Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fat Facts!

I think it is important to spend some time discussing Fat.  Fat is one of those things that we have been told is one thing (bad) but turns out to be something completely opposite (good).  This is what I have learned…  Fat does not make you fat.
We constantly hear about diabetes and insulin, but how well do you understand what insulin is?  Or how Insulin works?  I didn't understand it at all until I changed the way I ate.
  • Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use the sugar from food and if necessary, turn it into energy. 
  • When you eat high carbohydrate foods, insulin quickly allows your body to use those simple sugars as energy or it turns the glucose (sugar) into fat to be stored and not used until needed.  As this cycle repeats, your high carbohydrate food will continuously be stored as fat.  

I have found that since being on a healthy low carb lifestyle, without the high sugar foods, my body is able to use the fat as energy instead of saving it to use at a later time.  I have also added high fiber foods to my diet which also aids in breaking down my food slower, and allows all of its healthy nutrients to be used by my body.  

Here's a graphic that shows how foods are processed by the body:

I discovered that in 1963, research was published which stated that saturated fat is bad for health and the heart (A Keyes).  Since then, there has been a public outcry to eat foods which are low fat.  The problem with the published research is that out of the 22 countries where the study was performed, only 7 were actually reported.  Once the data was reevaluated, it turned out that the people who ate more saturated fat actually had lower risk of heart disease.  But the damage was done.  People turned to high carbohydrate, low fat food and the obesity rates have skyrocketed. 

What do you think?  How does it sound to you?  If you think about it, it isn’t difficult to see through the lie.  When you eat real food, with real fat and real protein, it's all good and it is all used correctly by your body.  When food manufacturers remove the goodness, things change.  And by the way, fat tastes great!  If they remove fat from food, they remove all of the flavor.  To make it taste good again, they add sugar.  LOW FAT MEANS ADDED SUGARS AND ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS.

Here are some good resources if you want to read more:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ever hear of Diverticulitis?

A little over two years ago, at age 39, my husband was diagnosed with Diverticulitis (Diver for the unfortunate ones in the know).  Diverticulosis is a disease in the Large Intestine/Colon when small pouches called diverticuli are formed.  These diverticuli can get infected and the disease is then known as Diverticulitis.  That’s when things really hurt and it becomes extremely dangerous.  A liquid diet and very strong antibiotics are prescribed and a diet low in fiber is begun.  For over two years we lived with multiple bouts of infections, antibiotics, and the stupid liquid and low fiber diet.  We completely missed our 10th wedding anniversary because he was sick in bed.  The first doctor that ever diagnosed him said that he would need surgery.  Surgery?    

As the disease worsened, we started looking into the why's and how's.  What causes it and most importantly can it be treated naturally, with diet and without surgery?  We discovered a ton of information on the topic but no real answers.  One diet, which claimed to be the cure and only cost $39.99, was a bit too restrictive and vague, but we happily paid the fee to find out if it would work.  It theorized that Diver comes from “an allergy” to the mixtures of certain food categories – proteins & fats, foods high in water (vegetables), and starch foods (carbs).  Basically it said to never have all 3 together, just 2 categories at a time and make sure that there is a 4 hour window in between meals so there is no chance of the different enzymes to intermingle.  It also said to never drink while you are eating but we’ll talk about that in a different post!

The research definitely pointed to a western diet as the culprit.  We discovered many possible causes – milk, peanut butter, nuts and seeds.  And soda.  My husband had been a heavy soda drinker since he was a child and the research we discovered stated that soda can weaken the colon, specifically the acids and artificial colorings and flavors in it.  Drinking soda (even diet soda) is linked to diabetes.  Diet Soda, NPR.

So we stopped.   We stopped drinking soda, we stopped eating nuts and seeds, we stopped drinking milk and we stopped eating peanut butter.  Unfortunately, the infections persisted and surgery was a necessary step.  This past March, he had 6 inches of his "disease riddled" colon removed.  This was a life-changing experience, and he now has a clean bill of health. But, once he was feeling better, we started right back in with our bad eating habits.  The weight he had lost while sick over the 6 months prior to the surgery started to creep back.  This is when the light bulb went off!  We needed to make a change... low carb was the answer.  There are many options out there: Paleo, Ketogenic, South Beach, Zone, Sugar Busters, etc. but we chose Atkins because it is easy for us to follow.  

Diverticulosis has been a common disease in adults over 50, where some people may have it and not know it or never get an infection.  But new studies are finding that it is getting more common in people as young as in their 20s, especially those who are obese.

