Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Toward a More Paleo Low-Carb Diet

Toward a More Paleo Low-Carb Diet

After attending the Ancestral Health Symposium in August 2012, I came away with a grateful heart, knowing that the low-carb life plan Emily and I have embraced offers significant health benefits for our lives. But, with that assurance, I came away with a strong resolve to address a number of obstacles and challenges to optimal health.

Having resolved the weight issue, my particular focus has shifted to four areas: the brain, the bones, digestion, and eye health. Each of these has continued to be a thorn in my side to some extent throughout life.

The first area of concern relates to brain health. As I write this, I am nearly 57 years old. My memory is not what it used to be. It is certainly greatly improved after eliminating most sugar and starch from my diet, but, I still have occasional lapses. For example, at times in the middle of relating an experience, I will forget the next point that I was about to make. I have noticed that my brain’s ability to process information, as well as to remember, directly correlates with the quantity and quality of sleep I receive. On the rare occasions that I have had adequate rest, approximately 7 ½ to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep the night before, my brain is extremely sharp. At those times, the memory lapses are quite infrequent. But, I also notice that when my fuel is low (when I am overdue for a meal), my brain power is significantly impaired. Consequently, I have decided to focus on obstacles to sleep along with essential nutrients for the brain to work toward resolving this issue.

With regard to sleep, the obvious culprit is caffeine. But, having given up so many comfort foods in my commitment to a low-carb life, I staunchly held on to nearly unlimited coffee consumption. I was drinking an average of 4 to 6 cups of coffee per day, thinking that this was quite moderate. Ever since starting a low-carb diet over eleven years ago, I knew that I should cut down on the caffeine. But, coffee and wine were my only two vices. I also knew that I was going to be faced with a severe bout of headaches with caffeine withdrawal. Nevertheless, I was now resolved to eliminate this roadblock to proper rest.

Consequently, two weeks ago, I decided to limit my coffee consumption to 8 ounces in the morning. By the first night, I had a mild headache. On day 2 of my reduced coffee regimen, I was taking Advil for the pain. By day 4, the headache was getting progressively worse, and I switched to Aleve. By day 5, nothing was helping, and I was very ill. And, then, thankfully, it was over. It took 6 days to get through caffeine withdrawal. Incredibly, it was worth every moment of pain. I did not think I would ever be able to get sleepy at ten o’clock p.m. and head for bed. Normally, I read or do a crossword puzzle until I fall asleep from pure exhaustion much later. But, for the past week, I have had no problem getting to sleep, and staying asleep (for the most part). As a result, I have noticed a surge in my energy level, as well as vast improvement in brain function.

I am also trying to limit wine consumption to one glass with dinner, no more than 6 nights per week. I have noticed that when I have more than that amount, I have no trouble falling asleep, but I will wake up within a few hours and have great difficulty getting back to sleep. The relationship between alcohol and sleep disruption is well documented in scientific studies.

In listening to the speakers for the 3-day conference at Harvard, I was both disconcerted and relieved. I was disconcerted to realize the number of ways that I was failing to properly nourish my brain. Yet, I was relieved in finding potential solutions to optimal brain functioning.
Besides limiting caffeine and alcohol, the following are adjustments that I have recently put into place.

I have begun to increase my intake of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for brain health. Since the best sources of omega – 3 fatty acids are found in pasture-fed animals and wild caught fish, we placed our first order with U.S. Wellness Meats and have already begun to enjoy burgers, hot dogs, and chicken from pasture-fed animals. I will also continue to take a powerful 950 mg omega – 3 fish oil pill daily. And, cooking with ghee as well as butter from grass fed cows is a pleasure.
I have switched from olive oil to coconut oil in my breakfast concoction and also in cooking. According to Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, excessive amounts of olive oil interfere with the use of omega-3 fats and may enhance insulin resistance. She recommends using saturated fats such as coconut oil and butter which aid the body in using essential fats and protein. I will still use olive oil in my salads.

