Friday, May 10, 2013

Papaya seeds for better digestion

I knew that papaya seeds help with digestion, because I was once prescribed Papaya enzymes by a naturopath for indigestion during pregnancy. I also have a friend who told me she eats them along with the papaya. I tried this, and found them bitterly unpleasant, and decided I could do without them.

Now I understand that my digestion is slower than average, especially when it comes to meats that contain more Purine, like beef and lamb. I am supposed to limit or avoid these meats, but I happen to love lamb and enjoy a good grass-fed steak now and then. I've been trying to enhance my digestion with probiotic drinks such as Kevita, but lately I've been thinking about trying something else.

The last time I ate a papaya, I scraped out the seeds, washed them off and dried them in my dehydrator for later use. My intention was to grind them up in a coffee grinder and put them into capsules, but I haven't gotten around to this yet--my list of projects and tasks each day is long and never-ending. Today I came across this article about papaya seeds and it gave me some more ideas of how to take them. I have decided to use the pepper mill method, since they are naturally peppery and it will be an easy way for me to get papaya enzymes into my gut every day. Some people might not mind chewing them like the author of the article does, and it is suggested that we do so when eating protein-heavy meals such as steak and other meats.

By the way, I found out that I am a "slow oxidizer" by having a Metabolic Typing test done by a qualified health coach. I highly recommend this. It involves answering an extensive questionnaire and then having some simple tests done. Insurance most likely won't cover this, but I think it's a worthy investment in your health. Finding out what food is right for your unique metabolism and body type is a crucial element in optimizing your health and longevity. You can find a Metabolic Typing professional in your area by using that website I just linked to.

I wish you all the best on your journey to wellness!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Bulletproof Diet

I just learned about The Bulletproof Diet, by Dave Asprey, in one of Joe Rogan's podcasts the other night. Another piece of the puzzle snapped into place and I know I am on the right path to optimal health. From his site:

"Common dietary mistakes will sap your energy, lower your immunity, and make you cranky. Basic unsuspected foods can make you weak, soft, and fat. Replace them with Bulletproof foods that fill you up, keep you strong, and even make you smarter.
The Bulletproof diet is the foundation for a Bulletproof body and a Bulletproof mind. It’s one of the most important things you can do to increase your performance across the board.
The right foods not only make you stronger and leaner, they can reduce your risks of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. The Bulletproof Diet looks related to the paleo or “caveman” diet based on what our ancestors probably ate, but The Bulletproof Diet arose from research into biochemistry and human performance. For that reason, this diet overcomes some of the problems that can arise from long-term paleo dieting. Think of it as upgraded paleo, or paleo + science, or Paleo 2.0 (except Kurt Harris at already used that last one…)
Best of all, science shows conclusively that the best diet tastes good and is satisfying. It’s not vegan, it’s not low-fat, and you don’t need tolimit calories or eat frankenfoods like tofurkey."
more HERE
These are the principles of this diet plan, which are based on nutritional science, rather than idealism (like raw and vegan diets):

Research proving this diet works.

This is a list of studies behind the principles of this diet.  It will be updated as new research becomes available.
Cereal grains contribute to nutrient deficiencies, autoimmune disease, impaired digestion, and contain opioids which make them addicting. (1)
Switching from refined grains to whole grains causes zinc deficiency. (2)
Diets high in grain fiber deplete vitamin D stores. (3)
Phytic acid from whole grains block zinc and other minerals. (4)(5)
Removing grains, legumes, and processed dairy while increasing protein intake produces greater insulin sensitivity in animals and humans. (6)(7)
Brown rice (not white) prevents protein digestion and lowers nitrogen balance (a marker of muscle retention). (8)
Gluten and other grain proteins dysregulate the junctions between intestinal cells and increase cancer risk. (9)
80% of long term vegans are deficient in vitamin B12, which is needed for proper mental function.(10)
50% of long term vegetarians are deficient in vitamin B12. (11)
B12 deficiency causes dementia, cognitive impairment, depression, and degenerative mental disorders.(12)
Kids who eat a vegan diet are deficient in B12 and have impaired brain function.  This reverses when they start eating animal products. (13)
Vegetarians and vegans have lower muscle creatine and carnosine levels. (14) (15)
The China Study is a collection of poor research and misinterpreted results. (1617,18192021)
Grass-fed meat is higher in omega-3’s, CLA, TVA, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and antioxidants. (222324252627)
The longer an animal is fed grains, the more nutrients are lost. (27)
Eating grass-fed meat boosts omega-3 levels more than can be explained by the amount of omega-3’s in the meat (grass-fed meat is better than omega-3 supplements). (28)
A lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids reduces inflammation and protects against disease. (29)
Saturated fat is not associated with cardiovascular disease.  This is supported by almost every high quality observational study ever conducted (not that this really matters, since it’s observational data).  (30) (31)
Saturated fat does not raise cholesterol levels over time. (32)
Saturated fat raises HDL cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, and decreases the oxidation of cholesterol. (3334)
A diet high in saturated fat improves blood vessel function (don’t be fooled by the title of this study, read Chris Masterjohn’s take on what this study actually showed). (3536)
To get all the micronutrients your body needs from the USDA (DASH) diet, you would have to eat 33,500 calories a day. (37)
Vitamin D affects over 1000 genes in the human body. (38)
Magnesium deficiency exacerbates insulin resistance. (39)
Eliminating artificial colorings and food allergens improves ADHD symptoms. (40)

