The Complete Guide to Fasting

The Complete Guide to Fasting – Jason Fung MD, Jimmy Moore
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

Thousands of books have been written about the latest and greatest diets that will help people lose weight and improve health. But a key element in any successful nutritional health program is a tried-and-true method that most people haven’t thought about—yet it could be revolutionary for taking health to the next level. This ancient secret is fasting.

Fasting is not about starving oneself. When done right, it’s an incredibly effective therapeutic approach that produces amazing results regardless of diet plan. In fact, Toronto-based nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung has used a variety of fasting protocols with more than 1,000 patients, with fantastic success. In The Complete Guide to Fasting, he has teamed up with international bestselling author and veteran health podcaster Jimmy Moore to explain what fasting is really about, why it’s so important, and how to fast in a way that improves health. Together, they make fasting as a therapeutic approach both practical and easy to understand.

The Complete Guide to Fasting explains:

• why fasting is actually good for health
• who can benefit from fasting (and who won’t)
• the history of fasting
• the various ways to fast: intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting
• what to expect when starting to fast
• how to track progress while fasting
• the weight loss effects of fasting
• how to ward off potential negative effects from fasting

The book also provides tools to help readers get started and get through their fasts, including a 7-Day Kick-Start Fasting Plan and healing liquid recipes.

 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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WGP 048: Obesity – It’s Your Hormones, Not the Calories

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Obesity:

  • I’ll explain why obesity is a disease and also a major hidden cause of other diseases
  • I’ll talk about the difference between being obese and being overweight
  • I’ll explain how obesity is caused by hormonal imbalances and not by eating too many calories
  • Finally, I’ll give you a few holistic lifestyle strategies to reduce obesity, regain health, and feel awesome in your own skin


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FAT BURNING FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

It’s no secret. The world today has a lot more fat and sick people than there were 150 years ago. Seeing an obese person way back in the day meant having to visit a carnival or circus that’s how rare obesity was. Unfortunately today you just got to walk outside or turn on the tele and you’ll see excessively large people everywhere.

Since the 1980s obesity rates have doubled. Hmm, I wonder what happened in the 80s? Ah that’s right the low fat recommendation from the American health authorities. Good one guys. Today this misguided unscientific nonsensical low-fat strategy has lead to about 13% of the world’s adult population being categorised as obese and about 50 million kids worldwide under the age of 5 being defined as obese. That’s what gets me the most, seeing overweight and obese infants and children.

Now the World Health Organization has a list of the top 10 leading causes of death and smoking tobacco isn’t even on the list, but we all know that smoking causes many chronic diseases that eventually will lead to death. This is what the World Health Organisation says about smoking:

“Tobacco use is a major cause of many of the world’s top killer diseases – including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer. In total, tobacco use is responsible for the death of about 1 in 10 adults worldwide. Smoking is often the hidden cause of the disease recorded as responsible for death.”

Interesting right? In fact the World Health Organization label smoking as the number one killer, but they still don’t put it on the list. Instead you’ll see diseases relating to the heart, brain, lungs, and infections.

This is where obesity comes in. Even though it’s not listed, just like smoking as a leading cause of death, obesity is a major hidden cause of many of those on the list. The top 3 by the way are heart disease, stroke, and lung related diseases all of which are due to the obstruction in blood and oxygen flow to the heart, brain, and lungs.

The thing about obesity is that most people think it’s just a weight issue and obese people are eating too much and not exercising enough. While I agree that some of the health problems associated with obesity is due to the large amount of weight on the body causing physical dysfunction, obesity causes more harm through physiological and biochemical damage because of its ability to disrupt the function of other systems in your body.

You see your body isn’t stupid. It has specific feedback loops and safety mechanisms to prevent the excessive loss or accumulation of fat and it has to control the amount of fat on your body because your fat cells are actually another organ. So when your fat levels get out of balance the key functions that they perform will be disrupted.

One of the functions of fat is fat acts as a warehouse for toxins. When your body is unable to fully metabolise, process, and eliminate toxins it stores the toxins in fat cells. Fat also sends signals and hormones that can have a positive or negative effect on your immune system and your metabolism. Your fat cells send out immune signals controlling inflammation and stress in your body. Your fat cells also send out hormones telling you that you’re full and will increase fat metabolism, i.e. fat-burning.

But when you have too much fat this will increase the amount of pro-inflammatory signals called cytokines increasing the amount of inflammation and stress in your body putting it in a catabolic state or a state of breaking down. Too much fat will also cause your satiety hormone leptin to be produced in excessively large amounts and your brain will become leptin resistant because there’s too much to take in. Meaning you will still feel hungry even though your body may already be carrying a lot of fat. Plus leptin resistance reduces fat metabolism and the amount of fat you burn causing you to hold onto more fat.

So just as there is heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, kidney stones, thyroiditis, arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions and many other illnesses centred around particular organs and systems there is an illness, a disease of your fat cells and that my friend is called obesity and obesity is a disease that can cause further health issues in the future.

Now I don’t like to use the conventional classification system for defining whether someone is overweight or obese. Currently this is defined by your body mass index or BMI. BMI is supposed to calculate body fat based on your weight and height, but the calculation has a massive flaw. It doesn’t take into account lean muscle mass and bone mass and water weight. So you could have a fit athlete with 10% body fat, but a high BMI and have a very sick person with 30% body fat, but a medium BMI and the athlete would be categorised as obese and the sick person overweight, and this is not a good indicator of a healthy body.

So I define being overweight as holding on to a few extra kilos of fat and looking a bit soft and fluffy and chubby in the mirror, but still having normal healthy metabolic, hormonal, and immune function. This is very different to being obese, which is a person who is also carrying extra fat weight and has a broken metabolism and a weak immune system because their hormones are out of balance.

Okay so what causes obesity?

“Obesity is not caused by consuming too many calories.”

Yes you heard right. Obesity is not caused by consuming too many calories. It is true that you can become overweight by eating a huge amount of calories even those calories come from whole real food sources, but you would never become obese. Your hormonal system regulating hunger and appetite would kick in and prevent you from eating more then you need. Once you do become obese this is when you will be unable to control the amount of calories you take in and will begin to eat well beyond your body’s requirements.

What pushes you over the edge from being overweight to becoming obese isn’t the calories. It is an underlying hidden malfunction in your body’s hormonal system. When your sex hormones, growth hormones, hormones regulating metabolism and stress, when these are no longer playing the same song and in sync with each other a lot of things go wrong in your body including broken detox pathways, lowered immunity, decrease in muscle mass, increase in fat mass, and an increase in appetite for nutrient-poor foods.

So in this respect obesity turns out to be a symptom of other health issues that are already going on in your body.

The leading cause for your hormones going out of balance and for obesity in my book is eating a nutrient deficient diet. Your body is not a finite object, but an infinite process in constant flux and change. It’s constantly breaking itself down and building itself up. If you don’t consume enough nutrient dense foods then your body is left hanging without the right building blocks to build hormones, neurotransmitters, immune cells, bone, muscle, cartilage, ligaments, organs, blood, etc. Also after a meal your body will search for the nutrients it needs in that meal and if it doesn’t find it guess what happens? You get hungry again a lot sooner than you should and you eat more food. And while your body is craving nutrition you begin to crave less nutritious food.

So if all you eat is junk nutrient deficient fake pretend food-like products like commercial bread, biscuits, corn chips, French fries, candy, vegetable oils, soy milk, etc then you are setting your body up for hormonal havoc and mayhem and chronic hunger as it won’t have the necessary parts to make hormones and this will increase your chances of becoming obese. As you can see here it’s not how much you eat, but what you eat that matters most.

“You can be overfed, but so undernourished”

Which is the sad state for a third of westernised populations today.

Another cause for hormonal dysfunction deals with insulin sensitivity. When your cells are insulin sensitive nutrients are taken out of your bloodstream and absorbed. However, just as you can become leptin resistant due to excessive leptin production, excessive insulin production will cause your cells to become insulin resistant. This means that when there are nutrients in your blood, like glucose it will not be absorbed by your cells and this will cause damage to your tissues. So in order to prevent further damage from happening sugar in your blood will be turned into fat and stored away in your fat cells. Eating too many carbohydrates especially processed and refined sugar and fructose and not getting enough quality restorative sleep will cause high insulin production and insulin resistance.

