Thursday, 1 March 2018

fat, fibre, protein

This is a "mantra" I learned from Andrea Nakayama, a Functional Medicine Nutritionist and founder of Functional Nutrition Alliance.


Andrea teaches that every meal or snack should contain fat, fibre and protein to help balance blood sugar and balance hormones.

EVERY meal. EVERY snack.

Mind you, following this formula I rarely feel the need to snack.

So for example if I have a chicken salad, I drizzle it with some olive oil.

I cook breakfast eggs with butter and add some sautéed spinach or other vegetables.

I add some butter to my baked potato and steamed vegetables to go with a steak.

I don't just eat a piece of fruit on its own but spread pieces with, or dip in some nut butter or have with some full fat yoghurt and/or nuts and seeds.

I'm not a big one for vegetable juices, mainly because they are a bit messy to make at home - I prefer smoothies, but Andrea suggests even with vegetable juices to stir in a little coconut oil or coconut milk to add some fat and some chia seeds to add fibre and protein. With smoothies the fibre of blended fruits and vegetables is retained and you can easily add fat with things like avocado, coconut oil, coconut or other full fat milk and protein with things like nuts, chia seeds, yoghurt, maca powder, or spirulina.

Fat provides a concentrated source of energy, building blocks for cell membranes and hormones, slows down nutrient absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry, acts as a carrier of fat soluable vitamins A, D, E & K, and is needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A and absorption of minerals. Fat is also needed to aid digestion of protein and has a neutral effect on blood sugar. We should consume only natural fats and stay away from transfats and heat/chemically processed seed oils.

Fibre plays an important role in digestion and elimination. Fibre causes a moderate rise in blood sugar provided it comes from unrefined carbohydrates ie whole vegetables or fruit or wholegrains. Refined carbohydrates (sugar and refined flour products) produce a spike in blood sugar.

Protein builds organs, nerves, muscles and flesh, is essential for normal growth, formation of hormones, the process of blood clotting and the formation of milk during lactation. It also helps regulate the acid-alkaline balance of tissues and blood. Protein causes a moderate rise in blood sugar.

Sources and related posts:
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell
The Importance of Blood Sugar Balance

~ take every opportunity to put the good stuff in ~

This blog is about me, what I'm doing, what's working for me, and what's not. It includes my experiences and opinions. It is for general information only and is in no way intended to replace the advice of a health care professional





Monday, 5 February 2018

Variety = Diversity

Health experts agree that diversity of gut microbes is essential for good health*.

Research Microbiologist Kiran Krishnan, tells us that:

"Diversity of bacteria in your gut is controlled by diversity of food in your diet."


Kiran says that early humans consumed upwards of 600 different foods in a year but the average healthy Westerner eats maybe 15-20!  He suggests that to get more variety in our diet, we not always shop at the supermarket but sometimes go to Chinese or Asian grocery stores to source different types and varieties of vegetables.

I find different types and varieties of vegetables by shopping at my local farmer's market because they grow the varieties of vegetables that do well in my local area. These are generally tropical or Asian varieties and very different from the regular vegetables sold in the big chain supermarkets.

One particular farmer at my local market specialises in sprouts. She tells me about the different weird and wonderful sprouts she has on offer. Sometimes they are sprouts from relatively common vegetables like snow peas or red cabbage, and sometimes they are foreign varieties of vegetables. Most of the time I don't remember exactly what they are but I try a different one each week.
Red cabbage sprouts - I think!

Dr Frank Lipman also tells us that to create a diverse bacterial gut you need to eat lots of different foods, especially vegetables:

"Eat lots of different types of vegetables, eat lots of different types of foods. The more diverse your diet, the more diverse that food is going to be for the bacteria. What you feed your bacteria and how you treat your bacteria is going to create a more diverse microbiome."

"I always tell my patients to eat the stalks and the stems, because that's the fibre that your body doesn't break down properly and bacteria love that."

I find a good way to do this is to pop chopped up stems of vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and kale into casseroles or bolognaise.

Dr Frank Lipman - Broken Brain documentary series 

Related posts:
It's All About the Gut

~ take every opportunity to put the good stuff in ~
This blog is about me, what I'm doing, what's working for me, and what's not. It includes my experiences and opinions. It is for general information only and is in no way intended to replace the advice of a health care professional.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

To Market, To Market ...

I have really loved the market season this year!

My local organic farmers' market has been running for 3 seasons now and this year has been it's best yet with more vegetable vendors, and now local grass fed beef and buffalo, and pastured eggs.


I'm certainly not a gourmet cook but have discovered that cooking with local fresh organic produce just has so much more flavour! With simple traditional cooking methods - it just tastes SO GOOD!

I've kind of come full circle with my shopping habits. I used to just go to the supermarket and buy - whatever - to stock my pantry and fridge and kind of made it up as I went along. You know, get some meat out of the freezer in the evening for dinner the next day, and then decide exactly what to do with it when I got home from work the following day. And I certainly didn't think I had time to be going to different places to buy things!

