Personalized Nutrition: Alcohol & Your Health

Cheers! Let’s be honest, ever since prohibition, alcohol has been marketed as sexy and all the “cool kids” are doing it.

 

Think about the famous quote from the movie Can’t Hardly  Wait, “Nobody drink the beer. The beer has gone bad!” Enjoying alcohol for many is a learned practice and few, if anyone, says they like the taste of wine, beer or liquor the first time they have it.

If we didn’t have the advertisements, events and few studies “saying” alcohol is beneficial for our health, would we drink or drink as often? I mean, hemp/CBD was coined as bad for so long, and now, when I talk to clients about the uses and benefits of using hemp, I get the impression they think I am a drug dealer.

As for alcohol, every few months, I take a booze break to experiment with how much better I can feel, and where I can repurpose my time, money and energy. Have you ever experimented with this too?

When I delve into these breaks, I have to inspire myself by reviewing why it’s a good idea for my health, my work and my family (I am a way cooler mom when I am not sleep deprived). Some of the information I review, includes the below. Who wants to do a dry month with me?

Why Do We Drink Alcohol?

Uncovering why we drink alcohol is the first step in decreasing the occasions. Is it comfort in holding a wine glass when out to dinner or mingling with friends? Is it the placebo effect that it helps us socialize? Is it a thing to do when we are trying to avoid thinking about something else on our plate? Knowing why we drink can be helpful in knowing what to fill that space with while cutting it back or out, yet, still enjoy ourselves.

Alcohol numbs you at the moment, yes, but it will only exacerbate stress by disrupting your sleep, depleting your micronutrients, impairing your gut, and firing up your immune system hours and days following. Alcohol can more so contribute to depression and anxiety rather than help mental health. Yet, we still reach it to solve worries, stress and for a reward. I am immediately thinking about the times I snowboarded in CO and after a fun day on the mountain, I’d reach for a drink.

Tip: To explore the thinking around why we drink, I recommend any of Anne Grace’s books on the subject of alcohol. Her books are entertaining, empowering and no doubt, insightful.

Alcohol & Health

…or lack of. I am not here to be the food police or party pooper, but sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. Once we understand the influence of how things we consume have on our health, we learn to tweak our lifestyle to have a higher quality of life.

When I search “alcohol and health,” on a research database called Pubmed, there are over 130,000 studies that come up, and a micro amount of those studies are talking about any benefits of alcohol.

Some of the common impacts alcohol has on our health include an increased risk of high blood pressure, cancer, liver damage, depression, anxiety, and addiction. Long-term exposure to alcohol can also cause the brain to shrink.

Alcohol & Sleep

  • Alcohol robs you of REM sleep (keeping you in lighter stages of sleep), may contribute to impaired breathing at night, and can wake you up in the middle of the night.
  • Because of impaired sleep, or how alcohol depletes nutrients in the body, it can lead to fatigue.
  • Tips on better sleep

Alcohol & Weight Loss

  • More than 2 alcoholic drinks reduce fat metabolism by 73%. Alcohol also increases estrogen by 300%.

  • Alcohol also influxes sex hormones, including estrogen, which can increase hunger and metabolic syndrome.

  • Booze lowers barriers and increases our chances of eating more food and processed foods.

  • Alcohol can negatively impact gut bacteria, which can change the way you store calories (or that you store more calories). When our gut health is out of balance it throws off our hunger signals, it can increase cravings and fuel inflammation.

Alcohol & Diabetes

  • Alcohol can be a slippery slope for diabetes because our body views alcohol as a poison and halts everything to process it out of our system, which goes back to the risk of low blood sugar levels.

  • In simple terms, the liver produces a constant drip of glucose, hence why we need basal insulin, but when we drink, it stops this job and focuses on metabolizing the alcohol. Wine, liquor, and beer increase the risk of having a low blood sugar even hours after eating and drinking. This is the most common occurrence, yet, we are all individualized. We just need to know how we respond to alcohol and how to manage it. I tend to go high overnight and have learned to slightly increase my basal after dinner or evening of drinks.

