Fasting Benefits

The traditional way to eat is to eat 3 meals per day or 4-6 small meals per day to keep blood sugar levels steady for all day energy, but something you may want to consider throwing into the mix is fasting. 

Please use precaution when fasting. Start slow. 

Fasting gives your body and particularly your digestive system a break. Fasting has numerous health benefits including longevity, decrease risks of neurodegenerative diseases, weight management, elevation in consciousness, helps to reset gut health, and aids in detoxification. 

How to fast: 
For all fasts consume only water and maybe bone broth or minerals from Himalayan sea salt in your water. 

- Fast for 24-36 hours 1-2x/month. 
- Intermittent fasting: eat in a window of 6-8 hours. For example, all meals consumed between 8AM-4PM or 1PM-8PM. You can perform intermittent fasting daily or a few times per week depending on your individual needs, goals, and lifestyle. 
- If it resonates with you may want to try a 5 day or even 2 week long fast as Dr. Mattson discusses in the video, but please use your own discretion. 

Eating for Focus

What you eat (and don't eat) impacts how you feel and behave. 

This video discusses neurotransmitters and the brain body connection and fasting for focus. 

Neurotransmitters: 

Your brain (both the brain and your second brain in the gut) and your body are constantly sending messages back and forth to one another. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that relay the information. These neurotransmitters can be impacted by the foods you eat. 


2 Categories of Neurotransmitters: 

Excitatory: Stimulates brain 

Dopamine: The Coach
Helps with motivation & focus. 

Norepinephrine: The Warrior
Triggers fight or flight response. Helps you think and move fast in times of perceived danger. 

Foods rich in amino acid tyrosine boost these neurotransmitters: 
Almonds, avocados, meat, eggs, chocolate, coffee, green tea. 

Inhibitory: Calms the brain 

Serotonin: The Peace & Love Hippie
Maintains stable mood, reduces anxiety, high quality sleep, lack of severe cravings, good digestion

GABA: The Commander
Tells nerve cells to hold their fire! 
Helps you keep your cool and remain calm. 

Foods rich in amino acid tryptophan boost these neurotransmitters: 
chickpeas, hummus, decaf herbal teas, kefir, tomatoes, salmon, turkey, pineapple, quinoa, amaranth

Sample Menu

Breakfast: Vegetable omelet made with 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites + 1 oz. avocado

Mid-Morning: Cup of green tea

Lunch: Grilled chicken and steamed vegetables 

Snack: 1 oz. dark chocolate + handful raw sprouted almonds + 1 medium banana 

Starting to Wind Down...think serotonin. 

Dinner: Quinoa vegetable bowl: 1/2 cup cooked quinoa + 1/4 cup black beans  + sautéed vegetables of choice and greens + 2 TBSP hummus

The conversion of tryptophan into serotonin is influenced by the proportion of carbohydrate in the diet; the synthesis of serotonin in turn affects the proportion of carbohydrate an individual subsequently chooses to eat.
— https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6139295

EXERCISE HELPS BALANCE NEUROTRANSMITTERS


During the 2-4PM slump...MOVE
Here are some exercises you can do in the office:

Perform Joint Mobility

Prevent low back pain with these exercises
 

What to Enjoy and What to Avoid

What to Enjoy and What to Avoid

PROTEINS

ENJOY

  • Hormone & Antibiotic Free Meats: ex: chicken and turkey

  • Grass-Fed Red Meat: ex: buffalo, steak, venison, lamb

  • Wild-Caught Fish

  • Shrimp

  • Lobster

  • Nitrate-Free Bacon

  • Organic Cage-free (Pasture-Raised is best) Eggs

  • Cold Processed Whey Protein Powders or Plant Based Protein Powders

AVOID

Processed Meats, excess of soy products such as tofu

TIPS: 

GREAT: Cook protein in bulk to save time (freeze and defrost)

GOOD & EASY:

  • Rotisserie chicken (No salt added is preferable) 
  • Canned tuna/salmon packed in water (BPA free lined can if possible)
  • Some Whole Foods Markets will cook your meat and fish for you at no extra charge!

VEGETABLES: 

ANY!

Opt for organic,local, and seasonal as much as possible 

AVOID: 

- Vegetables smothered in refined oils like vegetable, soybean, or canola oil.

- Tempura vegetables

TIPS: 

-Wash, chop, and store vegetables in Tupperware to easily toss on salads, steam, or stir-fry

- Opt for organic when possible esp. if you’re eating the skin ie: zucchini, asparagus, carrots, potatoes

FRUITS

  • Preferably low glycemic like berries, apples, plums, grapefruit, pears
  • Aim for 0-3 servings per day. 

STARCHES/COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES

PRIMARILY: yams, potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash, parsnips, carrots, beets

SOMETIMES: Brown/wild rice, Rolled Oats, Quinoa, amaranth, soaked/sprouted legumes- black beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, corn tortillas, gluten-free wraps/bread

AVOID: White flour, pastries, pastries, cookies, crackers, cereals, granola bars

TIPS: 

Bake sweet potatoes in bulk

Heat oven to 400° F. Pierce each sweet potato several times with the tines of a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Make a slit in the top of each sweet potato.

