Is Insulin Resistance Keeping Me Fat?

Ellie sent me links to a YouTube move called the Big Fat Fiasco. It’s worth watching and considering.

Essentially it talks about how, with our typical American diet, we’re moved into insulin resistance which tends to keep us fat. It does a good job of explaining how insulin is supposed to work, and why it doesn’t in so many.

For reasons I don’t understand, the movie is in five parts:

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exi7O1li_wA&feature=related
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmwNpUJUjPg
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuxDuLKz39c&NR=1
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9mQ-QZkZpk&NR=1
  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEayi6IBjZw&NR=1

Each takes about 10 minutes and most of it is pretty interesting

Don’t expect any solution here, which is a disappointment to say the least. If Tom Naughton, the film’s producer, is right, the answer would be reversing the diet induced insulin resistance. I know that I feel that there has to be some other reason I have so much trouble losing weight than being a dishonest slob about what and how much I eat.

Am I insulin resistant? I think there’s a fair chance I am.

Is it reversible? I sure hope so. I’ve only made a cursory search for information and haven’t found anything I consider definitive or even very encouraging. The one constant is that it can take months and months to reverse the resistance if it’s even possible to do.

I absolutely believe the body will heal itself if I give it the right ingredients, including my own attitude as well as food, exercise, etc.

How low do my carbs have to be? How little sugar (and corn syrup) do I have to go? I don’t know yet. I’m on the hunt for information I can use.

Do you know anything about insulin resistance? I need all the help I can get.

Posted in Anne's Journey | Leave a comment

Will the Truth Really Set You Free?

I think so. But more importantly, the untruths, the mis-information, the lack of information and the damned lies by special interests will bind you into a prison of poor health, poor function and just not feeling good!

This whole thing, then, is about uncovering truth. I accept that it’s sometimes elusive. I accept that it’s sometimes embryonic.   But let’s find out what difference a good diet can make (any? none?) and oh, by the way, what the heck is a good diet?

So Here’s a Big Fat Controversy 

That low fat diet that your doctor told you to go on to lose weight and lower cholesterol? It made you fatter, raised your triglycerices and “bad” cholesterol. Finally, the word is starting to get out there in the mainstyream media. See this article in the Huffington Post and start watching as more and more people report the low fat diet was a crock! Saturated fat is what we were designed to eat, not vegetable oil or (gasp) trans fat (a franken food if there ever was one.)

Here’s the article! 

See, it’s NOT just me talking about these wild ideas!

Although you may not hear about alternatives much from mainstream media, or from doctors and nutritionists, there is a huge underground community of people getting acquainted with the ideas. There are hundreds if not thousands of doctors and scientists who are now on the bandwagon.

For the most part, the people  you’ll hear from about wellness from are those who tend (like me) to question authority, especially when authority doesn’t seem to be helping. I hesitate to say–but it seems true–that they are less concerned with profit motives than with seeing good results. If your doctor never sees you for more than five minutes, how can he or she possibly talk about diet and nutrition? They are time intensive subjects.   Nor did he or she get much information about nutrition in school.  And the mainstream views hold sway anyway,  because…”everybody knows saturated fat is bad for you.” and everybody knows “cholesterol causes heart disease.”

Well, everybody doesn’t! More and more professionals and ordinary people are questioning what everybody knows. I talk about this stuff, I write about this stuff. I reach a few people, but there are experts out there who are reaching people in large numbers now. Below are some short, interesting samples from you tube, that are definitely worth taking a look at!

To your good health!

sugar & starch

cholesterol and heart disease   

big fat lies

cholesterol myth

cholesterol myth

modern “health care”

paleo in a nutshell

Watch! We’re exploring and discovering!

Posted in Ellie's Journey, Research, Weight Loss, cholesterol | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What’s most important today?

I got started on the subject of exercise.  It is a huge subject, just as is nutrition.  The book I’ve been working on for the last year is more or less done—except for the chapter on exercise.  I need to do a lot more noting down of studies, referencing researchers and “real” experts (versus the “mainstream” experts).  Why?  Because it turns out mainstream exercise gurus have got it as wrong as mainstream nutritionists.  So to give you the super duper cliff notes:  You do not need near as much exercise as they told you, but it needs to be a whole lot more vigorous.

