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Fitlandia Blog: Nutrition

Episode 38 – The Falsehood of Everything in Moderation

Dr. Jerome Craig is back to talk about the falsehood of “everything in moderation.” This idea of moderation is tossed around so much in the diet industry and they both agree that it’s setting us up for failure.

The Truth About Moderation

  • If you don’t want to change, then everything in moderation works great! It maintains the status quo.
  • If you want to make health and wellness changes in your life, then moderation is not going to work.
  • If you’re using moderation as an excuse for not changing, it’s working – there will be no change.

Dr. Craig provides an example of a patient who is a type 2 diabetic, on multiple medications, life not going well and who wants to change but cannot give up his daily chocolate-coated almonds. Dr. Craig appealed to the patient that he needed to get away from the almonds, that they were a sugar addiction and he needed to give them up.

“The only way to break an addiction to something is to give it up” Dr. Craig explains.

It’s not going to serve you to have only a little of whatever substance you’re addicted to, whether it be alcohol, sugar, refined carbs or potato chips. The substance fires up the pleasure areas in the brain, and releases serotonin and dopamine, so our mood changes, we feel good – and we want more. We consume more, then we crash and feel crappy. We can’t simply have three potato chips or one drink and hope that the addiction stays at bay. That’s why “everything in moderation” truly does not work.

Fitlandia’s No Fools’ Detox

Those NFD focuses on eliminating 5-6 foods for 30 days to  to identify which foods are trigger foods for you, as well as get a clean break from them. At the end of the program, participants are guided to reincorporate one food at a time and track their body’s response so they get a clear sense of which foods work for them and which do not.

During the program members are often faced with their friends and family telling them that elimination diets are just a fad and they’ll be fine as long as they use “moderation.” It just doesn’t work like that. Just as you can’t tell an alcoholic to drink in moderation, you can’t say this to a sugar addict either. She supports them in dealing with these external challenges while they make their break.

Stop Saying the “F” Word: “I’m Fine.”

If you want change you have to take some sort of radical steps to at least get started. The radical changes don’t have to be forever, but moderation is never going to serve you in the beginning. Once you achieve your weight and health goals, you may find that you still have certain foods or substances that are problematic for you.

  1. Defining what works for you and your body
  2. Understanding what’s happening when we’re back on a ‘slippery slope’
    • Life circumstances?
    • Trying to self-soothe?
    • Not enough exercise?
    • Not enough breath work?
  3. Everything in moderation can lead us back to an old pattern

Christa shares her personal struggle with donuts and wine. These are things that she limits to rare instances, but has learned to pay attention to cravings and to take appropriate action, not the substance, if and when they do occur, ask herself, “What’s going on, what am I doing, or not doing?”

Occasional, Rare, and Never: What Foods Should Go Into Which Bucket?

The ideal scenario is that we can have sugar, refined carbs and alcohol “occasionally,” but through your journey you may find that’s just not possible. Start by thinking what each category means and where you might start to identify opportunities to make changes.

Occasional

If you’re not addicted to a food or substance and it is not a problem for you, then a few times per month is fine. (4 x/month)

Rare

A problem food or substance should only be consumed on rare instances. Using food as a reward or a celebration needs be limited to special occasions, but certainly not on a frequent basis. (1 x/month)

Never

Abstain completely from addictive foods or substances. If you’re triggered by a food to the point where you know it isn’t serving your goals, but you can’t control consumption of it and it takes you back to a daily pattern, it’s likely time to release it for a longer period of time (3+ months) or forever.

Final Tip

Become mindful of what foods or substances trigger something in you and takes you away from your goals so that you can be fit for life, and not dieting. The only true possession we have in life is our body so you’ve got to take care of it so it takes care of you.

Additional Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-sugar-makes-you-addicted/

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/01/15/262741403/why-sugar-makes-us-feel-so-good

Dopamine Deficiency, Depression and Mental Health

Use the buttons below to subscribe, rate and review our show. In your comments, let us know what is your “occasional” or “rare,” or “never” foods. If you have additional questions, post them in your review and we’ll answer them on a future show!

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Episode 36 – Stories of Transformation: Jeneen

Jeneen Haven – Another Inspiring Story of Transformation

Real people making real like changes and delivering strategies and tips. Jeneen found Fitlandia on Facebook as she was looking a support group that aligned with her beliefs of eating whole food, not a diet club, or anything fad-like. She joined the Fitlandia FB group and connected with Christa. Jeneen now works as a holistic health coach and shares her journey of weight loss and what she has discovered along the way about herself and her relationship with food.

Jeneen’s Transformation Journey

Over 10 years ago, Jeneen and her family moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Boise, ID to start a business. She encountered winter for the first time, the challenges of entrepreneurship and a life that felt out of control. She realized that the one thing she had control over was herself. She weighed 230 pounds, felt embarrassed and ashamed; like she didn’t belong or wasn’t good enough to be with the other moms at her children’s school or at church. It was at that moment she decided that she was done being fat. Jeneen took an honest look at herself and acknowledged that she was obese.

She bought a YMCA membership, made a green smoothie daily, dropped the older kids at school each day and went directly to the gym. She checked her younger ones into daycare and hit the treadmill daily. Jeneen didn’t like the treadmill, but she did like “Law and Order” – and would watch the hour-long show before exiting the machine to get her children from daycare. They would then eat a healthy lunch, vegetable snacks in the afternoon, and a plant-based, protein evening meal with the entire family. She repeated this routine for ten months and dropped 80 pounds. There was no magic – just positive, healthy changes.