  • Important Note On Glucagon: alcohol in the system makes an injection of emergency glucagon less effective as usual, according to research. This doesn’t mean to forgo it if you are in an emergency, but keep in mind that your blood sugar will not rise as quickly.

Takeaways

By doing a dry month, research shows 67% of people will cut back on alcohol over the year. Think of the money saved and energy that’s repurposed!

This is a unique opportunity to remember how to enjoy your life without alcohol and while the health benefits of alcohol are low, there is a balance and joy that comes with the occasions we choose to drink.

Before You Go!

When you have drinks at dinner or out with friends, opt for a lower carb me and something higher in protein and fat. Examples could be fajitas without rice or tortillas, or a bun-less burger with a side of vegetables. A meal higher in fat and protein will take longer to digest, and therefore the alcohol with or after this meal will take longer to digest and therefore more ADH (alcohol dehydrogenase) can break down up to 20% more alcohol, which reduces the load on your liver.

This is part of a 4-part series on “Personalized Nutrition.” Be sure to click through all the topics on this subject, which I’ve hyperlinked below.

Personalized Nutrition: Startling Stats on Sugar

We don’t know what we don’t know. But when we learn how certain ingredients affect us, we can create motivation to change. We all know sugar isn’t good for us, but what does the evidence show as to why it’s so bad?

Does Sugar Impair Mental Health?

Yes. And this is an area where it’s beyond counterintuitive to use treats as a reward, especially in school. Not only will that reward cause inattention, but it will throw off brain chemicals, creating anxiety and depression.

In fact, a Yale study done on healthy kids without ADHD were divided into 2 groups, a sugar drinking group (equivalent to drinking a 12-oz Coca-Cola) and a non-sugar drink. The researchers evaluated and measured blood glucose levels, a variety of hormones and neurotransmitters before and after the boys drank the beverage.

Four hours after drinking the beverage, the boys who drank the sugary drink had 5x the amount of anxiety (adrenaline levels) as the non-sugar drinking boys. When this occurred, the children felt panicky, shaky and weak with a pounding heart.

Additionally, a group of scientists at the University of Colorado suggests that eating sugar on a regular basis may cause long-term problems for the brain that can’t be corrected simply by removing sugar from the diet in short-term studies.

Why Is Sugar Bad?

Sugar can exacerbate mood swings, irritability, asthma, gallstones, endocrine disorders, and much more. High blood sugar and both added sugar to foods, depletes B vitamins. This is one reason why I advise most of my clients with diabetes supplement with a methylated B vitamin. Being B vitamin deficiency can cause all the symptoms above plus cravings, insomnia, restlessness, indigestion, to name a few.

As well, it’s no coincidence that the flu peaks around holidays when treats, candy, cookies are abundant. Sugar itself zaps the immune system.

Refined Sugar Is Linked to Ill Health:

  • Insomnia
  • Allergies
  • Dizziness
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Cancer
  • Hair Loss
  • ADHD/ADD
  • Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Type 2 diabetes

Is Sugar Addicting?

There is no doubt it’s addicting. Sugar releases an opiate-like substance that activates the brain’s reward system.

Suddenly removing the sugar from your diet can cause withdrawal systems including depression, fatigue, aching joints.

How To Break Up With Sugar?

  • Focus on blood sugar control overall.
  • Create a mealtime routine where you eat 4 or fewer times a day, but around the same hours.
  • Observe where it exists and be savvier with what you put in your grocery cart.
  • When you eat your first meal, choose something that is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein, fiber, and fat. A good example would be a low sugar smoothie, a vegetable omelet, cauliflower porridge, and many more low carb ideas.
  • Cut ties with liquid calories, including fancy coffee drinks.
  • Aim to have at least 20 grams of protein at each meal.
  • Opt for something bitter or sour in your meals, like kimchi, green apples, pickled veggies.
  • Avoid naked carbs ( an apple alone would be a naked carb, an apple with peanut butter will help slow the digestion and allow for better blood sugar control).
  • Make sure you are nurturing a bedtime and getting adequate sleep. Cue into not only the quantity of your sleep but also how to enhance the quality of your sleep. 

How does sugar impact your life? Can you related to any of the information mentioned here?

