Secrets That Can Help You Live Longer from Dr. Mercola

Yesterday, Dr. Mercola posted a great article called, “Secrets that Can Help You Live Longer.” While the article includes some great information, secrets-longevity based on research, the one area that stood out to me is how food can help you prevent chronic disease and live longer, and it talks specifically about cancer prevention and treatment diet.

One of the areas I’ve been exploring lately is my own personal diet – I’m currently 6 months pregnant and hungry ALL THE TIME! – so exploring how many grains, fats, proteins, etc. seem to work best for me right now has been an interesting challenge. I’ve been increasing healthy fats, like avocado, coconut/coconut oil/coconut milk, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and local grass fed butter, not only for me but also for my 2 year old. Below is an excerpt from Dr. Mercola’s article about consuming more fats, eating less or ideally no refined grains and sugars, and watching your protein intake.

“Mounting research confirms that when your body becomes accustomed to burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel—which is what happens when you intermittently fast—you dramatically reduce your risk of chronic disease.

Becoming fat adapted may even be a KEY STRATEGY for both CANCER PREVENTION and TREATMENT, as cancer cells cannot utilize fat for fuel—they need sugar to thrive. […]

Ideally, you’ll want to replace all forms of processed and refined sugars and grains with healthy fats such as butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, grass-fed meats, and raw nuts. Many would benefit from getting as much as 50-85 percent of their daily calories from fats. […]

Most people also eat far too much protein for optimal health. Consider reducing your protein levels to one gram per kilogram of lean body weight unless you are in competitive athletics or are pregnant. […] The reason for this recommendation is because excessive protein intake (you do need some) can have a great impact on cancer growth…

This pathway is ancient but has only become the subject of scientific investigation in the last 20 years. Odds are very high your doctor was never taught this in medical school and isn’t even aware of it. Many new cancer drugs are actually designed to target this pathway. Other drugs using this pathway have been shown to radically extend the lifespan in animals. You don’t need a drug to make this pathway work for you, though. You can ‘biohack’ your body by restricting your protein intake and, again, replacing the decreased protein with healthy fats.”

Full article here: http://bit.ly/1kHdMCI

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Why You Shouldn’t Be “Vegan” or “Vegetarian” [Ditch the Diet Labels]

 

We sometimes get asked, are we vegetarian, vegan (or what)? Well, we are neither and Why You Shouldn't go Vegetarian or Vegan: Ditch the Diet Labelsboth and definitely the “what.” Confused? Let us explain: Honestly, we don’t like using labels very much (unless we’re reading the ingredients on a food product label, of course). Our walk and talk is more about focusing on real, whole food, more plant-based food and less about forcing ourselves to fit in a box or be part of a dietary trend. We’re not down with filling our plates with an ideology instead of health-boosting food that nourishes your body, mind and spirit.

And so we would also tell you not to necessarily become “vegan,” vegetarian” or anything else, unless of course you want to: If that is where your beliefs and passion lie and what makes you feel your best, that’s fabulous! Otherwise, we think labels are best left on boxes, and our food is best for enjoying and nourishing our bodies.

If you must label our approach, you could call it flexitarian with a focus on plant-based, whole foods. Flexitarianism is, in theory, a mainly vegetarian diet (or veggie-focused) but does allow for some animal protein. For us the meaning of this approach is broader, and we use it to refer to the practice of becoming aware of your body and its needs at every stage in your life and responding with personally appropriate dietary decisions. We are all unique and have different needs at different times in our lives, especially during cancer treatment. If a little quality animal protein gives you some needed energy during your cancer fight or otherwise, we aren’t going to scold you. In fact, we’ll even commend you for figuring out what your body needs.

We believe, and most other experts agree, that a whole-food, plant-based diet is the way to eat for optimal health. However, you can vary that quite a bit when experimenting with vegan, vegetarian, grain-free, nut-free, raw and every diet in between.

