You should know enough about reducing your insulin at this point to get yourself started down that path. You can address the 2nd step of detoxification for the purpose of stubborn fat loss as well as overall health improvement at the same time you’re working on reducing your insulin level if it’s high.
2nd Step is Detoxification
It’s quite a big topic and I’ll just be outlining information in this post. The studio has great programs on detoxification such as the Intense Detox using shakes and a special diet, the infrared sauna, the ion cleanse and we’ll soon be launching a very effective program called “True Cellular Detox” which works at the level of your cell.
It’s important to note that there are many forms of detoxification. It depends what substance you’re getting rid of and where it is. It also depends on if you’re really, really sick and need a more aggressive method to get you feeling better… or if you have good general health and want to stay that way by doing gentle detoxing on a regular basis.
To put it into perspective, one of the most gentle ways to start detoxification is to increase your intake of vegetables. Just doing that will help your body get rid of toxins. If you’re thinking that detoxing is uncomfortable or drastic or even dangerous, know that you could simply start by increasing vegetable intake.
Another way to start detoxing better is to remove as many toxins in your environment as you can. It really is not a detox method, but is the most important first step. It’s not helpful to do programs to eliminate toxins when you keep adding them back in!
One more easy way is to choose a morning breakfast shake that includes cruciferous vegetables (cooked and cooled). We recommend the UltraCleanse BODYSHAKE as the base of your shake because it contains nutrients to help your liver process toxins, it’s very gentle and does not produce “detox reactions” and people LOVE the taste.
And lastly, opening your “channels of elimination” is also gentle without detox reactions. Your channels of elimination are your kidneys, colon, lungs, lymph, and skin. Each of these organs help you to get rid of toxic byproducts processed by your liver.
Opening your channels is simply a way to help your body work better. Your body already has ways to get rid of toxins… this is helping that process.
Quite simply “opening your channels of elimination” means
Drinking plenty of water to flush your kidneys.
Doing what it takes to poop at least once per day or ideally 3 times a day if you eat 3 meals a day.
To get lymph moving you MOVE your body and/or do skin brushing.
You BREATHE deeply to allow your lungs to blow off toxins.
Do skin brushing and saunas (sweating) to allow toxins to leave through your skin.
Lifestyle habits go a long way to improving health. If you’re considering a more intense method of detoxification, all of the above must be already implemented before you start releasing toxins from your cells (they need a way out!).
Why the Problem with Toxins?
The world is not the same as it used to be… in fact we’ve seen dramatic changes in health the last 20 years but even greater in the last 2 years! And the problem of stubborn fat loss has increased exponentially.
One BIG reason is the continued INCREASE in dumping toxins into our precious environment. Over 250 lbs per person per day of toxins are dumped into the US environment. And that does not include pesticides….. so the number is much greater.
The problem is this accumulates in our bodies… our body toxic burden increases and creates health problems including an inability to lose body fat. As we age we accumulate more and more toxins…. maybe it’s not “old age” that’s your problem… but maybe toxin buildup?
And pregnant women pass off over 200 toxins to their newborns. Lead is a big one passed on in pregnancy… so this may be one explanation why so many children are affected with poor health.
What are toxins?
Car exhaust (benzene, CO, formaldehyde)
VOCs (paint, adhesives, cleaning products)
Heavy metals (cadmium, lead, mercury, aluminum)
Carcinogens (dioxin, radiation, asbestos, vinyl chloride to make plastics)
Flame retardants in baby clothes, car seats, furniture, beds, and carpets
Car detailing, “new car smell”
Lawn care chemicals
Aluminum cookware, non-stick cookware
Mold (from moldy nuts or moldy living area)
Smoked and cured foods, hot dogs, (nitrosamines)
Chlorine from your shower and drinking water
EMFs: cell phones, electric blankets, computers, TV screens
Mercury and aluminum in vaccines, mercury in fillings
Lead in pipes and leached from bones
Food additives: artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colorings, other food chemicals
We encounter these things every day… they are part of a “normal” modern lifestyle.
But what’s happened is it’s become “normal” to be diabetic, obese (and struggle with stubborn fat loss), autistic, depressed, anxious, have joint pain, headaches, “hormone trouble'”, unable to sleep, unable to digest food properly….. most of us have problems with at least one of these items and know other people who suffer with a multitude of these.