Related Topics: This is part of a 4-part series on “Personalized Nutrition.” Be sure to click through all the topics on this subject, which I’ve hyperlinked below.

 

Type 1 Diabetes and Burnout

A 2014 study by Stanford University in California, which was published in Diabetes Care, found that people living with Type 1 diabetes make an extra 180 decisions every day, on average. This is a lot, and I guarantee this also stands for parents who manage their young child’s diabetes.

I have been feeling more burned out lately, and my advice around this? Let those feelings process. Don’t rush or push them, let them be, and know, when we come together, it makes it a little less hard. Reach out to me whenever you just need to relate, vent or share.

Here are notes on my thoughts of living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Personalized Nutrition: Dangers of Food Dye

Dye-Free Businesses

Like Aldi and Whole Foods, I wish I could make the entire community food dye-free. Today, Americans are eating 5x more food dye than they did in 1955, and I absolutely believe it as I was a Crystal Light drinker for most of my childhood. Yup, CL has food dye in it. Per day, this is 15 million pounds that companies are adding artificial food dye to consumer products.

Just last month my husband was overseas and my children and I were struck with the flu. As the only adult in the house, I had mouths to feed and children to care for so I found myself at our local CVS looking for any and every aid to help the pain of glass in my throat and congestion in my head. After 35 minutes of reviewing every option, I couldn’t bring myself to buy any of the medications as they were all covered in dye. Why does a pill need to be blue, yellow, or red? A white pill works just fine.

Dye-Free Meds

PS, Meijer and a few other pharmacies carry dye-free meds, especially dye-free Amoxycillin, which I learned after I had no choice of using the pink one (red food dye) I got for my dye-sensitive son last year.

Where Do Artificial Food Dyes Exist?

Even if you are more of a savory type, I can put money on it that you have touched, consumed or seen sources of artificial food-dye today: toothpaste, crackers, pickles, yogurt, potato chips, pastas, macaroni, gum and much more. Make it an effort to review all ingredients this week and filter out the items you buy that have dye. When consumers create demand by voting with our dollars, companies will follow.

Dyes are made by burning coal tar or they are derived from petroleum byproducts like tartrazine and erythrosine.

Sugar As A Reward

Sadly, it’s not just the medicine aisle. My kids go to 2 different schools, and just as an example, on the 100th day of school, they ate the rainbow in candy, cereal, and food dye. This is a problem.  Food dyes don’t belong in our diet, let alone remedies that are supposed to help us get better. We need this to change, and it needed to be changed yesterday. I am fed up and below highlights why.

A Rainbow of Risk

  • I am going beyond the behavior change that comes with artificial food dyes, these colors are linked to cancer risk (1).
  • Yet, on the topic of behavior, for children (and adults) who have to work very hard to be attentive and still in a classroom, it’s ironic that teachers are rewarding good behavior with tootsie pops and candy. Next week I will discuss what sugar does, but the artificial dye itself sets behavior back.
  • The European Union requires foods with food dyes to come with a warning label, such as this one, “Consumption may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”
  • The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) published a report detailing how dyes relate to hyperactivity in children, increase cancer risk and lead to other health problems. The full PDF document can be found here.

Step-Up

If you are local to me or not, let’s take off our rose color glasses and set some boundaries of how we are feeding ourselves and our children. Anxiety, depression, obesity are real problems, and the quality of food we consume has everything to do with it. Let’s create a demand for what our kids are fed at sports activities, schools and celebrations and above all, vote with our dollars.

Do you have any experience with artificial food dyes? Does your family consume these foods?

 

You May Also Enjoy:

This is part of a 4-part series on “Personalized Nutrition.” Be sure to click through all the topics on this subject, which I’ve hyperlinked below.

Personalized Nutrition: The Importance of Hydration

Current Mental Health Stats

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults suffer from a form of mental illness. Suicide rates are at an all-time high, 115 people die daily from opioid abuse, 1 in 8 Americans over 12 years old take an antidepressant. And, if you have diabetes research shows you are at an even higher risk of anxiety and depression compared to the general American population.

What we fuel our body with plays a direct role in how we behave and feel.

