Mar. 2017 Book of the Month – Eat the Yolks

On my first day of nutrition consultant classes at Bauman College, as we were going around and introducing ourselves, one of my classmates had mentioned that Diane Sanfilippo had attended Bauman College and wrote the forward to the book Eat the Yolks. I was still a bit of a newbie in the Paleo/ Nutrition world, at least when it came to “celebrities”, so I hadn’t heard of the book yet, but I added it to my ever growing “to read” list on Goodreads. At some point, I was able to find enough time to read Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe, and boy was I glad that I did!

First, Liz is funny! No seriously funny! She has a section titled, “Let’s talk about fat, baby!”. I mean talk about a girl after my own heart. How wouldn’t I love a book with references to 90’s R&B culture!?!? Liz does an amazing job of breaking down the complicated science of nutrition into easy to understand chunks and incorporating humor into it all the while.

She goes over the three macronutrients in DETAIL, dedicating a chapter to each. In the chapter on fat (and therefore cholesterol), she states, “This is me beating a dead horse: Lower cholesterol doesn’t prevent heart disease, because cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease (Wolfe, 2013, p. 59)”. Wolfe debunks the myth that animal proteins are bad for us in the chapter on protein. She refutes The China Study,  that is often used to argue against the consumption of animal foods.

Then, Wolfe details important nutrients that we can only get from animals. If you’re a vegan, she gets it. I get it. But the science of why we need animals in our diets for optimal nutrition is clear. She goes on to illustrate many of the lies of the nutrition industrial complex. Wolfe teaches that Vitamin A can only be obtained from animals. I know, you’re thinking, wait what?? Hello, um, carrots??  The thing is that plants contain beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. As Wolfe explains, “…it can, in some circumstances, through a series of chemical conversions within the human body, be converted into true vitamin A (Wolfe, 2013, p.202)”. There are many more mind-blowing gems like this one throughout this book.

Needless to say, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It’s actually one of the the few books that I recommend to nearly all my private nutrition clients. It’s just THAT GOOD. Oh and it’s on Audible. 😉

 

 

 

Jan. 2017 – Book of the Month – The Great Cholesterol Myth

I first heard of The Great Cholesterol Myth when I was attending Bauman College. A fellow student had read the book when she was diagnosed with high cholesterol in her mid-20’s. She wasn’t satisfied with the idea of being on statins for the rest of her life. This peaked my interest and so when it was time to do research on a topic relating to heart health, I read the book. Several months after reading the book, I went to the Paleo F(x) conference and saw Jonny Bowden speak.

If you’ve ever been concerned about your cholesterol levels or if high cholesterol runs in your family, this is a must read. It was a fascinating read and paradigm-shifting book. And yet, the authors are able to break down this very complicated topic so that even the non-health nut, non-science-y folks can learn a great deal.

SPOILER ALERT: Rather than animal foods that are rich in cholesterol and saturated fats, the authors build a very strong case that processed foods, sugar, soda, trans fats, and vegetable oils are the main culprits in our SAD diet (Standard American Diet). They also suggest that lifestyle factors, like STRESS, need to be dealt with in order to keep cholesterol levels in healthy ranges. Another SPOILER ALERT: Bowden and Sinatra demonstrate what the pharmaceutical companies don’t want us to know: “…[c]holesterol is a relatively minor player in heart disease and a poor predictor of heart attacks” (p.31, Bowden & Sinatra, 2012).

I’ll leave you with these facts about cholesterol:

  • Cholesterol is a waxy steroid that is found in every cell membrane in your body.
  • Without sufficient levels of cholesterol in your diet, your body will make it (in the liver) because it is essential.
  • It is a building block for important structures such as sex hormones, bile, vitamin D, and it supports brain function, serotonin production, and it acts as an antioxidant.
  • It also helps to digest fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), insulates the nerves, and aids in fighting infection.

In the wise words of LeVar Burton, “of course, you don’t have to take *my* word for it.”

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are up next and I’m happy to report that I like flax seeds and I eat them regularly. They have a host of health benefits , but most people do not properly prepare them, and therefore do not get to capitalize on their health benefits. Read on for how to properly prepare flax. Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends adding ground flaxseeds to homemade granola bars or to strawberry-banana smoothies. In the food facts, I’ll add some precautions about using ground flaxseeds in these manners.
Food Facts:

