have  been identified so far; some are big, fluffy, and un-damaging, some are small, dense, and damaging.  Particle density tests can show the differences, but you’ll have to ask.  Otherwise, your doctor will prescribe the cholesterol test created in the 1970s to make a proclamation about your health.  Sound smart?

Cholesterol has been demonized, but that’s undeserved.  OXIDIZED cholesterol, and OXIDIZED lipoproteins, now they’re dangerous.  How do you Oxidize?  Lots of ways: eat sugars and flours that raise the blood sugar levels above normal;  eat Trans Fats; eat, breath, wear, or slather on chemicals that go right to the blood stream;  or flood your blood stream with Cortisol (your stress hormone),  as opposed to “managing” your stress via your mind, exercise, yoga, meditation, etc.

cholesterol clarityBottom line on clogged arteries?  Sugar and flours raise Insulin levels, increased insulin damages arteries, causes inflammation, completely shuts down fat burning in muscle cells, raises LDL and VLDL, and lowers HDL.   Trans fats and chemicals also increase inflammation and cause damage.  Our Food Matters; every bite we take either makes us healthier or sicker.

Cholesterol Clarity is a great, great book with the latest research from 28 Cardiologists and Lipid (fat) Researchers.  It’s an EASY read and honestly MIND BLOWING.   Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and Grain Brain by Dr. David Peremutter are also Must Reads.  If you care about your health, you must take your health into your Own Hands.   Learn how your body works.  No one cares about you, or your loved ones, as much as you do.

Let me end with a couple of recipes.  The first is some granola I had this weekend at an Energy workshop ( it was all about Quantum Physics and Cool Stuff), and it’s called Paleo Granola.  My friend Ginny made it and it might have been the most popular food there.  OMGosh.   Here’s the link:   The next recipe welemon-coconut-balls-sized made here Friday night when a couple of my college girls were home.  It’s called Keto Lemon Coconut Balls -AHHH! these were delicious! We used Creme Fraiche instead of cream cheese, and real lemon juice, and more coconut than it called for. (I can never stick to a recipe)  Can’t wait to make these again!

Eating well and being healthy doesn’t mean boiled chicken and steamed broccoli.  That’s called “dieting”, and dieting never works.  Instead, eat healthy fats and proteins, tons of vegetables, some fruits, some nuts and seeds, and some whole fat dairy (if your stomach says yes).  Eating well is delicious, and satisfying, and satiating.  Inflammation decreases, healing begins, and your brain will quit screaming at you to keep eating.  Eat Real Whole Foods.

Hop off the Diet Roller Coaster

debbie (43)I don’t know when you’ll be reading this, but I’m writing and posting it right before the weekend hits; it’s supposed to be Weekend Ammunition to Avoid Splurging/Bingeing/Blowing It.  I get a lot of emails about this, but I pull most of my understanding from my own years of weekend-blowing-it experience.  I’d plan my shopping and grocery list to include friday and saturday night treats, and day time treats; I couldn’t wait!  After a whole week of “dieting” / “being good”, I was starving!  Plus, it was a pattern I’d thoroughly established, and nurtured.

Now it’s different.  Now, I just eat well every single day.  My fairly high-fat, high-protein meals have definitely changed the way my brain works.  At 48, I have MORE energy, I’m LESS prone to food whims, and my recovery from workouts kind of amazes me; it’s fast. ( I’ve also added Systemic Enzymes to my supplement routine, which helps a lot.)

I’m finally feeding my body the nutrients it needs to build, repair, and thrive.  Those same nutrients allow my brain to focus on life instead of the next meal.  That’s the opposite of when I lived on high fiber cereal, skim milk, fat free yogurt and bagels, Diet Products, and salads.  Those are the food of death.  (dramatic I know,  but seriously, they’re processed foods loaded with simple carbohydrates, trans fats, and chemicals: the foods of death).

