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 041: Juicing vs Blending – Which is Best for Healing?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Juicing and Blending:

  • I’ll explain why consuming juices and smoothies are important for happiness and health
  • I’ll talk about the differences and the pros and cons between juicing and blending vegetables and fruits
  • Finally, I’ll share tips on how to turn your juices and smoothies into a healing elixir


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

Everyone knows that vegetables and fruits are packed-full of phytonutrients, plant chemicals that have powerful medicinal and healing effects in your body. Plant power fuels and nourishes animal life on this planet. Without the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting benefits you get from consuming plant matter it becomes very difficult, but not impossible, just hard to give your body the nutritional, energetical, and informational support it needs to thrive.

Unless you live in the North and South poles where you’re exposed to cold with its own unique healing powers and are consuming a lot of nutritionally dense rich blubberous animal fats and their offal then plant foods are going to be a necessity in your diet.

Juicing and blending your vegetables and fruits into juices and smoothies are an excellent and simple way to get more plant medicine into your diet.

When you juice you’re making juices and when you blend you’re making smoothies. Juicing is very different to blending, which makes juices very different to smoothies.

Plants are made up of mostly water much like your own body and also a carbohydrate known as fibre. Fibre is indigestible by your body’s digestive system. This fibre though it is the perfect food for the trillions of microorganisms that live in your gut, in your digestive tract and your gut microbiome plays a huge role in your digestion and in keeping your immune system running optimally.

Fibre is the difference between juicing vegetables and fruits into juices verses blending them into smoothies. When you juice, using a juicer obviously, what you’re doing is separating the fibrous plant material from the water and this water contains a majority of the phytonutrients. This leaves you with a very watery drink and a lot of fibre leftover. When you blend, using a blender obviously, what you’re doing here is pulverising, chopping, mashing 100% of the plant material fibre and all leaving you with a thick drink.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both juicing and blending.

The primary benefit to having juices and smoothies is that they are a very simple, nutritious and delicious way to increase your consumption of vegetables. Not everyone can manage to eat 3 to 9 cups of vegetables a day, but you can easily get 3 cups of a variety of vegetables in one juice or smoothie.

For example in my green smoothie that I have for dinner most nights I put in a quarter cup of parsley. You have probably seen a tiny pinch of parsley used mainly as a garnish and sure that tiny amount tastes okay, but can you imagine eating 4 tablespoons worth of chopped parsley? Maybe spread out evenly over a day, but for me I like getting my parsley dose in one hit and it’s so much easier and tastier mixed into a smoothie.

Now the main benefit to juicing and drinking juices is that they are an easily digested and quickly absorbed source of nutrition and energy. For people with digestive issues, energy issues, and for those who are severely malnourished drinking green juices will be easier on your body allowing your body to absorb more of the nutrients in that juice. It takes about 20 minutes for a juice to be fully digested and absorbed compared to a few hours for a full-blown meal.

Also because your body doesn’t need to spend a lot of energy digesting your juice it will have more energy that can be used elsewhere such as for repairing damaged tissues, increasing detoxification processes, and producing more neurotransmitters and sex hormones.

The thing is the main benefit to juicing, easy digestion and quick absorption, is also one of its drawbacks. But this all depends on what you’re actually juicing. Fruit juices are not healing drinks like green juices are. This is because of the high amount of fruit sugars present in fruits. Remember juicing extracts the water and the nutrients and separates them from the fibre and fibre helps slow down the release of sugar from your gut into your bloodstream. Without the fibre in the juice that sugar is going to hit your system very quick and very hard causing a massive insulin response which is something you don’t want to happen on a regular basis. Listen to the previous podcast I did on the blood sugar rollercoaster for more info on that.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, but it’s natural sugar from real food. Whether sugar is found naturally in real food or refined and added by the spoonful once sugar hits your digestive tract your body doesn’t know the difference. Sugar is sugar. Except if there’s fibre present then your body and your gut microorganisms will deal with that sugar differently. Not just fibre, but fats and acids help with this as well, but I’ll talk more about those later. This is why eating fruits in their whole intact form is a lot better for you than fruit juices and it doesn’t matter if the juices are bought from the shop or made fresh at home. Sugar without fibre is processed sugar to your body.

The other downside to drinking juices is that you cannot extract all the water and nutrients bound to the fibre. Even with the slowest spinning masticating juicers you will always be missing out on nutrients when you juice.

Final drawback to juicing I’ll mention is when you’re using a centrifugal juicer, one that spins at high-speed in the thousands of RPMs or revolutions per minute, a centrifugal juicer will suck in more oxygen which creates more oxidation or damage to the nutrients. Not only do high-speed juicers cause damage, but they also do not extract as much juice as slow masticating juicers do. Even if you do use a masticating juicer that can spin as low as 65 RPMs, as I talked about before you will not be able to extract all the water and nutrients from the fibre.

Moving onto smoothies.

The good thing about smoothies, besides being a simple way to increase your vegetable consumption, is that you are eating the whole food, the entire vegetable and fruit meaning you get the fibre, the nutrients, the water, the whole deal. You are not missing out on anything that may be lost when you juice. This means that even if you do add some fruit to your blended smoothies the release of sugar into your bloodstream will be a lot slower than fruit that’s been juiced.

There is a similar drawback to blending just as there is in juicing if your smoothie is made up mostly or 100% of fruit. For people with metabolic disorders meaning they are unable to digest and metabolise sugar properly due to hormonal imbalances, a fruit smoothie will be doing more harm than healing and can be just as bad as a fruit juice.

Last downside to blending again similar to juicing is that these blenders spin at super high speeds that will cause damage both physically by the blades and oxidatively by sucking in more oxygen.

Alright so how do you make healing juices and smoothies?

First things first – you got to reduce the sugar hit. When designing a juice or smoothie for healing, obviously you don’t want to add any additional sweeteners artificial or natural including maple syrup and honey due to sugars ability to upset your hormonal rhythms and to suppress your immune system.

When it comes to juices you want to be drinking healing green juices with little to no fruit added. I like using kale, cucumber, celery, and some ginger as a base for all my green juices. From here you can add whatever else you like. I recommend adding in some herbs as pound for pound herbs are more nutritionally dense than their larger plant cousins.

The only fruits I recommend for juicing are lemons, limes, kiwifruit, and a green apple. The acidity in lemon and lime help with your digestion and blood sugar balance. The gelatinous nature and compounds in kiwi also help with digestion and green apples are a bit of a compromise when it comes to taste. If you find green juices too bitter then adding one green apple including the apple seeds, especially the apple seeds, can help make the juice sweeter without being too heavy in fruit sugars, with the added bonus of having the low dose of cyanide that come from the apple seeds. No this cyanide isn’t going to kill you, but it’s a great cancer regulator. By that I mean cancer cells love sugar. So when you eat your juice (yes I said eat, not drink) a lot of the sugars will be picked up by cancer cells. The cyanide will piggyback on this metabolism and will also be taken up by those cancerous cells causing them to do what mainstream medicine fails to do – the cyanide causes cancerous cells to die.

Okay other vegetables to improve on taste while at the same time improve healing are carrots, beetroot, and orange kumara or orange sweet potato. The cool thing about the sweet potato is not only does it give you a bunch of beta-carotene and a touch of sweetness, but it also gives the juice a creamy texture. If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, then a bit of lemon juice and sweet potato helps the green juice go down, no doubt about it.

To help lower the glycaemic response, the rate at which sugar gets released into your bloodstream, you can mix in some raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother. This means apple cider vinegar that hasn’t been pasteurised and that looks murky. The bottle should not be clear looking. You should see the mother, which is a collection of friendly bacteria and other beneficial compounds, you should see the mother at the bottom of the bottle so be sure to shake it up before mixing into your juice.

Another thing you want to do when consuming green juices is to eat some fat with your juice. I recommend eating a spoonful of coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil right before or right after your juice. There are a lot of fat-soluble micronutrients in vegetables and they need fat to be absorbed during digestion. So by eating some fat with your juice you can increase the amount of nutrients your body absorbs and assimilates.

Final tip for designing a very healing juice is that you must use a slow masticating horizontal juicer. A high-speed juicer is destroying a majority of the nutrients wasting a lot of that precious plant medicine. A vertical masticating juicer is much better and does more than just juice. It can make nut milks and sorbets as well. The difference between a vertical and horizontal juicer is that while the vertical is better for getting more juice out of fruits it doesn’t do a good job of extracting water and nutrients from non-starchy vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables. Now a horizontal masticating juicer can also make nut milks and sorbets like the vertical one and it is the best juicer for healing as it gets more medicine out of vegetables. If you have the cash go for a juicer with twin juicing abilities to get more out of your vegetables. Or you can simply put the fibre or leftover pulp back into your juicer a second time to get even more medicine out of the plants.

I do have a tip relating to juicing, but not to do with the juice itself. The pulp, the fibre that’s leftover, don’t toss this in the trash. Use it in your compost for your garden or dehydrate the fibre to make healthy crackers.

Remember the base of the green juice I mentioned earlier and play around and make your own recipes from there.

When it comes to healing green smoothies similar guidelines apply.

I use as a liquid base for all my green smoothies one cup of water, a pinch of sea salt, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, and a tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil. You can use any healthful animal or fruit fat you like and any liquid you like so long as there’s no added sweeteners and chemicals.

Coconut milk and unsweetened almond milk are okay substitutes for water, but even better than water (yes better than water if you can tolerate dairy that is) is raw yoghurt, specifically raw milk kefir. This gives your body more beneficial microorganisms or probiotics. But wait there’s more and something even better than water and kefir for healing (if you tolerate monosodium glutamate or MSG that is) and that’s bone broth made from bones from happy and healthy animals free to roam outdoors and eating their natural species appropriate diet.

“A good broth can raise the dead”

Is a South American proverb and by using bone broth in your healing green smoothie you will increase your body’s innate ability to heal exponentially. If you don’t have any bone broth handy you can always add a tablespoon or two of gelatine or collagen which have similar health benefits to bone broth including repairing your gut and improving joint and skin health.

You can add whatever non-starchy green-leafy cruciferous coloured sulphurous vegetables you want to your smoothie, but when it comes to fruit I would stick to berries and the juice of lemons or limes to keep your smoothie a healing drink. Celery I include as a base in all of my green smoothies. Celery helps normalise blood pressure and aids with digestion. Adding in herbs and spices is a must for the best tasting and healing green smoothie. Parsley and cinnamon are my go to herb and spice. Parsley is a great blood purifier and it reduces body odour and cinnamon will improve overall flavour and help stabilise blood sugar levels.

Oh and when I say green here, in terms of green juice or green smoothie, I don’t just mean literally green, I also mean a high vegetable low fruit drink. So even if your juice or smoothie isn’t the colour green it’s green in my book if there’s not high amounts of fruit and sugar in it.

A couple of taste and healing combinations I’ve found too good to be true when it comes to smoothies are avocado, a tiny amount of red onion, and coriander aka cilantro aka Chinese parsley. Think a guacamole drink. Also raw cacao powder with mint leaves. Yep a mint chocolate drink and when you add in an avocado to your mint chocolate you get a mint chocolate mousse. Mmm hmm, tasty!

Another taste enhancer, well really a texture enhancer is to add cacao nibs or coconut flakes to your smoothie near the end of blending to give it some crunch or sprinkle some crushed nuts or seeds on top of your drink after blending. And by the way peanuts are legumes, not nuts.

One final blending tip is to add a quarter to half a teaspoon of powdered vitamin C to your smoothie. This acts as an antioxidant and protects against oxidative damage that happens when you blend at high-speeds. Also it gives a little bit of tang to your smoothie.

If you really cannot do without fruits or starchy vegetables in your green drinks then you can still make these healing drinks by consuming them post workout. Your muscle cells are more sensitive to insulin after intense exercise so by timing the intake of your sweet green drink after a workout you reduce the impact the sugar will have on your body.

Final overall tip and this is an absolute requirement when it comes to turning a typical green drink into a healing elixir and I mentioned this earlier and that is you must eat your juice or smoothie, not drink it. Meaning you must chew the watery or thick liquid in your mouth for a few seconds, get your digestive enzyme containing saliva all up in that drink before you swallow. Chewing is one of the early stages of digestion, which I talked about back in episode 9, and without this crucial step you’re literally wasting most of the beneficial plant medicine in your drink as your body will quickly eliminate whatever isn’t covered in your digestive enzymes when it hits your digestive tract. Chewing your green drink will turn it into a more potent healing elixir. So no straws please. Drink it straight from the mug or cup.

I’ll put a couple of links to a juicer and blender I recommend in the blog post for this episode.

Look there’s no limits to how you make your juice or smoothie really. It’s up to you. Whatever floats your boat and makes your taste buds sing. However, there are limits to making your green drink a healing drink.

So remember keep the sugar low, add in some animal or fruit fats, move before you eat, and above all else listen to your body.

“If your green drink makes you feel stink or look green or pink, it’s time to rethink your green drink.”

Okay so which is better for healing? Juicing or blending? Well it depends on what you put in your drink, and also how and when you eat it.

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WGP 040: Riding the Blood Sugar Roller Coaster to Hormone Hell

In this podcast I’ll be exploring how Blood Sugar Affects Your Hormones:

  • I’ll explain how hormones control your health
  • I’ll talk about how blood sugar levels affect your health and control your hormones
  • Finally, I’ll share a few holistic lifestyle tips on how to control your blood sugar levels and hormones naturally


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

There is so much information old and new about health and wellness that it can be extremely frustrating sorting through what he said and what she said and what science says just to find yourself back where you began – confused. If you ever find your head spinning and your ears smoking and your brain melting and your bodymind just about to explode because of all the contradictory information out there I suggest you keep it simple by focusing on one thing and this one thing to focus on would be your hormones.

Now do you know how to make a hormone? Okay that’s a setup for a bad joke so I won’t go there, but do you know what a hormone is?

Hormones are signalling molecules that traverse and tell different areas of your bodymind what’s happening in your environment both internal and external and how to respond and behave to environmental changes. Your hormones are affected by your lifestyle, by what and how you think, feel, do, sleep, breathe, move, drink and eat. All these things affect your hormones and your hormones affect all these things. I’ve spoken about hormones before and how they affect your health back in episode 23.

I’ll focus on three major hormones in this episode with regards to the effects of blood glucose levels. Insulin, cortisol, and melatonin.

Insulin is a very critical and important hormone needed for growth and repair as its job is to help get nutrients out of your bloodstream and into your cells. Keep in mind that when insulin is high your body’s ability to mobilise and burn fat for fuel comes to a standstill. Insulin does not have a circadian or daily rhythm like cortisol and melatonin do. Insulin’s release is determined by what, when, and how you eat. The insulin receptor sites on your cells, which is the place where insulin docks when it connects to your cells, these insulin receptors do have a circadian rhythm of their own where in the morning these sites are insulin-sensitive, screaming out to insulin to come and give some nutrients. Whereas in the evening these receptor sites are insulin-resistant where they play it cool and ignore insulin most of the time even when insulin is trying to dock on and deliver nutrients.

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and when you perceive stress or when your body is physically under stress this is when cortisol gets released and is free to roam around your bloodstream where it will suppress your immune system, digestion, and your ability to burn fat, because if you’re stressed the last thing your body is worried about is healing and breaking down your last meal as it wants to move as fast as it can to get away from the stressor. In order to do this cortisol increases blood glucose levels and metabolism to provide more energy to your muscles. Cortisol has a circadian rhythm where it rises sharply in the morning to get you up and moving and then its levels begin to fall throughout the day where in the evening there’s only a tiny amount of cortisol in your bloodstream allowing you to relax and to get to sleep.

Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone, but it’s also a potent powerful antioxidant and it plays a major role in reducing cancer risk. Melatonin has a circadian rhythm, but opposite to cortisol where it’s low in the morning and then rises in the evening making you want to go to sleep as it helps in the repair process of your bodymind while you sleep.

Everything in life ebbs and flows goes up and down in rhythms and waves and this constant flow back and forth keeps everything in harmony and balance. However, when this flow is blocked, disrupted, disturbed, destroyed, taken to extremes even, if this flow is out of time and beat with its usual rhythm then you get disharmony and life that is out of balance.

When these 3 hormones and remember you do have many many more, when these 3 hormones alone get out of rhythm, out of balance, out of their hormonal bliss point or range of proper function this causes illness, sickness, disease, chronic symptoms, and I swear I must say this almost every episode about malfunction and being out of balance, but when these hormones are out of rhythm it can lead to the full-blown expression of cancer.

Now there are many lifestyle factors that can cause your hormones to go haywire, but I’m going to stick to talking about blood sugar levels in this episode.

There is about 4-5 grams or about a teaspoon of glucose, a sugar molecule, running through your entire bloodstream at any one time. This amount of glucose is the optimum amount required to keep your bodymind moving. If your blood glucose level gets too low you become hypoglycaemic causing dizziness, light-headedness, confusion, hunger, anger, sleep issues, and the shakes. If your blood glucose level gets too high you become hyperglycaemic causing headaches, blurry vision, frequent urination, a jumpy mind where you can’t focus, and making you wired, but tired.

Chronically low blood glucose levels can lead to seizures and nervous system damage. Chronically high blood glucose levels have far worse damaging effects. Remember sugar can be very sticky and when you have too much glucose in your blood for too long this causes those glucose molecules to start sticking to cells that they come into contact with. This process is called glycation and these newly created molecules are called Advanced Glycated End products or AGEs and the name is so appropriate because when these AGEs build up your cells are no longer able to function and do their jobs so your bodymind begins to breakdown from the inside out causing you to age rapidly. Depending on your genetics and environmental factors that affect your epigenetics these AGEs may cause excessive damage to your skin, to your nervous system, your gut, your brain, your sight, your heart, your joints, to any organ in your body.

This is why it’s very important that your insulin hormone is working in sync with other hormones and is functioning as it should. Remember insulin takes the glucose out of your bloodstream to the insulin receptor sites on your cells.

Okay so how does blood glucose levels affect insulin, cortisol, and melatonin?

Insulin and cortisol maintain proper levels of glucose in your blood. After you’ve eaten a well balanced meal insulin levels will rise slowly and eventually it will move that small amount of sugar into your cells. Many hours after the meal your blood glucose levels should still be steady and if they do become low a little bit of cortisol will be released to help raise your blood glucose back to where it should be. Not too bad a situation.

Imagine the ocean with a massive big wave coming in and after that initial big wave it’s all smaller waves from thereon out and you’ll have a good idea on what this looks like and how it affects your body. The initial big rush and then a nice calming effect hours after.

Now let’s say you eat an unbalanced meal high in sugar and carbohydrates, and maybe even high in protein as well, with varying amounts of fat. This meal would cause a massive rise, a sudden surge in insulin as there is now excessive amounts of glucose running around in your bloodstream. This huge spike in insulin will rapidly remove the glucose from your bloodstream and move it to your cells. Now this sudden shunt of glucose into your cells will cause a huge rebound effect where now you don’t have enough glucose in your blood. In fact it’s far too low because you had a lot of insulin doing what was supposed to do.

So with this low blood sugar you begin to feel hungry and angry also known as hangry and you have to eat, but what do you eat? More sugars in the form of snack foods, maybe crackers, chips, dried fruit, chocolate, cookies, but this just causes another huge rise in blood glucose levels causing another spike in insulin and here you are riding the blood sugar roller coaster up and down throughout the day.

Using the ocean analogy again imagine massive waves crashing into the shore followed by the sea being sucked out just like you get when a tsunami’s about to hit. And then what do you know another big wave comes crashing in again and then the sea gets sucked out again. And those crashes are causing damage to your bodymind.

Now even if you didn’t eat and managed to stop yourself from reaching for food your bodymind would then turn to cortisol and release cortisol to help get more glucose in your blood. This spike in cortisol causes too much glucose to circulate so guess what happens next? Insulin has to come out to play and get that blood glucose level down again. So you’ve just bought without even realising it another ticket on the BS roller coaster – the blood sugar roller coaster that is.

With regards to melatonin this hormone is affected by cortisol and cortisol is affected by both blood sugar levels and perceived stress.  If cortisol is chronically high due to constant low blood glucose levels and persistent perceived stress then this will disrupt the circadian rhythms of both cortisol and melatonin, meaning you won’t get enough cortisol to get you out of bed in the morning. You feel sluggish and tired causing you to reach for a sugary carb-loaded breakfast like cereal, bagels, muffins, toast, fruit juice, or even coffee. And guess where this high carb meal is going to take you. Back on the BS roller coaster.

Cortisol which should be low in the evening will now rise slightly in the evening making it very difficult for you to relax, to calm down and to fall asleep. Now that melatonin’s circadian rhythm has been disrupted by the disrupted circadian rhythm of cortisol you won’t get that rise in the evening and this will lead to poor quality sleep, less repair and growth while you sleep, and above all else this gives you an increased risk of expressing cancer as there won’t be enough melatonin released at night to suppress the growth of tumours and to cause cancerous cells to self-destruct.

As you can see blood glucose levels have a major impact on your hormones and I’ve only talked about 3 of your hormones. There are other hormones that your blood glucose levels can affect. Hormones that control your immune system, your inflammatory response, your growth and repair, your sexual and reproductive functions, and even your appetite.

So how do you control your blood glucose, your blood sugar level to remain steady and stable and to not spike too high or to drop too low? How do you get off the BS roller coaster?

Well the first thing you gotta’ do is to stop eating processed and refined carbohydrates. Insulin release is mostly determined by glucose levels in the blood, sugar levels, carbohydrate levels. Now it’s not about eating less carbs, it’s about eating the right kinds of carbs more of the fibrous carbs like non-starchy vegetables and less of the starchy refined foods like chips, milk chocolate, candy, pastries, and for some people even mashed potatoes and starchy vegetables can be an issue, but the worst refined food, fake pretend food-like product is carbonated sugar water also known as fizzy and soda drinks.

“Lower your intake of carbs and you’ll lower your insulin levels and the subsequent cortisol release as well.”

Thing is when you do lower one fuel source you need to replace this with another. The other fuel source being fats. So as you reduce your carb intake look to increase your animal and fruit fat consumption by pouring more fats on your salads and vegetables. Remember vegetables are the perfect vehicles to eat more fat. Stay away from the industrial seed oils. No canola, corn, soya, any of those vegetable fats, they are even worse than soda.