Jeneen’s Beliefs Around Food

  • Food is love
  • We celebrate with food
  • It’s a way to connect with her children
  • Being a good mother by baking homemade goods
    • Sweet rolls
    • Sugar cookies
    • Granola with honey, oats wheat flour and dried berries
    • Calorie-dense foods
    • Grain-based diet

Jeneen’s health transformation came when she let go of grains and began emphasizing veggies instead. Christa reminds us to, “Make every plate 50-75% vegetables, whether you are eating paleo, vegan or Whole 30.” And the importance of limiting fruits – it’s not the adage of “eat your fruits and vegetables,” its now, eat your vegetables and occasionally some fruit. The fructose in fruits can easily be stored as fat unless we are moving enough to actually burn the sugar.

Your Family Should be Your “Why” and Not Your “Why Not”

For years, Jeneen used her family and being a mom as an excuse not to take care of herself.

“How can I put my kids in daycare?”

“How can I not bake for my kids?”

“How can I not decorate cookies on Valentine’s Day?”

“How can I be so selfish?”

Using Weight as a Protective Shield

Jeneen’s feelings of not being as good, as pretty, or as organized as the other moms were the beliefs that kept her obese. The weight created a buffer to take herself out of the comparison with other women/moms who she felt she didn’t stack up against.

Jeneen’s mother is obese and growing up she felt a connection with her at a core level. She had fear that her mother wouldn’t love her if she lost weight and changed “tribes.”

Lasting Changes

Once Jeneen started to experience the increased confidence and freedom of releasing the weight, she could reap all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle; a few of them include:

  • Shopping for clothes in regular stores
  • Eating healthy and exercising to get off medications
  • Endorphins kicking in
  • Exercise increased from walking to weight lifting = feeling strong!

Christa gives a shout-out to resistance training, which supports the brain on so many levels. The benefit we women get with developing our strength and our muscles is so amazing.

Not Feeling Deprived

During Jeneen’s weight loss journey, she allowed herself a weekly treat of boneless buffalo wings. After eating healthy all week, she and a girlfriend would meet and share a basket of wings. This helped her to stay on track while enjoying the social connection with her good friend. She also had a weekly date night with her husband and she would choose a salad and protein. These activities were a testimony that she could still enjoy foods she loved, but in the right proportion.

There are general guidelines that create the highest level of success for most people, but then it’s about creating a lifestyle and an eating plan that works for life.

It’s important to understand what works for you and what your triggers are

Emotions Drive Specific Cravings

Angry = crave spicy

Stressed = crave salty

Sad = crave sweets

Happy = crave sweets

This discovery helped Jeneen realize that not only did she crave these types of foods at specific instances, but that she is now more mindful of using any type of food to numb emotions.

Become curious to when, what, why we are eating. What’s going on? What are the feelings?

Jeneen’s Take-away Tips

  • Make your children your “why” and not your “why not”
  • Change patterns learned from family of origin and model good behavior
  • Set boundaries – don’t sacrifice peace, joy and confidence
  • Do it for yourself – I’m worth it, I care how I look and how I feel
  • Make fitness and health non-negotiable
  • Investing in “me” does not take away from “them”

You can learn more about Jeneen and her work at: http://healmomfirst.blogspot.com/

We’d love to hear how this episode has helped you on your fitness journey! Head over to iTunes or Stitcher and leave us a review with your comments. We’ll feature them in an upcoming show.

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Episode 34 – Why You Need to Keep a Food Journal to Reach Your Goals (sorry)

This week Christa welcomes Dr. Jerome Craig back to introduce us to the serious subject of food journaling. Even though food journaling is something most of us are resistant to do, they discuss the importance of it and offer some easy fun ways to track our foods. Journaling is necessary to build a starting point and a foundation of what foods work or don’t work for each individual person.

 

Why Food Journal?

  • Helps us be more mindful
  • Are we under or over eating
  • Not calorie counting, but awareness about excessive consumption
  • Awareness of how specific foods cause discomfort and what to bring back after elimination
  • Builds discipline, new habits, improved processing and better sleeping patterns

Dr. Craig says, “If you’re not aware of what you’re eating and you’re having health problems, food journaling is a good place to start.”

Tips for Easy Journaling

  • Don’t complicate it – release the perfection.
  • Be curious – “How does this affect my body?” Christa describes food journaling as a journey of self-discovery, figuring out what best works for your body instead of a set of rules.
  • Apps are helpful! Christa’s recommends MyNetDiary Pro which links with your Fitbit and tracks nutrients, macros, vitamins and helps you build and save your own recipes.
  • Keep your app or your food notebook around you so it’s always accessible.
  • Don’t focus on the calories. Jerome says, “Your body doesn’t really care about the calories it cares about the inflammation its bringing to the cells.” It’s more important to be getting your micronutrients than to be counting calories or macros.

“One thing we all do every single day, and probably devote a lot of time thinking about every single day, is eating. So why not make it easier so you can come up with ideas of what really works for you.”, says Dr. Craig. Food journaling helps us come up with meals that work for us to have better health, which includes improved digestion and more restful sleep.