One of the questions I had this week in my Metabolism Class was “can I really lose weight eating high fat foods?”.  My answer:  YES.  Oh My Gosh Yes.  Foods that contain Real, Traditional Fats, i.e clean meats, coconut oils, butter from grass fed cows (Kerry Gold), olive oil, avocados, macadamia nut oil, etc, contain a ZILLION nutrients that make your body and brain run well.  Remember, our brain is 60% fat, our hormones are made from fat and cholesterol, the membrane of EVERY SINGLE CELL IN OUR BODY is made from fat and cholesterol, our bile acids are made from cholesterol, our immune system, our ability to absorb nutrients, these depend on fat and cholesterol.  Deprive your body of fat and cholesterol and see your health, mental and physical, take a nose dive.

Losing weight, feeling good; it’s not a matter of “low cal/low fat/exercise a ton”, it’s a matter of eat Real Whole Foods loaded with Nutrients, get your sleep, and handle your stress.  Hormones Rule; our hormones determine our weight, our moods, our health.  Diet lifestyles make for a horrible hormonal environment loaded with inflammation and one health problem after another.  Besides that, Diets Don’t Work:  studies show that almost 100% of EVERYONE who loses weight by dieting GAINS IT BACK.   Almost 100%.

I’ve got plenty of meals posted on my What I Eat page, but I still get asked about what I eat or why I eat certain foods.  Here’s yesterday’s meals:

Paul Newman Organic Vanilla Coffee w Raw Cream:  cream is LOADED with vit A/D/K, and healthy fats, and I think organic coffee’s a health food:)

B – Smoothie: chocolate whey protein (amino acids)/beets (good for my liver)/kale(loaded with nutrients)/cultured cream (beneficial bacteria plus more A/D/K, good fats like CLA)/blueberries(antioxidants)cinnamon/ginger(loaded with nutrients) water(can’t get enough) fish oil(Omega 3s-can’t taste this), collagen/gelatin (loaded with amino acids, glucosamine, chondroitin, msm: it’s from bones and joints/good stuff)

L- cod (left over from the night before, probably 4 oz, cooked in butter topped with rosemary, S&P),  coconut oil mixed with a little cocoa and stevia, and then frozen (the fats here are great for my brain and metabolism) All my lunches M-F I pack and eat in the car.

D – Mix: venison sausage/tomatoes/shitake mushrooms/onion/basil;  roasted sweet potatoes w/ butter, S&P

I alternate the whey in my morning smoothie with raw eggs (2) and cocoa/stevia.  Eggs are Nutrient Bombs, which when blended into a smoothie, raw, leaves all the nutrients in perfect condition;  you can’t taste the raw egg (you know, raw eggs are added to most homemade ice cream recipes, it just makes the mix “richer”). (ps: I get my eggs from a farm, not the store. I wouldn’t eat raw commercial eggs.)  I go back and forth between spinach and kale, and have even used  “green powders”.  I make sure I use one or two different spices and alternate between cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. When I’m on my period, I add Blackstrap Molassas for the Iron and minerals.   And of course, I use several different fruits, all frozen:  banana, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries. Sometimes I use Kombucha (fermented tea) or Keifer (cultured milk) instead of water – you can never get enough good bacteria!

So, after years of riding the Diet Crazy Train, I’ve hopped off.  Now I never count calories, or weigh my food;  I’m rarely EVER hungry between meals ( I love that!), I make Paleo treats and eat them without worrying.  I test my blood sugar to make sure it’s low/healthy, and I plan, shop, cook, and pack.  My stomach’s pretty flat, I don’t PMS, and I don’t castigate myself (anymore) for weekend binges that take 2 or 3 days to undue, because I don’t have weekend binges.  You can feel good too!  You can get off the diet roller coaster, be at a healthy weight, lower inflammation, strengthen your immune system, and have more level moods – HONEST.  Just eat Real Whole Foods: plenty of good fats and proteins, tons of vegetables, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, some whole dairy (if your stomach likes that).  You can change your health and your weight permanently.  I promise.

