Dear Food Diary – Day 6

Today, 22/11/11, I ate…

Breakfast: 7:45AM
Savory & Sweet Eggs
Mini protein smoothie
Allergy meds
Chromium
Magnesium
Probiotics

Exercise: 3 mile walk

Off to the airport!

Airport lounge: 12PM
Nibbles of carrot/beet dip
3 pieces of roasted eggplant
1/2 glass of dry champagne

First flight: 2:30PM
1 hard boiled egg
Water
15 fresh blueberries

Airport lounge: 5PM
Minced beef
Tuna salad
Water
3 fresh dates
1 glass of champagne

I will admit, I could have made better food choices and did not track all that I ate. I apologize and you can expect daily posts moving forward. 

Dear Food Diary – Day 5

Today, 21/11/11, the start of my birthday week, I ate

Goals: Eat no grains, no potato, legumes, dairy, sugar!

Breakfast: 7:15AM
2 poached eggs
Sauteed spinach in bacon fat
Water
Magnesium
Probiotics
Chromium Picolinate
Allergy Meds

Lunch: 1PM
Homemade cilnatro, garlic and pepper burger patty, maybe 4 ounces
Pumpkin dip, 1-2 tablespoons or 1 ounce
Leftover sauteed cabbage (the end of them, finally)

Exercise: 4 mile walk

Dinner: 6:30PM
Protein smoothie (spinach, coconut cream, chia seeds, why protein, raspberries)
Water

Snack: 8PM
Steamed broccoli in organic tomato sauce
3 bites of my husbands burger patty
Water

I head to Hawaii tomorrow for a friend’s wedding and I will likely track my food intake but not blog daily. Until then, think about any requests or questions you may want to ask me. Cheers to you and good health!

Australian Research: Inflammation

Eating to beat inflammation

The worry of wagyu … compared to kangaroo, it may trigger inflammation, say researchers.

Before you bite into a wagyu burger here’s some food for thought. Last year when Australian researchers looked at how the body reacts after either a meal of kangaroo or wagyu beef there was an intriguing difference: compared to the kangaroo, the wagyu meal appeared to prod the immune system into action, triggering the release of inflammatory chemicals.

Why bother comparing kangaroo with wagyu?

“Because kangaroo mimics the kind of wild meat that humans ate for thousands of years,” explains Dr Gary Egger, Professor of Lifestyle Medicine at Lismore’s Southern Cross University, and one of the researchers. “It’s meat from lean animals that run around and eat grass. Wagyu on the other hand is relatively new to the food supply and an example of modern meat from modern animals that are less active and often fed on grain.”

It’s too soon to say whether this might matter to our health, but the ‘roo versus wagyu experiment is the first of more proposed studies at Southern Cross University and the Australasian Research Institute to see if food with a high ‘Human Interference Factor’ is fuelling chronic inflammation, a problem now linked to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases including asthma, Alzheimer’s disease and possibly cancer. Other examples of old versus new foods on the researchers’ list are brown rice versus refined white rice, whole soybean flour versus processed soy isolate, and wholegrain flour versus white.

Inflammation is the immune system’s defence mechanism – and when it erupts on injured skin with redness and swelling it’s a sign that that your body’s repairing itself. But scientists now think there’s also a kind of low level inflammation smouldering inside the body that isn’t so healthy. Unlike the acute inflammation that helps heal a wound, chronic inflammation doesn’t switch off – and Egger thinks our modern lifestyle is the reason why.

Eating a western diet, stress, smoking, inactivity and skimping on sleep, have all been linked to chronic inflammation. And while all these habits have been part and parcel of industrialised societies for years, in the big picture of human evolution they’re new assaults on the body – so our immune system treats them like foreign invaders, he says.

“Modern lifestyles seem enough to cause an inflammatory reaction – it’s as if the immune system is programmed to react to activities in the same way as it does to microbes, but at a lower more chronic level,” Egger explains.

One example of where the immune system gets it wrong is in the blood vessels where it tries to defend the arteries against ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, but in doing so ends up thickening the artery walls – and contributing to hardened arteries.

So how can we live in an industrialised world and still keep inflammation at bay?

“Getting more sleep is part of it. Humans have never had such short sleep cycles as we do now,” Garry Egger points out. “We’re also walking about 15 kilometres less each day than we did 150 years ago. We can’t go back to doing that so we need to have institutionalised exercise to make up for it.”

