Super Bowl “Healthy Desserts”  KUSI

Super Bowl “Healthy Desserts” KUSI

At every Super Bowl party the chances that you will over indulge are fairly HIGH.  Chances are you are going to overeat and over indulge, which will end up with an unhappy gut the next day.  These 3 simple recipes will help keep your gut happy, will help balance your blood sugar so you will not over eat, they all taste great and are very easy to make.

Enjoy!

Click on above picture for KUSI interview.

Baked Apples/peaches/pears  

C= 22 P= 8 F= 8

200 calories per serving

Serves 10

Ingredients:

4 medium apples

4 medium pears

4 medium peaches (if these are not in season add 4 different types of apples or pears)

2 Tbsp. of organic butter

1 Tbsp. of cinnamon

10 oz. shaved Parmesan reggiano cheese (no additives) OR 2.5 cups of 2% Greek Yogurt

 Instructions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut apples, peaches and pears into bite size pieces.
  3. Place all fruit along with butter and cinnamon into a Pyrex glass-cooking dish
  4. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until soft.
  5. Stir fruit every 10-15 minutes
  6. Allow fruit to cool or you may eat it warm
  7. *Add 1 oz. (about 3 level T.) of graded Parmesan Reggiano cheese to each 1 cup serving.OR 1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt
  8. Place rest of fruit in glass containers. Only add cheese once you are ready to serve.

 

Home made Metabolic Chocolate:

C=8 P=3 F=5

One chocolate = 80 to 90 Calories

Serves 25-30 chocolates

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of Organic Raw cacao powder

1/3 cup of refined organic coconut oil

1/3 cup of raw organic honey

1/3 cup of gelatin powder (Greatlakesgelatin.com)

1 & 1/3 cup of coconut flakes

1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

1/2 tsp. of White Sea salt

Instructions:

In a Medium saucepan melt coconut oil, honey and cacao powder.  Turn burner to low and add vanilla or almond extracts, salt and gelatin.  Mix well.  Finally add in coconut flakes.

In large Pyrex glass pan, line with parchment paper.   Scoop Tablespoon size chocolate and place on paper.  Place in freezer for about 1 hour.  Enjoy.  Keep rest of chocolates in refrigerator for storage.

 

Kate’s Orange Juice Mix

Great for drinking in between meals, pre-workout, during workout and post workout

Ingredients:

6 oz. Pulp free Organic Orange Juice

2 oz. Organic pulp free Coconut water (optional)

1-2 tbsp. Hydrolyzed gelatin protein

*Start with 1 tbsp. and work yourself up to two.

A pinch of White Sea salt (you can add more if needed)

Ice

6-10 oz. carbonated (C02) or filtered water (whatever fills up bottle)

Instructions:

Add OJ, coconut water, salt, and gelatin to a 20 oz. bottle. Shake or blend together well.

Add ice, shake. DO NOT blend.

Add C02 water or filtered water last. Shake bottle lightly or the C02 water will make the drink fizz over.

Enjoy.  Sip through out day to keep blood sugar balanced and to keep the sugar cravings away.

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.

First, what is cellular respiration?

Cellular respiration is the set of the metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products.

Basically, it is what happens when glucose (sugar) enters the cells and converts to usable energy.  Without getting too scientific, it’s the most efficient way for cells to harvest energy stored in food.

Cellular respiration has three main stages: glycolysis, the Kreb’s cycle, and the electron transport chain.  For all the geeks, here is a basic explanation of each, for everyone else, skip ahead…

  1. Glycolysis is the metabolic process occurring in the cytosol of your cells that converts glucose (sugar) into two pyruvate molecules.  Glycolysis is an anaerobic (does not require oxygen) reaction that has an end production of 2 ATP (ATP is usable energy) molecules. 
  2. Kreb’s Cycle (Citric Acid Cycle) is an aerobic (requires oxygen) reaction that occurs in the mitochondria of every cell in your body.  The mitochondria are referred to as the cell’s power plant because they produce most of the cells supply of ATP (energy). Once oxygen is present, Acetyl Co A is produced from the two pyruvate molecules.  Through an 8-step process 6 NADH, 2 FADH2, and 2 ATP are formed (yes, I know you have no idea what this means…but keep reading, it will all make sense soon).
  3. 3. Electron Transport Chain (ETC) is also an aerobic reaction occurring in the mitochondria.  The ETC transports electrons from donors (like NADH and FADH2) to acceptors (like Oxygen).   When working properly the Kreb’s cycle and the ETC produce most of the cells energy.  The end result is an additional 34 ATP.  As you can see we need adequate amount of glucose, oxygen and a healthy mitochondria to produce sufficient amounts of energy…without these our cells become inefficient and eventually die.

