Triggering Autophagy through Nutrition

by Nancy Mehlert, MS

What in the world is aah-TAAH-fuh-jee you ask?  “Auto” means self and “phagy” means eat.  Thus the literal meaning is “self-eating”.  It is the natural way that the body cleans out accumulated debris, including toxins and damaged cells, to make way for regeneration of newer, healthier cells. Read What is Autophagy? for more information.

Your dietary choices have a direct impact, for better or worse, on processes like inflammation and autophagy. There are several dietary choices we can avoid if we want to stimulate autophagy. We will describe two of the most significant here and then list food-specific do’s and don’ts.

  • mTOR, or the Mammalian Target of Rapamycin, is a complex protein that serves as the body’s most important nutrient pathway. When mTOR is stimulated, muscle-building is promoted.  When mTOR is not stimulated, it instructs the cell to turn on the repair and maintenance processes, one of which is autophagy.  Both actions are necessary.  mTOR is stimulated when we eat large amounts of protein, preventing the body from effectively cleaning out debris and damaged cells. Virtually all cancers are associated with mTOR activation.  When fully grown humans consume significant protein without doing adequate exercise to build additional muscle, then overstimulating the mTOR pathway becomes a very inflammatory process. Balance with protein is key.  Yes we need it for essential bodily processes, but too much is harmful[i].
  • Insulin is a hormone that controls nutrient storage. When we eat, we secrete insulin into the bloodstream to usher nutrients into the right storage places. If there are excess carbohydrates in the diet, they are converted by insulin to fat. The lower your average insulin level, the slower the aging process.  Lower insulin levels activate autophagy; high levels, especially chronically, result in inhibiting autophagy, adding to inflammation, and ultimately leading to disease and faster aging.

With these two concepts in mind, here are dietary do’s and don’ts for staying young and healthy:

  • Intermittent fasting even for a couple days a week for at least 16-17 hours will activate autophagy. An example of this would be to finish dinner by 7:00 p.m. and then sleep through the night not eating again until noon the next day. Water and coffee are fine during the fast.
  • Examine Protein Intake. Reduce daily protein intake to 15-20 grams a few days a week. Many Americans consume 8-15 or more ounces of protein every day. Six ounces of meat is equivalent to 50 g of protein, a healthy range for a person weighing about 130-135 lbs. with 25% body fat. But in order to trigger autophagy, this amount can be lowered to 15-20 grams which equates to only 2 ½ ounces of protein. Most of us could reduce significant inflammation by increasing healthy fats and vegetables and reducing our meat portions.
  • Examine Carbohydrate Intake. Depending on weight, age, height, metabolic rate, and health status, carbohydrate needs vary widely. With a Metabolic test, we can determine the correct carbohydrate intake for you to maintain your current weight, or lose weight.
  • Eat at the same time each day and avoid snacking prior to bedtime (avoid food 3 or more hours before bedtime). Sleep is not for digesting, but rather restoration, healing, cleaning (autophagy) and resetting.
  • Avoid sugars and processed foods, dairy, and hydrogenated oils. These foods hinder the role of your mitochondria where some autophagy occurs, diminishing their function and causing inflammation.
  • More good autophagy-inducing foods include curcumin, organic green tea, organic coffee, Reishi mushrooms, ginseng, garlic, pomegranate, elderberries, ginger, and cinnamon.

If you are interested in your personal ideal carbohydrate and protein needs, call (281) 298-6742 to schedule an appointment with our Staff Nutrition expert, Nancy Mehlert MS, for a Metacheck and private nutrition consultation.

[i] J.Mercola, Fat for Fuel, (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House,Inc.,2017) p. 51-52.