We also need to choose foods that are less likely to provoke inflammation, and a number of studies point to a traditional Mediterranean style diet – big on plant foods and including olive oil, fish and nuts – as having an anti- inflammatory effect. Australian research from the University of Sydney reported earlier this year backs up the anti-inflammatory benefit of nuts – those who ate the most nuts had a 40 per cent reduced risk of dying from an inflammatory disease, according to data from the Blue Mountains Study, a long running study of residents in the Blue Mountains.

The kind of carbs we eat matters too. Garry Egger suggests that lowering inflammation is another argument for low GI carbohydrates which are generally anti-inflammatory – there’s some evidence that blood sugar spikes from rapidly digested high GI carbs can trigger inflammatory chemicals.

Tinkering

Have you ever heard of “tinkering” used in a sentence about how to eat? Tinkering is all about learning how to eat to best meat your personal needs. Every day is an experiment of feeling my best and most recently, among all of the great paleo research I have been obtaining, I have been finding myself reading about Intermittent Fasting (IF).

Rather than rewriting some points of what IF and how it benefits one’s health, I have found a well-written article on Calorie Lab and have pasted the copy below. Please provide input if you have had luck with IF. I would love to hear personal experiences.

Cheers to you and good health!

Contributor: “Dr. J”
Dr. J offers his irreverent, slightly irrelevant, but possibly useful opinions on health and fitness. A Florida surgeon and fitness freak with a black belt in karate, he runs 50 miles a week and flies a Cherokee Arrow 200.

I’d like to present a concept of fasting for weight loss or even as a lifestyle choice. Fasting as I understand it means voluntarily going for a length of time without food. I suppose that for someone that eats six meals a day, only eating five could be considered a fast. What I mean by “fasting” is going at least 16 to 20 hours between meals. Some refer to this as a type of intermittent fasting.

What Are the Downsides of Intermittent Fasting?

In my opinion, almost any eating style is an acquired taste. What I mean by this is that we can adapt and get used to eating in a wide variety of ways. Unless you have some type of condition that prohibits doing this, the only major downside to eating less frequently is social. It just does not fit in to the constant feeding style to which society has habituated itself.

One of the biggest challenges faced by someone on a diet can be hunger. Once individuals have adapted to eating less frequently, they will usually find that they are not as hungry during the fasting period, provided that they are consistent with their activity level and eating behavior as to amount and timing.

Another concern with less frequent eating is the so-called “starvation mode” or “starvation response.” This is where your metabolism slows down as a survival response to no food. This is not a problem with less frequent eating because any decrease in our metabolism from intermittent fasting does not occur unless we have continually fasted for days, and actually, a fast less than two to three days can increase our metabolic rate.

One other concern is that we will catabolize our muscle when fasting. This does not happen to any significant degree with less frequent eating. As long as we have adequate protein when we do eat, the body will burn carbohydrates and fat stores before turning to muscle for an energy source, especially if you make sure to use your muscles with some aerobic and strength training exercises several times a week. In fact, fasting will lead to a higher use of fat for energy, as that is what the body stores fat for primarily in the first place.

As for fasting leading to the body storing fat as a conditioned response to starvation, that simply does not happen unless you are in a calorie excess with your “fasting.”

What Are the Upsides of Intermittent Fasting?

Proponents of daily intermittent fasting suggest, among other things, the following:

  1. Intermittent fasting can make it easier to be in negative caloric state because eating less frequently makes it harder to overeat.
  2. It can be easier for you to lose body fat because you are in a fat-burning metabolic state for more hours per day.
  3. You can have an increased metabolism due to your short-term fasting.
  4. You will probably notice an increased energy to be active rather than feeling tired during the day from your body always having to use energy for the digestion of food.

Discussion

If you think in terms of the autonomic nervous system, there are two divisions, the sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic is involved with a fight-or-flight response, corresponding with arousal and energy generation, and the inhibition of digestion; the parasympathetic is involved with a rest-and-digest response, promoting calming and conservation of energy, and digestion enhancement.

This concept of daily intermittent fasting suggests that we have evolved to be more dominated by our sympathetic nervous system during the day, and by our parasympathetic nervous system at night. Simply put, the goal of daily intermittent fasting is to undereat and be overactive during the day, and overeat and be underactive at night.