Salmonella, the Government Shut Down, and why You need MORE STOMACH ACID, not less.

debbie (44)Did anyone hear that’s there’s been a Salmonella outbreak since the Shut Down began?  Someone sent me an article that blamed it on a lack of inspections.  I’m placing the blame on Insufficient Stomach Acid. Let me explain, and bear with me.  Who reading this suffers with gas, bloat, stomach pain, reflux, and/or indigestion?  It’s pretty common.  Go to your doctor about it, or follow TV/Magazine Advertisement Advice, and you’ll likely think that an Antacid is your answer. After all, that pain must be from too much acid, right?  WRONG.  It’s most likely from NOT ENOUGH ACID.  If there were sufficient amounts of stomach acid, your food would digest quickly, like it’s supposed too, and move on.  If there’s insufficient acid, your food doesn’t digest quickly; instead, it’s lingers in the stomach rotting and fermenting and generally making you feel awful.

Acid suppressing drugs are Big Business, and doctors hand them out like candy, but trust me, they’re ruining your health.  Here’s why:

Our stomach should optimally be full of acid, ( HydraChloric Acid / HCl) .  If we were to measure that acid on a pH scale, it should be very, very acidic, somewhere in the range of 1.5 – 3.5.  That’s strong.  That would eat a hole in the floor, seriously.  God made us that way, and it’s actually a very clever design:  the high acid triggers all the rest of the digestive enzymes and hormones and processes that are needed to break your food down to the smallest little molecules possible.  Your carbs break down to glucose and fructose, your proteins break down to amino acids, and your fats break down to fatty acids.  If there’s sufficient HCl, enzymes, and digestive hormones, then all the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients are cleaved off and along with the carbs, proteins, and fats, are absorbed in the small intestine, and then passed through to the blood stream.  That’s as descriptive as I’ll get via Blog.  Via Skype/One on One/Group Talks, I can explain much more in-depth.

Inhibit stomach acid with either drugs (NSAIDS, antibiotics,  etc), foods (sugars and flours), stress/cortisol, or phosphates (in sodas, drinks, and processed foods), and Bad Stuff Happens:  B vitamins aren’t absorbed; minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and  magnesium aren’t absorbed (more than 100% increase in hip fractures for antacid users), proteins and fats aren’t broken down and available to our bones, brains, or organs;  vitamin A isn’t absorbed,  and so on and so on.  In other words, suppress stomach acids and Serious Nutritional Deficiencies Occur.  Guarantee.  That’s why ALL acid suppressing drugs have warnings on them advising that usage doesn’t exceed 14 DAYS and never more than 8 weeks.  Hmmmmm.

So how does this relate to Salmonella?  That’s a pathogenic / bad bacteria; in the presence of5 second rule sufficient stomach acid, Salmonella would be KILLED BY THE ACID.  Our stomach acid is actually a line of defense in our immune system. Most bacteria and virus (and fungus and parasites) can’t live more than 15 minutes in a properly acidic stomach.

Ask yourself this, why do some people fall victim to food poisoning, and others ( who ate the same food), don’t.  The body’s immune system either takes care of the Invaders, or it doesn’t. Again, strong stomach acid is part of our Immune system and we don’t want to do anything that would compromise it.

That said, what do you do if you have Reflux, Gerd, gas, bloat, and indigestion?  What if you’re already on antacid medicine?  Heal and seal the gut, change your diet, and examine the meds you take.  Our body wants to be well and is honestly HIGHLY capable of healing itself.  Often times, just removing “offenders” is good enough.  If it’s not, try adding Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s is a good brand), Aloe, green juices or green powders; if that’s not enough, you may need supplemental digestive enzymes or HCl; or some gut healing supplements.  Also, always consider a good probiotic, which replenishes good bacteria; and probiotic foods ( NOT sugary commercial yogurts – their sugar content’s are way too high) like keifer or saurkraut.

pyramid paleoOur health, physical and mental, is from the foods we eat, how we manage our stress, and our lifestyle choices.  No one is deficient in a pharmaceutical drug.  No one.