Another way to control blood glucose levels is to move your body. Insulin receptor sites on your cells are more ready to receive insulin in the morning than in the evening, but when you move your body (doesn’t matter if it’s high or low intensity, even a good 30 minute walk will achieve this), by moving your body you increase the sensitivity of the insulin receptors on your muscle cells, but not your fat cells. Meaning movement will allow your muscles to take in more glucose than usual out of your blood. This of course means you have to move your body before you eat. However, walking after eating will also increase the uptake of glucose by your cells reducing blood glucose levels post-meal. So take a nice easy stroll not a jog or a sprint, just a nice walk after you’ve eaten.

Final tip is to manage how you perceive stress in your life. Cortisol should only be used in case of emergency as in when your life is on the line. Not just because your spouse put your cup in the wrong cupboard or because someone called you a poopy-head. Meditate, breathe, go outside for a walk anytime you feel anxious or tense. Remember cortisol is there to get you moving. If you’re sitting down being stressed out at work, or at home, or in the car your blood glucose levels are going to spike and you won’t be moving your body to deal with it. So learn what makes you feel relaxed. Listen to episode 3 for more details about how to manage yourself when it comes to perceiving stress.

Some additional resources. I recommend reading The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living this is by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney and also Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. These two books delve more deeply into hormones, sugars, and how fats are your new friend in getting off the BS roller coaster.

Look I get it. Sugar is sweet and sugary foods taste oh so good, but these foods are not doing your bodymind, your hormones, and your health any favours.

“If you really feel the need to eat more sugar just stop for a second and remember that you are already sweet enough as it is.”

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WGP 037: Are Your Health Issues Caused by Food Sensitivities?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Food Sensitivities:

  • I’ll explain the difference between food allergies, food intolerances, and food sensitivities
  • I’ll talk about the many many health issues associated with food sensitivities
  • Finally, I’ll share 5 ways you can identify foods your body is most sensitive to


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

Most people have heard about food allergies, like a peanut allergy and food intolerances, like lactose intolerance. But not many people know about food sensitivities.

Let me explain the difference between the three of these.

Now a food allergy is a dramatic and immediate reaction by your body’s immune system to a particular food that you’ve eaten. Allergic reactions include immediate swelling and itchiness and also anaphylactic shock which can be fatal. The top eight allergenic foods are:

  1. Peanuts
  2. Tree nuts
  3. Wheat
  4. Shellfish
  5. Soy
  6. Milk
  7. Eggs and
  8. Fish

 

Food intolerance on the other hand is a more subtle, minor delayed reaction. We’re talking a few minutes to a few hours here before you experience symptoms. Food intolerances do not involve your immune system and are actually caused by your body not having the right enzymes or not having enough enzyme activity to breakdown the compounds that are in real food or in the chemicals added to fake pretend food-like products. Common food substances that people are intolerant to and do not have the enzymes to fully breakdown include:

  • Gluten in grains
  • Lactose in dairy
  • Biogenic amines like histamine, tyramine, and arginine
  • Preservatives and
  • Additives

 
Alright food sensitivities. Now food sensitivities are similar to intolerances in that they provoke a small delayed reaction in your body. When I say delayed I mean delayed. Reaction times to a food your body is sensitive to can vary from hours to weeks.  Food sensitivities are similar to allergies in that your immune system is the cause for the reaction, but a different branch of your immune system, which is why instead of an immediate allergic reaction you get a delayed smaller reaction. So a food sensitivity is your body’s immune system having a reaction to the food you eat or the compounds added to or found on the food you eat and these immune reactions are small and can take a while to show up as a visible and noticeable symptom.

Common foods and substances found in food that people are most sensitive to include what I mentioned earlier for allergies and intolerances, but also the following:

  • Sugar and sugar alcohols
  • Industrial seed oils more commonly known as vegetable oils
  • Corn
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Grains whether they contain gluten or not
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cacao
  • Nightshade vegetables
  • Citrus fruits
  • Agricultural chemical sprays
  • Genetically modified organisms and
  • Mould toxins like aflatoxin and ochratoxin most commonly found in peanuts and instant coffee

 
As you can see when you add up all three food categories together that makes quite the list of food and food compounds that can cause food sensitivities. Keep in mind that these foods and compounds are the most common sensitivities found in people who are experiencing health issues, but you can actually be sensitive to any food. No food is off-limits when it comes to causing negative reactions in your body. Whether it’s seaweed, beef, pork, broccoli, or even beautifully roasted sweet potatoes, food sensitivities can occur with any food.

Let me list (yes another list) the many health issues and symptoms that a food sensitivity can cause:

  • Brain fog
  • Inability to focus
  • Food cravings
  • Low energy
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Need to clear your throat
  • Runny Nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Water retention
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Obesity
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Skin issues like rash, itchiness, and acne
  • Many autoimmune diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions

 
The list just goes on to be honest.

Isn’t it fascinating how all of these health issues and symptoms could be caused just by you eating a single food that your body doesn’t agree with?

Well I think it’s fascinating anyway, because for me I found that the chronic health issues that I had growing up including depression, skin issues, digestive upset, headaches, poor memory, mood swings, a majority of these were caused solely by sensitivities my body had to the foods that I was eating. While the rest of my health problems were a mix of food sensitivities and unhealthy lifestyle factors like the use of toxic personal care products and being in toxic relationships and I figured this out by what I’m about to share with you now.

Here are 5 ways you can identify the foods that your body’s immune system is reacting to.

First method of investigation is by lab testing. In the functional medical health space there are many lab tests you can run, based on blood samples that you give, that will give you a list of foods that your body’s immune system is having a severe, moderate, low or no reaction to. Examples of labs you can use for food sensitivity testing include:

  • Cyrex Laboratories Array 3, Array 4, and Array 10
  • Oxford Biomedical Technologies MRT or Mediator Release blood test
  • Great Plains Laboratory IgG Food Test + Candida and the
  • Antigen Leukocyte Antibody Test or ALCAT food test


There are pros and cons to lab testing food sensitivities. The con is they are not 100% accurate
, meaning you could be eliminating a food from your diet for no reason at all and you could still be eating a food that your body is having a reaction to based on these tests. The pro is these labs provide a stepping stone in the right direction to eliminating foods that your body is reacting to and it can give certain stubborn individuals who are resistant to change the black and white evidence that they need to take some action even if that evidence isn’t 100% correct. So while these lab tests will not give you all the answers you were hoping for they can give you the motivation you need to change.

Second method to find your food sensitivities is to use your heart rate. When your body has a reaction to something you eat your heart rate will increase. Fifteen minutes before you eat a particular food measure your heart rate for 60 seconds and use this as your baseline. Fifteen minutes after eating measure your heart rate again. If you see a rise of 5 beats or more your body is reacting to that food and that food should be eliminated.

The third method is pretty simple, but you are not going to like what it means. It involves keeping a food log for 7-14 days where you write down everything you eat and also write down any food cravings you have and give into. After a week or two go back over your logs. Look for the most common foods you eat at every meal or every day. For example if you had an entry that read cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner then that day was full of wheat, grain and glutenous foods. If a week reads bacon and eggs for breakfast for 7 days then that week was full of egg, pork, and preservative foods. Also note down your cravings and which cravings you could not resist.

Why is all this important?

Well because:

“the foods you eat the most and the foods you crave and give into the most are almost always the foods your body is sensitive to the most.”

So if you just cannot do without your bread, your cheese or ice cream, your morning cup of coffee, or chocolate then your body’s immune system is most likely reacting to the wheat or gluten in bread, to the casein or lactose in dairy, to the caffeine or mould toxins in coffee, and to the arginine or phenethylamine in cacao. I told you you wouldn’t like this method. It may be simple to follow, but can be extremely difficult to execute on because it means removing your most favourite foods.

Muscle testing is another thing you can try to find out which foods your body doesn’t agree with. I talked about this already in podcast 28 – One Diet To Rule Them All. Muscle testing is also known as applied kinesiology and is a form of energy testing where you’re testing the alignment or harmony between your body’s energy signature and that of the food you’re testing. If you find that your muscles become weaker when holding a particular food then your body is sensitive to that food and that food must be eliminated.

The fifth, final, and by far the gold standard for working out your food sensitivities is an elimination diet. Also known as an elimination provocation or elimination challenge diet. This method may be the best most accurate way to find your food sensitivities, but it’s also the most hardest to stick to. It’s the most difficult to implement and follow through on purely because it takes time, patience, and a very acute awareness of your body language.

With an elimination diet you start in the elimination phase where you remove the most highly allergenic, intolerant and sensitive foods from your diet for a period ranging from one month to 12 months depending on how sick you really are. After the elimination phase comes the provocation or challenge phase where one by one you introduce a new food into your diet over a period of 3-4 days and log any reactions your body has after eating that food. If you do notice a reaction you leave that food out of your diet for another 3 months before reintroducing it again. If no reaction you can keep that food in your diet and move onto the next new food to test.

Yes this means it’ll take some time and a lot of patience using an elimination diet to find your food sensitivities, but think of the lessons you will learn about how your body works and think of how much better you will feel and even look.

As an African proverb says:

“Wisdom does not come overnight.”

Your health issues may have taken years before fully developing so it’s going to take at least months before those health issues will minimise and hopefully disappear entirely.

When undergoing an elimination diet it helps to work with a health practitioner for support and guidance and if you need me you know where to find me. But I do have a couple of elimination diets that have their own support networks that I highly recommend.

One is the Whole30 program which uses a paleo template as a guide to help you kick health issues as well as bad food habits by eating real food for 30 days and then introducing suspect foods afterwards. Another is The 21 Day Sugar Detox with the goal of breaking free of sugar and carb cravings. Both of these programs have proven track records and have helped thousands of people get over chronic health conditions with some receiving the added side-effect of reducing their waistline.

I also recommend reading The Elimination Diet by Tom Malterre and Alissa Segersten for more detailed information on how to heal using an elimination diet.

So are your health issues caused by food sensitivities? You won’t know the answer to this until you begin to eliminate foods from your diet for a certain amount of time and then seeing how you feel. By using 1 or all 5 of these food sensitivity testing methods you will find the answer you’re looking for and I suggest you get ready to feel awesome!

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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 035: The Dark Side to Plant Nutrition – Anti-nutrients

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Food Anti-Nutrients:

  • I’ll explain what anti-nutrients are
  • I’ll talk about how anti-nutrients affect your body and how they affect the absorption of other nutrients
  • I’ll list foods that are thought to be extremely nutritious, but really are extremely anti-nutritious
  • Finally, I’ll share how to best prepare foods to lower their anti-nutrient content


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

Everyone knows what a nutrient is – a substance that nourishes the mind, body, and soul. But have you heard of anti-nutrients? Anti-nutrients are plant compounds that prevent you, the plant predator, from stealing or absorbing nutrients from the plant.

Believe it or not plants and other living creatures were not put on this planet for the sole purpose of feeding the human race. Plants are sentient life forms, like you and me. They have their own life purpose with the dream of the continuation of their own species and since they don’t have legs to run away or claws to fight off predators they use chemicals to protect themselves. By using biological phytochemical warfare in the form of these anti-nutrients plants increase the chances of their own survival and the survival of their offspring. While at the same time causing a lot of health issues for their predators. So anti-nutrients are a plants innate defence mechanism. These anti-nutrients can negatively affect your health.

