Tag Archive for collagen

Bullet Proof Coffee, Hormones, and Weight Loss

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you haven’t heard of Bullet Proof Coffee (BPC) yet, you will soon.  It gets a lot of press, and the creator of BPC opened his first brick and mortar shop in California this winter.

Many of you have heard of it though, because I get asked about it all the time. I’ve been Bullet Proofing for a couple months now, but this Post isn’t an endorsement, it’s just information. (By the way, I haven’t given up my raw cream totally, I’m only BPing half the time.)  Here’s why, here’s what it is, here’s how you may need to tweak it, and here’s why it could totally, completely backfire on you.

BPC isn’t Dave Asprey’s brain child, he discovered it while climbing mountains in Tibet; apparently the Sherpas drink something similar (with yak dairy), eat very little, do strenuous work, and have great energy.  Dave had similar results and then brought the idea back to the US.  Wow, has that ever worked for him! (He’s built a pretty profitable empire)

What is BPC?  The general recipe is 2 cups of clean (mold free) coffee, blended with 2 tbsp of grass fed butter and 2 tbsp of MCT oil.  Other ingredients could be added, such as vanilla powder, coconut oil, or stevia, or even collagen, which I’ll cover later.  Oh, it’s supposed to be blended as opposed to just stirred; I use a little milk frother, but you could use a smoothie maker.

Will BPC work for you?  There’s a bunch of pro’s and cons here, and don’t for a second think that Bullet Proof Coffee is a Magic Bullet for any weight issues you’re having.  We’re a chemistry set, and there’s way more to our weight than a few good, or bad, choices.

Here’s some facts:

If you’re NOT adrenally fatigued, coffee’s good for you!  Antioxidants and polyphenols in coffee lower the risk for different cancers (prostate, liver, and colorectal).  Coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of developing diabetes T2.  Coffee’s nutrients and caffeine lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s by about 60%, and gives protective qualities against other neurological disorders, like Parkinson’s and dementia.  Coffee’s nutrients have liver protecting qualities.  And we all know about caffeine’s effects on energy, performance, and brain recall: good, good, and good.

What’s not to like?  Well, if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends so much that you use coffee all day long, and barely feel it’s effects, you’ve set up a hormonal situation that negates any benefit coffee could provide.  You probably need to go on a coffee detox, and abstain for a while until your adrenals hormones, thyroid hormones, sex hormones, leptin, and all your other hormones can normalize.  Sad news, I know.

More bad news on coffee?  It’s grown in tropical climates; mold and bugs are a big problem.  Fungicides, pesticides and herbicides are all sprayed very very heavily, so go organic.  The Bullet Proof brand is created with this in mind, and is clean and free of any of those poisons, but I’m sure many other brands are also.  BP’s a little pricy for me, but I do buy their decaf, which is done without chemicals as opposed to the highly chemical-ized typical way of separating the caffeine out of coffee.

My biggest Con – and it’s important and has to do with your weight – will be at the end.  Let me go over why BPC could be good for you first.

When we wake up in the morning, if we’re normal, we’ve been in a hormonal state that’s triggered our cells to use FATTY ACIDS for fuel instead of glucose (sugar).  If we’re normal, we haven’t eaten for several hours, our blood sugar is low, and our insulin levels are low.  This is why we’re using fatty acids for fuel:  low insulin.  Remember, when insulin’s in the blood – fat is never ever ever used for fuel.  Only sugar is.  Low insulin=fat burning.

How do you know if you’re not normal?  Lot’s of ways:  high fasting morning blood sugar, belly fat, and labs that show a high level of hsCRP.  High levels of hsCRP mean Leptin Resistance, which means ABNORMAL.  Pay attention here, because typical BPC protocols aren’t for you if these are your body signs.

BPC can be used two ways.  1) you can have a cup or 2 in the morning before your breakfast.    2) you can drink it all morning long until it’s been about 16 – 18 hours since you’ve had dinner, and then start eating.  It’s complicated and if you’re interested in the Bullet Proof Fasting, read up on it.  Links at the end of Post.

Benefits of BPC besides the benefits inherent in coffee?  If we avoid carbs in the morning, and just have the BPC, which is very high in FAT, we keep insulin low, blood sugar low, and Fat Burning Up.  As long as we don’t eat carbs, the Fat Burning Continues.  This is a good thing, and effective – if you’re normal.  High fat diets provide a lot of nutrients and have a great effect on our hormones; plus, our cells become good at burning fat/using fat for fuel when fat is a normal and substantial part of our diet.

BPC really does make you feel very alert, and it does have an effect on cravings via fat’s positive effects on satiety hormones.  Additionally, the nutrients in grass fed butter and MCT oil are very good for our brain, heart, and gut.

There’s plenty of antidotal evidence that BPC can help you lose weight and become mentally sharper. If you visit the site, you’ll see testimony’s by actors, doctors, and athletes singing it’s praises.

Still, it’s not for everyone, and like I said before, it’s not a Magic Weight Loss Bullet.  Here’s why.

First, BPC is based on the principle that a high fat or ketogenic diet is good for you, which I believe in and use myself.  I don’t eat sugar or grains and I haven’t for years.  No problem.  If you do eat sugar and grains and think you’re going to get away with BPC, you’re wrong.  Lots of carbs + lots of fat = Lots of Body Fat.