Focus on a diet full of Healthy Fats, Healthy Proteins, Tons of Vegetables, some fruits, some nuts and seeds, some dairy (if you stomach likes that), and see giant improvements in your health, and weight loss if you need it.  Eat for health, and weight loss is side effect.   Now go take a spoon full of coconut butter and call me in the morning:)


Got Impotence or Wrinkles? You’re a Sugar Burner. Plus, Nutritional Therapy Weekend

debbie (23)Does your body burn fat all day, or does it burn sugar/glucose all day?  That TOTALLY depends on your diet.  And I’m not talking about the Old Fashioned Conventional Wisdom Diet: eat low-fat, low-cal, and exercise a ton.  That diet is a Sugar Burning Diet;  there’s too much hard scientific research now showing that if we’re Sugar Burners, we’re setting ourselves up for disease, pain, and weight gain. Oh yeah, and Impotence and Wrinkles.  Who wants those??  Here’s what’s going on:

When you eat Carbohydrates ( pasta, fruit, starchy veggies, ALL GRAINS, beans, and skim milk products), your body breaks them down to GLUCOSE/SUGAR.  When your blood stream ( where all the glucose goes after digestion) becomes OVER full of glucose (easy, because it doesn’t take much), much of the EXCESS carbs are converted to Triglycerides, (a fat), and deposited in your fat cells.  IF ONLY THIS WERE THE EXTENT OF THOSE DARN EXCESS CARBS.  Fatness.  But it’s not….  When excess sugar is consumed, it takes the body a while to clear it from the blood stream back down to “normal” levels (80-100mg).  During that time, the excess sugar is literally wrecking havoc on your brain, your joints, your immune system, your mood, your organs, your nerve cells, and your blood vessels.  The damage accumulates slowly, but it’s happening.  100% guarantee.

What about the Impotence and Wrinkles?  When your blood sugar is chronically high, which is typical if you eat the Standard American Diet ( 5-6 meals of grains, sugars, and “low fat” foods), glucose is allowed to linger in the blood too long.  This give the Sugar/Glucose molecules the opportunity to attach to proteins ( in the blood, or on the body, like the cells lining your blood vessels, brain, joints, or skin, for example).  When this happens, it’s called an Advanced Glycated Endproduct (AGE); here’s where, Bad Stuff happens.   Cells in your Blood Vessels are unable to produce Nitric Oxide, and blood flow is impeded.  There’s your Impotence.

When it happens in the skin, the AGE’s attach to the protein Collagen; stiffness and lack of blood flow, and clumps of debris cause: wrinkles, inflammation, inhibited skin cell growth, liver spots, and general “accelerated aging”.

It always comes down to TOO MUCH SUGAR.  What if you don’t eat sugar?  What if you’re not bowl of pastaoverweight?  If you’re eating any amount of Carbohydrate ( whole grains/ whole wheat/flour products, or beans) they’re digested down to GLUCOSE/SUGAR. Period.  Each time/every time/all the time.  Our body breaks food down to it’s barest molecules. Always. You don’t need to eat “sugar” to have sugar in the blood.  Read above sentence.

Okay, back to Impotence and Wrinkles: they’re bad.  No one wants them.  But we’ve also got the fact that if you have elevated sugar/glucose in your blood, your body WON’T pull fat from your FAT STORES to burn for energy.  Even if you’re working out.  Sugar’s toxic, the body needs to clear it ASAP;  fat’s NOT toxic, so the body converts the excess sugar to fat and stores it.

Am I convincing you yet that you need to give up your bread and pasta?  Are you addicted??  Here’s a little clip from a show called Portlandia;  it’s about Pasta Addiction, and it’s maybe one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  You might relate.

I’m at a hotel for 3 days during my Nutritional Therapy Weekend, so I want to post my meals and workouts.