 

By |2020-11-10T08:37:42-06:00November 10th, 2020|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

GX Sciences Pro 7 Nutrigenomic Testing

$100 Off now thru June 30, 2020

GX Sciences* is proud to introduce the most comprehensive nutrigenomics test available to validate your specific nutritional supplement needs. The scientific study of individualized genetics and nutrition is known as nutritional genomics or “nutrigenomics”. Nutrigenomic testing accurately identifies each patient’s genetic protein variations to identify sites of metabolic weakness. These key proteins are involved in enzyme conversion, nutritional delivery and signaling pathways in the cell. Our expert physicians have designed a genetic panel that evaluates 55 of the most common, research backed, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that can affect a patient’s ability to regain and maintain their metabolic functionality. Abnormalities in specific polymorphisms can negatively affect many physiological and metabolic processes. Overcoming these metabolic weaknesses with the right supplements allows each patient to overcome their genetic weaknesses (SNPs) and maintain optimal health.

“As a practicing physician, the ability to test your individual, unique genetic footprint takes a lot of the guesswork out with regard to customizing a treatment regimen that gets you the best results”, says Mila McManus, MD.  “We all have some minor genetic variants, mutations called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and 75% of all people have significant variations in the most important nutritional metabolism pathways that affect how we function.”  For instance, MTHFR mutation affects how our bodies activate and utilize B vitamins.  This in turn affects how well a person detoxifies, makes and clears hormones and neurotransmitters.  This means a  person would be more likely to have mood disorders, insomnia, cancer, heart disease, etc.  Two other common SNPs are the GAD and COMT.  These can cause lifelong anxiety.  The good news, and the reason to want to know, is that there are work-arounds for a variety of SNPs. 

GX Sciences differs from 23&me in that it tests for many more relevant mutations and offers recommendations to address them. 

You can pick up a saliva kit at our office, or we can ship a kit to you.  Price for the comprehensive panel is regularly $499; however, GX Sciences is offering $100 discount through June 2020! Turnaround time for results is typically 3 weeks.

*Gx Sciences maintains your genetic information privately. They never have and never will sell, give away, trade or use personal information in any way other than to ship your package, call you about a shipment or offer you special discounting. No e-mail addresses are sold, traded, etc.! This has been a long standing company policy that will remain unchanged.

By |2020-06-03T10:27:45-05:00June 5th, 2020|Articles, General|

Going Forward

Nancy Mehlert, MS

Ready to leave the COVID 19 Pandemic behind you?  It seems like a lot of people are ready for the quarantined life to be over. 

I’ve been thinking about what happens to our nutrition at times like these, and I think it has been different, for different people. I know many who have stayed the course, gotten more exercise and smoothly sailed through, in terms of nutrition at least.  And others, who have found the stresses dragging them back to old habits, comfort food, and drinks.  We are all different.  We struggle in different ways.

It is common for major life changes to get in the way of our best laid nutritional plans.

May I encourage you to be kind to yourself? There is no use in beating yourself up or drowning in guilt.  These times have been, and continue to be, difficult. It is hard to find anyone who thinks this is an easy time.  The complexities of caring for the elderly, schooling children, staying employed, and all working under the same roof 24-7 – none of this is easy stuff, individually or collectively.  

But as we see some possible light at the end of this tunnel, now is a good time to take stock and organize your thoughts in a positive, GO FORWARD mind set.  It is a good time to figure out how to GO FORWARD in confidence and make some corrections to course where needed.  Here are some productive and healthy things to do in the next couple of weeks as we hopefully emerge from this quarantine:

