Sometimes it just takes making a commitment for a specific period of time to make a long term change. I've always been one for trying new eating programs and lifestyle decisions, "biohacking" to see what works best for me. When Julie Boyer showed me the 30 Day Whole Body Detox, I was all in! The "rules" include eliminating for 30 days: White sugar, dairy, gluten, and caffeine, and adding in: Plenty of fruits and veggies, exercise, lemon water, dry skin brushing, amazing vitamins, probiotics, and real whole foods. So technically is wasn't really a detox or cleanse- more of a healthy eating program that I wanted to stick to 100% for a 30 day window. Easy enough!
Check out the website HERE to see more of the details. It was great to have such a supportive team online going through it. In the first 10 days I felt some of the withdrawal symptoms. I am a believer that good quality coffee is good for you! 1-2 cups per day. I am also happy to encourage a glass of wine here and there. And although I am "gluten-free" I have certainly found ways to have gluten-free treats and justify them. But for the 30 days I took all of those things out.
If you have never made a decision to do something like this before, it is a great idea to prep yourself- we have a recorded webinar that you can watch to help get you started. Schedule in your calendar less events that you might be tempted with, or have a game plan. I actually found it easier to resist temptation because I could just tell friends, family, serving staff, whoever, that I was "doing a cleanse" so I needed modifications.
After the first 10 days passed- which were not totally difficult but definitely showed some challenges, the next 10 days were a breeze. I was in a routine, feeling good, and really enjoying the recipes in the provided guidebook. The last 10 days was where I really noticed things though, this is where I actually felt lighter, I was sleeping significantly better, and I could feel my digestive system saying "thank you" for not giving it things difficult to digest. I was using digestive enzymes as often as possible too- just to allow my system to have that little oomph of help.
Have you considered trying a detox? I highly recommend this one as a great way to start! It is easy to modify and adjust for different eating preferences, and doesn't require the elimination of many foods. Sugar, alcohol, dairy, and gluten are all very inflammatory which is why they are to be restricted in this program, and taking your omega 3 supplements, lemon water, and green smoothies will help reduce inflammation. Some side effects you may find- reduced pain, better digestion, better sleep, weight loss, softer skin, reduced anxiety, better breathing, or stronger nails to name a few. And if you can- aim to continue on after the 30 days! I picked a few habits that I had started and have kept up with them- lemon water with cayenne to start my day, a smoothie for breakfast, and staying gluten free!
I 100% believe there is a different food program for every single person on this planet, why not try something new, see how you feel and make tweaks based on that. Let me know if you want to try this program, I can coach you through it!
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We are aware that high stress can cause us to make poor nutritional choices, but there is an element to the opposite being true as well. Poor nutritional choices cause our body to be in a subconscious, low level of chronic whole body stress.
Stress is especially increased in a busy lifestyle.
This world IS a busy lifestyle. It is in a constant go-go-go state. Standing still leaves you behind. Relaxation is fleeting and often non-existent. Often an attempt at relaxation is even misinterpreted, for example watching a movie or TV does not relax the mind. Often it can make it even more stressed, from the images portrayed and the shock and violence on many popular shows.
By being in the continual state of busy-ness, what is happening is our body is in a constant fight or flight mode. This is a part of the nervous system in the body named the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)- specifically the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). The complimentary side is the system that allows for rest and digest. This is the ParaSympathetic Nervous System (PSNS).
ANS- Muscles, heart, sweat glands. Fight or Flight.
PSNS- Salivation, tears, bowel, digestion, sleep, fertility organs. Rest and Digest.
So you might be wondering, how is nutrition related to this chronic body stress? It may be easier to understand how outside influences can cause our body to be in a constant stress state (think ambulances screaming by your house frequently if you live near the hospital), but how is this related to food and nutrition?
