Metabolic Typing

Mixed salad leaves with candied bacon, crouton...

What is “Metabolic Typing”?

Honestly, this is just a fancy way of categorizing the way we eat.  Ever wonder why there seems to be so many different diets out there that people SWEAR by.  There are vegans.  There are paleo people.  There are starch eaters.  There are low-carbers.  They all think that their way is best.  Are they all right?  Are they all wrong?  What is going on here?  Enter Metabolic Typing.

METABOLIC TYPING:  In my own words, metabolic typing is a dietary theory that leaves room for differences in genetics, ancestry, climate, age, and location.  We come from different areas of the planet.  Our ancestors ate different things.  Humans have traveled the world and filled the globe.  We are all human, yes?  Yes, but we all come from different places.  We are in different phases of life and do different activities.  Trying to fit EVERYBODY into the same box just seems a little arrogant and crazy right?  Ultimately, there are infinite numbers of metabolic types because we are ALL different and unique.  For the sake of sanity, most people break down the types into three main categories.  Let’s take a quick peak and give a few tips on how to succeed as each one.  Keep in mind that your metabolic type can and often does change with the seasons, age, activity levels, and so forth.  Listening to your body and eating real food is always a good guide.

PROTEIN TYPE:  This is the realm of the “modern paleo” diet trend.  Lot’s of meat and fat.  Regardless of what vegetarians or “vegans” tell you, some of our genes require meat and fat to do well.  How much?  It depends on the person.  Protein types are usually people who feel best having some sort of animal protein a few times a day.  They usually crave dark meat, rich meats, eggs, butter, fat, full fat cheese, etc.  Nuts are often sought after as a snack.  This person is usually inclined towards strength-training and doesn’t do quite as well with cardio exercise.  They need a bit more sleep than most to feel good.  What gets this type into trouble?  Overeating.  Especially on crappy food.  These include all pasteurized dairy products, grilled or heavy cooked protein foods, fried eggs, too much bacon or preserved meats, roasted nuts, etc.  How to balance this type?  Focus on QUALITY over QUANTITY first.  Get yourself good quality, grass-fed meats, fish, fats, and eggs.  If you kilter towards animal foods, go with raw cod liver oil, raw butter, raw or lightly cooked eggs, rare fish and other meats, bone marrow, etc.  If you kilter towards plant foods (most don’t), go for the avocados, olives, coconuts, raw nuts, etc.  Another pitfall for this type is eating too many carbs or sugar.  They will usually crash if eating a lot of sugar by itself.  An example would be drinking a LARGE glass of orange juice first thing in the morning without anything else in your stomach.  People naturally slide more towards the protein type on the scale in the winter months.

MIXED TYPE:  Ah, the mixed type.  These are the “middle-of-the-road” people.  They are usually the least picky of eaters.  They can get by on pretty much everything as long as it is fresh, real food.  Cravings will shift often.  Sometimes we want some juicy rare lamb.  Sometimes we want a big bowl of vegetables or some fresh juice.  Maybe I didn’t want any fat for lunch, but boy does it sound good at dinnertime.  Mixed types are exactly how we sound.  Everything in moderation right?  The best foods for you?  Fresh fruits and vegetables as they feel right.  Some fresh juice in the morning maybe.  Moderate amounts of animal foods.  You may find a super heavy breakfast will weigh you down.  For example, a mixed type usually will do better with a lighter breakfast, as opposed to a big plate of eggs and sausage links.  The mix between preferences for animal and plant foods usually is mixed as well.  Sometimes animal fat does the trick.  Sometimes plant fat hits the spot.  Keep a wide variety of foods around and choose what feels best at the time.  This type usually likes some bodyweight exercise as well as cardio.  Problems?  It is easy to go off-balance.  Sometimes we eat too much protein and fat and get bogged down.  Sometimes we eat like the carb type and get jittery or anxious.  This all has to do with learning your own bodies preferences.  As usual, things change with the seasons and activity levels.