Another cause for obesity is an underactive or hypoactive thyroid gland. Your thyroid produces thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism and temperature and if your thyroid is hypoactive your metabolism slows right down making it very difficult for your body to burn stored fat as fuel. Here’s a list of things that can disrupt thyroid function:

  • Gluten
  • Stress
  • Too much exercise
  • Chemicals in tap water
  • Chemical compounds found in plastics and
  • Certain medications


Another underlying cause for hormonal mayhem and obesity is stress.
Whether it be physical, emotional, or mental any perceived stress if left to linger long enough becoming chronic will cause chronic inflammation upsetting your normal hormonal rhythm moving you from an anabolic and growing state to a catabolic and breakdown state and unfortunately in this catabolic state the one thing that does keep growing are your fat cells.

The health of your gut and gut microbiota will also determine the health of your hormonal system and your fat levels. If your gut is leaky, meaning it’s damaged, and if you have dysbiosis, meaning you have more harmful pathogens than beneficial probiotics living in your gut this will cause a rise in inflammatory signals, stress hormones and depending on your genetics and epigenetic expression this may lead to obesity. Plus a damaged gut will mean you won’t be digesting and absorbing the full amount of nutrients from your foods leaving your body in a nutrient deficient state, which I talked about earlier.

Probably the least known root cause for obesity are obesogens. Which is ironic because these obesogens are Persistent Organic Pollutants or POPs and they are actually out in the open in plain sight for all to see. Obesogens are chemical compounds found in the environment that act as endocrine disrupters, meaning they screw up your hormonal system. They hijack it and create chemical chaos throughout your entire body. This hormonal havoc causes a whole wealth of health issues from cancer to autoimmune conditions and it also increases fat cell number and fat cell size. Obesogens can be found in:

  • Plastics
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Flame retardant materials (such as in clothing and furniture)
  • Treated wood and textiles (such as in building materials)
  • Additives used in paints
  • Non-stick cookware and even in certain
  • Pharmaceutical drugs

 
Let me put all these obesogens together into a pretty terrifying yet common scenario we see today. Let’s say you have a new born baby. You bring him home to your brand new house with building materials, furniture, paint, and new carpets all chemically treated, some of them containing flame retardant chemicals and all of this is off-gassing or releasing chemicals into the air, also known as that beautiful new house smell. You dress your beautiful boy in flame retardant pyjamas. You use a plastic bottle to feed him non-organic formula, which contains sprayed ingredients. And finally you put him to bed in a brand new non-organic chemically treated cot. This is just a chemical toxic soup that this poor kid is living in and he doesn’t stand a chance against growing up without becoming obese or at least experiencing other health issues.

Now along with obesogens I have to mention environmental toxins and toxic chemicals. Remember fat cells are used by your body as a storage unit for toxins. So if you’re chronically exposed to heavy metals, air pollution, and eating a lot of pesticide and herbicide sprayed foods and eating meat from sick toxic animals your liver, kidneys, your entire detoxification system will become overloaded and will be unable to process, breakdown, and eliminate the excessive amount of toxins. As a last resort, so your body doesn’t shut down and die due to toxic poisoning, all those toxins that are not eliminated will be shoved into your fat cells.

“Fat cells don’t just store energy they also store poison.”

This is also why a rapid and dramatic reduction in fat isn’t a good idea without proper supervision and guidance. A lot of obese people their health actually gets worse when burning a lot fat too quickly. Just keep in mind the saying slow and steady wins the race. If you lose fat too fast those toxins are going to be flooding your system and you do not want that.

So those are a few examples and there are more of how a person can become obese without eating a lot of calories. Obesity like every other disease is not caused by one thing, but many things related to your environment, your food, and how you perceive life.

It isn’t just a physical weight problem, but more a physiological, biochemical, and really a hormonal problem. Obesity is a symptom of an underlying hormonal issue in your body and is not caused by eating too many calories, but it will cause you to overeat.

Obesity is also a disease that gives rise to the top leading causes of death.

Alright let’s get into how to heal from and prevent obesity and how to get your hormones humming to a happy and healthy tune.

First up, watch what you eat. Watch it. Get off the inflammatory foods, the chemically sprayed foods, and the highly refined and processed junk fake pretend food-like products. No gluten, no sugars, no pasteurised dairy, no industrial seed oils, no junk. Watch out for the carbs especially as eating too many carbs will cause a lot of insulin to be produced and you want insulin and blood sugar to be in the Goldilocks zone, just right. Real food from Mother Nature communicates with your hormones on an informational level where they speak the same language. By just eating real food you’ll keep your hormones in balance and in harmony and this hormonal bliss will keep your body composition balanced and in check.

Next up, reduce your perceived stress. Practise relaxation techniques. Get a massage, meditate, breathe mindfully, and watch the amount of physical stress you’re under. If you don’t have a formal exercise routine get moving and start working out. If you do exercise regularly and religiously maybe you’re overdoing it and need to do less working out and more working in. If you’re obese then your body is already under enough physical stress as it is, so working out would just add to that stress so look at working in. Working in is where instead of expending energy with a workout you’re cultivating energy, building up your energy stores. Movement practises like:

  • Tai-chi
  • Qi-gong
  • Restorative yoga
  • Hatha yoga
  • Iyengar yoga

 
Are the perfect work in exercises.

Biggest thing you can do to prevent and heal from obesity is to clean up your environment. Remove the obesogens and toxic chemicals and clean up your habitat. Use glass and stainless steel drink bottles instead of plastic. Wear organic chemical-free clothing and buy organic chemical-free furniture and use chemical-free building materials. Cook with ceramic and stainless steel cookware. Actually there’s a lot more to this topic and you can find an entire podcast I did on this quite a while back about how to purify and clean up your environment and support your detoxification system. Look for episode 12.

Along with clean eating, clean thinking, and clean living there are other holistic lifestyle principles to consider in order to fully heal and to keep your bodymind in a happy and healthy state. Listen to episode 30 about the 7 Holistic Lifestyle Principles you can follow in order to live happy, healthy, whole, and complete.

An awesome book that covers everything from diet and exercise to cleaning up your environment and your thinking is How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by holistic health practitioner Paul Chek. This book is my bible and really is a one-stop shop for holistic living.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

“Obesity isn’t about energy in and energy out.”

It’s about so much more.

If you’re fat or overweight, sure you may be eating more than you should.

But if you’re obese then it’s not about how much you eat, but what you eat and the environment you’re eating in. If you’re obese you are probably eating nutrient-poor and sugar-rich foods and you’re living in a very stressful and very toxic environment.

Remember your health is 100% your responsibility so make the choice to own your lifestyle and eat, drink, move, breathe, live, sleep better, and think and feel like you deserve a happy and healthy life. The only person who can save you is you. So don’t play the victim. Be the hero. Because you are awesome and very much worth it.

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WGP 046: What is Leaky Gut Syndrome and How to Heal It

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Leaky Gut Syndrome:

  • I’ll explain how a leaky gut can lead to chronic disease
  • I’ll talk about what causes a leaky gut
  • Finally, I’ll give you 5 steps to healing and sealing a leaky gut


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST HEALING FOODS FOR YOUR GUT

Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician and considered the father of western medicine, although I’m sure he’d be quite upset at the current health-care system and medical model we use today, which is really a disease-care model, but anyways… Hippocrates said:

“All disease begins in the gut.”

And he is absolutely 100% correct and let me explain how. And by the way when I say gut I’m talking about the small and large intestines in your body.

Your entire alimentary canal, your entire digestive system is one long tube that begins in your mouth hole and ends in your south hole so anything you put in your mouth and swallow is still technically outside of your body. If it gets digested and absorbed into your bloodstream then it’s inside your body, but if what you swallow gets eliminated then it technically was never in your body. That’s not to say it won’t affect your body only that the effect will be minimal compared to if what you ate did get into your bloodstream.