There are two ways that this occurs, these being: LACK & TOXINS
You body wants to repair and recover. Each cell in your body has literally millions of reactions going on each and every day. These reactions are required to function. If your cells are not properly nourished daily, they will be in a state of lack. Think of how you feel when you might be in a financial state of lack- a need, a worry, a stress- so what do you do? Sell things from your house. Ask a friend for money. Go bankrupt maybe. Your cells are just like you. If you do not provide them with what they need, they stress out and steal from other sources (for example this occurs in your bones which causes osteoporosis). Your cells may go bankrupt and eventually they die. The more that this happens the more problems you will have with your entire body. Every cell matters. Every cell is a small part of a greater being. Essentially your body and your health is one and the same with each and every cell in your body.
When you take in toxins, and if you take in plenty of inflammatory foods, again your body is in a stress mode. The liver as a whole and each individual cell in the body is constantly going through a detoxification phase which doesn't allow it to fight anything else. These chronic toxins cause body inflammation. This inflammation is a perfect environment to harbour and grow disease.
Ok so it's bad right? But I won't leave you with only bad news, here are some suggestions on how to fix the lack state and reduce and eliminate toxins:
1) Eat nutrient dense foods. Choose foods based on how nutritious they are. Ask yourself the question- What nutrients am I taking in with this food I am about to eat? This is vitally important when making food for children. They truly need nutrients to build new and stronger cells. Foods that are nearly entirely carbohydrates (which are just sugar) will not provide nutrition. Think about the rest of the story, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and hormones.
2) Avoid toxins. Easy enough right?! This is a real challenge. I recommend the book The Healthy Home to learn some fantastic ways to reduce toxins all throughout your home. You can also use natural cleaning products, or my favourite- Norwex which is literally cleaning with water! When it comes to skin and hair care, choose items that are as close to natural as possible. The Sense Beautiful Science line really fits that category, and I love Miessence also! Anything you can do to avoid the unnatural is a step in the right direction.
3) Take a good quality multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement, omega 3s and probiotics. I've mentioned this in the past, but you really get what you pay for in vitamins. Be sure you choose premium quality. Taking a multivitamin/multimineral will help keep your body out of that lack state. Combine this with nutrient dense foods and you are really moving toward optimal cellular health. The omega 3s are great to help reduce that body inflammation that occurs, just be sure it is pure and comes from small fish to avoid the mercury toxicity concern. Probiotics help your digestive system and immune system. By doing what you can to maintain those healthy gut bacteria, your body can produce certain nutrients, it can detoxify, and help prevent illness. You can take a health assessment here to see what is recommended for your specific concerns: The True Health Assessment.
4) Sleep more. Only you know how much sleep you really need, but sleep is a time when plenty of repair and restoration occurs in the body. If you are stressed, it may be difficult to sleep initially, but look into improving your sleep patterns and really make sleep a priority. This is especially important for babies and if you are having trouble getting baby to sleep you may find some help here: Sleep Wise
5) Meditate. I highly recommend Gabby Bernstein to get started, and then move on from there to whatever feels right. Meditation is not about "not thinking" so much as it is about calming the mind to allow greater things to flow in. This may be the most important step in changing your stress levels. Once you are not constantly buzzing in your head, other things are easier to change and improve. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try!
6) Spend time outside. Nature is healing. Spend time in the grass, or under a tree. Swim in the water, play in the snow. Truly the energy of the environment is something we have greatly disconnected from. I personally have challenged myself to a 30 minute walk each day just to be outside and feel the day.
7) Spend time with family and friends. Connections with others is really all that matters. I tend to look at it this way, when you are very old and in your final days, will you wish you had more things? Will you wish you travelled more? Will you wish you accomplished more awards and achievements? Or will you wish you had spent more time with your parents, your children, your husband or wife, your best friend, and your pet? The connections we feel with others are what is most important. All the rest is amazing and wonderful but making time with loved ones a priority is essential. And yes that includes our pets, of course! (meow)
8) Focus on loving your life and the rest will follow- "When you change the way you look at things, the way you look at things change" Wayne Dyer.
I know these aren't all easy. Take one step at a time. I admit I am not there either! But it is a process and if we encourage each other and believe in each other, we can truly change the energy of the world.
My Thoughts and Feelings After One Year of Eating a "Real Food" Diet.