All this by way of saying exercise is another huge topic and right now—today—I’m not sure it’s the most important thing to discuss.  I’ll come  back to this in the near future. 

In chatting with friends, blog followers, family and friends, what I am finding is that chronic inflammation is rampant not only among seniors and baby boomers (my peers) but among the much younger crowd, too.  The difference is in degree, not in cause or the amount of misery it causes.

chronic inflammation means your cells are on fire

For me, I had debilitating arthritis that led to four joint replacements, an iffy spinal column, hurting thumbs and neck most of the time.  For my granddaughter who was just here for a visit, it was a two-month-old, debilitating rash that had her scratching arms, legs and chest until she made scabs in places. 

“Guess I better go see the dermatologist,” she said.

 Over the course of the visit we had talked about diet.  And of course, while here she ate no sugar no grains, and lots of animal products. 

“What if your rash is just a symptom of inflammation because of your diet?” I asked her.  “Would you be willing to try a little experiment?”

 And since she was, we began right then with 8 fish oil capsules.  You see, dietary changes toward less inflammation take a while to put into effect, but fish oil (Omega 3) fatty acids, make anti-inflammatory eicosanoids—chemicals that mediate how much inflammation you experience—right away.

Within 12 hours, my granddaughter’s rash was less itchy.  Within 24 hours it had all but disappeared.  Oh, and by the way, she found her dry skin suddenly wasn’t so dry!  At the ripe old age of 19, inflammation was already causing her problems.  And that was only the obvious sign of inflammation.  We know that over time it causes structural damage and wrecks biochemical havoc on body systems. 

 The body is remarkably flexible in the face of assaults on its integrity.  It tries to maintain health and function by prioritizing what’s important in the face of non-optimal nutrition and lifestyle.  My joints lasted me till I was about 55 before they actually laid me low.  But my diet was “eating away” at them with chronic inflammatory processes for 55 years.  By reversing inflammation now, I might be able to reverse and prevent other systems getting compromised.  And for younger people, maybe they’ll have vibrant, vigorous vitality indefinitely!

 All disease processes begin with inflammation.  But then it gets complicated as the body tries to heal in the face of damage caused by its own immune system.  And each person is different in what gets damaged or needs healing.   So let me give you another example. 

Another younger person, age 40, suffering for nearly 20 years with fibromyalgia.  Well, it turns out an anti-inflammatory diet reduces  the pain.  The other piece is that low thyroid plays a role in fibromyalgia.  So is it inflammatory or is it thyroid disease?  Hard to separate out this kind of question—and clearly your typical doctor isn’t too good at it.  Most just prescribe some drugs for any ailment, never looking at where the symptoms are coming from.  Even in treating with thyroid hormones (which is not what typical doctors do anyway) if the underlying inflammation that probably caused the thyroid dysfunction in the first place isn’t addressed, success is not likely.  But when inflammation is addressed, maybe the endocrine system can even repair itself.  It’s certainly worth a try.  Before pharmaceuticals which just add another layer of assault on the body.

If you have anything going on in your health other than feeling absolutely wonderful absolutely all the time, take a look at some information about chronic inflammation.  It might make you feel a whole lot better and it even might just save your life!

 Next time I’m going to talk about snacks and snacking –all without grains, of course!

Posted in Ellie's Journey, inflammation, stories | 1 Comment

What I’ve Been Doing Hasn’t Worked

The other day, ignoring the scale, but noticing how tight my pants have gotten, I had to admit that what I’ve been doing hasn’t really worked. If you read our about page you’ll see that I didn’t have a weight problem as a kid or a young adult. It wasn’t until I was well into middle age that the weight began to creep in, or on. And it wasn’t until I quit smoking, now 3 years and 3 months ago (but who is counting?) that I picked up the extra 35-40 pounds that puts me at a surprisingly persistent 178 or so.

weight loss confusionI’ve tried several things, including WeightWatchers, which did teach me some portion control concepts. I also spent about six months in Over Eaters Anonymous. I’m still not sure why that didn’t work since 12 Step groups have worked for me in several other areas of my life. I’ve also tried using smaller plates, consciously limiting what I eat, and who knows what else. I seem to be stuck.