Whatever health benefits you’re trying to reach or if you’re starting a new food plan, make sure you track your mood, sleep, digestion and energy. When you are making a change and have a goal in mind – food journal!

Fitlandia Upcoming Events

May 31
Dr. Craig and Christa are starting a new 7-week Keto 101 online program: Pumping up your Fitness with Fat. This new program includes one-on-one sessions, educational webinars, access to private forums and the Fitlandia Facebook group, and a one-year membership to Fitlandia.

Head over to the Keto 101 Program for more information. As a thank you for tuning into today’s podcast, we’re offering 20% off to our listeners. Just enter PODCAST20 at checkout.

 

Want More? Subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday! Share your comments in a review and we’ll feature you in an upcoming podcast.

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Episode 33 – Proper Fueling for Exercise

Today Christa welcomes April Saunders, Registered Dietician and Diabetes Coach who is also known as the “Love Carbs Coach.” April’s mission is similar to Fitlandia’s greater mission of ending the dieting cycle.

 

The most common problems are:

  • People don’t eat enough of the good stuff
  • People have a diet, deprivation mentality and a low-carb, low-fat mindset

April states, “We have the answers to our best life; our healthier most wonderful life – if you want to run, jump, laugh, learn, swim, dance and play you need carbs. To lose weight and optimize energy – we need to eat more!”

The dieting industry is a $64 billion industry that has taught us to care too much about what we look like instead of how our bodies function. By focusing more on how we feel, we can let that be our motivation including the benefit of weight loss.

Christa reminds us that cooking your own food can a beautiful meditative process, a great opportunity to slow down, gain balance and is an act of self love.

April offers tips for healthy easy meals to cook at home, that you can put in the freezer for the week. Check out her website for recipes that are simple and healthy,

Food Journaling

Everyone’s individual needs vary but most nutritionists agree that everyone should do food journaling. Here’s why:

  • Quicker time to discover what foods work or don’t work for your body
  • Paleo, vegan, raw foods aren’t for everyone – different digestive needs
  • Removing all sugars to break from that additive cycle

Keeping a food journals helps us see how our bodies react to certain foods, which is the science of Nutrigenetics; how actual nutrients influence our genes at the molecular level.

April helps to design a balanced, maintenance diet for people who are past the elimination phase of these foods by overcoming their addictive components. This creates a healthier lifestyle which is sustainable; and fuels our bodies sufficiently for exercise.

April works with people who want to:

  • Fuel with whole foods
  • Optimize blood sugar
  • Get their fat off
  • Have a little fun
  • Don’t like diets

Proper Fueling for Exercise

Fueling for Exercise “recreational exerciser” (more than walkers, but not marathoners)

  1. Have their macros optimized – balanced carbs, fats, proteins
  2. Fill in the gaps with healthy fats and healthy carbs

What is a healthy carb?

  • Whole foods – you won’t be able to read grams because “anything that is a healthy carb doesn’t have a “label”
  • Starchy vegetables – nutrient dense types such as sweet potatoes, peas, legumes, parsnips, turnips
  • Whole grains – brown rice and low glycemic index options such as basmati rice and quinoa

Look for foods that give you carbohydrate energy that is slow and sustaining. The goal is to optimize blood sugars and stay away from anything refined.

Refined is when heat is added and it breaks down the substance. For example, steel cut oats are cut in four ways but not modified, whereas “instant” or “quick” means it has been processed down to a level that will impact your blood sugar.

“Stay close to the farm or the field, and as far away from as you can from the factory”, April suggest

Standing Up for Carbs

Let’s not lump all types of carbs together, healthy carbs are nutritious foods.

Whole fruits are carbs, the fruit sugar/ fructose provides carbohydrate energy. There are bio-active chemicals that haven’t been named yet which exist in whole fruit and vegetables that have amazing functional properties.

Christa offers a favorite quote from her colleague, Dr. Jerome Craig, “Those occasional treats that we have, there is no guilt, only consequences.” She says those consequences may lead to food cravings or increased weight, but we shouldn’t feel bad about it

 When and What to Eat for Pre and Post Workout

  1. Morning Workout
  • No need to eat before exercising if properly fueled from the day before
  • If you are starving when you wake up, eat something small and wait a short while before exercising
  1. Mid-day
  • You want to be properly fueled throughout the day for optimal performance
  • If more than three hours have passed since your last meal, have a snack including a small amount of protein and a slow digestive carb like a piece of fruit
  • Watch your fats before a workout or run because of digestive distress
  1. Evening
  • If you’re going to work out within 2 hours of your evening meal, there should be no need to refuel before exercising

Within 30 minutes after cardio you need both carbohydrate and protein, usually around 200 calories total with optimal 100 calories from protein and 100 from carbs. It’s necessary to restore the glycogen lost during the workout. The challenge might be to grab a healthy choice like:

  • a handful of fruit and nuts
  • greek yogurt
  • a whole grain rice cake with peanut butter

Try to resist reaching for the ice cream in the freezer or chips in the pantry as these will decrease your results and lessen the effectiveness of your workouts.

April’s Pro Tips

  1. Properly fuel your body every 3-4 hours
  2. Sufficient proteins are important, but the body can only process 30-40g of protein at one time. This is why it is important to have a balanced amount of macro nutrients in almost every meal
  3. If you want to work out at your peak performance level you need to have healthy carbs in order to do so

We’d love to hear how this episode has helped you on your fitness journey! Head over to iTunes or Stitcher and leave us a review with your comments. We’ll feature them in an upcoming show.