If you followed my blog previously, you would remember me switching to a vegan "plant based" diet January of 2012. After 3 months of doing this and realizing that my heath was suffering, I found a whole new type of nutrition and in April of 2012 I focused on a real food diet (sometimes called Just Eat Real Food or JERF). I spoke about following a Bulletproof Diet, and eating foods for their nutrient density. This meant, after 17 years vegetarian, I started eating meat. I haven't posted in awhile, and I wanted to share with you all what it has been like through the past year my new way of looking at food.
What was I eating before? Vegan/vegetarian. High in carbohydrates through breads, cereals, fruits, and veggies. High in soy through meat alternatives. Cliff bars, oatmeal, ezekial bread with almond butter and honey. Previous to the 3 months of veganism I would eat cheese and fish, but in those three months I stuck with soy cheeses and tofu. Lots of fruit, plenty of vegetables. Avocado, olives, cooking with olive oil. Sounds fairly healthy right? I felt awful about one month in.
What am I eating now? Bacon, eggs, butter, steaks, roasts, coffee, plenty of veggies, berries, coconut oil, nuts, avocados, olives, fish, seafood, dark chocolate and coconut milk. Sounds delicious eh?! Those of you who know me, know why I put bacon first :)
And how does that make you feel? (Asked in a very professional psychologist type of way). I feel better than I have ever felt in my whole life! It is absolutely amazing to me how great I feel with eating so many things that I believed were bad for me for so many years. But belief is the key word. Much of our health and nutrition information is based on a belief that what the medial and the government tells us is well researched and correct. Better to "biohack" yourself. Try out different diets and see what works for you. For me, this is the solution at this time in my life.
So what exactly am I feeling? Plenty more energy, all day long. I can go many hours without eating and not feel any blood sugar drops at all, and this was a huge problem for me a year ago. I think I would have been considered pre-diabetic if I had told my M.D my symptoms.. maybe I should just ask my sister! I can concentrate and think more clear than I ever have before. I continue to avoid most colds and flus- I used to get sick nearly every month and now I rarely do (that began with taking my Usana vitamins though), but now even my allergies are greatly reduced.
What about my cholesterol though? If you can believe this, when I was in chiropractic college, we did a cholesterol blood test on ourselves. Myself and the other vegetarian, had the highest total cholesterol!! It was shocking. I now understand that total cholesterol is not a good marker of health, but regardless it seemed strange. I have had my blood work done a couple of times now, the first one was about 3 months into my new diet. For a life insurance policy. I was slightly worried hahaha... But in fact it turned out to be great with all of my levels being within normal, including my total triglycerides. This was great to hear since about 40-60% of my calories per day come from fat. I had my blood work done again a few months ago and my numbers had all gone down, except my HDL which is what you want to be up! It was really awesome to see. I also tested my vitamin D, since I take 3000-5000 I.U/day and wanted to be sure I am not too high. I was within normal and even on the low end. Considering my vitamins follow pharmaceutical standards, I knew it wasn't the product. I really can and need to supplement with that much or more! I will continue to test though, and you should as well, to be sure you are doing what is best for your own body.
Weight changes? Yes and no. I don't have a scale. It causes stress and I advocate that how your clothes fit is much more important. But my clothes still fit and I have switched to bacon and eggs and butter. Now the problem, I think, is that I eat 80/20 real food. I definitely have "cheat days" and my worst ones involve sugar. I will forever have to watch my sugar cravings, I can imagine many people understand this feeling. My plan for the next year of this is to really work on my sugar intake. Maybe that will be my post next year! It's a tough one, and will keep your body in a sugar burning mode (as opposed to fat burning) and can really halt fat loss. So basically I feel amazing, even significantly better in my own skin regardless of what has or hasn't changed. Oh did I mention I don't have to count calories or portion control? That is a huge bonus also. I eat until I am full, which is so easy to do with delicious fats and proteins and butter soaked veggies!
In my previous posts you can learn details on what I eat specifically and why, and resources to do this for yourself if you want to also! Feel free to email me with any questions or thoughts, I am happy to help!