It’s very sad that even children are affected by these health problems…. often with no hope in sight.
We can have hope. We have this window right now to improve the situation and take charge of our health. We may not have this opportunity later… but we have it now! So let’s learn what we can realistically do to improve our health and more easily lose that stubborn body fat… because I’m telling you… it CAN be done and you are no exception!
How do toxins affect stubborn fat?
Many toxins are stored in your fat cells. Fat all over your body, but also your brain because your brain is mostly fat. Fat is a safer place for toxins to be rather than your blood stream so when you get exposed, they are in your blood for a short period, then get stored away in your organs and fat (also in fatty liver).
When you decide to go on a fat reducing plan, if you’re quite full of toxins… and most people are…. your body is very smart and decides it would be unsafe for you to release those toxins into your blood stream…. so it hangs on to the fat to keep the toxins stored away.
And you get frustrated because you’re trying as hard as you can and thinking you’re doing everything right but the weight does not come off.
Another problem is that the toxins “clog up” the receptors on your cells. You have receptors that receive the messages from your hormones. Your hormones float around in your blood stream, then attach to a cell, and then give it a message to tell it what to do. Your hormones govern your body processes.
When the receptors are malfunctioning because you’ve got toxin interruption, the cell doesn’t receive the healthy message… and you suffer health problems including inability to lose body fat.
Your insulin may now be in a healthy range, but it cannot give your cells the right message… so you remain insulin resistant.
You may have plenty of testosterone and estrogen, but if those receptors are out of commission, your sex hormones cannot get the messages to your cells.
Same with thyroid hormone. You may have enough… your lab tests are normal, but you have low thyroid symptoms because your cells cannot receive the thyroid hormone message…. and taking more thyroid hormone as a medication doesn’t help either!
Once the toxin load is reduced and your cell membrane receptors shift back to normal, your hormones all start to work better.
When you reduce toxin load in a safe and rather slow process, your body will know it’s safe to let go of fat and your problems with stubborn fat loss diminish.
Not only does an excess toxin load make it nearly impossible for stubborn fat loss, but it also causes a host of other problems such as:
Increased risk of breast and colon cancer
Central nervous system disorders
Joint inflammation and stiffness
and inability to lose body fat
Hopefully you see a number of reasons to take steps to reduce your toxin load. It helps you get rid of stubborn fat but also improves health outcomes. I’ve really just touched on this important topic… so many other details. I’m hoping to address this in future posts.
Get more useful information on how to lose excess bodyfat but also on how to have a healthier body that supports clear thinking, high energy levels and high performance.
Stubborn fat can be as little as 5 extra pounds of fat or as much as a few hundred pounds. Stubborn fat seems to just stick to your body and not budge no matter what you do. Most people feel discouraged after dieting, exercising and trying to do all the right things and still have that stubborn fat on the belly, hips, thighs, upper arms, love handles, back… it can be anywhere on your body and it’s different for different people.
The news and magazines promote going vegan, vegetarian, low carb, or Paleo, detoxing, eating more protein, less protein, avoid coconut oil, but eat butter, but only a certain kind… and eat organic food, and then organic doesn’t matter… How do we know what to believe!?
My science and medical background as a Pharm.D. leads me to be more analytical in nature, so when the confusion starts I re-look at the physiology of our bodies. In the case of diets and what we should eat if we’re wanting to lose excess bodyfat, I like to look at the facts of how our bodies work rather than follow the latest fad or simply what worked for someone else. While I’ve found there are no shortcuts to a healthy and lean body, you can make it less terrible, more efficient, and more effective by addressing specific reasons your body holds on to excess fat.
The first step is to address high insulin
Most people in this country are walking around with a high fasting insulin level and don’t know it.
High insulin tells your body to store fat… almost without regard to how little you eat or how much you exercise. If your insulin level is high, your efforts for fat loss will be in vain… causing disappointment and giving up.
You don’t have to be diabetic to have a high insulin level. In fact, a high insulin level will appear at least 10 years before diabetes is discovered. Knowing your insulin level now (and reducing it) can help you completely prevent getting diabetes in the future.
