The Link Between Weight Loss and White Kidney Bean Extract

Starch is a carbohydrate that is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms and is naturally found in lots of grains and vegetables–wheat, rice, potatoes, cassava–you name it. Many people depend on carbohydrates and starch to function because it can be a primary source of our energy. (You’ve likely seen other articles I’ve written on how the body can use ketones from fat as the main energy source as well, in the absence of starch, and depending on the person, either can be a healthy approach).

But since I get a lot of questions about starch and weight loss, I thought it’d be helpful to dedicate today’s newsletter to looking at starch and a growing area of study in the field of weight loss involving blocking starch absorption.

Our body uses starch by digesting it and converting it into sugar or glucose which our cells use to produce energy. Others are stored as fats. So it seems reasonable that the quickest way to gain weight–and perhaps be overweight–is to consistently have an oversupply of carbohydrates (aka consistently eating too much of it) without burning them or converting them into energy.

This is why many people try to go on a low-carb diet. For some, this is a great approach–they feel wonderful when they eat this way! Others, for various reasons, either struggle to make this way of eating a habit or actually notice health declines when they go too low-carb. The research on starch blockers has evolved to support weight loss in people who struggle to reduce dietary carb/starch intake. 

Let me give you an example: 
Phase 2 Carb Controller, a supplemental extract of white kidney beans that has been well studied, has been found to reduce the absorption of carbohydrates. It does so by acting on amylase, the enzyme found in the digestive tract that converts starch and glycogen into sugars. According to clinical studies, Phase 2 reduces the digestion and absorption of starches up to 66% (does not appear to effect fiber absorption). 

A review of 10 clinical studies concluded that taking the supplement resulted in more weight loss than the placebo group when taken concurrently with meals containing carbohydrates. Weight loss over 3 months was an average of 6.5 lbs. vs. 2 lbs., respectively.

Some people do experience digestive symptoms such as increased gas and bloating when taking these supplements.

Now, eating some starch is part of a balanced diet. Starch and fiber both contribute to the food supply of your healthy gut bugs. I don’t think it is healthy to eat tons of starch and miss out on protein or healthy fats and I also don’t think it’s healthy to eat no carbs (think veggies, fruits). It’s really important to listen to your body and eat in alignment with how you feel best!  

I find the research on blocking starch absorption and weight loss to be most helpful to those of you who really struggle to sustain a healthy weight while maintaining consistent diet and lifestyle practices rather than to be thought of as a quick fix or magic pill.  

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. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

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

Are you really vitamin D deficient?

Did you know that when you get a blood test for Vitamin D and it comes back as low, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re Vitamin D deficient? 


 
Most of us are aware that healthy Vitamin D levels are super important. The current approach is to test and if a person has low D status, they should take a supplement. HOWEVER,  supplementation with Vitamin D is not necessarily the best solution for everyone whose test results come back low. There are other factors that cause vitamin D in your blood to drop! Rather than just “treating the symptom”, resolving the underlying problems can produce a better outcome (including returning your Vitamin D status to the normal range). 
 
In this week’s newsletter, you will find out about these factors and save yourself from unnecessary vitamin D supplementation.

8 reasons your Vit D might be low:

 Having low Vitamin D levels at the time of your blood test might mean any of the following:

  1. You have low calcium intake. You need sufficient calcium AND Vitamin D from your diet to sustain healthy blood levels of Vitamin D.
  2. Your Magnesium level is low. In people with both low magnesium and Vitamin D levels, correcting the low magnesium through supplementation is enough to correct both magnesium and Vitamin D. AND, taking large doses of Vitamin D can cause severe depletion of Magnesium.
  3. Your glutathione level is low (glutathione is a powerful antioxidant=protects your cells from damage). Having low serum Vitamin D can also mean your glutathione level is low. When glutathione or l-cysteine is corrected, serum vitamin D also goes back to normal levels.
  4. You’ve been exposed to polluted air. Several studies were conducted and support the hypothesis that exposure to air pollution lowers serum Vitamin D. So when you have low serum Vitamin D, you might not need Vitamin D supplements right away–you might need to improve your air quality and then re-test.
  5. You’ve been exposed to environmental pollutants. Examples of these environmental pollutants are phthalates and BPA. You may want to avoid these pollutants if you want the Vitamin D in your blood to remain at normal levels.
  6. You have favorable gut bacteria. What?! People with great gut health, particularly those containing butyrate-producing bacteria, generally have lower serum Vitamin D, but high levels of vitamin D in its active form. This makes Vitamin D supplementation totally unnecessary or even harmful.
  7. You have an inflammation. Since serum Vitamin D acts as a negative serum phase reactant, it decreases when there’s some sort of inflammation in the body. So when you have low serum Vitamin D, it is really worth checking out if you have some inflammation that needs to be addressed instead of going the supplementation route right away.
  8. You have imbalanced mineral levels. Vitamin D enhances the absorption of both nutritional minerals and toxic metals, and they affect Vitamin D levels in a way. Some decrease while others decrease the Vitamin D levels. Again are you really Vitamin D deficient? Or is it just that you are high in some minerals or toxic metals?

