Here are three steps to accelerate your health goals and have more energy throughout the day.
Step #1 – Balance Fasting and Feasting times
Pick a 6-8 hour window during your day to have 2 meals and fast the rest of the day/night. If you stop eating at 8 PM and fast till noon the next day that would be a 16 hour fast and 8-hour feeding window. It might be difficult at first and there is an adjustment period for your body but once you get in the rhythm of it it’s very attainable. Make sure to pick your fasting times during times when you are busy and away from the house. When you are fasting you can drink water (add some sea salt for electrolytes), unsweetened tea and black coffee on occasion as well.
Step #2 – Cut Out All Junk Food
The next thing you need to do is to cut out all the junk. We’ve seen how these are simply empty calories that make us hungrier – so just stop buying it!
By avoiding most sweets, ready meals and fast food you can generally get rid of the empty calories from your diet.
Likewise, you can take a leaf out of the ‘slow carb’ or ‘no carb’ guidebook. You don’t have to completely avoid carbohydrates but just make sure that you limit your intake of ‘simple’ carbs like white bread, pasta, pizza, and cereal. Again, you can do this by sticking largely to a diet of naturally sourced carbohydrates and have it be about 20-30% of your diet. (vegetables)
Step #3 – Seek Out Nutrient Dense Foods
The final step is to try and make sure that you feel great at all times. The best way to do that is to seek out foods that offer a source of powerful and beneficial nutrients.
A great example of this is something like a wide array of organ meat which is packed with incredible nutrients. Not only do you get all the amino acids that come from the meat but you also get high amounts of creatine, CoQ10, PQQ and fatty acids. These are the most crucial and complex parts of the animal and they’re made once again of similar things to the most complex and crucial parts of your own body!
I have been ordering from a company called Force of Nature which has different blends of liver, heart and beef. If you prefer to supplement and not eat organs check out Ancestral Supplements for a high-quality organ meat supplement.
Likewise, consuming eggs, fish, tropical fruits, vegetables, and sea plants will help to fuel your body with all kinds of crucial nutrients.
This is another reason that the Mediterranean Diet looks good on paper – because it involves lots of salads, fish, and all topped off with plenty of olive oil for added healthy fats. Likewise, Paleo dieters that eat lots of organ meats etc. also benefit from this.
By making the effort to do this, you’ll now have far better nutrition and will be fueled with energy and protected from disease. At the same time, you’ll actually enjoy your meals and you won’t get hunger pangs or cravings!
Keeping it Super Simple
– Eat clean foods in a smaller window during the day
– Get rid of the following:
Added sugar: Soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others.
Refined grains: White bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.
Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods.
Refined oils: Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and others.
Processed meat: Processed sausages, hot dogs, etc.
Highly processed foods: Anything labeled “low-fat” or “diet” or which looks like it was made in a factory.
– Hunt out grass-fed organ meats and wild fish
It really is that simple! It takes the best bits of every diet (low carb, slow carb, low calorie, atkins, low fat, paleo, Mediterranean) and ignores the nonsense.
And really it just amounts to eating a good mix of healthy, natural foods in a way that you can enjoy them.
You visit the doctor regularly to maintain your health. That’s certainly smart. Before your next appointment, however, consider this: when was the last time your doctor asked about your diet?
Although physicians are perfectly aware of the connection between our health and the food we put into our body, this is a question they rarely, if ever, pose. They appear to be more interested in prescribing medications than treating and preventing health problems in a more natural and effective way.
This is especially disconcerting as more and more people suffer from a wheat sensitivity, allergy, or celiac disease. The problem with wheat is caused by gluten, one of the proteins found in modern-day wheat. It can damage the small intestine and make digesting wheat difficult or impossible. It can cause fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and other, more serious discomforts, such as damaging the small intestine. Celiac disease is serious, and physicians need to start paying attention.
Processed wheat, which is found everywhere, isn’t healthy for anyone. For people with celiac disease, it can be a daily nightmare. That is why going gluten-free is becoming increasingly popular. People are learning the effects of modern wheat and are starting to take control of their own health.
For people who are sensitive or allergic to wheat, going gluten-free can be life-changing. It can help them rid the body of irritating toxins and help them function normally again. For others, who are not gluten-sensitive, abstaining from gluten is a way of eating healthier, feeling better, and having more energy.
Food matters. What we consume is critical to our health. The fact is, gluten adds little to our lives but can cause considerable damage. Going gluten-free is a return to eating in a way that promotes optimum health and wellbeing. For anyone who believes that we have been eating wheat for thousands of years without a problem, you will soon learn why that is incorrect.
