As much as I enjoy sharing knowledge and research with all of you on a monthly basis, I am ready to shift my focus to writing my book! It’s been a goal of mine for quite some time, and I’ve even had lots of requests for a book from my very own trusted practitioners. This is not only super flattering (as I’ve always looked to them for expertise) but helps me recognize that the knowledge I’ve gained over the years has value and needs to be shared.
That said, I realize I have to say yes to some things and no to others in order to make this goal a reality. I’m not certain how long I’ll be stepping away from blogging, but, in the meantime, follow @thevitalbeet on Instagram and/or connect on Facebook. I am hoping to also share guest blogs from time to time.
The intention behind this long-awaited goal is to assist, educate, and empower people to take control of their health and find a way to work through chronic illnesses to live their best possible life, free from symptoms.
In the book I hope to include some insight into my journey in health and wellness sprinkled with a few of my favorite recipes and some lifestyle hacks, however it will be an evolving work in progress.
Maybe you’ve heard that fat does NOT make you fat, but you’ve had a hard time believing it. Well, I’m here to tell you from my very own experience that it’s really true and it’s time to start believing it… And did you know that if you loose fat by eating more fat and as a result you end up loosing weight, you will actually lower inflammation throughout your body? That’s not a bad thing. That’s actually a very good thing. It’s time to start loving fat, but let me be LOUD AND CLEAR, it must be the right kind of fat. Good quality fat is the key to a healthy approach in eating fat and especially in implementing a ketogenic diet. So, are you ready to get Phat?
Is the ketogenic diet right for you?
Are you wondering what all the recent hype is around the ketogenic diet? Do you know the pros and cons? No diet should be taken lightly and when starting a new diet/lifestyle change it is always a good idea to address any concerns with a qualified practitioner. You may discover after meeting with a qualified nutritionist/health practitioner that you have health conditions that could make a particular diet or lifestyle change a poor choice for your long-term wellness.
So, what is a ketogenic diet?
There is a common misnomer that a ketogenic diet is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet, which is actually incorrect. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in QUALITY fats, moderate in QUALITY proteins and low in QUALITY complex carbohydrates. Percentages of daily intake for each are roughly 70-80% fat (olives, avocados, olive, oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, nuts/seeds, cocoa butter, 80-90% dark chocolate, grass-fed butter, ghee), 15-20% protein (free range chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, sustainably sourced fish, grass-fed dairy) and 5-10%, and carbohydrate (leafy greens, vegetables and some fruit on occasion). The word “QUALITY” used here is referring to whole, organic and grass-fed foods. You’ll find there are lots of sources that will not clarify this point and it is important to remember this is how you are fueling your body and quality does matter in the long run. The Ketogenic diet is NOT the Atkins Diet and not the Paleo Diet, however there are similarities and cross-over that can make this point confusing.
What is the point of a ketogenic diet?
When you follow a ketogenic diet, the point is to get your body into ketosis. Ketosis is not the same as ketoacidosis, which is life threatening. Ketosis is achieved when carbohydrates are low enough to change the body’s calorie burning mode from glucose to lipids. There are ways to measure and track when the body is burning enough ketones to be in ketosis. Again, a ketogenic diet is not a high protein diet. Too much protein can actually raise your glucose levels and keep your body from going into ketosis or fat burning mode. Protein is not a bad thing, but should be eaten in moderation while on a ketogenic diet and a nice side benefit if you are transitioning from a high protein diet to a diet that consists of moderate protein intake is that you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint. That’s a win-win for you and the planet.
Is the ketogenic diet therapeutic?
The ketogenic diet was originated as a therapeutic diet to combat the symptoms of epilepsy. According to trusted sources, it has since shown very compelling evidence and results in treating many other diseases as well. What should be noted is that a ketogenic diet is first therapeutic, food used as medicine and secondary benefits happen to be weight loss. There are very specific conditions in which a ketogenic diet should not be applied or prescribed, such as in Type 1 Diabetes where there is a high probability of inducing ketoacidosis (life-threatening) or with pregnancy and several other conditions apply as well, however, beyond that, a ketogenic diet should be considered as a last resort for weight loss in only severe or complicated cases. Obesity has been an area where a ketogenic diet has been extremely effective.
Again, what is the hype?
So, why all the recent attention with regard to ketogenic diets you ask? People are hungry for something that is so opposite to the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the outdated food pyramid, which isn’t even created by anyone who has knowledge or training in what good nutrition is. At any rate, regardless of whether or not the ketogenic diet is right for you or not, high quality fats are not the villain as previously thought. Fat is not a cause of cardiovascular disease, in fact, fish oil is one of the best ways to combat cardiovascular disease and is now being prescribed by some conventional doctors as an adjunctive therapy. If you do nothing more, but add fish oil to your diet (high quality sources please) then you will most likely see an improvement in lowering inflammation in your body in general. MCT Oil (medium chain triglyceride) is another great addition that will assist the body in achieving a thermogenic effect, allowing your body to burn more fat and calories. Again, always check with a qualified nutritionist/health practitioner prior to making dietary changes.
If you’re considering the ketogenic diet, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for guidance to in order to avoid the very real pitfalls and dangers. I have training and education in the ketogenic diet and I can help determine if the ketogenic diet is right for you. I can help you to navigate this lifestyle change safely OR help to determine the best lifestyle diet to optimize your personal health and wellness if it is determined that a ketogenic diet is not right for you.
Did you know that autoimmune diseases run in families, they are hereditary? In fact, if given the right circumstances such as stress whether good or bad can actually cause the perfect storm for perpetuating an autoimmune disease diagnosis.
Prevention is the first place to start. An anti-inflammatory diet among other things is a good place to begin, but if you find your self in a situation where you’re newly diagnosed with an autoimmune disease there are plenty of alternative steps that can be taken in order to reduce symptoms.
You’ll find various theories about diet and how it relates to autoimmune disease. In my opinion it’s best to remove all gluten even if you don’t have an autoimmune disease, but autoimmune disease runs in your family and you have yet to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Dairy is another item that should be reduced or removed. There are lots of great alternatives to dairy and gluten on the market. However when most when most people go gluten-free they make the mistake of replacing glutenous items with processed gluten-free products. The best option is a whole foods diet that emphasizes healthy fats, quality proteins that are grass fed, lots of vegetables and green leafy vegetables, and the occasional fruit. The occasional gluten free grain or beans may be an option for some, but I find that those with autoimmune diseases typically don’t do well with these items in their diet. Go for a yummy sweet potato as an alternative.
I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases run in his family and yet he was still surprised as he lives a fairly healthy lifestyle otherwise. He was under a fair amount of stress over the past couple years and found that had created the perfect storm for his body. It is a valuable reminder that we are not impervious to being afflicted if autoimmune disease runs in the family. If you take preventative measures, it is less likely that you will be afflicted even if autoimmune diseases run in your family, but should the perfect storm be created and you are diagnosed, you’ll be much better off post diagnosis if you take preventative measures prior to being diagnosed.
Again, one excellent way of prevention is focusing on a nourishing, healthy, whole foods and anti-inflammatory diet. Here are six tasty anti-inflammatory recipes from Positive Health and Wellness to get you started.
Turmeric is a popular Middle Eastern spice and primary ingredient in curry. Turmeric is also prized for its medicinal properties. The key medicinal component in turmeric is a compound called curcumin. Curcumin provides a range of benefits thanks to its antioxidant properties. Curcumin in supplements is commonly found combined withblack peppercorn as it aids in the body’s absorption of curcumin by about 2000%. Making turmeric a consistent part of your diet may provide several health benefits.
Turmeric for a normal mood – Turmeric has been used throughout history as a mood booster. During a small study of 60 patients, research showed that patients who took 1 gram of curcumin had a better mood than those that did not. The study also showed that curcumin has a similar effect to some products labeled to help address mood and behavior disorders. It has also been suggested that curcumin may boost brain neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
Turmeric for cellular health – Uncontrolled growth can result in several harmful conditions that affect the body in several ways. Some studies have investigated the use of curcumin as a compound that reduces angiogenesis, which is important for preventing the growth of blood vessels in tumors. Other studies have also looked into the use of curcumin to reduce cancer cell growth and tumors. Curcumin is an aid in digestive and colon health as well, and early studies suggest that it may have a similar supportive effect in the digestive system. Unfortunately none of these studies are conclusive and require further investigation.
Turmeric for inflammation and joint comfort – Although inflammation can be beneficial to our bodies, like fighting bad bacteria, it becomes a problem when it is chronic. Chronic inflammation has been suggested to be a common antagonist in many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, cognitive disorders, metabolic syndrome, and other various degenerative diseases. Curcumin’s effect on inflammation is said to match more traditional medicinal therapies. In one study, curcumin showed optimal results in patients involved in rheumatoid arthritis therapies.
Turmeric for memory and learning– Cognitive challenges can lead to a range of disorders that affect learning, memory, and much more. While treatment for many of these disorders has yet to be discovered, research is looking at methods to delay the onset of these disorders. Science has shown that inflammation and oxidative damage both play a role in the rate and severity of cognitive challenges. New studies have shown that curcumin may have beneficial effects on the mind during aging. For example, a component of the neurological condition Alzheimer’s is thought to be the result of a buildup of protein tangles. These tangles are called Amyloid plaques and curcumin has been shown to break down and clear these plaques.
As you can see, turmeric is much more than just a spice, and these four incredible benefits only scratch the surface of its potential. Turmeric has many medicinal uses and is a wonderful natural remedy to many ailments as well as a source of protection for your body’s health. A tasty and easy way to make curcumin part of your diet is to drink Golden Milk. Adding turmeric to your regular diet can result in a happier healthier you.