Today, I want to share with you how your cell phone may actually be making you fat. Believe it or not, that’s actually possible. What are we talking about here? This can be your cell phone. It can be your tablet. It can be the computer screen that you’re looking at every day. It can even, to some degree, be your television screen at home at night.
Is the Blue Light from Your Cell Phone Making You Fat?
Here’s what’s happening: those screens are actually projecting off blue light. Blue light is what we tend to think about as being from sunlight. When we think about daylight, daylight is that blue light range that we’re talking about. The reason that this is important is when we have exposure to blue light, blue light is actually stimulating the pineal gland in our brain to decrease the production of melatonin. It keeps melatonin production down. That is going to make us alive and alert during the day; it is going to keep us active. However, that is the exact opposite of what should be happening at night. During the night time, our melatonin production should be up; our blue light exposure should be down.
Think about this. We’ve all looked at that screen before; we see the light projecting off the screen, that luminescence off of the screen. That’s suppressing our melatonin production. Again, melatonin should be going up at night. The blue lights off of our electronic devices are going to promote fat gain and promote the development of body tissue fat stores as a result of the activity of not being able to put our body into a full state of rest. It’s very well-established now that the higher our cortisol level the more likelihood of fat gain — again, if our melatonin is not up, our cortisol is. These two are antagonistic of each other. We have to get melatonin up to get cortisol down. Cortisol should be low at night. If it is high, your melatonin is suppressed and you are going to have trouble managing your weight. You also have a higher likelihood of increased hunger as a result of bluelight exposure that which will contribute to fat gain as well. This has been verified in more than one study.
The Change in Cortisol is Causing Your Cell Phone to Make You Fat
What we know is that if your cortisol elevates into the night time hours, you are more prone to develop fat. You’re going to have a harder time losing weight. You’re going to have a higher likelihood of depositing fat stores around the body, especially in the abdominal region. So guys, think about this: when you’re sitting there and you’re winding down your night, it’s always better to grab a book and read that book that doesn’t have any projection off of the screen as opposed to looking at your phone, looking at your tablet, or looking at your computer in the hour before you go to bed.
Ways to Stop a Cell Phone Making You Fat
Now, there are a couple of tricks and ways that I’m going to share with you on ways you can get around this. There are a lot of programs that you can download. You can go into your app store and you can find blue light filters. A lot of them will have a red appearance to the screen and they will actually filter out the blue light. I still don’t recommend utilizing this for a significant amount of time before you go to bed. But if you have to work and you’ve got to do some work before bed time, the blue light filter is going to be one of your better options. However, read the book if you can.
We always want to get back to the basics. We don’t want to let the idea of Modernosis take us over. We don’t want to let these ideas or the things that we’ve begun to accept as just our normal lifestyle in our modern world impact our health and contribute to its decline. But, just as technology is working against us, we can also use that technology to protect us, too.
You have to get behind making these changes in your life. This cannot be something that you are going to do tomorrow. You need to do it today. Take the opportunity now to protect yourself against the electronic devices or cell phones that are making you fat.
One of the questions I get a lot of times from patients is “What’s actually in my multivitamin? What am I actually taking?” I think what we have to understand is what is the original intent for a supplement anyway. The original intent for a supplement is actually to replace what’s in your diet. When we look at this, we have to ask what are things we optimally find from our diet? Is what we find in that supplement actually doing that? Is it filling that role for us?
That brings me to what you commonly pick up over the counter. One of the things I always challenge my patients to do is to actually go down the aisle and pick up different multivitamins and look at it. See if these are things that you would on your own, if you knowingly had the option, put in your body. Because I bet at the end of the day, most of you would look at those supplements and go, “I’m not taking that. That’s not an ideal thing for me to be putting in my body.” Let me give you a couple of examples.
What Color is my Multivitamin?
One that I point to right away is the coloring agents. If you pick up a multivitamin and it has some type of coloring agent in it, just know that coloring agents are known toxins. They actually promote irritability to our nervous system. They have also been equally shown to be an immune system stimulant and to be promoting of auto-immune conditions. Absolutely you don’t want to see any type of color in your multivitamin.
Tablets, Capsules and Fillers in a Multivitamin
Another category that you’re going to find is fillers. Fillers are really put in there to take up space, to maximize the real estate in a capsule, if you will, and they don’t add any true nutritional value to the product itself. Many don’t recognize that there’s a difference between a capsule and a tablet. You have to put a lot of pressure and a lot of heat on the tablets to manufacture them. When that happens, when there is high heat, you damage some of these vitamins. Minerals, not so much; minerals can handle pressure and heat but vitamins can’t. So your B vitamins, your fat-soluble vitamins like your A, E, D or K — those nutrients are going to be damaged so we want to try to avoid tablets as much as possible. Not to mention that, overall, most people don’t really like the way a tablet feels going down in comparison to a capsule. Always choose a multivitamin in a capsule if you can.
