How I Gained 5 LBS in 10 hours!

podcast version available on SportsDocDC

This is a crazy story but I’m telling you guys the truth.  This happens to millions of people every single night.  It’s not skepticism or a strange and unknown phenomenon to be ranked in the realm of Bigfoot and the bermuda triangle.  This is real yo!

Science.

First a quick story to set the scene. Because this is how I teach…I add a human element and typically make myself the jackass so as to not point a finger at you.   

The other day Soccer practice with the little guys went late.  So now it’s 7:30 pm.  My wife, aka “Mom” is gone.  She’s off to a tennis match, most likely dropping Aces on those young chickies that think they’ve got the swag.  That a way babe!

So now it’s daddy dinner-with me running the show of homework, food, snacks and bedtime.  

Sounds like a night of Happy Gilmore and Breakfast for dinner huih?   I’ve got this!

But instead of the usual pancakes and sausages the youngest one throws a curve ball to me.  

“I want fish daddy.  Let’s stop and get fish. I can cook it up, It’ll be way better than pancakes.”

And this is true, my youngest has got WAY WY into fishing and he’s getting really good at the cooking of it as well.  The prep and clean up, that’s a different story but with visions of my wife being so proud of me not just surviving dad night but actually excelling and winning atr being a dad and her coming home with a tennis victory and a dad win at the house, how could she not throw herself into an uncontrollable rage of passion?

Ugh.  Ok, but the grocery store is seriously a one hour round trip, that won’t work, it’s just too late tonight.    This is real time science that real life parents hit each and every night.

But Hey, not so fast my friends.. My little island has a grocery store now, that’s right!  Right on the way home from the soccer fields,  Win for me – Viva Padre Island for eva!

Late night runs are common here, this place is stacked with food – but sadly, all they have is frozen fish.  This would take an hour of defrost just to get the show started.  Same time problem as going to the grocery in the first place/

We decided to compromise and go with fish sticks and fries.   Seemed like a very appropriate meal for Adam Sandler as Happy Gilmore.

And here is how the title of today’s episode came to fruition.

The next morning I weighed 4.8 lbs heavier than the previous day.

 Now I’m not certain what a plate of 4.8 pounds of fish and chips looks like but I know what a 16 oz steak looks like and I did not eat nearly 5 of those!

I mean 4.8 pounds, plus Gut bloat, a low headache and just plain irritable and miserable in the morning.   Coffee couldn’t fix my funk and even my 8 year old complained of it the next day.

4.8 lbs!  

So what’s happening?  I know I didn’t eat 4.8 pounds of food.  How can this be?   

Guys, I gave you the story to just show the reality of the very real phenomenon of Reactive foods

This is a real, it happens. I’ve written on it (link here) before but in a more sciency version.   If you want to dive in, I’d advise you to.   It will help you wth your health, skin, weight, relationships etc.    

Reactive Foods jack you system!

Here’s the jist of it for you that just want the quick take.

Certain foods aren’t good for you.  Heck, many so called health foods aren’t good for you    YOU.  Capital.

They may be good for that guy over there and are advertised as clean and healthy but you can be reactive to a lot of different foods.  

Badcially, your body treats food X almost as an allergen.  Or think of it better as an invader.’

Hey, Whats that guy doing here, he’s not allowed – don’t even let him in, get him out of here! Now.!

So the body does what it can. It loads the guts up with water and bloat and moves the invader along.

Let the miracle of the intestines do what God intended.

I’ve known about, and written about reactive foods for years.   I started playing with this idea back when it was an elimination plan diet…(yeah, that’s what elimination plans are supposed to be finding out, funny how they often forget to mention that huh?) and have used a lot of the new cool blood test that you mail in and results are sent to your phone.  These are the best, cuts down the grocery bill and months involved tremendously!

So I know that my primary reactive foods are oats, potatoes and sweet potatoes, pistachios and MSG.

There are a few others I’m sure, a few I’m suspect on and constantly test.

But look at this for a second…Oats…sweet potatoes, aren’t those good for you?  Aren’t they health foods?    Yeah, for some they are, justy not for me – In fact they are so NOT GOOD for me they make me gain about 4-5 pounds each time I screw up and eat them or decide, as I did last night, to go ahead and have a couple crinkle fries with my kids.

Eat X – gain bloat – that simple.

Know your reactive foods and make yourself better by simply avoiding the foods your body hates.   And here’s where it gets fun…I know this was my issue, so I cleaned up my body, helped my body process the problem with some digestive enzymes and a lot of water and with in 24-48 hours was back to normal.  It was just a one timer.    

But what happens when you don’t know?  Or deny the evidence sitting on your plate in front of you?   Or just say, “Forget you guys, I”Il do what I want!” (CARTMAN voice).

Well I’ll just ask you right back…What does chronic inflammation look like and feel like?

Why can’t you lose the weight?

Why are you angrier/shorter fused than you probably should be?

Why do your joints hurt?

Why do your feet look swollen?

Why does your nose run when you eat certain foods?

Because these reactive foods cause bloat/water retention and a histamine reaction..   See more on the link I told you about.  For this podcast just know this.  I had a plate of Fries and fish sticks and gained nearly 5 pounds overnight.

AND that, my friends, is how we wrap up the entire story, providing both some medical insight as well as some cheap entertainment in a fun filled 10 minute podcast/blog.   Hope you enjoyed, please rate me, check the links for more info and tell your amigos there’s this guy out there that makes even dietary strategies easy to understand and implement.

Show notes:

The mail in reactive foods blood test I use is from EVERLYWELL.

The more in depth podcast I wrote is called Reactive Foods as well as one on chronic inflammation and other nutritional ideas.  Reactive foods can and do affect all aspects of health because nutrition is 99% of all of our ails.

My little extra food for thought.   Sometimes it’s not weight gain, sometimes it’s skin reactions similar and often diagnosed as eczema especially around the lower legs, hands and wrists.  (maybe it’s not poor circulation or a rash.)  – this reactive food idea is seriously one of the best strategies for anyone looking to battle chronic inflammation diseases such as rheumatoid issues, lupus and fibromyalgia as well as bowel and gut inflammatory conditions like IBD, Crones and Colitis and it should make sense.  These are chronic inflammation issues.   Chronic    inflammation.   The foods you eat cause inflammation…and you eat them chronically.. And they irritate and over work your guts.    It’s not just a coincidence guys.  This stuff is real.  It will be THE medical diagnosis of the next decade.    

Electrolytes – Dude, You Need Some!

Electrolytes are often though of as a DEHYDRATION issue and TRUE it is a part of that. But more importantly, they work in the NEUROTRANSMITTER system in your body.

When the electrolyte/water ratio gets funky in your body, all kinds of weird things can hapen.

Supplementation of these components is a HUGE part of my practice and a huge part of performance, recovery, muscle spasm and tightness.   It’s one of my Four Reasons Why You’re Tight!

I almost always use electrolytes as part of the treatment protocol when a client has nonspecific and seemingly goofy symptoms. It’s a MUST with any sort of muscle spasms, cramps, charlie horses but also used with weird presentation stuff such as twitches and nervy sensations.

I also use it when a patient has multiple complaints that just seem unrelated –  “Hey Doc my leg, toe, knee, elbow and back all hurt.”

Maybe your last couple workouts have tanked or you just feel “off.”  This stinks, and this inconvenience is keeping you from your goals!

I often have clients describe their muscles as “feeling Heavy.”

It could be you have an ELECTROLYTE issue. OK let’s get real here – you do.

In my clinic, I’m known for most for muscle and joint stuff. However I take a lot of pride in seeing things differently and from a unique perspective.

In most body conditions and/or injuries I see, there are 5 main components – Muscle, Joint, Connective Tissue, Nutrition, Inflammation.

Nutrition is one of them.  It’s real.   Most things in life have at least 3 of the 5 components happening at the same time.  It’s no biggie, it’s not like your falling apart, there are just a few things happening simultaneously.   You can easily have a nutritional component as well as muscle and joint stuff.  It’s not either/or –  it’s all the above. You need ELECTROLYTES – it’s a simple fix.

But, like life, sometimes simplicity still takes a little explanation….so please, read on and learn.

Basically speaking – electrolytes are the vitamins and minerals that tell the muscles how much to contract or relax – they help control the proper tension, so a depletion in one or multiple electrolytes cause weird symptoms. Usually muscle spasms, Charlie horses or weaknesses in athletes but can manifest different ways.  Electrolytes are also neurotransmitters, a huge 50 cent word that means it connects your body.  Basically, they run the information highway system of the body.

BUT – “I drink a ton of water!”

Dehydration is always thought of as too little water but should more accurately be thought of as the ratio between water and electrolytes. Too much water with no electrolyte replenishing can mess you up …the ratio is off.   You sweat more than water, you need to put back in more than water. The most common electrolyte combo lost during exercise is sodium and chloride (salt). That’s why your sweat is salty. This is why the majority of products designed to replace electrolytes are high in salt.

This was a great idea in the 1960’s when Gatorade was invented.  – The problem in the US is that we get plenty of salt and I personally feel electrolyte replenishers for most US athletes should be lower in salt.

