How to Successfully Shift to a Metabolically Supportive Diet.

How to successfully shift to a metabolically supportive diet. Five years ago I went from a diet most would consider to be very “clean” and healthy, to a diet most would consider delicious, satisfying and very “non-diet” like.  Yet, when I switched from the old diet to my current diet, I made many, many mistakes. Before this transition five years ago, my diet consisted primarily of lean chicken and turkey, egg whites, raw leafy veggies, protein powders, almond milk, olive oil, nuts, berries, seeds and tons of water with very little salt.  Believe it or not, this past diet proved to be a metabolic disaster, for so many reasons, as to why I began searching for a new approach to health.  Once I learned about metabolically stimulating foods like coconut oil, fruits, dairy and root vegetables, I switched my diet literally over night. My diet over the past five years consists of milk, cheese, fruit, orange juice, fish, root vegetables, whole eggs, coconut oil, chocolate, salt and ice cream.  This diet, believe it or not, is very supportive to metabolic health, a lean body and good energy.  Yet, when I made the extreme shift from the first diet to my current diet, my body shifted in ways that would make most health minded people think the diet change was far from healthy. Within days of shifting my diet five years ago, I experienced severe hormonal shifts that led to bi-weekly menstrual periods, skin breakouts, weight gain, an increase in cholesterol, constipation and diarrhea.  At the time, I thought my new way of eating was a HUGE mistake.  Why was...

Why Eating Like a “Celebrity” Will Ruin Your Metabolism

Why eating like a “celebrity” will ruin your metabolism There was a time in my life, many, many years ago, that I used to buy into “celebrity” diets.  I’d pick up the current People or Us magazine and read how Oprah or some other celebrity had lost extreme amounts of weight–quickly.   The celebrity would claim that all they had to do was eat pre-packaged food, or consume a liquid-only diet, or eat a low calorie diet and/or take a magic supplement to drop pounds rapidly.  I would see the before and after pictures and think, “Wow, that diet really worked, look how fast they lost weight, and see how good they looked.”. Both the celebrity and I would assume the diet really worked! What you didn’t see or hear about was how the celebrity, three months later, was struggling to keep off the weight.  Then within the next 6 months to 2 years, the same celebrity would show up in People or Us magazine with all the weight back on confessing they had no will power and they had failed, once again, at keeping their weight down.  Oprah, it’s not you fault!!! How many of you have seen these headlines in a magazine, TV show, on the Internet or one of the other million of places you are marketed to? *Learn how insert celebrity name here lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks. *Or learn how insert celebrity name here lost her baby weight in 60 days. *Or learn how insert celebrity name here got red-carpet ready. The story above and all of these statements NOW irritate the crap out...

Nuts and seeds…Too much of a good thing?

Nuts and seeds…Too much of a good thing? For years, nuts and seeds were a BIG part of my diet.  Nuts, seeds, nut and seed bars, and nut butters were staples when it came to my everyday food plan.   I ate almond butter in my oatmeal in the morning, a bag of nuts for a snack, a few nuts on my salad for lunch and a scoop of peanut butter in my protein shake later on in the day.  Nuts and seeds, seeds and nuts…how could you lose with such a tasty nutritious snack? The only problem, were some digestive issues: stomach bloating and seeing the undigested nuts and seeds in my stool (I know…too much information).  Quite honestly, I didn’t think much about any of these things because I knew how healthy they were for me. I thought of nuts and seeds as a good source of protein, filled with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals…plus they were convenient and tasted great… right? These days, almost every-health conscious person loves their nuts and seeds.   Almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts… these crunchy, tasty snacks go great with any salad, casserole or just eaten by themselves as a snack.  Eating nuts and seeds has become a staple for individuals who want a healthy snack, that’s easy and taste great. BUT — (you knew there was going to be a BUT)—have any of you, like me, ever had digestive upset, bloating or undigested nuts and seeds in your stool?  I’ll guess most of you will say “yes,” and for those of you that said “no”, you may...

How To Heal Your Metabolism

How to Heal Your Metabolism Lately, as many of you know I have been deep in reading and researching about the systems of the body, healing the body, nutrients, foods that heal and how they are all related in increasing metabolic function.  I think we can agree that we would all like to increase our metabolism…right?  As we get older we are led to believe that our metabolism will just naturally slow down.  We will have to work harder and eat less just to stay thin and feel good about ourselves.  Do these statements ring true to you?  They certainly did for me…of course, until now. You see, for many years, I believed the only way that I could increase my metabolic expenditure (increase calories burned) was to add more muscle to my body and/or to exert more energy through increased exercise load and intensity.  However, there is actually a third way to increase your metabolism.  One that is not discussed very often, either because people do not know about it or they just do not understand it.  Are you wondering what it is?  Oh, I bet you are… Over the last few years of my studies, I have begun to look at the body and its functions very differently.  I have realized that the health of our metabolism is more than just how much we move and how much muscle we have; a healthy metabolism is about what is happening in every cell of our body and the actual respiration of every cell of our body.  Thus, if we can increase cellular respiration we can increase metabolic function....