- Quaker oats or gluten-free oats (not boxed stuff that comes in an envelope with added sugar)

- Cook rice in rice cooker in bulk and keep in the fridge for the week.

FATS & OILS

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Organic extra virgin coconut oil

  • Red palm oil

  • Sesame oil

  • Flaxseed oil

  • Avocado oil

  • Organic butter from grass-fed cows

  • Raw nuts (Soaked and Sprouted Preferably)

  • Natural nut butters

  • Egg yolk

  • Flax, chia, hemp seeds

  • Avocados

  • Olives

  • Whole eggs

  • fatty fish like salmon

AVOID:

Fried foods, processed foods, vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, hydrogenated oils/trans fats/partially hydrogenated oils, soybean oil, corn oil, margarine

TIPS:

  • Cook with coconut oil or organic butter from grass-fed cows
  • Add ground flaxseeds to smoothies/salads
  • Eat the whole egg
  • Enjoy grilled salmon

Sweets & Seasonings:

Sweeteners: raw local honey, stevia, maple syrup, dates

Healthy Desserts: 

Coco-roons

Dark Chocolate

Homemade Bliss Balls

Banana Ice Cream

Frozen berries/Fruit

Seasonings: Himalyan sea salt, dulse flakes, pepper, turmeric, cumin, basil, rosemary, parsely, cilantro etc.  

ANY NATURAL SEASONING/FRESH HERBS &. SPICES ARE NICE! 

Salad Dressings: Oil & Vinegar or natural ingredient dressings (ask for dressing on the side when possible)

Mustards and hot sauces are okay

Recommended Superfoods:

Cacao

Maca root powder

Vitamineral Greens

Health Force Nutritionals Earth

Recommended Supplements: 

- Probiotic

- Fish Oil

 

3 Foods to Avoid

3 Foods to Avoid

1. SUGAR

The Okay: Sugar in the form of glucose is a necessity as it fuels brain function and is stored in the muscles as glycogen which provides energy for high intensity exercise. 

Good forms of sugar: 

- Complex carbohydrates: starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, squash

- Fruit in moderation

The Bad: Too much sugar, even from healthy foods like potatoes, rice, and fruit is TOO MUCH! EVERYTHING in moderation. Fruit is full of antioxidants to help fight free radicals and provides vitamins and minerals, but it’s primarily fructose- a form of sugar that is stored in the liver as a “last reserve.” Only small amounts are needed to stock the liver’s glycogen stores. Anything extra winds up as body fat. Enjoy 1-3 servings of fruit per day, preferably low glycemic like berries, apples, grapefruits, and plums.

The Ugly: Beware of added sugars. Sadly, it’s many items, primarily PROCESSED FOOD- barbecue sauce, ketchup, cereals, yogurts, granola bars, cereals, and “low-fat” items. Simply, companies just replaced the fat with sugar, which is even worse than the natural fat that existed in the first place!

Too much sugar, primarily in the form of fructose and man made high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) raises insulin levels. Insulin is released from the pancreas to help shuttle the sugar into your cells for energy. When there’s an excess of sugar in the body, more insulin is released. The cells, muscle, and  liver stores are full so they say ‘NO MORE!” Over time, the cells become insulin resistant and don’t respond to insulin’s effects. Insulin resistance is the cause of metabolic syndrome, linked to heart disease and diabetes. Insulin resistance goes hand and hand with leptin resistance.  Leptin is the hormone that regulates appetite and tells you when you’re full. When insulin is constantly spiked leptin is unable to get the message across that you can stop eating, hence you eat more and more!

Some Sad Sugar Stats:

According to the American Diabetes Association:

29.1 million Americans had diabetes (2012).

208,000 Americans under age 20 have diabetes

Annual costs of diabetes in the US in 2012: $245 billion!

WHAT ABOUT FAKE SUGAR?

Zero calorie sweeteners such as aspartame (Splenda, Nutrasweet, Equal), saccharin, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, and neotame are hazardous to your health. They are linked to cancer and many neurological diseases. Common side effects include headaches, dizziness, increased hunger, and gastrointestinal issues. Artificial sweeteners trick your brain into thinking you’re getting sugar. Dopamine is released as your brain and body gets excited. You begin to release insulin, which leads to cravings and you end up eating more!

2.  REFINED GRAINS:

The USDA has placed grains at the base of the food pyramid, but modern science is proving that they’ve got it all wrong. Grains, especially refined grains like white flour, pastries, and processed snack foods like cookies and crackers are nutritionally void. Grains are inflammatory and are linked to a condition known as “leaky gut syndrome,” which breaks down the intestinal wall and allows food particles to travel into the bloodstream to stir up trouble like autoimmune diseases and allergies. Even so-called “healthy whole grains,” are not all they are cracked up to be.

Grains are SUGAR. An excess of sugar in your system= decreased fat burning potential. Get necessary carbs from vegetable sources.