Examples of anti-nutrients used by plants include:

  • Lectins
  • Saponins
  • Gluten
  • Phytic acid or phytates and
  • Enzyme inhibitors


Lectins have been shown to bind to insulin receptors on the walls of your cells.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for putting nutrients into your cells and if you’ve had a carb rich meal high in lectins then all that sugar that’s now flowing in your bloodstream cannot be absorbed into your cells because lectin is blocking insulin from attaching to the cell. When sugar is blocked from getting into your cells it’s left to roam in your bloodstream and when it lingers there for far too long this causes damage and inflammation to your cells. Think of your arteries, think of your brain neurons, think of any part of your body where sugar attaches itself to the cells, it becomes glycated, glued to the cell and it causes malfunction and damage. We’ve all heard of diabetes and this is what happens when sugar is left to linger in your bloodstream.

Gluten, saponins and lectins can also cause irritation to your gut, to your intestines. Remember your gut is where most of your nutrient absorption takes place, but if your gut is stressed, inflamed, or compromised then you don’t absorb as much nutrition as you should. Your gut wall is like a net, like a mosquito net where it keeps the pesky bugs out, while letting the proper nutrients in. The problem is lectins, saponins and gluten they’re like mosquitos with little katana blades that cut through the net creating tiny little holes that allow them and other molecules such as undigested food particles and disease causing microorganisms, pathogens, to get into your body.

When you get undigested and unprocessed food particles, pathogens, and other foreign materials in your bloodstream your body mounts an immune response and this leads to inflammation and stress. Now if this stress is chronic and goes on for a long time, if your body has to fight off these pathogens and foreign material that shouldn’t be there day after day because your gut has become leaky this is how you get really sick and get diagnosed with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s, psoriasis, diabetes, and coeliac disease, just to name a few.

When it comes to phytic acid this will bind to minerals meaning that if a food is high in say zinc like pumpkin seeds, but that food is also high in phytic acid then when you eat pumpkin seeds for example you only absorb a small amount of zinc or a small amount of that mineral. This is due to most of the mineral being bound to the phytic acid creating a phytate molecule. So it doesn’t matter the nutrient content of a food if it has high phytic acid content, because that high phytic acid will reduce the amount of minerals you actually get to absorb.

Enzyme inhibitors are substances that stop digestive enzymes from doing their job of breaking down the food you eat. In the case of a trypsin inhibitor it is a protease inhibitor meaning it prevents the breakdown of protein. So if you were to eat a nice chicken salad with green leafy vegetables and pumpkin seeds you may be thinking you’re getting a lot of protein from the chicken and vitamins and minerals from the vegetables. But the trypsin inhibitors and phytates that come from the plant foods will actually bind up a lot of those minerals and they will prevent you from fully digesting and breaking down that protein. Plus the saponins, lectins, and gluten, if it had croutons in the salad, will be tearing up your gut making even less nutrition available for absorption while allowing bad stuff to get directly into your bloodstream. You are getting less nutrition than you think because of these anti-nutrients.

But can you blame plants for these anti-nutrients? If I was a plant I’d make sure predators suffered the consequences too.

I’ll list the main types of foods that are full of nutrients so are thought to be very nutritious and good for you, but actually are also jammed packed and full of anti-nutrients and so turn out to be not that healthy at all. This includes:

  • Grains (both gluten-free like rice and corn and gluten containing grains)
  • Legumes (beans including soy and peanuts)
  • Nuts and
  • Seeds

 
What do all of these have in common, these 4 food groups? Technically these are all seeds of plants. They are the next generation and they will not go down without a fight hence the high anti-nutrient content of these foods. Yes you can still find anti-nutrients in whole vegetables and fruits, but seeds have the highest amounts.

It is true that seeds are full of nutrients and they need to be because within this one seed is an entire plant, but these nutrients are not highly available or absorbable, another way to say it is bioavailable due to the high anti-nutrient content. Remember theses seeds need a way to protect themselves. So even though for 100 g of pumpkin seeds you will see 7.5 mg of zinc in the nutrition profile, you may only get 50% or even less of that zinc because it’s bound to the phytic acid in the pumpkin seed. Same with whole grains and legumes which are full of vitamins and minerals. But they’re also full of gluten, saponins, and lectins and a lot of sugar and starch and excessive intake of all of these will cause gut irritation leading to low vitamin and mineral uptake.

So these nutritious seeds turn out to be more unhealthy than healthy and not just because you absorb less, but also because they cause gut inflammation and stress throughout your entire body.

So how do you make the nutrients in these seeds more bioavailable and also reduce the anti-nutrients and the stress and the inflammation they cause? By using ancestral traditional food preparation methods, that’s how. Yes you have to go back in time in order to improve your future.

Our human ancestors through trial and error figured out that by soaking and sprouting and fermenting grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds they could reduce the anti-nutrient content while at the same time increase the bioavailability of other nutrients. Not only that, but soaking and sprouting and fermenting seeds reduces gut stress by making them a lot more digestible and easier on your stomach.

General soaking and fermenting guidelines are to use filtered water with some natural salt or whey depending on what you’re soaking and letting grains and legumes soak or ferment for 12 to 24 hours and nuts and seeds to soak from 4-144 hours. After soaking you can then dehydrate, lightly roast dry, or cook the seeds. Seeds left to soak for a long time will eventually begin to sprout releasing all that stored up nutrition to feed the growing embryo. Each seed (grains, legumes, nuts) has a different preparation method, so I’m not going to explain every single method in this podcast, but I will put a bunch of links to more information on how to soak and sprout seeds and ferment seeds in the blog post for this episode.

A very awesome book about real food nutrition and traditional cooking methods is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. Here’s a passage from that book:

“Traditional societies usually soak or ferment their grains before eating them, processes that neutralize phytates and enzyme inhibitors and, in effect, predigest grains so that all their nutrients are more available. Sprouting, overnight soaking and old-fashioned sour leavening can accomplish this important predigestion process in our own kitchen.”

So you can buy sprouted and fermented breads in the store by looking for sprouted or sourdough breads. Nuts and seeds that have been soaked or sprouted are also called activated nuts and seeds, because this process activates the germination process for growth so look for soaked, sprouted, or activated nuts and seeds on labels. Of course the best grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are raw seeds that you’ve activated at home yourself.

Yes anti-nutrients have their bad side, but they do have a few benefits as well. So the goal isn’t to eat an anti-nutrient ever. The goal is to eat more nutrients compared to anti-nutrients and you do this by properly preparing seeds before you eat them.

Here’s to seed activation.

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WGP 033: The Truth About Cancer – Miscommunication

In this podcast I’ll be exploring the many sides to Cancer:

  • I’ll explain what cancer is and will show how a normal healthy cell functions compared to an abnormal cancer cell
  • I’ll talk about how cancer causes death
  • I’ll explain the one true cause behind cancer and the many contributing factors to this cause
  • I’ll talk about the one true cure to cancer (hmm… interesting)
  • Finally I’ll share natural holistic health tips that will help you heal from cancer as well as prevent cancer from growing out of balance


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

This is part 2 of a 3-part series I’m doing on cancer. In the previous episode I spoke about the conventional wisdom of cancer and how it’s all misinformation. The truth about cancer is that you shouldn’t be afraid of it. Like any other lifestyle disease you can cure cancer naturally and I’ll be talking about that in this episode.

So what is cancer? I’m going to give you 3 definitions because cancer is that big of a confused mass of information. Hopefully by giving multiple definitions you’ll be able to see cancer for what it really is from your own perspective.

First definition of cancer comes from orthodox conventional mainstream western medicine which says that cancer is an out-of-control malignant tumour that metastasises or spreads throughout your body. In a word cancer is a tumour. Yeah. Alright, it’s close. But I know there’s way more, a lot more in fact to this cancer story than just a tumour spreading.

I like this second definition of cancer better and it comes from early 20th century Nobel Prize winner, physiologist, and doctor Otto Warburg who defined cancer as any cell that produces less energy through the oxidation of macronutrients in an aerobic environment and instead produces most of its energy by fermenting sugars in an anaerobic environment. I know that’s a lot to take in. To paraphrase Dr Otto’s definition and make it simpler: a cancer cell produces extremely low levels of energy compared to other normal healthy cells. In a few words cancer is low energy production.

Not bad, a much better definition I reckon.

The third and final definition of cancer I have for you is my own. Cancer is a block in cellular communication leading to malnutrition and dysfunction in healthy cells that are still in orderly communication with each other and this blocked communication also creates abnormal function and abnormal growth of chaotic cells. Again a lot to take in so to make my cancer definition simpler: cancer is when there is miscommunication between your cells decreasing healthy cell function and increasing abnormal cell function. In a few words cancer is confusion at the cellular level.

If you think about what I just said my definition it doesn’t focus just on the abnormal cells or cancerous cells, but also includes, what used to be healthy cells, the suppressed cells. So to redefine what I just said:

“Cancer is the presence of both suppressed healthy cells and abnormal cancerous cells.”

Personally I really like this definition (no surprises), but I have to say even this doesn’t tell the whole story about what cancer really is.

Now I believe these 3 definitions together do give us a better picture of what cancer is all about.

Cancer is a tumour that grows out-of-control and spreads. Cancer is a cell that uses sugar to produce low amounts of energy in an environment with hardly any oxygen. Finally, cancer is a miscommunication between cells causing an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cells.

To see how these 3 different cancer definitions actually do come together pretty nicely when it comes to explaining exactly what cancer is, I’m going to give a little lesson (actually quite a big lesson) on cell biology and will explain how healthy cells work and how they create energy compared to abnormal cancerous cells.

Remember this is just a general overview of what happens with your cells, although I do get a bit specific at times. There are tens of steps and processes relating to cell function that I’m not including here to keep it simple and sustainable okay.

Your body is made up of a community of cells approximately 100 trillion of them, but only 10 trillion of these cells are actually yours containing your DNA with the rest of the cells belonging to microorganisms. These little guys live in, on, and throughout your body. All of your 10 trillion cells have one direction or goal or purpose or dream, which is to remain, not to attain or to get somewhere externally, but to keep expressing internally their true innate nature which is health.

These healthy cells are always talking and communicating to each other and are completely in rhythm and in harmony with one another. Every cell follows their unique purpose such as being a heart cell, a lung cell, an immune cell, skin cell, etc and this purpose aligns with the overall goal of the community of cells, which is to remain healthy and thrive.

Each of your cells are made up of a cell wall called a membrane and inside this membrane is a massive pool of fluid called the cytosol. Think of the cytosol as a massive swimming pool with the cell membrane the coverings of this pool. Hanging out in the cytosol or floating around in this swimming pool you’ll find many different cell organs called organelles and these organelles have their own function to perform to keep the cell and your entire body healthy and thriving.

One important organelle is the nucleus. In the nucleus you will find your body’s personal genetic code, your genes which are wrapped up in a double-helix structure that looks like a spiral ladder called DNA. Your DNA holds about 24,000 genes that act as blueprints for how your body functions physically, emotionally, and mentally.

One thing about DNA that I’d like to highlight are your telomeres. At the end of each strand of your DNA you have telomere molecules that act like shields and protect your DNA from damage. Once these telomeres run out then your DNA is exposed and this is when a healthy cell knows it’s time to die. The shortening of telomeres is what we call ageing. A healthy cell becomes old due to the shortening of telomeres.

Going back to your cell another very important group of organelles in your cells are called mitochondria. Mitochondria are the power plants of your cell. They are the main provider of units of cellular energy called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. So ATP is the form of energy that your cells use to function and to remain healthy and thrive. Mitochondria are the only other organelle in your cells to have their own genes and DNA. They only have 37 genes and these genes act as blueprints for how your mitochondria function and remain healthy and thrive.