CARB TYPE:  The carb type eh?  This is usually where vegetarians lie on the scale.  Personally, I believe that most people need SOME high-quality animal products to be healthy long-term.  There are few people who do well in a cold climate on a carb diet.  My guess?  Most CARBS and heavy sugar fruits grow in tropical climates.  Some of us evolved in those regions.  Others evolved in colder regions.  So what are the characteristics of the carb-type?  A little hyper.  Quick to move.  Quick to think.  Usually favors cardio exercise.  These people often get cold easily in the winter, but LOVE the summer months.  Sometimes they are mixed types in disguise.  (If I eat a ton of sugar I will be very FAST for a while also.)  The difference?  This type of thing sustains the carb-type during the day.  What are the best foods for carb types?  Primarily fruits and vegetables.  Relatively little meat and fat here.  These types usually prefer plant sources for the bulk of their protein and fat.  Maybe a few eggs or some white fish or chicken here and there.  An example of a BAD meal for the carb-type would be a giant breakfast with a lot of rich meat, butter, bacon, or fatty fish.  Being a carb-type is NOT an excuse to go eat a bunch of “junk-food.”  Just as the protein type has to be wary of bad fats and overcooked proteins, the carb-type needs to watch it with the processed starches and sugars.  Things like potato and corn chips.  Granola.  Cereals.  Sweets.  “Healthy junk.”  Gluten, processed foods, and sugar are best avoided by everyone.

So those are the types guys and girls.  As a general guideline, you will slide more towards a protein type in the winter and when you are doing strength training, or are under stress.  You will usually slide towards the carb type in the summer months, doing a lot of mental-activity, and doing more cardio exercise.  Don’t “LOCK” yourself into any one category.  We change just as the seasons change.  Let your body be your guide.  Metabolic typing can be a good system to help you figure out where you are on the scale and adjust accordingly.  Happy hunting =)


-JOE

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ILEOCECAL VALVE?

English: A Globe Valve. The valve body is colo...

HUH?

I seem to be on a digestive kick guys.  What is the ileocecal valve?  Like hiatal hernia problems, this little guy goes relatively unrecognized.  His importance plays a big factor in our health.  Most people haven’t heard of the ileocecal valve before.  So what is it?  

ILEOCECAL VALVE:  This “valve” is a small, golf ball sized part of our lower digestive anatomy.  It connects our small intestines to our large intestines.  The point of this valve?  To keep the sewage from the large intestines separate from the stuff happening in the small intestines.  With unhealthy lifestyle choices this valve can get stuck open or closed.  This is a problem folks.  What do you get?  You can have sewage flowing into the area you are supposed to be absorbing your food.  You can also have waste not properly able to flow out.  Let’s look at a few reasons the valve gets stuck and what we can do to fix it.

CAUSES:  The culprits always seem to be the same don’t they.  These are a little different, yet still similar.  Processed foods are among the worst.  Gluten, pasteurized dairy, improperly prepared grains and cereals, sugar, etc.  Roughage can also irritate this valve.  Too much raw salads, raw carrots, or under-ripe  fruit can cause this valve to spasm a bit as well.  EXERCISE, or lack thereof is a huge issue as well.  Our systems are all PUMPS.  They are designed to be PUMPED!  Digestive system, detox system, circulatory system, lymph, etc.  Most of these systems have their own pumps.  But they are designed to have help.  Exercise stimulates digestion big time.  Mixing it up is always a good idea.  Bicycling may be especially good for this problem.  Stress is a big one too.  When we are stressed, we don’t digest our food properly.  What does this lead to?  A “back-up” in our bodies.  Traffic jams.  This is no good.  We want to be relaxed and well rested when we eat.  Ultimately, removing the sources of your stress is a big help with almost all problems in the body.  So what can we do about this issue?  There are a few simple steps.

SOLUTIONS:  The first solution is to remove the causes.  Clean up the diet.  Eliminate the roughage foods for a little bit.  Focus on soft stuff.  Try eliminating gluten, most grains, hard veggies, and irritating spices like hot peppers, etc.  Going off  these things for a few weeks can help calm this valve down.  Exercising more regularly, deep breathing, sleeping more, and getting rid of stress all will do wonders.  As with the hiatal hernia, sometimes our parts like a little help to regain proper functioning.  There are several techniques that you can do on yourself that help get this little guy back up and running.  There is another valve on the other side called the “Houston’s valve.”  The principle is the same.  Let’s look at how to find these valves and I will post a short video on massaging these spots.

