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Gut health, weight loss and hormonal balance part 2

Basic Gut Health Protocol

  • Reduce Inflammation-causing agents / toxins
  • Balance the good bacteria in the gut
  • Increase Digestive "Fire"

FIRST STEP: REDUCE INFLAMMATION

  1. Reduce wheat, dairy, soy, corn, refined sugar. Also, conventionally grown meat.
  2. Reduce inflammatory substances: alcohol, antibiotics, birth control pills, synthetic drugs. These damage the gut flora, leading to a weakened gut lining and leaky gut.
  3. Drink Bone Broth: Heals and seals the gut, helps to fix leaky gut. Check out these instructions of making your own bone broth. It isn't difficult.
  4. Increase Gelatin or collagen: helps to heal the gut lining and improve the muscus layer. Adding collagen (as a powder) to your smoothie is easy. Check out this recipe.
  5. Introduce L-Glutamine: Heals the gut lining. Feeds the lining in the gut. FYI - Can be over stimulating to brain cells.
  6. Consume Turmeric: reduces inflammation, though needs fact and black pepper to be fully absorbed. Such as coconut oil.
  7. Introduce zinc carnosine and quercetin supplements (amino acid and antioxidant that helps to produce organs). Zinc carosine helps to heal cells.

SECOND STEP: BALANCE THE GOOD BACTERIA

  1. Eat fermented foods: improve the health of the gut flora. Note, if you are sensitive to histamines (allergies) then skip this step as fermented foods generally have a lot of histamines causes allergy type reactions.
  2. Take probiotic capsules: 10 to 50 billion CFUs per day taken with food. Start smaller, with 10 billion CFUs a day to avoid bloating, skin rashes, gas, other common side affects.
  3. Take digestive enzymes: easiest and most beneficial step to start. Juice Plus has digestive enzymes in them already. Take before.
  4. Chew food thoroughly: chewing starts digestive enzymes. Plus it will slow you down enough to eat less, meaning that you body has the time to tell you that you are no longer hungry, hormonal signals.
  5. Add fiber to their diet. 35 - 45 grams each day. Again, start slowing to avoid constipation, gas and bloating. 12 - 24 hours is the correct transit time. ;)
  6. Consume resistant starch (pre-biotic): selectively stimulates the good bacteria. Lentils, chick peas, potatoes that have been cooked and cooled. Like from the crock pot.

THRID STEP: Light Digestive Fires (stomach acid)

  • Reflux, burping, etc are signs that you need to change up the digestive "fires" or change the stomach acids
  • Lemon Juice: hottish water
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (15-30 before meals, or after meals to fix reflux) . Liquid apple cider vinegar can be harmful for the teeth. Pill supplementation is available and beneficial.
  • Digestive Bitters: Increases the digestive "juices"
    • Dandelion
    • Fennel
    • Ginger
    • Beet Root (good for cardio vascular
    • Goldenseal root
    • Milk Thistle (healthy for the liver as well)
    • Peppermint
    • Wormwood
    • Yellow Dock
  • HCL or hydrochloric acid
    • More advanced step and is recommended that you work with a functional medicine practitioner.
    • Read more here
    • DO NOT take with any anti-inflammatory medicines. Greatly increases the risk of bleeding or ulcer.

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Gut Health and Weight Loss and Hormonal Impact Part 1

WE ARE ONLY AS HEALTHY AS THE FOOD WE CAN DIGEST

This means that if the gut isn't functioning well (optimally) then it really doesn't matter how good the food is that we eat. We will have deficiencies. This is why GUT Health is a major corner stone for optimal health.

  • Endocrine system: depends on essential nutrients (healthy hormones) in order to function properly.
  • Immune system: highly dependent on the gut for proper functioning.
  • Nervous System: again, highly dependent on the gut for proper functioning. In fact, there are more nerve cells in the gut than in the brain

Gut-Brain Axis

  • Motility, secretion, nutrient delivery, microbial balance
  • Neurotransmitters, stress, anxiety, mood, behavior

HPA Axis

  • Hypothalamus: gland in the brain which produces CRH
  • Anterior Pituitary: gland in the brain which produces ACTH
  • Adrenal Cortex: Endocrine gland (on the kidneys) which produces cortisol

So "at the end of the day" in relation to the gut, cortisol affects:

  • How the colon moves
  • What it absorbs
  • How much and what kind of mucus it produces
  • The microbiome and can slow down the entire system to enable the body to be able to deal with stress and what not

This stress response helps the human being to survive in a life threatening situation. The habitual stress response, say due to a relationship issue or unhappy job, can greatly impact gut health and overall health negatively.

Interesting side note: the stress response, as shown above, impacts gut health. The opposite is true. You can develop leaking gut which in term allows gut flora can affect the HPA axis in a negative way. Additionally, bad bacteria and fungus can affect all of the functions mentioned above. This becomes a vicious (aka VICIOUS) circle. Downward spiral. Perfect storm.