Yesterday: No Workout:(  Left the house too early and had to do homework first.

Paul Newman Coffee w Raw Cream
B – Smoothie w/beets/blueberries/whey protein/coconut flakes
L – (packed) chicken breast, apple, coconut butter w cocoa powder (see my last post for recipe)
D – (cooked in room on a plug in frying pan) 2 chicken thighs, fatty broth, chopped cabbage and cauliflower w curry powder (I’d put this in a baggie before I left home)  2 celery sticks with cauliflower hummus

I’m off to the gym now, but I don’t want to leave you thinking: damn, I’m in trouble.  A lot of damage can be reversed, honestly.  Start eating Real Whole Food Fats (they’re healthy), cut way down on your carbs (especially flours/grains and sugars), include healthy proteins and tons of vegetables, cook, pack, and practice paying attention to your food.  Read Practical Paleo or Grain Brain or any of the great “how to eat books and why” that are out there.  It’s never too late!    Let me know how you’re doing:)

Why I Eat Fat, and an Apology to my Husband

debbie (44)Our country, and much of the world, is suffering from an epidemic of obesity, all matters of disease, and mental/neurological problems.  I just finished reading an article in the Atlantic that blames the cause of these issues on fat,  “ is, in fact, fairly straightforward. Fat carries more than twice as many calories as carbohydrates and proteins do per gram, which means just a little fat can turn a serving of food into a calorie bomb.”   OMG.  This is 2013, and that’s not what the science is saying AT ALL.  But this is exactly the kind of thinking that’s gotten us into this weight/health/mental disorder mess.  Just because fat has twice as many calories, doesn’t mean it’s the CAUSE of our current condition. The lowfat/lowcal/”healthy whole grain” paradigm is exactly what’s caused the current condition.  Body fat wasn’t a problem at all before the current recommendations were put into place and became a Public Mantra.

FACTS:  Our brain is 60% fat; our connections, our memories, our ability to quickly recall details, they go AWAY when there’s not enough good fat and cholesterol in the diet.  Science proves this, read Grain Brain, by neurologist David Perlmutter.
Our hormones?  Testosterone, Estrogen, Cortisol, all the steroid hormones ( there’s a bunch), they’re made from FAT and cholesterol, it’s part of the recipe.   Vitamin D?  (of which there’s a serious deficit),  it’s made from Cholesterol.  Science proves this, read Cholesterol Clarity. 28 doctors and lipid scientists fill the pages with the latest research.cholesterol clarity

The fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K?  They can only be absorbed in the small intestine WITH FAT.  Science/proof/read The Great Cholesterol Myth by Drs. Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra.

Want to feel full, and stay full for HOURS?  Eat fat. Want to feel more stable, less moody, less scattered, less forgetful?  Eat fat.  The science proves this, read the Mood Cure by Julia Ross.

Here’s the real science:  when you eat carbs, and put your blood sugar above 100mg/dcl of blood, insulin takes that EXCESS and turns much of it into TRIGLYCERIDES, which need little LDL boats to transport them to our torso area. Current Science:  excess carbs = high insulin= inflammation & triglycerides & high LDLs.  That’s the science.

I’ve eaten more fat in the past two years than I think I have cumulatively my entire life.  For the first time in years and years, my binges and cravings are pretty much gone.  It’s like a thousand pound weight off my shoulder.  I’ve eaten less refined/processed/ healthy whole grain carbs than ever too.  What a WONDERFUL combination.  High fat, medium protein, low carb, with my carb sources being vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.  It’s such a relief to NOT feel preoccupied with thoughts of food, or the next meal.

My weight:  totally stable.  My moods, better than ever.  My fitness level, great.

Confession to my husband:  when you came home last night and said “I smell bacon! Did you save me some?” and I said, “oh hon, there were only 3 pieces, and I ate them.”  There were 6 pieces, and I actually did cook some for you, but I was talking on the phone with Lynda and just ended up eating them all. They were so good.  I’m Sorry!! There will be bacon for you tonight I promise!

