Category Archives: Nutrition

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Cravings and Emotional eating

Category : Cravings , Nutrition , Sugar

I wanted to compile a few of the posts I did on cravings and emotional eating on my Facebook page, in one place so I could direct my clients and followers to one place of reading, I really hope you all find this somewhat helpful and put some of the tools herein into practice!

 

 

There’s an aspect of health and fat loss that gets missed most of the time… ‘emotions’.

Most women experience emotional eating, men not so much, it’s a female thing unfortunately. Women are emotional beings, we are nurtures, we are care givers, we are feeders. We feed babies when they are born, when they cry it’s usually because of hunger so it’s natural to us to associate food with emotions right?!

So then when a woman is particularly unhappy, depressed and not satisfied in her life – she is more likely to turn towards food to make herself feel better or as a way to avoid negative emotions, than a man would.

 

Lets first look at the biochemical reactions that take place when we experience cravings… it usually goes a little like this 🧐

Eat sugar -> spike insulin -> insulin and blood sugar drops -> sugar cravings increase in aims to bring insulin back up.

 

When we are stressed it looks a little like this;
Stress -> spikes cortisol and adrenaline -> causes the body to look for serotonin and dopamine to feel good and safe again -> sugar increases dopamine production making us feel good for a while. When the hormones drop, the cycle begins all over again, starting with increased cravings.

What about sleep?

Poor sleep -> reduces available energy causing the brain to stress and malfunction -> the brain send out a signal to look for the fastest most easily absorbed form of fuel… sugar.

Seems pretty obvious but most people when they have uncontrollable eating or cravings don’t stop to reflect on what’s going on inside them or what’s driving this. So let’s look again… what are some more things that drive up cravings and emotional eating 🍽

– poor sleep
– late night eating
– eating sugar
– eating junk food
– dehydration
– nutrient deficiencies
– stress
– overwhelm/multitasking (having too much to do)
– feelings of sadness or upset
– alcohol
– loneliness
– relationships
– work
– kids
– low self esteem
– health concerns
– food (being unprepared with food or feeling guilty) ☹️

 

 

That leads us to the ’emotional level’.

It has been recognized that there are certain feelings or emotions that connect to cravings of certain foods, being aware of this can help you understand your cravings better and better deal with your emotions.

They are as follows;

  • crunchy snacks like crisps and crackers can connect to chronic underlying anger issues
  • cravings for high-fat food stemmed from chronic fear, tension, anxiety and depression
  • ice cream ‘soothes’ depression with its creamy texture
  • the number one food craving, chocolate, contains the same chemical the brain creates when we feel romantic love, meaning women in particular may crave chocolate because it creates the feeling of being loved. Chocoholism may be a cry for love, intimacy and romance. It’s the perfect antidepressant for the lovesick.
  • burnout or fatigue from pushing yourself too hard might cause you to crave the stimulating effect of red meat or sharp cheese
  • loneliness, stress and emotional distress drive cravings or the want for alcohol
  • chewy or crunchy foods like cookies, M&M’S and crackers can also signify stress or frustration
  • feelings of loneliness, emptiness or sadness can cause cravings of pasta and pizza 🍕 

 

Studies suggest every food corresponds to a certain mood or emotion. In 1982 the American university professor Bernard Lyman asked 200 people to imagine themselves experiencing various emotions, including anger, loneliness and joy, and at the same time asked them what food they’d like to eat.
They indicated strong preferences for desserts when feeling happy and loving, but when anxious they wanted snack foods, both of the healthy and junk variety.

Each food is craved because it has amino acids, neurochemical catalysts, or vasoconstriction catalysts, which will energize your body or soothe your brain chemicals, making you feel better ‘for a short time’.

 

How to assess your sugar or junk food cravings.

We crave sugar for three reasons:

1️⃣ When we need more motivation/dopamine/self-worth
2️⃣ When we have depleted our energy sources
3️⃣ When we feel stressed or unsafe.


So next time you reach for a cookie or chips – check in and ask yourself:

  • How have I managed my food/energy levels today?
  • Am I craving sugar because I’m hungry?
  • How stressed have I been this week?
  • Have I done anything to help myself mange my stress?
  • Am I using sugar to help me cope?
  • Has my self-esteem been affected by something today?
  • What can I do that would leave me feeling rewarded/accomplished/motivated?
  • Is sugar replacing the reward of achieving something?
  • Am I happy?
  • What is making my heart ache? When you feel a binge or craving or bout of emotional eating come on – stop and take a moment to focus on these questions. Focus on deep breathing, quiet your thoughts and become present in what’s going on. Then figure out what else you could do to distract yourself and make yourself feel better;
    Go for a walk
    Massage essential oils on your temple and neck
    Foam roll
    Practice some yoga poses
    Call a friend
    Or whatever it is that doesn’t involve food. 🙂
    Changing this pattern in your brain allows you to connect new brain neurons and create new habits and skills for times of struggle that benefit you rather than making you feel worse.

