We’re hearing this a lot lately, that we should increase the plants in our diets and decrease the animal products, so I wanted to add my two cents. There is some correlational (relationship based, not causation) and some clinical (applied with many variables, not basic science) research that supports this idea. These studies tend to lump Big Macs (bun included) in with 100% grass-fed steaks, so there are big problems with this research. There are also studies that support the opposite. Like any other fad dietary change, the notion has taken off as gospel truth throughout all industries, and there are now many products to help us incorporate more plants into our diets or to decrease the effects of eating too many animals. It’s an incredibly lucrative industry, and it seems like everywhere I go I encounter people trying to sell me on the idea that their product or service can help me and my clients with the problems of eating too much meat and not enough plants.
First let me say that anyone eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) has to get off of the processed foods (including any fast or prepared foods) and eat real food of any kind, preferably cooked at home, and any move in this direction is a move in the direction of health. I don’t care what diet you’re following, if it is composed of real food your health will improve.
What are the effects on our bodies of moving to a more plant-heavy diet? The first thing people think of is getting more fiber to help with smoother elimination. I have clients come in all the time saying they are trying to eat more fiber to be healthier. I’ll talk more about fiber and gut health later, but one thing is becoming more and more clear: not everyone responds positively to a heavy-fiber diet. Fiber can actually have the opposite effect, gunking up the works, making elimination more difficult and uncomfortable. Plants are very hard to digest, which is why herbivores (plant-eaters) have very long intestines (and sometimes multiple stomachs) and carnivores (meat-eaters) have short intestines (human intestines, by the way, are somewhere in the middle, as we are omnivores, eating both meat and veg). You know all of those scary ads for colonics and whatnot that say that we have undigested meat in our bowels? Yeah, that doesn’t happen. Ask any nurse. The only undigested food found in bowels is plant matter. So why are doctors pushing fiber on us? Because with our SAD diet we don’t get enough to move all of the junk food through our bodies at a decent rate. Stop eating SAD foods and you won’t have this problem and won’t need to bump up the fiber.
Because meat is much more easily digested than plants, backing off of the amount of fibrous plants eaten can help normalize digestion and elimination. One of my clients had been eating a very plant-heavy diet her whole life with no processed foods and had gas and constipation that kept getting worse. What did her doctor do? Put her on Metamucil to add more fiber to her already extremely high-fiber diet. I encouraged her to reduce the plants and ease her way into eating more and more meat. She’s feeling better now for the first time. Increasing the fiber in one’s diet is not necessarily a good thing.
Another thing we know is that a plant-heavy diet drastically reduces the amount of protein that we consume. Consider that the best and only complete source of protein (that has all essential amino acids, or protein building blocks that we have to get from our diets) is quinoa. It takes 6 cups of quinoa to equal the protein we can get in a small steak or a bit larger piece of fish. Who eats that much quinoa? Nobody. Nor should they, just on the basis of carbohydrate toxicity, if nothing else.
There is debate in the clinical research community concerning how much protein we really need. The plant-promoting folks say we should eat less protein than we’re typically told we need, and there are some clinical studies to support this idea. The big scare about eating too much protein has to do with the metabolic pathway that is related to cancer growth. That is the same pathway (mTOR) that allows us to build muscle. It relies on our sugar-burning metabolic system rather than our fat-burning system, so proponents of ketogenic, or fat-burning, diets try not to eat much protein so they can stay in ketosis all the time. That’s why almost all ketogenic diet plans you’ll see have pretty low percentages of protein in their macronutrient allotments.
There are some problems with this approach, however. Dr. Ben Bikman on the basic science end and Dr. Gabrielle Lyon on the clinical end have been doing a fantastic job shining light on the importance of eating more protein, not less. On the basic science end, Bikman has shown in a series of wonderful studies that just because our liver can engage in gluconeogenesis to make sugars from proteins, it won’t do so unless it has a need to do so. So keto dieters need not limit the protein they ingest, because it won’t throw them out of ketosis. The evidence for this assertion keeps piling up. Likewise, those worried about feeding cancers and pre-cancers, which eat sugar almost exclusively, need not worry, either, as engaging the mTOR pathway won’t increase risk of cancer growth.
