Many of you set new goals as you began the new year and right about now, the newness is most likely wearing off. It may even feel too difficult to carry on. The comfort zone may be coming back to haunt you, teasing you to come back. Don’t let it creep back in! You started a new path and to see change, you need to keep keepin’ on!
Welcome back from the holidays! With 2019 knocking on the door, now is the best time to get working on getting back into shape and healthy. Found a great article about the value of gut health and it’s impact on your overall health. Read on..
“…I see a common theme among most of (my patients around the word)them: It’s becoming increasingly difficult to lose weight. And sadly, this is not just in my experience. The obesity epidemic continues to worsen; a shocking 38 percent of us are struggling with obesity and 33 percent of us are overweight! Those numbers are only expected to rise, so I”t’s clear that what we’re doing isn’t working. Despite having the most gyms, workout videos, diets, weight loss pills, and potions, we are the sickest, most overweight generation in human history.
So what’s the deal with weight gain?
I have previously written about the impact of stress, hormonal imbalances, toxins, viruses, poor diet, and inflammation on our weight, but one often overlooked factor is the microbiome. Essentially, the microbiome is a universe living inside of you, composed of trillions of bacteria. Sound gross? Well, you wouldn’t be alive without them. Your immune system, brain, and mood are all largely controlled by your microbiome, and we are constantly discovering more connections between gut health and weight. I, too, find that many patients are not able to lose weight until they deal with their underlying gut problems—so my goal is to get them healthy to lose weight rather than lose weight to get healthy. Here are the ways your gut can make it seem impossible to lose weight:
1. Bacterial imbalance
Think of your microbiome as a big city. The “microbiome metropolis” is filled with different “cities” or bacterial colonies. And strong diversity of your healthy probiotics is needed for optimal health and metabolism. Research has found that people who are overweight and obese have lower microbiome diversity. People with weight loss resistance also tend to have a lower amount of Bacteroides, Verrucomicrobia, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and a higher amount of Actinobacteria and Firmicutes.
2. Gut-sleep connection
Your sleepy-time hormone (melatonin) is made in the brain—but there’s also a lot of it in your gut! And the health of the bacteria in your gut is essential for healthy melatonin levels. In short, an unhealthy microbiome will mess up your sleep. The problem? Losing out on sleep can make fat cells 30 percent less able to deal with your fat-storing hormone, insulin.
3. Short-chain fatty acid levels
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) get made in your gut as a result of bacterial fermentation. In short, the bacteria also feed off of the food you eat and they make SCFAs, which are really important because they prevent gut problems like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Research is finding that our SCFAs also promote weight loss and the three types of SCFAs (acetate, propionate, and butyrate) all decrease cravings.
4. Leaky gut syndrome
Studies have shown that people with markers of leaky gut syndrome also had increased levels of fat and a larger waist circumference, which suggests that intestinal permeability can increase fat around our organs and contribute to metabolic syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome can also lead to increased blood-brain barrier permeability (leaky brain), and this low-grade brain inflammation can further complicate losing weight by messing up our hormone balance.
Your gut health game plan:
1. Consider gut labs
You don’t have to be experiencing gut symptoms to have an underlying gut problem. By running functional medicine labs to assess for leaky gut syndrome, SIBO, candida overgrowth, and short-chain fatty acids, we can find out what’s really going on in your gut.
2. Increase your bacterial diversity
Probiotics are a great tool to balance your microbiome, and a combination of bifidobacteria, enterococcus, and lactobacillus has been shown to have a positive effect on small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. I am also a fan of soil-based probiotics to further broaden the varieties of microbes in your gut. Probiotics work by influencing the balance of the microbiome and encouraging healthy bacterial populations. Eating a variety of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, kombucha, and coconut kefir also offer different bacterial strains, promoting healthy bacterial diversity.
3. Promote healthy short-chain fatty levels
SCFAs are made when you eat healthy prebiotic and high-fiber foods. Load up on nutrient-dense leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and watercress and other super plant foods! If you need to increase the fat-burning butyrate, I suggest bringing Hi-Maize Resistant Starch into your diet to boost butyrate in your large intestine. Hydroxymethyl butyrate can also be supplemented.”
– reference to Dr. Mirkin’s Ezine Newsletter 2018
Reach out if you are ready to learn more about gut bacteria or want to design a plan for your own healthy start to 2019 and the rest of your life. email@example.com
Fruit juices like grape juice and apple juice are touted to be healthy alternatives to eating the whole fruit. I have even seen fruit juice concentrates in more products lately as the food industry tries to keep up with our demands to eat healthier. Don’t be fooled, fruit juices are just NOT as “healthy” as you may think.
