Heading into summer we are seeing a lot of social media posting on hydration. We know the human body is mostly made of water and athletic performance is shown to decline rapidly with dehydration of just a few percent of body weight, but athletes workout and drink a lot of water, right? In my practice I do find that most athletes, around practice or athletic events, do consume plenty of fluids. (I would always argue we need more water and clean electrolytes not so much sports drinks, but for now we will just focus on fluids.) Many professional sports teams use bioimpedance testing to measure fluid balance in athletes understanding the importance of fluid for performance. I often ask the young athletes I see, how much did you drink after practice yesterday and before you went to bed and it is not unusual to hear in response, not very much or even none. I posted and linked to the TB12 challenge because it emphasizes the importance of hydration over time. Our goal with athletes is to be consistent with diet and hydration everyday to allow the body to perform at its best as well as optimize the ability to grow, heal and recover. Remember pregame is not the day before or the day of an athletic event pregame is everyday that week heading into the event. We now have the science to understand that consistent diet and hydration around your training allows your body to adapt metabolically for performance.
ESTABLISH YOUR HYDRATION BASELINE IN 14 DAYSAs spring turns into summer, and in particular on a day like National Hydration Day (June 23), questions like ‘What’s the best way to hydrate?’ and ‘How long does it take to get hydrated?’ get asked. These are important questions to mention since survey research indicates that 75% of Americans don’t drink enough water.
Studies also indicate that dehydration can drain physical and cognitive performance as well as harm digestion. Here are some key facts explaining why hydration is so important for your recovery and performance:
What does Tom Brady drink? The answer is 150 ounces of water (or more) supplemented with TB12 Electrolytes. This wasn’t always the case. When he was a college quarterback at the University of Michigan he drank relatively little water. “I drank a lot of other things—alcohol, juice, soda—that I later found out can be dehydrating,” he says. “I definitely experienced a lot more fatigue in my twenties than I do now.” He adds that unlike in his college years, he never gets headaches or cramps anymore.
BEST WAY TO HYDRATE & REACH YOUR BASELINE
Ready to Eat Meals for Athletes......(and everyone else:)
Been away from the blog for a while but will promise to do better. These meals are so healthy and so tastey I had to get back online to share. Thanks to my ole nutrition mentor DrLW I was connected with the folks at freshnlean and wanted to pass along this option to help those who struggle with time and eating healthy....which is nearly all of us. As practitioners we always know if our patients could just eat the way we asked for a period of time they would feel better, have more energy, better skin, less headaches and pain etc ...and thus have the motivation to continue. Then after our consults discussing healthy whole foods meal planning we would send them out the door to try to figure out how to do it. Many do fine as it is a simple concept but changing habits is hard and with everyones limited time we were always looking for ways to bridge the gap between knowing and doing. Meal services abound now so there are a lot of options for those who need a short cut to the world of healthy eating. Freshnlean has done a great job formulating, packaging and delivering high quality meals to consumers. This is one of few whole foods (hippy) meal services I have seen to really incorporate "healthy fats" which are often excluded due to cost.
I am trying out Freshnlean's new ketomeals but they have meals for everyone... athlete, non athlete, low carb, GF, keto, etc. For the keto crowd the freshnlean keto meals use the same whole foods approach we use in clinical practice. The way we want to do keto is to start with real whole foods then over time transition people to keto. This transition is to allows metabolism to adapt to using fat as a primary fuel and for many insulin resistance can impair fat burning so we are really allowing hormones to shift and it can take some time. The Freshnlean keto meals start people in a great place, at the threshold of ketosis, which is a great place to be when moving toward a ketogenic diet. For those who know my keto-nerd language the meals are formulated around the 1:1 ratio which can be a real happy place for a lot of low carb/keto people. Many people use modified keto or ketolight and never make it to the big show version which is the 4:1 ratio and that is fine. I always have the goal to find a spot where people feel better and it really works for them more than targeting a blood ketone number.
If you try them out let me know what you think...
Another entry for the lower carb peoples. This poppy seed muffin is super good....you would never know it is lower carb. The keto ratio is 1.88:2 so almost 2:1. This recipe is low carb already so the way you make it more ketogenic is to add more and more healthy fats. The two places I added fat to this recipe:
the coconut oil - because I am using the monk fruit powder in place of pure maple syrup, I needed some more liquid
subbed in some MCT oil for the glaze in place of some water in the original recipe.
