Posts tagged ‘ori hofmekler’

Excerpt from “Mark’s Daily Apple”

Below is an excerpt from a great blog “Mark’s Daily Apple”. This blog that was sent to me by my husband as one to follow. We are always talking about this topic below and struggle wth reaching out to the people who mean the most in our lives. We wonder why they don’t understand our reasons and practices of “primal” eating. I could not have summed it up better than the blog below. I guess some things we just need to let go and and let people see the differences such practices can make in ones life. This blog was an emotional read for me and any other primal eaters out there I am sure you will feel the same way!

Enjoy ~HD

Monday’s “Dear Mark” sparked a great discussion about raising healthy kids, but the conversation really got going (in the comment board and forum) when readers lamented the hard-headedness of their parents.

Yes, we too often paint younger folks as the impulsive, devil-may-care madcaps or hapless Pied Piper targets. Truth is, there are plenty of those qualities in every age demographic. Kids aren’t the only ones who can dig in their heels after all. So, to take on the flipside of Monday’s question, what’s a Primal child (of any age) to do when Mom and Dad are the ones whose health needs a major overhaul?

I venture to say that many more people find themselves in the role of concerned progeny than those who commented Monday. Far too many of us, I imagine, have been grudging witnesses over the years to our parents’ destructive health habits – whether it be crummy diet, complete lack of physical activity, smoking, workaholic lifestyle, chronic stress, or – who knows – compulsive use of household insecticides. Sometimes it’s ignorance on their part. Other times it’s denial. In some cases, it’s flat out apathy.

We drop hints at dinner. We drop pamphlets, articles or whole books on their coffee tables. At turns, we find ourselves lecturing. We argue. We offer to help – to make dinner, suggest some relaxation techniques or pay for a gym membership. In the midst of the back and forth, some of us deal with the frustration better than others. Perhaps those of us who recently moved out or are in the process of doing so are just glad to be on our own, away from the influence for a while. However, for many of us it’s an ongoing source of disappointment and even an emotional roadblock in the relationship.

The questions nag at the back of our brains and maybe tug at the heart strings a little. Why won’t they listen to reason? Why don’t they value their own health? Don’t they want to live to be there for their grandchildren – for me? How can it not bother them to be giving up decades of their lives or at least the hope of some additional active and independent years? What am I supposed to do here? Will anything I do or say make any difference whatsoever?

Step Back
As difficult as it is, maybe the first step in dealing with the quandary is this: we should all take a step back. (A big breath helps too.) There’s a certain freedom in accepting that you aren’t responsible for another person’s choices. Although you certainly have a big stake in their health, in their independence, in their well-being, in their being in this world period, the fact is and will always remain that you don’t run their lives. If you genuinely worry for them, it’s a painful realization, but at least it can stop you from beating your head against the wall. It’s not your fault. It’s not under your control. It’s sad and horribly unfortunate that they stand a big chance of missing out on some of their good years as well as your life and your kids’, but there it is. Ultimately, it’s out of your hands. Que Sera isn’t a comforting concept, but it can be a liberating one.

Don’t Apologize for Your Lifestyle
Just as they are going to live their lives the way they want, make no bones about doing the same for yourself. Stop feeling guilty for refusing your mother’s pie at Thanksgiving if you don’t want it. Stop apologizing for bringing your own food to their house or turning down Sunday night get-togethers if that’s a good workout night for you. Stop caving to their pushing treats on the grandkids. Maybe the more you stand by your lifestyle, the more seriously they’ll take it. If not, you’ll at least feel more in control of your own life and less swept up by their choices.

Appreciate Small Changes
Just because you accept that you don’t control the ultimate outcome doesn’t mean you can’t leave the door open for them to change or that you can’t make the adjoining room all the more inviting. I’d never say give up encouraging your parents to get healthy. Nonetheless, it’s all about perspective. When you take yourself out of the role of health director or even rescuer, you’re in a much better mindset to encourage, see and appreciate smaller changes. You’re not caught up in the vision of deep and desperate change for them. Once you take the pressure off, they might soften up a bit and surprise you.