I am avoiding the microwave oven as much as is possible. That is why I am heating the coconut milk in a baby bottle warmer instead of the microwave. I am also going to make an effort to eat cold lunches that do not need to be heated in the microwave oven at work.

Since improper digestion interferes with brain health, I have begun to look at my digestion. Bloating is often a sign of poor digestion, and I have always had this problem.

At the symposium, it was brought out that pasteurized milk is difficult to digest. Apparently the high heat from the pasteurization process kills the enzymes in milk that aid digestion. Here is an excellent explanation of why pasteurized dairy products should be avoided.

The enzyme phosphatase is completely destroyed. The final test for pasteurization after heating to 165 degrees Fahrenheit is the negative Alpha Phosphatase test. And this is the enzyme that is critical to the absorption of minerals and calcium! The dairy industry's vaunted vitamin D is useless with this arrangement.

So instead of building bone density, lots of calcium winds up getting into blood vessels calcifying the inner walls to promote cardiovascular problems, or entering joints to create arthritis.

The heat also destroys digestive enzymes, inhibiting proper digestion of milk fats and creating mucous and phlegm in the body to attract disease. The probiotic digestive bacteria, or friendly flora, are also destroyed. The GI tract is well over half of the immune system. Live intestinal flora is needed to bolster that important section of the immune system.

Learn more:

With the awareness of my digestive problems, I am beginning to slowly make substitutions for pasteurized dairy. At this point, I am not able to completely eliminate pasteurized products from my cooking, but my goal is to eventually get there. It may take a few years.

I bought a simple yogurt maker and made my first batch of probiotic home-made yogurt from coconut milk. I am still perfecting the recipe. Once I am satisfied, I will post it on the website. Currently, I am using it in my morning concoction (Anutra, protein powder, coconut oil, and home-made coconut yogurt). In this way, I not only eliminate the pasteurized yogurt, but I also get the probiotics that I need for digestion. Nora Gedgaudas, a certified nutritional therapist, suggests that for optimal gastrointestinal health, anyone who was not breast-fed may need to add probiotics or cultured foods to their daily diet for optimal gastrointesinal health. I would be among this group, as I was fed on PET milk formula.

In addition, I have replaced the half and half in my morning coffee with organic coconut milk. I heat it in a baby bottle warmer. I pour half a cup of the heated coconut milk into my mug and add a half cup of coffee. The coffee is hot, and I repeat with a second cup. The bonus is that I get two cups of coffee with only eight ounces of caffeinated beverage. It is a treat!

Hydrochloric acid capsules aid digestion. So, when I eat a meal that causes me to bloat, most dinners and large salad lunches, I have begun to take Betaine Hydrochloride capsules. They seem to be having a positive impact, greatly reducing the after dinner bloat, and likely they assist in breaking down the food so that the nutrients can be absorbed by my cells.

At the conference, chewing was greatly advocated. Apparently when we chew our food well, it is broken into smaller bits which are easier to digest. As we chew, enzymes in our saliva aid in breaking down the particles further, and by the time the food gets to our guts, we do not require huge amounts of hydrochloric acid to break it down. Only when food is completely decomposed can its nutrients be absorbed and utilized by all of the cells in our bodies.
I have begun to eat raw milk cheese (from non-pasteurized milk) that is aged at least 60 days. It is much tastier than the pasteurized versions, and it may aid in my digestion.

I am currently looking for a good “whole-foods-based B complex”. This is also beneficial for optimal brain health. And, I will continue to eat plenty of green vegetables.

Another important nutrient is selenium. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium. 3 nuts per day provides the US RDA for selenium. To eliminate damaging phytic acid, soak the nuts for 24 hours in salt water. Then, dry in a 160 degree oven.

Eliminate all soy products including tofu, and use Himalayan or Celtic salt.

