If you have ever felt confused about the concepts of going Paleo, Keto or Plant-Based, then this episode is certainly for you! What I find so interesting about Drew Harrisberg in this situation, is the amount of personal data that he has been collecting over the years.
Because he has Type 1 diabetes, Drew has this unique situation that has allowed him to monitor what is going on INSIDE his body for a really long time. That is definitely some amazing knowledge to have!
Being an exercise physiologist, he also noted very early on the effect that working out had on his insulin sensitivity. Wanting to do the best he could nutrition-wise he started searching for “the best” diet to follow. He started out with Paleo but that is certainly not where he ended.
What’s so great about Drew’s story you ask? Well, because of his type 1 diabetes, he has his blood work done all the time. This accumulated data tells a story on its own, because what we see on the outside, does not necessarily mirror what’s going on – on the inside. Meaning, he was looking super fit and lean, but his insulin sensitivity was telling another story.
So, due to his constant blood-work, he could track and get a much more complete picture of what was going on inside of him. Ultimately this prompted him to change the way he is eating today.
This is such an interesting podcast between Drew Harrisberg and Simon Hill with the Plant Proof podcast!
Also, Drew and Simon mention a lot of studies during the podcast and you can find them here.
I hope you will enjoy their conversation as much as I did.
Have an amazing weekend! 😉
 This is when your pancreas stops producing insulin, often due to an autoimmune disease, and therefore you have to get insulin injections.
Photo from the Plant Proof website www.plantproof.com
Photo from Drew’s Daily Dose www.drewsdailydose.com
Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash
Hey there Team!
I hope that you are all doing well, and have something nice planned for the weekend. There are so many fresh vegetables around at this time of the year. One of my favorites is carrots.
Here is a question: When you buy fresh carrots, what do you do with the green tops?
Do you just cut them off and throw them away? I used to do that for years, until I found out that you can actually eat them. Carrot greens are really nutritious, and good for you, just like the actual carrot itself, so do take advantage and eat the greens as well. Also, eating these greens creates less waste. What’s not to like?
You can eat them raw, but unless they are super fresh it’s maybe not the best way to do it. You could add them to a green smoothie of course, or use it for a home made pesto. The one version I tend to use the most is just to slightly cook them with other veggies. Just like I would if I was using spinach or kale.
You could also put them in a soup or stir-fry them in a pan. The stems can be a bit chewier so you might want to cut them up quite fine, and put the fine leafy tips in at the very end as they cook very fast. Just try it out and see what you like the best!
Quick tip! Cut the very top off the carrot off, with the greens still attached to it. Then put the ends in a bit of water and place in the fridge. This way the carrot tops stay fresh for another couple of days. Then you can choose the most convenient day for you to cook with them.
A little while ago I was attending a lecture on nutrition in Amsterdam. The speaker told us how one of his best friends, who works in agriculture, said that whenever they want to “clean” soil that had been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides, they would plant carrots as they were really good at absorbing all of that. For that reason, even though carrots are not on the top of the dirty dozen list, he told us to never buy non-organic carrots. It’s just not worth the gamble.
Growing carrots with kids is a great way for them to take an interest in vegetables and cooking. Don’t have a garden – no problem. Just get a larger pot and plant some carrot seeds in there. Easy! You don’t always need a lot of space for something to grow.
If you have never used carrot greens before, I do hope that this post have inspired you to try it out. Get that extra boost of Vitamin A and enjoy those extra greens on your plate!
Have an amazing weekend rescuing those carrot tops! 😉
Hey there Team! Last week we talked about how your health is connected to your stinky breath.
Quick recap from last week:
If we think about the mouth as a large entrance hallway, what other rooms lead to that same hallway? Well, OK we have the esophagus coming from the digestive system. Then we have the sinuses. (Anyone who has ever had to do a saltwater rinse for a sinus infection knows that all that yucky stuff ends up in the mouth). And last but not least, your lungs, via the trachea, also leads to that same hallway.
That means, that if there is any kind of imbalance, infection, or bad bacterial overgrowth in any one of these areas, it can lead to a stinky, bad breath (aka halitosis). This is something that is commonly known in Eastern Medicine, but not so often talked about in our Western type Medicine. So what can you do if you suffer from halitosis? Phoebe is definitely asking the right question!
what are they feeding you?”
-Phoebe, in Friends
If your bad breath is something that is occurring often, or all the time, I would look into your food choices. This is the easiest thing for us to change. And, I also believe that it has the biggest impact on our bodies as well. Your best bet is to stay away from processed foods and eat a well prepared whole foods diet.