Probably, the most important on this is bottom line, what ingredients are in there, the true ingredients, the active ingredients that you’re going to find? The first place that I recommend you look is the mineral section. If you look at a mineral, let’s say for example you’re looking at iron and that iron is shown as a ferrous oxide. Ferrous oxide is known to be irritating to the gastrointestinal tract. It causes nausea or some GI irritation. It’s generally because of the ferrous oxide. The better form is going to be what is known as iron bis-glycinate. That’s just one example.
That typically holds true for magnesium as well. Magnesium oxide is often found in products, calcium carbonate — these things are very, very poorly absorbed and not things you want to take. Again, at the end of the day, if you’re not absorbing it, you’re not getting significant benefit from it. You want to make sure we’re getting good quality minerals in your multivitamin.
Avoiding Cheap forms of B12 and Folate in Your Multivitamin
I’ll give you two more examples. Folic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin B9. Folates are what we derive from our food. Again, if the things that we’re taking in supplemental form are not consistent with what we consume as our food, then have we really met what our objectives are? The answer to that is going to be no. We always want to choose a folate versus a folic acid. If it’s a folic acid, it’s a cheaper option.
B12 should not be from cyanocobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is a form of B12. It’s the one of the four that you don’t find in the body. We find our adenosylcobalamin, our methylcobalamin, our hydroxocobalamin, but not cyanocobalamin. By and large, if you’re looking for a good B12 option, it has to be in a methyl or adenosyl form.
Listen, guys, I know it’s a lot of information but it’s definitely something that I want you as a consumer to know so when you’re trying to make the selection for you and your family, you’ll get the most from your multivitamin. Make sure that these are things you’re looking for.
Let’s go over what are the best protein options for you to help reduce inflammation. If you’ve ever been to the health foods store and you’re going down the aisle, you obviously see that there are a lot of different protein options. You kind of leave there scratching your head on which is the best protein option, especially if you’re trying to figure out what the best protein option is to reduce inflammation. What I want to do is talk about some of the different proteins out there and talk about how they might be of benefit when it comes to reducing inflammation.
The Best Protein to Reduce Inflammation and Cause it
The first one that we’re going to start off with is going to be whey protein. Whey protein is a dairy-based protein. It’s one of the two proteins that you find in dairy. Interestingly enough, the whey protein concentrates are beneficial in terms of helping produce glutathione, which is a big antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in the body. Glutathione keeps inflammation under control. The higher the antioxidant status, the lower the inflammation is going to be. So whey protein is a good option. However, it’s not such a great option if you’re an individual who has concerns about dairy allergies or you have some type of dairy sensitivity.
The Second Best Protein Option to Reduce Inflammation
Another option that’s out in the marketplace that’s really good, and has some of the similar benefits of whey protein such as high branched-chain amino acid content to promote good muscle tissue development is beef protein. Most people, when they think about beef protein, scoff. “Oh my goodness, does that taste like a steak or a hamburger?” In short, the answer to that is no. It’s simply just going to have, for example, a chocolate or vanilla flavor. What is great about beef protein is that it’s going to have not just a high amount of branched-chain amino acids, it’s going to have higher nitrogen content. The higher nitrogen you have, the higher protein development, the higher muscle tissue development capacity you have and the regeneration capacity you have. Also, because most of these beef proteins don’t simply come from just the meat portion of beef, but also from the bone and cartilage, you’re also going to get the benefit in helping to regenerate some of the cartilaginous tissue in our body. That’s a great option as well and makes beef protein the second best option to reduce inflammation, and maybe number one if you are an athlete.
Right along that same thought process, there’s collagen protein. Collagen protein is just that — it’s just protein derived from collagen. This is great because it doesn’t have a very high allergen profile. You’re not going to show immune reactions to collagen per se. That’s not something you typically find in the standard American diet or in the diet of most individuals even if they’re eating a pretty good diet. We just don’t typically eat an excess amount of collagen so you’re not going to develop potential reactivity to it. That’s a good one, especially if you have joint pain or joint aches or looking to try to recover from joint injuries. Maybe you’re just out there and you got some wear and tear on your joints that you need to support. If so, collagen protein may be for you.
Plant Proteins to Reduce Inflammation
Now, I’ll start to move away from some of the animal-oriented proteins and get into some of the plant-oriented proteins. Probably the most common one in the marketplace now is going to be pea protein. I like pea protein for the fact that, as a plant protein, it’s going to have high amount of the branched-chain amino acids. Again, if you’re looking for good muscle tissue development, muscle tissue recovery, these branched-chain amino acids are important. Pea protein, ironically as a plant protein, can deliver on that especially if you’re eating North American non-GMO yellow peas. Those are a great source if you are interested in a pea protein. Therefore pea protein tops my list of plants sources for the best proteins to reduce inflammation.