Now your gut performs many functions in your body besides digestion and elimination and its primary role is to act as a barrier controlling what’s allowed in and what stays out of your body. Nutrients are allowed into your body and unwanted unknown foreign materials are kept outside of your body. So it’s similar to a mosquito net. It allows oxygen in while keeping mosquitoes out. When this barrier becomes compromised and unregulated or when this mosquito net gets punctured and has tears in it this is called leaky gut syndrome.

When you have a leaky gut unwanted unknown foreign materials get into your bloodstream and then all hell begins to break loose in other parts of your body. When undigested food particles, pathogens, toxins, and other irritants that usually get eliminated find their way into your body, into your bloodstream your immune system gets activated and this causes an inflammatory and stress response at whatever site the foreign material settles in. The longer this inflammation and stress goes on the higher your chance of getting a chronic disease.

For example, if you have had leaky gut for a while and unwanted material settles in your joints you may get rheumatoid arthritis. If they settle in your arteries your chance of having a heart attack or stroke skyrockets. If this foreign matter settles in your thyroid you may experience hyper or hypothyroid issues. If they settle under your skin you may get rashes, eczema, or acne. If they settle in your brain your ability to focus and think clearly may reduce dramatically giving you brain fog. If this foreign material stays in your gut you may experience digestive issues like bloating and foul-smelling gas that can eventually lead to Crohn’s or coeliac disease. And if these non-nutrient substances don’t settle anywhere in particular this chronic low-level inflammatory and stress response will cause your hormones and your neurotransmitters to get out of balance with either too much or not enough being produced causing body composition problems (fat gain or muscle loss), reproductive issues (infertility), energy imbalances (feeling tired or fatigued), and mood disorders (depression).

Not only does bad stuff get into your bloodstream with a leaky gut, but because your gut wall is damaged you’re no longer able to absorb the full amount of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins from the food that you’re eating and this leads to nutrient deficiencies. This malabsorption of nutrients causes your body to start cannibalising itself in order to meet its own nutrient requirements. So if you’re not absorbing enough calcium your bones will begin to breakdown. If you’re not absorbing enough protein your body will get this protein from your muscles. Not absorbing enough natural fats? Say goodbye to proper brain function. And if you’re not absorbing enough vitamin A your cells will no longer form and grow properly causing dysfunction of many of your bodily systems.

So having a leaky gut is a serious problem with serious health consequences and it’s not limited to your gut. Your entire body is fair game.

“If you’re experiencing health symptoms of any kind there’s a 99.9999% chance that your gut is leaky.”

Your skin is a dozen cell layers thick and you can see the layers of your skin when you get a cut or you scrape yourself. The mucous lining of your gut, also known as your gut wall, is only one cell thick or should I say one cell thin. The cells that make up your gut wall are called enterocytes. This single layer of enterocytes makes it easy to absorb and transport nutrients into your bloodstream, but this also makes your gut very easy to damage.

Your gut wall isn’t smooth, but is made up of very tiny finger-like projections called villi that stick out increasing the surface area of your digestive system and this makes it easier to break down food and absorb more nutrients. Villi are connected to each other at their base by tight junctions and these tight junctions can open slightly to let certain nutrients in, but they remain closed when there’s foreign material around like undigested food particles, toxins, and pathogens.

There are certain substances, however, that can cause these tight junctions to open even in the presence of foreign material. There are even more substances that can cause direct physical damage to your single-celled gut wall. The term leaky gut syndrome comes from the fact that these tight junctions are opened and your gut wall is damaged. The technical term for this is intestinal hyperpermeability.

The unwarranted opening of these junctions and damage to your gut wall is caused by many many things and a variety of factors including:

  • Anti-nutrients like gluten, lectins, saponins, and phytates
  • Industrial seed oils aka vegetable oils
  • Grains
  • Instant coffee
  • Pasteurised dairy
  • Processed and refined sugar
  • Foods your body is intolerant and sensitive to
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Inorganic foods raised with inorganic fertilisers and pesticides
  • Tap water and water that is deficient in minerals
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Artificial colourings, preservatives, additives, thickeners, emulsifiers, bulking agents, flavourings, and texturants
  • Synthetic vitamins
  • Parasitic infections
  • Dysbiosis, which is not an infection, but simply having more pathogens than probiotics in your gut
  • Environmental toxins including personal and homecare products
  • Lack of exposure to the sun, to bare skin on the Earth, and to time in nature
  • Pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, acid-blockers, and pain-killers
  • Caesarean birth or being born via C-section
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Lack of quality restorative sleep
  • Chronic stress and
  • Chronic inflammation

 
So how do you seal and heal your leaky gut? How do you prevent those tight junctions between your villi from opening when they shouldn’t and how do you repair the damage to the enterocytes the cells of your gut wall?

Here are five steps to healing a leaky gut.

First things first – Redefine your dream for healing.

Without a big enough why, a big enough reason to keep you moving forward you will end up stressed out about the whole healing process. If you stress about how difficult it’s going to be for example to stop eating bread or cheese or having to buy plant-based organic deodorant and homecare products then forget about moving onto the next steps. This stress about changing and healing is just as bad as continuing to eat gluten or drink alcohol. You need to create a dream that matters, a dream that will inspire you to make change happen, to make change stick, and to make healing feel less of a burden and more of a passion, more of a right like you deserve this. Checkout episode 14 for more details about how to build your dream.

Second step – Remove all possible gut irritants.

This includes everything in the list I gave you earlier. Well as much of it as you can handle without stressing out about it. Hopefully your dream keeps your stress levels or your perception of stress in check. Even if you do find yourself feeling a bit stressed about this step you can always practise meditation and movement practises like Qi-gong to help reduce the amount of perceived stress you’re experiencing.

Step three – Refeed your body with holistic nutrition.

This isn’t just about eating real food. This also includes drinking natural water, moving often, breathing correctly, getting quality restorative sleep, and engaging in loving relationships. When it comes to food to heal your gut though you can’t go past:

  • Bone broth
  • Fermented foods like raw milk kefir and sauerkraut
  • Fatty fish like salmon and sardines, and
  • Eating more natural animal and fruit fats

 
Fourth step – Repair your gut with smart supplementation.

You could heal your gut naturally without the use of supplements, but strategic use of supplements will help support and boost your body’s own innate healing abilities increasing your chances for success. The enterocytes that make up your gut wall, these guys love to feed on an amino acid glutamine and you can get glutamine in real foods like bone broth, but you can also find it as a supplement powder called l-glutamine. Digestive enzymes are a fantastic way to supplement your body’s digestive system and will ensure the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Aloe vera juice and deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL are two very potent plant-based gut-healers. High quality fish and krill oil with their anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids will also help your gut heal. Lastly, a probiotic supplement preferably containing soil-based microorganisms will help bring your gut microbiome back into balance.

Fifth and final step – Remember to laugh.

There’s an age-old saying:

“Laughter is the best medicine.”

A real hard laugh boosts your immune system and lowers your levels of the stress hormone cortisol for at least a day so be sure to watch something funny, go to a comedy show, or do some laughing yoga. Yeah, you heard right, laughing yoga. I’ll put a link in the blog post for this episode to a video showing what laughing yoga is all about. It’s actually quite funny, obviously. Also I’ll put a link to the Chewbacca Mom viral video. It’s a video I’ve come across recently and it made me laugh pretty hard the first time I saw it.

Here are a couple of books to help you on your gut healing journey. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by Paul Chek covers how to heal holistically. Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride gives you the GAPs Protocol and this goes deeper into gut healing and is a great option for those with severely damaged guts.

I’ll leave you with this thought. Life is short. Don’t live life so seriously. The time it’s going to take to heal your gut will be long though. So take the time now to heal your gut so you can enjoy yourself later and have more fun before your time is up.

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A Mind of Your Own

A Mind of Your Own – Kelly Brogan, MD
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

New York Times bestseller

Named one of the top health and wellness books for 2016 by MindBodyGreen

Depression is not a disease. It is a symptom.

Recent years have seen a shocking increase in antidepressant use the world over, with 1 in 4 women starting their day with medication. These drugs have steadily become the panacea for everything from grief, irritability, panic attacks, to insomnia, PMS, and stress.  But the truth is, what women really need can’t be found at a pharmacy.