We get our bacon from our local IGA, and they’ve been buying a “forested pig” and doing their own curing.  I never knew how much a pig’s diet could change the flavor of the meat, but this is AMAZING.  There’s plenty of places that are doing this now, try to find a place near you.

Let me leave you with a recipe for my favorite treat, chocolate coconut discs; but first, why coconut?  Coconut has enormous anti-viral/anti-bacterial properties, huge.  Seriously, put it on a cut or a cold sore and watch what happens.  It does the same with bacteria and virus that make it past the skin or mouth.  It’s also a Medium Chain Fatty Acid, which means it digests VERY easily, and is mostly used for energy very quickly, as opposed to stored.  It’s being very successfully used in Alzheimer’s and dementia studies right now, for actually REVERSING the conditions; but I like to think about it’s ability to PREVENT the conditions.  I make sure mygirls in richmond kids get coconut flakes, butter, or oil every day. It’s a pretty potent superfood.  Now for my recipe:  I melt a couple tablespoons of coconut butter/oil in a small round, glass bowl.  I add a tablespoon of cocoa powder, and a few drops of liquid stevia.  Stir, and freeze.  I have to let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to pop it out.  This is DELICIOUS, and incredibly filling.

Eating well is delicious.  Real Whole Foods taste amazing.  I’m not talking about steamed veggies and lean proteins.  That’s boring and unsatisfying; no one can stick with that forever!  But delicious meats and vegetables covered with butter, olive oil, and cheese? Or sauteed in coconut oil?  Even kids like that – and it’s good for them, and you too.

Tired of feeling tired, or sick, or unable to lose the weight?  Try a different way of thinking.  Try a different way of eating.  Just try it.  Get in touch with me if you have questions.  I promise, there is a better way. Don’t be scared to try it.

Satisfries and Jennifer Aniston: Part of a Plot?

burger king guyOh gosh, Burger King’s come out with a new french fry called Satisfries.  It’s supposed to have less calories because the crinkle cut inhibits some oil absorption.  The advertising blitz for this is centering on the premise that you can have your french fries without the guilt – it’s practically a Free Food!

UGH.  Satisfries, or any french fry, is a giant pile of quick digesting sugar/carbs, soaked in hydrogenated oil.  Talk about a triple whammy:  high carbs, high insulin, and hydrogenated oils:  cancer, heart disease, diabetes, brain fog, and weight gain (and that’s the short list!).  Every time you expose your body to this, a little bit of damage happens, and the damage builds up.  Parents, the damage happens inside your child’s body also, even if they’re lean and athletic.

What’s really annoying though is that Burger King is preying on the widely held belief that it’s all about the calories.  That’s their Buzz Line:  “40% Less Fat, 30% Less Calories”;  but  CALORIES MEAN NOTHING.  It’s the hormonal effect of food that makes or breaks us. sugar rollercoaster Counting calories is pointless.  The medium Satisfry is 340 calories, 14 grams of fat (all trans fat), and 51 grams of carbs.  51 !!!   That’s almost 13 TEASPOONS of sugar; when our blood sugar rises above 2 teaspoons, Insulin is released, and excess sugar/glucose is converted into Triglycerides to be stored. No satiety (which comes from hormones triggered in the brain) would happen; as a matter of fact, these foods were created in a lab to induce hunger/eating/the desire for more.   Let’s compare that to 340 calories of a burger, green beans, and cheese.  The beef, (let’s imagine grass fed – not soy/corn fed),  has a high Omega 3 content, and CLA (anti-cancer fatty acid), is about 200 calories for 4oz, zero carbs;  an ounce of cheddar has about 100 calories, zero carbs,  and a whole cup of green beans is 31 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrate.  Besides the serious nutritional differences, there are HORMONAL differences:  very, very, very little insulin would be released, and probably NO triglycerides produced and stored, with the second meal.  Satiety hormones would be triggered. You’d eat this and STOP EATING.  Your body and mind would say “okay”.  That doesn’t happen with Satisfries, or any psedo-food.

