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!
I hope that you are all doing very well, and are able to enjoy the longer days outdoors. What does it really mean to get a diagnosis? Is that the real answer to our difficulties? Does it mean that we should stop thinking about problem solving as soon as we hear “your diagnosis is XYZ”? Let’s first take a look at what the word diagnosis really means.
noun: diagnosis; plural noun: diagnoses
the identification of the nature of an illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms.
OK, so based on looking at the symptoms we should be able to ID the nature of the problem. Meaning, if I have a swollen knee, the nature of the problem is probably inflammation. In that case my diagnosis is inflammation in the knee. A typical treatment would be to eat anti-inflammatory pills, and stay away from sports, right. We all recognize this type of scenario.
Now, if you just got bitten in your knee by a huge spider, rat or the neighbors crazy kid, this kind of treatment makes perfect sense. Maybe you crashed from your bike? However, I dare to say that this is not the typical case scenario.
In that case (so in pretty much all the cases) you need to start asking WHY? OK, so you have inflammation in your knee, but why? Is it because you just started a new exercise program, and you haven’t done that many squats in decades? If so, are you doing enough mobility exercises every day to help your body getting used to the new load? Is your form really good?Ask your coach, find out what you need to work on. Do you have good hip range of motion (ROM)? If not, that could compromise the position of your knee, forcing your knees to collapse inwards. Are you sitting all day at work?
How is your hydration and nutrition? Was your appendix taken out? Are you sometimes constipated? This can have an impact on the blood circulation, lymph system and organ system. If there is an imbalance there, it can create adhesion and feed chronic inflammation over time. Chronic inflammation will weaken your body, but you typically don’t notice it until you are asking more of your body and find a weak spot. In this case your knee.
When getting a diagnosis, ask yourself – Why? Not in a self-pity way, but in a science way. OK, so what are all the possibilities for creating inflammation in my knee? In which of those areas can I improve? How can I help my body on as many levels as possible?
If your Thyroid is a mess, ask Why? Read books, listen to podcasts, find out what nutrients your thyroid needs to feel good. What can you do to make sure that those nutrients are absorbed? What things might be good to exclude?
If you keep rolling your ankles and it takes them a long time to heal, it might be worth looking into the effects of too much cortisol in your body, and how that weakens the ligaments. What could you do to lower the levels of cortisol?
If your answer to the WHY is “it’s genetics” or “bad luck” or “I guess it’s the age” I believe that you have given up on all the amazing things that your body is capable of. Remember, the default mode of the body is to heal itself. Often it’s us who gets in the way, or take the easy way out thinking medication will fix it for us. A diagnosis often describes the symptoms, but seldom tells us the root cause of those symptoms.
Of course it’s not easy to try and figure out all the different whys and mechanisms behind a certain diagnosis. If that was the case we would have solved cancer by now, right?! But understanding the many different mechanisms behind a certain diagnosis, might broaden your horizons and make you see something you haven’t before. And maybe improving in that area, will improve other areas as well.
“Eating food is the biggest variable in our lives. The biggest. So why not eat the best? Why not eat nutrients instead of calories and you watch your body rebuild and transform.”
-Dr. Robert Zembroski on Impact Theory
Here is the really interestingpodcast/video on this topic with Dr. Robert Zembroski.
Hey there Team!
I hope that you are all doing well, and that you will be able to do something really nice for the Easter Holidays. The weather is looking awesome over here, so I will make sure to hit the beach!
Today is Good Friday and the Easter Weekend tends to be the culmination into a mountain of chocolate eggs, and all types of other Easter candy! For some, this time of the year is a pure joy of indulging in lots of yummy treats.
However, for plenty of others it can be quite stressful. Many people are trying to adopt healthier habits and want to minimize dairy and sugar intake. But because the Easter candy comes wrapped as a gift, we feel obliged to eat it. What to do with all that guilt around the chocolates that you have received???
Just because you receive a gift of chocolate, or any other treat for Easter for that matter – you are not obliged to eat it! I say again: You are not obliged to eat it! All you have to do is to be grateful for the kind gesture that someone was thinking of you, and wanted to do something nice. Giving thanks does not equal having to eat the gift. (Repeat loudly for the diabolic part of your brain!)
"The true purpose of a present is to be received. Presents are not "things" but a means for conveying someone's feelings. When viewed from this perspective, you don't need to feel guilty for parting with a gift. Just thank it for the joy it gave you when you first received it." Marie Kondo
So let’s practice this. You are at home with your chocolate eggs that you have received from your lovely friends. But, as you have already decided before Easter, this is not the kind of processed foods that you want to put into your body.