Even for those who are not suffering from celiac disease or wheat sensitivity, a gluten-free diet can be prevention against disease. Gluten is known to cause serious inflammations, and inflammation can increase the risk of arthritis and coronary diseases.
Using food to prevent the onset of these problems enables us to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. This makes far more sense than treating diseases with medications that can have harmful side effects.
Gluten is all around us, which can make going gluten-free quite a challenge. With so many food items made of wheat, barley, or rye, all of which contain gluten, and with more food products containing hidden wheat, the idea of eating gluten-free may seem like deprivation. Quite the contrary. You can still eat the cookies, cakes, and pasta you love. You will simply be preparing them differently.
If you are suffering from celiac disease, going gluten-free is a must. But other intestinal issues, such as diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome have also been relieved with a gluten-free diet.
Researchers are linking more and more gastrointestinal problems with gluten.
Anyone who believes that gluten-free is just a modern phase is half- right. It is indeed something new and modern. But it is not a phase. An increasing number of people are suffering from the effects of modern wheat and refined flour.
The degree can vary – from a bit of wheat sensitivity to greater intolerance to celiac disease, which is the inability to process any amount of wheat due to problems in the small intestines. Especially in the case of celiac disease, the digestive system views gluten as invaders and reacts accordingly. As it tries to attack these toxins, the lining of the gut itself can become damaged, resulting in leaks, inflammation, and other problems. Serious gastrointestinal problems are the result.
SHOPPING FOR GLUTEN-FREE FOODS
When you begin to shop gluten-free, it can be a bit confusing and overwhelming. You might panic about missing out on your favorite meals. It may seem that there is nothing for you to eat. You’ll quickly find, however, that is not the case.
Finding delicious foods that are gluten-free is easier than you think. You are likely to find a few tasty food options that you haven’t considered. Once you know what to watch out for, you’ll master the supermarket aisle like a gluten pro.
Besides, if one or more members of your family is gluten-intolerant while the rest are able to eat wheat, don’t prepare separate meals.
Gluten-free meals are NOT a punishment, and anyone suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance should not be made to feel guilty or different. Omitting gluten from your diet is eating healthy, and that is something your entire family should be doing.
HAVE A PLAN
Your trip to the market starts with a list. Walking up and down the aisles can lead to serious temptations. Supermarkets are deliberately designed to tempt you and lure you into buying things you don’t need. You don’t want to roam randomly. Before you leave the house, before you even create your shopping list, plan your meals.
Don’t approach meal-planning negatively, as in, “Oh, I can’t eat pasta … bread … cookies.” Eating gluten-free is not about subtracting and deprivation. It’s all about eating better. Plan the meals you enjoy and think in terms of substitutions. How can you improve this recipe? For example, if you want to prepare pasta, do so. Simply plan on using zoodles (zucchini noodles) or gluten-free pasta in your preparation.
Feel like baking some cookies for the kids? All you need to do is substitute wheat-free flour in your recipe. We’ll discuss substitution later in this book. One or two gluten-free cookbooks will provide you with inspiration and help you understand how delicious gluten-free meals can be. They are an excellent investment.
Think in terms of variety. The greater the variety of food you eat, the more nutrition you consume. And don’t forget about herbs and spices, most of which are quite nutrient-packed. Shopping gluten- free will expand your food world.
There are many places to purchase gluten-free products. (Aren’t you lucky!). There are the around-every-corner supermarkets, specialty stores, health food stores, outdoor farmers markets, and online. By all means, make yourself available to all of these options. However, make the supermarket your main shopping place. There are reasons for that.
First, gluten-free is catching on, and most markets now carry gluten-free products or have an entire gluten-free aisle. The deli section is likely to offer a number of gluten-free items. By shopping at the regular market, you won’t feel that you are shopping “differently,” and that is psychologically important. You’re not different, you’re just smart.
Any farmer’s market, of course, is a treasure trove of healthy produce, so you definitely want to be there whenever possible. As for specialty health food stores and online shopping, keep that in reserve as a valuable last resort for any product you can’t find in stores.
Now that you’ve planned your meals, you are ready to create your shopping list. Keep in mind that prepared and pre-packaged foods frequently have hidden sugars and gluten. If you are unsure, contact the manufacturer for more details. In addition to bringing your shopping list, you should also have a gluten-free food/ingredient list for interpreting difficult labels.
We recommend that if possible, you shop without young children, whose sticky little fingers invariably reach for chocolate, cookies, and other snacks with abandon. You need to maintain control of the shopping situation.