Have I lost you with all this scientific jargon?  Stick with me; things will start to come together soon…

What I want you to see is when everything is working optimally and our cells are getting adequate glucose and oxygen we produce lots of energy (increased cellular respiration).  With increased cellular respiration our metabolism increases.  A great running metabolism means we are meeting our body’s energy needs, we are repairing tissue, we are detoxing properly, we have proper hormone function, we have good energy, we feel happy and life is good.

Did you ever have a friend when you were young who was thin, didn’t workout and could eat whatever she wanted and never gain a pound?  You know, that friend you hated… we will call her Britch.   Britch had great cellular respiration.  It is not the amount of muscle she had or the amount of exercise or activity she did that kept her thin.  Her increased metabolic function came from great cellular respiration.  However, if Britch continued to live her crappy-eating, non-exercising lifestyle her cells would become damaged and her lifestyle would catch up to her.

Many of us would attribute this phenomenon to great genes.   This is partially true since our mitochondria has its own set of DNA.   However, we can help or harm the health of our cellular respiration through the foods we eat, the lifestyles we choose and the decisions we make.  So even if you were not born with great mitochondrial genes you can still improve OR worsen your cells energy production.

Want to know how?

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Don’t worry, you know me, I’m here to provide you with FREE usable information…

Here are ELEVEN things that will help increase cellular respiration and help heal your metabolism.

  1. Decrease polyunsaturated fats (PUFA).  As I have discussed before PUFAs are highly unstable and oxidize easily in the body.  PUFAs cause mitochondrial damage and reduce respiration.  PUFAs also bind to the same protein receptors that transport your thyroid hormone, reducing thyroid usage…which, once again, has an adverse effect on your cells respiration.  Some examples of PUFA’s are vegetable oils, corn oils, seed oils, nut oils, fish oils, most nuts and seeds and most conventional meats.
  2. Decrease phytoestrogens (soy). An increased level of phytoestrogens increases free fatty acids (FFA) in the body.  FFA acids are known to inhibit the thyroid function and disrupt glucose metabolism.  Soy, like PUFAs, lowers cellular respiration.
  3. Increase saturated fats. Yes, you heard me.  Increasing the right types of saturated fats like coconut oil, organic butter or ghee, cocoa butter, raw organic dairy, and grass fed meats can be very beneficial for your cells.  Saturated fats are stable. Unlike PUFAs, saturated fats bind to proteins in the correct way.  They are used properly and do not break down causing damage to mitochondria genes (DNA).
  4. Eat the right types of carbohydrates (sugars). I know everyone is scared of the words carbohydrate and sugar these days.  You would think by telling you to consume them, it is like telling you to go jump off a bridge.  We must understand not all carbohydrates (sugars) are created equal.  When I say the right types of carbs or sugars, I am referring to ripe fruits, root vegetables, organic raw dairy, pulp free OJ and some low starch above ground vegetables.  I am not referring to processed cookies, crackers, grains, breads and candies.   Sugar is the bodies preferred source of energy.  When we use the right sugars to fuel our cells they produce the most energy by using the least amount of our own bodies resources.  When we use a less optimal fuel (like protein or fat) our body uses more resources to produce less energy.
  5. Eat the right type of protein. Consuming easily digestible proteins like organic beef broth, gelatin, white fish, eggs, dairy and shellfish help support the liver and thyroid.  Increase thyroid hormone increases mitochondria respiration and increases CO2 production.
  6. Increasing Carbon dioxide (C02). C02 helps increase cellular respiration.  You can increase your C02 levels by living at high altitudes (Denver, you are all set), bag breathing, ingesting or bathing in baking soda and increasing your intake of carbonated water.
  7. The right exercise.  Stressful exercise increases mitochondrial damage.  Long duration cardio is incredibly stressful to the body.  Endurance athletes, although fit, have decreased cellular function, you can see this in their very low pulse and low body temperature.  According to Dr. Ray Peat “concentric” weight training is actually restorative to the cells mitochondria.  This means lifting with a load and relaxing without a load.  Burst training (short burst of exercise followed by rest) is also supportive of a healthy metabolism.
  8. Get more Sunlight. According to Dr. Ray Peat, “It turns out that day light 
stimulates our ability to use oxygen for energy production, and
 protects our tissues from some of the free-radical toxins that are
 produced by normal metabolism, by stress, or by radiation.”   This does not mean lay in the sun for 10 hours/day.  Refer to my blog on Vitamin D to help decide how much sun you need.
  9. Get more Sleep. Getting restorative sleep helps with proper cellular function.  This can mean anywhere from 6- 10 hours depending on the person.  Deep sleep is better than more sleep.  Best hours for sleeping are between the hours of 10:30PM -6:30AM.  When the body is at rest its primary energy source should be fat.  Burning fat while sleeping is far less harmful to the cells than oxidizing it while working out.  Remember to optimize energy production sugars should be used while awake and fats should be used while asleep.
  10. Stop dieting. Dieting, starvation, and detox programs may all help you lose weight fast and help you feel better in the short run.  However, long term they are all doing the same thing…they damage your mitochondria and decrease cellular respiration.  Have you ever wondered why ever time you “diet” it gets a little harder to lose weight?  It’s because dieting deprives our cells of proper energy and nutrients, damaging our cells and decreasing metabolism.
  11. Reduce all other toxins.  Remove as many toxins from your life as possible.  This includes processed foods, trans-fats, high fructose corn syrup, additives, preservatives, carrageenan, hormones, anti-biotics, drugs, alcohol, environmental toxins, fluoride, pesticides, herbicides, mercury, radiation, etc.  All toxins will disrupt and interfere with proper cell function.  All toxins will lower cellular respiration.