Offer Some Healthy Bonding Opportunities
So, your dad probably isn’t going to ever accompany you to a PrimalCon event, but maybe you can convince him to go for a walk on a nice spring day. Though your mother will never give up her carbs, she’ll love spending Sunday brunch at your house (with your food) when she can have fun with the grandkids. Invite your parents to participate in your life – and the lifestyle that goes along with it. Find things that both of you can enjoy and get something out of.

Finally, however frustrating or unchanging your parents’ choices are, enjoy your time with them. Live life to the fullest with them as much as you can. Show them you care and that you enjoy their company. Let them know they’re an important part of your life. In the best or worst circumstances, you’ll be glad you did. There’s an old fable in which the sun and wind compete to see who can get the coat off a man passing by. In the harshness of the wind, the man simply clutches his coat more tightly. In the sun’s warmth, he happily casts it aside. In the best circumstances, perhaps warmth and love provide the best inspiration for healthy change.

Have your own stories and strategies for prodding your parents or other family members toward a healthier lifestyle? Thanks for reading.

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February 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

Are you Gluten Sensitive?

Another Great Article from Precision Nutrition

The At-Home Test For Gluten Sensitivity
by Bryan Walsh, November 18th, 2009.

Everywhere you look, there’s a ton of discussion about gluten and gluten sensitivity. In fact, PN’s very own Ryan Andrews wrote a great article – All About Gluten – just a few weeks back.

But is gluten sensitivity really something you need to be concerned with? Or is it merely a “Hollywood fad” that’ll disappear as quickly as it came?

Well, a host of new research studies suggest that this whole gluten thing can be a pretty big deal. In fact, emerging research on gluten and its negative impacts on health, including brain function, is starting to look kinda scary.

Quick Gluten Review

Gluten is a sticky protein found in a number of grains that helps bind things together. Basically, it’s the “glue” that helps bread hold its shape, stops sauces from curdling, and gives cheese spreads, canned meats and many condiments their smooth texture.

Gluten is ubiquitous in our food supply today and is found in everything from oats, bran and cereal – to the not so obvious – ketchup, soy sauce, chewing gum and salad dressing. Truthfully, if you eat any type of processed food, you’re likely eating gluten.

For more on what gluten is and where it’s found, check out Ryan’s article here.

Interestingly, gluten-free foods are one of the fastest growing sectors in the nutritional world today – and with good reason. If you’re sensitive to gluten, yet continue to consume products that contain it, there is a strong likelihood that some aspect of your health will suffer.

Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity

Before discussing gluten sensitivity in depth, some distinction should be made between it and its cousin, Celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition affecting numerous systems in the body. But its main target is the digestive tract.

Gluten sensitivity on the other hand simply implies that there is some type of immune reaction occurring to gluten in the diet. For you clinical types, this immune reaction can be detected by anti-gliadin antibodies in the serum, stool or saliva.

In the end, the primary difference between the two is whether or not there is intestinal damage.

Gluten sensitivity + Intestinal damage = Celiac Disease

Gluten sensitivity + No intestinal damage = Gluten Sensitivity

Now, you might think that gluten sensitivity only occurs in a small percentage of the population, just like with Celiac Disease. If so, you might be surprised to learn that in non-celiac disease patients, anti-gliadin antibodies can be found in as high as 35 percent of the population.

Gluten and Your Health

The seriousness of gluten sensitivity – with respect to everyday health concerns, as well as some atypical health issues issues – can’t be overstated. Really, it’s a big deal. But instead of taking my word for it, let’s take a look at some of the research.

Gluten and Women
Women with gluten sensitivity were found to have a higher incidence of stillbirths, spontaneous and repeated abortions, late onset of menarche, amenhorhea (no menses), anemia, and early menopause.

Because of the potentially negative impact of gluten on women’s hormone and reproductive system, one study recommended “celiac disease should be included in the screening of reproductive disorders.”