Some of the most popular, gluten-free, wheat-free flours are as follows:
- Coconut flour – a great baking flour
- Corn flour – made from corn and used in baking and coating.
- Oat flour – when made of natural oats, oat flour is gluten-free.
Great for cookies and baking.
- Brown rice flour – this is easy to digest. In addition, pasta made with brown rice flour is your best alternative to the standard white-flour pasta. There is white rice flour, as well, which is gluten-free. However, the white type of rice flour has been polished of most of its vitamin B and important minerals. It won’t harm you, but you won’t get the same nutrition that you would with brown rice flour.
- Almond flour – made from healthy nuts. Almond flour can be used in almost any kind of baking.
- Tapioca flour – this isn’t really a baking/cooking flour. It is frequently used as a thickener for sauces and to create a roux.
- Chickpea flour – this healthy flour contains needed fiber and minerals. It is best used for pancakes and waffles.
- Sorghum flour – this is a heavy flour. When used in baking, it is frequently combined with tapioca flour.
- Cassava flour – this flour contains few nutrients other than vitamin C, but it can easily be used for baking.
- Amaranth Flour – this is a nutrient-packed flour that, like sorghum, can be mixed with another flour for baking.
- Buckwheat flour actually isn’t a flour, but a very healthful seed. Great for making pancakes.
- Teff flour – another flour that can be used with other gluten-free flours for baking.
- Cricket flour – this is actually made from roasted crickets, but don’t let that keep you from trying it. It’s nutrient-dense and has a nutty flavor.
- All-purpose gluten-free flour – this is made from a combination of the above flours and can be used for all-purpose baking.
Gluten-free cooking offers you lots of choices, and you should experiment to see which flour works best for you. Flours made from coconut or almond can lend a delightful flavor to your baked goods.
A word of caution: When flours are displayed in bulk, there can be some cross-contamination when a customer uses the same scooper to bag gluten and non-gluten types of flours. If that is a serious concern, get your gluten-free flour from a market or a health food store that has a separate gluten-free section, or order through the internet.
You and your cart, which is getting pretty full, have made it to the dairy section. Notice that you are still wandering the perimeter of the market instead of roaming the aisles.
Milk and dairy do not contain gluten but be careful of additives. Yogurts and ice cream can contain all types of flavoring, so read the labels carefully. And, as previously stated, any item labeled “diet” or “low fat” is likely to contain gluten fillers.
If you’re in search of snacks, you are likely to end up in one of the aisles. Check ingredient labels carefully. As an alternative, prepare your own tasty snack by mixing gluten-free granola with chopped nuts or dried fruits.
When you arrive at the meat and fish section, you are in a gluten-free zone, except for the prepared and coated meats, which you will ignore. Focus on lean meats and fish to prepare tasty and healthy meals. I would keep it simple and focus on meats, fish, and vegetables as your main food sources.
Protein makes up the building blocks of organs, muscles, skin, hormones, and pretty much everything that matters in your body. Protein is what we get from meat (among other sources) and it’s where we get the ‘amino acids’ our bodies need. Amino acids are used when repairing skin and bone and for building muscle but they come in a range of different shapes and sizes.
To grow as much muscle as possible, the recommendation is that we get around 1 gram of protein for every one pound of body-weight! Of course, this advice is aimed at bodybuilders and athletes and wouldn’t apply to the Average Joe… but it shows what a key role protein plays in our body composition. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men but everyone is different depending on body weight and activity level.
What’s also important to bear in mind is that there is more than one ‘type’ of amino acid. Actually, there are currently thought to be 20 amino acids, with nine essential amino acids. If you don’t get all of these amino acids from your diet, then certain important repair jobs around your body will not get carried out.
Seeing as most sources of protein only contain certain combinations of amino acids, it’s generally important to make sure your diet contains a variety of different types of wild fish, eggs, and grass-fed meat. (One of the only ‘complete’ sources for amino acids is the egg!)
Foods containing all nine of these amino acids are called complete proteins.
Some of these complete proteins include:
These complete proteins are essential to our overall health, which is why they are comprised of the essential amino acids. Our bodies need all nine of these essential amino acids for basic health; since our bodies cannot make them naturally, we must get them from other sources.
Keep in mind that protein is essential for satiety; it holds off hunger better than any other macronutrient, and protein-rich foods are highly satiating.
When Intermittent Fasting, you need to think about the vitamins and minerals you’re getting and how you’re keeping them in your diet. Because vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients can do all kinds of incredible things for your health.