Another area of concern for me relates to bone health. Both of my parents have osteoporosis. My mother has just broken the third bone in her back, simply by trying to open an easy-to-open window. It was no surprise when I was diagnosed with osteopenia about 25 years ago. I now have osteoporosis, and I am actively looking to reverse it through diet and exercise. Seeing what has become of my mother, I am quite scared.
In an effort to save my bones from further destruction, I am already taking 4,000 mg of vitamin D and 2,000 mg of calcium daily. Besides these supplements, I am hoping that what I am doing to aid digestion will also help me to absorb these nutrients into my cells more effectively. To this, I am adding resistance exercises with small weights. I am also going to begin interval training, using my exercise bike. I will exercise for a total of 20 minutes, alternating 2 minute intervals of intense cycling with one minute of slow peddling.

The final area of concern is my eye health. My eyesight is getting progressively worse. My very close aunt had macular degeneration and lost her eyesight in her later years. I am hoping to avoid such a scenario by making sure that my eyes are properly nourished. For this, I have started to take a Lutein supplement with Zeaxanthin and bilberry fruit powder.

Cod liver oil is also, recommended. But, the two times in my life that I took a dose, I was plagued by intense headaches. I have come to find out that I should appreciate those headaches. Apparently, the headaches are an indication that one is overdosing on a supplement. Vitamin’s such as A, D, and E are fat soluble. These are not excreted daily, but are stored in the liver and can accumulate over time. “The Vitamin A headache” is most likely my body’s way of warning me that if I continue to overdose on this vitamin, I am headed for liver damage. So, I am thinking that vitamin A deficiency is not the problem with my eyes.

In summary, I am hoping that in addition to my low carb diet, I will begin to see the benefits of these modifications to my lifestyle:
limiting caffeine to one cup in the morning
limiting wine to one glass, six times per week
increasing consumption of omega-3 faty acids
eating grass fed beef and other meats and poultry from pasture fed animals, as well as wild caught fish
cooking with coconut oil, butter, and ghee
working towards eliminating pasteurized dairy products
substituting coconut milk (1/2 cup) for half and half in coffee
taking hydrochloric acid capsules as needed for digestion
eating raw milk cheese (aged 60 days or more)
making probiotic home-made coconut milk yogurt
chewing foods well
avoiding the microwave oven as much as possible
taking a whole food based vitamin B and eating lots of green vegetables
eating Brazil nuts
eliminating soy from the diet
using Himalayan salt
incorporating resistance training with weights
cycling 20 minutes every other day, using interval training
taking a Lutein supplement for eye health

This is the starting point for me. I am cautiously optimistic. I will let you know how it goes.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Highlights of the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012

After attending the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 at Harvard, Ida (Thin) has made a personal commitment to a more Paleo low-carb diet. Please continue to check out the website as she shares her journey to optimal health in the days ahead!

Highlights of the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012

Harvard University

Joe and I attended the Ancestral Health Symposium at Harvard from August 9th through August 11th. We came away with much knowledge and information to share which has the potential to significantly improve the health of anyone who acts upon it.

In reviewing our notes, we found the following points relevant to our website. This is a small sampling of what was discussed. We would recommend that you watch the actual videos on YouTube.

General Points

Agriculture did not begin until about 10,000 years ago. Prior to this, the human diet consisted of mainly protein and fat from animal sources, nuts, seeds, and non-starchy fibrous plant sources. It is well established that hunting and gathering led to the increase in our brain size.

Once farming was introduced, the diseases of modern man began. Prior to this, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and obesity were non-issues.

All of the speakers were in agreement that grain, processed foods, sugar, vegetable oil, and all trans fats should be eliminated from the diet.

The recommendations generally included eating grass-fed meats, pasture fed poultry and eggs, wild-caught fish. All of these are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for brain health. We are also encouraged to eat unlimited amounts of healthy fats found in coconut oil, butter, and ghee. Olive oil and palm oil are also okay. Another unlimited group of foods includes non-starchy vegetables. There was some debate about the value of raw milk dairy (as opposed to no dairy), as well as fruits and tubers (including potatoes) which lead to spikes in insulin.

All pasteurized dairy products are discouraged. The process of pasteurization kills off the enzymes in the milk that help us to digest it. Raw milk and raw milk cheese are options.