 

There is a neurological, biological, and emotional basis under our cravings.

 

There are also some nutrient and mineral deficiencies that have been connected to emotional eating….

They are;
– Magnesium
– Zinc
– Iron
– Calcium
– Sodium
– B12 and B6

These vitamins have also been associated with feelings of sadness, anxiety and shaking or tremors.

So staying on top of our bodies nutrient needs is going to benefit us on many levels but also help us manage cravings and emotions a bit better.

 

This post was compiled to help you reflect on what might be driving your cravings and emotional eating. I hope you find it somewhat helpful. One book that I highly recommend if you want to delve more into the world of emotional eating is “Constant cravings” by Doreen Virtue. Its a good read that gives lots of insight into why we may be craving a certain food. 🙂


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What is deuterium depleted or ‘light’ water?

Category : Deuterium , Nutrition , Water

 

It is unlikely you have heard of ‘deuterium depleted water’ unless you are submerged in the world of biohacking and science (or have heard me discuss it), but its a topic that has been getting a lot of attention over the last few years and seems to be picking up momentum in the world of health. There are hundred of studies on the benefits of deuterium depleted water! But lets first take a look at what it is.

What is deuterium depleted water?

So most of us in school learned that water is made of the molecular formula H2O right? So, this means each molecule of water contains two hydrogen’s attached to one oxygen. Hydrogen is essential for energy production in humans. The most common form of hydrogen in the body is water. Our bodies are 60-70% water so it’s easy to see why hydrogen is important for human life right?!

At the cellular level hydrogen plays a vital role in mitochondria function. Mitochondria are the little energy powerhouses or batteries in the cells of our body. They ultimately facilitate energy production. Within the mitochondria there is a spinning head that rotates very fast, the rotation speed of this spinning head determines how well you create energy. The spinning head also creates a magnetic field which is important for drawing oxygen into the mitochondria (I don’t need to explain why oxygen is important do I?). The faster the spinning head rotates the more energy you make and the healthier you will be. But the slower the spinning head rotates the less energy you will make and this leaves you more susceptible to chronic mismatch diseases and faster aging… and this is where deuterium comes in.

Many people don’t know but hydrogen comes in two different forms or ‘flavors’ – regular hydrogen, which is actually called ‘protium’, and ‘deuterium’ (there is a third but we won’t get into that now). Deuterium has all the same properties as regular hydrogen except its twice as big and twice as heavy (it has a extra neutron). Because of this, deuterium is often referred to as “heavy hydrogen” and it behaves quiet differently in our bodies than regular hydrogen does. Think of deuterium as normal hydrogen’s overweight dysfunctional cousin who likes to come in and mess s**t up.

 

Firstly, deuterium is not all bad… In nature, deuterium helps things grow. It is found in Earth’s oceans and other water sources. Water containing deuterium is called “heavy water” because of that extra neutron.  It is widely used in prototype fusion reactors and has application in military, industrial and scientific fields. In nuclear fusion reactors, it is used as a tracer and it is responsible to slow down neutrons in heavy water moderated fission reactors. D2O as some call it, is also found in high amounts in vaccines, carbohydrates and processed food (its added as a preservative).

Deuterium is great and necessary for growing babies, kids, teenagers, and developing plants and animals but… once you stop growing though, deuterium is no longer your friend. Having too much deuterium in your body can result in mitochondrial dysfunction, and lead to accelerated aging, metabolic problems and disease.

How is deuterium a problem for health?

When our cells and mitochondria come into contact with deuterium, this is where we start to see problems arise. And because of how modern life is now a days with constant exposure to pollution, toxins, processed foods, unclean water, stress and sleep issues… many people have way too much deuterium in their cells. This results in an inability to effectively deplete and displace deuterium from our bodies and the degradation of our mitochondria.

So deuterium enters the body and passes into the mitochondria. From there it shuttles to the top of that spinning head mentioned above, ready to assist in energy production and create a magnetic field.

The spinning head is specifically designed by nature to accept hydrogen in its standard form. That is one proton and one electron. But deuterium contains a neutron and the spinning head is not equipped to deal with this neutron or wide enough for it to pass through the spinning head easily. When we have deuterium in the body it cannot pass through the spinning head and gums up the system. Which in turn slows down the rotation thus reduces energy production and magnetic field strength (less oxygen getting into the cells now).

So we get less oxygen is pulled in from the blood, energy levels drop and your redox potential decreases. A lowering of your redox potential (electron transfer ability) means a huge increase in your risks of chronic diseases.

As you can see, a cascade of mitochondrial and cellular damage starts, as deuterium builds up more and more. The more our mitochondria and cells are malfunctioning, the less energy we have and the more fatigue, inflammation, illness and disease we have.