BUT   “I take a magnesium or potassium pill or eat a banana”, “I slurp Pickle juice”

My personal observation and what is being used most often, is that replenisher drinks do better when all the electrolytes are put back into the system at one time – think of it as topping off the levels.   One mineral by itself (think “eat a banana” for low potassium) seems not to work as well or works slower than all at once, such as potassium with the host of all the others.

  • Sodium – Choride  (together form typical table salt)
  • Magnesium – Potassium and Calcium are the macro essential electrolytes
  • Selenium – Zinc and Phosphorus the micro essential ones

Again, my professional opinion: every athlete should do a replenisher round of electrolytes for 2 weeks to a month a few times a year (daily dose.)

Athletes doing a HUGE amount of work may need it much more frequently.  Personally, I use them pretty much every week day and supplement higher levels with sporting events.

BUT -“I drink Gatorade/Powerade/Pedialyte/anything found in a cooler at the store.”

The other factor to watch is that some of the main combos (magnesium and potassium) are NOT stable very long in water – that’s why a good full spectrum replenisher used as a therapeutic dose and supplement should be in powder form (or a tab) and not on the shelf in a bottle like GATORADE.    I have looked at hundreds of combos of electrolytes and have formed my own opinion on a favorite brand.  It contains all the electrolytes, is low in salt and is in a powder or pill (not pre-mixed.) Taste is an important factor for each individual. 

Gatorade, PowerAde and the ones like that are great during activity if you’re OK with the sugars but they are not the therapeutic dose you use to treat problems.

Hopefully this makes a lot of sense.  You can have your electrolytes tested with blood work but usually you will have symptoms and weird complaints while at a sub clinical level, meaning you won’t find anything on blood work.  At any rate, a container of this stuff costs much less than the test so I usually just tell people to try it and see if it helps.

There are a lot of us out there that need electrolytes and your typical athlete; even on supplements is usually not getting enough of these key elements in their diet.  Find a brand or two that works for you, change it up every few months so it’s different sources and different levels of ingredients and improve your body!

Lectins are wrecking your body.

Lectins (hint: Gluten Is One Of Them)

Ep #17 on the SportsDocDC podcast –

Lectins are wrecking your body.

You haven’t heard of this yet?  You have, just by a different name.. Lectins are the proteins that get through the gut lining undigested.  They cause the reactive food idea that I’ve spoke about before. Essentially, your body treats lectins like an allergy –  in that it starts an immune response to try and rectify the situation.

Ever heard of Gluten?  That’s a Lectin. It’s definitely not the ONLY lectin, just the popular one right now.  Multiple Lectins are prevalent in grains and wheat and even gluten free wheat, corn, quinoa, and in all kinds of foods. They are also common in Nightshades like potatoes, eggplant and sweet potatoes – all of which light me up within minutes of eating. You can’t escape them – they are everywhere! Like Freddy Krueger when you sleep, Lectins are there when you eat.

Reactive foods

I have had tons of results with working on the dietary removal of reactive foods and recently have started playing with extremely low carb/low sugar diets similar to Keto diet.

Like I said, lectins are everywhere and Dr. Gundry and others think these are the reactive agents. The cause of darn near every single one of our ailments, diseases, pains and fat storage.

I have been harping my clients  – it’s all about the diet – all of it. Your fat belly, your gym productivity, your tiredness, your disease and achy joints.  Your misery. So, the idea of Lectins as the “culprit” to all our misery I find extremely interesting.   

By simply removing these foods from your diet and allowing the gut to in essence “heal itself” your body can stop the High alert signals it is sending out over and over again and burning you out.

This process is commonly called, “Leaky Gut”  – stuff that shouldn’t get through your guts and into the blood, does. This is an easy idea to visualize but I dislike the name

My brother, a high school wrestling and football coach went from being tip top and working out daily with high school kids to walking with a cane pretty much within a month.  

The cause?  the auto immune “disease” rheumatoid arthritis. Although it took me a while to convince him and a few failed attempts, once he controlled the reactive foods in his diet, the inflammation went away and he was back to normal. If he slips up he gets drilled again and it takes him a few days to respond and get well again. This is a common roller coaster for most auto immune diseases.

Think about the disease itself – call it what you will, Lupus, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Crohn’s, colitis, thyroiditis, tendonitis….I don’t care about the name, without inflammation,  there is not disease. So forget the name, stop the inflammation and the body reaction! That’s how you stop it.

Well, as I state over and over again on this page – the healthcare system is in a major leaping step and on fast forward right now and if you snooze you lose – I feel where we are at in healthcare is akin to the first time antibiotics came on the scene in health and revolutionized our entire horizon of healthcare. Its THAT BIG…RIGHT NOW!

But, just like the last quantum leap, many will be left behind so I preach that it is up to you to be aware of these changes and treatments and see what works for you.  Don’t wait or expect your doctor to be on the same page – it might not be their thing. Yet.

The fasting, the keto, the diet centered treatment for disease, functional medicine, getting back to working out and using the body…we’re there! I think the Keto idea is fantastic and I like this idea of Lectin a lot. The science is valid. It really seems to be the next step and is easily tested and rechecked and Dr. Gundry is the spearhead in this movement. If you are interested this is the guy you check out. Just as I feel Keto’s best spokesperson is Mark Sisson and I think a combo of these ideas may be the breakthrough we’ve been needing.

 As with anything, I think it deserves an experiment – on yourself – right now.  

There is however a rub…It seems that all the literature and write ups kind of blow this off as a non issue but it’s a BIG issue.  For most – THE issue. A huge deep breath and gut check prior to just diving in…

This is one of those good food/bad food plans..  “Foods with lectins are bad, m’kay” (South Park counselor voice.)

There is a lot of things, a lot of foods that are on the list. Like everything. Seriously, I struggle with this idea and the plans that are similar because of how restrictive they are. There’s just nothing to eat and it seems we are all kind of stuck with eating the same stuff over and over again for infinity.

Here’s the response as it should be.

“Yeah, that’s right.”

Now Gundry wrote a book on this.  He can’t just come out and say “Yeah, that’s right” and get famous. There’s no money in that and its an exceptionally small book if that’s all there is to it. But despite that all of our arguments that food tastes great and our system is the best and “can I make a peanut butter, kale, smoothie, chia birthday cake with paleo frosting?”  it’s still true.

Look,

Eating shit makes you feel like shit. Eating shit makes your body function like shit.   

Now nobody else writes like  that so I just did.

In fact the food we eat also eats like shit.

The stuff we spray on our plants and food isn’t great either and very very few of us actually hunt and gather the majority of our food anymore.

Nor could we.

The authors and all the proponents of this life changing, “get control of your body and change your world” have a business to run. They can’t just come out and call you fat and lazy and seriously, I can’t either. But if you are trying to change your life, such as my baby brother no longer walking with a cane and feeling like he just slept with an  Indonesian Sun bear – type changes – its going to take some serious moves. Cutting out gluten on the odd numbered weekdays ain’t gonna cut it.

Just try it – experiment on yourself – that’s human nature and a line I say daily in my clinic – “you need to become your own best doctor – it’s your body.”

Or you can just say screw it, there is no way I’m giving up bread and milk and peanuts it’s just too damn important in my life.  You can always go the route of “I’ll just take the pill for whatever I have and then take a pill for what that pill’s side effects are and then another for that one’s…” on and on forever – If that’s your route –  then 2 things:

  1. You’re in trouble
  2. This is the wrong website for you

I hate to throw my dad out here but he’s had amazing results playing with some of this stuff – He did the whole life challenge and lost something like 35 lbs in 8 weeks.  He felt and moved and looked better. His skin issues started to clear. But it was torture for him.. He couldn’t wait to be done with the 8 week challenge to get back to the shit that was making him feel like crap.  He’s probably the smartest man I know but he’s not in the right place for this kind of thing. He doesn’t want someone telling him what to do.

But maybe you do…Or maybe you’re close. OR – maybe I’m just going to plant a seed in your brain and the idea is there if you or a loved one needs it someday. I’m just hoping to make you aware here.

My idea?   If you try something and it has “miracle drug” type effects then it’s probably something worth internalizing and just learning from.   My dad example – His eczema went away with dropping milk but he’ll try to sneak in other dairy because damn man, he loves ice cream and cheese.

Lectin removal? I’m going to try this stuff because I love the way I feel and the more I experiment with this stuff the more I start to really feel it – almost with each meal. I’ll not lie and tell you it’s easy – I still love a rum and coke on occasion and I still like a pizza with friends so at this point in my life I’m not on the train hardcore as a lifestyle change – BUT. A HUGE BUT – I am pretty straight as an arrow with these changes for 6 days at a time and I don’t slack off more than one meal in a row because I feel like crap –

The changes I’ve felt are amazing!

On this note – I don’t really have an issue I’m trying to erase from my life either.  I don’t have skin issues, I don’t have arthritis, i don’t have brain fog – I just want to look my best naked, be strong and live to be 120. If I needed the ammo for an issue, I want to know where it is and how to use it.

That’s why I bring it up. That’s why I push you to look into it and see if its your brand of ammo.

I think as we all get older and try to become wiser the old adage “know thyself” pertains to so many different aspects – I guess those Buddha’s and philosophers really were on to something – “know thyself’ in your business, in your relationships, in your emotional and brain game and know thyself in your body and health.

It is all too easy to just ignore the fact that coffee makes me explode every morning and somehow I just accept that as normal. DUDE! Coffee is not good for me – for like 2 years my body has been screaming this to me. I just love caffeine in the morning and conveniently blow off my body’s terrible OVER reaction for a quick jolt. Experience makes students of us all? Hardly – we just take in whatever we want, listen to what we want to hear and ignore or justify what we don’t.

Here’s just another call out to actually listen for a change and to try new stuff.  New stuff, so you have new information and therefore can make better decisions. Better your life!  

That and because this stuff is the future of health care -100 years from now this will be standard stuff.   Just like we now know cigarettes aren’t actually calming and good for you and a little cocaine in your cola probably isn’t a benefit. This whole food thing was common knowledge 10,000 years ago and it will come back around again- it IS the future – those of us doing the future of medicine right now are just ahead of the game!

Intermittent fasting

episode #14 on SportsDocDC take it with you!

aka 18/6 – OMD (one Meal Daily), and a million other ideas.

Although not really a revolution in nutrition or eating pattern, Intermittent Fasting has been gaining major publicity lately and a HUGE following on social media, celebrity mentions and with a lot of the heavy weights in the health and nutrition game.

So what’s all the hype about and is this idea for you?

At its roots, it is exactly what it sounds like – a mini fast – you’re going to skip a meal or two.   (Spoiler alert, you’ll live through it)

(Spoiler alert number 2 – you won’t waste away and burn all your hard earned muscle up either)  

The following is the best example I can give you:  After dinner one night, you go to bed and wake up and skip breakfast, possibly skip lunch too and then have a dinner.  Rinse, recycle and repeat as needed.

That’s Intermittent fasting – hope you have a nice day.

Wait, you want more info? Well –  lets get some details in then.

The above example may very easily be done and the health benefits are a mix of both the obvious and subliminal.

First the obvious – you’ll eat less.  You’ll lose weight most likely just because of the difference in daily calories.   It’s very tough to cram 2200 Calories into one dinner meal and it doesn’t feel good to do so even if you can.   So there’s that. It’s cheap, you’ll save money – you’ll save time as you’re not thinking about nor preparing 3 to 6 meals a day.   It’s simple.

But rich celebrities and health guru’s don’t need to save money or time, they have a dudes for that –

Surprisingly, yes, there’s actually a lot more to it.  There’s real science and some extraordinary benefits to both intermittent and even on the more extreme actual fasting.

Intermittent fasting is also  known as a “reduced window eating program” which fits.  If my first meal was lunch after my workout, say 2 pm and I had dinner eaten and dishes washed by 8 pm – I have a 6 hour eating window – essentially an 18 hour fast.

For what you ask?  Why?….Because the jacked dude at the gym does it of course…

Because your wife’s friends are thinking about swearing by it.

Because its tending and cool and that hot celebrity from Hollywood does it.

You know I need a why?  a real why…

How about some hormone optimization Holmes, that do anything for you?  No, how about gut reset and autophagy – the cleaning out of bad and potentially dangerous cells and the proliferation on new healthy cells, particularly stem cells.  (yep you have them) -also decreased Insulin and the reset of insulin resistance which is every day becoming THE BIG DEAL – as in – it seems insulin just screws up everything.  Add to that a HUGE reduction in the variety of foods you eat thereby reducing potential reactive foods.  

How about because you need to try something different – what you’re doing isn’t working and you feel like crap.

Now after all this “known entity” stuff, the whole idea of a definition or  “what exactly is Intermittent fasting” gets a little blurry as different people classify their version differently.

Many proponents of Intermittent fasting actually are working their eating window similar to above (16 hour, 18 hour fast) but are more than happy to add high quality fats such as coconut oils , MCT’s, and Ghee (often to their coffee) for the keto like effects.   Proponents of both Keto, paleo style and Lectin reduction diets all seem to find the Intermittent fasting done this way, as in a lack of solid foods or a whole meal, as their go -to diet. So is it really fasting if you’re having the fats? What if you take supplements and vitamins?  Coffee OK? tea? This is where the lines blur and different people say different things. My take is to find out if ANY of these versions seem to work for you.

When done like this, over a certain time frame, say a couple of weeks, it seems to really jump start fat loss or better yet, fat utilization.   (aka true keto…Where you actually start to burn fat (see ketosis article and lectin article coming soon.)

This is my version of intermittent fasting – I love this style – I try it often usually for a few days or weeks.  I’m not opposed to breakfast at times as long as it’s not sugary goop and cereals so on a day Bacon and eggs sounds right I’m not fasting anymore – but I will share with you my experience which is echoed by the players in the industry.

My brain works better – my guts reset –  I feel super strong at workouts, I drop fat (not just weight) but fat – quickly and can see a difference in the mirror in just a couple days – my joints don’t ache and I get over soreness soon.   My ideas on why? Because a lot of food we eat in America is crap and you’ve just excised a significant portion of crap out of your system.

I am quite confident I will try an extended fast for 36-48 hours in the next few weeks as an experiment because I have seen real world result from the intermittent.  Note: extended fast seem to work much more quickly, especially with true keto type results after you’ve prepped the system with intermittent fasting for a couple weeks – the idea is that the insulin is low and resistance has reset so you are already a few biological steps ahead on where you are trying to get to.

Recap – I know it’s kind of new and trendy over the last year but there is a feeling I get when trying intermittent fasting and there is something to it.   I would push all of you to at least try a version of this is the near future and just to “look into it.”

Understand there are multiple versions and that your social media friends may not be doing the same version as you – it’s not a one size fits all deal nor is fasting as a whole, nor keto, nor low carb – none of the internet sensation magic bullets.   It’s all personal. There is something to the whole “what we are eating is causing issues” however and although, much like global warming, a lot of famous spokespeople and trolls will just deny and these new trends until they are all but forced to see reality – it is happening now and it is all real.  You need to see what works for you and react to changes you see and feel and start to become your own best doctor, your own best nutritionist and your own best trainer.

I understand all this directly opposed to the “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” dogma that your mom and PE coach were adamant about.  

Seems like all those kids on the filmstrips of my youth weren’t actually tired at school because they were too poor to eat, it was actually because they had a really shitty home life and most likely were up all night with problems we don’t want to even dive into.   Alright that was crappy, no kid should go hungry – I’m just trying to make a point that our diets are the solution – to all of it – the fat gain, the diseases, the feeling crappy, the sleep problems. The answer isn’t anti inflammatories, antacids and more caffeine – those are the treatments and band aids – it’s time to start playing with real solutions and changes, not treatments    Causes vs treatments – We all need to experiment with what works for us and look for a “better way.”

KETO

episode # 15 on SportsDocDC take this one on the road with you!

I swear, everyone I know is either doing keto or interested in keto or swears it works or doesn’t.  Everyone has an opinion. Keto is no longer a NEW FAD system.  It’s a part of health and nutrition and a billion dollar industry that brings out the worst (and occasionally the best) in marketing and sales and slimy sales pitch expertise.. 

There are literally 100’s of books for sale right now on Amazon and Bookstores across the land on going Keto, being Keto or Keto diet systems.   

This article is a no-holds barred summary. It’s sure to upset a few people. For whatever reason, this whole “keto-system” has more emotion and personal belief involved with it than any diet program I’ve ever seen. That’s not a puny statement either guys – I’m a cross fit guy. Cross fitters lived and died by Paleo and Primal living. They literally would hold you down and pile 5 Paleo eaters on top of you until you submitted.   Ok maybe not literally but they were some serious Caveman style eaters. (Insert joke about cavemen eating Paleo chocolate chip cookie and coconut muffins)   

Keto has 100x the emotional attachment of Paleo and seems to spark arguments every time I bring it up.  “Nope, Dr. Peters, you’re wrong…Keto is bad – my doctor says you’ll get cholesterol and die.”   “It’s good, my brother’s ex girlfriend was ripped and ketoed.”   “NONONO!  Keto is mixing these shakes and then crushing it in the gym while all the time selling your elixirs in a multilevel marketing jackpot…duh!” 

Let me help you cut through the fat…anyone anyone?   And hopefully help you with decision making on this idea. 

First thing first. I think Keto is a great idea for most. 

That’s right – no hate here. It’s a system that could change your entire world of eating and nutrition.

I play with it on and off all the time – I’m in the middle of a keto day right now and love the way I feel. I sell a Keto book in my clinic.  it’s from Mark Sisson, It’s for sale in my shop on the affiliates page.   

That stated it’s not for everyone.   You have to play with it and see what works and what doesn’t for you.

But you need to understand it…

Understanding keto seems to not even enter the picture for the majority of people on both sides of the keto fence. 

What ketosis should be: 

Your body uses fats, not carbs as THE primary fuel source.   

This is accomplished by utilizing a high fat and very carb restricted diet, particularly sugars – they’ve got to go.    

The rub here is that, when the scientists have their own personal beliefs and agendas, they will debate “should carbs OR fats or Protein” be the primary fuel source for Humans. 

I can get all technical and deep but seriously, this information is out there, go as deep as you want with it on your own research OR read the book I recommend below. 

What bastardized ketosis has become due to it being a billion dollar industry: 

If I pee on a pee stick built to detect ketones in my urine and it turns purple, I’m in keto

Ketones are the by product of stored fats in the body being turned into fuel the body can use for energy. 