If you’re avoiding soda due to the astronomically high sugar content but replacing it with popular fruit juices, I have some bad news. Most fruit juices out there contain tons of sugar. While many of them boast “no added sugar,” drinking too much of even the most naturally sourced sugars can impact your health the same way drinking a can of Coke. Here’s an example, a cup of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice brings 36 grams of sugar, while 10 ounces of Minute Maid Apple Juice has 32 grams, each with more sugar than plenty of your favorite sweet treats, like a York Peppermint Pattie (26 grams) and a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar with Almonds, with 19 grams. Yes, the source of sugar is different than a spoonful of sugar, however, these drinks are missing the most important nutrients found in a regular orange, fiber and vitamins. So, before you reach for a fruit juice alternative or hand your child that sippy cup full of juice, be aware that a little is fine each day, but it needs to be consumed in moderation. Grab an apple or a handful of grapes instead.
I encourage my clients to enjoy their Thanksgiving feast, by keeping their portions in check (protein, carbohydrates and fats). Have what you want, just in moderation! Also remember to jump back on track the next day or that evening with clean meals.
Festive Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries
1 cup wild rice
½ cup brown basmati rice
¾ teaspoon salt
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (may substitute coconut oil)
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 stalks celery, diced
1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1 large apple, peeled and diced
1 cup pecan halves
3 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Rinse the brown rice in cold running water. Place in a small saucepan with 1 cup water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
In a large skillet, sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon (coconut or olive oil) until they become translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Toss the butternut squash cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet( or foil lined). Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until they are cooked and golden. Set aside.
In a small skillet, toast the pecans over medium heat, until they become fragrant. Set aside.
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
In a large salad bowl, gently toss together all of the salad ingredients. Just before serving, add the dressing and toss again. Serve immediately.
This can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days. It will last longer, but the nuts will begin to soften.
(Courtesy of Pinterest, modified by eatlivefit.net)
To relish in the fun and info of the past 5 years of this blog, I decided to repost links to the Halloween posts from the past. Enjoy.
7,000 Calories – https://wordpress.com/post/eatlivefit.net/601
Halloween Snack – https://wordpress.com/post/eatlivefit.net?copy=1439
Halloween Goonies Appetizer – https://wordpress.com/post/eatlivefit.net?copy=2141
This year, I wanted to remind you to be mindful of your treat eating. Here’s the way to keep your sweet treat to 100 calories so you can indulge without blowing it. Pick ONE!!
3 fun sized kit kats
5 starburst pieces
1 1/2 tsp nerds
10.5 sour patch kids
14 candy corns
3 twizzler sticks
8.5 peanut M&Ms
Reposting because it is valuable information. The ones that hit home with me were #9 and #10.
“10 Things You Don’t Know About Sugar (And What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You)”
By Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D.
“Excessive sugar in the diet is not the best idea when it comes to healthy living. Nonetheless, few of us are consuming sugar in recommended moderate amounts and most of us are eating tons of it. In fact, worldwide we are consuming about 500 extra calories a day from sugar. That’s just about what you would need to consume if you wanted to gain a pound a week. Most people know that sugar is not good for them, but for some reason, they think the risk of excess sugar consumption is less than that of having too much saturated and trans fat, sodium or calories. Perhaps it’s sugar’s lack of sodium or fat that make it the “lesser of several evils,” or perhaps people are simply of the mind frame that what they don’t know won’t hurt them. If you really knew what it was doing to your body, though, you might just put it at the top of your “foods to avoid” list. Here are ten things that may surprise you about sugar.
1. Sugar can damage your heart
While it’s been widely noted that excess sugar can increase the overall risk for heart disease, a 2013 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association displayed strong evidence that sugar can actually affect the pumping mechanism of your heart and could increase the risk for heart failure. The findings specifically pinpointed a molecule from sugar (as well as from starch) called glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) that was responsible for the changes in the muscle protein of the heart. These changes could eventually lead to heart failure. Approximately half of the people that are diagnosed with heart failure die within five years.
2. Sugar specifically promotes belly fat
Adolescent obesity rates have tripled in the past 30 years and childhood obesity rates have doubled. Many of us are aware of the data that demonstrates just how literally big our future is looking, but beyond the studies and all the initiatives to curb childhood obesity, one needs only to visit an amusement park, school or mall to truly see what is happening. One factor that seems to inflict obese children is fat accumulation in the trunk area of the body. Why? One cause may be the increase in fructose-laden beverages. A 2010 study in children found that excess fructose intake (but not glucose intake) actually caused visceral fat cells to mature — setting the stage for a big belly and even bigger future risk for heart disease and diabetes.
3. Sugar is the true silent killer
Move over salt and hypertension, you’ve got competition. Sugar, as it turns out, is just as much of a silent killer. A 2008 study found that excess fructose consumption was linked to an increase in a condition called leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that tells you when you’ve had enough food. The problem is, we often ignore the signal our brain sends to us. For some people though, leptin simply does not want to work, leaving the person with no signal whatsoever that the body has enough food to function. This in turn can lead to over consumption of food and consequently, obesity. Why the silent killer? Because it all happens without symptoms or warning bells. If you’ve gained weight in the past year and can’t quite figure out why, perhaps you should look at how much fructose you’re feeding your body.