Now all cells starting from birth go through different stages or seasons of growth and development and do so within the organs in which they are a part of. These different cell cycles ensure the continuation of health for your entire community of cells by keeping the creation of new cells in balance with the death of damaged or old cells. Healthy cells are always talking to each other and do what is required of them in that moment.

Healthy cells only have a limited number of times that they are allowed to divide before they die. This number of divisions is controlled by tumour suppressor genes. Cell death is controlled by what I mentioned earlier about aging, the length of your telomere molecules at the end of your DNA. Old cells have their tumour suppressor genes switched on and activated to prevent them from dividing again and without their telomeres these old cells will be asked to initiate a self-destruct sequence called apoptosis also known as programmed cell death.

When your healthy cells are asked to divide and create new cells this is when your DNA replicates itself and this is also the time when most things can go wrong in the form of genetic mutations. Genetic mutations are like someone scribbling all over your blueprints making them unreadable. DNA mutations are prevented, checked, and fixed by enzymes called polymerases. These enzymes make sure that when your DNA makes a copy of itself it does so without error or mutation and if polymerase does find an error it’ll fix it. A healthy cell which is unable to fix any damage to its DNA or has damage in other areas of the cell becomes a dysfunctional or abnormal cell. This damaged cell will be asked to self-destruct.

When a healthy cell divides out of control, grows old, or becomes damaged and does not die by skipping apoptosis then your immune system comes along, sees the out of control cell and then your immune cells release molecules called tumour necrosis factor or TNF for short. TNF will trigger another form of programmed cell death in the multiplying, old, or damaged cell called necroptosis similar to apoptosis.

Let’s now look into cellular respiration or how your cells and mitochondria produce energy, ATP.

There are actually 3 pathways that your cells can use to create ATP. One pathway happens in the cytosol or in the swimming pool of your cells and is anaerobic meaning it does not require oxygen to work. This anaerobic pathway for energy production is called glycolysis. The other two energy producing pathways happen inside your mitochondria and are aerobic meaning they need oxygen to function. These two aerobic pathways are called the Krebs Cycle and Oxidative Phosphorylation. Don’t worry about the technical terms, but stay with me here.

Now the anaerobic pathway of glycolysis that occurs in the cytosol works without oxygen and mainly uses the sugar molecule glucose, but it can also use different parts of proteins and fats, to create 2 units of ATP.

The aerobic pathways of the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation that occur inside your mitochondria work with oxygen and they use sugars, proteins, but mostly fats to create 30-120 units of ATP. You actually get a majority of your energy or ATPs through the oxidation and processing of fats.

So a short summary of cellular respiration: ATP, energy that is produced inside your mitochondria via the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation pathways with the help of oxygen using all macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats creates 15 to 60 times more energy than glycolysis. Remember glycolysis happens outside your mitochondria and without oxygen and uses sugar as its main ingredient to create energy.

Now what does this mini biology course on cell function and cellular respiration mean when it comes to cancer?

Let’s compare everything I just mentioned to an abnormal cancerous cell.

An abnormal cancerous cell is one that does not play well with other healthy cells, meaning it will not communicate with the healthy community of cells in your body. It will not do as it is told. It no longer performs its intended function in the organ it lives in and instead does its own thing and can even separate and move to different areas of your body. This abnormal cancerous cell becomes its own unique entity in your community of cells. It separates itself from the purpose and flow of the rest of your healthy cells and goes rogue and does its own thing. This cell finds its own flow, which disrupts the flow of other healthy cells in your body.

This ties in with the definition that cancer is a tumour that spreads and also that cancer is a miscommunication between cells.

You may be wondering how rebel scum like these abnormal cancerous cells survive if other healthy cells like blood vessels don’t communicate with them, don’t want to work with them, and don’t give them nutrients. Well these abnormal cancerous cells they have this uncanny ability to create new blood vessels. This process is called angiogenesis and provides blood flow to these rogue cells.

When it comes to the cell cycle an abnormal cancerous cell ignores this part and becomes immortal. It never ages and grows old. It shutdowns and deactivates tumour suppressor genes and its telomeres at the end of DNA never get shortened meaning it continues to multiply and it never has to go through apoptosis or programmed cell death. This immortality is due to an enzyme called telomerase. This enzyme produces more telomere molecules increasing their length. In a normal healthy cell this enzyme is switched off to make sure the cell follows its natural cell cycle of birth and death. However, in abnormal cancerous cells this telomerase enzyme is switched on ensuring telomeres stay long enough to protect DNA from being exposed meaning this cell never has to undergo apoptosis. This immortal cell is then allowed to grow and divide and duplicate itself over and over again forever as long as the tumour suppressor gene is switched off and inactive.

This goes back to the definition of cancer being a tumour as your body responds to uncontrolled cell growth by attempting to wall them off from the rest of the body by forming a tumour around them. So a tumour is your body’s way of protecting the rest of your healthy cells.

When it comes to DNA mutations abnormal cancerous cells actually thrive with mutations and do not die off as they should. First of all their polymerase enzymes which are supposed to proof-read and fix any errors in DNA replication are switched off or they function poorly. This increases the number of mutations in the cell. These mutations actually provide many benefits to an abnormal cancerous cell including not having to listen to instructions given to it by other healthy cells and not having to die. Remember a healthy cell with damaged or mutated DNA self-destructs, but an abnormal cell will not.

Going back to my definition you can see how cancer is a miscommunication between cells.

Normally an immune cell will see these out-of-control multiplying, immortal, and damaged abnormal cancerous cells and use TNF to kill them off. However, remember these cells are stubborn and they don’t play well with others.

Abnormal cancerous cells get around the immune system in four ways.

First, damaged DNA. These mutations in the DNA make it impossible for the abnormal cancerous cell to carry out normal cell function including apoptosis or necroptosis so even if they got the message to die they couldn’t. Second, these abnormal cancerous cells they’re really clever little buggers and even if they could carry out normal cell function they will actually produce a protein called survivin. This survivin protein prevents the cell from dying due to programmed cell death and also promotes cell division allowing the cell to multiply and become immortal. Third, abnormal cancerous cells protect themselves with a thick protein coating over their cell wall making them bulletproof and invisible from your immune system. Fourth, these wise guys actually have their own way of suppressing your immune system by secreting specific enzymes to put your immune system to sleep.

Finally let’s look at energy production in these rogue cells.

Let me repeat again about normal healthy cellular respiration because I really want to make sure you get this. A healthy cell creates more energy inside your mitochondria using oxygen and fats than it does from the cytosol of the cell using carbohydrates. So anytime a cell is creating less energy in the mitochondria and instead is making more energy outside the mitochondria than Houston you have a low energy producing cell called an abnormal cancerous cell.

So hopefully you can better understand Otto Warburg’s definition of cancer which is a cell that produces more of its energy through the fermentation of sugars outside the mitochondria than it does through the oxidation of fats inside the mitochondria.

From Dr Otto Warburg’s definition and the knowledge of how healthy cellular respiration is supposed to work we can see that an abnormal cancerous cell ultimately is either lacking in oxygen and is living in an anaerobic environment or that the mitochondria in the cell are damaged and not able to use oxygen to create ATP or both situations could actually be true. This forces the cell to ferment sugars for its main source of energy.

This is also why you’ll see a dramatic increase in insulin receptors on the cell wall of abnormal cancerous cells. Insulin is the hormone your body uses to drive nutrients into your cells and abnormal cancerous cells have a lot more insulin ports or docks or places where insulin can connect and deliver its payload compared to healthy cells. Because abnormal cancerous cells produce such a tiny amount of energy they become very hungry very fast. By having more insulin receptor sites they increase their chances of getting fed and actually get fed a lot more than your healthy community of cells. This starves your healthy cells and they become malnourished which leads them to either waste away and die or to become an abnormal cancerous cell themselves.

My definition of cancer ties in here as healthy cells begin to malfunction in the presence of abnormal cancerous cells.

Okay so that was a lot of cell biology 101 to take in. I hope you know a bit more about what cancer is and how it works. You could say that an abnormal cancerous cell is actually one that has reverted back to a primitive state where it only performs 3 basic functions required to survive. Which are eat, excrete, breed, and then it repeats. Take note of this primal state of cancer cells as it’s relevant to what I’ll be talking about shortly regarding the cause of cancer.

Seeing how cancer works is it any clearer to you how cancer kills and causes death? Cancer actually kills indirectly more than directly.

A tumour for instance may impinge or intrude and bump and grind up against other tissues such as arteries, veins, or nerves in your spinal column. So while these tumours aren’t doing anything but growing and getting in the way what this does is cause stress, pain, and discomfort and this stress creates an inflammatory and immune response. If this stress is left to linger for long periods of time this chronic persistent low-level type of inflammation will lead to more sickness and diseases further down the road.

However, the main way cancer kills is through cachexia. Over 90% of deaths from actual cancer, not from the conventional treatment of cancer, remember medical cancer treatments chemo, radiation, and surgery these kill over 50% of patients. But deaths from cancer itself over 90% of these are due to cachexia or wasting of the body caused by the spreading of cancer. In other words your healthy community of cells waste away and die not because the abnormal cancer cells are attacking them, but because these rogue cells are sucking up all the nutrients leaving hardly any nutrition behind for your healthy cells.

“Cancer kills through malnutrition and by starving your healthy community of cells.”

Alright let’s talk about the one true cause of cancer, but is there such a thing?

According to mainstream western medicine cancer is caused by genetic mutations.

According to Dr Otto Warburg and I’m paraphrasing here cancer is caused by a lack of oxygen and due to malfunctioning mitochondria.

According to Bill Henderson in his book Cancer: The Problem and the Solution he states three causes for cancer: emotional trauma; root canals; and the food you eat.

According to the docuseries Quest For The Cures created by Ty Bollinger cancer is caused by toxicity with the dirty dozen being:

  1. Vaccines
  2. GMOs
  3. Cosmetics
  4. Pesticides
  5. Herbicides
  6. Mercury
  7. BPAs
  8. Root Canals
  9. Dental Amalgams
  10. Aspartame
  11. Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and
  12. Fluoridation

 
According to Webster Kehr founder of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation and cancertutor.com cancer is caused by microbes also known as pathogens or disease causing microorganisms.

Cancer already has many definitions and functions in so many different ways is it possible to find one cause out of this list? I believe so. Follow me now down this cancer-causing rabbit hole as we play a bit of Sherlock Holmes and deduce our way back to the real cause of cancer.

In order to find the cause we need to go back to the 3 definitions and find the answers to what causes: tumours; the lack of oxygen and damaged mitochondria; and the imbalance in healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells.

Well looking at the previous list of causes to cancer let’s start with the first one – genetic mutations. Yes it has been shown that 5% of all diagnosed cancers are due to inherited genetics. If you have certain inherited genes then there’s no getting around this. But that still doesn’t account for the other 95% of cancers.

Now you can still get damage to your DNA and genetic mutations by:

  • Smog and pollution
  • Prolonged UV radiation exposure
  • Smoking non-organic materials
  • Environmental carcinogens or toxins that create cancer
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Reactive nitrogen species
  • Obesity and
  • Magnesium deficiency

 
The issue I have here is that DNA damage and genetic mutations caused by the environment take 40-60 years before they create an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells leading to symptoms and doesn’t explain kids with cancer, the majority of other cancers in younger individuals, and cancer patients with minimal DNA damage.