Why not make a note of when you notice the stinky breath coming back or being particularly bad. Ask yourself what kind of foods and drinks that you had a day or two before that. It’s sometimes very easy to notice a pattern occurring, if you just start to pay attention. For instance, if you have really bad morning breath, what did you eat and drink the night before?
If your digestion is a bit sluggish, it means that it takes too long for the food to be broken down. Also, eating a heavy meal late at night is not ideal, as your digestion slows down at night. As the food then hangs around in your intestines for too long, it starts to rot and bad bacteria has a field day. Add a sugary dessert at the end of that heavy meal, and your bad bacteria are totally overjoyed! When bad bacteria is busy, they create a lot of stinky gas.
This is the gas that comes back to your mouth and makes your breath smell. It’s like having an open garbage bin with rotten food in the other room. Even if you try to close the door, after a while it’s going to stink.
The foods that takes the longest to break down is fat and protein, particularly if it’s coming from an animal. Therefore it would be interesting to eliminate (or reduce as much as you can) these foods. A lot of people also do not do well with dairy, so that’s another one to watch out for.
If you have noticed your breath being a challenge sometimes, why not take a week or three and eat lots of veggies and whole foods. Give your body a chance to clean out the gunk! Go easy on the fats, and meats as this is harder for the body to digest. Completely stay away from all fried foods, dairy and processed foods. A lot of people get surprised as how quickly their breath clean up when they do this.
After that make a note when you notice the bad breath coming back and what kind of foods that you ate a day or two before that. On the same smelly topic, if you, or someone near you is having to use a lot of deodorant to smell better, then this article “too dirty for a shower” might interest you as well.
Phoebe was asking the right question all along…
😉 Have a great weekend everyone!
Hey there Team! How are you doing? I hope you all had a good week so far.
I really like going to bookstores. But, living in Europe it’s hard to find bookstores with an interesting selection in English. Therefore I am always happy when I’m in an English speaking city that also happens to have a great bookstore. When I was in New York a few months back I was specifically looking for one book, which I found. And right next to it stood “The Third Plate” with the subtitle field notes on the future of food, by Dan Barber.
I had heard about Dan Barber before, because I had watched his TED talks. He is also known from Netflix Chef’s Table Season 1. He is the co-owner and Chef of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Blue Hill in Manhattan’s West Village. From his TED talks you really understand his passion for great tasting food. I didn’t know that he had written a book though. On the front of the cover it said:
“Not since Michael Pollan has such a powerful storyteller emerged to reform American food.”
-The Washington Post
I was immediately hooked and got the book.
But what makes great tasting food? Is it all about using the best quality ingredients? One might think so, yes. Well, how do we get the best flavor from those ingredients? Does the soil it grows in have anything to do with that? Yes, that seems reasonable. If so, what agricultural system best sustains high quality produce? Is how we eat today really sustainable for the future, and if not what needs to change?
“I thought it would be impossible for Dan Barber to be as interesting on the page as he is on the plate. I was wrong.”
– Malcolm Gladwell
If you are at all interested in the food that you eat, and what great flavor really means, you don’t want to miss this book. It’s such an interesting and well written book I wish I could get you all to read it. And in the light of the latest Lancet report it becomes even more interesting. Food for thought indeed.
Hey there Team!
I hope that you have all had a great week so far. Have you heard about the most recent report published by the very esteemed medical journal The Lancet and EAT? The question they asked was “Can we feed a future population of 10 billion people a healthy diet within planetary boundaries?”
37 experts from 16 different countries worked together, looking at all the hard science, in order to create this report. Based on that science, these experts agreed upon what is the healthiest diet for us, and also for our planet.
EAT is a global, non-profit startup dedicated to transforming our global food system through sound science, impatient disruption and novel partnerships.
The vision of EAT:
A fair and sustainable global food system for healthy people and planet – leaving no one behind.
So what was their conclusions? Transformation to healthy diets will includes more than doubling in the consumption of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, and a greater than 50% reduction in global consumption of less healthy foods such as added sugars and red meat (i.e. primarily by reducing excessive consumption in wealthier countries).
“Food is the single strongest lever to optimize human health and environmental sustainability on Earth.”
A planetary health plate should consist by volume of approximately half a plate of vegetables and fruits; the other half, displayed by contribution to calories, should consist of primarily whole grains, plant protein sources, unsaturated plant oils, and (optionally) modest amounts of animal sources of protein. For further details, please refer to section 1 of the Commission.
