Posts Tagged ‘fats’

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,


There’s a great app for this!


It’s been suggested that 70% of Americans experience blood sugar imbalances varying in extremes from insulin resistance  to reactive hypoglycemia.  In insulin resistance blood sugar is chronically to high and in reactive hypoglycemia blood sugar is chronically too low.  Many Americans can experience both insulin resistance and hypoglycemia.  In all circumstances the excess and deprivation of glucose can create organ and brain inflammation.  The good news is, there are dietary supports and nutraceuticals  that can help in managing blood sugar.  

The first step is to explore your diet.  Are you getting enough proteins, fats and carbohydrates on a daily basis.  Remember: Proteins provide essential amino acids and fats provide essential fatty acids;  carbohydrates in the form of mostly vegetables will provide you with essential minerals and vitamins; and there’s nothing essential about grains.  Still, we all struggle with making sure we are getting the right amounts of nutrients.  

Fortunately I’ve found a FREE (I love that word) app through the iphone that can help you manage your daily nutrients, inform you if you are eating enough of proteins, or fats and present you with an overview of your patterns. It’s called “MY Fitness Pal”.  I find it an excellent tool to fine tune the nutrients that you may need.    Initially it asks your age, goal (lose,gain,maintain weight), then on a daily basis you plug in your foods (their database is huge including everything from In n’Out protein style burgers to Mary’s gone crackers!).  There are great graphs demonstrate your ratio of foods.  You can even add in your exercise for the day.  

Here’s my recap.  Lesson #1: I wasn’t getting enough protein.  Yikes!  And I thought I was conscious incorporating meat into my diet and focusing on a protein with every meal.  Lesson #2:  I love fats.  About 50% of my diet is good fats (no trans fats).  Lesson #3: I eat 60% of my calories by dinner.  When I eat like this I feel great.  

I caution you.  I don’t want any of you counting calories.  This is not the purpose of the tool.  It is to understand if you are getting enough of the important nutrients: proteins and fats and some carbohdrates and to learn what ratios work best for you.   

I have clients that are under-nourished and incorrectly nourished regardless of their physical appearance.  The first step begins with looking at what they are eating on a daily basis.  This is a great tool to explore. Check out MyFitnessPal.  

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,