If you did ketosis correctly, yes- you may have ketones detected via a pee stick.  In fact, that’s the main tool used in studies and at home testing as it is cheap and easy. 

Here’s the problem…you could just ingest a ton of ketones into your diet, typically in an exogenous salts shake and you’ll show purple on the pee stick.    

It’s a different process same that gets the same pee stick result.  I’d argue one is true ketosis and one is false ketosis.    

Cue the billion dollar industry selling garbage you don’t need but your sister in law sells. 

Here’s the thing.  If you want to try burning fats as your fuel source here’s a few things to consider: 

  1. You need the machinery in your body that allows for fat processing.  If you’re like me you’ve spent your life using carbs as fuel and the machinery is dormant.  It takes a month or so to re-activate these nearly obsolete never utilized powerplants. (this in my opinion is TRUE ketosis)   
  2. You may need to fast, as in actually not eating anything, for a day or so to really jump-start this process.
  3. Sugars and any simple carb will immediately jump you out of fat burning mode.    
  4. You most likely won’t stay in fat for fuel  mode long stretches at a time unless you get really serious– most amatuer ketosis fans use it on and off in stages.  Most use it for quick weight loss – The idea is to have it when you need it.  So you cant take these on and off guys (like me) as your source of real information… Unless they podcast a whole article explaining it a little deeper.   
  5. Your friends don’t know what the hell they’re talking about – nor do the facebook ads, nor your supplement store – do yourself a favor and learn the process yourself. 

Ok – let’s say you aren’t into “true keto.” You just stopped eating all the carbs and sugars and call it keto. That’s not a bad thing– that’s called “low carbs” and it’s absolutely fine and healthy – you’ll drop body weight and feel great. 

This is also often called “Modified Adkins” or the “Dude I don’t eat sugar anymore and everything is sugar plan.”

I’m all for low carbs and even more into no sugars, more than at any time in my life – it is good for you.  It’s just that it’s not true keto until you are actually using fats as a true fuel source…as the preferred source. 

Look at this scientifically for just a second here. If you truly are a fat burning machine, it makes sense that you maybe wouldn’t pee so many ketones out as you’d be burning them up as fuel – thereby not spilling them over into your urine. 

Regardless, if you want THE BEST information on this stuff and it interests you – I would strongly recommend Mark Sisson and his new book. Mark’s is the Keto Reset Diet (the reset being 21 days, as in, it takes 21 days or so to truly have the machinery working for you.) I would start here before anyone else. The first 50 pages or so just explains it so easily and interestingly. Mark also has some incredible podcasts on keto and what I feel is the real deal approach. 

He is the epitome of eating well and basically thought he had created THE SINGLE BEST way to eat for health and longevity with his Primal eating series which was revolutionary and best sellers….and then he and his writer Brad Kearnes started experimenting with Keto and it was better! 

Keto is interesting as there may be fantastic application with cancer treatments, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, inflammation and a lot of chronic diseases. It’s catching fire for performance – wait until you start hearing about the NFL’s anti-inflammatory diet.   

What I notice more than anything else is brain power. I’m certain I’ve never been into true keto (although I am playing with this) but I just notice my brain working so much better and clicking at a faster rate. My brain is turned on. This is most likely a byproduct of no sugars more than the increased fats however.

Like I said, I don’t care which Keto you like and how you apply it in your life – Sugars are bad and getting rid of them drops weight and makes you feel ridiculous in a good way. I just wanted to clear the air and get you headed in the right direction if you’re interested.

Like all my advice.  I’d try it – put it to the test and experiment.  That’s what I push on this site all the time.

I want you guys to learn so be sure to check out other nutrition articles I’ve done such as:

MACROS 

Intermittent Fasting

Lectins

Reactive Foods and the Tie to Chronic Inflammation

Nutritional Basics

Sports Nutrition for Parents of Young Athletes

Macros

ep #16 on SportsDocDC wherever you podcast!

Another classic in the “how do I hack my eating” – the term Macros is getting a lot of play in the diet world again so I wanted a record of it on my site.

Perhaps you have heard of Macros and are interested or perhaps you’re confused or maybe you’re just looking to get more information of what’s out there so you can make better decisions.

Well…It’s not new. It’s basically been around since the very first dieting or changes in diet – like 100 years or so.

So why now? Didn’t macros just die like a decade ago with all the new stuff: the keto’s, the intermittent fastings and the reactive foods stuff?  

The short answer is they never went anywhere. Macros are science. It’s the definition of your food.

“Macros” stands for macro nutrients.

Macro nutrients are Carbs, Fats and Protein. Sometimes water will be grouped up in there. That’s it.

See you already know this stuff.

Micro nutrients are vitamins and co enzymes and BCAAS and many of the extras in supplements etc. They are not a part of this. This is macros baby.

Macros work differently depending on the ratio you organize them in your daily diet.  No matter what diet you do you are jacking with macros. You like keto? That’s a high fat, low carb diet Holmes. Keto is macros. They all are.

Are you fat? Well I’m guessing your macro ratio is pretty high fat and high carbs.  That’s the combo that creates that.

Want to get jacked?  PROTEIN (monster voice) More PROTEIN.

It’s this easy- Change your ratio, change your body or performance or brain chemistry or life.

“Macros” as the term, is all about nailing your ratios of how much of each category leads you to your results.

So you track them. You measure and calculate and plan and dial in your exact levels to get the results you want. Maybe you need more carbs because you work out like a beast and have been really low because you’re following a keto plan. Maybe your protein is way lower than it should be and you can’t put on the muscle you are working so hard for.

Maybe all your carbs come from sugar and your turning into a type 2 diabetic.

So what is it and why does it seem so difficult. Because it’s not hard. It’s not – there’s an ap, My Fitness Plan, for one – that makes it so simple it even becomes fun.  A little fun. OK, not fun but doable.

Track it, plan it and change it. Get what you want. Science. Energy. Science energy. Proteins, carbohydrates fats, more energy than your body has room for  Run faster, lift more, impress your friends!

Does it work?

Yes, it works.  That being said – damn near EVERY diet plan and program work. The problem isn’t finding a plan that works. The problem is time.   

Jeff Olsen from the greatest book of all time “the Slight Edge” explains it best…time is the missing ingredient.  Everything in life is based about the decisions you make each and every day and compounded over time-

weeks, months and years – doing anything, over time, gives you incredible results.

So yes, it works over time.  

Eating better foods over time makes you lose fat.     

Eating more food combined with increased activity, especially muscles, gets you jacked and tan.

Eating precisely to maximize performance works to increase your productivity and ability.

It’s a good plan.

Every bodybuilder on the planet becomes an absolute expert on manipulating and controlling macros – they have to, because that’s the ONLY way to become shredded!

Oh wow, Chad, so you love this style of eating? You love “macros?”

Not so fast….

Here’s my take. Love me or hate me for it, please start a debate in the comments section, I could use the traffic.   

Me?  I don’t like Macros  And I’ll say it in the exact voice and hand gesture as Sam I Am up there in the picture. I DO NOT LIKE Macros. I would not eat them with a fox, I will not eat them in a box.

My problem?

It’s just so…so Bro.

Recall I’m a cross fitter. I love the whole cornucopia of workouts and experiments and plans that accompanies cross fit.  I like the fast forward evolution. I love the silliness of it all too. The silly socks and crazy patterned shorts and yelling out a scream like I’m at a college football game just to be funny. Most gyms frown on that type of behavior and my gym giggles like the rest of us.

Cross fit has a very distinct “lifestyle.” Much like other high school style “cliques” such as Goth, rockers, and Jocks you can sense a cross fitter from a mile away.   

My point is, cross fitters stole and 100% adopted “macros” from bodybuilders as an eating plan of choice about 5 years ago and well…collectively they got RIPPED. A no brainier..the eating plan of bodybuilders made cross fitters look more like bodybuilders. Yep, science. It works.

But I wanted to puke every time I heard my fellow cross fitter buddies talking about their macros and how the hit their mark and were on point today.  And when I had an off workout or a slight headache immediately asked me, “Where you at?” as in “where are you currently sitting on your macro ratios today?”

I HATED it. OK not hated but just got sick of it.

Macros is an eye rolling, meh, birthday gift of socks type of excitement for me. It’s boring.

But…it works.

But it’s vanilla. It takes a conscientious effort and you have to pay attention.  

IT SHOULD BE MY DREAM LIFESTYLE OF EATING… I constantly harp on this page about paying better attention to yourself, to make yourself better.  Awareness, track it, pay attention, experiment… And Personally, I do. In almost every category in life…Except food.

MY Problem with Macros…I just want someone to do it all for me. Just get it all together and I’ll eat whatever when you tell me to. It just seems so cyborg and disconnected. For me personally, It’s just such a disconnect from food. I want my food to be more than just the components of nutrition. I want more than the macros.

So…as I’ll preach with workouts, lifestyle, clothing, music, life…food included.

Heck, what this entire website is built to personify:

Whatever you’re looking into – It has to work for YOU or it just doesn’t work.

This style of eating takes work and takes a conscious effort, something we, as Americans, typically lack the patience for. It might be YOUR absolute BEST plan and it is well worth the time and effort to play with.

I have played with it. I have the AP and have tracked my calories of each macro and see results.