According to Dr. Kelly Brogan, antidepressants not only overpromise and underdeliver, but their use may permanently disable the body’s self-healing potential. We need a new paradigm: The best way to heal the mind is to heal the whole body.

In this groundbreaking, science-based and holistic approach, Dr. Brogan shatters the mythology conventional medicine has built around the causes and treatment of depression. Based on her expert interpretation of published medical findings, combined with years of experience from her clinical practice, Dr. Brogan illuminates the true cause of depression: it is not simply a chemical imbalance, but a lifestyle crisis that demands a reset. It is a signal that the interconnected systems in the body are out of balance – from blood sugar, to gut health, to thyroid function– and inflammation is at the root.

A Mind of Your Own offers an achievable, step-by-step 30-day action plan—including powerful dietary interventions, targeted nutrient support, detoxification, sleep, and stress reframing techniques—women can use to heal their bodies, alleviate inflammation, and feel like themselves again without a single prescription.

Bold, brave, and revolutionary, A Mind of Your Own takes readers on a journey of self-empowerment for radical transformation that goes far beyond symptom relief.

 

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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WGP 024: How to Practise Smart Sun Exposure to Optimise Your Vitamin D Levels

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Vitamin D and Smart Sun Exposure:

  • I’ll explain the importance of Vitamin D and how it is made
  • I’ll talk about how conventional mainstream sun safety advice and practises are causing more harm than good
  • Finally I’ll give tips on how to practise smart sex (that’s smart Sun EXposure) and how to optimise your vitamin D levels so you can continue to live a happy, healthy, and holistic life


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

In the previous podcast I talked about some very important hormones that you needed to know about. By living a holistic lifestyle you can keep these hormones in a beautiful state of harmony and balance which in turn keep you and your body happy, healthy, and in harmony and balance as well.

One hormone I didn’t mention in the last podcast was vitamin D. I didn’t talk about vitamin D in the previous show because I believe that no matter the chaos in your physical, emotional, and mental body’s vitamin D has the power to bring all of you back to centre, in harmony, in balance, in peace and one with the universe. Yeah I know sounds pretty hippy dippy and I’ll talk more about this at the end of this, but for now let me talk more about vitamin D.

First up vitamin D has been given just the worst name ever because it isn’t a vitamin at all. A vitamin is an organic compound that your body cannot make and vitamin D is created by your body when your skin gets exposed to the sun. Technically vitamin D is a fat-soluble secosteroid so it’s a steroid hormone much like cortisone and testosterone, but let’s not get too technical here shall we.

I like to call vitamin D the sun hormone… sounds nice right.

The sun hormone controls the expression of over 1000 genes in your body meaning it can turn on or off about 5% of your entire genetic code. Whoa! The sun hormone also reduces inflammation, boosts your immune system, destroys disease, prevents tumours, fights cancer, strengthens your bones, is a powerful antioxidant, improves mood, enhances and activates the actions of the nutrients you eat, so overall vitamin D (the sun hormone) helps you live a longer quality of life.

Right now there is a worldwide deficiency in vitamin D levels in the human population. Even those in equatorial regions are vitamin D deficient can you believe it.

On top of that skin cancer rates continue to rise despite people following national health guidelines for sun safety.

In New Zealand where I live we have the SunSmart campaign where we are advised to slip on a long-sleeved shirt and into the shade, slop on copious amounts of high sun protection factor (SPF) broad spectrum sunscreen, slap on a wide brimmed hat, and wrap on some wrap-around sunnies (that’s sunglasses for you non-local folk). So Slip, Slop, Slap, and Wrap… pretty catchy right.

This campaign also recommends the following:

  • During September to April (the warmer months of the year) we should be sun protected between the hours of 10a-4p, and in the early morning and late afternoon have some form of outdoor activity for 30 minutes without sun protection
  • During May to August (the cooler months of the year) we should be outdoors for 30 minutes with face, arms, and hands exposed in the hours around noon

 
Now unfortunately it is this exact misinformation that is leading to both decreased levels of vitamin D and increased levels of skin cancer in the human population.

How so?

Well first I’ll talk about how your body actually makes vitamin D.

Okay I know I said earlier that I didn’t want to get too technical, but the way the human body makes this potent healthful hormone from sunlight or light energy is pretty cool.

When UVB rays from the sun hit your skin they react with a precursor molecule in your skin called 7-dehydrocholesterol to create vitamin D3. Now you can find this particular form of vitamin D in supplements. When this D3 is released from your skin into your bloodstream it travels to your liver where it’s converted to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. 25-hydryoxyvitamin D3 then gets transported to your kidneys where it’s activated into the steroid hormone form that your body actually uses. This active form of vitamin D is called 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and it’s this form of the sun hormone that regulates gene expression and makes you a happy and healthy human.

Now the sun gives off a few different ultra violet rays, but its UVA and UVB that are relevant here. Here are some details about these two different spectrums of sunlight:

  • UVA does not get absorbed by the ozone layer and reaches the Earth’s surface year round. UVB is mostly absorbed by the ozone layer and only reaches the Earth’s surface during summer and the warmer months of the year.
  • UVA penetrates a few layers into the skin. UVB does not.
  • UVA causes skin to thicken and age, but not burn. UVB does the opposite. It burns, but does not thicken or age skin.
  • UVA damages melanin-producing cells (melanin gives colour to your skin and acts as an antioxidant, meaning melanin protects against skin cancer). UVB promotes melanin production.
  • UVA overexposure leads to malignant melanoma (the aggressive type of skin cancer). UVB overexposure leads to non-melanoma skin cancer (the least dangerous of skin cancers).
  • UVA passes through glass. UVB does not.
  • UVA will not produce vitamin D. UVB will.

 
Also take note that due to the fact that most of the UVB rays get absorbed by the ozone layer the angle of the sun to the Earth will determine the amount of UVB that actually hits the Earth’s surface. So during the summer and warmer months of the year when the sun is high between 10a and 4p there will be full UVB exposure on the Earth’s surface, as well as UVA of course. However, in the winter months when the sun is low on the horizon then very little to no UVB penetrates the ozone layer, but there’s still full UVA exposure on the Earth’s surface.

So if you’re living north and south of the 33rd parallels of the Earth’s latitude then you’re not getting any UVB during the cooler months of the year, but you’re getting plenty of UVA.

Okay enough about sunrays. I want to talk about sunscreens now.

Sunscreens are just the icing on the proverbial cake of misinformation. They are meant to protect the skin of the human race, but as it turns out most commercial sunscreens or sunblocks are nothing but a big disgrace.

Your skin can also be called your second mouth as approximately 60-70% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed directly into your bloodstream – bypassing your liver and its detoxifying processes. What goes on your skin goes straight to your blood.

The majority of sunscreens sold in supermarkets and pharmacies today are made with toxic chemicals that will actually increase your chances of getting skin and other cancers. These chemicals include:

  • Retinol
  • Retinyl palmitate
  • OMC or octyl methaxycinnamate
  • Octocrylene
  • Avobenzone
  • Oxybenzone
  • Homosalate
  • Octinoxate and
  • Octisalate

 
Add to this fact that many sunscreen SPF factors are based on blocking UVB exclusively meaning you get no vitamin D producing rays, but plenty of the UVA cancer causing rays. As for the broad spectrum sunscreens, which block both UVA and UVB, most of them don’t block both rays evenly. Instead it’s more 67-95% of UVB being blocked compared to only 5-33% of UVA.

Let me put it all together then and summarise how modern living, national sun safety guidelines, and sunscreen care products create vitamin D deficiency and skin cancer.

You work indoors most of the day missing out on vitamin D production. Even worse you sit next to windows that are not UV-rated thinking that you’re getting a daily dose of sunshine. Problem is because glass filters out UVB and not UVA it’s more of a daily dose of cancer that you’re getting.

When you’re outside you’re told to cover up during the hottest part of the day which is also the time that UVB penetrates and gets through the ozone layer to the Earth’s surface. Then when it’s cooler you uncover yourself a bit more, but there’s no longer any UVB and only UVA hits your skin.

You use toxic chemical heavy sunscreens and sunblocks that not only block more UVB than UVA, but they also block your body’s ability to function 100% by overtaxing your innate detoxification system, meaning they overload your liver and this leaves the door wide open to diseases. Plus the chemicals themselves (the ones I mentioned before) they are carcinogenic, meaning they cause the overgrowth of cancer cells in your body.