Without proper digestion, we cannot absorb the nutrients from our food into our cells. Proper digestion is essential and is vital to disease prevention.

The importance of eating nutrient-dense foods was also explained.

Examples of some nutrient dense foods include grass fed meats (e.g. beef, veal, pork, and lamb), wild-caught fish (e.g. salmon and tilapia), and nuts (but not chestnuts).

The importance of physical activity and resistance exercise was stressed.

Here are highlights from some of the sessions we attended.

...Benefits of a Fat-Based, Ketogenically-Adapted Caloric Intake for Body and Brain

by Nora Gedgaudas, C.N.S., C.N.T.

Fat in of central importance to our primal bodies. We need to become “fat burners” as opposed to “sugar burners”. There are significant benefits from a fat-based, ketogenic diet for our bodies and brains. Psychological illnesses were virtually unheard of in fat-based early cultures. Our brains run better on fat. We were born to rely on fat as our prime source of fuel.

When the diet consists of primarily protein and fat, ketone bodies become the major fuel for brain development. There is mounting evidence that ketones can prevent Alzheimer’s.

Brain growth depends of dietary fats.

Early man hunted and gathered. His diet consisted of fats and proteins from animal sources. Starchy roots and tubers could not be eaten due to the extensive cooking that would have been involved in making them fit for human consumption. Wild fruit was only seasonably or climatically available, and the fruit was more tart than sweet. So, early man was on a very low-carb diet.

A low-carb diet can be used to prevent or ameliorate the following diseases: insulin resistance, diabetes 1 and 2, cancer, brain dysfunction, thyroid, and cardiovascular issues.

There is no research or evidence that a low-carb diet is harmful in any way.

Nora used a wood stove analogy in discussing fat vs. carbohydrates as fuel for the body. Whole wheat would be the equivalent of twigs, pasta like paper, and sugar like gasoline. The energy would be fleeting and gone. In contrast, fat would be the equivalent of a slow burning log, providing a slower constant, efficient flow of fuel.

With regard to cancer, it is known that the primary source of food for cancer cells is glucose. Ketones do not feed cancer.

She recommends a diet of grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, nuts, unlimited non-starchy vegetables, good fats, such as butter, ghee, and coconut (oil, milk, and cream), nuts, and some berries.

The Carb Controversy

by Andreas Eenfeldt, M.D.

Dr. Eenfeldt predicts that if we do nothing about it, health problems associated with obesity will bring the US economy to its knees.

A low-carb diet is good for weight loss, since fat accumulation is caused by insulin. Calories are irrelevant.

What Are Humans Adapted For?

by Dan Lieberman

We need to look at our ancestry to improve health.

Many illnesses are due to mismatched conditions with diet and physical activity. The human body is adapted for hunting and gathering, not for modern conditions.

Our ancestors consumed lots of high fat meat, small game, fish, roots, tubers, and fruit.

In order to hunt and gather, early man engaged in a tremendous amount of physical activity including walking (9 – 15 km per day), running, digging, carrying, and climbing. Farming and industry dramatically decreased the activity level of humans.

With this inactivity, a host of health issues have arisen. One example is osteoporosis. Inactivity leads to loss of bone mass. Over 50 % of women over the age of 50 are at risk for osteoporosis.

Another consequence is obesity. With a sedentary lifestyle, humans store their excess energy as fat.

It was also noted that with hunting and gathering, the size of the human brain increased significantly.

The EvoS Diet

by David Sloan Wilson, Ph.D

The Evos diet is essentially the Paleo Diet.

It recommends eating the following:

• Fruits
• Vegetables
• Lean meats
• Fish
• Some nuts
• Eggs
• Good fats

Those following the EvoS diet would avoid the following:

• Grain
• Dairy
• Refined products
• Salt sugar
• Vegetable oil
• Legumes (peanuts, cashews, and beans)
• Soy

The importance of evolutionary studies including the study of diet, exercise, and social organization is the focus of the EvoS Lifestyle Project.

A call was made for people who would be willing to contact Dr. David Sloan Wilson to participate in the research project.

Nutrient Density: Sticking to the Essentials

by Mathieu Lalonde, Ph.D.

The nutrient density of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds was compared to that of grains and legumes.

It was shown that grains and legumes were very weak nutritionally in comparison to meats, fish, vegetables, and some fruits.

Vegetables, seafood, meat, and fruit were shown to supply all we need for nutrition.

Saturated fats were shown to be fine. And, egg yolks “crushed” egg whites in nutrient value.

Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium.

Kale, spinach, broccoli, and seaweed are excellent examples of nutrient rich foods.

Other nutrient dense foods include beef, veal, lamb, salmon, tilapia, and unbelievably—bacon!

Some examples of foods low in nutrients include apples, watermelon, pears, onions, cucumbers, pickles, carrots, cabbage, and chestnuts.

Cooking vegetables was shown to result in substantial nutrient loss. But, it is unknown how bio-available the nutrients are in the uncooked vegetables.

Mathieu Lalonde developed a chart listing the nutrient values of 7,000 foods.

He showed a chart listing the average nutrient density divided by the caloric weight scores.

From most nutrient dense to least, here are the majority of items on the chart:

• Cod liver oil
• Herbs and spices
• Nuts and seeds
• Fish and seafood
• Pork
• Beef
• Cacao
• Lamb and veal
• Plant fats and oils
• Animal fats and oil
• Processed meats
• Eggs and dairy
• Refined and processed fats and oils
• Grains
• Legumes
• Fruit
• Vegetables

Restoring Our Primal Architecture (Posture!)

by Esther Gokhale

We need to concentrate on improving our posture to avoid back pain.

When standing, we need to stretch tall with our shoulders back, butt out, and pelvis in.

When sitting, do the following:

Sit with butt back into the seat as far as it will go.

Push in the pelvis with your hands.

If a cushion is available, place it behind your lower back.

Then press back, gluing your spine to the chair from the bottom up.

Then, roll each shoulder back, one at a time, to a relaxed position.

Good posture helps us with breathing. It also prevents back pain and disc degeneration. It also allows our digestive organs to work properly.

Health vs. Performance: Two Distinct and Oftentimes Conflicting Wellness Goals

by Keith Norris, founding member of Paleo Fx

By the year 2030, 1/3 of the Federal budget will be spent on Medicare and Medicaid alone. This will be a catastrophic situation. We need to address our health issues now.

Pharmaceutical companies are making huge profits from insulin delivery systems, and they are doing all they can to discourage people from learning about the nutritional approach, eliminating grains and sugar from the diet, which would eliminate the need for insulin for those with type 2 diabetes.

The Paleo Pyramid was shared:

The foundation is lean meats and fish.

Above that are fruits and vegetables.

The top of the pyramid consists of nuts and berries

What Paleo, Primal, and Atkins have in common are the understanding that our diets need to be sugar free, grain free, and protein based.

If anyone is truly interested in having their body composition measured, a DEXA scan is most accurate.

All are discouraged from going on a low-fat diet, since this will insure that you will lose your muscle mass. The goal is to maintain or increase muscle mass while losing fat.

Food for Performance

by John Welbourn

Several of his clients have had success in curing thyroid issues by eliminating wheat.

He recommends raw milk and Greek yogurt as excellent sources of dairy.

During discussion, it was noted that some people can tolerate sushi rice since it does not contain resistant starch.

Fix Our Food Initiative (panel discussion)

The big picture: from 1980 to present, there has been an extreme increase in obesity (BMI over 25).

The problem is that there is no money for studies.

The Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition (AND) has lots of funding from food companies, which causes a conflict of interest. Corporate sponsors include Pepsi, Coca Cola, Mars, Hershey, General Mills, and Kellogg’s.

It was noted that there is no one individual diet approach that is suitable for everyone. Nutrition needs to be individualized, depending on what each of us is adapted for.