Dr. Lyon is a former figure competitor with extensive experience and expertise in the health of elite athletes and older populations. She is a muscle-centric physician who keeps up with both basic and clinical research. Muscle is the largest organ in the body, and it is metabolically active. Sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss, is seen as a normal thing in our society, but it isn’t normal in the history of humans. Many chronic illnesses can be argued to start with sarcopenia, which changes our biochemistry to perpetuate those illnesses. Early in life, our hormones dictate the amount of muscle we have on our bodies. As we get into our 30s, however, muscle tissue is supported not as much by hormones as by protein intake, specifically complete proteins containing branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). We need a certain amount of them to stimulate that mTOR pathway for muscle growth and maintenance. This may kick us out of ketosis briefly, but that’s normal. We shouldn’t be chasing ketones, anyway, but drifting in and out of ketosis as we shift from one metabolic pathway to another throughout the day. Our bodies evolved to use both pathways for metabolism, or they wouldn’t both be there. We should not be trying to shut one down completely. Dr. Lyon recommends eating at least 30 grams of complete protein (not including collagen) three times per day – more if you’re older or out of shape. There is really no practical way to get anywhere near that much protein from plants, unless we supplement with processed vegetable proteins (not a natural thing for humans to do). The bottom line is that the jury is still out when it comes to the amount of protein we need, but it’s looking like we may need more than we thought.
And that’s just muscle-supporting protein. We also need collagen for healthy hair, skin, nails, connective tissue and joints, which we make less of as we age and which we can only get from animals. There are no plant sources of collagen. We get it from eating the skin with our chicken, the membrane on the back of a rack of ribs – all animal protein has collagen packaged with it. It also has the healthiest, most easily digested fats packaged with it (no, animal fat does not cause heart disease or clogged arteries). Those fats are the necessary raw materials to make all of our cell membranes, hormones, nerves, etc. Going meat-free clearly does not constitute a diet for optimal human health.
Another argument for a plant-heavy diet is that an animal-heavy diet makes our bodies too acidic, which they say causes all kinds of chronic diseases. Plants alkalinize our bodies, which is healthier, they say. This scare also turns out not to have any basic research behind it. Our ancestors ate varying amounts of plants and animals, sometimes almost exclusively one or the other, depending on what food sources were available, and no chronic illness existed. None. Different parts of our bodies need to be kept at different pH levels or we die, so our bodies have mechanisms to keep our pH levels right where they need to be for optimal body functioning, regardless of the amount of plants or animals we’re eating. If eating a meat-heavy diet made any part of our bodies so acidic that we wound up with a chronic illness, humans likely would have died out many, many years ago. What we know precipitates chronic illness is stress coupled with toxins, including high carbohydrate intake, or infection. This acidity argument, in short, makes no sense.
Then there’s the gut microbiome argument. Now here’s something to consider! We are only 10% human genes – the other 90% are bacterial. We are walking bags of bugs and would not survive otherwise. We have to feed those beneficial bugs so that we stay healthy, and they really, really like probiotics, or fiber, from plants. If we do not feed them, they die and other, not-so-beneficial and potentially harmful bugs take their place. These bad bugs like Big Macs and fries. They also like sugar and chemical-laden Frankenfoods, like honey buns and Snickers bars. What we feed ourselves in part determines what bugs are there, and we want more of the helpful ones and less of the bad ones. This probably also greatly impacts chronic disease, though the science on this is very new. But here again, some of our ancestors didn’t eat lots of plants to feed their good bugs and had no chronic illness. Today, there are many people with autoimmune conditions who cannot eat some plants or any plants at all if they wish to stay symptom-free. There is no research on carnivore (all meat) diets, yet, but there are too many people benefitting from this way of eating to make the bug argument air-tight – unless those bugs also really like a good 100% grass-fed steak.
