Most of us living in this modern, fast paced world end up with some kind of shoulder pain at one point or another in our life. It seems as though it’s just part of life at this point. Fortunately, chronic shoulder pain doesn’t have to be part of our daily routine.
THe Longest Flight
As the excitement amps up for our Bali retreat the long long long flight becomes even more dreadful to think about.
That’s right - I said it. I hear you. Your mom, sister, friend, boss, SOMEBODY is killing it on KETO. Or so you think. They’re counting their carbs, limiting protein, keeping hydrated and watching pounds drop like leaves in the fall. But… does counting carbs sound familiar to you? Because it should. The reality is that diet fads have been reinventing themselves since the 1970’s via Atkins, Zone, Paleo, and now the disaster know as Keto, plus many more to boot.
Since KETO uses “science” to yield “results,” I’m going to use science to explain why you just don’t want to go there. So bear with me as we dive right into human anatomy and food biology.
Science is Cool
The world of nutrition, exercise, and disease is constantly evolving. Because of this, scientists have discovered the best nutrition and exercise protocols for preventing and treating disease. And they’re fully aware of diet fads that have the potential to seriously harm those that can endure them. Okay okay, on with it.
Humans are What
Geek out with me a minute. Humans are omnivores, which means we can survive off of just about anything. But our anatomy and physiology are closest to an herbivore, or if you want to get really technical, a frugivore. While carnivorous animals thrive on high proteins and fats, we’re on the opposite end of the spectrum. So while eating a ton of meat is all well and good for lions, polar bears, and whales, our bodies operate completely differently when processing protein, fat, carbs, essential nutrients, phytonutrients, and water.
Since our bodies are designed to live off of plants, when we build our food intake around them we feel great. But when we don’t our cells become damaged over time. In addition to cells breaking down because of the food we eat, they can also be negatively impacted by our exercise regimen, toxins in the air, and chemicals we put on our skin or in our mouth. This damage is referred to as free radical damage (r.o.s.).
Cellular Damage Assessment and Prevention
If you’re ready to rebuild your health, the first step is to assess current damage in your body. Then you can make informed decisions about food, exercise and the rest of your health and wellness routine. There are many popular ways to do this.
One way is to test for lipofuscin, a major aging and disease marker in the body. Lipofuscin is a byproduct of excessive fat and protein intake along with a high-calorie diet.
Another option is to test for protein carbonyls which also indicate aging and disease. They’re caused by oxidative stress - when your free radicals and your antioxidants are not balanced properly. Wondering what causes this imbalance? You guessed it! Excessive protein intake and a high-calorie diet.
Alternatively, you could test your main antioxidant enzymes (e.g. - superoxide dismutase and catalase).
Prescription for preventing disease, losing weight and living the highest quality of life (aka Next Steps)
While you’re thinking about how to improve your health, you’ll want to consider supplements. There are nonessential and essential antioxidants that your body needs to protect itself from free radical damage. Your body is already busy producing the nonessential ones, but it can’t make essential antioxidants. This is where supplements come in.
Buuuuut of course you know it’s not as easy as just taking a pill or powder, so here’s a multi-fold approach for preventing further damage:
New Method for Determining Nutrient Needs
Most nutritionists break down macronutrient fats, proteins and carbs into percentages. But this is way too broad because percentages don’t tell you the exact nutrients to eat. Ultimately this leaves too much room for error (does anyone remember the USDA food pyramid??), allowing for nonessential fatty acids - or what I like to call the epicenter for disease - too much high-quality protein, and a lack of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
The exact ratio of fats, proteins, and carbs you should eat depends on so many things, which is why a vague answer just doesn’t cut it. Sadly I can’t just tell you exactly what to eat as it depends on your:
Which is why if you want to get healthy you need to go see a naturopath. But in the meantime, I’ll go ahead and get you started in the right direction.
Monocots vs Dicots Explained
Remember in high school when your teacher talked about monocots and dicots? Haha, me either. I had to re-educate myself later. Thanks for letting me share the wealth now.
So - the difference between monocots and dicots. Broken down to simplest terms, monocots are flowering plants with one seed leaf. Dicots are flowering plants with two seed leaves. Some of these plants yield food while others make flowers and just do their own thing. Some food examples of monocots are onion, garlic, grains, sugarcane or easily said all of your oats, breads, pastas, etc. Popular dicot foods include all your fruits and vegetables!!!!! Potatoes, tomatoes, peanuts, blackberries, and avocados.
How KETO Uses Science To Bypass Our Genomic Blueprint
I believe Mother Nature wants us to be healthy and happy. And she wants us to feel good every day, just like we’re meant to. She also really does not want us to eat monocots.
