Nutrition News You Can Use
I am so ready for summer! Here on the west coast, spring for us was a deluge of rain. Here we are in the first week of June and in Northern California, yet more rain! I do believe we had warmer weather in January.
If I didn't own my own tanning bed which is safe if used sparingly, I might just go crazy! I'm a sun lover and without it, I'm quite depressed. I love the way I feel when my skin has some color. It's almost a warm feeling from the inside out.
Before you reprimand me for owning a tanning bed, let me explain myself. I spent several winters depressed and constantly sleepy. Never did I realize until I began studying nutrition that this correlated with my low vitamin d levels. By the time winter is in full force, our D stores from the previous summer which are stored in the liver are likely completely depleted. Throw inflammation or illness into the mix and you really are in quite a deficit.
I purchased my bed second hand a few years ago and was fortunate to have found it for a very good price. Not only was the price right but this bed already had UV-B lights installed. This is the preferred lighting choice over the dangerous UV-A lighting. That said, I spend a minimal amount of time in the bed and I also supplement with Vitamin D. If you suffer depression and fatigue or as it is commonly referred to SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) it is imperative that you have your D levels checked. This simple test (25 Hydroxy) is now becoming customary with some of the recent complaints from the general public.
I know this was the introduction of my spring newsletter but I am constantly amazed at the amount of people not supplementing nor having their Vitamin D levels checked.
As I've said in the past, 40-50% of cancers could be avoided with this simple yet very important test.
In studies, breast cancer patients were notoriously low in Vitamin D.
The Food Pyramid has been replaced
That's right, the USDA Dietary Guideline Food Pyramid has been eliminated and the new graphic is here.
I have not included the photo in this newsletter because most graphics won't show up anyway so you can head over to
Choose My Plate and take a quick look.
This has been "all the buzz" in the low carbohydrate and paleo blogging community. I'm not particularly concerned and don't want to waste too much energy complaining about a lobbyist based dietary recommendation.
I will, however point out some observations that I have made in reviewing these guidelines:
HALLELUJAH! If water isn't your thing, begin by drinking iced tea, herbal teas and infused water with mint and cucumber.
- Enjoy your food but eat less
When we consume nutrient dense foods, they do have a better taste AND when they're nutrient dense, you're being nourished not just fed. When we're nourished, by default we eat less.
- Avoid over sized portions
This is accurate. We do eat far too much as a society and I include myself in this statement. We consume huge portions and most belong to "The Clean Plate" club.
Whether whole healthy foods or not, we need much less food than we consume. (especially from the "not" category")
I consistently advice my readers and clients to "Eat to satiety not discomfort". There is in fact evidence showing that when we eat large masses of food rather than just that of carbohydrate, the body will require more insulin and as we know, insulin is our fat storage hormone.
Foods to Increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
I generally recommend no more than 2 fruits per day for the average person who is not in a weight loss mode OR the person who does not have deranged blood sugar. If you have elevated liver enzymes, you also want to eat as little fructose as possible. When many say "But fruits are healthy" I must ask, "What nutrients can you obtain in fruit that you cannot obtain in colorful vegetables with less impact on blood sugar"? Our fruits should be eaten in season and again, moderated. Replace that other half with a second vegetable instead. In fact, choose a salad and a veggie or a salad and veggie soup.
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
As I've mentioned on my website, grains aren't the health panacea they are made out to be and to even encourage refined grains is irresponsible. Most will eat refined grains anyway so I would have rather seen reasons to drastically reduce to eliminate processed grains. This though is the lobbyist component that the USDA is stroking and it does nothing for your good health. Never consume food that takes from the body more than it gives. Refined foods rob nutrients from blood, bone and tissue for uptake. Last, this is so confusing to the consumer when the television commercials are proudly boasting that refined cereal is made with whole grains. If it's extruded, it's not whole any longer.
- Switch to fat free or low fat (1%) milk
Why this is in the "foods to increase category" is beyond me.
Sadly, the USDA has refused to listen to Mary Enig, Phd., our foremost lipid biochemist on this matter. Mary will quickly and confidently tell you that the only dangerous cholesterol is that of oxidized cholesterol and that is what we produce when we process fat free and low fat dairy. When food is fractionated, the molecular profile has changed and becomes either unrecognizable or dangerous to the body. As I have consistently pointed out, the recent studies show that saturated fat does not contribute to heart disease and cholesterol is a much more complex issue than just "cholesterol in the food". In fact, time after time, lipid profiles have shown that an increase in saturated fat and decrease in carbohydrate shows an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol. Commercial dairy isn't the healthiest food for us to begin with so I always encourage you to eat as little dairy as possible and when you can, choose full fat, organic, pastured and ultimately, raw dairy for optimum health benefit. I have scaled back to just consuming heavy cream, butter from pastured cows and little to no cheese.
Foods to reduce:
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals-and choose the foods with lower numbers
If you eat the majority of your foods in their whole fresh form, your sodium intake is greatly reduced along with added sweeteners and dangerous chemical concoctions that tantalize your taste buds and mess with your nervous system. Use sea salts when choosing a whole foods diet because 85% of your own fluids match that of the sea. Use a nice kelp sea salt and obtain that needed iodine all at the same time. Remember, these foods have these additives to addict you.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks
All in all, I'm not sure what everyone is in such an uproar about. Hey, if most Americans at least followed some of the above guidelines, we would most definitely be a healthier country. I think the "My Plate" graphic is much clearer than that of the Pyramid and while it's going to take a considerable amount of time for our government to make decisions based on your good health rather than the padding of the pockets, consider yourselves fortunate to have the information you do for you are several years ahead of your friends and neighbors.
