Healthy Diet Essentials

When it comes to healthful eating, one thing is abundantly clear: you must have enough daily protein to maintain your muscle mass throughout your lifetime AND the fiber to feed your healthy gut bugs.
I advocate a protein-forward and fiber-forward approach to eating. Here’s 6 top reasons why:

  • Blood sugar stability. Protein helps you to feel full, reduces cravings, and prevent blood sugar from spiking (a primary cause of inflammation and aging).
  • Muscle retention. Keeping your muscles is a top priority for anyone who wants to be able to stay mobile, functional, and as independent as possible over time.
  • Weight balance. Feeling satisfied rather than hungry while meeting your nutrient needs; keeping blood sugar stable; and avoiding a caloric surplus are key components to balancing weight–protein and fiber-forward diets check all these boxes.
  • Healthy digestion. Protein foods are top fuel sources for your body. You use up almost all of it with little waste. Fiber rich foods provide the cleansing of your GI tract and bulking of your stools as well as preferred fuel sources for your healthy gut bugs.
  • Good Sleep. Hormonal balance and blood sugar balance are of utmost importance for quality sleep and this approach to eating supports both.
  • Stable Energy. Again, supporting stable blood sugar levels supports stable physical and mental energy levels.



How To Eat A Protein-Forward & Fiber-Forward Diet

I highly recommend that you read Forever Strong by Dr. Gabrielle Lyon. Her book is full of easy to access research on the benefits of this way of eating, charts comparing protein rich animal foods and plant foods, and recipes.
In a nutshell, there are lots of foods that have protein and the best ones for creating and maintaining muscle are branched chain amino acids or BCAA’s (protein building blocks with a branch-like structure that our bodies cannot produce and that we must get from foods or supplements: valine, leucine and isoleucine).
The best food sources of BCAA’s are animal sources–they also contain all 9 essential amino acids but that’s a conversation for another day–meat like beef and bison, seafood, poultry, wild game eggs, and dairy.
Plant sources that contain all of the BCAA’s are peanuts, tofu, tempeh, red lentils, sacha inchi seeds (drupes), hemp seeds and quinoa.
Additionally, combining certain plant foods can provide all 9 essential amino acids (not BCAA’s) to build muscle and repair your body. Examples include combining grains such as corn, rice, wheat, hemp, oat (all of which are limited in the amino acid lysine) with legumes (fava bean, lupin, pea, and soy (which are limited in methionine and cysteine). These combos will provide the protein building blocks your body needs, but at a much higher starch level. For some, this will pose as a challenge for blood sugar balance and maintaining a healthy weight. Many of these foods do however provide a good amount of fiber which helps reduce blood sugar spikes. Potato, interestingly, is a tuber, neither grain nor legume, but potato protein is surprisingly well-balanced in essential amino acids but also very starchy and therefore not ideal for everyone especially in high amounts.
3 ounces (palm sized serving) of meat/seafood/poultry/wild game will provide about 25 grams of protein at a very reasonable calorie amount (between 200-300 calories). In her book, Dr. Lyon demonstrates that it would take 3 cups of quinoa (600+ calories), 8 tablespoons of peanut butter (600+ calories), 1 cup of black beans (400+ calories) or 1.3 cups of edamame (240 calories) to get the same amount of protein!
An ideal amount of daily protein to support health, longevity, and a strong functional body is 1 gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight (divided equally amongst your meals); a ballpark of 30 grams of protein at each of your 3 meals.

Carb To Fiber Ratio

In Forever Strong, Dr. Lyon recommends calculating the carb to fiber ratio of plant foods and choosing ratios of six or lower the majority of the time and in the largest quantities. To give you some examples, cauliflower is 1.7 (divide the total carbs, 5, by the total fiber, 3, in a 100 gram portion), broccoli is 2.3, green beans are 2, avocados 1.2, raspberries 1.7, tomatoes 4. Most beans are 3.0. Rice, pasta and bread have a carb fiber ratio of 10-30 and fruit such as bananas and watermelon are around 10 or higher. That’s not to say that you should always avoid higher starch foods, but rather build habits where you are prioritizing and enjoying those higher fiber foods.