It should be my dream system, it’s just not. but…Now you know what it’s all about, so you can make an educated decision and hey man, if it fits for you, I’ll be seeing you and those rock chiseled abs at a beach sometime soon!

Nutrition Basics

get the basics - it's ok if you dont know this already..
episode #19 at SportDocDC wherever you podcast

formerly titled…Nutrition _a_ics

Nutrition without the BS….

While talking to my father yesterday on the phone, we started discussing modern diets and how he was going to attack the next few months as he is looking for a change.

He is looking at getting into some of the new stuff, specifically keto and zero sugar hoping for a fat utilization reboot.

The more questions he asked the more I realized I wasn’t getting through.  At one point he stopped me and said, “you are assuming I know which and how much of any given food is made up of carbs, protein and /or fat…and I don’t.”

“But dad”, I stated, “you taught me all of this.”

“No I didn’t.” he said, “I planted the seed of your nutrition interest by teaching you how to use diet to lose weight, taper before wrestling matches and increase muscle…I don’t know details and specifics…”

Bang!   Just like that another great life lesson at the hands of a great master.

Assume makes an ASS of U and ME.

I’ve been writing all of this stuff over the last 2 years.   I’ve tried to get a lot of nutrition stuff to you lately and at least a part of it, is in hieroglyphics.

So here you go – the incredibly abridged crash course of nutrition.  In the old days we’d say the lesson with all the fat cut out but guys…fats are good nowadays, not bad.  Keep the fat baby!

Prior to my diatribe into nutrition, I think its only fair to give you a brief course syllabus.

Most of what we were all taught isn’t exactly correct any more – it seems 100 years of research has shined some light onto dogma that has been relayed as facts. So try to keep an open mind as I relate the “new rules.”

There is by no means a “definitive” Rule of Nutrition. Every one is going to have things that work and things that don’t – everyone responds to food differently.  What I am offering is a way to grasp basics so you can better experiment.

There is no super foods, wonder drugs and/or good and bad foods. Certain foods react different to different people so use your head. packaging labels, advertisements, books, magazine articles are all written with an objective in mind. Typically $.   Labels telling you “how healthy stuff is” are put on food packaging by market research and evil spectacled, goatee twisting, red BMW convertible driving frat dudes you hated in college. Form your own opinions.

This is going to start simple.. and then just like sophomore year pre-calculus, just when you think you’ve got it -I’m going to throw in a slew of parabolas and mix all of it up.   (“2 types of carbs…puh”)

These are the basics, so concepts like reactive foods and lectins and ideas about what makes foods good or bad are not going to be used.  That’s deep, next level stuff that you can find on my links.

This is why everyone in kinesiology and pre-med, at one time in their studies,  decide they are going to major in Nutrition.  Because it’s a ton of impressive sounding words that is a blast to dive into and has set rules like math – you can figure it out in the classroom and it’s just grand..until you put in into real life and it all goes to hell.   Nutrition is chock full of “yeah buts.” As in last night when my dad asks, “A potato is a vegetable right?” uhhhh sort of. ”yeah…..but.” Peanuts are good right? ugh.

Basics – there is three general categories of food.

All food, breaks down into these 3 categories.   Lately, they are called “Macros” as in macro nutrients, a term you’ll come to just HATE if you’ve even been cornered by a friendly cross fitter, bodybuilder and new to paleo/primal diet experimenter.   These guys are obsessed with discussing each specific gram of Marcos they ingest each meal and ratios and blah blah blah – the macros…

The 3 Macros are:

Carbs   (Carbohydrates)

Proteins

Fats

Your foods are made up of these – in different ratios.  They provide the calories the body burns to live, run, work, think etc.   Carbs, proteins and Fats are the ENERGY sources for the body.

It’s important to understand the differences in these because they all act differently when adjusted in your diet.   They all do different stuff when eaten.

So where are these then?

Carbs are anything bready, sugary, starchy, and grainy.   Pasta, cereal, bread, rice, oats, cookies, syrups, potatoes, rice.

They also are the primary energy in fruits and vegetables – apples, oranges, papaya, asparagus and lettuce.

Carbs as a term, is often interchanged with sugars when speaking about diet. This is because when you eat carbs, the saliva in your spit and the acids in your stomach  break down these carbs into sugars – Carb molecules are big and big molecules can’t get past the gut lining so they break down into little components:  sugars and pass into the blood.

Your body can then use these sugars to top off levels in the muscles and store a little bit more for later.

Your body makes insulin to allow this transportation and storage.   Think of Diabetics here – this is why they need to stay away from a lot of carbs and away from sugars – they don’t make insulin so there is no way to haul it away and sugary blood is “No Bueno.”

Carbs are neither good nor bad – they’re needed.  BUT…not nearly as much as previously taught in the 1990’s and prior,  with “carb loading” and giant spaghetti dinners before competition.

In fact, hang with me here, because the body is a miraculous machine:  If you have too many floating carbs, the muscles cant take it all in, so it starts dumping it off on the liver.  The liver fills up quickly and says, “screw this – there’s way too much sugar floating around. Turn the extra into fat and store it for the days when we’re starving  (as in body fat, love handles, fat ass, flabby triceps) – we can use it then.”

Seems our ancestors didn’t have 70,000 square foot grocery stores down the street and occasionally had to go hungry at times.  Hence fat storage which is simply saving energy for a later date. (psst. Guys…you don’t need to do this anymore)

OK that’s deep enough for this article – the main point is start to “get” what foods have carbs in them.

There will be a Quiz later!

Proteins:

Think Meats primarily – muscle baby.  Actually, the muscle from other animals.   Now before Vegans start throwing bean burritos and tofu burgers at me – yes, there is protein in some plants, I get it.  I teach it, but this is Nutrition basics, 101.. and I want a basic understanding here. There is also some protein in milk etc.   But for the most part animal products.

Proteins can also be used for fuel and similar to how the carb craze of the 1980’s and 1990’s kicked in, the protein craze of the 2000’s and 20 teens exploded for basically the same reason the carb kick decades earlier did.  There’s a lot of protein in muscle – so the scientists…wait, that’s not fair. The journalist’s reporting what the scientists found, said – “eat a ton more protein, it’ll go to the muscles!”

Well….kind of.

Hopefully its pretty easy to imagine protein as muscle because that’s what muscle is made up of.

Your steak, your burger, eggs, fish, tofu (the protein from soy), chicken and sausage is high protein.

Just like sugars, proteins shouldn’t get into the blood – if your gut is working perfectly, they will break down into small parts called amino acids. The AA’s are what get’s into the blood and travel via the highway system of the body to organs, muscles and skin and repair damage.

Caveat: too many proteins can also end up being stored as body fat. You better truly need that 75g protein blast shake after your 12 minute “workout” there champ!

Fats:

Fats are the trickiest to explain. Back in the WWII era it was easy – fat was fat – the fat on the steak was fat – the meat was protein with a fine marbling of fat.

Milk was milk and 2% had 2% of the natural milk-fat still present.  Whole had the whole amount of fat (about 4-5%) and skim milk was basically milk without the fat – the fat was skimmed off because anyone from the 1930’s with a butter churn worth a damn would tell you that when you let milk set for a while, the fat rises to the top (as crème)  – you can then skim it off – a la butter. Or crème. The fat part.

Wow! Chad that’s not too hard.   Well, the mad scientists in the food industry can basically do magic with fats and carbs and turn it into anything.  Think “double stuff.”

Both the cookie part and the cremey goo – Fats started getting a really bad rap in the late 70’s and 80’s because all the chemical shit that was coming out of the mad scientist’s labs was making people sick and cancerous and actually physically fat.   But it can’t be the scientists – PhD’s are doctors and doctors are our friends – it must be the fat. Yep too much fat!…

Scientist 1: (Bob)

“Fat might be bad Earl”

Scientist 2 (Earl)

“OK, then Let’s substitute fat in food for transG-glutimate-1K-3G-polymersaccharidelactorglutimthionecarbonate. “

and….  “Damn Earl, that tastes like shit.”

2: “OK.   add 32 Grams of sugar, how is it now?”

1:  “Well it’s doable…actually the 5th time I tried it I kind of crave it”

2:   “Well…Hell, technically we can call it fat free now – wonder if the guys at marketing can sell it?”

1:   “Phew that was close. Despite millions of years of getting by, we avoided a fat-pocolypse”

2:   “Good, work Earl, want a Diet Coke?”

They were lab chemicals  – an amazingly incredible blend of carbs, fats and carbon chains replaced in ways nature never intended.   These blends resulted in some of the most crazy, technologically advanced products in the world – some of which were deemed ok to eat and further altered to make them tasty over repeated exposure.   Cheese puff dust on pringles as an example.

Well, science food blending has all grown up.    Cheesy chemicals are now just called cheese.   It’s not actual cheese. Cheese doesn’t do what Valveeta does, but its called cheese just the same.

For this article – don’t think of chemicals as fats here – its just soooo deep it’ll melt your mind and I just am not great at explaining organic chem. easily.

Let’s get modern.  No strike that… let’s go ancient! and think of fats as God intended. Fats come either as a semi solid or liquid at normal temperatures so think of things cremey and slippery. Butter, Oils (avocado oil, olive oil etc), Avacado itself is a high fat veg/fruit.   Nuts are high in fat. The fat part of meat – such as bacon – ½ fat, ½ protein and now we’re dancing everyone:

Time for a quiz.