The second cause of cancer was a lack of oxygen in the cell and damaged mitochondria. Now this is a tricky one to track down, but if we look at the next two causes together we might find a pattern. The third and fourth causes all relate to environmental factors.

Now one of these causes is emotional trauma and you might be thinking that can’t affect you physically and it isn’t from your environment? Remember your body and your mind are one being your bodymind and your thoughts and feelings affect your physiology, biochemistry, and physical being and vice versa. A negative thought increases stress hormones. A positive thought reduces the amount of stress hormones in your body and lowers inflammation. Your internal environment of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions are hugely impacted by your external environment.

What I’m getting at here is that external environmental toxic chemicals and foods as well as internal environmental toxic thoughts create stress. Stress leads to inflammation and an immune response. Chronic stress means that your bodymind is always on fire with inflammation and your immune system may become overactive and will get trigger-happy and attack anything in sight including your own bodily tissue. Your immune system may also fizzle out and get tired and just fire off aimlessly again attacking your own body or it won’t fire at all and your immune system will no longer do its job of fighting off infections and helping your body heal.

So your environment, external and internal, creates stress leading to inflammation and an immune response and if this goes on long enough your immune system eventually cracks under pressure. The amount of time it takes for your immune system to buckle depends on your unique biochemistry, physiology, genetics, your own situation, but I would estimate that this can take as little as a month or it can take decades.

We found it right? Cancer which is an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells is caused by a weakened immune system. Oh wait. We still haven’t explained how a weakened immune system relates to a lack of oxygen and damaged mitochondria in cells.

Well this brings us to the last listed cause of cancer – microbes.

When you have a weakened immune system microbes are no longer killed off, but take hold in your body and infect your cells. When a microbe takes over and infects a healthy cell many changes happen in that cell. Microbes love sugar and they ferment sugar to create energy, but because fermentation creates very little energy compared to oxidation the cell gets hungry really easily so it increases its insulin receptors to absorb more sugar. As a result of fermentation acids are created such as lactic acid. This build up of acids is very toxic and creates havoc in the cell. The increased acidity shoves oxygen out of the cell creating an anaerobic environment. The acids also cause damage to your DNA and the DNA of your mitochondria. Recall that fermentation doesn’t need oxygen so microbes can live happily in this very acidic environment.

So when a microbe infects a healthy cell the cell is left with very little energy, very little oxygen, has damaged mitochondria so it’s unable to create more energy by using fats and it has damaged DNA. This damaged DNA prevents the cell from performing its usual duties, and it becomes immortal, grows out of control non-stop, and stops communicating with other healthy cells.

This is how you get an abnormal cancerous cell.

Remember earlier how I described a rogue cell as one that went back to its primitive roots. You can’t get more primal than a single-celled microorganism which lives inside an abnormal cancerous cell.

When you have a weakened immune system and microbial infections you have tumours, you have cells lacking oxygen and with damaged mitochondria, and you have an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells.

So to recap from the symptoms of cancer to the actual root cause:

  • Healthy cells are infected by microbes turning them into abnormal cancerous cells
  • A weakened immune system allows this infection to occur and also damages or suppresses the function of other healthy cells
  • Chronic stress and inflammation cause chronic immune activity eventually causing it to be hyperactive and hypoactive
  • Both external and internal environmental toxins cause stress in your bodymind
  • External toxins come about through industrial, agricultural, and pharmaceutical practices
  • Internal toxins come about through difficult relationships, marketing by media, and extreme religious beliefs
  • Civilised society is the source of these external and internal toxins

 
Am I actually saying that civilisation is the root cause of cancer? No. Because the next question you need to ask yourself is well what brought about civilisation?

Civilisation came about when human beings let go of their animal nature and dismissed their connection to Mother Nature and to all other life on this planet.

If I were to sum up the root cause of cancer and every other chronic disease for that matter I would say that the cause of cancer is living against the natural flow of your innate way of being. In other words:

“Cancer is caused by living a lifestyle out of balance with the seasons and rhythm of Mother Nature.”

Well now that we know the cause we can finally, finally, get to the cure… right?

No. There is no cure for cancer, but there is a way to heal from cancer and to prevent it.

Alberto Villoldo is a PhD and trained psychologist, medical anthropologist, and shaman and he describes in his book One Spirit Medicine how a cure is merely the elimination of symptoms, whereas:

“…healing works at a much deeper level, treating the causes of the imbalance that lead to disease.”

So if the cause of cancer is a lifestyle out of balance with Mother Nature than the way to heal and to prevent cancer is to get back in touch with our roots as human beings and to live a lifestyle that follows the flow of Mother Nature.

The best place to start would be by following the 7 Holistic Health Principles that bring together all aspects of life into a simple strategy to living happy and healthy in modern civilised times. I talked about these 7 principles in another podcast episode 30 and here I will give you one tip from each principle that you can use to heal and to prevent cancer.

The first principle is called the Moon principle. This relates to sleep and rest. Melatonin is a hormone that helps you sleep, but has powerful anti-cancer properties too. It suppresses tumour growth, triggers apoptosis, and acts as a powerful antioxidant fighting of free radical damage to your DNA from reactive oxygen species. To get the most out of your melatonin you must get rid of blue light exposure at night from indoor lighting, televisions, computers, and smart devices, and you should aim to sleep between the hours of 10p and 6a. Blue light and sleeping after midnight reduce the amount of melatonin that gets released.

The Ether principle is about how toxic your environmental space is. Most of the toxins you’re exposed to come in the form of clothing, personal and home care products, and the food you eat. If you look for organic natural untainted sources of these you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour by reducing the amount of stress that’s placed on your body.

The Air principle relates to how you breathe and the quality of air that you’re breathing in. Deep belly breathes through your nose with your mouth closed and your tongue resting comfortably on the roof of your mouth is the quickest way to put your body into rest and digest, calm and connect mode. Meaning this type of breathing keeps you out of flight and fight stress mode reducing inflammation throughout your body.

The Water principle relates to the quality and the amount of water you drink. You are 70% water so make sure you’re drinking enough water for your unique activity needs and to drink the best spring or filtered water you can find. Be wary of plastic water bottles and keep them out of the heat, away from sunlight, and don’t reuse them, but recycle them instead as they are full of cancer causing agents.

The Fire principle is all about movement. Whether it be high intensity training or simply walking around the block, movement ensures that nutrition gets moved around your body to where it’s needed and it also helps remove toxic waste products from your body. Long periods of inactivity are associated with higher disease risk and increased chances of dying earlier. Aim to move or change your position every 30 to 60 minutes to keep your blood, oxygen, nutrients, and waste in motion and moving to where they need to go.

The Earth principle relates to food – real food. Stay away from industrial seed oils and processed and packaged foods from Father Industry. Instead focus on real food that’s in season from local organic farmers and producers.

Fake pretend food-like products are full of cancer causing ingredients, whereas real food is full of cancer fighting nutrients.”

The Sun principle is the 7th Holistic Heath principle and focuses on connecting with others, sharing your gifts, and loving yourself and others for your authentic selves. The best tip I can give here for learning how to connect, share, and love is to have a dream bigger than yourself that you want to see come true. Whether it is to pass a certain exam, change your body composition, climb a mountain, or to be a better lover to your partner, by having a dream you give yourself direction in life and once you begin to move in flow with this direction other aspects of your life eventually fall in alignment with your dream.

Okay this is the longest podcast I’ve ever recorded, but I had to add some science, I had to give cancer its day in court, and I just hope that this information has been useful to you in some way, shape or form.

In the next podcast I’ll be talking about one side of cancer I have yet to mention – the light side. Yes believe it or not there are benefits to cancer that I will be talking about in next week’s episode. See you there.

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WGP 019: Food Cravings – If You Can’t Beat ’em, Join ’em!

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Food Cravings:

  • I’ll explain what food cravings are
  • I’ll talk about three different types of food cravings and what causes them
  • Finally I’ll share my top tips on how you can better manage yourself when it comes to food cravings


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

Let’s first make the distinction between hunger and food cravings.

Hunger is a normal physiological response by your body meaning hunger is a normal physical function that your body performs. Hunger happens in response to your cells being low on nutrition and energy and information. You know you’re really hungry when you receive growling sounds and feel physical sensations from your stomach. Hunger leads you to eat any food in general.

A food craving is a physical, emotional, and mental want or need for a specific food.

As I always say life is in flow and always in motion and if you’re not moving then you’re not living, you’re not growing, and you’re not changing.

Food cravings come from the fact that your current way of being, your current lifestyle is stuck in a rut.

“I define food cravings as a craving for change.”

Having a fixed mindset or being stubborn or not being able to go with the flow will lead you to become physically, emotionally, and mentally stagnant. You will find yourself repeating the same actions, expressing the same feelings, and believing the same thoughts over and over and this my friend is the root cause of all food cravings.

A physical food craving is due to your body lacking specific nutrients. If you find yourself eating the same foods day-in-and-day-out for long periods of time you will be getting plenty of nutrients in fact probably in excessive amounts from that one group of foods, but you will be missing out on a lot of other nutrients found in different foods. If you’re also eating a lot of fake pretend food-like products aka processed and packaged foods well these have hardly any nutrients in them. I mean there’s plenty of energy and calories in these foods, but where’s the nutrition?

Movement, either too little or too much causes physical food cravings. Nutrients and energy and information from the foods and beverages that you eat and drink get digested, absorbed, assimilated, and metabolised when your digestive juices, your blood, and your lymph fluids are all in flow. When you don’t move and you stay in the same physical position for long periods of time your lymph fluid doesn’t flow and your heart has to pump harder to keep your blood moving causing nutrient traffic jams. When you’re doing strenuous exercise stress hormones increase and this stops your digestion in its tracks.

Now if your breathing is short and shallow and if you’re drinking tap water then the nutrients in your body will not be transported as effectively as they could be. Proper breathing massages internal organs and keeps your cerebral spinal fluid in flow helping to move nutrients in and waste out of your cells. Quality water has no industrial chemicals and has the right amount of minerals to form healthy blood vessels and other fluids needed to move nutrients around your body.

So to sum up physical food cravings while eating the same real foods all the time and eating fake foods may give your cells certain nutrients and plenty of energy your cells will still be screaming out for other nutrients and different building blocks they need to do their job. Now with no movement or with excessive movement not all the nutrients that you eat will even get to where they are needed most due to the lack of lymph flow, inefficient blood flow, and too much stress shutting down your ability to digest and absorb your food. Also proper breathing technique and quality water are needed for effective transportation of nutrients in your body.

An emotional food craving is due to certain feelings triggering physical hunger signals. When emotional needs are perceived to not be met by self or by others then food is used as a replacement for emotional support. If you experience chronic feelings of fear, resentment, apathy, anger, worthlessness, being lost, or pain (yes pain is an emotion) this usually means you’re missing out on love, connection, being cared for, peace, meaning, inspiration, and pleasure and food can act as a substitute when these are lacking in your life.

In fact deep-seated emotions, positive or negative, that have been repressed or ignored or neglected will show up in your bodymind in a number of ways and not just as food cravings. A bit of a sidetrack here, but while what I’m about to say hasn’t been shown in scientific papers I personally believe that cancer, yep the Big C, is the biggest symptom of unresolved emotional issues today. I say this from personal experience having witnessed family members make it through cancer therapy and having to say goodbye to other family members who have died from cancer.

Anyhoo… back to food cravings.