My Top 12 Metabolic Supportive Foods

My Top 12 Metabolic Supportive Foods Recently, I have been focusing a lot of my time and energy on finding and using foods to heal the body, the metabolism, the thyroid, the liver and the gut. I have discovered that some foods can support your metabolism, while other foods can slow it down (more on those in another blog).  Some may be pretty obvious to you while others may be quite surprising to you… You see, I love to eat.  I love great tasting healthy food that provides me with great energy, nourishment, tastes great and helps support my metabolism.  There use to be a time in my life when I would eat cardboard tasting food because I thought it was healthy for me, how wrong I was.  Like many, I got caught up in the marketing of food.  Low calorie, low fat, low in nutrition, easy to make, yet taste like crap and filled with crap. Now, I know better, now I know what is going to energize me and keep my metabolism fired up (fresh, organic, not processed foods) vs unhealthy food (processed, fast food, frozen, conventional, sugar) that is going to slow my metabolism down and take energy away from me.  Can you remember a time that you ate a great, healthy meal and felt great afterwards?  What about when you ate an unhealthy meal, how did you feel?  Different?  Of course! With that said, I want to give you my TOP 12 healthy, energizing, metabolism boosting foods.  If you can find a way to get all of these foods in your diet, in the right amounts, at the right times, within your day and week, then...

Is Your Diet Making you Fat?

Is Your Diet Making you FAT? In my career, spanning over 20 years in the health and fitness industry, there is one thing I know for sure, dieting never works, at least long term.  In fact, long term, people who diet usually end up slowing their metabolism down and end up gaining weight and getting fat FATTER !   YIKES! First, what do I mean by dieting? When I reference “dieting”, I am referring to any food plan that is restrictive in one or all of the following area: 1. Calories.  The energy we get from food. 2. Micro-nutrients.  This could be vitamins, minerals or combination of both 3. Macro-nutrients.  This includes fat, protein, and/or carbs. These diets include, but are not limited to low calorie diets, low carb diets, low fat diets, low protein diets, low salt diets, liquid diets, cleanses, fasts, juice diets, vegan diets, and low REAL food diets. Can you lose weight on any of the above diets?  Yes, of course you will…short term. Will you also feel hungry and deprived?  YES! Will also you become cranky and crave sweet or salty foods?  YES!  Will you be able to maintain this diet for a lifetime?  Most likely, NO!   You might be able to last for awhile or a restrictive diet, but eventually you will crack and eat the foods you are craving. In fact, you have about  a 1-2% chance or maintaing a restrictive diet for over 2 years.  The only people I know that can maintain a calorie restrictive, nutrient deficient diet for any extended period of time are those that usually develop an eating disorder…and well,...

Leafy Greens or Toxic Food? The Other Side of Eating Vegetables

Leafy greens or toxic food? The other side of eating vegetables Here I go again…are you ready? I am about to question one of the most widely promoted health recommendations in the U.S. What is it? I’m challenging the recommendation to “eat more vegetables”. This is an interesting topic since most of us have been told all our lives that we need to eat more vegetables. Right? For most of my life, I have been a huge advocate of eating tons of vegetables including kale, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Personally, I would eat at least 8 to 9 servings of vegetables a day — mostly raw. We have all been told vegetables are good for us because they contain loads of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidant properties. And this is true — vegetables are filled with all these health-promoting properties. However, does this mean that all vegetables are good for us? Or is there another side of the story we’re missing? As many of you know, about three years ago, I went through a massive transformation in my beliefs about health and nutrition. At the time my diet consisted of organic vegetables, gluten free grains, lots of organic chicken and meats, protein shakes, some fruits, and tons of water. My diet included no dairy, little fat, and no fruit juice. Sounds pretty healthy, right? The problem was, my body started to break down, I started to feel like crap, and I had no idea what was going on quite honestly, because I thought I was eating the perfect diet. Over the next year, through trial-and-error and lots of...

Is Your Workout Making you Fat?