I am very passionate about food and mood, especially for our children today. Our health is a factor of making better individual choices, but it is also a group, community effort. I will speak more to this in the emails to come. Until then, grab a tall glass of water and enjoy.

Hydration for Better Behavior & Blood Sugar Control

1. Drinking plain, filtered water before drinking anything else (hello sweetened and creamed coffee) can set-up your palate for the day. Drinking sweetened and artificially sweetened drinks can create cravings and the desire for treats throughout the day. Also, the more plain, filtered water you drink, the more of the plain water you will want. If you don’t like plain water, start small and build up the amount you drink without added flavors or chemicals.

2. Dehydration has been associated with increased fatigue, anger, and confusion as well as mood problems and decreased health. You need to be well hydrated for your cells to work properly.

3. Dehydration prevents serotonin production and low serotonin increases the desire to eat more and it makes someone more impulsive, including more impulsive with processed foods.

4. Hydration can improve blood sugar control as discussed in my video on water.

5. Drinking 2 cups of water before (30 minutes) each meal can support weight loss as the body has to burn calories to process the water, as well, thirst is often mistaken for hunger.

6. Drinking adequate water helps plump up skin cells, which minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

7. Water supports detoxification and helps flush toxins and impurities out of the body. On this note, I question how good it is to drink sparkling water out of a can. It’s hasn’t stopped me entirely, but I buy La Croix and the likes a lot less and resort to S. Pellegrino in large glass bottles more (I love me a sale at Costco).

8. Hydration supports digestion and nutrient absorption. We are what we absorb, not what we eat.

9. Drinking enough water can improve circulation which is very important for diabetes, blood pressure, and heart health.

10. Proper hydration is crucial for the brain and memory.

 If you desire a sparkling beverage, opt for sparkling mineral waters like San Pellegrino in a glass bottle because it contains naturally occurring minerals that are beneficial for your health.

How many of you just said to yourself, “Where is my water?”

See you next week where I am going to highlight why food dye use needs to die.

 

This is part of a 4-part series on “Personalized Nutrition.” Be sure to click through all the topics on this subject, which I’ve hyperlinked below.

Failing My Way to Success

This year I am focused on how good I can fail. I want to fail so much that I learn to be the best at what I am trying to be and fail abundantly into the person and role model I aim to become. 

I have above-average blood sugar control and management of my diabetes, but that sure as hell hasn’t always been the case. I know what to do, how to course-correct out of range blood sugars because I’ve invested and learned from my failed attempts over 28 years of type 1 diabetes.

In fact, you are currently reading from the girl who wrote fake numbers on her blood sugar data sheets that were faxed to her doc weekly. Sorry, Dr Schuster.

So let’s dive in on how to fail more and fail better.

The more worthy fails you can perform, the better. But first, what is your goal? And this goal needs to be hard and challenging enough, you have room to fail.

So what is my advice?

You don’t want to fail on purpose in order to escape discomfort. This is called escape fails and examples would be:

  • Over-eating/drinking off-plan,
  • Not following through on commitments,
  • Not taking action, and more.

You want to fail, attempting worthy failures. 

Worthy failures are considered fails not because of the action you don’t take, but rather because you’re not progressing from the action you do take.

If your goal is to learn to ride a bike, the time you spend practicing and falling would be a worthy failure. Not trying at all would be escape failure. Make sense?

So what is the point in learning to fail better?

When you open yourself up to doing the unthinkable and failing regularly, your life becomes bigger!

Fail. Fail Again. Fail Even Better.

Good-bye 2019, crushing it in 2020.

The Mental Burden of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes can impact your mental health A LOT!⁠ For starters, we carry the weight of supporting and monitoring our blood sugar all day, every day.⁠

My self-care routine nurtures this mental burden and each day, week, year, I am inspired to seek out all things that can help. For inspiration, I will share a few of my self-care habits:

•I exercise most days, and I choose exercises that work well for my blood sugar control. I used to love HIIT training and heavy weight lifting, but they require more work on stable blood sugars. In 2019 I adopted a strong yoga & barre routine. I do not exercise every day, but I do exercise at least every other to maintain my insulin sensitivity.

