Archive for June, 2012
Sick, Fat, Nearly Dead: Wake up to the annoying beeping of an alarm clock, still feeling un-rested and sleep deprived from staying up late the night before.
Healthy, Lean, Loving Life: Wake up naturally after getting a full night’s rest.
Sick, Fat, Nearly Dead: Scrape thick white coating from tongue caused by eating a heavy meal before bed. Stumble into the shower to deal with excessive body odor.
Healthy, Lean, and Loving Life: Go for a morning run, bike ride, or walk, and do a quick yoga routine or some push-ups before hitting the shower.
Sick, Fat, Nearly Dead: Make a pot of coffee because caffeine is needed in order to fully “wake up” and maybe have a bowel movement.
Healthy, Lean, and Loving Life: Rehydrate with a large glass of non-fluoridated water.
Sick, Fat, Nearly Dead: Spend lots of time making sure makeup, hair, nails, and undergarments are expertly applied. Maybe no one will notice the extra 50 pounds of fat hiding underneath.
Healthy, Lean, and Loving Life: Already planned wardrobe the night before, so getting dressed only takes 5 minutes. No girdle needed. Minimal makeup needed. Maybe no one will notice that toenail paint got chipped while running on the beach this morning before work.
Sick, Fat, Nearly Dead: Not feeling particularly hungry because of a heavy dinner the night before, but grab something at a gas station or fast food drive-in anyway just to “rev up the metabolism.”
Healthy, Lean, and Loving Life: Feel hungry due to exercising and not having eaten in over 12 hours. Have already planned (and possibly prepared) breakfast the night before.
Sick, Fat, Nearly Dead: Eat a combination of fat and carbohydrates such as a pastry, donuts, sausage & biscuit, or pancakes, with fruit juice, milk, or non-dairy milk.
Healthy, Lean, and Loving Life: Eat a hearty breakfast with some fat and protein such as a homemade omelette with veggies, Greek-style yogurt or cottage cheese with nuts or seeds, bacon and eggs, or a homemade smoothie made with whey protein. Drink water and get calories from solid food.
Sick, Fat, Nearly Dead: Arrive to work late because there was a line at Dunkin’ Donuts.
Healthy, Lean, and Loving Life: Arrive to work early because there was no traffic. (Everyone else was in line at Dunkin’ Donuts.)
Sick, Fat, Nearly Dead: Don’t get much done before lunchtime because of “allergies” and a bit of lethargy from eating breakfast.
Healthy, Lean, and Loving Life: Get more done before lunch than most get done all day because you’ve had a good night’s rest, a quick burst of exercise, and a satisfying breakfast, so your body and mind work more efficiently to complete tasks.
In defense of breakfast
Recently there has been a trend towards more health & nutrition gurus telling people that perhaps breakfast isn’t so important after all. There are plenty of studies and personal anecdotes of people who skip breakfast some or most of the time and aren’t overweight, and of course other stories of people who eat their largest meal at night without suffering any known health repercussions.
Few people would argue that skipping breakfast and then having a healthy salad with goat cheese and walnuts for lunch, a small organic apple for a snack, and steamed heirloom vegetables (cooked in real butter) and baked wild salmon for dinner is going to cause obesity or any other serious health consequences. But unfortunately, this is not the usual way people tend to eat when they skip breakfast! By skipping breakfast, most people are famished by lunch, causing them to reach for a sugar and fat laden snack such as corn chips and a soda around mid-morning and fried food lacking any vegetable or micronutrient content for lunch. By the end of the day, this lack of nutrition will cause most to feel too tired to exercise or do much of anything besides watch TV, surf the internet, or lurk on facebook posting photoshopped images of themselves. They’ll eat a carb and fat laden comfort food before bed, and wake up the next morning with no appetite for breakfast because they’ll still have undigested food in their bellies.
It would definitely be better to skip breakfast and then eat healthy foods the rest of the day than to eat cereal, donuts, pancakes, or canned biscuits for breakfast. But if you want a healthy start to your day that will provide a nutritional boost and also keep you going until lunch so you can stay energized for the entire day with no afternoon slump and with plenty of fuel to even fit in a tough workout after work, I would suggest eating a hearty breakfast (something nutrient-dense) — but NOT a heavy breakfast (something dense in calories, fat, and sugar). A heavy meal will make you too lethargic and might lead to constipation over the long-term, but a hearty meal will satisfy your hunger, stimulate regular bowel function, and give you an energy boost.
Whey Protein — The Ideal Breakfast Food
Whey protein satisfies hunger better than rice protein, pea protein, egg protein, and soy protein, and it also boosts your metabolic rate for as long as 24 hours after consumption. If you like to practice yoga or go for a run in the mornings, a smoothie made with whey protein is one of the best foods to fuel yourself with afterwards. Steer clear of things like Vitamin water, fruit juice, date bars, oatmeal bars, Ezekiel bread (or other forms of wheat bread), and other carb/sugar-based items for breakfast or post-workout. “Healthy” foods like these will halt HGH production, stimulate an insulin surge, and inevitably make you hungry and irritable a couple of hours later.