Until next time,
You may have noticed over time that I have become pretty attached to supplementation. Initially I thought there was no need, just eat food that is good for you. But as time went on and I did experimental trials on myself I began to see how that isn’t the way to be optimal. Here is just one example: my ideal daily vitamin D may be 3000 I.U. I could sit outside each afternoon with skin exposed for about 30 minutes and then I would be able to achieve optimal absorption. My cells could function with the exact amount that they need to do all of the processes they want to do (which is literally hundreds of thousands). But unfortunately, I have to work indoors. All day. Then what? There is also research to show that when over weight or obese, your absorption of vitamin D from the sunshine is much reduced, and not to mention it's not always warm enough in Canada to sit outside in your swimmers each day! Vitamin D is a special case because it is near impossible to obtain from food, but if I supplement with my optimal dose I can at least ensure that my body has received what it needs to processes as much as possible until my next chance to go outside. Same story for all of the ESSENTIAL (which means necessary to ingest) vitamins and minerals. Sadly vitamins are becoming more difficult to extract from food, partially because the mass production of food is becoming more and more deficient compared to what it was even in the 50’s and partially because the pesticides and toxins are preventing our bodies from absorbing them. It is also important to consider that our food is so clean that there are hardly any of the essential minerals and good bacteria left on them (but of course we need to clean them thoroughly because we don't know where most of our food has been, and who's hands have touched it). If you have your own organic garden I highly recommend rinsing your fruits and veggies (spiders are not essential) but no need to scrub them down with harsh soaps or chemicals! So why supplement? To ensure you reach minimum standards. No, it’s not necessary, you CAN live without. A tree can also live on pavement. But it does so much better in lush nutrient rich soil. Humans have the same story. Give your body what it needs to be optimal and that’s what you will be. Give it what it needs to survive and that’s what will happen, you will survive. You may not sleep well, you may not feel energetic daily, and you will eventually be faced with illness- whether it be a cold, or a real disease. I will not say that disease is 100% preventable, but there is surely a role that our nutrition plays in it. Really, it’s up to you. You can decide how you want to live and feel. You can use the best of food, or the ultimate in supplements, but when you blend both you see optimal results. If you believe that food is the answer, I love that you feel that way, and I am sad that I feel it isn’t completely that way any more. But you CAN attempt that with proper meats, veggies, fruits, and nuts & seeds. You need to be sure you eat liver from healthy animals and fats from both plant and animals sources frequently, and you should make sure you are eating plenty of food each day to cover your minimum requirements. Otherwise grab your high quality independently assessed vitamins and at least feel some assurance that you have taken one step closer to being optimal.
I have linked here my page for Usana Health Sciences. I know and trust their products and am comfortable offering them to you. I do make a commission so you should know that, and I appreciate your purchase greatly! I also have access to Douglas Labs and Thorne Research which I use for more specific things at times and we can look at what you might need in an in-office visit if interested.
Of course this topic is controversial and some believe strongly one way or the other! This is just my knowledge of the subject and everyone has the right to their opinion. Thank you for listening and I hope I have helped in some way :)
Picking eggs from Bartel Organics.
I promised I would write after 100 days. It's been 107. It's Time.
I wanted to wait until 100 days had passed before really commenting on how my new diet is going. This is because that is what I had done while attempting veganism and I only felt it was fair to give this change an equal chance. At 100 days vegan I was very much ready to quit. My initial honeymoon phase with it had worn thin and I think my body was quickly depleted of it's stores of nutrients and fats. I studied the Bulletproof Diet and became intrigued and eventually convinced that this was the best method to being an optimal human. Who doesn't want that, right? So I jumped in and went for it. It took me a couple weeks to change from being a "bulletproof vegetarian" to eating meat. One thing that was interesting was that I never once felt any negative side effects from eating meat after having abstained for 17 years. I wonder if it is because I only eat pastured organic (sustainable and loved) meats. My wonderful husband is a huge fan of my food cost budget (not) (neither is my financial planner). But anyhow, I needed to do 100 days of self experimentation before I really began working with others to encourage them to do what I am doing. I can gladly say that this past 100 (sorry 107) days have been wonderful. I have been sleeping well, feeling energetic, seeing my skin clear and my hair soften. I have been thinking clearer, my overall mood is literally 100% improved, no more shaking and dizziness with extended periods of time without food, no more anxiety and my digestion is much improved. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to genuinely be optimal. And I would be extremely happy to help you get there!