So where does that leave us? Eating the greatest variety of plants and animals – real food, raised naturally, not by corporate farms that deplete the nutrition in the soil and in the food – logically gives us the most nutrients to feed our good bugs and give us the protein we need. When we get rid of the Frankenfood and the grains and beans that we never really evolved to digest effectively, we might feel great with all of the meat and veg/fruit we want. We may need to back off of the fruit due to the extreme and unnatural sugar content of modern fruits. Some of us may still not feel optimal, though, so we may need to back off of nightshade and/or FODMAP veggies or even stop eating all plants entirely. Or if you feel better eating less meat and more plants, do that. A very cool thing happens when we eat real food: we are more tuned in to what our bodies tell us they like or don’t like. Eat everything that your body tells you it likes and don’t eat what makes it feel uncomfortable in any way. Your body should be the final authority that you listen to, not anyone else.
For someone who always hated cauliflower, it’s amazing how I eat these pancakes almost every day! I make them a couple of different ways: sweet and savory. They’re both delicious.
I start with ricing a whole head of cauliflower (or you can use riced cauliflower in a bag) and mixing it with 2 eggs and some sea salt. Then I divide the mixture into 4 equal servings and refrigerate 3 of them. I fry up one slice of bacon extra crispy, remove the bacon from the pan and add the cauliflower mixture to the bacon grease, patting it into a round pancake shape. I let it cook until the edges are brown and it slides easily in the pan, then flip it over and let it cook on the other side for a bit.
Half of the time it falls apart spectacularly, but it doesn’t matter – it still works out great! I put it on a plate and top with the bacon.
If I want sweet, I’ll add some more bacon, pulled pork or breakfast sausage and some sugar-free maple syrup (I like Lakanto).
If I want savory, I love to add a scrambled egg, guacamole and sprouts for a sort of avocado toast dish (pictured above).
Get creative and add whatever you want. It’s a really versatile thing. Want more protein? I sometimes add unflavored whey or collagen peptides to the “batter” and it works out great. Enjoy!
I’ll be on a holistic living panel at the next iNetwork Expo at the Avion Center in Chandler, AZ, on May 2: What 6-figure Earners Know About Health and Wealth That You Don’t. It’s an all-day event, but the panel is scheduled for 9:00-9:45 a.m. Here’s what the organizer has to say about the event. Click here for more details and to get your ticket!
***I get 4 complimentary VIP tickets, which I will give to the first 4 people who ask me for them! Network Together members are not eligible.***
NETWORK TOGETHER, LLC – ARIZONA’S FASTEST GROWING INDEPENDENT ENTREPRENEUR, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND NETWORKING COMMUNITY ANNOUNCES THEIR SPRING iNETWORKEXPO – MAY 2nd AT THE AVION CENTER IN CHANDLER, ARIZONA
Business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals will come together for a day or learning, business building, and connecting from across Arizona and other states.
Event will include:
3 speakers: Jane M. Powers with Let’s Talk Impact, Daniel Miller with Click and Grow Rich, and Noah St. John with Success Clinic
4 Expert Panels:
– Holistic Living
– Public Speaking
– Real Estate & Investing
– Marketing & Media
Breakout Networking Sessions
Lunch & Light Refreshments
Caricature Artist, Andre Bland
Interested in being an exhibitor or a Title Sponsor? Looking to attend only?
For more information: www.inetworktogether.net or call (602) 228-0907.
Network Together, “Where relationships create community and commerce follows”.
Lighthouse Psychiatry is providing a fantastic opportunity to learn about many different non medical healing modalities that complement medical treatments for mental health. I’ll be speaking on Hypnotherapy for Mental Health and will have a vendor table with self-care products available. Stop by for a short relaxation experience to give yourself a mid-day reboot!
It’s free and open to everyone, so please share with anyone you think might benefit from this information. It will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Tempe located at 4400 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282.
Doors open at 9:45.
Speakers will provide information on the following topics:
Advanced Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Treatment
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)/ Trauma therapy
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)/ Trauma Therapy
Genetics and Nutrition
Check out some of the interactive activities we will have on the vendor side!
Chair Massages (yay!)
Essential Oils (make and take calming blends)
Interactive Sand tray (learn how sand play is incorporated into therapy)
Float spa (games and prizes)
Personal trainer/fitness (fun interactive activities TBA)
Foods for Detox and Mental health (holistic nutritionist and chef is bringing food to try!)