•I take CBD/hemp most days to help with stress itself, but also support inflammation in my body, eye health, nerve function, sleep and more.

•I give back and engage in non-profits that support type 1s or type 1 research.

•I step outside every, if not most, afternoons. Rain or shine, I yearn for nature and in the end, it helps me be more productive.

•I am graceful with diabetes and I accept that I am not my blood sugar data. If I am high or low, the best thing I can do is learn from it and course correct. The only constant with type 1 diabetes is change, and sometimes that involves stepping back, taking a deep breath and riding the wave (without rage bolusing!).

What is your self-care routine with diabetes?

Adieu 2019

I can’t put my finger on it, but I am beyond excited for 2020. Such a fresh start with a new decade, and I appreciate getting older as I feel more confident, a better communicator, more grounded and more (although I know there is much growth to come).

On the birth of the new year, I want to continue, start and stop the below. Above all, I am grateful and so blessed for what 2019 gave me.

I encourage you to use these 4 words and doodle some thoughts for yourself on what you want out of the decade ahead.

  • Continue:
    • Being generous. Generosity was your best lesson in 2019. You donated your time, money and talents more than ever before and it was beyond rewarding.
    • Continue taking care of my gut, following my latest MRT results and following my LEAP protocol.
    • Reaching out to those who need you most.
    • Being graceful with myself and my diabetes. High and low blood sugars can rob me from the moment, but as I continue to be mindful of the journey (which has taken me most of my 28 years having type 1 diabetes), I can take the right actions to calibrate.
    • Writing to your viewers weekly in your Sunday with Kelly newsletter. You love to write, educate, and inspire.
    • Offering a quarterly blood sugar reset (first one starts January 6th). Sometimes it’s new news for individuals with blood sugar challenges to know their liver needs a lot of love.
    • Mapping out your morning yoga and weight lifting classes. Again, in 2019 this new habit was a ripple effect for a lot of positives in your day.
    • Growing my faith. I did 4 Alpha sessions with my church, and each experience opened a new door of deeper faith in different ways. This year, I intend to explore my faith even more and intend to involve my family and kids more often.
  • Start:
    • Being savvy with your time, energy, commitments, space and work. Create space in your day and life by making the right decisions for your goals and desires.
    • Being less accessible so you can focus on where you need to be more successful. As an extrovert, you want to fill your days and weekends, but as you focus on being Savvy (my 2020 word), you need to say no, to everything that’s not a, “hell yes.”
    • To outsource the needs that are not your gifts. Do it, Kelly.
    • Dream, dream, and dream some more.
    • Yoga sculpt teaching. Get your certification done and get out there and inspire.
  • “Say no to,” so you can “Say yes to Kelly”:
    • more things on the weekends so you can start fresher each week. Or be more mindful of how much rest you allow for on the weekends.
    • alcohol. While you don’t abuse it, it does take away from your sleep and energy. Set new limits on how much you want to enjoy each month.
    • …this one will be an ongoing conversation throughout the year.
  • Stop:
    • Doubting yourself. You grow the most when you fail. Learn to fail really well this year.
    • Being frustrated when your blood sugars go high/low. Kelly, just like yoga, managing type 1 diabetes is a practice.
    • Looking at your phone too long into the evening.
    • Pushing too hard. We all need our rest.
    • Comparing yourself. Yes, everyone does it, but it’s not serving you.
    • Cleaning so much. Dirt don’t hurt. Outsource house cleaning every once in a while (Amazon Prime has cleaners FYI!!).
  • Grateful (for):
    • Your family and that we are not bound by illness. You are never guaranteed tomorrow and loving what you are given today.
    • Your neighbors and friends. They are a gift.
    • Your career. You are well aware of the challenges of type 1 diabetes, but this disease has lit a fire within you.
    • On that note, you are so grateful for type 1 diabetes. It’s your passion, purpose and your strength.
    • Your business coach. Chere Bork is like your live guardian angel where she has come in and out of your life at the perfect times.
    • Yoga. A new love of yours and a place that helps you be your best person every day.
    • Your family getaway. It’s your motivator.
    • Your Dexcom. Of all of your diabetes tools, your Dex is the best.

