Keys to Healthy Eating
Key #1: We used to think that breakfast was essential to give your body and brain the enegry it needs to get jump-started for the day. It is still true that a healthy breakfast may curb the tendency to overeat later in the day. However, we now know that intermittent fasting is actually good for not only weight control but improves metabolic functioning. I usually choose to fast 14 hours using my time in bed. So don't eat from dinner to mid-morning or lunch. Whatever timed eating pattern works for you. We are all different. There are even genetic tests now that show what is the best way and best food for each individual person. According to Healthline, these are the most popular methods of intermittent fasting:
- The 16/8 method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1-9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
- The 5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
The most important thing is to choose what works best for you and stick to it. Intermittent fasting is effective for weight loss, weight control, lowering blood sugar, increasing insulin sensitivity, and increasing your metabolic function. Some people call it timed eating.
Key #2: Schedule time to eat. Make appointments with yourself for mealtimes. Keep them as you would any other importrant. Don't skip meals and do not eat outside of your scheduled times. Anything you eat after dinner - you wear.
Key #3: Recognize and gain control over emotional eating. If you are feeling stressed out, pressured, depressed, anxious or bored - ask yourself am I using food to stuff down or soothe my feelings. Instead of reaching for that carb, cookie or candy, ask what's eating me? Use food for nourishing your body and mind for optimal health. Change the channel of emotional eating go for a walk, put on some music, call a friend, play with your dog. Whatever it takes to distract yourself from that emotional craving and eating that unhealthy food. You will feel so good when you are successful.
Key #4: Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
Key #5: Count to your age before you "ch-eat." Sometimes we tell ourselves "Oh forget it!" when we choose to eat things things we know are not good for us. Remember you always have a choice. If you choose to ch-eat - do so and enjoy thoroughly. But, remember Randall's rule - it's not what you do 10-20% of the time that makes you what you are. It is what you do 80 - 90% of the time that creates your health. If you are truly on goal 80 - 90% of the time you can have those treats once in a while.
Key #6: Do not feel defeated. Everyone falls down once in a while. If you beat yourself down you are more likely to continue your downward cycle. Learn from your mistakes and your cravings, they may be chemical, emotional or both. Be gentle to yourself and know you can improve with help.
Key #7: Remember to move. A regular exercise schedule is essential to keeping your metabolism tip top. Shake what your Mama gave you. It will pay off. If you really want to get the physical thing right you will put attention on strength, balance, and coordination. See the previous post on exercise.
Key #8: There is no one perfect diet for everyone. One size does not fit all. I mentioned before there are genetic tests to see which diet is best for you. However, I feel it's pretty easy to figure out by just living your life and trying to eat healthily. The keto diet gets a lot of attention these days. I believe it to be a fad and not a way of life. It's good for losing weight and perhaps cleansing. However, anything that make you ketotic makes you acidotic this is something we try to avoid because it promots inflammation dissolution of healthy bones and we all die from some form of inflammatory disease. Inflammation is the common denominator of all diseases that cause death. The only reason a ketotic diet works is it is an emergency mode your body has learned to survive and feed the brain during times of emergency and starvation. We do not want to keep our bodies in the state of fear of an emergency. My opinion is that the vegan paleo diet is the best diet for our bodies and our planet. For the highest degree of health, we need organic locally grown fresh whole foods plant-based. This has the least carbon imprint and is best for the planet. Diet and making muscle is really about getting the right amino acids. The adage that you have to eat meat to make meat is simply not true. Look at silverback gorillas who have more muscle than muscles. The best source of amino acids for the vegans is peas and soy. Soy if organic and non-GMO is healthy for everyone except someone who has or had an estrogen receptor-positive cancer. If meat is something you feel you need it is best if pasture-raised and even better Restorative Farming raised which not only produces organic product it restores the earth's grasslands and replenishes oxygen and reduces carbon dioxide. See my post with Timothy Kerchville on Restorative Farming. It is the salvation of our planet and Timothy is the leader and is transforming farming in the state of Kentucky as a model for the entire country. And restoring the grasslands and Agroforestry. This is groundbreaking!
Personal and Planetary Health go hand in hand!
Polyunsaturated fat can be found mostly in nuts, seeds, fish, seed oils, and oysters. Omega 3 fatty acids from fish and algae (no DHA in Algae). Omega 7 fatty acids from seeds. Omega 6 fatty acids from meats and flax. All Omegas need to be balanced for appropriate cell membrane function. Monounsaturated fats are good fats from olive oil and avocado oil and they are the only fats that can not be made into an inflammatory molecule.
Saturated fat is a type of fat in which the fatty acid chains have all or predominantly single-chain full of hydrogens. Most animal fats are saturated. The fats of plants and fish are generally unsaturated. Saturated fats tend to have a higher melting point and tend to be solids at room temperature. Animal fats can be inflammatory. Coconut and palm oil are better because of antioxidant qualities. Although palm is bad because farming it is damaging the rainforest and causing the extinction of orangutans and other species.
Trans fatty acids are bad are not essential and provide no benefit for human health whether animal or plant origin. Both saturated and trans fats increase levels of LDL, trans fats also lower levels of HDL thus increasing the risk of coronary artery disease. According to the Mayo Clinic trans fats are commonly found in baked goods (cakes, cookies, pie crusts, and crackers), snack foods (potato, corn and tortilla chips, and microwave popcorn). Also deep-fried foods (French fries, doughnuts and fried chicken). Also, refrigerator dough (canned biscuits, cinnamon rolls, frozen pizza crusts) creamer and margarine (nondairy coffee creamer and stick margarine) contain trans fats. Even eating small amounts of trans fat can add up to troubling medical problems over time public health experts say.