Get Your Level Measured
To know your insulin level, you’ll get your fasting insulin blood level done at your doctor’s office or order it yourself at Life Extension (lifeextension.com) or other online lab ordering businesses. It’s about $30-$40. If you order online, they send you a form to take to your local blood drawing organization such as LabCorp. Be sure it’s a fasting insulin and not blood sugar or hemoglobin A1C.
To have efficient body fat loss your fasting insulin level should be 2-5 mIU/L. The lab normals will indicate 25 is a good level, but that’s an outdated number. Those lab values should be updated to help us all improve our health. A level above 5 will make it difficult for body fat loss. The 2-5 level was chosen as ideal from looking at healthier populations of people. The lab normals in the United States are from average Americans.
What to Do With Your Results
Many people are thrilled to find a reason why they’ve been unsuccessful at losing bodyfat. It’s not to say that this is the only point. But it’s the first point that should be addressed.
If your level is 2-5 and you still have issues with stubborn fat loss, we have more steps to address. We’ll just tick one off at a time.
If your level is above 5, start right away eating foods that do not raise insulin levels. It’s simple… but easier said than done depending on what your diet is like now. In general, this means eating protein (eggs, meat, fish, protein shakes) in moderate amounts (no! don’t overdo protein), tons of non-starchy vegetables (think 6-9 cups/day), and plenty of good fats (olive oil, pasture butter, coconut oil, avocado, MCT oil).
Time saving tricks and learning to make food taste amazing is what makes this type of eating completely doable for longer periods of time. When you’re faced with a decision whether or not a food will be good for you…. ask yourself if it will raise your insulin level. If the answer is “yes’… that food will not help you while you have this goal of reducing your insulin level.
Once your insulin level is 5 or below, start to add back in fruit and starchy veggies. It’s important to know that food choices are determined based on what you are trying to accomplish….
Short term pleasure?
Decreasing insulin level?
Cancer prevention or treatment?
Keep in mind always that your choices of food give you specific results.
Get more useful information on how to lose excess bodyfat but also on how to have a healthier body that supports clear thinking, high energy levels and high performance.
Tasty, healthy chocolates are actually good for your hips and thighs!
Mango Chocolates are sugar free (almost), gluten and grain free and dairy free (almost). One of our favorite recipes….much more than a healthy snack. Mango Chocolates include a medical food called “Estrium,” a product by Metagenics. Estrium offers rice protein and numerous vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutrients that work synergistically to assist your liver in getting rid of xeno estrogens (the estrogen-like toxins in the environment) in a health promoting way.
Don’t worry, Estrium does not change your estrogen level. It simply helps your liver metabolize estrogenic compounds in a health promoting way.
Your liver has lots of choices when it comes to how it will metabolize various compounds. In the case of estrogens, your liver has the choice (depending on what enzymes and minerals are available, and your genetics) can transform them into something healthy or something unhealthy.
The Estrium helps your liver, by giving it good and proper nutrition, to biotransform estrogens into healthy metabolites. Those metabolites are estrogens that are good for you and send the right messaging to your cells.
On the other hand, we are all affected by toxins in the environment called xeno estrogens, found in plastics, fake scents, factory farmed animals (poor quality meat) including dairy and eggs and chicken. Birth control residues are found in the water and toxic dumping by various companies also ends up in our water supply and many of these chemicals dumped are xeno-estrogens.
The xeno-estrogens are estrogen look-alike molecules that, once in your body, can bind to your estrogen receptors. Good, healthy estrogens send healthy and good messages to your cells. Xeno-estrogens send unhealthy signals and messages to your cells, resulting in deteriorating health and setting you up for hormone-related problems including cancers.
Men, boys, young girls, babies, as well as women are affected by xeno-estrogens. It’s not a women’s only problem. Men and boys are affected with breast development or “man boobs”. Men can experience hormone imbalance such as low testosterone, prostate trouble and even leading to an increased risk of prostate cancer from the excess of xeno-estrogens.
Young girls can experience early puberty. Later, they can be affected by PMS, infertility, fibroids and possibly hysterectomy. Later, women experience more trouble with menopause.