The Gut and Nervous System are INTIMATELY connected.

Insulin and Blood Sugar Management: a healthy GI track helps the blood sugar management system. An unhealthy GI tract can increase insulin insensitive. For the endurance athlete specifically, this can negatively impact burning fat for fuel. So sugar cravings go up and belly fact sticks around or becomes more prevalent.

Estrogen: Your gut flora can influence your levels of estrogen. Estrobolome, a gut bacteria, produces or breaks down estrogen. The liver breaks down estrogen (or deactivates) and sends it into the GI tract to "get rid of". Unfriendly gut bacteria can reactivate inactive this estrogen. This can impact estrogen/progesterone balance. (Or affect testosterone levels). Also, the stomach produces estrogen-like molecules. Which increases appetite. It is so interesting in that when someone consumes BPA, which produces an estrogen like molecule, even in the presence of food, the appetite increases. So please avoid plastic produces that have BPA.

Progesterone / Testosterone: Hormonal balance is affected by Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) which is a toxin produced by unfriendly gut bacteria. LPS has more of an impact when LEAKY gut is present, as LPS crosses the gut barrier and can affect ovaries and decrease progesterone production. Which affects the ever important balance of estrogen to progesterone. LPS may also play a role in PCOS by increasing insulin and testosterone levels. Additionally, LSP has been shown to negatively impact the immune system and be a contributing factor to many autoimmune disorders.

Thyroid Gland: LPS may also affect Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Again, this goes back to the research on how unfriendly bacteria impact the immune system and the cascade affect of that. You can think of it like, the LPS causes the body's immune system to attack itself.

Uterus / Endometriosis: Endometrial lesions (uterine cells growing elsewhere) interfere with the gut's ability to keep waste products moving, contributing to SIBO and microbiome imbalance. It does this in that these lesions are sticky and cause parts of the bowel to stick together, to the abdominal wall or other organs.

Continue to Part 2 for the Basic Gut Health Protocol

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Critical Supplements for Good Health

Juice Plus

  • Fruit and veg pill: plethra of plant nutrients
  • Improves all aspects of health: immune function, gut health, lower inflammation, prevent cancer, etc etc
  • Helps the body absorb and utilize all other supplements/food

Magnesium

  • Electrolytes
  • Sleep
  • Hormone

D3

  • Regulates Ca and phosphorus in the blood
  • Enhances Sensitivity to insulin
  • Blood pressure, lowers plaque build up

B-Complex

  • B1: Nutrients into energy
  • B2: Food into energy, antioxidant
  • B3: Cellular signals, DNA production, metabolism
  • B5: Food into energy
  • B9: Cell growth, amino acid metabolism
  • B12: Neurologic function, DNA production, red blood cell development
  • ALL SORTS OF THINGS

Air Bourne

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Highly Beneficial Supplements and quick facts on blood sugar management, hormonal health and weight loss

TOPIC:  Blood sugar management to positively impact hormonal health

(refer to xxx TDB to understand how blood sugar management and hormonal health go hand in hand) Specific facts that help with blood sugar management and hormonal health Body is designed to deal with a small amount of sugar.  Where we get into trouble is the amount and the key of "sugar" we consume.     [box] The average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day and the average child consumes 32 teaspoons a day! [/box] When your body becomes "overwhelmed" in relation to managing blood sugar, then its ability to handle even small amounts of sugar is decreased.  This is where hormonal health is negatively impacted.  This will be covered in more detail here ... tdb.

INFLAMMATION

INSULIN RESISTENCE

These words become very important and will be addressed in part 2 and 3. Research shows that the paleo and Mediterranean "diets" (or ways of eating) really help to reverse the effects of insulin resistance and inflammation from sugar consumption.  Protein, fat and specifically omega 3 fatty acids help the body to manage blood sugar and repair the very sensitive system.
  • Gluten (very commonly) causes intestinal inflammation which compromises blood sugar management or insulin sensitivities
  • Artificial sweeteners interfere with blood sugar management as they compromise the livers ability to deal with sugar.  This causes "fatty liver".  Diet soda DOES NOT help with weight loss.