So here you have two sources of cancer. You get cancer externally via UVA rays penetrating deep into your skin and into your cells and you can get cancer internally from the toxic chemicals used in sunscreens that get absorbed through your skin.

Alright so let’s get into some tips on how you can practise smart sex, smart Sun Exposure.

First, go outside during UVB penetration times. This will depend on your location, time of the year, and is based on the sun’s position in the sky. Remember when the sun is high, vitamin D production is high.

Expose as much of your skin as possible without sunscreen for the appropriate amount of time based on your skin type. You want to get a nice tan, but you never ever want to get sunburn. Sunburn causes a cascade of inflammation and immune activity in your body that over time will turn into a chronic disease. So if you’re very light skinned maybe 5-20 minutes is all you can do before the damaging effects of UVA kick in. Whereas if you have darker skin you could do between 20-60 minutes easy depending on how much melanin you have in your skin and how tolerant your skin is to the sun’s rays. Once you sense the burn in your skin then it’s time to slip, slop, slap, and wrap!

So during the summer season and the warmer months of the year expose yourself to the sun between 10a and 4p. During any other time of the season, year, or day cover up.

Second tip, keep away from windows during the day otherwise cover up as much as possible if stuck behind one.

Third tip is to eat your sunscreen. That’s right you can consume plenty of “sunscreen-like” compounds from real food that will protect you from sun damage from the inside out. How cool is that eh!

So eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods like small berries, vegetables, herbs and spices. The lycopene in tomatoes has been shown to be protective against sun damage. Omega-3 and saturated fats are great internal sunscreens so eat more oily fish and animal fat from grass-fed free-range pasture-raised happy animals. Astaxanthin is another great skin protecting compound that you can get from krill oil or in supplement form.

Fourth tip is to only buy and use all-natural organic sunscreens. A healthy sunscreen will have the active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These do the actual UV blocking. Also almond, coconut, sunflower, jojoba, and eucalyptus oils or any other ingredient you would normally think of as natural and even eat are fine. Shea butter is another popular natural ingredient. If you wouldn’t eat it don’t put it on your skin. For a basic sunscreen recipe all you need is some zinc oxide and a nice plant based lotion.

Fifth smart sex step is if you are unable to get enough sun exposure then eat your sun hormone. You can get vitamin D from real foods like wild caught oily fish, grass-fed butter and raw full-fat dairy, free-range pasture-raised egg yolks and lard, fermented cod-liver oil as well as other organically raised animal livers.

If you are unable to eat enough vitamin D foods then you can take vitamin D3 supplements, not D2, but D3 and make sure the capsule is infused with some fat like extra-virgin olive oil as the sun hormone is a fat-soluble molecule and is a lot easier to absorb when taken with fat.

When supplementing with vitamin D it is important to get your vitamin D levels tested. What you want is the blood test for 25-hydroxyvitamin D. A healthy range is between 35-65 ng/mL. Your results will then determine your actions, meaning do not blindly believe you are vitamin D deficient or sufficient and go overboard on the supplements or not supplement enough. Test is best, do not guess. A good guideline to follow when supplementing vitamin D3 (while you wait for your results) is to take 1000 IU (international units) per 11kg/25lbs of body weight. Once you do find out your vitamin D levels you can increase or decrease your sun exposure and supplementation as is required.

Final and crucial tip and this has to do with optimising the vitamin D you do produce, eat, or supplement with, is to reduce your body fat. Remember vitamin D is a fat-soluble molecule so the more fat cells you have and the larger those fat cells are then the more vitamin D your body fat will hold onto and the less vitamin D there will be in your bloodstream to be converted into the more important active hormone needed for maintaining and building the wealth of your health.

Listen to the podcast before this one that I did on balancing your hormones to optimise your fat-burning potential for more information on how to reduce your body fat the easy way without having to count calories.

I’ll leave you with this.

I personally believe that Vitamin D is the most important hormone in the human body. The reason I say this is because the majority of multicellular life on this planet lives and dies by the sun and human beings are no different.

You and I,

“We are beings of light energy”

and none of us, not me, not you, not even the moon would be here if it weren’t for the beautiful unconditionally giving and loving sun that supports all the life in our little region of the universe.

The more disconnected you are from the source of your existence the more you disconnect yourself from who you really are, your true being.

The more you disconnect yourself from that light that birthed you, that light that currently breathes you, and that light that will one day return you to source, the less happy, the less whole, and the less complete you will feel.

In order to live an awesome life you need to get back to your roots and there’s nothing more rooted in human ancestral tradition and culture then having fun out in the sun man.

You want sun? Go get sun.

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WGP 017: Saturated Fat and Cholesterol are Essential for Health

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Saturated Fat and Cholesterol:

  • I’ll explain how fats and cholesterol are needed by your body
  • I’ll talk about how and why saturated fat and cholesterol were wrongly convicted of being the cause of heart disease
  • I’ll talk about how industrial seed oils aka vegetable oils are very much non-essential and damaging to all life on the planet
  • Finally I’ll share the best and most delicious ways to get more healthy natural whole real fats into your diet


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Saturated fat and cholesterol are essential for health, no doubt about it.

Saturated fatty acids form about 50% of the membranes of your cells. This is the cell wall and saturated fat gives your cells more strength and stability. Think about what happens to coconut oil or melted butter when left at a cool room temperature or if you put them in the fridge. They become solid. This is due to the high content of saturated fat which is much more stable and not as easily oxidised or damaged as the other two main types of fats monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Now if you were to put olive oil or fish oil in the fridge they would remain liquid as they don’t have anywhere near the same amount of stable saturate d fatty acids, but do have higher amounts of the more flexible monounsaturated fats and even more flexible and unstable and fragile polyunsaturated fats.

Besides making for strong cells by giving your cell membranes proper integrity saturated fatty acids also enhance calcium absorption which is critical for bone health. Saturated fats also help in the production of other essential fatty acids like omega-3 needed in the inflammatory response for healing. Saturated fats are also rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D.

Now all fats in general have health benefits including helping your body to make use of fat-soluble vitamins. If you’re drinking low fat smoothies, you ain’t getting any of those fat-soluble nutrients. Fats also help stabilise your appetite and make you feel more satiated and full. There is no excessive release of the fat-storing hormone insulin when you eat fats compared to carbohydrates. Fats are a longer burning and consistent source of fuel compared to protein and carbs. Unlike fat protein and carbs, but more so with carbs these macronutrients get burnt up a lot quicker leading to sugar highs and sugar lows. Leaving you hungry and angry aka hangry.

Cholesterol is another very essential nutrient for health. Cholesterol is not fat, but a steroid alcohol and acts as a building block for hormones, neurotransmitters, and cells. Vitamin D for example is made when cholesterol in your skin mixes with UVB radiation from the sun. Your sex, growth, and stress hormones like testosterone and oestrogen and cortisol are made from cholesterol. No cholesterol equals no sex and growth my friend. Also cortisol is not only your primary stress hormone needed to help you deal with stress, but it also reduces inflammation in your body.

Cholesterol is also used in making bile that’s needed for proper digestion of ft. The protective coating surrounding your nerves is called a myelin sheath and these are made from fatty acids and cholesterol. Cholesterol is also an antioxidant fighting off free radicals in your body preventing DNA damage, premature aging, and cancer.

Finally and probably the biggest most important health benefit to saturated fats and cholesterol is that the dry weight of your brain is made up of at least 50% fatty acids and cholesterol. Without fat and cholesterol your brain would be nothing but a watery and mushy mass of stupidity. You want a fat head. You really do trust me.

As you can probably tell by now saturated fats and cholesterol are essential for a healthy and happy bodymind.

However, for many years now saturated fat and cholesterol have been demonised as the bad guys when it comes to health particularly heart health. This has never been true and fortunately the tides they are a changing. Whole natural real foods that the human organism was evolved to eat are coming back into favour while sales of processed and packaged fake pretend food-like products are starting to fall.