Blood sugar regulation prevents inflammation and inflammation is at the root of all disease. Eat to manage your blood sugar and you have the potential to live a long healthy life preventing common (which were once considered rare) diseases such as:
- Heart Disease
- Auto-Immune Diseases
- Thyroid Down Regulation
And so many more.....
I'm sorry if I bored you readers from outside of the USA. Though i do believe that many countries have fallen into the Western food trap. India and Australia for example are now facing epidemic levels of diabetes.
I have been answering a great deal of cleansing questions lately. I will begin by telling you that the body has a miraculous cleansing and detoxification system. So much so, your need to "cleanse" is unnecessary if you're living a nice clean life. If one is on daily medication, they should take extra care and practice the following recommendations.
There are however steps that you can take to "support" your natural cleansing ability and they are as follows:
- Cleansing daily cocktail of 32 oz. of water, 2 tbs. Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and the juice of one lemon. Ann Louise Gittleman recommends an ounce of pure cranberry as well which will provide additional liver support.
- Supplement with a high quality Sylimarin (Milk Thistle) for several days on a quarterly basis. Again, this supports the liver with its constant detoxification program. Remember, the liver filters everything.
Rather than a multiple day cleanse, try intermittent fasting for a change. I will warn you though that this is not a good first step for the person transitioning from the Standard American Diet. You are nutrient depleted therefore, you need to begin with a building diet. Once the building diet has served its purpose of blood sugar regulation and fatty acid balance, you may start fasting for up to 16-24 hours once weekly. This has proven to show improvement of several blood markers, digestive rest as well, increase in life expectancy. If we track our ancestral history, we were naturally fasting until we located food.
Speaking of Ancestral History
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the "Ancestral Symposium" on August 5th and 6th.
I'm excited as this will elevate my knowledge in human nutrition and health from the view of ancestral science.
I will be tweeting from the conference so if you are not currently following me, you might want to start. You can find me on Twitter as coachmisty.
The line up includes:
- Professor Loren Cordain-The Paleo Diet
- Robb Wolf-The Paleo Solution
- Mark Sisson-The Primal Blueprint and Marks Daily Apple
- Nora Gedgaudas-Primal Body Primal Mind
- Dr.s Michael and Mary Eades-Protein Power
- Gary Taubes-Good Calories Bad Calories
- Richard Feinman-Nutrition & Metabolism Society
- Lierre Keith-The Vegetarian Myth
This is only a few of the speakers from the line up. I will have to choose between speakers and it's going to be difficult because I am a sponge when it comes to conferences.
I am very excited and look forward to sharing some of the high lights with you!!
My New Job
As some of you are aware, I recently took a job at Whole Foods Market as the "Healthy Eating Specialist".
I am excited to announce that my lectures are becoming popular and folks are now requesting my "free service" compliments of Whole Foods.
I've had some gratifying stories and one woman in particular told me the other day that I very likely "saved her life".
This of course brought tears to my eyes immediately.
Barbara is a breast cancer survivor and diabetic. She came to me after a lecture at a senior complex near by. Poor Barbara was caught up in the "Western Medical Industrial Complex" as I call it and was feeling hopeless with her blood sugar. Stress elevates blood sugar and with a diagnosis of breast cancer, and recent death of Barbara's son, she was literally "a wreck".
Barbara was practicing
Neal Barnard's program. For those of you that don't know of Dr. Barnard's program, it is a vegan program. Sadly, Barbara was utilizing a great deal of insulin with this program and insulin drives tumor growth. If Barbara had a very small tumor that was not located, this could be dangerous. I immediately advised Barbara to practice a very low carbohydrate diet and within days, her blood sugar numbers were much better and she was able to reduce her insulin.
This was the perfect scenario until Barbara informed her Dr. of the diet I advised and immediately, her Dr. responded with "I don't like the Atkins diet". I wasn't surprised.....Our medical professionals quickly forget their first few courses of biology and the mechanism in which we store fat. I informed Barbara of this but fear always dictates our decisions when we are ill and she left that day exclaiming "I can't do your diet".
I can't talk someone into something when they are clouded with fear from cancer or any other disease for that matter. I did however let Barbara leave that day with a gentle "you must do what you feel is safe and comfortable and I understand".
Three days later, I see Miss Barbara at my door and as she enters my wellness center she boldly says "I'm taking your advice. I went back to eating the way my Dr. told me to and my blood sugars SHOT BACK UP! You were right". I knew I was but Barbara needed to experience this for herself.
I feel like Barbara and I are now friends and her trust in me is something I will value and cherish as well as the friendship.
I shared this story with you because it is a great example of how confused we can become with something so imperative to our good health. Our organs have a life span of 120 years yet many will only accomplish half of that due to the fuel they are putting in the most valuable asset they will ever own.
Remember, Eat Well Feel Well
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In good health!