Hypnotherapy (enjoy a short relaxation session!)
Chinese Medicine/Acupressure (interactive! learn some easy acupressure points!)
Lighthouse TMS (games, selfie station, experience TMS and more!)
Naturopath/Functional doctor (talk to the doctor!)
Equine Therapy (learn about the benefits of therapy animals and meet a sweet furry friend!)
There will be light refreshments provided. Follow Lighthouse Psychiatry on social media for all the newest info and updates on this event. Register on eventbrite before April 1st and bring your ticket to the event to enter the raffle for prizes!
Want more information? Visit LighthouseTMS.com.
I love soup, and it’s so easy to make. Want a meal fast but don’t have anything made? No problem! Put some bone broth in a pot and add meat (can cook in the soup or be pre-cooked) and veggies and season to taste. That’s it!
For the chicken zoodle soup above (one serving just for me), I put a cup of chicken bone broth in a small stock pot and added 5 oz of cooked chicken breast, a cup of chopped spinach, 2 oz of zucchini noodles and 1/4 cup of diced fire-roasted canned tomatoes. I seasoned it with Jane’s Crazy Salt and heated through – just a few minutes. Muy delicioso!
I also love the combination of pork breakfast sausage, chopped butternut squash (I buy it frozen) and chopped kale. Throw together whatever you like. Great way to use up leftovers!
Not only do you get great nutrition from the meat and veg, but you get collagen from the bone broth. Collagen nourishes your skin, hair, nails, and joints, and you get it whenever you eat the skin and connective tissue of your meat. Just make sure it’s “bone broth”, not plain ol’ “broth”, which is made from muscle tissue that has no collagen in it. You can buy it at the store or make your own with bones you buy at the store. I love buying a seasoned rotisserie chicken, eating the meat or using it in a pot of soup or something, then boiling the rest of the carcass, skin and all, for several hours. I’ll strain it, toss the chicken parts, let it cool, and then skim off the fat to save in the freezer for cooking. What’s left is liquid gold, already seasoned. Put in containers and freeze til you need it for soup or other recipes. Easy peasy! 🙂
Done torturing yourself trying to adhere to that new hyped diet and/or exercise plan? Good! Time to get serious and take steps toward metabolic flexibility and optimal gene expression – in a word, longevity. Let’s turn off those chronic illness genes – or keep you from turning them on in the first place. When you’re in fat-burning mode these are the bennies you get, and then some.
Start down this path by making some easy, comfortable changes of your choice. For the next 21 days, you’ll make a change a day in one of ten different aspects of your life. This is not one-size-fits-all. You’ll get to choose what exact changes to make and how much to change them, so that you won’t feel any suffering or deprivation, and you’ll have an easier time maintaining these changes long-term. Even little changes in the right direction can make profound improvements in your health.
Participants are encouraged to share ideas, successes, recipes, support each other, ask questions, and help each other work out what to do or how to do it. Find an exercise buddy. Have a cooking party. Let’s get creative and have fun!
There will be NO COUNTING CALORIES, NO STRUCTURED WORKOUTS, NO DIET PILLS and NO EQUIPMENT TO PURCHASE. I want you to be free of all of that nonsense and fit the changes you make into a convenient revised lifestyle that doesn’t disrupt your life but rather enhances it. This is all about easy, because nobody loves easy more than me! 🙂
We’d love to have you join us! Just go to THIS Facebook group and request to join, and you’re in! It formally starts on February 4, but we’ve already started interacting in the group – feel free to do so, as well.
Many of my clients come to me wanting to lose body fat, whether to help with a medical condition, increase their energy and quality of life or for aesthetic reasons. It can be a difficult and even painful process, especially for women and especially as we get older. We want to stop making and storing fat and burn it instead. But how do we do that? It can be confusing to know what to do with so much misinformation out there, including “expert advice” and FDA guidelines that are often not supported by research.