One of the things Dave advocates is the consumption of "Bulletproof Coffee", which is a blended drink made from a special grade of coffee bean that is guaranteed to be free of mycotoxins, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil or coconut oil. It tastes like a creamy, rich latte and provides sustained energy for hours. I tried it over the weekend, at least a simulation of it since I didn't have the proper ingredients, and found it delicious and satisfying. Today it was very cold in my apartment so I made a similar drink using black tea, goat milk and butter in the blender, so it came out like Tibetan tea. You can learn more about the Bulletproof Coffee HERE
With so many conflicting opinions on what humans should be eating, we all need to be conscious and discerning in our search for the right diet. I had some bloodwork and testing done last year, and met with a metabolic typing specialist to figure out what my particular metabolism requires. I highly recommend this level of personal guidance because we are not all built the same. My boyfriend and I have totally different metabolic types and require different foods for sustained energy and to maintain a healthy weight. I realize now that I understand the metabolic typing principles that I have spent the past year and a half eating foods that my boyfriend thrives on, but that make me fat. If he ate the way I'm supposed to eat, he would be hungry and irritable all the time, and possibly get too thin. It definitely makes meal planning more challenging for us, but we are both far more driven to be strong and healthy, it's easy to support each other when we share meals--I just give him most of the potatoes.
I have by no means found my "magic bullet", as I thought I'd found when I discovered the raw vegan diet. I am simply one step closer to understanding what helps me to thrive and what I need to let go of in order to build muscle, lose fat, protect myself against disease and maximize my body's energy potential.
By the way, if you have been reading my blog and might be interested in some one-on-one health coaching sessions with me, I am now set up with a new service called Wizpert, and can chat with you live on Skype or Gmail. I intend to eventually make these sessions part of my income, since I have been offering advice to thousands of people for years and currently have no job or income whatsoever. My first few chat sessions on Wizpert will be offered free of charge, at which time I will be reviewed and then potentially offered a paid position. If you jump on it now, you could be one of my first few clients, for free. 

Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it has been informative for you!
About Dave Asprey

Monday, April 1, 2013

forever learning how to drive this body machine

I have kept going with the green smoothies and fruit, but on Friday I made a raw chocolate pie to eat over the weekend because I knew I would need some extra protein while working in the garden and on a construction project. The pie was absolutely delicious and reminded me that I don't need sugar at all. I didn't write down the recipe as I was making it (sorry!) but it mostly consists of soaked cashews, cacao, banana, raw honey, coconut butter and coconut juice, with a crust of almonds and dates. That's a lotta nuts!

So I thought I would be just fine with two quarts of green smoothie, the chocolate pie, and some seaweed, apples and bananas to snack on. But I made the mistake of forgetting to eat every couple of hours which is necessary on a raw food diet. I let myself go too far and get too weak before making a move to get some food, at which point I was panicking and feeling like the food I brought wasn't going to make me feel better. The sun was going down (this was Saturday, 3/30) and all I could think about was roasted chicken. I told my boyfriend I just had to have some roasted chicken, I was freaking out. He supported me in giving my body what it needed and told me that it was ok, I was not being a hypocrite like I said I was. I was judging myself for wanting meat, saying that I was weak and couldn't last a few days without it. He explained that my physical activity level that day was at least four times more than usual and it was completely understandable that my body would be asking for some animal protein. We were at my property in the country and the nearest place to get some reasonably-healthy chicken was Safeway, which sells what they call a "Natural Chicken". I know that this is largely a racket, but at least it has no antibiotics or hormones and they don't use MSG in the seasoning mix or inject the meat with weird stuff. I had a hard time remembering how to get to the Safeway and got lost in the movie theater parking lot (which ended up being a good thing because we decided to go see a movie after getting the chicken). I was so ungrounded and emotionally unstable from being so depleted that I was in tears by the time we reached the grocery store. I went in an got a chicken and some olives and marinated mushrooms from the deli. We drove back to the movie theater parking lot and dug into the chicken right there in the car with a Leatherman tool and a plastic fork. Within minutes my heart stopped racing, I calmed down and everything smoothed over. My whole being felt balanced and satiated. I knew I had done the right thing, and had to do quite a bit of work to process all that judgment  I was casting on myself for "giving up" on raw food.