Then a time came when I was on a really strict budget so I started to plan every meal in detail and make a list so that I would only buy what I needed. There would be no overspending and no waste. And I didn't care too much about the brands I bought. Well . . . there were some products I was a bit fussy about but for the most part I was ok with buying the cheaper plain labeled stuff. I mean, I thought, flour is flour right? Does it really matter?

Then I began my journey and started to learn about the importance of what I put in my body - where it comes from, how far it's had to travel, how it has been grown or raised and ripened, and discovered first hand how all this can effect my health and quality of life. I began to invest time in seeking out better quality ingredients.

Now I prioritise buying fresh and locally grown, and organic as much as possible, grow a little food myself, and only buy at the supermarket what I have to. The introduction of the 'shop online and pick up' concept at my local supermarket has been great to save me time so I can focus more on my market 'foraging'!

I still do a bit of a menu plan every week but it's more like what you would call an "outline" as I'm learning again to be flexible, working with what is available and in season and adapting meals around that.

So is it more expensive? Well, in my experience it certainly is when you have to buy organic produce at the supermarket, but surprisingly I have found I've been saving quite a bit buying most of my produce from the local markets. Plus I've enjoyed getting to know my local farmers.

Related posts:
Flavour, Toxins and Nutritional Wisdom
Food for Thought on Food Choices

~ take every opportunity to put the good stuff in ~
This blog is about me, what I'm doing, what's working for me, and what's not. It includes my experiences and opinions. It is for general information only and is in no way intended to replace the advice of a health care professional.



Sunday, 29 October 2017

Why I Hang Out My Washing Barefoot



Walking barefoot on the ground connects us to the earth's natural energy which we can absorb through our bare skin. This is known as Earthing or GroundingRegularly connecting to the Earth's energy is said to help our body's own innate healing abilities!

This article about Earthing by Dr Axe, refers to a quote from The Journal of Environmental and Public Health which states:

"It is an established, though not widely appreciated fact, that the Earth's surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of free mobile electrons. The Earth's negative charges can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems which may be important for setting the biological clock, regulating circadian rhythms, and balancing cortisol levels."

". . . normal functioning of all body systems" - who doesn't want that? 

Dr Axe goes on to discuss how the practice of Earthing or Grounding can:
  • Reduce inflammation 
  • Help reduce stress hormones
  • Help you sleep better 
  • Help increase energy, and
  • Help lower pain
Worth a viewing, the documentary "The Grounded" by Director Steve Kroschel follows an entire community in the town of Haines Alaska, and details the incredible healing experiences of people there as a result of practicing Grounding.

This concept might sound a bit strange, or hippie and 'woo hoo', even a bit too simple, and that was my first thoughts too. But after seeing the effect on people's lives depicted in "The Grounded", it occurred to me this is another part of God's brilliant design that our modern way of life is causing us to miss.

It would be great to regularly walk barefoot on the grass or take long barefoot strolls along the beach, but this is not always possible. So on washing days you'll find me standing barefoot under the backyard Hills Hoist hanging out my washing, as a small but practical way to squeeze some regular 'barefoot time' into my busy 'eat, work, sleep' routine.

About The Grounded  - watch the movie here.


~ take every opportunity to put the good stuff in ~
This blog is about me, what I'm doing, what's working for me, and what's not. It includes my experiences and opinions. It is for general information only and is in no way intended to replace the advice of a health care professional.


Thursday, 12 October 2017

"Disease is a Process of Unmet Needs"

I'm a subscriber of Whole Life Nutrition, an initiative of Tom Maltere & Alissa Segersten that combines the latest in nutritional science and whole foods cooking. You can learn more about them here.

In one of their email communications, Tom Maltere, a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, described Functional Medicine Practitioners as "teachers of the idea that disease is a process of unmet needs."
 

That statement really resonated with me as I reflected on my own health journey. 

Completely free of migraines now for just over four years I can now see clearly how I got here. In a nutshell it's been about being highly nourished - getting the blockers out, and putting good stuff in!

Early in my journey I made a commitment to myself to only eat foods that would give my body great nourishment. This meant cutting out all processed and refined foods and seeking out the best quality fresh, organic and locally grown/raised foods where practical. I stopped wasting my appetite on foods with little or no nutritional value. I believe this has nourished my body and given it the tools it needed to function the way it was designed to.

God didn't get it wrong. As well as our amazing bodies He created for us perfect food sources to provide for our nourishment and health, and when we consume these foods in as natural a state as possible - picked ripe and fresh, free from pesticides and genetic modification - our bodies respond and begin to heal!  


What is functional medicine?
From the Institute of Functional Medicine website:  "Functional medicine asks how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual."

Blockers can be food additives, food intolerances, chemicals in makeup, personal care and cleaning products and also medications.  Related posts:
~ take every opportunity to put the good stuff in ~
This blog is about me, what I'm doing, what's working for me, and what's not. It includes my experiences and opinions. It is for general information only and is in no way intended to replace the advice of a health care professional.