  • If you feel like your nutritional wheels totally fell off the wagon, have you discovered something valuable from the experience? We learn from our mistakes. What’s yours?  What would you do differently next time as a key learning point?  Then, forgive yourself, and GO FORWARD.
  • What have you done well? Look hard. Find at least one thing.  There is something good to be discovered.  Give yourself credit for that one thing. GO FORWARD with that good thing.
  • Talk to friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Ask them how they have coped nutritionally during this strange time and learn from their successes and mistakes. Take a new idea, a new recipe, a new habit, and GO FORWARD with it tucked into your steps.
  • Start now to pull your nutritional boundaries back into place, one thing at a time. Start with just one thing and do it (or stop it).  Then choose the next thing.  GO FORWARD in positive and affirming ways that will help you transition smoothly into the next season of life.
  • Reach out if you need help with course correction. Perhaps a detoxification program would be in order, or a nutrition consultation to revitalize your menu plans with a few easy recipes.  Or maybe some ONDAMED sessions and/or IR Saunas to reinvigorate your energy pathways and detoxify.
  • Resolve to take one new good habit into the future with you. I’ve started to use Stasher® Bags for food storage and Swedish dishcloths (shop@threebluebirds.com) , both of which make me happier and less wasteful in the kitchen. Take a look at our revised and updated Highway to Health and Health Reset Protocol Cookbook where you will find helpful reminders and plenty of ideas for healthy eating. Let’s GO FORWARD TOGETHER!
By |2020-04-30T14:31:35-05:00May 1st, 2020|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Grilled Peach Steak Salad

Edited from Ashely McCrary, www.healthylittlepeach.com

As May and June approach, our delicious Texas Peaches will start showing up in road stands and grocery stores.  Here’s a wonderful outdoor grilling treat that includes the sweet and beautiful peach in a creative way.  This recipe is Whole30 and Paleo compliant.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Salad

1 pound Flank Steak (ideally antibiotic free and/or 100% grass fed)

2 peaches, sliced

2-3 slices of pre-cooked bacon (uncured)

1 large red onion, peeled and sliced

3-4 tablespoons pecans

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced

½ cup coconut or Bragg aminos

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

4 cups spinach/arugula mix or field green mix

Peach Vinaigrette dressing

1 large peach

2 garlic cloves, peeled

¼ cup olive or avocado oil

4 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 tablespoon coconut or Bragg aminos

Instructions:

  1. 1. Place the steak in a silicone bag or shallow dish. In a small bowl, add ½ cup coconut or Bragg aminos, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix together and pour over the flank steak.  Seal the bag or cover the dish and place in the refrigerator to marinate, ideally overnight.
  2. 2. Prepare the grill. Ideal temperature is 425°
  3. 3. Take the flank steak out of the refrigerator about 10-15 minutes prior grilling.
  4. 4. Prep salad ingredients. Slice the peaches, onions, and avocados and set aside. Fruit works better on the grill if firm and cut into larger, thicker pieces. Set out the pecans and lettuces.
  5. 5. Make the dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients into the food processor or blender, including the 3rd peach, with the pit removed, 2 garlic cloves, olive or avocado oil, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and coconut or Bragg aminos. Blend until creamy.
  6. 6. Take the flank steak, the peaches and the bacon to the grill. Place the steak on the grill.  Spray the grill with non-stick spray or douse a paper towel in oil to run over the grate just prior to adding the peaches.  Try not to move the peaches until they are striped well, then turn. You could also skewer the peaches if you prefer. Place the pre-cooked bacon on the grill last, reheating for just about 30-45 seconds on each side.  
  7. 7. Remove the steak, peaches, and bacon from the grill. Thinly slice the flank steak into strips.
  8. 8. Arrange lettuces among 4 bowls or plates, top with onion, pecans, avocado, crumbled bacon, then grilled peaches and slices of flank steak. Top with dressing and serve.
By |2020-04-30T14:56:24-05:00May 1st, 2020|General, Recipes|

TWIHW Green Drink

courtesy E Green Life

We make our Green Drink in a Vitamix here at our office.  A Vitamix, Ninja, Nutribullet are all examples of blenders that will work.  You may need to adjust the amount to fit your pitcher size. 

This recipe makes 8 cups.                                                            

Ingredients:

4 cups filtered water

A big handful of organic spinach

A smaller handful of organic baby kale. 

A large lemon w/ the peel trimmed off. 

1 medium organic Granny Smith apple

½ organic cucumber

Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled

1 stalk organic celery

Some ice, about a cup – cup and ½

Instructions:

  1. Be sure all produce is clean.
  2. Peel the lemon and the ginger.
  3. Place all ingredients in the blender and process until smooth.
  4. Other cleansing healthy additions include parsley and/or cilantro.