KETO works by slowing the absorption of monocots in your small intestine by including a low glycemic food like a protein and/or fat. This is CHEATING. And like any cheater, your body will feel it over time, as high levels of protein, fat, and calories lead to accelerated cellular damage. Think advanced aging, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and so many others.
But really this is a moot point because dicots are a clear winner in micronutrition. Veggies contain far more vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients than grasses do. Without these micronutrients, our immune and cellular systems can’t protect themselves from free radical damage, lipofuscin, protein carbonyls, and tau protein.
These enemies are what cause inflammation, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. And these enemies are so prevalent in what we eat. I mean think about it - the Standard American Diet is abbreviated s.a.d. It’s no wonder we’re so obese and so sick.
Our best defense is to eat lots of fruits and veggies (15-20 servings) while minimally consuming grass, high-quality protein, caffeine and alcohol (none is best if you’re overweight, take medications, or have any disease). Of course all of that should be accompanied by lots of water - 3/4 oz. per pound of body weight. This does not include water for exercise or to replace the diuretic effect of caffeine or sparkling water.
Eating Habits of our Ancestors
Since everyone is still praising the Gods of Paleo, I’ll take a minute to visit this too. In science, we use animals to study the effects of nutrition, drugs, exercise, and toxins on their bodies. Scientists do this in hopes of learning how the human body will respond. I think it’s an extraordinary idea to see how our closest relatives, monkeys, live in the wild.
In the animal kingdom our closest ancestors are Howler and Spider monkeys. Thanks to the work of Jane Goodall and many other researchers we’ve studied the feeding habits of these amazing animals. These monkeys don’t eat monocots or meat, and instead focus on dicots while consuming a miniscule amount of nuts and eggs. This is despite eggs, nuts, and meat being widely available.
They prefer to eat the eat the end of a leaf which contains a large amount of protein. Otherwise, they mainly depend on fruits (>75%) and grubs. Their low protein diet consists of low-quality protein to defend against disease and to increase their athletic ability to survive in nature.
So if you want to feel good and perform, look and feel your best, focus on upping your dicot intake and minimizing monocots. Remember that every time we eat grass it’s a missed opportunity for a fruit or vegetable.
Ok, So What’s My Take Away?
Stop getting stressed out trying to figure out the latest diet fads. Instead, spend your precious energy focusing on the right way to eat for YOU. Get your labs done people! And in the meantime, focus on your fruits and veggies. Raw if you can, cooked if you can’t, and a combination will do just fine. And remember - dicots are your friends.
If you want to talk more science, or are feeling confused about next steps (isn’t it exhausting seeing 1,000 different BEST WAYS TO EAT and feeling like none of them are right for you??), I’m here for you. Reach out to me.
Ouch my back!
The most common pain we come across at Bare Health is back pain! Surprisingly, if you have not had a major surgery back pain is a pretty simple fix.
The majority of our clients aches and pains come from one of these similar factors:
Favorite Back Pain Relief Stretch
If you are in an situation where you back keeps going into a spasm static back is the best stretch and pain relief exercise you can put yourself in. Ideally, you need to hold this position for a minimum of 15 mins and maximum of 30 minutes. If you start to feel numbing in your tail bone or in your back it is time to get out of this stretch. This exercise is particularly good for people with back pain because it allows your spine and hips to go into a neutral position without force. It basically helps reset your back alignment by allowing tight tendons and muscles to relax and allow gravity to pull your hips and shoulders down and back.
The hip lift pre is great for releasing the glutes and hip which often cause tightness in our back. Usually if your back is in a spasm the pre-stretch is enough but you can progress this stretch by putting one foot on the wall at a 90 degree angle.
Common aches and pains such as knee pain, back pain, wrist pain, headaches and TMJ can all be mitigated if not completely resolved through our postural analysis and exercise programs. At Bare Health we will go through our posture analysis and gait analysis with you and give you a full list of exercises that will help your pain go away.
As a trainer I’m always trying to find new and clever ways to keep my clients motivated, accountable and confident. I want them to know and believe they CAN lose the weight they want to lose. And they can feel good, just the way their body’s meant to.
But for me, clients’ weight loss is just an added bonus. If it happens, great. But I’d rather shift their focus to changing their lifestyle and self-perception.
What Should They Focus On Instead?
Everyone (well most people) want to lose weight. Every model, even fitness models, the girls you look up to and think are perfect, etc.
I hate focusing training around weight loss. It’s true, I build it into my programming for high calorie burning exercises and teaching proper nutrition.
But really my training style is to build friendship. This builds trust and from there I can slowly help build confidence. Confidence is everything and women lack it massively.
I’m tired of that. Women are amazing!! They just can’t see it. So to help you ladies open your eyes to that, I’m starting a weekly blog featuring my clients. It’ll share the life of some of my clients who has truly blossomed over the past year.