Here’s something else that’s bugging me:

I just saw something on my FaceBook page that made me cringe; an ad from Weight Watchers that pictures Jennifer Aniston and claims she “lost 6 pounds in 6 days following these Diet Rules.”  First of all, Jennifer Aniston’s skinny!  Where’d the 6 pounds come from?  Supposing smart onesit’s true though,  anyone can starve themselves for a few days and lose 6 pounds of water and muscle tissue. Wrestlers do it all the time.   Fat loss from little bouts of starvation however, is pretty rare.  The body is hesitant to give up fat because fat’s an easy keeper. If you choose to go super low calorie, the thyroid slows WAY down, and the brain and liver signal your muscle cells to decompose down to amino acids, which can be converted to blood sugar for energy.  Repeat:  low calorie eating causes muscle to be used for fuel.  NOOOOO!!!!

Now you’ve got a slower Thyroid, and less muscle tissue; NOT a permanent way to keep weight off.  As a matter of fact, after you “re-bound” eat, you’ll probably end up a little heavier than before your low cal attempt.

What does this Jennifer Aniston piece have to do with Satisfries?  It demonstrates that Big Food and Big Advertising and Big Business know that everyone wants to lose weight, and that most people believe that if they cut calories, the weight comes off.  So that’s the angle their debbie (29)marketing departments are advising.  Probably successfully.  But it just doesn’t work that way. Low fat, low calorie foods and plans DON’T WORK in the Long Run. Ever.  Statistically, almost 100% of everyone who loses weight on a Diet, gains it back.   You need a food plan you can sustain, that makes you healthy and happy and satisfied.  That’s what Real Whole Foods do for you.  Ditch the sugar, the flours, the trans fats, and the chemicals.  Plan, shop, cook in batches, pack. Eat plenty of healthy fats, healthy proteins, tons of vegetables, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, and some whole dairy( if your stomach likes that).   Focus on how you want to FEEL. Foods like Satisfries, or Weight Watches Frozen Meals don’t make you feel good afterwards.   Practice the habits that make you feel good, and the weight comes off.  Eat for health, and weight loss is a side effect.  Eat Real Whole Foods.  Check out my What I Eat Page for ideas.

Eat to Build Your Immune System, Reach Your Ideal Weight

debbie (22)Eat Healthy, and weight loss is a side effect – I swear!  In my last post, I wrote about what destroys immune function.  This is important as we’re heading into the typical cold and flu season.  The germs are all around us; some people will get sick, some people won’t.  It’s not a matter of whether you take medicine or not, that’s just suppressing symptoms after the fact.  It’s a matter of the strength of your Immune System.  Live to boost your immune system, and it’s the same as living to be at your best weight. (I get too many emails and questions about Weight Loss – I know it’s always an underlying concern for most people).

The most important thing to remember? Don’t suppress your immune system with excess carbs/sugars: 56% reduction of white blood cell activity within ONE hour; inhibits Vit C function; uses minerals and vitamins to metabolize that should be used to build immune system; inhibits fatty acids from properly building cells wells to keep virus and bacteria out; feeds pathogenic bacteria and virus.  ( that’s the short list, there’s more)

What can you do?? Eat foods that both feed the good bacteria in your digestive system (which house 80% of your Immune System), and nurture your bodies ability to keep building immune cells (think of them as soldiers, and our body uses the nutrients from the food we eat to build them).

Here’s a list:

Beef, Chicken, Pork, and cold water Fish:  if you get grass-fed (wild-caught for fish), they’re loaded with Omega 3s, (immune boosting, inflammation suppressing); all meats contain anti-viral/ anti-bacterial properties in their fats (check out this post).  The vitamins and minerals are COMPLIMENTARY , this means that all the co-factors to absorb them (such as  Zinc and the Bs) are PRESENT, as opposed to isolating them individually in supplements.