Gluten and Mood Disorders
Schizophrenia and depression have been linked to gluten sensitivity. In fact, gluten sensitivity seems to be a causative factor for schizophrenia in patients genetically susceptible to the condition.

In one study, “A drastic reduction, if not full remission, of schizophrenic symptoms after initiation of gluten withdrawal has been noted in a variety of studies.”

Gluten and Your Brain
Gluten has particular reactivity to our nervous system and is no longer considered to be a gut issue. Our brain and nervous system governs our perception, mood and quality of life. When our nervous system deteriorates, our life deteriorates.

Research has correlated gluten sensitivity to seizures, neuropathies, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, MS, migraines and even EEG anomalies (brain wave abnormalities).

One study concluded, “Gluten sensitivity can be primarily, and at times exclusively, a neurological disease.”

Gluten and Metabolism
Gluten sensitivity has been correlated with decreased absorption of critical minerals, such as zinc.

Zinc absorption occurs in the small intestines (duodenum and jejunum), the two areas most affected by celiac disease lesions. Researchers conclude, “These observations indicate that trace metal deficiency is another common nutrition complication of adult celiac disease.

Zinc has an important role in a variety of functions including our immune system, hormone production, brain function, taste, smell and our digestive function.

Gluten and Bone
There are numerous studies showing a link between gluten sensitivity and bone loss. Numerous mechanism have been proposed, including decreased calcium absorption. Researchers determined “Continuing long-term benefit of gluten withdrawal on bone metabolism in celiac patients.”

Gluten, Blood Sugar and Diabetes
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have been linked to gluten. “This population-based study showed the highest reported prevalence of celiac disease in Type 1 diabetes in Europe. Patients with celiac disease showed clinical improvements with a gluten-free diet (GFD). We recommend screening for celiac disease in all children with type 1 diabetes.”

Gluten and Behavior Disorders
Partial peptide digests of gluten, called “exomorphins” have been shown to have psychoactive properties that have morphine-like properties in the body and brain. Studies have shown abnormal blood flow patterns in the brain in celiac patients at rates similar to ADHD children. Also, celiac disease has been found more frequently in children with dyslexia.

There are literally hundreds more studies demonstrating the negative impacts of gluten in susceptible individuals to virtually every aspect of their physiology.

That’s right, this isn’t some fly-by-night, tree-hugging, tie-dye T-shirt wearing hippy craze. Gluten sensitivity is very real and causing major health issues for a growing number of people, even if they don’t have symptoms – yet.

At Home Gluten Testing
As highlighted above – gluten isn’t something we should all be frightened of. After all, only about 35-40% of the population may experience gluten sensitivity. So please don’t get the idea here that I’m suggesting we all start on 100% gluten-free diets immediately.

However, and here’s the crux of the issue, many of us simply don’t know whether we fall into the 60-65% of the population that can tolerate gluten or into the 35-40% of the population that can’t. So it’s important that we find out.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways of getting tested, the best of which (at least, at the present) seems to be a combination of stool and saliva testing through a company called EnteroLab (www.enterolab.com).

And here’s the cool part. You can actually do the test yourself. You simple order a test kit through the company’s website, perform the tests yourself at home, send the kit back to the lab, and receive the results a few weeks later.

Of course, it’s beyond the scope of this article to go into interpreting the test here, but should you look into this kind of testing, the tech support available at Enterolab will be able to help you with your results.

The Gluten-Free Lifestyle

So let’s say you do the test and determine that you’re sensitive. What’s next? Well, you’ll have to cut all gluten out of your diet.

But deciding to go gluten-free isn’t a simple lifestyle change. It is more akin to a meat-eater deciding to become vegetarian. Gluten is so pervasive in our society, it takes a conscious effort to avoid it. And, because many of our comfort foods are full of gluten, it requires a change in perspective as well.

When many of my patients are reluctant to go off gluten – they just don’t want to give up some of the foods they love – I simply ask them, “Your bagel or your brain?” It’s that simple.