Canada has just released new recommendations of what a healthy diet should look like, completely making a U-turn to the typical plate we know from before. Dairy products are no longer recommended, and it’s largely plant based. In a nutshell here is what Canada Health is recommending:
-Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods. Choose protein foods that come from plants more often. -Choose foods with healthy fats instead of saturated fat -Limit highly processed foods. If you choose these foods, eat them less often and in small amounts. -Make water your drink of choice -Use food labels -Be aware that food marketing can influence your choices
Dr David Jenkins, the Canada research chair in nutrition and metabolism and a professor at the University of Toronto stated: “I think [the guide] is moving in a plant-based direction, which will ruffle some feathers, but I think that’s the direction it needs to go” 
The whole foods that that we eat comes from the land, so it seems pretty straight forward that what is good for the planet, is also very good for our health.
But, we apparently have to be reminded of this. Especially for us living in a Western type lifestyle. We seem to have lost that important connection to the health of the land and the quality of food on our plates. It’s easy to forget when we buy our plastic wrapped products in the supermarket.
My suggestion is to read this report and have a think about it. We all need to do what we can to take better care of our planet and of our health. It is in our hands and now is the time to up the game!
Hey Team! How is everyone doing? A lot of people tend to be looking for healthy recipe options in January, after the over indulgences in December. This oatmeal recipe is one of my absolute favorites. The taste is great and it fills you right up. It has all of the good stuff, none of the bad, and it is also easy to adjust to fit your personal taste.
No milk of any kind is required for this recipe. If you are sensitive to gluten, make sure you get the gluten free oats. I call this recipe “nutrionally complete” because it has a great mixture of healthy carbs, protein, fats and fiber.
Creamy Oatmeal - Dairy Free (for 1 person)
1 ripe banana (or apple, berries)
1- 1.5 dL Oats (pre-soaked is good but not a must, use small flakes or large)
3 dL water (adjust-soaked or not, and how you like it)
pinch of sea-salt
1.5 Tablespoon chia seed
2 large Tablespoons hemp seed
1 Tablespoon Nutbutter (almond, hazelnut,...)
Method: Mash the banana with a fork, add the oats, chia-seed, sea-salt and water.
Bring it to a boil while stirring, then lower heat and stir occasionally. After a few minutes when the consistency is good (if you find it too thick you can always add more water), turn off the heat. Add the hemp seed and nut butter and mix it in. If you want to make it fancy, cut up some fruit and put on top, and/or sprinkle with a few nuts. Add cinnamon – it’s a natural anti-oxidant, which will support your immune system.
Ready to serve!
Some things to think about:
Oats are high in fiber, phytochemicals and nutritional value. It is also believed that oats can lower cholesterol, help diabetics with weight management, and has anti-cancerous effects[1,2]. Great reasons for including more oats into your diet if you ask me!
If you are not used to eating a lot of fiber, then start out with a small amount of oats and chia seeds. (In that case adjust the amount of water accordingly.) When you quickly add a lot more fiber to your diet, you might get some extra gas and bloating in the beginning. That is because your gut is not used to it. But with time, you will increase the number of good bacteria that loves fiber. This is a really good thing for your health. So, slowly increase the amount over time, and it should be no problem.
If your liver is a bit sluggish, or you have a stagnant lymph system, you want to go easy on the nutbutter and extra nuts. That’s because fat is being transported by the lymph system, and if it’s sluggish, adding more fat to the system, even when it’s good fats, is probably not the best idea.
I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Have fun experimenting with it until you find the version that you like the most.
Enjoy your creamy oatmeal this weekend!
Nutritional advantages of oats:
 Oats and diabetes
More reading on oats:
Recently I listened to a podcast with LeBron James and his trainer Mike Mancias. LeBron James is one of THE best basketball players of all time. Mark, his trainer and recovery specialist, is sometime referred to as his secret weapon. They’ve been working together for more than 14 years. What really stood out to me in this podcast, is how much emphasis LeBron and Mike puts into the Process of recovery, every single day. In order to stay injury-free, and be able to play consistently at an extremely high level.
“Recovery never ends, recovery never stops.”
When we look up to athletes that we think are awesome, we pretty much only focus on how hard and intense their work-outs are. It’s easy then to do a quick copy and paste on some kind of version of that, for our lives.
Meaning we focus almost exclusively on what kind of training we should be doing. It makes sense since the main focus on athletes are when they are competing in their Arena, and we see their incredible performance.