In summary, too much deuterium;

 

So what do we do about this?

“How do I lower deuterium in my body?” … this question has been driving an obsession within me for the last two weeks, causing me to delve into as much research as I can about deuterium (and molecular hydrogen, but that’s for another blog post). And this is what I have found;

To lower deuterium in the body;

  • Drink deuterium depleted water…except it can be very expensive from brands like Qlarivia, Mito Water and Preventa which have D levels of  between 19 and 25ppm, and are the lowest available on the planet right now. Ordinary or tap water has about 156ppm or more. But because this water is so expensive at about $27 CAD per liter, this is not viable for most of the general population. So we look then towards more affordable clean waters that have been tested to have lower levels of deuterium like – Evian, San Pelligrino, Acqua Panna, Voss, Gerolsteiner, Icelandic, or if you can get your water from the ‘Rocky mountains’ (like the taps in Banff) you are onto gold! And of course glass bottles are always preferred! These waters have between 145 and 149ppm.
  • Eat foods that have been shown to be lower in deuterium like – organic green plants, organic nuts, grass fed animal meats, wild caught fish and sea food, fats from organic plants and animals, organic cacao and cacao butter, and chilies.
  • Replace cane sugar with stevia and other natural artificial sweeteners. These come
    from the green leaf of the stevia plant and is not only sweet, but it is also
    deuterium depleted!
  • Sleep! The body naturally depletes deuterium during sleep so making sure you are getting good quality sleep is essential (as if you didn’t know already).
  • Get lots of sun and red light exposure because the frequency from these resonates or communicates with normal hydrogen, helping it flow into the cells and mitochondria more easily by reducing viscosity (thickness, stickiness). Deuterium in water increases viscosity of water, so its critical we decrease this viscosity level to improve mitochondrial function.
  • Have low carb or fasting days — this allows your body to tap into its own fat stores and create its own metabolic water. * The body makes 1.1 kg of deuterium
    depleted, metabolic water for every 1 kg of fat consumed – our early ancestors likely derived most of their water from fat. Many, if not most, animals still do that today – like Camels who get water from the fat in their humps. 
  • Avoid; Consuming grain-fed animals, older animals, farm raised fish, carbohydrate heavy meals or processed foods, as they all contain high levels of deuterium. 
  • Don’t; drink excessive amounts of tap water, since most sources of the water you drink today from rivers, reservoirs, and streams is likely to be high in deuterium – this includes the great majority of commercially bottled drinking waters aside from the ones listed above.

 

To wrap this up –  if you are interested in lowering deuterium levels in your body, like I am, then be aware of your water consumption and its sources, the types of food you are eating and how much time you are getting out in nature and in sleep. By being conscious of your choices you should be able to get D levels down and support your health even further than you were already doing.

Chemaine 🙂


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Why we want to avoid fat and carb combos

Category : Cravings , Nutrition , Sugar

Aw man I really feel like the bad guy when I tell people to avoid doing this if health and fat loss is their goal but in my defense, I say it to help people. 🙂

I have spoken about this before but it’s time to help you really understand WHY, a bit more in depth.

So for us to first look at this topic we must first understand what ‘lipopolysaccharides’ are.
Lipopolysaccharides or LPS are bacterial toxins that can cause inflammation and a host of other health issues, and they’re normally housed in the gut, but they can become toxic if they enter the blood through infection or through a leaky gut. LPS’s are also found on the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, including things like E. coli and Salmonella. We all have some amount of LPS in us but how healthy you are can depend on the amounts you have.

So, you can get a ton of LPS’s if you are infected with a bacteria or parasite or have a terrible diet. And these LPS’s can really induce a host of inflammation, damage cells and drive dis-ease in the body. Studies have found is that a high saturated fat diet can significantly increase LPS levels. And in addition to that, if the saturated fats are consumed in the presence of a high amount of carbohydrates, particularly starchy or sugary carbohydrates, a so-called high-fat, high-carb meal, LPS levels can skyrocket.

Studies have also compared high-fat, high-carbohydrate meals that are derived more of plant origins, like monounsaturated fats from extra virgin olive oil. And we don’t see that elevation in LPS’s anywhere near to the extent that we would see them after a meal rich in saturated fats and carbs. There is still an elevation but not as much. 🧐

So now we know what lipopolysaccarhides are and how their levels increase with the combination of fat and carbs…why else should we avoid this combination of foods?

 

Well, don’t hate me now, it’s just science and how biochemical reactions can happen in the body.

 

Foods that carry a 1:2 ratio of fat to carbs have a synergistic effect on the brain that results in a very noticeable dopamine release in the same neural pathways that respond to addictive drugs. So these are literally extremely hedonistic (in a junk food binging sense)!
Foods like; ice caps, mochas, lattes, milkshakes, ice cream, pizza, macaroni and cheese, avocado on toast, grilled cheese, donuts, cinnamon rolls and milk chocolate….are all what could be called ‘adult breast milk’ or ‘sweet fat’.

