One of my favorite things to do is to find life “hacks” or BioHacks that are simply life choices that make your body express vibrant health and energy. And with my fondness for BioHacks, I’d like to share with you two things: the introduction of my new concept: Plant-based Paleo, and tips on how to BioHack your weight. In the creation of Plant-based Paleo, Michael Pollan’s words were inspiring: "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” Here’s a little description:
Plant-based Paleo could be described as Paleo (basically, no grains), but with a California Twist! The core of what sets it apart from regular Paleo is: instead of using abundant animal fats, it uses vegetable fats freely. Recent research and clinical investigation have shown the profound effectiveness of Paleo principles in healing neurodegenerative disorders involving auto-immunity such as MS, Alzheimer’s and Gluten-mediated Ataxia. But it doesn’t have to be so heavy laden with animal fat. There is another way: in my own practice, I have found that a diet high in colorful veggies and fruits along with an adequate amount of clean, lean protein are the keys to producing that radiant California Glow. Once I went through menopause, my expanding waistline led me to the natural progression of designing Plant-based Paleo using vegetable fats over animal fats. In my clinical observation, animal fats cause indirect insulin resistance by going inside cells and clogging insulin receptors from within. Using a few, simple plant-based Paleo principles, it’s easy to achieve and maintain vibrant health at home, in restaurants and while traveling.
I’m excited to expand this for you in the coming months in the form of recipes, blog posts, and a book! Perhaps an eBook but let’s see where it goes!
Next, I’d like to share with you how to BioHack Your Weight:
The observed fact that caloric restriction induces longevity by causing mitochondrial renewal has now found its rightful place in the blood sugar story. Intermittent ‘fasting’ of 4-6 hours during the day and 12 hours at night also up-regulates brown fat: clusters of cellular factories that burn fat for fuel. Short term fasting balances Ghrelin and Leptin. (More about these two hormones below).
Before I go further, I wish to clarify that all produce but not necessarily the oils mentioned herein are organic. All animal products listed below are pastured (chicken & eggs always) or grass fed (another way of saying pastured). Take note that free range may just mean cageless but still overcrowded stressful conditions.
For years, I have seen the raw vegan whole food smoothie be the utmost healing and blood sugar balancing breakfast known to myself and the larger body of my client base. This simple and DNA balancing breakfast takes 5 minutes to make and will keep you satisfied until lunch…usually 4 hours later. Females: 25g vegan protein and Males: 30g vegan protein. Please see my video on Green and Purple Smoothies.
At lunch, the endlessly variable salad, the perfect Plant-based Paleo meal consists of a large pile of greens and clean lean protein such as pastured grilled chicken, wild caught salmon, free range pork loin, lean grass fed beef/bison prepared rare. If you are athletic, you could do the dark meat chicken, clean bacon twice a month, clean-source ribs once a month. Ah, but here you must be savvy about the dressing. Bringing your own dressing is crucial. Extra virgin olive, macadamia or diluted toasted sesame oil for the base. No cream dressings. Then, the sour: lemon juice, red wine vinegar, no sugar added rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar. The oil and sour are power foods themselves. Lemon has extra power to turn off sugar seeking centers in the digestive system.
Then the long slide to dinner…wisely aided with a snack…this can be a slow carb such as a small organic apple, a couple of organic carrots, 1-3 ribs celery, jicama slices, 3/4 cup sugar snap peas. Add lemon juice for more satiety. For most women, that will be enough. For more athletic people, or those with adrenal fatigue or those new to eating this way add some protein such as 1oz organic jerky or 2 hardcooked egg whites so long as you are not sensitive or 1oz raw unsalted nuts; again, non-allergic for you.
Dinner at home should be at 6:30 and is a great time to gain the DNA balancing meal of legumes. Stews, soups, chilis, salads are the realm of these plant-based-protein slow-carb power foods. If you are FODMAP sensitive, then this meal will be: simply prepared squashes, root veggies, cooked greens and a small portion of protein. 2-3oz for women, 3-4oz for men. If dining out, a 6pm dinner res works well and has other benefits besides setting your Paleo clock.
Here is a delicious Paleo dinner recipe adapted from Paleo Recipes™
Coconut Chicken Curry Stew with Cauliflower Rice
Did you know that not all olive oils are created equal? Hint: some are not olive oil at all! Read more here about my favorite olive oil, Lucini.
Setting your body’s clock to ‘Paleo’ is the best way to induce fat burning…think of our Cromagnon ancestors…they were relegated to sunlight and firelight…that meant they slept when it was dark and rose with the sun. This long sleep/fast during the dark nighttime expertly reduces Ghrelin, the powerful fat building hormone. When your Ghrelin goes down as a result of your good sleep hygiene, Leptin, the long term satiety hormone naturally increases when Ghrelin is low, thereby helping reduce cravings and binges.
