Keto Diet 101

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So what exactly is the Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet is like Atkins but amplified. Instead of just low-carb, it’s “almost no carb” and lots of fat. It’s been around for a long time but has recently gotten a lot of attention.

A ketogenic diet has been shown to help some people lose weight (yes, even with the high fat).  It can also help improve certain health conditions, like epilepsy in children.

Read on for some of the lowdown on how it reprograms your metabolism (for “ketosis”), and whether or not it’s something for you to consider.

What is “ketosis?”

Carbs (sugars & starches) are the preferred fuel for your brain and muscles. They will use carbs first, whenever they’re available.

This is why maintaining stable blood sugar can affect your attention, mood, and energy level.

However, when very low amounts of carbs are available for fuel, your body starts making compounds known as “ketones.” These are your body’s “backup fuel.” And your body makes them from fat.

Ketogenic literally means “the generation of ketones.”

After a while being on a diet very low in carbs, your blood level of ketones increases. This is the metabolic state known as "ketosis." It's the same process that your body goes through if you've fasted for 72 hours and depleted your supply of carbs as fuel. That's the trigger for turning fat into ketones.

Note: “Ketosis” from a ketogenic diet is not the same thing as the dangerous condition known as “ketoacidosis.”

Ketogenic diet for weight loss

With a high fat intake, it may be surprising to know that studies show that a ketogenic diet is effective for weight loss.  But it’s true.

It can also have better results than low-fat diets. At least one study showed that people lost 2.2 times more weight on a ketogenic diet than those on low-fat or calorie-controlled diets.

How is this possible?

Eating all that fat and protein is filling! It helps release satiety hormones that tell us that we're full and satisfied, and we don't need to eat anymore. Many people don't need to count calories or track food intake, as they do with low-fat or calorie-controlled diets.

So, by eating enough fat and protein to go into “ketosis,” you can actually feel fuller and eat less food overall. Of course, this can help with weight loss. 

Ketogenic diet for improved health

Some studies show other health benefits of the ketogenic diet.

As you can imagine, having very low levels of carbs can help reduce blood sugar and insulin issues.

One study showed improved blood triglycerides (fat) and cholesterol numbers. Others show lower blood sugar levels, and even up to 75% improvement in insulin sensitivity.

Several studies show reduced seizures in children who follow a ketogenic diet.

Changing your metabolism has widespread health effects. And this can be beneficial for some people.

How to do the ketogenic diet

Not everyone should go on a ketogenic diet. Make sure you speak with a trained healthcare practitioner before you try it. It can have side effects, including the infamous “keto flu.”

The ketogenic diet involves getting 60-75% of your calories from fat, 20-35% from protein, and just 5% from carbs. Many people find it quite restrictive and are unable to stay on it for a long time.

The foods to focus on for a ketogenic diet are meat, fatty fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, avocados, and low-carb vegetables (cucumber, celery, peppers, zucchini, leafy greens, etc.).

The main thing to avoid are foods that are high in carbs. These include sugary foods, desserts, processed foods, and alcohol.  It also includes certain healthful foods like grains, fruit, legumes and starchy vegetables.

Because of the limits on fruit and starchy vegetables, many people on the ketogenic diet need to take supplements. This is because, in addition to their sugar and starch, fruits and starchy veggies are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. So, if you're cutting those foods out, you still need to give your body those nutrients. And often, it means needing supplements.

Conclusion

The ketogenic diet is very popular these days. It can be helpful for weight loss, and other health conditions.

It’s not for everyone, so make sure you check with a knowledgeable practitioner before you begin.

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Keto Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 ounces 100% dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla stevia

Instructions:

1. In a vitamix puree coconut milk and chocolate until smooth

2. Blend in stevia

3. Divide mixture between six 5.5 ounce jars

4. Refrigerate for 24 hours

 

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/ketogenic-diet

https://authoritynutrition.com/ketogenic-diet-101/

http://neurotrition.ca/blog/going-keto-what-science-saying-3-safe-ways-do-it

The Best Pre and Post Workout Snacks

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What to eat before and after a workout – this is a question that I  get asked a lot!  

Good pre and post workout nutrition is key for optimal performance during exercise and for providing your body with the fuel to repair and strengthen muscles after a workout. Proper nutrition also ensures that you are getting in all of the essential nutrients that your body needs for overall health, energy and injury prevention.