Some interesting information about Diver (as referenced in this scientific journal): it is a disease of the 20th century, only introduced as a condition in 1904.  It is common in industrialized Western nations, but has a very low occurrence in Asian and African populations.  Why is there such a difference? A striking difference between these two populations is the diet - specifically the amount of dietary fiber consumed.  Early studies showed that the the rising incidence of diverticular disease in the Western world could potentially be due to a gradual decrease in consumption of dietary fiber over the course of the last century. Specifically, the advent of roller milling and the process of refining sugar during the Industrial Revolution removed a large source of fiber from Western diets. This would explain why the first reports of increasing diverticular disease appear in the literature about the time the first cohort of children raised on refined sugar and white flour came of the age where diverticular disease begins to occur, about 40 years after the start of the Industrial Revolution.  If you choose to read the journal, there is also evidence from animal studies to support this.

Sugar, Diver, Obesity, Diabetes - it's all linked and my wish is that we can get to a place where the numbers of these cases are going down, not up at a ludicrous rate.  I will end this today with one statistic that I learned in Fed UpIn the last thirty years, the number of cases of Type 2 Diabetes in adolescents went from 0 to 57,638. 


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

But... How???

Ok, so how did we do it?

It's actually easy.  I recommend reading the NEW Atkins book.  This will help you understand the science behind it and help you get started by following the Induction phase, which kick-starts your body into ketosis, changes the way your body burns and processes the food you put into it.

Basic rundown: when you eat carbohydrates, the body recognizes it as sugar - all carbohydrates, not just the obvious sugar you find in candy and desserts.  This includes grains, wheat, pasta, rice, potatoes, corn, carrots, etc...  Sugar is poison.  

I also just found this guy's video - watch/listen to him for the 29 minutes, he explains it perfectly!

So, what do we eat?  REAL FOOD.  I don't buy food from the center of the grocery store - shop the perimeter, that's where the real food is.  Beef, Chicken, Pork, Seafood, Vegetables, Berries, full fat cheese, heavy cream, butter, sour cream, cream cheese.  The possibilities are endless when you are cooking your own food.

I plan to share amazing recipes that I find and try. I have a few pictures just so you can see how well we've been eating.  I don't miss all the carbs. I really don't. I don't miss the feeling of being over-stuffed and tired and I certainly don't miss the heart-burn! - all of those symptoms are gone, and I don't go hungry.

My new Fave: "Breaded" Chicken and Caprese Salad

Grilled Filet Mignon with Portabella Mushtroom Feta Cream Sauce, 
Creamed Spinach, and Grilled Buffalo Shrimp

Grilled Chicken, Grilled Zucchini & Mashed Cauliflower (Feuxtatoes), with some buffalo sauce & ranch for dipping

Salads made with Organic Mixed Greens, Organic Cucumber, Organic Strawberries, Almond Slivers, & cheese (one with mozzarella and one with feta).  Dressing is Annie's Balsamic.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, September 15, 2014

I watched this documentary, Fed Up, over the weekend.  I was so excited to find the trailer, that I purchased and watched the movie the same day.  Here is the trailer: 

It is shocking and true and scary and everyone should watch this movie.  I do have a slight issue - they do not get into what the solution is.  It felt like a "Part 1" - strictly focusing on the problem.

It was frustrating to watch for me, because I feel like I now know the solution.  It's easy, it really is, and I hope I can help anyone reading this understand just how easy.

We say "NO" to so many things, it doesn't have to be so hard to say "NO" to putting poison in your body.

Let me know if you may be interested in seeing it - we are happy to host a screening!


Friday, September 12, 2014

First Blog!

I have been talking about starting a blog for the past few weeks, and here I am!  The main topic of my posts will be about healthy, low-carb living.  First, a little about me: I am currently 35, married for 10 1/2 years, work full-time, and I have two kids, J is 9, and R is 7.  

My Low Carb Story:
Back in 2003 during the Atkins craze, my husband (L) and I decided to go on a low carb diet before our wedding.  We were both successful, losing about 15 pounds each.  But we didn't stick with it.  After three months, I was pregnant with J and gave up on low carb completely. Between then and now, I had another child and gained up to 60 pounds off and on.

When we decided in the beginning of June to go low carb again, it just felt different.  It felt right.  We read the updated Atkins book, as well as many articles, journals, blogs, etc.  We immediately felt great.  The weight started melting off and hasn't stopped.  It has been 3 months and I am at the lowest weight I've been since 2004.  We also do not have heartburn anymore (L had been taking an acid controller pill daily), and there is no more bloated, over-stuffed feeling after eating.

Since changing the way we eat, there have been some huge results released in the media about low-carb diets, most recently in the NY Times and CNN.  It's just the right way to eat and makes so much sense.  This country has gotten it wrong since the 70s, and I hope I can inspire a few people to start getting it right.

In my spare time (haha!) I plan to write about my personal experiences with foods and recipes, as well as share new information I find, and resources to help anyone that is open to learning.

Thanks for reading!