Coconut meats and oils are loaded with anti-viral/anti-bacterial properties.  Egg yolks are food:medicinenutritional powerhouses.  Grass-fed dairy is LOADED with Vitamin A, D, and K2, along with all the cofactors for absorption.

Remember, all those “fat-soluble” vitamins (A,D,E, and K)   NEED FAT TO BE ABSORBED AND USED.  Fat-free dairy??  Don’t eat it!  Not only are people who consume that stuff heavier than people who consume whole dairy, but the vitamins and minerals in dairy need fat to be utilized.  Period. There’s no getting around that because that’s how God designed it.

Butter (get Kerry Gold, it’s grass-fed and sold just about everywhere now): contains Butyric Acid, which is one of the favorite foods of the GOOD bacteria in your colon.

Cholesterol is hugely important for our immune system (remember, cholesterol is GOOD for you) as it’s a vital component of Vit D.   No/Low cholesterol, equals No/Low Vitamin D levels.  Get yours checked at your next appointment.

Herbs are incredibly powerful in boosting immune function:  Garlic (it needs to sit, crushed/chopped/raw/exposed to air, for about 10 minutes so that the necessary compounds can become activated);  Turmeric (OMG – powerhouse.  If you don’t like it in your food, take it in supplement form);  oregano oil (super anti-viral/anti-bacterial), olive leaf (immune building); cinnamon, and cloves.

Pro-biotics are always a good idea, but get them from a GOOD source.  Commercial, sweetened yogurts are NOT a good source.  SUGAR FEEDS BACTERIA.  Eat super sugary yogurts and you’re defeating the purpose.  Buy plain, and add fruit.  Teach your kids togerms appreciate “less sweet” – that’s a taste that will serve them well their whole lives.  Keifer (a pourable yogurt, that also has cultured yeasts along with the bacteria) is another wonderful food. (Full-Fat, and as little sugar as possible!!).

Kombucha’s being sold everywhere, that’s a fermented tea.  Cultured vegetables are becoming more available, like Bubbies Saurkraut and pickles.  IMPORTANT:  most pickles are just “pickled”, which means sitting in vinegar.  Culturing/fermenting means there’s been a bacterial agent added, which develops that kind of sour taste.

Probiotic supplements are ALWAYS good, but if you’re on antibiotics, you should probably wait til you’re finished with them.  If you don’t want to wait, make sure there’s HOURS between your antibiotic and your probiotic, or you’re just wasting your probiotic money.

Fruits and Vegetables??  A big YES.  Eat as many as you can, ESPECIALLY vegetables, so your carbs stay low. (too many carbs suppress them immune system)

Sleep and Water are HUGE for your immune system – both for it’s strength, and for recovery if you catch something.

Do you see what I mean about eating to build your immune system is the same as eating to be at your optimal weight?  It’s all about avoiding crappy poisons: sugars, flours, bad fats, and chemicals, and eating Real Whole Foods.

Hope to see you at the Metabolism Class.  Going from Sugar Burning to Fat Burning will also boost your immune system! Switch Your Metabolism Class: set for Mondays: Oct 7,14,21, 6 – 7:30pm;  and Wednesdays: Oct 9,16,23, 1 – 2:30.  The goal: to teach you how to be a Fat Burner and not a Sugar Burner.  We’ll cover the Paleo Diet, Digestion, Blood Sugar (you HAVE to understand your biology to lose weight and get healthy), Ketosis, Power Cooking, Compliance Strategies and much more.  The class will be held at the Marshall Community Center (4133A Rectortown Rd, Marshall Va), which is right off Rt 17 and Rt 66 – it’s easy to get to.  The total cost: $100.  My goal:  to help you understand that your weight and your health are a matter of your Biology, not a low cal/low fat diet that never works, ever; and that you have the Power to change yourself.  Email me if you can attend, or just show up at the door.  Phone and Skype sessions are available if you’re long distance.