Your pre workout snack should provide:

  • Carbs: energy from carbohydrates so you don’t run out of steam
  • Satiety: so you aren’t starving mid workout
  • Digestibility: easy digestibility so nothing lingers in your stomach and causes problems
  • H2O: hydration to keep your muscles, joints and cells working optimally

For Intense workouts, your post workout snack should provide:

  •  H2O: water is very important for your overall energy and maintaining electrolyte balance
  • Protein: helps to restore your hard worked muscle tissue
  • Carbs: help to replete glycogen losses, and the energy you store in your muscles

My Favorite Pre Workout Snacks

  • 1 slice whole grain toast, ½ a small avocado mashed & sprinkle of salt
  • In the blender:  1 cup coconut water with 2 tablespoons cacao powder 2 tablespoons hemp seeds and a small banana. 
  • Chia pudding: combine 1 ½ cups almond milk  + mixed with 5 tablespoons chia seeds and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Serve with a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut and berries
  • Take 1 cup mixed fruits (oranges, grapefruit, berries, melon or whatever is fresh and in season) and top with 1 tablespoons ground flax seeds.
  • Oatmeal, topped with berries

My Favorite Post Workout Snacks

  • 4 ounces full fat plain coconut yogurt or cottage cheese, berries, sprinkle of walnuts
  • Protein drink or green smoothie
  • Trail mix with almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon dried unsweetened coconut, a tablespoon of raisins
  • 1 slice whole grain toast, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 boiled egg, deli turkey, or 1 tablespoon hummus
  • Lettuce turkey wrap.  Sliced deli turkey wrapped in butter lettuce.

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Is A Spring Cleanse Right For You?

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I’ve gotten a lot of questions about cleansing and detoxing throughout the years; What are the benefits?  How does it work?  Is it healthy?

Here is the scoop:

Toxins enter our bodies every day through food, water, air, cleaning products, soap and skin care products just to name a few. Everything you eat, drink, and absorb into your body (through your skin) is broken down by your liver, purified in the kidneys, and eliminated through your digestive system and skin (with sweat).

If this miraculous cleansing system becomes sluggish and over worked, our bodies can not break down and utilize all of the powerful vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need to feel amazing, optimize energy levels, and maintain a youthful, radiant glow!

I do not promote juice-only fasts.  However, I do see the value of a Whole Foods Cleanse - Giving the digestive system a break by eliminating foods that cause inflammation in the body.

In other words, the goal of a Whole Foods Cleanse is not a week of starvation! The goal is to simply clean up the diet and eat as well as possible, (bye-bye lattes for a few days!)  It is a powerful kick start towards positive and lasting change for your health and your body.

Here are the parameters:

No gluten, dairy, soy, alcohol, processed foods, added sugar, while cleansing.  Reduce coffee to run cup a day.

While this may sound like a lot to let go of at first glance, the results will be worth it; The lightness and energy you’ve been longing for, weight loss, glowing skin and finally experiencing what it feels like to live in a clean body.

Benefits of a Whole Foods Cleanse include:

  • Aid in the elimination of toxins from your body
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Recognize and overcome sugar cravings
  • Restore good bacteria in your gut
  • Kick start weight loss
  • Restore your body’s natural energy levels

The greatest thing about a Whole Foods Cleanse is the ability to enjoy nutritious meals, soups, juices and smoothies while not starving the body or giving up food completely.

 

If you are interested in a guided, supported cleanse this spring.....Check out my 10 Day Total Body Reset Detox. 

Menu plans, recipes, shopping list and health coaching from me are included!

May 14-24.  Click here for all the details:

10 Day Total Body Reset

 

 

5 Cholesterol Myths It's Time To Stop Believing

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For a long time, doctors and dietitians’ advice was to skip high-cholesterol foods.

But just like we discovered that eating fats doesn’t always make you fat (yay!), research increasingly confirms that cholesterol in food doesn’t necessarily raise cholesterol levels in your blood. We’ve known this for a while, but I still get this question from clients and readers. (There’s also lots of new evidence on how saturated fat affect cholesterol, which I’ll definitely get into in another post, soon.)

Before we jump into some myths let's make sure we're on the same page when it comes to what exactly cholesterol is.

Myth #1: “Cholesterol” is cholesterol

While cholesterol is an actual molecule what it is bound to while it's floating through your blood is what's more important than just how much of it there is overall.  In fact depending on what it's combined with can have opposite effects on your arteries and heart.  Yes, opposite!

So cholesterol is just one component of a compound that floats around your blood.  These compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called “lipoproteins”.

They're grouped into two main categories:

●      HDL: High Density Lipoprotein (AKA “good” cholesterol) that “cleans up” some of those infamous “arterial plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.

●      LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (AKA “bad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence their “badness”).

And yes, it's even more complicated than this.  Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test.

So “cholesterol” isn't simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecules it's bound to in your blood and what it is actually doing there.

Myth #2: Cholesterol is bad

Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your body to produce critical things like vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, your sex hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone), as well as bile to help you absorb dietary fats.  Not to mention that it's incorporated into the membranes of your cells.

Talk about an important molecule!

The overall amount of cholesterol in your blood (AKA “total cholesterol”) isn't nearly as important as how much of each kind you have in your blood.