Right along that same thought process, you’re going to find rice protein. It’s an option that some have moved away from but it makes a good protein option. It helps diversify the diet. One of the things that can be a little concerning with both of these is that rice protein can have a little bit of a gritty mouth feel, but it’s not bad. Most of the time, you don’t really notice it, especially if you throw it into a smoothie. In regards to pea protein, for some individuals, can be a little bit hard to digest. It’s not everybody that has this concern but it does pop up from time to time and is often easily corrected with digestive enzymes.
The other protein options out there that I recommend are hemp protein. Hemp protein is good. It’s going to have a high fiber content usually associated with it.
The last one and this is one of the ones that is far less common, but I do find good clinical use for, is going to be the pumpkin seed protein powder.
The Best Protein to Reduce Inflammation is NOT a Single Protein
If you’re looking at all of these proteins and again, we’re trying to answer the question “What is the best protein to reduce inflammation?”, while each one of these proteins might on its own be a great protein to reduce inflammation, the true answer behind that is going to be all of them. The more consistently you consume a protein, the more likely you are to react to that protein. The idea here when you’re choosing a protein supplement is not to choose and get latched into one particular product; the better idea would be to use multiple different proteins. For example, if you walk into my personal pantry, you’re going to see I don’t just have a whey protein. I don’t just have a beef protein or just a pea protein. I have a lot of proteins in there and I rotate through these based on what my demands are. At the end of the day, when I’m trying to keep my own inflammation low and I’m asking myself “What’s the best protein that I should choose for me today to reduce inflammation?”, it’s not the same protein that I chose yesterday.
So don’t get locked into a one-size-fits-all for the ideal protein. At the end of the day, guys, it’s really more about the combination of proteins, the variety in your diet, looking at diversity and how that diversity enhances your overall gut profile, reduces potential immune reaction and keeps your inflammation low.
Have you ever walked through the health food store or the supplement section of the grocery store and thought,”What vitamins should I take?” Most of us have done this at some point. Often spurred by something we saw or read somewhere, most people are interested in vitamins with hopes of helping alleviate an ailment or preventing one. Ironically, when trying to select a vitamin, most are often drawn to attractive wording designed more for catching the buyers eye than actually providing a solution or step towards prevention. There are so many choices, where does one actually start.
Better yet, how do you know that the supplement that you are taking is actually right for you? This is a big question and one that is often overlooked. There are some supplements that most of the population are going to be okay with taking. However, there are several supplements that should only be taken if you have a way of confirming that you actually need them. This is best accomplished through lab testing. So rather than you wondering through the supplement aisles wondering “what vitamins should I take” or having to take the advice of a sales person more interested in promoting their commission than promoting your health, let’s talk about the ones that are in general good for most people and will not cause harm.
What Vitamins Should I Take: Number One
The supplement that almost everyone should be on is vitamin D. Remember that a supplement is meant to be just that. It is not a replacement for good dietary choices. I often tell my patients when emphasizing the importance of diet that regardless of how great of a nutrient repletion protocol I design for them, it is all for nothing if they do not follow through with a good diet. But with that said, a good diet often does not provide enough vitamin D. Vitamin D has many important functions that support the cardiovascular, immune and hormonal systems. It does come in some foods, but not in quantities sufficient enough to meet the demands of nearly all of the population. This is becoming more recognized as even maintenance recommendations have increased from 400 IU per day to now as high as 10,000 IU. The consistency of the number of physicians checking vitamin D and diagnosing it as low suggest that we are facing a vitamin D deficiency epidemic. And according to the Vitamin D Council, when you are not getting enough vitamin D from natural sunlight, supplementation is the best support.
The Second Most Important Supplement to Take
Not actually a vitamin, but to less important in terms of the way that your body functions and nearly as deficient within the majority of the population, omega 3’s should be a staple for most people. Omega 3’s are just as important as any vitamin since they are essential for us to obtain through the diet or supplementation. We don’t make them. Omega 3’s, like vitamin D, has links to multiple systems in the body. There is not hardly a condition that does not benefit from omega 3’s, often called fish oils. For the person with good eating habits, omega 3 needs can often be meet with the diet. Yet, most individuals consume a diet that is high in the omega 6’s which can be disease promoting. Therefore, when the diet alone is not getting the job done, you have to make up the difference with supplementation. Unfortunately, even the right food choices may leave you imbalanced on your omega 3’s since many foods are not raised and harvested the way they used to be. So when asking what vitamin should I take, omega 3’s should be the number 2 option on your list (even though they are not actually a vitamin).
This B Vitamin Might Surprise You that It Made the List
Over the years of testing patient’s nutrient status, one nutrient has been shown to be deficient more than any other. What is surprising is that this nutrient is rarely talked about. It is not considered a quick fix for giving energy or improving memory, but it indeed does both. It also improves hormones. In fact, it is this last point related to hormones that is the reasons so many are deficient in this nutrient. Just ask,”Am I under stress?” The answer is YES! You are under stress. And stress increases the demand for hormones. As a result, we use up one nutrient more than any other to help manage the stress. That nutrient is B5. When you have the vitamin B5 to help you manage stress better, your energy is better, you age slower and you think better. Not only that men have better testosterone and women have better balance of their hormones to continue to have that wonderful female glow. Therefore, if you are asking what vitamin should I take, B5 is top of the list. Even after years of seeing tests and working towards custom approaches for patients, when I personally ask what vitamins should I take, you will not catch me without B5.
No doubt we have all had stomach pain after eating at some point in our lives. However, if you are one of the unfortunate ones that deals with stomach pain after eating routinely, you are ready for relief. The impending feeling that your stomach is going to start hurting soon after eating creates worry and distress. The sense that as soon as you consume a morsel of food, all those annoying sensations start returning again. And to add insult to your discomfort, your doctor examines you and follows up with, “Nothing is wrong. Try this antacid.” You know something is wrong. Stomach pain has not been present all of your life, so something has changed.
There are many causes for stomach pain, many of which are named diseases. Ulcers, gall stones, and reactions to foods such as gluten and lactose in dairy top the list. While these can be causes of stomach pain after eating, there is another reason you want to consider first.
The Most Prevalent Reason You Have Stomach Pain After Eating
Ingestion of food should not be followed by bloating and pain. However if you are dealing with stomach pain after eating, especially if there is bloating, constipation or diarrhea, an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine should be your first consideration. This is conveniently named, SIBO, meaning Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Most of us think negatively when it comes to bacteria, however, this is not a situation where you have too much “bad” bacteria. Rather, a SIBO infection is too much of the bacteria that we should have. The problem is that they are located in the wrong area. They should be further along in the gastrointestinal tract in the large intestine. Dr. Allison Siebecker, ND of www.siboinfo.com, accurately states the problem by saying,“The infection is of bacteria that normally live in the gastrointestinal tract but have abnormally overgrown in a location not meant for so many bacteria.“
The presence of the wrong types of bacteria can lead to several imbalances that change the way we digest food. As a result of the intestinal environment being out of balance, symptoms manifest and ultimately pain can manifest.
Follow these Steps to Stop the Pain
Stomach pain after eating is annoying and takes the pleasure out of eating. If you been feeling hopeless about getting your gut back under control and being able to eat normally again, don’t give up. Here is the plan that I have refined and use with my patients.
Step 1: Go Paleo
The standard American Diet is contaminated with items that are often difficult to even call food. The ingredient labels often mimic more of a science experiment list than what one should be eating. Therefore, the first thing that I have my patients do is clean up their diet. If you want stomach pain after eating to end, you have to change what you are eating. Of course the stomach hurts. It is attempting to digest “foods” that are at the same time poisoning it. You cannot eat the same things and expect your stomach to react differently. Your best bet at getting away from the numerous problems with the standard American Diet is to follow the Paleo diet. This ancestral approach on modern eating eliminates many of the problems with today’s food.
Step 2: Remove the FODMAPs
Not all healthy food is good for you, well at least sometimes. What I mean is when your stomach and small intestines are dysfunctional with too much bacteria, even foods that are otherwise good for you can cause symptoms. For example, foods such as onion, garlic, avocados or cherries, cause stomach pain after eating them. But aren’t these simply fruits and vegetables? They are, and most of the time they would be highly recommended as part of a healthy diet. However, when too much bacteria exists in the small intestines, you have to avoid these foods. If these foods are not avoided, the bacteria ferment them and cause symptoms. Once the bacterial overgrowth is alleviated, many are able to reintroduce the FODMAP category of foods with little problem. Stanford University Medical Center offers a list of FODMAPs.
Step 3: Treat the SIBO
Once unheard of, probiotics are now a common word. They are promoted on television and in health food stores just as much as vitamins. Yet, these beneficial bacteria are not such a good thing when they populate the wrong area of the gut. In the case of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, bacteria begins to take over the small intestine. This is not normal. Most of the bacteria of the colon should be in the large intestine. As a result of the overgrowth and wrong types of bacteria being located where they should not be, the digestion of food is affected. The process of fermentation and gas formation takes place as can fat malabsorption, all of which can lead to stomach pain after eating.
The key to managing SIBO is reducing the bacteria. Several options are available, including antibiotics, both natural and pharmaceutical. The best pharmaceutical choice is Rifaximin. Natural options include oil of oregano and garlic extracts. However, ending SIBO permanently is dependent on replacing what is missing.
Step 4: Replace What’s Missing
If you don’t replace what’s missing, you have little hope of avoiding SIBO and ending stomach pain after eating for good. So what exactly is missing you might ask. There are 2 things that when absent increase the risk of SIBO. The absence of these 2 digestive components also even increase the risk for non-SIBO stomach pain after eating. They are acid in your stomach and bile from the liver and gall bladder. These are first line defenses that we have to reduce bacteria and other organisms from entering our body. With the reduction of bacteria, the overgrowth of SIBO does not take place. However, when you have low acid and bile production, you are not going to immediately start making it again. Therefore, taking a digestive enzyme that includes both of these is necessary. It also helps re-establish your first line defense system and prevent the return of SIBO.
Is your lunch more likely to be made of fresh veggies, organic meats and nuts, or a cheeseburger and fries? For most, it’s safe to say that the latter is more of the norm. Convenience has generally taken the place of quality when it comes to food choices during the day. However, a few Paleo lunch ideas can help bring quality food back into your day.
If you haven’t heard, when going Paleo, you go back to the basics and eat like our ancestors did. The diet basically includes anything that can be hunted or gathered from our natural environment; think meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts. While you may be thinking that you don’t want to eat salad every day, there are a wide variety of Paleo lunch ideas to satisfy many palettes.
If you are ready to make the switch to healthier eating at lunch, let me help you prepare by debunking some common challenges people face:
Challenges of Eating Paleo at Lunch Time
“The diet is too hard to follow!”
The Paleo diet doesn’t include processed foods, which are very common and convenient. If you go to a fast food restaurant, it will be hard to find options that follow the Paleo guidelines. Our ancestors didn’t have chicken nuggets or Big Macs.
Find Delicious Paleo Lunch Ideas
Changing your diet is going to require changing your habits, but it can be enjoyable and fun. You need to find replacement foods that are just as satisfying, if not more so, than foods that you used to eat. Research Paleo lunch ideas, as well as snacks, as these are the foods that cause diet slip ups most often.
“I don’t want to be hungry all the time”
You may think that you just won’t be full enough on the foods which are allowed.
A balanced diet removes pesky food cravings
When eating Paleo, the natural foods you will eat are nutrient-dense and keep blood sugar levels balanced. This keeps you feeling fuller longer. Cravings for afternoon sweets come because of fluctuations in blood sugar levels which result from eating foods with a high glycemic index like donuts, sugary drinks, bread and sweets. Without these foods, you won’t have those cravings.
“I don’t have time to cook”
So many of us are short on time, especially during our lunch breaks. Paleo foods have been criticized as being time-consuming to prepare.
Plan Your Lunch
Once you have your Paleo lunch ideas lined up, pick a day to grocery shop and prep for the week. You can pack up your lunches so you don’t have to think about it again. This won’t take more than 2 to 3 hours typically and will save time during the week where you would have been trying to figure out lunch plans.
“I love bread, I just can’t give it up”
Bread is a staple in the American diet that can be hard to give it up. Many can’t imagine life without their cakes, donuts, hamburgers, hot dogs and sandwiches. What will your diet consist of without bread? Many people can’t imagine it.
Don’t Give Up Bread – Bread Replacement Recipes Exist
While you definitely want to stay away from wheat, bread alternatives can be just as satisfying! You can find Paleo lunch ideas which use Paleo bread to make sandwiches, or even Paleo tortillas for tacos. Just look at this tantalizing picture of one of my favorite Paleo Bread recipes. It tastes great and can be made into slices, as well as hamburger and hot dog buns.
There you have it! There is no reason to spend another day eating unhealthy lunches. Make the switch to Paleo and you will wonder what took you so long. How do you get your hands on a Paleo cookbook chocked full of Paleo lunch ideas and hacks? Simply click >>>HERE<<< and learn how lunchtime can be a meal you look forward to and feel good about.
“Hello, My name is Dr. Arland Hill (aka The Paleo Doctor), and I’m addicted to Ruggles Black.” That’s right, I am confessing. Ruggles Black has become one of my favorite places to eat, and chances are, if you have tried any of their menu options, you are probably on your way to joining me. Ruggles Black puts a new flare on an old diet, all in a setting that is suitable for a business meeting over lunch or fine dining with friends in the evening.
Avoid the “Going Out to Eat Quilt”
Whether you follow the Paleo Diet or just try to eat healthy, finding a restaurant with high quality food can be difficult. You know the feeling that I am talking about. You just want to go out and enjoy friends and food, but there is a quilt knowing that do to that, you are likely going to have to eat something you normally wouldn’t. After all, just avoiding gluten and dairy in most restaurants is a challenge in itself. Not to mentioned, there always seems to be that eye-catching item on the menu that you just cannot say no to. Yet eating these foods usually comes at a price. As most of us that have eaten “clean” for a long time will attest to, you are left with a heavy feeling in your gut, or a food hangover from eating items you normally wouldn’t. Add to the physical discomfort emotional quilt about sabotaging your diet, and going out to eat just doesn’t sound as appealing any longer.
Ruggles Black Gives Paleo Eaters an Option
Ruggles Black and Chef Bruce Molzan have given those of us that follow the Paleo Diet a place to eat without the quilt. Newcomers to Ruggles Black may inherently wonder if French inspired Paleo cuisine can really compete with menu items at other fine dining locations. Will the taste and texture match up?
The right ingredients and knowing how to combine them is truly a talent. Chef Bruce Molzan has become a master at this. He has used his talents to make what I would argue are among the best dishes available in local Houston restaurants, and not just one that has a Paleo focus. When one is not handicapped by relying on dairy and wheat as ingredients, the uniqueness of the ingredients comes out as bold flavors. From my personal experience, the feedback of family, friends, and patients, each dish leaves you with a sense of satisfaction and questioning what menu item you should try next. And most importantly, you are staying true to your diet by avoiding ingredients that can derail your health and fitness goals.
Only the Best Sourced Ingredients
It can be challenging at times to find the right foods to prepare at home. Whether you are avoiding GMOs or trying to find true organic and grass fed items, this seems to be more of a challenge than it should be. Believe me, I understand the frustration. When it comes to going out to eat, forget it! You might as well just throw caution to the wind and take your chance on where the ingredients are coming from. But wait! This is not true at Ruggles Black. Chef Bruce Molzan has diligently worked to establish a network of suppliers that provide him with the best ingredient and meats, and the freshest of fish. As he shared with me the first time we had fish tacos together, “This snapper was swimming yesterday.” This is piece of mind that those of use that are particular about ingredients have difficulty finding. Therefore, when we find a location like Ruggles Black that goes the extra mile, we like to stick with it.
Can addiction be a good thing? When it comes to eating quality food, I have to ask why you are not addicted? So in short yes. Food with great taste, locally sourced ingredients, a true Paleo menu that ranges from fish tacos and salads to complex dishes that are full of culinary flare served in a upbeat atmosphere is exactly what you get from Ruggles Black. It is the ideal setting to join friends and spoil yourself with a fine meal while not having to carry any quilt about the food you are enjoying. Give it a try and you may become an addict too.
You have probably heard someone say “necessity is the mother of invention”. This was indeed true for me personally and ultimately what lead me to develop the perfect adrenal fatigue diet. You see, I too had adrenal fatigue just like you. I was the guy that got up in the morning feeling tired for no reason. Regardless, I would push my self to get to work and by 11am my eyes were drooping because I was “out of gas”. But I knew if I could just drag myself through the afternoon, my energy would perk back up in the evening once I got home.
Now you may be thinking that I was eating a bad diet and not exercising and that this was the reason I felt lethargic and found it difficult to stay motivated. But you would be wrong. In fact, my diet was extremely clean, a 100% Paleo Diet. As for exercise, I was weight training 4 days per week and was even just a few months off of a natural bodybuilding competition that I been successful at. What I realized after reading fellow doctor James Wilson’s book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, is that I was right in the middle of this condition. But what was suggested for recovery were things that I was already doing, so I had to think outside of the box. So I started with food and asked what should the perfect adrenal fatigue diet contain.
How Food Affects the Adrenal Glands
The adrenal glands are one of the most dynamic glands of the body. They have to adapt to all forms of stress; lack of sleep, toxins in the environment or a stressful day at work. These stresses add up and collectively take their toll on your adrenal glands. But as stressful as these things are, there is one stress that trumps them all; fluctuations in your blood sugar, or glucose. In fact, cortisol, the hormone we commonly think about as the stress hormone, is also called a glucocorticoid. “Gluco” in the name glucocorticoid emphasizes the importance of cortisol in regulating glucose. When glucose levels are low, cortisol kicks in to bring them back up. Thus foods that help prevent glucose from dropping, also known as hypoglycemia, should be primary considerations on the adrenal fatigue diet.
Commonly Recommended Foods on the Adrenal Fatigue Diet
If you research adrenal fatigue diet, you will most certainly find some consistent recommendations, that by and large are good and that should be followed. Most often food are broken down into categories of what do eat and not do eat, with more emphasis often given to what not to eat. For example, sweeteners, artificial and natural, hydrogenated oils, caffeine and processed foods like those in the standard American diet. Without question, these should be avoided, especially since they can also trigger inflammation, another stressor for the adrenal glands.
Then there is the common list of foods to include. Included are usually fats and proteins from healthy sources and vegetables. Such fats are coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds. Recommendations for protein are often fish and lean meats with extra emphasis placed on consuming them in the morning and in divided dosages throughout the day. As I mentioned, I think each one of these is an excellent idea and absolutely should be part of your adrenal fatigue diet. But there still remains one group of foods that I don’t often see making the list.
The Food Group That Deserves More Emphasis
If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, you have a higher likelihood of having low blood sugar. This is the result of insufficient cortisol production. Lack of cortisol means that there is no significant hormonal support to prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping. So logic would suggest if your blood sugar is low, eat more sugar. But this causes a spike in blood sugar which is another adrenal gland stressor. So what you need is more carbohydrate, that does not spike your blood sugar, and that reduces the need secrete cortisol so as to help your adrenal gland recover. How are your going to get all of that in one food? Easy, starchy vegetables.
