Hormone Balance and Food Combining: How Proteins, Carbs and Fats Affect the Body’s Behavior

by drpaul

Balance your hormones by balancing the things you put in your mouth.  I don’t mean weighing your food or putting them on the scales of justice (although you should justify what you do eat based on how you will feel, both physically and mentally, POST consumption, NOT pre-consumption).  This is more about balancing the types of foods you eat.  That’s right:  the foods that you do or don’t eat and the combinations of them play a major role in the types of hormones that are released in your body.

The western (modern) diet basically tells our bodies one thing hormonally…GROW.  Yep, if you eat like the average American, you are eating a diet that gives you no chance at being healthy or having a “magazine-like” body.  And we’re not talking Cosmo, People or Muscle Media, we’re talking Shape or Women’s/Men’s Health, or any other magazine that depicts people who at least appear healthful.  You see, the average American eats roughly 50% of their calories from carbohydrates, and most of them come in the form of processed grains, sugar and corn syrup.

If you compare this to our ancestors’ diets, you will see a large difference in both the amount and the type.  About 25-40% of our ancestors’ diet was comprised of carbs, and those were pretty much exclusively vegetables with some fruit (not a lot).  This plays a huge role in our hormones and in our size.  Now, it is safe to say that nobody wants to be fat, but from a physiological perspective on the way that we eat in this country, it sure seems like that is the goal.  Not only are we eating tons of these processed carbs, but it is also the way that we eat them.  You see, different hormones are released, based on the food combinations that we choose.

Food Choices and Hormonal Response
What is a typical breakfast in the States (if it is even eaten)?  Cereal comes to mind, along with pastries, pop tarts, packaged waffles, bagels or toast right?  We’re not sure how mainstream media switched the good ol’ fashion steak and eggs to a sugar slap first thing in the morning, but it has happened.  Eating like this is just like a slap or a punch to the pancreas, telling insulin to be released and telling the body to grow, grow, grow.  We would have never eaten that high a sugar content or anything remotely like these foods in our hunter-gather days.  And remember, we are the same – our genes haven’t changed much, if at all, in the last 40,000 years.

You may be wondering what you should eat for breakfast; we have some ideas.

Carbs are going to spike our insulin, no matter what; however, we can curb that spike to some degree if we eat some protein and fat along with the carbs.  We are in no way recommending a high carb, high processed food diet.  It’s important to take it one step further when eating fruits and veggies.  It is best when we eat a balanced diet by consuming protein, fat and healthful carbs together at every meal.  This is the basis for The Zone Diet prescribed by Dr. Barry Sears.  Where we at Bonfire Health differs from Dr. Sears is when it comes to quality of food.  He goes into this somewhat, but we want you to focus on eating natural foods (from the earth, not processed), as well as balancing the macronutrient content (protein, carbs and fats).

By eating healthful carbohydrates (fruits and veggies), you will dramatically decrease the insulin released, which will decrease your body’s message to grow and store fat.  By going a step further, eating a small portion of lean protein (grass-fed beef, turkey, chicken, etc.) and fats (avocados, nuts, seeds) along with those carbs, you will in fact be balancing your hormones, which will keep you healthy or move you toward health!

For more info on balancing hormones through foods, as well as other great nutritional info, visit:

What is The Zone Diet

Crossfit Nutrition

The Paleo Diet

Robb Wolf

Wiki on Hormones

Grains – The Pillar of Disease

by drpaul

 

… and give us today our daily bread. - Matt 6:13-19

Come on, if it’s in the bible, even part of the Lord’s prayer for crying out loud, how can bread be bad? (I guess that would include bagels, pizza, cereal and crackers because they’re just variations of bread; for that matter, beer too – it being ‘liquid bread’.)

Are you sitting down? Are you ready for this – there are many, many respected scientists, researchers, doctors, athletes, and everyday people who, as part of their healthy lifestyles, do not eat bread or any wheat products (this includes the founders of Bonfire Health). Not because they have celiac disease or other gluten allergy, but because they understand how eating wheat will undermine their health in many ways.  One respected health lecturer has gone so far as to create and sell WHEAT IS MURDER tee shirts [click here if you don't believe me].

Grains are hard to digest, contain anti-nutrients gliadin and glutenin which cause intestinal permeability, promote inflammation, and cause high insulin levels – that’s a recipe for disaster/disease in the form of diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disease (not to mention diverticulitis, a precursor to colon cancer).

Dr. Loren Cordain cites evidence in his book THE PALEO DIET, as well as his and other published research, that whole grain products frequently contribute to an elevated glycemic load because of the quantity of total grains the USDA recommends (8 ounces per day, equivalent to 8 slices of bread). Wheat in particular is problematic because it contains the proteins gliadin and glutenin, both of which are shown to increase intestinal permeability in celiac patients as well as in healthy persons.