While way too much LDL cholesterol as compared with HDL (the LDL:HDL ratio) may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease it is absolutely not the only thing to consider for heart health.

Myth #3: Eating cholesterol increases your bad cholesterol

Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver.  It's actually not from the cholesterol you eat.  Why do you think cholesterol medications block an enzyme in your liver (HMG Co-A reductase, to be exact)?  'Cause that's where it's made!

What you eat still can affect how much cholesterol your liver produces.  After a cholesterol-rich meal your liver doesn't need to make as much.

Myth #4: Your cholesterol should be as low as possible

As with almost everything in health and wellness there's a balance that needs to be maintained.  There are very few extremes that are going to serve you well.

People with too-low levels of cholesterol have increased risk of death from other non-heart-related issues like certain types of cancers, as well as suicide.

Myth #5: Drugs are the only way to get a good cholesterol balance

Don't start or stop any medications without talking with your doctor.

And while drugs can certainly lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol they don't seem to be able to raise the “good” HDL cholesterol all that well.

Guess what does?  Nutrition and exercise!

One of the most impactful ways to lower your cholesterol with diet is to eat lots of fruits and veggies.  I mean lots, say up to 10 servings a day.  Every day.

Don't worry the recipe below should help you add at least another salad to your day.

You can (should?) also exercise, lose weight, stop smoking, and eat better quality fats.  That means fatty fish, avocados and olive oil.  Ditch those over-processed hydrogenated “trans” fats.

Summary:

The science of cholesterol and heart health is complicated and we're learning more every day.  You may not need to be as afraid of it as you are.  And there is a lot you can do from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective to improve your cholesterol level.

Recipe (Dressing to go with your salad): Orange Hemp Seed Dressing

Makes about ¾ cup

  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • dash salt and/or pepper

Blend all ingredients together until creamy.  Serve on top of your favorite salad and Enjoy!

Tip: Store extra in airtight container in the fridge.  Will keep for about a week.

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-cholesterol

http://summertomato.com/how-to-raise-your-hdl-cholesterol

https://authoritynutrition.com/top-9-biggest-lies-about-dietary-fat-and-cholesterol/

 

 

 

If I Had $200 To Spend On My Health, What Would I Buy?

 
 

Last night at a dinner party I was asked a terrific question:  "If you had $200 to spend your own health and wellness, what would you buy?" 

I love this question, because it – very simply – cuts to the chase.  It allows me to share with you what I value most in a health and wellness plan to help you look and feel your best!

So here is how I would spend my $200..........

 
I would start every day drinking two cups of water with lemon and an Energizing Green Drink   $2.26/day. 
 

(Note:  I already have a high powered blender!  If I didn't have a blender for my smoothies, I would buy that first.  Wow.....$200 goes fast)

Smoothie Ingredients that I buy every week:

  • Almond Milk $4.99 (or use water)
  • 1 12oz box spinach $2.49
  • 1 bunch kale $1.99
  • 1 bag frozen blueberries $6.40
  • 1 bunch of bananas $5.50
  • 1 bunch celery stalks $2.00
  • 4 honey crisp apples $4.00
  • 2 cucumbers $1.78
  • 4 - 6 lemons $2.50 for a 1 pound bag

(This is not exactly accurate because I also use various herbs, chia seeds, hemp seeds and coconut oil in my smoothie, but they last a long time, so I estimated)

Total = #31.64. $4.52 per batch or $2.26 per smoothie. 


 
I would get A Fitbit to track my daily steps and I would do "at home" strength and stretch routines.  The Fitbit Flex is $70.00, but the steps are free!
 

I always tell my clients "You don't have to join a gym to stay strong, slim and healthy!"  If my budget was too tight for a gym or fitness classes, I would get a basic pedometer and set a goal of 10,000 steps per day (that's about five miles.)  I would do my my strength training and stretching at home for 20 minutes.


 
I would take a high quality fish oil supplement   $30
 

If I was going to choose one supplement to take daily, it would be fish oil. Fish oil supplements are rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are vital to good health. They support your body’s ability to prevent chronic diseases and help protect it against inflammation. They also promote a stronger immune system; they support cardiovascular, joint and vision health; they strengthen skin, hair, and nails. 


 
I would get a great face oil to moisturize my skin.  $68
 

I can not live without my favorite face oil from Beautycounter.I have to admit, I was skeptical before I first tried putting an oil directly on my face.  I wasn’t sure it would work well for me......I was wrong!  My skin has never looked more soft, radiant and "glowy". Lightweight and silky smooth, this blend of seven natural oils moisturizes, nourishes, and helps firm skin. Fragrant jasmine oil replenishes moisture, while omega-rich argan oil helps minimize the appearance of fine lines.


 

Looking For A Private Consultation To Jumpstart Your Health And Wellness?