Dissect a Whopper for me.

The bun is carbs, the meat is protein and a little fat, the sauce is chemical crap, the tomato, lettuce and onion is carbs, the ketchup is chemical crap that your brain will so desperately try to convince you is tomato, the cheese is basically fat.

Review… and this is where is gets sooo difficult because at the “billion served forces” like fast food joints, food just isn’t what it appears. The buns are modified, so is the sauce, the meat was until a few years ago and I still have a hard time thinking there’s not something more added to it to give it a unique taste and make it last longer via shipping routes, shelf life etc. Cheese, we talked about already and…you know what? – I have an easier way.

Grab whatever food you want and just look at the ingredient list.  Go ahead.

I mean if I bake bread its flour (carbs), small amount of sugar, (carbs), water, salt and yeast.  It’s basically all carbs.

Now go to the pantry and look at the ingredient list on bread for me.  I’ll wait here for a minute.

Holey, schemoley Batman…what’s all of that? Exactly. That’s why we’re all confused.   The bread in the package has about 37 ingredients!

Yet education on all of this nutrition stuff is at the 1900’s level. AND that’s just not how food is made anymore.

That’s why the revolution in caveman type eating and diet plans called Paleo, Primitive, Caveman, Carnivore and hunting/foraging is here to stay.   Kill it or pick it and you can probably eat it right with not too many problems.

Wait? Your food doesn’t have an ingredient list?   Well then, it’s probably real food!

OK hang with me here as we get to the diet revolution.

Let’s just say that you’re a, I don’t know, 20 to 70 year old man and decades of eating crap and confusing diets have left you in sub-par health.

If you decide to try keto, let’s say in an effort to reset insulin resistance (huge killer in our country), that means basically no carbs.   You need a reset…There is a reason for you. As I said earlier, carbs are neither good nor bad but there are people that a low carb diet would greatly benefit – such as diabetics and people trying to starve off cancer cells and people looking to reset a chronically inflamed body.  These guys are going for keto –

The body is a miracle see..  you can still make fuels for your muscles and brain from fats – so in keto you sub in good fats as a replacement for carbs.

Good fats are non scientist altered – coconut, avocado, olives, nuts, and oils – and for God’s sake be careful because there a million poser’s out there- Margarine is not butter.   Coconut and olive oil comes as “virgin” or “processed.” Guacamole can be quite fair game but if it’s in a package it’ll have 100 ingredients. It’s not the same as an Avocado, salt and pepper – So know this – Look for it.

This leads us to why in some diet plans – some Carbs, even fruits are out- until the results you need are seen – in some cases long term or even life long.

In fact the term keto is actually ketosis – which is “burning fats for energy rather than carbs” and not to be substituted for keto acidosis which is basically a by product and over-spill of fats.

Oh man we can get deep with this…my brain is whirling right now with body miracles and how to explain this all.

Lets step back a second here.   Those big 3 were the Macros, remember?

There are also micros – these are the vitamins and nutrients the body needs to make the miracles happen… There that’s it – that’s as far as I’m willing to go with this.

But get this – if a fruit is deemed a “super food” or “miracle” food, you need a context before you jump on board. Is it a huge boost of a micro nutrient (say vitamin A which is a great micro nutrient for your eyes) but surrounded by a gazillion carbs (as a fruit is likely to be) .   Because that jacks with a guy with diverticulitis or a guy on a low carb diet because he’s attacking a prostate cancer?

This is the amazing difficultly with writing a nutrition 101 paper – because this stuff is intertwined like a spiderweb. Everything is connected.  And there is a profound amount of dogma and old wives tales – such as..”this is good or this is bad”

Don’t despair however yo!   Keep it simple and experiment.

But at the same time, see why the newest trends like Intermittent fasting, Keto and heck even Adkins from 2 decades ago do so well. You just simply have a lot less variables to add to the equation because you are eating less ingredients.  

If you just simply start to eat PURE, you’ve just taken the difficulty of nutrition from senior year calculous back to 7th grade algebra…still a little crazy but do-able. OK take a Deep breath.  Actually take 6 deep breaths – the studies for mind reset and immediate blood pressure drop is 6 deep breaths.  

Quiz question #2 –

Why are people such as myself adding coconut oil and some ghee (clarified butter) to their coffee in the morning?

It’s a way to add a little good fats to their morning usually in an effort to get the body some macros but ensure there isn’t any carbs in their early routine.

If I am doing that with a stack of pancakes (carbs) with syrup (carbs) and powdered sugar sprinkles (carbs) I’m basically doing it because I’m uniformed OR feel a prolonged state of fasting is coming up and want to increase my fat storage (as in love handles) because I fear an impending ice age. Extra fats added to your diet while keeping high carbs in a bad idea!

OK – quickly – which macro am I primarily?

Avocado?  _____

Macadamia nut?    Both fats.   Good Fats.

Tortilla? Carbs.

Water?   Nothing, as much as you want.

Apple Juice?     T erribly high in sugars, not healthy for any.  Juice itself really.  It’s like powerslamming 7 apples into your gullet and blood with no digestion which just ins’t really very healthy.

Peanut Butter?   A wicked twist engineered to make your brain hurt….answer?  read the label, there’s a million different types and concoctions of peanut butter.

Spinach?  Healthy veg yes, but it’s macro Carbs – (see stage 2 below)

Honey?  Pure sugar.  Carb

Potato?   Carb (not a vegetable at all – it’s a starch)

Broccoli?  Carb – but mixed with a lot of fiber….hmm)

An this is how we get to stage 2 in my article –Carbs from vegetables and some fruits are different.

Yep – too bad – you have to learn this – there are actually 2 carbs:

Simple and complex.

Simple Carbs go straight into sugars in your gut – apple juice – its sugar people. Similar to drinking a coke.   (trivia – you can use apple juice in place of oral Glucose when testing for diabetes it has so much sugar!)

But an apple – has a lot of fiber and form to it – a little more complexity.  It’s a mix of complex and simple carbs (tastes pretty sweet still so you know its got a lot of sugar)

Move over to veggies like Broccoli and you have a much higher ratio of complex carbs and a way way lower amount of simple sugars.

Not very sweet is it dad?

Same goes for spinach, arugula and leafy salad ingredients – These “complex carbs” are what all of us should be injecting in our diets as they basically have a nil amount of insulin requirement and help shunt in good fats into your system.

So a big green salad with olive oil and a sprinkling of nuts may be a bang up incredible meal even for those trying to stay with a high fat diet.

A glass of orange juice however is akin to speed eating 4 oranges in 7 seconds – your body is in shock mode!

Oh my gosh guys, I’m sorry – I now this is long and I know it is complicated – the idea was to make it easier to process so you can make better decisions.  Not sure I have.

How about I leave you with this.

Get your carbs to the complex variety – leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli etc.

Get in good fats – if you’re 27 to 85 year old, don’t be scared of fats anymore – it wasn’t them that was to fear, it was the chemicals and sugars used to replace them!  “Fat free” labeled food is out!  It’s no good.

Protein – you need some – maybe not as much as you thought though.

Start to look at labels – it explains the ratio right there: Fats, Carb (with a breakdown into sugars) and Proteins right on the label.   Hey, and while you’re browsing the label just look at ingredients. Is there is a lot of 50 cent, tough to pronounce words? Well then, yeah, those are chemicals.  That “food like Substance” came from a lab somewhere.

Lastly – don’t make this miserable – I have tons of articles about just substituting a word to change your mindset.   Diet is the word in question here. If that means the food you eat, well then no problem. If “diet” means restrictive misery, change your word.   Real Food is delicious and should be enjoyed, loved and fun. Food should make us happy!

You can create – cook, learn to love food, REAL food again – that means not concocted sauces, chemicals and packaged drivel.

Your tastes will change – I’ve mentioned before on an article how absolutely terrible a Pringle tastes when you haven’t had one for a few months.  Yet, how incredible the 14th Pringle tastes when you chow em down. It takes time but I’m telling you …Its amazing to have your real-world taste buds open up and explore the world again when the chemicals clear out.  

My dad constantly tells me how he’ll never eat Broccoli, as a fist pounding fact.  But as his taste buds naturalize to what nature intended I’m thinking maybe it won’t taste so horrible…Roasted to perfection with a great butter dollop, dash of salt and spritz of orange splash could change his mind…well probably not – but I guess we’ll see huh?

Reactive Foods and the tie to CHRONIC INFLAMMATION

take this podcast to go at: SportsDocDC episode #30

Hold onto your menu everybody and start to look closer. A new type of diet is in town and it’s all the rage. You are about to hear about it at barbecues, at the gym, and your doctor’s office andy will see it nonstop in every magazines you subscribe to.

The hot new buzzword for health and longevity with nutrition is elimination diets. Sometimes referred to as “Reactive Foods” 

The above was my headline for a lecture I presented back in 2014.  

Fast forward today – this idea is NO longer revolutionary, no longer cutting edge and no longer controversial.

Hopefully you’ve heard of it and have either tried to play with it or wanting to learn more. If not, well…that’s exactly why I write this stuff.

OK, so what are these, what does it mean and how does this affect you? Do you need it?