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Episode 30 – Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

We’re pleased to welcome Functional Medicine Practitioners, Doctors Mark and Michele Sherwood, to talk with us about how to live and benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet.

Background

Dr. Michele Sherwood began working in functional medicine after she began noticing that she addressed her patients more by their specific medications or diseases, instead of by their names. She had earned a naturopath degree before medical school and was now realizing she was simply prescribing maintenance medicines to her patients; a type of “band aid”. She discovered a dramatic improvement in her patients and in her practice when she began to look at the root cause and their life as a whole; including nutrition, activity level, hormonal balances, stress, and sleep patterns which can feed into sickness and disease.

Mark and Michele, besides being married, also have a wellness-based medical practice. They work with genetics, excessive fat reduction, medication reduction and improvement of muscle tissue and texture. Simply put, they’re working to eliminate self-imposed choice driven sickness and diseases from the planet.

By helping to get the focus off obsessing over weight and transitioning to eating whole foods and being healthier overall, Mark and Michele are hoping to work themselves out of jobs.

Get healthy on purpose and lose weight on accident

Mark states, “Anytime we talk about a program where weight loss is included, it’s important to remember, you cannot lose muscle tissue.” Muscle tissue is the way we move our bodies, without it, we’re dying. When we focus on maintaining muscle, we lose fat and overall body composition and our longevity improves.

When focusing on overall body composition it’s a good ratio for 10%-20% body fat for men and 18%-28% for woman. When this is normalized, physical health and emotional health improves.

In their practice, they use an analysis called Bioimpedance for examining body composition. This is different than BMI (Body Mass Index) that measures below, in the middle or above a certain range for body composition but doesn’t actually measure the actual body mass. Conversely, Bioimpedance evaluates lean body mass; how much is withheld, fat inflammatory mass, intracellular and outer cellular water and basal metabolic rate. This is a more accurate measure of cellular health.

This is used as a base line evaluation of a body’s composition and how many calories are necessary to be properly fueled. Mark and Michele use this to study and develop individual plans for their patients. They’re also working on point specific genetics dealing with metabolic health and sports components. Stay tuned for a future podcast where we’ll dive into this information on what chronic inflammation can do this to our bodies and techniques like these that can be used to target solutions.

Now, how does our food inflame us right into disease?

Inflammation, when acute, is how we heal. When it becomes chronic is when it becomes problematic and is the first signs of sickness or disease.

Roughly 80% of the inflammation in our bodies is coming in through our mouths.

When we eat foods that inflame our system, they’re disguised as macronutrients when in reality, they’re simply just macro calories. If we have an efficient, healthy body when we eat foods with good macro nutrient quality, we can get the micro nutrients out of these foods. If not, our bodies start to get inflamed and break them down one organ at a time which can result in hormone imbalances, weight gain, back pain, digestion issues, brain fog, etc.

Known inflammatory foods  

A good pneumonic for these foods is, S.A.D. which stands for the Standard American Diet.

This includes:

  • Fried Foods
  • Sugars, Artificial Sweeteners, Soda
  • Processed Foods and Preservatives – including processed sandwich meats
  • MSG – fillers found in dressings, cookies, spices etc.
  • Excessive Caffeine – 200-300 milligrams more than daily amount
  • Excessive Alcohol – 1-2 drinks a week
  • Corn, Soy, Yeast, Grains and Bread
  • Anything found in a box or package
  • Any foods with added ingredients to change the foods nature or preserve it

 Anti-inflammatory foods to enjoy

Anything that grows in the land, aside from certain food allergies, is going to be much easier for the body to identity and digest. Including more of these types of foods will start to improve your health and mood in as little time as a week!

  • Raw fruits – lower glycemic so you watch sugar levels, but also include nutrients and vitamins
  • Vegetables – no limits to greens. Vegetables help alkalize the system and help with digestion, they also provide lots of minerals and fiber.
  • Hormone free, grass-fed meat
  • Pasture raised eggs
  • Fish – fresh cod and farm-raised fish like trout

Pro Tip: 75% of your plate = vegetables and then make healthy fat choices for the remaining 25%.

What to expect when transitioning to an anti- inflammatory diet

  • Increase in energy which helps release brain fog
  • Better digestion which boosts weight loss
  • Look out for perceived fatigue because of blood sugar dropping – don’t quit – have a piece of fruit, and let your mind and body start to adjust.
  • Don’t focus on depravity but welcome the new journey of releasing toxins and overcoming the brain, gut connectivity we have to certain foods.

It’s helpful to stay connected and you’ll be three times more successful with support and accountability partners. Here at Fitlandia we have an amazing group of people who will help you every step of the way.

Mark states, “Don’t dabble in your health, it’s not a part time job but a full-time life.”

Ready to try out an anti-inflammatory diet and reclaim your health with both mental and nutritional support?

Our next No Fools’ Detox starts on 5/15/17. Only 15 spots available! A FREE, 1-yr membership to Fitlandia is included ($228 value). Our listeners get 20% off. See below for details.

REGISTER TODAY! 

(THANKS FOR LISTENING! Save 20% and enter EPISODE30 at checkout)

Want More? Subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday!

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How Your Junk Food Reward for Exercise is Killing Your Goals

Wow! That was a great workout! You feel motivated. You feel proud. You did it!