Ensuring Your Diet Is Safe But Also Effective

Weight loss is something that’s on the average person’s mind, whether they want it to be or not. While weight loss is hard, it doesn’t stop them from wanting it. However, the hard work often involved in healthy weight loss can lead people desiring shortcuts. Yet, the problem with shortcuts is they don’t work and many more of them can actually be harmful to your body. Trying to lose weight too quickly can be incredibly hazardous to your health and the weight loss isn’t sustainable. With that in mind, here is a guide to losing weight safely.

Embrace Your Pace

It’s not a race. Wellness and weight-loss have no finishing line and embracing a pace that works for you, is key; along with consistency. I understand it can be tempting to want a diet that can offer you the fastest possible results since waiting around to see a change in your body can be demotivating. But know, if you want long-term results, then you need to do things gradually. 

Set Realistic Goals

No weight loss plan can work without clear goals. If you have a vague goal of “losing weight” then you’re going to find yourself struggling at every turn. But you should also make sure that the goals that you’re aiming for are reasonable and achievable. If you give yourself a goal that’s too ambitious and that you could never reasonably achieve, then you’re only ever going to end up disappointed. Instead, start small. Make your goal simple, easy’ish and have lots of micro-goals along the way. 

Gather Your Support

Set out to organize the right support for you from qualified professionals is such a good idea. Whether that’s hiring a coach like myself or working through a medical weight loss center can make a huge difference. Those who have outside support are 3x as likely to lose the desired weight. 

If you intend to start any kind of structured diet,  it’s best to get clearance from your medical care. practitioner. That way you can be completely sure that your diet is medically safe and recommended. 

 

Kelly’s 2019 Healthy Gift Guide

I believe less is more, and this season I am focusing on experiences and quality gifts and I’ve organized a list of my favs for you below. Some of these items I do indeed have an affiliate account with (bc I love them) and some of the items I’ve listed I get nothing besides pure joy for promoting them.

CONSUMABLES

  • Pique Tea. Not only do their teas taste great, but they are clear of mold, chlorine, and pesticides.
  • A smoothie based detox. If you have weight to lose or have an autoimmune disease, it’s important to detox your body every quarter or at least bi-annually. I will be leading this detox starting January 6th! Be sure to sign-up by clicking here.
  • Yes, after I list a detox, I am going to now list my favorite, sulfite-free, GMO-free and dye-free wine, Dry Farm Wine.
  • Shelf-stable bone broths, in a variety of flavors from Kettle & Fire Turmeric Ginger and Lemongrass Pho are a few of my favs.

WEARABLE

  • I totally caved this year and adore my Spanx. A pair of leggings I can easily dress up or down. They fit true to size.
  • Fabletics. Great workout clothing for low costs. I’ve upgraded my yoga wardrobe using Fabletics and the quality is really good and the prices are fair. For my birthday I bought shoes, 3 tanks, 2 leggings from Fabletics for under $99.

TIME SAVERS

  • Save time using an Air-Fryer. Word on the street they the best salmon and steak.
  • Cookbook, Cook Once, Eat All Week
  • Pre-made meals from Balanced Bites – they are cooked fresh then immediately frozen for delivery. We are moving towards this from our Sunbasket meals. Sunbasket was pretty good, but this is faster, higher-quality and easier.
  • Thrive Market Membership – so you can shop from the comfort of your home. I order weekly from Thrive from bathroom supplies to collagen powders (their brand is the best price) and more.

ENVIRONMENTAL

  • Drink more water daily, using metal-free, plastic-free straws.
  • Get a diffuser going to help crank up the zen. This is the one I just got for my office.
  • I love my portable, spill-free Continga Mug for tea or coffee.
  • Replace your traditional cleaning supplies for the Norwex mop which only uses water to keep your floors clean and free from pesticides.

WELLNESS

  • I LOVE my local yoga studio membership but also my Yoga Studio app, where I can do a yoga session for 10 minutes or 90 minutes, adjusting for the intensity I want and style from restorative, to stretching to strength.
  • Work with me. I have a proven 4-month program helping clients take control of their blood sugar levels, the food they eat and how they enjoy their food. Let me help you in 2020.