LOCATION:  The best way to locate your ileocecal valve is to imagine a line connecting your belly button to the front of your hipbone.  Find the midpoint of that line with your fingers.  Next, go down an inch or two until you find a small, tender spot.  This is likely your ileocecal valve.  Most people have soreness or tenderness in this area.  The same is true of the Houston Valve.  So let’s look at a quick clip on how to fix this up.  Keeping your digestive system and all of its parts happy and healthy is a great defense against all types of ailments.  Let’s get the system back up and running on all 8 =)

VALVE CLOSING

-JOE

FOOD COMBINING.

Brown bear (Ursus arctos) feeding on salmon, t...

FOOD COMBINING.  What is that?

Food combining is an ancient technique.  It is really pretty simple.  How do we get healthy?  We follow nature.  We follow what our ancestors did for thousands of years.  Enter food combining.  The “Modern Paleo” movement needs this one big time =)  Mixing walnuts, carrots, eggs, oil, “nut flour,” maple syrup, raw honey, and butter may TASTE DELICIOUS. The principle is that different foods take different times to digest and require separate digestive processes than others.  For example; a potato takes a different type of digestive enzymes than a steak.  A piece of fruit is different from either of them. Let’s look at a typical “meal” at Olive Garden.  I have nothing against Olive Garden.  It is delicious in fact.  Following are some meals other animals or our ancestors may have eaten. 

OLIVE GARDEN FOOD COMBINING:  Salad, bread sticks, and soup for appetizers.  A course of baked salmon with bruschetta bread.  Finished off by a desert tart made with fruit.  All the while slugging down water, coke, or tea.

Is this a normal way to eat?  Is it feasting and is it fun?  Sure it is.  The point here is not to remove all our days of extravagance.  It is to improve our health over time by following these simple guidelines “most of the time.”  So what are these guidelines?  What is the best way to eat for energy, digestion, and health?  We are all different.  We have different digestive strengths and weaknesses.  Things are also determined by the health of our bodies.  There are some simple rules that everybody can achieve success with.  Let’s take a look.  This is in order of time it takes to digest.

WATER/JUICE:  There really is no digestion time here.  How quickly can your body absorb the liquid?  Usually about fifteen minutes or so with water.  You may give yourself a little extra time with juice.  Drinking liquids fifteen minutes before meals is great.  Drinking a lot WITH your meals is not so great.  A lot of liquid dilutes your own digestive enzymes and makes it harder to assimilate your food.

FRUIT:  This is probably the biggest one.  Fruit digests very quickly.  In a healthy body maybe half an hour to an hour.  Especially the good kind.  Juicy, plump, and soft.  So what happens when we eat fruit after other things?  It ferments.  It gets slowed down.  All the sugar stays behind.  It is generally best to eat fruit early in the day before we have eaten too much.  Eating fruit 2-3 hours after a meal is ok too.  The main idea?  Have an empty stomach with fruit.  I will admit this guideline makes me sad because this man loves trail mix =)

PROTEIN/STARCH:  Protein requires an acidic medium to break down.  Heavy carbohydrates a different one.  What is the result?  Unfortunately, our favorite foods go out the window.  Steak and potatoes.  Burgers and fries.  Pizza.  Wings and beer.  Mixing these types of food is generally not a great idea.  Protein is fine to eat with non-starchy vegetables.  Things like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, summer squash, etc.  Stewing foods or crock-pot meals tend to blend the lines here.  “The foods tend to work out their differences in the pot,” was a line from a book “Healing With Whole Foods.”  This is why crock-pot   meals are so tasty =)  Starches mix well with non-starchy vegetables and fats as well.  Soups are a great way eat most things together.