 

Adult breast milk has that 1:2 ration of fat to carbs and what do we use it for? Yep to make babies grow fat and fast. Well these sweet fat foods do the same.

 

What else do these food combinations do? We know that the pleasure centers in the brain are highly, highly triggered by these foods and that’s why they make us feel good and cause us to crave them. We know this combination contributes to poor health. But what else, what about their effects on fat loss?

 

Well…. the insulin response we get from the carbohydrates, turns off fat burning and enhances your ability to be able to store fat from BOTH the fat and the carbohydrates. So, unless you’re in a calorically deprived glycogen depleted state, most of that is going to get stored as fat. True story. We get an insulin spike from the carb and we also get an indirect insulin spike from the fat and store even more fat. So that’s a double whammy of insulin and its damaging effects.

 

Also when you process carbohydrates in your gut in the presence of fats —> the fat creates a coating around the carbs and they both travel around the body delivering inflammation, oxidation and glycation (which causes aging and tissue damage). So the fat gets used as a delivery system for the carbs which become inflammatory in your bloodstream 🤓

 

Another thing to note is that fats and carbs can be fine to be eaten in isolation but what happens is; when you process carbohydrates in your gut in the presence of fats —> the fat creates a coating around the carbs and they both travel around the body delivering inflammation, oxidation and glycation (which causes aging and tissue damage). So the fat gets used as a delivery system for the carbs which become inflammatory in your bloodstream.

 

So, based on the research, we can categorize which high-fat, high-sugar meals would probably be most deleterious to you. Just from a pure inflammatory and lipopolysaccharide standpoint — we know that any high-fat, high-sugar/carb meal is bad news if you’re trying to lose weight, specifically body fat. It induces storage of most of those calories as fat. And these LPS’s damage the gut and drive up illness and disease.

 

All is not lost though… let’s say you’re at your normal stabilized weight, your lean or have a nice amount of muscle and you’re not concerned about weight loss, you’re relatively insulin sensitive, you exercise on a frequent basis, you have moderate to low-level physical activity during the day, your health biomarkers are excellent…well if you’re were going to have fat and carbohydrates at the same meal (which makes that meal very enjoyable because we know you get the dopamine production from that)…you would choose a monounsaturated fat source like extra virgin olive oil or olives, in a small amount, paired with more of a healthy kind of Mediterranean or Paleo type carb source.

 

With all this taken into consideration — we now understand why we keep things like cream cakes, pizza, ice cream and ice caps etc to once a week or less. 👍

 

I hope that makes sense and aids you on your health journey xo

 


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What is “disordered eating” and how might it be effecting you? – Th HETA guide add on

Category : Cravings , Nutrition , Sugar

Ever heard of disordered eating? Well the concept has been around quiet a while but has only recently got more attention as intermittent fasting grew in popularity. “Disordered eating” is not the same as “eating disorder” in that disordered eating is a term used for unhealthy eating habits and their correlation to body image, that are not as “extreme” as having an eating disorder would be.

I see this in several of my clients and what i see, to help you understand more, is — they will have a lot of irregular timed eating or an erratic eating schedule and this can throw their whole sense of routine and circadian rhythm off. It is this type of disordered eating that we will look at in this post… This irregular eating pattern can decrease metabolism because their bodies expect food at specific times, and the result can be dysregulated appetite and messed up metabolism.

I find that in a lot of my clients, they do very well with structure and routine, especially women, as I feel women have a lot more demands on them (no sexism implied, just stating what I see) and having structure helps reduce stress and keep all our ducks in a row, as they say. And my most successful clients DO have structured eating…they have set times when they eat and stick to those times as much as possible. *They also eat very simply but that’s another post.

Some people can do fine on an irregular eating schedule but many will not.

Research suggests that having a regular eating schedule can improve your metabolic response to meals, particularly in women. So, if you’re struggling to lose body fat… rather than having sporadic meal times like; skipping your first meal some days and eating it on others, having dinner late some nights and early the other nights, or hopping from restaurant to restaurant for your lunch choices, you might benefit more by simply establishing structured meal patterns and stick to them as much as possible.

Women and irregular meal timing — A study done on  healthy normal weight women found that an irregular meal pattern resulted in lower postprandial energy expenditure or thermic effect of food, than a regular meal pattern….so they had a lower metabolic increase after eating and had a higher glucose response.

Lower hunger and higher fullness ratings were seen pre-meal and post-meal during the regular period

 

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/104/1/21/4633920

 

Another study where lean women who ate meals on a regular schedule had much better insulin sensitivity and improved blood triglycerides.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15220950

 

If your struggling with health and fat loss, this could be something to think about, right?!