Another related issue is the pesticide Atrazine. It’s not a xeno-estrogen, but it affects your sex hormone status. Atrazine stimulates an enzyme called aromatase, resulting in a large amount of your testosterone (and yes, women have and need testosterone too) being turned into estrogen compounds. Excess estrogen leads to decreased testosterone, a problem for everyone, not just men.
The key here is to stop ingesting Atrazine. Eat and purchase organic foods without pesticides. Atrazine has contaminated our water, so filter your water. Zinc is an aromatase inhibitor which can help counter the effects of too much testosterone biotranforming to estrogen. Another good reason to focus on increasing your mineral intake.
Hormones govern where your fat gets stored. Excess estrogen, including xeno-estrogens, contribute to excessive body fat on the hips and thighs of women.
Our clients using Estrium (along with cruciferous vegetables) experience loss of fat in the hip/thigh region. If you’re a woman who stores excess fat in the hip and thigh area, it’s an indication you are not effectively metabolizing estrogens through your liver.
Cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, etc) containing a compound that also helps your liver clear xeno-estrogens. The Estrium and cruciferous veggies are most effective when either eaten together or at least in the same day. We recommend you eat cruciferous veggies in at least 2 meals a day.
The Mango Chocolates are healthy and therapeutic. The fats are stable and excellent for your brain, nerves and gut lining. You have a bit of protein and the nut flour adds a bit of carbohydrate.
Some people substitute maca flour if the nut flour causes allergy or intolerance.
You’ll find a small amount of sugar in the Estrium. And you’ll find dairy in the butter. To avoid dairy, use all coconut oil and no butter at all. That’s the version I always use for myself.
To make the fancy shapes you see in the photo above, use a candy mold. Find those at a craft store or kitchen store in the candy making area. Simply pour the mixture into the mold, freeze, and pop the shapes out. I used a small heart shaped mold above. Great for gifts!
A word of caution: Estrium will help you eliminate xeno-estrogens. Birth control pills are xeno-estrogens. If you are taking BCPs and do not want to get pregnant, either do not use Estrium or use a different form of birth control.
3/4 Cup Melted Pasture Butter (or substitute all butter for coconut oil)
2 Tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
1 Cup Estrium
1/2 Cup Almond Flour (or Hazelnut Flour) (or maca flour)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Organic Cocoa Powder
2 tsp Almond Extract
1-2 tsp Liquid Stevia
Melt butter and/or coconut oil on the stove on low. While that is melting, combine all other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Once the fats are melted stir those in until everything is combined.
Pour the mixture onto a flexible cutting board or a tray or pan that fits into your freezer. Place the tray in your freezer until the Mango Chocolates are firm and frozen.
Cut your Mango Chocolates into squares and store them in a glass container in the freezer. Enjoy!
***Optional: You can sprinkle unsweetened coconut flakes, chia seeds, unsweetened cacao nibs, or a few chopped nuts on top before you put the tray in the freezer.
Experiment with how much oil/butter. You can make these very thin or thicker depending on the amount of oils added. For the molds, you’ll need the mixture thin enough to pour. If yours is not that way, simply add more melted oil.
You’ve made it through week 2 of the Body Blitz. If you’re just starting the book now, or if you’ve been sick and haven’t made it in to your classes, no problem. It’s never too late. Start now.
Lots of you have done food diaries this week. Was it helpful? Did it help you make changes or give you information on what you need to do? For those who made significant changes, do you feel better or worse? Let me know!
Let’s recap our reading from last week:
Identification of your hormonal phase:
Normal: estrogen and progesterone normal levels in normal sequence
PMS: normal estrogen, low progesterone
Perimenopause: erratic high estrogen not following normal highs and lows, low progesterone
Menopause/hysterectomy: low estrogen, no progesterone
Knowing your hormonal phase helps you understand changes in mood, energy level, personality, appetite and more. Blood and saliva hormone testing is useful in combination with monitoring your symptoms. If you test, be sure to do it on the correct day of your cycle if you have one. It’s best to work with a practitioner on testing and supplementing. Twin Cities resources were given in a prior blog.