On the other hand, I have learned that wheat and grains make my breathing worse and, mostly, have learned to live wheat/grain free. I’ve also been working with my chiropractor on some nutritional stuff. Like Ellie, he believes in lots of fish oil. In other words, although I haven’t lost the weight I want to lose I am better off than I was before.

And yesterday I got back to the gym. My thought right now is to focus on the exercise and sit with whatever is going on with my eating.

I’m more Buddhist than anything else and currently practicing in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Like most Zen teacher he suggests sitting or meditating on our problems in a way that allows us to truly accept them. So that’s what I’m doing about my eating. I’m also starting to practice mindful eating, which amounts to stopping with every bite and actually experiencing it.

I have no idea what the result of this might be – well, that’s not true. I know that the more mindful I am about anything the better I function. Does that include weight loss? I have no idea.

I do know I need a break from worrying about every bite I take, particularly since I’m not getting the results I want.

I’ll keep you posted on this part of my journey.

Love and blessings,

Anne Wayman

Posted in Anne's Journey, Weight Loss | Leave a comment

Dr. Cooper’s Unfortunate Legacy

Dr. Kenneth Cooper invented the term aerobics or cardio.  That was in 1968.  Ten years ago he wrote another book and decided in this one that cardio wasn’t all that great for fitness without some weight training  Actually, more recent research tells us something even more important.

Your heart and lungs can’t tell where the effort is coming from.  They know only that mechanical work is being done and they have to respond.  Dr. Cooper landed sorta in the middle of the continuum, when in his more recent book he stated that it wasn’t the two miles that mattered so much to the runner, but how fast he ran them.  So he discovered that the guy running the two miles in 13 ½ minutes was more fit than the one running the 2 miles in 20 minutes.  But he didn’t take that to its logical conclusion by finding out where they got the “fittest”results. 

Now, we’re talking about a quality called intensity.  Over a decade ago when I was studying to pass a personal trainer certification, we knew that something called high intensity interval training (HIIT) was best for a number of things—fitness and losing weight for two.  What that means is that whatever the activity, you do it vigorously, at high intensity until you can’t do it anymore.  Muscle failure.  When anyone in fitness talks about intensity, that’s what it means.  Till the muscle can’t work.  The ‘interval’ in that acronym means then you rest and do it again. Continue reading

Posted in Exercise | Leave a comment

Exercise! Darn It!

Rats!

Ellie’s talking about exercise!

Of course she is. She was once my trainer. That’s how we met. Even back then she was suggesting less cardio than many. Her emphasis was on weights and stretching. Exactly what she’s talking about today. Or close.

And I know she’s right.

When I get to the gym and maybe do a bit of rowing – like 10 minutes max mostly because I love it. Then do some weights – and some stretches, I feel better, particularly when I do that at least three days a week.

Ah, but the getting there! I’m awful. Or typical.

Sure, I’ve been sick which is a darn good excuse. When an animal is sick it doesn’t do a whole lot of running around. Neither do I, good animal that I am sometimes. I’ve given myself the rest of this week off, and then, the plan is, back to the gym.

I’m also waiting for a bit of sun to dry out the canyon I live on – a walk will be in order then.

Who said: Live well and propser?

Anne Wayman

Posted in Anne's Journey, Exercise | Leave a comment

What About Exercise??

Today I start a topic about exercise (after last time’s delay for the article that so incensed me about fat, and cholesterol.)  While there are a few who really love exercise, for most of us it is at best a chore and at worst, a pain in the behind!

Guess what!  Just as in nutrition and diet, there is information we need to re-evaluate.  Now, that said, I’m a member of this industry that has thrived on the old information so I am testing out the new information on myself before I’ll absolutely jump on the bandwagon.  But what new info we’re going to talk about for exercise has always been in the literature, just not with so much theory and backing as there is now.  So, here’s the story on the theory.