The Straight Dope on Cholesterol

by Peter Attia

The cause of atherosclerosis is the presence of sterol in the artery walls. The plaque buildup is what we need to avoid. HDL is good cholesterol, and LDL is bad cholesterol.

Every cell in the body is able to produce its own cholesterol except the adrenal cortex and the gonads.

Cholesterol is dealt with in the gut.

15 % of cholesterol comes from what we eat.

85 % of cholesterol comes from what are bodies make.

It doesn’t matter how much cholesterol is produced. It must be delivered to the cell walls to get atherosclerosis. If you don’t have the boat to deliver the cargo (triglycerides and cholesterol), you don’t have a problem. It is this boat that carries triglycerides and cholesterol.

To make sure that you don’t have the boats to carry the triglycerides and cholesterol to the cell walls, eat low-carb.

Calories vs. Carbohydrates: Clearing Up the Confusion Over Competing Obesity Paradigms

by Gary Taubes

We accumulate excess fat because we have a fat accumulation disorder. Overeating is an effect of getting fat, not the cause. Excess fat is the result of grain, starch, and sugar in the diet and its insulin signaling.

To say that we get fat because we eat too many calories is like saying the room is crowded because there are too many people in it. The cause of the room being overcrowded is related to why people entered it, not that they did enter it; just as the cause of obesity is not that a person overate, but why that person overate.

Cholesterol is vital for life. The cholesterol that we eat has little to do with the cholesterol in our bodies.

Safe Starches: Are they Essential to an Ancestral Diet

Paul Jaminet has put forth the idea that there are “safe starches” including carbs such as white rice, white potatoes, and yams. He states that these particular starches do not have the toxins that other starches, such as grains, have.

Dr. Rosedale, a medical doctor, who has worked with heart and diabetic patients for over 20 years, has had excellent success with a high fat, low carb diet. He found that ketones are the ideal source of energy for the brain, and that the brain does not need to burn sugar.

During the discussion, it was brought out that in comparing countries, higher carb diets led to lower life spans. The countries where the population consumed the least carbohydrates, experienced the highest life spans.

What Not to Eat for Good Mental Health

by Emily Deans, M.D

Avoid the following:

• Trans fats: They are linked with depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, psychosis, and dementia.

• Carbohydrates such as sugar, grains, and starches, and high glycemic fruits: They are linked with hypoglycemia, irritability, and violence, stress, and anxiety.

• Caffeine and alcohol: These exacerbate blood sugar surges and surges in cortisol (leading to stress and anxiety).

• Sugar: It feeds bacteria in the colon, leading to inflammation and low serotonin.
To ameliorate these conditions, consume proteins and fats.

50 % of people of Western Europe have fructose malabsorption. This lack of adaptability to fructose causes inflammation.

Dietary Insulin Inhibition as a Metabolic Therapy in Advanced Cancer

by Eugene Fine, M.D.

Research has been done showing promise with treating cancer patients with a carbohydrate restricted diet. When insulin could be inhibited, using a low carb diet, patients with advanced cancer showed improvement.

Is There a Role for a Paleolithic Lifestyle in the Treatment and Prevention of Cancer?

by Rainer Klement, Ph.D and Dirk Lemke, M.D.

Based on recent research, a paleo-oriented, low- carb diet (based on our hunter-gatherer ancestors) could suppress, or at least delay, the emergence of cancer, and proliferation of already existing tumor cells could be slowed down. A Paleo lifestyle, along with resistance training could offer protection against cancer.

Man the Fat Hunter: Animal Fat Shortage as a Driver of Human Evolution and Prehistory

by Miki Ben-Dor

Our ancestors were fat hunters. This is what caused the a change in the brain size of home sapiens. High quality food which is high in good fat leads to big brains. We have evolved to eat fat.

Targeting Energy Metabolism in Brain Cancer

by Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D

Calorie restriction and low carb diets can be used in conjunction with anti-cancer drugs as therapies in the treatment of cancer.

Sugar: No Ordinary Commodity

by Robert Lustig, M.D.