  Is your workout making you fat? Lately, I have been bombarded with calls and emails from women and men, who are doing tons of cardio AND gaining weight! Correct, they are doing loads of cardio exercise (1-3 hours day) and are gaining, not losing weight. Is this possible? My first thought is, perhaps they are simply gaining muscle? Well, maybe? However, if they are doing tons of cardio, trust me when I tell you, this is NOT an anabolic workout (a muscle-building workout) this is a catabolic workout (a muscle-breakdown workout). Thus, a high amount of cardio usually results in muscle loss, not muscle gain. Have you ever seen a really muscular marathon runner? I certainly have not. Most elite marathon runners look emaciated. They are super lean yet have very little muscle. You see, long distance endurance activities are very catabolic. They end up breaking down muscle — not building it. Over time, this means: Lots of cardio=catabolism=Less muscle = lower metabolism = Fat gain Most people think the opposite: Lots of cardio = more calories burned = weight loss Shouldn’t this be the right equation? Well, it would be, however, you are leaving out one very important component — hormones. Lots of cardio = elevated cortisol, decreased T3 (active thyroid), and increased estrogen (fat storing hormone) = Muscle breakdown + lower thyroid function = FAT gain and muscle loss. Is it really possible to gain fat while doing tons of exercise? Yes. Here is what is really going. After about an hour of exercise, your cortisol levels increase and stay elevated until you have finished your extended...

The Secrets to Proper Core Training

The Secrets to Proper Core Training Six pack abs, a flat stomach, NO belly fat, a small waist, thin, trim, and skinny…all words that attract us when it comes to our  mid-section. What about proper posture, corrective work, improving muscular imbalances, reducing back and hip pain, and improving spinal function…maybe not as popular, but all can occur IF you train your “core” properly. First, what is your core? The core is a group of muscles that provide stability and support through the entire body.  Many of us would say the core is your abs or stomach.  True, but there is so much more.  Your core is made up of your ABS which include your external obliques, internal obliques, rectus abdominis, and transversus abdominis.  The core is also made of your hip muscles (glute medius, maximus, minimus, and psoas) and your lumber spine muscles (erector spinia, Multifidus spinae, quadratus lumborum, lower lats).   Some texts books will even consider the rotary cuff of your shoulder and  your neck as part of your core as they both have a direct effect on how your mid section operates and creates stability. So now that you know what muscles you need to work to provide proper stability and support for your body, how should you train your abs? Can you train your core everyday? Well, Yes and No. Yes, as long as you train different parts of your core on different days. An example would be: Day 1 *Lower abs and hips (Rectus Abdominis and transverse abdominus) Day 2  Obliques and low back Day 3 *Upper abs (rectus abdominus) *Although we actually don’t have a separate upper and...

Got Milk?

Got Milk? Now that’s a question that has received tons of controversy in the past 30 years. Is milk really good for you? Does it make you fat? Does it make you thin? Does it play a role in cancer or heart disease? Does it help promote bone development? Is whole milk better? Is skim milk better? What about pasteurization and homogenization? One day, milk is good for us. The next day, milk is bad for us. I will be honest, in my own personal research on milk, for every article I find praising milk, I can find another one tearing it apart. So, what should we believe? What is the truth? Well, the truth is milk can be good and milk can be bad for us. Huh? I believe the difference depends on some very important questions. Ask yourself, where does the milk come from (organic and pastured-fed or conventional and grain-fed), are their additives (synthetic Vitamin A, D, and thickeners like carrageenan), has it been pasteurized and homogenized, is it whole fat or skim, and finally, what if the person drinking the milk has a milk intolerance? The question of, is milk really good for us? depends on so many variables. So, for us to make an educated decision on choosing or not choosing to add milk to our diet we need to understand a few things… Organic and pasture-fed vs. conventional grain-fed milk. As I discussed in a previous blog, Where is the grass-fed beef? pastured, grass-fed cattle produce a far superior product than commercial, grain-fed cattle. This is not only true in the meat they...

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Vitamins, minerals, hormones, foods or lifestyle shifts that lower the stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) have been shown to be the best methods for long term fat loss--

Which is interesting since cortisol and adrenaline work directly to liberate and utilize fats as energy.

So why does this happen?

Increased levels of stress hormones produce an increased level of free fatty acids (FFA) in blood. The Randle Cycle (glucose-fatty acid cycle) says that when we have high levels of FFA's in blood, this blocks glucose metabolism. Thus, the glucose consumed or created by gluconeogenesis either turns into lactic acid via glycolysis (cancer metabolism) or into fat for storage, which creates a viscus cycle.

Fat burning--blocks sugar oxidation--leads to fat storage--repeat.

Sugar/glucose oxidation produces more heat, ATP and CO2 than utilizing fat as energy. Decreasing glucose oxidation and increasing fat oxidation SLOWS down metabolism.

Therefore a stressed diet (low sugar) OR high fat diet (Pufa diet) OR/AND a stressed life will increase FFA in blood and will encourage the poor oxidation of glucose, a slower metabolic rate and long term MORE fat storage.

Long term this can produce more fat gain vs fat loss--
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