Cordain notes that increased intestinal permeability promotes passage of a gut borne bacterial substance called lipopolysachharide into the bloodstream, producing a low-level chronic state of inflammation called endotoxemia (see Maelán Fontes’ article on Type 2 Diabetes and Endotoxemia). Endotoxemia likely underlies many chronic disease states, particularly cardiovascular disease and a number of autoimmune diseases, according to Cordain. [source: Dr. Loren Cordain comments on the  U.S. Federal Government's 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans]

I know, this is a shocker – after all, aren’t whole grains one of the pillars of health? Actually and resoundingly, NO!  It’s true – one of the quickest ways to get healthier is to stop eating grains of any sort, but especially wheat.

One problem besides the fact that people eat wheat at nearly every meal, grains in general and wheat in particular, are ‘hidden’ in many, many foods. Here’s a great article Hidden Sources of Grains.

In our house, we make cookies out of almond flour, Yambanana Bread with yams, bananas and nuts – you’d be surprised how you can still eat a healthy ancestral diet with modern recipes.

 

PS. The photo at the top, has another ‘devil in disguise’ – can you figure it out?

 

That’s right, fried food – it’s number three on the The Top 10 Disease-Producing Foods

 

PS. PS. Yes, although I don’t eat bread, I do still drink beer, which is in essence liquid bread – I love a good hand-crafted IPA.


Why Whole Foods?

by admin

Why Whole Foods?
Our first priority is to eat whole, fresh foods.  This is what makes us healthy; it’s also what we have been genetically designed to eat – what is found in nature, not what is created in laboratories or mass food-producing factories utilizing chemicals.  Today, so many of our foods have no resemblance to what one would find out in nature.  These foods are simply a concoction of man-made chemicals and manufacturing processes that are sold as food.  For now, let’s concentrate on whole foods.

A loose definition of “whole foods” is that the food is eaten in the form as close to the way it’s found in nature as possible, with minimal to no processing.  There are obvious variances and limitations to these criteria, depending on the food.  For example, foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds should be eaten in their raw state, which provides the highest level of nutrients (i.e. fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, water, etc.).  When those foods are frozen, canned, baked, fried, salted, etc. and/or prepared with other processed foods (e.g. an apple that is made into a “turnover” made with white flour, hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup), they are moving away from the way they are found in nature and in the process, losing the majority if not all of their nutritive value and now have disease-promoting additive chemicals. In the apple turnover, the once naturally-found food, the apple, has now crossed the line from being simply non-nutritious to actually becoming a disease-producing food (the white flour and high fructose corn syrup are major contributors to the development of diabetes; the hydrogenated oil is a known causal agent for heart disease and cancer).

On the contrary, other foods such as olive oil, almond milk, and whole grains can only be eaten after a certain amount or degree of processing.  Then there are differing degrees to that processing.  For example, a cold-pressed virgin (first press) olive oil is a much better food than heat-processed oil; fresh made almond milk versus store bought almond milk differs greatly in their ingredients and nutritional make up.

The Basics
We are all part of the animal kingdom.  Yes, God has made us different from other animals in many ways; but when it comes to how our bodies function physiologically, we are no different than other animals.  Would you feed your pet dog, cat, bird, or rat chips, fries, soda pop, ice cream, cookies, crackers and expect them to be healthy?  (By the way, Dr. Paul’s kids have pet rats – they feed them raw vegetables, nuts, and avocado trimmings/leftovers, etc.).  Why not?  It’s obvious, because the pet would get sick, right?  But you say, “They’re animals!” Well, guess what?  So are we!

It is so important that you understand this concept that we have to eat naturally for our bodies to be healthy.  Our bodies are made up of between 70 – 100 trillion cells – and those cells will function according to the raw materials we provide.  In other words, the health of our cells and therefore the health of our bodies is determined by the food we feed ourselves.  YES, IT’S THAT SIMPLE!  Perhaps no other single factor has contributed to the decline in man’s health than the (self-imposed) changes that have occurred to our food supply over the past 350 years. More

Chili Omelet [video]

by drpaul

Having leftover chili accomplishes a lot – snacks, lunches, another dinner and, in this case, a great breakfast. 


2-3 tablespoons organic butter (or coconut oil)
2 organic eggs per person
Raw cheddar cheese – optional
Leftover chili, warmed

  • Beat eggs well in glass bowl
  • Warm leftover chili in small sauce pan
  • Melt butter in a medium stainless steel skillet over medium heat
  • When butter bubbles, pour eggs into center of pan
  • Using a rubber or flexible plastic spatula, gently lift edge of eggs and tilt pan to allow a small amount of liquid egg to pour under cooking egg (see video demonstration); REPEAT a few times to get all liquid from center
  • Once egg is cooked (= no liquid): spoon warmed chili over one edge of cooking egg
  • Top with optional shredded raw cheddar cheese
  • Gently fold half of egg over the side with chili
  • Serve with sliced apple

Dietary Guidelines and the Food Pyramid

by admin

Can you think of a time when you couldn’t find any food to buy or eat?  Believe it or not, a little over 100 years ago, there were a lot of people in the United States who didn’t have enough to eat.  Food was not widely available.  There weren’t multiple grocery stores in every town, and they certainly didn’t have 24 hour convenience stores.