I hope that this information empowers you towards the dietary changes that can add years (and quality) to your life.

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully. 

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Weight loss drugs: are you risking your gut health?

I am all for people achieving and maintaining their ideal weight and I know that for some individuals, that can be a tremendous struggle.
Since the end of 2023, weight loss drugs in the class called GLP-1 agonists (including semaglutide, the main ingredient in Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus; tirzepatide, in Mounjaro; and liraglutide, used in Victoza and Saxenda) are being increasingly used for weight loss.
I’m not here today to judge anyone who chooses to or chooses not to use these drugs. What I am here to share with you today are some risks that these drugs may have on your gut.
Let me first introduce you to your gut: Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive.

And your gut is at the root of all disease as well as the foundation of your health.


 

Risks of Intestinal Blockage

In a study that took a random sample of thousands of people taking GLP-1 agonists who were not diabetic but were just taking the drugs for weight loss/control, there was a four times greater risk of obstructed bowels and gastroparesis (slower emptying time, preventing your stomach from emptying properly).

Risks of Pancreatitis

Within that same study, they found a nine-times higher risk for pancreatitis.

Additional Risks

Ten to forty percent of people taking this class of drugs will experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Other potential side effects include constipation, bloating, indigestion, and headache. A common effect of these drugs is heartburn. Because the drugs are keeping food in the stomach longer (to increase and prolong feelings of fullness) while also decreasing stomach acid, there is additional effort from the stomach to properly break down food. Adequate stomach acid is essential to your body being able to digest your food, especially protein. It is essential to signaling to the stomach that it is time to pass food along to the small intestine. Your body functions in large part because of the acid and alkaline differences along your digestive tract. Your stomach is supposed to be acidic. When we interfere in that process, it has a spiraling effect throughout the rest of your GI tract.
Since these drugs are intended to be taken on an ongoing basis for weight loss and management, these affects on gut and overall health are extremely important to consider.

Diet & Lifestyle Are The Magic Pill

There truly is no magic pill (or injection) for anything. There’s always a trade off. Weighing the pros and cons and making the appropriate choice for yourself is what it comes down to. It can be incredibly tempting to be offered a pill/injection versus the work that it takes to truly transform your health habits. Regardless, the habit transformation is going to be necessary. You have likely seen this already if you know anyone who got gastric bypass surgery but gained all or most of the weight back because they didn’t permanently change their eating habits…or someone who has diabetes and takes metformin or insulin to help manage their blood sugar but whose health continues to decline, again, because their eating habits are a more powerful influence on their health than the medications. Your habits matter the most.
And habits are transformable: a lot of it comes down to your mindset and working through the stories and obstacles that are keeping you stuck and repeating patterns that aren’t serving you anymore. Creating a healing mindset is the work that I do with clients and I don’t think there will ever be a pill or injection to replace this growth journey.

I hope that this information empowers you towards the choices that will serve your highest good.

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully. 

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Shrimp Avocado Caesar Salad

Ingredients:

12 ounces cooked and peeled prawns (can serve cold or heat up in pan with a clove of chopped garlic)

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1 avocado, cubed

Shredded Parmesan cheese for topping

Optional: cherry tomatoes

Dressing is from the amazing Maria Emmerich’s Quick & Easy Keto recipes:

1 T Dijon mustard

1 T apple cider vinegar

1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp each of sea salt and black pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or MCT oil)

2 T mayo (choose one that uses only avocado oil or olive oil like Chosen Foods or Primal Kitchen)

1 tsp lemon juice

Optional: 1 2-ounce can anchovies finely chopped

How to:

Heat the prawns in a large pan with butter or olive oil and fresh garlic or simply enjoy them cold mixed with the delicious dressing!

Mix the romaine, avo, prawns, and dressing in a large bowl before adding to your plate. Top with some Parmesan cheese and a dash of pepper. Enjoy!