Okay, you got all that?  Yes, I know this is a lot to take in.  And yes, I know some of you may think I am crazy.  This is totally okay with me.  However, what you should know is everything I write about is based on the physiology of the human body, scientific research and my own self-experimentation.   I am not here to tell you what you should or should not do.  My intentions for giving you this information is to only share with you what I am learning, and how it is helping not only myself, but also many of my clients.

Please understand the recommendations I am giving are not person specific.  Every person is different, is at a different state of health and has different needs.  You must also understand that healing the body on a cellular level takes time, a real commitment to wanting to get better and a belief that you are doing the right thing.  There is so much misinformation on health and nutrition out there, it is hard to know what to believe anymore.  In fact, you should question everything you learn, including me.  It is important that you investigate on your own, find out what works for you, ask lots questions, and get help from a professional if you feel you need it.  For more information on how to heal your metabolism…Buy The BOOK.

Happy healing!

Your Optimal Health Coach,

Kate

“Disclaimer:  I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor.  I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.  I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them.  I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body.  If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”

References:

  1. Mitochondria and Mortality.  Dr. Ray Peat
  2. Energy structure and carbon dioxide: A realistic view of the organism. Dr. Ray Peat
  3. Using Sunlight to Sustain Life.  Dr. Ray Peat
  4. The acute phase response and exercise: the ultra marathon as prototype exercise. Clin J Sport Med. 2001 Jan;11(1):38-43.
  5. Systemic inflammatory response to exhaustive exercise. Cytokine kinetics.
Suzuki K, Nakaji S, Yamada M, Totsuka M, Sato K, Sugawara K.  Exerc Immunol Rev. 2002;8:6-48.
  6. Inhibition of NADH-linked mitochondrial respiration by 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal.
Humphries KM, Yoo Y, Szweda LI.  Biochemistry. 1998 Jan 13;37(2):552-7.
  7. 4-Hydroxy-2(E)-nonenal inhibits CNS mitochondrial respiration at multiple sites.
Picklo MJ, Amarnath V, McIntyre JO, Graham DG, Montine TJ.  J Neurochem. 1999 Apr;72(4):1617-24.
  8. Effect of high plasma free fatty acids on the free radical formation of myocardial mitochondria isolated from ischemic dog hearts.
Kamikawa T, Yamazaki N.  Jpn Heart J. 1981 Nov;22(6):939-49.
  9. Acrolein inhibits respiration in isolated brain mitochondria.
Picklo MJ, Montine TJ.  Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Feb 14;1535(2):145-52
  10. Acrolein, a product of lipid peroxidation, inhibits glucose and glutamate uptake in primary neuronal cultures.
Lovell MA, Xie C, Markesbery WR.  Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Oct 15;29(8):714-20.
  11. Thyroid hormone action in mitochondria.  C Wrutniak-Cabello, F Casas and G Cabello UMR Différenciation Cellulaire et Croissance (INRA, Université Montpellier II, ENSAM), Unité d’Endocrinologie Cellulaire, INRA, 2 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France

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 you are one step closer to increasing your metabolism, feeling great and obtaining optimal health.