If you have adrenal fatigue, well times starchy vegetables should be a key addition to your diet. While vegetables often make the adrenal fatigue diet list, it is the inclusion of starchy vegetables that takes that list of foods from average to exceptional. Most vegetables do not have any significant carbohydrate contribution to the diet. Starchy vegetables on the other hand do. Now before you default to adding potatoes to your diet, realize that starchy vegetables includes far more foods than potatoes, or even sweet potatoes. The starchy vegetables that will make up part of your meal include things such as okra, turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, large / winter squash, and beets just to name a few. The adrenal fatigue diet would not be complete without these foods as they don’t spike blood sugar, reduce inflammation, reduce cortisol secretion and allow the adrenal gland to rest. They are nature’s ideal food to help the adrenal glands recover.
To help you get these foods incorporated into your adrenal fatigue diet, I want you to have a comprehensive list of Starchy Vegetables that will help speed your recovery. The more active you are, the greater the likelihood that you will need more of these foods. If you are less active, you may only need a small addition of these foods to your diet.
Follow My Road to Recovery
While my road to recovery incorporated a few key supplements such as high dose pantothenic acid (B5), the addition of adequately timed starchy vegetables helped me refine what I now feel to be the perfect adrenal fatigue diet. This diet has proven itself not only to me, but also to countless patients that I have helped overcome adrenal fatigue. It was also one of the reasons that I wrote The Paleo Transition Cookbook that offers quick recipes that incorporate starchy vegetables. Appropriate amounts of starchy vegetables should not make up the majority of your diet. However, if you want to recover as fast as possible from adrenal fatigue, starchy vegetables should be routinely consumed as part of a balanced Paleo Diet, which will inherently be YOUR perfect adrenal fatigue diet.
Each day numerous people head back to work feeling tired after eating lunch. This may even sound like you and chances are you know others that have the same problem. As the process normally goes, you enjoy your lunch only to find yourself in what seems like a “food coma” 30-45 minutes after returning back to work. First your eyes get heavy and start drooping and the next think you know you are head bobbing hoping no one noticed. It’s not long before this seems like a pattern you’re stuck in. Not only do you feel fatigued, but you are less productive. This is not good and is likely a sign of bigger problems to come.
The #1 Reason That you Are Tired After Eating
There are several reasons that one can be tired after eating. These include everything from food intolerances to low blood pressure. Yet, there is one cause that trumps all others. The most likely reason that you are tired after eating is that you elevated your blood sugar. Blood sugar, also called blood glucose, or simply glucose, needs to stay at a reasonable level. The hormone insulin elevates with high blood sugar to help control it. Blood sugar goes up, insulin goes up. This is where the problem begins.
When insulin shoots up, the precursor to serotonin, tryptophan, is allowed to enter the brain easier. Normally, tryptophan has to compete for entrance into the brain. However, an increase in insulin decreases the competition thereby making it much easier for tryptophan to find its way into the brain. Once inside the brain, tryptophan becomes serotonin which becomes melatonin. Serotonin and melatonin calm the brain and are responsible for being tired after eating.
Stopping the Insulin Surge
The first step you need to take to avoid feeling tired after eating is looking at the food you eat. The food you consume is the single greatest contributor to raising your blood sugar and insulin. I can confidently tell you that if you are eating a meal higher in carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates that quickly elevate blood sugar, you are going to feel tired after eating. The opposite is also true. If you eat a meal that has little carbohydrates or does not significantly change your glucose, you probably stay energetic most of the time. So now that we have established food as the reason you feel tired after eating, let’s talk about what you can do in the next 30 days to change that.
What Can the Next 30 Days Do for You?
Now that we have established the importance of diet, it’s time to outline how to stop your current diet from zapping your energy. Your current diet is causing blood sugar and insulin to elevate. So you need a new approach that prevents these elevations. According to several studies, a Paleo Diet outperforms traditional healthy diet recommendations for blood sugar control, even in diabetics. This means if you adhere to the Paleo Diet, you are going to control glucose and insulin and end that feeling of being tired after eating. So let’s detail the next 30 days, one week at a time.
Week 1 – Avoid all Sweets and Desserts – This is the most critical step to ending that feeling of being tired after eating. I realize that cutting out the foods you are likely craving is not easy, mentally or practically. However, when you focus on proteins and plants in your diet, you will feel more satisfied after eating and not have the desire for sweets and desserts. People that take this one step almost always feel better before 30 days.
Week 2 – Start Your Day off with Protein – Protein first thing in the morning is irreplaceable for its ability to
start your day off regulating blood sugar and insulin. In fact, there is a high likelihood that if you start your day off with protein, you will have less desire for those sweets and desserts that are one of the biggest contributors to you feeling tired after eating.
Week 3 – Remove the Grains from Your Diet – Grains have several problems, but as it relates to how you feel after you eat, think about them like sugar. No other food category contains as many carbohydrates and contributes to blood sugar fluctuations as much as grains. Yes they may be whole grain, but when they make up a large portion of your diet, it does not matter. Take the grains out of your diet and you can expect to feel better all day long.
Week 4 – Increase the Consumption of Vegetables – No one is going to argue that we should all consume more vegetables in our diet. Yet most of use are not consuming nowhere near enough. There are many benefits to vegetables, but when it comes to avoiding feeling tired after eating, the main benefit is that this group of foods is not going to significantly contribute to insulin surges, especially if eaten in their raw form. If you are not sure how to implement this category, try simply incorporating a salad each day and expand from there.
Why You Cannot Wait Any Longer to Take Action
As noted by the American Diabetic Association, one of the early indicators of diabetes is extreme fatigue. Feeling tired after eating and wanting to take a nap during the middle of the day easily qualifies as extreme fatigue. I don’t want you to stay on a path towards diabetes. So for you to avoid developing diabetes, ask yourself what the next 30 days going to look like for you. Will you still be head bobbing or will you be wide awake and more productive when the clock reads 1:30?
If you are feeling frustrated with using medication to achieve normal thyroid levels, just know that you are not by yourself. There are others out there just like you that feel this same level of aggravation. Trying to find the right dose of medication for your thyroid can feel like being on a merry-go-round. You spin and spin in frustration as your next dose of thyroid hormone is based on information that you question is even telling the doctor how you feel. We have all heard the saying, “Listen to Your Gut.” And that is exactly what you should be doing as you take back control of your own health.
There is a better approach, and one that does not rely on old methods that rarely produce significant results. Medications, while needed for some, are not the best answer for most. There are more reliable ways to achieve normal thyroid levels, so let’s explore them.
Stop Looking at TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
You have likely become highly interested in what your TSH level is to manage your dose of medication. After all it is what your doctor is focusing on. Have you ever asked why? Have you ever checked your gas gauge to see how fast your car is running? Of course not. They are not directly related. Instead you look at the speedometer to know how fast you are going. The fuel level does not directly affect speed, but if you want to know the speed of your vehicle, the speedometer should have your attention. So then if you are interested in the amount of thyroid hormone that your producing, it makes more sense to look directly at thyroid hormone markers (T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3) rather than TSH. According to Dana Tretini, The Hypothyroid Mom, reliance on TSH is one of the main reasons that the thyroid gland is misdiagnosed.
TSH is not even a thyroid hormone. It is a hormone produced in the brain from the pituitary gland. It does not show the whole thyroid picture. Even more noteworthy is that the range recommended by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (0.3-3.0) does not match the range recommended by most labs (0.5-5.0). So even within professional circles there remains much debate. I can also add from my own observation that those that often feel good when using thyroid hormone have low TSH. TSH is not ideal for people using thyroid hormone, but rather for an initial diagnosis. Bottomline, stop worrying with TSH to determine if you have normal thyroid levels. It will only add to your frustration.
Non-Thyroid Hormones that Prevent Normal Thyroid Levels
How competitive is a baseball team with only one player on the field? They are not. One player cannot perform up to the level of 9 players. This is the way our hormones function. They do not act alone, but rather in concert. The response of one hormone has direct impact on others. In the case of the thyroid, three hormones well known to interfere include cortisol, estrogen and testosterone. The more changes in these hormones, the more change in thyroid. Even when you achieve normal thyroid levels on a lab test, you may still feel tired and different than you used to because of the affect of other hormones. End your frustration and look at the whole hormone picture.
You’ve Been Overlooking the Most Common Cause of Hypothyroidism
If all of this has not raised your level of frustration enough, this one is really going to send you over the edge. But don’t worry, I have a solution to help bring you back. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune condition that decreases the production of thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland. In other words, your immune system is attacking your thyroid just like it attacks a virus. Until this attack stops, the hypothyroidism continues. The traditional approach is to give medications like Synthroid. This misses the mark. First, it does not address the core problem. Second, it is hard to find the right level of hormone because of the effects of the immune system that are not accounted for. So unless you want to stay frustrated with you current approach and trying to find just the right dose that will again change in the near future, you need another plan.
Autoimmune conditions are common nowadays. One thing I have learned from working with patients with autoimmune conditions is that food matters. Since one of the greatest challenges to achieving normal thyroid levels and function is your immune system attacking your thyroid, you have to eliminate the food triggers. There are 3 key groups of food you want to avoid. These are grains, soy, and sugar (refined foods). It is amazing that you can have normal thyroid levels by continually trying to tweak your dose of thyroid hormone, but by changing the foods that you are eating. This pattern of eating can be simply summed up as the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet is a proven strategy to help eliminate the problems with modern food that are preventing normal thyroid levels. The Paleo Diet Food List is a great place to help you get started with making the right choices to begin balancing the interaction between your thyroid and immune system.
I sympathize with your frustration. I hear it in the voices of my patients that have been through the medical cycle, still don’t have normal thyroid levels and are simply looking for some needed help. Leave your frustration at the door of the next doctor that tries to base your thyroid function on TSH. With all of the other more relevant thyroid hormones and over 300 other physical indications that can be associated with hypothyroidism, stop worrying about your TSH. Once you leap this hurdle, consider the actions of a few other hormones and make a few simple diet changes with the direction of your free Paleo Diet Food List, you will on track towards normal thyroid levels without the frustration and reliance on a medication.