If you have a proven gluten sensitivity, it IS destroying some part of your body every time you eat it. Your thyroid, your brain, your joints – it could be any or all of these. And you must avoid gluten permanently.

This doesn’t mean being gluten-free most of the time, or “I’m gluten-free all week except for my one Ms. Fields chocolate chip cookie.” There is evidence that gluten can stay in your system for up to 8 months making every exposure a long-term thing. Does that sound too doom and gloom? Totally, and it sucks, but it’s the reality.

In many ways, gluten sensitivity is akin to peanut allergy. Any little bit of gluten can be cause for some real problems. So again I ask – your brain or your bagel?

Additional Support
Once you’ve decided to avoid gluten, there are other things you can do to protect yourself.

Besides avoiding it everywhere you can, there have been a couple of novel enzymes found to help break down accidental exposure to gluten. However, it is not a license to eat gluten. Rather, if you know you are sensitive to gluten, you can take these enzymes on a daily basis to help avoid any gluten that may have snuck into your diet.

Research has shown that the digestion of proteins found in gluten requires an enzyme known as DPP IV (dipeptyl dipeptidase IV). This enzyme is normally found in intestinal cells and is known to be deficient in celiac patients. In non-Celiac patients, if there is any damage to the intestinal wall, DPP IV will be decreased, causing an increases susceptibility to gluten and therefore damage.

In gluten sensitive individuals following a gluten-free diet, it is recommended to take a few capsules of a supplement containing DPP IV daily to prevent damage from accidental exposure.

Summary
Gluten sensitivity is a very real condition. And if you test positive for gluten sensitivity, and you continue to eat gluten-containing foods, your health and performance are at risk.

Fortunately, we don’t have to employ any guesswork or speculate about gluten sensitivity. With the genetic testing available today, we can be sure about gluten problems.

If you’re are interested in optimizing your performance and preventing future health issues, get tested and find out.

References

Sher, KS, Mayberry, JF. Female fertility, obstetric and gynaecological history in coeliac disease. Digestion. 1994;55(4):243-6.

Kotze, LM. Gynecologic and obstetric findings related to nutritional status and adherence to a gluten-free diet in Brazilian patients with celiac disease. J Clin Gastroenterol.2004 Aug;38(7):567-74

Molteni N, Bardella MT, Bianchi, PA. Obstetric and Gynecological Problems in Women with Untreated Celiac Sprue. J Clin Gastroenterol.1990 Feb;12(1):37-9.

Hadjvassioulu M, et al. Headaches and CNS white matter abnormalities associated with gluten sensitivity. Neurology 56:385-388; Feb, 2001.

Neuromuscular disorder as a presenting feature of Celiac disease. J Neurol neurosurg psychiatry. 1997;63:770-775

Paul V, Henkerr J, Todt H, Eysold R. EEG Research Findings in Children with Celiac Disease According to Dietary Variations. Z.Klin.Med., 1985; 40: 707-709.

Hadjivassiliou M et al 2003. Gluten ataxia in perspective: epidemiology, genetic susceptibility and clinical characteristics. Brain 126: 685-91.

Tengah D et al 2002. neurological complications of coeliac disease. Postgrad Med J 78: 393-98.

Hadjivassiliou, et al. 2002. Gluten sensitivity as a neurological illness. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 72: 560-3

Volta U, et al. 2002. Clinical findings and anti-neuronal antibodies in coeliac disease with neurological disorders. Scand J Gastroenterol 37: 1276-81.

Tursi A et al 2001. Low prevalence of antigliadin and anti-endomysium antibodies in subclinical/silent celiac disease. Am J Gastroenterol 96: 1507-1510.

Hadjivassiliou M, et al. 2003. Dietary treatment of gluten ataxia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 74: 1221-24.

Will AJ. 2000. The neurology and neuropathy of coeliac disease. Neuropathy and Applied Neurobio 226: 493-96.

Cross A, and Golumbek, P. 2003. Neurologic manifestations of celiac disease. Neurology 60: 1566-1568.