We all have our hills to climb, but my client who wishes to remain anonymous, has been steep. She was in a toxic marriage for years. She found her way out only to be kicked out of her social circle. Anxiety and depression became a daily struggle.
She didn’t take this lying down. She moved forward and started a new life. She’s rocking her work life, using exercise as an outlet and is insanely funny. It’s ridiculous how funny she is!
Now that she’s in a better place, she has so much to give. And thankfully she’s turned that back on herself. She’s using her energy to work on burning weight off so her vibrance can shine through.
She’s come so far already but has a lot more work to do to reach her goals. I have no doubt that she will.
The emotional battles we all fight - learning to love yourself, finding healthy alternatives, getting over slumps and gaining confidence, all can be found in this blog. We’re working on chronicling this together, so you’ll see her journaling here as well.
So here it is, her honest journey of being in the 300's and trying to lose over 150 pounds. She’s already turned into a more positive, witty, happy, hilariously sarcastic and fit person. I really love being around her and I know you will too.
Here is the start.
Journey START - 353lbs
Current Goal by age 41 - Get under 300
Long-term Goal - 180
She is turning 41 in 7 weeks. Looking at the past year, she’s lost 32 lbs which is a huge feat for any client! So a round of applause for please!
She’s lost 42 lbs since starting her journey and is feeling so much happier and better about herself. To empower her to keep the momentum going, I had her begin this weekly journal.
If you’re thinking of going on a similar journey, get yourself a notebook, use Google Docs, or find whatever works for you. It’s such an important tool because it forces you to hold yourself accountable, but it also forces you to look at all the amazing work you’re doing. Take a minute to read through it every so often, especially if you’re having a low moment. I bet you as soon as you flip through it your view will change.
Here are the highlights from last week, interview style.
Me: What was your favorite breakfast this week?
Client: Green smoothies with almond butter and chia seeds. They’re fast and not too heavy. They help me start the day making a good choice and being nice to myself.
Me: What about lunch?
Client: Hmmm…. Probably when I pan cooked chicken breast in a smidge of olive oil and paired it with oven roasted asparagus. I like that I can make healthy food with my own hands.
Well, either that or the cheeseburger + tomatoes + avocado (no bun) I got from Habit. I’m happy that I can still eat out and make good choices.
Me: I love that too! Napa is so great about offering healthy options at restaurants. Gotta love that. So did you have a favorite dinner this week?
Client: This week I worked on my homemade spaghetti sauce. I love pasta so I still want that flavor but without all the carbs. So serving it over sautéed zucchini is fun, plus you can make it different by adding meat or keeping it vegetarian.
Me: The afternoon can be tough since it’s prime time for cravings. How did you handle snacks?
Client: Yea that’s true! This is the toughest time for me because that’s when I get to craving sweets. But it’s so easy to replace sugary foods with fruit. Why did I never before?? Rainier cherries are in season right now. I like them because they’re cheap and delicious.
Me: Ooh, I love those too! In season snacking is the best snacking.
Did you have a favorite workout moment this week? Maybe something new you learned how to do, or a moment you felt really powerful?
Client: Well working out has been hard. I’m not an exercising kind of person so I’m having to learn how to hold equipment and other basic stuff like that. I’m so glad I have you to help me with this! I would be clueless!!! This week I loved when you helped me see there is a light at the end of this tunnel and I can reach my goals. ! I really felt strong when we did that together.
Me: I’m so glad you liked that! And you felt strong because you are :) So tell me about your mood. Highs and lows for the week.
Client: Sleep’s an issue for me. When I get it, I feel hopeful. Like maybe I actually could get under 300 lbs before my birthday. When I don’t get it, I feel down. Frustrated with myself. Looking at myself. But I’m just trying to stay focused on one thing at a time. Baby steps....
As a trainer I ask my clients to say 5 things they like about themselves everytime they say something negative. The power of using our minds as a self-fulfilling prophecy is such a powerful tool! Think positive and you will be positive.
Me: Ok you know what’s next. Tell me five things you like about yourself. Go!
Client: Haha, ok ok. You’re right. I need to work on that. I guess:
Wanna see a detailed account of my clients mood, food and exercise, including the rest of her list? Click here.
Back to Tessa
Thanks for following her journey here with us. I can’t wait to tell you more as time goes on. If you’d like to follow more of my client's journey's to regaining their health on social media (in addition to here, ofc!), you can find us at @bare.health
To your health, always.
Sweet Sundays with Abrah and some tessa
Vegan Raspberry Bars & Raspberry Shoes
Abrah and I both share a love for raspberries - they are not only her favorite fruit but I honestly eat a pack of raspberries everyday....so does Matt! Also don't think for a minute that all my posts are dreamy vegan treats - I had some fitness, travel and knowledge to these posts too.
Just another girl who is trying to inspire others. Passionate about health and fitness. And a love of coffee and peanut butter.