A mental food craving is due to your thoughts being out of alignment with your feelings and your actions. Remember back in the podcast episode about Dream Building I talked about how your dream must align and be in harmony with your core values in order to live a happy and healthy life and to achieve living your dream. Any time your thoughts, feelings, and actions do not correspond to your values and your dream then stress, pain, and suffering are not that far behind.

Another thing is if you’re constantly ruminating about past events or thinking about what may happen in the future this can cause depression and anxiety leading to food cravings.

A foggy head with stinking thinking stuck in the past or trying to forecast the future will cause you to crave foods that do not serve you or your dream.

Okay so how do you go about managing yourself when it comes to food cravings? First some prevention tips.

With all types of food cravings physical, emotional, and mental you want to nourish your body with nutrient, energy, and information rich real foods from Mother Nature. When you nourish your cells with all natural ingredients and building blocks your feelings and thoughts will also be in alignment with the principles of nature meaning you will feel happier, healthier, and start to think how you can be of service to others as opposed to how others can serve you. You want to eat seasonally and locally as well as. This will ensure your diet is varied and fresh and changes with the seasons.

Something to take note of is that different physical food cravings relate to different nutrient needs by your body. For example if you crave chocolate this may be a sign of magnesium deficiency. If you crave cheese this may be due to not having enough fat and/or calcium in your diet. A craving for sweet foods could be due to a lack of sulphur and the amino acid tryptophan. Craving salty foods is often due to a lack of chloride.

So based on what you are craving have a look at your current diet and see if there may be some room for improvement by including different foods with higher sources of the nutrients that you may be missing out on.

Okay do yourself a favour and do a ‘Kitchen Cleanse’ or ‘Pantry Detox’. This is where you remove all processed fake foods that you crave for. Out of house, out of sight, out of mind.

Do not stay in one position all day long. Sit, stand, walk, squat, lunge, and fidget if you have to. Set a timer to 25 minutes and change positions or go for a one minute walk every time it goes off. The more you can move your body the easier it is for nutrients to be transported to where they’re needed most.

Remember to breathe diaphragmatic breaths. Breathing through your nose with your mouth closed and tongue resting on the roof of your mouth behind your teeth and expanding your belly for the first two thirds of the breath and then allowing your chest to move only in the last third then letting the breath out naturally either through your nose or mouth gives your internal organs a nice massage and expands and contracts your muscles as well as your spine creating movement of fluids and nutrition.

Make sure you keep yourself properly hydrated with quality spring or filtered water. Depending on your body weight, your activity levels, and your environment your H2O needs can range from 2 litres a day to 4 litres a day.

So move often, breathe deeply, and drink real water.

Now when a food craving does hit you what can you do?

First thing to try is deep belly breathing for one minute. Count 4-8 seconds on the in breath and the same amount of seconds on the out breath. Do this for a minute and wait and sense if the craving is still there.

If you still got a craving try drinking a big glass of water and wait 20 minutes.

Still got the craving?

Try a spoonful of extra virgin coconut oil or a shot of extra virgin olive oil. Yep you heard me. Get some real fats into your body. Again wait 20 minutes and see if the craving is gone.

If you still have the craving what I’m about to suggest next may not make sense, but give in to the craving. Now this doesn’t mean to go chomping down on whatever it is you’re craving okay.

I’m about to describe a mindfulness ritual that you can practise that will help you to give in to the craving, but at the same time stay in full control and awareness of how you’re being around that food.

Okay so pick up the food you’re craving and smell it. Take a deep breath in… really sniff that scent in.

Now break up the food and crumble it between your hands and fingers or dip a finger into it and pick up a bit of the food listening to the sounds that are happening as you do this.

Fully be present with the smell, sight, sounds, and feel of the food. Does it have an intense smell or is it mellow? How many colours can you see? Does it sound hard and sharp or soft and quiet between your hands or fingers? Feel its texture and temperature and notice the differences. Is it cold or hot? Does it feel smooth or rough?

Now put a piece of the food in your mouth allowing it to rest on your tongue, but don’t eat it! Just savour the flavour. Can you describe it? Can you describe the taste?

Finally, start chewing. Don’t swallow it. Just notice what your senses are telling you as you eat the food. Does it taste good? Does it feel good?

Alright, choice time. Now you have to choose whether to spit out the food and be done with the craving or swallow it.

If you do swallow it you will have another choice to make. Do you take another bite and continue eating or are you done with the craving?

This mindfulness food cravings ritual doesn’t work for everyone and if it didn’t work for you then what you have on your hands is not a physical food craving, but more an emotional or mental one.

To help with emotional and mental food cravings daily affirmations and daily meditation can help.

Affirmations don’t have to be overly positive and they can be as simple as, ‘I am here in this moment and this moment is all there is’. This type of affirmation removes past and future thinking keeping you in the present.

Meditation helps train you to be aware of your thoughts and to keep yourself focused on one thing. There are many types of meditation. You can do sitting, breathing, movement, walking, even gardening meditation. All of these will help balance your bodymind. You could do two minutes a day, two minutes every hour, two hours a day, whatever works for you just make meditation a daily practise as consistency is king when it comes to changing habits and ways of feeling and thinking.

Again meditation is about focusing the mind and one of the best ways to meditate or focus your mind is through play. Go outside and play tag or hide and seek with family and friends. Climb trees, fall off a tree, play fetch with Fido. Whatever it is you do for play let go of any expected outcome and just have fun. That’s what play is all about.

Another way to manage your emotional and mental food cravings is to keep a Food Mood Diary. This is where you note down date and time, place, people nearby, and how you’re feeling every time a food craving comes up. Over time you will notice a pattern begin to emerge. Emotional and mental food cravings can be triggered by a number of things and you may be able to find out what your personal triggers are by using a food mood diary.

Your ability to manage yourself when it comes to perceived stress plays a huge role in balancing out your thoughts and emotions. Self-management in terms of stress comes down to how much integrity you have with your thoughts, words, and deeds. If you say you’re going to do something then do it. If you write down a date that a task needs to be completed by then when that date comes that task better well be completed. And if you fail to do something that you said you would do apologise to the parties involved and if it’s just you apologise to yourself.

Integrity and harmony are key to having a clear bodymind that includes clarity of thought and a light heart.

Listen to the podcast I did on stress (podcast #3) to learn more on how to manage yourself and the perceived stressors in your life.

Here’s a quote by American philosopher and psychologist William James:

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

Emotional and mental food cravings fundamentally come down to not feeling appreciated when you expect to be and by not showing appreciation when you should. This includes self appreciation and giving yourself a pat on the back and loving your true authentic self.

So put down that pint of ice cream, that piece of pastry, that sugary cookie, that bar of milk chocolate, those salty chips, that crispy fried chicken, and choose instead to give yourself a hug and I want you to think, feel, and say to yourself, ‘I appreciate my life. I am worth it. I love me’.

If you find that difficult and don’t believe those words (and I know for some of you it is a struggle to show yourself authentic self love) how about thinking and feeling and saying this, ‘I have the potential to appreciate my life. I have the potential to be worthy. I have the potential to love myself’.

If you’re listening to this to my voice right now hear this, what I’m about to say for it is true: I Jason Marinovich appreciate you and your life. You are worthy for you are the reason why I record these podcasts. I thank you and give you all the gratitude I can give for listening and for giving me purpose. I love you my dear beautiful listener.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

Sameness begets staleness creating an unbalanced lifestyle leading to sickness, disease, and food cravings.

So keep moving forward.

Don’t let yourself get stuck in one way of being.

“Be water and keep in flow.”

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WGP 018: Are Carbohydrates Really Essential for Health?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Carbohydrates:

  • I’ll talk about the many different types of carbs
  • I’ll explain which carbs are essential for health and which carbs can contribute to disease
  • I’ll talk about how to find your sugar and starch tolerance level
  • Finally I’ll share the best ways to get more healthy natural whole real carbs into your diet


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

Carbohydrates are one of the three main macronutrients besides fat and protein. The most popular carb of them all is sugar. This pure white highly processed refined powder has been the cause and reason for many people failing to reach their body composition and health goals.

Sugar’s sweetness and ability to affect your hormones, your immune system, and your neurology should not be underestimated, and I’ll talk more about this later on. But there’s more to carbs than just this simple sugar.

Carbs in the modern age need to be differentiated into two groups: cellular carbs and acellular carbs.

Cellular carbs are minimally processed whole vegetables, fruits, stems, leaves, and seeds of plants. Cellular carbs are made up of living cells with more nutrients, structural fibre, and a lower density and percentage of actual sugar content per cell. These carbs get digested by your body and your gut microbiota without issue (remember your gut microbiome is the ecosystem of trillions of microorganisms living in your colon).

Acellular carbs are highly processed and refined sugars, flours, and includes the starch stored in whole grains. Acellular carbs are made up of dead cells with hardly any nutrients, non-functional fibre, and a much higher density and percentage of actual sugar concentration per cell. The digestion of acellular carbs creates an immediate excess level of sugar in your blood as well as an imbalance of your gut microbiome due to the fact that these naked sugars without the nutrition and without the fibre are rapidly digested and encourage the overgrowth of Candida and other pathogens.

All carbs are made up of single or groups of molecules called saccharides or sugars.

Monosaccharides consist of just one sugar molecule such as glucose, fructose, and galactose.

Disaccharides are made up of two sugar molecules. Examples include sucrose (your regular table sugar), lactose (milk sugar), and maltose (which is two molecules of glucose).

Carbs that are made up of 2-10 saccharide molecules are called oligosaccharides and any carb over 10 sugar molecules long is called a polysaccharide.

Now mono- and disaccharides can be considered simple sugars and oligo- and polysaccharides could be called complex sugars.

Starch is a storage form of carbs. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of hundreds to thousands of saccharide molecules, specifically chains of glucose.

Dietary fibre is also a carb. Fibre from foods are non-glucose oligo- and polysaccharides meaning that while your digestive system will breakdown and assimilate sugars and starch into glucose it will not breakdown and assimilate fibre.

Fibres can either be insoluble meaning it doesn’t dissolve in water or soluble where it does dissolve in water.

Insoluble fibre passes right through your entire digestive system from mouth hole to south hole and is not digested by your body and is also not digested or eaten as food by your gut flora.

Certain soluble fibres are digested and eaten by your gut flora. These fibres that feed your gut flora are known as prebiotics and they feed both the good bugs (probiotics) and the bad bugs (pathogens).

Another type of carb that acts as a prebiotic is called resistant starch. It is a polysaccharide made up of glucose molecules, but unlike regular starch which is digested by your body resistant starch acts like a prebiotic fibre where it is resistant to human digestion and so becomes food for your gut microbiome.

So there’s a lot of different carbohydrates some of which your body can digest, some of which your gut flora can digest, and some neither your body nor your gut flora can breakdown.

So which carbs are essential for health and which carbs aren’t?

If there was ever an essential carb it would be dietary fibre, especially prebiotics. Whole real vegetables and fruits will provide you with plenty of prebiotic, soluble, insoluble, and resistant starch fibres.

Insoluble fibre has the benefit of taking out toxins, cholesterol, and metabolised hormones ready for elimination in your colon, but insoluble fibre also has a dark side as it can cause damage to your gastrointestinal tract if eaten in excessive amounts or if eaten out of balance with soluble fibre. Think of insoluble fibre as steel wool rubbing up against your single-celled very thin gut wall.