More

Bonfire Green Smoothie [video]

by drpaul

You will not believe how good this smoothie tastes despite looking like lawnmower juice! Feel free to add or subtract what you have on hand and what you like in terms of taste. Be careful to not go overboard on the fruit – this is a green (i.e. vegetable) smoothie designed to deliver great nutrient-dense antioxidants and phytonutrients from vegetables with the fruit added to sweeten and lessen any bitterness from the chard, kale and spinach.

For a fantastic breakfast, serve with either eggs, some Yambanana Bread, or some bacon (uncured – no nitrites or nitrates) or organic sausage.

1 large handful of spinach
2 kale leaves
1-2 chard leaves
1 banana
1 orange, peeled
1 avocado
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil-
1-2 cups purified water, or combination of water, coconut water, almond milk, hemp seed milk
Frozen berries, frozen pineapple chunks (available at Trader Joe’s), pomegranate seeds

Add all ingredients to Vita Mix blender and blend thoroughly (1-2 minutes)

      • Can be put into glass jars and refrigerated for up to 36 hours

NOTE: Any smoothie can be made into a meal replacement by simply adding the following:
1 organic raw or hardboiled egg*
1-2 tbsp lemon-flavored fish oil
*Use fresh, local and organic eggs (not mass-produced supermarket brands)

 

 

Broccoli Stumps and Eggs [video]

by drpaul

Yep, you’re reading that correctly – broccoli stumps. Instead of wasting that nutritious and fibrous part of the broccoli, chop it small and cook it briefly in butter or oil and it adds great nutrition to an egg dish (and I like the crunch; okay, I’m weird).  – Dr. Paul

1-2 organic eggs per person
Organic butter (or other high heat oil such as sesame, coconut, or grapeseed oil )
Broccoli stumps, chopped small
Shallot, onion or green onion (optional), chopped
Red or green salsa
Sea salt and/or fresh cracked black pepper
Optional: raw cheddar cheese

  • In a small to medium stainless steel skillet over medium heat, melt butter
  • Add broccoli, stir to cook for 2-3 minutes (longer if you want the broccoli softer, lower the flame to prevent burning butter as you cook it longer)
  • Add chopped shallot or onion, if using
  • Stir until eggs are cooked (no more liquid – don’t overcook)
  • Turn flame off
  • Add optional shreded raw cheddar cheese
  • Serve with optional red or green salsa and Green Smoothie

Steamed Broccoli

by admin

 

This is as simple as it gets. Also, very nutritious. Be careful to not overcook the broccoli.

Fresh organically grown broccoli

  • Place steamer insert into medium sauce pan (with cover)
  • Pour purified water only to bottom of steamer insert
  • Place pan over medium heat
  • Once water begins to boil, place broccoli onto steamer – broccoli should not be submerged; COVER and reduce heat to low-medium
  • Cook for only about 7 minutes – remove lid to keep broccoli from continuing to cook and from losing its bright green color

Pear Walnut Salad

by drpaul

This fantastic salad was featured in Gourmet Magazine many years ago (maybe even 1987). It’s a favorite in our house; we often serve it when we have company with when we’re serving something special like Rack of Lamb- Dr. Paul

1-2 heads of red leaf lettuce (or mixed with green leaf lettuce)
1/3 firm, but ripe pear, per person
1/8 cup raw walnuts, per person

  • In a pie pan, toast walnuts (9-10 minutes @350 F in toaster oven – watch them closely so they don’t burn)
  • Tear lettuce into small-medium size pieces and place in salad bowls
  • Slice pears into thin slices; arrange on top of lettuce in a radial
    pattern
  • Drizzle vinaigrette dressing over lettuce and pears
  • Sprinkle toasted walnuts over salad and serve

Simple Vinaigrette Dressing
1 cup extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil
Just less than ¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 crushed garlic clove (not diced, left semi-intact)
Optional: add dried basil or Italian seasoning

  • Mix together in jar or cruet

 

Baked Salmon Mediterranean

by admin

Any fish of your choosing can be substituted in this recipe.

1 4-6 oz. wild caught* salmon filet/steak per person
1 small jar of artichoke hearts (in water)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 medium leek, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
2-3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Heat olive oil in large skillet that has a cover.
  • Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and leek; cook for 4-6 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients, except olives and fish; cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour into 9×9 or 9×14 baking dish.
  • Add fish and olives. Cover with foil and cook 12-16 minutes, depending on thickness of fish (because fish is being put into a sauce that’s already hot, it will cook more quickly than putting it straight into the oven).

* No farm-raised  fish – they’re fed wrong, the water is polluted, and many farm-raised fish now even have coloring – yuck!