1. Organic Fruit– pineapple, papaya, melons, cherries, grapes, RIPE/cooked apples, RIPE/cooked pears, peaches, kiwis, etc. are packed with good sugar, antioxidants, and a great source of minerals.  Organic fruits and even fruit juices (without pulp) are a great tool for maintaining blood sugar as long as you consume them with a fat and a protein.

2. Organic RAW Carrots– Raw carrots act like a natural antibiotic to aid your gut, thus help you process food better, decrease bacteria and increase your metabolism.  Eat in moderation since they are moderately high on the glycemic index.  Great with a little coconut oil, vinegar, and salt.

3. Organic Expeller Pressed Coconut oil – A healthy saturated fat consisting primarily of medium chain tryglicerides (MCT).  The MCT’s in coconut oil are proven anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents.

4. Organic Pastured Eggs– Eggs are loaded with vitamin B12, Vit D, Vit A, choline and leucine all of which are what your body utilizes to help metabolize fat.  A recent research study found those who ate 1-2 eggs for breakfast lost more weight then those who ate bagels, toast or cereal

5.  Raw/Organic Dairy – calcium helps break down fat, and milk and other dairy contain tons of calcium.  If you are lactose intolerant try raw milk products.  Since they are not heated they will contain the live enzymes necessary for you to brake down the milk protein.  If you can not get RAW milk in your state then buy organic.  At least organic ensures it is hormone and antibiotic free. (add in milk slowly (1-2 oz/day) then try and work up to 8-24oz/day).

6. Organic Fruit Vegetables– Squash, zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkin, etc.  Believe it or not, squash are actually fruits.  They contain high levels of folate, Vitamin C and beta carotene.  They have anti-inflammatory properties which has helped with cancer prevention, arthritis, heart attacks and strokes.

7.  Organic Potatoes – rich in protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C.  Always eat potatoes with a fat and protein…so add a little butter and eat with a serving of fish, meat or dairy.  Add potatoes in slowly, as too much too quick can encourage weight gain.

8.  Organic grass fed, FREE roaming meats– Contains Iron and all your essential amino acids.  Grass fed meats will contain 1/2 to 1/3 less fat than grain fed beef.  These meats are also a great source of protein without all the antibiotics and hormones (my recommendation is to eat these 2-3x week).

9. Shell fish. Oysters, clams, muscles, shrimp, lobster, scallops and crab are all good sources of high quality protein.  Shellfish contain vitamins A, C, D and E, and the B vitamins.  Shellfish are an exceptional source of vitamin B12, which is required for every metabolic process in the body.

10. Salt–it’s natures diuretic and is necessary to mobilize glucose (sugar).  The right white, clean source of salt actually increases your metabolism, decreases edema and helps muscles recover.  I recommend Mortan’s canning and pickling salt.

11. Dark, organic chocolate — Dark chocolate contain not only a healthy level of antioxidants but it also contains stearic acid, a saturated fat that has been found to boost your metabolism.  Dark chocolate also contains the mineral magnesium which supports metabolism.

12. Bone broth and Gelatin. —  Bone broth and gelatin are an amazing protein source free of cysteine and tryptophan (both amino acids have anti metabolic effects).  Bone and broth and gelatin also has many anti inflammatory and anti aging properties.  (My favorite gelatin is hydrolyzed gelatin from Great Lakes Gelatin)

This week try and one or two of these amazing metabolic foods into your diet.  Remove the boxed, frozen, processed foods and see how great you are going to feel. Trust me your body will thank you:)

I do want to specify that the amount of each of these foods, when to take them and what to combine them with is VERY important.  Actual dietary requirements are all person specific since we all are at different metabolic rates, different sizes, ages, activity levels, etc.   I certainly don’t want you to think you can go out and eat a chocolate bar with a big glass of milk and a burger filled with cheese and get lean and healthy…because  most likely you will not.  Each and everyone of these foods has a specific purpose and if used properly in the right amounts at the right times can make your body a metabolic furnace.

If you would like more information on how to use these foods to help you get healthy, get energized, increase your metabolism and get lean then please do not hesitate to email me.   Finding the right program for YOU can not be achieved by just any cookie cutter approach.  Your diet must be individualized and constantly fine tuned to REALLY work long term.  Allow your body to heal itself…it can be done with a little hard work, commitment and a desire to want to get better.

Your Optimal Health Coach,

Kate Deering

“Disclaimer:  I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor.  I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.  I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them.  I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body.  If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”

References:

Josh Rubin www.eastwesthealing.com

Dr Ray Peat www.raypeat.com

Dr Lita Lee www.drlitalee.com

Metabolically Stimulating Fat?

Metabolically stimulating fat?

Once upon a time, in a world far, far away — well… Atlanta, Georgia (far enough), I used to be a no-fat freak. Yes, you heard me. I wouldn’t go near the stuff. I, like many of you, was under the impression that dietary fat makes your body fatter. So, if fat makes you fat, eating no fat must help keep you thin and healthy. Right? Wrong! The problem was that most of our “trusted advisors” were on board with this theory — the USDA, our doctors, and every health-related book and magazine preached this message. Many still do.

You see, fat does not make us fat. Wait, let me specify — certain fats, especially saturated medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), like coconut oil, do not make us fat. In fact, these MCFA can do quite the opposite. Back in the 1990s our trusted researchers failed to realize that not all fats are created equal. Bad fats, like hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, and PUFAs, will make you fat — not only by their high caloric values but by their metabolically lowering effect. Remember, there is more to gaining body fat than just calories. The actual response of your metabolism (revving it up or slowing it down) is far more important.

Back in 1990s, I could have been the poster child for how to slow down your metabolism. I ate tons of low fat, low calorie processed foods filled with vegetable oils, fillers, additives, hormones, and other (pardon my language) crap. I performed hours of steady cardio every day. I got very little sleep and I drank alcohol like a fish. No wonder, even though I was in my 20’s, I could never get lean. I was killing my metabolism! Damn, if I had only known then what I know now, I could have saved myself from eating tons of unhealthy, nasty tasting crap — all of which I am sure was doing me far more harm than good.

Anyway, things have changed. I have changed. And now we know that fat does not make you fat. In fact, some fat can help you lose fat… which brings me to the topic of conversation today — metabolism-stimulating coconut oil!

First, what is coconut oil?

Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of matured coconuts and is used for food, medicine, and even hair and skin care. Coconut oil is one of the few saturated fats that come from a plant source. It is unusually rich in short and medium chain fatty acids, and it’s especially high in the medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), Lauric Acid. Since coconut oil is saturated, it is very stable at high temperatures. This makes it ideal for cooking and baking. More importantly, because of its strong bonds it will NOT oxidize inside your body. Fats that oxidize in the body lead to easy attacks by free radicals, which can cause a lower metabolic rate, disease, faster aging, and cancers. Sounds like a winning combo for me!

What are the benefits of taking coconut oil?

There are many, many benefits. However, for the sake of not going overboard, I’ll give you what I believe to be the most important reasons to incorporate it into your diet.

  1. Increases the metabolism.

Coconut oil helps stimulate thyroid function. Your thyroid gland controls your metabolism by producing T3 and T4 in your body. These hormones are released into your system where they control the conversion of oxygen and calories into energy (metabolism). In addition, the medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil inhibit the liver’s formation of fat, allowing the MCFA energy to be used, rather than stored as fat like the longer chain fatty acids that are in most vegetable oils (PUFAs). We must understand the physiology of our fats. The actual length of a fatty acid will determine how your body metabolizes it. To be broken down, MCFAs do not require bile, and they do not require the carnitine transport system to enter into the cells’ mitochondria. Huh? Basically, these fats can go from your gut to the liver to be metabolized as quick energy, which increases heat production and metabolism.

*Remember the farmers of 1940? They fed their livestock coconut oil to try and fatten them up, but they found that it only made the animals lean, active, and hungry. For famers who want to fatten animals quickly, coconut oil was producing the opposite effect. So this was a bad thing to incorporate into livestock feed. But for you and I who want to stay lean and healthy, coconut oil is a home run!

  1. Anti-aging.

Once again, since coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is far more stable in the body. Stable fats do not get oxidized or damaged easily. The more oxidation you have in your body, the more aging will occur.  In the 1960’s Hartroff and Porta showed that “age pigment” is produced in proportion to the amount of oxidants to antioxidants in the diet. They demonstrated that the more PUFAs that are in the diet, the more general aging, more age spots, and more wrinkling. Less PUFAs and more saturated fat had an anti-aging effect. Personally, I have experienced very similar results. I have been using coconut oil daily for over a year and have been told by many friends and clients how my skin and hair look and feel, smoother, softer, and more youthful. Looking younger from a year ago? I’ll take it!