The next time you have low serum Vitamin D, it’s worth discussing with your health care provider about the other factors that might be causing it. Do you really need a supplement? As you can see here, the answer isn’t a clear yes.
 
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. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

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

What peeing during the night says about your health

Do you think that waking up to pee at night is just a normal part of aging? It may be common, but it may not be normal. Our bodies operate on circadian rhythms, an internal clock that determines when bodily processes, like sleep, like going to the bathroom, like when to wake up are supposed to happen.  In the morning, the sun […]

Creamy Asparagus Soup (Paleo)

Omg, this soup is AMAZING!!

Full of ingredients to support the gut, lowering inflammation, and feed your healthy bacteria…plus, absolutely delicious. Thank you, Amy Myers for creating this recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 2 onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (or 1/2 tsp ground)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 cups bone broth (or a combo of 4 cups water and 4 full scoops unflavored bone broth protein powder)
  • 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a soup pot, over medium to low heat, add olive oil and chopped onions to caramelize. Stir occasionally until caramelized, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, sea salt, and ginger, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, trim tips from asparagus and set off to the side for later. Remove woody ends of asparagus and discard. Cut remaining spears into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Add broth to the stock pot, and bring to a boil. Add asparagus stem pieces, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the asparagus stems are tender.
  5. While the stems are cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the asparagus tips and cook for 5 minutes until they are tender, but still crisp. Immediately move the asparagus tips to a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking. Set aside.
  6. Add coconut milk to broth. Stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  7. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Garnish with sea salt, black pepper, and reserved asparagus tips. You can also add fresh or dried chives and/or plain coconut milk yogurt to garnish.

Upgraded Mac & Cheese

Years ago when my kiddo was just a toddler, a dear client of mine gifted me a cookbook filled with recipes for traditional kid foods that are MUCH healthier than traditional preparations/ingredients.

One of the recipes the whole family (and many of our friends) loved was using hearts of palm instead of grain-based macaroni for mac & cheese.

Here’s the recipe (thank you Maria Emmerich for your amazing creativity and cookbooks!):

“Noodles:”
2 jars of Hearts of Palm
Water or chicken broth

Cheesy Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
3 TBS Cream Cheese
1/4 cup beef/chicken broth
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar (for topping)

Crunchy Topping:
2 TBS butter
1/2 cup blanched almond flour

Now when I have made this recipe, I often don’t do the crunchy topping–not because it’s not delicious because it is–but because I think it’s great without it and I love being able to throw it together quickly on my stove! So if you are time/energy crunched, bear that in mind.

How to:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut hearts of palm in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4 inch slices. Cook the hearts of palm for about 5 minutes in boiling broth or water until tender. From here, mix all the cheese sauce ingredients in a saucepan or large skillet on medium heat until everything is well combined.

Now, you can just stir in the hearts of palm and enjoy OR you can put everything into a baking dish and get started on your crunchy topping.

To make the topping, mix butter and almond flour up in a small bowl and then crumble over the top of the mac and cheese and add some extra cheese to the top (1/2 cup grated). Bake for about 15 mins until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Makes 6 servings.

Enjoy!

How to reverse muscle “osteoporosis”

If it is important to you to lead a high quality, independent, functional, long life, then listen up!
Have you heard of something called sarcopenia?
When we are young, our hormones make it easy to put on muscle mass, but as we get into our 30’s and 40’s (and beyond), things change.