Supplements for Blood Sugar Management

This is an awesome list of supplements as everyone can benefit from taking these supplements.  The work in a foundation kind of way and the causes of negative side affects when these supplements are taken with the correct knowledge in mind are nil.
  • Magnesium:  First step.  Foundation supplement and should be continued long term (forever).  400 mg of magnesium glycinate.
    • People low in magnesium are at a significantly higher risk to have metabolic syndrome.  Research is showing that approximately 90% of people are low in magnesium.  Magnesium helps with sugar cravings.  Refer to www.bonniekissinger.com/magnesium for further information on the who/what/when/why/how.
  • Berberine:  Blood sugar management
    • Plant compound showing benefits in blood sugar management and treating insulin sensitivity.  Works to decrease the amount of inflammation produced by fatty tissue.  The plant compound helps to treat and prevent insulin resistance.   It was first used in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.  The recommended dose is 500mg three times a day.  Caution when already taking diabetic medicine and antibiotics.
  • Chromium:  Blood sugar management
    • This nutrient helps with weight loss and insulin sensitivity.  It also improves post meal blood sugar levels.  The daily recommended amount is 20 - 25 micrograms a day but studies are showing for women  1000 micrograms a day split up through out the day is beneficial.
  • Fiber (or inulin):  Improve insulin sensitivity
    • Fermentable carb  or plant fiber that helps to nourish the cells of the digestive tract.  Sources are Jerusalem artichoke and Chickeryroot.  Start with 3 grams a day and build up to 5 with a max of 10.  Be cautious of bloating as folks that already have gut inflammation can experience worsening symptoms.  In this case folks need to address gut inflammation first.
  • Curcumin:  First step.  Foundation supplement as it is a potent anti-inflammatory compound.
    • Curcumin works to decrease inflammation in the muscle cells that cause insulin resistance.  It is metabolized in the body very quickly.  Because of this, companies combine it with other things.  Some of this isn't want you want.  The recommendation is to look for curcumin combined with black pepper (piperine), taking 500 to 1000mg a day in divided doses.
  • Vitamin D: First step IF LOW.  Foundation supplement and blood sugar management
    • Control stress at the cellular level.  Vitamin D also helps to treat depression.  You really want to get your levels as taking too much vitamin D can become toxic. If testing shows that your levels are below 50 nanograms per mililiter you can take 5000 IU daily.  Or 50,000 IU weekly.  Retesting in 60 to 90 days is advised.
  • Cinnamon:  BIG TIME Blood sugar management aide
    • It's biggest benefit is that it acts like insulin and makes the insulin receptors more responsive.  Big plus for people with insulin resistance!  It helps the receptors absorb the energy into the muscles.  It is a very strong anti-oxidant as well, helping to  decrease inflammation in the fat cells which helps to improve insulin resistance.  The recommended dose is 3 grams of cinnamon per day.
 

Blood Sugar Testing

This is a great way to learn this system and become familiar with the very critical aspect of living and for the athletes, fueling and being healthy.  This doesn'thave to be complicated or intense.  It has become very affordable at this time and easy to understand with a bit of education.  Refer to www.bonniekissinger.com/bloodsugartesting (TDB) to learn how to add this to your bag of tools.  Don't let this overwhelm you.  This is very basic and easy to do, just like taking your blood pressure.  You don't need to have "MD" behind your name to benefit from this.  You will earn which foods are good for you and how you are doing with this every important element of how the body works.  

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Eating well and mindfully when BUSY

Here are some strategies to employ when you are traveling, during the holidays or otherwise super BUSY! VIDEO BELOW!!

  • Fill up first: A smoothie, a large salad, a hearty soup all good ways to curb hunger and sugar cravings
    • -This is a duh, but knowing science behind it might help. Empty stomach>ghrelin>appetite stimulated>as stomach fills up, ghrelin drops>appetite wanes.
    • -Also food in stomach>nerves that monitor pressure in your stomach>also send signals to brain that you are full
    • Easier to decline foods and/or choose healthier foods when hunger isn’t knocking
  • Pack healthy snacks and alternatives:  Kind Bars, Lara Bars, nuts, dried fruit, protein snack packs at the gas station
  • Be sure to fill up with nutrient dense foods
    • smoothie, soup or salad
    • We’ve gone over the importance of these foods a lot, but just a quick reminder, if you don’t have enough nutrients in your bloodstream: glucose, fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. then your body will still want to eat. Why eating something like crackers beforehand isn’t a great idea (protein, fats, carbs
  • Make a commitment to yourself to continue food tracking, even while at the event/holiday/busy.  Even notes on a piece of paper will do the trick.
  • Write a post it note about your goal and stick it up somewhere you can see it.
DURING AN EVENT OR HOLIDAY OUTING
  • PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
    • Wait for all the food to be on table before choosing- make your choices all at once and you will eat about 14 percent less
    • If at the party/meal, start by loading your plate with the good stuff, round 1 nutrient dense, fiber filled food
    • When ordering … make healthy choices when you can
    • Sit and eat, instead of standing. Distance yourself from the grazing table (Laura story)
  • Put fork down between bites
  • Chew Thoroughly
      • -this has scientific merit.
      • -It gives the hormones cholecystokinin and leptin a chance to start working. CKK is released by the small intestine and pancreas, makes eating more seem less appealing
      • -leptin, secreted by your fat cells, helps balance out ghrelin
    • Really think about/savor your meal. Where did it come from, how did it get here? Farmers, shipping, grocery store, preparation, etC
    • If potluck type, be sure your dish is the main one you plan on eating, so make it count :)
  • Use smaller plates if available
MORE IDEAS
  • Leave visual evidence of what you’ve consumed, (empty plates and wine glasses/beer bottles make it less tempting to have more), well for some people
  • If food still on plate, cover with a napkin - not tempted to nibble at it even after you’re full
  • Alternate cocktails with a 1:1 water ratio
  • Food pushers- three bites. The first bite is the best, the last bite is the grand finale, and everything in between is more or less the same. In 3 bites you get the full experience
  • Be picky with your indulgences- don’t waste calories on something you can have at anytime, if you’re going to indulge, pick something that is special and unique to the season
WORK DAY
  • Ride the wave
  • Accept the treat. No need to eat it right away, take it home
  • Keep healthy snacks at work (that you like)  with you (car, purse, whatever)
  • Keep goodies out of view
GOOD GENERAL PRACTICE
  • Get enough sleep (keep hormones ghrelin and leptin regulated)
  • Eat breakfast (keep glucose levels balanced with a macro-balanced meal)
  • Walk after a meal (helps clear glucose out of bloodstream)
  • Keep up on your supplements and routines as much as possible
 