MONO-MEALS?:  What is a mono-meal you say?  Basically, just what it sounds like.  A mono-meal is eating one thing for a meal.  This is imitating nature at it’s best.  Look around.  All the other animals tend to eat ONE thing at a time.  There are no three-course dishes out there unfortunately.  This is something to be eased into.  Mono-meals is a completely different style of eating than most of us are accustomed to.  So what are some examples of mono-meals?  A bowl of blueberries.  An avocado.  1/3 pound of juicy lamb.  A big bowl of broccoli, zucchini, or peas.  Are mono-meals always needed?  I think it is a great thing to ease into.  Often times, mixing foods can actually HELP digestion.  What are some examples of this?  Adding healthy fats or broth with cooked meats will aid in digestion.  Using herbs with meals will often help as well.  Adding healthy fat to vegetables is great.

So in the end, we are all different.  We are working with different equipment.  The best analogy?  Think of your body as a conveyor belt.  What happens when something quick-moving gets stuck behind something slow-moving?  Traffic jams result.  Try to let your workers process the food you just ate before moving on to something else.  They need different “tools” for different jobs.  The way we eat in this country puts enormous stress on the entire person.  Let’s make our jobs a little easier and start implementing FOOD-COMBINING into our lives.  Oh, and don’t forget to break the rules every now and then =)

-JOE

 

 

INDIGESTION?

BK Meal

What about INDIGESTION?  Does it happen to everybody?  Do we even know what it means?  Maybe it is something most of us experience, yet view as a normal part of life.  Does it sound normal to you?  INDIGESTION?

I would wager to say that it is NOT normal.  It is not something to be experienced on a night out with the guys or date night with the girls.  What does indigestion really mean?  Well, it means what it sounds like.  Your digestion is not properly digesting, assimilating, and eliminating your food.  We can run into trouble at every step, but it really is all the same.  Where your system is weakest is where the chain will tend to break down.  So what is going on here?  Why do we “in-digest” and how can we fix it the natural way?

CAUSES:  We need to look at the causes of indigestion first.  Most of these aren’t too hard to guess on, but some are a little harder to avoid than others.  FOOD is obviously the primary culprit here.  Simple put?  WE EAT THINGS WE WEREN’T DESIGNED TO EAT!  So that puts us at a disadvantage already.  What are the worst offenders?  As usual; gluten, pasteurized dairy, processed foods, sugars, most quick-prep grains, overcooked food, “instant-food,” etc.  Surprisingly, high-fiber vegetables and fruit can be offensive as well.  Eating large amounts of high-cellulose salads, raw veggies, and unripe fruit can cause problems for people as well.  Add on to this the sheer BULK of food we eat at one time.  We often eat gigantic portions of food.  Usually we eat them in horrible combinations as well.  Do we really think a burger, fruit salad, french fries with cheese, and a large coke is a good thing?  You can add stress to the list of causes as well.  Eating while anxious, stressed, in a hurry, or emotional can all cause indigestion.  So what can we realistically do about all of this?  There are a few simple remedies that will keep indigestion at bay and keep you free from OTC medications.

DIET:  As usual, the diet is the biggest factor for most of us.  Cut out the offensive foods.  Eat smaller portions more frequently.  If roughage veggies and fruits bother you; don’t eat too much of them.  Juicers and blenders are great here as well.  Try to follow good food combining.  This is a post in itself (maybe tomorrow), but there are some easy things to remember.  Eat fruit alone on an empty stomach.  Fruit digests quick and will ferment and produce gas if it is eaten after a major meal.  Don’t mix heavy starches and proteins together at the same meal.  Unfortunately this cuts out most people’s favorites.  Mashed potatoes and steak.  Burgers and fries.  Pizza.  The list goes on.  Those are the biggies.

STRESS:  Figure out where your stress is coming from and try to eliminate it.  Don’t watch upsetting news or stimulating movies while eating.  Don’t argue with your spouse or children.  Try to create relaxed mealtimes.  Having family time and blessing your food is a great habit to get into.  If possible, don’t rush yourself.  How are you supposed to digest anything well when you are already somewhere else in your mind?  Plan ahead, cook in bulk, etc.  Do what you need to do to be able to have relaxed, pleasant mealtimes.

CLEANSE:  For most of us; some form of cleansing will be necessary to completely fix the problem.  Why is the diet not good enough?  Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn’t.  How clean are you willing to go?  The problem is that most of us have YEARS of bad habits behind us.  Think of adding up all the cereals, the cheese, the bread and pasta, the pizza, etc.  You get the idea.  So you end up with a big job on your hands.  Cleansing can speed up the process for most of us.  Simple things like herbs can really help.

So there you have it.  INDIGESTION.  As usual, eliminating the causes is the most important step.  The body will always heal itself when given the opportunity =)

-JOE

Be Careful with PALEO

Mmm... Cajun recipe sausage and eggs

 

“What can I get for you today?”

 

 “Yes, can I please have the well-done burger fried in vegetable oil with cheese?”  “Skip the bread though, I’m on a PALEO diet.”

 

Be careful with PALEO guys.  What is “paleo” anyways?  It is everywhere today.  Eat a paleo diet.  Well, what does that exactly mean?  Is it an excuse to eat fried chicken wings, bacon, sausages, lunchmeat, and cheese all day?  I think too many people get sucked into the paleo bandwagon without really understanding what it means.  Do I agree that we should all be eating a diet like that of our ancestors?  Absolutely.  Do I think that most modern paleo eaters eat a diet like that of our ancestors?  Absolutely not.  This bothers me sometimes as some people get sucked into believing they are eating a healthy diet.  To keep this short today, I will give a little list of traditional foods versus “modern paleo” foods.

 

TRADITIONAL:  raw or lightly cooked eggs with a little raw olive oil.  Crock-pot or slow cooked lamb and vegetables.  Raw dehydrated nuts and seeds.  Fresh or frozen fruit.  Fresh pressed juices.  Fermented cod-liver oil.  Fresh raw or cooked vegetables.  Raw dairy, cream, kefir, and butter.

 

MODERN PALEO: eggs fried in pasteurized butter. Fried steak in fried olive oil.  Roasted almond butter with maple syrup and vegetable oil.  Pasteurized fruit with added sugar.  Pasteurized fruit and vegetable juice.  High-heated fish oil “capsules”. Fried vegetable “chips” made from corn, sweet potatoes,etc.  Pasteurized yoghurt and cheeses.

 

The list goes on and on but you get the idea.  With this “paleo movement,” a lot of us got sucked into thinking some of the “junk-food” in our modern supermarkets and restaurants were healthy for us.  Let’s be careful with this bandwagon.  Let’s not let the “modern paleo” diet catch on for too long.  Is it fine for treats and cheat days?  Sure.  But let’s not pretend it is a healthy diet.  Junk food is still junk food, even if it is PALEO.  Let’s make our ancestors proud =)

 

-Joe

 

BUILDING Vs. CLEANSING?

The Cleansing (novel)

 

Weed and feed guys.  Building and cleansing.  These are both cycles that our bodies go through.  We go through them on a daily basis.  We go through them on a weekly basis.  We go through them on a yearly or seasonal basis.  In nature these cycles tend to happen automatically.  In our modern lives; not so much.  A lot of us get sucked into the idea that one is better than the other or that we should only focus on one at a time.  Typical examples of these are bodyBUILDERS and veganCLEANSERS.  One side favors the building up of the body.  Usually this is done with high amounts of proteins, fats, and heavy carbohydrates.  The other favors cleansing out the gunk that most of us accumulate over the years.  This is usually done by focusing on fresh fruits and veggies primarily with little fat, protein, or animal products.  Who is right?  Can they both be right?  I always like to look to history and anthropology to discover the answers.

Now I understand why vegan-types think the way they do.  Bottom line?  We eat and have eaten WAY too much garbage and junk that gunks up our bodies in the past few decades.  People have grown up eating cereals, pasteurized cheeses, fried eggs and butter, grilled meats, bread, pastas, etc.  The list doesn’t really end.  So do we need to cleanse?  Most definitely.  All of us can use some internal housekeeping every now and then.  Our livers, kidneys, colons, and skin get overloaded with toxins.  What are the best foods to eat for cleansing?  Light things.  Fresh fruits, veggies, a little raw fat maybe.  Focusing on fresh air, clean water, and sunlight are great as well.  But is that the whole story?  Historically, there have been hardly ANY vegan societies.  They all consumed animal products as well.  Enter the building side of things.