You are taking steps toward your goals and burning those calories like nobody’s business! Time for a little sweet treat to reward yourself, right?

Think again.

Reaching for that cookie to reward yourself for your workout might just be the very thing that is making your healthy lifestyle journey so difficult.

Why?

Our brains are malleable substances. They notice, learn, and adopt patterns and behaviors without us consciously realizing it. This can be great for learning basic skills as a child, but it can be detrimental to our success when trying to permanently adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Though after a great workout we may think to ourselves, “Hey, I worked really hard. I’ve totally earned a little sweet treat!” you may want to think about what is really going on.

Rewarding our good behaviors with opposing, less desirable behaviors can actually trigger our brain to derail and fall back into our old lifestyles of unhealthy eating and reward systems.

Even just one cookie as a reward can lead you off course. One cookie can easily trigger your brain to fall into an addictive behavior…until it’s not just one cookie anymore.

It’s a cookie after every workout. It’s a cookie a week. It’s a cookie a day. And down you go into old habits that fight against the healthy lifestyle you are aiming for.

Try A New Perspective.

Consider the calorie count. The average cookie, muffin, donut or other favorite sweet treat contains about the same amount of calories that you burn from a really great 1 hour workout.

So you are you really “earning” the cookie at all?

No, you are simply equaling out your hard earned calorie deficit and leaving yourself exactly where you started.

There is no need to feel ashamed! A cookie is by no means the end of the world.

It is GREAT to enjoy a cookie every once in awhile. But for no other reason than to enjoy it.

No reward. No harmful triggers to the brain. No falling back into old addictive behaviors. Just savoring a cookie and being okay with that!

Shame is Not the Answer.

The brain is a tricky thing and understanding it is the first step to being able to effectively mold it and create permanent lifestyle habits that will lead you the healthy life you desire.

Rewards work in our brain because of our ancestor’s need of basic survival. This is important when considering food because when our ancestors could eat, they could live.

Unfortunately, this system in our brain can now fight against us in a time when we can find plenty of food easily on the shelf at the store or in our very own pantry.

When we eat, our brain releases chemicals that make us feel good and tells us we are doing something right. But today, we have to make these associations with the right foods to support a healthy lifestyle.

Making these permanent changes is not about your willpower, it is about encouraging your brain to make positive choices that are associated with the healthy lifestyle you want. You can learn more about this in our article, Willpower is a Myth and a Lie. Learn How to Change Your Habits for Good!

So next time you finish that amazing workout, give it a second thought before reaching for that cookie and try creating new reward responses in your brain. Give yourself a nice big glass of cold water, find a positive quote for the day, or snack on a bit of tasty fruit. Your body AND your mind will thank you!

Ready to adopt new thought patterns and perspectives to support your healthy lifestyle? Download the Mind Zoning® app for FREE today!

References:

Grohol, John M. “MIT explains why bad habits are hard to break.” World of Psychology: Psych

Central (2005): https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2005/10/20/mit-explains-why-bad

-habits-are-hard-to-break/

Yau, Yvonne H. C., and Marc N. Potenza. “Stress and Eating Behaviors.” Minerva

endocrinologica 38.3 (2013): 255–267. Print.

Berridge, Kent C. “Food reward: Brain substrates of wanting and liking.” Neuroscience and

Behavioral Review 20.1 (1996): 1-25.

Articles for inspiration:

https://wayofgray.com/cheat-meals-good-bad/

http://sixpackforgirls.com/avoid-ruining-your-diet-over-the-weekend

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-to-overcome-food-addiction/

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=1990

https://paleoleap.com/reward-yourself-without-food/

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-food-addiction-works/


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Episode 29 – Is a “Gluten Free” Diet Just a Fad?

This week we bring back regular guest, Dr. Jerome Craig, to teach us all about living a gluten free lifestyle. As you may know, Dr. Craig is the voice, vision and wisdom behind many of our Fitlandia webinars.


Today we’re talking about being gluten free and asking if it is just another diet fad or truly beneficial for our health. If you’ve listened to previous Fitlandia podcasts you know we’re passionate about bringing credible, science-backed information to our listeners – no more fads, no more diets, no more quick fixes. So, this gluten free thing is a hot topic right now, and was initially thought to be healthy. But now there’s a backlash about the research, or lack thereof about the health benefits of eating gluten free.

So, we posed this question to Dr. Craig, “Do you believe being gluten free is a diet fad?”

He tells us that it’s become a very popular way of eating. The statistics show that 20 million Americans are eating gluten free and a third of those people are trying to avoid gluten. It’s very much front and center in today’s culture.
So, is it a fad? Yes, no and maybe. It is a necessity for everyone? Yes, no and maybe. Dr. Craig states, it’s important to look at the science.
It’s hard to say, one way or another, exactly what being gluten free or not will do for your body but a diet concentrated mostly on any grain isn’t going to be the most nutritious. The best thing about grains is how much fiber they provide. Fiber is good for us, helping to maintain blood glucose levels but also creates digestive distress for many people and that’s when the gluten argument gets a little foggy.

So, what is gluten?gluten

Typically, we know of gluten as the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is made up of two molecules that are added together; a larger, polymeric glutenin and a smaller protein, gliadin. When combined, they create a lot of stickiness. As wheat is ground and kneaded into dough, it becomes very elastic which is popular in bread making. The air molecules within the dough are trapped, making the bread strong and fluffy.