Intermittent fasting does not mean that it’s alright to eat unhealthy foods. The basic dietary recommendations as to the nutritional quality of your food choices still apply.

If you are interested in learning more about the concept of intermittent fasting, there are several web sources that can give you additional information and allow you to make a more informed choice as to whether it can be of benefit to you and your health and fitness goals.

 

Other articles on fasting, which may be of interest:

The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

 

Dietitian & Doctor Recommend Simpler Eating

Ever since my mom foresaw my love of nutrition and desire to be a dietitian, she would collect all sorts of health related articles and newspaper clips to insure I was on-top of the “latest” wellness talk. And since I just moved from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, I came across one of these articles pulled from a 2008 Columbus Dispatch newspaper, “Doctor recommends simper eat.”

Yes, it’s slightly bizarre I am sharing a dated write-up but the included Q&A addresses topics that are taking place today, for example gluten free eating. I’ve typed the article below AND included my thoughts as a registered dietitian beneath Dr. Glen Aukerman’s comments.

Enjoy and please share your thoughts!

Q&A
Doctor recommends simpler eating
August 11, 2008

Dr. Glen Aukerman, medical director of the Ohio State University Center for Integrative Medicine, sees patients from throughout the world who are seeking alternative approaches to health care.

“Someday, this probably won’t be called integrative medicine,” said Laura Kunze, program coordinator. “It will just be called medicine — good medicine.”

Aukerman recently answered some questions about nutrition.

Q: You say that eating the wrong types of fruits and vegetables ranks among the biggest mistakes that people make. What should they eat?

A: You need to have fruits and vegetables that are grown locally and harvested locally.

Kelly A: I fully believe in locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, but I would ALWAYS recommend consumers to eat any fruits and vegetables rather than not eating any at all.

Q: You say that consuming too much gluten might cause symptoms such as fatigue, dry skin, abdominal pain and difficulties with concentration, among other things.

A: We eat foods with gluten in high levels (which sometimes cause malabsorption and autoimmune diseases). Our ancestors were not able to eat at that level, and we can’t. Because our ancestors did not eat high levels of gluten, most of us do not have the enzymes to break it down. We need to be limiting our wheat, barley, rye and spelt.

Kelly A: I couldn’t agree more. Our society is so caught up in “whole grain” everything that people are eating far too many grains and not enough produce. I have been gluten free for over 6 months and have never felt better. I will also add that I am not replacing whole grain breads and sweets with gluten free products, but I am choosing to eat far more vegetables and fruit in-place of grains.

Q: One of your biggest nutritional concerns involves omega-6 oil. Recent research shows that humans are getting too much of it. In what is it found?

A: The most common example is poultry — because those (animals) are fed corn and they accumulate the corn oil. (It is) also in granola products, tortillas, hummus, chips, all nuts, peanut butter.

Kelly A: The average consumer today is eating a much higher ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids and this is not consistent with our ancestors. For an explanation of an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio click here. Omega 6 fatty acids are commonly found in snack foods, crackers, and sweets. To improve your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio include more fruits and vegetables in your diet daily.

Q: Why are artificial sweeteners bad?

A: We can’t burn them, so they have to be detoxed like a chemical by our liver. Rat experiments show that, if we put rats on artificial sweeteners, they can gain more weight than if they’re eating real sugar.

Kelly A: I am not the biggest fan of man made food and I recommend that if you are not diabetic, you should make room in your calorie budget for regular sugar instead of sugar substitutes. And that is only if you choose to eat sweets at all.

Q: What should people start eating that they don’t eat — and why?

A: They should be eating lamb, pork or beef; omega-3 eggs; wild salmon; fruits and vegetables in season, frozen or canned; and rice products. Limit the corn products because of the corn oil. We advocate a diet that’s fairly simple.

Kelly A: I agree with the above mentioned foods yet I would add nuts and seeds. A few favorites are almonds, pecans and pumpkin seeds. I want to highlight that peanuts are a legume and legumes were introduced the human diet much after nuts.

Q: What are some of the most intriguing results that your patients have had?

A: We have had (older) couples go on it (a simpler diet). In six months, they’re not getting up to go to the bathroom. And in another three months, they claim their sexual appetites are what they were at 17.

Q: Walk me through a typical day of eating for you.

A: Rice (cereal) or a non-instant oatmeal; or a cornflake breakfast with either yogurt or milk on it; or some fruit that’s regional, seasonal, canned or frozen.