Hadjivassiliou M, et al. 2002. The humoral response in the pathogenesis of gluten ataxia. Neurology 58: 1221-26.

Marsh M. Gluten, Major Histocompatbilty Complex and the small intestine. Gastroenterology 1992; 102:330-354.

Kalaydijian AE, et al. The gluten connection: the association between schizophrenia and celiac disease. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2006 Feb;113(2):82-90.

Solomons NW, et al. Zinc nutrition in celiac sprue. Am J Clin Nutr. 1976 Apr;29(4):371-5.

Pazianas M, et al. Calcium absorption and bone mineral density in celiac after long term treatment with gluten-free die and adequate calcium intake. Osteoporos Int. 2005 Jan;16(1):56-63.

Spiekerkoetter U, et al. General screening for celiac disease is advisable in children with type 1 diabetes. Horm Metab Res. 2002 Apr;34(4):192-5.

Hansen D, et al. Clinical benefit of a gluten-free diet in type 1 diabetic children with screening-detected celiac disease: a population-based screening study with 2 years’ follow-up. Diabetes Care. 2006 Nov;29(11):2452-6.

Zioudrou, C., Streaty, R., Klee, W. (1979). Opioid Peptides Derived from Food Proteins. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 254(7), 2446-2449.

Usai P, Serra A, Marini B, Mariotti S, Satta L, Boi MF, Spanu A, Loi G, Piga M. (2004). Frontal cortical perfusion abnormalities related to gluten intake and associated autoimmune disease in adult coeliac disease: 99mTc-ECD brain SPECT study.Dig Liver Dis. Aug;36(8):513-8.

Paul, K., Todt, J., Eysold, R. (1985). EEG Research Findings in Children with Celiac Disease According to Dietary Variations. Zeitschrift der Klinische Medizin. 40, 707-709.

Kozlowska, Z: (1991). Results of investigation on children with coeliakia treated many years with glutethen free diet Psychiatria Polska. 25(2), 130-134.

Zelnik et. al. Range of Neurologic Disorders in Patients with Celiac Disease. Pediatrics 2004; 113; 1672-1676

Knivsberg AM. (1997). Urine patterns, peptide levels and IgA/IgG antibodies to food proteins in children with dyslexia. Pediatr Rehabil. Jan-Mar;1(1):25-33.

November 19, 2009 at 1:22 pm Leave a comment

All About Protein

Hello!
Great Article about the importance of Protein — take the time to read!

My diet of choice is the Warrior Diet, this diet focuses a lot on protien intake during evening meals and post workout meals. Often times I do not think people realize how little protein they are actually eating, therefore do not get the benfits of of this great nutrient! I was a little leary in reading the beginning part of this article as, I though it would challenge my views on eating large quantities of protien. John Bernardi could not have said it better when he states “Is building muscle the ONLY reason we eat protein?” My faith is restored….Thanks for the rebutal of the recent studies!

Limit Protein to 20g Per Meal?
by John M Berardi, November 4th, 2009.

Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009.

A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009.

So, what did these landmark studies show?

Well, the first study showed that when college-aged weight-trainers drink 0g, 5g, 10g, 20g, or 40g of protein after a weight training session, muscle protein synthesis is stimulated maximally at the 20g dose. Interestingly, there were no further increases in muscle protein synthesis at the 40g dose.

Similarly, in the second study, when young and elderly volunteers were given 30 or 90g of dietary protein in a single meal, the 30g dose maximally stimulated muscle protein synthesis. Again, there were no further increases in muscle protein synthesis at the 90g dose.

20-30 Grams and No More
Oddly, since the publication of these two studies, I’ve read no less than 2 dozen articles and blog posts suggesting that these two studies definitively close the case on protein intake. Indeed, some authors have even suggested that we’re ignorant wastrels if we dare eat more than 20-30g of protein in a single sitting.

Milk? This is the best you can do? Maybe you should read PN’s All About Milk article.
Here are a few quotes:

“So basically what you’re saying is that we don’t need to consume any more than 20g of high quality protein after exercise. You could get that in a 500ml serving of milk…This info is really going to piss off a bunch of internet keyboard jockeys.”