I  recommend avoiding or at least limiting ALL grains for at least the next 2 weeks to see how you feel.

For more info about the ill effects of grains check out this blog post from Dr. Amy Myers http://www.amymyersmd.com/2014/03/24/the-problem-with-grains-and-legumes/

For additional reading check out:

Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter

http://www.drperlmutter.com/about/grain-brain-by-david-perlmutter/

Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis

http://www.wheatbelly.com

REFINED OILS: TOXIC

Many oils such as canola, soy, vegetable, corn oil, margarine, and hydrogenated oils are contaminated and genetically modified. They are downright TOXIC!

The process of heating the oils at such high temperatures causes them to turn into trans fats, which leads to oxidation.  Oxidation creates free radicals that damage our cells, cause inflammation, and are linked to cancer. Bottom line, most people are getting too many Omega-6 fatty acids (inflammatory) and not enough Omega-3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory).  Lack of balance = DIS-EASE in the body. See chart for approved oils.

OILS TO AVOID: 

Soybean, vegetable, canola, corn, safflower, margarine 

HEALTHY OILS TO EAT: 

Unrefined olive and coconut oil, grass-fed butter

Another one to BEWARE of: 

DAIRY

To keep this simple, milk is the nutritious formula for babies, but not necessarily good for grown adults. 

Let's think of this another way- does a grown cow drink the milk of another cow after the weening stage? Cow's milk is to nourish a growing calf; not a human. 

Not all milk is created equal.

1. Milks may contain growth hormones 

2. Pasteurization kills enzymes and denatures proteins making milk nutritionally void and difficult to digest. 

If you choose to do dairy your best bet is low pasteurized dairy products and raw milk, which you can SOMETIMES find at the farmer's market. 

For more on this matter check out this info from Dr. Axe

While calcium and dairy can lower the risk of osteoporosis and colon cancer, high intake can increase the risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer.

Plus, dairy products can be high in saturated fat as well as retinol (vitamin A), which at high levels can paradoxically weaken bones.
— Harvard School of Public Health

 

 

 

10 Real Food Rules for Health & Longevity

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10 Real Food Rules for Health & Longevity

 

  1. Quality Over Quantity: Grass-fed, hormone free, antibiotic free meats, organic/cage-free eggs, seasonal/local produce organic when possible. Remember, you eat what your food eats!

  2. Care for your Gut: It's not just about what you eat; it's about what you can absorb and utilize. Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, and kombucha, or take a probiotic supplement to support your gut microbiome. 

  3. Eat More Plants Please: Greens like spinach, kale, chard, and collard greens help the body detox (something the body does naturally). Plus, vegetables provide lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber for nourishment and satiety. On the plan, non-starchy vegetables are unlimited. 

  4. Skip Sugar and Grains: Get your body in a fat-burning state, slow down the aging process, and recover faster by cutting back on sugars and grains. 

  5. Eat More Healthy Fat: Healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, hemp/chia/flax seeds, avocado, and grass-fed butter promotes healthy hormones, brain function, and helps promote satiety.

  6. Eat Mindfully: It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register fullness. Eat slowly, be mindful, and cultivate the willpower and determination to put the fork down when you’re 80% full. 

  7. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS Read the Labels: Simple is sexy. If you can't pronounce it, don't eat it. 

  8. Plan and Prep: Plan out healthy meals for the week, make a grocery shopping list, and only keep real food in the house to avoid temptation. 

  9. Drink more water: Sometimes we may feel hungry when we are actually thirsty. Aim to drink 12-16 oz. of water first thing in the morning and continue to drink water all throughout the day. Steer clear of sodas and sugar-loaded juices. 

  10. Be Grateful: Never focus on what you can’t have on your nutrition plan, only think about all the benefits you’re receiving by eating healthy food like more energy, a leaner body, better performance, and increased sex drive. 

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Real Food Basics

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Real Food Basics

Top Questions to ask when pondering if it's really REAL

Must Answer YES to the questions below: 

Is it made by mother nature? 

Real food comes from the earth not from a factory. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, hormone free/antibiotic free meats are all considered real food.

Does it love you back? 

Real food is packed with nutrients that support your body  and build you up while processed foods take a toll on your body and break you down accelerating the aging process. 

Does it have a limited shelf life? 

Canned and boxed items usually contain additives and preservatives; stick to the real stuff even if that means more frequent trips to the grocery store. 

Real food doesn’t HAVE ingredients. Real food IS ingredients.
— Jamie Oliver

Is it readily digestible? 

Our intestines house over 100 trillion microbiome which aid in metabolism, produce various vitamins, aid in digestion, and support immunity and mood. Processed foods disrupt the abundant ecosystem that lives within while real food nourishes it. 

Was it grown or raised without pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones? 

It may look like real food now, but early on in the process it was tampered with in a lab. Know your farmer. Know your butcher. Shop local farmer's markets and always read the labels. 

Does it look a bit imperfect? 

Fruits and vegetables are unique just like people. They come in different sizes and shapes; may be a little bruised and funky looking. 

 

 

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