My lunch will sometimes be a baked potato with some broccoli and real sour cream, and an apple or a peach or a pear or some canned or frozen fruit.

And then my dinner will usually be similar, whether it’s lamb, beef, pork or beans. I may go rice and beans with some fruits and vegetables.

Kelly A: I’ve blogged a 5 day food log about a month ago. Click here to begin viewing with day 1.

Q: You noted a study showing that people who eat cornflakes or rice cereals for two meals a day are healthier by about 50 percent.

A: Yes, the Spanish School Nutrition study indicates we eat way too complex.We think variety is more important than it is for health.

Q: What Web sites do you recommend checking when creating a personalized nutrition plan?

A: efaeducation.nih.gov, www.nutritiondata.com and www.mypyramid.gov.

Kelly A: I love reading articles from whfoods.com and I love using the diet tools on fitday.com.

 

Do You Buy Organically Produced Foods?

A new study just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the higher priced organic items in the super market may NOT have more nutrients compared to other conventional produce. Specifically, the researchers point out in this study it’s unlikely consumption of the nutrients at the levels reported in organic foods provide any extra health benefit. An important corollary is that organically produced foods are not inferior to conventionally produced foods with respect to their nutrient content.

What does this mean to the every day consumer? To me, this is just one study among many and while it’s good to know that, for example, the organic carrots may be similar to the non-organic carrots in nutrient respects, I will buy whichever is cheaper.

The bottom line is, we should be eating produce every day and meeting the recommended servings of vegetables (2-3 cups a day for the average adult).

Have a healthy and fit day!

Study breaks down supplement use by physicians

The majority of physicians and nurses in the US recommend supplements to their patients but also use them personally, finds a new study.

Commissioned by the supplement trade group Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and published in the peer-reviewed Nutrition Journal, the study surveyed 900 physicians and 277 nurses.

“Health professionals including physicians and nurses are just as interested in healthy lifestyles as members of the general public and are just as likely to benefit from rational supplementation,” wrote the authors, Annette Dickinson, Ph.D., past president of CRN, Andrew Shao, Ph.D., CRN vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, and Nicolas Boyon, senior vice president, Ipsos Public Affairs, who conducted the Study on behalf of CRN.

Multivitamins most popular
The online survey, conducted in October 2007, found that 72 percent of physicians and 89 percent of nurses used dietary supplements. In addition, 79 percent of physicians and 82 percent of nurses said that they recommend them to their patients.

Overall, the survey found that multivitamins were the most commonly used supplement. Other popular vitamins and minerals were vitamin C, a B vitamin complex, vitamin D, vitamin E and calcium.

Out of the non-vitamin and mineral products, physicians were most likely to use green tea, followed by fish oil, glucosamine, soy, flax seed and chondroitin. Nurses were most likely to use green tea, fish oil, echinacea, glucosamine and flax seed.

Motivations
Some 40 percent of physicians and 48 percent of nurses said they took supplements for “overall health and wellness”.

Over two-thirds of survey respondents said they had multiple motivations for using supplements, including bone health, flu or colds, heart health, immune health, joint health, energy and musculoskeletal pain.

When it came to recommending supplements to their patients, the most common reason was again overall health and wellness, followed by bone health, joint health, flu or colds, heart health, immune health, musculoskeletal pain, and energy.

“This latest survey adds to the growing body of published data suggesting that healthcare professionals are among the highest users of supplements,” said CRN.

Another study published in 2000 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that 64 percent of female physicians used vitamin or mineral supplements at least occasionally, and 47 percent used a vitamin or mineral supplement at least five days a week.

Source:Physicians and nurses use and recommend dietary supplements: report of a surveyNutrition Journal 2009, 8:29doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-29Authors: Annette Dickinson, Nicolas Boyon, Andrew ShaoLink: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/8/1/29

Reference click here

Have a healthy and fit day!

Dried Plums: Your Next Diet Trick

Snacking on dried plums could be more effective as an appetite suppressant than a low-fat snack, say researchers.

Presenting their findings at the recent 2009 Experimental Biology meeting in New Orleans, scientists from San Diego State University suggested dried plums curbed the appetite more than a “similarly sweet, low-fat cookie snack”.
“Perhaps by lowering glucose or appetite-regulating hormones,” added the researchers, proffering potential reasons behind the satiety role displayed by the dried plums.

