This time of year, the gyms are packed, and the low-fat aisles at the grocery store are jammed with shopping carts.
My reaction…”If they only knew they were spinning their wheels!” All I can do is sigh.
I know, and you know, they may drop 5 pounds, all the while starving, only to go back and gain 10. It is the endless cycle I was in most of my life. If only I had known then what I know now! I would have been a much happier and content individual. Not to mention, healthy and lean.
I have heard so many times these last two weeks, “Count your calories…” or “Eat more fruits and vegetables” and even, Agh, “Cut down on saturated fat.” Really?!?! Wake up to 2016 all of you morning talk show special guests. We have been in a downward spiral for over 50 years, and it is time to rise up and realize this low fat business was a really, really bad idea! It is okay to correct the bad advice!
I have heard nothing about eating more fat, so I am here to tell you; EAT MORE FAT!
Now…with that, goes cutting down on the sugar – way down. In fact, way way down! The sugar and the carbs have to give, to stop that spike in your blood sugar so you aren’t hungry every two hours. This means eating healthy fats and saying no to sugar and processed foods.
The good part is: you get to eat healthy, satisfying foods that will keep you going for hours and hours with endless energy AND boost your brain power. It is an awesome feeling to gain control of your health so that you never have to struggle with hunger pains and yo-yo dieting ever again!
I was beyond excited to read an article my sweet friend, Tina, sent my way. It is interesting, scientifically based, and best of all, everything we have been preaching for the past two years. I just had to share! Take a moment, read, comment, and share with those you love. And…EAT MORE FAT!
Read David Ludwig’s article here. It is worth the read!
When I was diagnosed with cancer in September 2013 one of the very first things my oncologist tested me on was my level of vitamin D.
It was off the charts low. This really should have been no surprise with amount I was working in a cube everyday and making sure to fully coat myself in sunscreen when I (infrequently) played outdoors. I had wrecked havoc on my level of the oh-so-important sunshine Vitamin. I was given a prescription to bring my level up to optimum amounts.
This deficiency is incredibly common. Not just for cancer patients but for most people that spend most of their time in doors and likely too much time in front of a screen.
Vitamin D is incredibly important for basically every cell in our body especially that of our immune system.
Think about cold and flu season, typically during the short day cold weather months where most are covered and bundled if outside at all.
But so many of us are scared to be outdoors or without sunscreen due to the fear of skin cancer. The reality is the threat of skin cancer is very real and very dangerous. I have met several skin cancer patients in treatment rooms getting very significant doses of chemo.
I am not advocating tossing the sunscreen! But what I am advocating is that we give ourselves a little time without it. Enough to satisfy our bodies need for the sun.
Think about that warm comfortable feeling when the sun first hits your skin. This feeling doesn’t last that long maybe 10-20 minutes (for fair skinned.)The best way I can describe it is therapeutic. Turns out that’s because it is! I am talking about the time before you start to get pink or hot, and definitely well before you burn!
The amount of sun time a person needs varies from person to person, just as our skin tone itself. Pasty folks like me may need as little as 15 minutes to get their vitamin D fix for the day where as darker skinned person may need a couple hours. The Vitamin D Council goes into depth about the variables. This site even has a suggested amount of sun time needed based on your skin tone and location.
I think he’s on to something here.
As another survivor told me, “It’s hard for cancer to live in a body getting a bunch of Vitamin D.” She has recently celebrated her 5 year cancer free status and throughly enjoys her time gardening outside and taking daily walks.
Here are my suggestions:
Daily get outside and get a bit of sunshine-drink your coffee outside, watch part of your kids game or practice in the sun, roll down the windows, open the blinds
Get your Vitamin D level tested*
Consider taking a Vitamin D3 Supplement
When playing outside all day-WEAR sunscreen/cover up!
As with most of the tests taken at your doctors office-shoot for optimum not for normal. “Normal” doesn’t necessarily mean healthy it’s based on the average person’s numbers including cube dwellers.
October is for pumpkins, the leaves start to change, and it begins to cool off down here in south Texas. It’s also Breast Cancer awareness month.