The next day, I had my smoothie and a some pie in the morning, got to work again on a shed we are reconstructing. When I took a break to have some more food, I reached for the chicken, because I knew I was about to head over to the garden where I would be moving some soil and hacking roots out of the ground. This time I was prepared--I fueled myself with the animal protein and that lasted me hours with no hunger, cravings for carbs or weakness. Later that evening I had an orange and some seaweed and then some juice late at night.

Today I weighed myself and was sad to see that I had not lost more than a pound or two. In the past, any time I fasted on juice or even smoothies for a day or two, I would drop several pounds of water and then start burning fat. I suspect there is something hormonally wrong with me--something is interfering with my body's ability to burn fat. I worked like a horse all weekend and still weigh pretty much the same. Is my body in starvation mode and holding on to every ounce of fat for dear life? I ate a bit more chicken today and green smoothies the rest of the day, until just a little while ago when I felt cold and had half an avocado spread on three flax crackers (I did write down the recipe for these and will post that when I can find it). I am hungry at this moment so I am going to have another glass of smoothie or maybe an apple. I am getting used to letting myself be a little bit hungry but I will not let myself fall apart like I did on Saturday. That may have been what caused my body to go into starvation mode. I must keep my metabolism fired by eating every couple of hours. My nutrition coach told me that I should be eating six times a day and it's just not something I'm used to. I have to break the old bad habit of waiting until I'm super hungry and then overeating. That is what slows everything down.

Anyway, I hope that this report is useful to somebody out there. I'm going to have some green tea to warm up and quiet my hunger.

Friday, March 29, 2013

back in the saddle again.

It has been nearly a year since I've written in this blog. The reason for that is that I went on a journey back to eating all kinds of foods, mostly not raw, and considerably un-vegan. In the fall of 2010, I discovered that I had made myself horribly deficient by neglecting to include essential fats and nutrients in my diet (namely those found only in animal foods). I wrote about it in a previous entry if you want to go back and read it, I won't get into the details here because I want to write about where I've been since then. I decided to rebuild my health, take care of my teeth, and get grounded because I knew that I was about to enter a phase of my life which would require me to be super strong, centered, and fiercely committed to my goals. Three years on a raw diet made me more gentle, patient, docile, compassionate, tolerant and blissful. And I haven't lost any of those qualities since I've started eating meat and dairy again, I just feel that now it's time for me to master a new skill set.

This is all fantastic, except for the fact that I have put on all the weight I lost during my three raw vegan years. I am healthier and much stronger (packed with muscle from yoga and eating meat) than I was before I lost weight on a raw diet, but still, I have too much fat on my body to be burning fuel efficiently. Some might say I look just fine, and I suppose I don't look horribly overweight and I'm certainly not obese, but I have started snoring and having problems with my throat at night, certain yoga asanas can not be done correctly because of fat in the way, and none of my clothing fits. Even the yoga pants are tight, and I refuse to buy any more clothing--I have more than enough clothing that I like in size 10 which I have not been able to wear for two years. I am now a size 14 and got close to a 16 before I decided enough was enough. No more sugar. No more cheese. No more ribs, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, no more ice cream. It's time to transform myself into the physical form of the warrior goddess who dwells within.

I have tried several times this year to lose weight and nothing has worked, except for a week-long juice fast which dropped 8 pounds off of me, all of which came back with a vengeance (and more weight) once I started eating again. I am learning a lot about my metabolism and how it responds to different combinations and ratios of proteins to fats to carbohydrates. According to the nutrition coach I saw last year, I metabolize food very slowly and need to avoid certain foods in order to maximize "fuel efficiency". So when I go without any food at all and only have juice, my metabolism slows way down because my body thinks it's starving. Yes, I start burning fat, but once I start eating food again, my metabolic rate is so slow and my body so freaked out about starvation, it just packs all the fat back on. So that definitely doesn't work for me, and I don't recommend juice fasting for long-term weight loss to anyone. It is a great cleanse and a good introduction to a raw diet, but we need to give our bodies ample nutrients, protein and fat to achieve an ideal metabolic rate. In my case, there may be some thyroid and other hormonal issues at play, and I will be getting all that checked out really soon. In the meantime, I am including lots of seaweed in my diet now to get my iodine levels up. If I consume only green smoothies and raw vegan foods and seaweed and I don't lose a significant amount of weight in a month, I will know that something is definitely wrong with me hormonally. When I went 100% raw in 2007, I lost 20 lbs. in 5 weeks so I know what is possible.