If we look at how humans lived as hunters and gatherers, before the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago (like we did with nutrition) what do we discover about how they moved around (exercise)?  Well, they didn’t run for 26 miles (marathons), for an hour every day or even for 20 minutes.  They didn’t lift heavy things for an hour a day.  They didn’t have Pilates or yoga or kettle balls or stationery bikes or jazzercise or Zumba. 

For our early ancestors (whose body plan and physiology we still inherit) there was no concept of exercise.  The lifestyle they lived was for survival and included (as the designation implies) hunting and gathering.  Hunting involved tracking edible meat on the hoof or wing (walking).  It was not usually long distance walking because if the antelope got too far away, they moved camp.  But what hunting did involve was eventually a bit of dashing about, then hacking up the kill and lifting and carrying it back to camp (heavy lifting and weight bearing load).

Gathering also involved walking and bending and digging and pulling, and reaching and turning over rocks and maybe some chasing of small things (like rabbits and frogs, insects  and turtles) and then carrying it all back to camp.  It probably also involved lifting oneself into the trees for edibles.

Preparing and moving a camp may have involved the heaviest work.  And occasionally this Paleolithic ancestor might have needed to sprint to safety when he was stalked or chased by a predator.  But what the anthropologists who study these historical societies tell us was that much of their lives revolved around play and social interactions.  So in terms of physical activity, what we were designed for was general low key activity, some now-and-then heavy lifting, occasional sprints to safety and plenty of rest.  Nowhere in his experience was there anything resembling the kinds of exercise that are common in our culture today.  No running for an hour.  No climbing stairs for 20 minutes.  None of this stuff we commonly do called “cardio.”  As Mark Sisson of the Primal Blueprint calls it—chronic cardio.   We’re not designed for it. 

 How many runners do you know?  How many of them have had injuries—sprains, shin splints, pulled muscles or tendon/ligament damage?  How many people doing the hours of strenuous exercise every week get injured by what they do?  Here’s the thing to pay attention to.  In a Paleolithic ancestor, an injury meant almost certain death because then he could NOT hunt and gather or escape predators!!  Injuries were not adaptive because they curtailed survival!  So the current exercise industry, which encourages you to join a gym, show up 3-5 times a week, put in your hour of heavy work, might be just plain wrong!  The Biggest Looser and that ilk are perpetuating the myth.  Your friendly neighborhood personal trainer might be a well meaning person with bad information and a conflict of interest!

That’s the theory.  With nothing more to go on, we’d have to say, “Conventional wisdom can’t be wrong!  More exercise has to be better!”  Right?  Wrong!  And next time I am going to talk about the science that shows it’s wrong and the movement that’s growing around a safe, healthy and effective way to exercise.

 

 
Posted in Exercise, Research | 1 Comment

Ye Gods – Mysterious Fatigue and Who Knows What

What in the world occasionally goes wrong with us? I don’t mean a major illness like cancer or the plague or cholera. Nor do I mean the miserable but identifiable cold.

No, I’m talking about those times when for whatever reason we’re not quite sick enough to go to the doctor yet feel tired and awful, unable to work.

I’ve just come through a period like that.

Maybe the cold I had a couple of weeks ago morphed into something else.

Maybe I was having a bout of depression.

Perhaps it was an allergy.

Who knows.

Here’s what I did:

  • 6-8 capsules of fish oil a day – and I’m now using salmon oil because the caps apparently don’t have soy. Ellie and my chiropractor swear the good omegas help with depression. Plus inflammation. I guess Ellie would say depression is inflammation.
  • 400 mg. of Sam-e which I know can break up my depression.
  • Albaplex 0925 – my chiropractors recommendation for my allergies – he says it will heal them as well as stopping the drip. We’ll see.
  • St John’s Wort – IMT – my chiropractors recommendation for depression.
  • Lots and lots of sleep. Then even more sleep. In other words, I’ve listened to what my body seems to want.

Well, yesterday I was pretty sure I’d live. Today I’m even better, although not back 100%.

No clue what really was wrong or if it’s really gone. But it’s sure nice to feel better. At this rate I might make it to the gym, or at least outside for a walk in a day or two.