Short answer – Yes, It is something you should be familiar with. There will be success in eliminating bad stuff out of your diet and out of your body immediately – in all aspects of your life. You will lose weight, feel better, lift more, run faster, have better sex, think more clearly – life as you know it -will be better. 

But the people who really NEED this – like desperately HAVE to figure this crap out, those are the people with real deal medical conditions. Fatigue, rashes, joint pain, fibromyalgia, sleep pattern issues and seriously, damn near everything. If you have anything “weird” going on – chances are the diet is a HUGE part of the issue.

This idea has and will continue to change the medical treatment for people with long-term inflammatory issues and the implementation of this is WAY BIGGER than what you think.

My own brother had a lot of success treating his rheumatoid issues that took him from a “peak of life high school wrestling coach” to some days needing a cane just to get around. 

So what are we talking about here? 

Many of these plans, and there are thousands of them out right now, focus on a new way of looking at health by “eliminating” foods that your body treats basically like an allergen. Now look, allergy and reactive foods are not the exact same thing. However, the line that the common media and subsequently a lot of doctors use to differentiate these two terms is blurring. The terms are thrown around sort of interchangeably and really, the treatment – which is simply  the elimination of these from your system, is the same – so get the gist here… You eat X and your body reacts poorly.

It sounds a lot like an allergen right? Well it’s not exactly – an epi pen wont be needed nor will it even help. The proper term is reactive food and it is a bit different than a common allergic reaction such as a bee sting or cedar oils. But…It is a really easy concept if you think of it similarly.

Typical food reactions will show increased water retention, so a short term weight gain. The extra water is part of the response to try and process the food through your guts. You’ll also notice, if you’re paying attention, an instant histamine reaction. (stuffy nose, light congestion).

Sometimes it is the amount and frequency of the foods. For instance steak might be fine for a person, but have it two days in a row and you get the reaction. Sound crazy? Actually it’s fairly common. Your body just doesn’t like a certain product at certain levels and it bugs out. Probably, at some level, you’ve already been flirting with some version of a reactive food plan already. It’s not obscure anymore and the whole Gluten Free thing has got HUGE – Your supermarket has an entire row dedicated to it!

I have shared ideas on Lectins, Keto, intermittent fasting on this site even – and the article reads about the same . Dr. Gundry and his Lectins diet and book, takes this whole thing deeper – from reactive foods, to the actual cause – so if you want more info – click on all the links I’ve posted above –

I wrote this article to basically water it down a bit, make the pieces easier to digest and understand.

Small proteins traveling through the gut wall due to cell wall barriers working incorrectly or being hijacked is tough. Reactive food? That’s easy…

Grog eat X. Grog feel Bad. Grog no eat X.

I’m sure you or a friend has heard of grains, especially gluten causing problems? Lactose Intolerant? Dairy, sugars, Paleo, RAW, Vegan – all of these, minus a few basic ethical food choices are types of elimination plans. These plans aren’t new, just newly packaged and marketed. And lately, researched and advanced.

And I will tell you, they aren’t bunk. This idea of reactive foods is quite real and backed by real science. I have tried a 20-30 day trial myself and learned a ton about my body. I have taken a new style reactive foods blood test. I constantly test and experiment. I make better decisions  because of the knowledge I have about what reacts with my body and in what volume and have become fairly acute in understanding when something that has been ok for me for a long time, or even a “healthy food” is now a reactive food – and obviously, not healthy for me anymore.

How do I know when I’m reactive? Clues…such as a 3-4 lb weight gain the next day, a feeling of bloatiness, soft(er) abs {I’m not a six pack guy on normal days by any stretch} and usually within fifteen minutes of eating something I’m reactive to- just a little more snappy and jumpy than normal – Stuff my kids do that usually makes me chuckle now makes me agitated. Give me 7 Pringles and have my kids get all the pets out and play…It’ll drive me nuts! And this is after just a small amount – can you imagine 3-4 potato chips causing a 3-4 lb weight gain? I couldn’t – but it does!

A single granola bar or bowl of oatmeal, yep…for me it does – Potatoes and oatmeal were my first Reactive foods! The removal of these from my diet basically jump started my entire “re-look” into what I was taught in school and what most of us in the health field regurgitate about Nutrition but is basically 20-50 year old science that is wrong. I sat and ate lunch with my 5th grader today – it was very eye opening to see what these kids think about Nutrition by 5th grade. – much of it is terrible advice and poor science. More old wives tales than solid  nutritional foundations at this point in time. It’s turned into bad and good. Only – either/or. Food isn’t a pass/fail test. It is a relationship with lots of moving parts.

Back to potatoes and oats – “whoa Chad – does this mean oats and potatoes are out?” well no, not really. Potatoes and oats aren’t bad foods, (well maybe oats (see Lectins) -heck sweet  potatoes and oatmeal are supposed Superfoods right?…but not for me. For you? Who knows…you have to test it to find out.

As I’ve stated, reactive foods are not allegies. Many times, reactive foods are reversible, not a true allergy, just something that’s not wanted in your system at this time… weird yes, but I make better choices for me because of this info.

The problem with the way foods react is inflammation. Yes! The biggest HEADLINE word for health in the last 2 years and sure to be the main issue treated worldwide over the next 2 decades. Look, it’s not that a little inflammation will kill you, but with food, and especially without knowing what is causing it, is chronic inflammation (the next biggest buzz word in medicine.)

Your body, in basic terms, just doesn’t function while it’s fighting inflammation. Nothing works like it should – not energy creation, fat removal, cancer fighting cells, muscle growth, healing capabilities, hormones, sleep pattern, pain regulation…NOTHING! You have to get rid of inflammation to let the body heal correctly. This is why real diseases like rheumatoid, psoriasis, cholesterol problems, diabetes and Cancer are all jumping on the inflammation bandwagon for treatment options.

AND THIS IS WHY there is a million new drugs, ads, diets and trainers focusing on it. Because it’s worth Million$$.

Like I stated earlier, I like the idea, I like the plans but ladies and gentlemen, if I come off preachy sometimes, I’m sorry but I’ll say it again, “USE YOUR HEADS!!!”

Do you have to give up all wheat, all potatoes, oatmeal? – NO! “Wait Dr. Peters, did you say Dairy was BAD?, NO wait, Just ALL GRAINS?” NO NO NO! Please don’t throw a hand grenade at a problem that needs a hammer and nail.

Again, as I’ve said over and over in the healthfield, it’s not the idea that’s wrong, it’s the practical application (ex: removing all grains when it’s a gluten or rice meal. Or all dairy and all meat, when it may be just one form or too much at once.)

You need to take the time and figure out what works for you and you only. Quit jumping on the fads and use the information to make a better decision. If a gluten free, Paleo diet that a caveman would be proud of and it works for you, fine, but c’mon, BJ’s Pizza tastes really good! sometimes I can handle a pizza and beer sometimes because I’m not fighting a disease state. If you ARE in fact treating Cancer, diabetes, colitis or anything like this then DUDE, the pizza isn’t worth it right now. Fix your body. Help your body fix itself!

This chronic inflammation and elim diets deal is going to just get bigger and bigger. It has already – its already better than when I wrote this article the first time 4 years ago. Look at my site. We have evolved! Play with what works for you and believe me you can. I started this morning differently than I do nearly every other morning and felt like crap all day long. Its real, and by paying attention to just how junky you feel after eating junk you’re on your first part of the journey. We’re all built differently, so what works for you won’t work for me. You can make your body healthier, feel better and find those hidden abs with the right approach and decision making while still enjoying some of the great foods and drinks that work with your system.

The article is pretty much over but I have a couple tools I like to help with this idea.

The book the Plan was a revolution and the one that started me on the journey of reactive foods but its tough – it takes 30 days plus and has a lot of prep. This is the future and now…

The company Everlywell has an incredible blood test that is about $200 you can do at home – I sell these in my clinic and you can get them on Amazon. It changed my world! This is so much easier than a 30 day test!

There is a company called 1 Step – where you fill out a food journal and the company has a dude that looks over all your stuff and systematically removes just 1 food at a time that is a likely candidate of crap your eating. Genius, for those a little less motivated and stubborn – but even without the website – the idea itself is powerful – remove just 1 thing at a time that’s crushing your day. Do it for a month – now find another.

Sports Nutrition For Parents Of Young Athletes

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kids-and-fruit-.jpeg

if you prefer to listen, check out the podcast on SportsDocDC /DrChadPeters where ever you listen or pop onto this link.

This article is written in response to questions we got from coaches and parents of our own kids sport’s teams   Thanks for all questions, comments and advice – we all get better when we discuss ideas. I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate feedback on this site but I will stress how little I do actually receive –

please!…subscribe and follow this site.  Do comment, PM and email me with any ideas you have!

 – My sons and daughters are now old enough to be full throttle into athletics.  I’m packed with kid’s sports all the way from grade school to Middle school competitive leagues.  They play everything – and play them all, all year long.

5:45 am cross country to school all day and soccer, gymnastics in the evenings.  The sports change each season but one thing we do is push our bodies in our family.  Try everything, have fun…PLAY!

They needs fuel.  They needs the right fuel to keep the “kid machine” going all day long.