Feelings of fullness, calorie control and metabolism control are all key facets incorporated into the burgeoning area of weight management. An area for which the food industry, in recent years, has cranked up research and innovation efforts to meet soaring consumer demand, and lucrative market opportunities, for foods that directly target weight loss.

Since about 87 per cent of women snack twice a day, said Mark Kern, lead researcher on the plum snack study, the thrust behind their research came from the aim to “identify satiating snack foods”.

The plum study dynamics
Nineteen adult women, who had previously fasted, ate two 238-calorie snacks (dried plums or low-fat cookies), 238-calorie white bread, or water on separate days two hours prior to “being presented with a meal to be consumed until satisfied”.

Study participants then completed hunger-related questionnaires, and researchers analysed their blood at regular intervals.
The researchers report that satiety – the feeling of fullness – was “significantly higher” for the dried plums versus low-fat cookies.
Dried plums, they claim, also elicited lower levels of plasma glucose and insulin than the low-fat cookie.

Kern also studied the influence of 100-calorie servings of snacks of dried plums versus low-fat cookies twice daily for two weeks on total energy, essential micronutrient, fibre and fat intake, and effects on serum triglycerides and bowel habits in 26 adult women.

The research team found that consistent consumption of dried plums improved blood lipids and diet quality and eased bowel movements in comparison to a commercially processed snack.
“Since appropriate snacking is likely important for optimal weight management practices, we were pleased that our research demonstrated the satiating power of a dried plum snack and its promotion of improved dietary intake and good digestive health,” said Kern.

Source: Experimental Biology 2009, 545.11″Snack selection influences satiety response in adult women”Authors: Furchner-Evanson A, Petrisko Y, Howarth LS, Nemoseck T and Kern M. Click here

Have a Healthy and fit day!

What is in Your Pantry?

I LOVE the grocery store! If I could, I would be a professional grocery shopper. I’d shop often to buy produce in its best shape and compile recipes using nutrient-rich fresh ingredients.

While my half marathon aspiration now lives as a memory, my newest goal focuses directly on food choices. I think I have a pretty healthy diet but there is some room to “button things up.” So, where do I begin? It definitely does not start when my fork hits my mouth; healthy eating begins with healthy shopping.

Have you ever analyzed your pantry or refrigerator? I have and I’ve also realized that I am a nutrition nut and that I eat best when I plan what foods I have in stock and predict my meals for the following day or week. Lets take a peek.

Pantry
Macadamia nuts – Costco has a bargain
Pecans to change things up
Pumpkin seeds, perfect for a salty treat
Salsa, love love Trader Joe’s salsa verde
Organic Raisins, always a good and convenient fruit to add to a meal or snack
Canned tuna, skipjack
Vegetable-broth, I use it in a lot of cooking or add it to a soup to create more volume
Olive oil, extra virgin, in a dark tin or bottle
Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
Tessame’s salad dressing, you can mainly find it at Whole Foods
Cocoa (to splash in my coffee)
Canned coconut cream, Trader Joe’s Lite is very pure
Onions
Garlic
Tomato paste, I make my own sauce
Seasnax
Chia seeds
Hemp seeds
Spices galore
Gelatin
Herbal tea
Orgnaic apple sauce
Organic canned pumpkin, I use this in so many things

Refrigerator
Carrots, celery and/or cauliflower
Various leafy green’s, I liek to throw this into a salad spinner at the beginning of the week so it’s quick and easy to add to a meal
Organic cream for coffee
Pasture-raised eggs
Kimchi and/or sauerkraut
Apples and/or citrus fruits
Some form of breakfast meat – bacon, Canadian bacon, homemade meatloaf muffins
Leftovers

Freezer
Organic berries
Organic vegetables
Grassfed beef
Bacon
Fish – salmon burgers, cod, halibut
Frozen slowcooker meals, soups
Bone broth

Before your next trip to the grocery store, let this inspire you to make a list that is balanced with healthy choices and your favorites. Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life and what is life if you can’t live it with quality?

Have a healthy and fit day!

Your Bones

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness & Prevention Month and whether you are male, female, five years old or fifty, your bones matter. Eat your spinach, drink your milk and learn 31 tips to improve your bone health this month with this printable calendar. Click here and enjoy!

Have a healthy and fit day!