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Sweden Rejects “Low-Fat for Health” Dogma

22 Jul

Sweden Becomes First Western Nation to Reject Low-fat Diet Dogma in Favor of Low-carb High-fat Nutrition

Finally. It would be nice if the United States would follow Sweden’s lead. It would appear that a national case study of the US population for the past 40 years would suggest that the low-fat dogma has been an absolute failure. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, various cancers, etc. can be attributed to the high-carbohydrate, low-fat lifestyle.

Last month, Time Magazine published a great article explaining the low-carbohydrate research that has been available and it has also been apparently ignored for several decades.   There seems to be some momentum that maybe the “fat is bad” mantra is wrong (except for trans-fats) and it is healthy to eat healthy fat sources while minimizing/eliminating sugar, starch and processed white flour instead. But that would also require the FDA to admit that they were and have been wrong for so long, and there’s too much money in Washington DC to allow that to happen so easily. I still hope to see it happen.

Skratch is Here!

11 Feb

If you are an avid endurance athlete, hiker, recreational athlete, or you just feel the need for a sports drink to stay hydrated and help your athletic performance, then you may be interested in trying Skratch by Skratch Labs. We asked the developer of Skratch, Alan Lim, why do you call it Skratch? He said that it is because it is made from scratch. It is quite possibly the most all natural sports supplement on the market. Just mix it with water and it is already to go.

Check out more information about Skratch at their website, http://www.skratchlabs.com/.

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FINALLY!! A Study That Has Been Repeatedly Recommended

31 Aug

Doubling the Daily Allowance of Protein Intake With Diet and Exercise Protects Muscle Loss

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829110430.htm

I hope it means that the health community will actually believe it, instead of thinking that this is “bad for your kidneys.” I wish I could say more, but this tends to sum it up very well.

 

Three Cups of Dairy A Day: All Hype with No Science?

7 Aug

Anybody who may study the evolution of the human diet would know that we did not eat dairy in the quantities that federal dietary guidelines recommend today, but over time, dairy was included as a main staple. Today, the guidelines recommend that we ingest three cups of dairy per day. However, Walter Willett, Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, questions this recommendation, suggesting that this recommendation comes more from dairy industry lobbying rather than supported scientific data. Read more

I am not surprised. One can see the same trend when it comes to grains. The  guidelines published in 2011 encourage Americans to cut back on refined grains and replace them with whole grains, but they still suggest that it is okay to consume up to half of our grains as refined grains. That’s unfortunate, since there’s been even more research evidence in the past five years that refined grains, such as white bread, white rice, and white pasta, have adverse metabolic effects and increase the risks of diabetes and heart disease. “Big Agriculture”, “Big Dairy” and “Big —” [you fill in the blank], somebody is pulling somebody’s else’s strings to keep America “healthy”. But whether or not today’s dietary guidelines are entirely based on scientific evidence versus special profiting interests is debatable, and more than likely, wrong.

Supplement Spotlight: Pantethine

17 Jul

Last time, we looked at PS and it’s cortisol lowering effect. Today, let’s take a look at pantethine:

Pantethine is a stable form of vitamin B5 that is a precursor to co-enzyme A. Because of this, it is used mainly for the liver to increase HDL (the good), lower LDL (the bad), and lower triglycerides (the ugly). However, it is best to consult your physician prior due to interactions with statins.

Pantethine is also used to help restore adrenal function after the damage sympathetic dominance has done. Pair this with PS, any you have coverage at both ends of restoring proper cortisol rhythm.

Taken in the early and mid morning, 900-1200 mg of pantethine may help restore morning energy as well as support the fight against dyslipidemia.

Next time, we’ll take a look at ‘stacking’ supplements together, using an AM and PM protocol that is aimed at addressing cortisol…stay tuned!

Supplement Spotlight: Phosphatidylserine

9 Jul

Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) is a rather potent brain nutrient that causes a calming effect due to lowering the ‘fight-or-flight’ system. It acts to lower the stress hormone cortisol at the wrong time of day. If you find yourself restless and unable to fall asleep, your stress hormone may be out of control.

It’s also especially effective for minimizing cognitive decline that occurs with age, and it has even been shown to improve your golf game by calming the mind under stress! It has also been shown to significantly decrease ADHD symptoms, especially when paired with sufficient omega-3s. This is because it works to support specific neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine.

Studies have shown that 600 mg for 10 days yielded significant effects on lowering cortisol after high-intensity intervals, more favorable testosterone to cortisol ratio than a placebo group. Another study demonstrated that 400 mg of PS significantly decreased cortisol and led to lower activation of the pituitary adrenal axis (another measure of stress) in comparison to a placebo after a social stress test.

3-4 capsules (150 mg each) of PS in the afternoon is recommended. At FIT, we currently carry phosphatidylserine as well as other nutraceuticals that may be the missing support to your fitness program. Feel free to ask Jeff P. if you have any questions!

The Cure for Gray, Not Far Away

6 May

A couple of months ago, I was laying face-down on my [then] nine-year-old daughter’s bed and she climbed on my back. She began to run her fingers of both of her hands through my hair and said, “Wow, Daddy, you have so much gray hair!”