The amino acids found in grass-fed whey protein activate certain cellular mechanisms (including mTORC-1) that promote muscle protein synthesis, boost thyroid hormone production, and also protect against declining testosterone and HGH levels after exercise. If you do your physical fitness practice in the mornings, the ideal time to eat breakfast is about an hour after you finish your practice.
The Components Of A Healthy Breakfast Smoothie
I have always been a breakfast eater and I’ve experimented with different breakfast items over the years. Oatmeal or cereal, milk, and fruit for breakfast always left me feeling too hungry by mid-morning, while sausage and pancakes made me sluggish and slightly sick at my stomach. Just drinking juice or having a nut and fruit based vegan dish for breakfast lead to decreased muscle strength and tone particularly in my upper body and abs. A whey-protein based breakfast with a moderate amount of healthy saturated fat, on the other hand, keeps me satiated for several hours without making me feel sluggish or causing me to lose muscle tone. Now there’s good science to back up what my body knew all along!
Here’s some ingredients that I recommend for making the perfect breakfast smoothie.
- 1 egg (pasture raised if possible — freeze in an ice cube tray to prevent food-borne illness)
- 1 tbsp raw virgin coconut oil (Artisana is my favorite raw coconut oil)
- 1 tbsp PaleoFiber (for a thicker smoothie PLUS prebiotics and probiotics)
- 1 tbsp PaleoReds or PaleoGreens
- 1 capsule CoQNol
- 1 capsule vitamin K2
- 2 scoops PaleoCleanse
- 1 scoop PaleoMeal
- 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt or Redmond Real Salt
- optional: 1 packet of unsweetened frozen Sabazon acai or 3/4 cup frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- optional: 1 tbsp cacao powder, almond butter, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, or your favorite extra ingredient
- about 2 cups of ice or cold water (amount varies depending on how thick you want your smoothie)
Blend all these ingredients together using a Vitamix or any blender that can handle ice. I purchased a cheap blender at Target that gets the job done and is easy to clean.
Some items to avoid putting in your smoothie include:
- canned coconut milk (contains BPA which is an endocrine disruptor and obesogen)
- soy milk, rice milk, flax milk, almond milk, and other processed and ultra-high temp pasteurized beverages stored in aseptic containers (If you want almond milk, either make your own or get some delivered from a company that makes it fresh.)
- agave nectar (can lead to increased abdominal adiposity and metabolic syndrome)
- conventional bananas (loaded with sugar and laden with pesticides if not organically grown)
How to Select a High Quality Whey Protein
Since whey protein is a by-product of dairy, it’s important to make sure it’s derived from grass-fed cows that were not injected with hormones or given antibiotics on a daily basis in their feed. It should also be minimally processed in order to preserve its natural health-promoting compounds such as immunoglobins, bovine serum albomin, lactoferins, and other key amino acids and nutrients.
Most commercial whey products are derived from pasteurized dairy and processed with heat and acid, which destroys the whey’s fragile immuno components and damages important amino acids. Many of them also contain chemical additives, detergents and artificial sweeteners, which are known for their health shattering effects. And contrary to popular belief, artificial sweeteners such as sucralose (Splenda), aspartame, and Ace-K actually hinder your ability to lose weight or maintain your ideal weight because they impair your ability to regulate your appetite naturally.
My favorite whey protein powders are PaleoMeal and PaleoCleanse — not only because they are made from grass-fed dairy and are low temperature processed (maintaining live enzymes and immunoglobulins) — but also because they’re loaded with food-based vitamins and minerals (no synthetic vitamins and minerals), lightly sweetened with stevia, mix well with no lumps (and no chalky mouthfeel), and come in several flavors that all taste great.
The Fountain of Youth
What if there was a simple, natural way to prevent loss of muscle mass and muscle function as you get older, while simultaneously also keeping your brain sharp? Would you do it, or would you prefer to allow your muscles and brain to just shrivel up as you age while all your friends who are taking advantage of this safe and natural “remedy” keep their muscle tone, athletic abilities, and mental acuity? Well in fact, this “fountain of youth” exists, and it’s 100% natural and safe because it’s found in small amounts in some foods. Learn more here.
Healthy Heart, Healthy Bones
Did you know that arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis are reversible with proper nutrition? Read more about this important vitamin that drug companies are hoping you will never know about!
Throw away the wrinkle cream and use this instead.
The secret to having a healthy glow to your skin is NOT attained by investing in expensive wrinkle creams. Truthfully, using a lot of products (even SPF potions) on your skin will only exacerbate skin problems and accelerate sun damage over the long-term. This unique beauty secret from the ocean can protect your skin from sun damage as well as reverse age spots and lines.