They also needs that fuel to keep from breaking down.   From glycogen, that allows for bursts of speed and power to key vitamins and minerals that act as neurotransmitters to keep his brain functioning during geography class.  Proteins to rebuild muscle tissue and fats to optimize the entire system and keep their brains bursting with new ideas.

Add to all this – Their nutrition speeds up or wreaks havoc on their ability to recovery from injuries.  And then there’s some of the new “bio-hacking” info to maximize performance and we have a thousand ways that…

What our kids put into their bodies makes a difference.

Read the last sentence again. With Bolded Imprints in your brain!

With all changes the first step is awareness.  No more denial, or excuses, live this already.

I think growing up in our family, my kids just kind of “get” nutrition.  I hear them sharing a lot of information to teammates. My wife and I, as the parents as well as  former and current athletes AND sports based chiropractors focus a lot of time and energy towards clients involved in sports and sports med.  We field a lot of questions on nutrition all year long.

So in an effort to help spread good information about nutrition, here’s a little run down Nikki and I put together for you parents. 

This is the basics.

Specific cases, such as allergies, diabetes, metabolic conditions, supplementation for high school and college athletes are a case by case workup and won’t be discussed in this article.

Nor will specialized diets such as keto, intermittent fasting and new trends like reactive foods and lectin problems.    But I do write and podcast on these topics and have included links if you’re looking to dive deeper.

I just want to lay a good foundation for you as parents so you can offer your kids the best opportunities to excel at sports and life!

Rule 1 – and if you read nothing else UNDERSTAND THIS!

At this point in the game we all KNOW what are good foods and what aren’t. If you’re one of those that just don’t seem to understand I would say you are either living under a rock or are in denial.   

As Carter the intern just said, 

“The hard part isn’t the food.  The hard part is getting your kids to care.   It’s easy vs effort.”  

A little info goes a long way, so here we go.  I love parents to know the game, here’s your “Know the game- Nutrition 101”

There are 3 main categories of “macro nutrients” you should know.   The foods you eat are made up of these building blocks.

Carbs

Fats

Protein

You and your kids need all three.

The RATIO of these building blocks as well as the QUALITY of these make a difference in how we all look, feel and function.   Better quality foods such as vegetables and lean meats and ‘good fats’ make our bodies work better. Crappy foods like sugar laden cereals and 20 oz sodas don’t work as well.   I’ve often used the analogy with kids: “If you were going to build a skyscraper would you rather use steel and concrete for your structure or popsicle sticks and school glue?” What you eat matters!

Carbohydrates

Don’t be scared off of carbs just because the keto diet is hot right now!  

You need these, your kids need these – carbs turn into glycogen which equals muscle power! Vegetables especially. Just like your grandma used to tell you – “Vegetables are SUPER FOODS” AND PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO overeat.  Love it or hate it, Broccoli is a fantastic POWER food for growing kids. 

Carbs are also what breads, cereals and pasta is made up of but these kind of carbs aren’t nearly as powerful and functional as the veggie kind.  These “fast burn” carbs are also usually much more sugar packed/frosted/blended and although some sugars are usable as fuel, more so in your kids, the odds are they’re ingesting way too much. 

Especially sodas. Drinkable sugars are just plain bad for our athletes. Eliminate these and you’ve made a big impact immediately.

The question always comes up about Gatorade and other sports drinks.  Because they have sugars in them. Personally, I’m OK with these during activity, especially in athletes. Our bodies do USE sugars as fuel when we are engaged in athletics so I’m not one to preach the evils of Gatorade.   They are a terrible option however as substitute for sodas to be used 5-7x a day. Your kid drinking a 32 oz. Gatorade as he’s playing FORTNITE isn’t beneficial for him. At all. Save it for the field and court.

Protein

The king – make sure your kids get this in, especially immediately after activity.   

Depending on your kid’s ages I’m OK with an occasional protein shake etc.  Truly though, food sources – lean meats, eggs, chicken and fish, tofu etc work much better and are better for you.

Fats

Are not bad, in fact good fats (ex: avocado, coconut oils, fish and nuts) are serious brain power and tissue recovery foods.   Eat healthy fat!

Now onto the special players.  The extras:

Electrolytes

Are a great supplemental food and something I give my kids all the time.  They are great to maximize hydration but even more important, they are neurotransmitters – (see my article for more information). My guess is you parents need this too. 

Vitamins and Minerals 

I think these are a good idea. Unless your kid is really eating well and has a huge spectrum of multiple colors on their plate, they need it.    

I occasionally use the gummy vitamins but truthfully, these probably aren’t much better than candy gummies – there’s probably not a real amount of vitamins working on this stuff.

I’d suggest a “greens” powder you add to a smoothie-

The kids like it and it’s a better more absorb-able source.  

Tips:

1)  You know what’s crappy food and what’s not – if your kids main meals are corn dogs and Doritos, they aren’t getting the best fuel they can.

(my kid’s are by no means perfect – we’re still a pizza party family so I won’t be a hypocrite but I will stress that my kid’s know nutrition and when it’s brought to their attention they tend make smart decisions.  You can create healthy habits AND AT THE SAME TIME foster good life long decision making if you get them involved in their own nutrition.)

Them: “Dad, can I have a Coke?”

Me:  “Man, you worked really hard today, don’t you think a water or a fizzy would be better for you?”

Them, “Is a Bubbly OK or a HINT water?”

Me:  “bingo!”

2)  After activity, get them some protein.  As much as I am getting more and more into a low or no sugar guy myself, I like chocolate milk for my kids.   It’s a pretty good ratio of fats, protein and carbs – and an occasional peanut butter/protein shake for my 6th grader makes him feel like (and play like) a boss.

3)  Electrolytes are getting to be a bigger deal each year.   Be on the cutting edge – get them some of this.

Soreness after activity – that’s called DOMS – it’s normal.  But there are ways to deal with it faster – 

Electrolytes, water, movement (yoga type stuff or lots of outdoor play like hide and seek or ninja warrior), limit processed foods and soda.   

We also have a really fantastic product from hammer brand nutrition called tissue rejuvenator  that is a natural, no drug anti-inflammatory and joint health capsule that I use frequently with my kids and use nearly daily myself. 

If you or your kids have more specific needs or feel the need to increase supplementation in the form of shakes, creating or specialized diets – that is more of a one on one scenario and I would be happy to help out on any of that, but it takes a professional, with a real exam and decision making and testing –

I’m not going to put that kind of stuff on a generalized article.

The Plant Paradox – Dr. Steven Gundry (Book Review)

This is perhaps THE best, most comprehensive, detailed and most profound life changer book I’ve ever read. I actually had to take it slow there was so much thought process going on that I needed to take a break and let the information digest in my brain.

Dr. Gundry’s description and detail was thoroughly researched and informative with analogies I can use in my practice that are so simple, my elementary school age kids could easily understand.

This book will make you have to take a severe look at the crap you are putting in your body.

Gundry speaks the way, reasons his points and explains everything EXACTLY how everyone of us would like to have our personal doctor talk to us.   “Just give me the facts…what do I have? How can I fix this? Is it serious? Am I going to die? What will it cost? What’s OK to eat? What should I avoid?  What’s my plan from here forward? and please doc, if you have an extra 4 hours to spare, would you please give me the ‘why’s’ behind all of this?”

Sounds great?  Too good to be true?

So why am I so hesitant and gun shy and why would I call his paradox book an actual paradox?

Because – The answer to all the above is not what you want to hear.

What we tell ourselves we want is often exactly opposite of what we want to hear.  

We tend to surround ourselves by like minded teachers, social media followers,  music lovers and yes, doctors. We love a slightly overweight doctor that loves himself some pizza and beer and agrees with our self assessments, gives us what we ask for and lives a Typical American diet and American life and we surround ourselves with exactly that…hell, I’m like that.

Dr. Gundry is not…or at least his book is not.   

The Plant Paradox is a tough, jagged, bitter pill to swallow that just rings so true and so real it is in fact both revolutionary and pisses me off at the same time because he dispels nearly every one of my self rationalizations with the true facts.   He attacks my subconscious “known” ideas hiding under the surface and my weak justifications and calls me out.

We eat crap in America.  Loads and Loads of crap. It has been packaged to appeal to us and tricked us into thinking it tastes good. It makes us crave more crap but it is still just straight up crap.

Even when it’s “good for us food” it still could be crap because we don’t even have the digestive system working the right way to allow us to absorb the good and pass on the bad.   

WE ARE SCREWED UP and he blatantly calls our bluff.

So here’s the good news.

Dr. Gundry can help you fix it.

It’s not even that hard.   

Its just in the face of what we’ve been told, what our doctors and teachers have told us and what is the standard American diet.     

It’s our wake up call to true health and although it’s tough to admit it, when you’re ready he’s there to help.

With the basic idea of “lectins” as invaders into our system and wreaking havoc on..well, just about every process it can gets its tentacles on, Dr. Gundry walks you hand in hand on the “why’s”, “how’s” and “what to do nows?” you’re going to have.

His book made me a better doctor before I even finished it and gave me the ammo and reasoning I needed to make myself better.

He’s one of those great guys I list on my blog that has changed my life without ever having met me. Go into this book with fair warning…It will open your eyes and make you better at explaining health and sickness than any doctor you’ve been to, without ever sitting for hours in the waiting room.