Soluble fibre on the other hand can not only act as a prebiotic feeding your gut flora, but also provides a soft sponge bath for your gut wall. Aloe vera and chia seeds are high in viscous mucous gelatinous polysaccharides that can give your gut wall a soothing massage and are a lot better for your gut than insoluble fibres especially if you’re dealing with gut issues like constipation.

Beta-glucans are a type of polysaccharide and fibre found in certain mushrooms and seaweeds that supports immune function and has been shown to boost the immune system helping cancer patients overcome their cancer. I believe beta-glucans are essential to a long and happy life.

Are sugars and starches essential for health?

In general I would say no, but it really does depend on your ability to tolerate sugar and starch which I will talk about soon.

Whatever your sugar and starch requirements are keep in mind that carb quality matters when talking about simple sugars and complex starches.

If you’re getting sugar and starch from cellular carb sources like whole real vegetables and fruits then your chances of developing a chronic disease, gaining fat, and upsetting your gut flora will be very low compared to someone else who gets their sugar and starch from acellular carbs like highly processed and refined flours and sugars from baked goods, sports drinks, and table sugar.

When you eat acellular carbs these get taken up into your bloodstream quite quickly causing a massive spike in blood glucose levels followed by a massive surge and release of the hormone insulin. Insulin’s job is to remove glucose from the blood. When glucose is left in the blood for too long it will cause damage to your cells, body tissue, and your immune system. So insulin puts glucose into your muscle, liver, and fat cells for use or storage. When insulin is active your body turns from fat-burning mode into fat-storing mode. If you become insulin-resistant like a type-2 diabetic where your cells no longer respond to insulin then glucose will be left in the blood for far too long causing long-term damage to nervous tissue and other bodily tissues and your immune system will be unable to function properly leading to premature aging and cancer.

Basically a high fibre diet with more prebiotic soluble fibres made up of cellular carbs from real food sources is a lot healthier for you than a low fibre diet or a diet high in insoluble fibre that’s rich in acellular carbs. Sugars and starches are not essential for health, but may be needed depending on your individual needs and lifestyles.

You may have heard of low carb diets, high carb diets, slow carb diets, and even controlled carb diets. How do you know which diet is right for you? Find your personal tolerance to sugars and starches, that’s how.

You have a unique requirement for sugar and starch different to anyone else and this is called your carb tolerance. Since there are many different carbs I like to be more specific and call it your sugar and starch tolerance. Your tolerance to sugars and starches is based on you being able to eat a certain amount without increasing your waistline or increasing your fasting blood glucose levels, and by not having a decrease in performance in the gym, in the boardroom, or in the bedroom.

So how do you find out how much sugars and starches you should be eating?

One way is to look at your ancestral background. Cultures that live on or near the Earth’s equator have a higher tolerance to sugar and starch due to the high availability and cooling nature of fruits and some tubers. Cultures that live closer to the Earth’s poles have a lower tolerance to sugar and starch due to the lack of vegetation and therefore they have evolved to eat more animal foods higher in fat and protein as these have a more warming effect on the body.

Of course today most people (me included) are fruit salads made up of many different ethnic backgrounds so it’s impossible to take this information as fact, but instead use it as a guide and it’s good to have this knowledge in the back of your mind as you work through the next practical step.

To find your tolerable level of sugar and starch intake you will start eating a ketogenic diet meaning very low carb with very high fat and then by slowly progressing toward higher levels of sugars and starches and lowering your levels of fat you will find out how much sugar and starch you really need to meet your activity requirements and the unique biochemical needs of your body.

Because you are looking for your own unique tolerance to sugars and starches you will need to subtract the total amount of fibre from the total amount of carbs which will leave you with just the sugar and starch content of that food. This is also known as net carbs.

So for example a cup of cooked broccoli has about 12 g of total carbs and 6 g of fibre and after calculating for net carbs and removing the fibre content the total amount of sugars and starches in a cup of cooked broccoli is 6 g. Okay another example, a medium sized cooked sweet potato (that’s about 200 g worth without the skin) has 36 g of total carbs and 6 g of fibre. Subtract the fibre from the total carb count and you get a net carb sugars and starches content of 30 g.

Remember to focus on eating cellular carbs as much as possible during these diets.

Also stick to the same weekly routine in terms of activity levels whether that be in the gym or at home or at work. The goal here is to find the amount of sugars and starches that you can eat without harm in this current point in time of your life and if you find yourself not being as active or being more active than usual this is going to give you incorrect information affecting your results.

During each of the following four diets keep a journal and note down how you feel, your hunger and energy levels, your mood, your activity levels and performance in the gym, your libido, as well as your bowel movements. You will also want to note down any significant life happenings like a stressful event or celebration. And if you can, get yourself a glucometer or glucose meter which measures your blood glucose levels and measure your fasting blood glucose first thing every morning.

You will use all of this information after trying out each of the four diets to find out what worked, when it worked, what didn’t work, and what may have interfered when something should have worked because it was shown to have worked in the past.

Okay onto the diets.

The first diet you’ll begin with and follow for 2-3 weeks is the very low carb high fat diet aka the ketogenic diet. Total allowable net carbs on this diet will be 30 g a day and they will all come from non-starchy vegetables only. We want to restrict the sugars and starches on this initial diet. For an 80 kg male aiming for a 2000 calorie a day diet this means fat will be between 100-190 g a day and protein will be around 100 g a day. For a 60 kg female eating 1800 calories a day this means fat will be between 130-175 g a day and protein will be around 75 g a day.

So on a VLCHF diet (very low carb high fat diet) you could eat five cups of cooked broccoli and reach 30 g of your maximum allowance of carbs for that day.

After completing 2-3 weeks of the VLCHF diet move on to a low carb high fat diet for 1-2 weeks. This is where daily sugars and starches (net carbs) fall between 30-80 g and starchy vegetables are back on the menu. Again for the 80 kg male fat will now be between 120-165 g a day while protein stays around 100 g a day. For the 60 kg female fat now lies between 110-150 g daily with protein staying at around 75 g a day.

So on a LCHF diet you could eat a medium sweet potato (around 200 g worth) giving you 30 g of sugars and starches for the day.

Next diet to try out for 1-2 weeks is the moderate carb diet. This diet has net carbs between 80-150 g a day. So for the 80 kg male daily fat intake will be between 90-130 g and protein stays at about 100 g. For the 60 kg female daily fat intake becomes 80-120 g and protein sticks to around 75 g a day.

Final diet to test for 1-2 weeks is the high carb low fat diet. The HCLF diet is has net carbs between 150-300 g a day. The 80 kg male will have around 20-70 g of fat a day with protein still around 100 g. The 60 kg female will have about 10-60 g of daily fat with about 75 g of protein.

Remember all these are estimates and are based on your activity levels and whether you’re a pro athlete, a weekend warrior, or a sedentary office worker you will need to tinker with and play around with the protein and fat and net carb ratios.

Once you’ve done this sugar and starch tolerance testing you will once and for all know how much carbs you can handle without increasing your waistline, without feeling moody or hangry, and still being able to perform in the gym, the boardroom, and the bedroom. And remember this is just for where you are right now in your life and as I like to say life is a process never still, but always in flow. In a few years time you may find that this no longer works and you’ll have to figure out your new sugar and starch tolerance levels as well as protein and fat ratios that work for you.

Okay let’s talk about the best food sources for fibre polysaccharides and how to include more real carbs into your diet.

The following are all fantastic sources of prebiotics and resistant starch:

  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Onions and garlic and leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Green bananas
  • Beans
  • Cooked then cooled potatoes and white rice


Shiitake, reishi, and maitake mushrooms
and seaweeds are fantastic sources of beta-glucans. Remember beta-glucans help boost your immune system.

Aloe vera and chia seeds are full of gelatinous polysaccharides. This is great for gut health.

Imagine a meal made up of:

  • Potato salad with red onion
  • Roasted asparagus and garlic covered with butter
  • Stir fried shiitake mushrooms and broccoli seasoned with kelp flakes and chia seeds
  • Hummus
  • Some reheated white rice
  • Baked sweet potato mash with butter, cream, and cinnamon and
  • Cauliflower puree with duck fat


In this meal you have altogether soluble, insoluble, prebiotic, and resistant starch fibres
as well as a whole lot of phytonutrients, micronutrients, and sulphur with not that high a sugar and starch content and all of them are cellular carbs.

A favourite and simple vegetable dish I like is a starchy vegetable roast including potatoes, kumaras, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and carrots roasted in extra-virgin olive oil or duck fat. Very delicious and tasty and simple to make.

I also enjoy soups and smoothies that include more raw vegetables and herbs and spices.

If you feel you need to be living a lower carb lifestyle remember that most fruits today are bred for sweetness with higher sugar content so focus on heirloom varieties with more skin, less flesh or with more tart and sour flavours. Fruits with a higher skin to flesh ratio will have more fibre, phytonutrients, and antioxidants and less fruit sugars. So for example smaller berries are more nutrient dense then larger berries and won’t cause as large of a spike in blood sugar and insulin.

Hopefully the next time you hear that a certain carb diet is better than another you’ll think twice and ask yourself, ‘how much essential fibre compared to non-essential sugars and starches are there in this diet and would the net carb ratios work for me and my current lifestyle?’

Don’t guess. Test!

“With any recommendations and advice you hear the only real way to find out if it’s true for you and whether it will work for you is by trying it out for yourself.”

You’ll never know if that jersey or that dress looks good on you until you put it on.

I’ll leave you with this. You cannot treat all carbs the same. Some are more essential then others and some are downright detrimental (acellular carbs). Your individuality means your fibre and sugar needs will vary from moment to moment and will be different to other people.

As with all foods quality matters so make your choice of carbs a quality choice.

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The Big Fat Surprise

The Big Fat Surprise – Nina Teicholz
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

A New York Times bestseller
Named one of The Economist’s Books of the Year 2014
Named one of The Wall Street Journal’s Top Ten Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
Forbes’s Most Memorable Healthcare Book of 2014
Named a Best Food Book of 2014 by Mother Jones
Named one of Library Journal‘s Best Books of 2014

In The Big Fat Surprise, investigative journalist Nina Teicholz reveals the unthinkable: that everything we thought we knew about dietary fat is wrong. She documents how the low-fat nutrition advice of the past sixty years has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment on the entire population, with disastrous consequences for our health.

For decades, we have been told that the best possible diet involves cutting back on fat, especially saturated fat, and that if we are not getting healthier or thinner it must be because we are not trying hard enough. But what if the low-fat diet is itself the problem? What if the very foods we’ve been denying ourselves—the creamy cheeses, the sizzling steaks—are themselves the key to reversing the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease?

In this captivating, vibrant, and convincing narrative, based on a nine-year-long investigation, Teicholz shows how the misinformation about saturated fats took hold in the scientific community and the public imagination, and how recent findings have overturned these beliefs. She explains why the Mediterranean Diet is not the healthiest, and how we might be replacing trans fats with something even worse. This startling history demonstrates how nutrition science has gotten it so wrong: how overzealous researchers, through a combination of ego, bias, and premature institutional consensus, have allowed dangerous misrepresentations to become dietary dogma.

With eye-opening scientific rigor, The Big Fat Surprise upends the conventional wisdom about all fats with the groundbreaking claim that more, not less, dietary fat—including saturated fat—is what leads to better health and wellness. Science shows that we have been needlessly avoiding meat, cheese, whole milk, and eggs for decades and that we can now, guilt-free, welcome these delicious foods back into our lives.

 

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