We have to stop eating foods that increase our insulin secretion. The job of insulin is to shuttle glucose into the adipose cells to be made into fat. Every time we eat foods that stimulate insulin secretion, we put ourselves in fat-storing mode. When we don’t eat or when we eat foods that do not increase insulin, our bodies can start burning fat. But as soon as we eat something that jacks up our insulin, we’re kicked out of fat-burning mode.
There are two simple concepts that can keep you in fat-burning mode longer and, in time, make your body more metabolically flexible (happy burning both sugar and fat – whatever’s available), thereby reducing appetite and cravings and comfortably giving you all of the energy you need when you need it. In other words, you don’t need to suffer to lose body fat. You just need to change up your routine a bit.
The first concept is intermittent fasting. We all fast for about 10-12 hours or so throughout the night, which is about the amount of time it takes our bodies to run through our sugar stores and be hungry to break our fast (breakfast). Go longer than that without eating, and your body will have to burn the fat it has on board for energy. Research shows that the more you allow yourself to go a little longer (say, 16-20 hours) without eating anything that will stimulate insulin, the more metabolically flexible you will become. If you’d like to try this, I’d recommend that you ease into it and make your eating window during times that you’re most likely to want to eat. I usually fast for 16-20 hours each day and just skip eating in the morning because my body has never felt good when I’ve fed it in the morning. I just have some coffee with a little heavy whipping cream in it, then I do my workout fasted and wait a few more hours to break my fast.
Doing a workout fasted works for me because I feel better working out without anything in my stomach. I burn more body fat that way, too. Waiting a few hours after working out to start stimulating insulin secretion also helps me burn more body fat. Again, this is something you can work up to if you want to try it. As always, listen to your body and do what makes it feel good.
I typically break my fast between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with a bowlful of raw greens and some kind of casserole on top. I love casseroles and make vegetable-based ones with some meat and lots of healthy fats, which makes it the perfect stack of natural nootropics to me. Then I throw some more healthy fat on top. A couple favorites are arugula topped with steak and mushrooms in a balsamic cream sauce, with brie on top (see my previous blog post for the recipe) and nacho chicken casserole over baby spinach with guacamole. I mix it up so I don’t get bored and get lots of different nutrients. You’ll notice that I don’t eat any high-carbohydrate foods.
This is the second big concept of becoming a fat-burner: eat fewer carbs. When you eat high-carb foods, like grains, beans and fruit, you make a lot of insulin and increase ghrelin, the hunger hormone, while decreasing leptin, the hormone that tells us we’re full and don’t want to eat anything. Obviously, it is easier to start burning fat when you don’t eat as much carb, and it’s also easier not to overeat because eating low-carb decreases ghrelin and increases leptin. If you want to transition to this way of becoming a fat-burner, I’d recommend you do so gradually so your body doesn’t freak out that you’re no longer giving it jet fuel every 2-3 hours and are going to start burning body fat instead. That freak out happens when your body thinks it’s starving because you’ve made such a big change so fast. Ease into it and be comfortable. Find foods you love and make them low-carb while increasing your consumption of healthy fats.
I’ve recently had a significant amount of body fat to lose following a series of injuries that vastly decreased my ability to exercise – and then going into perimenopause at the same time. Double-whammy! After many failed attempts to reduce body fat long-term, an endocrinologist suggested I transition to a ketogenic diet. She’s on it and she prescribes it to her patients for a host of medical issues relating to insulin. There is a great deal of good research backing up this position (and a recent huge study from the Lancet that contradicts it, but this study is fatally flawed in multiple ways and should not be given an iota of credence, in my professional opinion as a researcher). In the several months that I’ve been focusing on reducing my insulin response, I’ve only lost 12 pounds, but that’s because I’ve been able to exercise more and have put on heavy, lean muscle (muscle outweighs fat 5:1) and lost a lot of fat! I know this because I’ve lost an inch off of each arm and each leg, 4 inches off of my chest and waist, and 3 inches off of my hips. Whenever I eat something that bumps me out of fat-burning mode, I’m back into it remarkably fast. My body has adapted to using fat for fuel and absolutely loves it! When I eat high-carb foods now I wake up the next morning feeling hung-over. When you clean up your eating, your body tells you what it doesn’t want.
Want to find out more? I’m happy to help you with a plan to ease into becoming a fat-burner in a way that makes your body comfortable and energized. Just make sure you talk to your doctor first to make sure that it won’t complicate any conditions you may have. Leaning out doesn’t have to be painful, with feelings of deprivation and suffering. It shouldn’t be anything but comfortable and rewarding, in my opinion. You should feel better, happier and more energetic every day, because, when you do it right, you’re giving your body what it naturally wants. Concerned about not being able to give up your favorite high-carb foods? No worries – the hypno and NLP that I do can make that easy, too! Feel free to schedule a free consultation if you’d like to learn more.
New audio file available as a download or CD!
Have you stopped smoking many times but can’t seem to stay a non smoker? Using willpower alone has a very low success rate. You try to be strong, but it’s painful. And medications can be of limited effectiveness and may have uncomfortable side-effects.
Stop suffering and make an effortless subconscious transformation instead. With this hypnosis recording, you will not need to try so hard to be determined and focused. You will more easily and consistently make healthier decisions and not be as tempted to engage in self-defeating behavior.
What makes this recording different?
I take a different approach than many other hypnotists with similar recordings. I uses no negative, or aversive, suggestions, which means that you will not feel any unpleasant tastes or smells or have any negative feelings or increases in stress. You’ll make healthier choices, not just with regard to smoking but with food choices and activity, as well. That’s right – you’ll be encouraged to get healthier in all aspects of your life, so you will not have to worry about substituting another unhealthy habit for smoking or gaining weight when you quit. My approach reduces the stress that other hypnosis recordings can produce, and reducing stress is a key component of letting go of unhealthy behaviors and living a healthy, happy life. Moreover, the subconscious mind does not always process the word “no” as one might expect. Hearing “You no longer want to smoke” may actually make you want to smoke more! I only uses positive suggestions that:
– make you feel good about yourself
– want to make healthy choices
– want to exercise more often
– increase your confidence and sense of control
– stay calm and centered all day, every day
Additionally, I use no sound tracks in her recordings. One person may be soothed by sounds of the ocean, while another may feel stressed by the same sounds. You will not need to worry about how any accompanying sound track might affect you. Rather, you’ll just get relaxing, effective suggestions to program your subconscious mind for health, without distractions.
I also uses guided imagery which you complete yourself to customize the recording for even greater effectiveness.
How to use this recording
Listen to this recording at least once a day for at least 3 weeks, or until it feels “flat”, or as though you have internalized the suggestions. When you get this feeling and your behaviors are in line with a healthy lifestyle, you can listen to it less and less often, then save the recording for sometime in the future if you would like a quick boost in healthy habits again.
This recording can be used on its own or as a welcome addition to any other program to help you be successful without relying on willpower alone.
Duration: 15 minutes.
Get yours here!
A gratitude journal can help you focus on the positives in your life, making you and those around you happier and increasing the odds of future successes. It’s one thing to know you’re grateful for something, but knowing why you’re grateful for it takes it to another level, deepening your understanding and appreciation. This simple book provides a year of quick, easy journaling to make living in gratitude effortless. Inspirational quotes provide prompts to see gratitude in new ways and in different aspects of your life every day. You never knew just how much you had in your life to be grateful for until now!
Get yours in my store (click here). Enjoy! 🙂
Get ready to play your A-game!
Gear up for this in-depth, interactive mini-retreat at my office with lots of exercises in formal and informal mindfulness techniques, when to use them, how to use them, and why you should use them. You’ll receive physical tools ($28 value) and mental tools (priceless) for living a more relaxed, enjoyable, productive life – plus a $50 coupon toward my online self-hypnosis course (that’s $78 in free stuff)! The tips, tricks and techniques you’ll learn are simple and easy for everyone to master – even if you have difficulty meditating. Learn how to reverse the effects of stress on your body, eat mindfully and stop second-guessing yourself – and so much more. And we’ll have drinks and a nosh, of course!
Friday, September 29, or Saturday, September 30, from 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Cost: $75 Register HERE by Friday, September 22 and get my online self-hypnosis class ($99 value) completely free!