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Maximize Nutrition with Proteins

Protein is a powerhouse of a macro nutritions

  • Helps to create muscles, organs, nails and hair
  • Helps your cells to communicate
  • Facilitates muscle contraction
  • Transmission of nerve signals
  • Protein makes up
    • Immune molecules
    • Blood cells
    • Hormones, Enzymes and new protein cells
Protein is made up of chains of amino acids and each protein has its own unique combination of amino acids.  This explains how proteins serve such a vast role in the body and emphasizes why it is CRITICAL that you get your protein from a variety of sources, as each offers something unique.  The body needs all of these things.

Amino acids are broken down to build tissue, signal metabolism and a plethora of other processes.

Fyi.  Your DNA (again, everyone is different ... ) tells the body how to create the right proteins for nearly EVERY PROCESS in the body that occurs.  In order for the body to accomplish what the DNA is "programmed" to do, there much be plenty of amino acids available.  Even missing just ONE amino acid will stop a protein from doing it's job.

There are 20 amino acids.

Many of the 20 amnio acids can be synthesized in the body.  There are eight amino acids that you are unable to make.  We must get them from our food, thus they are called the essential amino acids.  Fact: animal proteins contain all eight of these amino acids.  There are also several complete plant proteins, but not all of these proteins are available in these  non-animal foods.  The human body is not designed to absorb them.  This might lead to plant based protein eaters not getting all of what they need and leading to deficiencies if they are not aware of this fact and supplementing accordingly. FYI.  New studies are showing that it is not the "red meat" that is causing all the issues (cancer and heart disease), but the fat composition of the red meat.  So again, the quality of the meat can make a huge difference.  As with all things in the food chain, red meat serves a purpose and is beneficial if consumed correctly and cleanly.  Grass-fed happy cows and that are "handled well" would be a great example of a source of red meat that is "clean" and of high quality.

High quality protein

  • grass-fed beef
  • pasture raised eggs
  • wild-caught salmon
  • organic vegetables

Protein is an essential structural component of all hormones.

  1.  Protein is digested
  2. Insulin acts as a gas pedal
  3. Glucagon acts as the break
  4. Protein doesn't have much sugar in it so ... a lot of protein without "sugar" causes hypoglycemia (blood sugar drops)
  5. To slow insulin down, arginine (amino acid from protein), tells insulin to stop stealing all the glucose out of the bloodstream
  6. For those with insulin resistance, one meal a day with only protein helps to keep the blood sugar from swinging so much

How Much Protein Do You Need

Low Protein Diet (less than 50 grams a day)
  • Decreases prolactin, growth hormone, estrogen, thyroid hormones, and insulin
  • Stimulates the stress response
  • Increases body fat and fatty liver
High Protein Diet
  • Can be damaging to the kidneys
  • Increase in body fat
  • NON ATHLETES: more than one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight
Protein consumption might need to be unique per individual depending on the particular imbalances going on, such as being anemic. There are a lot of plant proteins that vary in amino acid composition and bioavailability.  This means how much protein the body is actually able to be digested and processed in the human body.  Please recognize that ALL proteins, plants as well ... are a food source for all animals.  Thus, in common sense terms, different plants and animals are designed to "feed" different animals more efficiently.  This is how mother nature works.  Just because we can pick it and eat it doesn't mean that we were designed to digest and utilize the plant nutrients.

Best Plant Proteins:  Complete and Highly Bioavailable

  • Spirulina
  • Hemp
  • Soy
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Buckwheat
  • Amaranth
Other plant proteins, while they aren't complete, when added to the above listed help to increase protein completeness and value.
  • Brown rice
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Tahini

It is not necessary to eat a complete protein at every meal, to work to ensure that you get all the amino acids (a variety of protein including a completely protein) every day.