 

Nutrition: 1 cup (8 ounces) serving, 31 calories, 0.8 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrate, 1.7 grams of fiber, 0 grams fat.

Don’t underestimate the nutritional value of the drink.  It is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other important micronutrients.

By |2020-04-12T09:37:23-05:00April 14th, 2020|General, Recipes|

Learning a New Nutrition Lifestyle

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Your current nutrition lifestyle is a deeply ingrained habit.  You are good at it.  You do it without thinking.  It’s second nature.

Learning anything new takes learning and practice.  To learn a new language, sport, or to drive a car requires that you learn it and then practice it, over and over again.  Practice will involve mistakes, discovering techniques, recognizing pit falls, learning lessons from mistakes and repetition, until overtime, you become proficient.  With even more practice, you will become a pro.   Your future Nutrition Lifestyle requires the same effort.

It is unrealistic to expect a 28 day diet or a 40 day program to result in lasting change.  Most of us don’t obtain a degree, learn to speak a foreign language or get highly proficient at a new job in 28-40 days.

We become highly proficient at something when we accumulate experiences and then become wise and proficient because we have had those experiences.  

Experience is what makes children into adults.

Experience is what makes the amateur into a pro.

Thus, changing your nutrition lifestyle will involve a process that ebbs and flows.  It will involve good days and bad, wise choices and poor ones, periods of time where you are mentally strong and other times when you feel drained and unable to control anything.  It will involve practicing new foods to eat, new thoughts to think, new ways to plan and shop, new ideas and new concepts.  It will involve getting educated, exploring your own body, emotions and experience.

Learning and practice require one more thing…. TIME.   Part of the commitment involved when we take a new job or become new parents is the commitment of time.  When we decide to make something important, something else may have to take a back seat for a while until we learn proficiency.  When we focus on something intently, and make it a priority, we will see learning, growth and change.  Learning a new Nutrition Lifestyle will require this kind of dedication until your new lifestyle becomes second nature. It is an endeavor well worth pursuing. When we have our health, we can live fully.

By |2019-06-02T10:58:08-05:00May 23rd, 2019|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Various Diets Explained Series: Vegan and Vegetarian

This is the final article in this series on various diets.  This article explains the Vegan and Vegetarian diets.  Because there are formalized societies for both, we will quote directly from the Vegan Society and the Vegetarian Society to provide definition and clarification of what is included, and not included, in these diets. Then we’ll conclude with some important thoughts from a nutrition perspective.

Veganism (content directly quoted from www.vegansociety.com)

The Vegan Society (www.vegansociety.com) defines veganism as “A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals. A vegan diet is richly diverse and comprises all kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and pulses.

One thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet, avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey – as well as products such as leather and any products tested on animals.”

 

Vegetarianism (content directly quoted from www.vegsoc.org)

The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae, yeast and/or some other non-animal-based foods (e.g. salt) with, or without, dairy products, honey and/or eggs. A vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with, the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish (sea animals covered with a shell including crustaceans and mollusks), insects, by-products of slaughter (such as gelatin, isinglass and animal rennet) or any food made with processing aids created from these.

There are different degrees of vegetarianism which may be what causes confusion for many people. The four most common forms of vegetarianism are:

  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian. Eats both dairy products and eggs. This is the most common type of vegetarian diet.
  • Lacto-vegetarian. Eats dairy products but not eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarian. Eats eggs but not dairy products.
  • Vegan. Does not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other animal product.

Eggs: Many lacto-ovo vegetarians will only eat free-range eggs. This is because of welfare objections to the intensive farming of hens. Through its Vegetarian Society Approved trade mark, the Vegetarian Society only endorses products containing free-range eggs.