Just an example of how you can twist a lot of recipes toward lower carb and higher fat. Remember keto just means fat becomes a primary fuel. At or around the 1:1 ratio you are near the threshold of ketosis, certainly helping with hormone balance and inflammation. Even if you never go fully keto it is smart place to be. Most people dont know that a real/whole foods diet including healthy fat foods and oils can get you pretty close to ketogenic... so many people are close even if they dont know it.
Disclaimer: lower carb meals and snacks go together. Dont try to do healthy higher fat foods along with a diet full of simple carbs/sugars, bread and pasta. Most of these lower carb recipes are best used with a real/whole foods meal plan.
3/4 cup coconut flour
4.5g pure monk fruit, I just jullian's bakery pure monk fruit, this would be 4.5 of the tiny scoops
1/2 cup organic coconut oil, warm up so it is liquid
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
6 healthy eggs room temperature to keep the coconut oil from being cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons of poppy seeds
Ok to add water or more coconut oil to make the batter more liquid if needed...this will only make the batter easier to handle and will boost the keto ratio. The muffin batter should be more liquid than solid, ie look like muffin batter.
1/4 cup cashew butter, I made my own by grinding a couple handfuls of cashews
1/2 tiny scoop or .6g of pure monk fruit powder
2 tsp of fresh lemon juice
1-3 tsp of MCT oil, MCT oil is the shorter fats of coconut oil, they are super ketogenic but mostly using them here to replace water and make the glaze thinner while adding some healthy fat
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and add 12 paper muffin cups to muffin tin
In a large bowl mix together the muffin ingredients using a wire whisk, until smooth, then add poppy seeds
Poor batter into muffin cups, for 12 muffins, there will be a little more than a 1/4 cup of batter in each.
Bake 20-25 minutes, I use a tooth pick to check, if the tooth pick comes out clean, they are done
Let muffins cool while making the glaze
For the glaze mix together the cashew butter, lemon juice and sweetener. Add the MCT oil one teaspoon at a time to help thin it out to glaze consistency. As you can see in my photo I leave it a little thicker so it looks more like frosting....
I keep the muffins in the frig then slightly reheat to eat them....they are soooo good!!
Keto ratio 1.88:1
calculation: per muffin
7g total carbs - 3.1g of fiber + net carbs 3.9g
5.1 grams of protein
add net carb and protein together to get total glucose potential 3.9 + 5.1 = 9g
17g total fat
to find the keto ratio divide (fat) 17 by (total of carb and protein) 9 = 1.88 so the ratio is 1.88 : 1 meaning there is almost twice as much energy from fat compared to carb potential
If you read the head line “eggs are bad” again last week read this article from Zoe Harcombe. Below are a series of Tweets she put out on social media. If you go to her website and create a sign in you can read the whole article. Thanks to Zoe are wont have to relive 1978 again..... Remember our media takes millions from big industry so when you see a head line about health or nutrition consider who the article benefits the most and look a little deeper.
Things wrong with the egg study: 1) Association was found with CVD, but not CHD - a major part of CVD. http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2019/03/eggs-cholesterol-cvd/ …
Things wrong with the egg study: 2) The study was a meta-analysis of six US studies, dominated by one; any findings are not generalizable to non-US populations. http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2019/03/eggs-cholesterol-cvd/ …
Things wrong with the egg study: 3) Association does not mean causation - 17% is too small to get off the ground for Bradford Hill criteria. http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2019/03/eggs-cholesterol-cvd/ …
Things wrong with the egg study: 4) 17% is relative risk. It would equate to an absolute risk difference of 17 vs. 15 events (i.e. 2 events) per 1,000 person years to use the event rate from the dominant study. http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2019/03/eggs-cholesterol-cvd/ …
Things wrong with the egg study: 5) This was not a study of pure egg consumption. It was a study of “Ingredients in mixed dishes”, which – for eggs – means a long list of junk food from cakes to ice cream. http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2019/03/eggs-cholesterol-cvd/ …
Things wrong with the egg study: 6) Not all significantly different characteristics were adjusted for. Notably the study did not adjust for sig. diff. CVD risk factors, as it assumed they could have been caused by eggs/cholesterol! Lol! http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2019/03/eggs-cholesterol-cvd/ …
Things wrong with the egg study: 7) The energy intake reported in the lowest dietary cholesterol group was one third of that in the highest. Maybe people weren’t eating more eggs or dietary cholesterol – they were just more honest about, or better at recalling, their food intake!
Things wrong with the egg study: 8) Claims about harm from each additional half egg each day were made a mockery of when sub-group analysis revealed that this only applied to specific, but random, groups of participants e.g. women, but not men; slim, but not overweight people.