Plant proteins ... the benefits

  • Provide a host of phytochemicals or plant nutrients = biologically beneficial compounds found in plants.
  • The deep colors
    • Bioflavonoids:  anti-oxidants that protect the body against stress
      • citrus, onions, tea, parlsey, wine, soy, and dark chocolate.
    • Isothiocyanate:  sulfur containing nutrients help fight cancer and combat stress in the body.
      • cruciferous vegetables:  broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and kale
    • Carotenoids:  Yellow and orange pigments that act as precursors to vitamin A such as beta-carotene and lycopene.  They may play a role in preventing some cancers.
      • Carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes
    • Anthocyanins: Blue and purple pigments that are a form of flavonoid.  They scavenge free radicals and acts as antioxidants, helping to reduce stress in the body.  They may play a role in preventing heart disease.
      • Blueberries, edlerberries, blackberries, purple and red grapes
    • Polyphenols:  Flavonoid which prevent cancer cells from creating new blood vessels, reducing stress, protecting from ultraviolet radiation, reducing inflammation, and p rotecting the heart.
      • Tea, cinnamon, coffee and many fruits and vegetables
    • Chlorophyll:  green pigment found in all plants. Component in vitamin A, C, E, and K as well as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and fatty acids. This nutrient also helps to repair DNA and keep it from mutating, which may help to prevent cancer.
    • Phytosterols:  may help block uptake of dietary cholesterol
      • Wheat germ, rice bran, sesame oil, whole grains, nuts and legumes.
    • Lignans:  phytoestrogens found in seeds and plants.  They may decrease levels of testosterone but have been shown to be beneficial in keeping blood sugars more stable (diabetes). Also have been shown to improve fatty liver.  Lignans can interrupt the circulation of estrogen in the GI tract in two ways, as a dietary fiber that binds to estrogens and as a compound that affects the composition of intestinal bacteria, reducing enzyme activity which lowers levels of free estrogen.  Dietary fiber also increases the concentration of globulin in the blood which binds to sex hormones and reduces the levels of free estradiol (rendering them inactive).  This can help with females that are estrogen dominant.
      • Flaxseed
      • Males with low testosterone will want to avoid
      • Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome might benefit

Plant proteins ... the down side

Plant protein comes packaged with carbohydrates.  (Animal protein comes packaged with fat.)

Too many carbohydrates in the diet can contribute to inflammation and blood sugar imbalance.

Plants are not defenseless.  They are designed to prevent creatures from feasting on them.  These compounds are known as antinutrients.  These antinutrients can keep us from absorbing all the nutrients in the plants and can cause side effects for people that are sensitive to them or have hormonal imbalances.
  • Phytate or phytic acid: primary storage compound of phosphorous in plants.  It is known to bind minerals in the GI tract Grains, keeping them from being absorbed.   This can lower iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium levels.  It can also make it harder to digest proteins and fats by inhibiting digestive enzymes.  Phytic acid also has some benefits such as scavenging heavy metals.  Also, phytic acid slows digestion down so it may help balance blood sugar levels.
    • The highest sources of phytic acid is from beans, soy, sesame and rapeseed oils.
  • Oxalate or Oxalic Acid: Can bind with calcium and other minerals making them insoluble and decreasing their bioavailability. Consumption of high oxalate foods my cause decreased bone growth, kidney stones, renal toxicity, diarrhea, and impaired blood clotting.
    • Rhubard, tea, spinach, and parsley (asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, collards, lettuce, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, peas, coffee, beets, etc.  It
  • Goitrogens:   Make it harder for the thyroid to absorb iodine because the compete with iodine for entry into the gland.  They also weaken the activity of the enzyme thyroid peroxidase which is required for conversion of T4 and T3.  However, in common sense terms, you would have to eat TWO POUNDS of kale in order to have an impact on your thyroid.  For those with thyroid issues, the vegetables to avoid are raw brussels sprouts and collard greens.   Cooking decreases the affect.
    • Cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli
  • Lectins: present in high levels in legumes.  Lectins are able to bind or clump together red blood cells, which can cause blood clots in coronary arteries, blood vessels to the lungs and smaller blood vessels in the GI tract.  They can also interfere with nutrient absorption from the intestine.  And they may encourage bacteria overgrowth in the GI tract.
    • Black beans, soybeans, lima beans, etc and grain products
  • Glycoalkaloid: antinutrient produced by the nightshades.  For people that are sensitive to nightshades, consumption of these foods can cause depression, anxiety, indigestion, joint pain, and anemia.
    • Potato, tomato, peppers, eggplant, tobacco, and goji berry.  Potatoes are the highest producers.
  • Heavy metals:  found the soil that plants are grown in.  They have no biological function and highly toxic.  Heavy metal build up have been linked to breast, endometrial cancer, endometriosis, and spontaneous abortion, preterm deliveries and still births, and low birth weight.
    • Arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium
    • Aluminum has been shown to damage nerve tissue and may contribute to Alzheimer's.
  • Soy:  90% of soy is genetically modified. Soy is hard to digest because it has trypsin inhibitors which inhibit digestive enzymes. Fermentation helps with the digestion but not completely.  This is why miso and tempeh are recommended over others like tofu.  Phytoestrogens (from soy) have been implicated in infertility, testosterone deficiency, and thyroid suppression.  Soy in baby formula may contribute to early puberty, asthma, thyroid disease, and food allergies, and behavioral problems.  Some processes required to package soy protein requires using acid washing in aluminum tanks in order to remove the antinutrients.  This leaches aluminum into the product.
Antinutrients can be decreased by soaking, fermenting, heating, sprouting, and milling or grinding.  Soy is very resistant to many of these methods. With balanced protein consumption from the plant world, adequate protein can be consumed, though supplements can be helpful.   Sources: 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27459444 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22412075 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19307518 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15927927 5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22470009 6. http://www.nature.com/articles/srep25145 7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9605218 8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4264239/ 9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23553645 10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12083319 11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12016126 12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15113961 11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12016126 12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15113961 13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11916349 14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11142531 15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24460407 16. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0001148 17. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.5635/full 18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11445478 19. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09637486.2016.1161011 20. http://lifestyleworksclinic.com/Estrogen%20Metab%20ANSR%20Research.pdf 21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2266880/ 22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153292/ 23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26946249 24. http://het.sagepub.com/content/5/1/15.short 25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26094520 26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27479193 27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12639286 28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21325465 29. Van Wyck JJ and other. The Effects Of A Soybean Product On Thyroid Function In Humans. Pediatrics, 24, 752-60 30. Poley JR and Klein AW. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1983 May;2(2):271-87 31. Freni-Titulaer LW and others. Am J Dis Child 1986 Dec;140(12):1263-1267  

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Growth in the Quiet Times

Here is fall!  Soon winter will be upon us.  Such a wonderful time of year.  Time of reflection on your improvements, wins, celebrations and other most excellent stuff that happened.  AND interestingly enough ... more time of change.  Under the surface. The spring and summer are times of growth.  Green leaves, flowers and new branches.  With FALL and winter ... we have a time that we move slower, conserve energy and change things up.  It does not mean that we do "less important work".  We think about investing, working on foundation pieces, changing things that we like would like to see different.  We do this so when ACTION time comes again in the spring and fall, things are a bit different than previous. Growth. Trees go through a similar process.  They lose their leaves in the fall and winter.  Doesn't make them less of a tree.  Or not as strong of a tree.  Sometimes branches break off.  Sometimes the weight of the snow helps to facilitate change.  A needed process as sometimes the branches that needed to go, maybe they are a bit weak.   In this way ... the tree isn't utilizing vital energy keeping alive a piece that isn't really helping anymore.  Helping the "big picture".  Pruning. Shedding.  It can be a painful process ... but much needed. And another thought to throw out. This branch. The one that is "weak" ... "broken" ... "no longer needed" ... could be VITAL the the survival of other pieces of the puzzle.  This branch can fall and provide a home for creatures living on the forest floor.  So the "weak" branch really isn't of less importance ... it's use has shifted to somewhere else.  The tree isn't served by struggling to keep the branch alive.  Yet sometimes the tree can't get rid of the branch itself ... Such as life ... sometimes the challenges that we have "inspire" changes (or really stronger encourage or MAKE HAPPEN).  The weak branch, once a strong branch, now having served it purpose or withstood some challenge, moves on to a different purpose.   Our challenges are like the snow, helping us to "let go" of the branch.  Hopefully in an objective, namaste kind of way. Not that the branch no longer serves us, though this is true, hopefully in a shedding process were we knowledge that what we are needing to get rid of will be used elsewhere. Energy is neither created or destroyed.  Just changes.  Thanks Newton. Thanks Thermodynamics. The process can be lonely.  The process can seem tough and overwhelming.  Seriously, it's cold and quiet.  We don't hear a lot of the birds.  We miss the green color and the fresh smell.  However this is what encourages the roots to reach deeper.  To make the tree stronger.  To shed the old, no longer needed to make room for new and different.   Getting through these times of change and growth can be rough.  New.  It's kind of easy to fall back to old thought patterns, behaviors.  It's normal to feel like you are going crazy a wee tiny bit.  It's normal to feel uncomfortable.  The thing to focus on is your faith, trust and keeping your eye on the prize.  To keep moving forward, one step at a time ... because we all know that it gets harder (hardest) at the very end.  Like with ironman, those last couple miles are brutal, but the break through at the end is completely worth it. So, are we talking about the ...

  • ATHLETE:  Do you need to drop weight. Get rid of an injury.  Get your mind right.
  • MOM:  Adjust your relationship with your kids, be less friend and mom and more boss.  Or be less busy so you can listen more and role model more of what you want to see.
  • WIFE:  let go of past stuff to provide space for new chances, new "stuff"
  • HUMAN:  let go of past stuff to make room for new.  Let go of "not good enough" so you can dream bigger.  Be less focused on yourself and "SEE" other people, be of more service, smile more, hold more doors open
  • the list goes on and on ...
 

Keep your eyes up

Hearts open  

Trust  

Have Faith

Keep moving forward

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Healthy Fats for Excellent Health and Better Running

Let's start off this conversation with some facts:

  • There are two types of nutrients.  Macronutrients and Micronutrients
  • Macronutrients are fats, protein and carbs
  • Regarding macronutrients, they are all needed in correct proportions to each other.  The optimal proportions for the individual are unique.
  • Fat free diets are being shown to be unhealthy.  For example, it is being shown in medical studies that low fat diets can contribute to hormonal imbalances.
  • Hormones are made from FAT and cholesterol
Let's shift to facts about fats specifically:
  • There are two types of fat
    • saturated
    • unsaturated
  • Saturated fats: Butter and coconut (solid at room temperature)
  • Unsaturated fats come in two forms
    • Monounsaturated (avocado and olive oil)
    • Polyunsaturated (flax seed, walnuts, salmon)
All fats are made up of FATTY ACIDS, that come in different lengths.  The body uses these three kinds of fatty acids differently.  All are needed.  These are the basic building blocks of body fat and all of the body's hormones.
  • Short chain
    • Enter the blood stream directly from the GI track
    • Take care of IMMEDIATE short term energy needs.   Such as supporting the "stress response" or training in zone 4.
    • Produced in the GI track by breaking down fiber (humans and animals)
    • When cows eat grass ("grass fed cows") they produce more short chain fatty acids, thus are a better source of short chain fats for human consumption.  This is why beet fan butter from "grass fed cows" is a healthier choice.
    • This is the preferred food for the colon and brain.
    • Important for healing leaky gut
    • A form of short chain fatty acids has been shown to DECREASE insulin resistance in the brain, which maybe help to positively impact Alzheimer's
  • Medium chain
    • Enter the blood stream directly from the GI track
    • Take care of IMMEDIATE short term energy needs.  Such as supporting the "stress response" or training in zone 4.
  • Long chain
    • Get packaged up and stored for later use.  They are not as accessible and utilize more energy in order to produce energy from them.
    • Essential fatty acids.  The body can produce a lot of fatty acids it needs from carbs, fiber and protein, however the essential fatty acids the body must get from nutrition.
      • The consumption of Omega-6 to omega-3 should be about 4:1.  However is the average diet it is about 20:1.
      • Neither of these are good or bad.  It is the ratio that is important.
      • Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid)
        • Hormonal impact:  Fatty fish, reduce PMS
      • Omega-6 (linoleic acid)
        • Hormonal impact:  Relieve depression and headaches

The best SOURES of DIETARY FAT:

  • Wild-caught fish

  • Pasture-raised eggs

  • Grass-fed beef

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil

  • Organic avocados

  • Raw, soaked nuts and seed

  • Grass-fed butter

  • Full fat cheese and yogurt

  Saturated Fats The conversation that saturated fats are needed might be new to you, as it is still very common to hear that saturated fats are bad.  However, science is showing that fats are needed to support how the body is designed to work and supports hormonal health.  For example, grass-fed beef is a very good source of micro and macro nutrients.  Grass-fed beef has a high concentration of short chain fatty acids which the body loves, has more micronutrients as the cow is eating "real food that is nutrient dense" and much higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid.  For example on the micro-nutrients, grass-fed beef has higher amounts of glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant.
  • CLA is a fatty acid found in grass-fed beef that has been shown to decrease the risk of cancer, decreasing body fat, improving insulin resistance and lowering inflammation.  Studies are showing that even a small amount of CLA can reduce tumors in the body, including in the breast, colon, lungs, skin and stomach.  WHOOP WHOOP.
The point to take away, red meat isn't BAD for you.  And saturated fats aren't BAD for you.  In the end, inflammation is what is making us sick.  If we make cleaner food choices, inflammation goes down.  Grass-fed beef is one. And we DO NEED saturated fats.  That is how the body works. Additionally, following a low fat diet makes it hard to digest and absorb fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K.  This can lead to deficiencies which can then lead to a host of health issues, such as hormonal imbalance issues like infertility (men and women).  Saturated fats are important for the immune system and metabolism as well. Two types of FAT to watch out for:
  • Rancid Fat.  Highly processed oils.  Canola, soy, sunflower.
  • Trans fat.  High Heat.  Commercial baked foods, and fried foods
Rancid fats are hard to digest and increase inflammation.  (think your guts are on fire on the inside, so ALL ABSORPTION of ALL your food gets disrupted).  These oils are low in micronutrients and have BHA and BHT added to them to increase shelf life. Trans fat are huge with disrupting sex hormones, disrupts with fertility (male and female) and dramatically increases inflammation.   Helpful Sources: 1. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmicb.2016.00185/full 2. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304394016300775 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3770499/ 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12777162 5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6091462 6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/20613355_Low-fat_high- fiber_diet_and_serum_estrone_sulfate_in_premenopausal_women 7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1616815 8. https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-9-10 9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16475675 10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462476/ 11. https://hms.harvard.edu/news/trans-fats-may-raise-risk-infertility-2-9-07 12. http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2007/11000/Diet_and_Lifestyle_in_the_Preventio n_of_ Ovulatory.17.aspx 13. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/1/231.full.pdf+html