Don’t forget testosterone and DHEA. If you use testosterone, be aware that high dose testosterone is not a good idea. You may feel great at first, and as time passes, testosterone turns into estrogen, which can bring back negative symptoms. Important for men too. Measure estrogen levels if you supplement with testosterone (men too). Do not supplement DHEA without monitoring your levels. It’s sold over the counter and can cause problems if not used correctly.
Identify your Emotional Type
1. Revved up and anxious (useful aminos)
2. I Can’t Get Off the Couch
Start with calming (5-Htp, GABA, etc) for 1-2 weeks
Once you sleep better and feel more calm, start the L-phenylalanine/L-tyrosine “wake up and alert” formula.
If you have cancer, serious physical illness, severe liver or kidney problems, ulcers, pregnant or nursing, schizophrenia or other mental illness, or you are taking medications for mood problems, especially MAO inhibitors or more than one SSRI, consult a knowledgeable practitioner before taking ANY amino acids on your own.
Lots more information on aminos and neurotransmitters in the books The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure by author Julia Ross.You’ll learn more about L-glutamine and food cravings and DL phenylalanine for increasing endorphins and reducing pain. Lots more detail
You can easily start using aminos on your own. You’l need to pay close attention to how you respond to them to learn the proper timing and dosages for you. Take aminos on an empty stomach (30 minutes before eating). They compete with other proteins (in your diet) to get to your brain. You’re targeting the brain with these aminos.
Use Mia’s troubleshooting on page 111.
Action Plan for Week 3:
Read pages 113-135 in Female Brain Gone Insane. You’ll continue learning about aminos and about how a good diet can improve your neurotransmitters.
Watch video on Vitamin D by Dr. Mercola (next blog).
Get your vitamin D level checked and make a plan to increase your level if necessary.
Stay on track with your exercise and dietary changes. Evaluate how your plan went last week, make adjustments, and plan your week 3.
You are! You’ll get the best results by putting yourself in the driver’s seat and learning as much as you can.
Your hormones affect everything in your body. Your thinking, your energy level, your fat to lean ratio, your sleep and your appetite and much more. Hormones are of the sex hormone type (testosterone, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, etc) and the insulin type (cortisol, adrenaline, relaxin, insulin, etc).
If you’re not getting the results from exercise and diet, sometimes hormones are the trouble. Remember, hormones include insulin, cortisol, adrenaline and thyroid. Don’t think you have to be menopausal to have hormone problems.
The best way to learn about hormones is to read. The information is out there and you CAN learn on your own. A book list is included at the bottom.
First, keep in mind that hormone therapy is not necessarily the first step. Work with your diet, supportive supplements and lifestyle before diving into hormones.
However, if you’re unable to sleep and/or you’re having severe symptoms, starting with hormones can certainly make sense. Just know that it’s not wise to use hormone therapy in place of a healthy lifestyle. Not everyone needs hormones.
Once you have a working knowledge of hormones, find a health care practitioner you can work with. This isn’t necessarily easy. Not many doctors work with bioidentical hormones. Don’t expect your doctor to have all the answers. You must form a successful partnership with your provider and do your part. No one can do it all for you.
When choosing a provider, be sure he/she works with adrenals and thyroid, in addition to the sex hormones.
It’s important you first understand how your body works and a good understanding of hormones before you go to your first appointment. You’ll learn more as you start your therapy and see how your body responds.
Here is a short list of Twin Cities health care providers who work with bioidentical hormones:
Noelle Radcliffe M.D at Edina Sports Health and Wellness
Rob Bruley, MD, DC at the Bruley Center in Linden Hills
612 455 0444
Sandi Greenquist at the Minnesota Menopause Center
Nancy Gossard NP at Park Nicollet 952 993 3282
________________________________________________________ Book List:
For men: The Testosterone Syndrome by Eugene Shippen, M.D.
Change Your Brain Change Your Body by Daniel Amen M.D. (also good for men)
Female Brain Gone Insane by Mia Lundin, R.N.C., N.P.
The Schwartzbein Principle II, by Diana Schwartzbein, M.D.
The Miracle of Bioidentical Hormones by Michael Platt, M.D.
Before the Change, Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause, by Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S., C.N.S
Perimenopaue the Natural Way, by Deborah Gordon, M.D.
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Perimenopause, by John Lee, M.D.