Lakeland meats bacon & Bartel eggs.
So what the hay am I doing, right? What IS the Bulletproof Diet exactly? I know I have briefly explained it in the past but I think the best thing to understand is that it was created by a man named Dave Asprey who was searching for what allowed him to feel and function his very best. Unbeknownst to him during his creation of the diet, it is actually a low allergen/ low toxin version of a high fat Paleo diet. So I think I need to try to help explain what a Paleo diet is so that we can move on to what a Bulletproof diet is, after. I find that if you are COMPLETELY new to "diet-hacking", you should probably attempt a couple weeks of being Paleo and then optimize it by going Bulletproof. These can be humongoid changes for someone to go through and even though I'm a bit more inclined to jump right in and do it, I know that isn't the case for everyone. I definitely understand the "use it up and then don't buy it again" idea. So what is a Paleo diet. You may have heard about this lately, or maybe not. It is actually really interesting to me, being a biology major in University. I find a lot of Paleo advocates are science-y people. Note, we aren't very strong in english.. Many of the big names in the community are research minded individuals (ex. Chris Kresser, Chris Masterjohn, Matt LaLonde). Here is a link to Chris Masterjohn's story of leaving vegetarian/veganism. I could immediately relate to the idea of evolution and how our bodies have formed over time. Consider this, before agriculture began how on earth would we eat wheat, sugar, or vegetable oils? It wasn't possible. Not in the ways and quantities we are now taking in. Nevermind bananas in Canada in January! Ring ring ring ring... (who knows what song that is). Considering how long it takes for evolution to occur, it makes complete sense to me that our bodies and minds have not adapted to eating these foods that are essentially man-made. The mantra for many Paleo people (and me too) is to 'just eat real food'. If you could have eaten it before agriculture, then it's Paleo and considered real food. So that includes all meats and fish, eggs, raw milk if you like and butter, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. There is other things but that is the general picture. I am not saying we should live like cavemen (although that could be fun, as long as no one drags me by my hair), but I am saying that if we eat the way our bodies had eaten for thousands and thousands of years, we will feel optimal. Anyhow, the Paleo diet is very interesting and there are many great books, podcasts, and blogs that you can read/watch/listen to if you would like to learn more. Mark Sission has a great blog here and Robb Wolf has one here. I highly recommend The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf as a good read to start with. But moving on to where the Bulletproof diet fits in. You will see if you go to bulletproofexec.com and download the PDF that it very much aligns with the Paleo diet. Oh by the way, Paleo means from the Paleolithic era. Many of the differences are in the avoidance of mycotoxins (from molds) and other common sources of allergens and toxins.
The Bulletproof diet teaches your body to become fat adapted, to burn its own fat for fuel and then supplement wisely for your individual needs. For the past 107 days I have focused on eating 60% of my calories from fat, 20% from protein, and 20% from carbs. I would say everything has improved and I find my clothes to fit better. And I haven't cut calories, restricted myself, or counted anything at all. Now to be honest, I have only lost a couple pounds of weight on the scale. I do have to tweak what I am doing to be able to see that move some more but I know that I have lost inches and it is important for everyone (including myself) to understand that a) this takes a lot of time as you are healing your body from years of poor eating and b) the scale doesn't matter. Of course my husband has lost 25 lbs and can lift more weight than ever. MEN!
I plan to blog more often now! I want to share with all of you specific topics and information that I have studied. Rather than blab it all in one massive post, I will divide it up over time. But feel free to email me or comment if you have any questions and I will be happy to answer when I can, or at least direct you to the resource you need! I would also love to work with you in my office if you would like to do some nutritional coaching. I have seen some really exciting results and am so proud of my current Paleo/bulletproof-ers/optimal humans!. Send me an email here if you would like to get started.
Enjoy your butter!
PS I strongly recommend you clicking on the many links through this to learn SO MUCH more!
I love to share health information, wealth building tips, entrepreneurial ideas, and travel experiences! Talk about a range! But doing what I love has truly paid off and I hope to help inspire you to do the same!