Protein: Sources in the vegetarian diet can come from a range of different sources including:

  • Pulses, such as peas, beans, lentils and – botanically speaking – peanuts, are excellent inexpensive sources of protein and also contain minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium.
  • Soya products and QuornTM, a form of ‘myco-protein’ available as mince, burgers, fillets, sausages and so on are also good sources of protein, popular and convenient to use.
  • Free range eggs and dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt as well as nuts and seeds contribute to protein and also to zinc, calcium and iron intake.
  • Vegan options such as non dairy soya milk and vegan ‘cheese’ are valuable sources of protein and are often additionally fortified with calcium.

Important Thoughts:

  • As can happen with the Standard American Diet (Omnivore), it is very easy to be attracted to highly processed, man-made vegan and vegetarian convenience foods. While we have confidence that some people can be healthy eating a vegan or vegetarian diet, it cannot be done in healthy ways any better than an omnivore’s diet if it is done on fake, highly processed or sugary options. There are many vegan and vegetarian junk food options from cheese and meat imitations as well as highly processed, fast digesting, genetically modified grains, flours and grain products.  All of these can result in a highly inflammatory diet.
  • It is important to understand that the primary purpose for vegetables in anyone’s diet is to cleanse and detoxify the human body. While it is true that carbohydrates can provide some energy, too many carbohydrates result in fat storage.  It is the nutrients and plant fibers that help us cleanse and detoxify and thus the reason many people feel so good when they initiate a vegan or vegetarian diet.  However, only protein and fat can be used to replace our cells routinely and repair damage.  No carbohydrate can be used to make new cells.  Carbohydrates cannot be used to heal bones, repair injuries or conquer disease.  This is the primary reason we emphasize the importance of responsible veganism or vegetarianism because carelessly done, it can become very difficult to have young healthy skin, maintain a healthy weight and heal from disease or illness unless you have ensured adequate and quality sources of protein and fats.
  • The ideal candidate for a vegan or vegetarian diet is a person who prefers and loves a wide variety of vegetables, nuts and seeds as well as healthy fats and is accountable to themselves to be educated and wise in ensuring optimal nutrition, and when necessary, optimal supplementation. A talent and joy for cooking and food preparation is also a good candidate since there are few vegan or vegetarian eateries. Finally, a person with a healthy digestive tract who does not suffer from food sensitivities or allergies to many of the foods in a vegetarian diet such as grains, dairy, soy, eggs and nuts – some of the highest allergenic foods in America today.
  • As we wrap this series up, please note that the same remarks can be made about any diet that is made up of processed, man-made food. Sugar, genetic modification, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, chemicals and excessive animal foods, especially those raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) cannot lead anyone to good health. We all need to take care and responsibility in determining the best diet for our unique being, by listening to our body, seeking medical assistance to carefully assess food allergies and food intolerance, nutrient status, gut health, and other sources of ill-health, inflammation and congestion.  We, as human beings, will all be best served through eating a wide variety of whole, real foods.

 

 

 

 

 

By |2018-03-25T12:09:58-05:00March 25th, 2018|Articles, General|

Chia Seeds

Chia seed is a species of flowering plant in the mint family and is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. They are usually grown organically, are non-GMO and naturally free of gluten. They have become trendy as of late and have been given the status in the nutrition world of being called a “superfood”. This is one superfood that I truly recommend because the nutritional value, ounce for ounce, is rather astounding. (If you are in a hurry to figure out how to use them, skip to the bottom of the article!)

 chia seeds

The Nutrition Profile –Amazing!

2 Tablespoons of Chia Seed contains the following:

Protein – 4.4 grams

Fat – 9 grams

Omega-3 fatty acids – 4915 mg

Omega-6 fatty acids – 1620 mg

Carbohydrates – 12 grams

Fiber – 11 grams (42% of the Recommended Daily Value)

Calcium -18% of RDV

Manganese – 30% of the RDV

Magnesium – 30% of the RDV

Phosphorus – 27% of the RDV

Zinc – 7% of the RDV

Chia also contains essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, boron, Vitamins A, B, E, and D as well as sulfur, iron, iodine, niacin, and thiamine and they are a rich source of antioxidants.

Good for Everything (almost!)

This impressive nutritional evaluation means that, for just 2 tablespoons a day, you can derive a great deal of potential benefit including:

  • Chia is a balanced food offering high quality protein, fat and carbohydrates. When you eat them, you get some of every primary building block for life.
  • A digestive health superstar, the carbohydrates in chia are almost totally from fiber. This helps to provide satiation, balance blood sugar, promote bowel regularity, and have a gel forming action in the soluble fiber that works as a prebiotic supporting the growth of probiotics in the gut. By weight, chia seeds are 40% fiber, making them one of the highest sources of fiber available.
  • Antioxidant rich, chia can be a reliable and powerful protection against free radical damage in the body, the damage that promotes aging (yes including wrinkles!), inflammation and disease.
  • One small study [i] in Type 2 Diabetics showed that chia seeds can significantly lower blood pressure and C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation).
  • Chia has the ability to reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure, all of which support heart health. [ii]
  • The protein in chia is complete, meaning that it provides all of the essential amino acids that the body requires but cannot make for itself. Since it is a plant protein, it offers a good source of protein for those who do not consume animal protein.
  • Chia seeds offer an excellent source for calcium as well as most of the other essential nutrients for bone health including phosphorus, magnesium, and boron.
  • Chia is high in linoleic acid, a fatty acid which helps the body absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

How to use Chia Seed:

  • Add to organic yogurt or a non-dairy almond or coconut milk yogurt.
  • Add to organic unsweetened applesauce.
  • Drink them by soaking seeds (1.5 Tablespoons) in 8 ounces of water for about 30 minutes or more. Chia seeds hold 12 times their weight in water. When soaked, they can offer great hydration to your body. Unsoaked chia can steal hydration from your body so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.
  • Make a pudding by putting ¼ cup chia seeds in 8 ounces of nut milk and allow to soak overnight in the refrigerator. Top or blend with pureed mango, blueberries, strawberries, banana, or raspberries.
  • Pulverize and use chia seed in gluten-free recipes for pancakes, muffins, and breads.
  • Add to a protein smoothie.
  • Use in chili or stew to increase nutrition and volume, allowing your shopping dollar to go further without diluting flavors.
  • Grind and combine with ground pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and coconut flakes. Then add hot water for a wonderful low carb breakfast porridge. Sweeten with stevia or lo han if desired.

[i] http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/11/2804.long

[ii] http://www.clevelandclinicwellness.com/Features/Pages/chia-seeds.aspx#

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By |2015-03-22T23:02:26-05:00March 22nd, 2015|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

The Vicious Cycle

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

 nut article image march

This diagram (click on diagram to enlarge it) depicts the vicious and stressful cycle that causes the vast majority of the chronic lifestyle diseases of our time, including high blood pressure. High blood pressure results for several reasons:

  • Our Sympathetic Nervous System automatically constricts blood vessels as an alarm response to excess sugar.
  • The chronic nature of the cycle and constant elevation of blood sugar and insulin in the blood leads to a resistance by cells to “listen” to insulin.
  • Since insulin is responsible for ushering all kinds of important nutrients into our cells, when the cells will no longer “listen” to insulin, other essential nutrients are also not absorbed into the cell.
  • Magnesium is of primary concern as it relates to high blood pressure. Magnesium inside our cells is responsible for relaxing and keeping all muscles calm. That includes our cardiovascular system (i.e. blood vessels and heart muscle).
  • As a result of this cycle, chronically elevated blood sugar and insulin levels lead to magnesium being rejected from our cells and eliminated in our urine while we become magnesium deficient and our muscles remain constricted resulting in high blood pressure.

It is not hard to see why this cycle, chronically lived out, day after day can lead to disease as our cells become more and more unwilling to absorb nutrients at the request of insulin. This also turns on a chronic “fat storage” message and turns off the “burn fat” message preventing weight loss, which is in good part the reason for our nation’s dramatic increase in obesity and diabetes rates over the last few decades.

Nutritionally then, what can you do about it? How can you break this cycle, reduce blood pressure and return to good health?

Here are three essential steps to get fast results:

1. Remove all grain and grain-like seeds from the diet. With high blood pressure, your best course of action is to eliminate until you have stabilized blood pressure, weight, and blood sugar. No wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, rye, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, kamut, spelt either as “whole grain” or processed into breads, pasta, crackers, cookies or cereals.

2. Be sure all sugars of any kind from items above or found in packaged and processed foods and sugary drinks, fruit juices, natural sweeteners and sweets are totally removed from the diet. Even fruit can be problematic.

3. Fuel the body and provide satiation by consuming about half of your daily caloric intake from undamaged fats, made up mostly of unsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil and avocado and some from specifically grass fed butter and organic, expeller pressed coconut oil. Grass-fed meats and pasture raised eggs will also help to supply a small amount of healthier fats to the diet.

To learn more about healthy substitutions, wise fruit choices and ways to make your new diet taste great, schedule your nutrition consultation at The Woodlands Institute for Health and Wellness.

Please beware that drastic changes in diet, lifestyle, and weight can have quick and dramatic changes in blood pressure and blood sugar levels. If you are taking a medication for blood sugar or blood pressure, please make the above changes under the supervision of your healthcare provider to ensure medications are weaned properly.

By |2015-03-07T11:28:13-06:00February 23rd, 2015|Articles, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Are you the Commander-in-Chief?

Take charge as Commander-in-Chief of your Nutrition.

The distinguishing mark of a great military force is its leader. When we read about great military leaders like Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great, we are told about what they “conquered” or “took control over”. Are you The Commander-in-Chief of Your Body Nation?

It is an important question to ask. Who is in charge? Maybe it is your doctor saying food does not matter? Your spouse who does all the cooking? Your children who bind up your time or demand fast food? Or is it possible no one is leading and your food choices are at the mercy of advertising forces, restaurant menus, or your mood?

In the practice of nutrition and in my own personal journey, I’ve noticed it is easy to make excuses for the reasons we don’t eat right. Most of us know what we should eat. Life is what gets in the way every day. We work long hours, travel, and attend corporate functions. We have a busy social life with friends. We have children with packed schedules, games to play, and homework to do. We are involved in weddings, divorces, graduations, or caring for the sick. We move, change jobs, or have financial difficulty. We celebrate. These are the events that seem to become our excuses for not making wise leadership decisions for the good of our Body Nation.

I want to challenge you to the truth today. You are the only person who can truly lead your Body Nation. You are the only person who raises hand to mouth to put food in it. You also have a highly organized and capable brain that provides the skills you need to learn, exercise choice, plan ahead, communicate with others and, most of all, protect and defend your Body Nation. I want to challenge you to own your nutrition pathway. You are The Commander-in-Chief and you can conquer the lifetime challenges that try to take over. If we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we take care of others? Taking ownership of your health and making your nutrition a priority along with quality sleep, exercise and stress management will lead to a life well lived.

Easier said than done? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Buddy up with a friend for accountability.
  • Ask friends and family to not enable your bad food habits.
  • Practice Emotional Freedom Technique.
  • Keep bad food choices out of the house.
  • Schedule an appointment with me for help with meal planning and good substitutions to improve your pantry
  • Make small changes at intervals rather than trying to make one big radical alteration in your life (e.g. wean off diet soda, start exercising 5 minutes a day, or change your snack from chips to snap peas and hummus)
  • Recommended reading: Taming the Chew by Denise Lamothe, When Food Is Love by Geneen Roth, and Life is Hard, Food is Easy, by Linda Spangle.

 

 

 

 

By |2014-06-26T11:33:48-05:00June 26th, 2014|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|
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