Call me for a FREE Breakthrough Session and let's figure out a plan that will work for you!

Q & A : it has been tricky to get back on track...

hi Lisa. Thank you for the support and follow up with me... Honestly, as in the past I lost my momentum while I was sick I would say. Mostly I was just not eating anything, then once I felt better, it has been tricky to get back on track... I found myself creating ridiculous excuses about workouts and food... again. So to say I have been struggling would be honest. I guess the good out of the situation is that I am aware of the lack of discipline at this point... and I am very ready and willing to get back on track. I feel so silly about this. I don't know why, but I feel so sorry for myself each time I "deny" myself food... I just can't get over the self pity of it all??? Anyways, here's to tomorrow and getting back on track and to the place I want to be. Sorry for the rambling... we will be in touch when I return. Thanks again.

Hey!

This is all so normal. It is difficult to change habits, and your body and your mind will rebel. (Rebellious is actually a good word for your mind’s response towards change.)

No matter. Keep the course and stay positive and be happy. You are a remarkable person! Do not try to be perfect all of the time. Perfection is unrealistic and unobtainable and not necessary for success.

Trying to be perfect is what makes you feel like rebelling against your plan.

Two goals to consider: Focus on eating healthy 90% of the time. Make a conscious effort to not feel full or stuffed after eating.

If you make mistakes or feel deprived, let it go and enjoy the treats that you think you want. The program will still work.

LC

reshaping your body in your late thirties???

Question from: Ericka JohnsonIn depth response from LISA. Check it out NOW.

QUESTION

Hi Lisa,

What is the best way to lose weight and reshape your body when you are in your late thirties? I have been doing cardio three times a week and toning twice with the stomach do I need to do something differesnt? I weigh 165 and need to get down to 135. I have core issues so I have lower back pain. I want to go into my forties with a toned fit body and core strenth. Also was just diagnosed with high blodd pressure so I want to get fit. In My twneties I was fit but they way I did it was through a personal trainer to start it really helped me stay focused! I knwo that would work know but money is tight, Please ANY SUGGESTIONED WOULD HELP.

ANSWER

Hi Ericka!

It is good to hear from you. I appreciate your questions and I want to help!

Here are my recommendations..........

GENERAL: It is absolutely possible to reshape your body, get fit, and increase your health and wellness in your late thirties. Although it is not an impossible goal to achieve, it does require a specific focus and determined discipline. What I mean by this is that it is necessary to make simple and healthful changes, and to be consistent in applying them to your life.

There is no doubt that mistakes will happen during this process! You will not always have time for exercise, and some days will not be perfect nutritionally. Remember that perfection is an unrealistic and unnecessary goal, and usually leads to frustration and attrition. The important thing is to get "back on track" as soon as possible when mistakes and blunders happen.

EXERCISE:

It sounds like you are on the right track here, but you need to kick it up a notch. I would recommend cardio training 4-5 times per week at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. 40 -60 minutes per session.

Resistance training 2 times per week is excellent. I will send you a core strength program that you can do at home or the gym.

If you can get a group of 4 people together we can do a mini class at the WIN Health Institute. $25 per person.

NUTRITION: Your nutrition plan is a big component to success. Here are my general recommendations for a healthy eating plan:

. Keep a food diary

. Understand Calories and metabolism. Your metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body needs each day to maintain its current weight. If you go below that number or above that number your weight will go down and up accordingly. I would recommend 1500-1600 calories per day with the recommended exercise plan for women.

. Eat 3 Meals and 2-3 Snacks Daily (spread your calories out throughout the day)

NOTE: Try to stop eating for the day by 7 pm. If you must eat after this hour due to your schedule, choose very light and healthy meals. Be very strict about this...Only healthy foods after 7 pm.

. Drink 1-2 Liters of Water Daily

. Eat 2-3 Servings Fruit Daily (think bright colors!)

. Eat 3-5 Servings Vegetables Daily (think bright colors!)

. Emphasize Whole Grains in your diet when you can. (Oatmeal, taboulle, quinoa, whole wheat couscous, whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, barley.)

. Avoid white flour, sugar, processed foods, and alcohol these foods are high in calories and low or empty in nutritional value.

. Include 2-3 small portions of Lean Protein at 2 meals. 1 serving of meat is approximately 3-4 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards)

. Ideas: chicken or turkey breast, lean meat, 3 egg whites, 1 egg, 4 oz fat free yogurt, 4 oz fat free cottage cheese, 1 T wheat germ, 4 oz beans/legumes, 1 handful nuts/ seeds, fish (especially salmon and halibut) and shellfish, protein powder

Reading Labels: When reading the label, you should pay close attention to what is listed under ingredients. Limit food items that have the following ingredients listed in the first five ingredients: Sugar High Fructose Corn Syrup Partially Hydrogenated Oil Enriched Flour