The wise cultures throughout history understood that animal products had important qualities that vegetables and fruits did not.  Things like bone marrow, fatty fish, organ meats, raw dairy, eggs, and other animal proteins.  This is not to say that they always consumed massive amounts of these foods.  So what is really going on here?  I am really beginning to see a difference which I am coining “An egg is not an egg.”  “A chicken is not a chicken.”  What do I mean by that?  Most of the high-quality animal products people used in the past were NOT consumed how most of us do today.  Let’s look at a list of some “junk-foods” compared to some clean ones.

JUNK:  Pizzas, pasteurized dairy, cheese, and butter, burgers and fries, fried eggs and bacon, high-heated steaks, chicken, and fish, fried chicken wings, etc.

CLEAN:  Raw or lightly cooked eggs with runny yolks, raw dairy (if tolerated), bone marrow, cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, and other fatty fish, crock-pot or slow roasted meats, raw or lightly cooked organ meats and other fats.

The verdict?  Animal products are not the enemy.  Live with the seasons guys.  More fresh fruits and veggies during spring/summer for cleansing and more building foods in the fall and winter for building.  Don’t be afraid to eat intuitively either.  We have different genetics.  We need different things at different times.  Focus on air and water quality first.  Then listen to your body and follow along =)

-JOE

 

BLENDING

 

 

Veggie mix

Short one today guys.  What is all this blending about?  Smoothies, frappes, ice drinks, blended drinks, WOAH.

 

Juicing is all the rage today.  There is a reason for this.  It is an easy, simple way to get loads of living nutrition into your body that may not wind up there otherwise.  But what about the fiber?  No other animal “Juices” vegetables or fruit.  I think juicing is a great supplement to a diet.  But should we live exclusively off of a liquid diet?  I think not.  Imitate nature for the most part guys.  So we all know that chewing our food to a pulp is a good thing to do.  Less digestion, more absorption.  I think there is a benefit of eating a meal or two of “roughage” here and there to scrape the intestines and move things through.  Most people do not have the digestive equipment to break down large quantities of cellulose.  Enter Blending.

 

Now I am not so much talking about “smoothies” and concocted drinks that mix endless things together in horrible combinations and call it a health drink.  Sure, raw milk, berries, kale, nuts, and apples might be great by themselves.  But they are not to be mixed like that.  You will not find any of that growing on a tree or in the ground anywhere.  All other animals more or less eat “mono-meals.”  One type of food at a time.  That can get rather boring so we use food combining instead.  Mixing similar foods is ok for most people.  Blueberries and raspberries for instance can be mixed.  Pick foods that have similar digestion times.  So I for one am about saving time and energy; how about you? Enter Blending.  

 

What are the types of foods I am talking about here?  FRUIT.  NUTS.  Some salad vegetables.  Frozen blueberries blended up make a great dessert.  Nuts are generally hard to digest for most.  Making your own nut butters does a lot of the work for you.  Besides; you can season it to your liking.  Ask me for the maple cinnamon walnut butter recipe =)  Do you really feel like chewing all this stuff correctly?  Don’t get me wrong.  Every once in a while I enjoy a big salad.  For the most part though, I would prefer blending it up and save myself a lot of time and energy.  There really is no limit to what you can blend up.  There are a few cautions with this though.  If you find yourself needing to add a lot of water, juice, or milk to your blended foods to make them appealing; you may question whether or not that is a wise choice.  Try to avoid things that don’t go down smoothly.  In general, fruits, nuts, and certain salad veggies can be blended.  This is just raw food.  You can also blend cooked food as well.  It may not be the most appealing thing in the world but it isn’t so bad either.  Feel like a quick meal on the go?  Pulverize up some leftover crock-pot chicken and vegetables and throw it in a to-go cup. 

 

Many pureed soups are delicious.  You have to remember that your body breaks this stuff down inside anyway.  It all “goes to the same place” as they say.  There are a myriad of blenders and mixers out there.  Anywhere from 50 bucks to hundreds.  We use a “nutribullet.”  Inexpensive and does the trick.  What are your blending experiences?

 

-JOE