The thing that not a lot of people see though, is the work behind the Arena. Just like LeBron, the top athletes that I have worked with over the years are all consistent performers on behind the scenes stuff, in particular recovery. It might not be the sexiest part of living an athletic lifestyle, but as Mike says “it’s a never ending process…that’s the approach we must take, in order for us to be successful and provide longevity for these guys.”
“it’s a never ending process…that’s the approach we must take, in order for us to be successful and provide longevity for these guys.”
LeBron who already has had a long and amazing career, is still playing, and is not planning on quitting anytime soon. He contributes his success to being consistent with the Process. The Process of his recovery work,hydration, eating clean and training.
When it comes to Nutrition, Mike and LeBron work along the lines of “less is more, keep it simple, eat organic, no artificial ingredients”. They make a conscious decision of eating clean and staying away from artificial drinks, artificial sugars and fried foodsconsistently during the 9 months of basketball season.
-Ok, sure. But, that’s their job. I’m not an Athlete, why do I have to care about this? If it takes all that work to play continuously at a top level in sports, don’t you think you need to do some work in order to “play well” in your life? If you want to have a life of quality – whatever that means to you – you are going to have to put in some work. Period.
So what can you do for your recovery work? The easiest place to start is to plan in some kind of mobility work daily. Make a conscious effort of when and where you are going to do it. Here is a good place to start.
I often suggest to sit on the floor and do some mobility exercises during the first 10 minutes of watching Netflix, TV or similar. It’s easy because it’s time that you already have. It’s just a conscious decision of doing a few simple moves on the floor, instead of flopping onto the couch immediately.
Start thinking about what you can you do in your life to create a Process that helps you being fitter and more energized. How would that Process look like in terms of Hydration, Nutrition and Recovery work?
Work on implementing that plan, and have a great weekend! 😉
"A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow."-George Patton
Yeah, that title is an oxymoron! But, lets see what we can do. The easiest way to be sugar free in the bar, is of course, to not drink any alcohol at all. Stick with water instead. Pick a fancy sparkly water and spice it up with mint leaves, lime, lemon, cucumber etc.
Otherwise these are your sugar free options:
Choose the best quality that you can find and work on the fine art of sipping. Add ice and lime or lemon. Make sure the citrus is actually a slice, because bars will often have lime or lemon juice at hand, but you can assume that they have already added sugar to it.
Sugar cubes for estimation
When looking at food labels it can sometimes be hard to understand just how much sugar X amount of grams are. First, make sure that the amount of sugar that is listed is based on 100g. Sometimes the food companies are sneaky and will use portion sizes instead for labeling. According to them a portion size might only be 30g, but if you eat the whole package, maybe you just ate 4 portions!
One Sugar Cube equals more or less 4grams of sugar. So whenever you read a label, try to convert it into sugar cubes. It makes it much more easier to visualize.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) the maximum intake of sugar a day should not reach 50g for a woman or 60g for a man. That would be about 12.5 sugar cubes for the ladies and 15 for the men. Keep in mind that this is the recommended maximum.
We should aim for a max of 6-7 sugar cubes total in a day, for optimal health.
Exploration time: How many sugar cubes does your favorite foods contain? Is your healthy snack still healthy?
Gin and Tonic
GT’s are often talked about as if they are a healthy alternative in the bar. Well… The Gin in itself does not contain any added sugar, so that’s good. But, the Tonic is loaded with sugar. There is almost as much sugar in a tonic as there is in a coca-cola. I know people who have sworn off soft drinks years ago, but were still drinking tonics. It’s just one of those things we don’t think about.
So, as you can see on the label – 100ml tonic contains 8g sugar. In a coca-cola, 100ml contains 10.6g of sugar. Now here’s the second part. Typically you will have about 200ml Tonic in a Gin and Tonic.
Remember the sugar cubes? We wanted to strive for 6-7 “sugar cubes” a day, with 12 being the absolute maximum. With one Gin and Tonic you have just had 4 sugar cubes! And GT’s are not even the most sugar laden drinks from the bar.
Plan ahead for your bar evening
If you are on the Team for the NO Sugar Challenge week, then your choice is no drinks or the ones mentioned above, in order to stay sugar free. For the future, and for those that are not in the Challenge, I recommend that you inform yourself about your favorite drinks, beer and wine.Make a better choice.
How much sugar is there in one bottle or glass? Maybe there is a different option you would be OK with in case your favorite drink is super sugar laden.
Also, when you choose to drink alcohol, I would suggest that you skip dessert. Dessert and alcohol is sugar upon sugar. Choose either / or, in order to minimize the total intake of sugar.
I wish you all a great weekend! And, respect to my awesome sugar-free Team heading into Day 5!
