Posts Tagged ‘fat’

Fun fats?

Good fats fuel the brain, providing stamina and endurance throughout the day.  I do my best to make sure that my children get their fats: butter, avocados, olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil (as they tolerate) and even heavy whipping cream.   And if I can add FUN into any of this, my life becomes that much easier.

isi-whipped-cream-dispenser-700x601I just recently ordered the whip cream dispenser that has become a huge hit in the family.  Both kids (and their friends) this past weekend put whipped cream on strawberries, on a paleo pumpkin muffin, on GF pancakes and even on their fingers.  They were so happy to be whipping away (and I was so pleased to see them consuming fats).    I highly recommend the Whipped Cream Maker 1/2 Liter Canister Whipper (and be sure to purchase the replacement CO2 canisters).



Be well,


Are bananas good or bad for me?


I must confess I love bananas, especially with peanut or almond butter, and as a sweetener in baked goods.  Clients will often ask what my opinion is on bananas: are they fattening..don’t they cause diabetes? The research says that bananas, in moderation, can reduce the risk of stroke, lower the risk of developing diabetes and can reduce the risk of kidney cancer.  But I can’t say it any better than Dr. Alan Christensen.  He has a brief but informative response here.

Be well,


When low-carb is too low

Eat paleo!  Stay away from carbs! Go Vegan!  Which diet to choose can be confusing.  Plus, we are all individuals with individual biochemical needs so choosing one diet to “fit into” may not work.  

Yes, Paleo is popular right now.  Some Paleo followers will insist that a “true” Paleo diet doesn’t allow sugars, such as honey; others will tell you “their” Paleo diet does.   The key here is to understand that the best diet for you is the “YOU” diet; based on your needs.  I would agree that grains,breads and pastas do not provide “essential” nutrients like protein, that offers “essential” amino acids and fats that offer “essential” fatty acids.  But, some individuals can tolerate more grains in their diet than others.  

So, how to know if you should consider more carbs? Chris Kresser is an outstanding researcher; one I have utmost respect for.  His assistant recently wrote an article entitled “Is a low-carb diet ruining your life?”.  The author makes important distinctions as to when a low-carb diet may not be beneficial.  The supports are made for athletes, adrenal fatigue, thyroid imbalance, gut dysbiosis, pregnancy and more; times when the body is in a chronic state of stress.  

I think this information is important for those of you that are considering going “Paleo” or more importantly want to create a long-term diet that helps you feel amazing.

I’d like to hear from you.  Have you tried eating more fats and giving up carbohydrates in the form of grains, breads and pastas?  How have you felt?

Be well,



Healthy School Lunches

Awhile back I posted on the Facebook page “School lunch ideas” that were gluten and dairy free.  Still it’s helpful to get more ideas that can look and taste delicious and meet their nutritional needs with minimally 2 veggies, 1 fat and 1 protein.  

This parent really stepped it up in presentation and in options.  

40 Days of Gluten Free Lunches

Be well,


Fueling for the Century Ride – what I learned will greatly impact my future sports.

As many of you have heard I am a huge proponent of individuality, especially when discussing diet. Each and every one of us has unique needs; some requiring more fats and proteins and carbohydrates and others requiring less. I listen often to podcasts and read consistently updates in the functional health approach. Often, even before I recommend to my clients a new lifestyle choice that can favorably impact their health; I’ll try that choice on myself.

The Century Ride, one of my bucket-list items presented itself as an opportunity to experiment with how best to fuel my body for a long day of riding in the elements. For other endurance sports that I’ve participated in I would purchase the GUs, the bars, trail mix, electrolytes etcetera because that was what was sold to me in the checkout lines, at sporting goods stores, etc.

Understanding blood sugar imbalances and how they are greatly affected by sugar/carbohydrate intake and reduced by proteins and fats I dove into more research. I personally trend toward requiring fewer grains and much more protein and fats. Knowing how much more can be the tricky part.

In my research, what I discovered was that despite the hype and the compelling research on the power of GUs and sugary drink mixes (conducted by the manufacturing companies, thus largely biased) protein and fats could offer an athlete more sustenance and stable blood sugar levels throughout the duration of a long event than solely or majorly relying on sugars and carbohydrates. More protein and fats in my daily diet had improved my daily performance and energy levels so I thought what the heck: I’ll try out the same process for the century ride.

On the morning of the ride, I mixed in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into oats with bananas and blueberries, cinnamon. I also had an egg sautéed in butter. I filled up my drink with water and a stevia sweetened electrolyte balance. At station 2 I had nuts with a few raisins and some melon. At station 3 I had a hardboiled egg with salt, half of a potato with salt (complex carbohydrate), a handful of simple potato chips (potato, oil, salt= complex carb, fat, sodium) and a spoonful of peanut butter. At station 4 nothing. At station 5 I had a third of a banana with peanut butter on it and a handful of nuts, a few oranges and a small piece of melon, added a scoop of Cytomax to new water (it would have required 3 scoops for my 2 L bag but one I thought would help me deal with the intense sunlight). At station 6 I had a few sips of a 7up (YUK!) and another small banana with peanut butter on it.

No bars, no shot block, no GUs, no cake, no Little Debbie Brownies, and energy wise I felt great! (Yes I suffered from minor road rash from a fall on mile 5 and didn’t train enough (do I ever? I always have training remorse on the days of the event…). Yet I never once bonked or hit the wall.

I’m convinced with road biking that I fueled properly. I may have to be creative in what I carry for an endurance run but I’m confident that primarily fats, proteins and a few complex NON-sugary carbs would serve me great.