Sarcopenia is a condition where you slowly and gradually lose muscle (hence why it is sometimes referred to as muscle osteoporosis). Sarcopenia has been associated with many negative outcomes, such as functional disability, falls, health care costs, and even death
Additionally, the gradual loss of your muscle tissue is associated with accelerated aging (shortening of your chromosomes)!
Now, I’m not telling you that you need to become a body builder or anything, but preserving a healthy balance of muscle tissue relative to fat tissue is essential for preventing sarcopenia and all the risks that come with it. True, you can’t stop aging but you sure can stop some of the things that greatly reduce your quality of life!
Here are 3 tips to help you build your health and help prevent sarcopenia:
1. Get enough protein. Experts advise 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to support muscle building and repair. To calculate your weight in kilograms, take your weight in pounds and divide by 2.2. Then, take that number and multiply it by 1.2 to get your daily protein requirements. And the type of protein matters too! Certain amino acids (the building blocks of protein), such as leucine, are more helpful for building muscle tissue and preserving muscle tissue. Foods high in leucine include beef, lamb, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and to a lesser extent soybeans, chickpeas, almonds, lentils and peanuts. 
2. Do muscle building activities 3x/wk. Activities that load your muscles are critical. Examples include progressive resistance training such as body-weight exercises like pushups (can be modified to start), squats, and step ups; resistance bands, PACE interval training (here’s a sample video) and exercises with added weight like hand weights, medicine balls, and kettlebells.
3. Block ATF4. This protein reduces muscle building and there are 2 molecules that block it: ursolic acid and tomatidine. Tomatidine is found in green tomatoes. Ursolic acid is found in a variety of foods including apple peel, cherries, prunes, holy basil, lavender, oregano, sage and thyme.

I hope this information is helpful to you! Bottom line, your muscle tissue is incredibly important for quality of life, reducing the risk of falling and other injuries, and longevity. Your diet and lifestyle have everything to do with building and preserving your precious muscles.

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. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

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

Why Does Your Health Matter To You?

From early in life, my health mattered to me.
I struggled. I got headaches. Had spinal/structural issues. Kept getting injured. Was on crutches way too often in middle school and junior high. Had mold illness before that was even recognized as a thing.

I could’ve made up a story that I was weak, unhealthy and that I’d always struggle. I certainly could’ve easily found evidence to support this story…but for whatever reason, I didn’t. Instead I gave all of those struggles (and the health struggles I saw family members having) a different meaning: My health is my greatest wealth and I am committed to do whatever it takes to have unstoppable health and live my life fully. Now, at that time in my life, I certainly didn’t say it in those terms! But you get my point. I DECIDED that I was going to make my health a priority and commit to transforming my life.


There’s nothing special in me that makes me able to do that and you not do that. Believe me, I don’t have extraordinary genes that make it easier for me…in fact, I’ve had to overcome many challenges that were genetic as well as socioeconomic. What made my transformation possible was that I made it (and still make it) an absolute priority. I work with clients every day who have come to the very same conclusion: if you don’t have your health, you can’t life your life fully. If you don’t have your health, it’s impossible to bring your best to yourself, your family, your friends, your community, and into this world in which we all share. Put another way, if you are suffering, it extends out into the world.

There is one step, one action, that you can take today to start creating a healthier life for yourself. You have the choice. Even if you don’t know what the “right” action is, you can still take action. Your health transformation starts by committing to have one!
Message me and tell me what health transformation you are committed to having (and share it with the people in your life who care about you).

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 and you really need some help making it a reality, I’d love to connect with you!

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

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

The Gut-Thyroid Connection

Thousands of years ago, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said that “All disease begins in the gut.” 
Your gut is truly at the ROOT of your health.
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, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, fight infections, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive.



Poor gut health affects every part of you, including your thyroid or master gland of metabolism! But it’s not that simple: poor thyroid function can lead to poor gut health as well.
So today, I want to share some helpful info with you about the gut-thyroid connection and give you some tips for how you can support both.

3 Ways Your Gut & Thyroid are Connected

  1. Thyroid hormones influence the tight junctions of your gut (tight junctions are what protect you by acting as a selective barrier between your gut and your bloodstream…without it, your entire immune system is compromised).
  2. Imbalances in your gut bugs leads to poor thyroid hormone conversion (the enzyme required to convert thyroid hormones into their active forms, intestinal sulfatase, are dependent on healthy gut bacteria).
  3. Low stomach acid and constipation both decrease available thyroid hormone (because hormone clearance is impaired)…and low thyroid hormone can worsen constipation (slows gut transit time).

Top Tips to Support Your Gut-Thyroid Connection

  1. Get plenty of sleep. Your body needs 7-8 hours of sleep each night (click here for guidelines and tips).
  2. Eat a healthy diet of high quality, whole foods (tips here).
  3. Support your microbiome. Current research shows that lactobacillus and bifidobacterium-based probiotics play a role in supporting thyroid function and reducing thyroid antibodies (when your own body attacks your thyroid). Click here for more tips.


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. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

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

Plant Foods That Can Cause Skin Damage

I’ve had sensitive skin my whole life and sunburn easily, so when I learned about psoralens recently, it felt valuable to share.
If you or someone you care about are prone to sunburns, age spots/liver spots or skin cancer, listen up.
Psoralens are a naturally occurring substance found in certain foods that have been found to effect the skin. Specifically, when your skin is exposed to sunlight or another source of UV light, psoralens may have phototoxic effects as well as increased risk of skin cancer.