Things wrong with the egg study: 9) The conflicts were the who’s who of statin manufacturers . The paper appears to have as its core purpose resurrection of the diet-cholesterol-heart myth – the dietary cholesterol part of which was rejected (by Keys) at least 65 years ago.
Things wrong with the egg study: 10) It's nutritional epidemiology!
Must watch 12 minute video on nutrition, maybe the best ever, eggs, fats, carbs...everything the experts got WRONG
ZOE HARCOMBE addresses the UK Parliament - on the bad science behind the guidelines in the U.S. and Europe... can you tell by the photo below who helped with the guidelines? Everyone we pay taxes to protect us seems to prefer industry money over our health.
I know you are thinking low carb....and this has bananas in it??? Compared to regular banana nut bread which contains grain flour and plenty of sugar.....plus the bananas, yes this is lower carb and it tastes GREAT!! For those using ratios this is a 1.39:1 keto ratio. If you do not know about keto ratios ....when grams of fat compared to grams of net carbs + protein are balanced or 1:1 you are near the threshold of ketosis. This recipe would not please the extreme keto worshiper but you can push it closer buy using less banana. This recipe sits just a little over the 1:1 ratio ....a nice place to make camp on the way to more serious ketosis as diving into the big time 4:1 keto ratio diet can be a big challenge.
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup coconut flour
5 eggs (6 if the small healthy kind)
2g pure monk fruit (2 of the tiny scoops of jullian bakery pure monk fruit)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans (optional and can use any nuts or seeds)
Topped with pasture butter or ghee
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare loaf pan, I grease with coconut oil
In a large bowl mash with a fork or use mixer to mash bananas
Add all other ingredients and mix until lumps are gone
Bake about 45 minutes, if using a dark loaf pan it might take a little less time. I do the tooth pick test, so if the tooth pick comes out of the center clean, its done.
After cooling I keep in the frig to keep me from eating it all at once, and rewarm it as needed :)
The target is about 12 slices from a standard loaf pan. You can see I am adding pasture butter for additional fat. Remember adding healthy fat to meals is the best way to not be hungry all the time. Important to note adding a bunch of healthy fat to a regular or standard american diet will nearly always result in weight gain. This recipe is target for those looking to sub out some sugar and balance their diet better.
A simple thing most of us could do to improve our health is to eat and cook with more herbs and spices. For thousands of years these plants were our medicines and today most pharmaceuticals are still derivatives, isolates or phytochemicals from plants. Most of us know someone on a statin drug, did you know statins came from Red Yeast Rice?
This home made Chai Tea Latte is something I use most mornings to boost my intake of healthy spices. A few years ago I started drinking the occasional Starbucks Chai latte only to find many latte's later I was consuming a massive dose of sugar and other things in them. Once you gather all the ingredients this recipe is actually very simple and mostly takes some time so I recommend batch cooking using this recipe once a week.
Since a lot of people are now ketogenic and using bulletproof coffee or fat coffee, this Chai is a super healthy option for us non coffee people. See the bulletproof addition as you scroll down the page. This bullletproof tea (or your coffee) is a very popular way to start off the day and will keep you from being hungry for many hours.
Super Anti Inflammatory Chai Tea Latte (makes ~8 cups)
3 large Ceylon cinnamon sticks (real cinnamon)
4 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
20 whole cloves
12 green cardamom pods, cracked
About 8 cups of water, you can add more or less water once made, to your taste
3 tablespoon of lose black tea (option to use 6 tea bags)
4 tiny scoops (4g) of Monk Fruit I get from Julian’s Bakery (not erythritol/Monk Fruit). I am leaving real sugar out to make this keto or bulletproof tea, see the bulletproof section below this recipe. If you prefer you can use honey, raw sugar or stevia to taste
2 (2 inch) pieces of fresh organic ginger, sliced up
Splash of real cream or coconut cream
Heat water use about 7-8 cups
Add 3 tablespoons of lose black to tea strainer/pot along with water, steep 15 minutes, *remember you can add more water later to dilute the strength of the tea later if needed
Crush/crack cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods if not cracked (I use a rolling pinJ)
To a medium sauce pan add peppercorns, crushed/cracked cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves, monk fruit, bay leaf and enough hot water to cover, low simmer for at least 30 minutes covered (I often go 1 hour)
Slice ginger and add to a separate container, then add hot water to cover it and cover for 15 minutes
Once tea and ginger have steeped 15ish minutes remove the lose tea from the water, then add the ginger water to the fresh tea you just made. Once you have emptied the ginger water into the tea add the ginger pieces to the medium sauce pan with the other ingredients for the remaining time.