This time, I am approaching it differently. No more raw vegan dogma. I got religious about it last time and it could have been the death of me because I didn't listen to my body when it was begging for animal fats. Raw milk, I believe, is a healthy, nutritious food to include in moderation. That may have prevented my severe deficiencies last time. And also, I will not make the mistake of expecting to live on this diet for the rest of my life like I did before. I will eat this way as long as it is serving my body, mind and spirit. And if I have a day when I feel like I need something else, I will allow it instead of judging myself as weak, as long as it is something good for my body. I will also be more conscious of where my food is coming from, and eat primarily local foods. Tropical fruits and nuts are not harmonious with my metabolic type or my Ayurvedic Dosha anyway. I love mangos and pineapple to death, but I won't let them imbalance me again. What is good for me? Berries, Kale, Broccoli, Almonds, Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds, Celery, fermented Cabbage, Coconut Kefir, sprouted lentils. Just typing these foods is waking up a part of me that has been asleep for 2 1/2 years. Today I had tons of energy in the second half of my day, on about a quart of green smoothie and one apple with almond butter. Normally I get really sleepy around 7pm but today I felt so energized, I had to drink some chamomile tea just now to make myself go to bed.

Which reminds me, I need to get to sleep now.
I will try to remember to post in this blog more frequently with my progress. As of today, 3/29/2013, I weigh 187 lbs. on my bathroom scale. The Wii says 176, with a BMI of 26.3. I don't know which one is right, but I am aiming for a BMI of 23 or less. With all the extra physical activity I am doing these days and lots more ahead this summer, it shouldn't be too hard. I am only afraid of letting myself down like I have all the other times I've tried dieting in the past year, and that is why I am posting in this blog. Even if no one else read this, it feels to me like I am being held accountable. It is important to my personal development that I practice following through on my goals more and more. My target weight is 155, but I would be happy with 160 since I am 5'8" and rather muscular for a female. So there it is, somewhere in the range of 25-30 lbs of fat I would like burned off of my body by August. Let's do this.

Monday, April 23, 2012

are you crazy?

I believe it's the people who don't prioritize health, peace and joy who are truly crazy. But because these people keep the cogs of the money machine turning, they are not locked up in nuthouses, they are fed drugs (pharmaceuticals, caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, junk food) to keep them going. Crazy is not following your heart, your soul, your innate wisdom. Crazy is choosing to keep yourself in a state of chronic stress, anger, worry, despair or depression, in order to maintain the lifestyle society tells us is ideal. And crazy is believing that institutions of government, medicine and food are truly acting in our best interest. Money is the only thing that matters to MOST people. If not for money, would you continue living your life the crazy way?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wishing fiercely

You know that old saying, "Be careful what you wish for"? Forget that. Don't be careful at all with your wishes, wish wildly and fiercely and wish for more than you think you can ask for, and make your wish with the song in your heart that you will be singing when your wish is granted. The only thing you need to be careful of hesitating to accept the gift when it arrives. Accept it wholeheartedly with gratitude, you have waited a long time for this, and now you get to live your life with one less thing holding you back.

Friday, April 20, 2012

the raw truth, straight from the gypsy's mouth

One of the reasons I bailed on the 100% raw food diet was that I found it more and more absurd consuming large amounts of non-local foods (like cashews & other nuts, cacao, coconuts, agave, avocados) in order to recreate raw versions of my favorite comfort foods. Sandwiches, cheesecake, ice cream, pizza and so on. The carbon footprint was one issue, and forcing my body to derive 90% of its nutrients from food that grows on the other side of the world was another--not only is a raw tropical diet unsustainable for those not living in tropical regions energy-wise, it's totally inappropriate for our bodies. Add to that the sheer silliness of $80 raw pumpkin pies, $20 raw lasagna, desserts made with more cashews and coconut oil than a human should consume in an entire week, and then there was the pettiness amongst the global raw community, lashing out to attack those who chose to include animal foods in their diets for health reasons and condescending pretty much everyone else...well, the whole thing started to look like a circus to me.

If you like cheesecake, have a goddamn piece of cheesecake once in a while. And if you're on edge all the time, nervous, easily agitated, weak, frail and have deteriorating teeth, please, put down your raw food bible and listen to your body. I was once a proselytizing raw vegan and I have holes in my teeth to prove it. Raw milk and grass-fed meat saved my life, I believe. Eat as much raw food as you can, as much of it local as you can, but please don't do what i did and let dogma be your dietary guide.