Real Nutrition...Real Energy

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Real Nutrition...Real Energy

Why is nutrition so important?  Well there are several reasons.  The most important is energy.  Our body is like a flower.  During the day we wake up and are expanding a lot of energy, we are in catabolic mode.  Meaning we are constantly breaking down.  At night we close up, sleep and turn anabolic and move into repair mode. Now some of us have a hard time sleeping, we'll get into that another day, because yeas that's a big, common problem.

So we burn energy, sometimes lots of it depending on what we are doing, all day to sustain our biological activities.  Some you might not even think about.  Oh did I say think, like using our brains to basically do everything from all that stuff you do automatically to taxing our brains to do our jobs.  Now what if I told you that the human brain consumes the most amount of energy in the body, approximately 25-30%, that's a lot.  When we are pushing ourselves both mentally and physically we're draining those energy stores.  What if we could program or hack, as some call it our body, to burn fuel in the most efficient way, pretty good idea right?  Not as hard as you might think if you know biochemistry.  That's my job to teach you how to  do this.

Think about this for a second...have you ever lite a pile of dry leaves on fire?  You get this big burst of flames, i.e. energy, but then it burns out really fast.  Now what if you light one of those old fashioned oil lanterns, you know the one with the wick.  Yup it burns really steady for days.  Do you follow where i'm going with this...fast burning, dirty fuel compared to long, steady, clean burning fuel.  Do you want to be a pile of leaves or an oil lamp?  Ahhh I think the oil lamp makes better sense and here's the cool part if we want to we can turn on the fast burning fuel if we want to sprint across the parking lot and then turn it off again.  But if we're the pile of leaves , no such luck, your stuck in that glucose burning mode.  Biochemically the body won't let you do it.

Back to the brain...if you're like the pile of leaves and burning that fuel pretty quick the brain is constantly hitting a wall.  Ugg brain fog, loss of concentration, darn where did I just put my keys oh and that great feeling of fatigue.  It's like that 5 hour energy commercial where your yawning and falling asleep at  2 in the afternoon until you reach for the next carb filled meal to get that fast energy again.  Only to repeat that cycle throughout the day.  You're brain isn't real keen on this idea.  You're stressing it out.

Now let's think about being that oil lamp that holds the steady burning fuel all day.  We don't need to refuel that much.  We're not hitting the wall with our brains, no crashes.  And we aren't stressing the heck out of selves with the yo-yo effects of sugar highs and sugar lows.  Trust me this is a huge difference in how you feel, how you think, how you concentrate, how you remember and on and on.

If we switch things around a bit and feed the body mostly fat, good fats, approximately 70% fats, keep protein to about 20% and the remainder carbs you are changing your biochemistry to producing ATP via beta oxidation.  It's faster, easier and more efficient and you can create 4 times the amount of energy than producing it with glucose in the krebs cycle.  But most of us like the breads, cereals, cookies, bagels, soft drinks, candy, chips, ice-cream, rice and potatoes and are stuck in the glucose burning mode.  Why can't the body burn any fat on that diet.  The answer is one single hormone....insulin.  Yup it takes a lot of insulin to shunt the sugar out of the blood stream and into the tissue to store the glucose until you burn it off.  Now the answer becomes why can't the body move from burning predominantly glucose on the diet I just mentioned to burning fat and switching back and forth.  If I'm burning predominantly fat or ketones I CAN switch to glucose and back to fat.  But I CAN'T if I'm eating mostly carbs.  Why??? I'll let you know in part 3 of this series.  It's all about biochemistry.  Learn it, understand it and yes you can hack your body and more importantly your brain. 

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Diet....That Dirty Word

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Diet....That Dirty Word

Every day I come across someone who desperately wants to lose weight.  And yes they have tried every diet out there.  You now the Mediterranean Diet, The South Beach Diet, etc, etc, etc.  It works at first then you get frustrated and quit because the results stall.  Or you've tried the diet pills or herbs or whatever is the latest internet craze.  Oh and don't forget the gym membership to go crazy on the exercise route.  Hmmmm this doesn't sound too promising, right??

Now what if you understood how the bodies chemistry works so you would not only know how to lose weight or should I say be the correct weight for your body frame, but also know how to stay that way.  Lately we have heard of the low carb high fat diet and seen some pretty good results, right?  But did you wonder why this works and what are the real benefits to fueling the body this way.  

Okay noticed I used the word "fuel".  The body produces energy all day long via the nutrients it absorbs from the food you eat.  Now there are a couple of caveats here....first you need to have a gut that is working correctly to breakdown and absorb those nutrients.  Second you need to be in a state, biochemically, that is burning predominately ketones, AKA fat, for fuel and be able to switch to burning glucose for a bust of quick energy demands.  We also need a liver to remove not only the metabolic waste produced by the body but also the toxins that are in our environment.  So as you can see this is a three pronged approach, remember the body operates as a whole unit, not systems running rouge on their own.