Our species of animal evolved and thrived on eating other animal meats, vegetables, and fruit. The coexistence of humans with these three main food groups has been going on for a few million years. Seeing as saturated fat is found predominantly in animal fat as well as coconut and cacao beans that humans have been eating forever and a day how could it ever be possible to think that an old-school food can begin to create new-school diseases.

For instance heart disease was a very rare and new disease over 100 years ago, but today it’s as common as canola oil and numero uno on the list of most fatal health conditions of all time.

To find out how saturated fat and cholesterol were framed for crimes they never ever committed we need to go back over 100 years ago when in the early 20th century a Russian pathologist called Nikolay Anichkov conducted studies with rabbits by feeding them high cholesterol animal foods. Seeing as rabbits are pure herbivores and raw vegans is it any wonder what the results were. Yep cholesterol damages arteries… in rabbits that don’t eat a high cholesterol diet.

Then in the mid 20th century we have Ancel Keys an American scientist who did a study on 7 countries showing an association between high rates of heart disease with high amounts of animal fat consumption. Problem is he cherry picked his data and picked only the 7 countries out of 22 countries he could have selected to show this connection. If you were to pick another 7 countries from that same set of 22 country data today you could show the complete opposite that high rates of heart disease were associated with very small amounts of animal fat consumption. Meaning ladies and gentlemen of the jury that. that man, Ancel Keys intentionally chose only the information that he knew would support his hypothesis and idea that saturated fat causes heart disease.

But wait because unfortunately there’s more… oh when will the hurting stop?

This is where money and food industry come into the picture. The American company Procter and Gamble who were in the candle and soap manufacturing industry in the mid to late 19th century used to use animal fats in their products. At the same time new oils extracted from plants were coming onto the market and these were a lot cheaper than animal fats. In the early 20th century the process of hydrogenating cottonseed oil had been invented. Hydrogenation is where you take a monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oil which as I mentioned before is naturally liquid as designed by Mother Nature herself and then turning that liquid oil into a solid saturated fat. So of course Proctor and Gamble would use this cheaper industrial seed oil in their candles and soaps.

It wasn’t long till electricity came online in homes and in cities and then candle sales plummeted. So what Procter and Gamble did next was pretty clever, deadly in the long-run, but financially smart indeed. They started to sell the crystallised cottonseed oil as a cooking fat called Crisco.

Ever since then other industrial seed oils and other vegetable oils have come on the market as imitation butters like margarine and as replacements for lard and tallow in big restaurant fryers. Even the fast-food chain McDonald’s used to use animal fats in their fryers until they were persuaded to switch to Crisco and other vegetable oils for health and financial reasons I’m sure.

The reason for the abundance and low cost to these industrial seed oils is that national governments subsidise seed farmers and growers. Authorities support and give money to grow more of these crappy crops. These crops are the highest growing food group in the world and were originally used as animal feed, but instead of throwing out the leftovers and newly created waste government officials working together with the food industry realised that if they market this stuff as healthy they could make more money from taxes and sell it as human food.

So here we have some really dodgy science showing that cholesterol damages arteries and that animal fats cause heart disease and then we have food manufacturing companies selling extremely cheap unhealthy industrial seed oils and marketing them as a healthy alternative.

So what is it that makes these crop oils, these seed oils, these vegetable oils not only bad for your health, but also damaging to the environment?

I’ll start with the environment first because even if you couldn’t care less about your own health maybe you’d think twice about buying and eating these crop oils if you knew how it affected the planet, the environment, and the future that your children will be growing up in.

Because authorities are paying to help increase the production of these crops which include cottonseed, canola aka rapeseed, corn, and soy they are knowingly or unknowingly causing massive damage to the ecosystem. How?

Just as the health of your body depends on the health of your gut microbiota which are the population of trillions of microorganisms living in your gut the health of the planet is dependent upon the health of the soil.

Topsoil is the first half metre or couple feet of soil. This soil isn’t just a mass of dirt like the subsoil beneath it. Topsoil is an ecosystem of microorganisms, worms, insects, fungi, plant roots, and broken rock. Together this entire ecosystem transforms light (sun energy) and matter (earth energy) into a natural compost called humus and into minerals, vitamins, hormones, enzymes basically every single nutrient under the sun and on the planet that’s needed to create life and make a happy and healthy human is made and found in the topsoil.

It takes thousands of years to create just one foot of healthy topsoil. Sadly topsoil around the globe is being lost due to food industry growing monocultures of seeds, that is the same single crop on the same land year after year. Once we lose this topsoil we will lose a huge supply of food.

Different soils will have different nutrients. All plants have their own unique nutrition needs and provide a different set of nutrition to the soil. When one crop is grown on the same soil year after year all the nutrients required by that one crop will be sucked out of the soil leaving the soil malnourished and lacking in those particular nutrients. Eventually this soil will be dead of nutrition and the crop will no longer thrive and production will need to be moved to another location.

We need to remember and I say this almost every show it seems that life is a process always changing and in flow. We must rotate the crops we plant on the land so that the soil never gets stripped of one set of nutrients. So until the food industry learns this, the future of the health of the soil, the planet, and future generations of people looks pretty dark.

Once harvested these seeds are turned into margarines and other solid fat substitutes that I call franken-fats through a process called hydrogenation. This involves pumping hydrogen molecules into these fragile polyunsaturated fats, saturating them with hydrogen turning them solid. This process damages these unstable fatty acids oxidising them creating free radicals. So here you have a brand new and damaged food-like product that your body does not recognise and the damaged fatty acids create inflammation and stress leading to disease.

Another process called partial-hydrogenation is even worse as this creates trans fats. Only recently have trans fats been labelled as unhealthy, but what makes things worse is that food standards state that if there’s less than 0.5 grams of trans fat in a single serving of food then a food company can put on the nutrition label 0 trans fat content. Lies I tells ya. All lies.

There are new seed processing methods used today that do not create trans fats, but still create rancid damaged franken-fats. Fractionation and interesterification are what these new processes are called so if you see fractionated or interesterified on a food-like product label… drop it, drop it like it’s hot.

Now the processing of seeds and fragile liquid polyunsaturated fatty acids into damaged solid saturated fatty acids involves many steps that make me wonder how we as a species could ever call ourselves the smartest animal on this planet. Really?

First there’s the hydrogenation, fractionation, or interesterification process followed by chemical extraction, deodorisation, degumming, bleaching, addition of additives, preservatives, artificial flavourings, and synthetic antioxidants, and so you want turn and run when you see a brick of grey goo looking back at you when you open up the packet unnatural colourings are added to make these franken-fats look like real food. Still can’t believe it’s not butter? Eww and yuck! Seriously!

Now some of you might say ‘but it has been shown that these vegetable oils lower cholesterol in the blood’ and you’re absolutely right. You know why?

Because these fatty acids are damaged and cause inflammation in the body guess who has to go about putting out the fires caused by them — cholesterol. Cholesterol has been labelled the bad guy just because it’s been caught at the scene of the crime. But what mainstream medicine fails to realise is that cholesterol is like your body’s own fire brigade and they are at the scene trying to put out the fire. The real fire starters are eating fake pretend food-like products like industrial seed oils. So of course eating these franken-fats will lower cholesterol in your blood because most of your fire brigade are in the cells and body tissue busy repairing the damage caused by these rancid oxidised fats!

Alright let’s talk about what fats are healthy and how to include them in your diet.

I already listed the healthy animal and fruit fats you want to focus on back in episode 8, but I’ll share them again here.

  • Egg yolks
  • Ghee and clarified butter
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Tallow — beef and lamb fat
  • Duck fat
  • Coconut oil
  • Palm oil
  • Cacao butter
  • Macadamia oil
  • Extra-virgin avocado oil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Raw nuts and seeds

 
Remember all these fats should be minimally processed, extra-virgin, and cold-pressed so there’s no damage caused by heat.

“The best way to increase your intake of healthy natural whole real fats is by eating a lot more vegetables!”

Vegetables have a lot of antioxidant, anticancer, and longevity nutrients, but the real reason I love to eat vegetables and have eaten more of them in the past few years than I ever did in the first few decades of my life is because vegetables are the best vehicle for fats!