“I’ve cut back on the amount of protein I eat during most meals…No more slogging down 50-60g in a sitting. “

“Looks like 3 eggs post workout is just as effective as drinking a protein shake. Plus all that extra shake will be wasted.”

And so on…

Is Muscle The Only Reason We Eat Protein?
Now, while I can always appreciate a good muscle protein synthesis study, I sorta wonder if all the hoopla regarding these two studies is doing healthy eaters a service or not.

I mean, it’s definitely a good thing to discover that 30g of protein provides the upper limit of amino acids necessary for maximal protein synthesis at a particular point in time. However, the important, big-picture question is this one…is building muscle the only reason we eat protein?

I think not.

Challenging the notion that eating more than 30g in a sitting is wasteful, here are a few thoughts I sent to a group of colleagues:

1) What Else Will You Eat?
Let’s say you’re on a high calorie diet. Maybe you’re into bodybuilding or you’re training for an athletic event. And now you limit your protein intake to 20-30g per meal. What else do you fill up with? Carbs or fats?

Let’s take an example. Say you’re eating 4000-4500kcal per day for competition, which many larger lifers and athletes will need to do. And let’s say, because of these studies, you limit your protein intake to 5 meals of 20g each. In the end you’ll be getting 100g and 400kcal from protein.

Well, that’s 8% of your diet. What makes up the other 92%? If you’re loading up with that many carbs or fats, body comp can suffer. Remember, the protein is being replaced by macronutrients with lower thermic effects (more on this below).

2) What About The Other Benefits?
Muscle protein synthesis isn’t the only reason to eat more protein. There’s satiety, the thermogenic effects, the impact on the immune system, and more (see below).

Plus, there are probably a few benefits science can’t measure yet. I say the last part because there’s so much experiential evidence suggesting that when you’re training hard and you up your protein, you do better. So maybe we just haven’t looked in the right places to notice the real benefits.

Other Protein Benefits
In an article I wrote a few years back, I listed some of the benefits of eating more protein. And although the article is a few years old, nothing’s really changed since then. Here’s the list:

Increased Thermic Effect of Feeding — While all macronutrients require metabolic processing for digestion, absorption, and storage or oxidation, the thermic effect of protein is roughly double that of carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, eating protein is actually thermogenic and can lead to a higher metabolic rate. This means greater fat loss when dieting and less fat gain during overfeeding/muscle building.

Increased Glucagon — Protein consumption increases plasma concentrations of the hormone glucagon. Glucagon is responsible for antagonizing the effects of insulin in adipose tissue, leading to greater fat mobilization. In addition, glucagon also decreases the amounts and activities of the enzymes responsible for making and storing fat in adipose and liver cells. Again, this leads to greater fat loss during dieting and less fat gain during overfeeding.

Metabolic Pathway Adjustment – When a higher protein (20-50% of intake) is followed, a host of metabolic adjustments occur. These include: a down regulation of glycolysis, a reduction in fatty acid synthesis enzymes, increase in gluconeogenesis, a carbohydrate “draining” effect where carbons necessary for ridding the body of amino nitrogen is drawn from glucose.

Increased IGF-1 — Protein and amino-acid supplementation has been shown to increase the IGF-1 response to both exercise and feeding. Since IGF-1 is an anabolic hormone that’s related to muscle growth, another advantage associated with consuming more protein is more muscle growth when overfeeding and/or muscle sparing when dieting.

Reduction in Cardiovascular Risk — Several studies have shown that increasing the percentage of protein in the diet (from 11% to 23%) while decreasing the percentage of carbohydrate (from 63% to 48%) lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations with concomitant increases in HDL cholesterol concentrations.