Fructose consumption in the United States impacts health negatively and (as alcohol) should not be treated as an ordinary commodity on the open market. Consumption of sugar leads to insulin resistance and obesity. And, it was noted that there is a one percent increase in diabetes for every 100 calories of sugar consumed. Sugar is addictive and has become a public health problem. Metabolic dysfunction from consumption of sugar affects 40 % of normal-weight adults and 80 % of obese adults. 124,000,000 adults have health related problems due to sugar consumption. Dr. Lustig suggested that, with the health care costs from Medicare and Medicaid, we could balance the Federal budget if we could get this problem under control.

All good diets should be low in sugar and high in fiber.

A map of the United States showed most of the Southern states with high rates of obesity (except Georgia and Florida).

Minding My Mitochondria

by Terry Wahls, M.D.

Dr. Wahls has progressive Multiple Sclerosis and was confined to a tilt recline wheelchair. Using what she learned about progressive brain diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s, the nutritional requirements of the brain and the Paleo diet, she created a modified Paleo Diet to maximize the nutrition to her mitochondria, her cells, and her brain. After just 9 months on the diet, she is able to bicycle 18 miles. She explains how a structured Paleo Diet provides the most nutrition per calorie of any diets and how to eat for maximal health. Her diet consists of greens, garlic, onions, berries, grass-fed meats, seaweed, wild-caught fish. She does not eat grain, sugar, or dairy. She has 9 non-starchy vegetable servings per day.

Iron Behaving Badly: The Role of Iron Overload in Metabolic Disease

by Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac.

The dangers of too much iron in the body were discussed. 1 out of 200 people have hemochromotosis (iron overload). This leads to fatigue, brain dysfunction, metabolic problems, and mortality.

Digestive Health, Inflammation and the Metabolic Syndrome

by Stephan Guyenet, Ph.D.

Metabolic syndrome was shown to lead to obesity, insulin resistance, inflammation, high blood pressure, and blood lipid abnormalities. Diet, gut flora, and digestive health all influence metabolic disorders and may lead to diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

He suggested that there may be benefits from avoiding bread, nuts, milk, onions, and pinto beans. To maintain a healthy weight, it was suggested that we exercise, eat a variety of whole plant foods, avoid food sensitivities (e.g. gluten), manage stress, and have vaginal births if possible.

Antibiotics lead to weight gain.

Children who had been birthed via C-sections have a 3 times greater risk of developing obesity by the age of 3.

Strongly Recommended Reading!!!

One particular book that I bought at the symposium which I believe everyone should possess is Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas (a certified nutritional therapist and neurofeedback specialist). A number of the ideas presented at the 3-day conference are elaborated upon in the text. In the book, she explains the vital role of eating a diet devoid of grains, sugar, and starches. She recommends eating moderate amounts of grass-fed beef and other organic meat, pasture fed poultry and eggs, and wild-caught fish, as well as non-starchy vegetables, nuts, and good fats. The importance of dealing with food sensitivities (especially to gluten and casein) are outlined, as well as the essential role of digestion in the absorption of vital nutrients. The most effective and efficient exercise is explained, along with important supplements that should be considered. Not only for weight loss, but for brain health, disease prevention, and longevity, this book will likely be the most important book you ever read. I encourage everyone to buy it.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Easy Low Carb Mexican Chicken Recipe

Mexican Chicken
3 cups cooked chicken, pulled apart
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups chopped white onion (Vidalia if available)
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. red pepper (cayenne pepper)
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. hot sauce
Optional: Sauté’ strips of red and green peppers with onion.

Par boil chicken for 25 minutes (or use rotisserie chicken from grocery store).
Remove chicken from pot. Pull chicken apart using a fork or food gloves. Set aside.
Sauté chopped onion in olive oil until wilted.
Add chicken and butter to pan. Brown chicken slightly.
Stir in sour cream.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
5 net carbs
Serves 4 to 6

Helpful hint: Measure out all of the ingredients next to the skillet before sautéing the onions.