Pick up the gift, and in your mind say something like “Thank you dear friend for thinking of me and going out of your way to give me this lovely gift. It is very much appreciated and it made me very happy. However, eating this gift will make me feel guilty and unhappy and therefore I won’t do that.” Then donate it or discard it.
"But surely the person who gave it to you doesn't want you to use [eat] it out of a sense of obligation,...only to feel guilty every time you see [eat] it. When you discard or donate it, you do so for the sake of the giver, too." 
If all else fails try to trick the diabolic part of your brain with sarcasm “Thanks for getting me a step closer to diabetes!”, and then donate or discard.
Alternatively write a blog about how to get rid of your Easter Candy…it will reduce your chances for having to deal with too much candy in the first place!
If you do want to eat it – do so and then really enjoy the moment! Eat the lovely chocolate because you want too. Not because your mind is making you feel guilty, just because it was a gift.
Have a lovely guilt-free Easter weekend! 😉
[1,2] The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
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!
It’s the weekend in Europe where we change the clock for daylight summer time. Are you as excited about warmer weather and more sun as I am?! To a completely different subject: Last week the topic of bad breath came up in a conversation at work. It seems that most of us don’t know all that much about it – other than that it stinks!
Let’s take a closer look at what could be connected to bad breath, called halitosis in medicine. Commonly most people think that you cannot really do that much about bad breath, other than brush your teeth, and maybe use some kind of mouth wash. The bad breath must come from your mouth, right?
Halitosis is formed by volatile molecules which are caused because of pathological or nonpathological reasons, and it originates from an oral or a non-oral source.
Well, lets take a step back. For instance, our breath can tell us about the alcohol level in our blood through an alcohol breathalyzer test. You can also check for SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) through a series of breathalyzer tests. These are things that we take for granted and know to be true. Well, if we measure alcohol levels and bad bacteria in the intestines from our breath, maybe there is more to bad breath than we thought.
Our mouth is the beginning of the tube that is our digestive system (esophagus, stomach, intestines, rectum) and our anal canal is at the very end of it. Just like stinky gas can come out at the end, it also can come out at the top.
If we think about the mouth as a large entrance hallway, what other rooms lead to that same hallway? Well, OK we just mentioned the esophagus of 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. 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?
Of course you want to start with good mouth hygiene and proper dental check-ups. Making sure that you are well hydrated is often overlooked in this regard. A dehydrated body and mouth makes it easier for bad bacteria to move in and stay there. Cigarettes are not helping your breath in any way. “Get rid of the cancer sticks!” as my friend Suzanne says.
If your bad breath is something that is occurring often, or all the time, I would look into your food choices. Your best bet is to stay away from processed foods and eat a well prepared whole foods diet. We’ll take a closer look at this next week.
For now try making a note of when you notice the bad 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.
Currently there is also a lot of really cool research connecting different gases in our breath to serious health conditions. Check out this interesting TED talk to learn more on this topic.
If top scientists are thinking about our breath and what it can tell us about our health, don’t you think it would be a good idea to pay attention to yours, especially it it stinks?!
Wishing you all a great weekend with plenty of fresh breath! 😉
Hey there Team!
How is everyone doing this week? As I am writing this the sun is shining and the weather is absolutely smashing! I do hope it stays like this for a couple of days. Just this week I completed a 10 day liver-detox-fast. Phew! Since I didn’t have to food-prep or cook, which usually takes up quite a bit of my time, I had some extra time to listen to podcasts.
"Most people are not over-trained, they are under-recovered."
I came across this one, optimizing your performance with Nike Master Trainer Joe Holder, and it’s such a good one! The Podcast is called Plant Proof, with Simon Hill, episode 52.
For Joe, it all started with being an athlete, but also with his family and the value system that they raised him with. His family was very nutritionally aware and ahead of their time in terms of how they were looking at food. Having the right mindset and critical thinking were also important topics for them.
“Culture had to be created by someone. Who says that we have to adhere to the rules, instead of creating our own personal manifesto and culture, to maximize our results.”
It would take Joe a couple of nasty sports injuries, to start digging deeper into why his body wasn’t healing so well. “Doctors couldn’t really tell me why my body wasn’t healing.” Together with his father he started to look into foods for the solution. But, also along that path he started to realize that “my emotional state was hindering my body’s natural healing.”
This led him onto a journey of working on fixing the physical but also the emotional parts of his body. Using meditation, nutrition [focusing on nutrient dense foods that seemed to have an increased link to healing], pain management from a mental state and traditional rehab exercises, he was able to return to his sport much quicker than anticipated. All of these different tools are at the base of his training system called the Ocho System.
These are just some of the many topics that Joe and Simon talk about. Without giving away any more golden nuggets, I really encourage you to check out this interesting and inspirational podcast.
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: