Posts filed under Food

Eating Meat VS Vegetarianism: The Ultimate Debate

Last Thursday Paleo promoter Chris Kresser went head-to-head against Vegan advocate Dr. Joel Kahn - it was a 3.5 hour long debate (and they have it all on video and audio file if you want to watch or listen)! Their goal was to clear up the confusion of which diet is the "best" diet.

I listened to it and I have to say Chris was the clear winner, though Dr. Kahn had some really good points. 
 

Chris created a  Why Eating Meat Is Good for You “cornerstone page” with a link to the replay of the show, a summary of his key arguments, and links to relevant new and existing articles, as well as links to studies categorized by topic.
 

This is without a doubt the single most comprehensive resource he's ever created to answer the question: “Should meat and other animal foods be part of the diet?”

Posted on October 3, 2018 and filed under Food.

10 Ways to Reduce Total Body Inflammation

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Inflammation is one of our biggest risk indicators for developing disease. Whether it’s in the gut causing poor digestion, in the brain causing diseases like Alzheimer's and Dementia, or throughout the body. Inflammation is the body’s response to the environment and its toxins and infections to prevent us from getting sick.

The strongest marker to measure for total body inflammation is high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). This protein reflects the presence of inflammation in your body. We all make this protein, which at normal levels helps fight off infection. Research has shown that hs-CRP levels have been associated with risk for developing cardiovascular disease, where levels below 1 mg/L are associated with the lowest risk, levels between 1 and 3 mg/L are at average risk and levels above 3 mg/L are associated with highest risk. However, there is more to the story. Recent studies have shown that low grade inflammation is also associated with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Multiple factors can exacerbate inflammation including stress, poor diet, physical inactivity and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. Below is a list of ways you can reduce your stress1.

  1. Cut the sweets- sugar increases inflammation and is the fuel source for many chronic diseases. Reducing intake will not only help lower your CRP levels, but decrease your risk for diseases. 

  2. Eat a well-balanced diet- eating a diet rich in omega-3 source (like fatty fish and grass fed beef) can decrease inflammation since this healthy fat has anti-inflammatory properties.Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E and K) can also lower your body's inflammation.

  3. Get a good night’s rest- good quality sleep is beneficial in many aspects of our health. It can improve productivity, decrease risk of weight gain and chronic disease, improve your immune function and lower risk of depression. Another very important function sleep has is lowering CRP levels. 

  4. Get moving- exercising has shown to lower inflammation levels and decrease risk of all morbidity diseases. In addition, it can increase mood, energy and overall health.

  5. Increase your probiotic intake- research has shown that consistent intake of probiotics (naturally sourced or supplements) can reduce inflammation and decrease CRP levels2. Good sources of probiotics include kefir, kombucha, yogurt and other fermented products. 

  6. Be positive and mindful- being positive and distancing yourself from negative relationships can decrease the inflammation present around the body. Practicing mindfulness through meditation and being present has also shown a decrease in inflammation by slowing down and decreasing stress. 

  7. Try becoming a tai chi or yogi master!- slower, relaxing activities also have a role on stress and inflammation reduction. By practicing these unwinding moves, you can also dig into self-reflection, more mindfulness, muscle strength and toning. 

  8. Get adequate B vitamins- although there are many B vitamins, they all play an important role in the body and in reducing inflammation. The most dominant one being the B vitamins involved in the methylation pathway3. When deficient in these vitamins, homocysteine levels can increase, which is associated with higher CRP levels. 

  9. Decrease alcohol consumption- lowering intake of alcohol has been associated with lower levels of CRP. When consumed in limited amounts, red wine consumption can actually lower inflammation as well. This is due to the antioxidant properties in the wine. 

  10. Grab a cup of coffee- Good news right?! Coffee, along with green tea, have been associated with lower CRP levels due to their polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds.


    At Thrive Nutrition we offer different types of lab testing, including a cardiometabolic test, which measures hs-CRP levels. Good news, you don't have to be a client to take us up on this opportunity. Just go to our website to read more and purchase the lab test you are interested in. We work with the most comprehensive and detail-oriented labs to get you the clearest results!

Posted on September 14, 2018 and filed under Food.

What a Healthy Plate Looks Like - Are You Close?

Healthy eating can be quite confusing. I hear about it all of the time and I get it. We get bombarded with advertising, we are told we need to count calories, track everything on our smart watches, that fat is something to fear, sugar entices us around every corner and we're busy living our lives, which means we don't have time to research all of the facts. Plus, a lot of associations that we look to for advice have been bought out by Big Ag, Big Pharma or both (I'm looking at you American Heart Association!)

As you can see below, I've provided a picture of what I believe healthy eating looks like on a plate. No counting, weighing or scrutinizing required! When I give this handout to my clients, most often my clients see that their vegetable intake needs a big boost and there are usually plenty of questions about ferments and how about that amount of recommend fat intake?!  

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Here are some pointers on how to get started with eating more like the plate:

  • The ultimate goal is to eat healthy/according to the plate 80% of the time. However, if you're currently eating this way 25% of the time, the next step for you may be 35% and slowly work your way up. Big changes happen from continuous small changes over time. 
  • If you don't get in vegetables at breakfast, make it an extra effort throughout the day to eat them. This may mean having a salad for a meal (I am a huge promoter of having one salad a day), offering two sides of vegetables for dinner and/or having veggies for snacks. Breakfast ideas that include vegetables can simply be throwing in some spinach and onions with your eggs or an easy vegetable hash with sweet potato, peppers and chorizo. The possibilities are endless!
  • Vegetables are always more delicious with fat, so top some butter on them (bonus points for grass-fed options like Kerrygold)! I make sure my salads have lots of healthy fats such as avocado, seeds, cheeses like feta, hardboiled eggs and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. A beautiful salad like that keeps me full for 3-4 hours and no energy crashes. 
  • Remember when I mentioned veggies for snacks? Well, don't have them plain, pair them with healthy fat and protein like string cheese, guac, hummus, homemade blue cheese dressing, etc. The amazing this is that we actually NEED fat in our meal to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K offered by vegetables.
  • Ferments are becoming more popular, but are new to most people I work with. Fermented foods are a traditional way of preservation (before canned foods and refrigerators). Through this process natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. Fermented foods aids in promoting digestion, immune function and balance bacterial populations. 

*Clients with compromised digestion would eat differently to help their GI system heal. Once their digestion is working better, we would focus on eating according to the above recommendations.

Posted on January 11, 2018 and filed under Food.