The best way to think about vitamins and minerals in your diet is as them being like power-ups in computer games. That is to say, that collecting these through what you eat can increase your strength, your speed, your stamina, your brainpower, and more…
In fact, many of the individual nutrients in our food are now sold as supplements for a variety of athletes. I could write entire chapters on the benefits of countless individual nutrients and each time I did, you’d be compelled to rush out the door and buy them in supplement form…
But the point is that getting these nutrients from your diet is much easier, cheaper, and more effective. When you get fat-soluble minerals and vitamins from avocado instead of a tablet, for instance, you also get healthy fats and fiber. Meanwhile, getting iron from spinach versus a tablet means you’re also getting calcium, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
So if you can get all the nutrition from your diet, by eating a very balanced selection of different foods, you’ll find that you’re able to get an incredible range of different benefits. If for some reason you can not check out this great brand called Isotonix.
Let’s take a look at some examples of crucial nutrients that should try to get from your diet…
Choline is a crucial nutrient found in eggs. This is the precursor to a chemical used in the brain known as ‘acetylcholine’. Acetylcholine is the brain’s principal neurotransmitter used for communication between cells. The more acetylcholine you have in your brain, the more focused, alert, and awake you are. Supplementing has been shown to boost memory, IQ, and more!
Creatine is a wonder-substance that is incredibly useful for a wide range of different purposes and which is popularly used among athletes. The main role of creatine is to help the cells recycle used ATP to provide you with a few seconds of extra energy. This allows you to run faster for longer and to lift heavier items. Once again, it has also been shown to improve attention and concentration!
Omega 3 Fatty Acid:
Omega 3 fatty acid is an antioxidant that can help to protect cells from damage by free radicals and oxidants. This means that it can help to fight the effects of aging, while at the same time reducing the likelihood of cancer. Omega 3 fatty acids can also improve the communication between cells by improving ‘cell membrane permeability’. This can help to improve IQ. Omega 3 is also great for healthy skin and joints.
A lesser-known carotenoid that is found in the macula of the eye. This is a great micronutrient for reducing the likelihood of impaired vision as you reach older age and can also do a lot of other things. Lutein is linked with energy efficiency and in studies, it has been shown to help rats lose weight and run further on their volition.
Casein is a great type of protein found in milk (as is whey). Unlike whey, casein releases slowly which makes it ideal to consume before bed. This way, you will be given a steady and constant supply of protein as you are in your most ‘anabolic’ state (during sleep).
Found in numerous proteins and other foods, tryptophan is a natural precursor to serotonin – what we know as the ‘happiness hormone’. This can fight depression, boost your mood, and even help you to sleep better at night (as it is converted to melatonin).
Vitamin D should be considered less a vitamin and more of a ‘master hormone’. Among other things, vitamin D aids in the production of testosterone, which helps boost muscle mass, weight loss, energy levels, libido, and more! Vitamin D is mainly produced in the body in response to exposure to sunlight, though it can also be found in eggs. A recent study found that vitamin D is needed for the mitochondria in the cells to regenerate after exertion.
CoQ10 is another substance that can improve cellular energy by improving mitochondrial efficiency. Another is PQQ. These have been shown to improve not only athletic performance but also brainpower.
Resveratrol is one of the most powerful antioxidants we can get from the diet and is often thought of as being one of the most important aspects of the ‘Mediterranean Diet’. The Mediterranean Diet is a diet that consists of foods similar to hot European countries and the logic behind this is that these cultures statistically enjoy longer lifespans and lower incidences of heart disease (this was especially surprising back when we thought that saturated fats cause heart problems!). Resveratrol is not only a potent antioxidant in its own right but also improves mitochondrial performance in a way that reduces the formation of free radicals in the first place. It has been shown to greatly extend the lifespan of rats in laboratory settings in a manner similar to calorie restriction (which also increases lifespans).
Glutathione (GSH) is often described as the body’s ‘master antioxidant’. This molecule helps to detoxify the cells and combat free radicals and can unlock the full potential of all the other antioxidants in your system. In fact, without adequate levels of glutathione, your body cannot make full use of any other antioxidants from your diet. Vitamin C, fish, resveratrol, and more all become much more potent when combined with a supply of GSH.
Calcium is one of the minerals most responsible for strengthening the bones and connective tissue. It needs a good supply of magnesium and vitamin D for you to get the most of it.
Vitamin B complex vitamins include B6, B12, thiamine, folate, and riboflavin. These vitamins can be used for a number of things but are particularly powerful for converting protein and sugar into energy and producing red blood cells. In other words, adding vitamin B to your diet will improve energy metabolism and help you to wake up feeling refreshed!