4. Sugar may be linked to cancer production and may effect cancer survival
In the world of nutrition, it’s hard to talk about sugar without talking about insulin. That’s because insulin is sugar’s little chaperone to the cells, and when too much of it is consumed, or our insulin does not work (probably because we’re eating too much sugar) and the body revolts. One connection that has been well documented in the literature is the link between insulin resistance and cancer . A 2013 study found that sugars in the intestine triggered the formation of a hormone called GIP (controlled by a protein called β-catenin that is completely dependant on sugar levels), that in turn, increases insulin released by the pancreas. Researchers found that β-catenin may in fact affect the cells susceptibility to cancer formation. Further studies have found negative associations between high sugar and starch intake and survival rates in both breast cancer patients and colon cancer patients.
5. Your sugar “addiction” may be genetic
If you’ve ever said, “I’m completely addicted to sugar,” you may actually be correct. A recent study of 579 individuals showed that those who had genetic changes in a hormone called ghrelin consumed more sugar (and alcohol) than those that had no gene variation. Ghrelin is a hormone that tells the brain you’re hungry. Researchers think that the genetic components that effect your ghrelin release may have a lot to do with whether or not you seek to enhance a neurological reward system through your sweet tooth. Findings with this study were similar to study conducted in 2012 as well.
6. Sugar and alcohol have similar toxic liver effects on the body
A 2012 paper in the journal Nature, brought forth the idea that limitations and warnings should be placed on sugar similar to warnings we see on alcohol. The authors showed evidence that fructose and glucose in excess can have a toxic effect on the liver as the metabolism of ethanol — the alcohol contained in alcoholic beverages had similarities to the metabolic pathways that fructose took. Further, sugar increased the risk for several of the same chronic conditions that alcohol was responsible for. Finally, if you think that your slim stature keeps you immune from fructose causing liver damage, think again. A 2013 study found that liver damage could occur even without excess calories or weight gain.
7. Sugar may sap your brain power
When I think back on my childhood, I remember consuming more sugar than I probably should have. I should have enjoyed my youth back then, because unfortunately, all the sugar may have accelerated the aging process. A 2009 study found a positive relationship between glucose consumption and the aging of our cells. Aging of the cells consequently can be the cause of something as simple as wrinkles to something as dire as chronic disease. But there is other alarming evidence that sugar may affect the aging of your brain as well. A 2012 study found that excess sugar consumption was linked to deficiencies in memory and overall cognitive health. A 2009 study in rats showed similar findings.
8. Sugar hides in many everyday “non-sugar” foods
While many of my patients strive to avoid the “normal” sugary culprits (candy, cookies, cake, etc.), they often are duped when they discover some of their favorite foods also contain lots of sugar. Examples include tomato sauce, fat free dressing, tonic water, marinates, crackers and even bread.
9. An overload of sugar (specifically in beverages) may shorten your life
A 2013 study estimated that 180,000 deaths worldwide may be attributed to sweetened beverage consumption. The United States alone accounted for 25,000 deaths in 2010. The authors summarize that deaths occurred due to the association with sugar-sweetened beverages and chronic disease risk such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
10. Sugar is making us fat
I figured I’d leave the most obvious fact for last. While you may be aware that too many calories from any source will be stored as fat if not burned, what you may not connect is that the lack of other nutrients in sugar actually makes it much easier to eat gobs of it with no physical effects to warn us of the danger that lurks. Foods rich in fiber, fat and protein all have been associated with increased fullness. Sugar will give you the calories, but not the feeling that you’ve had enough. That’s why you can have an entire king-size bag of licorice (with it’s sky high glycemic index at the movies and come out afterwards ready to go for dinner.
On a final note, it’s important to point out that simple sugars from milk (in the form of lactose) don’t display the same negative health effects that we see in the literature when reviewing sugar’s effects on the body. Simple sugars coming from fruit are also less concerning given their high amounts of disease-fighting compounds and fiber.
So now you know, and knowing perhaps can create action. You can do something about decreasing your overall sugar consumption without feeling deprivation or sheer frustration! ”
ASK ME HOW!! http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Good question, and one that seems obvious to some. The most common side effect is thirst. Duh, right? But did you know that there are many other signals your body sends to your brain when dehydration sets in that you may not be aware of currently? Such as:
- Feeling dizzy
- Muscle Cramps
- Cravings for Sweets
- Fewer trips to bathroom (for #1 or #2)
Here is an excellent article posted in BicyclingMagazine about just these symptoms and how to address them.
Drinking plain, old fashioned water is the best way to keep your body working in perfect order. Every organ, tissue, and cell in your body needs it. Add an electrolyte drink when exercising at a strenuous level for more than 1 hour. Pretty plain and simple. You demand a lot from your body, so give it what it needs to perform at it’s best.