  • Flax seeds are a good source of fiber.
  • High in vitamin B6, thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper.
  • They are also a good source of alpha-linolenic acid and phytoestrogens known as lignans. These have been shown to help prevent cancer and heart disease.
  • Flax have been shown to protect against prostate cancer.
  • Highest plant sources of omega-3 oils
  • Benefits heart, arteries, skin, hair, & brain
  • Great for your gut & constipation
  • Antioxidant rich 
  • Protects against breast & colon cancers
  • Create a mucilage when soaked in liquids (similar to chia seeds)
  • Their densely packed nutrition cannot be accessed if not properly prepared. The body simply cannot digest, and therefore take advantage of, the nutrients housed in whole flaxseeds.
    • You can grind them yourself if you have a Vitamix 32-ounce Dry Grains Container  for a Vitamix Blender, or something similar. You can also buy them already ground, BUT the container should be opaque and there should be an expiration date that is fairly soon (a couple of months). They should be stored in the fridge (as with all raw nuts and seeds).
    • You can also soak whole flaxseeds in liquid. This will increase their absorption. If you plan to add them to your yogurt, I suggest that you add them the night before. If you plan to add them to a smoothie, add them to whatever liquid you use in the smoothie the night before and allow them to soak overnight.
    • I’m still on the fence about baking with them. Because Omega-3s are a fragile fat (heat-sensitive) I worry about baking with them. But I also know that while the oven gets fairly warm, the internal temperatures of baked goods doesn’t necessarily get to the oven temp. My current opinion is: if you bake with them, the oven temp should be 325-350 maximum and don’t eat them in baked goods all that often.
  • Flaxseed oils should always be cold pressed, purchased in opaque bottles, and should be refrigerated.
  • Be sure to never heat flax oil to avoid oxidation!
  • Flaxseeds contain a moderate amount of oxalate, so those with a history of oxalate containing kidney stones should watch their consumption.

From Bauman College lecture notes, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes, by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet, by Tonia Reinhard, and Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.

Photo Cred: Luv Kreativ Photography

10 Free Things to Improve Your Health

Ten Free Things to Improve Your Health

  1. Chew Well! – This is like pre-digestion. Your digestive system will be able to absorb more nutrients and work more efficiently with well-chewed food.
  2. Sit & Relax During Meals – When you are eating while standing, driving, sitting at your desk, or eating while stressed, your brain is in “fight or flight” mode and that’s all your body can do. When you eat, in order to truly digest food and absorb nutrients, your brain and your body need to be in “rest, digest, feed, and breed” mode. Take the extra time during each meal to sit, relax, and enjoy your food.
  3. Meal Planning – Planning your weekly meals at the beginning of the week and before heading to the store can help lower your grocery bill and help you stick to your eating plan.
  4. Drink more Water – Are you drinking 64 oz. of water each day? Try keeping track of your fluid intake to see how much water you drink.
  5. Exercise Each Day – Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Nearly every health condition can be helped with physical activity.
  6. Sleep – Try making your bedroom as dark as a cave. Using technology (especially tablets and smartphones) before bed is not recommended. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep is recommended. Your organs repair and regenerate while you sleep, not enough sleep means much more than just feeling tired.
  7. Elimination – How often are you having a bowel movement? What is the consistency like? Everyone is different, but adults should be having at least one to two bowel movements each day (should be semi-firm).
  8. Relaxation – Find some way to relieve stress and relax each day. Exercise and/or prayer/meditation are good ways to relieve stress.working in my garden
  9. Socialization/Connectedness – This is another way to help relieve stress. Humans are naturally social beings and today we are often very isolated from others. Joining a club or organization is a great way to get connected.
  10. Go Outside! – Get some sunlight and vitamin D and connect with nature. Try “Earthing” by walking barefoot and absorbing the Earth’s energy and negative ions.

Health & Hugs <3

Katie

Ditch the Diet (And Other Sodas too)!

Why You Should Ditch the Diet Sodadiet soda

  • Diet sodas usually contain aspartame, which is a potential neurotoxin (Bauman, 2014) meaning it can change the chemicals in the brain
  • Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than regular sugar
  • It can be addictive
  • Can contribute to the decline in kidney function
  • Can contribute to weight gain – the body is unable to recognize the difference between real and artificial sweeteners
  • Excess body aches and pains have been tied to aspartame in the diet
  • Monsanto (large pesticide and GMO conglomerate) owns aspartame
  • Aspartame was discovered when Monsanto was investigating new pesticides (NutraSweet)
  • Can possibly turn into methanol in the digestive tract
  • Aspartame is linked to brain tumors, headaches/migraines, seizures/epilepsy, autoimmune conditions, and depression
  • Diet Pepsi also contains Acesulfame Potassium which is 200 times sweeter than sugar

Soda’s Hidden Dangers

  • Hi-Fructose Corn Syrup is damaging to the liver and causes huge spikes in the blood sugar
  • Sugars are more addictive than cocaine
  • To process sugars, vitamins and minerals must be taken from the tissues, therefore repeated exposure can lead to nutrient deficiencies
  • Can contribute to candida (yeast) overgrowth
  • High blood sugar, as a result of sugar ingestion, is linked to an increased risk of cancer
  • Soda leaves an acidic residue in the body – an acidic environment is a contributing factor in many health problems
  • Splenda isn’t any better – a chlorine molecule is added when they make this low calorie sweetener
  • Sugary drinks actually change the taste buds to crave more sugar (Axe, 2015)

    Soda Alternatives

    • Teas – iced or hot, herbal, green, black, or white, sweetened with a little honey (if needed)
    • Coconut water – look for raw coconut water (processed without heat)
    • Water – sparkling or still – try adding fresh fruit, lemon juice, or cucumber and mint to water or try Stevia Drops to add a little flavor and sweetness
    • Fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices
    • Chia seed drinks
    • Nut milks (almond, coconut, hemp, etc.)

Health & Hugs <3

Katie

References:

Axe, J. (2015). Step away from the diet coke. Retrieved from http://draxe.com/step-away-from-the-diet-coke/

Bauman, E. (2014) Foundations of Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman Press.