Love and blessings,

Anne Wayman

Posted in Anne's Journey | Leave a comment

Tackling Exercise—Oops, back to Cholesterol

Next time.  I was going to start talking about exercise because there’s as much misinformation about it as there is about other health stuff.  But this morning when I woke up, I had this appalling article in my inbox,   “Fats that Fight Cholesterol.”  http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/health_articles.asp?id=799

This is why Americans are confused about health and not very healthy!  What a load of REALLY bad information.  Frankly, don’t bother to read the article…I’ll summarize their recommendations.

1.  Cholesterol is bad and you must lower cholesterol.

            The most recent (and even the old) research does NOT indicate cholesterol is bad.  In their article they even tell you that 80% of cholesterol is made by your body!  You have four different body systems that MAKE cholesterol.  It is found in the cell membrane of every cell in your body and your brain is largely cholesterol.

HOW CAN CHOLESTEROL BE A BAD THING?  Getting cholesterol too low increases cancer deaths.   

2.  The types of fat you eat affect your level of cholesterol. 

          Specifically they say that eating saturated fat raises cholesterol levels.  WRONG!  This is the cholesterol hypothesis that has been thoroughly

vegetable oil or butter????

 debunked as having been developed through selectively including and excluding studies that either “proved” or disproved the hypothesis and then perpetuated by political funding.  Unfortunately, it was taught to doctors in medical school and to nutritionists as truth.  What affects the levels of cholesterol are the kind and amount of carbohydrates you eat.

3.  Margarines are healthy when made from certain fats.

          NO!  Vegetable oils are never better than animal fats.  Our biology is designed (by several millions of years) to process animal fats—not vegetable fats.  Use butter and lard.

 4.  Omega 3 fatty acids are heart healthy.

           Finally she said something accurate—unfortunately, she then included soy bean oil as a good source of Omega 3’s.  It’s got 7+ times more Omega 6 than Omega 3’s and has other problems besides (like it’s all GMO and contains oodles of lectins).

5.  Saturated Fat is Unhealthy.

           Dead wrong!  No study EVER has proved this load of crap but it gets passed on over and over as though it’s true.  Many hunter gatherer societies around the world live on diets VERY high in animalproteins and  fats—some entirely lacking carbohydrates— and have no disease until they start eating sugar and grains.  Duh!

 6.  Trans fat (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) is the unhealthiest fat of all. 

           The only thing she got right!  Avoid all prepared, packaged, baked foods and read labels.  This one is industrial poison!

Sorry if it sounds like I’m ranting.  It’s only because I am.  When even well meaning people pass on information that makes you sicker, I tend to get on my high horse!  Reader beware.  Do your own research and at least get information about the minority reports.  They’re cropping up everywhere because mainstream (like the above article) is killing us! 

Eat like a hunter-gatherer and you can’t go wrong!  Eat like the “experts” and you may have problems.

Posted in Ellie's Journey, Research, cholesterol | Tagged | Leave a comment

Not Sure What To Do About My Secret Eating

dietOkay, so I’ve gone low carb and I’ve elminated wheat and other grains. It was starting not only to help my breathing, but I was losing weight.

Then I started eating potato chips at night. Geeze!

Not good. Not good for weight loss. In fact, I’ve gained the weight back – all of it. Not good  for my health, etc. etc. etc. I can feel the weight gain in additional breathing effort. My bras are again too tight and so are my jeans. And I still want potato chips.

I have yet to find a real solution or letting go of the oral compulsion that I satisfied for so many years with smoking. I haven’t had any nicotine for over three years now and I certainly don’t want to smoke. That’s no longer the craving.

The craving, the obsession, is for something in my mouth, something to chew on, to crunch on. Jerky can work, but recently I’ve wanted potato chips.

It goes something like this:

As the day winds down I’m tired. Somehow that fatigue reduces or eliminates any real will power I have.

It’s nuts.

Even when, in the evening I know it’s nuts I do it anyway. It is like an addiction and I hate that thought.

I had a no-eating-in-bed rule going for several months. Hmmm. I’d lost track of that. Maybe I can re-institute it.

Do you have a suggestion for me?

Anne Wayman

Posted in Anne's Journey | 2 Comments