Who else shouldn’t rely on BPC as a meal, or try that 16/18 hour fast I mentioned above?  Food Addicts and Chronic Dieters.  BP fasts or efforts will most likely throw you into a food binge rebound, just like all your other diet attempts.  Don’t do it!  Addicts and Dieters need to practice normal meals with Real Whole Food, and no snacking.  Baby steps.

One more caveat:  we women, with all our wonderful, fluctuating hormones, may need to add some collagen to the coffee.  Remember collagen?  Lots of amino acids that are very different from the amino acids in muscle meats like burger, or dairy, like whey.  Again, it’s a long explanation, and there’s a lot of science behind it.  Check out the links if you want to explore farther.

What if you’re interested in BPing, but don’t like coffee?  There’s other ways.  You can use green tea, black tea, ground cocoa, or even vanilla powder.  Again, check out the links.

There you have it!  Bullet Proof explained.  And just to really nail it home:  Bullet Proof doesn’t equal Magic Bullet.  You still need to Sleep, Manage your Stress, Exercise, and eat Real Whole Food. Have a good week!







The PLAN; and Everything You Wanted To Know About Broth and Gelatin

talking about problemsDid you get a chance to read the last post on Changing Habitual Thoughts and Patterns?  If not, make sure you do.  It’s a theme I’m going to stick with for several weeks.  I want everyone to be able to quit the Negative Self Talk and Habits, switch to Positive Self Talk accompanied by Positive Action Steps, and see actual changes by January.  It’s all starts in the mind, so verbalize, write, and visualize the mantra from the last post:  ”Whatever the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve.  I take steps to be fit, healthy, and energetic.”

Now a quick post to answer a question I’ve had several times lately:  Where can I get  gelatin/bone broth/collagen, and why do I need it?

Here’s the scoop:  our body is FULL of a protein called Collagen. It’s everywhere:  it makes up our skin, our intestinal tract, artery lining,  stomach lining, cartilage and more.  Truly, it’s very abundant.  The breakdown of collagen, in our skin, our intestinal tract, cartilage, etc, is a big problem:  wrinkles and loss of elasticity in the skin, leaky gut, hardening of the arteries, arthritis, ……get the picture?

If we’re older, we don’t make collagen as well or as much as we used to.  If we have crappy diets that don’t supply the INGREDIENTS for collagen, we don’t make sufficient amounts; if we’re sick or compromised, we don’t make enough, and if we feed our body bad foods, we make bad collagen.

In other words, it’s pretty easy NOT to make enough collagen, or make BAD collagen.  That’s where bone broths and gelatins come in.  They’re LOADED with collagen, and all the cofactors to use and absorb it.

If you make homemade broth, make sure you’re simmering the bones, with a tbsp of vinegar, for at least 24 hours, 48 is even better.  Incorporate the broth into soups, stews, vegetables, fish, everything you can think of.  If you’re trying to heal a leaky gut, you should try to get at least 2 cups a day in, plain and warm and in a mug works well.    Don’t feel like making broth?  Check to see if any of the stores in your area that are selling LOCAL meats/cheeses/vegetables etc are also selling homemade broth ( commercial brands almost always have MSG).  If not, ordering online is always an option:  grassland beef.com, wisechoicemarket.com, and culturesforhealth.com are places to start.

Another option?  Buy dry, powdered Gelatin or Collagen, which is loaded with animo acids and highly absorbable.  I’ve been using the Great Lakes Gelatin for a few months now, literallygreat lakes putting it in everything from smoothies to casseroles to desserts and it’s AWESOME.   There’s NO taste whatsoever – literally.  It’s just amino acids and nutrients.  If you have a really compromised gut, get their hydrolyzed collagen instead of the gelatin, it’s easier to absorb if there’s health issues.  I use the gelatin for myself and my family.

Why would I still make bone broth and not just rely on the (easier) powdered gelatin, since they both contain collagen and amino acids?  Bone broth contains the minerals from the bones,  the nutrients from the joints (glucosamine, chondroitin, msm, hyularic acid..), the marrow from the bones,  and it’s  incredibly high in the amino acid glycine, which is  one of the liver’s main go-tos for it’s detoxification jobs (that means breaking down drugs, chemicals in foods, etc).

Gelatin and Hydrolyzed Collagen are both made from the collagen layer underneath animal hides, so there’s a different class of nutrients there from the bones and joints.   Bone broth and collagen both have different amino acid profiles than muscle meats.  That’s an important distinction!   Organ meats, bones, the collagen under the hides, these are nutritionally dense foods that until the past few decades were not just normally consumed in the United States, but were acknowledged for their nutritional SUPERIORITY over muscle meats.  Broths and gelatin are a way to reap some of those traditional benefits.

I hope this answers the Broth/Gelatin/Collagen questions.  Let me know if it doesn’t.  Consuming foods that improve health, actually focusing on getting as many nutrients as possible, will have big, positive, consequences for your health, your weight, your mood, and even your appearance (collagen and healthy fats are great for our skin).  Eat for Health, and Weight Loss is always a side effect.  Take the Action Steps!

I’m off to the gym with the Hubs to have a heavy leg day, and then we’re going to see Gravity – I can’t wait!  I also can’t wait to gather my notes for my next post on the Habits of Happy People Seminar I went to yesterday – it was Inspiring:)

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:)