Sugar is the Enemy
Sugar is one of the main contributions to ill health in our country. Mark Hyman author of "Blood Sugar Solution" calls sugar a recreational drug. Dr. Randall agrees and says "we are all born addicted to sugar." When we evolved as human beings sugar in the purified form did not exist and the sugar available in a tiny amount from overripe fruit, a flower or honey was rare. It became a survival mechanism to be able to get that small amount of sugar first and, thus more energy. So the gene for sugar cravings was born and passed down to us today. In modern times it is an anti-survival gene. Sugar causes our bodies to become imbalanced. Our guts grow unhealthy organisms under the influence of excess refined carbs and sugar and our metabolisms shift because of the excessive glycemic load. This causes weight gain, leaky gut, and inflammation.
Inflammation is the final common denominator of all chronic disease: heart disease, arthritis, autoimmune disease, diabetes, asthma, even cancer. Sugar also feeds anxiety and depression and makes us emotionally unstable. The best thing you can do for yourself to promote longevity and health is to cut out overt sugar and refined carbs. Get your body back in line. See your doctor and make sure your Hemoglobin A1C is normal. Once you are stable and free from symptoms: aching, bloating, gas, diarrhea, excess weight, and constipation, you can make refined carbs a "sometimes food" and only have them as a treat.
We all should be eating a vegan-paleo-like diet with whole foods mostly plants. Lots of vegetables and fruits and plant-based meat substitutes or if preferred grass-fed organic meats and fish. Meats if chosen should be treated more as a condiment. Eat as little processed and packaged refined food as possible. Find out without sugar - It is a New Life!
Seven Foods that help GUT HEALTH
- Asparagus - prebiotic
- Sauerkraut or Kim Chi - a good source of probiotics and fiber
- Garlic - prebiotic discourages the growth of dysbiotic bacteria
- Onion - prebiotic and antioxidant
- Apple cider vinegar - stimulates digestive juices helps break down foods
- Ginger - relaxes stomach assists digestion and treats nausea
- Dandelion greens or cilantro - anti-inflammatory and cleansing detoxifying chelates toxins
Americans eat too much salt!
In my opinion, Americans eat too much salt! They consume on average about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. However, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day that is equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt! Some experts including me would say that is too much salt. If you think of our ancestors that evolved the ancient genes we walked around in, they had no salt or only that in the food they ate. The best research is from the Dietary approaches to Stop Hypertensions DASH diet recommends 1500 mg per day for a low sodium diet.
Sodium can increase blood pressure. This effect is stronger in certain populations, making them more sensitive to salt and more prone to blood pressure related to heart disease.
Sodium is an important nutrient for health. It plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function and helps your body maintain normal fluid balance. But too much leads to swelling, high blood pressure, stress on the heart and promotes cancer growth. Cancer loves sodium whereas potassium prevents it. That is why Dr. Gerson, a famous pioneer in cancer treatment had a high quantity of fruits and vegetables as part of treatment. Some experts say that alternative salts like Himalayan, Celtic, black and Hawaiian salts are better. That is my sense however there are no studies to prove that.
Along with maintaining normal fluid balance, sodium plays a key role in normal nerve and muscle function. Your kidneys help regulate your body’s sodium levels by adjusting the amount that is excreted in your urine. You also lose sodium through sweating. Each person’s reaction to sodium is individual. Some may need more if they exercise vigorously and sweat a lot. Others are extremely sensitive like my friend and patient Tom who is hypersensitive to sodium and even the smallest amount can send him into a hypertensive crisis. Also, people with heart disease, existing high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes should be on a low sodium diet. We all need to be mindful of the salt shaker and use other flavorings for out food: Italian spices, lemon (my favs), also garlic, onions, cumin, and Indian spices. Whatever spices make your taste buds happy!
Eating a diet rich in leafy greens offers benefits including reduced risk of high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and cognitive decline. They have abundant folate (B9), vitamins A, C, E and K and manganese, are high fiber low calorie. Kale esp rich in beta carotene and lutien, is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and brussel sprouts all contain glucosinolates -sulferous nutrients which are healing, detoxifying and may prevent cancer. Kale also has quercetin and kaempferol a potent anti-inflammatory and is one of the most nutrient dense foods. Choose organic because it has been named one of the most pesticide contaminated on list of dirty dozen by Environmental Working Group. Collard greens have more than 1000% daily requirement of vitamin K. They come in purple and red as well which are full of anthocyanins which are antioxidants reduce blood pressure and protect against cancer. Beet greens are ignored and are particularly good because they contain the antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein, which may reduce the risk of eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Watercress is from the Brassicaceae family similar to arugula and mustard greens. These have been used as herbal medicine and are thought to have action against cancer. Romain lettuce may reduce blood lipids and Swiss Chard helps control blood sugar through unique ingredient syringic acid. Arugula is one of the best sources of dietary nitrates that turns into nitric oxide in your body. These increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure by widening your blood vessels. Endive also has antioxidant kaempferol, that reduces inflammation and inhibits the growth of cancer. Bok Choy is special because it is high in selenium which protects against cognitive decline, cancer, improves immunity and is important for thyroid function. Turnip greens are similar to beet - they are nutrient dense and ignored. They contain a lot of calcium and several antioxidants- glucotropaeolin, quercetin, myricetin and beta-carotene which help allergies and reduce oxidative stress. Dandelion is cleansing for liver and kidneys. Eat your greens and mix it up as a variety is better!