Two things to consider: There is a topical component and a dietary component. First, foods like citrus contain psoralens and if you have some on your skin and then go in the sun (like lemon juice, for example), it can lead to burns, rashes or blisters (phytophotodermatitis) because the psoralens make your skin extra sensitive to sunlight. So for anyone thinking of doing lemonade stands this summer, make sure to wash your skin of any juice before hanging out in the sun.
Second, eating a diet rich in psoralens combined with exposure to sunlight or UV light can also increase skin sensitivity and has been associated with an increased risk of skin cancer. This doesn’t mean that eating this foods will cause skin cancer, to be clear. But if you are celery juicing regularly, for example, and you are prone to skin damage and sun spots, you may want to consider the effect psoralens may be having.

Foods rich in psoralen include:
·  Anise seeds
·  Caraway seeds
·  Carrots
·  Celeriac
·  Celery
·  Chervil
·  Cilantro
·  Coriander seeds
·  Cumin seeds
·  Dill
·  Fennel seeds
·  Figs
·  Grapefruit
·  Lemons
·  Limes
·  Lovage
·  Mustard seeds
·  Parsley
·  Parsnips
·  Root parsley

I hope this information is helpful to you!

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. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

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

4 Unique Tips for Increasing Mobility

There’s an amazing feeling you get when you can move your body with ease. Today I’d like to share some tips with you to improve your mobility that you may find surprising.
Mobility can be restricted for many reasons: injury, lack of movement, loss of strength or balance, chronic diseases like arthritis and diabetes, scar tissue, and obesity.


 
And there are many useful ways to improve mobility ranging from physical therapy, yoga, qi gong, tai chi, myofascial release, bodywork, stretching daily…but here are 4 tips I’d like you to consider.

  1. Hydration. Your body must be hydrated to optimize mobility. Your tissues cannot move properly with insufficient hydration. This links not just to your water intake, but also your diet since minerals from your food tell the water where to go within your body! I read an excellent book many years ago called “You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty!” by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj that covers this in great detail if you are interested. The takeaway is that every part of your body needs CLEAN water (filtered), about half your body weight in ounces per day, and you need minerals to absorb water properly. Eating a whole foods diet with plenty of high quality protein and nutrient dense plant foods (mostly veggies) and high quality, mineral rich salt is a great general approach to achieve this.
  2. Breathe from your armpits. I know that sounds very strange, but in a great interview with Aaron Alexander and Dr. Michael Ruscio (https://drruscio.com/physical-mobility-emotional-flexibility/), they discuss the limitations to “belly breathing”. Here’s a quote from that interview to help illustrate the suggestion to breathe from your armpits versus your belly: “A lot of “belly breathers” are not really engaging their diaphragm and they’re still very limited. They’re just distending; they’re pushing their belly out and in. That’s not effective breathing…{and breathe into} the low back, and the lateral side of the ribs, like breathe into your armpits man. You want the whole system to expand and contract. In a good breath, you’re going to have a subtle medial and external rotation of the arms, of the hips. As you’re laying down and you’re breathing, people can do that, just lay down, just sitting down you can feel it. Breathe in, my arms kind of expand out. Open, open, open. As I breathe out, there’s a subtle medial rotation. Through my spine, I breathe in, and I feel a little extension. My spine literally gets longer. I traction my vertebra. That’s how you feed yourself, and feed yourself at a cellular level.”
  3. Just move. That may sound strange considering that lack of mobility makes it hard to move, but less movement begets more immobility. Use it so you don’t lose it! If walking hurts, what about moving in the water? If you don’t feel strong enough to lift heavy things, start lighter or start with moving just your own body in ways that aren’t painful. There are tons of options. Commit to finding a solution. As your mobility improves, you will have even more opportunities. 
  4. Embrace a growth mindset. Oftentimes, when we feel limited, it can make us feel like a victim and that life isn’t fair. A growth mindset is when you are open to the possibilities rather than focusing on the limitations. I’m not saying that you don’t have challenges–of course you do, that’s life–what I am saying is that you approach those challenges with as much curiosity as possible. This goes for physical limitations, but did you know there is an association between loss of mobility and lack of emotional flexibility?? They discuss this in that interview I linked to above. An example would be: show up each day with the intention of not letting your past dictate your future—show up with curiosity. Be courageous and communicate from a loving place what your needs and preferences are…and when possible, provide those things for yourself! Having a growth mindset means that you are open to having a different future experience. This openness shifts you from looking at things from the angle of a victim and empowers you with accountability.
     

I hope these tips are helpful for you!
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. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

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