This is where the science and the argument come in – the gluten free market place is a huge industry now. Dr. Craig tells us, “The gluten free market has more than doubled in sales between 2011 and 2016 and today is a $15 billion market.”
Although thriving, these products are not necessarily better for you, just because they are gluten free. Most of these baked goods are corn or rice based and don’t provide us more nutrition.

Gluten Free Society posts a variety of glutens. Their argument is with 400 glutens occurring in nature; only 40 of those exist in the human food supply. Most seeds are made with components that are meant to be protected and not digested. These seeds are grown so animals eat and spread them to reassure regrowth of the plants. For optimal health and digestion, it is recommended to not only watch wheat glutens, but all grains because every grain has gluten in it.

That’s right; gluten is not just in wheat, rye and barley but also rice, corn and millet which are used in gluten free foods. These all have a group of plant storage proteins, called prolamins, which for most of us are not easily digestible. If we look back at traditional ways of making breads, they used to ferment it. These grains required time to absorb water and the fermentation process gave the bread the gluten-like texture we know and love.

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like they Used To

Today, however, commercial bakeries use a gluten concentrate in creating doughs. This modern way of milling flour strips the nutrients, leaving the starch and then the concentrate is added to make the bread fluffy again. This is why eating “gluten” causes intestinal distress for so many people because our immune systems and guts are reacting to it. Additives such as coloring, sweeteners, shortening and bleaching agents are added to commercial bread products and are not usually labeled because they’re not technically food ingredients. No wonder our bodies are inflamed!

One of our big issues with gluten today is with studies of Celiac; a serious genetic autoimmune disorder. Celiac provokes problems with the immune system if gluten is consumed. Most celiacs have to follow a strict gluten free diet. Even non-celiac people may have sensitivity to wheat/ gluten because many ingredients in wheat can be problematic. The best way to feel better is to avoid eating these types of foods for a period of time, and there are certain probiotics that may help people digest gluten.

Dr. Craig points out, “If you eliminate all grains from your diet, you’re going to change your body’s microbiology. This colony changes when you change what you eat, and when a certain food is eliminated and then brought back into the diet later – there is likely to be difficulties with digestion.”
Studies do show people who suffer with gut inflammation, leaky gut or IBS greatly benefit from a grain free diet. Eliminating grains not only helps us cut out wheat glutens but we naturally incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet instead of processed foods. This gives us greater health benefits by increasing our nutrients and helping to manage blood sugar levels.

It’s not about replacing the gluten with other non-gluten baked goods but transitioning into more of a “paleo style” way of eating by removing all flours and adding in more root vegetables and nutrient dense foods. We need to listen to our bodies. When we slow down and pay attention to how our body feels, we can use that as a guide for dietary choices. The easiest way to see what might be causing you inflammation is to take a break from it, see how great your body feels, and introduce it back slowly later if you choose.

Tips on Reintroducing Foods Back Into Your Diet

Grains for example:
• Look up fermentable ways to make your own bread so you know exactly what you’re adding in to it
• Start with consuming small amounts and see if you feel any gastrointestinal distress
• Probiotics which help with digestion – some in the bacillus or lactobacillus family or any lactate fermenting will help break down these foods.

With so many people suffering from gut inflammation and borderline immune dysfunction, its no wonder that being gluten free has become so popular and is seen as a trending fad.

People who experience food disorders or GI distress tend to benefit from a low FODMAP diet. A low FODMAP diet, or FODMAP elimination diet, refers to a temporary eating pattern that has a very low amount of food compounds called FODMAPs.

The acronym, as described by co-creator Sue Shepard, stands for:

• Fermentable – meaning they are broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the large bowel
• Oligosaccharides – “oligo” means “few” and “saccharide” means sugar. These molecules are made up of individual sugars joined together in a chain
• Disaccharides – “di” means two. This is a double sugar molecule
• Monosaccharides – “mono” means single. This is a single sugar molecule
• And Polyols – these are sugar alcohols (however, they don’t lead to intoxication!)

This way of eating is primarily beneficial for people with GI problems because any fructans, the fructose molecule found in wheat are removed as well as plant fibers which lead to bacterial overgrowth in the gut.

Leaky gut can also be caused by a gluten dense diet resulting in a buildup of antibodies to the hormone, Zonulin. This hormone, which acts like a border control in the gut, opens up gap junctions allowing large particles to pass through. However, gluten stimulates the release of Zonulin which can promote leaky gut.

How do glutens affect autoimmune disease?

Protein molecules that define a grain may be mistaken by our immune system to look like the digestive tract called molecular mimicry. Hyperpermeability, or the increase of permeability (leaky gut), is at the heart of immune dysfunction. Protein leaks out of the digestive tract directly into the blood stream which creates a negative response in our bodies. This can be caused by food particles or toxins that make it across the bacteria that lines the gut. Our bodies become hyper-vigilant and when the immune system dials in with an unrecognizable substance in the system, our bodies can start attacking its own cells. To help with this, we want to broaden the spectrum of probiotic foods in our diet, since we tend to miss out on nutrients if we eliminate food groups for long periods of time.

For people who are trying to reintroduce foods back to their diets, Dr. Craig suggests starting with fermented foods which are easier to digest. A small amount of toxins help to keep our immune system alert and makes it easier to adjust after detoxification.

