Thursday, January 26, 2023

As a Health Coach, I need Nutrition Help


Back in December I began eating carnivore.  This was not for the long term, I am going to be carnivore for the rest of my life because it is the only way to eat. It was to work on some health issues I was experiencing, fatigue and gut issues mainly, to see if this style of eating would have a positive impact. My plan from the beginning, I would eat this way until my body told me otherwise.

Over all I have been feeling great! More energy, most of the fatigue was lifting, leaned out from losing the inflammation especially in my mid section which was good weight to lose and my gut issues are better, work to do still, on the path.


The negative side effects I was beginning to experience: I began not sleeping good, too low in carbs for my Irish, Polish, Russian carb loving genes. several things were going into this, but I know my sleep is impacted when I don't eat enough and I am too low in carbs. My heart rate was higher than it should be. Fatigue, forgetfulness were beginning to come back. 

The other big struggle I was having, back in my day, I struggled with anorexia. It was a response to stress and control of pain during some crazy times in life. I began experiencing the same pain I had in my stomach when I was deep in anorexia. It is not pleasant. It is a deep, empty stomach pain, beyond I am really hungry, it is true pain. Not because I was back in my anorexia struggles, I am not. It was something I was beginning to experience. I was also starving in the mornings. I would coach for several hours and then do my work out in this deep, fasted, stomach pain state, I was experiencing more soreness from workouts than normal and decreasing energy in the gym. No good.

I saw my functional medicine FNP-C, who is helping me with my thyroid and arm, and told him what was going on. That I was eating carnivore, feeling great, but here is some of what I was struggling with. The empty stomach pain, the fatigue coming back, soreness in the gym, not sleeping great. The conversation went something like this:

Fantastic Jen you are eating that much protein. Protein is great for you, builds muscles, keeps you full for longer periods of time, provides vitamins and minerals. But do you realize that even if you are eating 125 grams of protein, which is around 1 gram per pound of body weight for me, I don't step on a scale guessing at my weight, you are only consuming 500 calories a day from that protein. 

Yeah, that was my light bulb moment. I had never thought about this, how little actual calories this was. My goal was the protein, finding better health.

He proceeded to tell me I would need to be eating at least 4 times this amount of protein to get the calories in I need. I am not really wanting to eat that much protein. I love my beef, so tasty, but I don't want to eat that much meat.  

I was instructed to begin weighing my food, which I do object to as a norm, and tracking it, which I frequently track, no big deal. Then let him know how far under I was.

Let's just say I was under eating significantly. Not intentionally, I am not back in my anorexia or ortho-orexia struggles. It was where I was ending up focusing on so much protein and all the fat I eat, butter, coconut oil, whole eggs. I am eating a good amount of food, it isn't enough for me or enough carbs, I was around 50ish grams if I was lucky, that isn't enough for me, with my genetics, being a woman and training load. 

My goal is to maintain as much muscle mass if not grow muscle, especially being a woman in my 40's, I need to keep as much muscle on my body as possible for long term health. I have worked very hard for the muscle I do have, don't want to lose it by undereating. To maintain health over the long term, support my thyroid health.

With these goals and knowledge of my undereating in mind, we re-evaluated my food and came up with a new plan. I have begun implementing this new plan. It is going to take several weeks to build up and see how my body begins responding. I need to put on a bit of weight again which will happen with eating more food. After several weeks, we will re-evaluate, see how I am feeling, how my body is responding and what adjustments need to be made going forward, if any. 

Luckily, we caught this early and I didn't lose too much weight, which I can do very quickly and end up in trouble. The symptoms were there telling me something was up, I wasn't tapping into them fully. I don't do good when I am left to my own demises. I need someone to help keep me in balance and objectively look at my food for me so I don't fall off the deep end. Even when doing something like eating carnivore. I have a "coach" who is helping me.

Yes, as a health coach, I need a coach, someone to be accountable to, who can look at things objectively and help me see where I am struggling and need to make changes. 

I am still eating animal based, shooting for a higher protein intake, adding in more carbs and overall calories for my health. This is the benefit of having a coach work with you, we are objective on the outside and see things from a different perspective. Coaches are here to help. If you need a coach to help you with your food, I am here to help you. Let's talk. 

In gratitude and kindness,.                                            Jenn

Thursday, December 29, 2022

5 Habits for Better Health

The beauty, serenity of the early morning
One of mine and Otto's favorite places, the beach

There is this prevailing thought today that health is very complicated. You have to do some crazy things, weigh food, count macros, eat mostly plants, less meat and animal fat, starve, that it has to be extremely difficult, you must suffer, otherwise you aren’t getting “healthy”. I don’t believe any of this. Rediscovering your health does not need to be difficult, a suffering fest that you are miserable and can’t ever enjoy anything. I am not saying that it will be a walk in the park and easy with no sacrifices, struggles, frustrations, because that is not true. Changing your lifestyle involves creating new habits, confronting your own demons, working through things, having the courage to take new steps and take that step over and over until it is a part of who you are.

These 5 steps are simple. Simple does not mean easy, they are not interchangeable. The answers to life’s toughest questions are usually the simplest. Because they are simple, we reject them because simple makes them approachable, doable, we can implement them into our lives. When things are difficult, we can blame our lack of achievement on the fact it is difficult. On the flip side, we view simplicity as too easy, the answer cannot be that simple. If it is that simple, it won’t work. Simplicity scares us.

 

5 Habits for Better Health:

Eat mainly animal protein and fat

Be in the sunlight throughout the day, especially mornings

Move your body frequently, walk, lift heavy, sprint

Sleep

Put down the technology, take it off, be with people you love and those who inspire you to pursue your dreams and become a better version of yourself

Begin implementing these 5 habits into your life and live them for the next several weeks. Notice how your health and life change with these simple habits.

If you are good to go, go forth and be a force of the awesome. If you need some more info on these 5 habits, continue reading.

 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Nostalgia of Christmas

 

Cookie making with grandma 
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This is an article I wrote as a guest writer for the Beef Initiative. I hope you enjoy! Be sure to check them out, sign up for the substack, order some beef. Go shake a ranchers hand and take control of your health. 

The lights, sounds, songs, smells of Christmas bring us back to our childhoods, memories of your children enjoying the magic of the season, good times had with family and friends, those special moments this season brings. Why is this?

Our sense of smell is connected to our memories. When we smell those fresh baked cookies, cakes, Christmas dinner, we are taken back to those times. This isn’t some trick from our bodies and senses. This is meant to help guide us to what real food is, deeply nourishing our bodies, spirit and heart.

When we take the time to connect to our ancestors through food, we are feeding our genes. Genes are passed down generationally and these genes remember. A part of this memory is to help us know what foods are deeply nourishing and which ones to avoid. When we nourish our genes they will express themselves optimally, creating all aspects of health. We not only need deeply nourishing foods for optimal gene expression, we also need to connect with our past through positive memories or those special treats brought to us by our ancestors. These foods are a connection to our pasts. This is a way to remember those who have gone before us, where we have come from. Holiday meals and traditions go beyond food. By skipping the cookies, cakes, grains, sugar, we are denying ourselves a piece of our past.

What are we to do during the Christmas, holiday season when we are striving to deeply nourish our bodies; maybe we have given up grains and sugar? Be miserable and not have anything at all, deny ourselves any joy and pleasure, forget the nostalgia of Christmas, the connections to our pasts, ancestors, heritage, where we came from, suck it up and push through? I think not. This is denying important aspects to what makes us who we are, where we came from, simple joys and pleasures in life.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Liquid Gold, Bone Broth

Pho, one of my favorite meals

One of my most requested recipes is my bone broth recipe. When friends and other see on my social media feed me posting pictures of drinking bone broth or eating pho, I have multiple requests for my recipe. I have posted it before, it needs to be updated.

Broth isn't difficult to make, it does take time to figure out the spices and combinations you like, cooking times, pressure cook or allow it to simmer on the stove for days. Once you have it figure out, the time you spend actually "making" the broth is minimal. Most of the time is the broth cooking and cooling. It is a labor or love in some ways, but so worth it. Some of the deepest nourishment you can give your body is bone broth. 

There are two ways you can cook bone broth, pressure cooking or long, low and slow on the stove, like 72 hours. I prefer my broth in the pressure cooker, Instant Pot. Once I used the Instant Pot and pressured cooked my broth, I didn't look back. It is more coinvent, safer, and I do truly like the taste better.

Ingredients:

variety of bones, I like to use beef, pork and if I have it on hand, chicken. I use pigs feet, knuckle bones for the collagen and bone with marrow, you can also use chicken feet, any bones work. I like the flavor better with a variety of animal bones.

2 cups white wine vinegar

half a large onion

4-5 cloves of garlic

3-4 inches of ginger

2-3 cinnamon sticks

small handful of whole pepper corns

7-8 whole cloves

2-3 star anise or 2 tsps anise seeds 

2-3 TBSP salt

2-3 TBSP sugar, I use raw sugar

5-7 whole all spice

small handful of coriander seeds

3-4 whole cardamom pods 

3-4 Bay leaves

Several shakes of fish sauce, if you like it saltier, add more

3-4 TBSP raw apple cider vinegar

glass of wine, optional

Monday, December 12, 2022

Into the Deep of Carnivore

                            Mug of bone broth in one of my favorite mugs from my sister-in-law

If you have been spending anytime around nutrition's latest trends, you have been hearing and seeing a lot about the carnivore diet. It is the new trend. Or, is is a new trend? This is how our ancestors ate.

What is the Carnivore diet?

In it's strictest sense, it is eating animal protein and fat, nothing else. 

Everyone who does carnivore is going to do it slightly different. If you are strict with carnivore, you will only eat meat and fat from animals, beef and eggs is pretty typical.

Others will add full fat dairy to their eating. 

Seasonal fruits, berries and melons, raw honey, bone broth, organs 

Some use carnivore as a base of their eating habits, eating 80% meat and fat, then having the other 20% for other foods. 

There are many ways of doing carnivore. To me, it is about what is right and best for your body and going forward with that. 

Some of the reported benefits of those who go carnivore:

  • relief from pain, if not all of their pain is gone, there is a significant reduction in pain
  • elimination of multiple types of arthritis, especially rheumatoid
  • reversal of autoimmune struggles  
  • gut issues, constipation, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's clears up
  • reversal of all types of skin issues, eczema, psoriasis, acne, wrinkles, rough skin patches smooth out, skin clears up and is healthier
  • Reversal of metabolic health issues, blood sugar, insulin stabilization 
  • High blood pressure reversal
  • Reduced inflammation throughout the body
  • Effortless weight lose
  • Improved sleep
  • Stabilization of hormones
  • Increase in energy
  • More clear focus, elimination of brain fog, other mental health benefits 
I have decided to give this eating style a go for a time.