This past Saturday, I attended what may have been the last Balanced Bites Nutrition Workshop. It was held in Washington, DC at CrossFit Metro. I flew in from Grand Rapids, MI. To be perfectly honest, the 2 full days in Washington, DC were more rewarding than the 36 full days I spent in Hawaii in late January through February this year.
I owe a special thanks to Staci and Matt from PaleoParents.com for inviting myself and others over for what was an awesome paleo dinner, and to top it off they served bacon ice cream for dessert! And, I had a lot of fun with their kids! They just sent their lastest book, Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog, to the editors which is due out on July 2. You can, of course, pre-order your copy today. Do it!
So, what did I learn from the workshop? More than I can fit in this blog post. I knew a lot going in but I still took notes on what stood out at me the most. The following are gems from the workshop. Much of this information and more is in Diane’s NY Times Bestselling Book, Practical Paleo. It’s the book I recommended the most!
1. The following is a quote created by Diane which kickstarted the workshop in a grand way. I envy her for saying and displaying this as the first powerpoint slide, and while I always had great respect for Diane and Liz (with it increasing as the Saturday rolled on), this statement is what I wish every single living human being would live by. Diane and Liz do and so how could you not respect them both?
There are no answers. There are only ideas – based in science, experience, and practice – that we can present for you to try.
2. Inflammation is pain, redness, heat swelling and loss of function.
3. Inflammation FIXES the problem.
4. Coldness slows down inflammation. Thus, you may want to re-think engaging in freezing cold showers or cold plunges on a frequent basis. Especially if you are allergic to the cold like myself!
5. Inflammation is at the center of just about all disease.
6. C-reactive protein is the blood market for inflammation; under 1 is good. A standard white blood panel can help too.
7. We are constantly developing cancer. Live your life with a focus on wellness to prevent this very fact from becoming fatal.
8. If you are stressed then eating more carbs can help.
9. Insulin is a hormone that directs nutrients into cells. Imagine a globe where insulin are the boats and your cells are islands.
10. When insulin is dominate your body is in constant storage mode.
11. Glucagon is a releasing hormone that increases blood sugar concentration by converting glycogen in the liver to sugar. It responds to exercise, hunger and more.
12. It’s better to have a bigger butt than to have poor digestion. You definitely don’t want to weigh 500 pounds. However, stressing out about the final 5 to 10 pounds that you think you need to lose is completely unnecessary and is likely doing more harm than good.
13. Vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat, light and air. Other nutrients are also easily destroyed this way too.
14. Eating real food is not expensive for most Americans and other human beings living in the developed world. Do you own a television? Cable? Do you drink alcohol? Do you spend too much money on entertainment? Instead you can go for a hike with family, friends or even alone can be just as fun and much more rewarding. Do you own a bunch of stuff that is not adding value to your life?
15. Normal cortisol levels are necessary for normal melatonin levels at night to help with sleep. Cortisol is your stress hormone.
16. The stress and hormones beaker. It starts from your constitution which can be how you were born (vaginal birth versus c-section), genetics, how you were fed in your early years, etc. Yes, sleep probably has more influence on your wellness than you imagined. Stress is the key behind nearly all disease and nutrition won’t fix you if you don’t obey your body’s cry for sleep.
- Family/relationship stress
- Financial stress
- Nutrient poor diet
- Lack of sleep
- Your constitution
17. This varies but in general, the first 4 hours you sleep is for physical repair while the last 4 hours is for mental repair. Going to bed shortly after the sun sets and then waking up with the sun helps tremendously.
18. Melatonin is an anti-cancerous hormone.
19. Digestion is a north to south process that starts in your brain and ends in the toilet in the form of poop.
20. Giving thanks for your food is a fantastic kick starter for fabulous digestion.
21. One of the best things you can do for awesome digestion is to CHEW YOUR FOOD into a mush.
22. Do you suffer from acid reflux? If you do, it’s likely that your digestion is poor.
23. Acid reflux is the #1 reason that you don’t have enough stomach acid.
24. It does not matter what food you eat if your body is not processing it how should.
25. To improve your wellness, 90% of the time you need to take away something before you add something.
26. Leaky gut is a cute way of saying increased intestinal permeability.
27. Stress is the #1 thing that promotes leaky gut.
28. The following promote a leaky gut: poor diet, medications, infections, chronic stress, hormone imbalances and neurological problems.
29. Infants are born with a leaky gut.
30. Babies are designed to be able to only digest breast milk. When they can’t it’s because the mother has a leaky gut – she isn’t digesting food properly.
31. The 4-r protocol to find out what foods you are intolerant or allergic to are: Remove, Repair, Reinoculate, Reintroduce.
32. It can take up to 72 hours to feel a food intolerance.
33. The whole point of striving for superb health is to improve immunity in order to avoid chronic disease.
34. Animals are easier to digest than plants. Have you ever seen steak in your poop? What about corn? Carrots? Nuts? Seeds? Kale?
35. Your poop is mostly bacteria.
36. Margarine is a famous way of saying plastic fat.
38. Getting caught up in the minutia does more harm than good.
39. If you can get something from plants or animals then get it from animals. The nutrients are more bio available. This is not saying to avoid plants!
40. Cholesterol lowering drugs is a $30 Billion industry. If you doctor is trying to “force” you to take a cholesterol lowering drug then find a new doctor.
41. Total cholesterol has a standard deviation of 17 for an hour to hour, day to day basis. This means that if you get your cholesterol checked right now and it shows up at 201 your doctor may prescribe Lipitor for you since 200 is “high.” However, if you were to come back on hour later, you total cholesterol may be as low as 184 simply from breathing. At this number, your doctor would likely not be concerned.
42. The following are blood lipid numbers to look out for when trying to determine if your cholesterol is “good” or “bad.”
- APO-B (a way of counting LDL particles): 80 high, 60 low
- LDLp: 1600 high, 1000 low
- Total LDL cholesterol: 160 high, 100 low
- Triglycerides/HDL ratio: over 3 is a sign of insulin resistance
- Total triglycerides should be less than 75
Are there any gems that you just read that you did not know about before? Do you know other gems that skimming through the ones above made you think of? Sound off in the comments below!