  1. Decreases cholesterol.

For over 80 years it has been known that with a suppressed thyroid, serum cholesterol levels will rise.   This happens because without production of the T3 and T4 hormones, cholesterol cannot convert into steroid hormones (including progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, pregnenalone, and cortisol). Remember cholesterol is a major building block for most of your hormones. Without your active form of thyroid (T3), cholesterol cannot convert, and so it remains in your system, elevating your serum cholesterol. This is one reason that as we get older our cholesterol naturally rises — slowing of the metabolism. Since coconut oil supports the function of the thyroid, this will help convert cholesterol to the proper hormones — thus decreasing serum cholesterol levels.

  1. Anti-bacterial.

Coconut oil is composed of almost 40% Lauric Acid (a medium chain fatty acid). The body converts Lauric Acid into monolaurin, which is the substance that protects infants from viral, bacterial, or protozoal infections. In 1978, Jon Kabara reported that certain MCFAs, such as Lauric Acid have adverse effects on pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast, and fungi. These fatty acids and their derivatives actually disrupt the lipid membranes of the organisms, and thus inactivate them — and this produces an antiseptic-like response. Hence, coconut oil kills undesirable microbes.

  1. Helps with digestion.

Like I stated above, coconut oil helps decrease bad bacteria in the body. Most of your bacteria are found in the intestines and colon, which is where most of our food is broken down and absorbed. Once you have a healthier digestive tract, digestion and absorption of nutrients becomes more effective. Personally, I believe one of the biggest problems in people’s health in today’s world is their lack of intestinal health. If your gut and intestinal area are filled with unhealthy bacteria and inflammation, even the best of diets and supplements will not suffice for optimal health — a good diet is half the battle, the other half is actually absorbing it.

  1. Medicinal.

Because of its high level of Lauric Acid and a smaller amount of Caprylic Acid, coconut oil has been used to kill athlete’s foot fungus, yeast infections, and intestinal parasites. In addition, coconut oil has been shown helpful in the diet for treating people with heart disease, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis, gallbladder disease, diabetes, liver disease, and cancer.

  1. Increases energy and overall well being.

If there is one thing that all my clients report within a week of adding coconut oil, it is this — increased energy and feeling better. Coconut oil’s MCFAs are burned as fuel more efficiently, increasing the health of your liver and thyroid, increasing the metabolic rate, increasing energy production, and increasing your energy all day long.

Who knew? All this from just one fat! It would seem that coconut oil is like the baking soda of fat — majorly multi-purpose.

Well, now you know why I love coconut oil so much and recommend it to my clients. I suppose the next question would be…

What kind of coconut oil should you get?

Refined, unrefined, cold pressed, organic, virgin, extra virgin, raw, expeller pressed?

Without going into too much detail, here are some basic things you should know about choosing your coconut oil.

  • Unrefined or raw coconut oil has a strong coconut taste and will still contain the fibers of the coconut. This coconut oil has had the least amount of processing done to it.
  • Organic means the coconuts are from areas that do not use chemicals.
  • Virgin or extra virgin oil has to do with how many times the coconut meal was pressed OR the amount of pressure (heat) that was used to the get oil out. Less pressure and heat is less damaging.
  • Expeller or cold pressed means no chemicals were used to remove the oil, but it was done physically with a machine. Once again, less heat was applied to remove the oils.
  • Refined coconut oil will be tasteless and fiber-free. This oil may work better for some, especially if the person already has digestive issues and has a hard time breaking down the insoluble coconut fibers.
  • Some people find that they may get nausea or diarrhea with extra virgin unrefined coconut oil, but they have no such symptoms with the refined coconut oil.
  • Personally, I use both. Whether it is refined or unrefined I always purchase organic and cold or expeller pressed.

Finally, how much should you consume?

If you are a coconut oil beginner, start with 1 to 2 teaspoons a day. As you know, with anything, too much too soon can cause digestive disturbance and body dysfunction. Anytime you make changes to your diet, start slow. This gives your body time to acclimate to the new dietary adjustments. As you feel the beneficial effects of coconut oil, add a little more on a weekly basis until you are consuming anywhere from 1 to 3 tablespoons a day.

You can use coconut oil to sauté, bake, and fry foods. You can make salad dressings and dips or you can just take a spoonful here and there for its beneficial effects. There is no right or wrong way.

As you can see, there are many beneficial effects of using coconut oil. Is it right for you? Well, that is up to you to decide. As I have said repetitively each week, the recommendations I give in these blogs are not person-specific. We are all different, while some things work great for some, the same thing may not work for someone else. Your health is your own personal journey. As a constant reminder, my only mission in these blogs is to educate you on a different level and present information that allows you to think so that you can decide what is right for you.

If you are not left pondering, then you are not learning.

Your optimal health coach,

Kate

“Disclaimer:  I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor.  I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.  I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them.  I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body.  If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”

References:

Coconut Oil Research Center www.coconutresearchcenter.org

Coconut oil Wikipedia

Dr Lita Lee, a chemist and nutritionalist of almost 40 years www.drlitalee.com

“Coconut oil –Why is it good for you”

Dr Ray Peat, a biologist, physiologist and nutritional wizard www.raypeat.com

“Coconut Oil”, “Unsaturated vegetable Oils –Toxic”

Why I love saturated fat…

My saturated fat story…

If there is one thing you should know about me it is this — I have always been a health freak and a workout queen — and I have loved every minute of it. I knew from the moment I started walking that a sitting job was never going to work for me. Thus, I think I was born to be the athlete-personal trainer-fitness-nutrition freak that I am today.   You know, your basic super hero..

Fast forward a few decades to about a year ago, I was training for 3 or 4 half-marathons, a possible half Iron Man triathlon, and a few 10-hour hikes — crazy, yet normal for me at that time of my life. I thought my body was healthy, so I could do anything…right?

Nope. Unfortunately, at the end of 2010, I incurred a nasty groin strain. This was not my first injury, but this was the first injury that was absolutely relentless — and alarmingly, it was not healing. About the same time, my body started to feel chronically tired, I gained a few pounds, and I was feeling “blah” — not a good state for a fitness professional.

I went to every doctor, massage therapist, chiropractor, orthopedic professional, physical therapist, acupuncturist, voodoo-ist I could find (ok, I didn’t do voodoo, but I considered it). Each appointment would help for a bit, yet nothing seemed to completely heal me. I felt “off”, and I started to become totally frustrated. I am a nutritionist, so I knew I was eating right. I was trying to stay less active (Ok, I did the best I could — I am a trainer for God’s sake). I slept, I drank tons of water, took tons of supplements — tried everything. Yet the damn groin still hurt and I was still feeling “blah”.

This is when I stopped looking for doctors to give me answers and I started my own self-directed research. I found physiologist Dr. Ray Peat, renowned chemist and nutrition expert Dr. Lita Lee, Dr. Broda Barnes, Dr. John Lee, and Josh Rubin (a highly respected colleague of mine and holistic health practitioner). This is when I allowed my current set of beliefs on nutrition and what I believed to be “healthful” to be completely turned upside down. It’s not to say that what I was doing was “wrong” per say, it just what I was doing wasn’t working for me anymore. Sound familiar to anyone? By all health standards, I was eating the perfect diet — lean meats, tons of vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, fruits, organic protein powders, and whole food organic bars. I was eating no butter, no cheese, no milk, no sugar, no saturated fat — no fun. Yet, my current diet and lifestyle, although very healthy by most peoples’ standards, was just not working for me anymore.

For the next 8 months, I was 10 feet deep in research, human physiology, endocrinology, nutrition science — learning about thyroid issues, hormones, inflammation… science, science, science. I think I read more articles and books in the last year than I did in 4 years of college. What I realized was my body was in a chronic inflammatory state — not just from my recent injury, but from years and years of over exercising and “healthy” dieting. I say “healthy” because for years I followed the trends of dieting and thought I was eating healthfully, when in all reality, I was not.

It has only been within the last 9 years of my life that I have really understood what a healthy diet should be. And now, with all my current knowledge, it will evolve again. Yes, things change, we learn more, we get better, we apply what we learn, and we grow. The nutrition and medical industries are constantly changing. As we all know, we are learning more everyday…as to why things that were bad for us are now considered good, and things that were good for us are now considered bad. Just another reason for you to be constantly invested in your own health and well being.

I have been a fitness professional for almost 20 years now, a clinical nutritionist for 9 years, and a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach for the last 4 years. There is never a year that goes by that my practice doesn’t improve and grow. Yet this year, with all that I learned, the knowledge really changed me — it changed how I run my practice, how I live my life, how I view health, and how I eat.

I started including moderate levels of saturated fats, and then gradually increased them more. I started using healthy sugars (including cane sugar and fruit juice), and healthy proteins like grass-fed dairy (milk, cheese, cream), shell fish, gelatin, white fish, and a small amount of grass fed beef. I also began removing many other foods that are currently considered “healthy” by many, including ALL polyunsaturated fats, beans, and grains. I also cut out most nuts and some vegetables (this will be a blog for another day).

This is what happened:

Initially, I saw my weight and my cholesterol rise. Weight gain and increased cholesterol levels — that can’t be good, right? Well, let’s remember, I was in an inflamed state (from chronic overtraining), and the cholesterol was being released to allow me to heal. The additional weight was also in response to trying to heal my metabolism — a metabolism that was damaged from years of overtraining and under-nourishing (omitting saturated fat and the right sugars, and eating far less than my body really needed). In a matter of 3 months, while I allowed my body to heal, my cholesterol dropped over 40 points, my body weight dropped back to normal, and I started to feel that everything was right in the world again (no more “blah” feeling) — all while eating over 2000 to 2200 calories and 50-100g of fat a day (most of that being saturated fat). Interesting, huh?

Yes, I lost body fat while eating anywhere from 50-100g. grams of fat a day, while exercising less than I had in the last 10 years of my life. I never made all the planned runs or the half Iron Man. Yet, I’m sure it was for the best, as my body has almost fully healed. In all honesty, it may take years for my body to fully recover from my HIGH activity level and damaged metabolism.

Believe it or not, most highly active individuals have a damaged metabolism, yet most don’t understand this. They believe it is age that is affecting their metabolism. The truth is, all things that are stressful to your body, including exercise, can affect your metabolism negatively.  Once again, this does not mean you should not exercise. It just means do the right type of exercise, for the right amount of time, and at the right intensity for YOUR needs so that you can get better, rather than worse.

Ok, where was I? Right — saturated fat…

Now, I am not telling you to go out and eat tons of butter, cream, and cheese to try and lose weight and get healthy.  You need to have an understanding as to how, when, and what types of saturated fats you should be eating.  Plus, there is a lot more to healing your metabolism that just eating saturated fats. Is it ok to eat all these things? Absolutely! Should you start eating 100 grams of saturated fat like I do without understanding what you are doing? Probably not.  Saturated fat is a very powerful nutrient. If the proper types are used, in the right amounts, with the right combination of protein and carbs, you can have not only a healing nutrient, but a nutrient that will actually allow you to enjoy rich, great tasting food again.

For those of you who have asked, here is a typical day of eating for me:

Breakfast: 

Two whole eggs cooked in 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup of OJ and 1/2 cup of well cooked russet potatoes (with butter)

Coffee with 1/4 cup whole milk, 1 tsp cane sugar, and 1 tbsp gelatin

Snack: 

6 oz.Orange juice, 1 tbsp gelatin protein, and 3 pieces of 85% organic dark chocolate

1 medium carrot with 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil

Lunch: 

3 oz grass-fed beef, 1 cup of bone broth, 2 cups of squash cooked in 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil

Salad: Tomato, cucumber, onion with parmesan cheese, sea salt, and balsamic vinegar

Snack: 

Shake: 1 cup of raw whole milk, ½ cup of fruit, 2 tbsp of gelatin, 1 tbsp Greek yogurt

Dinner: 

4 oz wild cod cooked in 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil

2 cups of cooked fruit (cooked in butter and cinnamon), 1/4 cup ricotta cheese,

1 cup of cooked peppers and onions with 1 tsp butter

Snack: 

1 glass of 2% milk, ½ cup of OJ, dash of salt

Now, this is a typical day. The calories may increase or decrease due to stress, workout load, and work load. Or I may just want some ice cream (yes, I eat that too…Hagan Daz only…no additives). Personally, I monitor my diet weekly to make sure I am constantly running at an optimal level (I do this by measuring my pulse, body temperature, and get frequent blood/lab work*).

*No need for you to do as much lab work as me, I do it for research purposes only.

The end result is my body feels better. I used to be in a constant state of achiness. I honestly thought it was normal because of all the activity in my life. I lived with aches and pains every day. I never complained. I never really felt “bad” — I guess I just got used to the achy feeling. Do you do that? Would you like to feel better?

At the end of the day, I consider myself a trainer, a nutritionist, and a constant researcher. I read at least 1 to 2 hours every night, more on the weekends, and even more on vacation. I love to learn and I love to share with all of you what I am doing, what I am learning, and how it can help you. My goal is to always get better, to help all of you get better, and to live a long, healthy life of prosperity, happiness, and joy.

Your  Optimal Health Coach,

Kate

“Disclaimer:  I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor.  I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.  I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them.  I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body.  If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”