Once done simmering 30 or more minutes add the spice fluids from the sauce pan to the tea. It is now ready to sample and if needed you can add some water to taste. I allow the Chai Tea to cool then refrigerate so it is ready for the week ahead. To use, just reheat, along with adding the cream if you like.
To Make a Bulletproof Chai Tea Latte
In a large cup add about 6-8 ounces of the hot Chai tea and:
1 tablespoon MCT or coconut oil (I use bullet proof brain octane or XCT oil)
1 tablespoon of Kerry gold pasture butter (you can also use ghee)
1 scoop of Ancient Nutrition multi collagen powder (any grass-fed organic collagen is fine)
Mix well, I use a stick blender, but any mixer, electric whisk, magic bullet, will work.
Ok, so mine doesn't look as good as Mercola's but this keto pie is really good....you will feel like you are cheating but I did the calculation and this recipe has a 3.8:1 keto ratio meaning it is super ketogenic. Remember with keto fat becomes a primary fuel and a 4:1 dietary ratio is what is targeted for cancer and seizures.....and it tastes great!!
No-Bake Keto, Nut-Free Strawberry Cream Pie
Prep time: 20 minutes Serving Size: 12 Ingredients
For the crust
Link to the article https://recipes.mercola.com/no-bake-strawberry-cream-pie-recipe.aspx
What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
Based on evolutionary meal patterns which included periods of time with food and without food
not a “no food” or water fast
Includes daily “eating windows” where the goal is a longer a off period from eating
Includes reduced calorie fast days 2 days/week or 4-5 days/month
Fasting where you consume percentage of normal caloric intake on fast days (ranging from 25-50% of normal)
How does it work?
It creates a “natural" stress on metabolism
Improves hormone balance and sensitivity
insulin, leptin, gherkin
increases HGH, BDNF, TNF
Stimulates genes associated with longevity
SIRT, FOXO, IGF, MTOR, AMPK, PGC1a
Fasting limits feeding hormones which may impair healing
What does the research on IF show?
Benefits for health and chronic disease
National Institute on Aging RCT with USC 70 people using FMD (fasting mimicking diet)
Pursuing FDA approval - fasting therapy for cancer
Fasting 4-5 days each month or more often under direction of physician
Benefits similar to those associated with:
Specific phytonutrients in whole foods: including resveratrol, quercetin, grape seed extract
Sleep!!!! (the one time we do stop eating!!)
Who can benefit from IF, and eating windows
Health benefits for everyone (check with your doctor)
We encourage most of our patients to get a mini fast of 5-7 hours between meals, then a longer fast overnight
Remember eating windows do not limit intake, just the period of time you eat
Check with your doctor before starting any fasting program as many chronic disease medications/therapies can impair proper metabolism
If you can give me some short bullet points for each, I will have some graphics made up with those.
I would like to finish by asking you who would benefit from the IF approach, and who should avoid it.
We can then tease to the next interview...
9:15 -- How do you recommend people start out on IF?
1. Decrease simple sugar intake
2. Begin working toward 3 healthy meals/day (no snacks)
3. Work toward a 12 hour eating window first, this will give you a 12 hour fast overnight
4. Progress to a smaller eating window or 5:2 IF
5. IF 2 days a week or 4-5 days a month (reduced caloric intake fasting)
Are there ways to tweak it?
On fast days consume all your calories at once to prevent frequent eating and potential for cheating
Be sure to consume healthy fat/oils and protein in meals including fasting meals
Activity and healthy protein can limit lean body mass loss
What kind of weight loss is typical?
Weight loss should be slow and steady with reduced calorie fasting
Many times weight loss is largely fluid loss with declining inflammation
Remaining active and including healthy protein on fast days can limit loss of lean body mass
What are some of the problems/complaints that crop up with IF?
Most of us used to small frequent meals
Sugar/hunger cravings usually go away and can be associated with GI flora turnover
Most of us eat as a hobby or to help with stress
Are there ways to cope with those?
Stay busy, break old eating habits/cycles
Drink plenty of water
What should I read to find more information?
The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting by Dr. Michael Mosley
Eat, Fast, and Live Longer PBS documentary http://www.pbs.org/program/michael-mosley/
FMD - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/06/22/heres-how-a-five-day-diet-that-mimics-fasting-may-reboot-the-body-and-reduce-cancer-risk/