Improved Weight-Loss Profile —Research by Layman and colleagues has demonstrated that reducing the carbohydrate ratio from 3.5 – 1 to 1.4 – 1 increases body fat loss, spares muscle mass, reduces triglyceride concentrations, improves satiety, and improves blood glucose management (Layman et al 2003 — If you’re at all interested in protein intake, you’ve gotta go read the January and February issues of the Journal of Nutrition. Layman has three interesting articles in the two journals).

Increased Protein Turnover — All tissues of the body, including muscle, go through a regular program of turnover. Since the balance between protein breakdown and protein synthesis governs muscle protein turnover, you need to increase your protein turnover rates in order to best improve your muscle quality. A high protein diet does just this. By increasing both protein synthesis and protein breakdown, a high protein diet helps you get rid of the old muscle more quickly and build up new, more functional muscle to take its place.

Increased Nitrogen Status — Earlier I indicated that a positive nitrogen status means that more protein is entering the body than is leaving the body. High protein diets cause a strong positive protein status and when this increased protein availability is coupled with an exercise program that increases the body’s anabolic efficiency, the growth process may be accelerated.

Increased Provision of Auxiliary Nutrients — Although the benefits mentioned above have related specifically to protein and amino acids, it’s important to recognize that we don’t just eat protein and amino acids — we eat food. Therefore, high protein diets often provide auxiliary nutrients that could enhance performance and/or muscle growth. These nutrients include creatine, branched chain amino acids, conjugated linoleic acids, and/or additional nutrients that are important but remain to be discovered. And don’t forget the vitamins and minerals we get from protein rich foods. (And lest anyone think I’m a shill for the protein powder industry, this last point clearly illustrates the need to get most of your protein from food, rather than supplements.)

Looking over this list of benefits, it’s hard to ignore the fact that we don’t just eat protein for its muscle synthetic effect. We eat protein for a bunch of other reasons too. And since a higher protein diet can lead to a better health profile, an increased metabolism, improved body composition, and an improved training response, why would anyone ever try to limit their protein intake to the bare minimum?

Take-Home Message
It seems to me that whether someone’s on a hypoenergetic diet (low calorie) or a hyperenergetic diet (high calorie), the one macronutrient they would want to be sure to “overeat” (relatively speaking) would be protein.

But that’s not what people do, is it? Instead, their protein prejudice often leads them to look for what they consider the bare minimum of protein (whether it’s 20-30g/meal or 0.8g/kg/day), and then overeat carbohydrates and fats instead. That could prove to be a performance – and body composition – mistake.

To this end, my advice is the same as I’ve outlined in the Precision Nutrition System.

Women – 1 serving of lean, complete protein (20-30g) with each meal, every 3 hours or so

Men – 2 servings of lean, complete protein (40-60g) with each meal, every 3 hours or so

This pattern of intake will make sure you’re getting enough protein to reap all the benefits that this macronutrient has to offer. Not just the protein synthetic benefits.

November 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm 2 comments

How to Begin A Life Long Nutritional Plan

Many people know they need to eat healthy and genuinely desire to support a healthy, well-functioning body. However, how do you choose a plan best for you? How do you begin? and How can I sustain my diet?

We are all inundated with sensational advertising, magazine covers, “model” type aspirations and unrealistic quick fix ways to make ourselves “look good”. A critical point to understand is that there is NO QUICK FIX for changing your eating habits and “looking good” does note mean being healthy. There is definitely no pill to transform you overnight, 11 days or even in one month.

As a 5’1″ female who is not a fitness model, not a professional body builder, or professional athlete, I would like to share with you what I have found that works for me to support healthy eating habits. I have always been conscious of my weight and body image, maybe from my perspective a little more so than the average female, but probably just as much as the next guy. After college, I had about 30 lbs to loose and attached it head on with aerobic type exercise while remaining somewhat conscious about my eating. I was successful with what I felt was a healthy way to loose weight. Following my weight loss, I did partake in my fair share of diet pills and try many quick fix gimmicks. Kind of odd how I use the words quick fix and gimmick in the same sentence! After realizing that I was single and wanted to live a little, 1-2 hours exercise was not going to fit in my daily routine. In order to sustain my weight loss, I experimented even more with crash diets and drastic ways to keep my weight off. My main method of madness was severe caloric restriction and skipping meals when I felt guilty about what I had eaten previously during that day or evening.