In a series of posts I'm going to go into detail on how all this works and why just concentrating on losing weight is really a byproduct of a much bigger picture and one that when you learn it, you'll be surprised because it's going to change much more than you just losing weight.  

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The Foundation to Optimizing the Body and Brain

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The Foundation to Optimizing the Body and Brain

In our last post we touched on the subject of erectile dysfunction and how it works.  Today lets start a conversation on how to start to bring our bodies back in balance so that doesn't happen to you.  

The foundation is the fuel we burn in our cells, namely the mitochondria, that produces energy.  If you have ever had a pile of leaves and set it on fire you would see a burst of flames and then it would quickly burn out.  Okay now relate that to eating tons of carbs all day long.  You get this burst of glucose or energy but it doesn't last long then you are tired and hungry again and looking to refuel.  Now one more caveat because you are solely burning glucose when that drop hits you go into hypoglycemia and the body needs to pump out glucocorticoids to raise the glucose level back to normal.

Don't be mistaken glucocorticoids are essential to the body but too much of them wreaks havoc in the brain.  Namely the limbic area and the medial pre frontal cortex.  Both areas are involved in mood, emotions, cognitive thinking, and pleasure just to name a few.  The glucocorticoids start to knock out the function of the neurons in those areas of the brain.  We'll elaborate on this more, but for now you start to see that glucose is not the normal source of energy the body and especially the brain needs to operate.

Did you ever use an old fashion lantern that burns oil?  It burns long and steady.  Okay that's what we want the body to burn, a long steady fuel.  That fuel is called ketones.  You can read more about this in the website.  So our nutritional intake should be healthy fats and oils predominately, about 70%.  Then we need protein to repair tissue, that's about 20% and yes carbs are the lowest about 10%.  Now take a moment and think about your diet.....lots of carbs right??  Start switching your diet this way and you will be amazed at how you feel.  Sign in to get info about this.  

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ED The Real Cause......

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ED The Real Cause......

With more than 30 million men currently experiencing erectile dysfunction why havn't drugs like Cialis and Viagra solved the problem.  Or stated another way, are drugs the answer to many of the growing health problems american's face today.  Well it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that drugs for chronic disorders are not the answer.  So let's really delve into what is driving this common problem and what are the downstream effects mentally on a man suffering with this issue.

We all are living and working in some level of a stressful environment.  We are pressured at work to take on more projects, we come home to a family that demands our time and slowly we are wearing our bodies out.  How much time are we setting aside for ourselves to really enjoy life, hmm probably not much.  

The human bodies biology and biochemistry to run in an optimized state requires one simple platform.....balance.  Every system in the body runs through it's phases of catabolic and anabolic states throughout a 24 hour cycle.  So what happens when we push the limits?  We have all heard of the fight or flight state, better known as the stress response system.  It is an inherent survival system, without it we would cease too exist.  A bear is chasing you in the woods and you mobilize  your body to either run or prepare to fight, right, makes perfect sense.  When this happens the body releases what's called glucocorticoids.  It prepares us to shut down all the non essentials, like growth, digestion, and yes, why would we even think of having sex at a time like this!!  Instead  we shunt glucose to the muscles to act, we speed up the heart, we optimize the lungs, etc.  

Okay, now under normal and I stress the word normal, this is not a situation we would find ourselves in on a regular basis, right?  But actually we are putting ourselves in this state, not as severe, but on a never ending basis.  Was the human body biologically set up for this, NO!  Get were I'm going....we are putting ourselves in this chronic state of activating the stress response system none stop.  Meaning we are activating the sympathetic nervous system more than we should be.  

Back to the ED problem.  How does that work, well believe it or not to have an erection you have to start out in the parasympathetic mode first, then what brings about the erection is shifting to sympathetic mode.  So if your always running in the sympathetic mode by driving that stress system and pumping out tons of glucocorticoids well guess what, it ain't gonna happen.  That's the body doing just what it was designed to do, forget the non essential junk, we gotta prepare to get outta a situation.  You see it's not a drug problem it's an imbalance within the autonomic nervous system driven by a stressor to the body....we've knocked ourselves out of balance.  Believe it or not it's as simple as that.  Know the answer is how do we get out of this mess,  ehh that takes some knowledge of biochemistry and how the brain works, yes I said brain.  Stay in touch and I will elaborate on that subject in the next posts.  Don't stress your self out.

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