Allow yourself room to explore and alter your diet depending on your unique needs and situation. This is where bio-individuality comes into play. Bio-individuality means that we all have different bodies with unique genetic makeup, blood types, metabolism, genders and ages, so one diet is not going to be perfect for everyone. If we said that everyone should eat a vegan diet all of the time, we’d be wrong! One diet can’t possibly be the answer for every body, every day. Needs change from one person to another, based on age, makeup, location, climate, disease, treatment for disease and other changes throughout your life.

Many foodies and diet experts may tell you that their beloved diet is the right way to eat, that it’s THE answer. And it probably is – for them and for others. But not for everyone. In fact, it may be completely wrong for some. So don’t stress over figuring out the EXACT, perfect diet (there isn’t one), and then put yourself in a neat little box and label yourself (unless, as we said before, you believe passionately in a certain diet and want to give yourself that title). It’s entirely up to you! But if you’re just trying to eat well, and can’t seem to find your diet niche, just try to eat whole foods, get the processed and artificial stuff out, eat more/mostly plants and be flexible. Oh, and have FUN! :)

7 Steps to Finding Your Food Groove

Making the decision to begin changing your diet can feel overwhelming and confusing – possibly so much so that you end up making no changes at all! And that’s not what we want to see happen. Once you’ve decided you’re ready to begin eating better (which is really the first step!), then take on the rest in baby steps. Go one day at a time and one goal at a time.

Perhaps you decide to begin eating a leafy green vegetable every day or 4 days of the week. Maybe you want to try drinking more water or eating more whole grains (like brown rice) instead of processed grains (breads, pastas – especially the white flour ones!). Start small and add on as you go.

Here are 7 general steps to finding your groove with food. These are great areas to start with, and you may want to break down your steps and goals even more. Remember to be realistic, but also push yourself to see just what you can do! You’d be surprised!

1.) Drink more water: There is no right amount of water to drink, but generally the bigger and more active you are, the more you should drink. A good rule of thumb is a 1/2 ounce of water per pound of weight. So a 160 pound person might start with 80 ounces of water (or 10 eight-ounce cups). Staying hydrated is imperative during cancer treatment! This will help to increase your energy, support your immune system, reduce nausea and other treatment and cancer side effects.

2.) Practice cooking: Cooking is a fundamental step to healthier living. By making your own meals you know what’s going into them. Meals don’t need to take hours to prepare and involve multiple ingredients. Pick a healthy recipe or two a week to add in to your routine. 

3.) Increase leafy green vegetables: These are seriously lacking in the American diet and they are most essential for creating long-lasting health. More specifically they help eliminate depression, improve liver, gallbladder and kidney function, increase energy and boost your blood. Try kale, collards, mustard greens, dandelion greens, spinach, and chard.

4.) Increase whole grains: It’s not these types of carbohydrates that have led to the obesity epidemic, but rather the processed goods like doughnuts. Whole grains are some of the best sources of nutritional support and provide long-lasting energy. Try brown rice, quinoa, oats, and millet. 

5.) Increase sweet vegetables: People forget that these exist and they are the perfect medicine for the sweet tooth. Instead of depending on processed sugar, you can add more naturally sweet flavors to your diet and dramatically reduce sweet cravings and better support your body. Try sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and squash.

6.) Experiment with protein: The majority of Americans eat way too much protein and mostly in the form of animal meat. Pay attention to how different types of protein make you feel. Try other forms like beans, lentils, nuts or fermented soy (tempeh, miso).

7.) Eat less meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods; consume less coffee, alcohol and tobacco: Did you notice we said eat less instead of don’t eat? If we told you not to drink coffee or eat sweets you would want them even more. By increasing your whole grains, vegetables and water you will naturally crowd out the more processed items, so this step often comes naturally (and it’s much easier to add in good food than try to restrict yourself from the not-so-good foods).

 

Adapted from 10 Steps to Boost Your Health for Life, Joshua Rosenthal, IntegrativeNutrition.com