There’s nothing like lightly steaming up some broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage and tossing them in some butter that’s come straight from the fridge, but then you see the butter begin to melt and get all gooey and when you season it with sea salt and take that first bite wow, what a taste sensation. Believe it or not friend but yes vegetables can taste juicy… you just need to add some beautiful fat.

You can take raw vegetables like celery, carrots, and cucumber and dip them in some nut butters or spread some fat on them. I love almond and macadamia nut butters. Peanuts are legumes not nuts and can have an inflammatory effect for some people so as always no matter what I or anyone else says be sure to listen to your body as the body never lies. If it doesn’t like a food then stop eating it.

Don’t forget by eating fats with vegetables and fruits your body can better absorb the fat-soluble nutrients in the food.

I have a big super green fatty vegetable smoothie every night with dinner which weighs in at over 600 grams. That’s over a pound of nutritious, delicious, scrumptious, and highly precious plant and animal fat nutrition, energy and information. I chew and chew with every mouthful and it takes me about 20 minutes to finish and by the end I’m as full and happy as Santa on the day after Christmas.

Another tasty way to eat more fat is to eat more of the fatty cuts of meat. Now remember back in the detox episode toxins love fat and get stored in your fat cells when your body cannot eliminate them. This holds true for animals as well. So if you’re eating the cheapest animal meat you can find that wasn’t naturally raised and bred, free-range out on pasture, eating a species appropriate diet then you have a toxic fat bomb right there.

When you choose fattier cuts of meat especially when it comes to organs meats like liver you must 100% choose the free-range and naturally raised meat. If you choose fatty cuts of muscle meat you can simply cut off the fat, but with offal and other meat where the fat is mixed inside the meat, don’t waste your money, time, health, energy, mood, and vitality. It ain’t worth it.

My personal favourite fat is 100% cacao or dark chocolate. No added sugar or sweeteners, just the cacao seed, bean, or pod whatever you want to call it churned into a fat bomb of a bar. With cacao being one of the highest antioxidant foods everything’s coming up chocolate!

Probably the best and most nutritious way to include more fat and overall nutrition in your diet is to eat liver pate. I love chicken liver pate. It is a mix of chicken liver, herbs, heavy full-fat cream or butter and it comes out like a dip. Raw vegetables again come to the rescue to help transport this beautiful mixture of fat and protein and vitamins into your bodymind.

My favourite chicken liver pate recipe is by Diane Sanfilippo author of Practical Paleo. I’ll put a link to the recipe in the show notes for this episode.

I’ll leave you with this quote by George Bernard Shaw as a reminder you are meant to have a naturally fat head and be proud of it.

“No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.”

Amen George.

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WGP 013: Inflammation – Can You Feel the Heat?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Inflammation:

  • I’ll explain how inflammation can be both beneficial and harmful to your health and wellbeing
  • I’ll talk about some of the different causes of chronic low-level inflammation
  • Finally, I’ll review the best ways to reduce inflammation in your body


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Inflammation is your immune system in action and what a beautiful natural act of Mother Nature it is. Your body has the innate intelligence to heal itself and works best when you feed it real food, water, sleep, movement, breath, and healthy relationships.

You have seen inflammation in action when you’ve had a cut or a bruise or had an infection. That part of your body gets red, it swells up, heats up, and sometimes there’s pain. If you can support your body’s innate healing process with natural healing therapies and then get out of its way and not interfere too much then overtime the injured area gets better and heals.

Inflammation is key to healing. Without it your immune system would never be called into action and you would never heal. However, there is a dark side to inflammation.

Acute inflammation is obvious to spot and simple to manage. With acute inflammation the inflammatory reaction is massive like a Hollywood movie explosion. Chronic ongoing inflammation on the other hand is hidden and difficult to deal with. With chronic inflammation the inflammatory response is more like a small match lighting up. No big ‘hey look at me!’ as with acute inflammation, but still a calling card for your immune system to wake up and to get into action. So your immune system reacts the exact same way whether you have acute or chronic inflammation.

Now there’s nothing wrong with your immune system doing it’s job, but there is an issue with the amount of work your immune system has to do. Acute inflammation comes and goes — job done. Chronic inflammation comes over like an unwanted family member who overstays their welcome and your immune system does everything it can to heal and so reduce and remove the inflammation, but that stubborn chronic guy just won’t leave. The more your immune system is active the more energy and nutrition it will use leaving you tired and without the proper building blocks to support other areas of your body.

Now as a result of your immune system being overworked and frustrated another more serious problem arises. The quality of the work that your immune system does starts to go down. Meaning your immune system that includes white blood cells, T cells, and B cells starts to confuse your own body tissue with foreign and infectious objects. So now your immune system begins to attack you causing damage to whatever part of the body is being mistakenly attacked. This is what an autoimmune disease is. The body reacting to and attacking itself. Examples of autoimmune diseases include:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Vasculitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Coeliac disease

By the way if you are dealing with an autoimmune condition I highly recommend the book The Wahls Protocol by Dr Terry Wahls. Dr Wahls has MS multiple sclerosis, but by following an ancestral evolutionary diet and lifestyle was able to get herself out of a wheelchair and onto a bicycle. A truly inspiring story and individual.

Anyhoo… Not only does chronic inflammation send inflammatory signals throughout your body causing the breakdown of bone, nervous tissue, and organs, but it also sends out fat-storing signals and interferes with normal hormone communication.

It is this chronic low-level inflammation that is barely detectable by you and your health practitioner that is at the root of almost every single disease not just autoimmunity.

Another thing with chronic inflammation is because it acts on such a low level throughout your entire body and remember that inflammation causes redness, swelling, hotness, and pain so if you are dealing with skin issues, are holding onto extra weight that just won’t leave, have areas of your body that are hotter than they should be or you’re dealing with pain realise that all of these are huge symptoms of being inflamed.

Okay so what causes chronic inflammation?

Well a pro-inflammatory diet made up of fake pretend food-like products would be number one on the list. Remember 80% of your immune system lives in your gut because it has to deal to all the foreign stuff that comes through your gastrointestinal tract. So if you’re eating highly inflammatory foods your immune system will go into overdrive. Hello inflammation and hello disease.

The biggest fake food culprit of them all is industrial seed oils aka vegetable oils. These oils are full of trans fats as well as oxidised rancid damaged fats. When your fat-burning enzymes attach to a trans fat to metabolise it they can’t. It’s not a real fat. But now they’re stuck to this trans fat molecule stopping them from burning other fats. This can lead to an increase in your waistline.

Your cell membranes are made up of fat. If these trans fats get integrated into your cell walls then their integrity and stability begins to weaken leading to a damaged dysfunctional cell. Also, the cell receptors on the surface of the cell will be morphed into unnatural shapes preventing them from receiving nutrition and eliminating waste in and out of the cell. Trans fats are deadly to the cell and deadly to your body.

These seed oils are mostly made up of fragile omega-6 fats that get easily damaged when exposed to heat, light, and will go rancid after very short periods of time. When eaten these fats create damaging free radicals in your body and without enough antioxidants these free radicals will cause a whole host of diseases.

Second biggest baddie when it comes to chronic inflammation and food is processed and refined sugar and grains like flour and products made with them. When you eat any processed grain like bread, doughnuts, cooked corn even these metabolise in the body and turn in an instant into sugar. So there’s literally no difference between eating a piece of wholemeal bread or a cookie and eating a few teaspoons of sugar. Same goes with fizzy drinks and fruit juices. These are all sugar when they hit your mouth, your gut, and your liver.

A diet high in sugar leads to too much sugar being left in the blood causing the sugar molecules to stick to cells in the bloodstream. This process is called glycation and the new molecule that forms is called an Advanced Glycation Endproduct or AGE. AGEs block immune cells from getting into damaged tissues in need of repair stopping the reduction of inflammation.

Excess sugar consumption also raises insulin levels. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone and when this is high fat-burning is switched off. Insulin also triggers the release of interleukin-6 or IL-6 which is an inflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecule, but tends to create more inflammation in your body.

Wheat, pasteurised milk, table salt, instant coffee and any other processed and packaged industrialised fake food-like product are pro-inflammatory to your body. So if you love fast food, cheap food, and don’t know the difference between a spinach leaf and a cabbage leaf you my friend are probably full of inflammation.