Daughter’s Halloween Costume 2013
Today I thought I would begin start the pink month a little early and share the cliffs notes version of my my diagnosis story.
The reason I changed the way I eat (and even look at food) was because in September 2013 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. At the time, I was 31, mom to a 1 year old, and healthy (so I thought.) My numbers were always in the good to optimal range despite my lack of working out and watching what I ate. I didn’t really think too much about my health in general. I didn’t even have a general practitioner.
My daughter was about 18 months old when I visited my OB. We were trying to have #2, and for some reason or another, my plan wasn’t playing out like I wanted. After the normal inspection, she gave me the green light and told me it may just take longer this go round. Then I told her about the lump in my left breast. “Nothing” she told me, likely cystic and something a woman my age should not worry about.
That was that, and on my way I went.
A few months go by, and this lump, which my doctor brushed off as “no big deal” was now something I could feel as it pressed into my arm when I laid down.
I decided to go back. There was something inside that told me I needed to. The last thing I wanted to hear was that I was over reacting, but I really knew something had to be going on inside.
I went back and saw the nurse practitioner. She agreed that I was not crazy and actually pointed out a second lump. She said that likely they were nothing but that she would send me for imaging to be sure.
The following week I went into imaging. My no big deal ultrasound changed from a chat session into something else as the technician started getting quieter and quieter. I remember her leaving the room and scrambling to get my doctor on the phone to order a mammogram.
All the jokes about the mammograms are justified. That was an experience I will never forget. I’ll leave it at that.
I then waited to speak to the radiologist. She was in a darkened room with a wall of screens. Those screens were the images I had just taken and to her they were “Very Concerning.”
If there was ever an “I told you so,” moment I didn’t want to have it was now.
In the following weeks more imaging, biopsies, blood draws, and tests. None of the results came back the way we wanted at the time. It was definitely cancer, and it had spread. Significantly.
Not your typical cancer patient
The moral of the story and why I share it, is because, likely I would not be here had I not followed my gut. I am not the “typical cancer patient”, and I am frequently reminded of that in waiting and treatment rooms. But I knew something was wrong well before I was diagnosed. I had to be the squeaky wheel to get something I knew I needed.
When it comes to your health, YOU have to take care of it. Not only before and after your doctor’s appointment but also during. SPEAK UP, if you have questions, ask them if you are not satisfied, do something about it. Be that patient that errs on the side of annoying.
I have learned so much about healthcare, doctors, insurance, and time. While there are no blanket statements for any of these things, what I can say is that taking care of yourself is your responsibility and hopefully a priority. No one can do it better than you.
For those of you that have seen our library of Keto resources, you know that it is extensive. We read A LOT! Erin and I are very passionate about diet and nutrition so we literally live, eat, and breathe what we preach! While we love our books, there is also a lot of information coming out in the news on a daily basis. In addition to our books, we subscribe to wellness and health magazines, both through snail mail and email, and scour the internet for the latest and greatest information. Gut health and depression has been in the headlines quite often the past few weeks. This is an article from Paleo Plan, an online subscription I follow on occasion:
“Did you hear the good news!? At long last…science is recognizing something that’s been known since antiquity…the interconnectedness between gut health and disease!
Recently researchers have begun to realize how depression and overall brain health are intimately connected to our microbiome (the 3-5 pounds of bacteria living inside our bodies which outnumber our own cells 10:1). Several studies are now linking depression with imbalances in our microbiome. In other words, having too much ‘bad bacteria’ and not enough ‘good bacteria’ in our guts can trigger depression (and a host of other diseases).
While scientists are rejoicing about their ‘discovery’ that the brain is indeed influenced by gut health, this is not breaking news. The father of Western medicine, Hippocrates, proclaimed over 2,000 years ago, “All disease begins in the gut”.
What is more along the lines of breaking news are recent headlines likening yogurt to Prozac for treating depression. Now before you go raid the dairy aisle of your local grocery store, let’s chat about why yogurt is being touted as an antidepressant.
Yogurt is marketed to contain probiotics, which are beneficial ‘good’ bacteria critical for immune function and overall health. These probiotics are also capable of altering our emotional state, and studies have found that supplementation with them can improve mood and act as a mild antidepressant.