Have your breakfast 12 hours later…ahh, the benefit of eating at 6:30pm means you automatically get in the longevity boosting 12 hour fast and can get the miracle-working-5-minute smoothie before you start your day. In addition to the plantioxidants you get in the smoothie, their fiber has been shown to be the perfect ingredient to balance the all important microbiome…literally the population of bacteria that live in you and on you and signal to your DNA to express healthy genes of vitality and well being.
Ensure a good nights sleep…for the desirable Ghrelin/Leptin balance, sleeping like an angel is key. If you are having difficulty sleeping, and you are a client, we are probably already working on this together.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
What is indirect insulin resistance?
Insulin is the blood sugar regulating and fat-storing hormone secreted by your pancreas. Insulin opens the channels in cell membranes to allow glucose in, to be used as energy. When cells are insulin resistant, they don't "listen" to insulin, and glucose cannot get into the cell. You feel tired/low energy and usually eat or drink something sugary and/or caffeine containing. This in turn worsens the situation, because more sugar and cortisol spiking caffeine only create more insulin resistance. But where does the circulating glucose go? It gets turned into triglycerides, a form of fat. In this article, I mention indirect insulin resistance. Studies show that saturated animal fat gets into the cells and blocks the insulin receptors from the inside, creating indirect insulin resistance, but that unsaturated vegetable fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds to do not. Coconut oil and cocoa butter do contain some saturated fat, but they are short-chain saturated fats and do not have the same insulin receptor clogging tendency that animal fats do.
What is gluten-mediated ataxia?
Ataxia is uncoordinated movement such as walking and speaking. How can it be gluten mediated? In gluten sensitivity, the immune system makes antibodies against the proteins found in gluten, which can then trigger a cascade of immune events. Through molecular mimicry, the similarity of certain amino acid sequences in gluten match or are very similar to the amino acid sequences in an enzyme called Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase (GAD) which exists within specialized (Purkinje) cells within the cerebellum. The cerebellum is in charge of coordination, balance, and calming the brain. GAD Autoantibodies will then cause the immune system to attack Purkinje cells. Over time, the gait (walking), fine hand movements, and the voice can become uncoordinated due to the loss of these important cerebellar functions. To summarize: if you’re sensitive to gluten, eating it can cause an auto immune attack on your cerebellum, leading to loss of coordination and anxiety.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Here are a few of my favorite “Bio-Hacks”* to combat stress that are simple and perhaps easy to do if you’ve got the right ‘tude…A Bio-Hack is a way of modulating your epigenome...why bother? These lifestyle choices largely influence how your DNA is expressed by turning on healthy genes and silencing unhealthy genes.
Never coffee on empty. Not only is the histamine forming action of coffee rough on the delicate stomach lining (gastritis), but the adrenalin surge one gets from caffeine on top of a low blood sugar state (being on empty) causes a release of glycogen (stored sugar). If it’s a big release, blood sugar spikes, causing insulin to surge and when glucose can’t be absorbed quickly enough by the cells for energy (insulin resistance) the glucose is then stored as fat. This is a simplified explanation. Secret empowering tip: this is the caffeinated American way that is pushing nearly all of us in the direction of pre-diabetes/diabesity...and by daily making this small switch, you literally dial the process back.
During the Autumn and Winter, go to bed one hour earlier. There are myriad good things that sleeping in the hours before midnight do for your adrenal gland health, your circadian rhythm, leptin/ghrelin balance (and therefore endocrine system/waistline). I know, I know...so difficult to do. However, for those who are willing to exercise a little self mastery to implement this highly beneficial habit, amazing clarity, double efficiency and productivity happen due to your properly restored vitality the next morning. Insider's tip: I put a timer on my modem and I cannot access internet after 10:30PM. This has been just the push I need to not do "just one more little thing."
Gluten and Mood: it just keeps getting worse! All kidding aside, emerging evidence about gluten mediated auto immunity against the cerebellum reveal the mechanism for gluten's contribution to anxiety, depression, and loss of coordination as we mature. More on this topic coming soon. The upshot, being 100% gluten and oat free is well worth it and easier than ever...for a calmer, happier mood during the festivities of the Season. Why not take on the challenge of creating a GF Holiday that is still totally delicious?
Bone Broth and the Gut: one of the most universally healing substances to the gut: bone broth. It contains collagen and glycosaminoglycans that specifically heal the gut lining. Now that many of us will have the carcass of our organic roasted turkey leftover, relax the day after and make this bone broth. You can freeze it and use it in soup bases or as a nourishing consommé throughout the year...here's the Turkey Bone Broth Recipe I use, adapted from Cook's Illustrated.