Another cause of chronic inflammation is having the omega-6 and omega-3 ratio of fats in your diet out of balance. These two fats are essential to health and essential here literally means your body cannot make these fats therefore you must eat them. Now omega-6 is a pro-inflammatory fat, whereas omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. Our ancestors had the perfect 1:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in their diet. Today western societies have been estimated to be eating a ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s of 20:1 or more!

Going back to the seed oils and grains these are mostly omega-6 fats. Any wonder now why we live in an inflammation nation!

Stress of all types physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual cause the release of stress hormones in the body that can have an anti-inflammatory effect by suppressing your immune system. However, chronic stress with stress hormones left to linger in the body for long periods of time makes for a weakened immune system and creates more inflammation. Stress can cause damage to the mucosal barriers in your body making them more permeable and porous than they should be. So stress can cause your skin as well as your gut to become leaky leading to skin and gut inflammation and disease.

Sleep deprivation can make you as insulin resistant as a diabetic. Insulin resistance means your cells no longer pay attention to insulin leaving a lot of insulin and sugar in your bloodstream. So with insulin resistance comes more inflammation due to high levels of insulin and sugar.

Being overweight and obese is also inflammatory. Fat isn’t just a grouping of cells sitting around waiting for you to burn it as energy. Fat is actually an endocrine organ meaning it produces hormones. Adiponectin is a fat hormone used to control the metabolism of fats and sugars. It also makes you more insulin sensitive.

Another hormone that fat produces is called leptin. Leptin has been called the master hormone because not only does it tell you when you’re full it also looks controls other glands and hormones in your body. Problem with leptin is if you have too much leptin you will have a lot of inflammation to go with it. This is because leptin is also an inflammatory signalling molecule. So the more fat you are holding onto the more leptin you will have and the more inflammation you will get.

One last thing about food. Even if you’re eating organic and naturally raised real food you still may be causing yourself more harm than good if you’re eating foods you are allergic or have a sensitivity to. A food allergy is an immediate reaction to a food that you’ve eaten. A food sensitivity or intolerance could take hours, days or even up to a week before you get a reaction from that particular food. Food allergies and sensitivities are serious business when it comes to causing stress and inflammation in your body. These foods can cause inflammation in the gut making it leaky. If these foods were to get into your bloodstream further inflammation would go on in your body.

Being exposed to toxins industrial or natural makes for more inflammation in your body in more ways than one. The toxins alone cause inflammation and an immune response. Along with this though any toxins that are not metabolised properly by your liver get stored in your fat cells. The more toxins your body cannot eliminate the fatter you get (it’s not just about the calories people, in fact it hardly ever is). Anyhoo, remember with more fat there’s more leptin and more inflammation.

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) cause a buildup of positive electrons in your body that act as free radicals damaging you from the inside out creating more inflammation.

All this fake food, stress, and toxin exposure also creates an imbalance of the microorganisms in your gut. A healthy gut will have a ratio of 85% probiotics (the good guys) to 15% pathogens (the bad guys). People with unhealthy diets and lifestyles have been shown to have a ratio of 15% good to 85% bad microorganisms. This imbalance is called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis causes many issues in your gut including malnutrition, leaky gut syndrome, and inflammation. Pathogens create endotoxins in your gut that will create inflammation and if these endotoxins get through a leaky gut into your bloodstream then inflammation will occur in other areas of your body.

Alrighty then let’s get into how you can reduce the heat in your life and be more cool like a cucumber, i.e. reduce your inflammation.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.

As an old English proverb says:

“Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.”

By eating foods that are less pro and more anti-inflammatory you will dramatically reduce the immune response in your system. Stick to real foods organically and naturally raised that give more life force than they take. My free e-book describing the top superfoods in the world is a good guide for this. You can get it for free simply by signing up to the Whole Guidance newsletter at wholeguidance.com.

If you have some excess weight you’d like to let go of maybe a lower carbohydrate diet would be a path you can try walking down just for a month or two. By reducing your sugar intake not only will you reduce the inflammation and your risk of disease by reducing your insulin production, you may just find your body composition begin to normalise back into a healthy range reducing your leptin production.

Eat for a better omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. A healthy ratio of these essential fats would be 4:1 omega-6s to omega-3s with 1:1 being the ideal. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean get more omega-3 and drop the omega-6 because you don’t want to go to the opposite extreme as well. Take a good hard look at your diet and try and calculate how much more omega-6 fat foods are you eating compared to omega-3 fat foods. Are you eating a lot of seed oils or foods made and cooked with them?Are you eating too many baked food products made with flours? Cut back on these high omega-6 pro-inflammatory foods. Instead focus on omega-3 sources of food the best being cold water oily fish like wild-caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Even chia seeds and flax seeds can provide a little omega-3 nutrition and by little I do mean very little, but I tells ya’ I love me some chia cacao vanilla cinnamon pudding way better compared to a gooey glop of porridge.

Eat for gut health. So don’t just eat for you, but also eat for your gut microbiome. Your probiotics need to eat just as much as you do and they love soluble fibre and resistant starch. So basically eat plenty of fibrous vegetables. Grains have too high of a fibre to nutrition ratio so even if you did go with some whole grains you’d want to limit them. If you’re wondering about fruit sure eat plenty of fruit as long as you don’t have any weight and metabolic issues such as diabetes or heart disease.

Taking a probiotic with many different strains of bacteria and with high potency meaning it has a high number of them per serving is also a great way to support your gut health.

Obviously the best way to support your gut health is by eating fermented foods. Sauerkraut and kefir are my favourite. You can learn more about fermented foods in my free e-book.

Drink quality natural spring and artesian water or water that has been filtered. The best solution for pollution is dilution and seeing as inflammation is your body on fire some nice cooling water will be exactly what the holistic doctor ordered.

Get quality restorative sleep. Your body runs on a circadian cycle that follows the cycles of the sun and the moon. As a general guideline you want to be in bed by 10p and up around 6a. Listen to episode 5 on sleep for more info.

Manage your ability to handle stress. There are many different ways to improve your stress resiliency including meditation and mindfulness practises. I explained how I personally reduce my perception of stress back in episode 3 so you might want to listen to that.

Finally, reduce your toxic and EMF exposure. You will never ever be able to live a toxic and EMF free life, but you can dramatically reduce how much exposure you get to these pro-inflammatory materials everyday. Check out the previous Whole Guidance podcast episode I did on how to detox your life for more information.

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Wellness, Holistic Living, Mindset, and Performance Podcasts

Podcasts are digital audio programmes similar to a radio show.

You can download a majority of podcasts for free to your computer or smart mobile device using applications such as iTunes, Stitcher, and Pocket Casts.

Below you will find a premium selection of wellness podcasts that will assist you in improving many different areas of your life including health, wealth, love, and happiness.

 

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Health, Well-Being, Human Performance, and Whole Foods Recipe Websites

There are over four billion websites online dedicated to health, dieting, and weight loss.

With mainstream advice not working for a lot of people and the fact that most of it often contradicts itself where does one go for consistent practical wellness information that works for 99% of individuals when applied in the real world?

Below you will find 20 websites that are the pick of the wellness bunch that are backed by human history and factual non-political, non-financed science. These websites also have real world evidence as reported by real people who have healed and cured themselves following the lifestyle recommendations and whole food recipes that are detailed within.

Click through to a better, stronger, healthier, and happier you.

 

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The Diet Cure

The Diet Cure – Julia Ross
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

Combining your body’s Paleolithic needs with modern nutritional and medical research for complete mind-body wellness.

For the more than 160 million overweight Americans, dieting is a failure. Based on more than twenty years of proven clinical results, The Diet Cure‘s revolutionary approach curbs food cravings and restores the brain’s mood and appetite chemistry in twenty-four hours. Beginning with her 8-Step Quick Symptom Questionnaire, celebrated nutritional psychotherapist Julia Ross helps readers identify their unique underlying biochemical imbalances and provides targeted strategies to correct those imbalances using nutritional supplements to jump-start the dietary overhaul. Readers then create their own safe, easy-to-follow plan to end low-calorie dieting and food obsessions for good.

 

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