As you start reintroducing foods look for:

• Family history (especially celiac) to try and avoid gluten and grains
• Gut inflammation (heart burn, IBS) correlations with food allergies
• Intestinal permeability (many food sensitives) you will start to react to more foods
• Skin issues (eczema, psoriasis, discoloring, bruising)
• Digestion (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn)
• Brain function (brain fog, hard time concentrating, fatigue after meals which are all associated with immune function and a difficulty regulating blood sugar and insulin levels.
• Anxiety / Depression – inflammatory process which grains tend to feed into this response

For more on how grains affect our neurological health, check out Grain Brain by David Perlmutter.
If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms we’ve talked about or are curious about eating grain or gluten free, it’s worthwhile to try it for your body. Our food controls every function of our bodies; our mood, energy and our digestion.
When you look out for your gut, your gut will look out for you!

Here are some helpful tips:

• Focus on understanding how your body feels – food journaling is beneficial
• Use framework of how you’re doing with eliminating or reintroducing foods (Christa uses a scale 1-5)
• Look at avoiding pesticides and glyphosates in commercial foods which damage the gut microbiome
• Be confident in your journey in finding what best works for your body

Do you love Dr. Craig as much as we do? You can join his online Nutritional Ketosis program that launches April 23rd. A FREE, 1-yr membership to Fitlandia is included ($228 value). Our listeners get 20% off. See below for details.

REGISTER TODAY! 

(save 20% and enter LOVEKETO at checkout – good through 4/14)

Want More? Subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast today and have a healthy commute everyday!

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Episode 28 – Stories of Transformation with Gina & Kris Robert

Long-time (30 years!) friend of Christa, Gina Robert and her husband Kris, join the Fitlandia Podcast to talk about their incredible lifestyle overhaul. They’ll share how they managed to make amazing healthy changes in spite of both of them having full-time jobs and 4 children, 2 of them under 10! This episode is filled with laughs as they all speak openly about what it takes to make a permanent lifestyle change.

 

The show opens with Christa cracking up as Gina says, “She looks just like she did in high school, except without the bangs.” After the ladies recall they’ve known each other for over 30 years, first meeting in high school, they settle in to talk more about their collective fitness journeys. Through the power of Facebook, they’ve been able to watch each other’s transformation over time.

Kris shares his story of growing up in sports and how he started to lose his healthy fitness habits in college to focus on his studies. He also notes the typical college lifestyle of not-so-healthy food in the cafeteria and drinking. As a teacher he found he was stress eating too. He would make attempts over the years with Weight Watchers and/or brief stints at the gym.

Kris was  diagnosed morbidly obese and found it increasingly difficult to find clothes that fit. He knew he had to make a change.

Gina then brought to his attention a challenge at Fit Body Bootcamp where they both signed up! Feeling a bit skeptical at first, Kris then became hooked through their challenges where he’s now

  • lost over 60 lbs since September 2016
  • has all normal blood work, including cholesterol for the first time in his life
  • lost 15% body fat
  • inspired now to help others on their own fitness journey
  • reversed digestive issues

Gina was personally motivated after her daughter turned 2 and after having a c-section, she wanted to get her body, especially her stomach feeling fit and doctors told her to reactivate these muscles. Well that inspired her to look at her total body the same way – that it was time to reactivate ALL of her muscles to get fit.

Previously, they would let their healthy food spoil so now they are saving money by making time to cook and using the healthy food they buy. Gina’s gotten very creative using spices and veggies to change up using base proteins like chicken – and even her kids are gobbling it up!

Kris and Gina then go on to talk about their #1 tip: PLANNING for meal prep.

Sunday is their big prep day together and they’ll take the time to get all of their veggies prep. When they do need to eat out, they just make healthy choices.

Christa, Kris and Gina commiserate on the negative attitudes they hear from others on how hard it is to give up X or they don’t have enough time for X. It’s just a matter of changing habits. Christa then talks about the power of Mind Zoning® to change the neural pathways in the brain.

Together they all discuss how unhealthy foods are a part of our culture and how to integrate the occasional treat. They are sticking with their new diet because they finally know what it feels like to feel normal and how that outweighs that brief moment of indulgence with cake. Kris wraps up with his favorite tip to have your favorites on hand. Try new things, yes, but when you’re really busy, have your go-to meal available. Final thoughts from them all – have positive thoughts! Get the Mind Zoning® app free here.

“Focus on what you’re gaining and not what you’re giving up.” – Christa

 

Show Gina & Kris some love and head over to iTunes or Stitcher (click below) to download this episode, give us a rating and tell us what you got out of hearing their story today.

 

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12 Ways to Make Healthy Eating Fast and Easy!

We’ve packed over a dozen tips for making healthy eating fast and easy. If you or a friend think healthy eating and preparing your own meals is too time-consuming, then this is a must watch.

 

And if negative thoughts about living a healthy lifestyle are crowding your mind, head over to the iTunes store and download our FREE Mind Zoning® app.

Listen to the Healthy Suggestion Surge each morning and evening (just a quick 2.5 minutes!) and watch as your habits start to transform.

 


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Stop Putting Off These 5 Powerful Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Stop Putting Off These 5 Powerful Healthy Lifestyle Habits

In a world that is all about “less” it is somewhat foreign to think about adding more of something in our lives. We are told to eat less, weigh less, own less…the list continues. But there are many healthy lifestyle habits that are positively powerful and could and should be increased in our daily lives. And believe it or not, they are easy!