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Eat Real Food

Eat Real Food, Be Real Awesome

Real Food
Yummy Tomato, Olive and Cucumber Salad
“Whew, I gained all these extra pounds of fat from eating vegetables!” Ever hear anyone make this declaration? Yeah, me neither. So damn it. Turns out mom was right again. As much as it pains us to admit, she was onto something when she told us “eat your vegetables.” Our bodies are these crazy and incredible machines that produce billions of new cells daily. In order to create a healthy body, the  body needs good, quality, material to rebuild and refuel. If you think about how the nature of training works, our progress and growth don’t come from the workouts, when we are breaking our bodies down, our progress and growth come from the time in between, when the body is rebuilding and repairing to become stronger and faster than it was before. So we get it, we need exercise to improve and to feel good. We have to break down first to get better, but yet, so many of us forget that we also have to give our bodies the nutrients in order to rebuild, feel good, be injury free and have energy. Without the right nutrients, our bodies can only go for so long (and yes, some people can abuse and neglect their bodies more than others w/o immediate repercussions, but why go there?), before something breaks down and keeps us from training. So let’s fuel our bodies right with nutrient dense, real foods, and run and train like the true Idiots we are. Below we’ve put together a super short list (guys there are soooo many benefits, we could literally write a novel) for you to take a look and be reminded of the  benefits of eating nutrient dense foods, like green vegetables and fresh fruits. We challenge and encourage you to make them a staple of your daily diet and see what a difference it makes. Bon Appetit!
  • Fiber– Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, etc. are all filled with fiber. Fiber is nature’s awesome life hack. It literally fills up a bunch of space in our stomach, making us feel full, but because we don’t actually digest it, it’s calorie free!! This is how you become a lean, mean, svelte running machine. Not to mention fiber is needed to create peristaltic action so your bowels are healthy and moving like they should be. In fact, on that note, fiber is also amazingly awesome because it pushes out any excess estrogen our bodies have, helping keep our hormones balanced and healthy.
  • B-vitamins– B vitamins are these crazy little coenzymes that the body must have throughout the process of glycolysis (converting our food to energy) without them, things don’t progress like they should and we end up feeling low-energy and lethargic. In fact, with extreme B vitamin deficiencies we can develop some pretty serious illnesses.
  • Vitamin C– Runners take note!! Vitamin C plays an incredibly crucial role in creating collagen in our body, which is what gives strength to our skin and connective tissue and acts as a glue that keeps cells together, including cartilage, tendons and blood vessels, which if you’re a runner you care about this, because we don’t want end up sidelined with an injury while our friends are having all the fun. We also need vitamin C  to absorb the iron from our plant food. Fun fact, do you know we are one of the only mammals that can’t produce our vitamin C?? Making it that much more crucial that we are getting abundant amounts in our diet.
  • Vitamin K– You can find this vitamin in your dark, leafy green vegetables and it’s important for blood clotting, but also, it’s important (along with some other vitamins and minerals) for forming strong bones. We want our bone matrix strong and supported, so once again, we can train hard and stay injury free.
  • Vitamin A– This vitamin is found in nutrient dense foods like liver, but also in plenty of fruits and vegetables like carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes, is incredibly important for athletes. While it has many roles, the role of keeping the lining of our nose and lungs moist, which protects the body from bacteria and viruses, therefore preventing possible infections, helping to keep us healthy and continue training even though we might be exposed to sick family members or co-workers.
  • Minerals–  Magnesium, potassium, calcium and sulfur, to name just a few, play several crucial roles within the body. These minerals are in part, responsible for maintaining low blood pressure, maintaining fluid balance within our cells (no one wants to end up at endurance event suffering from hyponatremia!), converting our carbs, proteins and fats to energy, and without enough of some specific minerals, like magnesium or potassium, we experience muscle weakness, muscle cramps, muscle weakness and fatigue to name a few. No one wants to suffer through an endurance event experiencing any of these symptoms
  • Antioxidants– These are chemicals that protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are substances that play a role in promoting conditions like heart disease and cancer. Plant based foods contain several different known (and probably a ton of unknown forms of antioxidants!!) including certain vitamins (like C) flavonoids, polyphenols  and lignans. Which just validates even more that eating, whole, nutrient dense foods is the best route to health, wellness and some awesome Idiotic training. 🙂

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