“You do realize how it all got there, right?” I replied.

“No.”

“Well, before you were born, I didn’t have any. After you were born and as you have gotten older, it has increased. So clearly, it’s your fault,” I sarcastically replied.

“Daddy!”

Good thing she understands my sense of humor.

However, there really is some good news in the world of science that was recently published. It appears that the reason we get gray is because of a tremendous accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle that causes our hair to bleach itself from the inside out. A topical treatment of narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy-activated compound called PC-KUS (a modified pseudocatalase) appears to do the trick and get rid of the gray. Catalases are natural enzymes that breakdown hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen.

Even better, this same treatment may appear to benefit people with vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation of sections of the skin. Exposing the skin to UVB light from UVB lamps is the most common treatment for vitiligo. Therefore, it did not seem too far fetched to see if the PC-KUS might benefit people with vitiligo besides helping those get rid of the gray in their hair.

To read more about this potential treatment of gray hair and vitiligo, please click the link below:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130503132958.htm

And regardless of what my daughter said about my gray hair, I STILL get carded!

Last chance for the Whole30(60)

12 Apr

I know how much fun you all had on the Whole30 this past month or two, and I don’t want you to feel unrewarded for all that hard work - besides the weight loss, better skin, PRs in the gym, and overall feeling better.  Make sure that you have submitted your pictures to challenge@focusedtrainers.com in order to be eligible to win!  We’ve got some great prizes in the mix.

Grassmilk – good or gross?

4 Apr

Take a moment to look at FIT’s take on an optimal food pyramid and guess what question we most frequently hear. food pyramidIf you are like the majority of people we have discussed our food strategy with, you probably guessed: ‘What about dairy?’

The simple answer is that our strategy is based primarily on nutrient density. Once dairy has been pasturized and homogenized, the quality and density of nutrients is questionable. Add to that the fact that most dairy in this country comes from grain-fed confinement herds which are no healthier than their conventially raised beef cattle counterparts. And then there’s the question of the saturated fat in milk which for years we have been led to believe was bad but are beginning to understand how vital quality saturated fat is to longterm health and vitality.

st benoit

Until recently, there were no mainstream options for high quality, minimally processed dairy beyond organic. Months ago, I saw that St. Benoit (a local dairy, renowned for minimal processed, delicious yogurt) began selling VAT pasteurized milk from grassfed Jersey cows.  Jersey cows produce a richer, higher fat, sweeter milk than the other common dairy cow here in the US, holstein/fresien.  Organic Valley has introduced Grassmilk but doesn’t list what type of cows are in their herd. Because St. Benoit’s Jersey Milk and Organic Valley’s Grassmilk come from pasture raised/fed cows, their milk also has much higher levels of Omega 3s, linoleic acid and vitamin E (compared to grain-fed confinement herds). VAT pasteurization complies with FDA standards but seems to be less likely to significantly alter the quality of nutrients making this process preferrable to HTST (high temperature, short time) or UHT (ultra high temperature) processes routinely used – think of it like how heating olive oil to it’s smoke point degrades the fat destroying it’s health benefit as we have discussed previously.  While both St. Benoit and OV’s milks are non-homogenized, OV does use standard HTST pasteurization which might degrade nutrients more so than VAT.

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So, while we stand by our statement that dairy is not a requirement of an optimally nutritious diet, we recognize that no one eats an optimally nutritous diet pasteurization. St. Benoitavailable at Whole Foods and Palo Alto’s Cal. Ave Farmers market on Sundays year round.100% of the time. So, when it comes to dairy, go for whole milk but drink less of it. Some ‘better’ options than what was previously available are St. Benoit’s Jersey Milk or Organic Valley’s Grassmilk – if both are options – choose St. Benoit based on the method of pasteurization.  I haven’t tasted OV’s Grassmilk but can vouch for St. Benoit’s – it’s delish!



What’s going on with YOUR Whole 60?

6 Mar

So we’ve passed the 30 day marker!  How many of you are staying on for the Whole 60?  I know that Kendra and myself are going strong, as well as some of you.  Who else is on board?  We need to hear from you.  As a little kick-start, I wanted to post a photo of what I have been up to lately in the kitchen.  

As some of you may know already, I’m kind of a kitchen geek, always trying out different things, tinkering with recipes, and trying to expand my boundaries.  Most recently, this has meant canning and fermenting.  While I have made kimchi and sauerkraut in the past, my most recent obsession has been kombucha.  In essence, it is a slightly effervescent, slightly bitter fermented tea beverage with a multitude of purported health benefits.  Anyways, check out the picture of the tasty fermented and canned foods that I have made recently.

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Delicious canned and fermented foods: Brewed black tea kombucha, habanero salsa (top), preserved lemons (bottom), fermenting ginger tea kombucha, pickled beets, canned roasted red and yellow peppers

What have you been up to in the kitchen lately?  Let us know any new discoveries you have made or challenges you have been having.

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