What about you? Have you bonked? I’d love to hear your story.

Fat is in. Sugar is out.

According to Dr. Perlmutter, a NY Times bestseller and world respected neurologist, ‘fat is the preferred fuel of humans and has been for all of human evolution.’ We can survive on minimal carbohydrates but would die without fats. When we deprive our bodies with good fats, including cholesterol particles, we deprive our organ that is made up of 30% fat, the brain. The Mayo Clinic conducted a study in 2012 that revealed that older people that consumed a majority of their calories from carbohydrates (Refined flours, sugars, pastas, breads) have nearly four times the risk of developing mild dementia, a precursor to Alzheimer’s. Memory, thinking, language and overall cognitive impairments were the behaviors monitored. Diets rich in healthy fats were found to be 42 percent less likely to experience cognitive impairment (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease).   The National Institute of Health found similar findings. “Higher levels of cholesterol is associated with better memory function”. Published in the journal Neurology, a study revealed that high cholesterol is a protective factor in the development of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease). In the Journal of Movement Disorders 2008 research revealed that people with the lowest LDL cholesterol were at a 350 percent increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

What about research for the heart? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study in 2008 that looked closely at 21 previous medical reports that involved monitoring health in 340,000 subjects over 3 to 5 years. It concluded that “intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease”. It also compared those subjects that consumed a diet of saturated fats to those that did not. Those  subjects that did consume a diet in saturated fat had a 19% lower risk of heart disease than those that did not. The authors concluded that the original findings of these studies were mildly suppressed by the initiatives of special interest groups (i.e. Big Pharma) to publish only articles that showed fat caused heart disease. (Keep in mind that 75% of research is conducted by these special interest groups).

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which consists of leading researchers from around the world has recently stated “At present there is no clear relation of saturated fatty acid intake to these outcomes (of obesity, cardiovascular disease, incidence of cancer and osteoporosis)”. The researchers concluded with “biological interactions between insulin resistance (high refined carbohydrate/sugar consumption), reflected by obesity and physical inactivity and carbohydrate quality and quantity”.

Yet mainstream medicine continues to perpetuate that LDL is so-called “bad cholesterol”. So what is LDL? Cholesterol is so important for optimizing the functions of the body. For this reason the body highly regulates cholesterol. Only 25% of cholesterol is made from foods.  This is why cholesterol readings can vary from certain times in the day!  If you don’t eat enough fats the body will make more cholesterol but most food doesn’t have cholesterol that can be absorbed. The remaining 75% is internally produced in the liver (another reason to support the liver).  Cholesterol is fat soluble and blood is liquid so it must be carried through the body by lipo proteins. Lipo proteins are identified as low-density lipo proteins (LDL), high-density lipo proteins (HDL).

Chris Kresser, a licensed integrative medicine practitioner, describes LDL using a helpful analogy. The blood stream is like a river. The LDL particles are the boats that carry cholesterol and fats around the body. The cholesterol and fats are the cargo in the boats. Today mainstream medicine is looking at the amount cargo in the boats, or rather the LDL. What we should be measuring is the number of boats, the LDL particles. This is a much greater indicator of risk for heart disease.

So what can be affecting healthy LDL particles? Oxidative stress naturally occurs within the body for energy production. It’s a process that ages or “rusts” cells. Think of an apple turning brown after you cut it. Oxidative stress is expedited by a poor diet (excess sugar intake and refined carbohydrates), lack of exercise, and low resources known as anti-oxidants. If oxidative stress is increased then cells become severely damaged by free radicals as do the LDL molecules responsible for carrying fats to the brain. In addition, excess sugar binds with LDL increasing the risk for free radical formation by 350 times. As a result oxidized LDL becomes smaller and denser. The lining of the artery becomes fragile and oxidized LDL stimulates collagen which forms fibrous plaque and weakens the stability of the plagues/walls making it more likely to rupture. This creates heart attacks.

Nothing could be farther from the truth with the idea eating cholesterol and saturated fats raises cholesterol levels and that high cholesterol in the blood is what’s driving heart disease.  Fat is not the enemy; sugar is.

Next blog I’ll share what tests you should be taking and how you can discuss this with your doctor.

Be well,


Fat is not your fault

Yes; you read that correctly.  Many mainstream “integrative” Doctors that work within the ‘whole body’ approach are declaring this to be true.  Fat is not simply a result of over eating and not exercising.    Fat is  rather a result of a breakdown in your gastrointestinal system and ultimately a result of the culprit behind many illnesses… inflammation.  This is why fad diets prove to be ineffective for the long term.

How could this be?  Bacterial imbalances in the GI tract (also known as our ‘gut’) happen when processed, nutrient-depleted and sugared foods and/or infections (named as ‘invaders’) flood the digestive system. The result is a battleground.  The immune system makes all of its necessary attempts to defend itself from the “invaders”.  The ‘gut’ protective shield (also known as the mucosal barrier) becomes permeable (damaged) and food particles now escape from the ‘gut’ and leak into the bloodstream.  The result is massive inflammation, also known as swelling. 

What to do:

Hire a professional to help you identify the following:

  1. Identify through an IgG test what your food sensitivities are.
  2. Avoid those foods for a minimum of three months.
  3. Provide support for the digestive system with digestive enzymes.
  4. Heal the mucosal barrier.

No more invaders; no more swelling. 

Read more specifics on scientific studies and success stories on this approach:

Be well,