These lifestyle changes can reduce our stress, add value to our daily experiences, or even help improve our overall health and wellness. Developing a healthy lifestyle is essential to leading a happy, productive and enjoyable life daily.

The other benefit to adopting, practicing and improving these 5 healthy lifestyle habits? Beginning with one or many of these changes will make it that much easier to have other incredibly healthy lifestyle practices stick, too!

Check out these amazing 5 healthy habits you should add MORE of in your life NOW…

1) Drink More Water 

Water is a well known essential nutrient for the human body. Our bodies use water for basic functions and requires continuous hydration in order to work properly.

Studies have shown that even slight dehydration of 1-2% can impair basic cognitive performance, critical thinking, attentiveness and even memory.

Drinking plenty of water can even help with weight loss. Another study at Virginia Tech suggests that drinking water before eating your meals can help increase metabolic rates and also encourage you to consume less calories!

Healthcare professionals suggest drinking at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day and drinking water before each meal. You will feel more energized when your body has the hydration it needs to perform at its best!

2) Get More Sleep

Sleep is the body’s way of hitting the reset button. We heal, we re-energize, and we fuel our bodies with sweet, sweet sleep. We not only need sleep for energy but also for cognitive function, physical wellness, and emotional well-being.

We all live busy lives but it is important to realize the implications of regularly having a lack of sleep. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk in heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and even obesity.

It is suggested to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Give yourself one week of 8 hours of sleep each night on a regular sleep schedule and you will feel incredible benefits!

3) Stand and Walk More

Leading a regularly active lifestyle is incredibly important for your health. Sitting all day at your desk is not only hard on your body, it is hard on your brain and energy levels as well! Try using a standing desk for half of the day (or more!) and see how you feel.

Feeling like you have low energy today? Try taking a 10 minute walk to clear your head and re-energize your body and brain!

Fitting in regular walking or standing into your daily life can make a huge difference in your happiness, and help you burn extra calories, too!

4) Practice More Deep Breathing

Let’s face it. Our daily lives can be incredibly stressful. There are many things that cause this stress and a great deal are out of our control, but taking a moment or two to focus on your breathing can bring you inner peace and help curb that anxiety you are feeling.

Try taking a deep breath for a count of 8, holding it for a count of 3, and fully exhaling for another count of 8. Repeat this as many times as necessary until you feel more at ease and in control of your situation.

Sometimes just taking a moment to appreciate and focus on your breath can be incredibly healing and pleasant, and is a much healthier way to respond to life’s daily stressors.

And don’t just take my word for it, studies have shown than even just a few sessions of controlled breathing can significantly lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in our brains. Talk about powerful!

5) Eat More Small Meals

If you think back to our ancestors, there is very little chance that they survived by eating three square meals a day. They were foragers and continuously ate throughout each day to survive. So how can we integrate this principle into our modern lives?

Try allowing yourself to graze throughout your day. Pack healthy, nutrient rich snacks and small meals to eat while you are away from the house. So long as you make meal choices that align with a healthy lifestyle, you will gain boosts of energy from each serving and feel more energized in general. Studies have even shown this practice could help with weight management.

Your digestive system will thank you, too! Not overloading your body with too many carbs or sugars in one sitting does a world of good for a healthy gut!

You Can Do It!

Many of these changes may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t get discouraged! Take small steps to integrate these powerful lifestyle habits into your daily schedule and slowly work your way to larger changes. Try your best and your hard work will pay off and help these powerful lifestyle habits stick!

Who doesn’t want to drink more, sleep more, walk more, breathe more, and eat more?!

The best part? You get to do MORE of what makes you feel happier and healthier each and every day!

 

What healthy habits are on your “must-do” list? Post up your comments below and we’ll feature the on an upcoming Fitlandia Podcast episode.

 

Reference

1 Riebl, Shaun K, and Brenda M. Davy. “The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive

Performance.” ACSM’s health & fitness journal 17.6 (2013): 21-28. PMC. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

2 Dennis, Elizabeth A. Ana Laura Dengo, Dana L. Comber, Kyle D. Flack, Jyoti Savla, Kevin P. Davy, and

Brenda M. Davy. “Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention

In Middle-aged and Older Adults.” Obesity: A research journal 18.2 (2010): 300-307. PMC. Web. 20

Mar. 2017.

3 “Why Is Sleep Important?” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2012) Web. 20 Mar. 2017

4 Diedrich, Sara. “A stand-up solution.” The University of Iowa: Iowa Now (2015): Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

5 “Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response.” Harvard Health Publications:

Harvard Medical School (2015): Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

6 Cea, Ugarte JI., Arrillaga A. Gonzalez-Pinto, and OM Cabo Gonzalez. “Efficacy of the controlled breathing

therapy on stress: biological correlates.” Rev Enferm 33.5 (2010): 48-54. Web. PMC 20 Mar. 2017.

7 Kant, AK. “Evidence for efficacy and effectiveness of changes in eating frequency for body weight

management.” Adv Nutr. 5.6 (2014): 822–828. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

Websites/Blogs searched for inspiration/ideas/studies:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/starting-a-healthy-lifestyle

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/prescriptions-life/201310/10-secrets-living-vibrantly-happy-healthy-life

http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/10-simple-steps-happier-healthier-you

 


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