So…how did I get to where I am today? I read a lot, experimented a lot, I learned how to listen to my body and give it what it needs. This is a very important point and not all of our bodies need the same things, we are all unique and must eat differently. Yes, we all have the basic need for survival. We all need oxygen, food, water, and a nervous system to survive.

In researching many types of diets, most all came back to quick fixes and restriction. Whether, restricting carbohydrates as in the South Beach and Atkins diet, restricting fat and protein as in the Pritikin Diet, or Dean Ornish’s Diet. Other popular diets such as the Zone allocate percent of carbohydrates, fats, and protein that appears to be a one size fits all diet – remember not all of our bodies need the same things. So what now — time and time again, I circled back around to logic and eating a natural, innate diet as our ancestors might have eaten. So, I gave it a whirl. My diet of choice is the Warrior Diet, which cycles periods of fasting (a natural detox) and periods of feasting on a daily basis. Now, this is not a diet that everyone can practice, but I believe in the principals behind this way of eating. Ori Hofmekler, in his book “The Warrior Diet” makes some very important points about food that can be applied to sustaining a healthy life long nutritional plan.

One of the first things I needed to realize was that I was not “dieting” anymore; I was beginning a life long process. One that I would be able to sustain and incorporate into my life. Easy right? No Way, this was a process that I committed to change my habits, it certainly did not happen overnight. Remember, the whole weight thing, this was suddenly second fiddle and simply a by product of my new way of eating. It wasn’t weight loss, it was fat loss and you know, that stubborn fat that we all despise. It was actually coming off!

To begin your healty eating plan follow this simple test:
1. Is it simple? Can you realistically follow in your lifestyle (be honest with yourself, no excuses here) 2. Is your diet plan based on proven scientific principles 3. Have the rules worked for people like you?

If you cannot answer yes to all of the above questions, then you may need to rethink your selected diet plan. I will also add one more rule here, let’s say a BONUS: Can you sustain your nutritional plan for LIFE?

What influences your eating habits? How have these habits influenced how you look today? Do you eat for convenience? Do you plan what you are going to eat on a daily, weekly basis? Have you ever kept a diary of what you are eating? You don’t have to write a term paper, but jot down a few simple influences on your eating habits, now think about how you can change any of these influences to support a positive nutritional plan?

Think about the influences above, I would like to introduce you to a set of good habits to begin practicing:
1) Eat Complete Protein, prefreably grassfed(anything that had a mama – You cannot kill a pizza), I would also recommend supplementing your protein intake with a Whey Protein Shake. Most people do not get near enough protien on a daily baisis. (remember I metioned keeping a food log)
2) Carbohydrates are not the bad guy, but concentrate on eating complex carbohydrates (vegetables, whole and fresh, did it come from nature?) not simple carbohydrates (refined sugars, processed food, there are no bread trees)
3) Eat Good Fats and eat them often – omega 3 fats are essential, we do not produce these and must get them from the foods we ingest (fish, olive oil, nuts, flaxseed oil)
4) Eat Organic as often as possible
5) Drink ONLY zero Calorie Beverages (water or greeen tea – a cup of coffee in morning is ok)
5) Watch your empty calories – (Alcohol, simple carbs, most all processed foods)
6) Supplementation – a good multi Vitamin, EFA (Essential Fatty Acids), Calcium (for females).
7) Exercise – must be treated as an essential nutrient (see previous blog)

Finally, in order to sustain a good nutritional plan, keep it simple. Plan your meals. “Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal”. Do you want to look back and say, I should have done more to take care of myslef? What’s stopping you now…

My Influences: Reading and Websites
The Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler
Prograde Nutrition
Defense Nutrition
Precision Nutrition
The Wellness Practice
The Innate Diet & Natural Hygiene by James L. Chesnut

October 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm 1 comment


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