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is well known for helping to fend off all manner of diseases by strengthening the immune system. It also happens to help with the production of serotonin thereby boosting the mood.
Zinc is implicated in neuroplasticity. That means that it makes it easier to learn new skills and abilities. What’s more, is that it also helps to increase testosterone production and improves the function of the central nervous system. Many people have a deficiency in zinc.
This is an amino acid that increases mitochondrial function and thereby enhances brain energy metabolism. It is often given to people suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome. That’s right – each of the 20 amino acids that we need also provides other crucial functions in the body!
Nitric oxide helps to improve blood flow around the body by acting as a vasodilator. This means it helps the blood vessels to widen, allowing more blood to flow around the body at any given time. This can not only aid in pretty much every function but also has various important roles in the brain and can be used to help us wake up in the morning!
I could go on and on… But the point is that one of the main objectives for a healthy diet should always be to supply the body with all these kinds of crucial nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals. If you do, then you will feel 100% better, live healthier, and find it easier to stick to a healthy diet for weight loss!
When you eat refined carbs it will cause a spike in blood sugar and you will soon crash causing tiredness and more hunger. Avoiding empty calories such as pasta, bread, cereals, and most fast foods will make fasting easier.
Here is why the Western way of eating has a lot of problems.
The first issue is that we’re too focused on short-term energy. We know we’re hungry because our serotonin levels are depleted and so we are motivated to increase that serotonin and our energy levels as quickly as possible. And the best way to do this? Eat a quick release, simple carbohydrate such as a bag of chips.
Serotonin is often described as the ‘feel-good hormone’ and is associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. Generally, we think of serotonin as being responsible for our pleasant moods and think of it as a neurotransmitter that has a role in a number of psychological conditions. Low serotonin for instance is correlated with depression.
What you may not have known though, is that serotonin is also crucial for our regulation of hunger and plays a key role in our satiety.
Like ghrelin, serotonin is also a hormone that tells the brain that we’re full and that we don’t need to eat any more. This occurs partly through our consumption of carbohydrates, most of which will contain some amount of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid and is also found in protein but there’s only a small amount of it in most foods compared with other amino acids, which prevents it from having any major effect.
When you eat lots of refined carbohydrates then, you actually flood the bloodstream with tryptophan and this then remains in the blood once the insulin kicks in and you start absorbing the nutrients.
This then leads to a surplus of tryptophan which reaches the brain and guess what happens then? It turns into serotonin! This happens because tryptophan is actually a precursor to serotonin and one of the key building blocks used to create it.
All this explains why you tend to feel in a very good mood when you’ve just eaten and why your mood can plummet when you start to get low in blood sugar. This is where ‘hangry’ comes from!
The good news is that this is actually just one of several mechanisms that the body uses to tell how full it is. Leptin for instance is another hormone that is produced in the gut and which tells the brain to stop eating too.
If you are eating a diet that consists mainly of modern ‘snacks’ then you’ll be flooding the body with sugar and then seeing it through very quickly afterward. That then means you need to snack again. It also means that the body won’t use up the energy as quickly as it receives it, which leads to it being stored as fat.
It’s always better to use a complex carb diet rather than one that completely eradicates this whole food group from the diet and that means that you should be eating things like tubers, berries, and vegetables instead of things like crisps, white bread, and pasta!
The bigger problem with eating things that give us a quick ‘kick’ is that they often don’t contain any of the crucial nutrients that we described above. And this is where the idea of ‘empty calories’ comes in.
That means no protein to build muscles, no vitamins, and minerals to help you think better or feel in a better mood, and nothing else that the body needs. That doesn’t only apply to donuts either though – it also applies to ready meals, fast food, and anything else ‘processed’.
When you buy a ready-made lasagna from the store, you actually get very low-quality meat that will have been blended together with other meats and has lots of sugar added.
Despite getting a lot of mince, your body won’t actually be able to use many amino acids or other nutrients. The calories are increased but the nutritional benefits are drastically reduced.
This then means that you would not be as efficient at burning fat because your mitochondria would perform more poorly and your metabolism would be slowed by impaired levels of testosterone.
(By the way, if you think that testosterone, thyroid, and other hormones don’t have a big impact on weight loss then just ask someone who suffers from hypothyroidism or consider the difference between natural endomorphs and ectomorphs!)
When you don’t get the nutrients you need, your body actually makes you crave more food. The body knows what it needs and it sends signals that encourage you to want to eat those things.
So the bottom line is to eat nutrient-dense foods (quality protein, and fats) and avoid processed foods to make fasting throughout the day and night a lot easier.