There are some problems with most yogurts sold at the market (other than the dairy, sugar and other non-Paleo ingredients they commonly contain). Many commercial yogurt products have been pasteurized at high temperatures after the live bacteria cultures have been added, essentially killing all of the probiotics.
Further, we house hundreds of different species of bacteria in our guts, yet most yogurts (and probiotic pills) contain only a small handful of species. Dysbiosis (an imbalanced gut microbiome) is defined as overgrowth of any one type of bacteria. Unfortunately a ‘good’ bacteria can become ‘bad’ if taken in excess.
While yogurt may not be the best source of probiotics, there are several ways to increase your microbial diversity. Eating dietary fiber from whole, natural foods at every meal feeds the good bacteria in your gut and colon, helping them to naturally populate. Other foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, coconut kefir or yogurt, kombucha, live probiotic drinks, and other fermented/cultured vegetables are packed full of living probiotics. The key is to select a brand that is live or raw, meaning the bacteria haven’t been killed via pasteurization. Better yet, you can make your own raw fermented foods!
Lastly, it’s easy to overconsume any one type of bacteria if you take the same probiotic pills over and over. That’s why I urge my clients to rotate their brand of probiotic supplements and ideally get their probiotics from whole food sources.
Ok, so yogurt is probably not the”new Prozac” as news reports are so eagerly proclaiming, but the message is valid: a happy gut precedes a happy mind! It’s time for us all to quit fearing bacteria, and to embrace the reality that our bodies contain more bacterial cells than human cells…now that’s some food for thought! :)” – Paleo Plan
While we do not recommend yogurt for adults on a Ketogenic diet, I do allow my children to have good quality, unsweetened yogurt from grass-fed cows. It has the quality probiotics as well as the nutrients from grass-fed cows that you can’t get from any other kind of yogurt. This one in particular is also WHOLE milk yogurt that is almost impossible to find in this day of low-fat everything! It is the best I have found and a great treat for the kiddos.
I was listening to this same study on Good Morning America this morning and then came across it online as well, so I wanted to share it and put it in line with the Keto diet. It is written from a Paleo perspective so it does not follow all of our rules exactly, but it does have some good tips about cleaning up your gut! This is where Keto helps a ton! Fat is great for the brain and Keto does a great job cleaning up the gut bacteria even alone. The GMA segment was mainly focusing on carbs causing depression and the great probiotic foods we can use to help it. We all know we need to cut the carbs, but not everyone knows that there are actually healing foods that can repair some of the damage we have caused.
Dr. Perlmutter’s new book entitled, Brain Maker is all about the gut, and the foods you can use to clean it up! In fact, a large part of the article above is taken directly from his book. This is on my bedside table at the moment, and about to move to the kitchen to try the recipes he has included in it as well. Check it out in our Amazon Store!
The gut and the brain are more connected than we ever thought. What you put in your mouth can greatly effect what happens in your brain. Even more, as ketoers, we know that the brain prefers fat as a fuel, and by replacing your carbs for fat you are already helping. Now imagine going a step further to feed it healing foods as well!
How do we cause damage? Many ways, but a BIG one is antibiotics. We try to limit antibiotics as much as possible. While they were created for life-saving measures, they are highly overprescribed and frankly abused this day in age. I only take them and give them to my family if they are absolutely necessary – and by that, I mean a raging ear infection, sinus infection or something we know, without a doubt, an antibiotic can fix. If a virus is a possibility – I pass. Another example; I had a severe allergic reaction to a yellow-jacket sting last week. After two days my foot swelled so badly that I couldn’t get a flip flop on and it was turning colors. I reluctantly went to an emergency clinic when my foot was hot to the touch. The doctor immediately wanted to give me an antibiotic to reduce the CHANCES of infection. I did NOT have an infection, I had a reaction! I verified this and refused the antibiotic. There ARE cases when an antibiotic is needed. Just tell your doctor that if it’s not necessary you don’t want it. So many doctors today are quick to provide a fix because they think that is what YOU want, when in reality, you may just need to wait a couple of days to shake off a virus. If, however, an antibiotic is taken, you need to know that it not only kills the bad bacteria, but also kills the GOOD bacteria your body needs for many functions. I know it sounds crazy, but your body NEEDS bacteria. There is actually a purpose for it. So what to do, if you are sick with a fever and NEED an antibiotic? Take a great quality probiotic TWO hours after taking your antibiotic. While there isn’t exact science, this seems to have the best results in replacing some of the good bacteria you kill with the antibiotic. Here are a couple of probiotics we believe are GREAT ones. I do take these daily and switch them up after I finish a bottle.
These first two need to stay in the refrigerator:
This one below does not need to be refrigerated so it is great for travel:
To sum it up…Take care of your gut and it will take care of you. It kind of goes along with what we have heard for years…”You are what you eat.” It seems now, that this saying is more accurate than we ever imagined!
Take care of you, yours, and your gut! Happy Friday!
Great question! But the reality; there is no hard and fast answer. We have heard 8 glasses a day for years, but how on earth is that the best answer for all of us?
Yes, we are all primarily made up of water, but just like in most things, we are all different in our needs. A great starting point is to take your weight, divide that number in half, and drink that many ounces.
Me: 130/2= 65 ounces
I really like how universal this formula is for everyone. The hubs weighs about 200, so he goes for 100 ounces a day. Our 3 year old is about 35 pounds, so we shoot for her to get in about 17 ounces of water a day. This is simply a good place to start.
The other major aspect of how much water to drink can depend on your environment, both internally and externally. Humidity and heat especially, can do a number on all of us, but exercising in these conditions can be a recipe for disaster. Years ago, I watched the Rock and Roll Marathon here in San Antonio, and the conditions were terrible; incredibly high humidity, coupled with unseasonably high temperatures – even for us locals. Due to this, multiple professional marathoners either decided to run only a half or dropped completely. They knew that the conditions were not ideal for their bodies and did the right thing. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. People can and do get seriously injured or worse when they do not pay attention to their thirst and what is going on in and around them. We all know the very first thing that we should do when we start getting that back of the throat tickle, or our kid or cubicle neighbor starts coughing, is to up the water intake. Our bodies need water every single day, especially when we are fighting off or recovering from illness.
Coming into summer, here are some symptoms of mild dehydration:
Loss of Appetite
Fatigue or Weakness
Dark Colored Urine
Further Dehydration can cause:
Increased heart rate
Increased body temperature
Tingling of the limbs
Cases of extreme dehydration can also cause:
Chest and Abdominal pain
Dehydration is not something to ignore, and it has a fairly straightforward resolution – drink more water. Of course, like anything, that can be easier said than done.
Today I carry water with me absolutely everywhere. Yes, I have a mom purse, and it can be heavy at the start of the day with my 40oz water bottle, but it’s 100% worth it.
I find that I will drink more water out of a bottle than a cup or a glass. It is a mental thing. I also prefer room temperature water, where as others need to have their’s chilled. Some people love straws. Others want lemon, lime, or other fruits infused. It’s all in what works for you. Anyone with a soda addiction might want to start with a fizzy water like La Croix. Swapping out one soda a day for water, or even having one after finishing 40 ounces of water as a reward, is a great place to start. Think progress not perfection.
So many people get “sick” of water, but once you start drinking an adequate amount, and find out what makes the water taste better to you, that can go away. You will start to feel better, and often times your body, and especially your skin will thank you. You may even begin to enjoy it.
The reality is, no one wants to admit it when they are wrong. But, when it comes to something that is impacting every single one us, either directly or through our neighbors’ healthcare costs, the updated information should be shouted from the rooftops. While that is not going to happen, thankfully, the studies are being analyzed and people are getting wiser.
So many people have cut delicious foods from their diets in the name of being healthy, (eggs, bacon, full fat dairy, butter, etc.) but science is now learning that these things are actually GREAT for you!
We are so excited that these foods’ bad names are starting to be cleared! We can finally go back to eating the way we were designed to eat, and have eaten for thousands and thousands of years. It’s call REAL food folks, so cook it up and enjoy!