You guys are awesome! 😉
Hello, all of you awesome people reading this!
I am so excited that so many of you decided to join in on the No Sugar Challenge in your busy lives. Good for you! If you missed the news, you can read about it here and still join us. We start on Monday the 19th.
A couple of things before we get started on Monday. Yes, we call it a challenge and it might be especially challenging for some of you, if you have never done anything like this before. But, it is not a pass or fail! A challenge is supposed to testyou, so you can learn more about where you are right now, and where there is room for improvement. So, try to be in the mindset of curiosity and observation. For example, it could look like the following.
Potential incident: After one day of no sugar, your patience is at an all time low, you’re irritated and you just chewed the head off of one of your colleges. “That person had it coming anyway!”
Potential immediate thinking after potential incident: “I can’t do this S**t! This is no fun and I’m not doing this stupid challenge anymore!!!” while reaching for the nearest candy bar or sugary drink.
Better potential immediate thinking – using observation and curiosity: “WOW! Holy S**t. I just turned into the Super Grinch Monster after just a day of no sugar. I didn’t know that not eating sugar would affect me this much. That’s interesting. I wonder why it’s like that? I will have an apple and then apologize to my college (even though that person had it coming!) I guess there’s more room for improvement than I thought.”
Pay attention to patterns and emotions when it comes to sugar. Write down when you have your strongest cravings. Is there a specific pattern? Is it always with [fill in the blank] or after [ x ]? Also writing down your feelings at that time can be a clue. We are such creatures of habit that we might not even realize which patterns that we are in.
"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success."
-Alexander Graham Bell
Writing things down for a week, could highlight some habits and give you valuable feedback. Then you can make a plan, and be prepared with healthy snacks for when your strongest craving usually show up.
When in doubt – eat fruit. Roughly 75% of all the packaged food in supermarkets contain added sugar. (1)
Have a sweet weekend!
And for those of you joining, until Monday. 😉
One good thing with being on long flights, is that its perfect for podcasts. I had a couple of them lined up for my New York trip last week. Some podcasts are just good for passing time, but once in a while you get one of those that make you go “holy shit, that’s some eye opening stuff!” The episode on Pursuing Health with Dr. Julie Foucher where she interviews Dr. Thomas Seyfried on cancer treatment is definitely one of those.
In the podcast called “Challenging Conventional Cancer Care” Dr. Thomas definitely will ruffle some old feathers with this new metabolic therapy approach. Based on his research he says that cancer is not a genetic disease, but a metabolic one. That means that if we take away the foods that fuels cancer, we can get rid of it. Now that is changing how we look at this disease altogether! This would also go along with Chris Kesser who says “Genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger“.
“The paradigm change has to be, number one, it’s not a genetic disease. Number two, it’s a mitochondrial metabolic disease, and the treatments that you can use can be totally different than the ones used right now”*
According to Dr. Seyfried there are two types of fuel that feeds cancer. Cancer can use either one, or both of them for fuel depending of what type of tumor it is. So, what are the fuels? Glucose (sugars and almost all processed foods) and glutamine (an amino acid mainly found in animal proteins). Therefore by reducing the intake of these foods you are basically starving the cancer. This is why the Ketogenic diet can be very successful as you are restricting glucose, hence lowering your blood sugar levels.
Did you know that the “cancer survival rate” is just 5 years statistically. That means that if a person survives 5 years with cancer, statistically they will always count as a survivor, even if they die after 5 and a half years. I remember how shocked I was when I found this out a couple of years back. I thought that surviving cancer meant being alive more than 5 years! This is good information to have if you are reading up on statistics for a specific treatment.
Is this a controversial topic? You bet! But, I think it needs to be. Almost everyone has someone close to them affected by cancer these days. “…if we have a solution that’s working, why is the obituary page [in the newspaper] full of people dying from cancer?”.** It’s time to open up the conversation and look at other possibilities as well.
Here is the link on i-tunes if you want to download it. If you are short on time and want to skip to the intro of Dr. Seyfried it starts at 05:35, and the actual interview starts at 09:02.
If you think this seems impossible, well… the planet used to be flat at one time, and lobotomies were still performed in the 60’s, so let’s keep an open mind and start a real conversation about this. I wish you all a round weekend! 😉
P.S. I passed both of my Exams last week and am now officially an NTP(Nutritional Therapy Practitioner)! [feelings of happiness and relief are inserted here]
Also, if this blog post interests you, take a look at this previous blog “Eat your brain into better wellth” and this excellent TED talk by William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer?